A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 7th-level pregenerated characters.
Years of political maneuvering, espionage, smuggling, and diplomacy have set the stage for the Aspis Consortium’s most ambitious attack on their Inner Sea rivals: the Pathfinder Society. All that remains are several key preparations that only an elite team of Aspis agents can arrange, and once the fireworks begin, these same agents must strike quickly and mercilessly to secure objectives—some shared and some connected to deeper plots—and escape without the Society being any the wiser.
In this adventure the players portray agents of the Aspis Consortium using 7th-level pregenerated characters. The events in this story also connect to and expand upon those in "Siege of Serpents".
Written by John Compton.
This scenario is completely pregens. I will be posting information on how to get them here, but once the table is fully recruited, you will be given an opportunity to choose characters.
Please use this template to set up your tagline. It will help a lot in all of us knowing some basic info.
If you do not act/post in the 24 hour window after your action is called for, I will either put you into delay, or "bot" you (which means that I will choose your actions). If you are unsure if you can post, put your contingency action in a spoiler like this:
GM When I act next:
I will do blah blah, [dice=attack]1d20+3[/dice] [dice=piercing damage]1d4+2[/dice]
And so on...
Finally, a convention I have adopted (mostly for rolling during combat) in PbP games that I run is as follows:
1. No rolls during combat for any checks that do not specifically require an action unless called for by the GM. Same for free actions that do not influence combat.
2. Always roll for actions in the order in which they occur. When in doubt, roll reactions to GM first, reactions to players next and then your actions. Typically this will mean optional knowledge checks first, then your actions.
3. Please, no rolls in combat that are not part of the combat action. While you might think that they may add to the color of the encounter, they can be perceived as cheating, due to the nature of PbP die rolls. I don't expect that there will be a problem with this, but just stating it to put it on the table. If there is something you want to roll for, just ask the GM -- I can either roll for you, or prompt you to roll.
For interactions skills, you must interact to even get a skill roll. When you do, then the GM will determine which skill is being used based on what you say or do.
I am planning on creating the statblocks for each character in Hero Lab, and then send you the code to add to your profile for your character (there isn't a separate document with the characters yet, from what I understand).
Congratulations are in order, my friend! Three years in the Consortium, and you have already earned the silver badge! What’s more, you are in charge of a critical element of the upcoming mission. As the ranking agent on your team, this is your first shot at being in charge, but I warn you that this first team isn’t one you’ll want to boss around; this is a coalition force, and everyone seems to be the favorite of someone else a lot higher up in the food chain. Aim to coordinate, not command.
Look on the bright side, though: after all of those briefings that you had to sit through, now you are the hotshot who gets to lay out the plan. I’ve summarized the objectives below so that you don’t forget, but it’s up to you to make it interesting and inspire your team. You’ll do great.
Hundreds of Aspis agents and sympathizers are assembling throughout Absalom in preparation for an attack on the Pathfinder Society’s Grand Lodge. Most of these teams are in position to sow chaos, lure the Pathfinders’ attention elsewhere, and keep the rest of Absalom from interceding.
You are the lynchpin of the assault. Infiltrate the Grand Lodge, using the festival and throngs of unfamiliar faces to cover your movements. Gather what additional information you need, meet with any informants your team knows about, and lay the groundwork for your assault—split into smaller groups if necessary. Your cue to enter Skyreach—the towering stronghold the Society thinks unassailable—is a speech given by Master of Swords Marcos Farabellus. Agents will start ushering Pathfinders toward one of the lawns and pouring drinks for a toast, giving you a fairly generous window to get inside.
Once inside Skyreach, you have two major objectives: open the Hao Jin Tapestry gateway, and secure the Sky Key in that order. I have included some notes about how to activate the tapestry, as well as the coordinates within the tapestry where our allies are gathered. However, the notes only address how to send one person inside, not how to
bring anyone out. It seems Zey is paranoid about even keeping any notes about cracking the tapestry open, and he only stores them in one of the vaults beneath Skyreach—a section called the Antarnicus Wing, used for most of the tapestry’s treasures. Be prepared to break in. Once you have secured the notes, get to the tapestry chamber quickly.
Handle any opposition, open the gateway, and welcome our allies from inside the demiplane. Make sure that they have some sense of where they’re going.
After that, ascend to the small museum where the Society is keeping the Sky Key. It’s the usual routine: take care of any guards, grab the target, get out, and keep the whole operation clean. A second team (listen for the code “Five fingers till Oathday“) should find you soon after; pass them the Sky Key, get out, and congratulate your team.
Make the Patrons proud,
I promised you I would get you out, didn’t I? After three long years in captivity, cast away by the Pathfinders who cared nothing for your humanity or the life you had left behind, you are finally back. I must accept some of the blame for your being stranded, for it was I who assigned you to that lucrative post; however, it was that fool Aglorn who failed to guard the gate and lost us not only our way into the tapestry but also several of our finest agents. This injustice shall not stand. I would not assign you a mission if I did not have the highest confidence in your abilities, and I consider securing you this particular venture a small step in reconciliation. The Pathfinder Society shall burn, and you shall have the revenge you seek.
There are several hundred of our agents throughout the Grand Lodge ready to inflict damage and provide you the distraction needed to reach high priority targets. Anything you can do to make their jobs easier by preparing a few distractions of your own would help you as much as it would them. I already have numerous arsonists ready, but nobody seems bold enough to do anything about the zoological garden the Pathfinders keep. That’s why we’re fortunate to have a resourceful agent like you, willing to aid these fellow wretched creatures also unjustly imprisoned by the Pathfinders. I am sure they, like yourself, would love a chance to extract some justice from their captors. In addition to the forces within the Grand Lodge, hundreds of people who, like you, wish to escape from the confines of the tapestry are massed by your old base camp. I am sure that if your fellow agents forget where your allies are stationed, you can steer them in the right direction.
Do you remember the weapon I sent you to recover in Hao Jin’s hellhole? After they secured the gate, they snatched it up, and it went right into one of the vaults beneath Skyreach. Find it, and it’s yours to keep and use as you see fit. Wield it in the name of vengeance and the Consortium.
While you slept last night, a familiar figure wearing a blue coat and mask visited you. She smiled as she stepped over the threshold of your childhood home, whose windows were all bound in chains.
“Oh my dear 322, how does freedom feel? Are you still staring at the sky in wonder and fear? Do you still dream of the doorway between the stars? Have you kept writing in your journal?” The masked woman paused as she looked at you, and then smiled again. “Had you stopped wondering if I would find you again? Hardly. You are as drawn to uncover your own secrets as I am.” Shaking her head as if remembering some sweet memory, she continued. “Clinical experimentations ceased because you demonstrated increased capacity to channel the Lurker’s dark mysteries. I have guided you to Absalom in order to participate in a field study—a live test of your powers. Prepare yourself to work with members of the Aspis Consortium. Assist them to the best of your abilities.”
“You have two other responsibilities, both important to our studies and our allies. The first is this,” she said while conjuring a glassy, hexagonal pad out of dreamstuff. “It emits a resonance similar to the stars beyond, just as you do, so none of your allies will know how to operate it. I have used it to channel cosmic life energies into tiny homunculi, but I suspect that it could animate something far grander. Find a suitable host, attach it without drawing attention to yourself, and activate it when you see fit.”
“Your other task is even more important. At some point during your mission, you will find a simple lantern among your possessions. If opened, it captures the escaping essence of whoever dies near it, ensuring Pharasma never judges the unfortunate soul trapped within. Only one Pathfinder can repair the damage inflicted in the upcoming Aspis attack: Aram Zey. Ensure that the Society cannot call upon his expertise ever again, and I shall ensure his expertise helps you learn more about yourself.” The masked figure raises her arm in a salute. “Godspeed, my curious disciple—whichever gods those may be.” With that the dream ended.
After hearing the reports of lesser agents operating under lesser commanders, allow me to express how pleased I am to hear that you have accepted this job. What I have heard from my colleagues about your coworkers sounds equally reassuring; they are all competent in their respective fields. However, none of them can compare to your practical, on-the-job experience I am relying on you to ensure that this mission goes off without a hitch. Each bystander’s scream, nearby explosion, or track left behind is another complication that could jeopardize the operation.
My other agents have been watching the Grand Lodge closely. I have included the incomplete map that they created, noting the locations of your objectives in Skyreach. In addition, the agents report that the Master of Scrolls Kreighton Shaine—normally responsible for managing the keys to Grand Lodge’s vaults but concerned about his ability to keep them out of reach—has delegated several of the keys to one of his protégés, a halfling named Janira Gavix. My intelligence reports that she practically worships the Master of Scrolls, so there is no chance that she would take a bribe. Supposedly she is rather proud of her storytelling prowess, though, and can often be found near large crowds. If you can relieve her of the keys, your infiltration of Skyreach should be all the cleaner. I have enclosed a sketch of the halfling to assist your efforts to locate her.
May silence hide your footfalls,
Kitio Aspenthi, gold agent
It’s been several years in the making, but the coalition of some of the finest Aspis minds has finally manifested in this approaching assault—a fight to regain the Consortium’s glory and put the Society back in its place. I have not forgotten your earlier contributions, and I have pulled a few strings to secure you a key role in the upcoming operation. You won’t have the tiresome chore of leading the team; one of my colleagues has elected one of his cat’s paws to the role, and I trust you’ll let him parade about while letting you get the real work done.
In fact, everyone on your team has powerful connections and probably thinks highly of themselves. I am betting on this, actually, because those connections have been particularly cagey about their own reasons for participating in this raid. Just as a tracker can tell the health and drives of an animal by the spoor it leave behind, you can help me gaze into my colleagues’ minds by discerning what it is that their agents want to accomplish. Keep an eye on your comrades, and report what you can to me about their ulterior motives.
Of course, I would not demand information without sharing some in return. One of my many spies in the Society is a Chelish man named Arminaldi Charthagnion, a disciple of Nethys’ divine secrets. He is unhappy with the Society’s treatment of artifacts, and I have managed to keep him selling me secrets with the promise of helping him liberate a relic or two. I am expecting his latest report soon, but since you will be there anyway, perhaps you might meet him at the Wall of Names and use the intelligence as you see fit.
He won’t acknowledge you as my agent unless you tell him “The wall slithers like a snake through grass.” You’ll know you have the right man if he responds “None would step on so great a serpent.” He should give you what you need to know, and no more need be said. Just try not to spoil his cover or your own by making a scene about it.
I await news of your victory,
We have reviewed your work over the past four years, and so far your performance has gone
beyond the expectations to which we typically hold our contractors. The Consortium is always on the lookout for resourceful, intelligent operatives who know how to do more than just bash heads together—useful a skill as that is. I have a key vacancy in my roster, but I need more than just a knee-breaker who will knock down what I point at. Consider your current mission a tryout of sorts. At least one of your teammates is taking notes on your performance. Impress them, and you’ll impress me. Do that, and I’ll have a bronze badge waiting for you.
The upcoming attack relies on chaos, and that same chaos can cover your team’s tracks. What could be more upsetting to the Pathfinders than discovering that someone in their midst was a traitor? Of course, you may have to make a traitor by making an upstanding but easily missed Pathfinder disappear. If he happens to be a traitor already, that’s even cleaner. A missing traitor means no alibi, and that means someone disguised as that traitor could pin any number of crimes on him. Whether you do that or not is up to you; after all, an agent able to delegate effectively is just as valuable to me as one who can do the job himself.