Each of you received the same missive directing you to the Grand Lodge in Absalom. These messages were hand-delivered by couriers to wherever you were in the world.
As each of you arrives at the grounds of the Grand Lodge, you’re informed that Marcos Farabellus, the Master of Swords, awaits at the Wall of Names.
As you arrives at the Wall of Names, you spot Farabellus pacing the length of the wall, inspecting the names inscribed upon it with grim solemnity. By the time you approaches, Farabellus nears the end of the wall, and the most recent inscriptions.
As he spots you he hails over for your briefing.
You all spot a stout human in nice black leathers.. He has short silver hair and piercing green eyes.. He carries a pair of scimitars.. It is impossible to miss the tiny woman with delicate butterfly wings sitting on his shoulder.. Their might be a rainbow arc or two with a few sparkles surrounding her as well..
Know planes on the pretty chicka..
Stumping up to the wall is a dwarf dressed in white robes with silver and gold trim. Resting atop his beard, on a leather thong from his neck, is a silver wayfinder stamped with a golden key. His armaments seem to be a fine buckler and the waraxe slung at his belt.
"Marcos. A pleasure." He nods, his voice the short, gruffness typical of dwarves. "Venture Captain Kurik Grandhelm, just in from Mendev." he greets the assembled Pathfinders curtly.
Take 10 for 15 Planes. Need to put together some audits of his sheets, otherwise ready. Will have a couple of his highest slots open for preparing specific requests.
The fair outsider is easily identified as a Lyrakien Azata..
The human gives the dwarf, Marcos, and the others assembled a nod..
"Venture Captain Darius Swiftblade at your service.. Well Met." He motions to the Azata.. "This is Shirley, my lovely companion. I expect her to be treated with the up most respect! The same shall be given from myself and the lady.." She giggles and gives a dainty curt to the assembled guest.
|Constantine of Absalom|
A massive, yet not towering mass of stone and earth walks into the lounge where the Venture-Captain has the Pathfinders waiting - an uncommon sight indeed! Its body seems made of granite, and while it appears to be chipped in many places, the whole of it appears invulnerable, unbreakable, formidable. A beard of orange and red crystal even make it look like a dwarf of sorts.
Strangely enough the creature - for lack of a better word yet - isn't wearing any armor at all, but his rocklike body is adorned with veils and shades not unlike those worn in northern Garund among the desert folk. Numerous weapons are his arsenal, ranging from sharp falchions in various metals to a massive spiked hammer. The no-nonsense attitude the creature has makes him look as if he was ready to enter the Worldwound itself, among the first lines of warriors.
"Name's Basalte. I'm Pahmet, from Osirion, but also Oread. Earth folk." he simply rumbles, is voice as low as the deep echoing voice of the earth. "An honor to serve." he nods before gazing upon the latest inscriptions on the Wall. "Many recents losses, Venture-Captain?"
Basalte looks like that (although since then his armor has mostly vanished thanks to the Glamered ability.
You see a tall half orc in full plate. "Greetings all I am Shump Blood axe paladin of Iomedae. I am pleased to join my fellow Pathfinders
An elf, no, a half-elf approaches with a somewhat skiddish wolf following at his heels. Adjusting his bow as he speaks he introduces himself. Faldoc Tisbane, as requested. I'm surprised my name isn't on this wall. Hopefully this mission won't place me there in the future.
Faldoc turns toward the wolf. This is Boomer, the fourth. Faldoc smiles. As I said, I'm surprised I'm not on that wall.
"HA! They'd have put me on there. Twice, if Abadar hadn't sent me back." Kurik chuckles in a low rumble. "Be seeing if I can't keep us off it awhile longer."
|Constantine of Absalom|
Slightly after the others, a half-orc comes flying over the Lodge's walls from the northwest, followed closely by what appears to be a cluster of spinning, multicolored crystals.
Skimming just over the treeline before landing near the Master of Swords, the half orc takes a moment to adjust his styled black hair and smooth out his yellow silk robes, trimmed with black griffon fur.
His lower arms are bare, revealing extensive tattoos, a jumble of Calistrian iconography, Thassilonian runes, and Absalom gang symbols. Several wands, a sword, and a whip all clatter at his side, and a long metal tube is strapped across his back.
Marcos welcomes you with a firm handshake and a smile. Then, as Constantine flies towards to wall. Marcos stops and says Looks like the team is now complete.
Once the second half-orc of the group has landing he begins to speak.
I thought this place appropriate. You know, all of the agents who’ve fallen in service to the Society have their names inscribed here. after a short silence he continues. For me, it’s a reminder that the Society’s deeds often come at a cost.
I asked each of you to join me here today, for I could think of no better place to give you this serious mission. Again the Master of Swords is visibly pensive for a moment before continuing. Through their proxies, the Decemvirate have completed negotiations with the Thuvian city-state of Pashow. As you may or may not know, Pashow is set to receive the latest shipment of Thuvia’s famous Sun Orchid elixir—a tonic that rejuvenates and forestalls the ravages of age. But the last two shipments of the elixir to Pashow over the last decade have failed to reach the city, and in their third attempt, they seek the aid of the Society to ensure nothing goes amiss.
You might ask yourself what business the Society has in dealing with the Sun Orchid trade, or sending agents to act as convoy guards—especially agents and even Venture-Captain as esteemed and talented as you. Well, the leader of Pashow, Emir Guldis, has solid evidence that the Aspis Consortium intends to make an attempt on the delivery, seeking to claim the elixir for the Consortium... Farabellus sweeps his arm over a section of the wall inscribed with the names of dozens of fallen agents. After looking at the wall and murmuring the names for himself he says with fury in his usually laughing eyes The Aspis wounded us, hit us here, on the grounds of this very lodge. These names are all those who fell in that heinous attack.
The one who we’ve learned organized that attack is also the one planning to rob Pashow ! Even if you have no care for vengeance, I ask
that you lend your services to protect a troubled city from Aspis schemes and avert the chaos and hardship that would ensue. With a less fiery and more serious tone he continues You’ll act as Representatives of the Pathfinder Society, ensuring that Emir Guldis and his city get their elixir, and that the Consortium gets nothing. Pressing on the word nothing he keeps talking As you ensure the delivery of an alchemical miracle capable of extending one’s life by a few decades, remember. Remember that the names inscribed on this wall are immortal in a way far beyond anything that can be found within a vial. Remember that we owe the names on this wall for the sacrifice they made—a sacrifice that allows this Society to endure.
After another moment of silence he says, looking each of you in the eyes.
I will also says Thank YOU. Thank you for all your accomplishments in the Society's name. Some of you are already Venture-Captain and even more skilled than me in the art of the sword. I hope you will represent the Society well and that the Trust I put in you and your skills will show the Consortium the value of the Pathfinders.
Now, if you have questions please, ask them.
"Who is the Aspis agent planning all this? Is there anymore information on the how the Aspis plan to take the elixur?"
Our field agents discovered the name of the resident Aspis Gold Agent : Kitio Aspenthi. Both our organization and Emir Guldis separately came to the conclusion that Kitio is making a play to claim some or all of the sun orchid vials for the Aspis Consortium.
As a gold agent, Kitio has the full ressource of the Consortium to help him in his scheme.
We have other agents tracking Kitio down, but we need our best—you—to ensure the sun orchid delivery reaches Pashow.
Emir Guldis will have more information on site.
The dwarf fingers his beard absently as the Master of Swords speaks. "Now don't go selling yourself short. Needed your perspective on plenty a' topics before I made rank." A frown briefly crosses his face. "Are we under orders of the Emir? Or more in the consultant position? Naturally, we pay him the respect due his title, just need to clear the chain of command."
The mound of earth rumbles. "Elixirs? Are there more than one then? Did they split it in many vials to make it harder to get? "
"Also where are we to receive the vials? Do we have any arcane means to conceal ourselves? "
-Posted with Wayfinder
Yes, Basalte. In fact, even if the Sun Orchid is a unique alchemical liquid known to reverse the ravages of aging, it's a Thuvian alchemist who developed it, and local authorities say that he still resides in a vast—and some say impregnable—fortress called the Citadel of the Alchemist.
Every year, no more than six vials of this miracle substance are released from the Citadel and travel to one of Thuvia’s city-states. In turn-this year, Pashow-, the city-state sells each of the vials at an auction, commanding some of the highest prices seen on Golarion.
After all, who doesn’t want a taste of immortality?
Your mission is not to protect the vials, we have send another team of less experienced Pathfinders to help protect one of the vial alongside Pashow's elite military forces. They come with the deal made with Emir Guldis. He also hired several other mercenaries to protect true and false elixirs.
Your role is a last line of defense if one of the convoy is under attack and unable to defend itself.
I hope your expertise will not be needed, but with the Aspis involved I'm not that confident...
"I was in Pashow. " grumbles the oread. "Almost lost two good agents there. Aspenthi will pay."
-Posted with Wayfinder
"So we're a strike team, on call if needed. Hope you all have solid nerves." The dwarf chuckles. "What's our timetable? Abadar blessed my request for transportation magic, but I don't think I can transport everyone."
Don't worry about that Kurik and keep your spells, you may have need of them later. As time is of the essence, Emir Guldis has sent one of his most experienced court conjurers to personally teleport you to his city. Her name is Farhaana Zadeh and she awaits your arrival in Starhall.
Oh! And if you need supplies, I suggest you do it here as Pashow is not as big as Absalom and don't have that many merchants able to find anything is a snap time.
"My stores are full, so I am ready when yall are."
Assuming Basalte brings it up Darisu will cast a shield spell into his ioun stone.. If the spell that goes in can be extended I will use a charge from a rod and do that as well making it last 26 mins instead of 13. Not sure if you can do that though.
"Aye, Darius, could you cast your wonder in my stone here, please?" asks the oread. I don't think you can extend it, the ioun stone can only contain one level of spell's worth. An extended spell would take up 2 spell levels I think.
Actually, about Kithio Apenthi...
Yeah, a strike force sounds about right. Protect the convoy, prevent the Aspis from winning. Similar songs keep playing, don't they? Anyway, how long does the convoy take to reach its destination?
|Constantine of Absalom|
"Do we know if the Aspis are working alone? Or any unrelated threats in the region? If they have any unconventional allies we may need to make special preparations. Speaking of..."
He takes a moment to look over the others, before turning to Faldoc, and removing the large metal device from his back.
"You might be able to handle this better than I will, in case we run into anything that really needs to be destroyed."
A timeworn Rocket Launcher, just in case.
Any Knowledge checks to rolls?
With the Aspis, we never know... Be prepared for anything.
As for the other threats to the region I know nothing more than what I said before about the two last shipments being missing. No one knows how. We’ve sent several groups to investigate the disappearances of the last two shipments, but they’ve all come up empty. There’s been a taboo surrounding the use of teleportation magic to deliver the elixir from the Citadel of the Alchemist, and it seems the troubles of Pashow lend credence to that belief.
In fact, both times that Emir Guldis attempted to secure his city’s shipments were with teleportation magic, and both went horribly wrong. At least teleportation magic for any other purpose seems safe.
no knowledge rolls for this part
"I'm ready." states the oread, waiting upon his companions.
"Aye, let's go ask the Emir about this and leave the Master of Swords in peace." Kurik agrees.
|Constantine of Absalom|
"Very well. Though I'd prefer somewhere with nicer weather, I can't say no to giving the Aspis a headache."
As a precaution, he retrieves a pair of wands, hitting himself with each, before offering them to the others. Endure elements and Mage armor
Marcos guides you towards Starhall to meet Farhaana Zadeh and makes the introductions.
Farhaana Zadeh is a middle age woman, with a typical osiriani heritage wearing light robes and a headscarf. She bows to you and says.
I'm Farhaana Zadeh, Emir Guldis's Court Conjurer. It's a pleasure and an honor to meet you. If you agree, I will use a Greater Teleport to transport us to the Emir Palace at Pashow.
I'm ready when you are.
She seems quite eager to return to Pashow.
Before you leave Marocs gives Shump a palm-sized ceramic disk bearing the Glyph of the Open road on one side and a pair of crossed swords on the other and looking at each one of you says.
When broken, this he shows the disk will allow you to speak up to 100 words to me and receive a response as long. If your duties change, use this to keep me updated and reassess your priorities together if needed.
Good Luck Pathfinders, and remember the Names and our motto Explore, Report, Cooperate.
Faldoc will cast Longstrider on himself and seems to be ready to go.
Kurik assesses the conjurer critically. "Hmph, well I suppose it would be rude to treat this like all the other transportations into the unknown." He grasps his wayfinder, golden key upraised. "Lord, grant me your blessing, that my stride be long, to overtake those who steal from rightful owners." Finished, he nods to Farhaana.
Longstrider is on Kurik now as well. CL10, most other spells will be at CL9 as protection from dispels.
Basalte nods at the wizardess, motioning that he's ready whenever she is. However, being particularly distrustful of teleport spells used in service to the Society, he keeps his hand on the pommel of his trusted adamantine falchion. His fiery eyebrows frown, not knowing what to expect.
Farhaana Zadeh smiles at the Pathfinders precautions and says While waiting for you, I've heard stories about teleportation going wrong. But I can assure it will not be the case with me.
With confidence she begins to cast Greater Teleport and in a split second you sense this strange feeling in your stomach and appears in a beautiful place with the ground covered with mosaics and at his center a "singing" fountain inside what seems to be a Palace fortress.
It's quite hot compared to Absalom but bearable.
See ? No problem, I'm not an elf. says with a satisfied smile Farhaana Come, the Emir awaits us. She adds moving towards the entrance of the central spire of the Palace Fortress.
Guldis, Emir of the Thuvian city-state of Pashow, eagerly awaits you in his modest palace fortress. Having inherited his title at a young age, some of you those with enough know. (local) knows that Guldis spent his first years of his tenure squandering the good faith vested in him by the people of Pashow. He was once a corpulent specimen of humanity, and while he has since replaced fat with lean muscle, the people of Pashow still view Guldis as a slothful ruler. Most significantly, his regime’s failure to transport Pashow’s last two deliveries of the sun orchid elixir has eroded the citizens’ confidence in his ability to rule.
Farhaana bows to the Emir and says Emir Guldis, I'm honored to present you the best of the Pathfinder, hand-picked by the Master of Swords himself, Marcos Farrabellus. follows a short presentation of each of you and your pedigree.
The Emir smiles and seems quite please to see you and says Welcome to Pashow honored Pathfinders. Please, follows me, we have so much to discuss in private.
After a short walk inside another spire of the Palace to a more private meeting room. The chamber’s central feature is a vast wooden table covered in maps with a tray of markers kept to one side. A semicircular glass window occupies much of one wall, providing a pleasant view of Pashow and the desert beyond.
A few seconds after your arrival in the room, servants knock - bringing food and drinks inside - accompany by a quiet woman wearing a fine breasplate and officier insignia and carrying a leather-bound dossier. The more observant of you are able to read the word "Pathfinders" on it.
The Emir seeing the woman entering says Perfect, I was waiting for you Saabira ! Please Pathfinder, let me introduce you the head of Pashow’s city guard and my personal security advisor Saabira Taheri.
The woman bows to the Pathfinder but stays quite, looking at each of you, judging you.
I thank you all for coming on such short notice; I know the negotiations between my city-state and your Decemvirate only recently came to a conclusion. Sadly, there is little time for pleasantries, as the sun orchid elixir is likely already being delivered into the hands of my agents at the entrance to the Citadel of the Alchemist.
Emir Guldis places a small marker near the mountains south of Pashow on the grand map before him.
Dozens of convoys have convened to receive either one of the six vials of the sun orchid elixir or a convincing fake. From there, the convoys will split up to travel to Pashow by myriad means and paths. We do not expect any activity within sight of the citadel, and using a variety of travel methods gives us the best chance of ensuring at least some of the elixir makes its way here.
The emir places several small convoy markers near the marker at the south end of the map. Immediately, magical lines of color, matching the colors of their rrespective markers, form on the map. Each of the lines zigzags through the desert or moves in a direct line, ending at the northern edge of the map where Pashow is styled in deep crimson ink.
I have retained your services not as mere caravan guards. No, you are the last contingency to assist should any of our true convoys come under attack. I have several conjurers on standby to magically transport wherever you are needed most.
The Decemvirate have promised me that you are their most experienced agents, and your presence eases my mind in the face of potentially losing a third shipment.
During his speach you can see that Emir Guldis only partakes food and drinks in small amounts of either due to his anxiety.
Do you have any question, me or Saabira could answer ? He asks.
Saabira respond Three years ago, when I was not yet in charge.
It was not an attack, but when the people in charge of the Elixir tries to teleport away from the Citadel, they simply vanish.
None of the Elixir was found in the blackmarket nor the men and woman in transporting it.
Darius narrows his eyes a bit.. "I have seen the length of the Consortiums reach.. We must be careful."
"Very well then. I have no other questions.. So we wait to see if we are needed and act accordingly.."
He moves and finds a nice place to sit while waiting..
Have we heard of this Saabira before?
Take 10 on Know Local for a 30..