Dot. Finished my other table with this character so I will get her updated before we start.
A short figure in gray studded leather armor softly padded into the room. With his veil on, only his eyes were visible. Kivuli arrived early enough to look around the room without being disturbed. He had learned early that preparation, or lack thereof, was the main reason behind success or failure. After making a thorough reconnoiter of the room, The armor clad rogue found a place to sit which afforded him a view of all who entered.
I am quite looking forward to meeting the others and heading back out on the road with my adopted family. Perhaps I will finally be sent to investigate some Osirian ruin!
|Tiny the Tiefling|
Following shortly after the shrouded figure comes a much larger one-- a man (?) dressed in loose black trousers and a loose-fitting black tunic that do not entirely conceal a powerful, brawny frame. Like the figure who proceeded him into the room, his face is concealed - though his is hidden by a cowl and a mask of beaten gold. A reddish tail, tapered like a lizard's, hangs down behind the man's legs, and an large, unusual weapon is strapped to his back.
He's tall, too-- perhaps six-foot-six-- and ducks his head a little on entering the doorway. Then the tip of his blade hits the doorframe behind him, earning a startled growl, and some possibly-comical backing up and forward several times until he figures out how to enter without getting caught up on the door.
The masked figure disentangles himself, then freezes as he realizes there's someone else in the room already.
"Oh! Hello! I did not see you there! Haha!" booms a deep voice from behind the mask.
Rising to meet his newest friend and ally, Kivuli offers his hand in greeting. "Gooding to make meeting with you! Please forgiveness my mouthing as me am still learning this talking here. Am gooder with mouthing other talking.
Raven would walk into the room with a bright smile. She was dressed in her yellow and orange colored scale mail. Under the scale mail she wore a light blue robe. The shield she carried had a large holy symbol of Sanrenrae printed on it. At her side hung a scimitar that seemed still unused. She would take in the room before moving over to take a seat with the two men. "It is a pleasure to meet the both of you. My name is Raven. May I propose a small meal to better get to know everyone" She would pull out a small sack of dried meat, fruit, and a bit of wine to share with the group as they spoke.
|Tiny the Tiefling|
The big fellow earnestly takes Kivuli's small hand in his massive one to shake it; there's claws on his hand. "You speak very well! New languages are hard! I also am still learning the Taldane tongue-- originally I am from beautiful Vudra. What other languages do you speak?"
He claps his big clawed hands together at the mention of a meal. "A wonderful idea! It is very important to share food and other customs to foster trust! We do trust each other and we are friends and nobody will do anything awful to anyone, I hope this sincerely! But where are my manners while you are both being very polite!
"I am called Chota Saitana in the Vudrani tongue but in Taldane this is translated Tiny," ....says the man who ducked to enter the room.
Tiny goes to sit down, and runs into some difficulty with his big bladed staff again. A few moments of struggle occur before he unstraps it and sets it carefully against a wall.
"Ah.... I will very happily eat with you, but I must take off my mask to do so," the big man says with a nervous fidget. "Will you promise not to throw things at me? Because we are friends?"
A lovely pale woman with bleached hair arrives. She is dressed after the shoanti fashion and has a few tasteful and artistic tattoos, she demurely joins the group without saying much, he head respectfully bowed, waiting to be spoken to before speaking herself.
"Chota, me mouth many speakings. The sloppy Goblining, the prisonish Infernal, the sandy Osirians, and the oldly Tien. Gooder in all those me am mouther. Remove your face Chota, we am family Pathfinder."
"Tengu-girl, tasting of good I swallow! Thanking for fooding." Taking notice of the most recent arrival, the rogue invites her to join the feast. "Painted lady, you trying the fooding thank you? Me am Kivuli."
He's starting to give me a headache
"Where do you come from? Do you have a native language - one that you grew up with?"
Raven would look confused for a few moments before she finally put two and two together. "Ohhh, no no my mother just always thought they sounded beautiful. She was always more of a worshiper of Sheyln. Still, A nick name is a nick name I suppose. Solstice come join us. Please remove your mask as well. The skin is simply a house for our souls, your true nature lies their. Their is nothing you can show me that would cause me to judge you."
Raven will laugh slightly at Kivuli. "You are very welcome. I hope I do not offend, I have just never heard one with such a way of speaking as yourself."
"Offenceless you am ...Raven-lady."
"Watashi wa haruka ni ryūchō Tien no haha kokugo de imasu. Watashi wa hokanohito ga sore o hanasu to katei shinai nodesu ka? Watashi wa ējento-kan ni hassei suru koto ga shira rete imasu."
"I am far more fluent in my native language of Tien. I do not suppose any others speak it? I has been known to happen among agents."
Venture-Captain Brackett enters the room inside the Pathfinder Society lodge in Almas.
"Greetings, Pathfinders. Ah, only five of you so far. Well, we're also waiting on a colleague of ours, so if you'd like to continue enjoying your wine, I'll prepare the briefing and send someone for you after."
Venture-Captain Brackett gives a nod and slowly turns back toward the door, before pausing, "Er, are there any brief questions before I leave you all to get better acquainted?"
|Tiny the Tiefling|
Tiny's tail twitches at the reassurances that he can take off his mask. He lifts his clawed hands and carefully removes the smooth hammered metal, revealing a face that only a mother could love (and even she might have second thoughts)-- ravaged red skin, eyes burning like coals set in pits, and truly awful teeth. Chota worries his mask a moment between his big hands.
"--I promise I will not eat any of you!" he says very earnestly through that mouthful of jagged, crooked teeth and tusks. "I'm very well behaved, really. Um."
He clears his throat, then brightens up, the red, pitted skin of his face creasing horribly with his smile. "I have tea! That will go well with our meal. So nice to share a meal with friends!"
Tiny rummages in his pack and produces a delicate little teapot and some loose leaf tea. "I like your tattoos!" he says enthusiastically to Solstice. "Very pretty!
"Ah, we have one language in common, Kivuli! I also know the tongue of Osirion! While I have heard Tien many times, I am from Vudra, which is not so far away but just different enough that I do not speak the tongue, unfortunately."
At the venture captain's brief appearance, Tiny snaps a salute. "We're doing very well sir! Thank you! We're having a meal together!"
Solstice joins, though she does not meet anyone's eyes and does not speak.
"If you do find a taste for us I hope it can wait after this meal at least." She will joke. The light often had a way of revealing things in the dark and Raven took a vow never to shy away from such things. She will make sure everyone is properly fed and with drink as they speak, seeming to enjoy the role as host of this little sudden brunch. She will nod at the venture captain before inviting him to share in the meal. "Nothing that can not wait until the briefing."
A stunningly beautiful elf enters the room. She looks slightly haggard, and exhausted from her journey. "Forgive me my friends, it has been a long travel. Worked with the society to uncover the secrets of the sky key only recently ended, and I was sent in haste here. My services are here for the betterment of the will of the society!"
She looks quickly around the establishment. [b]"Where is the venture captain? I need to inform them of my arrival?"
A stunningly beautiful elf enters the room.
She has a charisma of 7. Does she have a disguise self going, or is her low charisma soley due to personality?
I attribute charisma to interactions of a character's personality, not physical looks. We all know some people that are gorgeous on the outside, but once they start to talk....
From the core rule book: "Charisma measures a character's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance". Do not be so quick to dismiss appearance. Like it or not it weighs heavily in one's favor when dealing with others. And appearance is more than just your god-given looks, it includes how you dress and groom. Even folks who are determined not to let it sway their assessment of another will typically do so subconsciously. That being said it is perfectly possible for someone with a fantastic appearance be such a nob that everyone hates them, which is why I asked. I figured if you introduced your character as stunningly beautiful, I could look forward to some interesting character flaws and was actually hoping to prompt you to talk a little about the character and why such a beautiful woman has such a low charisma. I get into that kind of thing: role-play>roll-play. Besides, we have time to kill while we wait for the start date.
A young Pathfinder cadet knocks and opens the door, "Pardon me- Venture-Captain Brackett has asked me to lead you back to the front of the Lodge. If you'll please follow me."
Giving you a few moments to gather your things, the cadet leads you all off at a brisk walk.
Venture-Captain Brackett sits at a narrow table in the grand entryway at the Pathfinder Society’s lodge in Almas. This resplendent marble chamber, once the vestibule of a cathedral of Aroden, is now a well-stocked library. Carvings on the walls depict Pathfinder agents exploring forgotten ruins and facing fearsome beasts. Trade Prince Aaqir al’Hakam, seated opposite the venture-captain, reviews a stack of papers.
The trade prince speaks first. “Welcome, Pathfinders. Take a seat.” He turns toward several vacant chairs. “You will be departing for Druma tomorrow morning. I’ve arranged for all of your travel expenses. The journey will take you from Almas up through the foothills of southeastern Isger, and then from the settlement of Dustspawn into the borders of Druma.” He glances at the stack of papers in his hands. “These documents will handle any issues with your lodgings or questions from local government of officials.”
Venture-Captain Brackett nods to the Trade Prince before interjecting. “Yes, the trade prince has seen to your travel, and for that the Society is appreciative. Your mission involves entering the nation of Druma, specifically its capital city of Kerse. There, you’ll meet up with an acquaintance of the Society who has offered to assist us in executing this unique mission. As you may be aware, terrorists from the Aspis Consortium attacked the Society’s annual Convocation. An anonymous but reliable informant within the Consortium that we’ve taken to calling Three Rings has pointed us in the direction of the financier for this dastardly attack—a Consortium silver agent named Myrosype.”
“The city of Alabastrine is the epitome of Drumish wealth. It was built to accommodate an influx of refugees that never came to Druma in the wake of Aroden’s death. The resident Kalistocrats maintain the city in perfect condition, even its empty properties. Even Alabastrine’s method of selecting leaders revolves around wealth. Every five years, Druma sets up an auction for control of each of the city’s five districts. The latest cycle of bidding is about to commence, and Myrosype has positioned herself to claim a majority of Alabastrine’s districts. She may very well have the resources to claim the entire city for herself.”
The trade prince adds, “We want you to attend the auction, which has been arranged by the best contact we could find for the job. Some of you may know him. His name is Temel Passad, and he can provide you with more information when you arrive in Kerse. Once there, do your best to convince the participants in the auction to overtake Myrosype’s bids. Your actions in this event may not be a direct recompense for her participation in the attack against the Society, but trust me when I say that striking her in the wallet will be a precise and worthwhile blow. Any questions?”
Please give me a Sense Motive check as well please!
Syndra speaks quickly before any of her companions have a chance to process this information. "I of course have questions for you. First, what can you tell me about Druma? What more do you know or can you tell me about the "Three Rings"? Why is Alabastrine so important? What is a Kalisocrat? Who is Temel Passad? And finally, why not just kill this Myrosype and get be done with it? she blurts out all at one.
Sense Motive: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (5) - 2 = 3
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
The stares at the elf, slowly shaking his head. "You needing more lung when mouthing. All wordings fighting on your lips, yet none winning."
The spunky little halfling asks, "How did this Myrosype come to be so rich? If the whole city is based on wealth, how could she possibly have enough to buy every district? And our intent is simply to drive up the price, not necessarily win any bids?" She looks confused and a little annoyed.
Raven sat back for now as everyone asked their questions. It seemed like everything that she had been curious had already been asked thankfully. She would be looking forward to see Druma. It would be her first time in that area of the country and would be a exciting experience.
sense motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
|Tiny the Tiefling|
Sensing all your motives?: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17 Some of them, maybe.
Tiny listens intently to the briefing, his big, ugly head tilted to one side. He thinks if he knows anything about Druma, or the Kalistocrats, as he carefully re-fastens his mask.
Kn Local: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
(If permitted, he'll also make a Profession: Merchant check, since I can't imagine a merchant knows nothing about the Drumans. :P If not permitted, just ignore this.)
Profession Merchant: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Trade Prince Aaqir al’Hakam blinks a few times, then glances over at Venture-Captain Brackett who is grinning and shaking his head.
"Well now, I see you all are a quite curious group. Perhaps we have chosen the right Pathfinders after all! Let me see if I can help answer your questions."
“The Society rarely ventures into Druma. The resident ruling caste—followers of a philosophy known as the Prophecies of Kalistrade—has shown little interest in engaging with the Society. Druma is perhaps the richest nation in Golarion and their military, the Mercenary League, is one of the best- trained forces in the world. We’ve had few interactions with Druma,
and we’d prefer not to earn their ire, so be on your best behavior.”
“Three Rings is a person who takes great pains to protect against divinations and who appears in a different guise during each appearance. The only true consistency is that Three Rings always wears three ornate rings on one hand. Of course, it’s possible that Three Rings is a group of people working together. What we do know for sure is that Three Rings holds a deep grudge against the Aspis Consortium and has proven an invaluable source of information about the Consortium’s unscrupulous activities across the Inner Sea region and beyond."
"It’s important to Myrosype, so it’s important for us to make sure she doesn’t get it. While this may seem petty, the ongoing civil strife in Cheliax is likely to force Isger to increase their trade relations with Druma. Should this occur, Alabastrine would undoubtedly become a hub of commerce, which would benefit the district owners immensely. Given what Myrosype has already proven she is willing to finance, we can’t afford to let her gain any more wealth and in influence than she already has.”
"The Prophecies of Kalistrade are a set of documents that outline a philosophy focused around the principles of lawfully acquiring as much wealth as possible and abstaining from material comforts. Followers of the prophecies call themselves Kalistocrats. Their philosophy holds a status in Druma akin to an official religion."
Venture-Captain Brackett answers, “He is a merchant whose influence among the Prophets of Kalistrade is growing. Temel has been involved in several past Society operations, and while our agents have scorned him in the past, he’s willing to give us a chance by assuring your invitation to the bidding process. Since Passad is also one of the bidders, his motives are certainly not purely altruistic. Nonetheless, we can’t risk passing up the opportunity to strike at Myrosype.”
“Myrosype’s deployment in Druma puts her under the protection of the governing Kalistocracy. Druma has one of the strongest security forces in the Inner Sea, and Kerse itself is constantly monitored with scrying sensors to ensure civil obedience. Even if you were able to escape an attempt with your lives, your actions would be traced back to the Society, which would put us at odds with the Kalistocracy—a battle that we simply don’t have the resources to win.”
“Myrosype has used her Aspis Consortium skills and connections well to build up her wealth, and she has spent years working her way up to high society in Druma. Do not forget that she is wealthy enough to also help fund the Korholm Agenda. There are very few invitations to even bid on the districts of Alabastrine, and we were not invited. Temel Passad will brief you on the specifics of the bidding once you arrive in Kerse.”
Raven, you notice this after watching Trade Prince Aaqir al’Hakam:
The Trade Prince finds the idea of working with Temel Passad distasteful and is trying to hide his true opinion.
Does anyone have Knowledge (Nobility) or Knowledge (Religion)?
Interesting. Good questions. And an opportunity to mix with the elite. I think I'g going to enjoy this mission.
Solice is unable to contribute much here. Sorcerers are not well known for knowledge skills.
Tiny, based on your merchant dealings, you know this:
The presiding state philosophy of Druma is the Prophecies of Kalistrade. This philosophy promotes the acquisition of material wealth and the avoidance of physical contact. Its adherents, called Kalistocrats, wear white clothing, with a strong affinity for long gloves to prevent physical contact with others.
Syndra, your knowledge of world governments and leaders helps you know the following:
The actual government of Druma is an organization known as the Resplendent Bureaucracy. This group handles the day-to-day administration of the nation. Druma’s military force is called the Mercenary League. Its members are known as ‘Blackjackets’ in honor of the black uniforms they wear.
The capital of Druma is the city of Kerse, perhaps the most opulent city in the Inner Sea. Secret stations of spellcasters provide constant magical scrying across the breadth of the city.
Individual estates maintain their own hired spellcasters for similar purposes. The widespread presence of magical wards, along with the rapid response times from Mercenary League forces, ensures that there is almost no crime within the borders of Kerse.
Any other characters with Knowledge Religion/Nobility feel free to try as well!
The Trade Price stiffens slightly and shares, "Why no, I'm not sure what gave you that opinion." He takes a small breath, then turns, "Would you two members of The Exchange, Drusillia and Tiny, care to join me upstairs in the former Choir Loft?"
Solstice giggles into her scarf at that, but is not so bold as to correct him.
|Tiny the Tiefling|
Tiny's face is now hidden by his shiny mask so nobody can see his scrunching up his face in further thought.
Kn Religion: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
At the Trade Prince's words, he quickly jumps to his feet. "Of course, Prince of Trade and Commerce! I am most happy to do so!"
He picks up his bladed staff and puts the straps back into place with some effort. "Haha, no, Kivuli! I am already dressed! But Master Prince has some words perhaps only for business ears!"
Just before he heads up the stairs with Dru Tiny says, "I am remembering that the Kalistocrats wear long white gloves to stop them from touching others! We should remember this if we meet any-- that they do not want to be touched. Maybe we do bows, rather than shake hands, yes?"
He then goes to see the Trade Prince's will.
Dru is surprised and pleased to receive the special treatment. She thanks Tiny for the tip and resolves not to touch anyone wearing long white gloves.
When entering the choir loft, she has a quick look around.
perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Being a former Temple of Aroden, the room is spacious and well-lit, allowing sunlight to stream through large glass windows.
Trade Prince Aaqir al’Hakam speaks in hushed tones, “Some of you may already be familiar with Temel Passad. He was once interested in becoming an associate of our organization. However, when we formed an agreement with a diplomat from the Five Kings Mountains, Passad was unable to put his own personal dislike of the emissary aside for the sake of business. He has borne a grudge against the Exchange ever since. Now, he obstructs our attempts to develop connections within Druma. His decision to invite a junior agent to the auction instead of inviting me personally is but the latest in a string of slights."
The Trade Prince continues, “While I cannot attend the festivities myself, I trust that you can pursue our mutual interests in my place. While you are certainly welcome to express your displeasure to Passad, I have no interest in engaging the merchant in a war of petty vengeance. The auction provides you with a rare opportunity to speak to members of Druman society with higher social station than Passad himself."
Lowering his voice, the Trade Price leans closer, "If you convince one of these people to work with the Exchange, you will set the groundwork for brushing aside Passad’s further attempts to stand in our way."
"Passad may not believe that you are capable of making such inroads, but I do. Since your own personal clout is not yet significant, I expect that you will need to prove yourself first by making a positive impression. Do not rush to create a trade deal before you know what your potential partner seeks. Finally, remember, a honeyed tongue is like gold: it can reliably earn you favor, but it is rarely the most valuable commodity. The surest route to success is to engage with a person’s interests and desires.”
Dru replies: "We will do as you ask, my Lord. When the time is right."
Assuming Tiny also doesn't have questions
As you make your way to leave, Trade Prince Aaqir al'Hakam speaks one last reminder:
“Do not spend so much effort seeking a new ally that you neglect your mission to hamper Myrosype’s rise. If Myrosype becomes a rising star in Druman politics, her interference promises to outweigh any bene t we could gain from a new alliance.”
The Trade Prince comes back downstairs with the two Pathfinders, and nods at Venture-Captain Brackett.
The Andoren looks at you all, stands up and asks, "Well, that's the mission, I suggest you all make your way unless there's anything else we can answer?"
"How much timing circle of buying for power?"
Taking a chance, Kivuli asks the Trade Prince:
The Trade Prince turns to Kivuli:
"Yes, you are correct. The bidding will take place over three days, and you will need to get to know these bidders over the course of the auction. I have no doubt that you all will be able to find ways to make the city's districts look very appealing to the other bidders.
For more details, particularly regarding the laws of Druma and the auction, I'd recommend speaking with Temel Passad once you get to your destination."
Venture-Captain Brackett glances over at the conversation which has finished up, then back at the rest of you. "Rest well, Pathfinders! It will be a long journey to Kerse, then all of your wits will be required for this mission!"
The journey from the Andoran capital of Almas to the nation of Isger is uneventful. You all travel on a river ferry up the Andoshen River and take the western break up the River Foam. From there, you disembark and travel through the southern foothills of Isger, eventually reaching the settlement of Dustspawn, the final stop on your journey before entering Druma.
The mountain path that connects Isger and Druma is well maintained. Even though the territory belongs to Isger, Druma foots the bill for repairs and embellishments to keep the path clear and easy to travel. The winding mountain paths lead into a beautifully carved piece of dwarven stonemasonry dating back nearly four millennia to the times of Tar Taargadth.
As you all ascend the from the south, you follow a fifteen-foot-wide path that curves along the side of a towering mountain peak. Wind howls through the pass, knocking up occasional piles of gravel and tossing it off the cliff’s hazardous edge. A solid stone bridge connects the mountainous path with a similar pass to a peak further north. The cliff plummets 120 feet to the water below.
Continuing to the Southern Face, you see the stern visage of a dwarven monarch who looks north, matching the gaze of another stone carving on the opposite mountaintop. The human-sized eyes of the statue’s face are black pits, carved so deep that they admit no light into their hollow depths. From under the gigantic face, the bridge was made to look like the outstretched arm of the stone dwarf, reaching out with a stone hammer in direct imitation of the opposite stone figure.
Gazing out over the Hammer Bridge, the outstretched arms of two stone carved dwarves each hold similarly crafted hammers. The heads of these hammers touch, forming a bridge between two mountainous trails, one to the north and south. The center point of the bridge, where the hammers meet, is covered in wooden debris and numerous broken objects.
You see a dwarven woman standing amidst the debris, holding her cloak tight against the wind.
”Halt! Do not come any closer, you bandits! Haven’t you taken enough from me?!”
Please PM me if you cannot access the Google Slide! The brown 2 x 4 area to the right of the Dwarf is difficult terrain due to the debris.
That link didn't work for me
"We are no bandits, ma'am. We mean no harm to you. We are merely passing through."
diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19