The Pathfinders have quite some time to spend in Nantambu while they wait for Aya Allehe to call them with news of Nieford Sharrowsmith.
As ever, while they await a summons to Sharrowsmith Exports (the subtle front for the local Pathfinder Lodge) they find themselves sitting around a table at a tavern. This one is the Mermaid's Tale, though where the nautical reference came from so far inland, no-one knows - not even the new proprietor, a dwarf named Hemming Longbottle.
Feel free to chat amongst yourselves. Head over to discussion and let me know when your character is ready, geared up and/or leveled up.
Gunari does not chafe at the idea of spending a good deal of time at Mermaid's Tale, practicing up on his devotions to Cayden Cailean, and training his monkey to actually be useful. He thinks that training it to pick up things he drops would be a good idea, but had he been with him on the last mission, Gilligan would be roast monkey now.
Trains monkey in fetch... DC15, takes 10.
"Little buddy, go get me a beer. Don't spill it, and don't drink it." 'Stupid monkey.' He hands the monkey a silver piece, and sends it on its way.
|Cyrus the Flea|
Cyrus the Flea saunters into the tavern, still unable to shake his sullen mood that has permeated since his little foray into memory sharing with Ibid, back in Absalom. He has vacillated between somber and sullen, and is often prone to snapping, which he generally regrets soon after. At least his friends get apologies for his random outbursts.
Getting better at reigning that in, at least to the guys. They don't deserve it from me. Feels like its time to find something else to vent this anger on. Maybe we can tangle with some more snakes...
He plops down at an empty table. He absent-mindedly finds a chair and cleans it off in anticipation of Finarin sitting down soon. After that he stares off into the distance.
"Any chance you have some Kelish Fire Mead?" he says as he is approached for a drink order. His thoughts trail off to a certain feline female, which is about the only time his mind isn't crowded with cloudy, dark thoughts.
|Ibid. Oxley Abel|
|Sappho the Pimp Bird|
Gilligan brings Gunari's beer back, and Gunari pours out a little into the monkey's tin cup. This beer is immediately consumed, and then the monkey sees Cyrus walking in. He dashes across the room, mindless of who or what he is bouncing off of, until he is sitting on Cyrus's shoulder!
"Eep! Eep!" the monkey screams into Cyrus's ear, pointing to the tankard being filled. The beast holds out his tin cup, bouncing on the ninja's shoulder.
A black cloaked man walks into the bar. He grabs the back of a chair, one that Cyrus did not clean, and pulls it back. He sits, upright, pivoting his head back and forth. Lowering the cowl, the assembled Pathfinders recognize Finarin's stern expression, but his long, blond hair is no more. Half is shaved to the scalp, and powdered white, while the other half remains long, but is dyed jet-black. He turns to his friends. "I will NEVER let another's magic best me … again. Friends, while I lay dying, I saw a vision, a vision of Yamasha*, laughing at me. Taunting ... me. She called me ... unworthy. Said I was paying the price for my ... imbalance. Never again ... never."
With that, he pulls out his copy of The Book of Magic and begins intently studying its pages. His friends notice that instead of his usual frilly, modern attire, he is clad simply in a white tunic, belted with a black leather strap, with black leggings and black boots trimmed in white at the turned down cuff. Although these clothes are simply colored, a trained eye can see that they are still very well made. The Pathfinders are left to wonder at the elf's sudden transformation, and where he could find clothes like that in a town like this.
* Yamasha, divine servant of Nethys
Miro pats the elven magus on the shoulder. "Relax, Finarin. We won the day when it was all said and done. We just were a bit overconfident with all our recent success. We'll prepare better next time, I'm sure of it." He flashes the man a smile, then hops into a seat, holding a mug out expectantly towards Gunari.
Gunari looks at Miro, and then at the barkeep. bluff to send message: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18. 'They have become so reliant on me, they forget they need to support the local bartenders and brewers. Cayden Cailean doesn't want the honest entrepreneurs going out of business!'
An impressive collection of empty pitchers lies on the table, and Amaranti is just a gulp away from adding another one to the set. Swaying and squinting his eyes, he stares at Finarin for a moment before recognizing the elf.
"I think I like elf better in funny hats." Amaranti comments on his companion's new look. "Take beer. Relax. Almost dying is part of job. If worry about death, join Scarab Sage faction. We have arrangement after death. What is called in Taldan..?", the Garundi seems to think hard for a moment.
"'روبي الأمير يرحب الجميع إلى صفوف'القائم", the Garundi finally says in his native language, giving up.
"The ranks of the 'Risen' await faithful servants of the Ruby Prince"
Will level up Amaranti to lvl 4
The barkeep, a jovial red-bearded dwarf called Hemming Longbottle, nods to Gunari. Before long, he has arrived with a round of meads, Chelish Red and Keleshi Fire Mead, "Here y'go lads! Enjoy th' drinks while ye can. I be thinkin' there's someone a'lookin' fer ye!"
A handsome young, ebon-skinned man appears to be looking around table to table for someone. He is wearing spectacles, but has to keep peering over them in order to see. It appears as though they were kept somewhere cool (like Sharrowsmith Exports' druidically air conditioned offices) and then he went outside into the incredible humidity, fogging them up instantly.
Eventually, the barkeep or one of the Pathfinders waves him over. His head is shaved bald, but unusually he has no tattoos there to fill in the space. He grins, showing his big white teeth as he pulls the glasses down to the tip of his nose and eyes the group with a familiar golden stare. This man has to be related to Aya Allehe. Seconds after the group thinks that, he confirms it.
"Hello! Found you at last. My name is Mowinta Allehe, and my sister Aya sends me to inform you that she's received word from the Fort and is ready to see you now," he says, a little nervousness in his voice, "But she's none too happy about it. I'd say tread lightly and... erm..." he eyes the collection of glassware, "Sober up if you can?"
Feel free to keep drinking and chatting, or accompany Mowinta back to Sharrowsmith Exports to report in! I'll get things kicked off when most of you head to the offices. The first part of this scenario is roleplay heavy, so don't worry too much if you're not fully finished with your characters just yet. Skills would be good to level up soon, though, since you're kinda playing up by half a tier.
Oh, and Amaranti, please dot in with Kaisharga when you can. Thanks!
Tried dotting earlier, but the system refused to post the message. Maybe now?
Mummering arcane words, the small bit of dust sloughs off Finarin's clothes returning them to immaculate. He then mutters more words and his glass of Chelish red rises to his lips. "must find more magic" he mumbles as the man sits down.
Since he knew you were headed for Fort Bandu, Ibid has done a little research on the Bandu Hills area. Quietly, he hands you the relevant sections of his notebook for your perusal.
Cyrus knowledge (local): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
Finarin knowledge (local): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
Ibid knowledge( local: 1d20 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (15) + 8 + (2) = 25
Miro knowledge (local): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
Gunari profession (merchant), faction bonus: 1d20 + 3 + 2d6 + 100d1d20 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (12) + 3 + (4, 1) + (14, 12, 7, 14, 1, 8, 20, 14, 9, 15, 20, 16, 18, 3, 15, 8, 13, 1, 2, 20, 12, 12, 15, 7, 10, 17, 16, 17, 15, 13, 20, 14, 3, 12, 15, 9, 7, 18, 15, 19, 16, 1, 13, 20, 17, 11, 19, 10, 9, 10, 17, 19, 17, 11, 14, 18, 12, 7, 8, 20, 20, 16, 12, 12, 3, 15, 4, 18, 20, 3, 4, 12, 7, 16, 20, 7, 19, 7, 1, 17, 1, 10, 15, 7, 15, 10, 6, 3, 17, 12, 4, 20, 12, 9, 6, 14, 17, 15, 20, 2) + 8 + (6) = 1247
Miro knowledge (geography): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Since it makes more sense in-game, Ibid presents all of this... but some of you already knew some of it. I've also assumed Ibid will increase his skills a little when he levels up... not that it mattered (the highest DC was 20).
The notes may be found under the campaign info tab. Read at your leisure, then use to impress Aya Allehe.
As before, let me know when you're ready to go see Aya Allehe. You don't need to level up beforehand.
|Cyrus the Flea|
Cyrus takes the notes wordlessly and sets them on the table. He takes another pull from his mead before setting it down, and reaching over to flip through a few things. Not seeing anything he wasn't able to help find out, he grabs his mug for another pull, setting it down once again, this time using the notes as a coaster.
"Nice look Finarin. Suits you." I think...
Cyrus makes a mental note of Finarin's apparent hunger for more magic, in case that comes in handy later.
At the words of Aya's brother, Cyrus slowly reaches over and grabs his mug, tipping it back to finish it off. He looks towards the bartender, lifting up the empty mug, indicating he would like a refill.
Once he gains the man's attention, he turns to the bald messenger. "We'll be there straightaway."
Once his next mug is finished, and the rest of the group appears ready, he moves out, heading to find the exotic Alleha.
'Damn. Gotta do some work to be able to afford that Tankard of the Drunken Hero. Why do they have to cost 5300gp, anyway!' Gunari sends the monkey for another round, so that he can have 'one more for the road'.
He then notices the change in Finarin, after Cyrus mentions it. "Going all Kuthite, I see, Finarin. You need to get yourself a spiked chain bracelet and a filigreed knife to pull that off. No smiling or emotion can show either. Oh, and no drink or drugs." Gunari shudders. "Can't dull the pain, can we?"
|Sappho the Pimp Bird|
"Eep eep eeeep eep eeEeeP!" The little monkey grumbles as he is sent on another task. While the dwarf pulls the draft, he shoves as many nuts as he can into his mouth, receives the beer, drops the coin, and heads back to the table.
"Sober? Nah, this job better not sober. Beer takes away the worst burn of fireballs" Amaranti answers to Mowinta. Like Finarin, the Garundi seems to carry some mental scars of the fiery doom they encountered. Healing magics have removed the visible scars, however, and the big man stands up from his chair. "Ready to go. Finarin, nose off book. Learn magic on the go."
"Uh, um, er," stammers Mowinta uncertainly, "I'll head back then. You gentlemen, erm, sober up, ah, or not, uh, in your own time. See you at Sharrowsmith Exports, um, soon, I guess."
With that, the poor lad walks to the door. He casts a worried glance back over his shoulder, right as Hemming delivers another round of drinks, winces and then heads out to the heat-baked, moisture-soaked streets.
Okay, time to move this along. Most of this is as-written, with a few modifications made for you (introductions removed, etc) because of your pre-existing relationship from By Way of Bloodcove.
In varying states of sobriety, the Pathfinders make their way to Sharrowsmith's Exports - a walled compound on the northern edge of Nantambu. The magically cooled interior is a welcome relief from the unbearable heat and humidity outside. As before, the Pathfinders gather in the backrooms of the establishment where they find the familiar merchant and ally of the Society Aya Allahe. She paces to and fro, a concerned expression on her face.
“I wish I had more to offer,” Allahe apologizes in a frustrated tone before even presenting what information she has, “To give you some background: Nieford Sharrowsmith never truly retired from being a Pathfinder, even after he started this business. I think, in his mind, he was still the young adventurer that hiked through jungles and fought off troglodyte tribes. Sharrowsmith’s attitude changed over the last few months—I think he was concerned for his legacy and how history would remember him. Would it be for his discoveries or for the export business that dominated his later years? The answer, I fear, was unpalatable.
“It was no surprise when he packed up and left on an expedition. But what is surprising is that neither the Society nor I have heard from him since - and it has been months now! Sharrowsmith has never left for this long without leaving some word as to his status or sending rather demanding missives about business decisions while he was waist-deep in some jungle bog. When my own contacts failed to turn up any useful information, I had no recourse but to go through his private notes.” Allahe motions to the mess of documents scattered about the office.
“What caught my eye was this translated rubbing. It appears to be the most recent piece of a very large puzzle Sharrowsmith was researching and indicated that he may be somewhere in the Bandu Hills. Traders from Fort Bandu have confirmed that he paid the garrison a visit, but that’s where my trail ran cold. Something happened out there, and Praetor Sylien—Fort Bandu’s commander—refuses to correspond with me on the matter despite knowing how close Nieford and I are." Aya's golden eyes clearly show her anger at this.
"All I received in response was that Nieford had ‘done enough damage for one lifetime,’ and that if I wanted to discuss the matter further I would need to go to Fort Bandu in person,” exasperatedly, Allahe runs a hand across her forehead and turns her distant stare out the window, “But I cannot shutter the business and travel hundreds of miles on the off chance that the praetor can help; the company would fall apart. I’m hoping that you will be able to go in my stead, speak with the praetor personally to learn what has befallen Sharrowsmith and help him return.”
Aya produces a piece of paper, "This is the rubbing that drove Nieford away on this extended quest of his. Let me know what you think."
If you cannot speak Dwarven, she translates for you.
... and with this engraving, we comit to the histories of the founding of Ashkurhall. Here we will strike the stone in memory of our ancestors and the promise of the Sky that was taken from us. So far we have traveled and so long we have sought stone to call our home. In the shadow of the mountain the humans call Nakyuk, we will build a new future for...
|Ibid. Oxley Abel|
The Bandu Hills and a peculiar, yet fascinating, Drawven engraving... the old man thinks to himself trying to recall the dull, drawn-out history lessons inflicted upon him as a young man in an attempt to correlate these two data points. Dwarves from Janderhoff left their sky citadel and traveled all the way from Varisia to mine in the Bandu Hills some... 600 years ago?
...and then disappeared thirty or forty years after arriving..
Ibid waits for Aya Allahe to translate the Dwarven engraving, and secretly verifies her work, being accustomed to Dwarven, even if poorly. The old man smiles as Aye translates the text, knowing her work is far better and more precise than he could do.
"I have no authority over this group of adventures, my lady Allahe," begins Ibid, smiling affectionately at the woman and making a quick note in his journal. "However, I believe I can safely say that we would be glad to speak with Praetor Sylien of Fort Bandu, in order to help ascertain the safety of a retired member of our order."
Miro nods along with Ibid, smiling at the lovely dark-skinned woman. "I second that, Aya. Convincing people to help us is actually one of the few tasks I excel at in this fine group. And if that fails us, my companions have more forceful methods of persuasion at their disposal. We will do our utmost to find out what has happened to Sharrowsmith."
"What magics do they ... posses in Fort Bandu?" Abruptly spoken, Finarin shakes his head as if waking. "So sorry my lady. As always it is good to be in your .... presence. We would gladly travel to Fort Bandu to speak with this ... Praetor. Despite being the .... uncooperative sort, is there any other information you can tell us about him ... or the trek there?" With a graceful dip to his head, the Pathfinders recognize the old Finarin, despite the drastic change in clothes and hairstyles.
"Wonder what spell she uses to cool this room" he whispers to himself, as he glaces about the room, wringing his fingers in an attempt prevent himself from casting detect magic
|Cyrus the Flea|
"Should we be bringing protective gear for extreme heat? I've heard it gets quite hot there. Also, I'm not to inclined to bring digging gear, but this wouldn't be necessary just because of the gold mining operations, would it? We have heard of the rumors of the Festrogs. Funny enough, we have faced those before. Vile creatures. Do you have any stock of holy water and magical disease preventatives?"
Cyrus asks these questions methodically, actually holding a notebook out as if he is checking items off a list. No one mentions how much he looks like Ibid at the moment, preferring to chuckle in silence, and perhaps just let the moment pass for what it is.
"Go to Fort Bandu and find out what happened. Got it. Not becoming part of the problem, I assume that is assumed?" The Caydenite priest laughs to himself.
"So, what do you know about Fort Bandu, Aya?"
"Is society mission? Or personal for you and business?" Amaranti asks, not sure how he should react to this. The woman is an ally, but not in the chain of command.
"No matter, happy to help!" the Garundi decides before waiting for an answer. His friends seem to be eager to go, at least, and he trusts their judgement.
"Thank you all for agreeing to help find Nieford Sharrowsmith!" the relief on Aya Allehe's face is obvious, "I really appreciate that. I really can't leave Sharrosmith's Exports without any management. I'm barely coping as it is."
"What magics they possess in Fort Bandu?" Aya worriedly repeats Finarin's question, willing to let it go after his apology, "I only know Praetor Sylien by reputation. He is the grandson of an old elven explore and he’s served at Fort Bandu's garrison for decades. However, I hear that he’s mostly retired now. My business associates say he is a fair and very pragmatic man, one who respects hard facts and truth. His being dismissive of my request sounds uncharacteristic, and I worry about what may have happened between him and Nieford."
Aya turns to Cyrus, ready to answer his questions now, "Regarding the weather, it is hot enough in Nantambu for my liking. Fort Bandu is much hotter, and much more humid even than here. The air seems to hit you like a physical force whenever you step outside. I have heard of people dying from heat exhaustion up that way. The mines are cool enough, being so far beneath the earth. However, while traveling overland I would definitely advise that you travel only at night or in the early morning. That is, unless you can find some way to endure the extreme elements you will face. Shedding clothing won't help, but magical means should prove effective.
"Oh, speaking of magical cooling - and since you seem to be curious about how we keep this place's temperature down - the building is cooled by a permanent, extremely localized control weather spell. It means our goods spoil far less quickly than those of our competitors. Though, how Nieford managed to convince the Grand Wizard Reinhardt Silverfoot to research it and cast it for him is anybody's guess!"
Aya flips through an inventory book, "Yes, it does look like we have holy water in stock. Like everything in Nantambu, though, it is for sale. The local temples will have plenty also, should our supplies prove insufficient. I think you will find that our prices are identical."
Speaking now to Gunari, Aya says, ”Regarding Fort Bandu and the Bandu Hills, the most important thing to keep in mind is that it’s a dangerous place. This is true of much of the Expanse, but the Bandu Hills have a dozen ways to kill before accounting for living creatures: heat, dehydration, landslides, poisonous plants, carnivorous plants, and so on. Unfortunately, the place is sick with riches like diamonds, gold, and silver—an embarrassment of wealth that only attracts more dangerous occupants. I am surprised that Sharrowsmith didn’t settle down there, to be honest,” Aya allows a soft chuckle to escape her lips at this, ”Fort Bandu is a fortified settlement founded to keep the miners who mine those precious valuables safe - or as safe as possible in such an environment.”
|Cyrus the Flea|
Hrmm... Endure Elements you say?
1st level spell, 24 hour duration. 25gp for a scroll, but how many would all of us need? 8 days of needing the spell would be a total of 48 casts between the entire party - costing 15gp per cast if we had a wand - though one person would have to bear the full cost themselves. Let me ask one question first...
"So if you had to guess... how many days do you think we would be there in the heat?"
"The journey to Fort Bandu is about two weeks. It is directly south of here, but I strongly suggest you travel via river boat back towards Bloodcove, before taking a branch of the Vanji that leads south and back east a little," Aya pulls out a large map of Golarion and indicates the her recommended path to the Bandu Hills (bottom left of the map, E of the Kaava Lands and NE of Sargava), "However, you won't be exerting yourselves as you travel along the river. Assuming Nieford has travelled to one of the mines (a reasonable assumption, since the rubbing is reported to come from a mine) then you should only be out in the heat for a single day at most. The miners use Fort Bandu as a place to sleep the night, traveling out to the mines in the morning, working in the cool deep during the heat of the day, and returning at sunset. If you do the same, or travel at night, you should miss the dangerously hot part of the day. If you need to travel more immediately than that upon arrival at Fort Bandu, then you will be exposed for likely at most one day.
"If you need to be out there searching for longer than two days, I would recommend sleeping during the middle of the day (as you should do on the boats) and adjusting to a night march arrangement. The heat is only dangerous if you are exerting yourselves by doing things like walking through a jungle in mountainous terrain."
More in the discussion thread.
"Is there anything else?" asks Aya, growing a little restless, "There is a riverboat waiting to take you to Fort Bandu, but you may continue about town and procure whatever you feel you will need. We have much for sale here, too. You may not need to go far to get what you need."
|Cyrus the Flea|
"I think that is all for me." Cyrus says as he snaps his notebook shut. He notices the others looking at him for a second and begins to feel self-conscious for a moment before dismissing it.
That was strange...
"I've got a few things to pick up, meet you down at the riverboat." He says, walking out the door.
Will purchase 2 scrolls of endure elements for 50gp total, as well as 2 vials of holy water for another 50gp. I'll add it to my sheet...
"I for one need to pick up some hot weather gear. At least we'll be going most of the way on a river boat, right? I've already got a couple vials of holy water, and a couple of scrolls of endure elements, if I need 'em. As Aya says, let's do our best to stay out of the hot, hot sun... shouldn't be much worse than our trip to Bloodcove, right?"
'Sweet barleywine, but I will be going through a lot of the precious brew!'
Gunari buys hot weather clothing for 8gp (+2 for heat effects). He'll also be tweaking his spells... dropping murderous command for something else. Perhaps hide from undead!!! Really good spell, especially against mindless undead.
|Cyrus the Flea|
That looks like it could be another useful addition to the consumables list... I'll be thinking about that one...
Miro nods at Aya. "You have been extremely helpful and informative, ma'am. I hope we can live up to your expectations in this and help bring back Sharrowsmith in one piece. We'll make our procurements quickly, then be on our way at once." He grins at the woman, before looking around at his fellows. "Right?"
"Right!" Amaranti laughs and gives Miro a hearty slap on the back.
Since they are already in Sharrowsmith's Exports, Amaranti finds no reason to go shopping further. The Garundi recognizes the need for more suitable clothing, although the variety available here is slightly different than the back home. More suitable to humidity, obviously. Amaranti places the included turban on his head, and check the result in a mirror. "Now I look like old Finarin! You like?" Admittedly, turbans were not part of Finarin's garderobe, but one tall hat is just like any other to Amaranti...
Buying Hot weather outfit, Scroll of endure elements, Scroll of Lesser Restoration
The journey south to the Bandu Hills is uneventful, even pleasant at times. When the Vanji river splits off to the south (along the "Little Vanji") and the Pathfinders are forced to switch to long canoes. Luckily, they have porters and rowers here, also supplied by Sharrowsmith's Exports, and have to do little of the hard work. When the river finally dries up to the point where it can no longer continue, it is an arduous hike to get to Fort Bandu. Even while traveling at night, the heat from the ground radiates up to cause all but Amaranti to sweat profusely.
The Pathfinders spend one day sleeping in the hills beneath the shade of a copse of fronds. They find it incredibly hard to sleep during the day, but exhaustion eventually wins. The companions stir early in the evening as the sun sets and Cyrus, who took last watch, shakes them awake. The group decides to get an early start, planning to get to Fort Bandu well before midday. While the previous day, the group was winding relatively easily through heavily vegetated hills and outcroppings, the Bandu Hills start to become more formidable and harder to navigate. At night time, it is nearly impossible to continue and the group must make camp again, setting off as the begins to glow in anticipation of sunrise.
The heat arrives quickly, and it is only a few hours before the group considers making camp for the day when they find the pass they were looking for, and the frontier town and garrison of Fort Bandu. A high stone wall surrounds the settlement, which seem to radiate even more heat than the ground. A grizzled old guardsman with a missing eye looks the companions over with ill-concealed contempt.
"Pathfinders, eh?" the gatekeeper spits, "Ye'll not get much o' a welcome 'ere. C'min anyway, but don't be gettin' too comfortable."
It is so long before the gate is raised that the Pathfinders begin to suspect the man has abandoned his post. Eventually, though, it slowly winches up. Again, though, the speed at which this happens is much less than one would expect. The more suspicious members of the group suspect they are being made to wait on purpose. When passing through the walls, the old man is not to be seen. The gates, however, slam down quickly as soon as group is clear of them. It is so fast and so near to the rear of the party that Cyrus and Ibid involuntarily jump as it slams down into the ground.
Within the fort’s walls, dozens of mining companies maintain outposts out of pavilion tents, hiring laborers and purchasing necessary supplies brought in by merchants from the north, south, and west. As the Pathfinders start to walk around camp, they notice stares from anyone who has cared to look up when they pass. Older citizens show unbridled contempt, others simply look up and shake their heads, keeping a wary eye out as the group continues through.
Feel free to have a chat around town if you like. Most types of establishment are available in the Fort, albeit usually in the form of a tent or stall. Otherwise, when you're ready, head to the garrison.
Before we leave, Miro will buy a hot weather outfit for 8 gp
The halfling looks around to his companions. "Well that was a warm welcome. If the guards are that pessimistic, we should be prepared for the worst sort of welcome. I wonder what Sharrowsmith did to earn the Pathfinder Society such contempt in this place?"
Miro will walk up to a lone passerby who looks native, asking, "Hey, sir. Good day to you! Can you tell me why the Pathfinders are in such low regard in this fair town?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18
Buy warm weather outfit - speedo and zinc for my nose?
-- Earlier ---
"Amaranti, that turban is ... perfect. I will happily look for a broach to attach to announce your ... prestige. Wonderful!"
--- Current ---
Entering into Sharrowsmith, Finarin heads towards the bazaar, looking for a hawker selling magical wares. Once he finds one he approaches the vendor, "Well me good sir (or madam), I am Finarin of Kyonin. Might I browse your .... wares? Any ... special items that you have hidden back there for more .... exclusive clients?"
|Cyrus the Flea|
Cyrus happens to be nearby Miro as he leans in to talk to one of the locals. He smiles a bit inside seeing the perpetually chipper halfling, undaunted by the foul attitudes, ask his questions.
"You know Miro, a whole town who hates us like this without even getting to know us, all because we are pathfinders, can only mean one thing. Sharrowsmith must have screwed them over on a deal. Only money and women can make this many people this upset. Have I gotten close gentlemen?"
Cyrus leans against a post, munching on some of the trail mix he brought with him.
You know, that is surprisingly good warmed up like this. The way the chocolate melts so easily with the rest of the crunchy parts... tasty.
Diplomacy aid: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
The Halfling nods sagely at Cyrus's suggestion. "Probably both, in this case. You know how those adventuring types are. All guts and nuts, with not one iota of gray matter split between the two."
Upon mention of Sharrowsmith, the dark-skinned and well-muscled man (who was just heading home) almost just continues on. He can't quite bring himself to do it to the disarming and charming halfing, or his silver-tongued friend and instead stops to listen to the rest of the questions.
"Yer friend has it part right," he says, his voice sounds as though he is part-way through choking on some gristle, "Sharrowsmith's t'blame. Not o'er women nor trade, though. Stirred up a whole mess o' kobolds. Now me farm's ruined, and I'm livin' with what remains o' me livestock." It is then that you realize the smell of sweaty swine is actually coming from this man. "Miners be havin' it worse. They have t'go out there. If'n the kobolds don't relent, the whole town's gonna fold. Cayden-damned snoops, the lot o' ye. Stickin' yer noses where they don't belong.
"Ye' won' be gettin' much more from folk 'bout here," he says grumpily, "Best ye be speakin' t' the Praetor." He indicates the garrison in the distance before clomping off, his broad shoulders hunched over.
The man proves true to his word, and other than the guard at the garrison, no-one else will even give the Pathfinders the time of day. An alert young man stands at the entrance to the garrison in hard-worn leather armor, clutching a halberd. He seems somehow immune to the stifling midday heat. When the group mentions the missive Praetor Sylien sent to Aya Allehe, the guard grunts, "Huh. Praetor Sylien thought for sure we wouldn't be hearing from you lot after his last message. Guess you're more stubborn than he hoped. Go inside, first door on your right."
The mud-brick garrison provides some relief from the weather as the Pathfinders go inside. The walls are thick enough that the interior still feels cool after being outdoors for so long. Being out of direct sunlight also helps immensely. As the guard said, the Praetor's office is on the right. It is a sparse and undecorated affair, with a large war-table dominating the room. Three tall windows in this room are angled perfectly to bring in a tremendous amount of light as well as allowing a welcome cross-breeze.
Praetor Sylien is an aging half-elf, clearly physically past his prime but also carrying himself like a very capable warrior. He paces back and forth slowly like a caged lion, clearly longing to be elsewhere but forced to stay put. In contrast to Sylien, another man bounces around the war table, despite his obvious limp, looking here and there. He is a very tall man and clearly of Garundi descent, but unlike Amaranti is slim and full of energy. This man talks rapidly where the Praetor's words are slow and measured. Worryingly, the ebony walking cane he carries is topped by a serpentine dragon coiled into a figure of eight - the symbol of the Aspis Consortium.
Praetor Sylien is in mid-conversation with a lanky Garundi man in fine attire. Their conversation stops abruptly, and the praetor’s guest disdainful glares at the latest arrivals. “Pathfinders. I shouldn’t be surprised. Only your organization would have the gall to so brazenly show its face when you’ve already caused so much damage.”
“Pathfinders,” the praetor’s voice lacks the contempt of his guest, as if trying to subtly apologize for his tone. “This is Amersanus Valacosti of the Aspis Consortium. We’ve been discussing the troubles Fort Bandu has faced of late—troubles caused by your organization. I was unwilling to disclose the details to Mistress Allehe by courier, but now that you have arrived, I feel it pertinent to explain the nature of Fort Bandu’s... misgivings. Venture-Captain Sharrowsmith came through here some months ago, gathering supplies and information before setting off on an expedition into the hills. There, he roused the local kobold tribes and angered them enough that they now actively raid our settlements and mining operations.
“Amersanus Valacosti and I were discussing how the Aspis Consortium may be able to help repair the damage your Society has inflicted on the people of Fort Bandu. Now that you’ve arrived, perhaps we can have a more balanced mediation. Your Pathfinder Society has a damaged
reputation in the Bandu Hills, so I ask you state your business and why you think I should allow you to even so much as stay within the fort’s walls. What knowledge do you have of this land and its people that could prevent this situation from deteriorating further? I will only entertain questions regarding Sharrowsmith once I’m assured that providing you information will not further endanger my charges.”
"Well, let's start with the obvious, shall we? We'll assume, for the time being," Gunari says, looking suspiciously at Valacosti, "that the kobold problem was caused by Venture-Captain Sharrowsmith. That being the case, it is the responsibility of the Pathfinder Society to clean up the mess."
'Who said that?'
"So, in all respect, Mr. Valacosti, your organization's assistance will not be needed at this time. We are here to find out what happened to Sharrowsmith, and as we are doing that, we can take care of the kobold problem. I've heard the little dragon-kin are pesky, deceitful bastards, but nothing we cannot handle."
The Aspis representative scoffs and begins to say something when he is cut off by a calm hand from the Praetor.
"Take care of the problem?" asks the Praetor, raising a wizened eyebrow, "Young man, you will be doing nothing of the kind until you have proven to me that your actions will not make the situation worse. I ask again, what knowledge do you have of this land and its people?"
The Praetor's scolding clearly pleases the slim Garundi, who crosses his arms over his chest and peers condescendingly at the Pathfinders with a smug smile on his face.
"Praetor, if you may. My friend Ibid here, knows much and more about your people and your ... lands. I am sure that he will feel comfortable sharing any bit of local history you may have .... forgotten. What I know about this Fort, and about your lands, is that you have a kobold ... problem, one apparently caused by one of our ... own. I too have a problematic brother, one that has caused me ... much pain. I to want .... restitution. It is always best to let kin ... repay kin. We are here to serve, to fix, to restore. What we do not know, I pray you ... enlighten us. We will follow your instructions to the .... letter. What can we do to aid you ... but speak the word and we will do it. We are your ... humble servants."
Finarin ends with a slight bow. His friends cannot help but notice that he continues his obsessive hand washing, and every now and again can see him cast furtive glances at the Aspis representative.
Wait, the time to kill is not yet at hand. I will burns his innards on a magical pyre.
"We... This... Here..." Amaranti starts his sentence many times, incorrectly thinking the pause in Finarin's speech meant the elf had finished . Not wanting to interrupt his friend, the Garundi waits patiently for the next pause, only to find the elf is still about to talk.
Finally, there is a longer pause, and Amaranti studies the elf to judge if there is more talk coming out. And so the Garundi is free to talk, but has unfortunately forgotten what he was about to say. "Uh, what elf said. We have Mr. Ibid. He know all. And you not want deal with Ass-piss men, they not to be trusted."
|Cyrus the Flea|
"You should see the package of information Ibid put together for us before we left. I wouldn't be surprised if you learn a thing or two about this area yourself should you read it. And let me just say, if you had heard of us before our arrival, you would know our exemplary record of success. When these men set out to get a job done, it gets done."
Cyrus plasters a sneer on his face that turns into a bit of a smile as he winks at the garundi aspis representative.
Figured it was best to let Ibid knock this one out of the park...
Botting Ibid. +2 circumstance modifier for the rest of your roleplaying and use of the knowledge rolls from earlier. Ibid, your tagline still has you at level 3. Not sure if this roll is correct...
Ibid Knowledge (local), inspiration, circumstance RP bonus: 1d20 + 8 + 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 8 + (1) + 2 = 14 -- Holy hell, my "dice" hate the PCs.
Ibid stumbles over some explanation. Clearly, he wasn't paying that much attention - even to his own notes - and Praetor Sylien's frown deepens.
Valacosti grows increasingly incensed as the Pathfinders explain their case.
“Ha! You didn't even mention the local miners' constant plight against the heat and your knowledge of the kobolds in the region is laughable!" he says, his tone clearly a mocking one, "Sharrowsmith also professed an intimate understanding of the region and its delicate balance of power as well. He even knew more than you... and behold the results: dozens dead, dozens more missing, kobolds attacking our mining operations, and people living in fear of the next raid. Praetor, with all due respect, you cannot allow these Pathfinders to exacerbate an already delicate situation.”
The praetor remains patient, but nods in agreement with the Aspis agent, “Amersanus makes a good point. Sharrowsmith was a well-read and knowledgeable man, yet he disappeared in these jungles and caused damage we’re only beginning to feel the impact of thanks to the local kobold tribes. I am not encouraged by the minimal knowledge you have shown. But I will entertain you further. How will your expedition be any different from Sharrowsmith's? Do you have the necessary strength to survive in this environment where so many others cannot? Show me that those weapons and spellbooks you carry are not just for show. Perhaps you can impress me with martial prowess where your wits and learning have failed."
No fighting, but describe how you will make some kind of display and I'll figure out what roll is needed here.
|Cyrus the Flea|
Sorry, I held off on the description because I figured the roll ibid made to start the expedition was what we needed... We had all that info before we left the first place... I'll get a post up later about our marital prowess...
-Posted with Wayfinder