Episode 1: The Wounded Wisp
You have been stationed at the Grand Lodge in Absalom, awaiting assignment for a mission of utmost importance. Things finally seemed in motion when Venture-Captain Drandle Dreng sent out a summons for available agents. Specialized in the history of Absalom, Dreng is known for putting off-duty agents to work on sundry tasks when he finds them resting within the city’s limits.
Coming to the meeting place—an odd choice of venue, as it is a street corner far from the Grand Lodge—a lone beggar garbed in baggy robes approaches. The only figure visible in the constant drizzle, the beggar sticks out his hands for currency.
“Have you any coin to spare, fine folk?”
The question hangs in the air for only a scant moment before the figure pulls back his hood to reveal the wizened face of Venture-Captain Drandle Dreng. He gives a crooked smile, soaked head to toe from his unprotected time in the rain. His clothes smell faintly of cabbage.
“Sorry about that,” he says with a wink. “I always like to play a little joke on agents when I stumble across them during my jaunts into town. Now, why did I summon you fine folk here again…?” Dreng shakes his head from side to side, as though trying to knock water out of his ears, despite the constant downpour.
“Ah yes, the Wounded Wisp! I’m undercover now and can’t stray far from the site I’m watching, but I need someone to retrieve a package for me from that fine establishment. It’s among Absalom’s most storied taverns, you see, and one that holds a special place of privilege in the Society’s lore as the place where the organization began. Well, I could drone on and on about it, but standing out in the rain is doing none of us any favors.” As if anticipating agreement, the bedraggled Venture Captain produces a small slip of folded paper from one of his many stitched pockets. Dreng quickly shows a glimpse of the page’s contents: a map detailing the location of the Wounded Wisp bar.
“The bartender is a woman by the name of Heryn Gale, a fine lady who came to own the Wisp after the passing of her father from—oh, bah, it’s really getting too cold for me to give a proper history lesson! If you could just go to the Wisp, and tell Heryn you’re there to pick up my parcel, it would be most appreciated. I’ll be around here for several more hours at least.”
travels. His celebrated exploits first appeared in Volume 1 of the Pathfinder Chronicles.
The elf scholar carries an exquisite rapier and a short bow he looks slightly miffed to be out in the rain and mutters "Kreighton has a lot to answer for"
He considers his knowledge of history know history: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21
"Ah the old watering hole of Eando Kline Osprey and even Selmius Foster an excellent place to be out of this rain Fromagalli begins to walk off "Package from wounded wisp. Sorry but do I look like the sort that talks to beggars"
A big man, with red hair and dirty close starts patting himself down looking for a coin as the beggar ask and then smiles as the Venture-Captain reveals himself. "That's a good disguise, sir." At the mention of rain he seems to look up surprised and mumbles to himself "I guess it is raining, but nothing to think much of." James gets ready to head off and then says, "I'll lead the way to the Wisp if you let me have the map. I don't know the town that well." He then rests his scythe across his shoulders and waits for the others.
As the beggar stands up, Kelris comes to a dead stop, his armor weighing heavy on him. He pulls some of his long dark hair out of his eyes and only manages to make himself more wet. He opens his pouch and hands a copper to the beggar.
"Here you are sir, hopefully this will help you get dry tonight."
After the beggar reveals who he really is, Kelris is a bit shocked "I didn't expect a Venture Captain to be out in the storm like this."
Kelris looks over the documents with the others, adjusting his armor and pack to free up his cloak a bit more to cover himself more. "I will follow in the rear if James Rob-in-son wishes to take the lead."
K. History: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Throughout the trek across town, Sabert is cavorting and dancing around. It seems that a spot of rain is hardly an inconvenience. When Drengle reveals himself, he hops over with an exclamation. "Hoy there! You had me, I'll tell ya!" He listens to the man, then quickly recalls some historical nuggets about their destination. "I can lead you right there, my man!" he claims, clapping James on the back before turning back to the Venture Captain. "We will have your package right to you, sir!"
As the party sets off, Sabert exuberantly weaves stories of the many exploits that began under the roof of the Wisp, and the historical nature of their destination. All through this running prattle, he is splashing through the muck and ranging around the group. Excitable and gregarious does not begin to cover the man...
The elven woman wearing dark clothes doesn't become visible so much as she appears to be brought into existence by the rain, appearing in a place where just a moment ago there was no one.
"How big is this package" she asks, while keeping her head on a swivel.
A dark haired elf in armor looks around at the gathering. He has a symbol for Nethys hanging from his belt near his scabbarded long sword. "Finally, a proper question. I am glad some of us can keep focused on the task at hand. Well met my fellow agents, my name is Fethril, Fethril Support. I don't remember seeing any of you at the faction meetings, but I am certain you will all be fine."
Fethril slides over to Fromagalli and quietly asks, "Why don't you carry the proud weapons of our ancestors my brother?"
Dreng scratches his head before answering, "Well to be honest, it's a bottle. Before you judge, despite my current attire, I’m still a man of taste. The parcel is actually a special vintage of wine from the cellar of the Wounded Wisp. I’ve been sampling their finer wines in descending order of bottling. I dare not disappear from my current role in this district, but I also would appreciate some comfort items. After all, I doubt anyone would judge a supposed beggar sipping from a bottle of wine.”
Venture Captain Dreng hands the map happily to James. "If you have any more questions before you head off feel free to ask."
Dreng smiles, "Just be sure to bring it back intact, I've been looking forward to this particular vintage."
When everyone arrives at the Wisp, but please feel free to RP before hand.
The smell of smoke and spilled ale assails the senses in this wide-open area. Walls of dark-stained wood make up the sides of the Wounded Wisp, while well-used wooden tables are spread throughout the space. A raised area in the back of the establishment houses several additional tables and eating areas for groups seeking more than just a good drink. An austere bar supported by kegs instead of wooden panels commands the northern end of the room. A stained-glass cabinet stands behind the bar, its dark panes cracked in several spots, yet not so opaque as to conceal the several dozen types of hard liquor within.
There are already several parties here enjoying themselves and relaxing. You catch hints of talk of a new Aspirant for the test of the Starstone, Sir Reinhart of Kenebres. There is a woman working behind the bar and chatting with various customers as she fills glasses.
In one corner of the bar sits a Halfling, Wayfinder shining proudly upon her breast and in an animated tale of what sounds like Durvin Gest to a small group of newly confirmed Pathfinders.
A man sits at the bar talking with the bartender. Though he is not wearing armor he has his own Wayfinder attached to a small chain on his belt like a pocket watch, for it appears his breast is reserved for a golden holy symbol DC 10 Kn. Religion lets you know it is Sarenrae.
A group is gathered in another corner cheering loudly as two half-orcs arm-wrestle with one another. Members from Lastwall recognize these two as the famous Boartusk Twins, earning a commission for saving a group of Pathfinders deployed in that countryside.
The only other patron is an older looking gentleman, conspicuous for his lack of a Wayfinder. He is sipping from an oversized flagon of ale and reading through a large and ominous looking tome.
The title of the book is Strategic Maneuvers based on the Political Environment of Taldor during the Shining Crusade
Along the way Kelris will Introduce himself.
"I am Kelris Bartel, Formerly of Galt but I have left because of the utter turmoil in the country. My parents were Killed during a coup while they were talking with our Lord regarding regulating the cost of produce. I have come here seeking the knowledge of the pathfinders and hopefully some help in restoring order in my home."
perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Upon entering the bar, Kelris approached the bar and flags down the bar tender.
"An ale please and some stew, busy night?"
Without further information or questions from the group Aura will turn towards the direction of the Wisp and begin walking, taking point, her head always on a swivel. She will say nothing during the trip unless spoken to directly, but will steer the group away from likely ambush spots.
Perception check once we enter: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
The woman working the bar grabs a flagon and bowl for Kelris and sets it down before him, "Certainly is hun. Lots of Pathfinders here tonight, except poor old Yargos Gill there. Likes his books and military history a bit too much if you ask me, but I don't think he's fully recovered from being pushed off that ledge in chains from eight years ago."
As they walk through the streets, James says to the other, "I'm James, I come from... outside of town. Aura, you know where we are going? Good."
When Kelris asks for food and drink James speaks up, "Don't we have some business here? Maybe we should take care of that and then come back for a drink and meal."
"You are right we do, I can eat and walk at the same time." Before leaving the bar, Kelris looks at the Bartender, "We are here to pick up a package for Dreng, do you by chance have it?"
The woman smiles pleasantly, "Ah, you're the fresh faces VC Dreng sent to pick up his 'package'. I'll be able to help you young 'uns get it, but Wisp policy is that only customers accompanied by employees be allowed into our cellar. I'm afraid you'll have to wait for my replacement at the bar to arrive before I can take y'all downstairs. She should be here shortly, how's about you find yourselves some friends and I'll let you know when we can head down. Oh, and whenever dear old Drandle sends folk to pick up his purchases he pays for their drinks."
"In that case, miss, we'll sit and wait. I'll have some hard cider if you have any or mead or ale. How about that table by the lone old man?" James says as he points to a table.
As if there is not enough water outside. Still, it's a smarter choice than drinking. What if this is some kind of test? However, a good wine would be most welcome right now. If a Venture Captain believes the wine here is good...Oh Shades of Gray! Why can't anything be easy?
"I'll get it right out to you hun. Hey! HEY! You can arm-wrestle all you want but you have to clear the table first!" She yells the last at the two half-orcs with the cheering crowd around them. The female slaps her brother in the back of the head and they pull the mugs off the table with sheepish grins before resuming their contest.
As you approach the man he looks up over his round spectacles. His voice is warm and welcoming, "Hello there, you're new faces. Though from your bearing and your kit I'd take you for Pathfinders. My name is Yargos Gill, not a Pathfinder myself, but your folk have helped me in the past."
Sabert capers through the rain with his new companions, and upon reaching the bar, he pulls out a few coppers, dancing them across his fingers and into the barmaid hand. With a flourish and a bow, he asks "A drink, Mi lady, If I may. Nothing too fancy, just something to wet my parched throat!"
As Gill approaches them, Sabert smiles broadly, and intorduces himself with yet another bow. "Good sir! It is a fine evening, is it not? We are indeed Pathfinder, some newer than others, and glad we are to meet you! Perhaps a drink or three may be shared?"
Yargos smiles, "It will indeed be good to share a drink. Now, I know the Society works with field commissions and students being Confirmed as well. Do tell now, have any of you discovered ancient secrets? Interesting current events in other parts of the world? Ancient vaults filled with lore?" His eyebrows undulate from one side of his face to the other.
James chuckles as Yargos asks about other parts of the world, "I've never left this island and there is no need to if you're looking for ancient secrets. There's plenty out there outside the walls if you know where to look."
"I myself have never found anything overly ancient or valuable, I am new to the island and hoping to start my adventures from here."
Kelris Will sit down at the table, looking at the book.
"A good read ser?"
Yargos happily smiles and pats his extremely large tome. "Yes indeed. Strategic Maneuvers based on the Political Environment of Taldor during the Shining Crusade is quite the read and details in exacting minutia the thought process and potential outcomes of each Baron, Count, and Noble tactical decisions on the field of battle. Did you know for example, that a Baron Zachary was so worried about losing his elven consort, Darwen, to his political rivals that he set them up to be a lure for the Whispering Tyrant's forces? Quite fascinating, in fact..."
Yargos will continue to go on about these extremely dry topics until someone interrupts him.
"Mostly I spend my time hunting....people of a specific religious persuasion. shadow cabals, cultists, secret power groups, that sort of thing. I joined the Pathfinders because they have information that is useful in my line of work."
Janira smiles at Fromagalli. "Hey! Actually I was describing some of the adventures of Durvin Gest and the Lens of Galundari, but the Minotaur is much more interesting." She turns and looks at everyone around her, "This man, and some others, helped to save my life during their Confirmation! It was an exciting adventure, filled with heroism and enchantment! I very nearly died at the hands of the beast, but at the last second Fromagalli and his compatriots emerged from the caverns they were exploring to rescue me!"
Janira pauses every now and then to allow Fromagalli to help tell the tale.
Wow.. this group is starting out with a hellacious post count!!
Sabert exclaims at the invitation to join the historian, and listens avidly, taking notes on a scrap of paper he pulls out from his pocket. As Janira and Fromagalli begin their turn, Sabert exclaims "Well, I never thought tonight would be so full of stories!! What was it like out there? I cant wait to start on a tale about your adventures!"
Aura merely observes the proceedings, adding a single reply as socially warranted. She nurses her glass of water and performs the magic trick of seeming to be relaxed, but if you were to watch her eyes, she is busy taking in everything.
"Has anyone seen the change of shift at the bar yet? Seems to be taking a while."
Kelris will listen to the Older Gentlemen talk about war history as he always enjoyed it himself.
A sharp whistle is heard from the bar and you notice that the bartender has been replaced. The woman that was working is flagging you down to follow her into the cellar. "All those here on a 'mission' from Captain Dreng come down the stairs and into the cellar!"
Yargos sighs and says to you, "Well perhaps we can continue these tales another time. Should you require assistance please feel free to come see me either here or at the Collegium. Goodbye now."
Janira pauses in her tale and looks to her listeners, "Well looks like your mission from Dreng is underway. If you need my help now or in the future I'll either be here or at the Grand Lodge, I don't have any missions planned for a week or so. Good luck, and remember, Explore, Report, Cooperate!"
As the woman gathers everyone together she introduces herself, "We haven't properly met yet, I am Heryn Gale, one of the tenders that work the bar." She takes you downstairs relating some of the history of the Wisp and the current condition of the basement. "As you can see the basement is mostly a stonework affair, very sturdy, and actually the foundation was improved by a generous donation of one of you 'Finders. Unfortunately it was for naught because it suffered damage during the quake of '98. Because stonework is so expensive, especially if it requires magical assistance, the owner has decided a temporary measure for the big crevice that's opened up is to throw a board over it. We're planning on stabilizing it soon, but until then you lot should be careful, I'd say only go one at a time and with as little extra weight as possible."
She drops you off at the bottom of some wooden stairs and opens the door to the next area where you can clearly see the board, crevice, and the way to the wine celler across from it. Heryn nimbly crosses the board with the practiced steps of someone who has done this many times before. She waits next to the entrance to the wine cellar and tosses a wink your way. "Come now, I'll point out the bottle to you when you're all over here then you can go back to Dreng."
Perception Check: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17 that is 1 higher vs. traps.
Disable Device: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
Aura takes a look at the tools and wood that have been left laying around, does some thumb-based measuring, and then grabs a few pieces and props up the board. She then moves to the middle of the board and jumps up and down on it.
Saber applauds loudly at the showmanship displayed. "You are as ingenious as you are beautiful, mi lady!" with that, he follows across the board, dancing a bit of a jig as way of showing off its newfound sturdiness
-Posted with Wayfinder
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Kelris will wait till Sabert has shown off a bit, a bit of a smirk on his face. He will not look down, he will take the pole arm off his back and hold it cross ways in his hands.
"Don't look down, don't look down."
"Well done Aura! Leave it to a keen elven mind to have a solution."
Looking at the board and back to Heryn, "If we are just to retrieve a bottle, why do we all need to go? I am certain you are very proud of your basement, but I don't know that we all need a tour right now."
Heryn shrugs, "Suit yourself hun, just thought you wanted to treat this like a full mission." She takes anyone who wants to go into the proper cellar. Pointing at the bottle to take she explains, "Wisp policy is that when a bottle has been paid for the customer is the next one to touch it, and Drandle has certainly paid for the bottle already."
The first person to grab the bottle...
The bottle resists a pull and slides back into its spot very quickly, before the entire rack of bottles shakes and slides into a short stone tunnel. A sturdy silver chain jutting from the ceiling ends in a glowing orb that radiates yellow light across the rectangular room. A simple desk of polished wood, stacked with documents and scattered notes, shelters a pair of wooden chests against the south wall. A series of cracks along the eastern and western walls form makeshift entrances into exposed caverns.
"Well you don't see that everyday..."
"Janira looked in poor shape as we emerged from the cave. The minotaur's axe not much better. Two brave warriors gave shout of challenge and set off down the hill hoping to reach the foe before he could land the killing blow. My own magics were ill prepared for such a distance. Hence I now carry a bow. Our brave cleric let fly with a sling stone and hit a tree. Do not worry it still stands. But it was the mighty dwarves ranger who saved the day as his elven longbow shot straight into the beasts eye. He had the sense to look beyond his kins standard weapon and was rewarded. What you make of that Fethril"
He looks around and finds his fellow pathfinders have gone to the cellar. "I think I'd better see to my group " and with that Fromagalli bows to his audience and tries to gracefully hurry downstairs
"Well of course your little dwarven friend was able to ensure victory over the beast with a weapon of superior eleven design. I am glad you agree that others should strive reach beyond their limitations in order to emulate our example; even if that means taking advantage of the fine craftsmanship of our ancestral armaments. If one were to going mining for ore, I suspect they would want to do it with a dwarven pick. A hardy tool, and correct for the task. Thank the All Seeing Eye that we are allowed to work together and assist others."
Hearing the noise echoing through the cave, "Now then, what is all that ruckus about? Well my brother, I suppose we had better go help Aura before the rest get themselves hurt." With a slight sigh, "Ah, such is the life Nethys gives us." Fethril resigns himself to help the others as he journeys over the plank and into the recently revealed cavern."
He whistles and softly exclaims, "Shades of gray! What is this place?"
Aura will move up and search the desk for traps before checking drawers. "Why do I feel like we've been set up?" She will then start riffling through the papers on the desk, looking for the mission the group is actually being sent on.
"Remind me to get the cheapest, foulest bottle of rotgut for Venture Captain Dreng. We can't have him going without his wine now, can we?"
Kelris just shakes his head a little at Aura, he moves up to the western crack in the wall, looking down cavern for anything coming towards them.
perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
"Some watch the other cavern just in case there are monsters lurking about." A bit of panic and excitement in his voice.
James nods thanks to Arua for building the bridge and when wall opens he gasps and then follows Aura and Kelris in and heads to the eastern exits. "I'll let you more lettered types search the desks and papers and keep a watch on this side."
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18