The Shackled City Adventure Path by GM Rutseg

Game Master Balacertar

Chapter 8 - LORDS OF OBLIVION

Cauldron map
Redgorge map
Current map

Campaign Index / Campaign diary
Loot sheet
Old loot sheet (Maxim)

Group Stealth (passive): -5 (Kikinnin)
Group Stealth (active): 5 (Kikinnin)
Group Perception: 27 (Marigold)
Group Sense motives: 30 (Marigold)
Group Spellcraft: 24 (Maxim)
Group Appraise: 23 (Maxim)


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Male Dwarf Spellslinger Wizard 6/UC Rogue 4/Arcane Trickster 3 | HP 100/100 | AC 24/T18/FF19 | F+10, R+14, W+11| Perception +12; Darkvision 60ft. | Init +4 | Move: 20ft.| Hero Points: 1 | Grit: 1/1
DC5 Knowledge Local check:
Known as "Garthûn's Gun" in Cauldron.
Key Skills:
+22 Disable Device; +19 Know (Planes); +16 Know (Arcana) & Spellcraft; +15 Appraise; +14 Craft (Alchemy) & Stealth; +13 Escape Artist & Sense Motive

In the Hold of Malachite (DMR & Kikinnin):

Maxim works away on Kikinnin's armour, but oft defers to other smithies;

"Weapons were always my area of expertise bror. Keen edges an' such. Hammerin' out dents on a bulwark is a skill I need to work on..."

As noted earlier given time and coin Maxim can enchant your Waraxe to +2.

He enjoys working again with his mentor, soaking up the knowledge of black-powder that Hackbus has and with him finishing the enchantment of the double-barrelled pistol Smaug (Cost: 2000GP and 2 days work. Auto success on Spellcraft and Craft: Weapons. Pistol now a +1.)

Noting the increase in trade Maxim wryly comments;

"Seems the Hold is thriving in spite o' Zenith's untimely demise bror. Just you remember to make me yer Mesteren af Mønt (Dwarven: Master of Coin) when ye finally take up the throne here!"

When in Cauldron... (DMR):

Between time in the Malachite, Maxim returns periodically to the city and looks up old friends and acquaintances.

He reconnects with Ghelve, asking about how the locksmith is finding married life once again (and generally checking all is well with their old ally).

Maxim also seeks out both Deven Myrzal and Irruth Mercadi again, making sure his Uncle's patronship is remembered. He will ask them if they have heard any rumours or been privy to information that has value, and providing them both with 5 Gold Suns for their trouble (regardless of if they have anything worth of his ears).

In the evening's he drops past his Uncle, passing on news of the group's meeting with Lord Vhalantru and Celeste's absence (knowing the canny merchant has little love for her).

Finally, at Skie's he purchases the Scroll of Fly and festoons the veteran adventurer with tales of the Darklands. He passes on the information that Hackbus now resides in the Malachite.


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HP 127/127 l AC 22, T 13, FF 22 l CMD 18 l F +13, R +9, W +15; +2 bonus vs. illusions l Lucky Halfling (1/1), Spray of Shooting Stars (2/3), L1: 8/8, L2: 7/7, L3: 2/7, L4: 7/7, L5: 5/7, L6: 4/4 l Init +7 l Senses: Perception +18, Concentration +19 | Female Halfling Oracle (Heavens) 13 l Active Conditions: l Hero Points 1/3

GM, Juraan, JJ:

Marigold's jaw drops at the revelation that the one book that could've told them more just happens to be what was stolen during the break-in weeks ago.

"Wh...th-that's..." she stammers, clearly unnerved. But then she swallows hard, trying to keep herself calm for her friend's sake. "O-okay. Th-they obviously c-came for th-that one b-book when they c-came. Wh-what did K-Kikinnin say their n-names were? M-Motruk and Zaur Sza?"

The little halfling narrows her eyes. "W-We need to f-find them. If we f-find them, I b-bet we'll f-find the b-book!"

Then, turning to Losriel, she gives him a comforting hug. "I'm s-sorry...m-more than you kn-know," she whispers, feeling responsible for her friend's trauma.

If it weren't for me and the others, they never would've broken in here and stolen the book...
_______

Psst...Losriel is male, but that's okay - just lends to the stereotype of male elves being girlymen ;)


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M HP 101/101 | AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 22 | Fort +13, Ref +7, Will +15 | Init +1, Perception +7, Stealth -2 | speed 30' | Channel Positive Energy 7/7 (6d6 ) | Inspiring Word 8/8 (+2 / 6 round) | Agile Feet 8/8 |Cleric Spells (0 -4/4, 1st -7/7, 2nd-6/6, 3rd-6/6, 4th-5/5, 5th-5/5, 6th-3/3)

GM, will read up on the Taxfest tomorrow, been a long day

Cusp:

Looking up, Ryan is surprised to find the library empty and the late hour. He knew he'd been here a while but closing down the library was not what he'd had planned.

"Apologies master Renjin, the time had slipped away from me. There is a wealth of knowledge here. I'll be talking with my uncle about membership. But here, I've taken way too much of your time tonight, let me put these away and I'll make my way out." Ryan returns the books to their respective shelves before leaving.

retraining:

Quote:

You do spend a lot of time working on your faith with Jenya. She offers you discussion about plenty of topics you had rarely thought of, but which really have an impact on how the world and human relations work.

As well as your studies with her prosper, you feel your faith grows stronger and it is backed up with a powerful divine surge in your blessings.

Nonetheless, you do spend time also working out with Rufus Laro and some of the other soldiers of the Church. You are told Alek Tercival is out in a research mission.

Ryan is up daily in the pre-dawn hours, trading blows with the new recruits, Rufus and any of the guardsmen he can convince the captain to bring in. The guardsmen were eager and learned quickly like the new church recruits. Felt strange to be the one in the middle watching, teaching, that was always Alek's place. He needs to come back <sigh>

Afterwards a quick wash and his breakfast would find him studying the text he and Jenya had talked about, everything from church history to accounting practices of major cities to engineering principles for wall and bridge building and then reviewing old cases that the church had settled between members.

A full day put in most days by lunch time he would spend part of the afternoon making rounds within the city helping others as he could. During those afternoon trips he would study the town for areas in which they could improve the defenses and flow of the people from one part to the other. Often he could be found listening as anyone from the peasants to the merchants to the minor nobles bent his ear about the taxes. He allowed them they say, at least until they had begun repeating themselves, then remembering what Jenya had said, would try and show them the good the taxation was providing to the town.

Ryan keeps an eye on the city as he makes his rounds.

Spoiler:

Sense motive: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (5) + 13 = 18
Sense motive: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (20) + 13 = 33
Sense motive: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (18) + 13 = 31
Sense motive: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (6) + 13 = 19
Sense motive: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (9) + 13 = 22


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Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

GM Rusteg, Marigold, and JJ:
At the academy library

"This is getting better by the minute!"
"I'd forgotten about that incident Kikinnin saw."
"So, how do we go about finding a weretiger and a giant?"
"And get that book back?"

GM Rusteg, and the rest of the Cauldron Watchers:
Over a Pint or Six at the Tipped Tankard

"Well, I've been doing a bit of research on those two dragons, Gotrrod and Dhorlot."
"First of all, Gotrrod... Seems he's one of the offspring of a pair of dragons: Hookface and Taliraxia."
"Those two terrorised this region about one hundred to two hundred years ago."
"But about a hundred years ago, they went into a cavern deep below Cauldron."
"They're probably still alive. And, as such a potential threat to Cauldron."
"Occasionally, some of their offspring make an appearance on the surface."

"Dhorlot is a bit more problematic. And not just because I'm tied to him whether I like it or not"
"He first made an appearance here about fifty years ago."
"Seems to have been with some minotaurs in the Jungle north of here."
"Probably leading them like he was with the Kuo-Toa."
"He was, and probably still is, obsessed with increasing his progeny."
"Unfortunately, he took to shape-shifting and bedding unsuspecting women in Cauldron."
"At least two cases documented, but many more suspected."
"Which means that Dhorlot could well be one of my natural grandfathers."
"Or Father."
"Or both."
Juraan says with a shudder.

"It's a guess on my part, but Dhorlot may have done that to more than just human women as well."
Juraan will try to nonchalantly gauge Kikinnin's reaction to that one.
perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (12) + 11 = 23

"Anyway, Skie and her late adventuring friends drove Dhorlot out of Cauldron about twenty years ago."
"I want to talk to her about that, and see if she can add anything else to what I've found out."

"Oh, yes, I also took the liberty of researching the Darklands in general."
"As well as the dos and don'ts of spelunking."
"Mostly because I figure there's an excellent chance we'll have to go back there."

"Marigold, JJ, and I also found out that the book that was stolen some time back by that weretigre and giant was the same book we've been looking for about this Smoking Eye business."
"Anyone else find out anything interesting?"

GM Rusteg:
Juraan will share all he knows with Shensen as well.
He'll try to seek her input on style, and information, on what to put in his journal.

He also wants to talk to Skie sometime about what she remembers about Dhorlot.
And taking notes of anything she is willing to share with Juraan on this topic.
If needed to keep her talking, Juraan will buy some useful stuff in her shop.


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Male Dwarf Spellslinger Wizard 6/UC Rogue 4/Arcane Trickster 3 | HP 100/100 | AC 24/T18/FF19 | F+10, R+14, W+11| Perception +12; Darkvision 60ft. | Init +4 | Move: 20ft.| Hero Points: 1 | Grit: 1/1
DC5 Knowledge Local check:
Known as "Garthûn's Gun" in Cauldron.
Key Skills:
+22 Disable Device; +19 Know (Planes); +16 Know (Arcana) & Spellcraft; +15 Appraise; +14 Craft (Alchemy) & Stealth; +13 Escape Artist & Sense Motive

At the Tipped Tankard

When Juraan reveals his potentially infamous forebear, Maxim raises a bushy eyebrow, which shifts to a snorted laugh when the sorcerer brings Kikinnin's family into the mix of the draconic dalliances;

"Hell's Teeth! Bet their ain't any o' Surabar's saucy novellas that deal with that scaly tryst by the forge fires! Har!"

The gun-mage sups on his mead, wiping the foam from his moustaches with a wry smile;

"Bror.. that mean you an' the Professor here are second cousins or some such? Should i be referring to you as Kikinnin Skaletrøvsson (Dwarven: Son of Scaled-arse) goin' forward?"

Still chuckling, the wizard shakes his head;

"Surely ain't nothin' toppin' that unearthed gem for a reveal!?"


Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Maxim:
Ghelve is happy to see you back. His wife prepares a tea and some small food for you while you talk over recent events "I had to pay a 'black tax' to one of the tax collectors. Fortunately business is becoming good once more. But the metalsmith next door, he had a break-in last night. A tax collector forced into his shop and compelled him to pay under the pressure of his two half-orc guards companions"

Deven Myrzal and Irruth Mercadi are happy to learn about you once again and share experiences. Deven explains you "A merchant from Hollowsky, told me more giant snakes have been sighted near the village to the east. I bet the yuan-ti of Shatterhorn are back!" he seems terrified by the idea. Meanwhile Irruth shares on a different rumor "I have heard the City Council raised the taxes to buy a powerful artifact that will permanently protect Cauldron from future floods"

Adrick does not give much importance to Vhalantru and Celeste, and seems much more concerned by the raise of taxes "It is much more expensive now to do business in Cauldron. And smuggling is not going to help anymore. With each day it passes, there are more and more guards keeping an eye to gates and unofficial tunnels. We need to find a way to get an exception on the taxes to have an advantage over all those other merchants"

Skie is happy to sell the fly scroll and smiles happy to know Hackbus is well and living at the Malachite "So that sly old fox made it to live all that time alone in the Darklands..."

Ryan:

In fact people around the city repeat themselves. You do notice their growing concern about the multiple different taxes that are being imposed on people and entrepreneurship alike.

Juraan:

Shensen is very interested on all your advances in your research and listens to all the details patiently. Meanwhile Skie is happy to receive you and talk about Dhorlot "Oh! That youngster black dragon. I still remember him" the gnome shows a scar in her belly "A father discovered his young sister laying with a black man and made a great quarrel with him, pushing him in the street. The man became the black dragon to defend itself. Me and my group were close nearby and attended the family just on time to avoid the dragon to kill all of them. Although the beast ruined the house with his acid breath, our spells and ranged weapons forced him to fly away in the night. Fortunately it was just a small dragon and did not cause much havoc" She is also happy to show you her catalog:
Spoiler:

+1 banded mail 1,400 gp
+1 chain mail 1,300 gp
+1 heavy steel shield 1,170 gp
+1 kukri 2,308 gp
+1 light mace 2,305 gp
+1 longsword 2,315 gp
+1 scimitar 2,315 gp
+1 Small dagger 2,302 gp
+1 Small leather armor 1,160 gp
+1 spiked chain 2,325 gp
cloak of resistance +1 1,000 gp
golembane scarab (flesh) 2,500 gp
hat of disguise 1,800 gp
handy haversack 2,000 gp
potion of cure light wounds (8 available) 50 gp each
potion of cure moderate wounds (3 available) 300 gp each
potion of haste 750 gp
potion of owl's wisdom 300 gp
ring of feather falling 2,200 gp
ring of protection +3 18,000 gp
rope of climbing 3,000 gp
scroll of dispel magic 375 gp
scroll of flame arrow 375 gp
scroll of ice storm 700 gp
scroll of lesser restoration 150 gp
scroll of levitate 150 gp
scroll of mirror image 150 gp
scroll of raise dead 6,125 gp
scroll of silence 150 gp
scroll of speak with dead 375 gp
scroll of dimension door 700 gp
scroll of wall of ice 700 gp
scroll of greater invisibility 700 gp
scroll of elemental body I 700 gp
sleep arrows (2 available) 132 gp each
+1 gnoll bane arrows (10 available) 160 gp each
+1 shock bolts (8 available) 40 gp each
wand of cure light wounds (25 charges) 375 gp
wand of cure moderate wounds (22 charges) 1,980 gp
wand of Melf's acid arraw (10 charges) 900 gp
wand of neutralize poison (7 charges) 2940 gp
Headband of alluring charisma +2 4,000 gp
Headband of inspired wisdom +2 4,000 gp
Headband of vast intelligence +2 4,000 gp
Headband of alluring charisma +2 4,000 gp
Headband of inspired wisdom +2 4,000 gp
Headband of vast intelligence +2 4,000 gp


Male Dwarf Spellslinger Wizard 6/UC Rogue 4/Arcane Trickster 3 | HP 100/100 | AC 24/T18/FF19 | F+10, R+14, W+11| Perception +12; Darkvision 60ft. | Init +4 | Move: 20ft.| Hero Points: 1 | Grit: 1/1
DC5 Knowledge Local check:
Known as "Garthûn's Gun" in Cauldron.
Key Skills:
+22 Disable Device; +19 Know (Planes); +16 Know (Arcana) & Spellcraft; +15 Appraise; +14 Craft (Alchemy) & Stealth; +13 Escape Artist & Sense Motive

GMR:

At Ghelve's news Maxim scowls, offering protection should the locksmith find himself pressured by the collectors.

At the rumours from both outwith, and within Cauldron's walls, the gun-mage takes note, allowing for the possible credence of each. He bids both farewell for the time being, and bids them keep their eyes and ears ever open. Will give them each an additional 2 gold for their troubles.

Maxim broaches the nature of the taxes and increasing presence of the half orc guards with his Uncle;

"We've Drakthar's Way Uncle - mind that route should we need it. Reckon we do need to be canny tho... Although the nobles turnin' the screw ain't helping. Whose behind bringing' in them half-orcan? If they're all the same merc company then someone's made a killin'..."


Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Maxim:

Adrick nods "You are right about Drakthar's Way, but with the increasing eyes in the city Orak Stonehaven is growing nervous and demanding more for his collaboration"

"As for the half-orcs I just know the mercenaries are lead by a commander named Zarn Kyass who sold them to the city watch at a good price. They are too much for the old city barracks and some of them are living at Minuta's Board. The leader of the group at Minuta's is a sergeant half-orc called Rokewko" Adrick drinks a cup of rum before concluding "That's all I came to learn about them at the rooms of the Cusp"


Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

GM Rusteg:
At Skie's Shop

"Thanks for that, Skie. Unfortunately, I'm one of his descendants."
"He seems to have done a lot more of that sort of thing before you encountered him."
"And I strongly suspect not just with humans either."
"Having said that, I hope he actually died when we fought him."
"He's not the sort of father or grandfather one wants to get better acquainted with."
"He'd also grown quite a bit since you last saw him."
"At least it explains how I've come by some of my abilities."

After looking at her inventory, Juraan chooses the wand of Cure Light Wounds (375 GP).
"It's always useful to have one of these in this adventuring lark!"

After his spending spree, Juraan is starting to run a bit low on cash.
But, oh well. Easy come, easy go!


HP 127/127 l AC 22, T 13, FF 22 l CMD 18 l F +13, R +9, W +15; +2 bonus vs. illusions l Lucky Halfling (1/1), Spray of Shooting Stars (2/3), L1: 8/8, L2: 7/7, L3: 2/7, L4: 7/7, L5: 5/7, L6: 4/4 l Init +7 l Senses: Perception +18, Concentration +19 | Female Halfling Oracle (Heavens) 13 l Active Conditions: l Hero Points 1/3

Tipped Tankard

Marigold keeps a wary eye on the two arguing men, lest their disagreement turn sour, but otherwise focuses her attention on the current conversation about dragons.

"Um...w-well even if you t-two are related to D-Dhorlot in s-some way, that d-doesn't m-matter to me," she declares. "B-both of you are m-more than the s-sum of your p-parts, s-same as anyone else. L-Let's just hope th-that none of h-his other p-progeny sh-share his v-views..." Marigold finishes with a shudder.

Turning to Kikinnin, she asks, "D-Do you r-remember anything else a-about wh-what happened at B-Bluecrater with the th-theft? Wh-where would we st-start on trying to t-track those two d-down?"


M HP 101/101 | AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 22 | Fort +13, Ref +7, Will +15 | Init +1, Perception +7, Stealth -2 | speed 30' | Channel Positive Energy 7/7 (6d6 ) | Inspiring Word 8/8 (+2 / 6 round) | Agile Feet 8/8 |Cleric Spells (0 -4/4, 1st -7/7, 2nd-6/6, 3rd-6/6, 4th-5/5, 5th-5/5, 6th-3/3)

GM(Jenya):

Ryan takes to his studies and his trips about town with equal determination yet he remained somewhat conflicted. He watches the improvement to the town and weighs them against the taxes being levied against the people.

wisdom: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21 Do the improvements add up to the taxes being levied

Returning to Jenya...
"I understand you want to bring back Taxfest in an effort make the taxing a bit more palatable and I have been studying the process and the celebration. Is there a point though where the taxation, either through intentional greed or well-intentioned mistakes, exceeds the ability of the community and becomes a detriment to the ability of the community, that the church would step in?"

Going to stop there in this conversation to know how the roll turned out and Jenya's initial answer.


Male HP 104/112; LoH 2/3 (6d6); Potions: CMW(3) AC 27(29 SoF), Touch 15, Flat-footed 19, Fort 15(reroll 1/day), Ref 14, Will 13; resist fire&acid/10; Perception +19 (extra from FE/FT))

JJ looks stunned as the news of the books theft sinks home.
"I never thought that would come back to bite us. But how might we go about finding those two miscrents? How can a fire giant hide anyway? Surely he must have been seen leaving Cauldron. ... unless magic was involved."

The young lad has had a much more relaxed look about him since returning and just taking some time to enjoy being young, rich and having good friends.
"And speaking of interesting parents... has anyone else noticed the number of half orcs? They are everywhere, and the old milita is being replaced with professional half orcs as well. Maybe I'm starting to get suspicious, but... something doesn't seem right here."

GM:

JJ definitely enjoys spending time with Sara. He'll arrange for a picnic on the city wall if he can, to give a great view of both the city and the area surrounding it.

"I'd not worry about giants invading Cauldron Sara. The mayor has been hiring lots of extra guards. But our walls are strong, and even a giant would have to think twice before trying to attack a whole city."

He brings forth a couple of bottles of a locally brewed ale and offers her one.

"How are you settling in? I'm sorry I was away so long, but what we are doing is important. And lucrative. I've made more money in the last few months than my father would have in his entire life. And if I wasn't doing things like this, I'd have never met you..."


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HP 127/127 l AC 22, T 13, FF 22 l CMD 18 l F +13, R +9, W +15; +2 bonus vs. illusions l Lucky Halfling (1/1), Spray of Shooting Stars (2/3), L1: 8/8, L2: 7/7, L3: 2/7, L4: 7/7, L5: 5/7, L6: 4/4 l Init +7 l Senses: Perception +18, Concentration +19 | Female Halfling Oracle (Heavens) 13 l Active Conditions: l Hero Points 1/3

"W-wait...the m-militia's being r-replaced?" Marigold asks, eyes wide. "B-but wh-why? Has there b-been any official n-news about it?"


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Male HP 104/112; LoH 2/3 (6d6); Potions: CMW(3) AC 27(29 SoF), Touch 15, Flat-footed 19, Fort 15(reroll 1/day), Ref 14, Will 13; resist fire&acid/10; Perception +19 (extra from FE/FT))

"I've not seen anything. But when I turned up for practise... I was told that they are using professionals now and he pointed out a load of half orcs."


Male Dwarf Spellslinger Wizard 6/UC Rogue 4/Arcane Trickster 3 | HP 100/100 | AC 24/T18/FF19 | F+10, R+14, W+11| Perception +12; Darkvision 60ft. | Init +4 | Move: 20ft.| Hero Points: 1 | Grit: 1/1
DC5 Knowledge Local check:
Known as "Garthûn's Gun" in Cauldron.
Key Skills:
+22 Disable Device; +19 Know (Planes); +16 Know (Arcana) & Spellcraft; +15 Appraise; +14 Craft (Alchemy) & Stealth; +13 Escape Artist & Sense Motive

As the group converse, Maxim digs into his pack and slides Juraan's newly honed rapier toward the sorcerer.

Smiling proudly the gun-mage nods toward the weapon;

"Yer blade: Skewer, now enchanted Professor. Figured with yer ioun stone, ye'd prefer me to forego makin' the blade glow?"

He pauses as conversation turns to the militia.

"Spoke to my Uncle about the half-orcen, amongst other things... Turns out these mercs are led by a commander by name o' Zarn Kyass who sold them to the city watch at a good price. Seems they're being used to strong-arm taxes at every turn..."

The dwarf continues to add what he's learned;

"Turns out there's so many of these orcen being employed, its too much for the barracks and some of them are living at Minuta's Board. The leader of the group at Minuta's is a sergeant half-orcen named Rokewko..."

Maxim eyes the others with a hard look;

"Might be worth paying 'em a visit? Getting the measure o' this Rokewko? Letting 'em know the Watchers'll be keeping 'em honest??"


Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Ryan:

So far the most remarking improvements are in the City Guard.

"Abadar teach us the importance of Law and Trade, so I guess the limit is when it starts affecting prosperity. That said, he is also the god of Fortifications, and there is some times the community has to endure to prepare itself to defend against stronger forces so it can survive stronger threads. The community expects we are the golden eye looking vigilant over those managing that money, so if it is used for a private interest, it is our superior edict to judge and purge corruption from root" Jenya winks an eye at you at that point "That said, the most important is we avoid Chaos and inner wars inside the city. That is exactly the kind of forces that can lead a community to destroy itself without even knowing why. Whatever we contribute it should always be in the most transparent and lawful way, so the decisions taken can be respected by the most possible of the citizenship"

JJ:

Sara Marsh accepts with enthusiasm your picnic at the walls. You know a place in the south gate to climb without being noticed where you can stay without anyone bothering you two. The views are impressive from there, all the mountains past the caldera, the corn fields and the prominent bastions of Redgorge city, founded at the natural gorge formed by the tributaries of the Red river. The river then flows into the vast jungles to the south where the sight is lost under the silver rays of the Sun.

Sara breaths calmer to know about the extra guards "It is soothing to know the Mayor is doing something about it. There has been so much trouble in my life and the city recently I was quite believing the giants could be true" she embraces you while you talk and smiles when you ask her "In fact, we have been offered a job at the Coy Nixie. The Aslaxins have offered a place for my mom as a cooker and me as a waitress." the girl listens with enthusiasm your talk about money "That is great! Perhaps we can rebuild together the Lucky Monkey once you find what you are looking for. Or maybe we do not need to work anymore and we can life in our own castle" the girl laughs at the idea.


M HP 101/101 | AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 22 | Fort +13, Ref +7, Will +15 | Init +1, Perception +7, Stealth -2 | speed 30' | Channel Positive Energy 7/7 (6d6 ) | Inspiring Word 8/8 (+2 / 6 round) | Agile Feet 8/8 |Cleric Spells (0 -4/4, 1st -7/7, 2nd-6/6, 3rd-6/6, 4th-5/5, 5th-5/5, 6th-3/3)

GM(Jenya):

Ryan listening nodding as Jenya talks, doing his best to suppress a smile as she winks halfway through her reply.

"Got it, so we keep the population from boiling over while keeping an eye on the town governing members to make sure they are not motivated to tax for personal reasons. As long as the mayor and his cronies are on the up and up, we suport the taxation"


Male HP 104/112; LoH 2/3 (6d6); Potions: CMW(3) AC 27(29 SoF), Touch 15, Flat-footed 19, Fort 15(reroll 1/day), Ref 14, Will 13; resist fire&acid/10; Perception +19 (extra from FE/FT))

So if Ryan makes the belt of giant strenght, it is only 2000gp, is that right?


Male Dwarf Spellslinger Wizard 6/UC Rogue 4/Arcane Trickster 3 | HP 100/100 | AC 24/T18/FF19 | F+10, R+14, W+11| Perception +12; Darkvision 60ft. | Init +4 | Move: 20ft.| Hero Points: 1 | Grit: 1/1
DC5 Knowledge Local check:
Known as "Garthûn's Gun" in Cauldron.
Key Skills:
+22 Disable Device; +19 Know (Planes); +16 Know (Arcana) & Spellcraft; +15 Appraise; +14 Craft (Alchemy) & Stealth; +13 Escape Artist & Sense Motive

@JJ: Yup that's right. Takes Ryan 1 day of crafting per 1k cost. So 2 days per belt.


M HP 101/101 | AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 22 | Fort +13, Ref +7, Will +15 | Init +1, Perception +7, Stealth -2 | speed 30' | Channel Positive Energy 7/7 (6d6 ) | Inspiring Word 8/8 (+2 / 6 round) | Agile Feet 8/8 |Cleric Spells (0 -4/4, 1st -7/7, 2nd-6/6, 3rd-6/6, 4th-5/5, 5th-5/5, 6th-3/3)

Yeah always wondered about that, the crafting time is against the normal cost or against the discounted cost. on a simple item makes a couple days difference on a big item perhaps a quarter of a year or more.

Ryan(Mayor):

Ryan takes the information he has been studying about the taxfest and the improvements around town, as well as the comments and concerns that the citizens have made known, and request a meeting with the mayor.

"Yes, I would like to meet with the mayor to discuss a new festival that could help to ease concerns with the citizens about the new taxes."


Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Ryan:

The civil servants at the Mayor's Office looks at each other at your proposal "Well, the Mayor is busy at the moment" they do check a book then provide you with a meeting date "What about in a week? Will it work for you?"


Male HP 104/112; LoH 2/3 (6d6); Potions: CMW(3) AC 27(29 SoF), Touch 15, Flat-footed 19, Fort 15(reroll 1/day), Ref 14, Will 13; resist fire&acid/10; Perception +19 (extra from FE/FT))

GM:
JJ sits danging his feet over the wall, simply enjoying the moment with Sara and feeling the wind in his face.

"I've always thought of Cauldron as home. But..." here he gestures to the wider world "out there, there is so much more. The last few months have opened up my horizons. The feel of the wind in my face. Exploring underground grottos. There is a huge amount of beauty out there is the world. Things to see..."

He glances over toward Sara, a smile on his face. "Of course there is a lot of beauty to see here too."

From his hardwon cash, JJ is generous in giving coins to Ryan to help with the belt. "I'm sure this would cost more if I got it else where. Would you take some extra for your trouble in making it? What say I give you 2500gp?"

As he becomes more aware of the growing number of half orcs, JJ tries to stay in touch with other milita members, and gauge their reaction to the change. Also understand whether any of them are still active, and if so try to work out anything in common between those who were kept on, and those who were let go.


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Dwarven Ratcatcher 13 HP 160 l AC 31, T 13, FF 30 l CMD 29 l F +20, R +14, W +18; +2 vs poison, spells/spell-like abilities l Init +1 l Senses: Perception +1, Darkvision

Jenya, Ryan:

Temple of St. Cuthbert
Jenya wrote:
"It is not pleasant for anyone to pay taxes, but as you do know, the collection of taxes is a basic part of the maintenance of an advanced society. As such it is therefore holy to our god Abadar. As you know we are a frontier land and do not sometimes observe all the rites other civilized areas follow. Well, I do think it might be a good opportunity to establish in Cauldron a tradition already existent in some of those more traditional societies of the Inner Sea, the Taxfest. Let's try to make this a bit easier for people to swallow it."

Kikinnin allows his face to stay still, while Jenya encourages them to plan a festival based on paying wages to the city. He looks at Ryan, and waits to hear what the young man has to say regarding that endeavor.

GM Rutseg, Maxim:

Malachite
GM Rutseg wrote:
One thing that strikes you during your stay in the Malachite is despite the lack of leaders all the dwarves seem to keep working well organized. The treasury and the Forge is seeing quite a lot of work, and wagons are often seen traveling from the Forge to the treasury and from the treasury to the surface.
Maxim wrote:
"Weapons were always my area of expertise, bror. Keen edges an' such. Hammerin' out dents on a bulwark is a skill I need to work on... Seems the Hold is thriving in spite o' Zenith's untimely demise, bror. Just you remember to make me yer Mesteren af Mønt (Dwarven: Master of Coin) when ye finally take up the throne here!"

Despite the recent history of events, Kikinnin can't help but feel a contentment with Malachite nursing itself back to fuller health. He helps where he can, especially paying attention to the Blond Beard's crafting, oftentimes enjoying a cold beverage while jawing with the burgeoning crafter.

"Well, I can only thank you for your expertise, Bror. For your effort, I might have just enough coin to cover the cost of seeing each piece a little stronger, for the next time we venture out. Where'd you come to learn this work? That gnome teach you dwarven forging?"

For his quickness, it's obvious Kikinnin is avoiding the potential conversation regarding the Malachite throne for now.

Tipped Tankard

Juraan wrote:

"He first made an appearance here about fifty years ago... It's a guess on my part, but Dhorlot may have done that to more than just human women as well."

Maxim wrote:
"Bror.. that mean you an' the Professor here are second cousins or some such? Should I be referring to you as Kikinnin Skaletrøvsson (Dwarven: Son of Scaled-arse) goin' forward?"

Kikinnin doesn't pay much attention to the professor's lecture, until Maxim draws it to certain words. "It's not my arse that's scaled, only my hands."

The black beard turns to Juraan. "You think hard on what you're insinuating, Juraan Drakblood. I'm a good deal older than fifty years, and I'll not have you impugning my mother's good name. Do we understand each other?"

Marigold wrote:
"Um...w-well even if you t-two are related to D-Dhorlot in s-some way, that d-doesn't m-matter to me."

Kikinnin raises and lowers his stein, slowly, as if to regain his calm.

Marigold wrote:
"D-Do you r-remember anything else a-about wh-what happened at B-Bluecrater with the th-theft? Wh-where would we st-start on trying to t-track those two d-down?"

"I can only recount what's been told before. Slipped my mind, mostly, though we might be a bit stronger as a whole, if we set our minds to tracking them down. Have you learned something else regarding their crime?"

Kikinnin waits a bit longer, to let the ale works its way out his pores, before he, too, offers a tidbit of his go around with Shemwick. "Before it slips my mind... Artus raised a concern regarding a group of Greyfaces possibly working their way into Cauldron, seeking revenge against us. For our work disbanding the slavers, from what he gathered."


Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

It has past a month since you came back to Cauldron, and you are having a break together at the Tipped Tankard in the afternoon when you do hear a large mob of loud and angry people passing by "...taxes..." the people in the tavern look at each other trying to guess if others know what is going on "...thugs..."

Three men get out of the mob to enter the tavern "We cannot stand here doing nothing while they rob us, come on!" one of the men recognizes you. Beppo approaches to your table and leaves a paper notice "Are you coming to the demonstration as well?"


HP 127/127 l AC 22, T 13, FF 22 l CMD 18 l F +13, R +9, W +15; +2 bonus vs. illusions l Lucky Halfling (1/1), Spray of Shooting Stars (2/3), L1: 8/8, L2: 7/7, L3: 2/7, L4: 7/7, L5: 5/7, L6: 4/4 l Init +7 l Senses: Perception +18, Concentration +19 | Female Halfling Oracle (Heavens) 13 l Active Conditions: l Hero Points 1/3

"Oh..." Marigold frowns, looking at the notice that Beppo drops on their table. "Th-that didn't take long at all..."

She looks up at her friends. "Um, n-not that I'm not w-worried about those d-duergar coming up here for revenge, b-but this s-seems like a m-more p-pressing matter. Sh-should we g-go?"


Dwarven Ratcatcher 13 HP 160 l AC 31, T 13, FF 30 l CMD 29 l F +20, R +14, W +18; +2 vs poison, spells/spell-like abilities l Init +1 l Senses: Perception +1, Darkvision

Kikinnin nods. "I'll need to pass St. Cuthbert first. Something about a mob makes me feel like wearing armor..." He finishes his drink, while standing from his chair.


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M HP 101/101 | AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 22 | Fort +13, Ref +7, Will +15 | Init +1, Perception +7, Stealth -2 | speed 30' | Channel Positive Energy 7/7 (6d6 ) | Inspiring Word 8/8 (+2 / 6 round) | Agile Feet 8/8 |Cleric Spells (0 -4/4, 1st -7/7, 2nd-6/6, 3rd-6/6, 4th-5/5, 5th-5/5, 6th-3/3)

Jenya and Kikinnin:

Quote:
Kikinnin allows his face to stay still, while Jenya encourages them to plan a festival based on paying wages to the city. He looks at Ryan, and waits to hear what the young man has to say regarding that endeavor.

Ryan on one hand aggravated with the treatment of his companions by the taxman, and on the other hand having grown up during his formative teen years under the Church of St Cuthbert, respected Jenya's opinion; was momentarily dumbstruck and could only mumble a simple "Yes ma'am, are the taxes fair in your opinion"

Ryan will study the festival, finding good reasons for the festival to happen, but that means the local government would have to be open about the taxes they are charging.

Kikinnin, I believe this is happening shortly after we ave arrived back in Cauldron, before much of the spoilered things have been made known.

Tipped Tankard ~2 weeks ago:

Ryan enters the tavern one evening sporting a new charcoal covered cloak with a silver key adorning the shoulder - don't look too close it's crooked - and a shield on the back.

"What'dya think? I've been studying one of the tomes within the church's library. It is a treatise on how to apply the graces given by our god, or even the magiks employed by arcane casters into everyday items to make us better protected. The silver threads have been worked repeatedly with the magical resistance that Marigold and I have been able to give you during our battles, this one works to protect you all of the time, it's not armor and wont stop JJ's short swords or even the professor's rapier, nice work by the way Maxim, but it will help to protect you from attack of the mind and body , such as sorcerer's spells and poisons."

Drawing Maxim to the side, he inquires about the wizard learning the spell Cat's Grace, offering to pay both the fee to copy it and for the inks required to do so. Hinting that he has another project in mind that he would need Maxim's knowledge of the spell to work on.

Later in the evening JJ approaches Ryan about a belt to enhance his strength.

Quote:
From his hardwon cash, JJ is generous in giving coins to Ryan to help with the belt. "I'm sure this would cost more if I got it else where. Would you take some extra for your trouble in making it? What say I give you 2500gp?"

"Save the extra, I may have need of it in the future but for now it's better if I provide what you have requested first, should I mess up the material is wasted."

A few nights later Ryan returns bearing a wide brown leather belt, the buckle appearing to be a pair of silver crossed swords.

"the stitching was I believe more tedious than the keys on the cloak, with this heavy leather each hole had to be drilled with a hand drill before the thread could be passed through. Think i'm still finding splinters from the drill. Everything feels right about it, let me know what you think."

current time:

GM has Ryan made it to the appointment with the mayor yet or is that still a week out?

"This isn't good" Ryan says with a worried look on his face.

Sorry all have had writer's block this past few days as to where Ryan was going with all of this - taxes wise. The other was easy. Ryan basically thinks the taxes are likely being exploited and misused


Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

"I'm not too worried about the Duergar."
"They seemed to busy bickering to come here for revenge."
"For the time being, at least."

After seeing that notice:
"Well, it would seem that things have changed more than we would've liked in the time we were away."
"Seems that the new taxes have been bothering more than just us."
"Has anyone actually met or seen the mayor since we got back?"


Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Ryan (Lord Mayor):

Severen Navalant receives you with a wide smile and a couple taps in the shoulders "Oh how is the Saviour of the Flood Season doing? Tell me Ryan Taskerhill, how are business doing?" Vhalantru stands by the side of the Mayor, he gives you a nod of recognition.

During the conversation it results clear, the idea of a taxfest is well received, but they put it off ahead, and in any case "We will see, we will see, it sounds good. Of course the Church is invited to prepare some festivities, those are always liked by the people, isn't it?" Navalant looks at Vhalantru seeking confirmation.

Kikinnin (St. Cuthbert):

While you pay a fast visit to the Church of St. Cuthbert to armor up, Jenya Urikas intercepts you. "Have you heard the rumors? Alek Tercival is coming to the demonstration today. Where are Ryan and JJ? Please, Kikinnin, I need someone to go to the demonstration and try to find out about it. I do not know from him since weeks ago and I am growing worried for him. I have no one else to attend so would you be able to do this for me? If he is there, ask him to come visit me at the Church please."


Male Dwarf Spellslinger Wizard 6/UC Rogue 4/Arcane Trickster 3 | HP 100/100 | AC 24/T18/FF19 | F+10, R+14, W+11| Perception +12; Darkvision 60ft. | Init +4 | Move: 20ft.| Hero Points: 1 | Grit: 1/1
DC5 Knowledge Local check:
Known as "Garthûn's Gun" in Cauldron.
Key Skills:
+22 Disable Device; +19 Know (Planes); +16 Know (Arcana) & Spellcraft; +15 Appraise; +14 Craft (Alchemy) & Stealth; +13 Escape Artist & Sense Motive

Hold of the Malachite:

Maxim grins at his bror as he works away on the warrior's arms, honing edge and reinforcing bulwark.

"Was destined to be a smith by my family an' the gods... An apprentice armorer for Zenith's crazy crusade bror. Always been good, but never felt the call o' the forge like I was supposed to. Reckon it came to a head when they marched an' I bolted to the gnome..."

The wizard frows, remembering the troubling time and sets about the glowing metal with a degree of frustrated anger...

At The Tipped Tankard - 2 Weeks previously:

Maxim nods in interest at Ryan's proposal, and agrees on how they will proceed.

"No worries Taskerhill. Once I've learned it, have a mind to collaborate on some items..."

Tipped Tankard... Now

As the group continue to debate the way forward, the news of the mob causes the gun-mage's brow to furrow;

"Wondered iffen it would come to this... Folks can only take so much afore they kick back!"

Maxim nods at the others as they rise as a group;

"How we playin' this? Active participation or casual observation?"


M HP 101/101 | AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 22 | Fort +13, Ref +7, Will +15 | Init +1, Perception +7, Stealth -2 | speed 30' | Channel Positive Energy 7/7 (6d6 ) | Inspiring Word 8/8 (+2 / 6 round) | Agile Feet 8/8 |Cleric Spells (0 -4/4, 1st -7/7, 2nd-6/6, 3rd-6/6, 4th-5/5, 5th-5/5, 6th-3/3)

GM(Mayor):

Blushing slightly and shaking his head at the title, Ryan addresses the mayor.
"Mayor Navalant, Lord Vhalantru, thank you for receiving me. Unfortunately business has been all too busy as of late. It appears quite a few changes were made during our last foray out of Cauldron."

Allowing for the flow of the conversation to continue, Ryan tries to get a word or two in edgewise but for the most part is unable to do so until the mayor finishes

Quote:
"We will see, we will see, it sounds good. Of course the Church is invited to prepare some festivities, those are always liked by the people, isn't it?"

"Mister Mayor, you misunderstand, the idea is not for the church to just throw a festival for fun; plenty of those happen.

The taxfest is a day during which the townsfolk would be expected to pay their taxes. There would no longer be a need for taxmen to break into businesses after-hours to force taxes to be paid at random hours or to roam the streets accosting people walking. Taxes would be posted and known to all, the citizens have complained that taxes are made up on the spot. Taxes are a valid part of advanced civilizations, and with transparency of what the taxes are and how they are being used the church would be be able to lend support to the collection of those taxes."

Ryan looks at the mayor and Vhalantru, gauging their response.

sense motive: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (10) + 13 = 23

Tipped Tankard

Maxim wrote:
"How we playin' this? Active participation or casual observation?"

"We should go, the last thing Cauldron needs is to tear itself apart from the inside out. There's enough other forces trying to do that as it is."


Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

"I agree with Ryan. Things could get out of hand quickly."
"Where have our chums the Stormblades been in all this?"
"Despite their cushy upbringings, they will probably put Cauldron's well being ahead of petty politics."
"So there's an excellent chance we might have work with them again."

GM Rusteg:
Quick mental note to Meerthan
[color=blue]"Public mood seems to be getting ugly in a hurry."
"Mostly about a drastic increase in taxes while we were away."
"Any idea why we now have so many half-orcs in the city guard?"
"Fario and Fellian should probably be on hand in the shadows for this protest at city hall."
"Just in case things get out of control."
"I hope not, but they could."
[/color]


HP 127/127 l AC 22, T 13, FF 22 l CMD 18 l F +13, R +9, W +15; +2 bonus vs. illusions l Lucky Halfling (1/1), Spray of Shooting Stars (2/3), L1: 8/8, L2: 7/7, L3: 2/7, L4: 7/7, L5: 5/7, L6: 4/4 l Init +7 l Senses: Perception +18, Concentration +19 | Female Halfling Oracle (Heavens) 13 l Active Conditions: l Hero Points 1/3

"I th-think we should g-go and s-see what happens...b-but I also th-think we should b-be careful about g-getting involved unless things g-get really b-bad," Marigold warns. "It c-could cause more p-problems than s-solve them to have p-people start looking t-to us as s-some s-sort of...of alternate a-a-authority..."


Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

"Last thing I want is to be asked to run things!"


Dwarven Ratcatcher 13 HP 160 l AC 31, T 13, FF 30 l CMD 29 l F +20, R +14, W +18; +2 vs poison, spells/spell-like abilities l Init +1 l Senses: Perception +1, Darkvision

Maxim in Malachite:

Maxim wrote:
"Was destined to be a smith by my family an' the gods... An apprentice armorer for Zenith's crazy crusade, bror. Always been good, but never felt the call o' the forge like I was supposed to. Reckon it came to a head when they marched an' I bolted to the gnome..."

Kikinnin raises an eyebrow. "Well, looks like the gods had a grander plan for you and your craft, Bror. Looking back with a knowing eye, it's a good thing you didn't get swept up in Zenith's madness. Malachite still needs the blond beards to breed. It's getting awfully black down there."

Jenya, Ryan:

Kikinnin does his best to gather information at the behest of Ryan, as the priest begins to form his game plan for Taxapalooza.

I'm not reading spoilers, save my own, Ryan.

...

Leading into the Demonstration

Maxim wrote:
"How we playin' this? Active participation or casual observation?"

"I'd call it vigilant onlooking, Bror. It's only a matter of time before someone gets reckless with their words, and those words become flint for someone's anger."

GM Rutseg:

With Jenya at St. Cuthbert

Jenya wrote:
"Have you heard the rumors? Alek Tercival is coming to the demonstration today. Where are Ryan and JJ? Please, Kikinnin, I need someone to go to the demonstration and try to find out about it. I do not know from him since weeks ago and I am growing worried for him. I have no one else to attend so would you be able to do this for me? If he is there, ask him to come visit me at the Church please."

"You have my word. If I find Alek, I'll notify him of your concern, and bid him visit you. The rest of the Watchers have every intention on overseeing the Demonstration, and prevent any anger from boiling over."

Kikinnin gives a quick bow to the priestess, and finishes his armor-donning, before heading out.

Kikinnin eventually seeks out his crew, and tries to find a place to watch the Demonstration, without putting them in direct travel paths, and somewhere they're not readily pointed out, in case the Watchers' reputation is used for political purposes.

He's not hopeful.


Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Ryan:

Ryan Diplomacy: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (1) + 11 = 12
Navalant looks at Vhalantru whom seeing the Mayor does not know how to pronounce himself, speaks up "We are thankful for your attempt to help, but we know what we are doing. The city guard is recovering its numbers so we can face all the challenges the city has been suffering with for years now. We are also taking action so we do not depend on your well received deeds for next Flood Season and any other upcoming dangers"

The streets around City Hall are packed tight with loud citizens rallying against the recent tax increases in Cauldron. It is impossible to find an empty spot, and you do have to watch it from a relative distance among the crowd. Several guards stand in a ring around the building and use the hafts of their halberds to keep people out. Presently, a small group of dignitaries, easily recognizable as the town tax collec­tors, make their way to the entrance. The citizens boo and scream insults at the tax collectors as they scuttle inside the building.

After the tax collectors have gone inside, Maavu Arlintal climbs a prominent dais to speak. The merchant raises a hand and the demonstra­tors calm down a bit.

After a moment of silence, Maavu addresses the audience res­olutely "The lord mayor has received a letter of challenge, in which the noble Alek Tercival, pala­din of Abadar, challenges the captain of the town guard, Terseon Skellerang, to prove his valor in a duel according to the Old Law of Peers."

A prominent murmur raises among the people gathered around the City Hall as people comment and look at each other with surprise, agreement or hope.

K. local, K. nobility or Lore (Cauldron) DC 15:

According to an ancient law known as the Old Law of Peers, descendants of the five founding noble families of Cauldron (after the lord mayor) have the right to challenge the captain of the town guard if they believe his behavior to be unworthy or immoral.

Thanks to his ancestry, Alek happens to be among the few who can issue such a challenge.

Maavu shakes his arms in a sign to let the multitude allow him to continue speaking "The challenge has not been publicized by the City Council, which is itself illegal by the laws of the city and proof of the ill will the lord mayor and his advisors bear the citizens" Maavu is a skilled orator, and the crowd becomes more and more angry as he speaks.


Male HP 104/112; LoH 2/3 (6d6); Potions: CMW(3) AC 27(29 SoF), Touch 15, Flat-footed 19, Fort 15(reroll 1/day), Ref 14, Will 13; resist fire&acid/10; Perception +19 (extra from FE/FT))

JJ, quiet and concerned tags along with the group, more because if there is going to be trouble, he wants to make sure his friends are going to be okay, than any real desire to be there.

However when Alek's name is read out his ears pick up.

"Uncle Alek has been missing for months, and now this? Something is not right. I know Terseon's been on to the mayor for years to try and raise taxes to pay the militia right.. but I've never seen him do anything unworthy. And all these half orcs are not the milita he was wanting to pay .."

He thinks a bit more "I didn't even get to see Terseon last time I turned up. I just had Dandarrion and Skylar Krewis say the volunteers were not needed any more. I'm not sure who has last seen him to be honest."

He thinks back over the people he has talked to in the milita over the last couple of weeks, as to whether any of them have actually seen the captain.


Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

"I don't really know anything about this challenging business."
"But I do know that Maavu did a runner just before that umber hulk smashed up his warehouse."
"So, when did he come back? And why is he trying to whip up a crowd?"


Male HP 104/112; LoH 2/3 (6d6); Potions: CMW(3) AC 27(29 SoF), Touch 15, Flat-footed 19, Fort 15(reroll 1/day), Ref 14, Will 13; resist fire&acid/10; Perception +19 (extra from FE/FT))

"That's right... odd that it went straight for his warehouse wasn't it. I wonder if it was already in there and he had it captive somehow..." muses JJ.


Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

"I think it's odd that he ran for the hills before that happened."
"And now here he is pretty as you please trying to stir the pot."

GM Rusteg:
Did Juraan get a response from his recent attempt to communicate telepathically with Meerthan?

Juraan is actually very suspicious indeed!
He will try and watch carefully to see if that really absolutely positively is the same Maavu he bought some goods from way back during the festival.
He doesn't know Maavu very well, but he did meat him in person.
Which may make a difference.

Disbelieving illusions or whatever it is: Will: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25

Oooooh! That was jammy. Hope I didn't waste a natural 20 as a result!

And, if needed, as possibly being relevant: perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28


Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Juraan:

By the way Maavu is interacting with the people and dais, Juraan concludes if this is an illusion, it is definitely the product of an impressively well crafted one.

Merthan answers to you We are aware. I already sent the Striders to keep an eye on the thing.

"We are the workers of this city! We are the producing hand! The crafters!" the merchant points at different people in the multitude as he talks up "The sellers and nursers!" he points to Kikinnin "The ratcatchers!" then towards one of the buildings "The owners of these buildings!"

"We hold the city together and make it work with our effort. Is these the treatment we do deserve?" he points then towards the Town Hall and a large part of the crowd starts saying no with their heads "Is this the government we deserve?!"


Male Dwarf Spellslinger Wizard 6/UC Rogue 4/Arcane Trickster 3 | HP 100/100 | AC 24/T18/FF19 | F+10, R+14, W+11| Perception +12; Darkvision 60ft. | Init +4 | Move: 20ft.| Hero Points: 1 | Grit: 1/1
DC5 Knowledge Local check:
Known as "Garthûn's Gun" in Cauldron.
Key Skills:
+22 Disable Device; +19 Know (Planes); +16 Know (Arcana) & Spellcraft; +15 Appraise; +14 Craft (Alchemy) & Stealth; +13 Escape Artist & Sense Motive

Maxim stands watching the rival merchant-agent provocateur give his speech.

Maavu... Quite the orator...

The gun-mage pulls forth a stogie and lights it, leaning into his companions with hard word;

"Wasn't Alek Tercival an' Honest Maavu there in cahoots before? Recollect a note concernin' the doings in Redgorge? Kirk an' merchantile in business together?"

The dwur shrugs his shoulders nonchalantly;

"I ain't for these taxes, an' y'all know my take on the Mayor and the nobles o' our fair city... but I ain't buyin' what Maavu's selling..."

Maxim puffs his stogie with a scowl;

"Something ain't sitting right here..."

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32


Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

"Near as I can tell, that is Maavu."
"At least physically, anyway."
"Doesn't seem to be himself, though."
"He ran from Cauldron for reasons unknown with his tail between his legs."
"And now he's back, bold as brass."
"It is peculiar. And worrisome."


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Dwarven Ratcatcher 13 HP 160 l AC 31, T 13, FF 30 l CMD 29 l F +20, R +14, W +18; +2 vs poison, spells/spell-like abilities l Init +1 l Senses: Perception +1, Darkvision
Maavu wrote:
"We are the workers of this city! We are the producing hand! The crafters! The sellers and nursers! The ratcatchers! The owners of these buildings!"

Kikinnin feels the flush come over his cheeks, red hot. The kind of red that usually takes four whiskies to see the color bloom on both sides of his nose. He doesn't like it at all when several sets of eyes turn to see where Maavu points. The black beard brings his gaze back to Maavu, and continues to listen to what the merchant has to say.

What the merchant continues to do is peacefully protest, but the sounds of angry voices makes Kikinnin bristle, as he suspects the anger will take some form of action, which will likely be less than lawful.

"What are we going to do here? Sap every belligerent person who decides he's had enough of the taxes? We're not the militia ourselves." Kikinnin looks uncertain about what role he may be called on to serve, shortly.


Male Dwarf Spellslinger Wizard 6/UC Rogue 4/Arcane Trickster 3 | HP 100/100 | AC 24/T18/FF19 | F+10, R+14, W+11| Perception +12; Darkvision 60ft. | Init +4 | Move: 20ft.| Hero Points: 1 | Grit: 1/1
DC5 Knowledge Local check:
Known as "Garthûn's Gun" in Cauldron.
Key Skills:
+22 Disable Device; +19 Know (Planes); +16 Know (Arcana) & Spellcraft; +15 Appraise; +14 Craft (Alchemy) & Stealth; +13 Escape Artist & Sense Motive

Maxim takes another puff of his stogie with a wry look toward his fellow dwur;

"We're Cauldron Watchers bror. We ain't militia, an' we sure as hell ain't anarchists... So reckon we jus' sit back an' watch. Things get a mite outta hand, then we can step in."


Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

"With a big crowd like this, it's also easy for things to get nasty in a hurry."
"If we do try to calm things down, with good intentions, it may make things worse."
"We should probably wait a little while to see what happens."


Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

The words of the fervor-filled merchant continue to imbue the citizens with a mounting rage. The people's anger culminates when Maavu points out the fact that a group of armed half-orcs is already harassing the town: "Skellerang is feeding a band of filthy half-orc thugs a large share of our bread!" he screams.

Then, wading in the crowd of people, a human watch sergeant escorted by several half-orc mercenaries approaches the dais to arrest the mer­chant. You do recognize the sergeant as Skylar Krewis. "In the name of Terseon Skellerang, Captain of the Town Guard, I must arrest you!" he declares, addressing Maavu.

Suddenly, from within the an­gered crowd, an unassuming youth draws a hidden dagger and screams out, "Lees kill these half-orc brigands!" As his voice is drowned out by the roar of a hundred other people, the lad lunges at the near­est half-orc straight slitting his throat to death. In seconds, the mob erupts into a full­ fledged riot.

Sense motives:

JJ: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
Kikinnin: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Marigold: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28
Maxim: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Juraan: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
Ryan: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27

Initiative:

JJ (+2 urban, +2 underground, +6 Abyss): 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 + 2 = 16
Kikinnin: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Marigold: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Maxim: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Juraan: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Ryan: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Maavu: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (11) + 0 = 11
Skylar Krewis: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
Riot: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (6) + 0 = 6

Marigold and Ryan realize things are to turn bad at the very same moment the surprised half-orc guards are slaughtered by a successful barrage of dagger stabs.


Surprise round: Half-orcs are slaughtered, Marigold and Ryan can react with a satandard action
Round 1: Maxim, Juraan, Ryan, JJ, Skylar Krewis, Marigold, Maavu, Riot, Kikinnin

A new map is available!

Crowd combat rules:

The rioting crowds make it extremely difficult to move around or cast spells. Even in squares not occu­pied by the actual mob of rioters, the crowd remains thick and surly. Movement in a crowd is halved (it costs 2 squares of movement to enter a square with a crowd) Note this is not difficult terrain. The crowd provides cover for anyone within it, enabling a Hide check and providing a bonus to Armor Class and on Reflex saves.

A character in a crowd during the riot can take a full­ round action to defend himself (and stand motionless) or move with the crowd (moving a distance equal to his normal speed in a random direction Throw a 1d8 being 1 up/north). If the character takes any other action, she must make a successful DC 15 Reflex save to avoid suffering 1d8 points of nonlethal damage from various bruises and bumps. A character who tries to cast a spell in the crowd must make a suc­cessful DC 15 Concentration check or lose the spell.

Characters can attempt to direct the non-mob crowd by making a DC 25 Diplomacy check or a DC 30 Intim­idate check; the cbaracter making the check must be obvious to the rioters. Attempting to direct the rioters is a full-round action for Diplomacy, but a free action for Intimidate. Success indicates that a 20-foot square of rioters cease their destructive activity for a number of rounds equal to 1 + the character's Charisma modi­fier. Since there are nearly 30 groups of rioters this size, chances are you won't be able to calm the entire mob down.


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M HP 101/101 | AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 22 | Fort +13, Ref +7, Will +15 | Init +1, Perception +7, Stealth -2 | speed 30' | Channel Positive Energy 7/7 (6d6 ) | Inspiring Word 8/8 (+2 / 6 round) | Agile Feet 8/8 |Cleric Spells (0 -4/4, 1st -7/7, 2nd-6/6, 3rd-6/6, 4th-5/5, 5th-5/5, 6th-3/3)

GM(Mayor):

Quote:
"We are thankful for your attempt to help, but we know what we are doing. The city guard is recovering its numbers so we can face all the challenges the city has been suffering with for years now. We are also taking action so we do not depend on your well received deeds for next Flood Season and any other upcoming dangers"

"I see... Well gentlemen, it appears this meeting has come to it's conclusion, I'll not take any more of your time." Ryan nods to both men. And takes his leave, returning to the temple.

GM-St Cuthbert(Jenya,Kikinnin):

"Jenya, I explained the festival to the mayor, Lord Vhalantru was there as well; they both wrote it off as just a party thrown by the church. I explained that was not the case, and explained it more fully for them. The mayor couldn't answer, he deferred to Vhalantru, almost as if Vhalantru is running the show in truth, not the mayor." Shaking his head, Ryan continues."Something is not right with this whole thing, the only thing they seem to be funding out of the taxes is their own little army. Vhalantru even commented that the Church would not be needed during the next rainy season, and our own Caudron Watchers for any other problems."

was typing this up and see the GM has made a post, will update in a little bit, have to bbq some chicken for supper.


M HP 101/101 | AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 22 | Fort +13, Ref +7, Will +15 | Init +1, Perception +7, Stealth -2 | speed 30' | Channel Positive Energy 7/7 (6d6 ) | Inspiring Word 8/8 (+2 / 6 round) | Agile Feet 8/8 |Cleric Spells (0 -4/4, 1st -7/7, 2nd-6/6, 3rd-6/6, 4th-5/5, 5th-5/5, 6th-3/3)

Earlier outside of the Town Hall

JJ wrote:
"I didn't even get to see Terseon last time I turned up. I just had Dandarrion and Skylar Krewis say the volunteers were not needed any more. I'm not sure who has last seen him to be honest."

"You know, I wasn't able to meet with him either when I tried to meet with him after we returned to Cauldron. Previously he has been easy enough to see when the guard was overworked and understaffed. Now that we have extra guards and no work he suspiciously missing."

As Maavu begins speaking about the challenge, Ryan considers the merits for Alek Kn:Nobility: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22

Ryan cast Detect Magic studying the crowd, Maavu and Skylar in particular.

Almost speaking to himself as he studies the magical auras around him.
"Alek Tercival as one of the 5 original families, does have the right to challenge by the Old Rules of Peers. But where is Alek? If he issued the challenge he should be here; not Maavu spouting out this nonsense."

Ryan realizes what is happening a moment too late. Looking to protect his friends Ryan seeks Abadar's blessing.

"Abadar bless your servants as we attempt to restore order in this mad.......umph!"

Concentration: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (1) + 12 = 13

However a elbow to the face stops him from completing the necessary motions and gestures.


Male HP 104/112; LoH 2/3 (6d6); Potions: CMW(3) AC 27(29 SoF), Touch 15, Flat-footed 19, Fort 15(reroll 1/day), Ref 14, Will 13; resist fire&acid/10; Perception +19 (extra from FE/FT))

"I don't like the look of this.. murmurs JJ as the crowd turns ugly.

"First blood to the crowd, but those orcs know what they are doing. Ryan, you are good with words, can you get them to back off and go home?"

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