The plush red carpet and oak furniture upholstered with velvet lend this room an air of comfort, but it’s also clearly a place of official business, with several layers of administrative papers, staff memos, maps, and charts covering the wide surface of the solid desk in the center. From her tall-backed chair behind her desk, Mayor Sandra Trinelli (Maps page 2) looks up, shaking herself out of a deep concentration. A subtle look of relief flashes across her face as she motions to the oversized chairs in front of her.
“Normally, I’d exchange more pleasantries with my guests, but I fear there is no time,” she says. “The business that brought you here is quite urgent—it may actually be a matter of life and death.
“Let me explain. You may have heard that several young apprentices from various establishments in Saringallow have disappeared in the last couple of weeks. Every one of them has failed to show up to work, and nobody seems to know where they’ve gone.”
“That’s not all. Rumors are spreading about sightings of enormous insects roaming about town. So far, the townspeople have chalked up such rumors to overactive imaginations, but I fear they might be real, and that they might have something to do with the missing apprentices. I have no proof that the situations are connected, but if folks get that notion into their heads, things are bound to spiral out of control.”
She shifts nervously, as if avoiding an uncomfortable implication, before continuing. “Please, I implore you to look into this matter quietly and thoroughly—find out where our apprentices have gone and discover the cause of our vermin problem. Don’t jump to conclusions until you have investigated every possible angle; we need to be absolutely sure that we know who or what is responsible before we take any necessary law enforcement actions.”
“I suggest you start by interviewing the masters of every missing apprentice on this list I’ve compiled. I suspect that, collectively, they might shed some light on the youngsters’ whereabouts. That could in turn illuminate our vermin problem, but until we have more information, I caution you against suggesting to anyone that the two situations are connected. Beyond that, though, you have my full cooperation in this matter. If anyone gives you guff about your line of questioning, show them this letter.”
The mayor pushes a scrap of paper with several names scribbled on it across her desk, as well as a rolled-up, ribbon-bound letter written on thick parchment. Maps Page 3
“As far as an incentive,” the mayor says, “I’ve pooled together 50 gold pieces as a reward for each apprentice you manage to find and rescue, as well as an additional 100 gold pieces if you can determine the cause of our vermin problem—and eliminate it. Do we have a deal?”
The gnome catches her breath at the sound of the missing youths. "By the Dead Vault!" Dimple covers her mouth with both hands as she blushes. "Oh! So sorry for cursing. Please forgive me. My mother always warned me my mouth would sog my crackers." She takes a moment to compose herself before continuing. "Missing apprentices...apprentici...cen? That is such terrible news. Of course I will help Mayor Trinell. The apprentice..es, do they have anything in common? Race, hair color, birth date, favorite tart filling? I love cherry myself."
The tiny blonde had burst into the room earlier in the day, like three feet of sunshine. Her blue eyes wide and friendly, she made certain to greet everyone 'nice 'n proper like'. This took the form of hands being grabbed vigorously pumped, hugs given (she carries the slight scent of lilacs) and the occasional pinched cheek. It quickly became known to all gathered that this was Dimple, and she was very happy to be here.
When asked about her long sword or bow, she merely waves her hand with a "Pish posh, Luv." and mutters that everyone needs something to 'roast marshmallows with or shoot at rain clouds to keep the thunder away'. All and all, she seems about as far from The Bleaching as a gnome can be.
The half-orc was dressed eccentrically, but fashionably, in bold rich colors that probably shouldn't have gone together, but somehow do. He wore no visible weapons, and he sat in front of the Mayor's desk with barely a casual interest in what she had to say.
But his ears literally perked up with a slight wiggle when she spoke of a reward. "Well, now you're speaking my language. Of course, I'm alwasys willing to go where the Society asks, but it's just empirically better when I'm getting paid. I'll help how I can, and I won't be satisfied unless we find and return all of your young ones to you in good health. The vermin I suspect will be no issue at all."
|Niza and Albis|
Before you stands a young gnome. Her long, fiery red hair is pulled into a loose ponytail at the back of her head; the tail drapes to her waist. Her skin is pink and a lighter hue of her hair. She wears a pair of red pants and a long-sleeved red tunic both slightly darker than the color of her hair. Her sturdy boots and gloves are golden in tone. Across her waist is a thick belt which matches her boots and gloves. A pouch is attached to it. Strapped to her back is a nasty barbed wire wrapped club. Across her shoulders, she wears a golden perch for her companion Arctic hawk companion. His underbelly is pure white. His wings are mottled gray and black. As you look at him, he takes flight and swoops in large circles about fifteen feet above the heads of everyone present.
"I am Niza and that is Albis," she says while motioning to her hawk. She eyes the other gnome warily as anyone perky tends to annoy her. "We would be glad to assist in locating the missing individuals. Enormous insects, eh? Maybe Albis will have a really good snack."
A white haired man with pointed ears sits quietly during the briefing, though he acknowledges the excitable short one. A pair of massive weapons strapped to your back catch your eye...though as you continue to look him over, its obvious he's expecting a fight. Weapons seem to be clinging to every free aspect of the man's body.
"Dimples was it? You are quite the life of the party, aintcha? Liet-Gar Zirulak reporting as ordered by THE faction of honor. Glad to be of assistance to the Society this day."
Turning to the others in attendance, he offers a slight bow. "Pleased to meet each of you. As for any big bugs? I'll take care of them for ya."
"Fromagalli" The red haired half elf nods his head slightlyin greeting that is not quite a bow. He is in a fine looking breastplate and carrying an equally fine looking longsword with silver maces and daggers of cold iron and a wand around his waist. He inspects the letter. "No seal? Just a signature? How quaint." He speaks in a not quite mocking tone. "Yes myself and my associates will look into these matters and sort them out. Keeping the riff raff under control is quite burdensome at times"
Isger at least it isn't Galt but not really the place for a sovereign court character. Also charisma 8. Don't let Fromagalli do the talking
Mayor Sandra Trinelli seems impressed by your confidence, "well you all seem quite ready to handle this. Let me know if you find any sufficient evidence that requires my office to act. Thank you for coming to our aid." At the last comment made by Fromagalli, she seems about ready to say something but holds her tongue.
Where shall you all go first? I put Fromagalli 2nd in the marching order, though that order isn't locked in stone. I just use it to place PC's when the scenario tosses them into encounters.
"Hmm Shall we start at the haberdashers? I'm thinking the temple potions and taverns we may wish to revisit after we get a better idea whats going on and the bakery may be a good source of gossip. After all everyone buys bread regularly The cobblers and the haberdashers may be more low key places to start. No? Although I am curious as to why the apprentice shares her name with the haberdasher. Surely that suggests a closer relation then mere apprentice? Perhaps the cobblers may be less fraught place to start"
know local max 10: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Knowledge (local), untrained: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20 Nice roll for a DC 10 max check, haha
Turning from the mayor, Kasvot huddles up with the others to read the list of apprentices. "I've never been to Saringallow, and the Pathfinder Chronicles that I read before heading up here only had the most basic info. I've no advice for where to start, so I say let's start at the top." He points to the Pindlion name. "As Fromagalli pointed out, probably related. Let's go help someone find their lost niece or daughter."
"A rescue mission our first time out! Can you believe the luck?" Dimple taps her chin crinkles her mouth side to side as she recollects what she know about the small town. "Hmm...well, I seem to remember a few things about Saringallow..."
Local: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Kasvot and Fromagelli remember some very basics about the town, things they have hear in passing.
Saringallow was founded by a very wealthy and influential family of Chelaxians with the surname "Sarini". Other than that, the town just seems to be a normal place, traders and travelers come in and move through without issue.
Dimple though, knows a bit more. On her way here while enjoying a frosty beverage in a tavern before bed, she heard someone mentioned Saringallow, her planned destination. She plied him with a few drinks and pumped him for information.
The gent apparently lived in town for two years. He said he moved in to open up shop, he was a tanner you see and the area around is well used by trappers. He figured it would be pretty easy to get his business going and he heard a rumor that the current tanner was old and was unable to keep up with growing business. Then he starts railing about all the a%!+&*@s in town, complaining that no one looked at him or said hello as he moved through town. He barely was able to even catch the eye of the shopkeep at the general store to buy basic necessities each day. And when he finally booked an appointment with the local shipping company, they apparently 'had no openings for new work' for the next two years. He had to specially contract with outside merchants at a significantly larger fee just to get his supplies into town. He railed on and on about similar things, but you got a very strong impression that the town does not treat outsiders very well. The stranger ended up closing up shop and moving on after about a year and a half of frustration.
I missed this earlier, there is an alternate option to going straight to one of the locations. You may 'gather information' with a diplomacy check. This, however, will take 1d4 hours to complete so if you chose this option instead, roll the 1d4 as well. Thanks!
"It may behoove us to see if we can find any locals who are inclined to be helpful, and find out what we can about why the rest seem to not be so trusting of outsiders."
"Considering that we ourselves are outsiders, of course. Shall we meet back in a few hours, see what we've learned, and then start investigating these disappearances?"
Diplomacy, gather information: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Hours: 1d4 ⇒ 4
OH great another one who wants to talk to people. "Perhaps we should start at the tavern then?"
With a devious little grin, "A tavern! We have worked up a bit of a thirst. Well, if you insist." <<giggle>>
"Chelaxians? Really? I've not heard good things about that place." remarks the armored man. Groaning at the thought of talking to the townsfolk, he visibly cheers up at the mention of a tavern.
"Now there's an idea I can get behind. Lets grab a drink!"
Asked wife which group Niza would stick with and 'chit-chatting at a bar' wasn't very high on the list of things Niza would enjoy.
The two half-elves and the outgoing gnome head to the bar. Figuring that information might very well be found there, the half-orc and very task oriented gnome follow along. Once at the bar though, it is very quickly determined that merchant with his two caravan guards won't provide much information about the town and the host/bartender/waitress/cook/dishwasher/busser appears to be a tad overworked to just sit down and chat.
Mildly annoyed as their allies settle in for food and drinks, Kasvot and Niza head back out into town with Albis soaring above.
Niza Diplomacy: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (3) - 1 = 2
The three wander around town for a bit, looking for someone willing to chat. Stumbling across an old couple in the park, they are able to ask a few questions about the apprentices.
“Youngsters today are so amiable and carefree with everyone. They aren’t cautious, like we were back in our day. If any of them have done anything other than run off of their own accord, it’s probably because they were too trusting of the wrong person.”
With that little tidbit, they keep asking around. Finally, the two run across a group of peddlers wandering through town selling trinkets. Interrupting their sales pitch, Kasvot shoves the Mayor's letter in their face and they respond with this about the apprentices.
“They seem like they’re all friends. In fact, it’s almost like they run in a pack. One or two of them probably convinced the others to all skip work at once, the lazy kids.”
Four hours have passed and it is now 1300. Where do you all go next? I have 2 votes for Haberdashery.
"Well this was unproductive." grumbles the half-elf as he finishes his drink. "Least the ale wasn't bad."
Glancing towards a sundial out the window, he shrugs. "Guess we could try that Haberdash place." Standing, he heads for the door. "Come now. Let's get this over with so we can find some real work."
'Join the pathfinders, they said. It'll be fun and exciting...yea...sure. Here I am playing truancy officer for a bunch of kids.'
"Haberdash, now that is a funny word. HAberdash, haBERdash, haberDASH, Haberdash! Haber and dash. Why not haber-run or haber-sprint or haber-trot. BYTHESTARSWAITAMINUTE....do they make hats? I LOVE HATS!! Oooh, I think I need a new one. Nothing too fancy, at least not until after we find the missing apprenti..settes. Oh yes! Let's go there. Oh please, please, please. It sounds SO FUN, dontcha think?"
Entering the run down haberdashery you quickly determine one thing, the hats do not look like much. Poorly crafted and stylistically inclined to not be appealing to wear, you can see why this business doesn't appear to see a lot of foot, much less head, traffic.
A male human with a touch of grey in his hair is slowly stitching some cloth together behind the counter. As the door bell rings he looks up briefly with a glimmer of hope in his eyes. That glimmer disappears when he sees the assorted smattering of half-races plus two gnomes flooding into his little shop. He grouches, "what do you all want?"
Noticing Albis he quickly follows his question with the gruff command, "NO ANIMALS! This isn't a barn."
"This isn't a barn."
<<giggle>> "He's funny, everyone knows that barns are for owls."
Dimple seems very disappointed by the lack of fine quality products. Still, she puts on her best smile as she walks up and introduces herself to the haberdasher "Hello. I'm Dimple, and these are my friends. It looked for a moment like you might be expecting someone else. Do you mind if we chat until they get here?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
"We need your help," Kasvot interrupts, giving Niza a glance and hoping she'll take Albis outside. "We've been tasked by the mayor with investigating the disappearances of some young apprentices around town, including your apprentice Betrona. Are you Mr. Pindlion? Do you have a minute to answer some questions to help us find her?" He fishes out the mayor's note and hands it to the haberdasher.
Diplomacy, aid: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
Diplomacy Check = Success w/ the Aid!
He grumbles at the friendly gnome, “It’s that apothecary boy’s fault. He’s a bad influence, that one!”
When Kasvot smooths things over and presents the letter, he sighs, "look, I'm sorry I'm not being helpful. My kid is missing and I just don't know what to do. You're investigating? Good, finally someone is."
He adds, "alright, I'm thinking the ringleaders of whatever is going on with our kids would be Gellion and Nolaria. They tend to get the other apprentices into trouble regularly."
He points out that of course he knew something was coming by adding sternly, "and despite strictly forbidding it, I think my Betrona met with her friends anyway— perhaps in the town’s orchard or graveyard."
He mumbles, "and that if she had only listened to her father, none of this would have happened."
That's about all to get here, you are welcome to continue RP though. Where to next?
|Niza and Albis|
Niza, appreciative of the snarky comment in Albis's favor, offers a half-smile to the other gnome. Glaring at the haberdasher, she takes Albis and leaves the shop. They wait for the others outside the door.
Diplomacy (aid): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Growling, the half-elf assists the others by keeping his mouth shut.
GM Ninja'd me. :-P
Listening to the old man's ramblings half-heartedly, he frowns. "So where did these 'Ring Leaders' work?"
"Well, Liet-Gar, it says here in the Mayor's note that Gellion apprenticed at Pricklenettle's Potions, and Nolaria apprenticed at the temple. Does that sound right to you, Mr. Pindlion?" He thanks the haberdasher and then heads out into the street with the others.
"If Mr. Pindlion thinks that this Gellion and Nolaria are the cause of this, we should focus our investigation there. But let's continue to gather information on the other apprentices first; let's see if their masters feel the same about those two. We can investigate Gellion and Nolaria last." He moves his finger down the list, moving past Gellion's name to stop on Morvinarr Albusin.
"Morvinarr Albusin apprentices at the tavern. Did you learn anything while you were there?" Kasvot looks to Dimple and the half-elves questioningly.
"Oh, right..." he replies with a shrug. "We learned they aren't fond of outsiders and they have a decent ale...but that's about it. If you want to give it a go, feel free. I'll stay outside though to avoid upsetting them anymore."
"So, the Nolaria girl works at the temple and they sometimes meet at the graveyard? Where do they sit?"
Dimple would not think dark, culty things. I do, but she does not.
”No we did not learn much at the tavern. Shall we head to the temple?”
And headed to the temple the group is! (traveling music)
The local temple to Erastil is pretty much the only temple in town. It's also one of the largest and oldest structures. It appears to get a decent amount of foot traffic as well and the doors are wide open on this beautiful warm afternoon. Inside is an obvious worship area with multiple rooms off to the side. You are greeted by a young boy who directs you to the healing ward in the west wing to speak with the head priest, Ildris Ruvarra. He is currently tending to two injured townsfolk who are crying lightly in pain.
He turns his head as you enter, "welcome strangers! May Erastil shine brightly upon you today. How may I help you?"
"Ahh, yes. Father Ruvarra?" Kasvot nods when the priest confirms his name. "I am Kasvot Vaxt; we are all Pathfinders sent to aid in the investigation of your missing apprentices." He hands over the mayor's letter. "So your apprentice Nolaria appears to be among the missing. Can you tell us anything that might help us track her down? What her usual comings and goings might have been, if she socialized with any of the other missing apprentices, anything of the sort will help."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
"Yes, we've been tasked with ensuring they are all ok." grunts the half-elf. "Anything you can share could be beneficial so we can get back to more appropriate work."
Diplomacy (Aid): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
Letting out a low, long whistle, "This is a nice temple. Like, really nice. By the way, are all the priests as cute as you? I mean, is it like a requirement are something?" She looks to the others. "What? He is genuinely handsome. Like pose for a sculpture kinda cute."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
He looks up with a twinge of regret in his eyes and sighs, "it's just frustrating, Nolaria is rarely late. I just know she's in trouble. But without any evidence to assume foul play and with all the work we have in the temple everyday, I just can't run off to try to track her down. It's possible she just ran off to enjoy herself for a couple days, she does tend to bend some rules and stir up trouble on occasion... though it's usually in the pursuit of her duties more than anything. I think sometimes she forgets she is an apprentice and not a seasoned hunter of evil."
He blushes a bit at Dimple's compliment, "thank you ma'am, but I'm happily married."
He continues about his apprentice, "the last I heard is she was going to check out some odd rumors about weird beasts lurking around the graveyard. All I know is she took her pet raven. Please, let me know if you find her."
Where to next?
"Well, this graveyard is looking like a more interesting location moment by moment... anybody care to visit there first? Otherwise, if we keep going down the list we head to Gunty's Hearty Breads."
He looks up from the list. "It's a been a hefty day so far, can't say as I wouldn't mind grabbing a roll or something."
One vote for Gunty's Hearty Breads, but Kasvot wouldn't oppose an early visit to the graveyard if someone wants to push for that.
Graveyard in the DAYTIME?!?! Yes please.
Hmm On the one hand there was a lot in the briefing about exploring all the leads (ie visiting all the apprentice locations) On the otherhand exploring graveyard in daylight does seem good idea
To roll back the curtain a bit, as a player I want to complete investigating the leads before we go anywhere else. However, Kasvot is CN, so I can't make an argument in his voice to follow an orderly procedure, haha.
|Niza and Albis|
"While the graveyard is intriguing, I really think we should continue investigating by going to Gunty's Hearty Breads first."
Sorry for the lack of posting. Been super busy and stressed with family things, but should be getting better now!
The group wanders through town, eventually tracking down the location of the "Hearty Bread" shop. A clean establishment with a good amount of foot traffic in and out, you see several employees and their obvious boss. A grizzled peg-legged male human (carries himself like a war veteran) is grousing out orders to them and they quickly snap to it, including a younger male human who steps up and asks if he can help get anything for you.
The shop itself has a large open air front and uses the street space well to display breads of various types and costs. The only major thing of note is a couple of the younger employees struggling to move a cart with obvious broken wheels out of the street into a side alley.
Diplomacy won't work here, your goal is to impress the boss so he takes time to answer your questions. If you fail miserably, I'll give tips, but I'm looking for certain things while keeping it open to improvisation!
Dimple goes up to the two struggling assistants, "Oh my. Do you need some help, Hun? I could look for a new wheel, or just help you push the cart."
Kasvot looks on as Dimple offers aid to the employees. "Hmmm, I would love to help as well, if I can. I'm afraid my arms and back aren't up to the labor, but I'd be happy to try to help figure out a fix." My cloak is in no shape to help in this dirt either....
He digs into his bag and finds a bar of soap. He applies it to the axle at both ends to try to help the movement of the wheels.
Knowledge (engineering): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4 Untrained, not that it matters with that roll
Dimple takes a closer look at the wheel. "OH, I see the problem. Your dohicky came off the long whatsamajigger." Without waiting for a reply Dimple disappears under the cart. "I think I can just move this here..." A few moments and several unladylike grunts later, she sticks her head out. "I think I got it fixed for now. Give it a go."
Disable Enable Device: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
|Niza and Albis|
Once Dimple gives the go-ahead, Niza gives the cart a pull to see if she can move it.
Strength to move cart: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Kasvot moves over to help oil up the axle's, though he misjudges and puts the soap on the outside instead of the inside where it would help.
Dimple slips underneath the cart, clacking and clanking is heard as she jury rigs things back together. Rolling out, she nods to Niza who stands ready at the lifting end.
Hoisting the cart handles up easily, Niza rolls it right into the alleyway next to the store as directed by the employees. They begin thanking her and the side door opens with a slam. The grizzly boss waves a meaty hand at you all, "well hell, that was awfully nice o' ye all. Get your butts in here and pick out a loaf of bread each as thanks."
He nods to Dimple, "why I had a buddy back in the war who could fix anything he touched, you remind me of him. Nice work." He claps Niza on the back, "heck of a job there lady, way to not let your size step in the way of getting a job done! My employees could learn a thing or tow from ye."
He seems sufficiently impressed.