The group traveled the Lost Coast Road. All roads enter through Magnimar's south side, since the north side contains the port. The Lost Coast Road enters the last gate to the East (the Sandpoint side), into the Alabaster District.
The party spends the day shopping and immersing themselves in the wonders of the City of Monuments, amazed by the offerings and availability of powerful magical items throughout the city. Towards the end of the day they spend a few hours gathering information about the Foxglove townhouse and discover that is located in the same district that they are in.
After about an hour of drinks and asking around, the party finds the location of the Foxglove townhouse and heads there. It's a quaint little three story building that shows no visible light or movement inside, but it's still not quite dark out yet.
How would you like to proceed?
Dorian brushed lint off his new clothes and flashed the ring he recently purchased. It wsa good to be back in a real city again. Of course, there was the bit of trouble he, well, "ran from" is hardly the right term. Perhaps "left to avoid unnecessary complications" would more accurately describe it. Still, he had enough old contacts left to be able to find the Foxglove townhouse, and he led his friends there with more than a little pomp and circumstance. Magnimar was his city after all.
When they arrived at the place, he waved with a flourish. "Here we are, and in good time too. If this place isn't occupied - and it doesn't look to be - then we may just have a free night's stay in the city. Something that doesn't happen often, I assure you."
perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16
Seriously? A DC18 check to notice overgrown grass? Hell, the half-blind old lady down the street can see that. She's probably complained to the HOA several times (a week)
Syrenna yawns "Finally! Civilization! Where's the nearest bar? I'm FAMISHED... in more ways than one.." she smirks.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
Looking around the area, "Um, it looks like this place hasn't been taking care of in awhile.... Maybe we should be on our guard."
She looses the swords in her hilts to ensure that they can be pulled out quickly as she looks around.
Clank Clank Clink!
"Well then, this armor sure is mighty, but its not quiet is it? Nope not one little bit. But look, Don't I just look fabulous?" Nadesico continues with her nonsense chatter as they approach the foxglove house.
perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
"Hrm, I don't notice anything out of the ordinary, and Reisha says its safe, so that's good enough for me. Yes it is! Yes Yes lets go!"
Nadesico draws her sword and newer, stronger shield as she approaches the door and wiggles the handle to get in.
Nadesico finds the door to the townhouse is locked. The group quickly searches their stash of belongings and finds the key recovered from the Skinsaw Man, one that was tarnished iron set with a round opal, does in fact unlock the door.
The front doors open without a squeak or catch, and the foyer beyond is quite well appointed. A Kelish carpet covers the wooden floors and various pieces of art from around the Inner Sea cover the walls. A pair of oaken double doors are closed directly opposite the entry. To the right, another pair of doors is visible one on the north wall, and another on the west. To the east, a set of steps ascends to the next floor of the townhouse.
The interior of the townhouse is surprisingly clean and has a lived-in look. The place lacks the musty, closed in scent you might have been expecting.
Looking around for signs of trouble, the group moves into the house and shuts the door behind them. Just as the door behind the group closes, the double doors at the far end of the foyer open. A lovely young Varisian woman, dark curls bouncing and smile glinting gaily, address someone behind her. "Well look dear, it would appear we have guests for dinner? It's been so long since we've had company over! Why didn't you tell me you invited folks, I would've had the cook prepare enough dinner. As it is, we may only have wine and cheeses to serve."
She turns to address you stepping lithely into the foyer and holding the door open, ushering you inside with a free hand. The room beyond is a fine dining room with a long cherry wood table and well-crafted chairs. A long table runner rests in the middle, and fine bone china is set around the places. "Come in, dear ones. Come in. We were just about to sit down for a bite. We can offer you something, I'm sure."
From the other room a voice calls out, one that you immediately recognize as Aldern Foxglove's. "I invited someone for dinner?"
In a quiet voice, Dorian whispered to his companions "That voice sounds awfully familiar, but I am fairly sure its owner is dead. Well, undead and then dead again. Seems to me that we may have an impostor here."
In a louder voice he called out "Oh yes, it is I, Destrian Manover. Thank you so much for the invitation, Aldern!"
bluff: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (7) + 14 = 21
The voice calls back, "Oh Destrian!"
From around the corner near the varisian woman appears the obnoxious nobleman Lord Aldern Foxglobe. At least, a man who appears to be Lord Foxglove.
He waves to your group "So glad you received the invitation, please come in and have a seat!"
Nadesico's eyes grow wide, a few more drops of red blood dripping down.
"F.. F.. Foxglove? Is that really you?"
She looks onto him with disbelief in her eyes.
sm: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
"But I don't understand how this is possible. And who, who is this, this woman?"
Aldern motions to the beautiful Varisian woman. With a big grin he replies ”Why yes, of course it’s me my catfolk friend! This is my wife Iesha, of course. ‘
Motioning Dorian forward he asks ”Destrian, my friend, please introduce your friends to my wife, it’s been too long!”
"Absolutely. My lady, I am Destrian Manover, as Aldern has no doubt made clear. These are my boon companions, Jasmine Heartlove, Sander Osgood, Haeshimuri Itai, Molly O'Fisher, and of course the lovely Angelica D'Claw."
Dorian indicated Syrenna, Vanny, Reishia, Trenna, and Nadesico in turn, then laughed a bit.
"No, of course that was my little joke. She has most certainly not been declawed...but since she refuses to tell us her surname, I get to have fun with it. It is our pleasure to meet you, Lady Iesha, and may I say that you are looking remarkably vibrant and alive this evening?"
After laughing at his cat joke, Iesha smiles broadly and turns to Aldern "I like him, he should be invited for dinner more often! Come Destrian, bring you friends and have a seat!"
She and Aldern both disappear around the corner to the south where you hear dishes being placed on a table. She calls out "You're just in time!" Aldern laughs, "Destrian is usually late, so this is quite a pleasant surprise indeed."
"Sander eh...well I suppose I've been called worse." Vanny looks atDestrian and then focuses his gaze back on Aldern.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 1 + 4 = 19
Vanny then leans in closer to Nadesico and whispers, "Hey cat, if you play your cards right maybe you can pick up another wedding dress eh. That last one fetched a pretty good price y'know. This is assuming our good buddy here doesn't start sloughing off his flesh in the next 5 mins." Vanny chuckles then straightens back up.
Nadesico yells out"Just a minute" before turning to her party and engaging her "whisper mode".
"So no no, this cant be right. Either he is not Aldern, or the other Aldern was not Aldern, but he does not even know our real names! EEEEKK Guys! Be on your guard! Guys? Guys! nnnnnnnnnngggggg!" She starts making weird noises before turning back to aldern and approaching the table, with her sword and shield drawn.
"Oh don't mind me, see I just got this upgraded. I like to show it off. Isn't it pretty? Yes? Yes!"
Seeing the cat draw her weapon she does the same. Hanging back Reina chants a bit.
"Eeek a Rat!"
As an image of a large rat appears, runs into the room and up the lady Iesha's dress.
Cast Prestidigitation for the rat
When Nadesico moves towards the kitchen with her weapon drawn, Iesha moves to the other side of the room from Aldern and lets Nadeisco into the middle of the room. The two Foxgloves look at each other and Aldern calls out "Rat indeed! Destrian! What is this, you devil! Iesha, quickly! Defend yourself!" He moves out of the doorway as Iesha moves up with him and it becomes quite apparently that combat is inevitable.
Aldern and Iesha just so happened to be wearing masterfully crafted longswords that both of them now draw. Iesha looks to Nadesico menacingly and shouts "You dare to bring trouble to MY HOME! FLOOZY!"
R1: Nadesico, Dorian, Reisha, Foxgloves, Vanny, Syrenna
Init: Nadesico: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Init: Trenna: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Init: Vanny: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Init: Reishia: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Init: Dorian: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
Init: Syrenna: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Init: Baddies: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
"Your home? Lady I don't know who or what you are, but if you are the real Iesha Aldern, I'll eat the cat!"
Dorian stepped to the side and unlimbered his scorpion whip. The snap in the confined space is loud as he flicks it towards the Iesha look-alike, aiming for her legs.
trip: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
Seeing the cat blocked off and hostilities begin she chants and moves in towards 'Aldern'
Shocking grasp, spell strike
hit: 1d20 + 11 + 2 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 11 + 2 + 3 = 35 (base, flank, +3 if he's wearing/using anything metal)
confirm: 1d20 + 11 + 2 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 11 + 2 + 3 = 22
dmg: 1d6 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
crit: 1d6 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
shocking grasp: 5d6 ⇒ (3, 5, 2, 1, 2) = 13
grasp crit: 5d6 ⇒ (1, 5, 1, 4, 5) = 16
normal dmg: 12 piercing, 13 electricity, 25 total.
crit dmg: 24 piercing, 29 electricity, 53 total.
Iesha flips backwards as she looses her footing, falling to the ground. She screams out in surprise and fury as Reisha's attack electrifies and pierces her dear loving husband Aldern's heart. He collapses to the ground in a blackened and charred bloody mess.
Aldern is dead. Cat is up.
"Eeeeek!!!! I said be on guard! Not electrify!"
Nadesico drops her sword and rushes to 'aldern'. "We dont know yet whats going on!!!"
She furiously attempts to keep him stabilized.
Round 1 action: She tries to cast stabilize on the 'Aldern'
Nadesico's spell has no affect on the dead Aldern, no signs of life return.
Iesha drops all pretense of being Iesha. Longsword in hand she strides up to Reishia and stabs her with her longsword. As she does so, the bones under her skin begin to contort and twist in extremely unnatural and painful ways, a gasp of pain escaping her body. Within seconds, the beautiful Varisan woman has transformed into a hairless, leathery biped with a face dominated by grotesque and unsettling whorls and slits instead of actual features.
The disgusting creature buries its sword into Reishia's chest, inflicting moderate damage (8 damage).
Vanny, Syrenna, Nadesico, Dorian, Reisha are up.
Damage: 1d8 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 4 + 2 = 8
1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 8 + 2 = 18
Seeing "aldern's" "wife" transform before her eyes, Nadesico shrieks, yet again "Wahhhh! I don't know what to believe anymore!"
She picks up her sword steps behind the crazy leathery creature and swings wildly, while at the same time crying uncontrollably.
"What did you do with Aldern you crazy twisted creature!"
atk w/longsword, +flank: 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 9 + 2 = 19
dmg: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
The whirlwind of commotion flies about her as she comes to her senses, seeing "Aldern" on the floor, and the cat with a sword sticking out of her, she immediately flies into action!
To Hit MH#1: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
To Hit MH#2: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
To Hit OH: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
Crit Confirm MH#1: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
Damage MH#1: 1d8 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Crit Bonus Damage MH#1: 1d8 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Damage OH: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
The ugly creature drops to the ground, totally unprepared for the massive beating the party delivered to it and dead Aldern.
Dead Aldern and the creature both were wielding masterwork longswords. A quick search of the remainder of the house finds that it is covered in dusty and shows that it hasn't been used in months, if not longer. Almost all of the contents of the house are missing, their empty spots noticeable due to the dust around where the furniture or item used to be.
Exploring upstairs, Vanny finds a secret cache hidden in the fireplace mantel on the third floor. This mantel is decorated with two roaring lion heads at either end a lock hidden in the throat of one of the lions. Using a lion key you found on Aldern's body back in the Foxglove manor, the cache opens up. Inside is a bag of 200 pp along with a shallow wooden case containing a number of legal papers pertaining to the townhouse, as well as the deed to Foxglove Manor. The deed indicates that the Foxglove family only financed two -thirds of the manor's construction 80 years ago; the remainder was financed by a group called the Brothers of the Seven. The deed also bears an unusual clause near the end that indicates that after 100 years, ownership of Foxglove Manor and the lands within a mile "around and below" reverts to the brothers.
Under the case is a thin ledger-the majority of the entries are mundane, but several near the end should catch your attention. A dozen entries from over the past 3 months labeled as "Iesha's Trip to Absalom," each indicating Foxglove was paying someone referred to as "B-7" 200 gp a week for her "trip," dropping off the payment every Oathday at midnight at a place
called "the Seven's Sawmill."
Nadesico lets out a few sniffles before attempting to pull herself together. "I am sorry dear friend Reishia. Everything happened so fast! I did not know what to expect. Please, let torag ease your suffering."
She reaches out lay of hands to ease Reishia's wounds.
loh: 1d6 ⇒ 5
K. Local: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Dorian left the dead bodies to search the rest of the house. Along with Vanny, he found the hidden cache and eagerly perused the documents. He recognized the sawmill reference and pointed out to the others the significance and location.
"Looks like our next stop for clues is the sawmill. Did anyone find a key to the manor on those two? It might be nice to have a local, secure base of operations while we are here."
Off to the mill!
Vanny checks out the deeds and ledgers.
"I always knew Aldern was a bit daft but I can see it runs in the Family. This Voren fellow paid 66% to only have this manor for 100 years, though I suppose it's not his problem anymore when the time is up. I wonder why they would want everything 1 mile beneath this manor as well.." Vanny muses out loud.
Local: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
Vanny puts the papers back into the box and says "Well looks like we can either try and snoop around the manor to see if there's anything underground, follow up with these 'Brothers of Seven' at their sawmill, or see who this mysterious 'B-7' is." Vanny scratches his head.
What the heck were we doing at Foxglove manor again??
Both Dorian and Vanny are able to recall what this creature is, it's called aberration called a faceless stalker. They are shape shifters that typically are used as spies or assassins. They typically grapple their opponents and use their hollow tongue to drain the blood from their victims.
Clarification on locations. You are in the Foxglove townhouse which is located in the metropolis of Magnimar. Magnimar is two days south of the town of Sandpoint. In between the two is the Foxglove manor, a sprawling three story mansion with a huge cavern below it (the haunted house you killed the other soon to be lich Aldern in).
"Halt! Nope. No way. Sorry team, but we can't go just yet. We need to know for sure if this is truly Aldern, or another mimic of sorts. Now I know this thing did not know our names - but maybe that is because it is really Aldern, and he just never met us, and we have been led astray by the mimic in Sandstorm!
Does anyone have any way of identifying this? We must try, please. If we just killed an innocent man, we all have some praying to do before we leave this place."
Nadesico reaches her hand onto dead Aldern and casts "detect evil".
"If this is just another mimic, we can be on our way, otherwise, we need to bury this man."
K: dungeon 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30
"Huh these things? Faceless huh. I don't remember exactly, maybe if we sever a limb it'll revert."
Picking up his longsword she hacks an arm off 'Aldren' seeing if it'll revert.
"Weren't you listening? Vanny and I already discussed this. Those creatures are faceless stalkers. It's a mimic of sorts. I don't know what they were doing here, or why, but I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that they are not Aldern Foxglove, nor are the the Aldern you met in Sandpoint."
While the party is discussing what to do and where to go next, there is a loud pounding of feet coming from the front of the house. The party looks up and takes note of eight heavily armored city watch officers at the entrance. Some are equipment with melee weapons, some are pointing crossbows at you and two in the rear have wands in there hands and are donning robes that signify them as casters.
In a deep voice one of the two forward guards calls out to you "CITY WATCH! Lay down your weapons, magical possessions and gear on the floor! Make any movement or attempts to cast spells and we will be forced to attack. You have five seconds to comply!"
diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (16) + 14 = 30
Dorian moves to the front of the group, obviously laying his rapier to the ground and setting his whip on top of it.
"Gentlemen, please. There is no reason to be upset here. We simply came to check on the townhouse of a friend. When we arrived, we found two shapeshifters that had taken on the appearance of our good friend the Lord Aldern Foxglove, and were busy doing who knows what to his good name here in the city while Lord Aldern was on a hunting trip up near Sandpoint. When confronted, the shapeshifters attacked. How the five of us prevailed against such a threat, I have no idea, but we managed. I do thank you for hastening to our aid, however. If we had not been so lucky, I fear that you would definitely have needed to intervene on our behalf. May I ask your name and rank so that I may pass commendations on to the Mayor?"
The guard looks past Dorian, further into the house as he tries to reconcile what the archaeologist just told him with other information he had. Clearly expecting a confrontation, he lowers his weapon and looks back at his men to put them at ease. "It's alright, stand down. "
Turning back to Dorian he nods "Commander Fargraves."
He walks slowly forward to look at the gruesome scene ahead. "Disgusting beast. I'm amazed you managed to take it down so easily." He scans the party looking for those in need of medical attention. " None of you are even injured?"
When he spies the body of Aldern, he looks back at Dorian. "Did you kill him or did it?"
diploacy: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (7) + 14 = 21
"Commander Fargraves, it is most assuredly a pleasure to met you. As for me killing the creature, heavens no. I'm a lover, not a fighter. I just tripped the one threatening my friend over there, after that creature attacked. Like I said, we were very lucky."
"Hmmm. Indeed." he says as he surveys the scene one more time. He waves his men in and orders them to get the bodies and take them back to Arvensoar. He calls over one of the mages who casts a spell that cures all of Reishia's wounds. "There you go! Good as new young lady."
Turning back to the party he states "I'm going to need you lot to come with me to Arvensoar. I'm under order by the Justices to bring any and all related individuals back for questioning with regards to the happenings of the cult. Shouldn't take but an hour or so and then you'll be free to go."