PFS Sanctioned Module: Gallows of Madness
There are three parts, with a chronicle sheet for each and a fourth for PCs that complete all three chapters. Part 1 is for PCs levels 1-3.
The Abyss approaches!
Something wicked—and monstrous—stirs around the rugged Isgeri town of Saringallow, where the hated legacy of noble Chelish diabolists runs deep. With the recent disappearance of several apprentices, the nearby menace of particularly grotesque goblins, and the unsettling rumors about the old Sarini Estate, Mayor Sandra Trinelli knows that she needs help, and she needs it fast! The heroes must confront one of these crises, or all three, if they hope to stem the tide of darkness that looms. Before too long, the heroes discover that villains with ties to the Abyss have set their sights on Saringallow, and won't rest until the settlement and all its innocent inhabitants fall victim to their madness-inducing predations!
Gallows of Madness is a 64-page, highly versatile collection of three adventures for 1st-level characters. Each adventure also includes scaling information for parties of 2nd-level characters. Written with beginning Game Masters and players in mind while also providing challenging content for veterans, these adventures can be prepared quickly and run separately or in any order. For GMs who wish to run a deeper, more narrative game, this volume also offers an overarching timeline of events and detailed tips for running these adventures as a cohesive whole. Bonus content includes new monstrous foes and a gallery of NPCs to help easily connect the adventures, plus a gorgeous double-sided poster featuring an overview of Saringallow and a miniatures-scale battlemap!
Players can expect to reach at least 4th level upon completion of this adventure.
This is a closed campaign.
Instructions: Once you have been accepted into the party by the GM, please "ninja-dot" here in order to enter this scenario into the list of your campaign threads.
PbP TIP: To "ninja-dot," post on this thread, and immediately afterword, delete the post. Why? To keep the campaign thread clear of unnecessary clutter. Clutter belongs on the discussion thread, instead.
The Pathfinder Society has dispatched you to the Isgeri town of Saringallow in response to a discreet call for help from Mayor Sandra Trinelli. She meets with you in her office on the ground floor of Saringallow’s town hall.
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 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.
"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?"
|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
Inwardly Annea's excitement about the prospects of fame, fortune and real first 'adventure' nearly overtake her... she does her best to maintains her composure, but her excitement is transparent to anyone who can make contact with her eyes- which gleam like two pieces of smoky quartz.
"By all means YES!", then slowing her speech and lowering her tone, "Yes, I would be willing to help you uncover whatever the source of the 'vermin' trouble might be...but I do have a few questions before we set off."
Rising from her chair, Annea moves towards the mayor and asks a series of questions, based largely on her own experience and upbringing.
"Good Mayor, you keep using the term 'apprentice' very deliberately. Why so? Are they students of a particular trade or craft? Is there some magic, or alchemical process that could explain these 'larger than normal vermin' or RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE?"
"As for my fellow Pathfinders, I am sure they will have some questions of their own, but they must forgive me if I forget someone's particular specialty or place of origin... we have only had the briefest of introductions."
Annea remains standing as she waits for Mayor Trinelli to answer.
I wonder what could make a normal bug become gigantic? Has this ever happened before in this region? Could this have an extra-planer or magical link? This is definitely something the Druids of the Green Faith might want to know about in addition to the Pathfinder Society.
Knowledge (Arcana): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Knowledge (History): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
Knowledge (Nature): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Knowledge (Planes): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
|Tyndyn Annea's Familiar-Hawk|
As Annea finishes her opening statements, Tyndyn flaps his wings as if he is attempting to non-verbally signal the importance of his 'Lady's' questions.
"I'd handle this investigation myself, but you can see how busy I am." Mayor Trinelli gestures to the mess of documents around her. "And if I were to step away, my absence would soon become obvious. On top of that, I’d have to involve a least a small contingent of the guard—they’re a talkative lot who would no doubt reveal the nature of my inquiries. You see how my hands are tied. I need help, preferably outside help. You seem like the perfect candidates."
Mayor Sandra Trinelli points to the letter she gave you.
"Showing the letter to any of the apprentices’ masters should help garner their cooperation. Additionally, the letter will earn you favorable terms at Saringallow’s Sundries for basic equipment you may need during your mission."
The letter grants a +3 bonus on any skill checks or ability checks made while interacting with them, as well as a 10% discount at Saringallow’s Sundries, the town’s cooperative general store, for any nonmagical items or weapons.
The mayor turns to Annea, "The missing are all apprentices, I assure you. I suggest you acquaint yourself with the town first and its people first. The apothecary’s shop, the temple of Erastil, the baker’s shop, the cobbler’s shop, the haberdashery, and the tavern would seem to be particularly relevant."
"Magic causing the rumored vermin monsters?" She shakes her head. "I doubt it. Most citizens of Saringallow are deeply suspicious of magic, especially witchcraft and evil divine magic, though some admit that certain kinds of arcane magic have their merits. In general, though, they see the practice of magic as an invitation to outside forces that cannot be controlled. Practitioners of arcane magic are generally tolerated, if distrusted, but anyone with any ties to witchcraft or evil divine magic is unwelcome within the town’s walls."
"On the other hand, the townspeople view alchemy as a practical trade, and they see divine spellcasters of good-aligned deities as holy protectors. Therefore, the town has a few bustling alchemy shops, and Saringallow’s temple to Erastil supports a burgeoning congregation."
"That's why I've asked you to investigate." She shrugs. "Perhaps your colleagues also have questions?"
|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
Towards the back of the room stood the fidgeyest of fidgey human-sized rodents. A hooded ratfolk whose nose peeked past her cloak's opening flashed her eyes upon Mayor Trinelli and the boarish Varisian woman. She took out an hourglass and held it in front of her mirror-like black eyes, watching the sand drop in 30 seconds. And twisted it again as she idly listened. It helped her relax.
Nicodemus had a nondescript spellbook unusually holstered on a pouch hanging around her waist, not unlike a gunslinger's pistol. Her cloak was plain black with lengths of brown twine outlining it, and she wore nothing more than a black shirt and black boots. Other than her sandy fur, she was but a black outline with black eyes.
The ratfolk nervously stepped forward. "Um... Hello...?" Her voice was soft and pleasant. "Over..oversized rodents? What do you mean? I'm sorry, I'm just here to help." She sighs, and twitches horribly, twisting the hourglass again. "My name is Nicodemus. I just joined the Pathfinder Society, and I was hoping I could use my talents to aid you here, Miss Mayor. D-do you have any suggestions on who to visit first?"
|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
A soft whispering of leaves and the sound of something coarse scraping against wood chair is enough to draw one's attention to the funny little creature that currently sits in one of the chairs. It's about the size of a halfling that seems to be made entirely of vines and leaves, twisted into a humanoid shape. An especially large cluster of leaves forms a rudimentary face, with two round eyes, a small hole for a mouth, and no nose to speak of. Framing its face are several daisies, twisted into the vines and leaves of its body, bobbing gently with each of the creature's movements. Though it wears no clothes to speak of besides a small lamellar cuirass, a backpack rests on the floor next to the chair and a longspear is propped in the nearby corner.
"Missing fleshies and big bugs?" the vine-creature repeats in a high-pitched voice. "Some bugs eat anything they can catch, so if the bugs get bigger then so do the things they might try to eat."
A pause. "That would be very scary to a fleshy person. So we won't talk about big bugs eating fleshies until we have a sure answer," it nods.
"Oh. Today I'm Soddy Daisy," the little plant adds, growing a little more animated as she speaks. "Maybe tomorrow I'll pick a different name but Soddy Daisy is who I am today! Poffis said that fleshy persons usually don't change their names but I don't know why."
|Equinius 'Quinn' Bikakpu'unde|
|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
Quickly rising from his chair a very young man of mixed Mwangi heritage goes from a wide eyed youth taking in this new environment to serious and focused teenager giving all his attention to the mayor.
“Thanks for the invitation Mayor Trinelli rest assured I will help find these missing apprentices. Oh, and please call me Quinn. I have seen similar problems in my home city of Katapesh, and I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions?”
Quinn waits patiently for the mayor to nod at him to continue
“Knowing the youth of today, I was wondering if any traveling entertainers have been seen in the area?” I wonder if these kids are chasing these traveling minstrels, becoming enamored with their rock star lifestyles?
”Many people on the streets of Katapesh have lost themselves to drugs, and with a strong alchemical economy have your heard any rumors of something like this happening?” It would be so easy for these kids to get their hands on illicit substances, well not as easy as it was back home.
”One final questions, were these apprentices known to share company with each other? Were they friends or did they not have any social contact with each other?
While not writing any answers down the mayor might give, you none the less get the impression that this kid is serious about helping these missing apprentices. The gleam in his eye when the incentive was mentioned seems to indicate that he might be doubly motivated.
”My parents…” a short sigh… "and I used to run a small zoo, and while we didn’t have any insect exhibits, perhaps I can also help you with any large vermin problems this town is experiencing.”
Knowledge (Nature):: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Another chair in the cozy confines of the mayor's office was occupied by a man austere in his attire. Dressed in a simple beige cotton shirt, a dark brown pair of wool britches, a dark green cloak, and a pair of moccasins, his expression conveyed a calm, placid demeanor as his gray eyes swept to each person in the room as they spoke in turn. Pale skinned with sandy blonde hair that covered the elven features of his mixed heritage, Bellisir wasn't aware that his simplistic way seemed to differentiate him from the others who were fantastic in appearance or that wore the trappings that marked them as adventurers or mercenaries. Compared to the others in the room, he looked the part of the storied everyman.
He slowly brought his hands together. His thumbs and fingers made gentle contact with their counterparts on the opposing hand almost as if he were half-folding his hands in prayer, a sign that his brain was in high gear.
"A drop of water on top of a snow covered hill," he suddenly spoke in a subtle but firm voice conveying a hint of wisdom beyond his years. "It is just a drop of water. Yet when gravity bends that drop to its will, it collects particles of snow upon its journey and it grows in size and becomes a major force."
He turns his gaze toward Sandra. "I am Bellisir. And we are Pathfinders. We will help you. You fear how the news of these disappearances and the sightings of what currently cannot be explained will affect your fellow citizens. This is why you have asked us to be wary in our investigations. Is there a threat we should be wary of as we make our inquiries?"
Clinking of a chain shirt, almost too big for the little gnome, rings out as the gnome dusts himself off before saying to the mayor, "Well, we would love to take a look around, provided that the townsfolk will be cooperative to our investigation, yes?" His loud orange hair was in a mess, as he waves his hand to use the force to brush it.
He is a short little gnome, but his hair matches his spirit, full of life and excitement. From the looks, his Force is his telekinetic prowess that comes from his natural affinity with it.
He then looked to his compatriots and said, "Wonderful to meet you all. And may the Force be with you!"
I have played this before, so I will try and be a cannon that the party uses.
Annea welcomes Kyklonas and smiles at his name... having seen its obscure meaning in some ancient tome from some distant realm where all the building are painted blue and white.
"A MASTER of wind? That should prove most useful."
Annea turns to the group, "I must confess, as a practitioner of the sacred arts of nature, I am worried that these people will simply mistake me for a diabolical devotee of the dark arts... so if anyone asks, my profession is herbalist." Annea gives the group a wink and a smile.
Soddy reaches over and up, tugging on Annea's sleeve.
"I make things; Poffis always says I'm good at it. You can say you're my student if anyone asks you questions!"
She then turns her attention to Kyklonas. "You make the wind blow? Then you must be very powerful," she remarks, sounding rather awed. "Seeds get carried on the wind - real seeds and idea seeds. They land and then they sprout; they take water and care in order to grow big and strong but they wouldn't get anywhere in the first place without the wind."
The leshy then turns to Bellisir and cocks her head to one side, pondering his words. "I haven't met many fleshies that talk like you do. I like it."
Annea gives a warm and heart-felt smile at Soddy, "Yes, you are the Master and I am your student... I am sure there is much I can learn from you my friend."
Annea addresses the group as a whole, "I have been blessed by the Spirits of Nature with the abilities to heal wounds- as well as having been taught a few basic spells by the Druids and worshipers of the Old Faith. I hope they will prove useful to us all."
Bellisir turns to look at Soddy-Daisy. "I try to measure my words carefully so that they might impart wisdom to those who hear them as my teacher has done before me. And I have never met one such as yourself before but what lies within is the true measure of one's worth."
He turns and addresses the others. "Do not let my outward appearance put you at unease. I do not wish for conflict, but should it find us, I am capable of defending myself."
He looks around and tries to get a good look at his compatriots, mostly if they have heavy armor on... If not he will start to look around and messing with little things in the Mayor's office.
Soddy nods and points to what look like several small seedpods that hang from her small form. "I can defend myself too. When things get dangerous I can throw my seedpods. They hurt and sometimes do different things, like make a loud noise when they pop or kick up a cloud of spores. Lots of fleshy things don't like loud noise or spores in their eyes!"
"I.. That sounds kind of scary," Nicodemus looks down at the ends of her boots. "How do you stop the spores from getting everywhere? What if they get in your friends' eyes instead?" She flips her hourglass once more as she speaks.
|Equinius 'Quinn' Bikakpu'unde|
”I was trained by my…” a small sigh ”father who is a druid that can shape shift into many sorts of animals. While I am not as proficient as he is I am able to grow claws which are perfectly serviceable for any conflict which may arise, but it does prevent me from wearing any armor. One neat trick I have though is the ability to stretch my arms which allows me to reach foes fairly far away.”
After a short pause, and a not so circumspect glance at Bellisir the young man continues.
”While I have gone through my manhood trials, I do know my experience is much less than most of you, so I will follow your lead.”
I hope they don't mind that I have only seen 15 years of life, they all look so grown up!
Quinn then points to Bellisir Reycyne and gives him a humble nod of his head.
"Oh, the spores are small and don't really travel far," Soddy replies. "It's just like a burst of pollen in the eyes and then that's it! Don't worry, I won't throw any seedpods at any of you."
And then turning to Equinius she asks, completely serious, "What's a manhood trial?"
With Soddy's naive question, Annea can't help but make a joke at Quinn's expense.
"Oh, Soddy, it is like everything MEN are overly concerned about. Some MANHOOD TRIALS are definitely LARGER than others. But regardless, THEY all think their's is the BIGGEST!"
And with that Annea breaks out into a fit of laughter.
Soddy cocks her head to one side, clearly still puzzled by Annea's explanation. "Manhood trials come in many shapes and sizes, then," she repeats. "I see. Trials are usually hard, too, or else fleshies wouldn't call them trials, right?"
The leshy trundles over to Quinn and pats his knee. "I am glad that your manhood trial is over and I hope that it wasn't too hard."
"The journey that we're about to embark on here in Saringallow will only be the first of many steps in a road of trials," Bellisir speaks in a calm voice. "Trials that I am sure will test manhood, womanhood...and planthood," he says as his eyes fall on Quinn, Annea, and Soddy.
|Equinius 'Quinn' Bikakpu'unde|
A redness briefly appears in Quinn’s face in response to Annea’s comments perhaps, but before you can determine if embarrassment or anger caused it, the redness fades. After a brief silence Quinn turns to face Bellisir.
“Yes, Bellisir, the trials ahead of us will indeed test us.” Quinn states with a firm voice ”Gozreh does like to test his people in the hopes that they grow and perhaps evolve so they can better handle life’s challenges.”
Mayor Sandra Trinelli regards the ratfolk Pathfinder. "I've no idea what sort of vermin these creatures might be, if they truly exist. Perhaps someone of your, em, heritage, Nicodemus Grimslayer, would be well-suited to determine their nature, if indeed they're rodents."
"Where to begin? Once you've had a chance to get to know our fair town, you could start by visiting the apothecary’s shop, the temple of Erastil, the baker’s shop, the cobbler’s shop, the haberdashery, and the tavern."
The mayor greets Soddy Daisy, her first encounter with a leshy.
Then she responds to the Mwangi man. "Itinerant performers skilled enough to lure away impressionable youth? I'm a poor judge of such talent, but I think not. Drugs and other intoxicants? They can be a scourge anywhere, and Saringallow's no exception, but I don't think that's the cause of the reported disappearance. Acquainted with one another? The missing apprentices likely knew each other; this is a small town." She gives Quinn a blank look at the mention of his family's menagerie.
She turns to the half-elf, "I'm aware of no specific threat, Bellisir Reycyne. The people of Saringallow are suspicious of outsiders, and they wouldn't hesitate to tell me if they had encountered one."
In response to Kyklónas, the mayor replies, "The letter I gave you should assure anyone who doubts your authority as my agents in the investigation."
She rises, escorting you to the door.
"Well, if you have no other questions at present, I'll leave you to your investigation. Please, stop by my office at least once a day to keep my apprised of your progress."
Another post follows...
Heeding the advice of Mayor Sandra Trinelli, you spend some time gathering information from the townsfolk about the town’s apprentices, before you visit any of the specific locations she mentioned.
"O-okay. Thank you, Miss Mayor," Nicodemus nervously leans forward to bow. "Um, do you mind if I follow you through town? I'm not so good with people," the ratfolk looks to Soddy and Bellisir, twitching as she steps outside the office and into the town.
Diplomacy to Gather Info: 1d20 ⇒ 15
Once the party approaches the merchant's square, Nicodemus looks from behind the others as two older men playing dice provide some information. She repeats what she hears. "So, they said youngsters today are so amiable and carefree with everyone. ... They aren’t cautious," She pauses.
Well.. that just proves that everyone should really be more cautious in all situations, at any time, for any reason at all...
"... Like they were back in their day. If any of the youth have done anything other than run off of their own accord, it’s probably because they were too trusting of the wrong person." Nicodemus casts an uneasy look at everyone else in the party.
Bellisir gives a respectful nod to Mayor Trinelli before departing with the rest of his teammates. He is silent and thoughtful as they head into the town proper.
In order to see the new green grass of springs, one must first turn over the old leaves of yesteryear's fall. Time to seek knowledge related to our tasks ahead of us.
Diplomacy (Gather Information): 1d20 ⇒ 12
Bellisir makes passing conversation with the townsfolk as they pass by. He's not able to discern anything that would be remotely helpful, but picks up a couple of tips on sowing wheat for a bountiful harvest and a new saying.
To everything there is a season
Soddy looks up at Nicodemus and nods.
"Follow in a row like ducklings, so we don't get lost," she agrees. "At least until we know the lay of the land better."
Either unaware or uncaring of the strange looks she garners from the people of Saringallow, Soddy bounces around from person to person as they amble along the town's streets, tugging at sleeves to get their attention.
"Hellooo! I'm Soddy Daisy and I like your town. What sort of news has been passing through the grapevine today?"
Diplomacy (Gather Information): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
But much like Bellisir she doesn't turn up anything especially useful or relevant to the task at hand.
"That fleshy man over there started talking about spirits when I said hello to him," she remarks as she rejoins the others. "He said he needed to cut back on them. But I thought spirits lived in the land and the air and the earth; what would a fleshy cut on a spirit?"
|Equinius 'Quinn' Bikakpu'unde|
After a quick glance at the monk, Quinn follows suit and gives the mayor a respectful nod.
”Thank you Mayor Trinelli. As you wish to meet daily do discuss our progress, we will see you tomorrow noon if that is okay with you?”
Quinn follows the party through town hoping to pick up some information about the missing apprentices.
Diplomacy (Gather Information):: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (12) - 1 = 11
Alas, too much time was spent around animals for Quinn to be of much help with human interactions, but he feels confident his new friends will be much more successful.
Annea enjoys seeing new places, but knows that her rustic Varisian attire does tend to attract attention, so she keeps her enthusiasm in check for the time being.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
"Hello... how are you today? Beautiful day out isn't it? Oh my those are some fabulous baked goods you are selling... can I buy one of the chocolate ones?"
After picking up a few bits of gossip.
"It appears that some of the townsfolk feel that the 'youngsters' in town are far too trusting with outsiders and there does appear to have been some new faces in town. What is for certain is that all of the people we are looking for are friends and were known to associate with each other."
Turning to her companions-
"So where do you want to start? The temple of Erastil sounds rather boring... how about the bakery or the tavern?"
|Tyndyn Annea's Familiar-Hawk|
Tyndyn will remain alert for any signs of danger- his head bobbing back and forth as he travels from Annea's arm to a rooftop, then to a fly a circle round the town, then back to rooftop before returning to rest for a while with his 'human'.
Perception: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (17) + 14 = 31
"Fleshies like to go to taverns so that is where we should start first," Soddy suggests. "Maybe some of them will be more willing to talk to us there!"
Before Tyndyn flies off in search of potential danger (or a pigeon with loose morals), the bird of prey pecks at the copy of the letter from the mayor sticking out of Annea's leggings, a not-so-subtle reminder of the assistance the official document can provide the investigators.
Thank goodness, too, because it proves just enough to encourage the wary villagers to be more cooperative and forthcoming.
Two old folks playing dice near Merchant’s Square ruminate about the town’s younger generation, including 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."
Striking out on her own, while Tyndyn conducts some aerial reconnaissance, Annea encounters a group of peddlers scurrying through the streets, who know many of the apprentices, if only in passing. "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."
On her way back to rejoin the group, Annea strikes up a conversation with a crowd of trade workers closely acquainted with Majara Pricknettle, the town’s apothecary, from whom they often purchase home remedies and other supplies. "Most of the shop owners see their apprentices like workers-in-training. Majara, though, she’s different. She tries to hide it, but that apprentice boy of hers is more like a son to the gnome. I don’t think I’ve ever heard her raise her voice to him."
(Where to next? Mayor Sandra Trinelli suggested visiting the apothecary’s shop, the temple of Erastil, the baker’s shop, the cobbler’s shop, the haberdashery, and the tavern. Rule of Two in effect.)
"O-oh. But maybe this Majara might know more since she has a closer relationship, you know..." Nic mumbles. "So.. so.. how about the tavern first, and then the apothecary?"
Annea starts off in the direction of the tavern...or where she believes the tavern should be.
"On such a hot day... all this walking has me just parched... I need a nice tankard of ale to clear the dust out of my throat... Are you all coming?" As she starts off, she give wink and smile to the group.
A sign depicting a dark-haired figure burning at the stake hangs over the door of this building.
Inside, you're greeted with the smell of what must be phenomenal food and a scowl from the imposing proprietor of the Witch’s End Tavern. Hands on her hips, she stands well over 6 feet tall, watching you like a swarm of flies trying to sneak into her kitchen.
Hanging on the walls above the bar and tables are a number of charcoal drawings, sketches and paintings of local landscapes, buildings, and people.
"Alcie Kruptin, owner, and now the cook and bouncer, too." Her grip tightens on the iron skillet in her right hand. "Who in the Nine Hells are you, strangers? You here to eat or to cause trouble?"
Knowledge (Local): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
Nicodemus ducks her head into her cloak. "Oh.. Sorry.. We were just looking to ask some questions about the missing apprentices. Have you heard anything?"
Sense Motive (DC 20): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
Bluff (DC 18): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
"Hello Alcie Kruptin, owner, and now the cook and bouncer, too," Soddy repeats, having to crane her neck more than some of the others to make sure she gets a good look at the grumpy proprietor. "Today I'm Soddy Daisy. Tomorrow my name might be different but Soddy Daisy is who I am today."
"That is a lot of jobs you have and that must be hard and you must be very busy and so we won't stay too long. We're looking for the missing sprouts and Mayor Trinelli said it was okay. She gave us a letter if you want to look at it."
Soddy tugs at Annea's sleeve.
"Show her the letter, please?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
|Equinius 'Quinn' Bikakpu'unde|
|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
Hmm, I wonder why a tavern is so wary of strangers? I bet they know something!
Sense Motive:: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
“Greetings Alcie, please call me Quinn.” Quinn offers a sufficiently deep bow to a property owner and a quick smile. In a soft voice so as to be heard only by Alcie, Quinn continues. ”My friends and I have been asked by the Mayor to look into the disappearance of a few apprentices. The letter that Annea carries is from the Mayor and requests cooperation.”
Annea is visible shaken by the tavern sign's violent nature... which in a few moments turns to something more passively aggressive as she places her hand on her hips and brings herself up to her full 5'6" of height.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Knowledge (History): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
Intimidate: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
At Soddy's urging, Annea produces the letter.
"Here you go... and I am sure we will be needing some food and drinks as well."
Annea flips her hair in an obviously dramatic fashion before she continues, "This letter pretty much explains that we are working for the Mayor and have her full support."
"Missing apprentices? What's it to you rat-man?" a cranky Alcie Kruptin retorts.
"Outlander minions of the mayor, eh?" the woman says. Then, when Soddy Daisy and Quinn mention a letter, she hesitates.
Annea's intimidating corn rows seem to impress Alcie Kruptin. She takes a look at the letter. "All right. Seems your interest isn't just idle curiosity."
She takes your order and sighs. "I've been absolutely swamped since the disappearance of Morvinarr. He was my best cook-in-training and also acted as another bouncer when I needed help."
She takes a seat at your table, wiping it with a wet rag. Morvinarr, the biggest and strongest of his friends, saw himself as their protector. Where they went, he went, always making sure to keep them out of harm’s way. Most often it was Nolaria who led them on wild adventures outside of town; they would often return to the tavern to boast about their exploits."
She leans in closer and her voice drops. "Recently, however, they seem to have been avoiding the Witch’s End, and Morvinarr has been taking more time off. I suspect they were getting into something I wouldn't approve of—which more than likely has something to do with magic."
When Morvinarr disappeared," Alcie Kruptin reveals, pulling a folded piece of paper from her apron and handing it to you, "I searched his room and discovered a missive. The note isn’t signed, so I don't know who it's from."
Having learned what you can at the Witch's End Tavern, where to next? The apothecary’s shop, the temple of Erastil, the baker’s shop, the cobbler’s shop, or the haberdashery?
"Magic?" A sparkle flickers in Nicodemus' opaque eyes for a moment. "I see. The note is a little odd... but it's not that unusual for youth to meet up in such a secretive way, right?" She pulls her hourglass out again, and watches the sand fall. "Let's go to the apothecary next, and see what she might know." Her voice is there, flat and without emotion, but her mind is somewhere else.
He peaks out with his party, and says softly as he was looking at the new areas, thinking off good ways to get to know the mayor. He does look at the wizard and says, "Missing children is always a bad thing, we should make haste and find them... Before something terrible befalls them." He would go back to the large human and look up to him, saying "Will you carry me? Its hard to see around in a town full of humans..."
Bellisir remained silent throughout the inquires of his friends at the Witch's End Tavern. Alcie's demeanor belied a harried woman under the strain of an unexpected shift in the balance of manpower and workload, but underneath, he sensed that Alcie was using her stormy disposition as a fan against her worriment and growing fears of what might have happened to Morvinarr.
Majara's not the only one whose relationship with an apprentice goes beyond their training in a trade, he thought. Alcie cares for Morvinarr more that she would likely admit but she probably has her reasons for doing so. Maybe she doesn't want to come across as having a soft spot for him.
"A visit to the apothecary next seems the best course of action," Bellisir said, speaking softly. "I would like to speak with this Majara and know more about her charge." In truth, Alcie's behavior had stirred a feeling of imbalance within himself. If Majara did treat her apprentice like a son, there would be no reason for her to keep her feelings masked, like Alcie had and Bellisir wanted to see that. If for nothing else, to restore his sense of balance and remove this sensation of being off-kilter.
As Annea finishes off her ale, she turns to the group, "This would appear to be somewhat of a mystery which might have an adventurous end to it, does it not? Where these apprentices just a group of up and coming adventures like ourselves?"
Annea asks Alcie a few more questions...
"Morvinarr appears to have been a big, strong lad with some skills at tossing people about. Do you think these friends were forming a group for the purposes of exploring and treasure-seeking?"
"Did Morvinarr own any weapons and armor?"
"I know you searched his room and found this critically important clue, but would it be possible for us to take a look at his room as well? A fresh pair of eyes might catch something you might have missed."
"Suit yourselves," Alcie Kruptin says and leads you to Morvinarr's bunk. The area's as Spartan as you'd expect for a young man of his limited means. A search reveals no additional clues.
"The lad didn't discuss his daydreaming with me, if a life of adventure was his fancy. If he had weapons or armor, I never saw them."
When you enter her shop, Majara is relatively curt but friendly, "Howdy, outlanders. What can I get you?" the gnome asks. "I've got just about anything you'd need, and you won't find better quality anywhere in Saringallow," she adds, extolling the virtues of the alchemical wares she has for sale.
Earlier, Witch's End
"Will you carry me? Its hard to see around in a town full of humans..."
"Most of the time I don't mind a sea of knees," Soddy remarks to their gnomish companion. "Sometimes it comes in handy because fleshy knees are load-bearing and make for easy targets. Oh and sometimes they're ticklish at the back, too."
She thinks for a moment. "Maybe you should get a sling or harness if you want to have a fleshy carry you around?"
"Hellooo~! This is a nice shop you have," Soddy greets the gnome, bouncing a little on the balls of her feet. "I'm Soddy Daisy. Tomorrow I might be someone else but Soddy Daisy is who I am today."
"Mayor Trinelli asked us to find the missing saplings and so here we are. We have a letter if you want to see it."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
|Equinius 'Quinn' Bikakpu'unde|
“Hello Majara. Pleased to meet you.” Quinn greets the apothecary and gives a low bow as is due for a medicine manor healer. ”The mayor has asked us to looking into some missing apprentices. One of the names we were given is Gellion Vazarro, and we were told that he worked for you? Is there anything you can tell us to help with our search?”
Diplomacy:: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (4) - 1 = 3
Quinn starts to wait patiently, but quickly remembers the letter Annea carries and asks her to present the Mayor’s letter to Majara.
”One question I do have about your apprentice if you don’t mind.” Quinn begins as he is looking through the shop, possibly for clues, but really paying close attention to Majara. ”We have discovered that the six missing kids were friends and would hang out together. Do you know of any locations that they might meet? Especially if they might want to do so without much attention from adults?”
Sense Motive:: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
He blinks and begins to think about it, shooting blasts at a lower area might be possible... When they arrive at Pricknettles, he will bow and introduce himself, "Hello! I am Kyklonas and it will be a pleasure to offer my services to find those kids! I will do in all my power to make sure they get home to their families!"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23