You arrive in Magnimar at the request of Venture-Captain Sheila Heidmarch.
Established just over a century ago, Magnimar is well known as the City of Monuments. The metropolis earned this nickname with the completion of the Arvensoar, a grand tower that commemorates a miracle that spared the town from destruction during its early days. According to legend, founder Ordellia Whilwren called out to an angel who was said to watch over the local Varisians for protection from a mighty storm. Her prayers were answered with a dramatic flash of light that parted the clouds and cleared the skies. In the intervening years, Magnimar’s people have constructed over a dozen additional monuments in and around the city, many of them commemorating historic moments or honoring the celestial beings who watch over them.
A dark skinned male enters the meeting space. He wears breastplate and carries a shield low slung on his back. On his left hip, he carries a longsword. On the hilt of the sword, by the cross guard is a Glyph of the Open Road, stamped onto the leather.
He sets his bag and shield by the door, not expecting any trouble, and begins to pace, waiting for the others.
"Hey, Darven, I see you made it back from Sargava okay. That was a tricky like thing with that Nuhn or what ever he was, but I am glad it all worked out for Stoinvulk."
A tall man dressed in a loud yellow, red and orange tunic walks in. He grounds his pack by the door and heads for where ever looks comfortable to sit. He then pulls out a silver necklace and starts mending the clasp.
"I hate allowing the customers to handle my jewelry. Something always seems to get broken or worse disappears all together. I always threaten to put arcane marks on them so I can divine them later, but with such small value stuff, it is not worth it."
"So have you heard anything about this mission?"
He pauses and scratches his short red hair. He has big hands and the build like a warrior, but he lacks the scars and doesn't appear to have armor or a sword.
"I just finished copying some new spells into my spellbook. I always try to get a few new ones while waiting."
A Bonuwat Mwangi man with small, feathered raptor dinosaur, enters the space. The dinosaur runs to Darven, then to Farien, sniffing for something. Apparently, he doesn't find what he wants, as he looks back to the man, tap, tap, tapping his talon on the floor. "Shredder, get over here!" calls out the man.
The dinosaur immediately bounces back to his side, as the man introduces himself. "Alaric Ysande. You've met Shredder. We've been through a lot, and but it is all good. We just got back from the Bandu Hills. How are you all doing?"
"Yes. As am I good." Darven agrees with the man.
He smiles at the little critter, "Oh, you sure look like a fierce one. I thought about gathering a companion, but thought better of it."
"I am fine."
”As long as we have the chance, Shredder, we should spend our money. says Alaric. ”I don’t think you need much, yet, but eventually. Me, I could use a belt to make me stronger, or a rod to make my spells last longer. I only wish there was a way to split the magic fang spells between us.
“What do you think, little buddy?” Alaric scruffs the feathers on Shredder’s head.
A somewhat disheveled man with a bit-too-long hair and a cloak also a bit-too-long that it seems to have been dragged through the dustiest streets in Varisia takes a few steps past the meeting place before doubling back.
He takes a look at the trio of Alaric, Darven, Farlen and the diminutive dinosaur before both nodding and pointing and continuing on.
A moment later he retraces his steps yet again, then narrows his eyes.
"Pathfinders? Mission briefing?"
As the others nod, he nods back and steps into the room. He smells earthy and a symbol indicating a close bond with Desna adorns his chest hanging loosely between where three buttons used to formerly reside.
"Right on. I heard something about getting a raise on this mission. You guys hear anything about that? And some snacks during the briefing part."
Smacking his lips, the Desnan looks around and smiles warmly.
"Man, I'm hungry. Any of you guys hungry?"
At the mention of "snacks" the little dinosaur leaps at the disheveled man, sniffing for signs of his beloved "Shredder Snacks". Where was the elf, Tere, who always brought them? He must have them!!! He mentioned snacks!
You arrive in Magnimar at the request of Venture-Captain Sheila Heidmarch. You made good time getting to the Magnimar Lodge, and Sheila is out performing some final investigations prior to giving the mission briefing. Her husband, Venture-Captain Canayven Heidmarch, treats you to brunch while you wait.
The sound of footsteps echoes down the hallway outside of Heidmarch Manor’s cozy dining room. Venture-Captain Canayven Heidmarch sets down his fork and rises from his chair by the hearth. The stern Venture-Captain’s eyes brighten a bit as he says, “Sheila’s footsteps.” Moments later, the door to the dining room swings open, and Venture-Captain Sheila Heidmarch enters the room, taking a seat at the head of the table opposite the hearth. Canayven pours her a cup of hot tea as he addresses her, “Welcome back. The Pathfinder agents you requested have been fed and are ready for their briefing.”
“Splendid,” Sheila replies as she sets a folded piece of parchment down on the table. She smiles and gracefully takes a small sip of the steaming tea, savoring the flavor. “Thank you, Canayven. And Pathfinders, thank you all for coming to Magnimar on such short notice. I’ve specifically requested your presence here because I believe that you’re uniquely suited to helping the city of Magnimar with a problem that seems to be spreading in recent weeks. As you’re likely aware, Magnimar is known across the Inner Sea region as the City of Monuments for the dozens of monuments within city itself and the surrounding region. These monuments are well known for their sacred properties—performing any number of respectful acts at their bases provides a pilgrim with a minor boon. Adventurers and mystery cultists by the droves make pilgrimages to Magnimar for a chance to experience the touch of the divine. But recently, something appears to have changed with several of these structures.
“A friend of mine in the Varisian Council, one of Magnimar’s governing bodies, has alerted me that several key monuments— namely, the Mistress of Angels in Ordellia, the Founder’s Flame in Naos, and the Cenotaph in the Capital District—have all been sites of strange supernatural occurrences ranging from eerie wailing and spectral lights to magical conflagrations. Lord-Mayor Grobaras appointed a sleuth specializing in the supernatural, a man named Theodorus Ichonvarde, to investigate. However, my contact reports that Ichonvarde’s attempts have borne little fruit thus far, and the council has accused Theodorus of badgering Varisian witnesses. Moreover, several innocents have been harmed in the occurrences at the Founder’s Flame. The implication that someone—or something—has tampered with Magnimar’s legacy leads me to believe that this is a case best suited to our interests and your abilities.”
Sheila picks up the folded piece of parchment next to her teacup, “I’ve secured an official writ from the Varisian Council to grant you legal permission to investigate. If you’re willing to help Magnimar, I can also lend you some supplies.”
Do you agree to help?
"Of course we are willing to help." Darven speaks up, "Do you know when this all started? And this Theodorus, do you have any information on him besides his lack luster performance during this investigations?"
"What sort of supplies are you lending us, Venture-Captains?" asks Alaric. "And should we be keeping a low profile, such as hiding our Wayfinders, and the like. I have heard some Pathfinders think that a necessity."
The Desnan takes another sip of the Heidmarch tea, allowing it to fully wet his mustache as he contemplates matters.
"Ahh, someone messing with those shrines? That's not good, not good at all..."
Taking another sip of his tea, the priest seems content to let the others sort out matters but he continues to chime in from time to time.
"Getting your prayers in without any spooky haunting is a foundational right. Seems to me someone's trying to get those shrines all to themselves for some reason or another."
Smacking his lips, he smiles at Sheila as he leans back, putting his hands behind his head and a sandal-clad foot atop the table.
"No worries, little lady. We'll take a look at things and make sure nobody at the Flame gets hurt and figure out why this Theo fellow ain't doing his job right."
"Whether or not you choose to work with Theodorus is up to your discretion and his willingness, I suppose. Regardless, it would be unwise to antagonize him.”
"No need to hide your Wayfinders. You’ve been deputized by the Varisian Council, and that will be enough to earn at least a measure of cooperation from the average citizen. That being said, the lord-mayor has officially cast his lot with Theodorus, and as a result there’s the possibility that some authorities might not recognize you as an official legal presence in the matter.”
Canayven adds, “Davorge. If anyone would know what’s been going in the district of Ordellia, it’d be him. He’s a mystery cultist. He’s also an expert in supernatural matters, particularly those tied to Ordellia. Look for him in the tavern next to the Rose and Rake Theatre. He eats lunch there often. If he’s not there when you arrive, you might find someone who knows where to find him.”
The Heidmarches provides each of you with a potion of cure moderate wounds. They also supply the group with two potions of protection from evil, three oils of magic weapon, and a wand of lesser restoration (7 charges).
"Thank you, Venture Captains." says Alaric. "This is quite generous of you.
"Is there anything else that we're missing? Such as, is there anything to connect the different monuments that have been tampered with, or anything particularly special about the 'Founders Flame' one?"
Wow... heavy on clerics, which is good, as I have us as APL 5 with 5 players.
"So, looks like Darven, Shredder and me will be the primary front-liners. However, Shredder and I won't have need of the oils. Oh, Darven, I think I recognize that sword of yours!"
literally just got off that scenario!
"Yep, we should interview the mayor's man and then get lunch at the tavern next to the theater hopefully with this Davorge fellow."
Farlen leans forward and takes an oil of magic weapon flask.
Darven looks down at the Blade of the Open Road. "Ah yes, once I get this blade up to full power. None of the Societies enemies will stand a chance."
He then nods in agreement with Farlen. "Sounds like a good plan of attack."
The Agent smacks his lips and rubs his prolific mid-section.
"Lunch? Now that sounds like a solid plan."
He appears optimistic for a moment, "it's a bit early, but maybe we start there... this Theo fellow sounds a bit grumpy, maybe we should give him time to get his own meal in his belly?"
"I am thinking this guy we are 'backing up', the investigator, may not appreciate our help." "He may see us as competition sent to make him look bad." "Hope we can reassure him that is not the case." Farlen says casually as the group talks.
"Who would like to be our spokesman? We don't want to all crowd around. We might appear to be collectors for a loan shark, if you know what I mean."
When Alaric asks about the monuments, Sheila is quite happy to give a brief lecture on the subject.
As its moniker implies, Magnimar is home to dozens of monuments, typically erected to honor Magnimarian deities, folk heroes, and historic events. Most monuments can grant a unique boon to those who pray before them.
The Cenotaph is a memorial to Alcaydian Indros, one of Magnimar’s founders. Originally designed as an empty tomb, residents of Magnimar pay significant sums of money to be entombed near or within the Cenotaph, as doing so is seen as a postmortem status symbol.
The Founder’s Flame is in Naos, home to many of Magnimar’s prosperous merchants. Erected by Antholus Kaddren shortly after the city’s founding, the monument is said to sport a constant halo of multicolored fire.
The Mistress of Angels is in Ordellia, a district located on an island on the Yondabakari River. It was built in honor of Ordellia Whilwren, one of Magnimar’s most beloved founders, just outside of her former townhouse.
Knowledge, local or geography, or Diplomacy (Gather info) check greater than 20 might reveal more specific information.
kn:geog: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14 nope!
Farlen ponders the area and what he knows of geography.
know geography: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12
But being born and raised in lands far to the south, he can't seem to recall anything useful.
"This is all very interesting. Do you have any specifics on what supernatural event happened at which monument? That might be part of our task, but it might help us prioritize. Also, which site had he most recent strange event?"
The Agent smiles and sips his beverage as Sheila shares details of the monuments.
Stroking his beard, the Agent tries to recall that fellow he once met, who might've known a thing...
Gather Info: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
The Mistress of Angels was erected following Ordellia’s murder several years after Magnimar’s founding. In the years since, countless locals claim to have seen Ordellia’s ghost, who has a reputation for helping the meek and persecuted throughout the Ordellia District.
Also, the Founder’s Flame’s truest marvel lies not within its impressive pyroclastic displays, but in its endless supply of fuel. The monument stays ablaze via a mysterious green oil that never seems to deteriorate or deplete and is capable of creating flames in a scintillating array of colors.
Sheila furrows her brow as she speaks, “Currently, my best guess is that this is some sort of of supernatural haunting.
The bouts of supernatural activity and the ghostly wailing coming from the Cenotaph seem to support this theory, but ultimately no one’s truly sure what’s going on.”
Sheila additionally offers, “The primary duty of the Varisian Council is to protect the rights and traditions of native Varisian people. They’re likely seeking to ensure that no Varisian is unjustly blamed for what is transpiring across the city. Beyond that, the council knows that it is in no one’s best interest to allow these dangerous events to continue.”
"I suggest to speak with Davorge..."
Assuming you decide to go speak to Davorage...
Although Ordellia lies on the opposite side of Magnimar from Heidmarch Manor, it’s relatively simple for you to find the Rose
and Rake Theatre. The Rose and Rake is a large, open-air playhouse which frequently hosts town hall meetings and other large gatherings. In the playhouse’s shadow is a well-kept tavern known for its dashing waitstaff and their slick, trimmed uniforms. A sign above the tavern depicts a rose and a small garden rake. The tavern’s owners have been petitioning the city for permission to formally name their establishment after the famous theater and civil center next door, to no avail.
Sitting near the back of the tavern is Davorge, a dark-haired Varisian man wearing a flowing tunic and trousers, both with silver embroidery. When you enter the establishment, he waves you over.
"New friends, hello! I am Davorge, a speaker and gatherer of fine stories. Do you have any ghost stories they’d be willing to share?"
"Man, guys... I wouldn't be surprised to see Ordelia's ghost lurking about. People have been seeing her, man. Her ghost."
The Agent nods curtly to Davorge, looking to see if his allies with respond first. Seeing their hesitations, he offers up the first response.
"So, uh, speaking of ghosts. We've been, uh.. where's that paper guys?"
The Agent digs around until he finds the writ from the Council and presents it to Davorge.
"Basically, this. Investigators of the hauntings or whatever's going on that Ol' Theo can't sort out, or well, doesn't want to."
“You say you’re looking for strange happenings here, in Ordellia?” Davorge laughs, a merry ringing with no hint of malice. “My friend, what’s strange to you is commonplace here! After all, we happen to have our own resident ghost—the ghost of one Ordellia Whilwren, in fact, whose mortal abode happens to be ‘round the corner from where we sit. You see, I’m something of an aficionado of Ordellia. I’d love nothing more to see that poor, lost soul move peacefully from our life to the next. But lately, I’ve heard strange reports about her. She appears lost, scared, desperate even. I was going to investigate the matter myself, yet now that you’re here I wonder if our dances are, in fact, a duet. What do you say? Care to investigate the matter together?”
"Sure. We would welcome your expertise. Perhaps together we can get to the bottom of the ghost's agitation." "The lord mayor hired someone also. Hasn'tthat individual been here to talk to you as well?
"Sounds like a good plan, sir." says Alaric. "Perhaps you could tell us a little of Ordellia's story? Why has she not passed on to the Boneyard?"
"Of course, of course! Cost? No, my friends, we are friends now, no? Come, as you say, let's visit Miss Ordellia so you can see for yourselves."
A small crowd has gathered in front of the Mistress of Angels, a marble statue of a Chelaxian woman with flowing hair and plain clothing. The statue carries a butterfly emblem in her right hand and a starknife in her left, and her eyes stare out over the sea to the north. Behind the statue is a large wooden townhouse. A brass plaque labeled “Ordellia’s Townhouse” marks the building’s southernmost entrance.
When you arrive at the Mistress of Angels, Inspector Theodorus Ichonvarde has lined up five witnesses and is in the process of interrogating them for information regarding the disturbances. Among them are a pair of women— one Chelaxian and the other Varisian—holding hands, a Chelaxian man who appears bored with the exchange, a young Varisian man who looks close to tears, and a Varisian woman in dancer’s garb glancing impatiently at a nearby sundial.
Davorge's attention immediately goes to the Mistress of Angels.
So, you have 3 basic things to investigate: the witnesses, the house, or the monument.
Farlen not wanting to disturb the mayor's man in his job, strolls over to the monument. "Oh, beautiful lady, what secrets can you tell us?" He whispers in wistful respect.
perception: 1d20 ⇒ 10
He will as inconspicuously as possible cast detect magic and scan the area and monument.
A small gnome rushes up to the group. "There you are! Shiela told me some places you'd be investigating; I'm glad I found you! I'm Ny'a, one of Iomedae's chosen, and I'm here to help!" She joins Farlen at the monument. "What do you think she's going to tell you?"
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
The Agent surreptitiously scans the monument and nods to himself.
"Desna approves man, she does."
Figuring it would be somewhat laborious to actually inspect the monument in closer detail at this time, he sashays over towards the folks being interrogated while stifling a yawn.
He tries to find an opportune time to start up some chitchat in such a way he won't immediately draw the ire of Theodorus Ichonvarde, because anyone with that name is sure to be a painful bore.
Smiling, he strikes up some conversation.
"So, uh... ladies? What's going on here?"
The Agent starts with the witnesses.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Alaric moves up with The Agent, keeping Shredder in heel. He moves up the the Varisian man that looks to be almost in tears. "Pardon me, sir, but is something the matter? How may I help?"
diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Farlen wanders over to the witness lineup seeing all the crowd there.
"Perhaps if you all explained from the beginning what happened here, we could all figure out the cause."
diplomacy aid: 1d20 ⇒ 16
Not being the best at talking to people, Darven heads to the statue and takes in the scenery.
perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (11) + 11 = 22
The Agent moseys up to the inspector, the man regards him with disdain. "You have no business here... be gone from this area." Still, the Agent's calm approach does seem to have an affect on a few of the targets of the investigation.
You can pick a witness to start with, or you can first address Theodorus Ichonvarde, but he doesn't currently regard you as having a valid reason to be here. Maybe proving to him you belong here will help.
Meanwhile, as Farlen, Ny'a and Zaldur examine the monument, they don't find a lot of clues. However, with Davorge's help (+8 on the check), they are able to put some of it into perspective.
You discover the following clues:
Clue 1: A strange, chalky substance coats the ground around the monument even after several weeks. Markings resembling runes are scrawled upon the ground.
Clue 2: The butterfly emblem in the statue’s hand is a holy symbol of Desna. However, in place of the typical images of stars within the symbol’s wings, there are leering skulls.
Clue 3: A spot of dried blood is splashed on the side of the monument, indicating that something violent occurred here recently. Based on the blood’s location, it stands to reason that there was once more blood here, but it was cleaned up in a hurry.
"Ah, Senor Ichonvarde, allow me to introduce myself and my associates. We are pathfinders under writ from the Varisian Council to provide investigation assistance. My name is Farlen Mizzul. That is Alaric attempting to speak with the gentleman witness there. And the man speaking so nicely to the lady witnesses, we know him as the Agent."
Farlen gestures to each of the other two pathfinders.
"Now, what have we learned about the event that happened here?" Perhaps if we moved over to the monument these fine folks could more readily show and tell us?"
The Agent makes a sweeping gesture as Farlen presents their credentials. Smiling, her returns his attention to the witnesses, casting a sidelong glance at the "Inspector" in an effort to show the witnesses he's one of the "good guys".
The two women holding hands would seem to The Agent a good place to start..
Upon hearing the introduction and seeing the writ, the inspector does ease up a bit.
"So far, what I have gathered is this. First, the Mistress of Angels haunting was 2 weeks ago, followed by the Founder’s Flame last week and the Cenotaph 4 days ago. You may question my witnesses here, under my supervision, of course."
Eylvian and Vonysa are newlyweds from Kaer Maga who are spending a month-long honeymoon in Magnimar. Eylvian is Chelaxian, with dark hair and eyes and pale skin, while Vonysa is a Varisian woman with curly raven hair, brown skin, and dichromatic eyes. They wear matching silver-and-pearl wedding rings. Eylvian grasps Vonysa’s hand tightly during their interview with the inspector, gesticulating wildly with her free hand as she combats the inspector’s rudeness with barbs of her own. Vonysa is content to stand in place and listen, quiet as the dead.
Investigation Skills: Acrobatics, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Perform (any), or Sleight of Hand.
"Thank you Inspector for the timeline. That does help." Farlen nods at the man.
"Now, Vonysa, can you tell us exactly what you saw happen here? We have heard only vague references to a supernatural event and vandalism." Farlen waits for the woman to speak. "I realize you have already been through this with others and I apologize for the repetition, but we need to hear it again."
diplomacy aid: 1d20 ⇒ 12
Hoping the Agent will charm the woman more effectively.
The Agent puts on a smile as he tips his hand to the pair of ladies.
Clearing his throat he lowers his voice so the inspector won't overhear too much.
"The cavalry's here. Society and all that. Gonna fix this up in not time flat, but the Dreamer and I need your help..."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Eylvian starts, "We were on our way home from a theatre performance staged by a local dancer - she was ok, but not spectacular - when we decided to ask for a blessing at the Mistress of Angels. As we came close, though, we saw a group of shady individuals in black garb gathering around the monument. Very odd."
Vonysa chimes in with, "I saw some sort of a faintly glowing skull around each of their necks - maybe some sort of holy symbol to them?"
"And it appeared as if these people were drawing something in chalk around the monument. We didn't want no trouble... so we just moved along and pretended not to see anything!"
You feel like they are telling the truth, and don't seem to be hiding anything more, so that may be all they have.