A 3 foot tall (1 meter) male goblin, with deep-set dark-red eyes, smiles to all, showing a row of pointed lower-teeth.
He has dark-grey skin, and tattoos on his face - a dark band across his eyes, one under his nose, and three vertical stripes on his chin.
His head does not seem oversized, mainly because his body is sturdier and plumper than most other goblins.
You imagine he must be bald, like most of his kind, but he wears a dark grey hooded cloak, and old, patched, weather-beaten explorer clothing.
A shortsword is sheathed on his belt, beside a large belt pouch.
Please make an introductory post which includes a description of your character and feel free to interact with each other. Game officially starts Monday 9th
As new Pathfinders you have been asked to meet with Venture Captain Holgarin Smine for a briefing. He is located in the gladiator city of Tymon, at Smine's Weaponworks, famed smithy and clandestine Pathfinder lodge.
Having arrived early, your group gather in the street outside the busy smithy before entering.
Imiriax is a young and sturdy-looking Taldan man with short beard wearing the well-starched blue and gray robes of the Imperial Academy, a thick leather-bound tome under one arm. On his right shoulder sits a large raven, preening its feathers. He seems curious about each of the sights and sounds of Tymon, particularly the many gladiators.
"Did you know that Tymon is one of the largest cities in the River Kingdoms?" he says. "Probably the largest between Oppara and New Stetven. That's in Brevoy."
Shuffling his feet outside the smithy, Milord hopes they have not been called here to simply toil away in the heat, banging away on metal.
He looks around, trying to spot some famed gladiator walking the streets.
Milord bows to Imiriax: "Oh, thank you! No, I did not..."
He imagines the raven must be some kind of familiar, and not what the man intends to eat.
Otherwise, a pigeon would have been more fitting. Plumper... but, well, if we have to roast the raven, it can do, he thinks.
The din of ringing steel and the simmering heat of the forge makes Smine’s Weaponworks easy to find, beyond even its sterling reputation and its well-painted sign. An open sliding door leads into a work area filled with apprentices, each toiling to fuel the ceaseless demands for weapons to feed the city’s famed Arena of Aroden. One of the workers, a grim-faced halfling woman barely taller than her own anvil, flashes a smile and points to a narrow staircase at the back of the smithy. Climbing the stairs provides a small respite from the din and the heat, with hanging bowls of cloves and aromatic bark making a heroic, if futile, effort to cover the smell of coal and sweat.
The Pathfinder Lodge above the smithy resembles an adventurer’s boarding house, providing an excellent cover for the comings and goings of the Society’s agents. A door to a kitchen opens, and a soot-smudged dwarf dressed in a leather apron steps out: Venture-Captain Holgarin Smine. The dwarf’s gestures brusquely to a table within the kitchen, his hands wiped passably clean of the ash and grease of his trade. An assortment of bread, cheese, and cider has been set out on the table for refreshments, as is a bizarre doll made of dried
“Hope the journey went well.” Smine greets. “Dangerous these days. More dangerous further west, so suppose I shouldn’t complain.” His short sentences almost matching the staccato cadence of the forges below. “Won’t waste your time. Ever heard of the Mosquito Witch?”
Smine grins and leans across the table, picking up the grotesque doll. Beady, painted red eyes and a needle-like snout is barely visible through shaggy wheat-stalk hair, and six handless arms are clutched to the doll’s chest. “Local legend. Ugly thing. People claim it lives near a town out here called Shimmerford. Hunters have been trying to catch it for over fifty years. No one has managed to. Villagers sell the failed hunters dolls and souvenirs instead. Fun for all.” He frowns and sets the doll down. “Not now, though. Mosquitoes and bloodseekers started plaguing the villagers. Killing livestock. Swarming people outside. Getting into food. Been happening for a year or so. People are starting to leave the town entirely. They blame the Mosquito Witch. I don’t. It doesn’t matter. It’s a problem either way. You’re going to stop it.”
Post your Occultism bonus for me to make a Recall Knowledge secrete roll
A human in dark leathers walks through the smithy trying his best to avoid the hotter areas of the room, and heads upstairs. Making a sandwich with the bread and cheese he sits down and listens trying to recall any knowledge of the story.
+2 Occultism Untrained
Milord moves through the hot downstairs, bowing politely to the lady with the hammer who points to the way.
Upstairs, he smiles to Smine: "Tiring but good travels, thank you Venture-captain. I came in through the East, so it seems from the less dangerous part!"
He looks at the doll--
+6 Occultism - Trained
--while helping himself to some bread, cheese and cider.
"Is there something special in Shimmerford that calls for this rapid reaction?"
3d20 ⇒ (18, 13, 8) = 39
Eating a sandwich Mic’al sits and listens to Smine as he outlines the mission.
The sturdy-looking Taldan Imiriax stands almost at attention while listing.
Milord helps himself to some bread and cheese as Smine describes the Mosquito Witch problem in Shimmerford.
Both Imiriax and Mic’al have heard of the Mosquito Witch. Originally spotted almost 60 years ago in a forested location now known as Witchtop Hill. Most of the witnesses were teenagers.
Milord never heard of the Mosquito Witch, but asks Smine what is special about Shimmerford that calls for a rapid reaction?
Smine shugs, ”Never been there myself. Small town. Cheery place. Tourist attraction. Sells Mosquito Witch dolls, masks, bread. See them in the markets here sometimes. Hold a big festival for the witch once a year. I’ve never gotten to go. Too busy.”
He pauses for a moment to take a drink of cider ”It’s a problem needing fixing. Don’t think it’s the Witch. Been fifty years since people spotted the witch. Plenty of time to do something like this. It hasn’t. Just sticks to the forest, scares people, gives omens. Doesn’t send things into the town. Maybe something riled it up. More likely it’s a Ghlaunder worshipper. Something similar, anyway. Probably heard stories about the witch. Took advantage of them to cause trouble.”
"Oh, a Ghlaunder worshiper, of course! -- Err... what is a Ghlaunder? And who worships it, that, them?"
Milord ask who or what Ghlaunder is.
Smine looks at Milord, ”Ghlaunder is the god of parasites and disease. Like mosquitoes. Likes bloodseekers. Cultists summon them a lot. Not a popular god. Reports of Ghlaunder cultists from time to time. They like the River Kingdoms. Lots of water. Lots of places to hide. Don’t know about Shimmerford specifically.”
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From outside the kitchen the Pathfinders here a loud <BANG!>, followed by the sounds a large man stumbling down the hallway towards the kitchen. The kitchen door is smashed open wide with another loud <BANG!>. In stumbles a huge Ulfen man in traditional Linnorm Lands hide armor, with a battle axe strapped to his back. Dried drool is in his dirty blond beard. And maybe some ale. It is unclear without a closer look.
"WHAT T!+@ DECIDED TO HOLD A F@%&ING BRIEFING AT THIS F!*#ING HOUR?" he booms. "You, Smine? Figgerd. Lemme have some of that cheese. I need to calm my bleeding stomach after last night's ale battle."
He scoops food into his mouth and throws back a pint of cider.
"Mmmffff, s'good. Catch me up while I eat."
He listens to Smine's concise briefing. "Bugs. Witch. Dolls. Bug God. Got it." He looks at the dwarven venture-captain with new respect.
"I like yer style. T'the point. None of that usual Narcissists & T~&*s Society s##*e. Blah blah blah. Record, map, document, write up, eternal glory in the pages of the Society annals. Pfffft."
He looks over the others in the room, zeroing in on each.
"Goblin. Huh. Two months ago I was squashing yer type. Guess times change. Try not to burn me t'death, 'kay?"
"Merchant. But yah got a dagger or two showin'. Sneaky and stabby type. Got it."
"Wizard. Squishy type. Stand behind me, Squishy, and try not t'scream for yer mommy too loud when the blood starts t'fly."
"I'm Bron. No need fer my full name, cuz nobody's alive that gives a s%!* anymore. I'm the Gloryhound T+!~s Society muscle. I guard their dirt diggers while they unearth a whole lotta nuthin' and I get paid."
He looks at Smine. "We done? Let's go kill whatever this thing is."
A strangely muscly elf walks in, not even needing to open the now-damaged door. His steps make little noise for one so large. His skin is very light, yellowed almost like parchment in patches, with small scars visible all across it. He wears simple light robes and carries little.
"I believe I got the gist of your instruction," he says quietly. "My store of knowledge is at your command. It sounds as if we don't know, but could the Witch be a demon of some sort? And does Ghlaunder associate with such filth?"
I have Occultism +6.
A loud Ulfen warrior interrupts the Smine’s briefing as he staggers in late with the smell of ale. As he consumes food and drink, Smine briefly catches him up on the mission. After washing down his meal, Bron assess the assembled pathfinders.
The goblin Milord sighs
As Smine starts to summarize the mission for Bron another late arrival walks in quickly catching the gist of the instructions.
Hamarel is familiar with the Mosquito Witch tale. That the Witch was originally spotted on Witchtop Hill by a group of teenagers some 60 years ago.
Smine doesn't seem to mind the late arrivers or the broken door, he address Hamarel’s question ”No one knows anything for sure about the Mosquito Witch!” he picks up the wheat-stalk doll ”Looks like this. Missing the wings, though folks disagree about that piece. People claimed to see it a while back. Some claim they saw it more recently. No one’s proved it. No one’s caught it. No one’s sure what it is. Would be exciting if we found out.” Smine smiles wryly. ”Don’t expect us to. As for an alliance between the Witch and Ghlaunder? Don’t know.”
Waiting for a moment for more questions, Smine shares more instructions, ”I’ve hired you a boat. Good ship. Good crew. They’ll take you down the river to Shimmerford. I’d stay inside while traveling through. Clouds of mosquitoes are hanging by the shore and above the water. Doesn’t sound pleasant.”
Taking a drink of cider he continues, ”Once you reach Shimmerford, find a gnome woman named Galia. Not a Pathfinder. Knows me, though. Knows we fix problems. She’s the one who sent a letter about the situation. Would have a better idea of the situation on the ground. After that, find what’s causing the problem. Stop it. Report back.” He hands the group the wheat-stalk mosquito Witch doll.
1d20 ⇒ 15
"Understood, captain. Ready to go. Will travel. Do best to carry out mission. Return. And report."
"I was thinking more of a compact between Ghlaunder and the demon scourge. But we likely don't know that either. At the very least, meeting either is doubtful," Hamarel says, showing a mind more one-track than most elves. "Hopefully the witnesses live, but most humans are not so lucky. We will understand soon."
"Right. Did I f%@%ing stutter? 'Kill the f~$~er and come back.' Do we need any more blah blah blah? Or can we go?" asks Bron.
He marches out of the kitchen, stopping briefly as he walks by Hamarel.
"Hmph. Elf. But you smell like a killer. Good."
Bron heads back to his room, where he grabs his shield, his pack and his other weapons, including a wickedly-edged halberd. He tromps out of the smithy, asking Smine, "What's the name of this s~** boat ya got fer us?"
Smine gives you the boat details.
Shimmerford is a forested town located near the East Sellen River’s first fork, just
east of Riverton. Your group travel to Shimmerford without any incident, though as they approach, thick clouds of mosquitoes hanging over the shoreline become more prominent, until the earth seems covered with writhing black masses of flying insects.
You arrive to find not the festive village that once was, but a suspicious settlement with empty streets and clusters of mosquitoes hovering over each puddle of water. When your group disembark from their boat, a gnome with blueberry-blue hair and copper skin emerges from a tiny house that has been mosquito-proofed with cloth and wax crammed into every crack and seam.
This is Galia Farrsmith, the contact that Venture-Captain Smine suggested you seek out in Shimmerford.
Seeing you the gnome hurries over to greet you wringing her hands and swatting away any mosquitoes that come near her “Oh, thank goodness! Oh, thank goodness! You actually came! Smine actually sent someone! You must be them, right? No one comes here a-anymore unless they’re planning to help! Do you want to talk inside? My house is mostly mosquito-free! Can I get you anything? My beet juice is also mostly mosquito-free! Would you like to sit down? A fresh haircut, maybe? Oh, thank goodness you’re here!”
Milord is very happy to take a boat ride, and discover more of the River Kingdoms.
"Must be a nice place to spend time in if one likes to fish!"
Seeing the clouds of mosquitoes all over, Milord is starting to get worried:
"I have a cousin who is an alchemist, he should've come, to make some kind of repellent for us... these will suck us dry!"
Upon meeting Galia, Milord bows to her:
"Greetings! Aye, we be Smine's comrades, sent here to help you deal with... those bloodsucking critters! Glad to meet you. Are you Miss Farrsmith? I love your hair. Does your beet juice help repel the bugs?"
When she mentions a haircut, Milord frowns and becomes a bit surly.
He pulls the hood of his dark grey cloak tighter around what you imagine to be his bald head.
But he follows the group into her house.
"I suppose we will talk inside," Hamarel agrees brusquely. He is already taking massive swipes at nearby bugs. "Haircuts will have to wait, likely forever." The elf is nearly bald, save several gray locks that are arranged to appear bigger.
"I doubt you know the cause of this. But you can help. Has anything out of the ordinary happened recently, and has this problem only been the clouds of bugs?"
After disembarking the boat, Mic'al starts Swatting away the mosquitoes. "This is bad. I think killing this witch may be the only option to get rid of these things."
After meeting the gnome and following her inside. "I may take you up n that haircut... After." He says touching is unruly hair.
Milord enjoys the boat ride, until he sees the clouds of bloodsucking mosquitoes.
Reaching the town of Shimmerford and meeting the energetic gnome Galia Farrsmith, Milord comments on her hair and ask about the mosquito repellent qualities of beet juice.
The gnome shugs, ”Don’t know about that, it’s usually the last liquids they get into.
Hamarel declines a haircut as he ask about any thing out of the ordinary happening recently.
Galia answers Hamarel right away [b]”W-well, you probably noticed the mosquitoes. There’ve been a lot of bloodseekers, too. Those are mosquitoes that are as big as your heads! The little ones are bad enough, but the big ones have been driving people out of the town. One even carried off poor Mrs.McClairby’s cat, and some of them killed all off Mr. Rujat’s prize cattle. It’s been really, really, really awful around here!”
Pausing after thinking she continues ”But you probably already know that and want to know about unusual happenings. You're not the only people that have come here looking for the witch. Most of the monster hunters gave up after the first couple adventures were found w-without any blood, but there’s been a whole bunch of new people lately! Two of them showed up some weeks ago, a brown-haired human dressed all in white, and this half-elf woman with beautiful silky black hair and gold armor over this amazing red dress! Neither of them talked to me, though --- they just went into the woods and never came back. I think they spoke to some of the other townsfolk, though! And this week, another two visitors showed up! There’s this really professional looking human woman with a white dog, and this nervous human man staying at the inn who really needs a shave and a trim. M-maybe you can find them if you look around.”
Mic’al comments that killing the witch may be the only option to get rid of mosquitoes, but is agarable to a haircut.
The gnome brightens up, ”Yes, I would be happy to cut your hair after all I am a barber! Haven’t been much call for haircuts with the tourism dried up and my regular customers gone.” She motions Mic’al to a chair and grabs her scissors and combs.
As she gets to work on cutting his hair, she continues to chat ”I’ve been racking my brains for what could have triggered this plague, but I don’t know. Um Mr. Albi’s daughter ran off with the traveling postman, and there was a big fuss about Mr. Vernon’s rooster getting out to harass Mrs. Favam’s ducks. I don’t think any of that would have caused this, though. Even Ms. Lyons d-didn’t seem to think anything was wrong , until the mosquitoes showed up.”
Bron feels at home as he smacks a large mosquito.
Milord listens to all, and sighs as he wishes he had hair to get a nice haircut like Mic'al is getting.
Addressing the Gnome-barber, Milord asks: "Do you know which townsfolk the brown-haired human and the half-elf with gold armor talked to?
And... who is Ms. Lyons?"
After, to his comrades, he asks: "So, shall we go to the inn and look for the woman with the dog and mister nervous?"
Milord listens to all, and sighs as he wishes he had hair to get a nice haircut like Mic'al is getting.Addressing the Gnome-barber, Milord asks: "Do you know which townsfolk the brown-haired human and the half-elf with gold armor talked to?
And... who is Ms. Lyons?"
After, to his comrades, he asks: "So, shall we go to the inn and look for the woman with the dog and mister nervous?"
"Agree, Stabby-McStabberson. Let's track down the woman with the dog. Frankly, she's the more suspicious. Mr. Nervous is probably just another squishy archeologist from the Narcissists-R-Us Society, worried he's gonna get eaten alive by big bad giant mosquitoes."
He watches Mi'cal get a nice trim. "Listen, Killer. You may wanna wait on the nice coiffure. Yer just gonna have to brush blood and brains out of it later."
"That's right. I said 'coiffure'. What, you think we don't have style and fashion in the Linnorm Lands?" he says with a grin.
"Lady Galia," he says to the gnome hairstylist with uncharacteristic grace. "I shall request your services when we return. My locks and beard will no doubt require cleaning and rebraiding after we crush- err, deal with whomever is behind this mosquito plague."
He hands her a copper piece. "To hold a reservation for me on your busy schedule."
Bron slaps a mosquito and shoulders his axe more tightly and gets ready to move. "Right then, let's roll the f@%+ out."
The goblin Milord ask for who the brown hair human and half-elf talked to. Also who is Ms. Lyons.
The gnome seems to be disappointed that they didn’t talk to her, ”Just to clarify the human and half-elf arrived separately a few weeks ago. I saw the Brown-haired man enter Hart’s Brewery. The Half-elf woman with silky black hair talked to the Tanner and I heard she purchased something at Braybon’s Smithy. Also, you may want to check with the innkeep Callum Shay at The Whitefish and Stag, almost everyone stops by there sooner or later.”
Galia smiles cheerfully, ”Ms. Lyons? That would be Ms. Mordha Lyons! She actually saw the Mosquito Witch, back in the day! One of the first! She doesn’t much like strangers, though. I don’t think she much likes a-anyone, truth to be told.”
Bron wants to track down the woman with the dog, He also makes an appoint for a the works later.
Finishing with Mic’al’s cut, Gala cheerfully accepts the dispost and writes the appoint down her her book ”Excellent, see you soon!”
Mic’al hair looks fantastic!
(updated map link to be shared edit)
"Why, thank you!
So, what's close by? The Brewery? Maybe we could start there?"
Both Milord and Bron enthusiastically suggest visiting the brewery to see what the brown-haired man wanted.
Hart’s Brewery isn’t far just down and over one a street. Entering the establishment you find The brandy brewer Rosa Hart a dark-skinned woman with a world-weary outlook. She is sitting their drinking some of the last dregs of her own stock. She looks up, ”Well visitors, don’t see that much anymore. If your looking for brandy I only have three bottles left one gold each.”
"Brewery... is that not for fine beer? That you make here? Visitors we are, not gold minters."
Milord ask if they brewery is not for beer.
Hamarel balks at the price and ask where the visitors have gone.
Rosa looks at her visitors, ”No beer only good strong brandy. As for where my clients went, they went away from Shimmerford and the mosquitoes. Heck, I helped pay for half the locals move way myself, and the tourists have stopped coming long before that.”
After a moment Rosa ask ”Well if your not here for the brandy what are you here for?”
You note the brandy is very strong and could probably be turned into a simple explosive with a little bit of crafting work.
"We are here, I guess, to help the have the tourists return..."
"So, are you not interested in us having tourists come back?
What would do that?
Maybe getting rid of the mosquitoes?
Any ideas about that?"
the goblin Milord states that he is here to help the tourists return and ask how to do that.
Rosa looks at the goblin, "Ay I'm all for getting read of the mosquitoes and having the tourists return. I wish I knew how to get rid of the mosquitoes."
After a few moments, something occurs to her, "You know a few weeks ago a man dressed in white clothes stopped by he was asking me where I got my water for making my brandy, and what water sources were likely contaminated. I believe he said his name was Andor."
Crafting, trained: 1d20 + 1 + 2 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 1 + 2 + 3 = 18
Nature, trained: 1d20 + 1 + 2 + 0 ⇒ (1) + 1 + 2 + 0 = 4
Milord, having always been a better crafter than an outdoors-goblin, nods.
"Of course, you, as a fine brewer, would need pure water, and could tell him where those sources were. But what does making alcohol have to do with mosquitoes?
And, by the way, which sources did you point out to him? We could go check them too..."
crafting: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Nature,untrained: 1d20 ⇒ 17
"So this Andor was either trying to help, or is trying to spread the mosquitoes. Obviously you need pure water for your wares, and mosquitoes need stagnate water to breed. We need to find this man."
"The most efficient is to go collecting information... the Smithy is close by.
Then up to the Whitefish and Stag Inn.
Otherwise, we go to the water sources, but we might learn more first.
So... off to Braybon's Smithy!
Thank you, Rosa!"
"I question the efficacy of finding this man. Such a great number of insects could have been conjured and sustained magically. But lacking better leads, we should go after him in due time," Hamarel says, dismissive of what is discovered.
Milord suggest checking in at the Smithy then the Whitefish and Stag Inn.
Hamarel doesn't think the man could conjure and sustain the quantity of mosquitoes magicly.
The groups moves on to Braybon’s Smithy and there find a muscular red haired woman working at the forge. The forge fumes keeps the mosquitoes at bay, so you have a little respite from the annoying insects.
The smith pauses from her work and looks you over, she give you a friendly smile ”Welcome to Braybon’s Smithy! I’m Luca Braybon. Are you looking for weapons, armor or something else?”
"Good day, this is wonderful! No mosquitoes! We should move in here!
We are looking to help the village get rid of this mosquito threat..."
The goblin Milord tells Luca that they are here to rid the village of the mosquito threat.
Luca looks at the goblin, ”So your a monster hunter? Good.”
Bron tells Luca that he appreciates a well-made weapon, but ask if she has seen anything suspicious lately like the Mosquito Witch?
Chuckling, ”Nope never see the Mosquito Witch myself, but if I do I’ll tell her you're looking for her.”
Imiriax asks about the hunters a human in white or half-elf in gold armor?
Luca nods knowingly, ”Matter of fact, I did see the half-elf hunter in gold armor, she bought a new compass from me a number of weeks back, claiming hers had broken. Later when I saw her again asked how the new compass was working, she told me neither compass would work and that her original compass wasn’t the problem.”
Luca never met the human in white.
After chatting with Luca Braybon for a bit you don’t learn anything else of use. She returns to her work and your group heads on to the Inn.
Along the way a shaggy dog with cream-white fur bolts down the town streets, scattering the clouds of mosquitoes hovering above the ground. A woman’s voice follows after the dog: ”Peaches! Peachy! Get back here!”
A Tian woman in simple traveling clothes sprints into view a few moments later, stopping to stand by the dog. ”Sorry about that,” the woman says, as the dog whines for attention. ”I didn’t think there was anything out here but insects, or I would have kept a closer eye on him. My name’s Haru Kwon. What brings you to Shimmerford? It’s not exactly a popular destination right now.”
Peaches being friendly tries to get Milord to play.
Crafting: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Listening to the blacksmith Devin pipes up "You know something might just be interfering with those compasses. The only thing I can think of would half to be magnetic in nature. But it would half to be powerful to affect a compass, unless you are real close to it."