GM Xavier Kahlvet's Passing the Torch—High Tier

Game Master KingTreyIII

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Dark Archive

Female NG Elf Cleric (Herald Caller) 18 | HP 129/129 | AC: 13 T: 13 FF: 10 | CMB +11, CMD: 24 | F: 19, R: 15, W: 25 | Ini: 12 (16 HA) | Prcp: 33, SM: 12 | Spd: 40 | hrsm aura: 6/18| chnnl: 1/5 | RODS xtnd 2/3 prstnt 0/3 prcng 0/3 quckn 3/3 rch 0/3 slnt 0/3 | robe of gates 1/3 | touch of glory 0/11 | hrsm, tru seeing, FoM, SR, GrAngAspct

Xanaphia looks at the helm and with a slight nod says, "before we make any decisions about the Grandmaster, I say we throw this thing in Droskar's Crag, yeah?"

I just searched my Inner Sea World Guide for 'volcano' and that seems to be the nearest one.


| Strange Aeons | Low Tier Passing the Torch | High Tier Passing the Torch |
Grognar the Oracle wrote:
Out of curiosity what was his regular AC? I have never seen a creature pumped that high. I assume smite was part of it.

Yeah, he was an antipaladin. His AC, with all of his stuff going, was a whopping 52 (10 base + 11 armor + 4 Dex. + 4 natural + 5 barkskin [scenario said he drank a CL 6 potion, but in every Subtier his natural armor was 5 higher than what it should’ve been, so I’m assuming it was a copy-paste error and was meant to be CL 12; either way, his nat. armor w/barkskin ended up at +9] + 4 shield + 1 size + 8 deflection [smite good] + 5 dodge [Combat Expertise]).

Grandmaster Torch looks at the Seekers before him in disbelief and forcibly buries his face in his hands.

”You don’t even know?! Torch grabs fistfuls of hair in clear frustration as he begins pacing along a short distance. ”You provoked the wrath of one of the most powerful men on Golarion and you didnt even know what you were dealing with?!

The infamous information broker throws his arms into the air and directs his head to the sky, as if cursing at some—or many—unnamed deities. ”Fine!”

“Vahlo is a graveknight servitor of the Whispering Tyrant. Graveknights are bound to their armor like a lich is to their phylactery, and Vahlo’s armor is actually that helm. Vahlo has been using the Society from the very beginning to further his own agenda from within the Ten, and as long as that helm exists then Vahlo will come back and continue to do so! So, everyone get in a line and put on that helm!”

Liberty's Edge

Male Human Ranger 14 (Freebooter and Skirmisher) - HP 122/130, AC 29/T: 16/FF: 25 - Perception +19 - F: +14/ R: +14/ W: +8* - CMB: +18 - CMD: 34, Speed: 30*, Init. +4

"I'm sorry, what?" says Fletch, incredulously. "It sounded like you said put the helmet -on-. Now I'm no scholar, but that sounds bad."

Grand Lodge

Session Resources:
Eaglesoul, GM weapon, Enco Un Zeal, DivineP Hero, Hunt bless x3 , Shield of F, deathward, StoneS, H feast, Life Bu,
| AC40 T16 F34 |HP 276/276|276/276|CMD:48| F:+32 R:+22 W:+30| Init:+10 (ROLL3x) | Perception: +37 | Session info

"You're going to have to talk straight for once and tell us why we should put it on. Also, don't scold me I have been cleaning up you and the other ten's messes for years."


| Strange Aeons | Low Tier Passing the Torch | High Tier Passing the Torch |
Grognar the Oracle wrote:
"You're going to have to talk straight for once and tell us why we should put it on. Also, don't scold me I have been cleaning up you and the other ten's messes for years."

”Oh no. Oh ho ho NO! You do not get to patronize me about cleaning up the Ten’s messes! I have spent years and—Bah! This isn’t the issue! It’s only a matter of time before what few Pathfinders remain in Absalom come here, and when they do the Decemvirate will take back that helm! Five people putting on the helm within a 24 hour period will destroy the artifact—normally it would take doing that twice within two days, but the ritual supercharged Vahlo’s rejuvenation, draining the helm of most of its power and leaving it weak enough that it can be destroyed right here, right now. So again I say: Put on the gods-damned helm!!!

Liberty's Edge

Male Human Ranger 14 (Freebooter and Skirmisher) - HP 122/130, AC 29/T: 16/FF: 25 - Perception +19 - F: +14/ R: +14/ W: +8* - CMB: +18 - CMD: 34, Speed: 30*, Init. +4

"I volunteer to be second," says Fletch. "If you'll go first, Torch."


| Strange Aeons | Low Tier Passing the Torch | High Tier Passing the Torch |

”Fine.”

Torch forcefully pulls off the goggles from his forehead as he reaches down for the three-flanged helm. The information broker puts the helm on his head without hesitation and immediately takes it off. He returns the goggles to his forehead and holds the helm out in one hand.

Liberty's Edge

Male Human Ranger 14 (Freebooter and Skirmisher) - HP 122/130, AC 29/T: 16/FF: 25 - Perception +19 - F: +14/ R: +14/ W: +8* - CMB: +18 - CMD: 34, Speed: 30*, Init. +4

Fletch looks impressed. He takes the helm and puts it on.

"Perhaps I misjudged you," he admits.

Silver Crusade

Male LG Human Brawler 1/Fighter (weapon master) 10/Paladin (divine hunter) 7 (5 neg lvls) | HP 184/184| AC: 32 T: 18 FF: 24 | CMB +18, CMD: 38 (41 Disarm/Sunder) | F: 24, R: 20, W: 13| Init: +3 | Perc: -6, SM:-2 | Spd: 30 | Lay on hands: 5/8| Channel: 4/4 | Martial Flex: 3/4 | Smite: 0/3 | Reliable Strike 1/2 | Goz Mask 4/6 | Active: Freedom of movement, evasion, see invisibility, fly, GWS

Thereus tries to position himself to keep Grognar from thrashing Torch (perhaps with cause). "I'll go next."

Thereus puts on the helm unless Fletch explodes or something.

Grand Lodge

Session Resources:
Eaglesoul, GM weapon, Enco Un Zeal, DivineP Hero, Hunt bless x3 , Shield of F, deathward, StoneS, H feast, Life Bu,
| AC40 T16 F34 |HP 276/276|276/276|CMD:48| F:+32 R:+22 W:+30| Init:+10 (ROLL3x) | Perception: +37 | Session info

"I will go as well. Now, that you wasted time complaining before doing exactly as I suggested and explaining your rationale and I did not have to come to you in the middle of the night with bodyguards to ask questions my question."

Dark Archive

Female NG Elf Cleric (Herald Caller) 18 | HP 129/129 | AC: 13 T: 13 FF: 10 | CMB +11, CMD: 24 | F: 19, R: 15, W: 25 | Ini: 12 (16 HA) | Prcp: 33, SM: 12 | Spd: 40 | hrsm aura: 6/18| chnnl: 1/5 | RODS xtnd 2/3 prstnt 0/3 prcng 0/3 quckn 3/3 rch 0/3 slnt 0/3 | robe of gates 1/3 | touch of glory 0/11 | hrsm, tru seeing, FoM, SR, GrAngAspct

Xanaphia shrugs and puts the helmet on when her turn comes.


| Strange Aeons | Low Tier Passing the Torch | High Tier Passing the Torch |

Once Xanaphia dons the triple-spired helm its metal grows brittle. Several cracks form on the helm, and it silently shatters into several large pieces.

Grandmaster Torch stands with tenseness as he casts detect magic, staring fervently at the shards on the grass. After several seconds, the information broker pants deeply. He presses his back against the Wall of Names and leans his head back, then slowly slides down to be sitting on the grass.

Torch reaches into his inside pocket and pulls out a pair of hefty leather bags that he tosses to his half-orc companions, landing at their feet with the jangle of coins. The half-orcs look at the bags with concern, then at each other, and then at Torch.

”Boss...?”

Torch gestures the back of his hand through the air, as if dismissing the two half-orcs. The bodyguards glance once more at each other, then reach down to each pick up one of the sacks. One pulls out a scroll and sets it on the ground while the other grabs the first’s shoulder. The two gaze once more at their employer before one of them utters a few incantations and the pair dimension door away.

Torch removes the complex metal goggles and haphazardly tosses them to the ground. He pulls out a handkerchief and wipes away the layer of sweat from his face. With a grunt, he slowly rises to his feet and moves down along the Wall of Names, his fingertips traipsing along the dark stone.

He stops at a certain point, looking at the engravings around him. He softly growls and pulls out an adamantine dagger. He flies up to near the top of the wall, where there is a moderately-sized margin free of the names of any Pathfinders and easily digs his dagger into the stone wall.

Torch spends the better part of a minute continuing to carve into the wall. When he finally floats down to the ground he reveals several inexpertly carved names engraven into the wall:

Kiras Lithron
Rosarra Springale
Thanien Kiandel
Asha Sandwalker

Torch tosses the dagger to the ground and sets the top of his head against the wall, placing the palm of his right hand against the wall. All the while Torch continues to pant deeply.

Pausing for PC reactions before I continue any more.

Liberty's Edge

Male Human Ranger 14 (Freebooter and Skirmisher) - HP 122/130, AC 29/T: 16/FF: 25 - Perception +19 - F: +14/ R: +14/ W: +8* - CMB: +18 - CMD: 34, Speed: 30*, Init. +4

Fletch walks over to stand respectfully behind Torch.

"Your team?" he asks. "Killed by the actions of this...Vahlo?"

Dark Archive

Female NG Elf Cleric (Herald Caller) 18 | HP 129/129 | AC: 13 T: 13 FF: 10 | CMB +11, CMD: 24 | F: 19, R: 15, W: 25 | Ini: 12 (16 HA) | Prcp: 33, SM: 12 | Spd: 40 | hrsm aura: 6/18| chnnl: 1/5 | RODS xtnd 2/3 prstnt 0/3 prcng 0/3 quckn 3/3 rch 0/3 slnt 0/3 | robe of gates 1/3 | touch of glory 0/11 | hrsm, tru seeing, FoM, SR, GrAngAspct

Xanaphia joins Fletch in examining the Grandmaster's addition to the Wall of Names. "Pathfinders you were close to who, for whatever reason, their names not added before? Care to share who they were and why they weren't on here already?"


| Strange Aeons | Low Tier Passing the Torch | High Tier Passing the Torch |

Torch lifts his head off of the Wall of Names and turns around. “This is where it ends,” He announces, while removing several rings and tossing them onto the ground, seeming to ignore the questions posed to him. “So many years ago, I joined the Society and did the Decemvirate’s bidding, only to be betrayed and abandoned rather than have the leaders admit wrongdoing.” He unclasps his cloak and unbuckles a bandolier of potions, adding them to the pile. “I worked independently after that, as you know, trying to change the Society through the Shadow Lodge.” He grunts derisively while upending a belt pouch containing spell components, a half-dozen tub-shaped feather tokens, and an ivory statue of himself. “Lost control of those rebels, I admit, but the new Shadow Lodge that resulted? What a magnificent thing that was! Together, we stood to reform the Society from within!” He punctuates this point by dropping his quiver and discarding a leather case brimming with scrolls. “Until I realized that all the progress we seemed to make ceased the moment the Decemvirate took an interest.” He unceremoniously adds his sword to the growing hoard of magic items.

“I’m a suspicious man, and I admit I jumped too swiftly to blaming the Decemvirate. Yet, when the opportunity came to discover their identities, I took it. My old nemesis Dorianna Ouidda had secured the names, yet even she had yet to piece together Vahlo’s motivations,” He snaps his fingers several times and casts numerous dispel magics, a magical aura upon him disappearing with each snap or casting. ”But I recognized him from the tales, recognized what his presence might mean, and knew what he would do to anyone who stood a chance of knowing his true identity. I killed Dorianna, I publicly betrayed the Society, and I no doubt disappointed many of you. It was the only way I saw in the moment to deflect blame from the Pathfinder agents and take it on myself, becoming in the Decemvirate’s eyes the villain they always assumed I would become. And to be fair, it worked for those agents; instead of an inquisition, the Grand Lodge reached out with an olive branch and special training. I couldn’t bear to see Vahlo wipe out the agents who placed their faith in me, even if I had to break their faith to save them from that fate.”

Torch sheds the last of his equipment except for armor, belt, and his brooch, plus a candle and tindertwig held in his hands. “For old time’s sake,” he notes with a wry chuckle as he lights the candle and balances it on the ground before concluding. “Since then, I’ve done everything I can to unmask Vahlo in a way that the Decemvirate couldn’t laugh off. I’ve stolen, spied, and even warmongered to that end, but at last the worst of the Ten has fallen. And by now my agents have finished carrying off enough evidence implicating two of the other Decemvirate that I suspect they’ll flee the Society once those documents come to light.

“I’ve done what I came to do. I’ve finished what I set out to accomplish. What I’ve done, I’ve always done for the Pathfinder Society and its agents. But that’s not for me to judge. I’ll answer any of your questions, and I’ll submit to your judgment. If I am to live or die, let it be the decision of true Pathfinders, not the Ten.”

The infamous and enigmatic Grandmaster Torch, a character as old as the Pathfinder Society Organized Play itself, awaits what you say next. What do you do?


| Strange Aeons | Low Tier Passing the Torch | High Tier Passing the Torch |
Xanaphia Siannodel wrote:
Xanaphia joins Fletch in examining the Grandmaster's addition to the Wall of Names. "Pathfinders you were close to who, for whatever reason, their names not added before? Care to share who they were and why they weren't on here already?"

”The Scarab Seekers, my team. I wasn’t Torch then; I was Ven Lorovox. We were sent on a routine search of an ancient tomb in Osirion, but the pharaoh refused to open Osirion’s borders to such archeological expeditions to ‘prevent tomb-robbing.’” Torch rolls his eyes. ”Pharasmins. As such, we went in secret. We were accosted in that tomb by undead, haunts, an elemental, and so on. I was cursed by what used to be the Emerald Sage who had risen as an allip. To avoid the wrath of the royal family, the Ten did not dispatch a team to recover the bodies for resurrection, because that would require admitting to going against the pharaoh’s wishes. Any connection to the Scarab Seekers was denied, and they officially died—including Ven Lorovox—as tomb-robbers, not Pathfinders.”

Liberty's Edge

Male Human Ranger 14 (Freebooter and Skirmisher) - HP 122/130, AC 29/T: 16/FF: 25 - Perception +19 - F: +14/ R: +14/ W: +8* - CMB: +18 - CMD: 34, Speed: 30*, Init. +4

"Where we start is never as important as where we end," says Fletch.

"And you seem to have ended well. Before I say what fate I think you deserve, I have one question. Why did you kill Dorianna Ouidda? Was it vengeance? Or was she part of Vahlo's plot?"


| Strange Aeons | Low Tier Passing the Torch | High Tier Passing the Torch |
"Fletch" wrote:
"Where we start is never as important as where we end," says Fletch.

That's...one way to say "the ends justify the means," I suppose.

"Fletch wrote:
"And you seem to have ended well. Before I say what fate I think you deserve, I have one question. Why did you kill Dorianna Ouidda? Was it vengeance? Or was she part of Vahlo's plot?"

”Vahlo’s name was on Dorianna Ouidda’s list of potential Decemvirate members, and I knew it from some of the Shining Crusade texts I had to study as an initiate. He was a bold paladin of Chaldira Zuzaristan who perished during a rescue, and those who died near the Whispering Tyrant became undead themselves.” Torch chuckles. “History lessons came in handy. Who knew?”

Torch’s smile vanishes as he looks off. “But Dorianna knew Vahlo’s name, even if she hadn’t determined its significance. But she would talk, and if Vahlo’s identity got out, far more people could have died. Killing her seemed the right move to keep Pathfinders safe. And I admit I had a chip on my shoulder. Dorianna usurped and corrupted the original Shadow Lodge, which only lent the Decemvirate more authority and led to countless deaths, especially following the Hestram incident. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate the moment of revenge.”

Grand Lodge

Session Resources:
Eaglesoul, GM weapon, Enco Un Zeal, DivineP Hero, Hunt bless x3 , Shield of F, deathward, StoneS, H feast, Life Bu,
| AC40 T16 F34 |HP 276/276|276/276|CMD:48| F:+32 R:+22 W:+30| Init:+10 (ROLL3x) | Perception: +37 | Session info

"Torch I dislike you, I have made that clear at each of our meetings. You are a liar and you have acted many times selfishly and and short sightedly with matters that have nothing to do with today, for which I hope you are judged. But, that judge will not be by me. If there is 2 copper of brains shared between all of the Ten you seem to have them both. There is a level of in competence that is worse then the baser instincts that you follow at times."

Grognar pauses then asks, "How can we make sure people so stupid are not in power. Surely we should not have to cleanup their messes? Everytime I bring this up to the ten the dismiss their failing."

Liberty's Edge

Male Human Ranger 14 (Freebooter and Skirmisher) - HP 122/130, AC 29/T: 16/FF: 25 - Perception +19 - F: +14/ R: +14/ W: +8* - CMB: +18 - CMD: 34, Speed: 30*, Init. +4
GM Xavier Kahlvet wrote:
"Fletch" wrote:
"Where we start is never as important as where we end," says Fletch.
That's...one way to say "the ends justify the means," I suppose.

It's meant to show that Fletch believes in redemption.


| Strange Aeons | Low Tier Passing the Torch | High Tier Passing the Torch |
Grognar the Oracle wrote:

"Torch I dislike you, I have made that clear at each of our meetings. You are a liar and you have acted many times selfishly and and short sightedly with matters that have nothing to do with today, for which I hope you are judged. But, that judge will not be by me. If there is 2 copper of brains shared between all of the Ten you seem to have them both. There is a level of in competence that is worse then the baser instincts that you follow at times."

Grognar pauses then asks, "How can we make sure people so stupid are not in power. Surely we should not have to cleanup their messes? Everytime I bring this up to the ten the dismiss their failing."

”The Ten holds no idiots within it, for you must have some level of intellect to be within, or did you never question why Hestram’s plan to infiltrate the Ten never worked? Regardless, I have acted with intent, and always consider the weight of my actions before they become actions. If you believe that false, then I will face your judgement. We may not like one another, Grognar, but if you grant me one thing, let it be that you see me face the punishment you believe I deserve. You may be biased, but I have acted against the insidiousness that sit within the Ten and corrupted the opinions of those who wish for the future of the Society, if such members exist. I’d rather the bias be with you than theirs.”

Silver Crusade

Male LG Human Brawler 1/Fighter (weapon master) 10/Paladin (divine hunter) 7 (5 neg lvls) | HP 184/184| AC: 32 T: 18 FF: 24 | CMB +18, CMD: 38 (41 Disarm/Sunder) | F: 24, R: 20, W: 13| Init: +3 | Perc: -6, SM:-2 | Spd: 30 | Lay on hands: 5/8| Channel: 4/4 | Martial Flex: 3/4 | Smite: 0/3 | Reliable Strike 1/2 | Goz Mask 4/6 | Active: Freedom of movement, evasion, see invisibility, fly, GWS

"So after all of it, you leave it to the four of us ... to be your judge and even executioner? Quite a burden you hand us. Your accomplishments - for good and ill - are certainly monument. I come from a tradition of family and brotherhood. There is nothing more important than the ties that bind us. I for one, believe you have tried to do what at least you think was for the best for your family, the Pathfinders. But what of the future? What would you do if we should leave you with your life?" The Erastilian paladin explains his view.


| Strange Aeons | Low Tier Passing the Torch | High Tier Passing the Torch |
Thereus wrote:
"But what of the future? What would you do if we should leave you with your life?"

Torch releases a deep sigh. “I’ve spent years on the run and planning for today. I rarely gave what would follow any thought. It’s tempting to just retire somewhere warm and relax for once.”

Liberty's Edge

Male Human Ranger 14 (Freebooter and Skirmisher) - HP 122/130, AC 29/T: 16/FF: 25 - Perception +19 - F: +14/ R: +14/ W: +8* - CMB: +18 - CMD: 34, Speed: 30*, Init. +4

Fletch laughs despite himself, mirthfully. "When pigs fly!" he says. "You won't lay down and retire while there's life left in you. It's not in your nature."

The ranger says "Nothing can ever utterly wipe clean the slate of our lives. Even if we follow the path of redemption we must still pay for our mistakes. But that is for fate and the gods, not me. I believe that you will continue to meddle, for good or ill, but that you will do it from good intentions. I cannot condemn you for that."

"Live." he says simply and looks at his companions for their vote.

Silver Crusade

Male LG Human Brawler 1/Fighter (weapon master) 10/Paladin (divine hunter) 7 (5 neg lvls) | HP 184/184| AC: 32 T: 18 FF: 24 | CMB +18, CMD: 38 (41 Disarm/Sunder) | F: 24, R: 20, W: 13| Init: +3 | Perc: -6, SM:-2 | Spd: 30 | Lay on hands: 5/8| Channel: 4/4 | Martial Flex: 3/4 | Smite: 0/3 | Reliable Strike 1/2 | Goz Mask 4/6 | Active: Freedom of movement, evasion, see invisibility, fly, GWS

"Before your vacation, Grandmaster, you must submit to a thorough debrief with the Society, to ensure that no stone of your past dealings is un-turned. Surely, you respect the power of information."

He steps next to Fletch.

"Live." says Thereus, plainly. "If only so you may see how your actions will play out on the backdrop of history."

Grand Lodge

Session Resources:
Eaglesoul, GM weapon, Enco Un Zeal, DivineP Hero, Hunt bless x3 , Shield of F, deathward, StoneS, H feast, Life Bu,
| AC40 T16 F34 |HP 276/276|276/276|CMD:48| F:+32 R:+22 W:+30| Init:+10 (ROLL3x) | Perception: +37 | Session info
Quote:
"The Ten holds no idiots within it, for you must have some level of intellect to be within, or did you never question why Hestram’s plan to infiltrate the Ten never worked?"

"I know the people that thwarted that plan. From what I understand

Spoiler:
KPOSEK
might feel differently about idiots and membership in the Ten. Then there are all the members current and past that have worked side-by-side with this abomination. You craked his plan and we fixed the issue. They are either idiots or blinded by greed, I don't care which one. Being intelligent does not preclude being an idiot. The only thing we always agreed on was disdain for the Ten. It is their self-protective instincts for anonymity that caused this issue."
Quote:
"Bias."

"Don't confuse personal feelings for bias. I have not directly witnessed you commit crimes here today and the pathfinders are not a court. Go to the city watch, turn yourself in, and stand trial. Then plead guilty like any other repentant criminal. I only care that the Ten are unmasked."


| Strange Aeons | Low Tier Passing the Torch | High Tier Passing the Torch |
Grognar the Oracle wrote:
Quote:
"Bias."

"Don't confuse personal feelings for bias. I have not directly witnessed you commit crimes here today and the pathfinders are not a court. Go to the city watch, turn yourself in, and stand trial. Then plead guilty like any other repentant criminal. I only care that the Ten are unmasked."

You actually have, just not directly; He sent many of his agents to steal documents and relics from the Grand Lodge.

"Trial by a jury of my peers. Or do you suggest the jury be a contingent of half-orc mercenaries who will go to the highest bidder? Because outside of Pathfinders, those are my only true peers."

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