You have each arrived in Minkai within the past few months where you've been working with Venture-Captain Amara Li to help lay the groundwork for a new lodge in Minkai.
You've been performing a variety of tasks that are well-suited to your
Amara Li has been spending most of her time collecting relics from across the world to house in a new museum with a focus on relics from Minkaian history that have been kept in other nations. To this end, she has been traveling all over the nation to pursue leads. These relics have come from a combination of purchases and donations, and
she has occasionally called on local Pathfinders to guard the relics.
You are currently working in Sakakabe, a prosperous city famous for its trade in silver and pearls. There Venture-Captain Li summons you to meet with her in one of the gardens of the Kiniro Kyomai teahouse, a
famous teahouse run by geisha. The tea, food and music are all high quality and you have some time to enjoy the refreshments because your meeting with Amara Li.
Go ahead and introduce yourselves etc.
Imiriax is a well-dressed Taldan man with a crossbow strapped to his pack. He obviously relishes the fine tea and beautiful surroundings. When he thinks the hostess is not looking, he flicks bits of raw fish to a large and glossy raven perched on the eaves of the roof that overlooks the garden.
He greets each of his fellow Pathfinders with good Taldan manners and tries to learn each of their names and commit them to memory.
"Well met! I am Imiriax of Ridonport. I am pleased to meet you."
Dob is a gnome, tall for his kind at nearly 4 feet tall, with pale skin telling the tale of a brush with the bleaching, His hair is an almost black shade of blue. He wears serviceable functionary clothing with several pockets and belts, and a red gem adorns his forehead and a well-mended but oft-used breastplate covering his chest. Practically bristling with weapons, his demeanor is disturbingly solemn and business-like, making some doubt his gnomish heritage.
"Greetings Imiriaz, I am Pathfinder Agent Dob Frilko. Are you going to introduce your companion?" he asks, observing the raven.
A young Chelaxian woman enters wearing a customized fine uniform of black with gold epaulets, cuffs, and accents. She wears a red half-cape and matching leggings. Her long brown hair cascades in smooth lines down her back. Her expression is enigmatic: a slight smile that could belie any number of hidden motives and eyes that gaze appraisingly at whoever is around her. She carries a long battleaxe that she manages to give an appearance of grandeur and nobility. Despite being little over five feet tall, she has a presence that makes her appear much taller.
Following close behind her is a severe, tall man wearing a similar black and gold outfit, though more humble and lacking the red accessories. His mid-length black hair parts so that it covers half of his face. If the woman appears to be appraising everyone she meets, he appears to be considering the best way to murder everyone at a moment's notice, should he need to.
The man steps forwards and bows. "May I present to you: Edelmira Dianthe Carthagnion. Heir to the House of Carthagnion."
Edelmira casually raises a white-gloved hand and nods to him as she enters. "Thank you, Herbert." She inclines her head politely to the others gathered. "A pleasure to meet all of you." As she finishes speaking, a porter sets down a suit of gold and red full plate armor and a shield bearing a golden eagle on a red field near the door before Herbert sends him off. Edelmira smiles. "I thought it best not to wear it during a meeting with Amara Li, but I am loathe to leave my armor away from me for too long."
With the 3 of you and Thulgrun getting to enjoy a nice meal with tea Amara Li makes her presence known.
“I fear that misfortune may have struck some of your fellow agents. I hope that you can help them return here to safety, but I fear the task I have to request of you may instead center around recovering what you can from your fallen allies and, if it is safe to do so, completing the mission in their stead.”
Society 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21 Dob tries to recall what he can about house Carthagnion.
He pays little attention to Herbert and the porter, instead assessing both the heiress and her armor. He appraises the battle axe. Well, at least she came half-dressed. That armor will only stay that shiny if she never puts it on.
Aloud, he merely says "Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Lady Carthagnion."
As Mara Li enters and addresses the assemblage, Dob gives her his full attention. "The Society seems to have taken a number of losses, between this and the Lastwall disaster. We'll have to be vigilant to avoid adding to these losses."
|Pell the Peerless|
A man with well-maintained hair and wearing studded leather armor arrives. A sword and shield are slung kn his back.
"Ladies and gentlemen, Pell the Peerless has arrived!" he declares. ["I hope I am fashionably late."[/b].
Spotting the hostess and a selection of other adventures, the man makes his way over to them and gives a short bow, "Such beauty can only belong to Amara Li." he says, turning on the charm. He then turns to the Chelaxian woman. "And you, my lady. You certainly look...fit. However, I don't believe we've ever had the pleasure.". He gives a short bow and reaches out a hand to the woman in greeting.
Wow... very melee heavy...
A well-tanned dwarf with long braided blonde hair and beard enters the room. He wears well worn explorer's clothing, but not armor, setting him apart from most dwarves... that and the fact that the only obvious weapon that he carries is his clan dagger. Around his neck is the open hand symbol of Irori.
"Good day, Pathfinders." he says, with what appears to be a perpetual scowl on his face. "Thulgrun Ironfist, at your service.
"So, Venture Captain, our mission is to be a search-and-rescue one? I have to ask," he says, eyeing the other individuals, "It seems as if our skill sets here are mostly one-dimensional. Seems we have an abundance of hitty-types, and not enough thinky-types, with only Imariax being of the twiddly-finger kind of adventurer.
"Is there no one else available to pull in?"
Amara Li shakes her head
“You're it. See, last year, I received a donation of relics from Taldor. The route is lengthy and complicated, so I will spare you unnecessary details. The important part is that a caravan carrying the relics safely arrived in Hongal to the north, where it met up with a pair of Pathfinder agents, Lin Po and Ti Lan. These agents inspected the cargo, sent me a missive indicating that all was in order, and joined a second caravan to take the Spirit Road through the Forest of Spirits. The journey is understandably long, taking over two months to complete. Still, the caravan is late, and I fear that they may have run into trouble along the way. They were supposed to reach Sakakabe two weeks ago.”
Amara Li pauses for a moment to sip some tea before continuing.
“While it’s possible that they were waylaid in the northernmost parts of Minkai, I believe it’s far more likely that they ran into trouble in the Forest of Spirits, a mystical place that shelters departed souls and most of the world’s kami.”
“Kami are spiritual guardians with a deep connection to certain living locations or living things. The locals pay great respect to the kami, never intruding further into the forest than their one coastal road, the Spirit Road, and a number of small settlements built around shrines. This should make tracking the caravan simple, since there’s only a single road along which they should have had to rest or resupply at some point. I need you to check each of the roadside settlements until you find the last one to have seen the caravan, then track it from there and figure out what happened.”
Finally Amari Li concludes,
“Be sure to respect the kami and the local traditions honoring them; I don’t want you to come to harm in your journey. The kami are mostly benevolent, so long as they receive the proper respect, but there are some dangers that might have harried the caravan. Bandits, hobgoblins, and giants, among other creatures, dwell within the forest.”
[b]“The forest also hosts some aggressive plants and animals, not to mention malign spirits such as the oni, the sworn enemies of the kami. The locals will know more than I of what perils to expect.”
Amara Li sips her tea, seemingly inviting questions.
Also if you'd like to recall knowledge using Forest Lore or Nature, please let me know your bonus and I'll make a secret check.
|Pell the Peerless|
"Don't worry, fine Thulgun. Pell here is all you need to make certain your mission is safe and successful." reassures the human.
Turning to Amara Li, he asks, "So, just what is it that these 'kami' might consider 'respectful'?"
@Thulgrun I haven't even finished building my other character, and I'm going to need her for a f2f game soon anyways, so this is all I got
Edelmira curtsies in return to Pell's bow, then extends a hand to shake his. "A pleasure to meet you." From the power of her grip, it's clear she is quite fit. Herbert glares at Pell, making sure that he is not giving Lady Edelmira any unwanted advances.
Edelmira listens politely to Amara Li's briefing and considers the situation thoughtfully. "It seems straightforward enough. Do you have any rival organizations here in Tian-Xia that might be behind the missing caravans?"
All good, Edelmira... just rantin' in character
The dwarf monk rolls his eyes at Pell's statement. 'They are all alike... think they are the gods' gifts to Golarian.'
"So, we're t' be on the road for a wee bit of time, are we?" asks Thulgrun. "Rice, you say, t' be respectful? Guess I'll have to pick up a sackful.
"So, any of you agents know the local tongue?"
Fighter Squad Plus One Go Force!
I'd say he'll probably outgrow it. But I'm not that much of an optimist anymore. Coupla greenies here. At least the Dwarf seems to have things together.
"Afraid I don't. A bit of Sylvan, which may come in handy, but nothing in the Tien family."
Realized I haven't picked out my bonus language, but that'll probably be Jotun-Tien not really available to Gnomes.
"Any chance your magics can lend in that category, milady?"
Edelmira calmly takes a sip of her tea. ”I am glad to hear Taldane shall suffice. I am fluent in four languages, though unfortunately none of them are Tien. I shall have to pick up a few more some time.” She nods to Herbert, who makes a brief note. Edelmira savors the tea, then continues. ”Still, our mission involves investigation, so perhaps we should see about hiring a translator. I have enough funds at my disposal to contribute more than my share.”
The wizard sets down his tea cup in a precise and mannered way. Then he gets down to the matter at hand.
"In the event that less-than-friendly kami are responsible for the caravan's demise," says Imiriax, "What are some of the more efficacious methods of combating these creatures? Are they spirits in fact, or are they flesh and bone?"
"And if this ceases to be a rescue and becomes a recovery, what is it we are to recover? Do you have a list of the relics the caravan was carrying?"
Amara Li answers "Lin Po, tall, skinny and serious; Ti Lan, short, fat and funny. The Kami are mostly benign spirits, that can possess living creatures to share memories but exert little control over their hosts. I've never heard them to be violent but positive energy, holy water and the like would be effective. As for the relics it's a whole exhibit from a Taldan museum on Minkai, thus the wagon."
She will provide with a general list of the items although it is somewhat bare on specifics. None of them sound exceptional.
I'm going to requisition a healing potion instead of my usual potency crystal for the school item. Looks like we have enough hitting force and not enough healing. Not sure if the team player boon from Escaping the grave needs to be slotted (it doesn't say slotless) but will slot that if so (fortune?)
"Alas, I lack the funds for such an expenditure. I guess we'll just have to be nice." sarcasm drips from Dobb's lips. The gnome frowns, looking through his pack.
Hope we can find some loose change on the way to one of the hamlets.... or some coin that can be loosened.
"I am a decent medic, should the need come, but my healin' ain't quick." says Thulgrun. "Comes from years of bandaging me own wounds up, while training. So, worst come to worst, we take some time, and I bandage you up. I hope you all can fix the shields you are carrin', or does ol' Thulgrun have to fix those, too?"
Imiriax check out the guide... specifically this page
Boons slotted: Grand Archives champion, Promotional Service Award (+1 hero point, can be shared), Nexian Researcher (1-00), Society Connection (1-01), Team Player (1-03)
At this level aiding another is not a good idea, as critical fails do cause a penalty. You should really buy a healing kit, they are only 20sp. Otherwise we cannot treat two at once.
|Pell the Peerless|
"I hope you all can fix the shields you are carrin', or does ol' Thulgrun have to fix those, too?"
"Hopefully, I won't have to take you up on your repair offer." Pell replies. Still, he stows the minor healing potion provided by the Society and checks his recently acquired wayfinder.
Slotting: Horizon Hunters Champion; Promotional Accessory
Spent: 2 Fame on wayfinder and potion as free consumable.
Edelmira's slotted boons are listed in her profile
Edelmira tilts her head thoughtfully at Thulgrun's question. "I usually travel with someone skilled at repair work, so I have not invested the time into learning it myself. My shield has luckily also been sturdy enough to resist the attacks it has taken without much damage. Nevertheless, I would happily take you up on the offer, Mr. Ironfist."
I'm good to go!
Having sorted out supplies and travel plans you make your way overland for several weeks along a road the winds through the Osogen Grasslands to reach the Forest of Spirits.
Along the way you cross paths with travelers heading south into Minkai as well as nomadic herders. No one you meet has seen the caravan you are looking for.
Upon entering the Forest of Spirits the atmosphere changes. The forest is cool and damp, and profoundly alive. There snow blankets the ground and clings to branches of towering pine and spruce trees. Birds, rodents, foxes, deer, bears, and numerous other creatures roam through the woods, keeping their distance from the road. The density of the trees suggests that logging is almost unheard of in this forest.
Animals are not the only creatures moving out in the woods however, and it feels like someone is watching you.
As you progress through the forest, you visit several small villages, none of which have seen the caravan you are looking for.
You do find signs of passage from several caravans and groups that travelled on foot, along with the remains of campsites right next to the trail. There are no indications that any of these groups came to harm however.
Arriving at the village of Basaru gives you a hopeful feeling though. Although the snow has increased somewhat in the last few days the villagers here seem particularly hospitable and tell you about several caravans from Avistan that have passed along in recent months.
Due to snow all perception checks are at -2
A little bit of basic math with the map distances suggests your caravan should have been through here about 6 weeks ago.
Talking with several villagers gets you pointed in the direction of local trader Hotaki Marushi. The older Tian man runs a general store, seemingly mostly selling sundry goods to various caravans.
"Ahhh, greetings I hear you're looking for something other than just supplies, yes? Please tell me more, maybe Hotaki can be of help?"
Please feel free to make a diplomacy check in addition to chatting with Horaki. There's no penalty for individual failures here but you could always decide to keep a look out for trouble or avoid notice or other exploration tactics as desired instead of chatting.
Edelmira has been traveling in her cold weather furs over her resplendent red and gold full plate, her long hair tied up in a bun and held fast by a horned circlet. Her shield bears the sigil of a double-headed gold eagle on a red field. Herbert is dressed in a winter uniform of black, gray, white, and a slightly lighter black than the first. Edelmira dismounts and enters the store, removing her gauntlets upon entering as a sign of good faith, then rubbing her palms together and blowing on them to keep them warm. Herbert keeps his on.
”Good day, Hotaki. My name is Edelmira, and this here is my servant, Herbert. We were curious if you have seen a caravan going through here about 6 weeks ago, heading up the Spirit Road from Hongal. Any information you can provide will go towards ensuring the safety of traders along the Spirit Road, and safe traders means reliable supplies for fine establishments such as your own.”
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
Leaning on his staff and wrapped in a thick woolen cloak, Imiriax inhales the crisp air and enjoys the muffled quiet of the falling snow, so alien to the humid air of his home on the Inner Sea.
He knows his role as sage and counselor, not as diplomat, and he remains quietly in the rear, observing but not yet talking. He hopes to discern details of the village and its people that may inform the group’s decisions.
Society: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
|Pell the Peerless|
"The good Lady is right." chimed Pell. "And we fear our fellow Pathfinders may have run afoul of spirits in the forest. We were told that the citizens of your fine village may, perhaps, have some insights as to the whereabouts of the other Pathfinders or, at least, some suggestions on how to navigate forest." notes Pell.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Imiriax gets a sense of peacefulness here that goes beyond just the snow and friendly faces. There's something supernatural about it. Listening to the villagers for awhile reveals an influence from the village Kami, a particularly hospitable spirit.
Hotaki listens and flips back through his leger "Ahh yes, a caravan did pass through then, they stayed for a day I believe to rest before continuing."
He pauses and scratches his head for a moment " I remember them though, instead of taking the main path they chose to take an older path toward Minkai, which veers into thicker woodland for several days before joining the main road. They did not share their reasons for their strange path and despite our warnings they seemed committed. If I were you I'd speak to Sakatoya, our shaman. Perhaps they confided in her."
Edelmira glances to Herbert, who nods and taps his temple to indicate he has committed the information to memory. She places a hand on her hip and smiles at the helpful trader. ”Very good. We sincerely appreciate your forthright answer. If I may ask, you said that you gave various warnings about the older path. What dangers there do you know of? Even small details may help us expedite our mission and return the Spirit Road to normal.”
Hotaki gives you direction to the shaman's house and then answer Edelmira's question "Why risk angering the spirits when the main path is safe? While most are benevolent, there are bears and other ferocious creatures, it's also easy to get lost out there, especially with the snow falling so heavily. Why drag the wagons over narrow and uneven ground. I know not but they must have had reason."
"Indeed." mutters Dob. Clearing his throat, he smiles towards Hotaki "Perhaps we'll discover those reasons when we discover their fates. Regardless, thank you for your fine record-keeping and recollection."
Dob nods to his companions. "We should speak to this Shaman, Perhaps they know more about our fellows and their path."
”Thank you Master Hotaki,” says Thulgrun. ”We look forward to conversing with Mistress Sakatoya. With her additional help, I am sure we have a chance at solving this mystery.” The dwarf bows to the elder tradesman.
Finding Sakatoya is easy enough. She's a scholarly looking young woman dressed in brown and green robes with a surprisingly deep voice. Inside her building is a series of work benches lined with partially completed medicine bundles.
She waves you in, clearly quite behind in her work.
"Come, make yourself useful while we talk or I'll never catch up."
She continues to assemble bundles while she chats.
If you'd like to help It'll take a medicine check to help assemble bundles while you chat with Sakatoya. As before there's no penalty for failure etc.
Medicine 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Dob sits down and begins assembling packs with the Shaman. "Reminds me of the work I did with the former knights of Lastwall up at the border of the Gravelands. Dark times made better by comradery."
Dob continues "It seems you may know something about some missing compatriots of ours. Group of Pathfinders travelled by here awhile back, bearing some relics. Master Hotaki said they'd spoken with you before they left. Seems they chose to take the road less travelled as it were."
Diplomacy 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
No need for diplomacy checks here, she plenty friendly.
With Dob's help her progress gets back on track and she's quite chatty.
"Yes, I remember the caravan. 4 wagons. Bless you for your help, stack those over there." She points to a stack for newly completed bundles before continuing.
"I told them to stick to the path, but they had a clear plan to take an older loop. It didn't make any sense, their wagons would be slow, they could be eaten by bears, Bless your heart nobody wants to be eaten by a bear, they have horrible breath. Also don't skimp on the leeka root in there, they make a great anesthetic properties."
Dusting her hands off "Sorry I don't know any more about your friends, I presume you've already talked to Hotaki the trader... Maybe ask Shukasai, he loves telling stories and knows a little bit about everything."
Your pleasant interactions here in Basaru have provided you with at least some connection to the hospitable village Kami. For the remainder of the scenario you may all reroll a saving throw 1/encounter before learning the results.
Medicine: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15 Thulgrun helps out with the bundles.
”Thank you, Mistress” says Thulgrun respectfully. ”May you never have to use these medical supplies. And thank you for our final lead before we track this wayward caravan.
“Where might we find Master Shukasai?”
She nods "It's good to keep stocked, and Hotaki sells quite a few to travellers as well."
She'll give you directions to find Shukasai. Heading out from her workshop you hear some ferocious yipping followed by the scream of panicked and bloodied townsfolk as a trio of giant foxes make themselves known.
They have bloody jaws and vicious looks in their eyes.
Thulgrun: 1d20 + 6 - 2 ⇒ (3) + 6 - 2 = 7
Dob: 1d20 + 6 - 2 ⇒ (8) + 6 - 2 = 12
Edelmira Charthagnion: 1d20 + 5 - 2 ⇒ (10) + 5 - 2 = 13
Imiriax: 1d20 + 3 - 2 ⇒ (4) + 3 - 2 = 5
Pell: 1d20 + 5 - 2 ⇒ (8) + 5 - 2 = 11
Green: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
blue: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
Yellow: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
The first fox spots the Pathfinders and runs forward nearly spinning Edelmira as it goes for her ankles.
Jaws: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
Piercing damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
but can't find any fleshy bits behind Edelmira's greaves.
The next fox takes advantage of Edelmira turning to face the first and pounces onto Edelmira's back.
Jaws vs FF: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
piercing damage + Sneak Attack: 1d6 + 1 + 1d4 ⇒ (1) + 1 + (1) = 3
Managing to land a light scratch through a joint in the full plate.
Edelmira, Dob and Pell are up!
There are a few scattered townsfolk, but they are doing a reasonable job at running from danger and won't be in our way.