Intelligence check DC 10: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
Stealth: 10 + 23 = 33
Perception: 10 + 19 = 29
A figure in a dark green cloak, hood pulled up, hiding his face, silently enters the room; it is not his first foray into Heidmarch Manor. He spies the small dark man in the corner intent in his studies. He observes for a bit and then moves quietly and unobtrusively to the refreshment table, quietly retrieving a chunk of cheese and a bottle of wine, moving as the wind to another dark corner to await and observe the rest of the party...
Lady Heidmarch always did serve up the best spread...
Relying on techniques he’d read in an archaic manuscript, Psycho Dread closed his eyes and concentrated, pushing his consciousness beyond his physical body.
A life filled with travel has only heightened Psycho Dread’s wanderlust. Always fixated on the next stop on his journey, he’s kind and friendly, yet avoids deep connections with others. Through all of this, he’s begun to develop his own philosophy, yet knows it will take many more adventures before he’s ready to share it.
perception: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (2) + 17 = 19
|River of Stars|
A young shoanti man joins the others, a wide smile on his face. He is trailed by a fox that seems to sparkle with starlight despite being indoors.
They look like this.
Perception: 1d20 + 32 ⇒ (6) + 32 = 38
He spots the wayang in the corner occupied with a book, and can tell from the way the hooded elf moves that he's not trying to attract attention, so he approaches the remaining person in the room, the man wearing the striking hat.
"Greetings friend, I am River of Stars, and this is Eska." He indicates the sparkly fox at his feet. "Are you also here answering the Heidmarch's call?"
Perception: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (14) + 20 = 34
”Oh hello everyone!” A bright-eyed human with large glasses and a cheerful grin walks to the table and collects several slices of bread and cheese on a plate before pouring herself a glass of dark red wine. She nods at the elf before finding a seat next to the humans. ”Do you anything about this mission? I’ll admit that I do love a good mystery, but I like being prepared even more.”
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"Hello everyone! I am Psycho!"
The figure in the corner gives a wry grin, seeing that he’s been easily spotted by both the Shoanti man and the woman. These folk are sharp...they will be good companions. He finishes his last bite of cheese, washing it down with a healthy swig of wine.
He steps forth, pulling his hood back to reveal long, flowing black hair and a face with sharp Elven features, and bows. ”Greetings. Daedîn at your service.”
|River of Stars|
"Greetings all". How bows in response to Daedîn, as does Eska, who seems like she's following the conversation. He nods to Psycho and Not-Trixie in turn.
In response to Not-Trixie's question River replies "I heard only that the lodge here was looking for aid, and as I was in Varisia visiting my Quah I came to offer what help I could. The last time I was here Venture-Captain Heidmarch had uncovered a grave plot against the city of Magnimar so I came at once"
I sense strong spirits in these Pathfinders Eska, the need must be great to have called forth such heroes. Let us hope we can guide them on their path
A wayang enters the room. The keen eyed in the group may notice her scabbard is empty and the shadows around her don't move the way they should.
Hello, Lamont and I are so pleased to meet you. I do hope you won't hold his nature against him. If you should feel the need to harm undead I ask that you protect him from your wrath.
As she speaks some of the shadows briefly coalesce into a distinct humanoid form.
The double doors to the rear of the house open and frame two figures you may have had the fortune to meet before. Sheila and Canayven Heidmarch grasp hands lightly and proceed into the antechamber.
”Welcome to our home. I hope you have enjoyed the refreshments provided. A small recompense for the long journeys you have all made to be here.” Sheila begins, her throaty voice commanding the room with a practiced ease.
”Don’t mind me…” Canayven smiles, as he gently breaks his hand free and moves over to the refreshment table ”...I am here for the cheese. Especially the Smoked Storval Special. Mmm-mmmh.”
”Yes, well don’t ruin your appetite for the rest of the day.” Sheila continues. ”I am relieved that the rest of you have made it here safely. With all the tumult around the central lake recently, nothing is certain these days.”
She takes a seat on one of the sitting couches. ”Now, I’m afraid I don't have a very detailed mission description for you, but that only speaks to the mystery and urgency it entails. For the past few months, I have hired into my employ - under official Pathfinder title - a scholar from the Taldan city of Oppara, Master Meloigne Garracy. He has been quite useful in digging up esoteric knowledge about a wealth of subjects beneficial to the Society regarding this area and has recouped his salary tenfold, quite frankly. But now he has vanished. Quite out of character for him, he has been the epitome of reliability until now. I do know that the last place he spoke of wanting to visit was the traveling Umbra Carnival, which right now happens to be just outside Magnimar, near a small village known as Sandpoint. He was hunting for someone or something called the “All-Seeing Hajeck.” Unfortunately, that is all I know. Your reputations give me hope that you will be able to figure out his whereabouts and return him safely to Magnimar.”
She straightens her posture to signal for questions. Canayven quiets his consumption as well, realizing the briefing’s pause.
Daedîn’s ears perk up when he hears of the Umbra Carnival. ”The Umbra Carnival, ma’am? While it’s been a while, I doubt the odd collection of traveling shows and eccentric vendors has changed much. Perhaps some of them still work there; they could be helpful in providing info concerning your lost employee...”
Meloigne Garracy ... DC 20 Knowledge Nobility: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (7) + 12 = 19
Sandpoint ... DC 20 Knowledge Local : 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (19) + 16 = 35
"Despite its size, Sandpoint has played a pivotal role in recent history, being the site of several pathfinder adventures regarding the Runelords of ancient Thassilon. It is located about sixty miles up the coast from Magnimar."
Umbra Carnival ... DC 20 Knowledge Local: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (6) + 16 = 22
" All-Seeing Hajeck is a renown fortune teller with the carnival."
Knowledge (history, local, nobility), Take 10: 10 + 12 = 22 (Not-Trixie has the same bonus for all three skills)
”Garracy? But that estate’s been bankrupt for years - nobody even pays attention to them in Oppara anymore.” Not-Trixie pauses to sip her wine thoughtfully. ”What’s an ex-noble from Taldor doing out here? And I don’t suppose he left any notes on what he might have been studying before he vanished, did he?”
|River of Stars|
River telepathically communicates to his familiar, with whom he shares a telepathic link
These pathfinders are very knowledgeable Eska, Meloigne is in good hands
River and Eska listen for the response to Not-Trixies question, and River adds one of his own.
"This may seem a strange question, but do you happen to have anything of Meloigne's? A garment, or even some nail clippings or hair from a hairbrush? The spirits can sometimes be persuaded to share their insights, but they need something to focus on"
Daedîn shakes his head. "Renowned fortune teller? When I last encountered her at the carnival, the all-seeing Hajeck was a huckster best at telling people what they wanted to hear...but perhaps that defines what a fortune teller really is.
"Any way, as beautiful as she was, she wasn't much help with our investigation. Her tent was located near the traveling zoo back then...and her face was covered with blue tattoos so she shouldn't be hard to find..."
Sheila admires your initiative as your minds spring into action. "It is good to know you have a solid lead to follow."
Responding in kind to Not-Trixie and River's requests, she simply shakes her head. "I'm afraid he worked on his own and only visited here to report on findings and receive new tasks. That is how I knew of his fateful visit to the carnival, but I have no personal..." She furrows her brow. "Wait, I do have a book of his, he presented it as a gift to me. Perhaps that could aid you, River of Stars."
She exits abruptly but quickly returns and hands you a considerable tome. The book is a leather bound collection of Varisian folktales. A quick examination reveals a dog-eared page.
know. history: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (8) + 12 = 20
|River of Stars|
Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (19) + 15 = 34
"Thank you Sheila. This is most interesting. Sonnorae is a name known to Eska and I, a tale told around the campfires. It is said that in the age of darkness, a line of Varisians dedicated to the preservation of knowledge ended in a single gifted bard, this Sonnorae ... er ... Imlios, or Emlios or something like that. If I remember correctly she took a part of the dimension of dreams and worked it into a receptical for the knowledge of her people, tied to her Harrow deck. "The Harrowed Realm" or something of the sort"
"Perhaps this is what Meloigne was researching? A Varisian legend would fit with his interest in the Varisian carnival. To see such a realm, with its histories woven into its very substance, would be appealing to a scholar"
Eska certainly looks excited at the thought.
"Shoanti record our history as stories passed down through the generations, but imagine a whole plane that existed just to record them. What a privilege it would be to visit and speak to the echoes of the spirits of the past."
He looks off into the distance clearly dreaming of heroes and history long gone.
After the briefing River will try to find some material / focus components for spells; a silver mirror worth 1000GP for scrying, granite and diamond dust worth 250GP for stoneskin and some eye ointment worth 250GP for true seeing. Total 1500GP
Daedîn nods his head to the Shoanti, impressed with his fountain of knowledge, and then looks to Lady Heidmarch. ”Perhaps your scholar friend has vanished into this ‘Harrowed’ realm...this should prove most interesting...but then, my previous experience shows that strange and interesting things are commonplace when it comes to the Umbra Carnival...”
Another plane? An interesting possibility.
"Well then, it seems as if you are as eager to begin as I am to send you off to rescue my friend. Canayven and I look forward to your successful return." She concludes with a slow nod and smile while her husband looks up from the refreshments and emphatically toasts you with a glass of wine and mouth still full.
Feel free to purchase that which you may need in Magnimar before setting off for Sandpoint or conduct any other business you should desire.
The road to Sandpoint seems busier than usual, with an influx of travelers that appear to be heading to the Carnival from the City of Monuments as well.
Sandpoint is known as the 'Light of the Lost Coast', and retains most of its quaint history despite recent events and an uptick in population in recent years. But as you approach the village just as dusk begins to settle in, the vibrant sounds of the Umbra carnival just outside town fill the air and compete for your attention.
Pushing by the crowds that have gathered at the main carnival pavilion and the petting zoo, you spot a ragtag tent with a hand-written sign hammered in low to the ground.
---The All-Seeing Hajeck--- Fortunes Read, Destinies Told, All for the Price of a Copper or Gold
If ever there was a sign...
Daedîn mutters, "Her tent looks the same...still next to the petting zoo...oh well, in for a copper, in for a gold," and warily enters the tent...
Perception: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (14) + 19 = 33
”I’ll admit, that’s an interesting price difference - and quite the increase in price.” Not-Trixie follows behind the others with a notebook in her hand. No sense making things more complicated when there’re folks who already know this Hajeck, she thinks to herself.
Pushing open the tent's door flaps, the interior of Hajeck's abode is fairly sparse. A simple wooden table and two stools are the only furniture, although the walls are adorned with a colorful array of scarfs. A particularly striking Varisian woman sits across the table and is slightly startled by your entrance, if only due to the size of your group. She smiles wildly nonetheless.
"Well, such a wonderful surprise. I just knew today would be a fortunate one for me. Who shall be first to experience the wonders of the All-Seeing Hajeck?"
A new handout shows who you are speaking to.
Daedîn nods and bows. "M’Lady Hajeck, you are just as lovely and charming as when we met before...a long while back, during the Ilsurian murders when my companions and I helped clear the Carnival of any wrongdoing. I’m afraid, once again, we are not here for pleasure. We’re here to ask after a recent customer of yours; what can you tell us of Master Meloigne Garracy? He is missing and we would like to know of his whereabouts...”
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
"We will be very grateful if you can help us!"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (16) + 12 = 28
|River of Stars|
River ducks under the tent flap and sits cross-legged on the floor to watch and listen, Eska trailing along by his feet.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (18) + 13 = 31
Eska, see if you can pick up any scents in here other than incense. Perhaps something from the book I showed you earlier?
Eska has scent and will have a sniff around to see what she can smell
Sihir, shuffling/scampering/scuttling along in that characteristically Wayang manner of theirs at the back of the party, looks about for magic, because why not? There could be any number of interesting things in here...!
detect magic/Spellcraft if applicable: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (10) + 20 = 30 extra +2 vs Illusions
Miss Hajeck noticeably strains to remember Daedîn from their previous encounter but at least seems to remember him. Of Master Garracy she is much more clear. "Why yes, the prim sage you mention did visit me several days ago, he spoke of seeking information on a vast secret library gathered by a Varisian woman named Sonnorae, whose destiny now lies in a far off land. By the grace of the gods, I knew that I had not only the desire to help him, but the means as well..."
With that, she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a pristine deck of cards and lays it out on the table. The top few cards slide off and reveal themselves, and it is clear to see that they represent a standard Varisian Harrow deck. New image in handouts
"Through daring incantation, I fulfilled the sage's wish and now he resides with Sonnorae. I fear, however, that either I do not possess the power to return him to this world or he does not seek to return from this place of incredible knowledge and riches. Perhaps the gods have graced me again, with a further piece of this puzzle. You."
She stands up excitedly, and with a sweep of her hand, arrays the cards across the table in a wide swath.
"I could transport you to the Harrowed Realm and you could bring the poor man back. Yes! Of course! A marvelous plan. What do you say?"
She looks directly at Daedîn. "Care to help us out again, old friend?"
River of Stars senses something is not right from her behavior. It was too direct and to the point. Almost as if she is a pawn. Not-Trixie and Daedîn would agree...
Sihir will detect a Strong Conjuration aura (using knowledge arcana) from the deck but would need to examine them closely to use spellcraft to determine their exact use. Eska cannot determine anything else from scent.
|River of Stars|
River looks surprised at the turn of events, and ruffles Eska's fur while he collects his thoughts.
"So you sent Meloigne to this far off land knowing you had no way to bring him back? Did he agree to this? How did you send him?"
He stands up to address her.
"Forgive my bluntness but if you have the power to whisk people to and from ancient demiplanes formed from the dimension of dreams why are you peddling fortunes for a gold piece? Such magics fetch a high price amongst the nobilty."
He can't help but sneer a little when he says the last word.
She looks directly at Daedîn. "Care to help us out again, old friend?"
”Who is this ‘us’ you mention?” Not-Trixie asks curiously as she peers at the deck. ”And I would love to hear more about this ritual you used to access this... Harrowed Realm. Do these cards relate somehow?”
Leosa waits to hear more about this demiplane, though the sharp eared my catch a mutter about the Shadow Plane being superior.
As she waits for an answer Leosa begins making odd shadow puppets on the tent wall, seemingly engaging with her own shadow.
Daedîn ponders for a moment answering his companion's question before turning back to Hajeck. "'Us' would be the Carnival...but how is the Carnival tied to this? And if you send us, how are we to get back? Or is that something we have to figure out?"
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
"Miss Hajeck, your ability sounds very interesting!"
"I sent him with these. I can do it again. Although, with six of you, it may be dangerous." She explains to River, gesturing to the array of cards before turning to Not-Trixie.
She stares at the kitsune for a long time, through Daedîn's reply, before breaking a smile and outstretching her arms. "Why the circus of course! That is who our fine young friend helped before, and who I just bet he wants to help again. If I could avoid the unwanted publicity of losing a client, or indeed turn it around to show my gifts for interplanar travel... just imagine the business possibilities!"
She sits back down as if this is a foregone conclusion and begins to prepare the deck for the spell.
"As to the peculiars... I suppose you should all hold hands or something. And as to returning, just find your way back to the the place the portal creates. I'll open it back up at a time you say. Simple as that."
Daedîn nods. "My apologies, m’Lady. Forgive me, I am not astute when it comes to the arcane."
Knowing a couple of his companions speak Abyssal, he turns to them. ”Что вы думаете? Похоже, она слишком хочет втянуть нас в портал, поэтому я подозреваю, что ловушка ... с другой стороны, похоже, нам придется войти, чтобы завершить нашу миссию в любом случае...”
Sounds like he may have run into some trouble. Is there anything you can tell us about the Harrowed Realm?
She nods to Daedîn without looking up from arranging the cards on the tables and speaks to Leosa with the same lack of attention.
"No, not really. I have never been there. Other than I would imagine that if someone could retreat into a land of their own creation, it must be just perfect and full of wonder and beauty. Maybe nothing happened to your friend. Maybe he just wanted to stay. If you go through, perhaps we'll never see you again either."
After a long pause admiring her handiwork, she looks back up to all of you.
"Well there we have it, I'm ready to open the gate. Are you ready?"
|River of Stars|
River looks uncomprehending at Daedîn's strange words, but turns to his fellow pathfinders and says
"This is an unexpected development, but perhaps we should take her up on her offer? I must admit I'm curious to see it. There is more here than meets the eye, but perhaps the way out is through."
He looks at Eska and repeats her thought aloud, nodding gravely as he does so.
"Until our skulls are gathered."
It may not be my first choice for an extraplanar excursion, but I agree. Our duty is to find Garracy and this looks to be the only way.
"I am ready as I can be!"
Daedîn nods. Perhaps I am not as clever as I thought...perhaps no one else speaks the Abyssal tongue as I first thought...
The rogue turns to Hajeck, not trusting her but feeling there’s no real choice. ”In for a copper, in for a gold, indeed...aye m’Lady, it looks like we are...”
He draws his bow as he knows not what they might face once in this new realm...
"Prepare to be dazzled." Hajeck smiles as she begins her incantation. The six of you gather closer to watch and as you do, the far wall of the tent begins to shake as if a wind buffets it from outside. Almost instantaneously, a rift cuts through the middle of the tent, somehow flat but signaling depth. The rift widens and you can see a vast land beyond, hazy and indistinct. The rift focuses and the sound of tin piano begins to play but suddenly fills the room with a deafening cacophony. The cards begin to quiver on the desk, then several of them shudder and leap from the table and into the rift. Your body begins to feel the overwhelming pull as well and you are lifted up and into the now spinning vortex, even more cards following suit. Your last fractured image of Golarion is the subtly shocked face of the All-Seeing Hajeck as she stands braced behind the now empty table.
New image on the title page, just had to share the lovely scenario artwork. Of course, replace your image with the images of the pathfinder iconics for the full effect.
Your body flails in the maelstrom for just a few moments, before being unceremoniously dumped on the dusty ground between three circus tents. A brief rain of Harrow cards pepper the grass around you. One card (the Crows) lands lightly on River of Stars' chest.
If you go to the Campaign Info tab above and check the spoiler, it gives a listing and brief description of all the Harrow cards. That may prove useful to you.
The sound of the tin piano echoes in the background and you can also hear a commotion beyond.
Psycho looks to see what is going on.
perception: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (1) + 17 = 18
Daedîn shakes his head, looking askance at the scattered cards. ”I’m gonna have a look-see of our new world...one of you magical types might want to gather those cards that brought us here...perhaps they’ll be our ticket back...”
The rogue quietly and warily scouts the immediate area, in the direction of the piano...
Stealth: 1d20 + 23 ⇒ (8) + 23 = 31
Perception: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (19) + 19 = 38