You find yourself in a meeting room in Katapesh, the capital city of the country with the same name. The general hubbub of this metropolis penetrates the walls in a muted sort of, and a dry heart seems inescapable. A water pitcher and four glasses are on the table, and three other Pathfinder agents sit with you.
The meeting is to occur with Yigrig Moneymaker, but he has not arrived yet. The silence around you is becoming... awkward. What do you do? Please use this moment to introduce your PC in character, describing what the others see when they look at them.
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"You know, it feels good to get out of the classroom. I'm tired of the sneaking around, climbing walls, and seducing informant classes. Okay, that last one isn't true. Still, I'm glad to be headed out, you know what I mean?"
Castanamir is a tall, handsome half-elf with a crooked and mischievous smile. While his gear is clearly designed for use, there's a theme to the aesthetic. It matches the personality immediately; a man who loves not only being in the action, but looking good while he's in it.
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”Aye, I’m eager ta be on the road as well. Let m’ check the time.”
The scruffy dwarf with unkempt hair pulls out a pocket watch and flips open the lid.
”Aye. It’s time we get this meetin goin. Dae yea mind who we’re waitin for?”
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Forsooth, a well-armored man says in agreement. The battle-worn human clearly bears the swirling symbol of Pharasma on his shield. I am pleased to be out of my quarters. Why, it feels like a seventyday since last I was out and about.
Tybekk grows impatient with waiting. He checks his pocket watch one more time and then decides to pull out his pipe and pack it full of tobacco. He then starts looking around for a light.
After patting down his pockets he exclaims, ”Crazzlefrats! Dae any of yae hae a wee bit o’ fire?”
"Fire? Fire you say‽ Were that my friend Vercingeterax here to laugh! Yes my new friend Tybekk. I've got fire." He assists the dwarf with a wink a bit of fire, straight from his fingertip.
”Aye. Much obliged, Elf.”
Tybekk starts puffing away on his pipe and soon the room begins to fill up with a thick haze of smoke. The room remains quiet in an awkward kind of silence that makes the dwarf smile until he finally utters,”Aye, Pharasma. Does yer deity permit yae tae smoke and drink or are yae one a’ the goody goody health champions?”
I am unsure of the nature of your inquiry, sir, Reinhold says. But so long as it harms no other, do what you wish, friend. I may not opt to partake, but that is of no consequence if you desire same.
The knight paces about the room a bit. I expect we await another. One thing I have gleaned of this Society is that one does not simply sally forth without the fellowship of three to five others.
”Aye, Pharasma. Ahh can accept that answer. Mae brother, Skybek was always tellin me tae cut back on mae smokin. He’s a cleric o’ Cayden Cailean, but he was always tryin tae get m’ tae quit. Ahh think Ahh prefer yer approach. Live and let live.”
As Reinhold paces, Tybekk takes a few more puffs on his pipe and says, ”Aye, wait, wait, wait. That’s what they expect us tae dae. Hurry up and wait. Ahh cannae mind who we’re supposed tae meet, but they obviously aren’t tae worried about gettin here ahn time. Yae mark m’ words, the contact we meet is gonna tell us that time is o’ the essence an that we better hurry up and save all o’ his agents. The mission wouldnae be a real one if we didnae have a bad guy either. We’ve got tae find the villain and tak him doon. How much dae yae wan tae bet that he does nae offer us ana food or drink.”
”Aye, That’s for sure. It’s a wee world after a’.” Tybekk ponders the coincidence a little longer. ”Did yer pa leave yae big boots tae fill? Ahh know that Skybek became some legend back in mae toon o’ Maheto. The even gae him a fancy title. They call him Venture Captain after he did some brave deed through a maze or some such. Ahh shoulda guessed that somebody wouldae heard of him. Everywhere Ahh go, Ahh cannae escape the great Skybek.” Tybekk puffs on his pipe a little longer staring off.
Or the presence of his numerous offspring. Hope he's supported all those kiddies somehow. ;-)
A primogeniture can be both a comfort and a cumber, Reinhold says with a nod. My family had no such namesake. Yet I hail from fallen Lastwall, so I can appertain somewhat.
”A primogeniture can be both a comfort and a cumber.“
”I’m nae sure of yer name, Pharasma, but yae dae like tae use fancy words. Yae ken what Ahh find comfortin? Mae sword in hand and a full pouch o’ war horse tabac in mae pocket tae enjoy after Ahh’m done sneakin aboot.”
A dwarf coughs politely to get your attention.
"By the looks of this group, I'm in the right place." He smiles to the entire group at the table. "Mr. Moneymaker, said i would meet him here. Sorry for the delay. This is my first time in Katapesh and the directions to this inn weren't...clear. I am Krandith. Glad to meet you." krandith ends with a slight nod and takes his seat at the table.
Krandith is a dwarf of average height but a bit thinner than most of his kind. His beard his well kept and tied back in a knot so it seems shorter than it really is. He wears a simple green tunic tucked into brown pants. His equipment looks new. the leather of his straps on his backpack don't even look broken in. The only ornamentation he possess is a medallion of a lizard intertwined with a scroll tied around his neck.
Reinhold wrote:”A primogeniture can be both a comfort and a cumber.“”I’m nae sure of yer name, Pharasma, but yae dae like tae use fancy words. Yae ken what Ahh find comfortin? Mae sword in hand and a full pouch o’ war horse tabac in mae pocket tae enjoy after Ahh’m done sneakin aboot.”
Oh! Pray, absolve my impropriety, the soldier says with a formal bow. I am Reinhold Delecto, formerly sentry guardsman of Lastwall and current soldier of fortune. Said fortune will be used to one day reclaim what was ceded to the Whispering Tyrant Tar-Baphon, may the Mother of Souls forever curse the name.
He turns to the newcomer and gives a similar formal bow. Well met, one and all.
”Aye, Krandith. Tybekk’s the name.” The unkempt dwarf wipes his hand on his pants and greets the tidy dwarf. He then takes out his pocket watch again to check the time as if that would speed it up. ”If yae keep showin up late tae these meetins, yae might gie us dwarves a bad reputation for bein late! Fortunately for yae, Mister Moneymaker is so busy makin money that he daesnae think showin up tae meetins on time is important.”
”I am Reinhold Delecto, formerly sentry guardsman of Lastwall and current soldier of fortune. Said fortune will be used to one day reclaim what was ceded to the Whispering Tyrant Tar-Baphon, may the Mother of Souls forever curse the name.“
”Yae dae hae a funny way o’ talkin, Reinhold, but Ahh dae agree with yae, the Whisperin Tyrant is a nasty piece o’ work. Ahh heard all aboot it from Skybek when he came back frae the Gallowspire. Well, if yer lookin for fortune, then maybe Mr. Moneybags can help us oot, if he ever gets here. Then again, if his name is Moneymaker, then it probably translates tae Tightwad.”
It's at exactly that moment that the door to the meeting room opens. In walks a well-dressed and well-fed goblin wearing a head covering appropriate to the region. The observant ones amongst you see he also has an ornate dagger attached to a leather hanger, a weapon that is clearly just for show.
Yigrig Moneymaker, the powerful goblin merchant, sits and slumps in a large chair. His face, normally so proud and assured, looks troubled. "It's good to see you, Pathfinders! I have a lot of respect for the Society. You've been good to me in the past, and my family has aided you in return. But today I come before you, my hat in my hands, in need of help.
"My family and I have almost brokered a trade agreement between the cities of Solku and Oenopion. It's a beneficial deal, one where Solku gains the materials it needs to defend itself, Oenopion gains a new trading partner, and everyone stands to make a heap of coin. There's only one issue standing in the way of the negotiation being finalized: a bridge must be constructed over the Elemion River to facilitate safe travel between the two cities. My family is responsible for building and maintaining this bridge. It should have been a simple job... easy to pull off.
"It has been anything but easy.”
The old goblin leans forward. "Every morning at the work camp, it is discovered that more of my children have been pulled from their beds in the night, presumed dead. Every shipment of aid I send gets attacked. The last one I sent did not even arrive.
"There is a lot of money riding on this deal, but I admit this isn't about money anymore. This is personal. Someone is harming my family and I can't sit by and let that happen.
"I have contracted the Pathfinder Society to protect the bridge and surrounding work camp while construction is completed. I have a caravan ready to leave, filled with new workers and supplies for the bridge site. I want you on it. When you see it safely to the bridge site, I need you to stop the attacks on the camp by any means necessary until the job is complete. When you get to the work camp, you will meet my son Zig, the overseer of the project. Sweet kid... takes after his old man. He'll be your liaison with the workers and see to your needs.
"Nothing is more important than family. Nothing. And so, I'm asking you to take care of mine. Our future is in your hands."
"So, any questions?" Ygrig asks the assembled Pathfinders. He doesn't fidget per se, but he does seem anxious about the speed in which this job will get done. "Time's a wasting."
Tybekk stares incredulously at the goblin, wondering how such a creature became such a powerful money broker. When his pipe finally falls from his mouth, ashes fall all over the carpet. Stamping out any lit sparks and rubbing the ashes deeper into the carpet, Tybekk then bends down and picks up his pipe. Trying to recover his composure, he utters a question that everybody already knows the answer to.
”Are we workin fer goblins?!”
"Time's a wasting."
With the wealthy goblin’s last statement, Tybekk’s face turns red as he cannot hold his impatience.
”If time is a wastin on yer clock, what dae yae think it’s been daein on oor clock?! Dae yae ken how long we’ve been waitin here?!”
This is OUTRAGEOUS! Reinhold jumps to his feet. Children abducted in the dark of night? Requisite supplies fail to reach those in need? YOU HAVE MY SWORD!
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Ygrig takes a deep breath at Tybekk's outburst. Several seconds pass before he speaks. "You are working for goblins. You're working for me, and the caravan you'll be protecting is manned by Zig, a goblin, and my family. Who are goblins. I expect that won't be an issue. These are modern times, after all. My people show up in the core books that the Society instructors share out, after all."
With Reinhold's addition the goblin sits up straight. "Yes, exactly! Good! That's the spirit."
"are the attacks only happening at night?"
"is there a sign of struggle, any tracks, claw marks, teeth marks?
What supplies are missing?
What was taken and what was destroyed?
Is there a history of these sort of attacks in the past?"
Tybekk Odeon wrote:Krandith raises an eyebrow,"A family is being destroyed, what does it matter if they are Goblins?"
”Are we workin fer goblins?!”Yigrig wrote:"Time's a wasting."
FORSOOTH! There can be little doubt where Reinhold's concerns lie.
He pauses from charing out of the room just long enough to hear the answers to Krandith's questions.
Krandith raises an eyebrow,"A family is being destroyed, what does it matter if they are Goblins?"
”Aye, Krandith, Ahh dannae mind a goblin or two, but it sounds like we’re gonna be workin with an entire clan o‘ the buggers. All they like is fire, fire, and mair fire. It would be one thing if they could handle it like Castanamir, but nae, once the flames begin tae burn, they all want tae burn doon the hoose. And if yae try and talk tae them aboot books, well they look at yae like yae have horns growin on yae head. Ahh crazzlefrats! Alricht. Ahh can mak it work, but Ahh need yae tae help me oot if things get too intolerable.“
Turning to Yigrig, Tybekk politely replies despite already having forgotten his name. ”Aye, Mr. Moneybritches , Ahh willnae hae ana trouble workin fer goblins. Ahh recognize these are extenuatin circumstances and yae need the help of pathfinders. Yae can count on us, especially mae new friend, Reinhold.”
Although he doesn't seem completely mollified he nods, accepting Tybekk's words. He then looks to Krandith, answering his questions. "Since the attacks began, information has been spotty getting out. However, I know that some sort of large animals have been attacking the work camp during the night, and something else has been aggressive toward anyone that tries to leave or enter the site, no matter what time of day. Bandits? Animals? Accounts have been conflicting, but whatever they are, they're dangerous."
"I can tell you are asking these questions so you can figure out how to protect the camp. Zig will give you more information, but so long as you can prevent goblins from being killed or abducted, the bridge can be built on schedule. If the threats to the goblin workers persist, the builders will remain too scared to finish the job. Personally, I can’t blame them for that."
"You know, the area we are to visit is home to great beasts such as lions, panthers, dire wolves, and more. Such creatures might be responsible for the attacks on the camp. The good news is, those are all flammable."
Krandith considers everything the goblin has said so far. Ygrig is generally a clever, inscrutable goblin who clearly got wealthy by being smart and not giving much away. That said, he does get the sense that the goblin is genuinely concerned for the goblin workers and the bridge construction project, but that the former is more important to him.
"Aye." Tybekk grumbles as he checks the time on his pocket watch. "Time tae be awa."
When Tybekk gets the chance he asks Reinhold a personal question. ”Excuse me fer askin, but did yae hae a brother named Sooth? Is that who yer daein this for? Did yae lose him in Lastwall?”
Once it's clear the Pathfinders are indeed ready to go, side conversations notwithstanding, Ygrig leads them to a goblin caravan.
The goblin caravan consists of four huge wagons and twenty nervous goblin workers. It also contains a trove supplies including wooden beams and food. A number of camels loiter in a pen nearby, clearly meant to be the beasts to pull the wagons. Ygrig takes you to the leader of the caravan, a goblin named Muckmuck. "These are the Pathfinders we've got. They'll be protecting the caravan and investigating what's going on at the construction site. Listen to them when it comes to safety and defenses." And with that introduction done, Ygrig takes his leave.
Once alone with the Pathfinders Muckmuck laughs to himself.
"You longshanks think you can protect us? You can't save Muckmuck. You're weak. Face facts. We're all going to die.
"You sit there in the back and talk to the workers. We're all scared. Doesn't matter what we do. We're all going to die.
"Tell you truth, I don't want to go. Yigrig reads too many books. He's lost his mind. We all think about leaving before he gets us killed. Not help that the minstrel lost hand in teethbrushing accident. Much blood. Can't play lute anymore.
"Tell you what. You want to help? You be the minstrel. Make fancy music. Make goblins feel less likely to run away. Convince them we're not all going to die."
Muckmuck then wanders off to attend to the caravan, leaving you to your own preparations for a two-day travel to the construction site.
Now is a good time to lock in your boons, make whatever requisitions you want to from your appropriate Pathfinder School (if any), and call out what your exploration activity will be. Note that there are 4 wagons that will, by and large, be moving single file. So please describe to me how you plan to travel with the wagons.
Checking his two healing potions, Castanamir leans in to whisper to Muckmuck, "Fear not my little friend. We're tougher than we look!" He snaps his fingers for some cantripic flame to add potency to the words. "We got you. Don't worry."
Then the sorcerer jumps up to one of the middle wagons and confidently takes a seat.
Reinhold puts in a req for a potency crystal and a minor healing potion from the Master of Swords.
Egad! Reinhold says. A teethbrushing accident, you say? That sounds dreadful! You must tell me the tale!
"You longshanks think you can protect us? You can't save Muckmuck. You're weak. Face facts. We're all going to die."
Tybekk glares back, annoyed at the little goblin. He gives Krandith a knowing glance before replying. "Who are yae callin a Longshanks, green one? Aye, mebbae we're all gonnae die someday, but not on mae watch. Ahh gave m' word tae Moneybritches that Ahh would protect yae, and yae can trust me that's what Ahh'm gonnae dae! Mind yae, Ahh cannae protect yae frae yer oon stupidity! Dannae even tell me how yer witless minstrel lost his hand in a tooth brushing accident! Yae just start tellin yer folk tae stop bletherin and open their waxfilled ears tae this, there's a new party in toon called Pathfinders and and we are gonnae set matters straight. Now, let's get these wagons rollin."
Tybekk checks his pocket watch and then hops into the back of one of the wagons. He finds a spot where he can keep a vigilant eye out on the caravan, but where he doesn't have to run to keep up with them.
Exploration activity: Search. However, he will do this only as much as he does not move at half speed. He recognizes that he would have trouble keeping up with the caravan as it is.
@Tybekk - Search, by default, is at half speed. Given that camels have a speed of 50, there's technically no way to not slow down the wagons without, say, Expeditious Search. But for reasons related to this scenario, I will allow that you can Search while riding shotgun on a wagon with a -2 penalty. I assume that you'll be with the front wagon.
With the wagons ready to go Muckmuck comes over and sees three of you. "We're ready to go. Where other dwarfshanks? He ready? Or is he smart and bail on this?"
There's only one seat free, as there's a goblin at the reins of each wagon. But you can either walk beside or go in the back. I will assume the latter
With everyone accounted for the caravan sets off.
The heat comes in waves as you travel with the goblin caravan. Prevailing wisdom would be to travel at night, but goblins aren't precisely known for having any sort of prevailing wisdom. What they do have, in spades, is fear. They are clearly nervous about the dangers that they are heading towards.
The first day passes uneventfully. The caravan is filled with goblins, and despite
their fear, their wandering attention span quickly turns to revelry in its many forms. The night is filled with fights
and cackling laughter as the goblins try to impress the
Pathfinders and each other with feats of physical prowess!
The morale of the goblins is low, but there is still hope! If you like, you can try to entertain the goblins. You can use Acrobatics or Athletics to impress them with your physical prowess, or use Deception or Performance to entertain them. But I will take any skill as long as you describe how you're using it to entertain the goblins.
Tybek reflects while riding in the wagon.
”Ach Crazzlefrats! Ahh dannae like performin, but these wee goblins look like the glum fairy came doon and took awa their sweets. When we get ta camp they need tae play a fun game o’ hidey seek both tae get their miserable minds off their predicament, but also tae gie em some practice at hidin from beasties.”
Later when the caravan stops traveling for the day.
“Aye, gather roond yae wee goblin rascals. We are gonna play a rare game o’ hidey seek. Ahh need yae tae close yer eyes and count tae ten. Yae dae mind how tae count dae yae?”
”Well, once Krandith releases yae, yae have tae run aroond and try and find me. If yae can find me, then Ahh’ll tak a turn and try tae find yae. Are yae all ready? Krandith yae better start the count. Now, close yer eyes and dannae lemmae catch yae peekin.”
Tybek runs off to hide while the goblins close their eyes and try to count.
Stealth: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18
"There was a time my father umm.... escorted a noble group of goblins.
Far from the heat, it was in the icy cold in the North. They wer ethe mighty Frostfur tribe! They were once worried, just as you. But they need not!
They arrived at their tower where a big monster attacked them.
With guile, war cries and copious (that means lots) fire they saw the day through! Fear not my short green friends. This trip will be like theirs!" Deception (Charming Liar): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
Krandith isn't much for games and dancing. BUT he does observe a few goblins playing a version of three truths and a lie.
He sits down with them and tries to play along.
perception to sense motive(+1 to detect a lie): 1d20 + 7 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 7 + 1 = 20
Athletics: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
Reinhold grabs each of the goblins in turn, hoisting each on his shoulders with one arm as he reaches to grab another, putting on a display of Athletics that would make Mad Rax the Fairly-Well-Known proud!
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Tybekk and Krandith take a paternal approach with the goblins, opting for play, whereas Castanamir and Reinhold provides spectacles of their own making.
When Tybekk puts forward the idea of 'hidey seek' the goblins get excited. When counting is brought up though, they are dismayed... Until Krandith does the counting! Tybekk hides almost too well, but he's done this game enough in his youth (and maybe during Downtime?). A surreptitiously placed cough, and he's found! Several goblins want to play it again.
+1 morale point
Krandith introduces a group goblins to the old dwarven game of three truths and a lie. At first it's a bit awkward, with a couple goblins not following the structure. But even with that, the game is saved with one particularly funny lie, which the game devolves into goblins laughing and tussling.
+1 morale point
Goblins love stories, and even moreso when the tale contains fire. Although one or two of the goblins are confused, thinking the the fire is the hero of the story, all of them a riveted by Castanamir's eloquent delivery.
+1 morale point
Squeals of delight can be heard by the show Reinhold gives, as his Strongman display is of a calibre that the Circus of Wayward Wonders might present. One of the goblins, a female named Reta, bats her eyelashes at Reinhold. He's not sure though if that's on purpose or not.
+1 morale point
There's still some time left in the night, and all the goblins are engaged, including Muckmuck. They plead for more fun.
You can all go again, as you estimate there is time enough for one more thing each.