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Korvosa sits at the end of Conqueror’s Bay, where the Jeggare River spills into the sea. The city fills the spit of land formed by two sharp turns in the Jeggare River and Endrin Isle (which splits the river at its mouth), with a few outlying areas on the far shore of the Jeggare. It stands on two hills: Garrison Hill on Endrin Isle and Citadel Hill on the mainland. The Narrows of Saint Alika separates Endrin Isle from the shore. Off the coast of the southern end of Citadel Hill rises Jeggare Isle, a small rock that juts from the sea.
The city is unsettled just like every other part of the continent of Avistan. The last 10 years or so have seen the Inner Sea rocked by one world shaking event after another. Just as news of the Worldwound closing settles in everyone minds, the missive that the Whispering Tyrant has broken free of his prison, destroying the nation of Lastwall and turning it into a GraveLand starts to filter into the city alongwith refugees fleeing the lich. The threat of the undead forces many different ancestries to start to overcome age old prejudices out of sheer necessity. Orc, Goblin, and Hobgoblin, newly allied with the other humanoids of the world.
Still the most momentous event, as far as Korvosans are concerned, remains the death of the cruel Queen Ileosa 13 or so years ago. The latest to succumb to the curse of the Crimson Throne. The former Field Marsall of the Guard, the fair and lawful Cressida Kroft was appointed the next queen and has thus far avoided the same fate.
Midland is the cosmopolitan and friendly face of the former Chelaxian outpost in the region of Varisia. Situated on the leeward side of Citadel Hill, Midland stretches from the end of Enderin’s Wall south to Gray District and the Pillar Wall. It rises from sea level to climb the eastern slope of Citadel Hill, where it ends just below the summit line.
It is here, on the 20th of Kuthona, one night before the Winter Solstice and the festival of CrystalHue, that three people, for reasons of their own, find themselves on Eodred street next to the eerily quiet market of Eodred's Walk. As the snow falls in gentle swirls and the moon provides light enough to see by, even the nocturnal habitants of the city seem to have decided to take a rest.
As the human, sprite, and half orc's eyes meet from different corners of the street. The peacefulness of the night is pierced by a sudden shout of pure terror from a nearby alley. The shout rapidly oscillates higher into a high pitched scream!
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The past few days have been rather odd. Newcomer to Midland, and to any big city in general, has filled Pytho with awe, wonder, joy, and anguish - all in turns. So many people! And he knows none of them. The foods, the stores, the sights. So much to see - and sometimes it's too much.
Like now, he rather withdraws from the bustle of the main streets to find some quiet. The half-orc doesn't know if he really enjoys it here, but after losing his tribe, the best chances to make a living should be here in the city. There's others here as well, minding their own - a human and a sprite. He already knows greeting others isn't a custom in the city, but he can't help a small nod to those two.
Then, a scream! Pytho has learned shouts and screams aren't really rare in here. But this one was different. Something is very wrong about that scream. He can sense the pure terror in it.
He looks again at the other two present. They don't seem like ordinary townsfolk. Weapons, armor, certain attitude. They look capable enough...
"Uhh..." he clears his throat. "Hey there... I know in here in city people should mostly mind their own business. But..." he points toward the alley. "... should we check what is going on there?"
Pytho feels he should go and check. But going alone feels like a bad idea.
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Mm the City. Huge thing it was. And beautiful in its own way. The crowds of people threatening to step on someone a quarter their size; not so much. So exploring at night it was! Just wished the peddlers and merchants were around. She would probably need to find a cooperative tall-folk to visit them. Or charter a runner or something? Eh, later problem.
For now the sprite is more then content to wander the nights, sight-seeing under the light of the stars, the scattered lamps and her own soft glow. Only needed a little care to dodge the gutters and drainage grates.
But oh! There were other people. She stared and waved! They didn't even look drunk out of their mind *or* in the progress of shimmying up a window. Lucky tonight!
Scratch that! the sprite winces as someone yells loudly. Had never quite gotten used to how much air the tall-folk could fit into themselves and their sounds.
"Yes!" the polite one was correct. It sounded like time for heroics! Erytheis hurried towards the alley as swiftly as her legs and wings could carry her in long bounding leaps.
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Thirteen years. It had been thirteen years since Ileosa went insane, the city rioted and burned, the sickness had swept through...
And still, the signs of that time were everywhere. Faded paint splotched across the wall of a home, the mark denoting sickness had been there over a decade past. Another house, down the street, abandoned and burnt, the owners from that time likely dead, the dwelling never rebuilt. Even the character of the city had changed, in Asta's memory at least, after that epoch, a time that the Korvosan bard and wit had dubbed The Latest Unpleasantness, a wag and a nod to earlier troubles that had bedeviled the small, nearby town of Sandpoint. Korvosa's winters seemed longer, the nights darker.
Asta had taken to wandering the alleys and sidestreets of the city, even after she left the guard, a kind of aimless wandering, one without specific purpose. And yet, there was purpose, buried under the aimless, zigzagging walks she'd adopted: trouble. Asta Ingedottir hoped it would find her.
Ironically, when it did, she was so in her own head that she didn't hear the first scream. Shaken out of her reveries, she blinked, and noticed a little girl, no a little... pixie? scurrying towards the screaming, and an orc, who had just - Asta guessed - said something to her, to them.
"What? Yes! The screaming! Right!"
Flipping her cloak open, revealing the worn pommel of a sword, Asta drew it and followed the pixie towards the sounds of distress.
Moving over the thin strip of grass that divides the main road from the smaller side street, the three of them see a sight that is truly truly horrifying.
From their vantage paint around the small booths on the strip they see a large goat like humanoid with chains wrapped around them standing next to the back side of one of the larger houses of the area. His back is turned to you as he stuffs what looks like a small human child into a bloody wicker basket. There are streaks of blood on the walls of the house leading up to one of the windows. The being's swept back, grey black horns seem to vibrate and their hooved feet stomp on the ground as their victim disappears into the basket, the screams abruptly stopping as the basket closes...
The being is so intent on its task that it doesn't even notice any of you... so since I'm maintaining block initiative so you're all up.
The map 'First Encounter' is up on kanka for those who've joined there but everyone's one move action away from melee and there's no cover or anything.
Brr! Getting stuffed in a bag was one of the things the tiny feyfolk did worry about a lot - so that's some nightmare fuel right there. Of course; all nightmares were less worrisome while on fire! No elaborate tricks for this one; just a burring arrow in the hindquarters.
Spellstrike + Produce Flame!
To Hit!: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
Damage?: 1d6 + 1d4 ⇒ (5) + (4) = 9
Hmh that didn't go quite straight. Bettle flashbacks all over the place... "That's just a warning! Drop the basket or I'll torch you!!"
Asta's sword slides out of her scabbard in one smooth motion, as she steps forward towards the creature, a demon or devil most likely. A burning arrow streaks by the once-guard's head, and Asta pushes any hesitation aside. The others seemed inclined to help the child, and that was bolstering; taking on a creature like this seemed to be the height of madness. Still, a child's life was at stake.
The sword flashes in the alleyway's dim light, Asta snarls. With any luck, the creature would drop the child and run...
Move, interact to draw sword, strike.
strike: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
damage?: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
"Hey, leave that kid alone!" Pytho shouts, horrified.
"Whatever you are, your evil deeds end here! We will stop you!" he screams, fury in his eyes and voice.
> Demoralize: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22 vs. Will DC
To add to his threats, flames start flickering in hands. Small at first, but then quickly growing to cover his whole hand. And the flames seem to bend to the half-orc's will as they suddenly leap toward the creture.
>> Produce flame: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
Fire damage: 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
As fire pings around the creature, the human's sword basically lodges in the thick hide of the creature, utterly ineffective.
It turns, noticing the three of you for the first time, a long tongue flicking out spittle that drips over its matted brown fur but mostly sprays over the human warrior in a disgusting mist.
Naughty Peepers, Peeping on me.
It growls in a deep rasp that easily carries to all three of your ears, in fact it seems to be speaking in your mind. In fact now they actually notice you three, you are struck by how incredibly and absolutely terrified you are to be in their very presence.
He swings out with his chains at the woman in front of him.
Non lethal attack: 1d20 + 42 - 2 ⇒ (3) + 42 - 2 = 43
I believe that's a crit, correct me if I'm wrong, lol
Non lethal damage: 3d8 + 18 ⇒ (2, 5, 7) + 18 = 32
64 damage on crit, thankfully I'm ruling non lethal overrides the instant death rule.
Smashed on the side of her head by the blunt force trauma is knocked out instantly.
The chain continues to whip around and then shoots out at the flame conjuring half orc.
While I punish the wicked and naughty
Non lethal second attack: 1d20 + 42 - 5 - 2 ⇒ (2) + 42 - 5 - 2 = 37
Non lethal damage: 3d8 + 18 ⇒ (5, 3, 3) + 18 = 29
the chain is so fast that the half-orc barely has a chance to think before it whams right into his nose so hard he is thrown back into a stupor.
Finally only the sprite is left, barely having a chance to register what exactly is happening as the monster finishes his chant.
My bag is full now so next yule.
I. WILL. COME. FOR. THEE.
Non lethal third attack: 1d20 + 42 - 10 - 2 ⇒ (14) + 42 - 10 - 2 = 44
Non lethal damage: 3d8 + 18 ⇒ (1, 8, 3) + 18 = 30
The bleat is last thing she hears other than the whistling of the chain as it has no trouble finding her small frame in an overhead smash that drives her so hard into the snowy cobblestones that she instantly blacks out.
You all come awake, minutes, hours, days? later with pounding headaches in an environment that's sadly far too familiar for the human Korvosan native... the wrong side of a set of bars... with her is the half-orc and, in a cage in the corner, is a sprite.
By the Gods, Red, you're in big trouble even by your standards. Comes a lazy drawl. With his feet up on the desk is your old friend Snail... uh... Sargent Rellando Makazio. In the last dozen or so years he's ascended slowly up the ranks to a spot he's comfortable with and settled down as his impressive paunch shows.
An officious looking halfling cleric, an amulet depicting a golden key swaying around her neck, straightens up, dusting her hands off. I believe that should take care of that. Always a pleasure to serve the Guard, Sargent Makazio, we will send an invoice along as per usual.
Yeah, yeah, Abadar will get his balance, for certain. Thank you Cleric Hafspotter.
So what do you guys do?
Introduce yourselves to each other and how you guys look etc.
"Ugh..." Pytho grimaces in pain. Trying to get up wasn't such a good plan after all.
"Where... am.. I...?"
Indoors. Set of bars. A prison? The cellmate looks familiar. From where?
Oh yes, the street and the scream
Pytho nudges the motionless human gently. "Hey you.. are you all right? Do you know what happened... to the kid... to that creature?"
He can't remember much, but judging from his own massive bruise, the fight didn't end too good.
Asta awoke to find herself on the wrong side of a jail cell, and winces as she sits up, finding she hurts all over, every inch of her, as if she'd been rolled down a hill in a barrel.
But worse, of course. No sign of the kid or the beast. The others are there, the half-orc and the pixie, with the pixie getting her own cage, likely one intended for the imps that plague the town. Though can't they just teleport? Maybe the cage belonged to the precinct's animal catcher.
At any rate, strange. No victim, no scary goat-thing, just the three of them that were brave enough to attack the Beast. Asta rubs the side of her head, taking note of a welt alongside it, and stares at the orc. Seemed he knew as much as her. "I don't know, no. Last thing I saw was that chain coming at me, being called a 'naughty peepers.' What was that thing?"
Asta holds out her hand to shake, calloused and scarred. The woman's frame is wirey, though her hair is her most striking feature, as red as a fiery sunset. "Asta Ingedottir. What happened after I got knocked out?"
Turning at the sound of a familiar voice, Asta finds Snail, Snail of all people, kicking his feet up at the cell block desk. "Eh, Snail! I'd say I'm glad to see you, but..." Asta shrugs raising her arms as if to say you know. Jailed and all that.
"But I am thankful it is you here. Since we go back, you know? What kind of trouble am I in?"
Erythis snaps awake and bounces around in her cage until she realizes there is no giant goat thing around to eat her. Or worse. On brief wings of glitter and dust she flutters about in the small cage. Bleh. Not a fan of cages. Better then bottles though. With a small thud she lands and starts trying to wiggle out.
"'Naughty peepers, peeping on me.'" the sprite recites in her deepest voice. "'While I punish the wicked and naughty.'" She flails about in a failed attempt to push anything more then an arm between the bars and groans. "'My bag is full now so next yule - I will come for thee.'" With a sigh she sits down and resumes her usual higher pitch. "We're in big trouble. Anyone that rhymes like that is bad news!"
Calming down a bit she looks around. Yep, those were the people she recalled. Well not those other two outside the bars - but she kinda suspected that was the reason iron separated them. At least it was just regular old iron, not anything of that spiteful stuff. Brr.
While still the fairy was easier to observe. About the size of a cat, dressed up in browns, orange and some green. Something a woodsman could be expected to wear, just in miniature size, complimented by a cloak of sewn leaves. Pale hair that probably was braided in a ponytail, but now looked quite scuffed. Pointy features all around her face and right now displaying a healthy mix of worry, annoyance and dizziness.
Pytho grabs the offered hand, and shakes it.
”Pytho. Just Pytho. I haven’t earned any other names yet. “ The sentence ends with a sigh. He doesn’t seem very proud of the lack of names.
From Pytho’s facial features, it’s quite easy to tell he is a half-orc. Typical tusks, flat nose, green tint in the skin. But he remarkably skinny for one. After all, the image one’s mind conjures of orcish half-breed is a hulking barbarian. This hunched youth is nothing like that.
But at least one stereotype holds - his quite unfashionable leather garments tell that he is a creature of the wilds rather than a city person.
Pytho follows the conversation between this Asta Ingedottir and the man by the desk with interest. ”You know our jailer, then? “
Oh nothing much the Sargent says hefting himself up from the desk. You three are just the prime suspects in the murder of Aram Pavisky
Alright I'm giving you guys a free Trained Lore + Assurance to know about the general area you each grew up in. With that 13, Asta (who has Lore:Korvosa) knows that Aram Pavisky is the sole proprietor of Aram's Crown, a cramped but popular tavern close to where you were wandering which makes its money by selling watered down swill to the tourists and shoppers of the market in the day and then serving a very different clientele at night with the good stuff. I'm also giving you Expert Lore + Assurance on Lore for the place you grew up in. So Pytho will have expert Lore on his tribe (being nomadic), Asta can pick a section of Korvosa, and Erytheis gets her forest most probably. Let me know if there are any questions and what general and specific lore you decide to put on your character.
Aram Pavisky? the halfling Cleric perks up. I'm just coming from putting in my report on the scene. No wonder I was tasked with waking up what looks like three drunks in a jail cell post haste. So these are the three knocked out witnesses? The interrogator should be here already. Where are they?
Snail lives up to his reputation by responding with a slow shrug.
Hafspotter tut tuts. Every minute is valuable in this. Do you mind if I take a crack at them?
Snail looks doubtful. I mean.. there's paperwork.
Never you mind about that. the cleric snorts I'll fill them all out and get the appropriate approval the moment the city opens back up. Knowing your crew on CrystalHue eve these three might just get forgotten and end up in jail for decades before anyone thinks about them again and Pavisky will be just another unsolved murder in Korvosa. Now.... she cracks her knuckles.
The next hour is a barrage of questions.
Who are you?
How do you know each other?
How did you know Aram Pavisky?
Tell me where you're staying in Korovosa.
Why were you in the area? Don't you have families or friends on CrystalHue Eve?
What did you see?
Why didn't you call for help like sensible citizens?
Give me every detail about the alleged assailant and exactly what happened.
And I don't know these tall folk very much.
No not that one either.
There's a nice inn for appropriately-sized folks up in Old Korovosa that isn't too expensive. And all the furniture is appropriately-sized, which is rare and delightful.
I'm here for the festivals actually - I wanted to see all the things and bits and bobs of the city! My folk back home usually don't make terribly much fuzz about it... But a tall folk told me about the baubles and lights and prisms and I had to see it!
I saw plenty of them, they're beautiful! ...Oh? Ah. It was tall, dark and goat-like. It had a chain of cold forged iron and was stuffing a child into a basket!
Couldn't wait - and besides we *were* fairly loud. Why didn't anyone else notice? Mhm?
It stunk and spat and bleated like a huuuuge goat. It had chains! Chains of cold iron. And it rhymed! Bleh. There was blood, blood in so many places. It stuffed a child into its wicker basket. There must be a missing child too - are you looking for it? Have you found it? No? Well hurry then!
Asta frowns, and her frown deepens as the interrogation goes on, a scowl seemingly permanently etched on the woman's face.
"I'm Asta Ingedottir, former guard and partner to Snail here. He didn't tell you?"
"Just met the... wait, how long have we been here? Just met the other night, last night, whatever. All of us, wrong place, wrong time. Didn't know their names 'till a few minutes ago."
"I stay at my flat in Old Korvosa."
"I go on walks. Long walks. Aimless walks."
"A creature, goat features. It was stuffing a screaming kid in a sack. The half-orc, er, Pytho, and the pixie were there too. I charged the beast and it laid me out something fierce." Asta gingerly reaches up and touches her face, bruised and bloody from the encounter.
"Why didn't I call for help? I was a guard, and I tell you there was not a moment to lose. It was stuffing a kid in a sack! You expect that a giant goat-thing stuffing a kid in a sack is gonna wait around? Did you find the kid?"
"That's basically it, I mean. It knocked me cold before I even could think. Called us "Peepers." That's kind of wierd, right?"
Once returned to the cell, Asta sighs and lays on a bare cot, looking at the ceiling, before rolling onto her side. "Eh, Snail! What kinda shoddy detective work is happening here. If we murdered Pavisky, why would we be knocked out in a nearby alley? 'Less Pavisky rose from the dead and beat on us? Is that your working theory?"
Who are you?
How do you know each other?
How did you know Aram Pavisky?
Tell me where you're staying in Korovosa.
Why were you in the area? Don't you have families or friends on CrystalHue Eve?
What did you see?
Why didn't you call for help like sensible citizens?
Give me every detail about the alleged assailant and exactly what happened.
Pytho lets out a sigh and amused snort. So this is how city folks treat others. But he still tries to answer the questions patiently.
"I don't really know them. We happened to be on the same street, when we heard the scream and joined our forces to investigate.
"Who? I don't know any one named Adam Pavinsky. Should I know him?"
"I'm staying at Maggie's. A cheap drinking joint in Old Korvosa. They have a common room to sleep in the back."
"I was just walking around. Too much hustle in the busiest streets. I have no family or friends here. What's CrystalHue Eve?"
"There was this creature... demon.. It was putting a child into a basket it was carrying. There was a lot of blood... Sorry, it's kind of blurry."
"There wasn't anyone else around. And I thought we were the help. Not much good we did, though."
"As I said, it's kind of blurry. I told to release the child. And then it attacked with a chain, and all went black. Oh, wait... before attacking it said something. Spoke straight to my mind... Something about peepers and yule and punishing the wicked."
Hafspotter harrumphs as she scribbles her notes.. Should've had you in separate cells but....
Show me their personal items Sargent. she commands and Snail sighs as he shuffles to a locker and opens it up.
It only takes a few minutes for Hafspotter to sigh and bring out a set of forms from the very large for her frame satchel she keeps on her back.
The blood markings on the scene of the crime, especially on Pavisky's bed, were very obviously claw marks and there's nothing here that could do anything like that. I'm declaring these three as witnesses and not suspects.
To tell you the truth this is probably going to be just another "Unknown Monster" attack. If it's a one off then that'll be the end of it, like that black dragon that swooped down and picked up a cart of traders a few years ago. Can't do anything else really. Never heard of this kind of monster before... and I'll put out a request to find any missing children. Pavisky lived alone and I've not heard of anything about one.
As you three are freed and she fills out her paperwork in triplicate, she seems thoughtful
Let me check something... and she casts a spell on the three of you and pretty much immediately her face seems to drain of all colour Oh.. Oh Abadar.. that's.... She hurriedly pushes a copy of her paperwork towards Snail and then shoves the rest into the satchel Well.. I must be off. Good... good luck.. and... happy CrystalHue and may your gods watch over you... it seems like she wants to get out of the outpost as fast as possible.
Erytheis grabs the bars of her small cage and tries to shake it all. "I have my own cell! But I'd rather be in the big one!! This one is too cramped." the sprite complains.
Luckily it seemed they were indeed let out, after some time. That's nice. Stretching her limbs and enjoying the feeling of not being locked up, her mood quickly improves. All until the cleric lays some spell on them and then rushes off the scene.
"What? Hey! What's 'that's'? Spill the beans or we'll start visiting the temple every day!" she yells after the servant of Abadar and hope her bluff wouldn't be called or ignored. No way anyone could endure the droning of those priests for a whole day, let alone several!
"Well... that was uncomfortable experience..." Pytho stands by the outpost door, looking at the back of the retreating cleric. But it's good to be free again.
"What got him so riled up? All he did was cast a spell to detect magic, and..."
Well, that gives Pytho an idea. He starts chanting very similar verse to what he cleric did just moment ago - except Pytho's version sounds sharper, like crackling of fire.
>> Cast a spell: Detect magic
Quite immediately, Pytho's face turns white, just like the cleric's did just moments ago.
"Oh... Hells..." he mutters, face twisted as he tries to resists the urge to turn away. He keeps squinting his eyes and studying the sight as long as he can, but eventually he closes his eyes and collapses on the ground.
"Well.." the half-orc starts, after a long sigh. "It seems we are under some overwhelmingly powerful spell. Unfortunately, I have no idea what it is."
Slowly Pytho gets up from the ground, dusting his clothes. "But since we're alive and in no particular pain, perhaps the unknown magic isn't supposed to hurt us."
Erytheis flutter-steps back to Pytho, watching him work the magic. Some magic. Similar magic? Yeah. Similar effect too! Hmm. Couldn't think of any spells to turn oneself white as a sheet, but maybe that was a handy effect somehow?
"Huh. Sounds like a curse!" the fey offers a small hand to the collapsed half-orc. She smiled. "Well we've have plenty of time. It said it'd come 'next Yule'."
Asta didn't know anything about curses, and certainly didn't like hearing that thing would be back next Yule. Her pale face grows even paler-er, as she slowly comes to the realization of what everyone is saying.
"Wait? What? We've got a curse on us? And that thing is going to come back in a year?"
She's quiet while their things are returned, watching the others, arriving eventually at the idea that while it was a horrible idea to know that she was cursed, at least she wasn't going to be alone. For the next year at least.
"We need a wizard. Someone that can tell us more. And probably a library too. There's got to be some lore, or sighting, or something about this beast that knocked us cold."
The cleric pauses at the door as Erytheis shouts out after her. She seems to reconsider as she pinches her nose. Look, I'm not one for charity, if you three've got some sort of mage that can help you then that's fine, but this is some sort of demigod/archmage level mess you're in... If you don't know anybody else, then come see me tomorrow. I'm not one for charity... but favours I can trade, keep the scales balanced and all. Ask for Hafspotter at the Bank. Otherwise, may the gods keep you, I truly mean that.
After she leaves Snail looks at Asta. Look, ah... don't know what to tell ya Red, glad you're not locked up and all, but... I didn't understand a word of any of that. Sounds major though.
You all get a free General Feat. Overwhelming Magic, anyone attempting to detect magic on you is not going to be able to distinguish *anything* other than the powerful magic you three are under. Looks like you guys have landed on Old Korvosa as your home area? Can you mark on the campaign page map of Korvosa where your lodgings are? Ask questions and I'll answer them! Tell me what your plan of actions is and we'll do that. The campaign is yours! The clock is ticking!
Asta: You know instantly that Hafspotter is talking about the Bank of Abadar in NorthPoint.
Edit: Oh yeah you all get 100 xp for surviving the monster. YThis is not a milestone campaign! Level up at 1000 xp.
"Thank you!" the tiny fey bows to the clerk. Most generous! More generous at least. And since she at least didn't know any extremely powerful wizards, a trade of favours was probably on the horizon. She grins. "See you tomorrow then."
"I can't think of any other appropriate spells to cast after such a threat! Oh; maybe some divination? And just carry out the harmful aspect manually ..." she muses. Hmm. That'd work? Yeah, probably.
"Yes! Knowing what it it should help. But we'll probably need to find someone - something - equally powerful to slay it as well!"
"Right. Learning more about this spell would be a good idea. Where would we find wizards for this task?" Pytho sighs. He sits down on the stairs leading to the outpost, and leans back.
The half-orc sits there and waits until the cleric is out of sight, and then comments: "Well, I guess we can take on that Hafspotter lady's offer as well. But she didn't seem to do much better than I did on studying our spell or curse or whatever it is."
"Mm. Elder back home might know a thing or two, but that old fart surely can't fix this? And there and back will take more then a day. I'd say we visit her tomorrow. That means today is off!" the sprite beams. Seems like she found some reliable tall folk, whenever they wanted it or not. Thanks fate! "Wanna go to the market?"
"Yeah, yeah," Asta says, holding out a fist for her old partner to bump. "Glad I'm not under arrest too. Do me a favor, would'ja? Let me know if y'all find anything regarding the dead barkeep? For old time's sake?"
As they leave, Asta nods to the little one. "Sure, sure, market. What are you looking to buy? I don't know any wizards so if your elder could help, I'm all for it."
"As for Hafspotter, Bank'll charge us something steep. I'd like to ask around a little first. Maybe after the market we could visit the scene of the crimes? The alley we met and the tavern nearby."
Asta lowers her voice. "Snail's an allright guy, but if he's a captain now... you can imagine the state of the rest of the force. They may have missed something at the murder scene."
GM, I was never able to log into the campaign site.
As you all step out out of the jail cell, you find you're on Guard Street, very close to where you got knocked out. It's still night. Seems like maybe only two hours or so have passed and the city is as quiet as it'll ever be in the year. It's CrystalHue Eve after all. It'd be a matter of minutes to get back to the scene of the crime. The markets aren't going to start getting back to normal until the day after CrystalHue.
Asta, I think we discovered that the paizo forums are messing up the url. The link works well in Discord... are you able to see it there?
"She offered to trade favours. That's something." the sprite reminds her huge companions. And hmm yes. The market wouldn't start for a good few hours. Forgot that they had these strange things like fixed sleep schedules and such ...
"Yes! I'm sure the beast is gone now, so we might as well look for traces now! Good idea." And then she'd tower all over the market in good time.
"Mmh, favours I could do, but I'm pretty short on gold."
The lack of money also makes the idea of visiting the market rather unattractive. So between finding a helpful wizard and investigating the crime scene, at least the latter is very doable.
"Good idea. Perhaps there is some clues in the crime scene on what was the creature and what it did to us."
Asta bundles her cloak close. The former guard enjoyed walking and being outdoors, but had to admit winter's cold nights made the idea of staying in with a warm fire very inviting. Not that she had time for leisure now.
"To the crime scene then."
The streets are quiet as they were during your first wanderings, Korvosa quiet under the moonlight, the crunch of the snow underfoot and the sight of your breath frosting as you exhale your only company.
Asta leads her two newly found companions from Guard Street back to the back street where they saw the horrific scene just a few hours ago. The window is still broken and streaks of blood are still visible. The only difference is a marker warning the residents of the city away from what is now officially under the auspices of the Korvosan Guard.
Circling around Asta notes the same marker on the front door of what is a very stately two story manor, certainly not anything like the rich folk of NorthPoint but very very nice by the decent standards of Midland.
Asta carefully tests the front door and it swings open, the professional in her sighs, someone should have been posted on the door at all times until the investigation was done. It being CrystalHue and all probably Snail let the guard posted here go home, softhearted as he was. In any case, it made it easy for the three of them to creep into the dark house.
Inside, with some light the group sees a very lavish sitting room, gaudy even, with overstuffed couches surrounded by knick and knacks from different parts of the world, the massive centerpiece however is a massive stuffed head of a snow elk mounted over the fireplace. It's certainly not an animal local to the area around Korvosa, or even Varisia.
The ostentatious display of wealth is also a sign of the influence Pavisky wielded. That no thief smashed a window and snuck in to grab the valuables means that Pavisky was well connected with the guilds and wanted to demonstrate the fact to his guests.
Moving away from the sitting room however shows that is where the showiness was concentrated. The rest of the house is dreary stone and wood, the kitchen sits unusued, the servant quarters, empty. Pavisky lived very very alone, and what's glaringly clear is that no child has set foot in the house for decades.
Upstairs, shows a similar story, rooms that could have been used for a family or to host friends have closed doors with dust caked around the edges. The only room that seems like it has been used for months and months is the main room. It's an austere bedroom with nothing but a bed and a chest of drawers. A huge splotch of blood is on the bed with drag marks heading towards the window... the window under which you all saw the monster.
What is more pressing however is the sight of a pair of tiny (Erythis sized actually) red winged creatures hovering over the blood. They turn, startled at the intrusion and immediately seem to be ready to attack. Korvosa, being fairly Chelish in nature, allows Asta to immediately recognize the creatures as imps. That might be all she knows about them... (Recall Knowledge is an action in Pf2e! Nature, Arcane, Occult, and Religion are the options. I'll give a +1 bonus if you pick the correct one, otherwise you'll have to roll really well to figure anything else about them.).
Talking to them will be one action and I'll let Erythis use her reaction ofr it out of turn if she wishes, (please roll an appropriate skill check though to see if it gets through their seemingly hostile intent). Recalling Knowledge will be one action. The classic attack right away is a fine option as well of course!
◆ Recall Knowledge, Religion +4
Pytho was already a bit jumpy - investigating the scene of the fight and sneaking into the house. And now, they come across some strange - and possible hostile creatures.
◆ Talk, Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
"Uhh... Hey... You're not supposed to be here. We're not supposed to be here. So how about we just take it easy, and talk it out. No need to get into fight. Right?" The half-orc tries to keep his voice calm, and speak soothingly. He is unarmed, so they're surely listen to reason. Right?
But in case they don't, Pytho conjures a shield of magic to surround his left arm.
◆ Cast a spell: Shield (+1 AC, will use Shield Block reaction if attacked (not sure, but I think I can use it without the feat))
One act talk, one act recall knowledge, one act shield spell. The spell calls out that you can indeed use shield block, though blocking will end the spell and you won't be able to use it again for 10 minutes.
Whatever mysterious source of power Pytho has tapped into, or has tapped into him, floods his mind with information. These are Imps, born directly of the powers of Hell, immune to fire, a little resistant to physical damage unless it's silver, pretty resistant to poison, and they can inflict a weak venom of their own, very evil.
Mortal Tricksters! We have to get the soul, Tell us where you liars hid it! One of them shouts.
Erytheis starts to react, but doesn't quite make a move yet. Being distracted by one thing or the other; or perhaps not quite as fast as one would expect?
Asta, probably relieved to work off some stress from what had been a not very nice night, moves in to the closest one and hits.
strike 1: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11
But it goes wide. She raises her shield.
The imps react to the hostility as expected, the first hits out at the human warrior right in front of it while the other tracks to what it thinks is the weakest opponent, flying to Erytheis.
Imp 1 Stinger Asta 1: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16
Imp 1 Stinger Asta 2: 1d20 + 9 - 4 ⇒ (10) + 9 - 4 = 15
Imp 1 Stinger Asta 3: 1d20 + 9 - 4 - 4 ⇒ (16) + 9 - 4 - 4 = 17
Asta's stalwart defenses hold the Imp off though.
The second imp faces off against the sprite.
Imp 2 stinger Erytheis 1: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
Imp 2 stinger Erytheis 2: 1d20 + 9 - 4 ⇒ (2) + 9 - 4 = 7
The sprite, surprised is hit by the first attack and then dodges the second. It doesn't do much damage in and of itself but... she feels pure hatred in the hit that does sting.
Damage: 1d4 - 1 + 1d4 ⇒ (1) - 1 + (2) = 2
Fort Save Erytheis: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
She also feels a spiteful venom coursing through her, really really making her feel unwell.
Imp Venom Poison Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 6
And feels clumsy (condition clumsy 1 added, basically -1 to all dex based rolls).
Setup most of the way through round1: Imp 1 on Asta, Imp 2 on Erytheis, one move action to melee for Pytho if desired. Remember only very trained looking fighter types have AOO now and these imps do NOT look like trained warriors. Everyone up for bottom of round 1 and top of round 2
Erythis 8 damage Clumsy 1 (Imp Venom Poison Round 1)
"Ow ow ow! Mean!" Erytheis complains and gets her tiny sword. Well; this foe was just the right size for it! With a curse as rude as the imps sting she lashes out and vines sprout around the critter restraining it. Then she darts away, hopefully out of easy reach.
Spellstrike!: 1d20 + 7 - 1 ⇒ (19) + 7 - 1 = 25
Damage (p): 1d6 ⇒ 3
Actions: >> Spellstrike /w tanglefoot, > Bail :p
"Bah, not much use to be blessed by fire, if my enemies are immune to the heat of flames." Pytho snorts. He bites his lip, think of what use he could be against such enemy. Thankfully, the flames have revealed the secrets of all kinds of magic, not just of fire.
"Asta, let me work my magic on your blade!" he says, and walks next to the warrior. Uttering a few words magic, the half-orc reaches towards Asta's sword. And once he pulls his hand back, the weapon gives out a faint glow.
◆◆ Cast a spell: Magic weapon. (Asta's sword is now +1 Striking
Weathering the imp's first attacks, Asta holds the imp at bay with her shield while Pytho casts his spell, and then she presses the offence. Asta steps towards the beast and trying to use her greater size to push the devil into a less defensible position while she strikes, her now glowing sword flashing through the air.
strike 1, magic weapon: 1d20 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 9 + 1 = 22
damage?, striking weapon: 2d8 + 4 ⇒ (6, 2) + 4 = 12
strike 2, magic weapon: 1d20 + 9 + 1 - 5 ⇒ (8) + 9 + 1 - 5 = 13
damage?, striking weapon: 2d8 + 4 ⇒ (6, 4) + 4 = 14
strike 3, magic weapon: 1d20 + 9 + 1 - 10 ⇒ (10) + 9 + 1 - 10 = 10
damage?, striking weapon: 2d8 + 4 ⇒ (4, 7) + 4 = 15
Erytheis' strike doesn't seem to do any damage but the vine that lashes out along with the strike does hold the imp somewhat in place.
Erytheis Fort: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
She's able to shake off the effects of the imp's venom as well.
Pytho's magic makes Asta's weapon glow with a red flickering glow and Asta promptly slashes at it, only her first attack lands, but it deals a *lot* of damage and the little devil looks heavily wounded. It chitters at its fellow in a language that sounds like the rasping of quills on dusty leather parchment and its fellow struggles forward through the sticky sap to attack the human threat, then it *morphs* into a giant spider form to attack with what looks like posioned fangs.
One Action Move, One Action Change Shape, one action spider bite!
1d20 + 9 ⇒ (1) + 9 = 10
It doesn't come even close.
Meanwhile the hurt imp tries to hurt Asta as well with its sting
1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
1d20 + 9 - 5 ⇒ (18) + 9 - 5 = 22
1d4 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
The second hit lands in the gap of Asta's armour but is so weak that it fails to even pierce the skin.
Then it tries to flutter allowing Asta's trained reflexes to attempt an Attack of Opportunity!
On your turn if you wish you can use your reaction to carry out an AOO
Setup middle round2: Imp 1 over bed which is difficult terrain but one move from melee anyway, Imp 2 spider form in melee with both Pytho and Asta. No cover Everyone up for bottom of round 2 and top of round 3
Imp 1: 12-3 damage
Imp 2: Giant Spider form.
Erythis 8 damage No Poison
There's no thought happening in Asta's head; the woman merely lashes out as the imp flutters past, a reactive attempt to cut the devil down before it leaves her reach. She then follows up with three more slashes in quick succession, pushing and fencing at the imp while trying to be mindful of her companions nearby. Swinging a sword in a bedroom was difficult!
AoO, magic weapon: 1d20 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 9 + 1 = 30
damage? magic weapon: 2d8 + 4 ⇒ (5, 3) + 4 = 12
strike 1, magic weapon: 1d20 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 9 + 1 = 28
damage? magic weapon: 2d8 + 4 ⇒ (2, 8) + 4 = 14
strike 2, magic weapon: 1d20 + 9 + 1 - 5 ⇒ (7) + 9 + 1 - 5 = 12
damage? magic weapon: 2d8 + 4 ⇒ (2, 3) + 4 = 9
strike 3, magic weapon: 1d20 + 9 + 1 - 10 ⇒ (16) + 9 + 1 - 10 = 16
damage? magic weapon: 2d8 + 4 ⇒ (5, 1) + 4 = 10
Pytho is pretty sure this is still a very infernal spider so all the standard imp immunities apply.
Of course it doesn't matter as Asta gets into her groove, the fleeing imp is cut in two with a mighty swing.
Nat 20 bumps up degree of sucess so that's 24-3 damage.
Her second swing slashes down at the spider with such sudden violence that Erytheis and Pytho don't even see how exactly the spider gets killed and just sees the mangled body of an imp that remains.
28 is 10 over AC 17 so a more standard pf2e crit of 10 over target number. That's 28-3 damage. Done
After catching their breath they look around the seemingly only lived in room of the house. There's a dairy with a few entries in the bedside table written in some sort of runic language. The dresser has a very high quality lock to it on one drawer, the other drawers just contain clothes of very similar quality and colour.
Erytheis' keen eyes spot a floorboard that seems pretty loose, prying it up reveals a hidden segment of the floor with a few days worth of rations and a pouch with 27 gold pieces.
Erytheis slowly lowers her tiny swords and watches in awe. "Woah! Impressive."
Once things have settled down she looks and pokes around, eventually finding the loose floorboard. That's neat. "A bug-out bag?" Hmm. Though most disturbingly there were one thing they didn't find ... "Unless they had very strange habits, I don't think a child lived here. So ... What did the cursing beast take? Some other kid? Or did he shrink the man?"
"Damn, girl! That's some impressive bladework! I'll have to remember to not ever piss you off."
Pytho whistles and spends a moment gawking at the bloody mess that's left of the imps - while keeping a healthy distance to the swordwoman.
"Right. Let's search this place - I guess those buggers didn't steal anything yet. A diary here..." the half-orc says, grabbing the book from the table. He flips the pages, and then hands it out to the other. "Bah, gibberish. Can either of you read it?"
He then continues the search to the drawers, inspecting them one by one. After a series of "Bah"'s, and clothing thrown around, one of the drawers refuses to budge. [b]"This one's locked. Can anyone pick the lock. Or should we just bash the damn thing?"