One Interesting Year

Game Master Azih

It started with a scream.
Campaign Journal

The Bookmaker underground map
General Korvosa Music
Lab Research
Cleric Hafspotter- Abadar Theme
Korvosan Winter Night
Infernal Fight
Naughty Peepers

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There is a lot of activity that happens in a short little while, Pytho comes back to life, still on the ground he casts magic to close... most of the wounds he's suffered. Erytheis sends a flaming arrow to put down the broom.

As for Asta, she wards off the smoke but gets pounced on from the other side, the little horror clinging on to her and trying to bite through her armor... this does a few things... it slows her down as she is grabbed... but it also makes the horror flatfooted (off guard) as it has less room to maneuver.

This means Asta's first responding thrust lands, dealing some damage, this causes the grindylow to rear back in pain and just as it's hissing Asta's second stab goes right through its throat and messily decapitates it, as it is a critical hit. The original AC was 15, since it grabbed Asta its AC was 13, and Asta beat it by ten with her second attack. Please see discussion.

So in total Asta did 4+(11x2) damage and that's really way more than enough to kill it.

Now there's only two left

The skeleton animal mindlessly keeps attacking Pytho as it senses life within it.

Bite: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Bite: 1d20 + 8 - 5 ⇒ (5) + 8 - 5 = 8
Bite: 1d20 + 8 - 10 ⇒ (8) + 8 - 10 = 6

The first savage lunging bite gets through the shield spell and causes even more pain.... (unless Pytho uses reaction to Shield block and absorb all the damage, let me know and we'll retcon).

The puff of smoke actually seems a bit uncertain (as much as emotion can be detected in what seems to be little more than a small eddy of air) but dutifully keeps sending blasts of air at Asta.

Wisp Attack: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
Crit air blast: 1d4 ⇒ 2
Wisp Attack: 1d20 + 7 - 5 ⇒ (8) + 7 - 5 = 10
Wisp Attack: 1d20 + 7 - 10 ⇒ (17) + 7 - 10 = 14

The first blast actually does a decent bit of damage, smacking Asta in the head and sending her reeling.

Setup middle of round3: Skeleton standing over prone Pytho, Asta facing off against smoke.

Broom Burnt to death by Erytheis after smacking her once
Horror Crit to death by Asta as it clung on to her after damaging her
Asta 12-2-4=6/20
Erythis 12-5=7/16
Pytho 12-12+1+10-5=6/18, Prone

Oracle 1 | HP 18/18 | AC 17 | Saves F +5 R +7 W +6 | Perc +4 | Focus: 2/2 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺

Yes, using the reaction to shield block the damage.

Pytho manages to turn his magical shield between him and the skeleton. The undead creature's furious attacks shatter the shield but leave the half-orc unharmed.

Again, Pytho channels the might of the flames to heal. But this time, the divine fire spreads wide, healing also his allies. And even more, these flames also purge the unholy, burning the skeleton in front of him.

◆◆◆ Cast a spell: Heal
heal/damage: 1d8 ⇒ 7

Everyone heals for 7 points. skeleton takes that as damage (fort save for half, I suppose. DC 17

Yes that's what a basic fortitude save means.

Fort: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4

And a crit fail means double damage

Everybody feels a wash of quite powerful cleansing flame wash over them with Pytho the source of it.

The skeleton feels it too, rearing back for a split second before it basically crumbles to nothing but ash in the face of the assault.

Status: |Hp 14/16 | AC 18 | Fort +7, Ref 7, Will +5 | Per +3 |Acrobatics +7, Arcana +6, Diplomacy +3, Lore (Herbalism) +6, Medicine +3, Occultism +6, Stealth +7 |

The tides were turning! And Pytho's spell made her feel a lot better. Will just raise her own Shield spell though to be sure! And a ray of fire on the last foe!

To Hit!: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9

Damage?: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4

Fighter 1|Hp 2/20 | AC 18/20 w/shield| Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +5 | Per +5 | longsword +9 (1d8+4) | xp: 180

Cool spell, Pytho!

Buoyed by Pytho's spell, Asta turns her attention to the wisp. Her instincts were correct last time; the guard decides to press the attack again.

attack: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
attack, iterative: 1d20 + 9 - 5 ⇒ (8) + 9 - 5 = 12
damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
attack, iterativex2: 1d20 + 9 - 10 ⇒ (6) + 9 - 10 = 5 10 if second attack missed.
damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11

Erytheis' ray just misses entirely and Asta is able to get one solid hit in on the air wisp. It looks really the worse for wear before Geezlebottle waves his hand to dismiss it.

Combat over, Pytho is still prone!

Hrm.. not going to get much out of seeing you whack that thing for another minute Geezlebottle says peering over the contraption he's behind in.

Gain 146 xp

Final Status

Broom Burnt to death by Erytheis after smacking her once
Smoke Hurt by Asta then dismissed
Horror Crit to death by Asta as it clung on to her after damaging her
Skeleton One hit Destroyed by holy flame from Ptyho
Asta 12-2-4+7=13/20
Erythis 12-5+7=14/16
Pytho 12-12+1+10-5+7=13/18, Prone

The good news is that I have gathered quite a bit of information from that exactly as desired. The bad news is that it makes very little sense. The odd news is that whatever is on you seems to want you to not die... though weakly so, I was able to shape the energy a bit in there to assist the effect towards that end but I would not test how effective that is... He lectures as he looks back down.

All I can say for certain at the moment is there is no influence of the essence of mind in the magic placed on you... unfortunately that rules out the arcane which is my area of expertise, or primal, but life, sprit, and mind are all very much in evidence... which leaves some sort of absurd combination of the laziness of divine and the ludicrousness of the occult...

Luckily for you my breadth of knowledge does cover quite a bit of those traditions... so I should be able to decipher more of this in a week or so... however I could cut that down to a day if I had just a bit more data... as a control. What say you? Up for another go around? It'll be just one creature this time... of similar power

Status: |Hp 14/16 | AC 18 | Fort +7, Ref 7, Will +5 | Per +3 |Acrobatics +7, Arcana +6, Diplomacy +3, Lore (Herbalism) +6, Medicine +3, Occultism +6, Stealth +7 |

"Hmm. Interesting!" Erytheis nods along, careful to interject a few questions here and there. She was up for another round, now that they knew it was coming, but it'd be wise to at least let her oafs get back to their feet first. And herself to compose herself. Then she'd gladly slay another beast!

Oracle 1 | HP 18/18 | AC 17 | Saves F +5 R +7 W +6 | Perc +4 | Focus: 2/2 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺

"Easy for you to say, not getting battered and clawed and bitten." Pytho grumbles on the ground. Wincing, he pushes himself up. He takes a quick look at his wounds and decides he'll live. But these clothes have definitely seen better days.

"Gimme a small break to catch my breath, then I could do another fight. Maybe."

Yes, yes, ten minutes, twenty, half an hour, whatever you wish... GeezleBottle is heads down at his devices, looking at various liquids and other materials, waving his hands to make glowing runes appear and then scribbling notes into a book.

Oracle 1 | HP 18/18 | AC 17 | Saves F +5 R +7 W +6 | Perc +4 | Focus: 2/2 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺


Pytho takes out his healer's tools, and starts cleaning and tending the wounds from last battle. But what wounds were left from the purifying flames, are beyond his skill with the needle.

Medicine, Treat wounds, DC15: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8 lol, at least not a crit fail

And I think I can't try this again until 1 hour has passed?

Yup you're temporarily immune, though someone else can be treated if you want to try. Let me know what you guys do to prep and we can retcon your starting status.

After preparations are done while Geezlebottle continues to delve into the investigation of his latest obsession, you alert the gnome and he looks up, a little shocked. Ah yes, of course.

Another scroll goes into his device, runes glow again... and

A bizarre creature made up mostly of a dome of pink very wrinkled flesh above a very tiny body hovers about 20 feet off the ground above a raised circular dias of sorts. It's carrying a very tiny book.

If you recognize this creature as being a giant brain... then please describe how you know what a brain looks like! You also have the Recall Knowledge action to try and figure out what the heck it is.

This time the three of you are ready and get the jump on the creature.

Brain thing hovering about 20 to 30 feet away from each of you. Below it is a circular area of difficult terrain. Party up.

Asta 13/20
Erythis 14/16
Pytho 13/18

Oracle 1 | HP 18/18 | AC 17 | Saves F +5 R +7 W +6 | Perc +4 | Focus: 2/2 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺

Not one to easily learn from his mistakes, Pytho repeats the start of the previous fight and casts incendiary aura. Flames surround him, party hiding him from sight. This time the half-orc decides to have some protection on him, casts a spell to shield him from harm (although he doesn't really know in what form the arm comes from a creature such as this.)

◆◆ Cast a spell: incendiary aura
◆ Cast a spell: Shield

Fighter 1|Hp 2/20 | AC 18/20 w/shield| Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +5 | Per +5 | longsword +9 (1d8+4) | xp: 180

Will it be two moves then to get to the creature? What is the knowledge skill needed?

It'll be two moves to get underneath it.. Remember it's twenty feet above the ground! For knowledge skills pick what you think is best and I'll roll a SECRET CHECK (It'll still cost you an action). I'll adjust the DC based on how relevant the skill you pick is. My house rule is you pick the right one and I give you a bonus but I like giving out information so even not the right check might give you something useful.

Status: |Hp 14/16 | AC 18 | Fort +7, Ref 7, Will +5 | Per +3 |Acrobatics +7, Arcana +6, Diplomacy +3, Lore (Herbalism) +6, Medicine +3, Occultism +6, Stealth +7 |

Erytheis raises her bow and takes aim at the spongy mushroom. Such a large cap for such an average sized body and book! Briefly she wondered what secrets it contained before refocusing. Surely something horrible. And if not, the pesky gnome had surely summoned it to *do* something horrible. So take aim and fire fire!

>> Spellstrike with Produce Flame. > Enter the Arcane Cascade Stance (+1 fire damage on melee attacks. Just in case!)

To Hit?: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16

Damage (p): 1d6 ⇒ 3

Damage (f): 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5

Fighter 1|Hp 2/20 | AC 18/20 w/shield| Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +5 | Per +5 | longsword +9 (1d8+4) | xp: 180

Hmm well Asta has no knowledges and she's not likely to know anything about anything summoned, so she'll just hold tight.

The creature was well off the ground, and Pytho and Erytheis seemed to have magic to counteract the beast, so Asta would do what she did best: step between the foe and her friends, and if the opportunity presented itself, whack it with her sword. Stepping forward, the guard put herself closest to the beast and raised her shield.

Actions: step forward in front of Pytho and Erytheis and raise her shield to block.

Erytheis misses the floating creature, but not by too much. Meanwhile magic flares out of Pytho and flames start to appear all around him making him seem like a creature out of the plane of fire, or the abyss. Geezlebottle seems quite excited by that.

Asta steps forward and raises her shield.

The hovering thing though raises its little book and fires two bolts of magical energy right at Pytho.

Damage: 2d4 + 2 ⇒ (2, 4) + 2 = 8

That's it, that's the turn

Brain thing hovering about 20 to 30 feet away from each of you. Below it is a circular area of difficult terrain. Party up.
Asta 13/20
Erythis 14/16
Pytho 13-8=5/18

Oracle 1 | HP 18/18 | AC 17 | Saves F +5 R +7 W +6 | Perc +4 | Focus: 2/2 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺

My moderate curse makes me concealed from enemies - should the creature make a flat check to target me? (Don't know if it can make it's attack without "targeting" me...)

Also, will spend one action to try to figure out the creature. Religion +4 is the only knowledge I have... Will decide the last two actions once the concealement is clarified

The bolts were unerringly accurate. You rack your brain to try and figure out what the heck this thing is but the only thing you can figure out is it's some sort of spellcaster. Just a reminder your shield spell gives you a shield block reaction if you wish to use it.

Status: |Hp 14/16 | AC 18 | Fort +7, Ref 7, Will +5 | Per +3 |Acrobatics +7, Arcana +6, Diplomacy +3, Lore (Herbalism) +6, Medicine +3, Occultism +6, Stealth +7 |

Some sort of magical missiles perhaps :p?

Oracle 1 | HP 18/18 | AC 17 | Saves F +5 R +7 W +6 | Perc +4 | Focus: 2/2 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺

Yeah, I wasn't if magic missile etc. spells need to "target"... But I'll use shield block action to prevent 5 points of damage. Should be at 10/18 hp now

Right, getting beaten and battered again. This is all that gnome's doing - he must hate half-orcs. Figures.

Despite the pain, Pytho conjures flames on both of his hands, which lash out at the floating creature.

◆◆ Cast a spell: Produce flames
Spell attack: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
Damage: 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
If hit, persistent fire damage from incendiary aura: 2d4 ⇒ (3, 1) = 4

Status: |Hp 14/16 | AC 18 | Fort +7, Ref 7, Will +5 | Per +3 |Acrobatics +7, Arcana +6, Diplomacy +3, Lore (Herbalism) +6, Medicine +3, Occultism +6, Stealth +7 |

Erytheis concentrates, frowns and launches another flaming arrow. Let's hope this one strikes true! ... Or at the very least, singes something annoying to clean. Heh. Tiny vengeance!

>Concentrate on Spellstrike >>Spellstrike with Produce Flame!

To Hit?: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26

Damage (p): 1d6 ⇒ 4

Damage (f): 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6

Fighter 1|Hp 2/20 | AC 18/20 w/shield| Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +5 | Per +5 | longsword +9 (1d8+4) | xp: 180

Hmm looks like I never bothered to buy a ranged weapon.

Asta frowns as a burst of magic streaks around her and into her companion. What good was a guard if she couldn't even do the very work her job was named for? Keeping her shield raised, Asta waits for the next attack, intent to dive in front of it.

Action raise shield, and she'll ready an action to block the next missile, if this is possible to do.

Oracle 1 | HP 18/18 | AC 17 | Saves F +5 R +7 W +6 | Perc +4 | Focus: 2/2 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺

"I have a crossbow on my back, you should take it." Pytho grunts, noticing the warrior doesn't seem to have a way to attack the floating beast.

The floating pink thing takes two very good hits from both Pytho and Erytheis, the physical damage of the arrow piercing the largest part of the creature seems to do quite a bit as the arrow sinks in very deep.

Extra Persisent roll
2d4 ⇒ (1, 1) = 2
Taking higher

It looks quite hurt, but responds by firing another two bolts, this time at Erytheis.

Damage: 2d4 + 2 ⇒ (2, 4) + 2 = 8

Brain thing hovering about 20 to 30 feet away from each of you. Below it is a circular area of difficult terrain. Party up. Top of Round 3.
Asta 13/20
Erythis 14-8=6/16
Pytho 13-3=10/18
Brain Thing: 4+2+6+7+4=23

Status: |Hp 14/16 | AC 18 | Fort +7, Ref 7, Will +5 | Per +3 |Acrobatics +7, Arcana +6, Diplomacy +3, Lore (Herbalism) +6, Medicine +3, Occultism +6, Stealth +7 |

Well... She *would* offer her bow as well - but she feared her friends enormous hands would accidentally break it. How anyone did anything at that size without crushing things left and right was one of the great wonders of the world!

Seeing the effect of her needle-like arrows on the floating creature fills the sprite with glee. Getting shot at in return less so. But still, it seemed effective. "Maybe it's like a balloon; easy to pop!" She decides to test that theory with another shot. This time with a Shield Spell. And a teeny tinsy bit of magical cheating!

Actions: > Cast True Strike > Shoot Bow > Cast Shield

To Hit 1: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19

To Hit 2: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23

Taking the higher roll of the above!

Damage? (p): 1d6 ⇒ 4

The arrow sinks, again, very deep into the flesh of the creature. The summoned creature looks very very ragged.


Oracle 1 | HP 18/18 | AC 17 | Saves F +5 R +7 W +6 | Perc +4 | Focus: 2/2 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺

Pytho tries to come up with some witty banter, but can't think of anything. So instead, he just throws a new ball of fire at the creature.

◆◆ Cast a spell: Produce flames
Spell attack: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
Damage: 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7

Again, persistent damage from aura, but do I roll it or does the enemy roll it on his turn?

Also, would it be 1 action interact to hand out my crossbow to Asta?

Persistent damage is after the end of a person's turn and gives the person a chance to get rid of it. So it's better if the person rolls it themselves to streamline pbp I think, however if you roll it then I'll apply it.

Pytho and Erytheis start to get their combat bearings and attacks rain down on the floating pink thing and it rears back as Pytho's flames wash over it and it winks out of existence.

Bah just a few more seconds would have.... Geezlebottle complains before brightening up. No matter

He then casts another spell and a sort of mirror shaped portal appears next to him and through it the three of you can see the same creature that you just fought sitting at a tiny desk of its own. Geezlebottle starts rapid fire speaking with them in a language none of you recognize and it responds by drawing some diagrams in the air with some sort of a device that traces light.

Geezlebottle seems to have quite forgotten that you three even exist.

Combat over Gain 80 XP
Final Setup
Asta 13/20
Erythis 14-8=6/16
Pytho 13-3=10/18
Brain Thing: Burned by Pytho's flames

Status: |Hp 14/16 | AC 18 | Fort +7, Ref 7, Will +5 | Per +3 |Acrobatics +7, Arcana +6, Diplomacy +3, Lore (Herbalism) +6, Medicine +3, Occultism +6, Stealth +7 |

Erytheis looks quite smug as the strange mushroom person goes down. There! Not so tough after all! Even if she was feeling quite scuffed herself. "Sweet victory!" she squeaks, further encouraged as Geezlebottle grumbles a bit. She takes a moment to straighten herself out and then to see if any of her arrows survived the encounter. They were a bit annoying to replace in the land of giants!


As their host turn to his otherworldly companion to chatter, the urge to conjure and apply a snowball grows. She forces herself to turn away from the oh-so-snowballable backside of Geezlebottle and his strange companion. Somewhat forced, somewhat tired she addresses her own odd friends. Friendly oafs. "This could take a while. What say you; should we find a place to feast for now?"

Oracle 1 | HP 18/18 | AC 17 | Saves F +5 R +7 W +6 | Perc +4 | Focus: 2/2 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺

"Uh, yeah... Just that..." Pytho squints his eyes and stumbles.

"I can't see a damn thing. Do you see the flames, or is it just me?" He squats down, and rubs his temples with his hands. "Just give me a moment, maybe it'll pass."

10min break to refocus. Maybe this is the first time Pytho pushed his curse this far

The moderate curse made *everyone* see the flames until Pytho refocuses, the flames that only Pytho can see will last until the next time he gets a long rest.

So Geezlebottle said he'd need a day, finding translators is a no go until the city starts getting back to business, which is also probably tomorrow, it's still CrystalHue after all.

Fighter 1|Hp 2/20 | AC 18/20 w/shield| Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +5 | Per +5 | longsword +9 (1d8+4) | xp: 180

Asta yawns, the weight of the day coming down on her. "Maybe it is time for a little rest? We can look for a translator tomorrow, and check in with Geezlebottle then as well?"

Status: |Hp 14/16 | AC 18 | Fort +7, Ref 7, Will +5 | Per +3 |Acrobatics +7, Arcana +6, Diplomacy +3, Lore (Herbalism) +6, Medicine +3, Occultism +6, Stealth +7 |

Erytheis pats the side of Pytho's leg. "It's perfectly normal to sparkle a bit! Happens to everyone. Well, usually not tall-folk, but hey! Maybe you'll sprout wings too if you're lucky." There! Reassuring and encouraging at the same time. The sprite smiled.

While she was tired, worn and had a long day/night she wasn't ready to give up just yet. Still had something on her bucket list! "As long as we get a liiiitle feast first. I've heard this is the season for tasty porridge!"

It's really only been half a day since they woke up in the morning, but an incredibly action packed one. Heading back to old Korvosa takes a little less than an hour.

There are quite a few tall folk who do have the tradition of putting out food for the fey in the morning. Not too many though as the influence of the fey is never very strong in urban centres like Korvosa and most such offerings are eaten by stray animals. Erytheis has started to map out a route of houses in her head that do follow these traditions and the bounty was definitely better than usual this morning.

The group has enough coin to afford porridge too.

Do you guys want me to give you a translator and Geezlebottle info dump next? Can do that sometime next week, in the meanwhile, you've got some time in the day to recover from some pretty hard fights.

Status: |Hp 14/16 | AC 18 | Fort +7, Ref 7, Will +5 | Per +3 |Acrobatics +7, Arcana +6, Diplomacy +3, Lore (Herbalism) +6, Medicine +3, Occultism +6, Stealth +7 |

"Very very nice. This one is really good..." Mapping and prioritizing the treats was a welcome distraction. Things should be sweet but not too sweet. And a pinch of salt! Bonus points if it was portioned in the way she could take her share while still leaving enough for the next hungry mouth. In exchange for a small blessing of course. Some ancient words of tradition, hopefully enough to sooth some hardship.

Yeah, some recovery sounds nice. Some food. A nap. Idle chats about Pytho's odds of spontaneous combustion :p

Oracle 1 | HP 18/18 | AC 17 | Saves F +5 R +7 W +6 | Perc +4 | Focus: 2/2 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺

"Food sounds good." Pytho agrees.

Porridge might not be his favorite, but at least it's purse-friendly.

The next day is the day after CrystalHue and Korvosa gets back to it's normal rhythm. For many on the edge of poverty even taking CrystalHue off is risky. There's maybe less desperation under Queen Kroft then there was before, but overall the poor remain desperate in Korovosa and only the very rich aren't in that state.

So the experts in Garrison Hill are back to work and that is where the group can find their translators.

Skald is not a hard language to find translators for. Like most everything else in the city, the more you pay, the faster you get served.

Skald dairy translation: 2 gp will mean it gets translated by tomorrow, 4 gp by end of the day.

Infernal on the other hand... is esoteric. If Korovosa wasn't so influenced by Cheliax it would be almost impossible. As it is,
10 gp will get in translated in three days, 30 gp will get in translated by the end of the day. Anything adjacent to hell meriting hazard pay is fair.

Let me know what you choose and we'll say you get the info on that day.

Skald is translated by a barrel shaped Ulfen human woman who still braids her hair in the style of the Land of the Linnorm Kings. My family was real disappointed when I told 'em I wanted to learn to read. Said it was a real waste of muscle. Ran away with a travelling book salesman soon after. Nethys rest my dear's soul. Hah. I just like readin' stories rather'n listening some bard prattle on yeah? Anyhow, this ain't my favorite kind of tale. Whoever wrote this was more monster than human. Just a list of his triumphs since he came to the city.. Here's a summary

* He came to Korvosa in 4707 or so, right before the Mad Queen's year. Calling it his 'destiny paid for fair and square'.
* He acquired a pub and named it "Aram's Crown", though he seemed irritated at the name.
* He became rich and made powerful friends.
* Last few entries are the only ones that seem human, he frets about 'bills coming due' and 'no one to care for him' also how much he's started to hate CrystalHue.

For Infernal the group they finally get referred to a twitchy and scrawny but very well dressed gnome after most take a glance at what is obviously an infernal contract and refuse to have anything to do with it. I was starting to... well you know... lose my colour and I realized... haha that being terrified for your life at all times makes it interesting, and revealing secrets is a GREAT way to do exactly that. Here's a summary

* Names are obscured by the terms of the contract to protect the identity of the mortal making the bargain
* In exchange for a standard fee the mortal will gain a crown and the allegiance of the powerful.

Most Infernal documents have very little content.. most of the words are attempts to block loopholes and the like.. the gnome explains, startling as the shadow of a cloud suddenly passes over him.

Geezlebottle is humming in his office when the group comes back again. Ah, the cursed on three sides he says pleasantly. I must say you've given me enough fodder for an entire chapter on the intersection between the highest levels of power and the twisting of the traditions... it's just too bad you're not afflicted by anything arcane... In Any case after quite a lot of collaboration I have determined that you are under the influence of a divine spell cast by an occult being... you can see why it's such a wonderfully thorny problem to solve.... oh the dead ends and red herrings I chased before finally arriving at the improbable solution that explains what seems impossible... in any case I have let Hafspotter know as well that you have a particularly powerful casting of the spell Brand the Impertinent on you. It's a divine spell but the amount of influence of the essence of mind indicates it was cast from an occult source. Which fits your boogie-critter story.

Fighter 1|Hp 2/20 | AC 18/20 w/shield| Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +5 | Per +5 | longsword +9 (1d8+4) | xp: 180

Asta smiles as she hears the colloquialism from the Linnorm woman. A real waste of muscle. I like that. Silently, the guard files it away for later. As to the rest of the Linnorm woman's information, Asta was quite literal, and had but just when question.

"When you say the author was a monster... do you mean actually, or as a meteor. Metaphor, I mean. I think is the word..." Asta trails off in a mumble, suddenly acutely aware that everyone in the room was probably much smarter than she.

At Geezlebottle's, Asta frowns, and she looks to her companions, the difference between something being divine and occult being of little difference at all to the guardswoman. But most importantly, this Brand the Impertinent seemed to be important, and Asta had no idea what it did. "Speak in plain Taldane, please. What does this brand do, exactly?"

Ah, I was being poetic there dearie. As far as I can tell this bastard was human through and through. the Skald speaker replies with a smile.

Ah, very good question.. Brand the Impertient is a divine spell mainly used to mark enemies of a faith, only the followers of the boogie-critter's faith will see the actual brand though and you'll have a harder time escaping them should they decide to hunt you for... whatever offense you caused. Considering it's lasted a few days I'm sad to say that it's probably permanent and there's no way to hide it. Nothing more than that and I hardly think there are a lot of followers of this considering I've never heard of this creature. But of course I am not much of a scholar of the divine or monstrosities.

Speaking off... you really should be looking into some way of hiding that headache inducing level of magical power you three are emanating... I don't think there's any rush to this as... no offense.. you three aren't particularly impressive but if the wrong people detect magic around you, say 15 feet or so and want to dissect you to find a way to extract the power for themselves... well... I would find a way to avoid that if I were you. I think... I could craft a custom item for you... it'd cost you say... a thousand gold pieces

Oracle 1 | HP 18/18 | AC 17 | Saves F +5 R +7 W +6 | Perc +4 | Focus: 2/2 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺

Pytho bursts out in laughter. "Thousand gold pieces! Yeah, right..."

Surely a joke? Maybe kings would have that kind of money. Not normal people.

"So. We figure out what the 'faith' is and then just avoid any followers for the rest of our lives?"

Fighter 1|Hp 2/20 | AC 18/20 w/shield| Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +5 | Per +5 | longsword +9 (1d8+4) | xp: 180

"Wait, what?" Asta says, panic rising her breast. Her hands shoot to her forehead and cheeks, pressing, and then to the back of her neck, wrists, anywhere with bare skin that can be seen by others. "We have brands on us? Where are they? I can't feel anything!"

Status: |Hp 14/16 | AC 18 | Fort +7, Ref 7, Will +5 | Per +3 |Acrobatics +7, Arcana +6, Diplomacy +3, Lore (Herbalism) +6, Medicine +3, Occultism +6, Stealth +7 |

"Well, it's not like that'll be a *long* time..." Erytheis lets out a quiet giggle, in response to Pytho's plan. This was a lot of bad news to take in lately. They'd have to figure out something a lot better then free snacks to make up for this! Hmph. "A brand, a year and a monster. Hmm. Tinfoil hats for the first maybe?"

Geezlebottle quriks an impressive eyebrow at Pytho You have been marked by what I can tell is a demigod. A 1000 each is a bargain considering the kind of materials and effort that I will need to put in to create such a suppressive device.

For the Faithful, yes, you could run from the followers of this boogie-critter, but from what I can tell it's the boogie-critter itself that is your worry.

He sights at Asta. Yes, it's magic, that's why you can't feel it, anyone detecting magic within say 15 feet of you or so gets a massive headache however, and the boogie critter and it's followers will be able to sense you on sight. Also.. I am not an expert on the art of loutery but may I suggest you buy a sling or something? My friend was not impressed by you just standing around while they floated above.

Now I am not an expert on faith, but you would be well served to visit the University of Korvosa on the heights or the Pantheon of Many on South Shore. I can write you a letter of introduction to an acquaintance of mine at the University if you wish.

Asta knows these parts of the city. The Heights is where the power of the city lives, The South Shore is where the new money does. It seems like the powerful hoarde not only wealth but have the best access to knowledge and faith as well.

Fighter 1|Hp 2/20 | AC 18/20 w/shield| Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +5 | Per +5 | longsword +9 (1d8+4) | xp: 180

Asta frowns and crosses her arms, her posture rigid. It wasn't in her plans for the day to fight some cowardly flying extradimensional being wouldn't even come in arms length, after all. Whatever, she'd buy a sling if it kept the gnome from tossing any more judgement her way.

Her frown deepened as Geezlebottle pointed them towards two of the spots in the city they'd definitely not be able to blend. Eh, at least she'd be able to act all guard-like if anyone got uppity.

"Old money or new money, eh? Yeah, we'll take your letter of introduction."

Status: |Hp 14/16 | AC 18 | Fort +7, Ref 7, Will +5 | Per +3 |Acrobatics +7, Arcana +6, Diplomacy +3, Lore (Herbalism) +6, Medicine +3, Occultism +6, Stealth +7 |

"Yes! I love letters." Wasn't quite as good as someone giving you their name, but letters were still good. Not that Erytheis had any idea of how to properly fey either of them but it was important to keep up the old traditions... "Let's check out the university first."

"Hmm... It might be easier if we could just see this spell for ourselves too. I shall look around for a proper Detect Magic spell." She had paid more attention to the lecture involving flinging fire then the divination ones. Not that she regretted her choice, from the sound of it she even got out of a free headache, but Divination might make things easier.

From East Shore the fastest route to Aram's Crown is to walk south and cross over High Bridge right into Midland. Aram's Crown isn't nearly as crowded as it used to be despite there still being a lot of travelers visiting family and taking advantage of the experience of being in a big city during CrystalHue.

In fact it's pretty much empty when you enter. The half-elf bartender looks up from wiping the counter and slaps her palm to her forehead and the sight of the three of you entering.

Before you can even start she raises a meaty palm and, not needing to whisper because of the lack of patrons says Like I said afore, whatever horrible things Aram was up to and you lot are mixed up in is Not. My. Shift.

She sighs though. Since you don't have the sense to leave well enough alone though... come back in the evening when I hand over to Jalnio. Trouble like you fits troublemakers like him, it's not for the likes of me.

Since she's absolutely refusing to engage, the group moves on to the University of Korvosa. It lies near the boundary of the Heights and Midland and has a bit of a unique atmosphere of its own as the youthful students of mundane knowledge spend their time either studying or avoiding studying at the nearby Wise Dragon Inn. There's not much activity in the holiday season but there are still some older students and staff around who have made academia their way of life rather than just a part of their younger years.

Showing the letter of introduction to some of these gets you referred to Leroung Hall, the administrative offices of the University. In there one of the people at reception look over the letter and, after a short wait, you are led to a large office. A middle aged human noblewoman with her hair tied up in a bun and wearing spectacles looks up at the interruption and quickly scans the letter. She's dressed more like a headmistress than a noble lady but her station is obvious despite that.

Moderately competent adventuring types looking for non magical information... She reads out. Interesting enough I suppose and this is a slow time of the year... I am Lady Leroung, headmistress of this place...So, tell me what I can do for you?

Status: |Hp 14/16 | AC 18 | Fort +7, Ref 7, Will +5 | Per +3 |Acrobatics +7, Arcana +6, Diplomacy +3, Lore (Herbalism) +6, Medicine +3, Occultism +6, Stealth +7 |

Erytheis smiles. Moderately competent adventurer was a step up! "A pleasure! I'm Erytheis and we're up over our head with a strange cult; we're hoping you might know a thing?"

Swift post down, will return later :)

Fighter 1|Hp 2/20 | AC 18/20 w/shield| Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +5 | Per +5 | longsword +9 (1d8+4) | xp: 180

"A cult, a specific monster, a curse... You name, we're dealing with it." Asta shrugs, almost apologetic, her discomfort at being in such rarified halls plainly showing. "Well, I'm no bard, but I guess you need a story..."

Turning to her companions, Asta shrugs, her meaning clear. Should I continue? And barring any objects, she does just that, recounting their entire misfortunate tale from the time the three strangers met in that ill-fated alley.

Well... that is one of the more interesting tales I've heard lately. Lady Leroung muses, Of course with entire new nations being created because of ancient wizards and liches coming back and old ones falling apart because of revolutions, what happened to the three isn't that unusual and it's better than those traders that got randomly picked up by that dragon.. at least you have a year it seems to prepare, though, please do be as far away as possible from me next CrystalHue...

She looks back at the letter

And Geezlebottle isn't one to exaggerate so the magical side of your story is confirmed as far as I am concerned...

The divine is not an area that my institute specializes in of course so what I could help you with is on mundane knowledge of cults, myths, and monsters I suppose she says thoughtfully. And this I think is where we could help each other perhaps... Moderately competent adventurers might be exactly what is needed.

You're not the only ones with troubles like this of course and the authorities charge an arm and a leg to investigate and take care of issues that haven't risen to being a public threat... one of the ways the good Queen Kroft takes care of the people she comes from. This means of course that many just leave smaller problems alone and hope they don't get worse... and that has impacted us of course.

Now my University is well taken care of, I have the connections and means to keep our grounds well maintained and safe... but some of our partner institutions are not as... either well resourced as me or as forward thinking. You take care of the problems they face and not only well I be able to assign scholars to give me reports on related phenomena with as many resources as they need, but I will pay you a stipend besides.

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