You begin the adventure aboard a ship bound for Quantium, the capitol city of Nex. The Society covered your expenses for the voyage, asking you to keep your wayfinders and other signs of affiliation with the Society under wraps and travel aboard a low-profile merchant vessel to avoid attention. Though the journey is free, it is unpleasant; about the rickety Opportune, you contend with uncomfortable bunks and dusty provisions.
Please feel free to start dotting in and/or doing character introductions.
|Professor Serj Harlequinn|
A clean-shaven gnome struggles to lean over the deck to position his throat, out of which projectile vomit hurls of the side over the Opportune and into the frothing sea (again), some backfiring to land on the shoulder casing of his intricate power suit that whirrs with a low frequency, powered seemingly by some reactor that churns by internal combustion, and sports an immense exhaust pipe out of which smoke occasionally chokes. He turns to the next character to introduce themselves.
"Blast!" he curses before making an exuse for himself "Risky prospect, as the oscillation of the deck is irregular, rendering the entire venture of travel by ship itself, well, volatile"
It is here he presents his business card to the most "savvy" looking character - the 1d4 ⇒ 4th to introduce themself - whose fine print is utterly illegible due simply to the smallness of the font used to scribe it - a thin razor that could slip easily into any pocket.
COUNCILMAN PROFESSOR SERJ HARLEQUINN
BULL MARKET CAPITAL, LLC
Slipp, a rather small and somewhat distracted looking gnome, sits quietly on the ship by themselves. They sway with the motion of the ship, eyes distant as if watching things that are not actually there.
The more superstitious of sailors likely start to avoid the small gnome, while others wonder if perhaps they are a little hung-over.
Slipp does however look up a little when some of the, ahh, splatter, from Profession Harlequinn reaches their sheltered spot. They look up, surprised, and then blink their eyes a couple of times as if trying of focus.
"I'd avoid eating and drinking were I you." they offer, looking just beyond the professors shoulder as they talk. "I'm 'Slipp'" they eventually add, realising that perhaps their manners had been let, ahh, slip.
What looks like a small unicorn plushie, about the size of a dog, or is attempting to maintain it's footing on the slippery deck. Even with four legs it is hard. Said unicorn is dark in colour, nearly the black of night with a collection of seven stars on it's rump. Her mane and tail are jet black.
She introduces herself as Starlight Sparkle, a poppet who was wished to life my a little girl who had lost her parents. Said little girl had later been taken in by a kindly old wizardess and and both had become her apprentices. Now, here she was, a member of the Pathfinder Society.
I'm Starlight Sparkle - wizard she says And yes, I see what you mean. Her horn is glowing with a thaumic field as she uses her Mage Hand to hang on to the nearest object. Although I did read somewhere that garlic is really good for mal de mer Her breath tends to indicate she is actually testing this theory.
Anyone know how to configure Pathbuilder 2e to allow the selection of Flexible Dedication?
|Hancock the Angry|
An unkempt dwarf, bulky and slouching with greasy hair, stands stoically anchored to the deck. On his face is a rather sly smirk and he looks almost happy. He is obviously a barbarian, though, to be fair, not all barbarians are dressed as poorly, groomed as poorly, or speak as poorly as Hancock, but the huge two handed maul and breastplate complete the picture. Come to think of it, though, the man has not said a word the entire voyage unless you count the occasional mumble or snarl. Fortunately, these are mostly directed at Bruce, his 'servant', who happens to be where his smirk is directed.
It might be because said 'servant' quickly joins Professor Harlequinn at the railing and joins him in his projectile vomiting. In fact they seem almost in sync. The professor hurls, and almost as if the sight (or perhaps the discharge hitting him in the face is to blame) is too much to bear, Bruce soon follows with his own entropy bolt.
When he has breath to spare, he addresses his companion of fate.
"Good day, or perhaps I should say, miserable day to you. My name is Bruce and that fellow over there is Hancock the Evil. I swear, this is revenge for getting him a job helping some students at the Dacilane Academy. He knows I hate ships."
Slipp eyes up the miniature unicorn, showing an unprecedented level of interest, at least compared to everything else they have seen on the ship.
"Oh!" is the surprised exclamation.
"Are you from the First World?" Then they look a bit closer. "No...no...how odd... a construct. But a self-willed one? I've never heard of such a thing. Tell me.... have you visited the First World? Is that where you grew your spirit?"
Erevan gives out a sigh of disappointment during the unpleasant trip. "Looks like no tea for now." He mutters to himself. He then greets the other Pathfinders, trying to maintain his balance. Clinks of bottles can be heard from his bulky backpack.
"Greetings, everyone! I would like to offer tea but the conditions of our travel forbid me so."
Her overly large eyes, for a pony, regard Slipp before trotting over and sitting down nearby.
No I haven't. But I'd love to. Do you know how to get there? she says with enthusiasm. But yeah. I was wished into life by a litle girl after she lost her parents. For a while I was her constant companion and she would cuddle me when she felt sad. I'd do my best to make her happy again too. Then we both got taken in by this nice lady wizard who made us her apprentices. But yeah .. as the years past, we sort of drifted apart as she grew up. I guess she found something else to cuddle.
Starlight sighed. Sometimes I miss Lauren but I hope she is doing well. Anyway, I'm now a full fledged wizard, making my way with the Pathfinders. Oh their library ... soooo many books ... Slipp can tell Starlight loves books.
"Well..." says Slipp, looking around. Lowering their voice, they say "I can kind of slide in there from time to time, but only for the briefest of moments. But I can 'see' there really easily. And this big storm seems to be always nearby. Expect when it isn't. Actually since I met the demon-troll-god-of-fire... the storm hasn't been round so much. But there is a big forest fire there at the moment.." Slipp seems to get a little distracted here, as they gesture to flames that... well.. can't really be seen.
"Me and books... well.. we never really got along that well." they sigh. "But I love stories. If you tell me one, I'll provide a the music to go with it." they say hopefully, taking out a small flute as they do so.
A dark-skinned human mail sits on barrel near one of the corners of the lower deck. Rumor has it that his name is Luz Lumino, but not much else seems to known. The man carries a whip, a rapier, a shortbow, and a light hammer hangs at his waist. A bandolier is adorned with what look to be bandages and ointments.
Sure .... lemme see.
And Starlight proceeds to tell the story of what happened on the Society's Vaults, the day that Aslynn invaded.
And I ended up making friends with a skull. Ism't the Magic of Friendship wonderful?
|Professor Serj Harlequinn|
”Never time to eat anyway, for time is money, continuously hemorrhaging as we dawdle. Look alive, Slipp! Thing or two I could teach you about making your money work for you, if you have what it takes”
He turns to Bruce, then Hancock, eyeing them with keen interest ”Your business partner there - the one that doesn’t talk - perhaps have him take a look at this portfolio, see if we can’t find a steady investment which he ay find lucrative” the glint of profit to be made at the expense of others gleaming in his bright blue eyes.
A tiny cylindrical robot wheels up, on cue, and ejects out of it’s hood a ring-bound collection of paper, thick as the dwarf’s thumb, handing to Bruce the documents it’s creator was talking about.
"ooohhh! Investments? I do love to gamble, though he is the one with all the money. I'm just along for the ride and to do his talking as he" ...Bruce's voice lowers to a whisper... "has a bit of a speech impediment."
Bruce examines the documents.
Slipp eyes up the professor warily. They have met this type before, although not one who was a gnome. Still, it takes all types. Slipp slips out a gold coin and looks at it for a moment and then puts it away. "It's tired. Doesn't want to work today."
They go back to playing their flute. It sounds somewhat melancholy when the skull comes in the story, increasing in pace when there is a battle, and then lilting into a quite almost wistful sound as the unicorn describes searching through the vaults and the various treasures uncovered.
Looks like half of you have completed the Macros spreadsheet. Will the rest of you please complete it when you can? Also, I am kind of rushing into this, so I forgot to ask you to fill out the Google Slides
Quantium’s port inspectors pay little mind to the Opportune’s arrival so, about an hour after dawn, you reach the local Pathfinder Lodge, Nexus House. The lodge’s staff greets you, giving you ample time to eat and freshen up before leading you to Venture-Captain Sebnet Sanserkoht in one of the lodge’s pillow-laden sitting rooms.
A bronze-skinned gnome wearing a bright crimson sash and lavender saree stands beside a wooden table holding a lumpy parcel covered in velvet cloth. A multitude of bangles, earrings, and necklaces jangle musically as she speaks. “Welcome to Nexus House! I am vash-vatom Sebnet Sanserkoht, at your service. And may I presen—”
“VrFrph Zircurs!” A muffled voice calls from beneath the cloth, cutting Sebnet off. With a sigh, Sebnet pulls the velvet aside to reveal a grinning skull. The pink lights glowing in each of the skull’s eye sockets twinkle. Images on Slide 5
“As I was saying... the great Zykyryz! Sebnet, I thought we worked this out? I promised to stop doodling on your table, and you promised to quickly pull the curtain to give me a dramatic reveal!”
Gnome and skull both tilt their eyes down to the table’s surface, where an ink pen rests next to numerous crooked spirals, as if someone had drawn them with the pen held in their teeth. Zykyryz reacts first. “Er, that just goes to show my powers of divination are a-head of their time—hey!” The skull is muffled as Sebnet unceremoniously drops the velvet back in place, shaking her head as she claims a nearby seat. “Our humorous friend here, Pathfinders, is why we sent for you. We don’t have too many details, but Zykyryz, as she’s calling herse—”
From beneath the velvet, “Those letters do not get enough love in your chronicles! It’s a crime not to use them!”
Sebnet’s eye twitches ever so slightly, but she continues. “She’s taken the name Zykyryz for now because she likes the sound of it, but she’s almost certain that wasn’t her name before. We discovered her in the vaults of the Grand Lodge. Unfortunately, nobody could figure out who or what she was, as if she never existed! However, I have come to believe she’s one of the Arclords of Nex.
“Other recent events provide evidence to support this theory as well. Agents of a long-time foe of ours, the night hag Aslynn, have been snooping around anywhere I went to do research. It’s as if the more we learn about the skull, the more others do as well.
“I need you to take Zykyryz into Quantium. Follow her hunches and premonitions about where she can go to remember who she is. Return here when you’ve gleaned all you can, and together we’ll try to discern why Aslynn is after her before whatever scheme she’s up to comes, dare I say it... to a head.”
Sebnet pulls the velvet cloth from the now-chortling Zykyryz, You should decide who among you wants to devote a free hand to carrying the mission’s star.
The skull shouts out Hey Starlight, good to see you again. Are you here to get A-Head in the Society? If so, this is the place!
Someone must carry Zykyryz with them throughout this adventure. The disembodied skull is extremely chatty and has opinions about every situation you find yourselves in.
Zykyryz has negligible bulk and occupies 1 hand. A party member carrying her isn’t considered flat-footed when flanked, as she constantly (and loudly) warns the Pathfinders about enemy attacks. You can fashion a harness so Zykyryz can ride on a party members shoulder or head, freeing up their hands but making that person clumsy 1 as long as they carry her in this fashion.
Questions for the vash-vatom?
"Um.." says Slipp, looking somewhat surprised at the skull.
"Won't Aslynn know where we are going... and maybe try to stop us, or get Zy..zikriz from us?"
They pause for a moment. "Also, what is an Arlord?"
|Professor Serj Harlequinn|
"That will cost extra, or perhaps some sort of collateral, and oh yes, a liability release form as well..."
The councilman's eyes twinkle with machination as he schemes excuses for not being the party member responsible for carrying the skull...
Ever helpful, the tiny sphere with cylindrical tread whirrs around it's creator, scrambling to keep up, each time ejecting a bundle of fresh-printed paper matching the professor's named documentation (statement, ledger, notarized contract...), dropping at least 3d6 ⇒ (3, 5, 4) = 12 sheafs onto the floor...
Responding to Slipp
"It's true that Aslynn has agents in the area. It’s possible local and veteran Pathfinder agents are known to her spies, but that’s less true of those newer to our Society. So long as her agents don’t know that you’re connected to this lodge, you should be able to walk freely.”
Isn’t Zykyryz going to draw a lot of attention? Sebnet replies,“Fortunately, there are few places in the world where people are as willing to accept the magical and fantastical as normal as the streets of Quantium. Even a talking skull is unlikely to cause a scene. Still, the longer the investigation takes, the more likely Aslynn’s agents will catch on to your deeds. Once you’ve gathered what you can out in the city, return here to collect your research.”
What’s an arclord? “The Arclords of Nex are a powerful and influential faction of wizards who claim to be descended from Nex’s household servants. They’ve been lobbying for control over Nex since he disappeared.” Sebnet answers.
Let me think about the NPC and the Skull overnight.
Starlight is quite happy to carry Zykyryx on her back. Her horn lights up and she gently lifts the scroll in a telekinetic grip and settle it gently in place.
It's nice to see you again Zykyryx. I was hoping we would meet up again. Soooo ... what sort of skull ... duggery have you got into here? And are those the symbols of Pharasma you're doodling?
|Hancock the Angry|
Hancock is not pleased to be caught up in the affairs of wizards and scowls; of course, he is always scowling. Any attempt by either the professor or Bruce to invest in something is met with more scowls and mumbled rejections.
As soon as the briefing is over he declares "Ltsgo!" and starts heading for the exit.
Though he quickly realizes that he has no idea where to charge off to and glares at the skull.
Erevan stares in awe, surprised by the appearance of the talking skull. After listening to questions and answers. Erevan is ready to head out. Before heading out, he quickly brews some elixirs for the party. "Here, it's not the most potent of elixirs but it has helped a good number of our allies."
Distributing an elixir of life for each party member.
Luz Lumino raises an eyebrow at the talking head, "Fascinating." Luz immediately set Aslynn as the subject of one of his investigations Unless I can set her agent(s) instead?
Before setting off outdoors, Luz keeps his light hammer in his hand.
Luz, I believe you could set Aslynn's organization in Quantium as the subject for your investigation.
As you make ready to depart, Sebnet hands you two letters, sent in advance by Vigilant Seal leader Eando Kline (CG male human explorer) and Fola Barun (CG female half-elf ambassador), leader of the Envoy’s Alliance. Knowing the city as she does, Sebnet observes The goals of these two factions could be at odds with each other, and accomplishing one mission might preclude you from completing the other. You should decide as a party in advance which faction’s mission you want to prioritize. New slide 6
Zykyryz pipes up: Make sure you pick up the list of locations I dictated earlier. See handout 3, also on Slide 6.
"And what..." asks Slipp "Do we do at these locations... or ask of these people? Or do we just go there and hope they jog your.. memory?" asks the little gnome, somewhat sceptically.
|Professor Serj Harlequinn|
"Dubious" the councilman nods in agreement with Slipp.
|Hancock the Angry|
Distributing an elixir of life for each party member.
Speaking of which, Hancock takes the minor healing as his distribution from the society.
"Dks." Hancock suggests helpfully, just wanting the talking to stop and the moving to start.
Clank! Whiz!! Whirrr!!!
Ever helpful, perhaps sensing the disheveled dwarf’s itchiness, Bull Market whips over on it’s single cylindrical tread to where Hancock is, and starts spinning little circles around him, chirping.
"Beep! Beep!! CHIRP!!!"
Zykyryz replies to Slipp Jogging my memory is the plan, although jogging would be easier if I had feet. But I'm getting A-Head of myself. You may have to help with some activities at each location to see if they trigger memories, hopefully good ones.
You can pick a location from the list on handout 3, and remember to talk about prioritizing the Faction Missions.
Ever helpful, our tiny rotary hero prints out a list of the locations, as well as a summary of the mutually exclusive faction missions...
1) a bureaucrat at Bandashar Palace
2) a certain location at the Docks
3) two persons at the Merchants League
4) a nearby Nature Preserve
5) a priest at Scrivenbough Library
6) the Warlock’s Walk
Conduct Investigation Openly (Envoys Alliance)
Conduct Investigation Clandestinely (Vigilant Seal)
|Professor Serj Harlequinn|
Greed glistens like early morning dew on purple lotus when our shrewd hero attempts to conceal his own secondary financial motives in positing ”Perhaps our Bandarsharian Bureaucrat could be payed a visit first at his own Palace?”
Serj votes for option 1
He adds, with the ecstatic glee of a child walking around a candy store holding a handful of coppers ”And perhaps we could recruit other allies into our information venture, brokering their input as towards helping our skull asset piece their story together!?”
Serj votes for Envoys Alliance
Slipp shrugs. "If we are open then... well.. wouldn't that me more likely to attract the attention of Alyssa?" they point out.
"Happy to start at the Palace, is that the closest place to here?"
Starlight purveys all the missives looking thoughtful.
I tend to agree with Fola on this one she said after some thought. But I guess we'll see what happens
She them looks over to Hancock.
Docks it is then
She then trots off.
|Hancock the Angry|
Ahh, Starlight understood his mumble!
Trying to swat the obnoxious paper dispenser, Hancock rushes the door on the way to the docks.
Clandestine is for wimps, Hancock is anything BUT subtle.
Slipp's Diplomacy (T): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
Luz Lumino's Diplomacy (T): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Professor Serj Harlequinn's Diplomacy (T): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Hancock the Angry's Diplomacy (T): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Erevan Dalanthan's Diplomacy (T): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Luz Lumino's Society (T): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15
Professor Serj Harlequinn's Society (T): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
Erevan Dalanthan's Society (T): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24
Quantium is a metropolis boasting one of the most diverse populations on all of Golarion. In addition to humanoids of all ancestries, beings who would be considered monsters elsewhere in the world are citizens here, including an abundance of those with extraplanar and elemental origins. The Arclords are spellcasters who lay claim to Nex’s arcane legacy. They don’t rule the nation, but they are a powerful faction with much influence over its destiny.
The streets of Quantium flow with uninhibited magic, an arcane wonderland unlike any other major city across Golarion. From the stairs of Nexus House alone, you can see an ice cream cart run by a protean woman, a gathering of oozes being led by a wizard down the street as they absorb various refuse and waste.
From a distance, a golem marches inexorably onward around the edges of the city. As you reach the bottom of the stairs, Zykyryz whistles flirtatiously at a particularly tall ghoran woman, whose glance bounces off of her with an eye roll. The enormous Bandeshar palace sits in the middle of the city’s lake, surrounded by serene waters and flying carpets. To the far west of the city is the Scrivenbough library, the red stone sticking out among the other buildings.
The Bandeshar was once the palace of Nex himself. It’s currently the home of the Council of Three and Nine who govern the nation as well as hundreds of functionaries and government officials. Zykyryz leads you to retired Pathfinder archivist Igrigi Lokar (LG male human bureaucrat). Picture on slide 7
Zykyryz quips “Here we are in the head-quarters of the nation. It’s a stretch to call it a brain-trust if you ask me...”
Skills you can use to help Zykyryz remember: Deception, Pathfinder Society Lore, Society
|Professor Serj Harlequinn|
"Is Igrig Lokar... a man of modest investment?" Serj probes, his baseline assumption that, not unlike himself, that the pairing of governmental responsibility and knowledge with business initiative and acumen leads facile to outcomes in which people of such station are often better positioned to hold profitable information whether or not they seek to brazenly commodify it!
Society: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
Slipp, getting used to the skull notes "I wonder if anyone here NOSE you?" as they look around the city. "Well, let us HEAD on to the librayr."
PFS lore: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
"Do any of those carpets look familiar? I imagine they must last for a long time, being so full of magic."
Starlight is trying to match Zykyryx pun for pun on the way while, carrying it, and following the others, not noticing that they have changed course and this is not the docks. She has been looking even more wide eyed than usual at all the magical marvels around, gawping like a tourist.
So ... it's a committee who have trouble committee...ing to anything? she finally asks.
pathfinder society lore: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
She then turns to Slipp
Oooh ... I'd LOVE to ride one. Look at the way they ... weave through the sky.
She then sqees adorably. Did someone say Library? while quivering with excitement. Books books .. LOTS and LOTS or lovely books ..... must read ALL the books
Zykyryz Memories recovered: 1
Professor Serj Harlequinn's commentary triggers Zykyryz's memories that she enjoyed speaking with Igrigi when she visited Nexus House’s libraries.
This section is pretty simple. One success is all that is needed.
Where would you like to go next?
Ever helpful, Bull Market watches the party begin to split, and nearly overheats from the stress!
Speeding after Hancock, Bruce, and Starlight, who seem to be motivated by some errant urge to engage maritime wanderlust, our tiny construct hero gently but swiftly redirects them, primarily by drawing upon the barbarian's irritation with it to duck the swatting and inadvertently change his course by carrot (not stick) of agitation and response.
Having threaded the no-longer-diverging party back into a single file, it returns to the side of it's master, and protrudes a tailpipe which, having converted the mechanical energy into water and carbon dioxide, leaks the waste by-product of it's efforts right onto the street of the arcane wonderland the party now, wholly whole, travels through.
Perhaps the Docks next after all?
☑ bureaucrat at Bandashar Palace
□ certain location at the Docks
□ two persons at the Merchants League
□ nearby Nature Preserve
□ priest at Scrivenbough Library
□ the Warlock’s Walk
Zykyryz asks you to go to the docks at the eastern most point of Quantium, from where you can see the edges of Valkus Isle.
With no one to speak to at this location, Zykyryz instead asks you to point out which vessel brought you to Nex. Once you point it out, she comments: “You came here in that ship? You Pathfinders really are brave!”
Skills you can use to help Zykyryz remember: Occultism, Perception, Sailing Lore