GM Unsouled's Sky King's Tomb Campaign

Game Master SparkyDarren

Pathfinder 2e campaign, private recruitment.

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Initial post.

Male Dwarf Fighter 1 Perception +6 AC 18 (20 w/shield) HP 23 Fort +8 Ref +6 Will +4

Male Human Wizard (1) Perception +6 AC 15 HP 15 Fort +4 Ref +5 Will +6

Male Dwarf Rogue (1) Perception +6 AC: 18 HP 20 Fort +5 Ref +9 Will +6 [b]

Male Dwarf Cleric (Warpriest) 1 Perception +6 AC 17 (19 w/shield) HP 21 Fort +8 Ref +3 Will +8

Male Dwarf Wizard....HP 18 | AC 14 | Fort 5 .. Reflex 4 .. Will 7.. Perc 5 +2 vs Stonework.... Brown Sugar Stonemason's Eye |Quick Identification | Specialty Crafting | Widen Spell


AC 17|Perc +6|Ref +7|Fort +7|Will +4| Pathbuilder Link

Let's Try this again

Campaign Background:

Millennia ago, dwarves completed their Quest for Sky, a legendary migration from their subterranean homeland to the surface. Their exodus nearly failed more than a dozen times thanks to infighting and despair but, during the journey, a hero arose to lead them—a young dwarf named Taargick. Time and again Taargick proved his bravery, resourcefulness, and political skill, inspiring his people to endure when all seemed lost. In honor of his great leadership, his followers named him ruler of the new kingdom they would found in his name: Tar Taargadth.

Yet after the dwarves reached the surface and raised citadels and toasts to his legacy, Taargick felt as much remorse in his heart as he felt pride. His people had reached the surface as Torag commanded, but at what cost? Their road had been paved with the corpses of orcs, xulgaths, and more, slain by dwarven blades. Their unjustly shed blood had festered into a thousand vendettas, justifiably earning dwarves the hatred of many. Was Torag’s will worth so much death?

Taargick didn’t think so. As he felt the end of his life approaching, he politely declined the magnificent tomb his people had built for him. He departed alone to carve his own tomb, hidden in the depths, where the steady strikes of his tools drew the attention of one of the Darklands’ mightiest predators: a crimson worm. The two clashed for days before Taargick narrowly prevailed. To his surprise, the beast spoke, praising the king’s strength and skill. Taargick, realizing he had subdued an intelligent creature and not a mindless worm, remembered the countless orcs, xulgaths, and other creatures devastated by the Quest
for Sky, and threw aside his weapons and took off his shattered armor, refusing to end another Darklands resident’s life. Taargick and the caveworm spoke at length as he finished his tomb, developing a deep respect for each other.

At last, with the tomb ready, Taargick knew death was near. The crimson worm Zogototaru—better known in the region as the Avernal Worm—granted Taargick’s last wish: that she deliver his clan dagger to Highhelm, so it might rest among his people.

Highhelm’s people still tell the tale of a crimson worm bursting into the sky citadel’s lower levels, disgorging a slime-encrusted dagger, bowing respectfully, and then politely withdrawing. Though flabbergasted, onlookers recognized the high king’s dagger and stored it among Highhelm’s most treasured relics. Taargick’s legend has inspired dwarves for generations, and Clan Tolorr of Highhelm considers keeping history alive its sacred duty. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that a young Tolorr dwarf named Krohan Veldollow crept into the archives and “borrowed” Taargick’s clan dagger, hoping to wield it on new adventures to perpetuate Taargick’s legacy.

In his hand, the dagger shimmered with previously invisible runes and exuded warmth, as if signaling approval. Emboldened, Krohan absconded into the Darklands. Though the young dwarf knew countless epics, he was ill-equipped for adventuring in real life. With almost embarrassing efficiency, he stumbled and lost the dagger, which clattered down a deep, narrow crevice and was lost. Try as he might, Krohan couldn’t locate it. He returned in shame to Highhelm, reported his misdeeds, and mournfully accepted his stern grandmother’s decree: exile from their clan.

A relic like Taargick’s clan dagger won’t stay lost forever. While foraging in the depths, a drathnelar— also known as an umbral gnome—named Jirelga discovered the beautiful blade and brought it to her sister, Thenur, an accomplished artificer who coveted the dagger’s pommel jewel. Jirelga kept the dagger, and Thenur kept the gem, believing she could transform it into a soul focus to power one of her magical constructs.

Too soon, she discovered that she was right—but breaking the blade awoke the slumbering Zogototaru with a jolt of sympathetic pain. The enraged Avernal Worm tunneled toward the umbral gnome settlement seeking retribution, crushing buildings in her rampage and killing most of the inhabitants. Thenur was among them, her soul becoming trapped in the clan dagger’s jewel while the dagger itself was lost again, buried beneath the rubble.

Jirelga fared better, being swallowed whole before Zogototaru felt her painful rage subside, and tunneled back the way she came. Luck was on Jirelga’s side; lodged within the cave worm’s stomach was a shard of Taargick’s ancient armor, swallowed millennia ago. Jirelga tore it free, used the sharp edge to cut her way out of the Avernal Worm, and spilled out into an unfamiliar tunnel. Before she eventually found her way to Highhelm to begin a new life, she sold the adamantine armor shard to a surface-bound merchant, neither aware of its true origin.

Each of you has made your way to Highhelm recently and, as of a night or two ago, have settled into your prearranged accommodations at Zelgins’, an inn that has operated continuously for two millennia, as evidenced by the shallow ruts worn into the stone floor by countless footsteps. Fine weather, good fortune, and the excitement over your invitation to Clan Tolorrs’ Family Festival have seen your travels place you in town several weeks before the anticipated event. As your invitations have explained, your hosts are extremely occupied in these days leading up to the festival and, while ample accommodations have been graciously made available to you, your hosts will not be available to aid nor welcome you properly until after the festivities.

At the moment you find yourself at a small square table, seated with three others. Other than possibly your brother, you are looking at strangers; though you relax a little as you take notice that all those seated with you are dwarves as well. Thinking of the handwritten instructions left on the pillow in your rented room last night, you assume the others are here for the same reason; the writing had directed you to be seated “with the others” at this table, at this time. Beyond that, no other details were provided, and you are left unsure of exactly what to expect.

Interrupting your thoughts, a smiling female dwarf suddenly stands at the end of your table and introduces herself. ” Hello all, I’m Epna, the innkeeper of this fine establishment. I trust your first night or two has been acceptable. And seeing you all here, on time, means you received your instructions. Very good. Where are my manners? No business this early without something to fill your bellies first! What’ll it be for yous this morning?”

Epna stalks off toward the kitchens with your orders, hollering for someone named Ria, and leaves you to return to both your thoughts and the table of strangers around you.

Male Dwarf Wizard....HP 18 | AC 14 | Fort 5 .. Reflex 4 .. Will 7.. Perc 5 +2 vs Stonework.... Brown Sugar Stonemason's Eye |Quick Identification | Specialty Crafting | Widen Spell

On which level of Highhelm is Zelgin's located?

Knowledge check:

Society +7 check to determine if Alon recognizes the writing belonging to anyone he knows

Aloniori, not wanting to be the first to sit at a table he'd been instructed to sit at by an anonymous note, chose to wait until someone else took a seat. Instead, Alon takes a stool at the bar with a view of the table and orders an ale; it is never too early to start (Not sure what the time is but am sure it's after 11 somewhere). As he waits, Alon reviews his plans for the day - before the appearance of a mysterious note. He'd wanted to check out Torag's Wart and this grand Shield everyone seems to be muttering about, then familiarize himself with the library in Rivethun Temple; just one of many of Highhelms strongholds of knowledge.

His mind drifting, Alon notices another dwarf seated at the table, then two more heading that way (Presumably). Downing the rest of his ale, Alon walks tentatively over to the table, Good day. Alon bows in dwarfish fashion and slyly waves the hand written note for them to see, Seems we're all meant to be seated together. Alon smiles and gestures to the vacant chair then excuses as he seats himself. Name's Aloniori Ir'Nimi, of Clan Tolorr, recently of Tar-Kazmukh. I've arrived in Highhelm just th'other day. Have either of you been here long? Alon places the note on the table as the symbolic ice breaker it is as he listens.
The next words out of his mouth hint at dismay, I have to say, this sort of thing's not common where I come from. Any of you been handed a note from a stranger, then followed it's instructions?!
(I wouldn't be surprised if most people just threw such notes out and either ignored them or got really suspicious about anyone around them *chuckle* Going along with it for the game.)

Male Dwarf Cleric (Warpriest) 1 Perception +6 AC 17 (19 w/shield) HP 21 Fort +8 Ref +3 Will +8

Balor had entered the dining room and made straight for the table as instructed, his brother following along a short distance behind. They sat down and looked around before sharing a few whispered words between themselves.

At Alaniori's approach and introduction, Balor responded with his own introductions. I am Balor Blackforge, and this is my brother Drakan. Tar-Kazmukh eh? We hail from Kraggodan ourselves. Pleased to make your acquaintance brother. We have been here a similar time.

Male Dwarf Fighter 1 Perception +6 AC 18 (20 w/shield) HP 23 Fort +8 Ref +6 Will +4

In response to Aloniori's last question Drakan replied dryly, Yes. They are called invitations, instructions, orders... his voice trailing off as he gives his new acquaintance a sly smile and wink.

AC 17|Perc +6|Ref +7|Fort +7|Will +4| Pathbuilder Link

Egon, his eyes scanning the rest of the room, heads to the indicated table. He is very shortly joined by two dark haired dwarves and then one that he had noticed a sitting at the bar. He nods his head in a friendly manner at the greetings and introductions and then adds his own name to the group.

"Egon Helmcleaver, from Citadel Jaggerhoff." When Alon mentions the strangeness of the summons he just shrugs, "Not received many invitations, was this one unusual?"

At the arrival of Epna he smiles politely and orders the special before turning back to the others.

"My first invitation was to come to this city, seemed like an adventure so I've decided to accept all invitations and see where they take me."

While Egon looks pretty normal for a dwarf, his eyes cause a double take.

Male Dwarf Cleric (Warpriest) 1 Perception +6 AC 17 (19 w/shield) HP 21 Fort +8 Ref +3 Will +8

Balor is startled when Egon begins talking. Where in the nine hells did you come from? There was no one sitting at this table when we sat down!

Male Dwarf Fighter 1 Perception +6 AC 18 (20 w/shield) HP 23 Fort +8 Ref +6 Will +4

Drakan leans in and looks the newcomer up and down. You don't look much like a spellcaster. How were you invisible?

Male Dwarf Cleric (Warpriest) 1 Perception +6 AC 17 (19 w/shield) HP 21 Fort +8 Ref +3 Will +8

Balor gets directly to business. So what do you think the purpose is putting us together at this table today? Did the invitation come from Epna herself, or is she just the go between? If it isn't her, then who might have sent it?"

AC 17|Perc +6|Ref +7|Fort +7|Will +4| Pathbuilder Link

I had just followed with Chris' original post, didn't think it would be a big deal, sorry.

Egón shrugs at the question of the invitation, I assumed it was from some representative of the ones paying for my stay here. Are you also guests of Clan Tolorr? He leans back a bit in his chair. I can't turn invisible, but I can be pretty inconspicuous when the situation calls for it. I'm a delver by trade though, and it is those skills, I think anyway, he considers with a furrowed brow, that got me the original summons.

Male Dwarf Wizard....HP 18 | AC 14 | Fort 5 .. Reflex 4 .. Will 7.. Perc 5 +2 vs Stonework.... Brown Sugar Stonemason's Eye |Quick Identification | Specialty Crafting | Widen Spell

Well met! Well met! Aloniori returns the others smiles. He orders a potato mushroom and grindlegrub stir fry with peppers remarking, I tried these on the way up from Stonebench, the A'rema'de style with soy and spice, incredible! Does Janderhoff have them? What about Kraggodan?

As the others settle into some friendly banter, Alon regards the note in his hand, There's no signature on mine, and I've been trying to recall the hand... alas, it's not familiar. Is it the same hand as yours? Alon shows his note to the others to get their opinions.

Balor wrote:
...what do you think the purpose is putting us together at this table today? Did the invitation come from Epna herself, or is she just the go between? If it isn't her, then who might have sent it?

I've heard of assigned seating on passenger ships. No more purposeful than saving space. As for Epna's involvement, my copper's on her being the go between. She likely knows what's been written, but not our benefactor. Perhaps once the food arrives, we'll learn more, eh?! Alon's smile reflects his appetite.

Turning to Egon, Aye, Clan Tolorr's been sponsoring my expenses, Alon raises his eyes to the 'sky' in a quick prayer, and, Pharasma willing, until the gathering. Did you say Delver? I've never been deep. Read about it; risky occupation! How far down have you gone?

Male Dwarf Cleric (Warpriest) 1 Perception +6 AC 17 (19 w/shield) HP 21 Fort +8 Ref +3 Will +8

Aye, we are guests of Clan Tolorr as well. Our grandmother is originally from Highhelm and related by blood.

This doesn't feel like 'official' Clan Tolorr business though, Balor shrugs. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I would think that if it was, there would be someone else joining us to explain the purpose of this meeting.

Male Dwarf Fighter 1 Perception +6 AC 18 (20 w/shield) HP 23 Fort +8 Ref +6 Will +4

I prefer my grindlegrub deep fried personally. I don't even know what "A'rema'de style" is, Drakan replies to Aloniori.

Maybe our meeting is an audition of sorts and we are being observed.

AC 17|Perc +6|Ref +7|Fort +7|Will +4| Pathbuilder Link

I usually eat whatever's closest to hand, not too picky, as long as it's not poisonous.
In response to Alon's question, Dark, peaceful, except when it is dark and very, very, dangerous. He contemplates for a moment, Overall I would say dark. He concludes with a wink.

Well whoever has asked us here I would bet it has something to do with Clan Tolorr. I'm more than happy to wait and see; I sense something fun, or maybe just wish it to be.

Male Dwarf Fighter 1 Perception +6 AC 18 (20 w/shield) HP 23 Fort +8 Ref +6 Will +4

I'm always up for some 'fun', says Drakan with a grin.

Male Dwarf Cleric (Warpriest) 1 Perception +6 AC 17 (19 w/shield) HP 21 Fort +8 Ref +3 Will +8

It undoubtedly must have something to do with Clan Tolorr, I don't believe anyone else is aware of my brother and I being here. Or at least no one knows or cares about us outside of our hosts.

Male Dwarf Wizard....HP 18 | AC 14 | Fort 5 .. Reflex 4 .. Will 7.. Perc 5 +2 vs Stonework.... Brown Sugar Stonemason's Eye |Quick Identification | Specialty Crafting | Widen Spell

A'rema'de style, Alon chuckles,Ah! That's old Tar-Kazmukh slang for 'meat on a stick'!

Wishing to fit another piece to the puzzle, Aloniori shifts in his seat and nods to Egon, A Delver then. And, the ginger bearded dwarf nods at Drakan and Balor, judging from your stout arms, I wager you're well acquainted with good steel! Alon raises an eyebrow with interest, And the Father's Hammer, too! Alon puts a closed fist by his temple then over his heart in accordance with Torag's faithful (Like making the sign of the cross) Respect. Although I confess to being partial to Magrim and The Lady - Death and Taxes, eh! HA! Alon laughs at his own crude joke. Ahh, Mother forgive me, and draws a spiral over his chest.
Well, that leaves me feeling like an odd man. You see, am more of a wielder of books than a lot of steel. Like you Egon, I have an interest in uncovering what's been forgotten. There's a lot of noteworthy material hiding in dark corners. Winks. Had hoped to head on over to Rivethun Temple after this, take a plunge into the depths of that library. Course, depending on what happens next, Alon shrugs, Those books'll probably wait.
Aloniori lowers his voice, So if we are being brought together for a reason, I'll wager its not as recruitment for the anvils over Torag's Wart. He gives a conspiratorial wink. I'm thinking the Clan has... Alon pauses as he tries to think of a good word, a venture? Or something.

AC 17|Perc +6|Ref +7|Fort +7|Will +4| Pathbuilder Link

Egón is little overwhelmed by the stream of words coming out of Alon's mouth and just nods along. In the caves words can echo, giving away your position to an enemy or causing a cave in in an unstable area. As such he is used to conversation being a little less...verbose.
I can see that I'm going to have to reset my expectations a bit above ground.

Fate, Chance and Destiny:

This is where my "behind the screen" GM rolls will be posted. Feel free to view but beware....

As you converse across your shared table, each of you adds to the growing conversation as you learn a little about each other. After a time, you've woven together a summarized account of events leading up to your current seat at Zelgin’s and have a pretty good feel for some of the motivations driving the others. So far, so good.

Your stomach growls, reminding you that breakfast should be here any moment now. As you subconsciously glance toward the kitchens you are greeted by Epna’s smiling face as she arrives, expertly balancing three of the ordered meals; a second hustles behind her, trying to keep up while managing the last plate. “Here now, let’s get you all fed!” The barkeep lays out the orders exactly as they were given before stepping back to make room for her help and introducing her. “And this is Ria. She is not only a well-known friend of Clan Tolorr but she is also the good hands I am putting you’s in. Please enjoy your meals and let me know if you need anything else.” Epna bows slightly and departs, taking orders and bussing tables along her way.

Ria sets the last plate on the table, distractedly. The gnome’s crystalline hair shimmers in the common room’s light and practically quivers with her excitement as she runs her hands over walls and tables appreciatively. “It’s so old!” Pipes the gnome as she pulls a taller chair to the table and takes a seat. “That’s what I love about Highhelm: the history isn’t just in the books. It’s in the stone!” Her eyes shimmer with awe before she remembers to introduce herself. “Oh, I’m Ria—a curator, preservationist, and resident scholar of the occult for Clan Tolorr. It’s a delight to see new faces, especially those taking in this sky citadel for the first time.” She pauses, thinking, for a second before continuing “Well, ah, perhaps you’ll have an opportunity to take in Highhelm a second, third, and fourth time. As I understand it, you’re all here for important celebrations, collaborations, and camaraderie with the fine folks of Clan Tolorr. But that’s all scheduled for after the Family Festival, which isn’t for a few weeks yet. Might be for the best because...” She takes several curious sniffs before nodding to herself. “As I thought. Clan Tolorr’s about history, right? You can’t just bring a bottle of wine as a gift for the host; no, you need to bring stories! There’s barely a whiff of narrative between you!”

You can tell from her body language that Ria is listening to all surrounding conversations as she pauses momentarily, distracted by the details of one of the others. “Not to worry, though,” continues Ria. “Highhelm’s swimming with stories to be written and rediscovered. Clan Tolorr’s got your room and board covered, so that leaves you free to get into some trouble.” She grins impishly and wiggles in her seat. “Trust me, it’s fun!” As if to illustrate her point, Ria playfully grabs a spare fork and occasionally tries to steal a leftover bit of your breakfast.

Ria remains at your table and happily chatters with you, throughout your breakfast, about Highhelm and the upcoming festivities, among many other things, and she makes it clear that she is available to answer anything she can.

AC 17|Perc +6|Ref +7|Fort +7|Will +4| Pathbuilder Link

Not even able to get a bite to his mouth, Egón is again met with an onslaught of words. He remains silent for a minute, trying to absorb and decipher the information he has received, You have a task for us? finally venturing a word or two of his own.

Male Dwarf Wizard....HP 18 | AC 14 | Fort 5 .. Reflex 4 .. Will 7.. Perc 5 +2 vs Stonework.... Brown Sugar Stonemason's Eye |Quick Identification | Specialty Crafting | Widen Spell

Ahh, there it is! Alon exclaims and rubs his hands together as Epna arrives with breakfast. With great anticipation, Alon politely listens as the dwarven hostess sets plates and weaponry in front of each. He smiles to acknowledge Ria at Epna's introduction and raises a finger, Can I trouble you for another ale? A good dark'll do. Smiling his thanks, Alon is almost ready to dig in when Ria pulls up a chair. He pauses picking up his fork and regards the gnome curiously before continuing, Umm...a'ligean ar'ithe! Having given thanks, Alon attacks his meal! Or, that was the plan...
Instead, Aloniori absentmindedly shovels bits of stir-fry into his mouth, but his eyes don't leave the table's new arrival. At one point, Alon pauses to sniff the air with Ria; both hoping not to catch a whiff of any silent messages from another table, and wondering what it is the gnome's going on about. Finally, Alon mentally shakes himself, Beggin you pardon Ria, but didn't Epna say...I mean, you do work for Epna? Or am I mistaking you helping her with the plates? And you're scholar for Clan Tolorr you say? How long have you been doing that? In Highhelm I mean?

Ria gives Alon a quizzical look, not quite matching his statement to his body language ("Let's go eat"??) but smiles politely anyhow. Oh, goodness! I could never toe the line to work here! My skill set would not translate well to serving customers. Epna and I are long-time friends and as she brought me over to be introduced, I saw she couldn't quite carry all of your orders so I just grabbed the last one on my way." The oread looks up in thought, trying to calculate an answer to Alon's question. "Umm.... Well, I guess I've lost track after about the first ten years but it hasn't been more than a few past that... I think. I've been a scholar for most of my life so the portion that was spent here specifically is a little tough to single out."

"Task for you?" the gnome responds to Egon's query "No, not me, I'm here to welcome you all on behalf of Clan Tolorr and to ensure you're ready for the function. It is my strong recommendation, however, that you spend a little of the time on your hands to just.... experience. Talk to locals, make some friends and acquaintances or join in conversations and then follow your nose to adventure!"

Male Dwarf Cleric (Warpriest) 1 Perception +6 AC 17 (19 w/shield) HP 21 Fort +8 Ref +3 Will +8

Balor nodded his thanks to the food placed before him before greeting the newcomer, Pleased to make your acquaintance Ria. Indeed it is my brother and I's first time in Highhelm. I would very much like to visit the temple to Torag as well as many other of the historical and culturally important sights. Do you have any recommendations?

Male Dwarf Fighter 1 Perception +6 AC 18 (20 w/shield) HP 23 Fort +8 Ref +6 Will +4

Drakan saluted Epna and Ria in turn. After his brother had spoken, Drakan inquired as to where he could find the most "socially active" places to frequent within Highhelm, along with a recommendation for the best markets, vendors and craftsmen the Sky Citadel had to offer.

Male Dwarf Wizard....HP 18 | AC 14 | Fort 5 .. Reflex 4 .. Will 7.. Perc 5 +2 vs Stonework.... Brown Sugar Stonemason's Eye |Quick Identification | Specialty Crafting | Widen Spell

I'd asked before, what level of Highhelm are we on? King's Crown? King's Heart? Stonebreach?

Is that so? Aloniori nods politely as he listens to Ria and the brother's. With an itinerary already in mind, Alon is curious to hear what the other's might get up to; perhaps for something to do later in the week.
As the topic moves on from Ria's recommendations, Alon asks, Was it you who left us these notes? Alon produces his note and shows it to the gnome. Should it turn out not to be Ria's doing, Alon follows up asking if she recognizes the handwriting and who it might be from.

AC 17|Perc +6|Ref +7|Fort +7|Will +4| Pathbuilder Link

Egón is a little daunted by the prospect of exploring the city with its streets teeming with people, noises and sights so different from his preferred haunts. He looks over his table companions, assessing what they have said as well as how they appear. Much more interested in plunging the depths of a cave than a library, he turns to the brothers, and addresses Drakan more specifically, Would you mind if I tagged along, I am a bit out of my element here.

Male Dwarf Fighter 1 Perception +6 AC 18 (20 w/shield) HP 23 Fort +8 Ref +6 Will +4

Absolutely friend! We dont know what we are doing or where we are going but we can figure out something entertaining I'm sure of it.

AC 17|Perc +6|Ref +7|Fort +7|Will +4| Pathbuilder Link

Egón nods his head in appreciation and raises his mug, To new friends and finding adventure! He then proceeds to dig in to the plate set before him.

” OK, let me start with some basics to get you all going around here. First of all, Highhelm is much bigger than it looks at first, there are four levels to this city, stacked one on top of another. The main level were on here, Stonebreach, is the largest of them all and in its center is a massive spiral ramp used to go both up and down to the other areas.”

" From here to the top are the main three levels that house most of Highhelm’s population. Going upward, you’ll first reach King’s Heart and if you keep on the ramp, further up you’ll find yourself in King’s Crown at the top. Of course, from here you could also go down one level to The Depths.” Ria takes a few minutes to expand on the contents and setting of each of the four levels, ensuring to cover each area you had asked her about; it seems she has a mind for details.

King’s Crown:

King’s Crown is its highest layer and holds the most people. Home to the upper levels of dwarven society, the King’s Crown includes the High King, government administrators, and the wealthiest merchants among its residents. Many artisans and skilled professionals who enjoy close proximity to the seat of power also live in this district. A small strip of King’s Crown runs along the outside of the mountain, but the majority is underground—though its opulent gardens might suggest otherwise. The architecture of King’s Crown is Highhelm’s finest, its ancient buildings continually updated in the most luxurious fashion.

King’s Heart:

King’s Heart occupies the center of Highhelm, both physically and metaphorically. A bustling hub of industry and craftsmanship, its residents maintain that “the Heart” is where the real work is done, and the streets somehow manage to be always noisy and crowded. As the industrial centre of Highhelm, King’s Heart is home to countless blacksmiths, metallurgists, gemologists, and stonemasons as well as bakers, brewers, and alchemists. The largest temple in Highhelm, the Forge of the Nine, holds a place of prominence, and its priests and theologians have considerable sway among the populace. The Endless Reservoir, a lake at the mountain’s heart augmented by excavation and planar magic, is perhaps the brightest spot here, its waters magnifying light from crystals both above and within its waters.


The lowest district, Stonebreach, is named for the only entrance to the city via the outside road. A haven for artists and hotheads, its residents see their level as an ever-changing blend of innovations from the surface and Highhelm traditions. More than the city’s other districts, those in Stonebreach welcome outsiders and so have a greater population of non-dwarves than other parts of the city. Stonebreach is also home to many who work in humble yet necessary professions, residents who take pride in their work but are defined by their interests. After work hours, Stonebreach labourers become performers, and Stonebreach cleaners lead forays into the mountain’s tunnels.

The Depths:

The Depths consist of a smattering of different tunnels and chambers scattered throughout Emperor’s Peak. Some of these tunnels form connections between the three main districts, but others are merely dead ends. The power structure of The Depths is a complex and ever-changing web. In parts of The Depths, an official presence makes them safe for travellers and tourists, including those looking to indulge in the area’s unique culture. Others are entirely outside the reach of law enforcement, and unwary visitors might suffer serious losses or injuries. The district’s proximity to natural caverns makes it a base for certain industries, including mining and various types of farming and raising livestock. These businesses tend to ignore any nearby criminal enterprises—a departure from the die-hard lawful orientation of the majority of the city. Beyond the protective arms of Highhelm’s settled regions and tunnels, The Depths can be a dangerous place. Criminals pose the least of a traveller's worries when the strange denizens of the Emperor’s Peak or the occasional creature from the Darklands freely roam the mountain’s winding passages.

Ria turns to Aloniori, ” Yes, I’m the one leaving notes on beds. I sincerely apologize for the unprofessional manner of gathering you all here but with the crazy preparations lately, people are getting thrown into all kinds of situations at the last minute, covering for other people in the same position, me included.” She giggles slightly, smiling ” Thanks for taking the chance on a cryptic message!”


Obviously, no roll is needed but you couldn’t have known that till now :)

Male Dwarf Wizard....HP 18 | AC 14 | Fort 5 .. Reflex 4 .. Will 7.. Perc 5 +2 vs Stonework.... Brown Sugar Stonemason's Eye |Quick Identification | Specialty Crafting | Widen Spell

Ah, don't bother yourself about the notes Ria. If that's the easiest way to get our attention, then so be it. Feel free to leave more of the same. Aloniori continues to eat, soon finishing his meal and ale.

Right. Alon pockets the note again, although he's not really sure why he'll need it. So, we're to wonder off for the day. Return here having had a good look around, fill up on supper and retire for the night. When can we expect to see you again Ria? On the 'morrow or closer to the festival?

Having no other plans for the day, Alon bids his new found friends a good day and ventures out into Stonebreach. He makes directly for the massive spiral ramp leading up, following the long path all the way to King's Crown. From there Alon sets off to find the Rivethun library.

Ria nods to the wizard in appreciation for his easy dismissal of her embarrassment. ” I will manage to keep ‘an eye’ on you from afar but we probably won’t see much of each other before the festival. That being said, you can leave a message for me at any tavern in Highhelm and it won’t take long to find its way to me.”

With the wizard quickly preparing and departing for the library, their host speaks up before Aloniori is out of earshot. ” If you don’t already have anything pressing for the day, maybe you want to find The House of Six Nails, it is Ektar Beetsmith’s stable here in Stonebreach. While I haven’t talked to him myself, I understand he is having issues at the property and is specifically looking for non-locals to look into it. He is adamant that he wants an unbiased investigation.

AC 17|Perc +6|Ref +7|Fort +7|Will +4| Pathbuilder Link

Maybe I should have chosen investigator!

No tasks for us eh? Egón chuckles to himself.

Happier to have a bit of direction than to be at loose ends, he eagerly agrees, There's nothing I like more than an adventure with a little mystery involved! Are the rest of you interested in heading over there at some point?

Male Dwarf Cleric (Warpriest) 1 Perception +6 AC 17 (19 w/shield) HP 21 Fort +8 Ref +3 Will +8

We have nothing specific planned. We could go now if you wish.

Male Dwarf Wizard....HP 18 | AC 14 | Fort 5 .. Reflex 4 .. Will 7.. Perc 5 +2 vs Stonework.... Brown Sugar Stonemason's Eye |Quick Identification | Specialty Crafting | Widen Spell

Ria's delayed news causes Aloniori to pause mid-stride. He doesn't turn immediately, taking a moment instead to let his head slump slightly and the fingers of his left hand pinch the bridge of his nose. The body language is a barely perceptible sigh.
Finding composure, Alon turns to face the quartet and points in a random direction wordlessly asking for directions to this Six Nails House.

Happy to see the newly met companions are all agreeable to spending the day together, Ria picks up on Alon’s subtle queues and helps the newcomers out. ” The Six Nails House is just a little past where I'm going. I'm headed to King’s Crown from here, if you like I can take you as far as the ramp and point you the rest of the way before I go up. It’s a twenty-minute walk from here but only ten if I’m your guide.” Ria winks with a smile, pausing as she points to the far back corner of the room and finishes. ” I’m ready to go anytime, you all finish up your breakfast. I’ll be at that back table when you’re good to go.”

Male Dwarf Cleric (Warpriest) 1 Perception +6 AC 17 (19 w/shield) HP 21 Fort +8 Ref +3 Will +8

The brothers finish their breakfasts and are ready to go.

Male Dwarf Wizard....HP 18 | AC 14 | Fort 5 .. Reflex 4 .. Will 7.. Perc 5 +2 vs Stonework.... Brown Sugar Stonemason's Eye |Quick Identification | Specialty Crafting | Widen Spell

Aloniori shrugs his shoulders then waits the one or two extra minutes to finish. To fill the time, the ginger haired dwarf lets his eyes wonder about, taking in the scenery.
When Ria departs, Alon falls in with the rest, following her to the ramp.

You follow the blue-haired oread gnome up side roads, through merchant stores, down alleyways and across a small bridge. True to her word, though you nearly had to run to keep from being left behind, you arrive in about ten minutes; the stone ramp looms in front of you, spiralling up beyond what you can see from here. Ria takes your group up one revolution of the incline to give you a top-down view of the surrounding area. “ See? Right there.” Your guide points but you cannot be certain of what she is pointing at. Seeming to see what you assume to have been the look on your face, she frowns and then tries to explain in better detail. ” See the big grey one with the peaks in the roof and the small stone chimney there? The stable is in its shadow, right beside it on the far side.” The better directions help and, although you can’t see the building you’re looking for, you can see the ‘big grey one’ being referenced. You indicate your understanding to Ria and thank her for the help before wishing her well on her trip up to King’s Crown.

On your way now, your party returns to the main level and heads toward the peaked building as directed. Arriving where Ria’s directions lead, you can now see the Six Nails House. In the front of the property squats a dwarf, hunched over and spewing a string of curses a mile long. He seems to be working on repairing a broken portion of the fence using equal parts stone and profanity.

Male Dwarf Cleric (Warpriest) 1 Perception +6 AC 17 (19 w/shield) HP 21 Fort +8 Ref +3 Will +8

Seeing the dwarf working on the fence, Balor calls out to him, Greetings good dwarf! Would you happen to be Ektar Beetsmith, or know where we can find him? It has come to our attention that he might be looking for someone to investigate some troubles he has been having. My brother, companions, and I would like to offer our services if he be interested.

Male Dwarf Wizard....HP 18 | AC 14 | Fort 5 .. Reflex 4 .. Will 7.. Perc 5 +2 vs Stonework.... Brown Sugar Stonemason's Eye |Quick Identification | Specialty Crafting | Widen Spell

Taking a que from the exceptionally quiet Egon, Alon remains silent. He is content to take in the scenery as it passes by, keeping his thoughts to himself rather than voice them. Along the way, the ginger haired dwarf is very much like a tourist; looking this way and that, almost losing sight of Ria's quick form a couple of times while 'enjoying' the smells emanating from vendor's food stalls. Upon reaching The Six Nails, Alon let's Balor do the talking. He bows in dwarven fashion at Balor's introductions, Greetings, but spends the time looking the place over. Perhaps there is a clue as to what's been going on (Exploration Activity: Investigate).

”...Oh for the sake of the gods! What kind of a vandal switches out the stones afterwards?!? None of these even fit!!” Seemingly only to take a breath, the squatting dwarf cuts himself short, stands, and wipes his hands down the front of his pant legs. ”And greetings to you!” The dark scowl caused by his previous endeavours vanishes immediately as he clasps Balor’s forearm in a proper greeting. ”I am the Ektar Beetsmith you seek, apologies for what you may have walked into the middle of there. I’ve slept poorly of late and this…” He swings a meaty hand in a gesture to indicate the broken portion of the fence. “... has me at the tipping point of my self control.’

Taking a deep breath, and seeming to collect himself as Balor’s words sink in, Ektar addresses you all. ” Where’s my manners? Please come in and sit while we talk. I am indeed looking for a hand and can at least offer you all an ale or two while I ask for it.” Ushering you all inside, and to the large circular table, the rancher begins to fill mugs from a tapped barrel. “Sit anywhere you like. Anybody have a request for something to drink that isn’t ale?”

Male Dwarf Cleric (Warpriest) 1 Perception +6 AC 17 (19 w/shield) HP 21 Fort +8 Ref +3 Will +8

What self respecting dwarf would refuse a host's offering of ale? Thank you for your generosity, Balor replies taking a seat. Once everyone is settled, he continues, What is the nature of the troubles we might assist you with friend?

Male Dwarf Wizard....HP 18 | AC 14 | Fort 5 .. Reflex 4 .. Will 7.. Perc 5 +2 vs Stonework.... Brown Sugar Stonemason's Eye |Quick Identification | Specialty Crafting | Widen Spell

If it's not too much trouble, an ale would be grand, Ta, Alon gratefully accepts Ektar's hospitality and finds a seat to the side.
(Exploration Activity: Investigate).

Fate, Chance and Destiny:

Aloniori RK (crafting): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12

(Sorry Chris, missed this the first, and the second, time you posted it.)

Aloniori - Investigate:

You drop to the back of the line, as your companions file into Ektar's house, and take a bit of a look around at the exterior. Other than noting that the loose rocks by the broken fence could not have come from the fence itself, nothing immediately jumps out at you. While slightly rushed, as you are being mindful not to lag too far behind the others, you are not convinced that a longer look would yield anything further.

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