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35 posts. Alias of Shalm.


Majara has to stop to think a moment, as if she didn't expect to have to give specifics.

"Oh, I think they get up to all sorts of mischief. Most of it innocent I'm sure, but I think she's the one who drives him to it."

DC 18 Sense Motive:
It seems like, while Gellion and Nolaria are certainly friends, Majara might not have a totally confident view of their relationship.

Her tears seem genuine—she was trying to not let you see that she cared right away.

I don't want to make this too complicated, so no need for spoiler tabs when we separate. Just use them for questions you have just for me.

Taken slightly aback by Wax's outburst, the gnome in the shop—pale-skinned with bright blue hair and eyebrows—replies calmly.

"Ahh, you must be Wax; I heard you were back in town. I'm glad to finally meet you, your . . . reputation . . . precedes you."

Turning toward Velmar, she continues sweetly.

"And you are Velmar right? You're much nicer than your friend here. A mission from the mayor, eh? I don't know much about where Gellion is, but if he's late to work one more ti..."

She cuts off, and a tear comes to her eye. She studies Velmar for a moment, as if evaluating his trustworthiness.

"You'll help him, won't you? I'm so worried about him. I haven't seen him in several days, and it's very unlike him to miss work and especially not to at least tell me that he can't come in."

GM only:
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23

You know of a number of normal animals around that size—anything you'd think of seeing in a standard American forested area (foxes, cats, gophers, etc.). As for spells—you know wizards and the like can conjure this type of animal relatively easily. Wizards (and even alchemists like you) can turn people into animals, but that's very powerful magic.

A squeaky, somewhat curt voice comes from inside the shop.

"Come on in, we're open!"

Walking out of the mayor's office, you turn to head toward the potion shop. Abner stops abruptly.

"Well, as exciting as this is—I need a nap. You go own without me, and I'll meet up with you. Don't kill any giant bugs without me."

Without waiting for a response and without another word, Abner turns on his heel and heads off.

Nick is studying for a test and so is going to be out of commission for another week or so.

After a few minutes, you arrive outside Pricknettle's Potions and Poultices. Through the window you can see vials and jars, bottled and test tubes filled with bubbling potions and odd ingredients.

Before leaving, the mayor hands you two slips of parchment. The first has contains the list of missing apprentices:

Betrona Pindlion - apprentice of haberdasher Petrellano Pindlion
Gellion Vazarro - apprentice at Pricknettle's Potions and Poultices
Morvinarr Albusin - apprentice at Witch's End tavern
Noemi Tauralio - apprentice at Gunty's Hearty Breads
Nolaria Wintren - apprentice of the temple and Father Ildris Ruvarra
Pavolus Laterna - apprentice of cobbler Dependable Drummady

The other is the rolled-up, ribbon-bound letter that has been addressed to the townsfolk from the mayor:

My Fellow Esteemed Citizens,
The bearers of this letter have embarked on a matter of official Saringallow business on my behalf. As such, it is my deepest hope that you will treat them judiciously and conscientiously, and that you will trust that any questions they ask are in the interest of furthering this urgent errand. Please answer their inquiries completely and to the best of your knowledge, as you would answer questions from me personally. Should you be aware of another citizen who may have the information they desire, I implore you to disclose those details, as well as anything else that might be of use. Should you aid my proxies in completing their task, rest assured that you will earn my profound gratitude, as well as any small favor from my office.
You Humble Mayor,
Sandra Trinelli

Before you head out, do any of you have a prior relationship with Majara Pricknettle? Up to you (as long as it's not too close a relationship).

The mayor blinks a few times in shock at the rapid-fire questions from Tinder before regaining her composure.

Well, let's see: I haven't seen these insects, but my understanding is that they're insects, NOT spiders, and they're about the size of a sack of potatoes. I don't know much of those other monsters, so I can't help you there.

"An apothecary? Yes indeed. Majara Pricknettle operates Pricknettle's Potions and Poultices, and one of the missing apprentices works at her shop. Have you not met? I figured that all the gnomes in town knew each other.

"And finally, alas, I have no snacks. My humble apologies," she concludes, perhaps sarcastically.

I'll answer Matt's questions tonight, which should give you a lot of information. I suggest that someone take notes; if someone wants to volunteer, I'll link a Google doc to the top so you have easy access.

The letter is brief and sloppy, as if written in haste.

Kojo, Abner, Wax, Tinder, and Velmar,

I have heard that you recently arrived back in Saringallow after successful expeditions in the outside world. For that, I congratulate you, but also ask for your assistance. I would say no more here, but our town is in need of your help. Please come to my office as soon as you are able.

Apologies for disrupting your celebrations, but I assure you this matter calls for quick action.

Your Humble Mayor,

Sandra Trinelli

A few hours earlier at the Saringallow town hall...

Mayor Sandra Trinelli placed the latest report down on the desk, hanging her head in frustration. She breathed a deep sigh and thought hard about what she was going to do.

I'm afraid this is worse than I thought, but any sign of trouble and the townspeople will panic. I need someone to investigate for me without arousing suspicion.

She wasn't crazy about the idea, but knew she had little choice. She reached for a blank piece of parchment, scribbled a note, and sealed it. She called for her secretary from the other room.

"Find them and give them this. Wait for their response—I need to know urgently. If I know them at all, they'll be at Witch's End . . . yes, even at this hour. Go find them."

Back at the tavern...

The drinks continued to flow as the gang celebrated Signing Day in their . . . particular style. None of them really noticed the little man walk into the tavern. He walks over to their table and knocks hard to get their attention.

"A letter from the Mayor," he says, setting a slip of parchment on the table. "Read it so I can take an answer back to her, she's very busy."

The bartender brings over a round of drinks and sets them on the table. A burly man, he speaks with a deep voice full of excitement, clearly enjoying the holiday spirit.

"Here you go, our newest ale! Just came in from Heldren, called Three Devil Ale. It's made from hops imported from Cheliax, I'm told."

After a successful first endeavor as a full-time "adventurer" (yes, just one adventure), you've returned to your hometown of Saringallow for Signing Day, a local holiday commemorating Isger's independence from Taldor Saringallow is a small town in the nation of Isger, which was ruled by the Taldan Empire for years.

Excited to see friends and family alike, you are most excited to get back together with your high school gang—the Order of the Mystery Machine. Nerds growing up, your gang was your only solace and were the people who got you through the awkward years of your youth. Now that you’ve all become “successful” adventurers, you’re even more excited to return home and parade your new-found status in front of those less successful classmates of yours who made your early years a living hell.

The Order of the Mystery Machine always had a strange fascination with the strange; extraterrestrial aberrations, Abyssal abnormalities, and unquiet undead have long been your gang’s obsession. It seems as though nothing has changed, because no more than five minutes after meeting up with the OMM at a local tavern, the conversation turned to the strange things you experienced during your time outside of Saringallow.

Feel free to ad-lib a bit here, and make up things as you go for your background, relationships with each other, etc. The first clue to the upcoming mystery will be coming soon!

Trico, Tinder, Mikau (along with Malgrim and Sir Rekkart Cole):
As the rest are arriving into the room, you see Trico head south toward what looks like the main doorway. As he gets about 5 feet from the door, it seems like some invisible wall of force keeps him from moving any further.

Trico, you can't reach the door. Something or someone is keeping you in.

As the others begin to look around the room, you see that eight enormous marble pillars fill this great hall, holding aloft grand balconies. Years of dust cover the floor, and muslin coverings are draped over the railings of baroque staircases curing like lazy serpents up to the raised landings above. A rusted chandelier above sheds the dim light of a few guttering candles. An impressive grandfather clock more than ten feet tall rests against the center of the western wall, its face decorated with guilty souls suffering Asmodeus' torments: evisceration, force-feasting of coals, scalding blades tearing them apart, and other less savory punishments. The clock stands between a set of impressive oak doors and a lone oak door of equitable splendor, identical to the one you just walked through. The largest set of doors is at the south end of this long hall. They are barred against the night.

Gerken (along with Halgrak):
You open the door and walk through into a much smaller room, perhaps an office. These simple quarters haven't been used in years. A plain oak desk stands near the back. Several voluminous texts on Absalom law, all gilt-edged and bound in leather, lay scattered about the room.

As soon as you enter, you hear (as if from far off) the sound of a young boy cackling maliciously. All of a sudden, books start flying off the shelves, including one at each of you.

Attack on Gerken: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Attack on Halgrak: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Damage on Gerken: 1d4 ⇒ 4
Damage on Halgrak: 1d4 ⇒ 2

Gerken, you're able to dodge out of the way of the oncoming book. Halgrak wasn't so lucky, and it hit him directly between the eyes. It falls to the floor between you. Other books have fallen across the room, including one which happened to fall open on the desk near the back.

Sazerok and Yuri (along with Ebin, Patrissa and the hold man with the top hat who hasn't spoken yet):
I thought I had given you a better description of this room, but it looks like I didn't. For those still there:

Rows of dusty benches, several askew or knocked over, are lined behind a waist-high partition separating spectators from trials (this is off to the west, your left). A dusty wooden jurors' box, rickety from generations of termites and time's cruel fangs, stands against the south wall. A high bench covered in muslin rests agains the east wall. Two thick tables once stood facing the bench, now one has been smashed to kindling. An evidence table rests against the south wall (to your right, on the same wall you're on).

The others seem mildly surprised by Sazerok's performance, but not as shocked as they might.

So just to keep everything straight, Trico has gone through the west door, and Mikau and Tinder are heading to join him. Gerken is heading across the room to the north door. Sazerok and Yuri seem content to stay in the room.

Wisdom damage: 1d4 ⇒ 4 take 4 points of Wisdom damage from the shear terror of the visions, which brings your Wisdom down to 10.

Trico wrote:
Trico gets up and heads to the exit.

The door to the room you're in is off the to west; as you walk through the doors, you enter a much larger room.

Eight enormous marble pillars fill this great hall, holding aloft grand balconies. Years of dust cover the floor, and muslin coverings are draped over the railings of baroque staircases curing like lazy serpents up to the raised landings above. A rusted chandelier above sheds the dim light of a few guttering candles. An impressive grandfather clock more than ten feet tall rests against the center of the western wall, its face decorated with guilty souls suffering Asmodeus' torments: evisceration, force-feasting of coals, scalding blades tearing them apart, and other less savory punishments. The clock stands between a set of impressive oak doors and a lone oak door of equitable splendor, identical to the one you just walked through. The largest set of doors is at the south end of this long hall. They are barred against the night.

As you enter the room, the grandfather clock goes berserk, tolling and clanging dissonantly. Suddenly, your mind is filled with flashes of murderous scenes—people you love are victims of strangulation, death, and murder by axe, all at the hand of some unseen evil.

Make a will save.

Sazerok, Mikau, and Tinder, make a Knowledge (local) check if you're trained in it. If not, make an Intelligence check.

No real good way to get up closer to the mural, unfortunately.

A few of the others begin to wake. An intimidating hobgoblin with glowing red eyes stirs first. His ears are full of earrings except for the places the earrings have been pulled from their place, tearing into the cartilage.

Another man—tall, sturdy, and in his fifties with the snow of age gracing his hair—regains consciousness as well. His face is chiseled as if out of marble, and his narrowed eyes stare down an impressive nose with a superior air.

The both look around hesitantly until they make eye contact. Clearly recognizing each other, the hobgoblin speaks first.

You can put it in your profile, but also you can let it come out during the game.

You still have to do the things in brackets, but it works. See?

And we're up and running in the Gameplay tab. We can keep not-as-relevant conversation here, and game conversation in the Gameplay tab.

Slowly, the vision fades away as you return to consciousness, but the sight that greets you is almost as disturbing. The dying gray light of sunset peeks through slits in the boarded windows, barely illuminating a yawning courtroom replete with pews and a towering bench covered in cobwebs. A shadowed mural on the domed ceiling above depicts Iomedae in her shining plate mail of gilded sunlight, locked in mortal combat with Norgorber, Calistria, and Asmodeus, holding the trifecta of evil at bay with her shining sword. You find yourself in a jurors' box, and you are not alone. In the other chairs, figures stir in the darkness, each emerging from troubling dreams into a new nightmare.

The six of you seem to be the first people to awake from your horrific nightmare. All told (including you), there are 12 people sitting in the jurors' box.

Great! I'm going to send each of you a private message with the start to the campaign (each one is a little different). Then I'll kick us off in the Gameplay tab and we can get going!

A couple other things to know:

There are instructions below on how to format your text. When your character is speaking out loud, use "quotations and bold." When your character is thinking something, use italics. If you want to ask me a question out of character, or if you want to describe game terms for something you're doing, use out of combat.

When you're doing dice rolls, make sure you do the [dice=What you're rolling thing.

Also, sometime's I'll put things behind Spoiler tabs. Only read it if it's applicable. An example is below.

Perception DC 1:
You should only have read this if you rolled a perception check and got at least a 1!

I also highly recommend copying your post before hitting submit, because sometimes it fails and then you lose your entire post. And it doesn't hurt to preview first too to make sure you did the formatting right.

Let me know if any of this doesn't make sense!

Mbrown14 wrote:
Figuring out last things but signed up!

Hey Matt, go up to My Account, look for Aliases, and create a new alias for Tinder so that your lovable gnome shows up instead of you!

Jean Luc is having trouble posting, so testing here.

Okay everybody, please check in below by posting using your character's alias, just to let me know that you're ready to go!

"Crime boss? This is much too small a town for a crime boss. Everyone knows everyone around here—it would be too hard to get away with very many crimes."

"That is certainly your prerogative," the sheriff says, seeming somewhat pleased to have some other lookouts.

"Is there anything I can do to assist you?"

It would be very difficult to tell which way the body fell, but remember that the sheriff believed that he was heading home from the carnival.

Dennie, no one else seems to be around right now, but the sheriff certainly looks interested after hearing the others' analysis of the scene.

Dusk begins to settle as you survey the scene. Sheriff Feldane looks around intently at where the body was found, puzzled.

"This whole situation is beginning to seem strange, that's for certain. Where are all of you good folks staying? It's getting dark."

The sheriff speaks up.

"I cannot show you the body, but I do recommend you take a look at where the body was found—the scene of the crime as it were. I can take you there once you're finished questioning this character." She gestures towards Rogi.

"If I may interrupt," the sheriff says, less as a question and more as a command. "First, I must remind you what your primary responsibility is here. It is my job to solve this murder—it is yours to prove the innocence of the carnival. The presence of skulks and a feigned robbery are certainly both clues in your favor. But the rest of the town will not be so easily persuaded.

"Remember that most people in this town believe Varisians to be thieves and cheats. If someone was trying to frame the circus, a robbery, real or otherwise, would be the perfect way to do it. It seems to me that Mr. Walder could simply have been a convenient target, as someone who is in possession of a great deal of valuables—he is both a good target for a robbery, and a good target for someone trying to make it look like a robbery.

"I cannot allow you to desecrate either of the bodies by examining them now that they have been taken to the temple. But I assure you, Mr. Walder was mauled by something large with claws—I did the autopsy myself. I will send a deputy to come collect the skulk and take him down to the jail, but why don't I take you to the scene of the crime, and you can do some examining there."

"I...suppose that would be okay, Borax. Perhaps you will be of some help. I'm not sure I trust these folk anyway," she says conversationally.

The two walk side-by-side, following the barbarian. When they arrive at the Locked Box, ilKhan starts to wander off.

"Hey! Where are you...Ah, what does it matter? Let's go inside."

"Greetings, gentlemen and lady. Your man came to get me, but he seems to have wandered off. What have you found?"

The sheriff looks started at the appearance of ilKhan.

"Can I help...oh, you're one of the investigators for the circus. I don't think I caught your name before. What can I do for you?"

"An excellent idea, Master Dwarf. Let me write a letter on your behalf, giving you my consent to investigate."

She pulls out a piece of parchment and begins to scribble. As she writes, she turns her head toward Dennie.

"I cannot think of any enemies off hand. Walder was a well-liked man. He spent most of his time at the Locked Box, and so I suppose those that knew him best were the guards there and his wife, Agnes. I would talk to them if you're interested in why he might have been the target of the murder, if it wasn't just a random killing by a monster."

She finishes writing the letter, folds and seals it, and hands it to Durnim. She turns her attention to Gareth.

"I can have one of my constables take you to the scene of the crime. If you wish to see the body, you should try the Locked Box. That's where I examined it this morning, and as far as I know, Agnes and her guards are keeping it there for the time being."

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The sheriff takes the parchment, breaks the seal and reads. After a few seconds, she nods to herself and rolls it back up.

"This seems to be in order. Before I give you any information or allow you any access, I must remind you that you are now representing the circus, and thus any misconduct on your part reflects on the carnival."

After providing the warning, she turns to Durnim.

"A pleasure to meet you as well, my good dwarf, though these circumstances are not ideal. And a pleasure to meet all of you. I hope that we can bring a swift end to this whole ordeal.

"The deceased is a man named Archivin Walder, the town moneylender and sometimes pawnbroker. He owns...or I suppose owned... a local business called the Locked Box, which is where he practiced his money lending.

"Walder was found mauled while walking to his home late last night. Walder's wife Agnes, who went looking for her husband when he never came home, discovered the body. She informed me of the murder this morning, and also said that thieves had broken in to the Locked Box last night, killed the guard on watch, and stole many of the easily carried valuables in the place.

"Two other guards who had gone with Agnes to carry the body back to the Locked Box glimpsed two humanoid figures fleeing in the night as they carried the body to the building."

The sheriff, after rattling off the details of the murder in a quick, no-nonsense fashion, changes her tone.

"I have to be honest with you, lady and gentlemen. The mood in the town is sour. There are stories all over the place about a great four-legged beast flying over the town last night after the circus closed down, silhouetted across the moon. Of course, I'll be damned if I can find a single eyewitness who actually saw the sphinx. Now poor Walder is left dead in some bushes. It'd be one thing if these deaths were accidental, but the robbery angle has people thinkin' of a Sczarni heist. I'm not proud to say it, but this stirs a lot of unworthy opinions about Varisians.

"I'll be honest with you—I'm not entirely convinced a creature from the circus is responsible for the murder. But the people of this town—my town—are fiercely independent and reactive, and they believe the sphinx to be responsible. I will cooperate with you and with the circus, but remember that I must do what I feel is in the best interest of the town."

Sorry everybody, I was at a Con this weekend and without Internet. Also, there wasn't a great avatar for the sheriff, but picture this one with red hair and you're pretty close.

"I'm Sheriff Feldane. I'm quite busy at the moment, but what is it exactly that I can do for you? If you're representing the carnival, I can be of some help. I would prefer this matter to be taken care of quickly and correctly, and if that means allowing others to investigate as well, so be it.