Well, another no go on my end.
If anyone has the time to give their thoughts on my submission, I'd appreciate it. Also like to see anyone else's if they want to post for peer review again.
Here's mine for 27, Our Lady of Silver.
All of Katheer knows Lady Lujayn Siniana, a preening wererat, as the Lady of Silver for her control of the local silver trade and the copious bribes she spreads across the city. However, her prestige as a merchant lord has recently declined with the rise of a cunning and patient blue dragon named Harabanar. Harabanar’s economic growth is rapidly eclipsing Lady Siniana and his import of silversheen from the distant Keleshite Empire threatens her as well. Unable to challenge him directly, she instead struck at his affiliated merchant underlings. First, she betrayed one of the great caravans to a pack of Kabriri cultist ghuls in the deep desert. She then hired the local thieves guild to plant evidence among several of Harabanar’s subsidiary traders tying them to the cult and the caravan’s destruction. Finally, to deflect attention from her own involvement, Lady Siniana also sacrificed a few of her minor merchant contacts. The Satrap’s soldiers seized all of the implicated merchants and they now face a possible death sentence from the Qadiran courts. Harabanar is investigating the charges himself and already suspects Lady Siniana. As a delaying tactic, he made sure that the first trial would be of one of her contacts, Freseol Arkis. Unfortunately for Lady Siniana, she was unaware that Arkis’s small warehouse secretly conceals Katheer’s Pathfinder Lodge. Arkis immediately sent for help from the Pathfinder Society.
The Pathfinders must prove that someone framed Arkis by navigating past obstinate bureaucrats, breaking into a trapped evidence room, chasing a pickpocket in the stinking alleys of Katheer’s tanning district, and avoiding seductive agents of misdirection armed with clockwork assassins. Finally, the Pathfinders must successfully argue Arkis’s case before a bored Qadiran judge who gives equal weight to both the facts and an entertaining presentation.
Harabanar has used his influence to make sure no outsiders interfere in the trials of the merchants. The Pathfinders must use a combination of guile and charm to convince the haughty minor functionary Deputy Sub-Prefect Rostam to grant them permission to become officially involved in Arkis’s trial.
Bureaucratic negotiation with Rostam (EL -)
The main evidence against Arkis is in a heavily trapped room at the courthouse. The Pathfinders must break into the room while avoiding detection, and open a Qadiran puzzle vault to steal the incriminating documents.
Trapped evidence room and puzzle vault (EL 6/9)
Lady Siniana anonymously pays the thieves guild to slip some Kabriri unholy symbols into the Pathfinders’ pockets, hoping to send some bribed guards to arrest the Pathfinders. A thief named Kamash bungles the attempt and flees around reeking vats of dye in the labyrinthine tanning district. If caught, the Pathfinders can force him to testify that someone hired his guild to link them to the lost caravan.
Chasing Kamash around dye pit traps (EL 5/8)
Worried by Kamash’s failure, Lady Siniana has stationed some entertainer assassins at the courthouse to prevent the Pathfinders from appearing at the trial. The seductive entertainers attempt to distract the Pathfinders with some exotic Keleshite constructs until the trial is over. The constructs are actually clockwork assassins that the entertainers will program to “malfunction” if they cannot delay the Pathfinders. Their first target will be Kamash to prevent his testimony; otherwise, they will attempt to kill the Pathfinders.
Delaying entertainment and 1 clockwork assassin (flesh golem) (EL 7) or 3 clockwork assassins (flesh golems) (EL 10)
Finally, the Pathfinders must defend Arkis in the great Courtyard of Judgment before the judge, Alim al-Mahir. Al-Mahir is a cultured man, and bored by many of the cases he judges. Arkis will advise the Pathfinders that an exciting or entertaining presentation will carry more weight with al-Mahir. The Pathfinders must argue against an underhanded prosecutor, while also entertaining al-Mahir with re-enactments of chases, poetic oratory, and magical enhancements.
Courtroom drama (EL -)
If the Pathfinders convince al-Mahir, he dismisses the charges against Arkis and orders an investigation into the true culprit behind the destruction of the caravan. This will eventually expose Lady Siniana and drive her from Qadira, though she flees to another country to rebuild her wealth and try to foil the Pathfinder Society. Harabanar is pleased with the freedom of his merchants and rewards the Pathfinders for their effort. If the Pathfinders fail, Arkis is merely sentenced to prison, but this still damages the Society’s power and reputation in Qadira. Lady Siniana will not forget their attempt to interfere, and Harabanar may even blame the entire event on the Society.