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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 270 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.




Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hi

As per my email, could I have an update on this order please?

My bank account was charged on Saturday (UK time) but it remains pending.

In addition, as per previous emails, due to the ongoing delays and the appalling bullying tolerated by Paizo mods on these forums, please cancel all my subscriptions with immediate effect.

Just to be clear, I do not want any subscription items for November so please cancel order creation for that please.

Thanks

Jeff


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hi Paizo

Please cancel all my subscriptions as soon as my October order has shipped.

The delays this month and the appalling lack of communication around them have been terrible. It is clear that mismanagement continues within the company and those that communicated well with customers seem to have been the ones who have been fired and not replaced.

In addition, customers who raise concerns / issues on these forums are being bullied, harassed and insulted with no effective intervention from Paizo moderators other than to in one instance just delete all relevant posts (the "there were bad people on both sides" approach). The environment here is toxic and frankly bad for my mental health so I won't be engaging with this community again unless it improves. Cancelling my subscriptions ensures I won't have to.

Thanks

Medriev


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hi Wonderful Customer Service People

Please cancel all my subscriptions with immediate effect.

This is due to recent events surrounding staff departures from the CS team, accusations subsequently made, and the frankly appalling response to these issues from the President of the company.

I wish the very best to all those within Paizo working hard to change the company for the better and to all the wonderful creatives, Customer Service staff and others in the company who have provided me with such great service and great products over the last nineteen years.

I really hope to return at some point if those who are supposed to be leading the company actually start doing that and show a real willingness to address the issues that have come to light this week. Sadly, I am not optimistic at the moment.

Stay strong and keep safe

Medriev


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hi

I am a Starfinder AP subscriber and I pre-ordered Junker's Delight after seeing the free PDF offer. My book has shipped but I don't have access to the PDF. Could someone sort please?

Many thanks


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hi

Please could I cancel my Starfinder RPG subscription (rulebooks and setting books). I will keep the Starfinder AP subscription and all other subscriptions as they are.

Many thanks


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hi

Could I please cancel my subscriptions to Pathfinder Pawns and Starfinder Accessories asap please. Appreciate April orders have already been generated but could future items in these lines be cancelled for me please.

Many thanks


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

EDIT: Please disregard. I've had a response on this.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Starting a new thread so hopefully that this doesn't get lost in the email backlog.

Received an email last night (UK time) to advise that my December subscription shipment had been returned to Paizo and that it would now be re-shipped with my January subscription shipment. A new order seems to have been generated that includes a further $44 shipping even though I have already paid for shipping for the items that have never arrived. I queried this and was told by email that there would be no additional shipping costs but the order still seems to have shipping costs included.

In addition, I fail to see why I should have to wait until the end of January for items to be shipped that I paid for on 11 December. The shipment being returned to Paizo is not due to delivery having been attempted and refused at my address nor is it due to an unpaid customs charge (the only reasons I can see why a shipment would be returned). The issue is therefore with whoever Paizo contracted to ship my books to me.

Thirdly, the PDF downloads for the December shipment have been removed from my account. I did download them when I received the shipping email but I don't understand why I no longer have access to any updates to those PDFs which I should be entitled to as a subscriber still awaiting delivery of my shipment.

I'd welcome urgent clarity on what is happening with my December shipment as the money I have paid is not insignificant, neither are the further shipping costs that seem to be attached to the new order. At the moment I am seriously considering cancelling all of my subscriptions both to avoid an escalation in costs incurred and as that seems to be the only way to get the products I have paid for before February!!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hi

Am I missing something but is the TV Structure article not in the PDF download. If not, why not? I literally just bought this for that article.

Thanks


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hi

Starting a new thread as general updates seem to have stopped on when subscription orders are shipping this month.

Can I get an update on when this order will ship please? Very disappointed at delays this month and complete lack of access to PDFs even after release to other customers. I could purchase PDFs to get access to books but don't see why I should so could someone update me on when my orders will ship please.

Thanks


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hi

As per the release thread I am creating a new thread as I have not had an email confirming the PFS and SFS scenarios for this month are available. They are also not in my downloads. Grateful for help please. This is the second month in a row that this has happened so maybe there's a problem with my account?

Thanks


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hi

Could someone check the above order to start a Pathfinder Battles subscription please?

The prices don't look right to me given it starts a subscription so grateful if someone from Paizo could check everything is showing correctly at your end.

Many thanks

Medriev


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As per thread title.

Would really like to see the monster-building rules. Along with playing Doomsday Dawn, I was planning on converting the Rise of the Runelords game I'm running for my daughter. The level up and level down rules are useful but would be great to try out the full monster building mechanics.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As per my posts elsewhere and my emails to customer service that have all gone unanswered please cancel the above order of my Playtest products.

The estimated delivery date of 6 September for UK pre-orders is not anywhere near what we were promised and I would therefore be grateful if you would cancel the order and refund my payment in full so that I can source the Playtest products from elsewhere.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Not sure if this is the right place to put this but just donated to the Pathfinder Worldscape Humble Bundle mostly to get the comics and Season 5 PFS scenarios but despite donating at the $15 tier the codes I redeemed seem to open the $8 tier twice and not the $15 tier. I certainly have no access to the season 5 scenarios.

Is this a glitch anyone else is experiencing and how do I fix it? Have also raised on the Humble Bundle site.

Thanks


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I restarted my Pathfinder RPG subscription in the last few days hoping Villain Codex would ship with my other subscription items and it seems to be stuck as a separate order. Any reason it didn't ship with my subscription as shipping costs to the UK are not cheap and the exchange rate is upping the cost even more at the moment (our fault admittedly)?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Trying this in a new thread as no response in the October 2014 shipment thread.

Any idea when the example shipments are going to be back up? As a UK subscriber, shipping costs are difficult to predict so I use the subscriptions page to get a rough estimate of how much the month's shipment is going to cost and without it I'm a bit stuck.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I have to say I'm enjoying the ongoing debate about 4E on these forums and as I've said elsewhere, thanks to Paizo for letting us continue it. Anyone who reads my recent posts can probably work out my opinion but I am interested if any others have already made up their mind about 4E. Put simply, I'm curious how many customers WotC might be losing (or gaining) just based on those who post here.

So the simple question is - 4E yes or no (or maybe if you've not decided yet)?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This is a novelisation of a solo-play Shackled City campaign. Not the best way to play but the only one I manage to fit into my meagre freetime and just reading the books and mags iss not an option for me. It's also part of my continuing effort to improve my writing skills. The characters are the iconics at the moment so no prizes for guessing races and classes. Enjoy.

Shackled City, Part 1 - Flocktime 1, 577CY
Jozan raised his mace to parry the descending blade and then stepped back as his opponent sent a cross swing across his stomach. He stepped back again but felt his right foot slip on the rain-slicked cobbles and pull his leg from under him. Pain shot up the back of his thigh and he fell to one knee and his foe advanced on him. The swordswoman put her blade to his throat and fixed him with her striking blue eyes.
“Do you yield, brother,” Alhandra said with a hint of a smile.
“I yield,” answered Jozan, using his mace as a crutch to push himself to his feet. As soon as he did so, the pain shot down the back of his thigh again and he winced, reaching back to grab the injured muscle.
“Mistress Jenya should look at that,” said Alhandra.
“I’ll be fine,” answered Jozan.
“You’ll learn some sense someday,” Alhandra chided and Jozan poked his tongue out at his sister as they started toward the south tower of the temple, where their quarters lay. He had always lacked his sister’s wit and always it had got him in trouble. They had fled Hollowsky because of his stupidity and though he tried to forget it, Jozan was forever plagued by guilt for what had happened. Weakened by illness as a child, Jozan rarely joined Alhandra and their father hunting the jungles around Hollowsky and instead watched the village around him. He grew to dislike the cruel steward who ruled the village in the name of Lady Knowlern and one day, she came to the inn to seek him out. He fled and his friend, Zenith Splintershield was taken by Freija Doorgan in his stead. That was the day that Alhandra and Jozan left Hollowsky with a priest who Alhandra had seen in a dream, Sarcem Delasharn.
“Still dwelling on it,” said Alhandra, knowing his mind better than any as they were twins.
“It never leaves my head,” he answered. “If I’d been there, they’d have taken me and like as not beaten me but we could have stayed in Hollowsky.”
“The Saint had a different plan for us,” said Alhandra as she opened the door to the tower at the south of the courtyard.
“Maybe,” said Jozan but he was not so sure. His witless remarks had forced them to exile in Cauldron, he was sure of it.
“Race you to the High Chamber,” said Alhandra, darting toward the spiral stairs. Jozan forgot all of his recriminations and dashed after his sister.

************

The demon lord grabbed the bars of the cage that held him and howled his rage and madness at the ceiling of the chamber in which his cage hung. He drew his hands back and realized that they bled, pierced by spikes on the inside of the cage’s bars but he paid the wounds no mind. They could not harm him for he was Adimarchus, a prince among demons and he had once challenged Graz’zt, The Dark Prince himself.
“None can hear you,” snarled the robed skeleton who stood close to the cage. “None have come for five decades of the mortal world and none will come for five centuries or five millennia. You are the Demon Prince of Madness now and the Dark Prince rules what once was yours.”
Adimarchus snarled and spat and tried to grab at the creature but it flapped the bony wings that protruded from its back and sprang away from him. Dark Myrakul stayed always out of reach but Adimarchus thought to catch him one day. An eternity was a long time and even the warden of Skullrot had to make a mistake.
Turning, he stalked back across the cage and slumped to the floor, holding his head in his hands. How could he have been such a fool, he wondered, as he had so often wondered. He had loved Athux and he had been betrayed, for the paladin he had sought to save from this prison by trading his own imprisonment, had been a son of Graz’zt. All along he had been a fool and had walked like an obedient dog to the cage that the Dark Prince had made ready for him. Maybe there would be no escape.
And yet, his mind had touched so many mortals and one had been set upon a path to free the Demon Prince. Perhaps in time he would have his revenge. He had an eternity and an eternity was a very long time.

************

Hennet pulled the wench onto his lap and kissed her firmly on the lips but just as the passion began to build between them, he felt the wench pulled from his arms.
“I’m Tarla,” cried the girl as she was dragged from Hennet by a burly warrior in a chain hauberk with a sword slung across his back.
“And my brother’s had too much ale,” said Regdar, glaring at Hennet. The woman stormed back towards the bar resenting the implication that Hennet’s attention was brought on by ale. Vadania and Ember laughed at the antics of their brother and took sips from their wine goblets at the same time. Regdar sat down and glared at them too until they fell silent.
“Alhandra would not like it,” said Regdar.
“Nor does she like you,” answered Hennet, knowing all too well his brother’s infatuation with the paladin of Saint Cuthbert. He understood it as well, Alhandra had close-cropped dark hair and large, almond shaped eyes that were a pale blue despite her dark colour. Her face was slim, her skin was smooth and her lips were full and luscious. Hennet almost drifted into another of his fantasies but stopped himself as his brother nudged him.
“Here they are,” said Regdar eagerly.
Many in the Slippery Eel turned towards the door as Alhandra and Jozan, her stern twin brother, entered the common room. Hennet, Regdar and their two sisters were regulars here, hiring out as mercenaries to guard warehouses from thieves but the two servants of Saint Cuthbert came here rarely and were seldom made welcome. The tavern was a haven for rogues as well as the miners and plantation workers who drank there. The town guard tended to ignore the place and most wished that the Church of Saint Cuthbert would ignore it too.
The two made their way through the crowded taproom to the table by the window at which they always met their friends.
“Welcome,” said Hennet, “you just missed my younger brother teaching me when I’ve had too much to drink. And spoiling my fun in the process. Who’s the older of us now, brother?”
“In years or in wits,” answered Regdar as he pushed his brother along the bench so that Alhandra could sit next to him. Hennet mock scowled at his brother but then broke into a smile.
“How go things at the temple?” asked Ember, the most dark skinned of the four siblings and the most serious.
“Mistress Jenya asked after you,” replied Alhandra, “she is concerned that you have been away a month now and are slipping behind in your studies.”
“My studies are continuing,” said Ember, “and I will return soon. Our work has been slowing of late. It seems others will protect warehouses from thieves without the need for guards.”
“And Master Sarcem?” asked Regdar, hoping that Alhandra would appreciate his interest.
“He remains in Sasserine as far as I am told,” replied Alhandra. “Hence Mistress Jenya’s concern that as many as who are able return to the temple. The streets are not as safe as once they were.” All had heard of the kidnappings that now plagued Cauldron and nodded grimly.
Vadania turned talk away from the dark rumours of the kidnappings and told them of her wanderings beyond the walls that day and soon the others shared stories of their recent deeds that brightened the mood around the table. They drank the wine and ale that was brought for them and talked long into the evening until at last, it was time to seek out their beds. Regdar, Hennet, Ember and Vadania shared a room in the home where what was left of their family now lived. They had fled Sterich when the giants had come and now shared a crowded house on Lava Avenue not far from Ghelve’s Locks. First though, as they always did, the four siblings walked back towards the Church of Saint Cuthbert with Alhandra and Jozan.

************

A wretched drizzle fell from the ash-gray sky as they made their way to the walled church. The crowded, rain-slicked buildings seemed especially bleak and frightful this evening, hunched together beneath the gloomy skies. It was easy to imagine kidnappers lurking in every shadow. A few lights burned in the windows as Regdar led them back towards the temple but mostly, shutters had been closed for the night. The scent of chimney smoke filled the air, and the din of water trundled from the rooftops, splashing into dark alleys and turning street gutters into rivulets. A sudden, plaintive cry for help from a nearby alley split the evening air.
Alhandra waved the others towards the alley and they heard scuffling and cursing from somewhere along its length. Within, they saw that three figures assaulted a fourth who lay face down on the wet cobblestones. One watched the street but Alhandra knew he had not seen them draw near. She drew her sword as quietly as she could and rushed into the alley. A bolt of pale blue energy lanced past her as she ran and struck the watcher in the chest, spinning him around and away from Alhandra. Ember hurled a javelin that drove into the back of the watcher’s shoulder as he spun around and by the time he turned to face his foes once more, he faced Alhandra, Regdar, Vadania and Jozan, charging in a line down the alley. Alhandra was upon him and instant later but he jumped back as she slashed at him with her sword. She saw that the man’s face was painted, half white and half black with make up giving the man the look of a ghoulish clown.
“Bugger off, little girl,” he snarled and stabbed at her with his sword. Another turned from the man on the ground and came at her but Hennet sent another dart of energy into the alley and slowed the second man. His blade stabbed at her but she dodged away and then Ember was upon him, her short bladed kama slashing his right arm. Alhandra looked at Ember for too long as when she looked back, a third painted foe’s blade was driving at her. She jumped back but steel seared into her leg and she fell back, dropping to one knee. She felt warm blood flowing down her thigh and then felt something altogether stranger. She felt fear.
“Alhandra,” Jozan cried out. He saw his sister fall to one knee and charged at the attackers. He struck one with his mace and Regdar drove his blade into the shoulder of another. They fell back before the fury of Alhandra’s wrathful friends and family.
Alhandra stepped forward with the others but a blade lanced out and she saw it too late. Burning pain pierced her stomach and blood gushed from her. She dropped to both knees, engulfed in blinding pain and then fell forward as mist and then blackness covered her eyes. From behind the rogues, the companions then heard a chanting and saw that the fallen man had pushed himself to his feet. He raised his arms above him and a sense of peace washed over them all. Hennet uttered his own incantation and loosed a bolt of blue energy at the most wounded of the rogues but though he bled from several wounds, the painted-faced man came forward with his companions then, all three desperately seeking escape. He drove his blade into Regdar’s leg and the big warrior cursed before looking down to see if Alhandra could have heard him. She heard nothing for her life was ebbing from her as she lay on the floor.
Ember ducked a blade thrust at her throat and then twisted neatly on the spot to slash out with her kama. She drove the blade into the neck of one of the rogues just above his shoulder and he fell, bleeding to the cobbles. Jozan saw his chance and stepped back from the rogues then, kneeling beside his sister’s head. Reaching out a hand, he placed it on Alhandra’s stomach and grasped his holy symbol with his other hand. Slowly and carefully, he began to recite a healing prayer that he had been taught only a few months before. To his relief, a white light slowly spread from his hand, reaching out to his sister’s wounds and closing them. A moment later, she opened her eyes and looked up at him.
They both looked over at the battle then, as though they had forgotten how they came to be in the alley for a moment. Regdar smashed the hilt of his huge sword into the face of one of the two rogues, felling him, and then slashed at the second who ducked under the huge blade. Vadania rushed forward and slashed her scimitar across the arm of the last rogue while the one who Regdar had felled tried to crawl away from the battle. Suddenly, he got to his feet and ran towards the far end of the alley. Just as the man thought his escape was certain, the man who had been beaten to the ground stepped to block his path and swung out with a mace. The man reeled and fell to the ground at the feet of his would-be victim.
Alhandra pushed herself up slowly from the floor and reached for her blade. The last rogue was still intent upon Regdar, Ember and Vadania and so she rose to a sitting position unseen. Then, she thrust her blade at the man’s legs, driving it into his thigh. He cried out and staggered back. Hennet loosed another blue dart of energy which she knew to be her last and it seared into the man’s shoulder. He turned to flee the battle as panic took hold of him but the man he had attacked stood behind him and struck him down with his mace as he made for a bend at the far end of the alley.

************

“I’ll tell you nothing, little girl,” snarled the paint-faced rogue as Alhandra knelt beside him. He spat in her face and she recoiled.
“We should not get involved in such things,” fussed the intended victim, a bearded priest of Saint Cuthbert who Alhandra and Jozan had met around the church.
“We already are involved, Brother Ruphus,” said Alhandra as gently as she could, “where were you going when you were set upon.”
“I was coming back to the church from the orphanage,” he answered, “seems someone doesn’t want us trying to find the children who’ve been taken from there. The Saint alone knows why. Now, can’t we just summon the guard and have them take these.”
“If this one will tell us nothing more,” said Alhandra, turning back to the man on the floor.
“More than me life’s worth,” snarled the man. Alhandra rose and let go of the front of the jerkin he wore. He fell back to the cobbles. “Call the watch,” she said.
A sergeant and three guardsmen arrived soon after and took away the two men who yet lived. One had died of the wounds he had suffered and so the watchmen covered his body with a cloak and said that they would come back for him.
“Will you escort me back to the church,” asked Ruphus once the guardsmen had gone. “Mistress Jenya will want to hear of this.”
“We were going there anyway,” answered Jozan bluntly, putting his mace back on his belt. Together, the seven made their way back out onto Magma Avenue and started east again along the rain-soaked street.

************

Jenya Urikas looked at Brother Ruphus’ rescuers sternly and wondered truly whether they were able enough for the task that she sought to give them. Alhandra was a warrior of great potential, who Master Sarcem had brought himself from Hollowsky. Her brother Jozan was devoted enough but he lacked wits. Ember was strong-willed and strong-minded but seemed to seek her own path outside the church. The others she had heard talked of on the streets as capable enough guards but until tonight, they had never had to draw their blades in battle. Jenya had had the visitors brought to the south tower and given warm blankets and beds in the High Chamber where Alhandra, Jozan, and sometimes Ember, slept. Once she had heard Ruphus’ tale, she had come to them and now they sat on the beds of the High Chamber in dim candlelight while rain still fell steadily on the city outside. A fire blazed brightly in the hearth of the High Chamber.
The towers of the church offered commanding views for the Church of Saint Cuthbert had been built with defense in mind as well as worship. From each of them, the lower city was spread out below while the tops of Cauldron’s high, black walls were level with the highest windows offering the briefest glimpses of the mountain slopes beyond. Tonight, all was cloaked in darkness except for the odd light that burned in the city below and the lanterns carried by guards upon the walls and gates. Jozan made up her mind then and began to speak.
“I am grateful for coming to the aid of Brother Rufus,” she said. “It seems our aid to the orphanage on Lantern Street is unwanted and being discouraged, though by whom we cannot discern. If you will give me the time, I have a proposal for you all that might benefit us equally.”
“We will always do your bidding, Mistress Jenya,” said Alhandra, as Jenya knew she would.
“But your friends are not so bound,” answered Jenya. “Are they willing to hear what I ask?”
“We are,” said Regdar and the others nodded their agreement.
“Very well,” said Jenya, “but this may be long in the telling.” She paused and the others waited expectantly. “You have no doubt heard of the recent kidnappings that have plagued Cauldron in recent weeks,” she said at last. They all nodded. “You may not know that three nights ago, four children were kidnapped from the local orphanage. They were named Deakon, Evelyn, Lucinda and Terrem. The orphanage has two common bedchambers on the second floor – one for girls, the other for boys and two children were taken from each room. None of the other children and none of the resident staff heard or saw anything. The windows are all barred and excellent locks bar each door, including the doors to the children’s rooms. The orphans are always locked in at night to prevent mischief in the night. Following these kidnappings, I have publicly vowed that our church will locate the missing children and bring the kidnappers to justice and so, earlier this evening, I brought the Star of Justice forth from our vault.” Jenya looked at the group, expecting them to understand the import of what she had just said but Alhandra and Jozan looked at each other blankly. Only Ember seemed to realize what she meant.
“You have used the Star of Justice?” asked Ember.
“I have,” answered Jenya.
“And what is the Star of Justice?” asked Jozan, drawing a stern look from his sister for unmasking his lack of knowledge.
“It is,” said Jenya, “as most in this church know, one of our holiest artifacts. A mace that was wielded by the first of our order to brave these southern lands, a mace that has the power to divine the answer to a question asked to it once a week.”
“And what did you ask it?” questioned Ember, clearly intrigued now.
“I asked the Star a simple question,” replied Jenya, “where are the children who were abducted from the Lantern Street Orphanage?”
“And, where are they?” asked Jozan. Jenya felt doubt about her choice returning but pushed it aside.
“The response was a cryptic riddle which I wrote down,” said Jenya. She reached into a pouch at her belt and pulled forth a small scrap of parchment, handing it to Jozan. She rubbed her eyes then and to the others in the room seemed older than her thirty years. Grey streaked her rich brown hair and her brown robe with gold trim seemed sullen in the dim light of the room.
“The locks are key to finding them,” Jozan read aloud, “Look beyond the curtain, below the cauldron. Beware the doors with teeth. Descend into the malachite ‘hold, where precious life is bought with gold. Half a dwarf binds them, but not for long.” He finished and creased his brows in puzzlement. “What in the Saint’s name does that mean?”
“The first line must hold an important clue,” said Jenya, “I know not which locks it refers to but it may mean those at the orphanage. Alas, I am not an expert and have no knowledge of who crafted them.”
“We can ask around,” said Ember, “someone will know.”
“And if they do not, you should seek out the Lantern Street Orphanage,” said Jenya. “And if you wish it, I can put together a list of all those who have been recently abducted. It shall be ready by morning.”
“Then we must venture out again to learn what we may,” said Vadania with a laconic smile. The others nodded and rose to their feet. Quickly, they made themselves ready to go out again and then headed for the stairs down from the tower.

************

A small turret dominated the façade of the two-story black stone building in front of Regdar. Iron bars were embedded in the thick window frames. Beyond the turret’s ground-floor windows sat a lovely display of locks, from large to small, simple to complex. To the left of the turret, above a heavy oak door, swung a simple sign that read “GHELVE’S LOCKS”.
A guard on the gates of the Church of Saint Cuthbert had told them that most of the town’s locks were fashioned here and so they had decided to pay the shop a visit. Unsurprisingly, it was closed for the night but Vadania, Hennet and Jozan were already examining the front door to see if it could be broken down.
“We could just knock,” suggested Ember, stepping forward. She knocked loudly on the front door with her fist. The sound of scuffling came from inside the store and then a window and shutter were opened above the front door. A gnome with short, salt-and-pepper hair and a neatly trimmed mustache looked down at the visitors.
“Shop’s closed, friend,” he said. “Come back after sunrise.”
“We wish to speak with you about disappearances from the Lantern Street Orphanage,” said Alhandra.
“It’s late,” answered the gnome, “and I’m not ready to talk business – yours or mine. Come back tomorrow!”
“We come from the Church of Saint Cuthbert,” said Alhandra desperately, “four children have been taken along with countless others from the city. Don’t you want to know how the abductors are getting past your locks.”
“Alright,” said the gnome finally, “just keep the noise down. I don’t want the whole of Cauldron to know my business.”
The gnome disappeared from the window, shutting it behind him and then footsteps were heard as he came downstairs. Then, at least three locks were unlocked on the stout front door before it was opened by the gnome.
“I am Keygan Ghelve,” he said, waving the group inside quickly. The storefront into which they were led smelt of wood and pipe smoke. Two padded chairs flanked a hearth containing a small yet lively fire. The fireplace’s carved mantle bore a tinderbox, a small vase of dried smoking leaves, and a finely wrought collection of pipes. A burgundy strip of carpet led from the entrance to the wall across from it, where dozens – perhaps hundreds – of keys hung from tiny hooks. The keys came in all shapes and sizes. A handsomely engraved mahogany counter stretched along one wall. Behind it hung a red curtain that neatly hid the rest of the store.
Keygan moved to the two chairs and sat in one while Alhandra sat in the other with her companions clustered about her.
“Did you make the locks for the Lantern Street Orphanage?” Alhandra asked without preamble.
“I may have,” answered the gnome, “I’ve made many locks in Cauldron. And they’re good locks.”
“They may be,” said Alhandra, “but someone is getting past them and kidnapping children. How can that happen with your locks.”
“Who said they were my locks,” answered Ghelve, “you’ve no proof that I made them.”
“We haven’t,” answered Alhandra, “but we’ve heard that you make most of Cauldron’s locks so odds are, if we go to the orphanage and ask, they’ll tell us you made their locks. So how could someone get past them?”
“They couldn’t,” Ghelve responded, “not without a key.” He nodded his head towards the red curtain and the room beyond it and then arched his eyebrows. Alhandra got his meaning straight away and gestured to Regdar. He drew his sword quietly, nodded to Vadania and Ember and headed towards the counter and the curtain beyond it.
“And have you given anyone a key?” pressed Alhandra but with a wink to the gnome that asked him to continue the charade.
“Not that I’m telling you, Cuthbertine,” he answered with mock venom.

************

Regdar pulled back the curtain with his left hand and stepped through, returning both hands to his sword hilt. Beyond, black curtains partially obscured a window niche that faced the street. Ornate locks and complex locking mechanisms were neatly displayed in the niche. The room itself looked tidy, but lived in. Carpets covered the stone floor, and a broom leaned against the railing of a wooden staircase leading up to a second floor balcony. Three wooden chests rested in the middle of the floor, their lids bound shut with sturdy iron padlocks. Small tables, shelves, and benches held various knick-knacks, and a framed portrait of a silver-haired gnome hung next to a tall wooden box at the base of the stairs. The wooden box contained an intricate array of ticking gears, counterweights, and cylindrical chimes, surmounted by a circular face that bore the numerals 1 through 12 on its circumference.
“There is breeze from here,” said Vadania then, gesturing toward the side of the staircase. “There is a hidden door here.”
Regdar turned but then there was a sudden blur of movement and before him stood a hairless humanoid with grey skin and a rapier in its right hand that had seemingly leapt from the balcony overlooking the room. The creature stabbed at him and he felt searing pain as the rapier drove into his shoulder. He swung out his sword with a roar and cut into the side of the creature’s chest. It spun on the spot and then fell on top of one of the wooden chests bleeding profusely. Regdar stood over it for a moment but when he saw that it was not moving, he turned away.
“We have slain the creature that lurked here,” he called back through the curtain.
“Then it is safe for me to speak,” the gnome said in answer. Regdar, Vadania and Ember made their way back into the main room.
“That was one of them,” said Ghelve once they were all gathered. “One of the Tall Ones. They are hairless, genderless and have skin that seems grey but that can change colour to blend with their surroundings. There are Short Ones too. They are sinister, gnome-like creatures with pallid skin, large noses, and soft black hooves for feet. They wear black cloaks and cowls that help them hide in shadows.”
“But why are you helping them?” asked Vadania.
“Because they forced me,” Ghelve answered, “and they took my familiar, a rat called Starbrow. I can sense that he still lives and is in a dark place no more than a mile from here. I can also feel his hunger and fear.”
Hennet winced and felt his own familiar, a bat that he had named Blackwing, move in the hood of his robes where he most often nestled when not needed. The sorcerer patted the hood to reassure the tiny creature.
“Then it is understandable,” Hennet said. “Do you know who leads these tall and short ones?”
“If they have a leader, I have never seen it,” answered Ghelve, “the Tall Ones and the Short Ones seem to get along well enough without one. They share a language that I do not understand but speak Common well enough too. I gave them three skeleton keys to open most of the locks in Cauldron, including the ones at that orphanage you keep mentioning.” The gnome lowered his gaze to the floor as though ashamed.
“And do they come through the hidden door in the next room?” asked Vadania.
“Aye,” answered the gnome. “Thee Tall Ones come with rapiers and crossbows and the Short Ones with sharp knives. Them stairs beneath my own stairs go down to Jzadirune where they live.”
“What’s Jzadirune?” asked Hennet.
“Jzadirune was a small gnome hold,” answered Ghelve. “Only spellcasters dwelt there but it was abandoned seventy five years ago when the Vanishing came, a magical plague that made some in Jzadirune fade away into nothingness. It may still be there for all I know. I remember the doors were all gear-shaped and would roll to one side and some bore traps that only gnomes could bypass. It was a fine place in its day.”
Ghelve grew wistful then and seemed to be lost in some distant memory. Alhandra rose from the chair and looked around at the others.
“Do we dare brave Jzadirune tonight when we are yet wounded?” asked Alhandra. She was eager to begin but would leave the decision to others.
“I for one am sorely hurt,” said Regdar. “I’ve already felt the point of one of the Tall Ones’ rapiers.”
“Jozan can take care of that,” said Vadania, “I say we go now.”
“I’m not sure,” said Jozan as he tended to Regdar’s wounded shoulder. “I don’t like the sound of Tall Ones and Short Ones or the Vanishing.”
“You don’t like the sound of anything beyond the walls of your church,” Hennet teased. “Let’s waste no more time. We should go tonight.”
“I will go with your choice, Alhandra,” said Ember. “You have guided us well so far.”
“Then we seek Jzadirune tonight,” said Alhandra. “It is settled.”
“Good luck,” said Keygan Ghelve, apparently awakened from his reverie. “You shall surely need it. You’ll also need a map.”

************

Beyond the hidden door a stone staircase, its steps shrouded with cobwebs and dust, descended twenty feet to a 10-foot-square landing, then bent to the right and plunged into darkness. Jozan lit a torch and Hennet conjured light on the tip of the spear he normally carried strapped to his back. He carried it as his own torch now and the group descended into the darkness. Beyond the bend, another flight of stairs descended to a landing and around another bend the staircase descended another 20 feet before opening into a room. From this landing, all could hear strange sounds emanating from the chamber below, specifically chirping birds, rustling leaves and cheery giggles. The landing itself was bare save for an empty iron torch sconce mounted on the south wall.
Regdar held his sword in front of him as he descended the final flight of stairs. The staircase ended at a 40-foot-square room with a 10-foot-high ceiling. A slight draft blew into the room from a 10-foot-wide open passage in the far wall, directly across from the stairs. Two 4-foot-diameter circular doors were set into the middle of the south wall. Each door was made of wood and framed with a ring of mortar stones. The westernmost door was closed and inscribed with a strange glyph. The easternmost door bore a different glyph but rested half-open. The half open door revealed an iron rim of gear-like teeth, and dim light spilled from the chamber beyond. Mounted to the walls of the room were twelve tarnished copper masks. The masks were 2 feet tall and clung 4 feet above the floor. Each one depicted a smiling gnome's face. The soft giggling, chirping, and rustling noises seemed to pour forth from the very walls.
Regdar studied the faded map that Keygan Ghelve had given them and a look of puzzlement crossed his face. Alhandra moved to stand next to him as did Vadania and together, they found where the chamber lay.
“Let us explore each chamber in turn,” said Regdar, “starting with that one.” He pointed toward the half-open gear door in the southern wall.
“And what of the masks,” said Alhandra, wandering off toward the eastern wall to study the masks that hung there. Regdar followed her and Jozan and Ember wandered toward the other walls to look at the masks. Suddenly, a voice began to speak out and everyone in the chamber jumped. As they all looked towards the source of the voice, they could see that Jozan stood before a mask on the western wall and it’s mouth was moving. It intoned a poem in clearest Common.

Welcome to Jzadirune – behold the wonder!
But beware, ye who seek to plunder.
Traps abound and guardians peer
Beyond every portal, behind every gear.

“We move on,” said Regdar, “quickly!”
He started towards the half open gear door and stepped into the room. The others followed. A dozen small cots and chests lined the walls of the ten-foot-high dusty room beyond the door. Cobwebs blanketed many of the cots and chests, and tiny spiders scurried about. Two rough-hewn tunnels, each five feet in diameter and tubular, breached the eastern and southern walls. Stony rubble covered the floor near each tunnel. A 1-foot-long iron rod lay in the middle of the floor, its golden tip shedding enough light to cast lurid shadows on the walls.
“Foes lurk within,” called Regdar as he noticed two of the hairless creatures crouching, one either side of the door. Those beyond the door tried to push forward while the creature stabbed at Regdar and Ember who were already in the room. Regdar swatted aside the thin rapier that the creature wielded and plunged his blade into its chest. Then, he surged forward into the room and rushed at the other creature. Vadania came behind his and thrust her scimitar into the shoulder of the second creature. Ember swung her kama but the creature ducked and backed away as though seeking to flee. It scampered backwards but Alhandra had rushed into the room and circled around behind it. It bolted anyway and Regdar brought his sword down on its back as it fled. It fell to the floor and Alhandra drove her blade through it.
The rod on the floor was a sunrod, alchemically made to shed light for a time. Vadania picked it up and carried it as another source of light. They took the eastern tubular passage and followed it straight eastwards for perhaps a hundred feet. Then it turned left and then right and ended at another passage that led north or south. They turned north and after fifty feet or so, the tunnel turned left and opened into a chamber. Just as they reached the chamber, Regdar halted them. Ahead a voice barked “Taral yan zyggek!” as though in command.
They emerged from the tunnel warily and found a chamber with a five-foot-wide, rough-hewn circular tunnel that breached the west wall. The rubble left by the excavation of this and the tunnel from which they emerged had been pushed into the northeast part of the room, leaving the rest of this chamber clear. A few rat bones and other refuse littered the floor, but otherwise the room appeared empty.
Suddenly, a terrible shriek filled the room and in front of Regdar appeared a four–legged metal creature that resembled a lobster but with spiked wedges instead of claws. Instead of a head, it had a round opening at the top of its body and from this the terrible shriek was coming. Regdar sank to his knees, dropping his sword as he did so and holding his ears as the pain became too much. The others felt the piercing pain too but stayed on their feet.
The metal creature came forward and slashed out with one of its limbs, smashing Ember against the wall. Her head struck the stone and she saw blinding light, then there was blackness. Alhandra leapt from the passage and over Ember and thrust her sword at the creature, taking a chunk of metal from one of its legs. Vadania placed her hands on Regdar’s head from behind and uttered words of healing. Light glowed from her hands and he pushed himself to his feet, reaching for his sword as he did so. The creature turned towards him and he thrust his blade at it, only for the sword to slide off the hide of the creature in a shower of sparks. Alhandra slashed at the creature but she too could not harm it this time and then it drove one of its wedge-shaped limbs into Regdar’s chest and he fell for a second time.
Vadania leapt over Regdar and slashed at the creature with her scimitar but she could not harm it either. The creature lashed out with one of its limbs and struck the druidess in the face. She reeled away and spun back into the passage, seeing only blackness.
“We must be gone from here,” said Alhandra, “it is too powerful for us.”
She grabbed Ember and dragged her back into the passage at her back. Jozan grabbed Regdar and dragged his heavy form back into the passage and Hennet grabbed Vadania, and took her back and away from the terrible creature. When they had gone a little way into the passage, they stopped as the creature seemed to have stopped moving and had not followed them. Alhandra knelt beside Vadania and bound the wounds in her face while strapping up her clearly broken jaw. Jozan wrapped Ember’s head in cloth and stanched the bleeding but as Hennet knelt beside Regdar, he began to weep.
“We can do nothing for him,” the sorcerer said. “His heart is crushed.”


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This thread may be a bit premature given the wait we had for Dungeon 149 and Dragon 358 in the UK and Europe but did anyone at Paizo manage to find out from TPFG when the final issues are shipping?

Just would be nice to know when to call them overdue (although Dungeon probably is already!).

Thanks


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I had happily opted for transition to Pathfinder but have now discovered that sicne I have changed bank accounts, my Switch / Mastro debit card is not accepted by Paizo. I am therefore going to receive the first few issues of Pathfinder but not the end of a complete series.

I would like to opt for a subscription once my credited issues run out but need an alternative method of payment. If there is no other payment method available then I would like to change my transition option. Would appreciate a quick response from Paizo before you ship the first Pathfinder please.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Have just visited The Place For Games and found that Dungeon 136 is advertised on the home page as available for sale. Clicking on the link I find that it can be despatched within 48 hours if bought as a single item. Unfortunately for European subscribers the Paizo News link shows that this issue is not to be despatched to us until 5th June 2006.

My question is rather simple. If TPFG have already been supplied with Dungeon 136 then why can't subscribers be sent the issue from this stock. We have after all paid in advance and should perhaps be given some benefits for this.

Anyone with any thoughts on this?

A Paizo response would also be helpful since this seems to be yet another case of the European distributor letting subscribers down.

Thanks


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Had not wished to post here but having got no reponse to my e-mails last week regarding the above, I feel I have no option.

I e-mailed Customer Service on 1st June 2005 to report not having received my subscription copy of Dungeon 123. I was assured a replacement would be ordered but have received nothing over a month later. Could somebody let me know where the magazine I have already paid for is please?

I would also appreciate it if I do not get a stock reply blaming the UK distributor as if they are no good I would suggest that you find another one.

Look forward to a prompt reply.

Medriev