Who Wants to Win A Race Boon? [Potential Season 4 Spoilers after the first post]


Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild

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After Gen Con last summer, I found myself in possession of a race boon that allows the creation of a Kitsune, a Nagaji, or a Wayang (player's choice.) Six months later, I find that I still have no interest in using the boon, so I have a racial boon sitting unused in my character binder.

Now, I've always been a fan of character development and personality. For that reason, I've decided to give away this boon as the prize in a writing contest to be held here in this thread. I'm interested in hearing about your character's experiences as members of the Pathfinder Society in their own words. And I'm prepared to offer to snail mail my race boon to the author of the best story.

The Rules

Your entry:

* Must not exceed 1000 words.
* Must be told, in-character, from your character's point of view, in the form of either a written report or an oral report to Venture-Captain Sheila Heidmarch.
* Must tell the story of your character's experience while completing a scenario from Season 4 of Pathfinder Society. It need not be the scenario from start to finish, and may be a chronicle of an encounter with an NPC, a combat, an exploration, the discovery of an artifact, or any other element of the scenario.
* Must be posted in this thread, in Spoiler Tags, with the title of the scenario and the word count outside the spoiler.
* Must be posted no later than midnight, Pacific Time, on February 28, 2013.

Things you need to know about me:

* I'm a bit of a grammar nut, though I make allowances are made for writing in accent or dialect. I'm also Canadian, so bonus points for extra Us in the correct placement.
* I'm a teacher, and I have absolutely no sympathy for people who can't follow clear instructions. You know how in RPG Superstar this year they didn't automatically disqualify anyone who misformatted their entry? That's not the way I would have done it.
* I like a good story, so tone, pacing, and voice are the most important elements of doing this right.
* I'm a Venture-Officer, but this contest is my own initiative,and has nothing to do with Campaign Leadership. They've okayed the idea, but this is a boon I earned that I'm giving away, not a boon that someone gave me for this. By extension, this does not signify a change in policy that race boons will be given away outside of conventions, so if you can't get to a con, this is a very limited opportunity for you to get your hands on a race boon.
* If you don't think this contest is fair to you because you don't think that you're a good enough writer to win, too bad. It's my boon to give away, which means I get to set the criteria for the winner. However, I encourage you to give it a try anyway; you might surprise yourself!

My exemplar, using one character's experience in a Season 0 scenario:

Perils of the Pirate Pact (838 Words):
On the Destruction of the Hanspur’s Luck

Lady Heidmarch,

It is my deepest hope that this missive reaches you ahead of the message that I suspect is already enroute to your esteemed self from the Black Marquis, that cursed Pirate Lord from Deadbridge with whom I was sent to entreat.  My efforts to explain the circumstances surrounding the events aboard the Hanspur’s Luck were poorly received, and I would be very surprised if the Diplomatic Package he sent did not contain scathing remarks about my character and the ethics of the Pathfinder Society in general.  I will endeavor to explain the Incident, and it is my hope that you find my explanation satisfactory.

On our initial meeting with this Pirate “Lord,” it was clear that he was unable to produce the tome that we were sent to secure. He spun us a fanciful tale, the crux of which was that we were to travel upriver in the company of his Second, a cruel and uncouth woman by the name of Riverbane. I will spare you the details of that river voyage, as they are incidental to the issue at hand.

Suffice it to say that we came across the wreck of the Hanspur’s Luck, tilted at a severe angle such that the stern was completely submerged. It was aboard this ship – part of the Black Marquis’ fleet – that the tome was rumoured to be lost. Riverbane and her subordinates made no move to investigate the ship, nor did they even seem to be interested in the fate of the book we were supposed to be recovering, but merely indicated that the last they heard, it was belowdecks on the ruined vessel.

My companions and I made for the wreck, and quickly secured the upper deck. Modesty requires that I add that this area of the ship was clear of threats to begin with, and the most complicated difficulty with which we needed to contend was the steep incline; it made movement about the ship quite difficult. As my dwarven sight gifts me with the ability to see in total darkness, my companions nominated me to lead the investigation belowdecks.

I had not even progressed past the base of the stairs when I noticed that the entire hold was filled with a thick and nearly opaque wall of spider webs, which covered the cargo, the ceiling, the floor, the masts, and everything else in sight. I have ever had an aversion to vermin of the eight-legged kind – I suspect it began as a childhood trauma in Absalom, but the reasons for my distaste are irrelevant. Suffice it to say that I had no interest in venturing further into the hold and disturbing whatever creatures might dwell in such a monstrous web. Without even calling to my companions, my decision was made.

From my pack, I withdrew a pair of torches, and set them alight. Once they were burning well, I tossed them into the webs, thinking that the webs would burn well, but the waterlogged hull should keep from catching. My suspicions were confirmed when several large spiders – and to be clear, by “large spiders” I refer to the variety that is the size of a small terrier – descended from their burning home to attack me. My companions and I were able to fight off the vermin, but in our preoccupation, we neglected to notice that some of the crates making up the cargo of the Hanspur’s Luck were also burning.

In hindsight - that most perfect of viewpoints that affords us the luxury of reflecting on the impact of the decisions we make – it is easy for me to say that I should not have lit the fire. The sudden explosions of the countless glass flasks of alchemist’s fire that made up the bulk of the cargo caught us off-guard, certainly, and even the soaked and treated oaken hull caught fire and began to burn. While the smoke billowed, it was all we could do to make it back to the upper deck and abandon ship, slogging toward the shore for safety.

It took only a quarter of an hour for the Hanspur’s Luck to burn to the waterline.

I will save the remaining details of the assignment for my formal report. To close this portion of my missive, however, I will note that on our return to Deadbridge we found the Black Marquis to be quite incensed. He complained vociferously that he was unable to salvage the wreck of the Hanspur’s Luck to bring his “fleet” back up to full strength; apparently keeping control of this portion of the Sellen River is a difficult task, though I have personally seen no evidence to support that point of view. Despite my best diplomatic efforts, he was unwilling to recognize my choice of stratagem as valid, nor did he accept my premise that the loss of the Hanspur’s Luck could not have been avoided.

I, however, stand by my tactics.

Yours respectfully,

Edrykk Aengrilor
Pathfinder, and Sword of Gorum

Sovereign Court ***** RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Suggestion?

Have the entries posted in the GM discussion thread. Less chance of accidental reading.

I might do this, just to have a second boon to give away.

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That's fair, Matthew, but I don't want to have to sort through all the GM threads to look for entries. I've retitled the thread as containing potential spoilers in case people don't follow directions; hopefully, that's enough.

Sovereign Court **

Dotting for interest. This is probably the best idea I've seen in awhile.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston aka Netopalis

Question - could it be a narrative of the character giving the report to Heidmarch? Also, does the character in question have to have actually played the scenario?

Shadow Lodge **

Dotting for when I have time to potentially write up a report.

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Netopalis,

If what you're asking is "Can it be a dialogue between the character and Sheila Heidmarch," written more as a short story, then here's a very noncommittal answer: It's not what I'm really looking for, but a well-written story can forgive a lot of mistakes. You'd be starting with an inherent disadvantage when I go to choose a winner - take that for what it's worth.

As to "does the character in question have to have played the scenario," I'd like to say "yes," but there's no way for me to verify sessions played, so I can't enforce that. :)

Shadow Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

I second the idea of maybe requesting that this thread get moved to the GM discussion thread -- but I suppose spoilers on the submissions as well as the warning in the title are enough to let people know that there may be spoilers ahead ;)

Anyway, here's my submission. I don't want any boons, but I like writing, so I'll kick this thread off.

The Refuge of Time (975 words):

The following letter is scrawled in what looks like child’s handwriting, with many ink blots and corrected words. It looks more like a teacher’s correction of a writing assignment than anything else.

Venture-Captain,

First of all, I apologize for the condition of this note. After spending so many years as a bird, I've found that my manual dexterity in human form has all but evaporated. Such is the cost for the gift of flight, I suppose.

That aside, I write these thoughts down for fear that they might escape me at a later date. The state of your lodge is in danger, milady. By those that you trust most. But to explain that, I have to explain what happened in that shrine.

As you’re aware, our mission was successful. We recovered a small cache of those Refuge Tokens you requested by interacting with a Lissalan statue in the final room of the shrine. It was being guarded by the wizard Naroth Balam at the time. He was a former graduate of your illustrious Acadamae and thus, a powerful foe. As we entered the final chamber, he bombarded my comrades with a hail of acid and flame, keeping them at bay with his corrupted aberrations – the slothspawn. I circled around from above with a small summoned clutch of stirges, and sent them in to begin sapping the life from Naroth.

My bloodwings drained him of his humors as the rest of the team scored some critical strikes, and he fell without being able to retreat. In a fleeting effort, he tried to disintegrate me but, as you can wager from my candor (and the existence of this letter), it didn't even ruffle my feathers. The rest of his twisted clergy refused surrender, and were easily dispatched by the pair of ninjas you assigned to join our group.

And it is of these two pathfinders we must speak.

After the battle, as the Sarenrite closed our wounds, I noticed an ioun stone emerging from Naroth’s satchel. Further inspection identified it as a powerful Ocher Rhomboid Ioun Stone – an exceptional treasure for any seasoned pathfinder. As we examined it, we quickly discerned that it held something more. We were able to split the stone, duplicating one for each of us, leaving five identical stones in total. Powerful magic, milady, old as Thassilon and just as corrupt.

The stones were evil, Lady Heidmarch.

And so the question arose. Do we gain what we know to be substantial power by using the stones but at the cost of damning our bodies and possibly our souls? The discussion that followed was one worthy of the stage in Oppara, milady! There was talk of using the stones to fight the Lissalans, or returning them to the Decemvirate holdings of Absalom for further study. There was worry that they might do more than what we had discovered. Perhaps they would enable the cultists to track us, or control us, or use us like some cogs in a grand scheme upon the face of Golarion. We shouted and argued there, before the great statue in that cursed place until our positions become clear. We would all destroy our stones, together. All of us, that is, except those two ninjas.

One aasimar and one tiefling, the two had worked well throughout the mission. The aasimar used his polearm to distract enemies from the front, while the tiefling would maneuver behind, taking advantage of the opening and running them through with his blade. They’re good men both, milady, of that I have no doubt. These eagle eyes of mine see and understand much, and I tell you that they are both worthy of any honors our Society would bestow. But those stones tainted them.

With three stones destroyed, the two kept theirs and as they did we watched them grow more covetous. More sinister, more, for lack of the words that escape me: more evil. I transported us back to Absalom immediately after we’d finished, stepping through trees to arrive in my orchard in Kortos. With haste we traveled to the Sarenrite’s church, and for a small tithe, got the presence of Lissala purged from their bodies.

I’m told, and I believe, that they are indeed cleansed of whatever wickedness the stones imparted to them. But strangely, the stones can still not be removed. I've wracked my brain and scoured what few books I have on the subject, and I think that certain strong abjuration magic would like break the bonds that tie them to their stones. But what’s most puzzling is that my comrades refuse to surrender the item – even though their minds are once again their own. And it is for that reason that you are reading this letter.

Something else must be at work here.

I can think of no reason that these two exceptional pathfinders would allow themselves to be connected to an item that by its very definition radiates evil. It is true, milady, that their combat prowess has improved. I watched them from my roost in one of your apple trees yesterday, as they trained for hours in the courtyard of the lodge in Magnimar. With each blow they nearly shook the ground, strikes so quick even I had trouble tracking them. They are more powerful indeed, of that I do not question.

I only worry as to a price yet to be paid.

I shudder to think what might have happened had I allowed myself to taste of the forbidden. You may never have gotten this letter or worse yet, may never have heard from me again.

So please, Lady Heidmarch, heed my warnings well. Something evil dwells at the heart of all this, and as I watch the clouds they tell of a storm coming on the horizon.

Keep your eyes ever to the sky, milady.

- Hale

Sovereign Court **

I also like writing, but also want the boon!

The Disappeared (1000 words):

Tierce Vraie
Pathfinder Chronicler
Thornkeep, River Kingdoms

Sheila Heidmarch
Venture-Captain of Magnimar
Heidmarch Manor, Magnimar

Greetings and salutations esteemed Captain Heidmarch!

It was glorious to see you again, as your radiant beauty is a welcome sight to my sore Taldane eyes. I am forever wishing that I could give this report in person, but I’m afraid that I was called away to Thornkeep. A personal issue has arisen that may also turn into a welcome opportunity for our lovely society. I’m sure I could go through the details once I have returned to Magnimar, possibly over a candlelight dinner of just the two of us?

As you are well aware, I recently oversaw a covert mission in Absalom for our mutual friend, Ambrus Valsin. We were all shocked to hear the news that Paracountess Zarta Dralneen was no longer overseeing Chelish interests in Absalom, and even more alarmed to hear that her government was disavowing all knowledge of her existence. Ambrus was convinced that the Thrune administration had her detained and apprehended and contacted myself and my team to learn any and all knowledge of her imprisonment. I may not be a fan of our Chelish brethren, but I have a special place in my heart reserved for Zarta. I can assure you that I also have a special place in my heart for you as well!

We were able to infiltrate the Chelish Embassy posing as Pathfinder messengers with Sargovian Intelligence meant only for the eyes of the new Ambassador. With the help of Venture-Captain Amara-Li, and the welcoming gala that was currently being held, we were able to delay the Ambassador and create a small one hour window to begin our investigation. I regret to say that in order to get past the clerical staff, I was forced to bride a known drug addict with a bag of her vice. I’m sure Aroden, wherever he might be, will forgive my sin for the greater good. After being locked in a waiting room, an unknown contact within the Embassy came through and provided us a way out as well as a set of keys. Seems that Zarta still has some friends in Absalom!

Posing as servants, my team was able to sneak through the embassy without much incident. Our resident cleric was adamant about remaining in his armor, and nearly caused us to lose our cover. Thankfully we were spotted by a member of Absalom’s social elite who couldn’t see past our servant’s garb before turning his nose up in disgust. Nobles!

Tracing our path around the embassy to avoid the crowds of the gala, we were finally able to locate Zarta’s former sitting room. As a “close” friend of Zarta’s, I was disheartened to find that a majority of the artwork had been removed. Thankfully I was able to locate a rolled up painting of the Paracountess that I made sure to rescue for my own collection!

Zarta’s bedchamber was also void of all artwork just like the previous room. However, the wooden statue of the nymph that I had admired on occasion was still remaining within its original spot. Tessera, our magi, was able to notice a hidden keyhole within the statue and one of our keys seemed to fit. In normal Chelish fashion, a secret door was revealed and a pair of imps were summoned. I’ve never understood the reason behind the infernal compact, but these devils were not in the mood for parley. I’m still surprised that no one overheard our resulting combat.

The secret entrance lead to a familiar sight as I am well aware of Zarta’s unusual activities. I wonder if all woman of power have a similar need to fulfill. I would love to see if your manor has any secret “playrooms”. Moving past the playroom, we came upon Zarta’s Office. I was nearly heart broken when I noticed a framed picture of Ambrus Valsin upon her desk with a lip stick stain on the glass. However I was relieved to find that the picture was a plant to lure in any Pathfinders who would find the two hidden notes stashed away inside.

Caelus our alchemist, a Chelish man himself, was able to determine that both notes were meant to be found by us. One of the notes contained a list of seal codes, but was encrypted. The second note appeared to be a note that Zarta wrote about an actor that she was infatuated with. Luckily Caelus was able to determine that the note was written a second time in a cypher code. He also determined that several key words were highlighted to lead us to our destination. Those words being “Vent”, “Lion”, “Scales”, “King” and “Centaurs”.

We were able to climb through the vent system and use the words as clues to the direction to follow. Each fork in the vent system would have a picture scrawled into the wall, pointing us to our proper destination. Arriving in a new room, we were immediately attacked by an animated chair. The things the Chelish think of! Dismantling the “guardian”, we quickly took stock of our surroundings which appeared to be the Records Archive of the embassy. Using a clue from the note, we quickly located one of the filing cabinets and located Zarta’s detainment notice, which of course was encrypted. Caleus was able to decode the information, learning that Zarta had been taking to Citadel Vraid.

With information in hand, we quickly headed back to the waiting room, arriving back just as the Ambassador was opening the door from the other side. Luckily Amara was the only one that noticed our arrival. Once delivering the information package, we quickly made haste back to the Grand Lodge.

Ambrus is currently getting the resources together for another covert mission to Korvosa. I’m not sure how sane of an idea it is to assault Citadel Vraid, but you can rest assured that I will be volunteering!

Faithfully awaiting your embrace,
Your compatriot,
Tierce Vraie

Liberty's Edge *

Man I wish this was not limited to Season 4, I had an amazing adventure last week that would have made a great story. Why limit it to season four?

Shadow Lodge *****

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Because its his boon, his game, so his rules?

Shadow Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Steel Forged Games wrote:
Man I wish this was not limited to Season 4, I had an amazing adventure last week that would have made a great story. Why limit it to season four?

It may not be for a boon, but I love hearing good gaming stories.

Feel free to post it up over here!

Grand Lodge *

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Are my chances hindered by not being on the same continent as your good self?

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Nope; I'll ship worldwide to the winner. (After all, it's only a piece of paper.)

Grand Lodge

A bit short maybe.

In Wrath's Shadow Spoiler:
Captain Sheila,

We got to the island no trouble. From there, we met a large amount of dirty fisherman and one scared archaeologist. We soon learnt what had happened: something had mauled one of the shifts of workers, with one survivor. Our cleric managed to tell us that the body they had had been mauled by something, and we got into the temple of the Runelord. From there, we found four statues and a feather. Our witch managed to tell us one thing before the attack began: it was a harpy feather. I barely managed to get out my earplugs and put them in before one started singing. I wasn't hypnotized: most of the others weren't so lucky. In the end, the only ones who did not succumb to the song were me and a sorcerer (whose name evades me at this moment.) I attempted to feign being hypnotized, but they saw through me. We ended up hit multiple times, with our tactics reduced to me throwing Chakram and then ducking in cover while our sorcerer (who had discover fire was ineffective) was simply hitting it with his crossbow. As our companions reached to the top, he got a lucky shot and killed it. Aside from Haladar (a hellknight) we all survived the next ones song, and we killed the rest without trouble (one got away: be on the watch, for I think it's fiendish.)

After a trap involving a Belt of Giant Strength and a mask (both of which Haladar took.) we ended up finding two mask pieces. From there, we went downstairs, and ended up in a room. Now, I have been attacked by statues. I've been attacked by murals. I've been attacked in barrel-like rooms. The next room had all three, and a squad of Sinspawn with polearms to boot. Haladar charged in, and after about 20 seconds was on the floor bleeding. I stepped in over the body of our sorcerer, and promptly took two ranseur wounds to the chest. Eventually, the three other damage dealers formed a defensive wall, whenceupon I retreated, forming a shield wall with the man who could use it. Meanwhile, Haladar stabilised, and was eventually healed. From there, our sorcerer (who had been healed as well) cast Enlarge Person on Haladar, who promptly picked up a polearm and we began flanking, whittling the Sinspawn down until we won. From there, we found two workers (whom we healed, as per our instructions.). We slept the night, and went down after finding the next two mask pieces.

We ended up going to the chamber next to the Sinspawn room, finding an undead spellcaster and his assortment of ghouls.The four of us (Haladar, a dwarf, a fighter, and me.) were enlarged and we gradually worked our way over, with all but the dwarf avoiding the spiky floor. the ghouls attacked us, and the cleric's channeling and the dwarf made shot work of them. From there, I challenged the spellcaster (who had cast unholy blight and chaos hammer) and slowly moved into position. Meanwhile, our witch had prepared her musket and was using a pedestal for cover, attempting to shoot him if he cast. She missed, but got his attention. We ended up encircling him, and we gradually took him down spell, sword, hammer, and chakram (the sorcerer landing the killing blow with a Scorching Ray.)

Now I'm writing this, with the quill made from the Harpy Feather. Haladar is a full-fledged Hellknight, the witch and the Sorceror are getting along well, the dwarf... is the dwarf, Carlos is back in the forge, and I'm having a lucrative time with my stables. Maybe I should start selling to Lastwall? Hmmm.

Shadow Lodge **

I do not want the race boon, but I do want to enter anyway.

(For best effect, read while listening to smooth or lounge jazz)

The Golemworks Incident (997 words) an oral report by Vint Penal, P.F.S. Magnimar::

Evening, Sheila.

Sorry I couldn’t give you my report in writing. I’m more of a speaker, and it isn’t easy to write well while one’s running, or fighting, or doing other things for one’s life.

I remember when you first got that idea, about buying constructs to guard your Lodge. You remember what I said? Something about living guards being cheaper, and how they won’t kill everyone because you mis-spoke an instruction? As all that wreckage in the front hall proves, my – what did you call it? My “Prophecy of Doom”? – turned out to have come true after all.

You might not be able to trust anyone around here, Sheila, but you cannot trust a construct. Figuring someone must’ve bribed the artisans into giving them bad instructions before sending them here, I gathered a few other Field Agents and went out to investigate the Golemworks. As it turned out, the son-of-a-barghest who’d built your traitors had packed up and fled before we got there; worse, he’d even built some kind of magical fake of himself to trick us! He’d also cast an alarm on his door – I can confirm the spell he’d used – so I knew we were running out of time to track him down. Lucky for us, the other Golemworkers told us where he lived. Eventually. If any of them start knocking on your door, go ahead and blame it all on me.

As it turned out, the man we were after lived in the cellar of a doll shop. Worse, the place had been blocked off by the city guard for other, unrelated incidents. I just flashed them my Wayfinder, explained that we were in pursuit and told them I knew how to make a citizen’s arrest, at which point they agreed that they didn’t get paid enough to risk their own lives.

They were right. All those blank, lifeless stares, those eyes that would never blink put a fear into me. Archons and devils want your soul, and even the undead have a hunger. As we crept through that place, I kept my weapon drawn, expecting those dolls to jump up and attack us at any moment. I didn’t feel satisfied when they did. Fortunately, having fought lying demon dames before, fighting a bunch of dolls with sewing needles was better than expecting to fight them. By then, they’d already jumped out, blessings had been said, and fear had gotten shoved aside by anger.

When we finally managed to corner that dretch-bag – you know how people say there’s nothing wrong with adults who like children’s things? Well, that man was an adult who liked dolls, figurines and the like, who also happened to be completely insane. I don’t know what he did to that cellar, how long it must’ve taken him, or how much it cost, but I’d never seen anything like it. People floating in vats of alchemy goop, pipes going everywhere, he’d even nailed bits of statuary to people, then to other people, who were all still alive in there! I almost threw up.

Some of the more violent Field Agents were ready to kill him. I almost let ‘em. However, once I’d reminded them at the top of my lungs to take him in alive, it was just a matter of avoiding the spells he was casting, and shoving his smirking face into the ground. Someone managed to zap right up next to him and stop him from casting, another had the bright idea to gag him, and I was the one to clap the manacles on him. As we dragged that pile of goblin puke away, he got to see that horrible creation of his die in front of his eyes.

He’s currently in the Pediment Building, awaiting trial. Golemworkers are calling him a quiet, lonely madman who never let on, but how would someone like that know so many spells, so many tricky ones, and do so well in any organization? As I said before: anyone who puts their faith in constructs, or undeads, or outsiders doesn’t have faith in other living, mortal people. Even worse, building those constructs out of the remnants of Thassilon’s Trash Heap? No disrespect to you, Venture-Captain Ma’am, but if occurrences like this aren’t common, it meant that someone finally pushed that man into action before he was ready.

Something’s coming, Sheila. Something big. Something worse than just Aspis thugs protecting their territory. You’ve probably heard from other Field Agents: all the sudden interest in ancient history, all those “Lisallan Festivals” and their awful, awful music. You know what I think? I think it all fits: someone, on their own or under the influence of magic, wants to exhume a You-Know-What. If the scholars are wrong and they’re all long-dead, all we’d have to deal with is a dangerous orgy of tomb-robbing. If they’re right…

Either way, things will be getting even worse around here. If you really want to keep your Lodge safe, you need people. People using their eyes, ears, feet, magic, anything. Call in agents from abroad – I can give you a few names – because when that Key goes up for sale, some dangerous, desperate, organized people will guess at what it could open and be willing to kill for it. I’ll take any orders you want to give, prove to the Lord-Mayor and the Council that Pathfinders are more than just weapons and spells with a body on the end to use ‘em, but you’ll need more than just one team at a time. New ones, Seekers, any in between, so long as they know all three of the Society’s maxims, and how to do them all well. As much as I personally want to leave this heap, I won’t leave my birthplace in danger.

Heh, here I am making more prophecies when your Lodge is safe again. I could show you and your husband a place that makes the best coffee in Varisia. I take mine black, Quadiran-style.


Nice!
Now if I only had a season 4 under my belt :)

Sczarni *

The Goblin Guild #4-01 (960 words).:
Yes ma’am, I am indeed sorry about the vase, you see we were chasing a goblin. I have no idea how she managed to get in past your guards. Anyway we were at the stairs, just there, and we heard a noise. My friends acted much, much faster than I did, and ran up straight away. I was slow, so I had only made it half way up the stairs when they announced the little creature had slipped out the window! I know I should have gone down the stairs, but the banister seemed like such a good idea! It was so much faster, and a good deal more interesting. In retrospect, I probably should not have wasted time greasing the banister first, no ma’am. At any rate, I hopped on the banister, and slid down a little faster than expected. When I hit the newel post, I did a full half gainer, landing flat on my back in the middle of the table. The sudden fracturing of the wood caused the center to drop spontaneously, catapulting your vase into the air, across the room, and into your wall . . . where it promptly exploded into the myriad of colourful shards you now have back in your possession.

The pink haired gnome paused a moment, studying her Venture Captain’s face for any sign of emotion at all. Finding no solace, the girl began twisting the ends of her hair around her lilac toned fingers, absently chewing on her already horribly split ends as she continued on, “Right. So there I was, completely out of breath, as often happens when I fall from great heights onto solid objects, when I heard the clatter outside. It seems our barbarian friend managed to get himself stuck in the wall. I really don’t know how he thought he could squeeze through such a small crack, but that really wasn’t my concern. Noticing that this particular route of chase had been cut off, I did what any responsible young girl would do in my position. I called my roc. Again, I apologize for the condition of your roof. Had I known how bad the white stains would show on your lovely red tile, I would have insisted . . . Right. The report.

Eleanor arose from the overstuffed oxblood leather chair from which she was testifying, and walked calmly as possible over to the bar and poured herself a glass of water before returning to her seat. “So where was I? Ah, I remember now. So the barbarian was stuck in a crack in your wall, and I had called Zerika, my lovely roc. Normally, I would have just given chase on foot as is normal, but there was no way I would be able to climb that wall, and no way out that would have been quick enough to let me stick on the goblins heels. So I tried to ride Zerika up and over the wall. It seemed like such a good idea at the time. The only problem is, or rather was, I don’t own a saddle. Anyway, I jumped on her back, and she took flight! It was glorious . . . for about two seconds. Now, believe it or not, it seems magical grease tends to stick to ones breeches almost as well as real grease. Who knew? No one mentioned this in conjuration class or I am sure I would have remembered. So Zerika takes flight, heading almost straight up. I am on her back a good twenty feet above the wall wearing freshly greased breeches, and then I realize gravity still works! In fact, she seems to be working overtime this evening as she grabs me by the hair, and throws me bodily onto the top of your wall. Much as before I found myself in short supply of air.

Looking up at Lady Heidmarch, her large violet eyes misting ever so slightly Eleanor siped her glass then continued, “So looking down from my perch atop the wall I was able to spot the goblin! She had made it no further than the barbarian. In fact, it was his rather stout arm (now covered in nasty looking goblin bites) that was keeping her from making good on her escape. Realizing the situation was dire, I did what any good pathfinder would in this situation. I jumped down, and cast the color spray spell they taught me in the Pathfinder Academy. I know I should have warned him first, but that would have tipped off Eekie as well, and we didn’t know yet that she would prove to be an ally! I swear. So there we were, a whole stack of sleeping and unconscious people outside the wall, in the wall, and on the other side of the wall.

Now, I know I look stout, especially for a gnome, but in all honesty, I can barely carry a dozen pounds! There was simply no way for me to carry the now snoring goblin, let alone the barbarian . . . and apparently the rogue who had been trying to pull the barbarian out of the wall, back to safety. We needed them safe and secure, and we needed to question the would be thief. So I tied her up as best I could, and asked Zerika to carry her back to our rooms that you had so graciously provided. Once she had flown off with the little goblin, I took the long way around the wall, running as fast as I could. Now, I recognize that Zondras and Rhian have reason to think I may have assaulted them, but I assure you, the illusion is completely harmless. It just made them take a little nap is all. Hardly worth all of this.

Scarab Sages

Forgive me for asking clueless-sounding questions:

1) Is Season 4 the present one, where everyone's obsessing over Varisia and the Ruby Prince is dying and whatnot?

2) How is this story supposed to work if we haven't made the character to have adventures yet? Do we just make up what would have happened if, say, it had been this character doing what one of our existing characters actually did?

3) If we create a certain character personality and vocation for the story here, we haven't shackled ourselves to actually making precisely that character once we've received your boon, have we?

*****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

King of the Storval Stairs #4–04 (933 words):

Spoiler:
Dear Venture-Captain Sheila Heidmarch,

Please excuse the shake in my hand. Returning from Pharasma's embrace leaves a mark on the body that can take some time to fade. It was not my first brush with the Lady of Graves, and as soon as I am back in the Grand Lodge I hope that the restorative magic of the Pathfinders will purge the harrowing from my soul and restore my body to health.

After then I will leave you all forever.

This decision has not been made lightly, and I will attempt to explain as best I can, but I know you will not understand. Many will not. I apologise for this in advance.

Some say paladins do not know fear. I humbly count myself as one of their number, so I say this with the confidence of first hand experience.

They could not be more wrong.

A paladin lives with fear every second of every day. Their fears are not the fears of the common folk; fears of death, pain, suffering. Fearing the loss of their friends and family. Fearing poverty or disease or dismemberment.

Instead, a paladin fears that their great power will lead them to become a tyrant. A paladin fears they will be unable to prevent the suffering of the innocent, or that justice will escape the wicked. They fear that they will be unable to hold themselves to their own self-imposed, entirely unreasonable ideals. They fear that their swords and their strength will not be enough to keep back the ever-encroaching darkness.

They fear, yes, but there is a power behind them stronger than fear. A power that drives them to greatness. One that heals wounds, protects the innocent and inspires the downtrodden.

Love.

Most commoners assume that a paladin lives a life of chastity, of humble things, of prayers and rituals punctuated by heroic battles. They assume that theirs is an emotionless existence, a hollow one of mindless service until death.

They, too, could not be more wrong. I know of such lives, of empty servitude and toil. A paladin is nothing like this.

A paladin loves with all their heart. They possess a voracious adoration of life and all its many pleasures, bound to a thirst for joy that cannot be sated. They love everyone from the greatest king to the humblest peasant, and they love them so completely and utterly that all their thoughts are bent towards serving them. They give of themselves unquestioning and unhesitatingly, surrendering their youth, their health and—far, far too often—their lives. Every piece of their being is gifted in love and service to others.

I tell you that paladins feel fear... the curtain of darkness that falls over the mind and drives it to selfish purposes, but their unbridled love banishes the feeling just as torchlight banishes the night.

When the giant's club crushed my skull to paste during our expedition to the Storval Stairs, a paladin returned me from Pharasma's embrace. It was my dear friend Rita, a gnome so full of life and love that sometimes I feel her tiny body could not possibly hold it all.

But when I awoke and saw her, seeing with eyes made whole once again, I felt a terrible pain in my heart that I knew was not a remnant of being dragged back from the grave. Her youthful, joyous smile at seeing me live again could not be returned in kind. Even our combined love for all that is good in this world could not banish the shadows on my soul.

I have too many doubts, and I have spilled too much blood in my service to the Pathfinder Society. I reason it away; I tell myself that the giants we slew by the handful were wholly committed to evil and that our purpose was noble. This rationalisation calms my nightmares, sometimes, but there are so many other deaths by my hands. So many lives ended. I cannot excuse them all. How many orphans have I made? How many husbands, wives, children and siblings howl to the sky in grief because of what I have done?

We are Kings of the Storval Stairs, but that metaphorical crown is irrevocably stained with blood. If this is what it means to be a Pathfinder, to stand atop the broken bodies of our enemies, to kill dozens over a tiny strip of land, I cannot help but feel that this victory is hollow and that the full price of it will be paid in the next life. I see the encroachment of those shadows, I feel the fear, but I can summon no love to banish it.

How can I love a stranger when I cannot love myself?

(the remainder of the letter is stained with dried tears)

My best friend and loyal steed, the celestial horse Dawnstriker... I think he will understand the least. I treasure him like the brother I never had. Always has he been a source of courage for me, his brown eyes never judging, and it is with a great pain that I release him from service.

Enclosed is my wayfinder, a letter for him, and enough coin to dispatch a wizard to his home plane to deliver it. This is my final act of cowardice. He deserves so much better. I will regret this action for the rest of my life, but I cannot bear to tell noble Dawnstriker in person that I have fallen.

I am so very, truly sorry.

In grief and shame,

Liberator Zaheeda of the Silver Crusade, former paladin in Sarenrae's service, former Pathfinder.

Shadow Lodge *****

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

Forgive me for asking clueless-sounding questions:

1) Is Season 4 the present one, where everyone's obsessing over Varisia and the Ruby Prince is dying and whatnot?

2) How is this story supposed to work if we haven't made the character to have adventures yet? Do we just make up what would have happened if, say, it had been this character doing what one of our existing characters actually did?

3) If we create a certain character personality and vocation for the story here, we haven't shackled ourselves to actually making precisely that character once we've received your boon, have we?

Notice, as I'm not the author, I'm just giving my thoughts for the answers here.

1) Yes, the current Season is Season 4.

2) He's not asking for a story from the character you'd make if you won, but from a current character's view point of a Season 4 scenario that character has played through.

3) see above.

****

Thanks, Eric, and yes, those are the answers I would have given.

Scarab Sages

Thanks. I realize I must ask 2 more:

When you say midnight of February 28, do you REALLY mean midnight of February 28, or do you actually mean midnight of March 1?

May I include a link to the PFS character page of the character in question (to aid with 3rd-person insight into a character who may be easily misunderstood in person), and would that itself count against the 1000-word limit?

Dark Archive ****

I can't answer for Jeff's opinion, but I don't think information outside of your 1000 words should be considered part of the contest. You should try to have your character's personality come out through his/her report.

Scarab Sages

It's not so much the character's personality as they way the primary one I'm considering speaks - I don't want the goofy way the character speaks to be mistaken for bad writing (and by a professional teacher, of all people).

Dark Archive ****

I've read your profile, and I don't think that grammar and a rushed style of speaking and writing are mutually exclusive.

"When I talk with really short words all the time it seems like I'm really out of breath and eager but I can keep talking like this for a long time and my sentence only ends when my words run out as you can pretty plainly see here!"

If it's dialogue, there are less grammar restrictions. IMO, of course. Jeff might need to judge. :)

Silver Crusade

What happens to the sorry folks who entered too late?

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston aka Netopalis

lucky7 wrote:
What happens to the sorry folks who entered too late?

It's not the 28th yet. I would imagine that they wouldn't be in the running, then. :P

Dark Archive ****

You have 10 days to play a game and write about the game. Also, this is such a good idea, others might be picking up the same idea.

****

The deadline is the midnight between February 28th and March 1st. You can interpret that date however you like, but what I actually mean is "The end of February."

Poor grammar is forgivable when it comes to dialogue. In the initial rules, I did say that allowances would be made for dialect or accent. Also, as Adam says, choosing small words is not the same as poor grammar.

Folks who enter too late won't be considered for the prize, but as noted, the deadline isn't for another 10 days. You've still got time.

Silver Crusade ****

How do you make it "collapse" with that [Show] icon?

Dark Archive ****

[***spoiler***] YOUR TEXT HERE [***/spoiler***]

Remove the stars from that and you're good to go!

Silver Crusade ****

The Blakros Matrimony #4-09

(983 words)

Spoiler:
Venture-Captain Sheila Heidmarch,

I do not know If you remember me from the "Shards of Sin" Incident, as people have come to call It, but I must once again apologize for my actions. In regards to the Blakros Matrimony, that had recently transpired. My actions throughout are now understandably foolish but not without motivation.

Accompanied by my brother Jea, and some others, we arrived at the Grand Lodge to be given the assignment by Ambrus Valsin, a man I respect greatly, unfortunately he was likely forced by 'them' to make us their Representatives for the Wedding of the Blakros Family. He mentions many names, none of which I was familiar with, save for the Blakros family.

I decided to delay our journey for a later boat ride to the wedding so we could prepare and mingle with guests that would also be attending on the following boat. Jea informed me that the others in our group were asking If I could be something they called a "Party Face" regarding the mingling of the more Important guests. I scoff at the fact they could even come up with something so obvious.

As I already had planned that from the moment Ambrus told us our mission. I made quick work of learning everything from the more notable guests, and since Jea asked, I informed him of what I had learned. Then for some reason he decided It was Important to tell the rest of the group. "Ah such a foolish youth" I thought to myself.

We arrive at Pariol Island and are made to "Peace-Bond" our weapons. I try to stifle a laugh, as how can they make me "Peace-Bond" my mind, Silly short lived humans. Waiting for Jea to finish peace-bonding his many weapons. Noticing he refrained from doing so for his wakizashi, I laugh and we continue.

And there she was, Dressed In white and glowing like an angel, you could easily mistake her for an Aasimar. Like me. I move towards her as to learn her name, but I am stopped by some garish guard. "The bride and groom are busy, who are you?" the servant says. I then realize, and point at the Heavenly Being before me. "That Is the Bride?".

The meat shield turns and then proceeds to laugh. That's all I needed to hear, so I walk away ignoring their reply. Jea meets me, asking for more assistance regarding the other guests. I do so but not without being distracted by the Incomparable beauty of the Bride.

It's then during a conversation with none other than the Brides mother, Hamaria Blakros, that i learn the source of the choir. Michellia. Never before has words so silken flowed through my ears. Filling me with a cornucopia of warm emotions throughout my body.

The following day I feel nothing but sadness as they are about to take their vows. Some fool Interrupts and I almost follow, but reason outweighs my love for once. I later talk to that same fool and console him on his worries during the reception. Then suddenly it’s announced that Michellia has gone missing!

I, Jea, and the rest of the group for some reason proceed to search for Michellia. We come across a curious scene at the old abandoned Blakros Family summer house. Of which I learned of earlier, from Michellia’s mother. I am approached by someone imposing the fact that they are Michellia Blackros.

Noting this obvious fallacy, I ask her to let me see her boat, guarded by several men. She makes her way down to the boat and speaks for a moment to the armored thugs. An arrow flies past my head, agitated I give the word and the minions behind me charge forth, and with their help I make quick work of the brutish Ulfen

I quickly make my way to the boat and pull out Michellia Blakros. By the time I free her and get her back on the beach. The rest of the group has finally gleamed that the before 'Michellia' Blakros was in fact her Twin sister, Eleanir, and aside from her name I had already figured that much out prior.

Somehow though, they managed to make Eleanir cry blood, and after some time of useless questioning. Michellia makes it known that she has no wish to marry, and will now gladly switch places with her sister. I am all for this idea, as I join her on the small boat, say good-bye to my brother, and we sail off into the sunset.

However before we get to far, I confess my love to Michellia and try to 'Woo' her. This action somehow upsets her greatly enough to eject me off the boat and she sails off without me. I just let myself wash ashore standing only after Jea approaches. Using my current 'soggy' condition to mask my tears, I shuffle along the beach back to the reception.

We arrive to nothing short of chaos, apparently some 'Clown' had started assaulting the guests, but at this point I cared so little I brushed him aside with a few spells shortly after his demise a ghostly figure emerges. By this time I have left to sit next to the cowering Eleanir, asking her about her sister.

The group quiet expeditiously deals with the Ghost, somehow, and afterword’s was an even more boring affair. Cadres of people thanking me for saving them and the Bride. Little did they know, she was not who she was before. The rest had already agreed to keep their mouths shut about that fact.

Now the only reason I inform you of this detail is because I owe it to you, but Sarenrae help me, Sheila Heidmarch. If you cause trouble for my love. Expect a severe conversation involving a plethora of brazen and acerbic words. In person.

Sincerely,

Sir Roma Azrian Methusael

NOTE: All that i had just explained happened as my character experienced it, however to help dismay some concerns you readers might have. I roll a d20 for this character to see how much he likes an individual upon meeting them for the first time in person. 1= hire assasins(re-roll to confirm). 20= Love(re-roll to confirm). now i have a minus one for Males for my own reasons. But females, yeah, lets just say i rolled a 20, then a 19, for the first time for a female character.

Liberty's Edge ****

As told told to Sheila Heidmarch in a temple of Cayden Cailean, a tavern to those who don't know the difference, such as Cayden Cailean himself.

Fortress of The Nail

Spoiler:
I am Dhargoh Stonewalker, Cleric of Cayden Cailean, Mason by trade and most hated member in the Pathfinder Society. I mean, the Ten must truly hate me, it is the only reason that makes sense. Why else would they have sent me to Citadel Vraid on a diplomatic mission? Granted I have a silver tongue with gem inlays, but I primarily use my diplomacy skills to convince captives to answer questions before my more physically inclined companions begin removing body parts. I'm sure those tactics will work as well on Hellknights.

Or perhaps not. "Citadel" seems to be an understatement, black stone, multi-levelled with spires and spikes as if it was made from the jawbone of some beast bred to devour souls. "Edifice"? "Monument"? No. I guess "citadel" will need to do until a better word is invented.

Well... the mission won't finish itself. Up to the gatehouse we went. And marching out to meet us is a young woman in black armour festooned with coat racks. The spikey tips on the hooks and her humourless expression made me inclined to leave my cloak on my shoulders. She introduced herself as Merry Vector something or other and then proceeded to introduce us to ourselves. That saved us ten minutes of pleasantries and I got to know the name of the Ranger I had been travelling with for the past few days.

Leading us through the gates and hallways, corridors and stairwells, at parade march, she informed us of the tasks that were required. She must have practiced this route 3 times last night to get it perfect, I swear I could hear her counting her paces under her breath. Three signatures, collect the prisoner and out we go.

Oh, right... the mission. It seems Paracountess Zarta Dralneen had gotten herself arrested on trumped up charges. Our mission, whether we accepted it or not, was to exonerate her and bring her outside so the sun may shine on her face once more. Likely causing her pallid complexion to blister, but that was not for me to prevent.

The Grand General, with his maps and plans and strategies. All laid out for four outsiders to view at their leisure. Not my concern. Stroke his ego, be diplomatic and get his sig. Why do I feel it would have been easier if I had brought an apple?

Next the Mystic Scourge. A man of formalities. Precise interpretations of every rule. Reminds me of home. And why I left. He required proof the evidence wasn't altered. A fourth signature to approve the proof. On with the marching tour of Vraid.

The Alchemist. All Alchemists are a little odd and this one was no different. Fortunately she viewed rules as carved in sand and our visit was brief and less unpleasant. Back to the Scourge, not because we had to, but as a courtesy, we already had our third signature. I wish we had a Bard, a little marching music would go well with the click-click-click of our hostess' boots.

The Top-O'-The-Block. Mister Makeithappen. A terse, no nonsense kind of guy. So I regaled him with the sad story of Zarta Dralneen. It was the third time for me telling the tale, so I rendered it in point form. And almost blew the whole mission. This is a Dip-Lo-Ma-Tic Mis-Shun. Stay calm. Explain the evidence and the three plus one signatures.

And We're Done! Release form signed in triplicate, a quick trip to the dungeon of We Have No Dungeon Here, a brief detour to Hell (one of the upper planes I believe) and we are outta there with Miss Dralneen. Plus a special parting gift as a bonus, a former Pathfinder locked up for reasons unknown.

By the gods! But at least I didn't have to deal with a Paladin of Torag.

****

Just a quick bump to remind people you've got about a week to enter yet. There's some good works already posted in the thread, but don't miss your chance!

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I realized I haven't played any Season 4 stuff with my current group, between being a frequent GM and having a sporadic schedule... Can I write about the party that I GMed through an adventure?

Sovereign Court *

Commenting so that I can find this later. Got to get my entry in!

Silver Crusade

well, I'll win.

****

Jelloarm,

I think that's reasonable. I don't want to disrespect those members of the community who are generous enough to GM regularly by banning them from the contest.

Liberty's Edge *** Venture-Agent, Ohio—Dayton aka Jocard The Fist

dot

I'm a huge fan of this idea. I haven't had a chance to play any Season 4 yet, but would love to read some of these stories after I play the corresponding scenarios.

Sovereign Court ****

The Sanos Abduction (823 words):
This letterhead is heavily perfumed, and is embossed with the words “From the quill of Manny the Magnificent.”

To the Most Honourable and Noble Lady Heidmarch,

No doubt you are pleased to hear from one of your most competent agents. I will spare you of the most extreme suspense: the mission I led to the Sanos Forest was an immense success. Not only did I single-handedly end the supply drought at Miss Dinnelletter's camp, but I believe I have found a most worthy ally in our struggle against the Aspis Consortium in your fair city of Magnimar. To create a new Oppara in a land of vagrants and pedlars is no easy task, so I know you will be elated to hear my tale.

As all epics do, this story begins with a simple task. You set our merry troop to deliver most crucial supplies to the druid, and I can say without hesitation that I performed impeccably in this regard. We arrived just in time to save the tiny researcher from an undead horde. Of course, it should come as no surprise to you that I dealt the finishing blow to the dread beasts. Imagine our shock to hear that our task had only just begun: there had been a kidnapping — an abduction! — in the quaint forest of Sanos. Still your beating heart my Lady, for we rescued the flame-haired damselette without delay. Yet I am getting ahead of myself, and I am sure you would like to hear the climax before the denouement.

Upon our egress from the cottage, I led our fearless band into the woods. We came upon many great dangers which were handily dispatched by force or by wit; the one that stands out most was an encounter with a great dragon, who like a beautiful Taldan Countess, was swayed by my words both poetic and fierce.

"Join us in our cause against the undead plaguing your wood, lest our anger turns to you as well", thundered I; like a repentant child, the forest drake Riddywipple joined our cause. No mere brute beast was this, however, for he showed me a great many allies of his own, including a mighty stone giant! It was regrettable that the behemoth was unable to walk in the deep of the forest due to the thick underbrush, but Riddywipple assured me that his cohort would gladly join your cause in Magnimar. I expect the giant to arrive within the week to begin a crusade against the Consortium. Like the Ulfan Guard against Dawnflower rabble, the monstrous man should exterminate their presence from your city in a most efficient manner.

I will allow, modest as I am, that the assistants you sent with me on my quest were helpful in the purge of the Sanos forest. The brutish among them were quick to follow directions and swing their great weapons about. The necromancer that was birthing the undead abominations was killed outright, and you have already been assured of the safety of little Dijjit. Some prayers are necessary for the hunting companion of one of my number. The bird was ravaged by a reanimated owlbear; the anger at such a loss of innocent life is of course what fuelled my titanic assault against it which destroyed it for good. The winged creature's sacrifice was not in vain — you may be assured of that!

Unfortunately, I must report with regret that the rabble you sent to learn from the elder druid are not quite up to the task of being a hero like myself. The four still at the cottage were a quiet and frightened bunch, and the Narcisco boy in particularly struck me as, and I hope you will excuse my language, a bit of a prat. None of them would even pick up weapons to defend themselves, much less to rescue their companion from undead horror! To make matters worse, they were also quite rude. The one we rescued from the necromancer was scarcely better, for she spent most of our trip back unconscious, and I was forced to order one of our number to carry her. I would not recommend any of them for active duty, although perhaps your lodge has need of gardeners or cleaning staff.

We both know that you enjoy reading my words dear Lady, but like all good things, this short missive must come to a close. I will end by postulating again on the possibility of employing stone giant Pathfinders. Surely they will make excellent shock troops in our future struggles against this newly emerged Cult of Lissala. Do not be surprised at my readily aiding you in your hour of need, for I remain your shining lighthouse in this desert of Varisia. I will be a beacon for your eyes to see when fiends blind you. I will fight in this arena of life until the curtain falls.

Faithfully Yours,

Manfred Magnus
Pathfinder Extraordinaire

The Exchange *

Fortress of the Nail (998 words) An oral report by Cado Deus

Spoiler:

Venture Captain, despite the pleasant rumors, I have to say they simply don’t do justice to the flesh. I would love to pick your mind over everything from here to the World Wound, but I will get to the point; time is precious.

Concerning the wrongfully imprisoned Paracountess in the Hellknight fortress, I suspect I was tapped for this mission because it required a little more finesse than my fellow Pathfinders on point were accustomed to wielding. Don’t get me wrong, the powers that be put together our team with great skill. Going into Castle Gloom and Doom without muscle would have been as foolish as not having me to grease the wheels.

The “greasing” began with a rather delightful ebon-clad vixen named Elixia. She tries to play hard as nails, pardon the pun, but I suspect she wears silk stockings under all that steel. From her I was able to get the inside scoop on the turn-keys necessary to free the Paracountess. We needed a two thirds approval from officers in the fortress prior to gaining audience with the boss man.

From my newly gained intel, I deduced that our first mark, the Paravicor, was a just man that would bend to the facts of the case. Knowing this, I expressed an interest in his time and made the facts as succinct as possible. My skill with the pen is almost that of my tongue, so I pointed out some inconsistencies in the documentation responsible for this most recent damning of the Paracountess. After picking apart some weak forgeries and going over travel logs that gave Zarta a solid alibi at the time of her supposed treachery, the Paravicor was practically apologizing to me for the inconvenience.

With one down and one more middle man to go before speaking with the true authority, the Mistress of Blades was my next mark. Elixia told me that the Mistress made her name as a great field soldier and she has interest in reforming the “heathens” to the north. In my experience the only thing soldiers like more than using their swords and…shafts…to conquer foreign lands is talking about how they have already done so. I decided to play to this predilection and told her about one of my missions that took me into these northern lands. It was an interesting story of a brothel, a bicorn, a forgery, and amputee halfling, but at the end of the day I was able to exert my will over the whole chaotic mess. Of course there is no reason to let the truth get in the way of a good story, so I continued by embellishing a bit. I explained how I picked up this Egorani vixen that shared the mission with me, and this afforded me a chance to meet with Paracountess Zarta. I then told the Mistress that the Paracountess was currently drafting reforms in the area based on my account of its lawlessness. Hand to Abadar I think I could actually smell her pheromones by this point. The Mistress probably would have signed away her firstborn child if I asked her with a smile. Needless to say she was only too happy to do anything she could to free the Paracountess.

Once we had the approval of these two fine upstanding Devil-Paladins, we had satisfied their bureaucracy enough to make something happen with their leader. We were finally shown to Lictor DiVitri. He was such a prat; arrogant and abrasive. Perhaps the Knights of the Nail think something of him, but I have no respect for a man that interrupts me while I speak. Oh how I would love to have him under my compulsion. It is my understanding that some of their ranks are quite resolute against such machinations, and not wanting to jeopardize the Pathfinder mission I decided to swallow my pride, but having that cur lick my boots would be most satisfying. At the end of the day he was at least honorable enough to implicitly admit himself a fool in the face of all the evidence, and reverse the decision to have Zarta imprisoned.

Of course if that was where the story ended, I wouldn’t have had the need for that muscle I alluded to earlier. Apparently in his arrogance, DiVitri didn’t bother to keep tabs on his men. Down in some crummy cell block, I forget the name…it is more funny if you have been there,..the keeper decided that DiVitri’s word wasn’t enough to release Zarta and he attacked us with a couple of hell hounds. My comrades and I turned the dogs to paste and subdued what seemed to be the first free thinker in the fortress. A little of the blood magic and he became quite cooperative. He gave us the names of those responsible for Zarta’s framing and described his role. I think one of our soldiers cut his head off after.

So it looked like things were wrapping up, but still no Zarta. These clowns apparently aped the architecture of Hell all they could, and decided that wasn’t enough. In this Spire of the Forgotten was an actual portal to hell. Ridiculous right? Stop acting like a prick all the time and maybe you can inspire the loyalty of a few men to hold down a jail cell, you really don’t need the legions of hell…I digress.

Through this portal was the Paracountess, unconscious and bound all fetish-like. Guarding her was some hell hound like no other. It was huge and had metal plates that seemed to grow from its skin. It really did a number tearing into my comrades, and it seemed quite resolute against most of my spells. I was able to redesign the landscape enough to give men the upper hand. After a lot of blood and broken bones the beast finally dropped.

As amazing as the Paracountess looked in her latest fashion, we removed her bindings and escorted her out of the fortress. Mission accomplished…Bloody Hellknights.

Sovereign Court **

An even ten entries so far, that's pretty respectable! Love what I've read so far and I enjoyed writing my entry. I may have to keep this up just to get myself back into writing!

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, West Virginia—Charleston aka JLeeBly

Knight Captain Horatio the Alluring's Account of the Blakros Matrimony (883 Words)

The Story:

Fairest greetings Lady Heidmarch,

I am truly flattered that you would ask for my recollections of the Blakros – Kastner wedding. Our mutual friend Ambrus revealed the unfortunate news that you would not be in attendance due to Pathfinder-related obligations prior to our own departure; I can only hope my words can paint you a sufficient picture of the opulence and spectacle that was the Blakros matrimony.

Our voyage to Pariol Island was catered to by a private Blakros vessel, with none other than matriarch Hamaria Blakros hosting the soirée. Providence allowed me a few precious minutes of her time – I was able to assure her that the Pathfinder’s presence, both presently and for years to come, will be a beacon of safety in times of trouble.

The reception and pre-wedding festivities were decadent, even by Blakros standards – Lady Morilla herself made mention of such excess – though I imagine if my family were about to receive Ostergarde Manor, vintage wine and fine silverware would be well-warranted. Nigel Aldain made an appearance, albeit an awkward one, in spite of being part of the family. A fellow Pathfinder invited me over for some conversation with Nigel, and our conversation took a turn toward Varisian artifacts – more specifically, the exclusion of the aforementioned from the Blakros Museum. I can’t help but to believe Venture-Captain Valsin put him up to this as a favor to someone in Varisia – if you happen to know who, please assure them that Aldain will be pursuing other opportunities for the time being. I would have enjoyed finally introducing myself to Prince al’Hakam, though he seemed rather absorbed in conversation with a Tian gentleman who stayed deep in his drinks the entire time we were there.

I personally find wedding ceremonies to be dreadfully monotonous – the same production, just different set-pieces; however, there is one particular detail which certainly made its way to Varisia even if nothing else did. My comrade Colson Maldris sent word to me prior to our departure that our fellow countryman Alexander Bedard would be in attendance. Alexander fancied himself a suitable spouse for Michellia, though it is my personal belief that he did not consider into his calculations how much of an insufferable embarrassment and hopeless romantic he truly is. I was able to temporarily separate him (from a poor group of victims forcibly immersed in a tale of exaggerated bravado) long enough from festivities to plead, for the sake of Andoran, to let go this romance with Michellia Blakros and find himself another suitable mate “worthy of his devotion and political standing”. His reply was an ostentatious display during the ceremony, which at the very least served the purpose of removing all doubt as to how large a buffoon this man really is. I found myself incensed by his sheer audacity and without hesitation verbally assuaged the situation in favor of protecting the good name of Andoran. Suffice it to say, Councilman Bedard and I are still at odds over the ordeal, “for better or for worse”.

My fellow Pathfinders and I had the distinct privilege of being seated with Paracountess Dralneen for the post-ceremony reception. I am embarrassed to say that during the first half-hour of pomp and circumstance I found myself irrevocably distracted by Zarta’s musings and in the market for an adamantine riding crop. When Kastner mentioned Ostergarde Manor would be his dowry, the Paracountess altered her attention to the reception and was kind enough to educate my fellow Pathfinders and I on the significance, though her interest was more substantially piqued by the harried reaction of Tancred Desimire. My Chelish compatriots spoke of Desimire, though circumstances did not allow me an opportunity to speak with him and his presence was markedly scarce after the Ostergarde announcement. I imagine there’s some history between Tancred and Zarta, though she certainly didn’t indulge my curiosity (on that particular subject).

Needing some fresh air, I found myself outside explaining my “suspicious absence” to security – more specifically an imposing Garundi named Rubaani Shafar. She relented, indulging me in some tales of martial prowess, though her intriguing stories were short-lived as my compatriots, accompanied by the groom himself, sought me out to join them to go look for the bride. Michellia was easily found, waxing nostalgic about her sister, Eleanir, on a private beach a short distance from the wedding pavilion. What we returned to was an unholy terror: demons had swarmed the pavilion. We Pathfinders were able to engage and abate the Onyx Alliance assault before any excessive harm could be done, though I would be remiss to not mention there were indeed casualties.

Pragmatically, the Society was successful in gaining influence with several crucial allies, and the Pathfinders shall likely be remembered as heroes for helping sojourn the attack. While we may live in difficult times, it is still a shame to see loss of innocent life during a moment meant to celebrate new beginnings.

If you find yourself in Absalom, please call upon me; years of hard work and fortuitous windfall have given me a theater in the Foreign Quarter if you find yourself in need of entertainment – Tot Linguae Una Voce will always have a seat open for you and yours.

With the utmost desire to hear from you again,
Knight Captain Horatio the Alluring


The Sanos Abduction

Good Times With Owlbears 576 Words:

To Lady Heidmarch,

My name is Raxus, an initiate of the Society of growing reputiaton. During my initial training, it was I who fearlessly delivered letters between Pathfinders; it was I who single-handedly peeled tens of potatoes without a single casualty; and it was I who. All jokes aside, my Lady, I would like to have your attention to recount my mission to the Sanos Forest last week, as it is much more exciting than kitchen duty.

The mission was a success; we brought the supplies to the outpost and then rescued said outpost, and indeed all of Varisia, from the threat of an undead horde.

This horde was led by a tiny necromancer who made his home in the forest. His goal was to turn all of the woodland creatures into his undead army. Pegasi, owlbears, even porcupines could not escape the curse of unlife this vile little man sought to spread. Sadly, a few of these creatures had to be euthanized before we could stop the necromancer. Moreover, one of our comrades fell rescuing Dinelletter from a pair of reanimated owlbears, a testament to the selflessness of each member of our order. The eagle was buried and given a service fit for a Venture-Captain. As best we could do in a forest cursed with unlife and eccentric Gnome druids, mind you.

Thus, I am pleased to inform you the forest is once again now safe, and Dinneletter’s larder full of wine and cheese. In addition, a young Half-Elf named Narcisco will travel to Magnimar to aid the Society in whatever way he can. I am sure he has had enough of living off the land with an insane Gnome barking even more insane orders at him, as he thanked me endlessly during our return trip.

My Lady, I’ve come to enjoy the life of a Pathfinder; adventure at every turn, and new faces to share in the glory on every such adventure. I was thrilled to travel with some experienced Pathfinders for a change. I learned a lot from the wizard Gandalf and this Manfred Magnus fellow. Gandalf’s mastery of the arcane arts was a sight to behold, and I learned how to better direct my pet wolf in combat with the aid of Manfred. Though I might add, Manfred is the most insufferable Pathfinder I have ever met. Tell me, was Magnus born like that, or did he learn arrogance and boastful exaggeration at some school for the silver-spoon-fed? His contempt for all life other than his breaks the spirit of the Society's fundamental rule, "co-operate". And I swear his stories are as true as the sun rises at night. One such example was when we encountered a faerie dragon who threatened to loose his stone giant on us. It was I who reasoned with the creature by saying we were tasked with seeking it out by the druid researcher Dinneletter. Subsequently, the entire journey home, Magnus regaled us with the tale about how his mighty cleaving words forced the dragon to call off his great golem guard and obey our every command. Moreover, he denigrated and belittled everyone of us at one point or another.

I assure you, any report from this man, while intriguing and riveting I am sure, will fail to recount how the group worked together as a team. Sword, scroll, and lore, seamlessly integrated into one efficient, battle-hardened, silver-tongued group who will no doubt have many volumes in the Pathfinder Chronicles.

In closing my Lady Heidmarch, your group led a successful campaign in service to the Society, and I hope you will consider me for many more missions across the Inner Sea.

Your Humble Servant and Faithful Pathfinder,
Raxus Firebrand

Grand Lodge **

What a great idea. I have enjoyed reading the other entries, and now submit my own.

Rise of the Goblin Guild (4-01), 858 words

Spoiler:
Venture-Captain Heidmarch,

I am submitting my report regarding the recent incident involving a guild of goblin thieves in the sewers of Magnimar. Another report filed by my fellow Pathfinder, Cathair, includes some exaggerated claims about my actions during the mission – that I acted recklessly, used unnecessary force, and endangered the diplomatic mission entrusted to him by his superiors in the Silver Crusade. I assure you that these complaints are completely unwarranted. That Cathair, whom I can only describe as a barbarian, should engage in secret diplomatic missions while accusing me of using unnecessary violence is the greatest of ironies.

We had retired to our rooms in the Pathfinder Lodge, expecting a quiet evening before beginning active duty the following morning. I was looking over some reports from the caravan in which I had recently invested, and my companions were engaged in similarly unremarkable activities. Hearing a noise from upstairs, and believing that we were the only inhabitants of that wing of the lodge, Chevar d’ La Lynx quickly leapt up to investigate. Since he had been performing some routine maintenance on his guns, he already had a weapon in hand. The samurai, Cornelius, was only a step behind, drawing his blade with a speed and grace that suggests much practice.

Their cries of “Ho there, goblin!” and “Stop, thief!” soon alerted to me to the problem, and I would have quickly followed up the stairs had I not heard a crash, as if a small creature had leapt from the second story window. I assumed, at the time, that the second crash was a second intruder, but hindsight reveals that one of my companions followed the goblin out of the window. Hoping to cut off the thief’s escape route, I rushed out the door and into the garden, where I caught sight of the goblin making its escape by wriggling under the fence.

Being sleight of build, and unencumbered by heavy armor, I was able to slide under the fence almost as quickly as the goblin, and gave chase. Several of my companions joined in the pursuit, calling to the goblin to stop and return our stolen items. It showed no sign of slowing, and indeed employed a variety of tricks to attempt to lose us in the crowded streets of Magnimar. I am no stranger to making my way through a crowd, and several of my companions proved equally fleet of foot. We soon had the goblin surrounded in the middle of Turtle Street, near the Winking Dryad tavern.

Cathair struck the goblin with the flat of his sword, and we continued to demand that it surrender and give up the stolen goods. As you can clearly see, we made every effort to resolve the situation with minimum violence, but the goblin would not heed our words. It continued to bite and kick, and indeed escalated the situation by using its magical necklace to create a blast of fire. I was not harmed by the blast; my Pathfinder training has taught me how to dodge the worst effects of these sorts of attacks. Several of my companions did not move so quickly, and a number of innocent citizens of Magnimar were caught in the blast and badly burned.

Fearing, not for my own safety, but that the goblin might continue to blast my companions with fire, I maneuvered to get behind the creature. While Cathair and Cornelius held its attention, I was able to strike it in the kidney with my knife. Unfortunately the blow, which would have merely incapacitated a larger foe, ended the goblin’s life.

Several of my companions were distressed by the goblin’s death. Cathair appeared particularly grieved, and revealed that the Silver Crusade had tasked him with befriending this particular goblin, Ekkie, and her mate, Versevosh. I was quite surprised to hear of this! I would not have expected the Silver Crusade to initiate dealings with such unprincipled and violent creatures and, if I may be blunt, Cathair is not the operative I would have chosen to carry out a delicate matter of diplomacy.

I do regret that we were not able to capture the goblin for questioning, and if I had known of Cathair’s unusual assignment I would have made an effort to assist him. He has certainly been of great assistance to me on the field of battle. Hindsight suggests that the subsequent events in the sewers of Magnimar would have been much easier had we been able to attain accurate information or even employ the goblin as a guide. However, I stand by my decision. The goblin was acting chaotically, and was threatening both Pathfinder agents and the good people of Magnimar. In the heat of battle, I had no way of knowing whether it might continue throwing around blasts of fire indiscriminately, and I acted to eliminate what I perceived as a threat.

I believe Cathair gives an accurate report of the remainder of our mission. I hope that my own report shows that I am not the cold-hearted killer that his account of the goblin’s death implies.

Sincerely,

Katarina, Trade Princess of the Qadiran Satrapy and loyal Pathfinder

*

This is such a cool idea. Thank you for putting this together. I used to play a Wayang Witch in a home game, it would be awesome to introduce him to PFS.

I am a bit surprised there haven't been more entries, but I suppose that increases the chances for those who have written. Perhaps this bump with get a few more late entries.

Dark Archive ****

Writing is not easy. I definitely sympathize with people who want a race boon but don't feel comfortable putting themselves out in public like this.

Grand Lodge **

I pray that the Living God lets me win this contest.

The Disappeared 519 Words:
Rinne Suzaku
Razmiran Priestess and Pathfinder
Absalom, City at the Center of the World

Sheila Heidmarch
Venture-Captain of Magnimar
Heidmarch Manor, Magnimar

Ms. Heidmarch, I am afraid that I must confer upon you dire news. While I have obtained information pertaining to the location of the Paracountess Zarta, I must inform you that she is being held prisoner. It seems that she has been accused of treason against the Chelish people; however I am convinced that these charges are simply a political scheme by the new Chelish ambassador, Tancred Desimire in an attempt to wrestle political power from the Paracountess.

According to the documents I have obtained, which will be sent with this letter, the Paracountess is being held in the Hellknight citadel known as Vraid, which as I’m sure you know is in Varisia. The enclosed documents should give you all of the information needed to persuade the Chelish government that the Paracountess is not guilty; however I do not expect that they will listen to our pleas as they may think us biased.

While I presume that this is not what you hoped to hear about our friend Zarta, I insure you that this information was obtained through the stealthiest methods, and ambassador Desimire does not suspect a thing. We infiltrated the Embassy appearing as servants and Noblepersons, fitting in quite easily with the party that seemed to be going on. We did have a brief encounter with a couple of imps, and an animated chair, but nothing to alarmed about I assure you. And even with all we accomplished, we were able to return to the waiting room before it could be discovered that we were missing, clearly the Living God favored us that day.

If I may, I would like to suggest the next course of action to be taken regarding the Paracountess. Rather then attempting to rescue the Paracountess from the Hellknights, I suggest that we exercise caution, and seek a diplomatic way to resolve this issue with the Chelish government. Should diplomatic channels with the Chelish government fall through, I still do not think it wise to break Zarta out of prison, we must consider the consequences of such actions, the Society cannot afford to lose face with the Chelish government, even if it means that we must let Zarta rot in prison for the rest of her life. However, I do not intend to let her rot. The Chelish are a reasonable people, and should they not see it fit to release her upon learning what we have learned, I volunteer for a ‘diplomatic mission’ to Citadel Vraid, where I hope to ‘persuade’ the Hellknights into releasing Zarta through any means necessary, short of anything which will lead to war naturally.

Please be assured that my methods will bring results and will not bring about any ill consequences, I swear to this upon the divinity of the master of the thirty-one steps himself.

May the Living God favor you as he favors me,
Rinne Suzaku

PS. Do be a doll and inform Ambassador Tancred Desimire that the shadows are watching him always.

A little short I'm sure, I hope that does not hurt my chances

Grand Lodge **

Is it permissible to go back an edit a typo in my report before the 28th? Or must the world go on believing that I don't know the difference between "attain" and "obtain"?

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