Leaves not trodden black

The Hydras Fang
Yo ho! Yo ho!

It was early afternoon, and I was sitting on a straw mat across from Logen and Irm in the monk’s dojo. Kritt and Ronny had split as soon as we got back, not that I could blame them. I was in the mood for a beer, and I knew the man for the job.

 We were all enjoying a new batch of ale brewed up by the half-elf. He excitedly explained how he used a dash of the plums that Amari Li used in her wine, along with a dash of spices he picked up from a local vendor. I nodded, and Logen belched loudly in approval. He had been drinking three for every one of ours by that point.

“So…tell me again how you, our magical friend, and Ronny fought off a pirate captain again!”, Logen said with an ear to ear grin and only a slight slur.

I began to explain how it all started with Ronny’s stage show that Logen himself invited us to. I was surprised Kritt showed, as I didn’t think music was something a bookish elf would appreciate. Then again here I was in the slums I normally avoided, so I wasn’t in a position to judge.

I had to admit, the event was actually decent. The halfling was quite the showman. One could almost think with that talent, he could’ve been able to have been a preacher in our most Holy Emperor’s church. The concert concluded and I could see Logen already breast deep in the local tavern wench. The mangos and I were going to take our leave when I spotted the familiar grizzled face of Venture Captain Ambrus headed right our way.

He explained how an aristocrat by the name of Darsielle Du Moire had taken up the foolish notion that he could become a pirate. The idiot had be terrorizing the local town of Diobel and actually managed to steal some tablets of importance that the Lodge wanted to get its hands on. To make matters worse he had pissed off so many people in high places that we had to stop him before anyone else did.

With one look at Kritt, we agreed to take him out and recover the tablets. There was no time to grab Irm and I knew Logen was in no position to travel, speaking as I’m sure he was current stuck between a mattress and 300 plus pounds of tits, sweat, and diseases. To my surprise, Ronny also volunteered for the mission. I didn’t know at the time how a minstrel could help us, but looking back on it I couldn’t see how we pulled it off without him.

Arriving in Diobel, we wasted no time  chasing down the trail of Du Moire. We arrived at a local shop of a customs inspector. The door was ajar, and we walked in to find two fresh corpses belonging to the local guard. 

We burst in to the next room to find a young girl cradling what it seemed to be the shop owner’s corpse. The magos, ever watchful, whispered in my ear that arcane magic was afoot. That fact, coupled with the rage I felt for the dead guardsman, was more than enough as I was preparing myself for a trap. 

The magos didn’t waste any time as he threw a bolt of arcane power in the girl’s direction. For all our differences, I can appreciate the elf’s capacity for discretion in doing what was necessary. I don’t know if my other companions would have had the fortitude to attack a seemingly unarmed girl. My suspicion was confirmed as two bandits struck from the shadows.

We made short work of our foes, and followed the tracks of Du Moire out a trap door in a back room. We came upon two guards of the Consortium, a black market of dubious regard. Our new companion quickly convinced him we were on official business, and the allowed us to pass through what might’ve been a more difficult interaction.

We discovered Du Moire’s ship, the Hydra’s Fang, had just left port. The guards allowed us to procure a rowboat to chase after them, none the wiser. Unfortunately we were to find the voyage less than uneventful.

Two sea lizard-men, (as I was to later find in my usual post mission creature research as a species called “Sauhagin”) apparently driven to rage by the death of their friend, had convinced themselves we were aligned with Du Moire and attacked our vessel.

The fight was grueling, with Kritt and Ronny taking several vicious blows, but we prevailed. I was thankful to have the restorative wand we found in one of our more recent missions. After another hour, we came upon the Hydra’s Fang.

We debated about how to board the ship. Ronny then produced a grappling hook from seemingly out of nowhere, and advised us to climb the side of the vessel. I had my doubts about the halfling’s abilities, but clearly my judgements were unfounded and he displayed a knack for preparation for that matched my own.

Kritt attempted to stealthy climb the rope and make his way onto the ship, but was quickly spotted and ambushed by the brigands. Ronny provided ranged fire from the rowboat as I made my way up the rope.

A vicious fight ensued, and the cowardly Du Moire fled below deck in a foolish attempt to gather his riches. I was unfortunately delayed by the deckhands, who more than held their own in their combat. When Du Moire made a break for his own rowboat, Ronny chased after him with fervor.

I eventually dispatched the crew, and healed the magos back to consciousness. We came upon the halfling in single combat with the would be pirate. I appreciate the minstrel’s dedication to justice, perhaps if he holds the faith to our most Holy Emperor Supreme, he could learn of our ways.

Unfortunately for our little companion, the aristocrat was most skilled with a blade, and disabled him. A tense negotiation ensued, with Du Moire demanding we bring him back aboard in return for Ronny’s life. I lied to the best of my ability that no harm would come to him, and threw down the rope.

When he made his way aboard, a proceeded to bury a crossbow bolt into his chest. Whether it was the fear of death, or just plain human stubbornness I do not know, but the pirate clung to life. This was quickly remedied as the halfling, in a heroic effort, cracked Du Moire’s skull open with a heavy stone, felling him.

What transpired  next I have already reported to my superiors, but needless to say my personal mission was accomplished. I know the magos has his suspicions, but let him stew and think, I do not report to him. I know he has his intentions of his own, best to let us both work to mutual gain.

We then recovered the tablets from the depths of the ship, and reported back to Ambrus victorious. He thanked us, and the three of us went our separate ways. Which leads me to where I am now.

“This sounded like an adventure I would have most enjoyed!”, Irm exclaimed with a mighty belch of his own. It seemed my tale had rendered Logen speechless, and the drink rendering him unconscious, as he was face first in a pile of his own drool. I thanked Irm once more for the hospitality, and made my way back to the temple. 

Abadar Protects.

Silent tide

Our mission: save Yargos, get his tome.
Mission Update: get tome from Nessian, thug leader of the War Hounds.
Mission notes: Undead plague threatens the land, the tome is the way to stop Nessian’s plot to wreak havoc over Absalom. Fought through some thugs, then some undead. Trivial at best. Torch sold us the location of Nessian for some assistance in unlocking some crates. As per usual, our “lockpicking expert” was quite useless. Disabling the enchantments on the crates? Childsplay.
Nessian and his thugs proved to be a bit of a challenge as they were able to interrupt my spellcast. I am appalled that I let that weak scum break my concentration, but I suppose thats because I’m using most of my concentration to not kill Logen. Perhaps it was a lesson from Nethys to humble me in my pursuit of greater magics. But I digress, my failure was unacceptable and we were quite lucky to have the young Cleric Antwer by our side or I fear that I would not be able to write this debrief to you. On a brighter side, I was able to complete your personal request without detection. I await your next orders.

For Taldor!

Mission Three – A Vision of Betrayal
Grand Lodge, Absalom

Irm Kyto’s Log
Irm token

A pathfinder’s life is interesting, indeed. All my years of training and discipline have found a worthy outlet.

My “companions” continue to reveal extraordinary talents as we tackle a slew of missions and odd foes. We are slowly coming to grips with each other’s strengths and weaknesses. These fists cannot correct the world by themselves.

I write this following an extreme meditation. This last mission of ours was more brutal and battle bruising than anything in my life. Three separate times I felt my body weaken and fall beyond measure, and 3 times I returned from such a state. My tactics needed contemplation, evaluation, and most of all modification of my actions.

We began of course in the heart of Absalom, waiting on orders from Drandle Dreng in the Pathfinder’s Head Quarters. This adventure captain was accompanied by one Lady Morilla and presented us a true adventure outside the city walls. As Decembrit representatives, we are needed to escort a frail, yet fellow, pathfinder called Nester Rees to broker a relic deal on the island of Erran, inside the city of Escadar, inside the Grindolows Goblet. There we will meet a gilman where an appraisal and exchange of relics was to take place. We were also warned that the evil-doers of the Aspiss consortium have sniffed out this deal as well and would attempt to broker this deal themselves. Lady Morilla revealed she has made careful plans to throw these Aspiss thugs on a false trail, and thus give us a time advantage. Everything we need for this quest has been appointed to Drandle’s contact in the Puddles District, Grand Master Torch.

Logen, a longtime frequenter of the Puddles, lead us swiftly through an array of back alleys and tunnels. The stench of corruption in this part of town is revolting. We were soon face to face with Mr. Torch himself. Though a tough and forward man, I cannot help but wonder how he continued to live with so many festering burn wounds on this body. He offered a map to us and made clear about following the fixed route exactly in approaching Escodar via a long hike through the forests, mountains, and swamps just north of Absolam. Should we stray, we would encounter foul things beyond our comprehension. His wounds drove home this point, whether it was intentional or not.

A quick trip to the marketplace had our goods in fine stock for a two week adventure. We also bumped into our appraiser, Nester Rees, and his own bodyguard, Kyras, a woman of the clerical faith. Following an introduction of sorts, we began our journey toward Escadar!

It was apparent by the map that we would be traversing all kinds of terrain, the first of which a large forested region. Logen, no doubt thinking himself gallant and light footed, decided he was our scout and spendt most of his time ahead of the pack. I have not yet decided whether his antics entertain me or not. I’m not so sure Kritt or Gravos have decided either. In any case, we soon saw him conversing with some mystical centaurs ahead. Though they faded back into the forest, Logen seemed to have sweet talked some respect from the creatures as they provided warning and provisions to our party (Long spear and berries). They forewarned magical and fearsome predator had been lurking in the woods for the past few days.

We moved into the forest and saw the leftovers of this predator’s “meal”. A great elk ripped to shreds at a river crossing. This made us all very uneasy but there was not much to do but go forward. The only way across the rushing river was a set of broken tree trunks, and I decided to lead the way after no one else took the lead. Never again will I be so brash in my decision making, for as soon as I made it to the other side, I was ambushed by the biggest Panther I’ve ever seen. With none of my companions in position to assist me, I was left to wrestle the creature alone… an impossible feat. Two viscous swipes of its claws later and I was left reeling and losing conscientiousness as I stumbled back over the embankment. As I fell into the river, the cold rush of water must have been the only thing that kept me from blacking out. It is hard to discern what happened after that… apparently Logen made a daring rescue attempt, Gravos took a spill into the drink as well, and Kritt could do nothing but stand as still as stone in fear. Kyra was the only one on top of her game, healing and soothing the effects of the beast until it tired of us and disappeared.

A sound thumping that was, and having to use my portion of the berries so soon to recover was very disheartening. Not to mention I was never able to strike back at the loathsome creature. We licked our wounds and left the forest and began climbing the mountain range in front of us. The cold had crept among us when we happened upon an abandoned wagon in the pass. Abandoned except for 3 frozen solid corpses, faces stuck in agony. One proper burial later, we did everything in our power to prepare for a very cold night. Warm cloaks, a fire, and blankets were set out, but the chill set in regardless. So cold it was that night we barely awoke in the morning. Only Kyra’s channeling brought us back to walking shape.

Leaving the pass we noticed a small shrine on a higher ledge. With a grappling hook and line, myself and Logen found our way there to investigate. A depiction of the statue indicated one Lady Kayle, famous for her battle with dragons. Many coins have been dropped here over the years and I decided it prudent to do the same. Immediately upon doing so a great warmth flows about me and I know I have done the right thing. Logen differed on any offering, but I could swear I saw him smirking on the way back down. Gravos, another god fearing man, decided to follow in my footsteps and offer gold as well.

Having crossed the mountains in a few short days, we found ourselves in a swampland. We have done quite well in following Torch’s map with only a few miles to go when Logen, a few paces ahead, is suddenly the centerpiece of a very quickly growing field of vines. In fact, he disappeared altogether! This prompted the rest of us to swing around the side and confront the half-mad wizard Kobold who controlled this. As I was about to break this wizard’s neck, I was horrified to see a giant crocodile leap from the vines and grab me in its jaws. One bite and I recall nothing more. I regained thought a short while late after Gravos and Kritt stepped in to smote both wizard and pet into ruin. Apparently Logen could not escape the jaws of fate either in his parry with the Croc.

Finally we have reached the coast and after a short rest at the the village of Pier, we crossed the short channel to Escodar. In finding the Grindolow’s Goblet, we have found a most seedy establishment. That being said, the gilmen are there, and the whiskey is wet, so both Rees and Logen are visibly relieved. Gravos and Kritt watch the doors as I accompany our appraiser to a table to help validate the exchange. I air is palpable as Rees pours over the relic, and I notice he is taking quite a long time for how adept his reputation is at such things. Finally, he simply nods and says nothing. I agree to the exchange with a sour feeling seeing no other tactful way out. However, I hurriedly make my way to the bar for Logen to take a second look. He immediately recognized the fraud even half drunk. One sarcastic line and a drawn sword later, and the bar was no longer a friendly establishment. The two gilman turned and faced us with the backup of the lady bartender on their side. However, they soon realize they are outmatched and attempt a run for it, inducing a rather amusing game of cat and mouse. These mice are soon trapped and killed and artifacts recovered.

This has been a setup. Irm Kyto is not toyed with, neither him nor his companions.
I will now continue my training and smile for my next foe.

To Delve the Dungeon Deep
Episode Two

Mission Two – To Delve the Dungeon Deep
Grand Lodge, Absalom

Gravos’s Log

In the Light of Holy Taldor, Most Beloved Land of our Emperor Supreme, Abadar, your humble servant submits the following chronicle of events transpired:

I find myself in the wake of my initial mission, to infiltrate the Pathfinder Society. The Society seems rife with subsurface conflict. Varying members continue to play the never ending game of deceit and subterfuge. I could not find a more suitable place to lay the seeds of growth for our most holy empire.

My most immediate company seems as diverse as the commanding officers, and as much deserving of our watchful eye as well. Chronicled below is my three fellow initiates:

The most obvious source of potential comes from a one Kritt Krios, an Elven magister. His lithe frame betrays a blending of arcane and martial mastery, though it is his ambition that seems to be his true source of power. This is standard for those who devote themselves to the arcane. He musth be monitored, and of necessary, face the unwavering and unparalleled might of our Supreme Emperor’s most Holy Inquisition.

Second, Irm Kyto, a half Elven martial artist. A man who’s demeanor is as blunt and forceful as the fists he uses in battle. His lack of tact more than made up for by his usefulness in combat. I know not if this brusque demeanor is a front for more sinister motives, as he has yet to claim any political or theological stance in our travels. The monk will continued to be monitored.

Last, and suitably least, we have Logen Darry. Our Emperor Supreme gift of civilization is vast and plentiful, unfortunately as we have all come to discover, some seek to abuse our societies advances and programs to their own ends. I feel that Logen would do this if he could think further than his pipe, either the one in his mouth or the one that leads him to the slums most seedy of establishments. Due to his penchant for opening doors, and ability for accomplishing discreet tasks, I have taken it upon myself to show him the the true path of our most divine and benevolent ruler.

Your most humble servant, Gravos Millichek, submits a status report of our expedition into the dungeon deep:

We now find ourselves preparing for the Snapdragon Festival, hosted by Venture Captain Amara Li. This is my first opportunity to meet a member of the Lantern Lodge face to face, so I attempt to dress appropriately. Unfortunately these dregs and sycophants seem to enjoy their squalor and do not appreciate the majestic attire befitting of a Holy Inquisitor. Have the forgotten that it is our Emperor Supreme that allows them to live their lives of privilege?

I digress, our meeting with Amara Li was as cordial as it was brief. She tasked us to find a ceremonial jade katana that belonged to her family within a dungeon of a fallen warlord. We agree to this, as the favor of a Venture Captain is not a trivial boon.

In our departure, we encounter a Major Colson, from the most delusional Andoran faction. He babbles on loudly about it being our duty to free the undead from their bonds of servitude, as freedom apparently applies to them as well. We agree to his paltry arrangement. His corner speech seemed to effect some of the guests, I fear his message of chaos disguised as freedom might have registered with the patrons. They, along with Major Colson, must be monitored. To talk of freedom for all defies the divine law of our Glorious Emperor Supreme, and to defy the Emperor Supreme is heresy.

Finally, a rather direct merchant prince by the name of Aaqir ’al Hakim who asked us to retrieve legal documents of trade from within the dungeon. I accepted the deal personally. Legal writs are what allows our glorious society to thrive, for without it, the free market would fall to ruin. Such is heresy.

Our evening passed uneventfully, and in the morrow we set out and reached the ruins of Asad’s keep. Before even entering the dungeon before us, we were beset by a most tragic foe in the form of a recently turned ghoul. Her name was Maurit Zergo, and she was formerly a Pathfinder such as ourselves.

Maurit had knowledge of the dungeon within, and we used that to have her create us a rudimentary map of the keep. Unfortunately her use to us was at an end at that point. That radical Colson did have a point, she must be freed from undeath. Not for any silly ideological reason such as freedom, but for the fact that she can not return and pollute our great society of Absalom. The empire shall never falter as long as I live and breathe, so I struck at her with impunity.

Sensing her imminent destruction, the ghoul abomination ducked under my strike. Fortunately the magos ever the perceptive one, launched a bolt of light that seemed to dissolve the very essence of the creature. My orcish bloodlust got the best of me as I tried to charge past the ghoul recklessly to get into a flank position, and I regret to say it paralyzed me with its necrotic claws.

Helpless in body, but never in spirit, I watched on as my team battled with the fallen adventurer. Logen deftly weaving in and out, attempting to land a strike to dissect the foul thing. Kritt continued to volley disruptive burst from outside the fray, but it was the monk Irm who finally destroyed the creature. Shrugging off the paralysis that afflicted me, a feat worthy of praise in itself, he dislodged the jaw of the creature with a brutal one-two punch combination, killing it before it even hit the ground. With that, and my paralysis cured, we entered the keep.

We first encountered a stone statue of what appeared to be a bearded man blowing air into the wind. A strangely written word, most likely in a savage dialect long forgotten save for our most intellectual of chroniclers, lay above it. Unable to do anything further, we pressed north.

The room was littered with webs and corpses. I did not take a devoted monster hunter such as myself to know what lurked beyond. A creature with numerous eyes and legs, and no soul. Logen noticed my apprehension, and proceeded to joke about it. Calling me a coward! I am a duly appointed Inquisitor of the Emperor Supreme! Surely if I hesitate, it is for good reason.

His mockery would not last as the creature eventually emerged and bit him with its deadly fangs. I can only assume whatever drug of the day that he was smoking out of his beloved dirty pipe made him resistant to the spider’s toxins. The same could not be said of the magos, as the poison seemed to wither his body slightly. Eventually Irm once again stepped up and demolished the creature with a furious martial flurry.

We then began to head south after the battle. Eventually coming upon a room with a foul sentient ichor. I recalled a dark night staying up late, reading an old text written by Dalin Oakenshield, a Druid of legend. He talked of his journey into a dungeon not unlike this one. He talked of how these oozes were susceptible to fire and whatnot. Then I noticed the ichor was trying to kill my friends so I decided to the Nine Hells with the Druid and his fire and destroyed the thing with my axe.

What happened next, I can only hope you will believe. The magos, in what I can only assume was a feeling of knowledge envy of some kind, cast an arcane magic of some kind to allow him to read the strange language written above the next statue we encountered. With a word, the statue itself came to life! While the power of our Emperor Supreme is unparalleled, the primal energies of this world still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Those tricks need to be monitored.

Our new earthen servant listened to the magos’s command of “kill”, and rushed into the next room without hesitation, and we behind it. Within the next room the golem inquires whether it should kill all 5 creatures, to which the magos acknowledges.

Within the room we only find four kobolds, a statue styled into the form of a bi-pedal lizard, and a well. We make short work of three of them, with the final kobold offering a desperate plea to his false fire god. From within the well, a soft voice whispers in the same elemental tone, and the room engulfed into flames.

Which, ironically, killed only the kobold itself. We began to make our way out when Irm was assailed by a throwing dagger seemingly out of nowhere. Kritt, with an act of quick thinking, commands the elemental to bash our unseen attacker, which he does.

The false god turned out to be (after several hours in the Absalom library) a skulk who fancied himself a magician. We made short work of the hedge wizard, and began to interrogate him. Unfortunately he had another trick up his sleeve.

What happened next required eight hours of solid prayers for forgiveness from the Emperor Supreme. My senses were overwhelmed by chaotic arcane magics, and I lost consciousness. When I came to I found the magos had survived the blast, using his own foul trickery no doubt. In this circumstance though, I cannot hide the fact that it was the very same magic that kept us alive. The magos’s elemental companion had bludgeoned the skulk when it attempted to flee, stealing it’s pack it was carrying as it was doing so.

Within the pack we found the ceremonial jade katana that Amara was seeking. We then heard a small voice asking if it was okay to come out. The voice belonged to another small kobold by the name of Recently Displaced Chief Tarka.

I am pleased to note that civilization continues to attempt to grow even in as savage place as a dungeon. We conversed, with the magos translating, with this elected official. The magos explained to the kobold that since the false fire god was slain, he was subsequently reinstated to his former title. He then showered the elf with praise and with gifts of his people, and warned of the danger et to come, the “Well of Killing Yourself”.

This cursed well apparently compelled you to do exactly what it’s namesake stated. This Recently Reinstated Chief Tarka seemed like a knowledgable sort, and advised us to stay away. Logen, in his usual insultingly defiant way, made his way into the well room with Irm.

True to its title, this…suicide well compelled our dirty thief to do just that. Logen then proceeded to swan dive into the well without hestation. To this day, I can only assume our Emperor Supreme looked down on this stupid man and protected him with civilized grace. Our rogue had survived the Well of Killing Yourself.

The final room kept within it a hideous magical beast that instantaneously blinded me with savage fire. Sounds of battle came from everywhere, and eventually I could hear the death rattle of the beast. The creature had within its lair the trade agreements ’al Hakim had asked us to procure.

Our quest completed, we carried on home. Our first stop was to our venture captain, who was very grateful to us for returning her family’s katana. We then visited the deluded major, who thanked us in the cause of freedom. I lost my temper slightly on him, Emperor Supreme forgive me. With a final stop to the gracious trade prince ’al Hakim, our journey had come to an end.

I can only hope this treatise will be added to the Taldorian library, dungeoneering section, between “Alashion’s Maze” and “Azrael’s Gauntlet”, if I am not mistaken. May the Emperor Supreme guide our great nation onward.

Your humble servant,
Brother Gravos Millichek

In Service to Lore
Episode One

Mission One – In Service to Lore
Grand Lodge, Absalom

Logen’s Log – Chapter 1

By Caylien’s Chalice, I never dreamed a day of running petty errands could earn a man so much coin! This Pathfinder Society certainly knows how to treat a man right. Here I lay in the humble rooftop hammock I call home, writing this journal on the backs of the pages of some old book I found. Don’t remember where exactly, but it’s got some nice pictures in it, so I chose this one for my journal. Got me some fancy new clothes to look the proper gentleman, and I found an upscale whore to warm my bed at the Prancing Pony last night – no stretch marks! It’s been too long since I’ve had a heavy purse I tell you. Anyways now I’m just boasting, so I’ll get down to brass tacks. It was an interesting first day on the job…

I strode into Ambrus’ office a bit late, finding that my new compatriots had preceded me. Taking a cursory glance let me know we made for quite the ragtag bunch. Gravos was the first to catch my eye. Beast of a half-orc that one, but the glint of a holy symbol let me know he wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill halfwit with an axe. I’d be making friends with that one, you always need someone bigger than you watching your back. Irm was a curious fellow, quiet and composed, but I got the feeling a fight between us would be over after one punch. Arlin looked right out of the city guard, though better looking than most, with a blonde mane like a lion and scale mail gleaming like silver in the sunlight streaming through Ambrus’ windows. Note to self: inquire as to his barber. Last but not least was Kritt, so pale he looked like he hadn’t seen a second of sunlight in ten years. But I’m not one to underestimate the elves, especially one with an aura of the arcane about him, and a wicked blade that let’s you know upon looking that it hasn’t been wont for blood…

We gathered round Ambrus’ desk as he gave us our first orders. Four tasks of no particular order – and if we finished em all in a day we’d prove our worth. Well being sensible folk not like to overcomplicate things we decided to take the list in order one by one, all methodical like.

First was a trip dockside to meet old Guaril down at his shop. I knew a bit from several dealings we’d had in the past. Let’s just say Guaril wasn’t skittish about buying whenever I’d found some goods that had fallen off the back of a cart. He was in the market for a shipment of rare books that had inconveniently been held up in a friend’s warehouse, after said friend had a bit of a misunderstand with the city guard. We let him know it would be no trouble at’all for us to go fetch them for him, and he thanked us and bid us on our way.

Now, the warehouse was a sight for sore eyes when we got there, but I’ve seen a woman look worse. After a bit of trouble with the lock (don’t you hate those?) we were able to casually force our way in. The place was darker than an Osirian whore’s rug, but Arlin revealed his shield was glow-in-the-dark, so we were a bit better than blind. Before I could suggest a friendly rave, we caught sight of the crate Guaril had described – marked with three crows spreading their wings in a triangle. As Gravos approached, we were ambushed by a pack of ROUSes (rodents of unusual size), and commenced to show the beasts some manners. With the stench of mutated rat guts filling the air, someone got the clever idea of hoisting Arlin on one one the crane pulleys over to where the crate sat teetering over some broken floorboards. The stout lad had our prize to safety in no time, and after gently prying it open we found the items we were looking for, along with some very fine… craftsman’s tools… which I quietly tucked under my coat. Returning to Guaril’s shop he seemed quite pleased with us. Here’s hoping he returns the favor in our future business dealings…

Next on the list was an errand for Lady Ollysta and the Temple of the Shining Star. Quite a fine lass that one, and would be a damn fun ride if she weren’t so serious all the time. Of course I acted the perfect gentleman around a lady of her… stature. She needed some medical supplies delivered to an orphanage in Eastgate, run by a kindly old bag by the name of Auntie Baldwin. But we were warned to be wary – and make certain the aid would be put to good use.

The Orphanage was holed up in a manor on the nicer side of town, with healthy, well-mannered children bustling about the courtyard playing marbles and such. I don’t like children much though, so I kindly avoided them, and we made our way inside. The old hag was amicable, but a bit suspicious. After some snooping around I found that something was amiss. While Gravos was distracting the old bag with some kindly talk and prying questions, I made my way to the kitchen, only to find it strewn with whiskey bottles and unused medical supplies from three different charities. We finally got the truth out of her while Arlin was losing his marbles (quite literally) – she was a drunk who used the supplies to finance a steady supply of whiskey while healing the sick children with her limited healing abilities. As Gravos led her off to the authorities, I figured I’d aid her in kicking the habit by relieving her house of it’s remaining whiskey….

Ollysta thanked us kindly for our services, but with a heavy heart. The lass must know by now that Absalom is a shit-stinking hollow full of swindler’s and thieves, but this latest reminder didn’t make it any easier to swallow.

Our third task involved a trip to the manor of an Osirian nobleman, Dremdhet Salhar. He was not at home when we arrived, so we were instead greeted by his advisor, one Amenopheus, introducing himself as the Sapphire Sage. Now I have warm place in my heart for a lad with some showmanship, but this smug bastard had a twinkle in his eye that let me know he didn’t hold our motley bunch in highest regard. Our task had seemed simple enough, seal a verbal contract by way of our official meeting and retrieve a charter and maps that granted the society leave to explore the Salhar family crypts, err I mean vaults. The only catch was we had to retrieve the maps ourselves from the nobleman’s personal vault in the manor. Now, it’s not everyday that one such as myself gets a personal invitation to stroll through a nobleman’s vault, so we gingerly made our way inside.

Laid before us were three chests, a jar of liquid, and a picnic basket. Quite the odd assortent of nobleman’s treasures if you ask me. So let me be brief about our business in the vault. It wasn’t nearly as satisfying as I had predicted, involved illusions and traps and a snake, and no real valuables to speak of. We were able to get out with the maps and our pride intact, but let me just say that it was positively the worst experience I’ve had in a vault in all my years.

Finally, we were bid to pay a visit to the Chelish Paracountess Zarta Dralneen. I’ve never had a fondness for the Chelish, although they pay good coin if you’re willing to get your hands dirty. I’d never met the Paracountess personally, and our first meeting left me with the distinct impression that a night in her bed would leave with far more than scratch marks on your back. Her request was simple – retrieve a box and bring it back to Ambrus. The only issue was the box was in her chambers where a recently summoned demon was wreaking all sorts of havoc. With a shrug of my shoulders I picked up the silver dagger she offered and we shuffled toward the door…

…and the fight was over. I’d barely nudged the door ajar when Kritt slipped in like a fox and called down a blinding flash of lightning at the beast leaving the poor thing utterly incapacitated on the floor. I gave the boy an impressed smirk as Arlin walked easily over to pick the box up from where it lay on the floor. Zarta seemed impressed as well, and I couldn’t help but notice that she bowed lower than usual on our leaving, her low-cut dress revealing…

Anyway, we made our way back to Ambrus’ office quite satisfied in our efforts, and I must say he was in a state of awe at how easily and quickly we had accomplished our goals. He knew it was about time to give us a real mission for the society after proving ourselves so well. He handed us each a purse heavier than I would have ever imagined, and our band bid each other adieu to regroup in a span of days – when we were to meet with Amara Li of the Lantern Lodge for our next assignment. Needless to say, I was looking forward to taking some orders from her….

So here I am, penniless again. Yes of course I was able to spend a purse heavier than I’ve had in years all in the course of 24 bells. Who do you think I am? A nice new blade, a bath, a trim, a full belly and a night with Tamara later, and I feel fresh as a summer breeze. Things are looking up as a new recruit of the Pathfinder society. Tomorrow I think I’ll manage a trip over to the Ascendant Court to redistribute some wealth… Yes that sounds like a lovely idea.

Sweet Dreams, Logen


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