Setting and set-up.   Posted by Gorum.Group: 0
Gorum
 GM, 6 posts
 Our Lord in Iron
Thu 14 Apr 2022
at 22:01
Setting and set-up.
Caliphas, capital of the Immortal Principality of Ustalav, is a place of great promise and danger.  Wealth flows in and out of the capital in great amounts, carried by the winds of trade, and the taxes of empire, yet the corrupt ruling class has little interest in using that wealth to keep it's people safe.  In the back alleys and dark buildings of the teeming metropolis, criminals and darker things prey on the unwary, while just beyond the city limits lies a countryside riddled with undead monstrosities, savage raiders from the nearby Hold of Belkzen, and the bestial threat of more "natural" predators lying in wait.

An adventurer skilled in sword or sorcery can do a lot of good in a place like this, and make a lot of coin doing it.  If they pick their jobs right, they can even avoid the most miserable parts of the adventuring life like long trips through the wilderness, politics, and emotional growth.

At least, that was your reasoning, when you set out for Caliphas to make your name and/or fortune.  Then, you all meet in a bar...

This message was lightly edited by the GM at 22:26, Fri 03 June.

Gorum
 GM, 9 posts
 Our Lord in Iron
Thu 21 Apr 2022
at 21:16
The first job
A haggard-looking woodsman from the Hungry Mountains recently started putting up flyers and asking around the seedier parts of town looking for skilled fighters.  Something or someone has been picking off members of his small trapping community in the woods.  And it wasn't the work of wild animals: The remains of one local were found, and the bones weren't merely chewed, they had been cooked first.  The village had taken up a collection to pay anyone who could rid their land of these savage marauders.

MAP NOTES:

Trap runes on D13, E12, F13, G12.  Touching the ground in affected squares triggers a blast doing 1d8+4  fire damage, with a DC 16 reflex save for half.

It is currently late afternoon and sunny.  Lighting is "bright" outside, and "normal" within the cave.  The cave roof is 30' high once past the entrance tunnel.

The fire at JK 18-19 is lit, but not particularly intense.  Anyone entering the fire will take 1d6 fire damage and must make a DC 15 reflex save or catch on fire, taking another 1d6 damage and requiring another save next round.  The fire pit counts as difficult terrain.

The large rocks on the map are about 3 ft high, and flat enough to stand on without penalty.  Climbing on/over them costs 10ft of movement with a DC10 acrobatics check, or a full move action (that provokes attacks of opportunity) without a check.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:32, Fri 06 May.

Gorum
 GM, 38 posts
 Our Lord in Iron
Wed 11 May 2022
at 02:34
The Second Job
The priests in charge of a remote shrine to Erastil known as Estig's Point had always tried to stay on the good side of the local forest-dwellers.  This is why it came as a surprise when they found themselves invaded one morning by a trio of strange creatures:  a horned man with goatlike legs, a flying lion with a human face and a tail covered in rattling spines, and a massive spider that seemed to move in and out of reality at a whim (which also had a human face).  Through a combination of mind control and physical threats, this strange trio forced the priests to pack up and leave with whatever they could carry, before tearing down every structure in the location.  As the priests stumbled away from their ruined holy place, the "forest guardians" warned them that they wouldn't see such mercy a second time: anyone who dared return to Estig's Point would be killed.

A year later, the church of Erastil has decided to rebuild their shrine, but first they need someone to deal with these belligerent locals.  Now, it's nearly impossible to track down a satyr, a manticore, or a phase spider in their own territory, but the party doesn't need to.  All they have to do is come back to Estig's Point, light a campfire to draw attention to themselves and wait for the Satyr and his companions to show up and make good on their promise.

Easy money: the party knows what they're fighting, and they know where to find them.  What could possibly go wrong?

OOC: Your intel may not necessarily be 100% accurate after a year of in-game time.

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:36, Fri 13 May.

Gorum
 GM, 75 posts
 Our Lord in Iron
Sun 29 May 2022
at 04:17
The Third Job
"What I'm asking you to do is technically illegal."

The party was speaking to the same priest of Pharasma that had cured Koyrai's blindness and later treated results of his poisoning.  But while those meetings had taken place in the grand temple in the middle of the city, this one was happening in secret, in a run down bar by the docks.

"Okay, forget about the "technically" part, it's just illegal.  But if you can find the evidence I need, nobody's going to ask too many questions about where it came from.  Have any of you heard of the Olinescu family?  They're minor nobility with some land to the east of here, and plenty of nasty rumors about them.  Stories about them killing their serfs on a whim, of worshiping evil gods, cannibalism.  That sort of thing.  Now, the church can't formally investigate a lord based on nothing but rumours, but I just happened to be in the area recently and...well, I figured I'd take a peek at the old family crypt and make sure all the dead were still laying down like the Lady of Graves wants them to."

"They weren't.  I barely got the door open a crack before I could tell things were horribly wrong.  The air reeked of carrion, much worse than any normal crypt, and there was an unnatural chill coming from behind that door.  I didn't even risk looking inside:  I closed that door as quietly as I could, then chained it shut and blocked it off with whatever debris was at hand."

"As a priest of Pharasma, I know there are undead down there, but...well, a bad smell and some goosebumps don't exactly make compelling evidence for a layperson, especially since I was trespassing.  The mausoleum is on a remote part of their land, and the lord of the manner is out of the country right now.  If you can go there quietly and bring back hard evidence that the Olinescu family has been consorting with dark powers, nobody's going to care about a little trespassing charge."

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:27, Fri 03 June.

Gorum
 GM, 112 posts
 Our Lord in Iron
Fri 17 Jun 2022
at 02:28
The Fourth Job
In the name of Prince Aduard Ordranti III,

You are hereby ordered to appear before the High Inquisitor of Pharasma and testify in regards to the accusations of Demon-Worship, Necromancy, Murder, Conspiracy, and Treason directed towards the Olinescu family.  You are to meet representatives of the inquisition at the crossroads where the King's Road meets Vauntil's Way on the fourth day of Lamashtan. You will be lead to a secret location to give your testimony.

Due to the sensitive nature of the charges, this is to be a secret tribunal.  Destroy this letter after reading it, and tell no-one of your destination.  Come armed, as further services may be required of your party following the meeting.

Failure to respond to this subpeona in a timely manner will be construed as treason.


The letter had been delivered to the party headquarters by a courier, and lacked any identifying marks aside from a seal that signified it as official communication on behalf of the church of Pharasma.  The crossroads the party has been ordered to meet the inquisitors at is a full day's ride from the city, or several days on foot.  The king's road is lightly travelled and often beset with bandits, though it is far from the most hazardous route in Ustalav.

OOC: Prep spells will be limited to effects of 1 hour or more.