Book 1: Crownfall, Act 2: Lost in History

As the political scene in Taldor explodes into chaos, heroes take on the mantle of agents, advocates, and saboteurs working for Princess Eutropia to help secure her claim to the Imperial throne and prevent the Empire from collapsing in on itself in civil war. Will they grow from relative nobodies to powerful politicians and spymasters in the deadliest political arena in the Inner Sea?

Run by the GM ManWithDoor
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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 2: Lost in History

Post by ManWithDoor » Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:27 pm

The rat points to the east, to a large set of doors. He also had high-up access to the adjoining room through a hole near the ceiling, but that isn't relevant to you at the moment. The next room reveals dust-covered couches against some of the walls of this rectangular chamber. Three doors exit the area, one to the east, another to the west (where you came from), and a last to the south (towards Dagio's secret access point). This area likely acted as a waiting room for those intended to attend the political activities in the adjacent Senate chamber.

Many of you notice that this room doesn't look quite as abandoned as the rest. Recent deformations in the couch upholstery, and scuffed dust on the floor, indicate recent use by at least two humanoid creatures. None are rat-like, they look like shoes or boots. It appears other visitors inhabit the final area to the east, between you and the stairs to the surface. Whether they are hostile or not cannot be read from the prints, but your luck so far has been poor regarding friendly faces down here.

Envoy Ring
Slot = Ring
Aura = Moderate Enchantment
Description: This golden ring appears perfect on the outside, but the inside shows centuries of wear. A family crest (House Picard, it's official!) adorns the front, depicting olive branches encircling two crowns, which seemingly indicates a house dedicated to ambassadorship and diplomacy.
Abilities: This rings grants a +2 Competence Bonus to Diplomacy, Linguistics, and Perform checks. Once per day, the wearer can speak a command word to transform her appearance and clothing, as per Disguise Self. The appearance of her clothing automatically matches the customs and the dominant culture around her, typically of the local nobility or ruling class. Her physical features don't match those of the local people, but features that would make her stand out diminish, such as elf ears in a settlement where no elves live. This lasts up to 24 hours, but can be dismissed at any time. The Caster Level for this effect is Level 1.
The signs are there that someone else is around, likely in the adjoining room, blocking the way to the exit.
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Othniel
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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 2: Lost in History

Post by Othniel » Thu Nov 12, 2020 4:36 am

Astraea once more takes the lead, blade in hand. "Come out, whoever you are. If you are peaceful, we mean you no harm and seek only to pass by unmolested."

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 2: Lost in History

Post by Zorbeltuss » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:06 pm

"One should think that if there are people here, they would have explored this place more, unless they are simply squatters content with a roof about their head" Mercutio muses.

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 2: Lost in History

Post by ManWithDoor » Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:21 am

Rapid shuffling can be heard from the other side of the closed door. After a second a couple scared voices can be heard conversing with each other, too faint to understand to work but loud enough to get the gist of the emotion behind it. They go silent for a few more seconds, then one pipes up loud enough to really hear. "Um, hello? Who are you?" Whispering can be heard again before the voice comes back. "If you're with those scary assassin guys, go away! We're just servants, we don't know anything."
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 2: Lost in History

Post by Othniel » Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:02 am

"We are no assassins," Astraea responds proudly. "I am Astraea of House Clement, priestess of Ragathiel. I and my companions are seeking an exit from these quarters. I promise no harm will come to you if you be peaceful."

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 2: Lost in History

Post by ManWithDoor » Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:53 pm

Louder whispering starts up again. One is asking the other who Ragathiel is, but the other has no idea. He speculates that it's probably one of the good-er gods, since this Astraea person is saying it in public. If it was Asmodeus or something she probably wouldn't be using that as a positive persuasion point. "Well, if you promise that would be alright. You're a priestess, so you can't change your mind afterwards! That'd be ... illegal?" The person doesn't sound too sure.

The door in front of you opens, revealing a room with two sets of lockers lining the norther and southern walls. A set of completely rusted swords stands on display in the opened southern lockers. It looks like this room was intended to host a security detachment for soldiers operating out of this area. Rust covers the weapons in the lockers, and the place was clearly abandoned long ago, the centuries of disuse clear. One more door leads forward to the north-east.

Two halfling servants are revealed when the doors opens, although they hurriedly scurry back to the opposite end of the room. They are dressed similarly to Imistos, although their clothing is ripped and stained. They look hungry, thirsty, and frightened.
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 2: Lost in History

Post by Othniel » Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:09 am

Sheathing her sword in gesture of peace, Astraea addresses the halflings. "Thank you. I shall not change my mind. Now, as I said, my companions and I are trying to find out way outside. What are you two doing down here, and what assassin do you speak of?"

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 2: Lost in History

Post by ManWithDoor » Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:25 am

The two halflings stop scurrying backward, encouraged by Astraea's peaceable approach. They take a step forward, talking over each other. Separating their voices as they overlap is rough, but the gist gets across. One tries at least to answer the warpriest's questions, going on about mysterious killers in Court, going on and on about seeing so many noble's killed. The other yaps on about how scary it was, getting hurt on the way out, and happening upon an old stairwell leading out of here. That one proves useful in pointing to the door out of this room, saying the stairwell is just a few feet beyond that. One more interim room and you're out of here!

The roughed-up servants start trying to tug Astraea onwards, thanking her over and over again for saving them, praising her strength, going on about how she will kill all the assassins herself. ... but something doesn't feel right to a couple of the party. While most are relieved that they're getting the hells out of here, Astraea and Bertram feel that ill-welcomed sensation that something is wrong. To Astraea it was just too easy, the servants going from terrified to servile in a couple seconds. Bertram feels that their fear was feigned. No shaking limbs, no truly pales faces, none of the usual signs of terror. Once the halflings are tugging on Astraea, they both noticed that the two have blood on them that doesn't fit their torn and soiled clothing - it must have come from somebody else. Looking even closer, there are unnatural bulges underneath their clothing, hidden weaponry of some kind!

Danger is again close, disguised to be harmless!

Astraea and Bertram ...
Sense Motive: Bertram and Astraea Pass!
- If successful, get a Perception Check: ... both Bertram and Astraea pass again!

Even past their clothing being ripped and stained, blood on it doesn't look like it came from them. And now Bertram/Astraea notice that the halflings have hidden weapons on them.

Since you two passed on both Checks, you get Initiative on doing whatever. Accusing, attacking, tackling, whatever. You've got the drop on everyone.

If it comes to Combat, the order will be Astraea/Bertram, the halflings, and then the rest of the Party.
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 2: Lost in History

Post by Othniel » Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:09 am

Not one for subterfuge, Astraea has no qualms about asking the halflings plainly about their appearance. She rests a hand upon the pommel of her sword, but does not draw steel. "Hold a moment. I notice that you two have blood on yourselves, and unless my eyes deceive me you appear to be uninjured. Those bulges upon your persons wouldn't happen to be weapons, would they?"

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 2: Lost in History

Post by Zorbeltuss » Sat Nov 28, 2020 5:20 pm

Mercutio wonders what this about killers is all about, although it could be true.

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