Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Madam Tindrey's Boarding House

     Located in the Westgate district of Absalom, Madam Tindrey's Boarding House is a popular home for students, laborers and tradesmen just starting their careers.  Built in the remains of an multi-story warehouse, no two rooms in the boarding house are the same.  A maze of doors and remodelled hallways ensures that only Madam Tindrey and her tenants can find their way around inside the boarding house.  For ten gold pieces per month, Madam Tindrey provides small, well-furnished rooms, cold breakfasts and hot dinners.  The large rooms on the top floor are less expensive, since large bay windows and a leaky roof makes them drafty and cold in the winter.  Tenants are expected to be relatively quiet, and students from the Arcanimirium are expected to practice their magic elsewhere --- there have been a variety of explosions, transmutations and curses in her rooms over the years, and Madam Tindrey is only tolerant to a point.

 The bottom floor of the building is rented out to a halfling baker named Fortius Bibbles, owner of Bibbles Breads and Pastry.  The bakery does a brisk business, selling fresh bread and sweets in the streets of Westgate, and providing special orders to the large estates of the Ivy district.  Tindrey takes a portion of her rent in bread, which she provided fresh to her tenants each morning with pats of fresh butter and herbs, when she can get them.
     Tindrey herself is a plump, middle-aged woman, generally cheerful but often busy and slightly flustered.  Her own room is situated just above the bakery's ovens, making it the warmest room in the building, and she often invites tenants to tea in her comfortable, cluttered sitting room, especially in winter.  For her long term tenants, the sight of Madam Tindrey bustling into their rooms with a tray of bread and piping hot tea is a pleasant reminder of what makes the Boarding House a home away from home.

Wulgruf Banginhorst

A thick apron and stout gloves are
Wulgruf's best friends.  After the
Cockatrices, that is.
Wulgruf is a dwarf from the old and proud Banginhorst clan, hailing from the Five Kings Mountains.  A tall, stout dwarf with a luxurious beard and smile lines like deep canyons, Wulgruf lives in an isolated grove outside of the Isgeri capital of Elidir.  He makes his home in a giant petrified tree, long ago fallen and turned to stone in a titanic battle between the Cockatrice God and an elder druid.  An alchemist by trade, Wulgruf has filled his hollow log with shelves and benches covered in arcane ingredients and technologies used in the distillation of various potions and elixirs.  .  His life-long ambition is a realization of the Kimiya-yi sa'ādat or the Alchemy of Happiness.  Now semi-retired from adventuring, Wulgruf spends his time chronicling his travels and inventions in a collection of giant tomes of home-made parchment, brewing heirloom ales or tinkering with his antique velocipede or safety cycle.
     Wulgruf was raised by a diamond miner, though his father was tragically consumed by a bulette while he was still a youth.  Wulgruf travelled the Five Kings Mountains,  gathering obscure ice mushrooms and various kinds of magical moss.  He composed his magnum opus on the uses of cold weather plants in alchemical potions, and is now widely considered one of the world's foremost experts on the subject.  He soon left the dwarven capital of Highhelm to travel the world, documenting rare ingredients.  Wulgruf is most famous for his piece "The 7 Distillates of Cockatrice Blood and Their Uses" which required years of work with the dangerous and ill-tempered beasts that are its subject.  With several fingers partially petrified, Wulgruf is far from unscathed from his research, but he has developed quite a knack for cockatrice handling and now keeps several as pets.
This is one of Wulgruf's pets.  His name is Chuck.

     When not at home, Wulgruf spends his time expanding his library by combing through the back alley book shops of Elidir and Almas, before stopping in to the dark taverns and public houses to pick up new secrets of the trade and new methods of transmutation. He has sponsored several expeditions to Numeria to recover arcane technologies and ingredients, and will often purchase relics recovered from the wrecked magical vehicles of that land.  Wulgruf smokes an elaborate narcotic of his own concoction, blending the soporific leaves of Kyonin with the fluids that leak from Numerian ruins.  He is also a connoisseur of dwarven ale, and keeps a large number of kegs in his hollow tree, for what he calls his "thinking times."
He lives in a hollow log, but it is a BIG hollow log.

An antique velocipede, rescued from the Bin Men.
It is the only way to travel when pursuing protoscience

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mila Dragosani

This girl is prettier than I.  With fewer scars.
 Mila Dragosani's account of her life, given in a tavern in the city of Highhelm in Druma.:

    I was born somewhere in Isger, I think.  We traveled a lot then, and my mother was never quite sure.  Born in the back of a wagon to a family of Varisian wanderers, and raised the same.  Mom read fortunes and told stories for coin, and my father was a carpenter of no small skill, and put up half the barns in the River Kingdoms.  When I was old enough, I did simple chores and borrowed unattended objects to sell in the next town.  When I came of age, my mother took me out of camp and showed me the first of the secrets of Sivanah, who has been the secret mother of the Dragosanis for centuries. While my parents were wearing the roads of Avistan thin with their wagons, they were also gathering the mysteries of the 7th Veil, guarding our Goddess's secrets and spreading tales of illusion and wonder as gifts to our lady.    And now I was in the family business.
     All that came to an end one night in Isger.  We were camped out side of Elidir, in a little farming village, when the horde came.  They lurched out of the night, driven by their infernal masters, and fell on us like beasts. The bodies of dead farmers, dead milkmaids, and dead soldiers tore into us with cold claws and broken teeth.  They pulled my parents apart, as they killed the entire town in an evening.  The Isgeri necromancers walked behind them, animating the corpses of the slain to swell the ranks of their undead army.  I survived locked in a box of books, concealed in the wagon until the zombie mob moved on, watching though a chink in the chest.  When it was over, I killed the things that had become my parents, and swore my revenge.
     Yeah, I know --- poor little Varisian girl seeks vengeance.  It's the kind of story that ends with a body in a back alley, dying of blood loss and frustration.  But that's not me.  My parents taught me well --- how to blend in, disappear in plain sight.  How to wait.  Sivanah is not the Goddess of Direct Assault, after all.  I can bide my time, be patient, be thorough.  There are evils in the world to be put down, not just my personal evils.  I fight on my own terms.  But my enemies should make no mistake --- their doom will come to them.  It will come from the shadows, wrapped in fine paper, or as a silver bolt in the night.  But I will come for them.
My dad had a thing for mustaches, and awesome shoes. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Session Notes, Retrograde

Goblins are bastards.
1st Session
Party: Norm, Vai, Hishomi, Tokteh, 

Hired by Godric Gorm in Absalom to retrieve a map from one Tonz Hardwagon.  Headed out of town toward Verna, 3 days travel in the hills of the Kortos Mounts.  Attacked by a band of goblins on the first night, and confiscated a parchment map of the area from one of the bodies.

2nd Session
Party: Norm, Vai, Hishomi, Tokteh, Godric Gorm

Continued on to Verna, spread rumors about Tonz to turn the town against him.  Found Tonz at a lumber camp outside of town, he ran but was was caught by Vai.  Under interrogation, Tonz drew a copy of the map from memory; the party took his stuff and sent him down the road.

3rd Session
Party: Norm, Vai, Hishomi, Tokteh, Godric Gorm

Cut through the forest to a place on the map marked "The Black Door."  Accidentally camped in an owlbear's nest.  Tokteh now wears his skull as a hat.  Found the Black door and got it off the hinges after a lot of lamp oil was lost.

4th Session
Party: Norm, Vai, Tokteh, Grorgnorb the Half-Orc Cleric, Godric Gorm

Explored the crypt behind the black door.  Killed a lot of undead guardians.

Why don't the dead guys ever just stay dead?
5th Session
Party: Norm, Vai, Hishomi, Tokteh, Trilliam, Cecil, Valerious, Godric Gorm

Met up with Trilliam, Cecil the Sorcerer and Valerious.  Killed a giant undead frog and some reanimated ogres, found both of the spider keys to open the crypt.  Some poor jewelry decisions were made. Camped outside the crypt.

6th Session

Party: Norm, Vai, Hishomi, Tokteh, Trilliam, Cecil, Valerious, Godric Gorm

Opened the crypt door.  Argued about what to do about the large black casket chained shut inside, while chains broke off one by one.  Emos the Silken Tyrant awoke from centuries of slumber to an angry gnome and a sorcerer trying to smash his head.  He was not best pleased.  The party ran, shutting the crypt behind them to the cackling laughter of the lich.  Good job releasing the ancient evil.

7th Session
Party: Norm, Vai, Hishomi, Tokteh, Grorgnorb

Fled to Abasalom, sold off a lot of loot and reported Emos to the Pathfinder Society.  Parted ways with Godric Gorm and boarded the Silent Tide, a merchant vessel bound for Almas.  After Norm bought a lot of rice, that is.  Several days into the voyage, two flying Hounds of Yeth attacked the ship.  Carved in the skull of one was a note from Emos, implying that he was not pleased with the party.  Arrived in Almas, the capital of Andoran, during the middle of a month long trade fair. Norm sold a lot of swords.  Vai found the local low-lifes, and ended up taking some unseamly work from Molki, a local pesh dealer.

8th Session
Party: Norm, Vai, Hishomi, Trilliam, Cecil, Valerious, Godric Gorm

Left Almas once Norm had sold all his rice.  Took work guarding the caravan of one Kurtif Grantz, a dwarven merchant hauling cargo north to Isger by way of Falcon's Hollow.  Two weeks in, the caravan was attacked by a large group of sellswords lead by a figure in a dark mask.  They foiled the robbery attempt, which was aimed at a case of old books.  After a short interrogation, the party killed the cleric of the Dark Tapestry who had been captured.  More specifically, Cecil the sorcerer stabbed him to stop the argument over how they were going to kill him.  They opened the case of books, discovering a variety of necromantic and occult tomes.  Once th case was opened, the party began to be pestered by an as yet unseen force.  It stole Vai's boots and returned them full of shit.  It chewed through the wagon spoke. You know, mischief.  The party pulled in to Falcon's Hollow at the end of the session.

Kurtif deals in books, exotic salt, and various small hand tools. This is not his wagon.

Session Notes #1

I am going to try to write out short synopses of each session, so that I can keep track of what has gone on.  Players are welcome to write their own in the form of character journals, which I will post here as well. For now, I will have to work backwards from last night.

The Darkmoon Vale, in north western Andoran.  It is full of fucking wolves.
Session 9
Sunday the 12th
Party: Norm, Vai, Cecil the Sorcerer, Trilliam, Valerious

After three weeks of travel, the caravan crossed the River Foam and pulled into the logging town of Falcon's Hollow. Kurtif hauled his wagons to the High Market to sell goods to the Lumber Consortium, and the party rented rooms in the Sitting Duck.  Cecil and Trilliam went hunting for drugs in the High Market and got thrown out after the purchase of some fine dwarven bacon.  The local alchemist asked the party to give her a hand treating a local disease, and they decided to set off into the Darkwood to hunt three rare ingredients she needed --- ironbloom mushrooms, elder moss, and rat tail root.  They set off in the morning, hoofing it north through the area timbered by the Consortium, reaching th real forest by late afternoon.  After being decidedly not welcomed into a lumber camp, the party set up camp in the forest and were set upon by wolves.  Lots of wolves.  After lupine population management, the night passed rather uneventfully, except that the camp trickster decided to use wolf entrails as garland for the local trees.  The next morning, the party ran into a pair of loggers who gave them directions to an semi-abandoned witch's hut.  In a dank, mushroom-covered bog they found the hut, guarded only by an ornery animated cauldron (which Norm and Vai proceeded to knock over and tie up.  It is now angry).  Inside the hut, they  found a variety of rotten herbs, including the rat tail root that the alchemist Laurel asked them two retrieve.  One ingredient down.
Yeah, we should definitely burn that down.

Session 10
Sunday the 19th
Party: Tokteh, Vai, Hishomi.  New additions: Grorgnorb the Half-Orc Cleric and his brother, the alchemist Hodg Q. 

Began in the abandoned hut of a swamp witch.  Looted odd ingredients, including the musk glands of various foxes, then burned down the house (which screamed).  The party set off through the Darkwood vale, searching for the oldest tree in the forest.  Found twin dead pixies staked to a tree, which they later buried in a stream.  After Tokteh decided to free a fox from a trap, the party was ambushed by a hobgoblin trapper and his hunting apes.  Hishomi beat them to death, and Hodg lit a lot of the forest on fire.  They spent the night in the hobgoblin's camp, then it was on to the oldest tree in the forest.  Vai used magical trickery to grab eldermoss from under the watchful eye of a giant serpent, then they headed on toward the ruined dwarven monastery of Droskar's Crucible.  They spent a wet and dreary night in the woods, during which Tokteh and Hodg both found themselves meddled with by the persistent camp pest. The monastery was a short walk from the evening's camp, and the party easily cleared the yard of threads (there were none) and dealt handily with a giant spider living in the watchtower.  It was as big as a pony.  Tokteh smashed it's head.  It was cool.

Creepy dark forest.  What could go wrong?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Y'cak Bloombright, Badger Handler

Y'cak Bloombright as a young girl.
 Y'cak Bloombright is a elven badger-handler who lives in the city of Absalom.  Y'cak was born in the Chelish colony of Sargava in 4602 AR.  Her parents were elven scholars and brightness-seekers who came to Sargava to work for the colonial government.  When the death of Aroden in 4606 shook Chelish power in Garund, Y'cak's parents sided with the natives in a failed revolt, and were killed by the devil dogs of Cheliax.  The infant Y'cak was smuggled to Absalom in a pickle barrel, where she was adopted by an aging human wizard with a fondness for pickles.  It is oft joked that her disposition was formed from her journey in the brine.
     Y'cak grew up in the market stalls of Absalom, selling her adopted father's mechanical birds, picking pockets and pretending to smoke pesh cigarettes.    She took a job waxing badger harnesses in order to woo a young man, and took to badger handling quickly.  Sadly, the young target of her affections was petrified after an unfortunate encounter with a cockatrice, but Y'cak stayed on at the badger handling shop, since she had been getting bored with him anyway.
Another satisfied customer
at the Fierce Stripe.
     Y'cak can generally be found in the yard of the Fierce Stripe, Absalom's premiere badger handling establishment.  There she trains badgers as guard animals and pets, and specializes in the crafting of fashionable badger saddle bags.  She is occasionally called on to remove a badger from a business or residence, since the harming of a badger is strictly against the law in Absalom.  She is a young elf with the grace of a well-strung puppet, with skin ruddy from the badger-yard.  Though tall boots and thick gloves work better for tricky badger extractions, Y'cak tends towards business attire, with a taste for scarves and shrugs from the markets of Katapesh and Jalmeray.  When she came of age, she got a magical animated tattoo of a badger, named Nina.  Usually on her shoulder, Nina sometimes wanders down her arms or on to her face.  She drinks fine Dwarven mead in small amounts, though after a bad day at the yard Y'cak has been known to over-indulge in Taldoran wines, which she thinks are fancy and has often found herself cleaning from her bed linens.  Though she has frequent suitors, she is holding out for a gnome, man or elven princeling who works outside of the animal handling and tack professions.    

Jesus, Galadriel, look at the size of that badger!  Run along and tell your mother to  call Y'cak!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tokteh Icehammer

Friendship Stick.
We're friends, right?
Tokteh relates what he knows of his birth:

Like all of the Icehammers, my father Toktin was strong, but devoted more to crafts than hunting. He made good use of wood, stone, and hide, but was a master with bone. He made strong hammers, sharp harpoons, and beautiful ornaments.

It was one of the ornaments which caught the Walrus-god's eye. He had made a cloak-pin for a cousin which was especially fine work, four walruses in a circle with a miniature narwhal tusk for the pin. His cousin believed there was magic in the pin, but it was not enough from keeping him from being lost on one hunt.

Some time later, Toktin also got lost, stranded on an ice-floe when his canoe failed. On his third day, delirious and succumbing to the cold he was amazed to find a beautiful, dark-skinned, blue-haired gnome beside him, wearing a walrus-hide cloak fastened with his own pin. She told him she thought his bone-walruses were as beautiful as the creatures themselves, and she kept him warm for three days. She vanished just before my cousins found my father.

A year and a summer later, my father felt drawn to the shore. There was a walrus cow with two babies-one, my twin sister, a 100-pound walrus calf. She was jealous and wouldn't let me nurse. This isn't surprising since walrus twins are rare and there might not be enough milk for us both. I was a two-pound gnome, and my father found me wrapped warmly in a walrus cloak with the same pin. My mother kissed my father and me and then swam away with my sister, leaving me in his care.

From Timothy


Friday, February 17, 2012

Godric's Journal: Behind the Black Door

Nothing is ever as simple as it seems.
     I got word from one of Master Torch's people that Tonz Hardwargon, the map thief, was hiding out in the logging town of Verna outside of Absalom.  In truth, I bought the information --- Torch knows everything, but the man always has a price.  Down on the docks I came across a rather lost looking gnome, a tribesman fresh off the boat from the northern wastes.  The boy seemed hardened enough, and had the scent of Gozreh on him, so I hired him to come with me to find this Tonz.  An angry looking halfling named Histomi and a local bounty hunter with a wagon rounded out my crew, and came cheap enough for the work I ended up putting them to.
     Two days out, we were ambushed by a rabble of goblins in the middle of the night.  Stinky little guys had no chance, and as I suspected the gnome and the halfling fought like demons.  One of the little guys had a parchment tucked in his pouch with a turf map, doubtless scratched out by a hobgoblin since goblins believe that writing steals words from one's brain.  I didn't give it much though, but it ended up being more important than any of us could have guessed.
     We reached Verna without much more trouble, and set about trying to find Hardwagon.  Histomi had some . .  well, unconventional ideas about how best to root out the thief, but it saved us a good bit of time when the town thought that Tonz was more than a common thief.  They practically handed him to us. He tried to run (don't they always), but we picked up a pretty quick elf on the road, and this Vai character managed to run him down.  We had some hard words with him, but he managed to cough up a copy of the map, claiming that he had lost the original.  We let him go, though my companions weren't too keen on the idea.
     Map in hand, I was prepared to head back to Absalom, but my curious companions had another idea.  We cut back through the forest to investigate a spot on the goblin's map marked as "the Black Door."  The first night in the forest, that little ice gnome Tokteh proved his worth by slipping out of camp, killing two goblin scouts, and getting back without any of us noticing.  After an unfortunate camp site choice, we were woken up by an angry owlbear that tore big chunks out of half of us before we put it down.  Poor creature --- it was hardly her fault that we had camped next to her nest.  I spoke to Gozreh, asking forgiveness from the creature's soul, and that it travel swiftly back to it's home.
The Silken Tyrant had a long nap.  
     Goblins are literal creatures.  We found the black door in a hillside, tucked up against a pleasant little stream.  It was old --- black oiled metal, just starting to rust, with a bird's nest of broken lock picks in the keyhole.  We took a rather direct approach and pried it off the hinges to gain entry.  The place was a barrow, tucked away quietly where no one was likely to find it --- that should have been our first clue.  The unquiet dead rose to stop us, but we put them down without mercy (or, as it turns out, as to their purpose).  Sealed in the barrow, behind carefully locked doors which we released, was something out of the nightmare of Golarion history.  We awoke a Lich, an undead being that had lain guarded and alone for centuries. Emos, the Silken Tyrant, rose from his stone prison and spoke to us before we turned and ran.  We shut the doors again, but I am afraid that we may have unleashed an ancient power upon Kortos.
     We reached Absalom and scattered, but not before I reported the rise of Emos to the Pathfinder Society.  I have the map now, and will soon be leaving Absalom to pursue the fate of Grandle, but I can't help but feel that our meddling will have consequences.  Don't delve into things you are not prepared for; that's what Mother always said.  Perhaps I should have listened.

Sunday Night Pathfinder

Maybe it'll be a little like this.  Plus, Norm will sell a lot of wheat.
     Now that we've managed to run five whole sessions, I am willing to say that my Sunday night gaming group has managed to start a Pathfinder campaign.  I am going to keep notes, stories and house rules here, as well as anything the players would like to write.  Bonus xp plus other goodies for character backgrounds, character journals, etc.  Updates entirely dependent on how badly I need to ignore my dissertation.

Dramatis Personae

Tokteh Icehammer is an ice gnome from the Land of the Linnorm Kings. From a tribe of feral gnome hunters who make a living on the freezing ice shelves of the Crown of the World, Tokteh traveled south to Absalom on a whaling ship to pursue his fortune.  He is rumored among his tribe to have been birthed by the Walrus God, and keeps to the ways of his tribe despite travels in the wider world.

Norm is a human gunslinger who learned his craft from a itinerant gunsmith from the Grand Duchy of Alkenstar.  He had a rough upbringing, and took to bounty hunting at an early age.  Now he travels the land with a small wagon and a bucket, looking for easy coin.  He has recently discovered a talent for candling eggs.

Hishomi is a halfing monk, a warrior of the Sheep to the Slaughter school who trained in the Monastery of the Seven Forms in Taldor.  Histomi took to the more physical aspects of his discipline, but can rarely calm his mind as well as his  instructors would like. He is deadly with his sling staff, and travels the world in search of a monster with jaws big enough to swallow him whole.

Vai grew up in the streets of Absalom, a elf from a distinguished family who fell in with the wrong crowd.  His boredom and money was enough to get him thoroughly addicted to pesh, which he smokes or chews daily.  Looking for something to break the monotony, Vai took work with  the Clockwork Syndicate as a low-level fence and operative, and has made quite a bit of coin as a rogue and tough in the city.

Trilliam Tal Nor is an itinerant elven wizard and arcane savant.  She studied the ways of the Red Evoker among elves in Kyonin and at the Arcanamirium in Absalom. Tired of life among scrolls and books, Trilliam took to the road with her trusted donkey to explore the Isle of Kortos.   Only a few days into her journey, she fell through a hole in a hillside, and into the company of a band of adventurers.  She has yet to look back.

Cecil the Sorcerer is a human blessed with th fire of the spheres.  Little is known of this mysterious traveler,  who can call the power of heaven to his blade.  He is often seen in the company of Valerious Half-Elven, a charming young woman of dubious repute.  The pair travel the world, searching for gold, good mead and a release from boredom.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Candle in the Dark, Part 1

The cobblestone street was slick with dew and piss, and Gretus nearly slipped as he entered the small curiousity shop off the market square.  Inside, the cheerful fire in the hearth clashed with the dark hangings and close-packed, poorly labeled vials and jars that crowded every surface of the shop.  But at least it was warm.  Gretus shook off the cold of the street, and hung his dank cloak on a peg by the door.  He slid the bolt on the door and nodded at the painfully thin woman behind the small counter before slipping through a set of heavy black curtains into the back room.
     The back room was dark, and thin sweet whisps of pesh smoke curled lazily in the air.  Behind a heavy wooden desk, the shop's owner sat wrapped in red wool blankets.  He scratched notes in a thick book, and barely looked up when Gretus entered.
     "Master, I have news."
The figure pushed away from the desk, and took a long draw on the ornate Qadiran hooka nestled at his side.  Thick smoke filled the air, and Gretus coughed softly into his hand.
     "The caravan continued on to Falcon's Hollow.  My scouts found Nestor's body at one of their campsites.  It looks like they tied him up and stabbed him."
     "Was he wounded?  Did they tickle him with their knives, Gretus?  I need to know."
     "No, just stabbed. Once.  It was clean."
     "Good.  So he didn't talk?"  The man stood up, stretching, and drew a thin barbed knife from his robes.     "It appears that your hired swords are more trustworthy than I thought."
     "Nestor didn't know enough to talk.  I saw to that, just like you paid me to do."
     "Good enough.  Go on."
     "They pulled in to Falcon's Hollow two days ago.  The dwarf is selling his wares in the High Market.  But Thuldrin's cronies aren't likely to be interested in a box of old books."  Gretus shifted on his feet, eyeing the knife.  "They'll move on before too long, and we can try again."
     "I spent a heavy bag of gold the first time, and you failed."
     "We didn't know he'd be so well protected.  It won't happen again."
     "Do you find it likely that Kurtif will dismiss his guards, now that he has been attacked?"
     "Well . . "
     "You think he'll be easier to get to, now that he knows what we are after?"
     "But you suggest I pay you and your men to attack him again."
     "Well, yes, but . ."
     "And how many did they kill last time, Gretus?"
     "A few.  But . . "
     "Remind me again what I pay you for, Gretus?"
     "Um.  Information, sir.  You pay me for information."
     "I pay your for results."  The man skewered a thick black bloodfruit from a bowl on the table, and regarded the red juice that oozed down the blade. "And I am not pleased with my results."
     "I'll do a better job next time, sir.  I swear it.  I got men all over.  We'll find a way to get to him."
     "We'll deal with that later.  What of his companions?"
     "You saw them, sir.  Adventurers.  Hired muscle.  Some fighters, an elf wizard.  One of them uses a gun."
     "Oh? And do they plan on travelling with the dwarf when he moves north?"
     "Not sure.  I'm working on it.  They disappeared into the Vale.  If we're lucky, they'll find themselves comfy spots in some wolf's belly, and we won't have to worry about them again."
     "And if we're not lucky?"
     "Well, we can get them in Elidir, if not before."
     "Tell me about this gunslinger."
     "Sounds like some kind of bounty hunter.  Fresh off the boat from Absalom.  I don't think he'll be a problem . .  maybe we can buy him off." Gretus looked down, and fumbled with his belt pouch.
     "What aren't you telling me, Gretus?"
     "Well, sir, remember that dream you told me about . . . dream, or vision, or whatever?"
     "I do."
     "Well, there's one more thing about this gunslinger.  See, he did some trading in town, and I managed to talk to some Kelesh boys he did business with.  And, well, . . ."
     "Tell me, Gretus.  I am not a patient man."
     "Well, sir, it's just that . . .this gunslinger, see . . ."
     "He's a candler."

From the Desk of Godric Gorm

     I had been in Absolom almost four months when I discovered the first clue to the fate of Grandle.  Everyone knew he had been working in the map archives in the Society’s vaults.  He had loaned a table in the great hall, which was covered in old tomes and scroll tubes.  In between guiding trips for the Society, I was going through them all, trying to find similarities, a theme or subject that ran through them.   The Society gave me a little room in the lodge, small and stuffy but comfortable enough, and in the evenings I wandered the city, taking in the sites.  The power of Gozreh is weak here, among all the old stone and humanity, but the Children of Spring keep a shrine in Evergreen park, and I was always welcome there to breathe some clean air and speak to the woodlands.  IT helped, but after four months, I was ready to move on.
    Grandle's notes pointed towards Andoran, to a vault beneath the Darkwood Vale that had been abandoned for centuries.  He was after some historic records that the Pathfinder library kept in the restricted section, and had tried several times to gain access from the Archivists.  Apparently he was given permission just before he disappeared, and his notebooks mention a map with archaic names that he had apparently copied from some surveyor's memoirs.  He made an appointment to discuss the map with Master Torch, an information dealer in town, but never made the meet.  Grandle's copy of the map showed up on the black market a few weeks later, where it was re-purchased by a Society wizard named Simon Mendelsohn.  I tracked down Mendelsohn, but by the time I found him, the map had been stolen by a former associate.  I feel like I am constantly three steps behind, and I am tired of waiting.
     Tomorrow morning I am going after the map.  I have what was left of Grandle's coin, which should be enough to hire a few swords, and the Society is interested in getting it's property back and has given me a small stipend.  I don't know where this map leads, or who else is interested in it, but it is my only clue as to what happened to my brother, and I will follow it until the trail runs cold or until I find Grandle.

--- Godric Gorm,  5th day of Erastus, 4710 AR