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.

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