Session the Third
June 3, 2017, was the first active session with all four players in attendance, which was great. It was a good session, with everyone getting involved in role playing and combat.
Upon leaving the Pathfinder HQ, our four adventurers discuss where to start looking first.
The Arvensoar - the headquarters and barracks of the City Watch – is closest to their current location, but [[:tapuaki] is hesitant about approaching them (the Shoanti are not always well received by the other people of Varisia and he's extra unusual due to being both a Halfling and being trailed by Mate Ora). Rehn also isn't especially interested in visiting them either – he kind of likes to blow things up and that hasn't made him many friends among the City Watch.
Darvo suggests going down to the docks and seeing what can be found out there about [[:natalya | Natalya]] and the Nidalese Slavers. He's familiar with the area, knows a lot of the people and figures it should be relatively easy to gather some information over a few rounds of drinks or tavern games.
Zaz wants to go straight to Washer's Row because he thinks there will be a better chance of getting information about Natalya from a known associate of hers. But it's on the opposite side of the city from where they are now.
After some debate, they agree to try the headquarters of the City Watch first, then Washer's Row, followed by the dockside taverns if they don't learn much from the first two options.
A Visit to the Arvensoar
The party heads for the Arvensoar and Darvo suggests he should do the talking as he really can be quite persuasive when he puts his mind to it. Tapuaki decides to remain outside. Rehn and Zaz walk in with Darvo, but hang back to let him approach the front desk first. Darvo does his thing but, when he is informed they'll have to wait until Captain Kasadei is free to speak to them and are told that they don't know how long it will take – could be 15 minutes, might be several hours until she has time to talk to them – Rehn pushes to the front and starts making a fuss, demanding to see her right now. The officer they were speaking with, who is actually quite busy himself and is now annoyed and eventually tells them to just get out. As Darvo and Rehn start walking out, Zaz tries to step forward and ask a question but just gets stared down as the officer points towards the door.
A Visit to Washer's Row
Unsuccessful with the City Watch, the party troops off to Washer's Row, in search of "The Amazing Zograthy".
The Amazing Zograthy
Washer's Row is a tangle of open-air washhouses, launderers, and Varisian wagons and tents, the bulk of which offer laundry and tailoring services though there are several supporting various other trades. At the southern end of the row, there is squalid little carnival area set up – "Professor Callivario's Stupendous Exhibition of the Outrageous and Sublime" – which is little more than a series of rundown sideshow booths, carts with assorted games and amusements. Urchins abound and a group of men are betting on a cat fight to one side. This is where The Amazing Zograthy should be found.
Tapuaki, who is riding Mate Ora, asks an initially bored-looking old barker if he knows where they can find Zograthy. He gets a strange look but is pointed in the direction of a dark, well-patched tent with strange symbols painted on it and with chicken bones and other oddments decorating it. The party starts to head in that direction but then Zaz exclaims that he wants to try one of the games, stopping in front of a shifty looking guy behind a table with three walnut shells on top of it. Darvo (who is wise to the ways of carnies and con artists) tries to convince Zaz to keep moving but, when that fails, decides to stay with Zaz, sparing only brief glances at Tapuaki and Rehn to see where they go.
Tapuaki, Mate Ora, and Rehn walk into a stuffy, cluttered tent with a table covered in blue velvet stitched with moons, stars, and arcane symbols in the middle of it. On the table sits a dusty crystal ball and a dog-eared Harrow deck and behind it sits an aged, bald, Varisian man with threadbare purple robes and piercing eyes – the one and only Amazing Zograthy!
Zograthy greets the strange group with nary an eyebrow raised, launching immediately into what is obviously his standard spiel to perform a fortune telling. Tapuaki waves that offer aside and gets right to the point – they are looking for information about a missing Sczarni gang member and were advised he might be able to help. Zograthy sits back, saying "Ah! Secrets. Probably my greatest trade!" and flatly demands 50 gp for what information he can provide.
Meanwhile, Zaz bets a few times on the pea and shell game, starting with coppers and then a silver, which he wins with, but then moves up to gold, which he (of course) loses. Darvo had warned him this would probably happen, but Zaz doesn't seem to care, simply enjoying the entertainment of trying to outwit the carnie's sleight-of-hand.
Back at Zograthy's tent, Tapuaki attempts to haggle, eventually getting the Sczarni fortune-teller to agree to answer questions for just 15 gp, but Rehn feels that is still too much and says so. Zograthy becomes belligerant at this, arguing that it's more than reasonable and threatening to withdraw the offer completely. Tapuaki, annoyed, grumbles and prepares to leave, directing Mate Ora to turn around just as Rehn steps forward and says something injudicious about how "flammable" the stuff inside Zograthy's tent looks. To which Zograthy sits up, says, "Now that was not a wise thing to suggest." and then calls out loudly, "Hey, rube!" and smirks.
Realizing that they're probably about to be accosted and thrown out of the side show, while Mate Ora finishes turning Tapuaki casts enlarge on his trusty steed/companion. Rehn also whips around to see what's coming and they both see at least half dozen, angry looking, Varisians of both genders, well armed and armoured, heading their way. An altercation that could best be described as a bar fight (but without the bar) ensues as a total of 12 Sczarni Thugs converge on our human alchemist, halfling summoner and his enlarged psychopomp eidolin. Meanwhile, Zograthy slips out through an opening in the back of the tent and disappears.
A Few Sczarni Thugs
At the sound of fighting, both Darvo and Zaz look down the alley to where, a good 120 feet away, they see their companions and the Varisian thugs starting to clash. Exasperated, Darvo starts to run, yelling out "Stop! We don't want any trouble! Really!" but is blocked from advancing as far as he could when he attempts to run past a pair of carnies who are otherwise just watching. By this time, Tapuaki has been pulled off of Mate Oras back and it looks like Rehn is about to go down, but Mate Ora has actually caused some damage to at least one of the attacking carnie/bouncers. Having run up behind Darvo, Zaz loudly calls out, "One gold to anyone who drops their weapon right now!" Roughly half the attackers (including a few who hadn't even made it into the melee yet), do just that. Rehn raises his hands in surrender and Tapuaki commands Mate Ora to stop attacking.
The fight over, Tapuaki gets back up on Mate Ora's back, and, grumbling about just wanting to get some information and this was completely ridiculous, he heads towards the exit gate with Rehn, looking a bit sheepish at having just tried to punch out someone twice his strength, following him. They quickly pass Zaz who has a line up in front of him of seven (7) Varisians claiming to have dropped their weapons when requested. Although Darvo quietly notes that at least one of them is cheating as he hadn't even drawn his weapon yet Zaz just shrugs and, continuing to give out gold coins, says that they should leave on a positive note and "one or two extra gold coins is worth that". They then leave as well, to find the others, with Mate Ora back to regular size, waiting just down the street from the gate.
A Visit to Dockside
Having been unsuccessful in gleaning any information about Natalya Vancaskerkin or her disappearance, Darvo finally leads the group down to the Dockside neighbourhood, which he knows well having grown up on its streets and then working in the fishing trade for the past several years. They spend several hours visiting a number of the taverns and inns in the area, both reputable and not, spending a few coin to buy drinks and play some dice games while asking around about Natalya and the rumours about Nidalese Slavers that Sheila Hiedmarch mentioned.
They still don't learn much of anything about [[:natalya | Natalya]], but they do hear rumours of a pick up for one of these slave runs that very night, at an old, abandoned and boarded up shoreline tavern "not too far from here." It's late in the afternoon and the only lead they have, so the group decides to go check the place out.
What was once known as the Puffy Pelican (a faded painting of a fat pelican can still be seen on the front wall of the building) has seen much better times. The doors and windows all appear to be boarded up and the back has a half-collapsed wooden deck hanging out over the high-tide mark. A thorough investigation of the site fails to uncover anything particularly out of the ordinary – searches do not reveal any secret entrances or exits and while one of the back doors that was, at one time, boarded up, has had the boards removed and is propped open, the interior itself is empty and truly appears abandoned with no signs of recent use.
Since the meeting isn't until midnight, the adventurers agree to go their own way, to get dinner or do whatever they need or want, and then meet up again just down the road from the tavern around 11 PM.
XP Earned: 1400 total (350 each)
- Brawl with a dozen Varisian thug "bouncers"