Henne, City of Locks

Down in the Storeroom
a new benefactor
Kallum, Collin, Thaedon, and Aldren stand over the crumpled figure of a woman. She looks smaller than she did inside the warped world of the goblin’s psyche. Her skin is pale, her frame slight, even fragile. “You were successful then,” comes a voice from the shadows. Three men step forward, two priests of Abadar in battle regalia, and Hadrian Tull, the high priest, clad in his flowing, ceremonial robes.

“Yes,” says Thaedon, a little uncertain, as the eyes of his comrades jump to him. “This is my employer,” he says finally.

“And I must apologize to your friends for my deceptions,” continues Tull, “Initially I hired Thaedon to keep an eye on you, Kallum.” He regards the half orc with a warm smile. “My stance on political issues is well know in Henne,” he says, casting a quick glance in Collin’s direction. “But I am not, as many think, a human supremacist,” he says, “and as you all know, Henne has bigger problems than race relations.”

“So, who’s the broad?” asks Collin, without skipping a beat. The two war priests exchange a look.

“That’s a big secret,” laughs Tull, “but I think we should be able to trust each other.” There’s a brief pause before he begins talking again. “Do you know,” he asks, at last, “about the Augur of Henne?” The heroes shrug. “It is a holy calling, to be the oracle of Abadar in Henne.”

“This witch is under the protection of the church?” erupts Kallum.

“Whatever you saw when you stepped through the mirror, it was not Kalapeth.” He steps towards the unconscious woman, kneels next to her and takes her hands in his. “She is utterly devoted,” he says, “but not beyond the power of Tesh.”

“The psionic emanations I sensed were powerful,” says Thaedon.

“We have suspected Tesh for some time,” sighs Tull, “but it was only after your raid on his compound that we had anything close to proof.” The high priest grins. “Reckless,” he says, “but wonderful work.”

To be continued…

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Perched Above the Defiled Church
what the cultists said
Rekki, Kallum, and Collin are crouched in a crawl space above entrance to a private chapel. Silently, they clamber to a bronze grating that looks down on the santuary. In pews below them, twenty robed figures sway. At the far end of the room, a painted dias supports a rusted altar and a throne. “Rise and feed, rise and feed, Reward the Faithful, rise and feed,” they chant. Presently the mantra fades and the cultists sit. A masked man wearing a silver crown rises from the throne and approaches the altar.

“The hour draws near,” says the priest, “when we will regain our inheritance.” It is clear to adventurers that this is not the Grand Mentalist of Henne. Collin, in fact, recognizes the man’s manurisms and cadence. They belong to a particular fruit vendor who has a cart near the city gates.

“Our high priests reach out with their minds,” he continues, “they scrape at the barriers of reality. Even now, their faithful servants work to translate the writings of our ancestors.” He raises his left hand, the copper ring on his index finger leveled at the altar. The assembled rise and do the same.

“One for the mind, one for body, one for the soul,” they chant. Intuitively, Rekki knows Mentalist De Loite must be “the mind.” Who, then, are body and the soul? The cultists file out in silence and the adventurers are able to make their escape undetected.
Days pass and Thaedon returns to Detty’s shop. The group share their findings with him. Thaedon has his own news. “I think I have a lead on ‘the soul,’” he says. He places a key on the table. “My master knows of a device excavated in the Between that allows those who use it to walk worlds beyond this one,” he says, “unlike De Loite, who is constantly surrounded by many guards, this device is not guarded.”
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Sessions 3 and 4

A new hero joins the group: Collin Raye, carpenter and combat prodigy, had been assigned to Detty’s shop for security and labor.

Exploring tunnels accessed through Detty’s locked hope chest, the party was introduced to The Between, a labyrinth of corridors and chambers burrowed into the Henne pillar. Collin learned the limits of human vision in the dark, and why two-handed weapons are inconvenient when you must carry a torch. After a refreshing morning workout of killing centipedes, Kallum, Rekki, and Collin discovered Safflower Rustmetal’s archaeological dig site. Safflower aided the party with a loan of maps, which Collin copied into his notes, but perplexingly did not need afterwards.

Moving on, the trio passed through the deserted Goblin Quarter and into a great chamber where the striking goblins were gathered. After assuring themselves that Bernadette was there of her own free will, and happily engaged in profitable pursuits, Kallum and Collin went to check out Gravel Spit. They found him hopelessly foundered in nostalgia, searching for an old barely-remembered song that he wanted the assemblage to sing.

Recognizing the odd behavior, Rekki joined a drum circle and the smoky incense and chanting brought her a vision confirming that Gravel Spit was being controlled by an outside agent.

Collin and Kallum successfully parlayed with the goblin chieftains, and with the bribe of an ancient jeweled dagger which Collin found in the tunnels, arranged for thousands of the goblins to leave the great chamber and return to the Goblin Quarter.

Working under the suspicion that Gravel Spit’s goblin chant will literally bring down the house, the party returned to the shop to begin their own search for the chant.

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Prior to Session 3

When we last left our team of do-gooders

Source Paizo Blog

Sebastian and Thaedon had rushed to Harper’s Market to tell Kallum and Rekki that the General Store had been ransacked and Detty was missing. Kallum insisted he stay to inspect the disused garderobe, but Rekki was able to convince him to return to the store.

While they were picking through the debris, Twendle Garridge came rushing over to the store. He had come to warn Detty that a mob of goblins had stormed the Engineer’s Guild only moments earlier, ranting about equality and chanting the following song (in the Henne pidgin instead of their usual Goblin).

how does they like it if we does dis
take dem away all dem gobbos?
they know suffin be amiss
if we take all dem gobbos
no gongfermors to shovel dere stuff
no gobbo hands lifting fings up
how does they like it if we does dat
take dem away all dem gobbos?

Many goblins were abducted from their places of work that day, with even more afraid to come to work the following day. The Trade Chief called for a state of emergency, begging the Council of Three to send agents into the Goblin Quarter to expel all goblins from the city for good. Sadly, many anti-goblin groups have found that the city doesn’t run very well without goblin labor.

A goblin run group known as “De Ruff an Reddy Riot Boys” claimed responsibility for the disappearances. The next day they sent a spokesman to the Council to negotiate terms. He was promptly arrested and put in the pillory. After a few days his story remained the same: “All we wants is for you to give us some bit respek and not always be making us da slaves. When you ready to treat with Gravel Spit, den we come back to work.”

There were attempts to treat with Gravel Spit and to seek out his “Riot Boys” as the various militia groups in the city worked hard to fill the gap in labor. A spokesman for the goblin group visited Detty’s shop. He assured everyone that Detty was doing very well. He even brought a message from her to the group:

< Don’t fret, my beloved employees, I am not being mistreated. At least, if you don’t count the smell of Goblin Town as mistreatment. Gravel has a good heart, he’s just not very good with politics. I fear the authorities will not think highly of his methods. Nonetheless, I feel it is about time goblins were treated a bit better in Henne. As for the shop, please keep it open. I don’t want to come back to empty books! And Rekki, don’t let Kallum come after me, tossing bombs this was and that. I truly am doing fine.>

Yes, the goblin did recite all of that. He also handed Rekki an over-sized key which she recognized as one Detty carried with her always, although she had never seen her use it in any locks in the shop.

Anyway, over the next week the goblin situation overshadowed the drama surrounding Trader Shandelle and her anti-goblin rally (which came to a sudden end when Kallum began lobbing explosives at a large swarm of centipedes). In fact, Shandelle was relieved that the disaster slipped by almost unnoticed. There were a few who took notice, though. There were raids on a few homes in the Commons and the Muck by church officials looking for potential witches. Arrests were made, but no magic users were found.


As a show of good will, Trader Shandelle began sending her own employees to work, free of charge, in the place of the missing goblins. So it was that Collin Raye came to Detty’s shop, with papers informing the group that he was to work for them until Detty returned. Collin helped clean up the mess and continues to help organize the stock, proving himself a useful addition to the team and allowing Thaedon to fill in for Detty. To save Sebastian from the dung piles, Thaedon opened a contract with The Tunnel Militia, making Sebastian the shop’s permanent rent-a-cop. Rekki and Kallum have been working hard to build up their stocks of elixirs and ingredients. Everyone has been working hard together to keep up with the demand for Detty’s recipes and Kallum’s newfangled concoctions.

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Hero's Journal 1000 ADr, Cycle 14, Day 7
Personal Scientific Journal, Experiment Log, and Chronicle of Kallum Darknessbane

It has become apparent to me that every good hero needs to work on his public relations campaign, because support from the populace is crucial to achieving his potential. To that end, my journal entry will be written in prose.

Woke up in the morning,
Brewed some fine extraction,
Then headed to the market,
listen to the racist faction.

Shandelle promising squab to all that come,
humans all get birds, the rest get none.

Bitch says nonhumans are dirty,
could be that’s true,
large patch of rock glimmers,
I know just what to do.

The wall be swarmin hot n heavy with centipedes,
It’s gotta be time for some heroic deeds.

As Rekki tries to pull stupid bitch away,
Giant centipede bursting through the wall,
Rocks go flying throughout the air,
Rock strikes the racist bint and she takes a fall.

With a snicker snack and some fire and acid,
we slaid the evil beast, made the market ’come placid.

As the dust settled we poked and prodded,
Rekki found a magic trail going down to the deep,
Then Spinner and Corporate Whore said our shop was trashed,
Bernadette is missing, it’s enough to make grown men weep.

Analysis
When in doubt, just whip it out (fire that is, beeyotch).
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Hero's Journal 1000 ADr, Cycle 14, Day 6
Personal Scientific Journal, Experiment Log, and Chronicle of Kallum Darknessbane

1000 ADr, Cycle 13, Day 6

The life of a hero is a long and hard one, though a true hero will always persevere. I have been lax in my duty to record my thoughts and deeds for future generations to learn from, and have barely been able to keep up proper documentation of my experiments.

Experiments progressing well indeed. I have recently had a breakthrough in the composition of my extracts. The base polyhedral holding the chemicious humors in place has always decayed swiftly, breaking down into useless toxicity within a few heartbeats of applying electric catalyst. However, by making a few simple alterations to the base compounds, resulting in the production of methionylglutaminylarginyltyrosylglutamylserylleucylphenylalanylalanylglutaminyll-eucyllysylglutamylarginyllysylglutamylglycylalanylphenylalanylvalylprolylphenylalanylvalylthreonylleucylglycylasp-
artylprolylglycylisoleucylglutamylglutaminylserylleucyllysylisoleucylaspartylthreonylleucylisol-eucylglutamylalanylglycylalanylaspartylalanylleucylglutamylleucylglycylisoleucylprolylphenyl-alanylserylaspartylprolylleucylalanylaspartylglycylprolylthreonylisoleucylglutaminylasparaginylal-anylthreonylleucylarginylalanylphenylalanylalanylalanylglycylvalylthreonylprolylalanylglutaminyl-cysteinylphenylalanylglutamylmethionylleucylalanylleucylisoleucylarginylglutaminyllysylhistidyl-prolylthreonylisoleucylprolylisoleucylglycylleucylleucylmethionyltyrosylalanylasparaginyll-eucylvalylphenylalanylasparaginyllysylglycylisoleucylaspartylglutamylphenylalanyltyrosylalanyl-glutaminylcysteinylglutamyllysylvalylglycylvalylaspartylserylvalylleucylvalylalanylaspartyl-valylprolylvalylglutaminylglutamylserylalanylprolylphenylalanylarginylglutaminylalanylalanyll-eucylarginylhistidylasparaginylvalylalanylprolylisoleucylphenylalanylisoleucylcysteinylprolyl-prolylaspartylalanylaspartylaspartylaspartylleucylleucylarginylglutaminylisoleucylalanylseryl-tyrosylglycylarginylglycyltyrosylthreonyltyrosylleucylleucylserylarginylalanylglycylvalylthreonyl-glycylalanylglutamylasparaginylarginylalanylalanylleucylprolylleucylasparaginylhistidyll-eucylvalylalanyllysylleucyllysylglutamyltyrosylasparaginylalanylalanylprolylprolylleucylglutaminyl-glycylphenylalanylglycylisoleucylserylalanylprolylaspartylglutaminylvalyllysylalanylalanylisoleucyl-aspartylalanylglycylalanylalanylglycylalanylisoleucylserylglycylserylalanylisoleucylvalyl-lysylisoleucylisoleucylglutamylglutaminylhistidylasparaginylisoleucylglutamylprolylglutamyl-lysylmethionylleucylalanylalanylleucyllysylvalylphenylalanylvalylglutaminylprolylmethionyl-lysylalanylalanylthreonylarginylserine
in the substrate, I am able to stabilize my concoctions for as long as 24 hours without the expense that indefinite shelf life incurs. Additionally, by setting the resistors in parallel with the isometric concordance held within my gloves, I have been able to make my capacitrons hold a charge far more effectively, allowing me to generate more extractions within a 24 hour period.

This cheaper stabilization process has allowed me to further protect the populace of our fair town from the monsters that threaten them. I realize now that while slaying the evil that hurts people is of vital importance, it isn’t enough. There are too many monsters lurking in the dark to slay them all before they can hurt the Innocent, so I must do what I can to mitigate the damage they do. To that end Rekki has been absolutely indispensable. The good people of our fair town are understandably reticent to talk with me, as they are overawed by the sheer force of destiny exuding from me. My partner has been using her winning manner and innocent face to convince them that it is not an insult to my legend to accept non-slaying aid from me, and indeed, that doing so only helps our grand mission. My extractions have been able to make a solid dent in mortality among the poor, healing their wounds and sickness with a single gulp.

In the wake of my miraculous (to those not properly acquainted with my destiny) healing of the Bell Lord Whatever-his-name-is, business has been booming for my charlatan overlord, and my shelf stable extractions are selling almost as well. At long last, the wealthy are looking up from their gold-plated blinders to see what a genius I am, and have been turning to me for all manner of cures for their ills, injuries, and…marital inadequacies. Rekki is able to keep her distaste for them well hidden, and so has been further aiding me by acting as a go-between for my genius and their gold. Naturally, the proceeds of these sales are going to be put towards properly equipping our heroic band. I can feel in the pit of my legend that evil is lurking just over the horizon, ready to strike. It is in for a surprise…we will be ready to strike as well, even better than the strike evil is going to make. Even our brave, although currently undertrained and ill-equipped sign spinner has shown interest in learning the ways of heroing and monster-slaying. I have been training him personally in the remains of my free time, and he is progressing better than expected. At this rate, I am sure he will be a shield against the metaphoric night.

Addendum: metaphors are awesome!

What little time remains to me has been occupied in crafting weapons and equipment for the inevitable strike that the night is preparing for us. We will be ready, even if I have to work nonstop to be sure we will be. Patrolling is less frequent now, but I have taken pains to try to cover nearly as much ground as I used to cover, so that there is no loss of effectiveness.

Analysis
A Hero’s work is never done, much as the sun can never stop shining, he must always beat back the darkness.
Further Addendum
Remember that metaphor for later.
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Hero's Journal 1000 ADr, Cycle 12, Day 2
Personal Scientific Journal, Experiment Log, and Chronicle of Kallum Darknessbane

Today my awful boss wanted us to solve her problems for her. Using the wonderfully scientific method of showing us pictures in a book she is too stupid to read, she sent us out for a weed. Despite her best efforts, my vast knowledge indicates that the Lilium coprophagus might actually be useful in healing sickness. Healing a “Mighty Lord” seems like it is beneath my great destiny, but I suppose we’ll give it a shot.

We delved deep underground to the Goblin quarters. After lifting their spirits with a cheery ballad, we were a great assistance to a broken goblin that likely had his head broken by monsters a few years ago. In extreme gratitude for us saving him from a lifetime of disability, he guided us along our path.

We reach a pit, dark and menacing music emanating from the depths. I nobly go first, diving down into the darkness to face my destiny. My boon companion quickly follows, facing her fear of the darkness, and the corporate schill follows her. Our bold accountant and sign spinner brings up the rear.

As we make our way through the labyrinth, we slowly make our way through some doors that have been barred against our quest, plowing through difficulties with the aplomb of true heroes (and a corporate schill). A chance encounter with some sadly ill goblins yields no results, and they fail to warn us of a trap in the next room. This bears further investigation, as they may have been in league with any number of dark agencies arrayed against us. I can’t be sure yet. I manage to save the schill from certain doom in falling into a pit trap, and make my way into the lair of a pair of monstrous centipedes. It falls for my cunning ruse, as I pretend not to notice it, and it comes down from its hiding place on the ceiling into reach of our weaponry. A pitched battle ensues, and we emerge triumphant against them.

Moving on, the schill uses his corporate training to help us avoid the pitfalls of goblin archetecture. We find some poisonous flowers, which I save for future reference, and at long last reach our goal.

Upon coming back up into the glorious light of day, basking in our victory, I use the Lilium coprophagus to create a powerful medicine for the Lord. We were confronted by the idiot Qaudueq (Orc for [expletive deleted]), who expressed an irrational fear of me accidentally or intentionally blowing up his father. He seemed too thick to understand that I only kill monsters, but luckily Rekki used her winning ways to get him to agree to not interfere with my work in any way beyond the distraction of his idiocy being in the room. After Rekki and I complete our hard work, the Qaudueq accuses ME of trying to poison his father and demanded that I be searched. Luckily, one of the guards has a sudden crisis of concience and confesses that Qaudueq not only was trying to poison his father, but also was engaging in carnal relations with swine. Upon a search, he is found to have poison on his person. I apply my scientific cure, he is brought out of his coma. We are amply rewarded with both gold and a badge of the House of Bells.

Analysis
While monsters can be monsters, we should never forget that people can also be monsters, though not as monstrous as actual monsters.
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