Apotheosis

The Blakros Matrimony

The eldest daughter of the prominent Blakros family is set to wed an influential Hellknight, and the Agents of the Varlokkur are invited to the festivities. Dressed for a wedding befitting royalty, the agents attend the ceremony on behalf of their superiors but will their presence ultimately strengthen their relationship with the influential Blakroses, or will events at the wedding bring the already tenuous alliance to a breaking point?

Despite their brief break, the death of Lothaire still weighs heavily on the agents. Despite their grief, Alexis summons the group together and advises them that they will still have to continue with their efforts to ensure that their allies death was not in vain. The diviner advises that the Blakros family are set to wed Michellia Blakros to a powerful Hellknight on the nearby Pariol Island. Given that several of the agents were responsible for rescuing Michellia from the Onyx Alliance, they have secured an invitation to the high profile event. While Alexis makes it clear he has no doubt in his remaining agents abilities, he had made the decision to add two more to their number, to offset the loss of Julian Ormontagne and Lothaire. Firstly, Nazuk Kasiis, the slyph informant that assisted against the harpies in the Cairnlands, has agreed to join and add her unique skillset to their endevours. Secondly, Malias Dyce, an inquisitor of Iomedae and recent apprentice of fellow Varlokkur and witch hunter, Alissa Bronte. Despite some reservations, the current agents welcome their new allies and prepare to depart to the wedding with their instructions to earn the favor and support of as many of the influential guests as possible.

The agents arrive at the wedding without incident, attired in their finest clothing. It becomes clear that the Blakros family have spared no expense on the event and the agents observe some of the most powerful individuals in Absalom are present. Shortly after their arrival on the island the group our approached by an undercover Alissa Bronte, who advises them of what she knows of the various personas present. With Alissas information, the heroes attend the evening festivities prior to the wedding the next day. As most of the agents work the crowd, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Nigel Aldain, Hamaria Blakros, Imrizade Blakros and numerous other indviduals, Nazuk scouts across the island, learning the lay of the land. As the evening days to a close, the agents turn in comfortable that they have made good impressions so far.

The next morning, the heroes join the other guests at the wedding ceremony to witness Michellia web Damian Kastner. The wedding goes off surprisingly well, with the exception of a brief outburst from Alexander Bedard, a member of the Andoren People’s Council and former suitor of the bride. After the ceremony, all the guests and the agents move to the reception, where the agents are able to further mingle with and impress the various guests. Albert bumps into Artore Sadailis and Benoit Ormontagne amidst the crowd, and briefly speaks to the two. The agents also meet Tancred Desimire, cousin of the groom and representative of the Chelish governement, who seems alittle uncomfortable throughout the wedding. Following more socialising, the group take their seats and listen to a pleathora of speeches and congratualtions from the head table. Eventually Damian Kastner takes his turn to toast his new bride, offering his familys manor in Ostergarde causing something of a commotion.

Shortly after the meal has drawn to a close and the the guests are once again talking amongst themselves, the newly wed groom ushers the agents aside for a private conversation. Damian confesses he is worried about Michellia, as she seems to have disappeared. While he is sure it is nothing to panic about, the retired Hellknight confesses he knows of the groups reputation and would appreciate if they would look for her. Glad for a chance to escape the fawning of the wedding, the agents agreed and head off to investigate the Blakros old summer home on Kastners advice.

A’hymhu easily locates a pair of tracks at the summer house and follows them to the beach where they discover an unconcious Michellia being loaded into a longboat by her twin sister, Eleanir and a group fo Ulfen barbarians. Eleanir briefly attempts to convice the group that she is her sister, but Malias easily see’s through the ruse. Despite the heroes attempts at a diplomatic solution, the barbarians rush in to attack. A brief fight erupts, and the agents quickly defeat and dispatch the barbarians, even without their full complement of the arms and armour. With the Ulfens defeated, the group return both Eleanir and Michellia to the wedding, much to Damians gratitude.

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As the group rejoin the celebrations, the pavillion comes under the address of one of the guard mercenarys named Alistair Fourchek. Taking the stage the mercenary proclaims himself ‘Arastrax of the Onyx Alliance’ and informs the gathered attendees that they are surrounded and that he will soon feast on their souls. The surrounding area quickly fills with the sounds of yelling and screaming as combat erupts outside the pavilon. As the agents emerge, they find the island under siege by a host of demons. A vicious and chaotic fight erupts across the island and pavillon as guests, guards and demons fight and flee. The agents quickly set to work defending the guests from the attacking horrors. A’hymhu launches a flurry of arrows at Alistair, slaying the man and ejecting the possessing creature, a bat winged shadow demon, from the man. The group come together to fight the demon and its babau guards, while allies such as Artore and Alissa move through the crowd assisting in the defense with sword and sorcery. Eventually, the shadow demon is felled and the attacks relent as the heroes remain victorious.

Hamaria Blakros calls an end to the festivities and the surviving mercenaries round up the guests and usher them to the pier. The agents, along with the rest of the guests, are sailed back to Absalom. The boat ride proves to be a somber affair, the joy of the wedding exlipsed by the unexpected death and destruction the demons laid upon the island. Nevertheless, when the group report back to Alexis, he advises that their popularity at the event and sucessful defense of the guests will doubtless have earned them several allies.

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The Infernal Vault

A decade ago, the Decklands family, a house of Chelish nobles, were exiled from Absalom for treason. Their fate left several questions unanswered. When an unnamed agent in Cheliax investigating the family’s long history and exile from the City at the Center of the World ends up murdered, an ally of the Agents of the Varlokkur appeals for them to investigate the recently discovered Deckland Vaults in Absalom to see what connection the old family home might have to the murdered operative.

As the murders of religious figures continues throughout Absalom, the agents feel they have no choice but to pursue their own line of investigation. Tracking down the only witness to one of the murders, they learn that the suspected killer is a figure that appears in a tempest of storm and thunder. Using Alberts magic, the group infiltrate a meeting of several spokespeople from the various faiths. However, the agents are surprised to find Alexis in attendance. The diviner quickly she’s through his operatives disguises, but rather than chastising his agents he agrees that he has kept them in the dark too long. Alexis confesses to the group that he suspects whoever is behind this string of murders is also responsible for a stint of similar deaths a decade ago. The wizard further admits that his sister was one of the original victims and her death was instrumental in Alexis applying to join the Varlokkur and creating the role they now occupy. Despite their ability, Alexis admits that neither he nor the agents are up to the task of locating and defeating the killer. However, the diviner hopes that the favor the agents have been gathering across Absalom may grant them the resources and manpower to finally locate and defeat the criminal, unhindered by the bad blood resulting from Absaloms ‘Shadow War’. The heroes agree to see the plan through while the churches take defensive steps to protect their own.

With Alexis’ words still ringing in his head, Albert pays a visit to Artore, one of the tutors at his school. According to the sorcerer, several of the Chelish operatives in the city have ill intent, looking to unearth an old vault containing the secrets to the cities defenses. Assembling his fellow agents, the young wizard and his associates travel to the Decklands estate.

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It quickly becomes clear something is off about the estate and the team make the decision to head inside. The agents entrance is greeted with an ambush from a mercenary company known as the ‘Devils Claw’. Sadly for the mercenaries, neither they or the vaults traps pose any threat to the elite agents. Within a few minutes the heroes subdue the thugs and reach the vault proper.

Within the Decklands sealed vault the group discover Celeena Deckland and her hellhound pet. The vengeful daughter admits to seizing the plans to Absaloms defense to avenge her wrongfully disgraced father, before launching an attack on the agents.

A vicious fight ensues throughout the vault as Celeena brings are powerful sorceries to bare against the team. Nevertheless, victory looks certain for the agents until the vindictive spellcaster uses her magic to dominate A’hymhus mind, turning the deadly archer against his own allies. The heroes desperately try to subdue their dominated ally as he fights alongside the sorceress, with Lothaire acting as a bulwark. However, Set’nah’s arrows prove to many for the dwarf, and he collapses following a hail of bow fire. Eventually, the other agents manage to subdue both Set’nah and Celeena, but when Behnam reaches Lothaire side he finds that the dwarf sacrificed his life to protect them.

Stricken with grief and trying to surpress their anger a Set’nah, half the group escort Celeena to the watch, while the others report what has happened to Alexis. The diviner regroups with his agents at Bundins shrine, following a brief ritual they ask Bundins spirit if he wishes to return to life, but the dwarf feels it is his time. Saddened by their loss, and conflicted that the blood stains the hands of one of their own, the group carry out a brief service for their fallen ally and place him to rest alongside his brother. Alexis advises the heroes to take time to grieve, but that he will soon need their services.

Alberts reports of their pyretic victory to Artore, who thanks the wizard and the others for their help. Upon leaving, Albert destroys the retrieved defense plans to prevent them falling into the wrong hands.

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Song Of The Sea Witch

When an unlucky historian in Absalom uncovers an infernal book from distant Tian Xia, he unwittingly unleashes a terrible evil into the city—the legions of devils imprisoned within its dusty pages. Only the book’s holy counterpart can end the threat, and the Varlokkur have been called in to assist. Can the Agents locate and retrieve the key to ending the diabolical invasion of the City at the Center of the World, or will Absalom be drowned in the sea of destruction wrought by the Infernal Incantation?

Following their ventures into Delirium’s Tangle, the agents take several weeks of time to rest and recover. Thanks to Behnams curative magic, Albert recovers relatively quickly from the madness that consumed him within the Tangle, but it is clear that the experience has scarred the wizard. Upon his recovery, Albert spends a great deal of time investigating Maglor Narmolanya, the new head of the Freedom Phalanx. By following some of the elves new recruits, he is able to learn that Maglor has access to one of the planar portal within the Spire of Nex, and has been sending under qualified adventurers inside. Albert persuades the group he followed to abandon their mission, but provokes Maglor by doing so and receives a clear warning to back off.

Meanwhile, many of the agents investigate the growing number of murders in Absalom. Learning that only female members of the clergy are being targeted and that Cheliax has dispatched a number of inquisitors and Hellknights to locate the killer. When the group are able to share this information, they conclude that they may need to go behind Alexis’ back to delve deeper into what is happening.

After several weeks apart, the agents reunite to celebrate Behnams elevation within his church. They attend a small morning ceremony where the young cleric is ordained as a Light of the Dawnflower. After feeling the touch of the Everlight, Behnam rejoins the other heroes to meet with Alexis.

The diviner informs the operatives that news has reached him that Yargos Gill, the historian that assisted them with the Silent Tide, is in trouble. According to his aide, Yargos had been researching a tome called the Infernal Incantation at the behest of Andoran benefactors and in doing so has potentially unleashed the horde of devils contained within the book on Absalom. Alexis entrusts the agents to help Yargos and resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

The group quickly make their way to Yargos newly appointed townhouse to find a crowd gathered around the building as it appears to be on fire. Racing inside, it quickly becomes clear that the fire is an illusion. However, on discovering Yargos two aides dead and the Infernal Incantation, the agents are set upon by a vicious erinyes devil. The wicked devil proves a difficult encounter for the agents, but they eventually defeat it and find the unconscious historian. Investigation of the two dead aides shows that one was shot by the erinyes devil, but the other was stabbed by a nearby coral hilted dagger. Yargos is unclear on what happened to his assistants, but implores the agents to locate the Infernal Incantations sister book, the Celestial Song, which will allow the Incantation to be resealed before it releases further devils. Despite their frustration at Yargos, the group agree and head to Gilltown in the Eastgate Quarter to meet with Ollysta Zadrian, the head of the Silver Crusade. According to Yargos, one of his aides took the Celestial Song to Ollysta to get the information to complete the ritual.

On route to Gilltown, the agents are blocked into an alleyway by four thugs wielding coral hilted blades. The thugs demand the Infernal Incantation, but the agents quickly overpower the brutes and demand to know who sent them, learning they were in the employ of someone called the Sea Witch, operating out of the smugglers tunnels beneath Gilltown. The heroes rush on to meet Ollysta, quickly explaining the situation to them. The paladin explains that she never received the book for Yargos aide, and the group suddenly realise that the historians aide may have been in league with the Sea Witch since they found the coral hilted dagger at the townhouse. Concluding that the Sea Witch likely now has the Celestial Song, Ollysta shares the ritual to seal the Infernal Incantation and a nearby gillmen merchant sells the agents a map of the tunnels. The Silver Crusade take Yargos into their care, leaving the agents free to pursue the stolen book.

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As the agents progress into a quieter part of Gilltown, the air becomes unusually hot and a pentagram ignites itself into the floor before them. With only a dark warning on the wind, the agents find themselves ambushed by three bearded devils. Like the erinyes before, the bearded devils prove to be a challenging fight, but the agents emerge victorious. With the devils defeated, the agents are able to venture into the smugglers tunnels.

The tunnels seem completely abandoned, but echo with a chaotic chorus of celestial singing. As the heroes draw closer to the Sea Witches cavern, the singing becomes more chaotic and deafening. The four adventurers enter an antechamber that seems to be able to be filled with water, leading up to a suspended door and stairway thirty feet above them. Even in the painfully loud chamber, Albert is able to figure out the puzzle to flood the chamber to the correct level. As the chamber fills with water the agents are able to ascend the stairs to the now open doorway. In a grand chamber beyond they see the opened Celestial Song, guarded by Na-Kraka, the cecaelia sea witch.

Na-Kraka engages the group before they have chance to react, grabbing A’hymhu and dragging him down into the watery depths of the chamber the heroes just flooded. A brutal and chaotic combat ensues as A’hymhu and Lothaire try to battle the cecaelia underwater. A’hymhu is almost murdered by the witch, closely followed by Lothaire. Albert and Behnam manage to close the Celestial Song and seal the Infernal Incantation, before rejoining the fight. With the wizards and clerics help Na-Kraka is eventually defeated, A’hymhu only barely surviving the creatures merciless onslaught.

With the books recovered and the creature destroyed the agents return to the surface and report to Alexis. Congratulating them on their success, Alexis advises that the books will be dealt with accordingly, before dismissing them.

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Delirium's Tangle

The Varlokkur owe Grandmaster Torch a favor and he’s calling it in. It seems he’s misplaced Nuar Spiritskin, the famous minotaur prince of Absalom, and someone needs to find the prince before the city discovers that the minotaur is missing. The Agents of the Varlokkur must venture deep beneath Absalom, into a maddening maze of malign shapes, hideous creatures, and secrets that haven’t seen the light of day for more than a thousand years.

The agents are called before Alexis once again and advised that he has received word from Grandmaster Torch regarding the favor owed by Behnam. Torch has requested the the agents are sent to locate Nuar Spiritskin, the minotaur prince of Absalom and a personal friend of the Grandmaster. While Alexis is reluctant to submit to Torch’s request, there is no denying the importance of Nuars safety, especially considering he has disappeared into an ancient magical maze miles beneath Absalom. Alexis instructs the agents to locate Nuar, satisfying their debt to Torch and to learn what they can of the maze and an artifact apparently located within known as ’Izryen’s Hourglass’.

Despite being hesitant about doing anything for the benefit of Grandmaster Torch, the agents agree to the assignment and follow the directions given to them. Venturing beneath the Ivy District, through the sewers and eventually travelling deep beneath the familiar city above, the group travels through hours of natural caverns, confusing tunnels and crawlspaces. Drawing closer to the maze proper, the heroes locate various signs of local morlock tribes living in the area, having to fend off several of the creatures and their mining beetle pet.

Finally, the agents are able to enter the eerily lit maze proper, immediately realising the age and history of the complex. While unable to date the maze precisely, Albert posits that it may predate Absalom itself. As the group delve within the maze, following the minotaur princes tracks, their journey immediately begin to take a surreal and unsettling turn. The maze seems to defy logic, displaying uncomfortable architecture and a strange display of scribbled and etch script across many surfaces. Despite A’hymhu and Muk doing their best to follow the minotaurs perfumed scent, the group begin to lose faith in mundane tracking as they suspect the almost supernatural presence of the maze may be working against them. Instead the four decide to place their faith in Alberts arcane intellect, hoping that he can understand the patterns and design behind the maze. The agents continue travelling as the wizard attempts to fathom the thought process behind the maze, however it soon becomes clear that the arcanist mind is suffering as a result of him trying to understand the madness that designed such a twisted anomaly. Concerned for their friends health, the group rest up for the night, before trusting again to their ranger and his dog to finish tracking their quarry. Unfortunately this only leads them into a trapped passage, so they yield to the fanatic wizards requests to let him finish the maze. Albert lives up to his boast, and is able to locate the end of the maze, but in doing so his sanity is fractured as he grasps an understanding of that which mortals were not meant to know.

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As the heroes approach the end of the twisted tangle, they collapse into a sickening maelstrom and find themselves stood atop a handful of floating rocks in endless void. An indescribable aberration attacks the party upon the rocks, gibbering utter madness and warping their minds. Momentarily overcome by the creatures rants, A’hymhu launches a full attack against the crazed Albert, apparently killing the wizard and leaving him plummeting into the void. Despite their allies death, the group manage to overcome the creature, immediately reappearing at the mazes end alongside a wounded and almost catatonic, yet alive, Albert.

After Albert swiftly overcome a door that can only be mastered by those who have truly embraced their madness, the group enter the final chamber of the maze. The horrific sight of a dessicated elf attached to a vast mass of tangled chains and machinery hanging above a grand chamber greets their arrival, the elf cursing the intruders for their interruption. As the group enter the chamber they see Nuar beaten, but alive across the room. However, as they push into the nightmare made real, they feel time itself seem to slow against them. Albert succumbs to the curses of the elf, collapsing in a fit of hideous laughter. The remaining agents engage the elf as the chains and machines come alive and attack them, while Behnam moves to help Nuar. Luckily, A’hymhu and Lothaire are able to defeat the elf, his remains crumbling to dust. As Albert recovers he scrambles to the machine and frantically
pulls the magical hourglass powering it from its housing, stashing it with his belongings. Nuar seems to know nothing of entering the tangle, but is incredibly grateful for his rescue regardless and offers to lead the group to safety. Albert refuses to leaving, declaring the complex and maze as belonging to him. The wizards worried allies quickly overpower their friend and carry him out behind Nuar.

Returning to the surface late that day, Nuar again thanks the agents and promises to sing their praises throughout Absalom. More concerned with Alberts health, Behnam secures the wizard some magical aid at his temple, before they eventually allow the traumatized wizard the chance to return home and recover, unaware he has ‘Izryens Hourglass’.

Following a quick debrief by Alexis, the agents are dismissed and advised to take a few weeks to recover from their experiences before they are given another assignment.

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House Of Harpies

Rumors claim that songs have been heard in a copse of trees in the Cairnlands, apparently from an ancient magic harp, lost in the area hundreds of years ago. Wanting to discern if the harp poses any threat, the Varlokkur dispatch their agents to retrieve it. However, when it comes to light that a thieves guild has their hideout in the area, the agents find themselves accompanied by an unlikely ally to assist them in their investigations. All is not as it seems as the agents venture back into the ominous Cairnlands and it soon becomes apparent that thieves may be the least of their concerns.

With a break between assignments, the agents take the chance to finally invest some of their funding and support into the construction of a base of operations for themselves in the Coins district of Absalom. Satisfied with their plans for a new home, the agents then refocus on their own ventures until they find themselves called before Alexis once more.

The agents mentor is not alone when they meet him in the Scholars Quill, having been joined by an exotic sylph woman named Nazuk Kasiis. Alexis tells the group that like many of them, he has heard mutterings of an arcane harp that is apparently hidden in the Cairnlands, but he has been unable to divine any information on it. The diviner informs the agents that Nazuk knows the area and has offered her services to guide them to the harps alleged location. The heroes agree, happy to pick up a new assignment away from the politics of Absalom.

True to her word, the sylph acrobat leads the agents across the Cairnlands to a copse of over-sized trees, which Albert suspects are of magical origin due to their size and their location in the Cairnlands.

The agents delve into the forest, wandering along a dirt path while Nazuk leaps nimbly through the trees above. Eventually they draw close to what appears to be a tiered structure wrapped around the largest tree in the center of the copse. Their arrival is greeted with an attack by two winged women, that are quickly identified as harpies, vicious sirens and seducers that feast of those that fall under their sway. A tricky fight ensues as several of the agents fall prey to the song and the harpies fly circles around those not enchanted. However, eventually one of the harpies is felled and the other flees.

With their freewill restored, the agents venture up the tree, discovering a bandit hideout that has been overturned and become infested with giant rats. Thankfully, the rats do not engage the heroes, simply hiding from them as they move through the tree house. The groups search reveal that the bandits had some contact with Grandmaster Torch, but it is not clear what the nature of their arrangement was.

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Climbing further up the structure, the agents encounter the harpy that survived their encounter outside. She gives the group information in exchange for the chance to flee with her life. She divulges that she and the other harpies took over this place after driving out the bandits, and that her mistress, Irith, has used magical pipes to lull the rats in to discourage anyone returning. The agents uphold their side of the bargain and allow the harpy to flee, but shortly afterwards they are ambushed by a group of young, aggressive harpies. After defeating their attackers, the heroes ascend the last tier of the structure.

As the agent climb towards the last part of the tree house they are attacked on the side of the tree by Irith, who uses dirty tactics to try to knock the agents off the tower or tries to lull them off the edge with her song. When those tricks fail to work, the harpy leader attempts to summon the rats to her aid with her enchanted pipes. However she is knocked from the air by creatures summoned by Albert and plummets to a grisly demise off the side of the tree house.

Their mission successful and with the knowledge that that the harp was nothing but the songs of the harpies, the agents return to Absalom and issue their report to Alexis. Her job complete, Nazuk takes her leave of the group, but is told by Alexis that her skills may prove useful in the future. Once more the agents advise Alexis of their suspicions and distrust of Grandmaster Torch, but Alexis advises that the man is a necessary evil. However, he agrees that it is time they had more control over the information broker and that a chance may soon present itself.

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The Penumbral Accords

The daughters of Absalom’s mysterious Blakros family have long been among the most pursued maidens in the Inner Sea. Now the family’s matriarch approaches the Varlokkur to help her break a centuries-old pact with the denizens of the Plane of Shadow to save her twin daughters from a life of servitude at the hands of the Onyx Alliance. Returning once more to the Blakros Museum, the Agents of the Varlokkur have only a short amount of time to break the Penumbral Accords and solidify their ties to the powerful Blakroses.

Following their successful rescue of Lady Salhar, the agents reap the benefits of a few days rest. Most of the group, with the exception of Lothaire, invest a majority of their spare time into crafting items in preparation for their next assignment. Albert enchants several of the groups arms and armour, A’hymhu throws together a handful of different alchemical creations and Behnam brews up a handful of curative potions.

The agents are disturbed from their creative endeavours by a letter from the Blakros family requesting the agents immediate attention at the Scholar Quill. Awaiting the group at the Quill is Hamaria Blakros, matriarch of the Blakros family. Grief stricken, Hamaria advises the agents that she has come to them given their previous successful ventures into the Blakros Museum. The matriarch goes on to explain that the Blakros family have an ancient pact with denizens of the Shadow Plane, known as the Onyx Alliance. In return for passage through their realm in order to transport goods into and out of Absalom easily, the Blakros family supplies the Alliance with slaves each new moon, leaving them in their very own museum. The Blakros family must also hand over the eldest daughter of each generation as an additional charge. Hamaria entrusts the agents with the knowledge that tonight it is her own twin daughters, Eleanir and Michellia who have been left in the museum. Despite their suspicions, the heroes accept Hamarias assignment in the interest of preventing any harm coming to the innocent daughters and take their leave to the museum.

Following a short journey across the Wise Quarter, the agents arrive at the Blakros Museum, which appears all more shadowed and menacing than it ever has. Slipping inside, the four quickly realise that all is not as it should be. While they are still in the museum they are familiar with, it also seems to be sharing it’s space with a duplicate museum on the Shadow Plane. Albert realises that the two planes are converging in the same location, allowing both to exist together. The four agents begin to move through the museum, only to find themselves waylaid by a skeletal dragon residing on the Shadow Plane. After a long struggle, the agents destroy the undead and push further into the museum. As the move through the rooms they liberate imprisoned slaves and defeat the mercenary guards posted to hold them. Searching the supplies and tools held in the duplicate museum, the group soon figure out its dark purpose for torture, experimentation and ritual sacrifice. After cutting down another beast of the Shadow Plane is the form of a black mastiff, the group head through a freezing chamber, engaging an ice golem in the process. As the golem is destroyed, it explodes, almost killing Behnam in a hail of ice shards. Luckily Saranraes light does not abandon the priest and he is returned to health to continue the search for the Blakros twins. The ice chamber proves to be a giant freezer for dismembered bodies, likely further used for experimentation.

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Beyond the ‘cold storage’ room, the agents locate an alchemical lab. The group is greeted with the sight of a mutated fetchling alchemist over a still living dissected man. A brief fight breaks out, but the sole fetchling proves little competition for the hardened agents. They manage to rescue the man and heal the worst of his wounds, liberating him with the other slaves.

As the heroes enter the final and largest hall of the Blakros Museum, they are greeted with what appears to be a ritual chamber and the source of the planar convergence. Before them another fetchling, Uthil Mak, stands over the Blakros twins, halfway though a ritual. The group strike with all their remaining might, and despite his martial prowess, Uthil Mak falls almost as quickly as the alchemist before him. With all the foes within the museum destroyed, the four agents escort the slaves from the museum and destroy the pyramid they believe to be responsible for the convergence. As expected, the convergence ends and all sign of the shadow museum or the Onyx Alliance presence disappear.

Outside, the group are met by two Blakros footmen who take the two girls from their care. As the men depart they award the agents with a letter and sizable reward from the Blakros family. The letter advises that the group have earned unlimited access to the museum and the favor of the Blakros family.

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Slave Pits Of Absalom

Someone’s kidnapped Lady Anilah Salhar—the Chelish wife of Dremdhet Salhar, one of Osirion’s many Grand Ambassadors to Absalom—and sold her into slavery. With Salhar holding a diplomatic situation over the heads of the Varlokkur, the agents are sent to assist the Osirian Ambassador. Venturing into Absalom’s darkest corners to save Lady Anilah, the Agents of the Varlokkur must face the secrets of the Slave Pits to avoid becoming slaves themselves.

Following their return from Sedeq, the agents spend the better part of a week resting and recovering from their expedition. Their reprieve is interrupted when they are summoned to the Scholars Quill. They arrive to be met not by Alexis, but by Alissa Bronte. Known as the Varlokkurs resident witch hunter and a woman of high expectations, Alissa is short and to the point with the gathered operatives. She advises them that the Osirian ambassador, Dremdhet Salhar, has heard of their successes in the city and has personally requested that the agents locate his missing wife, Lady Anilah Salhar who has been kidnapped and sold into slavery. While Alissa admits that this work is outside of the agents usual mandate, she advises that they are in no position to dispute the wishes of someone of Dremdhets influence. When the heroes query where Alexis is, they are simply told that he is following up on his own investigations. Following their dismissal, the agents follow the only lead they have to locate Fredrik at the The Second Chance, a tavern-turned-grit-den in the Puddles.

The agents arrive at The Second Chance to find it in the midst of a tavern wide brawl, with their quarry trapped in the middle. As Lothaire draws Kol Makaz, the brawlers draw weapons of their own and a full fledged melee ensues. The agents emerge victorious, subduing all the grit junkies and killing the taverns guard dog. They question Fredrik who discloses that he kidnapped the lady, but that he sold her straight onto Pardu Pildapush, a slave trader on Misery Row. Leaving Fredrik to his grim, grit-binge induced fate, the agents make their way through the Coins and up onto Misery Row, the only legal site of slave trading in Absalom. They arrive at Pardus closed offices, ’Pildapush’s Chattel’ and cover A’hymhu while he picks the lock. Cornering Pardu inside they interrogate him as to Anilahs fate, while the Vudrani man resists at first, he eventually relents and tells them that he sold her onto the ‘No Return’, a boat currently in the docks. Albert magically subdues Pardu and the agents release the slave in his office, before heading south to the Absalom docks.

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As the group make their way through the busy and confined streets of the docks, they find themselves ambushed by the Puddlejumpers, a halfling gang in Pardu’s employ. Unfortunately for the Puddlejumpers, they prove little more than an inconvenience for the highly trained heroes who send the surviving thugs running.

Arriving at the ‘No Return’, the agents attempt to talk their way past the skeleton crew on deck, but are rebuffed. Deciding that diplomacy is not the way to approach the crew, Albert tangles them within a magic web and the agents dispatch them in short order. To their surprise, a gnoll bosun joins the crew in defending the ship, but he too is quickly defeated.

Venturing into the lower decks, the agents locate the ship captain and slaver, a gnoll named Gnarl Bonegather. Gnarl squares off against Lothaire, both under the effects of an enlarge person spell, throwing heavy blows into each other above the cowering slaves. However, Gnarl fails to keep pace with Lothaire as the dwarf benefits from his allies support attacks and curative magics. The operatives fell the gnoll captain and release the slaves back into the city, locating Anilah and escorting her home.

Deciding to bring Pardu and the ‘No Return’ to the attention of the Token Guard in the Coins, the agents locate the guard captain, Lady Kythes Finch at her base of operations, the familiar Saucy Wench. Sadly, Lady Finch advises the agents that Pardu will likely evade prosecution without solid evidence against him, and that the concerns in the docks are beyond her jurisdiction. Successful, but somewhat disheartened, the agents enjoy a few drinks before reporting back to Alissa and turning in for the night.

The following morning, the friends reunite and locate Alexis who is currently staying at the temple of Sarenrae in the Ascendant Court. The group quiz him about what he has been doing and why he is not telling them what is going on. Alexis confesses he is investigating several murders in the Ascendant Court, but reminds the agents that while he respects them, they follow his orders and they will be brought into the loop when he needs them to be. However, for the time being he feels that he is better pursuing this case alone as the Varlokkur are trying to keep it from causing a public panic. The agents begrudgingly accept their commanders information, but advise that they are there when he needs them. The diviner advises that he will need them to pick up the other cases while he continues his investigations, instructing them to get some rest while they have the chance.

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The Many Fortunes Of Grandmaster Torch

When four statues of unspeakable power were found in a tomb in Osirion and then stolen, everyone assumed they were gone forever. However, when they appear again in the illicit inventory of a Qadiran smuggler in the massive trade city of Sedeq, the Varlokkur waste little time in dispatching their agents there to recover them. Finding the smuggler dead and a familiar face from Absalom responsible, their task quickly becomes a race to retrieve the statues before their brutal power can be unleashed on the citizens of the Satrap. Can the agents find the statues in time or will Sedeq be swallowed in a plague like none Golarion has ever seen?

Following the demise of Bundin, a sombre pall descends on the agents as they come to terms with his passing. Following a small, but well attended funeral a few days after the heroes resurface in Absalom, the group throw themselves into a multitude of tasks to keep their minds busy. Albert and Lothaire study intensely for their exams, while Julian and A’hymhu work on their own side projects. Both Albert and Lothaire pass their exams, despite the upset of their recent loss. Julian makes it publicly known while attending a dinner at the Doel residence that he has accepted a place at the White Grotto and will be leaving the service of the Varlokkur after one more assignment.

Meanwhile, in the background Alexis works at recruiting a replacement for Bundin, having selected a priest of the Dawnflower as the best candidate available. Deciding that some time away from the city may be good for the agents, Alexis elects to send them to pursue several stolen artifacts that have surfaced in the Sedeq. Two weeks after Bundins demise, Alexis assembles the agents and introduces them to Behnam, the cleric of Sarenrae, and advises them that he will be guiding them in Qadira as he is a native. The group make it fairly clear that they are uncomfortable about anyone replacing Bundin, but accept the importance of a guide.

The group prepare themselves for their overseas travel and together board the Spice of Life, as trading vessel bound for Sedeq. The week at sea passes fairly uneventfully, with the agents getting to know their guide or occasionally working on their own projects, but soon enough the Spice of Life arrives into port.

The heroes disembark and are quickly surrounded by urchins looking to run errands or sell them wares. It doesn’t take long for the agents to realise that Sedeq is populated by countless slaves, which makes all of them but Behnam feel more uncomfortable than the hot early morning sun. The visitors push onto to meet their handler in Sedeq, a beauty named Yasmin Kal’al. Yasmin escorts the party back to her home and explains they are to retrieve four statue with considerable power. Yasmin believes a man named Matzal Chaim smuggled the items out of Osirion and is has now sold them off in the spice markets. After a quick brief about what to expect in Sedeq and a warning to keep a low profile, Yasmin lets the agents depart to track their quarry.

Following their arrival in the spice markets, it doesn’t take the agents long to track Chaim to the Topaz Pavilion Bathhouse. However, Chaim notices the armed foreigners approaching and dashing instead, provoking a chase. The agents gain ground, leaping baths and slipping across slick tiles, they find the smugglers dead body at the feet of a heavily armoured and very sweaty half-orc. As the steam clears the group are greeting by a bathing Grandmaster Torch, who chastises his guard for killing the man without thinking. Surprised to see the information broker in Sedeq the agents become suspicious and question Torch. Following the Grandmasters reassurance that his reasons are legitimate, Torch offers to sell them the names of the merchants who purchased Chaims artifacts in return for a favour. Not wishes to get themselves indebted to Torch, the heroes refuse and offer coin instead. Torch accepts and tells them the four buyers they need to see, he then goes on to offer further information for a favour. The group refuse, but Behnam waits until they leave and takes the Grandmasters offer. Torch gives the priest descriptions of the indivduals and their known locations, and goes on to advise that the items they are seeking are unstable in the hands of those that channel magical abilites. Behnam rejoins the heroes, who convey their concern, annoyance and disappointment that he dealt with Torch, but Behnam defends that it was all for the greater good.

Behnam leads the agents to the first merchant, a man named Nasir Tandir, who operates out of a warehouse. On route the agents realise they are being followed through the spice market by a couple of local ‘heavies’. Behnam confronts their pursuers, but they simply explain they are ensuring the foreigners are not causing any trouble. On arrival at Nasirs warehouse, it becomes clear that the merchant is currently being shaken down by a local protection racket. As it looks like the situation may get violent, Julian enchants the thugs leader and removes him from the situation. The agents speak to the enchanted leader and offer to pay him off to prevent further trouble. Despite a couple of the agents being against this, the party pay the rogue and he and his men depart. Nasir agrees to sell the statue he purchased to Behnam, worried it may be the cause of his ill luck.

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With one statue in hand the agents back track to locate the next statue from a man named Viraj Arpani, a Vudran wizard. The group find Viraj meditating over a small box in the center of the market place and approach him to request the return of the statue. Viraj warns them to leave him alone, but the group press the point and the Vudran transforms himself into a mist to escape. Unfortunately Viraj statue absorbs the power of his spell and the wizard reappears. As it consumes the arcane energies the statue eruprts to life and grows into three giant centipedes. As panic erupts through the market the heroes mobilize to combat and control the centipedes. The monstrous creatures prove to be a tough fight as a result of their poisonous stings, but as a result of their teamwork and effort the agents manage to destroy the creatures and retrieve the statue and the box dropped by Viraj, who has long since fled.

Having retrieved half the artifacts the agents begin their search for the monk, Buri Buri-Ban. They locate their quarry at the Fetching Fan café on Sengali Square. Much to their frustration Buri takes off as soon as he see’s the agents approaching. Despite quaffing a potion of invisibility, Buri gives away his location by running into a dusty spice factory. Buri proves the easiest catch, as the agents corner him in the museum and Albert traps him within a magical web. Following the angry requests of the factory guards, the group quickly leave after retrieving the third statue from the captured monk.

After stashing the artifacts they have recovered so far with Yasmin, the group make their way to the Secure Market. A heavily guarded, no weapons allowed, anti-magic warded marketplace and also home to the final artifact. Immediately the agents realise how vulnerable they without their weaponry, especially the groups various spell casters who immediately feel the loss of their magical abilities. Nevertheless, they progress inside and search out Saldin Marafi, a merchant of dubious reputation. Saldin denies any knowledge of the artifact and it appears he may be telling the truth, until the heroes realise that the statue could easily be hidden in the spice tray set out before Saldin and his guards. The agents make a move for the concealed statue and a brief scuffle breaks out. As spice is tossed into the air the agents quickly retrieve the statue and flee the Secure Market before the authorities can respond.

As the weary adventurers make their way back to Yasmins having retrieved all the artifacts they are met by a herald. He invites them to join Grandmaster Torch for a meal at the inn he is staying at the congratulate them and demonstrate that there are no hard feelings. Reluctantly the group agree, despite Albert protesting that he thinks Torch may be involved in the fate of the artifacts. Torch puts on quite a spread for his guests, and when quizzed denies any involvement in the artifacts presence in Sedeq, while most of the group accept the Grandmasters story, Albert remains skeptical. After a surprisingly pleasant evening in the informants company, the group return to their own inn for a good nights sleep before they board the boat back to Absalom the following morning.

Following an uneventful journey back to their home city, the agents return the statues to Alexis who advises they will be accordingly disposed of. During their debrief the agents confess their concerns about Grandmaster Torch and his involvement, and Albert expresses his growing worries about Alexis health as a result of whatever he is working on behind the scenes. Alexis acknowledges the concerns and admits that he may not be the best member of the Varlokkur to guide the agents at the moment.

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Sewer Dragons Of Absalom

Absalom is Golarion’s busiest and most populous city, but one of its largest populations goes largely unnoticed. The Agents of the Varlokkur must venture into the sewers beneath the City at the Center of the World to stop the meddling dragons within from disrupting a vital Varlokkur operation.

After a couple of days to catch their breath, the agents meet Alexis at the Scholars Quill for breakfast. Once there, Alexis informs them that their successes have come to the attention of the other Varlokkur and they have agreed to dispatch the agents on a mission of import to the whole of the organisation. Alexis tells his team that the Varlokkur use the sewers and caverns beneath Absalom to move potent and dangerous magic trinkets and artifacts into and out of Absalom. However, their supplies routes have recently come under attack by a group of kobolds known as the Sewer Dragons. Given the importance of these routes, Alexis advises the team that he needs them to ensure they are safe to use within the week. However, he’s aware that just exterminating the tribe of kobolds will only leave a vacuum for something else to occupy. Alexis tells the team that their best approach will be diplomatic. As always, the team accepts their assignment and makes to leave the Quill, but not before Albert notices that Alexis is becoming quite concerned about a separate assignment that he has been working on.

The agents first clue as to the location of the Sewer Dragons is a man called Emral Xarcious, a tutor who was hired by the tribe to teach the leaders young the common tongue. Rumour has is that Emral has been living in the Puddles, having fallen on hard times as a result of a gambling addiction. The group elect to return to the Soggy Piper, where they know Yargos Gill, the historian who helped them with the Silent Tide, is typically found. As expected, the agents find Yargos, currently enjoying the company of one of the Puddles many street walkers. Yargos tells his rescuers that Emral was last seen arguing with Creeley Greeves, a notorious moneylender and thug. When the group pay Greeves a visit they find he’s holding Emral prisoner and collecting his debt from him in beatings. The agents pay off Emrals debt and take him to the Temple of the Shining Star, a huge temple to Sarenrae for healing, given that the tutor is near death as a result of the wounds inflicted on him and having contracted filth fever in the poor conditions. The priestesses of the sun goddess perform several miracles on the man following donations from the heroes, restoring his health enough for him to tell the agents that the chief of the tribe has a daughter, who frequently sneaks into the quieter operas in Absalom.

Armed with the knowledge that they have a chance to speak to one of the chiefs young, the group decide to attend a handful of operas that evening and search out the disguised kobold. Julian leads the party around the Ivy District in preparation for the operas, ensuring they all have the finest garb and the latest hairstyles. Whilst the two dwarves balk at the idea initially, they soon find themselves just as caught up in the preparations as their young friend. Once they are all dressed in their best, the agents split up and head to the operas.

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The group cover the three operas between them, but despite their best efforts are unable to see the disguised kobold. Albert and Lothaire meet Artore at the Cheliax opera ‘Fall from Glory’, but otherwise the evening is unsuccessful.

The following morning Albert is called to breakfast with his mother, who requests he aid her in arranging a marriage between Brenna and Julian, thus attaching the Doels to the rich and rising Ormontagnes. Albert refuses this initially, but buckles to the obligation to his family.

The group spend the next two nights at the operas, searching for their quarry. Yet despite calling in allies Balenar and Imrizade (who assumes Albert is using it as an excuse for a date) they remain unsuccessful in locating the kobold. Dejected, but undefeated, the agents agree that they are running out of time and have no option but to approach the Sewer Dragons hideout directly.

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Delving into the familiar sewers beneath Absalom, the agents follow the directions supplied by Emral and soon find the entrance to the Sewer Dragons lair. As expected the entrance is guarded and heavily trapped, and while the agents attempt to approach peacefully they find themselves dodging a giant boulder propelled by a sewage build up which results in Albert tumbling into an otyughs cesspool below the entrance. Luckily the other heroes subdue the kobold guards and dive down to protect their universalist ally. The otyugh injuries Albert heavily as he tries to flee its den, but is swiftly dispatched when Lothaire and Bundin leap at it from the overflow.

Once they have recovered from their initial entry, the group venture deeper into the kobold tunnels. Despite a number of obstacles and misdirections, the agents eventually locate the kobolds dwelling, located through a buried shop that has been converted into an alchemists lab and trappers workshop. Yippitok, the tribe chiefs son and resident alchemist and trapper warns the heroes that they have come to their deaths and there will be no parley. However, Julian enchants the arrogant kobold with his bardic magic and they learn what they can off the tribe. Unfortunately, Julians charm magic only turns Yippitok favourable to the bard, not the rest of the agents, so eventually Bundin gives up on talking their way past the trapmaster and launches an attack.

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The agents initially underestimate Trapmaster Tok, to their regret. The agile creature proves able to flip and tumble around the group, luring them together where his assortment of alchemical explosives can do the most damage. Both the dwarves are rendered unconscious by the trapmasters bombs, but luckily the rest of the heroes are able to subdue the crazed kobold.

With Yippitok defeated and their wounds magically healed thanks to the wand carried by Julian, the agents venture into the buried theater that houses Kibizax, the kobold chief and self proclaimed ‘King Below Absalom’. Julian and Bundin attempt to parley with Kibizax and his large dragon pet as a horde of kobolds watch from the booths around the theater. However, it quickly becomes clear that Kibizax is too far gone and clearly insane. With little option left, Albert launches a web to entangle the chief and his dragon on the stage. This reveals that the large dragon is little more than an illusion, and Kibizax has been using it as an instrument of fear. Enraged at the parties ‘insolence’, Kibizax hurls bolts of lightning at the group, channeling his sorcerous bloodline to do so. The agents fight hard to reach the kobold chief, being viciously battered by his offensive spellcraft. Lothaire succumbs to a stream of scorching rays, prompting Bundin to call down the full power of Torag against the kobold. The paladins assault grievously wounds the chief and draws his full ire. Kibizax draws upon all his arcane might and blasts Bundin with a close quarters arc of lightning, catching Julian in the process. Julian narrowly dodges the majority of the blast, collapsing from the shock. However, Bundin is inflicted with the full intensity of the bolt. The standing agents watch in horror as their ally is blistered and burned alive in a torrent of electricity. Bundins murder is Kibizaxs final deed as the remaining agents throw their remaining energy into the chief and finally fell him.

Following his defeat, Kibizaxs body erupts in a blue flame and a dragon composed of blue lightning and fire engulfs the chiefs body, rising into the ceiling. Following the chief dramatic incineration, Yiddlepode, the chiefs daughter that the agent had been looking for, emerges and ‘demands their surrender’. Albert realises that this isn’t a sincere threat and that Yiddlepode is just trying to save face as she takes her fathers place. Reluctantly, the agents surrender and Yiddlepode accepts their offer of trade and work to ensure that the Varlokkur caravans are no longer attacked. She requests the agents leave, requesting they take the hidden body of her father to maintain her ruse that he has ascended. The heroes collect their dead and wounded, and make their way back to the surface.

The agents make their way to the Precipice Quarter to place Bundins body in state at his shrine. They soon collect a following of the paladins faithful and a small gathering amass around the dwarf. As the group gather their thoughts and allow Bundins congregation to say their farewells, they are joined by a dour Alexis, who consoles them and requests their company to talk further.

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Echoes Of The Overwatched

When a Pathfinder agent working in the famed Blakros Museum in Absalom falls victim to a terrible, ancient evil, if falls to the Agents of the Varlokkur to hunt down the released terror before it can retrieve a relic of the mad astronomer Ralzeros the Overwatched.

In the aftermath of their ventures in the sewers beneath Absalom, the five agents pursue their own agendas for a couple of weeks. Julian mostly keeps to himself, dwelling on his deeds during the previous adventure. Eventually he comes out his shell somewhat and begins practicing creating his own jewellery, as well as further building his reputation in the Coins district by evaluating valuables for free. A’hymhu continues training Muk, personally being the least affected by Julians possession. Albert continues with his studies, making some time to socialise with a handful of the individuals he’s encounter alongside the other Varlokkur. Bundin maintains his investments into his shrine in the Precipice Quarter, dealing with the extra attention it is receiving as it becomes more popular. Lothaire attempts to learn what he can of the blade he found in in the sewers, but despite his heavy investment of time he learns nothing.

On the morning of the second Moonday of Sarenith the agents are summoned to the Scholars Quill. Julian and Albert arrive together, as Albert had been visiting his bard friend to assure him everything will be okay. While the tension is high when the group reunite to meet Alexis, they quickly address their issues. The diviner informs the gathered agents that he has been visited once again by Nigel Aldain, curator of the Blakros museum. Apparently, Nigel was working alongside a Pathfinder following the discovery of a new sealed portal in the catacombs of the museum. However, it seems Nigels new partner began acting strangely the night before and didn’t show at the museum at all today. Alexis sends the agents to assist Nigel once again and find out what fate has befallen the missing Pathfinder.

On arrival at the museum the agents are greeted by Nigel who explains that his new ‘assistant’ had gone up into the attics of the museum looking for some sort of key to the portal. When he returned his behaviour was erratic and odd. The group elect to venture up into the attic and follow in the missing pathfinders footsteps, however, all they find is his naked body impaled and mutilated in an orrery room. Bundin see’s a haunting image of the Pathfinder being attacked in the room by a creature imprisoned in an adjoining room and is left with the words “The gate will soon be opened.” The agents report this to Nigel and take the chance to inspect the portal themselves, but have no more luck accessing it than those before them. Nigel informs the group that whatever left in the pathfinders place was interested in a book from the museum, going so far as to take the copy with him when he left. Nigel explains that a wizard named Maren Fuln has read that book at length and is very knowledgeable on its contents.

Lothaire and Albert pay Fuln a visit, and he eventually explains that the original owner of the museum, Ralzeros had a rivalry with another wizard, Beldrin. The two feuded because Ralzeros thought Beldrin had a key to his vaults. Fuln advises that if Beldrin did have Ralzeros key, it would likely be stored in one of his towers, which are half submerged in the sea after collapsing with the rest of the Precipice quarter.

The rest of the group head to the Grand Lodge of the Pathfinders in the Foreign quarter to see if they can get any leads on the missing Pathfinder, but despite talking to Balenar Forsend and investigating the deceased property, they are no closer to getting any clues on their quarry. Upon reuniting the agents share information and decide to make for the Precipice quarter.

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When the agents arrive at the cliffs of the Precipice quarter they decide to scale the cliff face and access the Tower of the Horn. Once inside they attacked by a handful of the aquatic residents that have made the lower tower their home. After defeating the creatures it soon becomes clear they aren’t the only people to have entered the tower lately. Aside the their quarry, a couple of decomposed bodies suggest a few adventurers tried to access the treasures of the tower. Aside from the adventurers remaining gear, the group also find a medallion bearing the symbol of the Freedom Phalanx, an organisation that Alberts grandfather was a member of.

As they climb up the tower the agents have to defeat several of the arcane defenses, including an animated statue of Nethys. Finally reaching the top, they are able to acquire the parts required to repair an arcane key that will allow them access to the towers vault. Unknown to them, the Devourer of Reason, the ghoul responsible for killing the Pathfinder the the museum, has accidently trapped himself within the vault. As the group enter the Devourer of Reason attacks, but the undead sorcerer is quickly overcome by the group superior numbers and strength. The agents collect a strange scroll case that appears similar to the portal in the Blakros museum. The five quickly collect what valuables they can from the vault before making for the exit, concerned that the tide coming back in will trap of drown them.

Concerned about what will happen if the Blakros family could do if they gain access to the portal, the agents elect to turn the aberrant case over to Alexis, who advises them to take a few days off then report back to him as he has another assignment for them. They group pass some of the papers they found in the vault onto the museum and advise Nigel what had happened to his ‘assistant’. Satisfied with their work the agents return to their lives. Early the next morning each agent receives a letter from Hamaria Blakros, matriarch of the Blakros family, thanking them for their intervention and advising that they are people of interest to the family, for better or worse.

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