Apotheosis

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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Eye Of The Crocodile King

Arcanamirium transmuter Maren Fuln found a magically sealed amulet in the school’s library and kept it as a shiny bauble. Little did he know the amulet contained an entity far worse than he imagined and by unsealing it, he loosed a revenge-obsessed horror into the sewers beneath the school. Can the Agents of the Varlokkur halt the beast’s plan in time, or will he build his army of revenge and sow chaos in Absalom?

The agents spend two weeks pursuing their own agendas. A’hymhu continues training his pet dog, Muck. Bundin maintains the day to day running of his shrine and ensuring his flock follow a righteous path. Albert and Julian attend a dinner party at House Doels townhouse. Lothaire locates a mead hall in the Coins called the Saucy Wench, which he decides will make a great new drinking establishment.

While Albert and Lothaire are taking lunch in the Arcanamirium refectory they are approached by journeyman transmuter, Maren Fuln. A nervous Fuln requests they assemble their fellow Varlokkur and meet him behind the Arcanamirium to discuss a matter of importance. Albert and Lothaire split up and assemble the other agents, eventually meeting up with Fuln back at the Arcanamirium. On arrival Fuln advises the group that they’ll need to venture into the sewer to retrieve his crocodile-blooded, transmutation created aberration, locate a gem containing the remaining conscience of Lord Corgon, a former corrupt lecturer at the Arcanamirium and find his missing animal handler. The agents are horrified at the brazen nature of Fulns request, his creation of an aberration, the knowledge that he unearthed a sealed away artifact and that he’s left it a week before bringing it to their attention. Following a barrage of questions and aspersions cast at Fuln, the group agree to investigate the sewers below.

Climbing down into the sewers the group are deposited neck deep into the sewage that flows beneath Absalom. As they wade through the filth, an unseen assailant deposits a small horde of rats into the waste. Luckily thanks to some ingenuity from Lothaire and Albert, the agents manage to exterminate the vermin and crawl up onto the sewer walkways.

After an hour of following the sewer tunnel the five investigators find themselves in another open chamber. They soon realise they have entered the den of a hungry, wounded otyugh. Bundin and Julian attempt to parley with the monstrous trash-eater, realising it possesses intelligence, but the creature seems more concerned with making the group its next meal. A’hymhu is grievously wounded in the battle with the creature, as the rest of the agents struggle to bring their weapons to bare against the twisted beast. After a hard fought battle the heroes are finally able to fell the guardian and revive A’hymhu. Searching through the debris that has washed up in the chamber they locate several minor trinkets lost from the Arcanamirium, which they quickly add to their arsenal before pressing on.

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An hour further into the sewers the group encounter two troglodytes, not unlike those they encountered in the Fallen Fortress several months previous. Fighting alongside the troglodytes is also a dominated Lemedor, the animal handler and dim-witted ranger that went missing from the Arcanamirium. Luckily the ranger and troglodytes prove little competition for the heroes, who wade through the sewage, cut down the reptiles and subdue Lemedor. As the agents bring Lemedor to, he comes to his senses, warning them that he fed Lord Corgons amulet to the talking crocodile aberration and that it has rallied the troglodytes to its cause, sending them out to the mountains to build an army of the creatures and launch an attack on Absalom and the Arcanamirium. Comfortable that Lemedor has come to his senses, the group dispatch him back to the surface and press on.

Not ten minutes after their meeting with Lemedor, the agents enter a chamber housing a large crocodile and a handful of troglodytes, one of which they recognise as the only adolescent troglodyte they let leave the Fallen Fortress. Albert and the troglodyte converse for a few moments, the young survivor giving Albert the same choice to walk away as he offered it. Unable to come to a diplomatic solution the troglodytes crocodile lunges forward, but is quickly bought low by the agents firepower and a electrifying blow from Lothaire. As the the other troglodytes are felled, the youngster from the Fallen Fortress is able to escape once again into the darkness beneath Absalom. The group take some time to tend to their wounds, especially Albert who has taken a troglodyte javelin to the gut, his first wound in service to the Varlokkur.

Locating a cave carved into the sewer wall the group enter into a chamber lit by a central fire pit. As the voice of the Crocodile King echoes the threats of Lord Corgon, the group advance coming face to face with the hulking crocodile beast, possessed by the sinister consciousness of Lord Corgon. As Julian moves to engage the Crocodile King he comes under the aberrations thrall and turns on his friends, instructed to kill them. Bundin and Lothaire combine their brotherly skills against the King, bringing it low for A’hymhu to send a well aimed bolt through the creatures skull. Unfortunately, a dominated Julian fells Bundin, running his sword through the paladins back. Despite the death of the Crocodile King, Julian remains under the sway of the gem contained in its belly. Lothaire tries to subdue Julian, but the possessed jeweller lands a lucky blow, tearing into the dwarves thigh, who promptly falls collapses from the agony. With things looking bleak, Albert and A’hymhu resign themselves to unleashing everything they have left against Julian. The bard is overwhelmed before he can finish off his wizardly associate, leaving the chamber in grim silence. The remaining two agents use what curative provisions they have to revive the dwarves, retrieving the gem and looting the room of anything valuable, including a mysterious black dwarven blade that speaks to Lothaires mind.

The agents return to Absalom via a secret cliffside exit from the sewers, carrying the unconscious Julian. They make their way through the streets, coated in dried blood and sewage, and manage to circumvent the authorities in an approach to Alexis townhouse. Despite his surprise seeing the agents and their conditions, Alexis quickly admits his proteges. After Albert brings the fellow wizard up to speed, Alexis offers to secure the gem and break the spell controlling Julian. Disgraced and ashamed by his actions, the young entertainer apologises and takes his leave. Albert and the Toragson brothers thank Alexis and return to the Arcanamirium to have a stern word with Maren Fuln. Despite their intimidation, a relieved Fuln promises his aid in the future. Clearly shaken by their ordeal the agents part way to recuperate before their skills are called upon again.

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Silent Tide

When strange reports of misty undead spread through Absalom, the Agents of the Varlokkur are dispatched to the half-drowned district of the Puddles. Notoriously rough, the drooling addicts, flesh panderers, and quick-handed knifers of the Puddles are the least of their worries. The night’s tide brings with it an ancient armada of some long-forgotten war and they are the only thing between the mist-shrouded ghost fleet and Absalom’s utter oblivion.

Following their ventures beneath the Blakros Museum the agents take some time to themselves. Albert and Lothaire dedicate time to their studies at the Arcanamirium. A’hymhu continues building himself a new crossbow and training up his newly purchased pet dog. Meanwhile, Julien volunteers his appraisal skills to the artistic and cultured of the Ivy District in the hopes of currying good favor. Bundin invests himself further into helping the needy of the Precipice Quarter, building their trust and purchasing the materials to construct an altar to Torag with their assistance.

After ten days entertaining themselves the group receive contact from Alexis to meet him at the Scholars Quill late on the first Wealday of Desnus. On arrival Alexis advises the group that he has a simple task for them to perform, just to keep their skills sharp. The diviner requests that the agents travel to the Puddles, Absaloms poorest district, to retrieve an ancient Taldor codebook from an elderly military historian named Yargos Gill. While Alexis has no issue with Yargos, he is concerned that the old man will lose the book to one of the criminal elements operating from the Puddles.

Following the advice of their employer the agents make their way to the Soggy Piper, Yargos tavern of choice. Within they quickly learn that the historian and a few of his associates were recently dragged out by half a dozen young Warhounder thugs. Luckily they are able to save Yargos and his associates from being thrown off Torsens Maw and into the sea below, dispatching the Warhounder initiates in the process. Unfortunately, Yargos advises the group that the Warhounder leader, Nessian, already has the codebook and that he can use it to restart the Silent Tide and control the Black Echelon. Yargos explains that the codebook was to signal an ancient Taldor sea invasion that was thankfully stopped, however, all the invader took an oath called the Binding Word that compels them to complete their invasion even in death, should the signals from the codebook be given. Nessian plans to use the Silent Tide and its undead Black Echelon operatives to hold Absalom to ransom and secure his criminal repuation. Yargos suggests approaching Grandmaster Torch, a local information broker, to learn of Nessians location.

The agents journey to meet Grandmaster Torch is interrupted when they and Yaris notice signal lights flashing across Absalom. Yaris explains that Nessian is signalling the Black Echelon to poison the Puddles granary, which still supply alot of Absalom. The heroes rush to the granary and manage to destroy the silent undead before they’re able to carry out their sinister objective.

Yaris leads the agents into the Siphons, the waterlogged sewers beneath the Puddles, and into the lair of Grandmaster Torch. Torch agrees to share the information he has on Nessian in return for the agents cracking open five elaborate safes that have fallen into his possession. The five don’t disappoint and Torch upholds his end of the bargain, advising the group that Nessian is holed up in an old siege tower in the Cairnlands.

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No sooner have the group begun to leave Absalom to confront Nessian do they see another series of lights. Yargos advises that this is the final series to signal for the Black Echelon to silence the music at the great Metro-Cathedral of Abadar in the Puddles. The silence of the cathedral on an Oathday morning will act as the sign for the Silent Tide attack to begin. The agents backtrack into the Puddles to the Metro-Cathedral, a once great bastion of the god Abadar that is now only used to play the Oathday hymn to remind the citizens of Absalom to uphold their agreements. On arrival they find all the initiates of Abadar murdered, bar one, and the Black Echelon agents silencing the huge organ. The heroes manage to overpower the undead and with the remainning initiates help are able to keep the organ playing long enough so as now to signal the start of the Silent Tide.

With time finally on their side the group make for Nessians hideout once more. The ‘Pyramid of the Dog’ proves to not be a pyramid at all, but rather a collection of siege towers collapsed against each other. The agents spring into action against the remaining Warhounders, eventually felling them and confronting Nessian himself. Bundin finds the thug a worthy foe, getting knocked unconscious by a lucky punch from the dirty fighter. However the efforts of the rest of the group overpower the would-be crime lord and he eventually yields. Albert discovers the codebook and the team return to Absalom with a captured Nessian in tow.

After turning Nessian over the the authorities the agents return to Alexis and update him on their nightly activities. Again impressed at their resourcefulness Alexis pays them all handsomely and thanks them for their defense of Absalom. While almost all the populace of Absalom remain blissfully unaware of how perilously close they came to a invasion of a spectral armada, those few that know of the heroes efforts are incredibly grateful, especially Yargos Gill.

Before the group retire for the day Alexis gives Julien a letter that was dropped off for him. It appears the letter is from Albert Doels family, inviting Julien and his kin for dinner.

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Voice In The Void

Mystery strikes at the problem-plagued Blackros Museum in Absalom and its curator, Nigel Aldain, needs help. When a famed Osirian tomb raider returns to Absalom and disappears in the museum’s basement, Aldain fears the worst. When strange sounds echo from below and several of the curator’s night watchmen go missing, he panics and begs the Varlokkur to investigate the mystery and save his museum from the darkness that infests it.

A couple of days after their expedition to the Fallen Fortress the agents of the Varlokkur are summoned to the Scholars Quill, a reputed tavern in the Wise Quarter of Absolom. The five heroes are met there by Alexis, who advises them that he wishes for them to embark on their first investigation. The diviner tells the agents of the plight of the Blakros Museum and that Nigel Aldain has approached him and asked the Varlokkur to venture beneath the museum to discover the fate of one of the daughters of the Blakros family and of the watchmen who went looking for her. Unfortunately Alexis has other pressing concerns, but he feels he can trust this assignment to the agents.

The five make their way across the Wise Quarter to the Blakros Museum, where they are met by a shaky Nigel Aldain and quickly shown to the entrance to the museum basement. Descending down into the darkness, it soon becomes apparent that all is not as it seems below the museum. Decrepit exhibit attack the heroes, animated by some fell magic. After an encouter with a taxidermied owlbear almost kills Bundin the group take a more tentative approach to the cellars. They soon encounter a twisted plant know as a Yellow Musk Creeper, but luckily this is quickly sliced up in a combined attack.

Blackros museum

The agents continue through the museum basement, uncovering the Blakros archives which now play host to a collection of otherworldly bioluminescent mushrooms and fungus. While most of the fungus and mold doesn’t seem harmful several of the group fall prey to the heat draining properties a size of brown mold. Bundin and Julian return to the church of Torag to seek divine healing, while the others begin searching through the archive. Apprentice Doel takes the time to decrypt a hidden message scribbled in Osirian. During his search A’hymhu uncovers a trapdoor well concealed beneath the fungus growth, as well as a backpack containing Osirian trinkets. When the group reunites they haul open the trapdoor and cautiously venture down into the hidden chamber.

Once the agents descend the slippy mold covered stairs they enter into a disturbing chamber, mirroring the stomach of a warped leviathan. As they press on towards a disturbing green light behind a black curtain A’hymhus curiousity gets the better and he opens a box filled with spiders that swarm across him. Apprentice Doel moves to duck through the curtain and reveals Imrizade attached to the foreboding Gate to Beyond by flesh tendrils, guarded by a zombified watchman.

As combat ensues things begin to look bleak as A’hymhu falls beneath the spider horde and Bundin succumbs to wounds inflicted on his by the zombie. However, as it looks as if all hope may be lost Doel summons an eagle which destroys the cannister controlling Imrizade and she ceases her assault as she collapses. With the gate imploding on itself, the agents retrieve Imrizade and their injured allies and make for the museum basement to take stock.

With their assignment complete the agents return to Alexis and make him aware of their investigations. Alexis congratulates them and advises them that he’s arranged for them to use several rooms of the Scholars Quill as a base of operations. The following day all the investigators receive a letter of thanks from the rescued Imrizade Blakros.

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Master Of The Fallen Fortress

The ruined siege castles outside Absalom have long beckoned adventurers looking to make a name for themselves. Now an earthquake has cracked open one of these fabled ruins, and its lost mysteries and fantastic treasures lie exposed for the first time in centuries. But the tower’s empty halls once more echo with living footfalls, and a new master has claimed the Fallen Fortress as his own.

The final five applicants for the position as Agents of the Varlokkur gather in the townhouse of Alexis of House Dashwood. Alexis, a respected Varlokkur and diviner, advises the applicants that their final test will be to travel into the Cairnlands, locate the Fallen Fortress and investigate it. After a few questions the applicants gather their equipment, secure a map of the Cairnlands and venture to the ruins.

The five investigators find the ruins far from abandoned, having to fight their way through packs of wild dogs, a shocker lizard and a handful of troglodytes. Eventually they uncover a chapel to Nethys, the god of magic. After clearing the chapel of the flaming skeletons protecting it the group venture further upwards and liberate a Pathfinder bard called Balenar Forsend from his captors.

Troglodyte by njoo d33kem6

With Balenar in tow the investigators push to the top of the Fortress where they encounter Tasskar, troglodyte druid and leader of the tribe. After a short put potentially deadly fight, Tasskar is flung from the fortress following a deadly neck blow from Bundin Toragsons waraxe. Satisfied with their success the applicants return to Absalom and part ways with Balenar, before returning to their mentor and reporting their success. Impressed with their dedication, preparation and sound decisions Alexis advises them they are all to be promoted to agents of the Varlokkur.

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Agents Of The Varlokkur Prologue

The Varlokkur are a group of spell-casting judges charged with keeping magic in the city of Absalom within acceptable limits. They answer to the city’s third Spell Lord, but their legal training is the responsibility of the city’s First Lord or Lady of Laws.

They investigate crimes with a magical element, try to ensure spells are not use to pervert the course of justice, and hear any crimes with a strong magical element or involving a known spellcaster.

They also seek to enforce the laws making the casting of specific spells illegal within Absalom. In particular, they have the authority to judge that a new spell is essentially identical to an outlawed spell, and so is similarly illegal.

In order to better perform their duties a number of the Varlokkur have decided to employ a number of field agents to assist in their city wide investigations. After several months of vetting, shadowing, training and testing only a handful of applicants remain from the dozens that originally applied. These final few applicants are about to embark on their final assessment to see if they are worthy to act as Agents of the Varlokkur.

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