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  #16  
Old 07-08-2018, 07:33 AM
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NoriaThe ranger listened closely to the mayor but her eyes scanned the crowd and a look of mild frustration--or is it concern?--crossed over her pink features. Occasionally, she made self-conscious eye contact with the mayor, knowing that the habit or rangers, and others who spend long days in the wild, to take in all their surroundings instead of focusing could seem rude during a conversation

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Shall we adjourn to the Garrison?
Noria made one last survey of the dissipating crowd and then turned to the mayor and smiled. "Yes, let's." She fell in beside the Mayor Deverin, her hand resting easily on the hilt of the old Thassilonian sword on her hip. Her ears perked up at Laurel's question and she walked in silence hoping to learn something of this magician they'd crossed paths with in the dungeon. In truth, had he been in the company of anyone but Ameiko and one or two other select Sandpointers, she would have instantly guessed him an enemy. She listened for hints of the sinister in his background, all the while reminding herself that she hadn't exactly been raised in a Temple of Iomedae herself.

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Old 07-12-2018, 11:40 PM
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Very shortly, you arrive at the Sandpoint Garrison. It isn't much when compared to the parapets and towers of Magnimar, but the way it rises up from the midst of the modest wooden structures around it, it's a veritable two-story stone fortress. Sandpoint's town guard only consists of roughly a dozen i.e. Professional soldiers and fighters, as opposed to farmers and craftsmen who take up a sword...full-time guards, mostly to fight off the occasional ogre or any monsters that venture too close to town, so the building is usually quiet. Considering the events of the past few days, however, the building is a bee's hive of activity! Young couriers rush to and fro, delivering messages, cooks work to keep the men and women of the watch and militia fed, and a few soldiers have mustered a formation of inexperienced men in a clearing not far from Old Light to coach them in what appears to be a few goblin-killing techniques with sword and spear.

Outside of the establishment, an older, mustachioed gentleman with a knot of white hair pulled back and tied behind his head is engaging a guard in conversation within the shade of the Garrison's walls. He is dressed in plain clothes - a nondescript padded jacket and loose-fitting trousers stuffed into road-worn boots - but the longsword at his hip is more exquisite. All ivory and silver, it is well cared-for and gleams even in the Garrison's shade.

"You are mostly correct. Though Tsuto never claimed the Kaijitsu name nor did Master Lonjiku ever consider him a part of that family," he counters matter-of-factly to the guard as you approach. "On the rare occasion that he used a surname, he gave his mother's maiden name, Akishino."

"Good morning, Mayor Deverin! And... well if it isn't Laurel Valdemar and Talai Vhiski," he says by way of greeting, obviously knowing the two. He seems pleased to see the women, but the tight-lipped smile he greets them with is strained. To the rest of you, he bows and introduces himself. "I am Ilsoari Gandethus, headmaster of Turadarok Academy." If you had to guess, the guard most likely has brought him here as a character witness. Few would have spent more time with Tsuto over the years than the headmaster and guardian of the town's orphaned and/or abandoned children.

"Is it really true?" he asks the Mayor as if he has to hear it straight from the horse's mouth before he believes it.

"Good morning, Mister Gendethus," the Mayor returns the greeting, mustering as much warmth and cheer as she can considering the conversation. "I'm afraid so. Tsuto was either in the worst possible place at the worst possible time... or he murdered Lonjiku Kaijitsu in cold blood. Amongst other assorted allegations of assault and conspiring to destroy Sandpoint and whatnot."

The headmaster's shoulders sag at this and he pulls at his face as if the news has settled upon him with a physical weight. "Oh, my poor boy..." he mutters, shaking his head. "He never had it easy, but... this... I never thought this..."
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:59 AM
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NoriaNoria walked in silence, listening to the mayor and scanning the alleys and spaces under wagons. Sandpoint had become a place where she let her guard down in the past, but no more. At least not for now. She took in the change that had come over the Garrison, glad to see that the Guard was taking things seriously and hoping it would be enough. She skirted around the perimeter of the group as Gandethus engaged them and
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sized him up out of the corner of her eye.

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Old 07-14-2018, 02:10 AM
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For a moment Laurel shrinks uncertainly before the headmaster—it is as if she is ten years old again, and though she likes and respects Gandethus, she isn’t sure if her feelings are reciprocated. As a student, Laurel fell into the ‘bright but unmotivated’ category, preferring to experience the world directly rather than read about it in some musty old books. There was also her then fiery temper, as well as one or two escapades that Ilsoari might suspect her of being involved in. She exchanges a look with Talai, then reaches for her coconspirator’s hand and gives it a squeeze.

Fortunately the headmaster appears happy to see them, or relatively so given the recent unpleasantness in Sandpoint. The druid relaxes and greets him with a relieved smile. “Hello Master Gandethus. It’s good to see you.” The smile fades a bit. “I only wish it were under better circumstances.”

As the discussion inevitably turns towards Tsuto her smile disappears completely. “I know. I can hardly believe it myself.” she offers as commiseration to the elderly man. “But we found him in the tunnels under the Glassworks, running away from Ameiko, and she was just livid for what he did. And Breck here,” she turns, motioning at the half-elf, “he saw everything with his own eyes.” She pauses, giving their new companion a chance to fill Gandethus in on the details.

“But speaking of the tunnels … we discovered a few … things … that we’d like to ask you about. You’ve got the most experience of anybody in Sandpoint, and we’re hoping you might have more information about the things we saw.” Laurel glances over at the mayor, remembering the mysterious item found in Tsuto’s possession, and lowers her voice. “Perhaps we should all speak in private?”
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Old 07-22-2018, 01:12 AM
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Headmaster Gandethus seems to be staggered by the news of Tsuto's treason, swaying in the shade of the Garrison. He does not respond as Laurel asks for time to speak, though he turns an appraising eye to Breck as she introduces him.

"Will you join us inside, Ilsoari?" Mayor Deverin asks.

"I can spare a moment," he says to Laurel and the Mayor. "But I must return to the Academy, soon."

It takes a moment for your eyes to adjust from the bright sunlit streets to the cool, dark, crowded halls of the fortress-like Garrison. Sandpoint is a young town so the structure cannot be more than fifty years old. The stone is still as smooth as it was the day it was lain here and it appears that the guard hasn't done much else to spruce it up other than sweeping the floors from time to time. Every turn, every corner, every office you glimpse, there's an ascetic barrenness to it. As the lot of you file in behind the Mayor, the militia members crowding the halls to get their assignments for the day part before you.

Mayor Deverin turns down a wide set of steps, leaving the dark halls for even darker passages. Down the steps go, winding in a circle before straightening out into a dank, moldy dungeon hall. Three sets of heavy-set oaken doors are pushed wide open, beyond which is a lantern faintly glowing through smoky, oily glass. A stocky, middle-aged Shoanti man, covered with scars as if he was injured in a fire at some point long ago, stands from his place at a small table and regards the lot of you suspiciously. Unlike Sheriff Hemlock, who has all but abandoned his Shoanti roots in favor of Sandpoint's customs, this man still shaves his head and displays his tattoos proudly. As you approach, you can see winding shapes and patterns scarred all about his scalp, some of them disappearing where he was horribly burned. And there is some sort of stink in the air... something DC 13 K (Local) or Survival to identify the smell...inhuman, musky and most unpleasant.

"Ma'am," the Shoanti guardsman grunts with a nod. Keys jingle at his belt as he moves, identifying him as the jailer. Even though you were led here by the mayor, he does not stop eyeing you with suspicion.

"This is what they confiscated from him last night. Perhaps the lot of you might find something that I've overlooked," the Mayor says, turning to a table to the side of the first set of heavy oak doors where two piles of items lay. She flips the A small silk tapestry in typical Tian style depicting a peaceful river scene with marsh birds and Tian script, probably a poem.wrapping of one pile open, revealing a A wakizashi if your character is familiar with Tian weaponry...sheathed sword probably from Tian Xia, a bag containing what appears to be An ivory statuette in the likeness of a celestial hound, a woman's necklace, and a yellowed-with-age picture of a beautiful young Tian woman who bears a striking likeness to Ameiko.pilfered valuables, and a sword belt which probably belongs to Tsuto.

On the belt is a curved short sword, a 100gp in all manner of coinage, all minted in Magnimar.coin purse, and a small bag of sorts which appears to be empty but for a few ivory dice, a pair of leather gloves, a pack of cards, a vial of some sort of dust, some cologne, and what appears to be a set of Those of you trained in Disable to Device can identify them as a rather nice set of "thieve's tools".small tools. There is also a shortbow and a quiver with Breck knows from having seen Tsuto fire them that these are +1 Flaming Arrows.eight arrows remaining.

GMTake your time to examine the items, making any skill checks that you might see fit and I'll give you clues accordingly. I will be scaling the results depending on your rolls, so the higher the better! You may need teamwork to achieve the highest results. Since Ilsoari Gandethus is here with you, you may add a +4 bonus to any rolls involving K (Arcana) and Spellcraft.

There are two piles of items. The first appears to be ill-gotten loot though it is not clear where it was taken from. If your character has the ability to detect magic, they will see that the wakizashi bears an enchantment.

The second pile is Tsuto's personal belongings. Of these items, the belt, the shortbow, the arrows and the sword seem to radiate magic. The contents of the pouch seem to be ordinary.
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:17 PM
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NoriaNoria regarded the headmaster impassively. His shock seemed genuine to her and no doubt he was wrestling with the notion that all of Tsuto's trespasses stemmed from something he had done wrong in raising the boy. Such was the torturous illusion of control that beset anyone who cared for children that they must assign any misstep or malady to some failing on their own part. She smirked at the thought that perhaps her own dear mother had engaged in some self-flagellation over the wayward daughter who ran off from a future of devil-worshipping court life to do good in Varisia. This brief amusement was caught short by both the realization that Dominatia Soolvin more likely blamed (and severely punished) the tutors and servants, and by the dreadful implication that the hate-filled and vengeful woman might actually know where Noria had gone. She shuddered and followed the others into the Garrison.

The ranger nodded politely to the guardsmen they passed, men and women she had barely known by sight a couple of days earlier but now held in mutual respect and fellowship. Her eyes adjusted as the group descended into the dungeon and
Dice Survival:
1d20+7sch13 (14)+7 Total = 21
a vaguely familiar scent offended her thin, pointed nose. At Mayor Deverin's bidding, Noria stepped forward to examine the objects taken from Tsuto.

Her eyes flicked over the contents of the pile on the table. "Much of this tells a story we already know, does it not? This Tsuto was an adventurer who I have heard spent time in Magnimar. The weapons, the coins, the dice and cards..." She casually examined the dice and cards
Dice Knowledge, Arcana:
1d20+4 (3)+4 Total = 7
Dice Knowledge, Religion:
1d20+3 (17)+3 Total = 20
for any sign of occult significance. She then shook the dust vial and speculated to herself that it might serve some rogue's purpose, but did not rule out a more sinister significance. Finally she drew out an arrow and
Dice Knowledge, Arcana:
1d20+4 (12)+4 Total = 16
examined it. "Will these arrows be added to the Garrison's armory, Mayor? If there are no immediate plans for them, I might find a use for the set."

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Old 07-23-2018, 09:47 PM
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Old 07-24-2018, 02:14 PM
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As they descend into the dungeon, Laurel wrinkles her small snub nose at the growing stench. With a slight shake of her head she exchanges a knowing glance with Noria. “Bruthazmus certainly left an impression, didn't he? They'll have a hard time getting rid of the bugbear smell.” The druid knows of a number of plants that will completely neutralize the odor, but unfortunately few of them grow near Sandpoint, and the townsfolk are unlikely to have those few on hand. She shrugs lightly. Though the smell is unpleasant, it is relatively faint and she isn't particularly bothered by it, especially since she has encountered far worse in her travels through the deep forest.

She glances over the items displayed on the table, paying scant heed to the weapons but giving all the other objects a Take 10 on Perception for 21 on everything.quick but careful appraisal. A few items attract a more detailed investigation: she admires the craftmanship of the
Dice Perception:
1d20+11 (2)+11 Total = 13
ivory statuette, and takes the
Dice Perception:
1d20+11 (4)+11 Total = 15
dust vial from Noria after the ranger has finished her examination. She spends the most time studying the
Dice Perception:
1d20+11 (18)+11 Total = 29
Dice Knowledge (local):
1d20+3 (9)+3 Total = 12
portrait of the Tian woman with furrowed brow. “Curious.” Is she related to Ameiko somehow? The resemblance seems too strong to be a mere coincidence, especially considering Tsuto's connection.

After her inspection she looks at Deverin, wondering if they are of the same mind. “So ... which one's the item you found suspicious?” Laurel glances questioningly at Breck and Ilsoari, curious to know if they have spotted anything magical; her gaze lingers upon the older man. “Master Gandethus ... down in the tunnels beneath the Glassworks we found a demon performing a ritual. There was this strange triangular pool, filled with a thick, bubbling liquid, almost like lava ... and whenever the demon dripped some blood into it, the pool would create a monster. Have you heard of anything like this? The pool seemed to stop working after a while, and we've sealed off the room, but it'd be best if we could destroy it somehow, or make sure that it stays inactive. Do you have any ideas what to do?”
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Old 07-26-2018, 04:23 PM
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Talai pressed her lips together in distaste at the smell as they entered, joining the others at the the table.

She kept one ear on the conversation around her as she scanned the table, eyes drawn to the wrapping itself, first. She didn't speak the language, but the appearance of a song couldn't help but draw her attention, and she spent several moments looking over the flowing characters and their river scene.

At Laurel's question to the mayor, she perks up, interested in the answer even as she continues her own examinations, turning the objects over carefully one by one.

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Old 08-01-2018, 09:49 PM
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The jailer moves his things from the table to make room for the inspection, standing by and watching with interest - as any good custodian would do.

"It does," Mayor Deverin says in response to Noria's assessment of a story already known. "I suppose they would be better put to use in defense of Sandpoint than gathering dust in the jail," the Mayor says, inviting Noria to help herself to the enchanted munitions.

The jailer grunts and rolls his eyes when Laurel mentions the bugbear, Bruthazmus, confirming the source of the smell. The unlucky sod has been trapped down here without fresh air likely since the attack.

"A demon, you say?" Gandethus responds to Laurel. "And not a devil? Ah! The distinction matters not," he mumbles as he begins a cursory inspection of the things lain about the table. "I'm told - frequently by Quink - that Thassilonian arcanists had an unrivaled lust for power - particularly for the destructive, demonic variety - and frequently struck sinister pacts to further their status and influence within the magocracy," he mumbles absentmindedly as he turns the pouch and its contents over and over in his hands. Even as he explains, it seems that he is on to something regarding the items. Nearby, the Mayor watches him closely as if attempting to gauge whether the items hold a clue. "Dreadful artifacts which pull from dark places outside of the Or the "Inner Sphere" for those of you who are hip to all things dimensional and extra-dimensional...world-we-know are not uncommon within the lands of Varisia," he continues. "But I cannot speak definitively of ways to stymie an ancient artifact's power without careful inspection..."

Talai unfurls the tapestry to reveal a scene of what appears to be five wealthy Tian nobles speaking with each other near a beautiful pond. The attention to detail is almost dizzying! It is early morning. Cats tails stand tall over the water, leaning slightly in the wake of a passing Zephyr, and pink, dew-laden flowers rest upon water lilies in various stages of opening from bud to bloom. A menacing forest lay in the background between two mountains. The silver script, painted along the right-hand edge of the tapestry, is a complicated tangle of brush strokes. The Tien language actually has four separate alphabets consisting of thousands of characters and pictographs, making it almost impossible to translate unless one is fluent in the language.

"This bag has some kind of magic-dampening property. All of these items..." Gandethus waves his hand at the collection of things pulled from the pouch: the gloves, tools, cards, and the dust, "...have To clarify: Their magical auras are hidden whilst in the pouch.magical properties themselves, though I'll need more time to decipher just what they do. But that is not all!" He pauses a beat as if milking the discovery for a bit of drama before continuing.

"There is some sort of secret, extra-dimensional space here," he says, his stark-white mustache tilting to the side in a smile at either the craftsmanship or his own cleverness at figuring it out. The Mayor veritably beams as the old headmaster makes his discovery.

"You brilliant old coot!" she says, stepping closer to examine the item over his shoulder. "What opens it? A gesture? A word?" she asks, though Gandethus shrugs as he continues to examine the item.

"Wha?" the jailer asks in disbelief, looking over the Mayor's shoulder as if he could see for himself the mysterious workings of the strange pouch. He scratches at his bald scalp and echoes the headmaster's report: "Extra-domini-shin... theoronical... spouts?" Obviously, he didn't go to school here at Turandarok Academy.

GMAs a meta-note, I want to let you know that the tapestry is a bit of a red-herring that I included for a touch of Tian culture. It isn't a clue for One for the future, perhaps...the adventure at hand.


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Old 08-02-2018, 10:20 AM
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The Sleeping Lotus

The brushstrokes of the flowers are delicately beautiful and Talai indulges in a moment of distraction, holding the tapestry out in front of her. The strange, unfamiliar lettering speaks of a familiar story, one she heard once many years ago.

"The Five Storms and the Five Nobles..." The details are as clear in her mind as the quirks of its decidedly...straightforward telling. She could almost grin, remembering.


The scroll itself is isn't enough of a distraction to overcome the interest of Gandethus' next words, however.

"A secret compartment?" Talai neatly tucks the tapestry against her arm as she practically dances the few steps over to where the mayor and Gandethus are examining the bag, half a cat-like grin forming on her lips as her fingers practically itch with the memory of various tricks played, trinkets secreted in or out of such hidden pockets, to the delight or consternation of various audiences... and maybe one or two shady tradesmen or cruel nobles who, really, had absolutely had it coming. Still... the ones she'd dealt with were of decidedly more...mundane construction. Using actually magic in a trick would just be cheating.

Nevertheless, she examines the bag again, herself, using the action to think more than anything else, when the mayor's words tug sharply at her attention.

"Well if it's a gesture, then we're likely out of luck..."
Talai stifles amusement at the idea of dancing for the bag on the off chance it opened, reminding herself of the stakes. "...but if it's a word, we might have more of a chance. Perhaps something relating to this whole mess?" Her voice spikes in uncertainty as she voices the idea, clearly at a total loss for what such a word or phrase might be, even so. Talai fidgets, casting about the objects on the table for a real clue until suddenly she freezes, absent movements paused with the fingers of one hand still twined in one of the pouch's cords.

"He's doing it for revenge, right? It's about more maybe, with so much happening but..." She pauses for several long moments, focusing on the picture, so much like Ameiko but undoubtedly too old to be her brother's friend. When she speaks again it is still tentative, full of far more hope than confidence, but still much surer than before..."I, hm... I doubt it's this simple, but..."

"...Atsushii Akishino?"
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Old 08-05-2018, 07:55 PM
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"...Atsushii Akishino?" Talai asks as much as she states. The headmaster nods appreciatively as if it's a good place to start.

At first, it seems as if nothing has happened. The bag is exactly as it was.

Then you blink... and there are now three small, cloth-bound journals, a tiny silken bag, an assortment of figurines carved from skrimshaw, an envelope, and a jewelry box at the bottom of the bag.

"Ha! You did it!" the Mayor gasps, smiling ear to ear in spite of her fatigue as she looks over Ilsoari Gandethus' shoulder. The headmaster offers the pouch - now that its secret is revealed - for any of you to inspect...

GMPLOT BOMBS ABOUND.
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Old 08-06-2018, 12:24 PM
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Noria"It was a demon," Noria confirmed to Gandethus. "I could make out some of what it said, but it was not speaking Infernal." After a moment she quickly added: "I am from Cheliax, so I sadly have some facility with the language of devils." She did not really wish to get into her background in great detail, but knowledge of Infernal alone often demanded an explanation among the good folk in Varisia. "Also, I respectfully disagree that the distinction matters not. Though I would never say that demons were any more or less dangerous than devils, the nature of the threat demons pose is often more directly violent and immediate. If the Mayor permits, it may be a good idea for you to go down and see the pool from which the demon was summoning its monsters. Having fought several already, I can assure you we don't want to fight more if it can be avoided." Ingea grunted a reluctant concurrence.

Noria watched curiously as Talai examined the bag and thought aloud her way to a guess at the bag's activation word. "Brilliant Talai!" she exclaimed as the bag revealed its secret, though she herself had no idea what those magic words signified. She pressed forward and took the envelope in her right hand, using the left to distribute the journals to each of her companions except Ingea. Even if the dwarf could read, Noria doubted it was favored pastime. With a businesslike manner she opened the envelope and examined the contents.

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Old 08-10-2018, 10:06 PM
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Laurel exhales a low appreciative whistle as the bag suddenly reveals its secrets. “Nicely done Talai!” The momentary look of confusion on Noria's face does not escape the druid's notice, so she explains the significance of the command word to the ranger. Compared to the Pathfinder wiki, there's something fishy about this name ...Atsushii Akishino was Tsuto's and Ameiko's mother. She committed suicide, but Tsuto accused his stepfather—Lonjiku—of pushing her off the balcony.” Laurel looks down at the table, her voice subdued and grim. “Lonjiku broke Tsuto's jaw with a cane for that accusation.”

She gently slides the portrait of the Tian woman in front of Noria. “This is her picture. And I think Talai must be right. This is about revenge ... at least for Tsuto. But the goblins and monsters and demons ... Tsuto is just a small part of this puzzle.” She takes one of the journals from Noria but does not open it right away; instead, she Did it belong to Atsuii?
Dice Perception:
1d20+11 (16)+11 Total = 27
Dice Knowledge (local):
1d20+3 (15)+3 Total = 18
examines the woman's necklace in a new light and reaches for the Did it belong to Atsuii? Is it connected to the necklace?
Dice Perception:
1d20+11 (17)+11 Total = 28
Dice Knowledge (local):
1d20+3 (13)+3 Total = 16
jewelry box, opening it to inspect its contents. Only then does she start to peruse the cloth-bound journal.
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:39 PM
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With the Puzzle of the Purse finally solved, Noria distributes the journals out between her companions. Mayor Deverin, still in shock over the reveal, just leans upon the tabletop and looks back and forth between the women, waiting anxiously for some the next surprise which might cast light upon who - or what - is behind the recent attacks.

The journals are full of hundreds of drawings, many of them quite good. Some of the earliest entries are of Ameiko and a regal Tian woman who can only be Tsuto's mother, Atsuii. If the drawings are any indicator, Ameiko is the spitting image of the woman... sans tattoos, attitude, and wild/unkempt hair. There are dates and notes here and there, but they do not give you the answers you seek.

Finding little of value in that one, it is tossed aside in favor of the next. It begins with more of the same, but quickly turn to quick sketches of a young woman. She looks sad and withdrawn, almost waif-ish in her manner of dress, but there is something about her that Tsuto expertly captures with his pencil - something which makes it hard to look away. Tsuto seems to always depict her in a brillance, as if her hair is of spun silver and her lips fashioned out of gold.

"Is that Nualia!?" Mayor Deverin asks. It can be no other. There she is, filling page after page of Tsuto's journal. Though in the pictures, she is different than the Nualia you know. She still looks like the same morose young woman... but perhaps before she donned armor and carried a greatsword? Ilsoari steps back from the books to pace behind you, pulling at his mustache as he tries to process everything he's learned in the past few moments.

As the drawings progress, she becomes happier, and the drawings... well, it quickly becomes apparent that Tsuto's relationship with the woman became quite intimate during their travels. Some of them are of her reclined upon a couch or bed, her stomach marked by some sort of scars. Others are of her standing before fantastic-looking monuments and ruins. Sometimes there are others with her, but the focus is always on her. There are dozens of scenes of vanquished monsters and camps set in the midst of treasure hordes, thoroughly documenting their adventures... as The Five, if what you've heard is accurate. Then things change, apparently...

There seems to be a period of a year or so where Tsuto gave up drawing. Then the portraits resume... no longer of Nualia, but other faces come and go. The second journal ends with hasty scribbles of scar-faced warriors, DC 17 K (Planes) or DC 25 K (Arcana) to identifybat-faced monsters, DC 13 K (Planes) or DC 21 K (Arcana) to identifymonstrous-looking hounds, and goblins. In some of them, the monsters and goblins bow to a mysterious figure completely hidden within dark, heavy robes.

The latest journal, currently in Laurel's hands, picks up with those dark illustrations. Some sort of K (Geography) DC 16 to identify... island fortress emerging from a swamp-like scene. More monsters. Identical to the ones Noria took rubbings of!Strange symbols. Goblins twisted by magics. A frightened wizardess standing over a slain man. A Bruthazmus!snarling bugbear. A stone idol depicting a Lamashtu!jackal-faced woman with a swollen belly. The mysterious figure from the previous book now appears more sinister. Perhaps a little mad. His frustrations with the man are apparent as the illustrations become darker and more aggressive. In one, the figure stands atop a parapet of an old fortress or castle, the courtyard filled with goblins!

Flipping to the back of the book, to the final illustration, Laurel finds a picture of the mysterious robed leader. In this one, the cowl is pushed back, revealing a gaunt, masculine face - perhaps once-handsome but now too thin, with a hawkish nose and high cheekbones - twisted by As if burned...extensive scarring as he stares in wonder at a twisted, clawed appendage which has taken the place of his right hand. Mayor Deverin gasps as she stares at the drawing, reaching up to cover her mouth. The figure seems to be in the process of undergoing some sort of demonic transformation, but the face...

"Father Tobyn..." she whispers in shock and disbelief...

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