Rise of the Runelords (RPHaven)

Doctor Faustina Investigates Magnimar

Faustina walks through the streets with purpose. Her features are covered in the heavy coat, boots, and gloves of a doctor in the midst of a plague. A segmented crow’s mask made of some sort of light-colored metal covers her face in its entirety, goggles built into the eyes to obscure her features even further. Coming up to about the waist of the taller folk, she’s almost difficult to notice on the streets. Her face turns every which way, her obscured eyes flicking about as she keeps her senses sharp.

Murder is common in this town, barroom brawls, shake downs, backstabbing and assassinations, but recent murders have been different. Slowly, like a trickle, they showed up, bodies laying in the streets, their flesh marred with a seven-pointed star. It’s only been happening for the past few months, but the steady stream hasn’t stopped.

Faustina is searching for one thing: a lead. Any references to this seven-pointed star and any relations the victims had with one another. Her search takes her to underbridge, the wretched underbelly of the town, where the giant ruin of the Irespan covers the sun in its massive shadow. Children, street urchins, eking out some enjoyment in their existence play a game with a song, singing “Mumble Mumble, Scarecrow, Alone in the maize, Sleeping in the daytime, a stitched man he stays.”

The investigator approaches the kids. She brings a gloved hand up to stroke the ‘beak’ of her mask, “Hello, children. Having a bit of fun?”

The children go wide-eyed, stopping their game as they look to the stranger as they scrutinize her with their eyes, “What’choo want?” a varisian youth asked, eyes narrowed.

“Oh, I’m just doing some asking around. You kids tend to know what goes on in the streets, yes?”

They look to one another, then back to her. “Maybe, depends.”

“I have coin… or if coin is not your fancy, I can do a bit of street magic.”

“Show us” one said, the others piped in, chirping similar requests.

Faustina pulls out a deck of cards from her sleeve. She shuffles them up before fanning out a group of cards, “Go ahead. Pick one.” One of the children grabs a card and looks to her expectantly, to which she responds, “Alright. Memorize which card it is and give it back to me.” She holds her gloved hand out, “Don’t be shy, I won’t bite.”

They all take a look at it and hand it back to her. Faustina takes it. She’ll go to place it in the deck, but at the last second use a sleight of hand to flick it back into her sleeve. She then shuffles the deck multiple times, cuts it in half, and sleights her card back into the deck. She then draws it, “Is this your card?”

A few gasps and a set of applause emerge from the crowd. The head of the group nods in approval and asks, “What ya looking for?”

Faustina places the deck back into her sleeve before speaking, “Do you know about the murders that have been happening as of late? Not just any murders, but ones with special symbols carved into them?”

They get a bit quiet from that and a few scurry away. “Gonna take more than a magic trick to get me talkin’ about that sort of thing.”

Faustina harrumphs, “Naturally.” She palms out a gold coin, “How does this sound?” The kid reaches out for it. Faustina lets him grab it before responding, “I want what you know on these things. Anything strange beyond the marring of the bodies. Think of it as… a doctor’s curiosity.”

“Lots of stuff happens around here.” He says, pocketing the coin. “People in shadows, not wanting to be seen. Not even my big bro messes with them. Very secret, they are.”

“Shadowy people that are very secretive. That sounds very suspect. Have you noticed them in a higher frequency in any particular areas, little one?” Despite saying this, she’s probably their height or shorter.

He shrugs, “Round gamblin’ houses and whorehouses.”

Faustina sighs, “Mm. Not entirely helpful, but I suppose every little step counts. We never spoke about this, alright?”

“Sure thing” He says before running off to join his friends.


Underbridge was not a place for entertainment and was quite a dangerous place indeed, but along the edge where it joined with more reputable areas, sat a quaint gambling house. A simple place for simple card games and sitting outside it was a Varisian cutting away at a block of wood

Faustina approaches the Varisian and clears her throat, “Hello there! Are you a part of this establishment?”

The Varisian stops and grunts, “Yeah. Why you askin’?”

After adjusting her mask, Faustina responds, “I’m investigating a few things in this city and I have a question that I mean no ill will by: About how many of the people who play here would you say are ‘suspicious’?”

“Everyone.” He says.

Faustina laughs, “Fair enough. It’s a gambling house after all. Would you be surprised if any of them committed murder or would you pin them as more low-class criminals, the sort who might just beat a fellow for cheating?”

“All of them, I’d guess. Enough who would kill someone for asking too much.”

“You’re welcome to make all of the veiled threats you’d like. I’m investigating a rather serious case and compliance is appreciated. We wouldn’t want another body turning up for the authorities to find after all.” She rests her gloved hand in her coat, “I’m investigating the rather ghastly series of murders and, as I said, all compliance on the matter is appreciated.”

“Won’t find anyone who ’d care about authorities round these parts.” he said "Hiding their crimes is not a thing we do round there, but… there are a few of those rich types who come down to the edge here for the “night life” Anyone looking to hide something will probably be up in that side of town."

Faustina pauses, “Ah! There you go.” She removes her hand, “You already narrowed my search down quite a bit. Have a good day.” And with that, the short investigator vanishes back into the night from whence she came.

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Ionor breaks the news the Shayliss

Ionor moves to through the streets of Sandpoint, attempting to avoid any crowds, until he arrives at the Vinder storefront.
Ionor takes a deep breath, opens the door and steps inside.
“Shaylisss?”
Shayliss immediately collides into him, clinging tightly. “Ionor! What happened!? Where’s father!?”
Ionor is taken aback by the sudden hug, but quickly returns it. “Ven isss fine…He should be back home shortly.”
Ionor looks Shayliss in the eyes “But I…I’m sorry. Your sister is….”
Shayliss looks back up to him, her eyes red with tears. “Katrine…? W-what about katrine? Ionor what happened!?”
Ionor: “She is…no longer with us. I’m sorry.”
Shayliss: W… what…?" she stepped back, her hands clasping over her mouth. “N… no”
Ionor holds Shayliss tightly “Please dry your tears..I am to find out who or what isss responsible for thisss. I will make sure they pay.”
Shayliss sniffles and takes a quick breath “D-do you know what happened? How… where…? WHY!?”
Ionor brings Shayliss’ head to his chest, attempting to console her. “I don’t know…at leassst not yet. I am to leave tomorrow for the mill.”
Shayliss: “I’ll go with you! Father is gone, and… and Katrine… I don’t want to be left alone!”
Ionor: “No! Please…I don’t want to endanger you. I don’t want to lose you.”
Shayliss: “What should I do?”
Ionor: “Ssstay here, ssstay sssafe.”
Shayliss: “W… what about you? You died once, but… I can’t… I can’t lose you again.”
Ionor: “Well if I die again…You’ll just have to find me again, won’t you?”
Ionor attempts to flash a smile at Shayliss
Shayliss wipes her tears, hugging him again. “O- okay, darling. Please, be careful, and please find out what happened… please…”
Ionor returns the hug “I will, you have my word on that. Just please…stop crying…”
Shayliss takes a deep breath and nods. “O.. .ok, just…”
Ionor: “Shh…It’s alright I’m here for you. I’m not going anywhere.”

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Report

As expected, there were no witnesses to the missing carriage at Sandpoint, though I do not doubt that little secret will be making its rounds in the proper circles so as to not arouse any panic among the populace. In fact I would very much like to keep an eye on the Tiefling. Reports show that she’s quite ruthless, yet before me was a quivering pile of nerves, hardly the expert interrogator I was told she was. Nevertheless, from what information we extracted from Tsuto, I don’t doubt she is quite capable.

In all honesty, her prime vice appears to be in her self-centeredness, as I had a feeling she spoke to me in order to gain favor for some reason. That reason I can only speculate, though if its for the reason I surmise, she may be of use to my goals in shaping Magnimar’s future for the better. I mentioned that she would be an invaluable ally, and I mean that, but I need to coax her out of that shell of hers and get her to treat all lawbreakers with the passion she showed in breaking Tsuto’s will.

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One Out of Two Ain't Bad

Well, I have to say that I was worried when I first heard the squeaking coming from down in my basement. I knew that Katrine was one to enjoy fooling around, especially with that Banny Harker—oh how they annoy the neighbors with that mill business. so late into the night.

Don’t know much ‘bout this Ionor fellow, nor what my dear Shayliss sees in him. Maybe its just that he’s a real hero. I can remember my young days and admiring them ladies going in and out of town on some business or another, ayup.

I’m just worried he’d take her out on some wild adventure. I mean, if she decided to maybe move down the road in a log cabin or something, that wouldn’t be too bad, but attacking goblin fortresses or the like? That’s just not for my daughter, no sir!

But really, back to Katrine… that dang girl… I wish she’d get her head on straight. sometimes I wish I would just knock some sense into her, or that Harker… I’d like to get my hands around his throat if I ever catch him in a dark alley. Teach him to seduce my girl and turn her into a slut! Yeah, that’s right! Teach him good!

Oh but hey, I’m just happy Shayliss is happy. besides, ain’t often you get to see a real bona-fide druid thingie going on at night. Just hope they aren’t into orgies, we’re bringing Father Zantus along, and that just wouldn’t seem proper.

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Trip to the Basement

I’ve been digging through this hole for so long. Always digging. I must keep digging. All my debts paid, all my sins erased, and finally I will be free. Free to be who I was meant to be, free to rid myself of that crying, that horrible wailing.

And free

to be with

her

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Diary of a Tentamort
In which a Tentacled Creature with INT 1 uses a Keyboard

aeeiolkwef;hENOHDLKNSdfv[oiknlWEDIOHLKWE IHJSDfsCXdSP chdsFLKN8HOIR ’oisdy98hISKLD9Y8[IweasOi hknS [OIKNEDc{oI

(yummy birds)

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Notes Scrawled Amidst Ancient Research

Entry #1

Damn those Pathfinders! All of the blood, sweat, and tears I poured into my thesis are now wasted! They are probably locking my research on Thassilon away as I write this. That was years of exploration, dungeons delved, allies lost! They can’t just reject me for no reason. My theories were too sound. The evidence was there! This must have something to do with the two missing initiates. The ones who had those rather compelling arguments and those rather ancient artifacts that mysteriously disappeared…

Entry #2

What luck! An aasimar woman approached me today, seeking an expert in Thassilon. If I can’t make it as a Pathfinder, surely I can do my research on my own. The platinum she’s paying will help me with my own personal work, for sure.

Entry #3

I saw him for the first time today. While I was deep in my notes, covered in the shed hairs of my dear Skivver, the most amazing man walked through my research room. His supple body navigates through the catacombs with ease. His eyes large and expressive, dig deep into my soul. How I wish to caress those pointed ears of his and whisper to him the secrets I hide.

But I cannot… he could never have eyes for someone like me. No, I must admire him from afar, in my most private of times, and in my dreams. What a worthless wretch I am! Unable to give the man I love a simple “hello!”

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Arken talks to Ameiko about Nualia

Arken walks up to Ameiko’s door, and pauses for a moment before knocking softly.
Ameiko opens the door and steps aside. “So, yeah, you wanted to talk up here, what’s it about?”
Arken: “It’s about some of the stuff going on. It’s been a bit of a mess lately.”
Ameiko motions her over to sit down at the bed. “Go ahead, shoot.” She said closing the door behind her.
Arken walks in slowly, not really sure what to do with herself, before finally sitting down. “Well we did some investigating and we uh, think we know who started that raid during the festival.” she pauses before answering, not sure how to tell her. “It was uh, Nualia.”
Ameiko: "Nualia? the preacher’s daughter?
Arken: “Yes… it looks like she isn’t dead after all. I wish that were actually good news.”
Ameiko: "Why the hell would she be raising a goblin army?
Arken: “Well we’re not sure, but it looks like she’s worshiping L-Lamashtu.”
Ameiko: “Tsh, well that means she’s nothing but trouble. Lamashtan people are as crazy as they come.”
Arken: “Y-Yeah, well apparently she’s behind this whole thing: the raid, the caves under the glassworks, it’s pretty bad.”
Ameiko: “Sounds like it. so, you guys going to go stop her, I take it?”
Arken: “Yeah, we are going to go to her hideout in the morning and . . . take care of it I guess.”
Ameiko nods, “You want to know how to handle her, huh?”
Arken: “It’s not that, I mean I understand the fighting part,” she says looking away “That’s the easy part.”
Ameiko: “Well come on, Arke, what’s wrong?” she places a hand on her shoulder.
Arken: “It’s just, she’s the only one I’ve ever known like me, and I thought she died, but now she’s alive, and she’s also worshiping Lamashtu and trying to destroy the town? I don’t know how to reconcile any of that . . . I thought I could trust her to be good.”
Ameiko: “I didn’t know Nualia too well. Form what I gathered, she was pretty much worshiped by the town, especially the Varisian-folk. Were the two of you… close?”
Arken: “No, I guess I didn’t know her that well. Her father did try to shelter her from people a lot. I guess it makes sense, looking back now. I guess I was just happy knowing I wasn’t alone.”
Ameiko: “So you don’t want to hurt her because she’s the only other Aasimar you’ve ever known, huh? Yeah, I guess I could understand that. Not really sure if you can reason with someone worshiping Lamashtu, though. Might be able to take her in or something…”
Arken: “I don’t know that that’s better though. I don’t think she’ll come quietly, according to Tsuto sh- sorry.”
Ameiko grits her teeth. “Wait… so she… it was her? She’s responsible for what happened to my family? You’re a better person for me if you’re having trouble with this, Arke. Show me where she is, and I’ll stab my sword right through her heart! That’ll make things easy for you.”
Arken: “No, I don’t want to risk losing you! … I’ll do it.”
Ameiko: “Arke…” she takes a deep breath. “Suppose I should leave things to the new adventurers, but… You can’t go and do something stupid, I mean…” she reaches out and tugs at Arken’s leopard-clawed outfit “Looks like you had a close call already.”
Arken gets up and hugs Ameiko tightly. “It’s alright, I won’t let her hurt anyone anymore. If I can do that, I don’t care how it happens.”
Ameiko gasps but soon places her arms around Arken’s back. “Just promise that whatever you decide… don’t let it change who you are. I lost enough family already to the decisions they made and what it did to them.”
Arken: “I won’t. I promise.”
Ameiko: “Y…you’d better not break that promise,” she pauses, then said “or you’ll have me to answer to.”
Arken laughs a little “I promise. I’ll always be me.”
Ameiko: “Good” she said “now get yourself some new clothes and I’ll get ya dinner if you want.” she said, play punching Arken in the arm.
Arken: “Alright, I’ll go change before I go downstairs.” she says, before heading off to her room. She stops at the door for a moment. “Thanks, I’m glad I could talk to you about this.”
Ameiko: “hey, any time. That’s what friends are for, right?”
Arken: “Right, I’ll be downstairs soon, and I can help with dinner. I just need to check in on Taru first.”

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Taru Attempts to Interrogate Tsuto "Hannibal" Kaijitsu
And fails miserably

Taru heads towards the jail house with determination
Vachedi sees Taru entering into the garrison and nods
Vachedi: “Here to see the prisoner again?”
Taru: “Unfortunately.”
Vachedi nods and shows you down the way into the lower level

Tsuto lays in his cot
Taru: “Tsuto.”
Tsuto: “‘Bookworm,’ that’s what they call you, right?”
Taru: “What of it?”
Tsuto: “Nothing”
Tsuto shrugs, “Read through my journal, I suspect”
Taru: “Well, yes. It had information about the raid. And that quasit. And Nualia.”
Tsuto: “You appreciate the art, bookworm?”
Taru: “N-no, and you really shouldn’t be doing that… you’re trying to distract me!”
Tsuto: “Seems to be working, isn’t it?” He sits up on his cot, looking her in the eyes. “What do you like best about this town?”
Taru: “What do you mean?”
Tsuto: “You have to have some kind of reason to want to protect this place so much. What do you care about Sandpoint?”
Taru: “Why do you care? You want to destroy it regardless of what I think.”
Tsuto shrugs, “Well at least I have a reason to destroy it. You don’t seem to have a reason to preserve it.”
Taru: “If you must know, it’s because there’s a bookstore I particularly like here.”
Tsuto: “A bookstore? Of course a bookworm would want to preserve the store.”
Taru: “Shut up! You say that like it’s a bad thing, and it isn’t. You just want to destroy Sandpoint because of some angel-blooded hussy.”
Tsuto stands up and grabs his bars. “Do you know what it’s like, to be hated by the only family you had, abandoned by your birth father, thrown away as a secret shame?”
Taru: “You had a family.”
Tsuto: “And every one of them who didn’t die abandoned me.”
Taru: “You had Ameiko, and I find it hard to believe someone that dumb blond gets along so well with would abandon someone.”
Tsuto: “I asked her to join me. I got rid of the man who caused us so much grief. I offered her a chance to destroy everything he stood for! I thought she would agree with me, because he was the one who killed our mother!”
Taru: “Because it’s all about what TSUTO wants and what TSUTO needs, isn’t it?! You callous pig! Maybe Ameiko didn’t want you to kill her father! Maybe she just wanted to live in peace!”
Tsuto: Well, she’s not getting that now, is she?"
Taru: “No thanks to you.”
Tsuto: “No thanks to this town!”
Taru: “No thanks to your conceit!”
Tsuto: “This place has ruined many lives.”
Taru: “You don’t see me trying to burn town Magnimar because of a few bad people, do you?”
Tsuto: “You should be old enough to know about the Late Unpleasantness. When my mother was killed, dashed upon the rocks on the coast. When a man who was so unassuming killed… when Nu-”
Tsuto clams up
Taru: “When Nu-who?”
Tsuto: “I don’t have to say anything else”
Taru: “So you’re just going to build up tension only to let the audience down? I guess that’s why your story’s ended.”
Tsuto: “No, I’m just waiting for the climax. And it’s going to come when this place is nothing but ash.”
Taru: “Well, news for you. We talked with your little goblin friend, and it turns out Nualia isn’t just with you.”
Tsuto: “You lie!”
Taru: “Gogmurt didn’t lie, that’s for certain.”
Tsuto runs up to the door again
Tsuto: “Gog…”
Taru: “How did he describe it? Like ‘donkeys going at it in the woods’?”
Taru stays put in front of the iron bars, “But of course your precious Aasimar would never be so… unfaithful.”
Tsuto: “That little… one of those goblins watched us!?”
Taru: “And others, too.”
Tsuto: “She would never! I sacrificed everything for her! I…”
Taru: “Like a lost little puppy.”
Tsuto pulls his hands from the bars and turns away
Taru: “Shouldn’t you be used to this?”
Tsuto shakes his head and laughs
Taru steps back, “…why are you laughing?”
Tsuto: “You’re quite dramatic, Taru. Here we are, two outcasts, each with something we believe in. Bastards, the both of us. How similar you are to her, but without her manners.”
Taru: “I-I’m nothing like her! F-for starters, I don’t worship Lamashtu, and I don’t want to… well, I don’t want to raid a town for no reason!”
Tsuto: “Yet I hear tell of your exploits. You are no saint, Bookworm.”
Taru: “I never said I was, but I never purposefully maimed myself to b-birth her servants! That’s despicable!”
Tsuto: He shudders, “She defaces her beauty to make herself a monster, to make herself look something like you.”
Taru: “I am not a monster.”
Tsuto: “That’s a matter of opinion.”
Taru: “It’s not…”
Tsuto: “How do your so-called friends see you? The druid, he seems quite fond to think you a monster, doesn’t he?”
Taru: “No…”
Tsuto: “And that holy roller… how often do you think he keeps his eye on you. Both of them, actually. What’s that they say about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer?”
Taru: “T-they aren’t my friends, first of all, and… it isn’t like that…”
Tsuto: “Let me guess, the only one who genuinely likes you is the Aasimar, the one who only cares about you because she’s as dumb as a rock?”
Taru stares at the floor
Tsuto: “There is nothing here for you, Nothing. No one. All the townsfolk ever did to you before you became a ’hero” was ignore you. No one has done anything for you because they didn’t want to acknowledge your existence."
Taru: “That’s not true, I have the Old Light, and… and I have The Curious Goblin, and now there’s the Thassilonian ruins below the Glassworks! There’s a lot of research to be done!”
Tsuto: “The buildings of the long dead and fiction. That’s what you have. Have you ever lived in the real world?”
Taru: “Books are real! The ruins are, and… and there’s books about them…”
Tsuto: “Face it, you hide from reality just like you hide yourself under those garments of yours, hoping no one will notice the horns or the tail or look at your face long enough to see your terrifying eyes.”
Taru: “T-t-terrifying…?”
Tsuto: “Just like hers… you could take charge of yourself. Stop hiding, and people will fear you, respect you!”
Taru: “I… I-I don’t, I’m not hiding…”
Tsuto: “Then prove it.”
Taru reaches for her hood, hesitating
Tsuto watches intently
Tsuto gives a quick nod
Taru digs her nails into the fabric, and begins to tremble
Tsuto: “Do not fear yourself… Taru”
Taru: “Y-you need to stop talking.”
Tsuto waits silently to see what she does
Taru stands there in silence, still quivering, still clutching her hood
Tsuto grips onto the bars, his arms starting to shake as well
Taru slowly begins to lift her hood
Tsuto’s eyes widen
Taru yanks it down over her face, “Sh-shut up! Shut up shut up! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” then runs out the jail, stumbling back to the Rusty Dragon where she locks herself in her room for the rest of the night

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From the Diary of Shayliss Vinder

Father has been asking people lately all about that fiance of mine, seeing as he hasn’t come knocking on my door or anything recently. I know that he’s an adventurer and a hero, so he has so many important things to do. I can’t believe the catch I made, though. Most of those heroes were so monstrous or not my type, it was a gamble to see if the only human man in the bunch was any attractive, but you know what? he was, and did he know how to “clean them rats” good. Who knew older men could be so good at it? I told Katrine Vinder about that tryst, and she just rolled her eyes and said she was fine enough wiithBanny Harker over at the mill. Of course, the two are always going at it and keeping that mill running at night so that no one can hear them, but keeping up half the town!

ah, but I’m getting bored. Ionor better show up again soon, or I might just have to find some other way to entertain myself. Hm… he’s a druid, they’re probably ok with an open relationship, right? Free love and one with nature and all that. Maybe going into his forest to live among nature might be fun. I’ve read about the wild parties they have out in the woods. Anything is better than boring old Sandpoint.

Sometimes I wish something crazy happened around here…

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