All the PC’s have been in Fort Inevitable for less than a month. A male Human Warpriest named Iocob Kaminin was interested in adventuring in the area and decided to look for like minded individuals in town. In doing so, a party came together that also included a male Strix Monk named Theodule Roque, a female Human Shaman of the Shoanti Skull Clan named Azure, a male Human Brawler of the Shoanti Skull Clan named Uzure (brother and protector of Azure), a male Dwarf Transmuter named Losk Stigmargun, a female Sylph Fighter (Weapon Master) named Marya, and a female Oread Sorcerer named Pashe.
Knowing that they had to have a warrant for their party to legally do any real adventuring, they stopped by the Citadel to apply. Their application consisted of 5 questions and an ending statement, under which they had to sign:
1. What is the name of the company? “The Losk Company”
2. What are the names of the members of the company? (stated above)
3. Where does each member of the company hail from? (Iocob-Brevoy, Theodule-Devil’s Perch, Azure & Uzure-Cinderlands, Losk-Janderhoff, Marya-Smuggler’s Shiv, Pashe-?)
4. For what reason is the company applying for a warrant? To explore the Emerald Spire
5. If issued a warrant, the company agrees to act in the interest of good order and keep the lady commander’s laws; agree to turn over 30 percent of the coin, goods, and property confiscated to the Citadel; and turn in reports of just what actions were taken with the letter of warrant.
They fill out the application, but before they leave the Citadel, Marya also takes the opportunity to ask about the dilapidated house that they’ve seen in town. She is at first told that it is not for sale, but with further prodding she is told to fill out yet another application, this one for a request to purchase the property. Marya does so, then they take their leave.
While the group was coming together they also heard a rumor that the local wizard in town, Abernard Royst, was seeking to hire an adventuring party to explore some local ruins: the Emerald Spire. Since they are told that it will take a day or two to review their warrant request, they decide to pay a visit to the wizard while they are waiting.
Arriving at Abernard’s home, Iocob knocks on the door. They were able to make out someone yelling from within, “Theron could you get the door?!” After waiting several more moments, Iocob knocked again. Shortly thereafter, a cantankerous older fellow with white hair and blue robes swung the door open wide. “Yes, yes, what do you want? I’m very busy.” The PC’s then told the wizard their interest in exploring the Emerald Spire for him, to which he turned away and headed back into the house, saying: “Yes, yes, follow me. I’m in the middle of something. We can talk in here. Close the door behind you. Don’t try to steal anything. I’ll know and I’d hate to have to turn you into a turtle.”
The PC’s stepped into the house, a few of them glancing around to see if there was even anything worth stealing, seeing that the wizard did indeed look to be well off. Deciding not to chance being turned into a turtle, no one tried to steal anything and Uzure closed the door. Then the PC’s followed Abernard through the main room and up a staircase into a fairly impressive in-home wizard’s laboratory and study. There were several beakers with a variety of different colored concoctions and many, many books. He walked over to an open book on a book stand and continued with whatever he was doing before the PC’s arrived.
With his back to the party, Abernard says “So you’re interested in exploring the Emerald Spire are you? How much do you know about the Spire? Nobody knows much honestly, which is why I’d like to hire a group of people such as yourselves to explore it for me. I used to do such things, but my age is getting to me. It’s highly dangerous you know. The Echo Wood is not a place for amateurs, lots of monsters. I assume that you lot have experience in such affairs?”
Somewhat taken aback with the barrage of questions, Azure says, “You know it’s rude to ask questions and not give us a chance to answer.”
Aside from glancing at Azure, he offers no response to her statement. He continues, “Not much I can tell you about the occupants of the Spire depths though I’m afraid. Most around here think it’s just that ruined hunk of green glass on the surface. Hogwash! I estimate that it is at least 5,000 feet deep. Anyway, enough of my rambling! Here’s what I need: I would like to commission you to do a careful and deliberate survey of the Spire and all its levels. I want maps and descriptions of the whole structure, including all inhabitants and items. As a retired adventurer myself, I understand that you may be reluctant to give me a detailed list of any loot you find. However, you’ll have to make a list for the Citadel anyway, and I assure you I have no interest in your treasure aside from the knowledge I may glean from knowing what you found. There is but one exception to this…”
Abernard pulls a sliver of metal out of his pocket. “This… is the skymetal noqual, a substance with inherent resistance to magic. It was retrieved from the Spire depths decades ago and it is obviously chipped from a larger, sculpted item with a serrated edge. That is the only treasure I wish to keep from the Spire. I will pay you for each level of the Spire that you map for me and for the rest of the skymetal.”
The group then asked Abernard several questions, including how much he was paying for the work he was asking be done. Abernard tells them that he is willing to pay them 1,500 gp for the rest of the skymetal. As for the mapping, it depended on the map and description detail, the level itself, and how many levels there are, so he was unable to give them an exact amount. He said that he would pay per level however, but that this excluded above ground.
The group also asked what he knew of the Spire, to which he replied “Little. That’s why I’m hiring you. I suspect that the Spire itself has little to do with the Azlanti who once lived in the Echo Wood, such as is all the speculation. I believe that it’s instead associated with mysterious powers from the dawn of the world. But I could go on forever about my suspicions. I need information to confirm my hypothesis.”
The group also asks how big the skymetal might be, to which the wizard replies that he is unsure. It could be as small as a dagger or as large as a human sized statue. When the group hears this, they request more money to haul a statue out of the dungeon. Abernard declines to offer more money for the skymetal and tells them that they won’t have to haul it out of the dungeon. There is a transport system in the dungeon that they should obtain the means to use while exploring it.
With a little prodding from Uzure, Abernard also gives the party 50 gp for the warrant that they will have to acquire and supplies for mapping the Spire. The group agrees to take on the missions and leaves the wizard to his work.
The next day the company is called to the Citadel for an answer to their warrant request. Some of the party seem irritated at having to all gather at the Citadel for such a simple matter, but after a short wait in the lobby, the company is ushered into Lady Commander Audara Drovust’s office. The Commander is standing behind her desk. There is also an older human woman sitting in a chair next to the Commander’s desk. The woman is wearing finely tailored clerics vestments.
The Commander asks for the company to make themselves comfortable and ushers to the chairs that have been placed in front of her desk. After everyone is situated, she begins:
“I’ve called your company here today on behalf of the High Mother…” she indicates the older woman, “and myself to request your assistance. I saw that you applied for a warrant yesterday and that you intend to begin your explorations by heading to the Emerald Spire. It’s become increasingly clear that some powerful and malevolent presence is stirring below the Spire. Strange new forms of undead monsters have begun to plague the area in recent months, and powerful spellcasters throughout the Crusader Road area have reported scrying efforts from an unknown source able to brush aside their normal screens and defenses.”
This is where the High Mother joins in, “Although most of my attempts to learn anything about this strange new threat have proven unsuccessful, I have divined one small clue: the emblem of a crown above a skull.”
The Commander continues, “This is where you come in. I cannot afford to let this threat continue. I’m seeking a bold party of adventurers to search out the ‘crowned skull’ and destroy it before this menace grows any stronger.”
Obviously, the group’s first question is how much they will get paid for the undertaking. Though she was expecting this question, and had planned to pay them when the task was completed anyway, the greediness of adventurers annoys her. Her look of disdain conveys as much. She replies simply, “15,000 gold.”
Surprised and excited by the thought of this huge payday, the group readily agrees and is prepared to leave without any further questions. Theodule does think to ask, “Can I fly?”
The Commander replies, “Yes, you can fly in the forest and the Spire. You still cannot fly in town. We can reexamine your request for that in the future.”
Theodule seems satisfied with that answer and the group leaves. (This issue will be explained more when the character info is posted.)
Iocob stops to purchase a donkey and hire a couple mercenaries, Ash and Emon, (which is an accidental Pokemon reference pointed out to me by Buddy, as I don’t watch or play any Pokemon stuff) from The Salamander Company, then they are off to the Emerald Spire.