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Pathfinder: Burnt Offerings
  • Part 1: Encounter at Sandpoint (sorry, couldn’t resist)

    It’s a crisp but sunny morning in the Varisian coastal city of Sandpoint; the Swallowtail Festival has been timed to coincide with the autumnal equinox. Vendors, some local and some who have traveled up from Magnimar for the occasion, are setting up their stalls along Church Street, and some children are already lining up for the carnival games.

    The central square in front of the new cathedral begins to fill rather quickly as three men, finely-dressed for the occasion, climb up the cathedral steps, chatting amongst themselves, waiting for the crowd to gather before they speak.

  • Qa’lim ventures out from the inn and into the fall air. His armor jangles under the desert robes that swathe him, but he appears to remain light on his feet. He pulls the hood of his garment up to keep warm an unshaven, bronzed face and spits a greenish nut husk to one side while adjusting the strap of the bag slung across his body. He idly mumbles a brief prayer to the end of the night and the beginning of day as he walks into the market square, carrying a handled case in one hand, and his other hand to his side, on the hilt of a large mace. Wandering over towards the Cathedral, he attempts to determine the god the new church is being consecrated to. ((Knowledge: Religion check? If I take 10, that’s a 16.))

  • I’ll say this part for everybody, since it would be apparent from the proceedings, or from asking anyone in the crowd:

    You can tell from his garb that one of the three men is a priest of Desna, the goddess of freedom, luck, and travelers, and you know that Desna is the most commonly worshipped deity in Varisia.

    Qa’lim, 16 is enough that you are also mildly surprised that a priest in charge of a brand-new cathedral in a town of this size is as youthful as this man is, since priests who worship Desna usually travel between roadside shrines and only take such posts when they are too old for life on the road.

  • DCDave said: Qa’lim ventures out from the inn and into the fall air. His armor jangles under the desert robes that swathe him, but he appears to remain light on his feet. He pulls the hood of his garment up to keep warm an unshaven, bronzed face and spits a greenish nut husk to one side while adjusting the strap of the bag slung across his body. He idly mumbles a brief prayer to the end of the night and the beginning of day as he walks into the market square, carrying a handled case in one hand, and his other hand to his side, on the hilt of a large mace. Wandering over towards the Cathedral, he attempts to determine the god the new church is being consecrated to. ((Knowledge: Religion check? If I take 10, that’s a 16.))

    I was not expecting to enjoy this thread this much.

  • Quotlin Halfheart makes his way through the square, intrigued by the goings-on at the cathedral. His is garbed all in blacks and grays over his slender frame, save an all-red kerchief folded and tied around his left bicep. Though there is a chill in the air, he feels only the warmth of the sun upon him. Making his way down Church Street, Quotlin eyes all manner of vendors, allowing himself to wonder, if only for a moment, if they have what he is missing. As he passes through the crowd, he studies them, attempting to discern their origins and their interest in this place. He sees a familiar face, and in his mind echoes the words, “Long way from Kyonin, ain’t ya, Bastard?” As he nears his old friend, he is no longer certain. Something is off. Is this my old friend? He absently puts his hand in a pocket, fingering the spot where his book once resided. An old tick that refuses to leave him.

  • In the midst of the growing crowd slinks a small young woman in tattered robes, her thin, mousey face poking out from beneath a dark hood. She’d traveled with a troupe of dirty carnival folk to this coastal backwater, this Sandpit or whatever they’d called it, and the time had come for her to part ways with them. She spots the three men in ornate garb climbing the polished steps of the cathedral and rolls her eyes. Plenty of gold around here, for sure. Well, they’ve got their hustle, she’s got hers. She looks around for a well-heeled mark amongst the gubbins and rubes. Plenty of gold here, plenty of people yearning to be freed from the burden of wealth—and she will happily oblige, for she is Quentin the Liberator.

    (Quentin will look around for anyone who appears to be wealthy and distracted.)

  • Barrow looks at the blueprint on his desk and scowls, his already-wrinkled face crumpling even further.

    “They left out the pantry. What sort of daft, brainless monkey would build a kitchen without a pantry?”

    He turns his grimace to the window as a group of noisy revelers passes beneath his window. What a pack of drunken sots, behaving like that at this hour. He can’t have broken his fast more than an hour ago and already some yokels are dipping into the wine barrels…

    “Oh! The festival!”

    His wrinkles reorder themselves into something of a more tolerant expression. Barrow pulls himself from his chair with a mild groan, walking slowly over to his wardrobe. Can’t sit about in his underclothes all day when it’s bloody festival. He catches sight of his old dress uniform, deep green with the yellow insignia of the 8th. His eyes narrow slightly.

    Several minutes later he’s mostly managed the jacket but has entirely given up on the breeches. Through some unknown magic they’ve become too loose in the leg and too tight in the waist. Come to think of it, the jacket seems a bit tight around the middle as well, though his shoulders are as broad as ever. Puzzling. He certainly hasn’t let any damn fool tailor play with it any time in the last thirty-five years.

    He trades the mysterious breeches for a less impressive pair of trousers and grabs a massive greathammer from the corner. It would be comically large if he didn’t carry it so lightly. He hoists the brutal head of the weapon to eye level, pauses, and then blows, setting a cloud of dust motes dancing in the sunlight.

    Barrow sighs.

    “You old fart.”

    He slings the hammer over his shoulder and starts towards the town square.

  • Qa’lim eases his way towards the front of the gathering crowd and tries to catch the eye of the young clergyman presiding over the service. He thinks back to the Desnites he met in his home land, and those he has seen over the course of his travels. Qa’lim reaches back into the bag over his shoulder and begins shuffling through some of the papers he has used on the journey so far, idle scraps and the backs of other documents bound together with leather and rope. He finds what he has been looking for among a set of star charts, notes on a new means for triangulating position using not just the light of celestial bodies but the magical auras they naturally emanate and makes a note to share it with the priest later. It may do better for those looking for their way home to Varisia than to Qa’lim’s plans to continue to chart positions of the Heavens from these new and unseen lands. From where he stands, Qa’lim attempts to listen in to the conversation of the men of the square as he pushes papers back into his sack.

  • Quotlin:

    Perception: natural 20 +6 (lol, I’ma ‘yes-and’ you here). You tweak your head, your doubts fading away as you draw nearer. The man turns, a look of surprise, then recognition crossing his face. You can hardly believe your senses as he bellows, “Quotlin? Why you old son of a Calistrian whore!” He raises a hand to greet you.

    Quentin:

    Without Knowledge (local) or (nobility) skills to roll, you’re stuck with Perception: 8 + 5 = 13. While you don’t notice anyone apart from commoners in the throng, you do notice a jeweler and his wife across the square, arguing with each other in brusque tones as they hurry to set up their stall.

    Qa’lim

    There’s too much ambient noise to overhear anything, but a Sense Motive check isn’t even necessary to notice that the mood between them is jocular and in the spirit of the festival.

    Barrow:

    Barrow arrives at the back of the square just as one of the men steps forward, pulls at the straps of his trousers, and addresses the crowd:

    “Welcome, welcome, welcome. For those of you up from Magnimar (don’t worry, we won’t hold that against ya), I am Deverin, and I have the distinct honor of serving as the mayor of this humble little city. We may not be in Absolam, but we sure know how to show folks why Sandpoint is called ‘The Jewel of the Lost Coast.’ This new cathedral is a testament to Sandpoint’s resilience, and it is my hope that Father Zantus will aid us in restoring the blessings that Desna has always bestowed upon Sandpoint.”

    There’s some applause. The next speaker is clearly waiting to take the floor, but Mayor Deverin takes his time pressing the flesh, smiling his way through the crowd, and feigning interest in the stalls put up by constituent vendors.

  • Quotlin and his friend embrace, and the half-elf’s apprehension about being here, on this day, dissipates slightly. “Comrade, you know better than to jape about whores with me!” Quotlin laughs. As he starts to catch up with his friend, the din around them grows. Quotlin strains to hear the words of the man on the pulpit, but it is clear that Deverin is just warming the crowd for the morning’s real attraction. Still, the man seems unwilling to step out of the spot light too quickly, and Quotlin seizes the opportunity to address his old friend. “What brings you to the Lost Coast?”

  • Qa’lim makes his way a bit closer to the stage and gestures to the priest, attempting to recall what the appropriate ritual greeting was between Desnites. If he catches Zantus’ attention he gestures back to the Mayor and shrugs his shoulders - “Politicians, eh? In Kelesh, it would have been the local head man and he would at least have the good manners to offer people goat, so they could listen to their own chewing over the sound of babble. After your ceremony is done, I have a gift for you from my travels that Desna may find favor in.”

  • Quoltin:

    Your friend shrugs. “You know how life on the road is. I was down in Magnimar, and figured it would be worth the trip up here to try to make some coin. If nothing else, there’ll be decent pay for clean-up work tomorrow. Hopin’ to make enough to catch a ship to Absolam before winter. It’s been long enough, I don’t think they’ll be after me there anymore,” he says, grinning knowingly at you.

    Qa’lim:

    Zantus notices you at the front of the crowd, but does not seem at all eager to have a laugh at Deverin’s expense. As he turns to look you over, however, he seems extremely interested when he notices the Dawnflower emblem (I assume there’s one somewhere, on your case or your armor or your weapon or something). He motions his head toward the man next to him, and holds up one finger, indicating that he’ll speak with you once they’ve finished welcoming the crowd to the festival.

    As Mayor Deverin exits the square to join the festivities along Church Street, the man next to Zantus steps forward. He also seems in good spirits, but is clearly a more serious man by nature.

    “For those that don’t know me, I’m Sheriff Hemlock. Everyone have a good time, and enjoy this new beginning for Sandpoint, but watch your wine, mind your children, and take care at the bonfire tonight.”

    The applause is more muted as Sheriff Hemlock steps down, heading over to consult with a member of his city watch.

  • Barrow hacks disdainfully. All of this grandstanding is mighty dull. Never much cared for this mayor anyhow, and he certainly didn’t come out to the festival to hear speeches. Back in the day they used to have dancing girls, and bands with those big brass horns that the Dwarves like so much.

    Barrow stands on his toes to look above the crowd. Maybe they’ll let the band start once these jackals are done talking.

  • Quotlin laughs. His old friend hasn’t changed at all. Still, something gnaws at him, and he wonders if there isn’t more to his comrade’s presence here today. (Sense motive? Can I do the Take 10 thing with that?)

  • Failing to spot anyone interesting in the crowd, Quentin eyes the jewelry stall across the square. Pilfering from a vendor might be risky—too many people looking, and some of these craftspeople get so indignant about theft. Still, it can’t hurt to look, and if it’s good jewelry it might attract big purses. Quentin finds a spot in the crowd where she can observe and eavesdrop on the jewelers and their patrons without being picked out.

    As she crosses the square, she hears the men on the steps begin to speak. A politician and a lawman. These guys aren’t going to provide much distraction, it seems. As the sheriff steps down, Quentin sees him yapping with a subordinate. She looks around for any other guards that might be lurking in the crowd.

  • Quotlin:

    Sense Motive: 10 +4. Your friend definitely seems older and more weary than when you saw him last, but that’s to be expected, and you can think of no reason to doubt that he’s telling you the truth.

    Quentin:

    Perception: 18 +5. As seriously as the Sheriff seemed to take his duties, the city watch has a surprisingly small presence here, just the one man talking to the sheriff, and two more posted on either end of this section of Church Street (maybe 150 yards). There could be others in other parts of town, though. The jeweler and his wife are hanging and laying out their stock, intermittently pausing to argue over pricing. The jeweler sees this as an opportunity to clear out stock, and she is against lowering his prices. There are no customers at the stall yet.

    Barrow:

    To your annoyance you see no bands, just the carnival-style games, the vendors, and a small stage being set up by a man you recognize as Cyrdak Drokkus, the owner of the Sandpoint Theatre, who clearly plans on some sort of performance later. (Knowledge - Local, 10 +6)

    As Father Zantus begins to address the crowd, several of his acolytes emerge from the cathedral carrying what appears to be a large covered cage.

    “Lonjiku Kaijitsu had also wanted to welcome you today, but he has fallen ill. Mayor Deverin and I would like to personally thank him for his persistence and generosity in helping Sandpoint construct this beautiful new cathedral. I hope you’ll all join me back here at noon for the consecration.

    Long ago, after a particularly trying battle with Lamashtu, Desna fell to earth, wounded. A blind human child nursed her back to health. In thanks, Desna transformed the boy into an immortal swallowtail butterfly, that he might travel and explore the world forever.”

    At this, his acolytes open the cage, and hundreds of swallowtail butterflies burst out in a flurry, fanning out over the crowd before dispersing naturally. Children yell in delight, chasing them. One of the butterflies lands on Barrow’s shoulder. Zantus descends the steps, pauses to greet a few members of the crowd, and approaches Qa’lim.

  • Barrow glares at the butterfly until it leaves him alone. He wonders what might have Lonjiku out of commission - it doesn’t take much energy to wave at a crowd.

  • Quotlin claps his friend on the back. “In truth, I’m just passing through as well, hoping to make some coin before moving on. I wouldn’t suppose you have any promising leads on a quick way to make some gold sails?”

  • Floronie wanders into town, his bright red hair tangled and windswept thanks to 3 days of navigating his short, paunch frame though the wilderness. The bag he carries containing his various alchemy supplies rattles and shifts with each step. “Wow, there’s a lot of commotion here!” he thinks to himself, looking around with wide eyes. “There must be loads of interesting people about.” He kneels down just outside the edge of the crowd, near two fellows having a conversation about who knows what. Maybe he’ll find out, but first and foremost he’s going to craft his daily Bomber’s Eye extract. He hasn’t had to actually use it in many years, but figures it’s not a bad idea to have one around, just in case.

  • Qa’lim bows, shortly, to the priest, Zantus. “I am Qa’Lim, B’Stalq, of Kelesh, a devotee of Serenrae and the gods of the firmament. On the boat over here, I consulted with the navigator’s maps and derived a new method for navigation - The stars do not only have brightness and position as a trait, but also divinity. I believe these notes,” he spreads out the parchment, “Would indicate that there is a new means of determining position and location - a Desnite such as yourself might find interest in this. Few people could derive this method of navigation with out the aid of a heavenly liege. Now, may I be of assistance to your parish in some matter?”

  • Leaving the Jewelers to their petty squabbles, Quentin makes her way up Church Street to look around some more. Hopefully some big pockets would turn up soon, or otherwise something to make this festival more interesting. She pauses to listen to Zantus speak. “Who the hell is Lonjiku Kaijitsu?” she says audibly to anyone who might be nearby.
    (I’m assuming Quentin would have no clue)

  • Graceatis Huntinghawk steps away from the stalls and joins the crowd gathering in front of the cathedral. In her travels, several towns away she had heard about the consecration of the new cathedral for Desna, who she has followed and who has favored her for years.

    She stands out in the mostly human crowd, a tallish female elf, long brown hair braided down her back, blue eyes taking everything in. Graceatis (she allows humans to call her Grace, they always seem to struggle with elven names) holds her carved holy symbol and offers a prayer of thanks, that she should be able to witness this event on this beautiful fall day.

  • Barrow:

    For some reason, you feel a little lighter on your feet as the butterfly floats away (I actually rolled to see who the butterfly would land on. It’s a blessing from Desna; you get +1 to all of your saves for the next in-game month.) Another 16 Knowledge (local): You know that Lonjiku is the town’s most prominent noble, owner of the Sandpoint Glassworks. You only pay half-attention to the local rumor mill, but you know that he’s taken a turn for the eccentric since his wife died a couple years ago. The way people in this town talk, it wouldn’t surprise you if he came up with an excuse to be absent. You also definitely know that his daughter is the owner of the Rusty Dragon Inn, and tends bar there most nights.

    Quoltin:

    ”Oh, I thought I’d play for the crowd,” he says, motioning toward his mandolin. “And maybe break out some dice when the locals have had enough to drink. Word is that they’ve got a half-orc in charge of clean-up who pays well, too. Sea captains’ll always cut a deal for a good singer, especially on a long voyage, and plenty o’ ships will be going from this part of Varisia to Absolam right after the harvest, so I’m sure I’ll make do.”

    Floronie:

    Extract crafted. Perception 15 +8: You can tell that people in the crowd are surprised to see a gnome, though it’s clear that they see you as an object of curiosity and not as a target for outright bigotry. You even hear one woman whisper to another that your presence must mean “good luck” for the harvest, and the children playing the festival games seem particularly delighted by your entry into the square.

    Qa’lim

    Zantus bows before you, eyeing your case, saying “May justice be delivered by the scimitar’s edge,” a little too proud of himself. He accepts your gift graciously, promising to send the information immediately to a brother priest about to embark on a dangerous voyage to Tian Xia, and to several other well-positioned Desnites he knows.

    You nod politely as he goes on for several minutes about the one summer he spent with the Cult of the Dawnflower in Taldor (“I know their methods are controversial, but you have to admire men who keep their faith in the face of such oppression”) before he gets down to it:

    ”To better venerate Desna, I hope to welcome travelers of all faiths to Sandpoint. There are 6 shrines within the new cathedral, one for each of the deities mostly commonly worshipped in Varisia. I had planned on consecrating the Shrine to Desna today, then bringing in other priests over the next several years to consecrate the others. I would be honored if you would stand with me today and consecrate the shrine to Sarenrae. Surely it is not by chance that you are here.”

    Quentin:

    You find yourself next to Barrow, and you hear him mutter vaguely about nobles and their drama, confirming what you already probably suspected about Lonjiku Kaijitsu. Typical small-town nobleman, typical nobility drama. You do notice a group of 3 better-than-average-dressed people pause to speak to the mayor before continuing on.

    Graceatis:

    You’re familiar with the swallowtail ritual, performed yearly to honor Desna, and everything seems to have been performed correctly here. As an elf you draw some notice from the crowd, but the humans around you don’t seem to regard you as particularly out-of-place, especially when they notice your symbol.

  • “I would be honored, Father Zantus, but am a bit humbled by your suggestion that one such as I, a wanderer, am close enough to the Goddess to do such a ritual justice. Perhaps it would be better to wait for one who is a more - typical - member of the clergy to truly ensure that her favor is properly imbued. I can certainly ask for her light to bless your shrine, but a formal consecration should wait for someone who has a bit more of the knack for bending her ear. Tell me, was the former sanctuary so ecumenical in worship?”

  • Upon sensing a lack of hostility in the surrounding crowd, Floronie’s expression softens. He notices stalls, each containing a different sort of carnival game as well as a group of children gleefully playing. “What the hell, a little whimsy should be a nice way to ease into this occasion.” He approaches a stall featuring a game that involves tossing small metal rings into various-sized receptacles. He notices that while most of the rings are of flimsy quality, a few appear slightly thicker and heavier and seem to have better retained their polish. They’re probably just there to make the game more difficult, but maybe… (Appraise Check?) “Kindly pardon me children, would you mind a weary little fellow trying my luck?”

  • Quotlin bids his friend good luck and safe travels. “I know our paths will cross again soon, my brother.” As he works his way through the throng, he thinks of great monologues and poetry he might perform, hoping that he can make his light pockets a bit heavier. His trek so far has not been without difficulty, and has left him feeling worn. Perhaps performing will do him some good, and now’s the time, before the consecration ceremony begins.

    He walks toward the stalls, hoping to find some men with money to spend - particularly those who deserve to be parted with their gold. He is lost in thought, hoping he might recollect some psalms from the Eight Scrolls or songs of the Mother Moon he may have picked up over the years. He is so lost in thought that he pays little attention to the path he makes through the crowd, and he accidentally runs right into a tall, beautiful woman with a long braid of brunette hair. “Excuse me, my lady,” he tells her in Elven before approaching the merchants peddling their wares and the carnies snaring their suckers. He feels sorry for the people so anxious to part with their hard earned coin, but smiles at the merry sights and sounds of children enjoying the games.

  • Qa’lim:

    If Zantus is disappointed he doesn’t let it show: “Thank you, I’m sure Sarenrae’s followers in Sandpoint would be grateful for a blessing. I never saw it myself, but it’s my understanding that the chapel here was more like six different interlocking buildings, each containing a shrine. The fire that claimed it was a blow to the community, for certain, so Mayor Deverin wanted the new cathedral to be a place where all the people of Sandpoint could worship together in a single space. That’s largely the reason I was chosen for this post, actually.”

    (I’m just assuming that your Diplomacy skill + his interest in your religion + your gift is more than enough to negate the need for any sort of checks to get information from Zantus, btw)

    Floronie:

    Appraise (rolled) = 2 + 7 (For appraise, 20 gets you the value of a common item, 25 gets you the value + whether the item is magical or not. Rare and exotic stuff adds another 5). You’re unable to determine the value of the well-conditioned rings. The children are delighted by your presence, however, certain that you’ll be able to succeed where they’ve failed all morning. The stall’s proprietor fills you in on the rules: It’s 5 copper pennies to play. 2 out of 4 gets your 5 coppers back, 3 out of 4 gets you a silver piece, 4 out of 4 gets you a gold piece. (It’ll be Dexterity checks if you want to play).

    Quotlin:

    Your friend waves goodbye. He starts singing in Elven, a song you recognize as a bawdy drinking song, but he’s performing it like a love ballad for the unsuspecting crowd.

    Now that the speeches are over, and the crowd’s attention is up for grabs, this seems like a good spot if you want to perform. You can roll or take 10 on your Perform (Oratory) skill if you want, and if you succeed, I’ll roll for how much money you make. Not that you have to do that.

    Everyone notices a few small wagons coming into the square; the local taverns are starting to set up booths that will offer a free lunch after the consecration.

  • “Ah, I had no idea that you were a newcomer to Varisia as well. What had happened to the old chapel here that required such massive reconstruction?” Qa’lim asks. Hearing some movement toward the town entrance he attempts to keep one eye on the latecomers and their wagons while remaining attentive to Zantus’ answers.

  • Quentin slyly looks the three well-dressed people up and down. Three wise men, or three stooges? After they greet the mayor, she follows them through the crowd. Better to get away from the guy with the warhammer before she tries anything.

    As the three people walk through the square, Quentin quietly follows behind them. The arrival of the wagons seems like as good a distraction as any. She picks someone with a big pocket or purse and attempts to lift something from it.

  • Quotlin gets the attention of several of the carnival goers and shoppers, and begins reciting (from memory) a well-known and much beloved prayer to the Godess of the Northstar, meant to bless travelers and praise Desna (take 10). Though he is road weary and unpracticed, his performance is fiery and, seemingly, well enjoyed. Here’s hoping the gold sails roll in …

    When his performance is complete, Quotlin takes note of the approaching wagons and their drivers.

  • Floronie listens intently as the proprietor explains the game and asks if he’d like to give it a try. He notices the wagons pulling in out of the corner of his eye just as the proprietor finishes the rundown. “That looks like the main attraction over there. That’s where I should be moving toward,” he thinks to himself. However, in the same glance sees the children gazing upon him hopefully. “Eh, they’ll take a bit to set up anyway.”
    He fishes through his pockets and after fumbling around a bit comes up with a silver piece. He dramatically flips it over to the proprietor with a playful glimmer in his eye. “Let’s see what I’ve got! Let’s have two rounds!” (If he wins silver or gold on the first round, then he’ll give the 2nd round to the next kid in line, if not he’ll play the 2nd round himself.)

  • Graceatis turns away from the cathedral and heads toward the bard she hears reciting somewhere behind her. It appears to be the half-elf who bumped into her a short time ago. She heads in that direction noticing the approaching wagons and thinking about what kinds of treats they might be serving for lunch.

  • Qa’lim:

    ”Ah, well, I was born and raised in Magnimar, but I’ve spent the years since I came of age on the road. I wasn’t here when it happened, but about 3 years ago, the chapel started on fire in the night, and the devastation was almost total. My predecessor and his adopted daughter perished in the blaze. It was a difficult time for Sandpoint, (I don’t know the whole story, but I know the town had other troubles at the time, as well), so Mayor Deverin asked me to come home and help with the construction of this cathedral.

    ”If you’ll excuse me, I have some preparations to make. In a little while I’ll be ready to perform the consecration. I’m going to use a thunderstone to get the crowd’s attention. When you hear that, join me on the steps to perform your blessing. And I’d love to speak with you again while you’re in Sandpoint; feel free to stop by the cathedral any time.”

    He clasps your shoulder warmly, takes his leave, and goes to speak with one of his acolytes.

    Quentin:

    Sleight-of-Hand (10 +9, circumstantial DC 15, but it will usually be 20. He also failed his Perception check - 6.): The bustle of a crowd as large as this one makes it almost too easy for you to find a moment where the men are distracted, and reach in to free a purse. The purse has an embroidered monogram “EV” on it, and there are 10 GP, 8 SP, and 3 CP within.

    Quolitin:

    Perform (10 + 6). People stop to listen here and there throughout your speech, and seem to enjoy themselves. There are 9 SP at your feet when you finish. (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/skills/perform.html)

    Floronie:

    The man nods and hands you four rings. (Dex checks). Your first ring floats over the smallest bottle effortlessly, arching directly down on top of it, barely touching the sides (natural 20, lol). This perhaps fills you with false confidence, since your second shot shanks off with a loud clang (6). You steel yourself, concentrating, hitting your third shot (15). You exhale slowly and deliberately, nailing your final shot (19), the children whooping in delight as the man hands you back your silver piece with a sour expression on his face. A beaming child steps up to take your second round.

    Graceatis:

    As they unload the wagons, you can hear the tavern workers’ chatter. The different establishments seem to have a friendly rivalry going to see who will provide the best food, and they begin to lay out all manner of fare: breads, cheeses, ale, fruits and vegetables, even freshly-cooked meats.

    (I’ma give everyone a chance to do one more thing if they want, then start the consecration, unless there’s more that people are dying to do).

  • ((I’ll pass on my action and just wait by the podium))

  • ((me too))

  • Quentin feels the rush of theft surge through her as she lifts the purse unseen. Jackpot! She quickly empties the contents into her own pocket, then carefully slips the purse back into its owner’s possession (another sleight of hand check?). With any luck he’ll assume he spent it all on a bender last night. She then scampers off into the crowd, not wanting to find out.

    A pointy-eared busker in the middle of the square is finishing up a song as she passes by. She tosses one of her newly liberated gold coins his way. Gotta spread the wealth around. (heads up, Jeb!)

  • Quotlin offers a somewhat perplexed nod of gratitude toward the small woman. Taking into account her tattered dress, Quotlin wonders if she might be a thief, or how else she may have come by her coin. However, he does not sit long with this thought, and he moves toward the stage for the consecration ceremony.

  • Floronie grins sheepishly as the children hoot and applaud. “Well how about that! Maybe I’m good luck today after all! Enjoy yourselves today, young ones, I’m going to go see what all this fuss is about anyway.” He waves to the group around the stall as he wanders off along the edge of the crowd, not pushing too deep as he knows he won’t be able to see a thing if he ends up buried in the middle of the masses. He finally finds a perch near the food stands where he’s got a decent view of the stage.

  • A sharp retort, like the crack of distant thunder, slices through the excited crowd. Conversations quickly hush as all heads turn toward the central podium, where a beaming Father Zantus now stands.

    “Thank you all for coming today. Please join me in the Prayer of the First Dreaming, that Desna may bless this…”

    He’s interrupted by sharp scream. He pauses, confused. A few moments later, another scream arises, then another, and another. The crowd parts and something low to the ground races by, giggling with disturbing glee. There’s another scream, this one of pain rather than fear, and you can see a man (the old friend Quotlin had been talking to) pulled halfway under a wagon, blood pooling around him, his throat sliced from ear-to-ear. Five small green creatures, brandishing weapons that seem too big for them emerge from under the wagon, hissing and laughing. The raucous sound of a strange song begins, chanted from shrill, scratchy voices, seemingly coming from all directions.

    • Goblins chew and goblins bite
    • Goblins cut and goblins fight
    • Stab the dog and cut the horse
    • Goblins eat and take by force
    • Goblins race and goblins jump
    • Goblins slash and goblins bump
    • Burn the skin and mash the head
    • Goblins here and you be dead
    • Chase the baby, catch the pup
    • Bonk the head to shut it up
    • Bones be cracked, flesh be stewed
    • We be Goblins! You be food!

    http://users.telenet.be/jderuysscher/goblin/goblinsong.mp3 (lol)

    Panic overtakes the crowd, with some people running and pushing their way through, and others cowering in fear. There’s screaming coming from all directions.

    Here’s the grid; each square is 5 feet. I used your real names for your tokens, since 3 of you picked names starting with Q, ha. If the grid confuses you too much, just ignore it and go by the distances I’ve posted below.

    http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y259/dieblucasdie/PZOSQW30045E_Page_1_zps5b5185fa.jpg

    They get a surprise round, but they have no real reason to pick you guys out of the crowd as particular threats at this point. We’ll say they used it to kill Quotlin’s friend and emerge from hiding.

    I rolled initiative, the order is:

    • Gary - 30 ft. to the nearest goblin
    • Antero - 25 ft
    • Jeb - 35 ft
    • Josh - 25 ft
    • Goblins
    • Dave - 45 ft
    • Bethany - 20 ft

    I’ll resolve the moves in this order, but you can post in any order you want if you know what you want to do.

    Also, due to the panicked crowd, you’re moving at half-speed, and you’re taking a -2 to any ranged attack roll, unless you have a feat or something that negates this.

    For the n00bs, I’ll post a thing in the other thread about how combat, and ask any questions there.

  • Quentin tugs at her collar queasily as she spots the dead man under the wagon. Those goblins could just as easily have come for her! Being generally below the crowd, she decides to get a better view of the situation. As quickly as she can, she makes her way through the crowd and climbs onto the stage, to get a better view of what’s going on. After making it onto the stage, she looks around for more goblins and draws her sling. (Can I do all that in one round?)

  • Quentin:

    You can get to just below the stage if you double-move, and you can draw your sling as you do so. You can easily climb up there on your next turn, and take a shot with your sling if you wish.

  • Barrow is jolted from his grousing by something he hasn’t heard in decades. Screams of terror. The clamor of a panicked crowd. And above it, the idiot sing-song of a goblin chant.

    He can hear the blood rushing through his ears. The hammer in his hand feels as light as paper.

    With a strangled cry he begins pushing his way through the crowd.

    Move (30 ft / 2 = 15 ft) towards nearest goblin

    Readies attack for its approach

  • Quotlin watches in horror as the goblins drag his comrade under the wagon and make a bloody smile of his throat. Without hesitation, he draws his rapier, and begins pushing his way through the crowd.

    Move (30/2 = 15 ft) toward the nearest goblin

  • ((I go after the goblins and am assuming you’ll update the map before that?))

  • Done. Barrow is right up on a goblin, and Quoltin is 5 feet away from the same goblin. I’m going to resolve those actions in such a way that, assuming the goblin doesn’t die or move, he can take a 5 foot step and they’ll be flanking.

    xpost, yep, my plan is to update the map after the goblins’ turn.

  • Graceatis readies her quarterstaff heads into the fray. She tries to keep her emotions under control, but is furious about this black mark on what should have been Desna’s day. She heads towards the closest two goblins, pushing through the crowd.

  • (Word, I’ll resolve that after Josh, Dave, and the goblins. You’re close enough that you’ll likely be able to both move and attack. Do you want to take an attack too?)

  • “Well, so much for luck today. Leave it to those putrid little sub-lizards to ruin it.” Floronie ducks behind a nearby barrel (that thing is a barrel, right?), hopefully out of sight from the attackers, quickly swallows the Bomber’s Eye extract, and looks for something to throw.

  • The goblins are clearly in a gleeful mood, not expecting to face a real fight, and respond to your advancement haphazardly. One goblin jumps on top of a nearby food cart and hurls an orange at Barrow (improvised weapon attempt). It splats against his armor, doing no harm.

    The goblin to Barrow’s left lunges, teeth snapping, at his legs (grapple attempt), but a sidestep and a swift kick is all it takes to send him reeling back. Barrow heaves his earthbreaker at the goblin, but it swooshes above his head (I rolled 7 +5 against his AC).

    The goblin facing Barrow shakes his head shouting, “Dumb Licktoad goblins don’t know how to fight longshanks” and swipes at Barrow with his gnarled dogslicer, hitting him (Barrow takes 4 damage).

    The final goblin notices Floronie crouching behind the well. “Ooooh, tricksy gnomes!” and fires a shortbow at him, but the cover serves him, the arrow clinking harmlessly against the side of the well.

    Graceatis steps forward and tries to bring her quarterstaff down on the head of the goblin who hit Quentin, but he dodges it and it comes down on the ground with a thud (I rolled a 12 +1, just misses his AC).

    Even though these goblins stopped chanting when they engaged you, you can still hear the shrill song coming from all directions, punctuated by the screams of the townspeople. You can see smoke rising from several locations in the distance.

    Here’s how it looks now:

    http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y259/dieblucasdie/PZOSQW30045E_Page_1-3_zps41bbea5b.jpg

    • Qa’lim is up next.
    • Floronie is 10 feet from the nearest goblin, and has cover
    • Quentin is facing three goblins, and Barrow is facing two.
    • Graceatis is facing one goblin
    • Quotlin is 10 feet from the goblin Graceatis is facing.
  • Qa’Lim turns to Zantus and motions to the doors of the church “Father, try and get as many inside as you are able to, if need be, we can fall back to the doors of the church. I see that some have taken up arms to fight them and I shall join them and do my best to stop the goblins before they can do great harm. This I vow.”

    He hoists his shield around and unstraps his mace, leaping up and rushing across the stage when Qa’Lim lands on the other side he gestures towards the Goblin, to the left of Graceatis and murmurs in the Goblin tongue, “Look at your companion! He ate all of the pickles from your store-room and now your stomach is so empty. I am sure his flesh still tastes of that sweet brine.”

    (I’m moving as directly as I can and trying to get as close to the fray as possible. and unleashing Murderous command on the Goblin to Graceatis’ left - On a failed Will save, DC 15, he’s going to attack his closest companion on his turn. Just as a note, Blucas - If the goblins on either side of him are dropped by the party, he still charges his nearest ally, I don’t have to indicate a target for him.)

  • The goblin looks around, confused, but he locks onto your voice and begins to lick his lips, looking at his companions, laughing maniacally (failed his Will save).

    We’re at the top of the order again, so take your next turns.