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[IC] Return of the Runelords

Tailspinner

Explorer
Players:
Deuce Traveler playing Michael Tell the Human Fighter
Kaodi playing Shendra the Human Oracle
Scotley playing Teodor Kirila the Human Rogue
NPC Teea Tell the Human Gunslinger (currently run by Neurotic)
NPC Mei Ying the Human Arcanist

Return of the Runelords begins in the small town of Roderic’s Cove in the northeastern corner of the Varisian Gulf. While the first adventure focuses significantly on this town, keep in mind that this Adventure Path has an epic scope and your PCs will be traveling to numerous locations with no intent of returning to Roderic’s Cove during the campaign. As such, when you create your character, it’s best to aim for one who is invested in the region of Varisia as a whole rather than one who never wants to leave her hometown. That said, creating a resident of Roderic’s Cove is a great way to give your character a reason to care for the wellbeing of the settlement and its citizens—including the other PCs.

Return of the Runelords assumes that all of the PCs begin play already knowing each other, so that you can jump right into the story. Keep in mind that the campaign traits assume that the PCs are all acquaintances who have been in Roderic’s Cove for at least a month or so—your character doesn’t have to be best friends with other members of the party, but all PCs should work together as a group.
The Return of the Runelords Adventure Path assumes that all of the PCs have been in the town of Roderic’s Cove for at least a few weeks. The PCs have all heard of a recent and unexpected outburst of violence that took place in the town’s civic center, a plaza known as the Circle. This event took place late at night a few weeks ago and involved a violent clash between rival gangs that left several men dead. As a result, tensions have been high in town and rumors have been flying—some say that provocateurs from Riddleport have infiltrated Roderic’s Cove and are trying to destabilize the economy, while others hold that it’s the restless spirit of Sir Roderic himself influencing certain folks in town.

Whatever the cause for the violence, it hasn’t stopped the Cove’s residents from performing their weekly tradition of organizing the Circle Market, a gathering of merchants and families in the town’s central plaza where locals trade household goods, traveling merchants hawk their wares, and lucky shoppers can find unexpected bargains for sale. It’s this event that your group is eager to attend as Return of the Runelords begins. (Note that the Circle Market is a weekly event, and as the first adventure progresses, you may have additional opportunities to visit the market and seek bargains.)
Roderic’s Cove is a simple town, and even its most affluent residents don’t walk around with flashy clothes and items. Most homes and buildings are made from timber, though some of the older homes have a stone-walled ground floor. Gravel made from shells (mostly from oysters) paves the streets throughout town, and a small creek powers a mill and provides fresh water.

People in Roderic’s Cove eat well from smoked salmon, preserved reefclaw, hearty crabs, rockfish, and a wide array of oysters. Farms and ranches outside of town supplement the town’s food supply beyond the bounty of the sea, and several of these farms are known for their delicious apple cider and blackberry preserves.

The town’s leader bears the title of port-governor, but it is not a completely autocratic role. A small council of merchants and prominent citizens provides advice and support to the person holding the office.

While Roderic’s Cove is filled with mostly good and down-to-earth folk, a seedy element has increased in the town over the past decade. No major crimes have troubled the town in years, as just about everyone—on either side of the law—has enough to get by, and most just want to get along.


NOTABLE LOCATIONS

RodericksCove.png

Roderic’s Cove has a wealth of notable locations.

While fewer than half of the townsfolk actively worship Pharasma, nearly everyone who dies or gives birth has visited the Lady’s Chapel or had a visit from its priests. Desil Marphan, a male human cleric of Pharasma, oversees a staff of four, not counting the seven local children who take part in the regular services as candle lighters and choir members. A wrought iron fence stretches from the church and surrounds the town’s graveyard. Near the edge of the graveyard is a small home currently occupied by a newcomer to the town, Audrahni, a female elf. Desil is sympathetic to the elf and allows her to stay free of charge as she seeks to help Sir Roderic’s ghost pass on to the afterlife.
An iron fence surrounds this haphazard house. A dozen of the manor’s namesakes roam the lush gardens ringing the building, their mournful cries often heard throughout town. Home of Corstela Rostrata, a female human, this property was once three separate houses. The Varisian sage bought one at a time, gradually adding to each until they made a single sprawling and confusing manor.
Run by a halfling woman named Blackberry, this bakery’s specialties are the plentiful blackberries found in and around Roderic’s Cove. The proprietor uses the tart berry in breads, confections, jams, jellies, muffins, pastries, and, if you ask nicely, a fine blackberry brandy.
Olivia Creek provides just enough power to turn the wheel at Lankmeer’s Mill. The Lankmeer family receives grain from upriver in the Curchain Hills and processes it for the people of Roderic’s Cove. Any remaining stores are then sold to smaller communities along the coast.
The proprietor of this apothecary, Jarb Brogan, a male halfling, spends most of his time outside his shop in the surrounding wilderness hunting for herbs and minerals that he blends into poultices, balms, and other remedies. In addition to crafting these concoctions, Jarb serves as the town’s barber. He has different stools for customers of varying heights and keeps stackable boxes to stand on when cutting hair.
Wild dogs roam the woods around the Cove, and for several generations the Hudsten family has been capturing, training, and selectively breeding the finest of them. Excellent at treeing prey and prized by fur traders, these so-called “covehounds” are a breed unique to the area. Svaci Hudsten, a female human, has a big heart and truly cares for her animals.

Covehounds, often called Roderic ridgebacks (due to the ridge of tufted hair that runs down their spine) are popular throughout this part of Varisia, and some people come from as far as Korvosa to buy Hudsten Kennel puppies.
Though Roderic’s Cove doesn’t see much danger, the town maintains a town guard and a volunteer militia for larger emergencies whose members are ready to assist their fellow citizens should the need arise. Captain Julit Freson, a female human, is a gruff, no-nonsense woman who runs the guardhouse and trains anyone in town who wants to volunteer for the guard or militia. She dispenses good advice, whether people want to hear it or not, and always encourages people to do their best, especially the town children who look up to her. A few years ago, Freson recruited an unexpected second-in-command. After investigating reports of raids in the Churlwood, she captured Keela Macrosh, a female human, and locked her up in the guardhouse’s jail cell. Over long conversations, Keela seemed to truly repent her ways and showed an interest in turning her life around. Though skeptical at first, Captain Freson agreed to mentor the former bandit.
This two-story building, often referred to simply as “Creekside,” was built by one of the first settlers to arrive in the region with Sir Roderic. Now, Garleena Knodston, a female human, and her brother Thevin, a male human, run the tavern, as they have since they were orphaned as adolescents.
Roderic’s Cove town square is anything but, being located atop the remnants of an ancient circular stone foundation. The Cove’s settlers decided this would be a prosperous place to build their town, and they set up their tents and temporary structures around the stone’s circumference. It wasn’t long before the settlers all referred to the fledgling colony’s central meeting point as the Circle.

Most people in Roderic’s Cove grow their own food, but once a week, dozens of citizens gather in the Circle. This weekly “Circle Market” allows households access to a more diverse range of food than what they’ve grown in their own gardens. Some vendors from farms in the surrounding hinterlands come into Roderic’s Cove on market days to ply their wares. Halder Makrosh, an older man who talks like he’s seen it all, runs the market.

The Circle also features a pop-up drinking spot. Each afternoon, an old man named Bimmer “Possum” Coots wheels a wooden cart out and sells cups of “possum punch” to any who stop by.
This building was one of the first built in Roderic’s Cove and served as communal housing in those early days as the rest of the town was being built. Every law penned governing Roderic’s Cove is preserved in this building, as are Sir Roderic’s cartographic efforts depicting the region.

Port-governor Larenza Thort, female human, keeps her office in this building, as has every port-governor since the town’s founding. The serving port-governor has the option of living in an onsite master suite, though most who hold the office keep their own homes in town.
A haze of smoke hangs in the air around this location, bringing with it the mouthwatering smell of smoked meats. Ladia Kelstrop, a female human, runs the best smokehouse in town. She primarily smokes salmon caught in the Chavali River, but also smokes beef, clams, oysters, and pork. Ladia works in close conjunction with Malford Pelson, the town’s butcher and fishmonger.
Perick Lonson, a male halfling, can be found in his shop during the day. He’s known throughout the region for making excellent pots, pans, and other cookware. He has a good relationship with Unli Jevers at the Rampant Reefclaw, and Perick’s cookware designs enable some of the establishment’s more popular dishes. As a skilled metalsmith, Perick can also make armor and weapons, but he does so only if commissioned, leaving most of the market for arms and armor to Lyndwyn Suvasa.
Running the business his grandparents started when they arrived in Roderic’s Cove, Malford Pelson, a male human, provides the town with a wide selection of meats, ranging from beef and pork sourced from outlying farms and ranches to fish brought in by the steady stream of fishing boats docking at Roderic’s Cove each day.
Since its original owner (a robustly rotund man named Conrel) passed away, Varna Rigsten, a female human, has been running the town’s expansive general store. In addition to typical sundries, Varna also supplies animal feed. Recently, she’s become concerned with reports from her teamsters that goblins in the nearby Churlwood have been growing bolder and have been spotted at the edge of the woods, hurling taunts, insults, and the occasional bit of rotten food.
While this chapel is primarily dedicated to Desna, the building also houses a half-dozen additional shrines to various empyreal lords. This chapel was established directly after the town’s founding, as the Magnimarian emigrants brought the worship of these beings with them to their new home. Miesalo Salen, a male half-elf, has served as the chapel’s priest since the previous priest up and left town nearly a decade ago.

The temple hosts musical celebrations on holidays, and musicians in town often stop by after the workday to play music with Miesalo. Fenril, the town’s luthier, promptly closes his fiddle shop each day to head down to the Temple of the Stars and Roads to draw a bow across some strings.
A bit of a standout in such a small town, this extravagant establishment serves refined cuisine the likes of which are typically found only in larger cities in the Inner Sea region. Unli Jevers, a male human, is easily the best cook in town. In recent years, as news of the Rampant Reefclaw’s delicacies has spread, people from the length of the Lost Coast have visited Roderic’s Cove specifically to sample Unli’s work. Many of these visitors come from Riddleport, and given the tensions between that city and Roderic’s Cove, some locals claim that the Rampant Reefclaw and its cook are attracting more attention than they should.
This boatyard primarily performs repair work, but Elbrena Skodgers, a female human, also constructs new vessels. She’s been in the trade only for 8 years, but her work is amazing, if a bit slow. Her assistant, Skati Wolson is a jovial man who loves being out on the water. He offers to take people fishing at the drop of a hat just to be out on the gulf.
Distrusted by some in Roderic’s Cove, Lyndwyn Suvasa, a female human, runs a small shop that provides weapons and armor to those in need. She gets many of her wares by special order from Riddleport, prompting some people in town to think that she has shady connections to that city. In truth, she gets her best pieces from a traveling dwarven weaponsmith who visits at least once a month to sell her new pieces and to spend some quality time with Lyndwyn. Lyndwyn doesn’t pay the town’s attitude much mind, and is very open with newcomers, warning them of the gossiping nature of Roderic’s Cove.
While the town is small, its docks see sporadic activity from just before dawn to shortly after dusk, as fishing boats head out and merchant vessels arrive at the tiny port. The traffic isn’t so high that the town has need of a dedicated harbormaster, so that duty is traditionally held by the town’s port-governor. Merchants in town work with Larenza Thort to find agreeable times to conduct business with barges coming down the Chavali River laden with goods bound for the Varisian Gulf, as well as with those seagoing ships small enough to dock at the Cove that will trade goods to ports beyond.

Many of these merchants maintain warehouses along the docks. As trade has increased, many are eager to see new warehouses built further down the shore. The grandson of the foreman responsible for building the first permanent structures in Roderic’s Cove has begun clearing space east of town and laying foundations for new warehouses and docks.
Just south of Roderic’s Cove sprawls the expansive tangles of the Churlwood. Those traveling the Chavali River down to the Varisian Gulf have reported bandits and goblins as the most common aggressors in this wooded reach, but thankfully the river provides a buffer, keeping Roderic’s Cove protected from all but the most dedicated threats. In the time in which the town has existed, few significant dangers from the Churlwood have directly affected the people of Roderic’s Cove, though many townsfolk who explore or work the forest have met with deadly fates when they venture into the forest alone.

A dispute about the height of a planned bridge a few miles outside of town resulted in two rows of pilings being driven into the riverbed with not a plank laid between them. Hallen Rosker, a female human, made the best of this—she ran a line between the two and now provides a ferry service for those looking to cross the river just north of the Churlwood for anyone willing to pay 4 copper pieces for each trip across.
This logging yard and sawmill stand a mile out of town, on the way to Roderic’s Wreck. Run by the Meir family, the sawmill was one of the first industries built when Roderic’s Cove was founded. Most of the buildings in town are constructed from timber processed here.
People in town generally avoid the home of the town’s founder, believing it to be haunted. Locals are in no hurry to stir up the rumored ghost of Sir Roderic.
OOC
RG
 
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Tailspinner

Explorer
It is Oathday, Arodus 30, 4718 AR. Every Oathday is a time for the Circle Market to open for business. It is around lunch time and the six of you had made plans to meet and see what bargains you might find at the Circle Market.

OOC: Post an opening post. Also I need a 1d20 from each player. If you have something in mind that you are looking for post that as well.
 

Binder Fred

3 rings to bind them all!
Teea stands with her shopping basket under one arm, looking at the thin crowd with a neutral expression. This might be due to the fact that she can't see very far from her diminutive height, dark Tian eyes peering out a good head below most men's shoulder, OR it might be something else entirely.

In consideration of today's event, her thigh-length brunette hair is braided and piled up over the nape of her neck, making her look - she thinks - very mature for her seventeen years. Uncle Michael also insisted she wear a nice dress in white and pale blue -- cinched at the waist, slits on the side for mobility, modest leggings underneath...

Anyway.

The twin holy symbols hanging from a red chord at her waist - Erastil's bow and sheaf of wheat, Shizuru golden dragon - sadly tinkle against each other as she resumes moving towards the fountain - their meeting spot - so tiny and light the Circle's ancient stone foundation is barely aware she's even here..."Appropriate."


OOC: Looking for all things mechanical or alchemical (Tian artifacts or accoutrement a bonus!). Well, looking for a good deal on vegetables and meat for dinners this week AND all things mechanical or alchemical. ;)
Luck of the draw: 1D20 = [1] = 1 Ha! Perfect! :)
 

Kaodi

Adventurer
At the Creekside Tavern a woman sits alone at a table, chair turned out, with one leg crossed over the other as she examines her reflection in a small hand held mirror. Hers is a face worth admiring, though it is the little details that she seems to be preoccupied with, a comb expertly wielded in her other hand ready to strike down any wayward hairs. A number of other cosmetic items are laid out on the table as well, having already done their duty.

For a moment she sits perfectly still as she peers into her own eyes. Lunysh, she says silently and forcefully in her own mind. Then, apparently satisfied, Shendra begins packing up her things in a small bag. The Circle Market should be opening soon, and if she wanted to find a good deal, or maybe any deal, on some better attire she would have to get their early.

She stood up from her seat. Her clothes were neat and well tailored, a heavy red blouse tied at the waist with a grey sash, leather trousers and knee high leather boots of the same colour, with a grey cloak as well stashed in her backpack, but they were nothing special. She needed something a bit... classier. And it would not be cheap.

Shendra picks up a sleeveless coat of studded leather that had been hanging on the back of her chair and slips it on, one arm and then the other, after which she did up the buckles at the front. She did not bother with tying the leather lace at the top though; she was not really expecting to get into trouble. It was just a precaution.

Pausing just one more moment to pull her long, lustrous black hair out from under the collar of the coat, Shendra grabs her things and leaves the Creekside, heading towards the Circle.

OOC: Looking for a courtier's outfit (30 gp) and the accompanying jewelery (50 gp). Red for the outfit and green for the jewels would be the most appropriate, I think. Mystery Roll: 1D20 = [17] = 17
 

Shayuri

Villager
Mei Ying strolled through Rodric's Cove at an unhurried pace, enjoying the sea air and the relaxed atmosphere of the place. Even at mid-day, there were never very many people around to her city-bred way of thinking. Her goal at the Circle Market was simple enough. She hoped to meet Teea there, and perhaps some of the other friends she'd made, and spend some time with them. Her purse was a bit light for shopping, unfortunately. There would be expenses on the road after all.

The time was coming, Mei thought, for her to be continuing onward. It would be good to make these moments that were left pleasant ones.

There it was now, the market...all arrayed in a circle around the old markings. They'd intrigued her when she first arrived, but apparently excavating in the middle of town was frowned on. So be it. She was in Varisia now, where ruins of old were virtually stacked on top of each other. There would be many more to find elsewhere.

She could hardly wait!

(Mystery Roll [roll0])
 

Scotley

Villager
Teodor Kirila Human Rogue

The lanky young man carelessly tossed back his dark hair, which could have used a trim, as he eyed the goods on display. His youth as a merchant informed his eye. Those rugs will never fetch that much. I wonder how she got that patina in the wooden bowls? Those silks are in a new color this season, might be worth picking up a bolt or two...

He strolled with confidence, feeling as at home as he did anywhere in this time. He adopted a causal air, but the quality of his gear and the keenness of his eyes marked him as more than just another farm boy come to town. The dozen weapons and studded leather armor further marked him as something other than a local boy come to town. His well made clothes are fashionable, but clearly made for work rather than idleness.

He spied friends near the fountain and started toward them, but then paused with a blank look. His eyes were still looking toward them, but they did not seem to focus or track. When did their hair turn gray and their skin wrinkle so? He blinked and suddenly he was himself again. Walking toward the fountain with a smile for his friends. "What bargains have you found this day." he asks pleasantly.

OOC: Teoder is not looking for anything in particular, but would take the opportunity to get something good to eat. [roll0]
 

Binder Fred

3 rings to bind them all!
Teea Tell turned to greet him, her young eyes drifting down to Teodor Kirila's studded armor and dozen of weapons... before drifting back up - way up - to look into his own eyes questioningly.
 

Shayuri

Villager
"The presence of friends in good weather is both pleasant and free," Mei Ying observed with a smile. Her common tongue was quite good, though a hint of Tian accent gave her speech a certain almost musical tonality. "Surely the best bargain of all."
 
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Kaodi

Adventurer
The early morning at the Creekside had been mercifully short on patrons, leaving Shendra to her preparations in relative peace. But as she approached the Circle where larger crowds congregate her mind became remarkably more turbulent. She had strange intuitions now, noticing things she never would have before. Sometimes it seemed like there were extra voices in her head, though she was not sure whether her mind was just addled or whether she actually 'heard' things. More people meant more 'whispers' . And the things they said often tended towards the scandalous.

Shendra spotted Mei Ying chatting with the young woman from the laboratory accident and a man who seemed a bit distant. The voices grew louder. She tried to suppress them momentarily. The Tian woman was a scholar of ancient Thassilon of some kind; maybe someday she would tell her what sort of trouble came of poking around old places where you do not belong! But for now she squared her shoulders and approached.

"I suppose I shall have to pray for the second best bargain then," she says a bit airily and with a mischievous smile. "These rags," indicating her perfectly serviceable clothes, "Do not much lend themselves to social calls."

Shendra then glances towards Teea and adds in a slightly softer tone, "How are your hands, my dear?"
 

Binder Fred

3 rings to bind them all!
After a pause, the young girl held them up - palms and then backs - unmarked by anything fiercer than housework and slight scratches (Her basket slid down to her elbow as she did so).

"Thank you," because that was owed. She considered... but the noble woman had saved her, the weird glow from her hand soothing away the fiery pain of the explosion, drying her unwilling tears...

So: "And how have you been sleeping, miss?" she shyly asked back, looking down. They had met, late that night, because Shendra couldn't sleep...
 

Scotley

Villager
Teodor smiles at Mei Ying and Shendra's words. "I can afford friends and good weather." He gestures broadly at the market. "The goods here not so much. Perhaps I have not tried hard enough to find that 'second best bargain'"
 

Scott DeWar

Prof. Emeritus-Supernatural Events/Countermeasure
Professor Randolf Smarz - Mycologist

Professor Randolf Smarz and his business partner, Jarb Brogan, had been in the field collecting various materials for the shop and had returned recently to prepare for the market day. The professor was taking a break from setting up the sales stand, leaving the business aspect of the shop to the well trained mind of the Halfling barber, letting the half elf to wander about seeing what was available for trade.

[roll]1d20[/roll]
 
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Scott DeWar

Prof. Emeritus-Supernatural Events/Countermeasure
Professor Randolf Smarz - Mycologist

[sblock=roll]you asked for a roll, I do believe[roll0][/sblock]
 
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Deuce Traveler

Adventurer
Michael Tell entered the plaza, his old and slightly beaten armor recently polished. The recent times he has been spending with his niece Teea have changed him into a new man. He is freshly shaved and stands a little straighter and surer. The old wounds don't bother him as much, somehow, and he looks only once in the direction of the nearest tavern without lingering. He gives a warm smile to Teea before his eyes rest on the others.

"Hello Shendra. Well met, Mei Ying. This young rogue, Teoder, isn't bothering you, is he? What is your intent towards these young ladies, lad?" The older man is using his 'concerned father' voice, and though he looks stern and serious, he gives Teoder a quick wink. He knows the lad is one of the good ones.
 

Scotley

Villager
Teodor smiles at the jest. "Now wait a minute. It is these ladies who have stolen my heart, so they are the Rogues here." He places a hand over his heart to show he is wounded.
 

Binder Fred

3 rings to bind them all!
Teea didn't answer her uncle's smile, not directly anyway, but she did almost automatically step into her usual place to his immediate left, facing the same way. He smelled of leather and sun-warmed metal, with sharp hints of shaving soap.

After her parents death, it's where she felt most confortable -- protected and protecting...
 

Shayuri

Villager
Mei Ying bows her head politely to William in greeting, then repeats the gesture for the others as well. Experience has taught her that full bowing is frowned on unless it's to those of superior social status in these lands, even though it feels rude to her. Then again, courtesies in Varisia in general seem vastly curtailed. Perhaps that was why it was such a violent, war torn place?
 

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