We got back to it yesterday...And here's a brief look at how it went:
The girls started off in Sandpoint (where we left of before), and decided to spend the month touring Solomon around the local area in order to show him the sights. (Thistletop, the Lighthouse, etc.)
They also took the opportunity to have some of their magic items identified (free for their service to the community) at the academy. (ring +1 protection, ring of jumping, wand of knock, Nualia's talisman, adamantine sword, etc.)
Two things of note before they begin their 4 day journey to Magnimar:
- They've been invited to join the Pathfinder Society
- There are murders happening in Magnimar that are eerily similar to the Skinsaw Man's m.o.
Gearing up is accomplished and off they go. (Coral walks...opting to buy a more superior horse in the big city instead) Late September is a perfect time to travel the coast, and the weather does not disappoint. It is pleasantly cool during the day, with a breeze blowing in from the ocean as they make their way East, South-East toward the city.
Day one goes by w/out a hitch and they stay that night in a roadside flop house built specifically for the purpose. Day two dawns bright and sunny, promising to be unseasonably warm. As the day progresses and the party draws near their second stop (a roadside tavern and flop-house together), the wolf Jaeger alerts his master Quick Silver that he detects smoke on the wind.
She sends him off and he comes back quickly reporting that 4 large "men" were heading their way. Large as in larger than an ogre! Quickly moving off the road the party hides the horses in a shallow depression covered by bushes, and then climb some larger trees for a better view.
Mere moments later four exceedingly large figures come stomping into view. Obviously giants on a raid, the party notices the bags slung over their shoulders...and w/in one of them they notice movement! They must somehow trick the giants into dropping their bags so that whatever is trapped inside may escape.
A plan is concocted and set in motion. Dropping oil and flame from the trees the party members ply their ranged weapons to good effect. After a tense moment where the dwarf, Mock, is chased from hiding by a wandering giant, the group ends up dropping the leader! The rest turn tale and run, leaving the bags on the ground.
One young boy named William emerges, but in the end, that is all. The entire community was wiped out and the giants were taking the bodies...where? Hard to say, but east is the consensus.
A few more days on the road and no more encounters finds the party in Magnimar, the second largest city in Golarion! And a massive city it is. Marveling at the wonders, they make their way to the Pathfinder guild house in lower town. Where they meet Eando Kline, the chapter president.
Kline greets them and gives them the lowdown on the area. Especially the murders. He also informs them that they have been invited to a dinner with the Lord Mayor in four days time. The reason is not really clear, but the opportunity is! After he's spoken w/ Coral and Quick Silver, he pulls Shalelu aside and speaks briefly w/ her as well...what is said though is unknown. (But later she tells the two that she was the originator of their invitation into the ranks of the Pathfinders, for she is one herself!)
The next day is spent in the chapter house writing down everything they can recall of the Sandpoint area and their adventures there. Meanwhile Shalelu and Mock stay in the chapter house and wait for the two to free up.
Day two in Magnimar is spent shopping for the proper attire. Mistress Vyl, in high town, has done dresses for some of the most prominent ladies in the area, and she's happy (though a bit stuffy and proper) to do so for the two adventurers. 180 gold, and a day later the two have taken care of the preparations for the meeting w/ the Lord Mayor.
Day three is free...So they decide to go and check on Aldern's townhouse in high town. Just to look around and see if there are any clues leading to this Xanesha character. (a name at the end of a letter found in Aldern's laboratory) The place is boarded up on the facade, but the back, through the garden is not. They make their way to the back door and use the keys also found in Aldern's laboratory.
The townhouse is obviously empty. The dining area has obviously been ransacked and after looking in the next few rooms, it becomes clear that someone was looking for something w/ no small amount of urgency. Quick Silver's keen gnome ears picks up voices from one of the so far unexplored rooms!
Quietly the party moves into position, throws the door open to find...Aldern and Iesha sitting having a conversation!
Obvious confusion reigns. A confused and slightly outraged Aldern invites the 4 in while Iesha goes to get refreshments. He claims that he's been here the entire time and doesn't know one whit of what the group tells him about ghouls and ghasts. Just then Iesha comes back into the room...
And that's when they change.