Legends of Golarion

So It Begins...
Gathering of Heroes


The boy stood outside the Magnimar office of the Sandpoint Mercantile League. He eyed the door nervously before pushing it open and heading inside. The door led to a small room with a counter and another door leading deeper in to the building. A burly dwarf sat

behind the counter.
“Is… is this where I apply for a job,” the boy stammered. His heart thundered

in his chest. This is my last chance, he thought. Don’t screw it up.
The red haired dwarf looked up from the papers on the counter. He wore some wire rimmed spectacles and his eyes were a bit bleary. He gave the lad a once over with his squinty gaze. “Aye, lad. We are looking for some men for some jobs up north. Are ye sure yer old enough?”
“I’m sixteen and definitely old enough to be on my own, " the boy said with indignation. Why does everyone harp on my age, he thought angrily.
“Simmer down, son. I’ve no doubt ye think yer ready, but this here job is not for the faint of heart. Ye will be defending caravans from nasty beasts and creatures such as goblins and orcs and maybe even the occasional ogre.”
With every word, the boy became more and more certain he wanted the job. “I can do it,” he interrupted. “I have some weapon skills.” He pulled out a dagger and flourished it in front of the dwarf, clipping his thumb and dropping it to the floor with a loud clang.
He put his thumb in his mouth as the dwarf chuckled. “Ye seam eager. I’ll give ye that. What other skills ye have?”
The boy thought for a bit. “Well, I am able to call forth darts of fire.” He focussed his will and three licks of flame appeared in his right hand.
“Ah no need for a demonstration, lad. I git yer point,” the dwarf said hastily. “Ye have a bit of magic about ye. That could prove useful.” The dwarf rummaged behind the counter for a moment. “Ah here we go, a standard contract for employment by the League. Take a look over it.” He handed the boy several sheets of paper.
The boy looked over the paper for several moments. "I agree to the terms, " he all but shouted.
The dward looked him over again and shook his head in amazement or incredulity, the boy would never be sure. “Ok lad, what’s yer name?”
“Valeri, Eran Valeri.”

Eran step out of the office, newly employed by the Sandpoint Mercantile League. Located in Beacon’s Point district, the office looked out on to main harbor, and Eran’s eye was drawn to the massive ruined bridge on the far side. A relic of some ancient past and what had been Eran’s home for the past four years of his life. A life he was running away from as fast as his legs and the tide could take him.
He squinted to see if he could make out any details of the slums under the bridge. Appropriately named Underbridge, it was also known as the Shadow and was one of the poorest areas of Magnimar. He could barely make out any of the squalid and leaning buildings. He absentmindedly rubbed his thigh as he stared lost in the past.
He visibly shuddered as he pulled himself from his reverie. Time to move forward, he thought. And quickly.
Eran had been given instructions to head to dock sixteen where the Mermaid’s Folly was berthed. He had a signet he was to show the captain and he would be taken to Sandpoint where he was told to meet a man by the name of Jaspar Korvaski, his new boss. Jaspar would give him his assignments and determine his pay.
Eran turned away from the harbor view and headed towards the merchant docks and what he hoped would be a new life.

“Think yer better than us, dontcha Eran,” came a voice from behind Eran. He stopped and slowly turned. A lanky man with oily black hair and a scar on his right cheek stood in the road. People moved wide of him as they headed down the street.
“No Jace, I just want out,” Eran retorted. So close, he thought. How did he track me down?
“Ye know ye can’t leave. We own ye, boy.”
Eran looked around. Most of the people on this part of the docks were pointedly ignoring the confrontation. No one was going to help him here.
He turned and ran three steps before his feet seemed to find no ground. He slammed in to the ground face first and felt his nose crunch under the impact. Blood started streaming from it. He rolled over with a groan and saw the bola partially wrapped around his feet.
Jace and three ragged boys slowly approached him. “Ye still owe me plenty for saving yer life, feeding ye, housing ye. This is how ye repay me.” Jace accentuated the last statement with a kick to Eran’s ribs. The other three joined in and several kicks left Eran gasping for breath and certain he had broken at least one rib.
“Enough for now, " Jace commanded. “Get him to his feet. It’s time we went back to the Shadow and taught this boy some manners.” Jace’s companions reached down towards Eran as Jace turned away, pulling something from a pocket in his tunic.
Eran thought furiously. How do I get away? His mind remained blank. The first of the oily boys leaned down to grab his shoulder. No, how would a League member handle this, he thought and suddenly he had an idea.
As one boy grabbed his shoulders and started to pull him up, Eran focussed his will and three daggers of flame streaked through the gathering dusk straight in to the face of each. At the same time, he pulled his dagger from his waist, cutting his feet free of the bola.
All of the boys shrieked as the flaming darts struck home. The hair on the closest even caught on fire. Eran gave him a swift kick to the back, knocking him in to the other two. Not waiting to find out how they fared, Eran leaped up and ran.
“Get him,” he heard Jace shout. Glancing back, he saw the three boys tangled in heap, trying to get back up as various parts of their clothes or hair burned. Jace kicked at them and then started running after Eran.
Eran knew he couldn’t keep this up for long. His breathing was already labored from the kicks to his ribs. As he ran, he started knocking over anything he could find in to the path of Jace, hoping to slow him down, and for the most part he was able to keep his distance until he ran out of barrels and boxes.
Eran could see dock sixteen up ahead, but he could also hear Jace closing in on him. He started to slow as despair began to overtake him. I’m not going to make it, he thought. He slowed to a walk and finally a stop. He turned to face his tormentor.
Uncertain as to what Eran was doing, Jace had also slowed and was now warily approaching the boy. “Ye know ye belong here. Yer talents will always be in demand,” Jace declared.
Hearing those words, something snapped in Eran. He stood up slightly straighter and whispered, “no.”
“What was that,” Jace asked as he closed distance.
Eran barely heard him as rage boiled up from some unknown depths. Rage at Jace. Rage at his unknown mother. Rage at himself. “NO!” he shouted and with it came a thunderous roar which crashed in to Jace and threw him back, knocking him to his knees.
“I WILL NOT GO BACK!!” Another wave of thunder picked up Jace and threw him about like a rag doll. Eran advanced, anger in his eyes and murder in his heart. He stood over the still form of Jace and pulled out his dagger.
Jace groggily lifted his head. His dazed eyes grew wide in shock as he focussed on Eran looming over him. Eran brought the dagger up high, readying the killing blow when a small whimper made him hesitate. He looked around and noticed a woman with a small girl. Both stared on in horror at what he was about to do. Cutting him to his very soul, he cried out in anguish and hurled the dagger in to the harbor.
Jace tried to get to his feet, but it was as if he couldn’t control them. He fell back and stopped struggling. Eran looked at him. “I’m leaving, Jace. It’s time I go my own way and make my own destiny.” He turned and started heading toward the ship tied to the docks.
“It’s not that easy, Eran. Ye are mine and I will have ye back,” Jace shouted. Eran never turned to look back as Jace finally passed out.

Eran slowly walked up the gang plank on to the Mermaid’s Folly. He felt exhausted and every breath felt like it would be his last, but he was the happiest boy, no, man in the world. The ship was busy with activity as sailors move about the deck. A bald, barrel chested man stopped him at the top of the plank.
“Who might you be?‘’
Eran blinked for a moment before remembering the signet. He pulled it from his tunic pocket and showed it to the sailor, "I’m Eran. I was sent here to voyage to Sandpoint. Trask said I was to show someone this, but I forget who."
The man looked at the signet and back at the young man. “Aye lad, that twould be me. Captain Florin. Glad to have you aboard. You aren’t the only one heading north with us…”

The Verdict
The Trial of Arvik Zaltos


Kendra Deverin shifted in her seat as she glanced at the various papers in front of her. She pushed her hair back, a nervous tick from when she wore it longer. Looking out over the chamber, she looked through the various people sitting in the gallery as if she was seeing the ocean

outside. Finally, she turned and nodded to the two guardsmen standing on either side of the prisoner.

The guardsmen hoisted the disheveled man to his feet. Kendra looked over the man. He wasn’t particularly handsome, more non-descript. He was hunched over as the manacles on his hands were pulled towards the ground by the chain locked to the floor. He had several tattoos similar to many of the locals, although they were a bit more ornate and of a style she was unfamiliar with. His clothing was stained with mud and sweat, but looked as if it was well made. Finally, she reached his face. He had black hair and was sporting a week-old beard with a smattering of grey, but what struck Kendra the most were the black eyes. He was staring at her with no hint of malice or fear. They stared at each other for a moment, before Kendra looked away.
“Your name is Arvik Zaltos, is that correct,” she asked him. The man stood there. Silently. After a moment, Kendra asked again, “is your name Arvik Zaltos?”
She waited again. “Let it be noted the prisoner does not answer. However, we feel the identity of the prisoner has been adequately established by several witnesses.” Kendra looked at the prisoner again. He still showed no emotion.
“Several items were found in your room at the Rusty Dragon.” Kendra picked box up from beneath the table. From it, she pulled a parchment and set it on the table. “This looks to be a map of the region, but the writing on it is foreign and many of the symbols make no sense. Where did you obtain it and what does it show?” Arvik remained silent.
Kendra pulled out a chunk of stone with some runes on it. “This piece of stone is similar to the altar stone described by Sir Jaspar Korvaski’s testimony. Where did you obtain it?” Again, silence.
Kendra sighed softly and pulled out the last item in the box, a small book bound in some sort of hide. “This seems to be a book of magic which has been described as profane rituals by father Tobyn as he blessed it.” For the first time some emotion played across Arvik’s face as he closed his eyes and shuddered. “Do you deny this was an object of evil?” Again she waited as he said nothing.
Kendra slowly put the items back in the box watching Arvik as she did so. She then placed the box back under the table. “Did you conspire with the goblins to attack the Valdemar manor and desecrate the family crypts?” Silence.
“Did you conspire with anyone else to commit this crime?” Still, silence.
“This is your one and only chance to provide any form of defense. If you choose not to answer, I can only use the evidence presented to me to deliberate on. So I ask again, did you do this crime,” Kendra implored. More silence.
A pained expression crossed Kendra’s face and she sighed audibly. “Very well then. Since you choose not to speak on your own behalf, I shall pronounce judgement. Arvik Zaltos, I find you guilty of desecration of property. I find you guilty of conspiring with known enemies of humanity. I find you guilty of mass murder.” A loud murmur spread amongst the gallery of people.
“Normally, you would be sent to Magnimar for final sentencing, but in the case of murder I have the authority to make the final sentence if I so desire. In this case, I choose to exercise that authority.” The murmur hushed.
“Arvik Zaltos, you are sentenced to hang for your crimes…” The rest was lost in the approving shouts around the chamber.

Jaspar's Testimony
The Trial of Arvik Zaltos


“My name is Jaspar Korvaski. I am the local manager of the Sandpoint Mercantile League office,” the middle-aged man said in response to the mayor’s first question. He sat ramrod straight in the witness chair.
“How do you know the prisoner?”

“The members of the League required the services of a gardener. I hired him after looking at several possible gardeners.” Jaspar shifted uncomfortably in the

The pause lengthened as Kendra read through some documents on the table. “I understand you performed an investigation for the League after the incident in question. What did you find?”
“I was called in almost immediately after the attack, while everything was still fresh…”

Jaspar looked at the carnage in the entry of the manor. Several of the portraits had been pulled from the walls and smashed on the floor. The smoking remains of a small fire still smoldered along one of the walls. Worst of all, Jalik, the seneschal of the Valdemar household, was laying in a pool of his own blood.
Jaspar followed the main hall from the entry where broken furniture could be found. The walls were in various states of destruction with large holes, fire damage, or weapon marks marring the fine craftsmanship. Small, muddy footprints went back forth along the hall and into and out of various rooms.
Looking in to the doorways, he found the rooms had been ransacked. Most of the furniture was now kindling and much of the fine art had been shattered or desecrated. In the dining room, he found the remains of a boy and a young woman. The boy was a local farmer’s son employed by the Valdemar’s as a page. The young woman was a kitchen maid and she had been torn apart as if by come rabid creature. Jaspar stared at the two for some time before shaking himself from his dark thoughts and moving in to the kitchen.
The kitchen was the scene of a massacre. It was obvious the attack had occurred during preparations for the evening meal. The kitchen had been full of women bustling about the business of dinner and many of them had been cut down where they stood. Women of various ages from young to old had been run through by weapons or clawed or bitten to death. Amongst the bodies, he discovered a dead goblin, a butcher’s knife wedged in it’s neck.
Fire had also run rampant through a portion of the room making it very difficult to determine if anything had been removed. It also made for a vary nasty smell, and after a several minutes Jaspar had to step outside for some fresh air.
While he was standing outside, gulping in the fresh air, Jaspar made a most interesting discovery. A small number of the small foot and boot prints led off from the back door towards the manor gardens. In the middle of the tracks was the unmistakable boot of a human. Most likely a man given the depth and size of the impression.
Following the trail of the culprits, Jaspar was taken through the garden to the family cemetery. Here he discovered the iron gate bent off its hinges. The tracks inside the cemetery were much more difficult to follow, but it became quite obvious where they went when he noticed the broken lock and partially opened door on the main family mausoleum.
Inside the mausoleum, it was fairly dark and cool. A small table where a lantern would normally sit was smashed along with the lantern itself, but Jaspar was able to make a small torch from a dead branch outside. With light in hand, he set off to see what he could find.
The entry room had been torn apart similar to the rooms in the house. Broken pottery was strewn about the room and the tapestries that normally hung from the walls had been ripped to shreds. A small alcove opposite the main entrance normally would hold a small altar, but it was missing. To the left of the altar alcove, a small circular stair led down in to the main crypts.
The stone floor didn’t show tracks very well, but a small layer of dust had been disturbed on the floor allowing Jaspar to determine that at least one person had headed down the stairs in to the crypt. He climbed down the stairs to find a rough hewn passage with small, dark alcoves at even intervals on either side.
Bodies in various states of decay had been pulled from their rest in to the passage. As he checked the various bodies, it looked as if some items had been ripped from them. Reaching the other end of the passage, he found another alcove which would normally contain an altar.
However, this altar had been smashed apart. Looking over the stone pieces, Jaspar could see runes inscribed on the surface. Piecing it back together, he determined there had been a small cavity in the altar and runes had been on the inside. Unable to decipher the runes, Jaspar checked to ensure nothing else had been disturbed in the cemetery before returning to the manor house…

“I continued my search of the house, but most of the damage was on the first floor, as if they didn’t care about the house other than to cause a diversion. I went back and copied the runes on some parchment, and I have since had showed them to the local sages. None of them has seen them before or been able to decipher them, " Jaspar finished.
Kendra nodded slowly almost as if to herself. “Thank you. That was quite thorough. You are dismissed.”
Jaspar stood and smoothed out his tunic. As he started to walk towards the back of the room, Kendra stopped him with, “oh sorry, one more question if you would be so kind.” Jaspar looked back and nodded for her to continue. “You had mentioned the prisoner had been hired as a gardener for all of the League member estates.”
“Yes, ma’am, I did say that.”
“Did he ever do any work for any one other than Ethram?”
Jaspar looked thoughtful for a moment. “Actually, no he did not. He started to work at the Valdemar estate and then came down with some sickness. I’m not sure exactly what it was. I believe he was sick for over two weeks and was attended to by one of the local herbalists.” He thought for a moment more, " unfortunately, I’m not sure which one."
Kendra nodded again. “Ah, good to know. Thank you again for your enlightening testimony.” Jaspar bowed and headed out of the chamber.

Casp's Testimony
The Trial of Arvik Zaltos


“Sheriff, how did you identify the prisoner,” Kendra asked the dark-haired man sitting in the witness chair.
Not built like your typical warrior, Casp Avertin was more wiry from years spent toiling in the fields of his father’s farm southeast of

Sandpoint. His leather jerkin and greaves creaked as he sat forward, "After the attack, we found Talia unconcious, but still alive. When she woke, she described

the attack, the goblins involved, and the man who was ordering them about."
Casp cleared his throat. “The description didn’t mean much to me, but when I mentioned it to Sir Korvaski he remembered a new gardener at the Valdemar estate bearing a striking resemblance.”
Kendra glanced at some papers on the table. “According to this, you then apprehended the prisoner at the Rusty Dragon. Could you tell us what happened?”
“Certainly, ma’am. After learning the name of the gardener, one Arvik Zaltos, I asked around and found out that while he was relatively new to Sandpoint, he had been doing some gardening for all of the founders. After a day of work, he would tend to spend a couple of hours in the evening at the Rusty Dragon, so I headed over there with my deputy to bring him in for questioning…”

Casp walked down the street with a grace that anyone with any skill would mark as dangerous. Beside him, A dark-skinned giant of a man easily kept pace. Belor Viskalai was not only Casp’s deputy, but also a friend. The two of them did a decent job keeping the peace in Sandpoint, but this day they had the grim determination of men with a distasteful job to do.
They stopped outside the iron-bound door of the Rusty Dragon, a local inn and tavern that had seen better days. The sign creaked in the wind as Belor opened the door and stepped inside. Casp leaned up against the mossy stone wall while he waited.
After a few moments, Belor stepped back outside and nodded at Casp. Soon four of the local guardsmen approached the inn.
Casp nodded at the men as they reached the door. “BV says the guy is inside. We’ll head in and talk to him.” Casp pointed at two of them, “You two come in a minute or two after us. Hang out just inside the door in case he gives us trouble. You head around to the back to make sure he doesn’t leave that way, while you stay out here,” he said as he pointed at the last two in turn.
The men nodded their understanding. One of the guards headed around the inn as Casp looked at Belor and the two enter the tavern room.
The two men stopped after they entered to let their eyes adjust to the dim light of the smoky room. Most of the first floor was taken up by tables. In the back left corner, a hearth provided most of the light in the room, although a few grimy windows and several sputtering torches tried to make a dent. A dingy bar was opposite the door where a couple of local farmers were nursing some drinks.
A woman of eastern ancestry looked up from behind the bar. She had shoulder length hair of mostly a black color with some white and red streaks. She looked at Casp and Belor with clear disapproval, but said nothing while she continued to clean a tankard.
Belor nodded towards a table on the right near the door to the kitchen. A man sat at the table with his back to the them. He was wearing a mud-stained cloak and taking a drink. The two lawmen closed on the gardener’s table with Belor taking up a position behind the man while Casp moved to his front.
The cloaked man looked up at Casp and glanced at his sheathed weapon, but said nothing.
“Are you Arvik, Arvik Zaltos? Gardener by trade,” Casp asked.
“Who’s asking,” responded the man in a relatively quiet voice.
“I’m Sheriff Avertin and I have some questions for you about an incident that happened a week ago. Do you have a moment?”
The man shifted back in his seat causing his cloak to fall further back revealing some tattoos on his hands and neck.
“Aye, I be Arvik,” the man drawled a little louder. “An incident a week ago you say, that be the nasty attack on the Valdemar estate?” Casp nodded. Arvik thought for a moment before responding. “Oh aye, i be out looking for some new plants for the Scarnetti estate. Burgundy azaleas. They be only found this time of year out on the Platter.” Arvik took a drink from his tankard.
Casp gave a knowing glance at Belor. “Are you sure you weren’t near the Valdemar estate?”
Arvik shook his head. “Nay, I did ’nah get back from the Platter until two days ago.”
The tavern door banged shut as the two guardsmen entered the tavern. Casp shook his head as Arvik turned and gave them a look. “Have you ever been in the estate manor?”
Arvik shook his head no, “can ‘nah say’s I have. Only ever talked to the Valdemar’s house man outside. The would ’nah let me in the house. Why do ye ask?” Casp looked pleased with the answer.
“I’ve got a witness from the attack who says they saw you in the house at the time of the attack.”
“A witness ye say. I thought everyone there died?” Arvik sat a little straighter in his chair and seemed to become more aware of his surroundings.
“Nope, one pulled through. Places you in the home at the time. Never met you before either.” Casp moved his hand down near his sword belt.
“They must be mistaken, sheriff. I have never been in the house,” Arvik’s voice changed to a low purr, heavily laden with seeming command and laced with something dark.
Casp shook his head as he felt a momentary clouding of his thoughts. “They were quite adamant about who and what they saw, i’m afraid. Time to take this to the garrison.” He nodded towards Belor and reached for Arvik.
Time seemed to slow down for Casp as the gardener twirled in his seat and barked out a word with power, “držite osobu.” Belvor had started to move forward, but just stopped in his tracks.
Arvik continued his twisting motion, flinging some kind of black dust in the direction of the guardsmen at the door, shouting, “zavladala straha.” The black dust flared as it enveloped them. Howls of fear and pain could be heard from the glowing cloud.
Casp stared in shock as the man finished his motion and turned back to face him. “I’m sorry dear sheriff, but I don’t think I will be coming with you to the garrison.” Casp tried to move and found himself stuck in place and unable to speak. “Don’t bother to speak. I know how disappointed you must feel, but I have urgent business that needs tending elsewhere I’m afraid.”
Arvik turned to head out of the Inn only to find the bartender standing right behind him. Using the tankard as a club, she struck Arvik in the face with a bone-shattering right cross…

“… as the wizard slumped to the floor unconscious, Belor and I were able to move again. We quickly bound and gagged the prisoner. It was then I noticed the guards were also recovering with a little help from Ameiko.” Casp stopped talking and took a drink of water while the chamber murmured with the recounting.
Kendra sat lost in thought for several moments. “One last question, sheriff. Has the prisoner confessed to the crime?”
Casp seemed taken aback by the mayor’s question. “Uh, ma’am, i would have thought his attack of me and my guards and his attempt to flee would be confession enough.”
“Did he confess to the crime,” Kendra asked again more forcefully.
Casp looked at the bound wizard and swallowed. “No ma’am. He hasn’t said anything since he was captured…”

Talia's Testimony
The Trial of Arvik Zaltos


“I awoke to a strange chanting in a language I couldn’t understand. The voices were guttural and hoarse, but seemed to be far away. Looking around, I could see the bodies of my friends around the smoking room. Layla looked almost asleep except for the red splotch on the front of

her dress. Willem had a mangled leg and stared ahead as if he was looking for something on the horizon. And Vali, Vali I will never forget," she sobbed.

“Something had torn her limb from limb as if she was a paper doll,” was all the frail looking girl with red hair could utter before she was wracked by more sobs.
She sat in the a small chair in the middle of the chamber, her hands fussing with her homespun dress with its faded floral design. A woman with short cropped auburn hair and piercing black eyes descended from a small dais. She handed the girl a kerchief.
“Take your time Talia. There is no need to hurry,” the soothing voice of Kendra Deverin purred. The Mayor of Sandpoint soothed the girl for a moment before heading back to her chair at the table on dais. She absently smoothed out her simple tunic and pantaloons while she waited for the girl. Occasionally glancing at the iron cage no more than fifteen feet from her.
The council chamber itself was rather plain. A rectangular table with several chairs sat on a dais at one end of the room under a large window. A door to one side led deeper in to the building. Several benches stair stepped along both walls where a smattering of people sat. In the middle of the chamber sat Talia facing the council table. On the wall opposite the table, an archway led to a smaller entry chamber with a well-armed guard on either side of the opening. Several tapestries adorned the walls showing various events in the history of Sandpoint.
“What happened next,” Kendra asked as the girl’s sobs subsided.
“I heard something crashing in the hall outside the room, so I turned my head and looked at the door just in time to see a small creature. It was too busy looking down the hall to notice me but I closed my eyes to slits.” Talia paused as she thought back on the experience, her green eyes wide with remembered fear.
“The creature started saying something in that strange language. The one from the chanting,” she breathed. “Then, a new voice in the hall spoke. A man’s voice speaking in the same language. I opened my eyes just a little more. The creature skittered back a little in to the room as the man appeared in the doorway,” Talia shuddered.
“Did you get a good look at the man?”
“Yes, it was that man,” Talia said matter-of-factly as she pointed at the prisoner bound with manacles and locked in the cage to one side of the council table. The man was disheveled with evidence of having been in some kind of fight. He was medium of height and build and would have been unremarkable except for his bald head, piercing grey eyes, and the twisted tattoos over his head and face which disappeared in to the wool robe he was wearing.
“He was there,” Talia gasped. “And he was talking to it. No, not just talking to it. He was giving it orders, and… and I heard more of them out in the hall and they had attacked and mutilated poor Vali… oh poor Vali” Talia’s voice rose to a shriek as the man’s mouth twisted in to a leering grin…


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