A few days from Sandpoint, the Kobiashi Maru made way its way north up the Long Coast Road. During the journey, Haweeha Al-Abadar struck up a conversation with Jasana Nubella, the merchant Dakang’s daughter. She professed confusion and frustration that her father had become very interested in a recent purchase of Jasana’s, an old Tian tapestry. It was causing a rift between their already rocky relationship as both father and daughter and merchant and apprentice. Considering this, and that Dakang’s attitude could potentially jeopardize the health of the caravan so early on, he decided to seek out Cephor’s advice.
During a stop for lunch along the road, Haweeha informed the other Resplendent Lodge operatives of the situation and they agreed he would seek out Cephor for help, utilizing the Dreamliner. Playing coy, they guarded the wagon while Haweeha, with Jasana’s borrowed tapestry placed into the dream chest, entered a dream state to enter the Lodge.
Once inside, he retrieved the tapestry from the Lodge’s dream chest and met Cephor in the conference room. After a moment of inspection, Cephor realized he’d seen this tapestry before… or rather one like it. Moving into his library, he found a book with illustrations of items the Pathfinder Society has collected over the years. One such item was the Hao Jin Tapestry. The one found by the Society contains a pocket dimension, housing a hilltop temple built to meditate on the personage of the Empyreal Lord, Korada. The fact that not one, but at least a second of these tapestries could possibly lead to this dimension is quite fascinating. What this Dakang gentleman knows about the tapestry is uncertain, but it’s a good guess he knows of it’s power, as he’s a man that’s showing a lack of trust now. His mind could be infiltrated to help establish what’s going on. To ensure a clear answer is resolved, Cephor explained that certain objects nearby that have special acquaintance to the subject or event, much like the used firework was used to see from the eyes of the Licktoad Tribe. Haweeha left Cephor to return to the caravan, telling his fellow operatives of what he found out.
They agreed they should attempt this and filled in Ameiko of the situation. She agreed and worked to nonchalantly set sleeping spots so that the group would be near Dakang while he slept that evening.
Haweeha, Draugnir, and Tengu set their wayspinner needles towards Dakang, linking him to them in the Dimension of Dreams. Oro, due to his bond with Draugnir, was able to pass through with Draugnir.
Once within the dimension, the three found themselves in front of the Lodge as usual, but they heard footsteps among the crags to their left. There wandering about was Dakang. They convinced him to join them inside this “strange lodge” in front of them, playing dumb. Once inside, a Lodge guard came up from behind Dakang and pinched a specific nerve in the shoulder, rendering him unconscious. He then proceeded to carry him up to the conference room as if by reflex. Following the guard in, they found Cephor spreading the tapestry on the table and motioning to the guard to lay Dakang atop it.
“I don’t know why this works, but you could say there’s still some mysteries of dream magic even I don’t understand yet. What we’re about to do here is force a specific memory of Dakang’s, assumingly having to do with the temple found inside the tapestry, and you’ll have to find him there. Observe his actions and tendencies. Question him. Do whatever you need to do. If he’s hostile, don’t worry about killing him, though like with ”/characters/tasskar" class=“wiki-content-link”>Tasskar, expect the pocket to not last long. As for the temple itself, from what reports of the first tapestry, the place should be empty… but this will be a shadow of that dimension. Our dreams tend to skew, reshape, and recall things that may or may not have been there before." Cephor concludes his briefing and begins playing a tune on his violin, and the group drifts to sleep once again…
The party stands before a wide structure atop a forested hill. The graceful building has no sharp corners; the white marble walls are carved with soft, round edges. The edifice appears well-scrubbed, but despite this obvious care black flecks of mold cover its surface. A gravel path leads into an airy courtyard and up to a pair of large wooden double doors. The doors are carved with an image of four spheres resting inside an open lotus flower.*
The group begins exploring, noting an empty mediation room (A9). A2 was a stable with empty stalls. After hearing the footsteps inside, the party decided to enter. The main entry way appears to be a communal center of the temple with a spiral pattern. Haweeha recognized this as the Spiral of Korada. In a short time, a wandering human monk appears and is surprised but openly welcomes their new guests, inviting them to the refectory (A7) for refreshments. The massive darkwood table is set for autumn vegetarian feast. Human and halfling worshipers wander about this strange temple, all very cordial and eerily welcoming. What is especially troubling to the party is the notice that each temple patron is missing more than a few fingers on their hands.
Inside the refectory, a woman calling herself Di Duang greets her new guests, seated at the table. She explains that a meal is about to take place, and they are welcome to eat, followed by a tour of the temple grounds. Their master, who they call Dakang, is the master of the temple, which is of interest to the operatives. They asked if they could meet him now, but were denied.
Draugnir, grew curious about the adjoining kitchen, so while Di Duang turns her back to walk back into the kitchen, he observes the room. He observes a faint must smell and notices a massive stove with cooking utensils all about, with specks of mold and rust. Di, while working at the stove turns her head to the corner and with barely any emotion exclaims, “Oh, poor Wei… such a shame.” Draugnir looks in the direction she’s facing and notices hanging from the corner the hanging corpse of a halfling worshiper. Draugnir makes his presence known at this point, alerting the rest of the party, surprised that the woman isn’t phased at all that a dead halfling is hanging in the kitchen, yet she continues to cook! Crap has hit the fan.
Despite their pleas she shrugs it off. Suicides have been commonplace here for awhile now. The party decide they are no longer going to wait for any feast and begin searching the nearby areas, including the private quarters (A8) west of the kitchen and the guard quarters (A11). Both areas looked used, but were currently empty. Noticing a guard walking around the corner behind the guard quarters, the group decided to forcefully follow behind and watched the furthest door down the hall close behind the guard. They decided to open the door themselves, feeling some resistance, then it creeked open more revealing a concerned guard. While somewhat calm, he asked what the meaning of this was. The operatives responded that they wished to see Dakang immediately. The guard said he could not be bothered at that time. They pushed the door open further, revealing a bedroom/office with three aasimar guards near an obese figure sitting on the bed pouring over very marked up Korada sermons.
Dakang, now noticably obese, sits in a regal white gown and boots, clutching a staff with a cross-cept. Crowned at the top of the sceptre is a Spiral of Korada. He greets his new guests, despite the intrusion. The guards continue to stand between him and the operatives.
“Korada bless you all” Dakang proclaims.
Continued in Episode X: The Enlightened.
*Pull quotes by Ron Lundeen. Name of the scenario this is used from is being witheld to avoid spoilers. After Saturday’s campaign, I’ll return to this and give proper props!