The Seal Skin is a murder mystery with horror elements using the Pathfinder rules system in a homebrew post-post-apocalyptic urban setting.

At present this adventure is a standalone; there are no future installments planned.
There was a young hunter, though none would call him such, for he was a small and timid thing that dared not to venture far from the safety of his clan. He stayed nearby, basking in the warmth and safety of fire and family. But he could not stay warm forever, for winter was cold and his brother was harsh.

"Young Hunter!" he cried, "The beasts abound and our clan grows hungry! You must take your spear and fight back against the snow and the monsters!"

The young hunter was still afraid, so his brother killed a seal and brought it back to the clan. Together, the two of them skinned the seal and tanned its hide, making a coat that bore the giant meat eater's face.

"Little Hunter," said his brother, "The giant seal shows no fear. It kills and eats all before it, and when you wear this coat you too will be strong and fearless."

The young hunter was nervous, but he took the coat. With it he braved the snow and killed his first beast. The clan was overjoyed for him, and his brother was brought to tears of pride. The young hunter shed his coat to embrace his family.

In the night following, the young hunter again found himself scared of the dark and the beasts that hid within. He grew angry and ashamed of himself.

"I am a killer of beasts!" said the young hunter. "I should fear no darkness!"

But he did, until he put on the coat and again became the ruthless seal, strong and fearless. He wore the coat more and more, killing beasts to take home. He stopped killing them for his family, bringing back more corpses when their bellies were already full. Soon, there were no beasts left to slay.

"Little Hunter," said his brother, "The beasts are gone and we are safe. You must take off your coat now and eat with us."

But the young hunter was no longer a young hunter of the clan. His coat had consumed him, and he became nothing more than an animal that hated and destroyed. He killed his brother, he killed his family, and he broke the ice underneath his belly and swam away to find more things to slay.

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Recap: Introduction
Talij, an ifrit new to Loperg, found himself in suspicious circumstances after accepting a job from drunken tavern goer Hiram. In the morning following an evening of guard duty, Hiram failed to return to Talij to deliver payment. Curious, tired, and not interested in losing the pay for a lucrative job, Talij searched the house and found Hiram to have disappeared. Instead, he found a halfling hiding in the cupboards of the kitchen pantry. After Talij threatened to char broil him to a cinder, the halfling confessed to being a spy for a man named Julio for reasons unknown. Under further coercion the halfling admitted to seeing something strange- a dwarf in the darkness carrying a human skeleton that siphoned itself into the fireplace and subsequently vanished.

Letting the halfling run free, Talij took his time dismantling the boards around the fireplace, finding nothing helpful within. By the time he finally left the house, the city guard was waiting for him outside.

Meanwhile, a gun-for-hire by the name of Mike was investigating a string of murders on behalf of Scarpering Jen, local gunsmith. The trail led him to the guardhouse where Talij was being questioned. Talij, unable to leave Loperg until the crime was solved, agreed to share information with Mike and even accompany him on the investigations. Together, they returned to Scarpering Jen to ask about Julio, the man that was spying on Hiram. The genial moonrat told them that Julio was a rich paladin who lived in the Sun Chapel district.

Arriving at his mansion, the pair found it to be under guard. They tried to talk their way past the two guards out front but they were not permitted entry. They did earn the pair’s trust, enough to learn of the heavy security measures in the house, including a guard in the main hall that would tan their hides for letting anyone past. Instead, they gave Talij and Mike advice for breaking in, telling them of two unlocked windows and warning them of the flame traps inside the house.

The four of them parted ways, with Talij and Mike scoping the house before returning to Mike's place to rest until evening. When darkness was projected in the void above Loperg, they returned to Julio's home under cover of night. While Mike carefully scanned the wrought-iron fence around the estate for a point of entry, Talij grabbed him by the shoulders and teleported them both in with a burst of magic.

They got in through the lounge window and made their way to a swimming pool, where an oblivious moonrat was frolicking. Mike stuck to the shadows while Talij hollered at the rat, causing him to panic. After cutting him off from escape several times, they quickly talked him down. After promising not to rat on him for swimming in Julio's private pool, they learned that Julio had become increasingly paranoid and withdrawn, spending most of his time in a hidden panic room.

Leaving him to his swim, the pair next came upon another set of slacking guards, these entirely disarmed. The guards were prepared to fight with improvised molotov cocktails until the fiery Talij convinced them that fighting an ifrit while surrounded by high-proof dwarven fire ale was, at best, highly inadvisable. The fight was again finished nonviolently.

Exploring the main hall, Mark singed his eyebrows on a fire trap but was otherwise unharmed. Upon hearing chatter, he imbibed a magical potion of stealth to scout ahead. He found three guards waiting for them, and warned Talij. Together they crept through the darkened hallways and slowly up the carpeted stairs. On the fourth step Mark tripped and landed with a soft thud. The party held their breath, but the guards below were too engrossed in a talking portrait to hear this fumble. As they chatted among themselves, Talij and Mark came to the balcony and the second floor.

Upstairs they found a velvet curtain that opened up into a small theatre with leather seats and a low stage. When they continued to the hall, they were gently approached by a faintly ticking clockwork person. It danced, slowly and alluringly, closer as a quiet music box echoed through the hall. Talij and Mark found the thing too unsettling, and retreated to a second room, this one unlocked, and immediately opened it to a another clockwork construction, far less human in appearance with several legs and arms. They slammed the door on it just as the ballerina returned.

This time the pair stood their ground as the construct approached Mark. As it reached slowly for him, Mark decided he was uncomfortable with the intimate contact and struck the machine. In the ensuing combat, Mark was heavily wounded but stood strong as Talij turned magical fires and a summoned hyena on the clockwork creation. Though it retreated into the room for repairs when wounded, the pair were able to recover from their own wounds in time to finish not only the dancer but also the clockwork servant that was healing it.

Having explored the entirety of the second level, Talij recalled the moonrat's words about a hidden panic room. After searching the walls and tracing the audible rants and murmuring, they found a secret switch that revealed their target. Both Talij and Mark swore that they meant Julio no harm, and though clearly nervous Julio invited both of them to have a seat while he "confessed." Julio continued to ramble at them, his words making sense only to himself. He spoke of some past crime and began to accuse both of the intruders of coming here only to murder him.

Moments before Talij could ready a charm spell, Julio triggered a trap door, dunking Mark into the pool below, followed shortly after by Talij. Julio activated a clockwork bodyguard to pursue them, sending it to a hidden switch that turned the pool into a slick pit only a second after the pair had escaped the water. Julio ordered his creation to throw them both into the trap as he flung javelins to disrupt Talij's spells from above. Mark kept the tin man occupied with assistance from Talij's shining hyena, slipping out of its grip constantly. Talij blasted it from afar, running right through its torso before a missed shot nearly sent him tumbling into the pit.

The tin man managed to throw Mark into the pool and began to focus on Talij. Moving at the speed of flame, the ifrit stayed just a step ahead of the construct and slowly melted it to scrap. Meanwhile, Mark found a control panel for the pool trap… but had to way of disabling it. While he waited in the pool, he caught a glimpse of something in the trap door above: Julio, dangling by the leg held in a small child’s failing grasp. The kid’s grip failed, dropping Julio onto Mark before vanishing from sight.

Talij managed to melt the tin man’s motors and destroy it, but the sounds of approaching guards scared him off. He made for the courtyard where he and the moonrat from the swimming pool simultaneously slipped under the notice of several guards patrolling the courtyard… mostly. Halfway through, Talij was noticed and made a magic jump to avoid capture. He blinked across the field, evading the arms of a particularly persistent halfling. He used his last dimension hop to dart through the fence, his pursuer scaling the fence not long after. In all the confusion, the moonrat slipped away like a shadow.

Mike was unable to find a way out of the pool, and taken into custody the following morning.
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A Letter with a Newspaper Clipping
Non Eco-Terrorists Illegal Grow Op
Reports are coming in of an unauthorized grove of plants being cultivated in Loperg sewers under the Sun Chapel District. Guards have yet to release a statement, but many suspect nearby Non nature cult extremists. Details on Page 5.

Watergate Forecast!
Our eyes in the sky report that Loperg will be flying close to a doozy of a watergate for the next few weeks. Rocs are already deployed for course corrections but we are expecting heavy waterfall in the foreseeable future so get out those raincoats and be ready for flooding in local sewers! 5 day breakdown on Page 16.

More Missing Civilians
It isn't enough that a Grinder can't feel safe on the walk home, but now it seems we must fear for our lives in bed! Maria Vasquez, human denizen of the Warrens has been reported missing. The city guard has barricaded her home and barred entry to her grieving family, but has yet to offer any comfort or solid facts on this, the third dissapearance in as many weeks. Since the unsettling reports of possible violence on the premises of Proctor Chance and Mercutio Deyes the citizenry are beginning to wonder if anywhere is safe if the guard can't even protect us in our own homes? More on page 7.

I'm going to kill her. I'm going to kill you. I'm going to kill you with her. I will beat you to death with that alarmist anarchist, I swear on my city, if you keep leaking information to the public! We are keeping the details of the investigation private for the good of everyone. Panic in the citizenry does not help an investigative case, and panic is exactly what I'll get if this pundit continues to publish these goddamn articles! We have enough on our hands without an uprising in the general public. The Entropy Guild is making all kinds of orders I can't decipher, the Frogs are breathing down my neck every day to see if we're 'military' enough to get decommissioned, and I've got to send half of my men out on border patrol to keep an eye out for Sill weirdos and terrorists. Your little 'reminders' are NOT HELPING. We will deal with this as fast as we can, even if I have to hire the whole goddamn Adventurer's Guild!

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Tags: GM , intermission , Intro
Anomaly Detected
System scan revealed two anomalies (W47Humanoid W6Humanoid)
Action taken: Willow program activated to purge infection
Program ignored due to anomalous activity
Additional Actions: Activated advanced Willow programs dispersion and surgical (3 total)
Programs ignored due to anomalous activity
Activated surgical, doctor, and trojan programs (4 total)
Programs ignored due to anomalous activity. System integrity minimized. Fabrication disabled.
Activated remote surgical programs (5 total)
Programs ignored due to anomalous activity
Firewall activated by unauthorized attempt to access, null tool activated by foreign commands
Willow propagation activated. Firewall overloaded by excess data feedback.
So incompetent was the defense that It became involved. It took interest in the anomalies detected. There is lingering knowledge in the W47. The sight is fleeting, recovery will not be needed. Both escaped alive. Interesting. Interesting indeed.
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Tags: Recap
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Game Master:
Homebrew (1st)
268 other campaigns in this setting
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