Ambroze bows low before the giant bird and replies in the same language as the creature.
"Oh wise and mighty Chirok! The beauty of your radiance rivals that of the rainbow! My name is Ambroze, and these are my companions Tun'ada, Chi, Marcus, Willow, and Tsura. We most humbly beg your forgiveness for trespassing in your lands - we were sent here by the Tempest, servant of the Wind and the Waves. Yes, we slew the sea drake. It attacked us without warning or provocation, and sought to slay us. If the sea drake was your friend, we are deeply sorry for our actions."
Seeing that Ambroze apparently knows the language of the beast, Tsura discretely leans forward and pats him quickly on the arm, whispering encouragement. "Good luck!" She tries to put on her most disarming smile.
Use Bit of Luck on Ambroze for a good Diplomacy roll. "For the next round, any time the target rolls a d20, he may roll twice and take the more favorable result."
Willow looks to the creature and then Ambroze and back mulling over the scenery. This creature was one of many beautiful gifts of nature and she thought she would never see such beauty. She remains silent as she looks up at the bird.
Not applicable i'm afraid as the roll represents at least ten rounds worth of interaction and Bit of Luck only covers one.
Ambroze proceeded to literally charm the great bird out of the sky as it seemed to preen and almost blush in pleasure at Ambroze's compliments and wit. He continued to converse and flatter the intelligent magical beast and before long, the smooth talking Gnome was stroking the mighty bird's feathers as it illuminated the camp-site, sat in a mighty heap beside him.
Make a Sleight of Hand check if you wish to try and quietly take one.
The giant Stormbird told Ambroze that they had done a good thing in slaying the sea drake- a troublesome pest that had lingered in her territory for too long already, hiding in the waves when she tried to hunt it.
Ambroze continues to speak to the Stormbird in its language.
"Oh great Chirok! It gladdens my heart to hear that we were able to do you a service by slaying the foul sea drake that plagued you. I only hope that you will forgive us for trespassing in your lands. As I stated, we were sent here by the Tempest, servant of the Wind and Waves; he asked us to seek you out to beg of you one feather of your magnificent plumage. If you could find it within your favor to grant us this boon, we would be most grateful. If not, we will understand and depart your lands in peace, troubling you no more."
The magnificent Stormbird raised its proud head and deigned to allow Ambroze to pluck a single mighty feather from its wing. It warmed itself by the fire for a time longer and then eventually made its farewell, allowing the group to rest in peace and promising to watch over their camp-site for the night. Chirok also returned later in the night with a reward for Ambroze- a battered Spyglass that could quite likely be repaired using an appropriate craft check.
Tsura stares in child-like awe as the mighty Stormbird turns from restrained wrath to dignified condescension. She is likewise in startled wonderment when it returns with a gift for Ambroze. "This would make quite the tale on the Varisian bard's circuit. I will have to write my cousins and let them know how what amazing sights I have seen thus far."
Ambroze, whatever did you say to that magnificent bird, it certainly took a shine to you. Are you sure you're not a druid in disguise? Chi jokes over the orange firelight of the campfire. "What a day it's been, first that drake then we are rewarded by the beauty of nature. So what did the bird tell you of its mysteries? Surely this is your greatest moment of triumph?"
Male Mwangi (Caldaru) Human Ranger 3 (Shapeshifter) / Barbarian 2
"As the others have said, very well done, Ambroze. And from a personal standpoint, well timed as well. I do not think that Marcus and I would have been able to survive another fight so close to our battle with the Sea Drake."
"Good night, fair fellows. Hopefully nothing unpleasant tries to devour us in the night." Tsura makes a pillow of her cloak and lies down in the grass near the fire. After a few seconds, she sits back up. "Unless I have first watch. How shall we take turns?"
I think this is like the watch order we used last time (minor alterations), spread over 10 hours 2hrs each watch, Marcus, Ambroze, Tsura & Tun'ada, Chi, Willow - normal, half, dark (& normal), half, half that way the spell casters get 8hrs sleep even if it has to be split. This isn't perfect and doesn't bookend the spellcaster classes, but we have Ambroze & Chi at each end almost. Not sure when druids need to sleep/prepare but both divine casters should get enough sleep. Please change this if you want, but we gotta start somewhere with a stake in the ground.
Chi watches the holy woman turn in for the night, before she takes out her old woolen scruffy blanket and lays it out under the warm starry night. She finds a patch of dry moss close to the fire and looks once more skywards. Her mind drifts back to and fro to the nights she spent with her tribe as a young girl. It had been a long tough journey to this point and no doubt more will follow, her mind falls under the cloak of darkness and sleep, until it is her turn to keep watch.
Ambroze humbly thanks Chirok for the gift of the feather, and again when she returns to offer the gnome the spyglass as a reward. In return he offers her a gift of a shiny object for her nest - his compass that he purchased in Magnimar before setting out on the ill-fated Jenivere. As the great stormbird wings away into the distance the gnome scholar waves farewell and wipes away a tear of joy, fully appreciating the privilege he received to have met and interacted with one of the most beautiful wonders of nature.
As his friends congratulate him the gnome scholar blushes self-consciously. He translates a bit of his conversation with the creature, explaining how the group had done the great bird a service by dispatching the sea drake that had plagued its territory, and shows them the spyglass that it gave him. "I'm just glad we were able to fulfill the Tempest's quest without harming the Stormbird. It would've broken my heart to battle such a wondrous creature. And this spyglass may come in handy once we get it repaired in Eleder."
I'm good with the watch order. Looking forward to seeing what the Tempest has in store for us next.
Chirok seemed absolutely delighted with the compass Ambroze presented the magical bird with and it redoubled its efforts in watching over the adventurers as they rested. Although the group kept their own vigil, the presence of the large magical beast flying overhead occasionally was comforting, and Chirok occasionally provided flares of powerful light and drops of radiant brightness as it soared, to remind them they were under her protection.
For the group, the night passed without incident, although when the Stormbird greeted Ambroze the next morning he noted it bore some minor injuries. Chirok seemed proud of her wounds and gloated that she had "feasted well" on a "would-be predator".
I'd pre-rolled a random encounter but Chirok has dealt with it :). Ambroze if you want to start working on repairing the Spyglass as part of your general evening wind-down, please make a Craft check.
Day 11 of Expedition Preparation-
1d100 ⇒ 96
The group woke refreshed upon Chirok's small peninsula beneath her mighty crag and worked their way back towards Tempest, bidding the Stormbird farewell for now. En route, Tun'ada and the others realised their presence upon Chirok's territory had been noted by others as well as they made their way across the land strip to get back onto the mainland. Six Mwangi tribesmen, clearly warriors, waited impassively at the other side. As soon as they spotted the group, the strongest-looking warrior called out-
Male Mwangi (Caldaru) Human Ranger 3 (Shapeshifter) / Barbarian 2
Tun'ada call out to the Mwangi warrior.
"Kami berarti Anda tidak ada pelanggaran, saudara, dan tidak tahu bahwa tanah-tanah yang suci bagi Anda. Kami telah dikirim oleh Tempest untuk berbicara dengan burung petir, setelah menyelesaikan misi kami meninggalkan, dan mohon maaf."
"We mean you no offense, brothers, and did not know that these lands were sacred to you. We have been sent by the Tempest to speak with the thunder bird, having accomplished our mission we are leaving, and beg your forgiveness."
Chi attempts to help Tun'ada make progress against the Mwangi warrior, "As my good friend has said, we came upon the lands and have done our best to honor them and those who have authority over them. In our case, we have given tribute and honor to the Thunderbird, that claims his place in the eddies and currents of the wind that surround us all. We offer you no offense, but to honor your claim to these lands." She bows to the warrior.
Sorry I couldn't post earlier - been totally swamped with sick kids and work over the weekend and today.
Ambroze adds to the discussion
"Indeed, brave warriors. As my companions stated we were sent here by the Tempest, servant of the Wind and the Waves, to beg of the Stormbird one feather of her magnificent plumage. As we entered her blessed lands yesterday we were attacked by a fearsome sea drake, but through the prowess of our own brave warriors the sea drake was slain. As we made camp last night the Stormbird greeted us and thanked us for slaying the drake. In return she gifted us with one of her feathers as well as this spyglass," Ambroze pauses to show the warriors both items. "And she guarded our campsite from predators as we rested. Perhaps you saw her circling in the sky above our camp last night, with the flares of her powerful light and drops of radiant brightness illuminating the darkness as she protected us?"
The words of Ambroze and Chi's lengthier explanations in particular gave the six Ijo Mwangi pause. Replying in Polyglot, they asked if the group would wait while one of their number verified their words and ensured that the Stormbird was unharmed.
Ambroze replies to the warriors in Polyglot, translating for his companions as well. The gnome scholar agrees to the warriors' request to wait while one of them verifies the companions' tale, and graciously invites the remaining warriors to share a lunch of trail rations and sea drake steak.
Chi sits down with Ambroze, eating a portion of bread first, before offering them the same. She drinks, then offers them, all the time seeking to reassure them of the groups intentions to honor them and their land.
The warriors seemed uncomfortable to share the lunch and maintained their vigil- until one of their number returned to confirm the group's words. Only then did they approach and joined the group for their meal, contributing freshly killed game to the lunch. The Ijo tribesmen seemed impressed that they had gained a feather from Chirok peacefully and more so that the mighty Stormbird they seemed to revere as a divine being had deigned to guard their camp overnight.
As they make friends with the Ijo warriors, Chi speaks quietly to Ambroze in common, "Ambroze, do this tribe own lands we will travel through on our way to Saventh-Yhi. Perhaps you might know such things, although I can understand the knowledge of arcane magic, the lands and regions around here are but a distant memory to me. If you have such information to hand, we might ask these Ijo for permission to travel through their lands."
Weird. I posted a knowledge (geography) check to see if I could answer Chi's question on Monday, but it seems to have disappeared. I think the check result was a 13 total, but I don't remember for sure so I'll roll again: Knowledge (geography) check: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13.
Ambroze is not sure of the answer to Chi's question but he speculates it is unlikely that this particular tribe possesses such lands.
1d100 ⇒ 79
The journey back to the Tempest's home was a little quicker now the group were familiar with the terrain; they arrived back to the sea cave a little after sundown. The hermit had apparently heard them coming and met them on the ledge, as was his habit. He cast a sceptical eye over the group as they finished their descent and merely waited to be addressed, tapping his foot impatiently.
The Tempest cast a sceptical eye as he snatched the feather from Ambroze, walking back into his cave. With an irritated wave of his hand, he bade the group wait outside for him.
The rain began to pour upon the exposed ledge and while the group waited and spoke to each other, they became somewhat drenched. Finally though, Nkechi returned and nodded to them, a little more respect in his posture.
Please, come inside he said softly, and led the group into his cave. His abode is well warmed by a fire but other than a few oddities, Nkechi appears to have few possessions. The Tempest apparently leads a simple life despite the various tributes frequently offered to him.
Sit around the fire in a circle... he ordered, with a little less venom in his voice. Nkechi picked up a wooden mortar filled with red paste and proceeded to draw mystic symbols on the group's faces with the paste as he walked around the circle chanting esoteric words.
Chi smile as the paint is smeared on her face, as she is reminded of the times before her capture. The symbols of birds and animals painted on the faces of the men and women before they went on a hunt.Now she was having her face painted, it was as if she had reached womanhood and could join the hunt. Yet even as her mnd wanders back in time, the chill of her wet clothes as she warms by the fire brings her back to her current situation. Whatever it is, surely this man can be trusted, a man of nature and balance?
Willow waits away from the group, knowing that the Tempest didn't want her nearby and she didn't wish to cause any trouble for the group. However with the tempest asking for her to join she complies quietly, not needing to be told twice to sit down.
Having her face painting wasn't something strange to Willow. She had seen many tribes painting their faces beofore battle with mundane pain and some magical. All of it giving them a blessing. She was however, curious what the paint was for, but decided against opening her mouth.
and I just remembered how it said the pagans made their war paint. Ewww.
Nkechi seemed to approve of the group's silence, but noted Marcus' concern. He said, in an earnest, reverent tone-
Put your mind at ease, white man. We speak with Gozreh...
Once the mystic finished carefully applying the paste to everyone including himself, he produced a small pouch from the other side of the room. From it, he drew several small roots and passed one to everybody, chewing on his own and eventually swallowing it. He urged the others to follow suit and as they did so, they felt as though their bodies were becoming extremely light...
Knowledge (Nature) DC22:
The root is a potent hallucinogenic called Dromutu, often used to induce trances or heightened states of awareness. If this effect is resisted, it instead leaves the imbiber sickened.
Anyone wanting to resist the root's effects may make a fortitude save, but I will assume you voluntarily fail your saving throw otherwise. Reluctant to simply assume you do this.