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DM Alexander Kilcoynes Serpents Skull PbP- Chapter 2, Racing to Ruin (Inactive)

Game Master Alexander Kilcoyne

"I might toss her back into the sea for good measure"

Nkechi "The Tempest", speaking about Willow Whisperwood.


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Female Aasimar Cleric (Varisian Pilgrim) 3/ Sorcerer (Empyreal, Tattooed) 2

What was that?

Knowledge (religion) 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27 Woot!
Knowledge (planes) 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (16) + 0 = 16 (untrained Int check)


Male Gnome Bard (Archivist) 5

Knowledge (religion): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
Knowledge (planes): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21


Female Elf Witch 3 (favoured) / Rogue 2 HPs 19/27

Chi looks around, unbelieving at the sudden change back into the cavern. "Noo!.." she cries, "there was such freedom on the wing." Her shoulders slump, as she realizes this is the reality she will inhabit now, her fun is over.


Female Half-elf Druid (Jungle Druid)/4th

I'm out. No religion or planes, just nature and geography.


Your Humble Narrator

Lost my dot on my own game... Will update later if my coursework allows me.


Your Humble Narrator

Both Ambroze and Tsura slowly came to a realisation- that the serpent’s death throes was clearly a symbolic depiction of the decapitation of the ancient snake-god Ydersius. This had particularly chilling insinuations for Ambroze; as he recalled Gwenyth obsessing over the writings, convinced that Ydersius was to return...

Nkechi got to his feet slowly and nodded his assent.

You have all done well and clearly Gozreh wants me to accompany you. Understand this- I will not fight by your side; only in defence of my own life. I will not make decisions and I will not lead; Gozreh merely wishes me to guide your expedition to its destination. Now... Where do we begin?


Male Human Fighter 5 50/50 hp 4hp nonlethal

Back to the city. Marcus blinks, his vision seemingly returning to normal.

The expedition must be about ready to leave and I for one am eager to be about it.

We can wait while you gather your things or you can meet us at the Pathfinders compound.


Female Aasimar Cleric (Varisian Pilgrim) 3/ Sorcerer (Empyreal, Tattooed) 2

"Yes, we must not delay. Although, a good night's rest would be more than welcome."

Let's level up. ;)


Male Gnome Bard (Archivist) 5

"As Marcus stated, most holy Tempest, we must return to Eleder. The expedition should be ready to depart soon."


Female Half-elf Druid (Jungle Druid)/4th

think my xp count was off. Anyway will update tomorrow.


Female Elf Witch 3 (favoured) / Rogue 2 HPs 19/27

Chi is almost saddened by the thought of returning to Eleder, she so enjoyed the freedom she found out here in the wilds and from her experiences as a bird, it reminded her of her life prior to slavery. Her childhood, her happiness.


Your Humble Narrator

Waiting for everyone's level up before I continue the game.


Female Half-elf Druid (Jungle Druid)/4th

Done


Male Hobgoblin Ironskin Monk 2/ Lore Warden Fighter 2| HP48/48 | AC20 (T15, FF15) | CMB +4; CMD 19 | F+10, R+8, W+5 | I+7, P+9, SM+9, Blu -1, Disguise +13

Finalise any expenses, shopping and level up- you may not have access to shops for some time...

Having successfully recruited the Tempest, the group returned to Eleder and enjoyed the luxuries, virtues and vices of the capital of Sargava between various meetings for expedition preparation. In particular, Sasha had uncovered some information about the Freemen Brotherhood's attack. She told them-

"I've been making some inquiries and apparently, the Freemen brotherhood were paid a visit a few days before their protest. The reports of their guests were a little vague but one detail remains consistent throughout various witness reports; one of the three humanoids that met their contact bore a brooch; a golden snake upon a shield. Does that mean anything to you?"

Knowledge (Local) DC15 or Nobility DC20:

The brooch represents the symbol of the Aspis Consortium, although there are often pretenders selling knock-off brooches to those wanting to appear as though they have the organisations backing. Circumstantial evidence but nevertheless something to make you wary.

Amivor Glaur is a whirlwind of activity getting the expedition prepared but he ensures that you know your role in the days to come, as you prepare to travel to the lost outpost of Tazion; rumoured to hold the key to finding a place of great wealth, prestige, secrets and power.

Between himself, Jask and Ambroze, Amivor predicts the expedition to take around two months. The first leg of the journey is to be a trip across Sargava to the eastern, frontier city of Kalabuto. The fastest route to Kalabuto is to travel overland through the wild scrublands and savanna, along the older trade routes that skirt between the Bandu Hills and the Laughing Jungle. These routes were used primarily by early colonists, most of whom were prospectors seeking their fortunes in salt, gold, and diamonds. While several successful mining operations remain, the trails are far less used than they were in the past, particularly because merchants using them are easy targets for brigands and wild beasts.

Once there, the expedition caravans will resupply and the journey will continue north-east into the Mwangi Expanse; following the Upper Korir river north into the Screaming Jungle and eventually ending up north of the north-eastern-most area of the Bandu Hills, a mountain range that extends through most of Sargava and beyond. Somewhere in this region, you are expected to find Tazion.

Your role within this expedition has been made extremely clear. You are to act as trailblazers for the slower caravan, remaining a day or two ahead of it. Travelling light has been suggested but it cannot be denied that Sargava is a dangerous place; especially as the expedition does not travel along the main trade roads. You are to safeguard the route as well as keep your eyes open for any way in which you might reach the goal faster; Amivor is convinced several other factions are also racing for Tazion...

Once you reach Kalabuto, you have been advised to avoid the main inns. Amivor has told you that you should make contact with a dwarf named Cheiton in the Shrunken Head, one of Kalabuto’s most popular taverns. He can be recognized by the distinctive cave-and-pick tattoo on his shoulder.

Any other business, or shall we begin the journey? In addition, prepared spell-casters make a spell list for the journey to work off until you change it.


Male Human Fighter 5 50/50 hp 4hp nonlethal

Don't think we've picked up any treasure since the island so the shopping should be the same unless I've missed something? No business for Marcus.


Male Mwangi (Caldaru) Human Ranger 3 (Shapeshifter) / Barbarian 2

Only thing I have the cash to get and will get is a new longspear.


Male Gnome Bard (Archivist) 5
Sasha wrote:
"I've been making some inquiries and apparently, the Freemen brotherhood were paid a visit a few days before their protest. The reports of their guests were a little vague but one detail remains consistent throughout various witness reports; one of the three humanoids that met their contact bore a brooch; a golden snake upon a shield. Does that mean anything to you?"

DC 15 Knowledge (local) check: Taking 10 via Lore Master ability for total check of 19.

"That's the symbol of the Aspis Consortium," Ambroze informs his companions. "I'd say that the brooch is circumstantial evidence at best, as there are often pretenders selling knock-off brooches to those wanting to appear as though they have the backing of the organization. We should be wary, however." Ambroze pauses as he is struck by a new thought. "Those three humanoids... None of them matched Ishorou's description, did they?" he asks worriedly.

Ambroze has purchased everything he needs and is good to go.


Descriptions were a little vague but Ishorou is quite distinctive. I don't think he was among them.


Male Gnome Bard (Archivist) 5

"Well, that's good, at least," Ambroze replies, relief evident in his tone. "Any word on Ishorou? Or Aerys, for that matter?"


Female Half-elf Druid (Jungle Druid)/4th

as said ot DM, nothing to buy since Willow was born into the campaign when the group were in Sargava and ergo, no real cash to buy anything of significance.

Willow takes her time to enjoy the scenery in this jungle, loving the feel of soil under her feeth and mud between her toes. to the casual onlooker, the forest might not look that amazing, but to her she noticed many trees that were probably here long before the settlers even arrived and others that might have had their roots in the ground back in ancient times where Elves and humans were enemies in their great empires.


Aerys boarded a ship some time ago, her destination unknown. Perhaps we've seen the last of her. Sasha said with a slight look of disdain. Ishorou... No one seems to know anything. Hes vanished without a trace.


Your Humble Narrator

The Journey Begins-

While the mighty caravan made up of at least four dozen caravans began to trundle out of Eleder heading east, following the guidance of Nkechi the Tempest and under the strict supervision of Amivor Glaur. As trailblazers for the expedition, you set out on mounts ahead of the caravan and swiftly left it behind you.

Perhaps it is simply the proximity to Eleder and the lack of deviation from the main trade road, but you find the first five days of your new duties very easy. Trails are marked for the large caravan to follow and you get to know the newcomers to your group a little more over several days. Tun'ada and Chi are able to comfortably hunt enough game during the process to keep you well fed and the nights are quite pleasant. The weather is fine with little rain and other than the day's blistering heat, the whole journey thus far is quite pleasant.

Day 6 of the Expedition-

By the sixth day on your east-bound journey, you have left the majority of Eleder's finest grasslands behind you as you travel across the wild plains. From time to time you spot magnificent sights of nature, from its fine jungle and savannah beasts to massive dinosaur tracks. You estimate you have travelled about 100 miles and the largest of Sargava's jungles is now to the south of you. There is still at least 300 miles to reach Kalabuto however.

The trail you have been following for the past two days snakes north-east around a tall section of hills that blocks direct passage to the east and then detours north near some of Sargava's most profitable remaining mining companies to get around said hills. Although this path is the accepted route to Kalabuto, Ambroze happens to know of a salt mining company's establishment in the area, called the Fzumi Salt Mine. He estimates that passing through this mine directly under the hills rather than detouring around them would shave a day off your current estimated travel time. However, he had also heard rumours in Eleder that this mine has been abandoned for quite some time and is rumoured to be a place where travellers disappear without a trace...


Female Half-elf Druid (Jungle Druid)/4th

"A mine where people dissappear..." Willow states apprehensively, but then smiles to the group. "From what I have seen of everyone, we will get through this mine no matter what might be lurking in there." Willow smiles as she clearly agrees to take the mine.


Male Gnome Bard (Archivist) 5

"I agree. I think it would be worth the risk if we can shorten our travel time," Ambroze adds.


Male Human Fighter 5 50/50 hp 4hp nonlethal

Marcus is heard complaining several times about leaving the comforts of the city behind but for all of that seems in good spirits at the head of the expedition. How many people in total DM?

Salt mine hey? Ok thirded. Let us try and make some time up. Its not worth losing anyone though, lets take care.

He looks to the spellcasters. Lets let Glaur know what we are doing. You can handle the light, right?

Assuming the mine is big enough for the caravans and our animals? Are we enough ahead we can leave the latter behind at the entrance or do we need to take with?


Your Humble Narrator

As specified, you act as trailblazers. You aren't actually with the main caravan, which seems to consist of a few dozen wagons at least and probably over 200 people. You leave markers for the caravan to follow. By heading back to the caravan, you might lose valuable time.


Male Human Fighter 5 50/50 hp 4hp nonlethal

OK check. Wasn't sure if were roaming out ahead or periodically going back and forth.

Marcus lays down the marker and scribbles a quick note for Glaur, borrowing parchment and ink from Ambroze. He leaves this under a rock at a pre-determined spot, 15 paces to the side of the marker.

Going to see if we can save time by clearing the Fzumi Salt Mine of hazards. If marks stop consider us all killed by undead. Turn around. HA HA.

Marcus' sense of humour is a bit of an acquired taste.


Male Mwangi (Caldaru) Human Ranger 3 (Shapeshifter) / Barbarian 2

Tun'ada raises an eyebrow about Marcus's comment concerning the undead, having nearly suffered that very fate back on the Shiv.

"Let's see what we can find. Hopefully it will not be too bad, but I will not be particularly surprised if it ends up a mess."


Male Human Fighter 5 50/50 hp 4hp nonlethal

Mmmm. Gw.....

He is about to say something and then stops.

...I forget that Gwen isn't with us sometimes. Gods she made them jump up and down with that holy energy of hers.

He looks at Willow and Tsura. Remind us to tell you about the battle with the "Mother" sometimes. That one still gives me nightmares. We lost a good comrade there, Savarend was his name. You would have liked him Tsura.


Your Humble Narrator

Day 6 of the Expedition, Midday-

Ambroze led you to the outskirts of the mine. With some kind of wooden hut sat outside what seemed to be the mines entrance in sight in front of and a little above you, you had clearly reached the outskirts of the site.

DM Only:

Chi- 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (8) + 20 = 28 (+1 to find traps)
Marcus 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
Tun'ada- 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (8) + 13 = 21
Ambroze- 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Willow- 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (18) + 13 = 31 (+2 in natural settings, +2 in jungle)
Tsura- 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
???- 1d20 + 5 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 5 + 3 = 10

Each of you hears a tell-tale crunch from behind a large rock nearby. Someone was clearly stalking you but its obvious even to her that she was discovered. A 6 foot tall, athletic and perfectly muscled young woman leapt on top of the rock to stand above you, brandishing a glaive made out of the tooth of some predator. Were it not for the paleness of her skin, she could easily be mistaken for a Mwangi hermit or tribal hunter. Dressed in little more than rags, she shouted down at you in poor Taldane-

You leave place. Is my territory! You leave or JaJi and I get you!

Although she is brandishing her weapon at you, her attitude is not yet hostile.


Male Gnome Bard (Archivist) 5

Ambroze glances toward his companions and then raises his hands in a non-threatening manner as he turns to address the woman in the native language of the Mwangi Expanse.

Polyglot:
"Please forgive us our trespass, brave warrior. We have no wish to offend. My name is Ambroze," the gnome scholar introduces himself, bowing his head respectfully. "My companions and I are the outriders of an expedition traveling from Eleder to Kalabuto. It is our understanding that passing through the Fzumi Salt Mine rather than detouring around the hills would shorten our travel time. We also understand that the mine has been abandoned for some time, and rumors state that the mine holds some sort of unknown danger for travellers. I do not wish boast, but my companions and I have some experience with battling evil forces, and believe that we may be able to remove whatever haunts the mine. However, we respect your claim of this land. May we have your permission to proceed into the mine? If not, we will leave you and your land in peace and not trouble you again."

Diplomacy check: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28


Male Human Fighter 5 50/50 hp 4hp nonlethal

At the woman's appearance Marcus draws his sword and takes a few steps forward but keeps his posture ready rather than threatening while Ambroze talks.

Hmm I wonder where JaJi is.


Female Half-elf Druid (Jungle Druid)/4th

Willow looks at this strange woman in somewhat awe, but she makes sue to have her hands up and ready for casting, if things turn violent. She narrows her eyes, hoping to catch sight of where this Jaji is.

Perception: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (7) + 15 = 22


Your Humble Narrator

Ambroze calmly explained the situation and the native woman eventually lowered her glaive and sat down to converse. She appeared to understand Polyglot a lot better than Taldane. She nodded in understanding and introduced herself.

Polyglot:

My name is Athyra and these are my hunting lands, ever since I was a child. JaJi is my pet, but he is hunting right now. You have my permission to enter the mine and my blessing, as you are not seeking to take my land from me. However, I must warn you. The mine is a tunnel to the Underworld, inhabited by spirits of the dead. I know this. Both my mother and my father disappeared down the shaft and never came back. And not long after, the dead rose out of the shaft and killed everyone who lived here. When I found JaJi, he was just an egg. Now we look after each other. I've lived in these parts for the last thirteen years. Wanderers and travellers taught me to speak. From where do you come from? The west?


Female Elf Witch 3 (favoured) / Rogue 2 HPs 19/27

Chi looks towards Ambroze at the woman's words.


Female Half-elf Druid (Jungle Druid)/4th

Willow listens to the woman and nods.

Polyglot:

"I can't speak for all of us, but I used to live with a group of druids deep in this very forest. I am sorry for what happened to your parents, but I am certain we are able to handle ourselves."

"Are you protecting this area from the colonists? You could join us in these tunnels as we might be able to clense them of evil."


Male Mwangi (Caldaru) Human Ranger 3 (Shapeshifter) / Barbarian 2

Not being the diplomatic type, Tun'ada stands by silently listening to the conversation.


Male Gnome Bard (Archivist) 5

Ambroze bows deeply and addresses the woman again in her native language.

Polyglot:
"It is an honor to meet you, Athyra. My companions are Chi, Tun'ada, Marcus, Willow, and Tsura," Ambroze introduces each of his companions in turn. "As for where we come from: I am from a land called Varisia, which is far from the north of here. Tsura is from that land as well. I am a scholar of the history of the peoples of the Mwangi Expanse; I seek to discover all that they learned so long ago. Tsura is a priestess of the goddess of dreams and travelers. Marcus is from another land far to the north as well - a land called Taldor. Chi and Tun'ada are from the Mwangi Expanse but have traveled far to the northern lands from which I hail. And as Willow said, she is from the jungles deep within the Mwangi Expanse."

"We thank you for your permission to enter the mine, and are sorry to hear of the loss of your parents. If the unquiet dead still reside within the depths, we will seek to put an end to them."

Ambroze then translates all that has been said for his companions who do not speak Polyglot.


Your Humble Narrator

The woman seems to sense the finality within Ambroze's tone and rises to her feet before speaking further.

Polyglot:

I have not heard of any of these places, but well met to each of you. If you should survive the Underworld, please find out what happened to my father. I will make my way to the other side of the mine and wait for you with JaJi. May your feet be swift, Ambroze...

Athyra grabbed a handful of dirt and muttered a few words in a language only understood by Willow, casting a spell upon Ambroze before swiftly departing.

Ambroze:

You feel much lighter on your feet than normal. Longstrider, 4 hours.

Spellcraft DC16:

She cast Longstrider upon Ambroze.

Ahead of you, the sagging and overgrown remains of a small camp mark the site of the old mine, its gaping entrance visible in the hillside behind the camp. The camp seems to consist of several old, overgrown wooden buildings; long abandoned.


Female Half-elf Druid (Jungle Druid)/4th

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20

Willow smiles and nods as she looks in Ambroze's direction.
"The spell should keep you safe, if we run into any trouble." she smiles towards the Gnome.


Female Elf Witch 3 (favoured) / Rogue 2 HPs 19/27

Chi nods to her friends, "Give me a moment to scout the area."
Chi moves ahead swiftly, darting in and out of the shadows ahead into the camp, bow at the ready. She quickly searches around, making sure the way is clear for her friends.

Stealth 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32
Perception 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (13) + 18 = 31


Male Human Fighter 5 50/50 hp 4hp nonlethal

Marcus nods at Chi.

All right lets gear up.

Maybe we can use these buildings to shield the animals. Don't particularly want to leave them but they'll just panic if we encounter undead.


Your Humble Narrator

Chi, are you planning to enter the buildings and search them yourself or are you just doing a general sweep of the camp?


Male Gnome Bard (Archivist) 5

Ambroze thanks Athyra for her gift and promises that the group will meet her on the other side of the mine. The gnome scholar waits patiently as Chi scouts the ruined mine camp, and nods in agreement with Marcus' suggestion to stable the animals in the buildings.


Male Human Fighter 5 50/50 hp 4hp nonlethal

I was assuming so at least. We're certainly not leaving the animals anywhere we haven't checked out carefully.


Female Elf Witch 3 (favoured) / Rogue 2 HPs 19/27

A general sweep, but try and peek in any of the buildings, look through windows, gaps in the timber, open doors etc.


Female Half-elf Druid (Jungle Druid)/4th

Willow smiles at the overgrown buildings.
"Nature, reclaiming it's land." she smiles as she clenches her toes together in the soil and sighs. "It's a beautiful sight."


Your Humble Narrator

Chi vanished into the undergrowth with such stealth that even the trained, focused eyes of her companions eventually lost track of her. Eventually, the Elf returned after finding no hostile activity within the camp. Little has survived what appears to be many years of abandonment, but Chi stumbled across a mouldy looking book of some kind within the largest of the buildings. The group searched the camp thoroughly but found nothing else of potential use or value. The horses could be easily stabled within the largest of the ruined buildings, and securely tied to what remained of the north wall.


Male Gnome Bard (Archivist) 5

"Looks like the animals are secured. Shall we venture into the lightless depths?" Ambroze asks his companions.


Male Human Fighter 5 50/50 hp 4hp nonlethal

Assuming the book doesn't look like it has anything useful (ie a map or details on the mine).

Yep. Lets get started. Can I have a light on my shield?

Marcus will lead the way into the tunnels.

Willow will you stand at the rear with Chi?

Thinking me just in front of Tun'ada, Tsura and Ambroze in the middle, Chi and Willow at the rear unless someone has a better idea. Also suggest casters cast any hours/lvl before we go in.

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