Tessa gulps, people skills hardly her forte, but continues talking to Harcourt, "People aren't just 'vanishing left and right' as you put it, though. We're fairly certain that internal politics are what caused the vanishing. It's things like this- the internal squabbling, the questioning of authority- that made the original colonists disappear. If we can't calm now, how do we have any hope of avoiding their fate? Please, could you help us? We can't let things happen the same as before. If you could help us calm the passengers, we should be able to stay safe. Please, sir. You're our only hope right now, and for the future."
Prescience: 1d20 ⇒ 12
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (9) + 0 = 9
Using Prescience Roll: 12 + 0 = 12
Sigh.... and I'm all out of spells, too.
Any way I can help?
Abigail notices Perrell working the crowd and decides to step in. Cracking her knuckles loudly, she gets the crowd to shut up for a moment and climbs in the riggings to shout: "The sea is no easy ride either! Yesterday, we were counting ourselves lucky to have made the trip alive! No, we need to give this venture a chance. Look, we have the ship, and we need to re-supply. The village is in great condition, and with a little work, we'll have walls to defend us! The town has a garden, walls, buildings, a temple, all we need to have a fighting chance. I say this is better than being in heavy debt with the Bountiful Venture Company! We can make it! We will make it!"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
"Your only hope, you say?" Harcourt muses, eyes gleaming. He looks to the agitated crowd. "Yes, I suppose it is my duty to set a brave example for the other colonists to follow. I am a Carrolby man, after all! Come, people, let us all settle down now!"
Abigail climbs up into the rigging and tries to shout down at the crowd, but they're already on the verge of breaking.
Unfortunately, there isn't enough time for Abigail to make another check, so her speech doesn't really help the already worked up crowd. But Tessa gets a bonus for appealing to Harcourt's ego, so she succeeds! If Arma can roll high, you can still salvage this...
Diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 13
"Ms. Beys," Arma says, anxious but still speaking. "I get you're worried, but you gotta think of the opportunities we have here, and who's to say if the Company will even finance another voyage if we return to Almas? And there is opportunity here, I mean just look at this, we found it when we were investigating, and I think you'll be very interested."
Arma then retrieves the Azlanti-make sword that they found hidden in Talmandor's Bounty and shows it to Perrell. "Look at that workmanship, you won't find none of that in the Inner Sea Region--that's Azlanti, bet my life on it, and I betcha there's more artifacts out there just waiting to be found. There is so much we have to gain, but only if we stay."
"Wow!" Perrell seems quite intrigued by the Azlanti sword. "Yes, this is Azlanti in origin. You can tell by the workmanship and engravings. This is an incredible find. If there's more to be found her... Well, maybe it is worth the risk after all."
Nice idea with the sword! Got a bonus on your roll for that, enough to succeed!
With Harcourt and Perrell on your side, the colonists finally start to settle down. Antona Sedgewick still tries to argue for abandoning the mission, but as she looks around the ship, she realizes the colonists' opinion has turned against her. She crosses his arms in irritation, but gives up on her arguments.
"Thank you for your help," Ramona says. "Now that things are settled down, were you able to deal with the ship's predicament?"[/b]
Phew.... That was too close.
Once the immediate undertones of mutiny have passed, Tessa visits Antona.
"Hello. Sorry I didn't get the chance to talk to you earlier, but how about you? You're still hesitant about the mission, aren't you. How can I help with your worries?"
Prescience: 1d20 ⇒ 1
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
Figure there's no point in making her resent us.
Later, visiting Ramona, Tessa nods, "Yep. The Echineses have been dealt with. The ship should travel at full speed now."
Thank god for circumstance bonuses.
When all is said and done, Arma breathes a sigh of relief. "Conflict averted and time-fish have been dealt with. I'm a little concerned about that grindylow, but the most pressing issues have been resolved."
Antona is a fit woman with cropped blonde hair and a slightly crooked nose. She frowns at Tessa. "My main concerns are with the leadership of this expedition. I don't know if Ramona is qualified to be in charge." She gives the bard a sidelong glance from across the ship. There seems to be bad blood there.
A rousing cheer goes up from the colonists and sailors when they hear that the ship can move freely again. When Arma mentions the grindylow, Ramona frowns. "Another grindylow. We might continue to have trouble with that gang if they are not driven off for good."
"I saw it too!" a sailor says. "That little bugger jetted off toward a partially submerged sea cave over yonder!"
Ramona nods. "Well, then. It might be worthwhile to explore it and deal with the grindylows on the colony's terms instead of waiting for a surprise raid. Are you up for the task?"
Tessa winces, "I don't have problems with being underwater, but I'm all tapped out for today. I don't suppose we could wait until morning, after we get a good night's sleep?"
"What do we know about these Gryndilows anyway?"
Know Nature and Favored Enemy: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 8 + 2 = 27 Abigail would be particularly worried about how they fight and form tribes.
Unfortunately, the grindylows aren't natural creatures, so Abigail doesn't know much about them. However, her question draws the attention of Perrell Beys, who steps over to join the conversation.
"Pardon me for butting in, but I have read a little about creatures like these. They are violent, ravenous creatures that use their spears to hunt or just poke at things that scream and cry. They are just as wicked as the most sadistic of goblins, and take immense pleasure in others' misfortunes and the spread of mayhem. They are quite fond of octopi, but hate squids for some reason.
"Oh, they often gather in warbands of about a dozen individuals or tribes that are even larger. The largest or most powerful among them takes charge. They usually fight with spears and their teeth, and use their tentacles to tangle and trip prey on land."
Grindylows are aberrations, not monstrous humanoids. Perrell is skilled in Knowledge (dungeoneering.)
Relia studies Antona for a moment when she says she's worried about the leadership of the expedition.
It's odd that two expeditions would have people worried about leadership so early. Ramona hasn't had a chance to show her leadership yet, and this woman is already questioning it? We all haven't gotten off the ship yet. I'm going to keep an eye on this.
Leaning on the ships railing Relia listens to Perrell give an overview of grindylows. "We don't want to leave those creatures to follow us then. Let's go see what we can find first thing tomorrow. Watches should be set tonight of course."
"If I remember right, Hendrake's spellbook had one or two spells in it that might be able to help, if Tessa can cast them, and while I'm out for today I can make an extract to make swimming a little easier," Arma says. "Resting up and taking care of the grindylows in the morning seems like the best way to go."
You mingle with the other colonists for a while before sharing a meal in the mess hall and settling down in your bunks to rest. The night passes uneventfully, and in the morning, Captain Markosi gives you the use of the ship's boat to row out to the nearby sea cave. The roof rises five feet above the level of the water, and it appears to be shallow enough that you can walk along the bottom while still keeping your heads and upper bodies above the water.
Let me know what preparations you want to make before heading into the cave.
Relia prays for her spells during the morning before breakfast. She asks for two uses of Air Bubble and one of Bless.
"I have a spell that can help with water breathing. It will last for a couple of mintues."
"Mmh... A couple of minutes mean we can use it only ionce there's battle. I should go in first. I'll use a spear, which means I'll probably have to shuffle back if pressed. So leave a gap behind me. Something to help with the swimming will make a huge difference I'd bet, but how long does it last? We don't know how deep that tunnel goes..." comments Abigail as she fixes her pack and gear on the deck, happy for the fresh breeze across the deck.
Tessa gets up early to prepare her spells, "Ummm.... I mean, I can try to learn a spell that allows for breathing underwater, but it's hard to prepare a spell from a spellbook other than my own. It's..... hard to explain. Besides, I think Relia has a similar spell. Perhaps she could use that?"
Same as yesterday. Enlarge person, color spray, heightened awareness, and mage armor, leaving one open slot. I'd prepare Air bubble myself, but it looks like Relia has that well in hand.
Tessa dives off the ship, landing in the water and following the boat from below, loving the freedom the water provides. She allows most of the others to go in front of her, but she keeps her crossbow at the ready.
Only prep I need: casting Mage Armor as we enter the caves.
Two extracts of Touch of the Sea, one of Cure Light Wounds, preparing mutagen as Str+4/Int-2.
"My extracts will last for about two minutes, not a lot of time, but it's better than nothing," Arma says, and passes one of her extracts of Touch of the Sea to Abigail. "I'll leave it to you to decide when that's best used."
Reflected sunlight from outside flickers across the water and reflects on the stone ceiling in this mostly submerged cave. The waters are cold, but not to a life-threatening degree, and the motion of the surf outside sends mild, rocking waves across the chamber. A passageway extends to the north.
Tessa swims under the water, keeping an eye out beneath the surface. She spots a pair of grindylows lying in wait. She is able to warn the rest of you as the tentacled creatures emerge, snarling and readying their spears!
Arma: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Relia: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Tessa: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
Grindylows: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
The grindylows swim forward, stabbing at Abigail and Arma. Neither one lands a good hit.
Spear: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Spear: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Everybody can post their actions now. You move at half speed through the water unless you have a swim speed. Link to the battle map is below. I will also add it to the top of the page.
Does Abigail get an AoO when the cross past her reach?
Abigail shuffles back as she avoids the spear and stabs with hers.
Bec: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 111d10 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Are there penalties for fighting in those conditions or needs to make swim checks?
Abigail was still flat-footed and doesn't have Combat Reflexes, so no AoO.
Since most of your body is underwater, you'll still take a -2 penalty on attack rolls with piercing weapons. You don't need to make a Swim check since you can walk along the bottom, but you move at half speed and can't 5-foot-step, so you will provoke AoOs if you step back.
Question: will I take Ranged penalties from shooting my crossbow underwater? Or can I maneuver myself to a place where I don't, using my swim speed?
Tessa does her best to maneuver into a position where shooting will neither hit her allies nor be impeded by the water, with limited success. However, she tries anyway and then reloads quickly.
Crossbow, Into Melee (Underwater penalties?): 1d20 + 3 - 4 ⇒ (15) + 3 - 4 = 141d8 ⇒ 8
You'll still take the penalties, unfortunately.
Tessa fires her crossbow past her allies, but the bolt doesn't hit the grindylows.
Abigail moves back through the water, and the grindylows capitalize on the movement by stabbing her with their spears! The ranger tries to retaliate, but she misses.
Spear, AoO: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 201d6 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Spear, AoO: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 181d6 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Arma tries to stab a grindylow and Relia fires an icicle, but both miss as well!
The grindylow's tentacles reach out to try to trip Arma, but she avoids the tangling appendages. The grindylow stabs and bites at her, managing to hit with its spear. The other one pursues Abigail, but fails to trip or strike her.
Trip: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Spear: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 201d6 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Bite: 1d20 - 3 ⇒ (4) - 3 = 1
Trip: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
Spear: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Bite: 1d20 - 3 ⇒ (16) - 3 = 13
12 damage to Abigail, 5 damage to Arma.
Darn it. I think I need to start preparing more attack spells, then. Or I could just get an underwater crossbow.... Hmmm...
Tessa fires again, silently lamenting about how much the water slows down her crossbow bolts.
Crossbow, Into Melee, 10 feet underwater: 1d20 + 3 - 4 - 4 ⇒ (19) + 3 - 4 - 4 = 141d8 ⇒ 3
Relia speaks quietly and reaches out to touch Abigail. Some of her wounds heal.
CLW: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Swapping out Obscuring Mist for a CLW spell.
Can't see the map. Seems Google is down.
Abigail curses as she gets severely injured, then healed in quick succession. She focuses on keeping her head out of the water, but prefers to switch to a close-quarters weapon, even though it might prove not as effective, at least it will keep the nasty creatures from taking advantage of her movement.
Drop Bec de corbin, draw machete, attack.
She lets go of the long and unwieldy weapon in favour of the nice machete they had found yesterday and swings at the grindylow.
Machete, half-damage: 1d20 + 7 - 2 ⇒ (11) + 7 - 2 = 161d6 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
attack: 1d20 + 5 - 2 ⇒ (12) + 5 - 2 = 15
damage, piercing: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Arma ignores the pain of her injury, and stabs at the same grindylow Abigail is attacking while keeping an eye on the one that got her.
Tessa fires another bolt, narrowly missing her target.
Abigail draws her machete and slashes into the grindylow in front of her. As it reels, Arma stabs it with her dagger, finishing it off.
Relia calls on Gozreh to heal Abigail's wounds.
The remaining grindylow focuses on Arma still. Its tentacles tangle around her feet and trip her, dragging her underwater. The creature tries to follow up with its spear and fangs, but the alchemists manages to keep it at bay.
Trip: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Spear, Prone: 1d20 + 2 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 2 + 4 = 10
Bite, Prone: 1d20 - 3 + 4 ⇒ (2) - 3 + 4 = 3
Arma falls prone, but no damage thankfully!
Relia moves up and stabs at the gridylow. Hopefully Arma will pop up out of the water soon.
Trident: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Abigail packs her bec de corbin and says: "Right then, the polearm is not helpful here. More of a hindrance in fact. Anyone of you has a dagger I could borrow. The machete doesn't work too well underwater..."
If she gets a dagger, she'll strap it, put her machete away, and take the bec out for the initial reach it will provide, but plans on dropping it when enemies close on her.
"Here," Tessa says, pulling out a dagger with a blade that seems too black and not quite right, "It's cold iron, so if we meet fey or demons, it'll work against them too. I want it back later, though. I doubt I'll be using it much now."
Once you are ready, you move deeper into the caves. The tunnel runs roughly south to north, its floor about five feet below the water's surface. Two openings lead to other caves along the eastern wall. At its northern end, the cave jogs to the west.
Three more grindylows emerge from the water in the nearby intersection, growling as they prepare to strike!
Arma: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Relia: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
Tessa: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Grindylows: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Everybody can go before the grindylows this time.
Abigail waddles through the water and stabs mightily at the first in line, hoping to drop it quick.
Bec, Water, PA: 1d20 + 6 - 2 - 1 ⇒ (14) + 6 - 2 - 1 = 171d10 + 6 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 6 + 3 = 18
Arma quickly throws two daggers at one of the grindylows before the creature can move.
attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
SA: 1d4 + 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (2) + (2) + 1 = 5
attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
confirm crit: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
SA: 1d4 + 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (3) + (5) + 1 = 9
Tessa swims forward, weaving past her allies as she spins her wand and unleashes a blinding spray of colors at the grindylows.
Color Spray, DC 11
Will Saves: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 81d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 91d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Two of the grindylows succumb to Tessa's spell, falling unconscious. Arma hurls a pair of daggers at the remaining one, and while her first throw misses the mark, the second buries itself to the hilt in the creature's skull. Abigail and Relia wade forward and quickly dispatch the remaining grindylows before they can recover from the color spray.
After the swift skirmish, you have two options to move forward. You can continue north down the tunnel, or explore the large open cave to the east.
The water level seems to be the same depth ahead of you. Abigail leads the way into the eastern cave. You've only made it a little ways inside when three grindylow emerge from behind pillars of stone and start rushing towards you!
Arma: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Relia: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Tessa: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
Grindylows: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
The grindylows get a surprise round, but Tessa can take a single action before they act because of her diviner special ability.