Martin nods in agreement, thinking that follow the shore would be solid advice, "It would not be a terrible idea to try and trek inland on occasion to look for a road following the shore, as it will be faster going, but in general I agree, we should stick to following the coast."
Upon coming to the fire, Martin looks around trying to investgate and Ankou goes and sniffs the fire.
Martin:1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Ankou: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
Martin will now have reequipped his armor since they are back on land, and will have done likewise for his companion.
By the fire pit, you find footprints. They lead further up the coast. Ankou picks up a scent and starts to follow it's trail. You also find dried blood in small amounts.
The bloodstains appear to be mostly from bleeding rather than from being wounded here. The amount of blood lost is insufficient for even a single person to have bled out, much less the several people the footprints and depressions in the sand suggest.
It looks like several people fell, only to get back up later and walk into the surf.
Heal:1d20 - 2 ⇒ (1) - 2 = -1
aaaaaand that's all she wrote folks!
Gareth observes the scene. "Hey! Looks like Ankou's found something," he remarks.
Survival: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16 +2 if this is for tracking
Heal:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
Ankou's Survival: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
Ankou barks knowingly, but Martin looks puzzled. "It looks like some people have been here, and that they were bleeding and left some trail down into the surf. I don't think the wound was caused here though, and I don't think they died from it. Yet that is. I say we keep traveling along the beach but keep an eye out. Maybe we can help these travelers if they are friendly and in need. Otherwise be on the guard."
Martin continues walking past the camp sight.
"Ah, I'm glad you came!" He says cheerfully, "Alas, I don't believe I ever caught your name." As he says this, you notice that he did not consume any of the powder. "Walk with me," he continues, motioning for you to accompany him as he carefully carries the bowl towards a side room.
Following your encounter with the dragon, you were swept further out to sea, only to wash up on a desolate rocky shore. Desolate, that is, except for the abandoned shipwreck and burnt-out campfire. Exhausted from your extended swim (you spent several hours in the sea), you staggered aboard the stricken and abandoned ship, found a hammock, and fell asleep. In the early evening, you wake up upon hearing voices from further down the beach. You recognize these voices as belonging to your companions.
You are inside the cabin of the wreck depicted on the map below.
Looking in the direction Ankou is heading, you spot the unmistakable form of a wrecked ship on some rocks. The footprints seem to lead that way.
K(religion)1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17 What do I know about that little black stuff eating ritual?
Jamros hesitates, then trots up to Galliani. Jamros is obvious intimidated by the man and clearly holds him in great respect. He is also curious about the ritual he just witnessed. "Lord Galliani, sir, your excellency, y'r 'umble servent's name is Jamros Milltell." He pauses for a moment. (If jamros doesn't know quite a bit about that ritual) He then says "Sir, forgive me for askin', but I'm curious, wha' was tha' ritual you were presidin' over, sir?"
later in that conversation...
"Anyway, Sir, I've just a few things y' might be interested in tha' we discovered on 'ar (our) mission. Some very strange stuff, sir. Worries me. I'll start with th' abandoned ruined temple and th' Barghest. The Barghest ha' taken over th' goblin camp an' was quite angry when we burned down the woods." Jamros blushes, obviously trying to conceal the fact that he was responsible for the forest fire. "We wen' inta th' temple, bu' I didn' recognize the symbols. It seemed like it could'a been fer any god 'o fire. D'y know anythin' about it? Or 'ave some book's on the matter? And why would the Bargest wan' t' hole up there?"
Also, the way Jamros escaped the water was by getting to the surface, and incredibly casting levitate on himself, allowing him to rise up out of the water and paddle himself, floating in the air above the water until he managed to find a larger raft-sized (for a small creature) part of the boat (he would have about 5 min. moving about 20 ft per round ish to find something). (all if it is ok with you, I just don't think Jamros could swim that far with his gear, which I'm not done retconning).
He has a nightmare, where demons of flame torment him. He wakes up with a soft yelp and all that he can remember is the deamons chasing him in a world of flame.
He calms down when he hears the voices of his companions, particularly that of Gareth, and he bolts out of his hammock, falls flat on his face, and runs out of the wreck toward his friends.
You hear a loud THUMP followed by an semi-stifled "OW!". A moment later you see a small face with unnaturally orange hair peak out from around a hole in the ship. A small figure then jumps out of the boat and runs toward you. It's Jamros! He runs toward his friends.
Gareth! Martin! Pyg! I though' fer sure you'd a gone down wit' th' ship! He jumps up into Gareth's arms, giving him a fierce rough-house bear hug. After they release each other, he dances around martin, play-fighting him.
"Good t' see you too, Leto." Jamros says. He has been a bit uncomfortable around Leto ever since the part-snake thing came out.
"Every deity requires ceremonies of his priests. Lord Nethys demands that we consume some of his essence, that we might be inspired and driven to seek out a better understanding of magic. I would offer you some, but it is only for the devotees of Nethys." He listens to your concerns as you walk, and replies, "A barghest is nothing special. They number among the lesser fiends, and seldom achieve a power base greater than localized goblin tribes or orcish warbands. As for this temple, what made it so unusual? There are several commonly worshipped deities whose purview includes fire, Asmodeus and Sarenrae being the most well-known. There are many other spellcasters who draw their power from elemental forces of fire, be they arcane or divine casters. You among them, I believe," he smiles. "Tell me about these symbols," he says as you enter a circular chamber wrought of beautifully carved marble. Galliani places the bowl on a counter between a large holy symbol of Nethys and a small pile of scrolls. There are two wooden chairs, and he motions you to one, taking the other.
As a side note, you haven't had time to explore the ship either. Jamros just fell asleep as soon as he found the hammock.
Leto ignores Jamros' uncomfortableness, "It is good to see you too Jamros. I won't deny that it pleases me to see you as I thought you may have died in the waters. I am glad this is not the case. Leto's continue on our way and stay ready."
Leto casts mage armor on himself and pulls out his wand of enfeeblement as they continue on their way.
The ship is much newer than the Swiftsure was. It is about the same length, but is narrower and has a more modern rigging. It looks like the sort of ship a smuggler would use: small, fast, and unobtrusive. Most of the rigging is snapped and littered uselessly around the wreck. Most of the underbelly of the ship appears to have been torn and/or crushed out by the rocks. A nameplate on the rear identifies this ship as the Sanguine Sting. The ship has a large cabin at its rear out of which Jamros emerged, on top of which stands the ship's wheel. A small pool of blood lies beneath the wheel.
Opening a hatch on the floor of the cabin reveals a wooden staircase down into the hold. The front half is shredded and caved in, but there is a large enough gap for a medium creature to squeeze through and make it outside. A wooden-barred cell has been broken open by the impact, and a chain hanging from an iron ring protruding from the wall within has been shattered. There are no bloodstains or signs of a struggle in here that you can see. A wooden chest has been speared apart by a spar of wood, but inside the chest you find the remains of a dress, two shattered wands, and a torn vellum manuscript written in an unknown language. Emblazoned at the head of the document is a strange, triangular symbol.
"Ah didn' 'ave a chance t' look around. Let's go see wha's inside, eh?"
Also, Jamros detects magic on the wands to see if there is any lingering magic.
Does it look like the boat was designed to be manned by halflings?
back at the temple...
Jamros sits and swings his legs nervously as the talks.
"Well, sir, t'was just the one. A giant sun, as large as the room, but faded. And in the middle, a three-tongued fire. There were also runes 'round the floor, but Ah didn' get a good look at 'em."
Int check: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17 Does Jamors remember any other symbols from the temple?
"You've seen this document before with the halflings? I heard from a scholar that this symbol was used to indicate tax collector in ancient societies. I have no idea what it would be doing here. In what context did the halflings have it?"
Bluff: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (17) + 14 = 31 There is something more about this symbol that Leto is not telling you about why he knows this and why he is so curious.
The ship was designed for medium humanoids. It's just a newer, sleeker ship than the Swiftsure was.
Additionally, the symbol looks like a more archaic version of the rune inscribed on your dagger.
Meeting with Galliani:
You got the important ones. There were some old carvings on the wall, too, but you didn't get a chance to examine them closely/they were pretty well worn by time.
"Unfortunately," Galliani says, "what you have just described is a generic devotional symbol of flame, used by those who worshipped deities or spirits who embody the essence of fire. Based on what you have described, I cannot help you identify the temple, beyond saying that I do not believe that it belongs to Sarenrae or Asmodeus. The Sun Maiden prefers that her temples be build above ground and with good illumination, the better to allow the sun's light to light the hearts of her worshippers. The Dark Prince, however, prefers that his worshippers congregate in large population centers."
I used a different version of the symbol back in Silverkeep because I figured Leto would see it as the brand first and foremost. This is the true symbol. Sorry about any confusion.
Fun fact: In medieval heraldry, the the word Sanguine refers to a red blazon on a coat of arms. It seemed appropriate given the bloody double meaning.
Martin and Pygrado gain a +5 circumstance bonus to the knowledge check.
You hear Leto shout "IF YOU COME UPON A BLONDE WOMAN IT IS PROBABLY HER!" and Leto comes running out and joins Martin as he searches.
Ankou still has the trail, but proceeding further will take you inland, well away from the rest of the party (who remain at the boat).
Jamros notices his dagger.
"Ummmm... Uh... Ah mean, did Ah say 'alflings? Mah dagger 'ere, see the symbol? Really quite alike, but the symbol at the top o' the paper 'ere is a more old form."
As Martin yells for the group, Jamros comes out of the boat, saying "'old up Martin! We're commin' wit' yew'!"
Whatever his response to that question, Jamros goes in a new direction.
"On 'ar way t' the Vista, we found an enchanted grave by a cave. Th' headstone said 'twas for a 'Here lies Ser Leonard, champion o' the fallen. May he never return t' lead 'em.' Y'know anythin' about Ser Leonard? The grave 'ad a permanen' Gen'le Repose charm an' th' stone 'ad a permanen' Maze curse. Near th' grave, there was an evil blood stain, very evil, an very perminen', even in th' rain. 'Ar caster, Eleri, may she come back 'ome safe, sai' it was a a spot where a outsider was killed, makin' the plane weak. Wha' can y' tell me about all this?"
Gareth emerges from the boat alongside Jamros.
Knowledge(Local) 1d20 + 7 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 7 + 5 = 29 f#&$ yeah
After Martin yells that they might have company inside the boat, Pygrado dashes into the boat. Just as the rest of you are about to leave, he comes hurtling into the room, breathless and swords drawn. He takes in the scene. Gods, what happened here?
50 Feet String
1 Sunrod (purchased two, used one)
2 pieces chalk
5 tindertwigs (purchased six, used one)
10 ft chain
Flint and Steel
Two grappling hooks
Invisible Ink (Simple, 3 pgs worth)
Small steel mirror
150ft hemp rope (100+50)
This is for the DM and me only. If you look, it will spoil the surprise and that will make me a sad panda.
As it appears that everyone plans to go into the woods...
You follow Ankou, who pauses and sniffs periodically. After about ten minutes of pushing through undergrowth, you come across a clearing. An empty pair of manacles, still locked and connected to a shattered length of chain, lie on the ground next to a rock. Ankou sniffs the manacles and whines.
Mostly reposted. What do you do now?
Previously in the boat:
Leto says to Pygrado "We just found the dress of a woman I met in the city and the document she was holding. It would seem that some violence occurred here and we do not know what has happened to her."
Now In the Woods:
"Well we don't know for a fact that it has killed yet, we haven't technically found any bodies."Leto looks around. "Look, Ankou doesn't seem to be able to find anything else. Without a trail we only are wandering in the woods and that will only lead to us being lost. I say we head back to the boat, check for more clues and gear, see if anything can help us. And if we don't find anything we have to just keep going. There is just nothing for it. I want to help but those are our options with so little information." Leto pauses "Unless you know something Pygrado. You seem to know more about this than you are letting on, even though I am having trouble reading you, I can tell that you are troubled. What about this concerns you?"
SM 1: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
SM 2: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23
"I went to the library to do some research. I thought I would take advantage of the impressively extensive library that exists in your city. It didn't end up turning up much. But I did run into a bookish severe woman who told me about wordcasting. An old form of magic. While we were talking a blonde woman came up and asked her some questions about the document we found on the boat. But she had it with her at the time, obviously, in order to ask questions.
I know it was her because it is the same dress and the same document. The exact same document. All the symbol supposedly means is that it was from tax collectors. But that is all that I know.
That's my story. But Pygrado, why do you seem so nervous about all of this?'
Previously: After looking around a bit, Pygado warily sheathes his swords and follows the rest out of the boat. As they walk, he asks Leto A woman, you say? Did you notice anything odd about her? Let's assume he gets no answer before this next chunk of dialogue.
As we rejoin our heroes: Wordcasting, you say? Eliri was a wordcaster, and a bookish and severe one at that, but she wasn't blond. Let me see that document. He takes it from Leto, glances at it, then shrugs.
Well, I can't make heads or tails of this. Damn, this connection to Eliri makes no sense at all. There can't be that many wordcasters around, can there? Eliri said it was really rare. But this woman is dangerous. You saw what she did on the ship.
Are all wordcasters summoners like Eliri? That'd explain how she managed to fight them all while inside that cage...
He frowns and shakes his head. Maybe you're right; maybe our first priority should be getting to Carron.
"No, No the blond woman approached me and the severe woman. They were two separate women. And how do we know that the woman wasn't just trying to escape? I mean they had a cell to hold her. A cell. There is no way that that woman was tried in any court in the land and then sent along fast enough that she would have arrived around when we did. As far as I know she may have been abducted by whoever was on that boat."
Leto gives Pygrado a long look "Unless you know something I don't that is. What has been troubling Pygrado? Do you know anything about that boat or its contents?"
Ankou whines and strides south for a short distance, before turning towards you again. It seems like the trail leads inland.
Looking around, you see carefully brushed-over tracks leading south, towards the interior of the island. A person would have to move slowly and carefully to obscure his or her tracks in this manner. Despite the tracks appearing about two days old, you are confident that you could follow them and overtake the person leaving them, especially with your surviving mounts.
"I remember that rumors tell of an old road that once ran through the center of the isle linking Carron and Westwend. If we find it it may make a faster journey to Carron, althought it would take us through the center of the isle. I suggest we go further inland and attempt to use this road."
Leto looks at Pygrado exasperatedly: "But while we do that: Pygrado! What do you know about that boat?"
History: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24
Sorry, D3 has gotten me somewhat distracted
Surv:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Hmm, well this does raise an interesting story. What did you say the point of this document was? If it's important to silverkeep's defenses then it might well be worth our time to investigate, let alone saving this poor women.
I assure you, this woman doesn't need our saving. She needs stopping.
I too encountered her during our last visit, and while the specific details need be... confidential, I saw her, transformed--or perhaps it was something she summoned--kill a young boy who's only crime was to carry a message for me.
But given the havoc she reaped on that boat, she's likely beyond our skills. We should get to Carron, and quickly.
Leto arches his eyebrow "Confidential?" Leto then shakes himself distractedly, "Fine. Keep your secrets."
Leto then looks around "Well if we are going to get to Carron I suggest that we go inland and see if we can come upon this road. If we can't find it, then we will simply go back to the coast and follow it to Carron."