Round 1, Init 20
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26 Know(Rel)
Appario curses as he begins to recognize the shadowy shapes that are shaped like shadows.
"Oh yeah!! They are called 'shadows'! Is that right, Yahirma? We fought these in that weird bendy place! Right?!"
Pleased with himself, Appario will draw Extortion and will stay in front of Yahirma, readying to strike the next shadow that comes forth.
1d20 + 15 ⇒ (14) + 15 = 29 to hit;
1d10 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8 damage.
The big Shoanti's eyes go wipe when he sees the amount of vitality the greater shadow tears from Xerath. He reaches for his hammer but instead finds his hand on Shadowbinder's hilt. He pulls the blade and levels it, once again amazed by how the metal quite literally drank in the shadows around it.
Maddok moves to the front and readies to attack any shadows that come anywhere near Xerath, Yahirma, or Derek.
Babble babble babble, Appario. I need to concentrate to control these shadows, Yahirma thinks while raising her wendo foci. Though more innocuous spirits grow quiet as she wills obedience, it is the lesser shadows upon whom she impresses her dominance.
Command Undead — now at DC 21! Misfortune favors the luckier of the two.
"Go hover up there," she says, waving towards 30-Y/Z and above the water. "Keep us appraised of your darker cousin's movements." Amusing, apparently command undead allows for orders to be understood in any language.
I figured Xerath and Derek would be making themselves prime targets. I'd forgotten about Yahirma's dominance over undead. =P
Will save vs undead servitude (shadow #2): 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 4 + 2 = 20 (+2: channel resistance)
Will save vs undead servitude (shadow #3): 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 4 + 2 = 25 (+2: channel resistance)
Misfortune reroll: 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 4 + 2 = 25
One shadow falls under Yahirma's thrall, while the other somehow succeeds at resisting her mental influence.
The resistant shadow flies towards Appario, while staying out of Maddok's reach. After suffering some damage from Extortion, the shadow attempts to duplicate its greater kin.
Incorporeal touch: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Strength damage: 1d6 ⇒ 6
The cold energy drives a great deal of strength from the holy warrior's body. Appario takes 6 points of Strength damage.
The "free" shadows are hovering above the water; the chuul is submerged at the bottom of the lake; the commanded shadow has a blue square around it and is near the cavern ceiling.
Up next: Xerath.
Xerath is having trouble logging in. He wants to ready to magic missile the greater shadow when it reappears.
Shadowbinder sings as Maddok lashes out at the graceful shadow.
Shadowbinder: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (20) + 13 = 33
Damage: 1d10 + 17 ⇒ (2) + 17 = 19
Don't know if Ghost Touch let's you crit incorporeal creatures.
Confirming: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (7) + 13 = 20
Additional Damage: 1d10 + 17 ⇒ (7) + 17 = 24
Will save vs undead servitude: 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 4 + 2 = 21 (+2: channel resistance)
Once again, the shadow resists Yahirma's efforts at assuming control over it.
Appario hits twice more, but he feels his attacks dealing little damage, even when his weakened state is taken into account. Even so, the shadowstuff holding the creature together threatens to unravel.
Up next: Derek.
"Appario, withdraw. Shadowbinder and I can finish that one off", Maddok comments as he notes the Abadaran's diminished fighting capacity.
There's a spot at the back of the boat that Maddok vacated.
Since Appario or Derek or noone might be in the space closest to the shadow, let's just make it easy:
The shadow edges closer to Maddok and attempts to inflict weakness upon him as well.
Incorporeal touch: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Strength damage: 1d6 ⇒ 2
It fails to hit the Shoanti warrior.
Up next: The PCs.
Maddok brings Shadowbinder to bear with another pair of sweeping blows.
Primary: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (1) + 13 = 14
Damage: 1d10 + 17 ⇒ (3) + 17 = 20
Iterative: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
Damage: 1d10 + 17 ⇒ (1) + 17 = 18
The powers of shadow within the blade sing happily as it tears another shadow apart.
Only the commanded shadow remains.
Once the group moves the boat past the bend, they see a rocky beach of sorts about 40 ft to the north. A smaller, sleeker boat has been dragged up on it. Beyond this "beach" is a large chamber of worked stone, parts of which lie unseen beyond a corner. No creatures can be seen.
I think we need a couple hits off the wand of Restoration. Yahirma still has it.
Maddok sheathes Shadowbinder while the others see to healing and prods the boat to the beach.
Once beached, he thanks the watery spirits for their service and dismisses them.
"We'd best prepare ourselves. The Lord of Shadows cannot be much further."
Maddok chants and makes what preparations he can.
"Spirits of the Shieldmothers - who watch over children and guard the fallen on their path the ancestors. Maddok of the Hawk Clan calls upon you! Send your shining watchers to aid us in our time of need."
Summon Monster 4/5 - 2 Lantern Archons
The archons zip among the party spreading their blessings.
Maddok: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Derek: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Yahirma: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Appario: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Xerath: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
"Yes, I am feeling a bit feeble myself. This is unpleasant." Xerath looks to a bit pale under his hood and shaking.
Yahirma retrieves the wand of restoration, offers a short-lived snort of amusement in response to Appario's remark about liches, and begins the somewhat lengthy incantation to unleash its magic.
Appario and Xerath can both get a dose, restoring them completely. It's a little much to burn lots of lesser restorations.
Upon completing the two spells, Yahirma accepts the scroll from Appario and turns to the commanded shadow. "What lies ahead? Tell us what you know of the passages and denizens who live around here."
Yahirma will cast the magic circle upon reaching the beach and hearing the report from the shadow.
The shadow takes a long time answering, as if it has forgotten how to speak, but it eventually produces a reply.
"More like me. More great ones. Blood-drinkers. Shadow-rats. The diseased one." The voice takes on a tone of increasing reverence when it continues. "The nihiloi. The lover. The master."
"Blood-drinkers hide, with a great one." It stretches a shadowy tendril towards the unseen area of the chamber opening from the beach.
>>>Current Map<<< (before landing the boat on the beach)
Since it sounds like there's an ambush waiting for us, Maddok will wait for Yahirma to read the scroll before beaching us.
Yahirma kindly corrects Appario as he helps her to reach the shore. "I believe 'blood-drinkers' would be vampires, much like the 'master.' I recall facing shadow-rats or something like them in Delvehaven, and lightning proved perfectly effective for dispersing the swarm," she recalls. "As for 'the diseased one,' I can only speculate. It may be a zombie bearing a plague or...an otyugh, perhaps? Perhaps an otyugh plague zombie?" Quickly changing subjects for her own peace of mind, she concludes, "The nihiloi we know of already, and the master is understood to be a vampire. I would only imagine that a 'great one' is a more powerful shadow like the one we faced recently."
She draws the magic of the spell from its scroll, holds her staff by its tip, and reaches out to trace a perimeter through the air. "This is approximately the boundary of the magical aura. While you remain within it, you will be spared the mind-control of dark spirits and shielded slightly against their attacks. Anything called from another world will have great difficulty crossing into the area. If you are outside of this reach, the magic will not affect you." She channels her influence into her staff, luring knowledgeable spirits to share their insights about what she has heard. Satisfied after cross-referencing what she's thinking with a book, she straps the staff to her backpack, pulls out a dark wand, and announces, "I am ready. If we meet another horde of hungry spirits, I will use this to protect either Appario or Maddok against the depredations of undeath. If we see many others, I may use it on us all, but be warned that it lasts only a short time; once I use it in that way, we will need to hurry."
In case the shadow's insights are enough to come up with some more ideas of what is ahead:
Knowledge (religion) augmented by the teaching staff and a Pathfinder Chronicle: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (19) + 17 = 36
Wand of death ward is in hand.
"m'lady Yahirma is correct, werewolves eat you, VAMPIRES drink you."
Derek thinks for a moment, "Unless blood in this case refers to THE blood. In which case my money is on a drunk wizard with great and expensive taste in wines."
"So, not only the master, and the Nihiloi, but also at LEAST two unknown qualities. And like m'lady here, I can only speculate as to what it is.
I don't like the "lover" bit though," Here he pauses for a moment and shudders. "for some reason that makes me most worried of all."
Holding the trident up to his face, he slowly begins to feel the points.
"Keep your silver and lightning ready then yes? We have a friend to save, an artefact to neutralize and a city to make just a little safer at night."
"Yes, I can handle the shadow rats. The plague bearer has me perplexed as well as to what it could be. The lover could also be anything."
"I feel as though I should return the favor for all your various forms of aid, Yahirma." Xerath says as he casts a spell and carefully lays a hand on her shoulder.
Heroism for the next 90 minutes.
The shadow isn't intelligent enough to provide further insights beyond what Yahirma has already been able to make on her own.
While the group disembarks and Maddok pulls the boat onto the rocky shore, several fanged creatures easily recognizable as vampire spawn spread out from the shadows to the east.
Initiative (Appario): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Initiative (Derek): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Initiative (Maddok): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Initiative (Xerath): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Initiative (Yahirma): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
Initiative (Greater Shadow): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Initiative (Vampire Spawn): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
Current Initiative order:
18 - Xerath
16 - Yahirma
14 - Derek
13 - Appario
11 - Maddok
10 - Vampire Spawn
6 - Greater Shadow (currently unseen)
All among the group react quickly to the sudden intrusion.
Up first: The PCs. The spawn aren't flat-footed; they used their surprise round to move.
Xerath sees the perfect formation of the spawn and casts a spell. Dust seems to conjure itself and covers all of the vampire.
Glitterdust. It looks I can get all of them. Will Save DC 17.
Maddok growls, "Vampires..."
"Yahirma, can you bind their forms?"
Maddok draws his hammer and a wooden stake.
Edit: It looks like Yahirma and I cross-posted a bit.
With a satisfied nod of self-vindication, Yahirma remarks, "Haimatopotei" before moving forward slowly and calling upon her spiritual allies to bend these spawn to her will.
So long as it does not disrupt Xerath's action (by getting in his way, for example), Yahirma moves to N30 and channels energy to control a spawn or two. If gien a choice of whom to control, Yahirma favors any that are not blind. That placement should allow others to advance while still benefiting from magic circle. If nobody wants to move up, feel free to ignore my movement; I can hit all of them from here.
Against any that fall under her sway, she commands them to raise a left hand, wave it in the air, and then grapple their compatriots.
That should be a clear enough sign for the others.
I forgot to mention one thing; the beach area (N-O-P) is difficult terrain.
Will vs glitterdust (spawn #1): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Will vs glitterdust (spawn #2): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Will vs glitterdust (spawn #3): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Will vs glitterdust (spawn #4): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Will vs glitterdust (spawn #5): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Only one of the spawn manages to avoid being rendered blind by Xerath's magic.
Will vs undead servitude (spawn #1): 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 5 + 2 = 26 (+2: channel resistance)
Will vs undead servitude (spawn #2): 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 5 + 2 = 27 (+2: channel resistance)
Will vs undead servitude (spawn #3): 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 5 + 2 = 18 (+2: channel resistance)
Will vs undead servitude (spawn #4): 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 5 + 2 = 22 (+2: channel resistance)
Will vs undead servitude (spawn #5): 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 5 + 2 = 12 (+2: channel resistance)
Two of the spawn, including the still-seeing one, succumb to Yahirma's mental control.
Yahirma will have to choose between controlling the second spawn and the shadow; controlling all three will exceed her limit.
Map coming up soon.
Maddok levels the stake.
"Remember, damaging their bodies will just turn them into mist and cause them to flee. The only way to destroy them is with a stake through the heart or sunlight."
If Yahirma Halts them. We can stake them one by one and then dust them with a blast from the Morrowfall.