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DM Dan E's Legacy of Fire: Chapter 3 The Jackal's Price

Game Master Dan E

Recruited to reclaim the town of Kelmarane from a tribe of gnolls, six adventurers find themselves caught up in a series of events that may change the face of Katapesh: the Legacy of Fire.


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Chapter 1 IC Thread LINK

Chapter 1 Discussion Thread LINK

Chapter 2 IC Thread LINK

Chapter 2 Discussion Thread LINK

Google Site
LINK

Cast

Khalid Al Hazareen
Inquisitor of Sarenrae, Moldspeaker and mortal host of Vardishal

Linah Jamil Kaid
Priestess of Sarenrae, healer and custodian of the Kelmarane Church

Grall
Gnoll barbarian, former slave, now freed

Nuveril
Halfling barbarian, wielder of the mighty ancestral hammer of the pugawampis

Zeladiel Araxyll
Elven evoker and master archer

Sajan Krama Sumna
Vudrani monk, group protector and student of Tiger, deceased

NPCs

Zayifid - The West Wind. Nefeshti’s messenger, diplomat and sometimes spy, Zayifid was said to be a careful and patient planner. His weapon is a delicate but razor-sharp scimitar. Apparently able to disguise his features, Zayifid kidnapped and replaced Kadisa Al’udaak while acting as Rokova, advisor to the Carrion King, all as part of an apparent plan to recover the Scroll of Kakishon.

Haleen – Oracle of flame, former flame witch, found by Grall

Almah Roveshki – Mayoress of Kelmarane, agent of the Pactmasters

Garavel – Almah’s major domo and factor

Kadisa Al’udaak - Priest of Sarenrae, kidnapped and replaced by Zayifid while on his way to take up the position of head priest of Kelmarane

Father Zantus – Alchemist and lay priest of Nethys

Dashki – Gnoll expert

Oxvard – Priest of Abadar, retired member of the Lions of Senra

Felliped – Gnome illusionist, retired member of the Lions of Senra, stunner of halflings

Undrella – Harpy alchemist, cook, brewer and witch

Brotis – Mercenary deserter, shamed by Grall and fled before the battle at the Battle Market

Dullen – Mercenary, shamed by Grall

Utarchus – Mercenary, family killed by gnolls near Solku

Elia – Garundi mercenary, has an unrequited crush on Khalid

Fixx – Leader of Almah’s pactmaster guard

Turm - A half-orc monk, challenged Sajan to fight in Kelmarane before the group left to battle the Carrion King

Mohandis - Leader of a tribe of jann, met by the group in the region of Pale Mountain

Lesaar - Leader of the flamebrother salamanders beneath Pale Mountain

Rasoul Mehdi - A ranger of the north, persona of Zayifid

Off-stage

Rayhan Xobhadi – Diviner of Katapesh, Zeladiel’s master

Mimsly Perimac / Tanelia Perimac - Twin halfling girls born in Kelmarane before its fall

Khalib Karadesh – Abbot of Sarenrae, Linah’s mentor

Master Al’ Versa – Haleen’s uncle, Grall’s former master

Hakim – Weapon trainer employed by Al’Versa

Tiger – Tiger, ki-mystic and teacher of Sajan

The Pactmasters – The mysterious (and some say alien) rulers of Katapesh

The Carrion King – Leader of the carrion gnoll tribe, Pale Mountain, slain by the PCs and decapitated

Nefeshti - A djinni princess, Nefeshti was the founder and leader of the Templars of the Four Winds, a group of jann crusaders who fought against the abuse, mortal and otherwise, of wish magic. Said to be an enemy of the efreet, shaitan and div. Her present status is unknown.

Vardishal – The North Wind, spirit merged with Khalid. Also known as the Great General, Vardishal was said to be the most powerful and loyal of the Templars and the leader of Nefeshti’s army. He wielded a sentient magical scimitar known as Tempest. The precise circumstances of his death are unknown.

Kardswann – The South Wind. Nefeshti’s scout and a traveller of the planes, Kardswann was said to be an impulsive but powerful warrior with a love for combat and the strength of a giant. He wielded an elaborate greataxe. Encountered by the PCs as the master of the Kuldis tribe and Kelmarane (although apparently enslaved by the Daemon Xulthos). Killed by them.

Pazhvann - The East Wind. Nefeshti’s advisor and spiritual guide, he was the conscience of the Templars and wielded a tremendous burning flail. His present status and circumstances are unknown.

Davashuum - Said to represent the destructive power of all of the winds, Davashuum is described as an amoral and deadly creature that served Nefeshti as executioner and, in extremes, assassin. She was a master of unarmed combat and wore magic handwraps. Her present status and circumstances are unknown.

Andrathi - A legendary halfling wizard and genie-binder, a reputed lover of Nefeshti some four centuries ago

Xulthos – Daemon, corruptor of Kelmarane and enslaver of Kardswann and Haleen, disintegrated by Linah

Urd, Captain of the Sunset Ship - A trader of mysterious aims and origins

Xotani - The Firebleeder, a spawn of Rovagug. Said to have been defeated by the League of Wands, impaling itself upon a mountain made white by the bones of the dead.

Retired PCs

Arjun – Alchemist, student of Zantus

Sabeen – Sun touched witch, former adventurer

Grim-Eyes – Gnoll druid, former adventurer, lost in a temporal vortex


It is Wealday, late afternoon on the 4th of Rova as the small group of adventurers and former slaves catch sight of the new pesh fields surrounding Kelmarane.

The cactii are small, they will be immature for years yet.

As you have descended from the mountains to ground level the heat has grown. It will be some weeks until the seasonal rains give respite. Until then it will remain dry and hot as the hells during most of the day.

The blink dogs have been travelling with you for about the last day, several new little ones accompany the adults and the juvenile, now nearly as big as any of them.

Their appearance caused some initial consternation for the former slaves. The gnolls were unkind and capricious masters, prone to eating those who could no longer work. Most remain jittery despite their gratitude.


Nearly there!

You will not regret the service you have done old Yusef! No you will not. Yusef has many friends so he does. In Katapesh!

There will be a rich reward for taking him there, a rich one he promises!

The old man is missing most of his teeth. His presence is wearisome and on more than one ocassion you have daydreamed about leaving him behind. A merchant by trade: with some associations with some of Katapesh's more questionable guilds to hear him speak of it. A slaver you suspect, although surely either a mad or truly desperate one to risk selling to the Carrion tribe.


The priest on the other hand has proven to be a boon.

I can just see the church. Some weeks later than I expected..

I just wished they hadn't killed my acolytes. Asad, Sirash. They were good lads. They would have been good priests...

But they are with Sarenrae now. And we are not. It will be a pleasure to continue your fine work here Linah.


Female Halfling Barbarian (superstitious) 6 | hp 56/64 (68/76 raging)

When she sees the blink dogs, it is the first time in the long trek that Nuveril smiles. To the real Kadisa she has shown no greater courtesy than had been on display when she was introduced to the imposter wearing his likeness, so long ago, it seems, in Kelmarane; in her mind, however, he at least was not offered the luxury of selling his life dearly, his continued survival a bargaining piece in the Gnome's contingency plans. The other survivors... well, death is always an option in place of being broken, one they were too weak to choose.

As they meet the pack, therefore, Nuveril ignores the cowering of their cargo and runs forward joyfully to greet the ancestor-dogs. Going down on one knee, she touches her head and then her chest with two fingers in greeting before being practically bowled over by her no-longer-juvenile friend. "It has been a hard journey, and I have no meat to share with you," she laughs, burying her hands in its tawny fur to scratch it, "but we will hunt soon, you and I." Standing, she is just as tall as its shoulders and has to reach up to throw her arms around its neck. She greets the new puppies with respect and a touch of melancholy. "Many mighty warriors have fallen in battle and joined their ancestors," she murmurs, cognizant of Sajan's looming absence.

Qadira

HP: 39/42 AC: 23 (SoF) Init: +6 Kelishite Human Inquisitor 6

The inquisitor is barely able to hide his scowl upon seeing the Pesh fields planted around Kelmarane, his mood already sullen and dark since the death of his friend, Sajan. His temperment is even more evident when having to deal with the constant babbling of the mad slaver.

Khalid's dark mood is lightened upon seeing the blink dog's reappearance, and yet more so seeing the perpetually irritated halfling's joy at being reunited with the "ancestor dogs".


Male HP(88/88 or 106*/106*) Gnoll Barbarian 6 - Invulnerable Rager

Grall wanders back to Kelmarane. His happiness at the thought of seeing Haleen again is tempered by the loss of Sajan and the thoughts of his people. They had killed the Carrion King, but he seemed to be no closer to freeing his people from the dominance of Rovagug or Lamashtu.
He hoped that Linah and Kadisa might be able to help him seek guidance from Sarenrae, maybe her light can help his people and bring them out of the darkness they seemed to be fated to live under...

Basically he is hoping that they can cast some divination spells to help guide him on his path...


The town of Kelmare was a welcoming sight eventhough the surrounding pesh fields was not. Linah did not approve of the plants main use and what it did to people. On the other hand the fields ment that the town was growing and getting by. In any case it was better than the alternative. The claws that Kardswann and the carrion tribe had sunken into the city was gone and the evil rooted beneath Kelmare was banished.

Linah took her doubts and conflicts and with some effort she buried them somewhere she thought she wouldn't look. This was better. Pesh fields or no pesh fields. She had to see things in a positive light. There had been to much of the other in the past few days. For every string of hope she felt a feeling of hopelessness soon followed. It had warmed her heart to see Nuveril lighten up at the sight of the blink dogs. At the same time her heart sank with the thought that she would never be able to reach the halfling in the same way. In Nuveril's eyes she and Sarenrae would always be an antagonist. A portent of ill fortune.

Yusef Al'awahi was a similar problem. Sarenrae didn't need her to judge but Linah was having trouble to disconnect the man from his sins. She tended the weak and healed the sick. That was her duty. That was the power the Dawnflower had bestowed upon her, but Yusef made her calling so hard. Everytime the cleric looked at the old man she saw the slaver that had traded with the carrion tribe. His constant chatter made it even worse. Each mention of a reward made her skin crawl and Linah did not want anything to do with the slaver or anyone who would call him a friend. She could not wait to get to a settlement and send Yusef off on the first caravan to Katapesh. That was perhaps what scared her the most. Her compassion was faltering.

Standing over the town of Kelmare the pattern reapeated itself. Where she saw light she also saw a shadow looming over it. As she filled her mind with children running an playing in the streets a voice reminded her that Sajan would never here to witness it.

It seemed like the world needed her to be stronger, yet every day she grew weaker.

"I am confident that you will do well, master Al'udaak. Kelmare is fortunate to have you", Linah anwsers Kadisa putting on the brave face she had practiced and donned every morning.


Kadisa seems to understand. He nods kindly at Linah before starting up again.

As the group heads south east to skirt the fortified hill, the blink dogs take their leave. This is about as close to the human settlement as you have ever seen them go. Nuveril's favorite stops for a farewell nuzzle before joining the others.

The lower town is a bit of a sprawl despite Almah's attempts to keep things ordered and maintain hygiene. Rows of tents, some brightly colored silk and some drab canvas, cluster beside new buildings of clay and brick.

Eager to report and get the former slaves off your hands, you make your way toward the new iron gate seperating the lower town from the upper. Along the path is a make-shift market, one of several for bulky items which are difficult to transport up the hill: fodder, lumber and pottery predominantly.

You aren't expecting much of a reception from the townspeople. Your mission was secret after all and none of the slaves have family in the reclaimed town. Nevertheless a small crowd begins to gather at the sight of you. Traders, laborers, townspeople.

There are a few friendly faces. Several raise an arm or call a greeting. But they are outnumbered by many more that stare at you curiously or with expressions approaching greed.

After a few long moments one of the later types calls out.

Where is it? Show us the treasure!

As if an enchantment has been broken, several more join in. Yes! Yes! We want to see it! Show us!

Arguments begin to break out as some of your supporters begin to remonstrate with the others.

Your facing a crowd of about two score although it seems more are arriving by the second. No soldiers are in sight although surely some are at the gate not far away.


Male HP(88/88 or 106*/106*) Gnoll Barbarian 6 - Invulnerable Rager

A low growl issues from Grall as he move to the front of the group. He puts a hand on the Black Bladed greatsword sticking out over his shoulder but waits for Khalid or Linah to speak and address the group before reacting further.

Ready to assist in an intimidate if needed...

Qadira

HP: 39/42 AC: 23 (SoF) Init: +6 Kelishite Human Inquisitor 6

Khalid calls out to the crowd, with obvious weariness in his voice, "I assume that you were not informed of what our mission was. If you were, you would know that it was not treasure hunting expedition. Please clear a path, we must report back."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19

Placing his hand on Grall's shoulder, the inquisitor whispers to the gnoll, "Calm yourself friend, do not give them an actual reason to mistrust you, they certainly create enough of their own."


Female Halfling Barbarian (superstitious) 6 | hp 56/64 (68/76 raging)

As the blink dogs depart, Nuveril's expression returns to its usual wariness before they are met by a less friendly pack -- the pack of townspeople. Growing up on the savannah, Nuveril's tribe had always thought of the civilized settlements as flocks of sheep, sheltering tremblingly in their pens, but since discovering her mother's fate, her contempt for them is mingled with distrust: They wear the skins of sheep but inwardly are ravening wolves, waiting to turn on the unsuspecting and tear them to pieces. Her hand tightens on her hammer, though she does not yet draw it, and her eyes search the crowd for the cursed Gnome Felliped, surely a ringleader.


The handful of cheerful greetings manages to lift Linah's spirit. She responds in kind, with a wave and a smile. The rest of the crowd makes her uneasy and it is with uncertainty she takes the last stepps into Kelmare. She stops behind Khalid watching the townspeople's faces, trying to gauge what treasure they are referring to.

Is it possible to use Sense motive to get a feel of the crowd? In that case i'd like to take 10 for a total of 10 + 9 = 19. If it's not possible to take 10 use this roll: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15 instead.

Taldor

Male

Dot.


hp 34/38; AC 17; Init +5 Male Elf Wizard (Evoker) 6

Zeladiel has trudged wearily with his companions for what seems an eternity. He offers to scout but others are better suited and their glances at Yusef Al'awahi before they leave tell of other reasons to be alone. When his companions cringe, Zeladiel approaches Yusef and talks gently with the man, listening to his inane ramblings. Zeladiel slows his pace so they are a small distance away from the others and retreats inside himself. He nods at Yusef's words and asks questions if the merchant tries to leave. Once he even asks if the man has heard where he might obtain a rough seed and another time of Urd and the Sunset Ship. Zeladiel doesn't press either point and mostly stares intently at the mountains in the distance. The journey is tedious and reminds Zeladiel of his upbringing in Katapesh. To which he must return.

He smiles at Nuveril and the blink dogs, but wonders how such magical creatures could have gained her trust so easily. And her connection to Andrathi and the amulet. So complicated for such a simple creature.

Zeladiel notes the reactions of his companions to the Pesh fields with curiosity. The vast wealth will bring food and riches... and work for guards.

As the townsfolk gather to greet them, Zeladiel discards his weariness, stands straight and tall and flanks Khalid while falling two steps behind him. He awaits any orders from Khalid. It will be good to see Almah again.


Zeladiel:

When you speak of Urd and the Sunset Ship the old man thinks for a while and then his eyes light up.

Rubies! They pay in rubies! They come to Katapesh and buy and sell. Noone knows when or from where. They trade in ...exotics. Dreams, items of power, strange creatures. At the Nightstalls. Yes! No normal wares for the Sunset Ship!

And when they are done. When they have got what they need. They go. Back to wherever they came from.... Until the next time.

He talks for a while but you seem to have exhausted everything useful.

Several at the front of the crowd stumble back as Grall strides forward, one tripping over another and yelping in dismay. Certainly noone seems to be in any hurry to get too close to the bulky gnoll.

As Khalid speaks his calming words, Linah studies the crowd. The general mood seems as evident. Many seem specifically riled up. Certainly you've never attracted anything like this response before.

A few react positively to the inquisitor's deflection although they seem to be mostly the ones that were on your side to start. Oddly, many of the more fervent members of the crowd seem to be spurred on by the words.

We know you have a great treasure!

Everybody knows!

An artifact!

No a magic ring!

That grants wishes!

No, no! That summons jinn.

No an artifact, a treasure of Nex!

We just want to see it!

Yes just show us the treasure!

There is a marginal press forward although a clear circle is maintained around Grall. A few of the more perceptive (or self-preservative) ones seem to have noted Nuveril's tension as well.

Several of the slaves shrink back, one going so far as to yelp in fear.

Qadira

HP: 39/42 AC: 23 (SoF) Init: +6 Kelishite Human Inquisitor 6

The inquisitor thinks to himself, Zayifid has been here poisoning their minds...is he still here?

"You have been misinformed, most likely by a particularly foolish Jann who thought as you seem to. There is no treasure, please stand aside so that we may report back to Mistress Almah."


Male HP(88/88 or 106*/106*) Gnoll Barbarian 6 - Invulnerable Rager

Grall waits with little patience, it is evident that his sword may come out at any moment, but he holds to see how the crowd reacts...


Linah steps up beside Khalid to adress the anxious crowd. "Please, we travel with the injured whom need to rest. It has been a strenuous journey and we long of rest as well. Please, let us pass", she pleads to the crowd.

If a diplomacy check is needed then i'd like to take 10 for a total of 10 + 12 = 22. If i can't take then use this roll: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (9) + 12 = 21


Linah's efforts on top of Khalid's appear to settle more of the crowd.

One, a bulky man with a butcher's apron, calls out to the agitators.

You lot should be ashamed of yourselves! These are the heroes of Kelmarane. They protect our town and all of your worthless hides! Leave them be!

Others echo the sentiment and within moments whatever force acts to bind such a crowd together begins to unravel.

And with it the crowd itself. A few people look sheepish but there are a few black looks in there as well.

Just as you are starting up, a dozen soldiers in Almah's livery come around a corner. Elia the Garundi mercenary is at their head. She smiles brightly in welcome although that slips a bit when she looks between you and seems to work out that Sajan is not with you.

Glancing at the dispersing crowd, she sighs. Its started then. Almah sent me as soon as you were sighted. I'm to take you to her immediately.

She nods at Kadisa, evidently confused about his presence. Holy one. Your disappearance had us all very concerned. I am sure Almah will want to speak to you as well.

Kadisa sighs, evidently not wanting to get into things here in the street.

Elia has half the squad attend to Yusef and the rest of the slaves while she and the other half escourt you to the battle market.

With evening coming on it is packed to the rafters. Activity doesn't quite stop as you cross to the stairs but you can feel everyone's eyes on you. Nuveril can see that gnome at her stall looking like the others.


Elia takes you straight to Almah's reception room, the location of your final battle with Kardswann. Silk screens have been set up on the balcony to block any view from the lower levels.

Almah herself looks resplendent in green silk, the mayoress lounging admidst a pile of cushions. Garavel stands a few steps behind her, looking protective if anything.

Across from her, Father Zantus beams as you enter while between them sits another man you do not know. A nobleman by bearing and dress although a martial looking one.

Almah climbs to her feet. My friends. By the Dawnflower it is good to see your faces! How goes your mission? Where is Sajan?

Qadira

HP: 39/42 AC: 23 (SoF) Init: +6 Kelishite Human Inquisitor 6

Weary from battle, travel, and dealing with confrontation in the Lower town, Khalid responds to Almah's questions. "Our mission was successful, but not without cost." the inquisitor says with obvious sadness in his voice. "Sajan fell in battle. Linah has made contact with his spirit and knows that he is at peace."


Outside
"What has started?" Linah asks Elia. "You sound as if you have anticipated this."

Inside the tent
"Sajan died as he struck down an evil summoned from the depths of the earth. Thanks to his actions, the gnoll's of Katapesh are scattered from the House of the beast", Linah adds.


Female Halfling Barbarian (superstitious) 6 | hp 56/64 (68/76 raging)

Nuveril is never comfortable entering the Battle Market. She always remembers it as they first encountered it -- battling their way in and fighting for their very lives from level to level; to see it now filled with fat merchants and prosperous shoppers is just too depressing. That, plus the malign presence of the Gnome Felliped and the general unnaturalness of shutting out the wind and sky with a artificial shell leaves her sullen and uneasy.

This time is worse. She cannot help but remember the last time they were summoned to Almah's indulgent pleasure-nest: the so-called priest who betrayed them all, leading to Sajan's death. And here is another stranger, seated with Almah and her favorites, another person she will be cajoled to "trust," no doubt. She glares a warning at him. This time, she will not be so easily persuaded to ignore her instincts.


Linah Jamil'Kaid wrote:

Outside

"What has started?" Linah asks Elia. "You sound as if you have anticipated this."

Elia explains in a low voice as you walk.

As the days passed I.. we began to worry. But about three days ago a rumour started that you were fine. You had triumphed over the gnolls and discovered some priceless artifact. I assigned some men to try and track its source and they just got nowhere. It spread like wild fire.

The only thing that changes is exactly what you found. Everyone seems to have their own theory.

We weren't sure what to think or do besides set a watch for you.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Almah is visibly distressed at Khalid and Linah's revelation while Father Zantus sinks back into his cushion with a sigh. Even the stoic Garavel shows some dismay.

I am sorry. So sorry.... Though I am sure he died as he lived, protecting those around him. Does he have any family that need to be cared for ... no I recall not. He was alone.

She seems to fall back on etiquette.

But my maners are faulty.

She gestures to the nobleman.

This is Arasmes Ik-Abhald. Recently of Katapesh. He has spent the last fortnight trying to convince me to lend him soldiers to search for you. She introduces the group.

Behind Almah Garavel is frowning slightly.


Linah smiles as the stranger and bows her head as a greeting. "Master Ik-Abhald, it is a pleasure to meet you. I am Linah Jamil'Kaid, a follower of the Dawnflower. You have been trying to organize a search party for us. May i ask why?"


Male (HP 50/53) Human Monk 2/Fighter 4

The nobleman was sat a respectful distance from Almah, the legitimate authority of the town. He had been quietly reading a chronicle of some kind, but had set the book down. Of average height and with fairly plain features, the man, somewhere in his early thirties, seemed to dress to distinguish himself; wearing expensive clothing accompanied by a signet ring and an expensive necklace, set with a green gemstone. He looked strong, but in a reasonably muscled manner as opposed to the hulking strength of Sajan or Grall. His sleeves were cut short enough to emphasise the various scars upon his forearms, signs of frequent battle.

Over his clothes he wore a breastplate of shining mithril, light enough that it seemed to hinder his movements and gestures not at all- it seemed to hinder him little more than a robe would. On his back he wore a decent sized longbow and a two-handed flail was strapped somewhat awkwardly beside it. It appeared as though Arasmes had been waiting for Almah's permission to venture forth and was prepared to take her up on her offer the moment she did so.

He rose to nod a brief acknowledgement to the group when they entered the tent. He spoke with all the etiquette expected of his upbringing.

I am sorry for your loss. Many spoke highly of the warrior Sajan- I would have liked to meet him. I am glad that you ascertained he is at peace.

Arasmes tried to return Nuveril's glare with a friendly smile, but it faltered in the face of her hostility and he turned his attention to replying to Linah.

Sarenrae's blessings upon you, Linah Jamil'Kaid. I wished to lend my support to your task, but I see now I arrived too late. Still... considering the dangerous nature of your task; even by the standards of this place- you should be commended for returning at all, let alone with so few dead.

Arasmes' gaze wandered over the others and a flash of recognition passed over his face as he spotted Zeladiel...

Zeladiel, i'll PM you shortly. Wanted to get something for people to work with and stop holding things up.


hp 34/38; AC 17; Init +5 Male Elf Wizard (Evoker) 6

"Master Arasmes," smiles Zeladiel with a bow of his head. "We are honoured to recieve you. May I inquire after Master Rayhan, if you have seen him of late?"


Male (HP 50/53) Human Monk 2/Fighter 4

Zeladiel! Good to see you. Master Rayhan is well- I stopped in on him just before I left for Kelmarane, in fact...


Outside, before entering the tent
"Who could possibly know such a thing?" Linah asks. She looks at Khalid and sees the jann's name in his eyes. "Do you think that Zayifid is behind this? Do you think he is still here at Kelmare?" she asks the inquisitor.

Inside the tent
"You seeked to join us? Is there a reason why you would travel to Kelmare to join a expedition to infiltrate the House of the beast, Master Ik-Abhald?" she asks.

Qadira

HP: 39/42 AC: 23 (SoF) Init: +6 Kelishite Human Inquisitor 6

Outside, before the tent
"Zayifid is almost certainly behind this. It would not surprise me in the least if he is still in Kelmarane. We should not let our guard down."


Male HP(88/88 or 106*/106*) Gnoll Barbarian 6 - Invulnerable Rager

Grall whispers to Nuveril, It is too convenient that someone wants to join ourrr grrroup right afterrr Sajan dies. We need to make surrre it isn't Zayifid...

:]


Outside, before entering the tent
Linah nods and sighs. "We need to find some way of seeing through his disguise. We can not go on like this, having suspect everyone we encounter."

Grall wrote:

Grall whispers to Nuveril, It is too convenient that someone wants to join ourrr grrroup right afterrr Sajan dies. We need to make surrre it isn't Zayifid...

:]

Instigator!


Male HP(88/88 or 106*/106*) Gnoll Barbarian 6 - Invulnerable Rager

Don't worry, just keep poking the beehive, nothing will happen...lol


Male (HP 50/53) Human Monk 2/Fighter 4

Perception VS Whisper: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26

Arasmes' eyes narrowed a little at the whispering but did not publicly acknowledge it. He replied to Linah calmly-

I sought to join you because the Gnoll King's head was a a mighty trophy; and a destabilising presence to this region- which I have a vested investment in. There was honour and glory in your mission and I hoped to earn some small part of it. Almah had raised some concerns about your safety on the return journey and I was hoping to persuade her to allow me command of some soldiers to find you.

Arasmes paused a little before attempting to explain a little of his culture.

As a Kellid, it is expected of a man to earn his place in society, to earn status sufficient to court a woman of station. Our society is somewhat matriarchal- in as much as that a man must earn his place while a woman's may simply be inherited. While I have earnt some renown as a scholar and warrior... I yearn for the kind of deeds your local adventuring party is renowned for. The greatest moments in a life are rarely found in a dusty library or sparring chamber, nor the greatest tests.

Arasmes smiled, an apologetic smile that sought not to presume too much from the group.

I have kept abreast of your adventures through Zeladiel's master, a diviner named Master Rayhan and an long-time colleague of mine. It seems Kelmarane is a true frontier town, perhaps a place where a man of my expertise can best provide assistance. Almah has permitted me to graciously petition the group of you- to offer my steel and knowledge to use as you see fit. I would not force my presence upon you, however, should it prove unwelcome. If I may be so bold, do you plan to stay in Kelmarane for some time? Perhaps we could get to know each other better in the weeks to come... Do you expect a Gnoll counter-attack, or did you truly shatter their unity?


hp 34/38; AC 17; Init +5 Male Elf Wizard (Evoker) 6

"Master Arasmes. I am honoured that you would concern yourself with our trivial conquests. But, while my companions slew the great Carrion King and scattered his tribes, we uncovered an even greater foe: a shapeshifting djinn of great power and treachery."
Zeladiel turns to the others.
"My companions. My friends. Master Arasmes is a mighty warrior who would be a great asset against our foes. I would... I mean..." Zeladiel sighs wearily.
"However, I fear I must soon make my way to Katapesh once more and learn what I can of the... the situation there."


Almah keeps her face perfectly smooth during Arasmes's talk of courting. Garavel maintains his slight scowl.

A djinn? What would an air jinn be doing with the gnolls?

I was hoping to give you time to rest but I think I need to hear your tale now. Yours as well Master Kadisa although I suspect they are intertwined.

She asks a waiting servant to bring cool drinks and food while you sit and talk.

I'd also like to know the answer to Master Arasmes's question. What was the gnolls' state when you left? Did you find this Rough Seed somewhere in the Temple?

---------------------------------------------------

Don't want to lose the threads from Arasmes and Zeladiel's posts above and the interaction with Arasmes but I think we can handwave the you update Almah part. The key thing of course is what you say about the scroll and/or Zayifid in front of her and/or Arasmes. I would like to be clear on that bearing in mind that the rest of you don't exactly have time to confer. For Zeladiel's "situation" I'm assuming that wasn't kept from Almah and co last time?

Qadira

HP: 39/42 AC: 23 (SoF) Init: +6 Kelishite Human Inquisitor 6

I would have no problem mentioning Zayifid, particularly with Khalid's connection to Vardishal and the fact the Almah resides where Kardswann had stayed. I will under no circumstance mention the Scroll of Kakishon though.


OK that is fine. We will say that Khalid relays your tale omitting the scroll and subject to any outbursts from others the rest take his lead. One thing though is that both Almah and Arasmes are intelligent (and both will have heard the same rumours as everyone else that you have a great treasure). Omitting the scroll also removes the basic motive for Zayifid's actions (and definately the reason why he might have further interest in you). So in a nutshell you can either lie in which case do it IC and give me a bluff check or say nothing (in which case it will be pretty obvious you left something big out and you may expect Almah to pursue it further possibly later). I guess you could also ask for Arasmes to be removed. From Khalid / Linah / Zeladiel's perspective that would be a pretty big insult (implying a Keleshite noble is dishonourable or untrustworthy). Grall / Nuveril have a different perspective I guess.


Male (HP 50/53) Human Monk 2/Fighter 4

I'm easy. Quite happy to continue the RP if people want to, it helps me ease into a very different character to Sajan.


Well I don't want to handwave Arasmes integration as I would rather see that played out. Subject to post above to Khalid lets assume you've relayed your story and pick it up from there.

Qadira

HP: 39/42 AC: 23 (SoF) Init: +6 Kelishite Human Inquisitor 6

Maintain silence on the subject for now. Fully expecting Almah to ask more later.


Female Halfling Barbarian (superstitious) 6 | hp 56/64 (68/76 raging)
Almah AKA Dan E wrote:
A djinn? What would an air jinn be doing with the gnolls?

"What was he doing reclining in your boudoir, Lady?" Nuveril scowls. "It was you who introduced us to him, wearing the face of the Sun-Lady's follower."

Not sure if Khalid was including the tale of Zayifid taking Kadisa's place, but it'll come out sooner or later and Nuveril's not going to let the opportunity pass to spread the blame.


Before we go too far down this track again, recall genie=jinn, jann not a djinn. Fine for the uneducated characters not to know or care about the difference but educated NPCs will.

It doesn't take too long for you to detail your adventures and run in with Zayifid. Almah seems content at least for now to allow Khalid to dance around the camel in the room. Father Zantus seems on the verge of speaking a few times but restrains himself with seeming effort.

When the topic works back around to the jinn's relationship with the gnolls, Nuveril can seemingly take no more.

Alma keeps her face tight and voice controlled.

You know full well that my boudoir is over yonder Nuveril. The mayoress waves an arm toward the nearby bedroom, once Kardswann's.

As to how I was unaware that the man posing as Master Kadisa was in reality a centuries old face-stealing jann formerly a companion to the master of the Kuldis. The answer is simple. I did not know.

The High Faith in Solku wrote to me of Master Kadisa's coming. The genie that came in his stead spoke of matters that were torn from the original's lips with the advantages of time and absence of compassion.

I had no reason to doubt either him or the words that he spoke. Words that, having regard to the facts you have just told me, seemed carefully chosen to be entirely true.

None of us doubted or we would have tried to use any of the methods at our disposal to establish his veracity. We would have asked more questions. How exactly did the man come by the information he did? Why come alone if his information was so vital?

Zayifid planned well it seems. He presented an urgent threat and we reacted as he no doubt wanted. As soon as you departed beyond a messangers reach he vanished. No doubt he would have had ready answers for anything else we asked and perhaps answers to our divinations. It is only through your bravery and resourefulness that his plan.. whatever it may be ... was foiled.

Does that satisfy?


Female Halfling Barbarian (superstitious) 6 | hp 56/64 (68/76 raging)

Much like the differences between jann and djinn, the distinction between Almah's private and semi-public personal rooms eludes Nuveril. Anything more than sleeping on the ground, perhaps in a hide tent as an extreme concession to frailty or age, is sheer decadence to her. :)

"No one ever doubts," Nuveril replies sourly. "Among your people, men are judged by their words alone. Say you are a priest of Sarenrae, and the people will follow you, even to the slaughter of their neighbors, before they will question the priest. Say you are a poor hiding victim, and people will trust you even when you attack their own ally before their eyes. Say you intend no harm, and strangers lay down their weapons and walk into your camp defenseless. Say you are a rich man from Katapesh and...," she turns to eyes to Arasmes, "what are we expected to do on this one's word, exactly?"


Male (HP 50/53) Human Monk 2/Fighter 4

The nobleman looked down steadily at the Halfling.

Your words amuse me, for in fact- Kellish men are judged by their deeds and not their words- and this is the reason I am here.

He let out his arms in a calm gesture of solidarity.

As I stated, Nuveril, I put myself at your disposal. Your tale would, of course, make anyone doubt the next contact to present himself before you. Had I known of this deception, I would have already acquired such a means of verification. I am willing to take steps to prove my identity to you if you would deem it necessary. I would hope that my words and my actions in the days to come would assure you of my good intentions- but you are under no obligation to oblige me or make use of my talents. I was merely given leave to petition you- not accompany you against your will.

Arasmes thought for a moment then turned to Zeladiel- he gestured to the Elf while focusing his gaze on Nuveril.

Has this Elf earnt your trust yet? Between our memories and Zeladiel's formidable intellect, we could easily recall the exact date upon an event so mundane no Genie could have been expected to memorise it, even if I had been tortured to reveal important facts... Would this satisfy your suspicion, for the time being?

DM Only:

Knowledge Planes: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (18) + 14 = 32

Any general level of info I can look at, particularly hoping for a means to prove identity. Can tie in a Spellcraft check too, if necessary.


The stout alchemist harrumphs before Arasmes can reply.

All but a few men and women can turn to beasts with the right provocation but judging the worth of peoples hearts through the lens of a daemon's corruption seems uncharitable to me by Nethys!

Yet Master Arasmes can speak for himself I do not doubt.


Arasmes Ik-Abhald wrote:


I sought to join you because the Gnoll King's head was a a mighty trophy; and a destabilising presence to this region- which I have a vested investment in. There was honour and glory in your mission and I hoped to earn some small part of it. Almah had raised some concerns about your safety on the return journey and I was hoping to persuade her to allow me command of some soldiers to find you.

Linah's shoulders fall and her smile becomes strained. The cleric is usually able to keep a collected appearence in diplomatic situations, but the last few days have not been kind to her. "Master Ik-Abhald, our mission was not to gather fame or glory. It was a necessity. It was done to protect the citizens of Kelmare, and this whole region." Linah stops for a moment half expecting Nuveril to blurt out something about glory and her ancestors, but continues (hopefully) in time avoid the halfling to interject. "I think there are other groups that would suit your goals better."

Linah sits quietly through Khalid's retelling of their journey. This time she manages to keep a calm and present a collected exterior. Inside however her troubles deepened. She could not help but noticing how the inquisitor failed to mention the scroll to Almah. It could only mean that he did not trust her, or someone in her company. Heart sinking she begins to wonder when Zayifid's tricks would plant mistrust within the group.

Her focus is snapped back to the conversation as Nuveril voices her concerns. "That is enough, Nuveril!" she tells the halfling sharply. "This a meeting and master Ik-Abhald is a guest, you should treat him as such. If you have any concerns you can bring them up with him in private afterwards."

What date is it currently? How far off is Zeladiel's meeting with the Sunset ship?


Arasmes:

You've made quite a study of jann and are fully familiar with all of their abilities including the noble sort. One can never rule anything out where genies are concerned but the kind of disguise the jann put on is well outside of its normal abilities. Its ability to change size is much more pronounced as well. A spell or device seems like a reasonable bet.

Arasmes / Zeladiel:

I'm going to assume at your respective levels of knowledge arcane / spellcraft that you are basically familiar with the various typical methods of disguising one self via magic ie the differences between disguise self (wouldn't cut it to appear as a gnoll in its basic form), alter self and illusions etc and the weaknesses (does not change voice for example). Zeladiel would have worked out on the long journey back that the real Kadisa was fairly different to the doppleganger version but then Zayifid was perhaps not expecting to run into anyone who had actually met Kadisa and focused more on appearance than a perfect imitation.


Linah Jamil'Kaid wrote:


What date is it currently? How far off is Zeladiel's meeting with the Sunset ship?

The current date is at the top of the page. Zeladiel had until the last day of Rova which makes it....

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