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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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Male HP(104/104 or 125*/125*) Gnoll Barbarian 7 - Invulnerable Rager

His keen ears itch and twitch at the latest barb, You waste yourrr time Nuverrril with yourr angrrry jabs, I seek inforrrmation about my enemies, not just rrrevenge. The morrre we learrrn about ourrr enemies the betterrr we can fight them....know them....kill them., he licks his chops at the thought...with that he flicks a little bit of his bloody gore at Nuveril, splatting on her...

he chuckles slightly, You know you love it when you smell like Gnoll. It's like you arrre my pen sisterrr, hrrr, hrrr, hrrr.


hp 44/44; AC 17; Init +5 Male Elf Wizard (Evoker) 7

Zeladiel does not join the mirth of his companions.
"An easy fight. Once we reach Katapesh, our true enemies will not be so obvious. They will hide like cowards and strike unseen. They will use words and tricks to turn our allies against us, perhaps even set us against each other. Next time you hear voices, Grall, tell them if they are too scared to face us then their minions have no chance. I doubt a simple taunt will draw our enemies out but they may slip up."
Zeladiel mutters an arcane phrase over an arrow and watches which way it points. (Cast detect magic)
He cautiously picks his way over to the jade wand.


Nuveril con damage: 1d2 ⇒ 1 so 2 in total

You carry out a more detailed investigation of the site and a picture of sorts begins to emerge.

The caravan seems to have been hit first. Any trade goods and wealth among the caravaners have been taken and are missing.

From wide marks in the ground, the Death Worm seems to have been immobilised somehow and dragged with the ropes from the east somewhere to the pool.

Only something seems to have gone wrong.

Most of the shaman looks like it ended up in the worm's gullet but Grall manages to piece together enough multi-coloured robes that together with the Rovagugian symbol his allegiance seems apparent.

Lastly, from scraps of clothing and a few scattered personal effects Grall manages to identify most of the gnolls as Carrion tribe with two Duenas: a nomadic pack, preferring the desert areas of Katapesh. In addition to raiding villages and capturing slaves, the Duenas are grave robbers.

Zeladiel scans the site with detect magic and the wand emits the only aura he can see, a faint conjuration effect.

By now the last of the light is about to go. You will need to set a camp or push on in the dark.


Female Halfling Barbarian (superstitious) 7 | hp 72/72 (86/86 raging)

"Will the flesh of the worm poison the pool?" Nuveril asks Khalid and Zeladiel. "We could drag it out further onto the sand and avoid fouling the oasis. I doubt the merchant will want to camp in its shadow, but neither will he relish leading the caravan on in darkness."


Human Cleric 7 | hp 36/51 | channel 6/7

"I am afraid I can not do anything for the poison", Linah tells Nuveril with a worried tone. "The good news is that you are strong, stronger than the poison. It will take something out of you but it could be much worse. In the morning I will pray to the Dawnflower for a cure."

How do you recover ability damage? I was thinking of preparing Lesser restoration but if the ability damage will heal over night I might skip it.

Who is hurt by the way? Is it only Nuveril?

Sovereign Court

HP: 30/49 AC: 21 (SoF, Enlarge) Init: +6 Kelishite Human Inquisitor 7

"I am not sure. That being said it is never a good idea to leave something rot away in one of the few water sources in the area. Let's do what we can to drag it away as best we can. Even if its corpse would not foul the oasis's waters, it will certainly draw scavengers."

Vote for stopping for the night. Creatures with darkvision tracking creatures without is not a good match up for us.


hp 44/44; AC 17; Init +5 Male Elf Wizard (Evoker) 7

"I'll advise the caravan master that we've... made the oasis safe to camp at."
Zeladiel turns the jade wand over in his hands, attempting to identify it.
"I'm sure he'll be thrilled."

(Take 10 for 26 Spellcraft to identify the wand. If that fails, cast identify)


Female Halfling Barbarian (superstitious) 7 | hp 72/72 (86/86 raging)

Is there any sign of the hyenadons that made the tracks we were following?


The hyenadon tracks skirt the pool slightly to the south and then continue on to the south-east, again more or less the direction you are travelling.

Zeladiel identifies the wand as that of lesser restoration with 19 charges.

Without a great deal of manpower, there isn't much you can do with moving the worm beyond hauling it out of the ground, hacking it to pieces and carting them away but the pool is pretty well fouled with bodies already so you make camp as best as you can slightly to the north.

It's an uncomfortable night. You're out of sight of the carnage but the smell remains with added Death Worm carcass and the merchant's camels are unsettled and anxious (not to mention the merchant himself). In the dark the hyenas and dabbah jabber and call to each other in the distance. From the north, from the east, all around it seems.

Those on watch find their nerves fretting from the constant noise while those who are not find sleep hard to find. Yet the sun rises with no attack coming.

Assume your continuing on.


Female Halfling Barbarian (superstitious) 7 | hp 72/72 (86/86 raging)

Can we tell if the hyenadons passed by before or after the carnage at the oasis? Taking 20 on Survival, if possible, for 28 or here's a roll 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18 Aid Another, Grall?


OK with taking 20 it will just take time.

You spend a few hours after sun up trying to puzzle out the tracks. You think the hyenadon tracks are definitely fresher than the attack on the caravan. Probably about the same time or slightly after the second ill-fated battle at the pool for the gnolls.

The tracks skirt the pool and you find they then split in three different directions about half an hour after.


Male HP(104/104 or 125*/125*) Gnoll Barbarian 7 - Invulnerable Rager

Khalid, We should keep moving and keep Nuverrril scouting ahead. Herrr eyes arrre as sharrrp as mine and she is much quieterrr. If they come we will finish them.


Human Cleric 7 | hp 36/51 | channel 6/7

Previous day
Linah gathers Nuveril and Grall so she will be able to close their wounds.

Channel positive energy: 4d6 ⇒ (4, 4, 6, 5) = 19
Channel positive energy: 4d6 ⇒ (3, 4, 2, 2) = 11
Channel positive energy: 4d6 ⇒ (4, 4, 1, 5) = 14

At morning
At dawn when Linah preforms her daily ritual for Sarenrae she asks the goddess for the power to purge the Deathworm's poison from Nuveril.

Switching one Shield of Faith for Lesser restoration
Casting Lesser restoration on Nuveril


Note Lesser restoration is 2nd level.


hp 44/44; AC 17; Init +5 Male Elf Wizard (Evoker) 7

When Zeladiel returns from dealing with the caravan master he approaches Linah with the wand.
"This contains divine magic. You can use it to restore weakness of body or mind."
When she takes it he pauses as if about to say something but instead turns and walks off, his scowl returning.

The next morning he is his cold and distant self once more as the caravan prepares to continue.


Female Halfling Barbarian (superstitious) 7 | hp 72/72 (86/86 raging)

Nuveril paces the sand around the pool with a frown, working at unraveling the tracks of the oasis's recent and mostly-ill-fated visitors. "The three who were riding together have parted," she moves back to the main group to inform the others.

Is one set of tracks still going the same direction we are? Doest anyone have Knowledge (Geography) to know if there are any other notable destinations in the area besides Katapesh?


They've truly scattered: north, east and west. Again you're travelling south-east. You have a pretty good idea of landmarks such as they are. You are on the edge of scrub desert which runs up to Katapesh. The oasis is your next point about a day from the city. It's also likely the only defensible spot short of the city (with Katapesh's thousands of elite Zephyr Guard) with a hollowed out sphinx that traveler's often use for camping.

I'm pretty much running off Zeladiel's reasonable Knowledge (geo) for general info. He's welcome to make specific inquiries.


Human Cleric 7 | hp 36/51 | channel 6/7
Zeladiel Araxyll wrote:

When Zeladiel returns from dealing with the caravan master he approaches Linah with the wand.

"This contains divine magic. You can use it to restore weakness of body or mind."
When she takes it he pauses as if about to say something but instead turns and walks off, his scowl returning.

The next morning he is his cold and distant self once more as the caravan prepares to continue.

Linah looks down and starts to examine the wand. "Thank you, Zeladiel", she says to the empty air not noticing that Zeladiel left as quickly as he had come. With a look of concern in her eyes she watches the wizard retreat back into his shell, but decides against pressing the matter tonight. She places the wand in her sling bag before going to prepare her bedroll for the night.

Present
While Nuveril scouts the path Linah walks up to Zeladiel. "I do not wish to pry but I can not help to notice that something is laying heavy on your mind. Would you like to talk about it?"


hp 44/44; AC 17; Init +5 Male Elf Wizard (Evoker) 7

"No."


Human Cleric 7 | hp 36/51 | channel 6/7

Linah stops in her tracks, surprised by Zeladiel's sudden rebuke. Taking a moment to gather herself she calls to Zeladiel. "I will be here ready to listen if you change your mind. A burden is easier to carry when you do not have to tote the whole load yourself."

Sovereign Court

HP: 30/49 AC: 21 (SoF, Enlarge) Init: +6 Kelishite Human Inquisitor 7
Grall wrote:
Khalid, We should keep moving and keep Nuverrril scouting ahead. Herrr eyes arrre as sharrrp as mine and she is much quieterrr. If they come we will finish them.

"Agreed. Let's get camp packed up as quickly as possible and be on the way."

Turning his attention to the fierce halfling, the inquisitor asks, "Are you willing to continue on as a scout ahead of the caravan? I sense that I know the answer to that, but wish you to know that the act is not an expectation, but a favor that is asked by your companions."


Assuming that's a yes as well but going to move things along.

Nuveril leading the way, you continue your trek south east across the badlands of inner Katapesh heading for the road oasis, the Oasis of the Lost Sphinx. By lunchtime arid scrubland gives way to scrub desert and your progress slows somewhat. But you are all experienced travellers and the winds are behaving fortunately, blasting hot but low and relatively calm.

The next three days blend into a familiar pattern.

By day you see nothing of gnolls (or indeed much else of note beyond the occasional bird or native animal) but for the occasional set of hyenadon tracks crossing yours: never fresh enough to tempt you to alter course to pursue the faster creatures. You encounter no other travellers which is not unusual exactly and this side of the oasis there are no permanent encampments for leagues.

But by night the world (or at least the gnolls’ allies) seem to close in. The moon is a thin silvery crescent and hyena and occasionally a hyenadon fill the black with their calls. Never quite close enough to cause alarm but enough to keep your nerves on constant edge.

It is mid-afternoon on the third day when you make it to the oasis. The city itself is just one more day's travel away; its spires are even dimly visible on the eastern horizon, wavering like a mirage in the desert heat.

You approach from the west. Land falls away from the flat area holding the oasis itself on most of three sides, to the north, east and south.

The storied sphinx is part of a small shrine to an ancient Osirian deity now fallen into obscurity, all that remains are two jackal-headed statues and a crumbling ruin. A short flight of steps between the sphinx’s paws leads up to a small square alcove under its chin. From past visits, you know the alcove is littered with refuse from other travellers’ visits. Nightback scorpions infest the place, but they are tiny, relatively harmless and timid.

Half expecting to find gnolls dug in before you and waiting, from a distance you spot only a single humanoid figure sitting on what looks like an unrolled mat or carpet atop the weathered steps between the sphinx's paws. The figure waves greetings as you come into view but you are too far away to make out any details or see what if anything occupies the alcove.

OASIS MAP


Female Halfling Barbarian (superstitious) 7 | hp 72/72 (86/86 raging)

"A friend of anyone's?" Nuveril inquires as the rest of the party catches up to her, in a manner which indicates, whoever the figure may prove to be, she is inclined to distrust it. She offers no answering hail.


You'll need to get closer to find out.


Male HP(104/104 or 125*/125*) Gnoll Barbarian 7 - Invulnerable Rager

Grall looks around for any Giant Hyena tracks or evidence of the Gnolls...
Survival: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (8) + 12 = 20

Seems like an obvious place forrr an ambush. Perrrhaps they arrre invisible orrr hidden in the sand...


hp 44/44; AC 17; Init +5 Male Elf Wizard (Evoker) 7

"Or waiting for us in comfort in Katapesh..."

Zeladiel waves back to the figure and makes his way forwards.


Human Cleric 7 | hp 36/51 | channel 6/7

Linah follows pensively behind Zeladiel as he approaches the structures. The unease of the group is well rooted in the young priestess and she scans the area looking for anything that could even remotely qualify as a threat.


Male HP(104/104 or 125*/125*) Gnoll Barbarian 7 - Invulnerable Rager

Grall moves up next to Zeladial, but keeps his hood over his head to cover his Gnoll heritage.


Female Halfling Barbarian (superstitious) 7 | hp 72/72 (86/86 raging)

Feeling confident that whoever is waiting for them, it's no one she knows, Nuveril trails the others, keeping a bit of distance in case it is a Gnome trying to catch them all in a spell and watching warily for ambushers buried in the sand.

Staying c. 30 feet back for the moment. Taking 10 on Perception for 20, though her focus is less on the figure and more on the surroundings.

Sovereign Court

HP: 30/49 AC: 21 (SoF, Enlarge) Init: +6 Kelishite Human Inquisitor 7

I suppose that's one way of handling it... Khalid thinks to himself as he forms a line with Grall and Zeladiel.


Nuveril behind this time, you and the caravan work your way down to the oasis.

The stranger is a tall and handsome Garundi man, dressed in colorful and spotlessly clean desert robes. He appears unarmored, but an enormous flail hangs from his back. He holds a tanbur — a long-necked Katapeshi lute —in his lap, idly playing a simple tune. He smiles as he watches you approach, his eyes sparkling with a strange light that you have seen before.

And he is indeed sitting on a red and yellow carpet as odd as that may seem.

Greetings oh brave ones. I am Pazhvann. Once known as the Templar of the East Wind although the Templars are no more I am sad to say. I remain in sole service to the Princess Nefeshti.

At her bidding I am here to talk, if you would care to listen.

Khalid:

You'd remember the face from your dreams even without Vardishal leaping up inside your mind.

Pazhvann, loyal Pazhvann. What happened to my brothers?


Human Cleric 7 | hp 36/51 | channel 6/7

Linah draws an audible breath of surprise which she quickly stifles. Her mind starts to run wild with questions but she stays silent and looks expectantly at Khalid.

Sovereign Court

HP: 30/49 AC: 21 (SoF, Enlarge) Init: +6 Kelishite Human Inquisitor 7

Khalid is silent for a moment, obviously listen to the voice of Vardishal.

"Greetings to you, Pazhvann. I truly hope that you are different from you former Templar brethren that have met thus far, save for the one who lives within me." the inquisitor says, making no effort to hide Tempest.

"I am Khalid Al Hazareen, Inquisitor of Sarenrae, and mortal host of Vardishal the North Wind." Gesturing to each of his companions he introduces them in kind, starting with those closest.

"What is it that Princess Nefeshti would discuss with us, Pazhvann?"


hp 44/44; AC 17; Init +5 Male Elf Wizard (Evoker) 7

Zeladiel bows respectfully, but does not take his eyes from the figure. His mind attempts to recall all he can concerning this new Templar.

Knowledge(History): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
Knowledge(Planes): 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (17) + 14 = 31


Zeladiel:

On Pazhvann himself you don't know more than is set out in The Courts of Stone and Flame (campaign info tab).

On his claimed mistress Nefeshti you know more (see also the book). Nefeshti is a Djinn princess in exile from the jinn court due to her activities on the material plane. These mostly involved opposition to mortal jinn binders, particularly those who used their bound jinn for destructive or other evil purposes, and the efreet.

Nefeshti is a legend. Very little has been heard of her in hundreds of years since her mortal lover the legendary Katapeshi wizard Andrathi, a halfling, was lost in battles against a Rovagugian cult including efreet, shaitan and jann.

As the book says the various winds were jann the leaders of her followers the Templars of the Five Winds. Nefeshti used her wish magic to make the Templars immortal which broke the laws of the djinn court leading to her personal exile.


Hail Khalid Al Hazareen! My Mistress is pleased that something of Vardishal lives on, even as part of a mortal. Vardishal was my friend and truly the best of us.

He catches the gaze of the rest of the group, inclining his head respectfully at Nuveril standing at the rear near Haleen and the caravan.

As for myself I hope that I am different to the rest of my former brethen. For I have remained loyal to my Mistress while the others unfortunately have not.

My business today alas is the Scroll of Kakishon. But first I'd like to offer you my hospitality. I am a disciple of Gozreh and my magic has created food and water. The food is bland alas but nourishing and the water is cold. I have set it aside in the alcove.

Unspoken of course is the custom that after partaking of his food and water you are his guest and entitled to the courtesy and protection that entails.


hp 44/44; AC 17; Init +5 Male Elf Wizard (Evoker) 7

Zeladiel steps forward.
"I will accept your hospitality. Forgive our reticence but Zayifid the Fallen has assailed us with lies and deceptions, appearing as friend but directing our own against us. He craves the Scroll of Kakishon but lacks the power to take it. You will forgive my companions and I if we tread lightly around one who claims both friendship and interest in the Scroll."


He frowns at the mention of Zayifid.

I understand. I can say only that I am not Zayifid. And Fallen is indeed an apt description of my former brother. Indeed my Mistress has expressly forbade any use of force or magic on my part against the host of Vardishal and his companions. I am here only to talk and I hope convince you that it is better for everyone that the Scroll be given to me.

Sovereign Court

HP: 30/49 AC: 21 (SoF, Enlarge) Init: +6 Kelishite Human Inquisitor 7

Khalid's expression is one of skepticism as he listens to the exchange between Zeladiel and Pazhvann.

"I will listen to what you have to say, Pazhvann, but I make no guarantees to what our response will be. What is it you propose?"

Khalid has 7 rounds of discern lies available to him per day. Each round is activated as an immediate action. He will be doing so as needed during Pazhvann's response(s).


DM:

will 1d20 ⇒ 12


The jann fetches a large tub, bowls, a pitcher and cups from the alcove and offers to serve with his own hands. The tub holds a smooth rice-like substance while the pitcher appears to hold water as promised.

Pazhvann serves those who wish it without seeming to take offence at those who do not.

To begin and this may well sound arrogant, but there are things that mortals are simply better off not knowing. If I make omissions it is because I truly believe it is for a higher, better purpose.

The glyph on the Scroll is a map of Kakishon. More, it is a gateway to Kakishon. To it's demi-plane although Kakishon is to a demi-plane like a fireball is to a candle. Nex's masterwork.

My Mistress has great powers of divination and she believes that the scroll has been used. Recently. And that has also increased the danger.

It is really that simple. The Scroll is not safe in your hands. Using it risks your own lives as well as others. Moreover it will remain a target for those such as Zayifid who wish to use its power for their own purposes.

I am forbidden to use other methods so I can only hope that you will believe and see the reason in my words.

If it is monetary compensation you are after then I'm sure we can come to some arrangement. He seems a bit scathing at the last.

Khalid:

No intentional lies as far as you can tell.


Female Halfling Barbarian (superstitious) 7 | hp 72/72 (86/86 raging)

"I do not eat magic," Nuveril refuses bluntly, a touch of disgust evident in her voice and face at the conjured nutrition. "When you say the scroll has been used, you mean that someone traveled on it or through it to this Kakishon place?"


The jann replies respectfully to Nuveril.

The Scroll can only permit travel to Kakishon. There and on return back to the physical location of the Scroll on this plane. How to activate the Scroll is not something I am familiar with. Nor would I share this even if I was.

Khalid:

You detect no lies.


hp 44/44; AC 17; Init +5 Male Elf Wizard (Evoker) 7

Zeladiel remains mostly unmoved through Pazhvann's speech, but at one point he flinches and glances guiltily at the others before collecting himself.
"Why would the Scroll be safer with you? Two Templars have fallen already and we have defeated them both. It is already guarded by a Templar whom we know, and trust, and who has proven himself to us every day through both his words and his actions."
Through Zeladiel's impassive voice comes the faintest hint of a plea.
"How can we be sure?"

Sovereign Court

HP: 30/49 AC: 21 (SoF, Enlarge) Init: +6 Kelishite Human Inquisitor 7

"When do you believe the scroll had been used?" Khalid asks.

"We certainly have not, and before it came into our possession, gods only know how long it rested in its previous location."


To Zeladiel.

Pazhvann seems honestly perplexed by Zeladiel's question to the point that he isn't quite sure how to answer it. After a moment he manages.

Because I am who I am and my Mistress is who she is. We will take the Scroll to my Mistresses' manse on the Elemental Plane of Air and protect it there.

To Khalid.

My Mistress believes at some point in recent months. No longer than that. And if our understanding is true that it was found by you beneath the temple at the House of the Beast then it cannot have been any jinn. That place was constructed to exclude genies and others of the Elemental planes as well as to block divination from the outside.


Female Halfling Barbarian (superstitious) 7 | hp 72/72 (86/86 raging)

"Whoever used the scroll," Nuveril persists, "how do they get back? If you take it to this Air Plane, they would come out there?"


Yes. But what of it?


hp 44/44; AC 17; Init +5 Male Elf Wizard (Evoker) 7

"The Plane of Air would be difficult to reach," Zeladiel agrees reluctantly.

Sovereign Court

HP: 30/49 AC: 21 (SoF, Enlarge) Init: +6 Kelishite Human Inquisitor 7

"You seem a reasonable being, Pazhvann, and what you request would seem to be an honest and well reasoned request." Khalid begins.

"That being said, it seem far from coincidental that Vardishal has taken me as his mortal host and that fate has lead us to the Scroll."

"Given the actions of Vardishal's brethren that we have encountered prior to you, Pazhvann, I must deny the request. Perhaps if Princess Nefeshti were to make this request herself, rather than though one of her loyal servants, my answer may be different."

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