"Of course, I am Felliped Leroung" Felliped says Looking with interest at the Hummus and the mint tea as Ali pours it. He tries a bit of the beige paste but finding it not at all to his liking he quickly tries the tea to wash the taste from his mouth Ooo that's not badEnjoying the foreign atmosphere of the tea house Felliped listens casually as Ali answers Theodric's questions " You seem to have good information on the Gnolls of Brazen peaks and you contacts with the Nomads could prove invaluable for information and help if we run into trouble in the desert.”
”Ah yes, well Felliped, it is the nature of such things. As I have said, the desert is a mercurial and dangerous expanse. Between the hostile tribes, monstrous creatures, mirages and heat exhaustion all you can count on are your friends and the knowledge you bring with you. The desert nomads that wander the wastes can be useful allies. And as for the Gnolls… well some will disregard them as petty raiders and cowards. And this is true to a point; however pride is a dangerous virtue and caution can save your life."
Lets not try to scare him too much Ali, you’re looking for a job after all not to scare them off of the expedition.
”Still though, these are worse case examples. Over all the journey is a brief one, and if we are careful should be a relatively easy trip.”
"Ah!" Felliped sighs with refreshment after draining the last of his tea. He notices Ali looking at the empty pot. I hope it's ok that I drank so much, it certainly was refreshing "uh Thankyou for the tea I can see why it is popular, it's very refreshing. We don't expect this to take too long, A few days in and around the town should do. It's more about getting there and back. "
”Do not worry about the tea my friend; it will be pleasant memory once we are into the desert and have to quench our thirst on tepid water and half cured goats milk.” Ali flashed a brilliant white smile and Felliped and continues. ”I joke! The weather grows hotter, but there is still plenty of oasis’s to resupply along the route and it is only a few days travel. Do you have any idea how many camels we will need? The number will depend on how many cultural artifacts and other items you are recovering about the town. After all, once we leave Ipeq it may be some time before we can obtain further mounts.”
"Really?! You are a veritable treasure Ali. I loved it. How many of these tales do you know?”
”Well my Flame Keeper used to say that he knew enough tales to sing a new one each night for a year and a day. The collection was called كتاب ألف ليلة وليلة or The Songs of the Flame. You see Felliped, my tribe’s history was passed verbally, since paper is so rare among the dunes. Once my…” Ali coughs and looks away for a moment. ”Tribe was lost, I spent many years traveling the great desert capitals seeking as much information as I could about our history, trying to keep the memory of بأمين اللهب alive, and I have recorded each tale I have remembered or have recovered.”
Perhaps Felliped might be tempted to hire me on, if I like the heroine of the كتاب ألف ليلة وليلة, tell him a new tale each night!
”I will say this Felliped, I have enough tales, that I could tell you a new one each night of the trip. And should I be hired, then tomorrow, I will tell you of Talib and the City of Brass...”
Ghostclaw runs clawed fingers through the tattered remains of his mane as Theodric outlines the offer, "The gold is a fair offer for this type of journey and the split payment is acceptable as well. I would ask for one additional consideration. Sometimes we find unexpected valuables on these journeys. While I am certain you need to reserve any relics for the Pathfinders, I would ask that you consider a fair share for any other items we uncover, particularly in the event my skills are needed to help recover them."
He nods as Theodric speaks of Abadar, "A priest then. I thought as much given the symbol your bear, though I am not familiar with this Abadar. Does you god favor you with the ability to use power on his behalf? That may be a greater gift than any weapon as long as you remain in his favor." He shakes his head and his eyes momentarily dull as if recalling some distant memory. "I know some gods prefer you to bear certain weapons as well. Is the great sword you bear the weapon of Abadar?"
The tales you speak of, in this universe, are known as "The Songs of Shazathared," and the heroine is a beautiful Marid princess names Shazathared, who was captured by an Efreeti Lord, who did indeed force her to tell a new tale every night or she would be killed. Some of the songs are generally known, but your backstory does make you well suited to know some that are not in general circulation, and for your tribe to know them by a different name. That is a good way to justify you Knowledge:planes feat and trait.
Thats fantastic!!! I had to read 1001 nights years ago for a college class! I can totally work this into my character. In the future if I am selected I'll occasionally pull stories out for role play and convert them to more a Inner-Sea specific nature, also I will make is point for Ali to try track down more of the Songs of Shazathared. I also love that the instead of a sultan it was a Efreeti lord and the heroine name (Shazathared) is a direct play off of the original heroine Scheherazade. I was excited before but this is just gold!
|Vonna the Huntress|
"Yes, I am a man of my word."
Theodric maintains strong eye contact, watching and observing for whatever reaction Vonna has to his response.
"Among us, you are equal"...
Vonna's eyes narrow, but only in the slightest. "Men of their word are rare to come by. I will take you on your word, Master Stavian. Based on that your offered fee will be accepted, too."
She seems to relax a bit, "I don't have a head for trade and your words confuse me at times. It is not that I cannot understand, just that I am better at other things."
"Thank you for saying I am equal, it does delight my heart. Though I may not show it as most people do. It means that I will defend your life, as I would my own."
"About seven years ago, because of the Battle at Red Hail, outside Solku... if you recall, I lost the life I knew. We were enslaved for years, my father was away on business... my mother died in captivity. Surely, animals do not even deserve to be spoken of like this."
"I don't talk much when working, I am not eloquent. No stories or tales... but I will answer what questions you ask, and offer advice and guidance. What you see is what you get."
She them spread her arms and turns around, offering a full view of her physique. "And you don't need to act like a pious priest or monk. I am comfortable with my body and proud of it. Some think my chest could be a bit bigger... I hear them talk."
Her body is long, nearly six feet tall... long arms and broad shoulders of an archer. Slender and slightly curvy below a narrow waist.
"Anyone is free to look and admire, if they choose. I think you know the people I warn of. You do not seem to be them."
This is Katapesh! If there's one weapon available, you better bet it's a scimitar! Nothing special, just your standard, run of the mill scimitar. And a steal, at only 16 dinars and 5 silver dirham! For what it's worth, you can tell that, magic or not, that mace you found in the crypt is of high quality, well made and well balanced.
After purchasing some equipment from Garavel and getting his gear in order for the journey to the watchtower, Valik goes to watch at the birds nest. When he arrives, one of Almah's guards salutes and heads off to attend to other business. The other man keeping watch is someone Valik does not immediately recognize; eventually, he realizes it must be the other mercenary, who was at the camp already before Valik and his bunch arrived, and who was injured in the fire. He is of a piece with the other mercenaries; not too clean, with a vicious, petty look about him. He takes a look at Valik and grunts.
"Yer the big hero then, are ye? Saved the card-man from the flames, killed them gremlins, all that?" He wrinkles up his nose and turns away. "Don' look too tough t' me, y' don't. Big hero, hmm, but y' din't save m' sister, Kallien, nor me neither. Came too late f'r that." He squats down in the shade at the edge of the courtyard, his bow held lightly in one hand, not looking at Valik.
I doubt anyone noticed, but I referred to one of Almah's guards as Utarchus earlier. That was a mistake, the guard's name is Vodrave. This guy is actually Utarchus.
Valik scratches his chin. "Hero? I don't think so. I didn't do anything that anyone else could have done. I just tried to do my best was all."
"What happened that you got injured in the fire? I wasn't there to see the beginning, and everyone was pretty confused. You must have been by the fire when it started."
Valik sits down in the shade near the wall and is quiet for a moment. "You can talk if you want, or not. We have a job to do."
Utarchus glares at Valik for a few seconds, then turns away. A few seconds later, he speaks again. "We was throwin' water at th' fire. Burnin' beam broke off th' wagon, fell towards us. Next think I knew, I was lyin' on a cot, barely alive, an' Kallien in th' next cot, not alive 't all. Everyone talkin' about what a hero you was, savin' card-man, no-one carin' 'bout--"
His words are cut off by a long, piercing shriek from the sky above. The two look up, and see a bird circling down, clutching something in its claws. It's hard to tell exactly how high up it is, so it's hard to get a sense of scale, but it certainly seems to be large.
As potential employers, you have that right. My grudge with the gnolls is one of less than hatred but a desire to see them destroyed or hurt enough to have to change. My mother is a person who fights against slavery in a bad place so I have never met her. I have been informed about the gnolls and how they will take anyone or thing possible for selling.
I was a child when I killed my first gnoll. I was on the old caravan trail learning with my father. He happened to hear something which led to us finding the gnolls in a fight with a Roc. Such a magnificent bird. The size was a beauty to behold. There was another one there as well but looked as if had fallen a great distance. We were next to one of the tall mesas. There looked to have been some work building a way to climb up it. The gnolls were fighting for their lives as they knew they could not run.
The gnolls were doing more damage than should have because the roc seemed too crazed to defend itself. My father pointed out a few that were near a wagon. We move over and as this happen is when the gnolls seem to all pull out alchemist flasks and through on the roc. I lost it with grief to be honest with you. I just wanted to stop them. By the time it is over, the roc is dead and I am covered in the blood of the gnolls. My father was very saddened by this but does tell me I did well. I was very lucky. I was barely able to handle the sword that I used.
We check to find the one that looks to have fallen has landed on a few gnolls and is covered in a chain net with barbs in it. My father suspects the gnolls find the nest and used some way to sneak up. He speculates the roc rushed the gnolls that were up top and fell off. The other roc was likely the mate away hunting. There was a roc egg in the wagon. We brought it home though Father did not expect it to survive.
It did and hatched. We provided what we could and I tried to be a friend to it. My father told me something had happened though and the roc was severely unlikely to survive because it was not the size a roc should be even when born. I did not listen and bear a few scars of working with it. It has survived and lives near my home.
I was honest in that I do have a grudge with the gnolls. I have told you a personal story of why. My ability to survive though is tied to being what I am hired to do. I will not risk the safety of my employers or their items to satisfy this grudge. I would risk having to become a scavenger. I am willing to answer any questions you might have about hiring me.
" Your goal to see the Gnolls change seems quite noble Zahir. I wish I was an able enough swordsman to help you as my homeland is also marred by the buying and selling of men. I think we'll be able to trust Zahir to protect us on the road if we hire him eh Theodric? "
" Kelmarane is rumored to be haunted. I have not been inside of it. I just pass near it on my route between Ipeq and Solku. There are gnolls near there but that is normal being near the Brazen Peaks which you can see to the southeast and northeast. The territory is not so much rough as it is a location that dangers can hide in. Sand is always challenging but rough would be if we encounter a sandstorm. "
" Do sandstorms occur often Zahir? Are there any precautions we can take against them? "
" I do not spend what I do not have. I take my job very seriously whatever it may be. Whether just a courier or a guide and even at times a hunter, I work hard to make sure I do the work and get paid. I am a simple man. I will have a drink at times but no more than one. I avoid pesh and have no need for such things. The desert is my home and it is one that I can never disrespect in such a way. "
Felliped nods along appreciating the seriousness that Zahir seems to take in his work.
" It depends on the circumstances. Am I being hired as a guard and guide? I can not go against the law enforcers. I will defend you from them if they attack and you surrender. I see it different in the desert. It is most likely me being down myself if I am not stopping someone from attacking you. I will not kill unless necessary. I see no reason to expect this to happen but it is possible. I will defend your lives to the best of my ability. "
" Well it's really a little of both. We will need your expertise in the desert but neither of us are great fighters so if we are attacked on the road a strong sword arm would be helpful."
" Is there any other questions you have need answered? "" apart from sandstorms I have little else to ask. "
" I am curious on how well you are outfitted for a desert journey if I may inquire? "
" we have enough money I believe to purchase anything required before we leave. Camels, appropriate clothing, food and water. They're all on the list. "
" Ah yes, well Felliped, it is the nature of such things. As I have said, the desert is a mercurial and dangerous expanse. Between the hostile tribes, monstrous creatures, mirages and heat exhaustion all you can count on are your friends and the knowledge you bring with you. The desert nomads that wander the wastes can be useful allies. And as for the Gnolls… well some will disregard them as petty raiders and cowards. And this is true to a point; however pride is a dangerous virtue and caution can save your life. "
The excitement on Felliped's face drops into a worried and slightly nervous look. What am I doing out here. So much danger
" Still though, these are worse case examples. Over all the journey is a brief one, and if we are careful should be a relatively easy trip. "
A little relief manifests over Felliped's face along with a sigh. " a... Yes it's just a short trip, we'll be alright. " He says reassuring himself.
" Do you have any idea how many camels we will need? The number will depend on how many cultural artifacts and other items you are recovering about the town. After all, once we leave Ipeq it may be some time before we can obtain further mounts. "
" Only a couple of extra above what we need to carry food and water. After all most of the supplies will be gone when it's time to return and the extra space can be used to carry some of the artifacts. "
" Well my Flame Keeper used to say that he knew enough tales to sing a new one each night for a year and a day. The collection was called كتاب ألف ليلة وليلة or The Songs of the Flame. You see Felliped, my tribe’s history was passed verbally, since paper is so rare among the dunes. Once my… " Ali coughs and looks away for a moment. " Tribe was lost, I spent many years traveling the great desert capitals seeking as much information as I could about our history, trying to keep the memory of بأمين اللهب alive, and I have recorded each tale I have remembered or have recovered. "
"Truly Ali, you have done a great service to your tribe and all the peoples of Galarion. "
" I will say this Felliped, I have enough tales, that I could tell you a new one each night of the trip. And should I be hired, then tomorrow, I will tell you of Talib and the City of Brass... "
" Really! " Felliped turns to Theodric a wide smile on his face. As if to say 'come on let's hire him now!'. Then he turns back to Ali " That would be fantastic I'd love to learn these tales! "
Your goal to see the Gnolls change seems quite noble Zahir. I wish I was an able enough swordsman to help you as my homeland is also marred by the buying and selling of men. I think we'll be able to trust Zahir to protect us on the road if we hire him eh Theodric?
I do not know if gnolls can be changed. I expect that it would be hard. I do figure that some do find better paths as all races seem to have some that go against their nature. Thank you for the sentiment. Wish I was being noble but really just wish to see the change toward something less brutal.
Do sandstorms occur often Zahir? Are there any precautions we can take against them?
Sandstorms happen at any time. There are times it might be more likely but there is no way to predict.
Well it's really a little of both. We will need your expertise in the desert but neither of us are great fighters so if we are attacked on the road a strong sword arm would be helpful.
I can do both. I would expect 250 fulūs plus food and water per day except for days where fighting occurred and then I would expect 350 for those days. I am glad to have this discussion now as some do not think that way and refuse till they see danger. I expect the total to be less than 2 danir unless we meet with some trouble.
Apart from sandstorms I have little else to ask. We have enough money I believe to purchase anything required before we leave. Camels, appropriate clothing, food and water. They're all on the list
That is good. I would like to say that your work is of interest to me and hope to be chosen as your guide. I know my father would be glad I did this job as well. I will pray for your success even if I am not chosen.
She then spread her arms and turns around, offering a full view of her physique. " And you don't need to act like a pious priest or monk. I am comfortable with my body and proud of it. Some think my chest could be a bit bigger... I hear them talk. "
Her body is long, nearly six feet tall... long arms and broad shoulders of an archer. Slender and slightly curvy below a narrow waist.
" Anyone is free to look and admire, if they choose. I think you know the people I warn of. You do not seem to be them. "
Felliped looks down at his boots pale skin blushing furiously as Vonna shows herself off. Having spent the majority of his life in a library he's terribly uncomfortable in this situation.
|Vonna the Huntress|
Master Leroung, with all due respect... During your career as a Pathfinder you have seen and will see many things that your eyes should be averted from. My body isn't one of them.
A little relief manifests over Felliped's face along with a sigh. "a... Yes it's just a short trip, we'll be alright. " He says reassuring himself.
"You would be in capable hands, I assure you Felliped. I would say its safer to travel by caravan, but they do tend to attack attention, and I suspect that's something you wish to avoid." Ali winks at the Pathfinders"None the less, this is a moot point of course since none have traveled to Kelmarane years."
"Only a couple of extra above what we need to carry food and water. After all most of the supplies will be gone when it's time to return and the extra space can be used to carry some of the artifacts."
"A wise suggestion, and quite prudent. Water should not be a issue, since your companion can create it if so necessary. And even a town abandoned such as Kelmarane should have had a well, if we can locate it once we arrive."
"Really!" Felliped turns to Theodric a wide smile on his face. As if to say 'come on let's hire him now!'. Then he turns back to Ali "That would be fantastic I'd love to learn these tales!"
I would be happy to share the كتاب ألف ليلة وليلة, with you Felliped. And if your feeling generous, I would not mind hearing a few of your chronicles." Chuckling Ali face grows red for a moment. "As a child I was told many legends of my tribe. Occasionally traveling merchants would tell us for a passing news or rumors, but my favorite stories from outsiders were from the hero's of the Pathfinder Chronicles. I loved to hear of Godric the Red and the Legendary lost city of Zarumish or Sahira Longstrider and her hundred arrows." Looking around the table and seeing that it has been cleared of hummus and tea. Ali stands, claps his hands together in front of him, and bows shortly before Felliped and Theodric. "May the blessings of the four winds be upon you both, and may you always find water and shade. I will leave you now, to converse and make your decision if you wish to hire me. If you wish to seek me out, speak to Hamid at the Caravanners Guild. He will know how to reach me. It was a pleasure." Then like a sudden gust of wind across the dunes, Ali is gone.
A few tense seconds later, the remains of the brush in the courtyard are stirred about by the downdraft of huge wings, and the bird comes into view. It is mostly brown, with a ruff of white feathers around its shoulders; the neck and head, however, are pale and bare, with fleshy, bulbous growths. The eyes are yellow, and it bears a long, black, hooked beak the size of a falchion. Its immense wings nearly span the courtyard; they must be at least 30 feet from tip to tip. The body is the size of a camel. Dangling from its claws is the body of a young man, dirty and unmoving, but with no obvious injuries. Valik and Utarchus only catch a glimpse of the poor soul before the bird drops it into the body of the nest, out of view. It rummages in the woven branches for a few moments, as though searching for its eggs, and then shrieks angrily. Its wings arch above its back in a threatening posture, and the feathers on its body puff out, making it appear even larger. Its cruel eyes sweep the shadows.
8 Sarenith, 4711
Utarchus: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Geier: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Utarchus rolloff: 1d100 ⇒ 18
Geier rolloff: 1d100 ⇒ 36
(Geier doesn't act in surprise round)
Utarchus whips his longbow up to fire at the bird; the arrow flies true, and buries itself among the feathers of the bird's breast. Caught by surprise, the bird unleashes a deafening squawks of anger and alarm.
Valik is up. I don't think I ever said it, but Father Zastoran gave you four infusions after he came back from putting Elois to bed.
You scrambled down the bluffs on the far side of town and hid in some thorny brush until nightfall, then made your way across the valley, which is overgrown with some sort of tall cactus. Desperate for water, you managed to break open one of the cactuses with a rock, to drink the bitter liquid inside. Unbeknownst to you, the cactuses that fill the valley are the source of the narcotic pesh, and the effects of the sap were magnified by your already weakened condition. You spent the next day wandering deliriously through the hills. By the time the pesh had worn off, you had lost all sense of your location, and were thirstier than ever. You spent the day trying to escape from the maze of brambles, boulders, ridges and box canyons, to no avail, until you finally collapsed from thirst, heat, and exhaustion.
Still unconscious, you were picked up by the enormous geier this morning. You are currently gearless, unconscious, and at -3 hp but stable, lying in the geier's nest as Valik and Utarchus try to kill it or drive it away.
Ghostclaw leans back from the table running a furred hand through his tattered hair, "Nice to meet both of you Theodric and Felliped. It has been a most interesting discussion and I have no doubt we would have a very rewarding journey together. If you decide to engage my services please send word to Dahrehn. He knows how to get word to me. I wish you the best of luck in your decision."
Valik eyes the giant bird flapping in the courtyard as he drops a sling bullet into the cup of the sling and gets it spinning into a blurred whirring circle.
"Well, when they said that you would be big and ugly, I thought that they were exaggerating...here is hoping that you are as stupid as you are big."
Valik takes a step forward and launches the bullet at the bird, releasing the sling at the right point to send it zipping at the bird's head.
Zip! 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
damage 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
"Thank you so much for finding us. We shall consider all of our applicants and get back to you as soon as we have made a decision. How might we get in contact with you?
Looking around the table and seeing that it has been cleared of hummus and tea. Ali stands, claps his hands together in front of him, and bows shortly before Felliped and Theodric. "May the blessings of the four winds be upon you both, and may you always find water and shade. I will leave you now, to converse and make your decision if you wish to hire me. If you wish to seek me out, speak to Hamid at the Caravanners Guild. He will know how to reach me. It was a pleasure." Then like a sudden gust of wind across the dunes, Ali is gone.
Just a copy/paste of my last posting, but I wanted to follow up with your question Theodric
Vonna takes on a more business like and serious posture, offering some advice." Master Leroung, with all due respect... During your career as a Pathfinder you have seen and will see many things that your eyes should be averted from. My body isn't one of them. "
Felliped looks up into Vonna's eyes, looking a little hunted on having his, perhaps poor, behaviour pointed out. " I am sorry Vonna, I have spent most of my youth cloistered in one library or another and I sometimes become a little nervous around ladies such as yourself. "
" I can wait here or I will be at caravan square fountain "
" No problem, we will find you after we have discussed our options. " Felliped nods his head and shakes hands with Zahir if he offers his hand.
When Felliped explains his talents, Ghostclaw bares his teeth in a tight-lipped smile, " Good. I will do my best to keep us from any fights, but it never hurts to have someone who can handle themselves in an emergency. I would be happy to work with you on your swordplay on the road. Your talent with mechanics is good to hear. I do not have skills in that area and it is possible that the places you seek could be trapped. This fascination with knowledge is still new to me. It seems to be of great interest to many of you Pathfinders. "
" I think you will find there is plenty of room for improvement in my swordsmanship but if your happy to teach then I would do my best to learn. "
He pauses for a moment to ask, " How about lands you have traveled in? Will this be your first time in desert or highlands? "
Felliped looks a little uncomfortable at this question. He scratches his chin and he looks to the left of Ghostclaw rather than into his eyes. " Er, well actually this is the first time I've ever travelled outside of Chelliax. "
Ghostclaw leans back from the table running a furred hand through his tattered hair, " Nice to meet both of you Theodric and Felliped. It has been a most interesting discussion and I have no doubt we would have a very rewarding journey together. If you decide to engage my services please send word to Dahrehn. He knows how to get word to me. I wish you the best of luck in your decision. "
" It was a pleasure to meet you Ghostclaw. So very interesting thank you for offering your services. "
I would be honored to be your guide and if not then wish you success with your mission.
Zahir offers his hand and nods. After the handshake, Zahir sits down at the bar and orders a light meal to wait out the midday heat.
|Vonna the Huntress|
As far as you being nervous, I'd nearly call you a liar, Felliped Leroung. You've never met a lady like me. Then again, imagine how people I don't like feel... gnolls, bandits, corrupt officials, theiving merchants...
We're going to get along just fine. You just have to give us a chance. I don't disappoint, and from the looks of it... you don't either.
8 Sarenith, 4711
Others:Dullen,Asad, Travis,Dross all drop what they are doing and grab weapons. Keldon shouts to Podarn and Vodrave, then moves to AV-38, still out of view of Utarchus and Valik.
Valik's stone bounces off the bird's ugly skull with a crack. It shakes its head in pain and looks around for the source of the attack. It finally catches sight of Utarchus as he fires a second arrow, which lodges near the first in the creature's breast. Opening its beak in an angry hiss, it folds its wings and dashes through the archway at the mercenary, slashing ferociously with its beak. Utarchus ducks under the attack, and the bird's beak closes on air.
Valik is up. Note that continuing to use the sling will incur a -4 penalty for firing into melee. I will allow a charge from your current position if that's what you want to do.
"Blades against beak it is!" Valik thunders, dropping his sling and pack and drawing his scimitar, before moving across the courtyard towards the filthy bird.
Can we just consider that he wouldn't be wearing his backpack if they are fighting in the abbey? Valik knew he wouldn't be leaving for a while, so he would have had it off. I ask because without the pack, rations and waterskins he is back to a light load and the 30' move. It makes more sense to me.
8 Sarenith, 4711
Dross: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
Travis: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Keldon: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
Utarchus: free action to drop bow, move action to draw sword,
5ft step to AP-25
Longsword vs. Geier (flanking): 1d20 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 3 + 2 = 11; Damage: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Asad: double move to AV-24
Dross: double move to AH-36
Keldon: move to AU-32
Longbow vs. Geier (shooting into melee): 1d20 + 5 - 4 ⇒ (15) + 5 - 4 = 16; Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 1
The geier looks away from Utarchus as Valik yells, but not in time to dodge the slashing scimitar, which now flashes red with the blood of the giant bird. It turns its attention to this new threat, raising its wings in a threatening posture.
With the huge bird's back right in front of him, Utarchus drops his longbow and draws a longsword from his belt. He steps back a little, shaken by the size and ferocity of the geier, and then lunges at its back with his sword, but the long, stiff feathers take the force out of his blows.
The geier takes no notice, and snaps ferociously at Valik, catching one arm with its hooked beak and leaving a long, bloody gash. Valik -11 hp
Meanwhile, concerned shouts ring through the cloister walk. Some of the mercenaries and guards have arrived. An arrow streaks from the southern archway, fired by one of Almah's guards, and lodges in the bird's right wing.
Valik is up.
"Ahhh. Flames to you bird! Well she is good and distracted, hit her from behind!", Valik bellows, ducking under the snapping beak.
As the bird turns away to look at Utarchus, Valik dances forward, slicing at the bird's neck.
Slice, flank 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
The bird snaps its head up in time to evade the blow, and the scimitar slices through nothing but feathers.
8 Sarenith, 4711
Dross: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
Travis: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Keldon: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Utarchus:Longsword vs. Geier (flanking): 1d20 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 3 + 2 = 12; Damage: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
Asad: charge to AP-26Falchion vs. geier, (charge, 2-handed, power attack): 1d20 + 4 + 2 - 1 ⇒ (15) + 4 + 2 - 1 = 20; Damage: 1d6 + 3 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 + 3 = 10
Dross: double move to AH-36
Keldon: move to AU-32
Longbow vs. Geier (shooting into melee): 1d20 + 5 - 4 ⇒ (5) + 5 - 4 = 6; Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 2
Utarchus stabs at the bird's back again, but again his lingsword fails to penetrate its feathers.
The bird steps more out into the open, still facing Valik. It dodges his scimitar swipe, and immediately retaliates with a lightning-fast bite, which rakes across Valik's chest, cutting him deeply despite his armored coat. The mighty warrior falls to the ground, and the bird turns once more to Utarchus, hissing and threatening him with its beak wide open and bloody.
Utarchus quails before the huge bird, but from behind him, a roar sounds, and Asad rushes into the fray, wielding, like Valik, a scimitar purchased from Garavel's equipment stores. He swings the curved blade in a mighty overhand arc, which slices down the bird's muscular neck. Blood streams to the sandy courtyard floor, but the bird does not fall. The fight does seem to be going out of it, however.
Dross runs to Valik's fallen body, sliding to a stop in the dusty cleared garde. Careful to stay out of range of the bird's fearsome attacks, he rummages through Valik's belt pouches, muttering, "Hang in there, Valik... Now, where did you put those potions?"
Valik Stabilize DC 15: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Valik's breathing is erratic, and his blood continues to flow unstaunched. Valik -1 hp; current -6/21
Utarchus: 5-ft step to AO-26; Longsword vs. Geier (flanking): 1d20 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 3 + 2 = 9; Damage: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Dross: use infusion on Valik (3/4 remain); Cure Light Wounds: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Keldon:Longbow vs. Geier: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25; Crit Confirm: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21; Damage: 3d8 ⇒ (6, 2, 2) = 10
Travis and Utarchus each swing their blades at the geier, but its primary concern at this point seems to be its own safety, and their blades do not connect. With a final hiss, the bird steps back, then turns, raises its wings, and flies ponderously into the air. The guard steps into the open courtyard, takes careful aim with his longbow, and fires a parting shot at the bird. The shaft flies through the air, and buries itself deep in the bird's breast. It screeches in agony, the beats of its huge wings falter, and it begins to fall from the sky. Its momentum carries it over the eastern wall of the monastery, but a loud, sickening crunch from the rocky ground beyond confirms its fate.
The guard slings his bow over his shoulder. "Never hire a mercenary to do a trained soldier's work," he says smugly, then turns back to the southern archway. He can be heard saying, "The threat has been eliminated. Is the Ameera unharmed?"
"Bah! Stuck up prig!" Asad yells after him, "We did most of the work!"
As the other mercenaries gape in the direction of the bird's escape and make rude gestures at the back of the guard, Dross locates the pouch full of vials and pours one into Valik's limp mouth. The wounds on his arm and chest close and stops bleeding, though they remain red and angry. Valik +8 hp, current 2/21
Out of combat.
After a long debated discussion with Felliped, the two make their way through the city to the Caravanners' Guild. Though pretending to keep his hand near his falcatta, Theodric keeps his hands at his side, ensuring that he can feel his gold filled purse which he kept hidden in his robe, containing exactly 20gp.
"Hamid, I presume? I am Theodric, and this is my companion Felliped. We seek Ali Al'Za... Zarid. He should be expecting us. Could you point us in his direction, or perhaps summon him here for us?"
"The blessings of the pharaohs upon you my friends" Bellowed the fat merchant with sweat stains and grubby finders. "Yes, of course!" With a twinkle in his eye, Hamid sizes up the two pathfinders, first Theodric and then Felliped. "You must be the employers Ali spoke of. A good man, Ali, in his own way. Yes, yes, you won't be disappointed. Can I offer you some shade, perhaps a date or tea? Please come into my shop." Hamid yells into the back of the stall and a boy, no older then ten runs out. "My boy, go find Ali, he should be near the camel stalls. Go now, we have guests!" Turning back to the Pathfinders, Hamid gives a slightly too wide smile. "Come, let me show you my wares while we wait. Men of stature such as yourself will be sure to find something of interest..."
Fade to black
Striding into the stall, Ali removes his shoes and wipes his hands. "My friends, You have chosen to take me on as your guide? This is most excellent! walking up to Felliped, Ali takes in at a glance the trinkets and bobbles that are arrayed on Hamid's counter. "Felliped, I wouldn't buy that figurine... ivory right?" Looking closer at the statue, Ali sighs "It's palm ivory, not oliphant, practically worthless. Hamid, I appreciate you setting up these meetings for me, that's why I pay you. But please don't try to shear my employers. I don't mind you trying to sell them your wares, but show them the real stuff in the future, alright?" As if he were attempting to soften the rebuke Ali claps Hamid on both shoulders and gives him a kiss on first the right and then the left cheek. "Anyhow, the sun will be setting in a few hours, so we should get ready to head out. Its easier to travel by night when the air is cool. Chuckling at the old scoundrel, Ali fishes out a handful of silver. "Better luck next time my friend. I'll send word when I am in town next. Peace be upon you." Offering a short bow to the merchant, Ali places his boots back on, and steps out of the tent. As if remembering something Ali turns back to Hamid from the entrance of the tent. "Did you manage to locate any of the Song's like I asked you to while I was in town Hamid?"
Location: Temple of Sarenrae. Time: Present
Felliped lies in the birds nest his breath coming in short ragged gasps. His face is bright red with sun burn apart from the pale white scar across his forehead. His long hair is tangled and full of sand and the lower part of his face is covered with a thin wispy weeks growth of stubble.
And better armor! And caster support! That last one is lying unconscious in the nest, with more on the way, and I'll see what I can do about the armor. Hp, though, you'll just have to wait for.
Finally, after some negotiations, Hamiq agrees to a price substantially less than he had first asked, hands over the manuscript and bows to Ali. "Alas, my family shall eat less than I had hoped, but that is the life of a poor merchant," he says, gesturing sorrowfully to his belly. The protestation might have more effect if the man were less rotund. "Salaam, my friends, and good luck on your expedition!"
The scroll reads:
In the earliest days, when the gods shaped the heavens and the earth, light flowed through the spheres into the world and all things were new. The gods made the genies, the first people, then the dragons and all the creatures of the earth. The gods were very pleased with themselves.
Or rather, most of them were. Rovagug saw the creation of things, and at first he smiled, for he was newly risen as well. But then he gazed upon the land, and felt an itch to scratch the stones, to see what was inside a genie. His thousand feet must have claws of adamantine for a reason, and like a jackal with a bone, Rovagug tore and chewed and howled and spit, as if the earth were his to despoil.
The other gods looked on, and spoke the first divine anger. “How dare he destroy what we have made? Why does he kill and claw and break the shining harmonies of creation? We must stop him.”
The gods spoke to Rovagug of peace. He ignored them, and vomited forth the bones of a forgotten race.
The gods spoke to Rovagug of beauty and the harmony of new-made creatures. He ignored them, and tore open the sky with stones hurled from the heavens, setting fires across the world.
The gods tried to pull Rovagug away as he climbed to the heavens, clawing at the moon. He turned and snapped at their hands. His teeth ripped the robes of Sarenrae, and shattered the shield of Abadar, and devoured the weak among the gods’ servants.
The gods’ new rage made their former anger seem as nothing; they gathered their strength and fought Rovagug in a fury, and they were all cast down.
No fury can stand before wrath, and nothing can destroy destruction.
Knowledge (religion) DC 10:
Perhaps Hamid has a point, I have accepted his salt and water, it is poor of me as a guest to deny him the opportunity of profit, I shall have to make amends to him when I return next. Ali is at first abashed at his behavior, and then smiles in return as Hamid jests with him. "I wish all of the blessings of the four winds upon you my friend, and I will say prayer for each step I take along my journey for your continued prosperity. I promise keep a eye out for any passing travelers along the route, and let them know you are a always looking to barter. My thanks for your efforts on my behalf. I will send word when I have returned to Ipeq, peace be with you."
After bartering for the Song Ali examines it like a miser would covet gold. Knowledge (religion) 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
Edit: Whoooo! Nat 20!
"Yes, I remember this story. It was one of the first to be told by Shazathared upon her capture by the Efreeti Sultan. An excellent find Hamid, your right, the scroll work and imprinting are beautifully rendered. I have heard this song before, but never seen it printed so. It is a wonderful find. Thank you again."
Now, lets go see about those camels... Stepping out of the tent and into the busteling market Ali turned to his employers. "Come my friends, let us see how you are supplied for the trip."
I have started a tab on my character page, with all of the songs I will either collect or tell during our journey.