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DM Stephens Serpents Skull Campaign - Chp1:The Smugglers Shiv (Inactive)

Game Master terok

With the defeat of the dark Dryad and surviving many of the islands others challenges, the party is well on their way to becoming the Shiv's masters...only Ieana stands in their way...

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Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

Sling bullet that missed Nylithati: 1-50 destroyed or lost, 51-100 recovered. 1d100 ⇒ 2 Dangit

Male Human (Varisian) Cleric (Varisian Pilgrim archetype) 5

As the mother falls, so does Mihai into the depths of exhaustion. His efforts have taxed his spirit and soul, while his eyes have been ever marked by what he has witnessed.

Over the next day he spends much time in contemplation before the foul altar. After time has been spent to study what lies within the room, Mihai sees it desecrated and forever rendered unable to be used as an altar of benediction to Yserdius.

As talk turns to tactics Mihai cautions "The Red Mountain where the devil dwells must hold something both great and terrible for it to be the focus of such interest. I do not wish to work with the devil, nor the dark dryad either - but we must find out what else dwells within the mountain."

"I have to say I am eager to get back to civilization, but I have been quite intrigued by the Azlanti ruins we've encountered so far. Also... I understand quite intimately the craving for vengeance, and I would support any efforts in that regard. I do not think the devil or the dryad can be trusted or should be trusted. I also cannot help but believe some answers may be found on the corrupt islet."

Glancing around their new campsite, he also wonders aloud "I wonder how hard it would be to signal a passing vessel from here? Using the foundation of the previous lighthouse, well, this site was selected for construction for a reason."

Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

Anton chimes in. "Well, you all know what I think: killing the dark dryad and her creepy tree would rid the island of a perversion of nature, and get Chupe off our backs. We could stop watching the skies for death from above, and he might even help us find more ruins. Or Ieana... whatever she is. And... huh."

The clever halfling looks away thoughtfully, then looks back. "There's only one other person from the Jenivere that we've found any trace of: Alton Devers, whose rapier we found on the beach. And the Captain suspected him of being in love with Ieana, just like he was. What if she enchanted both, and ditched both once she used them to work the skiff, which wasn't easy? If he didn't wash up on the shore and get dragged away by eurypterids, then he was probably the silent one with the Captain. Either way, he's dead now; but it would solve a mystery or three."

Anton waves a hand to brush away the academic consideration. "But anyway, I've been thinking, and I don't see any point in trying to sneak up on someone with a mystical connection to the entire island, who could tell us that one other arrived at the same time as us. If we do it, then we need to do it in force and with speed. If any doubt that what I saw was true, then I will stay my hand long enough for them to touch her tree, and check whether what they feel matches what they see; but they'd better be ready to duck when it swings at them."

The predatory hunter grins. "So! This is my idea: we run up the hill and surround Aycenia. Whoever wants to test the illusion can carry all of our lamp oil bound together, and drop it at the base of the tree when they see that what I said was true. Then I'll toss my alchemist's fire at it, while they roll away from the carnivorous deciduous. How does that sound?"

For reference, it was noonish of the 2nd of Neth when Chupe gave us three more nights. (He later said that he'd give us more time, but only if you agree to kill her, as Anton related.) Now it's the evening of the 5th. Anton didn't mention that in-character, because he just assumed that everyone was keeping track of when the super-stealthy flying killing machine was going to start picking them off one-by-one.


You awaken the next morning at the lighthouse, your black blade laying next to you. You thought you remember it being in it's scabbard, but no matter...
It suddenly speaks to you in a female voice, Hello Corbrius. You probably have many questions for me... assumes you say hi and want to know "who" this is.
It is I, Larissia Landor. As to how I came to be in your sword, that was indeed an interesting story!
When I died I saw a path to the afterlife. But I also was draw to another door...the one in your sword. I knew I couldn't go to Pharasma yet, my work uncompleted so I went to the sword. When I came to the door another spirit greeted me. It was the original spirit in the sword, waiting for your magic to grow powerful enough to allow it to emerge. But the soul was tired and alone. It has been in the blade for many centuries and was ready to move on. So it made a bargain with me, I would become one with the blade and allow it to go free, to go to the after life.
So now I am here with you, I hope you are not dissappointed?

Male Human Magus 4(Bladebound)
Asilande +9(1d6+4/18-20x2), Dagger +6 (1d4+2/19-20x2), Longbw +7 (1d6/20x3)
CL 4 +6 melee, +6 ranged, Conc +9
Init+3, Perc+2,AC19/14/15 HP 37,Frt+5,Will+4,Ref+4,Spd 30',CMB+5,CMD 19,Str 14, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10

Corbius awakens the next morning and stretches. Looking over at his unsheathed rapier he looks momentarily confused. Shrugging his shoulders he reaches for the weapon to sheathe it. As his hand grasps it looks up suddenly looking around as if someone had walked up unannounced. Hello, Corbius sounds confused and surprised.

After a brief pause.. Disappointed? Not at all! I am sorry I failed you Larrissa. It was my job to ensure you were safe and I let you die. Yet you still chose to return to us. Corbius looks closely at his rapier his hands cradling the blade as if it were some long lost relic. I have so much to ask.. Do you know what has been happening? Did you know about Ieana? Pausing momentarily as if just realizing something. Does this mean you can help me now?

Male Human 5th level Druid
Init +1 Perception +11 AC 20 Tch 13 FF 19 HP 50 Fort+6(+7 vs disease) Ref+2 Will+7 Spd 20' CMB +8 CMD 21 Acro-2*Climb+6*Esc Art-2*Spellcraft+5 Stealth-2*Swim +6 ACP -2 (shield)


Nim comments to Anton and Aedalis, I saw his contributions... he summoned a hound that downed the one ghoul and he placed a bolt in the face of another! Nim smiles his wolfish grin.

Luck did not favour one side over the other if you ask me... we reaped what we sowed. We need to be more careful in the future... some scouting and planning is definitely a good idea.

As Corb spoke, Nim shook his head. Who is to say that if you entered the water things would have turned out for the better? Especially for you!

As Nim listens to the back and forth of opinions he offers:

@ Sasha I would like some answers from her. She has caused the death of many and should answer for it.

@ Gelik Neither the wood witch or the devil is an ally... nor will they likely be.

@ Ishirou The Red Devil will get what he deserves...

@ Aerys I have no quarry with the dark dryad, if that is what she is. The only reason we encountered her is because of the red devil's meddling... I care not if I ever see her again.

@ Jask The wood witch has promised us... nothing... and the devil's "offer"? Wasn't. I don't respond well to threats... And I don't trust either.

@ Pezcock Nim nods and adds, It is likely we need not fear her if we avoid her hill. Give her a wide berth... Nim drifts off into contemplation before adding, Of course, if her bonded tree is sentient... and mobile... that might mean we have more to worry about. Avoiding her hill may not be the defence we believe it to be.

@ Corb I suspect we will find Ieana at some other Azlanti ruins upon the island. Most likely wherever this "Tide Stone" lies. We need to continue our explorations of the island to find it... the mountain devil be damned! I repeat what I said earlier... it is telling to me at least, that the thing has not mentioned Ieana to us before. It surely knew of her presence here on the island and here in the cannibal's camp. As such, I submit they are likely working together. Perhaps Ieana has the magic to confound the senses and make things appear other than they actually are, even if the devil does not... Nim glances at Anton. We are being manipulated for certain. By whom, and to what end, is still to be determined. I care not to waste more time and effort in useless conjecture. We should continue our explorations...

Do you think it wise that we sneak off to look for the treasure? With all that is going on?

@ Mihai and Tragershen Nim nods along with both. Agreed on all counts.

@ Anton Nim laughs loudly. Sounds like madness if you ask me. We do the devil's bidding? Possibly ridding the island of a dark dryad, but also possibly murdering an innocent creature or creatures? Most likely starting a conflagration we cannot control? On an island we have no way of escaping currently... While risking being the latest meal of a carnivorous tree if what you have seen turns out to be true... Nim looks more serious. Who do you suppose is foolish enough to make this suicidal run? I have no interest in, or quarrel with, the dryad... whether she be a good or evil creature of the world. It is irrelevant to me. She has not brought harm to us, nor threatened to do so. I vote to ignore her until that changes... The devil and Ieana are more pressing issues if you ask me.

Nim does his best to ignore the fellow speaking to his sword. I assume the rest of us cannot hear his sword speaking... :)

No the sword speaks out loud in common, although I imagined you were not all sleeping in the same room. Maybe a bad assumption with the Red Devil threatening you so you do hear the sword speaking and it sounds like Larissia Landor so feel free to open the spoiler.

No one failed me Corbrius, although I feel like I failed you by bringing you all here and then dying. I have heard what has been going on all along and finally your connection has grown strong enough for your magic to allow me to act.
I am here to help you Corbrius. I can see and hear through you...through the sword. I can strengthen your innate magic for a time and help to watch over you. Although I remember little of my past, the longer we stay connected the more I will remember and the more I may be able to help you, when you so wish.

She is describing her powers in her way but they are the standard powers that a black blade has.


One thing to keep in mind that if Acyienda is a Dark Dryad, it is the height of the perversion of nature. A once protector of nature now a dark force that is bent on power and cannibalism. That is if she is one.

The Dryad did offer you something in return for stopping what is on the gray island...information about the island and what is going on.

Male Human 5th level Druid
Init +1 Perception +11 AC 20 Tch 13 FF 19 HP 50 Fort+6(+7 vs disease) Ref+2 Will+7 Spd 20' CMB +8 CMD 21 Acro-2*Climb+6*Esc Art-2*Spellcraft+5 Stealth-2*Swim +6 ACP -2 (shield)

Quiet PBP is quiet. :(

Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

5th of Neth (evening)

Anton shrugs at Nim's criticism. "Or test the illusion by grabbing the dryad instead, and just throw the oil at the tree if she's hag-like to the touch. I stand by fire as a valid tactic, since these jungle plants -- heavy as they are with water from daily rains -- are unlikely to allow it to spread much. But I appreciate your help refining the plan, even though you oppose it, since we're going to have to do SOMETHING."

The serious halfling looks around at all of the others. "If you don't agree to kill the wood witch, then we're going to have to stay together from now on, starting immediately. Maybe you're confident in your strength, Nim; but while I'm good at what I do, I'm also very light. If the chupacabra found me by myself, it could carry me off with ease, as it's already demonstrated. And who's to say that I'm its limit?"

"One way or another, we're going to have to figure out some way of dealing with the devil, now that our deadline is up; because I refuse to live in constant fear of hearing a wing cutting through air, like some kind of... prey." At the last word, the skilled hunter's face twists and his voice drips with disgust.

Edited because I just re-discovered this conversation. Also, just to be clear: Larissia starts talking from Corbrius's rapier on the morning of the 6th, after a day spent exploring the caverns and a night spent arguing over the next thing to do?

Male Human 5th level Druid
Init +1 Perception +11 AC 20 Tch 13 FF 19 HP 50 Fort+6(+7 vs disease) Ref+2 Will+7 Spd 20' CMB +8 CMD 21 Acro-2*Climb+6*Esc Art-2*Spellcraft+5 Stealth-2*Swim +6 ACP -2 (shield)

If you are hell bent on taking on the dark dryad... wood witch... whatever it may be, I would suggest we do some more investigating. Scouting or what not to determine if what you think is true is actually that. Nim looks a little confused himself at what he just said.

Recomposing himself he continues, What I mean to say is that before we go flinging fiery death about, we should try and determine what the truth really is. Whether we talk to her again. Spy on her some more. DO something that we initiate that doesn't involve the mountain devil in some way.

We just learned a lesson about thinking and planning before we act... do we wish to make the same mistake so soon?

A few things to keep in mind... the devil fears the dryad for some reason. And the dryad seems utterly unconcerned that the devil plots her destruction. If we are on the dryad's hill, we should at least have nothing to fear from the devil. Assuming they aren't working together... Nim can't help but argue against himself. The situation being so mysterious and complex.

Merely grabbing her or the tree may not reveal everything as you hope. Powerful enough illusions can fool even the most skeptical of minds. And that is assuming she isn't capable of employing transmutation magic and actually takes on a new form.

Nim falls silent for just a moment before adding, We could employ our own illusion magic, or possibly use a summoned creature, to trick the dryad into revealing her true nature... if she is indeed fallen. A summoned horse or woodland creature, to bait her into revealing her true self. And if it comes to be that she has turned her back on nature and life, I will help you kill her. Or kill the tree first and hope the act restores her mind.

A summoned animal would also provide the means to get your little fire bomb to the tree with limited risk to one of us...

Nim shakes his head and sighs, Talk is talk, but in the end we have three choices really. Confront the mountain devil. Confront the dryad. Or go to the grey island. Four is you include ignore them all and go after Ieana.

Having said more than he intended, Nim looks to the others for their responses and own ideas.

Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

Anton nods gleefully at Nim's suggestions. "Yes! Those are all excellent points! So now I must return the favor. What if I'm wrong, and it would be better to take on Chupe instead? There are at least two ways that might be the case: one if I was fooled somehow, and Aycenia is no monster; another if what I saw was true, but Chupe is the easier monster to defeat. So how would we do that?"

"The obvious first problem is that he can fly. Since Mihai perceived her deception, even Aycenia doesn't think it would be as easy as she tried to make it sound, to just throw a net over him. Probably because of his strength; he could just tear it."

"What if we set an ambush? We have lots of rope. Maybe we could catch him by surprise, and someone could jump on him and try and hold him still while we bind his wings. Two other people could be tying heavy stones to his legs at the same time. Then we would just all beat on him while Wice tries to hamstring him, as wolves instinctively do."

The little outdoorsman scrunches up his face pensively. "Honestly, I think that would be incredibly risky. But for some reason, now that you're adding to the plan to defeat Aycenia, and not just criticizing it, it's easier for me to see flaws in it; weird, huh? So here's a doozy: if she can put Chupe to sleep, then surely she could do the same to us. How do we counter that? Aside from just bringing everybody, and hoping that enough remain awake to win."

Anton has absorbed so much from observing everyone else talking about magic and working spells (including sleep), that he now has a massive +3 to Spellcraft. (Due to trading the class skill for Sleight of Hand, to fit the trapper archetype better.) So he actually knows what he's talking about! :D

HP 39/30, AC- 11 (15 MA) T- 11 FF- 10 (14MA), CMD- 12, F +6, R +4, W +7, P +7, In +5

Not having the same emotional investment the others had to either Ieana or Larissia, Aedalis kept his distance and wrote quietly in his journal, seeking time to gather his own thoughts on the current situation. His vast intellect had been swiftly picking up Elven from Tragershen in the evenings the two studied together and the Warlock now felt he had a decent grasp of the tongue; enough to get by for now.

The close fight with the "Mother" had shaken Aedalis more than he cared to admit. Without Mihai's continual healing, he would have crumpled in the fight against her. The solution was obvious; Aedalis would need to redouble his recent efforts studying the secrets of the school of Necromancy. A prayer to Mihai's particularly favoured deity would not go amiss either.

Male Human Magus 4(Bladebound)
Asilande +9(1d6+4/18-20x2), Dagger +6 (1d4+2/19-20x2), Longbw +7 (1d6/20x3)
CL 4 +6 melee, +6 ranged, Conc +9
Init+3, Perc+2,AC19/14/15 HP 37,Frt+5,Will+4,Ref+4,Spd 30',CMB+5,CMD 19,Str 14, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10

True it is likely not the best time to go. I doubt there will ever truly be a good time to go treasure hunting.

However, maybe it is a hidden Azlanti ruin containing ancient artifacts. The likes of which could help us deal with the devil or better yet get us off this accursed island. We know there are more ruins here maybe it will lead us to one.


After the defeat of Mother and her minions, Tragershen will pull Jask aside for a quick word.

"During the fighting below, I must confess I felt scattered, unfocused. I cannot help but believe that I may have been more effective had I only had myself more collected during the incident. I have not always been this way. Years ago I was accomplished, composed, and indeed arrogant to a fault. It left me vulnerable and I paid the price for it. I lost everything."

The elf pauses for a moment, the faraway look in his eyes betraying his reflections on the past. "Before you had mentioned a mantra you could share that may help me focus. Do you think you could teach me? Not only may it aid me in regaining my arcane prowess, but perhaps it will aid in other significant ways as well."

Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

5th of Neth, evening

"Oh oh oh!" Anton snaps his fingers. "Slapping people wakes them up, right? And I'd guess that most of the people here, including me and excluding a few, have earned a slap over SOMEthing. So we just have everyone focus on waking people up, aside from those focused on torching the tree -- and make sure that others are ready to take the fire starters' places if necessary. Or maybe to wake up the fire starters? Yes, that would probably be better in the long run."

Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

Aww, man! We totally missed Jestercap on the 27th of Lamashan!

Umm. But we actually have a gnome with us, so maybe that's for the best...

Anton Green wrote:

5th of Neth, evening

"Oh oh oh!" Anton snaps his fingers. "Slapping people wakes them up, right?

"Perhaps a slap, but a decent jostling would likely do the trick as well. And that could be done with a foot without dropping your weapons or, more importantly, your guard."

In addition to looking for time to spend with Jask, Tragershen will try to examine the lighthouse remains for a way that they may be able to use it to their advantage, perhaps to signal passing ships.


You have been a good friend.
It is an ancient, secret ritual Tragershen, but yes I will teach it to you. We should start tonight. It will take several weeks to fully learn it but when you do you will be better equipped to cast spells, particularly under duress!

After the discussion ends Jask invites you to go off to one of the tower rooms, away from distractions and start working on the ritual.

You discuss much over the night but accomplish little. Anton leans towards removing the Wood Witch threat, if it is indeed one.
Nim seems to lean towards dealing with the mountain Devil or Ieanna if you can find her.
Mihai seems to lean towards going over to the Red Mountain.
Aedalis remains silent as does Tragershen and Corbrius.

There seems little consensus in the group, you hope that maybe morning will clear your minds and you can figure out the way forward.

That night there is an odd rumbling over the island. It is enough to wake you all and is then accompanied by a huge lightning show that keeps you awake for a short time before stopping. the odd thing is that there is no storm that preceeds or follows the noise and lightning.

The next morning when you leave the light house you find a Rhamphorhynchus, a small flying dinosaur, staring intently at you. Something is very odd about it and the group slowly gathers to talk about it.
It seemed to be waiting patiently until Anton came out of the soon as he does it delivers a message a small parchment that falls into his flys off as soon as it delivers it's message. It is written in rough common...

The gray island continues to try and spread it's unnaturalness. I cannot move, cannot fight the filth that wants to grow onto the main part of the island. With each day whatever is causing this grows stonger.
I implore you, go to the island, find the source of the darkness and destroy it before it grows so strong that nothing can stop it and it consumes us all.
In return I will tell you where you can find the other creature from your ship, someone you probably seek. I know other things as well I can share, but I wonder if this is what you really want?
Go there and return to me for your reward!


You complete her novel, the book that Aerys wrote called the Abendego Cantos.
You find that you are inspired by it. The story she tells, obviously based upon some personal experiences from how well you know her, teaches you more about yourself than you could have imagined. It is well written and contains compelling themes of the strength of personality against incalculable odds.
You feel refreshed and ready to meet any challenge that comes your way, nothing can stop you now!
Feat Gained:
"Strength of Personality"
You are more resistant to mental effects and can inspire yourself or others to action.
Benefit: You gain a permanent +2 bonus to Will saves vs. all Compulsion/Enchantment saving throws.
Once per day you can inspire yourself or one other person with words of inspiration as a free action as per the bard ability Inspire Courage. This effect last for 5 rounds and your character level counts as your bard level for the effect.

Let me know what you think of your new power!

Male Human 5th level Druid
Init +1 Perception +11 AC 20 Tch 13 FF 19 HP 50 Fort+6(+7 vs disease) Ref+2 Will+7 Spd 20' CMB +8 CMD 21 Acro-2*Climb+6*Esc Art-2*Spellcraft+5 Stealth-2*Swim +6 ACP -2 (shield)

Nim casts a long hard gaze at the diminutive ranger before putting voice to his question. Why is it that all the creatures of this island plead with you for attention? Do they think they can influence you? And through you, us? The rising irritation in his tone is obvious...

Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

6th of Neth, morning

Anton raises his eyebrows at Nim's insinuation. "Setting aside the fact that most of the creatures of this island try to eat me, perhaps the more intelligent ones simply perceive that I'm practical. Which means that I try not to let old beliefs keep me from dealing realistically with new info."

The verbose halfling continues. "Speaking of which, combined with last night's unnatural storm, I've changed my mind. Perhaps Aedalis was right about exploring the grey island first, aside from us being diverted by the cannibals' kidnappings."

Anton looks around at the others intently. "Sure, we've learned more since then. But whatever scares the dryad that Chupe can't defeat, is possibly the biggest threat medium-term. (I'm still worried about Ieana's intent long-term.) I wanted to be efficient, and get Chupe off our back by eliminating a perversion of nature. I don't think that we have that luxury anymore."

The analytical ranger gestures, putting forth his right hand palm-up. "So we try to avoid, delay, or destroy the short-term threat -- namely Chupe -- deal with the island, and hope that Ieana takes some time finding those stones and figuring out how to use them." He puts his hand back down at his side. "Aycenia can wait until we have the luxury of hunting down mere abominations that aren't currently threatening us. So let's talk about the problems with this plan."

Anton begins ticking them off. "We need a way to keep from being picked off one-by-one by Chupe, if we ignore the wood witch. So I guess we all stick together, no one left behind this time. For the first night, we can go to the magic lab, and take another shot at fixing the mechanism, so that at least he has to come through a door. Then later, if we have to camp outside, we can weave a web of twine attached to rattly things so that he can't sneak up on our watch."

"Oh! And maybe if we're all ready to jump him as soon as he appears, we can use those chains that were on Jask! How does that sound so far?"

Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

DM Stephen:
I like it! Flavorful, fun -- I'm already brainstorming how to roleplay it -- and it seems balanced as far as I can tell. But I'm starting to crash, so it could be a day or three before I get it updated in my character sheet.

DM Only:

Surprise Round:
perception Nim 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
perception Anton 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (7) + 12 = 19
perception Aedalis1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
perception Tragershen 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
perception Corbrius 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (17) + 0 = 17
perception Mihai1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
vs stealth 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (12) + 17 = 29

A rough but familiar voice calls out to you from above...the Red Mountain appears he has been watching you already.

I had ttthought he wasss one I could deal with from your group. I ssshowed him her true nature...sssshowed him what sssshe wasss capable of.
But you ignore risssk your livesss. Go run her errand, I will not ssstop you or interfere. Know that when you try to claim your reward ssshe will betray you. If you can ssstop what isss on the isssland you will threaten her asss well. I will be watching, will come for my help in time. I alssso know where the woman isss. The one from the ssship and could tell you where ssshe isss. I would keep to my word

Sense Motive DC 10:
At least it believes it is telling the truth.

You can act if you wish and we can go into initiative but otherwise Chupe flies off immediately after this.

Perception DC20:

The Red Devil seems to have some obvious wounds on his body, as if he fought something.

Male Human 5th level Druid
Init +1 Perception +11 AC 20 Tch 13 FF 19 HP 50 Fort+6(+7 vs disease) Ref+2 Will+7 Spd 20' CMB +8 CMD 21 Acro-2*Climb+6*Esc Art-2*Spellcraft+5 Stealth-2*Swim +6 ACP -2 (shield)

Before the Mountain devil appears...

Nim fires back at Anton, Practical? I would submit indecisive or lacking in conviction. You change your mind so often I cannot keep straight what it is you wish to do any given moment. And apparently the natives have figured this out. They know the latest petition to be heard by you... is the one you will take action upon...

Aedalis is right!? I have been trying to go to the grey island from the moment we saw it. I do not have to be bidden by the dryad or anyone else to go there.

And by what logic do you assign the unnatural storms of last night to the influence of the grey island? Given what we witnessed in the caverns below, images of ancient island dwellers using monolithic towers of stone to control the tides... and calling down flaming bolts of lightning from the stars, I would say that Ieana has figured things out already.

I would say that Ieana and the grey island are our biggest concerns at the moment. The devil and the dryad can be dealt with when the time comes. If they wish to press the issue, then the decision will be made for us. Since we do not know where Ieana, or the monoliths are currently, I say we travel to the grey island. By going there, we may resolve the others in turn.

Nim shakes his head at Anton's plan the "jump" the devil. While Nim thinks that with enough time to get magical enhancements in place, he might have a chance at wrestling the thing to the ground... it doesn't seem to him to be as easy as Anton believes. How big is the chupacabra... in particular, when compared to Nim. Does it appear stronger than Nim? :)


Nim whirls on the sound of the devil's distinctive voice, his grip tightening upon his trusty spear in anticipation of throwing. His other hand reflexively plucks a bit of holly from within his clothing...

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22

As the devil speaks, Nim listens and believes the devil speaks the truth, at least as it knows it. He also notices the thing seems to have recently been in a fight. Putting things together Nim remarks, I do believe you know where our "friend" Ieana is... I see she has left a few marks upon your flesh. Did you give as well as you received? A mocking tone is subtle but present in Nim's last statement...

Initiative (if required): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18

EDIT: I guess I should update Nim to level 3 now. :)

Yes sorry, I reviewed the level changes from the group yesterday and am okay with them, go ahead and update your character to 3. You are 3rd when this occurs.

The Devil snarls at you, maybe you hit a sore responds with anger in it's voice as it lifts off, Go to your doom then, I will find another way to kill the witch after you become her next meal!

The creature appears to be about 6-7 feet tall, it is usually not completely up-right. Maybe as strong or stonger than you with large claws and fangs.
As Aedalis mentioned, they are powerful physically but with no real magical abilities. You know it moves quickly as well.

Male Human 5th level Druid
Init +1 Perception +11 AC 20 Tch 13 FF 19 HP 50 Fort+6(+7 vs disease) Ref+2 Will+7 Spd 20' CMB +8 CMD 21 Acro-2*Climb+6*Esc Art-2*Spellcraft+5 Stealth-2*Swim +6 ACP -2 (shield)

Without taking his eyes off of the chupacabra, Nim comments to Anton under his breath, You should ask him if he wishes to drop your fire bomb on the dryad... he has the skills... and the motive it appears...

Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Perception: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (16) + 14 = 30

Sense Motive 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (10) + 0 = 10
Perception 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5

To the Red Mountain Devil, either as it flies off or if it pauses long enough to give him a chance to say it, Tragershen will say ”Bear with us. We continue to investigate to understand the dynamics here, and we have reason enough to believe she is a menace that needs to be dealt with. We will, however, do so in our time and our way. You have survived co-existence with it this long, would a matter of additional days truly be so critical?”

After the monster has left the group, Tragershen will address them:
"I am still inclined to investigate the island that the dryad fears so much. It may give us some deeper answers, and further arm ourselves against her.”

”I also have a concern about the chambers below. Can we be certain the threat is at an end? Perhaps there is a danger that more ghouls may emerge if we haven’t dealt with the source of them. I think we should make a careful examination and see to the dismantling of the altar we saw to the extent we are able.”

Basically, I’m suggesting we take 20 to search the caves as a group, and desecrate the temple below to the best of our ability. I know we don’t have the means to consecrate the ground, but if we can head off more undead crawling up from down there somehow, we could make this village a viable base for us.

Male Human 5th level Druid
Init +1 Perception +11 AC 20 Tch 13 FF 19 HP 50 Fort+6(+7 vs disease) Ref+2 Will+7 Spd 20' CMB +8 CMD 21 Acro-2*Climb+6*Esc Art-2*Spellcraft+5 Stealth-2*Swim +6 ACP -2 (shield)

In the interest of moving things forward... a decision needs to be made. Since I am posting... ;)

After the devil flies off Nim remarks, Well that settles it. We go to the grey island. We determine what is happening and stop it if we can. After that, we can visit the dryad... and either learn the devil has tricked us... whereby she can then help us find Ieana and we kill the devil the next time we meet... or we find out he speaks the truth of the wood witch and we kill her, and the devil tells us where to find Ieana. Either way... we learn the truth and deal with each in turn, culminating with hunting down the one responsible for stranding most of us here...

Nim nods in agreement with Tragershen before responding, If you think the delay is wise...

Re-search the caves and destroy the alter... then go to the grey island... If things go wrong? Blame me. :)

If you're confident the earlier search covered it, great. If we can pull apart the altar, I'd feel better. With all of the undead on this island, there must be a source or sources, and somehow I think this cave complex may be it, or be one of them.

And Nim, we don't blame the person who suggested it, we blame it on someone who didn't survive and wasn't there to defend themselves, or we blame Gelik. When all else fails, blame a gnome.

Male Human 5th level Druid
Init +1 Perception +11 AC 20 Tch 13 FF 19 HP 50 Fort+6(+7 vs disease) Ref+2 Will+7 Spd 20' CMB +8 CMD 21 Acro-2*Climb+6*Esc Art-2*Spellcraft+5 Stealth-2*Swim +6 ACP -2 (shield)
Tragershen wrote:
When all else fails, blame a gnome.

Works for me! ;)

If there aren't any around can be substitute a halfling? :D

Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

Yay! I have some time to post! 8) (We're playing Scrabble on my bro-in-law's tablet.)

Niɱ wrote:
Before the Mountain devil appears...

Anton rolls his eyes at Nim's all-too-familiar rudeness. "I'm just starting to learn about magic. But your reasoning about what caused the lightning is sound," he replies testily.

Niɱ wrote:
Without taking his eyes off of the chupacabra, Nim comments to Anton under his breath, You should ask him if he wishes to drop your fire bomb on the dryad... he has the skills... and the motive it appears...

Anton shakes his head and mutters back. "You're the magicians. If you all think that I could've been deceived, then I'd want to test the dryad's illusion first."

Niɱ wrote:
Either way... we learn the truth and deal with each in turn, culminating with hunting down the one responsible for stranding most of us here...

Anton nods. "Sounds good! I think we have a plan." Thank Desna...

Tragershen wrote:
If you're confident the earlier search covered it, great. If we can pull apart the altar, I'd feel better. With all of the undead on this island, there must be a source or sources, and somehow I think this cave complex may be it, or be one of them.

I think that we basically did both of those already, here and here.

Niɱ wrote:
If there aren't any around can be substitute a halfling? :D


Male Human 5th level Druid
Init +1 Perception +11 AC 20 Tch 13 FF 19 HP 50 Fort+6(+7 vs disease) Ref+2 Will+7 Spd 20' CMB +8 CMD 21 Acro-2*Climb+6*Esc Art-2*Spellcraft+5 Stealth-2*Swim +6 ACP -2 (shield)

Seems they were indeed... off to the grey island it is then! :)

HP 39/30, AC- 11 (15 MA) T- 11 FF- 10 (14MA), CMD- 12, F +6, R +4, W +7, P +7, In +5

Sorry guys, team building weekend stole me and my time. Aedalis is strongly in favor of going to the Grey Island; there is not much harm in playing both sides until we get more information.

Stay tuned, I will have the intro to the Gray Island up tonight. No time over the weekend.

Male Human (Varisian) Cleric (Varisian Pilgrim archetype) 5

Mihai looks weary as the both breadth and tightening constriction of their choices has choked their path. However the choice to look to the grey island... at least for their own purposes, does not sit ill with him and he is at peace with the choice.

DM Only:

Encounter chance dawn 1d100 ⇒ 54
Encounter chance noon 1d100 ⇒ 47
Encounter chance dusk 1d100 ⇒ 49
Encounter chance midnight 1d100 ⇒ 73
Disease chance Nim 1d100 ⇒ 78
Disease chance Anton 1d100 ⇒ 76
Disease chance Mihai 1d100 ⇒ 43
Disease chance Tragershen 1d100 ⇒ 78
Disease chance Corbrius 1d100 ⇒ 67
Disease chance Aedalis 1d100 ⇒ 35
Disease chance Aerys 1d100 ⇒ 43
Disease chance Gelik 1d100 ⇒ 95
Disease chance Ishirou 1d100 ⇒ 57
Disease chance Jask 1d100 ⇒ 30
Disease chance Sasha 1d100 ⇒ 58

5th of Neth

After some discussion that morning you make a final decision to follow all of the things on the Shiv that seems to point to the mysterious Gray Isle. You prepare you gear and supplies for the overland trek.
The day is fairly uneventful, you are pounded by heavy afternoon rains but you keep to the trail making good time.
You think that it may be best to hide in Pezcock's smelly crab as it is probably just a short distance from the closest point to the Gray Isle and fairly safe.
It is as smelly as you remember it and by the morning everyone smells like crabs.

6th of Neth

You arrive at the closest landpoint to the Isle and notice that you are in luck, it is low tide. There is another small island that you can hop to and use as a landbridge to make your way to it.
This is the closest you have been to it and it indeed looks odd, maybe even a little different than you remember. The Isle can barely be seen by an odd fog that seems to have popped up around it. The wind blows fairly steady and at times you can see it more clearly than others but the fog still seems to emanate from the odd island.
It is dangerous going across the low tide area due to how slick it is but you make to the edge of the Gray Isle.
The stench from the island is palpable. It smells a little like spoiled meat. You step onto is shore and the ground it odd, almost spongy in its feel. The smell seems to be emanating from the Gray fungus that is growing everywhere on the island. You bend over and touch the fungus. Although it doesn't burn you, you get the feeling that prolonged contact with it on raw flesh would not be pleasant.
As far as you can tell, the gray fungus is also the cause of the fog. Now that you are on top of it, it seems to be emitting a gas that resembles fog. You thought the island was covered with trees, but you quickly fid out that the trees are in fact foul gray stalks of fibrous fungus, growing up into the air almost like stalagmites in a cave.
It is hard to see more than about 25 feet in front of you, but every once in a while a strong wind allows you to pick out a large hill towards the center of the Isle.
You decide to move in that direction, hoping that the Isle is small enough that you don't get lost as you walk through the unnaturally spongy ground.
The last thing of note is that there is no sound at all on the island except for the squelching of your boots in the fungus...

DC 20 Knowledge dungeoneering or nature:

You recognize similarities to various strains of fungi and mushrooms that normally grow in the upper reaches of the Darklands, yet none of the fungal growths on the Gray Island have caps like proper mushrooms. The fungus tends to wriggle and ripple even when here’s no breeze to stir its filaments and dangling sheets. The fungus is foul-smelling and you guess could prove relatively poisonous if eaten.
You are still struggling to understand though how it is thriving here though...

Anything you want to do or just push on? Will work on the map tomorrow of the island landmarks so far.

Male Human (Varisian) Cleric (Varisian Pilgrim archetype) 5

Mihai regards the fungus spires with grim resolve... No wonder the dark dryad wishes to remove the threat of the grey island... the fungus seems to extinguish all it touches and leave only itself in it's wake. ... before turning to his more learned companions to see if they are able to ken more detail after coming so close.

Male Human 5th level Druid
Init +1 Perception +11 AC 20 Tch 13 FF 19 HP 50 Fort+6(+7 vs disease) Ref+2 Will+7 Spd 20' CMB +8 CMD 21 Acro-2*Climb+6*Esc Art-2*Spellcraft+5 Stealth-2*Swim +6 ACP -2 (shield)

Nim's face is expressionless as he examines the fungus closely...
Knowledge (nature): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22
...and after watching the fungi wriggle and ripple even though no wind propels them, he states, This fungus seems to share similarities with strains found within the perpetual darkness of the upper Darklands... He pauses before continuing, The lack of proper mushroom caps is a curiosity to be sure, but not as puzzling as to how it is thriving here on the surface. It should not be surviving here at all, let alone flourishing. It must have a non standard method of reproduction. Or assistance of some kind. Perhaps it has been introduced to this environment by something... or someone. Someone to nurture it perhaps? It is unnatural to be certain.

Nim stands fully upright, gripping his spear more tightly and scanning the surroundings looking for anything else out of the ordinary. Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27

We should continue our investigations. Determine the source, if it has one. If this spreads to the main island there is no telling how fast it will spread. It could mean own survival may be threatened before we find a way to secure our rescue...

Nim sniffs the foul smelling air before adding, I am sure it goes without saying... but... it would likely prove quite unwise to ingest any of it.

Nim is ready to press on...

Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

Knowledge (dungeoneering): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Knowledge (nature): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17

Anton picks his way carefully across the fungus enveloping the isle, face twisted in disgust. "For once, I'm not just glad for these amazing boots -- I'm actually glad to not be going barefoot. Thank Desna you recognize this stuff, since I've never even heard of the like. Do you suppose the gas has something to do with its survival here? Keeping the worst of the light away, or something like that." The well-armed halfling holds one of the cannibals' javelins that Nim whittled down for him, loathe to waste an irreplaceable sling bullet in the fog. Struck by a thought, he stops and takes a deep sniff of the revolting air.

Having been recently reminded of the danger of fire, Anton is attempting to use his superior halfling senses to identify the components of the gas, with particular attention to whether it's flammable or just foggy. Perception: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (7) + 14 = 21

Male Human 5th level Druid
Init +1 Perception +11 AC 20 Tch 13 FF 19 HP 50 Fort+6(+7 vs disease) Ref+2 Will+7 Spd 20' CMB +8 CMD 21 Acro-2*Climb+6*Esc Art-2*Spellcraft+5 Stealth-2*Swim +6 ACP -2 (shield)

Nim stares at Anton for a moment in deep contemplation before responding. Huh... I had not thought about that. Perhaps it does. Yet another peculiarity...

Male Halfling (Molthuni) Barbarian 1 Ranger (Trapper) 3

Regarding the timeline: We spent the 5th of Neth exploring underground, followed by discussing things that evening; and then a Rhamphorhynchus delivered a message to Anton the next morning. So the trek ending at the crab shack was on the 6th, and now it's the 7th.

Male Human (Varisian) Cleric (Varisian Pilgrim archetype) 5

Looking to Nim, Mihai asks "I am uneasy... and to sink into the depths of the island would heighten that concern. You talk of the possibility of a tender of this garden of malaise? Would we leave ourselves without the ability to flee to the water if we delved too deeply?"

Pondering for a few more moments Mihai adds "Should we bring down one of the fungal trees? See if blade can slay it... or if it's harming draws further attention from within the fog?"

Mihai is suggesting we chop down a stalk of fungus - and see if that act provokes any response. We should be relatively safe on the outskirts with the water at our backs to retreat to in case of danger approaching.

Male Human 5th level Druid
Init +1 Perception +11 AC 20 Tch 13 FF 19 HP 50 Fort+6(+7 vs disease) Ref+2 Will+7 Spd 20' CMB +8 CMD 21 Acro-2*Climb+6*Esc Art-2*Spellcraft+5 Stealth-2*Swim +6 ACP -2 (shield)

It is only a guess at the moment... I have no idea what is causing this abnormal growth. Which is why we need investigate more.

Your concern is valid of course... but we may find that not pressing on is just as dangerous... if the fungus should continue to spread unchecked.

I am fine to try your suggestion. Nim stows his spear and draws his mage touched scimitar. He moves to the nearest fungal growth and raises his weapon, ready to strike...

Unless anyone objects, Nim will attempt to chop it down.

The fungus is tougher than you would believe. It takes you several heavy swings to finally chop through it. The fungoid tree seems to be rubbery in it's wait for a few minutes keeping an eye out all around you the but nothing occurs.

You start to move inward, following no trail. You weave through an unnatural fungoid forest for about 100 yards before 4 creatures step out around you.

DM Only:

Surprise Round:
perception Nim 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
perception Anton 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30
perception Aedalis1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
perception Tragershen 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
perception Corbrius 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (7) + 0 = 7
perception Mihai1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
vs stealth 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (6) + 19 = 25

These mis-shapen violet looking creatures resemble men or beasts, humaniod in shape. They appear to be made out of the same kind of fungus that you see all around you, giving them exceptional cover. Only white eyes and clawed limbs give you a clue that they are not part of the landscape.

DC 16 Knowledge Nature Check:

You think these may be some kind of Varient Vegepygmy. THey have plant traits and are normally not very powerful.

DC 21 Knowledge Nature Check:

They have resistance to weapons that are not slashing or bludgeoning. You think that these may be a more powerful varient, their size is larger than the ones you have read about, these are medium sized.

Map upcoming tonight, no time to set it up this morning.

Anton and Nim will be able to act in the surprise round, everyone else Round 2.

Knowledge Dungeoneering 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
Knowledge Nature 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22

Knowledge Nature 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22

Though he looks puzzled for an instant, recognition blossoms on the elf's face and Tragershen says "Vegepygmies! Though these are larger than I'd expect! Must be a particularly powerful clan. Use blades or clubs; impaling them is likely to do little harm!"

Male Human 5th level Druid
Init +1 Perception +11 AC 20 Tch 13 FF 19 HP 50 Fort+6(+7 vs disease) Ref+2 Will+7 Spd 20' CMB +8 CMD 21 Acro-2*Climb+6*Esc Art-2*Spellcraft+5 Stealth-2*Swim +6 ACP -2 (shield)

Knowledge (nature): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15
As the creatures step out, Nim assumes a defensive posture. He does not recognize them...

(Surprise) Round 1
As I will be working the rest of the day... I'll post my actions now.

Unsure of many things... but hoping to avoid a fight, Nim calls out in Sylvan, We wish to talk!

Both Nim and Wic hold their positions, ready to defend themselves if the creatures attack...

Readied actions:

Nim and Wic will attack any creatures who close to melee with the party, taking a 5' step if necessary. Caveat: If the creatures possess ranged weapons (this was not included in the creature description above, only that they possessed claws) and use them, please amend Nim and Wic's readied actions to read: Seeing the hostile intentions of the creatures, Nim and Wic (partial) charge to engage. (Attacks as below but +2 to hit (EDIT: and confirm) -2 to AC) Thanks! :)

Wic lunges at the nearest creature and attempts to drag it down...
standard action attack w/bite: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24 HIT (crit threat)
bite damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
free trip: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
confirm crit: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
crit damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
...tearing into the creature's leg.

Nim slashes at the incoming creature...
standard action attack w/scimitar: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26 HIT (crit threat)
damage: 1d6 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
confirm crit: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
crit damage: 1d6 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
...and catches it in the hip with a strong blow.

Current status and effects:
Wicewakan: AC 18 (FF 16) HP 24 of 24
Nim: AC 17 (FF 16) HP 29 of 29

I want to get this battle rolling but called into a special project that will keep me slammed for the next day and a half (I am currently working). Please hold tight for now, I will post the map and start combat probably Thursday night, this work should be done by then...sorry for the delay I am really looking forward to this part of the adventure...

Male Human (Varisian) Cleric (Varisian Pilgrim archetype) 5

No worries DM Stephen - completely understand the work related delays.

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