|Khalib the Accursed|
A handsome Garundi dressed in a white linen tunic much more appropriate to warmer climes steps into the Lodge's briefing room. His pale blue eyes, contrasted with a subtle kohl make-up, really stand out. The Garundi bears a small trimmed goatee he likes to caress as he's lost in his thoughts. "Well met! I am Khalib of Wati, servant of the Ruby Prince, scholar and loreseeker of my country. I'll be honored to work alongside you for this mission."
A beautiful young girl almost dances in the room, with long blond hair and green orbs as eyes. Wearing a fine shirt of shiny mail and a rapier on her side she is dressed for all eventualities but the bards cloak and the roses on her belt speak of more social than martial abilities.
"Well met, I am Felicitas Aurora, singer, adventurer and all in all faboulous person!"
A somewhat rustic looking Halfling also arrives. Dirt under her nails, and smelling somewhat as if she had just been spreading fertaliser on her garden bed, she doesn't exactly look traditional pathfinder material.
"Hi there! I'm Belinda" she says, extending a somewhat grubby hand.
She is dressed in loose clothes, and those close by might detect the subtle clink of a chain shirt under the surface. At her waist hangs a well used rapier.
"I don't suppose anyone has been Bulgo recently have they? One of these days I'll catch up with him."
A burly nagaji is the next one to enter. He is clad in a tian leather armor lamellar leather and has a large, slightly curved sword on his back.
"Hello all, I am Toctep. I am a fighter and will leave the talking to you. I do know a bit of magic. My strategy in fighting is simple: give out more than I take. I have this wand that heals wounds, but I can not activate it. I hope one of you can.
Wand of CLW
In walks a man of rigid posture and stern countenance. He stands just under 2 meters in height, but is thin of frame. He is undoubtedly of Osiriani birth (and indeed his Taldane is slightly accented.) His pate is shaved clean, though he sports a meticulously maintained mustache and beard. His clothes, obviously tailored, have the flowing fit of a desert dweller, but they are in rich black cloth of Vudrani styling. Racing throughout the folds and seams are cerulean highlights. His jewelry is simple, yet the quantity stands in contrast to the otherwise plain garb. Both his ears are pierced with gold and his fingers each bear simple golden rings.
This is Nemis.
You find yours travel today to take you soon to Underdunes of Osirion, known to be home to many elemntal tribes. As these elementals move, they create the huge, sandy trenches that give the region it's name.
Several well-armed guards patrol the perimeter of the Sandswept Hall of Sothis, watching passerby with suspicion. As they scan the crowd, the lodge’s front gates swing open, and Venture Captain Norden Balentiir steps out into the street, waving calmly to the guards. “It’s all right. They are Pathfinders.” Balentiir steps back inside the gates. “Please, follow me. We have much to discuss.” Instead of leading the way into the lodge itself, he walks around the back of the building to a lush garden. Sycamore, tamarisk, and fig trees provide shade to cushioned benches, and trellises covered in grapes and flowering plants provide privacy.
“Last night, a thief broke into our vault and fled with a pair of valuable items. While we were unable to stop her from escaping, a guard caught a glimpse of her as she fled. Our thief is a janni named Jamila al-Shafah. She has served as an ally to the Society in the past, but now we have to assume she might have been planning this theft for some time. She’s made her way southeast toward the Underdunes. We’re still figuring out if she had help, but in the meantime, I need you to find where she escaped to.”
Norden pauses and glances toward the sky before continuing. “In a way, this could be a blessing in disguise. The Underdunes have many hidden bits of lore. If you find something interesting along the way, be sure to take note of it for later. But don’t tarry too long—Jamila already has a lead of almost half a day."
On the way in, Nemis turns his face to the sky and let's the sun cook him for a bit, "It's good to be home, even if only momentary. It is not a sense of nostalgia, just that the land here forces us to be our best."
After the briefing he asks, "Can you tell us more about what she stole, what he motives might be, and what dangers may block our path?"
-Posted with Wayfinder
He pauses for a moment, nods his head and replies at Nemis." We’ve identified two missing relics. The Sandstorm Codex is an ancient tome written in Osiriani, Aquan, Auran, Ignan, and Terran. It’s an elaborate text, and we haven’t yet fully deciphered it. The other is an abacus that supposedly belonged to the Pharaoh of Numbers. Her motives though are beyond us. ”
"Prepare yourselves for sandslides, scorching heat, and other dangerous terrain. Bear in mind that several elemental tribes call the Underdunes home, and none of them have a fondness for humanoids. Bring rope and survival gear, but also an eye for history. Rumor has it that the binding rituals of Ancient Osirion caused the elemental planes to bleed over into the desert at spots. If you can find proof of that theory, or learn something new about the elemental tribes, that discovery would give this proverbial cloud its silver lining.”
"Then I can see why you've asked Kraak along." Nemis turns to everyone to add, "I am more than happy to lend my wand of Endure Elements to our endeavor."
Toctep is swinging his arms, loosening them for whatever might come "No time to waste, I get it. We will be off and try to find them!"
He moves towards Nemis "Please give me some protection from the sun"
A young Tian-Shu man stands to one side, somewhat awkwardly. He listens to the conversations but seems uncertain when and whether to chip in so continues to stay silent. He does stare wide eyed at his sights aruond him. After moving to Absalom from Goka ten years ago, he has not left the Inner Sea region much so this trip to Osirion has been an eye-opener. My master's urging for me to join the Pathfinder Society has been a most fortuitous move. Before I return, I must find a worthy souvenir for him.
Other than being a Tian-Shu, Fung looks rather nondescript. Until you notice that his long hair and flowing robes seems to be continuously ruffled by a gentle breeze that surrounds him. And when you pass near him, a faint static field around him makes your hair stand on end.
|Khalib the Accursed|
Khalib greets politely in turn all the newcomers, offering them a courteous yet gentle smile. He accepts Toctep's wand, reassuring the nagaji on his ability to cure his ailments.
"Scorching heat? It's good to feel at home. The air of Sothis is almost breathable." ironizes the Garundi, obviously customary of the place. "Venture-Captain, we will strive to bring back the stolen goods. Do we know anything about this Jamila, though? Any hints on her whereabouts in the years we haven't seen her?"
Pondering things for a little while, he adds "The Pharaoh of Numbers? Surely I have heard this before."
Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Any other knowledge rolls we could attempt?
Turning to Khalib, he adds more light to the mystery for the pathfinders. "“We first met Jamila as a silk merchant from Qadira. She was a companion of the late Venture-Captain Targos Min-Katheer, and she helped lay him to rest. We considered her to be an ally of the Society. Now we have to wonder whether her aid was just part of a larger ruse.”
He reviews his notes for a short while before returning to the conversation. “As far as we can tell according to what little we’ve managed to gather, she made her way into the Underdunes. We can guess at her likely direction, but the task of tracking her down falls to you. We know that she used to work as a desert merchant, and the local merchants create trails through the desert that connect water sources and remote outposts and thread their way between the most dangerous threats. Her appearance and that of her pet bird are quite distinctive, so you might try taking the most prominent of these paths and asking anyone you meet along the way.”
The Pharoah of Numbers is one of the four Pharoahs of Ascension. Originally Osirion was divided under four rulings. Fear of tyranny from each kingdom, the rulers created a solemn pact, creating a powerful junta of Pharoahs. These Pharoahs ruled together and eventually died together. As far as I can tell from the scenario, this information is not relevant to the adventure. But if there is more need to know, I'll provide as much as I can.
As he rumbles through his notes while you ponder regarding the Pharoah of Numbers, he brings out a map. And passes it to one of you and explains that these are the paths that desert merchants travel most frequently. The most prominent path into the Underdunes ends at the coastal city of El-Shelad. About 10 miles outside of Sothis, the single path begins branching into several options, which arc out into the desert before periodically rejoining into a single route.
The Knowledge checks will come! Although they only come when you start to head out as they assume you need to mingle with the people to learn more about the tribes, and some of them you need to be able to see the information when you travel.
"Ropes and survival gear?" sighs Belinda. "That sounds heavy. Maybe we should bring a pack camel or two as well. I'm sure I recall a couple of stories about Jamila... There was her involvement in the disposition of the body of Targos of course. But I thought I'd seen something more recently as well.."
Any relevance if we have played 07-99: Through Maelstrom Rift, where Jamila has a central role?
I'm not familiar with 7-99, but as far as the scenario is concerned it does not quote that scenario.
"Is that so Belinda? I know very little of Jamila unfortunately to enlighten you." He sighs, somewhat lost in thought. "Well is there anything else you need before you venture forth? We are already short on time, best you make a move soonest." He says as he points you towards the path that would lead you out of the city.
"Why, yes. Did I not mention it earlier? A bird with green and orange feathers whose talons crackle with electricity. Natives don't see the likes of those around here much, clearly you can spot her with ease!" He remakrs to Toctep, someone rushing his words. Eager for you to make leave.
The time now is a little bit past noon, when the sun is at it's hottest.
"Take the main road, and ask for sightings. I can handle this."
Nemis uses 6 charges of his wand to cover everyone, and we're off.
You don't need to use a charge on me, one of my boon gives me permanent endure elements (hot weather only). -Posted with Wayfinder
You did mention that. Oops.
-Posted with Wayfinder
I'm posting to move us on, since there isn't more to learn from the VC.
On the trail that Norden points out, you bump into several merchants that you make small take with.
The Underdunes comprise long, canyonlike trenches with walls that rise to 100 feet high in spots. As the PCs explore the area in pursuit of Jamila, they may attempt several skill checks to learn more information about the area.
local: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
survival: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
"The two elemental clans fight each other over trade routes. "
She fills in everyone on what she knows
Thankful for the endure elements, Belinda still makes sure she has spare water on her camel.
|Khalib the Accursed|
Knowledge (engineering): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
"Most exciting, I look forward to meeting these tribes, in the hopes that unnecessary fighting will be avoided. I have been trained to be a diplomat, after all."
And it was most exciting indeed, as the Pathfinders venture across the vast desert, with a magnificent scenery of camels, and nomads across the giant sun background. Although extraordinarily hot, you are adequately protected from the sun with the help of Nemis's magic.
With regards to the splitting routes, you ask a few travellers, along the way if which is the path they are using in the current season and they turn you to the right path. Almost no traveller has seen Jamila, until about late through the day, where one ornament and jewellery seller mentions she believe she say a woman with the description matching Jamila heading down a specific path about 6 hours ago.
A few more hours into the journey, you follow the path Jamila takes, which is one that is not frequented this time of the year, thus not having any merchants to question. The road diverges into two paths. A steep downward trail leads to a trench that provides shade from the desert heat. The other path leads upward toward a series of ledges that eventually lead to the top of the canyon. This higher path provides less protection from the sun, but its high vantage point could allow a better view of the surrounding area.
Looking at the two trails Felicitas looks to the others."I think we are faster and easier up. It is a bit more dangerous, sure, but get down is easier in a pinch than get up. The only thing I really do not want to do it split us."
Nemis, tracking the knowledge gained thus far, refrains from actively engaging in talk.
Once a choice of paths is required, he speaks up, "Agreed, up. We need not fear the desert sun right now. "
-Posted with Wayfinder
Heading up is somewhat of a breeze, but the winds pick up without warning, pushing in every direction and at some points blustering hard enough to make the narrow ledge a deadly peril.
Everyone needs to make the following check. Survival DC19 or Perception DC22. You can attempt both checks.
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
Reflex: 1d20 + 3 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 3 + 4 = 24
Toctep stands on the ridge, feet slightly apart while the wind whirls around him.
|Khalib the Accursed|
Perception : 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Survival : 1d20 ⇒ 19
Reflex : 1d20 + 3 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 3 + 4 = 23
Khalib senses an ill wind about him, a d opts to face the dangerous gale. Fortunately, he's able to remain on his feet.
"Brace yourselves!" he warns his companions.
-Posted with Wayfinder
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Survival: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
REF: 1d20 + 2 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 2 + 4 = 25
Nemis reacts quickly enough to bend his knees and brace force the wave of wind to connect. He stands firm, never wavering as the winds pass around him.
survival: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
Belinda shouts a warning before dropping to the ground to avoid being blasted by the sudden gust of wind.
"Surely this is not natural." she calls out, looking on in horror as the group totters on the edge of the cliff.
Botting Xuan Fung for now since he is out.
perception XF: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
Survival XF: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
Reflex XF: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
fall dmg: 3d6 ⇒ (1, 1, 4) = 6
Of course my rolls are the bad ones! Sorry XF!
The group is not caught of guard by the change in atmosphere, majority of the folk confidently brace themselves against the wind and react timely to not lose footing except for Xuan Fung, who finds himself at the bottom of a cliff, taking some hurt. As you regain your footings from the sudden gust...
The whipping winds die down and quickly coalesce into numerous small gaseous shapes. They appear as birds, flying humanoids, and amorphous clouds, totalling a dozen in all. A large elemental, larger than the rest descends until it almost touches the ground. The creature has a humanlike head and torso, but its lower body forms a bilious cloud from which wispy tendrils emerge in all directions. “Well, well—land creatures,” it says in a masculine voice. He speaks in a fast, clipped manner, with a higher pitch voice than normal males, and wisps of fog sometimes break away from him. “Foolish or brave—or perhaps knowing we seek you. Yes, yes. You are the prophets, are you not?”
At this time, he only address those still on the cliff, i.e. not XF, XF can attempt to climb back up while the other PCs react to the elemental.
Belinda stands and tries to extract a rope from her camel to throw down to Xuan. As she does so, she talks.
"I think most of the profits have opted for a different route this season. Something about your gang and another one making travel difficult and expensive.."
Then blushing she corrects herself. "I've been hanging round with too many merchants recently. Yes, we are land creatures. Which Prophets did you think we might be, and what prophecies were you thinking we might be telling,... or fulfilling."
She tries to calm the big creature down.
diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
"Good that she is doing the talking, I would probably have said "yes" and got us into a big mess...."
"Here Belinda, give me that rope while you do the talking"
Sighing agt Belinda´s tries, Felicitas takes a deep breath and in a musical voice starts to talk to the hosts."Are we the prophets? I won´t deny that we bring counsel and offer advice. We are here to prevent some terrible things to happen."
Diplo: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (7) + 13 = 20
“Yes, yes, you are indeed the Prophets we seek. The art of prophecy has faded away over the years, but what is known is still known. A new clash of the khamsin storms draws near, and the Goanron and Ainsi watch for a sign of blessing. We have not known what exactly to expect, but the time is right and you are here. Now with you here terrible things won't happen.” He answers you a little cryptically at time, but in full confidence assumes you are who he thinks you are.
|Khalib the Accursed|
"Assuredly you can expect our full cooperation, albeit some information would first be welcome, if you would indulge us. Can you explain your current predicament?"
Diplomacy (aid another - Kraak): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27