A human female is here chained up to the wall. She has clearly been beaten and tortured by the Zon Kuthon cultists, but some of her wounds look freshly healed, perhaps by magic. Strangely a cat is curled up next to her feet and rises purring when you enter.
Aren't you all a little short to be storm troopers?
The distant, muffled sounds of activity had stopped. Fearing the clerics would be returning shortly, Jirin had frantically tried to escape the manacles binding her to no result other than bloodying her hands.
When the door opened to show a motley collection of battle-stained strangers, she finally ceased tugging uselessly at the manacles to give them a challenging stare.
"Who're you lot? If you're friends of the Faceless One those priests were nattering on about, you'll have to kill me 'cuz I ain't comin' easy," she said, pausing momentarily to gauge their reaction. "Well, since you don't seem to be, quit standing there all slack-jawed-like and get me my damn tools. They're in the pack in the corner over yonder; two seconds and I'll be out of here faster than Hairy here if he had a pack of wolves on his tail," she said, nodding towards the cat when mentioning Hairy.
|Trevor the Yellow|
Trevor follows Rowena's trajectory to the misshaped body of his former friend. Stunned by the sight, he mutters: "Rafan..." He falls down on his knees and weeps for few minutes, accumulated tensions released in waves of shivers and sobs.
He lifts his head finally as Rowena kicks the priest's head, gets up and picks up Lessien's body in his arm, carrying her with him, like a small baby.
He stays in the back as they discover a captive. Deep inside, he asks Iomedae why Pharasma had to take Lessien instead of that girl.
|Quintus of Taldor|
Quintus walks slowly over to where Trevor is holding Lessien's body and wordlessly puts a hand on his shoulder. As the paladin stands up, Quintus picks up the abandoned wand before following the rest of the party into the back room. He'll pause to use his last spell for the day to heal Rauno.
CLW; Rauno gets back: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
In response to the woman's words, the priest shakes his head. "No friends of theirs and their 'Overgod,' no. Let's get you down from there and healed up. Ro, did that priest have any keys on him?"
|Quintus of Taldor|
"Think nothing of it. I wouldn't have been, either, before she turned up.
"Rauno, could you figure out how many charges this wand has left? I think we'll be needing to know that right away."
As the monk turns to search the body, Quintus stops her. "I know--I should have been there to save her, too. But had you not fought as well as you did, we'd all have fallen."
"I think we all did, at one point or another. If not for your skills and bravery, we'd have stayed down for sure."
She gives his arm a squeeze, then heads off to search the corpses for keys. She avoids looking at the man's head at all costs.
|Trevor the Yellow|
Trevor breaks his silence: "I fell so many times, and she fell once... Unfair."
At Quintus's touch, Rauno's skin regains its typical palor and his breathing becomes comfortable and regular again. "Thank you, my friend." He accepts the wand, concentrating on the task of identifying its properties so he can close out his grief over Lessien.
Spellcraft 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28
He shares with Quintus what he discovers. Looking up and seeing Trevor's mourning, he turns away from his friends and the newcomer to check the priests for useful items or clues (making liberal use of detect magic). Work. Focus. Don't feel it. he recites to himself, the mantra he developed all those years ago.
As Jirin because to work her way out Rowena comes back with a set of keys from the Theldrick Jirin heard his name. Once freed Jirin found her things in the corner, stack orderly like they had been inventoried first.
Kelkzar goes to the marble front door of the temple and locks the door again. As the group goes through the temple you notice that the cultists that first came at you after the skeletons were all townspeople you had seen at one point.
List of loot upcoming.
I have cleared the map, added the numbers back so you know which room things were found in and then if you have any questions you can reference the room. I assume after the first general pass you will take 20 to do a more thorough search.
The skeletons each had damaged full plate armor that isn't good for wearing, but could be sold in town for scraps at 100gp each. (12 found)
They each wielded a heavy mace and a heavy steel shield.
The cultists were all towns people you had seen before. They each carried had studded leather armor, a longspear, dagger, and a wooden holy symbol of zon kuthon.
Both tiefling guardsman in this room had on them chain shirt, masterwork great axe, composite longbow (+2 Str), 20 arrows, and 27 gps. They each had three potions but both had drank 2 of them and the remaining one for both was potion of cure light wounds.
In the room after a search you found under one of the beds a pouch containing 20 pp and a golden necklace worth 100gp. The tools on the table is a full set of artisan tools.
Nothing of value in the room where they kept the Dire Boar
Three tiefling guardsman in this room had on them chain shirt, masterwork great axe, composite longbow (+2 Str), 20 arrows, and 27 gps. One of the three had a silver ring inlaid with several small emeralds worth 200 gp. 5 Remaining potions of cure light wounds remain.
The rack hold six javelins, a longsword, composite longbow (+2 Strength), 3 quivers of 20 arrows each.
The room looks like it was shared by the half-orc cleric and female cleric. Jirin heard their names Garras and Kendra.Both cleric had ritual scars and a small wedding band worth 20gp.
Garras had half plate, light steel shield, mw flail, dagger, 2 potions of cure light wounds and 17 gp.
Kendra had half-plate, heavy steel shield, mw flail, dagger, wand of cure light wounds – 31 charges, scroll with silence, and a pouch with 10 gp . A key was also found.
Under the bed in the room was found a small wooden chest.
The altar is providing a desecrate effect.
The two torches are everburning torches.
Behind the tapestry is a secret panel. 1d6 ⇒ 4 Rauno finds it and opens it getting hit with a trap inflict light wounds 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4. Inside is found a metal box.
This is Theldrick's chambers. The weapon rack holds normal weapons: mace, two flails, and a light crossbow. While using detect magic ont he weapons, Rauno notices the scrolls on the table have a weak aura of universal magic. Looks at the scrolls they are blank. The key on the table has Urgathoa's symbol on it.
Theldrick had magical full plate, heavy steel shield, mw flail, mw light crossbow with 20 bolts, potions: dagger, magical ring, Scroll: dispel magic, holy symbol of Zon Kuthon, 8gp, keyring with multiple keys.
The statue is 20 feet tall so obviously there is a gem of worth there, but some work will need to be done to retrieve it.
You also find levers by a wooden throne. The levers lock and unleck the doors to the room. The walls are smooth and polished but had some cracks on it, but it would have been difficult climbing DC 25. You wonder what would have happened had you gone through this room instead of bashing the other doors down.....
|Quintus of Taldor|
"No, Trevor, it isn't. But fair or not, we have to see this through, or she'll have died for nothing."
The cleric is visibly shaken by the revelation of the cultists' identities. "These poor fools...what did they think they were doing? Did they know what their masters planned to do with the rest of the town? They must have been true believers or they would have broken when we attacked. They must have, or we're murderers. I'm a murderer...again." He pauses a moment in prayer, rubbing his hands together as though they itch, but stops as he contemplates his birthmark for a time. When he speaks again his voice is calmer. "What do we do now? I have almost no magic left, and none of us are unwounded. Pushing on to the other rooms here without a pressing reason is a bad idea."
"We need a spot to rest. Some place defendable, like those corridors were we got held up by the giant ape, in case the other two cults come looking to borrow a cup of sugar, or you know, human bone meal."
So we have a wooden chest and a metal chest, as well as a bunch of keys. Kendra's key probably opens the chest. Both should be checked for magical traps.
Approaching Jirin, she asks, "How long have you been down here?"
Looking at the place it was meant for defense. The front door is marble and locked, though it could be possible that others outside the temple have keys.
The double doors leading into the large battle temple are stout and lock from the switch above by the throne and would take some work to break down.
The corridor you fought in is a good choke point, but you have also broken down both doors so it loses some of it defense strengths.
Otherwise as far as places to rest in, the beds would make for good resting.
Jirin has been down here for about a week as far as she can tell (she has been in and out of consciousness). The only visit from one of the other cults was when the Faceless Man came to inspect her a couple days before. She got the sense he was invited over to inspect her rather than him wanting to visit.
There are indeed two chests to inspect and open as well as a couple of magical items to identify.
|Quintus of Taldor|
"If there's food down here, let's stay put for a day and rest--I don't think the bodyguard ruse will work the same way twice, and I didn't see any other way to get here. Though after everything else is taken care of I'm going to want to get a couple of pounds of silver and clean this place up properly.
"Jirin, is it? I'm Quintus. Not to put you on the spot, but why are you here?"
Jirin kept close to her rescuers as they thoroughly sacked what was apparently a full-on temple to Zon-Kuthon.
"Dunno how long I been here; I kinda lost track between all the beatings and sleep, to say nothing of not seeing the sun at all. For a guess, three or four days," she replied to the ascetic-looking woman.
"Yeah, Jirin. I'm here because they didn't kill me the first time. My village was between the mushfens and Nybor; those of us they didn't kill, they fed some kind of soup that soon had us all afire in pain before passing out and dying. I don't know what happened after that, but everyone else is dead; I woke up alone except for these a+%&!&+s asking how I survived. I heard a couple names spoken, Theldrick, Garras, and Kendra. Don't know who was who. Oh, and they were all going on about some guy they called 'Faceless One'. I'm sorry you had a friend die, but be grateful they died in battle... at least it's quick. A lot better than seeing all your friends and family die a slow, agonizing death."
At the discovery of two locked chests, Jirin will volunteer to look at them.
Small wooden chest from Room 8:
Take 20 Trapfind: 20 + 8 = 28
If the key found in this room does not work with this chest, Take 20 Disable Device: 20 + 10 = 30
Metal box from Room 9:
Take 20 Trapfind: 20 + 8 = 28
Will try the key from Room 8 as well, otherwise Take 20 Disable Device: 20 + 10 = 30
|Quintus of Taldor|
"They wiped out your entire village?" Clutching the ankh around his neck, the priest looks back at the bodies of the cultists. I pray you'll come to repentance in the Boneyard, for what you did and what you supported. But I don't regret your deaths, because this had to be stopped.
"There are two other temples to deal with down here, and this Faceless One. We're going to rest before we attack them. You can stay here while we're fighting, if you want. I don't recommend trying to leave through the mine if you don't know the way. We won't leave you behind, though." He continues talking in a quieter tone as he turns away, clearly not addressing Jirin. "Though we've lost half our scouting, and Lessien was the only one who knew anything about traps...we'll just have to trust the Powers."
The temple is well stocked with supplies for their group to eat for a little over a week. (With nearly 20 people in the temple that provides you with plenty of food.
Since you will be resting for the day and time is not of the essence, Jirin spends an extra amount of time studying the chest and determines they are not trapped. For the record disable device cannot be done with a take 20
You find keys that work on both chest and
Inside the wooden chest Jirin finds:
a pouch with 200gp
a jweled bracelet worth 100gp
a wand that detect as magic
Inside the Metal Chest Jirin finds:
a leather bag with 70 gp
a fist-sized bust of a dwarf wearing a gem-studded crown worth 2,400gp
'Though after everything else is taken care of I'm going to want to get a couple of pounds of silver and clean this place up properly.
"Agreed. While I doubt the Dawnflower would want to claim this dark place as her own, I'm sure she would answer your call to shatter the dark one's presence here."
Clearly suspicious, Rauno asks Jirin "How long have you been down here, do you believe? I am afraid I don't recognize you from town..."
Look four posts up :)
Sorry about that!
Rauno grunts at the explanation, but is clearly still suspicious. "Quintus is right. These mines can be dangerous, full of traps and deception. I strongly recommend you stay with us until we can all get clear of this place."
Work. Focus. Don’t feel it.
Trying to distract himself from the loss of a friend and guilt over not being more effective against the cult, Rauno buries himself in the work of evaluating the items they have come across.
Wand identification: Spellcraft 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (3) + 11 = 14
Full plate identification: Spellcraft 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (12) + 11 = 23
Ring identification: Spellcraft 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (13) + 11 = 24
Papers identification: Spellcraft 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (8) + 11 = 19
Note: Please add +2 to the rolls if the magic is divination, subtract 5 if necromancy or enchantment.
Rauno is not sure about the wand, but he is sure the the magical plate is +1 and the ring is protection +1.
Rauno is pretty certain the blank magical paper has some hidden script that can only be read by read magic. Using the spell he does indeed see hidden script, but the words do not make any sense. Rauno feels it is written in some sort of code. Even though he is well versed in languages and code, he is certain it is beyond his ability to break without more information.
Rauno will share what he knows about the items, breaking it down into layman terms for the non-arcane amongst us. He'll continue to ponder the properties of the wand, spending a fair amount of time trying to puzzle it out. I know he has to wait before he can try to ID it again, but he's using it as a distraction to facilitate denial...
Regarding the papers, he'll say to the others "While I cannot make headway on the cypher, I will continue to mull it over, and perhaps -" he catches himself before he says the name in from of Jirin "perhaps our benefactor can make better advancements on it than I." Unless someone else expresses a desire to examine the papers, he'll carefully roll them and add them to the contents of a scroll case.
|Quintus of Taldor|
"I'm no good with codes, and I didn't choose the right prayer to help you today."
Quintus will look for an opportunity to talk with Kelkzar outside of Jirin's earshot. "What do you think about the prisoner? Her story sounds right, but I'm a, a terrible judge of character." This last phrase was spoken with a tone of regret.
Insert any more introductions and questions
You move the many bodies into the dire boar room and clean up some others to use to sleep in. You pile the dozen suits of armor in front of the door leading out of the temple and make sure there is someone on guard.
No activity occurs while you rest and recover from your wounds I am assuming a double rest time
Rauno can take another crack at the wand
Recovered from your wounds, what will you do now? You have the stone key with the Urgathoa symbol on it, recovered from this temple
|Quintus of Taldor|
Presumably, there's some loot division as well. Plus, we all know Jirin is coming with us, but we should probably officially confirm that IC.:)
I was trying to give an opening for that, with the "you can stay here and hide" offer, although having Jirin open the chests before responding kind of made it obvious that she's got unusual talents. (From an IC perspective, though, I don't think the party would have trusted her to just take a crack at them without some justification.)
Alright, well, taking a step in that direction...
After the group completed their search of the temple and cleaned "things" up a bit, Jirin turned to address them all at once.
"So just who are all you, and what are you doing down here? You saved my life: I owe you that much. More to the point, though, I owe these bastards for every one of the almost a hundred lives of my home village. With Andoletta as my witness, I'll see that every single one of those is paid for in kind!"
Maybe it was the cat's subtle influence that prompted her to swear in Andoletta's name, and maybe it wasn't - but when Jirin made her oath the cat's eyes softly glowed before gradually dimming.
Rowena does a double take as Jirin invokes the name of Andoletta. "You revere Grandmother Crow?" she asks, startled. "Do you follow the Empyreal Way?"
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
Her eyes drift towards the cat, and she studies the animal a moment.
"You should accompany us," she mumbles before Jitin is able to answer her questions.
"I... yes," Jirin got out, clearly taken aback at such a question. She couldn't recall having ever heard of the Empyreal Way, but the knowledge of a group of holy men and women who forsook worship of dieties to instead follow the highest of the arch-angels of Heaven nonetheless came to mind at the monk's question.
|Quintus of Taldor|
Perception check: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Quintus seems distracted for a moment at Jirin's pronouncement, then smiles. "You're probably right, Ro, but--" He indicates the half-orc. "--I'd like to hear from him. Jirin, Kelkzar serves as one of Ragathiel's inquisitors, and I trust his judgment."
Kelkzar sits quietly and looks long over Jirin. Cycles through detect alignment. What say you Ragathiel. Can I trust this one or is she some last ploy of the Kuthonites? After what feels like an eternity of waiting, the half-orc speaks, "She has my trust. Let us rest and remember Lessien tonight. Tomorrow we shall bring judgement down on these other evil faiths."
|Trevor the Yellow|
As Jirin's true motives are questioned, Trevor shifts his gaze, summoning Iomedae's Grace, to discern whether she is more than she seems. Detect Evil
Satisfied, he looks for a room with a comfortable bed where he carefully lays Lessien's body. He sobs one last time as he pulls blankets over her body, then her head. He spends the next minute standing over the body, lost in prayer, then exits the room.
He frowns as it becomes clear they are not to pursue now. His soul pushes him forth, but he takes his cues from Quintus, that he might get up if he falls again. A sharp pain in his side reminds him of the ruthlessness of the last battle. He looks for water to try to wash away the smell of dried blood and sweat.
As they unveil the content of the rooms, he is taken aback by the amount of gear and riches: "How can such dark evil profits thus! We need to destroy them at once! And look at their weapons! They can outfit a small army!" He looks at the set of full plate armor: "And we shall use their greatest weapons against them!" and starts to undress and put on the new plate.
Seems obvious I would take that one, no? I'll keep the banded mail listed in my equipment, until we sell or give it.
During the night, after talking about Lessien, he'll discuss strategy with Kelkzar: "We could have another hallway battle. These are long and nasty. What do you think Kelkzar? Should I also don a shield and become a wall of steel, or should I try to make my way through as fast as I can?"
"We need to decide on both strategies and tactics," Rowena pipes up, overhearing. "Our strategy is basically to wipe out these evil cults, gaining entrance to each and taking the fight to them, rather than risk them both coming after us in full force, unless anyone thinks we could compel them to attack us here where we have the advantage of terrain. I doubt it. The Urgathoa temple seems a likely choice, given that we probably have a key to the front door. Perhaps each temple has given a key to one of the others for safekeeping, or perhaps the Kuthonites, in an act of betrayal, swiped the Urgathoans' key."
"Our tactics have to depend on the terrain and our enemies. Certainly, though, there's no harm in deciding on a few different tactics we can fall back on quickly. For example, there's nothing wrong with a tactical retreat at times. Any time our opponents have chosen a battlefield for themselves, it's almost always in our best interest to relocate. And in that retreat, a moving wall of steel can help protect the rest of us until we've found a location we want to fight in."
"I agree with Rowena. We may have to shift tactics depending on what we are faced with. I do believe we should try to draw our foes back in these hallway fights so we can bring more than one of us against them at once. Of course, they know that as well and may not follow. If that happens again, I believe we should use Rowena's ability to throw our enemies so we can move them to where we can attack two at a time. If I keep one of the longspears, we can get three of us against one."
"I'm also in agreement with trying the Urgathoa temple once we rest. They may be worse than Kuthonites. Aren't they known for disease and such?"
I'm good with you taking the plate Trevor. I will grab a longspear and one of the composite longbows together with a bunch of arrows.
Jirin will take some arrows as well, but otherwise lets everyone else claimed their rightfully-earned booty.
"I've had to make my living with my longbow, so you might say I'm good at it. It doesn't seem like any of you prefer archery, anyways, so just as well," offered Jirin.
Jirin is new to being a Witch; she met and bonded with her familiar here in the temple so isn't yet conscious of her ability to cast spells - that will come soon, though!
|Quintus of Taldor|
To Quintus, "I agree it would be good for you to hold the curative wand on our behalf."
To Trevor, "By all means, please strap all of that steel on. You were remarkably brave back there, and if you will continue to take the fight to evil, well... It is all well and good to sheath yourself in the armor of your god, but a layer of steel can't hurt either! And thank you for trusting me when it came to circling around. When the priest showed up behind us, I knew we might be able to get him pinned between our ranks."
To Jirin, "I am pleased you have decided to go with us. I use a crossbow in combat to assist our seasoned warriors. Perhaps if you stay close to me, we can coordinate our efforts to support them?" And I can keep watch over you...
"No archery is not my gift and I think you're right about the rest of us. But, as this battle just established, sometimes you need a mix of tactics to win out. And sometimes even then, the cost is too high. Quintus, the wand should definitely be yours. It can only help to augment your already considerable talents and it will be good to see it put to use on us instead of our foes."
|Trevor the Yellow|
"Adapt... Sounds good. So I'll take this flail instead of mine. It feels much better, and will grab one of those nice shields. I'll open up donning the shield. Meeting a wall of steel will probably force them to change tactics. Anyhow, I can always drop them and grab the axe. It speaks volume... We'll avenge Lessien!"
He looks at the ton of stuff gathered: "What are those scrolls and pages? Wizard stuff? And are those potions of healing? Are we all carrying some in case? Let me grab two. Oh! And I have that small magic sword too. I'll keep it if no one needs it."
Taking, on top of the mwk longbow and the full plate, a mwk flail, a heavy steel shield and two potions of CLW.
"Jirin, that sounds like a good plan. You've got three of us who are able to mix it up in front pretty well."
"I'll take a couple of those potions too. You can hang onto the sword Trevor. We might still run into something that requires you to use it. Be sure if you take those potions that you step away from any foes. A smart opponent won't hesitate to take advantage of you."