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GM Nani's Slumbering Tsar

Game Master Nani Z. Obringer

Nani's Gestalt Slumbering Tsar Campaign, set in Golarion.


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Lantern Lodge

Female Human (Tian-Shu) Bard (geisha) 9//Sorcerer (tattooed sorcerer) 9

At seeing Momir's despondent looks while Sakura casts heroism on V earlier, Sakura recites another haiku and touches Momir's shoulder. "It's alright Momir, remember that we're all companions here. You just need to ask if you would like my aid."

At V's motion, Sakura moves into formation, letting the crusader lead the way.

Casting a heroism on Momir as well.


V raises her weapons and slowly approaches the churned earth. When she gets within 5 feet, the ground shakes and rolls. The rocks of the ground coalesce into a titanic earthen form, which from its movements clearly means to stay the party's approach.

Initiative rolls:

V: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17
Sakura:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Momir:1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
MIshka:1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Enemy:1d20 - 1 ⇒ (5) - 1 = 4

Knowledge (planes):

DC 10: This is an earth elemental. They can move through the earth, are immune to many conditions, and are slow and tough.
DC 19: This is a Greater Earth Elemental, and it is only slightly harder than average for the party to face. They are hard hitting melee combatants, and are masters of many combat maneuvers over the ground.
DC 24: Earth Elementals have great tenacity and power over those touching the ground. The best way to overcome their advantage is to take to the air, making it much harder for them to land a solid blow.

No surprise round (cause who didn't see that coming?), and map is posted

Lantern Lodge

Female Human (Tian-Shu) Bard (geisha) 9//Sorcerer (tattooed sorcerer) 9

Knowledge (planes) taking 10 = 18

Sakura, seeing the large earth creature come out of the ground, begins to take a step backwards but then stops herself. Recognizing this as a larger variant of creatures she has fought before, her smile opens wide as she begins to sing a high pitched dirge, reminiscent of some airy realm. Weaved into this song seems to be some form of spell directed at the earth creatures.

No movement, however activating Dirge of Doom as a move action; the earth elemental is shaken, no save. Sakura then casts slow on it, DC 21 (or DC 23 accounting for the shaken condition). The DC to identify that Sakura is casting is 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (13) + 17 = 30. Will save negates.

Penalty for Shaken: -2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks.
Penalty for Slow: Staggered condition. -1 penalty to attack rolls, AC, and Reflex saving throws. Moves at half speed.

Grand Lodge

Male Elf Ranger 9//Witch 9

Knowledge Planes 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (5) + 14 = 19
Is Greater Earth Elemental," Momir exclaims, excitement rising in his voice, "they hit hard, watch your feet..."
As he finishes his shout, he focuses his attention on the elemental, waiting on Sakura's sing-song voice.
Once Sakura goes, Momir begins muttering an ancient prayer, calling upon the spirits of his ancients to befuddle his opponent. His prayer done, he whistles to Mishka while drawing his bow.
Delay till after Sakura
Evil eye for -4 to hit, DC 18 will

Mishka wait's for Momir's whistle, upon hearing it the wolf charges toward the elemental, making sure to stay out of V's way, under Momir's guidance.
Power Attack Charging Attack (AC is now 24), 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (18) + 13 = 31, if hit, 2d6 + 10 ⇒ (1, 3) + 10 = 14, Trip Attempt (lol), 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (4) + 13 = 17

Silver Crusade

Female Half-Orc Inquisitor 9//Fighter 9

Knowledge (planes) 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (19) + 18 = 37

Silver Crusade

Female Half-Orc Inquisitor 9//Fighter 9

"Lots of DR, I'll keep it busy! For the Inheritor!"

V calls down the judgement of her Goddess, asking for destruction and protection in the same breath. She strikes in a flurry, but her blows basically cause no damage.

Rolls:

Attack 1 Sword 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (9) + 15 = 24
Damage 1d8 + 11 ⇒ (2) + 11 = 13
Attack 2 Sword 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11
Damage 1d8 + 11 ⇒ (1) + 11 = 12
Attack 1 Shield 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (17) + 13 = 30
Damage 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Attack 2 Shield 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
Damage 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6


Initiative:

23 Mishka
17 V
9 Sakura
9 Momir
4 BBEG

Rolls:

Save versus slow 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
Save versus Evil Eye 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Awesome Blow CMB: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (1) + 14 = 15
Damage: 2d10 + 18 ⇒ (3, 6) + 18 = 27

The earth elemental staggers from Sakura's slow, but doesn't seem but momentarily hindered by Momir's ancestors. With only one attack, it revs up a mighty blow to knock V away from it, but is seemingly off-kilter and doesn't even come close to making contact with the half-orc. It strikes the earth, leaving a frightening furrow bigger than the path of an ox-plow. It is suddenly clear why the earth around this graveyard is churned.

Lantern Lodge

Female Human (Tian-Shu) Bard (geisha) 9//Sorcerer (tattooed sorcerer) 9

At the great blow to the ground, one of Sakura's eyebrows raises. It seems that magic will be needed to hurt this creature. Words of arcane power been to flow from Sakura's mouth amd suddenly two balls of pure electricity appear on top of the elemental, scorching its earthen hide. Sakura's voice then chances in pitch and tone entirely, starting a courageous and uplifting song of combat.

Casting ball lightning on the elemental; two reflex saves; DC 22 (it is still shaken for this). Damage #1 3d6 ⇒ (6, 3, 4) = 13 Damage #2 3d6 ⇒ (3, 6, 4) = 13. Then I switch to inspire courage +2.

Silver Crusade

Female Half-Orc Inquisitor 9//Fighter 9

V grunts in disappointment at her previous round and switches tactics. She focuses her thoughts on the earth elemental, tempering her fury into a razor edge. Shifting her feet, she raises her shield in a defensive position, ready to deflect any blows. Seeing an opportunity, she jumps into the creature’s reach, delivering two quick blows.

Rolls:

Bane vs Outsider (earth), combat expertise for -3/+3
Attack 1 Sword 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (19) + 16 = 35
Damage 1d8 + 13 ⇒ (2) + 13 = 15 plus2d6 ⇒ (5, 6) = 11
Attack 2 Sword 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (8) + 11 = 19
Damage 1d8 + 13 ⇒ (1) + 13 = 14 plus2d6 ⇒ (6, 1) = 7

Grand Lodge

Male Elf Ranger 9//Witch 9

Realizing his arrows will be of little use, he attempts to at least keep it off-balance.
Momir will evil eye for -4 to hit again, since the last one didn't seem to stick.
Mishka will attack again, maneuvering to do her best at Flanking with V.
Power Attack (AC is now 26), 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28, if hit, 2d6 + 10 ⇒ (2, 2) + 10 = 14, Trip Attempt 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (10) + 13 = 23


Initiative:

23 Mishka
17 V
9 Sakura
9 Momir
4 BBEG

Mishka moves in, harassing the elemental. She manages to bite off several clumps of earth, which she spits out distastefully. The mighty earth elemental is steady as the ground from which it came, and her efforts to topple it seem for naught. V attempts her new tactics and lands her first attack, but she still seems disappointed by the results. Sakura’s first ball of lightning seems to do much better, bits of rock exploding. Amazingly, however, the elemental manages to dodge the second, defying expectations and its own lumbering bulk. Momir calls on his ancestors to curse the creature again, and this time it seems to have affected the creature.

Just as V took a more cautious approach to her attacks, the elemental seems to make a conscious decision to focus more on the accuracy of its strikes. Its fist slams down towards V, but it comes down just barely slowed by Sakura’s spell. With a hairsbreadth to spare, V pulls her shield up in time to block the tons of rock falling towards her head. She breathes a visible sigh of relief and gives a nod back to her companions.

GM Rolls:

Status: -4 Atk evil eye, +1 atk/dmg earth mastery, -1 atk slow
HP: -46
Ref Save 1 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20
Ref Save 2 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
Will Save vs evil eye 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16
Attack vs V 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (13) + 17 = 30
Damage 2d10 + 11 ⇒ (5, 8) + 11 = 24

Lantern Lodge

Female Human (Tian-Shu) Bard (geisha) 9//Sorcerer (tattooed sorcerer) 9

Sakura's brow furls ever so slightly at the beast dodging one of the lightning balls, but then redoubles her efforts on moving them on top of the elemental. "V, wait for thus next spell of mine to attack." Immediately afterwards Sakura's song changes tempo yet again, increasing speed and alacrity as she points towards her companions.

Sakura concentrates to make sure the ball lightnings are still on top of the elemental and then casts haste on the party. Also maintaining inspire courage. Ball lightning damage #1 3d6 ⇒ (5, 6, 3) = 14 Ball lightning damage #2 3d6 ⇒ (3, 6, 1) = 10

Silver Crusade

Female Half-Orc Inquisitor 9//Fighter 9

Recovering from the elemental's blow, V twists and ducks under the slow-moving limb. She grunts in acknowledgment of Sakura's cry, waiting just a moment for the spell to infuse her limbs. With renewed vigor, she roars at the elemental and moves in for another round of strikes.

Rolls:

Attack 1 Sword 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (1) + 19 = 20
Damage 1d8 + 15 + 2d6 ⇒ (3) + 15 + (5, 2) = 25
Attack 2 Sword 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (19) + 19 = 38
Damage 1d8 + 15 + 2d6 ⇒ (4) + 15 + (6, 3) = 28
Attack 3 Sword 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (10) + 14 = 24
Damage 1d8 + 15 + 2d6 ⇒ (2) + 15 + (6, 4) = 27

Grand Lodge

Male Elf Ranger 9//Witch 9

Seeing the elemental's attacks slowed, he calls once more to the powers that be, praying for a quick blessing over V's baned attacks.
V, take heart, and may your blades strike true!
Using Fortune Hex on V.


GM Rolls:

Status: -4 Atk evil eye, +1 atk/dmg earth mastery, -1 atk slow
HP: -89
Ref Save 1 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
Ref Save 2 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
Attack vs V 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (14) + 17 = 31
Damage 2d10 + 11 ⇒ (5, 8) + 11 = 24

While distress would be too strong of an emotion to attribute to the creature, it does seem to be discomforted by both the lightning and V's attacks. Continuing to surprise the party, it again dodges away from one of the balls of lightning. Great chunks of earth fall from its form, crashing to the substance from which it came.

On its turn, the elemental seems to pause, and then it ponderously turns its bulk to slam down on Miska instead of the terribly difficult to hit half-orc. It lands a solid blow, the wolf whimpering in pain.

Lantern Lodge

Female Human (Tian-Shu) Bard (geisha) 9//Sorcerer (tattooed sorcerer) 9

Sakura again continues to concentrate on the balls of lightning, hoping to damage the creature even more than it currently is. This creature is simply more resistant that I would have thought. To think that a creature that size could dodge so easily... Perhaps fire would work better? Arcane words spring forth from Sakura again, erupting into a ball of fire above the elemental.

Stopping concentration on inspire courage, however it was last for 2 more rounds. Ball Lightning #1 Damage 3d6 ⇒ (1, 1, 6) = 8 Ball Lightning #2 Damage 3d6 ⇒ (1, 6, 5) = 12. If the ball lightnings finish off the elemental I won't cast the fireball. Fireball DC 21 reflex for half. 8d6 ⇒ (4, 6, 5, 4, 4, 1, 6, 2) = 32.


Reflex save vs lightning 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
Reflex save vs lightning 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Reflex save vs fireball 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7

Assailed by the lightning, the elemental lashes out as powdered rock explodes off. Weakened by the power of the energy, Sakura's final line of poetry explodes over its upper half. V and Mishka are scorched by the heat, but are untouched by its flames. Blackened rocks rain down, and finally the creature collapses in a pile of smoking rubble.

Combat ends.

Silver Crusade

Female Half-Orc Inquisitor 9//Fighter 9

V brushes off the dust and earth from her shoulders, and stabs the pile of earth with her sword a few times for good measure. Noticing the injured wolf, she puts away her shield and draws a wand, tapping her once. 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7

”Well, should we continue onwards? Let’s see what manner of horrible undead populate this hallowed ground.”

Lantern Lodge

Female Human (Tian-Shu) Bard (geisha) 9//Sorcerer (tattooed sorcerer) 9

While V is poking her sword at the rubble, Sakura steps forwards and calms down Mishka from his wound, humming a soft tone to the beast. Casting cure light wounds 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8. "Yes, I believe we should move forward and explore the rest of this. However, don't forget to pray to your god before we enter, lest we have another creature jump out at us unprepared."

Grand Lodge

Male Elf Ranger 9//Witch 9

Grabbing the wolf by muzzle, Momir looks at Mishka for a moment before playfully ruffling the large wolf's head, before resting his hand upon the wolf's shoulder. "My Mishka has seen worse, she'll be fine...well..let us see what hides for us here, eh!"

Silver Crusade

Female Half-Orc Inquisitor 9//Fighter 9

V nods at Sakura and casts shield of faith before moving forward.


The party advances forward over the turned earth cautiously. Momir keeps on high alert for traps and V scans the horizon. They cross over the 30 feet of churned earth and hop the low fence, pausing to listen for the sound of moaning ghosts or shuffling feet. A minute ticks by. Nothing.

The group advances through the gravel paths and past the gravestones. There are a few hundred graves interred here, marked with symbols of Aroden, Iomedae, Sarenrae, Desna and many other goodly faiths, including those dedicated to Empyreal Lords and other rarer gods. The party finally comes to the center of the graveyard, to the beautiful angel fountain. Like the rest of the cemetery, it is weathered but otherwise undisturbed.

As the party stands there, a strange feeling of peace and serenity settles over all of them, but especially V. She sniffs the air a few times, and then rubs her face and then, unbelievably, yawns as if waking from a refreshing nap. The entire area seems strangely distant from the chaos beyond the fence.

Grand Lodge

Male Elf Ranger 9//Witch 9

"V...you alright?" With a lazy smile, Momir mutters, "I feel...calm...at peace...something must be wrong, but maybe...maybe we rest here! Or...something..."
Shaking his head, he brings it upon himself at least scry his surroundings, seeing if he can detect magic.

Lantern Lodge

Female Human (Tian-Shu) Bard (geisha) 9//Sorcerer (tattooed sorcerer) 9

Knowledge (history) 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Knowledge (religion) 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13

Suppressing a small yawn herself, "I'm not sure what it is Momir. Perhaps it is a protection that the crusaders of old put on this place? Hopefully it has not been perverted over the years."

Also casting detect magic and looking around for anything unusual.

Perception 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (10) + 17 = 27
Knowledge (arcana-aid) 1d20 ⇒ 12
Knowledge (arcana) 10+19=29
Spellcraft (aid) 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
Spellcraft 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (14) + 15 = 29


Surprised by the strange aura around the graveyard, the party investigates with magic. It rapidly becomes clear that there is an aura of abjuration and protection all around the roughly quarter mile square, ending precisely at the rather humble fence. Further research shows that the cemetery is covered by an effect similar to magic circle against evil, with the aura strongest at the central fountain.

Sakura consults her books again, and examines the headstones with the aid of Momir and V's sharp senses. The dates on the stones are all between 4625-4626. Sakura notes that 4622 was the launch of the First Crusade, and the dates on these stones must be from the first year that they had launched their siege of Tsar. Further examination of the fountain reveals only one faded word: Azarkites.

Lantern Lodge

Female Human (Tian-Shu) Bard (geisha) 9//Sorcerer (tattooed sorcerer) 9

During the exploration of the cemetery Sakura chronicles everything into her journal. Finishing with the word "azarkites" she circles the word heavily and then marks the top of the page.

"This is quite an interesting place and would serve well for a resting place if The Camp was not... viable any longer. We should absolutely keep note of this place in the future. As a note however, I am rather impressed with the tenacity of the magic here. One would assume that being next to the Worldwound for nearly 100 years would have detrimental effects. Should we head back to The Camp now?"

Silver Crusade

Female Half-Orc Inquisitor 9//Fighter 9

V cautiously dips a hand into the trickle of water from the fountain and finds it to be quite cool and refreshing. She sniffs it and then gives it a taste and then nods to the party. "Agreed. It would be wildly useful if this was, say, in the center of the Desolation. But perhaps there will be more havens like this one as we go along. Let us make a note of this on our map and be off."

Grand Lodge

Male Elf Ranger 9//Witch 9

"If you wish, Sakura...But why not just rest here and then continue our exploration on the morrow? Seems someone saw fit to protect here, perhaps we ought to enjoy it."
Momir seems to adopt an uneasy grin, 'Sides, whats the worst that can happen, eh? Ha...eh...hmmm"

Lantern Lodge

Female Human (Tian-Shu) Bard (geisha) 9//Sorcerer (tattooed sorcerer) 9

"We are close to the Camp, Momir. Let us go home and sleep in beds tonight; we will explore again tomorrow."


The team of Pathfinders and their guide head back to the Camp, encountering nothing further along the way. Just as dusk is falling, they reach the ragtag hamlet, and return to the warmth of the inn. Sammar looks up from polishing the counter as the party enters and nods in welcome. ”Welcome home!”

The tiny inn looks vastly different from a mere month ago when the party acquired it. While the ceilings are still low enough to force V and Momir to stoop, almost everything else has been replaced for human-sized comfort. Many of the walls have been renovated...including transforming the Bender Brother’s collective bedroom into three separate suites for the Pathfinders.

For just a few hours, the group has the chance to unwind and feel a sense of normalcy. Sammar exhibits his usual ingenuity as he serves up robust and delicious food. He does timidly mention his mission, and asks that the party find the caravan from Nerosyan, “If...if it would not be too much trouble, to, ah, look into it with ahem, all due haste...”

Recap of Sammar’s Mission:

The man before you wears the finely tailored, though travel- stained garb, of an official diplomat. The sword crest on his tunic identifies his allegiance to Nerosyan. He is middle-aged with only a touch of gray in his hair. The worry lines on his face seem to have deepened recently. He begs your leave to speak with you and ushers you aside to a more private place before explaining.

“I am Sammar of Nerosyan, recently installed diplomatic agent to the Camp. My masters have elected to reopen the northern trade route through the Desolation, and I have been instructed to set up an embassy here to oversee the city’s interests in such a venture. I arrived here with a caravan some weeks ago and set up facilities to serve in the interim until a caravan route could be successfully established and lucrative trade opened up. My caravan departed north not a week ago to open that route and seek valuable trade with the exotic lands of the north. They are not expected back for several months, but I fear ill fortune has befallen them.

“Though the caravan had its own contingent of guardsmen, for added security they hired a band of ogre mercenaries led by a hill giant to safely escort them across the Desolation. As you are aware, the giant leader of that band returned in none-too-good-a-shape and without his ogre warriors. It is too soon for the giant to have escorted the caravan all the way across the Desolation and already returned to the Camp. Therefore, I fear the worst.

“It is my understanding that you are adventurers who seek to enter the Desolation anyway. All I ask is that you search for the lost caravan and return with any survivors or news of its fate if there are none. For this task I can assure you that you will be richly rewarded by my government. Bard’s Gate is a rich and powerful city with vast wealth from its commerce. It knows how to repay those who give it assistance. Please, will you help me?”

The night passes without incident, and the party awakens refreshed.

Lantern Lodge

Female Human (Tian-Shu) Bard (geisha) 9//Sorcerer (tattooed sorcerer) 9

Before leaving in the morning, Sakura takes a moment to speak with Sammar, easing his concerns. "Do not worry Sammar, I know that it has taken some time, but we have not forgotten of our promise. We went out yesterday with the purpose of exploring the Desolation and did not find the Caravan. We will make sure to make more concerted effort today for it."

Sakura stands near her companions preparing herself for the exploration ahead for the day: checking her haversack for all of her adventuring and chronicling gear, adjusting her wrist sheathes that hold her vital wands, and finally speaking arcane words to protect herself and her tiny fox familiar.

"I admit that the caravan did not cross my mind yesterday. We seemed to have been sidetracked too much by the quest to see the grove to the north. Let us go and pick up Lucas and head out to the north, to see if we can find the Caravan." Sakura seems to suddenly remember something and turns to V, "Oh, and V... did you remember to pick up the crowbar that we needed so much yesterday? I was able to pick up the scrolls of knock when we arrived last night. When we have more time later perhaps I will be able to acquire a page that will let me use my own magic for it later... but for now these will have to suffice."

Buying 3 scrolls of knock, 1 for the door and 2 for the future. Also casting my long buffs on myself and the fox.

Silver Crusade

Female Half-Orc Inquisitor 9//Fighter 9

V sorts through the crafting materials and removes a few pages from the spellbook, handing them to the Witch along with a large bar of iron. "Momir, I've seen a magic item in the markets of Absalom. It is a bar of iron that can be formed into any simple tool...it would be handy here. Do you think you could make it during any of our down time?".

Just before they set out, V strides into the marketplace and purchases a sturdy crowbar and a few other tools. The merchant begins to haggle with her on its price...but she gives him her most withering look and he quickly agrees to her price.

"Let us be off. There is much to accomplish. Should we follow the caravan first or return to the impenetrable tomb?"

Lantern Lodge

Female Human (Tian-Shu) Bard (geisha) 9//Sorcerer (tattooed sorcerer) 9

"I believe finding the caravan should be our priority. The tomb has been undisturbed for decades whereas there might be people that need our help soon."


The party sets off, this time upon the ancient road that leads straight north from the Camp. The road itself is a bare hardpan sunken at least a foot below the surrounding ground from the centuries if not millennia of travel it has seen. Tracks do not linger long on this hard surface as windblown dust quickly erases them.

Knowledge (History):

DC 20: Once long ago, the plains outside of Tsar were an important crossroads for the civilized world. A great trade road ran between Varisia and the Crown of the World, seeing a constant stream of traffic. From behind the mighty walls of Tsar itself, great trade caravans emerged to travel in either direction. Likewise the road from the Black Gates of Tsar ran east through Sarkoris to the Lake of Mists and Veils, and west to the Realms of the Mammoth Lords.. Taxes on the goods traveling these two roads made Tsar rich and gave the city leaders great world influence.

Then a shadow fell upon the city. The priesthood of Orcus came to power and slowly gained sway over the city. Harsher tariffs and city- sponsored marauders harassed traffic along the roads. Eventually the far distant coastal city shriveled and died as its only major land route for goods was choked off. The southern kingdoms and northern lands became more distant and estranged from each other as travel between the two became a chancy thing. Eventually the first caravan to brave the route for some time discovered that the city of Tsar had grown into a massive citadel and temple-city devoted solely to the foul worship of the Demon Prince of Undead — a blight upon the land. Trade all but ceased save for the slave caravans and bandit companies brave or foolish enough to do business with the decadent disciples of Orcus.

Travel is faster here than across the desert, and the journey is fairly uneventful. As they ride, the Ashen Wastes lie to the east and the barren, cracked earth of the Dead Fields lie to west. Within hours, the party reaches the center of the Desolation.

Two sunken roads meet here in a depression in the center of the desolate plain. West lie the Black Gates of Tsar, east unknown hills occupied by demons and then the heart of the Worldwound. South leads back to the Camp and the road to Nerosyan, and to the north are the fabled lands of spice and riches which have drawn so many to brave these deadly lands in search of their fortune. Surely any who make it this far find their enthusiasm curbed by the sobering scene.

Great scaffolds of heavy wooden beams rise at each corner of this intersection. Suspended from their many yardarms are heavy iron cages like malignant fruit on an infernal tree. These cages hold the picked clean bones and dangling tatters of the unfortunates who have been imprisoned in them and left for the crows. Several of the bones have fallen to the ground beneath the cages and a couple of the cages have fallen to the ground themselves, their heavy chains rusted through and no longer able to support their great weight.

Silver Crusade

Female Half-Orc Inquisitor 9//Fighter 9

”Certainly a bleak place,” comments V as she cautiously jumps off her horse. Drawing her weapons, she moves to the rotting carcasses and prods them. Seeing as how they do not arise and attack her, she looks for any valuables.

Perception 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (11) + 14 = 25

Lantern Lodge

Female Human (Tian-Shu) Bard (geisha) 9//Sorcerer (tattooed sorcerer) 9

"It certainly is. Do you think this crossroads would have anything to do with the Caravan? If so perhaps we could track to where it went." At this Sakura slides off of her horse as well humming to herself and then begins to scan around the area.

Casting detect magic and then Perception w/ aid 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (2) + 15 = 17


Momir points out to the rest of the party two rumors that he remembers from the camp:

“If you travel the roads of the Desolation at night, you're sure to run into the Lost Caravan…all that's left of the unluckiest merchants to ever try to cross the wastes. You'll see and hear strange things that can't be explained, but that's okay. Just step aside and let ‘em pass, and more than likely they'll go on by, though a few people do disappear. Those that bother them, though, are doomed to join their cursed journey forever.”

“There's something alive at the crossroads. It only appears at the stroke of midnight. It can grant you your every desire, but the price is steep. Don't bargain with the thing that comes in the night at the crossroads if you value your soul.”

Grand Lodge

Male Elf Ranger 9//Witch 9

Momir takes a moment to look around the crossroads, specifically looking for any tracks, or at least somewhat recent activity. Speaking soft words into his cloak, Mishra emerges, with a caw, the bird takes flight doing a quick scan of the area. Momir does his best to aid the bird, telling her what to look for.
Mishra is doing the perception check, Momir aids, 1d20 + 23 ⇒ (7) + 23 = 30.

"If we are worried about these..travelers, Mishra and I can speak with ancestors, yea? They fly along these searing winds as well as though a grain of sand, they see all."


Mishra sails up into the air, soaring high on the hot up drafts coming from The Desolation. To the northwest she sees a land of swamps and boiling mud. To the northeast the land is broken up by a series of massive chasms, one of which that seems to extend into the road a few miles to the north.

The rest of the party does not seem to find anything else of interest at the crossroads.

Silver Crusade

Female Half-Orc Inquisitor 9//Fighter 9

"Eh. We've wasted enough time. I say we press onwards and try to find any sign of the caravan. After you perform your divinations if you like, Momir."

Grand Lodge

Male Elf Ranger 9//Witch 9

Pulling out a pinch of incense, with a hum and a prayer, he lights the incense, plant it in the sand beneath him. Eyes to sun he calls out to the ephemeral spirits whirling around him.
"Whispers of my Elders, be they lost or living, direct me to the members of the Nerosyan caravan, the object of mine and Sammar's quest."
Momir's voice softens somewhat, as he seems to comment more to himself than whatever may be listening to his call, "And may they be more living than lost."


Momir's divination fails. Mishra gives her master a doleful look as the swirling ashes die down around her.

Grand Lodge

Male Elf Ranger 9//Witch 9

Momir pulls the bird close, petting its head. "Is ok, Mishra, we try again tomorrow, eh?"
Turning to his companions,"Well...eh...it seems the spirits...they are not for the talking today...hmmm...Where to go, now? "

Lantern Lodge

Female Human (Tian-Shu) Bard (geisha) 9//Sorcerer (tattooed sorcerer) 9

"To the North. That's the direction the caravan was going... Towards Tain Xia in fact."


The party mounts up again and continues north. A little under an hour later, the group reaches the vast split in the road. A wide chasm cuts across the road here. It extends out of sight to the west and expands into a massive canyon to the east. Here it is about 30 feet wide and has steep rocky sides descending into the depths below. The wooden pylons that once fl anked the entrance to a wooden bridge still stand on this edge of the chasm and on the far side, but the bridge itself extends out only a few feet before ending in a jagged, charred, broken edge. There does not appear to be any easy way across.

Silver Crusade

Female Half-Orc Inquisitor 9//Fighter 9

V dismounts and sniffs the air. Remembering the fight with the elemental, she does not want to be caught unaware again, and casts perceive cues and shield of faith.

Lantern Lodge

Female Human (Tian-Shu) Bard (geisha) 9//Sorcerer (tattooed sorcerer) 9

Seeing the chasm coming up into sight, before dismounting from the horse, Sakura speaks a short haiku and then some arcane words. Once dismounted she walks towards the chasm, carefully discerning to area, hoping to find some sign of the caravan or some creature.

Casting shield, mirror image, and heroism on herself. Then detect magic while looking around. Perception w/ aid 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (12) + 17 = 29 # of images 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4

Grand Lodge

Male Elf Ranger 9//Witch 9

Admist the rhythmic sing-song of Sakura's Haiku's and V's prayers, Momir similarly calls for aid, asking for sharper eyes and a ready mind. Using an extend rod, Perceive cues

He asks Mishra to take a quick look around the area, while Momir himself takes a focused look on the area by the dilapidated bridge, seeing if he can, specifically, spot any traps.

Mishra's General Survey from the Air - 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (17) + 21 = 38
Momir's Search for traps (Add +3 if in bright daylight)1d20 + 23 ⇒ (18) + 23 = 41

Thinking on it, Momir mentions, "I can easily fly across, but, eh...what of you two?

Silver Crusade

Female Half-Orc Inquisitor 9//Fighter 9

V holds a hand out as a warning to Sakura and Momir and approaches the chasm first. On high alert, she peers over the edge.

Perception: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (10) + 19 = 29


GM Rolls:

Stealth: 1d20 - 3 ⇒ (8) - 3 = 5

As the party moves up to the drop, there is the distinct sound of slithering against rock. Something has noticed the group, something big (and not at all stealthy). A chorus of roars erupts as the creature hauls its bulk up the chasm wall, hanging just underneath the ledge that the party is standing on. The beast is an enormous multi-headed reptile, horned snake-like heads writhing from a black and red scaled body.

Knowledge (arcana) and (planes):

Arcana DC 9: This is a Hydra. It has the ability to heal its wounds, including its heads (which double) if they are severed unless they are sealed with fire or acid. They can be killed by severing all of their heads or killing its body.
Arcana DC 14: This is a special type of hydra called a pyrohydra. It is immune to fire, but its heads can be sealed with cold instead. Additionally you notice that this hydra has seven heads, not the usual 5, and is probably a standard challenge for the group.
Arcana DC 19: One of the deadliest aspects of a hydra is their lightning speed. They can strike with all of their heads even when charging recklessly into combat, and have reflexes to strike all who approach them.
Arcana DC 24: They also breathe fire, and can combine their breaths of each head or attack separately.
Planes DC 15: This is a fiendish hydra. Not only is it immune to fire, but it also resists cold damage and has damage reduction and spell resistance.
Planes DC 20: You would guess that for a creature of this strength, it has cold resist 10, DR5/good, and SR 14.

Initiative Rolls:

V: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
Sakura: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
Momir: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29
Mishka: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Enemy: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15

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