In 4121 AR, the desert dwarves of the Barrier Wall Mountains sealed the famed Tar-Urkatha mine abruptly, saying only that one of the richest platinum mines in history had played out. Nearly six centuries later, the truth rises from the darkness.
This time Cortos isn't even capable of articulating a coherent phrase, and just snarls at the undead, raising his axe for a powerful blow.
Cortos moves to E6, power attacking the last monster. 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 261d12 + 12 ⇒ (8) + 12 = 20
Oh man these dice love me. Confirming critical: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 192d12 + 12 ⇒ (5, 6) + 12 = 23 Forgot to add another 12. If confirmed the total damage is 61.
Jerrand- Drag is to move a foe. Removing something from another creatures hands would be a disarm attempt. Fortunately, the grappling creature doesn't get an AoO. Unfortunately your roll wasn't high enough.
Jerrand moves up and tries to pull Shirsh from the dead Pathfinder, but it clutches its victim tightly...for a moment until it is reduced to dust beneath Cortos' powerful axe.
Barabarian in the hey-ouse.
Shirish falls to the sand, a trickle of blood flowing from the gaping wound on her chest.
Chitleen looks around to confirm that the danger has passed before sheathing his talwar and allowing the smile to once more cross his face. He does not step forward just yet, as he wishes to confirm that the angry bearded one has spent his rage first....
Var stands behind Jerrand watching anxiously. He laughs loudly at Shirish's query. "Aye, girl. I'm fine. You're the one we're worried about. Hell of a way to earn your freedom, but with poor Jawad dead...um, again, you're a free agent now. "
He walks over to Jawad's body and pulls a leather satchel off the corpse. "His journal ought to be in here. Maybe that'll give us some answers. If it was Sand Stalkers that got everyone then we might expect another dozen of the foul things to be lurking nearby. Let's throw a little sand over these corpses and get Shirish back to the lodge. We need to make sure she's clear of any taint as well."
He glances at Cortos, "By the Abyss, that was a display of fury. Remind me to stay on your good side and clear of that axe. Can you make it back to the lodge or can I give you a hand, Northerner?"
Shirish rises slowly, remaining on her knees simply staring at the remains of her master while Var pulls his belongings from the reanimated corpse.
My Master, dead. And myself... free?
The word tastes like ash on Shirish's tongue. Ash, and the metal taste of her own blood. Jawad had been a fair master. There were worse assignments he might have sold her to, plenty enough hardened adventure types might have thrilled at the chance to abuse one as resilient as herself in the brothels.
Shirish simply kneels and watches the remainder of the party throwing sand over the man responsible for her life, unable to object to the rude treatment. Were there time, she would have liked to gather his remains and see them buried properly, but neither would she allow Var to be attacked again for her delicacy.
Shirish turns at the crass dwarf's words. "Aye, my thanks, Jerrand," she says in a somewhat startled voice. "Your tongue be rough, but your hands are skilled. I... have never known magical healing. It was beyond my purchase price."
Cortos, still tired for the fight, eventually rises up and goes back to the lodge, after making sure that the dead things won't rise again. He pays no attention to Var's words, and addresses Shirish: Right, what the hell was that, girl? Ye almost got yourself killed. Don't think that "froze up motionless" is a viable tactic in combat. If he wasn't for my cousin here, ye would have died out there.
Cortos has no clue about the whole paralizing touch thing, and tought that Shirish was just too scared to move.
Shirish's voice rumbles when she replies to the lithe man. "Jawad were a good master. He raised me and my brothers and sisters from children, put me in my first arms, and let me compete in games," she says. "He would not sell me to brothel when none other would take me on account of my... stature,"and my calm ways...
She looks to the second dwarf. "I could not move after that bite, could scarcely breathe. But I am honored that I could serve as Master Var's shield," she continues, although her tone is not eccstatic. "Although I would much preferred to have been able to prove my prowess in battle. But, I live and am given license to do so again!"
Listening to Shirish, Var stops short. "Ah, you're right, Shirish. I may not have agreed with all Jawad did, owning slaves in particular, but he was a member of the Society. It seems the least we can do is give him a burial plot inside the compound. He ought to be harmless after Cortos' treatment anyway." Var quickly jogs back to pull the dried remains of Jawad up and drag him to the compound.
Back inside, Var carefully locks the iron gate and retrieves a shovel from near the garden. "Jerrand, you want to dig a hole over here in our memorial area and maybe you could say a few words for Jawad as well."
"Knew you my Master?" Shirish seems to grumble. "I'll not have you speak ill of him.
"Do not think because I carry a sword and shield and prefer to act as one that it I am... broken, or simple. My Master gave me and my brothers and sisters the training and tools to excel in battle. I gave of myself to protect another. It was not compelled by training, but conscious choice to defend one who had not drawn a weapon."
Shirish shakes her head.
At the grave, Shirish kneels and whispers a prayer to Kurgess in Orcish, that her brothers and sisters will continue to know victory for the training that Jawad afforded each of them.
Var pats Shirish's arm reassuringly and nods to Jerrand, "Do you have any words, Priest? I don't know if Jawad paid any particular attention to the Gods, but seems to me these kind of services are meant more for the living."
Jawad is dead dead, but your inspection reveals a secret pocket in his robes with a pair of amber colored crystals the size of your thumb.
"Gorum has little fir words, but he do 'ave a small benediction fir those who do perish in battle. I be guess'n that is how Jawad died, dee second time." Jerrand says stepping to stand at the foot of the grave.
"Take this warrior back to thy breast -
Give his spirit an eternal rest."
"When the blades be needed once more for battle -
Then shall he watch and listen to our swords rattle."
"And when once more we are but feed for the beasts -
Will we know rest, will we know peace."
The dwarf draws his warhammer from his belt and shakes it in the air, "BE YE AT PEACE! BE YE AT PEACE!"
Looking at teh looks of the others he lowers his hammer. "What?"
As Jawad is laid to rest in the casket Chitleen retrieves a small crystal vial from within his clothing. Removing the stopper he rubs a small amount of the oil within between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand. He then applies the oil by touching Jawad's body on the temple, chin, then each of his wrists.
As Chitleen stands and moves back from the grave there is a faint smell of saffron.
If anyone is curious as to what or why he did it: "Kesar ittar, to guide his spirit beyond."
Chitleen will try to palm the crystals unseen, as well as racking his head to see if he knows of their source / origin / purpose.
Var tactfully smooths his moustache perhaps to hide a smile. "Well said, Jerrand. That ought to send him on his way. Well, let's get him buried properly and then head inside to see what we have." He pats the satchel.
pardon me, it's pale green and let's go with Know arcana. You know Jawad's passion was skymetals and you are certain this is a sample of Noqual, a material from distant worlds that is resistant to magic.
Shirish will lend her arms to burying her master without another word. When the group returns to the lodge, she will keep clear of the lithe man whose words she does not appreciate, and be sure to seat herself where she has no cause to look upon him. His words about her former master were unfounded, and Shirish is angry.
You enter the lodge to the smell of burning goat stew. Var curses, tosses the satchel on a display case, and runs to save dinner. Everything eventually gets situated and although the goat stew is a bit overcooked, the bread and ale are delicious.
Just found out i'm traveling for work. not sure about internet access. i'll be back fri night if lacking. talk amongst ya'selves if you wish.
Chit- no problem.
It is only after returning to the lodge that Chitleen remembers his chai that he started to prepare earlier. Bemoaning the fact that it was cold and ruined from the time spent idle - he discards the now bitter tepid water and begins anew.
Chai brewed, he sits at a bench and takes some bread only. Spreading a thin veneer of butter across it he eats in an almost dainty manner.
Shirish heaps a large helping of everything on her plate and eats quickly, using the last of her bread to wipe up whatever remains of the stew from her bowl, leaving not a morsel of food behind. The only item she does not partake deeply of is the ale, of which she afford herself only a half glass. The wound in her chest is deep, and pains her still.
Male Elf Wizard 3 (Transmuter-Enhancement) / AC13->17(mage armor) / HP23->full
Daeron arrives when most of the others have already sat. Seeing the free woman trying to avoid him, he looks for a seat a distance away, not trying to compound the matter. Soon the incident fades thin from his memory, of little importance.
Dipping the stew with bread he finds the goat stew too goaty and spiced heavily. Nevertheless he resolves himself to finishing his portion and worrying about the gastrointestinal upset later.
His mind wanders during the sipping of ale, his glances occasional land on his other diners.
Finishing his meal, Chitleen sips his chai and clears a place on the table before him. He then sets about removing a number of small crystal bottles from his person, arraying them before him. The bottles are all filled with amber colored oil, thick and viscous.
Chitleen then goes through them each in sequence, taking the bottle to his nose and partially unstoppering it. Sniffing the stem of the stopper, he is seen to mostly nod and occasionally shake his head as he takes stock.
"Wha I wuild nay give, fir a bit o'pig." Jerrand says as he takes up his bench and fills his mug.
Var shakes his head, "The last time I tried to raise hogs, they got out and helped themselves to every tuber and melon in the patch. Besides they're filthy animals."
Var gives a slight belch as he finishes his stew. "Well, if everyone is finished, let's see what happened to Jawad." He grabs the satchel(ribbing, Chitleen ;) ) and dumps it out on the table: a wayfinder, three empty vials, and a thick journal drop out. Var picks up the journal and thumbs through to the back.
Repacking his own vials, Chitleen reaches for the empty ones from Jawad's satchel. Raising them to the light and sniffing the interior, he attempts to see if he can determine what (if anything) they held within recently.
Var reads a few sections as he leafs through the pages with thick fingers.
I am certain I have found it! The legends of skymetal falling along the southern edge of the Ancient Empire of Osirion are certainly true. It took some work, but we have uncovered the doors of the ancient building. Doors engraved with the image of an object falling from the night sky. But what is the building? A tomb? A shrine? I am yet uncertain. The only hieroglyph still legible reads ‘Black Sphinx’.
We have entered the Inner Sanctum! And upon the altar a piece of adamantite weighing upwards of 50 pounds! Amazing! Further, inside a sarcophagus, a large deposit of noqual! This is truly a spectacular find!
The Black Sphinx has returned! I can still hear the screams of the slaves. I ran into the dunes when the beast first appeared and I fear I am the only survivor. I must make it back to the lodge for asst! I have little water, but I cannot return to the camp. I pray that I can make it.
Chitleen's almost prehensil probiscus detects that the vials contained draughts for healing and concealment.
Shirish's eyes widen when the men crassly grab at her former master's things, but recognizes that there is little to be said for it now. She would like to know how he had been set upon, and came to rest where they found him, but sand was not known for its ability to hold a track.
"He do find adamat lying about?" Jrrand says incredulously. "That do be something worth guarding, and dis Black Sphinx do sound like a formidable guard. But by Gorum I will help to defeat it in battle and claim me a black feather as a prize."
Rubbing at his olfactory organ with a sleeve Chitleen adds "I believe that Jerrand was referring to adamantite... a very valuable metal. Jawad must have been expecting hardship, these vials recently held philters of healing and concealment."
Cortos, after finishing his meal, listens to the other talk about freedom and slavery. He would have many things to say about it, but he prefers to stay silent. He rather concentrates Jawad's discoveries, then he nods at Jerrand's words. I'm going down there. Not afraid of those things. 'll be glad if any of you come with me. Just as long as you don't stand in the middle of a battle doin' nothing. He takes a quick glance at Shirish and smiles, not out of mockery, but to play down what happened to the girl and hopefully make her feel a little better.
Var chuckles with a gleam in his eye. "Aye, Adamantite. Hardest metal there is; it makes steel look like lead. I'm not familiar with this noqual, but just think of fifty pounds of adamantite sitting in that shrine for anyone to grab...well, once you deal with that black sphinx, I suppose. Ah, I wish I could go, but I'm expecting some important guests any day now. Cussed lodge duties getting in the way of a good expedition!"
Male Elf Wizard 3 (Transmuter-Enhancement) / AC13->17(mage armor) / HP23->full
Daeron's ears prick up when he hears the mention of various skymetal.
I have heard of other types of such metals, so rare that not much is even written about them. It would be worthwhile to investigate such, who knows what power these metals may hold after deliberate research is done.
He keeps a calm demeanor and casually asks..
Master Var, any mention of this tomb's whereabouts? I am sure a seasoned pathfinder would leave note detailing his journey to and from such a momentous find.
BTW, how strictly is food and water is going to be tracked during this campaign Hungry Voodoo?
Var blinks at Jerrand and Daeron, "Huh, map? I didn't see anything in the journal, but..." He picks up the wayfinder and gives the command, waypoint. As you watch the needle slowly swivels from North to South. [b]"Ah, this ought to take you there. Jawad had a special modification added. Hmmm, time is of the essence. Who knows when the Trackless Storm might blow over the site and bury it again."
"How are you, Shirish? Healed up enough to make the journey? I don't know if there will be any other survivors, but there's always hope. What about the rest of you? It sounds like Cortos is willing. I can provide you with water and rations. It looks to be two days away at most."
I'll note provisions, but not make a huge deal of it.