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Mortika's "Citadel of Flame" (Inactive)

Game Master Chris Mortika

This is a PFS-legal campaign for Scenario #39, "Citadel of Flame".


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Shadow Lodge

Female Human

i might ask for a little heling...

Sovereign Court

M Human Gunslinger 2 | 18/18 | 17 | T 14 | FF 13 | CMD 17 | F: +3 | R: +7 | W: +2 | Init +4 | Perc +7 Gunslinger 2

GM:
How much did Maximo's wand heal me?

"Thank you Maximo, if I wasn't expecting more action, I'd have never asked. However I am pretty sure that bird headed guy, said that I was going to be hunted by every one of his kind until I draw my last breath."

I sure hope that thing was just trying to scare me. Maybe if I dyed my hair....


Maximo's wand heals only 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2 points of James' damage.

Sovereign Court

Human Paladin of Shelyn 5 / Arcane Duelist Bard 1 / Grenadier Alchemist 2 | AC 20 FF 19 T 13 | HP 62/62 | F +13 R +12 W +12 | Init +1 | Perception +5

Of course my good man! Maximo presents a winning smile. And I wouldn't worry about what that creature said. Fiends are not known for their ability to tell the truth. And even if it was, more glory for you!

Turning to Moulini, Maximo pulls out the wand again and gives her a wave as well. There you go, my lady!

One more use of the wand on Moulini.


Moulini recovers 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3 hit points.

Moving on?

Sovereign Court

M Human Gunslinger 2 | 18/18 | 17 | T 14 | FF 13 | CMD 17 | F: +3 | R: +7 | W: +2 | Init +4 | Perc +7 Gunslinger 2

Let's

Lantern Lodge

Female Human Druid (2) Menhir Savant

Yes.

Lantern Lodge

sure

Shadow Lodge

Female Human

unless i'm supose to bow

Sovereign Court

Ranger 2, Rogue 3 | HP 38/38 | AC 20/15 touch/16 flatfooted | F+8, R+13, W+7 | Init. +8 | Perc +11/+12| Evasion |

Shel searches for anything strange. Seeing nothing, she continues to follow the same direction she had been leading the group, carefully as normal.


Moulini:
That's up to your judgement. Let me know, one way or the other. Also, let me know if you're just bowing, or prostrating yourself, in the style of the figures in the mosaic.

Continuing up the ramp even further -- Gryne would estimate you've walked up about 5 stories -- you find another of the side doors, leading to a similar, but not quite identical, set of abandoned living quarters. All told, you would estimate that each of these side structures could house 20 or so people. All the accomodations seem to be for human-sized occupants.

Even farther along, Shel sees the dim light of a blue flame ahead. Approaching prudently, she sees a third mosaic on the outermost wall. The mosaic shows the final judgment of the pilgrim. The same golden idol as before looms over this entire complex, reflected in every torch, lava pool, and smoke plume. The pilgrim immolates herself by placing her hand in a bonfire of blue flame. A much smaller brazier of blue flame stands on an ornate sconce in the passage.

The corridor continues, winding ever upwards, but it seems to be in a wider arc up ahead, as if it were straightening out.

Sovereign Court

M Human Gunslinger 2 | 18/18 | 17 | T 14 | FF 13 | CMD 17 | F: +3 | R: +7 | W: +2 | Init +4 | Perc +7 Gunslinger 2

Guarding the rear, James eventuaklly looks at the mosaic and thinks to himself

Looks like the pilgrim is at the end of her journey, maybe we are as well.

James shakes his head attempting to get the thought of impending bird headed demon death out of his head, and pulls the hammer back on his pistol.

Lantern Lodge

Female Human Druid (2) Menhir Savant

Hadassah will again take some time to sketch out the mosaic, and describe it in words as well. Aside from that, she will simply follow the others onwards.

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Inquisitor/2 - | HP 18/18 | AC 18 | T 12 | FF 16 |SR 7| CMD 14 | Fort +4 | Ref +3 | Will +7 | Init +6 | Perc +9 | Sense Motive +9 // Wand CLW - 44

Gryne will also copy the 2 murals to go along with the others.

This is proving to be a valuable fact finding mission.

Scarab Sages

"Would you mind to do some extra copies later of the murals Gryne? I will of course pay for your service"

Azatoth regrets that he didn't listen more carefully to the old ranger that tried to tell him how to use the pencil when it comes to paintings

Sovereign Court

Ranger 2, Rogue 3 | HP 38/38 | AC 20/15 touch/16 flatfooted | F+8, R+13, W+7 | Init. +8 | Perc +11/+12| Evasion |

"I hope we don't have to put our hands in that blue flame, like the mosaic demonstrates," Shel shivers at the thought.

Sovereign Court

M Human Gunslinger 2 | 18/18 | 17 | T 14 | FF 13 | CMD 17 | F: +3 | R: +7 | W: +2 | Init +4 | Perc +7 Gunslinger 2

To Shel " So far Moulini has decided to do everything the murals depict, I'm sure putting her hands in the flame would not be out of the question"

Shadow Lodge

Female Human

prostrating

Sovereign Court

Human Paladin of Shelyn 5 / Arcane Duelist Bard 1 / Grenadier Alchemist 2 | AC 20 FF 19 T 13 | HP 62/62 | F +13 R +12 W +12 | Init +1 | Perception +5

Hah. Maximo grins at James. I'm sure Moulini is merely interested in the murals. Though I must admit she has been acting strangely since the Porter mentioned a ritual. But then, she was only bluffing to gain proper flanking position. She wouldn't truly attempt a ritual of Moloch...

Noticing Moulini on the ground in a position depicted in the mural, he starts as if pinched, then moves to her side. My lady! He gasps. Have you tripped? He then attempts to help her back to her feet.


At the top of the passage sits an ornate spiral stair leading up. The murals here depict Malebolge, where the pilgrim has been reborn as a fiery warrior clad in black armor and standing in a paradise of water and palm trees (though hints of darker skies and fiery storms can be seen in the distance, reflecting the true nature of Malebolge). Along the walls, choirs of fire creatures sing in celebration, and a frieze on the ceiling shows the golden idol of Moloch smiling over his hordes.

Lantern Lodge

Female Human Druid (2) Menhir Savant

I will once again sketch out the murals.

Sovereign Court

Ranger 2, Rogue 3 | HP 38/38 | AC 20/15 touch/16 flatfooted | F+8, R+13, W+7 | Init. +8 | Perc +11/+12| Evasion |

Shel continues to take things slow, knowng she was getting closer and closer to the group's final destination. She searches the room as she goes.

Sovereign Court

M Human Gunslinger 2 | 18/18 | 17 | T 14 | FF 13 | CMD 17 | F: +3 | R: +7 | W: +2 | Init +4 | Perc +7 Gunslinger 2

He said all of them would be after me...

James continues to guard the groups collective six.

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Inquisitor/2 - | HP 18/18 | AC 18 | T 12 | FF 16 |SR 7| CMD 14 | Fort +4 | Ref +3 | Will +7 | Init +6 | Perc +9 | Sense Motive +9 // Wand CLW - 44
Hadassah Lokrien Savet wrote:
I will once again sketch out the murals.

Likewise.

And when we are done in here on the journey back, I will sit with Azatoth and help him make copies.

Azatoth, my friend, I will help you copy these drawings and notes when we are in our journey back.

Scarab Sages

"I thank you Gryne, you show me more kindness then the whole city gave me during my childhood, so you shall know it's very much appreciated!"

Azatoth silently regrets that he didn't bring the ale with him since it would been so nice to to share a mug with Gryne at this point.


The ramp ends here. You have two practical directions to go from here: take a look in the nearest living-quarters complex, to see if there's anything interesting there, or climb the spiral staircase.

If you decide to climb the staircase, you'll need to go single-file. Also, I'd like to know if you're moving up with one hand free (to, perhaps, catch the railing) or not.

Sovereign Court

M Human Gunslinger 2 | 18/18 | 17 | T 14 | FF 13 | CMD 17 | F: +3 | R: +7 | W: +2 | Init +4 | Perc +7 Gunslinger 2

the pistol is a one handed weapon so I have a free hand

Lantern Lodge

Female Human Druid (2) Menhir Savant

I would prefer if Maximo and/or Azatoth were ahead of me.

"Sir Maximo, I could use your wand to heal you all if there are more initiates ahead, freeing you up for combat, if you like.

If I am able to borrow a wand, I will have one hand free, otherwise I will have both hands free.

Sovereign Court

Ranger 2, Rogue 3 | HP 38/38 | AC 20/15 touch/16 flatfooted | F+8, R+13, W+7 | Init. +8 | Perc +11/+12| Evasion |

Shel will take the lead and keep both her hands free. "Which way should we go, everyone? Keep climbing, or look over in the living quarters?"

Sovereign Court

Human Paladin of Shelyn 5 / Arcane Duelist Bard 1 / Grenadier Alchemist 2 | AC 20 FF 19 T 13 | HP 62/62 | F +13 R +12 W +12 | Init +1 | Perception +5

Excellent plan, Lady Hadassah. Let us hope we don't have any tone-deaf injured in need of healing. Maximo hands over the wand with a smile and a wink.

Pondering the stairs, then the room, Maximo points with a bold gesture towards the room. I prefer to leave no stone unturned behind us large enough for an enemy to hide under.

Sovereign Court

Ranger 2, Rogue 3 | HP 38/38 | AC 20/15 touch/16 flatfooted | F+8, R+13, W+7 | Init. +8 | Perc +11/+12| Evasion |

If there is no objection, Shel will take Max's suggestions and lead the others toward the unexplored room on this level.


Sure.

This annex was similar to the others, back when the Citadel of Flame was an active temple to Moloch. Unlike the other quarters, though, it has been partially restored. Three of the dormatory rooms look as if they have been cleaned out, their pallets fresh and new, their candles recently lit. One kitchen area has also been cleared.

Looking through the clothing and personal effects, you can account for the bald man and the dwarf. The other resident here is female, human sized, and probably in charge.

Lantern Lodge

Female Human Druid (2) Menhir Savant

"Well, there you have it. There is definitely at least one more. Shall we say hello to the last member of this fine temple?"

Sovereign Court

Ranger 2, Rogue 3 | HP 38/38 | AC 20/15 touch/16 flatfooted | F+8, R+13, W+7 | Init. +8 | Perc +11/+12| Evasion |

"I think that would be especially prudent, Haddassah. Let's make our way up to see how excited this lady this to greet us."

Sovereign Court

M Human Gunslinger 2 | 18/18 | 17 | T 14 | FF 13 | CMD 17 | F: +3 | R: +7 | W: +2 | Init +4 | Perc +7 Gunslinger 2

"Human sized female? Sounds like Maximo's forte."

Sovereign Court

Human Paladin of Shelyn 5 / Arcane Duelist Bard 1 / Grenadier Alchemist 2 | AC 20 FF 19 T 13 | HP 62/62 | F +13 R +12 W +12 | Init +1 | Perception +5

I am not fond of setting limits. Maximo says in all seriousness. Any size will do.

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Inquisitor/2 - | HP 18/18 | AC 18 | T 12 | FF 16 |SR 7| CMD 14 | Fort +4 | Ref +3 | Will +7 | Init +6 | Perc +9 | Sense Motive +9 // Wand CLW - 44
Maximo Interresante wrote:
I am not fond of setting limits. Maximo says in all seriousness. Any size will do.

I have a sister you'd find adorable, like a lil' grizzly, only a wee beard.

Gryne follows rank and file as per the discussion thread.
Perception checks in the room for any odd Molochy things.

Sovereign Court

M Human Gunslinger 2 | 18/18 | 17 | T 14 | FF 13 | CMD 17 | F: +3 | R: +7 | W: +2 | Init +4 | Perc +7 Gunslinger 2

dwarf women have beards?!?


Only those that smell of snipeberries.

Gryne's Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20; Gryne finds some secured papers in the woman's room. One is in a language Gryne does not understand, with very precise, careful handwriting; it has two signatures at the bottom. The other is split in two: one half in the Common tongue, and the other half in some runic characters. It appears to be a contract between Vulcus and a person named Hafshi. Both of them swear an oath on "the most worshipful Moloch, his blue flame, and his terrible idol" -- riches in exchange for weapons.

Shadow Lodge

Female Human

ok so i'm guess it's back to the stair

Sovereign Court

Ranger 2, Rogue 3 | HP 38/38 | AC 20/15 touch/16 flatfooted | F+8, R+13, W+7 | Init. +8 | Perc +11/+12| Evasion |

Shel nods at Moulini's suggestion. She leads the group back to the stairs and begins the ascent again.


Moving up the steep, narrow staircase counts as difficult terrain. Given the tight spiral of the staircase, passing through squares containing allies, without jostling them off the bridge, requires an easy Acrobatics check. I'm assuming that Shel leads, and the rest of the party follows, leaving a 5' open space between each party member.

Shel, the staircase rises 25 feet before it opens onto a grand hall of polished obsidian and red marble. The walls are decorated with reliefs of a gleaming brass city, a massive sandstorm scouring a desert, and a horde of fire elementals descending on a Qadiran city full of terrified humans. Rivers of slowly bubbling lava, 3 feet wide, crisscross the floor, all streaming out of an elaborate altar at the far side of the room before draining at the corners of the room. As you might expect, this makes the room an oven.

In the middle of the room squats some bizarre living thing, a mass of brown flesh large enough to be an adult human, but entirely free of any bones. It has two large unblinking eyes, each the size of your hand.

Atop the altar sits a squat golden idol, 3 feet tall, of a bull-headed man, its arms raised and its hands holding a large thorned sword and a huge battleaxe. The idol’s eyes glow a deep crimson. Lava flows impossibly fast out of the bull-headed idol’s open mouth and down its torso, fanning out from there into rivers on the floor.

Behind the altar, an obsidian relief of geometric forms stretches from floor to ceiling. Smoky forms flit across the relief ’s surface, their fiery eyes staring out at the room.

Also behind the altar stands a Qadiran woman dressed in black robes with blue silk kaftan. As soon as Shel's head and torso entr the temple, she turns to greet you. "Good afternoon, she says, politely but with an edge of caution in her voice. "You've been expected." The fatty pile of flesh shifts nervously from side to side, two half-formd limbs wriggling out from its sides.

Scarab Sages

"Greetings, milady! What do you have in mind for us since we are expected??"

Azatoth lowers his scimitar slightly to a less hostile look. Still cautious while he quickly looks at the fatty pile and then returns to look at the woman.

Sovereign Court

Ranger 2, Rogue 3 | HP 38/38 | AC 20/15 touch/16 flatfooted | F+8, R+13, W+7 | Init. +8 | Perc +11/+12| Evasion |

"Yes, we've been expecting you as well. We saw your quarters below. How about we find a way to stop all this lava? It's really too hot in here."


Azatoth pushes past Shel, who's still on the stairs, and stands in the room. In response to his question,

"That depends on your intentions, warrior. If you and your company are explorers, come here out of curiosity, we would welcome your questions, for Moloch is truly the most generous Lord of Hell, the Last Recourse of the desperate, the Answer of Surety to the confused or troubled.

"If you've come to prove your worth to the temple, we would take it and make you glad for it, for our numbers are few and our hold tenuous.

"If you are here as invaders and pillagers, you may select a champion to face me, for Moloch recognizes the Trial by Combat. If I succeed, I claim the champion's soul for the God of Fires, and give leave for the others to depart, to spread the word that the Citadel of Flame is rekindled. If your champion succeeds, then all the riches of the citadel are fallen to you."

The disgusting little pile of flesh blinks at Azatoth and softly gurgles. It dips its hands in the lava and lets it run between its three fingers. Behind the woman, gossamer forms move, awaiting your reply.

Sovereign Court

Ranger 2, Rogue 3 | HP 38/38 | AC 20/15 touch/16 flatfooted | F+8, R+13, W+7 | Init. +8 | Perc +11/+12| Evasion |

"By my count, we have you seriously outnumbered. Why would we give away such an advantage?"


"Brigands, is it then? Thieves and murderers?"

The squat brown thing in the center of the room bounces up and down in anticipation. A mouth opens up in its head, and a jug-jug-jug of excitement comes from deep within.

Sovereign Court

M Human Gunslinger 2 | 18/18 | 17 | T 14 | FF 13 | CMD 17 | F: +3 | R: +7 | W: +2 | Init +4 | Perc +7 Gunslinger 2

"I'm no murderer, though alone I am no match for you in my current condition. However, like you I harbor no good will toward the Qadirans, perhaps we can all work towards a peaceful resolution between you and us adventurers? I heard rumor that those vile wretches from Qadira at one point in time mercilessly killed everyone they could in this temple, is that true?"

Sovereign Court

Human Paladin of Shelyn 5 / Arcane Duelist Bard 1 / Grenadier Alchemist 2 | AC 20 FF 19 T 13 | HP 62/62 | F +13 R +12 W +12 | Init +1 | Perception +5

Remembering a letter thrust into his hands back in Absalom, Maximo steps next to James, attempting parlay for the moment.

Brigands? Thieves?! Pfah! He laughs at the notion. I have been accused of these things only once without blood being shed - and that time I let the Sultan's harem guards off with a warning! But let us excuse the accusation as an understandable misunderstanding, and attempt civility. My companion James here has made a point that should be addressed before abandoning diplomacy.

It is said that clerics of Sarenrae once came here, and that Qadiran forces decided not only to wipe out the Moloch-worshiping locals, but added the clerics of the Dawnflower with an encore performance of treachery. Is this true? Are the Qadirans the villains I always thought they were?

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

James and Maximo also climb the stairs. Shell remains partially revealed, with Moulini, Hadassah, and Gryne still on the staircase.

The woman's expression is a mixture of anger --at you-- and disgust -- at the thought of Qadirans. "You've heard the same tales I have, then. If I were a smooth talker, I suppose I could find a lie to make you think is closer allies than we are. But as fire burns away the morning fog, let the God of Fire do so with all deceit. In faith, I do not know what happened those centuries past, how much of the legends are true and how much simply stories told to curry favor or hide shame.

"Know this, though, if your Taldan blood cannot bear to see Qadira prosper: the cult of the Dawnflower has dark days ahead of it, and every city and town in Qadira that supports her temples will be our bloody battleground."

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