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Navior's Serpent's Skull

Game Master Navior


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Douena Trestleben wrote:
"I wouldn't go talk to the government," Douena warns. "Once they have us inside their building all surrounded by soldiers and guards, what if they won't let us out again? Jask, if you go back to them and then sneak out of town, won't they just have another reason to track you down and put you back in a cage? After all that trouble to clear your name in the first place! I knew this was a bad city," she grumbles.

Jask nods. "They'll try to track me down, but they'll likely do that if I do anything other than work for them to help them find Saventh Yhi. I think the best thing I can do is delay them for a day or two while we prepare for departure. I'll go talk to them in the morning as they requested. I don't know yet exactly what I'll say, but I have all night to figure that out." He smiles at Douena. "Don't worry about me. They won't arrest me right away."


"Also, suggest to them that they can 'buy in' to the Pathfinder expedition: share some of the risks, add to the investment, and jointly reap the rewards, everybody could win."


Sorcerer (Draconic) 6; AC 14 (18), FF 12 (16) T 12; HP 45/47;Perception +6; Spells Lvl 3: 2/4; Lvl 2: 5/6; Lvl 1: 3/7; Cantrip: at will

"I'd like to suggest that no one goes anywhere alone until we leave. The government has opened with a veneer of civility, others might not." Urza says picking up on Douena's look at Sasha's back. "It might not be very safe for us here for much longer and we need to protect ourselves. I was planning to finish up my shopping today. While out, I'll go by the Pathfinders and let them know of this new development. Maybe it will inspire them to hurry things along a bit. Who wants to come with me?"


"Then I go with you, Urza, I want to get some handy details for our trip. Can't think of anything else to do with the money anyway."


Campfire bead, (clerical) everburning torch, two potions of mage armor. This is his shopping list, let me know if there's trouble picking it all up in this town.

Star Voter 2013

Mahjik the Flink wrote:
Campfire bead, (clerical) everburning torch, two potions of mage armor. This is his shopping list, let me know if there's trouble picking it all up in this town.

A clerical everburning torch can be found, but not one specifically cast by a cleric of Irori. As continual flame is a higher-level spell for a cleric, the price is higher (200 gp total) than the arcane kind. The other items can be found easily.

Urza and Mahjik head out after dinner and stop first by the Pathfinders. Finze is grateful for the information. "I'll pass it on to Gelik and Amivor as soon as possible," he says. "We knew this was likely. I expect that in the next day or so, there'll be several factions preparing expeditions. We have to make sure we're away first!"

The rest of the evening passes without complication.

8 ARODUS, 4710

Jask heads out just before dawn to present himself at the palace. If anyone else is up at that time, he promises to do his best and be back as soon as he can. He's gone by the time most of you get up.


Excellent :) - thanks! Have you ever seen an everburning torch flurried? I'm sure you will some time... ;)

Star Voter 2013

As you finish up breakfast this morning and Briga is about to clear away the plates, the doors open and three men enter the tavern. One of them is a tall, bald man wearing white robes adorned with glittering jewellery. The other two carry swords and wear chain shirts. They look very much like the bald man's guards.

The bald man looks around the room, a frown on his face. "I would have thought explorers of your calibre would stay in a finer establishment." He shrugs. "Obviously, the Pathfinders are paying you poorly indeed. They never know the true value of anything or anyone."

He smiles suddenly. "Greetings all! My name is Dargan Etters. I represent the Aspis Consortium, and I have a proposition for you all."


Ishirou frowns noticeably at the newcomer's announcement. He lowers his head and says nothing.


Male Half-Orc Barbarian(Totem Warrior/Invulnerable Rager) : 2 Druid(Wolf Shaman) : 4

"True value shouldn't be measured in how many little bits of metal you have." Makoa says, already disliking Dargan because this man has insulted the "establishment" they had been staying in and does not seem to be on good terms with Ishirou. "I've found this place to be more that enough when it comes to comfort."


Dargan shrugs. "Fair enough. I'm certainly well acquainted with the fact that travelling in the wild can make one appreciate the simpler things in life. I suppose this place does have a certain charm to it. Indeed, the more I look at it, the more I see it's hidden comforts. May I be seated so that we can discuss my proposition?"

Sense Motive DC 17:
Dargan Bluff: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (1) + 16 = 17
He does not seem sincere about his change of opinion of the Sargava Club.


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 2

Sense Motive 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21

Douena scowls at the newcomer. "Told you we should have left town last night," she mutters under her breath. Apart from that comment, she waits in silence to see what the Aspis Consortium representative has to say.

You say he's in robes; does it look like clerical garb? Does Douena recognize a holy symbol anywhere? Knowledge (religion) 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10

Star Voter 2013

Douena Trestleben wrote:
You say he's in robes; does it look like clerical garb? Does Douena recognize a holy symbol anywhere? Knowledge (religion) 1d20+6

He has no visible holy symbol. His robes are white with a gold trim. He doesn't carry any obvious weapons, but he does wear an amulet and numerous rings and other jewellery. Two thin wands hang from the belt on his robes.


Sorcerer (Draconic) 6; AC 14 (18), FF 12 (16) T 12; HP 45/47;Perception +6; Spells Lvl 3: 2/4; Lvl 2: 5/6; Lvl 1: 3/7; Cantrip: at will

Urza sits up attentively. He doesn't listen to the offer, but instead goes over his shopping list in his head.

50x 8- Potions of Cure Light Wounds
25x 4- Scroll of Comprehend Languages
25x 2- Scroll of Enlarge Person
25x 4- Scroll of Protection From Evil
300x 2- Scroll of Stonecall


+16 to bluff? What monster have you created?! ;p

Sense Motive 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24

Mahjik nods to himself as he hears the all-to-swift change of opinion. At least he has the common sense to play to his audience. "Wise man would wear shadows, so as to mark his passing," he keeps nodding. "I believe we - as a group - are roughly in consensus that we won't betray the obligations we've already accepted. As a man of business, surely you understand the need for such certainties." His tone is friendly, open: "But I've always found that there should be no need for dividing efforts, where one stronger push would yield greater certainty. I wish to propose that the Aspis Consortium - instead of trying to hire us away from under the watch of the Pathfinders - approach our benefactors with the option to invest in the expedition. One better expedition may succeed where two lesser ones would fail, don't you agree?"


Dargan raises an eyebrow. "An interesting suggestion," he says. "I take it you're not too well-versed about the relationship between the Pathfinders and the Aspis Consortium, as what you say makes sense in principle. One better expedition may indeed succeed where two lesser ones would fail. However, you're assuming that a joint Pathfinder-Aspis Consortium expedition would result in a better expedition. If such a thing were true, I'd be the first to leap upon the idea. Alas, the two organizations don't see eye to eye. Such an arrangement would be doomed from the start as each organization tried to sabotage the other to gain all the glory for itself. Personally, I am an archaeologist first and foremost. What matters to me is accomplishing the goal of uncovering the past. However, there are people who have less pure goals, who see this only as a means of becoming rich. I'm ashamed to admit that there are just as many like this in my organization as there is in yours. In order to make the best chance of success, I must make one lesser expedition into a better expedition all on its own. And for that, I come to you now to offer you the opportunity to help."

He pauses a moment to glance at everyone in the room, taking in facial expressions and responses. "I am very impressed by your stated ideal not to betray obligations you've already accepted. This is very admirable. However, I must tell you that I am authorized to offer you fifty percent above whatever the Pathfinders have offered you." He leans back. "And of course, that's only an initial offer. I'm an easy-going man and I have the ears and support of my superiors in the Consortium. I'm sure that, with a little discussion, we can reach an agreement which will make everyone happy."


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 2

"The Pathfinders were pretty cheap, with all their haggling," Douena admits. "Of course, they already had the information with or without our cooperation so they didn't have much incentive to be generous." She benevolently refrains from mentioning who they have to blame for that situation.


"On the other hand," Mahjik interjects, "the initial award for joining any particular group here is a pittance - at least compared to the prospective awards that await those that achieve the improbable." Mahjik nods to his companions, "Not all of us are in it for the money - even though the riches at the city are truly fabled; but more so the fame and simply the experience of doing it. These aren't things that the Aspis Consortium, or anybody else really, can promise or offer us. It is essentially part of doing it all."


Male Half-Orc Barbarian(Totem Warrior/Invulnerable Rager) : 2 Druid(Wolf Shaman) : 4

Sense Motive:1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5

"Explaining to us why your respective organizations don't see eye to eye could go a long way to influencing our decision. Not mine, mind you, but I would harbor no ill will against my friends if they choose to go with the Aspis Consortium."


Male Human (Andoran) Fighter Lvl 5

Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 1

Throughout the conversation, Lorenz remains silent, watching the imposing man warily as he listens to the offer and the response of his companions. He had long since learned that it was better to keep his mouth shut in complicated situations such as this one. He already knows his answer; he has no intention of breaking his word with the Pathfinders.


Makoa Wolf'sKin wrote:
"Explaining to us why your respective organizations don't see eye to eye could go a long way to influencing our decision. Not mine, mind you, but I would harbor no ill will against my friends if they choose to go with the Aspis Consortium."

"It's the same thing as with so many others," Dargan says with a nod. "Competition. No one likes competition. The goals of both organizations are very similar: essentially to uncover the past. However, greed is never far from men's hearts. Members of each organization want the glory all for themselves. The same is true here. My superiors wish to see the Aspis Consortium gain glory over the Pathfinders. No doubt, the leaders of the Pathfinders want glory over the Aspis Consortium. And, have no doubt, there will likely be other groups who wish the glory over both organizations."

He pauses for a moment, then continues. "So, I see it is not going to be easy to convince you to come work for the Aspis Consortium, and as I said before, I admire your ethics and principles. So tell me, what will it take to change your minds?"


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 2

"I can't think of anything else I want," Douena shrugs. "Ooh, except a Tiny bear. Does the Aspis Consortium have any of those?" she perks up hopefully.


Sorcerer (Draconic) 6; AC 14 (18), FF 12 (16) T 12; HP 45/47;Perception +6; Spells Lvl 3: 2/4; Lvl 2: 5/6; Lvl 1: 3/7; Cantrip: at will

Urza comes out of his reverie. "Be careful what you wish for, Douena. Those tiny bears may make you a traitor to our group." To Dargan he says, "Unfortunatly, nothing comes to mind, Mr. Etters. If something does we will let you know. In truth, though, nothing will. Have a good day, sir."


Male Half-Orc Barbarian(Totem Warrior/Invulnerable Rager) : 2 Druid(Wolf Shaman) : 4

"I'm not going to be the one to split this party. We've got a city to find, and that's something we should do together."


Dargan nods knowingly. "I understand. I do not wish to cause rifts amongst yourselves. Besides, while I might be able to arrange for a suitably small bear to be transported from the north, it would take far too long."

He stands up and bows to the group. "You understand, I had to try. I wish you the best of luck on your journey. Perhaps at some future time, on some other expedition, we can work together as allies."


Sorcerer (Draconic) 6; AC 14 (18), FF 12 (16) T 12; HP 45/47;Perception +6; Spells Lvl 3: 2/4; Lvl 2: 5/6; Lvl 1: 3/7; Cantrip: at will

After he leaves.
[b]"That one is going to be trouble for us. Mark my words.[/ooc]


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 2

"Wait!" Douena scrambles from her chair to catch Dargan at the door before he leaves. "Where in the north do they have Tiny bears? I'm from Varisia, and I've never heard of any there."


Male Human (Andoran) Fighter Lvl 5

Lorenz is quite by surprise at Urza's announcement. "Really? He seemed quite nice to me."


Dargan pauses and looks back at Douena. "There are bears all over Varisia. Just how tiny do you mean?" Once Douena explains, his eyes widen in surprise. "Oh." He looks almost annoyed. "Very funny. Good day."

He motions to his two guards and they sweep out the door.


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 2

"I wasn't trying to be funny," Douena retorts to the empty air, a bit miffed.


Sorcerer (Draconic) 6; AC 14 (18), FF 12 (16) T 12; HP 45/47;Perception +6; Spells Lvl 3: 2/4; Lvl 2: 5/6; Lvl 1: 3/7; Cantrip: at will
Lorenz Aeryson wrote:
Lorenz is quite by surprise at Urza's announcement. "Really? He seemed quite nice to me."

"And he'll stay nice up until he puts a blade into you. I repeat, that one is trouble. We should all be wary."


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 2

"And we haven't even heard from the government yet," Douena adds darkly, as if she expects the worst is yet to come.


"Wise woman counts all her chickens, hatched or not." Mahjik nurses a drink, "Do any of us have an idea what other groups may be keen? This news probably spurs on every able-bodied man and woman to explore the jungle."


Male Half-Orc Barbarian(Totem Warrior/Invulnerable Rager) : 2 Druid(Wolf Shaman) : 4

"Treasure hunters and out-of-work mercenaries come to mind. The people who want to use the past to make money in the present."


"Or anybody who just wants to make money, period," Sasha says. "Past, present, or future is pretty much irrelevant to them. So, who votes we go see what's taking Gelik so long?"


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 2
Mahjik the Flink wrote:
"Wise woman counts all her chickens, hatched or not." Mahjik nurses a drink, "Do any of us have an idea what other groups may be keen?"

"Desnans like to explore long-forgotten and hard-to-find places," Douena volunteers, "only we don't do it for treasure."

Sasha Nevah aka Navior wrote:
"So, who votes we go see what's taking Gelik so long?"

"Do you think it's safe to go out?" she asks anxiously, as if Dargan Etters and the Sargavan government might be waiting outside with big butterfly nets.


Sorcerer (Draconic) 6; AC 14 (18), FF 12 (16) T 12; HP 45/47;Perception +6; Spells Lvl 3: 2/4; Lvl 2: 5/6; Lvl 1: 3/7; Cantrip: at will

"Well I still need to pick up some things, so I'm going."


Male Half-Orc Barbarian(Totem Warrior/Invulnerable Rager) : 2 Druid(Wolf Shaman) : 4

"I need to pick up something as well. Should be useful on this trip."

Star Voter 2013

"Of course it's safe," Pezock declares. "Why wouldn't it be safe?" He marches out the door of the tavern and then out the door of the building. Anyone who follows sees him then raise his hands triumphantly. "See? Safe!"

Sasha, Ishirou, and Aakif stay behind at the Sargava Club.
Anyone else staying?

Those of you going to check on Gelik's progress make your way to the Pathfinder Lodge. You arrive just in time to see Finze stepping out the door. His eyes light up as he sees you. "Oh good! I was just on my way to find you."

He locks the door of the Lodge and hurries over to join your group. "I've just received word that Amivor and Gelik have made a discovery. They're putting together a map at a warehouse we've rented. We're using the building to gather supplies for the main expedition. Come! I'll take you there!" He heads off down the road, almost skipping with excitement.

"About time," Pezock mutters.


Male Human (Andoran) Fighter Lvl 5

Lorenz follows the others back to the lodge in hopes of seeing Gelik. At Finze's enthusiasm, Lorenz nods eagerly. "I'd certainly be interested in seeing this map."

He follows Finze.


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 2

Douena still looks skeptical but isn't letting Pezock head off into the city without supervision. "Be sure and find a couple of alternate ways out," she whispers to Sasha. "Kitchen door into the alley is one; climbing down the wall from the window in your room's the backup plan, okay?" She leaves with a last worried look back.

"Aren't you concerned about leaving them there when everyone knows that's where we're staying?" she asks Lorenz. "What if Urza's right and the Aspis Consortium or someone takes her hostage to force us to help them?"


Male Human (Andoran) Fighter Lvl 5

Lorenz smiles confidently. "I suspect anyone who tried to kidnap Sasha would regret it once their hands landed on the floor. She's awfully good with those swords. And it's not like they're all alone at the inn. I imagine the innkeeper would be a little put out if someone tried to abduct her guests. To say nothing of Alton."


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 2

Douena remembers her and Sasha's desperate fight against the cannibal skeptically but doesn't protest any further as they follow the halfling.

Finze is a halfling, right?


Male Half-Orc Barbarian(Totem Warrior/Invulnerable Rager) : 2 Druid(Wolf Shaman) : 4

"I would not worry much about them, they've shown themselves capable if pushed into a fight."


"As long as they don't send any skeletons, they should be fine." Mahjik smirks at the memories that now seem so distant, almost unreal. "Now let's get into warehouse. My action senses are tingling."

Perform (mime) wiggley facial features 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

Star Voter 2013

Douena Trestleben wrote:
Finze is a halfling, right?

Yes, he is a halfling. In my version, at least. The book gives him nothing more than a name. It doesn't even include the usual short-form race and class in brackets. So I just decided he was a halfling. :)

The balding halfling hurries down the road. He's easy to keep up with though as fast for him is normal speed for everyone else. You follow him towards the shipyards in the northeast side of the city. He heads to a nondescript warehouse and straight up to the front door. He pauses to make sure that you're still with him, then opens the door.

You enter a mostly empty storeroom. A few packs have been laid along the walls and a wide table sits in the centre of the room. Gelik and Amivor sit at the table. A map is laid out on the table.

"It's still a bit sparse," Finze says. "Over the next couple of days, though, this warehouse will start to fill up with supplies."

Gelik looks up as you enter. He jumps off his chair and hurries over to your group. "We've found it! Come and see!"

He leads you back to the table. The map shows the area east and north of Eleder. A red line indicates a route from Eleder east to a place called Kalabuto, then north along a river around the local hills and mountains, then finally west to where Tazion, your destination has been marked.

Route to Tazion


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 2

"The next few days?" Douena repeats anxiously, paying little attention to the map. "We don't have that long." She explains Jask's dilemma and the visit from the Aspis Consortium. "They're just going to keep causing trouble for us until we can get out of Eleder."

Star Voter 2013

"Oh, no, no, you misunderstand," Finze says. "I refer to the main expedition which will be following a few days behind you. Now that the route is worked out, your group should leave as soon as possible. Tomorrow, preferably."


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 2

"Oh, well, that's good news," Douena brightens. "Maybe we should leave right now. They might be watching the inn in the morning, to follow us."


1 person marked this as a favorite.

"If you feel you are ready to leave today, then by all means, do so," Amivor says. "First, however, we should go over a few details." He draws attention to the map and points to the red line joining Eleder to Kalabuto.

"We suggest that you travel light and stop in the city of Kalabuto to restock on supplies. We have allies in the city who can make arrangements for your stay and continuing journey. I would advise you not to stay at an inn, and to limit your interaction with locals who might be working for another faction. When you arrive in Kalabuto, you should make contact with a dwarf named Cheiton in the Shrunken Head, one of Kalabuto’s most popular taverns. He can be recognized by a distinctive cave-and-pick tattoo on his shoulder. Cheiton owns a house near the tavern, and you can safely lodge there while preparing for the next stage of the expedition.

"The fastest route to Kalabuto is to travel overland through the wild scrublands and savanna, along the older trade routes that skirt between the Bandu Hills and the Laughing Jungle. These routes were used primarily by early colonists, most of whom were prospectors seeking their fortunes in salt, gold, and diamonds. While several successful mining operations remain, the trails are far less used than they were in the past, particularly because merchants using them are easy targets for brigands and wild beasts. This same remoteness should lessen the chance of you encountering allies of rival factions seeking to block or sabotage your mission. The caravan routes lead to the edge of the M’neri Plains, at which point you can break from the trail and head east to Kalabuto."

He indicates the river that the red line follows after Kalabuto. "Once you have resupplied in Kalabuto, you should follow the Upper Korir River north into the Screaming Jungle. Here the terrain climbs upward through a series of rocky falls and churning rapids, greatly impeding passage via boat, and in many places the water becomes too shallow to navigate, so overland travel is recommended over riverborne travel. Leaving the Screaming Jungle, you should continue to follow the Korir until you come near the northeastern Bandu Hills. Then turn west through the northern foothills of the Bandu Hills until you reach the southernmost reaches of the Mwangi Jungle. Somewhere beneath those trees lies the Azlanti outpost of Tazion, which should show the way to the lost city of Saventh-Yhi.

"In all, the route from Eleder to Tazion runs just over 1,000 miles. We hope that you can make the journey in about two months. However, depending what you encounter along the way, it may take you more or less time. We urge you to move as quickly as you can, but don't overdo it. We don't want you dropping dead from exhaustion."

He looks to the group. "Any questions?"

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