The invitation delivered last night was remarkably simple, especially given the importance of the occasion: "Start where it all began. Meet us at the Wounded Wisp one hour before dawn."
Built from dark, discolored wood, the exterior of the Wounded Wisp is the image of an iconic dive bar. Stained and barred windows obscure direct vision into the establishment, though ruddy yellow light bleeds from a window in the front hall. In the hours just before dawn, the building closes long enough for menials to clean and to give staff a rest. The only distinguishing feature on the Wisp’s exterior is a thick wooden sign hanging from above the bar’s entrance. A brass ring fitted onto the sign anchors a lantern—referred to by the staff as “the wisp”- that hangs there during the evening hours. Inside, the air is thick with the scents of human sweat, stale tobacco, and leftover food. In the center of the room, surrounded by inebriates sleeping off their revelries, a familiar elven man stands high upon top of a large round table.
"Welcome! Welcome, my students! Please, have a seat!"
With that, Kreighton Shaine, the Pathfinder Society’s Master of Scrolls, nimbly drops down to sit cross-legged on the table before looking about the tavern with a sense of reverent wonder: "Can you believe it? It all started here years ago—well, over four hundred of them at least. Under this very roof the Pathfinder Society was born."
"But today! Today you will begin your Confirmation! Master Farabellus, Master Zey, and I all agree you each have shown your worth and dedication to the Society, so there’s no better time to see if you can handle becoming full field operatives. Allow me to introduce you to Janira Gavix." he says as he motions for an excitable halfling woman to approach. She wears a large backpack and carries all manner of tools, pouches, and scroll cases around her waist.
Shaine continues, saying, "Janira here will be going with you on your Confirmation. She was one of my brightest pupils and will no doubt be an invaluable resource on your journey, for she discovered the caves you are about to explore during her own Confirmation."
Janira speaks up in an enthusiastic and cheerful voice: "Greetings, aspiring Pathfinders! Six months ago, while I was mapping cave entrances in the foothills of the Kortos Mounts, I witnessed a lone gillman entering a concealed cave. I thought little of it at the time, but I saw another one enter the cave again a month later as my Confirmation stretched on. A few days later, after I completed my assigned task, I entered the cave system, but was unable to find the gillmen."
Master Shaine hops to his feet. "Initiates, for your Confirmation, you will travel to these caves to explore and document its many passages. Additionally, and most importantly, you are to learn what the gillmen are up to in there. Oh, and you need to come back alive as well." With these parting words, the Master of Scrolls jumps off the table and strolls out of the building while humming to himself.
Cypher lounges on a chair, the beautiful red and blue outfit that looks like a flowing dress crossed with a tunic and pants, a stark contrast to the more homely surroundings. Long blond hair, fair beautiful skin, and a body that incredibly attractive while at the same time not really letting you know if they are a man or a woman. Cypher watches the master of scrolls go and shakes their head.
Gracious, what a character.
Spotting Helma, Cypher smiles and steps over to her, giving air kisses over each cheek.
HELMA! DARLING! It's so good to see you! We haven't been teammates since that dreadful business with the Andares girl!
They smile and flash some of the stunning jewlrey their wearing, flicking about a familiar fan.
How do you like the new outfit? Très chic, No? I must confess, I nearly blew all my money from that mission on it, but soooo worth it.
They sigh and look at the smaller leader in charge.
Sadly, it sounds like we'll be... roughing it.
They say the last words in the same way one might say the words "Tapeworm"
Raman stands with his thumbs tucked into the straps of his overstuffed backpack.
"Aye. Best be prepared fer a trek." He sniffs the air and looks around the place, then asks Janira, "'S a gillman what it sounds like?"
Janira shows a playful grin, glad that her presentation sparked an interest.
"They are not walking gills, if that's what you are asking. Well, they are pretty much like humans, except the piscine gills on both sides of their necks. They’re a little secretive but not outright hostile. Most live in or near the water."
"Humansss pretty much look the sssame to me. I will try to look to sssee if I find any with gillsss on their necksss." The reptilian seems to be examining Cypher's neck for any signs of gills, then seeing none begins staring at other humans in the tavern with his unblinking eyes, but still finding no gills. "Ssseemsss that even though we are near the water, no gillman are here. Perhapsss we will have more luck with thisss cave. It isss near water? I do not know the mountainsss of this island."
"Woah! Wait a minute..." Says a tall human with wavy auburn hair down to his very broad shoulders "If they have gills like a fish, won't they, like, die out of the water?" he asks, a little confused. He gives Janira a friendly smile, though his once handsome face now resembles a cubist painting: his nose is broken in multiple places and he has a single cauliflower ear "I'm Eadric, by the way, so totally stoked to be here!" He's wearing some kind of natural-looking layered armour over a crisp military uniform and a freshly polished large ornate round shield is strapped to his back. He self-consciously starts rubbing his neck when he catches Ssresrandu staring at it "Dude, my eyes are up here."
Know. Geography (Untrained): 1d20 ⇒ 3
Cypher giggles and winks at the lizardfolk. Tilting their head to give a good view.
No gills here. Though if you wanna inspect further later, just ask.
They lounge back and sigh.
I don't know anything about the mountains, I stick to the cities mostly.
Mori stands and bows to the Master of Scrolls as he departs and then again to Janira. "A pleasure to work with you, Mistress Janira," he says, introducing himself between questions, "I am Mori Gimhargruest of the Five Kings Mountains--near Druma. I hope to prove myself ready for field work during this confirmation."
The dark haired dwarf is dressed in dwarves-style armor that favors form over function. His beard is immaculate and lustrous, and, for a dwarf, he has remarkably clean finger nails.
"I am a Forespeaker. My great-ancestor Biltri travels with me. I am sure you will meet him should there be need to fight."
K: History: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Janira looks at Ssresrandu and Eadric with a spark in her eye.
"Well - we do know that at least one river... Well - a stream, rather, originates in the mountains, so even if they are in the area, there is a water source. I don't know about them suffocating. I saw gillmen running around the streets of Absalom, and around the sea shores, but never inland..."
She seems in thought for a few seconds, and follows up: "You might be onto something there, cadets!"
She nods towards Mori, perplexed.
"How old is this person? Not to be rude, but - perhaps they would be a hindrance? We are in a bit of a hurry."
"He's a milenia old or so," Mori estimates, "But fear not! He can keep pace, and most of the time I carry him here." The dwarf taps the side of his brow.
|Ssresrandu RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16|
"I see.", Janira responds to Mori, and her mind wanders for a moment. Realising there is a question hanging in the air, she snaps out of it and looks at Ssresrandu: "It will likely take the entirety of today and the better part of tomorrow. We should grab something to eat and head out, actually. We are on a schedule here. I'll explain in a moment."
Janira orders breakfast for the table, and while waiting for the food, she decides to share some further details: “On to the specifics of the mission at hand,”, she says with an eager grin. “After reviewing my mission reports personally, Master Shaine believes it is no coincidence that each time they entered the caves it was during a full moon, so it is also no coincidence that you have been called here now, just a day before the moon is full again. We both believe that tomorrow night is our best chance to find out why these caves are important and what exactly the gillmen are doing in there."
“The caves we’ll be travelling to lie under the base of the Kortos Mounts. We’ll need to spend every minute of daylight possible to reach the caves by foot, crossing over the Cairnlands, taking the paths to Diobel, and finally making our way through the wilderness. With any luck we won’t run into any of the local inhabitants. Once in the caves, we’ll need to work together to explore and determine whether any gillman are present or have been recently. Keep an eye out for any other clues that might hint at the caves’ significance, too.”
She opens up her backpack, and gives each of you a set of paper sheets.
"Remember the Pathfinder maxim - 'Explore, Report, Cooperate!'. How do you explore and cooperate is up to you, and these would help with the reporting part... Oh - thank you!"
Janira moves a bit to let the barmaid put the food on the table, and gives her a few coins in return. As you dig in, she eats her scrambled eggs in small parts so that she can remain clear while speaking.
"Interestingly enough, despite the fact that the Grand Lodge is located here on this very island, the cave system I found was not documented. This will be your task. If you are capable of drawing a semi-decent map, the better. But that is only your secondary task. The essence of this particular mission is to find out why are the gillmen visiting the place, and preferably figure out why during full moons."
If you have any further questions, shoot! Other than that, I am ready to roll out whenever you are.
You may find links to the map in the thread header and in the Evergreens spoiler in my posts.
Helme air kisses Cypher back. "It's good to see you. That outfit is amazing. I tend to spend my gold on more mundane outfits." The Oread woman smiles at her acquaintance.
"Helme at your service. I can do some healing, and I have an affinity for stone." She smiles brightly at the dwarves. "I have that in common with these fellows."
"Janira do the caves look natural or carved by hand?" she asks as she eats her breakfast.
I'm ready to go. I can RP on the trip."
The halfling seems taken aback by Helme's question. She even stops eating for a moment, thinking about a response. Blood rushes into her cheeks as she answers.
"Well - I wasn't actually inside. I just saw the gillmen enter."
She takes a moment, her eyebrows briefly seem to play a game of 'Who can climb higher', while she looks around the table, deep in thought.
"Going alone into an unknown cave can be very dangerous, you know!", she exclaims all of a sudden, turning a few heads in the Wisp. She notices, lowers her voice, and almost whispers: "You might slip, fall into who-knows-what hole and never get out. Spooky stuff. Speaking fo which, did you get ropes?"
"I have rope!" Eadric says eagerly, his mouth full of eggs "Grapple too. Heh, I have so much stuff in my pack that I forget half of what's in there most of the time." He starts chuckling "I mean, dude, I bet it totally weighs more than two of you!" He looks around the table at the gathered Pathfinders "I admit, I don't know much about rocks or caves... and people totally, like, misunderstand me all the time... But if you need something carried, I'm your man!" He says cheerfully with a nearly toothless smile.
Ready to go when everyone else is :)
I suppose I'll need to pick up the necessary's for "Roughing it".
They still say that disdainfully.
I'm no cartographer, but I should be able to keep a decent sketch going.
Cypher reaches down to their wrist, pulls something off and puts it back on, and suddenly Cypher is dressed in what might be charitably called a "Woodsman's outfit" if the designer was a hormonally charged teenager. Your pretty sure an actual woodsman wouldn't show that much skin.
Ready when you are boss. Let's go exploring nasty caverns so we can get back to civilization quickly!
Cypher will pick up a climber's kit and a masterwork survival kit.
"I'm ready," Mori says cheerfully as he hefts his pack off of the table and threads his arms through the straps.
"I have a rope, grapple, and pitons." Raman says, patting his own pack.
Is he ignoring me?
Raman turns to the oread, "Pleased to meet you, Helme. 'M always glad to have a healer along. M'name's Raman. Raman Aldwislag." He offers a hand to Helme, but his eyes turn back to the dwarf as he introduces himself.
"Alright, then! Let's head out!", Janira exclaims loudly as she stands up from the table. A few minutes later, you travel through the streets of Absalom. The progress through the streets is quick, and you soon follow a beaten path outside of the city walls. Your pace slows down as soon as you enter the forests, however.
As the party progresses deeper into the forest, the trees towering overhead begin to shield most of what remains of the day’s sun and the vegetation beneath grows denser. Janira pauses a moment and pulls out an intricate silver compass emblazoned with the Pathfinder Society logo: the Glyph of the Open Road. “I received this wayfinder when I successfully completed my Confirmation. Should we be successful on our journey, you will get your own as well.”
She flips open the device and holds it in front of her; the initials J. L. are engraved into the inside of the device’s lid. After studying the compass inside for a moment, she remarks, “We’re on the right path. We need to keep heading northwest past those large rocks up ahead.”
Most of the trees in this section of the forest have trunks that are too big for any creatures to share their space. Sporadic patches of light undergrowth provide areas for creatures to hide while restricting movement for those passing through. A large rock outcropping to the east rises early 20 feet above the forest floor, and a small sinkhole to the northwest drops off sharply, descending to the ground 10 feet below.
As you enter the "clearing", the air becomes filled with the smell of death and rotten meat. Something is about...
Stealth Red: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20
Stealth Blue: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Stealth Green: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Perc Raman: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
Perc Mori: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
Perc Cypher : 1d20 ⇒ 11
Perc Eadric: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Perc Helme: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
Perc Ssresrandu: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Cypher: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Eadric: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
Helme: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Mori: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Raman: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
Ssresrandu: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Fleas: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Everyone except helme notices two overgrown insectoid creatures lurking about, feeding on nearby dead rabbits.
Initiative tracker - turn 1 - go if bolded
"I don't know, but they sure are creepy lookin'" Eadric unslings his shield and takes a few cautious steps towards the bugs.
always with the fleas! Every time.
Cypher gulps and nervously steps back a bit.
"bugs, why did it have to be bugs? I HATE bugs!"
Hastily, they pull out a jar of foul smelling stuff and wipes it on themselves.
"I hate the outdoors!"
vermin repellent. Doesn't stop small or larger, but they well de-prioritize Cypher as a attack target.
-Posted with Wayfinder
"Ach! What ugly bugs!"
Mori keeps an eye on the fleas, a stone rising from the forest floor and hovering at waist height.
Bludgeoning: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Waiting for Helme's response. In the meantime...
Beating the DC by a multiplier of 5 gets you the opportunity to ask a question for every 5 by which you surpass the original DC
@Cypher - better than swarms, I suppose.
The boards ate my post. Sigh
When Helme sees everyone facing to the north she asks, "What about the bug to the south west of us? Did anyone else notice that one? She pulls out her sling and loads it ready to attack if one of the bugs comes within fifty feet of her.
Sling: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Damage: 1d4 ⇒ 3
And I still miss on the second set of rolls.
Before the remainder of the party gets a change to respond, three insects turn their attention to the party and leap away from their former prey. Their ability to jump seems unparalelled, as they almost knock their targets down with pure force of impact. Simultaneously, they attempt to take a bite from Eadric and Raman.
Bite, Red: 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 + 2 = 181d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Bite, Green: 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 + 2 = 91d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Bite, Blue: 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 + 2 = 151d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Kn. History, Janira: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
Fortunately for the two brave souls that positioned themselves to withstand the initial hit, the fleas' hardened palpi either snap at the air or hit the harsh reality of a shield being in the way.
Janira gives the fleas a brief glance, and confirms Ssrerandu's note:
"How ironic would it be if we'd have released a pack of aggressive corgi pups to take them down?", Janira attempts to boost the party morale, but remains in the back to support the agents with whatever they might otherwise need.
Janira Inspires Courage. Affected allies receive a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 competence bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls.
Initiative tracker - turn 1&2 - go if bolded
Janira - inspire courage
"Gah! They're even worse up close..." Eadric meets the oncoming assault with his large shield, glancing one flea to the side and stepping around the other. Once he sees his opening, he makes to punch a flea in the head. Halfway through the strike, however, Ssresrandu's words suddenly sink in "Sickness?" and he finds himself regretting the decision to aim for the 'jaw'.
Atk. Fist; Inspire: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 5 + 1 = 9
Dmg. Bludgeoning; Inspire: 1d6 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 4 + 1 = 10
Not sure how y'all like to fight and was caught in two minds, get out of the way to give ranged attempts a chance, or set up flanks. I went with flanks this time because Ssresrandu is so close. Just yell for Eadric to get out of the way if you want a free enemy to aim ranged attacks against ;)
Whoops! Totally forgot to put this in.
Helme uses her sling to attack one of the leaping menaces, but the speed at which it moved makes it a hard target. In the meantime, Mori uses his powers to lob the stone at another. The stone hits, but the flea barely twitches as the stone bounces off its carapace.
Cypher bites there lip and roots through their bag for a moment.
Bugs are not my forte! Why couldn't we run into something with a brain!
Eventually they pull out a small vial of green liquid, and seems to be doing some mental calculations in their head.
I'm sorry guys, I'm pretty much useless here! I can't hit them without splashing acid on you to!
And this is when it sucks to be an enchantment expert...
"The human is outnumbered." Ssresandru moves up to attack the fleas, reinforcing the group's numbers to the north, pulling his Nodachi as he moved, taking a wild swing at the flea.
Attack green with reach.
Nodachi, power attack, inspired,flank : 1d20 + 4 - 1 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 4 - 1 + 1 + 2 = 13 for 1d10 + 4 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 4 + 3 + 1 = 10 slashing.
Raman attempts to tumble past the bug.
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
And swings his axe at the creature's legs.
Attack: 1d20 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 3 + 1 = 19
Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
"I could use a hand o'er here as well."
"I gotcha, Raman," Mori calls back as he steps forward and swings his heavy pick at the chitinous beast in both hands. "We aren't no dogs!"
Heavy Pick, Flank, IC: 1d20 + 2 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 2 + 2 + 1 = 10
Piercing, IC: 1d6 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 3 + 1 = 5
Eadric decides to attempt a one-two punch, but the flea is more dextrous than it looks and dodges the attempt. However - while it does that, Ssresrandu circles around and give it a slice. Suffice to say, if anyone wants a fleaburger later on, two of them are lying on the ground after that cut. The critter twitches its legs for a second, and then stops moving completely.
Raman attempts a to circle around, but the grass and mud prove to be treacherous. He slips, loses focus and the vermin senses an opportunity to take a nice chunk out of his face.
Bite, Blue, Raman: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 91d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
That doesn't happen, however. Mori and his pick break the flea's concentration. This creates an opening for Raman, and the flea almost collapses when he strikes it's leg. It's still standing, though.
Cypher - delay
Eadric - Hadouken! (dodged, though)
Mori - mining for flea ribs
Raman - "And my axe!"
Ssresrandu - "I'll make two EVEN UGLIER ones out of you!"
Janira - inspire courage
@Cypher I suppose Confirmation is not an Enchanter's alley.
@Cypher I suppose Confirmation is not an Enchanter's alley.
Yeah, depending on what you rolled for us to face I may be 90% useless this mission, but I should be much better in the next two.
Helme drops her slig, and pulls out her longspear. She's ready to attack if that flea comes in her direction.
Longspear: 1d20 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 2 + 1 = 16
Damage: 1d8 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 3 + 1 = 6
Remind me to tell you the story of my last confirmation after we're out of the cave. An enchanter would have been super helpful.
Bite, Blue, Raman: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 121d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Bite, Red, Eadric: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 141d4 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
The fleas are adamant in their pursuit of fresh bodies to feast on. They are an example of intent not always metching the result, however. They snap at Eadric and Raman, but the aspirants dodge both attacks either with swift moves or shields.
Janira only smiles at the futile attempts of the fleas. She is clearly entertained by observing the development.
Initiative - Go if bolded
Inspire courage still applies
Helme takes a step foward and stabs at the flea with her longspear.
"Those things are really ugly. It could be worse."
Longspear: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Longspear Crit confirm?: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17
Damage: 2d8 + 6 ⇒ (7, 7) + 6 = 20
Ssresrandu maneuvers around the tree, quickly moving his lithe scaled body into position for another attack at the next flea.
Attack red with reach.
Nodachi, power attack, inspired, flank: 1d20 + 4 - 1 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 4 - 1 + 1 + 2 = 8 for 1d10 + 4 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 4 + 3 + 1 = 14 slashing.
In his hurry to pounce, he swings too wildly missing the bug.
"Woah! Nice one bro!" Eadric says to Ssresrandu as the big Nagaju chops one of the fleas in half. Eadric then tries to take advantage of the situation as the other man circles and harries the last remaining flea from behind... he steps forwards and attempts to punt the bug into the trees.
Atk. Kick; Inspire, Flank: 1d20 + 5 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 5 + 1 + 2 = 10 Eck!
Dmg. Bludgeoning; Inspire: 1d6 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 4 + 1 = 9
Cypher looks at the battle and sighs, tucking the acid away, seeing that their fellows have it clearly in hand. Instead, they pull the thing on their wrist. A soft whirl of magic and suddenly Cypher is in a cheerleader's uniform!
GO PATHFINDERS GO, GO PATHFINDERS GO! SQUISH THOSE BUGS!
It's not quite as effective as Janira's inspiring courage, but emotional support is important to!
Raman moves in front of the nagaji to position himself to attack. At Cypher's urging, he flips his axe around to use as a hammer.
Attack(IC,flank): 1d20 + 3 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 3 + 1 + 2 = 26
Damage(sneak,IC): 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (2, 2) + 1 = 5
Confirm(IC,flank): 1d20 + 3 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 3 + 1 + 2 = 20
Damage(x3,IC): 2d6 + 2 ⇒ (6, 4) + 2 = 12
The blunt end of his maulaxe cracks the carapace of the unlucky flea, squashing the bug.
"Good idea, Cypher. The bugs really are easier to squash than they are to slice."
With a mighty slam, Raman flattens the flea. The mucus from the creature sprays out as it hits the ground. Everyone who has clean boots in the area might consider an attempt to dodge the spray.
"Bravo! Great work! And what an impacting finale!", Janira rapidly claps her hands several times.
"Right. Anyone injured? I saw some nasty attempts at bites."
Cypher switches back to their woodcutter outfit.
I'm good... I'll stink like anti-bug for a few hours, but honestly, I'm okay with that.
They shudder and sighs.
I HATE bugs... and undead... and oozes...
"The advantages of a big ol' shield, they didn't touch me. Hehe, the only time they got close was when parts were flying thanks to Raman and Ssresrandu." Eadric says as he puts away his shield "So, umm... are these things normal around here? I don't get out of the city much."