A brooding half-elf dressed in rough cloths and leather in the Varisian style nods towards the servant. Rolling his eyes as soon as she is out of sight.
Another mission doing something that has nothing to do with archaeology I bet. What is it going to be now; sabotage something in Bloodcove? He pulls on his patterned gloves irritably before going over some of the supplies he has brought along with him.
A small creature (Wayang) stands in the room, his hunched back and long, dangling fingers present a creepy vibe and he breathes lightly while listening to the servant. He carries a spell component pouch and a large book is visible in his backpack.
He speaks in a breathy, but articulated, voice. "Excellent to go on another excursion. Hopefully this one will be more kind than the last. I had never seen so much Deeper Darkness in my life. I had to cast Daylight three times in one skirmish!"
Illuthion takes stock of the man and snorts to himself. "Where did they send you? I've heard stories of the b@@$*$~@ the Ten put Agents through." Looking down at his garb he sniffs distastefully. "If I had known she'd been promoted, I'd have put on my swaggiest s~&@. Instead, I'm here looking like a chooch from Vudra."
Tsishad gives a quick glance to Illuthion before staring back at the ground whilst rubbing his hands together. "Lastwall, in a forgotten cave. To their credit, there was no telling what was in there."
Tsishad grasps his amulet tightly as it gleams slightly, seeming to radiate a magical aura. He then extending his right arm to Illuthion, reaching up high as the half-elf towers over the wayang.
"Tsishad, by the way." SIGH-shad, T is silent. ;)
(imagine the sound of flip-flops coming from down the hallway)
An almost glistening, blue-skinned Undine enters the room. He wears very little in the way of clothing, favoring instead a variety of straps, chains, buckles and bandoliers.
Judging by the water dripping from his skin, it almost looks like he just got done with a swim. He tosses a pack, a pair of crossbows and several quivers into a corner of the room and plops down in the most cushioned seat that remains.
After a long exhale, he looks at those gathered and flashes a huge smile that makes his whole face light up (and almost causes his head to jerk back).
"Awww duuudes! Heyyy! Name's Blub Blub. You know, like, Blub... Blub... *heh heh, heh heh, heh*..."
He chuckles to himself for a good minute before realizing he's the only one laughing. "Hey, I'm super exhausted. Anybody seen any food here? Feels like I haven't eaten in forrr everrr..."
illuthion nods, still looking peeved. "'sup? I'm Illuthion."
The servant returns a few minutes later, "Ms. Allahe is ready for you now."
Although the city of Nantambu is hot, the interior of Sharrowsmith’s Exports is cool and dim. Aya Allahe gestures to a sideboard of iced drinks and jungle fruits as she settles in behind her tidy desk. “Please, refresh yourselves, for I’m about to ask you to journey far from the comforts of civilization.” The only other person in the room is a half-elf named Fola Barun, who has curly hair and dark skin painted with delicate designs. Fola stands behind a massive oak table, meticulously adding details to a half-finished map.
Allahe’s brow wrinkles over her golden eyes, hinting at her worry. “North of Bloodcove is the mountainous Terwa Uplands and a scarp called Azlant Ridge. For more than six years, Pathfinder archeologists at Azlant Ridge have been excavating an Azlanti outpost of vital historical significance; it’s perhaps the only Azlanti outpost on the Mwangi coast.” Allahe pauses. “Fola, you mentioned to me before that you wanted to learn how Pathfinder agents begin a mission. Why don’t you hold off on that map for a few minutes and listen?” The half-elf carefully sets her cartography aside and strides over behind the desk. Allahe nods approvingly and continues, “My good friend, Juliet Dias, leads the expedition at Azlant Ridge. During their first year, the expedition was beset by a horde of ape-men, but was saved by the timely intervention of a group of Pathfinder agents. The site has been mostly quiet ever since—Juliet provides monthly reports. Archeology is a slow and careful science, as Juliet is keen to remind me. Not all Pathfinders are reckless thrill-seekers.” Allahe flashes a conspiratorial smile.
Fola Barun speaks up. “Juliet Dias’s monthly correspondence is a week overdue. Her last missive described a strange light emanating from somewhere deeper in the Terwa Uplands, and her intense curiosity about it.” She slides a folded letter across the desk.
Aya adds, “I fear for my friend. Go to Azlant Ridge and seek out Juliet Dias. If she has met danger, please assist her. If my fears prove true, and Juliet is injured or worse, please ensure that the Pathfinder archeologists under her supervision are safe and continuing their valuable work, and then bring Juliet back to me. I have a riverboat to Bloodcove ready to depart, and I’ll provide you directions from Bloodcove to Azlant Ridge. Although I ask that you hurry, it is important that you ask whatever questions you may have before departing.”
Illuthion grunts, giving the cheerful undine a dirty look. "This letter talks about the site bein' a weapons cache. What kinda weapons we talkin' about here? Is this place deep in the f!+*ing jungle, or is this more of a plateau? 'Part from monkeys, anyone else we know sniffin' 'round? Aspis? Technic Leaguers? How long's the trip from here to there? Anything we should know about creepy-crawlies 'long the way?"
Tsishad thinks to himself for a minute. Any relevant knowledge checks?
Kyra greets each of the others warmly when she enters. "May the blessing of the Dawnflower be upon you always."
After listening to Allahe, Kyra asks, "Do you know what they are excavating? Is there any chance it is related to the disappearance? Did she give any more detail about the strange light?"
A powerful looking Shoanti man who had gone un noticed in the room speaks up. "Any chance the problem in the reports being overdue is being caused by something between the dig site and here? If the messages are passing through Blood Cove there's all sorts of opportunities for things to go astray."
"The archaeologists are still trying to understand the weapons, Illution, but I can tell you about the area: the terrain between Bloodcove and Azlant Ridge is dense jungle, but the area around Azlant Ridge is mountainous and mostly above the jungle canopy. Creatures such as snakes and monkeys are common, including the violent charau-ka ape-men. There aren’t any communities nearby; Azlant Ridge is quite remote.”
“And unnfortunately, yes--the Aspis Consortium is in control of Bloodcove, the closest settlement to Azlant Ridge, so they might be involved. Keep a watchful eye for their meddling.”
To Kyra, Aya says, “I know nothing more than Juliet put in her note. However, there is a large ivory sphere at Azlant Ridge that started glowing six years ago, when an Abyss-touched monster attacked that site. It ceased glowing once the monster was defeated, and hasn’t activated since. Perhaps the glow Juliet reported was a similar phenomenon at a different site.”
”As to what they are excavating . . . six years ago, a group of Pathfinder archeologists at a remote dig site in the Terwa Uplands made an incredible discovery: clear evidence of Azlanti occupation, refuting the common belief that the Azlanti had no settlements in the Mwangi Expanse. The archeologists came under frequent attacks by the charau-ka, the vile ape-men of the Mwangi. The Pathfinder expedition’s leader, Juliet Dias, directed construction of a wooden palisade, but the charau-ka called forth an enormous Abyss-touched champion to smash through it. Fortuitously, visiting Pathfinders activated one of the site’s ancient defenses—an enormous iron golem. This golem defeated the vile champion and scattered the attacking charau-ka. The attack also scared off the historical researchers, who hastily covered up the site and vowed never to return.
“Juliet was eventually able to assemble a second team though, and she has about 20 archaeologists there with her now.”
"That is unlikely, Aelfward. Our message system is secure and reliable."
"It is a river like any other, Blub Blub."
Illuthion nods. "A'right. So how long's it gonna take us to get to this chooch-fest?"
Knowledge(History): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13
Why ain't I heard nothin' 'bout this f!#%ing place?
Knowledge (History): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (4) + 11 = 15
"Several millennia ago, the western Mwangi expanse was a contested battleground between the declining serpentfolk empire and the cyclopes of Ghol-Gan. Although the Azlanti were not generally allies of Ghol-Gan, they had the insidious serpentfolk as a common enemy."
"Sorry, it's all I know. Doesn't really seem that helpful."
"It's a start Sigh-ster. Those serpent-folk, they still around? Or they dead? I mean, I'd say yes, but I'm thinking of Nagagi. Maybe. Or that s*#% at Skyreach a year or two ago."
"Tsishad's right about the Cyclops of Ghol-Gan and the Azlanti, but another thing to remember is that the site is around 10,000 years old and that was near the end of the Ghol-Gan's empire." Al pauses and then nods his in acknowledgement of the wayang's scholarship. He continues "At that time the astronomers would have been desperate for help against the serpent folk and would have welcomed the Azlanti with open arms."
Seeing some puzzled looks at referring to the Ghol-Gan as astronomers he adds "The Cyclops were well know for their advanced astronomy and worship of celestial bodies."
Tsishad interjects into the conversation awkwardly in his breathy, articulate voice. "Oh, Blub Blub, I was deep in thought. I apologize. To answer your earlier question, I deal with the magicks of life and death itself."
He goes back to thinking, but snaps out and quickly adds, "What's the weather like at this location?"
"Oh yes, if someone were to be invisible, who's good at stabbing where it hurts? I do have some more powerful illusion magic at my disposal."
He's asking about Greater Invisibility.
"It is a river like any other, Blub Blub."
"Whoa! Totally not true! There's, like, tons of differences!"
Blub Blub practically jumps out of his chair and digs through his pack. After mere moments he produces several tiny vials containing a variety of liquids.
"Rivers are either alluvial, which deposits sediment, or like, bedrock, which removes material. There's hella differences in volume, clarity, flow speed, gradient, salinity, vegetation, habitation..."
He shows off several of the vials, which after inspection, are each labeled with a location and a mission name.
"I figured that's why you wanted me here. But don't worry, dude. I'll be happy to report what I find!"
"Whoa. Trippy! If I'm invisible, how could I see down the sight of my crossbow?"
Blub Blub meticulously repacks his vials of water.
"Plus, if you can't see me, you'd probably block my shot."
Lol. Seeing everyone now, I don't know if it's good or bad that Kyra has the most hit points out of all of us, followed by the guy who's ranged =\
Is it too late to switch to Oloch?
The journey passes uneventfully . . .
A series of thin switchback trails climb ever higher out of the jungle. Near the top, a dilapidated camp comes into view. The camp is surrounded by a wooden palisade wall forming a semicircle that both starts and ends at an imposing cliff face looming hundreds of feet above the camp. A gatehouse towers over the palisade, guarding a wooden gate. Near this gate is a large gap of splintered wood, as though some enormous creature recently smashed its way through the wall.
From the gatehouse, a man hails the Pathfinders, "S-STOP RIGHT TH-THERE!"
Knowledge (Geography): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21
Tsishad answers his own question. "Should be hot, but not too hot."
Tsishad stops as instructed and looks at the gate in awe, inspecting it to see what could have caused it. Of course... out of character I know. ;)
"HI there!" Aelfward call up cheerfully to the nervours guard. "I'm Aelfward Bloodyhanded, Pathfinder Agent. In fact all of my companions are Pathfinder Agents of great skill and fame. We've been sent by Aya Allahe to check on things because your reports are a week overdue." If possible his grin gets even bigger and friendlier "So why don't you just open up the gate or send for someone who can so we all can chat in comfort"
Survival: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
He casts Endure Elements every day anyways. Doesn't want his skin to dry out ;-)
Upon seeing the encampment, Blub Blub makes a show of putting away his heavy crossbow. "Yeah, dude. We're just here ta help!"
Aid Another, Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25
"We're looking for Juliet Dias!"
"Yo, Pathfinders here chooch! Report's overdue and Natambu is startin' to wonder what's up" adds Illuthion, flashing his wayfinder. "So chill out. I ain't no monkey-man" he finishes with a smirk.
Diplomacy (Aid Another): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
Kyra is impressed with her group's ability to parley. Heh maybe we won't need combat at all anyway with this much face power!
She spends some time looking around the camp while the others work their verbal magic.
perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
@Tsishad: Actually, they fixed that damage. This time the break is going out, not in.
I hope they're here to take us back to Nantambu safely. The man's shoulders relax from their perch next to his ears, and he pulls out his own wayfinder. "Am I glad to see you! Come on in, ask for Happ Voltz in the camp!"
Happ Voltz is busy at the moment, and asks an underling to give you a tour while he finishes up. In the first room of the underground complex, you see two very large suits of armor standing at attention. In the last room, you find Juliet's makeshift desk, as well as several glyphs on the walls.
Handout #2 in link.
"Pretty neat place huh?" Illuthion smiles and for the first time there does not seem to be any hint of sarcasm, bitterness or any other element whatsoever. "Azlanti knew how to build stuff. Look there; seemless. Like they melted this into shape. Sure, there are spells to do that same s#%@, but f~@+ man, to do all this? They had to have something to shape the rock, maybe the spell we use today's f%##ing ancestor!" Pacing back from Juliet Diaz's desk he approaches the suits of armor. "Don't know s# 'bout this s&&* though. Ain't nothing else in here. These armors, they look right for a Ghol-gan cyclops? But why only two? Where's the rest of the weapons?" he muses out loud.
As Blub Blub, and Illuthion, I thought Azlanti only had the one dialect unlike Osiriani which has both ancient and modern dialects.
"The weapons have probably been looted over the centuries, ten thousand years is a long time after all. He takes a deep breath, I hope the nasty idea that just popped into my head is wrong,"or maybe this place wasn't a weapon depot after all."
"Look the inscription here reads 'Iron warrior override device'. That matches up nicely with the report of the 'enormous iron golem' from six years ago.
He then points at the second inscription. "Call it Pathfinder field agent paranoia, if you will, but this one had me worried." Reaching out and taping it with his finger, he pauses again before he continues apparently off topic. "I had friends a few years ago who were in Mendev when the wardstones started to fail, and a year or so before that who had to deal problems left over from the ancient Thassilonian Empire."
He jabs almost angrily at the inscription and reads "'Our one-eyed allies may falter in their vigilance; if their fiendish prisoner loosens its bonds, our iron warriors stand ready to respond.'"
"I think this place might be a prison."
"It's a small prison then" replies Illuthion pensively. "This the armory of the prison then?"
Tsishad contemplates the message. "I wonder what the fiendish prisoner is."
He casts Detect Magic around the area.
If you put a rank in Linguistics to get the language, then it is Ancient Azlanti. In #3-06: Song of the Sea Witch, there are actually Gillmen who still use Azlanti. Weird, huh?
@Tsishad: You don't detect any magical auras.
Initiative (Blub): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Initiative (Illuthion): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
Initiative (Kyra): 1d20 ⇒ 16
Initiative (Tsishad): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Initiative (GM): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Perception (Aelfward): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
Perception (Blub): 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (19) + 15 = 34
Perception (Illution): 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (4) + 14 = 18
Perception (Kyra): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Perception (Tsishad): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Location: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Stealth: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
- Tsishad - surprised
- Kyra - surprised
- Blub Blub
After investigating Juliet's office, you meet Happ by the white sphere. Unfortunately, animal shrieks erupt from the breached palisade before you can ask any questions of the archaeologist
Illuthion is up. Surprise round.
Are those... Monkey swarms? Lol.
Ok. Rules question for you, GM. Blub Blub has a Launching Crossbow. It uses splash weapons as ammunition. It's unclear whether I am able to get Dex-to-damage while using it. My mod is only +3, so it's not really a big deal to me either way.
Argument for: the Bolt Ace adds Dex-to-damage while using crossbows.
Argument against: you can't typically apply damage bonuses (such as Strength, or Sneak Attack) to splash weapons. People don't believe the Launching Crossbow was thought about while designing the class.
What say you?