The PCs each receive a letter from Venture-Captain Obo, inviting them to a joint meeting with him and the Sapphire Sage, Amenopheus. The meeting occurs in a secluded area of the gardens outside the Swordmeet Lodge in Manaket, a port city in Rahadoum.
Feel free to introduce yourselves
As August arrives in Manaket, he spends a few hours getting to know the port area and make some local connections.
Upon arriving at the meeting early, Dupine stands back to observe each Pathfinder as they arrive, taking mental notes about each. As he sees a recognized ally, he nods and gives a small smile.
Irizati is a scruffy, homely, muscular Kellid man of medium height.
He has a few weapons and is wearing full plate armor made of a dark black material that most of you will recognize as dragonhide,
With him is a large but clearly well trained Tiger wearing mithral chain barding.
"I am Irizati. This is Baloo. Does anyone know what the mission is?"
A tall, weather-beaten Osiriani man, leaning heavily on a darkwood staff, one end of which seems to be on fire (without consuming it), strides into the room.
"Greetings. I am Numair, and I will be providing arcane support, and diplomatic skills, on this little venture."
The most stereotypical paladin you could ever meet has joined the team. Despite the out of the way meeting location you're pretty confident he's managing to draw attention to himself from somewhere. His armor looks like it's been polished to unnecessary excess, his long hair is better kept than a noble woman's, and when he smiles you're certain his teeth actually twinkle.
He stands with his hands on his hips, scanning the group with confidence bordering on arrogance and that unmistakable fanaticism you seen in the eyes of the overly zealous worshipers of some deities. He carries a great sword on his back, and you notice as you watch him that his shadow seems to be vaguely out of sync with his movements. "GREETINGS, FRIENDS! I am the great Sir Godfrey! Servant of the Dawnflower and bringer of her light to the dark places! Are you ready to crush villainy and evil with me?"
“Welcome Pathfinders, please sit and be comfortable.” Venture Captain Obo motions to various benches. A gentle breeze of sea air carries with it fragrances from the lush gardens surrounding Swordmeet Lodge. In the distance, the low rumble of the ocean surf echoes throughout the port city of Manaket on Rahadoum’s northern coast.
“Millennia ago, when Ahriman, the Lord of the Divs, attacked the famed Jaizun Citadel, a few of the resident artificers and elementalists of the Jistka Imperium made their escape. Their whereabouts, and the secrets they took with them, were lost to the desert sands and the ages. Soon after, the Citadel of the Weary Sky, as the Jaizun Citadel became known, was demolished by a fierce elemental storm.” Obo glances over to the thin man standing to his side, “The Sapphire Sage, Amenopheus, is lending a hand in the nascent partnership between the Pathfinder Society and the Concordance of Elements. This new alliance is already beginning to bear fruit. The Concordance was particularly interested in the information we had about the Citadel of the Weary Sky. Recently, they detected an unusual elemental energy to the south, in the Napsune Mountains, and asked us to investigate this disturbance.”
Amenopheus clasps his robes tightly about himself, “We have long suspected that the Jistkan refugees from the citadel may have made their way into the mountains and constructed a hidden stronghold there. There appears to be some connection between this refuge and the elemental storms that battered the Citadel of the Weary Sky. This connection made our new friends in the Concordance of Elements nervous; they do not wish a resurgence of violent elemental storms any more than we do. Now that we’ve identified this lingering elemental imbalance, it must be corrected.”
Obo steels his gaze, “If we’ve truly discovered the ancient elementalists’ retreat, then it may well pose a very real danger. Our alliance with the Concordance is tentative at best and I wish to show our goodwill, but I cannot in good conscience order you to investigate. Instead, I offer you the right of first refusal—more an invitation—to explore.”
Obo withdraws a map from a scroll tube. “The Concordance gave us this map to the location of the disturbance. An ancient Jistkan mechanism blocks the entrance. The Concordance was unable to gain passage, but described it as some kind of sealed portal. From my collection of Jistkan puzzle-boxes, I’d wager it will take keen minds, such as you possess, to unlock this portal and gain entry.”
Venture-Captain Obo holds out the map. “If you are all in agreement, then good luck, Pathfinders. May the gods look down upon you and grant you good fortune.”
The map provides detailed directions leading through the Rahadoumi landscape into the Napsune Mountains. The trail leads up a hidden mountain pass to a small plateau. The map explains that the entrance to the Jistkan outpost can be found here. Neither the Pathfinder Society nor the Concordance of Elements knows the secret to unlocking the entrance into the outpost, and no description of the sealed portal is provided on the map.
Amenopheus secures camels for the PCs if they do not have transportation. He marks on their map good places to stop and secure shelter and watering holes. Before the PCs leave, he provides them with a piece of advice, “I likely don’t have to remind explorers as experienced as yourselves that understanding the situation in Deep Sky and chronicling your discoveries appropriately will almost certainly require fluency in the Jistka language. If none of you speaks the language, I highly recommend acquiring appropriate magical assistance before you depart.”
The floor is open for questions.
Knowledge(History) or Knowledge(Planes): to know more about Jistkan
history and its dealings with elemental energies
I just checked and no one in the party speaks Jistka.
"Explore. Report. Cooperate. This feels like an excellent chance to explore. But I know very little of these events. Could someone provide some background information?"
Knowledge, History: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
"I am afraid that none of my studies have included these regions, so I am interested to visit this place. And who doesn't enjoy a good puzzle. As far as the language barrier, I have studied many languages, but some magical assistance, or a local interpreter, is probably called for here."
+9 Linguistics will sometimes help, but can't really depend on it.
Numair strokes his chin thoughtfully.
"Jistkan is an ancient, theoretically dead language, August; I doubt that we will find a local interpreter..."
Not to mention, Jistkan is, to the best of my knowledge, not on the list of languages available in CORE...
He then shrugs.
"I may not know the language, but I can use Comprehend Languages to understand it, if (or more likely when) we come across it..."
"It will be my honor to carry this for you."
"Worry not, my lords! If there is evil afoot, then it shall feel my booted foot as it forcefully introduces itself to its vile posterior!" Godfrey switches from his heroic pose to crossing his arms as he turns to address the rest of the group as well. "I am not the investigative or knowledgeable sort, this is a limitation for me. But I will get us into wherever we need to go and proudly face any foe that would harm you grand researchers!" For they must be the researchers if he is not, someone has to really understand what's going on once they get there.
"With that in mind, do we know of any immediate threats in the area, or expectations of resistance to our noble mission, Mr. Venture Captain?"
While Numair is the solemn sort in responding to Amenopheus, Godfrey is not. "Of course, Sage! I will defend your jewel with my life and I shall lay it down before I let harm come to this elf-like gentleman or your magical artifact!"
He also shamelessly blabs to the group. "Do not worry friends, I believe Numair shall be able to handle our language problems." And a less than sly wink towards his fellow Scarab Sage.
@ Sir Godfrey, Amenopheus answers. “If the outpost is truly secret, then it’s unlikely that you will encounter many people. I imagine there might be ancient Jistkan guardians, puzzles, or traps, so be careful and resourceful.”
Will wait a bit for others to chime in before proceeding.
A column of swirling sand rises in the middle of the captains office, bright blue sparks fizzle and sputter within it and a dry wind whips through the room scattering papers all about. The column vanishes as quickly as it appears leaving behind a short, frail, elderly dwarf. He is quite bald with a thin beard of silvery grey and wearing well worn travelling clothes which are only a little bit on fire.
Quickly patting himself out he mutters, my apologies captain, erm, had a small teleportation accident, sure it won't happen again...
He pauses and looks around at the assembled team. Hmm, think I get why you sent me the summons. Jistka it said, nothing good ever came from that lot! Forever meddling in things wot don't concern em.
Planes: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (10) + 22 = 32
They were forever messing about with golems and elementals, stuffing em inside bodies of metal and stone and they built that there Jaizun citadel to channel even more elemental power. He pulls a pipe from one of his many pockets and lights it with a tindertwig. Bloody stupid idea if you ask me, was always bound to attract attention and annoy those old Ossirions, they were a high strung lot, arrogant and easily offended too..., he trails off as he spots Amenopheus. But I'm sure things have changed since then...
Anyway, the whole area got torn to bits in wars between Ossiriani geneies and elementals and Jistkan golems, when the elemental fuelled ones didn't work they turned to binding worse, demons, devils, daemons. None of this sounds good if we are heading into the heart of that old cauldron of s$$#e.
The dwarf pauses, adjusts the gold horn rimmed glasses which are precariously perched on his long pointed nose and coughs as he looks over the rest of the group.
Oh, 'suppose I should introduce meself as well. Names Alonso Gallonica, society's premier dwarven wizard. I'll be helping you keep out of trouble, and get you in and out of places others don't want us in. If you want any particular spell just shout out and I'll see what I can do. I don't hold much with necromancy mind he says giving Amenopheus a good hard stare.
The he spots Sir Godfrey, Aah, you! I've heard of you, that young layabout Logan mentioned you. Where's that hideous monster of yours!
He also tips his hat to Numair. Heard of you too lad, handy with the fireballs or so Olaf tells me. Just be careful not to singe me, I'll be invisible much o' the time. He rummages inside his pack drawing out a scroll, Here, take this, just in case like.
Alonso provides Numair with a scroll of See Invisibility. For those curious Alonso, Olaf and Logann are all part of one of the extended trading families I use to keep my characters together (and so I don't have to keep coming up with new surnames!
Glancing at Sir Godfrey, "I hear he travels with a large snake."
Irizati thinks for a moment. "The usual combat spells. Heroism, Haste, No need for Mage Armor though.
Numair nods his thanks to Alonso.
"I will try to keep that in mind, when I am filling areas with super-heated clouds of flame. Thank-you for the scroll, and for the information that you were able to share about the Jistkans."
He then frowns.
"It sounds like elementals, other outsiders, and golems are to be the likely guardians that we might face... hopefully, there will not be too many of the last of those, although I suppose I can still always blind them with clouds of mica particles..."
I will also be quite happy to acquire a casting of Heightened Continual Flame :-)
The journey through Rahadoum to the location provided on the Concordance’s map is uneventful. The entrance to Deep Sky is high in the Napsune Mountains.
The narrow, stony mountain path broadens as it ascends to a narrow ledge. The rock face to the south towers hundreds of feet in height. Two massive doors made of green marble loom within. They lack any hinges or handles but are carved with enormous, stern, scowling faces. Next to the doors is a shallow indentation containing a tiny stone door with a weathered metal handle.
The marble doors are the entrance to Deep Sky. They are magically reinforced and prove difficult to open.
The tiny stone door opens freely. Within, five thin metal strips are attached to the rock face, with large rivets set at the top and bottom. Above the metal strips, a phrase is carved into the wall in Jistka.
Each metal strip bears faded images of hands with raised fingers. A
delicate wooden mallet hangs from a hook, the head barely still attached.
See presentation for hand out and visual aid
As they have travelled across the desert Alonso has made preparations for everyone's comfort. Each day he paces out a circle in the sands and mutters an incantation, raising from nowhere a sturdy little sandstone cottage fitted with comfortable beds and an unseen servant to see to their needs.
If asked he will simply say, it's me hip lad, can't do with sleeping on the ground at my age...
As they near the ancient site he makes a few preparations. A series of muttered incantations see him surrounded by a faint blue barrier of force, rise gently into the air and promptly vanish. More muttering can be heard from thin air.
At the end of every day of travel Alonso uses his arcane bond to create a Secure Shelter, assuming it hasn't been used. In the morning when they arrive he casts mage armour, overland flight and extended heroism on himself. He sets up message for the group and turns himself invisible using his ring. Before they enter he will tap himself with his wand of energy resist granting 20 fire resist for 70 minutes as well as his wand of shield just in case.
from out of thin air to Numari
If you need to blast don't mind me, i've warded meself against fire and am tougher than I look. Can you read that Jistkan gibberish? if not I've got a handy scroll here...
I presume most of us are supposed to ignore the first handout. But since Sir Godfrey said he took the jewel then he can read Jistka.
Irizati keeps an eye out for trouble while the more learned and/or musically inclined examine the metal strips. He will take the opportunity to cast Greater Magic Fang on himself and Baloo. And Longstrider on himself.
Assuming a way is discovered to open the door he will cast Barkskin on himself, Baloo, and August. +3 natural armor for 80 minutes.
He will then set his backpack down and shift into a dire tiger. The backpack has a few scrolls, wands, and a lesser extend rod.
Godfrey is willing of Numair doesn't want it, but he believes the caster should utilize the caster item.
Sir Godfrey travels along with joyful vigor, waxing endlessly about his battles against the vile and the various teachings of Sarenrae. He's certain to offer the highest praise and graciousness to Alonso for their nightly lodgings. He also leaves his "little monster" of a shadow at the entrance for guard duty, but completely misses the realization that it's what Alonso was referencing.
Instead, he comments that Riddywipple in fact belongs to a gnome friend of his, and he just takes has a way with magical animals.
At the door he stares down at the collection of chimes and picks up the mallet in his hand. "Well, my good comrades, this appears to be some sort of instrument that needs to be played. A xylophone of sorts. I can likely manage it, though it's not my personal forte. But what should I play?"
He pulls his great sword off his back just to be prepared, but makes no other efforts to ready himself the way the more magical in the group are. His shadow will attempt to poke its head through the marble doors, however.
Perform: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
I think I have the puzzle figured out, but Godfrey isn't bright enough to realize it on his own, it'll depend on what the Jiksta says.
"Anyone know what this means?"
August listens to the translation, but it doesn't particularly help him. "I am not much of a musician."
Sir Godfrey stares at the collection of would be xylophone bits with perfect focus. His brow furrows down ever so slightly and he makes several deep toned humming noises as he considers it. His eyes shift to the mallet in hand, back to the instruments, then to the mallet once more before he finally nods in understanding. "I think the clue good Numair has read gives the secret away. No villiany may trick our sharp minds!" He goes from excessive seriousness to his more annoyingly confident persona in mere moments!
"We must merely play the proper tone, it's likely some sort of musical lock! Allow me to entertain you all with the sound of a door opening!" He proceeds to play the order he believes is correct with the confidence to back it up.
If I have this right, based on the clue. They're numbered based on the total number of spaces between the fingers on each metal bit. So 4, 2, 3, 1, 5. Godfrey plays them in numerical order 1-5.
Illuthion taps out the correct number on each key. The doors begin to shake and slide open. Revealing a wide open chamber.
This chamber has a stone staircase leading to a platform of blue stone, polished to a mirror-like finish. At the platform’s center is an inlaid gold rune five feet in diameter. The walls are covered in small, tight fitting ceramic tiles creating an intricate mosaic. The wall around the platform is an exception, bearing three large, clear, triangular quartz tiles. Large, clear windows to the south and east provide a view of a large cavern that appears open to the sky.
As the first two pathfinders enter the cavern, the golem at the other side of the cavern reacts and to the wind coming in and reanimates.
Sir Godfrey: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20
August: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
Numair: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
irizati: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
alonso: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
Auriferous: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
GM: 1d20 ⇒ 16
Round 1(bold may act)
Sir Godfrey,August, Alonso and Auri
Irizati and Numair
Resembling an unearthed vein of dull gray minerals, this crude,
hunchbacked humanoid figure uses its arms to support itself. It is a lead golem. One piece of information plus one more by every five you beat the DC. Please choose from list. Link for questions
You feel a subtle suggestion to incapacitate or bypass the golem instead of destroying it. This urge feels benign and helpful rather than malicious
As mentioned earlier Irizati cast some spells before entering including Barkskin cl 8 on August.
Arcana: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (7) + 22 = 29
Special attacks please
From out of thin air.
Be careful everyone, it is some sort of lead golem! Pretty rare actually, I wonder how they were made...., the voice trails off, oh right! I should probably do something about the stupid thing!
With a wave of one hand he engulfs the creature in shimmering lights and then promptly backs off to let the others deal with it as he becomes visible.
Alonso glitterdusts the golem and then backs off. DC21 will save or it is blind. Just a note, we can see the whole map.
Special Attack: Retributive Miasma (Ex) Any attack that overcomes the damage reduction of the lead golem causes fine lead particles to fill the air within a 5-foot radius of the lead golem. This cloud of lead persists for 1 round; any creatures within the area or that pass through the cloud are exposed to the cloud’s poisonous effects. Subsequent attacks damaging the golem increase the duration of the cloud by 1 round each. Poison-inhaled-damages constitution and wisdom.
Cure two saves.
In which case I would like to change my action if you don't mind.
Alonoso, floating invisibly, casts a spell and flits amongst the group before backing away.
Alonso casts Life Bubble using his arcane bond getting the whole group.
Seems to be a miscommunication. Alonso chose to Life Bubble the party instead of Glitterdust. Unless you are holding him to the Glitterdust.
August moves around the room (up on the dias at one point), in order to get close and behind the golem.
Acrobatics to avoid AoO on last 5' assuming he has 10' reach: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (2) + 11 = 13
Then he tries to kick a leg out from under him.
Unarmed Strike: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16
Damage: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
August, he is flat footed so no AOO.
Alonso and Irizatie, I will let life bubble stand since that important info came out after he posted. And it makes more since.
Alonso creates invisible barriers around the parties heads.
August steps up and attempts to punch the lead golem, his fist colliding with its hard metal exterior.
Auri and Sir Godfrey
Take care everyone, hitting these things surrounds them in a cloud of poisonous lead particles!
I think I have 7 targets between PCs and the animal companion which means 3 hours for everyone except the tiger who gets 2.
Sir Godfrey feels the invisible slap of justice upon his back, girding him against the threat of the golem. He doesn't hesitate to stride forward with August and help him flank their foe. "Worry not, friendly voice from the air! I think we shall be fine with it now. The glory protects us!" He gets a firm grip on his weapon and strikes out for one of the golem's legs.
Move to new position, standard to attack.
1st +3 Adamantine Great Sword(Power Attack, Flank): 1d20 + 18 - 3 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 18 - 3 + 2 = 34
Damage(Power Attack): 2d6 + 21 ⇒ (3, 5) + 21 = 29
Crit confirm +3 Adamantine Great Sword(Power Attack, Flank): 1d20 + 18 - 3 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 18 - 3 + 2 = 26
Damage(Power Attack): 2d6 + 21 ⇒ (6, 4) + 21 = 31
Auri will be in delay, since no botting rules were left in case she is MIA. I believe he went to a convention. He mentioned it in a game he is running for me.
Sir Godfrey steps up and unleashes a vicious strike against the golem. As he cuts through, greenish acidic gas is unleashed, surrounding the golem. Which is pointless due to life bubble
The golem retaliates against Sir Godfrey, striking him with two lead fist. Sir Godfrey takes 29 points of damage
Pathfinders are up...
With the golem surrounded Alonso reaches out a hand and makes the ground underfoot it highly slippery.
Alonso casts grease underneath it, DC20 reflex save or it falls prone.
Irizati moves up to the golem possibly provoking it and then tries to bite it.
1d20 + 13 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 13 + 1 = 30 dealing b/s/p/magic dmg: 2d6 + 8 + 1 ⇒ (6, 1) + 8 + 1 = 16
And maybe grab: 1d20 + 19 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 19 + 1 = 40
Note prone reduces CMD as well as AC. Not that it mattered in this case.
Baloo comes in to help.
claw: 1d20 + 12 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 12 + 1 = 25 dealing b/s/magic dmg: 1d6 + 7 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 7 + 1 = 11
The golem flails at the first approaching cat, but misses by a wide margin.
The other cat moves in and claws at the golem as well, doing minimum damage.
Sir Gofrey, August, Numair and Auri to act.
Finally able to act, Numair calls out a warning:
"There is a presence in Amenopheus' jewel, which is warning me that we should incapacitate, or bypass, but *not* destroy this golem! Let's get out of here..."
He then casts Glitterdust at it.
DC 18 Will negates.
"Incapacitate? Alright, then..."
August tries to grab the arms in hopes of pinning and tying the metal man.
Grapple: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (17) + 13 = 30
+5 actually. " If your target does not break the grapple, you get a +5 circumstance bonus on grapple checks made against the same target in subsequent rounds."
Sir Godfrey seems moderately confused... perhaps its the pair of wallops he took upside his head, but how have they gone from trying to bring down a dangerous automaton to the party having a greasy wrestling match with it? "While I am not opposed to this decisions, and great as we are... HOW precisely are we to incapacitate something we can't knock unconscious or effectively lock up? Your spells will not last forever, friends! I appreciate the desire to preserve, but this isn't the sort of thing we can effectively do that with!"
Still, he will opt to help August with his grappling to at least keep the golem under control for a round while someone else comes up with a means to actually make this work.
Standard to grapple assist.
Grapple Assist: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (6) + 15 = 21
"I am not sure where the information is coming from, but once in the Mwangi jungles, I came across some much bigger metal men like this, and we were able to take control and use to our benefit. Perhaps the same could be true here."
@Irizati, not minding you at all ;P
The golem attempts to rip it's arm out of the tigers mouth, but it is latched on tight.
This will be awesome if you all actually pin and restrain a golem, I am rooting for you all on this one.
Irizati, you have a +4 from the assist to pin it. And of course the +5 from maintaining the grapple.
Pathfinders are up.
Irizati goes for the pin.
pin: 1d20 + 19 + 1 + 5 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 19 + 1 + 5 + 2 + 2 = 45
But alas the tiger does not have rope in this form.