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Steel Wolves - A Mercenary Campaign (Inactive)

Game Master Mark Sweetman

The Steel Wolves are a squad of the mercenary company the Blood Hawks. Currently stationed in Kalabuto, though the jungle calls....

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Minor Crab-beast

Previous Thread

The squad, led by Cpl Valorious was commissioned by Robert Vankerman to assist in an expedition into the heart of the jungle. Upon the journey the squad dealt with wild beast, an attack of giant botflies and arrived at a native village that had been decimated by wicked fey. At the village they discovered the reason for Vankerman's expedition - which was to discover a trace of the ancient race of Ghol-Gan, a cyclopean empire that ruled Golarion in the far past.

On the last leg of the journey, Cpl Valorious was struck down by malaria - and his fate currently hangs in the balance under the tender ministrations of Mwangi healers. Negotiating a truce with a nearby tribe of lizardmen, the squad was tasked with removing a small tribe of boggard. They then proceeded under the blessing of the scalykind to a overgrown structure, killing the fey cannibals on the way.

Inside the vault they traversed a pit of swarming insects, before being interrogated by a disembodied voice speaking a dialect long forgotten. The squad has just laid waste to a pair of cyclopean skeletal guardians that looked to be standing sentry over a library of sorts. Licking their wounds, they ponder the treasures hidden within and seek the story behind the rust flecked steel wolf figurine that was also found...

Results of search will be up later

M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)


male Half orc Shapeshifter Skirmisher 5

No playing tag around the potentially valuable figurines. You break them, it comes out of your pay check.

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5


Minor Crab-beast

Bedtime for me - so the revelations of what you find will follow come morning....

Male Half-Elf Martial Artist /4

Perception taking 20: 33
Knowledge: History: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8

Liberty's Edge

Male Human, Taldan (Actually Chelaxian) Alchemist 1 (Rage Chemist) / Fighter 1 (Two Handed)

Dotting...keep fighting the good fight! Go Steel Wolves! @Voice of the Voiceless - Great job! Keep up the good work!

Male Human Fighter 4

Cort tucks the wolf figurine into his bag, carefully, and begins searching the books as well.

Taking 20 on Perception for a 21. Knowledge (nobility):1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5

Male Keleshite Magus(Kensai Archetype)/5

Taking twenty on Perception, for a total of 23. 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15 Knowledge(Nobility)

HP 31/31, Acid Resist 5, Fast Heal 10/10, AC 18, CMD 13, Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +0, Bombs 8/8, Init +2

Suddenly much more invigorated, Doc nods his thanks to Sentis and says [b]"I owe ye one."

Knowing that his eyes had never been the best, Doc leaves it to the others to spot anything important, taking it upon himself to look over what they find for workmanship, value and clues to it's importance.

When Doc takes 20 for Perception it's a 19, so I think he's better off sticking to his strengths.

Take 20 on Appraise for anything they find. 28 total

Also, I'm setting up a cook pot and doing some crafting. Alchemists are suppose to be potion making machines so I'm going to get on that. During every downtime phase I have been mentioning I've been crafting things (but never really specified what). Voice, would it be ok to assume that Doc has got a few things partially made?

Minor Crab-beast

Doc - assume away. As long as the final quantity is reasonable I won't have any issues.

Minor Crab-beast

The various tomes and knick knacks on the shelves take a long time to sort through, and you are only about half finished by the time evening comes. You've managed to discard alot of the 'trash' to one side, such as books that have lost their bindings and wooden items completely given in to woodrot.

A lot of the tomes appear to be a history of sorts, the maps on the inside cover resemble the region of Sargava and Mwangi - though the hills and forests are in different positions. There are also heraldic symbols that repeat in different tomes though they don't resemble any specific ones from your memory. All of the words within the books are written in ancient words beyond your understanding.

Just as a heads up, comprehend languages will get you an 'idea' in the morning, but will not betray the full story.

Kaavel finds a small container that has a matched set of four miniatures. They are four seated cyclopean warriors carved from alabaster and yellowed with age. There are slight variations on the armor and weapon configuration to distinguish between them.

Darkbiter fishes out a very interesting book. The cover motif is similar to the entry hall, and though the interior is filled with words beyond your ken - the pictures tell a hundred stories. Each picture shows a cyclops and bestial wolf in a variety of settings, drawing a chariot, arm raised to send the wolf to attack, wolf bearing a rider as a steed.

Grusk took charge of busting open the larger crates, and has started to assemble a few piles of similar items. Crystal vials, some filled with liquid and some dry. Objects of art and decoration. And a small pile of precious stones and coin.

Sentis Detect Magic:
The strongest reading you get comes from Cort's bag. Waves of arcane power emanate from the figurine.
You also note that the matched set of four seated warriors betray a faint enchantment.
Two books upon the shelves glow with energy as well.
Spellcraft's by item to know more

Some more to come, but I'm pacing myself

Minor Crab-beast

A red book draws your eye, especially as when you open it there is a leather strap in a small hollow at it's spine. The pictures seem to reflect some kind of rules to formal duelling, though you can't quite figure out where the strap comes in.

You are drawn to a metal-shod covered tome that contains pictures of alchemical ingredients and flasks. Some of the diagrams depict bursts of flame greater than you thought possible from alchemical bombs.

You are drawn to an austere leather bound tome that appears to contain kata and forms showing cyclopes stripped to the waist and fighting bare fisted.

One of the books you almost pass over has a picture of a curved blade on the spine. You see within that the pictures and diagrams show mobile fighters with flaming scimitars.

Inside a small container you find two wooden balls - one seemingly made of darkwood and another of white oak. There is a small book accompanying it, but no pictures to guide your understanding.
Within your arcane sight you can see small tendrils weeping forth from the grain of the wood, as though something sits within waiting to be awakened

While sorting through the boxes, you find a metal shod book that seems out of place. The cover sports an axe design that you have not seen cast in metal, single bladed, though the blade seems overlarge for the handle and a curved point on the opposite side. The central pages seem to be a guide as to it's use.
Axe looks a bit like this

A book with a deep black cover sits before you. The inside page shows an opened fanged mouth, and the other diagrams have bloody diorama's of cyclopes fur-covered with oversize fangs and claw tearing into gilled humans.

Ok, thats a wrap on the gear description for now, I'll let you count your winnings and determine a way forward.

Male Keleshite Magus(Kensai Archetype)/5

"I'm guessing we need to try one of the other passages in order to get out, if they're still open to us."

Blaze will spend a few hours of the "night" studying the book he found. Even though he can't understand the words, he pours over the pictures, doing his best to learn anything he can. Eventually sleep overtakes him and he passes out, scimitar close at hand.

Minor Crab-beast

Quick recap of the vault as explored thus far:
Entry through an above ground structure, that lowered the squad into it's depths.
Passageway led through the pit of insects, before taking a right turn into the first chamber.
First chamber had the eye on the floor and corners were adorned with armored cyclopean statues. When Cort stepped onto the eye, the entry passage was blocked by portcullis. A corridor to the second chamber was opened through the squads' furtive questioning.
This led to the final 'library' chamber, where the squad overcame the skeletal sentries. Only entry into this room is the one that the squad came through.

HP 31/31, Acid Resist 5, Fast Heal 10/10, AC 18, CMD 13, Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +0, Bombs 8/8, Init +2

Doc gets a skeptical look in his eye as the big metal bound tome is passed to him. After a minute or so his skepticism vanishes and he begins openly chuckling to himself and flipping through the pages faster and more eagerly. Nearby a pot bubbles and froths smelling of alcohol and strange spices.

Alright folks, I can crank out healing potions but it's cost prohibitive. Basically it costs me 50 gold a pop in materials. Materials is a pretty nebulous term, especially since they are "consumed" in the creating process. In earlier posts I mentioned having people bring me back "supplies" gathered from the jungle, but the amount and makeup of them was never covered. Basically, I figure that I have enough "materials" to make as many potions as the party would like to purchase. Think of it like a weird vending machine that accepts anything of value and spits out potions.

Just tell me what you want from my Formulae list and scratch off some valuables and you've got yourself a potion in the morning.

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5

Sentis is clearly fascinated by all of the books anf items that the group was finding. He'll take down the two afore mentioned tomes as he holds the small container. Then he'll approach Cort.

Hey Cort, whatever you put in your bag is holding so much magic its nearly blinding my arcane sight. Could I examine it for a while? I might be able to discern its function.

He'll sit down while he waits for the duelist reply and start looking over the things he already has.

Casting Guidance before each check

Spellcraft container with wooden orbs 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 5 + 1 = 24
Spellcraft book 1 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 5 + 1 = 13
Spellcraft book 2 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 5 + 1 = 22

Minor Crab-beast

The two books appear to be spellbooks, though you cannot discern the discipline of the first. The second book appears to have mainly destructive spells in it as far as you can tell (they are both in the ancient language of the Ghol-Gan).

Wooden Orbs:
They have a slight abjuration and transmutation aura, though you think that they serve as magical conduits rather than having magic of their own. While probing them mentally, you somehow manage to make them surge towards each other and they hold position for a moment before falling apart.
Perhaps the book (once translated) would shed some additional light as to their purpose.

The wolf figure radiates a powerful Transmutation aura

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5

Perplexed, Sentis looks over and sees the dwarf stirring in his cookpot.

Hey Doc, can you cook me up something so that I can read languages that Im not familiar with?

to the others -

We are planning to spend the night here right? Im guessing that figurine is what Vankerman is after and we should discuss our next course of action.

male Half orc Shapeshifter Skirmisher 5

Darkbiter stows the black covered book away until morning when someone can hopefully interpret it, along with as many of the books with maps as he can comfortably carry. "We should probably head back out and make sure the porters are still in one piece. Let's just hope that Vankermann is trustworthy with this stuff. I really don't want this to come back and bite us in the ass."

M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)

Grusk reads his book, and if not hopes for pictures!

Every once in awhile he adds some of the trash pile to Doc's fire.

"I hope I feels betta in tha morning."

Male Half-Elf Martial Artist /4

Kaavel looks over the book he finds not understanding the words he starts to copy the pictures that are in the book. After spending a few hours doing this instead of his normal training he eats before going to sleep.

HP 31/31, Acid Resist 5, Fast Heal 10/10, AC 18, CMD 13, Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +0, Bombs 8/8, Init +2
Sentis Spinis wrote:

Hey Doc, can you cook me up something so that I can read languages that Im not familiar with?

"Yeh, but it'll take some doin'. Mosta what ah make would jus' make ye drunk an' sick. T' make somethin' ye c'n stomach ah gotta boil out th' impurities an' add a lot more materials. Ah think ah've got the stuff fer it, but ah'd have t' charge ye fer 'em. They're hard t' come by. ye might jus' wanna have me do the translatin' fer ye. If ah'm makin' stuff fer myself ah c'n cut alotta corners 'cause my system's used t' bein' halfway poisoned pretty much all th' time."

I can only make Cure elixers that other people can use. If I want to make anything else for other people it'll have to be a potion, which will run you 50 gold. If you want to save money, I can just take the elixir myself, but it'll have to wait until morning.

M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)

"A bit o healin in the mornin iffen yah o Sentis has it tah spare."

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5

The druid contemplates the dwarf's lessons on the finer aspects of his alchemy.

I see. Well if you get a chance can you look this over?

He'll hand over the wooden balls and hopefully what was the instruction book to the bearded potion brewer. Sentis looks up at Grusk's query.

I'll have to rest and meditate before I can cast any more spells. What happened to that healing salve we found? That stuff would work for now in case we run into anything else before we get out of here. If we take the time I can see to cleaning, stitching and bandaging some of these wounds as well. Again, I think this is a good enough place to stop, rest and pack up all of this stuff we've found before pushing on.

HP 31/31, Acid Resist 5, Fast Heal 10/10, AC 18, CMD 13, Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +0, Bombs 8/8, Init +2

I was looking over my character sheet and realized I forgot to increase my daily elixers when we leveled. Turns out I have 1 left.

"Yer in luck, Sentis. Looks like ah pr'pared an extra solution t'day. Jus' lemme mix in th' right additives an' I'll have a look."

Taking a few minutes to mix an Elixer of Comprehend Languages and then going about translating it as fast as I can.

Voice, what's it say?

Minor Crab-beast

As stated earlier Comprehend Languages gets you a taste, but not the whole burrito. You'll need to spend some time with a learned scholar of the ancient ways to fully access the book.
I've spoilered just for clarity - assume that IC Doc is reading through some of the book and relaying it to you directly.

The book has some instructions for mixing up very volatile concoctions. This is an IC way to allow you to deliver bombs by mortar, and I'm also open to it allowing you to prepare some wizard spells as extracts to deliver by mortar. I was specifically thinking of burning hands and fireball, but am open to suggestions.

The book has some generic scimitar fighting styles, but also a means of using a scimitar with a flaming quality in different ways. Allowing you to 'fling' the flame from the blade, or expend it for a minute to send forth an arc of flame ala 'burning hands'.

The strap looks to be used as part of a one-handed dueling style. I'm not 100% on the IC benefit yet, but feel free to proffer suggestions. Otherwise I'm hoping UC has some inspiration

The book is a manual of instruction for the spheres, but as comprehend languages doesn't allow for spoken word - the activation words remain a mystery. The intent is to allow for deliverance of touch spells through the spheres. White oak for beneficial and darkwood for harmful. The sphere is thrown (ranged touch) to expend the spell then recalled with a mental command.

Intent is to allow you to do an extra trick with your greataxe. Either add the trip quality or apply a minor bleed on sneak attack?

I'm not sure what benefit the book grants you yet. I'm hoping that Ultimate Combat will throw me some ideas. I'm open to suggestions

The book is a manual on natural fighting styles, with tooth and claw. I'm thinking that after some study and practice it could increase your claw and bite damage by one dice step?

Taking some liberty and assuming you'll also try to evaluate the book which shows the cyclopes with the wolves. The tome describes the way that a beast master could call upon the magic trapped within certain figurines to call upon beasts from beyond this plane. Through the right words of command, the wolves could be instructed to act at the behest of the caller.

You can assume that it's morning now and 2 HP healing from the rest. What are you getting up to today? If you read back over my early posts, there is a hint to what you may have missed...

Male Half-Elf Martial Artist /4

After waking in the morning Kaavel remembers that no one checked the four figurines he had found looking at the others he says "Did anyone check these out yet?" He than pulls out the case with the figurines opening it for the squad to see.

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5

Thanks Doc, I reckon I'll have to get some help figuring this out but at least I know what direction to go.

Before we turned in Sentis was taking the time to do some mundane healing on the injured Wolves using Guidance

myself - 1d20 + 10 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 10 + 1 = 15 = 0 hp :(
Doc - 1d20 + 10 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 10 + 1 = 17 = 0 hp :(
Kaavel - 1d20 + 10 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 10 + 1 = 14 = 0 hp :(
Grusk - 1d20 + 10 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 10 + 1 = 31 = +6 hp! :->

Waking up and feeling much better the druid will meditate on the Green Faith and prepare his spells.

Current HP = 14

Let me see those Kaavel.

Spellcraft - 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18

male Half orc Shapeshifter Skirmisher 5

Darkbiter will help Sentis with the healing process, pulling out his healing kit.

Heal on Sentis 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17
Heal on Doc 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25
Heal on Kaavel 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24

It doesn't work on Sentis, but Doc and Kaavel both get 5 hp, if Sentis' roll are used to aid, with Darkbiter the primary.

Minor Crab-beast

The statuettes have a faint transmutation aura when viewed with detect magic, and Sentis believes they may be involved with the use of some kind of opening magic.

M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)

"I feels better thanks Doc. I found a s#&* ton o vials last night yah knows what any o them might be?"

Current Health

Minor Crab-beast

Doc had an earlier Appraise up, so I'll use that for descriptive.

The vials set aside by Grusk range from the mundane to the interesting. Some of the ingredients you can identify, though most have spoiled with the years spent in storage. They empty vials would be worth a penny or two at least.
However there are a few vials that seem to have either alchemical agents or poisons you don't recognize. The colours and vial style correspond with some of the pictures you saw in your book though.

The works of art are nice enough and you'll figure they'll be worth a pretty penny - even more to a collector.

Male Keleshite Magus(Kensai Archetype)/5

Blaze wakes up, stretching to work out any kinks "What I wouldn't give for a normal bed for a night. I'm not sure we should take much out of this room beyond some of the books, coins, gems, and what have you. If we can make our way into the rest of this ruin, we might come across much more valuable items."

HP 31/31, Acid Resist 5, Fast Heal 10/10, AC 18, CMD 13, Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +0, Bombs 8/8, Init +2

Before the night is up Doc waves away healing attempts while he reads the various tomes, saying "Don' waste yer supplies lads, ah've been fermentin' an accelerant in me bag fer a few months now. Should be 'bout ready."

Doc has a fast healing ability now. I figured I'd give it a quirky in game reason for popping up all of a sudden.

Drinking down some strange brew Doc belches loudly and finishes his cigar while he continues to read. A few minutes later he grins. "Yep, ah def'nitly feel somethin'. His brows narrow in concentration and suddenly the last of his wounds begin to close. "Handy that." he says fingering his new scar. "Glad i' worked. Was a mite 'fraid it was gonna make all mah blood start sprayin' out all mah holes."

After getting rid of his bandages he looks over the things Grusk has collected.

"Hooo laddie, ye should best be leavin' that stuff be. If'n they ahre what this book says they ahre, some o' that's awful dangerous. Ah'll pack it up 'n mah supply case."

In the morning he wakes up and makes a pot of some dark, bitter drink that he calls wakeup juice and offers it around. His own he spikes with a few other ingredients.

"Go on lads. This stuff's good fer ye. Puts hair on yer chest."

Male Human Fighter 4

Cort sleeps easy, feeling good about this place for some odd reason, and wakes early feeling strangely refreshed. He quickly ties the leather strap to his blade, attaching it firmly. He then does his morning stretches and sweeps his hat onto his head firmly. "Well then, gents. Shall we be on our way back out to the light?" The Swordlord asks, pointing toward the door.

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5

Sentis will gladly take a cupfull of Doc's wakeup juice and quaff it down. effect?

Thank you sir. Glad to see we're all working together to stay healthy.

and looks up at Cort's direction

I dont think we can back out the way we came in. I have prepared a spell that might help us figure out some of this stuff though somaybe theres another way. Especially these four figurines. They have some sort of opening enchantment on them.

cast Read Magic and look over the things we've collected.

Minor Crab-beast

Reading through the two spellbooks, you are able to discern that both are arcane in basis.
The first book has protective and detection charms within.
The second book is full of destructive spells, and you think that Doc might be interested in some of them.
The other books are not magical merely mundane recordings, so the spell doesn't offer any further insight

M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)

"Doc yah gots a juice fer everything tha ails yah!"

Takes a double swig!

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5

DM VOice of the Voiceless:
Are there any magical inscriptions on any of the items? Looking for trigger words I guess.

Minor Crab-beast

The trigger words for your spheres and Cort's wolf are in Ghol-Gan and are in the non-magical accompanying books. Comprehend Languages just lets you read, not speak - so you won't find those out until you get back to civilization.
I'll throw you a bone and say that the four matched set of alabaster figurines have no and need no trigger words.

Sentis Extra Clue:
Just think... where have I seen four statues before in this vault

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5

The confused half elf will put the one book in his pack and hand the other one to Doc with a

I think you might find some of the things in here interesting. You'll probably need to be able to read magic and such but Im sure you'll figure it out.

Looking at the figurines again the druid mindlessly twist on one his dreads as he tried to figure out the connection.

Maybe we need to match up these little stautes with the big ones? Do those suits of armor have any distinguishing marks on them?

Taking 10 on Perception on suits of armor = 20

Minor Crab-beast

Sentis - on recollection you believe that the larger suits of armor had minor variations to them.
As of yet, everyone is still camped out in the 'library' - are you heading back to the first chamber with the eye on the floor?

M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)

Grusk gives the place the once over with a eye towards detail then hefts his gear and nods to darkbitter....

1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6

"Time tah go?"

1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26

Grusk readies his mighty axe and leads the way into the darkness....

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5

Hey anyone want to come back to the other room and compare these little statues with the larger ones with me?

Sentis will wait for any company coming.

M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)

Ninja post...

Grusk taps Sentis on the shoulder and leads the way back to the previous chamber so the man can research his statues......

Male Half-Elf Martial Artist /4

"I will go." Kaavel than walks over to follow Sentis and Grusk

male Half orc Shapeshifter Skirmisher 5

With the rest of the party ready to move on, Darkbiter takes up the lead back to the other room.

Perception 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Stealth 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20

Male Keleshite Magus(Kensai Archetype)/5

Blaze, already ready, follows the rest "No sense in staying behind while the rest of you go off and have fun"

HP 31/31, Acid Resist 5, Fast Heal 10/10, AC 18, CMD 13, Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +0, Bombs 8/8, Init +2
Sentis Spinis wrote:

Sentis will gladly take a cupfull of Doc's wakeup juice and quaff it down. effect?

It's coffee. You do the math. :)

Doc nods his interest and packs up the books. "Looks like th' lads 're rearin' t' go. Ah'll take a look at 'em later. Any idea wha' they're 'bout?"

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