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The invitation delivered last night was remarkably simple, especially given the importance of the occasion: “Start where it all began. Meet us at the Pig’s Paunch one hour before dawn.”
The Pig’s Paunch is a run-down building with a faded sign of a large pig standing on its hind legs, arms folded above a corpulent belly. 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.
Garak tips his hat at Master Shaine as he takes his leave and then removes it out of courtesy to the halfling female who will mentor them on their confirmation.
"Well met Janira!" he states as he offers his hand in greeting. "Do we have time to partake in a drink or do needs be that we are away with haste?" he says eyeing the bar thirstily.
Rogar leans his warhammer with reverence against the table, and stretches out his legs. Big feet, with boots about one size too large that have been stitched down to fit him comfortably. His expression is controlled, but his voice betrays a hint of awe.
"I feel ready to find out. Kind of amazing to have a chance to be part of all this. The first pathfinders. They really built something from nothing."
Janira says, "Of course you gentlemen and lady dwarf may have drinks! As for your inquiry, Master Drogur, I'm not sure how much they can drink... hahaha! all I know is that the gillmen are a humanoid race much like humans save for the three piscine gills on both sides of their necks. They’re a little secretive but not outright hostile. Most live in or near the water. Brother Rogar, you are quite observant. Most Pathfinders do not grasp the meaning of this humble place. Humble beginnings are often noble beginnings. As to YOUR humble beginning, dear Master Dwarves, let me hear about them! Before we set out, we should all get to know each other and review our plan. Where are you from? why did you join the Pathfinder Society? what are your hopes and dreams, and whose ideals, be they divine or mortal, do you aspire to? After all, the most important factors that determine whether an expedition will be a success are cooperation and preparation! Brother Rogar, you go first! "
Please make a knowledge: geography AND a knowledge: history check at the end of your 'origin story'. Thanks!
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Like all dwarves worthy of the name, I worship Torag and he leads me to battle. Sometimes I swear he speaks to me through this war hammer.
I am a recent addition to the Pathfinder Society, having been recruited out in Isger while investigating the disappearance of children near an abandoned noble's estate. A member of the Silver Crusade convinced me that there were more people in need and that the Pathfinder Society could use more honourable members.
Ooc: I have no knowledge skills.
ooc: I now have some knowledge skills. Derp.
knowledge geography: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
knowledge history: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Also, my statblock:
Dwarf druid (urban druid) 2 (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide 101)
LN Medium humanoid (dwarf)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +8 (+10 to notice unusual stonework)
AC 19, touch 12, flat-footed 18 (+5 armor, +1 Dex, +2 shield, +1 trait)
hp 19 (2d8+6)
Fort +5, Ref +1, Will +7; +2 vs. poison, spells, and spell-like abilities
Speed 20 ft.
Melee battleaxe +4 (1d8+3/×3) or
heavy pick +4 (1d6+3/×4) or
mwk warhammer +5 (1d8+3/×3)
Domain Spell-Like Abilities (CL 2nd; concentration +6)
7/day—inspiring word (1 round)
Druid (Urban Druid) Spells Prepared (CL 2nd; concentration +6)
1st—cheetah's spirit, divine favorD, heightened awarenessACG, produce flame
0 (at will)—create water, detect magic, read magic, stabilize
D Domain spell; Domain Nobility (Martyr domainAPG subdomain)
Str 16, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 18, Cha 5
Base Atk +1; CMB +4; CMD 15 (19 vs. bull rush, 19 vs. trip)
Feats Heavy Armor Proficiency
Traits defender of the society, ease of faith
Skills Acrobatics -5 (-9 to jump), Appraise +0 (+2 to assess nonmagical metals or gemstones), Diplomacy +4, Knowledge (geography) +4, Knowledge (history) +6, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (nature) +6, Knowledge (nobility) +6, Perception +8 (+10 to notice unusual stonework), Survival +10; Racial Modifiers +2 Appraise to assess nonmagical metals or gemstones, +2 Perception to notice unusual stonework
Languages Common, Druidic, Dwarven
SQ barrow warden, lorekeeper, nature bond (Martyr domainAPG), nature sense, wild empathy -1
Combat Gear acid (2), alchemist's fire (2); Other Gear lamellar (horn) armorUC, heavy wooden shield, battleaxe, heavy pick, mwk warhammer, ale (per gallon) (2), backpack, dwarven trail rationsUE (14), flight grapnel, silk rope (100 ft.), waterskin (2), 936 gp, 6 sp
Barrow Warden +1 to attack and AC vs. undead.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white only).
Druid (Urban Druid) Domain (Martyr)
Greed +2 to Appraise to determine price of nonmagic goods with precious metals or gemstones.
Inspiring Word (7/day) (Sp) Target receives +2 on attack, skill checks, ability checks and saving throws for 1 rds.
Lorekeeper (Ex) +2 Diplomacy, Knowledge (history), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nobility).
Nature Sense (Ex) A druid gains a +2 bonus on Knowledge (nature) and Survival checks.
Stonecunning +2 +2 bonus to Perception vs. unusual stonework. Free check within 10 feet.
Wild Empathy -1 (Ex) Improve the attitude of an animal, as if using Diplomacy.
Janira finishes the notes she was taking about Drogur's reasons to join the Pathfinder Society, then turn to the other three dwarves, pen in hand, waiting.
"Well said, Drogur, well said! you don't mind if I call you Drogur right? call me Janira, or Jan for short... same for the rest of you. I'm not big on formalities... anyhow, you are quite right Drogur, the Isle of Kortos, which is home to the City at the Center of the World, Absalom, where we stand now, has a bunch of mountains in the middle named, duh, the Kortos Mounts!" A few snorts and chuckles follow. "Garak! I love your hat, by the way... may I?" She extends her small hand towards you in the hope of taking a good look at the fine hat; she then mage hands the hat across the table to her waiting hands, and inspects the workmanship as the Pathfinders introduce themselves.
[Pathfinders introduce themselves and give their reasons for joining - see individual posts below (does not need to be complicated but must be done before Janira accepts to brief them on their mission)]
After the dwarves introduce themselves, Janira continues, "Once they have undergone Confirmation, Pathfinder agents are called upon to travel to the far corners of Golarion, delve into the deepest tombs, and solve the world’s oldest riddles. During these dangerous missions, Pathfinders are required to keep detailed journals, maps, and accounts of their exploits. After each adventure, agents send a copy of their records to the regional venture-captain for analysis; especially noteworthy reports are forwarded to Absalom for consideration to be included in the next edition of the Pathfinder Chronicles. The Society comprises thousands of adventurers coming from all walks of life, and it places no moral obligations upon its members. Each member of a Pathfinder Society adventuring party is expected to forgo all personal and theological differences and work together to achieve the Society’s goals." She pauses, and levitates Garak's hat back to him.
"It stands to reason that regardless of your personal preferences for the scribing arts, you will all have to get used to writing reports. A lot of reports... if you wish to be part of the Pathfinder Society. So this mission should be a good practice run for that!" She smiles, and passes out writing supplies and paper to anyone who doesn’t have it already (equivalent to a Chronicler's Kit).
Janira smiles as she sees the eager Pathfinder novices. "Preparation is key to a successful expedition. Remember we are going far into the wilderness here; pack for several days at least, if not weeks. If you can't carry all that food perhaps you should all chip in for a mule. Ideally one of you should be good at hunting, finding water in the wild and also building a camp, just in case... A Confirmation can last for weeks or months—or could be completed in a few days. Your resolve combined with your ability to fulfill the three duties of a Pathfinder will determine your success.”
She notices some of you looking puzzled over the three duties, so she continues. "Founded over 400 years ago in 4307 AR, the Pathfinder Society originally consisted of adventurers based in Absalom who sought a way to combine their resources and recruit additional help for particularly dangerous ventures. Over time the group attracted new members and continued to grow, and today its members and influence span across Golarion.
Today, the Pathfinder Society continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, and supply hardly keeps up with the demand for new agents. To meet the growing need, the Three Masters, who are responsible for the training of new initiates at the Grand Lodge, have made the difficult choice to advance the promotion of some of the Society’s most promising initiates. In addition, they have taken the unprecedented step of letting a small group of particularly impressive initiates attempt a Confirmation together, accompanied by an established field operative.
The Confirmation is the final test all Pathfinder initiates must pass in order to become Pathfinder field operatives. Every Confirmation is different, and ordinarily it would be tailored to the individual initiate; however, in this case, Kreighton Shaine has selected a task suitably engaging for an entire group. At all times, initiates are expected to fulfill the three duties of a Pathfinder agent: explore, report, and cooperate. Failure to adhere to these three tenets risks expulsion from the Society."
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Rogar nods at the question about his own background. He indicates the soldier's outfit he wears beneath his armour. "Luckily for me, I suppose, the call of the cloth was stronger than the call of the soldier. Torag offered me the chance to prove myself in battle in another way."
He takes a deep breath, and then continues. "Whatever we face out there, it is my personal vow with the weight of my ancestors behind it that I shall protect the party and lead our society to glory."
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Garak busies himself pulling a cigar, tinder twiggy and a dagger from his bandoulier as Drogurequested and Rogar introduce themselves. Listening intently he, dexterous lyrics flips the dagger around his fingers, clips the end of his cigar, takes a draw to test it and flicks the tindertwig to light it with finesse.
Slight of hand: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
Once lit he takes a few puffs, signals the barmaid and places a gold piece on the table and says "As a dwarf also worthy of his name, The first round is on me" a gold key symbol on a chain about his neck slips from beneath his tunic as he leans forward, which he quickly tucks back into place.
"I am Garak originally of the Wyrsmblood clan of Janderhoff, I was but a humble merchant plying my trade across the inner sea seeking new and interesting spices, metals and gemstones and exploring new trade deals to supply our great sky citadel." He takes another puff of his cigar and pulls a well concealed flask from his leather jacket flips the stopper and takes a swig then offers it around the table.
"On a business trip to Katapesh I came upon a Pathfinder agent who felt my skills would be well suited to the Society and so here I find myself starting a new chapter in my life as a soon to be confirmed member of the Exchange."
Geography: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
History: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Garak re-affixed his hat atop his curly mop of hair and nods to Jan gratefully accepting the chronicler'so kit and adding it to his well organized backpack,
"I would be most interested in chipping in for a mule and other supplies we might need for our journey such as camping gear or other necessities."
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Helveticka is leaning back in her chair while gently running her fingers around the rim of her drink, seeming lost in thought. Looking up with a little smile,
"I am Helveticka, I too have recently joined the pathfinder society. After a number of years as an apprentice flamekeeper for Torag's forges at the mining town of Brunderton I felt a restlessness, a feeling that my destiny did not lie with the forges but out and beyond to help others. It was then I headed to Jormurdun to help with the re-building. There that I met a member of the Scarab Sages and was recruited."
Knowledge Geography untrained: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Knowledge History untrained: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Helveticka and Drogur please include your stats in your alias' profile. Thanks!
You all notice that Janira was taking notes when you introduced yourselves and shared your reason for joining the Pathfinder Society. "Thanks for sharing! It's a little light on details but we can add details while on the road and basically anytime before I file my report to the Venture-Captain. Now, how do each of you handle yourself in a fight?"
Janira looks at Drogur and Helveticka, "I spent months in the area we're going to, and I've mapped everything right here." She taps her leatherbound Pathfinder Journal. "I'd get a bow or crossbow if I was one of you both, in case you need to shoot a bird for a meal, should we run out of food out there. Make sure you have gear such as rope, a light source, food, a way to make fire, any sources of healing, and other essentials. Additionally, may I suggest a few other handy items, if you have the gold to spare? things like alchemist’s fire, antitoxins, and the like... also, I must reiterate: each night when we set camp it will be important to keep accurate records of your adventures, on an individual basis!"
Beyond these questions, please also describe at this point, with ooc tags, what the characters look like. What type of clothes or armor are they wearing? Do they have any special tattoos or markings? What else makes their characters unique?
Once everyone has completed their shopping, Janira gathers everyone outside the Paunch, and stands on a street bench before addressing the newly minted heroes in the making.
“On to the details of the mission at hand,” Janira 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.”
“Now, before we head out, do you have any questions?”
Rogar nods. "Yes, I have road supplies and a crossbow already. What kind of records do you recommend that we keep each night?"
Rogar has a broad face, long nose, clear eyes and a calm friendly expression. He is stout of build, and has a moderately muscled frame. He wears the Holy Symbol of Torag, and keeps his warhammer always at arm's reach. He has no visible markings.
The mountain dwarf wears soldier's clothing from Five Kings Mountains, ancient but well-mended, and large Boots obviously too large but cobbled to fit without hindrance. His fingers play with buckles and straps on his armor regularly and without him appearing to notice. His armor is scale, and he has a large wooden shield engraved with Torag's symbol.
He looks at Janira, listening intently to what she is saying, and glances at the companions. He says nothing further and waits peacefully for the journey to start.
Janira nods to Drogur, looking approvingly at his crossbow. As for his question, she answers, "Pathfinders are required to keep detailed journals, maps, and accounts of their exploits. After each adventure, agents send a copy of their records to the regional venture-captain for analysis; especially noteworthy reports are forwarded to Absalom for consideration to be included in the next edition of the Pathfinder Chronicles... Now... As for our destination... By foot, it will take nearly all of today and much of tomorrow to make the journey. I know maintaining such a stiff pace will be tiring, but we need to reach the caves at the height of the lunar cycle if at all possible.”
After you finish your purchases, you all get underway. The first phase of your Confirmation takes the would be Pathfinder Field Agents through Absalom, leads across the Cairnlands, along a well-worn path that leads toward Diobel, through the wilderness surrounding the Kortos Mounts, and culminates at the cave entrance noted in Janira’s Confirmation report. The journey through the City at the Center of the World is swift and without incident, and the long trek across the Cairnlands provides a great opportunity to discuss Master Shane’s class on the history of Absalom. Most of the journey is uneventful, but Janira is quick to point out landmarks such as siege towers, distant mountains, or distinct flora and fauna along the journey. No encounters occur during the first day of travel, and the adventurers have an opportunity to rest and prepare new spells before entering dangerous territory.
[prepared casters make your choices now and clearly mark your selections under your alias]
[each of you should knock off one day's worth of ration at this point and your wineskin (if you have only one) is now empty after this day-long hike]
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 nearly 20 feet above the forest floor, and a small sinkhole to the northwest drops off sharply, descending to the ground 10 feet below.
You suddenly hear the growls of wolves that seem to have got the best of your and managed to surround the party! What do you do?
Garak: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17
Drogur: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Helveticka: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (2) + 0 = 2
Rogar: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (15) + 0 = 15
Janira: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
WOLVES: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
--> see map link above for placement.
"I have all the gear I need as well, I will bring a mule along as well. As for how I hand myself in a fight: I prefer to pick a choose my spots, as you can see I am more a lover than a fighter!" Garak says to Jan with a wink and a smile, motioning to his leaner than average frame.
Tall and lean for a dwarf, Garak is atypical of his race. His black hair is worn shorter at the sides yet long and wavy beneath his signature hat. He keeps his goatee and moustache long and neatly cropped and maintains his clothes and gear meticulously almost foppishly. However, His piercing green eyes betray a seriousness to his demeanor. Garak's sole vices are the occasional cigar and a discretely concealed hip flask of his favorite whiskey.
Garak favors dark clothes and leathers with dull grey metal trim and hardware. He wears a bandolier across his chest a cross bow slug across his back and a quiver for his bolts at his right hip. Otherwise he carries a pair of matched daggers on his belt. He prefers to travel light, keeping most of his heavier non combat gear on his mule Sweetpea.
He is otherwise unassuming in appearance.
Garak is quick to take notes as Janira tutors them along the road to the caves. Upon nearing the depletion of his waterskin, Garak seeks out a nearby stream or water source to refill it. Stating to the others Unless one among has other means to refill our water I suggest we find a suitable spot to replenish it. Garak will allow Sweatpea to graze where possible, if no suitable spot can be found he will give her a days allotment of feed.
Garak looks at the wayfinder with admiration and makes a note in his chronicle accordingly.
Garak draws crossbow and fires if possible before it can act Bottom right wolf
Attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 241d8 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
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Guys, look at the map (see link at top left of page). You have to move your own pawns, take move actions (20 ft. speed = 4 squares) just like a normal game
Janira calls out to Garak every time he tries to take a break, "No time for this, Garak! we must hoof it, and hoof it hard if we want to make those caves by tomorrow night... if we miss the full moon the gillmen might be gone by the time we get there."
If you brought a full waterskin i.e. a gallon of water; it's empty, but you're properly hydrated and can go to bed that night; tomorrow morning, certain divine casters can... ahem... rearrange their memorized spells perhaps? :P
The bottom right wolf takes a nasty shot to its left flank (now bloodied... outlined in red).
The wolves move in.
Blue wolf takes a move action and bares his teeth to intimidate Garak: Intimidate to Demoralize vs. DC 12: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (5) - 2 = 3 (FAIL)
Red wolf takes a move action and bares his teeth to intimidate Rogar: Intimidate to Demoralize vs. DC 15: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (9) - 2 = 7 (FAIL)
Green wolf takes a double move.
--> DROGUR, HELVETICKA: you're up!
stats are now in my alias, sorry was slow on it. Helveticka is wearing a chain shirt, carries a warhammer, thieves tools and is carrying a few bombs.
Helveticka eyes the blue wolf and moves 1 space west and 2 spaces south before tossing a bomb at the blue wolf.
Bomb vs touch AC: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Damage: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9, Splash damage 5 reflex DC14 for half
if that misses then
Scatter: 1d8 ⇒ 4
The dagger sinks in the wolf's shoulder, but he is still standing. [can't 5' step after a move and attack]
The red wolf attempts to bite and trip Garak to the ground bite: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16 HIT! for 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5 dmg and trip CMB: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9 vs. Garak's CMD of 13. (no trip)
The blue wolf attempts to bite and trip Drogur to the ground bite: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15 (miss) for 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7 dmg and trip CMB: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12 vs. Drogur's CMD of 19. (no trip)
[blue wolf keels over with a whimper]
Janira maintains her oratory performance, "And it was Selmius Foster’s race against a marid and efreeti on the isle of Jalmeray, which taught us that nothing is truly impossible and every situation can end in victory!" then moves and cracks her whip at the red wolf from a 15 ft. distance: mwk whip aid another (Garak +2 AC) vs. AC 10: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9 (MISS)
--> Helveticka, Garak, Rogar: you're up
After the encounter, Janira congratulates the heroes on their first successful battle together but encourages them to pack up and move on in order to reach the caves by dusk. She strongly believes that if the explorers don’t reach the caves tonight, any gillmen who are present may leave before they arrive.
As the group continues to travel through the wilderness, the would be Pathfinders find trails blocked by fallen objects, shortcuts overgrown, and other minor delays that cost them time.
--> Survival check please.
The dense forest opens to a wide clearing at the base of a sheer cliff. Thick vines cover the surface of the cliff stretching 30 feet overhead. “Here! The cave entrance is behind those vines,” Janira says with a broad smile as she walks to the cliff’s face. She pulls back several layers of vegetation to reveal a narrow crack in the cliff’s surface. “This is where I saw the gillmen enter.”
As she motions toward the aperture, the surrounding woods come alive with the sound of small animals fleeing some unseen danger and a large creature crashing through the undergrowth. The halfling worriedly remarks, “Quick, take cover before whatever it is spots us!”
As if she’d summoned the creature with her words, a massive horned monstrosity emerges from the trees. Standing eight feet tall on a pair of cloven hooves and wielding a tremendous axe, the bull-headed creature roars with unbridled anger when it spots the group. Wisely assessing that a minotaur is beyond her charges’ capabilities, Janira screams, “A minotaur! There’s little chance we can stand against it. Take this bag,” she continues, pulling off her backpack, “and head deeper into the caves. Finish your mission. I’ll lead it away from the caves, lose it in the forest, and join you as soon as I can. Now go! GO!” She heaves her backpack into the cave, casts a spell, and darts off toward the minotaur before turning to lure it away.
Map 2 is up. What do you do?