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The Forgotten God (Table 5)

Game Master Rednal

Astoroth, God of Facts and Information-Gathering
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The Cauldron (Main Level)
The Cauldron (Lower Level)
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Unused


2,051 to 2,100 of 2,110 << first < prev | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | next > last >>

HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

There wasn't much that fazed Astoroth, but attempts to affect his mind was guaranteed to elicit a reaction. "You dare!?!" He charges toward the daemon at top speed, winding up for a powerful punch.

Move Action: activate Studied Combat
Move Action: enter melee range

Studied Combat (8rds remaining); Snake Style; Telekinetic Exoskeleton (8 temp HP); Destruction recharge (2rds)

Snake Style (vs daemon's AoO): 1d20 + 22 + 1d6 - 2 ⇒ (19) + 22 + (2) - 2 = 41
Unarmed strike if daemon misses an attack: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (11) + 20 = 31 Damage: 1d8 + 11 + 1d6 ⇒ (5) + 11 + (1) = 17


As you closed in with it, the creature eyed your fists for a moment, clearly remembering what had happened in the past... then it stepped out of melee range and teleported seventy feet away, gesturing at the water flooding the area as it reappeared. The Styx surged in response, continuing to claw at your mind with the very power that wiped souls clean on their journey to rebirth.

Will DC 20: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (15) + 16 = 31

Fortunately, your mind was holding... for now.

Y'know, I feel like deities in general consider their minds important... XD


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

It wasn't getting away that easily. Astoroth warped after the daemon, reappearing directly in front of it.

Move: Martial Flexibility for the Step Up feat
Standard: Medium-range warp into melee

Warp Recharge: 1d4 ⇒ 4
Studied Combat (7rds remaining); Step Up (10rds remaining); Snake Style; Telekinetic Exoskeleton (8 temp HP); Destruction recharge (1rd); Warp Recharge (4rds)

Snake Style (vs bite): 1d20 + 22 + 1d6 - 2 ⇒ (16) + 22 + (4) - 2 = 40
Unarmed vs first missed attack: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (1) + 20 = 21 Damage: 1d8 + 11 + 2d6 ⇒ (8) + 11 + (1, 2) = 22


Stepping away, the demon warped again - although from your knowledge of its kind, you knew it could probably only manage that once more (and that was if it hadn't already used its magic for today). It wasn't stupid - it knew at least some of what your fists were capable of, and was definitely trying to let the river claim you.

Will: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (1) + 16 = 17

...Probably a smart move on its part, all things considered. Few could resist the Styx forever. Unless you've got a reroll, you'll forget two random feats and two random sphere abilities (I'll roll those) for 1d4 days.


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

Assuming a 5ft-step on the daemon's part, I'm still threatening it when it tries to teleport. I took Step Up for a reason, after all. XD
AoO from casting in melee: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (3) + 20 = 23 Damage: 1d8 + 11 + 2d6 ⇒ (4) + 11 + (1, 4) = 20
That'll be a nasty concentration check if I connected.
-----------------------------------------------
Alternately, if it still manages to teleport away and hit me with the Styx waters, Perfect Solution lets me spend a Mythic Point for a reroll.


The water's there regardless. The daemon doesn't need to actively control it since it raised the local water level to the point where you're partially in it. I'd, uh, definitely try for that reroll if I were you. o wo


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

Reroll: 1d20 + 13 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 13 + 5 = 35

Still need to resolve the daemon's teleport attempt before I post any other actions.


It's sure as heck not making that check. XD Assume you managed to keep it in place.


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

The constant presence of the Styx waters was becoming troublesome, as the constant aura of forgetfulness was slowly eroding Astoroth's mental defenses. The sooner this daemon was dealt with, the sooner he could get away from the danger.

Unarmed Flurry: 1d20 + 20 - 2 ⇒ (18) + 20 - 2 = 36 Damage: 1d8 + 11 + 2d6 ⇒ (1) + 11 + (1, 2) = 15
Unarmed Flurry: 1d20 + 20 - 2 ⇒ (11) + 20 - 2 = 29 Damage: 1d8 + 11 + 2d6 ⇒ (4) + 11 + (3, 5) = 23
Unarmed Flurry: 1d20 + 15 - 2 ⇒ (9) + 15 - 2 = 22 Damage: 1d8 + 11 + 2d6 ⇒ (1) + 11 + (4, 5) = 21

Studied Combat (6rds remaining); Step Up (9rds remaining); Snake Style; Telekinetic Exoskeleton (8 temp HP); Warp Recharge (3rds)

Snake Style vs Bite: 1d20 + 20 + 1d6 ⇒ (8) + 20 + (4) = 32
Unarmed vs First Missed Attack: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (14) + 20 = 34 Damage: 1d8 + 11 + 2d6 ⇒ (5) + 11 + (4, 1) = 21


"Soon" didn't technically mean the same thing as "now", but that was more-or-less how it ended up as you hammered the daemon to death. As the life left its form, the water started to recede - although not without one more attempt at hammering your mind.

Will DC 20: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (20) + 16 = 36

Experience might have been helping, though, because you had no trouble at all pushing away its influence as the waters waned. Nia ambled down towards you once the waters had fully receded and were no longer a threat, then bent down and poked at one of the corpses. "Well, hopefully killing them didn't set off any alarms." she said cheerfully. Then she snapped its neck just to be sure it was dead, apparently satisfied when there was no reaction from the corpse.

Looking up at the... facility... you did observe a few things of note. The only door you can see is a great metal affair, rune-carved, and the faces of tortured souls swim under its polished surface as if they were trapped under ice. It's also bent in places and hangs open. Down towards the bottom, you can see a number of pipes with liquid seeping out of them - sewage, perhaps, but definitely leading inside.


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

Cure: 2d8 + 7 ⇒ (6, 5) + 7 = 18

"I'm sure we'll find out soon." The state of this facility's door didn't bode well, but Astoroth prefered to avoid sewer pipes unless absolutely necessary. While the filth and stench didn't bother him too much, the pipes were often significantly more complicated than they first appeared.

Let's head for the door


There's no light in here - which isn't really a problem for you. (Or Nia, for that matter, going by the way she didn't seem hindered by the lack of lighting. Looking closely, you could see a faint reddish glow coming from her eyes.)

While there may not be light, there are quite a lot of hallways and doors. There's one door at 1 o'clock, another at 6, and more at 7, 8, 9, and 11. There also appear to be two longer hallways heading to the south, deeper into this place, and a shorter one at 3 o'clock going into some kind of cavern.


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

That ... was quite a lot of possible routes. Fortunately, the Keeper's map seemed to give rather accurate directions.

Is it giving me any indication of which direction the gem lies?


Checking your map, the gem you're looking for seems to be located up and ahead of you somewhere - a different level of this place, perhaps. It definitely seems like the gem is inside the rock somewhere, rather than somewhere further away.


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

Without a map, I'm having trouble visualizing this place, but I'll head to whichever hallway/door appears to be leading in the gem's general direction.


I can fix that. XD This place is just kind of a pain to edit the map every time for.

The door that's most in the direction of the gem is the one directly to your south, and while the interior doesn't have stairs or the gem, some people might say it's better...

The walls of this room contain at least a hundred small niches, each holding a book, tablet, group of scrolls, or other forms of writing. There doesn't seem to be anyone else present, and Nia looked in with interest before pulling a book off the shelf at random. "Huh. Triple language cipher for reports on experiments." she mused. "Uh, how much do you want to know about torture?"


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

That's why I use GoogleDrawings for my maps. XD They're not quite as pretty, but editing takes mere seconds.

A daemonic library? Fascinating. Astoroth retrieves a few books from random niches and quickly flips through them. If all his samples were related to torture, he could leave this room alone for the time being, as its immediate use was debatable.


Nia hadn't been kidding about the cipher - you recognize maybe a third of the content as being written in Draconic, but there are at least two other distinct scripts there, and the writing style definitely suggests they're evil planar tongues. There doesn't seem to be any particular organization to them - between that and having to crack the ciphers, you'd have to spend quite some time here if you wanted to thoroughly search the materials - an hour minimum, longer if you wanted to try and uncover more. Of course, it was doubtful you'd be left alone for that long...


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

As much as he'd enjoy piecing this together, he didn't really have the time. Plus, if any daemons came in, the inevitable fight risked damaging some of the books. Stashing a pair of books in his pocket dimension for later study, Astoroth moved to search the next-most-likely hallway.

Unless this library has a south exit, I'm guessing that'll be the other southern hallway you mentioned previously.


*Gestures at the map* Actually, it does. XD Wanna head down there instead, then?


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

Sure! XD


Peeking out the southern door, the passageway going almost straight south (but a little to the west) distantly leads to some staircases (and a larger open area, apparently). Meanwhile, off to the right is a cavern of some kind, and what looks like a hallway connecting back to the north. Nia paused for a moment, focusing her attention in that direction... but she didn't say anything or try to direct your path.


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

Nia's look drew Astoroth's attention, as whatever caught her interest was likely worth looking into. After all, he knew next to nothing about this strange individual, but she was clearly very old and powerful. While she didn't seem like his enemy, the sense of "not knowing" he got around her needed to be addressed eventually.

Let's head where she's looking


*Updates map* You're in Room 12... and hopefully my descriptions make more sense now. XD

Moving over in the direction Nia was looking brought you past an empty chamber and under a stone arch to another. Two unconscious prisoners are bound to the wall with cold iron shackles. One is a stocky male elf, the other a bird-like humanoid - quite easy to identify as a Bralani Azata and an Avoral Agathion, respectively. They've clearly been bled quite a lot, and their manacles are covered in what look like unholy seals designed to lock their power away.

"Huh. Well, I guess even daemons like having fun sometimes." Nia said... before pausing thoughtfully. "Wait, do they? I don't think I've ever seen one genuinely laugh outside of, like, stabbing people... mostly they just seem like they hate everything and want everyone else to suffer. It was cute at first, but a little repetitive if you keep hanging out with them. Bleh. What's the point of existing if you can't have fun every now and then?"


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

"Well, they are rather obsessed with the destruction of everything that lives, so hatred, fear, and suffering are their hallmarks. I'd imagine they take pleasure in eliminating especially noteworthy souls." While daemons' unceasing hatred for the living was irksome, it at least was purposeful. Followers of the Rough Beast and their mindless lust for destruction were rather more annoying.

Now, the presence of two Good-aligned outsiders was interesting. While they've obviously been heavily tortured, perhaps they could still be of use. Drawing a short torchlike device from his belt, Astoroth shone an almost-invisible light on the captives.
using the Revealer of the Hidden to scan for magic and traps. If there's none....
Carefully approaching the Agathion, he gently touched its wing with a hand infused with positive energy. Such healing would only last a short time, but it should be sufficient to rouse the creature.
using invigorate to give it 8 temp HP. If that's not enough, I'll cure an additional 2d8+8 damage.


There didn't seem to be any special magic or traps here, and at your touch, the Avoral stirred slightly. <"Torture me as you wish, fiend. You will never break my will."> he said in Celestial, clearly rather woozy and not paying much attention to the world just yet. Given the extent of his injuries, that wasn't much of a surprise.


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

<"I'm no fiend, sir, and am certainly not here to torture you. I'm here on a completely unrelated errand and discovered you by happenstance. How long have the daemons held you here?">


The Avoral cracked open one eye and looked at you, then your jester-like companion, obviously wary of some sort of illusory trick designed to get his hopes up just so they could be crushed. Your use of Celestial may have helped at least a little bit, since few fiends would willingly speak the language (or, for that matter, even knew it). <"I regret that I have... lost track of time..."> he said slowly. <"Any time in this accursed place is too long.">


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

Calmly, Astoroth began to work on the Avoral's shackles. <"It would be most helpful if you could share any information you have about this place. I'd prefer not to stay here longer than necessary.">
Taking10 on Disable Device for a 29. If that's not enough, i'll take20.


As it turned out, a normal amount of effort from you was quite enough to undo the bindings, and the Avoral watched carefully as you did so. <"They call this place the Cauldron. It is a laboratory of sorts, where the daemons study the nature of life and death... and how to twist both for their own foul purposes."> he explained. <"There are many held here, from all over the planes. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you much about the layout... as you may have guessed, I have not exactly been free to move around."> Every now and then, his eyes flickered over to Nia - who seemed content enough to let you do the talking - as if he wasn't quite sure what to make of her.


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

As he began to work on the Azata's manacles (and then heal cure him since the cooldown's expired), Astoroth continued to probe for information. <"Were there any reoccurring individuals? Someone in charge, perhaps?">

When the Azata wakes up, I'll give a similar polite greeting that doesn't reveal much about myself but indicates that I don't intend harm.


<"Mostly just a few hydrodaemons."> the Avoral said as you healed him and began to help the other. <"There's a Meladaemon here, too, name of Couthwaile... I think he's their leader, or head researcher, or something like that. Looks like a jackal head on a man's body, took notes a few times, things like that.">


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

A meladaemon in charge? That was valuable information. A powerful creature in his own right, if this fiend possesses the gem, he promised to be a most unpleasant creature to deal with. <"That is most interesting and should prove useful."> An idea struck him. <"You said there are others held captive here? Can you direct me to them?"> A mass prison break could serve as a distraction, allowing Astoroth to search without having to worry overmuch about daemonic interruptions.

Do either the Avoral or the Azata have any other pertinent information? I'm happy to heal them a little but don't want to spend too much time in one place. If that means they only get a couple d8s worth of cures, that's fine with me; saving them isn't my priority.


Well, they are willing to come along with you and help - although they are a bit weak thanks to their extended stay here. XD Or you could simply see them out.

After a moment, the Avoral shrugged slightly and gestured to his right (the north, towards where you'd entered). <"I haven't seen the other rooms myself, but I believe there are quite a lot of prisoners held down that way. Perhaps the other as well. They, ah, haven't exactly given me a tour, but they have bragged about captive elementals and other such things."> The Avoral sounded rather personally offended - not about the elementals, per se, but about the mere fact that the daemons were harming so many.


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

Once the Azata has awoken and been freed
<"Let's see about freeing some of the other prisoners."> Once both former captives were ambulatory, Astoroth headed in the indicated direction.

I'll mention, by the way, that I'm actually under the effect of tongues, so everyone we encounter should be able to understand me. XD


"Hi." Nia told the Azata as the Avoral moved along with you. It glanced at her, looking slightly perplexed, but also a bit more comfortable around her than the Avoral was.

<"...Who are you...?"> it asked slowly in the celestial tongue, and she just smiled - answering in Common.

"Oh, I'm just kind of keeping Astoroth company. Don't worry about me. I can stay in front if you're worried about having me at your back, though." The Azata considered that for a moment, then nodded.

As you headed north, it didn't take very long to find another cavern. This room contains a 20-foot sphere of lead, dented outward in several places, and a sphere of fire, inside of which is a creature resembling an air elemental, recoiling from the heat of its prison.


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

Due to his heritage, Astoroth had a natural affinity for creatures from the Plane of Air. While he lacked the means to dispel the sphere, he COULD free the elemental. <"I can free you from your fiery prison, but I'll have to enter and cast a protective spell on you to do so. Is that permissible?"> As he speaks, he retrieves a scroll.

If the elemental is willing, I'll warp over to him and cast resist energy (fire). That should allow it to fly through the sphere with a minimum of damage. I can then warp back out.


The air elemental stirred as Astoroth spoke, recognizing the language - and seemed to acquiesce to his efforts, growling as it passed through the flames and was further burned. It had been weak to start with, but it was still alive... and it glanced warily at the rest of your group. It didn't seem fond of the celestials, but it looked like it was at least willing to tolerate them. <"I am... Saaahroon. I thank you... for freeing me from... that wretched prison."> It said, its voice quite deep for one of its kind.


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

Warping back out of the prison, Astoroth gave a smile. <"And I am Astoroth, seeker of knowledge. Do you have any information regarding this place and its inhabitants? What's inside that metal sphere, for example?">
I'll go ahead and cure him as well.
Healing: 2d8 + 7 ⇒ (3, 7) + 7 = 17
Life Recharge: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3


Saahroon turned to the sphere. <"That is... Wurr. Similar to me, but... from the endless waters."> there was a heavy thud, and a new dent appeared in the metal spheres as the air of the great wind elemental seemed to pick up strength and speed. <"He was exposed to... the river... of forgetting. What he was... is gone. I believe he... will soon... break free. The inhabitants..."> Saahroon stared at the sphere for a few moments. <"They are... ones who would do such a thing... with no remorse. Actions are... more than words... so by their deeds... you know all that matters.">

Nia looked interested at the elemental's words - the celestials just looked sorrowful. "Well, I guess you could put him out of his misery." she observed, before pausing thoughtfully. "A crazy, escaped water elemental might kill a few daemons on the way out, though, and make it that much easier for us. Y'know, if we don't become the targets."


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

Pragmatic as usual, Astoroth made a quick decision. <"Get out of sight - the opposite side of the prison sphere should be sufficient."> Astoroth, meanwhile, shifted form to appear as a daemon and positioned himself by the room's exit - in clear view of the sphere.

Once it breaks free
A quick shout to attract the elemental's attention, an even quicker step out of sight past the doorway, and a brief pause before warping back inside the room to rejoin the others. If his timing was correct (and it almost always was), the elemental would blindly pursue the 'daemon' down the hallway and eventually find either the complex's exit or some daemonic foes to attack. Either option was satisfactory.
Mechanically, that's a 5ft step and a readied action to warp just before the elemental reaches the doorway.


Plans were good - though the Celestials looked a little sour about it, they didn't actually object. Clearly, neither of them quite believed the elemental in question could be helped (although they did twitch somewhat when you shifted your form, clearly wondering if they should attack)... but that was laid to rest when the massive water elemental smashed right through the metal and splashed onto the floor, forming up into what looked like a particularly angry wave that chased down the hall and sloshed out of sight. A few screams could be heard a moment later - only to be abruptly cut off.

"And we hardly knew him." Nia said, dabbing at one eye with a handkerchief she'd pulled out from somewhere. "Still, if you love someone, I suppose you must let them go."

The Avoral just looked at her. <"...Must you?"> it asked mournfully.

"I dunno, I thought it was kind of cute." she answered - sticking with the common tongue, rather than speaking the holy one. "If it makes you feel better, though, it's probably going to be dead in a few hours at most. Unless they're quick, it's just gonna flow into the Styx afterwards and forget all its pain as it's moved along towards reincarnation. Its time was up before we even met it, and this way it got to provide some help for our own reasonably noble mission, which it probably would've wanted if it was in its right mind - to spite the daemons if nothing else. Welcome to the infernal realms, where things are terrible and there's pretty much jack squat you can do about it."


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

Shifting back to his normal, Sylphy, self, Astoroth gives a nod to Nia. She'd made a very astute observation and had hit upon one of his reasons for acting this way. The other reason, of course, was that he'd had no interest in potentially becoming a target for the crazed creature's wrath. His mission was risky enough without having to worry about being attacked by prisoners. <"Let's see who else we can find.">
Let's continue heading this way, as this seems to be a prison wing. If there's nothing else of interest, I'll head back to the last unexplored area and continue looking for the gem.


Continuing along and peeking into the room the elemental had visited... This deep chamber is little more than a pit with a narrow stone walkway around the edge. Cages hang over the blackness, a drop with no end in sight. Remnants of prisoners hang from chains on the walls or drip from the cages; none of the prisoners are alive. Neither are the two hydrodaemons lying on the floor, their bodies squashed to less than half of their normal thickness by some brutal force. The two celestials muttered quick prayers - Saahroon didn't seem to care too much about the prisoners, and neither did Nia, although she did poke at one of the daemon corpses and twist its crushed head off, examining it from a few angles before shrugging and tossing it into the pit.

The path continues on to the north, but looks like it joins up again with the entrance area and the various doors and caves there. A few more screams could be heard from that direction as you looked around.


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

Two fewer daemons to worry about dealing with. Releasing that elemental seemed to have been the correct decision. Nia's behavior was interesting, though. "Looking for anything in particular?"

Once they reached the entrance area, Astoroth indicated the way out to Saahroon and the celestials. <"The exit lies in that direction, if you'd like to leave now. With the current absence of guards, and Wurr making a mess elsewhere, this is likely your best chance to escape.">
Regardless of their decision
He then heads toward the screaming.


"Eh, not really. I just kind of wanted to see what it looked like after being squished." Nia said. "Bit disappointing, really."

Saahroon, on the other hand, gazed towards the exit... then back at you as the celestials gave their thanks and departed. <"I will... ensure these rooms... are safe. Then my debt... repaid."> the elemental said, flowing forward ahead of you. Nia followed along behind you after cleaning her hands on some rags.

Map updated. You're in Room 6.

Five demonic wolves - barghests, you note - growl at each other here, fighting over the gristle-coated remnants of a man-sized skeleton. A sturdy metal fence keeps them within, though, but they did retreat to the far side as Saahroon entered and gazed at them, seeming rather contemptuous of the smaller creatures.

"Oh hey, puppies!" No prizes for figuring out who that was... although the barghests were clearly full-grown.


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

<"As long as the barghests pose no threat, I think we can leave them alone."> After another moment of consideration. "Miss Nia, as long as you can keep it under control, you can take one if you want." To be honest, he had no idea how she'd react to this, but whatever happened should be enlightening. Highly chaotic individuals like her were intensely difficult to predict, so it was generally a good idea to gather information regarding their behavior in a variety of situations.
Let's proceed to the other unexplored areas


"Nah, I've already got a few pets back home. And you never want to bring back a pet that hates everything else - not unless you've thoroughly trained it, anyway, and I'm trying to not make too much of a mark here."

There's quite a bit of unexplored area to the west, a few caves at the north, and what looked like a sizable area down in the southeast. XD Which direction would you like to go?


HP: 111/139 | AC: 26; T: 18; FF: 20; CMD: 26 (+1 vs grapple) | Fort: +19; Ref: +18; Will: +16 (+2 vs illusions) | Int: +11 (forewarned); Perc: +20+1d6 (+3 vs traps)
Daily Abilities:
Spell Points 4/4; Martial Flexibility 3/6; feather fall 1/1; Breeze-Kissed 1/1; Diviner's Fortune 11/11; Inspiration 11/12; Knockout 1/1 (DC 18), Surge 5/9 (2)
Advanced Sylph Incanter 7//Brawler 6/Unarmed Fighter 1//Empiricist 6 (Archmage/Genius 3)

Southeast


This room is filled with thirty pools of varying sizes and colors. Near each pool is one or more shallow grooves with straps bolted to the floor, positioned so any creature held therein must touch the contents of the pool. An examination shows that there are some very strange contents - water (Styx, pure, holy, unholy), milk (fresh, curdled, cow, human, other mammals), and acids of varying strengths are all identifiable. Additionally, four wraiths are floating near the far side of the chamber, but they seem neither hostile nor terribly interested in you.

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