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The Fountain of Bethesda

Game Master TheBobJones

Dice Rolls | Portraits | Plans & Politics | Rivenrake Island | Tactical


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Portraits | Tactical | Hollow Mountain

Oathday,10 Pharast, 4716

Absalom, City at the Center of the World. The noonday sun warms the spring air as grey clouds float lazily on the horizon.


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

Arimar prays to Urgathoa, once more covering his dining table with a black cloth. As ever, he hardly touches the bountiful meal before him. The meat might be stale or fresh - he would not know. Food never held any particular joy for him. He knew that if he did not eat he would die, but otherwise Arimar would never bother.

Perhaps there is something wrong with my tongue. Maybe I will purchase a ring of sustenance some time... but if my faith is strong such an item would sear my flesh.

The starlight still flicked in on his domicile, interrupting the otherwise perfect blackness inside. Arimar never needed a light, and so abhorred it that he had even forgotten how to create daylight as so many of his kin could do.

Such a strange ability for a race who can see perfectly well without it...

"Pallid Princess," he begins, suddenly kneeling in mid-thought, "Forgive me once more for not gorging myself upon this feast I have laid before you. May you see virtue in the quantity that goes to waste. Allow me to experience all that the world has to offer, and please grant me the capacity to enjoy these meals.

"Let none in nature fail to see that you, above all, are the way of things," he still struggles with this part of the litany, "And that the natural order is for the weak of will. When I die, allow me to rise again and be free from the tedium of death. May Pharasma forever be denied my presence in her endless line of souls."

The prayer continues for an hour or so, at the end of which, Arimar plucks a piece of rancid cheese from the table and swallows it down without complaint. There really must be something wrong with my tongue. This part was always the easiest. Easy, but not the best. This part is the part I like the most...

Turning from the table, Aramir flips a few gold coins to the prostitute lying naked on the bed. She hears the click of nail upon metal and tries blindly to catch them. She misses in the darkness and then scrambles around on her hands and knees to find them. Her hand touches one and she grabs it, just as Aramir takes her roughly from behind. "Urgathoa be praised!" he cries as he thrusts himself into her.

It won't last, but for now... for now... I can feel. I am not alone. I am not alone.

For a moment, he even believes himself.


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

A beam of daylight strikes Aramir in the eye through a crack in the shuttered window. "I never seem to remember to seal that over better..." he complains to himself as he gets out of bed.

"Wha'?" moans the woman-for-hire next to him.

They are both still naked. Aramir's gaunt body is in stark contrast to her plump curves. Her ample bosom jiggles on her chest like a fresh set jelly as Aramir leaves the bed to dress.

"Still here?" asks the priest, "If you're hungry, you can have at the meal I laid out last night." The bountiful feast still sits on the table, the black cloth removed. It is cold but no doubt still palatable - to most people.

"What was all that praying last night?" asks the whore, getting up and plucking limbs off a roasted pheasant, "Seems like you've got it in for the Lady of Graves, not that I care."

"If you don't care," snaps Aramir, annoyed, "Then why do you ask? No matter -" he holds up a hand to stay any protests, "- I shall tell you.

"I lived in Riddleport as a child. I may have lived elsewhere before, but my earliest memory is from that place, as an orphan on the streets..."

* * *

I ran as fast as I could, but they were hot on my heels. The streets of Riddleport were no place for a skinny kid with silvery hair and golden skin, and yet that is where I found myself. Sometimes I evaded the toughs, but more often than not they beat me and stole what little money I had managed to con people out of. I was never any good at picking pockets, but telling stories - selling stories - that, I could do.

"He's gone around the corner!" cried a pursuer.

I ran north along the docks knocking into stevedors as I went. Their angry yells blended in with the shouts of the bullies who would surely catch me at any moment. I may have been fast for my age, but I was still barely six winters old and they were teenagers.

Chancing a glance behind myself, I could see the sweat on their brows as the street toughs closed on me. I had no choice but to dive into the first building I saw: the mausoleum. The building itself was enormous, and the interior was a maze of crypts and interring shelves for those of Riddleport's citizens who - for reasons unknown - wanted to be mummified in the traditions of Ancient Osirion. It was a dark and foreboding place and, to this day, I have no idea where the clergy who were supposed to stand guard over it had gone when I came through. I like to imagine that the boys who followed me paused in fear at the threshold before greed overtook them. In any case, I had the advantage in that darkened place and found myself a hiding spot.

Then a hand grabbed me. My first thought was that it must be one of the boys, but as claws dug into my flesh I realized that the reality was much more terrifying. "Stop! No!" I screamed, as I was pulled from my hiding hole. "Stop!" I screamed again as the slavering once-dead creature lowered its rotting fangs towards my face.

"Stop, stop, stop!" I screamed, tears flowing down my face, "Stop... stop... stop...

"Stop...

"Stop."

It took several seconds before I understood that the creature, that I now know to be a ghoul, had obeyed my command. It was stopped, mid-attack, leaning over me.

That is when the teenagers rounded the aisle and saw us both. Frozen in horror, they paused for a moment as their minds screamed at them to flee while their legs refused to obey. A thought occurred to me in that moment: Get them.

"Get them," I said.

And so it did.

* * *

"That was the first time Urgothoa saved my wretched life," Aramir tells the slightly overweight prostitute, who had enough manners to pay attention as she gorged herself on the cold repast, "But it would not be the last. It was also when I realized what a bunch of hypocrites Pharasma and her brood were. All it would have taken was a simple daily patrol and a casting of the detect undead spell and that ghoul would never have been there. But the were lazy. They say the dead should remain so, but where were those clerics when a young boy was being terrorized? Where were they when the dead rose to eat me? Only the Pallid Princess answered my prayers. Pharasma be damned."

Aramir puts on the last of his silken threads and tries to figure out what time it is by the position of the stream of light on his bear-skin rug. Almost ten. "Finish up there, and get yourself gone."


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

It takes a little over an hour for Arimar to complete his morning prayers for his spells. He wonders if it is yet past midday, and looks over to the rug. To his annoyance, the whore is asleep there having some kind of post-feast nap. He sighs deeply and then an idea comes to him. Arimar drops his britches, arranges her sleeping body just so and inserts himself inside her. She wakes with a start and begins to scream, but he puts his hand over her mouth. "You owe me for the food," he asserts, thrusting madly. She nods in agreement and lets him continue to completion.

"That was... unexpected," she says, getting dressed at last, "I think I even enjoyed myself that time." Arimar grunts as his only reply, but he smiles inwardly. Of course you enjoyed it, you had half of Urgathoa's offering feast satisfying your fat belly.

"What did you do after the ghoul killed those bullies?" the whore asks, not in any hurry to reach the doorway.

It takes Arimar a while to realize that she was asking him about his childhood story and not any recent events. "Oh, that? Well, the ghoul followed me into Riddleport..."

* * *

I walked out onto the streets feeling like a king. Only a child could believe that all his troubles were contained within the bounds of a single pressgang who had been harassing him, but so it seemed to me then. Being so young, I had no idea what the laws of Riddleport were. It seemed to me that the city was as hedonistic and lawless as it was possible to get. After all, it is a haven for pirates, is it not? What law could possibly exist in such a place?

I found out soon enough. The priests of Pharasma, absent when I needed them most, tracked me down and destroyed my pet... the one who saved me from those bullies. Then they blamed me for their deaths! Me! When it was they who had been so lax in their duties as to allow a ghoul to inhabit their mausoleum. Me, when none stood guard outside the temple.

"You and your unholy abomination should be destroyed," cried one of the hypocrites as a blast of light from his holy symbol turned my savior to dust.

"You have broken the laws of Riddleport and the very laws of nature itself," another lectured me, "But you are too young to feel Pharasma's kind embrace." Kind? If I knew then what I know now, I would have laughed in his face. As it was, I was terrified for my life and angry above all else - angry that the priests had destroyed the only creature ever to help me.

I mustered all of my willpower and slammed the second speaker in his tender area. He howled in pain, that much I know, but his companion had his shield out in no time and brought it down upon my head.

* * *

"I must admit that I do not know what happened after that," Arimar scratches his head, "My next earliest memory is of the time I spent with the clergy of Urgathoa and the secret Shrine of the Pallid Princess in the ancient tunnels beneath the city. Now leave, at last, before you find that you owe me for food, board and a bard's ransom worth of stories."

This time, the whore obeys.


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Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

"Where did Benaiah and the others say they would meet me again?" Arimar scratches his head as he looks out over the crowded streets of Absalom's Coins district.

A time caller rings his bell just next to Arimar's ear and shouts, "Half Eleven!"

Arimar shoots him a withering glance. "Piss off and ruin someone else's hearing," he says, close enough to be easily heard even over this crowd. The time caller ignores Arimar, annoying the man even further. Still, he had to admit to their usefulness. The towering cathedral of Abadar kept a beautiful clock tower, but who could see it in this press of housing and humanity?

I wonder if Aroden would be so proud of his city if he could see it now, Arimar wonders to himself as he inspects the crowd, It's almost more non-human than human. Self included!

Arimar sees a shop sign featuring a beaker with some multi-hued liquid inside and fireworks coming out of the top. He reads the plaque below. "'Rory's Curios and Celebrations', is it? A magic shop if ever I've seen one..." he mutters and pushes his way inside. If it was only half eleven, he had time to kill.

"A magic user, if ever I've seen one!" cries the shop keep.

Arimar almost objects, but then remembers he has been going in disguise while in Absalom. It certainly would not do let on he was one of Urgathoa's faithful. Certainly, none would suspect someone so slender as he. Which reminds me... "Yes, and looking for a ring of sustenance if you have one, erm - Rory, I assume?"

"Rory it is!" exclaims the bespectacled man behind the desk, "Ring of sustenance, eh? Oh, quite the popular item these days! Sold one to a frien... well, an old customer of mine a few months back. You're in luck, though, I've just received a restock!" Rory unlocks a very sturdy drawer and rummages around inside. At last, he pulls out the right ring and holds it out for Arimar to inspect.

"I haven't eaten today," Arimar notes, "Mind if I try it on to see if it actually works? It should make me feel... satisfied.. right?"

Rory looks as though he were about to object but instead shrugs and lets Arimar slip the ring over his finger. The fit was far to large for the slim Aasimar necromancer, but within seconds it shrinks to hug his digit perfectly.

"I don't feel any different," Arimar furrows his brow, "Still hungry."

Rory slaps himself on the temple, knocking his glasses askew, "Oh, curse me for a simpleton! I had forgotten. It takes a week before the magic works fully. If you take it off, you need to start over again, too!"

This ring is sounding less and less like a good idea, Arimar, disappointed, makes to remove the ring when a blinding flash suddenly fills his vision. He passes out cold on the floor of Rory's Curios and Celebrations.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

The jeers of the crowd gathered outside the mausoleum were more than angry - they were cruel. Or, at least, so it seemed to the small boy known as Arimar. He had just lost the only thing who had ever stood up for him, and now he was being told that he was the criminal by these priests of Pharasma.

"Ghoul lover!" someone in the crowd yelled, flinging a rotted cabbage at Arimar. It fell wide, but he felt the spray on his back.

"Fledgeling witch-child! Burn him! Burn him before he raises more!" shouted another without the vegetable accompaniment.

"Please, please, please!" the High Priest of Pharasma himself, it seemed, had deigned to turn up to this gathering. He held his hands up high until he had silence. "This child does not know what he has done. We cannot kill him." The crowd erupted with boos, shouts of dissent and general malicious comments directed at Arimar.

"He shall not go unpunished!" the High Priest assured them, "He did, after all, raise the dead from within the sacred Mausoleum of Pharasma and killed three boys."

"I didn't raise it!" cried Arimar, tears flowing from his angry eyes.

"Then," said the High Priest condescendingly, "Why did it obey you?"

Arimar had no answer for this. His child-like brain could scarcely believe nor comprehend it as it was.

"Punishment it is," the High Priest continued after a pause, "A cleansing punishment, I feel."

Two men stepped forward. One held a set of tongs and a bucket, the other some kind of draconian clamp with screws on it. The latter man put the clamp over Arimar's head and neck. As the screws were tightened, the boy's jaws were forced open and his head pushed back. The man held his arms while the tong wielder pulled a scorching hot coal from the bucket. Realization dawned upon Arimar and he screamed - struggling for all he was worth.

"By Pharasma's grace, the punishment will fit the crime," the High Priest continued over the boy's feverish screaming, "Never again shall he speak words in the black tongue of necromancy. Never again will he disturb the eternal slumber of the dead. Pharasma be praised."

Stony-faced, the man with the tongs dropped the hot coal into Arimar's open mouth.

* * *

So that's why I can hardly taste! I wonder why I couldn't remember that until now...

Arimar comes to on the floor of Rory's shop. He notices the bookish shopkeeper is pulling the ring off his finger and muttering to himself, "Why, oh why did I ever move from Magnimar? The kinds of people I get coming in here... some half starved fool wanting to get a free meal from a ring of sustenance. Unbelievable. I just need to patch things up with Mistress Lanvi. She'll understand..."

In pulling off the ring, Rory seems to have smudged off some of the makeup covering Arimar's wrist. A pallid yellow fly styled from a skull and with wings stained in blood can be seen below the foundation that Arimar applies every day. Worried, the necromancer looks up at Rory, but the man seems only to be interested in removing his wring. Just as Rory looks at the pale pink paint-like substance on his fingers and then back to the wrist he was handling, Arimar quickly turns his arm over and pulls himself up off the floor.

"Was that...?" Rory asks, a tinge of fear in his voice.

Without a word, Arimar strides directly out of the shop.


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

Arimar listens out for the Time Callers on the streets below. "Quarter past one!" he hears one say.

"Curses be to that man," Arimar mutters to himself, "Where is he?" Arimar had been sitting at the same table of the Saucy Wench for over an hour now. Sure, the scenery was good - the waitresses in particular meant that the tavern's name was not just well deserved, it was downright understated. He did not like sitting idle for so long. Certainly not after what went down earlier. Arimar had heard the rumors that the Captain of the Token Guard* employed waitresses here to spy for him, and he was none to pleased about it either. Still, this was their agreed meeting spot and this was the agreed upon time. Well, one hour after it, anyway.

* The 'Token Guard' is the common name for the Coins District Guards, referring to both the effort they put in and what they can be bought for.

At least the others had left him messages at the bar, excusing their absence. Benaiah, however, had extended Arimar no such courtesy. "No," Arimar preempts the approaching waitress, for about the tenth time today, "No food. I'm still waiting for... oh, f#!~ it." Arimar stands up suddenly from the table, throws down a few silver to pay for his single, still untouched drink and meanders out onto the streets once more.

Surely not... surely he's not still in jail! Didn't someone get him out of there? I suppose I had best check.

Sighing, Arimar makes his way to the Bail House - the headquarters of the Token Guard and where Benaiah was most likely kept, if he was indeed still under arrest. The good news was that this was the Coins district and everything - including freedom and the guards who were tasked with denying it to criminals - could be bought. The bad news was that, while the prostitutes were relatively inexpensive, onyx was not. Arimar had just spent the last of his coin on that precious stone... and he hadn't the faintest idea what or when their next job would be. Neither did he know how the three of them could do it without Benaiah. The man was quite talented.

"Do you have someone here called Benaiah?" Arimar asks of the man at the front desk of the Bail House when he finally gets to the front of the line, "You can't miss him."

The clerk shrugs and looks away pointedly. Pallid Princess preserve us all. Arimar slides a gold coin over to the man and awaits a reply.

Dark Archive

Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

A steady drip echoes in a musty jail cell, a crack in the infrastructure leaking the waters from Absalom’s harbor into the dark, cramped room one drop at a time. A figure sits on the floor, cross-legged and hunched over a leather-bound journal on his lap, the only illumination in the room a pile of dead rats and garbage smoldering in front of him.

The jailer was kind enough, if kind is the word one would use when stuffing a person into a lightless dungeon cell for any amount of time, to provide the figure with the journal to begin with. The jailer walked away laughing, thinking himself ironically clever and cruel to provide the inmate his journal without also providing any source of light, or writing utensil.

Benaiah was resourceful though. His pen is a sharpened leg bone of one of the giant rats that infested the dungeon; his ink the rat’s blood that it no longer needed. In a cell made of stone and iron bars, it didn’t take long for him to create a spark big enough to light enough garbage on fire to give him the light he needed.

I’ve never considered writing my story down. Never thought I would need to. I’m sure Arimar and the others will get me out of here soon enough, but what if there is another time when they aren’t able to? What if I get locked in a place like this and never make it out? Someone should know. Someone should be able to hear my side, even if it proves or solves nothing. Heresy is such a damning accusation.

The heretic takes a deep breath, the silence of his thoughts echoing in his skull, before dipping the sharpened bone into the makeshift inkwell. Fitting that this story will be written in blood, when it was blood that created it. The crude bowl that formerly carried whatever it was they called food was filled nearly to the top with the crimson blood-turned-ink, drained from the bodies of the rodents that now fueled his light source.

Dark Archive

Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

Accounting of Benaiah, son of Belthashalazar, Hellknight of the Order of the god claw.

Here follows the account of Benaiah, branded a Heretic by Belthashalazar and confirmed by Xestilanizar, high priest of Asmodeus in the year 4712 AR.

4708 AR

I suppose I should start at the beginning. For what is a story with the context of how it came to be? Context is everything, especially to one who bears the brand of heresy. I was just 12 years old and the son of a Hellknight living in Cheliax. Belthashalazar was his name, and he was a proud captain of his station. He held aspirations for a seat at the general’s table, and by all accounts it was a foregone conclusion. I was his pride and joy. Two hands taller than any of the other boys and twice as thick around the chest, there wasn’t another man in the city or countryside who could boast such fine stock. My mother came from nobility. An arranged marriage to boost her family’s status as well as legitimize the rapid rise of my father through the Order’s ranks. Despite the arrangement, they were a match made in… hell. In other words, perfect for each other. Both brutal, cruel, efficient, and addicted to the attention their stations gave them. They threw the most lavish, hedonistic parties for the most elite nobles in the city. I was never allowed to participate. Father would always tell me to wait, I was not yet a man. Soon though, soon, he would say.

And so I waited. Bored and restless, and a young boy changing into a man. At least so I thought. It was that summer, the summer of 4708 that I saw her for the first time. One of our slaves, she was twice my age but I swear she would have made a succubus jealous with her beauty. I wanted her for my own, and so I took her. Technically she belonged to my father, but I claimed her for my own. There is no way he would approve, and I knew it, so I hid her.

I told her I was saving her from the hedonistic parties. I almost believed it. I don’t think she did, but then again, she was a slave. Serving my every growing need was far preferable to the devil worship and sacrifice that was happening so frequently in the parties my parents threw. I made her comfortable, fed her, kept her safe, and in return she loved me for it. At least that is what I called it. Perhaps it really was love, for what context or knowledge did I have that it could be any different?

I idolized my father and I longed to be a man. He was the iconic image of manhood to me. I was bigger than most men physically, but something held me back, as if I needed permission to actually acquire that status. Looking back, I think that is what I was subconsciously hoping for when I stole my little songbird. As if I was taking my status as a man myself, and no one could tell me I couldn’t have it.

Dark Archive

Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

The drip continues unabated, the only sound in the darkened cell. Not even the sounds of the hagglers and hawkers of wares he knew were above him in this rotten jail in the Coins district.

Token guard my ass.

In the distance Benaiah hears muffled voices and the scatter of footsteps.

Someone is coming…

Quickly he grabs the flea infested blanket that was thrown to him when he was tossed in the cell, and covers the smoldering fire, or at least the light from it. In the darkness he waits, recalling the memories of his 14th birthday, almost 6 years ago.

When the sound disappears for enough time, he uncovers the light source and dips his bone pen back into the pool of blood that serves as his ink.


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

"It smells like hot garbage down here," comes a familiar voice from the cell door. Arimar sits down outside the bars and regards his companion, "I am sorry, my friend, I had not realized you were still in here. I see you have killed a rat. This is good. I will call upon my mistress to grant it life and break you out of here. Do not object," Atimar holds up a hand to forestall Benaiah, "This won't take but a moment."

Hidden priest knowledge (arcana), DC 14: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8

Arimar's prayer is obvious to any who care to pay attention, the arcane words he mutters are pure gibberish. He rubs his amulet as he chants and suddenly, the rat speaks! "I am the demon Rattus," it says, "Kiss me and I will save you from this place!"

Spellcraft, DC 17:
Arimar cast magic mouth.

"Ha! You should see the look on your face!" Arimar is clearly more amused by his own antics than his imprisoned friend, "I'm not going to waste good onyx on a rat." The necromancer draws out a piece of the precious stone for emphasis. "This stuff costs a hellknight's ransom. In this case, literally - sorry, Benaiah, but I have no gold for your bail. As for this stone, I will only use it on the corpses of the deserving. Like your cell mate there."

Benaiah had perhaps failed to notice the drunkard passed out in the corner of his cell - revealed now since his blanket was removed to smother a fire. "I have it on good authority that he is also a wife beater and deserves more than just a simple night in jail sleeping off a hangover. My plan for getting you out is relatively simple, but first you have to kill him and smear his blood all over you."

Dark Archive

Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

Oathday, Rova 23, 4710 AR

This day when I woke up, I was convinced it would be the day that would define the rest of my life. The one where I would finally storm into manhood and change my life forever. I would finally leave behind this weak little boy that I was and be able to take what belonged to me. I was only partially right.

My father had informed me earlier that week that there would be a ceremony, and I would be the guest of honor. That day, he would bestow upon me the status I craved more than anything. Never mind the little things, like shaving and grooming. Nobody cared about what that meant. Bedding my secret songbird for the last two years had done nothing to elevate my status in my mind either, though in those passion filled moments it felt like it did. It just never lasted beyond the edge of the bed. No, this day would be the culmination of my longing, and the launching point of a legendary life.

I always got what I wanted anyways, but entering the gateway to my adulthood felt like everything would change. Even more would be available to me, and nothing could stop me from taking it. I would stand beside my father for a time, and then eventually stand on his shoulders, elevating myself farther than he could ever hope to take himself. It was my destiny.

Dark Archive

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Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

Benaiah looks up at the hooded man who sits down on the outside of the bars. His mouth turns up slowly into a crooked smile before he lets out a good belly laugh.

”Haha! Yes, thank you for coming my guardian angel.” he smiles. Arimar never really liked that moniker, but like any good friend, he kept using it to put the man on edge.

More like angel of death. His smile turns from one of mirth to one more of smug cockiness.

Spellcraft: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13

Benaiah jumps at the sound of the rat's voice, but quickly covers up his started look with a scowl.

Tit for tat it seems, got me back. No need to admit it now...

"Rattus, I remember that guy. I've never seen anyone turn away so many blades with that little sewing needle. Those Norborger thugs picked the wrong pathfinders to mess with." he chuckles at the memory.

Carefully folding his new journal back together with the long piece of lace laid carefully near the spine to mark the page he left off on, he sets the leatherbound book in a corner of the rickety bench that was provided in the room. He stands tall, stretching his back and leg muscles, then turns to regard the drunkard he never noticed slumped in the corner. His general mirth and good mood quickly vanishes.

Wife beater? Did he own his wife, or was she there of her own volition? Is there a difference? Does it matter?

Benaiah stands tall over the slumped man. Halfway between 6 feet and 7, and wrapped in corded muscles that would make an orc jealous, he is an imposing figure. But the wife beater pays no attention, with drool running down his face as he sleeps off his drunken stupor.

I hate men who beat their slaves. I hate men who beat their wifes. I hate men who beat their family.


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Male CN Human (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist (Aristocrat) 4 | HP: 60/60 Int: 12/14 | AC: 22 (6 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +16, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +3, W: +5 | Init: -1 | Perc: +7, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | Bomb: 6/6 | Rage: 6/6 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 10/10 | Active conditions: Mutagen, Bulls Str, Enlarge, Raging, Shield, Phantom Blood.

You can’t do it can you? You pathetic weakling. Little boys can’t do the things that need doing. How many times must I tell you? If only you were a real man, then you would be strong enough.

But you’re not. Not unless you open your mind. You remember how don’t you? Of course you do. Let it go. Let it out. Embrace it. We both need it, don’t keep it from us! This is what your father wanted, for you to be a man right? The thing he wouldn’t give to you? Take it then! TAKE IT!

Dark Archive

Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

Benaiah’s heart begins to race as he stares at the drunken, helpless figure in front of him, fighting a battle within himself. His shoulders begin to raise and lower as he takes deeper and deeper breaths, almost gasping for air for the emotional pull at his mind and heart.

I hate you dad.

With a roar of rage, Benaiah’s muscles ripple and bulge. All of his pain and confusion is projected onto this pitiful excuse for a man in the corner of the cell. With a swift motion the man is lifted over Benaiah’s head and thrown mercilessly against the bars of the cage that holds them.

Instead of a clang of noise and rattling metal, all that can be heard is a sickening thud mixed with a loud crack. The drunk falls to the ground, just as motionless now as he was before, save the steady rise and fall of his chest.

Benaiah stands on the other side of the cage, shoulders slumped and hands on his knees, breaths coming in huge gasps as if his head had been held underwater for a few seconds to long.


Male CN Human (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist (Aristocrat) 4 | HP: 60/60 Int: 12/14 | AC: 22 (6 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +16, CMD: 24 | F: +8, R: +3, W: +5 | Init: -1 | Perc: +7, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | Bomb: 6/6 | Rage: 6/6 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 10/10 | Active conditions: Mutagen, Bulls Str, Enlarge, Raging, Shield, Phantom Blood.

Goooooooooood. Only a few seconds this time, but so good. You’ve done well today boy. You may go with your friends. We will talk more later.


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

"Nice, if a little loud," Arimar notes, caring not at all one way or another for the life of this drunk, "Now we won't have much time. They took my dagger, so you'll have to find some other way to get his blood. Tear with your fingers if you have to. Spread it over yourself and then lie very still in the corner."

While Benaiah goes about his business, Arimar once more mutters arcane words. This time, the black tongue of necromancy is clearly in evidence.

"Lesser animate dead," he chants.

Knowledge (arcana), hidden priest DC 14: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15

Passed! Now it's a DC 17 spellcraft to identify the spell, DC 27 spellcraft to realize it's divine.

As soon as Arimar is finished his spell, the flesh peels from the bones of the drunk. It seems to at once melt and vanish, revealing first the musculature beneath his skin, and then bloody bones... and then just bones.

"Ye gods!" he cries out, "Guards! The dead have risen to claim their revenge and they have killed my friend! Help! Help!"

Bluff: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17
Guard #1 sense motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
Guard #2 sense motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4

FYI, used stats for a level 3 guard. And man, I hope those rolls aren't indicative of future rolls!

Two guardsmen rush in to see the skeletal drunk menacing the bloody and (hopefully) motionless body of Benaiah the Heretic. They suspect nothing as they open the cell door, cudgels drawn, to confront the abomination of nature.

Dark Archive

Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

"That was unexpected... never mind. No it wasn't." Benaiah gives his friend a crooked smile. "I am eager to see what you have planned next..."

Benaiah allows himself to crumple in the corner, his arm twisted awkwardly underneath him. The bowl that held his blood-ink was now empty poured out over his head and shoulders, mingling with the blood of the man who was now an animated skeleton.

He is grateful when he hears the sound of the guards rushing down the hall, since his arm was quickly falling asleep.

What am I supposed to do next? He thinks, realizing he forgot to ask.

In the meantime, the fresh memories of that fateful birthday ring in his head, only recently penned into his journal.

I wonder if the others would think of me differently if they knew what I came from... Perhaps I should let them read and see...

Dark Archive

Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

Oathday, Rova 23, 4710 AR - Continued

The moment for what felt like my coronation had come. The main hall in the family manor was full with hundreds of people, all noble families connected to house Thrune and a respectable showing of the Hellknight contingent. No military wife threw parties like my mother, and so very few people missed them. It was a social faux-pas, to steal a Varisian term, to miss one of these parties, and it seemed as though they had made a big enough deal about this one that they were turning people away at the door.

I’ll spare you the details of the night, suffice it to say that the evening was quite extravagant, and I enjoyed my place between my parents at the head table which was raised and overlooking all of the room. There was a feast fit for a king, entertainment, and then came time for the customary sacrifices. I vaguely remember the sound of the pigs and goats, squealing and baying in protest as if they knew what was to come. Across from the head table was the magnificent and opulent alter, the top of it carved in the fashion of a massive horned devil.

My father walked me down, all eyes were on me. This was the focus and the climax of the whole event. My adulthood waited for me there, one ceremonial sacrifice away. So much of that moment was a haze, blurred away as I focused on the only details that mattered to me at the time. The crowd and room melted away as my father placed the ornate dagger of sacrifice in my hands. The man I was destined to become was locked behind a door, somewhere deep inside of me, and I now held the key in my hands.

This was an experience I had never had before, this ceremony. This was a thing for the adults. I was never even allowed to be at these decadent parties before now, but from this moment forward I would belong here, no one could turn me away. I was born of noble blood by my mother, and the son of a Hellknight. The entirety of Cheliax would be my playground, and I would become her king, bending her to my will like my darling, secret songbird, and she would love it. The world would cry out in joyful ecstasy as I took it for my own.

A drink was offered to me. A goblet, swirling with the signature Chelish Red, an ancient vintage. I took it and drank it down eagerly. All at once I felt a rush of adrenaline, my muscles bulged and my mind seemed to fray at the edges. A rush of pure power. This must be it! I thought. I am a man now, no longer a boy! This is what it is like to cast off the weakness of childhood, and step into my destiny!

In the back of my head I heard the urging of my father, and the pitiful screaming of the sacrifice in front of me, strapped to the alter. My vision was blurred, I couldn’t make out any details. All I could see was the pinkish, flesh colored form of the creature that would die to usher in my manhood completely. This rush must only be the beginning, and plunging this dagger in would be the pinnacle, the finish.

I rushed forward, consumed by the power I felt and the promise of more. I raised the dagger over my head with both hands, and viciously plunged it home, again and again, coating myself in the sacrificial blood.


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

"Move it!" hisses Aramir, breaking Benaiah from his reverie with a bony finger to the ribs. The guards were engaged with the animated skeleton and had left the door open behind them. "Are you waiting for a f$~*ing written invitation?" adds the necromancer.

Once Benaiah is out of the cell door, Aramir closes it behind him. The guards turn quickly from their heated battle to

The poor men were struggling to damage the skeletons. Cudgels were made to knock foes unconscious. What good were they on a foe who lacked a consciousness? Aramir shakes his head and throws a morningstar into the cell. "After all, I don't want them to die..." he explains to Benaiah as the two rush out of the Bail House, "Not that I'd shed a tear if they did. At least now, though, they'll have a fighting chance."

Aramir uses the keys first to open the locker where Benaiah's belongings were kept, and then to free some of the less unsavory inmates. The more distractions for the guards, the better.

It is a few minutes of hurrying through the streets before the two men stop to assess the situation. "I think we've lost them," Aramir notes, satisfied. Despite his lack of physical strength, the hurried excursion through crowded Absalom seems not to have taken his breath from him. Aramir, by all accounts, is quite physically fit.

"So, why don't you tell me how it was that you did not manage to find the coin to pay your own bail?" Aramir asks, a hint of a scalding in his voice, "It wasn't easy to make sure you were tried in the Coins District, you know."


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Male N Human (Varisian) expert 1/Occultist 3 (tome eater)/Swashbuckler (inspired blade) 1 | HP: 35/35 | AC: 20 (15 Tch, 15 Fl) | CMB: +2, CMD: 17 | F: +4 [+6 for cold conditions], R: +8, W: +5 (+7 vs. fear) | Init: +5 | Perc: +7, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft | Panache: 3/3, Inspired: 1/1 | Spells: heightened awareness, reduce person, shield | Active conditions:

Gylibi's Rare Books - Absalom

A well dressed man pushes open the door of the small, quaint shop in a fluid motion, dipping his head to keep his tall, chimey pot hat from hitting the upper sill. A few wordless steps later and he his standing before the overweight, though very well put together man behind the counter, who raises his nose from deep within a book to greet to new customer.

"Greetings, sir," says the man behind the counter. "Welcome to Gylibi's Rare Books... I'm Walter Gylibi, the owner. What can I help you with?" his voice is cheerful and honest, and does not seem to be bothered by the interruption to his reading.

The new arrival is well dressed in collared shirt and tie, overcoat, and stove pipe hat. Oddly, showing beneath his overcoat, but above his dress shirt, is an exquisitely crafted, bordering even on fashionable, suit of beautiful chainmail. Another oddity of the man's dress is the casual manner in which he wears it, dress shirt with a few buttons undone, tie loosened and uncinched, shirt untucked, and top hat tilted at a rakish angle. Even the dark stubble, casting the hint of a dark shadow across his face relays the same impression as his dress, he is simply wearing the clothing of a noble in order to pass off as one.

He adjusts the rapier at his side and opens his coat enough to reveal an old book, patched and rebound, clearly on the verge of tatters, which is strapped to himself by means of leather cords holding it securely and safely to his person. After a moment spent fiddling with the cords, the book is released and the newcomer sets it gently on the counter. As the book touches the table, he turns and the shopkeeper sees what looks to be a paper wrapper with a cherry inside, which the stranger raises to his lips in a flash. A moment later, the stranger is chewing on something and with a wave of his hands the wrapper is gone from sight.

"Good evening, Sir," the stranger says, tipping his hat. "I would like to know if you've seen this book before, or any others like it," he says as his eyes peer strikingly at the shopkeeper. As he speaks, the book seller finally realizes the man before him is quite old, and not some young, foppish royal like he had previously thought.

"Yes, of course," Mr. Gylibi starts, but pauses before looking at the book. "Mr. ... erm.... ahh..."

The new comer stands silent for a moment, a hint of anger flashing across his face at why the must exchange names. Either the shop keep knows something or he does not, knowing each other's name shouldn't change that fact in the slightest, would be the obvious thought behind his gaze.

"Olmstead," says Olmstead, trying and failing to mask his annoyance.

"Great, Mr. Olmstead. Pleasure to meet you, now let's have a look," Mr. Gylibi says, lowering his gaze to the book, all the while still smiling and unperturbed by the unsocialized actions of Mr. Olmstead. His hands trace along the cover of book, and feel the ragged edges of the pages underneath. It is clear this book is decently old, but not ancient nor particularly valuable looking. It has clearly been rebound at least a few times and by a very unskilled hand that in all actuality probably caused more damage to the tome than good. What is further still, it appears to some kind of children's book or fable.

Rii are Those Left Behind...

The book seller reads the title then finds his eyes focusing on the faded image of young girl standing alone amidst of darkened copse of trees. From one hand hangs the sad form of a stuffed bear, and her back to the viewer, as if she is starring off or possibly waiting for something's approach.


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Male N Human (Varisian) expert 1/Occultist 3 (tome eater)/Swashbuckler (inspired blade) 1 | HP: 35/35 | AC: 20 (15 Tch, 15 Fl) | CMB: +2, CMD: 17 | F: +4 [+6 for cold conditions], R: +8, W: +5 (+7 vs. fear) | Init: +5 | Perc: +7, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft | Panache: 3/3, Inspired: 1/1 | Spells: heightened awareness, reduce person, shield | Active conditions:

Gylibi's Rare Books - Absalom

"Rii are Those Left Behind..." Mr. Gylibi reads the title of the fable aloud. "Well, it does not sound familiar to me..." he takes a moment longer looking over the cover, but when he next places his hand upon the book he feels a surge of power stir deep within its pages, which passes through his finger, up his arm, and resides like an ardent, resilient warmth in his chest. With a surprised jump, the book seller unintentionally recoils away from the book, even though the sensation was not unpleasant, and casts a look of surprise at the customer.

Looking back across the counter toward the book seller, Olmstead only raises an eyebrow and flashes a knowing smile, but does not speak in reply.

"May I?" Mr. Gylibi asks, motioning to the book. Olmstead nods in agreement, allowing the expert to further look over and delve into the pages of the tome.

There is again rush of warm, soothing energy that infests the book seller as his skin contacts the book, but this time he manages to remain calm and accept the pleasurable sensation. Gently, and ever slowly, Mr. Gylibi flips the item over and sees a faded block of text covering the back cover in the spare places where grime and burn marks do not reach.

The book seller leans in close and begins to read, his eyes scanning side to side and his mouth moving slightly, uttering unintelligible words here and there. While he waits for the book seller, Olmstead reaches into pack and pulls free a small sheet of parchment, now crumpled due to how unceremoniously the old man pulled its hiding place. Next he pulls a few small vials of thick, sludgy liquid, each its own vibrant, lively color. With a small paintbrush, Oldstead begins to swipe here and there with the brush and dole out a few splotches of brilliant orange onto the creased piece of parchment. As he waits, he continues to paint and pass the time.

A little while later, Mr. Gylibi looks up having finished reading the back cover of the book. He initially looks on, oddly watching as Olmstead continues to paint as a large orange sphere begins to take shape on the sheet.

"Rii are Those Left Behind," the book seller begins. "It appears to be fable or warning for children about listening to one's parents and expresses, quite heavy handed, the need to fit in with your family. The importance of trying to work together and for each person to be thankful for what you have. Apparently this author chose the route of trying to scare children in order to capture these young reader's attention by creating the image of a lonely, nameless creature that will gather and collect the unsatified children by luring them away. It seems, drawn to their wishes for better mothers... fathers... siblings."

"It seems to imply that if they stray too far from their family, this nameless thing hears their unspoken thoughts and comes for them to fill its own loneliness. It is forever alone but tires quickly of its playthings once collected, and forever searches for more friends. Thus the fable scares children into being content with what they have."

"I've never heard of this tale before," he admits. "It doesn't sound particularly well written or even teach a particular useful lesson..." Mr. Gylibi continues on, mumbling about the book as he flips it right-side-up, the gently opens the cover to the first page.

Olmstead continues to paint and nods along in agreement with the book seller's words.

Dark Archive

Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

Benaiah grunts as he catches his breath when Arimar brings up the topic of bail money.

"Ha! So the bail I was fine with. It was the bail tax that those greedy $*%&ers were trying to levy. They saw my pile of gear and figured I was an easy target. Probably could have bought you a couple nuggets of that onyx for what they were asking. I figured you would make it here eventually." Benaiah grins for a moment, leading Arimar to ponder the difference between paying a bail tax and wasting an onyx to raise a skeleton to break the big man out.

"Oh don't get your panties in a bunch," Benaiah grins. "I'll pay you back. I figured better to pay you back with interest than let those scum sucking gold diggers have it. Besides, that was fun, wasn't it?" With a wide smile that takes up his whole face, the giant man skips backwards, three paces in front and facing his odd friend as they make their way down the street.

"You think that fiesty redhead will be at the Saucy Wench? Hopefully Olmstead didn't scare her off for good when he ate the napkin instead of the wine she brought."

I run out of time for this stuff way to often. I have more thoughts, but they will have to wait. I can inject them later though.


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

"Well, if there's one thing The Saucy Wench is not short on," Aramir smiles, patting Benaiah on the back as they travel to the tavern, "And that is feisty redheads! Speaking of Olmstead, maybe he's finished with the book store by now. Hopefully he thinks to meet us for an afternoon repast."

Arimar finds a table as before, and as before he hardly touches his food. His mind keeps wandering back to his returned memories. Those Pharasmite f$++ers burned my mouth out, but what happened after that? How did I end up at the Hidden Shrine of Urgathoa?


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

As the two men sit at the table, patiently awaiting their comrades, Arimar toys with his food. Moving a potato from one side of his stew to the other seems not to make it any more appetizing. It does, however, afford his mind a chance to wander.

* * *

The High Priest of Pharasma threw the blessedly unconscious Arimar to the dirt of the streets. Smoke still rose from the coal in the six year old aasimar boy's mouth. He remained passed out while a clearly overweight cloaked figure picked him up and carried him away.

The sun had set long ago by the time Arimar awoke. Not that he'd know in the place he now found himself. It was clearly subterranean, having no windows and that dank feel to it. However, it seemed to be lower than the sewers. There was a warmth emanating from the earth, a constant cool temperature unchanged by the weather conditions on the surface.

Arimar, of course, knew none of this. All he knew was pain. His mouth still felt like it was on fire. The boy tried to scream, but the pain of activating his vocal chords was unbearable. He noticed a glass of water next to his bed and he drank it down greedily. He must have been passed out for some time, as he was keenly thirsty. The liquid at once hurt and soothed his burnt, cracked mouth.

"Ah, you are awake," comes a voice from the doorway, "This is good. It is time we saw to that vicious wound of yours. I am Balthus Grig. Deathcaller Balthus Grig, priest of the Pallid Princess. I run her church here beneath the streets of Riddleport. It is there that you find yourself. Come child, let me see what they have done to you."

Pallid Princess? The title meant nothing to him. 'Deathcaller' did not sound overly promising, though. Arimar was too frightened to do anything but let the priest examine him. Balthus pulled back his robes, revealing a body of excesses. His waistline strained against his already generously proportioned clothing. The expensive and bejeweled silken clothes did little to hide his ample fat. His portly, bearded face gave Arimar a smile that was more functional than genuine as he held the boys mouth open.

"Oh, yes, they've really ruined your mouth and throat with their barbarism," Deathcaller Grig noted and then tutted with his tongue, "But I can help." The priest's eyes lolled back into his skull as he chanted and then his hand glowed with a pale, yellowy radiance. He placed his hand on Arimar's mouth and the scabs fell away. Fresh, pink flesh appeared beneath and suddenly, Arimar's burns were gone.

"Th-th-thank you!" the boy exclaimed. He drank the water again. No pain! He rushed forward and hugged the man before him. His small arms barely even made it a third of the way around Balthus's stomach. Gently but forcibly, Balthus pushed Arimar back to arm's length.

"Why did you save me?" asked Arimar. With his mouth was healed, he was left only with curiosity.

"That is an excellent question," Balthus stroked his blonde beard, the beard of a northman, "Well, it seems you have a gift. A gift with the dead who have risen again. Never before have I seen a child as young as you command the dead - let alone a ghoul. You are Urgathoa's chosen one, and you will stay with us here and learn her ways until you come of age. Praise be to Urgathoa."

Arimar did not know much about Urgathoa, but he did know this much: her worship was forbidden, and she was evil. So it was said. So it was said by the same people who cheered as his mouth was burned out by the priests of Pharasma.

* * *

"I know," Arimar says suddenly, interrupting Benaiah mid-sentence, "I know what happened to me after I was accosted by those priests of Pharasma. I know how I first met Balthus. I know why I cannot taste. The man should have cast regenerate, not some simple cure spell. Maybe that's what he wanted, though. Maybe he wanted me to be left with that reminder... even if it meant that I could not honor my goddess properly."

Dark Archive

Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

"Wanted to leave you with a reminder?" Benaiah recovers from the interruption, a skeptical look on his face.

"Where I come from, it's called jealousy." he says, turning his head to scan the crowd and serving wenches for the voluptious redhead he was speaking of on the way to this place.

"I admit I know very little of your religion, or of any religion for that matter. But whatever it is you do, and however it is you do it, my friend, you are good at it. And some men just can't look at themselves in the mirror knowing there is some young prodigy out there who doesn't hardly have to try and can out perform what they have worked their entire lives to be able to do."

Benaiah's gaze is no longer on people, fixated on some point off in the distance. As though he isn't using his eyes to stare anymore, but reliving more moments of his youth in his mind.

"Perhaps your goddess wished for you to be constrained," he says in a monotone voice, still staring blankly into the distance. "Or perhaps Balthus was just jealous, and only grudgingly taught you what his goddess commanded him to do."

Perhaps we do have something in common after all, my golden-hued friend.

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Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

Oathday, Rova 23, 4710 AR – Continued

Like a ton of bricks the exhaustion hit me. The ornate dagger that was in my hand, so easily wielded only moments before felt like a storm giant’s broadsword. I collapsed to both knees, hunched over and gasping for air while the sweat, blood and spittle ran in rivulets down my chest to drip on the floor below me.

My vision slowly cleared as the surge of power faded. I was keenly aware that the room was dead silent. Slowly, I brought one foot beneath me, then pushed myself up to my feet to observe my handiwork. My chest swelled with pride as I raised my eyes, ready to take in the adulation and respect I had just taken by brutal force, my ascension to manhood was finally complete.

There on the alter in front of me was the brutalized form of the slave girl I had stolen from my father. My heart stopped, and I was suddenly unable to draw breath. I reached for my chest, a subconscious reaction to the stabbing pain of betrayal I felt. I whipped around to confront my father, to make him answer for what just happened. When I did I instantly felt his cold, vice-like grip clamp down on my throat, and before I could register what was happening my feet were dangling in the air, my face pulled close to his.

This was no coronation, this was a humiliation. He never meant to usher out the man hidden inside of me, he meant to quash it like a bug. He was jealous of me, of the power he knew I could wield. It was clear he would never let the son surpass the father. I’ll never forget the pure look of evil in his eyes, the anger, the hate. He accused me of stealing from him. He told me if I ever did such a thing again, it would be me on the alter, and there would be no amount of pesh to hide the agony he would inflict. With a flick of his wrist, I was cast away to the corner, his public example and mocking of me complete. He returned to his seat at the head table, reclining comfortably and a smug smile on his face.


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

"Had some experience with jealousy, then, I take it?" Arimar's smile is thin and almost mirthless. The man was a brute, but he was perceptive. He pauses a long while in thought before continuing, "Perhaps that motivated Balthus in the beginning. It makes a lot of sense out of his harsh lessons, actually. However, he has nothing to be jealous of now. As you may know, my kind live an exceptionally long time. He was always destined to enter Urgathoah's embrace well before I. When I was but fifty years old, he was dying of old age. We sacrificed him as per our Goddess's teachings, then embalmed him and wrapped him in the Ancient Osirion fashion.

"His death was magical," Arimar remembers fondly, "And his rebirth opened my eyes."

Arimar's eyes widen as something occurs to him. "Ha! Ha... ha ha ha ha!" Arimar laughs the first truly genuine laugh Benaiah has ever heard from him. It continues for far too long. Uncomfortably long. When it is over, Arimar wipes tears of mirth from his eyes and explains himself. "My surrogate father is now my mummy! Heh."


The buxom waitress walks over to the table. Her mood buoyant, her purse filling up with coppers and silvers as the room's energy has a contagious effect on the assembled. She moves quickly between the tables, pivoting on the balls of her feet, lifting her tray high overhead. Without looking, she rounds Benaiah's shoulder, and bends from the waist.

As she leans into the man, her ample breasts sag down inviting any who desire a peak to glance in her billowed shirt.

"What do you boys want? Gonna get real busy soon, but Coendial will take care of yous."

She looks up and meets the unemotional glance of Arimar, and looks at the cruel eyes of Benaiah. She immediately raises her free hand to lift her shirt to her neck, and straights up. Suppressing a gulp, a look of fear flashes in her eyes.

But barmaids are build from strong stock, and no woman gets to work the floor of the The Saucy Wench unless she can deal with a wide variety of situations.

Her expression softens as she steps between the men, "Got lots to drink, don't seem to have much of an appetite right now, do ya mister?" she queries Arimar.

Her countenance softened, her eyes remain icy.


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

"If I wanted judgement from a saggy-titted pseudo-whore, I would have asked for it," Arimar shoots back, his mood suddenly darkening, "Know your place, wench."

Arimar knows that at least a half dozen of the wait staff work of The Saucy Wench for the Token Guard. He could not help but have the feeling that maybe this fact had something to do with Benaiah's capture. Of course, this particular waitress likely had absolutely nothing to do with it. Still, he feels guilty for affecting Benaiah's chances at seeing the interior of her personal lodgings upstairs.

"Worry not, I'm sure you'll get ample tipping and much more besides from Benaiah over here if you like," he adds, half-heartedly trying to assuage any hurt feelings.

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Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

Benaiah's dour mood is instantly brightened at the sight of the plump bosom that tumbles into his periphial vision. He chuckles a little at Arimar's harsh words.

Less competition for me!

In a flash, Benaiah is on his feet standing behind the alluring wench, perhaps a bit more forward than would be socially acceptable. Of course, he grew up in a palace. Slaves couldn't tell him no where he came from, and so rejection wasn't so much saying no, but more playing coy, because it made what came later so much more fun.

The thought that she isn't interested in anything more than increasing her tips never crosses his naive mind.

"Don't mind him. He can't taste anything, so he gets cranky when he is hungry. Me on the other hand, I know how to appreciate a fine red with exquisite legs when I see one. And that goes for the wine as well," he whispers into her ear from behind her, his lips inches away from her lobes while his hands rest on her shoulders. He begins to massage her neck gently for a moment before he plops back down with a giant grin on his face.

"A bottle of Chelish red. We can discuss the legs and the finer points of what it means to be a natural red later. Better bring out a few bottles of Mwangi Juju Rum as well. That's Arimar's favorite because you don't taste that one, you feel it. In your soul." Benaiah pulls a gold coin out of his coin pouch and flips it up into the air. He pulls his breeches away from his waist, allowing the coin to fall into his nether regions. He flashes a wink and a smile to the wench and smacks her on the rump as she walks away. "Keep us happy wench, and I'll give you the best tip you've had in months!" he calls out behind her with a hearty laugh.

This is almost as abrasive as Targath... yikes! Let me know if its to much. I wanted to tap into his entitled, aristoratic background a bit. I'll get a feel for how often, and just how much he pushes that kind of attitude as we play.


Portraits | Tactical | Hollow Mountain

After hearing the insensitive comments, the professional waitress laughs off Arimar's comments. "Come, come. Ya looked at my saggy breasts. Everyone does."

Waiting for Benaiah to finish his creepy innuendos, she flashes him a smile that never touches her eyes. "Big bottle of Chelish for the big man, that I can do. And a bottle of Juju, but you gotta keep a lid on it, or them guards can get real feisty. As for a tip, gold for now big man." She expertly pockets the offered gold coin from his lap and flits away.

As the group watches her saunter to the bar, they can see her whispering into the bartender's ear. He gives the group an unfriendly stare, and moves off to grab their bottles of liquor.

The waitress can be seen huddled with a pair of other waitress, heads close together, while she waits for the bartender to grab her order.

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Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

"You see that?" Benaiah nudges Arimar in the shoulder and points to the whispering wenches.

"She must like me so much she is telling her friends. Maybe I'll have the company of more than one saucy wench tonight! Ha! Haha!" he laughs, slapping the table.


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).
Benaiah the Heretic wrote:
"...I know how to appreciate a fine red with exquisite legs..."

Someone's been to some wine tastings!

Disappointed not to see the alias again. :-(

Arimar's look is sour, but he lets Benaiah continue to clumsily court the waitress with an admittedly humorous wine-related pickup line.

"Tipping a waitress in f@!&ing gold?" Arimar would spit the wine from his mouth if he had been drinking any of it for the last hour.

Appraise: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24

"My friend, even if she could fit your pole down her neck, her services wouldn't be worth that much," Arimar cautions. Still, probably not the biggest tip she's received.

Tried but failed to come up with a decent 'just the tip' pun.


posting on my phone is prone to errors

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Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield
Arimar wrote:


Tried but failed to come up with a decent 'just the tip' pun.

Your effort was better than mine, and still appreciated!

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Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

"Well she has better hands than I thought she would." Benaiah laments as the sultry waitress walks off with the gold piece.

"She was supposed to go get it, but get distracted on her way in. And it was supposed to be for later. You know, just the tip." Groan...

"I wonder if this place has that massage treatment I've heard about that is infamous in the coins district. My back is killing me from being hunched over in that rotten cell." The large man reaches back, rubbing his lower back in response to his bringing the discomfort to light in his mind.

"Once the other two get here I want to hear the story of how you got away with that racing horse that I got arrested as a distraction for. I still can't believe that rich bastard hired us to steal it back from the low life that stole it from him. Isn't that race tonight? You don't think it's bad form to show up to the tracks after what we did, do you?"

Benaiah looks around confused, with a slightly impatient look on his face.

"Wheres my Juju?"


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

"You still haven't told me what your distraction actually was," Arimar notes conversationally, only appearing to be mildly curious, "And yes, it would be poor form to show up at the tracks. It doesn't mean we shouldn't. A little wager here and a slight flutter there... we could be rich again. I don't know what you've heard, but I personally haven't a clue where our next job will come from."

Arimar tries a morsel of stew meat. Bland as ever. He forces it down, praying that Urgathoa grant his shriveled stomach the strength to hold onto it.

"I can play nice with the waitress if you like," the gaunt necromancer offers, "I'm sure she'll give you a massage if you keep tipping like that. Maybe she'll even let you suckle on those teats of hers."


The waitress breaks the huddle of the other barmaids, her tray full of glasses and two large bottles. The observant in the group notice that the other waitresses moves in separate directions, but continually glance over to your table.

"Here's the red. Gonna let is breathe some of you want me ta pour right now? Real man tend to keep in in longer, makes the final pour all the better.

"And here's the Juju. Barkeep told me ta remind ya, get outta hand, and you're out of here. But I know you boys will behave."

She flashes a grin as she bends over to pour two fingers worth of juju in some tall, slender glasses. Once again her clean white blouse billows down exposing the flesh beneath.

"You can look. I know you like 'em" she says to Arimar in a mischievous tone.

"Heard you talking about work. I know they're hiring caravan guards for some trip to Osirion, looking for jewels and such. Library is look for extra guards though that seems boring for the lot of you. You never know when something will pop up." She flits away to a table of halflings and one human ranger looking type.


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

"Heard us, did you?" Arimar asks, raising an eyebrow, "I see the rumors about eavesdropping waitresses are not exaggerated." The necromancer manages a smile to let her know he has no serious complaint.

"Well, Osirion could be interesting. I've always wanted to study their death rituals first hand," he muses aloud, not caring if the waitress is still listening, "But do we really want to go so far afield? I'm still not sure we made the right choice about coming to Absalom. Guarding a library might be a nice change of pace. I'm sure Robert would love to volunteer... but I'm also sure he'll spend more time perusing the library's contents than securing them."

Rolling the wine glass by grasping the stem in his thumb and forefinger then alternating forwards and backwards, Arimar raises it to his lips. "Good legs, you say? That usually speaks of a high alcohol content. It would please my goddess if I got drunk with you tonight... but I'm not sure if I can keep enough of this down to achieve such a state. Would you care to help me try?"

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Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

Was scrolling through this thread and realized I never responded to the mummy pun, which was awesome. That sucks.

Benaiah's smile gets broad as he lifts his glass, leaning forward to clink in toast to his golden skinned friend. "Hey, in the end its the dwarves who care more about whether or not you can keep it down. Let's just see if we can keep it down long enough to make a difference my friend! Ha!"

"Tomorrow we worry about Osirion and Absalom. Tonight we do our best not to get arrested again, and who gives a flying $&%* if we remember it tomorrow morning. Of course, maybe we need to take a trip to Osirion whether we want to or not, depending on how much trouble we cause tonight."

The brash and uncouth man smiles and slaps the wench on her plump hind end again as she walks away, showing his gratitude for the show each time she makes her way around to the table.

"If the lady says to let it breath, let it breath then. Besides, if you get fuzzy on the Juju first, you don't notice the hint of cat's piss from the red. To a full coin purse and loose women!" Benaiah raises his glass in another toast before tipping the glass of Juju back and drinking it in one gulp. "Wench! Your friends gonna come over and say hi too? There's a lot of me to go around." he winks and laughs obnoxiously.

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Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

"... So then I said, 'Liqour, I hardly know her!' Haha! Ha! And lets just say the Aasimar Paladin of Iomedae wasn't interested in a Callistrian hand shake. I thought for sure the way she smiled at me when you all were sneaking around the back meant I would be distracting her from her backside, but instead it was me that got bent over, and not even in the unfun, fun way. That woman was all business. Maybe she was just being a hard-ass because she was on duty. She definitely needs a piece of ol' Benaiah. I mean, if she wants to walk around with a stick up her.... well, I might as well make it fun, right? Ha!"

The not quite excessive booze consumed makes his little joke far funnier than it should be, causing his face to turn red as he doubles over from laughter, slapping the table a few times.


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

There'll be more mummy puns if we go to Osirion. ;-)

"She may have wanted a stick, Beniah," Arimar joins in more out of social protocol than a genuine interest in reminiscing with these waitresses, "But all you could manage, as I recall, was limp rope. Too much Juju perhaps?" He wasn't being entirely truthful, but he loved to tease the bigger man.

Arimar does his best to get drunk, but all he manages is a mild buzz. He can neither smell nor taste the hints of cat's piss, but he still cannot bring himself to consume the quantities of wine required to get as drunk as his compatriot. Luckily, the black-haired waitress currently warming his lap seems not to mind his sobriety. She shifts in a way that causes Arimar to grow beneath her. When she notices, she turns to face him and gives Arimar an appreciative smile before returning to the conversation.

"The girls may not like my height or build, but I've never had any complaints regarding size," Arimar notes to himself. Did I just say that aloud? Maybe the alcohol is getting to me after all.

"When are the others going to get here? Should we just make a night of it instead?" Arimar asks no-one in particular. He instinctively pats his coin purse to make sure he has enough to pay the wenches should they decide to charge for the 'upstairs activity'. It is lighter than he expected but still more than sufficient. Benaiah's generous tips have become infectious, he thinks sourly.

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Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

Benaiah flashes his friend a wicked stare at the insult to his virility, just enough to make everyone wonder if he might be a mean drunk, and unable to take a joke. Eventually his stare breaks into a grin, which turns into a full belly laugh, nearly knocking the wench off his lap, indentical twin to the brunette sitting on Arimar's.

"To much Juju? Not enough! Ha! Liquor always gets the blood flowing, and nothing makes clothes come off like Juju!" he laughs, squeezing the waist of the sultry lady of the night.

C'mon Juju, let's get things moving! This little wench is going to start having second thoughts... Don't want anyone to know just how close to right Arimar is...

"You know there are perks to being as good with elixirs and concoctions as I am. One drink of my specialized enlarge elixirs, and that foppish noble becomes the raging woman-pleaser he thinks he is in his own head." He grins, looking up at the fox who is sharing his personal space for the evening so far.

And if this juju doesn't get the blood flowing, I'm going to need some of my own help... ye gods I can't let anyone else find that out...

"I'm not ready to call it a night just yet. Still gotta see if I can afford for Red to help keep us company tonight," He says in an odd, matter-of-fact tone, only slurring some of his words before staring off into the darkening skyline for a moment before regaining his focus. He doesn't seem to care if the twin on his lap is bothered or not by his desire to add one more to the after hours party.

Maybe I just need more red... Yea, red will do it. Red wine and red wenches! he chuckles to himself as he finally starts to feel a little stirring in his loins.

"Hey! What are you looking at?" he growls at a nearby table of thugs who are being a little to nosy.


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

"Not ready to call it yet?" Arimar looks almost disappointed, "Shame." Urgathoa would be so pleased if this evening turned into an orgy. I can't say that I'd be... upset at the prospect. Arimar does a mental check to make sure that last thought was internal. He nods with satisfaction, ignoring the looks he gets for doing so.

"Red would be a welcome addition, but I don't think she'll be too interested in me..." Until she notices my cock. That always changes a woman's mind.

Arimar sighs deeply as Benaiah picks a fight with another table. "Honestly, friend, perhaps you should let it go. The excitement at the Bail House was enough for me. Just for tonight, I'd prefer f#*#ing to fighting." Not that he ever listens anyway...

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Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

Neth , 4710 AR

With my humiliation complete, I wandered like a lost puppy for weeks. Unable to find my purpose in life anymore, I contemplated many dark things. Always though, there was this voice inside my head, urging me to stop whining like a whelp and just take what belonged to me for myself. I fought the urge for a while, but eventually the words only I could hear, no, feel began to make sense.

By failing to validate my manhood, but opening my mind to its sheer power, my father had awakened inside of me the man I was supposed to become. I knew I just needed to find a way to unlock it, to let it out of its cage and let it consume the pitiful boy I was. I tried to replicate the anger, the rippling power surge, the bloodlust I felt. Every once in a while I managed to turn it on, and it was intoxicating. But I struggled to control it. More importantly, I struggled to control when it came and went.

In the meantime, my father redoubled his efforts to break my spirit, to mold me into the subservient son he wished me to be. Combat training, all manner of armor and weapons happened daily. He hung his Hellknight armor where I would see it every day, like a carrot on a stick. My tutor was relentless, pounding the finer points of the responsibilities and expectations of my noble blood into me. These were things that weren’t so bad. I could deal with an overbearing, law-weilding, hellknight father. Hell, it was in my blood.

[Several portions of text are written and scribbled out]

I don’t remember the day, but I know the month couldn’t have been more appropriate. A traveling merchant had come to pay their lawful taxes for passing through the city. I was perusing one of the boxes of wares when I noticed a book on reagents. I wasn’t bold enough to steal it, so I bought it and hid it, just like I hid my songbird. Of course, I didn’t have to worry about feeding a book. When I could make time to be alone, I read and I experimented. It wasn’t hard to get my hands on some different reagents, and I began to combine things in hopes of controlling my brief flashes of becoming a man. If I could control it, then I could make it last longer. Eventually, I could make it permanent, and I would finally take what my father refused to give.


Portraits | Tactical | Hollow Mountain

Smoke billowing around them, Arimar, Benaiah, Malgrim, and Robert usher the King and Queen along the cobblestone hallway

"This way! There is a corridor that we can use to escape the castle." exclaims the king. He winces in pain as he grabs the spear wound in his side.

Rounding the corner the group sees a bridge spanning a shallow chasm about 40 feet deep. As Arimar steps onto the rickety, wooden structure, an arrow lodges in the rope handhold suspending the bridge. He turns to see a fist of gnolls with short bows drawn, aiming for their heads.

Robert bringing up the rear turns around and can hear the turncoat royal guards approaching. "Forward. We must push forward."

Knowing that they have no choice, the companions begin to usher the royals across the bridge.

Begin Skill Challenge; 7 successes vs 3 failures

Initiative Rolls:

Arimar Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
Benaiah Initiative: 1d20 ⇒ 4
Malgrim Initiative: 1d20 ⇒ 20
Robert Olmstead Initiative: 1d20 ⇒ 16

Up next: Round 1:

Combat Table:

Combat Table - Round 1
Active Conditions:
Global Conditions:

  • Arimar <=
  • Benaiah <=
  • Malgrim <=
  • Robert Olmstead <=

Current Conditions:

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Male CN Human Aristocrat (Chelaxian) Barbalchemist 5 | HP: 57/65 Int: 12/14 | AC: 24 (14 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +13, CMD: 22 | F: +8, R: +4, W: +4 | Init: +0 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft (20ft in armor) | AP: 14, Bomb: 7/7 | Rage: 8/8 | [Mutagen] | Healing: 0/10 | Active conditions: Wax in my ears, mutagen, phantom blood, bulls str, enlarge, shield

Scrambling towards the bridge, Benaiah processes what they must do as Robert shouts out the only logical next step. We need more time... MORE TIME! I'll buy them more... If I can just make those traitors slow down and think twice about chasing us, we just might be able to keep them from catching us as we cross...

Benaiah's craggy face looks slightly more distended, and his tunic strains at the bulk of muscles beneath, chemically enhanced from his mutagen and the bull's strength elixir he consumed when the chaos erupted only minutes before.

"We're earning our money this time boys!" he shouts, with perhaps a little too much glee as his legs and arms pump to keep up the dizzying, racing pace. He ignores the daggers that the queen shoots from her eyes at him in spite of her fear. These protection contracts made them targets far to often, but the action always seemed to make the danger worthwhile.

Lets see if they think twice about stepping up to a giant... he thinks as he quaffs another of his potent elixirs. As he skids to a stop at the entrance to the span, his companions and their charges begin their wild scramble to the other side. Benaiah's size increases dramatically, casting a long shadow towards the pursuing traitors to the crown.

"YOU MAY CUT ME DOWN WHERE I STAND, BUT I'M GOING TO TAKE AT LEAST 7 OF YOU TO THE UNDERWORLD WITH ME!" He bellows, flexing his 2000 pounds of over-sculpted muscle.

Intimidate:

Because this is a scene-setting, experiment in fun and awesomeness, I took some liberties about the buffs I would have active (which in many ways are to enhance the intimidating prowess feat I took)

Intimidate, bull's strength, Mutagen, enlarge person: 1d20 + 13 + 2 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 13 + 2 + 3 + 1 = 35

It won’t stop them, but they’ll think twice about how bad they want to catch us!


Male LG Aasimar Paladin 5 / Expert (Swindler) 1 | HP: 51/61 | AC: 23 (12 Tch, 22 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +11, R: +8, W: +11 (& resistances) | Init: +1 | Perc: +7 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 20ft | Smite Evil: 0/2, Lay on Hands: 3/6, Divine Bond: 0/1 | Action points: 12, Reroll: 1/1 | Active conditions: Smite evil, divine bond (keen).

"Quickly," urges Arimar, taking his cloak off, "Let's swap cloaks. They'll hopefully aim for me instead of you. It's not much, but perhaps it will spread the spears around somewhat."

The necromancer swaps cloaks with the queen - none would believe someone with such a slender build was the powerful king they were pursuing - and wraps it high above his head so that none can see. He lets the queen take his own cloak with its protective magics woven in between the fibers. I'll want that back, he says to himself.

Arimar begins to saunter across the bridge with the confidence of royalty, and with the swaying hips typical of a feminine gait.

Disguise (to confuse them a little):
Disguise, wrong gender, wrong race: 1d20 + 12 - 2 - 2 ⇒ (19) + 12 - 2 - 2 = 27

Not the optimal skill to use given the situation, but I wanted to use something left of field.

A spear spins past Arimar's ears. Whether it was mis-aimed or his ruse was working, Arimar cannot tell. Either way, the deadliness of this situation is definitely settling in.


Male TN Hobgoblin Kineticist 5 | HP: 68/68 15 NL| AC: 18 (14 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMB: +2, CMD: 16 | F: +9, R: +8, W: +1 | Init: +6 | Perc: +8, SM: +0 | Speed 30ft | Action Points: 4/9 | Burn: 3 | Active conditions: Flesh of Stone (DR2/Adamantine).

Malgrim stands in stillness a moment at the last foot of the rickety bridge, drawing strength from the stone under his feet. As the rocks on which we stand, so we shall persevere. With a low voice he rumbles, "I am the shield" as his eyes turn flinty and his skin turns to stone.

Erupting forward, he takes hold of the rope and dangles over the chasm for long seconds as leaps ahead of the fleeing nobles. He tumbles back over the rickety boards and raises shields of stone and earth to deflect the oncoming arrows in showers of rock and dirt.

Acrobatics:
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (12) + 12 = 24

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