Camp all situated, the Burgomaster and his small band of rangers prepares to depart. "I shall leave two back to guard the yak and camp. Make sure that fire is hot and there is plenty of scalding tea when we return." knowing full well the affect the mountain can have on a body, Draslas is preparing for the worst.
As they depart camp and ascend higher up the mountain, now that they are above the timberline there are no more trees and few shrubs. The landscape is a swatch of dull greys, interspersed with pink hues. They breath is labored as they work extra hard against the natural incline. As they make their way up the trial, it becomes more and more rugged until it fades entirely.
Before long, the Companions are bouldering across the mountain scree.
Steep Slope: Characters moving uphill (to an adjacent square of higher elevation) must spend 2 squares of movement to enter each square of steep slope. Characters running or charging downhill (moving to an adjacent square of lower elevation) must succeed on a DC 10 Acrobatics check upon entering the first steep slope square. Mounted characters make a DC 10 Ride check instead. Characters who fail this check stumble and must end their movement 1d2 × 5 feet later. Characters who fail by 5 or more fall prone in the square where they end their movement. A steep slope increases the DC of Acrobatics checks by 2.
Scree: A field of shifting gravel, scree doesn’t affect speed, but it can be treacherous on a slope. The DC of Acrobatics checks increases by 2 if there’s scree on a gradual slope and by 5 if there’s scree on a steep slope. The DC of Stealth checks increases by 2 if the scree is on a slope of any kind.
The time passes slowly, but not as slow as they progress. The rangers constantly have to turn back and assist the heavily armored Benaiah and Ariar as they trudge up the mountain. All the hard work eventually takes a tole on their bodies, unaccustomed to the thin mountain air.
Arimar Fortitude: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17 -- Resist acid 5, cold 5, electricity 5
Benaiah Fortitude: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23 -- +1 vs. divine spells, +2 vs. poison
Kaddren Fortitude: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23 +5 vs cold weather
Gwendolyn Fortitude: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Gwen is fatigued
Eventually they reach the first site. Draslas, inhaling and exhaling heavily, approaches the group. He explains that there are odd ruins and crags that are likely spots for the harpies to lair. About 300 feet away, on a top of a sheer cliff face, are the ruins of a temple. From their vantage, the companions can only see solitary carved columns and ruined walls of a temple. It would be a steep ascent over scree to reach the cliff face, before ascending the wall 40 feet to reach the temple. There are multiple large boulders that could be used to hide behind on their path to the cliffs.
As they approach the eerie site, Arimar pops in the beeswax earplugs and says softly, "Now, remember, if you're in trouble, whisper."
Noticing their halfling laboring more than she should be, Arimar asks her back quickly for a touch of relief. He lays his hands on the top of her head and asks her to breathe more deeply. Lay on Hands, Arimar's particular mercy means that it also removes fatigue. "Okay, back to scout it out," the paladin smiles encouragingly and waits for the 'all clear' before he noisily sets off agin
When they reach the cliff face, the aasimar lets out a long, soft whistle. "Well, even in plate mail, I can make it up there if someone can get there first and tie up a knotted rope. Let's see what we can do about staying behind the boulders first and then quietly - perhaps invisibly? - scaling the cliff to tie it off?"
Not sure what the climb DC of the slope is, but I can take 10 for 15. A knotted rope with a wall to brace against is DC 0-5.
|Benaiah the Heretic|
Benaiah checks the plugs in his ears, paranoid about just how sealed they are. Eventually he grabs a second pair and jams them in as well, just for good measure. The sounds of nature around him, down to the backdrop of wind and the expansive space is muted, and all he can hear is the blood rushing through his ears.
Suddenly Arimar's voice fills his head, an eerie whisper with the stark contrast of no audible backdrop.
Wanting to be prepared for what might be on the otherside, Benaiah weighs the risks of using some of his resources now, and decides it is worth it. He looks around, his blood pressure rising slightly and ducks behind a nearby boulder as Arimar sizes up the situation. He quickly reaches into his powder box and picks a couple of his recently made concoctions out. Snorting them quickly, He feels the chemicals hit his system and his body begin it's rapid changes. His eyes roll back into his head as he enjoys the moment.
Coming back around the boulder, his companions see his grotesque change, fully in his mutated form. "I'll bring the rope up." he whispers through the spell, acting as if nothing had changed and avoiding the accusing eyes of Arimar. "Just let me know when we are all ready."
Ok, so Benaiah is taking his Mutagen, as well as his Phantom Blood Extract, and a Levitate extract. I can quickly and quietly levitate up to the top, peek out over the edge, and if it is clear, secure the rope for others to follow with a very easy climb check.
|Benaiah the Heretic|
Don't need to climb, I can levitate, per the spell/ extract I noted above in my post...
-Posted with Wayfinder
Just to clarify... the 300 feet we need to cross isn't DC 25 to climb, is it? Anyway, we noisy ones should hop boulder to boulder as best we can about 60' behind the advance scouts.
Before setting out, Kaddren selects a set of spells that is versatile, yet slightly more geared towards subtlety and cold weather than usual. He takes the bouldering cheerfuly in stride... at least until the climbing starts to get as monotonous as hiking through harpy-infested terrain can be.
The arrival at the first site is a welcome change, and he readily plugs in the earswax. When Arimar whispers to the group, at first he makes a show of mouthing "What?" before adding in a message of his own "Ah, right. Well, I can cover the Invisibility if you want to give it a go. Or you can Levitate me, and I can try to take a look around some. I'm probably the sneakier of the two, and trying to cast Feather Fall on you if you're jumping off the cliff invisibly could be a bit messy... I'd rather not get blood spatter on my nice clean weather outfit, you know."
Kaddren will cast Heightened Awareness if he's going up.
0 Ghost Sound
0 Read Magic
1 Feather Fall
1 Heightened Awareness
1 Endure Elements
|Gwendolyn "Cadence" Mehra|
Ascending the mountain...
Each steps is a struggle.
The halfling looks to the others, watching as each hauls gear, equipment, laden with armor and weapons, even strapped with supplies. From across the rocky landscape the biting winds cut into her, sapping her strength and sending Gwendolyn nearly toppling back down the hillside and erasing any progress she had made. Her feet beyond heavy, feeling as if weighed by having stones. Nearly all her life had been spent in warmer climates, and the low temperatures tingling and stinging her exposed skin was now almost unbearable. She had never felt at such a deficit to her companions as now, simply struggling to hoist herself up the incline, slowly step by step, when the others were already doing so much more than her.
She carried almost no gear of her own, save the heavy winter coat strapped tightly to her body, a pair of clattering snowshoes hoisted over her shoulder, some snow goggles, and, of course, her precious violin. Even so, she could not keep up with the others, struggling with each step to maintain pace. The earplugs, which she kept securely pressed into her ears, caused the thundering beat of her pounding heart to sound loudly in her head. But most of all, she could not make eye contact with her companions, not while she was struggling to even haul herself, when they were contributing over and above their own needs.
She hated to be a burden, but knew that was her lot in this place. The only resolve being to be as little of a burden as possible.
When at last she was on the verge of giving up, not wanting to admit to her friends how much she was indeed struggling, she felt the calming touch of Arimar on the top of her head. Within in moments she was breathing easier, and looking up to the paladin with a watery, tear-filled eye. "Thank you," she says with a labored breath, but steadying herself as the seconds pass. "I was having a hard go of it there, but was afraid to bring it up..."
"Thank you for noticing," she finishes, patting the paladin gently on the arm before pulling the fabric of the heavy winter coat close about her body.
Near the ruined temple...
Looking across the 300 foot expanse, then up the shear cliff face to the skeleton of the ruined temple. "I'll cross with the louder members of our party," the halfling adds, looking on in wonder at the daunting terrain still to cross. "I will help and support however I can, but I don't think I'll be much help at scouting..."
"I'd be afraid of causing even more trouble for the group than I already have..."
|Benaiah the Heretic|
Sorry, looks like I made some assumptions I shouldn't have made... I'll hold off using the levitate extract (sorry Kaddran, can't share) until I get to the base of the cliff. As Arimar pointed out, there is no check necessary to cross the scree, but I don't want to assume that nothing happens to us as we cross that.
"Eh, Gwen," Benaiah mentions, getting the halfling's attention, "Hop up here if you want. I've got broad enough shoulders. Will be a lot easier than your short legs churning through this scree." he says, patting his shoulder a couple of times with clawed hands.
He looks up the steep slope to the sheer cliff face. He waits for the de-facto scout to begin making his way in order to follow at a proper distance.
"Hey Gwen, just a thought I had... Do you think your own music might be able to counteract the magical call of the harpies, should it come to that?" He asks, betraying his worry of falling under their spell.
|Gwendolyn "Cadence" Mehra|
The halfling looks up to her towering companion and cannot supress a beaming smile. As much as she didn't want to be completely dependent upon her friends, she knew in this place it could not be helped. "Thank you," she says, beginning to make sure the odd pieces of gear hanging off her are secure before moving to clammer onto the man's back.
"And yes," she continues once she is sure the last, but most important piece of equipment is tightly strapped to herself, wanting to make sure the violin will not fall from her body even if she should topple. "If we can stay close enough together, I know I can find a melody which will fight off the call of those harpies. I won't be able to inspire you at the same time, but at least those harpies won't leave you dumbfounded."
"When we get to the base, before we go up, I can detect the presence of evil creatures - such as the harpies - from the bottom," Arimar suggests over their message as everyone moves out, "That should at least let us know what we're likely to find up there."
With that, the paladin waits for the advance party to get slightly less than charging distance away, and then moves off.
Range of detect evil is 60ft. Ready to go and will stay 40ft behind rather than 60ft as previously stated, so I can close the distance in a round in case we need get into trouble.
Kaddren looks at the boulder coverered scrag, then to the imposing climb. "I've seen dresses on Varisian exotic dancers less sheer than that cliff... but I can cast Invisibility on myself, pop up, take a look around, and drop a rope if nothing immediately looks like it's going to bring immediate pain. If you hear... well, anything, assume the worst."
Of course, if things do turn sidewise, it's unlikely that the party will be able to get to me in time to save me... Cheery thought.
Assuming that is the plan... and assuming nothing interrupts. Also, single move, with 30' movement speed, is 10 rounds, just short of 2 minutes out of the 5 minute Invisibility duration.
Stealth: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Kaddren casts Invisibility and spends two minutes of his precious stealth to wind his way towards the cliff face. He's reasonably confident nothing noticed his approach, as he stares up at the 40 foot cliff. He collects himself and thinks to himself Just like sneaking up onto balcony of the Women's Floor back at the Institute as he bends the rules of space and distance to form a crack between where he stands and the top of the cliff, traveling 50 feet in a single stride. Once there he peers around, with his Heightened senses (+10 Perception), looking around.
That is, if everything goes to plan
Kaddren, calling upon his arcane abilities, scurries invisibly from boulder to outcropping without incident. Settled at the base of the cliff face he motions for the others to follow and gives the all clear before realizing that he is invisible and they can't see him, so he whispers the all clear.
No matter, as Arimar and Benaiah the Carrier have tried to follow a short distance behind their unseen companion. Doing their best to remain incognito, difficult with Gwen perched on Benaiah's shoulders, they do their best in the mountain scree.
Arimar Stealth: 1d20 - 4 ⇒ (5) - 4 = 1
Benaiah Stealth: 1d20 - 5 ⇒ (13) - 5 = 8
Gwendolyn Stealth: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (9) + 19 = 28
Quite a bit less stealthy, the trio follow and reach the base without incident. Arimar calls upon the blessings to Sarenrae to determine if their is an evil foe present. As he searches his feelings, he cannot feel anyone of an evil nature near by.
Kaddren then bends the physical laws of space to stride to the top of the cliff face. Still invisible he drops the rope before scanning the area.
Arimar Kn (Religion): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Gwendolyn Kn (all Kn skills): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13
Kaddren Kn (Religion): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26
Let me know if Arimar, Benaiah, and Gwen follow Kaddren up.
|Benaiah the Heretic|
"You say nothing is up there?" Benaiah looks at Arimar, "And by nothing, you mean nothing evil..." He trails off, turning to some general direction he assumes Kaddran is in.
"What do you see wizard?" he asks, waiting for the rope to get dropped.
Two Spoilers... Either nothing or the fit is about to hit the shan...
Benaiah grips his powder box, wondering if he should be grabbing the levitation snuff to get up the cliff as quickly as possible. The gods know he certainly wasn't quiet, huffing and puffing his way across the scree. Maybe he scared everything away...
"Nothing evil, not necessarily nothing hostile," Arimar does his best to put on a disarming smile, "I guess we should send Gwen up there first so she can calm any aggressive creatures down before the heavily armored of us arrive."
Still grinning sheepishly, Arimar grabs onto the rope and hoists himself up -- Using double moves while taking 10 should have me there in 4 rounds, however I think I can fast climb (-5 penalty) for a total of 10, which should do it for the DC of a rope with a cliff face to brace against... so, 2 rounds?.
I won't assume I get there, but if I do...
Arimar doesn't draw his blade. Evil creatures were on thing, but if none were there then it would not do to act in a hostile way. That said, he studies the temple entrance for a while - not knowing who it is a temple to - detecting evil again and making sure to interpose himself between unexplored areas and their arcanist.
He Messages down to the party. "No hostiles so far, though the temple seems to be dedicated to a deity of mountains, winter, and or volcanoes, in order of the potential to be truly horrible it possibly could be. I'm sneaking a bit closer to make sure nothing pops out."
Assuming you all join in the exploration
As the companions explore more of the cavern, they find it in a ruinous state. The only abnormality seems to be an abundance of water in the usually barren environment. Gwen muses it might be an underground spring but she cannot say for sure. Small pools are dotted throughout, many half frozen, and a multicolored pattern of fungi and lichen decorate the area in the damp, dark temple.
The Companions come across a few mundane items, a cup with giant with ram's horns on his head, cracked pottery, some discarded and moldy furs. Nothing of any real value. About 5 minutes of game time to explore.
Until they come a bit too close to a spread of mold.
Kaddren Kn (Nature): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Gwendolyn Kn (all Kn skills): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28
Kaddren and Gwen steer the companions away from the mold, knowing that it has the potential to belch a cloud of spores at the companions. They explain to the rest that is is a variety of Russet Mold, and if you are infected and die from infestation, you become a vegepygmy.
As the duo are waxing rhapsodic with their book learning, five vegepygmy burst forth and rush the companions.
Arimar Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16 -- Darkvision
Benaiah Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
Kaddren Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Gwendolyn Perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (18) + 13 = 31
vegepygmy Stealth: 1d20 + 26 ⇒ (6) + 26 = 32
Arimar Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
Benaiah Initiative: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (12) + 0 = 12
Gwendolyn Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Kaddren Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
vegepygmy: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Begin Surprise Round
They systematically attack the Companions, the claws of the vegepygmy drip with Russet Mold spores.
vegepygmy 1, Charge Claw Attack vs Arimar: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 8 + 2 = 20
vegepygmy 1, Charge Claw damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
vegepygmy 2, Charge Claw Attack vs Benaiah: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 8 + 2 = 19
vegepygmy 2, Charge Claw damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
vegepygmy 3, Charge Claw Attack vs Benaiah: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 8 + 2 = 29
vegepygmy 3, Charge Claw damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Benaiah Fortitude: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Only one vegepygmy lands a claw, but the barbchemist is so used to odd chemicals in his bloodstream that he easily shakes the effects off.
vegepygmy 4, Charge Claw Attack vs Kaddren: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 8 + 2 = 27
vegepygmy 4, Charge Claw damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Kaddren Fortitude: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19
Tearing into Kaddren's fine clothes, the youth also is able to resist the strange mold spores.
vegepygmy 5, Charge Claw Attack vs Gwen: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 8 + 2 = 21
vegepygmy 5, Charge Claw damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Gwendolyn Fortitude: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Gwen too is slashed with the vegepygmy claw and she too is able to ignore the mold in her bloodstream.
You are welcome for those nice Fort Saves!
Begin Round 1
Again the vegepygmy take advantage of the Companions slow reactions. They strike out as a team trying to keep the Companions off balance.
vegepygmy 1, Dirty Trick vs Arimar: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
Picking up some loose pebbles, the vegepygmy tosses a handful into Arimar's eyes, attempting toblind him, but the paladin often wades into combat with his eyes closed so suffers no ill effects.
vegepygmy 2, Dirty Trick vs Benaiah: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 8 + 2 = 27
vegepygmy 3, Dirty Trick vs Benaiah: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 8 + 2 = 22
Benaiah is not so lucky. Both vegepygmy team up to bind Benaiah's boots together causing him to become Entangled for 2 rounds.
vegepygmy 4, Dirty Trick vs Kaddren: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
Another vegepygmy boxes Kaddren's ears causing a ringing sensation. Try as he might, Kaddren cannot hear what his friends are saying to him for three rounds.
vegepygmy 5, Dirty Trick vs Gwen: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
The last vegepygmy dances around, under, and behind Gwen before showing her a sparkly prism whose light dazzles the halfling for two rounds.
All the vegepygmys retreat from their foes giggling heartily.
Kaddren Kn (Nature): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Gwendolyn Kn (all Kn skills): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17
Monster Lore vegepygmy
Up Next: Everyone
Combat: Round 1
- vegepygmy <=
- Kaddren <=
- Gwen <=
- Arimar <=
[ooc]Current Conditions: Benaiah -5 hp & Entangled (0/2); Kaddren -7hp & Deaf (0/3); Gwen -5hp & Dazzled (0/2) [/b]
You can attempt to hinder a foe in melee as a standard action. This maneuver covers any sort of situational attack that imposes a penalty on a foe for a short period of time. Examples include kicking sand into an opponent’s face to blind him for 1 round, pulling down an enemy’s pants to halve his speed, or hitting a foe in a sensitive spot to make him sickened for a round. The GM is the arbiter of what can be accomplished with this maneuver, but it cannot be used to impose a permanent penalty, and the results can be undone if the target spends a move action. If you do not have the Improved Dirty Trick feat or a similar ability, attempting a dirty trick provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver.
If your attack is successful, the target takes a penalty. The penalty is limited to one of the following conditions:
blinded, dazzled, deafened, entangled, shaken, or sickened.
This condition lasts for 1 round. For every 5 by which your attack exceeds your opponent’s CMD, the penalty lasts 1 additional round. This penalty can usually be removed if the target spends a move action. If you possess the Greater Dirty Trick feat, the penalty lasts for 1d4 rounds, plus 1 round for every 5 by which your attack exceeds your opponent’s CMD. In addition, removing the condition requires the target to spend a standard action.
|Gwendolyn "Cadence" Mehra|
The halfling stumbles back from the small, humanoid creature and rubs her eyes wildly with both hands. It only takes a moment for her to realize that she can do naught to improve her sight within the next few seconds, but also that it should not alter her ability to release a rousing song from the violin. Gwendolyn could play in the pitch dark on a rocking boat in the middle of a swelling sea without missing a beat, and so, here and now, a little uncomfortableness in her eyes would not prove much of a hindrance.
Pulling the delicate violin free, the bow is instantly in hand while a screeching song is resounding loudly off the walls of the cavern. For the first instant she plays a shrill note to drown out the disgusting, slathering noises coming from their assailants then quickly changes the tempo and pitch to more pleasantly guide her friends with steady beat and rousing arpeggio.
Move Action: draw violin
Standard Action: begin inspire courage
From what I remember of these guys... those are some f!*$ing powerful vegepygmies!
Arimar calmly draws his blade, advancing on an outer vegepygmy (charging if necessary, trying to get an edge one so Benaiah can do splash damage). "I don't know if you can understand, but it doesn't have to be like this," Arimar notes, "Retreat or die."
To illustrate his point, he slashes deeply into the nearest mold-creature.
Falchion, power attack, IC: 1d20 + 11 - 2 ⇒ (16) + 11 - 2 = 25
Falchion damage, power attack, IC: 2d4 + 7 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (1, 2) + 7 + 6 + 2 = 18
His attack complete, Arimar holds his blade back and points to the most obvious point of retreat. "Go. Or die." Giving them more than enough opportunity to save themselves... I hope Sarenrae approves.
|Benaiah the Heretic|
Benaiah, emboldened by the song that Gwen produces, strains against the moldy bindings around his feet. It takes a moment longer than he might have liked, but they easily burst, leaving a stain on the leather straps that interlace with the plate greaves. The big man reaches to a pouch on his hip that carries two currently inert greases and snaps the thin membrane that separates them. The concoctions gets warm in his hands immediately, bringing a smile to his face.
Stepping into the throw, Benaiah aims for a tight cluster of the little moldy freaks and puts his weight into his best fastball.
According to the dirty trick rules, I can spend a move action to remove the effect. Move action to become unentangled, 5' step forward, standard action to throw a bomb. I'll aim at the
one that gives me the most targets for splash damage, you will need to decide how many are adjacent to each other. RED ONE.
Ranged Splash Weapon, IC: 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 4 + 2 = 20
for Fire Damage, IC: 3d6 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (4, 3, 6) + 1 + 2 = 16 Only 1 splash damage to adjacent creatures. My INT drops to 12 when I am mutated... So maybe the splash damage isn't so big of a deal.
EDITED FOR MAP ADDITION! (Thanks GM!): 5' step shown on map, aiming for Red outlined mold freak...
Kaddren reels first from the claw that pierces into his favorite shirt, then from having his earplugs driven into his ears. He hastily shakes off the mold residue, Messaging to the party, as he takes in the tactical situation.
"I'm currently deafened, so if for some reason we need to run, please flail in an appropriate fashion. Also relevant, these creatures seem related to Vegepygmies: plants immune to electricity. These clearly aren't typical for their breed; can we agree to call them 'Vegemighties' if we survive this?"
5' step, ready an action to cast Grease, targeting so he can hit both Orange / Yellow if possible when they step up, otherwise just Yellow before it attacks
Cast Grease, Amplified, then use Dimensional Slide (Su!) to move 50' then right to the way the arrow is, assuming that's the entrance. Some tactically sound direction, otherwise.
For "miss / failure" chance, do you have a preferred way that we should roll? I'll let you make the arcane failure chance for Grease. If it goes off, it's Amplified to DC 19 if I can catch two, DC 17 otherwise
Moved Arimar into position. Attacking blue.