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The Pact Stone Pyramid (Inactive)

Game Master Pact Stone GM

A Pathfinder Module, converted from 3.5 to the Pathfinder system, with a party of level 7.


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Male Human Cleric/8
Donkor Sooron wrote:

1d10+5 Knowledge: Nature

1d10+5 Knowledge: Local

"My first instinct is to agree with that reasoning. It appears that you would be better served by a group of legal advisors than a group of adventurers. I'd be much happier knowing why you would go to this trouble and expense."

"And of course, speaking of expenses, what are you offering in return for this service? So far you seem to be offering spoils from a pyramid that you're not even sure exists."

With my various knowledge traits, is there anything I know about this pyramid, the ruins of Tumen, or Khymrasa?


Female Half-Elf Rogue (spy) 2/Druid (desert) 5

Donkoor You may want to re-check those rolls, you seem to have used d10s instead of d20s, or is there something I have frogotten about?

Knowledge (Nature)1d20 + 12 ⇒ (13) + 12 = 25
Knowledge (Local)1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14

Halstadt Morgrym wrote:
Hal frowns and looks at the Venture Captain. "Looking at our gathering I am not sure we are all well suited for infiltration. Moreover, if they have a lawful right to dig why are you interfering with what they are doing? What is it that you want so badly that we should break Osirion's laws to help you obtain it?"

"I can get us in anywhere, just tell me who, and they'll be eating out of my palm, I may even be able to start a riot amongst the workers if I try hard enough." Thalia says confidently, adding innocently, "they seem to happen a lot around me, it's not my fault though, people fall for me too easily, I can't be expected to be faithful to every single one of them, can I?"

"If the workers are fighting among themselves, how can they work?"

Thalia then seizes this opportunity to sidle up to the Venture Captain.

"You know, jobs like this are hard, harder to do than clearing out, say, an old ruin full of trolls. Is there anyway that you could give us anything to help us with this job?

Thalia's face portraying an innocence and her voice pleading.

Bluff = 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (10) + 13 = 23
Diplomacy = 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (17) + 14 = 31


Male Dwarf 5 Fighter/2 Rogue

As his fingers again trace the gouges in his shield a flood of memories rush into Breach’s mind. flashback

Spoiler:
It had been several years since the battle which marred the polished surface of the shining darkwood. He and several other members of the fighter’s guild had been dispatched to clean out a set of unused tunnels which had recently become home to a band of kobolds. Being the despicable, craven creatures they are the dwarves did not take the mission lightly. Kobolds are well known throughout the Underdark for their devious booby trapping and the violent defense of their lairs. It just so happened these particular kobolds had taken up residence in a particularly deep section of the dwarven mine shafts.

Unfortunately, far more dangerous things than pitfalls and kobolds lurk in the pitch of the Underdark. This particular tribe had fallen under the sway of a fiend by the name Ba’zazal, a cruel barbed devil intent on using the various lesser denizens in the area to expand his power over this section of the deep. The patrol did not know such an enemy lurked in their midst until the attack. All was going as most patrols of this nature tended to with the small skirmishes and disarming of rigged beams and arrow holes by the team’s sappers Daorgum and Bargest Hammersgun, brothers devoted to the art of the trap.

It was during one such instance things went wrong. Daorgum was attending to one of the devious tricks left by the kobolds when Ba’zazal launched his assault. Poor Daorgum never knew what had hit him. A muffled grunt from where Daorgum was working brought a burst of laughter from his brother who called out in jest to Daorgum about getting fingers caught in another rat trap. The laughter was quickly replaced horror when Daorgum failed to curse as he always did when his brother had gotten the best of him. Moving up to where his brother was, Bargest began to shout out to a word of warning at the sight of his brother’s shredded remains, his voice was cut short by the devil’s fearsome blow to his head. Being of incredible fortitude he managed to launch one vicious counter with his waraxe before falling dead to the floor.

The axe had bitten deeply into the fiends side just as it called out to its kobolds to attack causing it to erupt in fury and pain. Giving the brave dwarf’s body a kick, Bargest came to rest at the feet of his friends and kin. Rage erupted from the stout defenders lips shaking the very walls of the cavern with their power. Kobolds began to fall to axe and hammer like wheat before the scythe. Crashing like a wave in the fray, Breach smashed and chopped his way to the fiend calling out a challenge to face him in combat. Being the conceited beings devils are, Ba’zazal could not resist taunting Breach, in the dwarven tongue no less.

In attempt to catch Breach off guard, the devil struck mid sentence. In a flurry of whipping spikes, Breach was set upon by Ba’zazal’s furious assault. Fending off the attacks with his mighty shield,Skullhammer, but taking others, Breach continued to valiantly counter attack. One exceptionally strong blow from the devil smashed into Breach’s shield driving him into the ground. Taking this time to gloat over what he thought would be the final blow in their battle, Ba’zazal strode forward standing above the kneeling dwarf. Raising his arm high for the winning strike, Ba’zazal was suddenly blasted with an amazing burst of divine fire from the group’s cleric, Halstadt Morgrym. Though he was younger than the others he had displayed a keen knack for the divine calling and was again proving this in his conduction of Angradd’s gifts.

Not missing a beat, Breach flew from the cavern floor cleaving the beast with hacking blows from his waraxe, Shinsplitter, and allowing the momentum of the second blow to deliver a spinning backhand with, Skullhammer. The first two blows had unbalanced the fiend leaving it propped against the shaft’s wall by the time Skullhammer reached its head. Earning its name that day, Skullhammer struck with such force the devil’s head nearly exploded being forced half way into the wall showering the combatants in gore and stone. Staggering back into a battle stance, Breach let forth a roar of triumph which shook the last of the kobolds and other beast to their core.
As the beast slipped to the ground, the sound of warhorns blasted the cavern and a flood of dwarven warriors swept in to drive out the remaining attackers.

Stumbling over to his foe, Breach saw seven of his friends lying lifeless on the cool stone. Chopping seven of the devils cruelest, stoutest barbs from its body, Breach tucked them into his pack. Two months after the battle, Breach had finally begun to recover to his full capacity. Thinking again over the attack, Breach was jarred back to the present by a knock at his door. “Welcome and enter.”, he called. Striding through the door was one of the more promising smithy apprentices carrying a burlap covered package. Setting the package on a chair and backing away with a gleam of anticipation in his eyes, the young smith watched as Breach walked forward. Standing before the burlap covered disc, Breach’s hand quivered as he pulled the cover back.

Sitting the before him was Skullhammer, newly outfitted to be readied quickly. Around the edge, set in a rim of fine mithral were Ba’zazal’s seven spines. Skullhammer’s main body had been reworked, the darkwood now appeared to be a single, solid, and smooth piece of highly polished black-green wood. The gouges of the devil’s claws remained running the width of the shield’s face. Finishing off the shield were seven red stars with adjoining tips painted on the face and a shortsword scabbard with a fine mithral sword housed within. Picking up the work of beauty, Breach could feel the power run through him forcing a smile to part his thick lips. “How it will be good to be adventuring again.”, he thought to himself.

”How good it will be.”, Breach says to everyone and no one at the same time with a look of reminiscence in his eyes.


Male Dwarf 5 Fighter/2 Rogue

Having heard the Captain's words, Breach strokes the many braids adorning his beard. "I care little for man's laws, but Halstadt does have point 'ere, Captain. All I need is a reason other than you wantin' some things and I'll be happy. That reason better include a handsome sum for my coffer on top ah that, too."


Male Dwarf Barbarian (Breaker) 8

In Dwarven:
Karek smiles. I'm willing to give the orc the benefit of the doubt - until he starts casting hostile spells, anyway. Watch that elf-witch, though. She reeks of bad news.

I will protect you to the best of my ability, brothers. But remember, Halstadt - I am older than you.

Knowledge (Nature)1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24

Krenshars. Nasty things. Karek had seen a few on the way down. Mostly of the "you don't bother it, it won't bother you" variety of beast.

To be honest, Captain Krenshar had Karek at "wrecking things". He didn't have a clue where anything was in this town, had nowhere to go, and he would be damned if he was going to use magic to find his quarry. He might as well get some jobs and earn some notoriety - maybe she would come to him. Besides, construction and sabotage were his strong points. He was about to mention something to that effect, but Halstadt had spoken first. He decided to take his cue from Breach, and looked toward his elder for his final answer.


Male Human Wizard Level 8 - Conjurer

Several roles to see if Moonpate knows anything about the pyramid, dig site, the Pact Stone, or those involved.
Knowledge: History 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
Knowledge: Local 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
Knowledge: Nobility 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26
Knowledge: Geography 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
Knowledge: Arcana 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (13) + 14 = 27
Knowldege: Nature 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
Knowledge: Religion 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15

"Ms. Thalia's idea and confidence in her, umm, considerable charms, has merit; but I believe multiple strategies will provide the greatest effect. As my master was wont to say, "The devil tempts all men, but idle or wicked men tempt the devil". With some trickery and judicious spells I can bring the devil to camp to provide some more mayhem. I can approach the mistress Khymrasa under the truthful pretense of seeking knowledge about gen legends in the area and the almost certain presence of current gen activity. For such a dig in such an ancient place will surely arouse the curiosity of djinn, janni, or worse. If successful, I will be in the position to, umm, encourage what fate will befall this dig site. I have no desire to see this Pact Stone fall into the clutches of an Osirian despot."


What would I know about this pyramid, Ahn’Selota? Also, what would I know about the item inside the pyramid?
1d1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
1d1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28
1d1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
1d1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
1d1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
1d1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16

"Well, that's quite an expedition Venture-Captain. Is Khymrasa looking for this same item? If not, then what is the purpose of her dig?", Jason asks.

"And what about these spies of yours? Can they be trusted? I don't want to watch my back with these two. I want assurances that they are trustworthy", Jason says...thinking of the setup his last team endured.


Donkor Sooron wrote:


With my various knowledge traits, is there anything I know about this pyramid, the ruins of Tumen, or Khymrasa?

OOC:

Mmmmmmm - love where your heads at.

I have information on Ahn'Selota and the Four Pharaohs of Ascensions available in the event of a successful Knowledge (history) check. The success DC is on a graduated basis of DC 10, 15, 20 and 25.

This is potentially an important role as I won't permit re-tries unless there is a serious material change of circumstances. A couple of options to consider before the dice fly:

1. It's possible for the egg-heads to coordinate here and work together using the Aid Another option (a DC 10 check to add a +2 modifier to the primary roller - max 3 contributors for a possible total of +6). But if you are aiding, that counts as your shot.

2. Donkor is currently sitting in the Kothi which has one of the higher-end libraries of Osiriontology out there. (It is not, by far though, the best) If someone were to spend a handful of hours in research in the Kothi's library facility, I see a +4 circumstance bonus. The library isn't necessarily open to non-Pathfinders, but Moonpate currently has an in - and of course there's a VC a few feet away who can make things like that happen pretty easily.

I could see though, that given Donkor's significant doubts about participating in Venture Captain Krenshar's offering, Donkor might not be interested in waiting or investing hours of research time. I can see a scenario in which you might want to know what Donkor knows now in order to help him evaluate his decision in the next few minutes. Yech, tough choices already.

3. Heh - what happens if you blow the roll? I'm not sure I can process the idea of someone with an academic background going through the Veinstone pyramid in "Entombed with the Pahraohs", coming out alive, and not knowing anything about the Four Pharaohs of Ascension.

4. I'd take a Knowledge (local - Osirion) check for information on Khymrasa to get the 'skinny' on her overall reputation (DC 15). An alternate strategy is to use the Gather Information function of Diplomacy. This would involve poking around Sothis for a few hours and the success would be graduated.

5. I'd also take a DC 15 Knowledge (geography) check to provide some information respecting the Ruins of Tumen. Don't get too excited here though, the real stuff is found in that Knowledge (history) check.

P.S. I'm just giving a few more folks the chance to post their reaction to VC Krenshar before he engages the responses so far. I plan (hope) to post late tonight. We're still deep in the process of feeling everyone out to get a sense of what is too fast and what is too slow.


Ah zut!

Moonpate and Jason are rolling away while I'm typing out die conditions.

@Moon: If you want you can scrub those, and use one of the options I've indicated above - particularly as the library is already open to you. There's even a comfy chair which has permanent Moonpate dents in it. You can instead though choose to go it alone and without the library and just keep your rolls. Several of them won't apply unless you have specific questions for me.

@Jason: Since you haven't indicated which rolls go with which skill, maybe we'll just scrub those. Sorry about that, it's not lost on me that some of those are pretty sweet rolls. You'll be owed some good karma.

If anyone else fires Knowledge rolls at me, I'm assuming you are passing on any of the above special options.


Q. What the heck is a Pathfinder?

The term Pathfinder is confusing to some because it refers to different things in different contexts. It is, of course, the name of the actual role-playing game we are playing. It is also a brand of game products put out by the gaming company Paizo. For our main purposes though, it also refers to a fictional semi-secret organization called the Pathfinder Society that operates in our gaming world of Golarion. One short way to explain what the Pathfinder Society is share this excerpt from “Entombed with the Pharaohs” (another Pathfinder module set in Osirion):

PATHFINDER SOCIETY

Part cartographer, part explorer, but all treasure hunter, the free-spirited Pathfinders of Golarion exhibit the very best of the classic adventurer’s creed: to immerse themselves in the unknown while turning a tidy profit. Although individual Pathfinders are as eclectic as adventurers come, they all agree that few honors rank higher than making a contribution to the secretive guild’s legendary Pathfinder Chronicles. This archive of journals contains the unearthed secrets and exploits of some of the Pathfinder Society’s greatest members. Any map or treatise marked with the covert Pathfinder logo no doubt originated in danger and is guaranteed to be accurate and to lead anyone who follows it headlong into adventure.

The Pathfinder Society also keeps a number of Pathfinder lodges throughout the world where their membership can rest, train and study. These lodges themselves can be quite fascinating places to explore. There is such a lodge in Sothis, which is where our game is going to begin. The lodge is called “The Kothi”.

Two of our PCs (Jason and Gandel) are actual members of the Pathfinder Society. The rest of you will be there by invitation of one of the Societies’ Venture Captains. A Venture Captain is position of authority, often with responsibility over a particular geographic area. Since Venture Captains typically have to deal with adventurers, you can imagine their lives are particularly difficult.


Drat! That will teach me to hurry a post while I'm at work. I should probably have waited until lunch. :)

Knowledge (history) 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5

Jason will probably spend some time gathering information about Khymrasa in the city (using Diplomacy). I suppose I'll just make that roll after we are done talking to Venture Captain Krenshar.


As soon as the Venture Captain finishes his explanation the invitees raise a series of objections. Halstadd is the first, and perhaps the most vocal:

Quote:
Hal frowns and looks at the Venture Captain. "Looking at our gathering I am not sure we are all well suited for infiltration. Moreover, if they have a lawful right to dig why are you interfering with what they are doing? What is it that you want so badly that we should break Osirion's laws to help you obtain it?"

Krenshar pauses for a fraction of a second, as though stunned into silence. But then he recovers, reminding himself that he is not dealing with Pathfinders as he might in the normal course.

"My apologies Mr. Morgrym. There appears to have been a rather grave misunderstanding and I fear I have wasted your time. Please be assured I will take this up with the gentleman who recommended you for this matter on our mutual behalf. I won't delay you any further. If you would exit through those doors there, my steward, Mr. Havren will kindly escort you from the Kothi. If you require any provisions, don't hesitate to ask Mr. Havren and he will see to your return trip."

Krenshar looks towards the double doors Hal entered, as though guiding him towards the way out. Donkor Soroon however, is quick to lend his support to the dwarven holy warrior's concerns:

Quote:
"My first instinct is to agree with [Halstadd's] reasoning. It appears that you would be better served by a group of legal advisors than a group of adventurers. I'd be much happier knowing why you would go to this trouble and expense."

”It is difficult for me to explain to an outsider, Mr. Sooron,” says Krenshar, “but I answer to a body called the Decemvirate. When they ask for something, I happily go to the trouble.

Breach too joins the chorus of dissatisfaction. The idea of running free errands for an outfit he has never heard of holds little appeal:

Quote:
"I care little for man's laws, but Halstadt does have point 'ere, Captain. All I need is a reason other than you wantin' some things and I'll be happy. That reason better include a handsome sum for my coffer on top ah that, too."

Now that the issue of money is raised, Donkor too expresses a similar sentiment:

Quote:
"And of course, speaking of expenses, what are you offering in return for this service? So far you seem to be offering spoils from a pyramid that you're not even sure exists."

The Venture Captain appears torn. For a moment, he seems inclined to show the entire room the door, but he finds patience and reverts to his charming self, as he makes a final last ditch attempt:

"This is something of a first for me. I hope this will not be perceived as an affront to you two. I feel as though were I to offer you money I would be retaining mercenaries, which is not my intention here. I can tell you that if the dig site is indeed the fabled Pact Stone Pyramid, the treasures inside should be more than enough incentive for those interested in money. Also, we often coordinate with our members to help them sell relics to discreet buyers which has made many of our members rather well off. Perhaps Mr. Trapspringer here can give a testimonial as to the kinds of aid we have provided historically. If that's not enough though, then the two of you might want to re-evaluate whether this is an opportunity you genuinely want to pursue. I was an adventurer myself for many years before age caught up with me. I won't lie to you: there are definitely easier ways to make a living than this line of work.”

Krenshar continues: “The Decemvirate pursues artifacts of legend for the benefit of mankind. It is hard to express to one who is not of our mindset but the success of our future as a people lies in our knowledge of the past. The idea of recovering a piece of history - and becoming part of that history - is a momentous thing. Our creed distilled:

'To liberate the Past for the knowledge of today; to live the maxim that fortune is earned by the bold; to prove there are no boundaries.'

Those who would stay, I envy you. The rest of you, please accept assistance from Mr. Havren.”


Thalia suddenly interjects, brightening the Venture Captain's hopes that the expedition has not yet been scuttled before it has even begun:

Quote:

"I can get us in anywhere, just tell me who, and they'll be eating out of my palm, I may even be able to start a riot amongst the workers if I try hard enough." Thalia says confidently, adding innocently, "they seem to happen a lot around me, it's not my fault though, people fall for me too easily, I can't be expected to be faithful to every single one of them, can I?"

"If the workers are fighting among themselves, how can they work?"

"You see, this is why Sarakus persuaded me that this expedition could not succeed without your presence." He then adds, "A good Venture Captain never presumes to tell those he dispatches how to accomplish their goals lest he limit their ingenuity, so I leave the details as to how the dig might be delayed to your rather cunning mind."

Moonpate is the next to "weigh" in:

Quote:
"Ms. Thalia's idea and confidence in her, umm, considerable charms, has merit; but I believe multiple strategies will provide the greatest effect. As my master was wont to say, "The devil tempts all men, but idle or wicked men tempt the devil". With some trickery and judicious spells I can bring the devil to camp to provide some more mayhem. I can approach the mistress Khymrasa under the truthful pretense of seeking knowledge about gen legends in the area and the almost certain presence of current gen activity. For such a dig in such an ancient place will surely arouse the curiosity of djinn, janni, or worse. If successful, I will be in the position to, umm, encourage what fate will befall this dig site. I have no desire to see this Pact Stone fall into the clutches of an Osirian despot."

"Ah! The Potentate! It sounds like a few of you have much to discuss. I will require you to leave tonight, in order to have you in the field as soon as possible. However, I have put aside a private chamber for you to plan your journey over a feast before setting out into the desert."

OOC: Just FYI Phrip, in case it matters, Krenshar has not actually said that you are looking for something called the Pact Stone. Only that the pyramid Ahn'Selota is known as "The Pact Stone Pyramid". In fact, it will become increasingly clear he's not sure what Hoffenburrow and the Decemvirate are after.

"Perhaps first we should clarify who has signed on before hammering out such details. Spoiled by my usual loyalists in the past, I did not anticipate that some of the invitees would have such reservations. In hindsight this is more than understandable, but it would make sense to answer their questions so they can make a decision as free-men before we plan in front of them."


Thalia continued:

Quote:
"You know, jobs like this are hard, harder to do than clearing out, say, an old ruin full of trolls. Is there anyway that you could give us anything to help us with this job?"

Indeed I can. When you arrive at the site, you will also have the support of one of my finest agents. I've also arranged for the Emporium, one of Sothi's finest stables, to have our expedition outfitted with top quality camels. Mr. Trapspringer, if you could be so kind as to look after this? (He proffers a scroll). It bears my seal and explains to the Emporium that the Kothi will see to the group's expenses.

Last to speak is Jason:

Quote:
"Well, that's quite an expedition Venture-Captain. Is Khymrasa looking for this same item?"

DC 15 Sense Motive:

Spoiler:

Krenshar did not recognize Jason when he came in. Now that he sees him he is troubled by his presence.

DC 25 Sense Motive:

Spoiler:

Kerenshar's concern is more fatherly or protective than conspiratorial. You suspect he wants Jason out of danger.

"Is that Mr. Belleson? I didn't realize you were coming after all." (He pauses.) It's rather fortuitous. Remind me that there is a matter I need to speak to you about afterwards.

Krenshar smiles again - perhaps his first grin so far that is truly genuine as opposed to diplomatic. "Your question of course is the most astute of all. And although I cannot say for certain, I believe the answer is 'No'. What Hoffenburrow and the Decemvirate are after has nothing to do with Khymrasa. It should be possible to get what Hoffenburrow wants and leave her to comb the pyramid over for whatever it is that she wants."

Quote:
If [she is] not [looking for the same item], then what is the purpose of her dig?", Jason asks.

That I don't know and to be brutally honest I don't particularly care - she can have whatever bauble she seeks. Perhaps the Potente is right - maybe she seeks a Pact Stone. But I can see why you would want to know what she is up to - I can understand why it could be necessary to properly perform your rather nuanced task. I would expect my agent on-site to have this kind of detail by now. You would be wise to review it with her.

This final comment causes Jason to raise a further subject which is bothering him:

Quote:
"And what about these spies of yours? Can they be trusted? I don't want to watch my back with these two. I want assurances that they are trustworthy", Jason says...thinking of the setup his last team endured.

Krenshar nods slowly and then raises a finger:

"While that's an appropriate topic, it's not one I think we should discuss until I at least know who is on board. As you say, this is an issue of trust - I fear I may have compromised the expedition already by being overly presumptuous with my invitations. Gentlemen, this is not a sales pitch - 'in' or 'out'?"

[OOC: Oh goodness - I can't wait for this conversation to sprawl! Yikes! Have at er guys! Happy Friday.]


Male Dwarf Barbarian (Breaker) 8

Let's put this in while I evaluate this information...

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (19) + 13 = 32


Male Dwarf Cleric 8

Sense Motive - 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20

"I did not say I was not interested in this venture, Captain. I did not come all this way for a cup of tea and a tour of this city. I also had no intention of walking into this blindly without at least some idea of what it is you seek. The priest who follows blindly and does not question is a fanatic and Angradd values free thinkers moreover I wished to enter this task with my eyes open. I hope you can respect that. I accept that you are a visionary and assume this quest to benefit mankind includes all the goodly races. With that said, I will accept this task".


Female Half-Elf Rogue (spy) 2/Druid (desert) 5

Sense Motive = 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11

[EDIT]Looks like that offering of antipasto and fine turkish bread wasn't enough for the dice gods.[/EDIT]

Thalia pouts a little at the Venture Captain's offering, but comes to the conclusion that this is the best she will get from him, turning her attention to the handsome Jason, making small talk and giggling cutely at all his small quips and jokes.


Male Dwarf Barbarian (Breaker) 8

Karek eyes Jason and the Captain with interest for a moment, but the offer of excitement moves him to action.

I knew I c'd be relyin' on ye, Halstadd! Breach? Howzad s'nd? Keepin' and makin' hisdrey and all? And plendy o' trezzure - er, likely! As good a reason as any, eh?

Karek steps forward and extends his hand to the Venture Captain.

Karek Kogan, ad yer serbice.

To Breach:

Dwarven:
You might as well come along. Don't need Halstadt and me getting into any trouble, now do you?


Male Human Cleric/8

Okay, it seems like Donkor needs to make some quick decisions about what to do, so although I appreciate your taking the time to type out the other options, I am going to take the knowledge checks now:

1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18 Knowledge: History
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24 Knowledge: Local
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8 Knowledge: Geography
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23 Sense Motive

Okay, not great rolls, but livable. I should learn 2 levels of Ahn'Selota and the Four Pharaohs, a fair chunk on Khymrasa, and little about the ruins. I will await the information before I respond in character, and also contemplate my Phylactery of Faithfulness before I agree to accept the job and make sure that my alignment and standing with Pharasma won't be effected. Hopefully the others will be able to glean more info.


Male Dwarf Barbarian (Breaker) 8

I could possibly assist somebody with a Knowledge (History) check, if it applies in any way to Dwarven history.

Should I make a Knowledge (Architecture) check about about the pyramid now, or do you want to wait for that?


Male Dwarf 5 Fighter/2 Rogue

"I am more 'en happy to liberate any 'mount of treasure you'n be needin' so long as we are given our fair share, Krenshar. An' if we are merely seekin' ta beat out ano'her group of treasure hounds I am sure 'is 'll not violate any of our dwarven principles. So you can count our axes 'mongst yer team."


Male Half-orc Barbarian (Invulnerable Rager) 4 / Sorcerer 1/Dragon Disciple 3

"This pyramid sounds like it holds enough items of value and power to be worth the effort. Hurgah the Reaver accepts the task."


Female Half-Elf Rogue (spy) 2/Druid (desert) 5

Feel free to throw in Marice later if you want, GM, would make an interesting moment for my character. Just a forethought.

Thalia turns away from her next conquest, and turns toward the Venture Captain.

"So you want to know if I'm in, well, there's a very large and very angry woman looking for me, and this will put me out of her reach...I hope...and I guess I gave my word to Sarakus to see this through." Thalia pauses for dramatic effect. "I'm in. But don't expect me to get dirty!"

Thalia sighs and absent mindedly fidgets with her necklace again.


Donkor Sooron wrote:

Okay, it seems like Donkor needs to make some quick decisions about what to do, so although I appreciate your taking the time to type out the other options, I am going to take the knowledge checks now:

1d20+5 Knowledge: History
1d20+5 Knowledge: Local
1d20+5 Knowledge: Geography
1d20+8 Sense Motive

Okay, not great rolls, but livable. I should learn 2 levels of Ahn'Selota and the Four Pharaohs, a fair chunk on Khymrasa, and little about the ruins. I will await the information before I respond in character, and also contemplate my Phylactery of Faithfulness before I agree to accept the job and make sure that my alignment and standing with Pharasma won't be effected. Hopefully the others will be able to glean more info.

That sounds about right. I'll try to get those results out to you tonight - they are sitting on my hard drive (I mean my other shell.)

Donkor's phylactery of faithfulness does not provide any guidance on this occassion.

Your deity's teaching on this would probably be pretty nuanced - I don't envy you. Pharasma's teachings are probably not particularly keen on the idea of disturbing a pyramid which is really just a giant place of rest (not that that stopped Donkor before). But on the other hand certain kinds of undead lurk in pyramids which are abominations which need to be actively sought out and destroyed. Finally, the whole knowledge aspect of Pharasma suggests learning about the ancients is considered a worthy goal and what better way to do it than with first hand exploration by a religius authority.


Karek Kogan wrote:

I could possibly assist somebody with a Knowledge (History) check, if it applies in any way to Dwarven history.

Should I make a Knowledge (Architecture) check about about the pyramid now, or do you want to wait for that?

No link to dwarven history, I'm afraid.

Interesting idea! If you can roll something really stupendous I can toss you an interesting bit of architectural lore about the Four Pharaohs of Ascension and pyramid construction. But otherwise, you need to be actively assessing the structure to discern anything of note.

P.S. For a DC 0 check, I'll mention that pyramids often look like really big d4's.


Male Dwarf Barbarian (Breaker) 8
Breach Shattershield wrote:
"So you can count our axes 'mongst yer team."

Karek hefts his massive hammer. Sood yerself, Shaddershield.

Worth a shot. I seem to have been rolling well. Knowledge (Architecture):1d20 + 13 ⇒ (7) + 13 = 20


Male Human Wizard Level 8 - Conjurer

I'll keep my original knowledge check rolls, but will wait in the future for the conditions to post. Also, I will try to remember the Aid Another in the future.

Krenshar wrote:
"Ah! The Potentate! It sounds like a few of you have much to discuss. I will require you to leave tonight, in order to have you in the field as soon as possible. However, I have put aside a private chamber for you to plan your journey over a feast before setting out into the desert."

Feast did you say! Here that Gandel? As my master frequently said, "If the pot is cooking, the friendship will stay warm". I will definitely accept this intriguing quest. Besides, this venture will well serve my aspirations to become an honored Daivrat.


Male Dwarf Cleric 8
Moonpate wrote:
Feast did you say! Here that Gandel? As my master frequently said, "If the pot is cooking, the friendship will stay warm". I will definitely accept this intriguing quest. Besides, this venture will well serve my aspirations to become an honored Daivrat.

"A feast with no ale is no feast at all! We will be having massive quantities to wash all that food down no?" Hal's stomach grumbles at the thought of his last fine meal prior to leaving the Temple of Angradd.


Breach Shattershield wrote:
As his fingers again trace the gouges in his shield a flood of memories rush into Breach’s mind. flashback ** spoiler omitted **...

Also, before I forget, Breach's flashback scene was pretty groovy, BTW. I think that shield's going to evolve into a true signature weapon, if it hasn't already.


Sense Motive 1d20 ⇒ 11

"Venture Captain Kranshar, I am at your service in regards to this mission.", Jason replies with a nod to Kranshar's last statement.

"You may trust that whatever is spoken in this room will be treated in the strictest confidence.", he continues with a glance around the room.


KNOWLEDGE (HISTORY): AHN’SELOTA AND THE FOUR PHARAOHS

DC 5:

Spoiler:
During Osirion’s Age of the Black Sphinx in –1500 AR, ancient Osirion was, for a time, ruled by a union of four god-kings known as the Four Pharaohs of Ascension. The pharaohs commanded their subjects to build Ahn’Selota, a pyramid somewhere near their capital of Tumen. Legends state that Ahn'Selota was the very centerpiece of the pharaohs' empire.

DC 10:

Spoiler:
The Four Pharaohs of Ascension were Anok Fero the Cerulean Pharaoh, Hetshepsu the Fiend Pharaoh, Ankana the Radiant Pharaoh, and the Pharaoh of Numbers, whose true name has been lost to time. Although each pharaoh brought different strengths to their alliance, each was the equal of the other.

DC 15:

Spoiler:
Legends say that the Four Pharaohs were bound by a magical pact that intertwined their fates: they lived together, ruled together, and were fated to die together. Each year the four pharaohs would return to Ahn’Selota and renew their mystic bond using an artifact known as the Pact Stone. (Hey maybe Moonpate knows what he's talking about!)


KNOWLEDGE (LOCAL-OSIRION): EXEMPLAR KHYMRASA

A few points:

  • If your PC hasn’t spent significant time in Osirion, your PC’s Knowledge (local) does not assist you here. (@Gandel – since Osiriontology is kinda his thing, I think his Knowledge (local) will count in this case.)

  • I said DC 15 above, but since we’ve got some serious Knowledge (local) rolls going on here, I’ve put in a little something extra for the high rollers at DC 20 & 25.

  • If you choose, you can substitute Knowledge (nobility) for your Knowledge (local) role as Khymrasa is a noble.

    DC 15:

    Spoiler:
    Exemplar Khymrasa is the extremely rich daughter of a prominent noble. She has been spoiled to an extreme. She’s a natural beauty, but she’s not known for her intellect or courage. Nor is she reputed to have any mystical power. Commanding a significant expedition such as this is almost out of character. Perhaps she’s finally decided to apply herself to something.

    DC 20:

    Spoiler:
    Did I mention she’s really rich? More recently, Exemplar Kyhmrasa has taken up the study of Osiriontology. A peculiar interest for one with no academic leanings or talent.

    DC 25:

    Spoiler:
    She's got a lot of mullah and by mullah I mean money. Also, there are strange rumors afoot that Khymrasa has recently been cultivating unusual allies. Some say she has retained the legendary Sand Sage, one of Osirion’s foremost Osiriontologists. Others whisper that she has been in contact with the Shrine of Horns, a sect of Asmodean monks from Egorian, Cheliax. Neither of these possibilities make particular sense.

    Geez, I'm giving up major plot points here!


  • Male Human Cleric/8

    "Pardon me venture captain. Perhaps I should have explained my concerns more thoroughly. I did not wish to cause offense."

    "I am still curious as to why your Decemvirate is willing to break laws in order to find the item they seek, but Pharasma knows that Her plan supercedes any laws of man."

    "I am more concerned that we may make the effort in vain. I have, as you know, explored a pyramid of the Four Pharaohs in the past. In that case, the pyramid was exceptionally well hidden. It did not even exist on this plane until a relic was used to summon it. It would not seem unlikely to expect similar precautions in the case of Ahn'Selota. Further, the esteemed Khymrasa's reputation is not one that...engenders confidence in her competency a scholar or explorer. All of this together makes me fear that the journey may be for nought."

    "However, the possibilities are great indeed if she has stumbled onto the real thing. I am therefore willing to undertake your cause, and join with these other enthusiastic men and women to set forth this evening."

    "A couple of other questions arise: Do you know how close she is, or thinks she is, to uncovering the pyramid? Is she aware that there are competing interests who might be set against her? What sort of complement of guards and workmen can we expect to find there? You say she has the support of Osirion's council. Will they have representatives there as well?"


    Male Halfling Bard (Archivist) 6 / Pathfinder Delver 2

    Apologies for my absence since Wednesday! Catching up now.

    First, for the spoilers in VC Krenshar's profile, Gandel automatically succeeds on a DC 10 Knowledge (arcana or nature) check, as well as a DC 10 Knowledge (local - Osirion) check

    Knowledge (history) for information on Ahn'Selota and the Four Pharaohs of Ascension: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (14) + 12 = 26

    Knowlege (geography) DC 15 for information regarding the ruins of Tumen: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15

    Knowledge (local - Osirion) for information on Khymrasa - Gandel will use his Lore Master ability to take 20 on a Knowledge check once per day for a total check of 29.

    Venture Captain Krenshar wrote:
    "So," [Krenshar] claps his hands together, who wants to sign-on and who will be ready to leave this evening?"

    Before the Venture Captain can complete the question, Gandel's hand is in the air. "Ahn'Selota, the fabled Pact Stone Pyramid of the Four Pharaohs of Ascension?! You know I'm in, Chief! Just let me grab my pack and I can leave right now!" the halfling says excitedly.

    Once his fellow adventurers accept Venture Captain Krenshar's mission, Gandel shares a bit of information with them.

    "During Osirion’s Age of the Black Sphinx in –1500 AR, ancient Osirion was, for a time, ruled by a union of four god-kings known as the Four Pharaohs of Ascension," Gandel begins in the tones of a lecturer. "The Four Pharaohs of Ascension were Anok Fero the Cerulean Pharaoh, Hetshepsu the Fiend Pharaoh, Ankana the Radiant Pharaoh, and the Pharaoh of Numbers, whose true name has been lost to time. Although each pharaoh brought different strengths to their alliance, each was the equal of the other."

    Gandel unrolls one of the parchments he carried into the meeting to reveal a map. "The Four Pharaohs commanded their subjects to build Ahn’Selota, a pyramid somewhere near their capital of Tumen. Here," he says, pointing to the location of the ruins of Tumen on the map. "Legends state that Ahn'Selota was the centerpiece of the Four Pharaohs' empire. The Four Pharaohs were supposedly bound by a magical pact that intertwined their fates: they lived together, ruled together, and were fated to die together. Each year the Four Pharaohs would return to Ahn'Selota and renew their mystic bond using an artifact known as the Pact Stone."


    Male Halfling Bard (Archivist) 6 / Pathfinder Delver 2
    Donkor Sooron wrote:
    "I am more concerned that we may make the effort in vain. I have, as you know, explored a pyramid of the Four Pharaohs in the past. In that case, the pyramid was exceptionally well hidden. It did not even exist on this plane until a relic was used to summon it. It would not seem unlikely to expect similar precautions in the case of Ahn'Selota. Further, the esteemed Khymrasa's reputation is not one that...engenders confidence in her competency a scholar or explorer. All of this together makes me fear that the journey may be for nought."

    "I wouldn't exactly sell Khymrasa short there, Master Sooron. There may be more going on with her than meets the eye," Gandel says in response to Donkor's dismissiveness of the woman. "For those of you who don't know, Exemplar Khymrasa is the extremely rich daughter of a prominent noble. She's been spoiled to an extreme. She’s a natural beauty, but she’s not known for her intellect or courage. Nor is she reputed to have any mystical power. So commanding a significant expedition such as this is almost out of character. But did I mention that she's really rich? The word from people in the know is that she's taken up the study of Osiriontology - I know, a peculiar interest for one with no academic leanings or talent. But I've also heard some strange rumors that Khymrasa's recently been cultivating unusual allies. Some say she's retained the legendary Sand Sage, one of Osirion’s foremost Osiriontologists. Others whisper that she's been in contact with the Shrine of Horns, a sect of Asmodean monks from Egorian in Cheliax. But neither of these possibilities really make particular sense."


    Male Dwarf 5 Fighter/2 Rogue

    "In my own experience, Gandel, when ya got some'ne who ain't too qualified in charge of somethin' beyond their ability, they usually aren't the ones at the reigns.",Breach says speaking upon the subject for the first time being that this is a foreign land of which he has little knowledge. "But, I can assure ya it's ne'er good when ya got a puppet master. More an one of them types have caused 'eir fair share ah problems in the Underdark. My shield bares the evidence of that to be sure. If any of 'em devil worshippers is lurking about, you can be sure there's deeper problems in our future than some rich idiot's daughter."


    Gandel wrote:

    Knowledge (local - Osirion) for information on Khymrasa - Gandel will use his Lore Master ability to take 20 on a Knowledge check once per day for a total check of 29.

    Holy crap! I should probably throw in her brand of toothpaste.


    Looks like Gandel has accessed a couple more tiers of Knowledge (History):

    KNOWLEDGE (HISTORY): AHN’SELOTA AND THE FOUR PHARAOHS CONTINUED

    DC 20:

    Spoiler:
    Reliable information on Ahn’Selota is almost impossible to come by. In order to protect the secrets within the pyramid, the Four Pharaohs made it a crime to record the pyramid’s location in writing. It is said that ordinary citizens of Tumen were forbidden to even speak of the pyramid’s existence, even though it may have rested very close to the city itself.

    DC 25:

    Spoiler:
    Osiriontologists have virtually no information as to where the Pact Stone came from or how it was made. Some have theorized that the source of the Four Pharaohs’ pact magic was inspired by dark magic originating from the planet Aucturn. Aucturn was intensely studied by the Pharaoh of Numbers, an astronomer and an architect with talents centuries ahead of his time.


    Knowledge (Architecture): A Few Words on Pyramids

    DC 15:

    Spoiler:
    Osirion’s pyramids exhibited an impressive level of engineering and design that was out of keeping with the level of science and mathematics prevalent at the time of their construction.

    DC 20:

    Spoiler:
    A pharaoh known as the Pharaoh of Numbers (or perhaps his designer) was known for incorporating the numbers 11 and 52 into pyramid architecture. 11 and 56 repeated an inordinate number of times, such as the number of columns or in the measurements used by the builders.

    Well that one was fun if not frustratingly vague. Good idea Karek!


    The Venture Captain attempts to field additional questions from Donkor.

    Donkor Sooron wrote:
    "A couple of other questions arise: Do you know how close she is, or thinks she is, to uncovering the pyramid?"

    "I'm told she's actively digging right now. We've got to slow that down, at least until Hoffenburrow gets here."

    Donkor Sooron wrote:
    Is she aware that there are competing interests who might be set against her?

    "Probably not, you should have the element of surprise. But if I were digging up one of the greatest archeological finds of our time, I'd certainly be on the lookout."

    Donkor Sooron wrote:
    What sort of complement of guards and workmen can we expect to find there?

    "My agent can better help you with the specifics when you arrive. But we know she's got a slave army out there. You don't unearth an entire pyramid without a lot of people or powerful magics."

    Donkor Sooron wrote:
    You say she has the support of Osirion's council. Will they have representatives there as well?"

    "No, I wouldn't think so. I just reinforce that so you don't do anything crazy like kill an Exemplar and bring the nations weight down upon you." He glances suspiciously at some of the scarier looking members of the party. (You know who you are!)


    I didn’t see any successful DC 20 Knowledge Geography checks. But those of you who hit DC 15 can place the ruins of Tumen on a map and (in theory) find your way there.


    Moonpate wrote:

    Feast did you say! Here that Gandel? As my master frequently said, "If the pot is cooking, the friendship will stay warm". I will definitely accept this intriguing quest. Besides, this venture will well serve my aspirations to become an honored Daivrat.

    At hearing yet another master-ism from Moonpate, the Venture Captain smiles, "Would that one day I finally meet the Potentate's Master. Yes, we are having something set up in the map room as we speak. I won't send my people into the desert hungry."


    Male Dwarf Cleric 8
    Gandel wrote wrote:
    Others whisper that she's been in contact with the Shrine of Horns, a sect of Asmodean monks from Egorian in Cheliax. But neither of these possibilities really make particular sense."

    Perhaps that is why I have been summoned here. Hal thinks to himself.

    Halstadt listens to Gandel's lecture intently.

    "If this noblewoman has allied with followers of Asmodeus then that is reason enough to disrupt this dig. Gandel, Captain Krenshar, do we know of any specific treasures that such a group would be after in this place?"

    Breach wrote wrote:
    "In my own experience, Gandel, when ya got some'ne who ain't too qualified in charge of somethin' beyond their ability, they usually aren't the ones at the reigns."

    "Truer words have never been spoken", Hal smiles looking at Breach. "Once we arrive that should be the first order of business, finding out exactly who we are up against!"


    Halstadt Morgrym wrote:

    "If this noblewoman has allied with followers of Asmodeus then that is reason enough to disrupt this dig. Gandel, Captain Krenshar, do we know of any specific treasures that such a group would be after in this place?"

    "No, in fact, it sounds as though Gandel knows more about this than I do. If Cheliax is somehow involved, I'd advise even greater caution. I'd hate to see them get a toe-hold in Osirion's politic."

    Krenshar mutters something about Absalom keeping him in the dark and then gives Gandel a sly look, suddenly even more glad that the halfling is here.


    Male Dwarf 5 Fighter/2 Rogue

    Breach nods his head in agreement with Halstadt's comment about the disruption of Cheliaxian activities. "Regardless of who the lady is involved with I reckon things will not be as they seem. Even the hint one could be in league with devils gives 'em fiends an opening to the soul. It seems humans and their short lives leave 'em a little more open 'an some of us to their "deals".", Breach growls the word deals in disgust.


    Male Halfling Bard (Archivist) 6 / Pathfinder Delver 2

    Knowledge (architecture/engineering): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11. Yup, had to blow one at some point!

    During the course of the feast, Gandel shares a bit more information about Ahn'Selota and the Four Pharaohs of Ascension with his new companions.

    "Reliable information on Ahn’Selota is almost impossible to come by. In order to protect the secrets within the pyramid, the Four Pharaohs made it a crime to record the pyramid’s location in writing. It's said that the ordinary citizens of Tumen were forbidden to even speak of the pyramid’s existence, even though it may have rested very close to the city itself."

    "Now remember the Pact Stone I was talking about - the one that the Four Pharaohs supposedly used each year to renew their mystic bond? Osiriontologists have virtually no information as to where the Pact Stone came from or how it was made. Some have theorized that the source of the Four Pharaohs’ pact magic was inspired by dark magic originating from the planet Aucturn. Accorting to the stories, Aucturn was intensely studied by the Pharaoh of Numbers, who was an astronomer and an architect with talents centuries ahead of his time."

    Halstadt Morgrym wrote:
    "If this noblewoman has allied with followers of Asmodeus then that is reason enough to disrupt this dig. Gandel, Captain Krenshar, do we know of any specific treasures that such a group would be after in this place?"

    "I haven't heard a peep about their objective," Gandel says in response to Halstadt's question. But if it was me and I had actually found the site of Ahn'Selota? I'd be looking for the biggest prize of all - the Pact Stone."


    Male Dwarf Cleric 8

    "So the pact stone is real? If so are there stories about it's function Gandel?"


    Male Halfling Bard (Archivist) 6 / Pathfinder Delver 2

    "Well, as to whether the Pact Stone is real or not, I can't say. But since the legends say that the Four Pharaohs used the Pact Stone to conduct the ritual that bonded them together - and that they renewed their bond using the Pact Stone on an annual basis at Ahn'Selota - I don't think it too much of a stretch to assume that if someone were looking for Ahn'Selota then they woudl also be looking for the Pact Stone."

    "Now as far as stories about the Pact Stone's function go, the legends (at least that I've heard) are strangely silent. So I couldn't really speculate as to its function."


    Gandel wrote:


    During the course of the feast, Gandel shares a bit more information about Ahn'Selota and the Four Pharaohs of Ascension with his new companions.

    It sounds like Gandel and Halstadt have moved forward to lunch already, so I'd better trigger the next phase. . .


    The Venture Captain accepts the various offers to join-up with thanks (and perhaps a measure of relief).

    Krenshar calls for his steward, a lanky elderly gentleman by the name of Mr. Havren and bids him to ensure the Map Room is ready. The Venture Captain explains he has isolated a much larger room in the north wing for your private use. There a feast will be laid out while you may prepare your plans in private. Krenshar explains that the entire wing has been cleared save for servants that the Venture Captain trusts personally.

    Despite his hospitality, he hopes though that you will set out as soon as possible, as every moment spent at the Kothi is a further moment that Khymrasa and her allies spend digging.

    At that, the Venture Captain begs your forgiveness, explaining he must retire to send additional missives. He expresses once again that he is jealous of the amazing opportunity before you and he wishes that he were younger, such that he might participate directly instead of staying behind to attend to tedious administrative matters.

    Lastly, he reminds those of you who are inclined, to be sure to log your expedition. The Pathfinder Society is always looking to publish any worthy journals, a significant honor.

    OOC:

    Were you to find a window in the Kothi and glance outside, or perhaps inspect the giant sundial in the courtyard, you would confirm that the time is mid-morning.

    A few options:

  • You can meet in the map room and discuss. There you will find a map has been laid out with directions to Khymrasa’s dig site near the ruins of Tumen. You’ll be looking at a journey of approximately 3 days (if by horse or camel).

  • You can go to the Overlander’s Emporium. There you can use Krenshar’s letter to outfit yourselves with desert horses or camels.

  • You can purchase any last minute additional equipment or re-jig your spells. If you like, any equipment under 20 gp in the Core Rulebook can simply be borrowed from the Kothi (up to a maximum of 250 gp but watch that encumbrance). You will also be provided with all the rations you choose to carry.

  • There was some suggestion about investing time travelling within Sothis to perform Information Gathering (via Diplomacy) checks, though I am not sure if that is current anymore in light of the successful Knowledge checks.

  • Anything else you want to do before heading east into the desert!

    Please do continue to dialogue with each other, but I am also interested in how you spend the next few hours as well as getting a sense of how much time the PCs spend in Sothis before setting out.

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