Mr Peppers arrives at the meeting in a focused and slightly somber mood. "How very nice to see you again Lady Ziralia, these gifts will be quite helpful."
He makes the motion to draw out his journal before shaking his head and leaving it be. Its hard to break the habit... avoiding notes on a secret mission just goes against my nature.
He continues, speaking to the Lady as well as the other half of their group "We've got up close and personal with the transport and its contained altar. The vials are located in the back left hand corner of the transport, sealed in a secret compartment lined in lead marked with an X, presumably to hide them from magical detection. The altar is also an animated and programmed construct ordered protect the vials, and more importantly to focus on anyone bearing a glowing vial. It moves quickly and is immune to many spells and anything that would affect a mind, as it has none. It also is programmed to grab and hold on to its foes so be wary."
He gestures to the morningstar "If we need to damage it for some reason, adamantine is the way to go, regular weapons won't cut it." He pauses before changing the topic slightly. "Temeera is the lead spellcaster here in charge of designing the altar. She seems to be in this for the right reasons as she ran an arcane school in Pashow and would like to return the city to its former glory."
The Elf pauses again for a few moments in though "Ah yes, one more thing, Temeera instructed some of her assistants to walk in circles within the transport, we were never able to find out why."
Gesturing to Silas and D "Silas and D will give their respective reports." With that Mr Peppers rests his hands and looks at the group for any questions.
|Gorgeous Gallix Granbonne|
Gallix climbs down from his high vantage point to check out Varnic's quarters while he is away on one of his outings. His search eventually uncovers a map, which he quickly copies into his journal, taking extra care to mark the observation points. He then returns the map to its original place and tries to leave this as he found them, or at least as close to it as he can manage.
His face and hands covered in the dust and grime of his eventful evening, Gallix enters the tent and practically collapses into a chair. When Lady Ziralia enters and reveals her identity, however, he quickly stands back up at attention before relaxing again. "Sirettis mentioned that we should find some junction for our escape, I'd add that we should have it at one of these points in between the observation points." He takes out his journal and opens it to the page with his crude copy of the map. "I got this from a map in Varnic's bedchamber. He's this little halfling sneak, and he's definitely not to be trusted. When he's supposedly been out scouting, he's actually been visiting the transport workshop. Not entirely sure what he's up to, but it's nothing good." He pauses for a moment before adding, "Speaking of sneaks, I found a good spot where we can hold up and get ready for our assault. It should get us pretty close to the convoy as it goes by so they won't see us coming from way off."
Silas sidles up next to Mr. Peppers as he gives his report. He's holding together pretty well given what he just saw. Even Silas the Great is still shaking in his boots.
Silas even thinks in third person.
"In addition to what my magically-inclined friend here said, the transport is also trapped pretty heavily with a sort of desert heat spell, and magic won't work against it. However, we were able to find issues with the way the trap was created, and we should have no problem disabling it. Er, someone who's skilled at such thievery, of course. Not I," Silas coyly says. "There are also a set of locks at the secret entrance to the transport. Many are fake. I know which one is real! Hah!"
"With his study and research, Varnic may be the counteragent." She ponders. "Sir Uesugi or Mister Gallix should carry the morningstar- the other should secure the vial and bait the altar."
"We could spend most of the budget on another adamantine weapon to defeat the guardian altar. How hot will it be? Do we need to worry about excessively warm temperatures?"
"I've realized that that jar of mold from the goblin camp puts out significant cool air, enough to keep your body temperature down during non magical heat events. The extra intense heat trap we should have no issues disabling."
He continues, all business "Maybe another weapon would be useful, but as far as 'bait' I would maybe suggest Gallix as his speed and general punching bag mentality would be an asset." He continues "Another option is to simulate a fake glowing vial on our enemies and let the altar take them down one at a time."
Ziralia looks thoughtful. "I do not like the news that this recruit, Varnic, had observation routes marked. Have you seen any other suspicious activity indicating other groups with an interest in Pashow's transport?"
"We've had a guard murdered just this afternoon by an unknown assailant, who was by all accounts not mixed up in anything nefarious."
He continues without pause "We've also come across circumstantial evidence linking Aspenthar to hindering construction activities in the form of payments. Payments to the halfling trapsmith, who in my opinion is not conducting her operation in a reasonable and efficient manner."
He looks at D and Silas for collaboration in the statement. "A faithful leader does not purposefully hurt her apprentices for enjoyment and to slow down work."
Mr Peppers takes the opportunity to also note any magic emanating from Lady Ziralia to be sure there aren't any other surprises past the disguise. See Magic
"Yup. I find myself agreeing with the apprentice," Silas says, nodding at Mr. Peppers. "They were both inefficient and dangerous. And that Lynsha girl -- I don't think she's to be trusted. She had a whole trove of fancy gifts with Aspenthar's royal seal on them. Why would a trapsmith have such things anyway?"
|Sir D. Arthraven|
D. makes it easy on himself.
"What needed to be said, has been said by Peppers-san and the street artist, already.
Yet the sadistic woman made sure a certain cart was thoroughly watched at all times."
He nods in agreement with Mr. Peppers, about the casualty.
"I agree with Peppers-san. She is a sadist, but makes sure they don't die."
Ziralia's eyes widen. "Aspenthar?" Then her eyes flash with a cold anger and her hands curl into fists. "I see. I'll look into that. Maybe... maybe we'll find that some other group has planted this to further turn Pashow against us. Or--" She breaks off, clearly not wanting to explore that "or" possibility. "We'll see what you turn up."
Can you make your decisions for the shopping list?
Listening to everyone report their findings Uesugi remains quiet. He speaks as Lady Ziralia learns of another potential faction being planted into the convoy.
The guardian will always target the bearer of the vial? Then that is to our advantage. We will need to signal to the guards that the threat is away from the convoy through light signals. We have seen them do this before while out on training missions. I can show one of you what the lights to use but another will need to use the magical aid.
Spirit will have to disable the other driver. The one she has befriended. Whatever will guarantee her immediate success is important. Any method that does not spill blood would be good.
The barbarian will be the one to hold the vial. The weapon provided will have to prove to be enough. Crude as the weapon is I can wield it. That said the barbarian and I will need aids that can speed our movement to keep the creature in pursuit while I batter it as it goes about trying to regain the vial. I will need any aids that can assist me in destroying the guardian as soon as possible.
Getting the vial the three of you must decide upon that I am not aware if only one person can go into the transport to get the vial.
The horn can be used to to create a distraction. You practitioners of the wu jen are you able to create a false image that shows someone speeding away with the vial and maybe even having the guardian chase after them? This will take the attention away from us for a slight moment while we steal the actual vial."
"It sounds like you have a plan, and I have shopping to do. I will get you your supplies before dawn." With those words, Ziralia puts her hat of disguise back on. "Good luck to you all. May Sarenae's blessings shine down on us all tomorrow."
She nods, waves and disappears.
The next day, before dawn, you are woken by a quiet nodescript man bearing a sack full of everything from your shopping list, who puts his fingers to his lips and smiles before leaving you.
Shortly after that Sirettis reports to guard the main transport, working with Nadini to maintain the many floating disk spells that lift the shimmering metal box off the desert sands. The dogs shift back and forth endlessly, looking to Sirettis for guidance, while the guards walk with you. Even Nadini is in a good mood. She hugs Sirettis before you take off, and happily does her spellwork. "Thank you so much for buoying up my spirits yesterday! We're finally getting to do the work for which we all trained so hard! We're making a difference, aren't we?"
Place yourselves on the map, and tell me what you're doing!
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"Good luck, Lady Ziralia. I hope we may converse with you after this is over."
"I will duck for cover during the attack, as to not give myself away. If I am lucky we may knock her out quickly."
Sirettis watches the dogs in the morning, and receives a sudden hug from Nadini.
"We will make quite a difference today." She returns Nadini's hug. "For Pashow."
It is so much easier, isn't it? Why make friends when you can fake it? It hurts much more when you split it.
|Gorgeous Gallix Granbonne|
Early the next morning, Gallix gets up to prepare his mutagen. The new components he had been using have had great effect, and he figures he could probably use some of those new abilities in the coming raid.
As the convoy heads out in the morning, he makes his way to ahead of the route so that he can make a quick approach from one of the junctions, and make his escape in a similarly speedy way.
Where the hell is the giant post I put up last night? ARARRGGGHGHHGH
After some more thought Mr Peppers lays out his plan for tomorrow. "As you well know by now, my effectiveness is greatly reduced in the chaos of hand to hand fighting. For this reason I propose I am your 'eye in the sky', taking a position up on the ravine walls." He points to the map to illustrate his point.
"From here I can communicate throughout the group using a message spell, speaking with you all through whispers. Be aware you can only respond to me though and not your party members directly. From this position I can also send up dancing light signals using my own magic, saving the need to purchase a wand. From here I can also try disrupting magic and hindering the guards. However, in order to get this done safely I'll need a few scrolls at my disposal: a couple minor images to distract the altar from you all and on to our foes, as well as a scroll of fly and featherfall to give me some escape options."
I put them in the handout, 450g total. If we have any leftover cash a few adamantine bolts wouldn't be terrible to have on hand either to help on the altar. I had also asked HMM if I knew for sure the construct wasn't immune to minor image and magic missile.
"I, for one, wouldn't mind getting up close and personal with the transport. Someone has to take care of the desert heat trap and secret door, after all, and I've got just the spell to do it!" Silas beams as he sticks with Mr. Peppers at his safe vantage point. "I'll hold off until those dancing lights throw off the guards though."
How would one get down from these cliffs? How high up are they? How tall is the transport?
While I like the choices I have for my current 1st level spells I can do that. Falling to their death from 100ft isn't something that excites Mr Peppers.
|Sir D. Arthraven|
D. accompanies Gallix from the north.
"Today is the day. Are you ready?"
D.'s neutral look gives off a tiny sparkle of excitement.
|Bot Buddy 2000|
As the transport travels towards the north, the lead guard, Sergeant Verde, calls out to Gallix. "Ah, our gallant scout! What news do you three bring? Is all going well with the rest of the convoy?"
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Uesugi whispers to Mr. Peppers. Gallix and D would have known what I am going to tell Peppers in the message so they should read spoiler. Also I would have had someone hit me with an endure elements wand tap. I am wearing my heavy armor.
Uesugi and the others move up while he answers Sergeant Verde. "Something ahead of us. A large cloud of dust. We came back here notify you immediately. We should stop and let the others investigate before moving on. When the signal is given we can move on."
|Sir D. Arthraven|
Wouldn't endure elements on everyone be useful? D. and Gallix wear armor as well.
Mr Peppers doesn't need endure elements with his brown mold jar, so 5 charges Gallix. Also, anyone with that boon won't need it for hot environments.
From his hiding spot on the cliff wall Mr Peppers casts the appropriate flash of dancing light signals asking for investigation to the Northeast.
He then responds to the group as a whole "Dancing lights have been sent to draw away forward group for investigation of a non existent dust cloud to the NE. Silas will head down when you give the clear signal."
Mr. Peppers sends off his signal.
Immediately response signals light up the sky everywhere you look.
From the cliffs, Mr. Peppers sees numerous troops moving away to investigate the new threat.
The group near the transport looks nervously to the sky. "Thanks for warning us." Verde says. "Look, why don't you come join us until the threat passes? I'd rather have some reinforcements we can trust nearby."
Mr Peppers whispers to the group: "I can see troops heading off to investigate, be advised. Communicate when Silas should head down. Standing by."
He then turns to Silas "Be ready to go, I'll cast feather fall on you and you'll need to get down there as quietly as possible. It should take you about 10 seconds to reach the bottom. Don't delay either, the spell only lasts for under a minute."
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Silas nods and smiles at Mr. Peppers. "You're not so bad with that magic of yours, you know. Not quite Great, but good enough. Anyhow, I'm ready when you are," Silas gives him a thumbs up, signaling he's ready for the spell, and once Mr. Peppers is ready, he floats down with his arms spread wide in a display of bravado. It takes everything in him to not give himself a big entrance announcement.
Stealth: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
"Sergeant let me take the dogs and scout behind to make certain there are none approaching from the back. I will leave these two and return quickly." Uesugi indicates towards the barbarian and D.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
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Mr Peppers gives Silas a look of
regret as he cancels his feather fall spell just over the edge and reminds Silas just how great a spellcaster he is seriousness as he lightly speaks the word of 'float' in Elven and watches him disappear over the edge.
His eyes go cross as he sees the showman start doing some twirly 'look at me' act on the way down and whispers a stern reminder, to him and the rest of the group "Cut that showboating out or you'll be a pin cushion before you even land! Silas is heading down."
What, you think I'm rolling for all of them? Naw, I'm using their take ten perceptions today.
Distracted by Uesugi and the dogs moving through their midst, the guards, dogs and Nadini miss Silas floating silently through the shadows.
Silas has landed. What do you do next?
|Sir D. Arthraven|
"Uesugi takes care of the dogs.
When do we make our move at dealing with these remaining guards?"
Uesugi takes his potion of expeditious retreat and drinks it. He then calls the dogs to follow him and begins to head south. Ill double move for 400 ft so 4 rds, leave the dogs there and then return to the convoy. I would have done this when I led away dogs so Hmm you can indicate when I will return
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Mr Peppers watches as Uesugi leads away the pack of dogs to the south and then gets some garbed static as Uesugi tries in vane to whisper a message far out of range of the spell. "You're *****ing up, ****** out **** ...." As a mix of words and static flood into Uesugi's and the groups mind.
temp hp: 1d10 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13 bah my message would have been sent before I hit 400 ft silly pointy eared scholar!
Uesugi can barely hear anything as Peppers message gets lost in the wind. Grunting he keeps on running with the dogs in tow hoping the others will understand what to do.
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Get noticed by the guards? Oh, don't mind if I do!
With the dogs running off, Silas approaches the guards, nonchalantly clapping his hands as he begins to introduce himself. "LAAADIES AND GENTLEMEN...! From the cultural capital of Varisia, introducing the friend of dwarves, elves, gnomes, and even goblins, the traveling performer, master of magic, grand vizier of Absalom's Arcanium, some say he could have stopped Earthfall himself, children and adults everywhere are amazed by his wit, talent, and sheer skill, oh yes, I give you... SILAS THE GREEEAAATTTTT!" He bows and awaits his "reception."
|Sir D. Arthraven|
Any Tian people, not paying attention, could perceive it as
"Banzaiii, for the sho-gun!"
Initiative, D: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Initiative, Gallix: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Initiative, Pep: 1d20 ⇒ 9
Initiative, Silas: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Initiative, Sirettis: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Initiative, Uesugi: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
Initiative, Nadini: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
Initiative, Guards: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
At that moment, Nadini shoots a pattern of dancing lights into the sky. "I have this, Sirettis! Sleep that creep!"
*Main!* *Under Attack!*
ORDER: Nadini (dancing lights), D, Verde + Azul Guards, Sirettis, Uesugi, Mr. Peppers, Silas, Gallix
Oh, my! D is up!