The doors slams open in walks a tall thin man dressed in an off white duster gilded along the edges, round glasses sit stop his nose more for show than a medical need. A brisk salty breeze come wafting through the air as the man finds a seat he pulls out a deck of 'well-played' cards. Speaking over the crowd "Any o' you X-ers up fer a quick hand fore shore leave ends an' we have to headout again?"
The man sets his pistol on the table while ordering a couple pints for himself.
Theophilus has slicked back oily hair, cold eyes, and his rail-thin build rattles around in clothes perpetually stained by food or travel. His mouth curves into a smirk at Garren's offer.
Sure, sure. I'll deal.
Sleight of Hand: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29
An old man sits in the corner, nursing a flask. His eyes bore deep into each of you as he looks you over, however his face holds a slight smile. Fresh skin on the lot of them. None here seem to know enlightenment. A shame, but perhaps for the better.
"Thank you child, but fate, chance, and I do not tend to get along," he explains, still keeping an eye out for any others and scouring each newcomer more severely than the last.
While the rest of the group begins to congregate, a hideous beastly brute of a half-orc is seated at one of the tables. He wears desert clothing over a well-constructed breastplate. A quiver of javelins is leaning against empty chair next to him while his falchion sits on the table in front of him. A finger slowly traces the pommel, only pausing momentarily to turn the page of the book he is holding in the other hand.
Profession Gambler: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
"Quite the spread you got there. Don't believe I caught your name. I fold. "
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"Aye matey! Another hand?" Garren quickly gathers the cards and begins shuffling again. "Names Garren. Garren Sundale. Pleasure to be makin your acquaintance. What be bringing you to this port in yer life?"
The 'nice spread you got there' was suppose to be a question not a statement. Gotta love punctuation
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Venture-Captain Dennel Hamshanks rolls into a meeting room deep inside the Pathfinder Lodge in Absalom, his jowls flowing and his enormous axe clanking against his thigh. The man’s black eyes scan the room. “You lot?” he spits.
“Well, maybe you’ll surprise me. Your boat leaves in an hour, so I’ll be brief. One of the Society’s contacts in Andoran sent us an interesting little nugget this morning. A druid named Hemzel swept into Augustana’s Civic Library last week, demanding his right of research. Our contact learned that Hemzel acquired a lorestone from somewhere in the Verduran Forest. Heard of such a thing?” Hamshanks pauses expectantly and spits again.
“Of course not. Heard of druids, at least? And their crazy stone circles? Well thank Gorum for that. Lorestones are somehow connected to them—supposedly they can bestow you with all of the knowledge of the druids. We’d like to know how, so we want that stone and you’re going to get it for us.
“Unfortunately, the Society is not a friend to Hemzel. He’s the self-declared protector of the Verduran Forest inside Andoran’s borders and some of our more eager explorers have angered him and his little band of gnomes. He’s sworn a blood feud with the Pathfinders.
“Break out your skills of persuasion and get me that lorestone. Do what you need to—sweep the floors or plant some trees for the old man. Something nice—let him know we’re there to study and not to slash and burn.”
He spits a final time. "Now, any questions? There's not much more I can tell you except get yerselves down to the harbor quick or you'll fail the mission before you even start."
Ask any questions you like, make any last-minute purchases, and finish your introductions. We will get sailing toward the Verduran Forest soon!
"Oi' cap'm I get what you're laying out. No need for jaw'n Imma head to the docks after a quick stop in the garden." Garren heads to the door and stops. "One question Cap'm what be the name of the ship tha be takin us?"
After hearing the name of the vessel Garren swings by a garden and looking around snags a few sprigs of holly and mistletoe.
Take 10 Sleight off Hand for 18
Ah.. the sweet trade be calling me name
headed to docks
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Simple druids? They may have sworn a blood feud, but I seriously doubt they are half as worrisome as the Shades of Uskwood. Should be easy enough. Itami turns his piercing, one-eyed, stare to the Venture Captain. "I have a tendency for making friends. Any suggestions on what we can bring as a gift? An olive branch will pay dividends if peace is our mission," he asks.
He mindlessly fidgets with the strip of cloth covering his right eye. Perhaps some seeds? Rare herbs to plant? Spell components? The Shades prefer blood sacrifice, how similar will this lot be? Might need some small livestock too.
The half-orc who had been reading rises to his feet as he places the book down on the corner of the table. His now free hand grabs the quiver of javelins and slings it on his back, while the other grabs the falchion by the hilt. Once the other hand is free, the falchion is hung at his side.
With a bow, the beastly half-orc starts to speak, and what comes out of his mouth is not the expected half-garbled, stuttering simple common that one might expect from such a brute, but a powerful yet precise voice of practiced elocution.
"It would would be my pleasure to represent the Pathfinder Society as a diplomatic envoy. My name is Abdul Almas, servant of the Jeweled Sages of Osirion."
Abdul will spend 30 gp replenishing his flasks of acid.
An elderly and ugly tengu sits across from the old man. She pops something pickled into her mouth and makes the beak-equivalent of a smile at him, a strange butterfly shaped mark on her black beak catching the light. ”Oh no? Have you made an enemy of the gods of luck? Maybe if you ask old Bitter Plum for help I can put in a good word,” she teases.
Once Hamshanks is done speaking, the old crow pipes up. ”What exactly is this Hemzel self-declared protecting the forest from? Besides us, of course. Anything especially dangerous in there? And what did the last gaggle of explorers do to warrant a ‘blood feud,’ eh?”
Perception vs disguise: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Itami returns the smile, but it never reaches his eyes. "What I did is beyond me, but I bear the burden of my consequences nevertheless," he says grimly. Seems like a shrewd one. I'll have to keep my eye on her. An old hunter is the most dangerous.
"Hemzel is like most druids- he's always declaring vengeance on whatever he feels is encroaching on his forest. I really don't think there's much danger there at all! It's supposed to be quite a lovely forest. Our previous Pathfinders simply weren't polite enough to the trees and squirrels, I suppose. I'm sure he'll tell you all about it when you arrive- if you can get on his good side of course."
He coughs and clears his throat loudly. "You'll have to figure out your own gifts as well. I'm counting on you lot. Now hurry off! Your ship appears to be the..." He finds a scroll and runs his finger down it. "...Distressed Weasel. Don't read anything into the name, though."
Now that all 6 have checked in here, I will move us forward. Hamshanks doesn't have anything else to tell you.
The party makes their way to the docks and are soon able to find the proper ship. With their papers in order, they are promptly on their way toward Andoran.
When they have disembarked, they find the going is a little more difficult than Hamshanks had suggested. He evidently forgot about the brambles, boulders, and biting insects of the Verduran Forest, which turn the jouney into an arduous three-day scramble of detours, torn clothes, and near falls.
As the sun sets on the third day of travel in the Verduran Forest, the welcome sight of a puffing chimney—Hemzel’s home, according to the map—reveals itself atop a hill.
Anything you want to do before approaching Hemzel's home?
Min smiles at the Venture Captain. 'Idiot. When I rule, he will be cast out to beg in the streets.' "I'll do as you ask." emphasizing the word ASK.
On the way Min checks his arcane spell components, his scrolls and his robes to ensure they're shipshape.
Throughout their travels, Itami does his best to keep as much physical distance between his party members without actually leaving sight of them. Who can I trust? They all seem so at ease with each other already. Working with the Society may just lead to several useful relationships.
"How do we wish to approach? Did anyone purchase gifts? Those should be out in the open and ready to be given. Leave no room for confusion," Itami says, his voice detached as though he weren't really paying attention. The world outside Nidal is so peculiar. That bird would be considered an enemy of the state, taken away in chains. Yet here I am, ready to knock on an angry druid's door with her.
Pulling out the sprigs of Holly and Mistletoe Garren affixes them to a leather strap around his neck. "Need on' o you to hold my affects please." Garren removes his sword and pistol from where they hang on his person and offers up to the first to hold them. "Might I just say this. Only one of us should go up an' parley with the druid. What da ya say? Might be less threatening that way."
I don't know about you guys but I'm think old man Henderson 'get of my lawn'
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Bitter Plum produces a bottle from her pack, on which is a simple white label with some Tien characters. ”Who doesn't like a nice bowl of sake?” she croaks out, and her eyes twinkle mischievously.
”I don't see why we should lolligag out here while we send one lone diplomat to be on the receiving end of the gnome’s blood feud,” the old crow replies to Garren. ”Let’s go together, but let Itami and me go first with the presents. What could be less threatening than a pair of sweet, harmless old folks like us bearing gifts?” She turns and makes an expression resembling a smirk at the old man, casting a glance at the bandage wrapped around his eye.
I'll purchase a bottle of fine wine before we leave for 10 gp (per Ultimate Equipment).
Garren shrugs putting his sword and pistol back into there places. "Sounds good to me. Lead the way o innocent elders." Garren finishes with a wink.
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Smoke rises lazily from a chimney set atop a small, round wooden hut just over a steep hillside covered in thick vines and brambles. “Too late, too late for Hemzel!” a high voice cackles from behind the hut. “Gire, finish them!”
As the group approaches, making their plans to parlay with the druid, they instead find an assortment of fairies and other fey creatures are scurrying in and out, evidently trashing and looting the place. Others are standing guard outside.
One fey, a female faerie with insect wings, turns at the shouted instruction and spots the group of Pathfinders. "Finish them? Is this the 'them'? Oh you poor sad creatures. A horrible fate awaits you if you do not flee at once! A terrible, sad, wretched fate!"
Can anyone see invisible creatures?
What interest does the bird have with me? I hardly need her by my side. ...maybe she knows... Itami leads the group forward with Bitter Plum, gifts in hand.
Unconcerned with the threat, he cuts to the chase. "We will not run. Where is Hemzel? We will speak to him," he declares. A group of fairytales will not bar us from our task. This is the opportunity we need to end the bloodfeud,
"Don't be a fool. 'Them' was obviously meant to be the escapees who fled that way! We will take over from here, take who you can and give chase," he orders the faerie. Take the bait or the big one behind me puts you to the sword. Either way, we have our olive branch, he muses.
Bluff: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
I can't see invisible creatures.
The old tengu jerks her thumb talon at Itami. ”What he said. If you hurry, I bet you can catch ‘them.’ Now if you'll excuse us…” Bitter Plum says. She starts to head around the hut, gesturing to the others to go with her toward the sound of the high pitched voice that mentioned Hemzel.
Bluff aid another: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
I cannot see invisible creatures either.
Garren begins to follow the old crow. Them pipes up to the insect winged fairy "Fortunately we just came from this direction." Garren points behind him "And the one who did the asking should listens to the one who did the answering; and then the one who did the answering of the question speaks and gives the one who did the listening to the answering of the question the chance to walk by without incident."
and for the bluff check. Also i cannot see invisible things
Bluff aid another: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
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Abdul cannot see invisible things either.
I know nothing about Hemzel, so a gift would be a hazard at best, a debacle at worst.
When he sees the hut being trashed, he doesn't draw a weapon immediately, but he does take his wand of shield into hand just in case. If talking was going to work, he ought to give it a chance, but Abdul was no fool and was going to be ready to defend himself.
I added a map link both at the top of the page and in my profile heading.
"You fools! Don't say I didn't warn you when you find the same fate as Hemzel and his rotten hound! They are inside even now, slaughtered at the hand of the great and powerful Cyflymder! He will unleash his wrath upon you as well! Don't say I didn't warn you!" Gire repeats and then becomes invisible.
A rotten log in front of the hut suddenly releases a swarm of hideous spiders! Another fey figure can be seen darting away from it behind the house.
Minmaximus init: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Garren init: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Theophilus init: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
Itami init: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Abdul init: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Bitter Plum init: 1d20 ⇒ 17
Gire init: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
spider swarm init: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Gire is visible on the map, just to give you an indication of where she was when she went invisible. The PC's can't see her there anymore.
Also, the dark brown hill squares are so dense as to be all but impassable, although they can be slashed open (Hardness 1, 15 hit points) or climbed (DC 10). The yellower hill squares are merely difficult terrain. Tiny (or smaller) creatures (such as the swarm) treat the impassable squares as only difficult terrain.
Abdul and Theophilus are up!
Realizing the wand isn't really going to help him, Abdul pulls out a flask as he approaches, putting himself on the path.
He takes a brief second to focus, causing the muscles under his skin to ripple and shift, his magically enhanced body works on making him more efficient at his task at hand.
Activating Urban Bloodrage to gain +4 to Dex.
Abdul then tosses the flask at the swarm.
Acid Flask: 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 4 + 2 = 23
Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 5
Scatter: 1d8 ⇒ 6
Maybe the Pathfinder Society should consider issuing swarmsuits as a uniform.
Theophilus sighs heavily as he moves to get a bead on the spiders, Why do simple exchanges of goods always turn into slaughter and flesh eating?
He focuses for an instant and a nearby branch, swathed in aetheric strands, crashes amongst the spiders.
Telekinetic Blast: 1d20 + 5 + 1 - 4 ⇒ (15) + 5 + 1 - 4 = 17
Bludgeoning Damage: 1d6 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 3 + 1 = 5 This does full damage to swarms
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Between them, Abdul and Theophilus are able to make short work of the swarm.
Gire calls out from her unknown location: "There is still time to turn back! Leave now and save your own lives!"
Bitter Plum, Garren and Minmaximus are up!
Bitter Plum nods with satisfaction and exclaims, ”Well done, dearies! Those spiders didn't know what hit them.” She looks around, unsure exactly where the invisible fey went. ”Gire, was it? Sorry, dear, but we're far too stubborn to be scared off with just threats. Aren't we?” she asks the others cheerfully.
She makes her way up the little trail to the hut, drawing a katana as she does so. She stands next to the front door, gesturing for the others to follow.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Double move toward the hut. If I can open the door despite spending two move actions to reach it, I'll open it.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Garren listens to the direction the little voice is coming from.
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Garren speaks in hopefully the general direction of the voice "Miss... I'm sorry I did na catch your name. But I think you are not the type to be harm'n other's much the same as us. Wha'd ya say we talk this over and figure out what doin could be done to resolve this like civilized folk?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
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Minmaximus snarls and mutters under his breath at such insolence from creatures not even bothering to be seen so he could murder them properly. He contents himself with looking around for the missing foe!
Perception to locate invisible: 1d20 ⇒ 19
The faerie re-appears, in evident distress this time. "It's just horrible! I can't understand why such violence was necessary. If you are as civilized as you claim, I would truly appreciate the opportunity to talk things out."
The old tengu scurries to the open door of the hut where she finds the tiny corpse of a fey creature who looks very similar to Gire. None of the other fey the group saw initially are anywhere around now.
Bitter Plum can feel the heat from the fireplace inside while she searches the faerie's body. The dead fey was holding a small empty sack, an onyx ring, a light crossbow, a quiver with 20 bolts, and a short sword.
Garren rushes too Gires side as if to console her a little "Dearie do not fret over the loss that has taken place. One thing we can do is take solice in the fact that you're sister fey there is no longer in pain from the savagery she faced." Garren looks into here eyes and says "What help can I be in performing last rites for your fallen sister?"
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The tiny fey shies away from Garren at first but begins sobbing loudly when he references the fallen faerie nearby. "I must return her to the First World for that, but your concern means so much after what I have just witnessed here." She sobs for a few moments more then catches her breath.
"Cyflymder said Hemzel was going to lead the humans to destroy the fey! So we pounced and surprised him. Cyflymder and his brutes tore the druid apart. His poor wolf friend too! So much blood! But not before the wolf got hold of poor Roven."
Meanwhile, Min discovers that the apparently empty bag is emitting a faint aura of conjuration.
Min and Bitter Plum can feel the heat emanating from inside the hut as they examine their newfound treasures.
Bitter Plum cocks her head toward the conversation outside. Her heart feels for the little fey. Her grandmotherly instincts kick in and she calls to Garren and Gire: "I'm sorry this has been so horrific. Don't worry, I'll put on some tea." Seeing Minmaximus muttering, she lowers her voice and places a clawed hand on his shoulder. "I know, I know, such senseless violence. It makes me mad, too, to think of all this bloodshed when we all could have had a nice chat over drinks."
Giving the man a few pats on the back, she moves past him and stoops into the hut to look around. Seeing poor Roven's tiny corpse, she notes the bite marks as she looks around for a kettle.
GM: You may have been waiting to describe the other bodies until one of us properly went inside. But if Hemzel and his wolf's corpses are not inside:
Seeing the wolf bites but not the wolf (nor the gnome), Bitter Plum yells out from inside the hut, "Wait, where are Hemzel and his furry friend?"
Take 10 on Heal: 10 + 2 = 12
Such is life. Some people die with their eyes bulging, wracked with poison, others die savaged by wolves, yet both have a taste of enlightenment before they pass. Certainly better than dying in your sleep. Itami thinks to himself. Barely even noticing the corpse, he moves into the house and looks for anything of note, particularly the lorestone they were sent to find.
"Abandon your tears! Hemzel may be gone, but his lorestone may yet be here," he calls out to his teammates. No need to waste time crying over the dead, they don't feel your tears or care for your pain. Such weakness. Unfortunately, his internal monologue keeps him from searching to the best of his abilities.
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
When Bitter Plum and Itami enter the primitive, one-room hovel, it's quickly obvious where the palpable heat was coming from- the hut itself is on fire! Tinder from the fireplace is strewn about, sparking the fires that now climb the reed walls.
The room itself is in shambles. An eviscerated human body sprawls across the floor, and a butchered wolf lies against the wall by the front door. Puddles of blood surround them. The man’s hands are tied to a rough wooden table, upon which sits an ornate— but empty— box and a blood-spattered manuscript. No sign of any living creatures anywhere inside.
There is nothing else of interest as far as Itami can discern.
The fire is just taking hold and will soon burn the entire hut to the ground if you don't act. To that end, we will now go into initiative mode. Since BP and Itami went inside, we will say they get to act first.
GM init: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Minmaximus init: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
Garren init: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Theophilus init: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Itami init: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Abdul init: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Bitter Plum init: 1d20 ⇒ 16
BP and Itami are up in the surprise round.
PCs who begin their turn on a square with fire, or who pass through one, suffer 1d6 fire damage (although only once per round) and may catch fire. Actions dedicated to fighting the fire can slow it. As a standard action, a PC with a blanket, a waterskin, or another appropriate tool can extinguish one five-foot square. Alternatively, water or cold spells delay the entire timetable by one round per spell level (minimum one round).
Stepping into the gory scene, Bitter Plums turns her head over her shoulder and squawks, "Tea might have to wait - the hut is on fire!" Bottle of sake still in hand, she dashes into the room, pushing past the dining room tables and heading for the manuscript near the bloody human body.
Surprise round action: move into the house.
I'm treating the table-and-chair squares as difficult terrain. Which table is the manuscript on? The one against the north wall or the one against the east wall?
I'll be damned if out our task burns with this wretched hut!
Itami rushes into the hut behind Bitter Plum, ready to gather the documents and the box.
Gm, I made a mistake when putting my initiative in. It is actually a +3 bonus. Sorry about that!
not that it matters with current rolls but my initiative is +4
"O my god she's on fire!! Fetch the pails watch the embers. Save what and who we can."
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