The final arrow drops the last Druid, ending their threat. With Mikhaere's expertise, you are able to extract the Atavistic Splinter from the standing stones and end the ritual. By the next day, Li Shuo and Uriel are their old selves again, though a craving for raw meat lasts for a week or two.
When you return to the logging camp, you find the loggers similarly cured and they are very grateful for your actions. Venture-Captain Brackett commends you for your actions in retrieving the Atavistic Splinter.
Combat over. Scenario over. Congrats! :D
Uriel steps up to the Druid menacing Li, and momentarily giving into his bestial curse, goes to savage the man with his new teeth and claws, and strikes him with the latter. The Druid crumples to the ground.
Li re-aims his fire, and with Daeris' arrow as well, another Druid falls to the ground.
Another Druid advances laughs to see Uriel's change. "Join us, brother! Give into your bestial nature and kill the interlopers!" he says before swinging at Li, striking him a bone-rattling blow with his staff. 11 damage to Li
The other Druid struggles against the vines holding him and fails to escape.
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
1d3 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
1d3 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
2d6 + 4 ⇒ (6, 1) + 4 = 11
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Both sides were aware. No surprise round. And Uriel, at your speed, there's no way to get in and shoot this round.
Mikhaere begins the assault with his spell, resulting in the grass and vines of the area bursting into activity, trying to grasp anything standing in them. Two of the Druids are caught in the vines, while the other two try to get clear of the area. Daeris' arrow strikes home on one of the Druids. Then one succeeds in escaping the vines after the fact, and one remains caught.
One Druid makes it adjacent to Li and swings at him with his Quarterstaff, which shimmers with green light, missing badly. 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
Mikhaere creeps down the passage, and as he rounds the final corner and beholds the standing stones from ground level, there is a cry of alarm from one of the Druids. Attuned to their surroundings, they have spied Mikhaere!
Mikhaere 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Uriel 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Li Shuo 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Jorag 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Daeris 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Druids 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
The Druids begin by all chanting spells.
Mikhaere - Spellcraft DC 16:
They have all cast Shillelagh.
Initiative Round 1
With the wand's magic, Mikhaere gets a faraway look in his eyes.
The middle path that Uriel was investigating leads to an open space in the center of the henge that is roughly oblong, with three gaps in the thorny walls to the south, west, and north. To the east is a rough wooden table with a leather satchel lying atop it. The table is surrounded by six cut logs planed flat and turned endwise to serve as stools. Two stiff linen banners hang on stands placed along northwest and southwest walls, carefully placed a few inches away from the thorns to prevent tearing.
To the North path, it winds back to the entrance and circles around to join up with the space in the center. This path continues to the East where it enters another long, wide area that is partially roofed by a sheet of woven bark. There is a path joining the center area from here as well.
A path from this area and one from the place you are in now leads to the South into a wide area on the South side of Briar Henge that has a roughly circular shape. Four tall, thin spires of ancient stone thrust up from the ground at irregular intervals like malformed teeth. To the west, two thicker stones are capped with a third horizontal stone, forming a crude gateway. A thick piece of charred bark is suspended in this gateway by a web of crackling energy. The crackling energy pulses outward from the bark into the dolmen stones, and from there into the ground. Four humanoid figures in hide armor, grasping staves, stand before the gateway and seem to be chanting something.
Uriel creeps up the center passage and peeks into an open space.
This open space is roughly oblong, with three gaps in the thorny walls to the south, west, and north. To the east is a rough wooden table with a leather satchel lying atop it. The table is surrounded by six cut logs planed flat and turned endwise to serve as stools. Two stiff linen banners hang on stands placed along northwest and southwest walls, carefully placed a few inches away from the thorns to prevent tearing.
You hear soft chanting coming from somewhere in that direction.
Li and Daeris unleash a flurry of return fire. Two of their arrows strike home in the swirling melee of attacks from Mikhaere and Uriel. The Twigjack is rocked back by Daeris' shot, but Li's strikes the fey creature in its midsection, severing the vines that hold it together. The tiny figure drops to its knees as small twigs spill from its abdomen, its thorny hands trying to hold them in, before it collapses in an unrecognizable heap of kindling on the ground.
Two arrows stick into the Twigjack's twiggy body, and it hisses in a remarkably insect-like fashion before aiming its arms at Li, Jorag and Daeris, and a storm of thorns erupt from its limbs.
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
4d6 ⇒ (1, 4, 5, 5) = 15
Li, Daeris and Jorag take 7 damage each.
There's not actually any way to avoid the damage from the thorns in the scenario.
As the others post themselves at the entrances, Daeris examines the chests. No traps are found, but the larger chest of locked, but she does locate a key in the bottom of the smaller chest which fits the lock. Inside the larger chest she finds, among other things, a Wand and a Scroll.
The passages are very winding, and neither Mikhaere or Uriel can see very far. Then, after a few moments, emerging from the brambles themselves is a tiny, vaguely humanoid creature that seems to be made completely of bundles of sticks wound with thorny vines.
Knowledge: Nature DC 13:
This is a Twigjack, an evil Fey made entirely of twigs and thorns.
They are vulnerable to fire.
They are able to travel via brambles and undergrowth as by magic for a limited distance each day, and eject a spray of flaying thorns a few times each day.
I will allow Knowledge checks and speech before Initiative occurs.
Mikhaere 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Uriel 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
Li Shuo 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Jorag 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Daeris 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Twig 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
1d6 ⇒ 2
1d6 ⇒ 2
1d6 ⇒ 2
1d6 ⇒ 5
1d6 ⇒ 1
The Pathfinders push their way through the gap, suffering cuts and scrapes along the way, but ending up more or less safely on the other side.
Mikhaere suffers 2 dmg.
Six hammocks hang suspended from the thorns here, crisscrossing along the thorny walls. Two oaks provide shade and shelter from wind and rain. A few clothes hang from the thorny walls. The hammocks and clothes seem simply made. Near one of the tree trunks is a large, sturdy chest. Near the other is a smaller chest, whose open lid reveals several scrolls and tomes. Gaps in the walls allow exit to the northwest, north, and northeast.
Taking 10 won't do it, unfortunately.
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
Daeris moves cautiously closer and looks at the briar walls of the Henge. She figures it can be climbed, but not without suffering significant harm from the thorns. She does not find any traps, though in searching along the outside of the wall she does locate a point where the briars are particularly thin.
'S' on map
Leaving the Elf and her companion to their own devices, after having confiscated her weapons, the Pathfinders resume their trek to the Briar henge.
There are four scrolls that haven't been identified, by the way.
Approaching from the South, Briar Henge is a bristling fortress. The compound is roughly circular and approximately 100 feet across. The walls are made of tangled thorn bushes twelve feet high, although the compound does not appear to have a roof. The only break in the prickly wall is a gap five feet wide and eight feet high. Hanging ivy covers this doorway and blocks the view of the interior of the compound.
The entrance mentioned is on the North side.
I use Google Docs. What I do is I create a jpeg of the map, and jpegs of all the tokens I want to use (usually I go to the character page of the game and do a print screen, paste it into MS Paint, and cut each individual portrait out and create files for each of them). I then create a Drawing on Google Docs and then insert the image, then insert all the tokens and then scale them to the map grid. I then make sure I set all the preferences to Anyone Can Edit so people can add their own tokens (like Mikhaere did when he summoned that Eagle) and move them around.
She has 20 mundane arrows, 16 Silver arrows, a +1 Str Composite Longbow, a Scimitar, Studded Leather armor, and four Scrolls. No incriminating evidence as such.
The Crocodile is indeed unconscious, and while Mikhaere tends to it, the others bind and stabilize the Elf - a rough-looking character, despite her Elven beauty. When she wakes, there is a flash of fear in her eyes that changes to defiance. "I'd rather die than become one of you!" she says. "Kill me now or bite me and I'll do the deed myself later."
Li's arrow flies true and the Elf drops to the leafy ground beneath the tree, a second arrow now protruding from her chest.
Li's action happened before Daeris's and the attack was enough to drop the Elf, so you can change yours, Daeris.
At that, the Crocodile lets forth a bellowing rumble and lunges at Mikhaere. 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
1d6 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6 damage to Mikhaere.
Daeris reaches the bottom of the tree, but is unable to climb. DC is 15, but will take a full round of movement to climb it, or one move action if you Fast Climb at DC 20
Jorag's command, however, takes hold of the sniper's mind and she climbs down to the ground. It appears she is an Elf, carrying a Longbow and with a Scimitar sheathed at her hip.
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
Mikhaere then successfully touches the Crocodile, causing the reptile's snout to be frosted as the cold spreads from the Tengu's hand.
The tree will have to be climbed.
The Crocodile snaps at Li Shuo again as he moves away, tearing at his leg with its teeth. 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
You provoked an AoO as you moved. 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6 damage.
Mikhaere's magic touch just misses the Crocodile as it jerks back and then lunges at Uriel, missing as its claws slip on the muddy bank of the river. 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
Another arrow is fired, this time at Li Shuo, and the silvered arrowhead sinks into his flesh. 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
1d8 ⇒ 8 damage.
I've always had a soft spot for the Grippli race, and I am happy they are in Pathfinder. Their latest incarnation has this feat called Agile Tongue, which allows them to use Sleight of Hand, Steal, and Disarm maneuvers at a range of 10ft, and deliver touch attacks with it. This struck me as particularly amusing.
So what do Grippli have going for them? +2 Dex and +2 Wis, -2 Str. Small size, 30ft speed and a 20ft Climb speed, +4 to Stealth in Forest or Swamp terrain, Swamp Stride - ignore difficult terrain in Swamps, proficiency with nets, Darkvision.
Now I'm not keen on the stealth bonus or the Swamp Stride, but luckily there are some alternate racial traits. Glider (you can glide) replaces Swamp Stride, Jumper (always considered to have a running start when jumping) replaces the Stealth bonus. Toxic Skin (1/day Dex-based poison) replaces both. Princely (+2 Intimidate and Diplomacy, gain Rapier proficiency) replaces Swamp Stride and the Net proficiency.
The first thing that came to mind was a Maneuver Master Monk called Master Frog that focussed on Disarm and Steal, and to a lesser extent Sleight of Hand (using a trait to gain it as a class skill). Now this is not particularly powerful, but is funny. The Glider and Jumper traits seem good choices, though the Princely one can help make him a Face character. Agile Tongue is the level 1 feat, and Improved Disarm the Monk Bonus. Stats something like: S 12, D 16, Co 13, I 12, W 16, Ch 10. Agile Maneuvers is something to pick soon as his CMB is not going to be good. Damage is going to be quite weak, but Stunning Fist may be decent. AC will be okay, and mobility is excellent with the Climb speed. Going with some sort of ranged Monk may be best.
The next thing that occurs to me is a touch spell focused mage, which sounds weird when you consider he's delivering it at 10ft range - with his tongue. While on a wall or ceiling.
Any other Grippli fans out there with thoughts on these concepts or other fun Grippli builds?
The only spell I'm missing out on from what I can tell is Fireball. That hurts, but I'm resigned to it.
I've also decided to keep the boon for another character, and instead build this Flame Oracle as a Gnome. The favored class bonus gives me access to Scorching Ray and Flaming Sphere at level 5, Wall of Fire at level 7, and Delayed Blast Fireball at level 10 if I did my math right.
Mikhaere notes that the Crocodile has moved closer, watching the Pathfinders from the water.
Li Shuo's arrow vanishes into the trees, and Uriel's attempt at diplomacy seems to fall on deaf ears. The response comes as another arrow flies, whizzing past Uriel. Then there is an explosion of water as the Crocodile heaves itself out of the river with alarming speed and snaps at Li Shuo.
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
You find yourselves safely (and more or less wet) on the other side of the river and try to get back on the path. As you approach the trail there is a shrill whistle from the trees to the West and a silver-tipped arrow thuds into the dirt at Uriel's feet. A concealed archer has taken a shot at Uriel - she is in a blind in a tree 15ft up.
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
Mikhaere 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
Uriel 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
Li Shuo 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Jorag 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Daeris 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Tavariel 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
After an thorough search, Daeris is able to cobble together something using a sock and some lead fishing weights. Treat as a Sap, but also an improvised weapon.
Setting out after ensuring the afflicted loggers will survive the day, the Pathfinders find themselves at a river crossing after a couple hours.
A deep, placid river interrupts the path to Briar Henge. A few large logs have been placed across the river, providing a crude bridge to access the other side. Sunlight dapples the surface of the murky water, the result of branches crisscrossing the river high overhead.
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Mikhaere 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (4) + 13 = 17
Tiddalik 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
Uriel 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Li Shuo 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
Jorag 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Daeris 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Mikhaere, Jorag, Daeris:
Just beneath the surface of the water, 10ft to the West of the far side of the log bridge, is a Crocodile.