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Shadow

Celestial GM's page

1,326 posts. Alias of Celestial Healer.


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"I don't know the name," she says, "but the swamp can turn the purest soul to evil. I would not be inclined to trust anybody who knows those ways well."

The floor above creeks uneasily in the silence that follows.

Let me know what you wish to buy. Standard prices apply. She can sell holy water as well as the potions referenced previously.


The vapor seems to rise from the ground itself. Being low to the ground does not help.

Perception checks please. I already have Caladrel's.


Tybalt, you do not really know anything more than that.

"The swamp? That does not bode well," Sister Magritte says ruefully. "The dead walk in that place. Holy water may be in order. And those of the living that dwell there - they are savages and cannibals. Do not expect much succor from that lot. No, the mosquitos are the least of your concerns, although some relief from disease couldn't hurt."

When Andrzej asks his question, the Sister looks askance. She responds with a steely proclamation: "If someone you know has been stricken, kill the poor soul with silver. It is the merciful thing to do."


As you continue, the blue light grows brighter, although the overall effect is always subdued. Ahead, you can see that the tunnel empties into a roughly hewn chamber filled with swirling vapor. The static crackling noise seems to be coming from the chamber.

Caladrel:
Although the vapor makes sight difficult into the chamber, you are fairly certain you see movement in there apart from the fog. The room is occupied by a humanoid form that you cannot distinguish clearly without moving closer.


So, I am seeing: Caladrel (badger), Luce, Jerry, Smitty, Rhodes, Sylvia, Trina. That work?

You progress down the dark tunnel, feeling your way along the damp walls. For forty or fifty feet, the tunnel does not narrow or widen. It simply continues. It turns a corner, and the unnatural darkness seems to shift almost imperceptibly to a more ordinary lack of light. As it rounds a second corner, a faint bluish glow is available some distance ahead.

Caladrel:
You begin to detect a scent that has no relation to any living thing you know of. The scent is actually reminiscent of ozone. The source is clearly further ahead in the tunnel. Combined with the crackling sound, you cannot help but be reminded of lightning or other sources of electricity.


Sister Magritte says to Res, "Step inside then. Let us talk further."

The room is simple and sparse. Uneven wooden floorboards creak noisily beneath your feet and a dusty piece of needlepoint hangs desperately on the wall. An odd, drafty, whistling sound comes from a floor above.

"Sister Claudette is well then?" she asks. "We hear from other sisters so infrequently."

"What might you need? I prepare basic potions for travelers. One must be prepared in these lands."

For simplicity, I will say that you can purchase up to 6 First level potions of your choice and 2 Second level (all potions should be limited to the cleric spell list). That is her inventory. You can commission more, though.


The door opens slowly. "Monetary donation?" the woman says. "That's a strange way to say you're here to buy potions. If you have a mind to rob this place, I'll have you know from the beginning that there is nothing here worth stealing."

The woman before you is getting on in years. Her expression looks tired. Lines cross her face, the legacy of a life filled with hard work and disappointments. "I am Sister Magritte. How do you know the Sisters in Mortigny?"


Don't forget Trina.


To Caladrel, the crackling sound is nothing that belongs to the natural order of things.

The tunnel is a tight squeeze for Luce, but cats do love tight spaces. All of you will have to crouch (you will be squeezing) in single file. Are you headed in? I will need a marching (more like tunneling) order.


A tiny window in the wooden door slides open and a pair of wizened eyes looks out. The eyes look you over and a woman's voice says, "This is a poorhouse, not a moneylender. You have come to the wrong place." With that, the tiny window is abruptly shut.


Okay. I think I've got it now :)


Finding your way across the stream and to the far bank in the unnatural darkness is a challenge, but enough of you are able to navigate your way safely and assist the others. You hear a faint crackling sound nearby. Investigation leads you to a tight tunnel that leads into the face of the gorge. The magical darkness is in effect even here, but you can feel the perimeter of the opening. It is approximately 4 feet in diameter. The sound seems to be coming from within.


You make your way toward the Mud Quarter, where Leclerc indicated you might find the Sisters. The streets are bustling with activity. Merchants and laborers of seemingly diverse races and ethnicities mix here, their various tongues filling the air with a linguistic stew.

A affluent couple with a young girl in tow walk carefully on the muddied streets. The girl is preoccupied by an exquisite toy. The wooden doll, styled as a shepherd, seems to articulate via countless joints which are nearly impossible to spot in the seams of the wooden creation. None of you have seen a toy of this ingenuity and craftsmanship.

Once you are past the markets, the streets grow increasingly caked in mire. The neighborhood has a squalid air, tinged by a slurry of sewage and effluent that lies stagnant in the gutters. The streets and alleys are crowded with the poor and afflicted. The mission of the Sisters of Charity is easily spotted.


Are you following any of those leads to look for supplies? Anything else you want to do today?


The shroud of darkness is at the base of the gorge, so you no longer need to proceed in single file.

You head bravely into the darkness. In the absence of vision, your notice your other senses more. The sound of the waterfall is there, but you also discern a slight breeze in the branches, the passing water against the rocks, the sound of your own footsteps. The air smells of acid and decay. Shortly beyond the leading edge of the darkness, your feet (or those of your mount) touch the waters of the stream, continuing on its journey through the gorge away from the base of the waterfall.

Perception checks please.


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The inky darkness is imbued with a faint aura. Unfortunately, you are all pretty incompetent at identifying auras, apart from the fact that they exist.


Leclerc seems to consciously ignore Leandro's provocation and focuses instead on Andrzej's question. "I don't have much use for churches, but I suppose you could see Germaine the apothecary, or else maybe the Sisters of Charity in the Mud Quarter."

You are acquainted with the order of the Sisters of Charity - Cecile, Claudette, Greta, etc.


Smitty acrobatics: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
Smitty survival: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17

Rhodes acrobatics: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25

Trina and Jerry struggle to keep their footing on the narrow path. Their companions are able to point out sturdy roots protruding from the wall of the gorge, which they are able to hold onto and avoid falling. The trail is lengthy and treacherous. It follows the edge of the gorge and switches back as it descends.

As you approach the bottom of the gorge, near the base of the waterfall, you see a stretch of the stream is shrouded in darkness. It is as if an entire span has swallowed up the light and you can see nothing through it. The anemic light of the sun through the blighted trees does nothing to pierce the inky aura.


Seeing how readily you agreed to his price, he stammers for a moment. "And there will be expenses, too. And a finder's fee."

50 gp is a lot of money for a fishmonger.

To Tybalt, he adds, "The best equipment you can bring is a sharp blade."

If you have more to ask or discuss, feel free. If not, what are you doing for the remainder of the day?


Leclerc gives a toothless smile to Tybalt and Andrzej. "Ten gold coins is a start, he says. It will be five times that by the time the journey is done." As he pockets the coin, he gives Leandro a superior look. "A necromancer and a great many other things do indeed give me reason to fear. All the more that I should trust in coin, for if you are on a righteous mission as you say, 'tis a fool's errand. You lot will find yourselves in shallow graves, I suspect, and I would be none the richer for it. Nay, I'll take my payment in coin. If you wish to seek your death in the necropolis, it is none of my concern."


The trail winds its way along the edge of the gorge, descending gradually toward the bottom. The path gets narrow at times, with rough rocks to your right and a steep drop to your left. The progress is slow and precarious.

Could you I get some Acrobatics checks, please? If you are trained in Survival, roll that as well, as it can give you a bonus. And don't worry about failing Acrobatics; that only means you are struggling - others will have an opportunity to aid you.


"Nobody does a thing so dangerous as exploring these swamps unless he stands to profit dearly. You'll not fool me." He is clearly stubborn, and, if nothing else, he is making his own motives very clear.


Leclerc eyes you all appraisingly. "Are you fools? Or adventurers? No difference as far as I can see." His speech is phlegmy and labored. "I've spent my time in the swamps, it's true. But I want a cut!"


You should split up! That always works out.


Caladrel can certainly locate a tree and among your group you could safely harness him and lower him into the gorge. The game trail does continue, and based on the old druid's directions, you are believe it will ultimately descend, but the route is circuitous and uncertain.


Should you check on your rented rooms, you find them to be dingy but serviceable.

The streets of Port d'Elhour are crowded and filthy. The smell of seawater hangs heavily in the humid air and people from all walks of life crowd about you on their business. The city is evidently home to a large population of beggars who extend their tin cups looking for charity.

You can easily follow the noise of the streets to the bustling marketplace. It seems all manner of goods are being hawked here by merchants trying to outdo one another in assertiveness and volume. The fishmonger Leclerc is easy to locate by the smell. His stall is arrayed with all manner of fish, many of which have a telltale glassy-eyed look that is likely to dissuade a more discerning consumer. There are also several creatures on display that look like giant aquatic bugs. He seems quite fond of this manner of exotic shellfish.

Leclerc himself is a grimy man. He hobbles conspicuously, and you can readily identify the cause as one of his legs is significantly shorter than the other. Given the man's current state of hygiene, you question the quality of his wares all the more. He eyes you suspiciously.


You can put 3 or 4 in a room if you like. He does have two rooms available that adjoin.


The earth elemental slams into the ooze with a mighty blow and your foe expires with a splatter. The spray of goo no longer moves.

Out of combat.


"Eh, the guards do as they will," the innkeeper says. "For the most part, they will leave you be, but those that do not respond well to a little remuneration."

"We can surely give you rooms. How many will you be needing?"

"I have not spoken with a man of that name recently," he says. "But if I receive a message, you will get it."


Reflex save: 1d20 - 4 ⇒ (5) - 4 = 1

I am assuming Rhodes is continuing his defense.

The ooze seems to have lost much of its oomph after the blast of lightning, still, it flails at Jerry, trying to latch onto him.

1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
Damage: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5 plus Acid: 1d6 ⇒ 5
Grab: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16

Jerry is struck by the corrosive goo, but manages to avoid being seized by the gelatinous mass.

MAP

Smitty
Caladrel
Jerry
Rhodes
Trina
Sylvia

Ooze


The innkeeper considers your request. "There is a fellow by the name of Leclerc who sells shellfish in the market. You would not think it to look at him, but he knows his way through the swamps better than anyone I know. Might not be much of a guide, but he may know where to look."


While the fire has not damaged the malicious goo, your physical attacks seem to be wearing it down. It recoils from Jerry's swing and Smitty's shot.

Rhodes Trina and Sylvia are up.


The innkeeper raises his eyebrow at Tybalt's line of inquiry. "The Marshflower caters to all sorts of clientele, but not that sort." Then he pulls you aside conspiratorially. "If you are looking for the necromancer, I wouldn't look in the city. I don't think that freak cares much for the company of the living, if you catch my meaning. He stays out in the swamps, and what he does there I don't care to think about."

He goes on with greater resolve: "Whatever 'business' you have with that monster, I hope it's the business-end of an axe. Anything less and I think our conversation ends here."


Trina's glaive strikes the ooze with a splat. Sylvia's bomb strikes true, but the ooze does not seem to harmed by the fire.

Not gonna work here, Sylvia!

The puddle of ooze morphs up and reaches out at Jerry with great speed, trying to envelop him.

1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14

Jerry dodges smartly out of the way.

MAP

Smitty
Caladrel
Jerry
Rhodes
Trina
Sylvia

Ooze


The innkeeper nods and one of the serving girls brings over plates of eggs, hard bread, and boiled prawns. It seems like a strange morning meal, but then this is a new culture for all of you. And no one at this establishment seems to flinch at you drinking alcohol while the sun has barely reached its zenith. The serving girls are a cheerless lot.

If you want to ask around about Monerre, please roll Diplomacy to gather information.

Also, are you looking to get rooms at this place? If Dr. Savarre could be sending you a message at some point, you might want to make an arrangement for that as well.


Knowledge (Dungeoneering) DC 14:
This is a gray ooze. You are more or less familiar with them. They are more commonly found in subterranean depths, but they can survive in any damp, shady place. Most woods are clear of such hazards, so this ooze is probably here in response to the forest's taint.

Fortunately, they are not known for splitting or dividing.

Trina's bullet strikes the creeping pseudopod with a sickly splat. The ooze responds by advancing on your positions.

MAP

We are past the surprise round and now in regular initiative:

Rhodes
Trina
Sylvia

Ooze
Smitty
Caladrel
Jerry


It is not difficult for you to locate the Marshflower Inn. Any number of merchants or passersby can tell you that it is near the docks. The place is considered unwholesome, but it also has a reputation for discretion. Travelers from all over the Domains stay there when they arrive at the port, and the innkeeper knows better than to ask too many questions.

The common room of the inn is dimly lit. A few patrons sit alone and in silence. A heavyset man minds the bar.


Trina: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Smitty: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
Ooze: 1d20 - 5 ⇒ (19) - 5 = 14

Trina is up for the surprise round, followed by the ooze. Then:

Rhodes
Trina
Sylvia
Ooze
Smitty
Caladrel
Jerry

MAP

Blue is the stream. Gray is the gorge and is well below your current level. Green is difficult terrain due to undergrowth.


As you near Port d'Elhour, the smells and sounds of the city greet your arrival. The land around the city is cultivated, its farmers providing food for the massive port. No walls encircle the city; the structures merely grow more dense you progress.

Rickety wooden structures, warped by the oppressive humidity, crowd the squalid streets. The city hosts an array of varied tongues and ethnicities as sailers and slaves crowd the streets. Beggars ply their trade from darkened alleyways, as the filthy masses part for the occasional wealthy merchant who passes in regal procession.

Are you seeking the inn?


On the path in front of you, Trina notices a puddle that is unlike the others. It is exceptionally murky, and as you near it, the surface itself rises into a terrible, gelatinous pseudopod. It will be difficult to circumvent this obstacle.

Trina can act in the surprise round. Everyone should roll initiative.


Tybalt:
You studied that book of peerages rather well. You cannot conceive how it is that you remember any details about lords so far removed your laird's estate, but you believe that this to be the abode of the Marquis Allande. He is known for his wealth and vanity, and is not particularly well-loved.

The muddy road winds a lazy path northward. Travelers are few, but a few merchants and and tradesmen pass you on the route. The day grows hot as sun rises in the sky. It is approaching midday. No breeze stirs the humid air. The road climbs a small hill and when you reach the summit, you behold a vista of the open sea with a cramped, squalid city hugging its shore.


As you continue, your eyes confirm what your ears suspected: the stream tumbles over a small, but rather tall, waterfall. Exactly as Gindel said, there is a game trail that diverges from the path of the stream near the top of the waterfall to wind its way down. The trail is heavily shaded by close branches and dense undergrowth. Puddles and rivulets make for a muddy mess beneath your feet.

Perception checks, please.


Rhodes was the only other PC injured by the dryads' claws.

The blackened stream runs past. It almost seems to devour what little ambient light reaches its surface, but then this is a miserably lightless place to begin with. You are able to follow its route downstream, winding among stones and fallen trees, their trunks blackened by the forest blight. After a lengthy trek, you can hear ahead the sound of falling water.


As a reminder, I mentioned in this post that last night was a waning half-moon. You have about 6 days until the new moon. What that means for Eliva (if she is infected) you cannot say, but you know the importance of that detail for anyone who may be infected by the wererats.

You make your way westward across the plantation fields. With the dawn come the workers - a dreary, oppressed lot who work the fields with no particular enthusiasm. Across the fields to the north of your path, a fine manse stands watch over the surrounding land. Westward the muddy road comes into view.


Trina: The other dryad is dead. With enough time to address your wounds, you would be able to take 10 on the Heal check and read the spoiler in my earlier post. I will rule that your Eat Sin can work normally here, since the spoiler I gave you is pretty specific about what types of healing may not work.

For the rest of you:

Knowledge (Nature) or (Local) DC 13:
Dryads are rare. They were once more common and treated as the guardians of their woodlands. In the modern age, they are a special sight only to be found deep within old growth forests.

Decide as you will, of course.


Tybalt:
Is that 2 consecutive saves?

Darra and Tannis both bid you farewell. "Be wary in your travels," Darra says, "for there are dark forces at work, and they seem to have a way of finding you."

"I do not know what is in store for you," she goes on, "but I believe Mother Kindry's foretelling. Your efforts bring light to dark places."

When you have completed your farewells, they had in the direction from which you came - back to the Mists and back to their clan.


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I will resolve Jerry's action first, since he is earlier in the initiative than Trina. I will treat the intervening PCs as delaying, since Jerry's rolls are good enough to end the fight.

With a thud, Jerry strikes the dryad and she collapses, unconscious from the blow.

That was enough non-lethal damage to knock her out.

Out of combat... depending always on what you plan to do with this passed-out dryad.*

*Yes, Rhodes, we know what you plan to do with the passed-out dryad and the answer is no.


A worthy consideration. Let's proceed with that, since nobody has voiced disagreement.

"Very well," Tannis says. "But we must move quickly at dawn. The workers begin their day early in this land so as to avoid laboring during the afternoon heat."

The flat ground and tall grasses provide for a remarkably comfortable sleep. They also provide decent cover from the fields and plantations beyond. The night air is warm and alive with insects, but you are able to rest safely until the first foretellings of dawn stretch from the horizon.


Reflex save: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20
The dryad's reflexes are quick, avoiding much of the fiery blast, but she is still badly burned.


Reflex save vs flaming sphere: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26

The remaining dryad smartly dodges both the flaming sphere and the elemental's attack.

Trina's glaive strikes its mark and wounds the dryad. The twisted creature shrieks and lashes out at her assailant. 5 foot step to close the distance and full attack on Trina.

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
damage: 1d6 ⇒ 5
damage: 1d6 ⇒ 6

The wounds sting greatly.

Trina, as you are trained in Heal, you can make a check, DC 15. Right now, this is only for you, since no one else is examining you, and the only other person wounded is Rhodes who is not trained in Heal.

Trina Heal check DC 15:
The wounds from the dryad's claws fester in an worrisome fashion. You can tell they will be difficult to heal.

Defiling Touch (Su)
The damage dealt by a debased fey’s natural attacks resists all magical healing (though it can be healed normally through rest). A creature attempting to cast a cure spell or a heal spell on a creature damaged by a debased fey’s natural attacks must make a successful caster level check, or the spell has no effect on the injured creature.

MAP

Sylvia
Luce
Smitty
Caladrel
Rhodes
(charmed)
Jerry
Trina

Dryad

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