Sorry folks. Hadn't even checked the discussion thread here. Blossom indicated waiting a bit would make things a bit easier schedule wise.
Blossom, I just sent you a PM, right before seeing this actually, about whether your schedule had cleared up. I guess it has.
River, you didn't get the PM?
Annie, thinking about sticking around?
This is during a very brief break, so apologies if grammatical errors turn this into alphabet soup.
Sorry everyone. Work and school have both been very busy in preparation for the upcoming holiday. All your frustrations are perfectly understandable and valid, and yes, I have disappeared from games before. This not due to lack of interest, or an issue with the game, life has simply tended to be rather chaotic this last year. That is the main reason I warned everyone of my school and work obligations.
Good luck everyone, may you vanquish all the evil.
Talk to them? Are you mad? The only good mutant is a dead one! ^_^
Indeed you did miss a couple encounters. They didn't do anything to advance the story, and didn't really have anything that seemed to resonate strongly with any PCs or NPCs, so they were discarded-ish. The two enemies at the shrine were made a little tougher and used together for a more challenging encounter, and some elements from the skipped ones will show up at the next main battle sequence. However, the AP recommends you start that at lvl 2 and, having looked it over, TPK is a distinct possibility for your company as is, throwing you into it at as firstees would be meat-grinder. Now isn't that a cheery thought. The shrine, what with combat, attention of gods, and pious actions, seemed like the most reasonable place for this power-up to occur.
1d20 + 17 ⇒ (18) + 17 = 35
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Without more help, cleaning the temple takes quite a while, so there is less time for sleep than you would have liked. Nevertheless, you feel at peace. Duty and honor before comfort, and you can feel the Father's approval resting on you.
Also, while cleaning behind the altar you find something unexpected. A finely crafted Dorn Dergar, made of cold iron and emblazoned with Torag's symbol. Masterwork cold iron, non-magical.
Examining the scroll Kayla gave to you, where did she find that, you recognize the runes as divine magic, though, having no skill in such yourself, you cannot tell what they might be. Spells most likely.
Enshi & Weyland:
It takes a fair amount of time, but once finished you feel a sense of gratitude and approval. That of your own deity mingled with a stern brusqueness.
Horgus joins you for a few moments before stepping back inside. Whatever his other faults, at least he doesn't get in the way.
Taking a few liberties here...
The passageway widens and narrows, sometimes opening up into small chambers, mostly without anything of note. An exoskeleton here, a bone fragment there, etc.
After some time, you come to a steep incline. It would be difficult to scale but for the dozens of pitons hammered into its surface. They appear to have been here for a very long time, but are still quite sound. Anevia and Aravashnial require some help getting up, but aside from some grumbling by Horgus, it goes well.
The passageway levels out and you continue on...
The tunnel opens into a large cavern, about seventy feet across. Cylindrical rock formations along the walls arch up to make a domelike chamber, but the walls and floor are riddled with cracks. At the center of the cave, a stone tower that may once have reached the fifty-foot-high ceiling has collapsed onto its side.
Two humanoids are carefully digging through the debris, you catch a glimpse of another figure buried in the rubble. It looks like the two are trying to free it. You can't really say much more about the creatures because they so... odd looking. One of the diggers looks like someone stuck half a satyr and half a lizarfolk together, with a badgers claws for fingers, while the other appears to have no face, only smooth, featureless chitin, and the body of a humanoid cat. They make the Wound Fly look natural.
Barundar, cremation is favored for both allies and enemies. For the first, out of respect, the second out of practicality. Demonic cultists have a nasty habit of rising as undead.
Reinnwulf and Weyland drag away the monster's body and bury it beneath the largest stones they can find, of which there are plenty.
Meanwhile Aravashnial and Anevia join Barundar in disposing of the corpse. The scout pours a flask of oil over the remains while the mage ignites the oil-soaked robe with a spell. It takes a few tries, but he manages it without undue difficulty. The withered husk acts like tinder and for a few minutes the cavern is enveloped in a oddly cheery light, with shadows dancing on the walls. When the flames die down, only blackened bones remain, which a few strikes from a rock easily reduce to splinters. No corporeal enemy while rise here.
Gathering inside the shrine's sheltering walls, people take time to check injuries, examine gear, and rest. Barundar, and some others, take time to clean and dedicate the shrine. Anyone who cleans and/or prays to Torag, let me know.
Though a watch is kept, nothing bothers the company as they rest. After a several hours, enough for spellcasters to renew themselves. The time comes to set off again. Though you don't know the current state of Kenabres, everyone feels a urgency to find out what has happened, and from some, what remains of their home.
Please give me marching order. If anyone is scouting ahead, please say so and how far ahead of the party you travel. Remember, trying to sneak with a light source is not very effective. The farther you are from light, the more effective your scouting is. However, it also means you are more likely to be eaten by a grue...
Horgus eyes you narrowly, you're pretty sure he saw you pocket the items, but says nothing. Everyone else seems busy with disposal duty, you doubt they noticed. He simply folds his hands together and looks meaningfully in Barundar's direction.
Certainly, and I will do so tonight/tomorrow morning. For my own information, when should I move things along, and when should I wait? I'd like everyone's opinion on this, as it can be very frustrating if things aren't moving and you aren't interested in what is happening, and it can be equally frustrating having found the perfect moment for some serious RPing, only to have the DM gloss over it.
Your careful search doesn't turn up anything in the ante-chamber, but while searching around the pedestal, you notice something on the floor of the shrine room, an old satchel half-hidden under one of the benches.
Assuming you investigate
Incidentally, your water flask ought to work for the holy water, some of the others likely have canteens as well.
Nobody ever listens to the short ones, do they? As the dwarf and others are taking the corpse outside, Horgus stands and examines the water before dipping his finger into the basin before quietly saying, Holy water, probably renews itself. Most shrines near the border have something similar. He again sits. You notice something different about the nobleman, a lack of his usual asperity.
Ante-chamber Horgus rises to look at whatever has the gnome intrigued, mutters something, and sits again. Whatever it is, not worth his time.
Again, you are less certain due to the differences in faith and race, but most follow the crusader tradition of cremation, as it reduces the likely-hood of remains being desecrated or rising as undead. Failing that, probably burial in a cairn, as there don't seem to be many other options available. There are sufficient loose stones.
For the fly, take it down the passageway a bit and see if the sorcerer or his wizard father have a flame or acid cantrip that will destroy it. Preference would be to not leave it around for a scavenger to find, least it be contaminated in turn, but if there is no choice but to leave it, it shouldn't way too heavily on your conscience.
The only thing of note about the pedestal is the water held in its basin. The water itself is clean and clear, but otherwise unremarkable. There must be something to it though.
It would be a knowledge(religion) check to know the proper rites for consecration. So, while Barundar may not sure how to do it officially he probably has an idea of where to start. Namely, removing the fallen priest's corpse and disposing of it somehow, then doing the same with the fly's corpse. Abyssal ichor should not stain Torag's shrine. Other than that, probably something that brings divine power, preferably Torag's, back into the place. A bless spell or expenditure of a paladin ability perhaps?
Rituals vary between faiths. If it where a Sarenite shrine you'd say to remove and dispose of the corpses, clean any mess they left behind, then either expose the interior to the dawn's light while channeling energy or casting a blessing, or, if sunlight in unavailable, burn incense in a fire atop the altar while invoking Her power. For a deity like Torag, hard to tell, though cleaning is likely a good first step. If only you had some holy water for the priest's bones.
Reinnwulf, several of the others look at you curiously.
Don't worry guys, didn't disappear again, just letting the party take point, since most of this is inter-party and really up to you how it proceeds. As for cleansing, you have two paladins and a cleric. Think about it. Also, Bestiary 4 has a nasty whose breath weapon makes you count as having violated your code for 24 hours. I cannot wait to unleash its horror upon you!
For all his earlier grumbling about needing to press on. Horgus doesn't say anything when talk turns to consecrating the temple. He simply moves to the back of the ante-chamber, and sits facing the entrance. To Reinnwulf, A Wound Fly is a giant fly from the World Wound that's been corrupted with energies from the Abyss. Intelligent, dangerous, and almost demons themselves. Spite acid, obviously, and have some of the standard resistances. Cold iron weapons work best.
Aravashnial nods. Some are actually native to the Abyss and are extra-planar, thus subject to banishment, while others are native to Golarion.
Perception/Sense-Motive DC 10:
Anevia raises an eyebrow at Weyland's remark and conspicuously looks him up and down. Eyes lingering on the places where dust, ichor, and tears mar his own outfit.
You get an impression of mild impatience and your mind suddenly goes to the pedestal near the door and its font of water.
Vaelor Aravashnial answers dryly, Strange? Perhaps, but I find it rather comforting. The Huecuva's presence means this area is likely avoided by predators, the shrine provides us with an easily defensible location, and the Wound Fly means that there is access to the surface.
Horgus' reply comes swift and causes the elf to tense, An interesting theory wizard. To Reinnwulf and Weyland, Well done.
Taking a torch, you circle round the small cavern the building and the ante-chamber. You don't notice anything out of the ordinary, except for a particularly foul smell coming from the fly's remain. You have not searched the main room itself however, as it appears the injured dwarf is having a moment with his god. You can search the altar-room, but thought I'd double check before having Weyland nose about.
Perception/Sense-Motive DC 15, for those in the ante-chamber:
You can see Anevia rolling her eyes at Horgus. Her meaning is clear, 'What an ass'
You don't notice anything among the remains aside from the silver holy symbol of Torag around the corpse's neck. You do, however, notice that your own wounds are quite severe. You are at 1hp
You are stable. This next part will be as you waken. As you emerge from the blackness, you feel a sense of approval mingled with mild reproof.
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 161d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 141d4 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Vaelor, -ish. You can't really see what they are fighting but you can see Enshi swinging at something and arms reaching out towards him.
Combat is over and nobody died! *Edit, and the post didn't disappear this time!
Sorry about no post yesterday.
Outside As Reinnwulf runs forward to help Enshi, Vaelor steps into the open space. With a few mystic words and gestures, a bolt of energy strikes the fly in a burst of light. The thing collapses atop the roof, head rolling limply over the edge. Soon, a trail of ichor begins to seep down the wall.
Anevia joins the two in looking up at the fallen foe. Sorry for being slow to the party. Looks like you had things in hand. MM, for when you need to do just 2 more points of damage, and don't want to worry about anything.
Not much that you can tell from the wounds, or do without a healer's kit. He appears stable, but the wounds do look pretty nasty.
Reinnwulf takes position behind and slightly to the left of the priest, spear ready to strike, and just in time. A desiccated dwarven corpse lunges out of the darkness, only to be impaled on his spear. Ignoring its injury, it turns it hate-filled gaze on the priest who stands between it and its prey. A withered claw lashes out and Enshi gasps in pain. Enshi, the Huevuca's attack hit you in a rather sensitive spot, 7 damage and sickened for 4 rounds.
New round everybody!
Hmm, the goblins must be unusually active tonight. Site's doing weird things to my post. Glad I went back to check. Ahem, part 2 of the above post.
Anevia struggles to her feet and hobbles towards Weyland, Let's see if I can pincushion this bug of yours.
Hargum's sharp voice helps resolve Reinnwulf's dilemma. In here! Now! Something just torn the dwarf to pieces. Doesn't sound like a insect. You Sarenite, what is it?
Aravashnial whispers in your ear, If the situation is desperate enough, my summons should be able to handle most foes. I will rely on your judgement for this, but remember, without my sight I will not be able to renew my spells. Once used it is gone... for the immediate future As he says this last you can sense the despair welling up within him. Here is a battle that mere hours ago he would have ended in seconds with elementals and celestial beasts. Now, he can't tell what is happening, and fears the loss of every spell.
To the flyswatters, your foe is still visible on the edge of the roof. Ranged weapons and climbing after it are options, as is moving inside.
Ante-chamber, Barundar and Enshi, and anyone by the outer door who looks inside.
Thrusting his holy symbol forward, a bolt of fire streaks through the doorway into the darkness beyond.
Based on the undead's appearance, demeanor, wearing of a holy symbol, and presence in a shrine, you are confident this is a Huecuva. The risen corpse of a heretical cleric who blasphemed and renounced his deity before meeting death, but did not align himself with another or have time to distance himself sufficiently. Rejected by the being they had attuned their soul to, and without allegiance to another, the spirits remain tided to the material plane. Hating, like most undead, all living, but harboring a special hatred for those of faith, particularly those who serve their former patron.
Huecuva's blasphemous nature makes them unusually resistant to positive and channeled energies.
Wounds causes by their claws often fester and become infected.
You feel there is something more, something that would help you defeated it, but you don't have time to ponder the matter more fully.
Your bolt of fire strikes true despite the darkness, burning the robe and scorching undead flesh beneath. The fallen priest's eyes focus on you with murderous fury.
Hope you don't mind what I did. Normally withdraw is a full-round action, which you can't do while disabled. You could have taken a normal move, but that would provoke an AoO, which didn't seem good. So, I've invented an action! The partial-withdraw. Just as you can partial-charge, charge but only move your movement if you don't have access to full-round actions, you can partial-withdraw. This is a standard action that allows you to move your normal speed without provoking AoO from the initial creature you are escaping from. However, as a standard action this will cause one point of damage to you, rendering you unconcious at the end of the round. What think ye?
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
2d6 ⇒ (4, 3) = 7
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 51d8 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 181d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Doorway fight As Reinnwulf steps aside, Weyland's blade shears off most the monstrous face, leaving the barbed tongue wriggling on the ground. With a sound of anguish it hastily retreats up the wall, allowing the northerner a chance to spear its side, creating a hole from which leaks foul smelling gore, though the blow should have skewered the beast. In response, a stream of bile flies from the ruined mouth as it craws back to the roof. Both men are able to avoid the worst of it, but a suffer a few burns as the substance eats into their flesh.
Vaelor Unfortunately you noble companions are blocking the door, but you do see a glimpse of a face, an amalgum of man and insect shortly before the paladin's sword strikes it. You can also see the severed tongue and stream of bile. Though a few stinking drops do splatter inside, you, and the others inside, are in no danger.
Enshi Seeing the others move towards, and block, the front doorway, you move to the other opening. Stepping across the threshold, you can see the dwarf reeling as a skeletal figure savages him. The dim light makes it difficult to make out much more.
Another claw tears into you, and you feel your wounds begin to overwhelm you. You barely have enough strength to stand. You are at 0hp and disabled. Sorry about how brutal this turned out. It got surprise round and won initiative.
Round one is done, and the monsters have taken their actions for round two. Everyone go! Sorry about those excellent rolls Reinnwulf.
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 161d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 221d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 111d6 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
KaylaYour shuriken strikes true, but bounces off the creature's chitin. You know it should have done more. As you leap and swing, a hissing laugh comes from the insect's mouth. It focuses its attention on the barbarian.
Vaelor You don't notice any additional threats. Your father urgently asks, What is going on? What is attacking us?
Reinnwulf The fly moves with quick, jerky motions, evading your thrust. It once again tries to flay the skin from your face, but you prove to be a more difficult target than that.
The dorn's ball skips across the creature's rib-cage, the angle just off from a blow that would have crushed ribs. In return it's claws continue to wrench at your armor. One claws tears into the flesh of your left arm and only by quick reflexes are you able to prevent the other from doing the same. 5 points damage. I believe this puts you at 5hp.
Indeed. Let's get this one farther than the last.
Sorry about no morning, or evening, post gents. Forgot my laptop this morning. Just in case it didn't make sense.
Character Name Means that the following pertains to a particular character, such as a conversation with an NPC, but is something those nearby could notice.
Character Name:Means others in the party probably won't/can't know, such as what is taking place inside the main room of the shrine. This is to help people have a better idea of what's going on with who.
Things that pertain to a group/everyone will usually, if I remember, be called out by location or activity. Such as, 'everyone in the ante-chamber'
About Initiative, this can be a pain during PbP. Sometimes I'll just lump things together into Party/Non-party. Other times it will be more separated out, such as when the rogue, gnomish ninja in our party, is trying to ambush something. In this case initiative is very important because it could mean the difference between 1, 2, or 0 sneak attacks. When several characters a have the same initiative, such as with those inside the ante-chamber, I'll resolve possible conflicts, such as two characters attacking the same thing, but the attacks of one being capable of killing it alone, based on who posted first, the default, or which seems most appropriate.
For example, I will probably resolve Weylands actions first of those in the ante-chamber because he is not occupied with anything else.
Hope this sounds alright to everyone.
In all things use common sense.
Enshi Irabeth is my wife. She serves the Lady of Valor Anevia stresses the current nature of the relationship, though whether from fear of her loved one's safety or something else is hard to tell. Lady of Valor is a common name of Iomedae.
Vaelor Gripping your arm tightly, your father asks, What isn't good? Is there someone else trapped here with us?
As you examine the corpse, it leaps towards you with bony claws outstretched. One leaves a terrible gash on your check, while the other scrabbles fuitilely against your armor, almost as though the creature was trying to tear your heart out. In dwarven the creature shrieks, Why does He favor you! How was my offering unworthy? Undead desecrate the Father's hall! 4 points damage
Your whisper reaches the barbarian as he nears the doorway. You see him tense and begin to look up as the fly scuttles down towards him. You have a surprise round to act and have initiative. Please me give two actions, this supercedes the note below about ignoring initiative. It rolled up you, fly, undead, and everybody else. You are say ~15' from the fly.
Reinnwulf As you enter the doorway, you hear the gnomes' voice give you warning. Alas it is a moment too late. You look up just in time to see a monsterous fly, the size of a large dog with a disturbingly human face, scuttle down the wall above you. Its barbed tongue reaches you, but fails to do more than rasp against your armored shoulder.[/ooc]
Those inside the ante-chamber see Reinnwulf twist aside and look up, fighting something above him. A moment later, from the next chamber over, erupts a cacophony of shrieks. It's definitively not from your companion.
Anevia gives a weak chuckle. You see the sun at midday. Glaring at Horgus, Don't know why he acts like such a faithless bastard, especially since... Struggling with what to say she finally manages, It's not really my place to say.
Deliberately turning to a different topic, Actually the shrine here just made me think of Irabeth. I'm worried how she's doing in all this.
Skirting along the sides, you find a spot where you can easily see both creature and doorway. It's shown no sign of noticing you, it'd have to be something special to spot you in the dark. After a few moments crawling around the ceiling, it drops to the buildings roof and quietly moves to above the doorway. It's hideous face peering over the edge to watch for movement.
As you edge carefully forward, you're able to get a better look at the figure. The same layer of dust covering the floor lies on the figure's cloak. Skeletal hands rest on the its knees, and the face is naught but a few scraps of mummified flesh over a grinning skull. A holy symbol of Torag hangs from corpse's neck.
There is no response to your query, which is probably for the best.
Aravashnial turns his head towards the door, It sounds insectoid. Though that means very little beneath the ground and near the Wound. It could be a large insect, they can grow quite large in the darklands, or it could be some demonic creature like an abyssal fly, Vescavor, or ...
Horgus interjects at this point, In any case it is views us as an easy meal. Looking to Reinnwulf, Take on of the others and deal with it. If we're going to stay here let's do it right, not give whatever-it-is a chance to bring others and trap us in a stone lunch box.
You all hear the dwarf's voice coming from the other room, and Aravashnial quickly inquires, Is someone else trapped here?
Perception DC 20:
The buzzing sounds has stopped.
First gameplay post!
An enormous fly, easily twice your size, clings to the ceiling, partially hidden in a crack that extends across the cavern. You'd swear that its face looked human.
No, it's fine. Just need to take the weight off it for a bit. Anevia mutters as you take a look at her leg.
Heal: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
There's something more going on here. She isn't really favoring her leg much more than before, and it certainly doesn't look worse than before, if anything something is distracting her from the pain, and her expression seemed more melancholy or despondent than pained. Based on her reaction to Horgus you bet there is something between them, and it connects, in some way, with this place.
Since this ante-chamber is only about 5x10 feet square, you don't have to worry about be separated from the group. If anything, the trick is how all nine, well eight, of you are in here!
Standing next to the basin and doorway, you notice the basin's water is clean and fresh. It must be refilled somehow as everything else here has a fine layer of dust over it.
The symbol above the door is nothing remarkable. A simple hammer with the runes of creation. Done with dwarven care, but no extraordinary skill.
The room beyond is a simple shrine, some twenty feet by twenty with four stone benches and a simple alter near the back wall, about fifteen feet from where you stand now.
Curiously a this room has an occupant. Seated on the forward-most bench on the left sits stocky, hooded figure.
Greetings all. Kayla and Barundar seem to have approved me, and so, if the rest of you are amenable, I'll be taking the GM spot for this game. Let the smiting begin!
Few things about me. I am a full-time, light load, student with an almost full-time internship. So I may disappear during the second week of December for finals. Fortunately, my train ride to work should let me post reliably in the mornings and evenings. Usually 7:30-8:30am and 5-6pm MST.
I intend to play true to the AP, but there will probably be some minor tweaks. Nothing comes to mind at the moment, but I don't want anyone who has read ahead getting worried when NPC X is in location B instead of A.
A few questions for you guys.
Google docs work for everyone? Some of the more tactile encounters might be easier if we have an interactive map everyone can move around on. If not, that's okay too, just don't want anyone left out.
Mature content fine with everyone? May seem like a silly question, but I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable, and you are facing cultists, evil, and demons, evil incarnate. If anything does make you uncomfortable, or just bothers you, PM me.
After a time eating and strategizing, you leave to meet with Sheriff Green and his band. They've assembled underneath the metal tower, a good two dozen men, mounted and resting easily in their saddles. Most have the star badges of deputies, and all look experienced. No boys or recruits here. Jose and his group are here as well.
The deputies seem to be uniformly equipped: Crossbow, horsebow, saber, lance, and breastplate. The other's equipment isn't identical, but fairly similar. The wagons are more mobile forts, with their steel plating and twin ballistae mounted in turrets front and rear. The bolt heads are fearsome, wickedly barbed and razor-edged. These are meant to ruin flesh.
Green rides over to greet you.
To those who understand:He glares at Annie.
We'll head out in a few hours. We want to take hill road along the lakeshore after dark. The striges will be asleep and hopefully the taurs won't spot us. They can see in the dark, but apparently it doesn't work with binoculars, so we ought to make it to the homestead overlook without being spotted. This means no lights or fires, and make sure to blacken your steel. Also keep yourselves and horses quiet. If they have time to prepare, we won't be able to cross.
We would have used the service roads on sheepy, but somebody,
Decided to listen to Windy and light the reeds. Fortunately, the wind is headed towards the lava beds, which should keep them from smelling us. Also, block the moonlight.
Any of you that can see in the dark I want upfront once we pass the lake. Keep your eyes on the rocks, particularly any dips or lines run towards the devil's homestead. See something, quietly point it out to those next to you so they can double check. We don't want a false alarm giving us away. Otherhand, if you see something, and you are certain it's a taur, shoot it and yell like a b*#@~, but do not follow into the rocks.
Once we're at the overlook we'll wait for morning, so we can get a good look at the crossing. If we spot anything, the ballistas will nail it and we cross fast. Then it's up to the lookout to see what we can see and investigate what happened. We'll decide what to do from there.
E-terah and Blossom:
Jose rides up to greet you. We're heading off. We'll be headed around the east end of the lake and enter the beds from the other side. Idea is lookouts will spot us and let you guys slip by. Once you sucker-punch 'em and they start looking back your way, we go through and make for the southern caves where the lizards are. Good luck.
If you have anything to add, feel free.
The time of departure arrives and crows seeing you off. Blossom and E-terah recognize the bartender from the Watering Hole laughing and talking with the Sheriff.
Near Stateline, April, the accused witch, and another girl ride up to greet you. She hands Beylinda a metal water bottle and shiny piece of obsidian. Turning to River, You saved my life and took revenge for my father. If one of you is dying or has a deadly wound, drink this. It should give you a chance or at least help. Throw the stone at an enemy. A spirit will appear to fight it.
Once dusk settles, the group moves south along the lakeshore. Aside from the croaking of frogs and other nighttime sounds. It is quiet. The horse-shoes clop on the cracked road surface and the wagon's roll silently forward, pulled by several horses.
As the lake ends and the dark river of the devil's homestead becomes visible, Green motions you, those of you who indicated you might be suited for the purpose, forward to join the lead riders. The convoy begins to move again, with hands tense on weapons.
Tell me your general positions in the caravan.
You find Sheriff Green talking with several other men. They're are readying one of the 'battle wagons'. A modified flat-bed with tractor tires of extra clearance and steel plating for protection, it looks like it would be impenetrable to most personal weapons. Based on the dents, and even a few dowel wide holes, it has seen hard use.
Listening to your offer, he leads you aside and rubs his chin thoughtfully. You're right that a few extra swords wouldn't hurt. This isn't Portland though, so don't be expecting gold chains. Speaking of which, I thought of something that should be proper thanks for saving the girls. Pointing to one of the numerous stables in town. Broken with tack. One for each of you, including yourself. They're payed for to the week, but you should probably get to know them before then.
Green tells you that there could be problems, whether the party goes with Green or stays in town. Your, the group as a whole, friendliness to April and general foreignness has some people mighty unhappy, and the deaths and kidnappings brought a long problem to boil. Someone is going to do something stupid and there'll be blood and bodies. Doesn't matter whether it's one of them or somebody in town. I'm f#!&ed whichever way it goes. Just make sure you and them stay out of it. Outsiders being involved would just make it worse.
You eventually negotiate a reasonable settlement. Some basic supplies plus food and fodder for the new horses. If, which based on the preparation seems very likely, there is fighting reward will be based on party contributions. The more you do, the more you get. Green hints there may be some mint pre-change arrows available. For an archer, pre-change arrows, especially arrowheads, are very useful. Some do increased damage, while others cause bleed effects. Also, the deal is reasonable, by their standards. Rewards, generally, are substantially less than golarion standard. This is especially true in farming and ranching communities, where rewards usually come in the form of X bushes of grain or Y heads of cattle.
Keeping sharing information and RPing until tomorrow, real-time, evening then I'll probably move things along. *Aside. Hehe, Beylinda is paranoid, or is she...
Thom joins Beylinda as she seeks out the rest her former crew, they notice a cloud of black smoke, far larger and darker than any of the others, rising from behind the line of low hills to the west and south of town. She notices Annie skipping down a road from that direction.
You find Blossom chatting with a local in the bar mentioned earlier. They seem to share a language. The man River finds you just as you are ready to leave. He has a proposal he'd like to discuss with the group.
The last to be found is E-terah, leading a large dog and accompanied by two young men.
Together again, Thom nods towards one of the local eating establishments and suggests filling each other in over a hearty meal.
Rovers are just what they sound like, bandits that travel with their herds, usually stolen from the ranchers, from one source of water to the next. Basically, anything south of here to the dead zones, or east of Lakeview to Boise or Deseret is rover country.
As you send Tibbers home, Be careful, the connection between here and the planes isn't steady, and things are watching.
The dog is combat trained. That's part of what you payed for. To teach it new tricks, you will have to make it unlearn a trick, then learn another. See Handle Animal for details. For leather barding, you're looking for a leatherworker. Plenty about, but there isn't really anyone who makes armor for dogs, or horses for that matter.
The owner tells you the command words. It will take a bit of practice to get it used to you, but everything seems in order.
Nah. Not around here. I think there are some around Bend, good 150+ miles from here, but those are all played out or claimed. There's also the sunstones if you go east, just pick 'em up off the ground. But that's a ways, at least as far Bend, and takes you into Rover territory.
Tibbers is aggitated, No. I didn't see a woman or devil.
As you approach town, You should send me back before the people notice. They don't need to know.
Alright, once I hear from Blossom let's bring everyone back together.
My fault River. I should have role-played your interactions out like everyone else's. Trying to get everyone wrapped up and back to you so you can do that. Lesson learned
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26
The man is startled by the sudden flames, and reaches for a knife on reflex. Glaring at you, moves in front of Tibbers and yourself. Pointing towards town and speaking in a firm, deliberate voice. The message is clear enough. Go away! This is only a fight if you want it to be. He also has successfully intimidated you.
The baroness nods. Perhaps. I am not usually at court, but feel free to call on me if I am there or if you visit Netarts. With the conversation drawing to a close, the the noblewoman summons another boy to escort you out. They need to practice their etiquette before being unleashed on the world.
Jose translates for you. The man says it's a mix, mostly mastiff and rottweiler with bit of bulldog and pitbull for the locking on. When you attempt to pay, Jose explains something to you. Apparently gold is worth considerably more here. I know very little about dogs, so if that is ridiculous please forgive me. Also, your gold and silver coins are effectively worth 10x their golarion value. The dog will still be 150gp, but that's out of the 628gp you now effectively have.
Glad to hear that. Is there anything else you would like to do with this conversation?
E-terah & Blossom:
Jose doesn't seem to think there is anything else right around here. People generally don't live in areas prone to battles. Though if you're looking for a bloodbath you could always try a salvaging run to one of the cities.
Jose and one of the other men join you outside where a few conversations lead you to someone who seems to have the kind of dog you're looking for. Large as a riding dog, but with a stouter build meant more for grabbing and crushing then tripping or circling. The breeder is one of the deputies responsible for hunting down worg packs that migrate to the area. Use riding dog stats instead, give it more durability, but replace trip with grab and drop dex to 13 and raise strength to 17. Just noticed something. E-terah, do you have any money?
Blossom, Joan thanks you and stays at your table while Jose and E-terah head out.
Yes, it is still morning. You think Joan's hesitation stems mostly from dancing alone in front of strangers. She seems more comfortable with a group than alone. Unfortunately, in Joan's case there isn't anything else more to know. Though don't let that stop you from rolling. Sometimes there will be. Is there anything else you would like to do?
Blossom & E-terah:
Is there anything else you want to do E-terah? If not, we can just montage you getting a hound.
Jose's expression is bland, I never try to explain anything involving women. I will take your word for goblins.
At your mention of bringing down the Bull, he shakes his head. Girl, a lot of men have died going after that thing, and I like you too much for you to join 'em. Stick with something easy, liking wrestling bears.
Blossom, Ar draws yr Arctig? Dyna ffordd hir iawn. Pam na theithio mewn cwch? Joan's eyes widen in amazement.
At your invitation, she once again blushes and seems flustered. Mae'n anodd i ddawnsio yn unig. Dawnsfeydd mwyaf arferol yw gyda ffrindiau. Fy hoff yn dod o bobl y Fairfax, ond mae hynny'n gofyn llawer, y rhan fwyaf o'r Dun i wneud yn gywir. Byddaf yn ceisio rhywbeth.
She speaks to Greg and the others, who begin moving tables around to create a patch of open floor. Once cleared, the guitar begins another tune, this one also slow, but with plucking strings and cords that make it feel more lively. He soon begins to sing, though in a more normal voice rather than his earlier droning.
Joan dance is slow and deliberate, fitting the music, with lingering, and inviting, glances to those watching. As the beat picks up during the chorus, she grabs a cup and begins to twirl with hands overhead. The dance then begins to repeat. Once finished, she rejoins you.
You're right. I'm learning that 'don't split the party' applies just as well to social encounters as combat. I should have role-played yours out. Since I kind of jipped you, anything you'd like to do at the moment?
Doh! You're right she wouldn't. She just knows there is an agitated man yelling, kind of, but not totally at you. Also, he is not phased by your teddy bear.
The dismounts while continues to speak vehemently, almost entirely to the air now. He spares Tibbers only a passing glance before throwing his hat down in disgust/despair/something and glaring at the flames. The voice in the wind is amused, giggling for lack of a better word for it. Look at him! See him stomp and shout! Oh he will use all the bad words! In a lightning fast change of images and tone, you see a female teifling, human likely, surrounded by brush and near a dead sheep. She is devouring it, and her expression is one of total rage. Oh they made her mad. Courting bull will get his... things torn off, and eaten. Again it changes, Fluffy!
Tibbers flexes his claws and starts to hunch his shoulders, signs that he's agitated, but it doesn't seem to be directed at the man. Annie, what is this... thing in the air?
It's true, but remember that even the truth combined with a nat20 diplomacy/bluff won't help if you say the wrong thing to the wrong person. Kinda of liking criticaling with a hammer on something immune to bludgeoning. Also, this is an encounter and you are gaining xp for it.
You can't sense any poison. It appears to simply be a herbal, mostly mint, tea. Though if it were done by a master poisoner, you would probably never know now you. The baroness raises an eyebrow, Well said. Now, fair is fair, you asked if there was anything we wanted from you, we ask the same.
Yay! Monday post happened! While it was still monday no less.
The baroness' bosom swells with indignation. It is quite impressive. Don't be smart with me young lady. You're no more from Crete than I am from wherever it is you did come from. Narrowing her eyes at you, Your answers are as sideways as a senator's. An explorer who doesn't speak English? A dwarf from fantasy? Hah! Try again. You don't think she is truly angry, just... miffed.
Her sister smiles gently turns her palms out in a non-threatening gesture. We really are just curious, and a bit part concerned perhaps. You don't seem to be from anywhere we've heard of, and you travel with companions that are unlike anything we've seen, or heard reliable stories off. You were summoned by a ritual used to summoned outsiders, but are not outsiders or evil yourselves. If you came here, could we go there, could an army come here?
You see, it wasn't so long ago that this part of the world was almost destroyed by evil, other places weren't so fortunate. And we don't know where you came from, so we started to wonder could this herald a new calamity? The auguries say no, but that doesn't tell us much. So if you would, please tell us why you tried to deceive us? Also, would you like some tea? I promise it is free of drugs, poisons, or enchantments. She says this last with a smile.Your roll did help, they do like you, but are suspicious. What you tell them is up to you, but remember that they have sense motive too.
Your little balls of flame turn into little patches. Little patches join together and soon before you is a wall of flame as grand as the wind showed you. Tibbers growls at you, This is impressive, but why?
After a while, not too long, but not too soon, you see a man riding as if all the worldwound's demons were behind closing in on him. Whether he is angry, attacking, or frightened you can't tell. He may even be excited.
If you want to do something, go for it. Otherwise...
Jose eyes start to glaze over and he raises his hands in surrender. Touche. Point and match.
Once things settle down. I prefer the sugar vodka myself. This place is famous for it. As for dogs, not sure, but one shouldn't be hard to find. They use dogs here for hunting down the cali worgs. I'll ask around for ya.
Orcs and goblins? Those are only in stories. This area is pretty quiet actually. Occasionaly drakes or griffons attack cattle. Most of the action is in the lava beds, where you came from actually. The two big things there are the minotaurs and fire lizards. 'Taurs aren't worth much, though if you could get the Bull, rumor is he's a first, that could sell for a lot. Especially if you can bring an intact corpse, or better yet, it alive, to Corvalis. The faculty pay top for first specimens in good condition. Not worth the risk though, the 'taurs will just kill you. We're here to hunt fire-lizards. The gems on their back are worth big bucks, especially with wizards and noble ladies.
Black nose sniffing the air, Tibbers returns your embrace. In his slightly fluffy growl, Others? What happened? This isn't where you usually are. We were in that house, by the Worldwound, then you called me from this place. It feels... strange.
Looking at the reeds, The wind should blow the fire further into the swamp, not out of it. Town should be safe.
Blossom & E-terah:
As you bring up the coin, Hell's bells friend, where'd you find coins like that? the man who handed you the mug says in dwarven. You see a grin erupt on his face, Didn't expect that did ya? Damn useful when we need to talk to something. I ain't never heard this strange language of yours, making my jaw hurt. Anyway, I'm Jose, and this is my crew. We heard what happened. Damned brotherhood. Summoners always mean freaky s+%*. Never heard of one that crawls up your ass and wears you like a suit though. That's s$@* worth getting hammered. He calls to the bartender in the common language here, then returns to you. What's your drink?
Joan does her best to keep up with Blossom, Rydych yn tylwyth teg-gymryd, yna? Eich llygaid, clustiau, a gwallt mor rhyfedd, pa mor hir roeddech yn Tír na nÓg
Seeing the what's happening between E-terah and the man, Maddau Jose. Mae'n fwy doniol ei hun nag i eraill. Rydym yn cael eu diddanu gan cerddoriaeth, ond yr wyf yn brin o sgiliau gyda fy llais. I ddawnsio. Bydd Greg canu a chwarae.
One of the other men returns to their table and removes a guiter from it's case, starting to strum and sing in a droning fashion. CORA style music
Sylvan: You fairy-taken then? Your eyes, ears, and hair are so strange, how long were you in Tír na nÓg?
You get the feeling they know you are hiding something. The baroness nods affirmatively, I am. I was in Portland when the Change happened, and got swept up in Norman's insanity. I was blessed to end up nobility rather than dead or a peasant. This is my home though.
Andrea continues, We don't submit to the High Queen here, but are friendly with Montival and it's constituent powers.
More than Tian would, but no, not really. Remember, she asked if you could switch languages, so you can continue using Sylvan. Joan just isn't feeling very confident using it on the spot. Good chance for her to learn, no?
The thin sister inclines her head slightly, You sound like my brother. If someone has taken the trouble to move you around the world, you should at least look around?
The stout one nods. True enough. I am the Lieta Strangeways, Baroness Netarts. Now tell me more about these Pathfinders and how things stand in the Mediterranean. I haven't heard of your group before. Frankly I don't know too much about the situation in the Aegean either, mostly my trade is with the East. Does Crete currently hold with the Umbrian League or the Papal States? And what's your take on Cyprus?
The thin one continues, And I am Andrea Palmer. How old would you say the site was? 20th, 18th/19th, Renaissance, or Classical? It might give us an idea of how it become connected to the summoning.