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Arcanaton

DM Grey's page

482 posts. Alias of Lloyd Jackson.


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DM:

1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 111d4 ⇒ 1

Seeing such a tough man taken down so easily, Dimitrio's aim is a bit off, and the dagger flies off into darkness.

Liana's first arrow sinks deep into the ogre's torso, refocusing its attention. Arrow still pinning tongue to jaw, it charges up the short slope towards you, blood, spittle, and gods know what else spraying as it bellows. Just when it is almost within arm's reach, Zeek splays his hands wide, and a blast of light strikes the monster's face. With a confused moan, your foe tumbles back down the slope. Lying halfway between you and the wagon, it makes feeble swimming motions.

Hope that was alright with you Zeek. It was too far away to move and spray, so I figured Zeek would get ready for it coming after the rest of them.

Alright everyone. Although, your foe isn't quite dead yet, he's basically helpless and severely injured. Whoever wants to may do the honors, I recommend doing so quickly, but otherwise, combat is over. RP and such away, for what happens next is up to you.


No worries. I know how it goes. ;)

DM:

1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21

1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
1d10 ⇒ 3

1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 141d8 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9

1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 261d8 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 231d8 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9

1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 221d8 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 21d8 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8

1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 272d8 + 10 ⇒ (4, 6) + 10 = 202d8 + 10 ⇒ (7, 4) + 10 = 21
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16

Surprise Round
Unwilling to stand by and let the terrible seen unfold, everyone springs into action. With a flourish and shout, Dimitrio gestures toward the ogre holding the girl. It slumps forward, banging its head against a wagon wheel before collapsing in a snoring heap on top of his victim.

Liana quietly lets fly an arrow at the other one. Alas the brute jerked at the last minute, leaving the arrow to pass harmlessly through it's filthy garments.

As Zeek gestures towards the ogre, it lowers the child and begins to turn towards you, shaking it's head as though trying to clear it.

Downing a extract, Bellis prepares herself to move as Veter leaps down the incline towards the remaining giant.

Round One
Hoping Lady Luck is with him again, Dimitrio gestures towards the second ogre. Shaking it's head more violently, it turns to face you bellowing, Get's out of 'e 'ea... before Liana puts an arrow neatly through it's tongue.

Shut up. Liana mutters as another arrow sinks into its barrel chest right below the neck. 20 damage between the two, and congrads on our first critical.

Nervously watching the bloody enraged beast prepared to tear them all limb from limb, Zeek shoots a beam of sparkling light at its eyes. Alas it narrowly misses.

Sprinting forward on magically quickened limbs, Bellis slids to stop near the wagon. You have reached wherever you were headed. I'm assuming it was not adjacent to the awake ogre, but that's really up to you.

Drawing both swords, Veter halts just out of the ogre's reach. Not a comfortable place to be.

Seeing the little man-thing standing so boldly before it, the ogre drops the child, raises its club with a deafening roar, and smashes the rogue aside. As the body tumbles limply to a stop some feet away, it is all but certain he is dead. You are at -13hp and have failed your stabilization check. Now would be the time to panic.

Round two now begins. Everyone please take your actions.


Sorry about not having a map everyone. Hopefully next battle.


Get'em Zeek! Okay everyone, looks like the combat is about to start! Post your actions. One standard for the surprise round, and one full because you all go first. Also, if you move during surprise and charge during full-round, you will be able to reach the ogres. However, the grass is slick, and acrobatic checks to see if keep your feet.


DM:

1d20 - 1 ⇒ (6) - 1 = 5

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21

Yes-ish. I rolled for everyone this time, but feel free do so yourself in the future if you feel the situation will soon warrant it. Order is Dimitrio, Liana, Zeek, Bellis, Veter, Ogres. Since ogres go last, it will just alternate between party and monster. Don't worry about posting in order or waiting for someone else's actions. If two characters actions conflict, such as two characters delivering death-blows to the same target, initiative determines who gets it. Whoever is second will have their action translated into something appropriate, such as attacking another adjacent foe. If you aren't sure how things will play out, feel free to do what Zeek did and give alternatives. Once everyone has acted, I'll put up a summary of the round.


If everyone else posts and she hasn't yet, I'll decide on something. For now, continue.


Your post brings up a good point Zeek. To provide a verbal component, you must be able to speak in a strong voice. Different people 'strong' in different ways, see rule threads for all manner of opinions on the topic, but for me it's clear enunciation and at least as loud as normal conversation.

As such, it is very likely, if they were closer and not preoccupied it would be certain, the ogres will hear your spellcasting. Now, whether they notice, turn around, and find you in the 3-4 seconds before you vanish, is much less likely. That's what the surprise round represents.

Letting them hear you and turning invisible presents opportunities of its own.


DM:

1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12

Creeping through the deepening gloom, the sounds become easier to distinguish, bellowing laughter and an occasional scream. Peering over the final rise, you find a scene from a fire-side story, and not one of the nice ones.

The Varisian campsite has been torn apart, several headless corpses lie amid scattered family heirlooms. One brightly painted wagon rests sheltered beneath the gully's tree, but it is the second that commands your attention. Two ogres, their misshapen faces filled with cruel delight, stand at the back of the wagon, their attention wholly focused on their cruel game. One's head is tilted back and dangles a flailing infant over its cavernous maw. The second holds a young woman in a grotesquely intimate embrace. A weeping woman kneels in the wagon. The wagon itself has been pushed over the campfire, and flames are spreading along the bottom.

You can hear the giants mocking laughter, 'Aven't got all evenin'! Fire's gettin' warm! Ogre's meal, or ogre's wife? Maybe we do both if ya doesn't choose! With this, the one bites off one of the child's toes while other mashes his lips against the girl's.


DM:

1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16

Veter:

You can't be certain what made all the sounds, but you are damned sure what you heard and where it came from. At least two different horses screaming and a wet, bellowing roar, like something a bear or a enraged drunk might make. There might have only been one of whatever those are, but your gut tells you wouldn't be so lucky.

The sounds come from further up the trail and a bit to the left, slightly off the trail towards the mountains. A gully with trees a few rises on seems the most likely origin for the sounds.


Zeek:

You're sure there was more than one animal making noises out there, a horse or something by the sound of it, but there is something else. Something that makes you want to sprint for the nearest badger den. Ogres. While not the most adventurous of gnomes, you remember the stories and techniques every gnome is taught from childhood, for there are few things a giant enjoys more than swallowing a live gnome whole.

Ogres:
Ogres are the worst of man and giant kind distilled through generations of incest into morally deficient sociopaths for whom torture is sport and the breaking of mind and body high comedy. Better to slit the throats of those you love, or even those you dislike, than allow ogres to have their way with them, for even the most heinous acts a mortal is capable of is nothing more than routine entertainment for these monsters.

Able to see in the dark and equipped with inhuman strength and surprising stealth, melee is generally a position of last resort for fighting an ogre. Best thing to do, run. Next best thing, fool it or trip, hopefully killing it, then run.


I make that commitment. It looks like we have quorum.


Thanks for giving me another chance.


The easiest way to check on a DM's reliability is to go to their default alias and look at their campaigns. If none of them have lasted very long, probably not a good sign.

As to way someone would start a campaign only to vanish soon after, hard to say. I've had a DM be unexpectedly deployed before. I know for me work suddenly changed, development for my capstone courses kicked into high gear, and my complex's internet was discontinued due to DMCA complaints.


Though the Lost Coast has a deserved reputation for incessant rain, Gozreh seems to be in a good mood. Aside from a few sprinkles, the past week has been unusually warm and sunny, making the prospect of a long journey on foot much more enjoyable.

Leaving from the north gates, you look back on the city you call home. The Avensoar gleams in the afternoon sun and Ulfen longships vie with Chelish galleons for berths. Truly, there is no place like it in the world. Magnimar

The next few days see you passing through scattered farms and the town of Sandpoint into the wild lands of the Varisian wilderness. The road hugs the coast until you approach Windsong Abbey. Here the road forks, one track leading to the village and temple, and other curving east into the moors towards the foothills of the Fogscar mountains and the lake town of Galduria beyond.

----------------------------------------------------

Heading east, the weather starts to close in, returning to the more seasonal grey skies and constant drizzle. Naturally, this would happen while between settlements. You reach the Fogscar foothills as the wan light begins to fade to evening, probably. It could just be a thickening of clouds, but it certainly feels like you’ve walked for a day. Time passes oddly, as there is only grey twilight for day and wet, impenetrable, darkness for night. Wilderness at night

Survival DC15:
You notice the weather changing. Unless you want to spend a thoroughly miserable, and possibly life-threatening, night in the cold rain, best make sure you have shelter and/or fire for everyone. A supply of dry tinder could make all the difference. The moors are mostly empty of the ready shelter the coastal forest provide, but you might be able to find something. Additional survival check to find shelter

Perception DC20:

You hear… something. Through the muffling drizzle comes a scream, or a bellow, both? Whatever it was, it was there.


Good point, Dimitrio, sorry. There was supposed to be a line in the spoiler to the effect of, 'If you get them to Roderic's Cove, a town associated with Riddleport not far from Ravenmoor, a friend will happily buy them from you, at a minor profit.' Unfortunately, typing quickly means not all the thoughts get translated in text. My bad.

You could either rent the horse from Veter or, effectively, buy into the scheme.

Glad you guys are interested in the journey.


Decision time everyone! We can skip ahead to Ravenmoor, or see if the journey has anything interesting to offer. The town of Sandpoint is a logical place to stop tomorrow.

As for the journey, a likely itinerary would be Sandpoint, the turnoff to Windsong Abbey, half-way to Galdura, Galdura, Wolf's Ear, half-way, and finally Ravenmoor! Though this is only a suggestion.


Veter:

1d2 ⇒ 2
It takes a couple hours to find the people you are looking for and work out a deal. The fence smiles as you explain your interest in speed. Smaller animals would be cheaper, Larius warns, but a pony or moderately burdened horse isn't much faster than a man walking. Halves, halflings and gnomes, can ride a horse fine if it's not too big, and he just happens to know of some wonderfully swift horses that don't care for the city air. The animals will be waiting at a farmhouse 2 miles beyond the city walls. 600gp for three heavy horses and two light horses. Should let the party move at 40 miles a day, making your arrival at the village no more than 6-7 days away, as well as carry any gear you'd need.


At Zeek's remark, Jeminda makes an odd face, somewhere between a genuine smile and grimace. I don't disagree.

As Veter turns to leave she clears her throat. As promised. Twenty-five gold sails now. Handing each of you a small pouch that jingles with promise. Desna guard your dreams, and the Judge aid you in justice.

---------------------------------------------------------
Now is the time to gather any last minute supplies, or information, before leaving. Once everyone is ready, and a rough plan laid out, the journey will commence.

Veter&Dimitrio:

If you're looking for horses, your contacts in the Underbridge and caravans respectively might be able to help you with some horses that could also do with some time away from the city. Knowledge:local and Diplomacy to see what sort of deals you can turn up.


Dimitrio, I see perhaps why you keep on the move. Have you offended Lady Luck in some way?


Don't worry folks, city clerks will not be your main revenue stream.


About 270 miles. A league is roughly 3 miles. Assuming all goes well, on foot the journey would take about ten days each way.

The clerk furrows her brow in confusion. No. I am paying for this myself, and thought it more than fair. Two sails a day for twenty-five days, for each of you, which should be adequate time, and twice what I earn a day. I don't know have far it is exactly, but it seems to have taken 7-10 days for most collectors to travel there, and similar to return.

Sense Motive DC15:

Under the confusion, you can sense a fair bit of frustration and bitterness


Zeek:

The main thing you know about Ravenmoor, is that you don't know much about it, which actually tells you a fair bit. It never comes up in conversations, nobody mentions it when discussing politics or security. It's rather unusual, even for a small out of the way village, to be so thoroughly no talked about.

You think it was probably settled sometime between 100-200 years ago.


Obviously reassured by your responses, Jeminda gives you a description of the man, Elias Kyle, which should be enough as he sounds rather distinctive. He's name is Elias Kyle. He's Ulfen with red, red hair, and a lot of scars. To be honest he looks more like a bandit than a tax collector, but he's a good man. My sister's death was hard for him especially, took to drinking and a rough crowd, but he's pulled things together the last few years.

Rising, she shakes everyone hand. Thank you for your help. Please send me reports whenever you have a chance.

If there is nothing else, she leaves you to finalize matters among amongst yourselves.


Apologies about no post yesterday. I should be on and off for the rest of the day, so response time should be good today. In general you can expects post from me in the morning and evening/night.


Before
Nodding to Bellis, I hope so. I'll explain everything in a minute. as she waits for Zeek to seat himself. Likewise. To the gnome himself.

Sense Motive DC10:

It isn't hard to tell Jeminda is surprised, and made somewhat nervous by the... eclectic company assembled around her.

Sense Motive DC20:

There's something more to her worry about the erstwhile brother-in-law than just that he may have been attacked.

------------------------------------------------

Jeminda carefully looks at the five of you before taking a deep breathe. Fifty gold sails each, half now, half when you return, and another ten if your bring him back safely. Five if your return his... body. After this last she stares quietly at the table for a moment before continuing. It's about ninety leagues if you take the Lost Coast road, hundred and twenty if you follow the Yondabakari, though you can take a barge up to Wolf's Ear.

Although this seems like a paltry sum, for her it is about a third of a year's wages. The equivalent of a 40k office worker paying 2600.


Veter:

You have come up in the world, but you never lost the ability to spot who was important in the slums. You gain the trait Friends in low place

You've learned to always keep an extra blade hidden. You gain a masterwork war-razor. Formerly the property of a 'friend'.


Zeek:

One of the wonderful things about being a wizard is never having to worry about candles. Unfortunately cantrips tend to run out just when you're getting to the good part. You've acquired a crystal that will hold a light spell for 24 hours. Casting dancing lights on the crystal has a similar effect, though the light has a tendency to flicker. You may also cast the cantrip on another object without the crystal's spell fading. Alas, Mouser seems to find it as fascinating you find it useful. Watching him, or her, glow for the rest of the night was almost worth retrieving it later.

You gain the trait Avid reader

Gameplay thread is up


Drunken Dog
The Drunken Dog. Just over the river into Ordellia, it's an unhurried place well suited to meeting a few friends or conducting a bit of quite business. Today, it's both.

Inside is mostly empty, a few workers from this isle's mills and the staff getting things ready for the night crowd. A prettily normal Chelaxian woman, sitting at a corner table with a flamboyant Varisian dancer. That must be Jeminda, Aurelia's niece, who you are here to meet, though you don't remember anything about the Sczarni being involved.

Feel free to introduce yourselves. This next follows once everyone arrives.

Once introductions are finished, Jeminda explains the situation. It's like this. Some weeks ago I was going over some of the tax records for the outer towns. We always double check the records before opening a new volume. And I noticed there weren't any entries for Ravenmoor. Noting the blank looks, It's a village, if you can call it that, about halfway up the Lampblack river. It's closer to Riddleport than anything else, but it's ours. Anyway, I asked around to be sure, but there weren't current records for them anywhere, probably got dropped when someone was switching books. I asked my brother-in-law to see what the situation was up there and collect what was owed. Last I heard from him was Galduria. Everything was fine and he was making good time. That was nearly a month ago. Even if the weather was bad he should be back in Magnimar, but I haven't heard anything.

I'm worried something has happened to him, maybe even the village. That's what I'd like you to do. Trace his steps, go to Ravenmoor, and find out what happened to him and the taxes. The way things stand now I could lose my job if this gets out before everything is fixed, so please don't tell anyone about it.


So let it be written, so let it be done!

I'll get the gameplay post up in a bit, but feel free to continue using this thread to flesh things out.

Something for each of you.

Liana:

In the wild, fire is one of man's dearest friends, though it can be a right pain to get going in the damp Varisian climate. One of your acquaintances from Shadow traded you a useful trinket. Two pieces of the skymetal Siccatite, though neither of you knew what they were at the time, that lock together like puzzle pieces. When together, the two cancel one another out, allowing for safe storage and handling. When separated however, the hot piece will dry, soon after ignite, almost anything, while the cold quickly turns water to ice.

Also, you gain have the additional trait Harvest
I recommend investing in a tent and such. Sleeping under the stars is fine, until the rain comes.


Bellis:

Being small and nimble has it's advantages in the sometimes narrow confines of the Golemworks. However, it becomes somewhat problematic when you need to retrieve an unconscious apprentice, or are the only one who can reach a broken pipe. You've learned to keep some handy substances on your person.

You gain two doses/vials of each of the following: Stillgut, Soothe Syrup, Smelling Salts, Body Balm, Blackfingers, Bloodblock, Antitoxin, Antiplague, Liquid Ice, Alchemical glue, Alchemical Solvent.

Also, you gain the trait Nimble Fingers


Dimitrio:

Like any true Varisian, you know the most important things in this world are people and fate. Destiny is written in the stars and read in the Harrow, but the right friend can change even those.

You have an heirloom Harrow whose cards are made of painted and gilded ivory and gain the trait Harrow Choosen


That's what I had in mind Bellis, but I'd like you guys to take the lead on this. What sort of low-key incident would put a nice halfing girl such as yourself and this Veter rogue together, and how about that gnome? Did it start with Zeek, a shared interest in the arcane and a similar... viewpoint on the world?(I don't trust gnomes. Never trust anyone who can head you in the 'nads my my mother always said.) Or for that matter, what's a, mostly, sensible lad from the Shadow doing mixed up with 'chemists and wizards? Nothing good comes from that!

By his own suggestion, it's probably Dimitrio's first time working with the crew, so that leaves four to consider.

Here are some posts that I found very helpful regarding PbP format, and I cheerfully admit to still be working on most of it myself.
Doomed Hero PbP
Painlord PbP

*Edit Ninja'd by Liana. I wouldn't go so far as to say most recognize you, though you are probably fairly well known where you are known. There are 16,000+ who call the city home after all. You seem a sensible, if not terribly well socialized, sort, so what could have possibly brought you close to a pair of pint-sized magical dynamos and a shady fellow with too many, or just enough, blades?

(Yep, I'm rambling. If you see a post from me around the witching hour, don't be surprised if it gets a bit strange. Lurking in the labs does that. They say it's all properly contained, but knowing, and sometimes being, the one doing the containing...)


@Dimitrio Yeah, that could work. We'll probably want to do a bit of tweaking once the discussion thread starts going, but for now we'll go with that.


Thank you everyone for your interest. It makes a body feel loved. ^_^

Dimitrio
Bellis
Zeek
Liana

Please join Veter, and one another, in the discussion thread!

Everyone else, again thank you.


Welcome all. Feel free to use this thread how you will. One thing I'd like your help on is giving the party a bit of background. How did you come together? What sort of job was it? What is one thing the other characters know about your character, that the players don't?


Thanks everyone. I'll have a decision later today. Right now, I have an exam to take.


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@Dimitrio, I like the appearance and personality. Definitely room for a Varisian in the party. Yep, fluff before crunch for selecting. I'll have some more feedback for you tomorrow, but for now tell me a bit about how he came to be a trusted government freelancer?

@Bellis, I like her. Seems like just the sort to get called in for this sort of thing. Now, tell me more about her! If you're particularly interested in the a healing alchemist, I found a third-party archetype that basically replaces bomb for a alchemical lay-on-hands/mercy. Might be worth a look, though Bellis is fine as is.

Everyone!
There's already a party's worth, and then some, of applicants. I really dislike culling players, so I'm giving the 24hr notice. Recruitment ends tomorrow at midnight, so please be sure to have your fluff, and crunch if you have it, up by then. Thank you for the interest!

P.S. If you are reading this and haven't posted yet, fear not. As long as you're up before the deadline, you get the same consideration as everyone else.


That would be fine.


@Billy Thanks for the update. Makes sense and it works. How does 'Eyes and Ears of the City', an Abadarian trait, fit in with her living in the forest?

@Fyrian, I like it. A 'fixer' character would be quite useful.


@Zeek A gnome would be fine. The Sanos forest is the center of gnomish society in northwestern avistan. More than a few end up in the city looking for excitement.


All For those who haven't, I recommend Magnimar and it's associated pages for information on Magnimar and surrounding environs.

For characters, worry about fluff before crunch. Both are important, but background/personality/appearance are more useful in selecting characters. When selecting traits, make sure to incorporate them into your character. Also, beware of dump stats. Having a negative ability score, particularly in a mental stat, isn't a deal breaker, but it does mean the background and personality really have to sell it.

@Zeek Welcome!

@Bojingo Also Welcome! Either could work. I can't really say more until you tell me on either. Most barbarians in the city work in the arenas as mock gladiators, or in taverns as bouncers. However, these are usually Shoanti, who are more than a bit prejudiced regarding half-orcs.

@AZ I'm not familiar with the brawler, which doesn't rule it, just be aware that you may have to educate me regarding class abilities.

@Liana That was fast! Everything looks good, though initiative doesn't seem to include your bonus from reactionary. I look forward to learning more about her. So you know, I dislike negative mental stats. She'll work fine with a lower dex, or you can write her well. Either option works.


Thanks for meeting me here. I'm in a bit of a bind, and hear you're the ones to talk to... Jeminda Anikee, junior treasury clerk.

Greetings fellow denizens! As the title suggests, I am preparing to run Feast of Ravenmoor. Let me tell you a bit about the adventure and the heroes I'm looking for.

Far in the Varisian hinterlands lies the entirely forgettable village of Ravenmoor. In fact, forgetability is the root of Ms Anikee's problem. It appears that Magnimar, Ravenmoor's titular sovereign, has, by an error in bookkeeping, neglected to send a tax collector for the last 15 years! Sending her brother-in-law to fetch the missing revenue, Jeminda hoped to fix the problem before bringing it to her superior's attention. Unfortunately our would-be tax collector has failed to return, and now someone needs to find out what has happened to him, and the gold.

The modest means of our quest giver, and the adventure's themes of mystery and horror, mean I'm looking for heroes a bit on the ordinary side. This is a job for a group of competent Magnimarians who've done some freelance work as a team for the city before. Someone the minions of governance would trust to take care of something like this, and felt they could afford to pay. Qlippoth-spawn tiefling synthesist summoners with a penchant for kleptomania and revolution should probably look elsewhere.

Character Guidelines:

15 point buy
3rd level
Native or long-time resident of Magnimar.
Established connection with the other characters. (Obviously this will have to wait until we have everyone.)
1000gp to work with.
2 traits.
Non-evil.
Trustworthy.
All Paizo sources, though I recommend exercising restraint.

Looking for 2-4 players, with recruitment to end when we have enough characters that fit the bill. I will make sure to give a 24 hour notice before ending recruitment. A friend of mine is already recruited for the game, so at minimum the party will be three.

Thanks for checking out the thread, and I looking forward to gaming with you.


Either option is fine, though a new alias might be easier in some ways.


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.


Enshi:

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.


Since the recruitment thread said average, let's go with that for the first few levels at least. 1/2HD+1

Sorry Vaelor, but I don't want to saddle a hapless 2nd level with the dreaded 1.


Everybody, you are now level 2, please update sheet and status bar accordingly. Sorry, should have done this as part of the last post, but I did realize it would come so soon. Kayla, you didn't notice any weapons.


DM:

1d20 + 17 ⇒ (18) + 17 = 35
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13

Barundar:

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.

Reinnwulf
Anevia joins you, though she spends most of the time slumped against the the wall unconscious. From experience you know how exhausting such injuries can be. Overall, she's done quite well.

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...
Continuing on through the passages, Enshi, Anevia, Aravashnial, Vaelor, and Horgus form the body of the party. With Barundar a step behind for rearguard, Reinnwulf and Weyland in the lead, and the quiet gnome mostly sticking to the darkness, occasionally popping back into sight before hurrying off again.

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...

Kayla:

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.
You have only a short time to act before light from the rest of the party risks alerting the creatures here.


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...

Kayla:

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.


Thanks for the idea Reinnwulf. I appreciate suggestions/feedback/commentary, especially in pbp where I can't see you.


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.


Kayla:

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
The satchel itself is junk, the leather too dried and decayed to be of use. Inside however, holds promise: half a dozen flasks and a stone tube. Several of the flasks are broken, as though the satchel was thrown in a rage, but three remain whole. The tube itself contains a scroll with what looks like spellwork.

Incidentally, your water flask ought to work for the holy water, some of the others likely have canteens as well.


Kayla:
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.

Enshi:

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.


You can always help carry, and remember, just because you don't have knowledge of rituals doesn't mean you can't make a guess. If you were a god, what would you want someone to do? Like your suggestion about cleaning. Sweeping the place out a bit certainly couldn't hurt.

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