I should add that the opening on the opposite wall does look passable, if tight.
(Knowledge) History DC 10):
Many castles contain cramped, utilitarian passages for servants and guards. That might explain the nature of this hallway and door. Then again, this castle in particular is strangely conceived.
The door is not locked, and it doesn't seem to be trapped. I assume you open it?
The tired hinges protest as you open the door. You discover a tight hallway, which veers immediately to the right. On the opposite walls is a thin opening that looks as if it once housed a small door. You note that the hallway comes quickly to a set of stairs, which leads down.
Sorry, my page usually lets me know when there are new posts - it did not this time.
The room has the same strange, serene feeling as the one below it, though no strange whispers come to your ears. As you open the first of the smaller doors, mist spills out and surrounds your feet, but it dissipates nearly instantly. This smaller chamber is entirely bare.
The other door opens with the same effect - mist briefly carpets the cold, stone floor before vanishing. This room too, is bare, though there is another door at the far wall.
Climbing back up to the ground floor, you continue up the stairway on the other side of the room, and shortly find yourself in a similar chamber a story above. This room is picked clean of furniture and decoration. In various places on the walls, there are deep cuts in the stone, but the room is otherwise unremarkable.
There appear to be two single doors off of a short hallway to the south, and a large pair of double doors as well.
You are in the northernmost room on the map. Please indicate which door you would like to try next.
I'll send him a PM to let him know that we're back on.
The way down is pitch black - I'll assume that Raziel is casting Light.
The stone stairway spirals downward, deep into the cold rock upon which the castle rests. After several minutes, a floor levels out before you, and you find yourself in a tight hallway. You do not go far before you come to an iron portcullis planted firmly in your path. The gate is in remarkably good condition relative to the rest of the castle; its thick bars extend into the floor and up through the ceiling.
Perception DC 15:
You can see into the chamber beyond, and just at the edge of your light are two immense stone doors, which hang open. The rooms beyond are shrouded in darkness.
Perception DC 20:
There are two five-inch circular depressions in the wall beside the portcullis - one on either side. The one on the left is inscribed with an image of the sun. The one on the right instead depicts the moon.
Old tapestries depicting a seaside castle hang askew on the walls of this circular room and a thick layer of dust cakes the floor. The air is musty and weirdly cold. Two doors hang askew on hinges in a passageway to the south, while to the north, a third door lies in fragments on the floor, opening onto a flight of stairs leading down into darkness. A second staircase leads upward against the north wall.
The room seems eerily quite, but the presence that was so palpable moments ago is notably absent.
Okay, here goes:
The northern door is the one at the top of the central chamber.
The door creaks open, revealing a short hallway, which seems to lead into a larger chamber. There is a feeling of strange serenity that seems to permeate the air.
Perception DC 20:
Faint whispers of "Blessed be the liberators." greet your ears.
So here is what I'm thinking - I will need to take a hiatus from the game for several weeks. I'm in the middle of staffing/casting a theatre production and completing my thesis proposal. The majority of this work will be complete by Monday, February 25th. At that time, I'd like to check back in here, to see how folks are feeling about continuing.
I'm really sorry to do this - I consider myself a reliable player and DM and not being able to keep up is quite frustrating. My school/career priorities are necessarily pulling me away from this game, however, and I need to take some time to address them.
I hope that you all understand, and that you're willing to check back in at the end of February.
You guys, I am so sorry. Between my course load and professional responsibilities, I am getting completely slammed right now. I've managed to keep active in this game for a year and a half, balancing my GM duties with grad school and career opportunities, but everything is hitting at once this January. Things should ease up by this weekend, but I honestly need to evaluate whether or not I can continue with this game. I'm really enjoying playing with you all, and really hope to keep doing so. Please, give me a few days to get my work done and clear my head.
Sorry I've been absent. I'm producing a show this summer, and the pre-planning stuff is all hitting this week. Contracts to sign, auditions to schedule, and my graduate term is also beginning.
I've always been unclear on how to link images of the detailed maps that Paizo provides in their PDFs. I've heard people say that MapTools is the key, but I haven't been able to figure it out. The best I can provide for now is admittedly imperfect combat map we've been using: Throne Room
In terms of tackling the dungeon/castle, I'm sure you three could do it. It's designed for a party of four using a 15-point buy, and the first half is doable by second level characters. I've been tuning things up to challenge the group, but I think with three, leaving the encounters as is will be fine.
I agree that it would be unwise to seek replacements now. Let's finish Book One and see where we stand.
This large room rather sparse. Excepting the rotting banners which hang from the ceiling and the ornately carved wooden throne, everything within is hewn stone.
There is a door right in front of you, through which Kikonu was apparently trying to flee. You spot another door along the northern wall, a third door on the western wall, a huge pair of double doors on the south side of the room, and another pair of large doors near where you came in through the secret passage.
Knowledge (Planes) DC 15, Setomi:
Oni are terrible and cruel monsters, obsessed with the pleasure and pain of their corporeal forms.
Knowledge (Planes) DC 20:The ghastly head bounces on the stone floor, and comes to rest with its face towards you. Though the monster's features are twisted and grotesque, the curl of its mouth more than suggests a smile.
Oni are constantly embroiled in conflict with the Kami, mysterious spirits of nature. Unlike the benevolent Kami, Oni despise humans, and are jealous of their mastery of the material world.
On Kikonu's Body...:
A silver key
Raziel's firebolt strikes the creature squarely in the chest.
"No! Oni do not fall to apes!" he screams, flapping his wings furiously, lifting off the ground towards the open sky. Sorin's hammer catches him in the shoulder and pulls him back to earth with a sickening crunch. He lies motionless, in a twisted heap. His red skin begins to blister, and the feathers of his wings begin to singe. It is as if the heat of Sarenrae's holy fire has washed over him.
Kikonu uses a move action to open the door, takes a 5-Foot Step to 03, and then changes shape.
The red-faced man dodges the point of Almar's rapier as he pulls the heavy oaken door open. He steps into the fog that spills in from the outside, and with a pained grunt, sprouts two ravenlike wings. His strange features become more grotesque: his already prodigious nose grows larger, and his pointed teeth extend. With what seems like one fluid motion, Almar drops his rapier, draws his pistol, and fires. The BOOM echoes through the large hall.
Almar remains in M3, uses a free action to drop his rapier, and a move action to draw his pistol. He attacks as a standard action.
Attack (Pistol) vs. Touch AC - 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
The shot grazes your foe's neck. His hand goes to the wound. "That weapon...you're the one that he said would come."
Raziel is up next.
GM Screen:One failed Concentration check later, and he loses his spell. I think another initiative is in order.
Concentration - 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
Kikonu takes the Withdraw action, and moves to N3, stopping in front of the door. He avoids taking an Attack of Opportunity from Setomi and Sorin, but Almar gets one, as he threatens the second square that Kikonu leaves.
Attack of Opportunity (Rapier) vs. AC - 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9
The red-faced man curses loudly as his magic slips form his grasp. With a quick step, he deftly slides under Almar's blade, and makes for a nearby door. The gunslinger pursues.
Almar moves to M3 and attempts another attack.
Attack (Rapier) vs. AC - 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Raziel is up next.
Also, Bull's Strength should still be active on Sorin.
I wasn't really thinking of specific squares since combat ended, but it makes sense that Raziel would remain at the same distance. In any case, Setomi actually gets another attack, triggered by Kikonu's spellcasting.
Sorin's attack hits. Kikonu does not fall, but he does not seem to be in good health.
I have had similar trouble reaching the website. I was able to get through on Tuesday, but was blocked for all of yesterday, and this morning.
Flat-Footed is Flat-Footed! Both attacks hit!
Sorin receives no answer. Setomi's darting slashes open the man's chest, and he lets out a bloodcurdling scream.
The smartest ape is the most foolish! There will be a reckoning!" He makes a furious gesture with his hands, leaving himself open to attack.
Spellcraft DC 19:
The spell is Dimension Door.
Kikonu is casting a spell. Everybody gets an Attack of Opportunity.
GM Screen:The red-faced man sits back his haunches, and he angry eyes focus on Sorin. "Why, this is my domain, and so you should not ask what I do here, but what here does for me! My play, the heart-rending story of ravens who awaken to find their wings gone, was a masterpiece, dashed to pieces by careless apes who don't know their lines!"
Bluff - 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (5) + 12 = 17
Sense Motive DC 17:
He might be telling the truth, but certainly not all of it.
Having regained his sight, Almar circles behind the red-faced man, and tries to stick him with his rapier.
Almar is moving to I6 and making an attack against Kikonu.
Attack (Rapier) vs. AC - 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
Sorin is up next.
The firebolt strikes the red-faced man squarely in the chest, singeing his ornate robe. As wild as was his fury a moment ago, this attacks elevates him to a new level of rage. He lets out a ferocious bellow that seems to issue from all corners of the large hall.
I'm again giving Almar his 24 hour window to post, and will continue to do so through this combat, but if we haven't heard from him by the end of this encounter, I will go ahead and assume continued control of his character until he is able to rejoin us.
Almar is up next.
Sorry, you did indeed down the last Corby. I guess I was pretty distracted while posting last night.
The last of the bird-creatures falls to the stone floor, and the red-faced man shouts furiously as he sidesteps both of Setomi's blades. "Filthy apes! Hours of rehearsal, lost!"
Raziel is up next.
All mirth has gone from the man's face. Shifting again, he unleashes another fiery ray.
Kikonu takes a 5-Foot Step back to H7 and casts a spell, targeting Setomi.
Spellcraft DC 17:
The spell is Scorching Ray.
Attack (Ray) vs Touch AC - 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Setomi is up next.