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4,760 posts. Alias of Shisumo.


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She can indeed go into full defense and take that move. I'll assume Rashak moves to C3 to stay within the glaive-wielder's range and maintain cover from the scythe (due to the table).

Rashak and Ellena both attack the cultists with all their might, but they are still trying to react to the situation, and the attacks go wide. Rashak withdraws to give Lyddy an opening, but she finds that she can't move forward as much as she needs to to reach the slowly-dying Horgus.

The two cultists exchange glances, clearly uncertain about this new turn of events, but the scythe-wielder can't spare much attention from Ellena. She takes another swing with the vicious weapon, shouting at the top of her lungs, "May the Lord of Locusts devour you!"

Scythe attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18, damage 2d4 + 3 ⇒ (3, 4) + 3 = 10

Unable to turn his weapon to the same use, the glaive-wielder takes a moment of concentration while holding a defensive pose. Concentration check: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12 Unfortunately for him, he cannot manage to focus well enough to channel his demonic patron's power, and nothing seems to happen.

You guys are all up now. Here's the new map.

I'll assume Gan takes the three rounds to check on such things. There is in fact a moderate aura of evil on the other side of the door.

Bes approaches the dais as have the leaders of the other groups. The tile the sorcerer presents is matches against the one drawn from the urn and found to be its twin; the second acolyte then draws forth a tile from the other urn and hands it to Sebti, who compares it to a list she carries. Turning to the crowd, she calls out, "The Scions of the Ascendant Sun will explore the Tomb of Akhentepi!" The first few such announcements had received wild applause, but as the ceremony and the naming of explorations has gone on, the crowd's enthusiasm has dwindled, and there is only polite applause as Sebti turns back to Bes and hands over a hand-sketched map showing how to reach the Tomb of Akhentepi from the gates to the necropolis. As she turns over the map, Sebti looks into Bes' eyes and repeats, "Hold true to the rules of the exploration: remember how this came to pass; every slave’s hut is a memorial; and honor the departed."

You have time for a couple brief questions if you wish before you leave the dais.

It's not a swift process, but everyone in the group does eventually make their ways across to the platform and then up the ladder into the small passage. The hall on the far side bears murals showing strangely dressed Thassilonian priests placing bodies into crypts. Several niches in the walls may have once been burial crypts themselves, but today, the hall is strewn with bones and the niches lay empty.

Perception or Heal, DC 15:
The bones on the floor show signs of damage from bludgeoning instruments long after their deaths; the damage is consistent with what happens when animated skeletons are beaten down and destroyed.

#1: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
#2: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17

Looks like Tania gets to go, then the men.

Technically, rags and lamp oil are enough to make fire arrows, although they would be considered improvised weapons and thus give a -4 penalty to attack rolls made with them. On the other the hand, you do still have 3 flasks of alchemist's fire available as well.

If you are bold enough to try it, diving straight in is an option as well. Cliff diving is a respected sport, after all...

The room into which you step is fairly large, about 30 feet wide by 80 feet long. Wooden shelves stacked with trays of cocoons and cases of silkworms feeding on mulberry leaves surround you, and a skylight in the middle of the ceiling fills the room with dim ambient light. Two Vudrani men, dressed in simple tunics and trousers that seem rather out of place in the cosmopolitan milieu of Niswan, stand in defensive postures, bare hands raised in a martial stance.

Initiatives, please.

Lamsfel's careful probing reveals that the door appears to be stuck, and will require some effort to open. He hears what might be very faint scratching of some kind beyond it, but he's not even entirely sure that what he's hearing is real.

As long as you can manage a DC 5 Climb or Acrobatics by taking 10, you are not in any danger crossing over to the platform. The ladder up to the passage in the ceiling should likewise present no difficulties (it's a Climb DC 0).

The passage southward is about fifty feet long in total and contains no traps that Shiv can see - and he doesn't spring any either, so it looks to be clear. At the passage's far end, there is another opening leading downward - this one is not sealed, and a makeshift rope ladder hangs down from two more pitons driven into the stone walls of the passage. There is no sight or sound of people in the room below, which looks to be a long, narrow hall or corridor, stretching toward the west.

The map has been updated.

There is only silence from within the mill.

Your next actions?

Smaller bags. And yes, the barrels could potentially be salvaged, although judicious use of repair and cleaning magics would be wise.

Owlbear seems willing to gamely follow along at his captain's command, and if Conchobhar has any objections, he swallows them in the face of the alternatives. The larger man avails himself of several of the spears, looking pleased by their potential utility, while the gnome merely comments, "I bet that spyglass is worth a pretty penny when we come back too."

The journey to where you saw the grindylows through the glass isn't particularly pleasant, but neither do you encounter any obstacles worth serious mention. About an hour and a half later, as the sun reaches its midday peak, you find yourselves standing on the edge of the sinkhole, peering down.

It is a surprisingly long way.

What you had originally believed to be a depression in the rocks is in fact a vertical shaft about fifty feet across at its mouth and most of twice that straight down. The shaft narrows as it descends, with the lowest cliff only about forty feet above the bottom, which is a dark, churning cauldron of seawater thirty or so feet wide. The walls of the shaft look climbable, if definitely not without risk.

Knowledge (geography) or Profession (sailor), DC 10:
The dark water, despite its vigorous motion, doesn't seem to be producing any whitecaps or foam save right at the very edge of the pool, suggesting it must be fairly deep water without any rocks near the surface.

Perception, DC 25:
About sixty feet below you and on the opposite side of the shaft you see a nest of stirges, mostly sheltered from above by a small outcropping of rock. You can't tell how many there are, but it's at least half a dozen.

Sigrun smiles appreciatively. "Then good fortune, Bes," she replies. "Come back to me with stories worth the telling."

Across the square, Roylenna looks slightly abashed at Jugger's admonishment... but only slightly. Falto's other two companions - the red-haired Irriseni archer and the mild-mannered tengu - seem rather used to the interaction, as they exchange a look.

Before the conversations can continue further, though, a murmur sweeps over the crowd as Sebti the Crocodile, mistress of the Grand Mausoleum, rises from her place on the dais and raises her hands. "Quiet! I beseech you all in the name of the Lady of Fate, please hear my words!"

The noise in the square slowly drops down to a background rumble, and Sebti looks up to the sky.

"Praise be to you, O Veil of Fate!
Hail to you, O Mistress of Souls!
I ask that you may open the way for us through this life,
As you do for the blessed deceased;
That you would judge us by our true worth
And guide us to the path we will most truly walk.
Guardian of the blessed dead,
Mistress of the Spire of Judgment,
Queen of those who dwell in the Boneyard,
She who is upon her throne,
May we go forth with your divine blessing."

There is a moment of worshipful silence as the crowd absorbs her words before the priestess continues. "Nearly three millenia ago, the city of Wati stood as the prize jewel of Osirion, Sebti recounts, "her foundations laid where the nation itself could be said to take root: the mingling of rivers that forms the River Sphinx. Alas for the souls who dwelt here, though, that the Plague of Madness swept through the city, turning peaceful citizens into blood-maddened monsters. In a matter of just days, the city of Wati died a screaming, gore-filled death. For centuries thereafter the dead lay untended, until the coming of the church of Pharasma. It was her faithful, our predecessors, who founded the Grand Mausoleum and built the great necropolis of Wati, so that the dead would rest peacefully at last. Now the living walk the streets of the Half-Dead City once more, mindful of their ancestors so near by, in whose shadow we all still walk to this day."

Sebti takes a breath, and something - an complex emotion, impossible to name - flickers over her face. "It is the wisdom of the Ruby Prince, master of the River Sphinx, that the Half-Dead City turn its eyes once more to the necropolis, that her secrets may be brought to the light for the sake of all Osirion!" she calls out, and renewed excitement sweeps around the square. "Let the lottery begin! Although many of you have requested specific sites to explore, we must leave these matters to fate. The Lady of Graves is a far better judge of destiny than we of this mortal sphere. The gates of the necropolis will open at sunrise tomorrow. Use this evening to prepare yourselves for the task ahead. Let these rules guide you in your endeavors in this holy place: remember how this came to pass, every slave’s hut is a memorial, and honor the departed. May you go with the Lady’s blessing."

After Sebti returns to her seat, the two acolytes accompanying her each draw a wooden token from one of the urns on the table. The first token identifies the adventuring group, matching the token that group received when it registered for the lottery. The second token determines which tomb is assigned to that group. One by one, each of the adventuring groups around the square is called forth, until the first acolyte calls out, "The Scions of the Ascendant Sun!" and the eyes of the crowd turn toward you.

They go down. There isn't a third story, other than the tower.

Leckmugee is the name of a small village in the south of Jalmeray, perhaps three or four days' travel by foot from Niswan.

Perception checks:
Check #1: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25
Check #2: 1d20 ⇒ 4
Check #3: 1d20 ⇒ 4

The sibilant voice suddenly breaks off with an angry hiss.

You are all at the back door, which is currently unlocked but not open in any meaningful sense. Please take one round's worth of actions.

The ridgeline route is indeed exposed in terms of visibility. The problem is that it is also the only one that doesn't involve the same hefty Climb checks you avoided by taking the stairs up to the stockade.

Chum estimates that the trip will likely take a couple of hours; not because of distance, but because of the extremely uneven and rocky terrain. The group will have to follow the ridge line of the island's rocky western cliffs to reach the grindylows' location, and it will be an awkward, slow and probably palm-scraping scramble for most of a mile and a half.

The boat-hook easily catches the piton and pulls down the trapdoor, which smoothly and quietly extends a study-looking ladder. The space above looks to be a tunnel about 5 feet square, and Shiv nimbly disappears into it.

You easily climb the ladder up into the tunnel, which promptly turns south and becomes a level, if a little low-ceilinged, passage. You have to stoop a bit, but travel is otherwise unimpeded. The passage runs for about thirty feet before it becomes completely pitch black ahead of you - you will either need a light source or to turn back at this point. (Or to keep going blind, I suppose... but that seems unwise.) In the distance you have so far traveled, you have not heard or seen anyone ahead of you.

The feasthall is quite a large room, and looks to be the central "intersection" space for this floor - four single doors, two double doors and a wide hallway to the south all provide exits, in addition to the small passage you entered from. The chamber reeks of rotten food and bird droppings. A long dining table sits in the middle of the room, heaped with partially eaten animal carcasses and several thick eggshells. There doesn't seem to be anyone here, though.

Knowledge (local), DC 16:
You are uncomfortably suspicious that the eggshells are in fact dire corby eggs, suggesting that the corbies eat their own eggs. A lot.

Updated map.

"Your invitation is most appealing, friend Ashar, and your offer beguiles the ear and warms the heart with its generosity," Falto smiles back, bowing once more. "I've heard that several of the fortunate parties participating in this lottery will be gathering for a private celebration in the coming nights to exchange our war stories - the venue is a charming inn called the 'Tooth and Hookah,' as I believe? Perhaps you would consent to extending your largesse within its walls one night soon?"

As Ashar turns to the halfling woman, she somehow manages to smile even more broadly, as though the grin were about to burst her open. "Oh my goodness! I'm Roylenna, but you can call me Royl if you want, or Lenna, most people do one or the other, but Roylenna's fine too. Are you an ifrit? And is that a medusa? How did you meet such interesting people? I had a giant friend once, but he couldn't come with us to Osirion. We met in a cave a long way from here. Where did you two meet? Does your friend have to wash her snakes? I'm sorry, maybe that was rude. Was that rude?"

I think we're going to need a map. Hang on.

Okay, let's try this. Ellena's and Rashak's positions represent their positions after their last actions - both of which I am sorry to say were misses. The cultist in D2 has a glaive (10 ft reach), while the cultist in B2 is using a scythe. Gwerm, in case it is not obvious, is in D1.

He can, yes.

Chum is likewise unable to determine just what the potion might be.

Markis? Prashant? You guys sneaking, or not?

Lydia and Ellena reach the top of the ladder, while Rashak takes a swing at the nearest cultist. Unfortunately, he is still feeling the effects of the cultist's foul magics, and the attack is wide.

Gwerm's stabilization check: 1d20 - 3 ⇒ (15) - 3 = 12

The cultist with the scythe realizes she can't reach these no foes where she stands, so she climbs on top of the table and crosses it, jumping down to the floor on the other side. Once she is out of the way, the second cultist backs up, regaining his footing and grip and launching an attack at Rashak with his glaive.

Attack on Rashak: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18, damage 1d10 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4

Ellena steps up next to Rashak and swings her own sword at the cultist with the scythe, protecting the wizard from being flanked. Her attack connects solidly, but the cultist weathers the assault with some difficulty.

Rashak has another action, and is no longer sickened. Lyddy can make whatever attempt at reaching Gwerm she would like, but she would be wise to remember that there is a cultist directly between her and the body.

Evril's Perception check wasn't good enough to identify the potion Conchobhar found - anyone else want to give it a go?

Chum's examination of the ring turns up no new information about its function or use. Let me know if anyone decides to wear it.

His turn to the spyglass, though, is far more illuminating. The glass is fixed to point in a south-southeast direction, looking toward something on the southern edge of the island. It is a deep, cauldron-like sinkhole in the rocks above the southern cliff; it looks to be at least twenty or so feet deep, and potentially much deeper, since the bottom can't be seen at this angle. What catches Chum's eye as he peers through the lens, though, is the pair of grindylows cavorting on the rocks just below the edge of the depression.

Perception, DC 15, anyone looking through the spyglass:
One of the grindylows appears to be wearing Sandara's tricorne, while the other waves Cogward's trademark bandana like a tiny flag.

The Cryptfinders are indeed a diverse lot, even by the standards of this lottery. In addition to their leader, there is a taciturn old salt with the sway of the sea in his gait and a large holy symbol of Desna on his chest; a carefully courteous tengu whose face is mostly hidden beneath a broad, conical hat; a tall Ulfen woman with long red hair in a single braid and a mighty longbow across her back; and an excessively energetic halfling woman, whose wide-eyed gaze bounces rapturously from Ashar's horns to Q'urtaz's chiseled skin and on to Illuria's veiled face and hissing hair as though the mere presence of each of you were a separate feastday gift just for her.

Falto bows acknowledgement as Ashar greets him. "The trip was not so long in space," he replies with a cocky grin, "and I believe our explorations in the necropolis will prove far longer in time. I have not heard of the Scions of the Ascendant Sun before, I think? And yet, word has reached my ears of sorcerer and an oread who rescued a medusa from durance in a fallen temple across the river. A fine piece of work, that - worthy of such treasures as we will soon find, no doubt." He bows again, gesturing flamboyantly. His manner is smooth, almost unctuous, making it hard to tell if his flattery is sincere or just subtle mockery.

The recovered ring and the potion bottle in Conchobhar's hands are both magical. Feel free to roll Spellcraft if you like.

The encounter is worth a total of 350 XP each, for the record.

Technically I need a DC 5 Acrobatics or Climb check, Shiv, but if you can make it by taking 10, there's no need for a roll.

Once Shiv reaches the platform, he notices a boat hook tied to the the ropes supporting the wooden rig, as though to keep it from falling down into the shaft.

Perception DC 15, anyone can roll this:
Wedged into the ceiling is a small piton, which you realize has actually been jammed into a hidden door in the roof of the shaft. The boat hook would serve perfectly to grab the piton and open the hidden door.

As you approach the door a second time, you hear a voice speaking quietly on the other side. It is a raspy, sibilant voice speaking Vudrani, and while you do not understand most of what is being said, you do pick out two words that sound like proper nouns: "Leckumgee" and "Kharswan."

Kharswan is of course the name of the thakur, but you will need a DC 25 Knowledge (geography) check to recognize Leckumgee. Also, please wait for the Stealth checks from the others before you react openly to this information.

The passage actually leads two directions, although the right turn looks like it merely ends at a door leading outside. Going left, though, the corridor looks like it opens out into a large feasting chamber, while a smaller side passage turns south just before you would reach the feasthall.

New map!

The map has been updated.

Shiv's search of the room reveals only traces of many, many others who have explored here before him. However, the passage to the left is far more interesting. A ledge festooned with old bird nests looks out over a shaft dropping nearly two hundred feet to sea level below, where Shiv can just make out the moored rowboats the group left tied to the makeshift dock. A large coil of rope sits on the ground near the shaft, one end anchored to a large piton driven into a crack near the wall. Opposite the shaft is another ledge with a window looking out over Magnimar’s harbor. The ceiling is a mere ten feet above, and crisscrossed by a complex tangle of stone arches that support the roof. Between the two ledges, a five-foot-square wooden platform hangs from four thick ropes that hang from the stone arches. The platform is further anchored by two thick ropes to spikes hammered into the walls near the edge of the western ledge, while another pair of ropes hang from the ceiling above, anchored to a hook driven into the wall near the same ledge.

Hold that thought. Nesipho, please make me a Perception check. You might also want to make a Stealth check if you are trying to be quiet, as might anyone else who is likewise trying to be sneaky as you approach the back door.

Eleuterio is correct. One more round of bleed for him: 1d6 ⇒ 5

With the botflies taken care of, ending the struggles of the hanging but unquiet corpse in the middle of the room is a simple matter. In the ensuing calm, the group quickly explores the cabin. It is is a single chamber, crowded with a large amount of furniture that must have been looted from some shipwreck, whether it was the one that brought the unfortunate man here or some other. The items include a comfortable bed, a small writing desk, cooking gear, and several barrels of rotting food. The stench of rot is overpowering and flies swarm within the room, particularly around the now-still corpse hanging from a chain off a beam in the middle of the room. A stool lies on the floor nearby where it was kicked.

Searching in more detail - and with generous use of fabrics to cover your noses and mouths - you find a suit of leather armor, six spears, and eight finely tailored courtier’s outfits. In addition, the lodge contains a spice cabinet holding 5 pounds of pepper in waxed bags, a silver tankard, and a silver locket depicting a beautiful, buxom young elven woman. You recognize her as one of the ghouls you slew yesterday.

Perception, DC 15:
In the pocket of one of the courtier outfits is a silver ring, with leaping dolphins chasing each other around the metal band.

As you finish your search of the cabin, you discover that Conchobhar is not with you. Even as this registers, though, he reappears, dropping out of the branches of the massive tree outside. With a flourish, he wordlessly presents his justification for briefly departing: a potion bottle, a trio of silver shoe buckles, a gold wedding ring, and a silver hatpin, all salvaged from the "nest" of the vine chokers in the tree's upper branches.

Because it has been some time in the real world since you made this discovery, I thought I would remind you that, when you reached the stockade, you noticed a spyglass fixed to the wall, seemingly aimed deliberately toward something specific.

Unfortunately, because the glaive has reach, the two cultists are stacked up two deep between Rashak and Horgus, and Gwerm thus cannot give Rashak a flank.

Seeing Rashak appear behind the cultists seems to give the badly-wounded Horgus some hope, and he focuses his attention on the cultist with the scythe in front of him. "Your time is at an end, blasphemer: your foul patron will not save you from the righteous retribution my friends are about to inflict upon you."

Intimidate check: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16

The words seem to unsettle the cultist deeply, and she exchanges a look with her companion as though gauging whether he too would consider retreat preferable to facing righteous retribution. So far, though, the glaive-wielder seems willing to face off against the whole group for Horgus' life.

Shaken scythe cultist: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21, damage 2d4 + 3 ⇒ (4, 4) + 3 = 11

Despite her worry, though, she cuts the merchant again, and this time he falls. Turning away to face the new threat behind them, the cultist with the glaive realizes he is too close to Rashak to attack him and instead lets go of the weapon with one hand to reach out with a touch shrouded in a profane, pulsing aura.

Melee touch attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25

The hand touches the half-orc, and he can feel the vileness pour through him. Rashak is sickened for one round.

You guys are up.

The little halfling bursts into a smile that just about splits her face in half, and her bouncing becomes vibrating blur. She tugs at the sleeve of her nearest companion - a red-haired Ulfen woman with a sizable longbow slung over shoulder - and says something excitedly to her; the red-haired woman just shrugs, apparently not overly interested in the matter.

The Daughters of the Desert greet Bes amicably enough; their leader introduces herself as Sigrun Firehair, and with her are a Rahadoumi cleric, a fierce-seeming warrior from one of the Thuvian desert tribes, and two veiled figures, each of whom coils an asp around an arm as they watch the Osiriani sorcerer greet the Ulfen skald. All are human women, and they seem pleased to think that Bes might also be leading the Scions - although Sigrun herself seems wary of choosing a pronoun as she greets her counterpart. She does, however, ask Bes the name of everyone in the Scions of the Ascendant Sun, for possible inclusion in a work of epic poetry she is composing about the opening of the necropolis. "We're not interested in trying to steal what you've won by right," she explains, "but I'd be thrilled to hear of your exploits between or after your explorations, if you'd consent to telling a few tales at the Tooth and Hookah later."

You have indeed looked everywhere.

Beyond the "secret" door is a moderate-sized room, with scratched and faded murals on the walls. Several portions of the wall and floor show signs of past chipping. An empty plinth where a statue once stood rests by a small alcove. A passage to the left opens out to what looks like empty air.

Artevious, Eleuterio and Owlbear each suffer an additional 1d6 ⇒ 1 bleed.

Rashak levitates into the room above, while Ellena and Lyddy get ready to climb the ladder from below.

Rashak is back up top this turn, but for the other two and Belgood it's still a full-round action to climb back up.

Floating in the air next to the ladder, Rashak sees Gwerm, cowering behind his longsword while a pair of humans in chain shirts - one wielding a glaive, the other a scythe - try to stab past his guard. Although his flank is protected by a table, it seems they have nonetheless managed it, as a pair of deep wounds mar his arm and leg.

Nothing catches Lamsfel's eye beyond what he has already seen, due in large part to the fact that the balcony looks away from the rest of the castle.

After contemplating the view, the group moves back down the stairs to the room below. Once you have verified there are no new noises to be heard beyond the door Lamsfel listened at before, opening it a crack reveals a narrow hallway leading away to the right, and no signs of life in the immediate vicinity.

Valtius murmurs a benediction over Ashar's head, but his eyes don't change. "Go then, and win our lord's favor in this venture," he says, turning brusquely away.

The Dog Soldiers eye the massive oread with bemusement, but their leader, "Mad Dog" Marrn, starts laughing uproariously. "Aw, c'mon back, little kobold! You can pet 'em if you want! They'll lick you right up!" He laughs some more, gesturing, and the others in his band settle back to their waiting postures, relaxed once more.

While you casually study the crowd, you do notice there is a halfling woman - likely some kind of magician, from her apparel and equipment - from the Cryptfinders staring at you with what can only be described as excitement; she almost vibrates with it.

The botflies, still burning, cannot withstand Eluterio's assault and the continued effects of Evril's flask, and they finally disperse. Horribly, though, their bites keep bleeding, sapping the strength of those that were bitten.

They inflict bleed, but Evril has already cured his and Chum still has an action. So does Conchobhar, so...

The gnome rushes forward, dodging between the burning insects as they fall out of the sky, and tries to bind his captain's wounds. Untrained Heal check on Artevious: 1d20 ⇒ 2 His efforts are not much help, though, and the blood continues to flow.

7 more damage to the swarm, but everyone in it - I assume anyone not nauseated will get out before Art throws - takes 1 point of splash damage.

Owlbear's distraction save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Owlbear's other save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14

Owlbear also jumps away from the stinging flies, crying and shouting in pain. He grabs one of the flasks and throws it almost blindly.

Ranged touch: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9, damage 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3

His throw is not as accurate as the others have been, and only a few of the flies are singed.

Evril, don't forget to roll for your second round of fire damage on your turn.

Anevia grabs Aravashnial and drags him across the room, leaning against the door. "We're good!" she cries to Ellena. "Go!"

Ashar Shirazi wrote:
Friend Valtius! Are these the mighty Chundren’s Champions that I have heard of? Only allowing the briefest of opportunities for reply Ashar continues, I am Ashar, born to the Clan of the Fire Eyes, and now a member of the newly formed Scions of the Ascendant Sun. May I have your blessing as a priest of the Lord of the First Vault upon this venture? This time the Ifrit awaits response, head bowed and hand on his holy coin.

Valtius studies the ifrit shrewdly. "Indeed you can," he says, holding out an open palm. "For a suitable tithe, of course. Proper payment is, after all, the appropriate way to honor our lord Abadar."

For a mechanically-meaningless blessing, Ashar, the traditional tithe is 1 silver piece. Anything that involves actual spellcasting would be paid at the usual rate.

Slurk Wyrmbait wrote:
Inspired by his comrades, Slurk does his own investigation into the other exploratory teams, in his own style. He edges towards the group of halflings and their wardogs, singling them out as potential threats.

At first it seems as though Slurk has successfully avoided the attention of the Dog Soldiers, but as soon as he gets within a dozen paces or so, the dogs all lift their snouts, sniffing the air, and begin barking his way. The halflings turn, questioning expressions on their faces, and a couple look toward their leader as their hands move slowly toward weapons.

The burning bugs swarm toward and over your group, and you feel the their thousands of tiny mouths biting and stinging your flesh.

Artevious, Evril, Eleuterio and Owlbear are all swarmed. You each take 2d6 ⇒ (5, 5) = 10 damage and must make a DC 13 Fortitude save or be nauseated for one round. I also need Artevious and Eleuterio to make a second Fort save against the same DC.

Well, I'm more than willing to keep going as is if you are.

The door presents no greater threat than that of the catching of breath at what is truly a splendid view. It is a door out to a balcony around the tower's northwest side, overlooking the mouth of the Steam River, where it opens out into Bunyip Bay, with the glittering Arcadian Ocean beyond.

Ellena heads toward the door on the other side of the room - but even as she reaches to push it open, shouts erupt in the room above, where Horgus can suddenly be heard calling out in anger and fear, answered it seems by two other voices.

Horgus' init: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (20) - 1 = 19
Cultists' init: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11

Stuff happening where none of you can see - click if you want to sneak a peek anyway:
Horgus sees the two cultists come through the door and assumes a defensive stance, moving to try to get the table between him and the cultists. Horgus assumes full defense.

The scythe-wielding cultist circles the table, with the glaive-wielding one right behind her. Both attack, although the one with the glaive has to try to angle his weapon past his ally.

Scythe attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23, damage 2d4 + 3 ⇒ (2, 1) + 3 = 6
Glaive attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18, damage 1d10 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5

Unarmored as he is, Horgus' swordwork is not enough to block either attack, and he suffers a pair of deep wounds.

You guys can take a rounds' worth of actions.

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