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Quintus channels and a scream comes out of the portal as it burns its flesh.
Will Save: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (2) + 12 = 14 DC 17
Trevor charges the portal but misses, not ever having fought a creature in a magical portal before. However, he learns from his attack that the chance to hit the creature will increase if he was actually at the portal instead of hanging back farther with his longer weapon. However, unless the creature come out he won't be able to get you either.
Asking around the next day you attempt to learn more about the situation but are constantly given the run around in bureaucracy and red tape. You are soon convinced that going through proper channels is not going to work.
According to Lavinia, the Blue Nixie was docked at pier five in the Merchant District the last time she saw it. This is a long pier the Merchant's Guildhall and the Smith's Guildhall. Alas, upon arrival it becomes apparent that the Blue Nixie is not docked at the pier at all, but is in fact moored to a float about 100 feet from the pier's end. From the pier you can tell there are at least a few men moving around the ship.
Assuming Rowena will delay as well...
Make up damage that I missed rolling the first time through
Sneak Attack Damage vs #1: 5d6 ⇒ (3, 6, 4, 1, 5) = 19
Both Archons were actually killed approaching the portal via AoO with sneak attack included. However you know this thing is there in the "gateway" and cannot be passed normally. It also is not coming out of the portal on its turn.
They cannot move past the creature, so they each try an overrun to pass the creature and fail. One of the archons takes a hit, but suffers no wounds. The undead creature lives in the portal and "blocks" that space. You can have them move out of the way if you desire or else save that for next round
AoO: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (7) + 19 = 26
Overun Archon #1: 1d20 - 4 ⇒ (10) - 4 = 6 Nat 20 needed to succeed
Rowena up unless she also delays
Knowledge (Arcana): 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (14) + 20 = 34
The portal has all the auras you would expect a teleportation device to have. If you could get past the creature it should take you to another location. The creature in the portal has no magical auras. You think that if you were in contact with the portal a plane shift or teleport should take you to the other side even without knowing where that is due to them being linked. However that would put you within reach of it and everyone else who would want to come would also have to be in contact with you (and the # of people you could take say with teleport would still be in place.)
Jag moves over to flank and with Kithan and takes out the heavily wounded Korush with one savage bite.
Kilthan positions himself in an advantageous position against the other horseman and with his bit of luck rains blow after blow on him until he falls.
Justin and Sally make short work of the horseman remaining.
The fight is then soon over as the female elves move to hand held weapons due to their bows being useless. Not their strong suit, they only manage a couple glancing blows before being knocked out of this round or forced to surrender.
The crowd cheers rise as you finish off the remaining opponents. Raknian's magically enhanced voice proclaims you the winner, and Ekyam is presented your awards (a Bronze trophy depicting a bull worth 100gp and 2,000 gp).
After a time to bask in the crowd's adulation, you are escorted back to the Coenoby as they ready the arena for the next fight. At the end of the day there will be only 6 teams remaining, with a day of rest tomorrow before the next round of combat.
As the day goes on, teams are defeated and the place empties out. Auric's Warband, Draconic Brood, Final Phoenix, Pitchblade, and The Skull of Murq round out the winning teams as the day ends. The Coenoby has a lot more room now that there are only 6 teams remaining in the 24 total rooms.
During the evening, as you are recovering from your battle and talking some strategy, Ekaym pays you a visit, looking quite a bit like a cat who's found the cream. He happily presents you with your trophy and your prize money. (As well as the money you wagered) "Don't spend it all in one place, he grins." Ekaym is happy to shop for you if you need to supplement your equipment.
Then he grows serious and takes you aside to your chambers and in a low voice he admits that he has a confession to make.
“While it’s nice that you turned out to be pretty good gladiators, I must admit that I had a hidden motive for entering you in the games. You see… my sister Lahaka disappeared here last year, not long after the previous Champion’s Games.
"I’ve been looking for her for months now, but I’ve hit a dead end. She was a traveling entertainer, a bright joy that brought happiness to cities throughout the world. It seems that her travels eventually brought her here, and more to the point, she caught Loris Raknian’s eye.
"What I do know is that she vanished the day after the Champion’s Games ended. I’ve paid for divination spells to learn more, but alas have learned little. And so I decided to come to the games themselves. I hoped that by entering some gladiators in the competition, I’d have a chance to explore the area, talk with Raknian, and maybe find out what happened to Lahaka. But so far, I’ve found nothing.
"Raknian’s nearly impossible to get to, and I’ve uncovered no clues in the outlying buildings. There’s two places I’ve not been able to reach - his palace and the arena understructure. This is where you come in, my friends. The guards are heavy tonight, but if things go as normal, they become much more lax after this day. If you can slip away from the Coenoby and search the surrounding rooms for clues as to what happened to my sister, I’ll turn over my share of the winnings from the games to you. What do you say?”
The schedule shows Day 2 is a rest day with no battles planned and 5 teams left in the Coenoby. After day 3's battles there would only be 2 other teams left in the Coenoby. And obviously only 1 other team left after Day 4.
Standing in front of the portal (Of which the two archons are now), you think you could still swing and hit it, although it would be difficult still to hit it Cover and 50% miss chance. Also since you would be swinging through the portal, it is likely you would also be hitting the portal itself. (with hardness and everything added it)
Initiative Rowena Lordail: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Initiative Trevor the Yellow: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Initiative Rauno Redpath: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (13) + 13 = 26
Initiative Kelkzar Redjaw: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Initiative Quintus: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Initiative Monster: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
Rauno conjures a pair of lantern archons and they approach the portal. Right before they go through, a creature inside the portal itself reaches out and slash one of the archons.
AoO #1 Claw Archon #1: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (11) + 19 = 30
AoO #2 Claw Archon #2: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (9) + 19 = 28
You are not sure exactly what it is, but Rauno and Quintus easily identify it as some sort of unusual undead creature. But what it is impossible to tell. It is actually inside the portal, not on this side or the other.
Survival Kelkzar: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
As you once again enter the Whispering Cairn you notice a difference. Where it was once overgrown at the entrance, and the floor treacherous causing you to walk slower as to not twist your ankle, the entryway is clean and smooth.
Kelkzar notices immediately the foot traffic he assumes must be Allustan. As you follow those footprints he moves past the first alcove where you fought the wolves and to the second alcove that had a collapsed passageway to the east and a broken ancient apparatus to the west.
From the Past wrote:
That was what it looked like now, and although the apparatus appears unchanged other than a good cleaning an the floor being cleared out, the eastern passage is now clear.
The walls of this passageway are scarred and dented, indicating that this whole area has been, until recently, collapsed. At the end of the tunnel stands a glossy black surface with a raised sphere in the center, like the boss in the center of a shield. The glossy black surface resembles a heavily lacquered door.
Allustan's footprints lead in that direction to the back surface at the end of the hall. Rauno detects magic coming from the surface, and it is obvious to you all that it is not solid as an occasional ripple moves through the black surface. Rauno has read about such things before and knows it is a portal and that one only needs to walk through it to reach the other side....wherever that may be. It was a DC 20 Arcana check which is an auto pass for him!
Round 2 Initiative Order wrote:
Skorhald casts slow
Will Save vs Slow Rennida #1: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11 DC 16
Will Save vs AA #1: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18 DC 16
Will Save vs SS #3: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18 DC 16
Korush yells out to his remaining men, "They have turned on us early Sapphire Squad!". The two remaining Saphhire Squad members on the east side of the arena gallop over to Kilthan, charging past one of the female elf archers.
Charge SS #3 vs Kilthan: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (5) + 14 = 19
AA #2 draws he sword and approaches Rohara to attack her, but is too slow to reach her.
SS #1 sees the other group turn on them early, and his jovial nature towards Justins turns into determination, "Well I thought we would have more time to fight together, but it looks like I need to face you sooner!"
SS #1 vs Justin: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (15) + 12 = 27 *Hit*
SS #1 vs Justin: 1d20 + 12 - 5 ⇒ (9) + 12 - 5 = 16
Aarakess lets loose a lightning bolt and catches both of the archers as they are too slow to move out of the way. Archer #4 falls to the ground, out of the fight.
Reflex AA #3: 1d20 + 7 - 1 ⇒ (9) + 7 - 1 = 15
The black dragon had nothing magical on it, its deadly fury all natural. "Luckily" black dragons are known to lose their focus in battle or else it could have been a deadly encounter. Where it "fell", aka where Rowena planted it, it is out of the way of the entrance.
Once the adrenaline wears off and healing is done, Rauno remembers Hiska, the shaman leader of the lizardmen, talk of Ilthane the Black. The dragon also talked of slaughtering her children when she first attacked. (Though she blamed Allustan)
Quintus heals the group .
As Rowena leaps into the air she gets bitten.
AoO: 1d20 + 23 ⇒ (6) + 23 = 29
She successfully slams the dragon into the ground (No Damage with DR).
Rauno activates his foretell ability.
With the foretell ability aiding his attacks, Trevor manages to land a more lethal version of an attack (Crit confirms!). His spells also penetrates the dragon's resistance to magic, impacting him fully! (Good thing too since you had already added it in and you needed an 18 on the roll!)
SR Check: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27 (Your CL says 5 on your sheet, but I believe it is CL 7 now)
I also added the extra damage from Foretell into Trevor's Crit (8) and Kelkzar's rolls (8) for 16 more so....
Combining for great team work the dragon is put down by 1. It seems for a moment it will rise again, but falls under sheer amount of wounds you delivered. Battered, burned, but not beaten you win the day!
All talk of money and bandits stop until after the meal is done. At the proper time Lavinia says, "It is true that he may not back down and more direct measures may need to be taken, but I am confident in your abilities to handle him and his men. Try not to kill any of them, best to avoid the attention of the law if any of them get killed."
"I had paid Vark 100 platinum, I am not sure what he has done with it or if he still has it, but as I said, anything of value you find on the ship is yours, except for the ring."
Let me know if you have any more questions before we proceed.
"I believe the extra money should cover any extra expenses you may incur going down to the docks to take care of this matter."
"I approached the watch and the government with my complaints, but unfortunately had no proof of any wrongdoings. It was foolish to hand over the money to Vark without allied witnesses, but what's done is done. The city watch had promised to look into the matter, but I have learned that the investigation is taking a back seat to other more pressing matters."
"I'm hiring you because I feel that your presence alone might be enough to intimidate Vark into letting get that ring. Do your best not to throw the first punch if it comes to it, but in the end, why would Vark's men put up a fight unless they were up to no good ? Anyways, it's my ship, after all and I want it back!"
Trevor, remember that Furious Focus only helps your first attack and not the hasted one.
The dragon coming close to taking out one of the pesky fighters against her in one bite, knows she has to inflict as much damage as possible across the board before taking too many more hits. She bites down on Kelkzar confident she can take him out before using her other attacks on Trevor.
Bite vs Kelkzar: 1d20 + 23 ⇒ (15) + 23 = 38
Claw #1 vs Trevor: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (12) + 22 = 34 *Hit*
Claw #2 vs Trevor: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (14) + 22 = 36 *Hit*
Wing #1 vs Trevor: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (3) + 20 = 23
Wing #2 vs Trevor: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (14) + 22 = 36 *Hit*
Tail Slap vs Trevor: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (15) + 20 = 35 *Hit*
Lavinia consider what Julian says at first until he says about splitting her family fortune in half her face darkens, however Celentria's words temper that a bit and she gathers herself, "I will go as high as 300gp for each of you, but I dare not commit myself any higher as I do not know the extent of what they stashed there. I have other employment offers in mind for you, but I don't want to get ahead of myself. To get into the vault I need that signet ring, and to get that ring I need you to reclaim the Blue Nixie for me, then I will know what my options will be. What else you find belonging to Vark and his men on the ship when you take it back for me is yours."
I was just thinking about how great this AP is and how even better it is without the shackles of alignments. I ran Crimson Throne in my home game and did it without alignments so they would choose to do things, or not do things, without justifying it because of their alignment.
When reading through this AP I really got the sense it could be done Guardians of the Galaxy style with anti heroes that do the right thing. One of the reasons I though the no core races could work for this.
Glancing through your characters to see alignments I saw CG, CN or N. I think this could work ;)
AA #3 Fires at SS #2 and hits twice, scoring a heavy blow with one of the arrows.
AA #3 Attack #1 vs SS #2: 1d20 + 13 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 13 + 1 = 27 *Hit*
AA #3 Attack #2 vs SS #2: 1d20 + 13 + 1 - 5 ⇒ (20) + 13 + 1 - 5 = 29 *Hit, Confirmed*
AA #1 moves out of the wasps taking a number of swipes from the Sapphire Squad group there with only one connecting.
AoO Korush vs AA #1: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (15) + 12 = 27 *Hit*
AoO SS #2 vs AA #1: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (6) + 12 = 18
AoO SS #2 vs AA #1: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (2) + 12 = 14
AA #1 then attacks #3 and hits once.
AA #1 Attack #1 vs SS #2: 1d20 + 13 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 13 + 1 = 25 *Hit*
AA #4 takes on SS #2
AA #3 Attack #1 vs SS #2: 1d20 + 13 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 13 + 1 = 27 *Hit*
AA #3 Attack #2 vs SS #2: 1d20 + 13 + 1 - 5 ⇒ (19) + 13 + 1 - 5 = 28 *Hit*
Rennida brings him down on the next shot and sends her second arrow at Korush
Rennida Attack #1 vs SS #2: 1d20 + 15 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 15 + 1 = 27 *Hit*
Rennida Attack #2 vs SS #2: 1d20 + 15 + 1 - 5 ⇒ (16) + 15 + 1 - 5 = 27 *Hit*
"I have been invited by the Lady Vanderboren. Is she with us?"
As soon as he finishes her sentence, you hear a group of people approaching. four figures emerge from the hall and are heading toward you. Kora races behind these figures, which include a jaunty male half-elf dressed in leather armor and armed with a half-dozen daggers of different shapes,a dark-skinned dwarf with a sour expression dressed in green and brown robes and clutching a large curved spear, an attractive but haughty-looking woman dressed in dark purple robes and with a tattoo of a crescent moon on one cheek, and lastly, a tall and handsome man dressed in polished breastplate carrying a bastard sword .
Knowledge (local) DC 15:
These are the Jade Ravens, a mercenary company that's been in the Vanderboren employ for several years. Their leader, the human is named Tolin Kientai.
The man in the breastplate stops and pauses for a moment and looks you over, "Hmmm. You must be the help Lavinia's bringing in to do the chores. Good luck to ya!" Not waiting for any responses he continues on his way at a brisk pace with the rest of the group and Kora following behind him.
Moments after they leave Kora comes back and tells you Lavinia is ready for you to head to the dining room. The private dining hall is comfortable and cozy,softly lit by wall-mounted lanterns. A window overlooks the manor's central courtyard and the carpet is thick and soft. A large portrait hangs on the wall, a fine work depicting a handsome young man with a short beard. Standing before the portrait is an attractive human woman wearing a long, flowing blue dress. She smiles as you enter, introducing herself as Lavinia Vanderboren.
She gestures you to sit and takes a chair at the head of the table. After you settle in she says, "As you may have heard, I recently inherited my parents' estate. Along with this fine house, unfortunately, came a fine amount of debt owed the Dawn Council, the harbormaster, and quite a few guildhalls. It seems my parents, for all their success as adventurers, were not as skilled at finance as one might expect. If I'm to get these taxes paid, I'll need to access my family's vault under Castle Teraknian."
"And that's the problem, you see. The vaults are magically locked-keyed to special signet rings. Both of my parents had these rings, at least, until recently. My mother lost hers a few months ago. She arranged for a replacement, but it won't be done for another month or so, too late for me. Which leaves my father's ring. He never wore it-he had a thing about men wearing jewelry. He kept it hidden somewhere on his ship, the Blue Nixie."
"The problem there is that the harbor master's seized the ship until someone pays for the last four months of mooring. I've paid the fines to the man the harbor master's put in charge of my ship, a brute named Soller Vark. Yet when I went to claim my ship, Vark's men wouldn't let me board, claiming that I hadn't yet paid the fines. I spoke to Vark again and he denied ever receiving my payment. My complaints to the harbormaster have fallen on deaf ears-he's a doddering old fool who trusts his man and won't relent."
"Vark and his men are up to something on my ship, I know it. What I need is to find out exactly what" they're up to. Unfortunately, Vark's not the type to react well to diplomacy or logic. I need someone who speaks his language... which is where you come in. If you can find out what he's using my ship for, or even better, recover the money I paid him, I'll pay each of you 200 gold in return once I've access to my vault."
And as she finishes her presentation, the first course is brought in and served.
Round 2 Initiative Order wrote:
Rennida Will Save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
Fort Save AA#1 vs Poison: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Fort Save AA#2 vs Poison: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Rennida can't shake off the bad feeling something is wrong. The other elves manage to not get poisoned or distracted. Justin mows through the gnolls by him, clearing the way.
Kilthan is up!
After Rauno alerts the group to what spells it has on it, Kelkzar successfully casts the spell on the dragon, no longer concealed to his eyes only, and moves up before the dragon has a chance to react to him closing in.
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 26 ⇒ (12) + 26 = 38
The dragon realizes what Kelkzar casts and targets him first with one deadly bite.
Bite: 1d20 + 23 ⇒ (4) + 23 = 27