You can splash your way down this dank corridor. The ooze was in the wider bit (where the U9 designator is) but has slithered off along the passage heading further east and out of the light.
As we've started a new page, here is the map link again.
Silena, you can certainly get some rough shirts/tunics and trousers, a blanket-cloak and even a rather old and patched skirt. You may also get the alchemist's fire and smoke sticks. Nobody in the caravan has the ability to scribe scrolls (unless one of you lot does).
I will allow masterwork surgeon's tools with the appropriate bonus, but not a masterwork healer's kit in the light of the information provided here.
Ashe, did you purchase your surgeon's tools somewhere? If so, would you like to retroactively spend to take them up to masterwork?
This works, at the expense of a few nasty scratches on Barnabus's hands (not enough to do actual hp damage, though). And several frustrated spiders clacking their claws and hissing at him.
Enjoy your basket of fangberries... :)
Tiadora inclines her head.
"Soon enough the Master will grant you audience again, and he will direct you."
A slave approaches each of you and meekly asks what equipment you require. (Other slaves come to visit those not in the room to ask the same thing.)
"The Master has directed me to acquire whatever you want, to a value of 200 pieces of gold each. Just inform this slave and I shall attend to the matter. I also have these for you."
She brings out a silver medallion and an iron circlet for each of you.
"The circlet acts as a disguise self spell. The Master thought that it might be of use to you."
The circlet acts as a hat of disguise except that it's a circlet rather than a hat. It does, of course, detect as magical, and automatically adjusts in size to fit.
The medallion is a silver symbol of Asmodeus.
Thank you for the breakdown, Ashe.
However, I read "When in conjunction with a healer's kit, surgeon's tools raise the kit's bonus to a +3 circumstance bonus on Heal checks" (Adventurer's Armoury) to mean that they raise the regular +2 bonus to a +3, rather than stack with it.
What does everyone else think?
The youth on the table is unconscious (0 hp), and he is held fast by the table's three heavy iron crossbeams. Three identical levers on the side of the table cause the restraints to loosen or constrict an inch at a time. The levers can be moved to any of 20 slots, each denoting an inch of space between the restraints and the table's surface.
The nosferatu smiles thinly.
"I have stated a thing. I shall abide by what I have said. Will you?"
He watches as you attend to the youth, but does not move.
"I accept your terms: to aid you in finding a cure for blood veil as best I can and then to leave, without cursing any citizen of Korvosa with vampirism," said Ramoska calmly.
"As for my diet, it is correct that I need blood to survive. However I brought my own supplies and have not been hunting here. I seek to minimise the impact of my curse upon the living. Shall I fetch my notes? They are in my chamber." He gestures vaguely, although no door is visible in the direction indicated.
Ruminations on vampirism & nosferatu
Vampirism is a living curse. Since before the earliest of elven records, accounts of the bloodthirsty dead stain the growth of civilization. Yet nothing that counts its age in millennia remains the same forever. Deemed the progenitor of modern vampirism by some scholars, the curse of the nosferatu lacks the elegance and romance of its modern form, harkening to a forgotten age of verminous hunger and eerie powers. Granted immortal life but not immortal youth, nosferatu are the withered, embittered corpse-sires of vampirekind. In their ancient memories they bear the cruelty of epochs past and age-spanning plots devoid of the modern affliction of morality.
It is believed that nosferatu are capable of sucking blood, dominating people and using telekinesis. They also heal remarkably quickly when hurt, can climb impossibly well and some reports - their accuracy is unconfirmed - say that they can change into a bat swarm, centipede swarm, rat swarm, or spider swarm.
Nosferatu are said to have the normal weaknesses of vampires: they cannot tolerate the strong odour of garlic and will not enter an area laced with it. Similarly, they recoil from mirrors or strongly presented holy symbols. These things don't harm the vampire — they merely keep it at bay. A recoiling vampire must stay at least 5 feet away from the mirror or holy symbol and cannot touch or make melee attacks against that creature.
Vampires cannot enter a private home or dwelling unless invited in by someone with the authority to do so.
Certain attacks can slay vampires. Exposing any vampire to direct sunlight staggers it at first and destroys it utterly if it does not escape. It is also damaged by immersion in running water.
"I have already said that I will share my researches with you, and if you so desire I shall help you derive a cure," said Arkminos calmly.
He certainly believes every word he utters!
Arkminos casually seats himself on a stool.
"Let me tell you who and what I am. I am nosferatu, a state that I have endured for some hundreds of years. In my faintest memories, I half recall having been a devout worshiper of a god, although I cannot remember which god that was. I regret the forgotten decisions that led to my undead status and want nothing more than to end my life — but not as an undead, so do not leap to slay me as some of you so clearly desire."
A mirthless smile crosses his lips as he glances from Graxer to Varrel.
"My own researches are centred about finding a cure for the curse of vampirism... in order that I may die as a man, not a nosferatu."
"My master is Conte Senir Tiriac, who against my wishes loaned my services to the Red Mantis, for through my centuries of alchemical research, I have become a scholar of diseases nearly without peer. Ideally suited to the work they currently are engaged in, you see. Currently my researches in part supplement the disease refinement efforts of the cult of Urgathoa, but I have become fascinated that some Varisians seem immune to blood veil, and now I seek to test the extent of this mysterious resilience."
"This young man has been exposed to a number of strains of blood veil — each of which has failed to infect the youth — and I am preparing a regime of other equally virulent diseases to test on him. Should the Varisian survive these contagions, I shall infect the youth with vampirism. This is not the first time that I have subjected a Varisian to this test, though, but each time my subject has proven immune to blood veil and no other disease. I may have reached a dead end."
"So, hear my offer. I expect you wish to 'rescue' my subject. I shall sell him to you and leave Korvosa, never to return, for 2,000 pieces of gold - quite adequate to transport myself and my equipment back to Ustalav. Oh. As you seem interested, you may have copies of my research into blood veil as well."
"First, I too shall sign," said the Cardinal with a cold smile, taking the ritual knife, removing the black glove on his left hand, andadding his signature as if it were an everyday occurance. You all see numerous little scars on his hand, just like the one the cut he has just inflicted on himself will make.
He replaces the glove, and looks around.
"Good. I am pleased that the matter is settled. Else things can become so... messy. Now, you may rest for three days before your training begins. It is only appropriate that you taste the delights that can be your reward, do you merit such."
Over the next three days you are fed, fully rested, bathed and clothed in garments more befitting nobility than prisoners on the lam. For three days you live a life of luxury and ease in the manor house. Tiadora offers them each one of the slaves as a 'companion' should you so wish.
This is an opportunity to ask questions and poke around... oh, and one other thing...
*PING!*: you are now 3rd level. Please attend to your levelling up.
As you start speaking, Ashe, this fellow's evilness washes over you. It is an evil of what he is, rather than what he does.
"I am Ramoska Arkminos," he begins to respond, then Varrel steps in casting...
Ramoska's save: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (14) + 13 = 27
He shakes his head at the elf.
"No, child, you cannot affect me thus. I am here at the bidding of my master, and against my will as it disrupts my own research. I hold no esteem for Urgotha nor time for the wiles of the Red Mantis, yet it is them that my master bids me serve. I am directed to discover why some are resistant to the blood veil plague, I am a researcher not a torturer."
Malak, as you know Asmodeus is given to complex and rigorous contracts. The concept of putting other considerations before one's own benefit is not unusual, although commonly more specific rewards for obedience would be laid out.
The Cardinal nods in approval as Shalastar and then Tragen sign.
Apart from a faint emanation from the vats themselves, there is no magic here.
Ashe leads the defiant priest off to a cell. He's sweating, coughing and wheezing by the time he's locked up.
Graxer checks out the north door. It is neither trapped nor locked, so once everyone is ready he opens it.
An elegant operating table dominates the center of this grim laboratory. Crossed with iron restraints and encircled by a gore-encrusted gutter, the macabre device sprouts various cranks and levers, and is large enough to accommodate an ogre. Along the walls stand several tables strewn with all manner of alchemical accoutrements, their contents appearing old in the extreme, with rusted iron tools, beakers of purpled glass, and deep pools of wax from countless melted candles. A young and unconscious man, barely older than twenty winters, lies upon the operating table, bound by its heavy restraints.
Intense and pale as death, a somberly dressed man stands rigidly, his arms crossed over his chest, his eyes wide and intense, and his nose wrinkled in an expression of extreme distaste as he contemplates one beaker on a side bench. Yellow teeth bared, his overly large incisors jut forward, not like those of a man, but of a filth-hungry vermin.
At your entry, he turns his head.
"Yes? I do not wish to be disturbed. Is it not enough that I have been hauled away from my research to serve the interests of the Red Mantis? Must I be interrupted here as well?"
"You ask a lot of questions, child, especially from one so mistreated... and I had been willing to aid you!" says Undrella, rubbing her wrists.
"The primary inhabitants of the battle market are the gnolls of the Kulldis tribe, but other creatures dwell here too. Some of these other creatures are disreputable merchants who have set up shop in the market, some are smugglers and con-artists seeking a quick payday, and some are combatants who seek glory, fame, and riches on the market's battle stage - you know, arena style. There are twenty-six gnolls, plus Jank and a flind called Ugruk and Kardswann himself, in the Kulldis tribe. The rest of the folk are smugglers and ruffians in the main, rather than organised fighters. There are a few bugbears hanging around, think they came to cheer on one of their champions who fancied his chances on the battle stage."
Barret and Sorin, as you examine the skeleton more closely, you realise that this is the Warden! It looks as if he met a messy end, amongst other things you find his keys lodged inside his pelvis and his badge of office rammed between his teeth (it's smashed some of them).
Dillan scans the chamber, and his keen eyes spot a secret door! It's in the east wall, about halfway down.
Yes. They all have clerical robes, a potion of cure moderate wounds, a masterwork scythe, a +1 breastplate, and a key in their possession.
The one who Ashe shoved into a vat is still splashing around and complaining a bit. Otherwise the place is quiet now. Still a bit smelly.
The fire pit is not lit... heck, it's 40 years since anyone (alive, that is) has been down here!
What's to look at? The skeleton on the rack, the wicker basket, the iron maiden... other tools of the torturer's unpleasant trade, that's it really. No magic.
Anyone else want to search, or make Perception rolls?
Undrella says "Look out for a goblin in a jester's outfit called Jank. He acts as Kardswann's major domo, but is as badly-treated as everyone else. You may also get aid from the bartender, a gnoll called Kurellak. He's a coward, but knows every nook and cranny of the place."
Dashki says "The gnoll tribe of Three Jaws... they dream of former glories but content themselves with hunting trophies... they let me live if I tell them what is going on!"
The accident was caused by someone nipping out of a side street into a line of slow moving traffic and mistiming it rather badly. He hit the car behind me with enough force to push him into me. The poor fellow in the middle car was complaining of back & neck pains so I called for an ambulance & he was taken to hospital. His car is a write-off, both front and back badly crumpled. The fellow who caused the accident was fine, but the front end of his car was a mess and his air bags had gone off. This is where I am glad for a solid car... no more than a bit stiff (not helped by the fact that I cannot teach sitting down!), and a nice dent in the rear of my car. I took it to the insurer's preferred garage for an estimate, they are now reviewing it before deciding what to do. As my car is old they may want to write it off rather than mend it. If so, they will be asked to find me an equivalent vehicle... just paying me the book value will not do, it isn't worth much but if not for their client's actions I'd still be driving around in it. (Well, I am driving around in it, but you know what I mean!)