I really wish the people who submit reviews would come back down to Earth a bit. I appreciate them taking the time and resources to acquire the books for review, but these reviews for the Companion splat books are out of control. Singing the highest praises and gushing about how amazing it is, is just such an over the top reaction. Yes I like the book too, but I'm not planning on having children with it! ;)
As the only person (so far) to give the book less than 5 stars, I have to say I don't understand your complaint. People liked the book, and they wrote reviews saying so. That's kind of the point. I don't really see anything over the top about them.
Pezock waves his hand dismissively. "Bah! And when you no longer need it to cross water any more? When its usefulness has come to an end?" His eyes narrow ominously and in a quiet voice, he says, "You burn it."
In his usual louder voice, he continues, "My dear friend Captain Zoventai wouldn't have hesitated to burn the Crow's Tooth if the ship were of no further use to her. She was an amazing individual. A radiant tengu with bright red feathers! She gave me my sword, you know, and I carry it in her honour."
He leans in somewhat menacingly close to Tar'kanas and speaks quietly again: "Never speak ill of her again."
He then turns away from Tar'kanas, seeming to forget about the elf entirely. He pats his sword and mumbles, "Yes, I miss her too."
Maybe it would go something like this? :)
Seriously though, I think this is a case of Tar'kanas/Javell not realizing that Untari could get to the serpentfolk so quickly. I was surprised, myself, until I counted out the squares for her movement. I did consider giving Tar'kanas the option of holding her back a bit, but unfortunately, Untari was out of Tar'kanas's sight for most of the movement, so he really wouldn't have had the opportunity. Overall, I think it's less a matter of a lack of coordination than it is general battle chaos getting in the way.
Yeah, it's similar for me. I usually end up giving up on the pornography because it's much easier to invent my own fantasies.
Entelu speaks for the first time since Jask's reincarnation concluded. "Your friend has not changed--not in the mind, at least. Nature does not care what you look like on the outside, nor what your particular body parts may be. Nature constituted a body that would be capable of holding your friend's soul and conscience. It has no concerns beyond that. In the end, your friend will be much as you remember him. He is confused at the moment, certainly, but that is only to be expected. A short while ago, he was dead. That is a far greater shock and change than a human to an elf or a man to a woman. His life energy is also weakened and will remain so unless you can magically restore it. However, the person you knew is still there inside his new body's head. That part has not changed. Of course, all experiences do change everyone to some degree, but how much your friend changes from this will depend on your friend, not on the body your friend inhabits."
Douena Trestleben wrote:
Pezock's feathers seem to sag a little at Douena's rebuke, almost as though he's embarrassed. He makes a soft grumbling in his throat but doesn't say anything. Instead, he looks away, taking care not to make eye contact with anyone.
Douena Trestleben wrote:
Pezock's eyes narrow and he stares down at her. "Hmmmm... Maybe. Eligible candidates are few, but you're certainly closer than any other non-tengu I've ever met."
Douena Trestleben wrote:
Douena retrieves Jask's pack and then sits beside her companionably. "We thought about trying to raise you with the scroll from the Shiv, but I was afraid I'd mess it all up trying to cast it; and anyway, you were kind of old so it seemed counterproductive. But now look! you're an elf! They live for a really long time! You've got a whole new life, and none of those meanies from the Sargavan government will never know you're you if they want to make trouble for you. You're not all new," she says comfortingly. "One of your teeth is the same."
Jask runs a finger over his/her teeth, then frowns and sighs. "I suppose I'll get used to it." S/he grabs the pack, rummages through it, and pulls out some clothes. S/he begins hastily pulling them on, stumbling about a bit on wobbly legs. "Ow!" s/he cries at one point, almost falling over. "These limbs don't move quite the way I expect them to."
The clothes are rather poor-fitting now, but they suffice in covering her up. Jask stands unsteadily on her feet. "I think I need to pray a bit. I feel weak. Maybe it's hunger. No, it's more than hunger. It must be that weakening effect of coming back from the dead. I've read about it. But I think I am hungry, too."
Jask tries to walk, making it only a few steps before nearly falling over. S/he laughs a little and gives Douena a smile. "Everything's new, it seems." S/he tries a few more steps, which work a little better. Soon, s/he's able to walk back to the camp.
"Funeral? Druid? Cats?" Jask rasps in confusion and runs a hand across his/her face, then stops and stares at the hand. "What happened to my skin?"
Jask sits up and looks at the rest of herself. "What happened to me?" He grabs a clump of his now longer hair. "Even my hair is pale. You'd better get me those clothes now. I think I'll just sit here a moment. This is a lot to take in."
Jask did have some extra clothes in his pack.
Reincarnate results: 1d100 ⇒ 19
Very gradually, more teeth start to form and the jawbone attached to them. This slowly extends out to form the skull. As the neck and spinal column start to take shape, muscles and tendons begin to form along the jaw. Eventually, skin starts to form on the head even as the bones of the legs and feet are still starting to form. The skin is much paler than Jask's used to be.
The body that's forming is definitely humanoid--not surprising--and soon it's clear that it will be at least as tall as a human. For a while, it looks as if the body might be human, but it then becomes apparent that the face that is forming is a slightly different shape from a human's, and as the ears start to grow long and pointed, there's no doubt that this body isn't human. It also soon becomes apparent that the body isn't male.
Eventually, after an hour has passed, an entire body of a female elf lies there in the grass, naked and unmoving with no hint of life. Then suddenly, the body gasps for air, eyes flinging open in shock.
Feel free to continue the evening discussion retroactively. I'm just going to move things forward as well.
27 ARODUS, 4710 (19th day of journey)
It rains rather heavily during the night and thunder rumbles throughout, interrupting sleep. A sense of tension and anticipation regarding the forthcoming attempt to bring back Jask also makes sleep harder to find--for some of you at any rate. Pezock has no problem sleeping.
It's still raining at daybreak, but it has calmed down somewhat. Entelu spends some time meditating out in the open rain just as the hidden sun starts to rise. He's quite soaked by the time he returns, but he doesn't seem perturbed. "I am ready whenever you are," he announces.
"Now," Sasha blurts out before anyone else has a chance to say anything.
Entelu nods. "The oils, please."
After you hand over the oils, the druid hobbles over to an open area of field a short distance from your camp. Once there, he leans for a moment on his staff and wipes rainwater from his face. "The casting of the spell will take about ten minutes," he says. "After that, it will take about an hour for the new body to form and the soul to inhabit it. Assuming, of course, that your friend's soul wishes to return. If he chooses not to, there is nothing that can bring him back. I will need complete quiet during the casting. There must be no disturbances."
Entelu closes his eyes and concentrates for a moment. Then he takes a deep breath and is about to start intoning the words of the spell, when he stops suddenly. "Oh, almost forgot," he says. "The body part?"
After receiving Jask's tooth, he starts the spell. The ceremony involves a lot of invoking of nature spirits. Entelu lays the tooth down on the ground fairly early in the casting and over the next ten minutes, gradually pours the oil over top the tooth. The rain seems to pick up during the ceremony, but you can't be sure if that's because of the spell or if it's just a natural continuation of the storm.
About eight minutes into the casting, a faint glow appears around the tooth. The glow slowly brightens over the remaining two minutes. When Entelu finally finishes his chanting and waving of his arms, the tooth is glowing with the intensity of a light spell. But then it quickly fades to a dim glow again. The tooth seems to be a little bit larger, but peering closely reveals that's because it's now two teeth.
"Now we wait," Entelu says. "How about breakfast?"
"If you feel you are ready to leave today, then by all means, do so," Amivor says. "First, however, we should go over a few details." He draws attention to the map and points to the red line joining Eleder to Kalabuto.
"We suggest that you travel light and stop in the city of Kalabuto to restock on supplies. We have allies in the city who can make arrangements for your stay and continuing journey. I would advise you not to stay at an inn, and to limit your interaction with locals who might be working for another faction. When you arrive in Kalabuto, you should make contact with a dwarf named Cheiton in the Shrunken Head, one of Kalabuto’s most popular taverns. He can be recognized by a distinctive cave-and-pick tattoo on his shoulder. Cheiton owns a house near the tavern, and you can safely lodge there while preparing for the next stage of the expedition.
"The fastest route to Kalabuto is to travel overland through the wild scrublands and savanna, along the older trade routes that skirt between the Bandu Hills and the Laughing Jungle. These routes were used primarily by early colonists, most of whom were prospectors seeking their fortunes in salt, gold, and diamonds. While several successful mining operations remain, the trails are far less used than they were in the past, particularly because merchants using them are easy targets for brigands and wild beasts. This same remoteness should lessen the chance of you encountering allies of rival factions seeking to block or sabotage your mission. The caravan routes lead to the edge of the M’neri Plains, at which point you can break from the trail and head east to Kalabuto."
He indicates the river that the red line follows after Kalabuto. "Once you have resupplied in Kalabuto, you should follow the Upper Korir River north into the Screaming Jungle. Here the terrain climbs upward through a series of rocky falls and churning rapids, greatly impeding passage via boat, and in many places the water becomes too shallow to navigate, so overland travel is recommended over riverborne travel. Leaving the Screaming Jungle, you should continue to follow the Korir until you come near the northeastern Bandu Hills. Then turn west through the northern foothills of the Bandu Hills until you reach the southernmost reaches of the Mwangi Jungle. Somewhere beneath those trees lies the Azlanti outpost of Tazion, which should show the way to the lost city of Saventh-Yhi.
"In all, the route from Eleder to Tazion runs just over 1,000 miles. We hope that you can make the journey in about two months. However, depending what you encounter along the way, it may take you more or less time. We urge you to move as quickly as you can, but don't overdo it. We don't want you dropping dead from exhaustion."
He looks to the group. "Any questions?"
"Bah, I'll eat lizards if I'm hungry enough," Pezock says, "but I prefer fish. That lizard is too small though. It wouldn't be worth eating." He prods the lizard with a feathered finger as he says this as if to demonstrate the lack of meat on it.
"As for where I'm from, I'm from the island of Mediogalti and the great city of Ilizmagorti! Ah, now that was a fine city! Crystal clear beaches! Tall gleaming towers! The buildings all made of the finest shining marble. There are ships from all round the world and people of all kinds! And you would never have trouble finding a tengu ship there, as the tengu are the administrators of the whole place. We keep that city running efficiently!"
"For me, it's nothing quite as romantic as Caulder here," Pagrip says. "Returning the brooch was the right thing to do, and it was within my means to do it, so I did it. Nothing else to it, really. As for the unrest in the streets, well, it pretty much comes down to the same thing. It's within my means to help, and it's the right thing to do."
Caulder Baradin wrote:
"She just wants to look less a mess in front of Captain Horace and his beard," he mutters aside to Pagrip. "You think I should grow a beard, dwarf?" he asks, stroking his stubbly chin thoughtfully. "Oh, never mind: You're a dwarf; you probably think Darkbane should grow a beard."
Pagrip rolls his eyes. "Ha ha," he says dryly, "because you humans have this strange idea that dwarf women have beards. As for you, yes, you would look much better with a beard. A full one, though, not that bit of stubble Darkbane's swooning over." He shakes his head. "You humans really have no concept of beards."
Reta Bigbad wrote:
"OLD FOOFELAH! OLD FOOFELAH! CAN YOUS MAKE THEMS EXPLODE?" She randomly points behind her, eyes wide with anticipation.
Reta's fingers point to a pair of young goblins who have been watching intently. They shriek and run off, one of them tripping over another goblin who was "hiding" on the ground (actually just lying on the ground in plain sight). "No!" that goblin yells. "You no see me here. You go away!" But the young goblin has already gone.
The one lying on the ground looks up at Reta and Old Foofelah. He stands up slowly and waves. "Me go now, too." He runs off.
Earlier that morning...
The cannibal, while still gravely injured, has awakened. He squints at the group of you surrounding him. "Can you understand us?" Sasha asks him.
He spits and growls something at the group. Sasha shrugs and looks to everyone else for understanding.
"He just swore at us," Aerys says. "Basically told us where we can go." She goes up to him and stares at him menacingly. She says something to him.
The cannibal looks a little surprised and growls something back. Aerys slaps him, and steps back. "He's speaking Infernal," she says. "Well, a bastardized version of it at any rate. Years of isolation have probably created a unique dialect. I think I can communicate with him. What would you like me to ask him?"
"Dirty work?" Smenk scoffs. "I want to clean up this town. Ye may not like the place, but when that cult starts killin' everyone about, then I bet ye'll sit up and listen. But if ye're really the heroes ye claim to be, then ye'll do somethin' about it before it reaches that point. As for proof, I can only tell ye what I saw. There's some sort of pool down there. It's filled with...well, blackness. Not nothing. I mean unholy blackness. There was a ritual going on when I first went down there as they took me to their Dark Cathedral. Circles of robed figures ringed the pool, and beneath the robes I saw...appendages. Twitching tails, hints of feathers I think. Their chants echoed off the walls like a chorus of croaking frogs and screaming children. And the whole while, ol' Ragnolin Dourstone didn't seem the slightest bit disturbed."
He pauses again to sip his wine. "Ragnolin and the Faceless One both went on about somethin' they called the Age of Worms. 'All must be prepared,' they said, or words to that effect, 'for the Age of Worms is upon us.' I don't know what that means, but that's why I nicked the green worm. It seems to have something to do with their plans.
"Now, obviously you and I don't see eye to eye about a number of things. I accept that. Ye don't like me much and I suspect if I got to know ye better, I wouldn't like you much either. But we're both in this situation together. Yeah, they're likely to come after me first, which is why I'm panicking a little. I don't deny that. But then they'll be comin' after you, mates. They'll be comin' after each and every person in this town and beyond.
"Now, ye can run away, or ye can act like the heroes ye claim to be and do somethin' to put an end to this cult once and for all. I already know ye've got ideas in that direction, else fatso over there wouldn't have been seen at the mine trying to weasel a way into it for ye all. I've given ye some useful information. Use it or not. Your choice. But if ye don't, don't come whinin' to me when the situation gets beyond your control. I'll probably be dead by that point at any rate." He downs the rest of his drink in one gulp.
Smenk Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16
Smenk smirks. "That ain't what I've heard me lad, but suit yourself." He sits down in one of the chairs and takes another sip of his wine. "So, you're the one's I've been hearin' about." He looks at each of the group in turn, then takes another sip of wine.
"There's an evil at work in this town, mates. And bein' the noble heroes that ye are, I figured ye'd want to know a little about it. There's terrible things happening beneath Dourstone Mine. Now, I know what ye're thinkin'. That I'm just trying to cast aspersions against me rivals, but that ain't the case. They make aspersions against themselves without m'help. No, when I say evil, I mean evil that makes me skin crawl.
"They call themselves the Ebon Triad. A weird cult that worships Zon-Kuthon, Urgathoa, and Lamashtu as some sort of three-in-one god. They believe that those three are going to join together and become some sort of supreme overgod or some such nonsense. Now, I don't believe a word of that, but whether they're or wrong isn't the point. The cult is dangerous. They're led by a bloke named the Faceless One. They call him that because he always wears a mask to hide his face. Don't know why he does that. Don't care. He's a nasty one. Believe me, I've met him."
He pauses a moment to take another sip of wine. "Now, ye may be wonderin' how I came to meet this bastard. He's runnin' his operation from Dourstone Mine, and what was I doin' there? Well, Dourstone contacted me some time ago with some ideas to further cooperation between our businesses, ideas he said would be beneficial to us all. Well, I resisted for some time, but the other mine managers were startin' to get in on it too, so I agreed to a meeting. They brought me down into the mine where I met this Faceless One. He demanded that I start supplyin' his operation with food from up here. His cultists, many of which are not human, can't walk openly in the city, so they need a supply line. He wanted me to be that line.
"At first, I was willin' to work a deal. For the right price, I could acquire food, but as he showed me around, I started to get suspicions. Fear is a rare feelin' for me, mates, but I tell you, I started feelin' it down there. Something just ain't right about those people. So I started workin' a plan.
"They've got these strange green worms, apparently from some kind of unkillable zombie. Well, I nicked meself one, and called in an old friend of mine from Kaer Maga. He was an expert in the undead. He came down and set up in the old observatory north of town to research that worm for me. Unfortunately, they must have found out about him because he's dead now. They tried to make it look like he'd lost control of his undead minions, but they did a poor job of it.
"So I sent word to them that I was out. They would get no more food from me. Yesterday mornin', I awoke with the head of me right hand man next to me. In me bed! They had somehow snuck in in the middle of the night, got into me bedroom, left the head, and got out again without anyone the wiser. I'm telling you, I ain't never been so scared before in me life!
"Mates, somethin' has to be done about that cult, and that's where you come in. Surely, fine, upstanding heroes like yourselves won't allow something like this to go on in your fair town."
Sense Motive DC 17:
Smenk Bluff: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17
Smenk seems to be telling mostly the truth, but you suspect he's putting a spin on it to make himself look cleaner than he really is.
It's been a long time since I quit a game, so I'm going all the way back to 2nd Edition for these examples.
The first was a game I was part of for a couple of months and was finding somewhat boring. The group was very hack'n'slash, which just wasn't my thing. Their characters had no personalities or backstories. They had names, but the players never used them. They just referred to each other by the players' names. Very little happened other than killing things and sorting the loot. We even spent an entire session once just distributing loot. I and one other player were the only ones who actually roleplayed our characters. The final straw came when the DM banned me and that one player from talking in-character. It just wasn't the game for me, so I backed out of it after that session.
Another time I quit a game was with a DM played completely in the style of DM-versus-player. We weren't allowed to create our own characters because players who create their own characters never create a "balanced party". Instead, we had to choose from several pregenerated parties he had created himself. I ended up with a 4th-level fire elementalist wizard, with very few spells.
The DM was very stingy with spells and I maybe knew as many spells total as a 3rd edition sorcerer knows (without all the extra castings per day). My staple spell became pyrotechnics. The DM commented once that he was surprised I made such use of the spell as he always considered it a terrible spell. He was very impressed that I found creative ways to use it. Considering it was the only 2nd-level fire spell I knew (I think I knew one other 2nd-level non-fire spell), I really didn't have much choice but to use it. My character eventually reached 5th level and could cast 3rd-level spells, at which point the DM just declared which new spells I knew. If I remember correctly, he gave me two spells. Neither of them was fireball.
The campaign eventually ended after a near-TPK. My character and all but one of the others died. Several of us legitimately had a reason why we couldn't make it to the game the next two weeks, so the DM decided to cancel the game those two weeks and resume afterwards. However, none of us actually went back. The game ran for a total of 6 or seven weeks. That last week we were there, the DM excitedly announced that this was the longest campaign he had ever run. I feel a bit bad that we never told the DM we weren't coming back. We just decided on our own not to, and that was perhaps a bad decision. I was glad to be out of the game though.
Female Human (Varisian) Oracle 2
Cinders sheaths her scimitar and walks up beside Karthas. "I suggest you do as he says," she tells the bandits. "And while you're at it, repent your wrongdoing and promise to return to the light and never harm another soul again. For if you harm another or steal from another or commit any other offense against another, you will burn."
Aid another on Karthas's Intimidate: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
You have all, for various reasons, found yourselves on board the Jenivere, a large Wyvern-class merchant vessel bound for Eleder in Sargavo. It left Magnimar on the 15th day of Pharast, 4710, and has made many stops along the way. It is now the 28th of Sarenith, the 104th day of the journey, and the end is finally drawing near. Another day or two at most, the captain says, and you will arrive at your destination.
You should remind yourselves of the descriptions of the key NPCs on board the Jenivere found in the Player’s Guide. I’ve also placed these descriptions on the website in the “Supporting Cast” section along with pictures of some of them.
Gelik Aberwhinge came aboard in Magnimar, where you also boarded. He came running aboard at the last moment, and declared his intentions to pay whatever price the captain wanted for passage “as far as the ship was going”. He was very happy to discover another gnome on board and has made a point of speaking to you on several occasions. He is quick-witted and a good speaker, but he has something of a mean streak when it comes to others’ misfortunes. He often makes a snide comment or a scathing remark at other people’s expense.
When you boarded in Corentyn, the prisoner Jask Derindi was brought on board at the same time. He apparently noticed you and has asked to speak to you on several occasions. Crew members guarding him delivered his requests to you. It’s up to you whether you have gone to visit him or not.
The fiery redhead, Sasha Nevah boarded at the same time as you did. Although she has been boisterous and has mixed with most others on board the Jenivere, she has made a point of avoiding you.
First officer Devers has taken a particular interest in you and frequently questions you about your skills, where you come from, and similar things.
Makoa and Urza:
In the last couple of days, the ship has made some unusual course changes. The official word is that these changes are short cuts. Captain Kovack is anxious to reach Eleder as soon as possible. However, some of the more experience crewmembers say that these changes will take the ship away from Eleder and not cut off any time at all. Captain Kovack has been seen more and more with Ieana, the Varisian woman who has mostly kept to herself since boarding in Magnimar. The captain and first officer have also been seen to argue on a few occasions.
It’s a bright, sunny day today. A brisk wind plays off the waters of Desperation Bay. This evening there is to be a feast commemorating the upcoming end of the long voyage. Until then, this is a good time to enjoy the weather.