Lavinia nods. "You're right," she says. She takes the signet ring and presses it against the small depression on the door. There's a brief flash of blue light. Then the door slowly swings open on creaking hinges. Lavinia stands aside to let the rest of you past.
Light from the wall torches spills partway into the room, but large portions of the room to the left and right of the door remain in darkness. Jacinth can see more of the room with his darkvision, however. The floor of the dome chamber is polished green marble. Two fifteen-foot-wide alcoves have lower ceilings and feature marble pillars carved to resemble coiling snakes. In the centre of the room, five similar pillars are embedded into the walls, rising up thirty feet to the dome overhead. Looking up, the dome bears a huge representation of the same shield-and-snake symbol as on the door.
"The harbourmaster has a magical account book?" Lavinia asks as she starts down the passage.
The corridor is about forty feet long and ends at a solid-looking iron door. The door is emblazoned with a golden snake on a shield. Above the door, inscribed in flowing script on a polished silver plaque, is the name "Vanderboren". A single handle protrudes from the door, just below a circular depression bearing the mark of the Vanderboren signet.
Lavinia approaches the door and looks at the symbol emblazoned on it. "That's weird," she says. "It looks kind of familiar, but it's not our family emblem."
Knowledge (local) DC 15:
The symbol on the door is the emblem of the Aspis Consortium.
Makoa Wolf'sKin wrote:
Can I get to -D 74 on a charge?
Yes, that is one of the few locations you could charge to without any obstructions.
Okay, these aren't "animals". Are they monstrous humanoids?
To all appearances, they would seem to be just really big apes.
Knowledge (nature) DC 13:
These are definitely dire apes. However, dire apes should not be capable of casting spells.
There is also a Sense Motive spoiler above that may have been forgotten or missed. Although admittedly, the only party members capable of passing the DC are Mahjik and Jask. That said, now that Ape #1 has done this odd action, I will lower the Sense Motive DC to 15. :)
Alton takes to the air and flies towards the apes (double move to -D 71). Shokambe pulls out his mace, but holds put for now.
Ape #1 moves back a bit (5-ft step to -H/-I 77/78), then does something you wouldn't expect an ape to do. It casts a spell.
Spellcraft DC 19:
It's probably obvious from the effects, but the spell is fear and it's being used as spell-like ability.
Douena Will: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6 -- fail
Terror washes over the four of you nearest the apes, filling you with the desire to get away.
Ape #2 moves forward a little (to -E/-F 74/75) and bites at Mahjik. #3 bites and claws at Mahjik from where its standing.
Ape #2 bite at Mahjik: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24 -- miss
Only one attack comes close to hitting Mahjik, but it rebounds off the multiple magical effects he has protecting him.
Jask casts a spell, and a glowing dagger appears in front of Ape #1.
Jask spiritual weapon at #1: 1d20 + 6 - 2 ⇒ (13) + 6 - 2 = 17 -- miss
The dagger swipes at the ape, but does not connect.
Sasha rushes forward towards #2, and ducks low under its long reach (double move to -D 75).
Sasha Acrobatics to avoid AoO: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25 -- success
Next Up: Makoa, Ishirou, Tar'kanas, Urza, Pezock, Lorenz, Untari, Douena, Mahjik, Alton, Shokambe, Ape #1, Ape #2 & #3, Jask, Sasha.
When the priest opens his ledger, Tippi tries to catch a glimpse of the page he is writing on. Perception to see any names of recent visitors, if he's writing in Taldane or some other language, etc. 1d20+7
It's hard to get a good look, but she can see that the script is definitely the same as Taldane even if the language isn't. What's written appears to be mostly names, dates, and times, so there's not really anything to translate if it isn't Taldane. It's harder to make out the exact names, but she's pretty certain she sees Carthagnion listed a few times. Kettermaul Carthagnion is the current Archheathen, the Lord of Cornetyn. She can't be sure it's actually him visiting, however. It could be someone else from his family. She can only make out a couple of other names (from minor local noble families) before the priest closes the book.
Hey, it's Gringotts! Assume there's some kind of lightsource odwn here other than what we might provide ourselves?
Yes, there are torches on the walls.
Tippi couldn't dig up any speculation on Vanthus, or whatever the brother's name is?
Oh, my apologies! I forgot.
There doesn't seem to be a lot of information on Vanthus available, but you are able to turn up a few things. Vanthus is the older sibling, so there was a certain amount of surprise when the inheritance went to Lavinia. However, a few years ago, their parents sent Vanthus away from home, apparently to work on a family plantation in the north. He returned to Corentyn a year ago, but at some point over the next few months, he moved out again. No one's sure where he went. After his parents died, he apparently moved back to the Vanderboren manor briefly, but then left again, possibly angry at not gaining any of the inheritance.
5 DESNUS, 4713
After breakfast the next morning, Lavinia hires a coach to take you all from the manor to Dhoffram Keep. The coach drops you off at Zelkie Park which is just outside the main keep, and the only part of the keep open to the public. The park is beautifully maintained, with majestic gardens and trees, flowers of all colours arranged in decorative patterns. Yet despite the beauty, the park has a lifeless quality to it, perhaps due to the fact that there's virtually no one there apart from an occasional black-and-red robed priest of Asmodeus. There aren't even any birds in the trees.
The coach departs quickly once you've all gotten off. "The vaults are this way, I think," Lavinia says, pointing. "They're buried under the park. All the noble families have one. At least, that's what Edunel has always said."
Finding the entrance to the vaults is not difficult as it turns out to be in the centre of the park, and all the paths through the park gradually wind their way there. The entrance is just a single reinforced stone building about 10 ft by 10 ft in size. A short distance in front of the iron door is a single podium behind which a robed priest of Asmodeus stands. A thick book sits on the podium, along with a quill pen and a jar of ink. Two armed guards stand directly in front of the door.
Lavinia takes a deep breath and steps up to the podium. "Ms Vanderboren, yes?" the priest says.
Lavinia seems a little startled that he recognized her so easily. "Uh, yes," she stammers.
"Your signet?" You can only make out a small amount of the priest's face under his hood. Only his mouth and chin are really visible, showing that he's clean-shaven, but revealing little else.
Lavinia holds up the ring. The priest takes it, looks at it closely, then hands it back to her. He opens the book on the podium to a marked page, takes the quill, dips it in the ink, and writes in the book. He then closes the book and moves towards the door. "Follow me."
"My friends are accompanying me," Lavinia says.
The priest pauses to look back at your group, then nods. One of the two guards opens the door, and the priest leads you inside.
Within, there is only a single staircase spiralling down. The priest immediately begins heading down. The rest of you follow cautiously. The stairs descend quite a distance before coming out in the centre of a wide, vaulted chamber. Dozens of hallways radiate out from the chamber.
When the priest steps onto the floor, he stops and turns slowly, looking at each of the various corridors. After a moment, he stops and points to one of the corridors. "The Vanderboren vault is at the end of that corridor. You will need your signet for entry. Do not attempt to enter any of the other vaults. The consequences could be...unfortunate. If you have any further questions, I will be up top. Good day to you, Ms Vanderboren." He bows slightly to Lavinia, then turns and gives a slight bow to the rest of you. "Good day to you, lady and gentlemen." He then begins back up the stairs.
Tar'kanas's arrow flies straight at #1, but rebounds off its tough hide (i.e. a miss). Urza casts mage armour on Mahjik.
With a yell, Pezock raises his sabre and rushes forward. The bodies in the way slow him down a bit, however. Double move to -F 78. The apes have reach, but are still flat-footed, so no AoO from #1.
Lorenz longbow, Rapid Shot 1 at #1: 1d20 + 10 - 2 ⇒ (12) + 10 - 2 = 20 -- hit
Lorenz nocks an arrow and fires, then without a pause does so again. Both arrows land in #1's chest. The ape grunts in pain.
Up Next: Untari, Douena, Mahjik, Alton, Shokambe, Ape #1, Apes #2 & #3, Jask, Sasha, Makoa, Ishirou.
Douena Trestleben wrote:
Seriously, Lorenz doesn't need the hitpoints while he's standing back with a bow. Would like to end up next to Jask, depending on if he/she moves more than 30 ft. from Douena.
Heh, it's always ended up being Lorenz because everyone else moves away before Jask can cast the spell. :)
Jask nods at Douena's words and casts the spell on Sasha.
Jask aid on Sasha: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Sasha smiles and says a quick "Thanks," in return, before drawing her weapons and moving forward (to E77).
Lorenz pulls out his bow and moves closer to the river to get a better view ahead (J77).
Ishirou moves to the side a little, positioning himself by a tree (F71) and waits.
Shokambe, not wanting to be at the front, pulls back to Jask and Douena (J72) while Pezock moves to the front (C76).
Suddenly, three massive apes burst out of the trees to the north.
Douena Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
I'll let Javell roll Tar'kanas's attack. :)
First Up: Tar'kanas's readied attack, Urza, Pezock, Lorenz, Untari, Douena, Mahjik, Alton, Shokambe, Ape #1, Apes #2 and #3, Jask, Sasha, Makoa, Ishirou.
Sense Motive DC 25:
There's something a little different about #1. It looks like an ape, but it's movement is slightly different, slightly jerky, almost like it's not in full control of its actions.
You set out as always, heading north along the riverbank. The trees here are taller and broader than they have been, their gnarled branches rising to a tangled canopy that blots out the sun. Digging into their roots, giant, parasitic corpse-flowers blossom across the jungle floor, their stench being enough to make your stomachs a little queasy.
You've been travelling for a couple of hours when you notice several humanoid corpses along the riverbank. Their armor and bodies have been ripped apart as if by large claws. Suddenly, a series of loud slams and crashing noises echo through the jungle, sending small monkeys in the treetops fleeing in all directions.
You may have one round worth of actions each. Unfortunately, the cover of the trees makes it impossible to see what has caused the crashing noises. All you can tell is that the noises are coming from the north-northwest.
Yeah, you already had a discussion on how to split up the loot. :)
We won't roleplay out the shopping trip. Everyone may feel free to make purchases. Corentyn's a large enough place that you can find pretty much anything in your price range. Just let me know what you're buying.
Yeah, the silence does occur when most of the group would be asleep. However, I assume they've told the rest of the group. Alas, I just haven't had the time to write a post with any of the NPCs explicitly doing so, which I normally would have done. That said, Lorenz would definitely tell people about it, starting with Sasha. Indeed, he'll probably make it the topic of conversation on the morning of the 1st of Rova, at which point it's happened three times...
"I have no explanation for it," Shokambe says in response to Lorenz's questioning. "I haven't travelled through this jungle very much, but the little I have, I've never experienced the monkeys shutting up like that."
"I'm just reminded of the strange things that started happening when we were on the Shiv," Lorenz replies. "They turned out to be because of that chupacabra thing. The things that happened were different, of course, but I can't help feeling they're similar somehow."
You refill your water supplies, all the while under the watchful eyes of the lizardfolk. However, they don't make any aggressive moves against you (as long as you don't make aggressive moves against them). As you start north again along the bank of the river, the lizardfolk move aside to let you pass, each turning as you pass to keep an eye on you.
A low snarl comes from Pezock as you pass by #3 and #4, and they each take a step back, spears raised. But it doesn't escalate beyond that. Pezock snickers a bit one you're well past them.
Random Encounters 15%:
The remainder of this day's travel is unremarkable. Indeed, the same is true of the next several days. The weather is hot and humid. Sometimes, you're under the full canopy of trees, and other times, you get to see a bit of the sky as you trudge along the riverbank. Every day around 1 p.m. or so, there is a heavy downpour that varies in length between 15 and 90 minutes, followed by a dense mist that lasts for another 10 to 30 minutes or so. There is frequently rain at other times of the day too, though you're generally spared getting too wet due to the canopy of trees. The cacophony of monkey screams is ever present, rain or shine, except...
Shortly before dawn each morning (during Urza, Lorenz, and Shokambe's watch), there's a brief moment when the screeching stops and the jungle falls into total silence. It only ever lasts for a couple of seconds, then starts up again. Each time, there's no indication of why, and nothing terrible comes crashing out of the jungle to attack. Nonetheless, the brief moment of silence is strangely ominous.
4 ROVA, 4710 (27th day of journey)
This day starts off bright and sunny (a rarity). A few rays of the sunlight even manage to penetrate the trees, bathing your campsite in a warm glow.
As always, feel free to add in any retroactive roleplay for the last five days of journey, including any reactions to the daily "moment of silence".
XP: 1000 each (current total: 17399).
The lizardfolk sneer as Tar'kanas tries to speak, and they ignore whatever he has to say. They listen to Shokambe's response, but don't acknowledge his question. #1 speaks to Douena again. He finishes by slapping his spear against his shield in a slightly threatening manner.
"Very well. This is the best spot to get water for many miles. Gather what you need, then move on. We will defend ourselves if we need to."
The lizardfolk seem to relax a littel when Tar'kanas puts away his bow; however, they don't put away their own weapons. #1 on the rock speaks again.
"These are our hippos. We hunt them if we wish to hunt them. Where are you going?"
I'm going to ask for a Diplomacy check to go along with Douena's reply. Anyone else who speaks Polyglot and wishes to speak up may aid her.
You arrive at the Vanderboren manor just outside the gate, and climb out of the coach (or off it, in Felos's case). You then pass through the gates, head up the path, and knock on the doors. A minute or so later, Kora opens the door.
"Lady Lavinia has been anxious about your return," she says. "Please, come in."
Kora shows you into the library and has barely turned to go get Lavinia when Lavinia herself rushes into the room. "You're back!" she says excitedly. "What happened? Did everything go all right?"
The lizardfolk on the rock look confused as Urza backs away, Douena calls out cheerfully, and Tar'kanas calls out accusatorily. You're not sure if they understand Tar'kanas's words as #1 yells back in Polyglot.
"You have a lizard? What are you? A slaver? What are your intentions?"
The harbourmaster looks over at Jacinth. "Hmmm, yes, you're right there, too, I suppose." He points at the same guard who examined Vark. After a brief moment of coughing, he says, "You there, see to it that this man is transported safely to Lady Vanderboren's estate. Fetch a coach if you need to. I'll cover the costs. Oh, and summon the town guard while you're at it. I want Vark and his people rounded up." The guard nods and hurries off.
Islaran sighs, sits down on a crate, and wipes his brow with his handkerchief. "What a day," he mutters and breaks into another fit of coughing.
The guard returns a little while later with several members of the city guard. He says that there is a coach waiting at the end of the pier, and helps to pick up Jacinth. While the city guard go to investigate the hold, you follow Islaran's guard off the ship and along pier. Sure enough, there is a coach waiting, and the guard helps you to lay Jacinth out inside it. The rest of you can then climb in and get a ride back to Lavinia's.
Sorry for the delay everyone. I had a ridiculously busy week.
Islaran goes over to Vark and looks like he's about to examine the body, but is apparently too squeamish and pulls away. He motions to one of his guards to check. The guard kneels down, checks for a pulse, and then nods to Islaran. "Well then," Islaran says. "He's going to have a lot to answer for."
He turns back to face the party and tries to straighten his back and look tall. All he succeeds in doing is causing another coughing fit. Once he has that under control, he says, "It seems you were right. My apologies for doubting you." He glances back at Vark. "He really did come with excellent references. At any rate, if you would be so good as to hand over the payment from Miss Vanderboren."
Assuming you do so, he opens that pouch and starts counting out coins. He stops when he reaches ten. "Please convey my apologies to Miss Vanderboren, and as compensation for her terrible treatment, we will forgive her ten percent of the debt." He hands the ten platinum pieces to Felos. "Please return these to her. The appropriate authorities will want to search the ship and round up these villains and the smuggled goods, but as soon as they have done so, Miss Vanderboren may have her ship back."
Urza Sha'rahad wrote:
"I'm glad they finally shut up. Maybe we'll be able to get some sleep tonight."
"A little late for that, isn't it?" Lorenz says. "The sun will be rising soon."
He frowns as the noise starts up again. "Wonder what that was all about." He looks to Shokambe, who shrugs.
"It is unsettling," Shokambe says, "but probably nothing."
30 ARODUS, 4710 (22nd day of journey)
As the sun does start to rise, the monkeys are just as loud as always, and those who were asleep through it all never notice a difference. After a quick breakfast, you pack up camp and continue through the jungle.
Despite the continuous yells of the monkeys, you do hear other sounds in the jungle, particularly the nearby river. Most of the time, you're not able to travel right beside the river due to the jungle growing right up to its edge, but you can always hear its rushing waters nearby. Occasionally, the jungle opens up a little near the river, allowing some slightly easier progress, a chance to refill water skins, and even a glimpse of the sun--well, it would allow a glimpse if the sky weren't also overcast.
Shortly before noon, as you're starting to think about breaking for lunch and the midday heat, you emerge into a thin bit of clearing by the river side to see a populated area. Several hippopotamuses are bathing in the river, but also about are a number of lizardfolk, including two standing on a rock near a couple of the hippopotamuses. All the lizardfolk carry longspears and shields, as well as morningstars strapped to their wastes. The two on the rocks have their spears pointed towards the hippopotamuses, but you're not entirely sure if they're trying to attack or herd the animals.
The lizardfolk all look in your direction as you emerge from the trees. For a couple of seconds, they stare at you.
You have a brief moment to say something if you choose or perform a single standard action. Essentially, you have a surprise round, but this isn't necessarily a combat yet.
Sorry for the delays. It's taken time to get the next encounter ready...
Sleep is initially difficult this first night in the jungle, due to the noise. However, you've slept in jungles before, and while not as noisy as this, they could still be quite noisy. As such, you eventually adjust and fall asleep. Tiredness from the day's journey certainly helps.
Early in the morning, during Urza, Lorenz, and Shokambe's watch, just as the first hints of light are returning, the jungle falls silent. The only sound is that of Shokambe's knife against his latest wood carving, and even that vanishes as Shokambe pauses in his work and looks up in start. There isn't much time to think about it or react, however, as a couple seconds later, the jungle erupts once more with the sounds of monkeys.
Urza Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
"I most..." Islaran begins as he jumps up from his seat. Unfortunately, the rapid movement sparks off another round of coughing. "I...most...certainly...did...not!" he manages to gasp through the hacking. He takes a deep breath as the coughing calms down. "Smuggling, you say? That's a serious charge. How can I be sure..." He sighs. "You'd better show me."
He moves out from behind his desk and over to the door. "This better not be a trick." He opens the door and heads out into the entrance room and then outside. He snaps his fingers at two guards lounging by the doors and they snap to attention. "With me," he tells them.
The journey back to the Blue Nixie is slow as Islaran has to keep pausing, either to cough, catch his breath, or both. However, eventually you make it back to the ship where Festa has been relaxing in relative quiet the entire time. Islaran hobbles up the gangplank and begins to look around. Upon seeing the cages of animals in the hold, he shakes his head and sighs.
"Seems you were right," he says. "Is Vark still alive?"
Nobody stated any attempts to stabilize Vark or his thugs (Felos and Tippi were busy with the giant insect, and Festa looted the bodies); however, Vark stabilized on his own, so is still alive.
Felos and Xanthippe arrive back at the harbourmaster's office and are shown in to see him immediately. "Well, you took your time getting back," he says. "Where's the rest of you? And where's Vark?" He doubles over in another fit of coughing, wipes his mouth with his bloody handkerchief, then looks to you for an answer.
While Tippi and Felos wait to kill the bug, Festa is also able to quickly check the rooms in the aftcastle. The room immediately through the door is the wardroom. To the south of that is the officers' quarters. At the back is the captain's quarters.
Festa Fire Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
He does not immediately uncover either the missing payment or the ring; however, once Tippi and Felos are available, you can all make a much more detailed search (after also confirming that Jacinth is alive and stable) of the ship.
I'll assume you take 20 in your search. It will take quite a bit of time to search the whole ship, and the harbourmaster may start wondering where you've got to (although he may also think you've just taken off because your bluff was called or he might just forget about you). That said, I'll also assume the captain's cabin is one of the first places you search (it's a logical starting place), which will make your search quicker. :)
In the captain's cabin, you quickly uncover a large trunk, inside which is a leather pouch of 100 pp, presumably Lavinia's payment. Finding the ring takes longer, but it also turns up in the captain's cabin, hidden in in a secret panel in the headboard of the captain's bunk. A scrap of rolled-up parchment has been threaded through the ring. Written on it is the following:
Chimera looks to sunrise
Both are elixirs of swimming.
I realize that elixirs are wondrous items, not potions, and thus some might argue that the Perception rules for identifying potions don't apply. However, when it comes down to it, elixirs are not potions because of a technicality. They're close enough, so I'm allowing the Perception checks. :)
Urza Sha'rahad wrote:
Urza will take last watch. He needs his beauty sleep after all.
Okay, I'll switch the first and last watches. Tar'kanas and Sasha will start with some light which will fade, but they do have the animal companions' scent abilities. Plus, you can always build a fire for a bit of light too. :)
Revised watch schedule:
Tar'kanas & Sasha
Ack! You got this posted before I finished writing my post. As I mentioned originally, the creature would only suffer a couple of hits before retreating, so more hits earlier meant it retreated earlier. However, if you wait, we can assume he says this after it comes back out and you take it down then. :)
Tippi's hits will mean the creature pulls away to safety a little earlier, so she and Felos each don't get their last shots. However, it does mean that the creature has taken 14 points of damage total (8 remaining).After it retreats, if you wish to wait awhile, it will eventually come forward again to go at the caged animals, at which point, you can fire again. You can also use those last results, which will take it down. They'll just have to be patient, as it will take several minutes before the creature gets the nerve to come forward again.
As Felos and Tippi shoot arrows at the beast, Festa begins searching bodies.
On Vark, he finds the following:
On each of the two thugs, he finds the following:
Earring Appraise DC 20:
Worth 50 gp.
Silver Ring Appraise DC 20:
Worth 25 gp.
Douena Trestleben wrote:
Need a watch schedule again. I presume that under the jungle canopy, low-light vision won't be of any use at night?
That's right. The thick tree canopy blocks most starlight and moonlight from getting through, making the night almost pitch black.
You have 11 people in the party altogether (not including animal companions), meaning you're probably looking at five watches, four with two people and one with three (unless you want to do a sixth watch with only one person).
So, a proposed watch schedule (let me know if there are any objections):
Urza, Lorenz, & Shokambe
The last group doesn't have anyone with darkvision or ability to cast light. However, they do have the animal companions' scent abilities and with the coming of dawn, they'll start to get some light.
Let me know if anyone wants to change anything around. If not, I'll use this schedule for your entire time spent in the jungle (unless specifically told otherwise).
Felos's first shot hits but barely seems to perturb the massive spider-like beast. His next two shots clatter uselessly on the floor of the hold, but the fourth breaks through the carapace and into the creature's back. With loud chittering, the beast backs away out of sight.
Xanthippe certainly does have enough time to get some shots in, too, before it retreats. It has AC 14 and started with 22 hp (12 remaining after Felos's attacks).
Did the torch go out, or is the ship in danger of going up in flames? Because Douena and Pezock would really like to watch it, if so. ;)
The torch fell into a small puddle of water and has now sputtered out.
The hatch at G11 isn't grated (it's solid wood), so he needs to open it first. Doing so reveals a ladder leading down to the hold. He does not have line of sight from here, however, because of the mast and the stacks of cages. He could fire through the larger loading grate, though. If he does so, the creature will suffer through a couple of hits before moving under cover to hide.
As Felos rushes to check the hatch, the insect-like creature below turns on the other cages. The creature is like a massive spider, almost as big as a pony. Its head is horrifically oversized, dominated by immense mandibles. Those mandibles smash through one of the cages, ripping it apart like paper. A parrot inside manages to flutter away, losing only a few feathers to the beast. The terrified screeches of the other animals crescendo.
If the hatch weighs less than 30 pounds and isn't locked, Tippi can use open/close on it.
The grate that covers the loading access to the hold is too heavy. However, there is a smaller, more manageable hatch at G11 that the spell could easily open. (I know it looks a bit more like a crate on the map, but it's actually meant to be a trapdoor hatch.)
Peering through the grate, Felos catches sight of a woman illuminated by from the glow of the burning torch she holds in her hands. All around her are cages. Although Felos can't see into the cages from the deck, it's definitely from the cages that the animal sounds are coming from. The woman is currently attempting to use the torch to light one of the cages on fire, but it's not catching very well.
As Felos yells down at her, she looks up in start. Right at that moment, there's a crash from somewhere towards the bow-side of the hold. Suddenly a massive, insect-like form comes into view, its great mandibles clamping around the woman's waist. She screams, but the scream cuts out suddenly as she slumps over dead.
29 ARODUS, 4710 (21st day of journey)
The night passes by without incident and you set out again in the morning. As the morning passes by, you start to notice more and more trees ahead of you, and soon, the canopy of the jungle is visible on more than just foothills in the distance. Around 1 p.m., you actually enter the jungle, just in time to seek shelter from a heavy downpour that lasts close to an hour. After the rain, a heavy mist hangs in the air (helped by spray from the river), making vision ahead difficult. The mist persists for close to half an hour before dissipating.
You start hearing the monkeys pretty soon upon entering the jungle, but the volume doesn't seem nearly as bad as Shokambe was indicating. However, the volume steadily increases and after a few hours, you start to appreciate why it's called the Screaming Jungle. The monkey screeches are almost maddening.
On the plus side, it's much cooler under the canopy of trees than it was out on the plains. The humidity still makes it uncomfortable, but it is a little more bearable. Spray from the river helps as well.
Eventually, you set up camp again. As evening settles in, the screeching from the monkeys does subside a little. It seems monkeys do have to sleep once in a while; however, there are still enough of them awake at night to make a racket.
#4 drops his rapier. "I surrender!" he says. "Mera's in the hold. With the goods. She's gonna burn them. We agreed, if the authorities get too close to discoverin' them, we burn the goods. Please, let me go now."
Assuming you don't want to continue fighting this guy (and even if you do, he'll simply try to run away)...
Thug #4 AoO rapier at Festa: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
As Festa passes him, #4 looks uncertain whether to risk Festa's ire for attacking him or Vark's ire for not attacking. He ends up taking a rather half-hearted stab at Festa, who easily avoids the blow.
Festa's punch slams into Vark's face. Varks eyes roll backwards and he slumps over.
From the hold, you start to hear what sounds like panicked monkeys and birds screeching.
Next Up: Tippi, Thug #4, Felos, Jacinth (unconscious), Festa.
Wow, Felos's claws became a lot more powerful this round! In other words, you used the wrong die. ;)
Felos claw damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Vark actually cries out in pain as Felos's claws mark the other side of his face. His cry is enough to make #4 beside him go very pale. "Mera!" Vark yells. "Burn them! Burn them all!" You're not sure who he's yelling to.
Vark rapier at Felos: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7 -- miss
He stabs again at Felos, but his rage and yelling prove too distracting and he strikes only air.
At the sound of Vark's voice, #3 looks in panic to the grate covering the hold, drops his rapier, and rushes for the gangplank, circling around Festa. Festa may take an AoO if desired. If #3 survives, he crosses over to the pier and hurries away.
Next Up: AoO for Festa (if desired), Festa's regular turn, Tippi, Thug #4, Felos, Vark, Jacinth (unconscious).