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Dilix nods. "Small common objects should be easy enough to supply. We can provide arrows for the archer and there is plenty of spirits available, Priestess."
"As for any more information, yes. Obherask is holed up in an old temple to Nethys that Nex installed on the desert island. The shaitan have sealed the entrance with stone, but it must still be opened now and again for fresh air."
Dilix sighs and looks to the others as the conversation with Kzrira seems to be going in circles...
She holds a small charm out. "Perhaps this. Obherak's stronghold is deep in the shifting sands of Kanderwhal. You would likely be swallowed by the sand rivers if you tried to walk there. Give this charm to a Helmsman and he will pilot you over both water and sand to Obherak."
Dilix speaks slowly as if to help the ignorant warrior understand. "I do not control all this. Nex created all this and summoned us all to serve him. I am merely the caretaker. Obherak is a traitor who wishes to take what Nex has wrought for his own. As the entrusted guardian of the Nex's Palace, I have to defend it from him."
Karethas summons his little hideaway and the group retreats to get some rest. You awaken refreshed in the late morning and after preparing for the day return through the colonnade to the ornate doors of Nex's palace.
You quickly run across the slaves again. Neshari greets you with a familiar smile for Karethas. Auroz looks at you quizzically and asks how you arrived as he did not see your galley.
There is a jarring sensation and the green fluid surges upwards filling the room. Amir and Kzrira's stomachs aren't helped by the experience, but moments later the entropy pool recedes outward away from you and the burned pier where you stand between several galleys. It is dark with a lightening sky in beyond the dark and sleeping palace.
Amir Awad Hajjir wrote:
Well seeing as we don't really have a boat...or an ocean to speak of...how do we ah...go?
Your hostess nods and waves a hand over the green pool which begins to radiate a shifting light. "Just step into this pool and you will arrive on the Kakishon pier. I would advise you to ally with Dilix. She will know where to find Obherask's refuge and how best to fight her own kind."
Amir Awad Hajjir wrote:
Amir's hgead spins slightly but he cannot resist, Material aid like what?
The Protean moves from her divan to the wall where she reaches through a cyst to pull out a couple objects. "These will likely be of use. The shaitan can make their skin hard enough to resist even magical steel. Take this quiver of adamantine arrows. This priestly scroll may help. The prayer is used to dispel law. In this plane it cannot send him away from Kakishon, but will stun a shaitan if he succumbs." She gives each gift to Kzrira and Varkata respectively.
"As for you, Amir. Some potions that may provide utility: one for agility, one to fly and a salve that turn skin to stone or vie versa." (cat's grace, fly, stone salve)
I kinda wondered if Proteans would even have a True Name being all chaos and found this in the Monster Summoner's Handbook:
"Truly chaotic and primeval creatures, such as
Perhaps Lahapraset was just enjoying a moot argument with Karethas.
Varkata Steeleye wrote:
"Only talk of our alliance and our mutual goals."
The severe expression on the face of the elf-like woman fades, and she nods to the priestess. She pointedly ignoring the young wizard as she continues. "Agreed. Now that that is settled, let us speak of strategy. Do not underestimate Obherask. The shaitan are powerful. His stronghold is in the trackless deserts of Khandelwal. Though we have seen that you can fly to avoid the sinking sands, merely locating it will be a difficult task in itself. It was once a temple to Nethys and has powerful protective wards to hide and defend it."
"Therefore, I would recommend that you recruit Dilix. Her propensity for spying and deception should prove useful. As you have said, she has already sought to send you against her rival. She can help you find them and will know their powers and defenses."
"Your first task should be to release our sibling, Maagiyawara. Then we can help you directly. For now we can only offer material aid."
The woman, with hand upraised to gesture toward the magic pool for you to take your leave, pauses to glance at the priestess. "Yes, we have much in common. You are no slaves to law if I read your aura correctly. That does not mean that we are without honor of a sort or are totally untrustworthy. Our goal is the same so we are allied against the shaitan which oppose us all."
"We can offer aid and will even fight at your side once you have released our sibling. This is the last time I will make this offer. There will be no more talk of True Names. Accept our offer of alliance or go knowing that there is no other exit from Kakishon except through us."
The woman's hair blows about her face as if by a wind that you do not feel. Her voice rings with the menace of bared steel. "Indeed, you have proven your bravery and ability. To ask my True Name is the highest insult however, and you can understand that Nex used the same to trap me here in the first place. You ask too much. If we are at an impasse, then you may step into the pool and be gone from The Isles of Not. It will deliver you wherever you wish in Kakishon so that you may treat with the vile shaitan until the end of your days."
The elf-like outsider's violet eyes flick to Amir and then darken as they return to the Karethas. "Yes, it is truly as simple as that. Perhaps you are wiser than your companion who gravely overestimates both his power and leverage. The fact that you are here at all implies that the scroll is again accessible and someone else will surely figure out its secret as you have. Hopefully, they will have more common sense. In the meantime, perhaps you would like to wait for that eventuality on the island of Aliskiren where you can discuss True Names with the hungry remorhazes and other frozen horrors?"
The powerful Protean laughs again and this time the sound is more akin to the barking of dogs. Her tone now makes your skin prickle. "The shaitan have nothing to offer but promises. Kakishon is our creation and only we have the power to make and unmake it. Mortal child, you would not know what to do with a True Name. If you are as wise as you are clever, you will know that you have all the assurance you need in our very nature which is more than you would have with my True Name. Once freed from the onerous genie contract, we will unmake what we have made in bondage and all not of our making will be expelled."
"We have dwelt here millenia and though this fixed form chafes, we can endure it further. You mortals are not so lucky. Your meager years will be stretched here, but all you know will be reduced to dust in your home realm in the interim. Our generative power is all that sustains Kakishon for the fate of all is eventually dust. The great liar Nex trapped us here to fend off the inevitable decay. Such is the ubiquitous hope of mortals and their tragic flaw. Free us and free yourself, but do not seek to haggle too long."
Kzrira is startled as Spooky, now in the form of an iquana speaks her thoughts aloud, "Strange. As though this place was not strange and distrustful before, now yet another appears to be requesting our assistance."
Lahapraset laughs in beautiful chiming tones. Her voice is as soothing as liquid amber. "Our goals are one and the same, My Champions. We are both held prisoner by the foolish shaitan. Obherask has bound us by cruel contracts and even gone so far as to hold one of our remaining number, Maagiyawara, hostage in his stronghold. With Obherask defeated and our sibling released, the scroll and our bonds will be dissolved. You will be returned to your plane."
Given the context, these are likely Proteans, beings of pure chaos dwelling in the instability of Limbo. Otherwise, they would be hard to identify as their form changes with their whims. There are a couple basic types and you would guess these are Imentesh, the most likely to consort with other beings. Known for being courtly as well as cunning, they are basically the diplomats of chaos. You've also heard of the lesser Naunets whose berserk rages are only controlled by their Imentesh masters. You know little else of these denizens of the farthest planes.
Perhaps it is a side effect of wielding magic, but the two casters seem better adapted to the strange shifts in reality than their companions. Amir and Kzrira look a bit paler as you continue through the strange passage. The cat perched on Kzrira's shoulder makes a coughing sound, but fortunately doesn't produce anything unpleasant to splash down her vest. Instead, Spooky's hair falls out in a cascade and the next instant, the cat is replaced with a scaly iguana of equal size and weight.
Kzrira can barely open her mouth without the bile rising so there is nothing to do but continue on down the passage which now turns pink and glistening like the throat of some immense creature. An almost sphincter-like opening in the wall of the corridor appears on the left. It is too small to pass through, but within, you see a long, irregular chamber with walls, floor, and ceiling studded in large cysts and buds, though they appear somewhat dried and withered. Most of the floor is covered with a pool of faintly glowing greenish liquid.
Finally, the passage ends in a large domed chamber. Its walls, ceiling, and floor studded with healthier looking cysts and buds. Most of its floor is covered by a wide pool of faintly glowing green liquid, but for a narrow pathway leading around it to an opening on the far side, near a sumptuous-appearing divan, canopied bed, and table surrounded with chairs.
Standing near the entrance to the chamber is a strange, pale-skinned elven man dressed in fine leathers and armed with a curved blade at his side. He eyes you warily, but makes no move and offers no greeting. Instead, another elf seated on the divan, this one female and strikingly beautiful beckons to you in a melodious voice. “I greet you, heroes from outside this reality. I have many names, but you may call me Lahapraset. I am a spirit of creation, and I wish you to be my champions. Do not mind Chinoy; he is not much for conversation but watches over my safety. Come, let us sit together. We have so much to discuss.”
None too happy with the unending slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that continue to bombard the old rogue, Amir leads the way up the steps and into the shadowy hill.
Inside, what at first you mistake for torchlight is in fact the walls themselves slowly palpitating with whorls and slow-moving streams of dim multi-hued radiance from deep within the pale, near-colorless walls, sometimes seeming to respond as you draw nearer or farther from the wall as if it can sense your presence. Even without the colored light, the passage would be disorienting, as its width and height and direction seem to vary without rhyme or reason, and even shift almost imperceptibly as you watch. No straight line interrupts the organic flow, and you feel almost as though you are perpetually falling into a moving stream. The effect is stomach churning to say the least.
An echoing female voice is heard saying, “Welcome, my guests. Come forward so that we may speak."
All- fort DC 15 or become sickened by the wavering walls.
The ship flashes away becoming insubstantial and leaving you nothing to hold onto, but thin mist. Fortunately, the spell from the fleece is still in effect and those under its effect harmlessly drop onto the soft surface of the silvery ooze. You manage to help Kzrira get on to the more substantive surface uninjured other than some deep scratches from Spooky's frenzied attempt to hold onto her though the fall and dip in the custard-like sea.
The cobblestones beneath your feet seem firm enough and the fog is dispersed enough that the small lighthouse near you clearly illuminates the stairs that lead onward into the apparent hillside.
Kzrira Maiwith wrote:
Anyone, she is clearly looking at Karethas have a clue where we are going now?
That would likely be a hard question to answer even for the brilliant young wizard. You do not have to wait long though. The blinding fog thins ahead of you as the three yellow-green lights come into clear view. A strange crescent-shaped anchorage just large enough to snugly secure your vessel comes into view, each of its crescent quays tipped by a small stonework tower like a small lighthouse, each surmounted by a bright-glowing yellow-green lantern. The harbor seems to abut the base of a large hill, with a third lantern at the center of the crescent, mounted over an archway leading into the hillside along a dimly lit cobblestone avenue.
As the damaged galley finally grinds into the harbor, there is a wavering of reality and the weird light fades from the craft. It fades becoming transparent and then vanishes beneath your feet leaving you momentarily suspended over the the strange sea.
Amir breaks the surface of the weird fluid again just as Karethas pushes free clear up to his shoulders. The quick thinking wizard pulls off the golden fleece and finds the required spell. Reading it off in a moment, all three of the adventurers rise out of the fluid and stand on top.
In the quiet that follows, Amir hears the faintest sound through the thick mist. Beckoning the others forward, they walk until a dark shape looms ahead and he recognizes Kzrira's loudly calling voice. In moments the trio clamber up a knotted rope and onto the ship. As soon as they are aboard, the battered ship lurches. The painted eyes on the prow glow green as it glides forward through the thick fog.
Kzrira continues calling into the fog. She hears no response, but there is a croaking sound behind her and she turns to see Spooky emerge from a battered hatch. The cat looks a bit dazed as he makes his way unsteadily over to the archer then stops meowing and sits staring starboard abeam with his large ears twitching.
Sinkers and bobbers:
Unfortunate Amir gives a shriek before quickly sinking into the gelid sea. Karethas is a little more philosophical about it and gasps a deep breath before sinking up to his eyes. Only Varkata, manages to stay afloat and finds that she can move easily while still under the effects of Karethas' free movement spell though she has nothing to brace against to free herself. Amir- swim DC 15 to surface; Karethas- swim DC 10 or sink; Varkata- I'll say Varkata is unencumbered by the viscosity, but still must swim 10 to get around.
Kzrira's calls are strangely muffled by the thick blanket of fog that closes around her claustrophobically.
You have slowly descended by means of Karethas' spell through the spinning sea spray into gray mist, but now reach a much thicker layer of the strange substance. You hit the surface and sink into it. It seems to provide some buoyancy, but the silvery substance pulls at you like tar and begins to drag you under. swim DC 10 or sink
The bow dives downward as the ship hits the edge tossing Amir, Karethas and Varkata up toward the misty twilight of winking stars and roiling clouds above. As they reach the zenith of their parabola and begin to fall, Karethas casts a spell to halt your acceleration and you descend at a rate that barely ruffles your clothes. Meanwhile, the ship plummets with the cataract and quickly disappears into the obscuring fog below taking Kzrira with it. The archer is last seen somehow still standing on the deck with bow at the ready and eyes darting about for less obvious threats than being dashed to smithereens somewhere below.
As your ship plunges into the void, you notice the cascade of falling water, once a raging torrent, begins to thin and dissolve into clinging mist, and within moments you feel the ship’s fall seem to slow as the clinging mists grow thicker and almost solid wall of featureless, washed-out colors. The ship finally comes to a shuddering stop, settling into a gelid substance with a muffled thud, splintering with the impact. Aside from the creaking rigging of your battered vessel, all is silent and still. You can see nothing beyond your extended bow in the solid fog.
As you slowly descend into the void, you notice the cascade of falling water, once a raging torrent, begins to thin and dissolve into clinging mist, and within moments you feel yourself slow as the clinging mists grow thicker and almost solid. It gathers around you blocking all vision beyond arm's reach. Finally, the fog around you thickens to the point that it becomes a soupy morass that threatens to pull you down and drown you!
Varkata launches into the air carrying her unconscious companion and lands on the galley's deck just as a gust of wind beats against the cracked wooden hull. Indeed, the magical ship does have sails though they haven't been employed so far. Apparently, whatever is animating it know can chose the mode of movement however as a rippling force moves up the mast and the sails are suddenly hoisted and tied to take advantage of the wind. Varkata revives Amir just as the ship begins to move again.
The brass galley drifts away from the great carcass and just as Karethas predicted, the tentacled monster does not follow. The ship picks up speed no longer propelled by the still and shattered oars but pushed before a freshening breeze. The light around you has dissolved into a misty twilight of winking stars and roiling clouds above a roaring sea. In a moment, the mists seem to part and you can see with terrible clarity beneath the fumaroles above that the sea below seems to end as if sliced off with a razor. Directly ahead, the water falls away into the void dragging your ship with it!
OH! The SUSPENSE!
Kzrira begins firing at the interloping tentacles though it isn't clear that anything short of hacking them apart will do much. Varkata reaches Amir grabbing the old rogue from the jaws of the dead cachalot as a pair of writhing tentacles reach for her. Just as it looks like her luck has run out, Gen darts in releasing the spell charged her by her master. One of the great sucker-lined tentacles strikes the priestess like a fleshy wave and clutches at her threatening to drag her into the dark sea, but Varkata slips from the slimy grasp like a greased pig.
Varkata casts fly and glides over to the dead whale's corpse. Just as she touches down, a half dozen tentacles as wide as the powerfully built half-orc's thigh whip over the edges of the floating whale grabbing at the dead mass and anything else in the vicinity!
long camping weekend, I'll be back Mon.
The Accidental God's luck shines for Varkata and Amir as the continued barrage of divine blade and deadly arrows finally take their toll; spouting red foam, the cachalot dies leaving Amir to hang limply from its jaws. The great sea monster flats a short distance from the galley though and will require a leap of faith so to speak for the priestess to reach her dying companion.
jump or fly or something to reach Amir~approx 10 ft. .
huh, don't think i realized that spirit weapons get expanded crit modifiers. doesn't seem fair to priests that get some stupid weapon like a mace...
Varkata rushes to the galley's railing to try and aid her companion, but the great beast jerks just beyond her black flame wreathed blade. The glittering sword of her Lord however, drives into the mad whale's head obviously causing it some pain. Kzrira continues shooting arrow after arrow into the animal. Still it lives bleeding from near a dozen nicks and wounds. Karathas calls his genie ally as he locates a spell on the golden fleece cloak he wears.
Amir gets intimately familiar with the cachalot's dentition: the long cone-shaped teeth only occur on the lower jaw interestingly and fit into sockets in the upper jaw when they aren't lodged in old rogue flesh. The luckless prince of thieves gets further masticated while he struggles not to slide down the monster's gullet.
Karethas sends another flurry of force bolts against the great whale which barely seems perturbed by the continuous pecking by its minuscule prey. The oars on the undamaged side of the galley continue pulling causing the ship to start spinning. Only waving rows of splintered poles remain on the damaged side.
The whale now turns its great head back toward the ship and lunges over the side catching up Amir in a long toothy jaw! Amir-35 bite, grappled
Varkata is knocked off her feet, but quickly recovers and sends a shard of force shaped like a rapier to jab at the great behemoth. Kzrira and Amir keep their balance and maintain their assault. Half a dozen arrows now stick out of various parts of the blubbery flesh, most deep enough to pain the creature. Amir's short blades have a harder time cutting deep enough. Golnar cuts a bit deeper though it no longer burns or feels as powerful as it was just a few days before.
Yes, Amir. I did set this up before with the spiero encounter in the mausoleum...
Sheik Voodoo wrote:
Bow always at hand, Kzrira immediately begins firing at the great whale. Two arrows seem to plunge deep enough to injure it. Amir leaps forward as the sea monster scrapes down the hull of the ship. Drawing Sholeh and Golnar, he is momentarily confused when Sholeh is engulfed in flame rather than the bronze sword, but quickly stabs at the beast's eye which rolls madly as it gazes over the rail.
Karethas grabs the mast to steady himself as the ship bucks and with a flick of his hand sends a volley of flashing missiles into the colossal creature. The cachalot turns and smashes its heavy tail into the side of the galley once again sending a shudder through the vessel as oars are shattered and boards crack.
DC 15 acrobatic check or fall prone.
There is no chance that the lost helmsman would be able to move apace with the speeding ship. Of more concern is the approaching darkness. Kzrira orders the others to prepare for a gale though there is little to tie down other than themselves. The gray now fills the horizon, but strangely, no wind is felt. The danger instead comes from below.
The sea next to the ship suddenly rises in a frothing surge as an enormous blunt-headed whale breaches the surface. With a bellow, it hurls its glistening gray and white mass against the side of your ship with a shuddering crash!
Amir 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20
Karethas 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Kzrira 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Varkata 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
foe 1d20 ⇒ 15
Actually, 3rd Ed brought me back. I drifted away from AD&D in the 90's- 2nd Ed just seemed to be getting more and more baroque. D&D 3 was fantastic until Hasbro's corporate greed scrooed it up. PF is basically 3rd Ed with a lot of stuff that I had already house ruled and even more brilliant stuff I would have never thought of :)