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Karethas' familiar shrugs. "I am sorry. I do not know, Master. Surely, not too long."
Kzrira knows the smelly curs only too well and soon spots a hunting pack of gnolls crouching in the tall grass of the nearby dunes while you wait.
Amir 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Karethas 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
Kzrira 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
Varkata 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
foe 1d20 ⇒ 18
en just rolls her eyes at all the ridiculous talk of stairways and swimming. She addresses Karethas. "It will summon a golden galley to carry us to the main island. Tell her to blow it."
Kzrira does so and there comes an echo moments later, far distant and barely heard over the surf. Then nothing more.
Perhaps suffering some post-petrification trauma, Karethas seems frozen in place as he ponders the magnificent items left by the Golden Ram. His staff vibrates suddenly as if shaking something off and then disappears to be replaced by Gen.
The genie-kin hurriedly circles the wizard and then gushes. "Oh Master, I thought you were lost when you turned to gold, but look the beast is slain and you have survived. Indeed, I am fortunate to serve such a powerful wizard. Do you think we should return to the waypoint now and sound the horn. There is a much better chance to find some clue about escaping Lost Kakishon in Nex's palace than among the serpents and savage gnolls of these outer islands."
It is agreed and you travel much more quickly without having to search for the Golden Ram's spoor. You stay clear of the treacherous marshes and cross back over the grasslands to the beach and the pier where you first arrived. It is shortly after sunset and you are all tired from the journey.
Amir Awad Hajjir wrote:
My understanding has always been that the item contained all necessary components, focus or otherwise. That in its construction that "item" is accounted for, as it were. But its up to Voodoo.
hmm, that's my understanding, but on second thought foci are usually integral to the way the spell works. I'm going to sidestep the issue and say that the spells on the fleece only affect the wearer. no diamonds needed.
yeah, Karethas should be able to figure it out. As a reminder:
Sheik Voodoo wrote:
While Amir and Kzrira are off hunting the gnoll, Karethas casts read magic and translates the writings. The sounding horn says, Blow to begin your voyage to Kakishon. The drinking horn says, Drink from me and be restored to health. On the back of the skin, several spells are scribed: freedom of movement, haste, mage armor, mind blank, protection from spells, spider climb, and water walk.
I'm going to hand wave this.
Varkata is at Kzrira's side almost as soon as the Golden Ram falls and moments later takes to the air at the archer's side. The jackal charges in yipping and quickly catches the stink of gnoll. The gnoll lunges at the treacherous little snitch and whacks Amir with a spiked club before succumbing to Kzrira's death hail.
There are no more gnolls to be seen and the adventurers reunite with Karethas who has been studying the treasures of the Golden Ram.
OK, I'm off-line for the week
Varkata Steeleye wrote:
Wow, sorry, it was a busy weekend and wasn't expecting Kzrira to handle the whole thing on her own. The gnolls, that I expected.
yeah, that's our OP archer. granted she did roll pretty well, but I'm thinking it is a problem when one L7 player can take out a CR 10 encounter by her lonesome- and in two rounds. Tirion isn't dong anything wrong, but I am concerned that it makes the other party members feel kinda superfluous.
And as I open that can of worms, I'm heading out to sea tomorrow and will be off-line all week : )
Vark is prob busy this weekend. I don't imagine that she would object to at least a CMW- 2d8 + 7 ⇒ (3, 8) + 7 = 18. Give me a couple perception rolls. I'll even let Amir assist by hounding in the brush. You're still going to need > 30.
While Amir and Kzrira are off hunting the gnoll. Karethas casts read magic and translates the writings. The sounding horn says, Blow to begin your voyage to Kakishon. The drinking horn says, Drink from me and be restored to health. On the back of the skin, several spells are scribed: freedom of movement, haste, mage armor, mind blank, protection from spells, spider climb, and water walk.
yeah, the last gnoll did get a really good stealth roll. Unreachable with distance modifier even for a gnoll hunter.
Attention turns to the remnants of the magical beast. The hollow golden horns are similar in form, but one is pierced through at the end making a sounding horn and the other sealed to make a drinking horn. Magical script winds around each and the tanned inner side of the hide is covered in yet more arcane writing. Karethas notes with excitement that all radiate powerful magic.
Varkata calls upon a blessing from her God and prepares to do something foolish like charge in opposite Kzrira. Neither Amir or Karethas move. Kzrira steps away and continues quickly shooting arrows into the Ram at point blank.
The ram coughs blood and moving as fast as the archer, butts her once before collapsing. Kzrira-29 bludge There are barking calls and then a pair of arrows fly from the treacherous gnolls hiding in the tall grass. One hits the archer recovering from the magical Ram's attack. Kzrira-9 pierce
Amir and Karethas- fort DC 20 or still petrified.
The cowardly gnolls cannot or chose not to understand Varkata's commands and keep running leaving her to address no one in particular. At least they spread out as they flee into the tall grass. The priestess circles around.
Kzrira shows that the lost world of Kakishon has not fooled the Gods for her arrows fly unerringly into the great golden monster wounding it badly.
The Golden Ram lowers its head and charges the archer thundering over her and her unmoving companions! Amir, Karethas, Kzrira-29 bludge. Kzrira- ref DC 22 for half. Amir and Karethas get another save.
The first arrow hits and sticks in the Golden Ram. The others bounce off the metallic fleece that covers it. It snorts and turns small dark eyes on its attacker. Bounding forward agilely, the massive shining sheep covers half the distance and huffs out a golden cloud that rolls toward the adventurers engulfing them.
Kzrira, Karethas, and Amir- Fort DC 20 or petrified. I'd say Varkata and the gnolls were trailing behind
Suddenly the jackal raises its head from its sniffing and yips in Gnollish.
He seems to relish the beefy metallic odor and then stares intently at the jungle's edge. Everyone spots a large golden form move into the shadows under the dense canopy about a hundred feet away.
Amir 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Karethas 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Kzrira 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Varkata 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
foe 1d20 ⇒ 10
Karethas was forewarned and didn't need the save.
The experienced adventurers react with speed and follow Karethas' retreat as the the strange tide of larvae rush up. Having narrowly avoided yet another danger of the marshes of Kakishon, they turn their attention back to searching for the Golden Ram.
Figuring that you have lost the trail, you turn more inland away from the coast and continue your progress. The sun is high when you once again reach more solid grass land and spot some more tracks in the damp soil! The leads toward the near jungles that skirt the mountains.
more tracking rolls!
Good thing there's another chance.
While the others scan the horizon for a way across or a hint of the Golden Ram, the gnolls speedily retreat and Karethas gives a shout of bewilderment as the ankle deep water at your feet suddenly bubbles and froths with thumb-sized multi-headed worms that surge up your legs!
Ref DC 15 or 2 con damage and sickened with an infestation.
Another flurry of arrows and the last bird splashes down into the reeds to rise no more. The gnolls investigate one of the bodies cackling between themselves. They say something to Kzrira which she translates.
"These Bronze Beaks follow the Golden Ram. He is close."
Progress through the swamps is slow, however. At one point you find an area of flattened grass where he may have laid, but few other signs. Not long after, the reeds open to an expanse of briny open water.
All-perception DC 15, please
Karathas splashes through the marsh toward Amir and the grounded birds. Varkata is right behind him. The wily old jackal leaps on the blinded Bird and tears at its throat wounding it. An instant later it dies from the arrow lodged in its breast. Two more arrows strike its flockmate wounding it as well.
The remaining bird on the ground turns its wrath on the jackal and slashes him with a bronze talon. Amir-6 slash Just before Karethas reaches it and with a buzzing sound and a crack, discharges a bolt of electricity into it killing it.
The last bird in the air once again sails over Kzrira dodging the flying blade. The gnolls shoot, but miss. Four razor sharp feather zip into the ground next to her, but the archer maintains her deadly aim...
A translucent rapier appears in mid-air to stab at one of the bronze beaks. Kzrira keeps firing to take out the wounded bird and then turns on the bird being assaulted by the rapier, missing. It swoops overhead launching another flight of deadly metal feathers and one sinks deep into the archer's leg. Kzrira-10 slash The gnolls take a shot each and one hits further wounding it.
The two blinded birds quickly descend and manage to land on their feet about thirty feet away in the swamp. One appears to have shaken the dust from its eyes. still need Amir, but I reckon he'd go for the blinded birds on the ground. Also of note, jackals get a bonus point of SA damage : )
The archer's ready bow launches the first volley at the birds which flush at about 30 yards. One is struck by two of her arrows and looks wounded as it sweeps by with the flock. They shed razor sharp feathers from overhead and circle back about 50 feet away.
The weird bronze ibis-like creatures seem almost to be aiming for the humans and Kzrira and Karethas take the brunt of the dangerous falling feathers. A half-dozen rain down on Kzrira, but only one makes it through her mail. Kzrira-3 slash The less protected wizard is cut by three feathers. Karethas- 5,4,3 slash One of the gnolls suffers a cut as well.
The morning starts slowly as you pick your way through the swamp avoiding venomous snakes. Amir, Kzrira and the two gnolls spread apart trying to stay out of the water. You end up knee deep in swamp most of the time anyway. After a couple hours, the gnolls call out a warning and you look up to see a flash of metallic color through some reeds ahead.
There is a clanging fluttering sound and four cranes break from the growth. Their plummage is brown, but the feathers end in bronze tips and their beaks and claws are a burnished bronze that glitters dangerously and they swoop toward you. difficult terrain
Amir 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Karethas 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
Kzrira 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Varkata 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
foe 1d20 ⇒ 20
To Karethas' surprise, the spell works. The trio of gnolls move off to set their own camp for the night.
Happily, there are no encounters during the night and you arise ready to continue your pursuit. Two gnolls join you, tersely explaining that the third was dispatched to tell the pack that they wouldn't be returning immediately.
more tracking rolls, please.
The group draws closer to the salt marsh as the light of whatever serves as a sun on the artificial world sinks behind the forested hills beyond. The shrill cries of birds fill the air at sunset and then fall silent with the coming of night. The gnolls motion a stop. One reports that he saw a glint of gold in the fading light, but the wetland is too dangerous even for the dark sighted at night.
The gnolls grunt and exchange silent glances upon translation, but reluctantly nod in agreement and the unlikely alliance begins tracking again albeit suspicious of each other and at a decent distance. The combined forces soon spot fresh tracks leading toward a distant salt marsh. It will be a race to find the Golden Ram before sunset, however.
one more tracking check
The gnolls look a little astonished at the 'talking' jackal and step aside a bit to confer while keeping an eye on the strangers. Karethas takes the moment to surreptitiously look around, but sees no other gnolls. The trio return shortly with bows lowered.
We will help you find the Golden Ram. In return, we want the gold fleece and you show us how to leave.
Amir Awad Hajjir wrote:
Hey hey now...I "speak" gnoll....well I understand it at least...HEEYY fun question, does a Jackal have the vocalization range that I can speak gnoll?
Hmmm, they do have a few levels of ranger which might help. Sure, why not? very, very basic one or two word sentences though.
Kzrira can see that the bits of archaic armor they've patched together bear some resemblance to certain motifs seen at the House of the Beast.
The sky genies trapped us here with our masters. The fiery ones have fled and we will not serve the rock ones. Do you know how to leave?
Unfortunately, the track isn't that fresh and Kzrira finds no other trace in the tall grass. The hunt continues. It is late afternoon and still no sign of the Ram when Kzrira spots a trio of tall lanky humanoids with dog-like heads appear in the grass only fifty feet away.
Amir 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Karethas 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Kzrira 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Varkata 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
foe 1d20 ⇒ 6
Kzrira is the first to rise and scours the gleaming white sand beach for any sign of a ram. Even when Amir joins her, sniffing in a degrading manner surely, they only detect old drag marks from a hydra and locate a decrepit outrigger stinking of gnoll hidden in a grove of palms, but no ram.
Karethas and Varkata have completed their morning rituals by the time their companions return and it is decided that the grasslands are a more likely area to search than the beach. Moving inland, the party finds waist-high grasses broken by small copses of thorny trees and broken rock outcrops that occasionally hold springs of fresh water. It is near noon when Amir notices that distinct scent of metal and musk.
Nothing more promising is found however and after nearly another hour of beating the grass only to disturb vipers, Varkata impatiently asks if a spell might be more effective. It is then that Kzrira spots a heavy hoof mark in the mud near a spring...
more track rolls!