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Karethas and the little woman continue their whispered discussion.
Yes, I served the general in both forms whenever he wished it. I have had different forms and different names. In that form, I was Tempest and Kzrira? No, that was the foul woman that possessed me for a short while. I see that you still keep her company unfortunately. Now that my master is gone, he will keep my other name. You may call me Gen, as your kind often do, unless there is something else that you prefer.
The small air creature bows and frowns slightly.
"I think that you brought me. I have been asleep for a long time. My master, the great general Vardishal, is dead. That is the last thing that I remember clearly. Then... there are impressions, a dream that I have forgotten perhaps. I did not think that we slept though."
The dean's eyes keep staring, but it is clear that now all they can see is Pharasma's Boneyard if indeed even his soul can escape from this prison.
And Karethas does feel a light breeze caress his cheek and turns to see a tiny female form. Only a foot high, the little woman has wind tossed platinum hair and vivid sky blue eyes. Her mouth is seen to smile behind a diaphanous blue veil. Only slightly more opaque fabric drapes over her torso to the waist, where she trails away in a whirl of vapor.
Karethas ibn Faradin wrote:
BTW, this AP has it in for arcane magic users, and conjurers in particular. What with the rolls under the Pale Mountain and now no summons here.
yeah. you picked the wrong vocation. but honestly, what are you complaining about? I haven't killed you or turned you into a jackal yet! good sleuthing by the way. at least you're still good for something ; )
As Karethas ponders the cylinder and its apparent maker, the dean's eyes flutter open and roll back and forth and a wild smile appears on his lips. "Kakishon!" he hisses in a weird buzzing tone. "You did it, my boy. We're in Kakishon." The fluid that was inside has mainly leaked out through the cracks that spiderweb across the transparent side, but the dean gives a gargling laugh and then his eyes focus once more on his wayward pupil. "Is that a zhyen on your shoulder?" he asks.
if plan is just to get everyone out of the water, I can just advance it, yes?
Varkata drops off the old jackal and swoops around for Kzrira who continues to be nipped. Even offering a solid defense, she is certainly out of her element. The great serpent heads can't seem to decide which tasty morsel to go for and the huge hydra gets in its own way allowing Varkata to grab the archer and drag her to the relative safety of the pier.
The reunited band quickly move away from the burned and exposed end of the jetty and onto the beach. Fortunately, the hydra turns its attention to a few sharks that have been attracted by the spilled blood. There is a white marble gazebo at the base of the pier that provides a roof for shelter and a basin in the middle that directs the guest to ask for any accommodations that they may need during their stay.
Kzrira retrieves the dean's head for inspection as Karethas notes that not only has he been deprived of his summoning spells, but the Tempest Staff has disappeared in all the chaos as well.
Varkata should know by now that Kzrira spares little thought for anything other than vanquishing her foes. Amir is likely more vulnerable anyway and so the flying priestess glides over to rescue the doggy. Meanwhile, Kzrira continues her slow progress toward the beach. Again, she does a good job protecting herself from the onslaught, but one head manages to get through spilling more blood in the water.
Kzrira continues her slow stroke toward the beach diving under a bite and then trying to avoid all six heads at once as the thing pursues. She very nearly does so, but one of the heads scores a nip. Kzrira-5 The ugly jackal continues paddling beyond the reach of the serpent heads and then turns toward pier.
No longer consumed with trying not to drown, Karethas turns his attention to the magical beast.
He recognizes it as a hydra. A creature with nearly unmatched healing ability. Indeed, if one of the six heads is severed, it will grow a new pair unless immediately cauterized. The only other method of killing it is catastrophic damage to the body. Also, your summoning spell fails.
Kzrira- I suppose you could swim with a shield and only take the -2 armor penalty, but it's already going to take a 20 to hit with or without so forget about it.
Amir retreats out and around trying to avoid the many headed monster. Varkata grabs the floundering and bedraggled wizard and lifts him out of the sea moving toward the pier. That leaves Kzrira to face the strange sea monster. She swims sidestroke and bats away the continual assault of hissing snapping heads as she slowly makes her way to shore. One lucky head nabs her leg leaving a bloody wound which trails blood as the archer slowly swims toward shore. Kzrira-11 bite
Karethas takes a cue from Amir and paddles along in the water like a dog. He angles away from the snakes and around to the opposite side of the burnt pier from them and toward the beach. Kzrira swim: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26 kicks up and manages to get a shot into one of the snakes, but the arrow is quickly pushed out of the wound as it heals swiftly. All the snakes lunge forward as one and Kzrira can see they in fact, all end in one huge tail that propels them forward as one body.
The six heads converge on the archer, but her unbelievably light and strong mithril chainmail protects her from all but two bites. Kzrira-7 and 8 bites.
Amir Awad Hajjir wrote:
um should I use the base stats of a jackal and add class bonuses for BAB? How am I handling this?
This small dog has a rough coat and a hungry look in its dark brown eyes.
N Small animal
I think I got the basics in there. Apply any feat and class skill stuff, etc.
Kzrira easily catches up to the dog-paddling Amir and takes the load easily moving through the still water. She glances at the case seeing that the clear panel has been cracked. The dean's eyes meet hers and he looks dazed as he repeats in a quiet tone, "Serpent Islesss..."
Suddenly, a half dozen great snake-like heads erupt from the water between you and the nearby pier!
Amir 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Karethas 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Kzrira 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Varkata 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
foe 1d20 ⇒ 18
it does seem like swim ought to be a trained skill.
For the second time in as many days, Karethas finds himself in the unfamiliar element. Fortunately, he manages to flail in the right direction. Amir hears and dives after the canister and grabs the leather strap in his teeth, but it will be a struggle for him to drag it to shore. Varkata casts a spell which causes her to float most effortlessly.
There is an explosion of light and sound and the world becomes engulfed in fire. The ground itself seems to give way and you are falling, falling through a vortex of fire, plummeting through the throat of a volcano. A sense of vertigo overwhelms even the fire and noise and the sense of falling grows into a tempest of burning wind.
And then, in the flaming clouds and firestorm around you, shapes
Karethas identifies the fiery host as efreet and the great warrior likely some lord of the genie, but he has little time to ponder as the fall continues and...
As suddenly as it began, the vortex of fire is no more. For a moment, you can see nothing, hear nothing, feel nothing. But then, sensation slowly returns. The wind whistles past your ears and light is reflected off the water beneath you a moment before you splash into salty water off the end of a scorched pier. There is a shrieking sound and then the metal cylinder clangs off the pier and into the water nearby.
Karethas ibn Faradin wrote:
Is there any way to stop the activation? What will happen when it activates?
NO!! The AP continues! Wooot! Woot! All aboard the AP express!
The Stranger's voice raises slightly in response to Kzrira's commands. "I am not doing it, idiot."
Karethas thinks frantically, the Stranger he realizes, is a being he has only heard dark rumors about: a denizen of Leng. It is never clear where or what Leng is, but they are known to use strange magics and methods that would drive most mad.
Varkata's brain is yet fuzzy itself and slow to grasp what is happening. Amir yips at her, but before she can recall a spell, Dean Xobhadi's head completes its chanting list: "...the SERPENT ISLES!"
The room seems to grow around you and you are stretched out toward the whirling map that becomes a circle of flame through which you fly!
if it's any compensation, we're through the narrow neck of the hourglass and off into an interesting new sandbox.
Karethas realizes his mistake a moment later. Although they rarely leave their palace, the Patmasters are rumored to be totally concealed in voluminous robes with their heads entirely encased in alien masks. The exotic currently in your presence gives a clicking sound not unlike an unnerving chuckle. "No, I am not they that call themselves Pactmasters on this world. I come from even farther away."
The Master of Vaults stammers in response to Varkata, "The vaults are warded, of course, but it would be prohibitively expensive..." He stops and listens.
The whispering from beneath the strangers' cloak grows more audible, "Aliskiren, Andakami, Ismaizade, Isle of the Dead, Isle of Night..."
"What are you..." the Stranger asks and pulls forth a fat, squat metal cylinder hanging from a tether hung over his shoulder.
There is a transparent side where you see a bearded face inside. You recognize with horror that it is the Dean's head within! His mouth still moves forming the words you hear, "...Kakishon, Kandelwal, Khosravi..."
"Silence!" the Stranger commands, but it is too late. The Scroll of Kakishon leaps from its cylinder and stretch open in a radiant burst as it floats in mid-air spinning and sending ripples of energy through the air. Kazim shriek and runs away along with the Master of Vaults.
The Master of the Vault looks over the jackal. "Yes, I had heard. It is no less difficult task than raising the dead, but I believe it can be done. And the priestess' disability as well." Kazim walks over to hand Karethas the scroll when there is a popping sound and a new figure is in your midst. It is a tall thin figure of quite alien appearance dressed in garb made of wide tan strips of cloth and pieces of metal. The man wears a turban with a large pointed ornament at the front and only dark pupiless eyes and sallow skin are seen above the veil that covers the rest of his face. His delicate fingers end in long claws.
A deep weirdly modulated voice comes from the stranger. You can hardly believe he has a mouth or larynx even that is human. "And so you are the ones that have vexed my puppets so. Do not worry, I bear you no ill will. They are nothing, but at least have led me aright. I see you still have the scroll. May I make you an offer?"
There is a strange hissing sound beneath the creatures' robes. It seems almost to be chanting...
Karethas has a breakthrough in his comprehension of the scrying spell, but finds himself unprepared without the required focus. Sighing, he follows the others back out to the nave led by a slightly impatient acolyte.
The richly robed Master of the Vault awaits along with Kazim, who you notice is holding the scroll of Kakishon. Master Abdul-Abadar holds up a hand to quiet any outbursts. "Please, I am afraid that we can no longer keep the relic in our vaults. Much has happened recently to put us in a difficult position. I met with the Pactmasters last night and they fear the recent kidnapping of your friend, the dean, may be tied to the appearance of an ancient enemy of theirs. Certainly, the markets abound with stories of a weird alien ship appearing beside an Okeno slave galley at sunset yesterday and remaining through the night."
"The Pactmasters are outside, they demand you name your price so they may purchase the relic and prevent it from falling into the hands of the others. Again, I apologize for such a disorderly situation and you may comply or not as you see fit, but I cannot put the Church in the middle of this. I hope that you understand."
Karethas ibn Faradin wrote:
Casting Time 1 hourComponents V, S, M/DF (a pool of water), F (a silver mirror worth 1,000 gp)
hmmm, my reading is that a pool is required for the divine version and a mirror for the arcane casting?
Another level of rogue wouldn't be bad- uncanny dodge and a talent.
Slayer would be a nice alternative to dual classing back and forth, but don't expect to get too deep into it. I plan to wrap up this campaign around level 10.
I don't usually like to go much beyond L10 because the game just bogs down too much. and since this AP is 3.5 rules, it's a bit lightweight anyway. I'll just put it this way- you're currently 2 levels below suggested power level and I'm still having to work to make you sweat it a little.
Despite the comfortable quarters, neither Karethas nor Amir sleep particularly well. Karethas feels a feminine presence near him, but not the div. It is not malevolent, but he cannot pin down what it is. She is near, but they both seem only half aware of each other as they both sleep.
Amir curled up on the bed starts awake several times uncertain and confused whether he is a man dreaming that he is a jackal or jackal dreaming that he was once a man...
A knock comes early at your chamber doors and Kazim tells you that the Master of the Vault will see you immediately. You keep him waiting a bit though. At least until Varkata has prayed and Karethas had a chance to study his books. Both find that they have deepened their understanding of their faith and magical art respectively through the hardship and duress they have endured.
looks like the casters are ready.
Sheik Voodoo wrote:
remember this conversation back when you were looking for a druid to reincarnate Kzrira? I just remembered where I saw a desert dwarf druid... the Dwarves of Golarion Pathfinder Companion- Uldoon of the Desert's Heart (Dwarf Drd 7).
I KNEW I saw it somewhere!
now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Varkata Steeleye wrote:
I didn't take ranks in fly -- it's not a class skill for clerics because they can't usually cast fly...
i'd say that that is an oversight. I'd allow it for any caster honestly; good chance they'll come by some means of flying eventually. I'll allow fly as a class skill for clerics and oracles.
The heroes quickly confer while the acolyte summons Kazim. It is decided that more resources will be needed to rescue Xiobhadi and they may as well take the temple up on the offer. Kazim agrees when she arrives and even reduces the normal quartering fees to a token copper. She also agrees to let you know as soon as the Master of the Vault is available.
You fall asleep quickly in the comfortably furnished guest quarters. Thankfully, the Abadarians aren't ones to eschew the benefits of civilization.
Karethas ibn Faradin wrote:
Would Remove Curse work? Baleful Polymorph is listed under the curses in the PRD.
hmm, OK, I wasn't familiar with that list. I'm not sure I agree that a 4th level spell is being undone by a 3rd level spell. Also conflicted about lycanthropy being so easily removed, but whatever.
OK, remove curse could work, but the DC is pretty high.
So two votes for rest and level up...
so, checking in on intentions.
Right now, pretty much everyone except Kzrira is mostly spent and crippled, polymorphed, what-have-you. The deadline for the exchange was missed and prob aborted with the attack on the Aspis Agent. At this point, I don't think that you know anything better than that the dean might be on a slave galley somewhere off the coast.
Break Enchantment is as difficult to procure as Raise Dead though thankfully, less expensive.
Restoration will cost 380gp. The good news is that you've got a level up coming with a bit of rest and Varkata will have access to that spell at L7, so only 100gp if you're patient.
If you want to push ahead or have another plan, let me know.
"Certainly," the acolyte obliges. "If you can find one. She is not as popular here as in the western wastes and Osirion. I don't know of any temples here nor high priests outside of Solku."
"I think that we can accommodate you in our guest quarters, but there is little anyone here can do for your friend until the Master returns. You do not think your friend will continue to devolve into something like a snail?" he asks with genuine concern.
Karethas ibn Faradin wrote:
After reading it and the section on curses, it seems like a Dispel Magic could do it as well.
not a curse and dispel magic specifies: "A dispelled spell ends as if its duration had expired". BP has a permanent duration so it doesn't expire- no effect. I might allow it to be suppressed like a permanent magic item, but you really need break enchantment or something greater.
The acolyte just shrugs again. "Actually, the Master was summoned to the Pactmasters Palace just before you arrived. I am surprised you did not pass him on the way."
The acolyte seems taken aback by the sudden barrage of demands and explanations. "I, uh... yes, but... I am sorry, but the Master of the Vault is busy and won't likely be available tonight. I am sorry, but perhaps you should just get some rest and return in the morning. The jackal certainly seems healthy enough to wait until then."
Haleen excepts the money with another hug. "Thank you again, my foster daughter. I hope you do not mind if I keep the arms and armor until I can replace my own. I will ask for you at the Immaculate Repository if I find anything else out."
You part ways then and the Heroes of Kelmarane proceed through the city with only a few strange looks at the well trained jackal that trails behind. Surely, it isn't the strangest pet seen in the City of Bazaars.
It is sunset, and the deadline for the ransom of the dean, when you reach the Temple of Abadar once again. You are met by one of the now familiar acolytes who looks slightly askew at a strange jackal treading the polished tiles of the nave. He bows asking how he may be of service.
As mentioned, Amir's possessions would have morphed with him and aren't available. However, I think Varkata still has her BS available as a domain spell and hell, just use the magic khopesh for wrecking.
The priestess has at the idol with Father Jackal's own weapon and stupid brutal wrath. With time and great effort, she doesn't quite demolish it, but at least defaces it sufficiently. The dugs are chipped and cracked and the flow of unholy fluid from them stops. The head is shattered and the three rubies recovered. At last, weary and spent from this Assault on the den of a Slavelord, you head through the small portal and up the narrow stairs which leads out a secret door into an ancient ruined monastery in the Twilight District.
You have been underground some time and twilight is indeed nigh. Haleen and the other freed slaves breathe deeply of the fresh air. They all look thin and weak, but hope has rekindled in their eyes. Kzrira's foster mother gives her another hug. "I am sorry for what has happened to your friend, but it was a bold sacrifice and great thing done to destroy a vile fiend. I will take these people to the Docks where I have associates that will make sure they are reunited with any friends or family. What will you do now?"
Kzrira locates the switch to reset the sliding stairs trap and the freed slaves join you. Even in her current state, Varkata has the intelligence to know a temple to Lamashtu when she sees it. The swollen breats of the statue continually dribble a clear liquid into a basin at its foot which drains beneath the floor and probably fills the fountain of unholy water into which Karethas fell, he thinks.
He also notes that the three eye are in fact each a glittering ruby worth something for certain.
just one is fine and.... 15 is GOOD! well, relatively.
As Kzrira reaches to grab him and stuff him into a bag, the ugly big jawed jackal stirs blinking as it rises uncertainly to its feet. It stands trembling and confused looking up at it's companions. It is evident from the intelligence and horror in the jackal's eyes that Amir has retained his mind if not his form.
unfortunately, all Amir's gear would have melded into his new form.
Karethas deduces that his friend must be suffering some sort of polymorph spell. He also notes that Father Jackal had magical breastplate armor, a magic khopesh and a belt of strength. +1, +1, +2 respectively