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Yeah, to clarify, I'll just give damage type and you should subtract any resistances.
The brass skeletons actually do have fast healing though it's true I suppose, that I describe DR for fleshy things the same way. Hard things i describe DR more like hardness...
Skellies also have DR / bludgeon and hot and cold resist. Not you average skeletons obviously.
Varkata does note that at least the corossion of the bones from her channeling does not seem to be mending unlike her strike with Ebon Flame. Neither cold nor blade seems to do much that isn't nearly repaired in a moment. At least the brass bones don't seem to be able to press their advantage. Though outnumbered, the priestess fights heroically against three and only one manages to bash aside her defenses. Varkata-7 slash+2 fire The distraction of Karethas' lift-off likely spares Amir's life for the moment as the remaining skeleton misses.
The dragon skull continues its commentary. "Oh, very exciting. I still couldn't call it for one side or the other!"
Kzrira fumbles her first shot as she's distracted giving orders, but regains her focus quickly and sends two point blank shots into the attacking brass clad skeletons. Shards of skull fly and two of the undead menaces are destroyed.
"Well done!" cheers the dragon skull overhead.
Varkata covers Amir with a blast of holy power allowing the old rogue to step back and administer a heady healing draught to the fallen wizard. The radiance leaves the brazen bones slightly corroded and patinaed. The closest two take the worse wear.
"Ow!" says the dragon skull overhead. "That stung a little, but good job. You may just survive."
The tide may very well have changed as the four skeletons crowding Varkata almost seem cowed. Only one gets a solid hit on the defiant priestess. Varkata-8 slash+6 fire The final skeleton at the back however, rushes around to strike a serious blow to Amir who yet crouches to aid Katethas! Amir- 16 crit slash+5 fire
This foe is something new to Karethas. It appears to be a brass dragon's remains anyway. Brass dragons are known for their garrulous nature, but also annoying pranks and odd sense of humor.
sounds like she needs a funky theme song. Go Mama Bear!
Varkata stands over the illuminated form of Karethas and brings Ebon Flame to bear. With a forceful strike, she cleave brass and bone shattering a shoulder and ribs. The skeleton drops its heavy blade, but doesn't stop. It slashes at Varkata awkwardly with its remaining claw missing, but she can't help but notice that molten brass begins mending its broken bones!
Varkata now blocks the door with Amir to fend off the press. What minor damage Amir inflicted on another skeleton is quickly healed as well. The remaining armed skeletons prove dangerous with their heavy blades- Varkata is hit twice. Varkata-6,8 slash+ 2,2 fire Amir avoids two slashing falchions but is hit badly by the last. Amir-17 slash+ 4 fire
Karethas falls under the onslaught still crackling with phantom flames as he lies unmoving. Kzrira's hasty shots lack the force to penetrate the brass covered bones and shatter them. Amir draws his blades and fights to defend himself, but Golnar barely scratches the metallic bones. Sholeh fares better cutting through an ulna. It is only then that Amir realizes that it is Sholeh, not Golnar that is burning!
Varkata up. and I have a plan for Amir's blades- these skeletons are immune to fire, of course.
Sheik Voodoo wrote:
"You are indeed clever, but are you wise? How did you solve the riddle? Answer truthfully or be further tested..."
Soft feminine laughter rises up all around you at Karethas' answer. "Very clever, but still young and proud enough to play a fool. I tricked you! Perhaps not so fairly I'll admit. The question was rhetorical, but if you had listened well rather than gloating, you'd have noticed the inflection of my final commandment- "Answer 'Truthfully' or be further tested"! ha-ha-ha!"
The great shining skull ignites and strikes the ground as if biting it. You notice several teeth left behind as giggling yet, the dragon skull ascends to watch from the high dome. "Another test!" The teeth lying scatter upon the floor suddenly grow to form seven brass armored skeleton warriors wielding flaming falchions.
Amir 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Karethas 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Kzrira 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
Varkata 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
foe 1d20 ⇒ 20
The spooked stray cat dives out the doors at the commotion and the skeletons charge the heroes. Karethas and Amir exchanging looks ahead of the others take the brunt of the charge. Six reach the pair, three apiece hacking with heavy burning blades. Karethas is caught off guard and critically wounded. Karethas-10, 21(crit), 6 slash+ 3,4,4 fire ((not sure if mage armor is up... take off 10 if so))
The more wary rogue reacts without thinking to avoid the strikes of all but one of the skeletal warriors. Amir-9 slash+ 3 fire
John Mangrum wrote:
My players are approaching the end of The End of Eternity, and I thought I might offer up some side notes I prepared. I'm running a mix of the published and director's cut versions of the adventure, so the Pleasure Palace is still intact. The palace contains an extensive but wildly outdated library. Since a few party members were of a mind to do some research during their stay, I jotted down some bullet points on the state of the Inner Sea around the period when the library was last likely to see much new material.
Same here and this collection of titles is great! Unfortunately, the most studious PC was uncharacteristically distracted by the "help" (pleasure slaves) and didn't get around to exploring anything beyond his chambers... sigh.
Jason Nelson wrote:
Calm emotions affects an area; once you leave the area, it no longer affects you.
really? I ended up running it as an ongoing effect which resulted in our normally totally paranoid and aggro archer acting like a stoned hippy. She had to be persuaded not to go soak in the Well of Tears : )
Books 1 and 4 are the definite stand-outs. Really great stuff!
I'd recommend getting "Dark Markets- A guide to Katapesh" as well. It provides some great background and has tons of interesting hooks if you like going sandboxy.
It was especially useful for filling out book 3 which takes place in the capital city, but was kinda meh.
The left statue answers the well-read wizard's question with a rumbling, "YES." The great brazen doors silently sweep inward as it is identified as the true representation.
The interior of the tomb is dazzling, almost overwhelming in its intricacy. The floor and ceiling are of polished golden marble tiles, each white-veined tile set off with a framing inlay of lapis lazuli. The cornices and joints of wall, ceiling, and floor set off in burnished brass glowing in the light of heatless crystal lamps that hang from empty air. Within these brazen borders, each wall holds an enormous mosaic of enchanted tile that moves and flows like a living thing, replaying the triumphs and tragedies of Nex in an endless refrain.
In the center of vast, silent chamber is a simple bier of plain white limestone, simply carved, its lid unadorned but for a single rune. At the bier’s head is a large marble pedestal on which stands a curious statue of a man toppled over. The statue’s head is carved of gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly of bronze, its thighs of iron, and its shattered feet of clay. At the bier’s foot is a smaller platform upon which rests an equally strange trophy, a draconic skull as large as a grown man, crested and glinting golden in the lamplight.
The great brass skull rises from the smaller platform and the voice that challenged you before is heard again. "You are indeed clever, but are you wise? How did you solve the riddle? Answer truthfully or be further tested..."
"You seek counsel. A worthy goal, but elusive. Sometimes you find it best looking inside yourself. Other times your own counsel is the last you should heed.”
“To enter the tomb, you must demonstrate that you can identify truth. On each side of these doors is a statue of Nex. One represents the true Nex and always answers truthfully. The other is an impostor and always lies. Which is the true representation of Nex?”
The mysterious cat purrs and gazes up at Kzrira offering no answers, but Gen does. "Time passes differently here than in your world; what seems centuries there might only be years or maybe even months here."
Any further conjecture is interrupted by a booming voice that seems to come from beyond the bronze gates:
Why do you come here? What do you seek? This place was made for those who are dead. Why do the living trouble the endless sleep, the final dream?
Varkata does her best to mend the strange wounds on her companions. At least the psychic assault has countered the odd state of calm they experienced since arriving on the Island of the Dead. Amir seems particularly agitated and could probably use a drink.
The old rogue leads the way up hillside through the open wood of bare myrtle and olive and ancient shettim trees, dominated further up the crest by a scattering of mighty cedars. The forest floor is open and clear, save for a few small trickling streams splashing in narrow rockfalls, their tinkling sound blending gently with the sighing of the wind in the branches.
Laboring up the steep slope to the hill’s crest, you stand now before the massive Mausoleum of Nex. In contrast to the lush lawns below, the hilltop covered with earth and gravel, smooth-swept earthen pathways winding among graveled expanses raked in curves, whorls, and intricate patterns, studded with larger boulders and artfully trimmed dwarf trees placed sparsely throughout. Surrounding all is a rim of naked rock, roughly hewn and surmounted by thick, imposing limestone columns carved in relief, each capped with a carved griffon, dragon, lammasu, shedu, or similar winged beast.
Rising above the columns is the gleaming mausoleum. The entrance lies behind a pair of massive brazen portals, inlaid with the scenes of Nex’s greatest triumphs over mortals and immortals alike. Flanking these gates are a pair of massive enthroned statues, crowned Garundi kings in all their finery and regal mien, each wearing the mask of Nex.
Scorched upon the great portals is a black silhouette of a man and seated before it is a feral cat with staring yellow eyes.
"Spooky." Gen says dully. "That was Andrathi's familiar."
Varkata Steeleye wrote:
I assume the 41 damage was to Amir and Kzrira, unless there was a second assault?
oops. yep. too many funny names. damage is real enough to them.
know religion DC 19:
This wasn't just an illusion. Andrathi's traumatic death seems to have affected the divining pool by infecting it with a haunt.
Amir save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Again the warriors find themselves unprepared for the psychic onslaught. Even with reassurances that it isn't real from Karethas and Varkata, the flames feel only too real and leave Kzrira and Amir with horrible burns. No other evidence of the sudden inferno is seen.
Gen appears with tears rolling down her face. "That- that was Andrathi, Master! Slain by Jhavhul." She looks up toward the mausoleum. "We should see if anything remains..."
oops. Karethas ninjaed me. Still working? We got out last week : )
Karethas is perplexed by the pool. A scrying pool that only shows what's behind you, perhaps? Maybe true seeing as Varkata says? Amir seems unconcerned. Then the view in the pool changes. It seems to zoom up the hill through the dead trees toward the smoke. Strange burning silhouettes of horned humanoids fly through the smog and then through the smoke you see a burning man pressed against the molten brass doors of the mausoleum. The pitiful figure's charred skin peels back exposing a blackened skull that screams one work in despair- "NEFESHTI!"
A roiling wall of flame rushes toward you from the scene. It consumes everything around the pool and those that are not becalmed feel a great despair. Karethas and Varkata- will save DC 20 or crushing despair; then All- will save DC 20 or fire: 10d6 ⇒ (6, 5, 5, 4, 5, 3, 1, 4, 3, 5) = 41
Varkata detects a strong aura of divination on the pool. No longer fueled by paranoia and anger, Kzrira seems quite the happy-go-lucky woman considering a dip in the memorial. Both see something peculiar in the reflection of the pool though. The angle is off, but somehow the pool reflects the hillside behind them. The mausoleum glints through the dead trees and a long plume of dark smoke rises from it. When they glance over their shoulder however, there is no smoke to be seen.
Kzrira moves to the western end of the island, approaching a semicircle of four marble platforms, each surmounted by a colonnaded dome inlaid with opalescent tiles that catch the sun’s rays in a multi-hued fire. The shelters are elegantly furnished with carved stone benches and inlaid with geometric mosaics representative of the four elements, from air to the north, earth and fire in the center, and water to the south.
Just beyond these shelters is a low limestone wall inscribed with bas-relief of gods, spirits, animals, and all manner of mythological creatures of ancient Garund. Within the wall is a pool of deepest blue.
Those not use to working magic succumb to the magical serenity most easily. Karethas investigates the statues and finds each statue bears an identical brass mask though the statues are carved to show men of all manner of profession given their dress and accouterments. Though the mask is stylized, Karethas infers it is meant to be Nex in many different roles: astrologer, explorer, scholar, teacher, poet, scribe, ruler, hunter, warlord, and so on.
At the top of the stairs is a small manicured lawn dotted with flowering bushes and shrubs perfuming the air with their fragrance. To the east, the hill rises above you, a smooth path way climbing between dead groves that cling to the hillside, where the grand mausoleum can be glimpsed at the crest of the mount. To the west, at the edge of the lawn, is a rippling pond surrounded by a low limestone wall and four domed structures.
Hmmm, we just got to the Isle of the Dead and I am wondering about the calm emotion spell on Area 1. The Plaza of Welcome.
I am using the director's cut, but both this and the published version lack a CL for the effect. CL 20 like the other spells in the published version or 1/day like the director's cut spells on the stairs?
If it's long lasting, the spell basically undermines most of the other spells on the island which have effects like despair, fear, and confusion.
I guess, I'm wondering what the intention for this effect was?
Kzrira steps down from the galley and finds herself overwhelmed by a sense of solemn peace. Her normal state of paranoia and belligerence is washed away by calm and well-being.
Varkata detects a STRONG aura of enchantment on the plaza which reveals a powerful calm emotion spell. used Kzrira's percept roll. others- will DC 22 or affected by the spell.
Karethas- know history
"My Master would never study necromancy." Gen boasts at the question. Then she looks a little nervous. "Of course, if you mean undead, they can speak for themselves... I have a bad feeling, Master."
With divine assurances however, the destination is given and the galley sets out once more. It picks up supernatural speed heading back east toward the main island of Kakishon, but stopping short at the small mysterious island.
Your ship approaches a small island in the channel halfway between the forested peaks of Kakishon and the sandy shores of Khandelwal opposite. The Isle of the Dead comprises a single hill, with a gentle dead tree covered slope on one side and a high, cliff-backed scarp at its opposite end, surmounted by a massive edifice of aged brass, surrounded by a forest of great columns: the legendary Mausoleum of Nex.
A sense of peace, even lassitude, washes over you as your ship slips into its berth between two long white quays. Unlike the other waypoints, there is no pavilion or hostel here. A massive stairway 40 feet across, its treads and risers seemingly unscarred by the erosive hand of time and pristinely free of mark or debris, climb the modest slope of the island towards the forest above. To either hand a row of columns of the same white stone are each surmounted with a statue of golden marble, each with a mask of polished brass.
Our heroes fall farther and farther down the password rabbit hole (8 digits including a capital letter, a number, and a symbol) the next morning. Varkata and Karethas feel something at the back of their brain through the conversation as if they'd forgotten something.
Once again the words "Isle of the Dead' pass through your mind as you awaken. They seem more permanent this time and have a sense of urgency.
As you prepare to order the galley back to Kakishon, the words "Isle of the Dead" surface in your mind.
The boat moves quite fast so I'll assume you sleep on it before you get a divination and move on. you're welcome to continue pondering safe words.
The night passes quietly docked at the waypoint, but the same cannot be said for your dreams. Again, all experience the weird visions of the island of dead trees and the yowling cat at the mausoleum.
wisdom checks all
The shaitan rise and head the opposite direction, back into the dunes. Once aboard the galley, Karethas' staff evaporates and reappears as his familiar, Gen. A miniature dark cloud hovers over her head.
The genie-kin scowls. "Oh, the shaitan are so arrogant. He should have been more helpful, master. Deal with them carefully. I tried to warn you about the Palace people. Most shaitan are honorable, but not those. The shaitan are also very vengeful. Be careful."
Sooo, Kzrira's gesture with Varkata's help was enough to move the Shaitan from unfriendly to indifferent and friendly enough to give some advise on fighting Dilix.
I guess Varkata's next roll was a request for a free ticket home- No. besides he already stated his price.
and I think we're done here. it appears that you've pretty much got to chose a side.
"Dilix betrayed his own people to the wicked efreet. That is all the assurance I need. We will kill him soon enough. We certainly require no assistance from mortals. I have merely offered you an opportunity to prove your value- to show fealty to the true ruler of Kakishon. Then you may petition me to leave my realm. You have nothing else to offer me."
The shaitan stiffens slightly. "Not proxies anyway. You have said that Jhavhul is your enemy and I tell you that Dilix is his willing servant. If you are as concerned about your home as you say then you are wasting time talking."
"I have made my offer. I certainly have no interest in giving anything away to mortals nor do you have any right to demand anything. I hold power in Kakishon now and you are either with us or you are against us."
Varkata senses that Obherak speaks with conviction and is used to getting things done with little patience for dialogue. Also, though he states it perhaps overly loudly, he might not be the only power left in Kakishon.
"Innocent?! Do not speak of truth when he hides behind his veil. Yes, Dilix is male and as false as his harem of shapeshifting pleasure slaves. When Jhavhul first arrived, we had a chance to kill him and scatter the efreet. The traitor went to his new master and revealed our plans. Many shaitan were lost and we now live in exile. You offered me something dear to you, now offer me something dear to me."
Obherak smiles though his amber eyes hold no warmth. "Half-truths." he states simply. "Yes, I may have a way for you to leave, but I am not unreceptive to an exchange. When the foul efreet arrived, the traitor was only too quick to turn against her own kind and become a lap dog of the invader. Certainly, she only remains because Jhavhul cast her aside like the filth that she is. I have no doubt she would follow him if she could and likely warn him of your approach."
"Here is my price, and I think it is in your own interest: Bring me the traitor- alive or dead, and I will show you the way out of Kakishon."
The shaitan accept the bowl back and invite you to take seats on the pillows by the fountain. The hostel is similar to the other waypoints, but much better appointed. one of the shaitan summons food and drink from the font for the guests and takes a seat behind Obherak.
"So what has the traitor told you?" the shaitan begins.
Shockingly, Kzrira's naive offer actually seems to take the edge off the rock genie's demeanor. He gives a slight bow of his head. "It is a generous offer and obvious something that has value to you. Keep it. We have plenty of gems and jewels to nourish us with their beauty. Here, share salt with us and accept our hospitality." Each of the shaitan take a pinch of salt in turn and raise it to their mouths and the golden bowl is passed to Kzrira.