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Kzrira sends a barrage of blunted arrows at the guardian, but the oddly shaped heads are not optimal and only a couple hit. Amir proves that he is but a wan shadow of an archer in comparison. Even with Karethas down, the sphere continues on momentum and smashes upon the rock, but does not hinder the flying lion.
Varkata channels healing power to spare the fallen wizard and again demands that the lammasu yield. It merely responds that it has already made that offer and tears into her without reserve. The claws cut deeply and the wings bruise the besieged priestess.
where's our ever present archer? I'll keep it moving as this is likely to be protracted.
Kzrira's blunted arrow misses and Amir switches to his bow as he is likewise unable to participate in the aerial combat. Upon the rock, the lammasu continues beating on the wizard easily knocking him unconscious and injured with its paws while snapping its wings back at the half-orc priestess aggressively to match her dishonorable strikes.
hmmm. I don't know that Karethas is threatening. I saw some ring twisting, but no mention of staff wielding. Confirmation was just short anyway. Also, I was thinking the rock was at least 10 feet high and the orb would have a hard time keeping up with flying speeds. I'll allow that the rock is lower, but spell won't reach him until next round.
Varkata swoops at the creature drawing blood again as Karethas cowers and calls his summoned orb.
Kzrira -1 shot and Amir
Kzrira kvetches as she rearms herself after stowing her shield once again (I assume) leaving Varkata's attack to draw a bloody gash across the leonine creature's haunches. Still on the ground, Amir calls the priestess to join him as he moves toward the rock where Karethas seems surprisingly unconcerned about the great beast that has flown at him.
"Likewise, I am sure," it assures Varkata as it lays into the wizard still with some restraint not that the assault hurts much less. Karethas-26 nl
Varkata Steeleye wrote:
The -3 is inclusive of the masterwork (by virtue of the "is automatically masterwork"), to the best of my understanding.
as for loot... I believe that is correct as well. Kzrira was saving the balance for the bane enhancement which is pretty specialized and would just take more time to find or get customized. If you want to punt and just grab a belt +2 dex, those would be fairly common and easily found. I'll hand wave that.
btw I was reading up on crafting magic items and in regards to the adaptive ability, someone without the prerequisite spell could still craft it at a higher DC. so druid not necessarily required.
Varkata spreads a renewing burst of energy that ameliorates the beating received by her companions. Kzrira grabs her shield and wards Amir's retreat by trying to bait the lammasu. The great beast's expression shows that he is very unhappy with his dousing, but manages to shake free of the enveloping pool and spring into the air flying over to the resting mage. It certainly seems as Karethas noted, that you may only proceed by subduing the guardian.
The lammasu ignores the warnings of the Heroes of Kelmarane in turn and seems intent only on driving them away by any means necessary. It barely dodges the great watery sphere that Karethas summons and again lunges at the wily merchant warrior. Amir is ready however, and catches the manbeast off-guard stabbing deep into a sensitive shoulder joint.
Amir- I don't know that the ready is necessary as you go right before the lammasu anyway. Considering that feint normally happens a round prior to the attack, I'd allow a preparatory feint for a readied attack. Also note that the lammasu is currently on the ground.
The guardian sets it jaw against the pain and buffets the man with paws and wings. "You will NOT PASS!"
The magical beast ignores the retreating archer and turns on the yet yammering Amir giving him a cuff with its paw. All the horses except Behrouz flee back the way you came and even the expertly trained mount edges away from the leonine monster. Amir-7 nl
The winged creature bares its claws, wings outstretched and ready to pounce again. "Asmodeus paves the road to Hell with 'good intentions'. Your intentions will not save you from eternal damnation. If paladins of the Dawnflower have failed, if I have failed, how can you succeed? You will only make it worse. I will not allow any to enter. Retreat!"
Amir easily his mount which though shaking nervously holds steady. Amir draws his bow as the sphinx-like creature responds. "Others have tried and died adding to the undead blight. I do not sense evil intent though you slander an angel, but you are no different from the others. None shall pass while I live!"
With a roar the leonine guardian leaps upon Kzrira, batting her with its paws and buffeting her with wings. Kzrira-7 non-lethal
Sense motive DC 4:
Though the beast seems earnest in his stance, he is a poor beguiler and you see that he is definitely not seeking to seriously harm Kzrira. This is made obvious when you note that his claws are retracted.
Varkata struggles to dismount her panicked animal and is thrown to the ground not far from Karethas. Varkata- 5 bludge, prone. She recovers enough however to get off a revealing spell. Above you appears a great winged lion. It has radiant golden fur and a man's face.
Kzrira leaps from her saddle effortlessly in contrast to her less well trained companions and draws her new bow and a cold iron arrow. Karethas stands as his horse bolts away to attempt to reason with the magical beast.
It roars back, "Better that you die here where your souls can find their way to judgement than in the oasis where you will rise as undead slaves!"
Amir. Karethas- prob should have made your fall damage lethal also.
Karethas ibn Faradin wrote:
I would know about Geb, yes?
yep. pretty common knowledge.
"No more questions!" There is a roar and the wind rushes down at the riders. Karethas is knocked off his mount by what feels like a massive paw. Karethas- 4 non-lethal The horses scream, rearing and kicking. Forewarned, Amir ducks just in time as something swings right over his head. He slips in the saddle however, which hinders his response.
Ah, I forgot Karethas could summon mounts. You could use those if you like. Otherwise, the Abadarian's will likely charge you for lost horses ; ) anyway, horses panicked.
Amir 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Karethas 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Kzrira 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Varkata 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
foe 1d20 ⇒ 16
You are able to control your nervous mounts though Karethas' horse side steps and circles making him crane his neck as he addresses the clear skies. Kzrira can hear the sound of great wings circling, but cannot pinpoint the source. "The dark angel foretold as much. I can see that you are not evil, but you are fools. This place is forbidden! Leave!"
The heat of the desert is blistering as you travel first along the Scorpius River and then break away following the overgrown route of the old trade road.
It is the afternoon of the fourth day that you approach your destination. A mottled green haze stands out from the browning grasslands and you sense rather than see the water which is hidden beneath the diseased palms and undergrowth. The brass dome of a stained marble mosque glints half hidden in the jungle-like thicket.
Suddenly your mounts startle from a loud wind roaring through the clear skies overhead. Then a thundering voice commands, "Be gone! Swiftly return from whence you came or be destroyed!"
Barely anyone uses javelins. I'd just go with 80 slots for arrows and 12 for longer objects like bows, spears, javelins, whatever.
The adventurers quickly locate the additional gear and make their way to the Immaculate Repository. The high priest is available and meets with you in his office. He has Kzrira's bow now magically enhanced and has deigned to loan you what mounts you will need. He also has a map that will guide you over the four day journey to the lost oasis.
any final questions/business?
Rayhan Xobhadi bows his head gratefully at the concession. "Know that I wish you only the best of luck, but it is wise to plan for any contingency. It would be very hard to have had only a glimpse of the relic and then for it to languish in the Abadarian vaults..."
"Anyway, I am sure there is nothing to worry about. You have shown yourselves quite capable. I am particularly pleased at the growth I see in you, young Karethas. Perhaps if there is a scroll you would like to take with you, I may provide that for you."
The night passes quietly and the next morning, Dean Xobhadi seems to have softened on his stance of not running a hostel as Eramin and the dean cook up a hearty breakfast to send you on your way.
any last minute purchases or errands before you meet up with the Vault Master?
Radi melts into the shadows as Karethas watches and is seen no more that night. Back at the villa, the Dean agrees that the artifact would be safest with the Abadarians. He asks only to spend the next day studying it in the hope that he can make a discovery while it is available.
RD 2, 24 Desnus
This will require some time at the College of Dimensional Studies libraries while you are on your mission. He seems a bit concerned about your return and humbly asks that some arrangement be made for him to have access to the scroll should you not return.
Radi scowls at Amir's companions, "In the ways of the market, yes, I would say that I could instruct you just as the archer could beat me in shooting and Cayden's priestess in drinking. But, it is obvious you think nothing of my assistance and I'm tired of your insults. Others would treat me far better."
Amir Awad Hajjir wrote:
What is it Radi?
Radi stands and bows stifly, "Sayyid, I remain grateful that you rescued me from the Gnolls, but I fear that I can no longer serve you. It is obvious to me that you disregard my advice and send me off on foolish missions while you consult with others behind my back."
Master Abdul-Abadar assents to Amir's request. "Kazim has kept me up to date with developments. Kzrira's bow should be ready tomorrow so perhaps a departure on the following day. I would recommend cold iron if you have no holy arrows for a div."
"As for your business, well as I'm sure Kazim has mentioned, some of the interested parties have expressed their impatience, but they will just have to wait until you return. If you need some place to store the relic until then, there is no place more secure in all of Garund than the vaults of this sacred repository."
The Master nods, "As I am sure you know, trade is the lifeblood of settlement. Zayifid has reported on the progress made in Kelmarane with much praise for your work, Amir. However, the current route is much too extended from its path through Solku. In addition, most merchants have little reason to continue on to Kelmerane once they have reached that city so Kelmarane is starved of potential trade."
"The old northern route runs directly to Kelmarane and would allow the town to compete independently for Mwangi trade over the Shattered Range. More importantly, the growing presence of civilization in the north will allow us to begin to reclaim the Brazen Peaks from the gnoll hordes and revitalize land trade with Ipeq and the rest of Osirion."
"All that stands in the way is this small stretch of cursed land at the old oasis. The followers of the Dawnflower seem unable to restore it and should we move directly, it might stir up conflict between our faiths so it is best that a more neutral party investigate. That is where you come in."
pfft! yeah, I did remember Khemet III at the back... I think he's been revised since though- was he listed as a cleric 15 of Abadar then? I think Nethys would be far more likely seeing as Abadar is a foreign god...
Thanks for looking. It's really not important. I just try to use random drop-ins from published stuff. I can totally see the page and layout for the NPC, but don't remember where I saw it. I'm thinking 3.5 Paizo days, but the LoF had Lucky Farouq in the back and I can't think where else it would be...
it will just annoy me for a while. I might see if I can find his mugshot in the alias icons : )
Thanks again for looking.
Amir Awad Hajjir wrote:
hmmmmm, there isn't a desert dwarf wanderer written up at the back of the book? maybe not a druid. I might be misremembering.
The high priest, Jalal Abdul-Abadar, arrives not long after the candles have been lit. With Kzrira kneeling before the altar, the priest begins the ceremony which includes several rounds of prayers and culminates in the offering of the diamonds Amir purchased. Afterwards, Kzrira rise and all can see that color has been restored to her face though she has not regained the full health she possessed before her ordeal.
After a proper amount of time for congratulations, the Vault Master turns the conversation to the lost trade route. Kazim confirms that the enhancement to Kzrira's bow will be completed the following day and Master Abdul-Abadar that action very soon thereafter is essential if Kelmarane is to succeed.
Returning to the villa, you are greeted by the groundskeeper who leads you upstairs where Karethas reclines on a couch with a pile of scrolls at hand. The dean is in the third floor library, but comes down to speak with you briefly before his evening meal. He feels that he has refreshed his memory of Andrathi's account and would like to study the scroll itself tomorrow.
Karethas joins the party though he looks distracted and mumbles arcane phrases to himself as the group passes the Palace of the Pactmasters and enters the Dawn Gate District. Kazim greets you once again and leads you to the private chapel where Kzrira was previously raised from the dead.
The priestess makes small talk while you wait for the Vault Master. She mentions that Badra had been by the temple to complain that you were taking too long to sell the relic. The mercenary cum merchant princess claimed that you were delaying to get more bidders to inflate the price. Kazim warns you to be careful and lights the tall golden candles as the daylight fades from the yellow tinted windows.
The other merchants seem interested in Amir's news of opportunities on the western frontier. One tells of a desert dwarf druid who wanders the deserts of Osirion and Katapesh. He is said to have followers that commune with the palms around the Golden Oasis in the city.
The sun is sinking over the desert as the adventurers regroup. Grabbing some food from a food cart, Amir believes it is time to return to the Immaculate Repository for you meeting with the Mater of the Vault.
grabbing Karethas for the meeting?
Amir learns a bit more about the lost oasis on the old road to Ipeq. It seems the misfortune that befell it was quite intentional. The two leading theories are that it was either the work of a Shir div or a vengeful Gebbite necromancer, but all agree that all the Dawnflower's priests were murdered and the Well of Paradise defiled. They assure their fellow merchant that it is best forgotten. A young and foolish faris of Sarenrae attempted to restore it a generation ago and never returned.
Varkata and Kzrira hear much the same, but also learn from one now grizzled caravaneer that he once accompanied a small band of smugglers attempting to sneak past the cursed oasis and they were chased off by a great winged lion that shouted oaths at them as they ran for their lives.
Back outside the walls, the air is hot and dry despite the muddy flow of the Scorpius that guides the trail into the city. The party crosses a simple plank bridge over a small channel that fills the watering troughs of the Camel Markets to look over the tents and stalls that greet travelers from the western wastes of the nation.
Varkata wrinkles her nose at Datorro's Brewery uncertain of the combination of harsh smells emitted from the combination tavern and alchemist shop. A row of brighter tents are marked with large banners proclaiming "Cheeho the Talking Dog" and "Fortunes Revealed by the Smoke Lady". A large adobe structure is marked with a mural of a camel crossed by a scimitar for the Caravan Guard Union Hall.
Amir moves off to join a group of older merchants surveying the activity.
I take it Kzrira is leaving her new bow at the temple for upgrades. Anyone else want to ask around?
Whilst the lovely Kazim discusses the finer points of magically enhancing Kzrira's bow, Amir ponders. There was that shadowy information broker, Mechem Djall from the Nightstalls, but he'd likely charge a dear price. An old merchant would likely prove much cheaper if a knowledgeable one could be found.
The Sand Dragon Inn is now much too high profile to ask around. Perhaps the Daystalls just outside the main gates of the city would be productive. Newcomers are likely to be widely traveled and probably haven't yet heard of the Nexian scroll Amir carries anyway.
At the Immaculate Repository (I keep calling it the Imm Vault) the party find that the Vault Master is busy and you are assisted by another ranking priest, a Vudrani woman with short hair and a tasteful gold nose ring named Kazim. She says that the temple would be happy to serve as a go-between for any transaction and will send messengers per request.
Kazim also informs you that Vault Master has prayed for the restoration spell, but is quite busy today and can heal Kzrira in the evening after his work day is finished. She mentions that he was interested in further discussing the reopening of the trade route as well.