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The four black robed figures run across the moonlit desert to close with the party and you now see they are still armed with scimitars though they serve Sarenrae no longer. Kzrira's arrow hits one and it curses loudly though it does not slow. At the sound of Varkata's prayer, the hooded heads turn toward her and eyes gleam malevolently with light not reflected from the moon. A blast of glittering dust catches two and they are finally slowed though not stopped.
The other two charge Amir as he draws his blades, but are thrown off by the combined auras of the warding circle and prayer. The scimitars miss their mark. The blinded pair slow feeling their way forward to the priestess. A bolt of radiant light arcs past Amir from behind and the lammasu growls in annoyance at his clumsy miss.
Karethas ibn Faradin wrote:
The lammasu nods with a single shake of his mane. "I have spent much power healing us. I am not surprised they emerge having heard our battle and hoping to find the victor weakened and easy prey. I do not think they expected to find so many though. Stay near me and I shall ward you with a magic circle against evil. I have a few radiant bolts to burn them as well."
Amir 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Karethas 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
Kzrira 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Varkata 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
ally1d20 ⇒ 1
foe 1d20 ⇒ 8
You barely have time to prepare before four feral hungry forms coalesce out of the mist and rush toward you!
before you start resetting spells, you have to sleep through the night.
After the sun sets, strange and unsettling cries arise from the heavy growth of the oasis. The moon is bright overhead when a mist is detected flowing from the thicket of palms.
"The Unholy Imams approach," Ashraf-Asim warns as you grab your gear.
Kzrira Maiwith wrote:
Currently I only have 20 arrows unless someone has a spell that would make the arrows be considered to be silver.
Abundant ammunition(level 1 Cleric spell) would replace any silver arrows shot for the duration. I know I favor drawn out melees, but I don't see any lasting 60 rounds.
Karethas has never heard of this particular Gebbite necromancer before the present moment and Varkata can add little more to the conversation. The lammasu heals the wounded with his curative magics and then gives a gallows laugh at Varkata's request for guidance. "My advice remains the same, turn back before it is too late."
With a flap of his powerful wings he returns to the top of the rock and lays down with front paws enfolded, splitting his attention between the party and the nearby oasis.
So what's the plan?
The big leonine creature stands wearily and settles its wings against its sides. It casts a spell to heal itself of some of the damage it has taken and then sits on its haunches gazing at Kzrira with the piercing blue eyes above its aquiline nose and beard that matches the color of its mane.
"Very well. You have proved yourself competent though killing gnolls and outnumbering me are hardly heroic feats. I see I cannot dissuade you though I have done my honorable best."
"I am Ashraf-Asim, sometimes called Hound of Ragathiel. This place was once known as the Deep Well of Paradise, a testament to the mercy of Sarenrae. The lovely shrine beside the cool water quenched the thirst and soothed the dusty blistered feet of many travellers until the coming of a Gebbite vampire and necromancer named Rotaimvei. Whether his goal was dark vengeance or just capricious evil, I do not know. Whatever his aims, he succeeded. The four imams that once served the thirsty, weary and injured that sought succor here were transformed into unholy creatures like the Gebbite. Though merely minion vampires and not as powerful as their master, they have still overcome far too many brave fools."
"Like a drop of blood in clear water, the taint of Urgathoa has diffused into the oasis corrupting the water, the plants, the creatures that lived there. None who have come to exorcize the blighted oasis have succeeded or survived. The last was a brave paladin of Sarenrae... and a dear friend. I cannot forgive myself for not stopping her. Her soul is forever lost now. Damned to forever haunt the shrine within."
"I have some ability to heal. If you wish, I will mend what harm I have caused you, but I must humbly request one last time that you turn aside from the doom that awaits you within."
ah, but Amir's luck always sucks! miss chance: 1d100 ⇒ 56
BAH! should have waited for him to roll! and punch drunk wizard- nl: 2d6 ⇒ (1, 2) = 3
The hail storm of blunted arrows from Kzrira and a lucky shot from Amir finally wear down the guardian of the damned oasis. At least that is what it seems when Karethas hears a moan and feels something large and unseen plummet past him to impact the desert floor below.
OK, I do feel a slight tinge of guilt about this, but I am a cruel, cruel GM.
Bruised and a bit disoriented by the thrashing, Varkata swoops back toward Amir in retreat. Only when she nears him and the lammasu disappears again does she recall the limited range of her invisibility purge spell. The watery orb rushes upward again and hits leaving a leonine bubble for a moment before the creature beaks free spraying droplets through the air.
alright, the lammasu hasn't moved so 50% miss for each shot from Kzrira and Amir. The dice will say whether he falls or not.
Varkata Steeleye wrote:
Ack, sorry. Didn't think that our opponent could hover so I figured I was able to go without issues. That not being the case, I'll withdraw, no spell this round.
not hovering. He's hanging out with Karethas on the rock. I don't think a Fly spell allows hovering either, but it's kind of hard to work with that unless the creature has a fly-by attack feat so it's all good.
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."