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Very little could likely keep up with let alone board the supernaturally swift galley so watches seem superfluous. It is still before dawn when you arrive at yet another burnt pier. The rising sun reveals a sight all too familiar to anyone from Katapesh. Just beyond a a fringe of palms and other tropical trees rise high serried ranks of dunes and the dry heart of Khandelwal. At the head of a sheltered inlet at the island’s midsection is a domed hostel of tiled stone amidst a grove of citrus trees.
As you wait for Karethas to finish studying his spells for the day, Varkata suddenly hears a voice.
“I, Obherak, speak for the true shaitan. Dilix Mahad has told you many tales, no doubt. Would you hear the truth?”
rope trick wouldn't travel. I don't believe clerics have the sleep requirement that arcane have.
The galley retraces it route south along the main island. Kzrira maintains the watch while the others rest. They find that the strange dreams from the palace return. The barren island reminds them now of the one they passed on the trip here though they are uncertain what the dream can mean.
It is near midnight when Varkata is woken to switch places with Kzrira. The galley clears the southern end of the long island of Kakishon and turns north up the other side.
Amir Awad Hajjir wrote:
As Varkata seeks insight Amir offers an observation, Perhaps the drunk god might give us insight to the dreams we had at the palace. I saw a forest and a graveyard. A howling cat and...a man shaped burn? Its hard to recall all the details. There was a sense of...importance.
The smith doesn't turn around, but his massive hammer pauses so that he may hear Karethas' words before he returns to his work. The adventurers leaves the fiery pit of the volcano forge and make their way back across the steaming Phoenix Bridge to the main island of Khosravi. It takes the remainder of the day to make your way safely back to the galley docked at the Waypoint near the abandoned barracks.
The ship is as you left and the great Helmsman awaits your next destination.
just shy of 30 which would be epic-ish.
The fiery smith is somewhat mollified by the priestess' appreciation and the wizard's understanding, but he scowls at the others and replies to Karethas in an elemental tongue once again.
"I am a wizard as well and see that you have some understanding of the skill and wisdom required to wield such power. You probably understand that in my quest I must try and find what the metal wishes to be, not what some greedy mortal desires from it. Tell the fools that no great weapon or armor will help them succeed if they have no wisdom and skill."
"I have wasted enough time in talk now. The noqual is interesting, I would keep that piece to experiment with, but I do not think that it will aid me in my quest given its properties."
"I wish you success in both your goals of leaving Kakishon and destroying Jhavhul, but I have work to do now."
and with that, the legendary smith turns to his powerful servants and reaches for his tools.
I did a search earlier and I believe that we're only the 2nd game on the boards to make it this far actually : )
But Karethas is correct. Even if Artel's Forge was meant to be ARMS 'R US, which it isn't, I wouldn't be scaling up equip that much. I boosted the longsword some because it IS supposed to be one of his greatest works as written and Varkata needed a bit of bling.
I'd like to give Amir a chance to sup up his heirloom at some point when it fits (and there's time again). Kzrira doesn't really need more oomph. It's hard enough to create encounters where the foe isn't take down in three round from massive missile attack.
That said, this being a genie campaign, there WILL be a chance for wish fulfillment coming up and I'll be pretty liberal about that.
He lifts a hand for Karethas to inspect. It has ragged white scars that run down the fingers and across his bronzed forearms. "Though it resembles dark fire, it is something else entirely. It destroys fire. This blade is bane to those born of elemental fire, even myself. It is my greatest work though it has no intelligence. Three times each day it can quench mundane flame with a touch and possibly even quell magical fire!"
"If the priestess of the "Accidental God" wishes to trade, I will accept her blade as more material for my work and she may use this in its stead."
Ebon Flame- +3 Fire outsider Bane Frost longsword (Quench at touch, CL 6, 3/day)
Amir is struck uncharacteristically dumb at the destruction of such valuable arms and armor. He just stands there numbly.
The burning dwarf chuckles. "Dilix is shaitan as well though not as overtly ambitious as Obherak. I don't know that I would trust her though. She was only too ready to serve Jhavhul."
"If you seek to destroy Jhavhul then I will gladly aid you. I will keep one of the noqual shards to test, but the others I can turn into weapons. They are of particular use against magical constructs. Perhaps some arrowheads for your archer."
"I see your quiet friend wears one of my early works- a very sharp flaming shortsword. Do not worry. I don't want it back; I'm sure it was hard won. And your staff...I see there is life within it. But does it reside in the staff or is it the staff itself?"
"That has been my great quest. To craft a weapon or armor of such great quality that it actually lives. All these wonders-" he gestures to the splendid arms being melted down for fresh metal to reforge. "Are only raw material gladly sacrificed for another attempt at the greatest prize..."
"Ah, but I have something else that might serve- Ebon Flame". he says in an awed whisper. He moves to a pile of black slag and strikes it with his hammer. The rock shatters and crumbles away revealing a gleaming longsword. He grasps the ornate hilt holding it gingerly away from himself and black flames rise from the blade licking the hot air.
Artel scowls trying to process all the information. "Accidental God? You are obviously strangers so Kakishon has been reopened? Has that pompous bastard of an Efreeti left? Can you imagine ordering me around like a slave? ME, Nex's own master smith!"
His anger disappears immediately at the sight of the shard. "Ah, Noqual! It still grows from the Black Spire. I would have gone harvested it myself, but to be stripped of my spells by the taint of the place... too much. Yes, I have long wanted to test this skymetal."
"Shaitan? Who? Are you sure you don't wish to kill Jhavhul?"
There is a viscous plopping sound from the creature and its blackened lumpy head cracks open to reveal a molten oozing smile. Whatever Karethas said seems to have pleased it. It turns and leads the way further into the volcano.
You walk across cracked and smoking ground to the other end of the immense chamber. At the foot of a pair of spectacular firefalls are seething pools of lava, bubbling and shedding a hellish radiance on the surrounding rock. A bridge of polished black rock spans the channel linking the pools, and you can dimly see a humanoid figure working at a forge on the island beyond, surrounded by a crew of fiery assistants.
The magma creature leads the way over the bridge to a massive foundry, tended by a short dwarf-like humanoid with skin that gleams like oiled brass and white flames wreathing his head in the semblance of hair and a beard. He directs a trio of burly magma-thewed humanoids at the work of the forge. The molten men feed weapons and armor of quality equal to those you saw in the previous gallery into a heavy crucible to be melted and forged anew. A disk of golden force floats behind him, holding red-hot metal implements. Your guide burbles a quick introduction and the metal dwarf looks you over.
With an exasperated sigh, he plants his feet before you and declares impatiently, “All right, you have your meeting the great forgemaster, Artel Norrin. That’s me. Now what do you want? Be quick about it. As you can see, SOME of us have work to do.”
ah, you still had to wait until I could get home and check the AP : )
The yawning cavern beyond the doors roils with heat, the air fairly shimmering with it. A broad expanse of stone lays in front of you, and at the far end a small bridge spans a channel between two magma pools that collect at the base of streams of liquid hot magma pour down the far wall from great cracks in the wall above. Dimly seen through the shimmering haze is a small island between the two magma-falls where a pair of towering bonfires burn.
A small pool of magma lies at your feet and immediately a lumpy humanoid form rises out of it. It frowns up at you and barks in a hissing crackling tongue.
"What do you want?! We're busy here."
Just as the opposite end of the hall, there is another set of heavy bronze doors. The racks at this end however, are not empty, but contain an array of arms and armor. There are long swords, daggers, a bastard sword, battle axe, rapier, and halberds on one side and chainmail and plate armor on the other.
The seal isn't going to be enough protection for Amir. so Varkata is splitting her spell- 20/20/30(x2)? who gets the 60 min?
Adding mods for cooperation-
Karethas' suggestion actually makes sense, so the others
push: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
and the great doors finally sloooowly move back though it leaves you fatigued for a moment. You look around while you catch your breath.
The doors open onto a long hall with a row of red hot columns running down the center and providing scant light. The walls are covered by weapon and armor racks. They are empty now, but you do spot the gleam of steel at the far end.
With Varkata's blessing, the oppressive heat lessens and you are no longer taxed by the boiling steam. The pathway zigzags descending toward a caldera filled with bubbling lava. A safe distance above the molten rock however, the path enters the inside wall of the volcano. The tunnel continues down and around before ending in a pair of brazen gates, embossed with the seal of Nex and a dwarven figure covering both door panels, with his left hand on an anvil and his right hand on a hammer. Ignan runes are carved across the top.
Fire is the Spark of Creation
You can feel heat radiate from the metal doors even through Varkata's spell.
NOTE: yes, the Ruby Seal grants resist fire/5. I don't think I continued the fire resistance with the Tempest Staff, but Karethas and Varkata should have enough to cover you for a while though it will cost Karethas with his abjuration tax...
To those unwarded against it, the heat grows stifling as you cross the bridge and are engulfed by steam. The dark form of a spectacular tricornuate volcano looms ahead, its cracked caldera split into three towering horns as each of its three faces pours forth a constant cascade of molten rock in a glowing orange pyroclastic cascade, throwing up titanic plumes of steam as the liquid hot magma crashes into the sea and straits at the island’s foot. Beyond the foot of the Phoenix Bridge, a well-worn path leads further toward the island’s heart.
please specify type of heat protection.
sure. Karethas gets Amir back to fighting shape or at least pickpocketing shape. Yes, red gem = Ruby Seal. If our spell selections are in order, I shall proceed.
Fully prepared now, you slip from your hiding place and away from the Spire. Off in the distance, you see a glimmer and dust arise into the air, but you seem to have lost the shard swarm. Now forewarned of the dangers of Khosravi, you avoid further hazards and make your way toward a billowing cloud of steam that rises in the southeast.
It is well into the afternoon when you finally enter the warm mist and see a bridge ahead. The near side of the bridge is guarded by an ornate gatehouse with phoenix-topped columns at each cornice. The arch beyond is carved of golden marble veined red. The span seems impossibly delicate, almost gossamer, and the veined stone seems to resemble the wings of a great bird in the diffused light. The clouds of hot steam boiling up slick the sides of the bridge with dripping moisture, but the surface of the span is clear and dry.
Kzrira Maiwith wrote:
Is there anything else of note that we can see from the top of the tower? Other than where the smith appears to have set up his shop?
Actually, revision as it is night... the volcano is a dim red glow that attracts your eyes. A fountain of glowing spray is occasionally spotted from its mouth. You make your way down carefully with the dagger-sized crystals and exit the field unseen some distance from where the swarm is lurking. Karethas' spell goes off fine (if he's not touching the shards) and you rest the night uninterrupted.
In the morning, Gen reappears and shivers as she recalls your recent harrowing experiences. "That place was so awful, Master. Let us not go there ever again. This whole island is awful. Can we not just fly back to the ship and leave?"
The narrow base of the Spire has a network of tiny fractures which help Kzrira scale the smooth concave surface. Amir is less effective with his blighted arm, but provides his climbing gear to the archer and she is able to secure a line with his instructions that allows everyone to follow her up to a point where a great groove provides much easier access to the top.
The top is level and supports the ruins of a round chamber that held a round table of carved stone and rotted chairs. There is little else left but rubble and five spots where pale green crystals grow from the dull black surface of the Spire.
Know arcane 25:
The crystals are Noqual, a substance from out in the Dark Tapestry said to have special anti-magical properties.
Amir chugs the heady bishop as if his life depended on it and finds himself a bit lightheaded as the curative ale works its magic. Varkata has the opportunity to mend her companions in the meanwhile summoning an extra bit for Karethas before the heroes duck back into the dead magic zone ahead of the swarming shards.
three potential rounds of healing and an extra for Karethas and lets move on.
Varkata Steeleye wrote:
How many roungs and how hurt is everyone? If I can heal the others while Karethas is "away" and then cast a healing spell as he arrives, we should be good?
I honestly have no idea. I'm going to request again that in combat, hp are posted with every action as Karethas was doing for a while. This is so there is a static record. I'm not a fan of the header stats because folks OFTEN forget to update them and there's no record once they ARE changed.
My tally and I may have missed something-
Amir- 5 (max 63 from Con damage)
The blades won't follow if Karethas gets too far ahead nor go far from the dead zone.
So again, you can take some time patching Amir up, but if you are out too long, flying knives will follow.
Also bear in mind that players not keeping track of their resources and spending days RL making a move = cranky GM
Amir Awad Hajjir wrote:
How long am I all rictuseseded?
minutes unless there is an intervention, but you can keep rolling fort saves vs. sepsis
Karethas- unfortunately, shocking grasp is a targeted spell and cannot affect swarms.
Varkata- constructs can't be healed anyways.
Varkata releases a foaming wave of healing energy. It probably does Amir some good, but the hapless rogue cannot even fall to the ground as his body succumbs to the virulent rotting that blackens his whole arm. Amir- fort DC 15 or -2 CON and DEX
Karethas charges into the jagged swarm of steel yet again to discharge static electricity. There is a blast of light, but only a fragment is scorched. The swarm as a whole is unaffected. It takes in the archer and wizard slashing and nicking unwarded flesh. Kz and Ka- 10 hp, fort DC 16 or distracted
Amir's save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Amir suddenly freezes in place, muscles rigid, eyes rolling, and face split in a rictus grin of fear. Before the ghast can tear his throat out, Varkata's sword interrupts it. The emaciated undead is nearly split in half. Her sword strikes again and again and only one ghast remains. It dodges away and lopes back toward the sheltering bones. The glittering cloud of battle fragments follows Kzrira. Kzrira-10 slash, fort DC 16 or distracted
Kzrira steps away from the metalstorm and fires at the mob of ghasts on Varkata and Amir. Two fall, now truly dead. Karethas swoops over for a better angle and a rather thin bolt of energy crackles from his staff. The swarm of shrapnel mostly shifts out of the way leaving the ghasts to suffer a direct hit. It is enough to destroy the slashed and scarred undead.
Amir spins away again and ends up next to Varkata just as she completes a spell that charges her with heady divine battle power. The bite on his arm continues to fester poisoning his blood and giving him the shakes as his blood chills. Amir-2 CON, -2 DEX, fort DC 15 Two ghasts follow and one claws the old rogues who fumbles his attack form the sudden onset of chills. The wound is minor, but carries the paralyzing fear of the grave. Amir-4, fort DC 15 or paralyzed.
Two ghasts charge forward at the archer, but miss. Three more follow the priestess also clumsily slashing at their retreating feast. The cloud of shrapnel doesn't bother following the lone flying mage and sweeps back at the archer and her assailants. All are immersed in the flurry of shards.
Kzrira Maiwith wrote:
Damn. What kind of bonuses do these things have? Grapples against CMD24 (errantly previously listed as 23 as I forgot that Dodge counts for CMB) and two hits against AC25?
I'm using my SPECIAL d20, Big Red. it gets nat 20s with alarming frequency. best.die.ever. prob would have missed the grapple, but I'll let it stand as Kzrira was getting uppity.
didn't ask for a save. However, forgot that Amir needs a second one- fort DC 15
I was thinking that a more apt description would be between fork and tooth...
Amir spins like a dervish, dodging claws and fangs. He doesn't quite reach Kzrira before she steps from the magic quelling zone and releases a healing burst for herself and Karethas. The flying shards keep nicking at the healed flesh further injuring the wizard. Karethas-12 slash, fort DC 16 or distracted
A pair of the ghasts follow the priestess. She is scratched by a wretched claw. Varkata-5 slash, Fort DC 15 or paralyzed Kzrira is mobbed by three others and the numbers are overwhelming. She is scratched twice. Kzrira-8,7 slash Two more ghasts rush into the fray and grab the beleaguered archer. Another races at Amir, but misses.