Ty does not see anyone as he rounds the building and catches up with the rest of his companions. As the party regroups, you find Abd is not moving and as you examine him, you realize he is not breathing, as the bolt is protruding from his throat. You quickly determine that he has passed. Mahath has heard that drow poison causes sleepiness but in rare occasions, when injected directly into a major artery, it has been known to cause death. The guards on patrol accost the players when they see the dead drow but after learning it was in self-defense, leave the party alone.
What now? If AVZ reads the posts, he was told by Eli where to continue the investigation.
Summary of Round 2:
Round 2: Drow Attack
The two levitating drow shoot Quzman and his wolf, hitting the wolf:
The prone drow stands and draws AoO from Dhalky, if still up. If not, he gets up, takes 5' step, and stabs at Mahath but misses:
Party is up!
Summary of party's actions:
Round 1: Drow Attack
The drow on Tyronel grimaces at the arrow in his stomach and he suddenly vanishes from sight. The next thing Ty feels is a rapier piercing his chest, as the drow reappears again, a smirk on his face.
Attack: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 8 + 2 = 25...hit
One of the drow on Eli follows suit and walks off the ledge, allowing his natural levitation take him down to the ground, as he quickly reloads his hand crossbow. The other one moves as well and drops off, reaching 20' above the ground, as he also reloads.
The unwounded drow on Quzman disappears from sight. Mahath feels a blade strike him but not penetrate his force armor, as the drow reappears next to him!
Attack: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 8 + 2 = 13...miss!
The wounded drow disappears as well and stabs at Quzman but the rapier bounces off the ranger's armor, as he appears.
Attack: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 8 + 2 = 16...miss!
Party is up for Round 2!
Eli seems shocked at AVZ's words, as they move him. "You're actually conceding defeat? Funny, I thought it would feel better defeating you, ending your life. I still feel empty inside, though I love seeing you crawl." He raises his khopesh but gives up the AoO due to your crawl movement. "You speak some truth, your death would be only a temporary reprieve from the evil I have done. By the gods, I thought killing you would bring me inner peace. I will never be free until Father Jackal is no more. Go save your friends, Aletoriss. Redeem yourself in my eyes and vanquish his evil. Atone for your harm against me! Your friends, they are being held underneath the One Source Merchant's Guild warehouse. Now go do it!" Eli shoots you a smile, before a voice out of nowhere screams, "Traitor!" Two small bolts hit Eli in the neck, piercing his jugular and you see poison dripping from the tip. Eli screams in pain, dropping his khopesh, as he grips his neck, trying to stop the blood flow, but the poison in his system acts quickly and his eyes gloss over and he collapses to the ground. As Aletoriss scans the roof, 2 figures appear out of nowhere, dark-skinned elves, wielding a hand crossbow in one hand and a rapier in the other, their hair silver and eyes white and pupilless. "Sentimental fool! Father was right to have us follow him tonight and look who he delivered us, the leader of the Sandstalkers!" The drow smile, causing Aletoriss' skin to crawl.
Attack: 1d20 ⇒ 19
Tyronel and Abd al Halim are looking to the building for clues as to the battle when Eli's scream alerts them to danger. Unfortunately, not before a bolt hits the cleric in the back of the neck, causing a deep wound! As the two look around, you see a drow materialize out of nowhere, ready for battle! "You all go down!"
Attack on Abd:1d20 ⇒ 18
While Quzman and Mahath converge on the other side of the building, the ranger's wolf (I assume he replaced him) starts growling and alerts the pair to danger and they quickly move, just as two hand crossbow bolts soar past their head, missing their mark. Two drow appear out of invisibility, frustrated that they missed! I will attribute their misses to the presence of the wolf rather than the 2 consecutive 1s I just rolled!
Attack on Quzman:1d20 ⇒ 1...miss!
You didn't think I was going to let AVZ have all the fun in combat, did you? :) Also, I hope you didn't forget the drow who ambushed Rayhan...they're baaaaaack! It all comes around...
The party is all up before the Drow! AVZ, you are prone, do not forget. In case you can't see them, the drow are in squares D19, -B2, -B7, D-8, F-8. Abd, do not forget Fort save!
AVZ successfully feints Eli, but unfortunately, does not take advantage of the situation as Tempest fails to pierce his enemy's breastplate armor.
"You almost had me there, Aletoriss. You're tricky. Guess I should take you more seriously. Time for you to die!" Eli goes back to his training and trips you. As you fall, his weapon comes down on you but you parry it away. However, as you lay on the rooftop, his weapon comes down again and this time, you cannot avoid it, as the blade cuts deep into you, the flames searing your skin a little. You know you can't take another hit!
Trip: 1d20 ⇒ 14...success
"I gave you an opening there, Aletoriss, by not tripping you and you healed yourself instead. Interesting, I must have hurt you pretty bad." Eli smirks, as he steps 5' closer and tries to finish you off, but your agility and the armor's protection help you in your hour of need and both blows bounce off harmlessly!
Attack: 1d20 ⇒ 9
Eli screams in pain, as AVZ's rapier punctures his stomach, as he spits up blood and drops his potion, which falls harmlessly to the floor. "Guess you got some fight in you after all! To the victor, go the spoils!" Seeing you are off balance from the charge, Eli grips his weapon 2-handed and lunges out with his weapon, discarding the trip this round and just trying to inflict damage on you. His first hit sears your skin, as you feel powerful strength behind the blow, as the blade cuts across your chest, leaving a gashing open wound!
Attack: 1d20 ⇒ 18...hit
AVZ is up (-36 hps)!
You see Eli 20' from the edge of the roof, where you are (along the H row), flaming sword in one hand, potion in the other. "Bah, you're a moron Aletoriss, if you think I'm chasing you down to the street, to be ambushed by your friends. You can't even engage in honorable combat. You are the worst scum around. So if we're not going to fight, the hell with you. You need my information more than I wish to chase you around Katapesh. When you see your whore's head on your doorstep, you'll only have yourself to blame. What's her name again? Jameena, is it? Goodbye." Eli moves to -B5.
No attack of opportunity. AVZ stabs Eli and he descends to the ground. Eli looks at you in disdain and yells "Running like a broke whore from her pimp! Your friends will pay for your cowardice, Aletoriss! You have my word on that!" He moves back from the edge of the roof and out of line of sight.
Reading the messageboards on this issue, most of the commenters suggested a houserule of Acrobatics check = CMD +5, since they reason getting up from prone next to an opponent should not be more difficult than tumbling through an opponent's square and I can see the logic in that. So that's what I will rule as well and your 30 Acrobatics check allows you to get up with no AoO.
Trip: 1d20 ⇒ 13...success!
Your turn and you are prone again!
AVZ, what you are suggesting is not allowed by the Paizo rules, i.e. using Acrobatics to get up from prone without provoking AoO. In 3.5 srd, there was a free stand (DC 35 Tumble check - which your character cannot currently make, even rolling a natural 20), which allowed you to stand up from prone as a free action instead of a move action. So the gist, is you either stand up and take the AoO or stay prone and do something else. Let me know your decision.
If you read the first line of my post, you will notice readying an action is a standard action and you already did one this round with the demoralize. Second, I am not listing the bonuses to hit, just the natural rolls and the circumstance bonuses (like charging, flanking, etc) so you won't metagame and know how powerful your opponent is or not, but be assured that the 16 natural roll was enough to hit your CMD with his bonuses. No, right now, no one can see or hear what's happening on the roof. The combatants are in the middle and there is no line of sight from the sides on street level, which is where all the party is.
Readying an action is also a standard action so not allowable this round.
You sense hesitation in Eli's demeanor as he absorbs your words. His look of bravado and rage replaced by confusion. "Stop it, silver tongued one! I will not believe your lies and I am not afraid to die this night." He charges you to F6, weapon in both hands, and as soon as he in striking distance, he aims low, skillfully sweeping Aletoriss' legs with the convex curve of the blade, despite the fear in his heart. As you fall, Eli adeptly spins and brings the blade down on you again and you feel the flames of the blade lick your face, but the blow bounces harmlessly off your glistening mithral armor. Eli smiles, "This is where you belong, on your back, you scum thief, sprawled at my feet waiting for death, like all my other enemies!"
Trip attempt vs. CMD 23: 1d20 + 2 - 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 - 2 = 16...success!
Your turn is up and you are prone! Getting up is a move action that provokes an AoO. Blue circle on map means prone.
Initiative for Eli: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
"Good, Aletoriss, I thought you were going to take the coward's way out. From today forth, all anyone will ever remember is how you died on a moon-lit night on this roof!" You hear him whisper something but you can't make it out at this distance and suddenly, flames erupt from the hilt of the khopesh, covering the blade in fire. Eli again grips the blade 2-handed, the light from the flames illuminating his physique, which is much more muscled from what you remember. You catch a glint of armor, perhaps a breastplate, under his robes. He motions you with his hand, "Come forward, if you dare!"
AVZ, you are up!
Eli listens carefully but in the end, he shakes his head vehemently."No, I am no longer a hero. I had those hopes once, Aletoriss, when I joined the Pathfinders. But you caused all my plans to fail, you were the catalyst to my downfall! Yes, Father Jackal played some part, but it all started with what you did to me! And now, you're trying to skirt the issue and make me join you. No, your friends can deal with Father Jackal. All I've ever wished for and desired, your death, suffering and punishment, is at hand. And nothing, short of the gods, will keep me from killing you, least of all your silver tongue!" Eli is now enraged with fury. He draws his khopesh and wields it 2-handed. He screams at you, "Draw your blade, insect and prepare to face your Maker!"
No, you did not see anyone following him.
Eli snickers at you as you pull out the Wayfinder. "Ah, you still have it, I see. After all this time. And don't mention the Pathfinders to me! Do you know they threw me out of their organization after they learned I had been swindled of that compass there. Guess, it's pretty valuable to those a$$holes! And the only way I could prove myself was to get it back. But how? You left me with no money, nothing. I had to go into debt, just so I could book passage to Katapesh to catch up to you. But by the time I got there, you were gone. Off to Solku, I later found out. And me? Well, let's just say the sailors came to collect on my debt and in order to be allowed to live, I had to pledge my services to the local crime lord, a man you may know as Father Jackal."
Eli pauses, looking up at the moon-lit sky. "I became his enforcer, training in the art of the Khopesh and its many uses. The things I did for that man, the people I hurt, killed...it all took a piece of my soul, bit by bit, till there was nothing left. And the only thing that kept me sane, that made my existence meaningful, was that one day I would seek vengeance on you, Aletoriss."
Eli pauses and smiles sarcastically, "I knew you'd eventually find yourself in Katapesh, especially after I learned of you and your little band of friends, the Sand Stalkers, I believe you call yourselves. Yeah, all about their exploits and especially those of their charismatic leader, Eli Wynnstock. You don't know how just hearing that name fueled my rage and thirst for vengeance. And I almost had you when you came to town to raise your dead tribesman friend but I missed you by hours. But I waited and waited and bided my time, knowing you'd be back."
Eli smiles, "And here you are. It was just plain luck that the goals of Father Jackal and my own were in synch. I wanted you dead, he wants some magical Scroll you carry. He took your friends, not me. He is holding them. And he had set up an ambush in Dogtown but you didn't fall for it. So he's been depleting your ranks, taking you one by one. He has your pretty little holy warrior. She looks nice. But don't worry, I didn't touch her. Not my style. But I got tired of waiting for Father Jackal's plan to reach fruition, so I took matters into my own hands. I had to, with you so close. So tonight's the time for our reckoning, Aletoriss. I thank you for coming, though I am sure your friends are near. But this is between you and me. To pay you back for ruining my life and making me sacrifice my soul. Now, you beat me in combat, I tell you where your friends are, before I die. I kill you, I'm gone and I leave this life behind me forever. Either way, Eli Wynnstock dies this night! Anything, you'd like to add, before we start?" His hand grasps the hilt of his khopesh.
You all reach the market square, abandoned at night, and you see the beautiful Municipal Hall, its doors clearly locked and closed. A few homeless can be seen sleeping around and Quzman fits right in. The Temples are open-air and 2-3 worshipers can be seen at each of the temples, mostly mothers praying for the fates of their sons and daughters. A pair of guard patrols strolls around the square on foot looking for any trouble, especially signs of thievery or vandalism, but mostly keeping to themselves. Seeing no entrance to the Hall, Eli discretely activates the magic of his boots and scampers up the wall to the roof, none the wiser. Depending on how early he arrived before midnight, he finds the roof void of anyone. He takes time to focus his thoughts as he awaits the meeting time.
At about five minutes to midnight, a cloaked figure steps from behind the closed red pavilion to the north. You assume it is male by its figure and its gait. He has a khopesh strapped to his back. He does not appear tall, perhaps about 5'9". He crosses the street and as he does so, you see him pull out a vial of purple liquid and drink it, before the party loses line of sight to him, as he reaches the building from the north.
There is a full moon out so light is not an issue.
Mahath does not think so, given that Rayhan is specifically a lore specialist and it has taken him days and he still had not cracked the Scroll's "code" so to speak. He can try but it will take definitely longer than a day, at least three before Mahath made any progress, assuming he made the Knowledge rolls.
I know where Eli will be but the rest of you? There's plenty of building/places around though none of them give you a view of the roof of the Municipal building.
At midnight, Ty, there are no markets open in this District. Those special markets open at that hour, also known as the Nightstalls, are in another part of the city. So the streets, other than an occasional guard patrol, are empty, the pavilions closed and the shops boarded up.
The Nightstalls is Katapesh’s most infamous market. Anywhere else in the world, such a place would be an underground black market, forever at risk of discovery and closure. In Katapesh, though, the Nightstalls can display its wares openly and proudly. While commonplace contraband like information, drugs, poisons, and smuggled relics can be found in the Nightstalls, most of its patrons come seeking more exotic and vile wares: diseases, diabolic contracts, cursed and corrupt magics, and even such rare magical components as the tears of a new moon, a madman’s dreams, or the screams of a thrice-slain virgin. It is said that even souls can be bought and sold in the Nightstalls.
Eli Wynnstock wrote:
I saw your post, Eli. Just Mahath's does not register for me in the thread. Odd.
Abd al Halim wrote:
Halim turns to face the rising Sun and lifts his face up to feel its full light. His lips move subtly and his right hand clasps an exquisite golden holy symbol of Sarenrae hanging around his neck on a chain. <Casts augury to see if offering his services to this group that opposes the 'kidnapping and conspirators' would be a choice favored by his goddess. I presume the answer will be 'yes.'>
Halim's spell reveals a resounding yes but both weal and woe will be involved.
Since MoB is away or has not read his PMs or both, I will step in for him to move the action..
Mahath gets a lock of Jameena’s hair from the brush in her room and uses the crystal ball to scry for her. As he concentrates on the images, that only he can see, he gasps in horror. ”I found her, I think. She’s in a completely dark room and it is clear that she is being beaten and tortured by a male." Mahath starts reciting the conversation as he hears it... "B+@!~, tell me where the real Scroll of Kakishon is! Who among your band of degenerates carries it? Tell me or I will cut you into little pieces and mail them to your friends, church, and all you care about!” Jameena screams back, "F%~~ you! I'll tell you nothing! Show me your face, coward! Untie me and face me like a warrior, you a$$hole! May Sarenrae curse you!" The male voice roars in anger, "Father will be disappointed by your answer. Then we do this the hard way! Tell you what? You fight for your goddess so much, right? I'll stop beating you when your goddess shows up to stop me." Mahath’s face contorts in anger and horror as he looks into the pitch blackness and listens. ”By the gods, he’s beating her mercilessly. All I hear are her screams of pain.” A few minutes later, ”I think he stopped, she must have fallen unconscious. Right before he left, he said, ”I guess Asmodeus trumps Sarenrae! I’ll be back to pick up where we left off when you regain consciousness. This is not over by a long shot." Then he left.
Eli tries to use the crystal orb but unfortunately, it proves too complex for him to use and he has to rely on Mahath's second hand descriptions and thus, is unable to determine anything more than the information already relayed. The bad guys left their Cobra uniforms at home! :)
Now that Mahath has used it once, he will find it much easier to manipulate its magic in the future. Fearful of attack in the night, the party sets watches to protect themselves in Rayhan's villa. The night passes and morning soon comes to the adventurers. As breakfast is being served by Rayhan's servants, you realize that Jameena has not been seen since last night. When you go to her room, you find a note written in the paladin's handwriting that reads, Got a summons from my Temple, will be back soon.
As you relax to eat breakfast at about 9:00 am, there is a knock at the door and you are surprised to see Quzman is back and at his side is a holy man of Sarenrae.
Quzman and Halim, you only met each other just this morning as you were walking toward the villa.
Mahath Kishion wrote:
The bars look to be of normal rusty iron metal. It does not look like a prison, more like a room that was converted to hold prisoners. The room's walls and floor are constructed of grey stone bricks. During your perusal, you count 2 hooded guards who come to feed the prisoners at different times (bread and water) or reprimand them when they're too loud. The guards appear human and carry scabbards with scimitars and leather armor. No other distinguishing features can be seen.
By the dustiness of the place, the lack of windows, the cobwebs in the corners of the room, and the sound of the guards climbing up and down stairs as they exit or enter the room, it is safe to assume this "prison" is underground.
Anything else? Or can we proceed to next day?
Mahath's grasp of magic is masterful and he quickly comprehends the crystal ball's intricacies, noting that scrying performed through it grants the wielder to also see invisible creatures. Concentrating and pushing all noise aside, Mahath mentally pictures his old friend, as the magic in the crystal ball begins to surge, forming images in its surface.
Suddenly, the image of the stoic diviner appears. He is battered and beaten lying on the ground, his mouth covered by a gag, and his hands are bound to his feet. It is clear he is in some sort of jail cell. Through the bars and within 10' of him, lying in an adjacent cell, the image of Haleen appears still breathing, unarmored and beaten as well, a cloth of dried blood covering her left hand. You hear both of their breaths, short but steady.
You can see and hear the subject and its surroundings (approximately 10 feet in all directions of the subject). You can clearly tell the area where they're being held appears windowless and is bigger than the 10' radius of sight provided by the spell.
Any specific questions you want to ask about what you're seeing, let me know.
Mahath easily finds Rayhan's hairs on his pillow and brush. The ornate crystal ball looks quite polished, fancy, and expensive. The fine silk cloth that covers it shows that Rayhan prized it above all his possessions. The item sends tingles up Mahath's fingers as he grasps it. He now needs to harness its magic to use it properly.
Need Spellcraft check DC 25 to use properly.
Eli Wynnstock wrote:
Unfortunately, Eli does not receive a response from his weapon to his impassioned pleas for help.
Update: The party is currently outside Tamir the wizard's estate. Rayhan has been abducted you presume and your conclusions lead you to the fact that Drow were involved. You also received a note at your estate that included a wrapped finger of Haleena and her signet ring, that led you to suspect Tamir. It is a little past 9 pm, where are you headed next?
Mahath Kishion wrote:
Yes, Mahath believes having seen a crystal ball among Rayhan's possessions. For diviners, he knows that would have been one of the wizard's prized possessions, as they are known to be powerful scriers.