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So, I'm bumping this because I still don't know. But then again, I'm not sure if anyone knows.
When is it appropriate for an Ustalav to speak Skald? I mean I know Skald is usually spoken in the Land of the Linnorm Kings, Brevoy, Irrisen, and Ustalav, but it's not the primary regional language in Ustalav, and I'm just trying to pin down why it would be spoken there, and under what conditions. To me is seems like Hallit would be much more common in Ustalav than Skald, given the proximity of Sarkoris/Worldwound and Mendev, but I'm assuming there's some reason Skald is in Ustalav that I'm missing.
So, what conditions would lead to an Ustalav speaking/knowing Skald?
This. True Resurrection remakes the body whole.
In fact, I always consider that any flesh from the previous body continues to exist as well after a new body is created, but the previous flesh is inert for the purposes of Raise and Resurrection spells, or any spells that create undead. (In other words it can't be used to Raise the person or turned into undead. It's just meat, not a valid corpse.) So it's possible that an adventurer could come upon their own corpse, still wearing their gear.
Imagine the trauma a character might suffer if he finds his own corpse in the dungeon that killed him. Imagine the Resurrected mad wizard that likes to keep his own former skull around as a memento.
"Whose skull is that?"
Of course the spell itself doesn't specify what happens to the former body, it just indicates it can make a new one.
Each time I open the Beginner Box and thumb through it, I am amazed at this product. I am already organizing a Beginner Box day at my FLGS to introduce players who have thus far been too intimidated to try the core rulebook.
This is more a reply to the OP (from January 2012, I realize), and his comment about how he likes the Beginner Box because the Core Rulebook intimidates people so much they won't try it.
I run a bi-weekly Pathfinder RPG game using the Core Rulebook (and other books too). About half of my players had never played a version of 3.x before, whether D&D or Pathfinder, and in fact I had a new player join last session who has never played a tabletop RPG before.
Another player did assist that player with building a character (the characters are presently level 6), as is usually the case with new players, but when the player asked about how to read the character sheet, I told her the same thing I tell all our new players: The best way to learn is to play first and we'll help you find stuff on the sheet. Once you've learned a basic understanding in-play then you can delve more deeply into the mechanics. It's much easier to focus on "what I want my character to be able to do" in the beginning, and get help trying to translate that into the mechanics you have available, than learning the mechanics up-front and feeling stifled by them.
The Pathfinder Core Rulebook can be overwhelming, but it's not once you tell the players they aren't going to be expected to know the whole book, or even half of it. 1/3 of the book is Gamemastering stuff, 1/5 is spells, and those can mostly be looked up when used, and a lot of the book is related to classes a character doesn't have and doesn't need to worry about. It's fine to be intimidated by the book, but it's also important to realize most of it is only used as a reference book, and they're not going to be expected to know more than a sliver of what's in the book.
That having been said, I've heard the Beginner Box is very good. I have a friend online that said he used it to teach several members of his Pathfinder group the basics of play, and he feels it is worded better than the Core Rules, even if it is missing elements. I own it but I've never opened the plastic. I'd love to see a picture of the included Flip-Mat though, so I can decide if I want to open my BB for it.
James Jacobs wrote:
Does that mean their age categories are going to be lowered as well?
I just told my players to use the half-elf starting age and use the listed age categories for the rest.
Hallit, I think. The natives of Sarkoris were Kellids. Ustalav and Sarkoris weren't friends, and part of that is because of regional enmity between Ustalav's Varisian population and the Kellids they displaced when Solvidia Ustav conquered Ustalav to begin with.
You're right. It's Hallit. I checked and Inner Sea World Guide actually lists Hallit as the language of the Worldwound (along with Abyssal). I think I get mixed up because it lists the languages of Ustalav as Skald and Varisian. I understand why Ustalavs speak Varisian, but where does the Skald in Ustalav come from?
I know Ustalav and Sarkoris didn't get along because of their different ethnic majorities (Varisian vs. Kellid), but I still don't know why Skald is mentioned as an Ustalav language. Where does that come from?
I mean, basically, when is it appropriate for an Ustalav to speak Skald?
Changed thread subject so it is more appropriate to the actual question.
Hey, I'm running an Ustalav game and I know Sarkoris was destroyed by the Worldwound like a hundred years ago, but I'd like for some undead and/or other long-lived creatures to be fluent in the language of Sarkoris.
Was the regional language of Sarkoris Hallit or Skald? I always have trouble telling where each of those two languages was spoken.
Edit: Changed subject for the evolved question.
You might look at the hexcrafter archetype for the magus. It's a magus archetype that has some witch hexes instead of magus abilities.
I'm not familiar with the 3.5 hexblade class, so I may be off in left field, but you can take a look. I'm guessing the hexblade class was full BAB (since it was mentioned it has 4 spell levels), while magus is only 3/4 BAB and has 6 spell levels.
Hexcrafter magus archetype is on this page: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateMagic/spellcastingClassOptions/m agus.html
Both the class and the archetype originally appear in Ultimate Magic.
So, I get that you're saying at-will invisibility wouldn't be a good fit for a swap on a ghost special attack because it is too powerful. So strike that idea.
What kind of CR adjustment would a ghost that does have natural invisibility or at-will invisibility be looking at?
Standard ghost template is CR +2. So if the ghost IS also invisible, what kind of CR should it have?
I didn't think it would be that severe of a change because the examples of creatures with both begin occurring at pretty low level:
poltergeist is incorporeal and has natural invisibility and is CR 2.
Lares (from the Bestiary in "What Lies in Dust") are invisible and incorporeal and they're CR 5.
Shadow demons are incorporeal and their shadow blend ability makes them functionally invisible in anything short of bright light. They're CR 7.
Shadow Demon Shadow Blend:
Shadow Blend (Su) During any conditions other than bright light, a shadow demon can disappear into the shadows as a move-equivalent action, effectively becoming invisible. Artificial illumination or light spells of 2nd level or lower do not negate this ability.
Admittedly, poltergeists and lares have no direct melee attacks. They attack by telekinesis or possessing objects, but shadow demons, which have sunlight powerlessness, are mostly going to be encountered in conditions without bright light.
I'd really like to run my ghost more like a shadow demon, with it using malevolence to possess people while it's invisible. Otherwise it's pretty obvious that somebody just got possessed when the ghost disappears into them.
The shadows in my campaign have a lesser form of shadow blend too, and are invisible in conditions less than normal light, so my players already do have some exposure to invisible incorporeal creatures. (There's also a lar in the campaign, but it is allied with the party.)
I suppose one solution would be to tie the invisibility to the malevolence ability, like it's the only effect that functions while the ghost is invisible, but it has to be visible to actually attack with corrupting touch.
Or I could give it corrupting gaze, which is a gaze attack, and would only function while it isn't invisible. So the party gets a benefit by it being invisible too (no gaze attack).
Standard ghosts in Pathfinder don't have a means to disappear, since they lost their connection to the ethereal plane/manifest ability from 3.5e.
Would it be reasonable to give a ghost natural invisibility as one of its ghostly special attacks?
I'd want to give it the ability to switch between visible and invisible at-will as well, possibly as a swift action (so it can do it 1/round, but doesn't lose an attack or move action). In that case I'm not sure if the invisibility could be natural invisibility though, since it would have a visible form.
Invisibility as a constant spell-like ability is also an option, but that would be susceptible to Invisibility Purge, I think.
What do you guys think?
Thanks. I just now looked there by your direction. It doesn't expressly say adamantine is black in the adamantine description, but the shard of the Sihedron that is made of adamantine (the Shard of Greed) is described as being "made of black adamantine."
My background with adamantine is Neverwinter Nights, D&D 3.x, and Pathfinder.
I also read Wolverine comic books but I never associated adamantine and adamantium as being the same material. Adamantium is described as an alloy, while adamantine is a metal found in meteorites or deep underground.
I have likewise always thought of adamantine as black. Ultimate Equipment doesn't say its color though, nor does the Core Rulebook, or Pathfinder AP #14, which mentions the colors of most of the other skymetals. Even the D&D 3.5e DMG doesn't appear to list its color.
Mithral, which, which I always associate with mithril (from LotR, also known sometimes as True Silver), I always imagine as silvery, almost mercurial in the way it reflects the light. It's described as a "rare, silvery metal that is lighter than steel but just as hard" in Ultimate Equipment.
Just now saw this blog. I'll still Twitter-stalk you, Sean K Reynolds, so I hope your have really cool tweets about RPG stuff and miniature painting. I'll miss seeing you come into threads and say "No, this is how it works."
Good luck with Jodie in Indiana. There's so much corn there you'll be writing horror tales about being lost in corn fields in no time.
So, will these gods be in the Inner Sea Gods hardcover?
I'm guessing probably not, but I thought I'd ask anyway.
Love that Bastet is going to be in Pathfinder now. I've always been a big Sharess fan (Sharess is Bastet in Forgotten Realms) and Calistria never quite did it for me as a replacement. I see Bastet is Chaotic Neutral though, so mixed feelings about that.
Thanks, Sean. Both still might require a bit of defacing on my part, but I'll put them on my list of possibilities.
I like the clothing of the dungeon torturer better. I suppose I could just fill-in her eye-holes? Can't see how "connected" that sword is behind her back though.
The signifier has a cool pose and no weapons, and the head is better, but she's wearing armor. Hmm... Still pretty feminine armor though. It might be converted to a plain bodice easily enough?
I'll have to think about it. Kere Psychopomp isn't something I really need for anything right away, if ever, but I do want one as she's my favorite psychopomp. (My party encountered her once and I had to use a poor stand-in.)
Hey, guys, I've wanted to find a suitable miniature for a kere psychopomp for awhile, but I haven't seen anything I'd think would be good for one.
Kere psychopomp basically looks like a "ghostly" female mourner in a black dress, with a black veil covering the upper portion of her face. As I'm after unpainted metal minis, the actual color is irrelevant.
I feel like I'm describing it poorly, but my quick search failed to turn up a picture on the Internet.
I would prefer metal miniatures, 25 to 32 mm and unpainted, so do you know of any unarmed half-veiled mourner miniatures that fit that criteria? I'd prefer not to try to "craft" the veil on myself because I don't trust my talents in that regard and feel bad defacing a mini like that.
I'm not looking to buy immediately, but I'd appreciate some pointers in the right direction.
Thanks for any suggestions you might have.
All the effects of a second dose of the same poison are pretty spelled out. A second round of primary effects is not listed. I would say only the first dose has a primary effect.
That makes sense.
It will be easier on my players this way than how I was thinking I should do it.
You're right, petitioner is a template.
However, the petitioner template changes the base creature so much that it actually makes the creature CR 1 instead of modifying the existing CR. This in part because it removes all racial hitdice and class levels and instead gives the creature 2d10 HD. The petitioner also loses all existing skill ranks, defensive abilities, racial bonuses to armor class, and all existing feats (but gain one feat as a 2 HD outsider, usually toughness). Basically not a whole lot of the original creature carries through besides ability scores and size, so the template changes the creature to CR 1.
Of course, there is a clause for non-CR 1 petitioners when creatures have ability scores or an unusual size.
PRD/Bestiary 2 wrote:
CR: A petitioner's CR is 1. In some cases, at the GM's discretion, particularly large or unusual petitioners with higher than normal ability scores may begin with a higher CR; compare the petitioner's statistics to the values on Table 1–1 on page 293 to help determine an unusual petitioner's starting CR.
Really the whole idea of a petitioner is that it's the soul of the person that has departed to the afterlife, petitioner to the gods. If the spirit is lingering, it's not really a petitioner but a ghost (or other undead).
The ghost template has no alignment restriction, so you can have a ghost ancestor without it being evil.
I always was instructed that most rivers in the US flow south to some degree, whether southeast, southwest, or just directly south. That's probably why he's thinking most rivers generally flow south too.
I live on the Kanawha River in Charleston, West Virginia. It flows northwest to the Ohio River, which then flows southwest to the Mississippi. But in school we did learn that the Kanawha River was an exception to the "most US rivers flow south" assumption. It is only "most," after all.
However, that "most US rivers flow south" assumption doesn't extend to rivers outside of the US so much. The Nile, for example, also flows north.
I doubt most rivers flow south in Golarion though. I'd go with smaller bodies of water flow downhill into larger bodies of water, regardless of direction.
Ok, I don't know if this has been asked before. I looked at the first dozen or so results for poison and didn't see it so here goes:
When applying a poison, I get that additional doses add to the DC and the duration of the effect, but how does it work if the poison has a different primary and secondary effect?
Take for instance shadow essence.
Now I have an NPC hit a PC with a dart coated in shadow essence.
On the next round:
Then he gets hit with shadow essence again. He fails his DC 17 save again so the DC of the poison increases to 19 and the duration increases to 9 rounds (8 remaining). Does he also take 1 Str drain as a primary effect of the second dose, or does only the first dose have a primary effect?
I'm bummed to hear Sean is leaving Paizo.
When it comes to Inner Sea world stuff or Lovecraftian horror, I look for James Jacobs to set it straight.
Sean has been a big help to me in the various metal mini basing/painting threads I've started, particularly a few years ago when I was just getting started with metal minis. Not that I'm much more experienced now, but I'm confident where I stand thanks to the help and advice of SKR.
Even though we've never met (I don't have means to attend conventions), I feel like you've been a big personal help to me in the hobby. So thank you for that.
I'm bummed you're leaving Paizo, but I'm glad the two of you are doing what you think it best for the two of you. I wish the best for you two.
I don't really have any suggestions for mechanics based on what you've written, I was just offering the alternate racial traits as a starting point since you didn't seem like you'd seen them, and elves already used them as a way of making sub-races.
I actually like the fact that Pathfinder has just one kind of elven race (not counting drow), instead of the 4+ varieties found in 3.x Forgotten Realms (Sun elves, moon elves, wood elves, wild elves, and star elves come to mind). Even the "elven subraces" in Advanced Race Guide are just suggestions for sets of alternate racial traits, so it's not like how 3.x FR had different ability modifiers for each variant.
So, yeah, not really trying to go that in-depth on your project, I just thought I'd point out the orc/goblin/etc alternate racial traits since I didn't notice them mentioned.
I do also usually think of goblin, hobgoblin, and bugbear (and the monkey goblin from Inner Sea Bestiary) as subraces of goblinoid. I'm pretty sure the reason hobgoblins exist in Pathfinder's Inner Sea setting is because "wizards did it" though, at least from what I remember of Classic Monsters Revisited.
Good luck with your stuff, but I don't have anything else to contribute to it so I'll be quiet now.
Advanced Race Guide has alternate racial traits for orcs, goblins, and hobgoblins, as well as kobolds and a number of other humanoid races. They're a pretty good place to start with mechanical variations for sub-races, basically swapping out one racial ability for a new replacement based on the character's environment.
The way elven subraces "work" in Pathfinder is that they're just sets of alternate racial traits, swapping standard stuff for the alternates. Each alternate trait specifies which standard trait(s) it replaces.
Drow have their own set of alternate racial traits.
The answer depends entirely on your GM.
For my own campaign set in Golarion's Inner Sea, I specified in my campaign charter/campaign proposal/whatever that I expected all clerics, paladins, and inquisitors to have deities and to follow the one-step rule, and select appropriate domains for their diety, and for all other divine casters to follow the religious views as detailed in their classes (such as druids worshiping nature, oracles worshiping themes, etc), and I specified that only standard Pathfinder deities and powers were allowed.
How that's working out:
We've had clerics of Pharasma, Sarenrae, and Calistria, the CE beastbrood tiefling sorcerer worships Pazuzu, the NE ranger [trapper] worships Norgerber, the CG/CN not-a-ninja (ninja) worships Calistria, and the long-running N alchemist was an atheist. Most of the NPCs in the campaign worship Pharasma or are demon cultists (Zura, Kabriri, Jezelda), but I think the party may run into Skinsaw cultists soon, if they follow the most recent plothook I'm dropping. There was a CN orc brawler for a single session (played by alchemist's player when it was easier than explaining how his character would show up) that wanted to worship Gruumsh, but I told him Gruumsh wasn't a deity in the setting, so he idealized "the philosophy of Gruumsh" instead, as a work-around, which was fine since we both knew it was a one-off character.
For non-Golarion setting, even clerics aren't required to have deities, and can just worship concepts, as detailed in the class description in the Core Rulebook. For the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, it's my understanding that oracles represent the worshiping-concepts class, and all clerics should have deities. I'm not sure where it actually says that in print material though, or if it does outside of PFS.
I'm not seeing a problem here.
The "equivalent" part of that chart is that the +3 enhancement is equivalent to silver or cold iron for purposes of overcoming damage reduction, and the +4 is equivalent to adamantine* (*except regarding hardness), and the +5 is equivalent to alignment-based weapons.
It's not talking about a +1 keen flaming longsword and saying it is equivalent to a +3 longsword.
The weapon enhancement bonus equivalent of cold iron/silver for purposes of overcoming DR/cold iron or DR/silver is +3.
The usage of the word "equivalent" in that table is value in column B that is the equal of value in column A.
I'm wanting to apply the giant simple template and I run into a similar issue.
The first thing the giant simple template says to do is to increase the size category. Since I'm ignoring the other stuff for increasing the size category (that +8 STR, -2 DEX, +4 CON from changing size), should I give the creature a -1 to AC and attack for increasing from medium to large?
I'm looking at the sample Brute Wight on d20pfsrd and it doesn't use the AC penalty or attack penalty. Is there a first-party example of the template being applied somewhere?
I think it depends on what your campaign world is like.
I don't allow strix as a player race because of their flight, mostly. Some of the uncommon races (vanara, nagaji) I don't allow because I don't think they'd be in my setting.
So far I've allowed tiefling (grimspawn and beastbrood), aasimar (angelkin, emberkin, and plumekith), dhampirs (standard and svetocher), fetchling, genie-kin (ifrits and sylph), ratfolk, kitsune, and an orc, as well as human, half-elf, dwarf, half-orc, and gnome.
I'd also happily allow changeling, catfolk, skinwalkers and lycanthrope-kin, if it came up, as well as about any kind of what D&D used to call Planetouched.
In my experience mostly those characters have not been significantly different in power from the standard races. About the only thing different is that the whole party usually has darkvision, and the various native outsiders tend to have a few forms of elemental resistances.
I actually prefer my non-human player-characters in my campaign be from half-human races like dhampir, tiefling, aasimar, changeling, fetchling, sylph, ifrit, half-elf, half-orc, etc., than to be from entirely non-human races like elf and dwarf. RP-wise, I think half-human characters, regardless of their other half, seem less alien than elves, dwarves, and gnomes.
I wouldn't allow anything from the Race Builder chapter, and ask that players talk to you about using stuff from the rest of the races, but unless it doesn't fit the setting or has something you'd consider a game-breaker, to just allow it as-is. (I don't allow a lot of the standard fantasy monster races in the book, for instance. No goblins, no kobolds, no drow, not because they're too powerful but because I don't think they're not local to my campaign. If someone really wanted something I'd at least consider it though.)
Let's see if I can get at least this part right... Time flies when I need to type this stuff up.
In the morning, before the party departed for Castle Galdyce, another member joined their motley band. This was a ratfolk who arrived at the inn riding a giant rat. The anthropomorphic rat (of indeterminate gender!) was no taller than a halfling and its rat mount was easily as a riding dog. It introduced itself by some name that people probably didn't immediately remember, and indicated it was a wizard. While I don't remember its motive for joining the group, join it did, and it ventured with the group toward Castle Galdyce.
The group, consisting of Rukalla as guide, Hikari the Sarenrae cleric, Kira the summoner (along with Siri her eidolon), Orazio the archer, Espio the very handsome svetocher, and the ratfolk wizard, all made their way north from the Silver Dagger Inn, north past Sen's Pass, and finally north into the woodlands surrounding Castle Galdyce.
There on the road the group encountered some kind of bloody abomination. A creature apparently composed of blood, and wearing a blood-soaked chain barding, had the general form of a dog. It attacked the group on-sight and they spent a little while engaging it in what seemed to be very dangerous combat. Then the ratfolk wizard, truthfully a necromancer of some talent, made use of its ability to command the undead and gained control of the "bloodhound."
With the bloodhound in tow, the group continued on the path around the castle and arrived at the northeast gate. After Orazio climbed the gatehouse and raised the gate for their passage, the group entered the ruined courtyard. Once in the courtyard, they were attacked by a few vampire-festrogs and, with the aid of the bloodhound, made quick work of them. The last of the festrogs fled back into the darkened hall beyond the courtyard.
The group were discussing their plans to go forward when a shadow-blooded woman with red-black hair scaled the north wall and watched them warily. She introduced herself as Deyanira and indicated she came to the castle to hunt undead and find treasure. She was followed over the wall by a half-orc that Espio recognized and indicated was his bodyguard. Espio and the half-orc departed for other undisclosed business shortly thereafter. That left Deyanira to get acquainted with the rest. As she was meeting the others and they prepared their marching order going forward, the spider-armored kitsune Rei Kyu and the dapper beastbrood tiefling sorcerer Shelbie arrived at the courtyard quite independently of each other and joined the group. Both indicated they had been directed from the Silver Dagger Inn. While the group had experienced quite a shake-up at the courtyard, they felt confident to continue into the depths of the castle as it was still a few minutes before noon. It's unclear what adventures Shelbie had been having while apart from the Misbegotten Menagarie, but whatever it was had cost him a finger on his left hand. The loss of his digit only seemed to add to his air of unholy menace.
Eager to get underway, and perhaps weary of any more random people showing up or departing, the group made their way into the hall beyond the courtyard. Orazio went first into the building, securing the two entries into the foyer before Shelbie followed him in. As soon as Shelbie walked into the building, a hiding vampiric minion dropped down from the high ceiling and attempted to grapple him, lunging with fangs and open talons. With cat-like reflexes, Shelbie grabbed the undead and rolled to turn the tables on it, throwing it free of himself and out the door into the near-noon daylight.
Panicking, the vampire cried and pleaded to be let back into the darkness of the building, but its path back into the building was barred and it was pummeled mercilessly by the Misbegotten Menagarie, all the while smoking in the direct sunlight until it finally ignited and, in a flash of flame, collapsed into a pile of ash, that even seemed to dissipate into nothingness.
The Misbegotten Menagarie progressed deeper into the hall, finding some empty cages in a side room, and finally arriving at a chamber with a vast black orb floating in the middle. Translucent black tendrils danced across the room, floating out of the orb in all directions. A number of human bodies actually littered the room with the orb, perhaps victims to its power, or perhaps simply creepy home decor.
Deyanira, who had a number of pet lizards, tossed one of her lizards into the room. When it was struck by a black tendril, the lizard took on an ashy pallor and managed to creep back to her across the room on the verge of death. It was quickly deduced by the group's arcanists that the black orb and its tendrils were comprised of negative energy.
Orazio, who, by his dhampir nature, was immune to negative energy (and in fact healed by it), walked right into the room and made no attempt to circumvent the tendtrils. He began work on finding a trap-door on the far side behind a bookcase in the alcove there. Finally Orazio found a hidden latch and was able to release it to open the door with the shelves built-in. He opened the door and revealed a chamber beyond with a stone-and-wood spiral staircase leading up two stories. A black-and-red blood ooze worked its way down the stairs and began the arduous slither toward Orazio. The rest of the group had been keeping their distance from the negative energy sphere and its tendrils but they moved into the room enough to attack the ooze through the doorway after successfully identifying it as a vampiric ooze, an undead ooze with the power to create zombies. Attempting to prevent it from gaining entrance to the potential perpetual healing of the negative energy-infused chamber and access to the corpses within, the bloodhound rushed forward to attack the ooze in melee while the group attacked at range. They destroyed it before it could even reach Orazio.
The other members of the group mostly managed to get through the room unscathed by avoiding the shadowy tendrils of the weeping well of negative energy--all but Kira the angelkin, who was struck by a tendril in spite of her best attempts to avoid them. She was badly injured by the negative energy, brought to the brink of death, and found herself cursed with Ebon Eyes.
Ultimate Magic wrote:
A spellcaster with ebon eyes develops a jet-black film over her eyes, which inverts her capacity to perceive light and darkness. The creature treats darkness as bright light, dim light as normal light, normal light as dim light, and bright light as darkness. The ebon eyes protect against blinding, dazzling, patterns, or other visual effects, granting a +2 bonus on all saving throws against those effects.
Once the group made it into the chamber behind the door, Orazio closed the trap-door behind them and the group ascended the staircase. It spiraled around to an open exit onto the roof of the building. To their south was a short walk then a massive staircase going up another two stories.
Hikari, as a cleric of Sarenrae, requested that the group stop at this time for an hour rest, that he might pray to the Dawnflower at noon and regain his daily spells. While Hikari prayed, Shelbie secured a rope to the roof and put it over the side of the building so the group might not have to pass back through the negative energy on their way back out (or perhaps back in?). After Shelbie did this, and while Hikari yet prayed, the others took a brief respite and had a picnic lunch on the roof of the building while a cool Neth breeze blew in.
Orazio heard something from below, perhaps a grunt or a yelp or perhaps just a footfall. But regardless of what clue it was, he looked down the stairs to see a muscular and severely injured orc coming up the spiral stairwell behind the group with a gleaming falchion in hand. With Ustalav's long history of border problems with the nearby orc realm of Belkzen, Orazio didn't wait for the orc to strike first and began firing on him. The orc, in a fury, came to the top of the stairs and Shelbie cast Magic Missile, which struck the orc squarely in the chest. While it seemed to be struggling beyond the very brink of death, it did not attack and instead insisted in Common that they wait. Perhaps despite their better judgment, they stayed their attack and heard what it had to say. The orc introduced himself as Valgor and said he had a vendetta against his mother's killer, and sought to find the killer or find means (wealth) to help him find her killer, and he indicated he'd go through them to get into the castle if he had to.
Having finished his daily prayers, Hikari healed the orc with the magic he gained from the Dawnflower's blessing.
The had just started to ascend the second set of stairs when Rukalla, who was in the rear, quietly slipped away, abandoning the Misbegotten Menagarie to the troubles ahead.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, Karl Delbrük was chained to a wall. When his family's agents came to claim him in Sen's Pass, how could they know they would be captured not but a few miles from the village?
Karl had been chained for a week? Two weeks? No, no, it couldn't have been that long. His arms would have more wear from the shackles. He'd been fading in and out of consciousness though and couldn't be sure. When the vampires drank from him he felt so weak. The vampires and their half-living spawn had been feeding on him, drinking his blood, but they were making him last longer than the family servants. They drank them first. They only sampled him like a delicacy while they drank the men in the Delbrük livery like they were cheap swill. They were taking their time with him. Perhaps they didn't want him dead? Or maybe their intention was more sinister?
It only seemed like a day after the last of the Delbrük men-at-arms died that the svetochers brought in another prisoner and shackled him beside of Karl. This was a young gnome named Zar. Or was he young? How could you tell with gnomes? The way they aged was always so strange. Karl was so weak. He felt now like every day was slow torture on the brink of death, but the gnome was chatty. Amazing, given their circumstances. Less chatty once the svetochers and their undead forebears started drinking on him, but still a talkative little man. Zar talked about being on the road, about how the svetochers had taken him by surprise as he made camp for the night. The vampires drank from Zar but the svetochers didn't seem to take to the gnomish blood and still fed on Karl primarily. The vampires forbade their living kin from finishing off poor Karl, keeping him alive on a meager diet of bread, hard yellow cheese, and water. Forbidden from drinking Karl's blood for the time, his svetocher jailors took perverse pleasure in eating food in front of him instead. It seemed they could get by as well on bread and meat as on his blood, but they favored the latter. When they weren't torturing him with food or perversely licking his scabs, they left him to suffer the conversation of the very lonely gnome, who begged Karl that he might be his friend, and spoke at length about his own imaginary friend, that he could "conjure out of thin air."
Karl struggled and fought, but he was so weak now, and his shackles were securely mounted. Until one day they weren't. He pulled to no avail, then fell slack, and the stone in which the shackle was embedded moved on its own. It began to push out of the wall slowly as a blackish-red slime oozed around it. In fact the whole wall Karl and Zar were shackled to began to bulge as a blood-stained ooze began to push its way through the cracks, widening them, pushing out the stone blocks. Karl yelled, he cried, and Zar as well, but their svetocher jailors did not return. They had sounded an alarm and left their prisoners unattended to face some threat outside the dungeon Karl had thought he would die in. But now the ooze was even scarier than they were, and it liberated Karl and Zar from the wall. They scurried to the other side of the dungeon, smashing the brittle bones that littered the floor as they scrambled to put distance between themselves and the scab-colored death leaking out of the wall behind them.
Karl, without his alchemical supplies, tried to act swiftly. He knew oozes were usually acidic in nature, so he did all he could think of. He urinated in a circle around himself and Zar in the hope that the ooze would be repelled by the ammonia in his urine. Zar acted swiftly too and grabbed a candle (made of some dubious tallow, no doubt) from the sconce on the wall, then grabbed Karl by the scrotum and used it as a focus (a small bag) to cast a summoning spell. Over the next few seconds he summoned a small fire elemental and a small air elemental, and used them to fight the emerging ooze. Karl regained his anatomy from Zar and made his way to the door. It was locked, but his alchemical supplies had been stashed with the rest of the gear from the Delbrük men-at-arms in the weapons locker beside the door. Karl quickly mixed up a bomb and logged it into the fight between the summoned elementals and the ooze.
The faint sound of fighting was audible echoing down the staircase that led up from their dungeon.
The Misbegotten Menagerie climbed the massive staircase toward a narrow landing at the top of the stairs. The door at the top had opened and a sevetocher in heavy armor peeked out then closed the door. Orazio lit an arrow on fire and took a shot at the door. The arrow didn't immediately ignite the door, but it did provoke the svetocher to open the door and step through it, followed by another svetocher in equally heavy armor. The group did battle with the two svetochers and they proved little threat. Shelbie beheaded the svetocher he killed. During the ruckus the flame on the arrow had actually gone out.
The group made it inside and began exploring the ruin the rested at the top of the stairwell. To their left was a narrow set of stairs that led down. They found Karl and Zar behind a wrought-iron cage door there. Once liberated, the pair joined their group. With access to his alchemical supplies again, Karl mixed up a concoction that he used to alleviate himself of some of the weakness the vampires and their kin had burdened him with in place of his fine Delbrük blood.
The group searched up a small staircase and found the upper story to be falling away. There had once been a hallway but now it had collapsed into the lower chamber and only the first two rooms were accessible. Within them were a trio of pallet beds and a coffin, as well as a trio of footlockers, which were swiftly looted. No direct route to the rest of the castle was immediately obvious.
The next session began, as mentioned above, with the exploration of the demon's cave. That revealed little. Orazio and Zero argued, then Zero left. Orazio and Kira went back to The Silver Dagger with Ari as baggage.
The group made it back to the inn safely and put Ari to bed, leaving him in the care of others at the inn. He encouraged them to keep looking into the events surrounding the demon to figure out how it got there and what it wanted.
Orazio and Kira (and Siri the eidolon) headed back to the town to see if they could learn any more about the dead in the house on the road, and why the demon was summoned.
The quartet's first stop was the Temple of Pharasma, to speak with Brother Sergei Quinell, but there was no sign of him at the temple. The pillories had been relocated inside the building to protect the prisoners from the werewolf spirit so Eli Ogden and his two Sczarni companions served their sentences out of the direct sun, at least. The prisoners had nothing to say.
While they were in town, a surprisingly feathery-haired man arrived, a plumekith aasimar. He indicated he was a priest of Sarenrae. (She's the goddess of healing, honesty, and the Sun. While a less common religion in Ustalav, a very popular faith in the world.) He indicated that he had met Shiva on the road and, while he was unable to cure her zombie rot affliction, she told him of the troubles in Sen's Pass, so he came straight-away to see if he could lend aid in her absence. In desperate need of a healer, the pair accepted the plumekith with little argument. He introduced himself as Hikari.
The trio (Orazio the ranger, Kira the summoner, and Hikari the cleric of Sarenrae) went to the Silver Dagger again to speak with Ari, who was recuperating, having a meal in the main room. Rukalla was also there and he listened in a bit. While the group were talking, they noticed another man in the inn that they hadn't seen before. A well-dressed man sat at a corner table with a cane across his lap. He had clean and shiny black hair, and skin as pale as lambskin. His canines, protruding slightly on his lips, identified him as svetocher, a breed of dark-haired cousins to the dhampirs. He self-identified as Espio, and said he had heard there was work to be had if he came to the inn. The group was initially hostile toward this vampire-kin who showed up inside without knocking, but Rukalla reminded them that he too had merely come into the inn and sat down at the same table Espio now occupied. Finally he was able to work out an arrangement with Ari for payment based on services provided.
The vishkanya twins, taken with their new and safer lifestyle as hostesses, served lunch for anyone interested. Ari had little guidance to offer, but suggested that the group continue their investigation, so they headed back to town with Espio the svetocher in tow.
With no sign of the Pharasmin priest, the group decided to talk to mayor Barovan Sweetwater. They made their way easily enough to the mayor's house and a servant admitted them to the drawing room to await the mayor's reception. While they waited, Espio took the opportunity to look through the mayor's liquor cabinet, and selected a bottle of wine for himself. Mayor Sweetwater finally arrived and spoke to the group briefly. He indicated he had no knowledge of the demon callers or the demon they called, and perhaps they should talk to Bailiff Racivado, as that sort of thing was his job. Espio asked if he might have a drink. Somewhat annoyed, the mayor indicated he could have anything in the cabinet that was no older than 4700 AR. Espio produced the bottle he had selected, and the mayor said it was fine that he just take it and go. After the group left the mayor's house they overheard the mayor informing his servant not to admit them into the house next time.
The Misbegotten Menagerie (now comprised of two aasimar and two vampire-kin) went to speak with the guard bailiff Everett Racivado and he told them what he could about the murder scene when he and his men found it. Scenes of a ritual sacrifice, and several bodies, mostly naked, burned and cut, spread around the room. He had no idea who the corpses were. He suggested the group might speak to that demon cultist Tarabitha Czelnai that he had arrested before for squatting.
The group, growing ever more familiar with the stretch of road between Sen's Pass and The Silver Dagger, made their way back to the inn. They found Tarabitha of Jezelda, who was as unfriendly as ever, but she went along with them to see the corpses and the ritual scene at the house on the road. She was able to tell them that it had been a demon summoning ritual, and her cousin was one of the dead. She also said that her cousin was a dumbass who couldn't manage to do anything right. Tarabitha's guess was that he tried to perform a ritual to Jezelda and call forth one of her minions but he screwed something up and got the brimorak instead. Expecting some other kind of demon, and unsure what to do with the fire fiend, he lost control of the beast's containment and it slaughtered his cult. That was Tarabitha's best guess, anyway. Without the brimorak's name, finding it now that it teleported would be near impossible, at least as far as she knew or was willing to share.
With the trail growing cold on the brimorak, or, well, icy cold by this point, the pair of aasimars and vampirekin returned to The Silver Dagger with Tarabitha. She went off to do her own thing while Orazio, Kira, Hikari, and Espio consulted with Ari.
The brimorak demon had teleported away with no clues to locate it.
After talking with Ari and Rukalla, the quartet decided they would head for the Castle Galdyce in the morning to look around. Rukalla, who had scouted in the region previously, would go with them.
That night they got a good rest, except for one disturbance outside. Orazio went up on the tower to take a look with Rukalla and the pair saw a bearded and shirtless man in the forest behind the inn, plowing through the underbrush with a greatsword in-hand. The man didn't approach the inn, and in fact seemed to be searching for something in the woods.
In the morning Veloura and Satina, the vishkanya twins, cooked a big breakfast of bacon, steak, eggs, and toasted bread.
This is part-way through the session a month ago. I'll continue here later. If you see anything that needs corrections, let me know. I'm remembering events a month ago, after all.
Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping, into the future....
Let's get to business.
The session following the fight with the werewolf spirit began as the group, consisting of Zero the human swordsman, Kayln the half-elf bard, Kira the angelkin summoner, Ari the bossman, and Rukalla the Quiet, made made their way south from town toward the Silver Dagger Inn.
Kayln decided to head back to town and speak to Glaukus, maybe talk him out of jumping the dwarf when he came out of the tavern. The others waited for him a bit but he never returned. They eventually continued on their way.
As the group walked the road south in the black hours of the early morning, they realized they were following behind someone. At one moment he wasn't there, then the next he was, walking between fifty and ninety feet ahead of them. He wasn't doing anything hostile, just another traveler on the road going south in the week hours of the morning.
As the group entered an intersection of several wooded trails crossing the more heavily traveled road, the figure ahead was just leaving the intersection. As he did a creature, about the size of a halfling, but lower to the ground, longer, and at least twice as horrific, erupted from the underbrush. It was a white undulating worm, looking like a maggot except on one end it had a bloody razor-filled quadrasected mouth. It made enough noise squirming out of the underbrush that really only Zero failed to notice before it was in the stranger's face.
The group acted to come to the stranger's aid, but he was quick with his bow and made short work of the creature before they could bring the full force of their aid to bear.
After the thing was killed, it was examined and determined to be a rot grub grown to unusual size, a very ill omen. Ari spoke some words with the archer and, though he wore a mask, Ari invited him to join the group as they made their way south on the road to the Silver Dagger Inn, with the possibility of working with the group to be discussed in the morning.
The group made their way back to the inn and tried to get some rest. Not being an actual member of the Misbegotten Menagarie, Rukalla retired to his own affairs.
In the morning, around 9:30 or 10, the dark stranger found himself in the courtyard of the inn with Zero and Kira. There were demonstrations of skill on the combat dummy, and it became apparent that the stranger didn't like Zero, and Zero didn't seem too fond of him either. Kira flirted some with the stranger but, despite her charm and friendliness, he wasn't smitten with her, and wouldn't even tell her his name. Ari spoke to the stranger to propose he work with his militia auxiliary branch and get his details. Most significantly, his name was Orazio Esposito and he hated ghouls, and sought to destroy them, and would work with Ari's group if ghouls were on the menu. Ari also noted, though it was not made apparent to the others of the group, that Orazio was a dhampir. Ari assured Orazio that the group had run up against plenty of ghouls and other undead, and he had no doubt the Orazio would face more such creatures with their group. The vishkanya twins had taken to working in the kitchen and cooked a high protein breakfast of bacon, eggs, ham, and baked bread, so Ari discussed with his team about their next step, which was figuring out what killed all those people in the ritual that had gone wrong at the run-down house where they had first encountered Gray.
The Misbegotten Menagarie, with Ari at the fore, followed by Orazio, Zero, and Kira, made their way back to the house on the roadside. The group searched the building for any clues and again determined that the place had been the site of some kind of dark ritual, but details weren't clear. A hoof-print scorched into the wood of the building, almost like a brand, was found high on the back wall. Orazio searched the area and found that a trail of similar prints led into the dense woodland behind the ramshackle house.
The group followed Orazio through the deep woods. The bickering between Zero and Orazio continued, mostly with Orazio as instigator. Eventually the scorched hoof trail led to a small cave in the woods and as the band approached the cave mouth, a fiendish creature emerged. Standing no taller than a man's waist, the creature had a head resembling a ram, with a flat but large nose. Its skin was a sickly blue-gray shade, almost like dirty ice, but it was burly with dark oily black fur growing on its head and shoulders. It wore filthy tattered clothes with a dark hood pulled high on its head to reveal only the prominent outline of swept-back horns beneath. Its eyes burned like smoldering coals through the thick smoke of its noxious breath. It wielded a flaming sword, and flames left up from its burning hooves.
The group immediately engaged the small monstrosity, with Kira's eidolon hound Siri rushing forward to fight the thing toe-to-toe, but the thing's very breath was noxious and the hound, though still able to attack, became sick and struggled to strike the demon. Kira, with her knowledge of far realms and distant planes, was able to recognize the thing as a brimorak demon, one of the foot soldiers of the Abyss.
The creature ignored the eidolon for the most part, and instead focused on the approaching humanoids. He cast a fireball into the group and while most dodged the blast of flame with only minor burns, Ari took the brunt of the damage. Fearing that the brimorak would cast such a potent spell again, Ari moved to close the gap between the combatants, while Orazio and Zero peppered the creature with arrows, wearing it down. Closing with the brimorak soon proved to be a bad idea, as the brimorak tore into Ari with its flaming sword then kicked him to the ground. It looked about to smash Ari's head in when the combined efforts of Zero, Orazio, and Kira's eidolon Siri finally pushed it into a retreat. It swiftly cast a teleportation spell and vanished into the ether.
That session actually ended there. The next one began there as well.
Feeling less than victorious, the group made sure Ari was stable and explored the demon's shallow cave. Nothing significant found inside, Orazio and Zero took to arguing among themselves. Zero, finally frustrated with the ridicule, stomped off into the woods alone. Kira and Orazio, with Ari over his shoulder, made their way back to the Silver Dagger Inn.
Please note that I don't know round-for-round every detail of what happened in the fighting. I've tried to summarize to the best of my ability. I don't remember what Kira was up to for a lot of the fighting, so I was kind of vague on what she was doing. I know she was directing her eidolon. If you feel there are any details that should be included that I've overlooked, please let me know.
So let's get to it.
We left our heroes in the woods north of Sen's Pass. The assembled forces consisted of the sylph Shiva of Pharasma, Zero the swordsman, the green(?) human who identified himself as Ezzy, the mercenary undead-hunter Rukalla the Quiet, and Count Galdana's man Ari Russov of Pharasma, as well as the "halfling" that identified himself as Gray, and said he was an oracle.
Previously, after defeating the trio of zombies, the zombies had exploded. Everyone managed to dodge the eviscera except Shiva, who got some in her mouth. Suffice to say that's a taste that's hard to get rid of. MMM... zombie guts. Also, there's a high chance she got the Zombie Rot.
Ezzy, apparently being dissatisfied with the way this group was panning out, took off without the others, presumably toward town. Or maybe he wasn't dissatisfied but rather disgusted with the zombie guts--The Pharasmins insisted on burying the zombie corpses, or what was left of them. Regardless, Ezzy the Green Man wandered off into the woods and hasn't been seen since.
The group started to walk back toward town, and Shiva insisted that Gray stay well out of arm's reach of her with the logic that she "knew" oracle magic would probably require Gray to touch her if he decided to get hostile with the group. Gray was still anxious, and not just because he expected she'd take him in for questioning about the zombie he claimed he created with the "Word of Power." He told the group not to be alarmed because his polymorphing magic was about to wear off. Shiva asked him if he was actually undead and he assured her that he was not.
When the magic did fade shortly thereafter, Gray transformed into a small creature no larger than a common housecat, though he actually resembled a rat with a human(-ish) face and the hands of a miniature man on his forelegs rather than paws. He identified himself as a "ratling." He told the group he had used the magic to take the form of a halfling so he could search for the zombie without too much trouble, and said once again that the rest of the information he provided was true, that he did discover the Word of Power at Castle Galdyce while doing research there, and he did escape from the zombie, and, yes, he had seen Count Galdyce in the castle, but he had never had a direct confrontation with him.
Oddly enough, at that point Shiva offerred to let Gray ride on her shoulder. He reminded her he was still an oracle, in case she forgot. He was ready for the quartet (Shiva, Zero, Ari, and Rukalla) to put up a fight about his departure, but Shiva asked where he was going and he indicated he was returning to Castle Galdyce to continue his research in the library there. He assured them he would not be haphazardly muttering any more words of power. They allowed him to scamper off into the woods.
As the group neared the crossroads south of Castle Galdyce, truthfully mere yards from where they had parted with Gray, they came upon an odd pair--a rather flamboyantly-dressed and well-armed half-elf walking along with a powerfully built dark-skinned full-blooded orc. The orc, at least, was unarmed. It seems the pair had met on the road and decided two was better than one. (Even an unarmed orc can be formidable.) The two indicated they were looking for a village to stop for the coming night, and our quartet were able to direct them to the village. It was a surprisingly busy road as the sextet also met an angelkin woman walking the road with her dog. Now they were a septet and they made their way to the village.
The flamboyant half-man turned out to be a bard, or so he claimed. He introduced himself as Kayln and asked his way to Taproot Tavern. The orc, Glaukus, followed that way as well. (Where he subsequently tried to start a fight with a dwarven merchant, but the dwarf failed to live up to the stereotypes and backed down.)
Meanwhile, the two Sczarni prisoners in the pillory called out to the Misbegotten Menagarie (as Ari thinks of his little branch of the militia auxiliary), and told them of a ghostly beast that assailed them in the night, possessing Eli Ogden and trying to bite them while still locked firmly in the pillory. Eli knew nothing of what they claimed, having no recollection of such a possession. Yet the two thugs seemed sincerely terrified, so the menagarie took the threat seriously. The Sczarni criminals claimed the beast showed up the previous night, which, as was pointed out, was the first night of the new moon. It flew out from the east side of the courtyard and flew into Eli Ogden, who took on a monstrous cast and spent the next few hours trying to bite them, without ever securing some means of release. It was, in fact, the pillory itself that saved them from the Elijah-thing as it could not reach them while restrained. They said they had told the guards but the guards just made some off-hand comments about everyone seeing a ghost in the village square from time-to-time, and the prisoners shouldn't worry about it. (That, of course, did nothing to ease their spirits.)
The regular menagerie decided to take the threat more seriously though, and went back to the inn to prepare before sundown. Unfortunately they couldn't quite prepare for what they faced. They returned to The Silver Dagger Inn and they took some rest, coming back to Sen's Pass such that they arrived shortly before midnight. Midnight was when the prisoners had said it came last time after all.
A fight did ensue, but it was a battle of attrition. The unit seemed unable to harm the creature, which resembled nothing so much as a translucent blue-white blood-splattered werewolf trailing way to nothingness by the time you could trace down its lower legs.
The group, who had been joined by Kayln the half-elf bard, Glaukus the orc bare-knuckle berserker (who followed a strange orcen philosophy of civil violence), and Kira the angelkin summoner and her eideolon "dog."
While a combination of Mass Protection from Evil on Kira's part, and a casting or two of Protection from Evil by Shiva did mostly cover the battlefield, Zero found himself unprotected so the black-hearted beast (or no-hearted beast, being incorporeal) attempted to possess him. Zero was able to shrug-off the possession attempt so the creature turned and claimed possession to Eli Ogden again, whose face contorted. He immediately tried to bite anyone near or coming near him, including those Sczarni thugs he was sharing the pillory with. The various curious members of the group taunted and tested the Eli-thing, but ultimately, after inspecting the pillory, they decided that it seemed sound enouh there.
Meanwhile, Brother Sergei Quinnell, the local priest of Pharasma came out to great the group and see what all the racket was about. Shiva spoke to him about his ominous dream about disappearing or leaving, but he indicated he wasn't quite ready yet, and he didn't think it would happen until he had his accounts in order anyway. Brother Sergei indicated that the village's temple is actually hallowed ground and always acts as a ward against evil, so he'd have the pillory relocated to the temple in the morning, so the prisoners need not worry about possession on subsequent nights if the spirit couldn't be destroyed.
Shiva also asked Brother Quinnell if there was anything he could do about the Zombie Rot and he indicated he could at least tell her if she was infected. He cast a spell on her, Diagnose Disease, I believe, and he indicated that she did, in fact, have the zombie plague. Zombie Rot, being a magical affliction, could not even be temporarily alleviated by the lesser restoration Sergei had available, so Shiva took a horse and set-off north for Kavapesta in search of a more serious remedy.
Glaukus decided to wait around town to see if that dwarven merchant would ever come out of the shop, but the others (Zero the human swordsman, Kayln the half-elf bard, Kira the angelkin summoner, Ari the bossman, and Rukalla the Quiet) made their way south from town toward The Silver Dagger Inn.
That's where the session a month ago wrapped up.
I'll type up last night's session very soon.
Been two sessions, at least, without an update. Let's see....
I'm trying to remember what happened at the beginning of the session two weeks ago.
I know the party kitsune got rabies, but I can't remember which session that was. I remember it was the kitsune specifically because the only party member with a bite attack got rabies, right? That couldn't have been last session because two weeks ago Bum didn't play his kitsune and played a ranger instead? (A human ranger? I can't remember.)
I know that session the party was searching for fire skeletons in the woods at night, and managed to actually find some. They made relatively short work of them though.
Unfortunately Ari informed Carl that he had received formal notification from the Delbruck family that they would be reclaiming their errant alchemist. Ari suggested to Carl that he hide or bury anything he didn't want representatives of his family to confiscate. As they are an aristocratic family, Ari was obligated, in his service to the Count Galdana, to aid them in recovery of their wayward son. It was unclear why they sought his recovery, but but Carl feared for his summons, owing to the property damage he had done to the family estate before fleeing, and Ari assured Carl that he would come find the man himself if he didn't hear from him after two months.
Then this session last night Shiva the slyph cleric of Pharasma checked on on Brother Quinnell in town, and while she was there she encountered two men: a human swordsman going by the moniker of Zero, and a male green-faced "human" witch answering to Ezzy. Both were looking for trouble, or work, as the case often is with wandering weirdos in town, and Ezzy was also seeking magic at Toben's Magic & More. (Unfortunately Toben didn't have much of actual interest to him.) Shiva professed a hatred of humans several times, but took both men to the Silver Dagger Inn. Up to her tricks, she tried to convince one of the vishkanya sisters to "dance" for the men, but the woman refused on the grounds that she's not sure if she's allowed to or not.
A dwarf drinking in the inn (hard to say whether it was Dimti the cavalier or that other dwarf that's around sometimes) indicated that Ari and Egikmaco had gone out searching for cobra flowers for some reason. Further conversation with the vishkanya outside suggested they had been gone awhile and were expected back soon. She also offered Shiva and Ezzy breakfast while Zero wandered around the inn and stumbled into the cold spot.
Ari returned and Shiva spoke to him about Midnight Terror snooping around the inn, then she went to speak to the Argent Chamberlain to make sure he doesn't attack Midnight Terror in the future. His reply wasn't very reassuring, and he suggested that she might be wise to remember to make offerings on occasion.
Meanwhile, Ari spoke to the two new arrivals and made arrangements to pay them 600 gold each after seven days of labor to the militia. (These seven days need not be consecutive.) He also assured them, because they inquired about funeral expenses, should they die, that as a Pharasmin, he would see to their proper burial.
Ari had Ezzy and Zero try out their luck on a combat dummy, just to see what they were capable off, and took them out on a "patrol" to put them through their paces. They were checking local farm houses for any signs of The Burning Legion, going south from The Silver Dagger Inn (and town). While the first farm house they came upon wasn't on fire or burnt down (probably pretty good indicators that The Burning Legion wasn't around), they investigated anyway. (They heard a whippoorwill as they approached the farmhouse, even though it was daylight.) They found that the occupants of the house had been murdered in some sort of grisly ritual, and there was a halfling hiding in the house who insisted that he had nothing do do with the murders there, but had actually come that way looking for a zombie that he had inadvertently created by exploring magic he didn't fully understand.
Though not trusting the halfling, who identified himself as Gray, they went with him in search of the zombie he sought. He indicated he had created it with a "word of power" he discovered while going through the castle library at Castle Galdyce with his mistress Emera. (He indicated he had not seen the nosferatu Viscount Galdyce up close but had observed him from afar on the castle grounds.) The party didn't completely believe his story, particularly about his relationship with the vampire, but they went with him to hunt the zombie before its plague could spread.
They backtracked to the woods surrounding Castle Galdyce north of the village, the last place Gray said he had seen the zombie before he managed to lose it in the woods. While they were looking around in the woods for any clues as to where it actually may have gone, Rukalla stumbled upon the party. He indicated he had been scouting out the castle, and had destroyed some of its skeletal guardians, and he volunteered to help them look for the zombie.
The group of six (Shiva, Ezzy, Zero, Ari, Rukalla, and Gray) wandered deeper into the northeastern woodlands tracking a likely trail of the zombie with the bad leg, but instead of the human zombie they expected, they found a massive ogre zombie. It was no easy fight, but they managed to dispatch the thing, and even as it fell two more zombies emerged onto the trail: a zombie wolf, and a zombie with a "bad" leg. (In spite of its apparent handicap, it demonstrated surprising celerity.) As the final zombie fell, all three seemed to explode almost concurrently, covering the party in zombie gore.
The sextet went back toward town, all the while the sylph making accusations against Gray, who could only act to reassure Shiva that he isn't in league with the vampire.
It was getting late so we wrapped up there. I assume Shiva will want to take Gray into custody for his creation of the zombie.
There's still also the unresolved issue of the ritual murders at the farm house.
Last session the party had several people join, but I got the impression two of them may not stick around because their players seemed kind of disinterested and I think were just killing time at the shop. They eventually stopped to play cards instead. They didn't get the best introduction though, because neither was familiar with the game and they kind of got thrown into a moment where the party was preoccupied with investigating something from a previous session.
The kitsune also brought along another kitsune, this one an oracle. I have no idea what her name was, but I'll find out soon. The party went to the graveyard again and managed to draw out the kere for a brief discussion. She said to call her Safira, and she gave them some information on berbalangs--notably that they're not incorporeal undead, and said she'd look into Shiva's memory loss.
Then the party set-up a trap for some highway men with the understanding that the village would prefer the highwaymen be taken alive. In particular the village council wanted them to come back with Eli Ogden, the son of the village weaponsmith.
Once the bandits (three Varisian humans and a tiefling of indeterminate origin) were subdued with a combination of traps and violence, the party secured Eli Ogden in the carriage and tortured one of the other bandits while the other two watched, to give them the location of the bandit hoard. The two human bandits didn't give into intimidation before the tiefling broke and offered to show them where the bandit hoard was if they'd let him go.
The party split, living the kitsune oracle to torture/guard the human prisoners while the others went to find the bandit treasure while led by the tiefling bandit.
After they acquired the bandit treasure, which was quite extensive, they made their way back to the other bandits and the kitsune oracle. There they found she had strung up the bandits and was torturing them with acid and genital distress.
The tiefling was released with a traveler's outfit and whatever else the party was willing to let him leave with, with the understanding that he was no longer welcome in the region and they wouldn't be so merciful to him if they ever crossed paths with him again.
We had a Pathfinder session last night. Started late and ended up finishing a little after 5 AM.
The party took on some new and interesting tactics, like sending NPCs ahead of themselves in a first wave to deal with the low-level minions (or die trying). Ari Russov, their boss (and a capable inquisitor of Pharasma), led the NPC party that consisted of Rukalla, Egikmaco, and Tarabitha Czelnai, the cleric of Jezelda.
After their NPC allies retreated (after battling ghouls, ghoul wolves, and a pair of Menadoran festrogs), the party swept in to clean up. Egikmaco was badly injured so the NPC forces retreated from the second Menadoran festrog. The party, consisting of Carl the human alchemist, Shelbie the beastbrood sorcerer, Shiva the sylph cleric of Pharasma, Rei Kyu the kitsune "specialist" (mechanically a ninja), and the two new additions of Dimti the dwarven cavalier (and his boar companion), and Tepes the svetocher wizard made their way to the graveyard and past the wandering Menadoran festrog to delve into the crypt. Due to the unnatural darkness and eerie fog lingering over the graveyard, some spellcraft checks were made to determine that the graveyard had been fully engulfed in both a darkness and a mind fog.
Dimti caught sight of a festrog (a common one) devouring the remains of one of the defeated ghouls with its face and claws coated in its ghoulish (in both senses) meal. It was more than Dimti has been accustomed to, and it seems the poor dwarf may develop a fear of being eaten by undead.
There was some turmoil in the party after Shiva caught Tepes within the radius of her channeling positive energy to harm the undead and actually injured him more than it hurt the undead then he accidentally shot her in the back with his heavy crossbow when he fumbled a shot on a ghoul. Later, in retaliation for being shot in the back, Shiva actually poured out two potions of inflict light wounds that the party recovered (worth a total of 100 gp, and useful only to the svetocher).
The party fought a festrog, a trio of ghoul wolves, a pair of spiders, and finally battled with the incorporeal berbalang and two dread ghoul warriors. The berbalang was discorporated, mostly from a combination of channeled positive energy and magic missiles. The last fighting ghoul warrior almost killed the Pharasmin sylph (with the aid of a shot in the back by the svetocher wizard) but made the mistake of switching targets once she was paralyzed. The other ghoul had fled down a "well" to the lower catacombs but the alchemist took him out by dropping bombs down the well. One of them exploded on him and he fell in a ball of flames to the bottom.
After looting and leaving the crypt, the party noted that the Menadoran festrog was now much closer to the entrance to the crypt, but he also appearred to be under the slow effect. With the enormous festrog slowed, they took the opportunity to destroy him.
They were unable to determine the origin of the darkness and fog in the cemetery and don't know why the festrog was slowed, but that mystery will have to wait for another day because as they arrived in town they encountered their boss (Ari Russov) at the temple of Pharasma and he told them the mayor of Sen's Pass has an assignment for them and would like to meet with them "soon."
I said I'd continue there next time and ever since I wrote that, I've been putting off continuing.
Long story short, they went to the river and fought a mated pair of tatzlwyrms, medium-sized dragonic creatures that are serpentine with a pair of forearms. They're considered mythological even in the setting, so very uncommon creatures. The first tatzlwyrm they attacked while it was sleeping under the bridge. It fled into the river but was killed before it could escape downstream. Its corpse sank into the river and was washed away. The second tatzlwyrm emerged from the woodland nearby while they were attacking the first. It came onto the bridge and coiled around Rei (grappling, yay!) and breathed noxious gas in his face.
The group attacked the second tatzlwyrm and Carl shoved the grappling pair off the bridge into the river, and followed them over. The tatzlwyrm, kitsune, and human at that point all began swimming in the water, and being washed away by the current.
Shelbie through his regular shortspear at the swimming tatzlwyrm but missed and the shortspear poked up out of the shallows. The tatzylwyrm was killed by a combination of an icicle attack (domain ability granted by the Water domain) employed by the sylph Shiva and magic missiles courtesy of Shelbie.
Since the tatzlwyrms are considered cryptids in the setting, basically, I encouraged the players that the dead tatzlwyrm might have value. Carl the alchemist cut out the tatzlwyrm's poison glands for use in his experiments, and Shelbie claimed the creature's intestines. He then spread the intestines high in the branches of a nearby tree, and chanted. The party didn't no what he was doing, but as a cultist of Pazuzu one of the obediences is to put guts high in the trees for carrion birds to feed upon, so he was making an offering of the creature's intestines.
After the trip to fight the tatzlwyrms, the emberkin aasimar Ragana left the party. (The player of the aasimar left the shop mid-battle with the tatzlwyrms to catch his bus home, and he's moving to Texas for his vocational training so this was his last session in the campaign.)
Since the tatzlwyrm is a cryptid, the party took the remains back to Katla Maleva and she told them she'd have an estimate of its value for them in two days, but it would need to be intact to be the best value. Carl decided dealing with its gaseous poison might not be worth it, so he turned over the poison glands for Katla Maleva to put with the creature's other remains. Katla Maleva cleared out her icebox of various meats and cheeses and other things best kept cold, and packed the scaly beast inside.
Since the hedge witch was clearing out her fridge, Carl took the opportunity to buy some venison off of her. She also offered him some spider-meat stew, but he declined. He did buy a few other things though, notably a litterbox and a bag of sand for use as kitty-litter. He went to the general store afterward and bought some material to wrap the litterbox.
The group decided to head to the graveyard again, but Shelbie said he was going to take a nap at the tavern first. He went to the Taproot Tavern and rented one of the drunk rooms there, with the understanding that he'd be out of the room by nightfall.
While Shelbie was napping, Carl paid a messenger to deliver the wrapped "gift" to the tavern. When Shelbie got up, the tavernmaster gave him the package. He unwrapped the litterbox and read the note, which was a forged note from the guard bailiff Everett Racivado, that said something along the lines of "If you have to, use this and stop pissing all over town." Shelbie tucked the litterbox and bag of sand under his arm with a grin, and trotted off toward the cemetary. Once he got there, he filled the litterbox with the sand, put it on the ground, and made use of it in plain view of the rest of the party.
While Shelbie had been napping, the others had been setting up make-shift traps in the graveyard. They set-up four makeshift over-sized bear traps. Once Shelbie was in his position at the base of the statue, he spread caltrops below the statue to discourage anything coming up behind him.
The group waited an hour or so before two ghouls wandered into their part of the cemetary. One of the ghouls walked right into one of the traps and I treated the trap as a regular bear trap for damage purposes, so it reduced that ghoul to 2 hp and held him in the trap. The other ghoul was engaged and they managed to destroy it before it could get away.
When they were bearing down on the ghoul in the trap, it started trying to negotiate to survive. It told them it would give them whatever they wanted if they didn't destroy it, so they questioned it and it told them it served "the berbalang" and it could take them to its lair. After some negotiations, they released it from the trap to take them to its lair.
The ghoul led them to a different part of the cemetery that had crypts and directed them into one. Rei stabbed it in the back before the party went into the crypt. The crypt was small above ground, but it had a pair of stairs that led into a dungeon complex beneath. Rei used his dancing lights ability to make four orbs of light to send ahead of the group so those without darkvision could actually see. They found a smashed statue of Pharasma and the alchemist collected a few chunks of stone from the statue.
There was a narrow tunnel that was dug into the crypt, and a ghoul emerged from it. The combat is a little fuzzy in my memory but I believe Shelbie used disrupt undead, Carl threw a chunk of statuary at it (for 1 damage), and Shiva channeled positive energy to destroy it. I don't remember exactly who did what damage in that fight, but I know that 1 damage from the thrown stone was necessary as without that the channeled energy would have left it with 1 hp.
The group progressed forward and a festrog charged out of the darkness at Shiva, who was in the lead. It bit into her and pulled her feet out from under her with its bite. The rest of the party attacked it while she took the total defense action, so it turned its attacks on them. It attacked Shelbie, who had been behind Shiva and rendered the tiefling sorcerer unconscious. Carl threw holy water at it, dealing damage to both the festrog and splash damage to Shelbie, who, as a demon-worshipping beastbrood, is an evil native outsider. After throwing the holy water, Carl retreated toward Rei. The festrog couldn't charge because the unconscious Shelbie was in its way, so it moved up to Carl and attacked. Its attack reduced Carl to disabled (0 hp). Shiva rolled 5 feet on her turn to be 5 feet closer to the fight, and channeled positive energy to heal the living. She restored Carl and Shelbie to functioning levels of hp. Rei moved into a flanking position with Carl and finished off the festrog with his sword. When he sliced into the beast, it spewed diseased pus on him from its necrotic boils, but he was able to shrug-off the disease.
Once the party were back on their feet, I decided to call it a night.
We left the party standing in the crypt there.
In that description it seems like the festrog got a lot more actions than the rest of the party, but that's just because I remember what it did better than I remember what all they did, since I was running the festrog. I was happy to see that festrog was far more scary than the first festrog they fought, that died in the first round of combat.
I haven't figured out exactly how they'll deal with the berbalang yet. I'm thinking it probably isn't in the dungeon, since it's CR 6 and would annihilate them. They're getting very close to level 2 though, and if I put in a ghast or two (Pathfinder ghasts are CR 2, while basic ghouls and festrogs are CR 1), they should be level 2 pretty soon.
I think their next encounter is probably going to be an RP encounter though, rather than a combat encounter, to keep things interesting. I haven't decided if it's going to be an RP+combat encounter yet though. Since the party alchemist speaks Necril, I'd like to give him an opportunity to use it. (Necril is the language of the ghoul nation in the Darklands, and more generally is considered a language of the undead.) The ghouls they've met so far have just been locals that became ghouls though, so they don't even speak Necril, they speak the local languages.
OK, I never did get around to continuing from there. But my players did get me back to continuing with the progression somewhat on the store's forum. The store is under new management so I'm moving some of those posts to this thread because I don't know if they're keeping the same forum.
The below is posted by my player. At this point I'm not sure if he wrote it or he's quoting me. Heh. It's been too long.
Shelbie's Player wrote:
Sara Marie wrote:
As we've hit the deadline I had set for taking resumes for the customer service post, I've taken down the CS posting. Now the fun of sorting through resumes begins.
Tried to click through into the Customer Service link but it's pointing back at Paizo's mainpage now, so I continued reading the comments to see if it had been bug-reported in-thread. Might be worthwhile to disable the hyperlink entirely, or note that it's closed.
I was interested in seeing the job requirements as I do have some work experience on an email-based helpdesk for a website and in a tech support call center for a broadband service provider. I don't have the means to relocate right now, but CSR openings might crop back up.
With the change such that product is actually shipping in January, I need to go ahead and cancel my remaining subscriptions, including the shipment I just received notice is pending (Order # 2970817).
I was postponing it as long as possible while the next expected shipment wasn't until February in the hope that I could afford it by then, but I do need to go ahead and cancel, unfortunately.
With any luck I'll be able to resume by March and pick-up some of what I missed.
Thank you for your service and I hope to make use of it again soon.
Patrik, I don't check this thread nearly enough. I get Dropbox 404 when I try to look at your older image posts, from September or so.
I just put the Reaper Minis Santa Claus on a base tonight, and I mixed too much green stuff so I also based the Reaper Chronoscope Devil Girl mini I had clean. And now I'm out of the 1-inch bases I like so will need to buy more. I put some finishing touches on the archer woman from Elmore Masterworks Set #9 as well, though she may still get some touch-ups before her final finishing coat.
Love what you're doing with the DDM minis. Kind of makes me want to touch mine up, especially some of the ones that are just abysmal super-commons.
I'm building an awakened shield guardian electrified flesh golem (named the Prisoner in Stitched Flesh) for my campaign and I want to give it this variant ability that I made-up. I'm just looking for a second opinion on it. Does it sound alright?
Slave to None (Ex) The awakened shield guardian flesh golem long ago acquired its shield guardian amulet and embedded it within its own flesh so that the amulet can't be easily gained to control it. It can activate its own shield guardian abilities, designating an individual of its choice to receive the benefits of its protection. It counts as controlled only while protecting another creature with shield guardian abilities. It cannot use these effects on itself.
Reference material for variants:
Shield Guardian is in Bestiary and on the Paizo PRD.
Awakened flesh golem is detailed in Classic Horrors Revisited, and viewable in sidebar of flesh golem entry on d20pfsrd.com.