Struggling to maintain her balance after her failed attempt at immobilizing the woman, Smaranda's head whips around as the dark-skinned man thuds to the ground. She furrows her brows in confusion; the little man had attempted to heal the dark one, no? Why is dark one on the ground then? Maybe... he was like her? But he didn't look like her. Overwhelmed by all that is happening, she can only get out a strangled, wordless shout as the fiddle is now at risk of being repossessed by the elf woman.
No real actions, just wanted to have Smaranda react to events.
"So, um....can anyone help this fellow out? I mean, I could heal him using an infliction spell, but I don't have one prepared. I'm not usually a fighter, more of an itinerant priest who dabbles in arcane methods of dealing with undead and summoned creatures. I can heal him, of course, but not today. Surely one of you can help him out? He was your companion after all. And don't look at me like that. It was an honest mistake. Anyone could have made it. I imagine that any number of clerics have done the same before. It's not like he was wearing a bracelet that said 'EXTREME ALLERGIC REACTION TO HEALING MAGICS'."
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I ran into Joe at GenCon and told me I'd want to see what was happening, I'm soooo glad he did. This is exactly what Del was waiting for ;)
When the gnarf drops the other inquisitor with a "healing" spell, Del clearly wasn't attempting to identify which healing spell he used at the time. As such, she just assumed he was curing her injured companion. Her head snaps around at Thistle and she barks "What have you done!" She charges toward the babbling dwarf, clearly not understanding what was gone on. She lifts him up off the ground, holding him at least two feet off the ground so she can look him in the eyes. Bringing his face in closer to hers she grinds her teeth and adminsters "WHAT.HAVE.YOU.DONE!"
Ignoring Mihaela, she discards Thistle to the ground as he catches sight of the last remaining undead creature. Looking down to him she remarks, "I'm not done with you yet. Fix him!"
Moving off to strike the last creature down, she couldn't clear her mind and was entirely too distracted when she swings over its head.
Attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
The skeleton lashes out at Delixia with its claws trying to rend flesh from bone.
Attack #1: Claw vs. AC 17: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
Damage: bludgeoning, piercing, slashing: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Attack #2: Claw vs. AC 17: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Damage: bludgeoning, piercing, slashing: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Combat Round 5
Alhindri (elven women, green): -15 HP, Unconscious, Helpless, Prone
Kisasi: 1 Str damage, -14 HP, Unconscious, Helpless, Prone, Dying
Mihaela, Delixia, Smaranda, Thistle, and Kisasi are up for actions this combat round.
Smaranda crouches over the dark-skinned man, hissing at Thistle. In a hoarse whisper, the girl utters the first words that the others have heard so far from her. "no... magic."
Eyes fixed on the gnarf, she tears out a strip from the hem of her shirt and attends to Kisasi's wounds by feel only, hastily binding them to stop the loss of blood.
Heal, untrained: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
Thistle's eyes grew wide as the angry woman manhandled hm, then dropped him to the ground. The dwarf's legs buckled under him and he collapsed beside the dying dhampir, for that is what the man calling himself Kisasi had to be.
"Well and good to be saying 'fix him' when that is just what I tried to do. The fact that life energies harm him should have been one of the first words out of his mouth. A simple 'hello I am Kisasi, and I and partly of the undead so please do not channel life energies into me or I may die' would have gone a long way towards preventing just this kind of situation. I suppose you now know what to say, don't you young lady?"
This last was directed towards the newest person in the band, the grayish-skinned woman who was even now treating the fallen inquisitor. He aided her inexpert, but effective ministrations using some bandages from his kit and a smelly unguents that should encourage natural recuperation even from undead flesh.
aid other, heal: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
What nonsense is this?
Wriggling her nose she looks back over her shoulder and questions, "Huh? Undead? Bah!"
Trying to divide her attention between the last undead creature, the fallen inquisitor, the babbling gnarf and this new strange woman was proving to be too much for Delixia. Let's deal with one problem at a time.
Turning back to square herself with the undead creature she spins with her hips and whips the morningstar towards the rib cage of the creature. As she swings shouts, "Back to the boneyard!"
Attack Morningstar: 1d20 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 3 + 1 = 18
Damage Morningstar: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Combat is over. The last skeleton having been smashed back into the Boneyard by Delixia.
Laying unconscious on the ground at the top of cemetery hill is both the elven women and Kisasi. No longer does the haunting music drift over village nor does the ground stir with the rising of the undead. The fiddle yet remains not far from the outstretched hand of the unconscious Kisasi.
A pile of toppled tombstones lays against the door of a nearby crypt.
What will you do now?
Kisasi: 1 Str damage, -14 HP, Unconscious, Helpless, Prone, Stable
"Perhaps one of you would be so kind as to destroy that fiddle which so efficaciously pulled he dead from their rightful rest? I mean, it's not like we all want to spend the rest of the day smashing apart old bones. Especially with this one on his deathbed. Yes, you, what was your name? No the other one, the amazon. Yes, Delly. Perhaps you could put some of that anger to good use? Be a dear and break that fiddle, please. And perhaps we can get this gentleman back to someplace relatively safe where he can recover while I prepare some spells that can bring him back to old self. It will take at least a day. Unless there in someone nearby that we can turn to for magical healing? "
Before the gnarf has finished speaking - This one talks a lot - Smaranda crouches in front of the fiddle, one arm raised over her head, fist clenched. She takes a deep breath, then whips her arm down on the exhale, twisting her shoulder to bring the full force of her upper body into the blow.
Sunder attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11 Damage if sunder successful: 1d6 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
This is a three-stringed fiddle made with a narrow boat-shaped body and a horsehair bow. Its finish has the cracked polish of old bone, and when stared at intently tiny glowing red lettering can be seen to swirl about just beneath its varnish, never staying still long enough to read the infernal writing.
With a solid blow to the body of the fiddle Smaranda sees several tiny cracks appear. The fiddle however continues to appear perfectly usable should someone try to play it.
Kisasi: 1 Str damage, -14 HP, Unconscious, Helpless, Prone, Stable
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After dispatching the last undead creature, Delixia spins and returns back to the party with heavy feet and loud accented stomps. She looks at the fiddle and. "I'm not sure we should completely destroy it quite yet. Let Mihaela have a look at it first."
Pointing a finger to Smaranda she asks, You. Who are you? What were you doing? And-"
The inquistor about faces while turning to address Thistle. As she does she corrects the gnarf, accenting each syllable of her name. "It's DAY-LIX-EE-AH. Not Delly. Got it? And look, he was doing just fine until you bewitched him with your spell when I wasn't looking!"
She shoves a meaty finger into the chest of the dwarf, "Look here. You undo what you've done, right now, or I'll be dragging your unconscious body back with his!"
Excellent team building exercise GM. Love it.
Smaranda flinches from Delixia's finger so hard that she falls backwards and has to put out a hand behind her to stop herself from thumping on her bum. She opens her mouth several times, but no sounds come out. Fortunately for her, Delixia soon turns her attention to the gnarf, and Smaranda scuttles back a few paces to put some distance between herself and the angry, armed woman.
"Oh, I thought you said it faster than that the first time. Okay, DAY-LIX-EE-AH, as I said before, I can heal him, but it won't be until tomorrow, as I don't have the right spells prepared for that at the moment. Desnia occasionally speaks to me in dreams or visions, and once through a squirrel, but she didn't send me a note this morning telling me to prepare spells suitable for healing the progeny of vampires. If she had, I would certainly have done so, after suitable time spent worshiping her name and the fact that she would speak so directly to one such as I."
Perception, Delixia: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
Perception, Kisasi: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
Perception, Mihaela: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Perception, Smaranda: 1d20 ⇒ 7
Perception, Thistle: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
With Kisasi' bleeding stopped for now shouts and quick reflexes are bandied about. No longer does the ground stir and no music graces the air. A sense of stillness has come over the land as things return to a more normal state.
The unconscious elven women has an ashen pallor to her and is unmoving except for slow deep breaths.
Sorry stomach bug took me down pretty hard the last two days.
Delixia was more or less completely ignoring Thistle by this point in time. She sighed audibly and rolled her eyes at him, frustration evident in her face. The words babbling out of his mouth seem to run together in some unending stream of syllables. Seriously, does he even hear himself speaking?
The inquisitor began to walk away from the cleric until he mentioned vampire. Stopping dead in her tracks, Delixia spin about and put her palm up to Thistle. "Stop. Say that again." When he begins his long winded spiel again she waves her hand about she clarifies, "No no, just the vampire portion please. Be concise if at all possible."
Halfway through his words, Delixia shushes Thistle and snaps her head to the right and looks eastward into the cemetery as if something had caught her attention. Tightening her grip on her weapon she whispers, "We're not alone, there is something going on over there."
Looking at the unconscious woman she says, "Does someone have something to bind her with so we can question her later?"
Pointing to Smaranda she instructs, "You. You look like you can move quietly. See if you can get closer over there and see what's happening. If you get into trouble, just signal and we'll be on our way."
The angry woman didn't seem inclined to try to kill her just yet, so Smaranda thinks it prudent do just do what she says for now. Uncoiling a length of rope from around her waist, she throws it next to the unconscious elven woman and scampers in the direction that Delixia had pointed out, staying low and using one hand to hold up her ragged trousers.
Stealth: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
As Smaranda headed off to investigate the sound, Del crouched down and began to bind their prisoner. Looking over at Mihaela she asks, "Did you find anything with that thing yet?"
The rebec grants lesser restoration upon the fiddler once per day to mitigate any effects of fatigue or exhaustion in order to allow her to keep playing. The player remains under the constant effects of a freedom of movement spell. The primary purpose of the rebec is to animate the dead to wretched unlife. Each round that the rebec is played, any corpses within the range of its hearing (including those buried in this range) are subject to reanimation. Even corpses that have rotted away can return as incorporeal undead. For each round of playing in an area where dead bodies are available, roll d6 to determine what type of undead creature that is created. These creatures do not attack the fiddler but are not otherwise under the player’s command; they remain true to form, attacking living creatures as opportunity presents. They remain animated until destroyed or the rebec is destroyed at which point all previously animated undead return to death once again.
d6 Undead Type
5 ectoplasmic creature (see Pathfinder Adventure Path #43 86)
6 creature of GMs choice (lesser shadow and ghoul wolf in this adventure)
The effects and powers of the rebec cannot be dispelled or nullified by silence or countersong (though countersong will prevent the animation of undead creatures for its duration). The fiddler need not concentrate for the rebec’s powers to activate, though she must use a move action each round that does not provoke attacks of opportunity to play the instrument.
Delixia begins binding the unconscious elven women with hemp rope.
It actually just occurred to me that Kisasi should have gotten a Will save. It won't change anything, since even half damage would knock him out. But at least it might be closer to conscious. He was at 3 hp, so I think this makes him -1 or -2 now, depending on how you round.
Will Save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Delixia finishes tying off their prisoner and takes a look down at the unconscious form of Kisasi. What was Thistle rambling on about? I need to remind myself to get the full scoop on that dwarf later. Something isn't quite right here.
Bending down and checking the fallen inquistitor's pulse to ensure he was in fact still alive, Delixia nods satisified. She looks to the rest of the group and adds, "I'm going to see what's going on up there. Mihaela you stay here with Kisasi. We'll be right back."
Looking sideways at Thistle she remarks, "Let's go. Try to keep your trap shut until we know what's ahead."
Mihaela's daughter was just born, so she may be afk-ish for a bit. Not sure what her schedule is going to be! She can babysit our fallen comrade.
Thistle and Delixia find Smaranda on the eastern side of the cemetery, listening intently. As she notices their approach, she attempts to imitate the cries that she's been hearing, while pointing into that direction. Alas, what comes out is more of a strangled squawk. These people probably think she's weak in the head, but somehow she finds it very difficult to speak to them. Especially the angry woman - Smaranda is terrified at the idea of being the target of her yelling and cursing. So far, the gnarf has had that honour, probably because he talks so much. So it's best to not talk at all.
She still wants to know what's happening back there though, so she slicks her hair back to imitate Kisasi, then wiggles her open hand in a back-and-forth tipping motion to inquire about his condition.
Congratulations, Mihaela! Wishing you and your daughter much health and happiness!
Congratulations Mihaele! I wish you, your newborn baby, and your family good health and happiness.
A faint cry of "Help us!" is heard on the next gust of wind as whistles through the tombstones and mausoleums. It seems to be coming from a mausoleum just a bit further to the East. Even from here you can see that there are nearly a half dozen tombstones stacked in front of the tombs entrance.
Mihaela continues her study of the fiddle as she awaits the return of the others.
Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
Thistle started to say something in response, but at DAY-LIX-EE-AH's glare he stopped. He scurried along with her around the corner and towards the mausoleum. He wondered what might be going on there, but then he wondered if perhaps the scary woman meant he should ask questions either. After all, they didn't know exactly what was ahead. The dwarf debated the matter internally until he realized the others were going off without him, at which point he moved up to join them.
Mihaela, time off work means time to post. GOGOGO! You can even post during the midnight feeding sessions. No slacking off!
The inquisitor's ears perk up at the plea for help. She whispers, "Did you hear that? More trouble ahead, let's go!"
Take 20+6=26 on perception of the area ahead. Barring signs of immediate danger, Del will lead the group forward towards the cry of help.
As you follow the cry for help you find yourself standing before what appears to be mausoleum. Its stone door is blocked shut by five tombstones stacked against the door. A pair of cloven hoof prints is visible in the soil in front of the stack of tombstones.
From here you can clearly hear the cries for help coming from within the tomb.
Smaranda crouches to examine the pair of prints before moving to the side of the door, back against the stack of tombstones, her legs straining against the ground as she tries to shift them away from the entrance.
Survival for the prints: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
Strength: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
With a heave and a loud exhalation of breath Smaranda clears the piled tombstones in one mighty shove. As she clears the door it opens out and Father Grimbarrow and several acolytes come walking out of what is clearly an underground tomb entryway.
Father Grimbarrow can only state "We entered the vault in the predawn darkness to prepare it for a coming funeral, the heavy door slammed shut behind them and became held fast. We then began to hear the eerie fiddling and knew something foul was afoot. It was not until you came and unstuck the door that we have been able to exit the tomb."
Father Grimbarrow looks over you all. "Do you know if anyone is injured from whatever happened this morning?"
"Oh yes, there is a man back there who is grievously injured from the events of this morning. in fact, we had just stopped that elven woman from playing that fiddle that was stirring up the undead...at least I am assuming that is what was happening because when we knocked her unconscious the dead stopped rising and were easily dealt with. At any rate, these fools decided to examine the fiddle instead of destroying it as anyone with half the intellect of a flea would have done in a trice. It seemed obvious to me, at any rate. I mean, you have a woman playing a fiddle and the dead arise. When the fiddle stops playing, the dead stop rising. I know correlation does not always equal causation, but in this case I'd say the results speak for themselves, wouldn't you?"
Thistle glanced around at the others and blanched at Delixia's expression.
"At any rate, one of our fighters was injured and when I went to heal him, he became moreso. He is obviously vampire-born, and needs negative energy to seal both his original wounds and the ones I inadvertently gave him through no fault but his own for not making it clear that he has an adverse reaction to positive divine energies. It was obviously a mistake anyone could make, but I wouldn't suggest using positive energies on this on, either, as she seems more of the same."
Thistle gestured to Smaranda at this last, and took a deep breath.
"At any rate, can any of you provide the negative energies our companion needs for healing? I can do it tomorrow, of course, once I have prepared the proper spells, but I think he needs attention sooner than that."
"Casamir, take Chal, and go to the cabinet where we keep the confiscated items. Retrieve the black iron wand that we took off the deceased Talden explorer last year. Bring it back here to me. That has the power needed to heal folks like he spoke of."
The two acolytes quickly head off back towards town. "Now take me to your wounded companion and I shall see what I can do to help him until they return."
Father Grimbarrow begins to follow you all back towards the center of the cemetery. "Now, you say that there was an elven women playing a fiddle that caused the dead to rise. Are you in possession of the fiddle or the women?"
Relieved to see the townsfolk is ok and willing to help, Delixia breathes a sigh of relief. When the long-winded dwarf mentions Kisasi is vampire-born, the inquisitor reaches a hand out and puts it on his shoulder but comes up short. As she walks with Father Grimbarrow her thoughts traverse back over the last day and all of the supporting evidence leading up to this conclusion. How could I have been so daft! It was right before my very own eyes!
When Thistle mentions Smaranda is 'more of the same', Delixia holds a hand out to stop the monk. Looking over to Thistle and Father Grimburrow she says, "I just heard some noises behind us, we're going to check it out. You two head back to the group, we'll be right htere."
Once Grimburrow has left with the talkative gnarf, Delixia lowers her hand and glares at Smaranda. Grinding her teeth, she tightens her grip on her morningstar. Debating what to say she finalize spits out "Dhampir." with as much venom as possible. "Pretending to be an ally only so you could kill the humans when they least expect it? Hmmm? I'm on to you. Don't think for one second I'm fooled by your ploy! Give me one good reason I shouldn't stake you to this tree right here, right now, half blood."
"Oh yes, we have both the fiddle and the woman...just the one though. Was there supposed to be more? At any rate, we have her...what was that DAY-LIX-EE-AH? Okay, if you need any assistance, be sure to call out. I will endeavor to rally the others to your aid with utmost haste. With a felicity of haste, you might say. Or perhaps you wouldn't. You don't seem like the kind of person that uses words like felicity. Does she Father?"
Thistle continued to escort Father Grimburrow towards Kisasi and their prisoner.
A look of alarm crosses Smaranda's face when the priest stumbles out from the mausoleum and she takes a few steps back to put some distance between them and her. The servants of Pharasma tended to most vigorously persecute her when they figured out what she was. Her concern turns almost into panic as the gnarf starts babbling about vampire-born and negative energies, pointing at her. Now the priest will try to kill her for sure. She is poised to flee, but Father Grimburrow's reaction has her blinking in surprise. They were not going to try and kill her, at least not now. What's more, they seemed to want to help the dark-skinned one, who was indeed, as she had suspected, like her.
In this maelstrom of emotions, Delixia's request to stay behind barely registers, and Smaranda forgets to be suspicious... until it's too late. She flinches as the woman throws the cursed word at her. She opens her mouth a few times, but only choked sounds come out. Finally, she manages a few words in a hoarse whisper.
"I... don't... kill... humans. And I HATE the undead."
Why was nothing going the way that it was supposed to today?
As she tuned out Thistle's jabbering nonsense, she gave Smaranda all of her focus and attention. The small, emaciated, dark haired girl was all but cowering before her. Hates undead, eh? That's exactly what I'd say in her situation too.
Still, her plea of innocence was not what she had expected whatsoever. She had seen the signs of strength she possessed just moments ago when freeing the priest and even before when she was using her fist to take down the fiddler and her undead minions.
Grunting in confusion, looks down at the girl and pokes a meaty finger in her direction. "Look. We're not done, but there are still people in danger and I don't have time to figure out what to do right now.
Let's rejoin the others, but don't you stray too far now. I'll be watching."
Lowering her hand she motions for the monk to proceed to rejoin the group.
Arriving back at the hilltop you find Mihaela spinning the fiddle around in her hands. In a low, almost frustrated grumble "Dang it! Give up your secrets already you malevolent thing."
Mihaela looks up at the noise of the returning footsteps and jerks back slightly and appears slightly startled by your quick return. "Kisasi still lives, his bandages are holding just fine, and he appears to be sleeping rather peacefully at the moment."
Father Grimbarrow hunches down beside Kisasi with a bit of effort which is unsurprising for a man of Grimbarrows age. "It is such a pity that such individuals should exist in the world. Better had that they died at birth or better yet not born at all due to the life they are forced to live just due to their parentage." Father Grimbarrow is checking and tightening bandages as he speaks. "It is his kind that got me banished to this backwater village in the first place you know. I thought that just perhaps there was a way to cure them of their affliction instead of the way those who wear the red coats at Gravecharge deal with their kind."
"You of all people must know that the dhampir are no better or worse than most people. IN fact, they have a reputation like a certain breed of dog. People think those dogs are scary because many of them have been trained to be so, or have been abused. But that same dog in a caring environment can be the most loving pet int he world. Many dhampir go to great lengths to overcome their heritage, even taking up the role of undead slayers just to prove how unlike their ancestors they are. Poor things."
After several minutes the two acolytes come jogging back into the cemetery and come up the hill. "Father, here is the wand you requested." The wand appears black in color and it bearing a single blood red strip running the length of the wand.
Father Grimbarrow takes the wand in hand. "Stand back and make sure you avoid being touched by this unless you wish to wind up in an early grave." Father Grimbarrow reaches down and touches the wand to Kisasi' exposed skin. A brief blood red haze lays over Kisasi and seems to merge into his flesh.
Kisasi: 1 Str damage, -3 HP, Prone
Smaranda slinks after Delixia, breathing in relief. She gives the priest a wide berth, but cannot help overhear the last of his words about dhampirs. Was it really possible to be cured of this? As she opens her mouth to ask the father what exactly he means, the gnarf starts speaking again. Could that man not shut up for a moment? Smaranda clenches her fists as her existence is compared to that of a dog. Truth be told, it wasn't too far off, considering her half-feral childhood and how she kept seeking the company of people despite all the ways they hurt her... But it wasn't for him to say so!
"'m not a dog" she mumbles, audible only to those nearby.
She could take the unkind words from the priest, his religion had most likely taught him to think that way, although it did sting to hear that she had better not been born at all. But at least he was trying to do something, to find a cure, to help. What had the dwarf done, other than run his mouth? She glowers at him, lips curled in a snarl. She could understand people hating her, could deal with that, but Thistle was just oblivious to the hurt he was causing with his words.
Down with Thistle! Though, I don't think there is any love lost on Delixia right now either.
Delixia makes it back with Smaranda in time to catch the second half of the discussion between Grimbarrow and Thistle. She shakes her head at Thistle, disagreeing. "They are not like dogs, they are like vampires, dwarf. Grimbarrow is right about one thing, ". She turns her attention to the monk and looks her in the eye as she repeats "They should not exist at all in this world."
She turns her attention to Kisasi to see if he opens his eyes and returns to the land of consciousness.
"Wha??? What happened? Just when I thought we had things under control..."
Then seeing the priest, he looks quizzically. "You... you knew how to treat my wounds?"