Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
Delixia also calls for Smaranda to stop, agreeing with the rest of the party. She readies her morningstar and cautions "Weapons at the ready team, trouble is close."
As Smaranda comes to a stop she is just able to see something blink out of existence. The rest of the group readies themselves to face whatever made those inhuman screams.
Smaranda points a finger towards where the creature had just been.
"What was that? Did you see? The big spider with a face?"
"There was a spider with a face? Was it a happy looking face, or more scary? I once read a story about a scary-faced spider that could turn itself invisible, and leap out and scare small children. The mother told the child that the spider would not hurt her, but the child knew that the spider would leap out and get her. The mother picked up a shoe and said 'I'll squash that spider with this shoe if it tries to get you.' The child was about to say that the spider was in the shoe when the mother put the show on and squashed the spider. So, I guess that doesn't really really apply if you say this was a big spider, unless your idea of a big spider is only about the size of my thumbnail. Is it?"
Despite his words, Thistle looked around to see if he could see signs of this big spider Smaranda was talking about.
perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
Kisasi looks around, a bit confused and wary. "Too bad you don't have a really big shoe."
Holding his crossbow ready, the dhampir searches his memories for mention of such a creature. Sadly, nothing comes to mind.
Knowledge, arcana: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
Delixia looks down at her boots and grunts. "I've got a big boot and I'm more than willing to put it down if we find it."
Looking to Thistle, Delixia asks "I heard about this spider too. If memory serves correct, it's attracted to bright colors."
Suddenly those same inhuman screams come from south of the clearing. Several seconds later more screams sound from the east, across the clearing. Then again mere moments later screams break through from the north disturbing the silence that envelops the fens.
Smaranda points to the north of the clearing.
She starts stalking towards it, fists balled.
Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18
Kisasi aims in the direction Smaranda pointed and fires.
Not sure if this was needed since Smaranda pointed out, but here are some rolls in case it wasn't
Attack: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Crit confirm?: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Miss Chance?: 1d100 ⇒ 9
Damage: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Kisasi's crossbow bolt goes flying towards where Smaranda had pointed and is heard whisking into the tall dense reeds were it is not heard again.
Delixia: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Kisasi: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Mihaela: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (12) + 12 = 24
Smaranda: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Thistle: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Phase Spider: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Mihaela, Kisasi, Thistle, and Smaranda are up for actions in Round 1.
Due to the small size of the area everyone is within 20 feet of the spider. I unfortunately don't have a map for this encounter.
Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (16) + 11 = 27
Kisasi finally sees the target, loads his crossbow and fires again.
Crossbow attack: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
Damage: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Thistle raised his hands and brought them together, forming the sign of Desna. A pulse of radiance flew out from him, and everyone felt their spirits lifted.
Smaranda doesn't need Thistle telling her to charge, she is already launching a flying kick at the creature.
Attack, Bless, Power attack: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16 Damage: 1d8 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11
Mihaela places a protective Ward on Smaranda. "Aim for its grotesque face Smaranda!"
Ward: Smaranda receives a +2 deflection bonus to AC and a +2 resistance bonus on saving throws. This ward lasts until the warded creature is hit or fails a saving throw.
Mihaela calls out Combat advice to Smaranda against the odd spider.
Kisasi Miss Chance 30%: 1d100 ⇒ 2 Kisasi's crossbow blow flies harmlessly out amongst the tall thick reeds.
Thanks to the timely advice of Mihaela Smaranda's kick lands cleanly against the spiders inhuman face.
The spider lashes out at Smaranda with its maw.
Attack: Bite vs. Smaranda AC 19: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26
Damage: B/P/S: 2d6 + 7 ⇒ (5, 2) + 7 = 14
Grab: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (16) + 16 = 32
Smaranda: Make a DC 18 Fortitude Save vs. Poison or take 1d2 ⇒ 1 Constitution damage.
Smaranda: -14 HP, Cursed, Grappled
Spider: -11 HP, Grappled
Delixia[b] is up for actions in Round 1. [b]Miheala, Kisasi, Thistle, and Smaranda are up for actions in Round 2.
Due to the small size of the area everyone is within 20 feet of the spider. I unfortunately don't have a map for this encounter.
Fortitude: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18 Whew. I did not need more CON damage.
Bleeding from a dozen puncture wounds, Smaranda retaliates with fury, throwing her entire body behind her punches as much as she can while in the spider's "embrace".
Attack, flurry, power attack, grappled: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26 Damage, ki strike: 1d8 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11
Attack, flurry, power attack: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12 Damage, ki strike: 1d8 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13
Attack, flurry, power attack: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19 Damage, ki strike: 1d8 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
Kisasi starts to get frustrated and moves closer. Pulling out his starknife, he stabs at the spider.
Attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
Crit confirm?: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Damage: 1d4 ⇒ 1
Delixia moves into flanking position with Smaranda. Once firmly positioned, she swings her morningstar into it's hide with an accompanying yell of "Yyeeaaaaaaa!"
Attack - morningstar + flank + bless: 1d20 + 8 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 8 + 2 + 1 = 22
Damage: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Blessings of Desna given, Thistle unloaded his crossbow from his back and aimed carefully, trying to hit the spider and not his companions. He closed his eyes and pulled the trigger, opening one up slowly to see if he hit anything.
crossbow,bless: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 5 + 1 = 9
damage: 1d8 ⇒ 2
Dropping Smaranda the horrid looking spider suddenly disappears into the thin air leaving no trace of itself behind.
Smaranda: Make a DC 18 Fortitude Save vs. Poison or take 1d2 ⇒ 1 Constitution damage. If you make this saving throw you will have resisted the poison. If not keep making Saving Throws until you either succeed, survive all the rounds of poison damage, or die.
Round 3: DC 18 Fortitude Save vs. Poison or take 1d2 ⇒ 2 Constitution damage.
Round 4: DC 18 Fortitude Save vs. Poison or take 1d2 ⇒ 2 Constitution damage.
Round 5: DC 18 Fortitude Save vs. Poison or take 1d2 ⇒ 1 Constitution damage.
Round 6: DC 18 Fortitude Save vs. Poison or take 1d2 ⇒ 2 Constitution damage.
Round 7: DC 18 Fortitude Save vs. Poison or take 1d2 ⇒ 2 Constitution damage.
Round 8: DC 18 Fortitude Save vs. Poison or take 1d2 ⇒ 2 Constitution damage.
You need to make two successful Fortitude Saving throws in a row.
You begin searching the clearing for Aleece after being sure that the overgrown spider doesn't return.
The bog is littered with the remnants of the belongings of previous victims.
Smaranda: -14 HP, Cursed
Fortitude save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
Fortitude save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Fortitude save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Fortitude save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Fortitude save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Fortitude save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Fortitude save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Nevermind, I misread the previous post. Deleted extra rolls above the 8 rounds needed. Smaranda is now at 2 con score, wheeee.
For minutes after the spider vanishes, Smaranda's body convulses in the throes of its venom. After what feels like an eternity of wracking pain and dry heaves, Smaranda climbs to one knee, obviously very weak, her limbs trembling with effort at the slightest exertion. Her breathing is shallow, her skin even paler than usual, and her eyes glassy as she looks around.
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
She spots a few items among the bones, but lacks the strength to do anything about them, so she simply points towards them with a shaky hand.
Kisasi runs to Smaranda's side as she falls. Casting detect poison, he has an idea of what is going on, but lacks the power to truly heal her. But he starts with what he can.
Inflict Light Wounds: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
Restoration, lesser: 1d4 ⇒ 4
Seeing her regain a bit of composure and starting to point at something, Kisasi looks that way. "Rest, my friend. I see it. We will take a look in a minute."
Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (18) + 11 = 29
Kisasi retrieves the items from the corpse, and looks through them. "Interesting find, but I fear the owner was less fortunate that Smaranda here."
Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30
Deciding to examine further, Kisasi finds the drag marks, and eventually also finds the remains of Aleece. Pulling her out of the bog, he looks to see if he can do anything, but clearly it is too late.
"I am afraid we have arrived too late to help this poor girl. We should take her back to her people."
"Smaranda, sit girl before you fall over! Oh that poison is horrible. Let me see if I have anything in here that can help with that. Yes, see, here are some vials of antitoxin, no whoops. Okay, forget the antitoxin. Let's just deal with the aftereffects, shall we? Two small vials of lesser restoration potions, and here's a scroll too. We can patch you up in a jiffy."
lesser restoration scroll: 1d4 ⇒ 3
lesser restoration potion: 1d4 ⇒ 3
How far down are you now? We have another vial of potion if you need it.
Smaranda nods her thanks to Kisasi and Thistle as she downs one of the vials and patiently waits for Thistle to read the scroll. Her complexion is slightly improved, but she still looks the worse for wear.
I still have 6 points of Con damage, but I am hesitant to use so many resources for one encounter.
Resources are there to use
Thistle pulled out his wand, which he had completely forgotten, and brought Smaranda back up to full strength.
lesser restoration: 1d4 ⇒ 3
lesser restoration: 1d4 ⇒ 1
lesser restoration: 1d4 ⇒ 4
Delixia is greatly dismayed that the spider has escaped. She thrashes about in the woods nearby for a few minutes trying to find it before harrumphing back to the party. When she returns, she frowns at the paler than normal monk.
She watches the party give her scrolls, cast spells and tap their wands on her silently. While she doesn't want her to die, she's using a fair bit of their resources. "Spider got away." is all she offers before going to look at the girl and items they found.
You stumble back onto the road after slogging your way out of the fens. You feet and clothing wet from the marsh. Your clothes bear dirt, mud, and the remnants of the tall reeds you went through. The air around you smells stale and musty.
You all make your way back to the wagons of The Crooked Kin carrying with you both the items you found within the fen and the body of Aleece. With gentleness and surprising affection Smaranda ensures that Aleece is shown propper respect as she is laid out on a blanket that is stretched out on the ground near the Pinhead sisters wagon. Aleece's sisters kneel beside her body and sob anew.
Kaleb Hesse pulls you all aside and away from the Kin that have gathered to mourn the lose of Aleece. "Thank you, sincerely. You have shown friendship and thoughtfulness where other only showed scorn and distrust of those different than themselves. If you had not stopped and offered to assist us in our time of need I am not sure how we would have fared. We are in your debt. To that end, I would be honored if you would travel with us. I can offer you use of one of our wagons while we journey to Lepidstadt. Alas I can not pay you anything but if anyone among you happens to be a performer in your own right you are welcome to work with us and we will split our profits with you while you are a part of the troupe."
"Also I promised a reward if you should be able to find our Aleece. You have done that and more. As a token of our thanks I wish you to have this." Kaleb hands you a sheathed dagger bearing a wolf print burned onto the handle. "This seamingly simple dagger belies its true nature or so we were told by the seer who left it with us. The woman said that it's true nature is shown against those who are changed by the light of the full moon. May you find it to be more of use to you then we have." With that Kaleb turns and walks back to his fellow Kin.
What do you wish to do now? You are just outside the walled town of Tamrivena. It is five days by foot to Lepidstadt from here.
Smaranda: -5 HP, Cursed!
"We thank you for your kind offer of the gift. I think that is an amazing imprint of the wolf. And you say it reveals its true nature among those changed by the light of the moon? That must mean lycanthropes, men and women who change into the form of their beast during the days surrounding the full moon. Well, they can change at other times too, but at the full moon they have no choice. It's like having a job that three days a month requires you to put on a costume. You can put on the costume any other time, but during those three days you have to wear it. Oh, and you lose a lot of your own will as thebeast inside takes over. And most are evil. So, not very much like a costume at all."
Thistle pulled the blade from its sheath to check and see if it was silver.
"As for the ride, I would be happy to. As a disciple of Desna, the freedom to travel where I wish on my own two feet is a blessing, but sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad."
The dwarf rubbed one of his feet against the back of the opposite leg to show his point.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
"I'll be honest... not sure how you keep up with us Thisty!" Mihaela says warmly. Turning to Kaleb "I think we could take you up on your offer. The company is appreciated! Not that I'm tired of my current company, but talking about the many different types of sandstone does get boring after awhile."
Uncomfortable around grief, Smaranda fiddles with the box of brass weights, accidentally discovering a false bottom where three silver ingots lie. She shows them to the others discreetly. Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
Smaranda's face lit up at Kaleb's offer of travelling with them and the girl nods enthusiastically. As the others chatter, she whispers to the man.
"Do you know about curses?"
"Ah, very good then. We will set off in the morning and should hopefully reach Lepidstadt within the week providing the weather doesn't slow us." Kaleb gives you all a hasty bow and gestures to Smaranda to follow him.
"Why do you ask? Have you gotten entangled in something that would have been better left alone?" Kaleb waves away Smaranda's answers as she starts to speak and continues on. "We are but simple performs here among the wagons. However, since you are now traveling among us, I will tell you that we are traveling to the home of one of the great centers of study and learning in the world. While Lepidstadt University focuses on the mortal sciences it might house the answers you seek or be able to guide you to them. I will also ask around once we arrive and see if I can learn about anyone who might be able to assist you."
"Also I strongly recommend avoiding the area around Gravecharge. It is the local cathedral dedicated to Pharasma and also home to her rather militant inquisitors. If you spot someone in a bright red coat and wide brimmed hat coming your way turn around walk away."
Smaranda: -5 HP, Cursed!
"Pharasma. I suppose any religion can be used as an excuse to twist it's tenets for individual gain, but the followers of Pharasma we have recently encountered seem to be among the worst. Thank you for the advice."
While they are travelling, Kisasi moves among the strange performers to get a better idea of who they are travelling with.
Perception wooden box: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
Delixia examines the box and takes note of the false bottom and ingots stored within. Once discovered, she hands them all back to Thistle, her colorful pack mule, to carry until they can sell them off.
Delixia comments on the discussion of Pharasman inquisitors. "Not all follows of the Lady of Graves are so hard. Take me for instance, I am quite open minded and easy going."
"Fair point. Certainly I should be more careful with my generalizations, as I have certainly been at the other end of that problem more times than I could count."
GM - I am not sure, but it seems like we have a chance to get to know some NPCs here. Anyone look particularly friendly?
The Crooked Kin consists of 13 performers, all people with a variety of physical handicaps or deformities, plus a handful of additional sideshow attractions. Though they all have exotic (or in some cases, frightening) appearances, the Kin are just honest performers trying to make a living.
The following people make up the Crooked Kin.
Hap Tarvin, the Flea Man (CN male human expert 1: A short, hunched man with a distorted appearance, Hap performs with his flea circus, the Magnificent Carnival of Miniature Wonders.
Kaleb Hesse, the Ringmaster (N male human expert 3): An albino man with red eyes and long, white hair that hangs below his knees, Kaleb wears a tall red top hat, a long red coat with gold buckles, and striped trousers. He is the de facto leader of the Crooked Kin.
Lidia Gerod, the Bearded Lady (NG female human commoner 3): Standing nearly 7 feet tall and possessed of a fine beard down to her waist, Lidia acts as a sort of “mother hen” to the other members of the troupe.
The Pinheads: Aleece (CN female human commoner 1), Lettie (NG female human commoner 2), and Poppy (N female human commoner 1) are sisters, all of whom have microcephaly. Aleece has sadly been found dead and her body returned to the Crooked Kin.
Prince Zar, the Human Caterpillar (CN male human expert 2): This Mwangi man has no arms or legs. Prince Zar was once enslaved in a Chelish sideshow, but earned enough money to buy his freedom. He joined the Crooked Kin, where he is billed as an exiled prince of the “Lost Cities of Darkest Garund.”
S’jeer, the Vudrani Princess (N female human aristocrat 2): Born with four arms, S’jeer dresses in exotic silks and speaks with a thick accent, but she is actually from Galt and the daughter of a fishmonger.
The Swarm of Clowns: These three men, Gerik, Josef, and Tam (all N male human expert 2), each have an extra limb (Josef has three legs, the others have three arms). Besides their skill in clowning, they are also accomplished acrobats and jugglers.
Trollblood, the Giant Man (N male human expert 2): A shockingly ugly Ulfen man nearly 8 feet tall, Trollblood entertains the crowds with fire-breathing and his feats of strength.
The Wolf Child (N male child human commoner 1): Supposedly raised by wolves in the Shudderwood, this 10-year-old boy is covered in hair. He is unfortunately insane, but the three pinhead sisters treat him like a younger brother.
In addition, the show also includes a pair of caged goblin dogs, a morlock, and a giant frog.
You are welcome to talk with any of the performers during your journey to Lepidstadt. The Crooked Kin stops at a village or town each night along the way to Lepidstadt including Courtaud.
Kisasi picks a different person each day to try to get to know better, starting with the large man called Trollblood.
When in town, unless there is a reason, he will stick close to the sideshow.
Of course Thistle makes a point to talk to all of the caravan members as they travel, often regaling them with tales of adventure and tidbits about their chosen professions as written by archaic scholars who likely never saw a sideshow in person, or at least not from anywhere closer than the back row. Still, the gnarf was full of wonderful stories (to him) and amazing advice (also to him) and was rewarded for his efforts by S’jeer, who re-dyed his hair and provided her own special blend so that Thistle could refresh the color ever 3 weeks or so.
Oh boy! Time to let Del's 7 charisma shine!!!
Unfortunately, each day Delixia finds herself in conversation with a performer against her will. With only a few short sentences, she unknowingly insults each of them just enough to end the conversation and regain the alone time she desires.
After four or so of these encounters, she returns to the party frustrated. "We're surrounded by freaks! These people, nah, creatures I should say, should go back to where they came from! Why is it we are assisting them instead of doing what we set out to do!?"
Crossing her arms in a huff, she stomps off to seek solace in silence.
Smaranda hadn't been making particular friends with anyone, content to just be around them and listen to their stories. She had been spending her time mostly with Lidia and Kaleb, but was starting to feel close to all of them, so Delixia's outburst cuts deep.
As the angry woman stomps off, the young dhampir turns to Thistle, brow furrowed. "Where they came from? Like they all come from one place? Is that true? Do all people with strangeness come from somewhere and just... just spread out into the world? That's not true, is it?"
Mihaela, introduces herself to the Pinheads, perhaps able to identify the cause of death for Aleece.
Healing: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
Hearing Delixia's outburst, she quicky runs over and tries to calm her. "Be nice, not all of us have your looks, not so much your personality...." she whispers.
Mihaela: Aleece was killed by poisoning from a phase spider.
Day 4 encounter chance 20%: 1d100 ⇒ 36
Day 5 encounter chance 20%: 1d100 ⇒ 71
Day 6 encounter chance 20%: 1d100 ⇒ 79
During your time traveling with The Crooked Kin you learn that they come from all over Ustalav and Varisia having slowly come together over many years to form this fully fledged out traveling cabinet of curiosities. You are regaled with stories and legends from throughout Ustalav as well as various tidbits of possibly useful information as you make your way along with the caravan. You are fed, sheltered, and generally treated like family while with The Crooked Kin, even if some of you are more standoffish than others.
designed his own coffin, complete with devices to warn those above should he be mistakenly interred. Yet when he passed on, his miserly brother buried him on the cheap in a plain pine box. None can say whether Cobermain was truly dead when he was buried, but his hungry spirit now roams Ardagh’s Lanternwatch Cemetery, a horrifying spectre clad in the fleshy tatters of one who slowly starved within the grave.
Thankfully you encounter no trouble during your journey to Lepidstadt. The weather, while cooler than normal for spring, was tolerable and without any steady rain or thunderstorms. You were able to help, if you chose to, with setting up the caravan's show each day/evening and could earn a few coins if you wished by performing for the locals the show attracted each day.
Lepidstadt is a small city on the banks of the Lesser Moutray River, most famous for its university and the strange standing stones outside the city called the Spiral Cromlech. Recently renovated, Lepidstadt is a bustling, lively city of students and academics, with newly bricked streets, wide plazas, and grandiose structures built from imported wood and stone. Away from the university and city center, however, the narrow, winding streets of Lepidstadt show the signs of its age, with dilapidated hovels, crumbling stone walls, and cramped courtyards.
As you arrive you hear the following being bellowed out by a Lepidstadt Town Crier. "Burghers of Lepidstadt, rejoice! The Beast has been captured! Soon the abomination will be tried for crimes against the good people of Vieland. The Punishing Man now rises in the square outside the courthouse! The logs have been stacked against his flanks and the oil has seeped into his veins. The Punishing Man waits to take his passenger to the depths of Hell! And soon, he shall have his feast..."
Current Tasks: When you arrive in Lepidstadt, you have two tasks to complete to fulfill the final wishes of Professor Lorrimor—returning the tomes from Professor Lorrimor’s chest to Dr. Montagnie Crowl at Lepidstadt University, and delivering the curious unknown tome (Purple cover bearing an engraved Scarab with a single eye glaring from its back on the cover) to Judge Embreth Daramid at her townhouse in the city. How do you wish to proceed?
Smaranda had been polishing up her juggling with the help of the three clowns, getting almost good enough to be a supporting act to their part of the show, and was just working up her courage to propose a double act to Trollblood when the caravan reached Lepistadt. Not fond of cities, she is extra careful to keep her appearance hidden, especially now with the dozens of bloodless wounds from the curse all over her body. Using the chillness of the weather as a pretext, she wears body-covering clothes, gloves, a scarf and an overlarge cloak with the hood pulled low over her face.
She watches the streets and buildings and people with a mix of interest and trepidation and... something else. Here they are, their mission almost complete. They will deliver their books and then - what? Likely go their separate ways. Smaranda will miss them, even the ever-angry Delixia and her suspicions. She will definitely miss Kisasi, and Mihaela, and Thistle. What is there for her to do after? She supposes she could stay with the Crooked Kin, travel with them, perform for food and lodgings, or even coin. It's a better life than being alone and hunted, but it also feels like... less than she's had for these past few weeks. Exploring haunted prisons, solving mysteries, thwarting dangerous cultists, fighting powerful spirits - she has felt like she mattered, like she could do something good for once. She will miss this feeling most of all.