"Who is Scabvistin? Anyone know?" Eustoma asks as they study the note.
Eustoma will let Karla and Wulfram seek out Santila. "I don't know what to say to her. I can make what I need from the forest. I don't understand the desire for so much wealth."
Wulfram replied to Eustoma, "I would imagine an Ironfang commander of some sort."
He sought out Santila Savros, trying to convince her, before the end of the meeting, to commit the forces of the Prophets of Kalistrade to the cause.
"Nirmathas would be grateful if your order were to commit your mercenaries to aid us. Our nation remembers its friends, and would consider you favorably in trade negotiations."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (13) + 20 = 33 Sorry, I'm all out of money metaphors.
Aiding Karla if she's talking to Santila.
Without Obsik interfering, Karla and Wulfram find Santila slightly more receptive to their arguments. It's exhausting speaking to the stubborn woman, but just before the summit's end, they finally sway her to the cause. She promises to lend her small private army to Nirmathas and offers a sample of her wares: four rings of minor energy resistance, one each for acid, cold, electricity, and fire.
Having at last secured powerful allies, you can begin your plan for a full assault against the Ironfang Legion's strongholds in Nirmathas. Forest Marshal Weslen Gavirk meets with you and your top advisers as you study a map displaying the hobgoblins' forces. Four onyx towers remain; the others have been destroyed by the Ironfang Legion as they consolidate their forces in anticipation of your counterattack. One stands on the Plains of Molthune—a vulnerable and politically loaded position for you to assault—while another stands on the southern edge of the Nesmian Plains, several weeks’ march south. A third now stands in the Fangwood, protected against large-scale sieges by the hills and impassable foliage of the primeval wood. Only a single onyx tower, and with it access to the Ironfang Legion’s extraplanar fallback location, stands within easy striking distance: the one located at Fort Phaendar.
"I'll lead my militias to strike against the tower on the Nesmian Planes," Weslen says. "The forces of the Accresiel Court and the Knights of Ozem can assault the tower in the Fangwood, while General Sebine's and Santila's armies can go after the one in Molthune. That leaves you to retake your hometown and secure Phaendar."
Wulfram met with the representatives of the different alliance forces. He said, "I suggest a simultaneous assault on all four towers — that will ensure that the enemy can't concentrate on us one at a time. How long do each of you need to move your forces into position, and make your final preparations? Our team will plan to be ready when everyone else is."
"My heart fills with joy at the thought of returning to Phaendar and free the town from the Legion. But perhaps more importantly, I smile at the gathering of all these allies, together to battle oppression, and unjust tyranny. May our strike hit down all the way to the very pits of Hell and send a clear message of hope!"
"It will wonderful to go home again. I can't wait to cleanse it from the Iron Fang's filth." Eustoma is thrilled that they have enough support to do a multiple attack on the towers.
After the conference, Wulfram related to Rhyna what had happened. "Very soon we will drive the Ironfang Legion out of Phaendar — it's time for our people to go home!
"Please don't talk about it to others however; we don't know if the enemy has more spies among us. I suppose some might say that I shouldn't be telling you this, but it doesn't feel right to keep secrets from you."
"Yes, we should prepare as best we can. Perhaps we should scry in them as they spied on us?" she asks, looking at Wulfram.
Eustoma giggles. "Turn the tables on them? Sounds like an excellent plan. I can donate to that spell if you need supplies."
Wulfram replied to Karla, "Do we know of a specific individual to spy on? The prayers that I know need to target an individual."
I haven't been able to find any long-distance spells that let you observe a location.
"Hmmm... That's a good question. We have heard several of their leaders' names. Would the names be enough though? And could they tell that we're looking at them? Otherwise, we could also teleport at a safe distance and Rogar could scout, but that's not the same..."
Wulfram considered Karla's suggestion, "I can give it a try. The weaker connection just makes it less likely to work."
He meditated and memorized one prayer for the scrying, and another to understand what people were saying, and then gave it a try.
I haven't kept track of the leaders' names. Who do we know of? Wulfram would like to scry on the commander of Fort Phaendar.
Casting Greater Scrying, with Tongues ready in case someone starts speaking a language Wulfram doesn't know. The DC for Greater Scrying will be 24, but the subject gets a +5 on its Will save to negate the effect (secondhand knowledge). If someone knows the subject well enough to draw a picture of them, that would add -2 to the save.
The next day, and all further days before the assault, Wulfram will memorize and cast Detect Scrying (duration 24 hours).
That same day, he can can also cast Greater Scrying twice. Note that we probably want to teleport to Tamran to make some purchases.
Will: 1d20 + 11 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 11 + 5 = 29
Will: 1d20 + 11 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 11 + 5 = 24
Will: 1d20 + 11 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 11 + 5 = 17
Your allies’ intelligence reports indicate that the commander of Fort Phaendar is a bugbear named Scabvistin, the same one who sent the letter to the traitorous Obsik Shalehammer. It takes Wulfram a few tries, but eventually the scrying works, and he gazes upon Scabvistin, a lanky, older bugbear with a commanding presence. He stands at a table in that holds a tiny model of the countryside, and various maps hang from the walls behind him. The black stone floor indicates that he is likely inside an onyx tower. He speaks with a half-dozen advisors, discussing troop movements and strategies.
Can this information be used for teleporting later? If so, Karla would drink Wulfram's every inch of description.
Wulfram took out a journal and made notes of what was being discussed. He spent the day watching Scabvistin; there were long stretches of boredom, when nothing interesting was happening, punctuated by some brief episodes of frenzied note-taking.
The spell lasts 16 hours, so he will spend all day watching the Ironfang commander. Wulfram understands Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Goblin, Ignan, Sylvan, Terran, Undercommon and Varisian. He can cast Tongues (duration 2.5 hours) once, when an unfamiliar language is spoken.
Scabvistin speaks in Common as he directs his troops. From the various conversations Wulfram overhears, the shaman gleans that until recently, Phaendar acted as a staging point for the Ironfang Legion’s invasion. However, when Azaersi lost the sardonyx shard, she started to pull her forces back into the Vault of the Onyx Citadel in anticipation of a counterattack from your forces.
Without the sardonyx shard, the Legion forces on the Material Plane have no way of opening the Stone Roads into the Plane of Earth. Instead, they must rely on the citadel to open irregularly scheduled portals from the other side for reinforcements and communications.
Very few soldiers are allowed to come and go from the fort. Wagonloads of human slaves traveling to and from farms and logging camps in the surrounding areas depart each morning and return at sunset, each overseen by a hobgoblin lieutenant and a half-dozen sergeants.
Scabvistin has prepared a contingency should the onyx tower be compromised. Several runes on the walls in his command room can be used to trigger the tower's self-destruction. This would take several minutes, but given the chance, he would prefer that the twoer and its secrets not fall into enemy hands.
While observing Scabvistin, Wulram intoned a prayer to scan the command room for magic auras. He made notes of where the runes that might trigger the tower's self-destruct mechanism were located.
Read Magic functions through Greater Scrying. The 60ft range of Detect Magic would still apply, I would think.
If he observes spell effect, he can use Spellcraft (+18) to understand the spell(s), but he doesn't have any ranks of Knowledge Arcana.
The next day he met with his team members, and went over everything that he had observed. "It would be ideal if we could stop Scabvistin from activating the self-destruct sequence."
"Wulfram, are tou saying that Phaendar is of greater importance than the Onyx tower? That’s surprising to me. But then, where is the Onyx tower, and what is currently in there? Can we not try to use the Phaendar runes to destroy the tower?"
Rogar shrugs, "Why don' we jus' kill him before he can start tha self-destruct?" he asks.
Wulfram replied to Rogar, "We should certainly try to do that."
My impression is that the runes trigger the destruction of just the tower at Phaendar.
"I'd like to know the tower's secrets, but when it comes down to it as long as the town is freed I don't care much about the tower. We can try to kill him before the destruct runes are triggered."
Wulfram prepared for the attack on the black tower in Phaendar.
Orisons: Detect Magic, Guidance, Light, Read Magic.
1st: Bless x2, Liberating Command, Remove Fear x2
2nd: Barkskin x3, Calm Emotions, Delay Poison
3rd: Daylight, Dispel Magic, Magic Circle against Evil, Sleet Storm, Fly
4th: Blessing of Fervor, Detect Scrying, Divine Power, Freedom of Movement, Greater Magic Weapon
5th: Breath of Life, Overland Flight, Quickened Divine Favor
6th: Greater Dispel Magic, Mass Bear's Endurance, Mass Cure Moderate Wounds
7th: Heal, Quickened Silence, Waves of Ecstasy
8th: Stormbolts, Quickened Divine Power
Wandering Spirit: Battle
Wandering Hexs: Battle Master (one extra AoO, weapon specialization longspear), Eyes of Battle
When everyone and everything was ready, he intoned the prayers needed, just before they were to teleport into the tower control room.
Eustoma: Bless, Blessing of Fervor, Mass Bull's Strength, Mass Bear's Endurance
Karla: Bless, Blessing of Fervor, Mass Bull's Strength, Mass Bear's Endurance, Remove Fear
Nik'o: Bless, Barkskin, Blessing of Fervor, Mass Bull's Strength, Mass Bear's Endurance, Remove Fear
Rogar: Bless, Blessing of Fervor, Mass Bull's Strength, Mass Bear's Endurance, Remove Fear
Sia: Bless, Barkskin, Blessing of Fervor, Mass Bull's Strength, Mass Bear's Endurance, Remove Fear
Wulfram: Bless, Barkskin, Blessing of Fervor, Delay Poison, Divine Power, Detect Scrying, Freedom of Movement, Greater Magic Weapon, Mass Bull's Strength, Mass Bear's Endurance, Overland Flight, Remove Fear
Barkskin: 158 min
Bless: 15 min
Blessing of Fervor: 16 rounds
Delay Poison: 158 min
Detect Scrying: 24 hours
Divine Power: 15 rounds
Freedom of Movement: 158 min
Greater Magic Weapon: 16 hours
Mass Bull's Strength: 15 min
Mass Bear's Endurance: 15 min
Overland Flight: 16 hours
Remove Fear: 9 min
You coincide your attack on the onyx tower in Phaendar with those of your allies across the region. You watch through the scrying sensor as Scabvistin sends his officers out to command the Legion's other forces, leaving only the commander and a single female warrior as his honor guard in the war room. When you are ready, you teleport into the chamber.
Scabvistin cries out in surprise as you suddenly appear! "Foul elf magic!" the bugbear cries as his honor guard moves to defend him!
Karla: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
Rogar: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Wulfram: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Enemies: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Everybody but Rogar may act! Map is updated, will add icons for the enemies later today.
Is this a regular or a surprise round?
Reminder: Sia and Nik'o are in Pup Shape this round. Nik'o will be in Pup Shape next round as well.
Sorry, other question: Does Karla recognizes the self-destruct runes Wulfram described to them? If so, she'll cast Wall of Force to enclose them.
Karla conjures a wall of force to appear in front of the runes. Nik'o stays hidden in her robes.
On the morning of the assault, after meditating for his spells, Wulfram recited his prayer to detect magical scrying. Once he was confident that he wasn't being magically observed, he want to say goodbye to his love, "Today's the day, Rhyna: today we liberate Phaendar! Then our people can return home!"
He kissed her, lingering in her loving embrace, as if drawing strength for the upcoming struggle.
After the disorienting lurch of teleportation, Wulfram quickly recovered his bearings, seeing now the same room he had previously observed through the magic sensor. He recited a powerful prayer, sending waves of intense pleasure towards the two hobgoblins, followed by a word of power to suppress sound waves. Finally, he moved forward to threaten the hobgoblin commander with his spear.
Waves of Ecstasy: "You emanate waves of intense pleasure that cause all targets within range to falter. Affected creatures are stunned for 1 round and are staggered for the remainder of the spell [16 rounds]. A creature that makes its save is staggered for the first round and can act normally thereafter."
Greater Scrying lasts 16 hours, so he could have memorized 5 of them, and cast them the night before with good odds that one of them would succeed.
Will move Wulfram's token once the enemies have been placed on the map.
Eustoma throws up a Wall of Thorns on the double doors behind the group. "Hopefully this will keep other's from coming up the stairs."
Will: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (13) + 14 = 271d20 + 11 ⇒ (13) + 11 = 24
Wulfram's spell catches the hobgoblins unaware. The female hobgoblin groans and sinks to her knees as she is overcome with pleasure, while Scabvistin grunts and grits his teeth, managing to resist the spell, though he is still staggered. Karla raises a wall of force to block off the tower's self-destruct rune while Eustoma closes off the stairs with a wall of thorns.
"You! You are the ones who killed my boy, Scarvinious!" the bugbear gasps. "I will have my vengeance!" The lingering ecstasy prevents him from immediately making good on his threat, though, and instead he raises his blades defensively, waiting for the magic to wear off.
Everybody may act!
"Good luck wi' tha." Rogar replies, almost sounding bored as he raises his hand and the air is filled with flying shards of metal and stone flurrying at the hobgoblin, turning him into something with a strong resemblance to a pincushion.
Maximized Empowered Metal Blast, Haste, Blessing of Fervor, Hatred, Bless: 1d20 + 25 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 25 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 = 5092 + 40 + 20 + 32 = 184
Damage: 14d6 + 1d8 ⇒ (6, 6, 3, 1, 6, 2, 2, 5, 6, 2, 6, 2, 5, 5) + (7) = 64
Crit confirm?: 1d20 + 25 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 25 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 = 3692 + 40 + 20 + 23 = 175
Damage: 14d6 + 1d8 ⇒ (2, 2, 6, 1, 6, 2, 2, 6, 4, 2, 2, 1, 4, 6) + (1) = 47
Empowered Quickened Earth Blast: 1d20 + 30 ⇒ (5) + 30 = 357d6 + 1d8 + 29 + 31 ⇒ (6, 6, 2, 5, 5, 1, 1) + (8) + 29 + 31 = 94
I'm kind of amazed at my propensity to consistently roll nat 20s during the first round of boss encounters.
Eustoma trusts that Rogar has killed the male, and fires a flurry of arrows at the female.
+4 Adaptive Goblin Bane Bow: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (16) + 19 = 35
Damage: 1d6 + 16 + 2d6 ⇒ (6) + 16 + (6, 1) = 29
+4 Adaptive Goblin Bane Bow: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (18) + 19 = 37
Damage: 1d6 + 16 + 2d6 ⇒ (3) + 16 + (3, 1) = 23
+4 Adaptive Goblin Bane Bow: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (12) + 19 = 31
Damage: 1d6 + 16 + 2d6 ⇒ (6) + 16 + (5, 3) = 30
+4 Adaptive Goblin Bane Bow: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (13) + 14 = 27
Damage: 1d6 + 16 + 2d6 ⇒ (3) + 16 + (3, 2) = 24
+4 Adaptive Goblin Bane Bow: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
Damage: 1d6 + 16 + 2d6 ⇒ (3) + 16 + (4, 5) = 28
Clustered Shot for DR purposes.
50% Fortification: 1d100 ⇒ 82
Rogar once again proves to be one of the deadliest dwarves on Golarion, burying Scabvistin under a ton of crushing rock before the bugbear can even retaliate! He follows up by blasting the bugbear's bodyguard, then Eustoma finishes the hobgoblin off with several arrows to her chest!
The bodyguard has mwk spear, amulet of mighty fists +2, belt of mighty constitution +2, bracers of armor +3, headband of inspired wisdom +2, ring of protection +2. Scabvistin has scrolls of barkskin (2; CL 12), scrolls of bear’s endurance (2), scroll of blur, scrolls of bull’s strength (2), and scrolls of cure serious wounds (3); +2 moderate fortification chain shirt, +2 keen daggers (2), duelist’s vambraces, mwk daggers (3), belt of incredible dexterity +6, coat of resistance +4 (as a cloak of resistance), keys to all the fort’s locks.
"They never got a chance... Now, what's our next move? I could make us look like Scabvistin and his bodyguard..."
Is it a balcony or a window I see on the map?
The window in the command post overlooks all of Fort Phaendar. The Onyx Tower is located in the center of the town, on a motte atop the former festival grounds. You can see once-familiar buildings shattered in heaps of rubble. In their place, a palisade surrounds tents and sturdy stone buildings. Several barracks have ben built, as well as a fence of wooden bars that contains nearly 100 of Phaendar's citizens in varying states of malnutrition and exhaustion. The Taproot Inn still stands, but it appears to have been recommissioned as lodging for Fort Phaendar’s commanding officers.
Does the alarm seem to have been raised?
Rogar looks around at the decimation and rapid takeover and smiles slightly to himself.
Karla cries at the sight of her beloved hometown. Nik'o, as she resumes her size, wraps around her.
"So- So many years... Look how beautiful she still is. Our proud she stands still, despite these brutes!"
We should probably hit the inn next.
Wulfram said to Karla, "Soon the thugs will be gone, and we can undo their defacement!"
He searched the commander and held up a set of keys; "This is the real treasure!", he declared.
He looked around the control room, checking for things that he didn't have a good view of from the scrying sensor.
Perception: 1d20 + 25 ⇒ (12) + 25 = 37
The table in the room’s center depicts the countryside of Nirmathas and Molthune, including tiny models representing various Ironfang and human forces. Bookshelves along the south wall contain volumes on Avistani history and tactics, as well as several volumes from distant Tian Xia.
The glowing crystalline circles and bars covering the eastern wall are the tower's control runes.
By tracing patterns in the arrangements, the tower can be ordered to reshape itself over the course of 1d4 weeks. Alternatively, with a full-round action, the tower can be made to open a Stone Road to any other onyx tower on the Material Plane. Deducing the patterns to rebuild the tower requires a successful DC 30 Knowledge (engineering) check, while linking to another tower requires a successful DC 25 Knowledge (geography) check. These controls can also be used to destroy the tower; deducing the proper arrangement to trace for this requires a successful DC 35 Knowledge (engineering) or Use Magic Device check. The pattern takes 36 full-round actions to trace, though this work can be divided between up to six creatures. Once the pattern is traced, the onyx tower can be ordered to crumble to rubble immediately or at any time within the next 2 hours.
"We'll need to spend some time studying these troop deployments,"
Wulfram said to his friends. "But we have some work to do first."
He opened the single door on the far side of the room, and looked inside.
Perception: 1d20 + 25 ⇒ (2) + 25 = 27
Looking in B8.
Karla nods and takes her place behind Wulfram and Rogar, Nik'o standing behind her.
"That went better than expected. Let's move down the tower and see what kind of resistance we are going to face. Karla can you leave the runes behind the wall. Just in case someone slips past us?" She'll take her place in line ready to head out.
Lieutenant Scabvistin’s office is quite tidy and organized for a bugbear. Shelving along one wall displays an assortment of skulls—mostly human and hobgoblin. Searching the office, Wulfram easily uncovers a timetable of upcoming Stone Road openings to the Vault of the Onyx Citadel. The fort’s payroll is in a locked chest beside Scabvistin’s desk: 50,000 gp divided into bags of 20 gp.
The room to the south is Scabvistin's quarters, and it is filled with trophies. Behind a shaved bear, you find a secret door leading into a secret crypt. The taxidermied corpse of the bugbear Scarvinious, who you fought in the valley near Misthome early on in your campaign against the Ironfang Legion, is on display here, posed with an intimidating grimace. An altar behind the macabre memorial is dedicated to the Hadregash, the goblinoid god of conquest and slavery.
Much of the altar holds worthless candles, animal carcasses, and lacquered elven hands, but among the mess you can find a periapt of wound closure.
Stairs lead down to the lower levels of the Onyx Tower...
Rogar, after pausing momentarily in disgust at the 'shrine,' continues leading the group through the tower, the onyx its made of trembling slightly with his passage.
Wulfram left the grisly alter for now, vowing to return later and dismantle the shrine.
"This gold will be put to good use when we rebuild the town," he said, hefting a couple of the bags of gold.
There's about 1000 lbs of gold coins. I can't remember what capacity bag of holding we have — if necessary we can store the gold in the secret room for now.
After finishing his survey of the bugbear's quarters, Wulfram checked that the others were ready, and headed down the stairs.