DM Khel's Test of Tar Kuata (Inactive)

Game Master Khelreddin


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DM | Captives of Toil

Test dot


DM | Captives of Toil

A dry wind blows through the Osirian city of An, known as the City of Triangles for the distant Mount Na-Ken and surrounding peaks as well as the pyramids visible on the southern horizon. Venture-Captain Norden Balentiir inclines his head in welcome as he opens the door of his modest office and waves the assembled Pathfinders inside, offering small glasses of sweetened mint tea. “I’m glad you are on time—and with little to spare,” he says as checks outside and then closes the door. “Your ship leaves soon, and I’ve taken care of the details. You’ll travel first by boat up the River Sphinx and then by land to the Barrier Wall Mountains.” He places a neat stack of travel papers on the small desk and sits down.

“I’m pleased that you volunteered to visit the remote monastery of Tar Kuata on the Society’s behalf. As you may already know, the Society seeks pieces of the Sky Key, a strange relic broken into multiple pieces by dwarves long ago. It seems one of the dwarven bearers of this relic may have found her way to Tar Kuata, and we believe the Ouat monks that also reside there still have a piece of the key. Travel there, meet with them, confirm our intelligence, and barter for the relic as needed. With a considering look at the Pathfinder agents before him, he adds, ”Do aim to be respectful; few Pathfinders have traveled to Tar Kuata, so you’ll need to earn the monks’ goodwill—and perhaps even pave the way for future collaboration.”

“To that end, I am sending you with this.” Balentiir hefts a heavy bag and places it on the desk. “You may be familiar with bags able to hold more than seems possible, and this one is filled with grain. I understand Tar Kuata has had a poor harvest this year, and this should help you get off on the right foot in negotiations. Any questions?”

Before setting out, any Pathfinders looking for information to improve the chances of success in the mission have some time at the docks to learn the latest gossip.

Diplomacy (gather information) or Knowledge (local), DC 15+:
Merchants are refusing to travel into the Footprints of Rovagug, a region of sandless desert in western Osirion. The two most recent caravans to return from there were both attacked by bandits.

Diplomacy (gather information) or Knowledge (local), DC 20+:
Weeks ago, a priest gave a passionate sermon praising the church of Sarenrae for dismantling an illegal cult of Rovagug. Despite this sermon being old news, many people still talk about it.

Diplomacy (gather information) or Knowledge (local), DC 30+:
The cult referred to itself as the Doomsday Knights, a force of heavily armored warriors wielding divine power. Although Sarenrae’s faithful destroyed much of the cult, some survivors escaped.

Some of you may already be familiar with Tar Kuata and the faith of Irori. If your patron is Irori, you receive a +2 circumstance bonus on the check below and can attempt it untrained.

Knowledge (history) or Knowledge (religion), DC 15+:
A Sothan priest of Irori named Narmek Tar Kuata founded the monastery more than 3,000 years ago. It is among the oldest continuously used schools in Osirion.

Knowledge (history) or Knowledge (religion), DC 20+:
Most people in Tar Kuata are humans of Garundi ancestry, but the monastery also houses the Ouat monks, an order of dwarves that shave their heads and beards and eschew dwarven traditions in favor of discovering their own path to perfection.

Knowledge (history) or Knowledge (religion), DC 25+:
Not all citizens of Tar Kuata are monks; pilgrims who fail admission to the monastery often settle in the village and take up everyday occupations.

Knowledge (history) or Knowledge (religion), DC 30+:
The monks are experts in the scriptures of Irori. This result demonstrates that you are also well-versed in Iroran texts, granting you a +4 bonus on Knowledge checks during the first trial to come.

Silver Crusade

M Aasimar Monk/6 - HP 52/52 - AC 23 (touch 19, flat 20) - Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7 - Init +2 - Perception +12 - Ki 8/8

Ostendiel is an aasimar in lightweight monk's clothing. He looks human, but for the golden irises in his eyes, and the vague sense that his skin is glowing. (It doesn't shed light.) His head is completely hairless. He has a wiry but powerful build, and sits still as if he were comfortable in his body. There is an adamantine temple sword at his side, and on the ground next to him a well-loaded backpack and bedroll.

Knowledge (History): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6

Don't know nothin' about history....

"What can you tell us about the tenets and practices of the Ouat Monks? Also, will the society provide us with anything other than grain to barter with?"


DM | Captives of Toil

Balentiir considers Ostendiel’s question a moment, his expression slightly pleased as he notes the Pathflinder’s own monastic dress, then replies, “They are a contemplative order of dwarven monks who renounced their racial identity to focus on self-perfection. Technically, they are distinct from the other monks in Tar Kuata, but the two groups work together so closely that it’s hard to tell the difference.”

Gesturing at the bag of grain, he continues, ”I do not expect we will be able to buy what we’re after from the monks. You will find their way of life rather austere, and worldly goods are not likely what they will seek in exchange for any portion of the Sky Key they may hold. That said, I have already contacted them to let them know representatives are on the way. They’ll be very hospitable, yet earning their respect will no doubt involve proof of your worth. Like most who follow the Iroran faith, the monks of Tar Kuata no doubt value knowledge, discipline, and self-perfection over a purse full of coin.”

Scarab Sages

Male CN Ifrit Sorceror 9 | hp 64/52 NL: 0 | AC15 T14 F12 mage armor: AC18 T14 F15 | Fort +10 Ref +10 Will +9 | Init +3 | Perc -1 (Dark 60'), SM -1 | Spells Lvl 1 3/9, Lvl 2 0/8, Lvl 3 1/8, Lvl 4 4/6 | Elemental Ray 12/12, +7/1d6+5 | Elemental Blast 0/1, 9d6 Fire + vuln., 20ft burst, DC 23 Ref. halves/negates | Active spells: fly, mage armor, false life (+12hp), see invis | Active conditions:

Diplomacy (gather information): 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (1) + 13 = 14 <--D'oh! Finally a pre-mission check I'm good at and I go and do that...

In Sard you see a man of medium build with bronze-colored skin, glowing eyes, and fiery hair and beard. He carries little more than a quarterstaff, some basic gear, and a small collection of wands hanging from his belt; he wears a very fetching headband and circlet combination, though the circlet looks somehow slightly unfinished. "Greetings venture captain" he says, giving a small bow, "and fellow agents" turning to you.

Scarab Sages

Female LN Oread Brawler 8/Bloodrager 1 | HP: 81/81 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +15, CMD: 31 (+2 vs. trip, +1 vs. grapple) | F: +13, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 against being knocked prone) | Init: +4 | Perc: +14, SM: +16 | Speed 30ft | Bloodrage: 6/6 | Elemental Strikes: 3/3 | Martial Flexibility 7/7 | Active conditions: none

The woman you see is short and stocky like a dwarf, though quite unlike a dwarf she has stony skin and hair and her eyes are like glittering blue sapphires. You recognize an oread. She wears fine dwarven-made mithral, and carries a guisarme at her back, though her roughened knuckles seem to indicate a preference for unarmed fighting.

She enters the room slowly and deliberately, carefully scanning for potential threats before introducing herself. Her voice is low and raspy, and a little difficult to hear. "My name is Tai Sapphire, and I look forward to working with you all." She addresses Sard in particular, "Well, ifrit, I see we're working together again."

Knowledge(local): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9

Knowledge(history): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22

Tai's attempts to linger unobtrusively at the docks don't go well, as she overhears only discussions of fish and the weather. However, as her family has had many interactions with dwarves, she has heard of the Ouat monks before.

"It will truly be an honor to meet with the Ouat. We will push ourselves to make a good impression."


DM | Captives of Toil

That is truly impressive, three 1's in a row to start us off! At least they're out of the way now, right?

Just before sending his agents on their way, Venture Captain Balentiir waves Tai and Sard over and says, ”I have received a message from Amenopheus that will be of interest to you in your journey.” He hands over a tightly-rolled scroll and bids you farewell.

Grand Lodge

Dwarf PFS 15998-5 Oracle of the Dark Tapestry 5 | AC 19 T 10 FF 19 | HP 36/36 | F +2* R +1* W +4* | Init +4 | Perc +5*

The dwarf in the corner has geometric tattoos covering much of his face, and only a short beard with no mustache or sideburns. Armored in hexagonal plates and with a large shield nearby, the only unusual feature besides his facial hair is his choice of weapon. Besides the typical dwarven array of axes, hammers, and crossbows, at his side is a battered but serviceable heavy flail.

"Greetings, colleagues," he rasps with a dour voice. "I am Tarn, Thrice-Cursed in this miserable existence. While I wait for the End of Days it amuses me to work with the Society. While I know better than to have hope, experience tells me that this will be an interesting diversion."

I imagine Tarn's voice to be a typical Scottish dwarf, but with the inflections of Eeyore the depressed donkey from Winnie-the-Poo, if that helps!

Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8

Updating my character profile today - haven't played this guy in PbP before!


DM | Captives of Toil

After a tiring, days-long journey, the party reaches Tar Kuata on a morning that promises a hot day ahead. At the base of a high mountain valley, the monastery of Tar Kuata perches atop a rocky outcropping that overlooks a tiny village and terraced fields. The steep cliffs to either side shelter the small structures from the wind, and a tall, thin spire towers over the settlement.

At the top of the winding path that leads up to the monastery itself, a shaven-headed monk stands in a posture of contemplation. Hers eyes open as the party nears, and she nods thoughtfully before speaking. ”Good day,” she says, her tone cordial but not overly warm, ”you must be the Pathfinders I was told were coming. I am Menkha Kheg, head of the Ouat monks, who serve within the monastery here. I hope you did not run into any trouble on your journey? The surrounding country seems less safe for travel with each passing day. In any case, I invite you to join me in the Hall of Aspirants, for simple refreshments, while I inquire as to when you might meet with Itephta, the abbot of the monastery.”

Grand Lodge

Dwarf PFS 15998-5 Oracle of the Dark Tapestry 5 | AC 19 T 10 FF 19 | HP 36/36 | F +2* R +1* W +4* | Init +4 | Perc +5*

Tarn seems surprised to see a shaven dwarf; his beard is the least luxurious he's seen before. A slight smile plays across his lips, the first time you've seen such a thing.

"Greetings, m'lady," he begins, his cheeks reddening somewhat. "Aye, we are the Pathfinders, and we bring a gift to you and your order from our Society. We have heard your harvest was not as bountiful as could be, and thought to aid you as we may."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13

Silver Crusade

M Aasimar Monk/6 - HP 52/52 - AC 23 (touch 19, flat 20) - Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7 - Init +2 - Perception +12 - Ki 8/8

Ostendiel does his best to maintain the will to live in the aura of doom and gloom that surrounds Tarn.

I am reminded of the scene at the end of the HHG2G movie when Marvin uses the Point-Of-View gun on all the Vogons.

When they approach the Monk, Ostendiel approves of her hairdo. He bows shallowly.

"Greetings. I am Ostendiel. As my colleague Tarn says, we are indeed the Pathfinders."

He remains silent and waits until they are shown to the Hall if Aspirants.


DM | Captives of Toil

Menkha smiles warmly at Tarn as he offers the gift of grain, a look of gratitude brightening her eyes as she speaks, "Thank you, this is indeed a most welcome gift." A young acolyte arrives and speaks a few quiet words to her, and she relays the news to the party, "I fear the abbot is busy for some time, but should be able to meet later in the afternoon. In the meantime, I ask you to join me for a walk around the village, and a simple lunch with some of my fellows."

She leads you through the simple but well-kept village, often choosing to walk near Tarn as she points out the tall stone spire that stands by the monastery and greets villagers as they pass. Though she is kindly in her demeanor towards the party, it is clear she has tough standards for integrity and strength of character and she is applying them rigorously through the course of the visit.

Everyone please make one of the following checks, to maintain your composure under scrutiny and measure up to Menkha's tough standards: Bluff, Diplomacy, Knowledge (nobility) or Knowledge (religion). Bonuses will be given for roleplay!

Silver Crusade

M Aasimar Monk/6 - HP 52/52 - AC 23 (touch 19, flat 20) - Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7 - Init +2 - Perception +12 - Ki 8/8

Ostendiel feels a little out of his element, for while he can show the asceticism and physical discipline required of monastic order, he is not very good at etiquette or recall of knowledge. He tries to remain silent most of the time, nodding at the villagers. He attempts to portray an air of being strong and helpful, but not intimidating. He hopes he doesn't get it wrong and give the wrong impression.

Ostendiel is literally +0 on all four of these skills....

Diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 1

...

Well, that's not good. I'm gonna blow my reroll on one of the first rolls of the game. I've got a folio, and a bunch of purple shirts. I get a +5 this time around.

Reroll Diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12

Still probably not good enough, but not a disaster. The first roll probably meant that he scared off several small children with his failed attempt to look strong and reassuring.

Scarab Sages

Male CN Ifrit Sorceror 9 | hp 64/52 NL: 0 | AC15 T14 F12 mage armor: AC18 T14 F15 | Fort +10 Ref +10 Will +9 | Init +3 | Perc -1 (Dark 60'), SM -1 | Spells Lvl 1 3/9, Lvl 2 0/8, Lvl 3 1/8, Lvl 4 4/6 | Elemental Ray 12/12, +7/1d6+5 | Elemental Blast 0/1, 9d6 Fire + vuln., 20ft burst, DC 23 Ref. halves/negates | Active spells: fly, mage armor, false life (+12hp), see invis | Active conditions:

Sard pulls his hood low and adopts as serious a look as his formidable powers of persuasion can muster, trying to project an air of extreme solemnity the likes of which he's never actually felt.

Bluff: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (12) + 12 = 24 +1 if you'll count this as a check "to fool someone" (Trustworthy trait)

Scarab Sages

Female LN Oread Brawler 8/Bloodrager 1 | HP: 81/81 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +15, CMD: 31 (+2 vs. trip, +1 vs. grapple) | F: +13, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 against being knocked prone) | Init: +4 | Perc: +14, SM: +16 | Speed 30ft | Bloodrage: 6/6 | Elemental Strikes: 3/3 | Martial Flexibility 7/7 | Active conditions: none

Tai winces as the need to speak eloquently, but although her studies covered many subjects, she knows little of gods or kings.

She addresses Menkha in Dwarven, hoping that the familiar language might cover her slow speech.

"Menkha, I have heard many stories of the Ouat monks. It is truly an honor for us to be here. I hope that this can be the start of a strong relationship between the Ouat and the Pathfinder Society."

I wish I were at +0 for one of those rolls!
Diplomacy: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (16) - 2 = 14

Grand Lodge

Dwarf PFS 15998-5 Oracle of the Dark Tapestry 5 | AC 19 T 10 FF 19 | HP 36/36 | F +2* R +1* W +4* | Init +4 | Perc +5*

Tarn attempts to be interested in the tour of the village, suppressing the thought of its impending destruction at the End of All Things.

"You seem unbothered by worries of the future," he begins as they walk along the pathway. "How do you avoid being consumed by apprehension, here where there are so few distractions?" He is genuinely curious about how Menkha can be so serene.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26


DM | Captives of Toil

Menkha’s expression turns dour, with a touch of sour, as Tai and Ostendiel fail to impress her, though Sard’s silent, respectful demeanor makes a better impression. It is Tarn, however, who brings a knowing smile to the Ouat leader’s face. ”You hit upon an issue of great import,” she responds to his questions, her tone thoughtful, ”as the world around us will always seek to intrude on the world within. One must make of one’s spirit an armor against apprehension and distractions both.”

With Menkha’s demeanor toward the party considerably more friendly than when they arrived, she invites them back up to the monastery for a simple lunch, primarily vegetables and a stewed grain called kus-kus. After lunch, the Pathfinders are led to their meeting with Itephta, the abbot of the monastery. He is a young, mild-mannered Garundi man, who nods in welcome as the party enters his modest chambers. ”These are the Pathfinders of whom I spoke,” Menkha says by way of introduction. ”They bring a generous gift of grain, and would speak to you, though I not know of what.”

Itephta considers each party member a moment, his expression mild but his gaze surprisingly penetrating for one so young, then speaks, ”I welcome you, and thank you for your gift. What brings you to Tar Kuata? How may our humble monastery be of assistance?”

Silver Crusade

M Aasimar Monk/6 - HP 52/52 - AC 23 (touch 19, flat 20) - Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7 - Init +2 - Perception +12 - Ki 8/8

Ostendiel nods in greeting, but does not speak. He has noticed that there are others in the party better suited to represent them in discussions.

Scarab Sages

Male CN Ifrit Sorceror 9 | hp 64/52 NL: 0 | AC15 T14 F12 mage armor: AC18 T14 F15 | Fort +10 Ref +10 Will +9 | Init +3 | Perc -1 (Dark 60'), SM -1 | Spells Lvl 1 3/9, Lvl 2 0/8, Lvl 3 1/8, Lvl 4 4/6 | Elemental Ray 12/12, +7/1d6+5 | Elemental Blast 0/1, 9d6 Fire + vuln., 20ft burst, DC 23 Ref. halves/negates | Active spells: fly, mage armor, false life (+12hp), see invis | Active conditions:

"Thank you for welcoming us, and for your kind hospitality" Sard says, adding a respectful bow. "Our journey here is prompted by several goals, not least of which is to observe your fine monastery. Many an organization would be improved by striving for calm order you practice here.

"Additionally, word has reached us that the Ouat monks that reside here" he pauses to bow to Menkha "may have knowledge of a relic we seek."

"Finally, if there is any way we may be of assistance to you and your monastery, we wish to humbly offer our services and those of the Pathfinder Society."

Diplomacy, if needed:
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (16) + 13 = 29


DM | Captives of Toil

Itephta confers briefly with Menkha, who confirms the presence of a piece of the Sky Key within the monastery vaults, and says the Ouat monks are willing to part with it if Itephta so decides. ”I will weigh this question then,” the abbot says to Menkha, ”but first I would ask how you see these new arrivals, so my decision will be an informed one.”

The shaven-headed dwarf considers this question a long moment before replying, ”I was of two minds about them, my spirit troubled somewhat by opposing forces within it. But, on balance, I have come to see them as worthy, either showing proper deference to those of greater wisdom, or pursuing their own inquiries into self. And, as you know, this piece of the Sky Key is one more burden anchoring the Ouat to our dwarven heritage, which we have long left behind.”

A kindly smile on his face, Itephta nods at Menkha’s answer, then turns his attention to the Pathfinders, “You seek something we would give freely, but the relic is one heavy with the weight of history. Just as I would not ask a neophyte to lift a boulder before he can lift a stone, I cannot in good conscience burden you with this bauble without knowing your capabilities. When our students request weightier responsibilities or greater challenges, we first ensure that they have mastered what they have learned before. I propose you experience the same courtesy I would extend to a student by undergoing a small portion of our training – six tests, to be precise. This shall strengthen your body for the return journey and prepare your mind to weather your future trials.”

”I have other business to attend to, but I will leave you in the capable hands of Aeotsep, as your guide, instructor and evaluator.” Aeotsep is a Garundi man whose sun-weathered features and kind face are traced with a network of wrinkles. Greeting the party with a silent bow, Aeotsep leads them to one of the study rooms, which contains several bookshelves, a small table, and a lectern on which there is an open copy of Unbinding the Fetters, the principal holy text of the Iroran faith. The elderly monk requests that the party wait in the study room while he prepares the trials, then steps away on surprisingly nimble feet.

Sense Motive, DC 20:
You sense there is more to this delay than Aeotsep lets on, and how you use the time in this room may be part of the trials.

Silver Crusade

M Aasimar Monk/6 - HP 52/52 - AC 23 (touch 19, flat 20) - Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7 - Init +2 - Perception +12 - Ki 8/8

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14

Ostendiel senses that his dice hate him.

Ostendiel looks around the library. "Although a Pathfinder, I am not a scholar. I see my role more as one who protects the explorers and scholars. I hold them in great esteem, but I recognize that my strengths lie elsewhere-- and, so, where I can best serve the scholarly pursuits of the Society is in providing my muscle and my martial abilities."

Looking around some more. "If these tests are going to include tests of knowledge and of research, I fear I will be of little assistance. I have studied some small amount of history, but that is about it."

Scarab Sages

Female LN Oread Brawler 8/Bloodrager 1 | HP: 81/81 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +15, CMD: 31 (+2 vs. trip, +1 vs. grapple) | F: +13, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 against being knocked prone) | Init: +4 | Perc: +14, SM: +16 | Speed 30ft | Bloodrage: 6/6 | Elemental Strikes: 3/3 | Martial Flexibility 7/7 | Active conditions: none

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22

Tai watches Aeotsep carefully as he leaves the room, and then speaks quietly to her companions. "Friends, something about his manner makes me think that the test has already begun. Perhaps we should review this text?"

Tai looks at Unbinding the Fetters, trying to determine if there is anything significant about the page that was left open.

Scarab Sages

Male CN Ifrit Sorceror 9 | hp 64/52 NL: 0 | AC15 T14 F12 mage armor: AC18 T14 F15 | Fort +10 Ref +10 Will +9 | Init +3 | Perc -1 (Dark 60'), SM -1 | Spells Lvl 1 3/9, Lvl 2 0/8, Lvl 3 1/8, Lvl 4 4/6 | Elemental Ray 12/12, +7/1d6+5 | Elemental Blast 0/1, 9d6 Fire + vuln., 20ft burst, DC 23 Ref. halves/negates | Active spells: fly, mage armor, false life (+12hp), see invis | Active conditions:

Sense Motive: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (3) - 1 = 2

In response to Ostendiel: "Yeah, I'm not much for the research myself, either. I'd much rather extract the information from someone else. Of course, I don't much relish physical tests, either. Maybe we can talk them out of the whole test thing?"

Seeing Tai looking at the book, Sard's curiosity gets the better of him and he walks over to join her.

Silver Crusade

M Aasimar Monk/6 - HP 52/52 - AC 23 (touch 19, flat 20) - Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7 - Init +2 - Perception +12 - Ki 8/8

Ostendiel heeds Tai's words, and looks around the room to see if there are any other out-of-place texts, or book left suspiciously open to a specific page.

Take 10 on Perception for a result of 22.

(See? I'm learning.)


DM | Captives of Toil

Tai begins to peruse the holy book standing open on the lectern, and finds it to be full of words she understands, that somehow paint a picture that proves difficult to grasp.

Knowledge (history or religion), DC 15:
On careful reading, the passage elaborates on complex and subtle metaphors that compare stages of self-perfection to the creation of the world, implying that mortal knowledge is a spark of divinity that spins order out of chaos.

After half an hour or so, Aeotsep returns. Noting that one or two of the Pathfinders seem to be studying Unbinding the Fetters, he says casually, ”I hope you find our holy book enlightening. Any particular passage that you found called you to contemplation?”

If none of you succeed at the Knowledge check, you can make a Bluff check to attempt to convince the monk you understood everything, or invent your own personal interpretation of what the passage means.

Scarab Sages

Male CN Ifrit Sorceror 9 | hp 64/52 NL: 0 | AC15 T14 F12 mage armor: AC18 T14 F15 | Fort +10 Ref +10 Will +9 | Init +3 | Perc -1 (Dark 60'), SM -1 | Spells Lvl 1 3/9, Lvl 2 0/8, Lvl 3 1/8, Lvl 4 4/6 | Elemental Ray 12/12, +7/1d6+5 | Elemental Blast 0/1, 9d6 Fire + vuln., 20ft burst, DC 23 Ref. halves/negates | Active spells: fly, mage armor, false life (+12hp), see invis | Active conditions:

"Really, the whole thing was quite interesting!" and Sard gives the monk a big (maybe too big) grin.

Bluff, Trustworthy trait: 1d20 + 12 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 12 + 1 = 15 well, crap

Scarab Sages

Female LN Oread Brawler 8/Bloodrager 1 | HP: 81/81 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +15, CMD: 31 (+2 vs. trip, +1 vs. grapple) | F: +13, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 against being knocked prone) | Init: +4 | Perc: +14, SM: +16 | Speed 30ft | Bloodrage: 6/6 | Elemental Strikes: 3/3 | Martial Flexibility 7/7 | Active conditions: none

Knowledge (history), faction pin bonus: 1d20 + 1d4 + 5 ⇒ (6) + (3) + 5 = 14

Can I use my faction pin in PbP? I don't make it anyway, but good to know for next time.

Tai frowns as she studies the text, but while she understands the words, she can't parse any particular significance from the selection.

"I think the circumstances are making it hard to focus. Can anyone else make sense of this?"


DM | Captives of Toil

Tai, deep in thought, scratches her head as she studies the sacred tome, the gesture scraping loose a few stony fragments, but she is unable to come up with an interpretation that makes sense to her.

Aeotsep's kindly, smiling eyes narrow slightly as Sard speaks, and the monk gives a barely discernible shake of his head.

He turns to Ostendiel and Tarn and raises one eyebrow, as if to say, Did any of you understand the passage?

Silver Crusade

M Aasimar Monk/6 - HP 52/52 - AC 23 (touch 19, flat 20) - Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7 - Init +2 - Perception +12 - Ki 8/8

Take 10 on Knowledge (History) for a result of 15. Hooray for the Timelost Chronicler boon!

Ostendiel says, "The text is subtle and beautifully written. It is designed such that only through careful study and contemplation may one ascertain its true meaning. It draws analogies between the creation of the Universe and the process of individual self-perfection. Mortal knowledge is indeed a spark of the divine, which helps bring meaning and order from the chaos."


DM | Captives of Toil

Aeotsep's eyes widen, his grey eyebrows seeming to climb his forehead as surprise fuels them upward. Ostendiel, in spite of his monastic training, has not previously managed to impress the old monk yet, but that has changed. Aeotsep places his palms together and gives a slight bow, a beatific smile on his face clearly communicating his thought: Well done, my son.

Straightening up, he turns to Tarn, ready to weigh the dwarf's understanding of the sacred words of Irori.

Will give Tarn some time to post, since significantly beating the DC of either check gives additional advantage in the overall result of the trials.


DM | Captives of Toil

Going to keep us rolling along. Since Tarn does have skills relevant to the first trial, he can always post it as a retcon, perhaps pondering the passage at some length before expressing his thoughts to Aeotsep.

Aeotsep nods inscrutably at Tarn’s silence before saying, ”Very well, come with me please.” He leads the way to a rather different chamber, the Hall of the Inward Gaze, which contains several broad reed mats, racks holding wooden weapons, and a pile of small wooden boards. The old monk remarks, ”It is easy to think of physical might as the same thing as sheer brute force, but strength without control accomplishes little.” To illustrate his point, Aeotsep takes a wooden board from the pile and extends his arm, holding the board in front of his face. With a swift movement, the old fellow releases the plank and strikes it in mid-air, breaking the board into two symmetrical halves! He then gestures to the stacked boards and invites each of the Pathfinders to repeat the feat.

To succeed at this trial, you must make a Dexterity check to strike the falling board in the right spot, followed by a Strength check to break it in two. If you have the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, you gain a +5 bonus on both of these checks. Finally, a check for our monkish types!

Silver Crusade

M Aasimar Monk/6 - HP 52/52 - AC 23 (touch 19, flat 20) - Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7 - Init +2 - Perception +12 - Ki 8/8

Ostendiel nods, appreciating the skill of the man.

OK, dice, don't let me down. Checks below include the +5.

He strides forward, and picks up a board. He releases it, and strikes forward with his hand....

Dexterity +5: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Strength +5: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19


DM | Captives of Toil

Ostendiel snaps the airborne board neatly in half, with no wasted effort. Aeotsep nods proudly, pleased that Ostendiel continues to show such promise.

Scarab Sages

Female LN Oread Brawler 8/Bloodrager 1 | HP: 81/81 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +15, CMD: 31 (+2 vs. trip, +1 vs. grapple) | F: +13, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 against being knocked prone) | Init: +4 | Perc: +14, SM: +16 | Speed 30ft | Bloodrage: 6/6 | Elemental Strikes: 3/3 | Martial Flexibility 7/7 | Active conditions: none

Tai takes a deep breath and approaches the boards, determined to prove herself worthy this time.

Dexterity, +5: 1d20 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 2 + 5 = 10
Strength, +5: 1d20 + 4 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 4 + 5 = 17


DM | Captives of Toil

Tai nearly misses her timing in dropping the board, but manages to swiftly bring a second hand forward and strike, breaking it neatly in half!

Half the party has succeeded at this trial now, which is the condition for the higher level of success, so it's completed. Will post the next trial in a bit.

Scarab Sages

Male CN Ifrit Sorceror 9 | hp 64/52 NL: 0 | AC15 T14 F12 mage armor: AC18 T14 F15 | Fort +10 Ref +10 Will +9 | Init +3 | Perc -1 (Dark 60'), SM -1 | Spells Lvl 1 3/9, Lvl 2 0/8, Lvl 3 1/8, Lvl 4 4/6 | Elemental Ray 12/12, +7/1d6+5 | Elemental Blast 0/1, 9d6 Fire + vuln., 20ft burst, DC 23 Ref. halves/negates | Active spells: fly, mage armor, false life (+12hp), see invis | Active conditions:

A wry grin crosses Sard's face as he picks up a board.

Probably no way to bluff my way out of this one. Don't think he was buyin' it from me anyway.

Dexterity: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Strength: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (17) - 1 = 16


DM | Captives of Toil

Sard picks up a board, nearly dropping it in doing so. He manages to hold onto it long enough to bring his other fist up and, as the board slips from his fingers, he gives it a surprisingly powerful *thwack*, snapping it in half!

With a pleased smile for his students, Aeotsep puts away the wooden boards and takes a quarterstaff and a long strip of yellow silk from the weapon racks. Holding the cloth out, he says, ”One of you at a time will wear this blindfold for this trial. You must use your senses other than sights, listening to the sound of my footsteps, the aroma of incense in my robes, the vibration in the floor. Consciousness is achieved through the sum of senses, and relying on only one of them creates a false perception of the world.”

Tying the blindfold onto the first volunteer, he says, ”While blindfolded, you must dodge or parry my attacks. I will do you no real harm, though you may wish I had not hit you.”

This trial requires a Perception check to determine the moment and direction from which the monk strikes, followed by a Dexterity check to dodge the blow or a Strength check to parry it. Anyone with the Blind-fight feat, blindsense, or blindsight gains a +5 bonus on these checks.

Scarab Sages

Male CN Ifrit Sorceror 9 | hp 64/52 NL: 0 | AC15 T14 F12 mage armor: AC18 T14 F15 | Fort +10 Ref +10 Will +9 | Init +3 | Perc -1 (Dark 60'), SM -1 | Spells Lvl 1 3/9, Lvl 2 0/8, Lvl 3 1/8, Lvl 4 4/6 | Elemental Ray 12/12, +7/1d6+5 | Elemental Blast 0/1, 9d6 Fire + vuln., 20ft burst, DC 23 Ref. halves/negates | Active spells: fly, mage armor, false life (+12hp), see invis | Active conditions:

Feeling emboldened by his surprising success in the last challenge, Sard steps forward, allows the blindfold to be tied onto him, and drops into a theatrical fighting pose.

"Sure, I'll go first. Bring it on!"

Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (12) - 1 = 11
Dexterity: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9

Grand Lodge

Dwarf PFS 15998-5 Oracle of the Dark Tapestry 5 | AC 19 T 10 FF 19 | HP 36/36 | F +2* R +1* W +4* | Init +4 | Perc +5*

Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Knowledge (religion): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Tarn reads the book and understands the passages, although inwardly he feels that the process of self-perfection is a waste of time, given the coming end. He silently takes his turn with the blindfold, and then begins to speak once he is blinded.

"You know, Aeotsep, I've ben pondering your holy text. I see tha' ye think of your 'quest for perfection' as a way to combat the growing forces of entropy that threaten ta tear the world apart. So tell... OUCH!... tell me, who do you believe will win in the end?"

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Strength: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13

Silver Crusade

M Aasimar Monk/6 - HP 52/52 - AC 23 (touch 19, flat 20) - Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7 - Init +2 - Perception +12 - Ki 8/8

Once Sard is done with the blind defense test, Ostendiel will give it a try.

Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (5) + 12 = 17
Strength Parry: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22


DM | Captives of Toil

Neither Sard nor Tarn sense the approach of the blow that strikes them, but the ifrit receives a solid knock on the shoulder and the dwarf a rap on the elbow! Ostendiel hears the faint crackling of a reed mat under foot to one side, and forcefully blocks Aeotsep's strike.

"Very good, very good," the dwarf says quietly, his estimation of the aasimar continuing to grow. In reply to Tarn, Aeotsep says, "Your vision is limited, son, and not only by the blindfold. There is little value in wondering who 'wins' when so many of the battles we fight are against our own selves."

Silver Crusade

M Aasimar Monk/6 - HP 52/52 - AC 23 (touch 19, flat 20) - Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7 - Init +2 - Perception +12 - Ki 8/8

Ostendiel nods, but does not comment further.

(Dignity, you know. So hard to maintain with a lot of teams of Pathfinders.)

Scarab Sages

Female LN Oread Brawler 8/Bloodrager 1 | HP: 81/81 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +15, CMD: 31 (+2 vs. trip, +1 vs. grapple) | F: +13, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 against being knocked prone) | Init: +4 | Perc: +14, SM: +16 | Speed 30ft | Bloodrage: 6/6 | Elemental Strikes: 3/3 | Martial Flexibility 7/7 | Active conditions: none

Tai closes her eyes before the blindfold comes on, and her military training comes flooding back.

Open your ears, open your nose, feel the breeze on your skin, feel the trembling under your feet.

Use martial flexibility to activate Blind Fight.

Perception: 1d20 + 9 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 9 + 5 = 34
Strength: 1d20 + 4 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 4 + 5 = 22


DM | Captives of Toil

Excellent post, Tai! I could feel her senses sharpening!

Tai’s senses are so attuned to the old monk’s movements it’s as if she’s watching his every step, hearing the rustle of his grey beard and feeling the warmth of his smile on her skin. He dodges left, then right, then strikes at her from behind – but Tai spins in a tight quarter-circle and knocks aside Aeotsep’s blow with consummate ease, lifting her hand in readiness for the next strike!

”After the first two successful blows, I was concerned you would not pass this trial,” he says as he lays a companionable hand on Tai’s shoulder, his voice surprisingly excited for one so serene, ”but I see I need not have worried. Well done!”

After directing a young monk to tidy up the chamber, Aeotsep leads the group out of the monastery and through the village, heading west. Curious bystanders see the Pathfinders and their Ouat guide pass and follow along to see what’s afoot, resulting in a crowd of several dozen villagers gathering to witness this trial. Outside the village, the trail ascends forty feet to a mountain ledge, from which a waterfall plummets. At the top of the trail, a series of wooden posts are set vertically into the river, where they overlook the waterfall’s plunge pool below. Aeotsep hops nimbly atop one of the posts and turns to speak to the party, saying, ”Each of you will stand atop one of these posts and stand immobile for an hour. At face value, this may seem to be a mere test of balance, but you will find that maintaining your concentration calls for resilience and resoluteness. “

This trial requires an Acrobatics check to balance for 20 minutes, and then a Fort or Will save (your choice) to avoid having the DC increase. So, in order to make it for an hour, you’ll need to make the following five checks: Acro, save, Acro, save, Acro.

Scarab Sages

Male CN Ifrit Sorceror 9 | hp 64/52 NL: 0 | AC15 T14 F12 mage armor: AC18 T14 F15 | Fort +10 Ref +10 Will +9 | Init +3 | Perc -1 (Dark 60'), SM -1 | Spells Lvl 1 3/9, Lvl 2 0/8, Lvl 3 1/8, Lvl 4 4/6 | Elemental Ray 12/12, +7/1d6+5 | Elemental Blast 0/1, 9d6 Fire + vuln., 20ft burst, DC 23 Ref. halves/negates | Active spells: fly, mage armor, false life (+12hp), see invis | Active conditions:

Sard eyes the water suspiciously, his gaze following the river to the point where it plunges off the cliff. He then looks back at the post and sighs.

OK, buddy, you can do this. How hard can it be to stand on a post for a while?

Acrobatics: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Will Save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Will Save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5

oof

Reflex save in the seemingly likely case I need it:
Reflex save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24

Silver Crusade

M Aasimar Monk/6 - HP 52/52 - AC 23 (touch 19, flat 20) - Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7 - Init +2 - Perception +12 - Ki 8/8

Ostendiel stands still. He thinks he should have this. After all, this sort if meditative immobility is his day job. It doesn't pay very well, but it is very centering.

Acrobatics: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (8) + 11 = 19
Will Save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (15) + 11 = 26
Will Save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (20) + 11 = 31

Scarab Sages

Female LN Oread Brawler 8/Bloodrager 1 | HP: 81/81 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +15, CMD: 31 (+2 vs. trip, +1 vs. grapple) | F: +13, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 against being knocked prone) | Init: +4 | Perc: +14, SM: +16 | Speed 30ft | Bloodrage: 6/6 | Elemental Strikes: 3/3 | Martial Flexibility 7/7 | Active conditions: none

Tai hops up on a post and attempts to channel her ancestors.

Be still and unmoving like the stone.

Acrobatics: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9
Fort save: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
Fort save: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17


DM | Captives of Toil

Sard takes his position on the post and almost immediately topples off, followed by Tai, who plummets like a stone into the plunge pool below. Ostendiel, meanwhile, keeps his streak going, standing relaxed and serene as the water surges past him, even standing on one foot a moment as he casually scratches an itch on his ankle.

Nonlethal damage to Sard: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Nonlethal damage to Tai: 1d6 ⇒ 4

Grand Lodge

Dwarf PFS 15998-5 Oracle of the Dark Tapestry 5 | AC 19 T 10 FF 19 | HP 36/36 | F +2* R +1* W +4* | Init +4 | Perc +5*

Tarn raises an eyebrow at the "son" comment, but lets it go. And him barely outta tha cradle...

"Is it all right if I take off ma armor for this test?" he asks the monk. "I'm pretty sure now you're not gonna attack me." he says with a smile. If the monk objects, I'll keep it on, but otherwise I'll remove my armor and shield, laying them carefully on the ground, before leaping lightly up to the post.

Acrobatics: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13 +5 if armor is off
Will save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26+5 if armor is off
Will save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12+5 if armor is off

"Nice view," he comments from atop the post (assuming he makes the DC). "I can see why you hang about up here."


DM | Captives of Toil

Aeotsep nods at Tarn’s request for permission to remove his armor and watches as the dwarven oracle climbs onto the post and assumes a well-balanced posture atop it. Though he wobbles a bit toward the end, and might not have succeeded if fully armored, Tarn is able to last the full hour. Aeotsep, clearly quite impressed, waves to Tarn and Ostendiel to climb down once the allotted time has passed.

”Again I say, very well done! Please, come this way,” Aeotsep exclaims. As he leads the party back into the monastery and to a hidden trail, he tells them a story of Tar Kuata’s past.

“Many years after he began to teach students in these mountains, Narmek Tar Kuata challenged the air spirits for mastery of the winds. They attempted to tear him from the peak, but he struck the mountain and caused a great pillar of stone to rise high into the sky. Acknowledging Narmek Tar Kuata’s superiority, the air spirits granted him the respect he had earned, and have served the monastery ever since. The spire, as we call it, still stands as a reminder of our alliance with these spirits, and our founder’s remains reside in a reliquary at its top.”

Aeotsep steps out from the covered path and into daylight, where an impossibly tall stone pillar rises from the mountainside. “Climbing to the top symbolizes the metaphysical ascent that Narmek Tar Kuata realized. This climb is your next trial.” Pondering the great expanse of stone rising above him, he elaborates further, ”Climbing the spire is much like walking the same path that led Narmek Tar Kuata to enlightenment, and sometimes one of the monastery’s students—including one in recent memory—attains a level of mastery and wisdom that could have rivaled the founder’s.”

To overcome this trial, you must scale the spire in a single attempt. This requires three successful DC 15 Climb checks (I’m giving you the DC this time, since you can look at the rock and gauge how difficult it seems).

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