Sense Motive: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
”Excuse our banging on your door. Are you sure you haven’t seen such a thing at all? Perhaps there’s a way we can help.”
From the corner of his mouth, Mafisadi whispers to his friends, ”He’s lying!”
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
Hansee ambles up to the door. "Hey, whatever you didn't do, we wouldn't get on your case if you didn't not do it. We just want to get to the bottom of it, y'know?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
He gets a bit of a grumpy look on his face as his confusing words fail to land. Idiot kid!
What's the DC for the Know Religion check? And, do we get to look at the DM screen button?
Know Religion: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Oh, you're such a good-lookin', fine young man... I brought some nice warm muffins to share. You wouldn't happen a little spot that's nice and cozy in there so that we can sit down eat them together, would you?
Emmylou bats her eyes, winks, and smiles at the young man.
Sorry, that spoiler that said Knowledge (religion) was just me rolling those checks for you guys to move us along. And in general the DM Screen is the button you're not supposed to look behind, as it's where I make secret rolls, just like a DM at a table rolling behind the screen.
Sokari pulls back into his shop a bit when a goblin speaks to him, and Emmylou's offer of muffins does not encourage him to stick his head back out at all.
Perhaps Kelevan or Teehax can work some social magic here...
|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
Kelevan steps smoothly in front of his companions, one hand raised in the Elven gesture of goodwill. "Your pardon, friend," he offers quietly, "it seems we have fallen prey to faulty information. And yet..." He pauses as if in hesitation. "Is it possible, perhaps, that a friend of yours might have encountered such a thing and told you of it?"
Sokari leans forward a bit, his head coming around the door frame to look at Kelevan as he speaks. "Yes...that's it. That's what happened." He steps fully into the doorway and says, a tone of defeat in his voice, "You might as well come in."
Once the Pathfinders have entered the cramped shop and explained what they're after, Sokari turns to Kelevan - rather pointedly avoiding speaking to the rest of the party - and says, "I don't know about this spirit, if it's the same thing that I encountered. I only know that a disembodied voice spoke to me, it promised me power, great power. And then it made me do it, made me change my formulas, poison my customers...until the authorities found out and banned me from doing my work and confiscated my wares. I was lucky not to be arrested, but my recipes were sophisticated enough no one could tell what I had done."
Sense motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Am I going to make and dice check this game? <sigh>
Knowledge arcana: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Teehax looks at the group with a little confusion, and wonders why Solkari would try to put his business at risk by poisoning his customers
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
Okay, the dice roller is officially broken.
"Well, I think we could arrange an exorcism for ya. I'm known far and wide as a shaman, and got the stuff you need to cleanse your shop of nasty spirits."
Diplomacy (I think he believes what he's saying): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
Knowledge (Arcana): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Yer kiddin' me...
Kelevan nods slowly. "Anything else you can tell us about this creature would be helpful. Where were you when you met it, and was there anything that particularly stood out to you about it?"
The elf raises one eyebrow slightly and allows a dry smile to touch his visage. "... apart from its promises of great power, that is."
Wow, that is a busted dice roller! Going to accelerate this conversation a bit because, if you can believe it, we still have a dungeon crawl to do after you guys gather all this info.
Sokari looks deeply affronted at Mogok’s insinuation, puffing up with pride at his alchemical knowledge as if he might burst from it. The reaction fades quickly, however, as his shoulders slump and he says, ”You’re right, I didn’t figure it out by myself. I only caught a glimpse of the creature - it seemed to stay out of my sight somehow - but it looked like a disembodied head with horns and a demon’s face. It seemed so nice, I did what I could to please it. In return, it gave me a wonderful book, that I believe contains the secrets to the sun orchid elixir, if I can just puzzle them out!“
Though it takes some convincing, the Pathfinders eventually get Sokari to show them the book of which he speaks, and eventually to part with it. It is written in Ancient Osiriani, but perhaps Ohabar can make sense of it.
More questions for our poor alchemist, or would you like to head to the last stop on the info-gathering journey, The Thrice-Shrouded Necropolis?
The book that Sokari hands over also contains some spells: memory lapse, spectral hand, and pain strike.
Mafisadi is not so sure that this demon headed thing was actually nice, but he thanks Sokari for the book. I don’t have any questions. Shall we move on?
With the ancient book in hand, the party continues to look for clues that will help them find the Dungeons of the Ever-Dying. Led by the spiral forms within the diseased ruin to consult with the Pharasmans, the Pathfinders move on to the Thrice-Shrouded Necropolis. Priests of Pharasma, the Lady of Graves, oversee this large graveyard and several small shrines surrounding it. In spite of it being mid-day in a bustling city, the entire graveyard is dimly lit, and sounds are strangely muted here. As the party arrives, a priestess approaches, her hair tinged with grey and her manner grave.
”Greetings. I am Renofre, a servant of Pharasma. Have you come to pray?” she asks. As Mafisadi and Hansee explain the nature of their inquiry, managing to do so without interrupting and contradicting each other too much, the priestess says, ”Well, there was some talk of recent sightings of a maniacal disembodied head, strangely enough. The priests sent an acolyte, Manetho, to cleanse the threat, which seemed to be some sort of minor undead menace. Manetho told us it went fine and he had handled the threat, but then he began acting very strange and withdrawn. Soon after, we caught him digging up graves, which is profoundly anathema to us, and locked him up to repent of what he had done.”
She pauses and thinks a moment, then says, ”He seems to be making little progress, however. Perhaps it would be useful to you to speak to him? Perhaps he’ll tell you what happened to him to cause him to do something against his faith.” She leads the Pathfinders in a stately progression – except for Mogok, who seems to have little reverence for the peaceful air of this place – reaching and unlocking the door of a small, simple room. Inside, a boy of perhaps seventeen sits in the corner with his arms around his knees.
Hansee looks to Kelevan, he of the smooth tongue. That doesn't keep him from spouting off immediately.
"Kid, I hear you got a demon rattling around your head. You want us to knock it outta you? I got a stick here might do the trick." He holds one hand on his staff and one on his healing wand.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
The elf subdues his mirth at Hansee's suggestion, stepping into the room and taking a moment to look around before remarking gently, "An empty room makes poor company for discussion. Perhaps we would serve better."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
The boy seems to relax, as Kelevan's gentle tone reaches him. He lets go of the grip on his knees, sits up a bit and says, “The Lady of Graves could not help me… I was powerless! It promised to reveal its secrets to me. It asked me to dig up graves. It said that she who wears the spiral of death would come for me… so I am waiting. It said she would take me east, beyond the Seven Crypts, to the Ever-Dying.”
He says no more, staring blankly into the distance. Renofre speaks up and explains that the “Seven Crypts” is a reference to an ancient shrine to Pharasma, which was destroyed long ago.
That’s the last of the clues you were tracking down. Off to see Obahar the scholar?
Mafisadi glares at Hansee’s variously sized sticks. ”What were you hoping to do with those, dear cousin?”
”I’m not enthused about the name, I must say to you all, but it seems we are now one step closer to finding this Dungeon of the Ever-Dying.
Well done Kelevan! Let’s take the book to Obahar and see if he can read it!
The party sets off to find Obahar, at his home near Merab's Pathfinder Lodge. Arriving, they find that Obahar’s home is a dilapidated, ancient stone structure that seems out of place among the more modern dwellings surrounding it. While originally three stories tall, it appears that most of the top story fell away long ago. The front door hangs slightly ajar.
Stepping inside to investigate the open door, the Pathfinders discover that Obahar lives an austere life—the main floor consists of a tiny kitchen, a sitting room, and a simple bedroom. The second floor is a single large room—the scholar’s study—with a blocked staircase that once led to the third floor. Obahar is here, crouched atop a desk in his study, wearing only one shoe and chewing on a scroll. His eyes roll randomly about the room, and he appears addled and confused. There are partially healed bite scars on his neck and shoulder.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
What's with this guy? Is he possessed? Or is his brain just rotted out? Or maybe he studied at Mafisadi's temple...
Hansee readies himself to knock sense into another lost soul, gripping his quarterstaff tightly.
Obahar pulls off his remaining shoe and takes a tentative nibble on it, then chews a moment on the tattered scroll in his other hand. Still squatting on his desk, he pauses in his sampling, holding both shoe and scroll at arm’s length and considering them carefully, though it’s hard to tell if he’s trying to decide which tastes better or struggling with the question of whether either of them are food.
Sorry, I mixed that that was your intent. If you’ve got a specific thing you want to do with a skill or ability, it helps me to have it clearly spelled out in an OOC comment.
Studying the scholar’s behavior, Hansee doesn’t think Obahar is being charmed or controlled - but something is certainly different about him. It seems as if he’s suffered some sort of mental injury, though it’s not clear what.
Hansee approaches slowly, a reassuring look on his face. He holds his hand out for the scroll, saying, "There, there, fella. We’ll take care of ya. We’re the good simians."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Dont crack wise. Don’t crack wise. Phew, I didn’t crack wise.
Hansee moves slowly towards Obahar, speaking gently and kindly to the addled scholar, but he gets as much reaction from the man as he might from a puzzled pup, or even an indifferent cat. It's as if language no longer means anything to the poor fellow. Pausing in puzzlement a moment, Hansee notes that the scholar's desk appears to be strewn intriguingly with ancient maps of Merab, and yellowed but official-looking records.
Before he can investigate these documents, however, heavy feet can be heard coming up the stairs, and an armored half-orc strides into the room, announcing himself by saying, "“Good thing I was around, or the old man would be long dead. Those wounds were a lot uglier before I showed up.” He eyes the party a moment, then says, "I am Zurnzal, and I'm here on behalf of someone you may have heard of - Grandmaster Torch - to offer you aid, subject to certain conditions."
Zurnzal goes on to explain, “My employer has been watching recent events in Merab with keen interest. The doru attacks seemed to draw the eyes of Amenopheus’ agents, and Grandmaster Torch shares mutual concerns with the Sapphire Sage; both of them think there is more to the sage jewels than anyone dares to believe. I am here to offer information to aid in your search for the Dungeons of the Ever-Dying”—the half-orc smiles knowingly—“if you give the Society’s guarantee that when it comes time to act on the threat to the Jeweled Sages— whatever it may be—Torch will be welcome to stand alongside his, ah, colleagues, in the Society.”
I will say, based on on the clues you have found so far, that you feel you could probably locate the Dungeons of the Ever-Dying without Zurnzal's help, if you can puzzle out Obahar's maps and such. But you can certainly find the Dungeons with his help...
”Forgove me but I can’t say I’ve heard good things about this Grandmaster Torch. Perhaps we’re better off without his help.”
I don’t mind trying to figure this out on our own, but given our skill checks this game...
"I dunno, cuz. I like to keep my friends close and my frenemies next to me on a bar bench drinking our gripes away. You like ale, dontcha Zurnzal?"
Hansee elbows Mogok as he’s talking, miming as if to knock back a flagon.
Kelevan's eyes rove thoughtfully between the speakers add he considers the arguments being made. "It had been said," he begins slowly, in his elven fashion, "that the Grandmaster's price is often too high." Closing his eyes, he shakes his head slowly. "It does not seem so in this case, and yet..." The elf pauses again, and this time his eyes open to stare at the orc intently.
"There will be an additional requirement. If you agree on the Grandmaster's behalf, we will accept your word as his own, and it will bind him as though he has spoken the words himself. It is this: when that time comes, he will follow the orders of the commander designated at the time of the incident, to the best of his ability and in all good faith. What say you?"
Oh, Torch! That rascal! Everyone deserves a second chance, I say. Let's give him a chance to apologize. Mercy! I'm sure he feels just awful, and wants to clear the air!
Mafisadi nods in agreement with Kelevan’s conditions.
Then to Hansee he says, ”Eeek eek ook ook op eeek!”
Hansee laughs and mimes, waving his hand under his bum and moving as though to throw something at his cousin.
"Screech ook ook pak a rok poop poot. Skree mo bit lo poot Grandmaster ka poop."
"Take a deep breath and relax your sphincter, cuz. We’d be fools to let this Grandmaster take advantage of us when we know he’s not to be trusted."
It sounds like there is a general lean towards accepting the offer, so I'm going with that.
Unable to understand the screechy banter of the monkey-men (and unwilling to join in the poo-flinging gestures), Zurnzal turns to Kelevan and says, "I accept your condition, though I'm not sure what 'incident' you're talking about. In any case, if we are making a deal, we must show our commitment to it."
He draws a wickedly sharp shortsword from his belt and uses the blade to nick his thumb, causing blood to well up. Using the tip of his bloody thumb, the half-orc draws a simple dagger design just below his throat, then gestures to Kelevan and says, "This is how an oath is sworn in Lastwall - where the dagger stands for adulthood and community, as well as the tool with which to take one's own life if faced with abduction. I ask that you swear as well, whether by the blood-knife on your throat or an oath of your own people."
|Kelevan Nolorianoth|"We're just field agents, we have no actual authority to make promises like this..."
Kelevan was referring to the "time to act on the threat to the Jeweled Sages" as the "incident". I guess technically it'd be an event...
Kelevan watches the proceedings respectfully, nodding his understanding as the orc explains. Has such an oath ever been sworn between my kind and his?
The elf holds out one hand in quiet request for the blood-stained blade. Upon receiving it, he slowly wipes the remaining orcish blood onto his right forefinger. Handing the blade back to its owner, Kelevan reaches up with his left hand and takes hold of a small shock of white hair near the front of his head and begins to dye the small bundle in stripes with the orcish blood upon his finger. Finally, the elf's once-pristine white hair bears a small series of distinctly reddish-brown bands.
"We set no blade to our hair," he explains simply. Having completed the dyeing process, he intones solemnly, "I will do all within my power to fulfill this agreement."
Not to be outdone, Hansee also takes the blade. He draws a dagger sticking out of a smiley face. "You guys sure are a laugh. And cuz here thinks flinging poo is weird."
Diplomacy to convey good humor to the walking tribute to toxic masculinity: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
The pillar of toxic masculinity turns out to have a shred of a sense of humor, and he laughs heartily at Hansee's drawing as he accepts his sword back and sheathes it. Still chuckling, he says, "Very well, our deal is done. You will be hearing from my master in due time. In the meanwhile, I can provide you with a few clues about the Dungeons."
"First, I've heard that the Dungeons lie 'beneath the Red Canals,' a reference to waterways that have existed since ancient times—though possibly under different names. I heard this repeated by several of the folks who suffered from the doru, like Obahar here."
"Next, the Dungeons fell under the domain of General Menetashtor, an infamously cruel general who served the Pharaoh of Forgotten Plagues." As he says this, Zurnzal pulls an an ancient tablet from a cloth sack and explains that it shows the general’s troops being assigned “permanent duty” at the Dungeons.
"Finally, the Dungeons were once cleansed by Sarenite priests, who recorded the cleansing but later tampered with their
own records to obfuscate knowledge of the Dungeons. These documents have been rather crudely altered, as you can see," he says, offering a sheaf of documents as proof.
With a casual gesture, he indicates Obahar and says, "You'll be able to find the Dungeons of the Ever-Dying without his aid now, which is fortunate. It appears the doru's poison has broken the old man's mind, and he'll take some time - or a fair bit of magic - to put those pieces back together."
Zurnzal makes an abrupt, dismissive salute, tinged perhaps with mockery, and leaves without another word.
With the clues you've gathered, and the documents on Obahar's desk, you can piece together where you need to go. Anything more you want to do with Obahar or preparations you want to make before entering the Dungeons of the Ever-Dying?
Mafisadi looks sadly at Obahar.
”And he was such an enlightened man. Let’s hope upon hoping that this poison passes soon.”
I don’t think I have the gold for any purchases before we go, but if the dungeons were cleared out by the priests we should be fine anyway, right?
I'm sure nothing else has taken up residence there since the cleansing! I mean, who'd want to live in a dungeon, much less one with a name like that?
Kelevan nods in agreement, taking a few minutes to remove any dangerous implements from the room before the group departs. Kelevan will mage armor up before going in. Anyone else need a boop?
That’s a powerful boop! I’m going to take us to the Dungeons, if there’s some item you would like to have purchased or other preparation you’d make beforehand, let me know in your next post.
After some time with Obahar’s records – with the addled old man given a damp rag to chew, to save his shoes and valuable scrolls – the Pathfinders are able to sort out that an abandoned shrine to an unknown deity sits where the Dungeons of the Ever-Dying are supposedly located. Making their way there, the party sees the people of Merab going about their business in the surrounding area—a relatively unremarkable market and temple district, though none seem to go near the shrine, and a few make warding gestures as they hurriedly pass by. When asked, a balding man limping down the street says, ”That spot is haunted by the cries of the dead. I wouldn’t go near it!” before moving off as quickly as he’s able.
In spite of this warning, the party enters the dilapidated shrine, where it takes only a brief search to discover a secret door behind the crumbling altar, leading to a narrow passage. This crumbling, twisting tunnel leads deep beneath the streets of Merab, past layers of previous occupation, before winding down along the side of a large cavern. At the bottom, a twenty-foot-high windowless structure occupies much of this space. Stairs lead to platforms on the north and west sides of the building, but no other entrances are visible from here.
Mafisadi looks around.
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22
Mafisadi cups a hand around one of his large ears.
”I can hear chanting coming from somewhere within! We are not alone down here.”
|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
Kelevan stops to listen, then nods in agreement with the monk(ey)'s assessment. "Some inner voice warns me that it is likely not a meeting of the Chantmasters public speaking organization," he comments drily.
Hansee moves up the stairs, which ascend five feet to a wide, open platform with doors to the west, south, and east leading into the building. Narrow pillars support a stone overhang twenty feet above. Aside from the sound of chanting, which comes from beyond the southern door, he doesn't notice anything threatening.
Had to flip the map to keep the directions in the text correct. Fortunately, I was able to get you all right-side up again.