GM AbyssDancer's 'Ire of the Storm'

Game Master AbyssDancer

Drawn by tales of long-lost temples and the abandoned riches of long-dead heretical cults, the PCs are not the first treasure-hunters, fortune-seekers, or troubled souls hoping for a fresh start at the frontier town of Pridon's Hearth. But dark threatening stormclouds are gathering beyond the horizon, for both the colonists and for the wider region. It is far from certain that this mixed group of heroes and chancers will survive to make their fortune, and in so doing shield the growing colony from raging tempests and hostile monsters. Dare they brave the Ire of the Storm?

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Pious, once it is clear that Francis will live, sits on the ground and pours the river water from his sodden boots. As Vedic purges first himself and then the others of leaches, Pious sees to himself with a scowl; using a gauntleted hand to pull the vermin from his flesh.

"Thy blood be blessed, suffer not the pestilent or the infestatious. I am pure for I am pious. I am pure for I am pious. I am pure for I am pious..."

He repeats over and over, once for every leach.

The process is not clean or efficient. Once he is leach free he is covered in bleeding welts that quickly begin to stain his filthy wet clothes as if with old wine.

Vedic wrote:
By the time he was free of leeches his clothes were clean and mostly dry.

Vedic's prestidigitation is fine for cleansing clothes, but without a heal spell the leech bites will continue to bleed onto your clean clothes for some hours to come. No negative impact on HP but definitely an infection risk and a negative impact on your random encounter roll...

Together and separately, the party recover their composure and rid themselves of the wriggling parasites. The warmth and humidity of the jungle at least means that they are not cold even whilst stripping down to their small clothes. Removing the leeches (either by hand or by magic) is a messy process, and one that has the potential to leave those not magically healed to be if anything more bloody than before.

Within half an hour they are ready to move on once more in search of a location to spend the night. At least being on the move will mean dispersing the growing cloud of river mosquitos surrounding them, if only for a while.

Would someone please take the lead in searching for a place to spend the night, and give me a description of what sort of location you are looking for. Any other thoughts or reactions?

HP 10/14, AC 16, CMD 10, Fort -1, +1 Ref, +2 Will, +6 Perception Admixture 7/7, Active Effects: Message, Dancing Lights, Prestidigitation, Mage Armor
GM AbyssDancer wrote:
Vedic wrote:
By the time he was free of leeches his clothes were clean and mostly dry.

Vedic's prestidigitation is fine for cleansing clothes, but without a heal spell the leech bites will continue to bleed onto your clean clothes for some hours to come. No negative impact on HP but definitely an infection risk and a negative impact on your random encounter roll...

Vedic keeps up a near-constant cleaning/drying effect for himself, but I can't do that for everyone. Who has the Heal skill? We need something to staunch all this the bleeding.

Vedic moved on to killing Francis' remaining leeches and cleaning his fur. It took a while.

ranger stuff

’It is good to have friends who want to help.’ Standing still as Vedic’s floating ball blasts the leaches Iradyiel nods ”Thank you Master Vedic.” as he accepts his clean and almost dry clothing he holds them away from his body, so he doesn’t get blood all over them.

Turning toward Chest Thumper, ”Yes, Master Thumper, any help would be appreciated. I feel very weak. Also, could you do something to stop the bleeding.”

Female Human Oracle 3
Init: +8 | HP: 22/25 | AC: 16 | FF: 14 | Tch: 12 | Fort: +2 | Ref: +3 | Will: +3 | Perc: +3 | 1; 0/6 Spells Left

Our medicine man disappeared before the first storm! Fortunately, Aza decided to take cure as her oracle bonus spells...

"I can help with that," Aza mutters as she re-dons her stained mage robes. She had used very little of her own magical abilities during the leech assault, and could still feel quite a bit of magical energy flowing within her. With all of the magic she had left, she healed each of them once. It was a modicum of assistance, but perhaps she could close their wounds.

CLW, Iradyiel: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
CLW, Pious: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
CLW, Vedic: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
CLW, Francis: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
CLW, Chest Thumper: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

With her friends taken care of and her own magic expended, she turns her lesser wand on her own bleeding wounds.

CLW Wand, Aza: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4

With that, she looks between Chest Thumper and Iradyiel - they both looked exhausted for different reasons, but they were the two who really knew their way around the jungle, and they needed a place to really rest. "Do you think we can find a dr-r-ryer spot to rest for the night? I don't know if Francis should be exposed like this..."

Grand Lodge

Male Half-Orc Male Half-Orc 3rd level Druid CG Medium humanoid (orc) Init +1; Senses darkvision, scent; Perc: +12 Francis - Init +4; Senses Lowlight vison, Perc: +1

Chest Thumper gives Aza a grateful nod as she stops the seeping blood from the leech bites. He wouldn’t know what an “anti-coagulant” was if you told him, but he knows that it is very annoying and her magical energy has overcome it.

That left him with a little more magic for the day but everyone seemed to be healed up. Not that any of them were at 100%. Iradyiel and Francis were still obviously suffering the ill effects of the vermin attack.

He was emotionally wrung out and it seemed that most of his companions who had not been engulfed in the swarm were, too. They might be able to make some more ground today, but he suspected everyone could use a break for the night.

Especially when Aza seems to voice what they're all thinking.

He looks to Iradyiel, as well. "What do you think? I don't think any of us want to be near the river. I'd rather be hidden, myself. Shall we look for someplace secluded which may or may not be as defensible? Now that we're not all bleeding, we might be able to get a night's peace if we find the right place."

Chest Thumper will try to find someplace hidden. A hollow or thicket where they can be secluded if not particularly comfortable.

ranger stuff

As Aza lays her hands on him and the bleeding stops, Iradyiel breaths a heavy sigh of relief. "Thank you AZa. I feel much better." Using a little grass he wipes off the remaining blood and begins to put his clothes on.

Looking like a rung out rag, Iradyiel nods his head as Aza asks about a dry spot. turning to Chest Thumper, "Yes Master Thumper, a hidden spot would be nice, especially if it's a little dry."

Dragging his club, more than carrying it, a worn and weary Iradyiel begins to look for someplace for his friends to hide.

survival: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10

Pious nods his thanks to Aza, his clothes are still covered in rose blooms of blood but the bleeding has stopped.

"Next time we should travel with the halflings."

This coherent statement seems out of place coming from the fanatic, but it seems to be all he will offer as he joins the hunt for a suitable camp. Once somewhere is found he will once more rig up his tarp to provide some cover. This time it is conspicuously more widely spread, enough to cover all. It is clear that the last hour's events have effected Pious deeply.

Survival (aid): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19

GM rolls:
1d3 ⇒ 11d100 ⇒ 781d100 ⇒ 57

Aza’s round of healing does the trick – the leach bites seal up and the bleeding stops. There is no understating the relief this brings; even for hardened folk such as the Papaya Knights the sight of constant blood loss was dispiriting as was the clouds of biting flies eager it attracted. Cleaned, dried and no longer dripping bodily fluids, the party begin to hack their way deeper into the jungle. Everyone is now at max health, with only Iradyiel and Francis’ HP depressed by their CON loss

CT and Iradyiel consider a number of possible campsites before settling on one; a broad baobab tree similar to that seen in the meadow earlier that day, set back half a mile from the river. CT is the one to spot it after a short recce into the canopy. The group make their way to it without incident barring only some momentary alarm when their passing disturbs a large jungle cat from a freshly-killed tapir. On arriving at the tree packs, kit and travellers climb or are hoisted aloft into the broad flat boughs above; with some simple precautions and much careful construction a simple platform is built and the party is able to spend a precarious night aloft. A careful watch is kept all night; at one point a monkey troupe had to be discouraged from approaching and the resultant racket kept all from sleep for several hours. Finally however the sun rises on a new day; all are tired and stiff but at least somewhat rested – memories of Pridon’s Hearth’s hearty food, warm beds and good company seem distant indeed. Iradyiel and CT recover 1 ability damage per stat – already reflected on the status sheet.

By unspoken agreement the party take their time to break camp, and finish an ascent towards the higher ground where the Cashill village is supposedly located. They shadow the river only rejoining it as it reaches a series of rocky rapids and a small six-foot waterfall; clambering up these rocks they find the jungle thinning atop a small plateau, with scattered trees punctuating a swampy wetland in the lee of higher hills. Standing on the rocks at the head of the waterfall looking across the swamp it is just possible to make out, through the wispy mists curling over the stagnant swamp-waters, a collection of stilt-houses clustered together a half-mile distant. Some are little more than small mud huts; one or two are larger longhouses. Small coracles can be seen tied to several stilt legs. There appears to be little activity or movement in the village. This must be Cashill village, home of the local Song’o tribe.

Iradyiel, even before falling asleep last night you felt under the weather and feverish. During the night you sleep little and lightly, alternating between sweats and chills. The next morning you have no appetite and vomit up what you do eat; you continue to shiver and sweat during the morning, unable to shake off what you assume is a symptom of the weakening effect of the blood you lost.

Francis displays none of these symptoms.

Iradyiel, I need a FOR check from you...

ranger stuff

for: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11

Iradyiel only:
Over the course of the upcoming day your health deteriorates: you are fatigued, and suffer weakness and uncontrolled shivers STR loss: 1d3 ⇒ 2CON loss: 1d3 ⇒ 2

Everyone else: Iradyiel is pale and weakened, and clearly not at all well.

ranger stuff

Shivering through the night, Iradyiel doesn't sleep well at all. Waking he finds himself weak and fatigued. He has trouble keeping up with the others, often lagging behind.

Being the last to climb the rocky area near the water fall, Iradyiel looks across the stagnant swamp-waters with the others seeing a collection of stilt-houses. "That must me Cashill, we should proceed carefully. If it's like the tree they may have set traps."

Moving slowly toward the village Iradyiel watches carefully for any traps.

perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27

Grand Lodge

Male Half-Orc Male Half-Orc 3rd level Druid CG Medium humanoid (orc) Init +1; Senses darkvision, scent; Perc: +12 Francis - Init +4; Senses Lowlight vison, Perc: +1

The ruckus with the monkeys in the night is made no better by the participation of one, particularly irritable primate. Francis does not like to have his sleep interrupted in the best of times. Feeling as poorly as he does now, he is particularly vociferous in his response to his diminutive cousins and it takes a great deal of coddling, cajoling and outright condemnation from Chest Thumper to quiet him down.

When he awakens in the morning and communes with nature, he changes the focus of his meditations. Rather than defense and the small things of the jungle, he plumbs the depths of restoration.

He rises, refreshed and touches first his brother, then Iradyiel, channeling the bulk of the energy he has gathered into the two of them to restore some of their lost vigor and agility, respectively.

Lesser Restoration Francis' Con: 1d4 ⇒ 2
Lesser Restoration Iradyiel's Dex: 1d4 ⇒ 1

Even as he is healing some of the damage done by the leeches, he realizes that something is wrong with the half-elf. He does not yet have the connection with nature needed to heal the man by magic but he does have a great deal of more mundane knowledge.

Heal check to diagnose: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28
Heal check to treat: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30

He shrugs as they approach the halfling village. "We are friends. Or at least we hope to be. I see no reason not to announce ourselves. If there are traps, we can be escorted past them."

He does not call out, however, in case his companions do not agree with his assessment of the situation.

Pious hears Chest Thumper's invitation loud and clear and steps forward, clearing his throat ready to make his 'speech'...

I humbly suggest someone interrupts...

ranger stuff

Iradyiel pats Pious on the shoulder. "I don't think they will understand you Master Shephard and I don't know the language well enough to do your eloquent words justice."

Moving as quickly as he can in his sickened condition past the holy man, waiving his arms, Iradyiel calls out in Polyglot "UMawibi uthe kumele size sikhulume noMdala wakho."

"Ma’wibi said we should come speak to your Elder"

Chest Thumper looks over Iradyiel, feeling his pulse and temperature. It’s very clear; he’s seen this before. The half-elf has contracted what is commonly called ‘Jungle Fever’, a serious and debilitating illness which causes fever, vomiting, shivering, and convulsions, and sometimes even severe brain damage. He remembered hearing that the early Pridon colonists suffered terribly from the disease, assuming it to be water-bourne until they discovered it was transmitted by mosquitos and found a local plant, the ‘fever tree’, the leaf of which when chewed alleviates the symptoms and gives the patient a better chance to recover.

In fact…rummaging through his herb pouch, he dug out the fever tree leaves he had picked himself from the Narsus Forest, just before finding the Forest Troll tracks. way back on June 16, 2017, in fact Fingers crossed, these should be just the thing to aid Iradyiel’s recovery.

Stepping swiftly ahead of Pious to head off trouble, despite his weakened condition, Iradyiel calls out in Polyglot, but gets no response. The village appears deserted – no-one moves in the fog-strewn platforms ahead. After a few moments he repeats but without response. Either Iradyiel’s voice has been smothered by the clammy fog, or the hidden halflings are expecting a different call.

Or maybe the village has been abandoned, or something more sinister is afoot. The creepy silence recalls the stories told back at Pridon of the secretive and mysterious Song’o warriors: that the halflings command terrible spirits, or steal from the local farms, or collect the heads of human travellers they ambush in the jungle. Aza slaps a mosquito from her arm as they wait.

The distance between the rocky area at the head of the river and the buildings on stilts is boggy and waterlogged, with several sections of deep creeks and open water. It would take a boat or a swim to reach the nearest. At first glance, there appears no signs of danger in the still black creek waters, but...


As an aside, you might like to look in the shared loot section of the ‘Status and loot’ sheet. There’s some good stuff in there, as well as the fever tree leaves. Including would you believe a few sticks of ‘bloodblock’ which might have been handy earlier. Who knows what else useful you might find…

Female Human Oracle 3
Init: +8 | HP: 22/25 | AC: 16 | FF: 14 | Tch: 12 | Fort: +2 | Ref: +3 | Will: +3 | Perc: +3 | 1; 0/6 Spells Left

Aza bites at her thumbnail in nervousness, glancing towards Iradyiel and concerned about his unanswered announcement. Even if they were being regarded with some suspicion, it seemed as though the village was just... abandoned. And that did not bode well. With the leeches setting them back, the Song'o they had met should've arrived before them, and she figured there would be maybe a little less suspicion? In any case, something didn't seem right here, and a place of hopeful respite might've just turned into some kind of threat, especially deadly in their current condition.

She takes a step forward, looking for some kind of stone or something heavy she can chuck into the lake - if nothing else, a copper piece she could use to disturb the still, obsidian waters, hoping to break the strange silence and stillness, and maybe call some attention if there's anything in the lake.

Aza is very concerned about this lake, she's also carefully examining it as she gets close enough to toss a stone in.

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8

Aza steps back to the waterfall and selects a decent-sized rock. Stepping up to the mire's edge she peers cautiously into its depths. The water is stained a peaty reddish-brown and opaque to the eye beyond the first foot deep. It appears healthy - small sticklebacks teem at the surface, and a small heron watches from a partly-drowned willow sapling nearby.

Winding up her arm she hurles the stone forward. After a deep 'sploosh' the ripples in the water fade and the mere become still again.

Silence falls. Watching the water intently, Aza does not spot anything untoward...

Grand Lodge

Male Half-Orc Male Half-Orc 3rd level Druid CG Medium humanoid (orc) Init +1; Senses darkvision, scent; Perc: +12 Francis - Init +4; Senses Lowlight vison, Perc: +1

Chest Thumper waits to see if anything comes up to investigate the commotion Aza made disturbing the water. Assuming nothing leaps out of the water at them..

"Looks like we're in for a swim. Didn't we find a wand that contains a spell that will let us swim better? At least until we can get one of those boats?"

He stops and looks down thoughtfully. He'd briefly forgotten Jit in all the excitement of the last couple days, but the woman's skill with a boat would certainly be useful, now.

Touch of the Sea gives us a swim speed and the corresponding +8 to swim checks that I'm sure we won't need at all because the water is as calm and safe as a wading pool...

HP 10/14, AC 16, CMD 10, Fort -1, +1 Ref, +2 Will, +6 Perception Admixture 7/7, Active Effects: Message, Dancing Lights, Prestidigitation, Mage Armor

Vedic pulls out the spyglass and uses it to take a closer look across the water.

"They did say to have Francis and Chest-Thumper hoot three times as a sign. Try that."

Grand Lodge

Male Half-Orc Male Half-Orc 3rd level Druid CG Medium humanoid (orc) Init +1; Senses darkvision, scent; Perc: +12 Francis - Init +4; Senses Lowlight vison, Perc: +1

"Ah. Good point and good memory, Vedic," Chest Thumper says, reminded of what the Song'o had told them when they'd set out.

He nudges Francis then cups his hands around his slightly elongated snout and gives out 3 hoots.

Francis gives him a surly glare then, with obviously little enthusiasm, follows up and hoots as well.

Pious is dubious of entering the water again, at the very least the Song'o were known to be proficient trappers.

He begins to check the 'banks' of the creek for any sign of what might be occuring here.

Survival(tracks): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15

Vedic peers intently at the stilt-village through his spyglass, as together CT and Francis project their hooting call into the fog. The first sign of a response he picks up is a door creaking open a crack, then he spots a head emerging from behind a pile of fishing nets, and sees a Song’o tribeswoman stepping out from behind a barrel. A number of villagers slowly reveal themselves from cover, many brandishing shortbows or javelins; they appear suspicious still and nervous also.

It is Aza who get s a greater shock. As the sound of the hooting stops, she notices motion in a patch of river reeds not 40 feet away: several reeds lift up to reveal two small camouflaged nut-brown halflings previously submerged in the bog, wielding four-foot long blowpipes. They scowl at the party watching suspiciously, not responding to any greetings or questions.

After a few minutes, the Papaya Knights see a large raft separate from the village, bearing 4 figures atop. Three are Song’o tribesman; sparsely clad and carrying simple weapons at their sides whilst paddling long staves to propel the raft. The fourth is a short and stocky older woman, wrapped in a patterned cloth dress and a green headscarf, her fingers rich with bone rings and her earlobes stretched with silver metallic disks. As you get closer you see that one of those pushing the raft is none other than Muhdzuzi, who grins excitedly at them from across the water.

The raft slows to a stop 10 feet or so from where the party stand. The older woman slowly regards the group, her forehead knotting with concern as she does so. Her gaze lingers on Francis especially, but also on Iradyiel who is at that moment trembling with a sudden fever. ”Ahem.” She seems hesitant, then looks at Muhdzuzi. In fluent Common she announces in a sing-song voice: ”Your arrival was foretold. It seems Cashill owes you thanks, for lives saved and dead honoured. Muhdzuzi and Ma’wibi have vouched for your conduit. May the night not fall on our friendship. I am Kaahku of Cashill. Who are you, longshanks, and what do you want from our village?” Throughout, her body language appears physically relaxed but guarded. At her side but two steps behind, Muhdzuzi seems muted, perhaps in respect for Kaahku as she speaks to you.

Behind them a small crowd of Song’o are watching proceedings from the stilt walkways beyond.

Grand Lodge

Male Half-Orc Male Half-Orc 3rd level Druid CG Medium humanoid (orc) Init +1; Senses darkvision, scent; Perc: +12 Francis - Init +4; Senses Lowlight vison, Perc: +1

Chest Thumper almost laughs in relief when the halflings appear. Given their record so far, he was fully expecting this village to be the site of yet another lizardfolk massacre. Even the less than cordial welcome was preferable.

He is careful not to make any sudden moves, though and lays a calming hand on Francis, shoulder. Not that the ape is showing any signs of hostility, anyway. Chest Thumper's magic and a good night's rest have done wonders for the damage caused by the leeches, but he's still not feeling his normal self and his confidence is somewhat shaken.

Chest Thumper nods to Muhdzuzi, glad to see that the halfling they saved at the fort is still alive. It seems years ago, now, but he knows it has been only days. Still, given how dangerous the area is, its almost a relief to see someone still alive only hours later.

The half-orc keeps his peace for the moment. He's no talker after all, and there are certainly other party members who have more honeyed words than he does.

Female Human Oracle 3
Init: +8 | HP: 22/25 | AC: 16 | FF: 14 | Tch: 12 | Fort: +2 | Ref: +3 | Will: +3 | Perc: +3 | 1; 0/6 Spells Left

Aza jumps back at the sudden appearance of the underwater halflings, immediately praying that she hadn’t just thrown a rock directly at them, even unintentionally. She takes a wavering step forward, greeting them with some of the Polyglot that she had learned recently, carefully working on not stuttering through it, before switching to common - ”Greetings, thank you for coming out to greet us. We are...” she paused, wondering how to define their party, ”The Papaya Kn-knights, of Pridon’s Hearth, looking for the source of a threat to our community.”. She glances at Vedic, hoping he wouldn’t mind her including him as a member - although he certainly had done enough to help the group at this point. ”As well as some possible assistance for our fr-riend. He is ill and I’m afraid I... w-we may not have the resources to h-heal him...” She gives Iradyiel a worried smile. ”We believe a tribe known as the Mireborn might be attempting to destroy us, and has captured some members of the Hearth, and wish to discover why and negotiate or stop them if w-we can.”

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 = 30

ranger stuff

Looking from Vedic to Chest Thumper Iradyiel nods "That's a good idea." and moves back, Grasping hold of a sapling to keep his feet, as the two give their call.

Breathing a heavy sigh of relief as the halflings begin to show themselves, he looks from Chest Thumper to Pious and then Aza, hoping she speaks before the 'priest.' Smiling a sickly smile and nodding as Aza explains the situation. He agrees and chimes in weakly in Polyglot. "Were here to help, but I don't feel very well."

Great time for a nat. 20 on diplomacy!

Elder Zaahku listens carefully and attentively to Aza’s speech with a furrowed brow and pursed lips. Aza’s conciliatory tone and humble requests clearly strike a chord with her, and as she looks across at Iradyiel, you can see honest concern in her eyes. She appears to make a decision and snaps her fingers. There is an audible gasp of relief from Muhdzuzi behind her, who smiles a broad grin and claps his hands with relief: ”Come – we should not tarry here by the shore. You may have brought others behind you with your clumsy approach. Let us show you hospitality this once, in return for your courteous words, and your previous valiant deeds.”

At her signal the Song’o warriors watching visibly relax, and as she steps back, the party are ushered onto the raft for the short trip to the stilt village. It takes two journeys, but eventually they are reunited inside the village longhouse in the centre of Carshill.

The village longhouse is a sturdy log-built building in the centre of the village. Long trailing eaves made from reeds run most of the way down to a plank walkway, and there are no walls – the sides are open to allow the villagers to crowd rounds and see and hear those in the centre of the room. Around the outside sconces hold bundles of smouldering aromatic herbs which keep away the resident marsh insects; in the middle of the floor a series of low cushions are arranged in a rough circle and it is here that the party are seated. Arrayed about them are the Song’o – maybe 20 to 30 hobbits of varying ages but uniformly primitive appearance. Their clothing is drab and sparse; their weapons simple and many bear tribal tattoos and what looks like ritualised scarring to their arms and legs. All are looking on with interest and many with outright suspicion – it is clear that visitors to Carshill are a rarity at best.

Elder Zaahku approaches the centre and a hubbub of polyglot chatter dies down with one clap of her hands. She stands in front of the party, hands on hips, and speaks: ”You did much honour to Song’o dead. You saved one of our number at the Fort, ” Here she gestures to Muhdzuzi, ”and others again, against the Mireborn. For this Cashill is grateful. Share food with us and rest. But: do not hope to entreat us to aid you beyond this village. My people and many other Song’o tribes have heard promises and bargains from outsiders for many generations – always such deals are made of mist and smoke. Longshank promises rot quickly. We refuses to involve our tribe in Longshank dealings. The Song’o have survived storms and lizardfolk for centuries, and we will do so again.”. She juts her chin defiantly.

”This said, we will aid you whilst you stay here. And perhaps I could offer you advice and information, if you might help the Song’o with a small problem we have to our north..?”

As she speaks small Song’o children bring round small baskets with a selection of meagre and frankly sparse provisions – dried fish, flatbreads, and strange palid river vegetables. This is far from a feast, but whilst not generous, it does not look as though the tribe are holding back. Many of the Song’o villagers look on at the foods being served with hungry eyes.

HP 10/14, AC 16, CMD 10, Fort -1, +1 Ref, +2 Will, +6 Perception Admixture 7/7, Active Effects: Message, Dancing Lights, Prestidigitation, Mage Armor

Vedic stayed quiet at first, but gave Aza an encouraging nod when she looked at him during her introductions.

"We are certainly willing to hear your northern problem. Please continue." he said when the Song'o elder had finished.

Elder Zaahku leans forward, a gleam in her eye, to respond to Vedic’s prompt; ”Two weeks ago, our village was attacked and two Song’o carried off by a creature the like of which we have never seen. It was broad daylight when the creature rose from the water, cutting one warrior in two with its claws. It was not of this world I am sure; a denizen of some plane outside. It resembles a giant crab but with eyes all around an armoured green shell, and flippers not crab legs. It laughed whilst fighting us off; it stole many of our foodstuffs and chattered to itself as it made off with treasure and two further victims.” As she describes this, an angry murmur runs through the assembled villagers.

”This beast is maybe six feet wide and prefers to swim, but is able to move about out of water. It is intelligent; it speaks common, haltingly; it appears to be a voracious gourmand. It has twice returned since demanding foodstuff and treasure, each time more outlandish than the last. Sturgeon fish, hawkfly larvae; chimpanzee flesh; and now coral capuchin eggs – we have satisfied its demands so far, but this cannot continue. This must be stopped – it must be displaced, killed, or scared off, I care not what, and our treasures, including a black cauldron taken from our longhall;” she gestures to a raised dais at the back of the hall, now empty, ”If you can do this for me, I will count you as a true friend of the Song’o, and share with you what I know of the Mireborn.”

She steps back, appraising their reactions to this tale. Turning to a wide stone bowl she pours water in from a jug, and with a wave of her hand conjures an image of the beast from thin air onto the surface see image added to the log document ”Well? Will you rest for a day and then do this for us?

Pious only:
Something about this tale ignites a loathing deep within you - this creature is an offence to Aroden. Probably studying the scriptures would show you exactly why, but for now you just feel an electric tension in the air about you and in your sword blade at your side - this creature needs to be destroyed, not negotiated with.

ranger stuff

Smiling with relief Iradyiel releases the sapling and finds his way to the raft sitting carefully, holding on, so as not to tip it.

Sitting in the longhouse, though not feelin well, he tries to pay attention. When the food is brought out, he nods gratefully and tries a small amount of each separate item, so as not to offend. When he sees the hungry looks he opens his own pack and taking out some the fresh lizard meat, dried beef jerky, goat cheese and twice-baked biscuits. He broke the items up into small pieces, so everyone could try at least something; first offering the children then the adults. in Polyglot "Thank you for sharing, I enjoy trying new foods. Let me offer you a sample of the Lizard we killed and some of the food we carry with us. However, be warned the biscuits are dry, so they are better dipped in some liquid."

When the Elder asks about 'helping with a problem' he nods his head along with Vedic's answer.

Listening carefully he tries to remember his father telling stories of any such animal. Growling slightly when he heard that it could speak and still ate sentient flesh. Looking at the others he nods, answering so the tribe would understand In Polyglot "I am willing to go after the creature, though it may be a couple of days before I am well enough. How soon do you expect it to return?"

It sounds other worldly so I doubt if nature will help, but just in case.
knowledge nature: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
well that one won't anyway :-)

Grand Lodge

Male Half-Orc Male Half-Orc 3rd level Druid CG Medium humanoid (orc) Init +1; Senses darkvision, scent; Perc: +12 Francis - Init +4; Senses Lowlight vison, Perc: +1

Chest Thumper is uncomfortable sitting in the middle of the gathered Song'O. He feels, probably because it is true, that everyone is looking at him and he does not enjoy that sensation. Francis pays them all little mind, sitting near his brother listlessly, still feeling the effects of the leeches' poison.

They both eat, but neither too much, of the food offered them. The Half-Orc listens closely to the Elder's explanation of their problem.

"I agree with Iradyiel. We will assist you. I believe we would do so even without a promise of information. We all live in this land and should help each other. But we must do so all the more with the current troubles."

He looks out upon the rain as thought that explains all the troubles he's talking about.

Sorry, wife and one of the kids has flu...

Pious tucks in with no sign of the restraint shown by the other papaya knights, once he has said his grace. He speaks with a full mouth

"The Lord Aroden's wisdom is your salvation. You have sought and found, we who were meant to be found. look not for that which comes unbidden, but welcome that which is gifted. We shall serve as we are sent Mamzel. This deed shall be done. In His name.

Female Human Oracle 3
Init: +8 | HP: 22/25 | AC: 16 | FF: 14 | Tch: 12 | Fort: +2 | Ref: +3 | Will: +3 | Perc: +3 | 1; 0/6 Spells Left

Aza nods in agreement with the others. ”It is certainly not right that the creature take advantage of you in this w-way... but if it is intelligent, perhaps w-we could reason with it and find out why it is being so hateful. She pauses for a moment, considering. ”But, it seems as though it might be beyond reason... if so, I will not hesitate.” She nods, trying to project an image of someone more confident than she feels. She politely eats some of the food, but not much - a combination of guilt and nervousness filling most of her stomach. With Iradyiel incapacitated, they might need more than a day’s rest in order to face this creature, but it was clear that the tribe didn’t have much in the way of resources as it was, and if the thing returned then it might put the tribe in further jeopardy. Following up on Iradyiel’s question, she adds; ”When was it last here? And from what direction did it come?” It was possible that they could set up an ambush, an idea that she hoped would tickle Vedic’s brain.

Elder Zaahku looks at the party thoughtfully, eyeing the weakened Iradyiel and the food-befouled Pious, the silent Elven mage, and Aza and Chest Thumper. ”It is best you confront the beast, whichever path you take with it, away from Cashill. We have our homes, our children, our livelihoods to protect. No, I can tell you where it lurks and you can confront it there. That after all is where you will find and recover our cauldron. And if you fail, then at least we will still have our village intact.” She paces across to the other side of the hall, picking two Song’o hunters from the gathered throng, Muhdzuzi and one other. ”It has been only two days since she last came to our village with her demands. She will not be back for some while. You can rest here, or in the jungle outside if you wish, and then these two can lead you to the waterfalls and deep pools where Guughwa makes her lair.” She sets her jaw – she appears to have made her mind up, an uncompromising woman stubborn in the defence of her tribe.

You can spend some days in Cashill if you so wish. They have limited basic supplies if you wish to purchase them, and they have some coinage they might exchange for any items on the loot list you wish to purchase. In addition, Elder Zaakhu and her brother M’gamwe have access to a small supply of magical items you may wish to purchase – he has all basic level alchemical products and level 1 witch spell potions at full price, and she has a 25% chance of any magical item up to 1,000gp value. The way we do this is you can list any item you might be interested in, and roll 1d100 to see if she has it – 0 to 25 says yes.

Iradyiel and CT: Jungle fever:
Iradyiel’s jungle fever requires a FORT save each day. It will be cured after two consecutive DC17 saves; a fail means 1d3 damage to CON and 1d3 damage to DEX. The fever tree leaves grant a +5 circumstance to this roll; a DC17 Heal check grants a further +4 competence bonus to this roll. A restoration spell or potion, or a day’s rest, will heal ability damage in the normal way. Iradyiel is already on -3 CON, -3 STR and -2 DEX. Francis is on -2 ST -2 CON -1 DEX. CT you have used your restoration casts for the day I believe.

Over to you - let me know what you do, how you spend your time, whether you look to resupply, what you look to achieve before you set out to Guughwa’s waterfalls…

Grand Lodge

Male Half-Orc Male Half-Orc 3rd level Druid CG Medium humanoid (orc) Init +1; Senses darkvision, scent; Perc: +12 Francis - Init +4; Senses Lowlight vison, Perc: +1

"Your hospitality is much appreciated. A safe place to rest is hard to come by in the jungle and even more so, now. I am sure that we are all thankful for the chance to regain our strength before we strike out again," Chest Thumper says.

He will spend the next couple of days tending to Iradyiel, and to a lesser extent, Francis. His brother should recover from the final effects of the leech poison by himself but Iradyiel is still in danger from the fever, even more so since it attacks his very constitution which will help the Half-Elf fight the infection.

Heal Check - Day 1: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28
Heal Check - Day 2: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (11) + 11 = 22

Chest Thumper will also cast Lesser Restoration Spells on Iradyiel both days. The first day he'll focus on CON, and the same on the second day if Iradyiel takes more CON damage. If not, he'll move to STR, then DEX.

Lesser Restoration - Day 1A: 1d4 ⇒ 4
Lesser Restoration - Day 1B: 1d4 ⇒ 1

Lesser Restoration - Day 2A: 1d4 ⇒ 4
Lesser Restoration - Day 2B: 1d4 ⇒ 2

Ok, guys...I'm terrible at shopping, both IRL and in games. I can't think of anything to try to buy except for another wand of CLW. Any ideas? I think anything I would want is out of the price range, but I'll take suggestions.

ranger stuff

Sorry about the delay
Smiling when he hears that Muhdzuzi will be joining them, he waves to the Halfling, telling him. in Polyglot "It will be good to travel with you again."

After the dinner is over Iradyiel rests there in the pavilion, planning on taking a couple of days to recover. He gathers some of 'The fever tree leaves' from the parties supplies and begins chewing them.

As Chest Thumper comes and checks on him, "Thanks for the help, Master Thumper, I didn't know you knew about medicine."

Does Iradyiel add Chest Thumpers 'lesser restoration' before or after he makes the checks? I will wait for an answer so I know how to proceed... +5 'fever tree', + 4 'heal'
Fort: first day not including 'lesser restoration': 1d20 + 3 + 5 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 3 + 5 + 4 = 15

I'm afraid each new disease check takes place overnight before CT regains his spells in the morning. So, that roll of a '3' is a fail with consequent attribute loss.

Iradyiel, can I suggest you do the rolls for your disease checks and CT's Lesser Restoration spells until you have overcome the jungle fever and happy to push on. Time is a factor here so you might choose to leave before being fully recovered.

For the rest of you, is there anything you want to do / ask / investigate / experience / purchase in the Song'o village whilst Iradyiel recovers? Post now, or lose the opportunity and I'll move the story forward.

ranger stuff
GM AbyssDancer wrote:
I'm afraid each new disease check takes place overnight before CT regains his spells in the morning. So, that roll of a '3' is a fail with consequent attribute loss.

So he failed the save the evening of the day of the dinner. con loss: 1d3 ⇒ 2 dex loss: 1d3 ⇒ 3 making his Con. - 5, Dex. - 5, str - 3. He rests the first day and used both lesser restoration to heal con. After resting he gains one point for str and dex and his con is back to even. So - 2 str. -4 dex. The evening of the first day fully resting, he adds +5 'fever tree', + 4 'heal' to his heal check Heal check: 1d20 + 5 + 5 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 5 + 5 + 4 = 30 His heal check passes, so the morning of the second day he used first lesser restoration of + 4 to heal str. back to even and the second lesser restoration of +2 to heal dex to - 2, then he also recovers one point for resting so he is at -1 dex. correct?

The evening of the second day fully resting, he adds +5 'fever tree', + 4 'heal' to his heal check Heal check: 1d20 + 5 + 5 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 5 + 5 + 4 = 30 His third heal check passes also, so he should be healed, with his dex - 1 at the beginning of the third day. Having used three days worth of the 'fever tree'; Does that look right to you GM AbyssDancer?

If so I will RP it, if not tell me what I missed and I will RP that and keep rolling :-)

Female Human Oracle 3
Init: +8 | HP: 22/25 | AC: 16 | FF: 14 | Tch: 12 | Fort: +2 | Ref: +3 | Will: +3 | Perc: +3 | 1; 0/6 Spells Left

Yeah, I am also really bad at shopping - mostly at low levels. There might be a scroll or two, but we can't afford much even if they had them. I'd mostly look at water-based stuff since that's what we may have to deal with, but between our touch of the sea wand and my water breathing scroll, we might be set.

HP 10/14, AC 16, CMD 10, Fort -1, +1 Ref, +2 Will, +6 Perception Admixture 7/7, Active Effects: Message, Dancing Lights, Prestidigitation, Mage Armor

Given the down time, Vedic does what wizards do. He spent nearly the whole time scribing from the book they had found into his own, and stirring a whole bunch of bubbling pots on a series of cook fires, brewing up strange smelling concoctions.

I'm going to spend some time learning the spells from the spellbook we found. I can take 10 to learn any of them. They take spell level +1 hours each to learn and scribe.

I'd like to sell my spellcasting services, and my services as an Alchemist while we are here. The more money I make the more spell-scribing materials I can buy.

Pious will spend his days in discussion with any halflings that will listen, he will not openly endeavor to convert them to his faith, action speak lluder than words, but will speak openly on what a great guy Aroden is. If none will listen then he will talk anyway. In the evenings and early mornings he looks to his own flesh as a source of religious inspiration adding exerts of scripture to his already cluttered skin. I don't believe there is anything Pious wants to buy...

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Iradyiel – totally agree with your workings. Iradyiel is at full strength at the start of the third day after arriving at Cashill. You have now depleted all CT’s supply of fever tree leaves.

Vedic – I believe you are referring to the leather-bound book containing a dozen pages of densely-scribbled text, glyphs and symbols, which you were given by Jheri. It contains the following arcane spells:

  • 1st—alarm, comprehend languages, identify, magic weapon, unseen servant;
  • 2nd—minor image, protection from arrows, see invisibility, spectral hand;
  • 3rd—dispel magic, heroism, slow.
With regard to crafting, the Song’o would happily purchase a maximum of say 500 gold in assorted scrolls or potions from the party. As you say, there is a time cost for both these and copying spells. You have three days or say 24 hours of work to play with – how are you splitting your time?

Aza - You asked about specific watery-based magic items; Zaakhu has nothing of this nature available.

Pious – Almost all of the halflings do not speak common and you do not speak Polyglot – whilst several of the younger Song’o do gather to listen to your tales of Aroden, you get the distinct impression that your audience treats you as a curiosity rather than a preacher. Turning instead to your tattoos, you devote your evenings to continuing to hallow add more and more of your body with the divine wisdom of Aroden’s sacred texts.

Two days after arriving in Cashill village the colour begins to return to the face of the big barbarian and his fever begins to break, and in the morning it is apparent that Iradyiel’s ox-like strength plus Chest Thumper’s medications and ministrations are finally successful at returning the big half-elf to full-helf. As the sun rises on Cashill village, and the noisy early morning prayers of Pious outside in the village longhouse reach your ears, you realise it is beyond time to move on. The poor rations, the constant buzzing and biting of the marsh-flies (who seem to relish the taste of new blood), and the way the village seems constantly divorced from the sun by palid mists, is beginning to grate. Time to leave in search of this monster, ‘Guughwa’.

Later, at Guughwa’s pools
Guided by Muhdzuzi and his fellow hunter, the Papaya Knight make their way first by skiff and then on foot across the marsh to a more rocky area where water flows in a cascade of smaller and some larger falls. The two Song’o stop well short of the place they call Guughwa’s pools, remaining with the skiff they piloted here. Ahead lies five breathtaking cascades of water tumbling over a twenty-foot-high, vegetation-covered cliff surrounding a pristine 200’pool of sweet-smelling clean water. A mist clings to the water’s surface, thick with the scent of a dozen flowering plants and giant lily pads. A pastel rainbow of eggshells litters one side of the pool, which appears to be clean and pure, and nearly 50 feet deep at the center. The party stand maybe 25’ back from the water, as they gaze at this beautiful and peaceful natural site.

It might be nothing but catching Pious flexing his weapon arm in the morning sun, it looks to you as though his latest tattoos have a new theme. Several of the texts he has added along his sword arm, if looked at from a certain angle, merge to form a long lightning bolt pattern from hand to elbow. It’s probably nothing; it’s just new, that’s all.

Female Human Oracle 3
Init: +8 | HP: 22/25 | AC: 16 | FF: 14 | Tch: 12 | Fort: +2 | Ref: +3 | Will: +3 | Perc: +3 | 1; 0/6 Spells Left

Even though she was nervous, Aza felt a strange calmness as they finally arrived at the pools. The last few days had been stressful, and there was a good feeling of helplessness as she watched Iradyiel attempt to overcome his sickness. Now, standing in this beautiful place with everyone hale and hearty, Aza takes a deep and shaky breath of the floral air. She looks to her companions, and leans on her quarterstaff for a moment to think of how to break the silence. "I w-would like to talk to this Guughwa, if possible. If they understand common, we must attempt to find some peaceful resolution to this. Our j-journey so far has not been easy, and I would prefer to avoid more bloodshed if possible..." She looks guiltily at Francis, and Iradyiel. "B-but, it might be best if we h-have a backup plan. I will gladly take l-lead to talk, but if it grows violent..." She looks to Vedic, who has been the most critical of their tactical acumen thus far, for any thoughts on such a backup plan.

Grand Lodge

Male Half-Orc Male Half-Orc 3rd level Druid CG Medium humanoid (orc) Init +1; Senses darkvision, scent; Perc: +12 Francis - Init +4; Senses Lowlight vison, Perc: +1

Francis was plainly pleased to be back on solid ground. The first day with the Cashill, he'd been sullen and listless but by the end of the second, he was obviously feeling close to a hundred percent. By the time Iradyiel was fully recovered, the big ape was clearly feeling cabin fever, even if there were no actual cabins. Yet, after his recent experience, he eyed the water warily at best and did not try to swim across the lake.

Chest Thumper had his hands full keeping his big brother entertained, though eventually managed to pawn him off on some of the braver halfling children. The adults were likely not pleased with the way the big beast shook their structures as he rampaged around with the tiny humanoids playing tag and hide and seek.

When they were ready to go, despite his recent physical setback, it was clear that Francis was growing more robust. It was even harder than ever to get his chain shirt on him.

Francis jumped off the skiff when they got close to the shore and scrambled around for a bit before calming down.

Despite what he was about to say, Chest Thumper had his great axe out when he spoke.

"I agree with Aza. The jungle is a difficult place and each person is entitled to their own livelihood but not at the undue expense of others. If Guughwa can be convinced not to raid the Cashill any further so much the better. If it is unreasonable, then we must eliminate it," Chest Thumper says, also looking to Vedic when the discussion for the need for eliminating the threat comes.

ranger stuff

Has anyone been keeping track of 'food rations'? do we need to purchase any? I'm not sure how much of the 'lizard meat' we actually collected.

It is good to be without the fever.' Waking early the third day, Iradyiel, glad to be off of his sick bed, quickly cleans himself and prepares to leave.

Happy to be underway, he smiles and nods to the halflings telling them goodbye in polyglot. Climbing on the skiff he nods to the two hunters in polyglot. "It is good to be traveling together again Muhdzuzi."

Once the skiff is stopped and everyone is unloaded, Iradyiel, taking the front heads to what the halflings called 'Guughwa’s pools.' 'this is beatiful!' Stopping for a moment to admire the beautiful scene he sees the egg shells, pointing, "This is probably the spot."

Listening first to Aza then Chest Thumper, Iradyiel scratches his head and asks. "I know I had a fever, but didn't they say this thing ate some of the haflings? A sentient creature that eats other sentient creature? Beyond that, it has murderred, stolen, intimidated and extorted the haflings. Even if we talk to it, how do we know we can believe it. Shouldn't we ask it to move away and then escort it?"

He looks from Aza to Chest Thumper. "It would be nice if it didn't know our full strength in case it comes to a fight, but I don't like the idea of leaving Aza here by herself to talk to the thing. It might eat her."

GM rolls:
1d20 + 14 ⇒ (10) + 14 = 24
Aza: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Iradyiel: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11
ChestThumper: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (19) + 12 = 31
Vedic: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
Francis: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
Pious: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21

Whilst the Papaya Knights crouch by the rocks 25’ from the 200’ wide pool and the falls behind it, the most sharp-sighted amongst them spot a disturbance on the surface of the water, floating maybe 100’ out in the middle. It looks at first like a floating log, but circular; dropping down behind some vegetation the party watch it for a while. It bobs up and down a little but maintains a stationary position in the pool; then, it floats up a little higher and the shell (for that it what it is tips up to reveal something of the underside and mouthparts of the beast. Measuring roughly 6 feet in length it must surely weigh a healthy quarter ton. It appears to be a strange cross between a turtle and a crab, with an armoured chitin shell with sharp ridges and barbs projecting from it, reminiscent of that of a snapping turtle. Underneath two lobster-like pinchers protrude from apertures to either side of its stumpy head; one of these pincers raises a handful of river weed up, and lowers it down into the creature’s maw. Its parrot-like beak appears to be unnaturally sharp and almost metallic in appearance. It also has two pairs of paddle-like flippers projecting from the front of its carapace. The flesh on its flippers looks firm and rubbery, like that of an octopus. A multitude of eyes, equally spaced around its armoured body, must give it a strange 360-degree view of its surroundings. It continues to lounge amid the pool’s clear water, apparently unaware of the party’s presence.

Anyone with Knowledge:Planes can make a check to see if they have information on this strange and unworldly creature.

Pious, CT:
Across the pool from where you stand and beyond the monster, accessible either by scrambling around the rocks and clambering under one of the falls, or from swimming up through the pool, the pair of you believe you can see a small cave opening behind a curtain of concealing white water.

Pious only:
Seeing this creature alights inside you again that peculiar sensation of loathing deep within and an electric tension in the air about you and in the sword at your side. This creature is an offence to Aroden and needs to be destroyed...

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