GM Euan's Mummy's Mask

Game Master Euan

Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet
Osirion Map - Wati City Map - Tephu City Map


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When others return, Zilchus drives the chariot a bit more to explore. He drives exactly in the pink pattern noted on the map, still sipping his applejack. He will do the occasional sand-donut or figure eight, skidding sand in all directions.


NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:

Ben follows to where Zilchus decides, his thoughts still focused on the archaeologist. "I need a mirror, my friends. And an expensive one, at that. I need it to be made in silver, and be very, very high-priced."


Zilchus looks at Ben and then at the very hot sands around them. "Well, it's hot enough and if we drive around long enough, I bet we'll find some sand well on its way to being mirrored," Zilchus observes. "We'll just need to find you a nice polishing rag and you'll be all set."


HP: 95/95 l AC: 12 (16), T 12, FF 10 l CMD 20 l F +13, R +11, W +13 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 5/6, L3: 3/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 5/5, L6: 4/4, L7: 1/2, L8: 1/1 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +24, Kn. Nature +22, Kn. Local +21, Kn. Planes +19, Kn. Religion +12, Spellcraft +24, Swim +6, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Mage Armor, See Invisibility / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

"Um...I think we'd need to return to Tephu to find something like that, wouldn't we?" Florence remarks. "We're probably not going to find what you're looking for out here in the middle of the desert. Maybe we can loop around and start searching back towards Tephu and then stop to pick up your mirror when we get close to the city again?"


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet

It's about 2 days to Tephu by the most direct round - though that would take you through new territory so things may happen. Backtracking it'd take 3 days and a bit due to the terrain. How about we say this is option 1.a and 1.b respectively.

Of course you can search your way back to Tephu as well, but that'll be much longer and depend on your route naturally. You'd start by heading SE to round out the day. This is option 2.

Then there's continuing north to the river and tracking along it while searching as Zilchus suggested. Call that option 3.

What would people like to do?


Female Halfling Cavalier/15

Stelle briefly wonders why Ben would need an expensive mirror when all he could do is ask one of his friends how it is that he appears Maybe he just needs to know for himself? But he doesn't need a silver one for that..., until he explains that it is a Scrying device that he is after.

Why can't he let that go?

Florence wrote:
"Um...I think we'd need to return to Tephu to find something like that, wouldn't we?"

Stelle nods. "Probably. But why do you need that Ben? He's just an old Archaeologist hoping to discover the biggest and oldest site to date before anyone else -- and before he dies. You'll end up spending an exorbitant amount of funds for the privilege of watching an old man teeter about an ancient temple, staring at carven cartouches for hours on end and running off the occasional wild animal unfortunate enough to stumble upon him." She pauses for breath before continuing, "We're better off pressing forward for the Sightless Sphinx and the Cultists. Who knows? Maybe we'll just find such a mirror along the way without having to backtrack and spend our own resources."

"And if we don't, we can head back to Tephu later and procure one," she adds, heading toward the Zilchus "driven" chariot with the intention of searching the desert north along the riverbed.


Stats:
HP 73/73 | AC 14 Tch 14 FF 10 | Fort +7 Ref +18 Will +14 | Init +3 | Bardic Perf 39/day | Never Fear RING | Perc +19 | Dis Dvce +22 +5 | Diplo +23 | Sense Motive +19 | Perform +27
Neutral Human Bard/14

1.a! "Traveling back to Tephu without a chariot is going to be a nightmare. I think we should try to return to Tephu as soon as possible and regroup. Possibly with another chariot scroll."

Nidhi rubs her hands together, "let's buy prune juice in Tephu and tell that old geezer it's a research-boosting supplement. Then, when he's got the runs, we can run inside that temple and see what's he's hiding." Nidhi laughs, unhindered.


Zilchus indicates that he would prefer to continue searching in the pattern he had suggested, but will listen to other plans. He is against going back to Tephu, figuring once they go back it will doubly hard to return to the desert.

"Ya know, I didn't like that guy, but I'm not sure he was doing anything wrong either. Sure, he follows a deity who ain't much more than a candle in the dark, but he wasn't doing wrong out there. Why don't we just leave him be?" Zilchus asks, doing another sand donut in the chariot. If there is something the guy did that was suspicious, Zilchus clearly missed it.


HP: 95/95 l AC: 12 (16), T 12, FF 10 l CMD 20 l F +13, R +11, W +13 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 5/6, L3: 3/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 5/5, L6: 4/4, L7: 1/2, L8: 1/1 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +24, Kn. Nature +22, Kn. Local +21, Kn. Planes +19, Kn. Religion +12, Spellcraft +24, Swim +6, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Mage Armor, See Invisibility / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

"Um...that's unnecessarily complicated, isn't it?" Florence signs, face-palming a bit at Nidhi's suggestion. "It'd be easier to get Ben his mirror, at least then we could go about our other business while he does his scrying."

"But still, I think Zilchus and Stelle are right; we should keep looking for the Sightless Sphinx while we're out here."


NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:

"Don't worry, I never said I need it now. I just wanted to let you know that I need one. I want to see through this matter, sooner or later. As of now, I'm good with continuing our exploration," Ben explains. "Let's keep going."


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet

GM Rolls:
1d20 ⇒ 6

After some discussion, the party continues on into the desert. You reach the Scarab River in a few hours as you search the southern banks on your way. The desert sands run right to the edge of this narrow, winding waterway. The opposite riverbank is rockier, and a few thin reeds grow here and there along the banks. Though narrow, the river seems cool and deep and swirls by at a lazy pace. Clouds of humming insects hover above the surface of the water.

As you approach, a small flock of large, long-legged ibises with steely gray feathers descends upon you. They are actually rather nasty, and you all suffer some damage before you manage to drive them off, killing many. You search the region but find nothing else of particular interest. You make camp alongside the river, and once again hear the evening sounds you’re more accustomed to - insects, frogs, the wind rustling in the reeds.

The next day’s sun rises hot and fast, despite the comfort of the river. There is but one lone tree, a short scrubby affair clinging to life at the edge of the rocky shore. No doubt its seed was deposited by some long lost bird, searching for water and bringing a snack. That tree’s a survivor.

It is Fireday, Erastus 17, 4714 and you continue your search along the riverbed and then to the north back into the desert. Unlike the day before, you encounter nothing of note along the river but an increase of animal and plant life as you may imagine. You find the occasional humanoid trail as well, but the tracks lead to old campsites or disappear into he desert. No good leads.

You spend the night in the deep desert where it’s quiet and cold. You rise early the next day, eager to get going before it gets too hot. You decide to turn east, as you feel you’ve gone about as far west as you can and still be ‘North of Chsisek’s Tomb’ - the only lead you have.

The partial hex to your north on the map need not be searched. Where do you go from here?


Female Halfling Cavalier/15

With Bynx's help, Stelle has drawn a crude suggestion of a path on the map.

Our cat walked across my keyboard as I was trying to draw that.


Zilchus hands the reins to Stelle and lets her plot the path. He returns to his parasol and scouting for danger and the Sightless Sphinx.


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HP: 95/95 l AC: 12 (16), T 12, FF 10 l CMD 20 l F +13, R +11, W +13 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 5/6, L3: 3/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 5/5, L6: 4/4, L7: 1/2, L8: 1/1 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +24, Kn. Nature +22, Kn. Local +21, Kn. Planes +19, Kn. Religion +12, Spellcraft +24, Swim +6, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Mage Armor, See Invisibility / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

"Well...at least we're combing the desert pretty thoroughly..." Florence remarks after two more days of nothing, trying to sound optimistic. "Just have to keep at it and we'll find the Sightless Sphinx eventually...I think."


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet

GM Rolls:
1d20 ⇒ 17

The day starts off hot, and gets hotter, but the magics of chariot and banner keep the party protected, cool, and fast moving. You fly along the dunes and zip along the rolling slopes of the desert. Now and then there will be a bit of scrub, but this far from the river it’s pretty rare.

As your steeds do not tire, you eat while moving along on the chariot - though drinks are a little tricky, it’s not too bad. Shortly after lunch however… a sight.

The imposing statue of the Sightless Sphinx is over 600 feet long and rises almost 200 feet high. That makes it easy to spot from a distance. You’re still a few miles away when you first see the rough head crowning over a nearby dune. As you approach a little closer, you see that it is a colossal statue of a six legged, faceless sphinx that represents Areshkagal, the demon lord of greed, portals, and riddles. You wonder what sorts of fiendish things must lie inside such a structure.

As you get closer still, you see an avenue of smaller sphinxes just 15’ tall leading up to the larger paws, the left one of which has collapsed. Also a ring of heavy stones seems to surround the entire Sphinx. On the right shoulder is a grove of what look like white palm trees - white trunks, white leaves, white everything. You’re still a few hundred yards out though, and a dune stands between you and the grounds around the giant Sphinx.

What do you do?

Feel free to make any preparations you might have made when you first spotted it. It's late afternoon, maybe 4pm when you find the Sphinx.


NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:

Before heading toward the Sightless Sphinx, Benedictus casts mage armor on himself.

GM, would it be possible to quickly recap why we are here and what we are supposed to find/search here?


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Female Halfling Cavalier/15

Stelle waits for all of her companions to board the chariot before taking off to search the desert. I wonder if ... She does a few donuts just to see what it's like.

"Hey, that's kind of fun!" she exclaims, before speeding the party on thier way.

She pulls up towards the Sphinx slamming on the brakes while giving a sharp turn to the left, and parallel parks the Chariot next to a dune a few hundred yards away.

"Let's see if there is any sign of the Cultists around. Is everyone prepared? Where shall we start?"


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet
Prof. Benedictus Dickens wrote:
GM, would it be possible to quickly recap why we are here and what we are supposed to find/search here?

Sure!

There are a few reasons. You're trying to find the queen bee larva, and according to the journal, it might be found here. More importantly, you're looking for Chisisek's body, and any materials that might have been stolen with it (hoping for leads Hakoteps weapon and Hakoteps tomb). Finally this is the base for the Cultists of the Forgotten Pharaoh, who took the two things mentioned above, who may have been involved in the undead uprising in Wati, and who have been trying to kill you.

Those guys are trying to bring back the reign of Forgotten Pharaoh Hakotep, who's mask Nidhi wears which contains part of his soul. Other parts of his soul are still out there, including perhaps his heart (ib), which may have been recently found by a Nethysian priestess named Serethet in Sothis.

So there's lots to search for, but that's a broad-strokes overview of what you've learned so far.

Benedictus - don't forget to take a slot out for the Phantom Chariot and also add it to your spellbook. Thanks.


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Sopdet-Ka "Stelle" wrote:
"Hey, that's kind of fun!"

"I know, right!" Zilchus confirms while trying to hold on to the chariot, his parasol, and his lunch at the same time. "You're really getting the hang of that, Stelle," Zilchus comments while watching Annie hang her head over the size, tongue out, ears flapping in the full breeze.

When the Sphinx is spotted, Zilchus smiles as if he found it alone, even though he obviously didn't.

"I guess we're going in now, huh? Unless...we might as well explore one of those smaller sphinxes, and see what is up, then try for the big one. It would be nice to have a scouting overview. I don't know if any of you can fly invisibly, but knowing what we're facing might be nice."

Zilchus waits to see if any of his companions can scout the area.


HP: 95/95 l AC: 12 (16), T 12, FF 10 l CMD 20 l F +13, R +11, W +13 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 5/6, L3: 3/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 5/5, L6: 4/4, L7: 1/2, L8: 1/1 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +24, Kn. Nature +22, Kn. Local +21, Kn. Planes +19, Kn. Religion +12, Spellcraft +24, Swim +6, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Mage Armor, See Invisibility / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

"I think Ben's probably best suited to scout like that," Florence remarks as she shields her eyes to peer at what she can see of the Sphinx from their parking spot. "Or Ptolemy. I can sure fly but haven't quite mastered making myself invisible yet. Trying to work on it, though!"

Spells & Powers:

5th - Break Enchantment, Hold Monster x2
4th - Blessing of Fervor, Confusion, Greater False Life, Ice Storm
3rd - Dispel Magic, Heroism x2, Lightning Bolt
2nd - Euphoric Cloud, Glitterdust x2, Hold Person, See Invisibility
1st - Bless, Enlarge Person, Ill Omen, Shadow Trap, Snowball, Unbreakable Heart
Cantrips - Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Message, Stabilize

Lesser Extend Rod (3/3)

Fortune Hex Uses:
Healing Hex Uses:


____________

Going to hold off juuuust a bit longer on spell prep until maybe we get a better idea of what's kicking around close by. Zilch/Stelle, do you still want to be extra heroic today?


Stats:
HP 73/73 | AC 14 Tch 14 FF 10 | Fort +7 Ref +18 Will +14 | Init +3 | Bardic Perf 39/day | Never Fear RING | Perc +19 | Dis Dvce +22 +5 | Diplo +23 | Sense Motive +19 | Perform +27
Neutral Human Bard/14

"Oh, yeah! I forgot about Ptolemy. Ptolemy should do it. He's stealthy."

Nidhi laughs in delight as Stelle does donuts with the chariot.


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HP: 44/44 l AC: 21, T 14, FF 19 l CMD 13 (17 vs. trip) l F +3, Ref +6, W +10, Spell Resistance 19 l Init +2 l Senses: Perception +12, Low-Light Vision, Scent Male Cat

"MraaooOoOOowR...!"

No more donuts...I'm going to be sick!


NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:

Ben grins at Zilchus. "Mh, let me guess who you are thinking about..." When Florence confirms his thought, Ben shrugs. "I guess I could do it, but it would cost me perhaps too many resources. I would rather preserve my energies. After all, we know that this is the base for the Cultists of the Forgotten Pharaoh. Consequently, a clash is very likely, and I would rather have all my arcane arsenal at my disposal, if the need arises."

After giving his explanation, Benedictus takes a sip from his canteen, his eyes looking at the Sightless Sphinx. "I could also send Ptolemy, but again, this would be risky. He is very sneaky, that's true, but there's still the risk that they could catch him. And he is not very resistant to direct attacks. Even worse, I would be far from him, and unable to protect him. I don't want to risk that much."

Ben takes another sip and secures the canteen to his hip. "This leaves us with only one option. I will resort to one my divinations, creating a magical sensor that will scout the area for us. It will last about 10 minutes, but considering that it can cover 300 feet in a minute, we should be fine. I will need a few minutes to cast the spell, though. In the meantime, why don't we get a little closer, so that my arcane eye has less distance to travel? Oh, and Flo...where did you put that bat fur again? Last time I borrowed it to you for that concoction."

Ben casts arcane eye and sends it forward to scout one of the smaller sphinxes, preferably the closest to the group. He suggests to get closer before he casts the spell, but not close enough that the group would risk being spotted.


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet

You are about 300 yards away, and to get closer means to risk detection. That assumes someone is looking of course. They might not be in which case you could get closer. There’s a cluster of dunes about 100 yards out that provides decent cover, but you are somewhat exposed getting there (though at some distance so that helps).

I’ve uploaded a map of the outside of the Sightless Sphinx. There are a handful of pavilion tents in the shadow of the sphinx (to the left, which is weird as the sun is setting to the west or back of the sphinx - so the shadow should be in the front) and a lone pavilion tent on the right flank. You are not, as yet, this close, but I wanted to give you a sense of scale. Start at 10% zoom to see the whole map.

Benedictus, if you cast the spell from 300 yards out, that’s 3 minutes getting there leaving 7 minutes to search around. Considering the scale, and the speed of the eye, that’s not a lot of hunting time - but sufficient to search some of the area I should think. Please note on the map, roughly where your eye travels.


NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:

Thanks you for the clarification. All these feet and yards confuse me, since I am used to the metrical system! I have moved my eye on the map. 7 minutes will do, I would rather not risk detection at this moment.


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet

GM Rolls:
1d20 ⇒ 2

I figure with the distances involved, you’ll get to see the front bits of the Sphinx before the spell expires. Here is what Benedictus describes…

Avenue of Sphinxes
A wide avenue leads up to a colossal statue of a seated sphinx. Though the sphinx’s sloped shoulders, powerful leonine body, and clawed limbs were skillfully crafted, its face is an obliterated and jagged mass of stone. The scouring force of erosion seems absent here; a deliberate rawness has been infused in the degraded face, a tormented, almost malicious devastation that gives the still figure an ominous aura. Huge paving stones might once have formed a path to the statue, but now a carpet of sand blows across the broken slabs. Two rows of smaller sphinx statues, their faces flat and featureless, blindly gaze at each other across the avenue from atop stone pedestals. A ring of heavy stone blocks encircles the large sphinx beyond the avenue, a rough perimeter marred by frequent gaps and missing stones.

The sphinx statues lining the avenue are approximately 15 feet tall. The stone blocks ringing the Sightless Sphinx are of various sizes, but they average 30 feet in length and 10 feet tall. There are a pair of very large double doors in the center of the Sphinx's chest, at ground level, between the giant paws, the left of which is largely crumbled.

As the eye passes inward, it just spies three girtablilus playing dice behind one of the stones. That’s the same half scorpion half human creature you found dead in the desert further south. These are clearly meant to be on guard but they’re not currently paying much attention and look bored after a long day in the hot sun.

The eye travels to the north, and into the shadows cast unnaturally by the Sphinx.

The Shadow of the Sphinx
A vast, dark shadow stretches across the sand north and east of the sphinx. Based on the position of the sun overhead, the monolithic statue should cast a shadow in a completely different area, but doesn't. Even more strangely, the patch of darkness remains constant as the sun moves across the sky. Four pavilion tents painted with red and gold swirls sit within the shadow. Presumably the eye takes a quick gander - they seem comfortable sleeping chambers for the girtablilus.

Four more girtablilus are here as well, paying much more attention to the various pathways leading to the Sphinx. Likely because one is clearly some sort of leader (image). Sweltering in the hot evening sun, you imagine how nice it must be in that cool, cool shade.

Bone Forest
A grove of strange palm trees stretch toward the sky to the south of the Sphinx. Their bleached-white, chalky trunks support bladelike fronds of dull ivory, as if some giant hand set curved and serrated bones atop the trees. A gentle breeze blows, but the grove remains immobile as the Sphinx beside it. Here (image) is what it might look like if you were in it.

There are a half dozen cultists lounging in the shade of the ‘trees’ looking primarily to the south, but they too are not paying as much attention as they might be.

The eye sees another pavilion ahead to the west, but fades out of existence before reaching it.

I’ve updated the map showing the location of the various creatures you’ve observed. No one seemed to pay any attention to the invisible sensor as it passes by them. And yeah, sorry about the yards thing. I'll try to keep it to feet going forward. :)


Zilchus listens to Ben's report, drawing what he describes into a map in the sands. It's clumsy and inelegant, but Zilchus has never claimed to me an artist or a cartographer.

"Ayep. I ain't looking forward to dancing with them scorpo-giants. What did you call them, Ben?" Zilchus looks up from his drawing. "Skirt n' pillows? Well, they ain't wearing skirts and they don't look too soft. In fact, they look nasty. Them stingers probably have poison, huh?"

Zilchus looks again at his map where he has etched where the foes are currently, but might be differently at any time.

"At least seven of them, huh? I can take one, maybe two...so, maybe we can take them out as groups. And I'm not really sure what I destination here is? Did you see an entrance into the sphinx? Or the larvae nearby?"

Zilchus has ideas, but none of them are good yet.

"Are we going in today, or do we want to go in tomorrow when we're better prepared for the foes we'll need to fight?"


1 person marked this as a favorite.
HP: 95/95 l AC: 12 (16), T 12, FF 10 l CMD 20 l F +13, R +11, W +13 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 5/6, L3: 3/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 5/5, L6: 4/4, L7: 1/2, L8: 1/1 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +24, Kn. Nature +22, Kn. Local +21, Kn. Planes +19, Kn. Religion +12, Spellcraft +24, Swim +6, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Mage Armor, See Invisibility / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

"The girtablilus...maybe it's too much to hope they might be related to the one we found dead a few days ago?" Florence ponders after Ben has given his report and Zilchus has offered his take on things. "We still have the fancy medallion it had; if they're related we could try returning it and hope they'd let us pass...but we're probably not that lucky," she sighs.

"Oh and I think Ben said he saw doors leading into the Sphinx from its chest area," Florence adds. "Zilchus probably has the right idea about trying to separate some of them so they're easier to deal with. Same for falling back and launching our little raid tomorrow so we can plan our moves and everything tonight."


Stats:
HP 73/73 | AC 14 Tch 14 FF 10 | Fort +7 Ref +18 Will +14 | Init +3 | Bardic Perf 39/day | Never Fear RING | Perc +19 | Dis Dvce +22 +5 | Diplo +23 | Sense Motive +19 | Perform +27
Neutral Human Bard/14

Nidhi wholeheartedly adopts the name because it sounds correct enough. (She never proclaimed to be an accurate bard!) "Oh, yeah those skirt n' pillows might like getting that necklace. Or they could become very angry... Are the skirt n' pillows far away enough that they won't draw the attention of the humans?" She looks over the crude map, then at Ben for instruction.


Female Halfling Cavalier/15

Stelle looks around the grounds from where she is, which is mostly from very far away.

Flo wrote:
"The girtablilus...maybe it's too much to hope they might be related to the one we found dead a few days ago?"

Stelle looks quizzically at Flo. "Hope? Too much? I don't know Girtablius relative to the dead one or not, under the circumstances I wonder who or what it is which with I am supposed to compare them."

She shrugs, while looking a bit skeptical.

"Maybe we should just hail them? We could always try to bluff our way out if it goes sour."


NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:
Zilchus Lyghtlode wrote:
"Ayep. I ain't looking forward to dancing with them scorpo-giants. What did you call them, Ben?"

Taking his cue, Ben puts on his best professorish tone and explains "they are called girtabib...Hm, sorry, my mouth is dry." Ben takes a sip from his canteen and tries again, pretending to be as confident as possible. "It's girtablibl...I mean, girtlabi...Dammit, to hell with it! Let's just call them scorpionfolk."

Ben can't help but burst in a silent laughter. Once he regains his composure, he goes on to expound in his professorish tone. "Regardless of how they are called, it would be advisable to share what we know about them. As far as I am concerned, I know what follows..."

Knowledge (local) check: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (8) + 15 = 23 alignment, special abilities, languages, tactics

When Stelle and Florence propose to reason with the girtablilus, Benedictus shakes his head. "Don't forget that there are cultists not far from the Sightless Sphinx. They probably are in league with the scorpionfolk, and vice versa. And if that's so, they will attack us on sight or simply sneak behind us and catch us unaware while we delve into the Sphinx's interior. No, I believe the only way to attempt diplomacy with the girtablilus is to deal with the cultists first. Perhaps once we dispatch them, the scorpionfolk will be open to negotiation. But I would rather not risk betrayal before fighting off the cultists."

Ben scratches the back of his head and ponders. "The cultists seemed pretty unattentive. Perhaps we can surprise them, at night. A quick assault, we kill them and we retreat. Then we get back here in the morning, and attempt to negotiate with the girtablilus. Sounds like a good plan? In any case, I would leave the tactics of the assault to Zilchus and Stelle. You know my powers, and I will use them according to your orders, in case you decide to put them to use in the assault."


HP: 95/95 l AC: 12 (16), T 12, FF 10 l CMD 20 l F +13, R +11, W +13 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 5/6, L3: 3/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 5/5, L6: 4/4, L7: 1/2, L8: 1/1 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +24, Kn. Nature +22, Kn. Local +21, Kn. Planes +19, Kn. Religion +12, Spellcraft +24, Swim +6, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Mage Armor, See Invisibility / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

Florence can't help but giggle a little as Ben stumbles over the 'proper' name for the scorpionfolk; not out of any sense of malice but because it just sounds silly to her ears.

"Hey, taking out the cultists first is fine with me," she remarks as the giggles fade. "I wasn't exactly meaning we should do that first, just wondering if it could even be an option. Thinking out loud, I guess you'd say."


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet

GM Rolls:
1d20 ⇒ 13

Benedictus will tell you that the creatures are natively Neutral with a Lawful bent (but not always), but as it's Knowledge Nature, that's all he knows at this time (monstrous humanoid).

Sounds like the party wants to wait for dusk, at least, and see how things lie.

Please check your perceptions and makes sure I have your bonus noted correctly. Thanks!

Perception Rolls:

Benedictus 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (2) + 12 = 14
Ptolomy 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
Florence 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Nidhi 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (15) + 12 = 27
Stelle 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (8) + 12 = 20
Annie 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16 (scent)
Zilchus 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (8) + 19 = 27

As the sun sets, Nidhi and Zilchus both notice a lens flare on the creatures left haunch, near the top of the structure. A little peering, and you can just make out a girtablilu on the Sphinx's back, likely with some sort of spyglass...

No alarm is raised however, and dusk turns to night as the desert temperature's plummet. Eventually, the chariot and steeds disappear of their own accord and it's night. As you know there was someone at the top of the structure on lookout, you don't see what happens at dusk, but you do hear folks moving about and calling to each other a bit.

Likely the changing of the guard...


Florence Corvina wrote:
Zilch/Stelle, do you still want to be extra heroic today?

Zilchus *loves* to be heroic. Extended heroism is great too. Whatever works whenever you can.

* * *

Prof. Benedictus Dickens wrote:
"The cultists seemed pretty unattentive. Perhaps we can surprise them, at night. A quick assault, we kill them and we retreat."

Zilchus nods, thinking this is a mostly good suggestion.

"I like this plan. We hit the cultists first, get them out of the way, then maybe we can negotiate with skirt'a'pillows. Maybe not, but either way, would be good to get rid of the cultists. We don't know if they are working together or not, so makes sense."

Zilchus looks at his artwork, adding the doors to the Sphinx to the crude drawing.

"I don't see too well at night, but maybe the cultists will have some lights."

Zilchus suggests waiting until 6 or 7 pm then magicking up, then sneaking up and attacking.


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet

Sun sets around 8pm, so if you want it good and dark, best wait until 10pm. Otherwise, the plan so far is to attack the right shoulder of the Sphinx, into the bone forest, sneaking in as much as possible.

You can each roll your stealth twice, or take-10 if you want to be sure.


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet

I should add, you're in some luck. It's just a few days after the full moon, which happened at the beginning of the week. So you've a good half-moon's worth of light - enough to bathe the desert in shadowy-dim light from about 11pm.

Hah! And they said tracking each day in the campaign would mean nothing! I scoff at them... :)


Stats:
HP 73/73 | AC 14 Tch 14 FF 10 | Fort +7 Ref +18 Will +14 | Init +3 | Bardic Perf 39/day | Never Fear RING | Perc +19 | Dis Dvce +22 +5 | Diplo +23 | Sense Motive +19 | Perform +27
Neutral Human Bard/14

Nidhi casts Heroism on everyone and takes out her bow. She starts to sing softly, inspiring courage.


HP: 95/95 l AC: 12 (16), T 12, FF 10 l CMD 20 l F +13, R +11, W +13 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 5/6, L3: 3/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 5/5, L6: 4/4, L7: 1/2, L8: 1/1 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +24, Kn. Nature +22, Kn. Local +21, Kn. Planes +19, Kn. Religion +12, Spellcraft +24, Swim +6, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Mage Armor, See Invisibility / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

GM Euan:

Flo's Perception is +6 now :)

As they wait for night to fall, Florence mulls over her spell preparations that she'd made that day and wonders how best to utilize what she's got available.

Hmm...if we can get enough of a drop on them maybe I can slow them down. Conjure some ice? Or try to sow confusion?

When the time comes, seeing that Nidhi has already taken care of inducing heroics, Florence shrugs and uses her magic to bolster her own life force as per usual.

False Life, Greater: 2d10 + 9 ⇒ (2, 1) + 9 = 12

Once everyone seems ready to go, Florence whispers, "If you can give me a good idea of where to aim, I can conjure hail and ice down on the cultists from a distance. It'd make the ground harder to move around on but it'd definitely soften them up. Or, if we can get closer, I can try to use my magic to confuse them," she offers.

Spells & Powers:

5th - Break Enchantment, Hold Monster x2
4th - Blessing of Fervor, Confusion, Greater False Life, Ice Storm
3rd - Dispel Magic, Heroism x2, Lightning Bolt
2nd - Euphoric Cloud, Glitterdust x2, Hold Person, See Invisibility
1st - Bless, Enlarge Person, Ill Omen, Shadow Trap, Snowball, Unbreakable Heart
Cantrips - Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Message, Stabilize

Lesser Extend Rod (3/3)

Fortune Hex Uses:
Healing Hex Uses:


NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:

"A good idea would be to open this up with a fireball...which I can do. To keep things moving, then I could cause some black tenctacles to sprout from the ground..."


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet

Looks like we're down to two options, and everyone is taking-10 on their stealth to close.

Are you closing to spell range (couple hundred feet I'm guessing) and blasting the tree area (which is fairly small)? Or sneaking in all the way?

With the poor light provided, unless the cultists are using their own light source, you won't see anyone in the trees until you're very close (nearly melee range). Also, Nidhi, you'll hurt stealth by performing loudly enough for the party to be effected. Voices carry in the desert. Do you still inspire courage? If so, when do you start (how far away from the trees)?


When others are ready, Zilchus will stealth up. He trusts others to be able to shoot fireballs and ice storms as they consider best. Zilchus doesn’t have darkvision and counts on the cultist’s lights (or lack thereof) to help/hinder both their sides equally.

Usual magics up: MCaE & Mag Vest. Heroism from Nidhi.

Take 10 stealth: 12.


Female Halfling Cavalier/15

Actually, I missed the part about Cultists in the trees. Given that, Stelle would have been too discouraged to suggest parley.

Also, if it is not too late, Stell will take a Heroism for the ensuing battle.

Zilchus wrote:
"I like this plan. We hit the cultists first, get them out of the way, then maybe we can negotiate with skirt'a'pillows."

Plan A

"I like that idea, but the Cultists are within the perimeter of the Sphinx grounds. Are they seeking protection from the -- 'skirt'a pillows'? Maybe I should hang back with Anubis after we cast ice storms and fireballs, or make our presence otherwise known -- to cover flank in case 'skirt'a pillows' guards come to fight. If they don't, I'll join in, albeit late."

Plan B Alternative
"We should try to take out the Cultists as stealthily as possible, then negotiate, but that may be impossible. Is there no way to lure just the Cultists out of the Sphinx grounds?"

If we're already moving, Stelle will stick with Plan A.


Stats:
HP 73/73 | AC 14 Tch 14 FF 10 | Fort +7 Ref +18 Will +14 | Init +3 | Bardic Perf 39/day | Never Fear RING | Perc +19 | Dis Dvce +22 +5 | Diplo +23 | Sense Motive +19 | Perform +27
Neutral Human Bard/14

Nidhi will hold off on singing so the party keeps stealth.

Stealth: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22

No map until Friday afternoon


Zilchus strong favors hitting just the cultists at night, leaving the skirt'a'pillows for later and hopeful negotiation.

On the way in, he will cast Air Walk, hoping that his airy feet will make less noise. He will move at 5' above the ground...ready to charge after the fireballs and storms of ice.


HP: 95/95 l AC: 12 (16), T 12, FF 10 l CMD 20 l F +13, R +11, W +13 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 5/6, L3: 3/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 5/5, L6: 4/4, L7: 1/2, L8: 1/1 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +24, Kn. Nature +22, Kn. Local +21, Kn. Planes +19, Kn. Religion +12, Spellcraft +24, Swim +6, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Mage Armor, See Invisibility / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

Taking 10 on Stealth will net a total of 12 for Flo...but if we're going to blast the area with spells first, which seems to be the case, it might not make that much of a difference thankfully!

Once the group seems decided on a plan - namely to just hit the cultists hard, from a distance, then mop up the remnants - Florence calls to mind the incantation to her magics as they begin creeping forward in the dark.

Assuming they're able to safely make it close enough, she glances at Ben and nods before beginning her incantation...

Ice Storm (Bludgeoning): 3d6 ⇒ (5, 3, 2) = 10
Ice Storm (Cold): 2d6 ⇒ (3, 2) = 5

Really? I was hoping for something a little more impressive...

GM Euan:

Ice Storm's effect is a 20' radius that rises 40' high; since we're largely casting blind I'll leave it to you to figure out just where it lands. SR does apply if any of these guys happen to have it but otherwise there's no saving throw for this.


NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:

Before the attack, Ben casts fly on himself and thelepathic bond on the group. Then he flies up about 30 feet, moves into spell range (100 feet) and casts his spells...

First off, a dazing stone call (DC 19).

Stone call (no save allowd): 2d6 ⇒ (2, 2) = 4

Creatures damaged by Ben's spell (every enemy in the area, since there is no save against the spell) are dazed for 2 rounds.

The Ben quickly follows up with a...

Fireball (Reflex DC 19): 10d6 ⇒ (4, 5, 6, 4, 5, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4) = 42


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet

GM Rolls:
1d20 ⇒ 11

The party closes to 100’ (with Stella hanging back to say, 250’ or so), which would make you quite visible to someone in the trees if they were looking. A few party members light up the bone copse with various damaging effects - the fireball being the most visible and the stone call being the loudest with the rain of dirt, pebbles, and whatnot casting against the bone - though the ice storm comes in a close second with its own clattering roar.

You don’t imagine anyone is asleep for miles around between the noise, the bright fire, and the ice storm.

Immediately, a gong begins to sound, though it’s peal of alarm sounds muffled and quiet compared to the parties onslaught. It seems to be coming from the back of the Sphinx. We’re not in rounds as yet, but please limit your actions to two rounds worth of stuff if you please. I’ve placed you on the map roughly where you are (though Stelle is 150’ back further). You don’t see anything moving as yet.


HP: 95/95 l AC: 12 (16), T 12, FF 10 l CMD 20 l F +13, R +11, W +13 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 5/6, L3: 3/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 5/5, L6: 4/4, L7: 1/2, L8: 1/1 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +24, Kn. Nature +22, Kn. Local +21, Kn. Planes +19, Kn. Religion +12, Spellcraft +24, Swim +6, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Mage Armor, See Invisibility / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

"Wow...that was actually pretty amazing," Florence breathes, an expression of awe on her face as she and Ben light up the night with an explosion of fire, ice, and falling rocks. "I'm just sorry it's dark and I couldn't get a better look!"

The sound of the gong from near the rear of the Sphinx jolts her back to reality however and she begins straining her eyes to see who or what might be coming to answer their challenge.

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
____________

Going to otherwise hold action until we get a better view of the situation.


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet

Florence doesn't see anything as yet in the darkness, but she hears the sounds of creatures assembling to the North (other side of the Sphinx).


Round -1

Zilchus double moves up.

Round 0

Zilchus moves up 30' and carefully sees what he can see...or hear.

1d20 + 20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 20 + 2 = 25 Perception

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