Carrion Crown

Game Master PJP

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They say the Shudderwood is haunted (hence the name, as most shudder at the thought of entering).

Speaking with both Caromarc and Judge Daramid, you also find that there is a safe haven deep in the heart of the Shudderwood called Ascanor Lodge. Entry into the posh hunting lodge is by invitation or reservation only.

Leaving behind the Dippelmere Swamp and Vieland, you cross the Troll’s Tail River into the neighboring Palatinate of Lozeri. Ahead, a dark shadow rises on the horizon, which soon grows into a massive forest of towering conifers known as the Shudderwood.

Even though Caromarc no longer rules Vieland, he retains his title of count, and as a member of Ustalav’s hereditary nobility, he offers to write you letter of introduction to the lodge’s warden, Estovion Lozarov. Likewise, Judge Daramid can use her connections with the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye to acquire blank invitations for you to use to gain entry.

The Judge suggests that you should investigate the whereabouts of the Whispering Way cultists. Even if the cultists did not stop at the lodge itself, the lodge’s staff and guests are very knowledgeable about the Shudderwood, and you might be able to find out where the cult did go by questioning them. Judge Daramid also informs you that Ascanor Lodge contains an impressive library open to the use of its guests, and its rare collection of pre-Palatinate histories might aid them in discovering just what the Whispering Way is after in the Shudderwood. After all, there must be some reason the cult entered the forest, and if you can figure out why, you may be able to uncover whatever insidious plots the Whispering Way might be nurturing.


Female Human Wiz/8 | AC 17* T 16* FF 16* | HP 42/42 | F +4 R +4 W +8 | Init +7| Perc +1|Sense Motive +1

Pontia does not, herself, own a horse, but uses a minor spell each morning to conjure one. During the ride, the Cheliaxian is mostly quiet, starting easily at random noises on the trail. If prompted, though, she'll hold forth on life in Nantambu (where her glass wind chime came from), and on her time in Absalom.


Male Human Fighter 8 | HP 84/84 | AC 24 T 11 FF 24 | CMB +12, CMD 21 | F: +10, R: +2, W: +3; +2 vs. fear, +2 vs. emotion spells/effects | Init: +4 | Perc: +9

Silas leads the ride through the forest, having acquired a huge even-tempered mare that he seems to have grown fond of as the group travels through the dark woods.

Heavy horse - not combat trained


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Standing at the edge of the Shudderwood is almost like staring into another world. Ominous, towering pine trees blot out the sunlight, allowing only occasional splinters of light to pierce through. Within this dimness, broken branches and occasional shrubs growing up through fallen trees create shadowy illusions both wondrous and haunting. Apart from pallid lichens, colorful fungi, feathermoss, and wintergreen, little else grows in the forest. The Shudderwood possesses an eerie stillness only occasionally lifted by the sounds of passing birds and small animals scurrying across the dry pine needles littering the forest floor.

Perception:

Niculaie: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
Pontia: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
Silas: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
Sophie: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (13) + 0 = 13
Stefan: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Tara: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Vivian: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (4) + 11 = 15

The forest around the path thins, and a brisk crosswind scatters concealing drifts of pine needles across the trail. If not for the shallow grooves left behind by the wheels of traveling wagons, following the path would be nearly impossible.

You hear a human scream nearby, but as you start to consider your next move, Tara notices some movement up in the trees above you.


Male dhampir bard (dirge bard) 6 (CL8) /Investigator (gravedigger) 2 | Bardic Perf 19/19; Inspiration 3/3 | HP: 48/51 | AC 18 T 13 FF 16 | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +4, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 vs fear, energy drain, death & necromantic effects) | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 30 | Mwk Scythe +7 (2d4+1/x4), silver lt. mace +6 (1d6+1), +1 darkwd comp shortbow +8 (1d6+2/x3) | Spells (bard): 2nd, 4/4; 1st, 5/6; 0, ∞/6 | Spells (Inv): 1st, Shield, (2 open) | *Active: None

Bought a light horse for Niculaie, not combat trained, when I joined the campaign, didn't change it.

At the sound of the scream, Niculaie draws his bow an nocks an arrow (cold iron). He is about to suggest that the party proceed with all due haste when he sees Tara looking up at the trees.

"Miss Eliade? Is something wrong? Other than the screaming up ahead, I mean."


Male Human Fighter 8 | HP 84/84 | AC 24 T 11 FF 24 | CMB +12, CMD 21 | F: +10, R: +2, W: +3; +2 vs. fear, +2 vs. emotion spells/effects | Init: +4 | Perc: +9

Silas notes Tara's attention as well and dismounts from his horse. He shifts his shield to his back and retrieves his bow.

Watching for any threats, he steps away from his horse, Aunt Mabel, as he draws an arrow.


Female Human Wiz/8 | AC 17* T 16* FF 16* | HP 42/42 | F +4 R +4 W +8 | Init +7| Perc +1|Sense Motive +1

Pontia casts a protective spell on herself.

Casting mage armor.


Female Changeling Cleric of Pharasma 8 | AC 16 T 12 FF 15 | HP 42/51 | Fort + 6 Ref + 5 Will + 10 | Init + 6 | Perc + 6 | Channel: 5/6 left | Darkvision 60 ft | 20 ft with pack 30 ft no pack | CMD 20 CMB +8 | Hero Points: 2/2
Spells Cast:

Tara for her part looks miserable on her horse ride towards Shudderwood, her hands clenched tight on the reigns. As the scream echoes through the wood, Tara glances upwards, pausing at the sight of something moving. "Up in the trees, there!" Tara shouts, following the movement with her finger as she slides off her horse.


Male Human Fighter 8 | HP 84/84 | AC 24 T 11 FF 24 | CMB +12, CMD 21 | F: +10, R: +2, W: +3; +2 vs. fear, +2 vs. emotion spells/effects | Init: +4 | Perc: +9

The large man tries to follow Tara's pointing finger. "Step away from your horse in case it spooks," he says, his eyes not leaving the canopy. "You don't want to get trampled or dragged."


Male dhampir bard (dirge bard) 6 (CL8) /Investigator (gravedigger) 2 | Bardic Perf 19/19; Inspiration 3/3 | HP: 48/51 | AC 18 T 13 FF 16 | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +4, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 vs fear, energy drain, death & necromantic effects) | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 30 | Mwk Scythe +7 (2d4+1/x4), silver lt. mace +6 (1d6+1), +1 darkwd comp shortbow +8 (1d6+2/x3) | Spells (bard): 2nd, 4/4; 1st, 5/6; 0, ∞/6 | Spells (Inv): 1st, Shield, (2 open) | *Active: None

Niculaie raises an eyebrow at Silas's advice to Tara, then decides the gruff warrior probably knows what he's talking about and slides out of the saddle onto forest floor.


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Up in the trees, you see some strangely bloated creatures amidst some heavy spider webs.

Knowledge, dungeoneering DC13:
These are Ettercaps. They could be mimicking human screams to lead you into a trap.


Male Human Fighter 8 | HP 84/84 | AC 24 T 11 FF 24 | CMB +12, CMD 21 | F: +10, R: +2, W: +3; +2 vs. fear, +2 vs. emotion spells/effects | Init: +4 | Perc: +9

"What are those?" Silas asks in disbelief. He doesn't lower his bow, however.


Male dhampir bard (dirge bard) 6 (CL8) /Investigator (gravedigger) 2 | Bardic Perf 19/19; Inspiration 3/3 | HP: 48/51 | AC 18 T 13 FF 16 | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +4, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 vs fear, energy drain, death & necromantic effects) | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 30 | Mwk Scythe +7 (2d4+1/x4), silver lt. mace +6 (1d6+1), +1 darkwd comp shortbow +8 (1d6+2/x3) | Spells (bard): 2nd, 4/4; 1st, 5/6; 0, ∞/6 | Spells (Inv): 1st, Shield, (2 open) | *Active: None

Knowledge (dungeoneering) + inspiration: 1d20 + 10 + 1d6 ⇒ (18) + 10 + (6) = 34

Niculaie looks at Silas in surprise. "Those, Mister Womarsh, are ettercaps. You must at least have heard the song when you were a boy, the one that begins 'Old fat spider, spinning in a tree!'? They could easily mimic human-sounding screams to lure us into their webs. Now let me think a moment to recall what I've read about these creatures..."

GM, for the knowledge check, please give me as much of the following information as earned (in order of preference): Special Attacks, Resistances, Immunites, and Saves (ranked best to worst).


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Niculae:

Special Attacks traps, web (+6 ranged, DC 15, hp 4)
Poison (Ex)
Bite—injury; save Fort DC 15; frequency 1/round for 10 rounds; effect 1d2 Dex; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution based.

Spider Empathy (Ex)
This ability functions as the druid’s wild empathy, save that an ettercap can only use this ability on spiders. An ettercap gains a +4 racial bonus on this check. Spiders are mindless, but this empathic communication imparts on them a modicum of implanted intelligence, allowing ettercaps to train giant spiders and use them as guardians.

Traps (Ex)
The ettercap is particularly skilled at crafting cunning traps with its webs. Deadfalls, nooses, and spear traps are the most common traps ettercaps build with their webs. An ettercap doesn’t require gold to build its traps, merely time.

Ettercap Deadfall: CR 3; Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20; Trigger location; Reset repair; Effect +10 melee (4d6), multiple targets (all targets in a 10-ft. square).
Ettercap Noose*: CR 1; Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20; Trigger location; Reset repair; Effect +15 CMB check (grapple).
Ettercap Spear Trap: CR 2; Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20; Trigger location; Reset repair; Effect +15 melee (1d6+6).

No resistances or immunities.

Saves: Fort/Will, then Ref


Male dhampir bard (dirge bard) 6 (CL8) /Investigator (gravedigger) 2 | Bardic Perf 19/19; Inspiration 3/3 | HP: 48/51 | AC 18 T 13 FF 16 | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +4, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 vs fear, energy drain, death & necromantic effects) | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 30 | Mwk Scythe +7 (2d4+1/x4), silver lt. mace +6 (1d6+1), +1 darkwd comp shortbow +8 (1d6+2/x3) | Spells (bard): 2nd, 4/4; 1st, 5/6; 0, ∞/6 | Spells (Inv): 1st, Shield, (2 open) | *Active: None

"So," the dhampir muses, "like many oversized arachnids, they can throw their webs like nets. Their bite carries poison, of course. Not usually lethal, but certainly not trivial. More disturbing, though, is that they are accomplished builders of traps, combining their webs with deadfalls and spears, for example, or weaving a web into a noose to more effectively trap their prey. They can train less intelligent giant spiders to do their bidding. Finally, if we are forced to defend ourselves, be advised that they are wily and tough, but not especially agile."

Niculaie offers Silas a tight smile. "I believe that's everything."


Female Changeling Cleric of Pharasma 8 | AC 16 T 12 FF 15 | HP 42/51 | Fort + 6 Ref + 5 Will + 10 | Init + 6 | Perc + 6 | Channel: 5/6 left | Darkvision 60 ft | 20 ft with pack 30 ft no pack | CMD 20 CMB +8 | Hero Points: 2/2
Spells Cast:

Tara pales considerably as the dhampir continues to muse, giving space between herself and Pepper. "Was the noise we heard earlier a ploy? What do we do? Shoot at this one?" Tara exclaims, watching the mandibles on the ettercap twitch.


Female NG Changeling Oracle (Spirit Guide) 8 | HP 59 | AC 20 T 12 FF 18 | CMB +11, CMD 23 | F: +3, R: +5, W: +7; +4 vs. disease, +2 vs. Undead, +2 vs. Fear, immune: sickened | Init: +2 | Perc: +0, SM: +11 | Speed 20ft

Sophie summons an ancestral hooked Lance into her hands.

let's say she took the Heavens spirit this morning, with Heaven's Leap as her chosen hex


Male dhampir bard (dirge bard) 6 (CL8) /Investigator (gravedigger) 2 | Bardic Perf 19/19; Inspiration 3/3 | HP: 48/51 | AC 18 T 13 FF 16 | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +4, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 vs fear, energy drain, death & necromantic effects) | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 30 | Mwk Scythe +7 (2d4+1/x4), silver lt. mace +6 (1d6+1), +1 darkwd comp shortbow +8 (1d6+2/x3) | Spells (bard): 2nd, 4/4; 1st, 5/6; 0, ∞/6 | Spells (Inv): 1st, Shield, (2 open) | *Active: None

"Perhaps not just yet, Miss Eliade. Let's see whether we can keep them calm as we move past, but perhaps Miss Deberth should keep an eye out for traps as well."

Not sure if this is permitted before going into initiative, but if it is, Niculaie begins a bardic performance to fascinate the ettercaps, or at least two of them; at his current level, he can affect 2 targets at a time (DC 18 Will save negates the effect.)

Keeping his arrow nocked but lowered, Niculaie begins to sing a song he learned as a child and which seems appropriate to the circumstances.

Into the woods
And down the dell,
The path is straight,
I know it well.
Into the woods,
And who can tell
What's waiting on the journey?
Into the woods
To bring some bread
To Granny who
Is sick in bed.
Never can tell
What lies ahead.
For all that I know,
She's already dead.
But into the woods,
Into the woods,
Into the woods
To Grandmother's house
And home before dark.

With apologies to Mr. Sondheim.


Female Human Wiz/8 | AC 17* T 16* FF 16* | HP 42/42 | F +4 R +4 W +8 | Init +7| Perc +1|Sense Motive +1

"If they are intelligent, perhaps we can talk to them."


Male Human Fighter 8 | HP 84/84 | AC 24 T 11 FF 24 | CMB +12, CMD 21 | F: +10, R: +2, W: +3; +2 vs. fear, +2 vs. emotion spells/effects | Init: +4 | Perc: +9

"Intelligent?" Silas spits out. "They're spiders! Well ... at least ... they're kind of spiders! Right?"


Female Human Wiz/8 | AC 17* T 16* FF 16* | HP 42/42 | F +4 R +4 W +8 | Init +7| Perc +1|Sense Motive +1

Actually, strike that. I confused them with araneas, who are rather more amenable to peaceful discussions.


female Human Rogue/Inquisitor (4/4)-AC 20 T 15 FF 16 HP 59/59 -Ini+5-BaB+6 (+8 ranged) CMB +6 CMD 19- Fort +8 Ref+9 Will+8 -Per+13 Move 30

Let's see if we can resolve this situation peacefully... Even if I doubt it.

Perception, traps: 1d20 + 13 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 13 + 2 = 26


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Vivian is able to point out a few traps in the area, and the ettercaps, fascinated by the performance, do not move to intercept you. You think you can probably get by without incident if you like.


Male Human Fighter 8 | HP 84/84 | AC 24 T 11 FF 24 | CMB +12, CMD 21 | F: +10, R: +2, W: +3; +2 vs. fear, +2 vs. emotion spells/effects | Init: +4 | Perc: +9

Silas moves carefully back to Aunt Mabel and after stowing his bow, mounts - his eyes never leaving the creatures above.

"So where did the scream come from?" he asks as the begin to slowing ride away.


Male dhampir bard (dirge bard) 6 (CL8) /Investigator (gravedigger) 2 | Bardic Perf 19/19; Inspiration 3/3 | HP: 48/51 | AC 18 T 13 FF 16 | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +4, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 vs fear, energy drain, death & necromantic effects) | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 30 | Mwk Scythe +7 (2d4+1/x4), silver lt. mace +6 (1d6+1), +1 darkwd comp shortbow +8 (1d6+2/x3) | Spells (bard): 2nd, 4/4; 1st, 5/6; 0, ∞/6 | Spells (Inv): 1st, Shield, (2 open) | *Active: None

Niculaie continues his performance until the group is out of range (3-5 rounds, if we're moving slowly?), before getting back on his horse (which I need to name).

"Ettercaps will often imitate human screams as a way of luring in more victims, Mister Womarsh, so it is likely that is all it was. I don't suppose you - or anyone? - have seen signs that anyone else has come this way recently who could have been attacked by these creatures?"


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After the brief encounter, you don't hear any other screams.

The soft, haunting melody of a harp drifts through the air, emanating from a ruined stone watchtower in a small clearing. The tower stands about three stories tall; blood ivy and grayish-green lichen blanket the stonework of the tower’s crumbling exterior, while passing winds whistle softly through its darkened, gaping windows.


Male dhampir bard (dirge bard) 6 (CL8) /Investigator (gravedigger) 2 | Bardic Perf 19/19; Inspiration 3/3 | HP: 48/51 | AC 18 T 13 FF 16 | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +4, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 vs fear, energy drain, death & necromantic effects) | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 30 | Mwk Scythe +7 (2d4+1/x4), silver lt. mace +6 (1d6+1), +1 darkwd comp shortbow +8 (1d6+2/x3) | Spells (bard): 2nd, 4/4; 1st, 5/6; 0, ∞/6 | Spells (Inv): 1st, Shield, (2 open) | *Active: None

"That's beautiful," Niculaie muses. "And disturbing, given where it's coming from. Could the cultists be the source?"


Male Human Fighter 8 | HP 84/84 | AC 24 T 11 FF 24 | CMB +12, CMD 21 | F: +10, R: +2, W: +3; +2 vs. fear, +2 vs. emotion spells/effects | Init: +4 | Perc: +9

Silas slides down from his horse and readies his sword and shield.

"It's bait," he says curtly. "Like the pleasant scent from a pitcher plant. The question is what kind of flower do we face." He turns to look back at Niculaie. "Is there magic in it? Any kind of compulsion?"


Female Human Wiz/8 | AC 17* T 16* FF 16* | HP 42/42 | F +4 R +4 W +8 | Init +7| Perc +1|Sense Motive +1

The wizard shakes her head. "I doubt that necromancers are much for music. That does not mean whatever is there will be friendly, though. Miss Deberth, perhaps you can scout the tower. I can prepare a spell to ward your mind, and keep anything inside from holding you there."


Male Human Fighter 8 | HP 84/84 | AC 24 T 11 FF 24 | CMB +12, CMD 21 | F: +10, R: +2, W: +3; +2 vs. fear, +2 vs. emotion spells/effects | Init: +4 | Perc: +9

"By herself?" Silas says with a frown, clearly not happy with that idea.


Female Human Wiz/8 | AC 17* T 16* FF 16* | HP 42/42 | F +4 R +4 W +8 | Init +7| Perc +1|Sense Motive +1

"None of the rest of us are quiet enough. If you are concerned, though, I can also cast a fly spell on her."


female Human Rogue/Inquisitor (4/4)-AC 20 T 15 FF 16 HP 59/59 -Ini+5-BaB+6 (+8 ranged) CMB +6 CMD 19- Fort +8 Ref+9 Will+8 -Per+13 Move 30

Can't you make me unseen, instead? I should manage to make myself unheard. And yes mister Silas, even if I am a woman, despite being a woman, I can keep myself quiet and silent. And I'm sure you'll be the first one to rush to the rescue if I ever need it.

Will take 10 for 21 Stealth


Male dhampir bard (dirge bard) 6 (CL8) /Investigator (gravedigger) 2 | Bardic Perf 19/19; Inspiration 3/3 | HP: 48/51 | AC 18 T 13 FF 16 | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +4, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 vs fear, energy drain, death & necromantic effects) | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 30 | Mwk Scythe +7 (2d4+1/x4), silver lt. mace +6 (1d6+1), +1 darkwd comp shortbow +8 (1d6+2/x3) | Spells (bard): 2nd, 4/4; 1st, 5/6; 0, ∞/6 | Spells (Inv): 1st, Shield, (2 open) | *Active: None

"I can make you invisible, Miss Deberth, but not for very long, thirty seconds at most," the bard volunteers. "Will that do? Unless you know the spell that lasts longer, Miss Canario?"

Niculaie knows Vanish (1 round per level, max. 5), but not Invisibility.


Male Human Fighter 8 | HP 84/84 | AC 24 T 11 FF 24 | CMB +12, CMD 21 | F: +10, R: +2, W: +3; +2 vs. fear, +2 vs. emotion spells/effects | Init: +4 | Perc: +9
Vivian Deberth wrote:
Can't you make me unseen, instead? I should manage to make myself unheard. And yes mister Silas, even if I am a woman, despite being a woman, I can keep myself quiet and silent. And I'm sure you'll be the first one to rush to the rescue if I ever need it.

Silas' eyes widen and his face reddens a bit. "It has nothing to do with the fact that you're a woman. You shouldn't be going by yourself. Back in the wars we'd never send a scout off by themselves - man or woman."


Male dhampir bard (dirge bard) 6 (CL8) /Investigator (gravedigger) 2 | Bardic Perf 19/19; Inspiration 3/3 | HP: 48/51 | AC 18 T 13 FF 16 | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +4, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 vs fear, energy drain, death & necromantic effects) | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 30 | Mwk Scythe +7 (2d4+1/x4), silver lt. mace +6 (1d6+1), +1 darkwd comp shortbow +8 (1d6+2/x3) | Spells (bard): 2nd, 4/4; 1st, 5/6; 0, ∞/6 | Spells (Inv): 1st, Shield, (2 open) | *Active: None

"I can cast the same spell on more than one person, Mister Womarsh. Would you like to accompany her? Or if your armor would be too noisy, I could go along myself."

Niculaie's Stealth modifier is +6 - not awful, but not particularly good, although the invisibility will help as long as it lasts.


Male Human Fighter 8 | HP 84/84 | AC 24 T 11 FF 24 | CMB +12, CMD 21 | F: +10, R: +2, W: +3; +2 vs. fear, +2 vs. emotion spells/effects | Init: +4 | Perc: +9

"I would go," Silas says with a frown. "But I am no scout. I have not the skill." His frustration is evident.


Female Changeling Cleric of Pharasma 8 | AC 16 T 12 FF 15 | HP 42/51 | Fort + 6 Ref + 5 Will + 10 | Init + 6 | Perc + 6 | Channel: 5/6 left | Darkvision 60 ft | 20 ft with pack 30 ft no pack | CMD 20 CMB +8 | Hero Points: 2/2
Spells Cast:

Following closely behind Silas with Pepper, Tara watches the ettercaps carefully. As the watchtower comes into view she smiles slightly at the Gothic architecture. "How pretty, the music sounds lovely too."


Female Human Wiz/8 | AC 17* T 16* FF 16* | HP 42/42 | F +4 R +4 W +8 | Init +7| Perc +1|Sense Motive +1

Pontia shakes her head in response to the bard's question. "My focus on conjuration came at the expense of studying illusion magics."


Female NG Changeling Oracle (Spirit Guide) 8 | HP 59 | AC 20 T 12 FF 18 | CMB +11, CMD 23 | F: +3, R: +5, W: +7; +4 vs. disease, +2 vs. Undead, +2 vs. Fear, immune: sickened | Init: +2 | Perc: +0, SM: +11 | Speed 20ft

was going to cast sanctuary but it is only 1 round per level


Male dhampir bard (dirge bard) 6 (CL8) /Investigator (gravedigger) 2 | Bardic Perf 19/19; Inspiration 3/3 | HP: 48/51 | AC 18 T 13 FF 16 | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +4, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 vs fear, energy drain, death & necromantic effects) | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 30 | Mwk Scythe +7 (2d4+1/x4), silver lt. mace +6 (1d6+1), +1 darkwd comp shortbow +8 (1d6+2/x3) | Spells (bard): 2nd, 4/4; 1st, 5/6; 0, ∞/6 | Spells (Inv): 1st, Shield, (2 open) | *Active: None

Niculaie nods thoughtfully at Pontia's comment. "I should probably focus on that style of magic the next time I have the opportunity to learn a new spell, then." He looks around at the dreary woods around them. "Not that I expect to have that chance any time soon."

Turning back to Vivian, he asks, "What say you, Miss Deberth? Shall we try to get as close as possible using only the foliage for cover, then advance invisibly for a few moments of close reconnaissance?"


Female Human Wiz/8 | AC 17* T 16* FF 16* | HP 42/42 | F +4 R +4 W +8 | Init +7| Perc +1|Sense Motive +1

"Master Womarsh, the rest of us can follow our scouts at a distance, moving slowly so you can concentrate on being quiet. If Miss Deberth or Master Pavlencas sound an alarm, wait for me to cast haste, and then you can move quickly to their aid."


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Vivian scouts ahead, but the rest of you follow at a distance.

Vivian:
Please make a DC18 Will save for me, as you get within 300 ft.


Male Human Fighter 8 | HP 84/84 | AC 24 T 11 FF 24 | CMB +12, CMD 21 | F: +10, R: +2, W: +3; +2 vs. fear, +2 vs. emotion spells/effects | Init: +4 | Perc: +9

Silas nods in agreement with Pontia, his demeanor noticeably improving. "Yet, let's do that," he says, taking a tighter grip on his weapon.


female Human Rogue/Inquisitor (4/4)-AC 20 T 15 FF 16 HP 59/59 -Ini+5-BaB+6 (+8 ranged) CMB +6 CMD 19- Fort +8 Ref+9 Will+8 -Per+13 Move 30

Will save: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22

Vivian feels odd for a few moments


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Vivian:
You manage to resist the urge to follow the music into the tower... and yet, that is also your intent. :) But at least you consider it to be your choice.


female Human Rogue/Inquisitor (4/4)-AC 20 T 15 FF 16 HP 59/59 -Ini+5-BaB+6 (+8 ranged) CMB +6 CMD 19- Fort +8 Ref+9 Will+8 -Per+13 Move 30

The quick thinking (and sometimes even quicker acting) redhead rips some of her clothes,and uses the tissue to block the sound to her ears.

She ponders her next action, her body willing to get closer and see what is happening, her mind a little wiser, sensing there might be more danger ahead. Sighting, she cautiously gets back to the others, and reports.

Spellcraft to recognise the spell?: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20

Nicolae, your musical talents might be requested tonight. As I was getting closer to the tower, the music I've heard started to warp my mind. I'm not totally sure what magic was used, but I felt some strange influence on my mind... Maybe you could use your own music to protect us? Even if of course it will nullify any attempt at discretion. At least Mister Silas can clang and bang his mighty metal armor at his whims.


Male Human Fighter 8 | HP 84/84 | AC 24 T 11 FF 24 | CMB +12, CMD 21 | F: +10, R: +2, W: +3; +2 vs. fear, +2 vs. emotion spells/effects | Init: +4 | Perc: +9

"I was trying my best to be quiet," Silas says with a frustrated shuffle. "I told you that I don't have the skill to move silently."


Male dhampir bard (dirge bard) 6 (CL8) /Investigator (gravedigger) 2 | Bardic Perf 19/19; Inspiration 3/3 | HP: 48/51 | AC 18 T 13 FF 16 | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +4, R: +11, W: +9 (+4 vs fear, energy drain, death & necromantic effects) | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +4 | Speed 30 | Mwk Scythe +7 (2d4+1/x4), silver lt. mace +6 (1d6+1), +1 darkwd comp shortbow +8 (1d6+2/x3) | Spells (bard): 2nd, 4/4; 1st, 5/6; 0, ∞/6 | Spells (Inv): 1st, Shield, (2 open) | *Active: None

"Hmmmm, yes, Miss Deberth, I believe I should be able to provide some protection against any effects of the music with a sort of counter-performance. We should investigate, but I suggest that we tie up the horses outside the range of any potential effects."

Countersong: each round of this bardic performance, the bard makes a Perform check, he and his allies within 30' roll their saves against the magical sound effect and use the better of the saving throw or the bard's Perform check. Assuming he used three rounds of bardic performance to fascinate the ettercaps, Niculaie has 16 rounds left, but can almost triple that with Lingering Performance. Full text of the Countersong performance in the spoiler below.

Countersong:
Countersong (Su): At 1st level, a bard learns to counter magic effects that depend on sound (but not spells that have verbal components.) Each round of the countersong he makes a Perform (keyboard, percussion, wind, string, or sing) skill check. Any creature within 30 feet of the bard (including the bard himself) that is affected by a sonic or language-dependent magical attack may use the bard’s Perform check result in place of its saving throw if, after the saving throw is rolled, the Perform check result proves to be higher. If a creature within range of the countersong is already under the effect of a non-instantaneous sonic or language-dependent magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it hears the countersong, but it must use the bard’s Perform skill check result for the save. Countersong does not work on effects that don’t allow saves. Countersong relies on audible components.


female Human Rogue/Inquisitor (4/4)-AC 20 T 15 FF 16 HP 59/59 -Ini+5-BaB+6 (+8 ranged) CMB +6 CMD 19- Fort +8 Ref+9 Will+8 -Per+13 Move 30

You are great at what you do, Silas, and that's saving my life, our lives, by putting yourself in the line of danger. Don't take your role as a grumpy old man tooo seriously.

Vivian gives a small kiss to the man's beardy cheek.


Female NG Changeling Oracle (Spirit Guide) 8 | HP 59 | AC 20 T 12 FF 18 | CMB +11, CMD 23 | F: +3, R: +5, W: +7; +4 vs. disease, +2 vs. Undead, +2 vs. Fear, immune: sickened | Init: +2 | Perc: +0, SM: +11 | Speed 20ft

"Nice work, girl." Sophie says, patting Vivian on the back.

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