GM SpiderBeard's Curse of the Crimson Throne

Game Master Barvo Delancy

Chapter 3: Escape from Old Korvosa

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NG Male Dwarven Barbarian 10 | HP 108/115 {138/145} | AC 21 (19 Rage, 12 Touch, 20 Flat-Footed) | CMB +14/+16, CMD 25/27 | Fort. +13/16, Ref. +6, Will +10/12 | Init. +2 | Perc. +15 | Speed 30ft | Rage: 25/25 | DR 2/- | Active conditions: N/A

"A bath sounds like a great idea, actually! (Is a bath a good idea?) I think we can spare the time, Sevenspawn, for such a good host. And hey, cheese and wine!"


Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 45/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

Sevenspawn draws his eyes slowly downward to Thod and gives him a plain look. Caught by the confines of civility and custom, there is little choice now.

The priest lifts his eyes back up quickly. "I stand corrected, Lord," he says with a forced smile. "I had thought we were behind our time, and that does not seem to be the case. Your generous offer is appreciated."

Phaedran brings forth his holy symbol of Milani, though, and tries something that comes to him all at once. "And your support, of course. It would please me very much... if you would accept the blessing of The Everbloom."

Still want the Sense Motive roll for any replies.


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 57/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 8/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge

Donnell has so far been quiet and brooding, but mutters a quick reply to Thod: "Et bad på dette stedet vil sannsynligvis bety å sitte i et badekar med varmt vann - du vil være som en potet i suppen."

Dwarven:
"A bath in this place will likely mean sitting in a tub of hot water - you will be like a potato in the soup."

Raising his gaze and his voice to Glorio: "Meaning no offense, Lord Arkona, but we have several pressing matters that we need to discuss. I apologize for our shabby appearance, and for calling at such an early hour (it is the morning, right?). Sevenspawn and I have spent many years on these streets (and alleys and gutters), and the people here in Old K have come to rely on the strength of the Arkonas to protect them. We have always been willing to help out where we can, but we need information, and we need allies - this mess with Pilts is small compared to what we fear is coming."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 + 1d6 ⇒ (16) + 14 + (5) = 35

What does Donnell know about Glorio?
Knowledge Nobility: 1d20 + 7 + 1d6 ⇒ (16) + 7 + (5) = 28


.

"Don't worry friend Sevenspawn, this will not take hours. I appreciate what it means to accept hospitality you may not quite be used to, and will repay the favour by not wasting your time. The baths, however, are private and comfortable."

Sevenspawn gives Glorio a very, very good look but his intentions appear to be honest and he is legitimately happy to see the group.

Glorio has a reputation as one of the most tireless philanthropists in Korvosa - maintaining his own vast fortune while giving a great deal away. His funds and the protection of the Arkona guards in Old Korvosa have made a difference in one of the poorest places in this part of the world.

However, he is also a cunning politician. Saving someone from poverty earns not just a friend, but an asset. He is fantastically well-connected politically, as well as some rumours about the Arkona history of connections into vice, or less savory societies continuing with him.

This is not very unusual for Korvosan nobility.

---

Carnochan arrives with wine and cheese. Glorio takes a full glass and small piece of creamy but smelly Taldan cheese as he leads you through his manor house.

"You are indeed correct - Pilts was a very immediate problem, but a small one as we all know. There are far greater evils which plague us all that we must deal with head-on."

Although he is not saying her name explicitly, it is very obvious to you that he is speaking about the Queen. You are lead up a flight of stairs to a lovely balcony that overlooks the garden below. From there, he leads you into a From the incredible entry hall you are lead up a flight of stairs to a steam-filled room.

The air in this chamber is incredibly warm and humid, filled with steam rising from the bubbling oval bath set in the floor to the southeast. The walls, ceiling, and floor are polished marble tiles of alternating blues and greens, giving the entire chamber a pervasive aquatic feel. Three lacquered wooden benches sit just north of the bath.

"Please, the change rooms are just there. All the water is hot but not too hot - the advantage of having good magic on staff. Don't worry about being a little dirty, the water will take it away. Carnochan, be a sweetheart and bring their reward - the bloodstone."

Glorio wastes little time in stripping down and striding into the bath before settling down with a long sigh of relief. Carnochan leaves a full cheese board and a couple of bottles of wine before closing the door and leaving you some privacy.

"Greater threats now, hm? Let us speak plainly now. What do you wish of me?"


NG Male Dwarven Barbarian 10 | HP 108/115 {138/145} | AC 21 (19 Rage, 12 Touch, 20 Flat-Footed) | CMB +14/+16, CMD 25/27 | Fort. +13/16, Ref. +6, Will +10/12 | Init. +2 | Perc. +15 | Speed 30ft | Rage: 25/25 | DR 2/- | Active conditions: N/A
Donnell "The Fox" wrote:
"Et bad på dette stedet vil sannsynligvis bety å sitte i et badekar med varmt vann - du vil være som en potet i suppen."

Thod cocks his eyebrows at Donnell.

"Jeg vet hva et bad er."
Dwarven:
"I know what a bath is."
At least, Thod thinks Donnell is explaining it as though a bath would be repulsive. If you mean more that Thod is overly filthy, remember that while Thod's class is barbarian, I play him as a soldier who gets too energetic when fighting and breaks ranks. He is familiar with hygiene.

=====

Thod dutiflly strips his armour, equipment, and underpadding, eagerly wolfing down some of the provided snacks before relaxing in the bath as well.

Apparently used to being the talker for the time being, and being the most eager (And shameless) for a bath, he begins talking.

"So, we came to the island on the search for two people. We were told one of them has come here, and the other may have come here as well. We are looking for... Oh, how the hell do you say that name? Neo-land-us Kay-populous or something. As well as Vencarlo... Ore-uh-sin?"


Female Android Alchemist 8/Rogue 2; Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Perception +16; AC 16 (+2 Dex., +4 armour); hp 70; Fort +8; Ref +11; Will +4

Raven Six strips down and enters the bath without any noticeable hesitation or show of modesty. And yes, the tattoos go all the way down. And around.

"Neolandus Kalepolis, former seneshal of Castle Korvosa under the rule of the late king," she blithely clarifies while lathering up her hair, "and Vencarlo Orsini, master of the fencing academy here on Old Korvosa."


Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 45/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

Sevenspawn hesitates, but not out of modesty: growing up in the Shingles has taught him that being naked leaves one vulnerable. He feels that vulnerability now, but with Arkona in the water himself he manages to overcome it. Stripping his cloak, chain and boots off, he keeps his items together and wears only his holy symbol.

That the tattoos on Raven Six cover all of her form begs more questions for a later time, but for now the priest casts his eyes downward with a modesty not held by many of his low social class. While the soothing form of the water aches to wash away at least some of his tightly-wound stress, he does not permit this to happen; instead he washes quickly, letting the others talk as he scans about for dangers that will likely never come.

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8


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Female Homunculus Init +2; darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +3; AC 14 (touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 size)); hp 11; Fort +0, Ref +4, Will +1

The homunculus lands on Sevenspawn's shoulder and tugs on his hair for attention.

"Hey," she stage-whispers while pointing at Thod. "He keeps saying he in't a pony or a mule, so… Is he washing off the smell to make me believe it? Like, rilly believe it? 'Cos I already thinked he's a weird pony or mule, 'cos he never walks on all fours, an' I don' see where he's hidin' da tail."


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 57/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 8/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge

@Thod: Donnell was more referring to the heat of the bath - he will have been more used to bathing in the ocean.

Raising an eyebrow at how quickly his companions strip, Donnell mutters "Well, you're all potatoes now..."

Gingerly, he dips a small hand into the water, grimaces, and resolves to find a small cloth to wash his face and neck, before settling on one of the nearby benches with some of the wine and food.

Not one to mince words, Donnell is polite, if direct: "Glorio, with Pilts gone and the island isolated, we are looking at yet another power vacuum here. Can the Arkonas step into that void, as they once used to do? The Dead Kings are prepared to resume their usual role, but they are depleted."

"And yes, as my companions have stated, we are looking for these individuals, for several reasons. You will have heard, I assume, of the Queen's latest display? If not, Donnell will relate the story. We are not privy to any deals or dealings you may have or have had with the Queen, but Korvosa has been in a downward spiral since the King died. We know that your base of power is here, on the island, and we ask that you resume your traditional role here in Old K. But any help that you can lend to us, to find Vencarlo or Neolandus, or to continue our work on the peninsula, would be appreciated."

Donnell is trying to tread lightly where the Queen is concerned. Despite his intimations about the Queen being a mutual enemy, the Arkonas were the ones dealing with the Queen just a few weeks ago, right? Donnell's not going to be explicit about our going for the Queen until Glorio makes the first move. (Hopefully that 35 on Diplomacy conveys that better than I can.)


.

The sight of Raven's tattoos manages a double take from Glorio, who remains too polite to say anything about it. You all slip into the bath water which is hot and flows swiftly due to some unseen magic. The grime and misery of the weeks fighting in the streets washes away fairly quickly. The wine and cheese are of course, excellent. Given the destitution seen across Korvosa over the past little while this is an unspeakable luxury.

Once he tears his eyes away from Raven's tattoos, Glorio hesitates a moment before speaking. "I will respond to the easy question first. Pilts' mob was an overwhelming horror which forced us into our own seclusion. Although we are ... depleted it would be a fine partnership for us to work with the Dead Kings to restore and maintain peace on Endrin Island. I can speak with the Broken Crown to work out the details - having her set up in Devargo's old place of business is perhaps appropriate. A sign of better times. The people of this island have been abandoned by the mainland and we are left to go it alone."

A light knock at the door interrupts Glorio. "Ah yes, the ring. If you will." Carnochan arrives bearing a fine golden ring set with a deep green bloodstone. He wordlessly hands it to Glorio and then leaves.

"A ring of evasion," he says with a smile. "A great aid in battles against the sorts of foes you face, I think. Please accept this as a gift."

He takes a long drink of wine. "Neolandus Kalepolis and Vencarlo Orsini are two of the most important people in Korvosa. As you may know, only the seneschal may legally depose a corrupt monarch. Put perhaps... perhaps you are the ones who can work with him in a way I cannot due to my status. Neolandus and Vencarlo are both my guests, and I will let you speak with them and perhaps leave. However... they are in the Vivified Labyrinth. I will tell you how to enter the labyrinth if you so wish."

Knowledge Local DC 25:

The Vivified Labyrinth is a notorious dungeon below Palace Arkona used not just as a dungeon, but as a way to either torment or test prisoners and agents alike.


.

Raven Six gives Glorio a careful look over, trying to get a psychic sense of his aura. She reads nothing - a sign he is likely a fairly powerful man in an immediate, personal sense.


NG Male Dwarven Barbarian 10 | HP 108/115 {138/145} | AC 21 (19 Rage, 12 Touch, 20 Flat-Footed) | CMB +14/+16, CMD 25/27 | Fort. +13/16, Ref. +6, Will +10/12 | Init. +2 | Perc. +15 | Speed 30ft | Rage: 25/25 | DR 2/- | Active conditions: N/A

Thod does raise an eyebrow, seeing how extensive Raven's 'tattoos' and 'scars' go, though his gaze does not linger lustily. She's not his type anyways. He still remembers himself and turns away after a bit. Instead, he focuses on the bath, enjoying the luxury, letting the sweat, dirt, and perhaps dried blood rinse off of him. He takes the opportunity to unbraid his prodigious moustache and give it a rinse as well.

Thod is surprised by the gift of a magical ring. He will let the more magically inclined take it and analyze it. He silently wishes for some meats along with the cheese, but decides this is opulent enough, and to ask for more would simply be greedy.

The confirmation that Glorio is hiding both Neolandus and Vencarlo does not overly surprise him, though Thod cannot hide his eyebrow raising hearing how they are 'hiding' in a Vivified Labyrinth, whatever that is. Suspicion rises in Thod's mind, though he keeps his thoughts to himself for now, and will bring it up afterwards.

"What's the Vivified Labyrinth? And... Are they safe in there?"


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Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 45/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |
Specimen R6-a/H-001 wrote:
"Hey," she stage-whispers while pointing at Thod. "He keeps saying he in't a pony or a mule, so… Is he washing off the smell to make me believe it? Like, rilly believe it? 'Cos I already thinked he's a weird pony or mule, 'cos he never walks on all fours, an' I don' see where he's hidin' da tail."

Sevenspawn tries to turn his head at the creature, realizing he has never spoken to it before. "I cannot tell if you are joking or not," he says after a moment. "I'm sorry for that. Assuming you're not, I can assure you that he is not a pack animal, but rather a dwarf. That said," he continues, "I think he appreciates the ribbing, and even if he doesn't you should continue to do it regardless."

The priest is startled at the dungeon comment, however, and awaits Glorio's answer after Thod asks exactly what was on Sevenspawn's mind.


Female Android Alchemist 8/Rogue 2; Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Perception +16; AC 16 (+2 Dex., +4 armour); hp 70; Fort +8; Ref +11; Will +4

Raven Six continues to talk while rinsing off, her expression stoic: "Our Factorium is also located on Old Korvosa. It could assist significantly in improving the people's lot, as well as defenses against the Grey Maidens and similar undesirables. Why did Messrs. Kalepolis and Orsini retreat into this labyrinth you mentioned?"


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 57/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 8/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge

Knowledge Local: 1d20 + 10 + 1d6 ⇒ (14) + 10 + (6) = 30

Donnell raises a single eyebrow at the proffered ring, but accepts it graciously.

At the mention of the Labyrinth, Donnell's other eyebrow shoots up: "I hope you don't mean to say that you've imprisoned them! Very well, but what dangers should we anticipate in the Labyrinth these days?"

Donnell taps his fingers in irritation - he has more to ask, but is beginning to think this man is as much (or more) a danger as an ally. Flicking his fingers in a quick dance, he signs: And what does he mean: perhaps he'll let us leave?


Female Android Alchemist 8/Rogue 2; Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Perception +16; AC 16 (+2 Dex., +4 armour); hp 70; Fort +8; Ref +11; Will +4

Sign language:
"Open communication. Qualifier: response re.: previous statement, designator: Donnell.
Correction (?). Perhaps applies to leave with - query? Qualifier - agreement of targets of inquest (?).
Recommendation: seek clarification. Modifier: use diplomacy.
End communication."


.

"There is an elephant statue in my garden, stepping on a plate directly beneath it will cause it to rotate, and expose the entrance to the labyrinth below."

He answers the next inquiry carefully. "Nobody is safe within the Vivified Labyrinth, it was a calculated risk to place the most dangerous political prisoners in Korvosa there. However, it is a training ground as much as it is a dungeon - I would not send him there with Neolandus if I did not anticipate they were tests they would fail. I... cannot be certain of what awaits them there, but I would anticipate powerful magical traps."

He raises a finger from the bath water. "I can explain a key feature, however. Four rooms are built upon gears and all four will rotate ninety degrees when levers are pulled within them. Understanding this is key to the layout making sense."


Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 45/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

The priest is dumbstruck, and proceeds to exit the water and dry himself quickly. He signs the others quickly...

WORDS BETRAY.

.. and begins dressing again.

"I... remain confused, lord," he manages. "Perhaps I am the only one; I am but slow and dull-witted. You placed them in your trapped dungeon because...?"


.

Seeing Sevenspawn get out, Glorio steps out along with him, although keeping a little bit of a distance as the mood in the room changes. He begins dressing again. "It is the only place I could be sure that the Queen would not get them. They are alive, I am sure of that."


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 57/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 8/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge

"We thank you for your gifts and help, lord. I am curious, however - how is it you know so little about the workings of the Labyrinth? And the status of your ... guests - are you able to monitor people within? And the rooms - they rotate? Clockwise? How ..." Here follows a lot of technical questions about the workings of the Labyrinth and about traps in general, of which Glorio is likely ignorant.
Donnell is mostly just pressing for more information about what we might face.


NG Male Dwarven Barbarian 10 | HP 108/115 {138/145} | AC 21 (19 Rage, 12 Touch, 20 Flat-Footed) | CMB +14/+16, CMD 25/27 | Fort. +13/16, Ref. +6, Will +10/12 | Init. +2 | Perc. +15 | Speed 30ft | Rage: 25/25 | DR 2/- | Active conditions: N/A

Seeing the rest of his crew is similarly suspicious of Glorio keeping their missing targets in a trap filled dungeon puts Thod at ease. He relaxes and washes a bit more, and scarfs down a few more bits of cheese.

"So, we were told that Neolandus came here to hide. Vencarlo followed him, but wanted to convince him that this was not the best place to hide. Were you able to convince Vencarlo to hide here as well?"


Female Android Alchemist 8/Rogue 2; Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Perception +16; AC 16 (+2 Dex., +4 armour); hp 70; Fort +8; Ref +11; Will +4

Raven Six finishes washing in a purely effective manner, then gets out, towels off and gets dressed again.

"I wish we had an opportunity to make use of laundry service more often," she mutters while buckling her belt.


.

Glorio finishes dressing and smiles at you all. "In a manner of speaking, Thod. Now then we're all dressed and you need to make a decision. I have generously hosted you, offered you a gift, and now my labyrinth awaits. You know where they are and wish to retrieve them. I understand you might be quite upset with the fact they are in a very unpleasant place, but they are there nonetheless. I cannot and will not retrieve them, and thus you are left with a choice. Go to the labyrinth and get them, or not. I believe your path forward is quite simple."


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 57/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 8/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge

Donnell shrugs and stands, though, despite all indications that he won't be getting more information about the Labyrinth out of Glorio, he attempts one last question as the party heads out to the garden: "And how does one escape the Labyrinth?"

I assume we are going to save these men, yes?
If there's a few minutes to sit prior to entering the Labyrinth, Donnell would like to mix up some of the new extracts he's discovered.


.

Time befor ethe labyrinth will depend on how you resolve this conversation with Glorio.


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NG Male Dwarven Barbarian 10 | HP 108/115 {138/145} | AC 21 (19 Rage, 12 Touch, 20 Flat-Footed) | CMB +14/+16, CMD 25/27 | Fort. +13/16, Ref. +6, Will +10/12 | Init. +2 | Perc. +15 | Speed 30ft | Rage: 25/25 | DR 2/- | Active conditions: N/A

"Oh, we're going down there to get them, don't worry about that. Didn't assault a crime boss and his goons trying to find somebody just to walk away because it's a little underground now. Just... You put them in this dungeon that you tell us is dangerous, can't tell us what traps or dangers are down there, and yet you're 'sure' they're safe. Somehow. Whatever. We'll fetch 'em for you. Well, us."

"In all seriousness, though, we do thank you for your hospitality. The bath was quite nice, and especially thank you for that ring. I'm sure we will put it to good use."

Seeing the relaxed attitude has been spoiled, Thod also begins to dry and redress himself.

"Alright, crew. Ready for a bit of spelunking?"


.

Glorio relaxes a little bit and smiles. "Excellent, I'm glad we can resolve this in such a pleasant manner. Please, I can show you to the guest chambers to prepare. Take what time you need. I have matters to attend to but I wish you the best of luck. Carnochan will assist you if you require anything."

With that he strides out of the bath to leave you to get dressed. Carnochan awaits outside politely to escort you through the house.

Donnell you can take some time to prep goodies at this point if you so wish.


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 57/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 8/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge

Thanks! Donnell only needs about five minutes - do we need to discuss strategy, parcelling out magic items, and/or buffing before we head out? Any suggestions about which extracts to prepare?

As much as Donnell would like the Ring of Chameleon Power, I think it'll be more useful with Raven Six - Donnell already has a +15 to Stealth. That'll give us two stealthy scouts instead of one.

Just before we enter the Labyrinth, Donnell will quaff Heightened Awareness (+2 Perception & Knowledge) and Heroism (+2 to attacks, saves, skills); both have a duration of 10 mins/level.


.

I'll push to the labyrinth tomorrow, assuming you guys aren't going to attempt any shenanigans in the manor.


.

Heads up I will probably miss my Tuesday post as I'll be at a retreat.


.

That shoulda been on discussions lol.

Carnochan silently leads you to guest suites where you spend some time preparing for what awaits you. When you leave he begins speaking. "I have not had the pleasure of visiting the Labyrinth myself, but the labyrinth is not directly below the elephant statue. You will enter a large cavern. Navigate the rope bridges to the lower level. In the southern wall there is a secret door - that will lead you to the labyrinth. There are guardians in the cavern, it may not be wise to tarry there. No, I do not know what they are."

With that, he leads you to the bizarrely tropical garden.

This chamber hardly seems to be part of a palace, but looks more like a clearing at the heart of a vast jungle, teeming with life. The sky above is a deep, cloudless blue, while in the distance, hazy towers rise above the verdant canopy. Exotic bird calls fill the air, the scent of dozens of unfamiliar flowers and plants assault the nose, and everywhere a riot of color demands the eye, whether it’s the wing of a tropical bird, the petals of a brightly hued flower, or the glittering multicolored tiles that make up a round fountain to the north. The fountain’s central plume is a stone pillar around which entwine two cobra statues that clutch green gems in their fanged maws.

To the south of the fountain stands an immense, life-sized jade statue of an elephant, a howdah perched on its back, its tusks and trunk raised high in greeting to the southeast doors. From inside the room, the doors look more like gates set into a wrought-iron fence that encircles the garden. Other gates set in this fence doubtless lead to other parts of the palace, and after a bit more observation, the somewhat static nature of the jungle and landscape becomes apparent—the walls of this garden are in fact an incredibly realistic and clever painting of a Vudrani junglescape.

He leads you to the elephant, indicating the panel below it.

"My duty here is fulfilled. Good luck."

Last chance for pre-dungeon prep and I'll rejoin you on Wednesday night (or Thursday).


Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 45/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

"This is madness," Sevenspawn says to no one in particular once Carnochan departs. His voice offers a facsimile of Arkona's.

"'Yes, I have them under my protection; I put them in a dangerous trap of death for their safety. It seemed like a good idea at the time. No, I don't know anything about it even though it's mine, but I know they are alive somehow. I have no other useful information to help you but you should go down there with them. My major domo will tell you about guardians at the gate that I failed to mention and that he knows nothing about actually. Good luck! Probably see you down there to finish you off, once I take the monster-free back way in."

The priest is half-chuckling at his own words as he finishes, in the way one does when things are ludicrous. "Utter madness. And here we are, walking into it." He bangs his hammer against his shield, pushing air out through his nose.

"Let's get on with it, then."


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 57/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 8/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge

"I think of you as a brother, Phaedran, but it's all been a bit mad since we met."

Donnell looks a bit more intently at the exotic plants, most of which he'll only have seen in books: "How does he get all of this to grow here?! Hey, Raven 6, do you think this is Urtica ferox?"

Knowledge (Nature): 1d20 + 7 + 1d6 ⇒ (12) + 7 + (6) = 25

Donnell is attempting to identify plants in general, but mainly those that he can later distill into poisons. Note that he has not yet quaffed his extracts - he'll wait until we go underground.


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Female Android Alchemist 8/Rogue 2; Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Perception +16; AC 16 (+2 Dex., +4 armour); hp 70; Fort +8; Ref +11; Will +4

Knowledge (nature) aid another 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (8) + 12 = 20

"Let us see whether it has the tell-tale ridges on the edges of the leaves," Raven Six says as she squats at Donnell's side and looks at the plant he indicated.

Turning to look at Sevenspawn over her shoulder, she adds: "Madness comes in many varieties. According to one of the philosophers whose work I studied in my father's house, 'Everyone is insane in their own way'. Social constructs are madness in themselves, given how counter they often run against biological nature. Nevertheless… we endure and find meaning. If we are fortunate.

Also, our lives have been somewhat short of sanity for the past year already. Not to mention, if we do not give in to this specific madness at least a little, we might never reclaim sir Orsini and the seneschal. The former is a friend, and the latter is needed to remedy the greater madness gripping the city. Do you concur?"


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Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 45/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

The priest, who has become accustomed to the very different contexts in which his companions speak, nods to Raven Six.

"I do." He bangs his hammer against his shield once more. "And I remain ready, my friend. It does seem like the most foolhardy thing we have willingly walked into, however. I almost wonder if we shouldn't..." The priest shakes his head. "Well, one does not just force a lord of Korvosa - the lord of lords, I should think - to show us the way at sword point, I know. The man also passes out magical items like candy to children. But there is more here he knows, and perhaps there is another way."

Sevenspawn shrugs. "But I am ready. The Everbloom continues to lend me ever-greater powers in this fight, and so our progress, however frustrating, is indeed righteous."


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Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 57/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 8/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge

Looking up from his leaf-gathering, Donnell sympathizes: "I agree, and were he any other man - any other noble, for that matter - we would hold him more accountable. But Old Korvosa needs protection and the Arkonas are the only ones able to provide that. Anyway," looking back to the plants, "we'll see what Vencarlo and Neolandus have to say about their treatment. We can always come back..."


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NG Male Dwarven Barbarian 10 | HP 108/115 {138/145} | AC 21 (19 Rage, 12 Touch, 20 Flat-Footed) | CMB +14/+16, CMD 25/27 | Fort. +13/16, Ref. +6, Will +10/12 | Init. +2 | Perc. +15 | Speed 30ft | Rage: 25/25 | DR 2/- | Active conditions: N/A

"Constructs? Isn't that another word for golems and what-not?"

"Anyways, I agree this stinks worse than an orc's armpit, but as you say, gotta get Vencarlo and that guy with the really weird name. I'm feeling great, and I'm ready for whatever some dumb dungeon has in store for us. Donnell, you should lead and keep your eyes open for anything that even hints at a trap. I'm right behind you."


.

GM Rolls:

Perc: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (4) + 15 = 191d20 + 15 ⇒ (19) + 15 = 341d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 231d20 + 16 ⇒ (15) + 16 = 31

It becomes apparent that the tropical humidity here is maintained through magical means, and indeed the Vudrani aesthetic appears to be held up by some permanent illusions. Indeed no expense has been spared. Unfortunately the garden is not filled with horrible poison which could be repurposed for heroic reasons. Just some very nice flowers and other lovely tropical flora.

You move beneath the elephant statue, open the panel, and reveal a set of iron-framed spiral stairs. You descend into the darkness...

The air in this vast grotto is cool. An iron-framed flight of spiral stairs winds up through a hole in the ceiling in the northwest section of the room from the top of a semicircular ledge. The ledge winds down along the cavern’s inner wall to a series of rope bridges that descend even lower from ledge to ledge. The upper ledge is breathtaking
and strangely beautiful—a tableau of all manner of odd-colored fungi, lichens, and molds. The fungi have been cultivated, shaped into symmetrical patterns normally not seen in nature, transforming the ledge into a sort of underground fungal garden. Here and there, flickering torches burn in sconces above the fungi, while from somewhere in the darkness below comes the soft splash of water against an unseen shore.

As your feet fall onto the hard rock of the upper level of the grotto you take a moment to take in the sights. However, as you do so, everyone in the group save Thod suddenly realizes something is wrong. The air shimmers in front of you just so, giving you just enough to recognize there are invisible creatures before you - and they are hostile!

Initiative:

Raven: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
Thod: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Sevenspawn: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Donnell: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
Guardians: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21

Surprise Round:

Donnell
Thod (surprised)
----
Guardians
----
Sevenspawn
Raven

Donnell has a surprise round action! You have sensed four invisible creatures in front of you, indicated on the map.


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 57/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 8/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge

"Heads up! We've got incoming invisible baddies..."

And, over Thod's head, Donnell heaves a liquid-filled bag:

Marker Dye: 1d20 + 13 - 4 ⇒ (11) + 13 - 4 = 20

This is a splash weapon, so ranged touch attack. Aiming for Blue Guardian, which should splash onto green and yellow?


NG Male Dwarven Barbarian 10 | HP 108/115 {138/145} | AC 21 (19 Rage, 12 Touch, 20 Flat-Footed) | CMB +14/+16, CMD 25/27 | Fort. +13/16, Ref. +6, Will +10/12 | Init. +2 | Perc. +15 | Speed 30ft | Rage: 25/25 | DR 2/- | Active conditions: N/A

Reminder of my Uncanny Dodge ability which means I cannot be flanked or caught flat-footed.


.

Rules on marker dye aren't clear but I'll say that there's an attack roll on main target and if successful, reflex saves from the adjacent targets to not get painted.

The paint solidly connects with one of the guardians, revealing a strange skeleton covered in fungus but the other seem to avoid the paint. They clatter as they move in to block off your entry into the warren and appear very hostile.

Knowledge Nature: DC 22:

These appear to be unique creatures but you can puzzle out how they function. Some sort of magic has caused fungus to infuse the bodies of these long-dead bodies and animate them. Fungal creatures such as these release poisonous spores and are resistant to fire. They are mindless, do not sleep, and cannot be poisoned, stunned, paralyzed, or polymorphed.

Round One:

Donnell
Thod
----
Guardians:
Blue
Yellow
Gren
Red
----
Sevenspawn
Raven

Sevenspawn and Raven have one standard action only. Thod may take his full round action. The guardians are detected but remain invisible except for blue, so please roll miss chance on attacks unless you have a means to render them visible.


NG Male Dwarven Barbarian 10 | HP 108/115 {138/145} | AC 21 (19 Rage, 12 Touch, 20 Flat-Footed) | CMB +14/+16, CMD 25/27 | Fort. +13/16, Ref. +6, Will +10/12 | Init. +2 | Perc. +15 | Speed 30ft | Rage: 25/25 | DR 2/- | Active conditions: N/A

Thod snaps to attention and takes a defensive stance with his halberd when he is told there are enemies in front of him, concealed they may be. With only one in the back coated, he swings in front of him, uncertain of his attacks.

Full round attack action. Power attacking. Not entering a rage yet. For Miss Chance, since it's 50%, I'll just flip a virtual coin. High number good.
Attack 1: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (10) + 12 = 22 Damage: 1d10 + 13 ⇒ (10) + 13 = 23 Miss chance: 1d2 ⇒ 2
Attack 2: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19 Damage: 1d10 + 13 ⇒ (6) + 13 = 19 Miss chance: 1d2 ⇒ 1


Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 45/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

Seeing the skeletal frame appear from the Donnell's coating, Sevenspawn makes an educated guess and sends out a wave of Milani's energy. His hand grasps her symbol as he holds it aloft, Her power flowing forth in an attack against undead.

Channel Energy: 4d6 ⇒ (4, 5, 5, 2) = 16


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 57/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 8/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge
GM SpiderBeard wrote:
Rules on marker dye aren't clear...

Yeah, sorry - it just says "You can throw it as a splash weapon." The rest I got from the splash weapon rules: "ranged touch attack" & "A hit deals direct hit damage to the target, and splash damage to all creatures within 5 feet of the target" (also "if you target a grid intersection, creatures in all adjacent squares are dealt the splash damage, and the direct hit damage is not dealt to any creature," but it seemed like the best way to hit three of them was to target the one in the middle).

Anyway, the 'damage' for marker dye, direct or otherwise, is just a big splash of dye.

Oh, I assume Donnell also gets a full-round action now, too.

Knowledge Nature: 1d20 + 7 + 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 7 + (4) + 4 = 26

"Looks like they are animated by fungi, not necromancy. Be ready for poison spores. I'm going to guess they will be resistant to fire, and probably can't be put to sleep, paralyzed, or poisoned. It's totally weird that they are also invisible! So, I guess just... eh, chop 'em down..."

Targeting Green
Move: Ranged Study: +5/+5
LXB1: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (11) + 18 = 29
Dam1: 1d6 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
Miss Chance1: 1d2 ⇒ 1

LXB2: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (19) + 13 = 32
Dam2: 1d6 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8

Crit!: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (3) + 13 = 16
Dam1: 1d6 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9

Miss Chance2: 1d2 ⇒ 2


.

GM Rolls:

Sevenspawn fires out the channel energy, which... does nothing. Donnell realizes after the fact what's going on. Although these are moving bodies, they are animated by the fungus itself rather than any undead force!

Thod and Donnell swing at their invisible targets, and Donnell and Thod both manage to connect with two hits.

Round One:

Donnell
Thod
----
Guardians:
Blue
Yellow
Green (-31)
Red
----
Sevenspawn
Raven

Yeah sorry Donnell you had full action too. Raven Six is up!


Female Android Alchemist 8/Rogue 2; Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Perception +16; AC 16 (+2 Dex., +4 armour); hp 70; Fort +8; Ref +11; Will +4

"If they are resistant to fire, then we shall simply utilize the opposite, Alpha Male Halfling Donnell," Raven Six says as she lobs a bomb-vial over her friends - and over the front row of fungal creatures. A blue vial - which erupts in a spray of icy cold!

Targeting the right rear … thing. Ranged touch attack 1d20 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 9 + 1 = 27 for 4d6 + 5 ⇒ (1, 6, 5, 2) + 5 = 19 cold damage, splash 9. Fort. save DC 19 or be staggered (if applicable).


.

GM rolls:

Fort Saves: 1d20 + 8 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 8 + 6 = 341d20 + 7 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 7 + 6 = 281d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 181d20 + 13 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 13 + 2 = 24
Fort: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (1) + 9 = 10
Reflex: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 201d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 231d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
Attack: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (17) + 16 = 331d20 + 11 ⇒ (20) + 11 = 31 Damage: 1d6 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 81d6 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Attack: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (12) + 16 = 281d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17 Damage: 1d6 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 91d6 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Threat: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (7) + 16 = 231d20 + 11 ⇒ (11) + 11 = 22 Damage: 1d6 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 101d6 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10

The bomb connects solidly with the guardian, splashing onto the others! The cold seems to slow it up properly as the guardians go. Spore clouds puff heavily into the part but nobody appears to be affected by them although the choking miasma is clearly not good -at all- for you.

The two guardians up front start attacking and pop into view, slashing out brutally at the group. Sevenspawn in particular is badly cleaved by his opponent which opens up brutal sounds.

Round Two:

Donnell
Thod
----
Guardians:
Blue (-27) (staggered)
Yellow (-9)
Green (-40)
Red (-4)
----
Sevenspawn
Raven

Sevenspawn takes a whopping 37 damage from two crits! Thod takes 9 damage. Everyone is up!. The bad guys are all visible now.


Female Android Alchemist 8/Rogue 2; Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Perception +16; AC 16 (+2 Dex., +4 armour); hp 70; Fort +8; Ref +11; Will +4

"Pretty Dwarf Thod, kindly focus on the one to your right. Sevenspawn, please switch with me," Raven Six says before lobbing another blue bomb -- and she draws her mithral rapier.

Standard action: throw a bomb. Aiming at the red skeleton this time. Ranged touch attack 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17 for 4d6 + 5 ⇒ (2, 3, 4, 1) + 5 = 15 cold damage, splash 9. Fort. save DC 19 or be staggered.

Move action: draw weapon.


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 57/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 8/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge

"Yes, good plan, Raven 6. These *cough* spores are bad though - *kaff*

Targeting Green then Blue
Ranged Study 2/3 rounds

LXB1: 1d20 + 13 + 5 - 2 ⇒ (2) + 13 + 5 - 2 = 18
Dam1: 1d6 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 2 + 5 = 9

LXB2 (Rapid Shot): 1d20 + 13 + 5 - 2 ⇒ (10) + 13 + 5 - 2 = 26
Dam2: 1d6 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 2 + 5 = 13

LXB3: 1d20 + 8 + 5 - 2 ⇒ (8) + 8 + 5 - 2 = 19
Dam3: 1d6 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 2 + 5 = 8


Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 45/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

The priest shouts out in pain as he's struck twice, but complies with Raven's order and staggers back to switch spaces with her. His hands fumble open a potion, downing it quickly.

What's the recovery dice for CMW and CLW in potion form? Let me know, but you can roll for me, SB, and it'll save time. It's probably a CMW that he'll need.

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