Hmm's 9-07: Salvation of the Sages: An OutPost Musical (Inactive)

Game Master Hmm


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Salvation of the Sages

For millennia an order of scholars known as the Jeweled Sages catalogued the wisdom and lore of northern Garund's greatest minds within crystalline artifacts. Though these sage jewels have recently resurfaced, so too has the new generation of sages learned that something else dwells within besides ancient memories. The entire order gathers where the Jeweled Sages truly began in order to confront their hidden past, purge an ancient evil that has haunted them for ages, and define the future of the Scarab Sages faction.

Please feel free to dot-and-delete.


“Oh, there you are!” Doris from Accounting finds you all when you are in the Grand Lodge’s quartermasters office, perusing the items on display for cash or faction credit. She waves a letter in her hand and then grins at you. “No, don’t worry. Your accounts aren’t past due. You wouldn’t be in here, looking at my stocks of survival supplies, if your accounts were in arrears, would you? No... A missive arrived for you from Merab, marked URGENT. Well, are you going to read it?”

She hands you a message:


    Ariana, Dunia, Eadie, Fendel, Quenly and Rufeo:

    You all come highly recommended. Tahonikepsu, the Diamond Sage, wishes to meet with you at my Lodge in Merab. I am arranging for teleportation for all of you at the Diamond Sage’s expense.

    Do be prompt.

    Venture Captain Diya Akan
    Twisting Garden Lodge
    Merab, Thuvia

Doris hands you teleportation vouchers. “Let’s tally up your purchases and get you out of here. We don’t want to keep the Venture Captain waiting!”

Have you made all your purchases yet? Don’t worry, you don’t have to do that in gameplay. It’s just time to figure out what you all want.


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Magical transport is swift, but it can be dizzying at times.

You arrive in front of a large and twisting garden maze of hedges and sandstone walls in the oasis City of Merab. The air is thick with the scent of flowers, and small parrots squawk overhead. Coming out of the maze is a blind half-elf, wearing a loosely wrapped red and white headscarf affixed at her shoulder with a scarab pin. At her side is a friendly little sand-colored dog who sniffs each of you curiously. The half-elf turns her left ear to you. “Welcome to Merab! Are you the team that I was expecting?” She smiles her welcome, even though she is not facing you.

“I don’t think that I have met any of you before, so I won’t recognize your voices yet. Can you each introduce yourselves to me and each other as we traverse the maze? I’d love to get a sense of all of you before we go meet with Tahonikepsu and Amenopheus.” Then she laughs. “I almost forgot to introduce myself. I am Diya Akan and the little four legged fellow sniffing at all of you is my friend and companion, Tuti. Come, come. We can chat while we walk.”

Grand Lodge

Male NG Halfling Druid 11 | HP 80/80 | AC 22 T 13 FF 20 | CMB +12, CMD 23 | F: +12, R: +5, W: +13 | Init: +2 | Perc: +21, SM: +12 | Speed 30ft | Wild Shape: 5/5 11 hours | Spells: See Stat Block | Active conditions: Barkskin (110 minutes)

"Hello, I am Rufeo" a hi-pitched voice, which comes from a hobbit halfing. "And this is Ki'lala" a loud purring sounds from behind him.

Are we walking through a maze. I love exploring nature. Right Ki'lala"

The large cat yawns at the question and begins to circle its partner, wanting attention.

Scarab Sages

Female Oread Spiritualist (Ectoplasmatist) 10 | HP 80/83 | AC 25(29), T 14, FF 23(27) | Fort +13(15), Ref +9(11), Will +15(17) | Init +3 | Perc +14(16) | Sense Motive +17(19) | Spells Remaining: level 1 4/6, level 2 4/5, level 3 1/4, level 4 0/2 |

Dunia's broadly built, but very short, barely cresting over 4 feet. She has dark brown skin, thick black hair, and remote black eyes. She would nearly look like a particularly squat Mwangi woman if it weren't for the obsidian sheen she gives when light hits her, a sheen that is only accentuated by the tendrils of ectoplasm that envelop her and her gear.

Her typical scowl softens as she bends down to scratch Tuti behind the ears. Rather than offer her usual grunt, she introduces herself in deference to Diya's request, I'm Dunia. De garden's lovely, your work?

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
active effects:
cloak of darkness, wings of darkness, hunter's blessing, freedom of movement, heroism, false life, deathwatch
more active effects:
many forms (gnome)
M Elf Oracle (Ancient Lorekeeper) 11 | AC 29 T 19 FF 23 | HP 75/83 | F +13 R +16 W +14 | CMD 27 | Init +11 (13) | Perc +19/15 lowlight vision, scent, darkvision, see in darkness, deaf | Spells (-, 6/7, 6/7, 3/7, 5/7, 1/4)

In contrast to the squat Oread, Quenly is tall and lean; a graceful and beautiful elf, clad in Osirion style desert robes. Like many elves he carries a rapier and and a longbow. The strangest thing about him is the ever-present shadows that cling to him, wispy tendrils that move with a will of their own.

To answer the venture captain, Quenly performs a series of short, complex hand gestures. The shadows coalesce and whirl about him, forming a small dark sphere. Tiny points of light are visible within the blackness, as though they were a great distance away. As quickly as it appeared, the dark sphere recedes. In its place is a small dragon, no bigger than a housecat. The creature beats its wings and comes to rest on Quenly's shoulder, its long tail swaying gently.

spellcraft DC19:
Quenly cast a Shadow Conjuration, although he did so in complete silence.

knowledge:arcana DC12:
The dragon is a pseudodragon.

arcana DC23:
The dragon is a Draconic Ally enhanced with the power of the nightmare dragon. It can see in absolute darkness, and breathes an acid breath weapon.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
active effects:
hunters blessing
Dragon (shadow conjuration draconic ally) | AC 15 T 14 FF 13 | HP 3/3 | F +5 R +5 W +4 (+4 vs mind affecting) | Init +2 | Perc +6, lowlight vision, darkvision, blindsense 60', see in darkness

I am called Quenly. I have made this creature from elf-magic. It will speak for me, and will relay your thoughts to me. The voice is heard by all present, in their native tongues. Neither the elf nor the dragon has spoken aloud.

I serve the ancient gods of my people. Since the gods chose me as their vessel, I hear no voices but theirs. I can see words upon your lips, if you face me when you speak. But it is more simple by far for you to communicate with me by thought. My creature need only be nearby.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Female CG Human (Chelaxian) Fighter 11 | HP: 126/126 | AC: 25 (14 T, 22 Fl) | CMB: +16 (+21 [20] with heavy blades), CMD: 31 (33 vs disarm, sunder) | F: +19, R: +12, W: +17 (+2 vs death effects, +3 vs fear) | Init: +3 | Perc: +17, SM: +2 | Speed 30' | Active conditions: none

“Hi! I’m Eadie Navhelan! People call me … Eadie Navhelan.”

Cradling her helm in her left arm stands a plain-featured knight with startling sapphire-blue eyes. “Except Amenopheus that is. He calls me ... something that would cause my Aunt Alix to wash his mouth out with soap if she heard it.”

Eadie’s relationship with the Sapphire Sage is … complex. A situation not helped by the guilt she feels for voting Tahonikepsu in the Scarab Faction Head election.

“It’s so unfair. It’s not like I did anything:

“Anyone could have dropped his winning lottery ticket in the vicinity of a ravenous goat.”

Eadie’s black enamelled full plate has a heart-shaped key embossed over the left breast. She twirls a golden cape about her shoulders which features expertly stitched appliqué of a fiery angel, golden key, antlered longbow and blood-soaked rose.

“Wow! Rufeo, is the adorable Death Kitty yours? Does Ki'lala have an approximate meaning in Taldane?”

Eadie senses the grumpy vibe the petite oread projects, but smiles nonetheless. “I think Tuti likes you, Dunia.”

The appearance of the Shadow Dragon startles the young warrior. She recovers quickly, addressing the apparition perched on Quenly’s shoulder.

“Cool! You’re the second faerie dragon I’ve adventured with. The other one was named Riddywhipple. Are you guys related?”

Eadie inspects Quenly’s features at VERY close range. “Amazing detail in your shadow illusion, Master Quenly. I could almost believe this elf is real.”

She holds up a stubby finger. “Can I touch it?”


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The Venture Captain laughs out loud. “Oh good. Here I was worrying that you would not be lively.” She grins, still talking to you with her ear facing you rather than her eyes. “So Rufeo, tell me about yourself. From your voice, I can tell that you’re a compact person. Are you a gnome? A halfling? A grippli? Where do you hail from? ‘Liking nature’ is a sort of vague description. Can you tell me more about what you do, and what your relationship with nature is? Mine is somewhat primal. I have always had a gift for weather, and for making plants grow, but I love animals as well.”

Tuti barks his agreement, wagging his tail at both Rufeo and Dunia.

Diya offers her hand for your cat to sniff, then genially leads you into the maze, that twists and turns and turns again. Sometimes, it slopes down, paths going momentarily underground into cool grottos, only to rise again a few feet later. Everywhere there is a riot of plants in every color, some vining up the walls, some growing in hanging baskets, and some just tucked into neat little herb gardens.

“Dunia, you are correct that the garden is all my own work. I am glad that you think it lovely, but I no longer design gardens for sight, so my colors and sightlines may be jumbled. I design for scent, shade, and breezeways.” She pauses by one wall, where a natural spring burbles up, and falls over the rocks in a mini waterfall. Tiny hummingbirds chirp and butterflies flutter all around. She reaches out a hand, catching the splash of water, and smiles. “I design for sound, too. When you live surrounded by Thuvian desert, there is no sound sweeter than water, and the animals that are drawn to it.”

She startles as Quenly’s dragon speaks in her mind. “Remakable. Are you deaf, Quenly? What a pair we make! My entire world is a tapestry of sound, and scent and touch... I hear beautifully, but I have not seen anything for years.”

Then she smiles vaguely in Eadie’s direction. “Well met, Eadie. Don’t worry about Amenopheus. He can be crusty at times. In my last mission with him as Pathfinder, there was a delightful half-orc named Tusker that couldn’t pronounce his name, and kept calling him ‘Menopause’. How Amenopheus hated that! So, of course... We ALL did it.”

Scarab Sages

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Female CG Human (Chelaxian) Fighter 11 | HP: 126/126 | AC: 25 (14 T, 22 Fl) | CMB: +16 (+21 [20] with heavy blades), CMD: 31 (33 vs disarm, sunder) | F: +19, R: +12, W: +17 (+2 vs death effects, +3 vs fear) | Init: +3 | Perc: +17, SM: +2 | Speed 30' | Active conditions: none

“Whoa! You folks are pretty brave. I wouldn’t DARE call him something like that.”

As she trails her new Venture-Captain, Eadie closes her eyes in an attempt to experience the beauty of Diya Akan’s garden from her perspective. *BUMP* “Oh, sorry Fendel. Hope that doesn’t leave a bruise.”

She sighs “It’s not like he’s a bad old dude. But like … he heard I used to work as a banker’s clerk (fourth class) in my home town of Korvosa. So he put me to work on his accounts one day.”

“THEN, he like totally freaked out! Just ‘cos I had to take my shoes and socks off to count to twenty. Made me feel like -- not the sharpest blade in VC Farabellus’s armory, yannow?”

“He also like says I like say ‘like’ wayyyy like too much.”

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Female Oread Spiritualist (Ectoplasmatist) 10 | HP 80/83 | AC 25(29), T 14, FF 23(27) | Fort +13(15), Ref +9(11), Will +15(17) | Init +3 | Perc +14(16) | Sense Motive +17(19) | Spells Remaining: level 1 4/6, level 2 4/5, level 3 1/4, level 4 0/2 |

The corner of Dunia's mouth twitches towards a smile at Eadie's antics, but she's otherwise quiet for a long moment as she considers Diya's response.
Hadn' thought 'bout buildin' it 'round de heat; I'm used to enough humidity that de shade don' help so much.
With a wryly challenging expression she continues, But I ain' foolish enough to t'ink de garden's only beauties would be for de eyes, an' it'd be a poor gard'ner who left out de rest.
Her small smile finishes forming as she watches a hummingbird splash through a fountain.
It seem to me, any jumbles jus' what happen when you put together de best parts of as many t'ings as fit.

Grand Lodge

AC 24(26 BOF), T 15, FF 23 | hp 83/114 | Fort +12, Ref +7, Will +10 (+3 vs. fear) Human Garundi Fighter 10 Init +2; Senses Perception +14 Base Atk +10; CMB +15; CMD 30

A tall Garundi woman smiles as she smells the desert air. Her cocoa skin shows above the full-plate she is wearing. "It's been a long time since I've been anywhere near home. My name is Ariana. It's a pleasure to meet you all. I do have an odd question for everyone. No one is going to try to covert me to their religion are they?"

She listens to the water tinkle down into the pool. "There's no better sound when you are hot and tired."

Grand Lodge

Male NG Halfling Druid 11 | HP 80/80 | AC 22 T 13 FF 20 | CMB +12, CMD 23 | F: +12, R: +5, W: +13 | Init: +2 | Perc: +21, SM: +12 | Speed 30ft | Wild Shape: 5/5 11 hours | Spells: See Stat Block | Active conditions: Barkskin (110 minutes)

"oh me, I'm a halfling of course. When I was freed from my masters by the Bellflower network, I came to live with the fey. I was taken under wing by someone who revered nature, and they taught me their ways." Rufeo looks up to Diya and says something in a tongue not many people have heard.

Druidic:
"Have you learned the secret language of nature too. When I became one with nature, they finally allowed me to use it.

[b]"I can call upon some storms, but I have a stronger affinity to animals. Like Ki here."

Rufeo gives off a laugh at the death kitty comment, "Ki'lala is not mine. I claim no ownership of her. We are companions. She is an agent of the society as well."

Ki'lala lowers herself down so Rufeo can climb up into her saddle. He climbs up in a practiced motion, and they walk slightly behind Diya.


active effects:
hunters blessing
Dragon (shadow conjuration draconic ally) | AC 15 T 14 FF 13 | HP 3/3 | F +5 R +5 W +4 (+4 vs mind affecting) | Init +2 | Perc +6, lowlight vision, darkvision, blindsense 60', see in darkness

You are not an elf Ariana. Your gods are no concern of mine.

It is true, venture captain. The voices of the gods drown out every other sound. Nothing can challenge their voices. And they have taught me such secrets... My other senses compensate. My vision pierces even magical darkness. My sense of smell is the equal of any hunting-beast's. The aromas here are fascinating.

Eadie, this dragon-creature is a thing of elf-magic. It is not Quenly. But in truth, all flesh is merely illusion. This the gods have shown me.

Scarab Sages

active effects:
cloak of darkness, wings of darkness, hunter's blessing, freedom of movement, heroism, false life, deathwatch
more active effects:
many forms (gnome)
M Elf Oracle (Ancient Lorekeeper) 11 | AC 29 T 19 FF 23 | HP 75/83 | F +13 R +16 W +14 | CMD 27 | Init +11 (13) | Perc +19/15 lowlight vision, scent, darkvision, see in darkness, deaf | Spells (-, 6/7, 6/7, 3/7, 5/7, 1/4)

Curious woman. thinks the elf to himself as Eadie suggests he is the illusion. I wonder if she glimpses the truth?

Quenly smiles, and extends his hand, touching Eadie's outstretched finger. He cocks his head and gives her a quizzical look.

Scarab Sages

Female CG Human (Chelaxian) Fighter 11 | HP: 126/126 | AC: 25 (14 T, 22 Fl) | CMB: +16 (+21 [20] with heavy blades), CMD: 31 (33 vs disarm, sunder) | F: +19, R: +12, W: +17 (+2 vs death effects, +3 vs fear) | Init: +3 | Perc: +17, SM: +2 | Speed 30' | Active conditions: none
Ariana wrote:
"No one is going to try to covert me to their religion are they?"

“Nah. Are you from Thuvia, Ariana? Whereabouts?”

The warrior’s question takes Eadie back to a mission in Cheliax’s Menador Mountains. “It’s like I told a group of Hellknights -- tolerance may be the Society’s most important value.”

“While I revere the Master of the First Vault, I wouldn’t dream of lecturing anyone on the virtues of compound interest.”

“As Pathfinders, we enjoy the freedom to believe whatever we like. As long as we don’t try to shove it down someone else’s throat.”

Quenly wrote:
Quenly smiles, and extends his hand, touching Eadie's outstretched finger.

SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH!!!

At Quenly’s touch, Eadie nearly bursts out of her own skin. Her hands instinctively reach for the sky-metal falchion strapped to her back, but she realizes what’s going on before the weapon is fully drawn.

“Point taken, Quenly.”

Her hands are shaky and her breathing is rapid. “BUT LAWGIVER’S HAMMER! I could have lopped your head off then.”


active effects:
hunters blessing
Dragon (shadow conjuration draconic ally) | AC 15 T 14 FF 13 | HP 3/3 | F +5 R +5 W +4 (+4 vs mind affecting) | Init +2 | Perc +6, lowlight vision, darkvision, blindsense 60', see in darkness

My apologies Eadie. I did not realise you have a religious objection to being touched. I have heard of such dogma, but did not associate the practice with Abadar. Many of my spells require that I touch the recipient. Do you not wish to receive such magic? I can show you the gestures associated with some of the spells. However, the gods of my people have shown me that the true essence of magic comes from my being as an elf, and I can work many great spells by will alone. As such, there is no associated gesture for you to recognise.

Scarab Sages

Female CG Human (Chelaxian) Fighter 11 | HP: 126/126 | AC: 25 (14 T, 22 Fl) | CMB: +16 (+21 [20] with heavy blades), CMD: 31 (33 vs disarm, sunder) | F: +19, R: +12, W: +17 (+2 vs death effects, +3 vs fear) | Init: +3 | Perc: +17, SM: +2 | Speed 30' | Active conditions: none

No, there’s no need to apologize, Quenly and I don’t have any objection to being touched.

Eadie fans her face rapidly with both hands. You just startled me that’s all. It was like …

Doing your eye makeup in a bathroom mirror, and then having your own reflection reach out and grab you.


active effects:
hunters blessing
Dragon (shadow conjuration draconic ally) | AC 15 T 14 FF 13 | HP 3/3 | F +5 R +5 W +4 (+4 vs mind affecting) | Init +2 | Perc +6, lowlight vision, darkvision, blindsense 60', see in darkness

It is sometimes difficult to know what is real, Eadie. Perhaps you are all illusions, and I am the only real person here. I cannot be certain that any of you possess true consciousness, even if my creature detects apparent thoughts.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Female CG Human (Chelaxian) Fighter 11 | HP: 126/126 | AC: 25 (14 T, 22 Fl) | CMB: +16 (+21 [20] with heavy blades), CMD: 31 (33 vs disarm, sunder) | F: +19, R: +12, W: +17 (+2 vs death effects, +3 vs fear) | Init: +3 | Perc: +17, SM: +2 | Speed 30' | Active conditions: none

Tee Hee. I’ve often had those thoughts myself, Quenly.

When I was little, Aunt Alix told me the sky was blue because we live in the eyeball of a blue-eyed giant.

But growing up I remember hearing Irori’s Razor for the first time and being impressed.

It basically says, ‘other things being equal, simpler explanations are generally better than more complex ones.’ Is there something similar in elven culture?

She smiles. So I hate to break it to you, buddy. But in all likelihood -- you’re not alone.

Scarab Sages

active effects:
cloak of darkness, wings of darkness, hunter's blessing, freedom of movement, heroism, false life, deathwatch
more active effects:
many forms (gnome)
M Elf Oracle (Ancient Lorekeeper) 11 | AC 29 T 19 FF 23 | HP 75/83 | F +13 R +16 W +14 | CMD 27 | Init +11 (13) | Perc +19/15 lowlight vision, scent, darkvision, see in darkness, deaf | Spells (-, 6/7, 6/7, 3/7, 5/7, 1/4)

The silent elf smiles warmly.

There is depth to this human. It is good that she is part of the Sages' order. he thinks privately.

I lol'd at "Irori's Razor"


active effects:
hunters blessing
Dragon (shadow conjuration draconic ally) | AC 15 T 14 FF 13 | HP 3/3 | F +5 R +5 W +4 (+4 vs mind affecting) | Init +2 | Perc +6, lowlight vision, darkvision, blindsense 60', see in darkness

I keep the ancient histories of the elves, Eadie. Such is my prerogative, and my duty.

Given the long elven lifespan, many of us turn to philosophy at one time or another. Our most orthodox thinking, if that can even be said of my people, centres on the essential merit of freedom of action. An elf tends to abhor restriction of any kind. We do not reject complexity, indeed we embrace it as evidence of the individual will, but as one's understanding of the cosmos deepens, one can find simplicity hidden within the complexity. Even with our long lives, not every elf realises this truth.

Scarab Sages

Female CG Human (Chelaxian) Fighter 11 | HP: 126/126 | AC: 25 (14 T, 22 Fl) | CMB: +16 (+21 [20] with heavy blades), CMD: 31 (33 vs disarm, sunder) | F: +19, R: +12, W: +17 (+2 vs death effects, +3 vs fear) | Init: +3 | Perc: +17, SM: +2 | Speed 30' | Active conditions: none
Quenly wrote:
An elf tends to abhor restriction of any kind.

Preach it, brother! Where were you when I was arguing with Aunt Alix as a teen?

Quenly wrote:
Given the long elven lifespan, many of us turn to philosophy at one time or another.

Makes sense. I mean most humans must surely ask themselves: Why am I here? What’s it all about?

Perhaps the difference is there’s not as much time for humans to ‘navel-gaze’ as Aunt Alix used to call it. Maybe that’s a good thing?

Assuming you want to get stuck in and actually live your life.


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Diya smiles at Rufeo.

Druidic:
“Yes I speak the language of nature... Not much chance to practice it, alas. How interesting that you learned it from the fey!”

In response to Dunia, Diya says, “There’s much less humidity here, alas. Thuvian weather is generally so dry that the heat can take you unawares, causing dizziness if you don’t drink water often.”

She continues to walk through the maze, taking everyone under a floral archway. “Now let’s ‘see’ if I can recall everyone’s names. We have Rufeo, Dunia, Quenly and his Dragon, Eadie and Ariana... Wasn’t there a sixth person in this group as well?”

* POKE * Fendel, are you still with us?

Dark Archive

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HP:74/74 | AC: 21 (15T/16FF) | Fort +11, Ref +14, Will +8 | Initiative: +11 | Perception +36 +1d6 (+2 vs traps) Trap Spotter 10' | Sense Motive +25 +1d6 | BUFFS: Clear Ear, Bloodboil Pill

A few detailed drawings of some of her flora shouldn't take too long. The detective falls behind the group as he makes his detailed drawing. He quickly catches up to the group. "My apologies for falling behind Mistress Akan. Your work here is impressive and thought to take note of it. I would endeavor to bring its like back to Alkenstar one day. I am Fendel Meniska. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us."

Quenly wrote:
spellcraft DC19: knowledge:arcana DC12: arcana DC23:

Will Take 10

Fascinatingly unique resolution for his need to adapt.

Fendel hears the brief comments by Diya and Rufeo. No how many languages I learn, THAT one continues to escape me.

My apologies for being late.

Grand Lodge

AC 24(26 BOF), T 15, FF 23 | hp 83/114 | Fort +12, Ref +7, Will +10 (+3 vs. fear) Human Garundi Fighter 10 Init +2; Senses Perception +14 Base Atk +10; CMB +15; CMD 30

"The last few missions I've been on have involved clerics, and inquisitors. There was one where the people we were trying to help asked me to convert to make my life easier. I'm beginning to believe that Erastil is trying to get my attention."

"I'm from Osarion, but desert is desert. It's wonderful to feel the warm sun on my skin again."

Scarab Sages

Female Oread Spiritualist (Ectoplasmatist) 10 | HP 80/83 | AC 25(29), T 14, FF 23(27) | Fort +13(15), Ref +9(11), Will +15(17) | Init +3 | Perc +14(16) | Sense Motive +17(19) | Spells Remaining: level 1 4/6, level 2 4/5, level 3 1/4, level 4 0/2 |

Dunia nods respectfully to Fendel as he joins the group. The somewhat obsessive detective had more than proven his mettle on their last encounter.

Sure hope there's fewer demons this time though...


"Doom Girl" // PbP Events // PBP Gameday VIII Player Signups // PbP GM Kit // Aeon Throne MapsPlayer Folder // Pact World Warriors //

At last, Tuti as her heels, Diya Akan guides you all through the maze of hedges surrounding the lodge to a courtyard where Amenopheus and Tahonikepsu wait beneath a pavilion.

Sitting at a large table, Amenopheus looks over a book with a bemused smile as a blindfolded Tahonikepsu cautiously sniffs at several metal vials bearing the marks of local alchemists. The bindfolded Osirion woman lifts each vial to her nose, sniffing at it. “This one is from the shop of Elzan’s Elixirs. I can smell his tobacco on it.” She lifts the next. “Ugh. Smell that overly floral scent? That is from Helzon. His husband perfumes everything.” She confidently names each alchemist by the scent of the vial before adding with a smile, as she turns towards you. “The scent of blood, oil, and old books could only be our Pathfinder friends.”

Amenopheus closes his book with a sigh and pushes an ancient Azlanti coin over to the Diamond Sage. “I should know better than to wager with dragons.” He gives you all a weary smile, and then says, “These games are merely distractions to relieve the tension of a serious situation. Please, take some refreshments and settle yourselves. What we have to tell you is a matter of the deepest urgency.”

It’s past midnight, GMT+0! Time to roll through box text!

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Female CG Human (Chelaxian) Fighter 11 | HP: 126/126 | AC: 25 (14 T, 22 Fl) | CMB: +16 (+21 [20] with heavy blades), CMD: 31 (33 vs disarm, sunder) | F: +19, R: +12, W: +17 (+2 vs death effects, +3 vs fear) | Init: +3 | Perc: +17, SM: +2 | Speed 30' | Active conditions: none

”MA’AM!” Eadie barks as she *snaps* to attention before her Faction leaders.

“NOBLE MENOP … SAPPHIRE SAGE!”

The young warrior shoots a dirty look in VC Akan's direction -- before realizing the pointlessness of such an action.

She then *shrugs* and collects an extra-short cup of strong Thuvian coffee, before standing at parade rest to listen.


"Doom Girl" // PbP Events // PBP Gameday VIII Player Signups // PbP GM Kit // Aeon Throne MapsPlayer Folder // Pact World Warriors //

At Eadie’s near slip-up, Diya Akan grins. Then she disappears, coming back with trays of refreshments: hummus olives, pitas, fresh fruit, and drinks made with crushed ice, lime, mint and a bit of honey. Face composed again, the blind VC passes you refreshments.

Meanwhile, Amenopheus glares at Diya as well, then sighs again. “It is good to see you again Eadie, Dunia, Quenly and... Quenly’s Dragon.”

“It is also good to meet new friends,” Tahonikepsu says, as she looks to Ariana, Fendel, and Rufeo. “I wish it were under better circumstances.”

Grand Lodge

AC 24(26 BOF), T 15, FF 23 | hp 83/114 | Fort +12, Ref +7, Will +10 (+3 vs. fear) Human Garundi Fighter 10 Init +2; Senses Perception +14 Base Atk +10; CMB +15; CMD 30

"It's a pleasure to meet you." Ariana bows and then takes some coffee and several of the local spicy sweets with a bright smile.

"Please tell us about those circumstances when you are ready."


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Tahonikepsu rises, draws forth a small metal box, and opens it to reveal an onyx gem in the cushioned interior. “Our situation is actually quite fascinating, though I agree it presents some difficulties. Each of our order’s sage jewels houses the personality and knowledge of its creator. Through field tests and research, Amenopheus has made a remarkable discovery: each of the jewels contains a second and unidentified persona. Your comrades recovered this jewel, and its former bearer knew the source of this anomaly. He can best explain the situation.”

Tahonikepsu intones a rite, and the morning light dims as the spectral image of a bronze-skinned dwarf manifests above the gem. He wears the simple garb of a warrior-monk, but his amulet bearing the ureaus over staff and scepter marks him as an advisor or guardian of the pharaohs.

“Greetings, stewards of knowledge. I am Padrym of Erekrus. I served the pharaohs of old and witnessed with sorrow the decline of a land of wonders. The Diamond Sage has asked me about a shadow within my sage jewel. I know this shadow as Aryana Tahari, an Usij necromancer who served at the court of the Pharaoh of Forgotten Plagues with me. Known to some as the Black Moon, her skill and wisdom were a dark reflection of the virtues of holy Thoth. She knew more of life and death than any living scholar of the time, and her enemies died horribly of exotic afflictions. She vanished from court for a time to her sanctuary beneath the village of Resa, set on a task the pharaoh personally assigned. I can sense her within the gemstone now, and casting back through memory, I feel her presence upon my every thought—perhaps even to my first acceptance into the order of Jeweled Sages.”

Scarab Sages

Female Oread Spiritualist (Ectoplasmatist) 10 | HP 80/83 | AC 25(29), T 14, FF 23(27) | Fort +13(15), Ref +9(11), Will +15(17) | Init +3 | Perc +14(16) | Sense Motive +17(19) | Spells Remaining: level 1 4/6, level 2 4/5, level 3 1/4, level 4 0/2 |

Dunia blanches at the description of the Onyx Shadow.

We got any sense of what personae inside de other gems? If we dealin' wit' anyt'ing connected wit' de Pharaoh of Forgotten Plagues, it'd be a good idea to get what backup we can from Sapphire an' Diamond.

Dark Archive

HP:74/74 | AC: 21 (15T/16FF) | Fort +11, Ref +14, Will +8 | Initiative: +11 | Perception +36 +1d6 (+2 vs traps) Trap Spotter 10' | Sense Motive +25 +1d6 | BUFFS: Clear Ear, Bloodboil Pill

Should Padrym speak true, this portends a much larger issue. This Aryana would have access to tremendous knowledge. Though, if she were able to attempt some overt act, why would she wait an eon? Perhaps there have been recent events to serve as a trigger. Hmm...Aryana and Ariana?

Ariana wrote:
I'm from Osarion, but desert is desert.

Am I the only one to notice this? Surely the Sages cannot believe in 'coincidence'. Though, it would be a poorly selected pseudonym for an alias. Or just enough to deflect suspicion?

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 20 + 1d6 ⇒ (17) + 20 + (5) = 42 If Padrym believes this (or seems under magical influence), and to see Ariana's reaction to the name.

Scarab Sages

Female CG Human (Chelaxian) Fighter 11 | HP: 126/126 | AC: 25 (14 T, 22 Fl) | CMB: +16 (+21 [20] with heavy blades), CMD: 31 (33 vs disarm, sunder) | F: +19, R: +12, W: +17 (+2 vs death effects, +3 vs fear) | Init: +3 | Perc: +17, SM: +2 | Speed 30' | Active conditions: none
Padrym of Erekrus wrote:
“… an Usij necromancer.”

Eadie exchanges looks with Quenly. Incorporeal undead look to be on the menu.

“Pardon my ignorance, My Lord but what’s an Uss-ij?”

Sounds like an ooze sausage -- *BLECH*

Eadie screws up her face. “So Black Moon the evil undead(?) wizard-chick, who dwells in an ancient necropolis is sending out bad vibes to the Scarab Jewels.”

“There's gotta be more, right?”

Scarab Sages

active effects:
cloak of darkness, wings of darkness, hunter's blessing, freedom of movement, heroism, false life, deathwatch
more active effects:
many forms (gnome)
M Elf Oracle (Ancient Lorekeeper) 11 | AC 29 T 19 FF 23 | HP 75/83 | F +13 R +16 W +14 | CMD 27 | Init +11 (13) | Perc +19/15 lowlight vision, scent, darkvision, see in darkness, deaf | Spells (-, 6/7, 6/7, 3/7, 5/7, 1/4)

Quenly withdraws a tiny stone scarab from his pack, and ponders on it before facing the two Sages.


active effects:
hunters blessing
Dragon (shadow conjuration draconic ally) | AC 15 T 14 FF 13 | HP 3/3 | F +5 R +5 W +4 (+4 vs mind affecting) | Init +2 | Perc +6, lowlight vision, darkvision, blindsense 60', see in darkness

In response to Eadie alone:
Indeed, Eadie. Spirits of ages long past may await us. Or may already be amongst us...

Then towards everyone:
If unknown, and potentially hostile, spirits dwell in the Sage Jewels, do they dwell also in our Scarabs?

As the dragon "voices" this concern, Quenly holds up his scarab towards the sages. This is the scarab awarded as part of the faction journal card boons.

Grand Lodge

Male NG Halfling Druid 11 | HP 80/80 | AC 22 T 13 FF 20 | CMB +12, CMD 23 | F: +12, R: +5, W: +13 | Init: +2 | Perc: +21, SM: +12 | Speed 30ft | Wild Shape: 5/5 11 hours | Spells: See Stat Block | Active conditions: Barkskin (110 minutes)

Ki'lala finds some shade and flops down. Being used to these talks, they can last a while.

Rufeo tries to digest what he just heard and begins to ponder the circumstances.

"Miss Tahonikepsu, what exactly would you like us to do?"


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Dunia Mbani wrote:

Dunia blanches at the description of the Onyx Shadow.

We got any sense of what personae inside de other gems? If we dealin' wit' anyt'ing connected wit' de Pharaoh of Forgotten Plagues, it'd be a good idea to get what backup we can from Sapphire an' Diamond.

“That is the crux of the matter. We believe that every gem may be affected by this shadow.” Amenopheus worriedly joins in. “The necromancer’s spirit has stirred recently. It may be that as more sages take up the sage jewels she grows in strength. The Usij are working to speed her awakening. With every passing year there is a growing chance she could seize control of us.”

Eadie Navhelan wrote:
Padrym of Erekrus wrote:
“… an Usij necromancer.”

Eadie exchanges looks with Quenly. Incorporeal undead look to be on the menu.

“Pardon my ignorance, My Lord but what’s an Uss-ij?”

Sounds like an ooze sausage -- *BLECH*

“You wished to know about the Usij?” Tahonikepsu says, approvingly. “Good. Forewarned is forearmed. The Usij are a scattered group of cultists who worship Ahriman and the divs. They do not function as a unified organization, and members range from maniacs seeking destruction to the wicked and power-hungry. Once, the Usij were more widespread and acted openly, serving in the courts of kings and pharaohs until the Sarenite faith drove them into hiding.” Her violet eyes are calm. “That is what I know. Some of you may know more.”

Shall we see if you do?

Knowledge History or Planes DC 25:

Usij often use their div-granted knowledge and power to infiltrate the halls of power as advisors and sages, earning sufficient trust to then undermine leaders from within, all to bring about death, misery, and destruction.

Knowledge History or Planes DC 30:

The Sarenites sanctified the remains of the Usij cultists they slew in order to keep their spirits at rest.


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Quenly's Dragon wrote:

If unknown, and potentially hostile, spirits dwell in the Sage Jewels, do they dwell also in our Scarabs?

As the dragon "voices" this concern, Quenly holds up his scarab towards the sages. This is the scarab awarded as part of the faction journal card boons.

Scarab Boon Text:

Scarab Sage Faction cards, Season 6&7 wrote:
SCRIBE (2+ goals): You gain a special scarab that gradually stores your memories and guards your life force. The gem grants a bonus on saving throws against death effects equal to 1 plus 1 for every four goals you have completed (rounded down).

Tahonikepsu studies the scarab. “That is a collector’s item. We have not made one of those in over two years.” She smiles at the little scarab jewel, then considers. “While it is true that we used some of the same techniques that we used to craft the sage jewels, we did not completely echo the sage jewel template — it is too time consuming to be mass produced. As a result... I believe that your scarabs may be safe.” She pauses, considering. “It does not hurt to be cautious, however.”

Great question. This GM had to go find the Scarabs from the Faction Journal Card Boons. Wow. They date back from Seasons 6 & 7. What a cool little boon that was!


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Fendel, CSI: Absalom wrote:

Should Padrym speak true, this portends a much larger issue. This Aryana would have access to tremendous knowledge. Though, if she were able to attempt some overt act, why would she wait an eon? Perhaps there have been recent events to serve as a trigger. Hmm...Aryana and Ariana?

Ariana wrote:
I'm from Osarion, but desert is desert.
Am I the only one to notice this? Surely the Sages cannot believe in 'coincidence'. Though, it would be a poorly selected pseudonym for an alias. Or just enough to deflect suspicion?

Fendel:
Ariana appears completely innocent.

However... If she is a clever necromancer, that could be exactly what she wants you to think... Maybe she is using nefarious magic to enhance her appearance of innocence. You never know! This matter may require more investigation later.

Everyone:
Sometimes your GM is a bit impish.


active effects:
hunters blessing
Dragon (shadow conjuration draconic ally) | AC 15 T 14 FF 13 | HP 3/3 | F +5 R +5 W +4 (+4 vs mind affecting) | Init +2 | Perc +6, lowlight vision, darkvision, blindsense 60', see in darkness

There is much hidden knowledge in the libraries of this world, and in places beyond. My elf-magic will bring us this knowledge.


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Quote:

Eadie screws up her face. “So Black Moon the evil undead(?) wizard-chick, who dwells in an ancient necropolis is sending out bad vibes to the Scarab Jewels.”

“There's gotta be more, right?”

“As always, Eadie, your blunt questions come to the crux of the matter.” Anenopheus clears his throat. “While certain desperate measures—” Tahonikepsu frowns and Amenopheus hurriedly continues, “— may not be necessary yet, I have a plan to assemble the sage jewels in this necromancer’s sanctuary. There, in a place tied to her life, we can draw forth these fragments of her mind and safely destroy them with a ritual I have devised.”

Tahonikepsu nods excitedly. “We can safely remove this annoyance and perhaps discover some wonders this Tahari hid away. Regardless of her flaws, she seems a remarkable scholar. However, our numbers are too few to safely mount such an expedition. The Pathfinders have provided exemplary aid before; please assist us once more in preserving our legacy.”

Tahonikepsu, Amenopheus, and the spirit of Padrym linger to answer any questions you have.

Scarab Sages

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active effects:
cloak of darkness, wings of darkness, hunter's blessing, freedom of movement, heroism, false life, deathwatch
more active effects:
many forms (gnome)
M Elf Oracle (Ancient Lorekeeper) 11 | AC 29 T 19 FF 23 | HP 75/83 | F +13 R +16 W +14 | CMD 27 | Init +11 (13) | Perc +19/15 lowlight vision, scent, darkvision, see in darkness, deaf | Spells (-, 6/7, 6/7, 3/7, 5/7, 1/4)

As the little dragon communicates his thoughts, Quenly fetches a large leather-bound tome from his pack. Again he gestures silently, as ribbons of darkness reach out and turn the pages of the book. The pages at first appear to be blank, empty, but the darkness pours into the book, writing words and images upon the vellum. The pages fly past, as the book fills with knowledge, and Quenly takes it in.

Quenly casts Page-Bound Epiphany

know.history, epiphany: 1d20 + 22 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 22 + 10 = 36 +3 if related to Osirion

I may now use the power of the scholar's ring to cast a Legend Lore about the Usij, but since I only get to use this power 1/week I may wait to see if I make further applicable knowledge checks.


active effects:
hunters blessing
Dragon (shadow conjuration draconic ally) | AC 15 T 14 FF 13 | HP 3/3 | F +5 R +5 W +4 (+4 vs mind affecting) | Init +2 | Perc +6, lowlight vision, darkvision, blindsense 60', see in darkness

The dragon communicates Quenly's knowledge:

It is written that the Usij often use their div-granted knowledge and power to infiltrate the halls of power as advisors and sages, earning sufficient trust to then undermine leaders from within, all to bring about death, misery, and destruction. It is a little known secret that the Sarenites sanctified the remains of the Usij cultists they slew in order to keep their spirits at rest.

We would be wise to bring holy water, or similar, on our journey.


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So, that is what you know of the Usij. What might you know of the Night Plague?

Knowledge History or Nobility DC 20:

The Pharaoh of Forgotten Plagues unleashed a terrible disease during his war with the Jistka Imperium that ravaged the Imperium’s leadership.

Knowledge History or Nobiility DC 25:

The Usij captured a Jistkan efreeti commander, transformed him into a ghul infected with the plague, and sent him back to his homeland. The disease specifically targeted the Imperium’s royal bloodline, causing a breakdown in society from which the Imperium never recovered.

Knowledge History or Nobility DC 30:

There were unconfirmed reports of immunities to the Night Plague, and the pharaoh commanded the Usij to craft a second, more deadly disease.

Scarab Sages

active effects:
cloak of darkness, wings of darkness, hunter's blessing, freedom of movement, heroism, false life, deathwatch
more active effects:
many forms (gnome)
M Elf Oracle (Ancient Lorekeeper) 11 | AC 29 T 19 FF 23 | HP 75/83 | F +13 R +16 W +14 | CMD 27 | Init +11 (13) | Perc +19/15 lowlight vision, scent, darkvision, see in darkness, deaf | Spells (-, 6/7, 6/7, 3/7, 5/7, 1/4)

Quenly once more consults the libraries of the world. As the knowledge brought from the first spell fades from his tome, he begins to work the magic again.

know.history, epiphany: 1d20 + 22 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 22 + 10 = 36 +3 if related to Osirion


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active effects:
hunters blessing
Dragon (shadow conjuration draconic ally) | AC 15 T 14 FF 13 | HP 3/3 | F +5 R +5 W +4 (+4 vs mind affecting) | Init +2 | Perc +6, lowlight vision, darkvision, blindsense 60', see in darkness

It is written that the The Pharaoh of Forgotten Plagues unleashed a terrible disease during his war with the Jistka Imperium that ravaged the Imperium’s leadership. The Usij, we assume at the Pharaoh's command, captured a Jistkan efreeti commander, transformed him into a ghul infected with the plague, and sent him back to his homeland. The disease specifically targeted the Imperium’s royal bloodline, causing a breakdown in society from which the Imperium never recovered. It is further written that there were unconfirmed reports of immunities to the Night Plague, and the pharaoh commanded the Usij to craft a second, more deadly disease.

The power of Quenly's ring now extends to potential knowledge of the Night Plague (and possibly the Pharaoh of Forgotten Plagues).

Noble sages, in my past explorations on your behalf I recall seeing evidence that the Song Pharaoh defeated the Pharoah of Forgotten Plagues. If we are to face the servants of the Pharaoh of Forgotten Plagues again, have we any further knowledge of the means by which the Song Pharaoh conquered?

Was it filks? Please say it was filks.

Dark Archive

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HP:74/74 | AC: 21 (15T/16FF) | Fort +11, Ref +14, Will +8 | Initiative: +11 | Perception +36 +1d6 (+2 vs traps) Trap Spotter 10' | Sense Motive +25 +1d6 | BUFFS: Clear Ear, Bloodboil Pill

The detective waits a moment to see what his companions know of these people and events.

Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 20 + 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 20 + (5) + 2 = 31 Includes Clear Ear
Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 20 + 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 20 + (6) + 2 = 40 Includes Clear Ear

He is remarkably well informed. Perhaps Quenly may permit me to peruse that tome at some later date.

"I concur with Quenly's assessment of the situation."

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