Navior's Serpent's Skull

Game Master Navior


8,951 to 9,000 of 9,011 << first < prev | 171 | 172 | 173 | 174 | 175 | 176 | 177 | 178 | 179 | 180 | 181 | next > last >>

"You know, I didn't even think of camping in one of the buildings," Sasha says. "That's a really good idea. We'll have to make certain they're safe first, and there might already be things living in them. Still, let's do it!"


"This way then!" Pezock declares and begins marching overland towards the buildings.

The land descends a little into a small valley, shallow enough that the tops of single-storey buildings still rise over the top. The buildings are clearly old and weathered, but look in remarkably good condition given how old the city supposedly is. It looks as though this may have once been a residential section of town. Several streets criss-cross through the buildings, and near to where you arrive, there is a wider open area that may have once been a market square.

It's very quiet here, apart from the sounds of your own movements and that of the warm, humid wind blowing softly.

Random Encounter 10%: 1d100 ⇒ 18 -- no encounter

Map
The Douena-token represents the entire party and is not to scale.


M Elf Ranger 6

Um, when did Douena become the new Godzilla? Just curious. I will say she's not nearly as terrifying. Well... maybe a little bit. ;)

Tar'kanas scans the surrounding area through narrowed eyes. "Fascinating. I'm curious to know what it is that has left this place in ruins."


Male Half-Orc Barbarian(Totem Warrior/Invulnerable Rager) : 2 Druid(Wolf Shaman) : 4

Unless the luck/bad luck is size proportionate...


Sorcerer (Draconic) 6 Dragon Disciple 1; AC 15 (19), FF 13 (17) T 12; HP 62/62;Perception +6; Spells Lvl 3: 3/4; Lvl 2: 5/6; Lvl 1: 7/7; Cantrip: at will

Urza briefly laments not continueing to follow the road as he plunges into the woods after Pezock.


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 3

"Well, there's plenty of places to choose from," Douena says brightly. She looks around for a large house without any visible damage to the roof that might make a good HQ for the group.

If we find a likely candidate, Douena will go in under Stealth (take 10 = 27) and find out if anything's already living there -- and hope that if something is, it doesn't have Issilar's insane Perception bonus.


"Wise man would rest in everyone's bed," Mahjik muses. "Perhaps keep a lookout for an inn or similar place that was designed with housing a sizeable number of people. I mean, we could go straight for a villa or mansion - but if I were an inhabitant already here, then that is where I would go. To the mansion. Not the inn."


"But what if there's nobody here?" Lorenz says. "Couldn't we then stay in a mansion? It would be nicer than an inn. And we won't know if anyone's in them unless we check first."

"I doubt mansion is the right word," Jask says. "Wrong architectural style."

Lorenz shrugs. "Well, whatever the equivalent is. Mahjik used the word first."

You begin moving about the area, examining the various buildings for appropriate places to set up camp. Up close, the walls of the buildings are carved with intricate designs, all remarkably well preserved. Intricate statues grace the grounds of some of the buildings. Sneaking inside the buildings, Douena discovers that the interior walls are carved with the same kinds of designs. Every building seems to have its own unique designs--all in the same style, but each building depicting different things. The interiors of the buildings contain remnants of furniture, although not as well preserved as the buildings themselves. Any fabrics have rotted away, but wood, clay, and stone objects remain. She finds no living things in any of these buildings.

To the west, past a small batch of trees, you find a small group of buildings separated from the rest, on of which is a small step pyramid. One of the other buildings in this section may have once been an inn or tavern--at the very least it's large and has multiple rooms, and could well be a good place to set up base.

To the east, the trees part and you get a much better view of the city proper, sprawling out majestically around a central lake. It's clear that the area you have entered by must be some sort of suburb, as the rest of the city is filled with larger buildings, bigger sculptures, and lots of pyramids. The things that most draw your eyes, however, are immensely tall spires that rise from the tops of already immensely tall ziggurats. Although you cannot see the whole city from where you are, you can see these spires rising up above everything else. There are seven of them altogether, spread out around the city.

Two spires are relatively close to you. One is to the south and looks relatively easy to get to. The other is on an island in the central lake and may be a bit tougher to get to. There are bridges, but they don't look in a good state of repair. The next closest spire is to the north-east. The remaining spires are on the far side of the lake.

Other notable things near to you include a series of canals near the lake. The canals still carry water, but the land around them is not currently cultivated. Eight small ziggurats line the canals.

Map Updated
I've put a large red C in the spot that might make a good site to set up your base, though feel free to choose other spots. I've marked the two nearest spires with an X.


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 3

"This place is huge!" Douena marvels. "Do you think it's all empty?"

Can we tell from the architecture/decor if this city was inhabited by humans or snake-people or vampires or what? Any sign of a temple that we can distinguish?


Male Half-Orc Barbarian(Totem Warrior/Invulnerable Rager) : 2 Druid(Wolf Shaman) : 4

"That depends on just how much in your goddess's good graces the rest of us are."


Douena Trestleben wrote:
Can we tell from the architecture/decor if this city was inhabited by humans or snake-people or vampires or what? Any sign of a temple that we can distinguish?

Based on the architecture and furniture, the buildings were definitely constructed for use by humanoids of Medium size, and most likely human-like humanoids--it's unlikely they were inhabited by serpentfolk or other reptilian humanoids. With closer examination, you can determine more information.

Knowledge (history) DC 12:
The architectural style definitely resembles the Azlanti style, meaning that this was likely originally an Azlanti city.

A closer look at the carvings on the buildings' walls shows that the intricate geometric designs and pictures seem to tell stories. With lengthy study, it should be possible to work out details about the people who built the city and their histories by studying the designs.

In game terms, after every full day of uninterrupted study of the designs, you may make a DC 20 Knowledge (history) check to uncover information about the city. These checks may be repeated (provided you spend another full day of study for each check). After every successful check, the DC for further checks in the same district of the city increases by 2. You need to move to a new district of the city to reset the DC to 20. There are seven main districts to the city (one for each spire). The suburb you are in now counts as part of the northern district, the spire for which is to the northeast (and not currently visible on the map). You are right at the southern edge of the district.

Note: There are other ways to uncover secrets of the city for those who don't relish the idea of studying carvings for days on end. You'll have to find those methods out by exploring the city some more.


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 3

"If it is empty, maybe we could move all the monkey-people here," Douena suggests cheerily. "It's a lot bigger than Tazion."


"Not until after we've found all the treasure," Pezock says, walking up beside Douena. He gestures out at the city. "I'm willing to bet the buildings with the spires have great treasure in them. Once we've collected what is there, then we can move the monkey people in."


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 3

"But where did all the people go? If they left on purpose, they'll have taken their treasure with them."


Pezock looks down at Douena, a hint of anger or disappointment in his eyes. "But that was our express purpose in coming here!" he protests. "If there's no treasure, then what was the point of it all? No! There must be treasure. I've been waiting for ages for treasure and I intend to find treasure!"

He draws his sabre and points towards the spire to the south. "I say we start there! You and I can go while the others set up their camp."


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 3

"Okay!"

Douena skips after Pezock.


Sorcerer (Draconic) 6 Dragon Disciple 1; AC 15 (19), FF 13 (17) T 12; HP 62/62;Perception +6; Spells Lvl 3: 3/4; Lvl 2: 5/6; Lvl 1: 7/7; Cantrip: at will

Urza follows the two intrepid treasure hunters.


Lorenz looks over as Douena and Pezock start wandering off and Urza follows them. "Uh... Should we go with them?" he asks the others. "It could be dangerous. They might need help."

"Ishirou and I could use some help securing the inn," Sasha says as she passes by him.

"Oh, uh, sure," Lorenz replies, and follows her.

"Makoa, Mahjik, Tar'kanas," Jask calls, "why don't you accompany Douena, Pezock, and Urza? The rest of us can handle things back here."


M Elf Ranger 6

Tar'kanas nods. "Probably wise. Come, Untari." He then heads out with the others, his trusted feline right behind him.


Knowledge (history), sage ability: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12

"Huh, wise man should've thought of that," Mahjik mutters to himself. He points out some stereotypical features: "See here, this is pretty reminiscent of ancient Azlanti building style. ...oh? What? Oh, ya sure, I'll join the explorers."


The six of you (I'm assuming Makoa goes along too) head southwards further into the city, leaving the others to finish with the campsite. Although the buildings in this area of the city are in the same style as those in the area you entered, these ones seem more prone to overgrowth from the jungle. Many of them have moss and vines growing on their walls. The ground is also somewhat muddy as the nearby canal seems to have overflowed in the recent past.

One building, in particular stands out as you walk along the streets, your destination still a ways off. This low, one-storey building is almost completely overgrown by thick vines and surrounded by a forest of sharp stakes on which have been impaled numerous small simian skulls. Full skeletons, held together by strips of flesh and sinew, hang from stakes higher on the building's walls.

As you approach closer to the building, most of you spot a hint of movement on the building's roof (only Douena doesn't notice). Something is crouched low, using the vines as cover.

"Seems we have company," Pezock says quietly with a grin. "There are a couple more hiding to the sides of the building as well."

The figure makes no aggressive moves right away. Its intention--for the moment, at least--seems to be to watch.

Douena Perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (2) + 13 = 15
Mahjik Perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (9) + 13 = 22
Makoa Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Tar’kanas Perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (9) + 13 = 22
Urza Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
Untari Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Pezock Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (17) + 12 = 29

DM Stuff:
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (20) + 13 = 33
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (18) + 13 = 31
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (11) + 13 = 24
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (14) + 13 = 27
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (17) + 13 = 30
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (7) + 13 = 20

Map Updated
The building is marked with an "E" on the map.


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 3

"We definitely have to clean this up before we move in the monkey-men," Douena says in a tone of clear disapproval, distracted by the macabre display on the building's walls.


Sorcerer (Draconic) 6 Dragon Disciple 1; AC 15 (19), FF 13 (17) T 12; HP 62/62;Perception +6; Spells Lvl 3: 3/4; Lvl 2: 5/6; Lvl 1: 7/7; Cantrip: at will

"Urza hopes they are shy, but friendly. That would be a welcome change."


"Those skulls don't look very friendly," Pezock says.


Male Half-Orc Barbarian(Totem Warrior/Invulnerable Rager) : 2 Druid(Wolf Shaman) : 4

"For now let's leave them alone. If they don't bother us, I'd rather not waste time fighting them."


"Agreed, the skulls may just be a warning to unfriendly ape people. Though I must admit, they are setting themselves up very defensible."


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 3

"Well, it's not like they're going to get a visit from any friendly ape people," Douena points out, waving her hand at the skeletal decor. "Not with their house decorated like that. If you walk into someone's room and they have a person-skin rug, are you going to be friendly?" She thinks a moment. "Do you think Aycenia would be offended by a house made of wood? Being a tree-person, I mean? Of course, her house is made of wood. But it's not dead wood."


Sorcerer (Draconic) 6 Dragon Disciple 1; AC 15 (19), FF 13 (17) T 12; HP 62/62;Perception +6; Spells Lvl 3: 3/4; Lvl 2: 5/6; Lvl 1: 7/7; Cantrip: at will

"I think she would understand that we live in houses made of wood that has been cut, but I doubt she would be happy to have one for herself."


M Elf Ranger 6

Catching sight of the watcher, Tar'kanas keeps a firm grip upon his bow while a low growl escapes Untari. Bending at the knees to be at a more even level with his animal friend, "Hold, Untari. Makoa speaks right: no reason for battle if they choose to leave us be." Keeping an eye in the direction of the watcher for a moment longer, he rises and returns to the task at hand. "Let us continue on to the next building. But remain alert if they decide we are no longer welcome."


The creatures don't make any move towards you as you cautiously pass by the building. You see the one on the roof shift position slightly to keep watching you as you move away, but otherwise, they remain still.

"I don't trust having them behind us," Pezock grumbles as you walk on.

A block or so further along, you cross a small bridge over the canal. As you reach the other side, Mahjik and Pezock catch sight of several creatures darting across an open space back on the previous side of the canal and then back under cover. Although he does not get a particularly good look at them and he also didn't get a particularly good look at the ones hiding by the building covered in skulls, Mahjik is fairly certain these are the same type of creatures, if not the exact same ones. They are tall humanoids with long arms. They appear to be following the party.

Map Updated

Douena Perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (1) + 13 = 14
Mahjik Perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (19) + 13 = 32
Makoa Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
Tar’kanas Perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (1) + 13 = 14
Urza Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
Untari Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Pezock Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (17) + 12 = 29

DM Stuff:
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (16) + 13 = 29
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (16) + 13 = 29
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (4) + 13 = 17
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (2) + 13 = 15
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (14) + 13 = 27
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (8) + 13 = 21

Random Encounter 20%: 1d100 ⇒ 81 -- no encounter


Sorcerer (Draconic) 6 Dragon Disciple 1; AC 15 (19), FF 13 (17) T 12; HP 62/62;Perception +6; Spells Lvl 3: 3/4; Lvl 2: 5/6; Lvl 1: 7/7; Cantrip: at will

Urza stops and begins to turn a circle, trying to get even a glimpse of the creatures. "Urza is beginning to agree with Pezock. We will soon have to decide what we will do about the creatures shadowing us for Urza fears he will not approve of their intentions."


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 3

"Let's see how they like this," Douena suggests. Going back to the bridge they just crossed, she waves her arms in the air and incants, "Ooga booga frooga doo! Bibbledy bobbledy boom!" Reaching down, she plants her palm on the bridge and leaves behind her visible arcane mark right in the middle of the span. Nodding with satisfaction, she runs to rejoin the rest of the party. "That ought to make them think twice about following us across."

Take 10 on Bluff = 22 to make anyone watching think she set some sort of magic trap or symbol on the bridge


It's impossible for them to get anything higher than a 21 on their Sense Motive rolls, so no point rolling. :)

Pezock nods approvingly at Douena's actions. "Well done," he says. "At the very least, it should delay them."


"Mostly depends on whether their superstition exceeds their curiosity or propensity for violence. For now, at least, they've not done anything. If they attack us at a later stage... it's not really different from if they attacked us now"


Sorcerer (Draconic) 6 Dragon Disciple 1; AC 15 (19), FF 13 (17) T 12; HP 62/62;Perception +6; Spells Lvl 3: 3/4; Lvl 2: 5/6; Lvl 1: 7/7; Cantrip: at will

"Urza thinks it wise to hurry along while they delay."


Leaving the creatures behind on the other side of the bridge, you continue on towards the giant ziggurat, which towers over everything in this vicinity. The only other building of note that you spot is a pentagonal building to the east, rising out of the waters of the lake. You get the impression that it was originally built on dry ground, but the lake has expanded around it. Surprisingly, no plant life appears to have grown along the building's walls.

The ziggurat rises at least 100 feet and the stone spire on top of it rises another 100 feet or so. The sides of the ziggurat's tiers are carved with images of mounds of treasure and merchants trading wares. A grand staircase ascends the north side all the way to the top.

"Ha!" Pezock exclaims. "What did I tell you? Treasure!"

Map Updated
The pentagonal building rising out of the water is labelled E5. I've also changed the previous label to E2. (The numbers correspond to the numbers in the book, making it easier for me to keep track of them, and for you to tell them apart.)


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 3

"I bet we can see everything from up there," Douena remarks, tipping her head up toward the sky and shading her eyes with her hand as she looks to the top of the spire.


"There is probably an entrance at the top as well," Pezock says. "A way to the treasure. Though the treasure may not be along such an obvious route." He begins to pace as he ponders. "It will probably be hidden. Perhaps there are secret ways in."


Male Half-Orc Barbarian(Totem Warrior/Invulnerable Rager) : 2 Druid(Wolf Shaman) : 4

"So do we build a boat then? After all the time spent on the island, there is also the possibility of swimming. It doesn't look too far off the land."


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 3

Douena's eyes light up with excitement. "Pezock and I built a boat," she reminds the half-orc, inadvertently inflating her nonexistent role in the construction of the craft, "and then Urza set it on fire, and we watched it burn! Remember?"


"There will be time for boats later," Pezock says, his eyes never leaving the inscriptions on the ziggurat. "I want treasure first!"


Sorcerer (Draconic) 6 Dragon Disciple 1; AC 15 (19), FF 13 (17) T 12; HP 62/62;Perception +6; Spells Lvl 3: 3/4; Lvl 2: 5/6; Lvl 1: 7/7; Cantrip: at will

Without a word, Urza begins walking up the ziggurat stairs.


"Wise man would heed the lack of weapons on warriors. See these buildings here? See that one over there? These have jungle on them - but that one does not. That's a little strange. Either somebody has kept the building 'clean' or something keeps the walls devoid of life." Mahjik follows Urza, but keeps a wary eye out.


M Elf Ranger 6

With his bow in hand and Untari following close behind, Tar'kanas follows behind the others looking as if he's contemplating something. "I do not understand. For what reason would you build a boat just to watch it burn?"


"For what reason would you build a boat not to watch it burn?" Pezock responds as he, too, begins climbing the ziggurat stairs.


The stairs are quite steep, needing to ascend 100 feet over a horizontal distance a fraction of that amount. As such, it is a tiring climb. The main staircase ends at the tier just below the top, where a vine-covered door allows entrance into the building. The door is marked with the same types of images that are carved into the rest of the ziggurat.

A smaller flight of stairs to the side ascends the final 10 feet to the very top where the spire then rises another 100 ft in the air. The view from the top of ziggurat is breath-taking. To the north, east, and south, the lake and city spread out, and for the first time, you are able to truly realise just how big this city really is. To the west and beyond the city in the other directions, thick jungle spreads out across the remainder of the valley and up the valley walls.

From this vantage point, you are able to make note of several things in and about the city. At the southwest corner of this ziggurat, there appears to have been a subsidence in the ground and a sinkhole has opened up. A few blocks to the northeast, you can see figures moving cautiously over the bridge where Douena left her arcane mark. Further out, you can easily place the positions of the other six giant ziggurats with their equally tall spires rising into the sky.

You can see that a total of four bridges lead to the islands in the centre of the lake, but only one of them (the most northerly one) looks intact enough to cross easily.

To the far south of the city, there is a smaller lark of much darker water than the central lake.

And here and there, throughout the city, you can occasionally make out tiny figures moving about. The city is definitely not uninhabited.

Full City Map
The seven spired-ziggurats have all been marked with a red X, although they may be a bit difficult to see at this scale. I'll see what I can do about making them more noticeable.


Female Gnome Cleric 4/ Rogue (burglar) 3

"I wonder if this could be a temple to Abadar," Douena muses. "He's all about money and shopping."

Douena will check the door for traps (take 10 = 25) and see if it's locked. Do we need to clear away the vines first?


"Could be, Abadar in his truest form is bringing about civilization - this fabled place could be one of his earliest great successes." Mahjik takes a moment to take it all in, and catch a breather, "Just look at the place. It is massive. Maybe enough for some 50 000, or more?"


M Elf Ranger 6
Pezock aka Navior wrote:
"For what reason would you build a boat not to watch it burn?" Pezock responds as he, too, begins climbing the ziggurat stairs.

Tar'kanas ponders the question a moment before looking to the bird man stoically. "To use it to cross water," he responds matter of factly.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tar'kanas wrote:
Pezock aka Navior wrote:
"For what reason would you build a boat not to watch it burn?" Pezock responds as he, too, begins climbing the ziggurat stairs.
Tar'kanas ponders the question a moment before looking to the bird man stoically. "To use it to cross water," he responds matter of factly.

Pezock waves his hand dismissively. "Bah! And when you no longer need it to cross water any more? When its usefulness has come to an end?" His eyes narrow ominously and in a quiet voice, he says, "You burn it."

In his usual louder voice, he continues, "My dear friend Captain Zoventai wouldn't have hesitated to burn the Crow's Tooth if the ship were of no further use to her. She was an amazing individual. A radiant tengu with bright red feathers! She gave me my sword, you know, and I carry it in her honour."

He leans in somewhat menacingly close to Tar'kanas and speaks quietly again: "Never speak ill of her again."

He then turns away from Tar'kanas, seeming to forget about the elf entirely. He pats his sword and mumbles, "Yes, I miss her too."

8,951 to 9,000 of 9,011 << first < prev | 171 | 172 | 173 | 174 | 175 | 176 | 177 | 178 | 179 | 180 | 181 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Online Campaigns / Play-by-Post / Navior's Serpent's Skull All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.