The invitation delivered last night was remarkably simple especially given the importance of the occasion: "Start where it all began. Meet us that the Pig's Paunch one hour before dawn."
The Pig's Paunch is a run-down building with a faded sign of a large pig standing on its hind legs, arms folded above a corpulent belly. Inside, the air is thick with the scents of human sweat, stale tobacco, and leftover food. In the center of the room, surround by inebriates, sleeping off their revelries, a familiar elven man stands high up on a top of a large round table.
"Welcome ! Welcome, my students! Please, have a seat!" With that Kreighton Shaine, the Pathfinder Society's Master of Scrolls, nimbly drops down to sit cross-legged in the table before looking about the tavern with a sense of reverent wonder. "Can you believe it? It all started here years ago -- well over four-hundred of them at least. Under this very roof the Pathfinder Society was born."
"But today! Today you will begin your Confirmation! Master Farabellus, Master Zey, and I all agree you each have shown your worth and dedication to the Society, as there's no better time to see if you can handle becoming full field operatives. Allow me to introduce you to Janira Gavix," he says as he motions for an excitable halfling to approach.
|Janira Gavix - NPC|
|Janira Gavix - NPC|
Janira speaks up in an enthusiastic and cheerful voice, "Greetings, aspiring Pathfinders! Six months ago, while I was mapping cave entrances in the foothills of the Kortos Mounts, I witnessed a lone gillman entering a concealed cave. I thought little of it at the time, but I saw another one enter the cave again a month later as my Confirmation stretched on. A few days later, after I completed my assigned task, I entered the cave system but was unable to find the gillman."
Master Shaine hops to his feet. "Initiates, for your Confirmation, you will travel to these caves to explore and document its many passages. Additionally, and most importantly, you are to learn what the gillmen are up in there. Oh, and you need to come back alive as well." With these parting words, the Master of Scrolls jumps off the table and strolls out of the building while humming to himself.
Have you seen spoilers in game before? If not, roll your check if you have the appropriate skill, and the read the boxes for which you die roll qualifies you. If you roll a 18 for example, you can read the ones with DC below that. If you don;t have the skill, or don't make the roll, its best not to peek at the spoilers. It's info your character doesn't know yet. If you do find the info out, it can be good to post it in-character so the group can benefit from your knowledge.
During your training time with the Society, you may have had a chance to learn something about the Isle of Kortos, which is home to the City at the Center of the World, Absalom. A particularly studious or observant initiate may have learned a little bit more about the Kortos Mounts.
Long hours spent by some initiates in the Grand Lodge's libraries may afford them additional knowledge of gillmen which may be relevant on this mission.
|Janira Gavix - NPC|
After Shaine departs, Janira pulls out a large leather-bound journal and opens it on the table. "Before we set out, we should all get to know each other and review our plan. After all, the most important factors that determine whether an expedition will be a success are cooperation and preparation. I'll go first!"
Janira goes on to explain that she joined the Society 4 years ago after coming of age. "My family live in Absalom where my father employs a dogcare to transport goods from the docks to homes of customers. My family reveres the goddess Desna, but I respect all faiths and religions." Additionally she tells you that her time with the Society so far has been under the Master of Scrolls, focusing on learning and preserving knowledge. She aspires to have her own work published in the Pathfinder Chronicles. "I have a life-long love of learning! I hope to become a Chronicler myself some day."
With her story told, she looks at each of you in turn and asks: "What about you? What made you decide to join the Pathfinder Society?"
Feel free to share the background of your character. What makes it a unique individual and not just a collections of stats? Examples of what you might tell are: How long were you an initiate, or did you get a field commission? Where did you grow up? Where have you traveled before coming ot the Grand Lodge? Do you have a favorite class, teacher, or training exercise? How do you handle yourself in a fight?
Further, feel free to describe your character. What are they wearing? What tattoos or marking or other unique markings might they have? You are the star for a moment, so take a turn.
Even though she is a grown up woman, Lady Naysha looks like a young, teenage girl. She has black hair, a bright smile, and eyes that sparkle with joy. She wears very fancy clothes and jewelry, and always carries around her beloved stuffed rabbit, Miss Whiskers.
When she is given a letter by a messenger to meet for her second assignment, it is very late! Lady Naysha was in her garden, playing with her fairy friends. Pixies, and brownies and fairies and lots of others too! She had waved goodbye and skipped off to prepare for her mission! And get some sleep!
But, the next morning when she skipped down the road to get to the Pig's Paunch, all of her fey friends followed her. She couldn't see them right now, but even walking through the roads of Absalom she knew they were there!
When she opened the door and went into the Pig's Paunch, she giggled. "This place is DIRTY!"
Lots of people turned to look at her. She only looked like a child. They did not think she belonged. But, Lady Naysha did not mind. She knew she did. She was a Pathfinder. And a good one. Even though she had already gone on a mission, today was her Confirmation! She was SO EXCITED!
When she sees Mr. Shane on top of the table, she waves happily. "Hi! Why are you standing on that table?" she asks. "Neat!" She climbs up onto the table and sits down on top of it, just like him. During his speech she claps her hands and says "Oh, boy!"
When Janira bows, Lady Naysha smiles at her, showing off all of her sparkling clean teeth. "Nice to meet you, Janira! I'm Lady Naysha! And THIS is Miss Whiskers!" She holds up a big, stuffed rabbit toy. "She's happy to meet you too!"
"Okay BYE!" Lady Naysha calls as the Master of Scroll leaves.
Turning to the others she says, "That elf is SO FUNNY!"
Knowledge Geography (untrained: Max DC 10): 1d20 + 0 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 0 + 1 = 6
Lady Naysha thinks hard about all the places Mr. Shaine talked about, but she does not remember anything!
"Oh, it is VERY nice to meet you Janira!" Looking at all of her new friends, Lady Naysha stands up on the table and curtsies politely. "Hi! I'm Lady Naysha! And THIS is Miss Whiskers!" She held up a big, stuffed rabbit toy. "Miss Whiskers gives me magic powers! She's very friendly!"
The stuffy doesn't seem to move or anything.
"And these are my fairy friends!" she says pointing behind her. "Come out, fairy friends!"
Nothing seems to come out.
Lady Naysha giggles like it's a real funny joke! "They're very silly." she explains. "In my last mission one of my fairy friends stuck an apple in an evil elf wizard's mouth!" She laughs loudly. "He was trying to mind control my friends! But, it did not work!"
Lady Naysha sits back down and thinks. "Hmmm... Where to start? My family are all nobles! We have lots of houses in lots of countries. When I was a little girl--which was a long time ago--I played in our yards and gardens with Miss Whiskers. One day, Miss Whiskers showed me how to go into the world of the fairies! IT WAS SO MUCH FUN THERE!"
Lady Naysha gives Miss Whiskers a big hug. "And we made lots of friends! We met brownies, pixies and lots of other fey. We played games, made jokes, played tricks and had fun, fun, fun! But, eventually we had to go home. It was not as fun there, but I thought my butler might be worried. He was supposed to take care of me. But when I got back he was gone, and my parents had come back from their trip. They were very old looking, and cried a lot."
Lady Naysha giggles. She seems to think this is funny.
"I never looked older after that, and I never got boring, either. My parents wanted me to be merchants and go to fancy parties, but I didn't like that. So when I was an adult I moved into our home in Absalom. This is where I first I met my fairies friends, you know. And I hired my old butler, cause he was really nice. But he's so old now! Mostly he just sleeps!" She giggles again. "I joined the Pathfinders, because I always like to see new things! But, I also work as a magician! I love to bring wonder and joy to children of all ages! I'm also a comedian, which is how I make boring grown-ups smile. They don't like magic tricks much for some reason."
"Hmmm... Oh! And this is my Confirmation, but I have already been on a mission! I was sent to rescue the Minotaur Prince Nuar from a magical maze called Delirium's Tangle! You might have heard the stories. He tells them ALL the time."
Lady Naysha nods her head and looks at her new friends. "SO?" she asks. "WHO ARE ALL OF YOU?"
She watches everyone else tell their stories with a big smile on her face. Sometimes she whispers something to Miss Whiskers, or to her invisible friends, but no one ever sees them move or answer back.
Zaraah, a scrawny girl with auburn hair and amber eyes, is sitting on her chair with closed eyes. Her features seem Chelaxian but also have something else mixed in.
She is wearing light leather armor and carries a Rapier at her hip that is attached to her wrist with a very fine chain.
Zaraah seems to be dreaming when Janira's question and Lady Naysha's introduction pull her out of her state of trance. After Lady Naysha concludes her story she suddenly jumps up and runs to her side.
"Oh me second, me second please!!" She turns towards the other soon-to-be Pathfinders and has a slightly absent view when she starts speaking.
"You know Lady Naysha ... I really like you and your invisible fairies ... and I have the feeling that I have heard of you and Miss Whiskers ... but who told me about you ... everything is so fuzzy ..."
20 seconds of silence
"It actually is not as straight forward as you might believe. Well, my father is a devil worshiper ... or so I believe, my mother is dead, my eldest sibling is dead and I have two brothers and a sister - which are alive I assure you!" she says giggling.
10 seconds of silence
"Oh yes ... I grew up near Palin's Cove, an industrial town near Korvosa in southeast Varisia but after ..."
Tears are visible in her eyes.
"... after a while ... we moved to Leng Hao, a village full of Kitsune and Halflings in the Forest of Spirits east of Hongal. I became a Pathfinder because my brother Kioshi went on a great adventure and became a Pathfinder ... so I said to myself that I could do that, too! Well, Andor did the same before me but I swear that I convinced Setare!" and she starts to smile proudly.
"What else do you need to know ... hmmm ... I am super weak but super fast. I can fight a little but I can talk better! Sometimes ... "
15 seconds of silence
"... well ... sometimes it might sound crazy but I promise it will be logical!"
She starts to move to her chair when she suddenly whirls around.
"Oh no ... I almost forgot the most important topic! Religion! So Desna is super great Janira but what would Desna do without her good friend Chaldira?!? Not much! So if you want to learn the lessons of Chaldira then plese come to me!" and with this concluding remark she sits down on her chair and closes her eyes again.
Harkus walks into the building with pep in his step. His Confirmation is finally here! He is tall, muscular, and wearing a set of scale mail armor. He bows his head to the Master of Scrolls before taking a seat on a nearby chair.
He listens intently to the speech and bows to Janira when she is introduced. After Master Shaine leaves, Harkus thinks back to his lessons, trying to recall any pertinent information.
Knowledge Geography (untrainedL Max DC 10): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Harkus bows his head to his fellow aspiring Pathfinders and listens to their stories as he waits for his turn to speak. Invisible fairies, a magical bunny, devil worshiping fathers, such interesting people! This is already much more interesting than home, he thinks to himself.
When it is his turn to speak, Harkus stands up from his chair and introduces himself. ”Greetings, my name is Harkus.” He then pauses a moment.
”Sorry, but I don't have any interesting stories or facts to tell. I am from a small town where not much happened. My father was captain of the guard and as such I was expected to follow in his footsteps. I was a guard for several years but I grew tired of doing nothing but jailing drunks. So I decided to join the Society.”
He looks around and continues, ”I look forward to working with all of you, and hopefully this is the first of many exciting days for us all.” He then returns to his seat to listen to the others.
Lady Naysha smiles at Zaraah. "Gee, thanks! We like you too!"
As Zaraah talks, Lady Naysha turns her head funny. She is listening to something no one else can hear. "OF COURSE!" she yells suddenly. "I KNOW!" Lady Naysha smiles widely. "Your brother Andor was on my last mission with me! He showed up LATE!"
Lady Naysha covers her mouth and giggles. Then she whispers in Miss Whiskers long ear, "Good catch, Miss Whiskers!"
"Continue!" she says happily, waving her hand for Zaraah to finish her story.
"Hi, Harkus! It's nice to meet you! You look really strong! Can you pick up this table?" she asks curiously. "Can you pick up this table with me sitting on it?"
Finvarra is average height for a halfling, though a littler lighter than most from spending time wanderlusting. He has blue eyes and long, dark brown hair kept in a topknot(Kender style). He is usually always found in his leathers because he hates having to patch up his woolen travel clothes from all the thorny branch snags. In his cloak he has different types of leaves, moss, twigs and feathers sewn in.
Fin's eyes are a little wide from watching Lady Naysha bounce around, reminding him of chipmunks and squirrels in the spring time.
"Good-morrow, I am Finvarra but after people get to know me it usually becomes Fin. Not much of a back story, love to spend time wandering the woods and mountains. Almost got killed by a small pack of goblins while protecting a tree they were attacking, became a druid apprentice shortly afterwards. Figured joining the Pathfinder Society would help in my travels to see other natural locations."
Crossing arms and tapping his chin with a finger, Fin ponders if he knows anything about this Kortos Mounts.
Knowledge Geography(trained): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
"Oh yes, think I recall skimming something that said there was a lot of fighting between centaurs and harpies. Wars are bad on the natural vegetation and animals. Wonder if any of the local druids would need assistance?"
A leather clad gnome enters wearing a fine top hat.
"Hi everyone! I'm Toban Tangletop!"
Toban is short even for a gnome. He is barely over 3 feet tall and weighs 37 pounds. Toban has a rather large bottom lip that flaps when he speaks. He has black hair and a wildly long moustache. Toban's top hat clashes somewhat with the rest of his leather outfit.
Toban heads over to a table that has leftover food and inspects it. He sticks his finger into the old meal and then sticks the finger in his mouth. "Hmmmmm...."
"It started here? Well now." Toban looks around the establishment, perhaps with a new sense of appreciation.
"Kortos, hey? Hmmmmm...." Toban taps his bottom lip, which makes a popping sound.
Knowledge Geography: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
"Nope! Never heard of it!"
"Gillmen, hey? Hmmmmm..." Toban taps his bottom lip, which again makes a popping sound.
Konwledge History: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8 +2 higher if Monster Lore ability applies.
"Hmmm. I think I've forgotten something I once knew about Gillmen."
"Dogs hey Janira? You know I was once going to try my luck at dog racing in Elberwick Rise. But you know what?! I was disqualified! They said I couldn't race a blink dog! Can you imagine?"
"You know what Lady Naysha? Some of the dirtiest, and I mean filthy! Some of the dirtiest establishments make the tastiest food! Could be that little extra something something. Ha ha!" Toban laughs and snorts loudly.
"That is one mighty fine looking rabbit!" Toban winks at Miss Whiskers.
“Palin’s Cove. Yes, very smoky. Very sooty.” Toban nods his head. “Forest of Spirits? Well that certainly sounds very interesting! Yes, yes.”
“Harkus sure does look like a very strong lad! Yes, yes!”
“Bad on the vegetation and animals? That is not good. Not good at all.”
“I’m Toban Tangletop! Master chef!”
Toban will walk around the room as he’s speaking and will heartily shake everyone’s hand.
“I’ve done just about everything throughout my days. Although, nowadays you can often find me at the church of Shelyn cooking in the kitchen. Although I do love to travel! Taste new foods! Learn new recipes! Find rare ingredients. I really enjoy learning about old cultures and the food they ate. Cooking is an art!”
|Janira Gavix - NPC|
"My what an interesting group this time!" says Janira with a big smile. "I am sure you will all be fine if you follow the Pathfinder tenets of "Report, Explore, and Cooperate" I am sure they have become like second-nature to you by now."
"On to the details of th emission at hand," Janira says with an eager grin. "After reviewing my mission reports personally, Master Shaine believes it is no coincidence that each time the gillmen entered the caves it was a full moon, so it is no coincidence that you have been called here now, just a day before the moon is full again. We both believe that tomorrow night is our best chance to find out why these caves are important and what exactly the gillmen are doing in there."
"The caves we'll be travelling to lie under the base of the Kortos Mounts. We'll need to spend every minute of daylight possible to reach the caves by foot, crossing over the Cairnlands, taking the paths to Diobel, and finally making our way through the wilderness. With any luck we won't run into any of the local inhabitants. Once in the caves, we'll need to work together to explore and determine whether any gillmen are present or have been recently. Keep an eye out for any other clues that might hint at the caves' significance, too."
Do you have any questions for Janira, before she moves on?
Growing up on the outskirts on the northern edge of Andoran along the five kings mountains Sekell was not very used to crowded pubs or loud groups of people. Years spent exploring dark caves sometimes for weeks at a time alone have not helped with overall social skills. Once he entered pig's paunch, he found a dark secluded corner and listened and observed as Janira and Kreighton outlined the confirmation.
know(geo)untrained: 1d20 ⇒ 3
know(hist)untrained: 1d20 ⇒ 18
My confirmation involves exploring a new cave system. Excellent! Hmm and gillman, an amphibious species, mysteriously entering the cave. I wonder what it means? The idea of exploring a mysterious cave causes Sekell to retreat into thought. Lists possible equipment to take and underground creatures and mysteries fill his mind. So much so that he spaces out as the others introduce themselves. He catches the names, but not much else as he goes over lists of vermin he might be able find in a cave system in the this part of the world.
He snaps out of it as Janira begins to talk about the caves again. He stands up suddenly knocking his drink off the table. He pulls down his hood to reveal dark purple skin with elven features. Anyone there might mistake him as a Drow if it weren't for the larrge fluorescent pink eyes.
"I am terribly sorry. It has been weeks, WEEKS, since I've been underground and I just couldn't help myself from daydreaming about the lovely dark confined spaces we'll be crawling through soon." Everyone can see his eyes start to cloud over as he begins thinking about it again, but he vigorously shakes his head. "I am Sekell Wriggleroot, avid hunter and roamer of caves, dungeons and ruins at your service."
With his introduction out of the way, Sekell immediately turns to Janira. "What kind of creatures are common to underground areas in this region? How is the cave entrance concealed, with a mechanism or something more natural? Did you find any other ways into the cave system or was it supposedly a closed loop? But no of you didn't find another entrance otherwise the gillman disappearing wouldn't be such a mystery. A hidden door? Yes maybe a hidden door only accessible on the day of the full moon! But why the full moon?"
His questions very quickly turn into mumbling as Sekell sits back down, once again his attention retreating into his own thoughts. Subconsciously he pulls out a lockpick to twirl around in his fingers as he continues to mumble to himself. Anyone close enough can clearly tell he is continuing the thought about a possible hidden door and how it could be related to the full moon.
"It is a pleasure meeting you all! Oh Lady Naysha ... yes ... you are right, Andor told me about you and the old man and the dwarven lady and the grumpy Samurai." she says with a sleepy smile.
"Harkus, Toban and Finvarra ... I would love to hear more of you during our travel under the full moon! Ohh ... wonderful ..." she says with closed eyes and continues in a slow voice
"Yes Janira ... 'Explore, Cooperate, and Report' we got that ...
10 seconds of silence
" ... and ... and we will try our best to understand what the gillmen are doing and check out our surroundings!
"Hi, Finvarra! Now that we're introduced we're friends already! So I'm going to call you Fin! Okay, thanks!" She smiles and waves hello.
"Hi Toban!" Lady Naysha says with a smile. She picks up Miss Whiskers furry paw and waves it at him. "Miss Whisker's says 'Hi', too!"
"Secret doors?" Lady Naysha asks Sekell. "I don't see any! I think you're getting ahead of yourself. You haven't even seen the cave, yet, silly!" Lady Naysha giggles. Then she waves at him. "Hi! I'm glad you're excited!"
Lady Naysha nods. "Oh yes, Janira! Explore, report, cooperate! We sure will!" She nods Miss Whiskers furry head, as well.
She looks confused. "Why don't we want to meet the local inhabitants, Janira? Who are they? What are they? Aren't they nice? I bet some magic tricks would cheer them up!"
"Can you tell us about the Cairnlands? What are they? And the road to Diobel... Diobel's a city, right? I've been there a long time ago, but what are the roads to get there like? Are they safe?"
"We get to travel through the wilderness? Oh, what fun! What kind of wilderness? There's lots, you know! Is it some lovely forests? Or a flower meadow?"
"Can you tell us if you are coming with us, Janira? I like you!"
Harkus looks at Lady Naysha, a little puzzled at her question. ”Probably, but I'm afraid that would cause a scene for the patrons,” he says before apologizing.
He is sitting back while he listens to the others speak, but he perks up when Finvarra mentions fighting and war between harpies and centaurs. I wonder what those are.
He turns to Janira to listen to the plan, ”Yes Ma'am! Report, Explore and Cooperate. Now, who are the local inhabitants we are wishing to avoid? Are these the centaurs and harpies Finvarra spoke of?” he asks, probably sounding a little too excited at the prospect of meeting such creatures.
Fin waves back with a smile to Lady Naysha and waits to hear what Janira may have to say about these questions of Cairnlands and local inhabitants.
|Janira Gavix - NPC|
Janira smiles, glad you are engaged enough to ask questions. "You must not have paid much attention in your training classes. The Cairnlands are a series of abandoned siege towers and fortresses built by invaders who attempted to conquer Absalom over the centuries. They have all been defeated, but their monuments to their failed attempts remain. Some are full of delicious relics and troves of treasure...but we aren't stopping there. Diobel is a city on the other side of the Isle of Kortos, a den of thieves and smugglers if stories are true. All kinds of questionable dealings there, but that's not our destination either. We are looking for the Kortos Mounts, the spiny ridge of Mountains at the center of this isle."
"The Mounts are home to a variety of creatures, centaurs in the lowlands, harpies in the peaks, just to name a few. Those folk may be interesting to study, but they are not friendly to uninvited incursions and may not take our presence in their lands lightly. We must be careful to avoid them, and be very wary if we do run into any."
"As for the cave itself, the entrance is not concealed or hidden, but I did not consider the possibility of a secret entrance inside. Did not see one. The idea of a moon-door is also quite interesting. I have read of such things of course, but never seen one. My first theory about gillmen and the moon was something about the tides, but I have no evidence to back that up."
"Now before we head out, if there are no more questions, we should take a moment to through your gear and make sure nothing important gets left out."
You'll want to make sure someone in the group has the basic adventuring gear. Things like rope, a light source, food, fire-making gear, any source of healing. If possible with gold to spare, you might consider anti-toxin, alchemist's fire, or other more expensive solutions. Go ahead and shop for items if you need to gear up. If you buy items, they must be recorded on your chronicle sheet
at the dend of the adventure, and subtracted from your gold inventory. Please keep good notes, as the GM might forget...
When everyone is comfortable they have all the gear they need, Janira shoulders her pack . "Let's get away then. Time is wasting and we need to be at the cave before the full moon tomorrow evening.
Finvarra opens his pack to double check everything while mumbling the contents, "Have the rope, some rations, flint & steel, couple antitoxin, pebbles to cast Light on."
“Explore, cooperate and report. Yes, of course.” Toban strokes his moustache.
“Sekell, that is a very interesting complexion. Very becoming, yes! You know there are some very tasty mushrooms that only grow in places like caves. Very tasty!” Toban licks his lips.
“Oh yes Zaraah, there is so much to tell!”
Toban nods along listening intently to Lady Naysha.
“Centaurs and harpies. Hmmm…” Tapping his lip. Pop, pop, pop!
“Yes, of course! Let’s see now!”
Toban dumps his backpack on an empty table and begins pulling items out of his pockets. Last he places his glaive and dagger on the table.
“Let’s see! Let’s see! Let’s see! Glaive, good, good. Very sharp, yes! Dagger, two vials of acid, and two scrolls of cure light wounds. Backpack, sack, oh very good! Waterskin, whetstone, iron pot, bucket, flask, flint and steel. Scroll case, parchment, ink, ink pen, widgets for cooking, and holy symbol. Hmmmmmm….” Pop, pop, pop! “Yep, oh I’m ready!”
Listening to Naysha, Sekell laughs. "I've been in enough mysterious caves to always know there is a secret door. It's one of the reasons why I love spelunking."
He then nods as Janira talks. "Hmm, tides. I am not familiar with the sea, so the idea of tides did not even cross my mind. Hopefully once we get down there a good thorough search will reveal what is hidden."
He then turns as Toban talks to him. "Well its not quite so strange considering my mother is a gnome and my father is a drow. I'm just happy i got more of my dad's complexion over my mom's more vibrant color. Makes it easier to hide in the dark. I've cooked up some cave mushrooms on occasion and would agree they can be quite tasty, so long as they aren't poisonous."
Going through his pack, Sekell starts listening off some of the more important items he has. "Grapple hook, silk rope, lockpicks, chalk, crowbar, then my basic explorer's equipment and weapons. I'm just hoping after this i'll have enough to buy a climber's kit."
With all that done, he looks out the window at the lightening horizon. Sighing he puts up his heavy hood, shrouding his face in shadows. Two pink eyes stare out of the shadows. Love having dad's darkvision, but traveling during the day always makes me wish it hadn't come with this sensitivity to light.
Harkus listens to Janira, taking mental notes as she talks. Fortresses in the Cairnlands. Diobel, den of thieves. Centaurs and harpies, not friendly to outsiders. Got it.
He pulls out his pack and checks what he has, listing out some of the important things. ”I have flint and steel as well, some rations, and a smokestick. Oh, and some torches. I can see fairly well in the dark but I brought some, just in case.”
He then shoulders his pack, ready to leave.
Fin closes his pack and gathers his things to follow Janira.
Janira feels you are ready to set out, and leads you from the Pig's Paunch west through Absalom. You leave the walls of the City at the Center of the World, some for the first time, and the sense of adventure grows in you with each step away from those safe bastions. The halfling Pathfinder leads you to the Cairnlands, which provides a great oportunity for her to discuss Master Shaine's class on the history of Absalom. Janira prattles on about each tower and ruin, citing names and dates until your heads spin.
Soon the towers of old are behind you and you start on a track that leads towards the smugglers city of Diobel. Janira points out interesting and unique flora and fauna, telling more than you ever cared to know about those natural wonders as well.
As the daylight starts to fade, the guide leads you a bit off the road.
|Janira Gavix - NPC|
"We've made good time today, but this is the easy part of the journey," says Janira, stretching her weary muscles from the day's walk. "Let's make camp here. We'll have to leave the road tomorrow and go overland to the cave in question. Things will get more interesting then. Set a watch, get some rest, and prepare for more challenges tomorrow." She pulls a thick book out of her pack and leans against a rock, flipping through the pages.
Use a day of rations. A watch schedule isn't important tonight, but assume you take turns resting. YOu can reset your spells and abilities, if you are a prepared caster you can change up your list for the day, but please let me know if different than on your character sheet.
|Janira Gavix - NPC|
In the morning, you quickly break camp as the sun begins to rise over the nearby Kortos Mounts and start the uphill climb. The plains of the roadway gradually change to a spotting of trees, then the canopy overhead begins to block the morning sun, and soon, the vegetation grows denser -- you are in a deep forest.
Janira pauses a moment, pulling out an intricate silver compass with the Pathfinder Society logo, the Glyph of the Open Road emblazoned upon it. "I received this wayfinder when I successfully completed my Confirmation. Should we be successful on this journey, you will get your own as well." She flips open the device and holds it in front of her; the initials J.G. are engraved into the inside of the device's lid. After studying the compass inside for a moment, she remarks "We're on the right path. We need to keep heading southwest towards those big rocks ahead."
Most of the trees in this section of the forest have wide trunks, as big around as a man or more. Spordic patches of light filter through the canopy above. Undertrowth is thick, making travel difficult in some places, and providing hiding places for all manners of critters. A large rock outcropping to west rises about 20' above the forest floor, and a small sinkhole to the southeast drops off sharply to the ground below.
Suddenly, before you get moving again, there is a loud crack and a tree nearby gives way, starting to topple to the ground around the sinkhhole with a loud rush and crash.
The falling tree disturbs a nest of diminutive spiders, who take to the warpath, swarming int two distinct sections towards where the Pathfinder initiates stand.
First combat! Get ready!
A Dangerous Path - Round 1
22 Red Swarm
19 Blue Swarm
Sekell and Toban are up first. The combat map is linked at the top margin. You should be able to move your token, if not please tell me. If you move, please use the arrow tool to indicate the path of your move.
Red Swarm: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
Blue Swarm: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19
Finvarra: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
Harkus: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Sekell: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
Toban: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Zaraah: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
Naysha: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Janira: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
Lady Naysha dumps her backpack out on the table in front of her. "What do we have here, Miss Whiskers....? My dagger... Yup! That's handy. Darts! Oh, lots of those. Some vials of acid. A few magic scrolls. Oh! Some of those are sneaky ones! My magic wand--those are always lot of fun! My fancy hat, of course. That goes on my head! My magician's tools--it doesn't do to get bored on a long trip, you know! My grooming kit, perfume, mess kit, journal. Charcoal for writing. Rations and waterskin. All good! Bedroll. Oh! And of course my lovely terrarium! It's glass and filled with plants and stuff. See? Inside is my little pet gecko. She's pink! Her name is Geck-geck Sticky! Isn't she CUTE?!"
Sure enough, strapped onto her backpack is a portable terrarium filled with plants and a peculiar look gecko.
Lady Naysha starts putting everything back in its place. When it is time to leave she shouts, "Come on, guys! Last one there's a rotten egg!" Then she hops off the table and runs off into the street. "Come on, guys! Why are you taking so long?!"
"Wow, Janira! That's neat!"
Along the way, Lady Naysha and Miss Whiskers tell lots of hilarious jokes!
Perform Comedy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
When its time to stop for the night Lady Naysha pulls out her bedroll and lays it on the ground. She takes care of her gecko, and chatters constantly to Geck-geck Sticky, Miss Whiskers and her 'invisible fairy friends.' After she eats some rations, she asks exclaims. "STEP RIGHT UP! GATHER ROUND! AS THE AMAZING LADY NAYSHA AND MISS WHISKERS DELIGHT YOU WITH FEATS OF WONDER!"
She puts on a wonderful magic show. At the end of the show she gives everyone a balloon animal! Toban's is a pig, Fin's is a bird, Sekell's is a bat, Zaraah's is a cat, Harkus is a bear, Janira's is a snake, and Lady Naysha makes herself a rabbit.
Profession Magician: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
When they travel in the forest, Lady Naysha looks happy. She is used to being in deep forests with wild creatures! She thinks its nice. She listens to Janira's directions and claps her hands. "Oh, YAY! THIS IS SO EXCITING!"
As the spiders run at her, Lady Naysha smiles. "Oh! I have just the thing for this!"
Know Nature: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
Fin gasps! "I hate spiders, all those eyes just aren't right! What's worse this is a swarm! Anyone have any oil we can toss on them so I can toss a flame spell on them?" Also don't get caught in the swarm!
"Sorry Finn, got nothing of the sort. Best i can do is shoot some arrows." He then nocks an arrow and lets it fly at the swarm in front of him.
attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
damage: 1d8 ⇒ 2
So Sekell's wild empathy works on any kind of vermin. DM Doctor evil what is your stance on wild empathy use in combat to stop or passify attacking animals?
While travelling Toban appears distracted, however he’s watching for any interesting ingredients.
Survival: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
When Janira points out unique flora, Toban will collect flora to cook with later. Verifying to ensure it’s poisonous. “Hmmmm….” Pop, pop, pop.
Knowledge Nature: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Survival: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
“Hey team can I get some help with a fire. I will cook something super tasty for you all!”
Toban is preparing a meal and tossing ingredients in his iron pot.
Profession Cook: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29
Toban serves a tasty meal of roasted local flora and nuts all held together wrapped in a large leaf.
“Hey Janira, watcha reading?”
In the morning, Toban spends time in prayer. Toban sings his prayers to Shelyn.
“Wow, shiny! That sure is a mighty fine wayfinder. Can’t wait to get my own!”
During the second day, Toban is equally as vigilant watching for interesting ingredients.
Survival: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
Toban laughs heartily at Lady Naysha’s jokes.
“Spiders! Spiders! Spiders!”
Knowledge Nature: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
"Normal weapons won't work! Use other attacks like alchemist fire!"
“Nope, no oil! A couple vials of acid though! Acid splash!”
Ranged Touch Attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
damage: 1d3 ⇒ 1
It is not my turn until after the swarms, right?
While they travel, Harkus listens to Janira speak about the history of Absalom. He attempts to commit the information to memory but has trouble as she continues on and on. So many dates.
”I'll help, Toban,” Harkus says as he starts to gather wood for the fire. After the meal is done, he comments on the surprising tastiness of it. "I didn't think it would taste so good! Great job!"
At the end of Lady Naysha's magic show Harkus applauds. He's surprised when she hands him a bear shaped balloon animal. He thanks her and sets it in his pack.
Harkus's training kicks in as the swarms rush towards them. He readies his sword and steps forward. "Sorry, no oil", he says, not taking his eyes off the spiders. He is about to rush forward but stops when he hears Toban say normal attacks won't work. Darn, what am I supposed to do against this? he thinks to himself.
Sorry, but he also has nothing for swarms.
In my games, at least, I don't care about the order you post in. Go ahead, when you have time, but understand I am going to run the combat in the order of initiative, so your actions may be invalid by the time we get to you. If that's the case, I'll give you a do-over, or just apply your action to the next available creature etc. Whatever is in your best interest.
As for Wild Empathy and swarms, the ability clearly says it affects a creature, as in one. In that case, it will be ineffective against swarms. If you have a link that argues a different point, I will be happy to listen.
To use wild empathy, the hunter and the animal must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.
The hunter can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but she takes a –4 penalty on the check.
You also might recall Janira asking if you had all the gear you needed to make the journey. Any Pathfinder who leaves on a mission without a solution for swarms is asking for trouble. They are common to encounter.
Sees Zaarah moving in opposite directions and decides to join.
Copying Zaarah and doing a Withdraw action. Those things are totally on my list of things to get if there is a next chance. First pen and paper RPG and had no clue about swarm tactics.
A Dangerous Path - Round 1 - concluded
Sekell sees the swarm coming and fires an arrow into the heart of the sea of spiders. The missile crushes one spider, but the thousands of others come on as if nothing happened.
Toban rummages in his bag for a flask of acid, and stepping forward a bit launches the glass vial on a high arc that crashes on the ground among the swarming arachnids.
Toban - First, acid flasks do 1d6 dmg when used as weapons, unlike the spell which just does 1d3. Second, they have a range increment of only 10'. From your position, which is 30' from the swarm, that's 2 additional increments which incur a -2 penalty for each. That makes your roll, a 5. However, when using AoE weapon against swarm, it is good practice to target a square, rather than the creature. That means rolling AC 5, which you hit. Last note, AoE attacks against swarms do 150% damage, so the 2 shown below calculates to 3. Well done!
Red Swarm, though damaged, advances into the middle of the group, swarming over Lady Naysha and Sekell, who each take numerous bites and stings from the hundreds of spiders covering them.
Sekell and Naysha take 3 hp dmg and must make 2 Fort saves. The first is to avoid poison, the second is to avoid being distracted by the swarming bugs.
Blue Swarm also advances, covering the kitsune who swats and crushes as many of the biting vermin as he can.
Zaraah takes 6hp of dmg and needs to Fort saves also, see above. please label each save.
Janira begins orating the properties of swarms "According to Master Baez of Stonewall, swarms are best defeated by..." Her calm, clear voice in the middle of the chaos, heartens and inspires the rest of the group. While giving the speech, she rummages in her pack, pulling out an alchemist's fire. She also clearly suggests anyone within the swarm, evacuate that space as quickly as possible.
Janira, who is a bard, begins to inspire courage, which adds a +1 to all allies attacks and damage while it is in effect. Be sure to add it to your die rolls. Stuck in the swarm, Lady Naysha is up next. If you make your Fort saves, you may act normally.
Toban Acid Dmg: 1d6 ⇒ 2
Red Dmg: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Blue Dmg: 1d6 ⇒ 6
Sees Zaarah moving in opposite directions and decides to join.
Copying Zaarah and doing a Withdraw action. Those things are totally on my list of things to get if there is a next chance. First pen and paper RPG and had no clue about swarm tactics.
No worries, Fin. Swarms are unfortunate surprises whenever you find them, and authors of PFS scenarios seem to have an affinity. See my note in Discussion. Janira has some items that will help against swarms and will give you to if you approach her instead of running away.
PS: you take damage from the swarms if it occupies your square at the end of its turn, so moving out and away, especially in separate directions is good advice. Also, it cannot make AoO's, so moving from it does not provoke.
fortitude vs. poison: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
fortitude vs. distraction: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Lady Naysha moves out of the swarm.
Whats the DC? Do I pass? If I pass:
Lady Naysha pulls a vial of acid from her belt pouch and throws it at the red swarm. at the bottom right square.
Ranged Touch Attack: 1d20 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 2 + 1 = 18
Acid Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 6
Seeing Zaraah and Fin seem to be about to run away, Naysha shouts something in a weird language.
As soon as they run away, Lady Naysha shouts something again:
Fin sees that Zaraah isn't having much luck with the spiders and decides to Withdraw towards Janira and saying, "When I'm wandering alone I usually just run away from such things; so group tactics are a little new for me."
Toban quirks an eyebrow at Lady Naysha as she shouts in a strange language. Toban moves trying to keep his distance from the swarm while maintaining throwing distance. Stomping on stray spiders as he goes. “Squish you! Splat you! Ha ha!”
Drawing his last vial of acid.
Assuming that Sekell moves out of the swarm:
Toban lobs an acid at the bottom left square that red swarm is in.
ranged touch attack: 1d20 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 3 + 1 = 24
damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
“Acid! Ha ha!”
Cool yup, looking at that wording i agree that it is only for a single creature. Thanks DM
fort: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
fort: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Sekell is able to resist the poison and quickly works his way out of the swarm and moves into position near Janira. "Going to need to add some alchemist's fire to my next shopping list. Speaking of which, Janira would you happen to have anything like that on you. I'm hoping you are a little more prepared than I was for this."
A Dangerous Path - Round 1 - concluded
Lady Naysha narrowly retains her composure as spiders cover her from head to toe, stepping out of the mass of the swarm and grabbing an acid flask from her pouch. Her body fights of the poison before it can affect her and then she lobs the vial of acid into the heart of the mass of spiders. The destruction of hundreds of spiders from the exploding vial of acid, combined with the prior damage from Toban's throw, disband the swarm and the remaining spiders scurrying in all directions for hiding places.
Zaraah, covered with spiders all over, fights off the poison, but cannot control the urge to be sick from the creepy crawlies covering it from head to foot. Nauseated, he withdraws as best he can, retching the whole time.
Finvarra also realizes he doesn't have any defense against the multitude of swarming arachnids, but sees Janira drawing a grenade from her pouch, and moves towards her, taking the exploding flask in his hands.
Harkus steps forward to use his weapons on the spiders, but sees and hears how useless that will be. He freezes, hoping the remaining swarm will pass him by.
End of Round 1
I went ahead and rolled Zaraah's saves below to keep things moving. Knocked one swarm from the fight already. Let's see what happens in Round 2. Don't forget your buffs from Inspire Courage from Janira
Zaraah Fort poison: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
Zaraah Fort Distraction: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
A Dangerous Path - Round 2
Inspire Courage is active, +1 to attacks and damage
24 Sekell (3hp dmg)
19 Blue Swarm
16 Naysha (3hp dmg)
15 Zaraah (6hp dmg, nauseated)
Smarting from the bites of dozens of spiders, but not really the worse for wear from the poison, Sekell retains his composure and falls back next to Janira, politely asking for a weapon to use against the remaining horde of spiders.
Stomping a few of the stray spiders as he advances, Toban reaches in his pack for his last vial of acid, his small fingers closing around the glass vial as the swarm near him disintegrates. He turns ready to throw in the remaining swarm next turn.
So taking out a weapon is a move action as is moving more than 5' step. As a result, Toban doesn't have any actions left this turn to make the throw. Holding that toss for next round.
Blue Swarm advances to the nearest target, which is Harkus, crawling on and over him as they come.
Harkus takes 4hp dmg, and needs the two Fort saves, one vs Poison the other vs Distraction (gives the nauseated condition).
Janira continues her inspirational oration. "The typical house spider can consume more insects than...". After giving one alchemist's fire to Finvarra, she pulls a second out and hands it to Sekell.
Lady Naysha is up again. Zaraah, Fin, and Harkus can also post their second round actions. Harkus owes a pair of Fort saves and Zaraah is getting over nauseated condition on her turn.
Blue Swarm dmg: 1d6 ⇒ 4
”Ow! Get off me!” Harkus yells as he is covered in the swarm.
Fort vs Posion: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Fort vs Distraction: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
He moves away as quick as he can, hoping the others' attacks will drive away the blue menaces.
Harkus sees Janira handing out alchemist's fire. "Happen to have any more of those?" he asks as he smashes some stray spiders.
Lady Naysha dances forward a few steps, (five foot step), pulls out another vial of acid and throws it at the other swarm.
Ranged Touch Attack: 1d20 + 2 + 1 - 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 + 1 - 2 = 17
Acid Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3