Iskra follows silently, more to stay with the group than any desire for reward, and will rest as soon as possible so as to begin memorizing spells for the morning.
No intention to do anything but sleep and prep for our morning return to the caves.
Will Save: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Prake Abrassus swats something away from his head but is unable to find it. His eyes narrows a bit at Vretiel's pretty-boy speak. He scratches his chin at the wolf remark.
"Thought it was wolves. Damn knitting circle has the town in a dizzy with talk of monsters. Best you here for the bounty, eh elfie? Well, a deals a deal. I'll get ya gold and a couple of quarter legs. If but you be lying to me, I'll be coming back for your legs. Har-har-har!"
Prake leaves and returns with a few helpers holding some freshly butchered legs of lamb. They toss the bloody hunks of meat into Vretiel's arms whether he fights them or not. The three of them give the elf a look of pride, followed by one that would be an act of sacrilege should he drop the prized portions.
"I like ya'll. Good to see some new blood around here. Come by anytime for supper. You look like you can tell a good tale."
With a tap of his crook to his crown, Prake Abrassuss takes his leave.
The party has acquired 800 gp and Abrassus farm is now Helpful. I'll move things along in about 12 hours if nobody else wants to do something in town.
Vretiel is for once caught flat-footed, not expecting a reward from farm peasants, and tries to deflect the hunks of meat without success. Puffing up his chest and thinking of a happy place, he passes the pieces to his companions. "Oh, how lovely! Bloody chunks of meat for all of us, my friends! This is too much, I need to share this burden. Actually, I am not worthy, since you did all the work, I mainly stood around making a fool of myself," he says, darting Iskra a glance that is a scream for help. He spends most of the way back to the town cleaning himself.
I imagine that the answer is no, but is there anyone in the city who produces 1st level scrolls? In case Vretiel wants to expand his repertoire.
Nobody that produces them. Alas the the resident wizard has recently passed. There is another witch in town, but she isn't too friendly. To ease everybody's mind, after the business with Hunclay's estate is completed, you'll have amble shopping time.
After a full belly of mutton and a good night's rest, the party prepares for the day to explore Hunclay's secret cave. There is already murmurings of how the party has exterminated the wolf threat that has been plaguing Abrassus farms.
Random Encounter: 1d6 ⇒ 2
The party returns to the site of the cave. It appears the early buzzards have already gotten to the eyes and tongue of the slain wolves.
Let me know how you would like to proceed.
Iskra tries to stifle a laugh at the sight of poor Vretiel being buried beneath bleeding haunches, and makes absolutely no effort to help him. The more outraged his glances, the more she has trouble hiding her amusement, so that when he is finally relieved she wipes away tears from the corner of her eyes and steps up beside him to pat him on the shoulder.
"My sincere and most profound apologies, dear Vretiel. I would have come to your succor immediately had I not thought you absolutely qualified to deal with any and all such challenges. Here, let me help."
That said, she casts a quick cantrip, cleaning his outfit and hands of all stains, and leaving him looking as fresh and composed as ever.
Upon returning to the cave, Iskra averts her eyes from the fallen wolves, and instead focuses on the darkness within.
"Can anyone see into the darkness? If not, perhaps we should throw some torches in to see what lies before us?"
Iskra can't throw a torch to save her life, so will happily wait for someone competent at such activities to take the lead.
Alex could only look on with a very poorly hidden smile as he waited for Prake to finish his compliments to Vretiel. Only when elf gave indication that he was trying to shove off the legs of lamb to anyone else did Alex move to claim them, though he still took his time to receive the meat.
"Here, let me see them." he said with a chuckle in his voice as he attempted to unburden the elf. "I believe I may know someone who can prepare a fantastic meal with these choice cuts."
even after Iskra helped Vretiel clean off, Alex still couldn't let go of at least a grin at seeing such a different reaction out of the courtier.
When the group returned to the cave, Alex silently cursed himself for not moving the bodies of both the two humans and the wolves away from the path that they would traverse, making a mental note to remove them from sight after their exploration of the cave is complete, and at least giving a proper burial for the humans.
"at least one torch on hand would help those who can't see in the dark. I can try to make some with our surroundings if we are shy the torches though."
"Shall we give it a few minutes to see if anything responds to the light?" suggests Iskra, looking around at her companions. "If nothing does, then, well, let us by all means enter."
Vretiel, both his ego and his clothes cleaner now, fondles Anastasia, tranquillising the scared viper. "Well, thank you for that, my dove. Shall one of our brave leading ladies take the…lead?" He fixes Kale's armour for a second. "There, now you are ready for anything and everything, dear. Forward you go, with us coming right behind you. Remember, no summon is unkillable." He gives a pat on the shoulders of the monk and warrior.
Casting guidance on Kale.
Owe me a soda, no take backs!
Tossing the lit pebble and following up with it, the shallow water ends at the entrance to a large cave. The air within is almost uncomfortably warm. Four chests sit at the far side of the cavern. The ceiling, studded with stalactites, is ten feet high above the floor and the entrance.
In the center of the secret cave is a thing of nightmares. This crab-like creature has a lamprey mouth which is held slightly slack. There are rolling-milky eyes on its legs, and several opaque blisters along its back that hold molded human brains. The creature's claws appear to be snapped and chipped in places with ichor pouring out from in-between its joints. The smell of death and rot permeate throughout the room. A wet hiss emanates from its jaw as it begins to skitter forth.
Haruf: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Kale: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Calli: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Alex: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Iskra: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
Vretiel: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Ugly M.F.er: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Round 1. Fight! Everybody but Calli is up. Battle Map is updated. If you are on the water (blue), you can't see into the cave.
Knowledge Religion: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21
Iskra recoils at the sight of the monstrosity, then peers closer with obvious distaste.
"It's some kind of undead," she calls out to the other. "I've never seen the like but... using slashing weapons if you have them."
That said, she mutters a few arcane words and shoots off a bolt of magic that flies unerringly at the beast.
Magic Missile Damage: 2d4 + 2 ⇒ (2, 2) + 2 = 6
Vretiel hears the skittering rumour and the sounds of fighting and enters the room. He opens his mouth to ask what is all the ruckus about, but for a few seconds he is completely speechless. The elf looks at the trembling bundle of scales near his neck and says "Anastasia, I do hope you have higher standards than that. I mean, look at it; these brain zits seem like they're about to pop. I guess it would be a shame for it if it happened…" he trails off, putting a hand next to his ear, waiting for a popping sound.
move: enter the room (ideally to the spot that kale is currently occupying)
standard: misfortune hex (DC 15)
I'm moving Iskra into the room because she has no line of sight/effect from the back row.
Iskra bravely moves into the room. The unnatural warmth and stench worsens as she nears the creature. Rainbow colored balls of energy slam into the creature's eye-legs.
Anastasia frantically wraps herself around Vretiel in panic, nearly strangling her master in the process. Steadfast, the witch moves into the room as well to curse the abomination.
Will Save: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
Alex, Kale & Haruf are up! Battle Map updated
"hopefully a change in power will negate the desire for a slashing weapon." he said as he moved into the room, drawing the bow in the process, and began to cast a blessing on the bow. the bow then seemed to become laced with a bright glow as if the bow was now decoratively covered in holy glowing vines.
casting align weapon good in hopes of bypassing the DR
Kale drops her pole arm to pull out her halberd. She is easily able to slash through the rotting carapace of the undead creature.
Alex moves into the room while tapping his bow string. The twine turns to vines and the bow becomes knotted with a heavenly glow.
Haruf stands shocked at the beast before them.
The undead abomination opens its mouth wide with a gurgling hiss and tries to bite Kale.
Bite vs Kale: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (3) + 16 = 19
Dmg: 1d8 + 12 ⇒ (6) + 12 = 18
A familiar devilish laugh echoes throughout the cavern, far too crisp and clear to have come from the monster before the party.
New Round! Everybody is up! Battle Map is updated.
Seeing Calli and Haruf flat footed with horror, and realizing how dreadful one of those blows would be to Kale, Iskra calls out a dire spell and unleashes a large bolt of flame from her palm which streaks at the undead abomination.
Ranged Touch Attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
Scorching Ray Damage: 4d6 ⇒ (1, 3, 5, 5) = 14
"Anastasia! Control yourself! It's just a walking corpse! Now, where was I…oh, yes, waiting for some of these brain boils to pop!" Vretiel puts his hand against his ear again.
Does Vretiel have an idea of where the laughter is coming from?
standard action: misfortune hex against Ugly M.F.er
"ah, we've been looking for you, demon!" he shouted to cave air once he heard the familiar laughter. he then loosed his arrow towards the ugly undead beast.
alex vs ugly SOB: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
dmg: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
I doubt alex took under consideration the insult by calling the zebub a demon, hehe.
The call is coming from inside the house! Honestly, its echoing throughout the cave.
Will Save: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Vretiel tries to hex the monster again, but being mindless sometimes has its advantages.
Alex's arrow scratches the shell, performing minimal damage.
Ichor begins to flow more from the creature's maw. Its stench is overwhelming as it tries to bite Kale again.
Bite vs Kale: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (8) + 16 = 24
Dmg: 1d8 + 12 ⇒ (1) + 12 = 13
Within everybody's minds, a child-like scretching voice can be heard.
"Hunclay's pets are now playing fetch. Let me re-introduce you to some of my friends. He-he-he"
1d100 ⇒ 78
"Damn the heavens. Unreliable sods. Anyway, that weapon looks dangerous. Better put that down."
A thick grease suddenly appears all over Kale's halberd making it difficult to hold on to. At the same time, the childlike blasphemy which conjoins the features of a plump human infant and a gigantic, gore-fattened fly appears from behind the large monstrosity.
Kale, Reflex DC 12 or drop the halberd. If the first save fails, then a new save will be needed each time it is picked up or used.
New Round. Battle Map updated. Everybody is up!
Alex chooses to change his targets in order to limit the stress kale will soon have with the summoned "friend", moving into position to avoid giving the demon any cover by the ugly creature and launches another arrow down range at the fat baby.
alex vs fat baby: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
dmg: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Seeing the arrival of the zebub, and knowing what that might entail, Iskra swiftly casts levitate on herself and rises to the ceiling of the cavern.
Reflex: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
Kale only grinned, some what evilly, as she stated "It is very dangerous. Come down here and I'll show you just how dangerous it is!"
With that she focused on the monster before her, bringing the halberd back around and aimed to show the little monster just how dangerous she could be.
Attack: 1d20 + 7 - 1 ⇒ (13) + 7 - 1 = 19
Damage: 1d10 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 4 + 2 = 11
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Vretiel beams a delighted smile at the zebub. "How wonderful of you to join us. Just in time too, I was about to make this party so much more fabulous! Anastasia! Some sparkles, please." The viper inches its tongue outside Vretiel's clothes and drops a couple of bright scales on the elf's hand. He claps for a second whilst yelling "Glitter!" and a cloud of bright coloured dust explodes above the zebub and the undead creature, completely covering both. "Oh, this is so much better! Bringing a bit of festiveness to this dreary cave! Onwards, my darlings!"
standard: cast glitterdust (10-feet radius centred on zebub, affecting both devil and dead tentacle thing). Prevents invisibility (no save) and blinds affected creatures (will save DC 16)
Alex's arrow strikes true into the zebub. It look at the wound in surprise at to how deep the arrow went.
Iskra floats up the top of the 10' ceiling, at eye level with the devil.
Pow-Pow-Power Attack![/UnReal Announcer]
Kale grips her halberd tight and continues to cut down the undead beast.
Undead Beast Will Save: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
Zebub: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
"Curse the gods!" the devil cries out clutching at its compound eyes.
Calli & Haruf are up!
Still up for the fight, the undead demon's tongue rolls about its mouth. Slime and pus pours between its teeth as it tries to bite Kale again.
Bite vs Kale: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (3) + 16 = 19
Dmg: 1d8 + 12 ⇒ (6) + 12 = 18
Not waiting for the killing blow, the zebub let's out an infernal curse and POP! its gone.
New Round. Everybody is up!
Vretiel rolls his eyes at the disappearing devil "Ungrateful simpleton. After all this preparation, really, it's just very impolite. Oh, well."
The elf turns to Kale, admiring her moves. "Darling, that is just terrific. Now, if we can just do this…and then this…and then…yes, this!" The elf says, poorly mimicking the warrior's moves and finishing the last motion slinging another cloud of powder (this time silvery). Kale and everything she's wearing and wielding grow to twice their original size and Vretiel laughs in delight.
Someone should probably heal our front-liner, no?
standard: cast enlarge person on Kale. She's now large and deals 2d8 damage, but also gets -1 AC.
Kale lands a prophetic finishing blow. The abomination weals up in a final spasm. It then comes down with its mouth agape down upon Kale. She is drenched in slime, but otherwise unharmed.
After pulling the husk off of Kale, there are 4 locked iron chests on the eastern side of the cavern. Three of them are relatively unremarkable. The fourth, however, is twice the standard size of any of the other three. It also appears to be finely manufactured.
Congratulations, you slayed a neh-thalggu zombie! Each PC earns 267 XP.
been a busy day, finally free
once the zebub vanished and the undead abomination fell silent, alex then moved closer to Kale, checking her wounds. knowing no others are wounded, he chooses to change a few things as he prays. "Old deadeye, I must request your healing over your might."
as he finishes, his hands glowed with holy light, patching the wounds that seeped just under kale's armor.
converting spear of purity to cure moderate wounds
cure moderate: 2d8 + 3 ⇒ (3, 6) + 3 = 12
Iskra floats to the ground and heads over to the chest.
"Anybody here proficient in checking locks for traps? Or opening locks, for that matter?"
She then turns to regard the dead monster. "And why on earth was there a zombie abomination in Hunclay's cave?"
Vretiel cuddles a now calmed Anastasia whilst speaking to Iskra. "Honestly, I'm jaded by now. I wouldn't bat an eyebrow if we discovered that the whole manor was a mimic summoned with a scroll Hunclay bought at a store called 'The Dark Tapestry' and all of this mess was caused by him having lost their contact details after being afflicted with buyer's remorse. I need to get in touch with the 'Outsider's Pepper', they have bounties for this type of juicy info, you know!"
He paces closer to the chests. "Speaking about mimics…who wants to open these? Shall we scan them for magic, my dove?" The elf asks the wizard. He repeats his usual gestures whilst humming a little ditty.
Casting detect magic on the chests
There is an faint aura of magic on each of the chests. Looking at the quality of the chests, it would be safe to assume that Detect Magic would not be able to penetrate the iron framework.
Your resident rogue has been AWOL for a week. I did send him a PM, but this is unlike him. The party may need to think outside the box if they wish to open these chests. =v)
Alex looks over the chests, curious as to what could be around the chests and joins suit with vretiel, also trying to detect the auras around the boxes.
spellcraft: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
"abjuration?" alex said more as curiosity than anything else. "could it be this simple?" he asked as he pulled out the skeleton key charm and brought it over to the chests, gesturing to the others first as if to see if any had another suggestion before using the charm on the chests.
your "outside the box" comment helped with this train of thought
|Haruf "Eight-arms" Sefka|
Sorry for the absense, computer broke down, finding an alternate posting method =(
Waking up from passing out, Haruf, tries to play it cool like he was working out something else.
Ahem, let me look at these
Check for traps: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Disable Device: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (7) + 13 = 20
should I roll for each of the chests?
The charm unlocks three of the standard sized chests. Inside are small cloth pouches of 100 coins in each pouch. The total comes up to 11,300 cp, 7,200 sp, 1,800 gp, and 60 pp.
Alex passes the charm over the last chest, but it does not unlock. He does feel arcane energy dispel. With the chest still locked, Haruf nods as he steps into his role. He doesn't detect any traps and proceeds to work. His first attempt is unsuccessful. Haruf realizes this lock is made of brass and of extraordinary craftsmanship with a unique keyhole.
Understanding he has some work ahead of him, Haruf settles in on the ground, gently caressing the chest as he works. Whispering to himself in orc as he picks and pulls every gear and tumbler. With beads of sweat rolling off his brow after too many failed attempts, the final tumbler is unlocked and the chest is opened.
Inside the final chest are Hunclay's greatest treasures. Sitting atop an exquisite darkwood case are four packets of enhanced dust of darkness and a scroll of permanency (CL 12th) in a mithral scroll tube. The darkwood case contains five books. Four of these are rare antique tomes on astronomy written in Ancient Osiriani. The fifth tome is a tattered volume titled Secrets of the Dreaming Dark.
Secrets of the Dreaming Dark is a very old and massive tome, several hundred pages long and bound in black leather. It claims to be a translation of a much older book, but the book's original author is unknown. The pages are scribed in Aklo in cramped handwriting, and include complex star charts and maps of strange, distant worlds. There are numerous breathtaking illustrations of eerie monsters and alien gods as well. Unfortunately, pages or even entire chunks of the ancient text are loose or missing here and there throughout. To gain a sense of what this book entails requires the ability to understand Aklo and days of devotion to the task (along with a Linguistics check).
After years of study, I have finally gained access to the Dominion of the Black. I may have been fool-hearty into rushing into conjuring the neh-thalggu for interrogation. Looking back, I believe the protection measures for that ritual have been missing. For being one of the smartest explaners, it had no desire for discussion. I had to slay the damnable retch. But waste not, for I animated the beast to protect these caves. I will have add more traps and guardians in the fashion of Acererak in the future.
I feel my mind breaking. I fear I may have delved too deep into the Dark Tapestry. My quest for knowledge has lead me to perform unspeakable acts. But they have ends. Each tome I study, each creature I call, another sliver, a crumb, a piece to the bigger picture: information, vitality, immortality. Peering into the limbo between the stars. To touch the mind of the Old Gods and gleam guidance to live evermore. Their power is maddening, but to manipulate it, control it, for that would be worth reality. The voices I hear, Their Voices, it must be them guiding me to the next step. But I fear I may have made one deal with the devil too many. Perhaps old friends can help me. But I am not as I once was. Have I gone too far? I was on but the start of my journey when we met, now I am near the end. Close, so close. Do I even want to go back...
|Haruf "Eight-arms" Sefka|
Haruf sees all that gleaming treasure with wide eyes, which gives him the will to focus on the last chest. After it reveals only books and paper, he is clearly disappointed.
Reading Hunclay's last scribing, Haruf wonders if the old wizard did manage to transcend, wishing his demise was only a ruse. One thing worries him, though, the part where their voices guide him. You don't think that dragon-terapax was misleading him, do ya?, he asks to no one in particular.
"Oh, pumpkin, very good idea! See, I told you it was impossible for me to compete with your talents and quick wits!" As the chests are opened, Vretiel's eyes shine. "So, what were we supposed to do with all of this coin? I mean, officially it's out of the manor grounds, no?"
He painfully remove his eyes from the gold and examines the tomes and items inside the bigger chest with more attention "Well, one of these packets should be enough to free our shae fellow back at the manor," he pockets one of the dust of darkness pouches, "and these books are…oh, gods, a cure for insomnia. Iskra, dove, we might need to brush up on our Aklo."
Iskra sits back on her heels, leafing through the books. She squints as she studies a diagram, then blanches at its implications and turns the page.
"There is much to learn here. Though all of it ghastly, it would seem. Poor Hunclay. Selling his soul in a futile bid for immortality. And to die so ignominiously after all his efforts! Crushed by a tower. We should get these books back home and ponder what we've learned."
She stands and nods to the others. "Unless there's more to explore here?"
How can one go about learning Aklo?
"Humans and their short life spans…one would think that having so little time you'd use it to live well," Vretiel says distractedly whilst feeling the weight of the pouch he removed from the chest. "Actually, we might need all of these dust packets. That was a very big wall of light, after all. What was your agreement with your patron? I mean, not only is this outside the manor premises, we actually need it to finish cleaning up the house."
I was thinking of putting one point on linguistics for the two extra languages and say that Vretiel spent some time reading at Hunclay's library or got a new edition of Outsider's Pepper from which he somehow managed to learn a couple of obscure languages. That all depends on our kind DM being ok with it, though.
One point of Linguistics only grants the ability to read and write one additional language. We won't have to go through the process of learning Aklo, just that you are learning it between now and when you level. However, even understanding Aklo, the check to decipher this intricate & exotic text is high.