The villa sits high on the rocky cliffs of the Cape of Erebus, overlooking the shimmering blue expanse of the Inner Sea. To the north, the sprawling docks of Ostenso is just visible and its massive naval shipyards, ever feeding the mighty Chelish navy. Ostenso is a city of opportunity -- where fortunes rise and fall with the waves and the greatest maritime innovators are able to outfit the mightiest warships with the latest weaponry.
But while the docks of Ostenso is crowded and every view of the glittering Inner Sea is obscured by a forest of masts draped with canvas, the villa is tranquil far away upon its high perch. The view from such a summit is astounding, married to the distant roar of the surf upon the rocks far below.
The villa's owner, Gaspar DuRayne, chose the bluff because it could give him refuge and peace as he designed his mighty weapons of naval warfare, then infused them with potent magics to further extend the infernal arm of Cheliax upon the waters of Golarion.
But sometimes peace and refuge can make a man believe he is truly untouchable. For Gaspar, he believed he could make some extra coin on the side by providing some designs to other interests. He was far away from the admirals and captains and bickering nobles in Ostenso. How would they possibly know?
Alas, know they did. And they responded swiftly, mercilessly. For few sins rises the ire of Hell more than betrayal.
The villa sits behind a wall, ringing it upon all sides except for the cliffs that plunge two hundred feet to the sea. Only a small, narrow staircase cut into the rock leads from the strip of sandy beach and modest pier up to the villa itself. Guards armed with crossbows patrol the walls and walk the grounds. Only one gate allows visitors, wagons and carts through, but only after a thorough inspection at the gatehouse.
Numerous elegant statuary, fountains, and well-tended decorative plants provide pleasant sights and sounds in the garden within the walls and inside the numerous open-air courtyards of the villa. Servants hustle about, making sure the grounds are tended and the master's every need is seen to. But even though the tranquil house may seem pleasant and inviting, cunning traps are set and hidden threats are placed to deal with invaders or alert the villa's defenders.
While it is often said -- with a nervous smile and a glance over one's shoulder -- that the paranoid may yet have someone after them, truer words have never been spoken in the case of Gaspar DuRayne.
Those Who Walk in Blood approach...
Eris Triguna casually strolled up to the Villa. An old hand at infiltration, she was fully aware that confidence was always the key. You would be surprised how even the most flawed of disguises could become successful so long as you looked confident and walked with purpose. No-one liked to bother someone in a hurry either. All of these flew through her mind as she headed towards the guards, pushing a cart of perishable supplies, all of the utmost quality.
Waiting patiently with the guards as they checked the food, Eris adopted a distracted air, as if this was entirely routine. After an acceptable search, the guards waved her through, and Eris was granted access. Of course she was, the company in charge of food was legitimate, the food was legitimate, and if the guards had bothered to call up the company and asked them to describe the courier in person, the description would have matched Eris perfectly.
Making her way via the servants entrance, she drops off her supplies, openly chatting with the other servants in the room, gossiping happily and frequently dissolving into amusing anecdotes-all the while learning the make-up of the house, the defences, the passwords, and the like. Eventually however, Eris had unpacked all the delicacies and had no further reason to hang about, certainly the inquisitive guards would be interested in why she had taken so long, although Eris doubted the guards were disciplined enough to keep track of the individual comings and goings of humble service people. Eris slipped into the bathroom and waited patiently for a servant to use the facilities. Humming tunelessly, eventually a female servant walked in no doubt cheerful at whatever boring task she had ahead of her, blissfully unaware as to the trouble that was waiting in the room. Eris carefully walked up, tapped the girl on the shoulder, and blasted her with a point blank Color Spray before she had time to react. Smiling, Eris dragged the girl into a toilet cubical, before carefully binding her hands and gagging her, in case she awoke before Eris could accomplish her mission. Appraising the girl with a critical eye, Eris undressed the unconscious servant, leaving her in just her underclothes as she herself stripped out of her own clothes, before slipping into the typical servant’s uniform. Lastly, to complete the disguise, she changed her shape to match the servant girls, before locking the toilet door from the inside before balancing on top of the toilet and climbing over the door, landing lightly on her feet. Humming tunelessly, Eris left the bathroom, her infiltration now complete.
From the bathroom, Eris picked up a tray of expensive food, before making her way into the guardians. As she had expected, she was largely invisible, just another servant girl the guardians had seen around the place, off on whatever job Gaspar had requested. With quiet cries of “refreshment Sir?”, or “Can I get you anything?”, Eris makes her way deeper into the open plan courtyard, stalking ever closer to her target, Gaspar DuRayne.
This is the classic Eris Infiltration tactic, find a way to access the location, then switch up the disguise and transform into something so commonly seen, its invisible. The bus drivers, the taxi drivers, the people who clean the offices, waiters etc, people in general don't notice them, and this is what Eris relies on. I can make the actual infiltration longer and more detailed, but wasn't entirely sure what guardians or magical defences existed in the house, and besides, Eris relies heavily on the idea that such defences are designed to keep unwanted visitors out, but not hinder the large amounts of servants etc that help keep the place running.
Kage awoke with the dawn and just like he was taught, he took stock of the situation. Overcast with hints of blue sky above, roof slate underneath, a series of chimney stacks to the left and the right, weapons in their scabbards. Kage risked a glance across the quad to the extravagant master suite, where his corpse to be was no doubt sleeping off last night's excess. Already the kitchen staff where scurrying about to and throw, unaware of the shadow above.
Kage had been here for three days eating hard tack while those far below indulged in food and other vices. He knew his corpse's habits well, there would be a large delivery of pesh and other drugs some time this afternoon and this evening there would a revel. And when that was dying down, and the myriad servants tired and inattentive, he would strike. Gaspar DuRayne was dead, he just didn't know it yet.
Getting to his rooftop perch had been no mean feat, the villa had many defenses and surprises for the unwary. The least of which where the sheer villa walls, they had been plastered and expertly tiled with squares of large and very expensive porcelain. The grout flush to the surface., no purchase there. It was common knowledge the walls where impossible to climb, Kage knew better. He had donned a special harness with sticky pads along his forearms, thighs and feet. A special alchemical gum had been impregnated into the pads that would adhere to a surface and peel off again without leaving any residue. There were limitations to how much weight they would hold, no hanging from ceilings, but they let him laboriously climb the eastern corner.
Of course climbing the walls wasn't the only problem, he had to evade the ever vigilant crossbow wielding guards that circled above. Like most men given a boring and monotonous duty, they fell into patterns. It took them five minutes to walk from one end of the walls to the other, regular as clockwork. Every four hours there would be a change of guard, so the half hour before that was the optimum time for his ascent, when the guard was most likely to be tired and inattentive. The ascent would take a little over five minutes so Kage would have to cling there like a spider, waiting for the guard to pass.
The climb had gone well, but the guard he'd nicknamed Smokey for his filthy habit, gave him a nasty surprise. Kage had watched with rising horror as Smokey leaned over the edge and lit a cigarillo. All he had to do was look down and Kage would have no where to hide, no where to go but down, and fall was enough to maim. Sweat trickled down his back as Kage clung there and for a long moment he though Smokey was looking at him, but no, he was regarding the cigarillo. Smokey took one last pull, flicked it over the edge and continued on his rounds.
Kage cautiously completed his climb and made his way to the rooftops to observe and plan. Initially he'd considered dressing up as one of the extensive villa staff. A good ploy, but he doubted an albino would go without note for long. No he would perform the deed in his mottled guild grays. Master Brinn had been very clear that they were to leave no doubt in anyone's mind what had happened here. In the half light, Kage made one circuit of the rooftops to check the coiled silken ropes he'd attached to various solid moorings. When the time came, access to and from the central courtyard below would be easy. All he had to do was wait.
Yamyra knew how she would infiltrate the villa as soon as she heard it was in Cheliax. She thought of a quotation from her favorite history of the halfling race, The Little People. In regard to the infernal empire it says the following, "The nation of Cheliax is notorious among halflingkind, as they are treated worse here than in nearly any other part of the world. Known derogatorily as slips, the Chelish have nothing but contempt for them, and generally keep them as slaves." If this DuRayne was half as powerful as he fancied himself, he undoubtedly had many halfling slaves in his household. People overlooked nothing as much as a slave.
Yamyra traveled to Ostenso in disguise as a human child of noble birth. Ilizmagorti sent a man to escort her, to aid her cover. She and her "chaperone" got a room in a local inn. By day she played the part of a noble child on holiday in the coastal city. By night she began her reconnaissance. At first it was simple observation of the villa from a hidden vantage. Then Yamyra tailed a few "slips" that left the villa on errands. After a few days, she had nailed down her new identity. There was an older male halfling who left the villa most often. He would be most familiar to the guards at the gate. Better yet, every time she'd seen him he'd barely said anything to the guards, just a couple words, and they'd waved him through. She waited a couple days more, to be certain of her conclusions. Once she was, she followed the slave the next time he left the villa. She'd learned he was some kind of messenger already. Luckily for her, the villa was somewhat remote from the city. It was easy enough to snatch the older man off the road. Yamyra knocked him out, and withdrew to a more private location - as far as she could carry him away from the villa, and the city. Once her legs couldn't take the weight anymore, she threw him down. They found themselves in a patch of thick woods in the Ostenso hinterlands somewhere. There were no signs of people about, so Yamyra went to work.
She woke the slave, and then tortured him (with a gag in his mouth during the loud parts) until she was certain that she knew all the pertinent details of his schedule for the day, and any passwords and traps she would need to bypass. Once the old man had broken, she thanked him for the information. "You'll be free now old one," she said to him. She knocked him back out, stripped him, and then slit his throat. Wearing his clothes, she used her magical hairpin to assume his appearance. Yamyra hurried back to the manor. She knew extracting the information had already taken some time. As she approached the manor she did what she'd seen the old man do half a dozen times. She walked up to the guards with her eyes low, and muttered the password she'd extracted from the slave. The guards scrutinized her for a second, then one of them said "It's just the slip," and they waved her inside.
From there it was easy enough. The slave had assured her the Master DuRayne would be in his inner courtyards at this hour, planning his next invention and enjoying the sun. Getting there was easy enough. She did what halflings do in Cheliax. She kept her head down, and skittered quickly and silently along the corridors like she had work to do. No one even looked at her twice. Then she slid into the bushes, her tiny frame disappearing in the ornate greenery. Now safely hidden, she smiled to herself. She slid her mantis mask down over her face, and her disguise vanished as the magic of the mask overtook that of the hairpin. She slid silently through the flowerbeds and shrubbery, seeking her target.
Not sure how close you want us to get to the kill, so I'm leaving it there for now?
DuRayne prided himself on having the very best of everything - whether it was food, booze, women, or art. And he insisted that everything in his house looked as fine as it possibly could. So it came as a surprise to no one in Ostenso that DuRayne had a team of cleaners come to his villa four times a year to clean and polish all of the statuary. The crew spent three days going over every nook and cranny of each statue. Two of the cleaners were more than they appeared. And while they were cleaning and polishing they were also mapping the grounds, watching guards, noting defenses, and familiarizing themselves with the ways of the household staff.
Blackstone, working on an alabaster nude in one of the courtyards, sees some unattended flowers move - as if brushed - and hears something odd. He 'accidentally' kicks his wash-pail, drawing Redd's attention. The younger Mantis makes a quick, innocuous gesture conveying a message. Red stretches his back from the arduous work and invokes a power born from his otherworldly blood. The world takes on an odd hue and a faint coronal glow appears around everyone in the courtyard - including the invisible (and clumsy) watchman.
Days later, after their plans are finalized, Blackstone and Red lift a few necessary supplies and head to the villa where they quickly down small ampules of liquid. The younger Mantis reads a set of spells off a scroll, causing the duo to vanish from sight. Their course set, Blackstone and Red spider up and over the wall quickly. Inside the compound, Red disables a few traps they spotted during their reconnaissance. The duo silently splits up to pursue their assigned tasks.
|The Red Minister|
Invisible, Red strides quickly towards the other end of the compound keenly aware of the short window of time he has to set up the diversion. He whispers unseen past staff, visitors, and guards. As he flows along a covered veranda, a troop of servants bearing platters pour into the walkway. Red checks his stride and leaps upward, catching his spider-sticky hands onto the ceiling. He silently pulls the rest of his body up, sticking his feet to the ceiling as well and waits for the servants to pass. Once his path is clear, the assassin drops to the ground and moves more quickly to compensate for the lost moments.
As he reaches his goal, a guard bunkhouse and some sort of storage building, Red tsks silently. DuRayne had coin but no sense. Keeping a supply of invisibility potions was expensive then he hires second-rate guards to use them. He has a luxurious villa but protects it with a single wall and a series of cut-rate traps that are easy to spot and simpler to disarm. Sloppy work.
Of course the good thing about tripwires is they can be easily moved... a thought that puts a grin on the assassin's face. Red quickly disables two traps and moves to the backside of the reinforced bunkhouse. He lays his gloved hands on the thick wall then looks and listens through it. The four guards in the main room are wolfing down a quick meal before the impending shift change.
Good. I've got a couple minutes, perhaps a little more.
He slides over to the other building, lays his hands on it, and again looks through the wall. He spies a couple servants loafing while taking inventory. Snooping finished, Red returns to the disarmed traps. He re-orients the first to target the entry way to the bunkhouse and runs the tripwire past the door. The second he moves next to the wall of the storage building and increases the power of the incendiary by laying the small cask of alchemist's fire - purloined earlier - right on top of it. He draws the tripwire across the footpath. Work done, and time running short, Red resets both traps and races back toward the target. Regardless of which trap goes off first, there will be a few downed guards and at least one building on fire. It would have to do.
As he runs, the priest/assassin lowers his mantis mask preparing for the holy rite to be enacted. He rounds a corner to the courtyard where the target awaits as his invisibility starts to fade. In the distance behind him there is a loud whoosh followed slowly by screams of "Fire! Fire!" After a moment, an explosion sounds punctuated by screams.
Red slides sideways into a deep alcove he spotted the other day, draws his dual blades, and thinks mildly,
Those guards are going to miss the shift change. Now, where has Kidd gotten himself to?
|Kiddrik, the Blackstone|
Casts Summon Wall-o-Text. Sorry folks … I likes ma intros.
Kiddrik spider-climbs up the last few feet of the outer wall, the skin of his hands and the soft soles of his boots arcanically adhering to the otherwise unclimbable surface. In one corner of his mind, Kiddrik ticks seconds off a mental clock … counting down the duration of the glamer that’s currently rendering him invisible. Even after the long climb, he has a few minutes left. Still, he’ll need to move quickly.
He lets his momentum carry him efficiently over the lip of the outer wall, his movements a practiced exercise in physical efficiency as he lands quietly on one of the outer patrol walkways. And while his unseen movements are calmly efficient, his mind works at a frantic pace.
Kiddrik scans the patrol routes, walkways, rooftops, and pathways that are visible from his current vantage point. Mentally reconciling the current position and direction of the patrolmen against the precise patrol rotation he and Red had worked up over the last few days, Kiddrik establishes the likely safe zones for immediate infiltration and overlays that with his mental map of the villa. A few optimal approaches emerge. Kiddrik considers and discards most, leaving him with a route that bypasses the known defenses but brings him to his initial target … the invisible guard outside the courtyard.
All this happens in the span of a few heartbeats, and—the mental clock still ticking down the seconds on his Invisibility glamer—Kiddrik quietly rushes off to the east along the wall top. There is a momentary urge to look back over his shoulder to make sure Red is on his way, but the old man has proven he can take care of himself. Plus … ya know … Red was also invisible.
Kiddrik rushes along the wall, drops quietly onto a bath house roof, and sneaks across onto a connecting roofline … where he is forced to wait as an unexpected halfling man wanders past on his duties. Unseen, Kiddrik scowls at the little guy. He’d seen this halfling many, many times during his and Red’s time scouting, and while the guards and staff of the villa might overlook such an anomaly, Kiddrik can’t help but notice that the halfling isn’t where he usually is this time of day. Regardless, the moment passes, and the halfling seems none the wiser as he walks purposefully around the corner. Kiddrik drops down behind a storage shed. With less than ten seconds on his invisibility, he’s in position for the first step of his part of the plan.
Kiddrik activates his Red Mantis mask, and the world around him shifts. Color seems slightly drained from the villa walls and doors, and an ethereal quality bleeds into the plants. And now—standing where there was previously only empty space—is the invisible guard.
… except there are now two. Dammit, Kiddrik thinks, there was supposed to be just the one. How can the man afford to keep two guards fully invisible all the time?! Still, every Mantis knew that plans were only good until the moment the job started, and improvisation was just a part of the game.
Kiddrik silently draws the Blackstone into his hand. The familiar comfort of the black grip—which looked like stone but felt like good, worn leather—renews his focus. His mind connects with the alien sentience of the black blade, and a wordless greeting passes between them. Like the unspoken, comforting welcome of old friends.
Kiddrik checks his surroundings one final time, ensuring the privacy of the moment. Then—with only a few ticks left on the mental clock—he acts.
Arcane power floods from his hand into Blackstone as he explodes across the intervening space, closing on the unwitting defender. Blackstone cuts like impossibly sharp ice, and the man dies immediately. Silently. Slumping to the ground. And while the man’s arcane invisibility masks his lifeless form, his liberated blood paints the pale sands in thick, dark red.
Kiddrik ignores it. Knowing that his invisibility expired the moment he struck—regardless of the second left on his mental clock—Kiddrik has only a moment to finish the job. A single moment only as long as it takes the man’s eyes to tell his brain what happened, and his brain to tell his mouth to cry out in alarm. Fortunately for Kiddrik, he’s quicker than the man’s eyes, brain, and mouth.
Blackstone strikes again, guaranteeing the man’s silence with a clean slash across his throat. A second invisible slump. A second splash of crimson on the sand.
Kiddrik doesn’t bother to sheath the Blackstone, grabbing the guards one at a time and dragging them to the storage shed. And I don’t even have to cover them, he muses to himself. The black blade responds with a dark, alien chuckle.
He kicks at the dirt to quickly obscure the blood as he watches for any signs that he’s been spotted, then breaks once more for cover. A minute later, Kiddrik slips from behind a column, using the decorative foliage as a screen, and comes to a nearly noiseless halt in the deep shade of the courtyard’s western wall.
Kiddrik settles in to wait, the Blackstone in-hand. He splits his time between watching Gaspar, watching for any unexpected visitors, and listening for Red’s handiwork. Red doesn’t disappoint.
A hollow whoosh echoes into the courtyard, followed quickly by the expected shouts of fear and alarm. Kiddrik shakes his head with a small smile. Punctual, as usual, old man, he thinks to Red. Now to wait for the right moment …
|Kiddrik, the Blackstone|
Ostenso. This was Mama Bess’ first time back there since she was initially claimed by her current family, the Red Mantises. As she enters the city she feels a moment of wistful memory for her blood-parents and cousins, last seen nearly 30 years ago.
How are they now? Where are they? Back in Andoran, I hope...but it doesn’t matter as long as they are far from DuRayne’s manor. I have only one family now and they’re with me here, today.
She whispers, ”Achaekek, guide me today, that I may keep my children safe as we do your work.”
Mama Bess spends the day trading notes with her cousins who’ve cased the place already: Yamyra, Red, little Kiddrick. She volunteers to take out the alarm prior to their assassination.
She brews a full set of extracts before going in. She holds back Monkey Fish, in case she needs to climb or swim something especially tricky, Expeditious Retreat, in case there was a need to move quickly, and Disguise Self in case it becomes quickly prudent to take on a different appearance.
Blend on the other hand, she keeps in her pocket as she watches the entrance from the shadow of a nearby doorway. When she sees two well-dressed humans approaching the gate to enter, she quaffs the extract and quietly positions herself just behind them, keeping as still and quiet as she can. Noone seems to notice her as the humans get their bags searched, and Mama Bess walks in unnoticed right behind them, smiling all the way.
Once she’s in she continues her slow, methodical walk through the corridors. Stopping through the kitchen she notices a large, ripe pear. She stands by the bowl until the three cooks (all halfling slaves) are looking away, and then Mama Bess pockets the two pears. While there, she notes the appearance of the female cook in case she needs to assume it later.
She continues at her snail’s pace. She carefully avoiding traps that would be conspicuous to disarm (or leave disarmed)...but she makes sure to jam a dropping-wall trap that could have complicated her family’s retreat.
Mama gets to the garden early and walks the perimeter until she finds her goal: the magical alarm system that she’d been tipped off about. So as to slow DuRayne’s ability to call for help, she stops to examine it. Hmmm, more subtle than the ones I’ve seen so far. The trigger is clearly a codeword, which would set alarms blazing throughout the villa. It seems countertrapped to prevent tampering. How do I disable the former without triggering the latter? Hmmmm...OH!! Mama’s grin widens as inspiration strikes her. Using her well cared for tools she deactivates the magical alarm. Perhaps that’ll buy us some precious seconds when the time comes, if DuRayne manages to notice us before we strike.
Just as she’s finishing she sees DuRayne stepping in from his guests to have a seat on his bench. She fades back into the bushes, nodding to her comrades and awaiting the moment to strike.
DuRayne's revel lasts the better part of the evening, with guests aplenty and numerous vices on display. The reasons for the celebration became clear at the midpoint of the event. DuRayne had several burly guards bring out a large, wooden figurehead for a ship. He announces his most recent innovation, a ship's sentinel, which would animate upon command of the captain as both an offensive and defensive weapon. The figurehead's buxom shape would also be good for morale, he jokes, and polite laughter responds.
The revelers begin to disperse, even as new guests slowly, quietly, infiltrate the party unseen and take up positions. The servants remain busy as always, bustling about and seeing that the guests are escorted out. Four guards stand at attention in out-of-the-way locations in the courtyard.
Gaspar seems pleased with how the evening has gone thus far, and leers up at his latest creation, still sitting prominently near the large table laden with food. A smiling servant brings him a fresh glass of wine, bowing demurely in his presence.
As the last of the guests stepped from the courtyard, a sudden whoosh! sounds in a nearby section of the villa, and the shouts of Fire! Fire! ring. Guards and servants look about in alarm, and Gaspar drops his goblet in shock, the red liquid splattering upon the stones.
Before the silent guests can make their move, however, the smiling servant leans to Gaspar and states, Assassins, my lord!
No! he shouts, rising to his feet. He glances into the bushes surrounding him frantically, spotting nothing. As the servant slinks away, Gaspar chants something unintelligible, but the Ship Sentinel animates, menacing with the large spear in its hands.
Initiative, Sentinel: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15
Initiative, Gaspar: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Initiative, Guards: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (5) - 1 = 4
Initiative, Eris: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Initiative, Kage: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Initiative, Yamyra: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
Initiative, Red: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
Initative, Kid: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
Initiative, Bess: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Kid and Eris,
Kage and Yamyra,
and then the guards...
Knowledge Arcana on Sentinel: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
Seeing the large awkward construct standing and looking to defend its masters, Eris reacts quickly. The priority was Gaspar but she needed to find a successful opening to eliminate him, and it was unlikely that his defender would give her that chance. Thinking on her feet, Eris casts Grease on the squares around the Sentinal's feet, hoping that it will find itself unable to find its footing, granting her an opening that she needed.
The Spell is cast using my Silent Metamagic rod, so no-one should hear me casting it, while I'll roll a bluff check in order to conceal the somatic aspects of the spell to pretend they are gestures of fright / panic or otherwise not spellcasting related assuming they succeed on a perception check to break through my disguise or otherwise notice me.
Bluff: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (16) + 13 = 29
|Kiddrik, the Blackstone|
Love to know what kinds of defenses (especially against magic) this statue thing has
Knowledge: Arcana on Sentinel: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
Spellcraft (Grease) DC 16: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26
Things broke loose fast, but Kiddrik’s mind was faster. The inhabitants of the courtyard seemed to slow to a crawl as his brain picked apart the different elements. The guards - out of place. The statue - big, slow, but dangerous. Gaspar - the priority. And the Grease spell? Allies? Competition? It didn’t matter.
Gaspar did. And Kiddrik needed to get closer, quicker.
The actions in the courtyard seemed to snap back into full speed as Kiddrik muttered a precise arcane phrase. If anyone had eyes on him before, they would have lost him as he melted from sight. Then, he stalked across the courtyard, keeping an eye on the mark as he warily eyed the looming statue-thing, wracking his brain for anything mentioned in his studies about how to counter its defenses.
Cast Vanish, then move to the square just south of Mama Bess. I’m rolling Stealth but taking the penalty for moving at full speed.
Stealth: 1d20 + 10 + 20 - 5 ⇒ (2) + 10 + 20 - 5 = 27
Conditions: Invisible (rd 1 of 4)
@ DM Stalwart, I’m a little unsure of something. The Blackstone is a +1 weapon, can Kiddrik use a point from his Arcane Pool to increase it by 1? Or do they not stack? If they stack, he’ll also use a swift action to do that.
What you know of the sentinel is a lot of educated guesses and what you overheard when Gaspar introduced it. It's resistant to bludgeoning attacks, but vulnerable to fire, and has its usual construct immunities. Its weapon will pour salt into the wounds it causes which can weaken its foes. You are fortunate you are not on a ship, because these constructs have total awareness of whatever is on the ship to which it is bound.
Mama Bess feels her heart race a touch beneath her mask as the job blurs into action. A few of her fellows she sees...the rest, she looks left and right to see who might need her soon. Stay safe, little ones!
She decides to get herself into position to help without making herself a target too early, so she quaffs her extract of Expeditious Retreat and then advances forward as quietly as she's able.
With blend already active, she...
stnd: drink extract of expeditious retreat
move: at half of her (now 60') speed to marked position
Note, I'm sure that taking the extract made her momentarily easier to see/hear (though not sure by how much). You'll have to tell me if my moving with blend active immediately after allows me to lose anyone who'd sensed me briefly.
Kage was surprised but ready when the shouts of Fire and Assassins broke out. He had been watching his corpse strut around for hours and was planning on striking soon, but the timing had been taken out of his hands. He was curious, who where the assailants, had the guild sent more?
@GM can I assume Kage has already studied DuRayne?
Years of training kicked in and Kage concentrated on his talent, the thing that separated the mantis from mere assassins, and Vanished. Not that anyone had seen him anyway, but invisibility would let him close in on his corpse unobserved and open with lethally accurate strikes. He flicked the neatly coiled rope at his feat over the edge, and glanced at the others no time for them, and silently slid down.
Stealth: 1d20 + 8 + 20 ⇒ (19) + 8 + 20 = 47
+20 is for invisibility
I think we need to wait for the construct to actually do something before we act Kage. However, your action probably won't change. So I guess it doesn't matter.
My action on the other hand will likely depend on what it does.
Stealth in case it tries to see hidden people: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (19) + 16 = 35
|The Red Minister|
I'm assuming the grid is actually the size of our characters, not the size of the tiled walkways... so I think I have the distances kind of right here.
It's a good thing the mantis mask hid his face otherwise anyone looking would see the priest-assassin's brows rise and his face pinch in a surprised scowl at the cry of 'assassins'. I didn't see Kidd and I know where he was standing. No way we were both spotted. The servant stank of 'set-up'. Nevertheless, the mission was the mission and the target was the goal. Knowing Blackstone would go straight for the target, Red decides to support that effort and draw the attentions of the wooden golem.
Boldly from the shadows steps a mantis assassin, his black armor eclipsed by the loose crimson robe of a priest of Achaekek. Vicious double blades - held reversed against his forearms - threaten like a mantis' claws. The assassin springs onto the tiled walkway and races towards the center of the square trying to keep statues and trees between him and the golem's ready spear. Red shaves the corner, pivots, and lunges to the south catching the hapless guard before he can react. His sawtooth blade drives towards the man's chest.
SWIFT: Use Fervor to cast Shield of Faith
MOVE: to the nearest guard
Cast Shield of Faith
Touch | +2 AC (deflection) | 30 Rnds
MODS: 1H, Precision
Sabre HIT: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Sabre DAM: 1d8 + 2 + 1d6 ⇒ (3) + 2 + (3) = 8
1st Spells (4): x
Fervor (4): x
Sacred Weapon (3):
See Invisibility (1): x
Gloves (10): xx
Divine Favor - +2 AC - RND 1 of 30
Damn guardian moving into my spot...-grumble grumble-
Yamyra quirks one eyebrow under her mask as the courtyard erupts into chaos. So much for doing this smoothly, she thinks. The halfling assassin darts from the bushes, keeping low to the ground but in plain sight of all. She holds her buckler up, ready to deflect any attacks aimed at her. She run behind one of the pillars lining the center of the garden as the ship's sentinel stabs out at her. She barely avoids the thing's giant wooden spear, which shatters a cobblestone right next to her. S+@+! That thing's fast, she thinks as she flattens herself against the pillar.
Standard action; Fight Defensively, AC 23.
Move action; Move 30' on dotted red line.
Sentinel readied attack: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (11) + 11 = 22
Hopefully the pillar? pot? flower vase? Whatever I'm standing behind gives me cover, raising my AC to 27 for the rest of this round.
The construct's oversized spear jabs out at the blur of movement that dashes from one of the bits of topiary to the nearby column. It misses widely, smashing pottery and sending a small cloud of soil into the air.
Gaspar, nearly hyperventilating as he catches the sight of a red-clad assassin nearly cut down one of his guards, pulls a scroll out of his tunic. With trembling hands, he unfurls the parchment and begins to read from it.
Three of the guards begin moving toward Gaspar, double moving but not able to do anything else. One moves right past Kage, giving the slayer an ideal opportunity to strike if the assassin so desires. Let me know if you want to take the AoO: he runs past you otherwise.
The fourth guard is cut deep by the Red Minister, who materializes before him and delivers a brutal slash. The guard fumbles at his belt and swings his halberd shakily. He thrusts with a halfhearted effort.
Melee: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Damage: 1d10 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Presuming that its now my turn, if I have overstepped let me know.
Eris narrows her eyes at the intruders moving in. Doubtless her target had made more than one enemy, or perhaps her organisation had wished to spend more than one team to make certain that Gaspar would not be leaving this place. Yelling hysterically to keep up appearances, Eris spots Gaspar attempting to read from a scroll, and instantly fires off a Glitterdust (DC 17 Will) in the area centered on him.
This potentially affects the construct as well but I don't know if its effectively sightless or not. Gaspar is the priority target anyway, as if successful Glitterdust should hamper his ability to either read from the scroll or make a successful escape.
spellcraft to ID scroll being cast by DuRayne: 1d20 + 7 + 1d6 ⇒ (17) + 7 + (5) = 29
I'll wait to take my action until I know if Kage took his AoO and if so what the result was.
I'm assuming it's round 2 now.
Kage started off with the plan of racing to attack DuRayne, but before he could do it events got in the way. Somebody cast some kind of glittering spell over DuRayne and a guard blundered in the way. Kage sighed inwardly, this was getting messy and the guard had to be disposed of. As the guard passed, Kage crept up behind invisible and flicked out with one of his wickedly sharp serrated sabers, slashing the poor man from shoulder to tailbone. His invisibility shattered, but no matter as he stepped in to follow through with a vicious double handed strike to the man's kidneys!
AOO, invisible, power attack & sneak: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18Damage: 1d8 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (5) + 8 + (4) = 17
Kage takes a 5' step towards the guard and activates power attack for this round.
Mainhand, power attack: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25Damage: 1d8 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
Confirm?: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8Damage: 1d8 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
Offhand, power attack: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
Confirm?: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
Ha two unconfirmed crits! Well I can't complain, that's 39 damage if the AOO connected.
|Kiddrik, the Blackstone|
Two things, Kiddrik would love to know what Gaspar is trying to cast off that Scroll, and I’d like to know if he successfully shakes off the GLitterdust before I choose his top-of-rd 2 actions. :)
Spellcraft (to ID the spell on the scroll): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Will, Sentinel: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16
Will, DuRayne: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
The sentinel is blinded by the cascading motes of light that suddenly appear. Gaspar, however, looks up only briefly and goes back to unlocking the magic in the scroll.
The blinded Sentinel is going to essentially delay its action until it has a target, so unless someone steps up and gives it something to swing at, it's done for this round.
The guard expires beneath Kage's blur of attacks.
Now for the rest of you can go!
|Kiddrik, the Blackstone|
Unseen, Kiddrik gets a running start and vaults across the courtyard’s fountain … not wanting to give hints to his presence.
Acro, DC 10: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
Stealth: 1d20 + 10 - 5 + 20 ⇒ (4) + 10 - 5 + 20 = 29
… he lands softly, turning to approach Gaspar.
Double move, including ACro to jump water and Stealth to remain undetected.
Conditions/effects: Invisible (rd 2 of 4), Arcane Enhancement: Blackstone +2 (rd 2 of 10)
Stalwart, another couple Qs:
- What are the grey-circle-on-red squares immediately above where I've moved Bess to on the map? (Difficult terrain? Solid pillars/statues and so unoccupyable?)
- In terms of the group: Have we met each other? How much/little do we know about the other Mantises here? (That there are others sent at all? How many? Who? Abilities?) It'll help Mama decide what to do. Thanks!
Team, I'm planning to break my stealth in order to get there quickly, announce that he's casting a powerful summoning spell, and then either (a) aid someone's attempt to disrupt Gaspar (e.g. disarming or grappling him), or if noone's close enough to help then (b) try to disarm him myself.
|The Red Minister|
~ RND 2 ~
Red easily catches the guard's blow on his serrated blade. He cocks his insect head - curious at the man's persistence. A hollow voice sounds from the helm. "Great Achaekek doesn't want your blood, son. Run and you can tell your children how you once met the Mantis... and lived." The assassin then calls upon his demon God and a nacreous light shines from his body and extends to the tips of his blade.
His claws strike at the guard's legs trying to sever the femoral arteries. Unfortunately, his concentration on the task is thrown off by the large number of other mantises that spring unbidden into the courtyard - throwing spells and cutting down defenders.
SWIFT: Fervor to cast Divine Favor
Cast Divine Favor
Self | +2 ATT/DAM (luck) | 10 Rnds - includes Fate's Favored bonus
MODS: TWF, Divine Favor
Sabre HIT: 1d20 + 7 - 2 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 7 - 2 + 2 = 9
Sabre DAM: 1d8 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 + 2 = 9
Sabre HIT: 1d20 + 7 - 2 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 7 - 2 + 2 = 13
Sabre DAM: 1d8 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 1 + 2 = 6
1st Spells (4): xx
Fervor (4): xx
Sacred Weapon (3):
See Invisibility (1): x
Gloves (10): xx
Shield of Faith - +2 AC - RND 2 of 30
Divine Favor - +2 ATT/DAM - RND 1 of 10
There are sisters and brothers here but I only see two so far, they're both engaged with guards...and our mark is about to summon something troublesome if I don't do something about it.
Shrugging, Mama Bess breaks her cover to hustle toward Gaspar (at surprising speed, thanks her her extract). As she runs over she signs in the Red Hand, < mantises. gather close. I can make you hard to hit with my whip >
When she gets close she snakes her whip out, attempting to knock the scroll from Gaspar's hand and send it flying before his spell can complete.
Bodyguard (aid AC): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
Move: 60' as shown on map
Stnd: disarm scroll from Gaspar
Free: (if anyone moves adjacent to Bess and then gets attacked) spend AoO to add +4 to her/his AC
Disarm: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
HP 29/29 | AC 21
- Expeditious retreat (round 2 of 40)
- Blend (round 302 of 400)
blend, expeditious retreat
Extracts remaining: monkey fish, disguise self
With a resounding Crack!, the frail parchment is ripped asunder by the length of leather in Bess' hand. Gaspar flounders as he holds the two scraps of the scroll in each hand. Guards! To me! he cries desperately as he recognizes the red-clad figures approaching from different corners of his garden.
Still waiting on Yamyra.
Can you please add the map link to the gender line of your DM Stalwart alias? That will make it much easier to find. Thanks! Sorry for the delay in posting, quite busy IRL at the moment.
Yamyra rolls around the column her back was pressed against and hops onto the stairs leading up to the central dias. She grins under her mask seeing she has DuRayne in reach. All her target sees is the emotionless face of a blood colored mantis. The little halfling assassin leaps gracefully up to Gaspar's chest height and lashes out with her legs, trying to grab the man's neck in a scissor hold. The shipwright gurgles as her thighs lock around him like an iron collar. Yamyra twists hard, trying to throw DuRayne to the pavement where she could jam her sabre into his kidney. DuRayne's panic lends him strength, and he's able to maintain his footing, though Yamyra maintains a tight grip on him.
Full round action; Flurry of maneuvers.
Grapple #1: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18 Success, prolly?
Grapple #2 (to pin): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11 Merr.
|Kiddrik, the Blackstone|
I put the link in the campaign description.
Gaspar staggers, knocking his chair back, as he tries to fight off the halfling woman who has grappled him. His hand reaches in his jacket and produces a wand that he fumbles with for a second while Yamyra has him in a hold.
UMD: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (8) + 14 = 22
He mutters a phrase through his compressed throat and the wand activates. As he tries to point the wand at the assassin grappling him, she takes advantage of his momentary distraction.
Yamyra, you get an AoO here. If you want to try something fancy like redirect the wand to attack him or the sentinel, (which would be so cool and cinematic), I'll let you use your CMB. Then you can make a ranged attack roll with a -4.
I'll just stab him.
Yamyra takes advantage of the opening to grab ahold of a handful of DuRayne's hair, with her buckler hand. Then, still gripping him tightly with her legs, she quickly scalps a large portion of his pate.
Attack (Grappled): 1d20 + 11 - 2 ⇒ (14) + 11 - 2 = 23
Damage: 1d6 + 5 + 2d6 ⇒ (3) + 5 + (4, 1) = 13
GM could you please announce when a new round starts. I'm finding it a little confusing trying to figure out which round we are on :)
Just finishing up Round Two.
Gaspar screams as he is maimed, and in desperation he points the wand at the halfling. A blast of fire shoots forth.
Ranged touch: 1d20 + 4 - 2 ⇒ (11) + 4 - 2 = 13
The scorching ray shoots high into the air harmlessly.
Two guards move towards the fighting, one stopping at the struggling Gaspar and watches for an opening. The third guard remains in combat with the Red Minister. He shakes his head at the opportunity to flee and swings his halberd to no effect.
Melee: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
Damage: 1d10 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Sentinel Will save: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12 The construct remains blinded.
Begin Round Three
|Kiddrik, the Blackstone|
Kiddrik continues his unseen advance, rounding the column and brushing past the first halfling Red Mantis. Through his mask, his eyes follow the target’s frantic struggles against yet another halfling Red Mantis, the guardsman threatening her, then up at the massive construct.
It was an easy decision. Gaspar was the target, supposedly the other Red Mantis was a professional—meaning she could take care of herself—and the construct was little more than an obstruction to be ignored and left lumbering in place when Gaspar was taken care of.
Plus, I’m not about to let another agent solo the kill on MY contract, he thinks darkly. Blackstone’s menacing presence calls thirstily to bathe in Gaspar’s blood, encouraging his decision.
Kiddrik steps into position, using the halfling grappler’s tactics to make the most of his own strike … then his training takes over. The precise words of arcane power come easily to his lips as he flows into his blade form. The Comet Falls, a downward stroke delivered from a two-handed, high grip, aiming to drive Blackstone and its stored icy power into the squirming man’s heart.
The attack pierces his Invisbility glamer, and it falls away, revealing the young Red Mantis. His blood-red mask rests atop a tall, thin, athletic and wide-shouldered form robed in crimson-and-black ceremonial silk armor. Two gloved hands grip the pommel of a strange, light-sucking sawtooth sabre made of black stone, and the hilts of yet two more sabres ride over each shoulder. In addition to a small black pack and similarly black cloak, the young Mantis wears a distinctive crimson scarf, its bulk enshrouding his neck while its ends hang loosely.
I figure I could do an actual first-reveal for the teammates. Hope you guys don’t mind. :)
Top of Round 3
Move to square bottom/left of Gaspar (map updated)
Then cast Rime Frostbite, using Spellstrike to attack (fighting defensively) to deliver it.
Attack modified by: Invisibility (+2), Flank (+2), and fighting defensively (-4)
+2 sawtooth sabre, attack: 1d20 + 9 + 2 + 2 - 4 ⇒ (16) + 9 + 2 + 2 - 4 = 25
weapon damage: 1d8 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
spell damage (nonlethal): 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Conditions/effects: Frostbite (3 of 4 strikes remaining), Arcane Enhancement: Blackstone +2 (rd 3 of 10), Fighting Defensively (-4 attack rolls/+3 AC)
AC 21 CMD 25
|The Red Minister|
~ RND 3 ~
Red sidesteps the halberd blow and launches a pair of strikes in reply while keeping an eye on the main fight.
MODS: TWF, Divine Favor
Sabre HIT: 1d20 + 7 - 2 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 7 - 2 + 2 = 12
Sabre DAM: 1d8 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 + 2 = 5
Sabre HIT: 1d20 + 7 - 2 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 7 - 2 + 2 = 24
Sabre DAM: 1d8 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 1 + 2 = 5
1st Spells (4): xx
Fervor (4): xx
Sacred Weapon (3):
See Invisibility (1): x
Gloves (10): xx
Shield of Faith - +2 AC - RND 3 of 30
Divine Favor - +2 ATT/DAM - RND 2 of 10
Eris watches the construct flail around as the cluster of assassins draw closer to Gaspar. Fully aware that her ability to assist in combat is now limited, Eris delays her action while she thinks about a possible escape route.
Kage scans the situation, with dismay. His prize was surrounded by multiple assailants! It would be all over bar the shouting when he got there. Master Brin would be disappointed. Kage shuddered, Master Brin's disappointment was likely to be painful. Excuses where irrelevant, only results mattered.
Still there was the guard approaching from the corner, racing in vein to save his employer. Kage settled back into the the shadows to wait, he would make sure the guard never got there...
Stealth: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
Hoping to set up another AOO.
Bess and Yamyra still get actions this round, but thanks to Kiddrik's extra spell damage...
Gaspar suddenly becomes coated in a thick frost, his lips turn blue and his nose and fingers blacken under the chilling assault. Already severely hurt by Yamyra's bloodthirsty attack, Kiddrick's enchanted blow is too much for him. He sinks to the floor, very much out of the fight, although you suspect he would recover in time if left alone.
Speeding this along. But since Bess and Yamyra get to go, I'll hold off of the actions of the guard closest to them.
The guard squaring off with Red throws down his halberd and brings his hands up, that last cut from the Minister taking the fight out of him. He takes a couple tentative steps away, looking to retreat.
Guard's Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
The guard hustling to the fight turns around the corner and looks down, seeing the body of his fellow guard at his feet. A slight bit of movement catches his eye, and he spots Kage. He stops short of him and brings his halberd to the ready.
Eris, you note that the area at the top of the map is a sheer cliff, open to a 200-foot drop to the sea. The smoke is rising, illuminated with a ruddy glow, from the building at the lower right of the map. Based on the shouts and alarms coming from that side of the villa, it is doing its proper job as a distraction. You believe escaping, under both the cover of night and the smoke, should be relatively simple.
Damn, no need for a Silent Image then. Still doesn't change what I want to do however, I don't have the ability to kill Gaspar myself, and I con't have the ability to hit the guards without hitting allies. (which is a moot point anyway since we can apparently easily escape.
Seeing more mantises fading in from the shadows and taking down DuRayne, Mama Bess smiles beneath her red and black mask.
She steps closer to their now tackled and frozen mark and cracks her whip twice toward the guard behind the other halfling assassin, doing her best to make it difficult for him to approach.
Bodyguard (aid AC): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18 >> +4 to AC
Free: 5' step as shown on map (getting Yamyra's guard into whip range)
Move: Aid Yamyra's AC
Stnd: Aid Yamyra's AC (again). Between the two Yamyra gets +8 AC
Free: (if anyone moves adjacent to Bess and then gets attacked) spend AoO to add +4 to her/his AC
Aid Yamyra's AC: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
Aid Yamyra's AC: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
"Thanks," Yamyra says to Kriddick in a sarcastic tone, "but, I got this." Still gripping DuRayne's unconscious body she
jams her sabre into his heart, tries to stab DuRayne through the heart to make sure he doesn't get back up. Unfortunately for her, he is wearing a massive platinum amulet under his shirt, and the tip of her sabre lodges firmly in it when she stabs him. Growling in frustration she says, "Fine, you take him." Then she pushes quickly to her feet, using the jammed sabre to kip up. Standing on DuRayne's chest she tears it free and leaps again, flipping backwards through the air and coming down on the guard who thought to take her from behind. Like an evil little monkey her hands find his pressure points, digging in and gripping him tightly. "I'll play with this one."
Full Round Action;Flurry of Maneuvers.
Grapple on DuRayne to finish him: 1d20 + 10 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 10 + 5 = 161d6 + 5 + 2d6 ⇒ (1) + 5 + (2, 5) = 13 Fail...damn you snake eyes.
Free action; release DuRayne.
Grapple check on guard: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27