MW Horsechopper attack, PA, MH: 1d20 + 6 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 6 + 1 = 8
MW Horsechopper damage, PA, MH: 1d8 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 9 + 1 = 12
by "bring out my worst", I meant "worst rolls" haha
Acting on instict, Kitchel jabs once more as the creature staggers to it's feet and snaps at Ponok.
Attack of Opportunity: 1d20 + 6 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 6 + 1 = 9
Damage (P): 1d4 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 + 1 = 3
We like to sprinkle some natural 2s and 3s with our natural 1s it seems.
Valerica, grunting at her terrible aim so far this fight, tries to take another shot, finding a hole between her allies to hit the creature.
Longbow: 1d20 + 6 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 6 + 1 = 24
Damage: 1d8 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 + 1 = 6
Prescience 1/7: 1d20 ⇒ 18
Between that and True Strike, this is going to work even if it has cover from the other PCs.
Wayland draws his bolas and hurls them to trip the creature again.
Ranged attack, Non-proficient, Into Melee, Cover, True Strike: 18 + 2 - 4 - 4 - 4 + 20 = 28
Tif takes advantage of her weapon's reach to move around into a better flanking position, then strikes again.
MW Horsechopper attack, PA, MH, Flank: 1d20 + 6 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 6 + 2 + 1 = 18
MW Horsechopper damage, PA, MH: 1d8 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 9 + 1 = 11
Trig went after the creature with her longspear, staying in flanking position and doing her best despite her lack of experience with the weapon.
Longspear + Flank: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Damage: 1d6 - 1 ⇒ (2) - 1 = 1
Kitchel watches as her companions surround the beast and stab at it from different sides. Eventually she spots her opening and attempts to drive another thrust home while its back is turned.
Rapier attack: 1d20 + 6 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 6 + 2 + 1 = 13
Damage (P): 1d4 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 4 + 1 = 9
Edamm notes this beast's focus on Ponok and is determined to figure out what it is. She barks another command and draws back her bow to fire.
- Shortbow: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
- Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 2
Ponok tries to maneuver into position to flank the beast, then he bites and tries to bring it down again.
- Bite: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12 includes flank bonus
- Damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
- Trip: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13 includes flank bonus
Free Action - Command Ponok, Standard Action - Attack. Ponok: Free Action - 5 ft. step, Standard Action - Attack.
Have we figured out what this thing is? What check could I make to know?
Valerica's arrow takes the creature in the throat, the bolas wrap around it and take it to the ground, and Tif steps up, raising her blade high, and bringing it crashing down into the creature's flesh, cutting it nearly in half. It thrashes once, its weird four-part mouth opening wide, and then it collapses, still.
The creature does not bleed. Or, it bleeds, but the ichor is thick and slimy, and then quickly starts evaporating. The corpse starts to soften, turning to that same slimy substance, and begins dissolving.
This creature was a very uncommon type of aberration. Formed from ectoplasm (into which is now dissolving), imprinted with the emotions of captured souls, and raised to serve as hideous shock troops for the wizard-kings who ruled Varisia long, long ago, when it was still called Thassilon. This was a Sinspawn.
Very rarely, explorers and researchers delving into Thassilonian ruins will encounter such a creature. They always attack anything that moves, ruthlessly fighting to the death. They commit violence for the sake of violence. The exact means of their conjuration is unknown in the present day.
That this one was found in a barn on the outskirts of Sandpoint is highly irregular.
As the creature falls down dead, Tif pants heavily as her form shrinks back into its original form.
As it starts to dissolve and disappear, she exlaims "I've never seen any creature do that before. Um.. this might make it difficult to prove we killed it. At least the attacks should stop. She gingerly pokes the goo with the end of her blade."
Knowledge (Dungeoneering): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
”That thing is ugly as hell. Doesn’t look like any normal type of wildlife either.” Valerica mutters as she lowers her bow after seeing it fall.
”Well, the proof’ll be in that nothing’s eating the cows anymore, right?” she mentions, shrugging her shoulders.
"Anyone got a bottle? Might be prudent to get it checked out, or to study it later." Teladora's frown was darker than usual. All this way and the creature was simply evaporating away before their eyes. What a nuisance.
"Good idea. Uh... this wineskin will be ruined, but maybe it will do. And we should take mental notes to check with any scholars in town."
Wayland finishes off his wineskin (sharing it around if necessary) and then tries to put some of the goo into it using a stick.
Edamm also has Knowledge (Dungeoneering) and might have more luck.
Kitchel watches the corpse with fascination as it begins to dissolve and it's not until she sees Wayland trying to use a wineskin to collect some of the slime that she shakes herself out of it. "Hmm, I wonder if a glass vial would do a better job. I should have a spare one in my kit, let me check."
The ratfolk pulls off her backpack and rummages around in her alchemist's kit to try to find a bottle that's not being used for anything too rare or expensive. She'll use that to try to gather a sample in addition to the one that Wayland has procured. As she works she whistles, and when the bottle is capped, she tries to keep it out of the light in case that makes a difference. "I don't recognize whatever that was, but, regardless of whether we're believed for the bounty, though hopefully our status as heroes from last night might help back our story up, at least if word of the attack and our part in thwarting it has spread to the countryside already, we should take this sample to town and check with the local apothecary or alchemist or other experts on such things. Now, shall we search the barn to see if there's anything else here that might be interesting?"
Kitchel starts to move into the barn and poke around some even as she's finishing her thoughts.
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
"I guess this means we aren't getting a fancy pelt either. Not that that creature would have made anything stylish anyway, I suppose."
Tif joins Kitchel in searching the barn.
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
As Tif joins the search, Kitchel makes sure to find a time to place her paw on her friends arm. Speaking far most softly than normal, she checks in to see how Tif is doing. "You seemed fully in control there. You're doing so much better than you used to! How are you feeling after the transformation this time? Any loss of identity I should know about?"
Still hoping Edamm gets a good Dungeoneering check.
"Maybe the priest Abstalar Zantus will know something about this creature. Anyone recall any other scholars in town?"
Tif smiles at her friend's concern. "Yes, I am me. The focus exercises you came up with are working well. I'm still a little tired straight afterwards, but that goes away after half a minute or so."
As they return to the group, "Doesn't look like there's much else here. It's been here a while but I wonder where the creature came from. We'd best report back to the farmer."
Valerica scratches her head and shrugs towards Wayland. "I have absolutely no idea. Probably? I'm sure there's gotta be some kinda person that might've heard of these things."
She then puts the longbow back around her back and collects an arrow or two that she had fired off and missed with earlier. "Yeah, let 'em know he definitely got lucky it wasn't HIM being the one fed on. Let's try and get back to town before night hits at least."
Kitchel nods at Valeric'a suggestion. "We should get back to town and see if anyone there might be able to make something of these samples we've collected. Mind you, we should stop by the farm on the way. We can try to convince them with these, and point them in the direction of this barn where it's clear that the creature was nesting. Perhaps we'll be persuasive enough that they'll give us the reward, but worst case scenario we've still eliminated a menace to the local farmers and we've uncovered another mystery! The case of the dissolving hideous almost wolf creature with an unnatural mouth! Or something snappier. I haven't come up with the right name for it yet."
I'd say heading back to the farm, seeing if we can persuade the farmer that we did the killing, try to ask again about the empty tower we passed (which I didn't get an answer about before,) and then make our way back to town to explore there some probably makes sense unless someone has something else to throw in there for the day.
@Kitchel: Sorry, I missed that before. The ranchhand didn't know anything about the tower, he just said that it's always been there. Kind of a slow fellow.
@Wayland: Your asking around at the Swallowtail Festival did point you in the direction of Brodert Quink, a scholar looking into the Old Light in Sandpoint, and you know he lives in a house near the lighthouse.
Returning to the Keever Ranch, the rancher is a broad man with a fine mustache, skin like leather and hair starting to go gray. Keever seems skeptical when told of the creature.
"Sounds like you lot have been readin' too many books," he says, with a tone that gives a hint to what this country boy thinks of book learnin'.
As of right now, as you've already guessed Keever isn't inclined to give you even a single copper, but you can try to convince him otherwise.
"That's rude. We come out here, put our life on the line, and take care of your problem, which includes taking out goblins in the city, and all you can think to do is stiff us? Did you think it was a bear mutilating corpses? Did you think it was a wolf? Were those attacks something you've seen before now? Come now. You had a bonafide problem on your hand, one that was going to get out of hand much quicker if you ran out of cows, and we [i]heroes[i] - ask anyone in Sandpoint, they'll tell you - go out of our way to help you and you can't spare anything for the effort? Does that sound like the right way? Cause it sounds like people aren't going to be much into helping you if you keep this up."
Trig monologued at Keever with obvious distaste. She knew this kind. Didn't trust anything they didn't see with their own two eyes. Bumpkin. She hoped to set him straight.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
Wayland looks unfazed by the farmer's attitude. True enough, we have no proof we solved his problem. And what would he have to give us? A few silvers?
He watches with some amusement as the gnome gets all riled up.
"To be fair, we know it seems a little unbelievable - we were shocked when the creature started melting. We can at least take you to the old barn where it was living - you'll want to see it's cleared out or checked regularly to make sure nothing else takes up residence there."
While Trig and Tif make appeals to the farmer's better judgement, Kitchel goes back to examine what's left of the corpse. She gazes intently at the wounds as if trying to find something new.
Perception to find bite marks that would have come from an unusual mouth like that of the creature we just fought: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
If Kitchel can find bite marks that would have been made by the unusual mouth she'll cite them as evidence that they're not making the story up.
Kitchel isn't able to find much on the corpse, it's just been torn up.
The farmer's stiff upper lip is threatened by this tiny gnome's criticism, and as Trig goes on, he looks far less certain of himself, and by the end he's thoroughly brow-beaten.
"I, uh, you...maybe have a point," he says, as he wrings his hands. He sends his adult son to go check out the barn you indicate "I'll need to be goin' around to the neighbors to get together the reward--what's say this, if in a couple-three days there ain't been any more cows disemboweled, the bounty is yours. Would you be amenable to that, uh, ma'am?"
Very nice diplomacy check on Trig's part nailed it.
Kitchel comes back from peering intently at the dead cow and hears the farmers offer. She looks to Trig for approval. "That sounds reasonable, right? As far as I know we're not in a hurry here and verifying that the killings have stopped seems an entirely sensible position to take. As long everyone should be about for a while at least. I know that we've got that boar hunt that we're apparently going on tomorrow and this area seems just chock full of interesting things to explore!"
Turning back to the farmer the ratfolk continues, "Speaking of interesting things to explore, I wonder if you happen to know anything about that tower that we passed on the way here from Sandpoint? Your ranchhand earlier seemed to think that it had always been there, but clearly that's not true. Someone must have built it for some reason and I'd think that those who've invested in the lands around here enough to make a living out of them would make sure that they knew about any potential threats in the area. Does anyone or anything make it's home there or is it just abandoned at this point?"
Tif nods at the farmer's offer, finding this a reasonable compromise. "We'll be staying at the Rusty Dragon." she interjects.
"Very well. Three days." Trig responded with a nod. She looked as though she was ready to continue her tirade, but had thought better at it. She looked to Wayland instead.
"I would like to join you. Whatever that creature was, it's something we'll need to know about in case another shows up at the hunt tomorrow. Best not to be caught unaware."
"Let us know if you find anything out. All I know is that that thing was unnatural and needed to be destroyed, the easier we can do that the better." Tif remarks with a shudder.
"If the tower is abandoned, I'm for popping in for a look ourselves on the way back to town."
Edamm has been silent as the group discusses the events with the farmer. Lost in her own thoughts as they head out. Ponok follows closely, seeming to know his friend needs the time to work things out.
Coming around she looks around at her newly found friends and scratches Ponok on the head. "Sorry to drift off like that. Seeing that beast brought back some old thoughts and I was trying to remember if this was similar to another beast I fought in my past. I can't recall though."
Not sure if it was too late for the check but I'm sure that failed regardless. Again, sorry for the absence.
Keever is visibly relieved to have come to an accord. "If it's worth anything, I hope you did kill whatever's been taking livestock, hard enough to make a living out here."
When asked about the tower, he wipes his forehead with his sleeve and thinks a moment. "Ah, lemme see, you're talkin' about the Wisher's Well? Me an' my brother tried poking around there when we were kids. Been abandoned for ages, though, to be honest it isn't exactly safe but you know how kids are. If you're gonna poke around there watch your footing, place is ancient and there's a reason it's called a well, inside it drops out into a cavern at least a hundred foot deep."
With that business taken care of, on the way back to town you once again pass the tower off to the side of the road. It looks like an old ruin.
Welcome back Edamm! Glad you're still about!
Kitchel looks at the tower, her whiskers twitching with anticipation. "So as we're here already and there are potential mysteries, I vote for checking it out. I've got some rope, though if the 100 foot estimate was right we'd need more I suppose, if that cavern that the farmer was describing is really there, and who knows what me might find! Maybe it's the lair of the Sandpoint Devil!"
Tif nods, ready as always to follow where Kitchel's curiosity leads.
"We can explore above ground first, at least. If we floor is unstable, we can tie the rope around ourselves in case it gives way. If we find the way down, we can return later better prepared."
"Hmmm. I need to learn that Feather Fall spell, it's a good one to have. Until then, a rope is okay. Yes, I suppose we can check out the ruin."
"I'd prefer to wait, or not go at all. While Wayland could get us down easily enough eventually, I'd much rather not have to climb out. My arms are not made for lifting." Trig huffed. Flying, wind passing by antennae. Trig's perpetual scowl deepened. Of course it would be easy for Cal, who could fly. Such a pain.
1d100 ⇒ 64
Tying a few ropes together is easy enough. Walking carefully inside, the only loose stones Kitchel steps on are not hazardous, just loose cobblestones. Just past the entryway, the floor has long since given way, and where it once was there is now just a very large hole, about forty feet across, that goes down a hundred feet and ends in deep water with no visible bottom.
There are runes carved into the stone around the entryway. Enough has worn away to make them meaningless but still recognizably Thassilonian script.
The internal weathering of stone on the inside of the shaft and colonies of barnacles on the walls suggest changing water levels over time. This sinkhole is probably part of a cave system that reaches all the way to the ocean.
Perception : 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Tif points out the carvings on the archway.
" Look like some writing there - although it's worn away a lot. Rancher was right when be said this place was old. "
Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 20
Knowledge (Nature): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
"Hmm. Thassilonian script. Now that is interesting. And you see here, the smooth stone here and the barnacles there? This shaft connects to caves that go all the way to the sea. Better be ready to swim if we want to explore further."
Wayland is quite a good swimmer, with a +7 and the ability to always Take 10.
Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16
Climbing and swimming? You people are just looking for ways to ruin my day, aren't you?" Trig shook her head and turned her eyes towards the ancient writing. "Don't suppose any of you are fluent in that, huh?"
"Hmm", Tif remarks, peering down the hole. "Might need a bit of preparation to explore down there, especially if there might be any monsters. I can keep my head above water alright, but I'm not sure I'd be able to fight that well at the same time."
"How might we prepare? What are we looking to get? I'm not sure I have the coin to get the spells I'd want - or if there is even anybody in town who will have them for me to copy. Maybe after we get that bounty."
Wayland does have 17 gold, which could be enough to borrow a spellbook to scribe either Touch of the Sea or Feather Fall.
"All the way to the sea? Honestly, as interesting as it all is, I'm with Wayland that we should just head back before it gets too late. Maybe come back another time," Valerica shrugs, keeping watch of the sun in the sky.