Sunlight streams in as Tabris opens the heavy stone doors. Like the first room you entered, this small room is open to the sky. Within the room is a tidy camp consisting of six tents. A few sheets of canvas stretched between rivets in the wall provide shade to a table and chairs. An opening leads to the west and a solid stone door leads north.
Giovanni, +1 for Danger Sense: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9
Corona: 1d20 + 9 - 2 ⇒ (18) + 9 - 2 = 25
Tabris: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
Goode: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22
Nigel: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
Dylph: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
Hiding, poorly, between two tents you see a woman in archaeologist's garb, clearly aware of you and trying not to be spotted.
Come out now, nothing to fear here. We are the rescue party. Giovanni waves her out of hiding.
diplomacy: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29
"We have come from the Pathfinder Society. The other researchers said you were sick. What is going on, here?"
Well, not my favorite but manageable. Giovanni turns to the others. What does she mean?
sense motive: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
"Snakes? I bear them no ill will. But a snake and... a thing with multiple snake like heads did try to kill us. They almost killed Giovanni."
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 - 2 ⇒ (16) + 9 - 2 = 23
I assumed she was physically ill, but perhaps they meant her mental capabilities. Why were they so calm about it, though?
"Something has upset you. Please, explain. We didn't spend weeks traveling out here just to attack you."
Well maybe we should! Heehee!
"Snakes? They make for good meals when needed." Tabris rumbles, his ragged and uneven grimace of a grin returning at the mention of the hydra.
What hasn't gotten us? We are on your side. Explain yourself, this is for your safety. Giovanni gives her a sterner look.
"Are the other researchers sick? Maybe you are the only uninfected person here."
Come here, look us over. We are not infected. We've come from the camp to rescue you, Juliet, and the rest. I swear on my wayfinder. Giovanni flashes his wayfinder to the lady. What is your name?
diplomacy: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 - 2 ⇒ (14) + 9 - 2 = 21
"As my friend here said. We are not infected. This was not part of a hike to the mountainside. We came to check on all of you. Please, tell us what is happening."
"Wha--brainworms? What are brainworms? No!" She looks you over, then seems to reach a decision. "There's some sort of creature here, inside that central chamber. I think it's trapped there. It has everyone under it's sway, and it's convinced them that it's some sort of protector, calling itself the 'Starwatcher Spirit'. It had ahold of me, too, until bumped into that sphere up there." She points to the faintly glowing ivory sphere on the raised platform. "That broke whatever hold it was, so I could see the truth!" She looks around conspiratorially. "I pretended to be sick so I could get away from them. I've been trying to figure out how to free their minds, but more importantly, I've been protecting this." She opens her satchel to reveal a solid stone disc, about seven inches in radius and one inch thick, that glows with a light similar to a light spell. "Whatever that creature is, it convinced us that we should put these through the crack in the wall of it's room; for 'safe keeping'. We've already put two in, one with a fainter, purplish glow, and one that was as bright as the sun. I don't know what it wants with them, but I'm terrified what will happen when that stupid iron brute breaks down the door in there."
Probably an epic battle between it and the snake, Goode comments with a faint smile. If I heard everyone correctly, it probably will be able to get free if it has all the disks. And if the orb broke you free, maybe we could somehow get the others to touch it as well? he suggests, playing with a strip of leather dangling from his face covering.
Hmm, we should secure the orb as it seems to break whatever enchantment you were feeling. We should try to free the others quickly. Would you mind if I jump up there and grab it? Giovanni hopes he's not pushing too hard. Either way, he starts looking through his bag.
drawing a potion of Protection from Evil to have in off hand for now.
"Grab it? Did you see it?! It's huge! We couldn't lift it together if we tried! Besides, it's half buried."
You're welcome to go up and examine it, if you'd like. It's on a platform between the two rooms, about 30ft up, accessible by stairs.
"There is a part of your mind that knows your body is under control but it is unable to react." Corona reflects on Arletta's words. The thing inside of me may take over one day, if I'm not careful. The silver charms irritate her skin.
"We are fortunate you have regained control. Had you told us to find the tablets for this spirit we would have gladly helped. It seems like we need to find as many as we can. Do you know how many there are? With the one you hold and the two others..."
Giovanni thinks about it a moment. Ok, then. Just going to take a look. Giovanni climbs up to have a look at he orb.
Take 10 for 15 Climb.
Once Giovanni gets up there he'll put his hand on the orb.
[b]"Oh, no it wasn't the orb that affected them. The orb is what freed me. It was the thing in the central chamber, the so-called 'Starwatcher Spirit' that is controlling them.
Steep, narrow stairs lead up to the platform with the sphere, thirty feet above the lower chambers (no climb check needed). The platform faces south, with a commanding view of the Terwa Uplands. An immense ivory hemisphere fills the platform, leaving only a few feet of stone around its edges. If this balcony once had a railing, it has long since crumbled away, leaving a vertiginous drop to the stones below. Mosaics along the north wall of this platform depict sway-backed cyclopes spreading white dust upon their foreheads and helmets appearing upon their heads. The ivory sphere itself resembles the sphere you saw at Azlant Ridge; as you approach, you can see that it is, indeed, active. A soft white light glows from within, though it is difficult to see in the bright sunlight of this roofless chamber. Examining up close, Giovanni can also see that the sphere seems to be covered in a fine white powder; a smudge in the powder in one place (perhaps where Arletta bumped it) allows the light to shine through even more brightly.
"This spirit, how did it command you and the others?" Tabris watches Giovanni's ascent and thinks better of following after.
"It wasn't so much commands, it was more like suggestions. It made us think that it was a benevolent spirit protecting this place. While I was under its sway, putting the discs through the crack in the wall 'for safe keeping' seemed like a perfectly reasonable idea."
"Hrm." Tabris clears his throat, seeming to ponder her words. The he looks up and speaks words of magic.
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
"Bah! It is beyond my knowledge, but it IS magic of some sort." he grumbles.
kn arcana: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17
This thing is like a palette cleanser for the brain. I could use that on the occasional morning, I tell you what. Giovanni comes back down and joins the group.
"A palette cleanser for my mind?" Corona is draw curiously to it. Even with the voice in her head telling her it's a bad idea.
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 11 - 2 ⇒ (15) + 11 - 2 = 24
Investigative Mind: 1d20 + 11 - 2 ⇒ (2) + 11 - 2 = 11
<NO! I don't care what it is!>
Something breaks her concentration as she examines the orb. "I was so close, too." She decides to reach out and touch the damn thing.
K Arcana: 1d20 + 9 - 2 ⇒ (19) + 9 - 2 = 26
Investigative Mind: 1d20 + 9 - 2 ⇒ (3) + 9 - 2 = 10
Ouch, these DCs are killing me
"So many mysteries to solve." Corona is rather excited, even if she has nothing useful to say.
Corona touches the orb and is briefly limned in a pale blue light (as was Giovanni, though I failed to mention it). There are no other visible effects.
Unfortunately these DCs don't scale between high and low tier, sorry. You may be able to piece together what the effect is anyway, between your experience touching it and Arletta's description.
"Ah, that is relaxing." Corona for once, hears only her thoughts. At least for a few minutes.
"What's our next step, then? Once the construct destroys that door it will fight this... Starwatcher Spirit. I saw we continue searching- perhaps we will find clues to how it was imprisoned."
"There is the door that the titan is not assaulting, or the hall to the far end of the temple. Either way, I feel a thirst." Tabris looks to Arletta. "Is the fountain in the hall potable? No enchantments over it?"
With a word, Tabris detects for magic before turning to the party. "Have any of you divinations for poison? If not, I will be the tester." Assuming no one does, Tabris will drink deeply, resisting the urge to lap directly at the pool so as to not hog it for himself.
"I have no divinations that will help." Corona feels ashamed. "We have more rooms to explore, here. Let us try the first one on the east here, after you finish testing the fountain."
Are you feeling any ill effects, Tabris? Giovanni has none to offer to remedy the effects of poison. East sounds fine to me. Giovanni positions himself by the door and looks it over before opening it.
perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
There are no visible effects when Tabris drinks the water.
Some ways you may wish to examine the water:
Knowledge (arcana) to identify the school, DC 21:
Spellcraft to identify the properties of the water, DC 27:
"I feel nothing but refreshed." Tabris answers, staring at the clear water. "There is an aura upon it however."
Corona investigates the fountain very carefully when Tabris mentions an aura.
K Arcana, Sickened, Heightened Awareness: 1d20 + 9 - 2 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 9 - 2 + 2 = 15
K Arcana, Sickened, Investigate Mind, Heightened Awareness: 1d20 + 9 - 2 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 9 - 2 + 2 = 26
Her Investigative Mind magic wears off as she recalls its essence. "This water emits a strong abjuration aura. These kinds of auras are very protective in nature. I wonder if it emits a spell like effect?"
Spellcraft, Sickened: 1d20 + 11 - 2 ⇒ (20) + 11 - 2 = 29
"Anyone who drinks this will become very difficult to grapple or tie up. This may become useful in the future." Corona drinks from the fountain.
Perception, Sickened, Heightened Awareness: 1d20 + 9 + 2 - 2 ⇒ (19) + 9 + 2 - 2 = 28
"The water is quite refreshing. It will help you escape if you are ever restrained."
<You said that already! Get them all to drink it!>
"I agree. All of you should take a drink before we move on."
<Heehee, maybe it's poison?>
Woohoo, I finally beat those DCs!
Any idea how long it will last? That may come in handy but I'd rather save it. Giovanni pulls out a waterskin.
GM: I left a note for you on the discussion thread. Due to a boon I took, I'm permanently sickened until I make a DC 20 Fort or Will Save. You get to ask me when to make the roll.
"You should feel enhanced for a day or so, 24 hours."
As she drinks the water, she feels the silver charms burn up.
Will Save, Sickened: 1d20 + 8 - 2 ⇒ (1) + 8 - 2 = 7 lol, perfect timing
<You can't get rid of me. You can't get rid of me! YOU MADE A DEAL.>
Corona reflexively tears off the silver charms, smashing them against the floor.
"Dammit, why doesn't this work?" She growls, frustrated.
After a moment she regains her composure. "...Let us move on."
Stopping mid drink, Goode states with concern at Corona momentarily before tentatively asking, are... you ok, miss? He doesn't wait for a response before continuing, drinking deeply of the fountain and then proceeding to slick down his fur with the water, seeming pleased and finally being able to take care of the few loose tufts. He keeps his eye on Corona the whole time, seemingly still listening despite his occupation.