Selde couldn't help but smile at Caspan's remake. "Well Mia certainly agrees with you." She said with odd confidence before her unscarred cheek turned scarlet.
Wren kept quiet as the group went even deeper into the keep. She couldn’t help but wonder where all the rangers had gotten off to.
Back in the day she’d have made some kind of joke about, ‘Bees, bees, .... the more you eat the more you, well whatever, but recent happenings made that seem not quite as funny now.
Sorry GM, I saw 'We're still in init, Caspan's actions didn't go off so he's still up as is Thael, Wren and Jillian.' In my haste to get through all the posts I'd missed, I got sloppy. My bad.
Thael frowns. "The fact that the rangers have been so difficult to locate makes me believe they are dead. Still, this place is much better in the hands of the fey than the hobgoblins," he says as he follows Jillian down the north hallway.
Emil's not eager to carry a wasp's nest, but will if the group wants it available for use as a distraction.
"If'n I'm gonna carry that thing, I'm gonna take a precaution." He casts a spell on himself, Delay Poison, with a duration of 5 hours.
"Whatever created that horror isn't quite right with Erastil, as I see it. Be on guard."
I moved Emil and Pila up behind Jillian. I left room assuming Caspan will probably want to be near the front and room for one more. Let me know if anyone else wants a place closer to the front.
Jillian moves to the door to the north to look for signs of enemies or trouble. As she closes the distance, she sees that the room beyond the door continually oozes a thin red fluid that puddles on the ground at the base of the door. The liquid is not blood and closer to that of wine, when touched, it evaporates.
Beyond the door, a man is talking in Common in hushed whispers.
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
Emil listens carefully and after about 20 seconds, he begins to frown, listens some more, and finally whispers, "I hear a man claiming he came here for some kind of sale and is insisting he be paid. Strange thing is, he keeps repeating the same sentences over and over. Somethin's fishy.""
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19
Jillian nods to Emil's recounting of what they could hear and then nods to Caspan's "Let's check it out and see if we can help, doubt it is one of the rangers based on what he is saying but he may know something if we can figure out what is wrong with him."
She goes to open the door, her weapon in her other hand but down as to not be immediately threatening.
Opening the door in as nonthreatening manner as you can with a greatsword in your hand, Jillian observes the room beyond.
The ceiling in this room is only six feet from the floor, and consists of cracked beams and blocks of stone pressing down from the collapsed tower above. Chunks of wood and stone litter the room, with a particularly large specimen covering half of a once-fine writing desk. Hunched over the desk and leafing through a glowing ledger is spectral human with a semi-translucent hue of blue and glowing blue eyes. As he flips through the ledger, he speaks to himself.
"No, that's ridiculous! Why would I settle for that? It's not my fault that they didn't clearly state their reasonings for my trip! They insinuated that it was for a large lot sale for the entire fort! What? No, no, no. I can't leave now, I haven't been paid yet. As soon as they pay me what I'm do, I'll be on my way. No, that's ridiculous! Why would I settle for that? It's not my fault that they didn't clearly state their reasonings for my trip! They insinuated that it was for a large lot sale for the entire fort! What? No, no, no. I can't leave now, I haven't been paid yet. As soon as they pay me what I'm do, I'll be on my way. No, that's rid-..."
Jillian looks back at the others with a concerned look, seeing the semi-translucent man. She whispers "A ghost? We should probably see if we can put its spirit to rest, anyone know much about ghosts?"
"That ceiling looks ready ta collapse. Let's leave babblin' ghosts to babble and check it out later. That ledger might give some idea o' what's happened recently. I can give it a blast o' positive energy if'n ya want."
Knowledge (Religion): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
To try to identify it.
”Maybe if we talk to it, we could put its spirit to rest. I feel terrible for it just sitting hee for all eternity, you know,” Wren whispers.
”Hey there. I’m Wren and these are my friends. It seems that you’re not doing very well. Is there anything we might do to help you? We are looking for the Rangers.”
She moves so that she can see into the doorway to the spirit’s room.
Diplomacy 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
Selde stands at the ready while Wren gave diplomacy a chance. She appreciated her small friend's big heart, but it was usually best to leave spirits be.
Thael searches his encyclopedic knowledge to determine what this thing is.
"Give me a moment--"
knowledge (arcana, planes): 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (15) + 13 = 28
knowledge (dungeoneering): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (19) + 12 = 31
knowledge (local, religion): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18
Looking for 1) vulnerabilities 2) immunities 3) special abilities
The man looks up as the door opens. His face is anguished, his brow furrowed and mouth turned down in a frown. There is a large wound on the top of his head; it looks like it was crushed with something heavy. When he sees who has disturbed his work, however, he perks up. "Ah! Just what I need to finish my work!"
He seems to consider her request to help for a moment, then nods. "My name is Erno Haruvex. I am a wine merchant and was an invited guest of the Chernasardo Rangers, to discuss the sale of wine, spirits, and other supplies. I made the long journey here expecting to make a hefty profit on the sale, only for the Rangers to inform me that they were inviting me to donate my wares, not sell them. I am a merchant! And I would be a pretty bad one if I made a habit of donating my best wares, no matter the cause. However, the Rangers are allies and do an admirable job of keeping the Tamran highway safe for people like me, so I am trying to figure out how to at least salvage something from this trip." He pauses and looks down at the quill and parchment he was working on; they also seem to be incorporeal, but you see no writing on them, incorporeal or otherwise. "But I keep losing my place! I am a good mathematician! Why can't I do these sums?!" His hands raise to his head and he closes his eyes and rubs his temples, his face contorting into anger and frustration.
After a few moments, he recovers his wits. "But you asked how you could help. I think the easiest way would be to let me use one of your bodies. If I could just use it for a short time, I know I can complete my work, and it will be returned to you unharmed." He pauses and looks at you hopefully, then sighs. "But I can see perhaps do not agree with that solution. Very well. You could pay me for my wares so that I do not take a loss on this trip. I don't even expect a profit; I think three thousand gold is more than fair."
He looks down at the parchment again. "Or you can help me do these calculations. But I warn you, they will be difficult if you are not skilled at my profession. You should just let me take your body."
Both Emil and Thael agree that this is indeed a ghost. Emil recalls that they are incredibly difficult to destroy through simple combat and their spirit typically restores itself within a week. The only way to destroy one is to set right whatever prevents it from resting. Thael recalls they possess typical undead immunities and are particularly resistant against channeling.
"Do we have that much gold? Can we spare it?" Emil asks the group. "We might explore and find more. I don't recommend lettin' him possess any of us. That's dangerous. I doubt he'll follow us if we just leave 'im be fer a while."
"How hard can a little arithmatism be? I can count to 21 real easy..." Caspan says, with a smirk.
That said, he still steps forward and looks over the numbers with an eye that seems perhaps more experienced than might be expected.
Not sure if this'll work, but I figure it's sort of similar to counting cards and blackjack... Profession (gambler): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
"If I figure this out, that means I get all that booze outside, right? It's mine?"
To Emil he answers "I'll accept 3,000 gold for the entire load."
Erno turns to Caspan and nods. "Alright. Let's see if you can do this. Yes, if you can help me the lot is yours." As soon as the brawler tries however and gives his answer, the ghost scowls, "No, no, no. That's not right at all. You clearly don't understand arithmetic!"
If you are going this route, you need a specific number of successes in either Appraise or Profession (merchant). I'll take Gambler as well. A DC18 didn't cut it, you may not take 20 and there is a specific amount of time allowed. Good luck.
Wren takes a deep breath and shakes her head back and forth. ”No no no, I can’t let you possess my body. That’s just an icky thought! Nothing personal of course. I’m happy to help the others try and work your math problems, though. I’ve got to warn you, I’m not great at it, though!”. She looks at the ledger to see what she could figure out.
Aid another appraise 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Jillian considers there options and while she waits to see if, after Caspans failed attempt, the group can figure out a way to help she takes a look deep look at the specter as if trying to discern something more about it.
Detect evil on the ghost.
Thael strokes his beard. "I have a non-elementary understanding of all varieties of mathematics. I anticipate being of great utility in solving your problem," he says. "Show me."
appraise: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20
Seeing the thing is evil she scrunches her nose, she doesn't know much about ghosts but the pour tortured soul seems to need help. She isn't sure if it is evil just because that is what happens when one becomes a ghost or if it is in fact an evil spirit. In either case she watches the phantom and considers its words trying to get a feeling for whether it was being earnest in just needing some help to move on or if it had ulterior motives.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16
"Certainly." the ghost says, pulling out his ledge and moving to the first page. Showing the wizard the problem, Thael is quickly able to arrive at the proper figure.
The ghost nods in agreement, excited by Thael's proper reply. "Yes! That is exactly it! How could I have missed that? Alright, next one..."
You need a series of successes here, but with a +10 modifier and a DC20 of you're going to make them all with take ten.
Over the course of the next several minutes, Thael helps Erno solve all extremely difficult math equations which help him find a profitable loophole for his current dilemma. When the last equation is solved, Erno sighs in relief. He turns to say thank you to Thael, but his spectral image fades away halfway through the words and disappears entirely from sight.
With the ghost gone, Thael looks down at the desk the ghost was working at and sees that a large rock has cracked a drawer in half. Sitting in the drawer is a large cache of gold coins (1060 gp).
”Aw, see there? It’s nice we were able to help him out. That’s something for us to feel good about. I hope his spirit has went on to a happy place. Although it’s not hard to be in a happier place than here, I guess,” Wren said as she pointed out the room barely holding together from all the damage.
Jillian smiles as Thael manages to help the ghost find peace and move on, happy that should anyone else ever come here or the rangers reclaim the fort one day the ghost won't be here to bother them.
With little else of interest in the room, Jillian goes to check the next door.
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
"Hmph," Caspan grunts, frustrated that he wasn't able to figure it out. "That wasn't really so tough, was it? Probably even short stuff could'a done it!
"We get to take those coins, right?" he says as Jillian starts to walk away. "Where's yer moose, Selde? We can prob'ly load 'em up on it." Did we leave Nur outside? We didn't really make that clear... :)
"So that's how they deal with ghosts in the city? Well good job Thael, that was very impressive, I didn't know there was that much math." With the spirit dealt with, Selde helped Caspan load the coins in Nur's saddlebag.
Nur came inside the large room we ran inside.
There is a stairwell in the northwest corner of this room in addition to the door to the north you just cleared, the east and to the south. I'm assuming you are heading to the door on the east.
Jillian opens the door and it leans into a functional kitchen that has heavy, wooden shelves filled with utensils and basic supplies. A large stove occupies the southeastern corner of the room. Opposite it, a narrow set of stairs leads down.
Two handsome, grinning men that have the furry legs of a goat and a set of curling ram horns extending from their temples are in this room. One is holding a knife and waving it around in front of other one, talking in a heated debate in a strange language.
"No we should NOT be boiling the meat, are you stupid! That is the worst possible way to prepare meat! There is no flavor with that?"
"Oh, and I suppose you want something fancy, yeah? And who's going to prepare that? YOU!? You can't even cut meat with a knife!"
Neither creature has taken note of Jillian standing in the doorway due to their argument with each other.
Jillian signals the others that there are two people inside before she calls out in their native tongue.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (9) + 14 = 23 If needed.
Emil is pleased the ghost was able to move on. Erastil doesn't promise much in the afterlife except happy hunting grounds and good food and drink. He's not sure if this merchant is religious but with some piety, he ought to be all right.
As the group listens in, he is able to get the gist of the conversation based on the Sylvan he's been learning from Selde. "They're arguing about how to cook some meat," he says softly to the others. When Selde speaks, he puts on his shield and draws his hammer, but keeps it out of sight as he steps up to back her up in case they react negatively.
Knowledge (Nature): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24
Would like Spell-like abilities and DR if the result was high enough.
Aid another Diplomacy 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
”Howdy guys, I’m Wren ad these are my friends. Jillian was right. We are in a helping mood today, and would love to find the Rangers and give them help if they need it. You seen any of them?”. Wren was also fluent in Sylvan.
Thael, despite speaking a number of languages, doesn't follow along with the discussion. He waits to see how the creatures respond, trying to look helpful.
K. Nature: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16
K. Nature check to attempt to identify the creatures.
"Wait? What?!" the first creature turns, taking a look. The second spins as well and shouts at the first "See what you've done! We're being invaded by a bunch of humans now. This is YOUR FAULT!" he says, shoving the first one holding the knife.
"Bah!" he scoffs "Let's just get rid of them and get back to cooking!"
"I'm not helping you!"
"Fine I'll do it MYSELF!"
The first pulls a set of pipes off the counter and begins playing a rather amazing and hypnotic melody. "Dinner isn't quite ready yet. Go sit in the other room at the long table and wait until it's ready." they suggest Everyone make a DC18 Will save or do as instructed.
The second creature starts casting a spell.
R1: Satyrs, Emil, Wren, Selde,Jillian, Caspan, Thael
Though their bodies are almost always those of attractive and well-built men, much of the satyrs’ talent for seduction lies in their talent for music. With the aid of his eponymous pipes, a satyr is capable of weaving a wide variety of melodic spells designed to enchant others and bring them in line with his capricious desires.
Father Emil knows that they are resistant to most blade that are not cold iron based.
Init: Caspan: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Init: Father Emil: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
Init: Jillian: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
Init: Selde: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Init: Thael: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Init: Wren: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Init: Satyrs: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Will: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
"Bout time someone made us dinner," Caspan agrees. "Just strange it's goat men, but guess that doesn't matter."
He heads to the table to wait for the meat to be served. Hopefully spit-roasted, as he recommended.
Thael immediately recognizes that something isn't right. "Caspan, it's--too late," he mutters.
"This was a most unwise decision on your part," Thael exclaims as he casts a spell at the creature casting the spell, hoping to disrupt it.
Will save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
heightened battering blast (ranged touch): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 173d6 ⇒ (2, 4, 2) = 8
bull rush attempt (Int+CL): 1d20 + 6 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 6 + 5 = 12
spellcraft to ID spell being cast: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (6) + 14 = 20
Will 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
”Roasted goat is pretty tasty all right,” Wren nods at Caspan as she moves to go help him in the kitchen.
Will: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Jillian holds her non-dominant sword hand up trying once more for diplomacy speaking once again in their native tongue.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (1) + 14 = 15
She means what she says but perhaps her hand tensing on her greatsword isn't doing much to help her attempts at peacefully talking the creatures down.
Aw jeez... really not the best time for a 1... Doubt it works, but it would happen before Thael attacks in which case if they did stop fighting I would assume Thael wouldn't cast.
Will: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Shaking off the mystical music, Selde began to cast her own magic. "Nàdar, thoir dhomh do lasair."
Standard Action Produce Flame, Move Action Study Target the Satry that played their pipes.
Caspan and Wren move out to the table and take a seat, waiting as instructed.
The fey do not seem to bite on Jillian's attempted diplomacy and Thael's spell blasts into the one to the south casting its own spell. He recognizes the spell being cast as Summon Nature’s Ally III.
Emil is up.
Will: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Will: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
Emil shakes off the enchanting music easily and attacks the one playing the pipes with his hammer. "Use cold iron if'n ya got it!" he calls out to those yet unaffected by the music.
Hammer: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Damage: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
He has trouble hitting the fey but he hopes the attack will disrupt his music anyway.
Pila failed her save, but I doubt she can understand what they are saying so I'll leave her actions for the GM to dictate.