GM ShadowLord's Tyrant's Grasp - Group 1

Game Master The Rising Phoenix

Roll 20

LOOT!


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M Human Paladin of Sarenrae 1/Oracle of Life 2 | HP 27/27 | AC 19/13/16 | F +4, R +3, W +5 | CMB +2, CMD 15 | Scimitar +2 (1d6) | Longbow +5 (1d8) | Init -1 | Perception -1 (Deaf)

It was an evil pest, it seems. And it was bothering his friends. Taking a few steps closer, Damian nocks another arrow, determined to cleanse this place of the eispil's foul presence.

Attack, PBS, inspiring sword, smite evil (bypasses DR), deadly aim: 1d20 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 - 1 ⇒ (17) + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 - 1 = 26 Damage, PBS, smite evil, deadly aim: 1d8 + 1 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 1 + 1 + 2 = 7

Damian's AC is now 22.


Channel 1/5, Bolstering Touch 3/6, Seize the Initiative 1/6
Spells Remaining:
Bless, Weapons Against Evil
Spells/Effects Active:
AC 17 T 10 FF 17 | Current HP 24/24| F +4 R +1 W +7 (+1 vs illusion+charm)| Init +0 | Perc +3

Marya takes a step closer to set Coral up for a flank once she steps back from the little worm-dog bastard. She then continues granting Iomedae’s Inspiring Sword to her allies.

+2 sacred bonus on attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks


female human sorceress 3 | HP 15/15; THP 0/0; N/L 0/10 | AC 12, TAC 12, FF 10 | F +2, R +4, W +4 | CMB +1, CMD 13 | Init +2 | Per +3 Immolation Aura 1/3rnds | Spells: 1st 1/6

With her friends so close to the thing Feena was limited in what she could cast so she sent yet another electrical shock out at the creature figuring they had a point about it's being an enemy of the house's Master.

jolt: 1d20 + 3 - 4 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 3 - 4 + 2 = 161d3 ⇒ 2


F Halfling Rog2/Ftr1 | HP 17/19* | AC 18, T 14, FF 15, CMD 15 | Mv 30' | F +4* R +8 W +2, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +3 | Per +9 (+10 traps) | Active: *3 Con damage

"Get away!"
AOO, Inspiring Sword, PA: 1d20 + 5 + 2 - 1 ⇒ (5) + 5 + 2 - 1 = 11

Coral steps back and strikes again.
Attack, Inspiring Sword, PA, Flank: 1d20 + 5 + 2 - 1 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 5 + 2 - 1 + 2 = 10


DD | ROTR1 | ROTR2 | II | TG1 | TG2 | JR1 | JR2

I botted Damian last round. Would he have used smite there too?


M Human Paladin of Sarenrae 1/Oracle of Life 2 | HP 27/27 | AC 19/13/16 | F +4, R +3, W +5 | CMB +2, CMD 15 | Scimitar +2 (1d6) | Longbow +5 (1d8) | Init -1 | Perception -1 (Deaf)

If he would have known it was likely evil, yes.

The Exchange

Human Fighter 1 / Barbarian 2 | HP 31/33 [37/39 Rage] | AC 18 [15 Rage]; Tch 12; FF 16 | F +8; R +2; W +3 | CMB+6; CMD 17 | Speed 40 ft | Init +2 | Heavy Flail: +6 (1d10+4/19-20) | Perc +7

Vlad seems unsettled by this strange creature, and even Marya's inspiring presence cannot steer his blow aright.

Heavy Flail (power attack, inspiring sword): 1d20 + 5 + 2 - 1 ⇒ (3) + 5 + 2 - 1 = 91d10 + 4 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 4 + 3 = 10


DD | ROTR1 | ROTR2 | II | TG1 | TG2 | JR1 | JR2

In that case his earlier attack does full damage as does this one. Couple together with Vlad's hit, that's enough to put the worm-thing out of commission.

Damian's arrow cuts through whatever protections were preventing the other party members from doing full damage to this creature. His projectile cuts through the three foot worm, splattering ichor all over Coral's lower body.

Out of combat.


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F Duskwalker Bard (Silver Baladeer) 3 | HP 20/20 | Defenses: AC 16, T 12, FF 14, CMD 16 | F:+2, R:+5, W:+4 | Per: +7, SM: +5, Init: +2

Lola awoke with a headache, laying facedown in a puddle of grey water, under an overcast sky. She shook her head and arms and pushed herself up, on her hands and knees, taking a few shallow breaths and blinking to get the grime out of her eyes. She felt her ribs to see if anything was broken, sitting on her legs and taking a look around her environment. I recognize this place, she thought. or something like it. But I have never been here... or have I?

Memories flooded her, years of them, like a weight, not of things she had done, but memories nonetheless. Dark, light, and a life with a tragic end. She vomited, nauseous and confused, and muttered something to herself, almost imperceptibly ”Mierda”. She struggled up, woozily and looked on the ground. How her things were with her, she hadn’t the slightest clue, but they were. She gathered them up and wandered over to a large tombstone and sat down. She checked her things for tears, cracks, or rot, then cleaned herself of with a bit of stage magic, combing her hair and braiding it into a tight spiral that she pinned up. She picked up la guittara and checked the strings testing the pitch with an experimental rasgueo. It was a bit off, probably from the fall. She sighed and looked into the distance, when a voice echoed into her mind, a voice of confident and powerful woman, a woman with authority. ”Good, you’re awake. Last time I checked you were still in the puddle. How do you feel?”

Lola blinked and kept tuning, twisting a peg experimentally and testing a note, she said out loud, ”You’d know as well as I do, hermana. You’re the one who can talk to people in their heads.” She knocked the side. ”I seem to be dead again, except this time I can get sick. Did you do this?” She plucked, and it felt off, and she tuned and plucked again.

The voice responded, annoyance creeping into her tone, ”Kill you? No. Brought you back? Yes.” Lola nodded and realized she’d have to restring the fifth string. She rooted around in her pack and the voice continued, ”do you have to do this now?”

Lola pauses, then kept rooting, ”Señora, I seem to have been a person of interest to otherworldly beings for some time, apparently. I do appreciate the help, but I don’t see how I can’t multitask. If you don’t mind me asking, why? Still need the debt paid? I seem to remember a debt, but everything is pretty fuzzy.” She happily pulls out a bright silver string and stretch it to replace the previous one, her calloused hands quickly repairing it. She returned to tuning. ”Who are you?”

The impatient-sounding woman in her head responded ”I am Arazni, Lola. Surely you’ve heard of me.” Lola blinked, and wrinkled her nose involuntarily, making a warding sign.
Lola could feel the voice rolling her eyes somehow. ”My reputation proceeds me... I have a task for you. And if you complete it, you can consider the payment for your resurrection complete. It is a simple task, and should be easy enough. Do you agree?”

Lola stopped tuning her guitar, ”without knowing what it is? What choice do I have, otherwise. Bueno, I agree, Ashava protect me.”

Arazni sounded pleased, ”You will? Of course you will... there are other people like you, or not like you, people who are fully alive. Not that you aren’t. Anyway, they’re on the dead roads, trying to get back to the mortal plane. Find them, help them, and go back with them, and your debt is paid. They are being chased by a Catrina, Mictena, whom you may remember now.”

Lola’s head throbbed, as a specific memory of standing in front of a group of odd psychopomps and being especially discomfited by the empty gaze, emanating from the sockets of the skull that looked in her direction, disapprovingly. Lola said, ”wait, she’s in charge of this part? How did that...?” She shook her head in disbelief.

Arazni says ”stay away from her and her minions, and come find me. The others have gotten stamps to pass along the roads, but as you might have guessed, you don’t have to get the stamps, so just help them and get out. Understood? I cannot contact you again until you get to me.”

Lola nodded, ”fácil, and see if you can get some of this debt paid please? It seems like I owe something to the psychopomps. I don’t want to any more...” Arazni’s voice laughed haughty and imperiously, ”I don’t think I’ll have to do much, but I’ll ask around...” Lola sniffed and scratched her head, then finished tuning, precisely, until she got an experimental strum which reverberated beautifully. Satisfied, she stood up, hefted her rooksack on her back, rummaged through her bag for her mask and put it on with a snap.

”Might as well try to fit in. Now, she left me with an impression to go... that way?” She pointed her guitar towards a path which wended its way towards some buildings a few miles away. Tapping her feet and walking in steps in time with her music, she danced and played quickly along the broken tombstones, singing quietly to herself and playing the music for the dead.


F Duskwalker Bard (Silver Baladeer) 3 | HP 20/20 | Defenses: AC 16, T 12, FF 14, CMD 16 | F:+2, R:+5, W:+4 | Per: +7, SM: +5, Init: +2

As the party briefly rests after fighting the strange worm, they hear a sound echoing through the halls, and the faint sound of a stringed instrument playing a quiet, sad melody, accompanied by a lyrics in a strange language,

"Ay, de mi llorona
Llorona de azul celeste'
Ay de mí, llorona
Llorona de azul celeste
Y aunque la vida me cueste, llorona
No dejaré de quererte
No dejaré de quererte
Me subí al pino más alto, llorona
A ver si te divisaba
Me subí al pino más alto, llorona
A ver si te divisaba
Como el pino era tierno, llorona

The sound appears to be coming closer as it echoes through the building.

The Exchange

Human Fighter 1 / Barbarian 2 | HP 31/33 [37/39 Rage] | AC 18 [15 Rage]; Tch 12; FF 16 | F +8; R +2; W +3 | CMB+6; CMD 17 | Speed 40 ft | Init +2 | Heavy Flail: +6 (1d10+4/19-20) | Perc +7

Vlad cocks his head to the side.

No se lo que estoy escuchando. Algo--extraordinario.

"Does everyone hear that? Or is it just me?" he wonders.


Channel 1/5, Bolstering Touch 3/6, Seize the Initiative 1/6
Spells Remaining:
Bless, Weapons Against Evil
Spells/Effects Active:
AC 17 T 10 FF 17 | Current HP 24/24| F +4 R +1 W +7 (+1 vs illusion+charm)| Init +0 | Perc +3

Marya stands up and cracks her back. ”I hear it, too.” It reminds her of that time she was on the frontline fighting some enemy bard playing a dirge that could shake the resolve of all but the completely fearless. She sighs and straps her shield back on and draws her sword. ”Gods damn it. What’s coming to kill us now.” She doesn’t bother trying to be quiet, knowing she’s wearing too much clinking metal to be worth the effort. She heads to the door and peeks out. ”Stand and declare yourself, whoever you are.”


M Human Paladin of Sarenrae 1/Oracle of Life 2 | HP 27/27 | AC 19/13/16 | F +4, R +3, W +5 | CMB +2, CMD 15 | Scimitar +2 (1d6) | Longbow +5 (1d8) | Init -1 | Perception -1 (Deaf)

Ah. More things that are heard without being seen. Damian quickly snatches his arrow from the corpse of the strange worm, cleaning it and returning it to the quiver, then stands ready to defend against whatever was coming, should it prove hostile.


F Halfling Rog2/Ftr1 | HP 17/19* | AC 18, T 14, FF 15, CMD 15 | Mv 30' | F +4* R +8 W +2, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +3 | Per +9 (+10 traps) | Active: *3 Con damage

Coral moves to face Damian.
"Someone is singing. I don't understand the words. We passed through a music room earlier where an instrument was playing by itself. The singer may have some connection to that.
Or, it is part of the riddles or puzzles we are supposed to solve here. I just hope that Marya is wrong and this singer is not coming to kill us. I was never the best at puzzles, but I was never the strongest for fighting either."

Coral puts away her sap, then picks up her rapier. She holds it pointed down.


female human sorceress 3 | HP 15/15; THP 0/0; N/L 0/10 | AC 12, TAC 12, FF 10 | F +2, R +4, W +4 | CMB +1, CMD 13 | Init +2 | Per +3 Immolation Aura 1/3rnds | Spells: 1st 1/6

Seeing the worm thing die Feena felt a wash of relief. She felt more sure of her magic and felt on the edge of a breakthrough that might help with her magic. She was about to relax a bit when they heard the strange new singing.

"Um what is that," she asked, "It's a language I don't know but it isn't terrifying," She looked at the harp playing itself, "certainly not as disturbing as that is." As they prepared for another possible fight Feena moved to the back of the group and prepared for what was to come.


F Duskwalker Bard (Silver Baladeer) 3 | HP 20/20 | Defenses: AC 16, T 12, FF 14, CMD 16 | F:+2, R:+5, W:+4 | Per: +7, SM: +5, Init: +2

The singing continues without stopping, getting louder, and though it echoes a bit, the singer is obviously coming closer.

Al verme llorar, lloraba
Como el pino era tierno, llorona
Al verme llorar, lloraba
La pena y la que no es pena, llorona
Todo es pena para mí
La pena y la que no es pena, llorona
Todo es pena para mí
Ayer lloraba por verte, llorona
Hoy lloro porque te vi
Ayer lloraba por verte, llorona
Hoy lloro porque te vi
Ay de…

Perform (string): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28
Perform(sing): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18

With this last verse, a tall, muscular woman in a fine midnight blue greatcoat, open in the front, adorned with silver buckles and filagree, turns the corner, and strums their final notes on the beautiful bone-white instrument, also accented heavily with ornate skulls of silver. She is wearing a silver and bone skull mask with indentations of color around the eyes, open at the jaw, exposing pale grey skin and black lips.

A broad-brimmed silver and blue hat fits snugly on her head, for a moment, until she bows with a flourish, removing her hat and exposing a long braid of silver-grey hair pinned to her head, loose strands hanging down briefly before she returns the hat to her head and brushes it back. A silver holy symbol of a dancing woman briefly hangs from a chain around her neck when she bows.

She is wearing shining armor under her coat, under a vest coat, and has a fine looking silver spear strapped to her back, and a silver morningstar on her hip. She speaks, holding her hands in front of her guitar as if supplicating, then fumbles a bit and flips up her mask, ”Perdóname, I like to make an entrance,” and she smiles a crooked smile.

Knowledge (Local) DC 15:

This is the balladeer Lola, who travels Lastwall inspiring the knights and putting the dead to rest. She is, to say the least, odd, but is welcome around the campfire for her strange songs and inspiring melodies.

Knowledge (Religion) DC 15:

She has the holy symbol of Ashava, the empyreal lord of dancers, lonely spirits, moonlight. Priests are known to help ghosts pass on to their final rest.

Knowledge (Planes) DC 16:

She is a Duskwalker, a race of outsiders associated with psychopomps and the boneyard.


Channel 1/5, Bolstering Touch 3/6, Seize the Initiative 1/6
Spells Remaining:
Bless, Weapons Against Evil
Spells/Effects Active:
AC 17 T 10 FF 17 | Current HP 24/24| F +4 R +1 W +7 (+1 vs illusion+charm)| Init +0 | Perc +3

Marya gives the stranger a wary once-over.

Knowledge (religion): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20

Whoever they are, they certainly have the look of a worshipper of Ashava, The True Spark. Blue and silver everywhere, the holy symbol. As much as Marya would like to trust her eyes, it wasn’t just her life on the line, but that of everyone under her charge. The horror stories that the Mendevian veterans told during the Reclamation of demons wandering into camp at night under the guise of friends and lovers. Those crusaders had a system that sadly won’t work here. However, Marya luckily remembers enough about Ashava—she had a class on other gods that are allies to Pharasma in seminary—to work out a little test.

”You swear that you mean us no harm, ‘By the Azure Light.’” She then draws two fingers up over her eyes, as if opening them.

To her thinking, some random shapechanger probably wouldn’t know enough to recognize the errors, and a half-smart one might think it an easy way to make a worthless oath to ingratiate itself.

The Exchange

Human Fighter 1 / Barbarian 2 | HP 31/33 [37/39 Rage] | AC 18 [15 Rage]; Tch 12; FF 16 | F +8; R +2; W +3 | CMB+6; CMD 17 | Speed 40 ft | Init +2 | Heavy Flail: +6 (1d10+4/19-20) | Perc +7

Vlad turns toward the newcomer. Perhaps the scar-covered warrior, with his piecemeal armor leaving much of his torso exposed, looks just as strange to her as she does to him.

"Who are you?" he asks, a little steel in his voice.

"We haven't exactly got any reason to trust you, and if you're another trick of this place, you'll regret coming in here so boldly."

religion: 1d20 ⇒ 14


F Duskwalker Bard (Silver Baladeer) 3 | HP 20/20 | Defenses: AC 16, T 12, FF 14, CMD 16 | F:+2, R:+5, W:+4 | Per: +7, SM: +5, Init: +2

Lola smirks at Marya, drawing her eyes closed with her fingers with a smooth motion, ”By the silver light, I mean you no harm,” She winks at Marya when she opens her eyes, and turns to Vlad, ”my name is Lola. Lola Aguilar-Vargas... and I see that my reputation does not proceed me, es una vergüenza.” She seems disappointed. She puts her hands on the neck and body of her stringed instrument, ”you must be the folks I was looking for. Mictena wants to put you in the dead book and I” she strums her instrument dramatically, playing a flouriiahing cord ”aim to keep that from happening.” She stamps her feet with a little flourish, and sings these last words.

But she chuckles, ”Hermano, have any of the weird things around here dressed as nicely as I have? Of course I’m not from around here.”


F Halfling Rog2/Ftr1 | HP 17/19* | AC 18, T 14, FF 15, CMD 15 | Mv 30' | F +4* R +8 W +2, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +3 | Per +9 (+10 traps) | Active: *3 Con damage

Knowledge (Religion): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Coral listens to the exchange between Marya and Lola thoroughly confused.

Colorful.

"She could be part of the puzzle or the riddle of this place, Vlad. Iomedae teaches grace and dignity, among Her other attributes. We should greet strangers with courtesy. And, should tactics not prohibit it, let them know our names."

Iomedae is the goddess whose Deific Obedience gives a Diplomacy bonus, after all.

"I am Coral, of Lastwall. From Three Pines Ford. I had traveled to Roslar's Coffer looking to solve a... a problem, and... well, I didn't solve anything."
The halfling looks at the ground.
"You seem to know something about what's going on here."

Coral is not confrontational or accusing, just exhausted (and, as noted, confused). She does appear a bit relieved to not have to fight. She sheaths her sword.


female human sorceress 3 | HP 15/15; THP 0/0; N/L 0/10 | AC 12, TAC 12, FF 10 | F +2, R +4, W +4 | CMB +1, CMD 13 | Init +2 | Per +3 Immolation Aura 1/3rnds | Spells: 1st 1/6

When Feena saw what was coming towards them and singing she drew in a sharp breath of fear. The being before them looked like an undead of some kind or one of those psychopomps and only two of them had been friendly so far. The fact that the creature was not openly hostile was about the only thing that kept Feena from openly roasting it.

Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
knowledge (planes): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6

As they spoke to the strange being Feena felt a niggling something about this person and began wracking her brains for something that would explain what was familiar. As the woman began to speak Feena realized, "I'm Feena and I do know who you are Lola Aguilar-Vargas! I saw you when Gregory and I first arrived in Last Wall." Her smile was tinged with sadness as she thought of Gregory but the memory wasn't as painful as she thought. "You were singing something..." Feena's voice trailed off as she tried to think of how the words went, though it had been a while, "I don't think I can repeat the words..." She approached the woman and said, "I can share the memory with you. May I?"


F Duskwalker Bard (Silver Baladeer) 3 | HP 20/20 | Defenses: AC 16, T 12, FF 14, CMD 16 | F:+2, R:+5, W:+4 | Per: +7, SM: +5, Init: +2

Lola stepped away reflexively, cautiously, and looking at Feena, nodded, "if you'd like... " She pauses and lets the woman do whatever it is she intends to do, "glad la guitarra and I made an impact, we must be doing something right."


Channel 1/5, Bolstering Touch 3/6, Seize the Initiative 1/6
Spells Remaining:
Bless, Weapons Against Evil
Spells/Effects Active:
AC 17 T 10 FF 17 | Current HP 24/24| F +4 R +1 W +7 (+1 vs illusion+charm)| Init +0 | Perc +3

Knowledge (planes): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10

Marya smiles and nods back at Lola, not missing a beat as she's corrected, her way of letting the newcomer know that the "mistake" was an intentional test. Combined with Feena recognizing Lola from Lastwall and the mention of Mictena, Marya is satisfied. She sheathes her sword, then removes her gauntlet before offering a hand to shake. "Marya Ilyinichna Belova. Cleric of Iomedae, formerly of Pharasma. Followers of the True Spark are always welcome as far as I'm concerned. Just had to know you were on the up-and-up. This place is f$~*ing weird."

Ashava brought back bittersweet memories for Marya. Back in seminary, there had been an impromptu (well, more than usual) Terpsichoread that some of her classmates put on, including Marya's crush at the time, a dark-haired girl with a fiery personality named Demetria. But the thought of going out at night to let yourself freely dance until sunrise was exciting and terrifying to her then, having to hide who she was. She had always been afraid to move too much back then, as though someone would see some slight femininty in every movement and punish her for it, a fear her father had done his best to instill in her. In the end, she didn't go, and some part of her has always regretted it.

She loves dancing now. Hilde taught her. She made a promise that she would always dance with Hilde whenever she asked.

Marya shakes herself out of her reverie, as there's more important questions to deal with at the moment. "You said Mictena is after us? Do you know how far away she is? How much time we have? I'm guessing Umble and Thoot sent you. Those two are slapdash about how they handle things, but their hearts seem to be in the right place."


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female human sorceress 3 | HP 15/15; THP 0/0; N/L 0/10 | AC 12, TAC 12, FF 10 | F +2, R +4, W +4 | CMB +1, CMD 13 | Init +2 | Per +3 Immolation Aura 1/3rnds | Spells: 1st 1/6

Feena said a few words in an arcane tongue and gestured then touched the center of her forehead and then the same spot on Lola's. There was a brief connection of light between the points and then it was done. Casts Mind Link. After it was done Feena said, "Thank you Lola, for giving me the courage to go on."

Lola:
You see this all through Feena's eyes.
It was a cold day, at least it was compared to where Feena grew up, and she shivered as she pulled her cloak closer. Despite her dislike of the temperature Feena still looked around in nervous curiosity. To her eyes, so used to the searing heat and light of Katapesh the land was dull and boring. Sure there were people walking about in the middle of the day instead of sleeping through the worst of the heat, and there was plenty of green, but she missed the way the heat made the air shimmer and allowed her to see behind the dunes from the way the light bent around the edge.

Feena didn't have that here and she found herself saddened. There was no music, the people looked strange in their concealing clothes, and she didn't like it. With a sigh of resignation she set her eyes on the man in front of her as he looked back and said, "Hurry up Feena, we need to catch the wagon that is waiting for us, they won't wait for long."

Nodding a strand of her red hair fell across her face and one of the lenses of her spectacles. With an annoyed puff of air she blew the strands to the side and focused on the man. He was older now, his hair mostly gone grey, but to Feena he was still the most handsome and kind man that ever lived. To her he exuded a fiery warmth, one that comforted Feena and she said, "Yes Gregory, coming."

As the pair made their way through the town Feena found the drabness and chill weighing on her ever more and she wasn't sure she would survive the place, or find any joy, except what she would get from being with Gregory, the only person who had ever cared for her. It was then she heard it, the strange music played on a guitar, an instrument she had heard before. Her gaze was drawn to the person playing it. It was a woman, that much she could tell, but she wasn't sure of what race. And the language she sang in was entirely foreign to her.

Feena came to a stop looking back at the strange figure and listened to her music. It was very different from what she knew, but not unpleasant, and she quickly found herself entranced by the sound and words. She forgot to even follow Gregory as she stood there and it wasn't until he came to her and lay a hand gently on her shoulder that she realized he had left her. He never touched her like that unless she got too distracted and needed the contact to focus her. "Gregory, who is she?"

Gregory shook his head and said, "I don't know who she is Feena." It was obvious to those nearby he wanted her to move along so they could catch their ride but he didn't act on the urge. Instead he looked to a nearby guard who was passing by and asked, "Who is the singer?"

The guard said, "That is Lola Aguilar-Vargas, a traveling bard from Arcadia I hear."

"Is she some kind of Pharasmin," Gregory asked, "I've never heard of them being ones for song like this."

The guard shook his head and said, "No, I think she might be connected to Shelyn given her vocation."

Gregory nodded and said, "Ah, that could be, though the death motif is in bad taste."

The song ended and Feena sighed as she turned to Gregory, "I'm sure there's a reason for it Gregory, and I'm sorry for falling behind like that." She gave him a quick hug, "I needed to listen to that, thank you."

The man looked down at her and said, "Are you alright Feena? I know you don't want to be here and it's not too late, I could send you back to Katapesh."

Sjaking her head vigorously Feena said, "No Gregory, where you go so to go I. I have no one else but you in this world and I won't leave you just because of this." Feena looked in the direction of the singer, "beside, maybe this place won't be so bad after all." Shouldering her pack to square it up she said, "Come on, we should get going before we miss the wagon." She turned her back and lost sight of the singer but heard the music for some time in the silence of her mind.


F Duskwalker Bard (Silver Baladeer) 3 | HP 20/20 | Defenses: AC 16, T 12, FF 14, CMD 16 | F:+2, R:+5, W:+4 | Per: +7, SM: +5, Init: +2

She doffs her hat again in Marya's direction, "A pleasure. And yes, it is very strange, pero the material plane has its share of oddities, si?"

She catches herself, and says "Perdoname, I have been speaking Taldan since... well... a long time, but I find myself slipping into the language of my former people from time to time. Please let me know if I am being menos que claro- I mean, less than clear. I am apparently relearning the language of Xopatl, razatlani. She shakes her head, "A gift, and perhaps a curse. I cannot explain it."

She blinks at the mind link that is shared, "Feena, is it? Interesting magic, thank you for sharing." She smiles kindly, her black irises with sparkling accents, like stars. "I got an inclination that I should head to Lastwall to help some ghosts, and then I eventually woke up here! Es una locura. My inclinations are usually for after the ghosts are created, and not before, and I do not even know if I am supposed to go back here when I die. Except here I am."

Then to Marya, Lola says, "Lo siento- I'm sorry - I do not know much. I have met Mictena, and she is miserable and she is not like most Catrinas, who I remember are very pleasant - if you can get past the fact that they are skeletons. She is relentless. So let us get you the stamps you need to get through the dead roads. Shall we?" Lola smiles disarmingly, answering almost all of Marya's question. She changes the subject, "That bearded friend of yours, he hasn't said much, but he is watching me very closely. What happened to you folks?"

Bluff: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22


Channel 1/5, Bolstering Touch 3/6, Seize the Initiative 1/6
Spells Remaining:
Bless, Weapons Against Evil
Spells/Effects Active:
AC 17 T 10 FF 17 | Current HP 24/24| F +4 R +1 W +7 (+1 vs illusion+charm)| Init +0 | Perc +3

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18

Marya doesn’t pick up on the verbal legerdemain to avoid her question. ”It doesn’t bother me, about the changing languages, that is. I’ll add it to the list of languages to pick up myself.” She then turns to Damian so he can read her lips. ”As for our bearded friend, Damian is deaf. He can read lips, but you need to make sure you face him.”


M Human Paladin of Sarenrae 1/Oracle of Life 2 | HP 27/27 | AC 19/13/16 | F +4, R +3, W +5 | CMB +2, CMD 15 | Scimitar +2 (1d6) | Longbow +5 (1d8) | Init -1 | Perception -1 (Deaf)

The stranger's appearance was striking, to say the least. Damian watches his companions, taking his cues from their reactions. Well, perhaps not from Vlad, but the others seem inclined to welcome this stranger, albeit with some caution at first.

Knowledge religion: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Knowledge planes: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8

Marya wrote:
"As for our bearded friend, Damian is deaf. He can read lips, but you need to make sure you face him.”

And that was his cue. A warm smile and a step forward, a brief bow (he knows that some musicians are... particular about handshakes, and the risk of damage to their hands). "Hello, Lola. Forgive my silence, I was trying to follow the conversation, and the unusual words you use stumped me a little." He smiles again, to convey that this was merely an observation, not an accusation.


F Halfling Rog2/Ftr1 | HP 17/19* | AC 18, T 14, FF 15, CMD 15 | Mv 30' | F +4* R +8 W +2, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +3 | Per +9 (+10 traps) | Active: *3 Con damage

Coral also extends her hand. "We can use all the help we can get."

"I know very little of what you say. Xoptal? Razlanti? Katrina?"
The halfling shakes her head.
"In Three Pines Ford we've got the Fangwood nearby, and our Nirmathi neighbors, and our legends of the fey, but even so I must come across as hopelessly provincial.
Still, my 'travels' over the past few days... or however long we have been in the Boneyard... well, it will be strange to go home again. If there is even a home to go to.

You asked what happened to us. We were all in Roslar's Coffer for our own reasons. The entire town was slain in the night, and we 'woke up' here. But unlike the other people in town, we are not dead. Here by a cosmic error of some sort.
And to find our way back, we need these 'stamps.'"

"Lola, do you know anything about this Kishikosh? Have you seen him?"


F Duskwalker Bard (Silver Baladeer) 3 | HP 20/20 | Defenses: AC 16, T 12, FF 14, CMD 16 | F:+2, R:+5, W:+4 | Per: +7, SM: +5, Init: +2

Lola looks momentarily crestfallen when Damian explains his lack of hearing. ”How sad, though perhaps... do you mind?” She reaches out her hand to take his and hold it against the guitar. She says, ”Por favor, close your eyes,” and she begins to play a simple song, about love and loss, quietly singing with her own eyes closed as she expertly plucks the strings of her guitar, the notes reverberating through her body.

”La ultima noche que pase contigo,
Quisiera olvidarla pero no he podido
La ultima noche que pase contigo
Tengo que olvidarla de mi ayer...
La ultima noche que pase contigo,
La llevo guardada como fiel testigo
De aquellos momentos en que fuiste mia
Y hoy quiero borrarla de mi ser...
Porque te fuiste aquella noche?
Porque te fuiste sin regresar?
Y me dejaste aquella noche
Con el recuerdo de tu traicion...
La ultima noche que pase contigo,
Quisiera olvidarla pero no he podido
La ultima noche que pase contigo
Tengo que olvidarla de mi ayer...
Porque te fuiste aquella noche?
Porque te fuiste sin regresar?
Y me dejaste aquella noche
Con el recuerdo de tu traicion...”

Perform (string): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25
Perform (sing): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11

Thankfully, her playing was excellent, though some of her singing was a little shaky. She touches Damian’s hand gently when she finishes, and smiles at him when he looks up. ”Of course, the magic that I can use to help you doesn’t require such well, intimacy.” Her skin turns darker grey for a moment, ”Just watch me if we get into a fight, and it should bolster your resolve.” She touches the dancing figure of Ashava.

To Coral

”Strictly speaking, I am not that well-travelled. Except if you think that having died is the ultimate journey... which it is, I suppose.” She mulls the philosophical questions she presented to herself. ”So - me. I get a sense of where to go to help put the dead to rest. And that’s why I came to Roslar’s coffer, probably just before whatever happened, happened - and I was afflicted with the same thing you were. El problema is that I don’t know really if I should have come back here. Es muy extraño, but I don’t really understand the rules. I haven’t seen anything about stamps or this Kishikosh.” She thinks for a moment.

Knowledge (planes): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12

”Sorry, I don’t know. I got a sense that I should come in this direction, and here I am. I do want to help, in whatever way I can.”

The Exchange

Human Fighter 1 / Barbarian 2 | HP 31/33 [37/39 Rage] | AC 18 [15 Rage]; Tch 12; FF 16 | F +8; R +2; W +3 | CMB+6; CMD 17 | Speed 40 ft | Init +2 | Heavy Flail: +6 (1d10+4/19-20) | Perc +7
Quote:

"She could be part of the puzzle or the riddle of this place, Vlad. Iomedae teaches grace and dignity, among Her other attributes. We should greet strangers with courtesy. And, should tactics not prohibit it, let them know our names."

Vlad sneers as Coral reprimands him. "The Inheritor does not require us to blindly accept strangers, especially in a house we have been told is run by a trickster and riddler. Iomedae's justice and light will illuminate all, in time," the warrior says.

"I am Vlad," he says to the newcomer. "Though my allies are wont to take you at your word, any betrayal will be met with pain," he adds.

Sometimes I wonder that we worship the same deity. It is as if my allies don't understand the higher truths--at all!


Channel 1/5, Bolstering Touch 3/6, Seize the Initiative 1/6
Spells Remaining:
Bless, Weapons Against Evil
Spells/Effects Active:
AC 17 T 10 FF 17 | Current HP 24/24| F +4 R +1 W +7 (+1 vs illusion+charm)| Init +0 | Perc +3

Marya glares at Vlad. Moments like this remind her just how completely different the two of them were in their faiths. She saw that same sneer in the Reclamation when Reynaldo sulked after receiving orders to call off an attack on Chelaxian garrison because the commander had surrendered. She saw it again a month later when he was corrected about our mission being to “liberate” not “exterminate” the Chelaxian people. Again when he immediately washed his hand after a a freed halfling touched him. Again when he said “Kill them all; Iomedae will know Her own” when asked if we should still attack a town if the civilians are not evacuated. She saw it one last time as Lord Marshall Cansellarion executed him herself for war crimes, as he proclaimed that Iomedae would show he was right. Marya had been the one to report him, and she’d do it again. Even if letting people like him live would have meant winning, she’d still have done it. The only kind of faith worth a damn is based on loving something enough to fight those who would take it away. She’s seen enough to know what faith without love brings. As much as she hopes to be a good influence, part of her increasingly suspects it’s futile and she’s just putting off the inevitable.

”Illuminate all in time? Yes, in this case, I think so.” Marya’s eyes are not on Lola, though, but on Vlad.


M Human Paladin of Sarenrae 1/Oracle of Life 2 | HP 27/27 | AC 19/13/16 | F +4, R +3, W +5 | CMB +2, CMD 15 | Scimitar +2 (1d6) | Longbow +5 (1d8) | Init -1 | Perception -1 (Deaf)

He is a little hesitant at first to close his eyes; sight is how he perceives most of the world. But he does so, and allows his hand to be placed on the instrument. He cannot hear the notes, of course, but the tremble of chords and wood is easy to feel, and soon Damian is nodding along with the rhythm. When it is over, he opens his eyes and smiles widely.

"Ah, that was, that was..." He gestures vaguely, at a loss for words. "It tickled my hand," he concludes, grinning at Lola.


DD | ROTR1 | ROTR2 | II | TG1 | TG2 | JR1 | JR2

With Lola in tow, the group returns to the vestibule and then turns north pushing up the massive staircase of dark wood, its maroon carpet pitted with age. The railings are carved to resemble ascending ghosts. The wall atop the stairs bears an enormous, looming portrait 6 feet wide and 9 feet tall. The portrait depicts a bearded older man with curling ram horns, hunched under the weight of a massive snail shell on his back. The figure bears a half grin, as though he knows a particularly delightful secret.

As you make your way up, the portrait suddenly comes to life, leaning forward to get a better look at you! "Well, well. Things aren't as hopeless as I'd feared, then! Welcome to Nine-Eaves. The master of the manor, Kishokish, has been betrayed and captured. While I bear his appearance, I am little more than a host for his little parties and puzzles. Sahkils, wicked creatures that prey upon torment and fear, have invaded Nine-Eaves. Will you help?"


F Halfling Rog2/Ftr1 | HP 17/19* | AC 18, T 14, FF 15, CMD 15 | Mv 30' | F +4* R +8 W +2, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +3 | Per +9 (+10 traps) | Active: *3 Con damage

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Coral tries to determine if the painting is trustworthy.

Assuming it is...
"We have dealt with one such creature. A small but tenacious thing. How many are there? And what can we do to help?"


DD | ROTR1 | ROTR2 | II | TG1 | TG2 | JR1 | JR2

Coral senses not ulterior motives or trickery in the words of the painting.

Kishokish’s image sighs with resignation. "Oh, if only I could say directly. All I can say is there are strange effects in many rooms which were originally designed as component pieces for other puzzles, and I am not sure if or how the sahkil invaders may be using them."

The image waves its hand and a strip of parchment appears in Coral's hands that contains four symbols. Image.

The image speaks "There are two tasks here: first, tell me the proper order of these images, and second, draw for me the image that would follow next."

GM:

What are you doing in here!? SHOO!

1d20 ⇒ 7
1d20 ⇒ 15

The Exchange

Human Fighter 1 / Barbarian 2 | HP 31/33 [37/39 Rage] | AC 18 [15 Rage]; Tch 12; FF 16 | F +8; R +2; W +3 | CMB+6; CMD 17 | Speed 40 ft | Init +2 | Heavy Flail: +6 (1d10+4/19-20) | Perc +7

Vlad's uncle Arun had always liked puzzles, and Vlad thinks he has seen something like this before.He holds the parchment up and stares at it for a moment, cocking his head.

"I know how to do these, I think," he says. He pulls a blank piece of parchment from his own pack and holds it over half of each symbol on the paper with the characters.

"Look--If you only see half the character, the first one is a 2, the second a 1, the third a 4, and the last a 3. So if you rearrange the order, it should be 1, 2, 3, 4. The next character is a 5," Vlad says. "But the 5 has to be back to back," he says, trying his best to draw one with a piece of charcoal.

I think.


DD | ROTR1 | ROTR2 | II | TG1 | TG2 | JR1 | JR2

When Vlad solves the puzzle, Kishokish’s portrait congratulates the him and attempts to offer more helpful information before being compelled to introduce the next puzzle. "Excellent deduction! First, vital information: Every shoki carries a staff that can contain a single soul within it. The leader of the sahkils—a grasshopper-headed monstrosity named Vithiz—trapped Kishokish’s soul within his own staff! You must—ngh! That’s all I can say before you complete another puzzle."

"There is a chalkboard hanging in the garden with several numbers etched on it. Circle any six digits that add up to 23."

Heading back downstairs you find the chalkboard as described in the greenhouse. Image


Channel 1/5, Bolstering Touch 3/6, Seize the Initiative 1/6
Spells Remaining:
Bless, Weapons Against Evil
Spells/Effects Active:
AC 17 T 10 FF 17 | Current HP 24/24| F +4 R +1 W +7 (+1 vs illusion+charm)| Init +0 | Perc +3

Marya stares at the board for a while, then finally shakes her head and reaches for the chalk. ”An even number of odd numbers will always add up to an even number. It is impossible as-written.” She circles two 7s, a 5, a 3, a 1...and then writes a “0” on the board and circles it.

She smiles to herself. ”Zero is a digit, too. And the instructions didn’t say we had to only pick from the digits already written.”


F Halfling Rog2/Ftr1 | HP 17/19* | AC 18, T 14, FF 15, CMD 15 | Mv 30' | F +4* R +8 W +2, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +3 | Per +9 (+10 traps) | Active: *3 Con damage

"Or..."
Coral draws a big circle around two adjacent 1's for an '11'.
Then single circles around 1, 3, 3, 5.
"Six digits. Five numbers."


F Duskwalker Bard (Silver Baladeer) 3 | HP 20/20 | Defenses: AC 16, T 12, FF 14, CMD 16 | F:+2, R:+5, W:+4 | Per: +7, SM: +5, Init: +2

Lola nods at Damian, and smiles back at him, lowering her mask and bowing. To Vlad’s point about betrayal, she laughs, her eyes glinting, ”Vlad, I will not betray you, but if you believe that I am afraid of pain, or death, well... I’ve died twice, it looks like.” Her smile grows more impish ”And I remember the first time. The pulse quickening... gasping for air and finding none as the will was sapped from my muscles. I am not afraid of pain, or death, señor.” and she winks at him.

She claps her hands lightly and says, ”bueno, it is settled. I will do what I can, and perhaps we will not have to test if the third time is the charm.” She returns la guitarra to her back and draws her longspear. If anyone looks at her askance, she shrugs, ”I have not yet mastered the art of hitting foes with la guitarra, and there are enemies, yes?” She twirls the spear, with some finesse, ”gotta stick them with the pointy end.” And she nods at everyone.

—————————-

Lola meets the first puzzle with confusion, ”puzzles? Here? What nonsense...” But when the painting mentions Sakhils, she nods.

Knowledge (Planes): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25

”vicious creatures, the sakhils are masters of terror. They are psychopomps gone rogue who have abandoned their duties to torment mortals. If you think Mictena is a bad enemy, well the Sakhil are worse.” She shudders, more as an affect than anything else, ”if they are here, then we should finish our tasks quickly. Whatever they have done to these rooms, they will try to make us afraid. I have some ability to protect us - but it is limited to a few minutes per day, I will try to use it well. Focus on me if you get afraid, claro?” Lola looks to be all business now.

————————

With the first puzzle she doffs her hat at Vlad, ”well done, a clever solution!” At the next puzzle she nods at Coral’s solution, ”I would expect that circling multiple digits would be a clever reading of the clue, it’s the type of puzzle psychopomps like.”


female human sorceress 3 | HP 15/15; THP 0/0; N/L 0/10 | AC 12, TAC 12, FF 10 | F +2, R +4, W +4 | CMB +1, CMD 13 | Init +2 | Per +3 Immolation Aura 1/3rnds | Spells: 1st 1/6

Feena went along with her companions as they worked on the puzzles. Vlad was apparently much smarter than he looked as he figured the first one out easily enough. When they got on to the second one Feena considered it but again was beaten to the punch on a possible answer. She nodded in agreement and said, "I believe you are right Coral, adding a new digit is likely not allowed but circling multiples should be."


M Human Paladin of Sarenrae 1/Oracle of Life 2 | HP 27/27 | AC 19/13/16 | F +4, R +3, W +5 | CMB +2, CMD 15 | Scimitar +2 (1d6) | Longbow +5 (1d8) | Init -1 | Perception -1 (Deaf)

The animated portrait startles Damian, but the mention of puzzles brightens him up. He was getting tired of hostility and fighting, so a battle of minds was a welcome change. The mention of sakhils and Lola's explanation on the topic doesn't seem to phase him much. "Ah, we already defeated one, they don't scare us. We made it this far, we won't let a few oversized worms scare us."


DD | ROTR1 | ROTR2 | II | TG1 | TG2 | JR1 | JR2

Which answer are we going with?


F Halfling Rog2/Ftr1 | HP 17/19* | AC 18, T 14, FF 15, CMD 15 | Mv 30' | F +4* R +8 W +2, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +3 | Per +9 (+10 traps) | Active: *3 Con damage

"I think my answer is the right one, Marya. And with Feena and our new friend Lola agreeing, I'm going to go for it."
I hate disagreeing with Marya. She seems to know a lot about the Inheritor and have Her blessing. But I have a better feeling about my solution.
Coral presents her solution to the portrait.

The Exchange

Human Fighter 1 / Barbarian 2 | HP 31/33 [37/39 Rage] | AC 18 [15 Rage]; Tch 12; FF 16 | F +8; R +2; W +3 | CMB+6; CMD 17 | Speed 40 ft | Init +2 | Heavy Flail: +6 (1d10+4/19-20) | Perc +7

Vlad accepts Lola's response to his skepticism with a curt nod.

I will continue to keep an eye on her, even if the rest are inclined to trust her.

As they discuss the options for the puzzle, he can't help but agree with Coral.

"Your answer was good, Marya, but I think this one is better."


DD | ROTR1 | ROTR2 | II | TG1 | TG2 | JR1 | JR2

When Coral presents the answer, the picture nods "Excellent! That is correct, well done. All right, this last puzzle is very straightforward. Only one key will open the door to the ballroom. Among the keys hidden in the master’s desk, find the one that completes this home."


female human sorceress 3 | HP 15/15; THP 0/0; N/L 0/10 | AC 12, TAC 12, FF 10 | F +2, R +4, W +4 | CMB +1, CMD 13 | Init +2 | Per +3 Immolation Aura 1/3rnds | Spells: 1st 1/6

Feena heard the riddle for the next puzzle and nodded as she said, "alright, the key that completes his home...:" She reached the desk and began to look through it for the aforementioned keys.


Channel 1/5, Bolstering Touch 3/6, Seize the Initiative 1/6
Spells Remaining:
Bless, Weapons Against Evil
Spells/Effects Active:
AC 17 T 10 FF 17 | Current HP 24/24| F +4 R +1 W +7 (+1 vs illusion+charm)| Init +0 | Perc +3

Marya is as happy as anyone that Coral got the right answer. Hers definitely bent the rules, after all, and there’s no room for pride in situations like this. She follows to the desk and joins the search.

”That is definitely a curious turn of phrase, one that I imagine will be key to figuring out the puzzle.” She pauses as she realizes the accidental pun. ”Ugh, you know what I mean.”


DD | ROTR1 | ROTR2 | II | TG1 | TG2 | JR1 | JR2

Feena looks around and finds no keys nearby. They must be located in a different floor or room in the house.

You can continue upstairs or go back downstairs and go east.


F Duskwalker Bard (Silver Baladeer) 3 | HP 20/20 | Defenses: AC 16, T 12, FF 14, CMD 16 | F:+2, R:+5, W:+4 | Per: +7, SM: +5, Init: +2

"Keys? Has anyone seen an office, or the master's desk? It seems that's where the keys are. Maybe across the hall, or in the bedroom? Oh, and I can put a bit of a 'saltar en su paso' for a few people, move a little faster for a while."

Will burn a round of performance to do triple time for three people, if anyone would like.

Lola also concentrates for a moment, and pops a coffee bean into her mouth. Her eyes sharpen, and narrow, as she takes in the world around her more keenly.

[ooc]Lola casts heightened awareness on herself

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