GM ShadowLord's Tyrant's Grasp

Game Master The Rising Phoenix

Chapter 3: Last Watch
Roll 20

LOOT!


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TG1 | GW | FF | RH

Deciding to move on and revisit this strange item later, when you are armed with more information, you move into the western corridor and take the first door south. Inside, you find a kitchen. Wooden counters and cupboards ring this rectangular room, stocked with cooking implements, utensils, and dishes. Most of the metal accouterments sport patches of rust, and dirty wooden bowls are piled haphazardly in one area. An iron potbellied stove is adjacent to the northern door, while another door exits to the south.

The remnants of the last batch of vegetable stew remain in a tarnished metal pot on the stove.

Searching the kitchen:
The cultists stashed a bag of holding (type I) containing 80 days of trail rations in a cupboard.

Moving south, you enter a dining room. Two round tables, each with four simple wooden chairs, fill this small room. Deep gouges mar the surface of the western table, which is otherwise clean. The other table is slightly dusty as if someone made only a half-hearted effort to clean it. Heavy tapestries are firmly affixed to the walls, depicting proud knights smiting foul-looking creatures. Doors exit to the north to the kitchen and south back into the corridor.

There is only one room that remains unexplored on this floor, and it's on your west. We can move on when you're ready. I'm pausing in case of you want to do something in either of these rooms first.


F Halfling Rog4/Ftr4 | HP 55/55 | AC 26, T 18, FF 21, CMD 24 (28 vs Trip/Grapple; 25 vs Disarm/Sunder) | Mv 30' | F +10 R +13 W +6, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +5 | Per +21 (+23 traps) | Active: None

Coral will search the rooms for any loose floorboards, secret compartments, hidden journals, or the like.

Perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (10) + 13 = 23

"Well, this bag should be useful - seems to be bigger on the inside."

She takes a look at the dust on the second table in the dining room. A half-hearted cleaning effort could contain a message, maybe? She looks for any patterns in the dust.

Finally, she recommends removing the tapestries from the wall and searching behind them. How long will that take?


TG1 | GW | FF | RH

Coral and the party spend the next fifteen removing the tapestries from the walls and carefully searching the room. While they don't discover anything new, they do take note that when removing the items from the western wall, they can hear sounds of movement in the room on the other side (west) of their location.

They know from their previous trip around the floor that there are two doors into that room, one to the south and one to the north. Which way?


Channel 5/5, Bolstering Touch 7/7, Seize the Initiative 7/7
Spells Remaining:
See Sheet
Spells/Effects Active:
AC 21 T 12 FF 20| Current HP 64/64| F +10 R +6 W +13 (+1 vs illusion+charm)| Init +0 | Perc +9

Marya points with her longsword in the direction of each door. ”I say we split up into a group at each door. It will make it easier for us to get in and harder for them to get out.”


female human sorceress 8 | HP 42/42; THP 0/0; N/L 0/10 | AC 17, TAC 13, FF 15 | F +5, R +6, W +8 | CMB +3, CMD 16 | Init +2 | Per +8 Immolation Aura 8/8rnds | Spells: 1st 8/8; 2nd8/8; 3rd 6/6; 4th 4/4 | Activ Effects: -1 (1 drain) str, mage armor

Feena could only nod in agreement about lacking information on what the object did or how to deal with it so she helped as they continued their exploration as best, she could. It turned out that they would have to deal with something when Coral pointed out the sounds of something on the other side of the wall and Feena said, "That sounds good to me. Damien," she said, "we should each go to one side since we are both capable of some healing. Who do you want to go with?"


M Human Paladin of Sarenrae 4/Oracle of Life 3/ Medium 1 | HP 66/76 | AC 19/13/16 | F +13, R +10, W +15 | CMB +6, CMD 19 | Scimitar +6/+1 (1d6) | Longbow +11/+6 (1d8+2) | Init +1 | Perception +4 (Deaf)

"Vlad and Coral," responds Damian.


F Halfling Rog4/Ftr4 | HP 55/55 | AC 26, T 18, FF 21, CMD 24 (28 vs Trip/Grapple; 25 vs Disarm/Sunder) | Mv 30' | F +10 R +13 W +6, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +5 | Per +21 (+23 traps) | Active: None

Coral nods in agreement with Marya's plan and Damian's preference.
"Let's go. Marya, give a shout and we'll open the south door."

She moves around to the south door of the room to the west and checks it for traps.

Perception vs traps: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (19) + 14 = 33

She waits for Marya's signal.


TG1 | GW | FF | RH

As Coral and Marya give each other a subtle nod of understanding, they motion to their respective groups. On Marya's signal, both doors to the library swing open simultaneously with a well-practiced coordination. The scent of wet fur becomes more pronounced as the doors reveal the room in full.

Inside, the library is an eclectic space, its long shelves reaching up to the ceiling and laden with dusty tomes and scrolls of esoteric knowledge. A mound of books lies haphazardly in the room's center, like an island of knowledge in a sea of dark wood and parchment. What catches the party's attention immediately, however, is not the wealth of information the room holds, but the peculiar stillness that pervades the atmosphere.

It takes a mere heartbeat before the unsettling quiet is shattered. From the western corner of the room, out of sight from both doorways but evidently alert to the intrusion, comes a scampering sound. The first figure that darts into view is deceptively innocent: a small kitten with gleaming eyes. Yet, to the seasoned adventurers, the aura it emanates is anything but benign.

As if on cue, another form materializes—eerily mimicking that of Coral. A perfect copy stands before them, sowing a momentary seed of confusion and mistrust. The illusory party member moves subtly, as if about to speak, but is abruptly accompanied by another feline figure—this one making a beeline to bite Marya.

Two enemies. Knowledge Arcana to ID.

The small, kitten-like creature darts swiftly across the room, its eyes twinkling malevolently. Before Marya can react, it lunges at her, sinking its fangs deep into her leg. A searing pain radiates from the wound, and for a brief moment, Marya feels an unsettling sensation wash over her, as if her thoughts are clouded by some invisible, insidious force. Marya Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10 +DC17 Fort Save.

Almost simultaneously, the illusory figure resembling Coral shifts its form, revealing another feline entity similar to the first. This one pounces at the real Coral with incredible speed. In an instant, its teeth find purchase, and Coral grimaces as the creature bites into her. Like Marya, Coral too feels an odd sensation crawl up from the bite, a creeping madness that threatens to grip her thoughts. Coral Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9 +DC17 Fort Save.

R1: Enemies, Coral, Marya, Damian, Vlad, Lola, Feena

GM:

Damian: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (20) - 1 = 19
Feena: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Marya: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (20) + 0 = 20
Coral: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
Vlad: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Marya reroll: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (1) + 0 = 1
Lola: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
Enemies: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
Bite Marya: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (17) + 12 = 29
Bite Coral: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (13) + 12 = 25


F Halfling Rog4/Ftr4 | HP 55/55 | AC 26, T 18, FF 21, CMD 24 (28 vs Trip/Grapple; 25 vs Disarm/Sunder) | Mv 30' | F +10 R +13 W +6, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +5 | Per +21 (+23 traps) | Active: None

Fort save, Shake it Off +3: 1d20 + 10 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 10 + 3 = 24

Coral resists the effect of the cat-creature's bite.

She stabs at the creature twice.
Weapon is a +1 short sword in case the cat-thing has DR.

Attack, Negative Level: 1d20 + 13 - 1 ⇒ (8) + 13 - 1 = 20
Damage: 1d4 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10

Iterative, Negative Level: 1d20 + 8 - 1 ⇒ (14) + 8 - 1 = 21
Damage: 1d4 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7

I had thought it was going to be Coral, Vlad, and Damian on the south side, but I see Feena, Coral, and Damian there on the map. So going with that, Coral will hold position in the doorway to protect Feena and Damian.


M Human Paladin of Sarenrae 4/Oracle of Life 3/ Medium 1 | HP 66/76 | AC 19/13/16 | F +13, R +10, W +15 | CMB +6, CMD 19 | Scimitar +6/+1 (1d6) | Longbow +11/+6 (1d8+2) | Init +1 | Perception +4 (Deaf)

"No fireballs!" shouts Damian as he lays eyes on the wealth of books and scrolls. Then the malignant feline creatures emerge, and he struggles to reconcile the harmless-looking form with their obvious harmful actions. Coral's wounds are lessened by the link Damian has with her, and he feels the sting of their fangs on his flesh.

He tries to pin the creature attacking Coral with an arrow or two.

Attack: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18 Damage: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
Attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24 Damage: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2


F Duskwalker Bard (Dirge Bard) 6/Mortal Usher 2| HP 51/51 | Defenses: AC 19, T 13, FF 17, CMD 20 | F:+8, R:+10, W:+9| Per: +9, SM: +6, Init: +2

”¿Gatitos, por que? We would give you appropriate pets in lieu of fighting.” She sighs as if disappointed, then strums her guitar and begins to sing, Starting inspire courage.

”Estaba el señor Don Gato”
”sentadito en su tejado ”
”marramiau miau, miau, miau, ”
”sentadito en su tejado. ”

”Ha recibido una carta ”
”por si quiere ser casado, ”
”marramiau, miau, miau, miau, ”
”por si quiere ser casado. ”

also arcana roll: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (11) + 15 = 26

IC is in effect: Inspire Courage Provides a +2 competence bonus to attack/weapon damage rolls, and an equivalent morale bonus to saves against fear. The ability, as a reminder, stacks with bless, other than the bonus to saves (which is larger than bless’ bonus).


female human sorceress 8 | HP 42/42; THP 0/0; N/L 0/10 | AC 17, TAC 13, FF 15 | F +5, R +6, W +8 | CMB +3, CMD 16 | Init +2 | Per +8 Immolation Aura 8/8rnds | Spells: 1st 8/8; 2nd8/8; 3rd 6/6; 4th 4/4 | Activ Effects: -1 (1 drain) str, mage armor

Yeah. Damien should be on one side, I should be on the other. The idea was to spread out the healing so both sides would have some. I'll hold off on posting for the moment.


TG1 | GW | FF | RH

Feel free to reposition yourselves on the map however you see fit.


TG1 | GW | FF | RH

I swapped the positions of Vlad and Feena. Up top is Lola, Marya, Feena. Down below is Vlad, Coral and Damian.


Channel 5/5, Bolstering Touch 7/7, Seize the Initiative 7/7
Spells Remaining:
See Sheet
Spells/Effects Active:
AC 21 T 12 FF 20| Current HP 64/64| F +10 R +6 W +13 (+1 vs illusion+charm)| Init +0 | Perc +9

Fortitude Save: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27

Marya takes a swing at the creature in the doorway more as a reflex than anything.

Attack with MW Silver Longsword (heroism, power attack): 1d20 + 7 + 2 - 2 ⇒ (3) + 7 + 2 - 2 = 10
Damage (power attack): 1d8 + 1 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 1 + 4 = 7

She then steps back to try to draw the creature into a killing zone with her allies.


TG1 | GW | FF | RH

Vlad's up. I'm not sure if he's returned from travel yet or not. I'll give him until Monday then I'll move it on.


F Halfling Rog4/Ftr4 | HP 55/55 | AC 26, T 18, FF 21, CMD 24 (28 vs Trip/Grapple; 25 vs Disarm/Sunder) | Mv 30' | F +10 R +13 W +6, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +5 | Per +21 (+23 traps) | Active: None

Coral will, instead of taking a full attack, make a single attack (the first one above) and then use Acrobatics to move out of the line of fire so that Vlad can attack.

It would be my inclination to use the second attack roll from above for the Acrobatics check, for a total of 21 Acrobatics.

If new roll desired for Acrobatics:
Acrobatics, ACP, Negative Level: 1d20 + 10 - 2 - 1 ⇒ (17) + 10 - 2 - 1 = 24


TG1 | GW | FF | RH

I'll bot Vlad, assuming he's still gone. If he pops in, he can post an alternate set of rolls if he wants.

With the path clear, Vlad steps up into the doorway to engage the creature, glad to have the opening.

+1 scythe (P or S)(power attack): 1d20 + 11 + 1 - 2 ⇒ (13) + 11 + 1 - 2 = 23
Damage: 2d4 + 7 + 6 ⇒ (3, 1) + 7 + 6 = 17
+1 scythe (P or S)(power attack): 1d20 + 11 + 1 - 2 ⇒ (2) + 11 + 1 - 2 = 12
Damage: 2d4 + 7 + 6 ⇒ (3, 4) + 7 + 6 = 20

Vlad, Coral and Damien each land one attack each against the southern enemy.

Lola Knowledge:

Lola identifies this creatures as Nekomatas.

Nekomatas are shape-shifting magical beasts shrouded in malevolence and mischief. These creatures, steeped in dark magic, embody the essence of cruelty and vindictiveness. Their primary aim is to infiltrate and unravel the very fabric of households, sowing seeds of fear, discord, and chaos. They particularly delight in corroding the bonds of love and friendship, leaving in their wake a trail of mental and physical affliction.

The insidious methods of a nekomata typically begin with a deceptively violent act. Often, they will slay and consume a household servant in secrecy, subsequently assuming their form. This macabre disguise serves as a perfect cover, allowing the nekomata to integrate itself seamlessly into the household. Once inside, it embarks on a sinister campaign of terror.

Employing its innate magical prowess, the nekomata weaves a web of terror within the home. Its actions are calculated to maximize fear and paranoia among the residents. The creature often indulges in the comforts and luxuries of the household while it methodically unravels the sanity and wellbeing of its inhabitants.

An especially formidable trait of these creatures is their fast healing ability. This characteristic makes them particularly resilient adversaries, capable of recovering rapidly from wounds that would debilitate other beings. This, combined with their shape-shifting and magical capabilities, renders nekomatas as foes to be approached with caution and strategic planning.

[b]Feena is up!/b]


female human sorceress 8 | HP 42/42; THP 0/0; N/L 0/10 | AC 17, TAC 13, FF 15 | F +5, R +6, W +8 | CMB +3, CMD 16 | Init +2 | Per +8 Immolation Aura 8/8rnds | Spells: 1st 8/8; 2nd8/8; 3rd 6/6; 4th 4/4 | Activ Effects: -1 (1 drain) str, mage armor

Feena stepped back from the creature in the doorway and then cast a spell sending a pair of heat rays lancing out at it.

scorching ray on blue: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 184d6 ⇒ (6, 5, 2, 1) = 14
scorching ray on blue: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 134d6 ⇒ (4, 1, 3, 4) = 12


TG1 | GW | FF | RH

Feena, focused and determined, aims a ray of magical energy at the creature nearest her. Her spell arcs through the air with precision, hitting its intended target once.

In another part of the room, Marya's strategy to draw out the feline creature proves successful, but not without cost. The creature, seizing the opportunity, emerges to launch another attack on her. It moves with a sinister grace, biting and clawing at Marya with a frightening ferocity. She endures two brutal strikes, and with the first contact, she feels an unsettling, eerie sensation creeping into her being, as if the creature's fangs are injecting her with a wave of disquieting energy.

Damaga Marya - Bite: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5 + DC17 Fort save.
Damage Marya - Claw: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7

Across the room, Vlad is in dire straits. The second creature, equally vicious and relentless, unleashes a flurry of biting and clawing, hitting Vlad with all three deadly natural weapons.

Damage Vlad - Bite: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10 + DC17 Fort save.
Damage Vlad - Claw: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Damage Vlad - Claw: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9

Party up!

GM:

1d20 + 12 ⇒ (19) + 12 = 31
1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15
1d20 + 12 ⇒ (11) + 12 = 23

1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30
1d20 + 12 ⇒ (19) + 12 = 31
1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30


M Human Paladin of Sarenrae 4/Oracle of Life 3/ Medium 1 | HP 66/76 | AC 19/13/16 | F +13, R +10, W +15 | CMB +6, CMD 19 | Scimitar +6/+1 (1d6) | Longbow +11/+6 (1d8+2) | Init +1 | Perception +4 (Deaf)

Attack, PBS, Deadly Aim, IC: 1d20 + 11 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 11 + 2 = 20 Damage: 1d8 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 8 + 2 = 16
Attack, PBS, Deadly Aim, IC: 1d20 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 6 + 2 = 27 Damage: 1d8 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 8 + 2 = 15

Damian looses two more arrows at the creature assailing Vlad as more of the warrior's wounds close thanks to their life bond.

Vlad heals 5 HP (10 total so far in this fight).


TG1 | GW | FF | RH

Vlad attacks the creature twice and then steps back to create an opening for Coral.

Vlad +1 scythe (P or S)(power attack): 1d20 + 11 + 1 - 2 ⇒ (14) + 11 + 1 - 2 = 24
Damage: 2d4 + 7 + 6 ⇒ (1, 2) + 7 + 6 = 16

Vlad +1 scythe (P or S)(power attack): 1d20 + 11 + 1 - 2 ⇒ (16) + 11 + 1 - 2 = 26
Damage: 2d4 + 7 + 6 ⇒ (1, 4) + 7 + 6 = 18


F Halfling Rog4/Ftr4 | HP 55/55 | AC 26, T 18, FF 21, CMD 24 (28 vs Trip/Grapple; 25 vs Disarm/Sunder) | Mv 30' | F +10 R +13 W +6, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +5 | Per +21 (+23 traps) | Active: None

Don't forget Inspire Courage +2 on Vlad's attacks, both this round and last!

Coral moves back to where Vlad was, and strikes hard at the cat-demon.

No AOO because she has cover when leaving a threatened square.

Attack, PA, IC, Negative Level: 1d20 + 13 - 2 + 2 - 1 ⇒ (16) + 13 - 2 + 2 - 1 = 28
Damage, PA, IC: 1d4 + 6 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 6 + 4 + 2 = 13


Channel 5/5, Bolstering Touch 7/7, Seize the Initiative 7/7
Spells Remaining:
See Sheet
Spells/Effects Active:
AC 21 T 12 FF 20| Current HP 64/64| F +10 R +6 W +13 (+1 vs illusion+charm)| Init +0 | Perc +9

Reminder that Marya is wearing the adamantine breastplate so she's taken 2 less damage from each hit (a reminder for me as well hehe)

Fortitude Save (heroism): 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 8 + 2 = 27

Marya is holding up fairly well despite taking three hits thanks to the protection of her adamantine breastplate. Nevertheless, she is not faring as well as she would like. With Lola's inspiring song going and her likely to soon join the melee and Feena blasting spells Marya decides to switch tactics, trying to continue drawing the creature's attention

Attack with MW silver longsword (heroism, inspire courage, combat expertise): 1d20 + 7 + 2 + 2 - 2 ⇒ (1) + 7 + 2 + 2 - 2 = 10
Damage: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4

Updated stat line with HP and updated AC for combat expertise


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F Duskwalker Bard (Dirge Bard) 6/Mortal Usher 2| HP 51/51 | Defenses: AC 19, T 13, FF 17, CMD 20 | F:+8, R:+10, W:+9| Per: +9, SM: +6, Init: +2

Con una gatita blanca
sobrina de un gato pardo,
marramiau, miau, miau, miau,
sobrina de un gato pardo.

El gato por ir a verla
se ha caído del tejado,
marramiau, miau, miau, miau,
se ha caído del tejado.

Lola backs up a bit, and continuing her performance, mostly for affect, stabs at the small cat, almost apologetically.

stab, buffed, IC: 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 9 + 2 = 23
stab damage, IC: 2d8 + 3 + 2 + 1d6 ⇒ (5, 8) + 3 + 2 + (1) = 19

IC is in effect: Inspire Courage Provides a +2 competence bonus to attack/weapon damage rolls, and an equivalent morale bonus to saves against fear. The ability, as a reminder, stacks with bless, other than the bonus to saves (which is larger than bless’ bonus). 1 more round of effect after this.

Feena: Note that it should apply to things like scorching ray.


TG1 | GW | FF | RH

Feena is up.


TG1 | GW | FF | RH

Scorching ray: 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 4 + 2 = 26 Damage: 8d6 ⇒ (4, 5, 5, 5, 2, 6, 4, 5) = 36

Regulating with the onslaught's ferocity, Vlad quickly regains his composure. With a warrior's resolve, he launches into a counterattack, his weapon moving in a deadly arc as he delivers two powerful strikes against the cat-like demon. Following his offensive, he strategically steps back, creating an opening for Coral to move in.

By seizing Vlad's opportunity, Coral swiftly moves into the vacated space. With a fluid motion, she brings her weapon down hard on the creature, her attack driven by a mix of precision and power.

Damian readies his bow and sends two arrows flying toward the creature engaged with Vlad. His aim is true, and his arrows find their mark. Meanwhile, the life bond he shares with Vlad continues to work its subtle magic, helping to heal some of the warrior's wounds, closing them with a soft glow of divine energy.

Lola, not one to stay on the sidelines, steps into the fray. With a deft thrust, she stabs at the cat creature, her weapon piercing its shadowy form. Her face is a mask of focus, indicative of the gravity of the situation.

Feena, aware of the delicate surroundings filled with ancient tomes, conjures another spell. This time, she unleashes a torrent of fire, carefully controlled and directed to avoid collateral damage. The flames leap towards the creature, engulfing it in a fierce inferno that doesn't spread to the invaluable books around them. Her spell is not just effective but devastatingly so, as she lands a critical strike on the creature.

The creature, overwhelmed by the combined assault of the party, succumbs to the intense heat and energy of Feena's fire. With a final screech that echoes eerily in the library, it collapses, defeated. The room falls into a tense silence, the immediate threat neutralized.


F Halfling Rog4/Ftr4 | HP 55/55 | AC 26, T 18, FF 21, CMD 24 (28 vs Trip/Grapple; 25 vs Disarm/Sunder) | Mv 30' | F +10 R +13 W +6, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +5 | Per +21 (+23 traps) | Active: None

"Well, then... I suppose we need to start reading. Find out how to bring down that barrier. How should we approach this?"

Is this a Research check?


M Human Paladin of Sarenrae 4/Oracle of Life 3/ Medium 1 | HP 66/76 | AC 19/13/16 | F +13, R +10, W +15 | CMB +6, CMD 19 | Scimitar +6/+1 (1d6) | Longbow +11/+6 (1d8+2) | Init +1 | Perception +4 (Deaf)

"Let me see if I remember how this was organized... although I suppose that will not help us much, the barrier would be new information. Look for any books or scrolls that look to have been recently handled. A lot of this is covered in dust."

Damian begins to move through the stacks, eyes roving over their contents, on the reading tables and any loose papers he can spot.

Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Linguistics: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7


Channel 5/5, Bolstering Touch 7/7, Seize the Initiative 7/7
Spells Remaining:
See Sheet
Spells/Effects Active:
AC 21 T 12 FF 20| Current HP 64/64| F +10 R +6 W +13 (+1 vs illusion+charm)| Init +0 | Perc +9

Marya nods and sheathes her sword. ”Smart call, Damian. I would also add that if anything looks like it is out-of-order on the shelf, take a look, too. The books and scrolls handled the most are the ones most likely to be filed wrong.”

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Linguistics: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (16) + 11 = 27


F Halfling Rog4/Ftr4 | HP 55/55 | AC 26, T 18, FF 21, CMD 24 (28 vs Trip/Grapple; 25 vs Disarm/Sunder) | Mv 30' | F +10 R +13 W +6, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +5 | Per +21 (+23 traps) | Active: None

Coral begins looking as Damian and Marya suggest. At least, on the shelves she can reach.
Perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (9) + 13 = 22


F Duskwalker Bard (Dirge Bard) 6/Mortal Usher 2| HP 51/51 | Defenses: AC 19, T 13, FF 17, CMD 20 | F:+8, R:+10, W:+9| Per: +9, SM: +6, Init: +2

Lola breathes heavily and trails off with her song, then flicks off some of the beast’s blood from her spear. She muses, ”what a shame. Well.” She looks around the room, her eyes scanning, and then towards the door, ”come - we should find what we can, but be on guard - we do not know what happened to Balthazar. If he finds out we are trying to - disable whatever that thing is - he may choose to destroy the notes before we have that chance.”

Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (4) + 12 = 16


TG1 | GW | FF | RH

Yes, this is research. To research a specific topic or question within a library, a character must attempt a Research check using one of the following skills: Knowledge (history), Knowledge (planes), Knowledge (religion, untrained). Everyone can attempt the religion check untrained.

Attempting a Research check requires an uninterrupted 8-hour research period, and a character cannot take 10 or 20 on a Research check. Each 8-hour period of research grants a cumulative +1 bonus on Research checks. Up to two additional characters can use the aid of another action to assist a primary researcher.

Succeeding at a Research check reduces a library’s knowledge points, similar to the way dealing damage reduces a creature’s hit points. As a library’s knowledge points decrease, it reveals its secrets. Characters learn information when a library’s knowledge points reach various thresholds.

The number of knowledge points reduced on a successful Research check depends on the primary researcher’s training in the skill she used for the Research check and the type of library. A primary researcher reduces a library’s kp by a number of points equal to 1d12 + her Intelligence modifier if she has both 5 ranks in the skill and the skill as a class skill. She reduces a library’s kp by a number of points equal to 1d8 + her Intelligence modifier if she has 5 ranks in the skill or the skill is a class skill for her (but not both). Otherwise, she reduces a library’s kp by a number of points equal to 1d4 + her Intelligence modifier.

In addition to these base amounts, for every 5 by which a Research check result exceeds the library’s Complexity rating, the library’s knowledge points are reduced by 1 additional point. Rolling a natural 20 on a Research check acts like a critical threat. If the researcher confirms the critical hit by succeeding at a second Research check with all the same modifiers (this takes no additional time), the resulting knowledge point reduction is doubled. Conversely, rolling a natural 1 on a Research check automatically fails, and the library’s knowledge points increase by one-quarter of the library’s maximum knowledge points as the library’s multiple sources cause the researcher to pursue an irrelevant avenue of investigation. When a library’s knowledge points are reduced to 0, the characters have learned everything they can from that library.

The DC for all checks is 16. This library provides a +2 bonus to all checks due to the thoroughness of material at your disposal. The Bastion of Light Library has 20 knowledge points.


M Human Paladin of Sarenrae 4/Oracle of Life 3/ Medium 1 | HP 66/76 | AC 19/13/16 | F +13, R +10, W +15 | CMB +6, CMD 19 | Scimitar +6/+1 (1d6) | Longbow +11/+6 (1d8+2) | Init +1 | Perception +4 (Deaf)

Knowledge religion, 7 ranks: 1d20 + 10 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 10 + 2 = 18 KPs: 1d12 ⇒ 4

"Good point, Lola. Ah, here. A treatise on divine rituals of abjuration. While not quite what we are looking for, there may be elements of overlap."

Damian carefully extracts a tome from the shelve, clearing a space at one of the tables to begin studying it, parchment and pen close by.


F Halfling Rog4/Ftr4 | HP 55/55 | AC 26, T 18, FF 21, CMD 24 (28 vs Trip/Grapple; 25 vs Disarm/Sunder) | Mv 30' | F +10 R +13 W +6, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +5 | Per +21 (+23 traps) | Active: None

Coral looks for any texts describing the harnessing of souls for magical power. While it is a detestable topic, it might be how Valthazar created the barrier.

Knowledge (Religion), 5 ranks, library: 1d20 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 6 + 2 = 23
Knowledge Points, 5 ranks, not class skill, +1 Int, +1 for beating DC by 5: 1d8 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 + 1 = 10

Coral makes good progress, finding some notes scribbled in the margins of an ancient tome.

6 points left to go!


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F Duskwalker Bard (Dirge Bard) 6/Mortal Usher 2| HP 51/51 | Defenses: AC 19, T 13, FF 17, CMD 20 | F:+8, R:+10, W:+9| Per: +9, SM: +6, Init: +2

She flits her eyes over the tomes and seems to decide, "hmm - I know of some of these - I suppose we cannot all be guards. Xan Yáan in meyaj ti' le xooko'." She runs her fingers over the dusty tomes until her grey fingers comes to rest on a reddish-brown one that seems very old. She taps it, idly, then retrieves the book, and has an odd look on her face.

Swinging La Guitarra off of her back, she lays the bone-white instrument against the chair as she turns the book over in her hands, and seems to mutter something to herself. After a moment, she sits and retrieves a few pieces of paper from her bag. Carefully, and almost tenderly, she cracks the book open and smells the tome. She shudders, very slightly, if anyone is watching, and begins to read. She can't seem to help humming quietly to herself from time to time as she reads.

Knowledge Religion, 6 ranks, +2 library: 1d20 + 18 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 18 + 2 = 40
Um
Knowledge Religion, 6 ranks, +2 library: 1d20 + 18 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 18 + 2 = 32
Confirmed??
Complexity Rating 16, 40-16=24, so 24/5 = +4
damage: 1d12 + 1 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 1 + 4 = 16
Double this for I guess 32 KP

As Lola is reviewing the book she found, she's taking notes in a cryptic handwriting, the notes she scrawls seem to vary from Taldan, to the original language of the book itself. At the end of the process, she looks up, and seems a little frazzled - which is unlike her normal confidence.

"Entonces, si. Here is something. I was right, I know at least this book very well." She opens her mouth once, then closes it.

The book is titled [u]High Magic of Xopatl[/u] and it seems to have been written by "Ara"- with the remainder of the author name smudged out, and an illegible, scratched-out subtitle. She shakes her head, "this - " and she seems slightly confused, upset, but also amused, "will help." She shows the notes to the others.


female human sorceress 8 | HP 42/42; THP 0/0; N/L 0/10 | AC 17, TAC 13, FF 15 | F +5, R +6, W +8 | CMB +3, CMD 16 | Init +2 | Per +8 Immolation Aura 8/8rnds | Spells: 1st 8/8; 2nd8/8; 3rd 6/6; 4th 4/4 | Activ Effects: -1 (1 drain) str, mage armor

It was a great relief to Feena that she successfully took out their last enemy without harming the books. Using fire in a library was a sever risk but a necessary one and it had paid off in spades this time. She looked around in wonder at the place, she loved books and this was like heaven to her. She began to look through the materials focusing on the Planar knowledge since the others were looking through the more religious focused section.

Know Planes: 1d20 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 6 + 2 = 14

Does have a +7 from Prof: Librarian give me any kind of a synergy bonus?


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TG1 | GW | FF | RH

Lola, Coral, Damian, and Feena dedicate themselves to long hours of rigorous research in the quiet, dust-mottled light of the Bastion of Light's library. Surrounded by ancient tomes and scrolls, each delves into the labyrinth of historical accounts, annotated maps, and biographies, seeking insights into the fetoring maw and its history. They are rewarded for their efforts and uncover a treasure trove of information!

Fetoring Maw Information

They learn that a fetoring maw is a fist-sized, sickly green gem of ominous power. By holding it and concentrating for an hour, the bearer can summon a vast sphere of poisonous fog. This fog can engulf a targeted area within a mile of the bearer's location, as long as it's centered on a geographical point and not a specific person. However, the area it creates must initially be of normal, safe air, with the bearer choosing its size, ranging from a mere 100 feet to a sprawling mile in diameter.

The thickness of the enveloping fog is always one-tenth the diameter of the safe zone at its center. For example, a safe area of 5,000 feet across is surrounded by a 500-foot-thick layer of poisonous fog. This fog, dense and relentless, can seep through earth and liquids but cannot penetrate worked stone. No wind, regardless of its strength, can disperse this toxic miasma. The gem must remain within 10 miles of the fog's epicenter; otherwise, the fog dissipates harmlessly.

The texts reveal that the fetoring maw can create only one sphere of fog at a time and requires a three-month recharge period after each use. The creator can dispel the fog at will while holding the gem. However, absent such intervention, the fog lasts three months or until the destruction of the fetoring maw, whichever occurs first.

The fog, while allowing passage, obscures vision and contains both poisonous vapors and disorienting mists. The creator of the fog can, by touching the fetoring maw to a willing creature, grant immunity to its toxic and mind-affecting effects through a skull-shaped brand. Up to 13 creatures can be marked for immunity in this manner every three months.

Fetoring Maw Destruction

In addition to finding High Magic of Xopatl, Lola focuses on a worn military report penned by a crusader lieutenant during the Shining Crusade. The document vividly recounts an encounter with a fetoring maw wielded by one of Tar-Baphon’s generals. It describes how the artifact was used to isolate the lieutenant's battalion, cutting them off with a dome of poisonous fog. While the battalion managed to defeat the necromancer in possession of the maw, they found themselves trapped within the fog. A comrade, skilled in poisons, created enough antitoxin to help the survivors navigate through the toxic cloud. The lieutenant details how the battalion members bound themselves together to avoid being lost or misled by the fog, following their most steadfast champion to safety. Eventually, the maw was handed over to clerics of Sarenrae for study, leading to the discovery that a blend of antitoxin and holy water could weaken the artifact.

Coral unearths an annotated map of the Bastion of Faith, which highlights a fountain on the lower floor known for its production of holy water. A marginal note reveals the fountain's remarkable self-cleansing properties; even after being poisoned by an enemy spy, its waters returned to purity within a day.

Damian comes across a biography of a crusader who, after a severe injury, retired to his village to become a blacksmith. This crusader-smith was renowned for his skill with a magical hammer and claimed to have used it to shatter evil artifacts of Lastwall’s foes. Of particular interest is his claim to have worked alongside the church of Sarenrae in destroying a "vile gem of poisonous mists".

Feena, meanwhile, corroborates and synthesizes the information gathered by her companions. She focuses on the technical aspects, piecing together how the combination of holy water and antitoxin could be used to weaken the fetoring maw, and the significance of a magical bludgeoning weapon in its destruction.

To neutralize this artifact, it must first be immersed in a mixture of holy water, blessed by a priest of a deity with the Healing domain, and antitoxin in equal parts. Once immersed, the maw becomes vulnerable for one minute. During this window, a single blow dealing at least 10 points of damage from a bludgeoning magic weapon is required to shatter it, which also causes any fog sphere it created to dissipate harmlessly.

During their research the party discovers a tome bound in a cover of platinum and gold. This blessed book has the holy symbol of Sarenrae emblazoned on the cover. This is a blessed book.


F Halfling Rog4/Ftr4 | HP 55/55 | AC 26, T 18, FF 21, CMD 24 (28 vs Trip/Grapple; 25 vs Disarm/Sunder) | Mv 30' | F +10 R +13 W +6, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +5 | Per +21 (+23 traps) | Active: None

"Quite a lot of information," says Coral, "And that book looks to be a valuable find in its own right.
But I am exhausted. It was a long day before, and we just spend eight hours reading books."

Can we assume Vlad and Marya slept during that time so they can keep watch now?

"I need to sleep. Let's post guards. I hope this weakness is diminished in the morning... or next afternoon... I have no idea what time it is. And we can try to destroy the Festering Maw afterwards. Do we have a magic bludgeoning weapon? If not, we should consider preparing spells to enchant Vlad's adamantine warhammer."

I have questions about the 24-hour save to remove a negative level. Is it the kind of thing where we could reasonably time effects such as Heroism to help with the save to remove it? Or would they need to be in effect for the entire 24 hours? Can Coral stick near allies to benefit from her Shake it Off feat when the save comes around?


F Duskwalker Bard (Dirge Bard) 6/Mortal Usher 2| HP 51/51 | Defenses: AC 19, T 13, FF 17, CMD 20 | F:+8, R:+10, W:+9| Per: +9, SM: +6, Init: +2

Lola barks a laugh, then controls herself, ”¡valuable! Si, no sólo es valioso sino invaluable. No tiene precio.“ She snickers merrily, but is confused still, and doesn’t seem to be fully present, as if she can see something outside of the material world.

She keeps her bemused expression, until her eyes widen and she gasps for air, trying to stifle some emotion, or pain - psychic but physically manifested, and she clutches her stomach for a moment, her expression surprised.

Seconds later she’s retuned to her earlier composure, the only evidence of anything odd being sweat on her brow, which she wipes away ”no - it doesn’t matter. We have more important things to deal with.” She slips the ancient book into her satchel deftly.

She opens her arms expansively, and notes ”entonces, now I will help you if I can, but remember also, we have the bottled undead to destroy before it escapes. Let us see what we can do about both, yes?”

She taps her spear, and points at Vlad’s hammer, ”anything. I have magic that can make any weapon magic and bludgeoning. We just need the reagents.”


M Human Paladin of Sarenrae 4/Oracle of Life 3/ Medium 1 | HP 66/76 | AC 19/13/16 | F +13, R +10, W +15 | CMB +6, CMD 19 | Scimitar +6/+1 (1d6) | Longbow +11/+6 (1d8+2) | Init +1 | Perception +4 (Deaf)

Damian gives Lola a concerned look. "What is the matter? Are you unwell?"

Once he receives his answer, he turns to Coral. "I can bless a weapon, and the holy water as well. I also have a balm to make a weapon holy, although I doubt it will help us much in this case."


F Halfling Rog4/Ftr4 | HP 55/55 | AC 26, T 18, FF 21, CMD 24 (28 vs Trip/Grapple; 25 vs Disarm/Sunder) | Mv 30' | F +10 R +13 W +6, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +5 | Per +21 (+23 traps) | Active: None

Assuming Coral is able to rest, she nevertheless wakes up when the pain from the wound of the wight's claw starts building to a crescendo. She stirs and gets up. It's time for her watch shift anyway.

Coral focuses her mind. She remains close to Lola and Feena, drawing strength from them.

Fort save to remove negative level, Shake it Off (2 allies), negative level: 1d20 + 11 + 3 - 1 ⇒ (11) + 11 + 3 - 1 = 24


TG1 | GW | FF | RH

After an exhaustive eight hours spent poring over ancient texts and unraveling the mysteries of the fetoring maw, Feena, Damian, Lola, and Coral decide to call it a night. The library's dimly lit corners and the weight of knowledge they've sifted through have taken their toll, leaving them mentally drained but richer in understanding.

Understanding the importance of remaining vigilant, especially in such an unpredictable and dangerous environment, they gently rouse Vlad and Marya to take over the watch. The shift in guardianship is seamless, a testament to the group's cohesion and mutual trust.

Deciding there is no need to sleep in the library now, the group moves north back to the bedrooms to catch some shuteye. As Coral settles to rest, she can still feel the lingering effects of the energy drain caused by their previous encounter with the undead. It's a subtle but persistent affliction that has been clouding her senses and sapping her strength. However, as she drifts into sleep, there's a sense of the affliction's grip loosening, its presence fading like a shadow at dawn.

When morning comes, and Coral awakens, she feels a noticeable change. The debilitating weight that had been pressing down on her seems to have lifted. It's as if she has shed an invisible burden, leaving her feeling rejuvenated and more like herself.

It's the next day! Coral's negative level is gone. Where are we headed?


F Duskwalker Bard (Dirge Bard) 6/Mortal Usher 2| HP 51/51 | Defenses: AC 19, T 13, FF 17, CMD 20 | F:+8, R:+10, W:+9| Per: +9, SM: +6, Init: +2

Lola nods, .”yes, I felt as if I were being killed again. It may have been tied to my former life. But it does not matter - it is my own problem. I will control myself in the future.”


M Human Paladin of Sarenrae 4/Oracle of Life 3/ Medium 1 | HP 66/76 | AC 19/13/16 | F +13, R +10, W +15 | CMB +6, CMD 19 | Scimitar +6/+1 (1d6) | Longbow +11/+6 (1d8+2) | Init +1 | Perception +4 (Deaf)

"Oh, Lola, you know that's not why I asked. I care about you and I do not want any harm to come to you. You are no longer alone, so if you have a problem please tell us about it, that we may try to solve it together." Damian's kind smile still holds a tinge of pain from the remembered loss as he reaches out to put a hand on Lola's shoulder.


F Halfling Rog4/Ftr4 | HP 55/55 | AC 26, T 18, FF 21, CMD 24 (28 vs Trip/Grapple; 25 vs Disarm/Sunder) | Mv 30' | F +10 R +13 W +6, +4 vs fear, Shake it Off | Init +5 | Per +21 (+23 traps) | Active: None

"Yes Lola, please tell us. I am filled with regret at not having paid attention to your distress before, during your conversation with Barzakh in the Dead Roads. I was too focused on my own distress then, as I was last... last night? Before I had a chance to rest in any event.

Please tell us what we might do to ease your burden. You have done so much for us.

Did that book disturb you somehow? Awaken a memory?"

Coral seems genuinely concerned.

When we are ready to move on, I was hoping to go back to the room with the trap (L9, SE corner) and make my best attempt at removing it, with the benefit of Heroism, Moment of Greatness, Inspire Competence and MW Tools from Gerdish's Any-Tool. That would be a total of +15+2+2+2+2 = +23, so a 33 with Take 10.


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F Duskwalker Bard (Dirge Bard) 6/Mortal Usher 2| HP 51/51 | Defenses: AC 19, T 13, FF 17, CMD 20 | F:+8, R:+10, W:+9| Per: +9, SM: +6, Init: +2

Lola hesitates, and then explains, ”thank you - it is - hard to remember. I am not supposed to, I think. Or maybe I am.” She sits down on a bench, and leans forward, her head in her hands, though she is careful not to smudge her somehow impeccable makeup and hair.

She looks up, ”do you know what I am? ¿En realidad? I am a ‘duskwalker,’ right?” She straightens herself, and wrings her hands in front of her, ”this is - you are all crusaders - concerned with the material. What I am, what I’ve become, is outside of the material plane. Separate from it. I am an outsider. Closer to a psychopomp than to any of you, in some ways.” She takes a deep breath, ”this is boring and complicated, but the point is - my spirit was not always bound to this exact form. Long ago, I lived another life. Or many other lives, no está claro… “ she muses.

She pats her bag, ”I know this book. Because I … wrote it. Or more accurately I think translated it. Even more remarkably, it should not be here. Do any of you know where Xopatl is? Not Avistan. It is far across the sea, to the west - perhaps for some easier to get to than the planes, but unfathomably far for most.

She chuckles to herself [b]” It was written by… someone else. Someone who I used to know - sort of. The goddess Arazni.” if there is hesitation, she doesn’t show it. She repeats the name, calling out, ”Arazni? Right? I remember! ¡Mensaje recibido!”

She looks back at Coral, ”few know she was Arcadian - but even though it is fragmented, I know she was, once.” She shakes her head, and shivers slightly, ”I reacted the way I did because well, when I touched the book - I remember how I died the first time, in Arcadia, untold years ago - even if I do not know why. I was executed…” She pauses for theatrical effect, seemingly, and adds in a whisper ” …. and I deserved it.” Her mouth is a thin line, as if this knowledge is something that is extremely painful. She shakes her head, ”see - this is why I did not want to say anything. You all cannot absolve me, because I do not deserve it. This body, this life, this is a mercy and justice. I should never have asked to your help with Barzakh.”


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M Human Paladin of Sarenrae 4/Oracle of Life 3/ Medium 1 | HP 66/76 | AC 19/13/16 | F +13, R +10, W +15 | CMB +6, CMD 19 | Scimitar +6/+1 (1d6) | Longbow +11/+6 (1d8+2) | Init +1 | Perception +4 (Deaf)

Damian frowns as Lola speaks, but in concentration rather than censure as he is tryin to read her lips and piece together what she is saying. As she stops, he shakes his head slowly with a pained smile.

"Ahhh, Lola. We cannot absolve you, it's true - for only the gods can do that. We also cannot say what you do or do not deserve, in this life or your previous ones, or in the afterlife - save one thing. You do deserve our help, and if this, this..." he gestures at her, "is a second chance, then what is in the past does not matter. Not to me, at least."


F Duskwalker Bard (Dirge Bard) 6/Mortal Usher 2| HP 51/51 | Defenses: AC 19, T 13, FF 17, CMD 20 | F:+8, R:+10, W:+9| Per: +9, SM: +6, Init: +2

She looks appreciative, but wary, ”sorry - I will learn your sign language for you as soon as we have a break. If it is any consolation, I did not remember much of this until I was brought back to life again. There is a story there too - and I will tell it - but my hope is that someone else will tell it first.”


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Channel 5/5, Bolstering Touch 7/7, Seize the Initiative 7/7
Spells Remaining:
See Sheet
Spells/Effects Active:
AC 21 T 12 FF 20| Current HP 64/64| F +10 R +6 W +13 (+1 vs illusion+charm)| Init +0 | Perc +9

Marya listens first with melancholy, then with rapt interest. ”You…knew Arazni? Hilde would be so excited. She would have so many questions. I don’t even know where she would have started.”

Marya leans against the wall. ”There is no forgiveness in this world. Maybe not even redemption. But all we can do is carry on better today than yesterday. When we let our past mistakes keep us from moving forward, we merely compound them.” She grimaces. ”Doesn’t mean it’s easy though. Inheritor knows.”

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