The invitation delivered last night was remarkably simple, especially given the importance of the occasion: “Start where it all began. Meet us at the Pig’s Paunch one hour before dawn.”
The Pig’s Paunch is a run-down building with a faded sign of a large pig standing on its hind legs, arms folded above a corpulent belly. Inside, the air is thick with the scents of human sweat, stale tobacco, and leftover food. In the center of the room, surrounded by inebriates sleeping off their revelries, a familiar elven man stands high upon top of a large round table.
“Welcome! Welcome, my students! Please, have a seat!” With that, Kreighton Shaine, the Pathfinder Society’s Master of Scrolls, nimbly drops down to sit cross-legged on the table before looking about the tavern with a sense of reverent wonder. “Can you believe it? It all started here years ago—well, over four hundred of them at least. Under this very roof the Pathfinder Society was born. But today! Today you will begin your Confirmation! Master Farabellus, Master Zey, and I all agree you each have shown your worth and dedication to the Society, so there’s no better time to see if you can handle becoming full field operatives. Allow me to introduce you to Janira Gavix,” he says as he motions for an excitable halfling woman to approach. She wears a large backpack and carries all manner of tools, pouches, and scroll cases around her waist. Shaine continues, saying, “Janira here will be going with you on your Confirmation. She was one of my brightest pupils and will no doubt be an invaluable resource on your journey, for she discovered the caves you are about to explore during her own Confirmation.”
Janira speaks up in an enthusiastic and cheerful voice, “Greetings, aspiring Pathfinders! Six months ago, while I was mapping cave entrances in the foothills of the Kortos Mounts, I witnessed a lone gillman entering a concealed cave. I thought little of it at the time, but I saw another one enter the cave again a month later as my Confirmation stretched on. A few days later, after I completed my assigned task, I entered the cave system, but was unable to find the gillmen.”
Master Shaine hops to his feet. “Initiates, for your Confirmation, you will travel to these caves to explore and document its many passages. Additionally, and most importantly, you are to learn what the gillmen are up to in there. Oh, and you need to come back alive as well.” With these parting words, the Master of Scrolls jumps off the table and strolls out of the building while humming to himself.
”If we find out they are up to trouble, we are allowed to stop them by whatever means necessary, right,” the little Ratfolk snarls, spittle flying from his mouth as he spoke before chewing and swallowing his last bite of mutton. ”We’ll teach them they can’t mess with the Society all right!” He takes a deep breath.
”What else did you find in the area, Janira,” he asks, settling back down. He was covered in white and grey fur, with a spectacle in one eye.
Today's the big day. Khari wakes up, kicks her bedtime partner out of the inn, and draws a bath. She washes off her hooves, her horns, and her stubby tail.
She brews some of her special tonics and then grabs her journal on the way out to the Pig's Paunch.
"Absalom. The tenth wonder of the world, as they say." She scribbles descriptions of bar patrons as she enters. "Hello, I'm Khari. Rhymes with Ferry. I work for Voice of the Free, a newspaper in Galt. Thanks for accepting my application to the Pathfinder Society. I don't disappoint!" She grins.
"This is the original meeting place of the Pathfinder Society? Wow. There must be a ton of history in here." Khari writes down even more notes. "Shaine- er, Master of Scrolls, can I ask you about- oh! Hello Janira." Khari bends down a bit to shake the halfling's hand. By the time she finishes the pleasantries, Master Shaine is already gone. I guess the bossman is busy. That's the problem with the higher ups, their heads are in the clouds.
She looks at the ratman. "Hey there. What's your name? You know mine already."
A tall, thin, bespectacled man watches the exchanges from the other side of the table. He wears a heavy grey robe, and the clink of armor can be heard under it. Assuming he has normal clothes under that, whatever look he's trying to achieve can't be worth the discomfort. A gigantic glaive rests behind his chair.
"And if there is no trouble, we stay as far from being invasive as possible," he cuts in. "We wouldn't do well to assume most have something out for us. Certainly not in this case. Even in some degree for races of a more violent inclination.
"Greetings, all. My name is Imrahil. I'm in between careers in the moment. But I have done a job here and another is no object. So many stories and shards to tie them together, even in this tavern."
A strange-looking creature that appears to be crafted of vines with a carved pumpkin for a head sits in one of the chairs. Dressed in leather armor and simple clothing, a small array of weapons hang from its person, including a longbow carefully propped next to the chair. Perched halfway on its back and halfway on its head is a strange, fuzzy-looking puffball with spindly legs like that of a spider.
The creature waves enthusiastically at the ratfolk and at Khari and at Imrahil. "Helloooo! I'm Calamitous Zu and this is my friend, Fuzzmodeus. But I call him Fuzzy for short," he greets the trio. "Miss Zarta recruited me to hunt for artifacts for the Dark Archive. She said that Fuzzy and I showed lots of promise," he continues, puffing out his little chest proudly. "I'm a good shot with a bow and I can see in the dark. But I got me some book learning too so I know some things about some things."
"Hey there!" Khari bends down slightly to shake everyone's hand- well not Imrahil, she doesn't need to bend down to reach his hand. "It's refreshing to see so many new faces. I hope you don't mind if I interview you during the trip- I want to see the Pathfinder Society firsthand."
"Plus I need tips. Lots of tips." She grins.
The Ratfolk waved patiently at the others. ”Yeah, yeah.....nice to meet you all and stuff. I’m Ninnic. Now let’s get back at it. We’ve got planning to do. I’m just sure those gillmen are up to trouble!”
Ninnic is a psychic with the Ferocity discipline, so he’s a little more ....... aggressive than most psychics. I apologize up front, lol.
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Janira beams up at the group, her pack rattling as she bounces from person to person making her introductions. "Don't mind Shaine, he's a bit of an odd one but he means well and his knowledge is invaluable. It's just a matter of keeping his mind in one place!" She titters to herself as she pulls up a chair to join the prospective Pathfinders.
"We don't know that they're up to any trouble yet, right now we're just investigating. Our records show that the only surface settlement of theirs is in Escadar, on the Isle of Erran off the northern coast of our Isle of Kortos. It isn't clear why they'd venture so far from home on the surface, and that's what you're here to find out." She flags down one of the barmaids and orders a mug of Caydenbrew with a simple side of bread and cheese.
At the center of the Isle of Kortos stand the Kortos Mounts, the points on the island map.
Entire tribes of centaurs, harpies, and minotaurs constantly vie for territory up and around the Mounts, with harpies being the most common at higher altitudes and centaurs controlling the lower slopes and foothills.
Also known as the Low Azlanti, the gillmen are an amphibious humanoid race believed to be the last descendants of the ancient Azlanti people.
During Earthfall, the Starstone struck Golarion and destroyed the human empires of Thassilon and Azlant. It is said that gillmen’s ancestors survived the cataclysmic event because they received the blessing of an aquatic entity that allowed them to breath underwater.
Most scholars believe the terrifying aboleths were responsible for the gillmen’s transformation. Any alliance between them appears to have fallen apart over the millennia, however, and the gillmen are now an independent people.
Settling in at the table, Janira looks over her new companions and nods approvingly when she sees Khari's journal. "Reporting is one of the core duties of a Pathfinder, you're off to an excellent start already! We don't see many Ganzi in our ranks, but if you ask me that's a strength, not a weakness. I hope to read—"
Her voice is cut short when Calamitous and Fuzzmodeus catch her eye, the words replaced with a simple ecstatic squeal. "By Shelyn you're a leshy!" Her face immediately flushes a bright red, broadcasting her embarrassment. "Oooh I hope that wasn't rude! I'm sorry I've heard tales but I've just never had the chance to work alongside one." The halfling clears her throat and composes herself in an attempt to appear professional as she gives introductions to Imrahil and Ninnic as well. "That seems to be nearly all of us, there's just a couple more who should be arriving shortly." She takes a chomp of her bread as she looks excitedly to the group.
The table suddenly jumps and a dull thock mixes with a surprised yelp. "Ow! Why all this yelling?" a voice asks from underneath. After shoving a few chairs (and the sleeping patrons still sitting in them) aside, a gnome crawls out and shakes his head. "Thought I'd come early an... an' scout the place out, ya know?"
He tries to focus on the other Pathfinders, his gaze not quite steady. "Why... why so many people?" He starts counting on his fingers - "Usually only one, two, three, four, five, six on a mission, but there's one, two, three, four, five, six, sev- seeeeven, eight - no, eight, nine, ten... wait, did I count you already?" He squints up at Khari. "Wait, everybody has a twin... Does that mean I have a twin?" He starts looking around the bar frantically. "DID I LOSE MY TWIN!?"
History: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
Imrahil tries to think about the subject at hand, but is new to the area - and distracted. He goes back to greeting the new arrivals, a bit curtly.
"I WISH I had a twin sister!" Khari laughs. "I'd ask her all sorts of questions, like how to shine her horns, or like to buy fitting pants that don't squish her tail." She grins. "It's a goat thing."
Khari almost recoils as Janira singles out Calamitous Zu. "Whoa, no need to point the finger at Zu, here. Gods know that's happened to all of us..." She clops one of her hooves, subconsciously.
"I never really studied Geography or History. But if you want to know Local politics, I can help.." She scribbles a few more notes. "So we'll go to those caves, say hello to the Gillmen, and figure out why they are there."
"Thought I'd come early an... an' scout the place out, ya know?"
"From under the table?" Zu asks, quickly bending down to stick his own head under the table. "Were you scouting fleshy knee-caps? I bet you'd be able to scout out lots of those from under the table. And everyone knows that knees are a weak point."
The leshy nods, seemingly satisfied with this explanation. "Good idea! I'll be sure to scout from under tables more often too. Maybe I can even help find your twin from under a table!"
That mystery solved, Zu turns his thoughts back to the task at hand as he tries to recall if any of his book learnin' left him with any useful information about the history of the area or its terrain.
Kn. Geography: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Kn. History: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
"Hum...well, the Kortos Mountains are smack in the middle of this island, right? I've heard that entire tribes of centaurs, harpies, and minotaurs are always fighting for territory up and around there," he remarks. "Harpies usually stick to the higher points and the centaurs stay on the lower slopes and foothills."
When Janira squeals with delight upon recognizing Zu for what he is - a leshy - the little plant creature lowers his gaze to the floor. "Aw shucks...I don't think it's rude at all," he remarks shyly. "Miss Zarta said something about how the Society's only just getting a decent-sized crop of leshy recruits so I can't blame anyone for staring a little."
"But that's just me; I can't speak for anyone else," he adds, looking up and over at Khari. "Other leshies and other fleshy types might feel different about it."
Janira jumps as the table bounces and her little hands catch her mug so as not to spill anything. "When they said new Pathfinders were crawling out of the woodwork, I didn't think they meant it quite so literally!" She laughs as she offers the new arrival a helping hand, and some bread to help soak up some of his "exhaustion." Her excitable expression softens a bit at Khari's comment and she gives the Ganzi a nod. "I apologize, I meant no disrespect. We're all to be Pathfinders here, and that's what counts more than anything."
When Zu offers insight into the surrounding area, Janira beams at the leshy. "That's correct, and knowledge like that can be the difference between life and death. What if we had no idea and traveled by horse through centaur territoy? Our mission could have been cut short before it even began!" Removed the ink blot from Slide Two.
After taking count of her companions, the halfling puts aside her meal and leans forward."That accounts for 5 of us, and I'm sure our last member will be here shortly. Let's be under way, shall we?" Janira pulls out a large leather-bound journal and opens it on the table. “Before we set out and review our plan, we should all get to know each other. After all, the most important factors that determine whether an expedition will be a success are cooperation and preparation! I’ll go first!”
"I was born and raised here in Absalom, in the district of Eastgate. I'm 24 and the eldest of seven children," she pauses to point towards a broach of a silver butterfly studded with blue gemstones, "and I credit Desna for helping my poor Father survive that! I joined the Society just weeks after I'd turned 20 to see and travel the world." She taps her fingertip to the journal and a modicum of pride can be seen in her smile. "My dream is to have my work published in an official Pathfinder Chronicle, so that it may help generations of Pathfinders for years to come; If I can then the Society may consider me for the role of Chronicler. This will be the first expedition that I've led myself, but with teamwork and cooperation we'll all be able to return to Shaine with tales of rousing success!" She settles back down into her chair and looks around the table with a twinkle in her eye, eager to hear anything her companions may be ready to share.
Had to ninja edit, I posted the same time as our resident Calamity!
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"Well..." the gnome says between snarfuls of bread, "I got here last night, see, 'n there were all these people," he pauses to gesture at the sleeprs, "drinkin' 'n singin' 'n carry on like there weren't no tomorrow, 'n I din't wanna stick out like a manticore in a barnyard, so I joined in. Thought I could handle my drink pretty well - was handlin' it well too - when this skeevy-lookin' lady offered me a mushroom I ain't never seen before. 'Course, she told me after I'd already licked the thing that yer supposed to just rub it on yer skin. After that, things got a bit out of hand with the big folks 'n somebody invited a bunch of dragons inside 'n I tried to fight them off, but the big one breathed this sparkly rainbow stuff everywhere 'n' I just knew that it all had to be cleaned up or everyone would get infected with moon-fever 'n go floatin' off into the sky, so I grabbed a towel 'n started wipin' down the floors 'n the walls 'n the tables... 'N I felt myself startin' to get light, ya see, so I used that noggin o' mine and got under the table where that moon-fever couldn't make me go floatin' off."
He nods in satisfaction at his cunning and dusts breadcrumbs off his hands. "Oh yeah - name's Reckum. Came this way 'cause some bloke back in Sandpoint said Society was the place to see the most amazin' creatures 'n stuff."
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"Fascinating," Imrahil says to Reckum, with very little sarcasm. He then launches into his own story with the tone of something rehearsed often in one's own head.
"I'm from the River Kingdoms, but have lived in a fair few places around Avistan. Universities, mostly, in attempts to teach me the ways of magic. Those never took, and after years of it, my parents showed me something." He neatly hooks his glaive over his chair so it rests on the table. It looks normal enough, if quite well-kept. "This is Parathma's Downfall. The weapon of my ancestor, 15 generations ago. Completely mundane, it was used by her to slay a great evil by the name it became known for.
"I touched it and...I never recall what happened next. A broken shard. But I was sent out again on my own terms, without fuss. Magic started coming to me, in strange ways. I've studied with the Society, among other groups, in the past few years. We have all manner of interesting works to pore over. And now, I'm happy to share the honor of Confirmation with you all!"
Ninnic spoke next. ”Sorry if I don’t feel like sharing my whole life history with all of you. I don’t know you like that just yet. How about we say that I had a friend that was a member for the Society and things didn’t work out that well in the end? And that I’m here to make a mark in his memory. Don’t you worry...I’ll make myself useful while we are exploring!”
”Well I see everyone is ready to go.
An elf sitting in the corner speaks up. His brown coat , buttoned in front, hangs to the floor as he sits.
”Folwin Beifiel is the name, but let’s just stick with Folwin. Alchemy is my specialty. I can see that everyone is all ready getting acquainted. Looks to be a fun trip we are about to go on.”
Folwin looks at the pumpkin headed figure amazingly.
”What in the wo..? I’m sorry. I’ve never seen one of your kind before. “
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"Oh. Right. Like I mentioned before, I'm from Galt. Not too many ganzi in Galt." She chuckles. "This raises a lot of questions about who I am and what I am. And these queries could have been annoying, but then it became the perfect opportunity to ask questions back. How does it feel to have toes? If elves never sleep, what is the trance? Why are humans capable of making half-everything? What are halflings half of? That started my many obsessions: newspaper reporting, storytelling, and transformations."
"I learned all about my town in Galt, but there is so much more to learn. What better way to see the world and its inhabitants then join an international Society like the Pathfinders?" She fills up a mug of ale. "So cheers! To a successful Confirmation!"
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"Oh, I'm a vine leshy," Zu replies cheerfully to Folwin's inquiry. "We're nature spirits given a plant body. Usually fleshy druids like to do this so we can help them take care of whatever forest or land or whatever they call home."
"But I don't really know the one that made me," Zu adds, a bit sadly. "All I remember is coming to myself in the back of someone's garden and there were lots and lots of vines and this fleshy man kept going on and on about 'calamitous kudzu' and how he'd get someone called 'Gildezord' for putting it all over his garden."
Zu shrugs. "I guess maybe someone was playing a prank? Fleshies like to do that sometimes, I know. But anyway I had to hightail it out of there pretty fast but I kinda liked the sound of 'Calamitous Kudzu' and so I decided that could be my name, at least for a while. Sometimes we like to change our names, you know."
"Anyway, as luck would have it I was 'made' in Nantambu waaaay down in the Mwangi so it didn't take me long to find fleshies that were happy to help me out and give me something to do. They've got a whopping big magic school there and there's also a Pathfinder Lodge, so that's how I eventually ended up here in Absalom, after I'd done some training and learning."
Folwin replies to the pumpkin headed figure.
”Calamitous Zu hmmm? I like that. Made in a garden you say? Everyone has there own story. It will surely be an adventure with you!
Folwin smiles at Calamitous.
”I like to throw bombs. I just need to work on my accuracy. I imagine fire and your kind don’t mix well together. I shall try and not throw any in your direction. “
Folwin gives Calamitous a nod before scanning the other Pathfinders.
Janira listens to each of the Pathfinders intently, giggling a bit when Reckum tells his tale of moon fever and looking over Parathma's Downfall with awe. Once everyone has made their introductions she claps her hands and stands at the table.
“You all seem like the perfect material for our Society. Now then, on to the details of the mission at hand. After reviewing my mission reports personally, Master Shaine believes it is no coincidence that each time they entered the caves it was during a full moon, so it is also no coincidence that you have been called here now, just a day before the moon is full again. We both believe that tomorrow night is our best chance to find out why these caves are important and what exactly the gillmen are doing in there."
"The caves we’ll be travelling to lie under the base of the Kortos Mounts. We’ll need to spend every minute of daylight possible to reach the caves by foot, crossing over the Cairnlands, taking the paths to Diobel, and finally making our way through the wilderness. With any luck we won’t run into any of the local inhabitants. Once in the caves, we’ll need to work together to explore and determine whether any gillman are present or have been recently. Keep an eye out for any other clues that might hint at the caves’ significance, too. Sound like a plan?"
When she finishes she reaches down into her pack, retrieving a bundle of parchment and some sticks of charcoal. Janira passes a pair of each to all present at the table, winking at Khari when passing them to the Ganzi. "I'm sure you brought your own, but better safe than sorry! It's always good to be prepared for any mission, you never know what unexpected obstacles may arise. Rope, food, a light source," she begins counting on her fingers, "a form of healing, ways to make fire... oh! And if you have the gold to spare, tools such as Alchemist Fire and Antitoxin can be invaluable resources too!"
With that she tosses back the rest of her ale and hastily finishes what little food remains on her plate. "If you have any last minute preparations to make now is the time, otherwise we should depart as soon as possible. Time is of the essence on this one!"
Last chance to make any purchases!
GM Stuff: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Imrahil looks a bit leery at having to walk for so long, but isn't going to object. When the time comes to make last-minute buys, he ducks away to pick up some alchemical weapons. If possible, he goes with Zu or Khari. "Is Fuzzmodeus - Fuzzy - a sentient plant as well? If so, what sort?"
"You can never have enough parchment." Khari laughs. "But I do need to buy some extra gear. Be back in a few!"
Khari makes sure to purchase a few extra items.
- A vial of alchemist’s fire (20 gp)
- 50 feet of rope
- 2 trail rations
- A brand new journal (10 gp)
- An inkpen and a bedroll (2 sp)
She plunks 32.2 gold pieces before turning back to the Pig's Paunch. "Keep the change!" She jokes.
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"Um...depends on what you mean by 'sentient'," Zu remarks, scratching awkwardly at the back of his pumpkin head. "He'll do what I ask him to do - usually - but he's not really smart like those little critters some of the other agents like to keep around that speak and wave wands around and everything."
"Oh...and you probably don't want to touch him," he adds. "He's poisonous. Touch Fuzzy, get dizzy."
The leshy begins rifling through his gear, checking to see what he has and doesn't have from the helpful list Janira has given them.
"Rope - check. Food - check. Light source - Does being able to see in the dark count? Healing and alchemy stuff....nope. I guess I'll need to fix that on our way out of town!"
Zu will spend 2 PP on a Wand of Cure Light Wounds as well as purchase Alchemist's Fire x2 (40gp) and an Antitoxin (50 gp).
No purchases here.
”Touch fuzzy, get dizzy. I will try and remember that.”
Folwin nods at Calamitous.
”A poisonous fuzzy and a journalist on the same trip. This will be fun.”
Imrahil, what alchemical weapons did you purchase? Reckum if you make any purchases, please include them in your next post!
The journey through the City at the Center of the World is swift and without incident, and during the long trek through the Cairnlands Janira passes the time pointing out landmarks such as siege towers of great battles past, distant mountains and the beasts that dwell in them, and examples local flora and fauna. As the veil of night falls over the Isle, she brings the group to a halt.
"That's enough travel for today I think. Tomorrow is the night of the full moon and we're past halfway to our destination, it's important we arrive well-rested in case we encounter any threats. It will also give our resident spellcasters time to reprepare spells if they need." Janira begins setting up a makeshift campsite, her experience showing in the swiftness of her work. She gladly accepts any help her Pathfinders may offer, but makes no demands for assistance.
DC 15 Perception
At night in her tent, Janira can be heard making a short prayer to Desna, praying for safe travels for both herself and her companions.
Testing nested spoilers so that I can hide DCs until after the check has been made.
Travels continue the next morning and as the party progresses deeper into the forest, the trees towering overhead begin to shield most of what remains of the day’s sun. The vegetation along the forest floor grows denser, and passing through the brush to find proper paths begins to become a challenge. Janira pauses a moment and pulls out an intricate silver compass emblazoned with the Pathfinder Society logo: the Glyph of the Open Road.
“I received this wayfinder when I successfully completed my Confirmation. Should we be successful on our journey, and I have no doubt you will, you'll get your own as well.” She flips open the device and holds it in front of her.
The initials J. L. are engraved into the inside of the device’s lid, something she seems to attempt to cover up with her thumb. After studying the compass inside for a moment, she remarks, “We’re on the right path. We need to keep heading northwest past those large rocks up ahead.” A large rock outcropping to the east rises nearly 20 feet above the forest floor, and a small sinkhole to the northwest drops off sharply, descending to the ground 10 feet below. "We're traveling through harsher territory now, but these are difficulties that Pathfinders become accustomed to. Any—"
Janira suddenly silences her voice as nearby bushes part to allow two beasts into view, predators that had been waiting in ambush. It was a pair of wolves, and judging from the thick saliva dripping from their snarling maws, the Pathfinders would only have seconds to act! Roll Initiative and begin combat! Slide Three uncovered!!
Ninnic Initiative: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Khari Initiative: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (13) + 0 = 13
Imrahil Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Zu Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Reckum Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
Folwin Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
Black Wolf Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
White Wolf Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Janira Initiative: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Folwin and Calamitous Zu may act now.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Folwin hears the prayer, but says nothing.
I guess a little prayer wouldn’t hurt.
”Has anyone ever smelled burnt fur before. Do you want to?”
Folwin let’s out a small laugh. He moves closer to the wolf, but not too close.
”Do not let them surround us! Anything within 20 feet and I will burn their flesh from off their bones.”
Folwin’s once coy smile gives way to to a sinister and blank facial expression.
”Now. I shall claim their corpses as my trophy.”
Earlier, the Previous Evening
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
Zu smiles to himself - though that isn't anything unusual given that his pumpkin head has a smile carved into it already.
I guess it helps to be prepared in every way you can, including petitions to the gods above and spirits around!
"Wolves in the forest! They're big, aren't they? Fuzzy, heel! Let them come to us, okay?" Zu calls out as he takes aim at the white wolf on the far side of the clearing...
Handle Animal - Heel (DC 10): 1d20 + 4 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 + 4 = 19
Attack vs. White: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 6
...and probably, most likely, misses.
|Fuzzmodeus aka 'Fuzzy'|
Zu, while this is an issue easily remedied with a short movement, I want to make certain I'm both playing the rules correctly and not missing any abilities on your sheet. Even ignoring the trees, as a small creature, Fuzzmodeus would have provided the White Wolf with soft cover as he lied in the path of your shot, correct?
Zu's arrow plinks harmlessly into the forest floor short of the wolf, Arrow Recoverable if Result is 1: 1d2 ⇒ 1 sticking upright in the soft soil.
With a snap of its jaw the white wolf moves forward towards the group, darting nimbly between the trees. It hunkers low, stalking forward with careful predation. The wolf moves forward and takes the Total Defense action, gaining a +4 Dodge Bonus to AC until its next turn.
Janira moves forward 5-Foot Step, shouting words of courage to her allies. "Don't be discouraged Pathfinders, these canines are nothing! Venture Captain Luna Aldred single-handedly held back a battalion of werewolves in the battle during The Night of Silver Blood! These pups are nothing in comparison!" Janira's words ring deep, inspiring courage in her allies. +1 Morale Bonus on saves vs Fear and Charm effects, and +1 Competence Bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. While shouting she withdraws a tanglefoot bag from her pack Move Action and drops it on the ground where she stood before Free Action. "If you need it, use it!"
Reckum, Khari, and Ninnic may now act!
Khari spends her time writing every detail Janira mentions. Maybe there's a secret club there. What secrets do they hide?
Khari spends the next few days bugging party members about their lives before and during the Pathfinder Society. She's willing to tell them all about the fun adventures she's had in Galt. Mostly getting in trouble, hiding, and disguising herself to escape.
Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 10
Setting up camp is pretty new to her. Khari's used to the city. Each morning she puts on her cestus.
At the sounds of howling, Khari pulls out her crossbow and takes aim at the white wolf.
Light Crossbow: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (15) + 0 = 15
1d8 ⇒ 6
Nic pulls out his crossbow, and loads it, preparing to shoot at one of the beasts next round, if the wolves are intent on attacking the squad. ”Get them! Let’s teach them a lesson about messing with us!”
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@GM - To my understanding, yes. Zu's still a bit new to the finer points of archery, after all. Totally wasn't because his player didn't think to have him take a 5 foot step, nope, no siree >.>
”Wahoo!” Reckum cries as he moves closer to the campfire and hefts his oversized hammer. ”Just look at these lil’ beasties! Ain’t they beauties?” He plants his feet firmly and holds the earthbreaker ready.
Bludgeoning damage, IC: 1d10 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 3 + 1 = 10
Khari's crossbow bolt whistles through the air, Bolt Recoverable if Result 1: 1d2 ⇒ 1 landing in a thicket of green moss several feet off from her target. While Ninnic and Reckum prepare their respective attacks, the black wolf mimics the movements of its packmate, slowly encircling the party with its body hunched in a low defensive position. Black Wolf moves forward and takes Total Defense, gaining a +4 Dodge Bonus to AC. If it wasn't made clear, the standing tree trunks on the map will provide soft cover for ranged attacks.
Imrahil, Folwin, and Calamitous Zu may act!
Imrahil is a bit slow to react, but his glaive is ready. He mirrors Reckum, heading to the opposite side of the camp and engaging the other wolf. "My apologies, but you will not feast today."
Glaive, IC: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Damage, IC: 1d10 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Deciding that the black wolf is now the primary threat, being the closer of the two animals, Zu does an about-face and hops over the fallen log behind him. He takes aim and fires another arrow from his bow...
Attack vs. Black Wolf (Longbow; IC, PB Shot): 1d20 + 4 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 4 + 1 + 1 = 7
Damage: 1d6 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 + 1 = 5
...and calls out, "Okay Fuzzy, get 'em!"
Handle Animal (DC 10): 1d20 + 4 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 + 4 = 12
|Fuzzmodeus aka 'Fuzzy'|
Fuzzy comes skittering across the fallen log as well, his(?) movements surprisingly fluid in spite of his spindly legs. He skitters up to the Black Wolf and attempts to slam into the beast...
Attack vs. Black Wolf (Slam; IC): 1d20 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 3 + 1 = 21
Damage: 1d4 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 + 1 = 4
Save Fort DC 13; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d2 Wis and dazzled; cure 1 save.
”So the wolf wants to play. So be it!!!”
Folwin reaches on to his belt and pulls a small vial with a dark red liquid inside from off it.
With astonishing speed he mixes a pinch of this and an ounce of that from his alchemist kit. He swirls it around to make sure it’s mixed thoroughly.
”You see here. This is a bomb.”
Folwin smiles and laughs as he throws it toward the wolf.
Targeting the square behind so no one is caught with splash damage.
Reflex DC14 save for half damage. Otherwise 4.
This is fun. The wolf wants to play with Folwin.
The black wolf's reckless approach is met with an organized defense from the Pathfinders. While Zu's arrow misses wildly Recoverable if Result 1: 1d2 ⇒ 2, Parathma's Downfall is is the first to sink into the beast, the glaive biting deep into the predator's flesh. Fuzzmodeus's small but nimble body capitalizes on the assault, launching itself from the log and into the injured wolf,
Fortitude Save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Wisdom Damage: 1d2 ⇒ 2
slamming into the open wound, ensuring the puff's poison spreads quickly and fast. As the canine reels backwards its would-be escape erupts in flames as one of Folwin's bombs detonates behind it, engulfing it in flames!
Reflex Save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
While it may have not caught the full blast of the bomb, the Pathfinders combined efforts drop the beast before it has a chance to press forward with its own attack. Black Wolf defeated!
While its prey are distracted fighting its packmate, the white wolf lunges forward from between the trees after Reckum, only to be caught with a vicious swing from the Gnome's Earthbreaker! Successful hit! While still recuperating it makes a desperate lunge at Reckum's feet,
Wolf Bite: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
But is clearly still seeing stars from the last blow and misses wildly!
Khari Sidare and Ninnic may act, and then rest of the party. While technically the whole party will get their turn before the next enemy, I want to avoid situations where certain characters lose their chance to play.
"Alright, then." Khari drops her crossbow and readies her cestus. She circles around the wolf, finally approaching when it's safe.
Cestus: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
1d4 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
This wolf is way too defensive, though.
The +4 AC only lasted on the turn he used it, it dropped once it attacked Reckum. That was a hit!
With a brutal blow from Khari's Cestus the already dazed wolf drops like a sack of potatoes onto the forest floor. White Wolf down as well, Combat Over!
With the last wolf defeated, Janira looks to the group with pride. "Congratulations on your first victory Pathfinders, you handled that like seasoned adventurers! I don't see a scratch on any of you, well done!" She retrieves her tanglefoot bag from the floor where she dropped it, and hoists her bag comfortably onto her shoulder. "I do wish we could linger, but it's vital we arrive at the caves by nightfall, we can't miss this full moon or we risk missing the gillmen. We must press forward!"
As the party travels deeper into the woods, thick and heavy overgrowth begins blocking the path, making travel difficult, and putting the party in danger of falling behind schedule.
DC 15 Survival Check
You're able to find shortcuts and pathways that cut through or around the various obstacles that bar your path, saving precious time in your journey.
”No fair! You all killed them too quickly! Next time, I’ll go first,” the rat yells at the group, furious that his righteous anger couldn’t be released just yet. ”I hope those gillmen are up to some trouble, let me tell you!”
As the area got more difficult to pass, Nic examined his surroundings closely.
Survival 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
”Ah! There’s a break in the forest over here. This should save us time to get to those dirty, rotten gill men!”
"Alright! I did it!" Khari is quite excited. "I mean, the wolf was trying to kill us."
Survival: 1d20 ⇒ 4
Khari has little experience outside the city. But she is having fun. Maybe too much fun.
"Is that poisonous? Is this a rash or berry juice? Is that fire damage, or did someone chop down the tree?"
She isn't remotely paying attention to the lack of progress you're making.
"Hey, that went really well," Zu remarks, sounding both pleased and maybe even a little surprised as he trots over to retrieve one of his arrows. "Seems like we make a pretty good team!"
As the group falls back into their marching order with Janira, Zu looks over at Ninnic. "Why do you think the gillmen are bad guys?" He sounds genuinely curious to hear the ratfolk's answer.