Fast-paced, action-driving classic role-play of PFS Special #10-00: The Hao Jin Cataclysm as part of PbP Gameday VIII.
A Pathfinder Society Special designed for levels 1–11. This table is for PCs in Tier 5-6.
Many centuries ago, the legendary sorceress Hao Jin crafted a museum demiplane, ripping locations from across Golarion to add to her personal collection. When she vanished without a trace, the demiplane began falling into disrepair. Ever since the Pathfinder Society gained access to this realm seven years ago, its agents have been gradually exploring the demiplane's wonders, meeting its people, and cataloging its preserved historical relics.
Former Pathfinder Master of Spells Aram Zey has just made a terrible discovery—the demiplane's deterioration has reached a critical stage. Unless the Pathfinder Society intervenes, the entire demiplane will rip apart violently, ejecting most of its contents into the Astral Plane and killing everyone inside. Yet it isn't as simple as sewing the demiplane back together with some metaphysical thread. Powerful forces from both within the tapestry and outside of it seek to hasten the destruction or profit off the chaos, and the impending apocalypse has thrown the tapestry's civilizations into turmoil.
Written by Mike Kimmel.
Instructions: Once you have been accepted into the party by the GM, please "ninja-dot" here in order to enter this scenario into the list of your campaign threads.
PbP TIP: To "ninja-dot," post on this thread, and immediately afterword, delete the post. Why? To keep the campaign thread clear of unnecessary clutter. Clutter belongs on the Discussion thread, instead.
The Grand Lodge of Absalom is abuzz with activity due to the summons by the former Master of Spells, Aram Zey.
In familiar fashion, the summons was abrupt and brusque. 'All available Pathfinders must gather in Skyreach immediately. Be prepared for a critical mission in the Hao Jin Tapestry. More instructions will follow.'
As you enter the tower, Pathfinder aides are on hand to direct the chaos, splitting arriving agents into standard teams.
Please introduce your character. The special will officially start at Midnight UTC on August 26th (that's 5:00pm Pacific Standard Time on August 25th), and there will be skill check opportunities for everyone. Please check in as quickly as you can when play begins, and have your character contribute to the team effort.
Kimiya walks with the crowd, waving to a few fellow adventurers as they're directed to Skyreach. He finds himself with a new group and approaches each of them, bowing and introducing himself, "Well met, my name is Kimiya Sayo, a pleasure to be teaming with you." He's careful to keep his naginata upright, remembering when he was first learning to use it and kept accidentally tripping everyone.
A simian humanoid (Vanaran) sits cross-legged on the floor of the main hall nodding his head to a beat only he hears. "Hallo, Kimiya. I am N'aranav." His voice changes slightly as he imitates the guttural sounds of his homeland by pronouncing his name properly.
His possessions are meager. Besides a tan cloak highlighted with colorful piping that covers his green leather lamellar armor, he only wears an amulet stylized with crossed fists and a humble backpack with a couple of wands protruding.
Kahwen is greeting other friends he's made in the Society when his name is called and he is assigned to his group. He bids them farewell then hurries over to where his team is assembling.
He returns Kimiya's bow, bending at the waist until his torso is parallel to the ground his arm held out from his side. N'Aranav gets a similar bow, such that Kahwen's face comes close to since the Vanaran is sitting.
"I am pleased to meet you both. I am Kahwen. This will be my first time dealing with the Tapestry. What about your?"
The tengu moves with quick, adept movements, his bright eyes filled with curiosity. A bit of dull gray chainmail peeks out from beneath the collar and sleeves of his nondescript clothing. His Wayfinder hangs prominently from his neck. A bow is strapped across his back and a mace hangs from his belt.
But most remarkable is the slender, curved blade sheathed on his back which is almost as long as he is tall.
The tall goateed man wears robes that seem very old fashioned. He wears what looks to be a finely made longsword at his waist.
"Greetings. I am Aroden. Scholar and wizard. A man trying to follow the example set by the Last Azlanti."
Technically true, but of more than that I cannot be sure.
"A most... uh... diverse... group we have here."
There is a bit of awkwardness in his comment, but no hostility or insult.
Get it together, man. You're not the God of Humanity. And even if you were once, the world has moved on. A nagaji, a samsaran, a tengu... they have a place too.
"This is my first time dealing with the Tapestry as well."
|Dale the Sage|
Before the final bell tolls a very hairy man is hurriedly shooed into the courtyard by some fellow Pathfinders. He appears to be human but has an extremely thick head of hair, not to mention facial hair, and a fair bit on any exposed skin you can see. He wears a pair of well loaded bandoleers across his chest, and a weather beaten backpack that sports all the camping equipment one could desire.
"Yes, I heard the call and I was on my way! Don't blame me for stopping to admire that amazing garden on the way in. You should put something like that out back so it doesn't delay members. I've got an important summons to respond to!" He quickly shakes off their attempts at hurried assistance and catches sight of the others in the party.
"Oh, are you my new teammates?" He asks expectantly, stopping to take a long look at each of you, starting with the Nagaji.
"Ahh, Nagaji from the land of the Tian people? I have just returned from there! I'm very sorry we had to put down some of your kind. They ambushed us to be fair. I did manage to save this precious little egg though!"
He pulls out a small leather egg from an inner pocket of his shirt, shows it to Kimiya discreetly, then returns it without another word.
Next he turns to the Vanaran, smiling and hooting in greeting.
"Did you ever learn the local human tongue in your time in the Mwangii? I'm afraid I haven't had a chance to master the Vanara dialect yet. But don't worry, I've taken lots of notes from my former companion Monty!"
He gives the man a few familiar grunts and thumps his chest, almost like he's saying Hello!
Now he moves on to the Tengu, his eyes flash brightest as he takes in the fine bird's color pattern.
"Greetings my fine feathered friend! Its great to finally meet one of your kind, although I did pass quite a few on my last mission to the lands of Tian."
He then retrieves a small piece of colored stone and offers it to Kahwen as a gift. Swirls of smokey quartz with squares of rusty iron and golden flecks make it quite interesting to look at but of little monetary value.
Finally his gaze turns to Aroden, whom he gives a much closer look and ponders before greeting.
"Are you truly a descendant of our lost God who walked amongst the people? Or just a man trying to trick those who don't know better? Either way, hello!"
After all of the introductions are done you find it odd, or maybe even a bit confusing that the man never did introduce himself. Or if he did then must have done it in another language maybe?
"Speaking of the Tapestry, I just got back from one of the stolen temples that supposedly ended up inside!" He drags out a beaten, dog eared journal and starts flipping through to show you sketches and drawings of the site, including a large and perfectly spherical crater that abutts it. "Quite fascinating. I was hoping to get to go INTO the Tapestry but apparently not.. well, maybe now we will be!"
|Dale the Sage|
Kimiya stares at the hairy man, tilting his head slightly while pretending to understand what he says. He admires the egg and smiles briefly, nodding along.
Sense Motive DC12: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Dale pauses, scratches his chin at the revelation then switches to the common tongue for Kimiya.
"Ahh, Nagaji from the land of the Tian people? I have just returned from there! I'm very sorry we had to put down some of your kind. They ambushed us to be fair. I did manage to save this precious little egg though!"
Kimiya inclines his head, "Well met. I assure you they were no relations of mine as I actually hail from Taldor." He points to the egg, "it's beautiful, what do you intend to do with it?"
|Dale the Sage|
"Well I think I'll hatch it and study the end result. I'm curious how the speed of hatching will be affected by my personal body heat. I've never hatched this species before and it'll be a fun little experiment." He smiles.
"Well, it IS possible they are distant relations, but its pretty unlikely. I can't say I know for sure the number of Nagaji familial lines, but how many could there really be?" He prattles on about nothing of interest.
Kahwen cannot blush...or if he can, it is not evident under his feathers. He tucks his head down between his shoulders and squeezes his arms in as a demonstration of his embarrassment, instead.
"My family is from the Shackles, so I don't know Tian," he says.
"I do know..."
Dale could almost not have given him a better gift than the sparkly rock and he stars at it, cocking his head from side to side for quite some time.
"Thank you," he says, tucking it inside the Wayfinder that he wears proudly and prominently around his neck. The device plays a little lullaby while it's open as well as glowing faintly before he snaps it shut.
"You likely won't find this too useful, but please, take this in return," he offers Dale an Alchemist Fire.
|Dale the Sage|
"You grew up in the Shackles and you never learned Polyglot? I've been through there on my way to the Mwangii. Lots of smelly pirates, but some very interesting sea weeds! Thank you for the gift."
Dale slips the bottled fire into his bandoleer next to some other similar vials.
"If you would like to learn the language of the Tian just say the word, I just finally got the hang of it on my last mission."
I appreciate the offer but Dale does have lots of alchemist fires, so please don't put yourself out. The RP of it was excellent though. Dale would be just as happy for a feather or two!
|Dale the Sage|
"I am not trying to trick anybody. I have said I am a man trying to follow the example the Last Azlanti."
Dale smiles at the response "Good! A man's gotta know who he can trust and who he cannot."
Former Master of Spells Aram Zey addresses the assembled Pathfinders as more agents stream into the Grand Lodge. “Pathfinders, an entire world is in danger! The Hao Jin Tapestry is on the brink of collapse. If we do not act now, all its wonders and its people will be lost to us forever. Find your assigned group, aid in our preparations to enter the demiplane however you can, and await further instructions.”
GMs, you have one day to complete your mustering and perform the tasks in Part 1.
Countless Pathfinders stand ready in a large stone room deep beneath the Grand Lodge. A ragged tapestry covered in clashing colors and abstract symbols rests on an inclined slab in the center of the room, surrounded by scaffolds and ladders. Scholars frantically rush along the scaffolds, studying a flurry of rips appearing on the tapestry.
A harried oread woman approaches. "I am Master of Spells Sorrina Westyr. I won’t mince words—the situation is dire. This cloth is the famous Hao Jin Tapestry, an ancient relic the Pathfinder Society acquired in the Ruby Phoenix Tournament six years ago. It contains a vast wealth of locations, treasures, and peoples torn from Golarion by the sorceress Hao Jin. We have explored many regions of the tapestry, struggled to keep the Aspis Consortium from turning its populace against us, and devised a means to use the tapestry for fast travel across all of Golarion."
"But now, it has begun to unravel. We must act quickly to repair the tapestry—and that means sending agents into the demiplane itself. Our former Master of Spells, Aram Zey, knows more about the tapestry than anyone here. He is preparing a formal briefing. In the meantime, familiarize yourself with your team, discuss any previous experience you may have with the Hao Jin Tapestry, and gather what information and resources you can."
"One more thing, and this is important: you will be able to retreat safely from the tapestry to Absalom. However, we cannot risk damaging the tapestry further by sending groups back and forth. Be sure that you gather everything you need before entering the tapestry, because once you return to Absalom, you will no longer be a part of this mission."
Another post follows...
While the assembled field agents are mustering, there a several tasks one might accomplish, though time is short, and you realize you each have just enough time to manage one or help someone else on your team accomplish his or her task.
(Each PC should choose one of the listed skills to attempt. Each task has three levels of success corresponding to the Easy, Average, and Hard skill check DCs. The group receives the information and rewards that correspond to the check result and any easier levels (e.g. meeting the Average check DC earns information and rewards associated with both the Easy and Average checks). The PCs can attempt the checks individually or use the aid another action, provided
that the PCs are using the same skill.)
You may attempt to ASSESS THE DAMAGE, by inspecting the tapestry itself to help discern what might be happening to it.
Relevant Skills: Appraise, Disable Device, Perception, or Use Magic Device
You may attempt to INTERROGATE THE SNAKES, by questioning a group of Aspis Consortium agents recently arrested in Absalom, attempting to discern if the Consortium is infiltrating the tapestry again. The agents insist that the Consortium is not involved.
Relevant Skills: Bluff or Intimidate
You may attempt to recall your KNOWLEDGE OF THE WEAVE, or gather information about the Hao Jin Tapestry.
Relevant Skills: Diplomacy (gather information) or Knowledge (local or planes)
You get a strange feeling SOMETHING IS WATCHING and may investigate to determine what is going on.
Relevant Skills: Knowledge (arcana or planes), Perception, Sense Motive, or Spellcraft
You may make a SUPPLY CHECK, assessing the repair team’s supplies, including climbing gear, traveling gear, food and drink, and supplies for magic rituals.
Relevant Skills: Appraise, Craft (any relevant skill), Knowledge (arcana), or Profession (any relevant skill)
You can briefly swap TALES FROM THE TAPESTRY of the Pathfinder Society’s previous adventures in the tapestry.
Relevant Skills: Diplomacy, Knowledge (history), or Perform
You can share TRAVEL TIPS for navigating and surviving a variety of terrains.
Relevant Skills: Knowledge (geography or nature), Profession (any relevant profession), or Survival
Please indicate which check you're making and which skill you're using when you roll. Feel read to add a little RP to spice things up. ;-)
Apparently a halfling has lurked among you as he finally steps forward from the shadow with the grace of a catfolk, which wouldn't be surprising to find assembled in a team with a vanaran, nagaji and tengu.
However, he is a mere halfling.
He flicks the remnants of a burning cigarette into a corner of the room, seeming to care little if the entire Lodge is burned down by his careless action. Despite such carelessness, the halfling appears to be quite serious.
Imagine Napolean walking into the room and assessing matters.
"So, another end of ze world mizzion, is it? And once again, ze Society calls on it'z most accomplished zwordzman, eh?"
The halfling studies Sorinna from a position roughly at her knee's height.
"Zere were Aspis just 'ere recently, non? Zose dirty zerpents are no doubt behind zis..."
Quillen will use his Pathfinder's Excellence boon to roll this twice and take the better result, and since it's against the Aspis add half his level (+3).
Intimidate (Snakes): 1d20 + 13 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 13 + 3 = 22
Intimidate (Snakes): 1d20 + 13 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 13 + 3 = 18
Kimiya spies the Aspis and begins to walk toward them, ready to flex his interrogation skills. Before he's able to start, however, a short man bruskly cuts in front of him and makes a beeline for the prisoners. Woosaw he reminds himself, not all who walk the path, do so with grace. He pauses and turns toward a small group of fellow adventurers, discussing the tapestry. He is pleased to learn that this is not the Society's first foray into the tapestry and that previous missions have been successful. Hearing the excitement in the others voices serves to settle Kimiya and prepare him for what's ahead.
Tales from the Tapestry Diplo: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28
|Dale the Sage|
Dale can make any of these checks with a decent bonus so while I'd rather wait to see what we're lacking, in the spirit of time I'll work with the travel option.
K Geography: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (8) + 12 = 20
Dale's face droops as he listens to the brief brief by Sorrina "Collapsing? All will be lost?" He says, taking a step closer to the beloved artifact that he hasn't yet been able to meet, never mind travel within. "WE'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING!" He blurts out like a panicked father over his restored high school mustang.
He immediately climbs the nearest scaffold and takes a closer look at the map "Just let me study this and I'm sure I can calculate some of the faster and most useful routes we could use! We can't let this thing be destroyed!"
"Friend Dale is right!" Kahwen declares almost as hysterically when the announcement about their mission is made. He follows the Sage but breaks off as the man climbs the scaffolding, watching him curiously.
He's not sure what Dale is doing is going to fix the tapestry so he sets to work on it, himself, pulling out his thieves' tools but putting them away sheepishly if the other people around the artifact seem to think they won't work.
Disable Device (Assess the Damage): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32
He gets an additional +2 if he can use his Masterwork Thieves' Tools.
A bit confused by the hubhub, N'Aranav follows Quillen to the Aspis agents and paces behind him, cracking his knuckles while making subtle eye contact with the traitors.
Intimidate Aid another: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
The wizard looks at the tapestry with concern. Some memory is just beyond the edge of his mind... a realm unraveling... he shakes his head and gets to work.
Do we have all of the things we need?
Supply Check! Knowledge (Arcana): 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (5) + 16 = 21
Quillen decides tactical intelligence will be the key to victory. The halfling climbs atop a chair, cutting an imposing figure. Blowing on coals of his Taldan cigarette, he waves it in front of the captive Aspis Agents' eyes.
Like a mad monkey, N'Aranav cracks his knuckles and makes a few practice swings near the Aspis Agents' kneecaps and toes.
"Look, man, no need to rough us up! We'll tell you what we know. The Aspis Consortium recently tried to re-infiltrate the tapestry, but it was too unstable and they couldn't gain entry."
Quillen and N'Aranav believe the Consortium agents.
Suspicious and threatening glares from Quillen and N'Aranav encourage the prisoners to reveal a little more information about the Consortium’s past dealings with groups in the tapestry.
INTERROGATE THE SNAKES (Hard Success)
Benefits: Once during the adventure, one PC can gain a +2 bonus to a Charisma-based skill check made when interacting with a creature in the tapestry. The PC can roll twice and take the better result (in addition to gaining the +2 bonus).
Kimiya Sayo strides over to a small group of experienced senior field agents, who are discussing the tapestry. They turn to look at the samurai, impressed with his martial bearing and well-maintained arms and armor. "Well met, brother. Haven't ventured into the Tapestry before, eh? Well, let me tell you about the time we... "
They share with the charismatic Kimiya several stories of Pathfinder agents adventuring in the tapestry and dealing with all manner of different peoples and creatures, from ratfolk and lizardfolk to ancient mummies and manipulative demons.
TALES FROM THE TAPESTRY (Hard Success)
Benefits: Each time the PCs attempt a Knowledge check to identify a creature in the tapestry, one PC can choose to gain a +2 bonus on the check.
Once during the scenario, each PC can roll twice and take the better result instead of gaining a +2 bonus, while treating the Knowledge skill as trained.
Or, instead of rolling the Knowledge check twice to identify the creature (see above), the PC can treat their result as they had rolled a 20.
Chewing the end of his quill pen, Dale the Sage regards the Hao Jin Tapestry, recalling what he knows from his studies of the Pathfinder Chronicles and various research monographs and scholarly papers.
He remembers meticulous descriptions and detailed analysis of the various terrain types reported within the tapestry: buildings, caves and tunnels, ancient ruins, mountains, and deserts. Many more are known to exist within the tapestry, as well.
TRAVEL TIPS (Average Success)
Benefits: The PCs share advice for dealing with different terrains. Once during the adventure, one PC can choose to re-roll a failed skill check made as part of their movement (such as Acrobatics, Climb, or Fly).
Kahwen approaches the tapestry, peering at the damage with a professional's critical eye. His masterwork tools prove perfectly suited to the task.
The tengu rogue notices that the largest holes appear around six of the regions that Pathfinder agents visited in the past few years. That much is obvious, even to a layman.
Then he makes a closer inspection and notices that the tapestry is radiating warmth. With the aid of his tools, Kahwhen notices that, despite the tapestry’s warmth, there are a few almost imperceptible spots around the largest tears that are chill as a grave.
ASSESS THE DAMAGE (Hard Success)
Benefits: Once during the adventure, when the group encounters one or more undead opponents, the group can activate this reward to grant the PCs a +4 bonus on their initiative checks for that encounter.
This isn't Aroden's first rodeo. While the others are busy examining the tapestry and learning what they can about it, the wizard conducts an inventory of the repair team's gear and supplies.
"Thanks, Pathfinder. Appreciate your expertise!" The repair team's foreman, grateful for Aroden's aid, hands him a padded tin containing a number of vials. "A few potions for you and your buddies."
SUPPLY CHECK (Average Success)
Benefits: Each PC receives a potion of cure serious wounds.
The repair team also provides each PC with an additional 1st- or 2nd- level potion of the PC’s choice that does not have an expensive material component.
(Please indicate in the Discussion thread which 1st- or 2nd- level potion each of you chooses.)
|Dale the Sage|
"These potions will be very helpful. I can't wait to study their composition further so I can replicate them in the future!" Dale smiles, then eyeballs the other's potions with a similar bit of zeal.
Quillen grunts his reluctant approval of Aroden's effort, stuffing the offered potion away in his mundane pack.
He then folds both hands behind his back and begins to march to and fro, mumbling to himself under his breath.
"Zo, Zey.. it iz time for zis Tapestry to meet it'z end?"
Sighing, he ignites another cigarette before offering the assortment of Pathfinders among him one of their own. His eyes twinkle as he regards N'Aranav's response to his offer.
Aram Zey cries out in alarm as a massive rip appears in the Hao Jin Tapestry. A silvery void dances within the breach. “The rifts are widening—we’re running out of time! Quickly, Pathfinders. Finish your preparations and gather around the tapestry.”
Aram Zey’s gaze remains fixed on the tapestry as he addresses the crowd around him. He is harried and pale, with dark bags under his bloodshot eyes. His hands tremble slightly as he sets a mug of coffee down on a table already littered with empty cups. “Pathfinders, the Hao Jin Tapestry is falling to pieces. Both the physical object you see before you and the mystical realm it contains have been unraveling for several months, possibly even longer. My only hope is that there is still time to save the tapestry
and those who live inside.”
The former Master of Spells glares at the tapestry for a moment, and then a new rip catches his attention. He jabs a finger at the frayed fabric. “There! You see? The degradation is causing—or perhaps caused by—rifts to the Astral Plane that are appearing throughout the demiplane. Fixing these tears is not as simple as stitching fabric or performing a few rituals. We must enter the tapestry itself, find the rifts, and repair them as best we can. But the tapestry is in chaos—undead horrors are emerging throughout the demiplane, and we do not quite understand why. On top of that, the people and creatures of the tapestry are reacting to the chaos, and they are only making matters worse! That, Pathfinders, is where you come in.”
Aram Zey finally turns to face the crowd gathered around him. “The tapestry is a massive realm, and we have spent years exploring it and using it for travel. I fear that our activities are at least partly responsible for the degradation. I don’t think it’s a coincidence many of the six most damaged areas of the tapestry are sites of previous Pathfinder missions.” Zey’s face twists into a pained expression, “My efforts to repair the demiplane over the course of the last several days have met with nothing but failure. The decline continues to accelerate. I have no choice but to send you into the tapestry to deal with the chaos around these six sites. I’ll be sending in other teams to perform the laborious work of patching the rifts once you’ve established control of the situation. Then I can work on a permanent solution. Time is of the essence. By my estimates, in a little over two day’s time, the entire demiplane will collapse without your efforts. I don’t care what motivates you, whether you want to preserve powerful artifacts, save innocent lives, or be a good Pathfinder—get in there and get the job done.”
Aram Zey returns his gaze to the tapestry, raising his hand to his forehead and wincing in pain. In a low grumble, he adds, “You all are this demiplane’s last hope. Don’t let them down.”
Table GMs, please begin Part 2.
Venture-Captain Zarta Dralneen saunters over, lovely as ever. "Well hello, Dale. It's been far too long since our last assignation--em, assignment." She favors the team with a charming smile and a naughty wink.
"As Aram Zey said, we have identified the six most damaged areas of the tapestry. Unfortunately, each of these areas is populated. In some of them, you’ll find allies who require aid, and in others long-time foes that would thwart our efforts. We must defeat these foes or win them over to our side. Choose your missionscarefully! If you have visited the tapestry before, its people are likely to remember you, for good or ill."
"I do have one piece of good news—the tapestry’s attempts to repair itself have caused loose threads from these six locations to connect to each other. What that means for you is that traveling between those locations once you’re inside should be straightforward. Advance scouts tell us these connections look like bridges made of tattered fabric decorated to resemble the two locations in the tapestry that the bridge connects."
"As for getting back home, when you enter, you’ll leave a little blue portal behind you. It’s called an astral eddy, and it’s your personal connection to the Material Plane. Walk back into it, and you’ll reappear in Absalom. Once you’ve come home, though, we won’t be sending you back in."
"You have two days to complete as many missions as you can, but don’t be so hasty that you throw away your lives. Take the time to rest if you find a safe place."
Another post follows...
Zarta hands you a parchment that enumerates the six primary missions to stabilize various locations within the tapestry, allowing the Pathfinder repair teams to conduct the critical repairs. Handout #2 (see page 82).
"Completing any of the missions below can assist in the Pathfinder Society’s efforts to secure a region of the tapestry. Choose carefully, as you likely do not have time to tackle every mission."
Mission 1: Visit our Muckmouth lizardfolk allies, help them fight back an incursion of undead, and secure a source of magic relics for their tribe.
Mission 2: Our ratfolk allies in Round Mountain sent out a call for help. The entire mountain is unstable, and dangerous creatures abound! Secure passage to the Pagoda of the Rat.
Mission 3: The Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment has flourished since we cleansed it of corruption, but now its leader falters in the face of the tapestry’s chaos. Go to the temple and set things right.
Mission 4: The duergar of Slave Mountain are becoming more desperate and aggressive. They are taking slaves beneath the mountain and performing a disturbing ritual. Do what you can to understand their dark plot, and stop the ritual!
Mission 5: The Aspis Consortium poisoned many of the tapestry’s residents against us. Three factions have nonetheless agreed to meet with us. You must convince them to trust the Society in this desperate hour.
Mission 6: We know of a mystical fountain that never runs out of water and so could help with the tapestry’s repairs, but it has stopped working. Secure this eternal water source.
Please choose one. In the interest of time, we'll use a Rule of Three. It might help us to reach a quick decision, if you indicate both your preferred and alternate options.
"I would start with the mystical fountain."
Aroden has adequate Diplomacy for social missions (I know many newer scenarios have social rules to NOT let the party rely on one outstanding Diplomancer), excellent Knowledge skills (especially Arcana), and a reasonable spell array for helping in combat. Happy to do any but the fountain probably most plays to his strengths. Mission #1 would be his second choice.
Kahwen preens as he proves quite effective in figuring out what is wrong with the Tapestry, his feathers fluffing up for a moment before ruffling and settling back into place.
He cocks his head from side to side, examining Zarta Dralneen curiously as she speaks.
"You may rely on us, Milady!" he declares, giving her his trademark bow.
As she saunters away, he turns to the parchment, standing on his tip toes to see over the shoulder of whoever is holding it.
"More allies are better as is hurting the Consortium. I think we should go visit these three factions and get them on our side."
"Or go help the ratfolk. But I will defer to anyone who has actually been in the Tapestry before."
|Dale the Sage|
Dale smiles at Zarta at her greeting "Hello Ms Zarta, glad to see after all that time you finally pulled me out of the jungle!" He gives her a knowing wink, since she would well know that he was the one who requested to stay in the area for so long.
"Lots of options here we've got. I've gotta agree with Aroden, one of the first things for survival: fresh water! And allies..." And magical artifacts.. hellooo!
Ya Dale is weak when it comes to combat but good with all the skills. Not sure on the others combat prowess.
Dale settles the matter, casting the deciding vote to first tackle Mission #6: Secure the mystical fountain.
The tapestry’s malfunctioning soul-stitching mechanism is drawing on the tapestry’s waters, from the smallest lakes to the greatest rivers. The mystical fountain that never runs out of water, and so could help with the tapestry’s repairs, has stopped working for some reason.
You enter the tapestry and arrive at Lake Taikaga. Nestled in the center of a serene woodland valley, this small lake bed is devoid of water. At its center, a dozen humanoid turtles lie on their backs, alive but unable to move. To the north, a ravine leads to a small temple on a rocky hilltop.
As you draw closer to the dry lake bed, you recognize the turtles are creatures called kappas, small monstrous humanoids with the aquatic subtype. The tops of their bowl-shaped heads are completely dehydrated, though you know they're normally filled with water.
The desparate kappas hail you, calling out, "It’s not a trick! Please help!"
Knowledge (nature) DC17 to recall anything more about kappas. For each additional 5 you exceed the DC you may ask another question from this list.
Quillen somehow manages to bite his tongue on deciding the group's first destination, perhaps trying to decide if he should play along with the Society's constant efforts to force him to risk his life, or instead thwart their Society Overlord's efforts to do just that by picking something seemingly innocuous like securing a water fountain.
"Ze fountain zen! Into ze tapestry! Très vite!"
He eyes the emaciated turtle-men warily, his hand quickly grabbing the hilt of his Petit Prick. He doesn't contemplate their origins much, he expects them to move slowly and hide in their shells when danger surely comes.
"'allo? Turtlefolk? Are you thirsty? Ah, where haz ze water gone?"
Kimiya is lost in thought reflecting on his first encounter with the undead when the decision is made for him. At the mention of the fountain, he realizes he's parched and takes a sip of water before rejoining the others.
The first thing Kimiya notices upon entering the tapestry is the turtle-like creatures. He's concerned by the situation but draws up short at the mention of not being a trick. "I have not encountered these creatures before, does anyone know about them? They appear to be in distress. Let me get a little closer." He approaches the edge of the lake bed before calling out, "Hello, do you need assistance? We are able to help if you require it. What are your names? I am Kimiya" He is careful to stay out of the lake for now.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
Diplo: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21
I have no Knowledges so I'll have to rely on everyone else for that.
"Thirsty? Duh! We are a people of the water. All know our weakness; if we lose our water, we lose our strength." One of the kappas chuckles at the absurdity of Quillen's question and of their predicament. "Where's the water? Ah, therein lies a tale. One hard to tell in our current state."
One of them cranes his neck at Kimiya's questions. "We are also, to the surprise of some, a people devoted to familial relations. We here are a fraternity of brothers. I am Phi Beta Kappa; this is Alpha Kappa Lamda; that is Delta Kappa Epsilon; and over there is Kappa Delta Rho."
A kappa with a sarcastic sense of humor rasps, "Assistance? Gee, nagaji, you are a master of perceiving the obvious. I'd laugh, but my head is dry."
They seem sincere to the samurai.
Kahwen knows a bit about nature and cocks his head to the side to try to figure out what these turtle creatures are. He KNOWS they're Kappas but WHAT are Kappas, again?
Knowledge (Nature): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Oh right...Kappas. He definitely knows what they are and remembers their weaknesses.
He hurries to the first one and kneels next to him to pour some water out of his water skin into the empty bowl on the top of his head.
"Here, friend Phi. This should help. When you're feeling better, please tell us what has happened here," he says as the water flows.
|Dale the Sage|
K Nature, DC17: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30 Resistances and special attacks
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
Dale steps through the portal, eyes wide and hair standing on end in excitement "You can count on us! This is going to be so exciting!" He adds as his body winks out of one plane and warps into another.
He blinks and looks around, quickly drawn closer to the strange turtle race he's read so much about. "Kappas! Excellent!" He drags out his journal and writing pen and starts writing furiously, taking all manner of notes on the creatures, their habitat and their apparent greek naming system.
"Don't worry, we're Pathfinders and we're here to help!" He says, rarely looking up from his notebook as he scribbles notes.
"When did the water run dry? Does it usually come from up that hill towards that temple?" Asks Dale, he knows its a stupid question, but he's on a Freaking demiplane and who knows how things work here!
Quillen frowns as the creatures attempt to laugh off their inquiries, quickly assuming that he and his companions are not being given the proper reverence that should accompany their level of power.
He appears about ready to march away back through the thread-exit, but pauses briefly as Kahwen offers the creatures some water, waiting to see if that will clear their heads in a manner that will allow them to articulate how the Pathfinders could assist them.
Arms crossed, he waits and contemplates if offering the parched turtlemen a smoke would be an acceptable preamble to himself igniting one of his own.
Knowledge (Nature): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12
I have no idea what these things are...
"Sadly, we lack a true agent of the divine capable of the Create Water incantation. But we can offer a little assistance."
Aroden does have a waterskin as part of his Pathfinder's Kit and likewise offers some water to the Kappas while awaiting their replies to Dale's questions.
Aroden recognizes the creatures as kappas, small, two-and-a-half feet tall, turtle-like humanoids, complete with a shell. They possess webbed hands and feet, and large, beaklike noses. Despite their appearance, they are warm-blooded, quasi-mammalian creatures whom some scholars speculate may be vaguely related to goblins. Their most curious feature is the bowl atop their heads which (normally) holds water within it.
Kahwen and Dale know a little bit more.
The tengu knows that, as one of the kappas--Alpha Kappa Lamda?--already said, their weakness is their 'head bowl'. If its head bowl is emptied, a kappa usually remains stationary and pleads for help, continuing to fight only if forced to. An opponent who refills the kappa’s head bowl after spilling it receives the kappa’s deepest gratitude. Only the wisest and smartest of kappa carry flasks of water with them when they are forced to travel far from their home—most kappa don’t think this far ahead.
Dale knows, as a proper sage would, that a kappa is resistant to acid and cold energy. Kappas love to wrestle, and their special attacks include grab, even against Medium-sized foes, and raking them with the claws on their webbed feet.
The uncharacteristically cranky kappa--Kappa Delta Rho?--pipes up. "You folks sure ask a lot of questions. What's a kappa gotta do to get a little water? Sheesh!"
|Dale the Sage|
Dale looks up from his book towards Delta Rho, points his ink pen at him and smiles. "Good plan, just let me get a sip here first and you can make use of my canteen." He pulls his well used water conveyance from his belt and takes a deep drink, capping it, and tossing it to Kahwen to do the honors.
Not able to pull water out of thin air, N'Aranav will help pull the downed kappas together to ease the aqueous distribution from the others.