Putting on an impressive acrobatics display, Ambrus is thoroughly distracted by Mara's energetic performance!
This allows Gorm to nod, and briefly outline his task:
"A partially collapsed house in the Precipice Quarter, long rumored to be haunted, has been marked for demolition in the next few days. I understand that the house was severely damaged in the earthquake of 4698 AR, but rumors of strange activity there long predate the quake. I would like you to explore the house, in order to uncover its history, before it is destroyed forever."
He then hands over a sheaf of scrolls.
"Have an extra spell in your back pocket can be extremely useful. Pick one of these, and take it with you."
The party can choose *one* of the following Scrolls: Disrupting Weapons, Heal, or Magic Missile.
With all four major players having been able to impart their missions, they are now able to turn their attention back to the other party guests.
Let me know which of the four locations you would like to visit first :-)
Let's just do the last one first since it's laid out right there. Then we can figure out which other ones to do next. Bair is not a caster, so won't put any input into which scroll to chose.
Bair nods as he hears the mission, approving of the task. "Don't you worry, Bearman is on da case! I'll give dat ghost a bit o the ole knuckle sammich and dey'll spill all da beans." He gives a wicked grin, "I'mma good at gettin' information."
I would say to pick the heal scroll. It can be useful.
Well, let's to this house, guys. And let's see what occurs there.
If everyone grabs healing potions for their consumable, the magic missile scroll might be more useful vs a ghost. Do we have anyone who can use it?
"Ah, so we've got ourselves a ghost to kill. Got it." nods the gnome. "We're on the case!"
Don't forget the scooby snacks. ;-)
I'm good with starting with the damaged house
Adalan could use the scroll, though he already has one magic missile prepared and could use spell substitution to put it in more slots before we enter the house. I'd thus be somewhat more inclined towards heal, since it does have some offensive utility against undead anyway.
"I certainly hope there isn't really a ghost," Adalan mutters as he sets off with the others.
Haunted House it is!
This old home might have once commanded the respect and envy of its neighbors, but the remaining story is cracked and crumbling. Whatever upper stories it might have once had have long collapsed, scattering stone and debris across gardens grown wild and weedy. Two curving staircases lead to a broad veranda bereft of its railings. Two openings that might have once been doors lead into the faint remnants of a solarium, while two more doors lead further into the creaking house itself. A whiff of rot and decay seeps from the structure.
Slide 3. You are currently at 'C1'.
The dwarf stays stoic in front of the decayed house. First of all, he casts a Read aura on the whole house, to know if it is magical anyway.
Then he raises his shield and will move up the stairs cautiously. He lets Thorax pass before him of course.
Not being a caster Mara doesn't have much say in the scroll, but I'd vote for disrupting weapon. That results in two votes for heal and one vote each for the other two. Bair, Deshacerla, any thoughts?
Mara looks around the rotting house with distaste. "To think, we left a nice party with food and drinks for...this. Oh well, I suppose it will be worth it if we can make a good impression on the Grand Archive."
She heads onto the veranda and starts looking around for anything unusual.
Mara is Investigating as her exploration activity. She also has Trap Finder, which gives her a check to find traps even if she isn't Searching.
Yay! Flank buddies! Thorax *also* has Trap Finder.
Thorax lowers his ears as they approach the house.
"Such big! Lotsa places to hide. 'Specially if you ghost. I keep eye out for trouble."
He grips the hilt of his magical shortsword tightly.
Exploration Mode will be to Scout: +1 group Initiative if there's an encounter.
Disrupting Weapons sounds wise in case we face undead.
Bair is halfway up the stairs before he realizes his allies have stopped to get a read on the building and maybe even prepare. He pulls out his big club... and takes a few good swings with it. As he does, the items in his pocket clink together and he remembers getting some free stuff before they left.
Pulling out a small crystal and vial, he narrows his eyes as he tries to recall what they are. The vial is obvious with a crossed out picture of a snake tooth dripping venom. The crystal seems to jingle a memory about his weapon. He looks at the greatclub, the crystal, the greatclub, the crystal, then very very slowly brings them together. *clink*
*clink, clink, clink*
He looks around and glares at the group, "Dis ting broke, anywun gud at fixin?"
It's a Weapon Potency Crystal. I honestly don't know how they work other than they are supposed to be affixed to a weapon. Is there an actual mechanic to it? Either way, I'm assuming this is the first time Bair has used one so I'd be happy for RP help even if it is a simple process.
As they start exploring, he is moderately careful about his movements, preferring to focus on getting a jump on any enemies they run across.
Avoid Notice exploration tactic. 1/2 speed with a +5 stealth modifier on the Secret Check.
Moving on to C2...
The tiled floor, ornate columns, and sweeping staircases of this once-grant hall evoke a distinctly Taldan aesthetic, though the finery has suffered greatly over the past years. The marble floor tiles are cracked and filthy, and the statuary lining the walls has been smashed. None of the three staircases climbs beyond head level before ending abruptly, debris from their fallen upper reaches scattered across the floor.
Dran'Thor: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27.
Thorax: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20.
Mara: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16.
Dran'Thor and Thorax hear some scratching beneath the floorboards, and realise that there is Haunt in this room... but it appears to be *waiting* for something...
A Religion check is required to
DisableExorcise the spirits.
There is nothing else of note in this room.
The druid raises his shield and praise for their lives asking the nature to exorcise the evil from this house. He tells the others what he saw. How can they manage to exorcise the house from this haunt?
Bair sneaks a look inside as Thorax runs screaming out of the room. He whispers to his allies, "Noice place, needs some work tho. What so scary?"
I got all our tokens onto the map, including Thorax running away. Would an untrained K: Religion check work?
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Hearing nothing, Mara is caught off guard when Thorax starts screaming and runs away. She instinctively clutches her swords tightly and crouches down, anticipating danger. Then Dran'Thor starts praying, which clears things up a little. A haunt? What do we do about this?
She tries to remember if she's ever read anything about exorcising spirits from a haunted house.
Religion (Trained): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
@Dran'Thor - as I previously mentioned, you need to make a 'Religion' check to 'disable' it.
@Bair: No. Trained only.
EDIT: Ninja'ed by Mara!
Recalling some lessons from Pathfinder boot camp, Mara draws a few religious sigils on the floor, and chants a few prayers - all of which combine to render the spirits somnolent.
Good job, girl! Come on guys, we continue to explore.
He moves to the next door and asks: Could someone check for traps here?
Bair slaps Mara on the shoulders roughly, "Nice Wun!" He resumes sneaking up and then settles in to get a good view of the room and hallway while the 'smart' ones go try to trigger all the traps.
"No traps back here!" Thorax shouts from the entrance.
"Come along, sire. Your friends have put the poor soul to rest."
He reassures the goblin with a piece of jerky.
When they're back with the group, he explains, "You wouldn't know it by this interaction, but Master Thorax is usually steadfast in the face of undeath. Spirits, however," he chuckles, "I think he fears those more than reading."
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Mara listens as the spirits seem to quiet down. "Huh. And here I thought I was wasting my time in that lesson. I'll have to let Barsine know it was useful after all." She staggers slightly as Bair gives her a friendly slap on the back, but catches herself and grins at him. Remembering their missing party member, she heads back outside. "It's taken care of Thorax, you can come back in now!"
Thorax retrieved, she continues investigating.
*munch, tear, lipsmack*
"Ghosts don't fight fair. Zombies you can slash! Skellies you can bash! But ghosts are just mean."
He returns to scouting for additional trouble.
The dwarf looks at the goblin doubtful. But the exploration must continue. So let the rogue do his job here.
Moving on to C5...
Only a single, aged worktable still stands in one corner of this room, though the clay fragments of an oven and rusted metal suggest it was once a kitchen. The ceiling has completely fallen in, leaving this room open to the sky above. Another door exits the room on the North side.
To the next door, guys. Thorax, it's for you again.
The exploration moves on. That is quite good. They still have three others jobs to do after this one.
Moving on to C3...
Everything this room once held now lies jumbled over the floor in a soggy mess: torn pages, scraps of fabric, and splintered remnants of furniture. A door hangs askew in the East wall, but the door to the West has been smashed from its hinges.
Mara: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13.
Dran'Thor: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11.
Thorax: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19.
Thorax finds a hidden compartment in the wall behind a collapsed bookcase that contains a stack of notes about the owners’ work - specifically, labelled schematics for a soulbound doll...
In addition to this, there is a faintly glowing lesser healing potion in the wall safe.
Good job, boy. Now to this one and then to the other one before to go to the other side of the house.
The dwarf positions himself near the entrance of the new room.
Bair silently shifts along behind the group, beating club ready to go.
Somewhat reassured by Mara’s apparent ease in quieting the restless spirits, Adalan scans for magical auras as he follows along behind the others. When the schematics are discovered he examines them curiously, remarking ”Well, at least we have some idea why the house is haunted now. Hopefully the doll isn’t still lurking around here somewhere.”
Adalan will Detect Magic for his exploration tactic.
That could be the main problem of the house. Bat the exploration will reveal this, or not.
The dwarf casts Read aura.
Moving on to C4...
Ivy has overgrown the empty window frame, casting this room into cool shadow. A low shelf, its wood warped and cracked, stands against the south wall, and a desk has been overturned and smashed in the eastern part of the room.
Mara: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22.
Dran'Thor: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26.
Thorax: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14.
Before stepping into the room, both Mara and Dran'Thor hear a soft voice pleading: "Don't make me go in the doll again!", and realise that this room contains *yet another* haunt!
Religion(Trained) to suppress the spirits, or Performance(Trained) to drown them out.
Thorax turns to run again, but the knight blocks his path, a stern look on his face.
Thorax swallows hard, grips his sword, and turns around to address the threat.
"Hey there, ghost, we're here to help!
If you don't believe that... Well I'm not sure myself,
Can you tell us what's wrong? Or where to go?
We'll figure it out. Of that you can know!"
Performance (singing): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18
Here goes nothing.
Mara tries to draw similar symbols on the floor to see if they can appease this haunt as well. However, she can actually hear the pleading voice this time, and it makes her hands shake slightly while she draws.
Religion (Trained): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
As the room quiets, Thorax continues to wait for a response. Once the group starts shuffling around again, his trance breaks, and he begins digging through the ivy and rubble.
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
"Anybody see dollie around here?"
Mara joins in the search, wanting to make sure they haven't missed anything from this side of the house. "If it's not here, it might be on the other side."
Her face is grim as she searches. Don't worry whatever or whoever you are. We'll find you and free you.
If they confirm that these rooms are clear, she'll head back across the foyer to the other side to continue the investigation.
If nothing else turns up Mara will head to C6 and Investigate.
Moving on to C6...
The furniture in this once-fine dining room was crushed by the debris falling from the floors above. What remains is sodden and mostly unidentifiable.
...and, to keep things moving... C7:
A large, long-cold fireplace stands in the east wall of this expansive parlor, but the furnishings are all rotted. A dank stench of mold lingers in the air. The ceiling overhead has collapsed, leaving the room open to the sky. The floor in the room’s southern end has followed suit, leaving a gaping hole into darkness.
Mara: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16.
Dran'Thor: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9.
Thorax: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14.
Mara and Thorax, their senses attuned to spotting traps, note that the edges of the rotten floorboards are liable to collapse, unless they are braced.
A Craft check can be used to reinforce the beams.
Watching Mara intently, Deshacerla nods her approval with each cleansing. Tugging a piece of parchment out, she jots down a few notes. "Pharasma would be pleased with your works. May she grant you good judgement at the crossroads."
With a frown, she glances around for the spirit. 'We need to find that thing and send it onward.'
Pausing in the doorway, she watches her companions. [smaller]"We good? It safe?"
I'll go with search for exploration tactic
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Bair pockets the healing elixir as they keep moving through the house. Boss say take everything dat ain't stuck... and if stuck, use crowbar.
He hustles to catch back up to the group, wondering if there just might not be any ghosts in this old house.
As they wait for the others to search the room, the gnome looks towards Bair pitifully. "Since we have a moment, did you ever get your question answered about the crystal?"
"I've not used one yet, but the instructors at the society said there are two important things to keep in mind with those. One, you can't actually activate it unless your are in a fight. The other, it's easy to use."
"I was told what you do is put on the weapon as you swing it. It breaks on contact or something and lasts for about 6 seconds."
I could be wrong but it seems the potency crystal is a free action to activate when you attack and only lasts for the duration of a round
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The dwarf tries to reinforce the beams.
Craft with Specialty crafting skill feat (Stonemasonry): 1d20 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 4 + 1 = 25
One moment later: That should go like this.
Mara: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25.
Asking around on the way over to Westgate, Mara learns that a crowd, having heard about the impending release of the Naga (which they believe to be a 'dangerous monster') has gathered along Statue Street to prevent your mission.
They are not criminals - just concerned citizens, so it might be possible to talk them down...
There are five ringleaders in total - a Barrister (Diplomacy or Lore(Legal)), a Drunk (Deception or Lore(Alcohol)), a Socialite (Society or Lore(Absalom)), an Acolyte of Calistria (Religion or Lore(Calistria)), and an Actor (Performance or Lore(Theatre))
Approaching Statue Street...
For several blocks, the quiet lanes of Westgate’s residential neighborhoods feature small houses, low-key cafes and taverns, and the occasional specialty shop. The fragrant scent of tended flower gardens in the warm sunlight blends with the low hum of distant conversation over what would normally be a pleasant boulevard. But the stone statues—at first appearing only here and there, like odd decorations—now number several per block, and the otherwise plain square ahead is outright cluttered with stone figures. They take countless forms, from humans and halflings to orcs, lizardfolk, and even stranger, all forever frozen in acts of desperation, defiance, or despair. The quaint, statue-filled square is also filled with people; several dozen townsfolk shout and argue, their voices somehow out of place among the silent statues.
When they spot the party, several members of the crowd point at you angrily.
"Monster-lovers! See! They even have Goblins amongst their ranks!"
Several members of the crowd pick up piles of trash, obviously getting ready to give the party a warm 'Westgate Welcome'...
So... this next section is a bit like a skill challenge. You each can make up to two checks to try and talk the ringleaders down, which will disperse the crowd. You can either try one of the skills listed in above, or make an Intimidate check - although that will be against a higher DC.
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Mara's somewhat disappointed that they aren't actually able to find the soulbound doll. I suppose it must have been taken away long ago. At least we managed to put the haunts to rest.
Chatting a bit with the locals as they walk, her demeanor grows more serious as she hears the rumors. "We'll want to keep an eye out. No sense in starting a riot if we can avoid it." As they continue on only to be blocked by an angry crowd, she can't help but sigh. Under her breath she mutters, 'Monster-lovers?' Is that really the best they could come up with?"
Unfortunately, under the circumstances she can't just give them all a tongue-lashing. Instead she puts on her friendliest smile.
"Greetings citizens! I understand you are concerned with the restoration we are about to perform." She deliberately makes eye contact with a man she recognizes as a local barrister. "Of course, the naga we seek to restore was unjustly convicted of a crime she never committed. To leave her petrified would be a gross miscarriage of justice."
Barrister, Lore (Legal): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
Shifting her attention to a well-dressed young woman, she continues, "And what kind of reputation are we giving our fair city if we allow that atrocity to occur? Absalom has grown great because of its diversity. To leave her petrified purely because of her species...would that not cause others to fear for their own lives? This is Absalom, not Galt! Mob rule has no place here."
Socialite, Society: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Bair Mann steps up to the front, "Hey now, we've worked supa hard to be septed 'round here. We ain't monsters, jes misunnastoid. We was sent ta help, anna monstah huntin' is sometin' we good at."
Diplomacy (T) Barrister: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
He seems very offended when the drunk hurls a slur about goblins towards them, "Woah dere buddy, I don't see no gobbo's around. Mebbie you autta have a seat and drink some watah."
Deception (T) Drunk: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
While Mara hopefully holds the crowd's attention, Adalan splits off from the other Pathfinders and takes a circuitous path around the mob before sidling up to the actor. Making a series of complex motions with his fingers that seem to give his voice an oddly persuasive tone, he says soothingly, "Look, how about we all just calm down and go home. We'll take the naga with us, and you'll still have all these other statues." He gestures around the square. "You'll hardly miss it in a week or two."
Casting charm on the actor with a DC 17 Will save.
Approaching the socialite, Adalan continues, "And I can't imagine the damage being here could do to your reputation. Leading a street mob against Pathfinders on official business! I would highly advise you to leave before anyone important sees you like this."
Society: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
The Barrister is swayed by Bair's words, but the others remain unmoved...
Will: 1d20 ⇒ 6.
...although after Adalan waggles his fingers, the Actor realises that his new best friend has made an excellent point...
Barrister - Convinced.
Drunk (Deception or Lore(Alcohol)) - Still Angry!
Socialite (Society or Lore(Absalom)) - Still Angry!
Acolyte of Calistria (Religion or Lore(Calistria)) - Still Angry!
Actor - Convinced.
Thorax sneaks up to the drunk, "Longshanks like drink? Goblins know best drinks! Ever been to Pig's Paunch? Tell them Gobbo the Gob sent you... One free ale!"
Deception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8 That's getting a Hero Point reroll...
Deception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
...and when the Drunk doesn't move, Thorax growls, "Better go now... Getting very late... Wouldn't want to, stumble, into dark alley..."
Intimidate: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23