Fort Save: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Mara winces as the full force of the black energy pulses through her. We have to close this rift and fast!
While occult rituals are definitely not Mara's area of expertise, she's not sure how much continuing to scribble at the floor will help. Instead she joins in the chanting, copying the words and gestures of the assistants as best as she can.
Occultism (U): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
Thorax flinches as the wave washes over the group...
Fortitude (T): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
...but he avoids the worst of it.
"This calls for... Drastic measure!"
Thorax opens his rancid bag of meat and upends its contents onto the floor. He squishes a spleen in one direction, and an intestine in the other, attempting to cover the incorrectly drawn runes with gore.
Thievery (Expert): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30
It smells terrible.
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Despite the stabilisations to the Ritual thus far, Mara still can't quite grasp the underlying principles of the chant.
On the other hand, Thorax's tossing of... well... the contents of a thorax upon the floor has an odd effect; the internal organs partially animate, lashing and twisting into eldritch shapes that burn with a cold fire, further stabilising the Ritual structure.
That would be a critical success ;-)
Round 2: Publish or Perish
Ritual (5 successes)
the internal organs partially animate, lashing and twisting into eldritch shapes
"No more troll steak," Thorax laments.
The druid tries his best to stabilize the ritual, even if he doesn't feel good to perform this task.
Occultism: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Fort Save: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
Adalan doubles over in pain as the wave of darkness washes through him, then straightens with a grimace. Not gonna be able to take another one of those....
Noting with concern the apparently animated clump of shadow but deciding that getting the ritual under control is more important, he begins weaving strings of bluish light into a shield around part of the breach in an attempt to seal it off.
Arcana: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
Bair seems a bit regretful as he smacks a tendril and it does nothing. "Fine, I try yur way."
Occultism (U): 1d20 ⇒ 14
Neither Dran'Thor, nor Adalan, are able to fathom what they should to stabilise the Ritual, but Bair, showing a uniquely Goblin ability to approach a problem with non-linear thinking, starts barking nonsensical pseudo-mystical gibberish... which confuses the rising tide of shadow-matter enough that it collapses back upon itself...
...allowing the Ritualists to gain the upper hand!
Their voices gaining volume as they put on a final spurt of strength, they keep chanting faster...
...the rift narrows, and as it does so, starts sucking the shadow-matter into it. Tendrils flail around madly, trying to gain purchase on something, anything, but it is a hopeless task, and it is eventually sucked through the rift like rice pudding through a straw.
As the Rift collapses in upon itself and dissipates, Tavvar breathes a ragged sigh of relief.
"I don't know whom you are, but your arrival was most timely; I don't know how much longer we could have held out..."
Mara does her best to shake off her injuries and paste a smile onto her face as she steps forward. "Greetings. I'm Mara Spintho, an agent from the Pathfinder Society. We're all agents, actually. Fola Barun had heard that you might could use some help here and sent us to lend a hand." She glances at the smudged ritual markings on the floor. "I'm assuming that wasn't intended to summon shadow monsters. May I ask what the ritual was supposed to do?"
Diplomacy (T): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Fort: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
"Well done everyone. Certainly you are welcome. Are any of you injured? I may be able to assist with that."
"Also, please share as my companion requested."
Diplomacy(Trained): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
Bair's eye quirks up as the gnome mentions healing, the found lesser healing potion he had up to his lips to drink disappears back into a pocket, "Yah, healing fer me."
He wanders around, club tapping on the floor as he looks at the ritual and the creators of it, wondering if his special talents will be needed here or not.
Thorax takes a quick swig of his healing potion (for 1d8 ⇒ 4) and narrows his eyes.
"Why you do dangerous magic?"
Perception to Sense Motive: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28
Thorax, I'm going to cast Heal as a channel if you want to save your potion
Heal as 3 actions: 1d8 ⇒ 3
3 healing to all living creatures
Once all have gathered within range, Deshacerla holds up her symbol of 'The Lady' and begins chanting. A divine energy seems to grow within her...swelling and churning before suddenly blasting outward.
"That should at least ease the pain some."
Yes, scholar, you have to share your knowledge and to be careful when you use a ritual. Is it a problem for you?
The woman draws herself up.
"The ritual was part of my research into extracting memories, and giving them pseudo-physical form - imagine the possibilities, for education and entertainment! Actually seeing great discoveries, and achievements, first hand!"
She then frowns.
"It was supposed to be mainly illusion, with just the faintest touch of shadow-stuff, but the Plane of Shadow had other plans..."
Tavvar then sniffs at Thorax, and Dran'Thor.
"I am not an idiot - when I was forced by the College to proceed without the adequate preparations that I would have preferred, I came here to do my work, so that no-one else would be endangered; the Museum's wards are too strong. The worst that could have happened would have been that I died - the Ritual was tied to my life-force. If you had not intervened, the Ritual would have drained my life-force, and then collapsed in upon itself as its focus dissipated. There would have been *no* danger to the city at large."
Bair laughs, "Ha-Ha! Den you lucky us who are also not idiuts were here to save yur purty skin."
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Thorax squints, and then walks around to each of the three assistants.
"You like dangerous work? Without knowing what happens? Join Society! We have health plan."
Thorax will combine Assurance with Battle Medicine to heal each of the assistants for 2d8 ⇒ (7, 5) = 12 each.
Thorax takes the last seagull drumstick out of his satchel and casually munches on it while explaining, "Society great! Well, better than it used to be. Get paid to explore and eat what you find! Maybe you can get paid to do what you want, too! Talk to my Boss. He Eando Kline!"
"I'm sure the Society would support your research, given its potentially groundbreaking nature," Adalan chimes in. "At the very least you'd have some backup if things get out of hand again. I certainly appreciate your commitment to protecting the city, but I hope you'd agree that it would be preferable not to have to use your life as a failsafe."
Diplomacy if necessary: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Bair perks up when the others seem to be trying to win over a smart guy to join up. "Yah, waddeva yado, jest remembah who saved ya bacon."
Diplomacy (T): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
The Pathfinder Society can in fact be more for you if you want to make researches. So you will get more possibilities and you won't need to make such ritual without securities.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Yeah, forgot about those!
The hulking gobbo looks around as his words fall on deaf ears, "I SAID, Izza gud-idea ta join up."
Diplomacy (T) Hero Pts. Re-Roll: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Mara winces as Bair's voice rings in her ears. "As my...enthusiastic companions are saying, there would be a place for those wishing to perform such groundbreaking research in the Society. I'm no mage myself, but I'd highly recommend talking to Sorrina Westyr, the Master of Spells. She would have the best idea of what resources are available." Looking down at the smudged ritual circle, she adds, "At the very least they have warded rooms available so that you wouldn't have to perform your research in a museum."
Diplomay (T): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
I will also use my hero point for a reroll.
Diplomay (T): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
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The woman looks thoughtful.
"Well, an opportunity to finish my research under more conducive circumstances would be nice... I don't actually like taking risks..."
She comes to a decision.
"I think I will take you up on that offer! Here, take this..."
So saying, she hands you a vial.
"It's a Lesser Mistform Elixir. Perhaps you will find it useful."
...and that is the final quest completed!
Heading back to the Grand Lodge, the faction leaders are delighted to hear of your successes, especially since you managed them without harming innocents, or undue property damage.
After the last meeting, Janira Gavix intercepts the party in the halls of the Grand Lodge.
Janira Gavix races down the hall, her blond hair flying in her excitement. "I just heard you made it back—congratulations! It sounds like everything went, well, about as well as anyone could expect. Come with me, I have something for each of you." The halfling woman leads the way into a small office and distributes finely crafted wooden boxes. Within each, a gleaming compass lid emblazoned with the Glyph of the Open Road and an engraved name lies upon a cushion of silk. "I’m not sure if you’ve picked up your own Wayfinders yet, but when you do, you should have ones that prove that you belong. Now it’s official," she beams. "Welcome to the Pathfinder Society!"
Bair gleams, finally got in and through the initiation. Lot more fun then I thought!
"Tanks pretty lady, dis one nice-ah den my udder one. Happy tah be of service."
With a salute, Deshacerla accepts the trinket. "Thank you so much. Perhaps Pharasma was right to send me back."
Thanks for the game!
Thank you, Ma'am. Take care of Iloby The melting pot creature. He's quite shy but he's a nice companion.
Thank you for the game! Is there another quest in store for the whole party?
Mara picks up her wayfinder and whistles at the craftsmanship. "Thanks Janira, these are really nice. And thank you for the advice earlier." She grins. "I definitely think we made some good impressions this evening."
Thanks for the game!
Adalan takes the lid with a nod of appreciation. "I wasn't entirely sure what to expect of my first real missions, but I'm more and more convinced that joining the Society was exactly the right decision. Thank you, Janira."
And thanks for GMing as well. I'm impressed by how well PF2 can function without any traditional combats.
Commencing: 1-03 - Escaping the Grave
A harried gnome clad in a blue turban and matching robe decorated with golden crescent moons and butterflies scurries through the crowded Vodavani Lodge, delegating tasks to various Pathfinders. When she spots the newcomers, she issues a warm smile. "Ah, thank you for coming. Gather around over here, please."
Evni motions over to a nearby table upon which rests a parchment map stuck with miniature flags partly obscuring the label “Lastwall.” "Apologies for the out-of-date cartography, but it’s the best we can do at this time. The re-emergence of Tar-Baphon dealt a devastating blow to the Society, so we’ve been scrambling to consolidate resources. The Society is focusing on missions into the Gravelands for two reasons: to track down the whereabouts of Pathfinder agents who went missing when the undead hordes struck, and to recover the fragments of history and culture that yet survive. I believe you all should have received a letter from me containing your assigned destination...?"
Slide 2, specifically...
Evni points to a flag in the southeast portion of Lastwall. "Goldenflame was an idyllic place surrounding a college sponsored and supported by the church of Iomedae. Fortunately, most of the town was able to evacuate swiftly, but we know that some residents stayed behind out of a sense of civic duty to defend their home against evil.
Goldenflame College is known for its documentation of the history of both southeastern Lastwall and the activities of the church of Iomedae in the region, as well as its collection of invaluable local curiosities accrued over time. Those relics and stories—if they can be recovered, then Lastwall can live on."
Evni excuses herself and shortly returns with a bundle of paper.
"These dossiers contain information on all known Pathfinder agents in the region surrounding Goldenflame. Although we must hold out hope, I cannot truthfully say I am optimistic. Nevertheless, closure is important, and we can properly mourn for their loss and celebrate their lives if we know their fates. Perhaps these documents could be of some use to you in this quest. I’ve also completed and signed travel documentation stating your reasons for being in the Gravelands. Present this document to the border crossing, and you can then be on your way."
Evni walks over to a nearby bench to a relatively massive pack, where she begins sorting through its contents. She pulls out a bundle of sacks. "Here. These are for you to transport any items or—" she bows her head "—remains you might find. I know it is a sad and gruesome task, but retrieving those fallen Pathfinders would bring closure to their loved ones." Evni then closes the pack and shoulders it. "I’m also heading into the Gravelands myself. May Desna guide us all on our journeys. Hopefully we can find what we seek.
Do you have any questions?"
Thorax looks up at the old knight, who nods solemnly back at the goblin.
"You picked bestest goblin for this! Saving Longshanks from undead my specialty!"
"Better to travel at night? Scary vultures might not see us."
Mara leans against the wall, eyes serious. "Do you know what threats still reside in the area? Undead, obviously, but what types? It's important to know so we can prepare our equipment accordingly."
Do we get specific gear for this mission?
Perhaps to get the chronicle from the previous one to eventualy buy something.
If my son can participate with his cleric (thank you to say yes or no), I need a bit time to write the sheet on Paizo.
Evni shakes her head.
"Unfortunately, we have very little specific intelligence - Tar-Baphon’s legions are constantly patrolling and are mighty indeed, so I recommend avoiding fights with those troops. Try to identify the paths the undead patrols normally take and travel elsewhere. Covering your tracks would be wise as well. Although I would like you to be as thorough as you can in your investigation, do keep in mind that spending too much time in the Gravelands increases your likelihood of being found, so don’t linger.
As for concrete assistance, unfortunately, the Society is stretched thin at this point in time. Goldenflame is not far from here, though, so a round trip should be possible in a single day, even on foot."
@Dran'Thor: He can join us for this game. So as not to slow things down, I will keep moving, though...
Re: What you received on the last chronicle sheet, Thorax earned 38gp, and everyone else earned 14gp.
Item access was Crying Angel Pendant (7gp), Lesser Healing Potion (12gp), Lesser Mistform Elixir (18gp), and Greater Salve of Antiparalysis (325gp).
Dran'Thor: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7.
Mara: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15.
Thorax: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (1) + 0 = 1.
Dran'Thor knows nothing about Goldenflame, but Mara recalls that Goldenflame’s chapel functioned as a religious institution and the town hall, so historical records concerning its citizens and events were stored there.
Meanwhile, Thorax swears that a small guardhouse was built on the road leading into Goldenflame from the north. The rotating Knights of Ozem guarding Goldenflame kept an ornate ceremonial suit of armor in a hidden compartment beneath the floorboards there.
"Understood. I'll still pick up a mace before we leave, just in case we end up facing any skeletons."
Mara shoulders her pack, after adding Thorax's climbing kit to it so he can move more freely. "Are we ready to go?"
Mara will quickly purchase a light mace for 4sp.
Well I think I am.
Still looking at gear but don't want to slow.
The party depart Caliphas early in the day, passing through a heavily fortified Ustalavic border crossing staffed by Knights of Lastwall, one of whom examines the party's documentation and then waves them through.
The day is clear and bright, but the landscape is desolate and quiet, the gently rolling hills devoid of life...
Alright, so, for this first section, it is (essentially) a series of skill challenges.
For each challenge there is a 'set-up' check, which grants a bonus (+2) to the other PCs for their checks. Only *one* PC may make this set-up check, but it is not compulsory for anyone to attempt it. It also counts as a success for bypassing the obstacle.
Then, there is the 'Obstacle' check. The PCs who did not make the set-up check can roll for this, *or* they may 'hustle' past the obstacle (auto-success at the obstacle). However, if you choose to hustle, you need to make a (high) DC Fort save to avoid being fatigued.
For each obstacle, 3/4 PCs need to 'succeed' in order to not lose time.
A large, steep rise blocks the most direct path through the area, and the road diverts around it.
Set-up Check: Lore(Scouting) or Survival, *or* Perception (higher DC), to find an efficient path up the hill.
Obstacle Check: Athletics, to power up the hill.
Hustle: PCs leg it on the road around the hill.
A massive patrol of undead troops is approaching but seems not to have noticed the party yet...
Setup Check: Deception to divert the undeads’ attention elsewhere while the party passes by.
Obstacle check: Stealth, to quietly skirt by the undead troops.
Hustle: A PC who Hustles avoids notice by simply moving quickly before the undead can scrutinize the area.
Heavy, prickly undergrowth and tall grasses have grown over the road.
Setup Check: Nature or Survival to identify areas where the undergrowth isn’t as thick.
Obstacle Check: Melee attack roll with a Slashing weapon to hack your way through, or an Acrobatics check to nimbly maneuver through the narrow spaces.
Hustle: A PC who Hustles can circumvent the road to avoid the brambles and vines.
Setup, Survival: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
"This way fastest!"
Mara follows Thorax up the hill, breathing heavily as she goes. Glad I didn't buy anything else; this pack is heavy enough as it is!
Athletics (T): 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 4 + 2 = 24
The druid follows the first two. I prefer to go inside a mountain as to climb it.
Athletics: 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 5 + 2 = 8