Whisper nods appreciately and gives a wings up to Omrax's healing. He listens intently to Torch's words.
Yuri doesn't know what to make of the chit chat with Torch, but he knows that the fallen decemvirate helm lying there mocking them makes him angry. He smashes it!
Sunder vs Vahlo's helm, +5 adamantine dorn-dergar, PA, inspire, bless, improved sunder, gloves of maneuver: 1d20 + 32 ⇒ (2) + 32 = 34
adamantine B dmg: 2d8 + 32 ⇒ (1, 3) + 32 = 36
"There! What more needs to be said?!?"
Rokgurn just smirks at Yuri's enthusiasm but waits to see if Torch has any knowledge to share with the party.
Yuri stares at the helm, puzzled, looking back and forth between it and his dorn-dergar. Finally, no longer angry, he holds his dorn-dergar out to the others. "Any of ye know how to fix it? It ain't workin'."
”Grandmaster Torch, is there any chance either you or Elysia know how to end this graveknight once and for all?”
Just to be on the safe side, Kasimir contemplates his other options. He would probably be able to pray for spells again before the graveknight reanimated itself...His fingers comb through his goatee as he thinks, his gaze on the far-off horizon.
|Hamish Carmody O'Toole|
Hamish snarls when Torch shows his face.
"There ya are, ya blaggard." He growls. "We know our target. Our common enemy is you. This one here merely came up on our way to it." He waves back at Vahlo's armor dismissively. "Don't you dare try to pretend you were here just to stop Vahlo. We saw your men, looting the place. As usual, yer lips be flappin' but yer actions give away yer black heart."
As the man tries to talk, Hamish doesn't seem particularly interested. "This one has met his fate. Once we destroy the armor, it will be the last of him. But you... you have just as much innocent Pathfinder blood on your hands, as he. Perhaps more. So now its your time for the yard arm."
Whisper returns swiftly to his safety cage as soon as Hamish begins to speak knowing full well what might happen.
”Then leave it a moment, O’Toole. I am not running, nor will I try to stop you from taking your revenge. If you’ll hear my confession, I’ll happily disarm myself of everything that could prevent you from taking my life. But not until I know Vahlo will never return to control the Society again.” Torch turns to Rokgurn and Kasimir.
”You’re correct that special requirements must be met to destroy him. Even worse, the Decemvirate helm has become a part of his armor, meaning he can always return and claim leadership of the Society. However, that strength has become his weakness. His life after death is far more important than his life as a paladin of the Shining Crusade. The helm was created in Azlant for many purposes, one of which is to serve as a badge of office. In my research, I learned of this and the flaw it introduced. If five individuals wear the helm within a short time, it shall lose all its enchantments as safeguard against power struggles. Do this, and Vahlo will be truly destroyed.”
"Assuming that this is true. What will happen to the individuals who wear the helm?"
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21
Whisper comes back out yet again to discuss with Rokgurn if this can be possible and what might happen if people were to wear the crown.
”If his rejuvenation were still active, his spirit could attempt to seize their form, destroying their mind and reforming their body into his. That power is spent for now, but if we delay too long, the risk will return.”
Whisper confirms the statement as Rokgurn deliberates with the familiar.
Rokgurn will take the risk and if not stopped by the party will try to wear the crown.
"Very well. We should try at least to end this evil but only if we are all agreed upon this plan of action."
"Seems reasonable! Can't imagine that anything could possibly go wrong... Though I hate to take off me boulder helmet - it ain't been off me head since I don't know when - I wonder what might be growin' on me pate? Rokgurn, yer a druid, have a look and tell me what ye might know about anything alive up there?" Yuri removes his boulder helm, rubs and scratches the crown of his head as if it has been many years since it last saw the light of day, and bends his still enlarged form to offer his bald spot for Rokgurn's inspection.
Depending on GM ruling, Fort saves may be required from everyone. Edit: never mind, I think Life Bubble is still up for everyone. Probably only Torch who has to make a Fort save. :-)
|Omrax the Bold|
Omrax considers the options and meditates to Iomedae on guidance
”Permanently destroying the helm may well outweigh the risks. But becoming controlled by evil forces would not bode well. “
He will detect evil on the helm armor and torch while waiting to decide.
Is there any way Omrax would know if there is an evil act involved which could violate his code
|Hamish Carmody O'Toole|
Come on guys... this is the perfect opportunity for one of you who've played the Confirmation, to use that boon that nobody ever uses... to know if an action will further or hinder the goals of the Society.
Harmish scowls. "I doubt this blaggard has ever uttered a full truth in his pitiful life."
The irony of this statement is not lost on most of you =)
"I see no reason to ta start believin' his prattle now." He adds. "There be only one hat what goes on Captain O'Toole's head!"
"Speaking of which..." He adds, realizing he's still missing his hat.
Rokgurn appeals to the Paladin for help.
"Omrax. I don't think that we should be letting Torch wear this helm. Can you help us in this fight against evil?"
Does Whisper have any clue what is going to happen when people start putting on the helm? If not does he know of a way of finding out?
"Come on people. Whisper says we are good to go. We should do this. I would prefer to do this without Torch but if we have to use him we will."
"I understand if you are afraid to put it on Hamish. I am sure that Omrax the bold will step up anyways."
|Omrax the Bold|
Omrax considers and does not like the idea of torch even touching the helm
”Very well. I will offer to take the final spot, as that probably poses the most risk. “
Before donning the Helm Rokgurn passes his 4-leaf clover to Whisper before changing into a Huge humanoid water elemental. He then takes the 4-leaf clover in hand waiting to wear the helm. He hovers slightly over the ground as his power of flight remains.
+8 size bonus to Con cannot hurt.
Rokgurn places the helm on his head, perhaps relieved as his features do not change, neither obscured by the abjurations of the helm or transfigured by the evil of the death knight. Removing it, he passes it on to the next wearer. Each time, the helm is unresponsive, until finally Omrax takes it up. Sliding it down over his head, it rests in place for a long moment, before it cracks apart into large pieces, falling to the ground at the paladins feet.
“This is where it ends.” Torch announces, while removing several rings and tossing them onto the ground. “So many years ago, I joined the Society and did the Decemvirate’s bidding, only to be betrayed and abandoned rather than have the leaders admit wrongdoing.” He unclasps his cloak and unbuckles a bandolier of potions, adding them to the pile. “I worked independently after that, trying to change the Society through the Shadow Lodge.” He grunts derisively while upending a belt pouch containing spell components, a half-dozen tub-shaped feather tokens, and an ivory statue of himself. “Lost control of those rebels, I admit, but the new Shadow Lodge that resulted? What a magnificent thing that was! Together, we stood to reform the Society from within!” He punctuates this point by dropping his quiver and discarding a leather case brimming with scrolls. “Until I realized that all the progress we seemed to make ceased the moment the Decemvirate took an interest.” He unceremoniously adds his sword to the growing hoard of magic items.
”I’m a suspicious man, and I admit I jumped too swiftly to blaming the Decemvirate. Yet, when the opportunity came to discover their identities, I took it. My old nemesis Dorianna Ouidda had secured the names, yet even she had yet to piece together Vahlo’s motivations. But I recognized him from the tales, recognized what his presence might mean, and knew what he would do to anyone who stood a chance of knowing his true identity. I killed Dorianna, I publicly betrayed the Society, and I no doubt disappointed many Pathfinders. It was the only way I saw in the moment to deflect blame from the agents and take it on myself, becoming in the Decemvirate’s eyes the villain the always assumed I would become. And to be fair, it worked; instead of an inquisition, the Grand Lodge reached out with an olive branch and special training. I couldn’t bear to see Vahlo wipe out the agents who placed their faith in me, even if I had to break their faith to save them from that fate.” Torch sheds the last of his equipment except for armor and his amulet, plus a candle and tindertwig held in one hand. “For old time’s sake.” he notes with a wry chuckle, speaking arcane words of dismissal before he lights the candle and balances it on the ground.
“Since then, I’ve done everything I can to unmask Vahlo in a way that the Decemvirate couldn’t laugh off. I’ve stolen, spied, and even warmongered to that end, but at last the worst of the Ten has fallen. And by now my agents have finished carrying off enough evidence implicating two of the other Decemvirate that I suspect they’ll flee the Society once those documents come to light. I’ve done what I came to do. I’ve finished what I set out to accomplish. What I’ve done, I’ve always done for the Pathfinder Society and its agents. But that’s not for me to judge. I’ll answer any of your questions, and I’ll submit to your judgment. If I am to live or die, let it be the decision of true Pathfinders, not the Ten.”
Lowering to one knee before bringing the other to join it, Grandmaster Torch waits for your inquiry and judgement.
With a bit of relief that his head did not immediately explode Rokgurn changes back to human form and then with a bit of rearranging of his equipment back to his favored Medium sized Air Elemental shape.
"Well that went better than expected."
"We will need to hear more and deliberate. I am loathe to deal out death to anyone unless there is no other alternative. You have done great harm to the society but also a bit of good as well it seems."
"Your associates here. Who are they?"
”Two of my loyal bodyguards. They assisted me in facing down Vahlo’s undead and the lodge’s defenses. They are innocent of anything more serious than property damage. If you have need of their services when we’re done here, whatever the outcome, they will do as you say.” The half-orcs are obviously uncomfortable at the attention but nod in agreement as Torch finishes.
"I am curious. You have thrown everything on the pile except for your amulet and your armor. Your armor I understand but what is the significance of that amulet to you?"
"Also you mentioned two other members of the Decemvirate that you have implicated. Who are they?"
”I take it you’ve yet to see a sage jewel? It’s a powerful item the Jeweled Sages use to store knowledge. The opportunity to acquire it was less a plan and more happenstance. Amenopheus had once explained the significance of his and when I learned several more had been unearthed, in the same ruins where I was burned no less, I made the effort to secure it. I took a certain satisfaction in at last obtaining what I’d failed to recover all those decades ago and it has helped me understand and overcome some of my scars. At this point I have little need of its power besides sentimental feelings. I am ready to return it to the Jeweled Sages.” He smiles at the question of the Decemvirate members, green motes the color of the sage jewel dancing in his eyes. ”I suspect you’ll hear of them soon enough. I haven’t a clue where my agents have taken the evidence gathered against them, as they were instructed to scatter to the winds and employ what they had in the best way possible. I expect you’ll hear of a venture captain or lord suddenly departing their stations within the week.”
Not even the GM is given the identities of the Ten beyond what you have learned. :) I believe that he will confirm that the Decemvirate member who spoke to you is not one of them.
”Kasimir von Vang does not forget a debt owed. You have done me a great service, Grandmaster Torch. In return, I offer my services as your barrister, for as long as you might need them.”
Kasimir glances over at the bone devil and stares at it for a moment, then they both look at Hamish, their telepathic conversation now concluded.
The bone devil readies to attack Hamish, should Hamish attack Torch.
”I think the debt you owe me will be paid by judging my actions and passing sentence here. My actions have not always been noble, but they have been for the sake of all Pathfinders, both alive and dead. I confess freely to you and to the names on that wall. You are my peers, even if you despise me, and I will accept your decision over my fate.”
Rokgurn eyes narrow over Kasimir's less than subtle communication with his summoned creature hoping that conflict will not break out.
He addresses Torch again.
"If you were in our position how would you judge yourself? What actions could you take to help repair the damage that you have caused to the society? And what assurances do we have that you will stick to any agreements that you make considering your checkered history?"
”I could give you my word as a Pathfinder?” Torch barks a depreciating laugh. ”No, that’s no assurance to most. I have little more than this show of good faith to offer. Almost daily I have questioned if the Society might have known peace if I hadn’t become a Pathfinder, hadn’t gone to Osirion, hadn’t started the Shadow Lodge, hadn’t investigated the Decemvirate, or hadn’t antagonized the Society. I’ve done so many regrettable things, I don’t know if they can be reversed. But I know no matter what, Vahlo would have been ready to betray Absalom today and my actions allowed me to be here to help stop him. And those actions also brought you here as well. I’m sure Hamish will say it’s just empty rationalization after the fact. I might even agree.”
Rokgurn shakes his head.
"I am past what has happened and I am looking forward to your value to the society. What resources do you have now at your disposal to help repair the damage that you have caused? How can you be of use in the future?"
“While the fate of one man is of interest, have we forgotten about the army of undead outside the city walls? Does anyone have a way to check on them?
Kasimir looks at his companions, hoping there is some good news in this area.
”What you see before you.” Torch gestures to the discarded gear and supplies. ”I spent everything on this effort. The things my agents stole were meant to pay back the debts I incurred to fund this mission. I ordered the pair of clones I commissioned be destroyed so there was no illusion of retreat. I still have my contacts, but much of my network has been dismantled by this move.” He breathes in and sighs heavily. ”Even if you keep me on, my reputation as an information broker has taken a grievous blow.”
Turning to Kasimir, Torch shakes his head. ”My focus has been perhaps a bit myopic. While Vahlo can no longer provide the army of undead from within, the threat outside is no less dangerous. Hopefully there are some brave souls able to lead the city guard against the siege.”
Such as some AP adventuring party... :)
Rokgurn nods at Kasimir as he makes a good point.
"Is there still unfinished business to attend to? We have walled off the Mausoleum but have yet to go inside. Should we? Is there any more mischief that we will need to undo today Grandmaster Torch?"
And Torch is a deadbeat as well. I thought that at least he would have the cash to fix up the place. What a disappointment!
|Omrax the Bold|
Omrax sighs during the questioning of
”Thy fate shall be decided, but your dishonorable actions, regardless of thy motives have cost many innocent lives. Agents trusted you and were betrayed. You helped us to end great evil in Vahlo as part of a balance against thy crimes. But your execution I could not condone as other courts in other jurisdictions m still have claim against thee. “
did he pick up evil auras from Torch?
|Hamish Carmody O'Toole|
Jeeze, talk about revisionist history. Trust Torch to be lying to the very end.
No interest in hearing him trying to candy coat stuff.
Hell, he might be like Hamish, and believed his delusions so long, he thinks they're truths.
"Enough." Hamish growls in annoyance. "Yer tales is taller'n the Spires behind us. Yet not once do you mentioned the thousands of innocent lives you've taken along the way. You keep makin' excuse after excuse."
"I saw the events what started yer vendetta." He waves absently at the sage jewel. "When you maneuvered to steal that there. The Society wasn't at fault then.... just another in a long line of excuses. You words ring as hollow now as they ever did."
"Good faith ain't never been in yer vocabulary."
He indicates the destruction around them on the Lodge grounds. "Even this... you try to make yourself out to be the hero. But the fact you had your minions looting the entire place during the distraction, prove even now, it is all about lies, and deceptions."
"The only true justice, would be for you to follow them to the Boneyard... but and even then you get off easy." Again, the scowl. "Though I suspect yer paths will diverge considerably from there."
With Torch dealt with, the party is able to gather up the debris from the conflict and leave the Wall of Names to its peaceful seclusion once more. Exiting the copse of trees, you see Pathfinder agents spreading out on the lodge grounds, as more reinforcements arrive through the now open gates. The junior agents are handily dispatching the few undead still roaming freely while more seasoned groups are engaged in clearing the mausoleum through a breach in the stone wall.
Only two figures approach the party, one familiar and one unknown. Both wear masks, the first the heavily decorated ivory mask from the projected mirage in the repository, the second a whorled black mesh wrapped tightly around the figures head like a tangle of thorns. "Well done, Pathfinders. You have been instrumental in protecting the Grand Lodge today. Please report your findings." the ivory-masked figure requests.
”We have defeated Vahlo, a member of the Decemverate who was loyal to the Whispering Tyrant. We have disrupted the ritual he was about to complete. We believe two other Decemverate members are implicated in his crimes. Essential to discovering this treason were the gnome Elysia and criminal Torch, whom we have apprehended.
Perhaps the time for masks and secrecy has come to an end.” Adds Kasimir, raising an eyebrow.
The Decemvirate member in a mask of whorled black mesh steps forward, “With Vahlo’s destruction comes the destruction of his helm, an irreplaceable artifact. And with it, the Ten would become Nine. So much has changed in the Decemvirate in just a decade—in spirit and in composition. It seems fitting that its organization should change as well to reflect its purged evils and a new era with new leadership.” She takes her helm in both hands and removes it, her features resolving into those of Venture-Captain Eliza Petulengro. “It was the bravery of Pathfinders like you who convinced the Decemvirate to accept me as one of their own. It’s past time I honor their courage by serving the Society as an open member of the Decemvirate.”
“It is a bold move to become Unmasked.” observes the ivory-masked Decemvirate member. “You are weaker without the artifact, and we are already weakened by becoming nine.”
“You miss the point.” Eliza remarks. “What the Decemvirate needs most is new talent, courage, insight, and initiative.” She nods to the gathered Pathfinders and holds out her helm. “I know that someone will rise to the challenge.”
The ivory-masked figure chuckles warmly. “I doubt you’ll ever cease to surprise me, Eliza.” She turns toward the assembled Pathfinders. “Any one of you would be worthy of joining our ranks and helping us ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. What say you?”
|Hamish Carmody O'Toole|
"Still not the hat I'm looking for." Hamish mutters.
Ya, like that would be a good idea. =P
Rokgurn smirks at Hamish's response. He thinks for a moment.
"I would be willing to help if I could. I have always thought that the society could be a bit more balanced and thoughtful in its approach."
"As long as I would be able to do some occasional field work from time to time I would be willing to accept. Of course I would not put myself before my fellow adventuring party for consideration."
|Omrax the Bold|
Omrax considers the offer, but feels being bound to a circle in organization with goals which have have run counter to his oath to Iomedae, causes him concern.
”I shall consider the offer but my loyalty shall be to my deity first and Society second. “