Sorry to hear you're feeling poorly! Alright, let's carry on once more into the breach before resting up.
Unfortunately even in the midst of all this tumult, the Aspis Consortium's serpents still seek to sow division. Their lies and convenient truths have turned many of the tapestry's residents against you, but three factions have nonetheless agreed to meet you.
The area of the tapestry where the meeting is to take place is a strange patchwork of several environments: sand dunes abut jagged hills, and massive evergreen trees rise from a dry riverbed. Tense silence permeates the area, filling the space between three groups of humanoids: The Faithful of Xiwu, a group of stoic soldiers enshrouded in strips of cloth, the Raegrigx Clan, a group of winged people with draconic features, and the Hhruul, a group of lanky, owl- headed scholars.
Peribras in particular recognizes some of them from when they joined the Aspis Consortium in besieging the Grand Lodge. He has no friends here, but does have a greater understanding of the kinds of grievances that they have against the Society. He can one time give a +4 bonus to a skill check after seeing the result, but before I say if it was successful.
Faces tighten as you approach, the Faithful lapsing into stolid silence, or contorting with rage enough to tear at their strange bindings, the Hhruul maintaining calm faces, but clearly attentive to your every move and gesture, while the Raegrigx are united in contempt. Still, it seems as though they're all waiting for you to make the first move.
"This feels more familiar, it was feeling too surreal to be walking around with everyone greeting us with hugs and thanks, blasted duergar not included. This is the most normal greeting we have seen so far. At least the most normal this little place within a piece of fabric is going to give us. Hate to ruin it, but we can't have them fighting any of the Pathfinders throwing themselves around and having their help means I won't be needed as much. Let's start talking to them."
She looks about the groups and points out the Raegrigx. "I rather talk to them first. I see rage in them and that is something I understand."
Heading with the group she greets the winged people while supressing all the bile she can while opening introductions are made. "Welcome and thank you for agreeing to see us. I'm Luminae and these are other Pathfinders. You don't seem to like us. I get that, but this place is coming apart at the seams. We want to have your help to stop that. What do you want to make that happen?"
Zera will nervously approach the Faithful and try to open some kind of dialogue.
"Heya! It seems like you don't like us all that much, but I would like to work to help you out! I don't know if ya heard, but it looks like this land is unraveling and we're trying to help everyone get out save and sound. If there is anything I can do to help us help you, please let me know!"
Sarsczek looks over the Faithful, then back at his compatriots. "I brought my formal loincloth! Should I get changed?"
After a few glares, Sarsczek decides that this will not be necessary and approaches. "Um..hai! I'm Sarsczek, da Iron Pyrite Sage anna member of da Living Monoliths. Soldier like you, a defender! So uh... whats goin on over here? Those wraps look itchy..."
Sense Motive + Study: 1d20 + 11 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 11 + 2 = 18
The Faithful seem more than a little nonplussed by the monstrous sage explaining that they're really the same, but beyond that, their semi-mummified faces show little else... Still, as soldiers, if you could figure out how to leverage their loyalties, they would probably be receptive to commands. Also in interacting with them, you can't help but notice that the wrappings that have preserved them for so long seem to be degrading. Perhaps you could Give them Aid in repairing them?
Giving Aid would require Heal or Knowledge (religion), Commanding would be a matter of Intimidation, and getting a better Sense of their Loyalties would require Sense Motive. Probably a higher Sense Motive :-p
The Raegrigx respond to Luminae's approach with clear distaste. "Why should we even listen to a band of thieves and murderers too weak to face up to their failures. We should have just gone with the snakes."
Knowledge (arcana or local) might be helpful in uncovering some of the wyvarans' foibles.
You can split up if you want without any problems. All three are at the same location, but they are definitely not mingling.
"Oh, before we get started, those bandages don't look like they are in great condition. Maybe I can help?"
Zera will attempt to assist with the bandages with a heal check. If possible, while doing so, she would also like to get a feel for the room and see what troubles them with a sense motive. (if possible)
Heal: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
sense motive: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Malachi looks from one group to the next - mummies, dragon-men, and owl-men. What? Didn't we just beat one of those fellows, yes? And what in Besmara's name are THEY?
Preening himself, and puffing out his chest, Malachi approaches the owl-men, thinking them at least somewhat like Tengu. Maybe distant cousins, yes?
"Eh, Trade Prince Captain Malachi Malarkey at your service! I am a great personal friend of Aaqir al-Hakam, leader of a powerful merchant conglomerate, yes. We dine together often! Thank you for meeting with us. How can we achieve mutual profit, yes?"
Zera's efforts don't seem to accomplish much, and though the Faithful* seem hopeful at first, more and more they seem frustrated by her failures. "Why promise what you cannot deliver!"
Rather than open hostility or barely contained rage, the syrinxes respond to Malachi with... curiosity.
"Merchant... conglomerates. I do not know this Alhakam, but is he a well traveled man? Are you? We care little for profits, but if it is still possible, we would wish to return home to Arcadia. What is the sky like where you come from? We would know how far our path leads."
You would need Knowledge (geogroaphy) to display any kind of Impressive Knowledge of Arcadia.
*Who are different mummified beings to the evils left behind by the serpentfolk :-p
Sarsczek slips out to go grab Luminae. He tugs on her robes for a moment and whispers, "Hey umm... those mummy guys that aint mummys... umm... their wrappins need fixin... think you can fix them?"
He pauses when he hears mention of Arcadia, then thinks for a moment. "Umm... I fink I've been there before? Well.. one of the me's..."
He taps on his Sage jewel because clearly it's self-explanatory.
Geography (Jeweled Sage Roll twice, take higher): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 121d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
The Raegrigx respond to Luminae's approach with clear distaste. "Why should we even listen to a band of thieves and murderers too weak to face up to their failures. We should have just gone with the snakes."
Luminae regards the Raegrigx with a similar bearing. She looks at them with exhaustion and a slow burning fury as insult her to her face. She keeps her rage in check enough as she thinks that they are at least honest enough to bring their insults directly than try to hide them. "You are almost right, but it would be a poor choice to side with the Aspis. I've heard enough stories to know them as the thieves and murderers you accuse us of being, but also incompetent and backstabbing pieces of filth."
"I don't expect you to put your faith in us," Luminae spits out the word "faith" as though it leaves a repulsive taste on her tongue before continuing. "I don't even know what the Aspis told to you about us, but we ask for your help to make sure this place doesn't crumble to ash. Whether or not you think us as good, the people giving out orders don't want this place to fall apart."
"I will say that you are outright wrong about at least one thing. Pathfinders aren't too weak to face up to their failures. They are too stubborn. They will smash themselves to complete their goals. We will keep this place from falling apart with or without your help. Without it though, this place will be a mess. With your help, I believe this place will come out of this much better than if it was only us."
Luminae feels the tugging of Sarsczek and his request to aid other others. She rolls her eyes and stifles another cough excusing herself from the Raegrigx to help with the Faithful. She mutters under her breath toward Sarsczek, "I hope that they don't need to be fixed because you bit them.
I'll see what I can do. Maybe find someone among us who knows more about the dragonfolk. See if there is a better way to convince them before this place has unwoven."
Turning her attention to the Faithful Luminae gives a disgruntled look at the rest of the party and then the Faithful. "If you give me a moment, maybe I can help fix your bindings." She gives a sigh as she looks over the divine scripts about the wrappings. "They need more time and care, especially with how much they been worn away. I can offer patches, but nothing that will last for years, and I don't intend to keep doing this so you will need to tend to them more carefully."
Giving Aid to the Faithful Knowledge (religion): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
While it might not be enough, Luminae does her best to put her resentment aside as she tends to and helps repair their wrappings. She chastises those with far more damage for being reckless and emphasizes a need to be more cautious to them. "I'm not going to be your nurse. You will need to keep yourselves together without me to help aid you."
She looks for a moment to the rest of the party, waiting for someone to convince the mummified soldiers to give their aid. After a moment she comes to the conclusion it is being left to her. She discards any illusion of bedside manner as she tells them, "This place is coming around all of us. We have been doing all we can to help everyone we have ever met in here and they are all working with us to make sure, at the end of the day, this plane, your home, will survive. If you want you can sit by tending to your bandages, but if they are all doing all they can to save themselves, then what excuse do you have to sit by and except to carry your burdens for you. Get out there and do your part! Save this plane and yourselves!"
Command the Faithful Intimidate: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (6) + 16 = 22
Peribras if you're allowed then I reckon adding your +4 bonus to Luminae's Command the Faithful roll might be good.
Fung is drawn to the mummified figures. "They're not mummies are they?" Despite his concern, his curiosity drives him closer. As Zera starts to help them with their bandages, he joins in as well. "My master, he taught me a bit of the healing arts."
heal: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
sense motive: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Sarsczek knows that Arcadia is supposed to be across a great ocean from Avistan. Some sailors have supposedly made such a journey, but none lightly. You don't know precisely how to help the Hhruul get home, particularly since all you know for certain of 'home's' location is the continent, but you could now credibly Promise Assistance. With bluff... As he speaks more with the Syrinxes though, more and more of them chime in, questioning the very idea of siding with the Society instead of fending for themselves, less in terms of the practicalities, and more getting into philosophical considerations of The Good. Enduring their Philosophical Appeals instead of changing the subject could also work, though it would take a Will save.
Since we haven't heard from Peri recently, I'll go ahead and okay Malachi's enlistment of his expertise.
Perhaps its the chiding, or perhaps without a deeper understanding of the loyalties that bind them, Luminae's commands ring a bit hollow, but they're grateful enough for her aid with the bandages that they keep their peace for now. All of you chiming in at once will just annoy them, but someone who hasn't tried a particular skill check could certainly provide Aid.
Would you accept Profession (sailor) in lieu of Bluff for helping the Hhruul GM?
"Eh, you want to sail over the ocean? Why didn't you say so, yes? By Besmara's Bloody Bones, I am a great sea-captain and taker of ships yes! With many friends who have ships that we might use to ferry you, yes! If you help us now of course."
Profession (sailor), polly: 1d20 + 8 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 8 + 1 = 22
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Sarsczek LOVES a good philosophical debate and happily listens to the priests of the temples of Syrinx weigh their ideas of right and wrong.
Will: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
In the time honored tradition of begging for bonuses that I don't deserve... the save is to ENDURE their appeals... and I do have the endurance feat...
"S' not everday that I getta listen tah a new ph...il... um... thing. Is very interestin! Ann like... It totally makes sense! Cuz sometimes you gotta take the moral high ground ya know, even iffn it means yer prolly not gonna make it cuz then others'll remember and it'll be a good zample to them. But like... Wif da sages we always wanna protect information so that in the future we can all learn from the oopsies of da past. Ann stuff like that... so like..."
Sarsczek matches their questions one for one over the course of the debate.
"...ann one time there was a sage that even turned himself inta a lich to keep his knowledge avail'ble to da sages... which is icky and evil! But he wasn't actually like... a real jerk or anythin... so we had ta decide how to deal wif dat an..."
And he continues...
"...and that's why I decided to eat the donut anyways!"
And he continues...
"...and so I bit him!"
And he continues.
"...so if theres nobody left to learn, is the moral high ground still right? Like there was one time that..."
Sarsczek's expressive simplicity seems to charm the Syrinx philosophers, and they seem quite mollified by what you all have had to say so far.
@Mal: I'll let it work as an Aid for someone else's Bluff. Sound good?
@Sarsczek: I'll give you a big grin for your endurance feat audacity, but no numerical bonus :-D
(And you passed anyways)
@Luminae: Actually, could you go ahead and give me a Diplomacy check for your straight talk with the Raegrigx?
Of course, here is a check for that bit before
Raegrigx Diplomacy: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30
More convincing than I would have thought.
"If as you say the Aspis Consortium has been deceptive, perhaps their can be peace between the Pathfinders and the Raegrigx. Still, much of our blood has been shed by your agents. Perhaps with Proper Tribute our concerns could be laid to rest."
It'll take Diplomacy or Bluff to properly haggle on the Society's behalf, but if you were willing to toss in an advance of 160gp of your own money, the check would be even easier...
Despite them no longer berating her, Lumanie doesn't seem overjoyed by their reaction. She looks them over as she takes a moment to take control over another coughing fit before continuing, "I assume that you looking for something physical as tribute rather than the thanks of the Society."
"Fair. I wouldn't ask for anything less if I were you. The Society knows the importance of keeping their allies well compensated. After this is over I'm sure they will give you what you and your people are owed. For now though they are too busy dealing with the plane falling apart to deal with payment."
She withdraws one her pouches, measures the weight for a moment as she silently curses the Pathfinder Society for putting her here with nothing to offer but her own coin. The moment passes and she holds it to the Raegrigx leader. "Here is a small token, especially given what you have been through, from the Society. It is only a fraction of what you will receive after the dust settles."
I will offer the advance of 160 gp. If someone has something else to aid I would love to have aid if anyone is willing and able.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (11) + 12 = 23
"Yeah, the society is gonna help you out big! They are always so helpful, and kind, and considerate, and never do anything shady and..."
Can I use bluff to aid? :) I'll also divide up the gold burden with Luminae
The absolute truth with no embellishment whatsoever: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
They wyvaran grin broadly, "Perhaps we have misjudged your Society. This may be a profitable friendship after all." "And we get to go home!" "Yes, go home!" chime in the syrinx.
The Faithful still seem not to be swayed, but having lost the advantage of numbers, reluctantly seem to set their animosity aside, for now...
Okay everyone, that's enough to succeed here! You've touched on everyone's return trips, but we can still go on to the other parts of the tapestry, you can seek out more problems here, or you can rest first.
"Eh, what about that fountain, yes?"
I suggest mission 6 just for the watery theme. Would prefer to rest first to have wildshape available again though. I doubt we gain any advantage by doing all of these missions in one day.
Luminae is fine to have gained the aid of these groups. She gives a nod to them with the hope that coordinating them all can at least reduce the casualties she will need to attend to later.
With the mind to other missions Luminae reluctantly nods her head as she drinks from her waterskin to ease her throat.
I'll agree with mission 6. I would also be fine with the party resting. I don't need it myself.
sorry for my prolonged absence. I got back from conference and proceeded to have a very busy week. It's not really letting up but I'll try to keep up better
"Nice work, everyone. I don't think I need to rest, but it does seem I dozed off on Darkpaw's back for a while there..."
Will split the gold.
Fung nods at the suggestion to seek out other missions, any missions. In fact, he looks eager to go, but is willing to take the cue from the group.
Fung doesn’t need to rest but is fine to do so.
Also happy to split the gold - and if it counts as a bribe or toll Malachi can use his Exchange Slush Fund boon to cover 75gp of the total.
Slush Fund would definitely work.
With one vote for a nap and some assenting shrugs, I'm gonna go with a nap.
After resting and recovering in a safe portion of the tapestry, you head off to where Lake Taikaga is nestled in the center of a serene woodland valley, or rather it should be. For when you arrive you discover that this small lake bed is devoid of water! At its center, a dozen humanoid turtles with strange divots in their heads lie on their backs, alive but unable to move. To the north, a ravine leads to a small temple on a rocky hilltop.
A couple of the turtles that happen to have their eyes pointed towards your approach cry out in somewhat strangled tones, "Please help!" "It's not a trick!" "Yeah, not a trick, we promise!"
Luminae looks upon the situation with wariness, not relieved at all by the claim that this isn't a trick.
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
She moves up to them to be able to speak to them, "What can we do to help then? Do you need coin or your clothing patched up? Why can't you move yourselves? Where is the water of the lake gone?"
know.nature, polly: 1d20 + 7 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 7 + 1 = 21
"Eh, they're Kappa, yes! River pranksters!"
Malachi addresses the creatures: "What happened to you, eh? Where is all your water gone? You need your head-bowls refilling yes? I can do this for you, by Besmara, but why should we trust you tricksters yes?"
Sarsczek will also happily chip in for the bribe cost.
Sarsczek moves closer and keeps an eye out for traps.
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19 +3 for traps
Once he's confident he's not about to trigger a giant rolling boulder, he takes a better look at the Kappa.
Sense Motive + Study: 1d10 + 11 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 11 + 2 = 17
"Did someon do all dis? Take allda water? Ann leave you here?"
Would a waterskin have enough water to top them up or do we need more?
A single waterskin wouldn't be enough for all of them, but it wouldn't take a tremendous amount of water. I.e. almost certainly what you guys have available to you would be enough :-)
"It was the dragon! You should just go drown the mean, stupid dragon! "Yeah, yeah you should! We'll... we'll tell you anything you want to know about the tapestry." "But only once the dragon's dead." "Yeah, or drowned!"
Grumbling as she offers the water she has hears their request with displeasure. "When you say 'dragon' what do you mean? Do you mean a large lizard or something that flies about and will tear us to bits?"
"A dragon, eh? You can tell me all about what happened with the dragon yes? I give you water, with Besmara's blessing. Don't mistake this for charity, yes."
Malachi conjures water into the Kappas' head bowls. Create Water orison.
"Now, why did this dragon do this, yes? Tell us everything!"
Zera seems to perk up at the mention of a dragon. "Ooooh, you mean we get to be like the great heroes of legend and slay a dragon?! Any good proper hero has to have slain a dragon! Is there a princess to rescue too? A hoard of treasure to be had?"
Zera manages to compose themselves for a second, and then follows up with "So, where is this dragon? Where are we headed?"
That being said, Zera likes to think herself to have a keen sense for figuring out if things are amiss. And will be making a sense motive to see if the kappa seem less than honest
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
"Well all through the tapestry, the rivers have been drying-" "In lots of places, not just here" "-and since there's a magic fountain that feeds this lake-" "Or, well, fed this lake" "We thought Lake Taikaga would be a good place to visit."
"But when we tried to explain to the dragon that we needed the water, she got all offended and tipped us over!" "Very rude." "You should drown her!" "Yes, drown her!"
You get the sense that the kappa are certainly making themselves out to be the unalloyed victims, but that they are staying surprisingly close to the facts.
"If you follow the ravine you'll find the temple. She should still be there. Or if she's not then you could restart the fountain." "Oh! Yes! That would work too!"
After another spell of water creation Luminae grumbles as she looks toward the ravine, "Well at least we aren't being given a new task. We needed to get that fountain working again already. Now we just need to deal with a ... flying-arm-snake dragon."
She pushes off toward the ravine pushing herself to move forward. "Let's get this over with."
The repair teams have patched the rift beneath the Muckmouth. They discovered that the tapestry itself is generating massive amounts of necromantic energy around the rifts. The Muckmouth is secured!
GMs, the Muckmouth Secured condition on Page 10 is now in effect!
Awaiting you at the end of the dry ravine is a magnificent serpentine dragon, covered in golden scales and with horns cresting from her brow like a crown.
With eyes like pools of knowing silver, she gazes at you when you approach with a note of surprise, but clearly no concern.
What do you do?
Also, since the Muckmouth have all those magical supplies and don't need to worry about being devoured by serpentine undead, they've sent along a priest to heal you at need. You can use a Burst of Healing Aid Token once for free!
Sarsczek looks around scratches his chin before addressing the dragon in Draconic.
In draconic: "Well met great wyrm of the... um... lake?"
Switching back to common so his allies can chime in he continues, "Um hai Ms. Dragon! Seems like the waters all gone weird! Mind if we take a looksee? Lotsa thirsty critters 'round here ann only enough water for... well... you. Fanks for not killin' dose Kappa though... they silly and kinda annoyin, but some time to fink is aways good for em."
Sarsczek studies her carefully, looking for a reaction.
Sense Motive + Study: 1d20 + 11 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 11 + 2 = 29
"You are correct, Pathfinders, that the water has indeed 'gone weird.' I do hope you refer not to the single rivulet that would normally here flow. The waterways throughout mighty Hao Jin's masterpiece are out of balance. Now that this fountain's magic has been disabled, however, harmony may be restored."
Sarsczek notices that the dragon clearly enjoys being treated with what she views as the appropriate respect for her station, and doesn't seem inclined to respond well to being treated as any kind of a fool.
Luminae follows her Sarsczek's lead stating in common, "More importantly is the fact that this place is tearing itself apart. Our organization is working to fix the damage, but are wanting to get this fountain repaired again so they can use the water to help."
Fung stares in awe at the mighty dragon, his first time encountering one. "Uh yes, we have some skills in things technical. Would you grant us permission to fix it?"
Lol, I was hoping for disable device. :)
knowledge(nature): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Luminae grimiaces as she sees Fung looks upon the dragon with awe. Sh focuses on the dragon and redoubles her own feels to steel herself from any sort of reverence for this creature; no matter their power. She takes another moment before refocusing her argument. "I'm not sure how, but the water can be used to help restore and repair the tapestry. Without the water, it will be much harder to restore the harmony and this place may see even more damage."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (2) + 12 = 14
I'll use my reroll on that check
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 12 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 12 + 4 = 24
"Eh, hello o mighty dragon! Trade Prince Captain Malachi Malarkey at your service, yes!" Malachi doffs his tricorne and bows low in an extravagant gesture.
"You say stopping the magic fountain restored harmony, yes? But the water is needed elsewhere in the Tapestry, before the whole thing turns to ruin yes."
know nature, polly aid Fung: 1d20 + 7 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 7 + 1 = 21
The repair teams have patched the rift at the Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment. The nightmare is over, and Korada’s faithful now lend us their aid! The Temple is secured!
GMs, the Temple Secured condition on page 11 is in effect!