Ruka misses and hears what sounds like a sigh in her head Stop worrying so much about what you should have done and focus on what it is you need to do right now. You can reflect during a more appropriate time.
Lor-Sinn knows that the undead they previously fought were simple skeletons, but she is right to be wary of this one. While most skeletons lack the memories and abilities of their former light, so retain their intelligence and prove to be especially dangerous warriors. This skeleton before her now is a champion of the undead and is significantly more dangerous than the last lot of skeletons.
Both Kajiwara and Lor-Sinn miss their strikes, but Asuka stays focused and is able to land a both blows with her claws, one of them critically struck. A dozen bones rattle off of the skeleton's body, but it stays focused on its target and with expert precision buries its blade wickedly into the tengu's body, ripping open a horrific wound that stretches across her entire chest that nearly sends her to the ground. Damage: 1d6 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 5 + 2 = 11.
R3: Poppy, Asuka, Samton, Ruka, Kajiwara, Lor-Sinn, Skeleton
Attack Asuka: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
Attack Asuka: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Ruka nearly freezes as Murasamemaru speaks to her. She's not using it, not even touching it except in the general sense of it being sheathed on her back, but it's still talking to her still in her head...
Asuka's cry of agony snaps her attention back to the fight. "Asuka!" The wound is terrible, the worst one Ruka's seen yet. She isn't sure how Asuka is still standing. Murasamemaru is completely forgotten as her entire world narrows to the creature in front of her. The creature who just nearly killed her companion. Her friend.
Ruka wouldn't let it live long enough to attack again.
Her feet shift slightly into a more balanced stance. Her hands also shift, both gripping the flail's handle firmly. With all her strength she whips the heavy ball right into the skeleton's sternum.
L. Flail, ST, Flanking, PA: 1d20 + 5 + 1 + 2 - 1 ⇒ (15) + 5 + 1 + 2 - 1 = 22
B. Damage, ST, PA: 1d8 + 6 + 1 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 6 + 1 + 3 = 17
Despite the name, a light flail is not a light weapon and can therefore be wielded two-handed for a strength bonus.
Ruka's powerful strike shatters the remaining bones in the undead champion, sending them scattering all throughout the room. The fancy blade held by the skeletal warrior tumbles to the ground as the threat to the party is eradicated. Out of combat.
A single jade and cherry wood chest lay in the corner, the object that the undead skeletal warrior was protecting. Just like the chest you found back in the village, this one is intricately carved, more so it would seem. The chest is locked, but when the key is removed from around the warriors neck, it opens. It's obvious that many objects have been removed from numerous slots in the chest's velvet-lined interior, however it still holds ten different potions, a ring, a wand, masterwork chain shirt, masterwork col iron wakizashi, 11 Desnan candles, four skyrocket fireworks, 3,820 sp, 421 gp and various pieces of fine jewelry (560 gp).
In addition to the key around his neck, the warrior carried a fancy wakizashi, and broken masterwork chainmail.
The potions are Cure light wounds x5, Cure Moderate Wounds x2, Potions of lesser restoration.
Wand of Identify x19 charges.
Ring of Climbing.
Examining the fancy wakizashi the warrior was wielding, you find a secret compartment hidden in the pommel. When you press it, a scroll pops out. The contents are written in Tien.
"Well done! Those were some masterful blows!" Lor-Sinn cheers Ruka and Asuka's victory as she rushes by the wounded tengu's side to help support her. And once again winces at the inner voice pointing out in scathing detail how utterly useless she had been in this battle.
Perception potions: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (10) - 2 = 8
Kaji's face hardens as Asuka is gravely wounded, but before he can strike, Ruka exacts vengeance in a most brutal manner. Nodding, he says, "Well fought, Asuka, Ruka. You struck true, and did not waver. Poppy, Samton, do either of you have healing for Asuka?"
Bending down, Kajiwara picks up the wakizashi. It was a weapon more commonly found in Tian Xia. How had all these Minkaian artifacts ended up in the Brinestump Marsh in Varisia?
Perception, Wakizashi: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Examining the wakizashi, Kaji discovers a secret compartment in the panel. Opening, it he finds a message written in Tien.
I have Tien as a known language, so I can read the message.
Asuka falls back as she finally realizes that, wow, that hurts and, um, she's bleeding. "Oh fudge. That's a big cut. Don't like that." Another hit like that and she would have easily gone down, maybe even died? The enormity of that thought makes it difficult to restrain, and she has trouble focusing on anything else.
Perception for Potions: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5 -2 for sight
Perception for Potions: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7 Haha nope.
All Ruka can see is blood. "Asuka, are you okay? Here, let me help you. You need to sit down or something. I think?" She isn't really sure what to do in this situation, and is desperately hoping either Poppy or Sam has some healing available. Although if they do they still need it themselves...
She glances around the cavern once, confirming there's no more skeletons lurking about, then places herself in the entrance. Just in case something tries to sneak up behind them while everyone is badly hurt.
And just like that, the fight was over. In just a few seconds and even fewer strikes, the skelly crumbled, but not before cutting Asuka gruesomely. She watched with concern as Ruka saw to their feathered ally's wounds and cradled her own. She woke from her stupor at Kaji's question.
"Poppy iz out of curative magix. Uzed last on Ruka." It was then that she noticed the grouping of Lor-Sinn and others inspecting the spoils of the fight and a clutch of potions caught her eye. She saw other items of potential magical function, but felt Sam might have a better handle on those and left them for him to inspect at his convenience.
"Maybe vone of those could help?", she offered, moving slowly towards the containers to inspect them throughly, pushing aside more treasure than she'd ever seen in one place. She'd concocted a few elixers in her day for profit and otherwise, and hoped that experience might aid her here.
Spellcraft Potions: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22 Whew!
Her eyes lit up at the realization of what they had discovered. "Ha! Beton!", she exclaimed before grabbing the bunch, carefully laying them before Asuka and the others, detailing each ones purpose and strength.
Stepping around the undead guardian's jawbone, now lying on the cave floor cracked and missing some molars, Samton gingerly walked up to the tengu and wordlessly touched a single finger to her shoulder. One brief incantation later, the horrific gash across Asuka's chest began slowly stitching itself together, not so much healing in the traditional sense of curative magic but rather recovering naturally - just at a tremendously quickened pace.
And with a strangely uncomfortable sensation somewhere in the pit of the soul.
"You were brilliant, Ms Narukami. You all were," the young wizard smiled. "Honestly didn't think we'd manage any more than confirm these undeads' existence. And now... this."
Sam looked to the skeletal warrior's bounty: yet another chest, this one also clearly of Tian make. Where in the world ha...? Well, no, that was a dumb question; they already knew the 'where' of the matter. 'How' was the question. How in the world had these Tian artifacts wound up in a swamp on the other side of the world?
Hoping to learn something more, the cartographer began poring over the contents of the box. His progress was rather slow, being that he didn't dare let go of his bloodied side. He still hadn't healed himself. And now, having expended the spell on Asuka, he couldn't. But that was fine. Samton had meant what he said earlier: without the rest of the party, he wouldn't even be alive right now. So he might as well put his money where his mouth was, and show them due deference.
Potions: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
Wand: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9
Ring: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
Wakizashi: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
Assume Sam passes on all information. EDIT: wrote as Poppy posted.
Ruka grabs the healing potions and tries to hand one each to Poppy and Sam. "You both need one of these. Drink them."
Glancing over at Kajiwara, she sees him apparently fascinated by an old piece of paper. "What's that? Does it explain what all these people were doing here?"
Kajiwara slides the scroll out of the blade and begins to read it.
Anyone that understands Tien may check the spoiler.
The next few days will be the most important I have faced in many years. If our family’s enemies have, as I hope, forgotten us, I shall reunite with you and your wife, and your mother and I shall reveal the truth to you. But if they still seek the contents of the warding box, I fear that I may not speak to you again. The box holds our family’s greatest treasure, so I have returned it to Kortun’s care, and it shall remain hidden in the secret third vault under Brinewall Castle – obscured from our enemies. I hope and pray. I will not grant our foes the satisfaction of killing me themselves – if it comes to it, let my death, by my own hand, be my final act to protect you, so that our enemies believe our line ended.
I have instructed Tsutamu to keep this letter from you, delivering it to you only should I fail to return as I hope to. If I can, I will reveal all to you myself. If I cannot, this final missive from a father to a son must suffice as an apology in place of an explanation, and you must destroy this letter, flee to the south, and never return to Brinewall. If our enemies find what I have hidden, there will be nothing here for you. If they do not, they will lie in wait forever for your return.
I hope to see you again soon, my son. But my heart tells me I will not. I am sorry to have failed you. But I am proud of you, and I know you will survive this old man’s shame. You are strong, and you must remain so. For if you are reading this and I am gone, know that our enemies will never stop searching for us, and that is why I cannot reveal the truth to you until I know there is no chance of them finding us again.
Signed, Rokuro Kaijitsu, Sunday, 29 Desnus, 4687
Asuka drinks one of the cure moderate wounds potions, if no one objects.
CMW: 2d8 + 3 ⇒ (7, 6) + 3 = 16
She peeks over Kaji’s shoulder to read the missive. She is dreadfully confused, having not been given proper context and exposition before the letter popped up, and Asuka tends to need things spelled out for her. The lack of exciting battles or action sequences also makes her end up glossing over large sections of the letter. ”Um, I see. So this is...someone’s letter. To someone else? From a while ago? Oh, ‘Kaijitsu.’ You think that’s the same one as your family, Ruka?”
Poppy who had been examining a wand and confering with Sam over what it might be, doesn't even argue before taking the potion. The ache in her chest was getting pretty severe and she wanted to feel good about their victory. "Thank you, Ruka. Vell done on that final blow as vell. Noroc!" She gulped down the strange liquid, ignoring it's potential contents, where they'd found it, and imagining how long it had been there.
I've drank worse.
CLW: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Her body released it's tension as the pain flittered away. In only a few moments, her freckled flesh had mended and she gave a great sigh. She stretched a little and noted that only a small mark remained. While not back to one hundred percent, she felt significantly better but her siesta ended once she noticed Kaji pull a scroll of all things out of a sword handle. She attempted to read the the words but only had a vague handle on the language. She kicked herself for not making a greater effort to pick it up before this, but tried all the same to decipher its general meaning or even a few words here and there.
Linguistics: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Spellcraft on wand: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
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Knowledge (history) on Rokuro: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Kajiwara read over the note, then read over it again. Was this intended for Lonjiku? The name and date make sense...
Kaji handed the note and wakizashi to Ruka and said, ”You should keep this.”
To the others he said, ”We need to investigate the shipwreck from the map. Does anyone know where Brinewall is?”
Kneeling beside the skeletal warrior, Kaji said in Minkaian,
”You have done your duty, Tsutamu. The Kaijtsus have found the message. May your soul rest with your ancestors.”
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"Wait, what?! 'Kaijitsu?'" Ruka practically snatches the letter from Kajiwara. She reads it. Then reads it again. And again.
'My son'...'Our family's greatest treasure'...'Our enemies'...'Signed Rokuro Kaijitsu.'
"This was written by my grandfather. To...to my father." She looks up, a lost expression on her face. "I don't know what any of this means. Father never really talked about his family. All he would say was that his parents both died when he was young and that he'd had to make his own way. But here...in this letter Rokuro talks like he's about to die. At the hands of our family's enemies...no, not at their hands, he says he'll kill himself first..."
She takes a deep breath, trying to compose herself, but her head is spinning. "How did this get here of all places? He said he was leaving the letter with someone named Tsutamu..." Her head slowly swivels to the shattered remains of the skeleton they'd just fought. The skeleton wearing distinctly Tian armor. "Oh," she whispers in sudden realization. "That must have been Tsutamu. Although that still doesn't explain how he ended up here...was he killed by the enemies Rokuro talked about in the letter? What enemies could we even have, we're glassmakers."
She doesn't understand. She doesn't understand any of it.
"Ameiko needs to see this. Maybe she knows something I don't."
As all the pieces finally start to fit together, Asuka’s overactive imagination begins to fill in the remaining gaps. ”Maybe you are all actually secretly the descendants of a god or goddess and the assassins were sent to destroy you before your existence could reveal the clandestine divine relationship that gave birth to your bloodline! Oh wait! No, your family is actually going to become incredibly important in the future because you defeat a great and powerful oni invasion, and you name your son Rokuro to honor your grandfather, but then evil Future Ninja go back in time to try to stop you from being born by killing your grandfather, but then Rokuro goes back after them, falls in love with a kind woman, fails to stop the ninja from killing the man who he presumes to be his great grandfather, dying valiantly in the process, only for it to be revealed in the epilogue that actually he unknowingly fell in love his own great grandmother and—as a result of their affair—he is his own great grandfather!”
As soon as she finishes, she looks about expectantly for people to give their feedback on her theories. She finally notices the confused and dismayed expression on Ruka’s face, only then realizing that she is probably being insensitive and rude and should be quiet. The energy drains from her and she hangs her head low. ”Sorry...I’m just being stupid. Don’t listen to me.” She isn’t looking for for consolation. She doesn’t want to make this moment about herself more than she already has. She’s just a side character in this scene. She pulls herself into an apologetic smile. Her silliness and flamboyance may be the primary methods she cheers people up with, but she also knows that sometimes you need a friend more than a clown. She just has never been good at telling the difference right away. She places a hand on Ruka’s shoulder. ”But this isn’t about me. What do you need right now, Ruka? How can I help?”
As the others fuss over some scroll and take some time to heal their wounds, Lor-Sinn considers the problem of skeletons and their obvious lack of ears. They had been sent into the marsh to deal with the goblin menace, and bring back ears and the chief's head as proof. Now, this undead chase hadn't been part of their original mission, but she expects Sheriff Hemlock will want proof all the same. After all, walking bones were a far rarer occurrence than goblins around these parts.
She goes down on one knee next to the fallen warrior, considering if she should take the entire head. But then, what would that prove? What if the sheriff thinks they raided a cemetery? She reaches for the skull, still wearing the strangely shaped helmet. Perhaps this will be proof enough. Her hand lingers a hair's breadth from actually touching the yellowed bone. "You were a worthy opponent, friend. Sorry that you found your end like this."
Oh. Well, so much for being supposedly smart; it seemed so obvious now. Samton was listening in to Ruka explain the contents of the old letter, not being able to read Tien himself. He took a sip from a potion bottle. He had wondered earlier how in the world these Tian artifacts had ended up in Brinestump Marsh, so far from their home country. Now the answer seemed obvious. In fact, the answer had been part of the group all along: the artifacts had come to Varisia with the Tien family who had emigrated here, the Kaijitsus. The simplest answers really tended to be the right ones.
Unfortunately, the questions raised by the letter didn't seem to have any simple answers. Ancestral enemies? Familial secrets? Blood feuds? The wizard looked at Ruka with concern. This sounded awfully serious. He took another sip from the potion. The concoction had soured over the years, but with his wounds quickly closing he wasn't about to complain. The cartographer was grateful when a prompt from Kajiwara gave him the opportunity to contribute something, however minor.
”Does anyone know where Brinewall is?”
Know (geography): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
"Uh, yeah. Yeah, it's, uh... It's quite far, up north beyond Riddleport, almost at the border of the Linnorms Kings."
Consulted a Golarion map for this one, GM. Hope that's OK.
But what was it Rokuro Kaijitsu had left there, and why? And crucially, would retrieving it place the holder in the same danger he had purportedly been in? Or more specifically, would it perhaps place his heirs in the same danger? Sam once again looked at Ruka with concern. Answers were needed. And there was one lead yet that might hold some. Samton thought back to the Licktoads' map describing the cave and a shipwreck, and finished the potion.
Potion, CLW: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
"Would it be worth it to seek out the shipwreck on the goblins' map?" he asked. "There are only two locations described on it: these caves and the wreck. Maybe... they're related somehow?"
Whatever the group's decision, the cartographer's mind was already fast at work mentally mapping out a route.
Know (geography): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
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Ruka stares wide-eyed at Asuka as she spouts off increasingly-crazy theories. Descendants of the gods? Defeating an oni invasion? Having a son she names Rokuro who goes back in time and becomes his own great-grandfather?
It's the last that really gets to her. She isn't sure what part exactly. The idea of a man going back in time? The idea of wanting to honor a grandfather she'd never met by naming her son after him? Hell, the idea of her having a son in the first place? Whatever it is, it completely derails her train of thought.
Her shoulders shake. She covers her mouth with her hand. And then, right about the same time that Asuka begins apologizing and asking what she can do to help, Ruka starts to laugh. It's completely inappropriate given the circumstances, but she can't help herself.
"I'll have to let Ameiko know that any future sons need to be named Rokuro. Just in case. Wouldn't want to accidentally erase ourselves from existence by giving them the wrong name." She imagines the confused look on Ameiko's face at that particular conversation, and starts giggling again.
Stress. It's definitely the stress that's making her find this so funny.
'You are helping, Asuka. Thank you. I needed that." Her expression goes serious once more as she looks at Tsutamu's skeleton, but the lost look is gone from her eyes. "We should bury him, if we have time." She thinks of the skeletons out in the main room, no doubt attendants or other helpers. "All of them. If we don't have the time right now, I'll come back later. They did their duty. They deserve a proper burial. Then...yes. Checking out the shipwreck is probably the best move."
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As Ruka laughs, Asuka feels more happy than at any time since this adventure began. Asuka is thankful as always that her red feathers prevent people from noticing her blush. She smiles, still not able to meet Ruka’s eyes. ”Oh good. I’m glad I am not completely screwing everything up.” Asuka herself is surprised at how meek she’s being, though a less oblivious person could have pointed out that her bravado has always had little power against a woman’s laugh.
Asuka waves away the thought, reminding herself that there is more work to be done. ”I will happily help with the graves.”
Once the graves are prepared and the bodies are placed in them but before they are buried, Asuka asks for a pause so that she can write a final death poem. She spent most of the digging piecing out the meter, so all she has to do is write it. She reads it, then softly lets the parchment glide down the hole.
”Two and thirty years
Words from family lost, found
Thank you, Tsutamu.”
Kaji nods in agreement. "We should definitely check out the shipwreck that was found on the map. It may be there are more answers there."
"Does anyone have a shovel? Digging a grave will go faster if we have a shovel or two to use. If not, we may be need to come back."
"I have a shovel." Given that no one seems to object to taking the time to bury the skeletons, Ruka heads outside and searches for a suitable spot. It's difficult to find one, given that they're in the middle of a marsh, but there's a small hill that she thinks will do.
Digging the graves is rather calming. She can lose herself in the movements and not have to think. Almost like a kata, or one of her training exercises. Once they're finished, she stands by solemnly while Asuka reads her poem. "I hope you all find peace."
The letter has been carefully rolled and tucked safely into her belt pouch. She's still not sure what any of it means, what family legacy might be in Brinewall, what enemies Rokuro had been talking about, but maybe they'll find answers at the shipwreck. Or Ameiko might know something, once they get back to Sandpoint.
She busies herself figuring out how to comfortably strap the chests to Arti. She could carry one herself, but both would be too bulky. And if she can strap one to each side, at least it's balanced?
Once everything is settled, she picks up her pack and, (somewhat reluctantly), unties Murasamemaru from her back. "I'm ready. Let's check out that shipwreck."
Once everything is settled the dilemma of strapping chests to Arti and carrying the bulky items is complete, Samton leads the party through the swamp towards the bay on the west.
The path, if you can call it a path, is overgrown and slow going. It takes an hour and a half to cover what should have only been a twenty minute walk had you been on grassland or a real path. Eventually however, the shore of the bay is visible and what appears at first to be a strange tangle of branches is in fact the moss-covered ribs of a wrecked ship. The ruined ship lies on its side, split down the middle and mostly sunken into the mud and murky water.
Ruka spends most of the trek running through what little she's been able to figure out from the letter. No matter how much she tells herself to wait, they'll learn more later, it's impossible not to think about it.
Whatever secret Rokuro was hiding, he believed that these 'enemies' would hunt him forever for it. And that they'd hunt Father as well if he knew. Or was it the treasure they were hunting? Something hidden in a warding box...no, if it was just the treasure, then there wouldn't have been such an emphasis on the Kaijitsu line. But why? What secret could be so important?
Her thoughts keep going round in circles, until Asuka's crazy theories start to almost sound plausible. She doesn't have the imagination to create any theories of her own, but neither can she let it go.
Perception: 1d20 + 5 - 2 ⇒ (9) + 5 - 2 = 12
Thus distracted, she barely even notices the ship as they approach. Eventually her eyes fall on a beam that can't be mistaken for a tree branch, and she comes to a halt. "I guess we're here?"
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Ruka wasn’t the only one pondering the contents of the letter. The letter to Lonjiku mentioned his wife - Aunt Atsuii. Could grandfather have known of this secret? Could he have told my father? And what of Murasameru? It couldn’t have come from Atsuii, because grandfather would have given the blade to my father. Could all this somehow be connected? What was supposed to be a quick trip to stop goblin raids had become far more complex than he’d thought it would be.
Engrossed in thought as he was, his grandfather’s training in constantly being aware of his surroundings meant his senses reflexively picked out the nameless late - and the four intact skeletons lying around the wreck.
”We are here, Ruka. And the ship’s name is the Kaijitsu’s Blossom. It appears that, at one point, your grandfather and father owned at least one sailing ship. Of more urgent concern, however, is the fact there are 4 intact skeletons lying about the ship. We should prepare for more walking bones.”
"Wait, the shipwreck in the swamp was your family's ship, Ruka? That is amazing! Who knows what we'll find inside!"
Upon hearing about the skeletons, Lor-Sinn sobers up a little. "Alright, let me go in front. The rest of you have taken plenty of wounds so far."
Ruka instinctively opens her mouth to protest, then closes it again.
"When working with a group, you cannot protect everyone at the same time, and you cannot take responsibility for someone else’s decision."
She can't deny that Lor-Sinn is healthier than her right now. Not with the lingering stiffness from where the skeleton's claws had slashed across her chest.
"Okay. You take the front. I'll be right behind you."
Slight change to the normal marching order as we approach the skeletons.
When they finally stood before the collection of rotting timber that used to be a boat, Samton's aching muscles had him feeling every bit as dilapidated as the wreck. Anxious not to be a burden on the others, he had tried to keep up with the more physically capable members of the group on as direct a route as he had managed to map; this had not agreed with his stamina. With his daily routine mostly involving sitting down for work and then sitting down for study, the wizard wasn't exactly built for overland treks.
But now, panting into the marsh, he didn't particularly care - results were all that mattered, he thought as Kajiwara revealed the ship's name to be Kaijitsu's Blossom. So, there really was some connection between the wreck, the caves, the skeletons and... whatever it was Rokuro Kaijitsu's letter meant. And on the topic of skeletons:
"Be careful, Ms Imass."
Sam eyed the remains with worry. Would these too animate to strike at the party? He held up the vial through which he amplified his one offensive spell; the acid would burn through bone as surely as it would flesh.
Not sure if positioning allows it, but if possible Sam preps a readied ranged attack at a skeleton should they rise.
Ruka let's Lor-Sinn move to the front as she leads the party closer into the wreckage of the ship. The marshy ground is soggy under their feet as they advance with a sploshing sound, the four skeletons animate as expected. Taking their feat the party quickly notices that while the last batch of skeletons was unarmed, these each pull a rusty wakizashi from their rib cages that rattle across their bones.
R1: Ruka, Poppy, Skellies, Lor-Sinn, Asuka, Samton, Kajiwara
Init: Ruka: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
Init: Kajiwari: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Init: Poppy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
Init: Asuka: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Init: Lor-Sinn: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
Init: Samton: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Init: Skellies: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
Ruka isn't the slightest bit surprised to see that these skeletons are moving too. She is surprised when they pull wakizashi from their own ribs.
Wait, did they stab each other to death? How did the wakizashi get in there otherwise? Or do they just use their rib cages as convenient sheathes?
...Never mind that, it doesn't matter!
Determined not to repeat the mistakes of the earlier engagement, Ruka is the first to move. She circles around behind the skeleton closest to Poppy and Sam, pulling out her flail as she goes. Holding it in both hands, she viciously swings it at the skeleton.
L. Flail: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
B. Damage: 1d8 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
This time she moves a little too quickly, and the flail swings harmlessly over the skeleton's head while it's still getting up. I really, really need more practice with this thing.
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Poppy had spent the trip mostly in silence, a stoney glare painted across her face. She bounced along on Arti's back thankful her small size afforded her the opportunity to avoid the slog. Judging by poor Sam's appearance and struggle, this had been the right call. She'd have to remember to add mollasses and apples to Arti's next meal for being so helpful. To any outside observers, one could presume that Poppy was struggling internally with some drastic concern. Was it a moral issue regarding the occupation of adventurers in general? Was it regarding her recent brush with death? Or perhaps the momentous discovery of lost family members and a growing mystery surrounding the Kaijutsu family?
Hmmm, Should the bones be made into Broth Gravy or Stew Stock? Maybe bonemeal for garden? Decisions, decisions...
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
Knowledge Engineering: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Poppy marveled at the ship, despite the fact that it had seen far better days. From what she could make out, it's design was quite different than the ship's she had seen previously, though she'd only ever sailed once or twice in her life and there was very little left to detail differences with any degree of certainty.
At the sight of more Skellys facing their group down, Poppy slide out her knife and positioned herself defensively behind Sam and the frontliners in the hopes of avoiding another sucking chest wound. Passing by Lor-Sinn, she grazes her armor, providing a little magical support as Poppy was depleted of her more heavy magics.
Scrunching up her face in a mocking fashion, she hissed out a goading call to their boney opponents. "Pleaze, do not mind us, ve are boat inspectors and The Blossom iz long overdue. Do you have necessary paperwork?"
Guidance on Lor-Sinn and moving by Sam.
The skeleton response to Poppy's question is nothing more than a chattering of teeth. Two skeletons draw towards Ruka and as they close in she can see remnants of Tien armor and scraps of clothing tearing free from their bones. The two blades swipe towards her, but they are literally too rusty in their attack to make the strike connect as they both end up missing.
Two more skeletons move down towards Lor-Sinn and Kajiwara. The paladin successfully avoids the first strike and unfortunately Kajiwara is caught flatfooted with nowhere to move when he tries to scoot back and bumps into Samton. The samurai blade slices into his right shoulder 1d6 ⇒ 1.
R1: Skellies, Lor-Sinn, Asuka, Samton, Kajiwara R2: Ruka, Poppy
Attack!: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
Attack!: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Attack!: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
Attack!: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
"We shall put you to rest, brave warriors. Do not resist our just cause." Lor-Sinn sidesteps and circles around her opponent, further distracting it from Ruka, who is again being assailed by foes. Holding her longsword in both hands, she swings it almost like a club, aiming to separate the skeleton's skull from its spine.
Attack, Guidance: 1d20 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 2 + 1 = 18 Damage, slashing: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
Eenie meenie miney... Kajiwara.
It was an odd sensation the monk experienced, first feeling the sting of the rusty blade cutting into his shoulder only to then have his muscles bulge outwards almost to the point of the poor skeleton having some trouble retrieving its blade. The latter effect came from Samton at his back, taking the opportunity of the two bumping together to impart Kajiwara with just the magical boost he might need to repay the undead in turn.
Giving Kajiwara +2 Str for a round, then backing away.
Kaji felt the scratch of the wakizashi, realizing he was fortunate it wasn’t in a more inconvenient spot. These skeletons are quick on the attack. I must be more alert in the future.
Kaji then feels Sam empower his muscles magically, and he tries not to waste the boost by carefully targeting the skeleton’s torso.
Using Perfect Strike on this attack.
Attack: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Perfect Strike Reroll: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17
Damage: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Asuka keeps her sword sheathed and rushes up to the main gaggle of skeletons, setting up a flank with Lor-sinn and clawing at the offending skeleton.
Claw Attack (flank) vs Blue: 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 4 + 2 = 8
Damage: 1d3 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Poppy runs forth and continues her campaign of motivational magics, tapping Kaji with a forefinger before skipping around Samton, effectively circling him. Seeing how her group were largley throwing down serious damage at the skellys, she piped up with, "At this rate, ve'll have effectively dispatched more skeletonz than goblinz! I feel bad for stealing vork from other adventurerz!"
Drive by Guidance on Kaji and move arnd to behind Sam.
Ruka narrows her eyes at the skeleton that had evaded her. It's fully standing now, slightly overextended from its attempt to hit her, sternum exposed.
L. Flail, ST: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 5 + 1 = 20
B. Damage, ST: 1d8 + 6 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 6 + 1 = 8
As the skeleton falls, she neatly steps over it to help distract the other skeleton from Asuka.
Move action to Study Yellow.
Standard action to Attack.
I'm assuming that kills it, so then I'll 5 foot step into its square.
In the blink of an eye the threat of four undead skeletons is nearly brought to an end. Ruka, Lor-Sinn and Kajiwara demonstrate their battle prowess with quick strikes that take down three of the four undead warriors. Only the skeleton between Ruka and Asuka remains and it swipes it's rusty blade at the tengu's left side, but misses.
R2: Skellies, Lor-Sinn, Asuka, Samton, Kajiwara R3: Ruka, Poppy
Attack Asuka: 1d20 ⇒ 14
The skeleton before him no more, Kajiwara circled to come at the skeleton from its side, striking to eliminate it with Poppy's magical guidance.
Unarmed Strike, Guidance: 1d20 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 + 1 = 22
Confirm?: 1d20 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 + 1 = 16
Bludgeoning Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Critical Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Poppy's magical guidance may have been greatly beneficial to him.
As the bones of the last skeleton clatter to the ground, Lor-Sinn stands beaming at her companions. "Great form, everyone! We are starting to fight like a unit." They had all been very effective, with the ones less trained in combat enhancing the front-line warriors and staying out of harm's way.
"Ruka, shall we bury these ones as well? Do you think they may rise again, in time? Or perhaps their duty is fulfilled, now that a descendant of the Kaijitsus is here!" Perhaps Asuka's fanciful tales were beginning to rub off on her, but she likes to imagine the souls of the warriors now finally at peace after guarding priceless heritage until the rightful heir comes along.
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The young wizard was hunched down and observing one of the skeleton's rusted blades, noting the decidedly eastern design of the weapon. Yup, definitely related to this Kaijitsu business, as if the boat bearing the family name hadn't already confirmed as much. It was odd though -
"Ruka, shall we bury these ones as well? Do you think they may rise again, in time? Or perhaps their duty is fulfilled, now that a descendant of the Kaijitsus is here!"
Samton wasn't particularly knowledgeable about necromancy, not outside the study of the mortal form. But he did know magic. And he hadn't seen anything to indicate the dark arts so far. Which meant that Lor-Sinn could very well be right: these skeletons were rising from their soggy grave out of duty. Or at least despair at some duty unfulfilled. Which was odd. Because what could compel so many people to such loyalty that their very bones felt obliged to serve in undeath?
He looked to Ruka. Sam was aware that honor carried great weight in Minkai culture, or Tien culture as a whole - Kajiwara served as ample living proof - but this? Tsutamu alone, seemingly some sort of trusted confidant, would be understandable, but to have all these people so deathly loyal? Surely this was... anomalous?
Then again, what did he know? The cartographer rubbed at what remained of his scrape. Maybe there was some inherent negative energy to the marsh. Maybe they all carried a curse. Maybe a lot of things. He shouldn't pretend to be any more knowledgeable than he was, and Samton was just smart enough to be fully aware of his own ignorance. Perhaps Asuka's stories had gotten to him; he was seeing conspiracies where there were none. Best to do what they had come here for and then leave. And with this in mind, he carefully approached the shipwreck to see if there was anything to learn from it.
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Immediately getting his foot stuck in a boggy stretch of swamp, however, Sam found nothing whatsoever. Too concerned with looking foolish in front of the group, he said nothing and pretended to survey the wreck whilst really surreptitiously trying to free himself.
Ruka shifts from her combat stance and nods. "I would like to bury them, if we have time. Hopefully they can move on from whatever kept them here."
With the skeletons dispatched, she starts picking her way through the remains of the ship. The Kaijitsu Blossom...Father never mentioned anything about owning a ship. Although from the date on the letter, this must have been sunk long before I was born.
Would it be possible to Take 20 on searching the ship, or is it too late in the day to spend that kind of time?
Poppy went to kick some of the bones and say something witty in celebration of the groups success, but stopped when the talk of burial surfaced and thought better of it.
Maybe I should put the bones I took, back..., she thought, but did not act on.
Poppy contemplated which group she should assist, but decided to help search the ship as she lacked the strength to provide much aid in that area. However she thought the group might appreciate a midday snack and set a fire a little further up the beach, but still within sight of the others and set to work crafting baked parmesan tomatoes in her miniature iron oven.
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Alchemy: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (12) + 11 = 23
Use this perception if we can't take a twenty.
Ruka and Poppy can tell that this boat his been here a long, long time. They discover a verdigris-encrusted nameplate that reads Kaijitsu’s Blossom.
One would assume that the boat likely had crashed around the same time that the note was written that they found in the blade inside of the cave. Most of the wood is rotten to the touch and whatever treasures once were here have long since been looted or lost. The only things of value at all are the four rusty blades from the skeletons you dispatched.
Asuka runs through some stretches, less because she thinks she needs to limber up and more to give her something to do with all her excess nervous energy. ”I’m happy to help bury the dead.”
Kaji was disappointed. He had hoped that the wreckage of the boat would provide answers. Instead, it left them with only more questions. Perhaps Ameiko would know more - or perhaps there was something in Kaijitsu manor that would know more, as well. "Let's dig these men some graves."
Once they finish digging the graves, Kajiwara looks over the rusty blades, seeing if there are any kind of identifying markings on them or anything like that that might provide more answers, or if they are even repairable.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
Are the rusty wakizashis actually of value, or would we be better off burying them with the skeletons?
Ruka is disappointed by the lack of answers at the Kaijitsu Blossom.
What were you expecting? A second letter explaining everything that somehow survived?
That would have been nice.
She digs the graves quickly and neatly, reflecting that she's getting rather good at this. Gravedigging isn't a skill she particularly wanted to pick up, but it seems she has anyway. She's quiet while she digs.
Makeshift burials concluded, she looks around at her companions. "I guess we're done? We ended the goblin threat, destroyed the walking bones before they could become a threat, and mapped out most of the marsh. Is there anything else we need to do, or can we go back to Sandpoint?"
She's tired, both physically and emotionally. It's been a very hard two days. I'm ready to go home.