|Dr. Zephyrus Vitruvian|
Venture-Captain Shevar Besnik leans against the wall of a private
room in the Dryad’s Blessing Inn. With him is Ollysta Zadrian,
dressed in gleaming full plate bearing the holy symbol of Sarenrae.
She waits for everyone to get settled before reciting a brief prayer.
Her eyes are serious, but she wears a slight smile on her face.
Shevar Besnik speaks first. “I’d like to begin by thanking you all
for being here. The mission we have for you will be dangerous, but
it is vitally important to the people of Lastwall and the Pathfinder
Society. However, I am not the one coordinating this mission. For
those of you who do not already know her, allow me to present
Ollysta Zadrian, leader of the Silver Crusade, and the second-most
intimidating Sarenite I’ve ever known.”
Ollysta places her helmet on the table. “Thank you, Shevar.
Pathfinders, welcome to Three Pine’s Ford. We need you to recover
an object from an ancient and most holy temple, the Bastion of
Light. The relic in question is a helmet that rests somewhere
within the temple, likely within a fountain. The Bastion of Light
lies in the village of Roslar’s Coffer, northwest of here. The village
is small, but its people are strong and friendly.”
Ollysta pauses to close her eyes. Taking a deep breath, she says,
“The Bastion was a beautiful place used by Sarenite clerics during
the Shining Crusade. They devised incredible rituals and brought
many crusaders back from the brink of undeath. The helmet that
we ask you to recover may have belonged to a powerful captain
of the Shining Crusade, but unfortunately our histories have shed
little light on its owner’s identity.”
Ollysta begins to pace in front of the table, “There is a
complication. The Bastion of Light was claimed some eleven years
ago by a creature known as a red reaver. The beast guards the
Bastion fiercely and has killed or chased off all other would-be
heroes, looters, and soldiers who have approached it. Please
exercise caution, Pathfinders. The red reaver has become stronger
every year, and it will not hesitate to kill you. Recover the helmet,
and find a way to rid Roslar’s Coffer of the red reaver. Another
Pathfinder in the area named Gorm Greathammer has been
studying the Shining Crusade and knows more.”
How has the reaver become so strong?
already a fearsome beast when it arrived in Roslar’s Coffer,
but I suspect that it has developed a bond with some of the
crusaders’ ritual sites and relics within the Bastion of Light.
You would do well to see if you can sever that connection, but
take care to not harm the things you find there. Though it has
been abandoned for some time, it is still a holy place and we
are eager to restore it once the reaver is removed.”
Why is the red reaver drawn to the Bastion of Light?
“The red reaver is drawn to things that it finds beautiful. It
jealously guards those things it finds, and it will do anything
to keep you out of its territory. Perhaps you may be able to use
Shevar adds “Yes. I suppose it’s a shame I won’t be joining
you then, eh, Pathfinders?” Ollysta glares at him in response.
its fascination against it.”
What is the significance of the helmet?
There are many stories about the helmet, but unfortunately none of them
can be verified. Some say the helmet belonged to a powerful
captain of the Shining Crusade who fell in battle before the
end of the war. Others say it belonged to a soldier corrupted
by the Whispering Tyrant. Some even claim that the helmet
was gifted to Arazni by Sarenrae herself. There are even more
outlandish tales as well. The helmet is at the very least unique
and sacred, but it could also be very powerful.”
How will we reach Roslar’s Coffer?
this question. “You will travel up the Tourondel River. Roslar’s
Coffer is some one hundred and fifty miles northwest of
here. Arrangements have been made to provide you with safe
transport upriver via boat or horse, your choice. You should
reach the village within three days if you set a steady pace.
Sooner if I get you the really good horses.” Shevar delivers
the last sentence with a sardonic smirk intended to make the
listener question what “getting the really good horses” might
entail, though in truth Shevar has already requisitioned the
horses for the party.
Are there any other dangers in the area aside from the red
area. We suspect they are part of the Twisted Nail tribe, so avoid
them if possible. Any noise is likely to draw the attention of
the red reaver. We suspect that the orcs are there to coerce the
red reaver to ally with them. Though it is unlikely that they
would succeed in negotiating with the beast, their shamans
may be able to twist its mind to their whims. I can’t imagine
the devastation it could bring to the region.”
What about any other treasure in the Bastion of Light?
at the expense of history or the people of Roslar’s Coffer.
This mission stands to right a serious wrong and win back
a holy site. Anything you find within the Bastion should be
considered the property of the church and left where it is.”
Shevar interrupts to add, “If you come across anything that
might help you deal with the red reaver, use it. I’d rather not
have to go over this briefing with another group.”
An Ulfen man wearing a mithral breastplate and carrying a shield greets his fellow pathfinders. " I am Ograk, a shaman of Pharasma and a pathfinder. If you'll accept the lady's blessing upon you. I should be able to keep you out of the boneyard today. She lets me twist the threads of fate to forestall your untimely demise for a short while, but she always gets her due regardless. For our enemies, my meddling on their fate threads will be far less benign."
He continues after the briefing "Pharasma approves of stopping undeath, so you've made a wise choice. " He goes through the questions back and forth to find out more about the Red Reaver, the Bastion of Light, and any other threats. He then adds " It seems straightforward enough, go deal with this creature, recover the helmet, and return here. If the fates agree, perhaps we'll get through this in one piece.
Just as the briefing is about to get underway, you hear a commotion coming from outside the Dryad's Blessing. Through a window, you can see a silver-haired elven woman berating a very large and magnificent-looking (recognizably celestial) wolf with grey fur. She throws what appears to be a piece of meat onto the ground between them, which the wolf looks at pointedly before ignoring it.
Leaving the wolf outside, she tromps into the inn, growling about the encounter. ”Fussy eater. Ever since I started reading to him from The Acts...” The woman wears a holy symbol of Iomedae about her neck, which sits just on top of her mithral chain shirt. A longsword hangs from her belt and she wears a short bow and a quiver on her back. Her clothing appears well taken care of, although worn from years of use.
Her mood lightens considerably as she makes her way to the private room and greets Ollysta Zadrian. ”I'm Tessaviri Erisanthe,” she introduces herself, extending her hand for a firm shake. ”Tessa is fine if you like. The runt outside is Karogo. It looks like the two of us will be working with you.”
After Ollysta asks for any additional questions, waiting for answers before she proceeds to the next question:
”You said that the Red Reaver has been in the Bastion for eleven years. Aside from prior failures, why are we launching the expedition now? Is there a recent need for the helmet?”
”Do we know anything about what this Red Reaver is?”
”Do we have any information about the layout of the Bastion of Light? Do we know where the beast lairs inside?”
Are there any knowledge checks for us to make?
Narayan approaches the group with his teeth bared in a grin that's... unsettling, but entirely heartfelt.
His jaw juts out over a very short neck, which with his broad shoulders gives him a somewhat squat appearance even though he stands comfortably over 6' tall. His clothing is simple and roughspun, but he has an small cache of various magical implements hung at his belt.
"Hello friends, I am Narayan Ssingh. I am not learned in the ways of ssuch beassts. Is there a traditional way to rid the village of the Reaver without violencce?"
Tessaviri shrugs at Narayan's question. Clearly she didn't have a nonviolent solution to the Red Reaver in mind. "That would depend on what type of creature the Red Reaver is, I suppose. Given what we've been told of its obsessions and territorial nature I wouldn't expect a negotiation to work, but I suppose we should keep all options on the table."
From one of the dark corners of the room, a small wayang pipes up, From Mistress Zadrian's and Besnik's description, I do not think this red reaver can be reasoned with. For this hunt, what sort of creature is a red reaver anyway?
Which knowledges should we roll?
Before you stands a short, yet solidly built, small creature in mostly dark clothes, but a noticeably finer cloak and hat. Strapped to his back are 2 swords and a bow. Below the cloak and strapped to his waist are several quivers with a variety of arrows.
Since it is specific to a creature, can I use the shaman lore ability Monstrous Insight?
Ograk agrees,” If the wolf hunts beside you, then you feed and nurture him, but if instead he kills your Yak, you return the favor. It sounds like this is a powerful menace beyond reasoning. ”
Narayan stretches his fang-filled mouth wide. "I do not think negotiation is the only path. Binding or luring perhapss? It ssounds mosst formidable; you would not have requessted that we find a way to rid oursselves of it if it were as ssimple as blades and fisstss."
|Dr. Zephyrus Vitruvian|
Knowledge (Arcana): 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (8) + 22 = 30 What do I know?
At about this time, you begin to notice a series of crashing and thudding sounds from somewhere beyond your room. They rapidly get louder, and closer, until (all but literally) bursting through the door arrives an Elf, with straw-blond hair and eyes like oval walls of polished ice, and clad in immaculate white clothing, a brace of traditional (if of a somewhat macabre aesthetic) Elven weapons, and a large black bag hanging heavily at his side; he looks, as they say, like death warmed over, an impression conspicuously at odds with his frenetic movements.
"Please pardon my late arrival," He gasps as he jumps atop the far edge of the conference table and performs a rapid series of pushups before taking a (proper) seat. "...Circumstances." He says after a moment's stony pause.
He reaches into his bag and calmly (if with a bit of a tremble) pulls out a notebook thicker than his own wrist, and a pen.
"I am sorry," He continues in an eerily tranquil voice. "Allow me to introduce myself: Dr. Zephyrus Vitruvian, University of Lepidstadt."
Coincidentally, as soon as he says this, a powerful and very sudden lightning strike can be seen and heard not far away.
Ograk scans the elf up and down with his healer’s eye. He addresses him,” You be looking not quite ready for a mission. Maybe you need some rest, healing... or maybe just a sandwich before we head out... I can offer you Pharasma’s blessings, but that will do little for your current state of exhaustion.”
Did any PC not accept my blessing?
Tessa is probably ready to go. Just waiting on the results of that Arcana check.
Life Link is fine on her and Karogo.
A tall--6'2" to be exact--woman wearing the distinctive gray and red plate of a Gray Maiden steps forward, a warm glow escaping from the eyeslits and from the interlock of plates. She carries a banner of a scarlet rose upon a silver field that fans in a phantom wind. She removes her helmet. Her light brown skin has a touch of yellow, and her hair is a—probably dyed—sanguine red pageboy style. Her face and neck are covered in scars at various points of healing, some jagged and angry and others careful and macabre in their beauty. Either way, every single scar is done-over with tattoos that glow warm and marigold, their light growing and dimming with her each breath. The tattoos follow the shapes of the scars closely, not hiding them, but rather highlighting them.
”First Sergeant Sayna Asenath Elantho, Scarlet Rose Company, Eagle Knight, and all that bother. By what little honor the Gray Maidens still have to our name, I will do my utmost to protect you all from harm on our mission.” Her voice is warm and deep and only carries the smallest dash of an Osriani accent, having spent too long away from her homeland. She smiles once again in that same easy, confident way that comes so naturally to her.
She graciously accepts Ograk’s blessing, then kneels before the leader of the Silver Crusade. ”Though I may fight at the side of Liberty and not the Crusade, know that I bear the utmost of respect and admiration for you, Lady Ollysta.” She kisses Ollysta’s hand. ”Consider me ever at your service, My Lady, even for the most discrete of tasks.” Sayna’s eyebrow raise and slight smirk suggest what she might actually mean by “discrete tasks.”
The distracting display of the elf alchemist evokes a frown. What is it with men and always butting in at the worst moment? And an academic at that, ugh. Perhaps the years spent as slave to a would-be intellectual Hellknight or the strutting about of Acadamae students throughout Korvosa or a mixture of both, but she has learned to be wary of men of learning. At least this one was from one of the Acadamae’s rivals.
She lets out a sigh. She really was spoiled living with her Sisters.
Think we’re good to move forward. Still want to know if Monstorous Insight works on knowledge checks about a creature (when we heard about it), and Zephyrus rolled a 30 on his Arcana for it. Also, knowing that we're facing a single BBEG makes is making me evaluate tactics. During our boat ride I'll transfer my Evil Eye and Chant hexes to Maka so he can be super heroic once and help me land a misfortune on the Red Reaver, before returning to spend the rest of the adventure in his familar satchel.
ok you head out to the village of ROSLAR’S COFFER
@Ograk it's a variant red reaver. You get one question. Insight is ok
week old and move toward the village and into the Fangwood.
Knowledge History check Re Village
a proper town, but it suffered greatly after it was invaded by
orcs more than a decade ago. The arrival of the red reaver
helped drive the orcs away, but because many are unable to
return to their old homes, the village now contains scarcely
more than 400 people.
and religious ritual site. The histories mention powerful rites
performed on fallen crusaders within the Bastion, and some
say the Sarenite clerics found a way to cleanse undeath from
a corrupted soldier. The Bastion of Light was also notable for
its intricate stained-glass windows depicting Sarenrae and her
avatars. When Roslar’s Coffer was invaded by orcs, the Bastion
was burned but, much to the amazement of the villagers, it
remained standing. Out of fear of retribution from Sarenrae,
the orcs left the great windows intact, and on most days the
rising sun brightly illuminates the interior.
incredibly powerful, providing the healing energy that infuses
the font. During the Shining Crusade, wounded soldiers told
stories of their wounds being washed away “like so much
mud” when immersed in the waters of the font.
the monastery’s wonders, the Bastion of Light holds other
shrines and ritual sites meant to confer blessings of strength
and vitality to crusaders and pilgrims. Many involve testing
one’s knowledge of or devotion to Sarenrae. Up until the orc
invasion, most of these ritual sites were still intact. Though
the state of them is now unknown, some may still be usable.
once you get there
The village of Roslar’s Coffer lies ahead. Along the shore of
the river stands the busy but quiet fishery. Several abandoned
buildings on the edge of the town are adorned with red ribbons,
most worn and stained with time. Very little in the village appears
to be recently built, and many houses appear to be in disrepair.
Interspersed amongst the ribbon-adorned trees and buildings,
hand-painted signs dot the roadways and alleys warning travelers
to go no farther.
Sayna has a boon from Mummy's Mask book 3 that gives her an extra 1d4+1 on a knowledge skill of her choice, and she has chosen Knowledge (history)
Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 6 + 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 6 + (1) + 1 = 22
Sayna shares the info in the 15+ and 20+ categories
Sayna sighs as she sees how empty the town is. She flicks a gauntleted finger against one of the warning signs. "And here I was hoping for a big parade to celebrate our arrival. Ah, well." She smiles playful.
Sayna pauses to cast a spell with a few words. Heightened Awareness for 20 minutes. It doesn't have somatic components so her armor's spell failure chance doesn't affect it. She never discharges her HA, preferring to keep the skill bonuses
She then taps herself with a wand. Longstrider
UMD: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (4) + 19 = 23
Narayan flashes a fangy grin at Sayna's bravado, and likewise prepares for potential peril with a brief bit of meditation, and quick uses of some of his wands.
Barkskin SLA, (and technically Ki Leech SLA, but since it lasts 10 minutes a pop and can be used at-will, I generally just assume it's up unless dispelled)
UMD: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (11) + 18 = 29 Mage Armor
UMD: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (18) + 18 = 36 Heightened Awareness
"I hope that we are not too late."
Aha, that reminded me to use her longstrider wand, danke
Survival: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (13) + 15 = 28 +5 more for tracking - for future Survival rolls if tracking is related can we get that notation on the check?
"Orcs are in the area. Less than a week ago. They headed into the forest near the village," she says, pointing in the direction of travel. "Maybe they wanted to avoid notice. That would be good news for the village. Be on guard."
Since we're putting up spells, Tessaviri casts Greater Magic Fang on Karogo and Barkskin on both herself & her wolf. (Asking nicely to have Karogo lower his spell resistance first.) She has more spells available if people need them. I think we have a lot of Barkskin in this party, though.
Before exiting the boat Ograk tells everyone,” Gather round, I’ll ward you from harmful miasmas” 3 hours of life bubble for all PCs, 5 hours for me. I’ll also put barkskin, magic vestment, overland flight, and heightened awareness on myself. I will use heightened awareness if we get into a fight
Sayna has an amulet of natural armor +1, but she would still get a net +2 from barkskin at this CL, which would get her at a starting AC of 30 before challenge
Sayna taps Tessaviri on the shoulder. ”Dear Tessa—is Tessa alright?—would you happen to have another one of those spells that turns your skin to bark? I’m always happy for a lovely lady to lend me more protection, and I’ll do the same for her.”
Just lemme know if her being flirty is too much and i’ll tone it down or stop as necessary!
Sayna: I don't mind as a player.
Tessaviri raises an eyebrow at Sayna's request. "May the light of the Inheritor keep you safe," she says as she casts Barkskin on Sayna. This is a +4 AC Barkskin at CL 10, so even better than you were saying!
With all this spellcasting, I hope that we're within range of our destination! It's fair anyway, though, given sign of orcs in the area.
"I don't think the orcs change anything about our mission, though. They aren't attacking the village at the moment anyway. Let's go seek out Gorm Greathammer."
Absent any objections, she begins riding her wolf into the village.
A villager shouts out "Greathammer is in the Toothless pike!"
assuming that you head there!
The Toothless Pike is grey and quiet. A handful of patrons sit
hunched over ales and ciders, waiting for plates of fish cakes
frying in the kitchen. A dwarf sits at a long table near the fireplace,
stacks of parchments, scrolls, and a great tome arranged neatly
around him and a great, green cloak hung on the back of his chair.
“Pathfinders! I’m glad you’ve arrived. I received word from
Ollysta that you’d be coming. I understand you’re on your way to
the Bastion of Light. I don’t envy you. That red reaver is one hell
of a brute, and you should all be very careful. It’s much larger than
it should be, and while it isn’t smart, it has very keen senses. I’ll
do what I can to help you, though. I’ve drawn a rough map based
on a few records and accounts passed along by the villagers here.”
“You’ll see that the helmet is likely in the font at the back of the
Bastion. When you have it and the red reaver is defeated, please
return it to me. I’ve done some research, and I think I might be
able to learn something about the helmet’s original owner if I can
examine it personally.”
“Now, I’m certain that the red reaver has been affected by
the healing font and that undoing that connection will weaken
it, but I suspect a connection with some of the other ritual sites
and artifacts in the Bastion as well. Once you make it inside, see
what you can find. I’m sure there are still a few ritual sites from
the Shining Crusade that can aid you, should you show the same
qualities and behaviors as the folk the the Bastion was built for.”
Ograk replies,” Good thinking about weakening the beast, if we can manage to do a ritual before it tries to eat us. Any suggestion on how to get inside without first defeating the Red Reaver? Also, how far is it to the Bastion from here? After putting up his magical wards Ograk is eager to get to the Bastion.
I haven't been able to take a look yet, but it sure sounds like the Bastion is big enough for us to go inside and not immediately meet tge Reaver.
"You said that the Reaver is bigger than it should be. Do you know what kind of creature it is?"
Knowledge (arcana) w/heightened awareness: 1d20 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 6 + 2 = 21
If that’s enough to ID the creature, Sayna would want to know of any weaknesses
Sayna taps the wand of invisibility on her belt. ”Though I am a knight, there is nothing that says I cannot be surreptitious. Should we need it to sneak in, this wand of invisibility can work seven more times.”
The dwarf turns to Ograk "You might try sneaking in? Not sure if you're up to it. As to the Bastion, it's about six hours on foot from here"
Then to Tessaviri "It's some kinda of magical beast or something I think"
To the party he says "Here this will help! It's the Bastion"
He hands you rolled map of what looks like a church. up on slide 2
Ograk contemplates,” We’re in no rush right? If we really want to sneak past it, I could prepares to facilitate that, say by making us all invisible tomorrow.
I could prepare invisibility sphere. That plus silence and maybe if someone else can cast negate aroma should get us past all major methods of detection. Of course we could always give up on stealth too, since I at least am not stealthy
"I don't think we can leave the Bastion in the hands of those orcs we saw. We were warned about that earlier."
If not everyone is comfortable with a Stealth plan, let's just go now. We're not going to fain much by waiting a day.
I’m happy with stealth if that’s the preference, but I’m also just as good going in the more forceful way, too
Sayna leans back against the wall. ”I just broke a bunch of people out of prison in Galt without getting caught. Sneaking around this Red Reaver sounds doable.”
I’m fine heading to the Bastion. Invisibility sphere isn’t necessary.
Ograk concurs,” I suppose if we wait another day we may find a looted Bastion by orcs, best to get there today”
I have a 20+ stealth and can vanish 3ish times per day, so stealth is very doable. Anyone have issues with stealth?
I'm good to get there today, and when we get in the vicinity, let's scout the area for the best approach to the fort.
Ograk's base stealth is -2, so while I don't have an issue with it, I'm not exactly stealthy, even when invisibile.
|Dr. Zephyrus Vitruvian|
I believe we are STILL waiting for the fruit of my Knowledge (Arcana) roll.
I think the GM said that you have one question, speaking of which I suppose Ograk should make his roll from that day. Ograk always wants to know about special attacks (in particular AoE effects).
cleromancy: 10d4 ⇒ (1, 1, 2, 1, 3, 2, 4, 3, 1, 3) = 21
Knowledge: arcana: 1d20 + 5 + 4 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 5 + 4 + 10 = 38
|Dr. Zephyrus Vitruvian|
I thought maybe he was referring to your own roll when he said that.
Alright, DM: Special attacks?
Dr. Vitruvian (who had been marathon-running much of the way here, and by now appears to no longer have cheeks so much as tatami walls for his jaws) begins rummaging through his ever-present ominous big black bag. The first thing he pulls out is what looks like a black wafer or flattened rum ball, which he consumes...
false life: 1d10 + 9 ⇒ (1) + 9 = 10
...followed by some kind of fibrous-textured scrap of dark peanut brittle and a little gelatinous bead that looks like a cat's-eye marble, washed down with a small phial of lambent, bordering-on-vaporous blue liquid.
Reaching back in, he extracts a soft-textured, bright green cylinder of some sort of dry paste; this, he offers to Ograk. "If it gets too dim for you to see, stick this deep in your nose, and it should sublimate and spread via your sinus cavity momentarily. Field testing thus far has demonstrated that it might not fully sublimate, but will still serve its purpose. In that event, however, I would advise avoiding shellfish and highly salted foods for at least 12 hours afterward."
Next, he plucks out what looks like a silvery walnut, which he presents to Adulese. "Eat this should one of you find yourself in a position where you can more afford a moment than a miss. Don't be concerned, it's softer than it looks."
He does not stop with that, reaching again into his bag, and this time pulling out a thin ampoule of effervescent pink syrup with a sour-sweet scent. This he offers to Narayan, to whom he instructs, "Contained within is a means to protect your vital organs - or perhaps it is better to say, a means for your vital organs to protect themselves. It may cause any number of strange sensations, but they should be harmless in the long term."
Next to receive the good(???) Doctor's ministrations is Sayna, to whom he offers a phial of glittery bluish-white sludge, topped with an oddly-shaped copper stopper. "See this end? Before battle, you need only strike it against your midsection - and when you do, I recommend going for the mail portions of your armor, not the plates - and your body and armor shall carry a dangerous electrical charge...but not to you, I mean." He adds after a moment's pause. "I can attest personally to the efficacy of this one."
He reaches into his bag again, this time with a subtle air of finality, and withdraws what looks more than anything else like a stout green churro, or perhaps schnitzel, which he hands off to Tessaviri. "You will find this useful in the thick of melee. It shall cause you to grow massive thorns...although only for a very limited amount of time, I regret to say."
Tessaviri looks at the bottle a bit dubiously. "Thank you, Doctor Vitruvian. I'll keep that one ready in case it is needed."
Ready to head out!
Narayan's skepticism is also plain to see, but he's accepted stranger help in the past...
Ready to go! though once we're reasonably close to the Bastion, Narayan does plan to re-buff a bit :-)
Ograk thanks Zephyrus, " I be keepin' that in reserve. Ever more than before, it looks like you need some bread, a boars leg, or anything before you fall over. Best be having something at the Toothless Pike."
He thinks to himself, It'll be a damned dark night before something gets shoved up my nose... So much cleaner to just ask the Lady O' Fate for blessings and recieve them.