Cyne grabs the mysterious doll with pointy ears on his hand, and shows it to Bowen.
This one is different. The fact that it was floating in a bowl of water made me remember of the sacrifices offered to Hanspur.
He hesitates for a moment, but sighs and tells Bowen what he's thinking.
Look, I don't know what's happening. This doll, or whatever it's supposed to be, keeps moving. I tried to detect magic on it but nothing seems out of the ordinary. If it isn't magic then what it Bowen?
For the first time since he left Hermea, he felt the primal fear of the unknown, which delves in every human. He did his best to hide it.
We... We should take this to the village and ask around, I'm starting to believe there's more to simple tourist attractions going with this Mosquito Witch deal.
"Hunters? Hunters for what exactly? Treasure? or the witch? And you mean we cannot leave? We might just put that theory to the test!"
"Hunters of the Witch. That golden half-elf was bold to call herself Hunter. But she seems to have been hunted"
He looks you over. "Has she touched you? Have you been seen by the red eyes? Do you have one of these tied to you" He holds up his paper doll. "If not. Run now, you are free of her pull!"
“They’ve all gone missing. And picks. Hammers. Rope. Lanterns too. Maybe it’s a thief? But maybe that’s what it wants me to think. There must be some significance... it’s probably staring me right in the face and I just. Can’t. Think of it!”
Ghostbiter starts thinking about what all of the things are for, "Dig, dig, build, climb, and burn--wait... longshanks... lanterns are for see. Longshanks have bad eyes and need fire to see."
She looks around. "Anywhere have caves? Deep places? Hide-y places?"
Arak tries to pay no heed to Ghostbiter suggestions, although they might hold a deeper wisdom that eludes the dwarf, and continues talking with the suddenly not so raving madman:"I see... I have not personally seen red eyes but my friend Cyne claimed he did. And now that you mention it the doll has been acting erratically actually. Disappearing. Moving from where it was supposed to be... That said me and my friends are here on duty. If you are faced with such evil we shall try to redeem it... or failing that to deal with it permanently. We might fail, yes, but we might also suceed. So, why not tell us whewre we can find this witch of yours? Worst case scenario we all disappear and your condition doesn't change but even if, against all odds, we suceed then you can be free again. Worth a try, no?"
stolen shovels, picks, hammers, rope, and lanterns? Someone is building or excavating something underground. Shimmerford road has "six and four" dead. That might be a good place to start looking.
Quintus rants a bit more. "Then you are found. Stay or go. She is here. You can try to find her. Follow your compass. Follow the River. Follow the road out. But she will follow you"
He seems to lose focus in talking to you and is muttering to his own doll.
At this point you have three major leads out to search for the Witch
* Witchtop Hill -- From Mrs. Lyons
* The missing hunter -- From Haru and Quintus
* Odd Compass issues -- From Qunitus.
While regrouping outside the Inn you hear a loud rumbling noise and high pitched screaming.
A carriage pulled by six horses tears down the road near Shimmerford at dangerous speeds, the animals driven wild by the biting bloodseekers—the bloodseekers themselves were not fast enough to keep up with the carriage and are not present, though the horses are clearly bleeding from numerous tiny wounds.
With out any intervention the carriage will crash and the current passengers may perish.
You are all near enough to do something. It looks like there are four passengers.
Run Away Carriage-- Current Time (0:00)Group conditions:
Ghostbiter - dmg;
Cyne - dmg;
Arak - dmg;
Yergi - dmg;
Mejarel - dmg
Bowen - dmg
I can attempt to get in front of the carriage horses and intimidate which might cause them to rear-back and stop. I've got Intimidating Glare so I don't necessarily need to them to understand.
Ghostbiter, who long ago turned her fear of horses into a simple hatred of horses, runs in front of the half dozen quadrupedal menaces and waves her greatclub in the air bellowing a mighty (for a goblin) roar.
Intimidate: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
In any case, Cyne rushes to the scene and casts Tanglefoot on the Horses, hoping to immobilize them on time!
Tanglefoot Spell Attack: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
"You are right Cyne, since we arrived at Shimmerford we were being creeped out with rarity after rarity. Specially those dolls."
Replied the ranger who agreed with his wizard partner to regroup with the others.
BACK IN THE INN
Bowen suddenly heared noises...galloping noises, as he got outside the ranger could see a carriage pulled by six horses running rampant and out of control, he watched his companions enter in action and he was not going to stay behind.
Dm, I want to calm down the horses, considering that bowen is a ranger and knows how to deal with animals, but i noticed that in Pathfinder there is no animal handling skill like in D&D 5e. I must roll Nature or Diplomacy?
Bowen -- the Handled Animal type actions are part of the Nature skill
Ghostbitter jumps in the way, and although panicking, the horses realize that the goblin is not something they want to trifle with. As they veer off to avoid the barbarian, one of the passengers is able to roll safely out of the carriage.
Arak then takes this opportunity to leap on the horses and grab their reins. Slowly the carriage down some more for another passenger to get out.
All right, Thank you Dm and Ghostbiter, considering Arak is already holding the reins i will help him to secure the control of the horses.
Bowen approaches to the runaway horses being held by Arak and shows a calm and relaxed posture, he makes low sounds to reassure them as he tries to pet their heads.
"shhhhh.....shhhhhh, easy, easy there".
Nature: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Cynes tanglefoot helps slow down the horses, and with Bowen's gentle words you are able to bring the carriage to a safe stop. Once accounted for the one of the passengers thanks you. "Here, this was left in a carriage when we got in, maybe it can be of use to you." Inside the bundle is some loose jewelry and a minor healing potion
At this point you have gotten the key clues from the village. Time to go out in to the woods. So Witchtop Hill, search for the missing Hunter, investigate the odd compass readings. Figure out where you want to start and then we will pick up Monday.
It's official, Ghostbiter can cure depression by just existing, that comment made my day XD. And about what route take, i'm actually intrigued for the search of the missing hunter, but i will take Witchtop hill as my second option.
I want to go look for the missing Hunter, honestly I'm intrigued about it and I already found Haru once so... If anyone wants to come with me, I'd be glad! By the way, I think Arak should take the Potion, he might be one of our strong frontlines.
I think we should start sticking together. We're now going places where people have disappeared or were killed. Hunter sounds fine. Let's do it. Someone RP us out the door and talk me down from killing horses.
Ghostbiter is right, better stick together and go to the missing hunter adventure, i also agree that Arak should take the potion.
At the suggestion of Ghostbiter, Bowen just sighed at his Goblin partner and her antics.
"No Ghostbiter, and for Erastil's sake put down that axe, we are not going to kill any horses."
From this point I am assuming as a group since you are heading out of town
You head out of town and quickly make out the path the Haru was following. You make your way though the woods and eventually come to a copse in the woods where compasses cease to function, with trees inscribed with creepy runes. When you arrive, however, they find pieces of the hunter’s gear and scraps torn from her red dress, but not the half-elf herself
You find old, pointed tracks in the ground and scraps of cloth in nearby branches that suggest the Hunter was dragged off and up into a tree. What’s more, while the tracks resemble those that would be left by the Mosquito Witch’s pointy feet, a creature of its reported size would be unlikely to take such close footsteps.
The runic message on the trees:
You realize that these symbols aren’t actually occult runes or a real language, just scribbles intended to look frightening.
Among the remains you find a short sword, a dagger, a lesser antidote, a suit of gold-plated half-plate armor, and vial of some inky black liquid that does detect as magical
Survival: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Ghostbiter puts her face nearly in the dirt and tiptoes around the copse of trees sniffing, tasting, and looking at everything. Eventually, she walks toward one of the trees.
"Hunter half-longshanks elf dragged this way!" She points up the tree. "Not quite the Mosquito Witch took her. Either wrong Mosquito Witch or Mosquito Witch smaller than stories. See feet marks." She shows the spot on the ground where there are what could easily be argued to be the footprints of the mosquito witch, but much too close together for something the size given in the tellings of the legend.
Question. Would the spacing be right for a gnome wearing mosquito witch tread shoes? Or for more human width? The two gnomes thing still bugs me.
Society to read the runes: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
While Ghostwalker is sniffing and inspecting the ground, Yergi ambles over to one of the trees and tries to parse out the runic symbols, "Can't say I've seen this type of run in my travels -- I can't make heads or tails of this. Cyne! You seem the well-read type; can you read this?"
Cyne gives a cocky smile and pats Yergi on his shoulder.
"Of course I can friend! Time to show you what we learn at Hermea when we're 8 of age.
Occultism: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
He scratches his head when he finally "translates" the glyphs.
"Well, it's no surprise you couldn't make any of it Yergi, these are just scribbles, possibly just to scare people off"
Cyne then takes a quick look of the scene and sighs.
"I just hope Miss Haru and Peaches are okay."
Arak stays with the others but keeps his silence... until Ghostbiter mentions the missing hunter:"Good job Ghostbiter! Let's follow those tracks. Perhaps there's a chance for us to save that unfortunate half elven maiden!"
Not much for Arak top contribute but for proceeding with the investigating the tracks
survival: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Bowen was silently following the tracks alongside with Ghostbiter, he was rather impressed with the survival skills of the goblin barbarian, however, after finding the belongings of Haru alongside with pieces of her clothes, Bowen gritted his teeth and frowned as he was thinking.
"That fool! She should have asked us help and don't go on her own."
The half-elf was worried for her safety, and those strange pointed tracks gave him a really bad feeling about whatever is the creature that kidnapped her, but right now, he needed to secure the terrain for his companions before follow the tracks where haru was dragged. Bowen broke his silence with a "shhhh" and spoke.
"Everyone stay quiet, find a place to hide and wait for me. I'm going to explore further and make sure we don't get ambushed."
All right! We can't start a woodland exploration without a Ranger! /o/. Dm, i want to use my background Feat of Survey Wildlife, and look if there are not more creatures apart of the one who dragged haru in the area and prevent a possible ambush and i want to go silently, so that means i will have to make a survival check, later a stealth check and in case that i have success in my survival check i can do a recall knowledge check?.
Leaving the info of the feat here.
You can study details in the wilderness to determine the presence of nearby creatures. You can spend 10 minutes assessing the area around you to find out what creatures are nearby, based on nests, scat, and marks on vegetation. Attempt a Survival check against a DC determined by the GM based on how obvious the signs are. On a success, you can attempt a Recall Knowledge check with a –2 penalty to learn more about the creatures just from these signs. If you’re a master in Survival, you don’t take the penalty.
So just a quick assessment. The area is mostly typical deciduous and temperate forest. However, the large presence of mosquitoes and bloodseekers have though the normal order out.
The tree does seem so have had something recently. Blood is on some branches, but no body is found.
Following the trail you Explore the woods.
Below is what I have for everyone's proffered Explore mode for now. If you want to do something else let me know
EXPLORING Shimmerford WoodsGroup conditions:
Ghostbiter Stealth- dmg;
Cyne Perception- dmg;
Arak Athletic - dmg;
Yergi Stealth - dmg;
Bowen Perception - dmg
Okay, I see Ghostbiter's initiative going by the following logic based on how long ago we were at the copse of trees:
I'll take GM discretion on which it is. =)
Bowen made signs with his hand to invite his companions to keep moving, he already secured the perimeter. As he was striding silently in the woods, the ranger suddenly noticed the blood in one of the trees but there was not a corpse. He frowned at the scene and proceeded with his exploration.
"Everyone stay alert and keep an eye on the tree tops, this place had been infested by mosquitoes and bloodseekers and for what i've seen their numbers increased abnormally, that's no good news for us."
I will keep my role of the watchman of the group with my perception skill.
You follow the trail from area copse and eventually hear the distressing noise of a dog howling in the woods. As you approach the clearing , you discover it’s Haru’s dog, Peaches, who had been cornered and is being tormented by a cluster of bloodseekers.
Stealth, Ghostbiter: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Arcana, Cyne: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
Athletics, Arak: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
Stealth, Yergi: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Perception, Bowen : 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Init, Blood seeker: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
Init, Peaches: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Peaches bites at one of the nearby bloodseekers. But they keep out of the dogs range.
You recognize that peaches is in a panic and is just as likely to bite any of you as the bloodseekers
Cyne and Bowen can act. You are at the edge with the green dashed box.
ENCOUNTER Shimmerford WoodsGroup conditions:
Cyne - dmg;
Bowen - dmg
Bloodseekers -- Y: R: B: G:
Ghostbiter - dmg;
Arak - dmg;
Yergi - dmg;
Ok, first I'll stride...
Cyne follows Bowen into the fray, staying behind the ranger while assessing the situation. Once he was within range, he was planning to put his conjurer skills to test.
Not enough actions to cast Summon Animal right now, so I'll use my Shield cantrip, just in case things get out of control.
Bowen moved swiftly after see the poor peaches surrounded by 4 bloodseekers, the ranger quickly unshouldered his longbow, pulled out one of his arrows, tensed the string with the shaft at the height of his ear and released it against one of those flying bloodsucking parasites.
"Someone light torches or use blunt weapons! They are rather vulnerable to those things."
I moved and placed myself in front of Cyne and i want to designate the red squared bloodseeker as my hunt prey, it gives me a +2 circumstance bonus to perception and survival checks to track that creature and in case that i make a hit with my longbow, i will deal extra 1d8 damage thanks to my hunter's edge Precision.
Longbow: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 201d8 + 0 ⇒ (7) + 0 = 7.
Bowen also noticed that Peaches was in panic, his previous experience with wild animals taught him that when beasts are scared can be dangerous and they attack by an act of self preservation and instinct.
"And don't get close to Peaches, he is in panic and will not hestitate to bite anyone, included us!".
Bowen's shot takes out one of the bloodseekers, before they all descend again on to peaches.
Bloodseeker Attack, Yellow: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
Attach and Blood Drain: 1d4 ⇒ 4
Bloodseeker Attack, Green: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
Attach and Blood Drain: 1d4 ⇒ 1
Bloodseeker Attack, Blue: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Attach and Blood Drain: 1d4 ⇒ 3
All three land and attach themselves to the dog.
Peaches then begins to flail trying to shake the bloodseekers off. But they are attached with their barbed legs. She then bite at the bugs on her.
Peaches Bite Atk: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
Bite damage: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Peaches Bite Atk: 1d20 + 7 - 5 ⇒ (4) + 7 - 5 = 6
Bite damage: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
But she is unable to get hold of any of them.
Everyone is up now
ENCOUNTER Shimmerford WoodsGroup conditions:
Cyne - dmg;
Bowen - dmg
Ghostbiter - dmg;
Arak - dmg;
Yergi - dmg;
Peaches - 8 HP dmg
Bloodseekers -- Y:+4 B:+3 G:+3 (Dead - R:)
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Ghostbiter nods at Bowen. Better to let the dog help them kill the bloodseekers and then kill the dog. The ranger is obviously a clever tactician.
She draws her greatclub and runs into the fight.
Sudden Charge(2) - two strides and a strike
Attack (great club): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Damage (great club): 1d10 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
"Leave the dog be! Arak exclaims as he rushes forward and punches the nearest bloodseeker...
Attack roll: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21 → Damage roll: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Double move and attack vs yellow