Ah gold, the unfailing aphrodisiac. However you clearly wouldn't need its advantage for your part.
He smirks as he says this an opens up the next parchment, and reads it aloud to her.
So, looking at the bookshelf again, I see five books about the ages of our world. Arranging them in order of occurrence, they are:
Age of Darkness: The Fall of the Azlanti Empire
Age of Anguish: Impacts after Earthfall
Age of Destiny: From Osirion to The Tarrasque
Age of Enthronement: The Starstone Cronicles
Age of Lost Omens: A Current History
He thinks some more. It says "the bindings will reveal, so the answer will ultimately still be on the spines and somewhere in the titles. So, I take it that removing the "Pages of Sages" is code for shortening them to line up letters or words when they are arranged on top of each other.
If it means to remove the whole age name, then we have
The Fall of the Azlanti Empire
Impacts after Earthfall
From Osirion to The Tarrasque
The Starstone Cronicles
A Current History
He stacks the books and turns his head sideways to read them from left to right, and tries the other way.
Looking at the first letters gives us ATFIT, or TIFTA with articles, or FIFSC if we ignore them Still nonsense. Perhaps whole words are supposed to line up. "Fall Impacts From Starstone Current?"
Smoke pores out of his ears. He shakes his head quickly and slightly like ridding himself of a fog. Turning to Kalcora, he asks What do you think? Am I making it harder than it is?
Clarification: are the titles printed sideways so that they'e upright when you lay the book on it's side? Or are they printed vertically along the spine, first letter started at t the top? I suspect this affects alignment to get a "code" (thought I feel I've looked at it both ways).
You nailed the riddle. Excellent job! All the information needed was not given.
As Vexas removes the last book from the shelf, a hidden latch on the bookshelf opens, revealing a five-digit combination lock. He then stacks the books in order and notices a hand written number on each binding. Solving the riddle, Vexas easily transfers the numbers on the bindings to the lock. As the last number is fixed on the dial, a click is heard and part of the bookshelf opens like a door.
Kalcora claps and cheers at her friend’s acumen. The opening reveals a small chamber with a table. On the table is a chest and attached to the chest is another rolled piece of parchment. The chest does not appear to have a lock on it.
You’ve Found me’ Treasure
Enjoy with Pleasure
Opening the chest reveals a perfectly intact Bottle of Rum dated AR 4670. It is a Limited Edition vintage from Two Knight Brewery Sandpoint, Varisia
Apparently, the first owner that commissioned the ship, could not keep his crew away from the good stuff. :)
Lol, I went waaaay to far with that.
Vexas gives Kalcora a half-smirk, half-frown as they enter the hidden chamber. This is... a lot of effort to hide one particular item on the boat. I wonder if the captain or anybody else ever re-uses this to pass other valuable items. Forty-year rum is surely nice though!
He grasps the bottle with both hands, admiring it and holding it up to the light.
After musing about the extremity of this hiding space for a moment he turns back to Kalcora.
What do you think we should do, enjoy it with just the two of us for a while, or immediately go make some new friends with it?
As they exit he puts back as many of the elements as possible to the way he found them, from undoing entered codes, to undoing the puzzle on the table and replacing the glass.
Kalcora considers Vexas’s ruminations regarding the secret chamber, ”I wonder if our current Captain even knows about this chamber. Well, matters not,” she shrugs, ”Finders; Keepers.“ she laughs with a smile and a head tilt to the right.
She laughs again at Vexas, ”Well, if you want to share your half with your friends, go for it. We still have a few more days at sea that I need to forget about.” she sticks a hand out pretending to take the bottle then laughs and slaps the air, ”Bah, I guess there’s enough for all of us. Let’s go make some friends.”
Malakar, Merrek, and Nymbleth work fast to free the rudder. During their work, a pod of dolphins swims past on all sides roiling up the water and causing Razor to find protection near the rudder and Malakar.
With the rudder clear of debris, the three divers are able to make out cracked markings forming a design of some sort.
With the sails raised, the next few days go by uneventfully . Rum is shared, friends are made, and excitement is in the air. Tonight is the last night on board. Tomorrow, Peregrine and the colonists will reach their destination of Talmandor’s Bounty.
With the last night upon the crew and colonists, there are special festivities in the mess hall. The Captain and his Officers make their rounds. The good wine and savory meats and cheeses are out buffett style for all to enjoy. There are games to play and music to sing and dance to.
On deck, the night sky is cloudless. The spring constellations fill the sky and a cool, salty breeze greets your senses.
Malakar makes the mental note and memorizes as much of the glyph as possible to show to someone whom might be able to identify it, knowing full well that it is not nature magic.
Brannart takes part in the festivities in great humor. He offers toasts throughout the night.
"To the Peregrine, for taking such good care of us!"
"To the Captain, for his Captaining!"
"To the Bosun, for not throwing us all overboard!"
"To the Quartermaster, for bringing enough rum!"
"To the crew, one and all!"
"And to Talmandor's Bounty and the Andorans there ahead of us!" And to the fresh start we may find.
Brannart enjoys the meats and cheeses. "Saved some of the best food for this party, didn't you?"
He dances and sings, and has a flagon of ale in his hand throughout the night. He paces himself and probably only gets through three pints throughout the night, a modest enough amount for a man of his size and experience.
Ahead of the festivities Malakar will do some fishing to try and provide some fresh catch for the tables. During the festivities he will mostly try to hang out with Tyra or Merrik as he feels most comfortable around them even if he blushes everytime he looks at Ms Swain. Once he starts imbibing he may open a bit and get rowdy with the deck workers and Brannart however.
Survival: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17
As soon as the festivities break out Vexas partakes fully. He tries every option for food that's rolled out, and has Kalcora try each one for good measure.
The 40 year bottle rum periodically comes out from inside his cloak to refill his or Kalcora's small glasses, followed by a predictable *click*.
He watches Brannart's toast with admiration, and afterward walks up to make him an offer.
Enough run, sure. But you should try some quality over quantity good man!
He flashes the 40-year bottle to gauge the soldier's appreciation for it.
Brannart looks at the bottle. "Well it looks good, but you can't judge a book by its cover. May I?"
Assuming the halfling pours him a dram, "Mmm, now that is good, by Cayden! It's incredible! Thank you, Vexas!
Now, you can't offer me that bottle again later in the night. I'd feel so guilty if I drank any of that when I wasn't able to really appreciate it."
The kitchen door opens and the mess hall is over-taken with the spicy smell of cajun and the sweet smell of butter. Raearg is carrying a steaming platter of fish and places it on the buffet table,”Compliments of our very own Malakar.” The Bosun issues a muscular arm toward the Undine. ”Just caught today and there’s plenty for everybody, so dig in.” There is a brief applause from many before they start forming a line.
Tyra Swain, dressed in an elegant gown of dark blue and gold with her hair tied back tightly, approaches Malakar, ”Well done! It all smells delicious. You know, this will be our last night together. Tomorrow you’ll head to the colony and the crew and I will be preparing our return voyage. We should make tonight count.” she eyes the Druid up and down as her tongue softly slides across her upper lip.
Malakar blushes more purple than he ever takes a gulp of his drink and nods in agreement.
Vexas nods in satisfaction that some else appreciated this refined drink.
Hmm, good point, we should switch to the lesser stuff pretty soon too.
After another glass for he and Kalcora he stumbles down to his bunk and stows the bottle away.
After six long weeks, this morning the crew of the Peregrine sighted land to the west. A few hours later, the Peregrine sails into a natural bay with a sandy beach within rowing distance for the ship’s boats.
You all stand near each other on deck enjoying the sight of land and the sweet smell of the flora wafting in the breeze.
As the crew begins to untie one of the smaller boats to lower it into the water, the sailors pass a spyglass among themselves and finally hand it back to the captain. Captain Jacob Markosi peers at the island for a moment before grunting and handing the spyglass to expedition leader Ramona Avandth. ”You should see this,” he says quietly.
Ramona accepts the spyglass and peers toward the shore. When she lowers the scope, she is clearly distressed but trying to hide her worry. She approaches you all as a group and motions toward the far side of the deck, away from where most of the other colonists have congregated. ”Can I have a word with you?” she asks.
Malakar nods in agreement to speak in private. Sensing something wrong he begins to strap his shield to his arm along the way and makes sure all of his weapons are at the ready.
Waiting until the group is out of earshot before speaking. "If there is trouble Merrik, Nymbleth and myself can go out in advance of a landing party to secure a foothold. That is assuming it's that kind of trouble."
”Can I have a word with you?” she asks.
Vexas points at himself and gives a Who? Me? look before glancing at Kalcora and back at Ramona for confirmation.
Brannart is feeling quite well this morning, after the previous night's festivities. He up on deck enjoying the breeze and the scent of the island. Will be good to set foot on land again.
He has his sword at his belt, and his crossbow on his back.
He follows Ramona to the far side of the deck. "Problem?"
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Fenna attends the team huddle as well.
Thank god it's not via Skype. I'm so tired of skype huddles now. :p
Ramona looks to Malakar, ”I am not sure what, if any, kind of trouble there is.” Then looks over at Vexas, ”Of course your assistance is needed. I hear you are quite good at riddles,” she lets out a brief smirk, ”and rum drinking.”
The smirk disappears quickly as she gets back to business. ”We might have a problem. Something seems wrong on the island. Nobody’s in sight and there is no smoke from any cookfires or the smithy. Also, some of the buildings look burnt out. Here look for yourselves.” she hands over the spyglass she was using.
Using the spyglass, you are able to confirm what she is saying is all true. She brings you all in even closer and uses a deep whisper, ”Look, sailors can’t keep their mouths shut. Soon all of the colonists are going the hear about this, if they can’t see for themselves already, and things could become,” she lifts her head to look around to gage the demeanor of the crew and colonists, then looks back and eyes each of you for a moment and whispers, ”Tense”.
After a pause, she continues, ”Since we all know you can work as a team, we are asking you to go ashore and check out the settlement and the surrounding area. The Captain wants to sail around the coast to the north of the island. There is an alternative colony site there that has been deemed the emergency extraction area. Once you gather sufficient information, meet us at the secondary site. With the information you give us, we will then determine where we will disembark. Will you help us?”
"I am ready"
Vexas frowns, and a list of things that could "go wrong" flood his mind.
He adds Perhaps not just one map. Given that we don't know what we're walking into, it would be good to avoid staking our lives on single critical resources.
He scratches his head, and looks over at Kalcora with the critical question evident in his expression. Without waiting for her to signal, he response I will go, but I think we should really assess our supplies. How far is it between the two sites?
Fenna's brow furrows when she hears the news.
This doesn't sound good at all. Our arrival ought to be about the most exciting thing that's happened on the island since they arrived themselves.....
"They did know we were coming, and roughly when right?"
Ramona keeps her calm during the questions and requests but she appears anxious as she looks at Fenna, ”Yes, the colony knew to expect us within a three-day timespan and we are within that time. To not see some type of spotter waiting for us in alarming.” The she turns to Vexas, ”I understand your concern Master Vexas. It should take you no more that one full day to make it to the north side of the island. We can definitely spare two to three days of rations for each of you plus whatever you can find at the colony provision house and you can hunt or gather. Will this suffice?”
"Of course I will help you.
Ramona, the colonists on this ship will figure out something is wrong when we leave. Don't underestimate them. Yes, we will be discreet and hopefully it will not be as bad as it seems.
Still, I will need to get my ranseur from the hold. A buckler and longsword are fine for walking around Almas, but if there could be real trouble I'll want a weapon of war."
Fenna nods, still looking out at the island.
"No, it isn't normal, that's for sure. I'll go get my things."
A few minutes later Fenna is back and prepared to go.
Vexas nods at Ramona. If it's only a day by foot, then yes that should be more than enough. I don't mean to cut into the colonists' supplies, just to get us through potential danger.
He takes leave to head to his bunk and pack up. Along the way he asks Kalcora, What do you think of all of this? Would you like to stay with the colonists?
Ramona nods in agreement to Brannart's recognition of the colonists as he steps away to grab his belongings.
Kalcora looks at Vexas and smiles, "I'm no hero Vexie, .. er .. I mean Vexas. You just take care of this and hurry back." she pats invisible dust off of his shoulder as she continues to smile at him. Vexas knows a good bluff when he sees it and can tell she is worried.
As she waits for everyone to gather, Fenna asks Ramona another question.
"Has there been any word from here since the first group was dropped off?"
in addition, what sort of things did we hear back from the initial wave? Any indication of something that might be troubling more so than the unknown.
Kowal will ask as he checks himself to ensure he has what little he keeps with him.
Vexas pulls the rum bottle out of his pack and hands it to her.
Here, hold this for me while I'm gone. It would likely just get broken on the trail anyway. I will be back for it. He gives a re-assuring wink before throwing his pack back over his shoulder.
He rejoins Ramona and the team, prepared to depart.
"These are all good, valid questions." Ramona responds looking at Fenna and Kowal. "The Bountiful Venture Company supposedly planned this out to the day of our arrival, which is today. From what I know, we were to be the next mode of contact and communication. I have orders written for the current colony leader Rayland Arkley, and the Peregrine would transport back any communication. Whether it be business related regarding colonization progress or personal for family members back in Almas".
"The more we stand here talking if there is something bad wrong the worse it could get. I am gonna swim ahead to shore to scout."
If noone stops him Malakar leaps the deck rail and begins his swim toward the shore to scout.
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Malakar huffs getting antsy.
"I will wait but I will still swim it is not that far and if I am a few yards ahead and there is trouble I can run interference while the boat party disembarks."
Ramona nods to Malakar, ”Take the lead then, my Undine friend. I just ask you stay near the boat to offer support.” She looks at each of you and nods in gratitude. ”If you are all ready, let’s get to the ferry boat.” Ramona takes a step to lead you, but is stopped when Nymbleth raises an arm showing the intention that he needs to speak.
The Tiefling clears his throat, ”Friends,” he clears his throat again and attempts to speak again. Finally, after a few stumbling half-starts, ”Friends, I will not be joining you. Alba and I have discussed going into business together; therefore, I will remain on the ship to work on those plans. But as a departing gift, I have these for you.” He pulls out of a side-satchel six blue vials. ”I found these healing potions while inspecting the Captain’s Quarters on The Silent Asp. I hope you will not need them, but I offer them to you just the same.” He looks around and points an index finger, counting each of you, ”It appears Merreck and Yraelzin are also missing from our original Defenders of Almas contingent. Well, then it looks like one potion for each of you. Good luck my friends and be safe.”
As you all walk away, following Ramona to the boat, Nymbleth waves goodbye.
potions act as a cure light wounds spell
RP getting into the boat and let me know your placement in the boat. 2 on the back bench (left, right), 2 rowers on the middle bench (left, right) 1 on the front bench. Malakar, let me know how far in front of the boat you will be.
Brannart takes a healing potion and nods to Nymbleth. "We shall meet again soon."
The soldier climbs aboard the ship's boat. He takes the middle left seat, leaning his ranseur against the side of the boat. His sword is at his waist, his crossbow and buckler on his back. The ranseur's reach is a good first line of defense, though it seems like he will need his hands to row for the moment. His pack is at his feet.
He nods to Ramona. "We'll sort this out." He seems to take the mystery in stride, happy to have a mission.
How fast is the boat? My swim speed is 30ft. So if I can be that far ahead that would be fine. In view of the boat but far enough ahead so I can get one shore and guard it in case of an attack.
Wait, I'm going and he isn't?!? As soon as Vexas notices it gets him in a very foul mood. He curtly thanks the alchemist for his healing potion and clumsily stumbles into the boat.
Laughing sheepishly. Hehe. Halfling coming through! No laughing. Short legs.
He takes a seat on the front bench, not thinking very much of the choice but wanting the ability to be on the lookout as they approach land.
ok that I would like to stay one move ahead of it and keep pace
Fenna and Kowal take the remaining seats in the back. When everyone is set, the crew unties the ropes and lets the boat float away from Peregrine. Several familiar faces above on deck wave and offer good wishes. Brannart and Sho each grab an oar, find a consistent rhythm, and row toward shore. Malakar and Razor keep pace about 30ft ahead.
The bay’s waters are calm, with only a gentle rocking of the ship’s boat. The shore is approximately three hundred feet to the east, where a lonely dock is built off a sandy beach.
Fifty feet into the journey, the depth of the bay changes as Brannart and Sho navigate between sandbars. Due to this, the water is turbid which causes murky seawater.
Creature Stealth: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (9) + 14 = 23
Brannart: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Fenna: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Kowal: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Malakar: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Razor: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Sho: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
Vexas: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
creatures: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Brannart: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Fenna: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Kowal: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Malakar: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
Razor: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
Sho: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Vexas: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Surprise Round to be continued ...