Ketra goes for a parting punch before backing off carefully herself.
Cestus; w/ PA: 1d20 + 4 - 1 ⇒ (18) + 4 - 1 = 21 Damage (B): 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
"Sorry Wallace, we're going to have to fight a little apart after this." She wrinkles her nose at the sticky ichor.
Ketra's punch lands to devastating effect, the wire-frame holding beneath the bone tile "scales" of the cobra crumpling under the blow. The serpent flails around for several seconds before collapsing to the ground, shudders, and is still.
"I-I mean I've never considered the professi-" Wallace begins, caught off guard, but his moment of hesitation proves fruitful for the cobra!
Fortunately, he doesn't have to fight while experiencing the brunt of the effects. Once his body fights off his woozy feeling, he tries to shake off the harden slime chunks with a groan. What a foul creature... It wasn't even that painful, but the... Venom? Was worse than the bite!
"As I was saying, I've never considered life as a bard. I don't think it was an option for me, actually, but I do know that the life of a knight should make for an inspiring tale!" he shares while clenching a fist before him, a passionate fire beginning to blaze in his eyes. One day, everywhere I go, people will know of me and that everything will be ok while I'm around!
While everyone regroups, he gives the area a quick look.
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Sanduro moves up cautiously to inspect the bone cobra. "I thought this was just another form of bone chariot, but I don't see any sign of an ostovite inside it. I wonder what was animating it."
Knowledge (X): 1d20 ⇒ 5
What is that thing? Knowledge (nature) +5, Knowledge (planes) +6, Knowledge (religion) +4
"Zsofia, do you want to go look for anything interesting while I examine this?"
The phantom gives a disturbing giggle. "Yes, yes, I think I do."
Zsofia glides around the small chamber to see what there is to see.
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
What's on the dais - another sarcophagus? Zsofia will stick her head into it through the lid if it's closed.
Silvia keeps her pistol raised, as if not quite believing that the cobra is actually dead. Only when it fails to attack Sanduro does she lower her weapon.
"I know it's a tomb and all, but the place being full of critters made up of bones seems, I dunno...something," she says, mostly to herself, as she follows Zsofia into the next room.
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
Ketra shakes bone dust off her knuckles. "Hey, that's right! No little bug in this one. Maybe the snake was actually undead, or some kind of magic... thing." She shrugs, out of her depth when it comes to constructs, many times over. "Either way, its handled."
"We probably attracted all of them, but let's take a quick peek." She holds her weapons at the ready as she ducks into the northern chamber to see if any more threats are hiding out.
Perception; Inspecting...: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Ketra peers into the northern chamber. From the doorway she sees several long stone slabs lining the walls of this room like shelves. The shelves are pitted with acid and contain scraps of old cloth. A few slivers of bone litter the floor. She spots a metallic glint coming from one of the higher shelves...and also notes that several stones appear loose and seem likely to collapse at any moment. Ketra spotted an incidental danger that is effectively a trap, anyone can attempt Disable Device to safely retrieve the obect(s).
Drifting into the eastern chamber, Zsofia pokes her head through the sarcophagus only to find it empty. The stone walls of this room are carved to resemble hanging draperies framing a large dais. Upon the dais stands a large sarcophagus, its lid carved to resemble a sleeping knight with long hair and a wide mustache. This room carries a faint nauseating odor, like putrefying meat.
Anyone turning their attention to the southern chamber sees the stone walls of this room are carved to resemble an airy stable with a large stone box at the southern end. The lid of the box is cracked and corroded, as though from powerful acid. An illustration of a lean, regal stallion and the words “No Greater Friend Hath a Man Than His Loyal Steed” are chiseled into the stone above the box.
Ketra eyes the metallic glint and says "Looks like we've got something over here. It's telling me..."
"Oooh, Ketra, come over this way and grab me. Ignore those wobbly stones. They definitely won't collapse and kill you."
She looks over her shoulder at the rest of the group. "Anyone handy with masonry? Maybe if we could prop this up for a moment, we could grab it without damaging the tomb. Or getting some trapped under tons of bricks."
"Unfortunately not," Wallace admits. "Sanduro, would your charge be able to use her abilities to investigate in our stead?"
With little else to add, he finds himself exploring the other rooms. His crimson and gold armor clanking rhythmically as he walks. "Following the macabre theme we seem to be surrounded by, does that stench mean something like a Zombie is about?" he wonders out loud.
At the Southern room, he lays a hand on the illustration. Where are you Murdock? Wherever you are, I hope you're safe, being cared for, and put set you to the gallops. "There's acid damage here too. A spell of some kind? A creature?" Damn, more questions than anything else! General Arnisant would have a better grasp of the situation, I'm sure of it!
Disable Device takes ACP, so I'm not going to have Wallace try. It'd be with a negative mod!
Just to clarify: the source of the smell was clearly the bone cobra, given that Wallace smells similarly after being vomited upon.
It's a trained only skill, anyway. It looks like we forgot to bring any skills for dealing with traps!
"I think the acid is from the little ostovites," Silvia says, hooking a thumb back at the remains of the bone chariot. She looks at the precariously stacked bookshelf, trying to puzzle it out. "I'm not sure what to do here. Might be possible to grab it real quick-like, or maybe just knock it down from a distance and dig through what's left."
"Hey Zsofia, want to take a look at what's even up there? Maybe its just an old inscription or something that we'd want to leave in place." Even as she's suggesting this, Ketra sizes up the extent of the hazard, wondering if there might be an opportunity for the phantom to avoid it simply by phasing through the walls rather than taking a direct path.
Yep, oops on the disable device. I've seen a lot of groups forget to have anyone with it. Does anyone want to pick it up on level up?
Garret looks into the room and says, ”I apologize, but I have no applicable magic or skills for this situation. I’ll just stay out of the way.”
Zsofia looks over to Sanduro and, at his nod, glides into the north chamber and examines the wall where Ketra points.
"Ooooh, shiny. Let's see what we have here."
The phantom peers through the shelves, stones, and surface of the wall as necessary to identify the source of the metallic glint.
It is becoming clear that the phantom is going to open a lot of (mostly figurative) doors for the party :p
Though covered in a thin layer of bone dust, Zsofia's investigations quickly reveal not one treasure but two: a short length of finger-bone the still bears a golden ring, and a small black prayer bead slightly deeper back on the shelf. She also can clearly see that anyone messing with the shelf is at risk of getting a small pile of bricks dumped on their heads.
Growing visibly impatient, Silvia holsters her pistol. "Oh, to hell with it," she says, and starts climbing up the shelf to grab the items.
Assuming I need a Reflex save, lol: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Pulling herself up the stone shelves, Silvia reaches out and grabs the ring and bead while Zsofia cheers her on. Suddenly, but not unexpectedly, the topmost shelf gives way with a CRACK and shower of dust and debris!
No Reflex save, but I'll say Silvia has an automatic +2 Aid bonus to AC since you're all aware of the risk.
Tumbling Stones: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28 Damage?: 2d6 ⇒ (2, 3) = 5
Silvia falls to the floor, battered and bruised by the misadventure but gripping the prizes tightly in her fist. As you examine the items, the ring appears to be gold wedding band with the words "For Aloisius: my love, my heart, my morning dove" engraved upon it in Taldane/Common. The bead, once detected upon, is magical.
This is a Bead of Blessings, often found as part of a strand of magical prayer beads, though they can be used individually as well. This particular bead allows the wearer to cast the spell Bless once per day at CL1. This is a slotless item which does not need to be held or worn (though must be on your person somewhere) to use.
Taking it as his cue, Garret casts Detect Magic and examines the bead.
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
He is, however, stymied by the item, having never run across anything exactly like it. After looking at it carefully, Garret admits, "Sorry, I can't tell what this bead does. Anyone else want to take a look?"
Rubbing the bruise that is quickly developing on her cheek, Silvia holds the ring and bead triumphantly. "Not the first time someone's spent their own blood for a bit of gold!"
Wallace can't help but look on in surprise at Silvia's actions. "Certainly true, but perhaps a we should be sparing in how many bricks we take to the face? A little caution goes a long way!" He notes. "It appears a little healing is warranted. Father Black would be invaluable if he were here too..."
"Before we upset anymore masonry, why don't we head further in?"
Silvia's face moves through a series of expressions, first of triumph, then dismay, and finally annoyance. "Pshh!" is the only retort she offers, before walking over to the remaining tunnel.
Ketra winces "Oof, Silvia, that looked... is your head OK?" She puts a hand on the tiefling's shoulder, both impressed by her guts are worried at how readily she jumped to hurt herself. "We've got potions that are going to go to waste if you don't drink one."
"Hmm, don't know what to make of the ring. Maybe we should have left it - considering that it was probably left with someone interred here." (I assume recognizing Aloisius as a name would be a History. I'll throw out a Local just in case...)
KN Local to recall: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
"Hey, lets hope this last way is the way out." She looks ahead a little nervously "It just crossed my mind that if the tomb was sealed and we got sent here via that flash of magic... um, maybe that was teleportation?" She follows Silvia, eyes open for more traps.
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
1d20 + 15 ⇒ (6) + 15 = 21
Silvia and Ketra lead the way to the chamber to the south, an alcove with a set of shelves and cupboards similar to where the medkit had been stored. This one is more thoroughly stocked: brooms, feather dusters, several jars, boxes, and bags that prove upon inspection to be full of cleaning supplies.
One of the bags lays on the floor, torn open with some sort of powder scattered about. Next to it is the shiny blue-black carapace of a beetle, nearly as large as a dog and with a strange red glow shining through the gaps in the shell.
The beetle token with the broken-skull icon represents the chitinous shell
This is the carapace of a fire beetle, a fairly common vermin that are even bred and domesticated by some underground-dwelling peoples. Though not unusually aggressive, they are prized for their glands that glow with a reddish light like banked coals even for days after the beetle has died, and are sometimes even used as "living lanterns".
This particular beetle is dead, its legs scattered missing and its carapace bubbled and scarred by acid.
You notice the shadows given off by the reddish glow shift ever so slightly. You can't see what it is, but something is hiding inside the carapace!
"Something tells me that maybe we shouldn't eat that powder," Wallace says with a small smirk. This isn't the time for humor, but maybe something to lighten the mood a little. Can't let the specter of fear lead us down a dark path!
He approaches the beetle and nudges it with his sword. "Any idea why the beetle might be glowing? Is it still alive?"
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Nature: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Heal: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
Sanduro kneels down to examine the carapace. "Hmm. This was a living lantern, a fire beetle - don't worry, it's quite dead. Probably due to our friends back there; at least, I hope there isn't anything else down here that spits acid. They're common enough, and useful underground because of their glowing organs. We can pull them out and the light will last for days"
He pauses for a moment in thought, then adds, "In fact, they're so useful that they are domesticated and bred by those who dwell beneath the surface."
The duskwalker looks around nervously and says, "Right. We have two injured - Silvia and Zsofia - but we should try to hold onto the potions if we can. With this healer's kit, Silvia, I may be able to bind up your wounds enough to get you back to nearly full strength. Zsofia, the same goes for you. But it will take two hours to do the job correctly. What do you think?"
Treat Deadly Wounds: When treating deadly wounds, you can restore hit points to a damaged creature.
Treating deadly wounds restores 1 hit point per level of the creature. If you exceed the DC by 5 or more, add your Wisdom modifier (if positive) to this amount. A creature can only benefit from its deadly wounds being treated within 24 hours of being injured and never more than once per day. You must expend two uses from a healer's kit to perform this task. You take a -2 penalty on your Heal skill check for each use from the healer's kit that you lack.
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
"Get away from the beetle," Silvia whispers, drawing her pistol. "There's something inside it."
Sanduro hurriedly steps away from the beetle.
Silvia's warning comes just as the the carapace bursts and an ostovite bursts out--it glows with a sullen red flare, and the crimson-glowing smear around its mandibles suggests it ate the dead beetle's light-gland (like a frog that ate a lightning bug). The beetle scurries forward as Silvia levels her pistol's barrel at it! Ostovite is currently in the same square as the carapace
Silvia: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Ostovite: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Wallace: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
Sanduro: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
Ketra: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
Garret: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
With her pistol already leveled at the carapace, Silvia pulls the trigger and sends a bullet flying past Ketra and Wallace.
Pistol w/ DA: 1d20 + 4 - 1 ⇒ (14) + 4 - 1 = 17
Damage w/ DA and Focused Aim: 2d6 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (3, 4) + 2 + 2 = 11
The bullet slams home, the ostovite rocking back as sizzling black blood spills to the stone. In a desperate frenzy the buglike creature clambers up Wallaces leg, gnawing at his armor to get at the wonderful bones hidden beneath all that metal and flesh!
Bite: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
Wallace's armor proves equal to the task. Wallace isn't grappled, but it is sharing his square.
Silvia next steps up and tries to knock the thing off of Wallace's leg with a strong punch from her gloved left hand.
Cestus w/ PA: 1d20 + 4 - 1 ⇒ (12) + 4 - 1 = 15
Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Wallace kicks the bug off of his leg and takes a swing at it. "Nice shot! We're lucky this one didn't think to attack us with the others. Nothing we couldn't handle, but a split foe is a weaker one."
Longsword vs Osotvite: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 161d8 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
If the Ostovite is still active when his turn comes up, Garret uses the only spell that seems to be appropriate--the ear-piercing scream!
Sonic Damage plus 1 round Dazed, Fortitude 16 Save for Half: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Wallace holds his shield high to keep an eye on the ostovite on his leg, just as Silvia ducks in and drives a powerful right hook that shatters the ostovite's shell and sends its body tumbling to the ground, slain.
Save your spell, Garret, my poor bug never had a chance. Combat over!
Silvia steps back, shaking out her hand for a few seconds before she starts reloading her pistol. "Hate those things," she mutters, with a shake of her head.
Lol! I didn't even get to see it.
Ketra doesn't even have a chance to gather momentum before the ostovite gets splattered by the others. "Jeez, you guys act fast." While she relaxes, she doesn't sheath her machete. "Glad you do though."
She gives a quick search through the alcove, looking for what might've drawn the ostovite, or the beetle, into the space. "Anyone else wondering why this place is so infested? Sanduro, you said the beetles are raised by people who dwell underground? Considering that the tomb was sealed, I wonder if there might be a tunnel or breach of some kind that let someone with this beetle in." She shrugs, wrapping up her search in the alcove.
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
"Or if the door was open," Wallace says darkly. Wiping the beetle goop off of his armor, he looks around with Ketra. I don't want to alarm the others, but I also can't help but feel that there isn't a way out of here. It isn't rational, I've no reason to feel this way, but something in my head just can't let it go!
Keeping his head high and his shoulder's back, he proceeds into the next room.
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
As the gunshot's echos ring in his ears and Wallace flicks the remains of the ostovite from his sword, Sanduro says, "See? That's what I mean. We should take the time to heal our wounded before we get attacked again, again."
He shrugs at Ketra's question. "Maybe? The beetle had to get in here the usual way, through an opening that leads either outside or into a cave system or something similar. I don't know whether it was domesticated or wild, though - it could just have wandered in through whatever opening there is. The ostovites are another story. This is the kind of place they tend to appear, but where they come from or how they get anywhere on our world --" he shrugs again.
"I wouldn't say no to medicine," Silvia says, rubbing at her bruised face, "but I just have this feeling that we need to hurry."
If you're pausing to treat wounds go ahead and give me some Heal rolls, please!
No Heal skill here. Any word on the contents of the alcove, or should I push forward?
Treat Deadly Wounds (Silvia), healer's kit: 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 9 + 2 = 14
Treat Deadly Wounds (Zsofia), healer's kit: 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 9 + 2 = 15
Sanduro tries to bandage up Silvia's injuries but she does not feel any improvement. He then has Zsofia turn solid and attempts to bind her wounds, but finds that treating someone made entirely of ectoplasm is more complicated than treating the living. He finally packs up the healer's kit and has Zsofia fade back to incorporeality.
"I'm sorry, Silvia. You too, Zsofia. This is my first time as the only healer treating someone with battle wounds; I've handled minor injuries from falls or animal bites on my own, but nothing like these injuries. Silvia, you had better try the potion. Zsofia, we'll figure out what to do in the morning."
Other than assorted cleaning supplies, the alcove doesn't hold any treasure of note.
After Sanduro packs up his healer's kit the group cautiously moves on. Silvia approaches the stairs until a trio of small, dark shapes lunge forward and flare with red light, before pulling back--three fire beetles, hissing and clacking their mandibles in a threatening display. You all hear a voice hissing urgently in a strange language from up the stairs.
"Yes, yes, drive back the nasty bone beetles, my darlings! Clicker, Clacker--a bit more light! More mandible snapping from you, Juus! You've got to look like you mean it."
It's not easy to get a peek up the stairs at the whisperer, but you spot a pair of large eyes reflecting fire beetles' red light, and get an impression of a Small humanoid with a large, misshapen head and pale bluish skin gesticulating with its hands. It does not appear to be addressing you.
Three beetles are currently at the bottom of the stairs making threat displays, but not yet attacking.
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
”Does anyone understand that language?” asks Garret.
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Ketra spots the source of the strange language and points them out to the rest of the group "See the little blue fellow up top? Kinda a relief seeing another person in here, even if they might still be here to kill us. Was starting to feel like bones and bugs all the way down. Maybe they know a way out?" She ends on a hopeful note. "Anyone understand them?"
"Not a clue what it is saying... Shall we approach peacefully, but ready for hostilities?" Wallace asks, lining up his sword in anticipation of being sheathed. Considering we don't know where we are, that little thing might be able to fill us in if we let it. Kind of gives me the creeps, but I can't let looks dictate how I feel about it. Actions are what make a person.
Does the little blue creature appear to be afraid of the bugs? Or perhaps it is afraid of us and using the bugs for protection?
Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 13
I moved the tokens for Garret and Ketra to a position where everyone could reasonably see the stranger on the stairs.
The creature appears to speaking to the beetles with the affectionate condescension usually reserved for favored pets. It's posture and attitude indicate a creature ready to flee at a moment's notice, however, so any affection for the beetles clearly has its limits.
"Gah!" you hear a surprised cry from figure on the stairs. With an audible gulp, it shouts down the stairs in halting Common, "Not bonebugs! Is dead?! Is dead thingy walk about?!"
"We have killed the active bonebugs, good sir, though there may be other threats either hidden or in rooms we have not entered. I am Garret, who might you be?" says Garret diplomatically, adding to the others, "The beetles appear to be allied with him..."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29