Ærde: Lost and Found in the City of Wonders

Game Master Jibril Johan Sameh

On the north western edge of Al Aimtidad, the anvil desert, sits the jewel of the world, the city of Zhayalammar. It is the ancient city of invention, horror, passion, and sorcery.

The Narrative * City Map * Character Status * Lands Around Zhayalahmar * Known Power Groups * Gossamer House * Current Map * The Scoreboard


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male (he/him)
Zahra al Asmar wrote:
"Do you really eat everyone you meet? I would find it lonely not having anyone else to talk to. Do you have a mate to keep you company?"

The manticore stepped forward so that there was just five feet between him and Tymythy. The creature squinted with one eye so as to widen the other and stared at Cairee and Zahra in turn.

"Lonely! Not when I have so many things to chase, and bite, and spit out again. Not when I have this whole kingdom to rule! Do I eat everyone? ... Yesssss!" He went up on his hind legs and tried to flap his wings but became fouled on the jungle trees. "And Mates. You talk about mates?! ... Did you bring any???"

Cairee Featherfriend wrote:
"Mighty manticore, we are truly atremblefied and frightambulated in your awesome presence. We meant no offence. We thought you might be a prisoner forced to participate in these games and came to offer our assistance. But I see now that you are no one's prisoner, but a magnificent and regal being. I am merely a vessel in service of the great goddess Saiph, but please allow me to offer you her blessing."

"A prisoner! These are my lands! You are in my realm! You come and run through my kingdom like vermin and I hunt you. If you are atremblefied frightambulate then!" He paused for a moment. "I see. You are not as sharp with my vocal'bulary. To frightambulate is to flee, to run away. Like a mouse atremblefied. But you don't! You stand there like a lump, a stone, a tree. Eating you is only half as pleasalivating if you don't frightambulate!"

"But half..."

"as pleasalivating..."

"is good enough."

He grinned a sadistic grin. Drool dripped down from his wide lips. He hunched his shoulders down as he looked to take a step forward.

Cairee - your spell is 30secs in


male (he/him)

current map
grey rectangles are large stones/green ovals are tree trunks/everywhere is difficult terrain - no 5' steps


Human Ranger 2 / Fighter 1 | HP: 27/29 (2 nonlethal)| AC (temp): 19 (13 Tch, 16 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: +7 R: +5 W: +1 | Init: +3 | Perc: +7 SM: +1 | SMB: +3, SMD: 14 | bull str: 11

Yeah, I think that is clear enough indication of intent ;^)

Tymyhty flinched as the beast took a step towards him feeling its hot breath washing over his face, bringing with it smells of rotting meat and unwashed beast. He noted that the small Fey had vanished, but whether they had ran away or just instinctively embraced invisibility was anyone’s guess… but were he to make a bet, he assumed the Atomie at least would not be far. Dangerous and unpredictable as all things Fae-touched were, the stories told these small warriors were fierce far beyond their small statures. Proud and able. Eager to show the “biggins” that size most certainly didn’t matter.

From the manticore’s boastful words, he put together the rough frame of a tale. The manticore was the intruder here, a new apex predator in a world it didn’t belong. Likely carried here by their host’s magic for his and his guests’ entertainment. The Fey were suffering. The beast was dominating their home, there was nothing large or dangerous enough here to challenge it. The Fey were adept at hiding, but the manticore had already admitted it could track them by scent alone, negating much if not all of that advantage. And he doubted they could hide their homes as easily – no, the beast was a menace unto them, able to come and go as it pleased, kill whatever it could find, lash out against its environment when the Fey managed to slip past its teeth and claws. The small folk would love to get rid of the intruder, but for them to attack on their own… many would die before their tiny weapons could deal lasting damage.

So, perhaps the two sides could use each other, even if Tymythy found it difficult to put much trust in the otherworldly, unfathomable creatures. He did worry if the Grig would see things that way, and take kindly to them if many of her kind were felled in the battle… provided they survived. But it didn’t seem like words would sway this beast.

”You may yet taste our flesh, but first you will have to get past our steel fangs,” Tymythy growled as he brandished his usriev, taking a half-step forward. His words were likely to anger the manticore, but as far as he knew it had already decided to attack and was merely enjoying the bit of foreplay… and perhaps it would be caught by surprise by prey that didn’t turn tail and run before its might.

”Warriors of the Fey! This beast is foreign to your lands! We seek to oppose it! Join us, or watch from hiding and sing of our bravery to your children!” he declared, hoping to goad the proud little warriors into joining the battle. The situation wasn’t in their favour, as they had chosen to confront the beast at the site of its choosing, but the trees around them would at least limit its capability to fly and if the Fey warriors provided enough a distraction… perhaps they could get lucky enough.

Unfortunately, Tymyhty has no idea you are hoping to play time for the spell to take effect…

Init time?


male (he/him)

We'll call that round 6 of 10. Tymythy - the atomie will take your speech as a challenge to their courage and the Grig will take it as a call for aid. Make one d20 roll. Add your intimidation bonus to convince the Atomie. Add your diplomacy bonus to convince the grig.

Round 7 of 10: everyone roll for initiative.
Manticore's initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4


(-3 Con, -1 Wis) HP 18/18(24) | AC 16/14/12 | F+3/R+6/W+2 | CMB +1, CMD 15 | Acro 10, climb 5, DD 13, EA 10, Init 6, Perc 7, SoH 8, SM 1, Stealth 10, Surv 8

Nice post, Tymythy!! Excellent "manipulate fey" roll!

init: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17


Human Ranger 2 / Fighter 1 | HP: 27/29 (2 nonlethal)| AC (temp): 19 (13 Tch, 16 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: +7 R: +5 W: +1 | Init: +3 | Perc: +7 SM: +1 | SMB: +3, SMD: 14 | bull str: 11

Roll to convince: 1d20 ⇒ 6 One roll... So that means Intimidate is +11 and Diplomacy +6
Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8

Right, here we go - all the natural 20s and other good rolls spent already ;^)


male (he/him)

Even with the noise of a fight brewing there was a tiny woman's voice, "You can't. It can smell you! You'd be gone in the space of a breath."

Another voice, just as small, answered, "You'd have us hide at the tremble of a leaf, Maywyrt! I thought you liked strangers."

The first voice returned but from a different spot, "I like all creatures, especially my brother's and sisters! And even you, Akdrens!"

Sorry Tymythy - better luck next round >:]


Human Ranger 2 / Fighter 1 | HP: 27/29 (2 nonlethal)| AC (temp): 19 (13 Tch, 16 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: +7 R: +5 W: +1 | Init: +3 | Perc: +7 SM: +1 | SMB: +3, SMD: 14 | bull str: 11

Diplomacy and all isn't Tymythy's cup of tea - he has to rely on what he says rather than how he says it. But now that the girls are clued in, perhaps they could do better?


male (he/him)
Tymythy-son-of-Stywyrt wrote:
...But now that the girls are clued in, perhaps they could do better?

It's already been rolled for this round so another attempt will have to wait for next round


Human Draconic Sorcerer/3 | HP 20/20 | Init +2 | AC14/F12/T13 | Mage armor AC18 | F+2 R+3 W+3 | Perc +4 SM +0 | Active Conditions: Mage Armor | Spells per day: 1st 5/6 | Claws: 7/7rounds | SMB 7; SMD 17

Zahra looked confused when the manticore asked her about bringing him mates. "Why would we bring him mates?", she muttered. "There's no way to know what manticores look for in a mate."

She started to get nervous as the manticore didn't seem to care that he was alone and seemed intent on eating them. When Tymythy's voice rang out, her lips formed the letter o and she spoke without really noticing, "Ohhhhh"...

They seemed to have gotten things really wrong. The manticore wasn't a victim but rather a bully. Those poor fey.

initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10


male (he/him)

Cairee hasn't signed in in a bit ...
Cairee's initiative: 1d20 ⇒ 15

Everyone is up!


Human Ranger 2 / Fighter 1 | HP: 27/29 (2 nonlethal)| AC (temp): 19 (13 Tch, 16 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: +7 R: +5 W: +1 | Init: +3 | Perc: +7 SM: +1 | SMB: +3, SMD: 14 | bull str: 11

There was no time lamenting the lack of his success in enlisting allies to their cause – the time of pleasantries was surely over, if there ever had been any chance of any other outcome. So, instead, he moved.

Tymyhty charged forward through the thick undergrowth, hoping the trees around them would be enough to limit the beast’s movements and make taking flight in mid-fight a challenge to it… assuming they were able to hurt it enough to make it even consider tactics other than just biting and clawing its way through the problem.

Move action to close to melee, then a single whack

Usriev vs Manticore: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
Damage: 1d10 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11

Regretting, too, the fact that there had been no time to complete his training with the monks before wielding his new weapon in a battle, he made do with what he had. As he closed in he shifted his grip on the usriev’s shaft, wielding the long, undulating blade as a heavy sword rather than spear, the tip trailing the grasses as he swung it in an uppercut… and the blade kissed the manticore’s face, biting deep on its way through the beast’s jaws, ripping out a pair of front teeth in a shover of blood as Tymythy recovered from the swing and settled into a high guard.

”First blood!” he growled, hoping he could guard himself against the attack sure to come.


(-3 Con, -1 Wis) HP 18/18(24) | AC 16/14/12 | F+3/R+6/W+2 | CMB +1, CMD 15 | Acro 10, climb 5, DD 13, EA 10, Init 6, Perc 7, SoH 8, SM 1, Stealth 10, Surv 8

Dounia saw Tymythy move forward to attack, and knew that this was her opportunity.

Darting around the stone she'd been hiding behind, she came up behind the manticore, directly across from Tymythy.

A dagger in each hand, she finally put into use the skill she'd been practicing in the evenings - a double handed attack. She went high with the right hand, and lunged forward with the left, hoping for two hits.

dagger 1, flank, TWF: 1d20 + 5 + 2 - 2 ⇒ (14) + 5 + 2 - 2 = 19
damage: 1d4 + 4 + 2d6 ⇒ (2) + 4 + (4, 1) = 11
dagger 1, flank, TWF: 1d20 + 5 + 2 - 2 ⇒ (15) + 5 + 2 - 2 = 20
damage: 1d4 + 4 + 2d6 ⇒ (3) + 4 + (2, 6) = 15


male (he/him)

Dounia - you only get surprise damage on the first attack. Your second attack still hits doing 7 damage.


male (he/him)

Cairee stayed directly behind Tymythy and he could hear her calling to her otherworldly patron, "Saiph, please protect us as you do all of those who follow your path, especially now in our moment of need. Par t'wo da-hs!" She stretched out her hand solemnly and lowered it slowly.

In the dappled sunlight through the strange tree canopy the shadow of the leaves moved back and forth but the manticore's shadow froze in place.

Manticore's will save vs DC14: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10

The manticore pulled forward but was tethered, trammelled, tied and unable to move from his shadow's resting spot.


male (he/him)
GM Corey Homebrew wrote:
Dounia - you only get surprise damage on the first attack. Your second attack still hits doing 7 damage.

Sorry, you're flanking so you get your sneak attack damage on both attacks


male (he/him)

Current Map with Zahra and the Manticore left to go on combat round 1


Human Draconic Sorcerer/3 | HP 20/20 | Init +2 | AC14/F12/T13 | Mage armor AC18 | F+2 R+3 W+3 | Perc +4 SM +0 | Active Conditions: Mage Armor | Spells per day: 1st 5/6 | Claws: 7/7rounds | SMB 7; SMD 17

Zahra had been considering how they could keep the manticore from flying away so it couldn't attack them from above but whatever Cairee had done had rendered that consideration moot.

With the decision made, the sorceress quickly pivoted in her intentions. She felt her inner strength bloom with a desire to explode out of her hands. The arcane words readily spilled out of her mouth and snow began to form in the palm of her hand. She lobbed it at the manticore, hoping that it wasn't used to the feel of snow.

casting Snowball

ranged touch: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
damage: 3d6 + 3 ⇒ (2, 6, 6) + 3 = 17
Fort save DC15 or be staggered one round if that hits...fingers crossed!

"To our surrounding allies, with our combined strength and abilities we can rid your land of this bully but we need your help! We are better together."

Figuring that talking is always free...


male (he/him)

GMs rolls:

Manticore's Fort save vs DC15: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
Alphabetical - Cairee, Dounia, Tymythy, Zahra
Maticore's tail attack: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20 Hit
damage: 1d6 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Maticore's tail attack: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24 Hit
damage: 1d6 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Maticore's tail attack: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13 Miss
Maticore's tail attack: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16 Hit
damage: 1d6 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8

Tymythy leapt in first, slashing open the corner of the creature's cruel mouth. Dounia swung in from behind to slash a crooked line across the haunch and plunge her other dagger nearly hilt deep into the ligatures of the hip. The Manticore made to move but with Cairee's powerful gesture and her plea to Saiph the beast's shadow became pinned. From the shadow a shimmer appeared, the gleam of a sword's edge, and the shimmer extended upward a mile high. The invisible sword of an ethereal god.

The manticore was furious and wounded three times over, held in place and humiliated. He went to gobble up Tymythy, to rake out with both of his claws toward Dounia but was hit by a powerful frozen sphere! (Zahra's snowball staggers the manticore and he doesn't get to do a full attack!)

Dazed and seriously wounded he swung his tail like a whip in a circular motion and four massive quills, like the one Tymythy picked from the bag, shot through the air.

One pierced Cairee straight through the arm. 8hpd

One lodged itself in Dounia's thigh. 11hpd

One Tymythy deflected with a swat of his usriev.

And the last hit Zahra in the temple. It left a long gash and blood ran down into her left eye. [/ooc]

Fight round 2: everyone up!
Cairee grasped her stone necklace and muttered. "Saiph, please show this malicious one that nothing can harm a servant of your true way and give me the power to aid my friends."

Beams of light shot out from Cairee's closed fist as she held her pendant. A ray landed on her and each of her friends ... but not on the Manticore. The rays burnt away the quills and burned the wounds away!

channel energy: 2d6 ⇒ (4, 6) = 10 Everyone heals up to 10hp damage


male (he/him)

Wow! Everyone hit and the Manticore failed every save. That's it - I'm upping the CRs


Human Draconic Sorcerer/3 | HP 20/20 | Init +2 | AC14/F12/T13 | Mage armor AC18 | F+2 R+3 W+3 | Perc +4 SM +0 | Active Conditions: Mage Armor | Spells per day: 1st 5/6 | Claws: 7/7rounds | SMB 7; SMD 17

I'm perfectly happy to have Tymythy deal the death blow to show off his fighting prowess against a mighty foe. However, if needed then Zahra can cast magic missile at it. It looks from the character status that it doesn't have many hit points left

Pain at her temple and blood in her eye distracted Zahra momentarily until she felt Saiph's healing flow out of Cairee and into herself. She better not have gotten blood on her dress. She felt a flash of anger at the manticore for possibly having ruined her dress and raised a finger to point at the creature.

If the manticore isn't finished off by Tymythy or Dounia, Zahra will cast Magic Missile but I didn't want to use a spell if it isn't necessary

Damage if needed
damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3


(-3 Con, -1 Wis) HP 18/18(24) | AC 16/14/12 | F+3/R+6/W+2 | CMB +1, CMD 15 | Acro 10, climb 5, DD 13, EA 10, Init 6, Perc 7, SoH 8, SM 1, Stealth 10, Surv 8

"Haha!" Dounia crowed as she scored two deep wounds. She didn't know what Cairee had done to the beast, but it wasn't flying away. "Who's atremblified now?"

She lashed out again with both daggers, aiming for the major blood vessels in the inner thigh.

dagger, flank, TWF: 1d20 + 5 + 2 - 2 ⇒ (18) + 5 + 2 - 2 = 23
damage: 1d4 + 4 + 2d6 ⇒ (4) + 4 + (2, 1) = 11

dagger, flank, TWF: 1d20 + 5 + 2 - 2 ⇒ (2) + 5 + 2 - 2 = 7


Human Ranger 2 / Fighter 1 | HP: 27/29 (2 nonlethal)| AC (temp): 19 (13 Tch, 16 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: +7 R: +5 W: +1 | Init: +3 | Perc: +7 SM: +1 | SMB: +3, SMD: 14 | bull str: 11

Well, you went easy on us since the manticore stopped to chat first (and Cairee managed to stop it from getting away, and Zahra robbed it of a full attack!). Had it just done fly-by attacks on us we would have had a really bad time with it, since we are rather low on ranged attacks as a group ;^)

The battle was going much better than Tymythy had dared hope, as Cairee’s strange sliver of divine light rooted the beast to its tracks, allowing him and Dounia to take it from either side, and Zahra to stagger it with chunk of ice and snow, disorienting it enough to spoil its own attack.

A shover of bony needles shot at them from the beast’s tail and Tymyhty managed to deflect the one aimed at his head more due to instincts than design – he had expected the beast to come at him with teeth or claws, not this! But the creature was clearly suffering from its wounds, unable to escape and make use of its wings to charge at them from the skies. Now was the time to finish it, before Cairee’s binding expired.

Even as Dounia cut into the beast’s one flank with her daggers Tymythy went to work on its opposite side, continuing the swipe that had deflected the quill until the usriev’s blade was pointed at the manticore’s flank and stepping in to sink the heavy blade deeply between two ribs.

Usriev vs Manticore: 1d20 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 6 + 2 = 21
Damage: 1d10 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7


male (he/him)
Tymythy-son-of-Stywyrt wrote:
Had it just done fly-by attacks on us we would have had a really bad time with it, since we are rather low on ranged attacks as a group ;^)

Everywhere here in the tree cover is difficult terrain, even the air. Had you stayed in the open ...


male (he/him)

Also, "Usriev vs Maticore" sounds like the best professional wrestling match ever


I know Cairee's already gone this round, so just some colour.

Cairee had hoped they could talk reasonably with the Manticore. But it was clear from its first words that the beast just really, really, really wanted to eat them. As her friends attacked, the cleric remembered the piles of digested bones with a shudder. It could so easily be them. And with a party of people watching!

She had 30 seconds left on her spell, and they may not live that long. Cairee changed her focus, praying for Saiph to help still the manticore. She was repaid with a massive quill in her arm. "Umph! Quills hit Dounia and Zahra too. Cairee sent up another prayer to Saiph, and immediately felt the quill work its way out of her arm.

Zahra, Dounia and Tymythy attacked again, almost in unison. Cairee kept her eyes on the beast, hoping this barrage would be enough to fell their foe.


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male (he/him)

Zahra delays her initiative to just before Tymythy

Unable to fly away and knocked off balance from Zahra's snowball attack, the manticore yelled as Tymythy and Dounia worked in unison. It writhed and tried to lash out as it received wound after punishing wound.

"KILL ... EAT YOU ... MY KINGDOM ... I TOOK IT ... MINE, MINE, MINE ... EAT YOU ALL ... SPIT YOU OUT!"

Zahra held back and watched as Tymythy sunk his spear between the creature's ribs at it's breast and Dounia, using Tymythy's distraction, slashed her right handed dagger along it's inner hind leg and opened up the main artery.

The manticore fell sideways, dead.

Slowly, like torches being lit, fey began appearing.

Akdrens, "Humph! I could have done that. If you didn't keep getting in the way."

Maywyrt, "In your way! Well it's good something gets in your way or you'd be flying straight into the things' throat."

Akdrens flew over and rested on the carcass of the manticore, "I would choke it from the inside and then, maybe, build a little parlour in there."

Maywyrt, "You'd be a tiny pile of faerie bones like the rest!"

Several of the atomie joined Akdrens and began striking victorious poses.

The half-elf and half-grasshopper woman flew and hovered in front of Tymythy, "You made short work of that. What do we call you? ... Wegbrayda, what are you doing?!" Other Grigs, some seemingly male and others female, flew about Dounia, Cairee, and Zahra.

Wegbrayda grabbed some of Cairee's hair and pulled it up, "Look at this here! She calls out to the exemplars of the Seraphim but she has ears like a human woman." The cleric could feel the flutter of the grig's wings beating the air near her eardrum.


Human Ranger 2 / Fighter 1 | HP: 27/29 (2 nonlethal)| AC (temp): 19 (13 Tch, 16 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: +7 R: +5 W: +1 | Init: +3 | Perc: +7 SM: +1 | SMB: +3, SMD: 14 | bull str: 11
GM Corey Homebrew wrote:
The half-elf and half-grasshopper woman flew and hovered in front of Tymythy, "You made short work of that. What do we call you? ... Wegbrayda, what are you doing?!" Other Grigs, some seemingly male and others female, flew about Dounia, Cairee, and Zahra.

Suddenly finding himself surrounded by curious and emboldened Fey, Tymythy felt considerably more nervous than when he had merely faced deadly peril in the guise of the manticore. A moment ago, after all, only his life had been in jeopardy. With the Fey, on the other hand… he didn’t even understand what the stakes were.

Still, not telling one’s name when someone asked for it was the height of bad manners, and the way it had been asked was not one of those the stories warned against, so…

”I am Tymythy, son of Stywyrt, son of Lywys,” he said, giving the Grig a quick warrior’s bow. ”I hope that with the beast slain, your forest is yours once more. By killing it, we did you a favour. I would ask for a boon in return, to balance the dept,” he went on, thinking carefully as deals with the Fey were something to be avoided, but there was a chance the little folk might take it upon themselves to pay them back in what they considered proper… and entertaining… manner if left on their own devices.

”We seek swift passage to a portal on the far side of the crater, up the cliffside. Could you show us a quick and safe way where we want to go, one that tall folk like us can manage?”


male (he/him)
Tymythy-son-of-Stywyrt wrote:
”I am Tymythy, son of Stywyrt, son of Lywys,”

Maywyrt, "I'd be Maywyrt. Of my people you can see there: Ifegn, Wegbrayda (Weg, stopit), and gayers'hoppa. The loud one there is Akdrens and of his people there is: Megtha, Bayrlice, Olefayt, and Beam." The grig flew down, looked at Tymythy's footware, and then flew back up to eye level.

"Guide you quick? I don't suppose you cannot fly can you? The best way that's fastest on foot is due south-east and then around the upper edge. All of the thickest growth is towards the landfall. My people can show you how, if you like."

Akdrens, "And mine will watch over her's. Don't get up to anything funny."


Cairee wrote:
Wegbrayda grabbed some of Cairee's hair and pulled it up, "Look at this here! She calls out to the exemplars of the Seraphim but she has ears like a human woman." The cleric could feel the flutter of the grig's wings beating the air near her eardrum.

Cairee ducked a little and smoothed down her hair. She couldn't take her eyes away from the Manticore. She had just helped kill a sentient, speaking, being. One that wanted to eat them, yes. But still, the beast had been behaving like the gods had intended when it was created. They had just been manipulated into taking its life for the amusement of Hallwyn.

A spark of anger flickered in Cairee. She'd first felt it on the bridge above the pit in the prison when the Commander had casually thrown a prisoner to his death. The anger that had made her consider harming another person. The anger that had scared her. She pushed it away, and knelt beside the body of the beast. "Saiph, we ask you to guide the spirit of this mighty manticore to his ancestors, so that he can know peace."

She took a moment to examine the manticore's corpse. Was there any mark or tag to indicate it was being controlled by someone? Another thought crossed her mind that made her feel a little guilty for even thinking it - were there any parts of the manticore that could help focus spells? The quills perhaps, she thought, as she unconsciously rubbed her arm where one had been lodged not too long ago.

Perception w/Guidance: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 5 + 1 = 7 It's about time we started balancing out all of Tymythy's nat 20s!
Know. Arcana (?) w/Guidance: 1d20 + 6 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 6 + 1 = 20


male (he/him)

Useful parts of the manticore: hair and hide are mentioned as material components for several spells (eg. could be substituted for bull in 'Bull's Strength'). It's a good roll so We'll say Cairee can point out key parts and someone can make a survival/heal roll to harvest and preserve them so they don't rot. A roll of 10+ gets you some 'basic manticore parts (teeth, unspoiled hair, quills, etc). A roll of 20+ gets you 'advanced manticore parts' (tongue, eyes, hide, heart)

That natural 1 is going to give Cairee a -2 on her next sense motive check for anything having to do with Hallwyn's motives or intrigue related to the competition.

edit - basic manticore parts will take 10mins to recover. Advanced manticore parts will take an hour.


male (he/him)

I've marked Maywyrt's suggested route on the map of The Grining Crater. Best guess, the route will take 6 hours. You'd be home by 5:30to 6:30 depending on how much harvesting you do.

edit - straight through would take seven hours, require 2 DC10 climb checks and several survival (avoid hazard) rolls - bonus if you talk the fey into the straight route


Human Draconic Sorcerer/3 | HP 20/20 | Init +2 | AC14/F12/T13 | Mage armor AC18 | F+2 R+3 W+3 | Perc +4 SM +0 | Active Conditions: Mage Armor | Spells per day: 1st 5/6 | Claws: 7/7rounds | SMB 7; SMD 17

Zahra felt the surge of power within her recede as Dounia and Tymythy dealt the killing blows to the manticore. Sadly, it seemed like this was the only way to deal with this kind of bully. She had tried to go a friendlier route but the manticore had had other ideas.

The sorceress turned her attention to the emerging fey. As they flitted about them, her smile returned. She turned slowly in a circle to get a glimpse of as many of them as possible. "I'm glad some good came from a bad situation. It must have been horrible living in such a stressful environment, never knowing if today would be the day you were eaten or not."

Zahra joined Maywyrt and Tymythy's conversation when they offered to guide them. She clapped her hands together happily, "That would be wonderful! You guiding us through this unfamiliar terrain would be much appreciated and it would give us time to learn more about your home and your culture. I've never met anyone like you all before and I would love to learn more about you."

Straight through takes longer than Maywyrt's suggested route? If that's the case then her suggested route would be my vote. Whatever is fastest and relatively safe :)


male (he/him)

Olefayt perched on Zahra's shoulder, "Well I do suppose we are very interesting. If one looks at us with a prudential light. And as for that one, we've been hiding from him for years now! Trying to stay far enough away so he couldn't get wind of us. It was like having a cloud over our heads in the shape of a ... whataretheycalled ... snarks. A cloud in the shape of a snark ... swimming over our heads ... all day ... everyday."


Human Draconic Sorcerer/3 | HP 20/20 | Init +2 | AC14/F12/T13 | Mage armor AC18 | F+2 R+3 W+3 | Perc +4 SM +0 | Active Conditions: Mage Armor | Spells per day: 1st 5/6 | Claws: 7/7rounds | SMB 7; SMD 17

Zahra gasped as she tried to look at Olefayt on her shoulder, "Years?!? You poor souls. That sounds absolutely awful. I'm sorry you had to experience that."

"But now you are free of that cloud so that's something to be joyful about! And yes, you are very interesting."


Human Ranger 2 / Fighter 1 | HP: 27/29 (2 nonlethal)| AC (temp): 19 (13 Tch, 16 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: +7 R: +5 W: +1 | Init: +3 | Perc: +7 SM: +1 | SMB: +3, SMD: 14 | bull str: 11

A mite busy today and tomorrow, apologies in advance…

Sighing in relief as his gambit seemed to be working, the Fey accepting his suggestion without complaint, Tymyhty allowed himself to relax… just a little bit. They were, after all, still among creatures mystical and frightening, beings we had been taught to distrust since he was old enough to understand stories told to him. But, for the moment at least, their gratitude seemed genuine enough.

As Cairee inspected the fallen beast and prayed for its soul and Zahra busied herself striking a conversation with the Fey, Tymythy knelt to pick up one of the teeth his first blow had knocked loose. It was not his habit to take trophies – less now that he had been introduced to Cairee’s siblings who seemed very keen to do just that – but it still seemed a fitting little memory. Perhaps he could work it into a talisman necklace, one day.

Since this is a time trial I’d suggest against butchering the manticore… although I’m more bummed that we don’t get to see that tower/building/thingey in the middle if we are rushing for the finish line already ;^) Got proper curious what that would turn out to be.


male (he/him)

If I don't hear any descent from Cairee or Dounia I will advance you to the door, via the route the fey suggested. I promise you that every choice you make is a trade-off and I'm willing to go anywhere you all want to go.

Please feel free to ask the Grigs and Atomie anything you like


male (he/him)

Tymythy's survival: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20

Tymythy made short work of a quick harvest of a tooth (and a few other items) and The Ravens were off. Even picking out the tooth had been a little awkward as the ones that had been cut free were cracked or shattered but the young ranger's instincts on where to look were keen.

(please add 'Basic Manticore Parts' to your treasure)

It was a slog through strange trees and strange sounds. Halfway through this faerie jungle everyone could hear a great creaking and upheaval. Some three hundred feet north-east of them, several trees lifted themselves out of the earth and started walking north. They were old plump twisted trees with low canopies covered in old-man's beard and drooping with long vines.

The young male grig, Gayers'hoppa, (who spoke a little too fast) offered, "Ah, don't mind them. They just don't like company. Or lots of movement. Or noise of any kind."

The Grigs and Atomie guided you past every pitfall and danger. The land started to climb and it was two hours of slow progress until everyone came to a clearing. The centre of the crater was blocked by jungle cover. Another hour of walking brought you all to the start of another cliff face.

Maywyrt, "We'll follow the top of this cliff then it's a roundabout way to the southern door. Maybe another three hours from here."

When the group made it to the centre of the cliff the fey stopped, moved to the edge of the cliff and looked over as a group (except for Akdrens who kept a constant eye on you all). There was a moment of silence. They moved away for a spot of rest and pressed on.

Please post any character interaction or questions during any part of the trip under the title A Bird's Eye View of an Old Land. If you don't interact with them they will pass the time silently. If you look over the cliff with them please make any checks you like - kn. nature and perception would be appropriate, amongst others.

---

True to their word, it was another three hours of walking. A vast plane of tall purple grass always to the left and the descent into the crater to the right. This challenge had begun halfway between the song of ten and the song of eleven. It was now eight and a half hours later.

With everyone tired, hungry, and sore, a small cliff face could be seen in the distance. At the base of the cliff was a door of ash, bound with iron bands. Beside the door was a stone sculpture of a manticore's face. It's mouth was open and many dull carved teeth presented themselves. Zahra's hand began to itch and she couldn't help remembering the spell locked door of Bar Ku'bara'sigi.


(-3 Con, -1 Wis) HP 18/18(24) | AC 16/14/12 | F+3/R+6/W+2 | CMB +1, CMD 15 | Acro 10, climb 5, DD 13, EA 10, Init 6, Perc 7, SoH 8, SM 1, Stealth 10, Surv 8

A bird's eye view of an old land

Dounia couldn't help be a bit shocked when the manticore fell so quickly. The spine had hurt, and she rubbed the spot that Cairee had healed. But it barely had been able to fight back.

She was shocked when Zahra asked the tiny fey for guidance. Sure, they were cute, in a tiny, creepy way, but they were fey! Hadn't they been warned against them? "Are you sure that's a good idea? I thought we weren't supposed to accept gifts, or help, or anything?"

The others didn't seem to worry about it, and Zahra particularly seemed to like the little guys.

Zahra wrote:

Zahra gasped as she tried to look at Olefayt on her shoulder, "Years?!? You poor souls. That sounds absolutely awful. I'm sorry you had to experience that."

"But now you are free of that cloud so that's something to be joyful about! And yes, you are very interesting."

Something was bothering Dounia. "What about the other teams? At least five more have to fight the manticore, don't they? What are they going to do? Bring another manticore here? Or bring the one we killed back to life? Or maybe he has other manticore territories linked to his magic door? Surely we didn't make this door useless for the other teams."

As they followed the fey, Dounia realized they were going around the canyon instead of down and up again. She was hesitant to talk to the little fey, but her curiosity overwhelmed her. Pointing down, she asked, "What are the old buildings down there? And how long has that door been there, the one we're going to?"


male (he/him)
Dounia Mehar Mehek Ghali wrote:

"What are the old buildings down there? And how long has that door been there, the one we're going to?"

Still perched on Zahra's shoulder, Wegbrayda began to sing. As she sang the others joined in, one after the other. The women began the lines and the men answered.

"It started with a second sun (a white light and heatless sun),
The sun it formed a silver ring (a thin banded glowing ring),
In the band another sky (a dark night and starry sky),
Like a great hole with our sky gone (stolen by the heatless sun)"

"Inside the ring appeared the land (of stone and earth a floating land),
Like a city far over our heads (our frightened and bewildered heads),
We could hear faint shouts and screams (far away those desperate screams),
The land it then began to fall (at terrible speed upon us all)"

"It drove deep into the ground (the soft fertile and verdant ground),
The landfall did a crater make (a fist of gods this crater make),
Upon the land a city found (a shattered broken city found),
The ring shrunk down 'til it was gone (no sign or scar the ring was gone)"

Then it was just Wegbrayda alone singing.

"But we survived and thrived again,
as before so we again,
And sing our songs to tell our young,
So they may know what the sky has done."

Maywyrt, "That song is five times one hundred years old."

A pause.

Gayers'hoppa, "But the door appeared about seventy days ago. Yeah. Just about seventy days."


Human Draconic Sorcerer/3 | HP 20/20 | Init +2 | AC14/F12/T13 | Mage armor AC18 | F+2 R+3 W+3 | Perc +4 SM +0 | Active Conditions: Mage Armor | Spells per day: 1st 5/6 | Claws: 7/7rounds | SMB 7; SMD 17

A Bird's Eye View of an Old Land

The view from the top of the cliff where they stopped for a moment of rest was absolutely amazing. One could never see much further than in front of your face in the city so to be able to see such a landscape spread out beneath them, it was breath-taking.

perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24

She stood quietly as the fey's song flowed around them. She tried to find meaning in the words but as usual, was finding it hard to do so without someone explaining it to her. "Did anyone appear with the buildings?". Maybe those were the bones they had seen earlier.

With Dounia's questions about other teams, Zahra added, "Have you seen any other groups of people come through the door we did?" She frowned at the confusion of altering time, "Although we were the first team to come through this door so maybe not."

She further voiced her musings, directed at her friends, "Maybe these doors are in some sort of a time loop that resets everything when the quest is completed. Our host has shown that he has the ability to cause time to behave differently in one place than another. Maybe that's something we ask our patron after a couple of days when she's seen other teams attempt what we have."

Turning back to their fey friends, she asked, "Your home is lovely and it sounds like you've been here for many, many years. All the greenery is nice and quite different than my home. What will you all do now that you don't have to worry about the manticore?"


male (he/him)

Zahra kn local: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6 I'm PM'ing you Zahra


male (he/him)

A Bird's Eye View of an Old Land

Zahra al Asmar wrote:
"Did anyone appear with the buildings?"

Maywyrt, "Five times one hundred years ago, I wasn't there, not yet even made. I think there were remains of people. The song says there were cries coming from the city in the sky but it doesn't say there were survivors."

Zahra al Asmar wrote:
"Have you seen any other groups of people come through the door we did?" She frowned at the confusion of altering time, "Although we were the first team to come through this door so maybe not."

Akdrens, "Yes, a group of five people when the door first appeared seventy days or more ago. The manticore picked them off as soon as they came into our world. He devoured them and spit out their bones. I laughed as they fell."

Maywyrt, "Akdrens, for shame!"

Akdrens, "But they were rude, and cruel to the small creatures here. OK, I didn't laugh. But I didn't mourn them either.

"...What will you all do now that you don't have to worry about the manticore?"

Maywyrt, "We will go out and tell others that it is safe to return. They will rebuild." May Atomies and Grig nodded in agreeance.


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Human Ranger 2 / Fighter 1 | HP: 27/29 (2 nonlethal)| AC (temp): 19 (13 Tch, 16 Fl) | CMD: 16 | F: +7 R: +5 W: +1 | Init: +3 | Perc: +7 SM: +1 | SMB: +3, SMD: 14 | bull str: 11

A Bird's Eye View of an Old Land

Dounia Mehar Mehek Ghali wrote:
She was shocked when Zahra asked the tiny fey for guidance. Sure, they were cute, in a tiny, creepy way, but they were fey! Hadn't they been warned against them? "Are you sure that's a good idea? I thought we weren't supposed to accept gifts, or help, or anything?"

”Sure? Far from it. But this is not a gift, but a repayment of a service we already gave them, and the stories tell the Fey like to balance depts. If we don’t provide them to do so, they might take it upon themselves to decide a proper “gift” for us… and I fear that more than I did facing that beast out in the open,” Tymyhty said, shuddering as he recalled bits and pieces of various ancient tales. ”The Fey are… different. Alien. Their morals and values unfathomable, like none of those of other humans. Even among the people here, with their different ways, I can at least understand why they might think the way they do. Not so with the Fey.”

Or so told the tales, at least, considering this was the first time Tymyhty had actually met a Fey outside his nightmares, and if they got out of there with their minds and bodies intact, he would feed the spirits with his own blood in fervent prayers of gratitude.

Zahra al Asmar wrote:
She further voiced her musings, directed at her friends, "Maybe these doors are in some sort of a time loop that resets everything when the quest is completed. Our host has shown that he has the ability to cause time to behave differently in one place than another. Maybe that's something we ask our patron after a couple of days when she's seen other teams attempt what we have."

Tymyhty shook his head, feeling very much lost trying to speculate the way their host would handle the challenges. ”He would like to keep things fair, I think,” he hazarded, not feeling particularly certain in his assumption. ”The easiest thing would be to have a group of those beasts in a cage, ready to be transported here one by one, but that one seemed to know the terrain well, having spent some time here… Honestly, I have no idea,” he sighed, his thoughts having chased each other into a corner.

Manticore sculpture

Tymythy knelt before the stone sculpture, among the purple grasses – among the many subtly wrong things he had seen, the carved rock seemed safe and familiar. Assuming the ladies would soon be busy trying to unravel all the snares and traps and fell magicks bound into the stone and the doors of ash and iron he kept his distance.

”Is this just decoration, I wonder, or should we present here the proof of us completing the challenge?” he asked aloud, taking out one of the manticore tooth he had gathered, sizing it up to the ones carved into the stone beast’s mouth. ”Are there any spells here that might judge us so?”


Cairee followed the others quietly, lost in her own thoughts. How did she get here? A servant of Saiph, dedicated to healing, voluntarily competing in violent sport for riches? Is this where Saiph wanted her to be? Or had she strayed from her path? Cairee remembered their adventures in the desert crypt, and how she'd been punished by losing some of her connection to her goddess. Was she risking that again?

Cairee desperately wanted to talk to her mentor, Tal. But she was farther than ever from her Order. These were questions she would have to work out on her own.

She listened to her friends guess about what the manticore's death meant for the other teams. They echoed her own concerns. Zahra's suggestion of a time loop was particularly cruel. Torturing the poor creature over and over! Though perhaps it meant it would get to live at the end?

A Bird's Eye View of an Old Land

The view was stunning. Cairee was grateful for the break. She listened to Wegbrayda's song while sipping from her water skin. Was he describing a spell? Or a story or legend, perhaps from the same book where she had seen the etchings of the manticore?

Know. Arcana: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Know. Local: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19

Manticore sculpture

Tymythy wrote:
”Is this just decoration, I wonder, or should we present here the proof of us completing the challenge?” he asked aloud, taking out one of the manticore tooth he had gathered, sizing it up to the ones carved into the stone beast’s mouth. ”Are there any spells here that might judge us so?”

Cairee muttered the first words she had in hours as she raised her palm towards the sculpture. "Gica Mtce Ted." She casts detect magic. She'll hold it for several rounds unless something interupts her.


A Bird's Eye View of an Old Land

Cairee was sure that Wegbrayda's song was describing a magical event, though it's cause was unclear. Perhaps a natural magical storm or a magical accident. Or possibly a magical weapon of mass destruction. The thought made her shudder.

The story reminded her of other tales of folks evoking magic beyond their control. The ones she could think of were all set in the ancient past. Of course everyone knew the tale of The Emperor and the Box of Promises, and The Three Magicians and Their Wands of Tomorrow. One that always stuck with Cairee as a child had been The Princess and The Witch's Loom about a young girl who weaves her wishes into an enchanted tapestry that grows so large it smothers her kingdom.

Manticore Sculpture

Cairee concentrated on her prayer and was hit by waves of colour all dancing around each other. Almost everything radiated all different kinds of magic. She sensed illusions, transmutation, conjuration, enchantment. It was beautiful. And overwhelming.

The only objects that didn't radiate magic were the door and the manticore face.

"I don't sense any magical entrapments. There may be physical ones though." She stepped aside for Dounia to take a look.


(-3 Con, -1 Wis) HP 18/18(24) | AC 16/14/12 | F+3/R+6/W+2 | CMB +1, CMD 15 | Acro 10, climb 5, DD 13, EA 10, Init 6, Perc 7, SoH 8, SM 1, Stealth 10, Surv 8

"Could that really have happened?" she asked softly to Cairee and Zahra. She looked again into the crater, and tried to imagine an entire city falling from the sky. She shivered.

Manticore Sculpture

perception on door: 1d20 + 7 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 7 + 1 = 10
perception on sculpture: 1d20 + 7 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 7 + 1 = 17

Dounia didn't like the look of the sculpted face full of sharp stone teeth. She walked past it, looking carefully at the door. She checked it for signs of tricks or traps, likely triggers. Nothing

She moved to the sculpture, saying, "It would be pretty rude to put a trap here, after making us fight a manticore. But I guess we can't make assumptions." She checked the stone face carefully, looking for triggers among the teeth, the eyes, anything she could think of.


male (he/him)

I'm going to advance this little bit

Dounia could see something gleam inside the maw of the stone manticore. She edged her hand in slowly and pulled out a nine inch long silver tube. It had a flared end with two little wings coming out of it and a hook on the opposite end. Nothing happened. No trap was sprung and no new magic activated.

Silver Tube


"The end looks like a key." Cairee looked at the door - did it have a lock?

She turned to the Fay. "Do you know what this is for?"


male (he/him)

The door didn't have a lock. The fey looked at each other and collectively shrugged.

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