Protectors of Golarion (Wrath of the Righteous AP)

Game Master Sensen

Current Chapter: Sword of Valor
Wherein an army marches, a relic is rediscovered, and a victory claimed.
Date: Moonday, 15th of Rova (IX) 4713
Time of Day: Morning
Season: Late Summer
Weather: 21° F (-7° C), Mostly Sunny

4713 Calendar

General Purpose Maps:
The Worldwound

Siege Points: 28 (Victory is Assured)


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Thesius' journey with Nurah is rather relaxing - the halfling woman knows a lot about history (especially about Drezen) and is more than happy to share her knowledge with Thesius, though she's just as eager to hear about any magical items he's learned about as well. "The citadel was founded during the First Crusade - lots of crusaders claim it's a monument to the hubris of our predecessors, because of how easily it ended up falling."

As dusk falls the small army closes with Valas' Gift - the smoke rising in the distance is their first clue. Irabeth glances back, signaling caution in the advance, and the Knights of Kenabres prepare themselves for battle. They pass through fields formerly filled with grain, before arriving on the outskirts of the ruined town.

"Split up into squads of ten. Search for survivors, and shout if you find any threats." Irabeth orders quickly.


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Male | Half-Elf | Archaeologist Bard 5/Evangelist 2/Trickster 2 | HP 40/65 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16; Uncanny Dodge | Fort +5, Ref +11, Will +8; +2 vs. enchantments; +2 sacred vs. insanity or confusion effects | Init. +9 | Perception +23 | Low-Light Vision | Archaeologist's Luck 11/12 left, Lore Master 1/1, Mythic Power 7/7 | Spells 1st - 4/5 2nd - 3/4 | Current buffs: n/a

With Nurah:
"Interesting, I had never thought of it that way. I can see why the claims would be made, but I'm not sure I can agree with that considering what so recently happened in Kenebras. It definitely gives me something to think about," he says, one hand on the reins of his horse while the other is placed upon his chin in a thoughtful manner.

He is more then happy to share his encounters with magical items with Nurah, including the fragment of the wardstone he yet carries.

Thesius face turns grim at the sight before them and his hand goes to the hilt of the morningstar at this side for comfort.

As they come upon the outskirts of the town and are given their orders, he dismounts and find a place to tie Bashful before turning to his companions. "I believe I'll serve better on foot. Shall we continue forward?" As he speaks, he takes the time to pull forth the adamantine morningstar.


female, Aasimar, Paladin 7, Marshal/Champion 2 | HP 73/73| AC 33* (t23/ff23) | CMD 30 | F +14*, R +17*, W +15* | perception (darkvision 60') +1, sense motive +1 | +12 initiative | panache: 4/4; LoH: 7/7; smite: 3/3; divine bond 1/1; mythic: 7/7 |active effects: heroism, veil of heaven, haste

Azira and Wulfric both dismount as well. She draws Radiance while her page unfurls his new flag bearing the sigil of the 5th Crusade. As soon as their companions are ready, they hurry towards the ruined town (Azira in the vanguard and Wulfric in the center of the pack).


NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 7 | Archmageᴹ 2 | HP 48/48 | AC 21 T 15 FF 18 (all +2 v. evil) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 5/7 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +8 Will +8 (+2 vs. insanity/confusion) | Init +13 (and Forewarned) | Perc +14 (+15 Thamyris) | Conditions: haste 7r, shield 9r, expeditious retreat 7m, protection from evil 7m, heightened awareness 40m, tears to wine 40m, mage armor 7h, endure elements 24h | Thamyris: HP 24/24; AC 20 (T 16, FF 18) | Conditions: merge with familiar 7h

Verene taps herself with the armoring wand and makes a swift gesture over Thamyris to allow him to merge with her at need as the column approaches the smoking ruin of Valas' Gift. After they receive their orders, she nods silently at Thesius's suggestion and dismounts with the others, tying Mouse to a tree close to Bashful (but out of range of her teeth), then takes out a single coffee bean from her pouch and crunches it between her teeth as she casts another spell to heighten her powers of observation. She also invokes the message cantrip between herself, Irabeth and all the companions so that if they discover something without being noticed, they can pass word of it back to the commander quietly. Then, with the second curing wand in her left hand and the magic missile wand ready in its sheath, she begins scanning for the presence of surface thoughts as the group spreads out with the other squads and begins to look for any survivors. She does not want to miss someone hiding quietly out of sight or in a basement, if there is such a person.

Casts mage armor from wand (1 hour, 31 charges remaining), merge with familiar (6 hours), heightened awareness (1 hour), message (1 hour), detect thoughts (concentration, up to 6 minutes).

Thamyris perches watchfully on her shoulder and Verene tries to stay just behind Elliot as they approach, in case using the shield wand becomes necessary.

Perception rolls if necessary:
Perception, Verene, heightened awareness: 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 9 + 2 = 28
Perception, Thamyris: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (4) + 14 = 18


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M M Aasimar (peri) Magus 7 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 2. Unbuffed: Init +9, Perc. +11. HP 69/69. AC 22/FF16/T17. : F+9, R+10, W+8 (+2 vs conf/insan) Att. +13, 1d6+8/18-20/x2. CMB +13, CMD 23. Conc.: +13. VS SR: +9 /+13 (evil outsider). Darkvision. Current buffs/conditions: Haste, blur, prot. Vs evil, shield, flight, inspire courage +2.

Earlier...

Merixia wrote:
"I guess I don't need my cunning plan to ask you to teach me Celestial so I would have an excuse to spend time alone with you. It was such a good plan too!"

Elliot interrupts his now-beaming smile to laugh heartity. When was the last time he'd been this happy; this elated? "Indeed, a plan so cunning, you could stick a tail on it and call it fox! Though... if it's any reconciliation, you were doing pretty well with just the armor thing alone. Do you have any idea how hard it was to- to... oh."

He was smart enough to take the hint when she suddenly took the initiative and moved in a trajectory aimed at the lower part of his face, and he met her halfway. It wasn't how he'd imagined their first kiss to go. Half-formed ideas based on intricate courtship rituals of various cultures he'd read up on just to get to this point, set to be enacted when they'd retaken Drezen probably, went out the window in favor of a stolen moment here in the rainy woods - having snuck away with her from the rest of the army.

It was perfect.

"Where do I put my hands er do I use my hands well shoulders seem safe should I press more or less why oh why don't they have tomes on this sort of stuff you'd think it was important to wizards too as they themselves have to come from somewhere first right-"

...Even if he was sure his technique could use probably use a bit of work.

Even if Irabeth would definitely discipline if not kill him if she ever found out.

What mattered what that it felt wonderful , and he tried to silently convey that to her as if she were the single greatest treasure in the world.

Eventually the cry for departure reaches his ears and he breaks apart, quickly looking around to see if someone'd noticed them. Though really, that was a lost cause; Kharroumzadeh himself could have been tapdancing around them the last... minute? Minutes? or so and he'd have never been the wiser. "For the record, I'd have settled for kissing your hand; that was the plan, as it seemed the more knightly thing to do."

Infernal:
"But colour me positively surprised."

He winks as he does just that on the way back towards the knights.

Now...

Surveying the ruined town before them, Elliot dismounts and draws Righteous Eclipse. "Commander, should I take a look from the air first?" He offers, and would fly straight up to get an eagle-eye view of the ruins and town before the knights departed unless someone objected over concerns of stealth.

It seemed a good tactical move, but in truth he was just sidestepping somehow not being able to recall anything of the briefing of the town just them. He probably should have felt guilty about that and all but honestly it was already pretty difficult just to keep his pleased grin down.


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Thesius & Nurah:
The halfling woman is quite interested in the wardstone fragment, and happily examines it as best as she is able on the move.

"You six I trust on your own - I don't think there's anything here that can effectively ambush you without you getting some sort of alarm out." Irabeth says in reply to Thesius. "So go ahead when you're ready."

She looks to Elliot for a moment, before clapping her forehead with her palm in exasperation. "Right, you can fly. I'd totally forgotten. Go ahead and take a quick look around from the air, if you would."

Despite their best efforts and almost half an hour's search, when the army reconvenes, everyone reports that there are no signs of any survivors - or indeed any threats. It's as though they were all taken away - even the corpses are gone.

A few paladins (and the party) do find a bit of preserved food - mostly flour and jerky - that might be useful for the march ahead.

"I suppose we'll camp out here tonight." Irabeth says, her expression dark. "Your watches will be assigned after everything is put up."


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Male | Half-Elf | Archaeologist Bard 5/Evangelist 2/Trickster 2 | HP 40/65 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16; Uncanny Dodge | Fort +5, Ref +11, Will +8; +2 vs. enchantments; +2 sacred vs. insanity or confusion effects | Init. +9 | Perception +23 | Low-Light Vision | Archaeologist's Luck 11/12 left, Lore Master 1/1, Mythic Power 7/7 | Spells 1st - 4/5 2nd - 3/4 | Current buffs: n/a

With Nurah...:
"The fragment does seem to hold some small fraction of the shards power, but I'm hesitant to use it. I'm honestly thinking of fashioning it into a necklace. It will keep it easily accessible, but also server as a momento of what we have been through so far," he says to Nurah as she looks over the item. "If you have any further insight into the item, it would be appreciated."

Thesius heart sinks at the sight of the devastation. The lack of bodies gives him hope, but also raise a sense of dread within him as well.

When they report back, Thesius is quick to start assisting with the duties of preparing the camp. He's eager to learn what he can. Not only in preparation for the future, but to keep himself active and from dwelling on the situation.


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F Tiefling (Hellspawn) Cleric of Ragathiel 7 | Hierophant 2 | HP 65/65 | AC: 19 (11 tch, 18 ff) | CMB +10, CMD +21 | F +8, R +4, W +11 | Init +3 | Perc +14, SM +18 | Destructive Smite 6/8 | Touch of Good 8/8 | Channel 4d6 3/3 | Pyrotechnics 1/1 | True Strike 2/2 | Protection from Evil 0/2 | Mythic Power 7/7 | Effects: tears to wine, shield of wings, ironskin, bull's strength, protection from evil, divine favor, haste, shared training, keen edge
Elliot, the Red Heron wrote:

Elliot interrupts his now-beaming smile to laugh heartity. When was the last time he'd been this happy; this elated? "Indeed, a plan so cunning, you could stick a tail on it and call it fox! Though... if it's any reconciliation, you were doing pretty well with just the armor thing alone. Do you have any idea how hard it was to- to... oh."

He was smart enough to take the hint when she suddenly took the initiative and moved in a trajectory aimed at the lower part of his face, and he met her halfway. It wasn't how he'd imagined their first kiss to go. Half-formed ideas based on intricate courtship rituals of various cultures he'd read up on just to get to this point, set to be enacted when they'd retaken Drezen probably, went out the window in favor of a stolen moment here in the rainy woods - having snuck away with her from the rest of the army.

It was perfect.

"Where do I put my hands er do I use my hands well shoulders seem safe should I press more or less why oh why don't they have tomes on this sort of stuff you'd think it was important to wizards too as they themselves have to come from somewhere first right-"

...Even if he was sure his technique could use probably use a bit of work.

Even if Irabeth would definitely discipline if not kill him if she ever found out.

What mattered what that it felt wonderful , and he tried to silently convey that to her as if she were the single greatest treasure in the world.

Now Merixia sees why people make such a big deal out of kissing. She's probably not very good at it (yet!) but she does her best to convey just how happy she is with Elliot's declaration of... is this love? Maybe? Ugh, why doesn't romance come with instructions?

Whatever this is, she most definitely likes it and wants more.

Elliot, the Red Heron wrote:

Eventually the cry for departure reaches his ears and he breaks apart, quickly looking around to see if someone'd noticed them. Though really, that was a lost cause; Kharroumzadeh himself could have been tapdancing around them the last... minute? Minutes? or so and he'd have never been the wiser. "For the record, I'd have settled for kissing your hand; that was the plan, as it seemed the more knightly thing to do."

Infernal:
"But colour me positively surprised."

He winks as he does just that on the way back towards the knights.

"Yeah, well, the words weren't coming out right and I didn't want to wait any longer. In case you haven't noticed, I'm no lady, and I like to charge into things headfirst." She grins at him. "And yes, the armor thing was definitely an excuse to get your hands on me. Although putting heavy armor on is much easier with help."

Wait. Did Elliot just speak in Infernal? He did! "You speak Infernal? Oh my gods, Elliot, why didn't you tell me?" Whoops, it sounds like the army is getting ready to move on. They'll have to finish this conversation later. Merixia hurries back to her horse as Elliot does the same.

Worldwound GM wrote:

Despite their best efforts and almost half an hour's search, when the army reconvenes, everyone reports that there are no signs of any survivors - or indeed any threats. It's as though they were all taken away - even the corpses are gone.

"I suppose we'll camp out here tonight." Irabeth says, her expression dark. "Your watches will be assigned after everything is put up."

Merixia sighs, tired and disappointed with the results of their search. The lack of corpses probably means that the folk of Valas' Gift were kidnapped, and when demons are involved, there are many possible fates worse than death. "Yes, Commander." At least Verene took her suggestion and bought a three-person tent for herself, Azira, and Merixia. She looks over to the wizard and paladin. "Let's get the tent set up, shall we?"


NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 7 | Archmageᴹ 2 | HP 48/48 | AC 21 T 15 FF 18 (all +2 v. evil) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 5/7 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +8 Will +8 (+2 vs. insanity/confusion) | Init +13 (and Forewarned) | Perc +14 (+15 Thamyris) | Conditions: haste 7r, shield 9r, expeditious retreat 7m, protection from evil 7m, heightened awareness 40m, tears to wine 40m, mage armor 7h, endure elements 24h | Thamyris: HP 24/24; AC 20 (T 16, FF 18) | Conditions: merge with familiar 7h
Merixia wrote:
"Let's get the tent set up, shall we?"

Verene nods, subdued. She had not had high hopes for the village after seeing it silent and smoking in the distance, and the lack of even carrion birds circling overhead should have been a clue, but the fate of the villagers taken from here does not bear thinking on.

Instead she rubs down Mouse to the best of her ability, covers her with her rain-cover to keep off some of the damp weather, and helps Merixia and Azira set up the large and somewhat complicated tent for the first time in whatever place they are directed to put it. With three people working on it, it goes surprisingly quickly. It was supposed to hold four people, but if so they would have to be very good friends indeed. Three bedrolls and the miniature folding table with compartments for her components are already quite cozy.

Once that is done, she returns to Irabeth for her watch assignment and checks in with Thesius and Elliot to make sure they are having no trouble with setting up camp. Elliot especially had said he had never traveled much before, and she wants to be sure that the tent will not let the rain in or collapse on him in the night.

Verene also uses a bit of time before dinner or during her watch to work on the rose quartz crystal she is trying to turn into an ioun stone.


female, Aasimar, Paladin 7, Marshal/Champion 2 | HP 73/73| AC 33* (t23/ff23) | CMD 30 | F +14*, R +17*, W +15* | perception (darkvision 60') +1, sense motive +1 | +12 initiative | panache: 4/4; LoH: 7/7; smite: 3/3; divine bond 1/1; mythic: 7/7 |active effects: heroism, veil of heaven, haste

Azira seems troubled after the town is found empty and she helps set up camp in silence.

did the demons do this before we destroyed the wardstones? I wouldn't have thought any would be out this far... it could have been cultists fleeing after our victory but it would take quite a few cultists to do something like this... I wonder how many people lived here, and how many of them were taken as slaves rather than food...

Once their tent is ready she tracks down Korryn and goes with her to meet with Irabeth. "Commander," she says, "the force that did this must be fairly significant, and to leave nobody behind must mean they've taken some as slaves. With your permission, I'd like to send Korryn and a couple other scouts to circle the town looking for the trail they left when they departed, to see if they can estimate their numbers, which direction they were headed, and--perhaps most importantly--how long ago they left."


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Thesius & Nurah:

"I'm no expert in this sort of thing." Nurah admits, examining the fragment closely. "But I don't think it would hurt to put around your neck. Maybe after we reclaim Drezen we'll have more time to look into it."

Irabeth considers Azira's words for a moment. "Go ahead. I don't know how long it's been since this place was attacked, but if there are any signs of it, I'll let you find out."

Azira's quick scouting expedition reveals that if there were any survivors of the attack, they were taken northwards - but that was weeks ago, perhaps just after Armasse. It's difficult to imagine that there are any still alive, but it is, perhaps, possible.

Once all watches are assigned and the encampment up, a dinner is served from the most perishable supplies first, before those who aren't on first watch put themselves to bed.

I'll give you all a last post for this day before moving us onwards.


Male | Half-Elf | Archaeologist Bard 5/Evangelist 2/Trickster 2 | HP 40/65 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16; Uncanny Dodge | Fort +5, Ref +11, Will +8; +2 vs. enchantments; +2 sacred vs. insanity or confusion effects | Init. +9 | Perception +23 | Low-Light Vision | Archaeologist's Luck 11/12 left, Lore Master 1/1, Mythic Power 7/7 | Spells 1st - 4/5 2nd - 3/4 | Current buffs: n/a

With Nurah...:
"I had not even thought if it might hurt me. After surviving the explosion, that had not even occurred to me. I would be curious to see what secrets may yet still lie within the piece..." he says after taking it back from Nurah and examining it. "I merely thought it would make a good keepsake."

Thesius makes sure to take the time to eat, his ring not fully attuned to assist him with such needs as of yet. From what he was told, it would still yet be five more days before it's magic took effect.

When not attending to his watch or resting, he will take the time to boost the morale of the group through various activities like cards, dice, and various performances. He will even add in a little magic (Heroism) to assist with any displays of prowess he might attempt.

Let me know if you would like me to make any rolls for such things.


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female, Aasimar, Paladin 7, Marshal/Champion 2 | HP 73/73| AC 33* (t23/ff23) | CMD 30 | F +14*, R +17*, W +15* | perception (darkvision 60') +1, sense motive +1 | +12 initiative | panache: 4/4; LoH: 7/7; smite: 3/3; divine bond 1/1; mythic: 7/7 |active effects: heroism, veil of heaven, haste

Azira reports their findings to the commander then joins her companions for dinner. While they eat, she informs them, “Irabeth gave me leave to lead a scouting mission around the town after the search was over. Korryn and the other scouts identified signs of whoever did this moving north from here, but it was weeks ago—right after Armasse—so there’s no way we could have reached them in time. But, thankfully, whatever demons were part of this destruction have likely been destroyed by our victory in the Gray Garrison. Small consolation that it is for the families of those who fell here… If there were cultists involved too, we may catch up with them at some point; without any demonic support their conquests will likely be slower and harder won, and if they don’t have a strong and ambitious leader to push them somewhere else they may try to retreat to Drezen.”

*after dinner*
Confident that there are more than a few Iomedaeans amongst the army, Azira sends Wulfric out to spread word of an evening gathering for any who wish to participate. At the appointed time and place she leads the singing of several hymns while her page offers a stirring reading of a passage from “The Acts” and a prayer. At the conclusion of the gathering she announces that any who wish to join her for morning prayers can meet in the same place and that Wulfric will also share a reading from the “Book of War Prayers.”

I can make rolls to bolster morale and whatnot too, if appropriate. Ideally I’d like to use diplomacy for that (for the time interacting before/after services), but I do have perform [sing] and Wulfric has perform [oratory] if you prefer those. Also, the book of War Prayers is a real item that Wulfric has- when he spends 10 minutes reading from it anyone who hears it gains +2 to their next save vs fear (within 24 hours)- that won’t affect paladins at all, but it could help anyone else who listens.


F Tiefling (Hellspawn) Cleric of Ragathiel 7 | Hierophant 2 | HP 65/65 | AC: 19 (11 tch, 18 ff) | CMB +10, CMD +21 | F +8, R +4, W +11 | Init +3 | Perc +14, SM +18 | Destructive Smite 6/8 | Touch of Good 8/8 | Channel 4d6 3/3 | Pyrotechnics 1/1 | True Strike 2/2 | Protection from Evil 0/2 | Mythic Power 7/7 | Effects: tears to wine, shield of wings, ironskin, bull's strength, protection from evil, divine favor, haste, shared training, keen edge
Azira Tal-Shirin wrote:
Azira reports their findings to the commander then joins her companions for dinner. While they eat, she informs them, “Irabeth gave me leave to lead a scouting mission around the town after the search was over. Korryn and the other scouts identified signs of whoever did this moving north from here, but it was weeks ago—right after Armasse—so there’s no way we could have reached them in time. But, thankfully, whatever demons were part of this destruction have likely been destroyed by our victory in the Gray Garrison. Small consolation that it is for the families of those who fell here… If there were cultists involved too, we may catch up with them at some point; without any demonic support their conquests will likely be slower and harder won, and if they don’t have a strong and ambitious leader to push them somewhere else they may try to retreat to Drezen.”

Merixia frowns as Azira delivers the news. "North... that probably means the townsfolk were captured rather than evacuated of their own will. Damn. Well, hopefully they were taken to Drezen and we'll find them alive."

After dinner, she goes to find Elliot. "Hey Elliot, want to go say hi to Aravashnial? I haven't had a chance to see him since he got his eyes fixed. If I were him, I'd be curious as to what our group- other than you, of course- looks like." And if Elliot's mentor is going to have a problem with him courting a tiefling, Merixia would rather know sooner than later.


NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 7 | Archmageᴹ 2 | HP 48/48 | AC 21 T 15 FF 18 (all +2 v. evil) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 5/7 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +8 Will +8 (+2 vs. insanity/confusion) | Init +13 (and Forewarned) | Perc +14 (+15 Thamyris) | Conditions: haste 7r, shield 9r, expeditious retreat 7m, protection from evil 7m, heightened awareness 40m, tears to wine 40m, mage armor 7h, endure elements 24h | Thamyris: HP 24/24; AC 20 (T 16, FF 18) | Conditions: merge with familiar 7h

Verene listens to Azira's report expressionlessly, holding in one hand a muddied yarn doll picked up in the search of the village. "It is the logical place for them to go. They could easily be in Drezen already, if they left right after destroying the town three weeks ago or even after the Wardstone explosion two weeks ago. I do hope we catch them on the way instead of after they are behind its walls." The chilly remoteness of her tone promises nothing good for the cultists if that happens.

After camp is set and dinner is eaten, she watches any performance or tale of heroics past that Thesius or Elliot or Wulfric would like to put on, discreetly using a cantrip to add appropriate small sound effects like the clashing of swords, distant wind or rain or thunder, the shouts of battle, or even faint music. Ghost sound as needed, hopefully can give a little boost to anyone who wants to perform. Then she retreats to the tent she is sharing with Merixia and Azira to work on her rose crystal prism.

I wasn't sure before if there would be cooking or we would be eating our rations cold, but Verene would like to help with cooking duty in the future if that is something we can request.


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M M Aasimar (peri) Magus 7 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 2. Unbuffed: Init +9, Perc. +11. HP 69/69. AC 22/FF16/T17. : F+9, R+10, W+8 (+2 vs conf/insan) Att. +13, 1d6+8/18-20/x2. CMB +13, CMD 23. Conc.: +13. VS SR: +9 /+13 (evil outsider). Darkvision. Current buffs/conditions: Haste, blur, prot. Vs evil, shield, flight, inspire courage +2.
Azira Tal-Shirin wrote:
Azira reports their findings to the commander then joins her companions for dinner. While they eat, she informs them, “Irabeth gave me leave to lead a scouting mission around the town after the search was over. Korryn and the other scouts identified signs of whoever did this moving north from here, but it was weeks ago—right after Armasse—so there’s no way we could have reached them in time. (...) and if they don’t have a strong and ambitious leader to push them somewhere else they may try to retreat to Drezen.”

"If they took all the villagers without also taking the food in town, and it is a two week journey there..." Elliot says, pausing his dinner of basic bread and goat cheese, "...Then they might not intend for them to survive that trip at all, though I pray to Sarenrae's mercy that time will prove me wrong. We also still don't really know what the demons are even using all these prisoners - and bodies? - for. It was the same back in Kenabres, when we reached the temple district. Everyone, every body, was taken. This town... it reminds me of that. Though without further information, all we can do is speculate."

Merixia wrote:
""Hey Elliot, want to go say hi to Aravashnial? I haven't had a chance to see him since he got his eyes fixed. If I were him, I'd be curious as to what our group - other than you, of course- looks like."

The magus smiles, drawn from his thoughts and post-dinner walk through the town as he made smalltalk with some of the soldiers. "Sure. Let's go talk to him. Though he probably already knows that; especially Verene. You know, I... suspect the two of them might be courting, or close to it, at any rate, with how often I see them together. It's... an odd feeling, to be sure."

"Still... I think they'd be a good match. They're both the studious sort, both really gifted magicians, and both manage to tolerate me, so that's a plus," He grins. "Actually, those languages we touched on earlier, like Infernal? I can speak a lot more of them; elven, abyssal, halfling... the list goes on. That was actually one of the first things he began teaching me. Magic has a subject has been studied so extensively and by so many different researchers from all over the world throughout the ages, that not being able to read foreign works gives you a huge disadvantage. Good translations are often lacking or too expensive, to say nothing of tomes still waiting to be rediscovered..."

He continues making smalltalk with his now paramour, as infant as that discription was, until they found his mentor. "Master? Are we here at a good time? The two of us, Meri and I, were wondering-" He glances at Merixia as he realizes then he doesn't really have a burning topic to discuss with him. Did she have something specific in mind? "...How you were doing so far on this journey? Um... I've also been wondering, if you've had a chance to study this strange power the five of us at the garrison have inherited? It would probably benefit us and our cause if we could, though I admit I am not sure how to go about it."


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Thesius with Nurah:
"It seems a good one!" She smiles up at him. Going to end this one off here, since we're moving ahead.

Thesius finds that although the Knights of Kenabres are paladins, there're a few who are willing to relax with him before turning in - Aron and Sosiel also join in at times, but eventually the groups head for bed (such as it is) for the night.

Azira and Wulfric invite everyone to witness their performance, and almost everyone joins, save for those on active watch. The bulk of the Knights of Kenabres join in at the appropriate times, although a handful watch in silent prayers. Verene's small aid helps enhance the experience to some degree. A few who notice it frown, though - more in confusion than disapproval.

You can make either roll, though I'd go with the Performs, based on your description. Any of the PCs who want to listen in on the war prayers can get that bonus, because most of the rest of the witnesses are paladins.

Spoilered more for administrative purposes than secrecy.

Elliot, Merixia, Aravashnial:
The pair find the elf Riftwarden in his tent, writing what Elliot recognizes as spells in his spellbook. He looks up from his work when the arrive. "Ah,, Elliot." His ears twitch in amusement. "And Merixia. Welcome. I would complain for the ride's discomfort, but in the face of this devastation..." He waves vaguely outside of his tent. "It would seem in ill taste."

He shifts upright on his cushion, setting the spellbook aside. Solid silver-blue eyes examine each of his guests. "As for your other question, I would deeply enjoy to learn more of the energies that the wardstone endowed within you all. However, I must finish writing some of these spells into my spellbook for the foreseeable future." He purses his lips. "Give me a couple days, perhaps?"

Toilday, 9th of Rova (IX) 4713

The night passes uneventfully, a fact for which the army gives thanks the following morning. After breaking their fast (Verene helps with making it), the army prepares to break camp, and Irabeth calls the group together.

"We'll be heading out for Vilareth Ford. It should be about a day and a half's march northwards along the river." She rubs her chin, glancing up at the clouded skies above. "Iomedae willing, we'll not be caught out in another storm... but we should prepare for the chill. I don't think today will be very welcoming."


M M Aasimar (peri) Magus 7 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 2. Unbuffed: Init +9, Perc. +11. HP 69/69. AC 22/FF16/T17. : F+9, R+10, W+8 (+2 vs conf/insan) Att. +13, 1d6+8/18-20/x2. CMB +13, CMD 23. Conc.: +13. VS SR: +9 /+13 (evil outsider). Darkvision. Current buffs/conditions: Haste, blur, prot. Vs evil, shield, flight, inspire courage +2.

The next day

"So far, so good - we haven't lost anyone yet," Elliot muses after the briefing, watching the clouds for traces of this extreme weather. "I'm sure we all have decent weather protection, but if it comes down to it, I can probably spare my coldweather outfit. I naturally resist most of the cold." He offers to the others.

He'd have cast Endure elements through his mythic ability but it isn't on the magus list. If we took the wand of it, he would help to charge it for the party and our main allies if necessary while the weather threat lasts.


male, human, Bard 5 | HP 39/39 | AC 17 (t12, ff15) | CMD 15 | Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +5 | bardic performance 14/15 | perception +9, sense motive +13; initiative +1 | active effects: flagbearer, haste

For simplicity sake, Azira and Wulfric will both just take 10 on their perform checks (unless/until it doesn't seem to be helping anything); that puts Azira at a 20 perform [sing] and Wulfric at a 21 perform [oratory].

"I'll pass word around for the soldiers to bundle up, if they can," Wulfric offers before cheerily trotting off to make the rounds. His first stop is to grab his own cold weather gear which he quickly dons before continuing on to alert the rest of the knights.


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NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 7 | Archmageᴹ 2 | HP 48/48 | AC 21 T 15 FF 18 (all +2 v. evil) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 5/7 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +8 Will +8 (+2 vs. insanity/confusion) | Init +13 (and Forewarned) | Perc +14 (+15 Thamyris) | Conditions: haste 7r, shield 9r, expeditious retreat 7m, protection from evil 7m, heightened awareness 40m, tears to wine 40m, mage armor 7h, endure elements 24h | Thamyris: HP 24/24; AC 20 (T 16, FF 18) | Conditions: merge with familiar 7h

I addressed this in the Discussion thread, but Verene wouldn't attend or add her magic to the hymn-singing, reading from the Acts, prayers, or reading from the Book of War Prayers the following morning. Sorry for the confusion, my fault for not specifying.

Toilday, 9th of Rova (IX) 4713
Although yesterday she felt only twinges at the end of their long and dispiritingly damp journey yesterday, Verene arises very stiff and sore from all the unaccustomed time on horseback, so takes twenty minutes or so to do her strange stretching exercises before getting ready for the day and hastening to the cook-fire to help with preparing breakfast. She has made simple meals like porridge and soup for large groups before, under supervision, but it was long ago, and she wants to learn more about cookery within the limitations of a military camp's supplies. It is certainly better than digging or filling in latrine trenches, although she made sure to add her name to all such camp-chore rotas and that too will no doubt be her task eventually. If the soldiers take turns doing a thing, from chopping wood to caring for the horses, so will she (though no doubt slower and worse.)

After breakfast, when the others are cleaning up or listening to Wulfric as he reads out prayers, she returns to the tent to prepare her spells in relative peace and quiet before breaking camp.

Worldwound GM wrote:
"We'll be heading out for Vilareth Ford. It should be about a day and a half's march northwards along the river." She rubs her chin, glancing up at the clouded skies above. "Iomedae willing, we'll not be caught out in another storm... but we should prepare for the chill. I don't think today will be very welcoming."

Verene looks up at the dark clouds, then at Thesius. It seems about the same temperature as yesterday so far, but... "Shall we use the wand?"

If he wishes, she takes out the wand of endure elements and speaks the command word before tapping it once on each of them. (Also on anyone else in the party who wants it, just let me know.)


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Male | Half-Elf | Archaeologist Bard 5/Evangelist 2/Trickster 2 | HP 40/65 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16; Uncanny Dodge | Fort +5, Ref +11, Will +8; +2 vs. enchantments; +2 sacred vs. insanity or confusion effects | Init. +9 | Perception +23 | Low-Light Vision | Archaeologist's Luck 11/12 left, Lore Master 1/1, Mythic Power 7/7 | Spells 1st - 4/5 2nd - 3/4 | Current buffs: n/a

Prior evening...

Thesius appreciates the company of those that choose to spend time with him throughout the evening and will make an appearance at Azira and Wulfric's evening gathering out of respect and curiosity.

Toilday, 9th of Rova (IX) 4713

Thesius dresses and takes the time to tend to his daily dance to Desna. He feels the movements help ease his body from the hardships as he does.

Upon finishing, he will seek out any odd jobs he might assist with. Much like Verene, he is looking to learn what he can on this journey.

After Irabeth announces their course to him, he will look to the sky to determine what he might from it.

Survival Check: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11

"Thank you for your guidance Irabeth. If it comes to it, we may also watch out for any that are suffering ill effects from the cold and help alleviate them of such through use of the endure elements wand."

He will agree to a charge from the wand should he feel they need it.


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F Tiefling (Hellspawn) Cleric of Ragathiel 7 | Hierophant 2 | HP 65/65 | AC: 19 (11 tch, 18 ff) | CMB +10, CMD +21 | F +8, R +4, W +11 | Init +3 | Perc +14, SM +18 | Destructive Smite 6/8 | Touch of Good 8/8 | Channel 4d6 3/3 | Pyrotechnics 1/1 | True Strike 2/2 | Protection from Evil 0/2 | Mythic Power 7/7 | Effects: tears to wine, shield of wings, ironskin, bull's strength, protection from evil, divine favor, haste, shared training, keen edge
Worldwound GM wrote:

The pair find the elf Riftwarden in his tent, writing what Elliot recognizes as spells in his spellbook. He looks up from his work when the arrive. "Ah,, Elliot." His ears twitch in amusement. "And Merixia. Welcome. I would complain for the ride's discomfort, but in the face of this devastation..." He waves vaguely outside of his tent. "It would seem in ill taste."

He shifts upright on his cushion, setting the spellbook aside. Solid silver-blue eyes examine each of his guests. "As for your other question, I would deeply enjoy to learn more of the energies that the wardstone endowed within you all. However, I must finish writing some of these spells into my spellbook for the foreseeable future." He purses his lips. "Give me a couple days, perhaps?"

Merixia takes Elliot's hand as they enter Aravashnial's tent. From what she's seen, the elf is perceptive enough to notice that kind of thing. She smiles at his greeting and waves with both her free hand and her tail. "Hi, Aravashnial! Sorry to interrupt, I should have realized you would be working. I figured it would be nice to stop by, see how you're doing and all. I know if I were you, I'd be curious as to what the people you've been traveling and fighting alongside look like. So here I am."

Worldwound GM wrote:
The night passes uneventfully, a fact for which the army gives thanks the following morning. After breaking their fast (Verene helps with making it), the army prepares to break camp, and Irabeth calls the group together.

As Merixia wakes that morning, her body makes its displeasure with horseback riding known. While she's in excellent shape, she hasn't been on a horse in a while, and that takes a different set of muscles than fighting or carrying heavy loads. She rubs some pungent camphor-smelling salve into her legs, offering it to her friends as well, before she washes up and performs her morning prayers along with some stretches and sword forms that Father Darian taught her. Fortunately, Ragathiel's faithful always have the option of physical activity during their prayers. The General of Vengeance approves of keeping one's body in fighting form.

Once her morning routine is done and the tent is packed up, Merixia volunteers to help with the camp tasks that require brute strength or divine magic, such as creating water for dishes or carrying tents and other equipment to the supply wagons. While she's willing to do other tasks, the tiefling isn't much of a cook. If they want her to help with breakfast, the most she can reliably do is peel and chop vegetables.

Worldwound GM wrote:
"We'll be heading out for Vilareth Ford. It should be about a day and a half's march northwards along the river." She rubs her chin, glancing up at the clouded skies above. "Iomedae willing, we'll not be caught out in another storm... but we should prepare for the chill. I don't think today will be very welcoming."

"I'll be fine even if the weather turns. Tieflings are naturally resistant to cold, and I have warm clothes. If anyone gets frostbite, chilblains, or cold sickness, I can help treat them." She pauses. "If they want my help, that is." While southern Cheliax and Andoran are usually quite warm, Merixia has seen and learned how to treat such conditions on her journey north.


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M M Aasimar (peri) Magus 7 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 2. Unbuffed: Init +9, Perc. +11. HP 69/69. AC 22/FF16/T17. : F+9, R+10, W+8 (+2 vs conf/insan) Att. +13, 1d6+8/18-20/x2. CMB +13, CMD 23. Conc.: +13. VS SR: +9 /+13 (evil outsider). Darkvision. Current buffs/conditions: Haste, blur, prot. Vs evil, shield, flight, inspire courage +2.

The previous day

Merixia wrote:
Merixia takes Elliot's hand as they enter Aravashnial's tent. From what she's seen, the elf is perceptive enough to notice that kind of thing. She smiles at his greeting and waves with both her free hand and her tail. "Hi, Aravashnial! Sorry to interrupt, I should have realized you would be working. I figured it would be nice to stop by, see how you're doing and all. I know if I were you, I'd be curious as to what the people you've been traveling and fighting alongside look like. So here I am."
Aravashnial wrote:
""Give me a couple days, perhaps?"

Elliot's eyes widen a fraction as he feels her hand slide into his right in front of Aravashnial, and his hair flares blue a second or two before gradually turning back to normal. "Right. Let's just... play this cool and pretend it's not a big deal. It's not like we're announcing we're a couple straight to the only real father figure I've got left. Oh wait. Well, screw it. If he objects I'll just spill all his embarassing secrets to Verene and he knows it!"

He grips Merixia's hand in return as his teacher similarly pretends nothing is unusual here and just answers his question. "A few days? Sure. I'm curious about your insight. If you want to perform some smaller test in the meantime I'm happy to demonstrate some things."

"...Oh, and we're courting. We just... thought you should know," He adds, smiling.

Now...

Elliot spends the rest of the morning breaking up his tent and getting ready to travel again, but in the moments of waiting he approached Sosial. "Sosial? Could I ask you something? You're a cleric of Shelyn... and a fairly high ranking one to be part of the Queen's personal guard, I imagine. Do you, um, as a Shelynite, have any advice for how to go about Courting someone? Are there rules or guidelines? Ideas that might have worked for you in the past, if you are comfortable sharing those? I... realize we're here to wage a war - but I've recently fallen for someone and she seemingly returns my feelings. It's just, I'm not sure how to proceed from here, as it is all new to me..."


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female, Aasimar, Paladin 7, Marshal/Champion 2 | HP 73/73| AC 33* (t23/ff23) | CMD 30 | F +14*, R +17*, W +15* | perception (darkvision 60') +1, sense motive +1 | +12 initiative | panache: 4/4; LoH: 7/7; smite: 3/3; divine bond 1/1; mythic: 7/7 |active effects: heroism, veil of heaven, haste

Azira rises with the sun and returns to spot where the previous night's meeting had been held. She waits a few minutes for any others to arrive and then kneels facing the sun, with Radiance held before her and her holy symbol hanging from the hilt, and spends an hour offering her morning prayers.*

*:
This is the prescribed daily practice for the deific obedience feat, so many of the paladins would probably recognize it (though they aren't bound to it unless they take the feat too). I didn't think to mention it in character the night before but she would have explained the night before that it was alright for people to come for only part of the time if they had other duties to attend to or whatever.

After morning prayer, and Wulfric's reading from the War Prayers, she eats breakfast with her friends. Then she approaches Irabeth. "Commander, with your permission, I'd like to accompany you as much as possible when you're attending to the details of leading, and managing, the army. At the risk of pridefulness, I suspect that if we were ever to need to split up our forces it would fall to me to lead the units that you weren't with, and I'd like to be as prepared as possible."


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Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

Merixia and Elliot:

Aravashnial smiles faintly at Merixia. "You are forgiven." He examines her carefully. "I have been riding with you all day," he grimaces faintly at the thought, "but it is good to have a chance to see you - or indeed anything - more closely."

At Elliot's announcement, he pauses, his expression closing. After a moment, he smiles almost sadly. "At least someone can find some love in this situation." Before they can inquire further, he continues. "Congratulations, my friend. It remains strange to me how swiftly you grow up."

Shaking his head, the Riftwarden runs a hand through his hair. "You should speak with Sosiel. I'm sure he'll be delighted to offer you Shelyn's blessings."

Irabeth nods at Merixia before glancing to Sosiel.

"I can offer similar treatments. If it becomes a problem, I'll be able to pray for the spell that Thesius mentioned tomorrow." He frowns. "But I'd prefer to save some of it for any battles we may encounter."

"How well-charged is that wand, Thesius?" Irabeth asks. "We've more than a hundred of us here, even including Merixia and our aasimar, who won't need it as much. While most of us will be able to endure the cold..." She looks at Nurah and then at Anevia.

"I'll be fine, Irabeth." Anevia says, rolling her eyes. "If I need it, I'll speak with Thesius."

Nurah considers. "I think it'd be good if I were protected. Thesius, could I trouble you?"

With that settled, Irabeth looks to Azira. "It seems a good idea. If I'm ever incapacitated, others will likely look to you and your companions for leadership." She touches her holy symbol. "Iomedae fend."

Elliot with Sosiel:

Sosiel smiles at Elliot. "High-ranking? No, no. I'm not part of the Queen's personal guard or anything like that, though I appreciate that you think I could be. I suppose you could call me the highest-ranking priest in Kenabres, but that... wasn't true before Armasse."

"That said, I'm more than happy to help you kindle your own beauty in the face of the horror and foulness against which we fight."

"Now, first and foremost, I want you to set aside the idea that there is any right way to court someone." The cleric looks at him with utter sincerity. "There are better ways and worse ways, of course, but no one true path leads to love."

He rubs his immaculately-groomed mustache. "Second, there's not going to be a lot of time to do traditional courtship rituals on the road to Drezen, and less during the siege. So my first bit of advice to you is to communicate. Talk to your prospective lover. Get to know them, help them get to know you."

Once everyone is prepared, they set off. It takes them some time to arrive at the banks of the West Sellen. The ride progresses acceptably for a few hours, but the dark clouds loom threateningly overhead within a few hours. Soon, rain begins to pour forth from the heavens - Gozreh frowning at them, or perhaps the Worldwound sending foul weather into their path. The rain is icy cold, and begins to freeze soon after hitting the ground - or the hapless paladins' armor. Fortunately, most of them are wearing cloaks of various sorts over their armor.

Irabeth scowls at the sky. "We push on! This will slow us down, but we have to keep moving!"

Let me know who you're hanging with for the most part during this day.


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NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 7 | Archmageᴹ 2 | HP 48/48 | AC 21 T 15 FF 18 (all +2 v. evil) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 5/7 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +8 Will +8 (+2 vs. insanity/confusion) | Init +13 (and Forewarned) | Perc +14 (+15 Thamyris) | Conditions: haste 7r, shield 9r, expeditious retreat 7m, protection from evil 7m, heightened awareness 40m, tears to wine 40m, mage armor 7h, endure elements 24h | Thamyris: HP 24/24; AC 20 (T 16, FF 18) | Conditions: merge with familiar 7h
Worldwound GM wrote:

Irabeth nods at Merixia before glancing to Sosiel.

"I can offer similar treatments. If it becomes a problem, I'll be able to pray for the spell that Thesius mentioned tomorrow." He frowns. "But I'd prefer to save some of it for any battles we may encounter."

"How well-charged is that wand, Thesius?" Irabeth asks. "We've more than a hundred of us here, even including Merixia and our aasimar, who won't need it as much. While most of us will be able to endure the cold..." She looks at Nurah and then at Anevia.

"I'll be fine, Irabeth." Anevia says, rolling her eyes. "If I need it, I'll speak with Thesius."

Nurah considers. "I think it'd be good if I were protected. Thesius, could I trouble you?"

"It is about four-fifths full. I will usually be carrying it, I think, since it is a spell I can cast normally and the wand will have no chance of fighting me. Any of our compatriots who are a bit more at risk should seek me out if they wish. Can you let them know so, Lady Irabeth? And if it comes close to running out, both Merixia and I should be able to cast the same spell a few times per day at will. Tomorrow I could prepare it more times, even. But for now—" Verene speaks the command word again and gently taps Nurah on the shoulder with the wand. "Using the wand at need and saving our regular spell slots for dangerous situations seems wise. Would anyone else like it?" Anevia has already declined, and Irabeth seems as hardy as the other paladins will likely be, but she looks inquiringly at Aron Kir, Sosiel Vaenic, and Aravashnial.

Removed 3 charges from the wand, now at 36/50.

Since she now has no need of her cold-weather down coat and trousers or furs, before leaving Verene ducks behind a little copse of trees to change into her lighter monkish outfit, and offers the thicker clothing as supplementary protection to any of their command staff or soldiers who do not have a spell's protection and are about her size. She keeps wearing the large, hooded circle of oiled canvas she was wearing yesterday, however, which shields her from the crown of her head to the tops of her boots: she may not feel the cold, but if it rains, it would still be uncomfortable to ride with one's clothes completely soaked through.

1d6 ⇒ 5
Seeing that Azira is occupied with learning from Irabeth, Verene spends some time riding beside Thesius, Merixia or Elliot (depending on who is available) and proposes a few memory- and guessing-games to pass the time. The Emperor's Cat, Eye-Fly, and something she calls Horse Deduction, which is apparently the literal translation of the name of a guessing game of yes-or-no questions, all make an appearance.


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M M Aasimar (peri) Magus 7 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 2. Unbuffed: Init +9, Perc. +11. HP 69/69. AC 22/FF16/T17. : F+9, R+10, W+8 (+2 vs conf/insan) Att. +13, 1d6+8/18-20/x2. CMB +13, CMD 23. Conc.: +13. VS SR: +9 /+13 (evil outsider). Darkvision. Current buffs/conditions: Haste, blur, prot. Vs evil, shield, flight, inspire courage +2.

Yesterday

Elliot listens to Sosial with rapt attention, feeling similarly both relieved and confused. "Okay, so there is no one right way to do this... meaning there is no guideline? Essentially making it a shot in the dark. Um. Okay. Communicate..." "All right, um, thanks. So you say we need to talk more... about what? Hobbies? Life goals and such so we know we're compatible?"

The next day

Seeing Verene's horse approach his, he joins in a few of her games, grateful for a lighthearted distraction. After a few of those - apparently, in the last one he was the great Padishah Emperor Kalish the twenty-second himself, or his horse, the rules were a bit unclear there- he decides to venture.

"Say... Verene? You've, uh, traveled around a lot, seen and experienced a lot more of the world than I have. And you're a girl. So, have you... ever been courted?" It comes out less elegant and more forward then he'd have liked, but that was how the words came to him. "I... don't know what you girls discuss in the tent at night, if you already know, but if not, I assume most people will know anyway and you're my sister and all so you should be among the first I guess-"

Realizing he was caught somewhere between rambling, blushing and grinning, he shook his head and took a breath. "Well, Meri and I are courting. It's a... very recent development and we haven't done much more than confessing our feelings. But... I'm not sure what to do from here, and talking to Sosial didn't give me much of a reference to go on. I'm sure he means well, and maybe he's right when he says there is no guideline, no time for traditional courtship and intead just to talk more, but that... doesn't give me much that is tangible to go on. Do you, um, have any advice yourself, perhaps? Something that may have worked on you in the past? I'm not sure if that is proper to ask, or if that digs up painful memories - if such then please forget I asked and I apologize." He quickly adds, and looks ahead to idly scout the horizon. "I just... don't want to screw this up in some way." He adds, sighing.


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Male | Half-Elf | Archaeologist Bard 5/Evangelist 2/Trickster 2 | HP 40/65 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16; Uncanny Dodge | Fort +5, Ref +11, Will +8; +2 vs. enchantments; +2 sacred vs. insanity or confusion effects | Init. +9 | Perception +23 | Low-Light Vision | Archaeologist's Luck 11/12 left, Lore Master 1/1, Mythic Power 7/7 | Spells 1st - 4/5 2nd - 3/4 | Current buffs: n/a

Thesius smiles and nods to Verene as she takes charge. "Indeed, I believe making use of the wand in a conserving manner before allotting other resources to such a spell makes sense. We can plan on using it on those at risk and if someone starts succumbing to the weather. That way they are able to make a speedy recovery."

Thesius had planned to spend some time catching up Verene that day and it was a pleasant surprise to she had thought along similar lines. He joins in with her and her brother in her suggested games. Games he did surprisingly well in as he feels his mind expanding alongside his connection to Desna.

If Elliot choose to speak up while Thesius is present...:
"I believe the right answer is to be yourself. You are the one she fell for and to be something else would be misleading. Be open with your communication and willing to work with her. Compromise where you can, but stand firm where you cannot. But overall, enjoy the time you have together," he says with a smile.

At some point, he will break away to check in on the others. Eventually finding his way to Aron Kir and striking up a conversation about his experienced with sieges hoping to continue learning any useful skills during this journey.


female, Aasimar, Paladin 7, Marshal/Champion 2 | HP 73/73| AC 33* (t23/ff23) | CMD 30 | F +14*, R +17*, W +15* | perception (darkvision 60') +1, sense motive +1 | +12 initiative | panache: 4/4; LoH: 7/7; smite: 3/3; divine bond 1/1; mythic: 7/7 |active effects: heroism, veil of heaven, haste

As they'd discussed the previous evening, Azira shadows Irabeth nearly the entire day. She does her best to observe everything that goes into leading, particularly the management of logistics as that was the area with which she had the least experience.


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F Tiefling (Hellspawn) Cleric of Ragathiel 7 | Hierophant 2 | HP 65/65 | AC: 19 (11 tch, 18 ff) | CMB +10, CMD +21 | F +8, R +4, W +11 | Init +3 | Perc +14, SM +18 | Destructive Smite 6/8 | Touch of Good 8/8 | Channel 4d6 3/3 | Pyrotechnics 1/1 | True Strike 2/2 | Protection from Evil 0/2 | Mythic Power 7/7 | Effects: tears to wine, shield of wings, ironskin, bull's strength, protection from evil, divine favor, haste, shared training, keen edge

Elliot looks rather pensive today; he'll probably want some time to process this whole courting thing, maybe talk to Verene. Merixia decides to leave him to it and seeks out Nurah instead. The bard undoubtedly has a wealth of interesting stories about far-off lands, and it wouldn't hurt to pick her brain about Drezen either. Maybe she's even heard lore about Ragathiel that Merixia and Father Darian never encountered before. Given how scarce followers of empyreal lords are in most places, stories and customs can vary widely depending on the region.

"Hi, Nurah! Mind if I ride with you a bit?" She smiles down at the halfling from her perch on her enormous warhorse. "Earlier when you introduced yourself, it sounded like you've traveled a great deal. Have any stories you would like to share?"

Merixia will listen actively, sharing tales of her own journey north if appropriate. She'll ask if Nurah has been to Magnimar at some point, and whether she's encountered the Magnimaran followers of Ragathiel if so.


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NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 7 | Archmageᴹ 2 | HP 48/48 | AC 21 T 15 FF 18 (all +2 v. evil) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 5/7 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +8 Will +8 (+2 vs. insanity/confusion) | Init +13 (and Forewarned) | Perc +14 (+15 Thamyris) | Conditions: haste 7r, shield 9r, expeditious retreat 7m, protection from evil 7m, heightened awareness 40m, tears to wine 40m, mage armor 7h, endure elements 24h | Thamyris: HP 24/24; AC 20 (T 16, FF 18) | Conditions: merge with familiar 7h
Elliot wrote:

"Say... Verene? You've, uh, traveled around a lot, seen and experienced a lot more of the world than I have. And you're a girl. So, have you... ever been courted?" It comes out less elegant and more forward then he'd have liked, but that was how the words came to him. "I... don't know what you girls discuss in the tent at night, if you already know, but if not, I assume most people will know anyway and you're my sister and all so you should be among the first I guess-"

Realizing he was caught somewhere between rambling, blushing and grinning, he shook his head and took a breath. "Well, Meri and I are courting. It's a... very recent development and we haven't done much more than confessing our feelings. But... I'm not sure what to do from here, and talking to Sosiel didn't give me much of a reference to go on. I'm sure he means well, and maybe he's right when he says there is no guideline, no time for traditional courtship and instead just to talk more, but that... doesn't give me much that is tangible to go on. Do you, um, have any advice yourself, perhaps? Something that may have worked on you in the past? I'm not sure if that is proper to ask, or if that digs up painful memories - if such then please forget I asked and I apologize." He quickly adds, and looks ahead to idly scout the horizon. "I just... don't want to screw this up in some way."

Verene's eyes widen and she blinks a little when Elliot asks if she has ever been courted, but she lets him finish speaking before she answers with a mischievous smile, "Well, first of all, congratulations. Merixia did not say anything, but I did wonder when you reappeared from the woods together yesterday with your hair all blue. But I did not like to assume too much.

"As for advice, I certainly do not think I can do any better for you than a cleric of Shelyn," she continues reflectively. "There was a time... oh, a decade or more ago now; I was very nearly engaged to be married to a young man in Absalom. But that year and change is the longest I have kept company with anyone, and of course I did not marry him, in the end."

Verene falls silent for a moment, though she seems largely untroubled by recounting this experience. At most she appears slightly wistful.

She shakes her head slightly. "Hardly much basis to give advice. What can I say that is concrete? People are all different, of course, and being a woman does not grant me perfect insight into other women. The traditional gestures like dancing, flowers, special meals, walks in the park, and so on are rather less practicable on a campaign, but you could spar together, practice a new skill, perhaps rub balm on sore muscles for each other. You could carve out a small amount of time each morning to make and bring her a cup of coffee, and share that with her. I think she mentioned drinking a Qadiran brew. How to show your feelings by words and actions — is that the sort of courtship advice you are asking about?"

From his words about messing things up, she thinks perhaps not. She glances at him and says gently, "Do not be afraid to make mistakes or do things imperfectly. With the greatest goodwill in the world, you cannot avoid it sometimes. I certainly did not. What you can do is approach things in a spirit of wonder, apologize when necessary, take correction with good humor, and never repeat the same mistake. Failure is not just the best way to learn, it is the only way to learn. In this, as in so much else."


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Elliot with Sosiel:
The dark-skinned priest considers for a time. "Well, yes, among other things. It's important to get to know who you're courting. But I meant more... if you have some troubles or are angered by the things your partner does, let them know. Not aggressively, of course, but talk it out. Neither of you are mind-readers - I imagine - so if you don't speak about how you're feeling and why, they won't know."

"Long-term compatibility is also important, of course." He continues. "But it's especially critical to know that you're both looking for the same sort of relationship. Set expectations, yes?"

Azira follows Irabeth as she leads the troops. The other paladin spends a lot of time riding in silence, though that might just be because of the foul weather. When she's not doings so, though, she falls back to speak with her troops, getting to know them and working alongside them. She shares in their labors and commiserates with their suffering - much as all of the party does. "It's important," she tells Azira, after one such meeting, "to not hold oneself above your soldiers. You cannot command loyalty or respect. Obedience, yes, but in times of great need, obedience alone is not enough. My father once said that there is a smooth stone in the heart of every person. Through loyalty and bonds, we carve names onto it. If you must ask the impossible of your soldiers, then without that soul-deep engraving, they will fail. It may be that we must ask the impossible of these women and men." She looks grave. "In asking that, I would expect them to accomplish it - there is a difference between asking the impossible and sending them to pointless death. Thus, we must work with them and share in their suffering."

Thesius finds Aron with the scouting group. He's a bit quiet at first, but eventually opens up a bit to the half-elf, asking questions about Desna and his relationship to her. "I was a pretty awful person before I came here. My parents were prosecuted for treason - and rightfully so! So I grew up an orphan. Fell in with a bad crowd. When I worked here for the first time, I got a little better... but then the same thing happened. Fell in with a bad bunch of mercs, and fell down again. I've hoped that the gods would help me redeem myself... and so far, I think Sosiel is the greatest gift they've ever given me."

Merixia finds Nurah a little reluctant to talk, but with some prodding, the halfling speaks. "Well, I may have exaggerated a touch. I've seen a lot of water. Sailed up from Molthune, through Razmiran and the River Kingdoms, along the borders of Ustalav and Numeria, and then up to Mendev. My... companions were very eager to earn glory in the crusade, you see. We didn't spend a lot of time in any of those places."

Moving us onwards, so as not to lag too hard. If you want to linger and RP some more, let me know. Otherwise, we can go via spoilers again.

After most of the day is passed, the rain finally lets up, though the river remains uncomfortably swollen. Anevia and the scouts return soon. "It's getting dark," she says, "and I think I found a flat enough area of land to set up camp easily."

Irabeth considers. "Very well. Let's get there and set up for the night."


M M Aasimar (peri) Magus 7 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 2. Unbuffed: Init +9, Perc. +11. HP 69/69. AC 22/FF16/T17. : F+9, R+10, W+8 (+2 vs conf/insan) Att. +13, 1d6+8/18-20/x2. CMB +13, CMD 23. Conc.: +13. VS SR: +9 /+13 (evil outsider). Darkvision. Current buffs/conditions: Haste, blur, prot. Vs evil, shield, flight, inspire courage +2.

With Sosial:
Sosial wrote:
"But it's especially critical to know that you're both looking for the same sort of relationship. Set expectations, yes?"

"D-Different... kinds of romantic relationships?" Elliot repeats, wide-eyed and stammering as if he'd just seen water burn. "As in, there is more than one type!? Which ones? How will I ever know which to steer for!?" Goddess but this stuff was complicated!

Elliot gives a start when Thesius also happened to be near Verene during his conversation with her, but he thanks the Bard for his input regardless. As with Sosial, he only wished there was a bit more concrete stuff to go on. He wondered if the bard was aware of how most women seemed to look at him, and how that played into his philosophy that 'just being yourself' was enough. But saying that would be impolite, and he keeps those thoughts locked securely to himself. Besides, wasn't the whole point of Courting that you tried to be better than you normally were, to impress the other?

He is roused from his thoughts when the column comes to a halt and glances up at the sky for signs of poor weather. "Will we have some sort of cover from above?" He asks, still worried about how the cultists managed to evacuate the entire town, including the bodies, with barely any trace of it remaining. "I've been wondering... at Valas' gift, the scouts with Azira weren't even been sure if any townsfolk had been alive to be moved from there at all. Yet we didn't find anything to suggest they'd all been... well, killed, devoured, or worse there. So unless they were either teleported out -which isn't easy, as even the most powerful demons' teleportation abilities are limited to themseleves- or the Cultists had some reason to erase all their tracks - which seems unlikely, given their attitude and that they were winning then-" He pauses to take a breath. "-The only remaining option seems to be that they were somehow all lifted out through the air."

Knowledge: planes: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (8) + 15 = 23

Knowledge: history?: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26

Does either knowledge check give a clue on whether a mass air attack from demonic forces has happened in the past? If so, how did that go down? are there countermeasures?


NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 7 | Archmageᴹ 2 | HP 48/48 | AC 21 T 15 FF 18 (all +2 v. evil) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 5/7 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +8 Will +8 (+2 vs. insanity/confusion) | Init +13 (and Forewarned) | Perc +14 (+15 Thamyris) | Conditions: haste 7r, shield 9r, expeditious retreat 7m, protection from evil 7m, heightened awareness 40m, tears to wine 40m, mage armor 7h, endure elements 24h | Thamyris: HP 24/24; AC 20 (T 16, FF 18) | Conditions: merge with familiar 7h

Though now thoroughly saddle-sore, tired, and somewhat grumpy with it, Verene does not complain, but she is certainly happy when Irabeth calls a halt for the day. She reminds herself that at least she is not cold and has not been locked inside heavy armor chilled by sleet all day.

Once more, she sees to grooming Mouse first, being sure to give her a treat for the way she leans into the brush and patiently lifts her hooves for the pick; and she helps set up the large shared tent before participating in preparing the evening meal. While she knows that the weather will likely have many people feeling dour, she makes an effort to chat and be pleasant with the others working alongside her and the soldiers as they dish out the meal, in the interest of keeping spirits up.

Afterward she works on the rose quartz ioun stone, finishing it just before bed. She holds it in her hands, letting it absorb a tiny fraction of her essence to become keyed to her. The small hexagonal prism, no bigger than the long knuckle of her thumb, flares with light along its silver-mended crack and floats into the air, beginning to orbit her head. Verene laughs quietly and watches its rotation for a few minutes with pride, then catches it in one hand and fits it into a curling wrap of silver wire, which she strings on a thin chain around her neck for safekeeping while she sleeps. Crafting Verene's cracked dusty rose prism ioun stone after traveling on Rova 8 and Rova 9. No spellcasting necessary. Spellcraft DC 22 (5 + CL 12 + 5 creator not 12th level), taking 10 for 25. -250 gp to Verene, already subtracted from her gold when she bought the materials in Kenabres.


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F Tiefling (Hellspawn) Cleric of Ragathiel 7 | Hierophant 2 | HP 65/65 | AC: 19 (11 tch, 18 ff) | CMB +10, CMD +21 | F +8, R +4, W +11 | Init +3 | Perc +14, SM +18 | Destructive Smite 6/8 | Touch of Good 8/8 | Channel 4d6 3/3 | Pyrotechnics 1/1 | True Strike 2/2 | Protection from Evil 0/2 | Mythic Power 7/7 | Effects: tears to wine, shield of wings, ironskin, bull's strength, protection from evil, divine favor, haste, shared training, keen edge

Oddly enough, Nurah doesn't seem eager to talk. Every other bard Merixia's ever met loved to talk. After all, that's how they learn the news and lore that are a bard's stock in trade. Perhaps she's just tired. It's a long ride from Nerosyan to Kenabres, and the ones chosen for the assault on Drezen didn't get much time to rest before setting out again.

While Merixia is well used to pain and discomfort, she breathes a sigh of relief when it comes time to make camp. She tends to Flame first, which he tolerates with the same placid indifference as he has everything else. (He does get excited for a bit of dried fruit, though.) Next comes the tent and then creating gallons upon gallons of water for the cooks, dishwashers, and animals. Sure, the river is right there, but who knows what kind of Worldwound crud is in that water? Ragathiel is a general, he won't mind Merixia using his gifts to create safe water for an army. She tries to be friendly and helpful, but not intrude where she isn't wanted.

Once dinner has been cooked, eaten, and the dishes washed, she finds herself at loose ends. Maybe Elliot would like to spend some time together! Merixia does still want to learn Celestial like a proper priestess, after all. That will give them something to talk about if things get awkward. She sets off to find him, a task made much easier by his flaming hair. I wonder if I can make it turn blue again? It's so cute when he does that.


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Male | Half-Elf | Archaeologist Bard 5/Evangelist 2/Trickster 2 | HP 40/65 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16; Uncanny Dodge | Fort +5, Ref +11, Will +8; +2 vs. enchantments; +2 sacred vs. insanity or confusion effects | Init. +9 | Perception +23 | Low-Light Vision | Archaeologist's Luck 11/12 left, Lore Master 1/1, Mythic Power 7/7 | Spells 1st - 4/5 2nd - 3/4 | Current buffs: n/a

With Avon...:
"I've always felt there has been a bit of luck guiding my life despite the loss of my parents at a young age. I actually traveled into these dangerous lands at a fairly young age in search of my father's lost patrol and would have lost my life had a stranger not come upon me in my time of dire need," as he speaks his hand goes to the wooden holy symbol.

He listens intently to Aron's tale, nodding as he listens. Once the man finishes, he speaks up, "I'm sorry to hear you've had to deal with such tragedy. It's unfortunate that you too found yourself an orphan at a young age. It can be a hard way to live without a support network." Thesius pauses for a moment as old memories arise. Ones he's not proud of. "I survived by stealing when I was younger. It's not something I find pride in and like yourself, I try to make up for it now."

Turning to face Avon, he smiles and states, "But I have faith in redemption and you have a support network that is here to help you now. So don't feel like you have to live through this on your own."

As the group comes to a halt, he observes the river. He hoped the evening would be enough to bring it down to a level that would allow them to cross.

Like the others, he would take the time to tend to Bashful while being wary of her playful nips. She seemed to have a fondness for having her mane brushed and he would use it as a deterrent whenever she got overly playful.

Once done, he would assist the camp as he could. Setting up tents, tending to fires, and helping cook. He would also offer to help clean through use of his prestidigitation spell and manually.

As the night continued on, he would try to once more raise the spirits of those around him. While games of chance did not really seem to fit for those around him, he would instead resort to his other talents.


female, Aasimar, Paladin 7, Marshal/Champion 2 | HP 73/73| AC 33* (t23/ff23) | CMD 30 | F +14*, R +17*, W +15* | perception (darkvision 60') +1, sense motive +1 | +12 initiative | panache: 4/4; LoH: 7/7; smite: 3/3; divine bond 1/1; mythic: 7/7 |active effects: heroism, veil of heaven, haste

When the army stops, Azira quickly locates a suitable place for evening (and morning) prayers, and dispatches Wulfric to pass word through the camp. She also instructs the page to care for both of their horses as soon as he’s done making the rounds. Then, taking Irabeth’s advice to heart, she chooses a pair of soldiers and helps them set up their tent and get settled in, taking advantage of the opportunity to get to know them personally. When they finish, she walks with them to the mess tent and introduces them to Wulfric and whichever other of her friends they encounter before parting ways.

After dinner, she and Wulfric lead the singing and prayers at the appointed place before turning in.

GM- if you’d like to give names and/or background tidbits for the soldiers I interact with that would be fun but I plan to pick a different pair to help every time we set up or break down camp, so if you don’t want to make up details for 4 random soldiers every time we stop moving, feel free to largely gloss over it and just drop meaningful names/details occasionally if there are any. @Everyone else- I’m planning on still eating together and assume I’ll have some time between prayers and bed, so feel free to talk to me if you want.


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Elliot & Sosiel:
"Certainly." Sosiel smiles, putting a hand on Elliot's shoulder. "Don't worry too much about it, though. Each relationship is unique, even if we group them together. People tend to do that. Just make sure to share what you want and expect from each other, and keep each other informed about whether that changes."

He considers. "It's never going to be perfect, so you'll want to make sure that you're able to figure out how to deescalate and mediate things after tempers flare. Of course, I'm more than happy to help if ever that happens." He pats his holy symbol of Shelyn.

Sosiel speaks up in response to Elliot's question. "I think it's unlikely that the dead were away by air. Most likely they were killed and devoured... Demons don't exactly need to spare anything. It's not like they need to eat." He frowns. "But there were survivors at the time - they were marched north, no?"

Anevia nods. "That's what the signs seemed to indicate. I doubt we could find their trail now, though, what with the rainstorm."

"Seems likely they were taken to Drezen, though." Aron offers.

"We'll have to look for them there."

Elliot:
While Elliot has heard of aerial attacks by demons in the past - a few such battles happened during the earliest crusades, from what he recalls - he hasn't heard of any mass abductions via flying demons, or by teleportation. Perhaps the demons feel that it's just impractical to do so - or simply not worth the effort.

Verene finishes up creating her ioun stone, which she sets to orbiting about her head. Some of the paladins note wryly that she's looking more and more the image of a wizard nowadays.

Thesius and Aron:
The engineer looks curiously at Thesius. "A stranger? Huh. I wonder who would go out into the Worldwound on their own." He pauses. "Well, who would do so as an adult."

At the half-elf's reassurance, Aron smiles. "Thanks. I hope so, at least."

Thesius and Azira both manage to help keep morale high in their own ways. Azira's conversations with the soldiers reveal that technically, she would have been the lowest-ranking member of the Church of Iomedae on this expedition if not for the Queen's promotion (unofficial though it is at the moment).

Thanks for letting me get away with summarizing for the moment, Azira. Lots happening, etc.

Wealday, 10th of Rova, 4713

The next morning is bright and rather warmer than the previous two. The Knights of Kenabres break camp and continue riding northeast along the riverside, with Anevia and the other scouts riding out ahead.

Around noon, once they're nearly at Vilareth Ford, the scouts come tearing back. Anevia quickly pulls up beside Irabeth and the others. "An army of tieflings is holding the Ford!"

Irabeth grimaces. "Damn. I'd hoped that the crusaders would've been able to hold out. It's been patrolled for decades now. Numbers?"

"Nearly double our own, if I had to guess." Anevia says.

"Alright. Everyone, prepare for battle!" Irabeth calls. "We've got a threat holding the Ford itself!"


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M M Aasimar (peri) Magus 7 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 2. Unbuffed: Init +9, Perc. +11. HP 69/69. AC 22/FF16/T17. : F+9, R+10, W+8 (+2 vs conf/insan) Att. +13, 1d6+8/18-20/x2. CMB +13, CMD 23. Conc.: +13. VS SR: +9 /+13 (evil outsider). Darkvision. Current buffs/conditions: Haste, blur, prot. Vs evil, shield, flight, inspire courage +2.

Earlier/With Merixia

Elliot thanks Sosial again for his advice - along with Verene's from earlier, he felt he had enough to go on. Be yourself, be thoughtful, have some excuse to spend time together, talk a lot, anticipate things not always going well - but hope to avoid it, and be ready to make up if need be...

"This is starting to sound more and more like some decision tree flow chart. But... at least it's something? Still, I've thought about this enough for now. I shouldn't neglect my training."

He sat down to meditate using a new spell he'd been working on - one that could summon the spiritual essense of a deceased weapon instructor. How that worked exactly with the afterlife, he wasn't sure - it wasn't filed under necromancy, nor was it evil in nature. Apparently, some weapon masters were just badass enough to meet Pharasma, say 'no thanks' and hang around for eternity insubstantially until they were needed? Either that or it summoned them directly from their afterlives, though without any defining characteristics that made identifying those planes possible...

Regardless, it wasn't until he felt those memories rush into him, the spirit correcting his arms, that he realized how sloppy his swordplay had been - that there was an eternity of mastery he still had in front of him - and the funny thing was that part of him relished that opportunity. He closed his eyes to try and focus on the lessons and fragments of which imparted to him, standing to then copy the forms as best he could.

So entranced was he that he failed to notice Merixia until she was right next to him. "Bwa-ah! O-Oh, hey Meri. Good to see you as always." He smiles warmly after his hare does flare blue for second or two. "Can I... help you with something? Care for a spar, perhaps?"

Now...

"An army of Tieflings?" Elliot asks, eyes sharpening at this troubling news. "Did they see you? Do we know anything about their equipment? Or the terrain? Could we surround them or charge right in before they could muster a defense?" He wonders and suggests.


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NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 7 | Archmageᴹ 2 | HP 48/48 | AC 21 T 15 FF 18 (all +2 v. evil) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 5/7 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +8 Will +8 (+2 vs. insanity/confusion) | Init +13 (and Forewarned) | Perc +14 (+15 Thamyris) | Conditions: haste 7r, shield 9r, expeditious retreat 7m, protection from evil 7m, heightened awareness 40m, tears to wine 40m, mage armor 7h, endure elements 24h | Thamyris: HP 24/24; AC 20 (T 16, FF 18) | Conditions: merge with familiar 7h

Wealday, 10th of Rova, 4713
In the morning
The next morning is blessedly clear and might even be slightly above freezing, but it still is more than cold enough to warrant using the endure elements wand in Verene's opinion. When they ride out, she will do so for the same six people as yesterday, plus any of the soldiers who were especially badly affected yesterday and hopefully would have been told by Irabeth to seek her out.

She unhooks the ioun stone from its chain as soon as she gets up, but keeps being startled by its motion out of the corner of her eye as she works on morning camp chores. Fortunately, after snorting at the stone and investigating with her ears laid back for a few minutes, Mouse seems to decide that this oddity is predictable enough to not be dangerous, and submits with her usual placidity to being tacked up for the day.

Verene is half pleased and half embarrassed that some of the paladins take notice of the little floating crystal, for it is rather more ostentatiously magical than she likes to appear. Though she takes the comments about being more like a proper wizard all the time in good part — "Taking recommendations now for pointy-hat-makers!" — she actually puts the prism back on its chain while preparing spells, after being distracted and almost losing concentration one too many times, and she only restores it to its orbit when they are ready to ride out. Is it supposed to work by keeping me jumpy all the time? This is very silly. Maybe I should look into one of those little compasses that the Pathfinders use, the ones that can hold a single ioun stone in place without interfering with its magic.

Now
"How far away are they? Are there any demons or especially strong foes with them?" Verene wants to know, even as she begins her preparations. Thamyris flies to her hand, where she gestures and mutters over him. She weaves the longer-lasting spells first, from her memory and from several wands: for protection, speed, communication, and awareness. "Merixia, could you please fill the largest cooking pot with your water cantrip? Enough for everyone to drink one cup is all we need. This spell will sharpen the conscious and unconscious mind for an hour, keeping the drinkers alert."

Once they have a sufficient amount of water for the army, Verene chants a sentence, makes a complicated gesture over it, and drops in a single dried grape, which vanishes below the surface as the liquid turns wine-dark. She drinks a bit of the wine herself, to show it is safe to any of the soldiers who may be wary, and recommends the rest be divided into eleven smaller pots or buckets: one for their group and command staff, ten to be given out to the ten squads of paladins so they can divide and drink it without having to take a single cup at a time from the original pot.

Casting merge with familiar, heightened awareness, message, mage armor (30 charges remaining), longstrider (15 charges remaining), tears to wine. The latter can currently affect up to 22 gallons of liquid, which should be more than enough for everyone in the army to have a drink if they want to. She will wait until she thinks they're close to battle before applying anything shorter-term like anticipate peril, mirror image, levitate, and alter self.


Male | Half-Elf | Archaeologist Bard 5/Evangelist 2/Trickster 2 | HP 40/65 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16; Uncanny Dodge | Fort +5, Ref +11, Will +8; +2 vs. enchantments; +2 sacred vs. insanity or confusion effects | Init. +9 | Perception +23 | Low-Light Vision | Archaeologist's Luck 11/12 left, Lore Master 1/1, Mythic Power 7/7 | Spells 1st - 4/5 2nd - 3/4 | Current buffs: n/a

With Aron:
"Keep faith and remember to ask for help when needed," Thesius respond to Aron.

Now

"While I understand these are tieflings, are we sure they are enemies? I find it odd that there are so many of them," Thesius says while thinking about the situation. "Of course we should be prepared regardless."

He waits to hear how far out they are before determining when to prep his own spells.


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Anevia shakes her head at Elliot's question. "I doubt they saw us. They seem to be... minimally alert, for what they're doing here." She considers for a moment. "The Ford itself is not the problem, since we won't be fighting in the water - thankfully. There're a fair few fortifications - like bunkers, I guess - that were being used to protect against invasions... not effectively enough." Her expression darkens. "Now they're decorated with the remains of their previous defenders."

"It looked like most of them were just wearing leather and using various short blades... though I think that they have at least one demon there that I saw. Humanoid goat-ish thing, with lots of fire around it. About the size of a gnome, I think?"

"Surrounding them's unlikely, but I think that we could probably charge them before they'll have a chance to put up much of an organized resistance."

She looks to Verene. "At our usual rate, we're about 15 minutes from the Ford."

Verene, is the mage armor wand a higher level than it would normally be? I forget whether that was the case.

"The Worldwound, especially the more corrupted areas, are full of tieflings, Thesius." Sosiel says, his expression dark.

Anevia nods. "None of them looked like prisoners. I suppose it's possible some aren't allied to the Worldwound, but the display of heads and organs on the fortifications imply that most, if not all, are."

Thesius with Aron:
The young Taldan nods briefly. "Yes, you're right. I'll try to keep that in mind."


NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 7 | Archmageᴹ 2 | HP 48/48 | AC 21 T 15 FF 18 (all +2 v. evil) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 5/7 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +8 Will +8 (+2 vs. insanity/confusion) | Init +13 (and Forewarned) | Perc +14 (+15 Thamyris) | Conditions: haste 7r, shield 9r, expeditious retreat 7m, protection from evil 7m, heightened awareness 40m, tears to wine 40m, mage armor 7h, endure elements 24h | Thamyris: HP 24/24; AC 20 (T 16, FF 18) | Conditions: merge with familiar 7h

Once her first spate of spellcasting is done, Verene tries to think about what kind of demon Anevia is describing.

Knowledge (Planes), fiery gnome-sized humanoid goat, heightened awareness, tears to wine: 1d20 + 15 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 15 + 2 + 2 = 29

Use Magic Device DC 20, wand of longstrider: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (8) + 12 = 20


M M Aasimar (peri) Magus 7 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 2. Unbuffed: Init +9, Perc. +11. HP 69/69. AC 22/FF16/T17. : F+9, R+10, W+8 (+2 vs conf/insan) Att. +13, 1d6+8/18-20/x2. CMB +13, CMD 23. Conc.: +13. VS SR: +9 /+13 (evil outsider). Darkvision. Current buffs/conditions: Haste, blur, prot. Vs evil, shield, flight, inspire courage +2.

"If they really do not know we are here and are vulnerable to a charge, I would say we use what magical enchantments we can, then rush straight in. I'm not a master of tactics by any means, but a lightly armed and armored group should be weak against a coordinated cavalry charge of heavily armed knights. Once we've breached the first lines, there's a chance their force will begin routing just from the shock and heavy initial losses."

Knowledge: planes, tears to wine: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (5) + 17 = 22

Elliot thinks on the scouted image of the fire creature as well... it sounded familiar, somewhere in the back of his mind. A Brimorak? "And on that point, we should probably prepare with spells that protect us from fire if they have the aid of any such flaming creatures," Elliot reasons as his mind races to come up with the answer. "I fear knowledge of such spells has passed away from me, however... we'd need Verene or Merixia to help us."

Elliot would use the following minute per level buffs while seated in his horse once Anevia signals they are close: Shield (CL8/8 minutes: Mythic point), Blur (Cl8/8 minutes: mythic point), Blade Tutor's Spirit and Cat's grace (6 minutes) and alter self (Terendelev's scale, 19 minutes), and activate the flight hex. Once the fighting starts proper he will fly off his horse to fight slightly above the ground (10 ft up).

For later reference, Elliot's fully self-buffed stats with minute/level buffs at present are: Init +8, HP 58/58, AC 27 (Max dex on armor is 6, not 7), FF 21, T 19. Att + 14, 1d4+9 18-20/x2. Other active effects: Blur > 20% additional miss chance from concealment on incoming attacks, ignore first 2 points of attack penalties on feats or abilities (=no -2 to hit from spell combat)


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female, Aasimar, Paladin 7, Marshal/Champion 2 | HP 73/73| AC 33* (t23/ff23) | CMD 30 | F +14*, R +17*, W +15* | perception (darkvision 60') +1, sense motive +1 | +12 initiative | panache: 4/4; LoH: 7/7; smite: 3/3; divine bond 1/1; mythic: 7/7 |active effects: heroism, veil of heaven, haste

"You're right, Elliot," Azira affirms, "lightly armed and armored opponents should take heavy losses from a mounted cavalry charge, though the remaining fortifications might interfere with that some..."

"Commander, perhaps we could send part of the army--our best riders--to charge through their forces on horseback. The five of us could follow them in and focus on the demon and any lieutenants it might have while the rest of the army comes up behind us and deals with the tieflings who hid inside the fortifications?"

I can't cast any buffs but would certainly welcome any buffs anyone else might want to cast on me.


M M Aasimar (peri) Magus 7 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 2. Unbuffed: Init +9, Perc. +11. HP 69/69. AC 22/FF16/T17. : F+9, R+10, W+8 (+2 vs conf/insan) Att. +13, 1d6+8/18-20/x2. CMB +13, CMD 23. Conc.: +13. VS SR: +9 /+13 (evil outsider). Darkvision. Current buffs/conditions: Haste, blur, prot. Vs evil, shield, flight, inspire courage +2.

Elliot nods. "That sounds like a good plan to me, personally, so long as the initial riders do not stray ahead too far and risk being swarmed while cut off from the others."

Which buffs do you want, Azira? I have 3 MP left to cast buffs on others, though I also need them to activate Elliot's main damage tool. The ones I can cast on others are Cat's Grace and Blur I believe.


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F Tiefling (Hellspawn) Cleric of Ragathiel 7 | Hierophant 2 | HP 65/65 | AC: 19 (11 tch, 18 ff) | CMB +10, CMD +21 | F +8, R +4, W +11 | Init +3 | Perc +14, SM +18 | Destructive Smite 6/8 | Touch of Good 8/8 | Channel 4d6 3/3 | Pyrotechnics 1/1 | True Strike 2/2 | Protection from Evil 0/2 | Mythic Power 7/7 | Effects: tears to wine, shield of wings, ironskin, bull's strength, protection from evil, divine favor, haste, shared training, keen edge

With Elliot:
Elliot, the Red Heron wrote:
So entranced was he that he failed to notice Merixia until she was right next to him. "Bwa-ah! O-Oh, hey Meri. Good to see you as always." He smiles warmly after his hare does flare blue for second or two. "Can I... help you with something? Care for a spar, perhaps?"

Yes! Blue flame achieved! Merixia smiles at Elliot, grateful that she hasn't yet bothered to take off her armor or put her weapons away for the night. "Absolutely! I just wanted to spend some time together, to be honest, but it takes a lot more than a ride through the rain for me to say no to a spar." She pauses for a brief moment. Would it be cheesy if... nah, go ahead and say it, he seems to like this kind of thing. "Especially a spar with you." It's always a joy to watch him fight, flowing around his opponents' defenses like water and mixing spells with swordplay in ways Merixia can only dream about. Getting to watch him without demons or cultists trying to kill them? Hells yes!

PREPARE FOR BATTLE!

"Of course, Verene." Merixia fills an enormous cast iron pot with water, then drinks some of the wine that Verene's spell turns it into. "About how far is it to the ford? I need to make sure that my spells don't wear off before we get there. I do have a spell that will allow me to fly, though. Probably not as fast as Elliot, but it'll get the job done."

Once we're within a minute or two of the ford, Merixia will cast bless, bull's strength, protection from evil, and shield of wings. I'll wait until we get within range of the enemy for prayer.


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Male | Half-Elf | Archaeologist Bard 5/Evangelist 2/Trickster 2 | HP 40/65 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16; Uncanny Dodge | Fort +5, Ref +11, Will +8; +2 vs. enchantments; +2 sacred vs. insanity or confusion effects | Init. +9 | Perception +23 | Low-Light Vision | Archaeologist's Luck 11/12 left, Lore Master 1/1, Mythic Power 7/7 | Spells 1st - 4/5 2nd - 3/4 | Current buffs: n/a

Letting the conversation with Aron come to an end as it seems to be at a good place for such.

Thesius will partake of the wine Verene made earlier.

Thesius nods to Sosiel. "That makes since, I must say I've not been out of Kenebras into the deeper Worldwound since I was a child."

"I agree, that sounds like a solid plan. I am not trained in mounted combat and fear it would hinder my ability to effectively help," he says openly.

As the near, Thesius will cast Heightened Awareness and Heroism upon himself.


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M M Aasimar (peri) Magus 7 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 2. Unbuffed: Init +9, Perc. +11. HP 69/69. AC 22/FF16/T17. : F+9, R+10, W+8 (+2 vs conf/insan) Att. +13, 1d6+8/18-20/x2. CMB +13, CMD 23. Conc.: +13. VS SR: +9 /+13 (evil outsider). Darkvision. Current buffs/conditions: Haste, blur, prot. Vs evil, shield, flight, inspire courage +2.

Earlier with Merixia:

Merixia wrote:

"Absolutely! I just wanted to spend some time together, to be honest, but it takes a lot more than a ride through the rain for me to say no to a spar... Especially a spar with you."

Elliot blinked, mentally checking said decision tree. Then he chuckled as he put it aside; maybe Sosial had a point when he said there wasn't one right way to do this. Perhaps there was no point stressing over following some non-existant script and he should instead just do what felt right? This directness was part of what made her so endearing, so should he not do the same?

"I see. Well then, far be it from me to refuse a lady," He grins."And... I too would like to spend more time together. Whether it is for a language, sparring, washing dishes, other things..." Thoughts of their kiss came to him, though here in the open, he did his best to resist and instead settled for holding her hand, watching her fondly. "...So long as we're together."

Now

With a plan made and awaiting Irabeth's approval, Elliot glanced in the indicated direction of the ford. Their first major battle, and the numbers indicated it would be quite bloody - and dangerous.

His eyes travel to Merixia. Part of him wanted to ask her to stay close, to be careful and watch herself, but he wondered if the warrior in her would appreciate such sentiments. They'd both do what they needed to do, right? And the plan was already for the five of them to stick together. Another part wondered how she felt about fighting two hundred of her kindred, but then figured she wouldn't view them as such. Instead, he simply nods at her like a fellow soldier would and awaits the final orders.

If our knowledge checks reveal this unknown fire creature can use fire abilities, could I bother either of our full casters for a communal resist energy: fire? Cast through the mythic path ability, that would be cross the CL 7 treshhold for resist 20, for at least 10 minutes to each of us.


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Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

Verene:
It's hard to be sure based solely on Anevia's description of the creature, but Verene thinks she's read about something like this in Avral's Guide to Monsters Most Foul. Brimoraks are demons notionally born from the souls of arsonists, and as such, much of their abilities are strongly associated with fires. Ever-surrounded by the smoke they exhale, their blood burns hot enough to sear flesh, and they can endow their weapons with blazing heat. Each one also has a variety of abilities to do with fire, including throwing fireballs, creating fire, heating metal, and other such things. Finally, brimoraks are able to unleash blasts of boiling blood from their mouths.

Unsurprisingly, brimoraks are very vulnerable to the chill of winter, which saps their life-giving heat.

Elliot:
It's hard to be sure based solely on Anevia's description of the creature, but Elliot thinks he's heard Aravashnial mention them in the past, and due to his own association with fire, he'd done his own research. Brimoraks are demons notionally born from the souls of arsonists, and as such, much of their abilities are strongly associated with fires. Ever-surrounded by the smoke they exhale, their blood burns hot enough to sear flesh, and they can endow their weapons with blazing heat. Each one also has a variety of abilities to do with fire, including throwing fireballs, creating fire, heating metal, and other such things. Finally, brimoraks are able to unleash blasts of boiling blood from their mouths.

Unsurprisingly, brimoraks are very vulnerable to the chill of winter, which saps their life-giving heat.

What is Elliot transforming into, then? I assume it's something small to boost his Dex.

Irabeth considers the party's suggestions. "I'll send half of our troops ahead of you all, as Azira suggests, then lead the second wave once you have engaged the enemies." She looks to the troops and begins shouting orders. The paladins move with swiftness and discipline - they have been trained for this for years.

Once everyone is prepared, the Knights of Kenabres ride out - Sosiel and Aron are in the vanguard, with the champions following close behind. Several hundred paces behind them the rest of the force is prepared to follow up with their own assault.

As soon as the enemy encampment is in sight, the paladins ahead of them kick their horses into a canter. Sentries shout out alarms, but it is too late - the paladins come crashing into the fortifications, weapons rising and falling with deadly accuracy.

The heroes look to see where they are most needed, and quickly pin down the commander - a female demon that must be the one that Anevia saw - and eight or so tieflings surrounding her. She is busy shrieking orders, before she beheads one of the nearest tieflings. Another dashes away, leaving her alone with six of her allies.

Final call for buffs. Here's what I have right now:

Statuses:


Verene: HP 40/40; AC 13, touch 12, flat-footed 11; Prescience 8/8, Mythic Power 5/5, mage armor 45 minutes, longstrider 45 minutes, merge with familiar 6 hours; Thamyris: HP 20/20; AC 19, touch 16, flat-footed 17
Merixia: HP 54/54; AC 22, touch 12, flat-footed 21; pyrotechnics 1/1, true strike 1/1, protection from evil 1/1, Touch of Good 7/7, Destructive Smite 7/7, Channel 3/3, Mythic Power 5/5, bull’s strength 5 minutes, protection from evil 5 minutes, shield of wings 5 minutes
Thesius: HP 43/43; AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 16, uncanny dodge; Archeologist’s Luck 12/12, Lore Master 1/1, Mythic Power 5/5, heightened awareness 50 minutes, heroism 50 minutes
Elliot: HP 58/58; AC 27, touch 19, flat-footed 21, Arcane Pool 5/5, Righteous Eclipse Arcane Pool 1/1 pyrotechnics 1/1, Mythic Power 5/5, shield 8 minutes, cat’s grace 6 minutes, alter self 19 minutes, blur 5 minutes
Azira: HP 61/61; AC 25, touch 17, flat-footed 19; glitterdust 1/1, smite evil 2/2, lay on hands 6/6, panache 4/4, Mythic Power 5/5, Radiance Legendary Power 2/2
All: Tears to Wine 45 minutes, bless 5 minutes, communal resist energy (fire 20) 13 minutes remaining

Please correct me if any of this is in error.

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