Gronak's wide swing successfully severs portions of the Giant Spider's legs, on its way through the junction between head and thorax. When he recovers from his mighty swing, he sees the head of the spider lying at his feet, mandibles clacking for a few moments before stopping. The body lands with a thump beside, behind it, one of its legs reflexively happens to twitch real close to Ver'Yanion.
There's a loud woosh-like sound that comes from behind him, as the refugees gasp, realizing most of them were holding their breath during the fight with the spider. "Uh, that was pretty scary, I'm sure glad you were here!" one from the back group around Wrofyx comments.
"Absolutely,"the human up front adds, "because we are definitely on the right path now..."
Room for post battle stuff
After about another hour of winding passages, and a couple more wrong turn-dead ends, the passage opens into a sizeable cavern, within the center of which appears a truly ancient looking temple. Standing some forty feet in height, and made from various forms of grey and white marble, this temple appears to be reasonably sound, despite the various chips across the surface, and the partially collapsed domed roof.
What is assumed to have once been a grand entry doorway, there appears a small campfire surrounded by piles of ragged, but neatly folded bedding.
Seven individuals are, or were, huddled around the fire until they hear the sounds of the groups footsteps into the chamber. They all scramble to their feet, drawing clubs in the process.
The halfling up front of the party calls out, [b]"Well met by moonlight, sisters and brothers, but soon the dawn will come!" Upon hearing this, the group by the fire appear to relax, setting down their clubs, and wave the newcomers over.
Lugrok and Urk warily watch the group by the fire, trying to ascertain their intents with the party here. He looks to the refugees near him.
Urk looks between the two groups, trying to figure out which one is the next great enemy to prove himself on, if either.
|Wrofyx Kesgalna Nackl|
Wrofyx will just start making conversation with the two groups, basically gathering information on who they are and what their plan is from this point.
diplo: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
A slim, red-headed human male with tight, pinched features, steps forward and waves the group up. "Please come inside, rest, and grab a bite to eat. I am Akkuret." The others around the fire move inside and the sounds of a couple of crates being opened can be heard.
The Blossoms refugees the party have been escorting move ahead and enter the temple. A few assist in setting up some simple dishes of food, wine on a table in the corner just inside. Several, seated on the pews and eating, have some small talk about what happened to them with a few that had been at the temple, relaying the party's fight with the spider in great detail.
When all are inside, Akkuret speaks up, "Thank you for saving my brethren Dawnflower Blossoms. Chalfon Dalsine's lust for power and personal glory threaten not just us, but your own Pathfinder Society's standing within Taldor."
The orc steps in with a smile, the offer of food definitely appealing to his empty belly. Urk travelled happily along his two legged friend, eyes taking everyone in and just inspecting each one, mostly to see if they offered him proper praise.
After sitting down, Lugrok dives into the simple fare with his fingers, or tipping the bowl as needed. He tosses a random break of bread toward Urk who, while not entirely enthused by it, eats it anyway.
The orc looks at Wrofyx, then at the refugees.
”The Pathfinders fix problems in loads of ways. Sometimes they make deals, sometimes we find blackmail. If they sent us, they probably have one way to fix this in mind, and it’s not the polite way. Where do we find him?”
"You see, Chalfon was once a Pathfinder initiate not so long ago," Akkuret begins solemnly. Continuing, while pacing a bit, "He comes from the Dalsine family, one of the wealthier of Taldor's senatorial families. Not being the eldest however, he was not burdened with learning the intricacies necessary to take over once he came of age." He stops, and looks over each of the party, "Despite this freedom he began to feel resentful of his parents. They seemed to focus more emotional energy on his elder brother, enforcing burdensome rules, insistence upon traditions, station, family name...you understand?"
Looking down again, Akkuret continues, meandering between the pews, "As a result, he ran off and joined the Pathfinders. But, coming from wealth, he felt he didn't need to follow all of their rules." He pauses for a moment, "Often did he pay off others to do his chores or assignments, frequenting brothels and taverns instead." Akkuret resumes slowly walking towards the alter, "He was caught eventually, and expelled from your society, after which he spent time wandering Golarion."
|Wrofyx Kesgalna Nackl|
The gnome rolls his eyes, "Gee, he sounds just lovely. Not sure about the rest of you but I have no time for spoiled, entitled brats. Please tell us more, the more information we have the better prepared will be."
Lugrok snirked a bit at Wrofyxs' words, nodding while munching on the offered food.
He looked at Urk and laughed. Urk looked up at his orky friend, and grunted as if in response.
"Right? Bet he cant survive one night in the forest because something will eat him first!"
Lugrok looked over at Wrofyx then at Akkuret, listening more intently.
Gronak listens, nodding and considering his words.
”Even if he was not a good pathfinder, he had to be good at something to join. Is he a warrior? A Wizard? Someone that speaks well and gives small benefits to all of their friends in combat?”
Seeing the boar settling down with the party, a couple of the locally stationed Blossoms approach with a plate of scraps they think might be more appealing to one of the porcine variety, a hint of the wine intermingled with scent.
Akkuret turns, regarding Wrofyx and Gronak thoughtfully, then nods. "When not properly handled, yes, wealth does seem to turn the youth into such, creatures. And wealth flowed freely through Chalfon's hands, trading exotic wares from the markets of Sothis and Katapesh, gambling fortunes within the dens of Ilizmagorti and Riddleport, to the meadhouses of cold Kalsgard!"
Facing a bit more towards Gronak, he continues, "He was better at losing money than earning it and fled to Taldor when his debts, and creditors, began to pile up. Somehow, he came to an agreement with an individual named Banell Half-Drowned, a reclusive magical theoretician."
A slight chuckle escapes his lips, "Something to do with blending magical and martial techniques...as if such a thing could really be accomplished! However, being of a rebellious nature, Chalfon worked with Half-Drowned for some 4 years as he believed this to be his newest key to greater wealth and true power!" Akkuret accentuates this with raising his finger into the air. "During this time Chalfon would return to town on occasion, in disguise, as rural life didn't exactly agree with him. One such occasion he chanced upon a disenchanted Pathfinder whom, while somewhat inebriated, was lamenting the ineffectual Decemvirate and drumming up support for an alternate group...the Shadow Lodge...saying they had a better quality of leadership in mind for the rank and file members of the Society."
"After concluding his training with Half-Drowned, Dalsine began traveling the world looking for places of power or artifacts that would elevate his wealth and rank." Akkuret continues solemnly... "Ultimately, he returned to Oppara, resigned with his failure to acquire what he sought and rejoined his family, though not without a plan..." He allows the suspense to hang in the air for a decent time.
Gronak listens in while practicing Prestidigitation to polish and oil the joints of his armor. He take a brief pause and raises an eyebrow when Akkuret laughs at blending magical and martial techniques.
At some point when appropriate, he comments to the others, ”I think I would like to meet this Half-Drowned once we have finished this task.”
Lugrok grunted slightly in between bites of food while listening to the history of the person they have come to seek, it seemed.
Urk looked up at the orc, almost nodding.
|Wrofyx Kesgalna Nackl|
The gnome listens intently while keeping an eye on everything going on in the room.
He shoots a quick smile to those giving Urk food, and chuckles to himself; "If only Urk could talk, he'd be a great diplomat as everyone seems to like him"
Before continuing, Akkuret looks over Gronak for perhaps a minute. "Curious, you do seem similar in bearing to Dalsine, perhaps, with another hours worth of time, I can provide you with additional information regarding his mentors whereabouts..."
Moving to the table of food, he selects a glass of wine, swirls it a few times before raising it to toast the party, then takes a small drink before returning it to the table. "Ahh, quite the vintage stored here, how wonderful." He smiles broadly. "Anyway, where was I...Oh yes! Chalfon had his older brother killed and thusly gained control of his family's fortune! Utilizing the wealth gained, over the years, he placed agents loyal to him within the royal court. Some also say he has agents within even Lion Blades and the Brotherhood of Silence!" Akkuret raises a finger as if to emphasize that last point as he returns to the pews.
Lugrok chews his food loudly, watching Akkuret before speaking in a short, gruff voice.
"We do what then?"
He glanced at Urk, tossing the boar another small bit of meat and bread.
The orc looked about the others' faces in the room, trying to gauge what was being asked here.
Gronak sheaths his blade and joins the table of food and drink, taking a bite out of a small loaf of bread, ”Dalsine is a spoiled whelp with a grudge against the Dawnflowers and the Pathfinders. He has money, power, and friends. Sounds like he needs to be eliminated, probably quickly and quietly. I prefer a straight up fight any day, but in my homeland the demons don’t play by any rules, so sometimes we have to adapt. How do we take him out?” He downs a glass of wine in a single gulp.
Looks at Gronak, then Akkuret, then Gronak. A glance at Urk is granted a head nod and a grunt, then the orc speaks up.
"Where are the packages the captain gave you all recently?"
The orc turns toward the refugees they just saved, as if his words were meant more for them than Akkuret.
"Musello gave ya somethings, right? To move?"
A white-clad stranger stumbles in through the entryway, breathing heavily and leaning on a stout oaken staff. "Well met... by moonlight, sisters and... <wheeze> brothers... whew! But the dawn will come soon! " He stammers out the passphrase between gasps for breath, then pulls a water bottle from his belt and takes a long drink.
The young man wears a white cassock over traveling clothes, tied at his waist with a simple cord. His hair and eyebrows seem not to have seen a brush for many days, sticking up in all directions as if full of static electricity. Aside from his staff, a small knife at his belt is his only weapon.
"Sorry... lots of... running..." he wheezes, clearly exhausted. "Don't... like... running. Or spiders..."
Lugrok stares at the new comer for a moment before glancing at Urk. Urk stops bathing himself for the briefest of seconds before deciding the white robed person is not a threat to his own self nor of those two legged ones he is responsible for.
"..are you another one of them? Did we leave one behind?"
Akkuret stops short of the entrance, a disturbed look upon his face, "And just who are you coming in here like this?" as he examines the newcomer. "You are unfamiliar to me..."
One of the refugees escorted by the party looks up at Lugrok, noting the sound of the question was not aimed at Akkuret. "Dunno where Dalsine might have taken them...his residence perhaps?" he shrugs slightly, taking another bite of food, "But I don't know where that is exactly."
"Forgive me, Father, for my intrusion. My name is Caellus, and I am not one of your sect," the man replies to Akkuret, then turns his attention to Lugruk.
"I am a member of the Society, if that's what you mean," Caellus replies to the orc, but keeps glancing sidelong at Urk in fascination. "Today I bear a message of import from The Ten, for the Pathfinder Ver'Yanion Talthenar!" he continues, regaining a measure of composure.
I really hope that's one of you, or I have done a lot of running to the wrong place...
Lugrok shrugs lightly, seeing to be unperturbed at the response of the Society. He looks over at the refugee who spoke.
"Who would know? Who can we ask to find his place and the recover those packages?"
Lugrok looks to the rest, his side-glance at Caellus obvious, if only because he barely knows the man.
"We have to get them back."
"Thank you, Father," Caellus replies with a respectful bow. He enters the cave and heads toward the rest of the group.
Let's see, an elf, they said... His eyes settle on Ver'Yanion, and he approaches to face him.
"Ver'Yanion Telthenar, I deliver this message to you on behalf of The Ten!" he intones dramatically, then removes a scroll from his belt with a flourish and reads it aloud.
"Pathfinder extraordinaire Ver'Yanion Talthenar, you are hereby summoned to Skyreach Tower at the Grand Lodge of Absalom, there to consult with members of the Decemvirate on matters of supreme importance to the future of the Society. Come immediately and alone, and ensure your personal affairs are in order for the foreseeable future." Caellus' eyebrows rise as he begins to comprehend the meaning of the missive.
"All of your companions and any others who hear the contents of this message are hereby sworn to secrecy. The bearer of this message will assume your place in your current assignment..." Caellus trails off as he realizes he has just become a field agent again.
"Signed, Ambrus Valsin, Chamberlain of the Grand Lodge, on behalf of The Ten."
Caellus presents the scroll to the startled elf with a bow. "Might want to frame that for your new office, hey?" he whispers with a sly wink.
Ver'Yanion cocks an eyebrow in curiosity...
"Ahh, such a wonderful bit of news for you Ver'Yanion, and a pity for you, message bearer!" Akkuret states with exaggerated sorrow as he stands at the entry and turns facing the party. "However, I'm afraid you're not allowed to depart from this place to attend your new, appointment..." his arms begin to stretch, the clothes on his body seem to melt into his flesh, and his face changes from slender red-headed human to that of, something else...no mouth, no eyes, but still somewhat humanoid in shape. The other Dawnflower blossoms stand aghast at what has transpired with their leader.
A scimitar now in hand, blocking the doorway in a defensive posture, Akkuret boldly states,"My master's plan is nearly complete. While it has been a fun conversation, I haven't delayed you enough, and he must not be disturbed!"
Akkuret: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Brother Caellus: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Gronak: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20
Lugrok: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
Urk: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
Ver'Yanion: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19
Wrofyx: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Caellus advances slowly, one hand open in a gesture of friendship. "Come, Father, there is no need of violence, even now that we see you have deceived us. We are many, and you are alone. How can you hope to delay us, now that we see your aim?"
Ready an action to cast bless on the party if the "priest" or any PC attacks.
|Wrofyx Kesgalna Nackl|
The gnome greats the new comer, "Well meet, Caellus. I am Wrofyx, although you might as well call me Fat Penguin, by the Gods everyone else does."
As the missive is read Wrofyx lets out as loud of whoop as her dares and gives Ver'Yanion a hearty handshake, "Congrats my friend, I shall miss being in the field with you."
As Akkuret transforms the gnome sighs and prepares for battle.
Ready action to inspire courage.
Still stuffing his face, he hears the gasps and shrieks of those around him, then sees Urk stiffen the hackles along his back. Turning his head, he sees the ghastly figure standing int he room with them where Akkuret once stood.
He then stood, barking, then hefting his great axe, moving his way between the other refugees and Akkuret.
|Urk the Boar|
Urk was content; food, water, clean hide.
And then the screams began.
He saw the change before the orc did, causing the boar to immediately take up a defensive position, grunting loudly. The orc friend grunted, to which Urk responded by moving next to him to help guard the others.
Not on this day, Ugly Legger!
|Wrofyx Kesgalna Nackl|
Gronak leaps into action, drawing his Greatsword as he rounds the corner of the pews.
Why were we speaking to this man from so far away? He ponders as he moves, restricted by his heavy armor.
"You should have kept yourself disguised... Beast! He contemplates what the thing may be.
Knowledge Dungeoneering: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Ver'Yanion searches his memories for information about the creature now standing before them: K(Dungeoneering): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
He draws his longsword and moves around the pews to setup a flank for the next round. "What?! You're to stop me from my future appointment? How rude."
Akkuret takes measure against the pathfinders approaching him, moving his scimitar in a measured fashion Feint vs Gronak dc12: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28 and moves back a little to hamper their ability to flank him. "You...Shall..Not...Pass!"
”Be weary, it has a long reach!”
Gronak approaches carefully, but decisively, avoiding charging too quickly as the alien creature shifts and squirms.
Assuming that Bless and Inspire kick in before the attack.
Greatsword: 1d20 + 6 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 6 + 1 + 1 = 12
Damage: 2d6 + 10 + 1 ⇒ (3, 6) + 10 + 1 = 20
Readied action: bless goes off on Akkuret’s feint, moving my initiative to just before him in Round 1…
Caellus checks his advance based on Gronak’s warning. Strange, it doesn’t look like its arms are that long… He points his free hand at the creature and unleashes a bolt of lightning.
Air domain lightning arc (Sp): Ranged touch: 1d20 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 3 + 1 = 24
Crit!: 1d6 + 1 + 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 + (4) + 1 = 10 electricity damage
The ork grunts and shouts unknown words as he moved forward, his hand raised as sigils of bright sprites flashed around it. A sudden burst of light goes off right in front of the things face.
Moving up 30 feet and casting Flare. Lugrok has no idea what this thing is yet. Then as a free action, he has Urk double move to get behind the thing.
|Urk the Boar|
Hearing his friends words, and seeing the other big friend attempting to attack this new smelly ugly thing that was talking to them, Urk made a command decision to attack!
Damn you, legs! Move! We must help save the day!
Urk snorted angrily as he moved to get behind Akkuret, grunting obscenities in his boar-ish way.
Bless and Inspire courage are both morale attack bonus
As Gronak approaches to attack, Akkuret slips in a slice from his scmitar looking for the weakness provided by his feint: AoO defensively: 1d20 + 8 + 2 - 4 ⇒ (14) + 8 + 2 - 4 = 201d6 + 4 + 1d6 ⇒ (3) + 4 + (1) = 8 He deftly dodges Gronak's swing.
The arc of electricity strikes true and some of the flesh of the faceless stalker sizzles, followed up by Lugrok's burst of light to Akkuret's featureless face. Fort: 1d20 + 5 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 5 + 4 = 27 Unfortunately there appears to be no discernible effect from the light.
As Urk moves into position, Akkuret's strike on Gronak provides a counter spin that aids in a follow up attack on Urk as he enters melee range Combat reflexes AoO defensive: 1d20 + 8 + 2 - 4 ⇒ (19) + 8 + 2 - 4 = 25crit confirm!: 1d20 + 8 + 2 - 4 ⇒ (15) + 8 + 2 - 4 = 211d6 + 4 + 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 + (5) + 4 = 14 opening a sizeable wound in the porcine combatant.
Ver'Yanion moves up, drawing his dagger, and throws it at Akkuret from outside the apparent reach of the creature striking solidly for Thrown dagger: 1d4 + 2 + 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 + (1) + 2 = 7 piercing damage
|Wrofyx Kesgalna Nackl|
Wrofyx moves up slightly to make sure everyone can hear him, drawing his bow as he does so.
"What’s small and red and has a rough voice?
A hoarse raddish"
Kn Dun: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
"Anyone know what that is or the best way to kill it?
”Surely you see you cannot delay us for long. Is your master worth dying for?” Caellus holds out his hand again in a peaceful gesture. ” Surrender before more blood is spilled, and I will see that you are given a fair trial. You have my word.”
Ready electric arc if he AOs again or does anything other than surrender on his turn.
I'm counting 35' from Caellus to Akkuret's space, before moving this round, or Caellus should be one square closer for his crit last round and trigger this round, the lightning stops at 30' as I see the description for the air domain power.
Seeing the blood spilled from Urk, but realizing his position is poor, he withdraws back along the wall. Trigger AoO from Urk "Surrender? My lord Dalcine's rule will be unchallenged!" exclaims Akkuret.
Brother Caellus[ready action]
Akkuret -7 or -17hp
|Urk the Boar|
Urk squeals as he is cut very deeply by the things claws. Angrily, he attempts to gouge into the things legs as it tries to move away from him.
Gore attack: 1d20 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 3 + 2 = 251d6 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Crit confirm: 1d20 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 3 + 2 = 71d6 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
The ork hears his porcine little friend cry out in pain! Rushing close as he needs to be, he places his hand upon Urk to watch his wounds stitch together while staring at the thing that was once Akkuret.
Move, then cast Cure Light Wounds on Urk
CLW: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Frustrated by the creatures attempts to escape, Gronak continues to press the attack. He rounds the pillars and moves to press the beast into the corner.
"It's a faceless stalker, a shapechanger, just hit it!"
provokes another AOO on the way in.
Greatsword: 1d20 + 6 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 6 + 1 + 1 = 25
Damage: 2d6 + 10 + 1 ⇒ (3, 2) + 10 + 1 = 16
Gronak is feeling satisfied by the wounds he has opened upon Akkuret, adding to the hole placed by Urk. defensive Aoo: 1d20 + 8 - 4 ⇒ (18) + 8 - 4 = 22crit not-confirm: 1d20 + 8 - 4 ⇒ (3) + 8 - 4 = 71d6 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Ver'Yanion moves up, "Quit backing up, you sissy! risking the retaliation from the shapechanger,defensive Aoo: 1d20 + 8 - 4 ⇒ (9) + 8 - 4 = 131d6 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10 and strikes longsword: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9 dropping the creature into a pool of its own blood.
End of combat.
CLW pot and MW scimitar are found on its possession
The Dawnflower Blossoms collect themselves, and begin to gather their belongings, "We need to get out of here, who knows how long that creature has been feeding Chalfon information about us!" A couple of them look towards the group, "Thank you for your help, we obviously can't stay here any longer. We'll find a ship this evening to hire and make haste for someplace safer."
Brother Caellus notices one of the female members looks like she wants to say something, but turns back to packing their belongings.