Blue seriously regrets its life choice as Slick carves it in twain.
Orange, meanwhile, decides to try and tear Nubnonk apart but only manages to catch him with its first beak strike.
Nubnonk takes 27 damage
Beak: 1d20 ⇒ 13
Beak: 1d20 ⇒ 7
Claw: 1d20 ⇒ 13
Damage: 3d8 + 9 ⇒ (4, 2, 8) + 9 = 23 +1d6 ⇒ 4 evil
Bold to act.
Dramiil 34/116, 2d8 persistent piercing
Orange, ground level
Zeshuvin, 21 damage, 5' in the air
Billy looks around nervously. He wonders aloud, "Where did everyone go? Just me and the leader over here?" The bard bravely flees. He happens to wind up on the other side of Slick.
This movement will provoke the leader, if he has AoO.
From his new vantage point, he belts out a fearful ballad.
♫"I'm Billy Bardy. Hear me!
There's trouble brewing near me.
.....We're on the verge.
.....A doom-y dirge:
Demons soon will fear me!"♫
Casts Dirge of Doom (a bard cantrip, so no focus point used).
Foes in a 30' emanation are Frightened 1 for 1 round.
Then, remembering a certain magical staff, Billy grips his Staff of Final Rest and prepares.
◆Stride, ◆ Dirge of Doom, ◆ Interact (wield staff)
Zashuvin casts a spell at Slick who promptly drops to the ground. He then dive bombs Nubnonk, inflicting a nasty wound which begins to bleed freely.
Slicks fly is dispelled. Nubnonk takes 14 damage and 1d6 bleed
Counteract: 1d20 ⇒ 18
Beak: 1d20 ⇒ 10
Damage: 2d10 + 11 ⇒ (2, 1) + 11 = 14
Bold to act.
Dramiil 34/116, 2d8 persistent piercing
Nubnonk 43/166, 1d6 bleed
Orange, ground level, frightened 1
Zeshuvin, 21 damage, 10' in the air, frightened 1
As Nubnonk gets pecked half to death (or three-quarters as the case may be), he huffs and puffs and...realizes that almost anything he does might get him killed.
So he steps back ◆ and speaks the command word ◆◆ for his fancy new tattoo, shining with the light of the Dawnflower herself!
This tattoo is a series of six concentric circles that show up as a soft yellow on any skin tone. The marks carry in them a protective force that bolsters your body and soul. Any time someone rolls a critical failure to Treat your Wounds, they get a failure instead. The glow has the effects of a 4th-level light spell, and you regain 2d8 Hit Points per round.
Activate ◆◆ command; Frequency once per day; Effect For 5 rounds, your entire body begins to glow, with the effects of a 4th-level light spell. At the end of each of your turns during this time, you regain 2d8 Hit Points.
Bleed: 1d6 ⇒ 1
Healing: 2d8 ⇒ (7, 1) = 8
Recovery Check: 1d20 ⇒ 12
That should land me at 50 hp.
Barely having had the time to exult in his latest victory over a member of the dread demon plague, Slick suddenly finds himself very much at the mercy of gravity and glumly drops the few feet to the ground. "Hey Billy! Don't know where you got that flying spell, but you might want to ask for a refund."
Finding himself on the ground again, only one obvious target presents itself. Trotting forward, Slick moves comfortably under the out-of-reach Zashuvin, knowing that the boss demon was unlikely to get in the way just yet, and remaining in Nubnonk's inspiring aura, takes a couple of swipes at the remaining vrock before slamming his shoulder into the creature for good measure.
Action 1 (◆): Stride (45 feet)
Greatsword Attack: 1d20 + 23 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 23 + 2 + 1 = 36
Greatsword Damage: 3d12 + 8 + 3 ⇒ (3, 6, 6) + 8 + 3 = 26 slashing damage plus weakness to Good
Not a crit by thaaaat much.
Action 3 (◆): Brutish Shove with Powerful Shove
- Action: Strike (+2 Greater Striking Grievous Greatsword) with Inspire Courage, Inspiring Aura, Share Weakness and MAP1 vs Orange Vrock.
- Action: Shove with Powerful Shove vs Orange Vrock
Greatsword Attack: 1d20 + 23 + 2 + 1 - 5 ⇒ (2) + 23 + 2 + 1 - 5 = 23
A miss? How is that even possible? Will use my +0 (success) Hammers result on a re-roll.
Greatsword Attack: 1d20 + 23 + 2 + 1 - 5 ⇒ (20) + 23 + 2 + 1 - 5 = 41
Greatsword Damage: 3d12 + 8 + 3 ⇒ (5, 10, 4) + 8 + 3 = 30 slashing damage plus weakness to Good
Aaaah! There it is. Nice! Slick will follow the vrock this time in the hopes the now flat-footed creature makes the same mistake as its friend.
Reaction (↺): Attack of Opportunity
Greatsword Attack: 1d20 + 23 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 23 + 2 + 1 = 43 vs Flat-Footed
Greatsword Damage: 3d12 + 8 + 3 ⇒ (5, 12, 3) + 8 + 3 = 31 slashing damage
If Crit Success, the target is flat-footed until the end of your next turn (Grievous).
As Slick moves in orange snaps at him with its beak, giving him a nasty gash to the arm. Slick reciprocates with a solid blow and then a devastating smash.
Slick takes 25 damage, Orange takes 106, seems like a fair trade
OA: 1d20 ⇒ 14
Damage: 3d8 + 9 ⇒ (3, 7, 6) + 9 = 25
Bold to act.
Dramiil 34/116, 2d8 persistent piercing
Nubnonk 50/166, 1d6 bleed
Orange, ground level, frightened 1, 106 damage, ff
Zeshuvin, 21 damage, 10' in the air, frightened 1
Thanks for the redo, GMAndrew.
Billy thought he spent time learning a frightening bard song, but instead it was just a rather amusing All Hallow's Eve diddy. Billy responds to Slick, "Alas, my friend, it seems I need a refund of several spells."
Billy does not cast Dirge of Doom, so Inspire Courage (which Slick benefitted from) is still in effect.
With a little extra time on his hands, he tells Dramiil, "Hold still." Billy slaps on a bandage.
Battle Medicine (expert) DC 20: 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (4) + 21 = 25
Damage Healed +Medic: 2d8 + 10 + 5 ⇒ (6, 2) + 10 + 5 = 23
◆Stride, ◆ Battle Medicine, ◆ Interact (wield staff)
Bold to act.
Dramiil 57/116, 2d8 persistent piercing
Nubnonk 50/166, 1d6 bleed
Orange, ground level, frightened 1, 109 damage, ff
Zeshuvin, 21 damage, 10' in the air
Due to Unleash Psyche, Dramiil is Stupefied 1 for 2 rounds.
Dramiil gladly accepts the in-battle healing, "Thanks Billy. You're the absolute best! I can't say enough good things about you. You're clever and resourceful. And you're so nice, you can't even sing a scary song!" He goes on and on and on, gushing about Billy.
The next time one of you bots a PC, you can have them praise your character too. :)
Seeing the leader above him, Dramiil shoots off a full blast of Magic Missiles.
Magic Missile (3rd) vs Leader: 6d4 + 6 ⇒ (1, 4, 4, 4, 3, 3) + 6 = 25
Stupefied Flat Check, DC 6: 1d20 ⇒ 3
Alas, with his psyche unleashed, his mind is muddled, and the spell fizzles.
Persistent Piercing: 2d8 ⇒ (2, 7) = 9
Persistent Flat Check, DC 15: 1d20 ⇒ 15
As long as Stupefied doesn't affect flat checks (I don't think it should), Dramiil finally recovers from the persistent injuries.
◆◆◆ 3-action Magic Missile
Dramill remains Stupefied 1 for 1 more round.
Dramiils spell fizzles in the face of his muddled mind. Orange would love to get over there and tear him apart but he has seen how dangerous Slick is and opens up on him!
Unfortunately his armour is too strong for it and none of the attacks manage to penetrate his defences.
Beak: 1d20 ⇒ 11
Beak: 1d20 ⇒ 5
Claw: 1d20 ⇒ 15
Bold to act.
Nubnonk 50/166, 1d6 bleed
Orange, ground level, 109 damage, ff
Zeshuvin, 21 damage, 10' in the air
With his music no longer lingering, Billy belts out new inspiration:
♫"So let's keep the music a-playing.
This fight ends with no more delaying.
.....The demons are wishing.
.....They would have gone fishing.
Instead, Slick keeps slaying and slaying."♫
Performance - Lingering Composition +Virt Performer (no lute bonus since it requires 2 hands) DC 30: 1d20 + 23 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 23 + 2 = 32
Success: Inspire Courage lasts 3 rounds. (Cost: 1 focus point).
All allies within 60' have +1 status bonus to attacks/damage and fear saves.
Bludgeoning/Water Damage: 3d6 ⇒ (3, 4, 6) = 13
Good Damage to Fiends +Regalia: 6d6 + 3 ⇒ (3, 3, 6, 2, 4, 4) + 3 = 25
20' Burst. Range 500'. Basic Reflex Save DC 31
Even with Leader 10' up, I believe I can find a 20' burst to catch Leader, Orange, and (unfortunely) Slick, in the blast.
◆ Inspire Courage, ◇ Lingering Comp, ◆◆ Holy Cascade
Billy unleashes a torrent of magically empowered waters at the enemies. Both remaining demons are caught unaware and take the full force of the blast.
Orange takes 48 damage. Zashuvin takes 38 as his weakness to Good is offset by his resistance to physical damage.
Zashuvin, tired of such nonsense, swoops down on Billy to tear him apart! His beak attack shreds Billy's flesh but the success of the blow throws off his subsequent aim and Billy avoids the slashing talons. However, the wounds left start to bleed profusely!
Billy takes 36 damage and 2d6 bleed requiring a DC19 flat check to stop
Reflex, Orange: 1d20 ⇒ 6
Reflex, Zashuvin: 1d20 ⇒ 5
Move and attack with one action, then strike twice more
Beak: 1d20 ⇒ 19
Talon: 1d20 ⇒ 2
Talon: 1d20 ⇒ 2
Damage: 2d10 + 11 ⇒ (1, 6) + 11 = 18 doubled for 36 damage and 2d6 bleed. DC19 flat check to stop.
Bold to act.
Nubnonk 50/166, 1d6 bleed
Billy 60/138, 2d6 bleed, DC19
Orange, ground level, 157 damage, ff
Zeshuvin, 59 damage, 10' in the air
After Slick sends the vrock skittering back 20 feet, he grins and follows after his quarry hoping that it will do something stupid like try to fly away. But no, this one is smarter and decides to stay and fight instead, with predictably bad results. Apparently Slick has learned a little about vrock beaks and easily ducks under the strikes. Then, just as he's about to teach this vrock the same lesson he seems to have been giving all day, an explosion not far behind him momentarily staggers him...
Oh, so now Billy decides to roll good numbers for damage. Sheesh :)
Basic Reflex Save with Bulwark vs DC 31: 1d20 + 18 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 18 + 2 = 32
...but his armor takes the brunt of it and he's only shaken up a little.
Bulwark just paid for itself. That 13/2 = 6hp of damage for Slick.
Slick looks back at his friend and gives him a WTF? look, but the screeching and writhing of the demons from contact with the holy water answers that question. He nods in approval and returns his attention to the vrock before him. "My turn." He swings his greatsword in one big arc and brings it down on the creature's head.
Greatsword Attack: 1d20 + 23 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 23 + 2 + 1 = 45 vs Flat-Footed
Greatsword Damage: 3d12 + 8 + 3 ⇒ (3, 12, 6) + 8 + 3 = 32 slashing damage plus weakness to Good
Unless I've grievously miscalculated the vrock's HP count, I believe that with a little help from the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, Orange just got sent back to the Abyss.
"<Crunch!>" The vrock's head almost explodes from the power of Slick's blow and it's physical form crumples to the ground and lies still. Slick turns his head in time to see the leader tearing into Billy. He runs back to offer what protection he can. With the lead demon still out of reach, Slick leans over to touch Billy, and calls on Gorum to keep him in the fight.
Unfortunately, Billy is just out of range of Slick's protector's sacrifice reaction.
Action 2 (◆): Stride (45 feet)
Billy recovers 36 hit points, gains a +2 status bonus to AC for 1 round and a +10-foot status bonus to its Speed until the end of its next turn (Accelerating Touch).
Dramiil, unsure of what else to try, falls back on casting more Magic Missiles at the leader.
Magic Missile (1st) + Regalia vs Leader: 3d4 + 3 + 3 ⇒ (1, 1, 3) + 3 + 3 = 11
Stupefied Flat Check, DC 6: 1d20 ⇒ 2
Alas, once again, his psyche fails him.
After this round, Dramiil is no longer Stupefied from Unleash Psyche.
◆◆◆ Magic Missile
Note: As before, if Dramiil takes damage, he'll use his reaction to cast a 2nd level Blood Vendetta
Delaying for Nubnonk, as appropriate...
Billy winces from the terrible bleeding gash from the lead demon. When Slick heals him, he sighs in relief, "Ahh. Much better. Thank you, my friend." Billy doesn't yet appreciate the massive internal bleeding he is dealing with.
♫"The battle's near the close!
Chromatic Ray this time.
Is this blood on my clothes?
That's a really awful rhyme."♫
Chromatic Ray (4th) +IC vs Leader: 1d20 + 21 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 21 + 1 = 39
1:Red (30 fire dmg), 2:Orange (40 acid dmg), 3:Yellow (50 elec dmg), 4:Green (25 poison dmg + enfeebled): 1d4 ⇒ 3
Electricity Damage + Dangerous Sorcery: (50) + 4 = 54
The bard/medic then slaps some bandages on his own wounds.
Battle Medicine DC 20: 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (7) + 21 = 28
Damage Healed +Medic: 2d8 + 10 + 5 ⇒ (6, 6) + 10 + 5 = 27
Billy is healed 27 (in addition to Slick's 36).
And then he bleeds ...
Persistent Bleed: 2d6 ⇒ (5, 4) = 9
Persistent Flat Check, DC 19: 1d20 ⇒ 12
◆◆ Chromatic Ray, ◆ Battle Medicine
Bulwark is legit one of the best parts about Full Plate. My champion in another game salutes you, Slick.
Were it not for how effective Slick was at demonslaying, Nubnonk would almost feel jealous. Well, he does feel jealous, wishing that he could have as much of the action as his friend, but is satisfied knowing that at least he can contribute.
A change, indeed, from the young soldier rampaging across the battlefields of Isger some 25 years ago, his sharp teeth tearing unquestioningly into the legs of humans.
The boomerang was, by comparison, a much more civilized weapon, though many still looked at him funny for using such an odd tool, especially when he had Desna's starknife in his arsenal. But he liked it. It suited him.
But now? The Guiding Star seemed like it would be especially useful in taking down this Hurlilu. Nubnonk ◆ steps back to get out of Zashuvin's reach, ◇ drops his boomerang, ◆ draws out his Guiding Star, and then throws it at Zashuvin.
◆ Guiding Star (+1 Striking Returning Starknife) Ranged Strike, IC, Zashuvin: 1d20 + 21 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 21 + 1 = 39
Piercing Dmg, Inspiring Aura: 2d4 + 6 + 3 ⇒ (1, 2) + 6 + 3 = 12
The Guiding Star has the following traits: Chaotic, Divine, Good, Agile, Deadly d6, Finesse, Thrown 20 ft., Versatile S, Evocation, Magical. So it doesn't do Good damage yet, per se, but there it is. Nubnonk will still trigger the creature's weakness with Exploit Vulnerability!
If that hits, which I hope it does: ⟳ envision Frequency once per 10 minutes; Trigger You successfully Strike a creature with a thrown Strike with guiding star; Effect Soft light outlines the target. At the beginning of your next turn, the guiding star's blades detach and form into darts of starlight, flying up to 40 feet and striking the target unerringly, collectively dealing 4 piercing damage and 1 good damage before re-forming.
Bleed: 1d6 ⇒ 6
Healing rd 2/5: 2d8 ⇒ (1, 8) = 9
Recovery Check: 1d20 ⇒ 4
The goblin continues bleeding, but his wounds bind up faster than they can open, Sarenrae be praised.
Slick casually decapitates a Vrock and then rushes over to help Billy.
Dramiils spell fizzles as he stumbles over the words but the boomerang hits Zashuvin a solid blow and then it is hit in the face by a torrent of electricity.
12 damage from Nubnonk, he resists physical which offsets the good, and 54 from Billy.
Zashuvin, seeing the writing on the wall, beats a hasty retreat. It casts a spell, vanishing, and reappearing far above you before circling and flying off. As it does so a small pouch slips from a hidden fold in its feathers and flops to the ground....
Skawnak and his rebel soldiers slowly emerge from the surrounding grasslands where they have been hiding. The warriors regard the group with awe. Never before has any of our people faced so many demons and survived...Are you Gods or Spirits to contend so with them?
What do you do? We will hand wave the bleeding. You have more than enough time to fully heal yourselves.
Slick watches Zeshuvin fly away and roars after it. "Leaving so soon? But the dance has barely begun." Then he looks at his friends. "How disappointing. I was just getting into my groove."
He walks over to the pouch that Zashuvin dropped and looks inside.
Surprise me :)
When the rebels cluster around in awe, Slick stands tall with his blood-stained armor and greatsword in hand, coated with entrails. A terrifying sight indeed. "We are no gods, well... not yet, anyway. We are merely mortals with a smidge more experience battling these creatures than you. But do not despair. With some innate talent and a many thousands of hours of practice, you too will be able to match our power." He radiates with humility.
Surprise me :)
In what I am sure is a great surprise, inside the pouch you find an elaborately decorated card of The Big Sky (details on Roll20). However, you also find some sort of religious symbol inside made from a single piece of ruby which you estimate is worth around 750gp.
Skawnak and his rebels quickly gather their supplies. It seems you have found your Big Sky he says, with a grin. Perhaps, one day, we will meet again when the Theocrats have been overthrown. For now, you have my thanks for protecting my people. Good luck and good bye!
With that they vanish into the long grasses leaving you free to return to Harrowheart. As ever, you find yourselves in the Great Hall. Baines is, once again, there waiting for you. He takes one look at Slick and sighs, Really Sir, demon entrails, do you know what ichor does to the castles stonework he mutters as he collects various items for cleaning.
No sooner does Slick pick up the pouch than he feels the outline of a card inside. He reaches in and unsurprisingly pulls out The Big Sky. Showing it to the others, he says, "Looks like what we came for, no?" He waves to the disappearing tengu and calls out in response, "Thanks, and good luck to you guys," but under his breath, he adds, "You're going to need it." Once they're alone again, Slick stretches and says, "Don't know about the rest of you, but I could use a good bath right about now. Back to Harrowheart we go."
Loot sheet updated. Who wants to hold onto the card? Not sure the perception bonus while flying will come into play very often, but the Escape bonus and the once-a-day ignoring of difficult terrain probably will. It is a Hammers suit card, so maybe Slick should hold onto it. The epitomizing is to create an area in the desert where we can remove curses from ourselves. I guess we can wait to epitomize until after one of us gets a curse. Not much point before then.
Slick sheepishly removes his armor and weapons and lets Baines take them away for cleaning and polishing. Standing in his underwear, he says, "Bath time! And I'm starting to get hungry. How about we meet up in the refectory later, okay? We can decide where to go next."
I presume we'll be resting the night before heading out again.
When the last enemy flies off and Skawnak's people come out from hiding, Billy removes his fedora with a flourish and bows dramatically. "So glad you enjoyed the performance." When the soldiers ask if the group are gods, "Oh, heavens no. Honestly, I'd think that would be an awful lot of pressure. We're just well-traveled adventurers." As the tengu all leave, Billy waves and calls out, "Farewell friends!"
Seeing Slick collect the pouch, Billy asks, "Did you find what we were looking for?" Before returning to Harrowheart, Garion casts Prestidigitation to clean up as best he can. He would just as soon avoid being admonished by Baines.
Back at Harrowheart, Billy tries to hide behind Slick as the group does, in fact, get admonished. He pokes his head out and says, "Very impressive Baines. You certainly know your entrails."
After they get cleaned up, Billy studies the new card and returns it to Slick. "Feel free to hang onto it. Shall we go to the desert and epitomize it?"
There's no reason not to be epitomizing these cards as we get them, right? Because there's no max limit?
Billy votes for spending the night to heal up and regain some spellcasting energy.
Slick is amazed by how much of his body has been coated by demon juice. He understood his exposed head being drenched in their blood, but quite a lot had managed to get past the chinks in his armor, or flowed freely through the neck opening and all the way down to his sabatons.
Once Slick has tracked down and scrubbed out the last of the still fresh demon remains from his body, he dries himself off and repairs to the refectory. After a short consultation with the cook, he proceeds to eat whatever food the man prepares for him. "Mmm mmm! You've outdone yourself again Emile. This is delicious."
After he's done and sitting back sated and happy, he says to the others, "So where to next? Since we're apparently in world traveler mode, how about we hit Tian Xia bright and early tomorrow morning and go looking for that Snakebit card?"
So is there a downside to epitomizing each card as we find it?
After washing up, Billy joins Slick in the room with the portals. He looks around and makes an informed, well-thought-out decision. Those nearby hear him whisper, "Eeny meeny miney mo ..."
Portals (in alphabetical order): 1-Juggler, 2-Silent Hag, 3:Snakebite, 4:Trumpet: 1d4 ⇒ 1
After careful consideration, he declares, "The Juggler!" However, when Slick provides a somewhat more compelling argument for his choice, Billy is quick to agree. "Sure. I change my vote to Snakebite."
The next morning, Billy goes through his normal routine: praying to Desna, refocusing, preparing the Staff with six fresh charges, and shuffles his harrow deck to draw a Harrow Omen card.
Harrower Dedication to choose his Harrow Omen and Reading the Signs allows drawing 2 cards to choose from.
Harrow Omen Suit - 1:Hammers, 2:Keys, 3:Shields, 4:Books, 5:Stars, 6:Crowns: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Harrow Omen Suit - 1:Hammers, 2:Keys, 3:Shields, 4:Books, 5:Stars, 6:Crowns: 1d6 ⇒ 2
Of the two cards, he holds up the suit of Books as his Harrow Omen (listed in his header).
When the group is ready to set off, Billy says, "Just give me a moment to activate The Carnival card to find out who we may meet today, and whether they can be trusted."
Secret DC 6 flat check for info is reduced to DC 4, due to the card.
Activate (1/day): Get info about someone you will meet in the coming day.
Epitomized (1/week): Get info about an upcoming foe in the coming week.
Billy activates the Carnival card effect. His visions clouds and then the mists lift and he finds himself standing in a wild meadow. A small leshy in a wide brimmed hat is busy planting seeds, bounding from plot to plot. When he notices Billy he stops, grins, sweeps his hat off in a wide bow and bounds off into the forest. Billy has a strong sense that he can be trusted....
When the vision clears, Billy explains to the group. "I saw an adorable leshy, wearing a sun hat, planting seeds in a meadow." He further explains, "Of course, the vision is not always precise. For instance, we may meet a farmer, but not necessarily a leshy." He pauses and concludes, "Whoever he is, he seems nice. I feel we can trust him."
Billy prepares to head through the portal.
Would it be possible to occasionally hold off on advancing too quickly through scenes between combats? It's been less than 24 hours since the combat ended and there have already been an additional 9 posts and, like, 3 different scenes. I want to be involved and participate, but it's harder to do so when I feel like things are breezing by before I have a chance to get back into it. Moments to breathe and just roleplay together have felt relatively scarce.
Nubnonk grimaces up at the fleeing Hurlilu. "Wish could kill it for finals, too," he says as he stows his weapons and continues self-healing. He is still glowing brightly when Skawnak and the others emerge, and he grins when he's asked if he's a god or a spirit. The temptation to be profane and declare himself Nubnonk Knowerof*all*things is high, but Slick beats him to the punch and denies deity. So instead he giggles and salutes the tengus. "Nice meeting!" he says. "The Dawn Brings New Light!"
Back at Harrowheart, Nubnonk begins running around as though to deliberately make more of a mess for Baines, howling and chittering as he goes, but still dutifully stripping off things that would need to be cleaned or mended. It was fun to gives Baines a hard time. He was oh so serious. The serious wounds that he had taken from the vrocks appear as he strips down, and it's clear that he will need some good rest.
But he'd had worse.
Soap bubbles overflow from Nubnonk's favored tub as he hums along a merry-sounding tune. He had not the popular voice of Billy, but goblinkind was known for their silly songs. He wonders--and not for the first time in this globe-trotting adventure--what exactly was going on. Not all of the cards had been guarded by fiends, but there were certainly a lot more devils and demons than Nubnonk had ever seen in so short a time. Did any of the others wonder about this, too?
It still seems like Stealth and Survival could be useful in Tian Xia, but Nature might also come in handy. Thoughts, anyone?
Would it be possible to occasionally hold off on advancing too quickly through scenes between combats? It's been less than 24 hours since the combat ended and there have already been an additional 9 posts and, like, 3 different scenes. I want to be involved and participate, but it's harder to do so when I feel like things are breezing by before I have a chance to get back into it. Moments to breathe and just roleplay together have felt relatively scarce.Yes, of course.
At dinner, when Nubnonk is wondering about the numerous devils and demons, Billy agrees, "Now that you mention it, yes, it does seem a little strange." He pauses and continues, "Having said that, we've been accosted by a variety of creatures like mercenaries and tengu, so maybe it's just the Harrow cards attracting unwanted attention ...."
The bard laughs, "Although, if I'm being honest, I've always believed there's no such thing as unwanted attention!"
Among Stealth/Survival/Nature, I'd vote for Survival. Much of Nature is gonna be Recall Knowledge, which you get with Diverse Lore. And Stealth isn't as useful if the whole party isn't stealthing. But whatever you'll have more fun with!
The good news is, I get to choose two skills to be temporary Master.
Nubnonk fixes Billy with a strident gaze as the notion of "no such thing as unwanted attention." "Billy never had to hide for life." Then he relaxes and laughs. "But that long time ago."
Still, he continues wondering aloud. "But why so many people care about these cards?" The goblin flexes his own invested hand out, looking through the pretty artwork. Certainly, there were benefits to be had, and having your own semi-private demiplane was the dream of many magicians, but was this worth killing over? Invading over? Warring over? "Make Nubnonk wonder if there something more going on."
The group gathers together before the portal to Tian Xia. Beyond the gate you see a wide jungle clearing. Stepping through the portal the first thing to hit you is the sweltering heat and humidity. Sweat immediately begins to trickle down your faces or, in the case of Slick in his heavy armour, pour. Ahead of you the clearing opens and beyond it rises a massive range of mountains.
At the far end of the clearing a group of nagaji appear to be hard at work planting some sort of seeds and working a ritual of some kind. As of yet, they have not noticed you.
I have moved you onto a new map
Nubnonk had spent part of the morning reading through his precious tome about ways to be extra sneaky. So when the opportunity presents itself to try, he seems to be barely able to contain himself. He looks at the others, puts a sharp-nailed finger up to his lips, and grows determined.
In short order, the goblin ◆ cinches the harness he's wearing and then ◆◆ pulls the hood of his cloak up, disappearing from sight. Ready for mischief, Nubnonk makes his way around the vegetation-filled perimeter to get closer to the nagaji and try to figure out what exactly they're doing.
Cloak of Elvenkind ◆◆ (Illusion, Invested, Magical) Activate Interact; Frequency once per day; Effect You draw the hood up and gain the effects of invisibility, with the spell's normal duration or until you pull the hood back down, whichever comes first. If you're also wearing boots of elvenkind, you can activate this ability twice per day.
Sneak Secret check, Stealth +23 [Master, +1 item bonus]. Then I'll use Diverse Lore and Esoteric Lore +22 [Master, +1 circumstance tome, -2 Diverse] to try to understand what they're doing. Sense Motive as necessary, Perception +20, to suss out more about their behavior.
Stepping into Tian Xia, Billy is quickly reminded of the lovely temperate climate. Seeing Slick dripping, he suggests helpfully, "Remember that bath you took yesterday? I think you'll need another." He quickly adds, "Baines will not be happy with sweat stains."
When Nubnonk motions he's going into stealth mode, Billy calls from the other direction to make it easier for the goblin to approach. The affable bard uncorks his Jug of Fond Remembrance, calls to the hard-working nagaji, and approaches non-threateningly.
"Greetings friends! I'm Billy. My friends and I are travelers from another land. I recently had a vision of a kind farmer." He pours honey mead for all. "Do you have time to join me for a cool drink on this warm day?" He hands out mugs and takes a sip. He continues, "Perhaps we can help one another on this fine day." He looks to them hopefully as he drinks.
Diplomacy - Make an Impression +Cloak +Jug: 1d20 + 23 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 23 + 2 + 2 = 32
If that's a failure, he'll use Halfling Luck.
Diplomacy - Make an Impression +Cloak +Jug: 1d20 + 23 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 23 + 2 + 2 = 46
Nubnonk disappears from view and slips around the clearing to get a better idea of what is going on. Observing the nagaji it is clear that they are frightened, in a hurry and injured. All of them keep glancing into the surrounding forest as they work on their hurried ritual. The ritual they are conducting seems to be something to do with rice plants. Nubnonk recalls that, in Tian Xia, rice is often used as a way of warding off vampires. With this realisation Nubnonk realises that, even though the group left early in the morning, here the sun is dipping low in the sky and will disappear behind the mountains shortly.
As Billy emerges from the woods and calls out the nagaji jump round and pull their sickles. They dont attack but are clearly wary and nervous. They begin talking to each other in a strange language that none of you understand.
Nubnonk gently thuds his fist into his forehead as Billy breaks the stealth in the clearing. The silly halfling was always so insistent on being friendly even when it wasn't clear whether the people they were encountering were open to conversation. Still, he had had enough time to get around and observe that he seems to understand a bit more what is going on.
Tien vampires. Rice could definitely come in handy.
Nubnonk hurries back, pulls his hood back down, and steps into the clearing with Billy. "Nubnonk no know if you understand him, but he cast spell now to understand you. No worries." The goblin draws on his training as a Knowerofthings and casts comprehend languages to better understand what the nagaji are talking about. It didn't impart him the ability to understand--not yet--but he had ways around that.
Diplomacy to aid Billy: 1d20 + 27 ⇒ (2) + 27 = 29
The goblin wasn't trying to make a big impression, but he could help Billy smooth things over in his sleep. (i.e., even on a 2 that was almost a critical success on aid another)
When Nubnonk returns, Billy apologizes, "I thought my approach would be a distraction to help your efforts. Also, I trust them. From my vision." Billy bows his head at Nubnonk's disappointment. "But I'm sorry. I'll be better next time!" He seems genuinely remorseful that he didn't demonstrate more patience.
When Billy sees Nubnonk about to cast a spell, Billy risks life and limb and puts his hand over the toothy goblin's mouth. "Hold that spell, and allow me, my friend." Hearing the strange language and seeing the frightened farmers, Billy carefully sets his jug down and puts up his arms non-threateningly. He sings,
♫"These people seem quite scared.
The language makes it hard.
But look what I've prepared!
I'm Bill, the singing bard!"♫
Billy casts Comprehend Languages (4th level) targeting the party.
Heightened to 4th, can target up to 10, who can also understand and speak.
He then tries to Make an Impression as per the previous post ... with Nubnonk's Aid.
As the spell takes hold all of the group find that they can understand the Nagaji. Who are they, they look so weird, what do you think they are doing here, they dont look like spawn of the vampire, doesn't he mostly use plants. Maybe the big metal one is infested with spores or something? That goblin has waaaaay too many teeth to be a plant person...
Once they realise you can understand them they quickly shut up but Billy's easy way manages to put them at ease. His mention of it being a fine day clearly confuses them, Day, its nearly night, have you perhaps suffered from sunstroke or heat exhaustion? The jungle can be difficult for you humans to survive, you aren't really suited to it. In any event, you had best stay with us if you wish to live. Death stalks the jungle tonight.
Once the sun sets, Kannijo hunts. We have come here to face Kannijo, to learn about him, yes, but hopefully to defeat him. Few live in this place, but we heard they had trouble, so we came to help. But what feeds nightly upon them is more than we were prepared for. Kannijo is beyond an atrocity. We had feared he was one of us, but spurned by death to feast upon the breath of the living, but we had no idea he was once one our glorious leaders—a naga. We must report to our leaders of this development, but such a journey can’t be made before nightfall. Please, help us to survive the night, and your place in the world beyond would surely grow the grander for your aid!”
Put on his +1 Resilient Full Plate armor.
Invest the following items:
(1) +1 Resilient Full Plate
(2) +1 Striking Handwraps of Mighty Blows
(3) Lifting Belt
(4) Demon Mask
(5) Bracelet of Dashing
(6) Cloak of Elvenkind
(7) Boots of Bounding
(8) Ventriloquist's Ring (Greater)
(9) Harrow Cards: The Brass Dwarf, The Big Sky
(10) Warding Tattoo (Fiend)
Once they arrive in Tian Xia and they're assaulted by the heat and humidity, Slick groans, "Maybe this wasn't such a great idea after all. If I knew how hot it would be here I'd have packed something lighter." Looking into the distance he spots the nagaji farmers. "They look like they might know something about the card we're looking for. How about we head over and say hello." He follows Billy and waits for the bard to work his verbal magic on the snakey creatures. He leans over and whispers to Billy. "Ask them about the Snakebite card we're looking for. I'm guessing it's around here somewhere."
When he realizes that their new friends are on edge and keep looking at the surrounding forest, Slick pulls out his greatsword slowly and moves to put himself between the forest and the snake people. When he then overhears the word vampire being thrown around, he rolls his eyes and looks at the shiny Baines-sharpened steel sword in his hands. Sarcastically, he says, "Vampires? That's just great! I knew I should have brought a wooden sword with me."
Nubnonk licks Billy's hand when the halfling stops him from casting. (He wouldn't dream of biting Billy unless he was asked to.)
Of course, by then, he could understand what the nagaji were saying. He looks almost jealous at Billy's successful efforts with a more powerful version of the same spell. But he was much more pleased that people outside of Avistan knew what goblins were. Hurray for goblins!
"Kannijo a vampire, yes? Afraid of rice, Nubnonk think? But also naga. Hmmmm, tricky, tricky." He points ahead to the rice plants. "We borrow rice, yes? Have more ready?"
He also pokes Slick in his heavy armor. "Nubnonk think Kannijo have Snakebite card. Would fit pattern, yes?"
Nubnonk also wants to recall what he can about nagas, especially any native to the Valashmai Jungle.
Nubnonk recalls that there are various different types of naga but most are potent spellcasters. However, most are also dangerously venomous, possessing a unpleasant venom that can attack both the mind and body.
The lead naga steps forward. My apologies, I should have introduced myself. My name is Kemu, we are members of a druidic order called the Scaleseeds. We are trying to create a ritual using these rice plants which might hold off the abomination or perhaps weaken him. You seem like you might be knowledgeable about magic, perhaps you can help us?
Anyone who wants to help with the ritual can give me a Farming Lore, Nature, Religion or Survival check. It does occur to Nubnonk that, while the ritual might weaken the Vampire, it may do nothing to any minions he controls.
At the mention of a card Kemu perks up, Kannijo is a vampire but we believe that his fulu is warped. Reports desribe it as being a stiff square of paper depicting a humanoid figure armed with green poison. Might this be the "Snakebite" you are seeking?
With Nubnonk's help, I'm guessing Billy did not need to use his Halfling Luck for the Diplo roll?
Once the groups are communicating (duration=1hr), Billy retrieves his Jug of Fond Remembrance. Looking up at the setting sun, Billy laughs easily, "Ahh, dusk it is! It's morning where we came from. While the heat may get to humans, you'll notice I'm a height-challenged halfling. Alas, I have no such excuse." He quickly points out, "But I always bring the party with me!" He pours mugs for everyone.
The bard listens as Kemu tells of Kannijo. "Of course we'll help you survive the night. Especially if this Kannijo has the card we need. What more can you tell us about him or his minions?"
Can we make Recall Knowledge checks on Kannijo or his minions? (Religion +22)
Seeing the Scaleseeds working with the rice plants, Billy nods knowingly and offers, "I've sung many ballads about glorious rituals. I'm keen to write another. Allow me to assist?"
Religion (to help with Ritual): 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (16) + 22 = 38
Nubnonk greets Kemu and the others with a graceful bow. "Greetings, Scaleseeds. Am Nubnonk Knowerofthings, a very smart goblin."
The warped fulu certainly sounds like what the Harrowheart-chasers are looking for, so Nubnonk pokes Slick in the elbow once more with his hairless eye ridges waggling up and down. "Eh? Eh? Nubnonk always right."
Before setting out in the morning--just a few minutes ago though it was now dusk here on the other side of the world--Nubnonk had also studied tricks about surviving in the wilderness. There was no good reason to go to a Jungle well-known for harboring dangerous monsters and not brush up on campfire lore. So at the invitation to join in the ritual, Nubnonk is only too happy to add his two cents.
Survival, ritual: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (15) + 20 = 35
He also asks many questions about the ritual, having recently begun to experiment with such magic himself.
No need to use your halfling luck. You dont have enough information as yet to make any RK checks about Kannijo specifically and you dont know what his minions are.
Nubnonk and Billy work together to help reinforce the ritual. It is quickly apparent that this is a variant of the Plant Growth ritual, focused on the small ring of rice plants surrounding the outer edge of the clearing.
Thats a success for Billy and Slick and a critical success for Nubnonk. Dramiil can still roll.
As you work Kemu continues. Kannijo is a Jinag-Shi, a vampire in your language I believe. Such creatures are not easy to destroy. Even if you defeat them you must sprinkle the body with rice or it will rise again very quickly. Fortunately we have plenty of rice with us he grins.
Slick's ears perk up when he hears about the harrow card being used as part of a fulu. "Yep. That sound like it. I guess we'll have to hope he shows up here, otherwise we'll have to go track him down."
When talk turns to helping with the planting of the rice plants, Slick scratches his head. "I do have a little knowledge of wild plants and how they grow. Let me see how you're planting those. Maybe I can help."
Survival vs DC ??: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (12) + 16 = 28
Or maybe not. Let me know if a reroll is needed.
While working on the ritual, Billy turns to Kemu, "Excellent intel on the vampire. We'll be ready." The bard strums a chord on his lute and prepares a song.
He also thinks it best to wield the Staff of Final Rest, just in case Holy Cascade is useful. Studying it more closely, he says to Slick, "My friend, you were asking about a wooden sword. This magical staff might serve. If I'm not mistaken, and I rarely am, it's made of darkwood and has bonuses to damage when impaling undead."
+1 circ bonus to damage, which would stack with +1/+3 status bonuses we get from the bard and thaum.
"Hmmm...if it's just one opponent, the best thing to do is to keep it pinned down. Do we have anything that can be used as a net?"
Dramiil steps towards the Scaleseeds' work to see if he can assist. Just in case, he taps himself for Guidance.
Religion: 1d20 + 19 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 19 + 1 = 38
While he works assiduously, he ponders the jiang-shi and what their weaknesses might be.
Religion again: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (2) + 19 = 21
"Nubnonk, O Knower Of Things, what can you tell us about these types of vampires? Do we throw the rice at them? What else can stop them?"
When Dramiil speaks, Nubnonk starts. For a few days now, it had almost been as though he had been under the control of a puppet, and yet now he seemed more like his old self.
So he shares what he does know. "Kannijo both naga and jiang-shi. Many type of Naga in world, but most big spellers, yes, and super venomous serpent-likes. Venom attack mind and body both! Ancient legends. And jiang-shi very afraid of rice, yes, because they no can eat! So this ritual good useful. But also..."
I don't know if the GM already rolled for Nubnonk's knowledge of Jiang-Shi, but if not then Esoteric Lore +24 [Master, +1 circumstance tome].
He also warns. "Sound like Kannijo not alone but have minions. So no one opponent."
Slick considers Billy's idea of using the staff to beat the vampires into submission.
With the staff, Slick would be +21 to hit and 1d8+7 damage per hit. With his greatsword, he's +25 to hit and 3d12+8 damage; the difference in average damage inflicted is substantial; on the order of 20-30 hp less damage per hit (minus expected resistance). So unless the vampires have incredible levels of metal resistance, or perhaps metal immunity, then the greatsword is the way to go.
"Good thinking, Billy, but I'd be here all day pounding the snot out of those vampires with that stick of yours. I think I'll keep my sword unless it proves useless against them, but keep the staff handy in case we need to finish the vampires off properly once I hack them down."
Nubnonk's eyes widen at Billy and Slick's recommendations about the Staff of Final Rest. "Maybe good idea for Billy to keep for staking." He makes a downward stabbing motion as he tries to remember if that would actually be useful against Jiang-Shi, or if they were sufficiently different from the vampires more typically encountered in the darker corners of Avistan.