**House GM Announcement**
The City of Absalom is abuzz with excitement. The streets are full of revelers and feasting, as residents celebrate the city’s independence from tyranny. All seem most eager to witness the evening’s biggest event, the annual Passion of the First Siege of Absalom, where hundreds dress in elaborate costume, don fake armor and weaponry, and crowd the Irorium floor to participate in a mock combat, reenacting the first siege of Absalom. I suggest you do what you need to prepare yourselves and then get to the Irorium to find yourselves some seats.
Table GMs, the Irorium gates are open. Please run the introduction and describe the setting while we are finishing mustering. Do not begin Act 1 until my announcement on the 4th.
As you make your way through the streets, a lean-faced man hiding behind a long cowl slips alongside. A moment of your time, he says and pulls you aside, into the shadows of a nearby alley. It seems we have two things in common, an eagerness to participate in good celebration, and this… He punctuates his sentence by holding out an elaborately carved wayfinder, the type only granted to Pathfinders of great importance. I assure you, its mine, he adds quickly, closing the device and tucking it back into the folds of his cloak with a quick, easy motion. Then he continues, I know a good number of you are already planning to attend the festivities this evening. I need but a casual favor. An old associate of mine, Charvion Eater-of–Bones is set to make an elaborate display of some artifact he claims to have recovered. I’ve not had contact with him in a year or so, and I’ve a curious feeling about the event. More I cannot say; however, I’d appreciate you keeping an eye on whatever stunt he’s considering. He’s a natural charlatan that one. Just keep an eye out is all—nothing serious. Don’t let him know that you’re watching, and do not approach the artifact during the showing. Most importantly, tell no one of this conversation.
A somewhat rotund tiefling in light clothing, an unstrung bow over one shoulder, nods curtly. "How should I reach you if I see something odd?" His voice is nearly emotionless.
Walking in tow of Rhu is a halfling woman yawning mightily. Upon the unexpected meeting, her half-lidded eyes habitually shift to the crowd behind the self-proclaimed collegue from society, trusting Rhu to observe the man and checking instead if there are more strangers involved. Not finding anything, she slips a peach from the side pocket of a worn backpack and bites at it before stepping into view and speaking. ”That’s an funny request. Charvion is displaying his findings and is expecting attention, and you say we should try to be inconspicuous instead. It’s too early for skullduggery. Too late?” Alli yawns again and swipes a few stray sand-colored wavy locks away from her eyes. ”But whatever, we’re going anyway, so having one point of interest more isn’t troublesome.”
Alli looks if any of the others show any signs of recognizing the stranger. I wonder why he approached us? Oh well, it’s too early to rule out anything or try to identify him with all the illusionists around for the celebration day. She demolishes the peach and wipes her fingers on the hem of a green arming jacket crafted from equal amounts of tough leather and decorative but oversized brass buckles.
Carlin eyes the man warily. When she sees the wayfinder, she softens her gaze a bit, but still keeps her guard up.
Huh...might be a plot to divert attention or something. Sounds interesting... she says.
Well, I'll have to get a new dress for the party...anyone want to come with? I hear there's a Qadiran seamstress that has a little shop just off the main market road. Having a dress from home would be nice. Her bright red hair is tied back in a tight braid, so as not to get in her way. Freckles dot her nose and her poise denotes a slight radiance about her.
"I'll come. It's a nice change of pace to wear something other than this old thing, or at least try something on," Alli says and shakes the gaudy suit, probably some type of parade armor, to make the buckles rattle. She cracks her neck to look up at Carlin's red braid and sighs. "Qadirans love bright colors. The stuff they have is going to look great on you. As long as you steer away from blue." While she's walking and dodging the occasional reveler who stumbles past Rhu, the halfling keeps rubbing various amulets, charms, talismans, and bracelets. Their number goes beyond superstition, and their appearance varies too widely for a reasonable fashion statement.
"We have a suitable outfit already" says a tall, lean ulfen. "We had occasion to dine with an influential politician during a previous mission."
Indeed, the ulfen's current clothing would be ill-suited to a high-society event: a black-and-white chequered hooded cloak, sturdy boots and travelling clothes, not to mention the double-flail and other paired weapons on their belt. Even more peculiar - if they were amongst nobility rather than adventurers - is the long-necked crocodile tucked under the ulfen's arm. The caiman's scales are the same black-and-white as the ulfen's cloak, and its eyes are the very same shade of ice-blue.
"We are Janus Grey. We make endings."
Janus confronts the wayfinder-bearer. "Who are you, to ask special favour from us? And what are you offering?"
A tan Garundi woman dressed in sturdy traveler's clothes, wearing a breastplate and silver spectacles follows alongside Carlin and peers with interest at the man as he makes his proposition. She seems to be turned to the side, making sure to keep everyone in her field of view.
"Hm. Well, I was looking forward to a bit of a fun celebration after my recent travels, but I suppose it would be too much to ask that a society celebration not get...eventful."
Katswiri falls silent, and stares off into space as the others talk, her eyes flickering back and forth as she calls on her second sight to tell her what she might know about the people involved.
Focused Trance Rounds: 1d6 ⇒ 2
What can Katswiri recall about Osprey or Charvion with her second sight?
Knowledge:Local, Focused Trance: 1d20 + 10 + 20 ⇒ (15) + 10 + 20 = 45
As her eyes snap fully back into focus, she smiles and nods to Carlin and Alli. "And I would love to get a new dress with both of you. I have a nice one in black I got from a Djinni in the Plane of Air, but it has been my only formal attire for some time. It would be nice to have options. What do you think would look good on me?"
But I like blue...not as much as the yellows and oranges. I'll look for something green...to match my eyes. she then looks at Kat.
I think some lighter colours might do you well...accentuate your tan...
will buy a headband of charisma +2...4k total...might get more...havent thought about it yet....
**House GM Announcement**
"Welcome to Absalom!" The MC's voice, magically enhanced, booms throughout the arena. "On this glorious eve we gather again in celebration of our wonderful city and its freedom from tyranny. We present to you all—the Passion of the First Siege of Absalom! A performance great and terrible, reenacting Absalom’s victorious slaughter of Warlord Voradni Voon’s troops upon the city’s rocky shores. As the highlight of this year's performance, directly following the Passion, the Pathfinder Society has generously agreed to a public unveiling of its latest acquisition, a terrifying device dredged from ancient ruins in the Mwangi Expanse. And now, ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats. The performance is about to begin."
The Passion is long, tediously so, though the rowdy crowds more than entertain themselves, booing and cheering the performers and throwing rotten cabbages. In all, it turns out to be a fine afternoon of celebration.
Following the performance, a large stage is wheeled in to the west side of the Irorium. The stage is covered with a large curtain. Beneath is a scaled set of a ruin and in the center stands a bizarre, cage-like structure of weathered metal covered with strange runes and other ornate etchings. A man who fits the description of the Pathfinder known as Charvion Eater-of-Bones stands next to the cage.
"Good evening, friends! On this auspicious night I present to you an incredible spectacle, the type of which you have never seen before. From the darkest jungles of Mwangi, I have procured an ancient device, an artifact capable of ripping through the very cloth of our reality!"
Charvion touches something on the cage, and it falls open, slowly unfolding like a blossoming flower. He steps inside, and the cage begins to close around him, crackling with swirling tendrils of mystic, silvery ether. In an ominous and unearthly voice he bellows, "I am now fused to the ethereal plane—the realm of ghosts! Ask me what you will, and the dead shall answer through me! But be wary of what you seek, for you may not like the answers."
GMs you have one day for the crowd to ask questions of the spirits through Charvion.
Having been to Absalom public events before, Alli has placed a small box on her seat so she can see over the row in front of her. Shamelessly embracing the standards of her kind, she has a basket full of cheap suspicious stir-fried stuff and a much more expensive bottle of ale at hand. She's trying to eat without smearing grease on a new green dress. Carlin sure was right about them being prepared. They actually got something in my size. I almost feel like a city girl instead of someone who has spent weeks on deserts and caves, looking for stone tablets and ancient scribbles.
Alli looks at Janus and can't help but smirk at the man's caiman. I wonder if he picked his clothing to match the pet or vice versa. Looking left at Katswiri, she politely offers her a stir-fried blob. "Black is a powerful color, but Carlin was right about lighter shades. That saffron-colored one especially."
Then Charvion has the apparatus curl around himself on the stage, and Alli's eyes narrow. "He has even less self-preservation instincts than the average Society member. I don't fancy exposing myself to the ethereal plane's tender mercies. If that thing even works." She takes a swig from the bottle. "I almost want to ask him where my dear departed grandma hid her rainy day funds. But I don't suppose we should draw attention to ourselves. Maybe we could get someone in the crowd to ask questions for us."
Rhu remains silent during the performance, and only moves when he has to dodge a flying lump of vegetable detritus. Even that fails to damage his imperturable lack of affect. The only time he shows any emotion is when a more accurately thrown cabbage head hits him on one shoulder; at the impact, he snarls and spins to face the offending spectator above, reaching for his bow before regaining his self-control.
When Charvion emerges and activates the odd device, Rhu leans forward in his seat, watching the demonstration carefully. "So far I see nothing out of the ordinary. He hasn't finished yet, though."
Carlin settles on a green and orange linen dress that accentuates her girly figure.
She watches the man on stage, seeing if his is a trick or if it is actually real.
spellcraft?: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
I have an idea.... she says with a mischievous look on her face.
She goes to a younger fellow and asks him nicely to ask the man a question.
Ask him if he knows the great Kassen...
diplomacy: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (17) + 13 = 30
"We have helped many souls make their Journey between this world and the next" Janus remarks. His crocodile is sat on his lap, its long neck curled around so that it resembles more a bizarre feline than a reptile. "We have not considered what any of them might have to say about it. We will refrain from putting the question."
Janus studies Eater-of-Bones intently. Studied Target: Janus gains +2 to Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against E-o-B (as well as weapon attack and damage if it comes to that).
**House GM Announcement**
A low, droning horn suddenly rises over the cacophonous throng. Soon after, it is joined by a second horn, then a third, then dozens. A moment later, the more perceptive spectators notice small black dots appear on the horizon.
These sound like ancient hunting horns.
If you matched DC 25 on this check, open the spoiler below.
These sound like Ulfen Linnorm horns, used in the Land of the Linnorm Kings to hunt dragons.
The spots grow steadily larger and the crowd begins to panic as it becomes clear what the spots are: a flight of dragons, headed directly toward the arena! Pandemonium reigns as spectators and staff alike abandon their positions and scramble toward the exits.
A massive black dragon dives through the center of the Irorium, spewing gouts of acid onto the arena floor. She heads straight for the small stage where Charvion stands within the cage. Striking with both claws, she plucks the artifact free from the base, shattering the stage and sending remnants of the mock ruins everywhere. The creature lifts into the air, with Charvion clinging to the bars and screaming in terror. The great beast continues her flight, winging off toward the Grand Lodge. A few short moments later, rattling explosions shake the city, and a shimmering column of pale, silvery light shoots up out of the grounds of the Grand Lodge and into the night sky.
GMs, please begin the Dragon Attack encounter.
With practiced speed, the tiefling strings his bow and nocks an arrow, preparing to attack one of the dragons. "We may not have the chance."
"Didn't expect that. I wonder if it was Charvion's fault or not."
Knowledge: history: 1d20 + 7 + 1d6 ⇒ (12) + 7 + (1) = 20
"Hunting horns. But who's hunting and whom?" The halfling starts running after Carlin.
"The dragons targeted Charvion and his Mwangi device. That is not likely to be an accidental occurrence."
Janus rises from their seat, crocodilian companion under one arm. The chains of their double flail rattle ominously.
As the huge dragon flies away more dragons arrive. On their backs they carry small groups of goblins, and as soon as the dragons hit the ground, the goblins jump off and attack. Not all of the goblins are elegant in their dismount: some simply fall off their dragon, and others jump poorly and break bones, flailing about the arena and squealing in pain.
One of the smaller dragons veers towards you.
Alli Fairen: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
Carlin Ember: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
Janus Grey: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Katswirl: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Rhu Entekh: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
Dragon: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
Rhu is up first, then the dragon, then everyone else.
Rhu assumes a shooting stance, calm practically radiating from him. He sends a pair of arrows at the oncoming dragon in rapid succession; the first narrowly misses, but the second is more accurate.
DA flurry arrow #1 (add +1 if the dragon is within 30'): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
DA flurry arrow #2, likewise: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Arrow #2 damage, if applicable (add +1 if the dragon is within 30'): 1d8 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
Charming, says a man in a black cloak, whose hood is thrown over his head even right now. Moreover, his face is also wrapped in a scarf, so you can occasionally see only his eyes - yellow, without pupils and clearly not human.
The figure of this man is absolutely out of proportion. Looks like that one arm is slightly longer than the other, and there is a small hump on his back.
He has a falchion and a long bow on his back and and an angry cat the size of a large dog is huddled around his feet. It has a very strange tail, similar to a mace (digmaul).
Init: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Hello everyone! I'm sorry, I was a little late, but I think I managed just in time for the fun to begin .)
Rhu's second arrow hits (Dragon -10). It retaliaes with it's breath weapon, an acid line that passes through Rhu and Beryx as it swoops overhead.
acid: 6d6 ⇒ (2, 5, 1, 5, 1, 5) = 19 ref DC 17 for half.
It turns for another pass.
Everyone is up.
Reflex save: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
The tiefling avoids most of the acid, but some splashes onto him. He hisses like an angry snake, visibly trying to compose himself.
Alli cranes her neck at the shadow swooping over the group and ends with a glance at the small shortbow tucked behind her back. Right. That's a solid fall-back plan, but let's not start with it.
She hops closer to Rhu, snaps a wand straight from page one of Marcos Farabellus's list of useful tools for pathfinders out of a spring-loaded wrist sheath, and sweeps at the acid eating into the asura-spawn's side. Then she takes a measured look at the swerving dragon, looking for any kind of vulnerability. Her thoughts seem to be on the bottle she left behind, however.
Wand of cure light wounds to heal Rhu: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Swift action to get a wand of CLW
Standard action to use wand of CLW (35 charges left)
Move action to study the dragon for studied combat
Free action to identify creature abilities
Identify monster abilities: 1d20 + 7 + 1d6 ⇒ (1) + 7 + (5) = 13
Katswiri cannot hear the horns, and is slow to react the dragon attack. She flinches as the acid stream splashes down, then springs into action.
"A Black Dragon! Where did that come from?! Get to me, I will ward us against Acid."
As she speaks, Katswiri is already gesturing to cast a spell. Finishing, she reaches out to tag each of her companions.
Communal Resist Elements: Acid, for 10 Acid Resist on everyone for 10 minutes.
I think she should be able to touch everyone by getting Janus, then taking a 5 ft step.
Identify, Knowledge: Arcana: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15
how far is the dragon? does it come withing 35 feet? my action depends on it...if yes, I'll blast with scorching ray, if not, magic missile it is...will roll both to save time...
On it Kat... Carlin says with a thumbs up. She flings magical energy at the dragon.
touch scorching ray: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 174d6 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (1, 3, 6, 3) + 4 + 1 = 18
MM: 3d4 + 1 ⇒ (4, 2, 2) + 1 = 9
Ref: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Berix growls in pain, pulls out a bow and shoots at the dragon.
The cat nearby only growls angrily, unable to reach the dragon.
Mwk Composite Longbow: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 121d8 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
"We must bring it down" Janus states flatly as they drop their caiman to the floor. The crocodilian creature scuttles under the seats for cover.
The ulfen gazes long and hard at the wheeling dragon. Studied Target. Move action.
know.arcana, studied target: 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 7 + 2 = 19 special defences, please
"We can do this, but we only have one shot."
Janus speaks the words of a simple divination, their gaze still locked on the serpentine attacker.
Cast True Strike. Then 5' step forwards.
Janus plans to use a Tanglefoot bag next round - it looks like that's a Medium dragon.
Carlin I think you're missing a few points of Magic Missile damage there - should be 3d4+4 including Havoc trait?
The only thing that hits the dragon as it comes back around is Carlin's magic missiles (Dragon -22)
Janus remembers that it is immune to acid, paralysis and sleep. And it is medium sized.
This time it's breath weapon line goes through Carlin, Katswirl, Janus and Beryx.
acid: 6d6 ⇒ (4, 5, 4, 2, 1, 1) = 17 ref DC 17 for half.
Everyone is up
Rhu puts another pair of arrows at the dragon as it closes.
DA arrow #1 flurry, including PBS: 1d20 + 6 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 6 + 1 = 20
DA arrow #2, ditto: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
Neither one does damage, though.
Ref: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12 Thanks for the acid protection, otherwise things would be really bad!
A hunter burned twice with acid puts an arrow on the bowstring and aims better this time.
Mwk Composite Longbow: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 221d8 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
reflex: 1d20 + 7 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 7 + 1 = 15
Janus winces as the acid pierces even the magical protection afforded by Katswiri. They draw forth a bag brought from their home town of Uringen, a place touched by the fey and famed for its alchemical creations. Guided by their divination and their knowledge of anatomical principle alike, the inquisitor launches the bag into the air...
I'm assuming the dragon's within 40' range, but max range is 50'
uringen tanglefoot bag vs dragon touch AC, 3 range increments, true strike, studied target: 1d20 + 7 - 6 + 20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 7 - 6 + 20 + 2 = 37
Janus is using an enhanced tanglefoot bag. It has a DC that is 2 higher than normal, for a DC17 Reflex save. If the dragon fails this save it is unable to fly and falls to the ground. The dragon is in any event Entangled for 2d4 rounds.
dragon(ref): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
CRASH! CRUNCH! THUMP! ow! as the dragon plows into the stands when gravity asserts it's authority. It is entangled for 2d4 ⇒ (1, 4) = 5 rounds. It also took damage from Beryx's arrow (Dragon -33)
Reflex Save: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
Katswiri sees the stream of acid coming with her second sight and steps away before it reaches her. Enough of the acid misses that her protection spell prevents the rest from harming her.
Seeing Beryx burned badly by the Acid, Katswiri casts a healing spell and touches him. A soft, white glow covers him as his burns recede.
Cure Moderate Wounds, Beryx: 2d8 + 6 ⇒ (2, 4) + 6 = 12
Keeping the wand on her grip, the halfling scrams along the edge of the arena before turning sharply towards the downed and gluebombed dragon. Seeking to find the softer spots of the creature's scales, she slips out a gleaming sword and tries to compensate its small size by putting her mass behind it, slight as it is.
+1 mithral shortsword studied combat: 1d20 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 6 + 2 = 26 vs. entangled, maybe prone target
Piercing studied combat/strike: 1d4 + 2 + 2 + 1d6 ⇒ (3) + 2 + 2 + (2) = 9
Standard: studied strike attack
No attacks of opportunity for the dragon for one round, as it took damage from the studied strike (Sapping Offensive investigator talent).
Almost forgot this one.
reflex: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
Cara's face turns even redder as her new dress is ruined by the dragon's breath.
I just bought this! she rages as she sends another handful of missiles at the beast.
she takes 7 damage...ouchies!
MM: 3d4 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (1, 1, 3) + 4 + 1 = 10
Dragon might also have taken falling damage?
With implacable calm, Janus regards the fallen wyrm.
Janus Too raises its head on its unnaturally long neck, and with a sudden burst of speed races towards the enemy.
Sprint, double move. Janus Too has 10' reach with its bite thanks to its archetype granting an evolution.
Thanks for shutting off the dragon's AoOs, Alli!
Janus strides forwards. Their double flail seems to slide into their hands, and they begin whirling the chains about themself.
Coming upon the fallen dragon, they bring the weapon crashing down whilst their companions distract the serpent...
dire flail, outflank, studied target, vessel between: 1d20 + 9 + 4 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 9 + 4 + 2 + 1 = 28magic bludgeoning damage: 1d8 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 7 + 2 = 16precision damage: 3d6 ⇒ (1, 4, 6) = 11
Berix nods to Katswiri. The warrior-hunter gives the impression of a rather clamped emotional person or even heartless, so this stingy gesture can be regarded as a "big thank you".
Then he grunts as he watches the dragon fall down below. He lowers his bow and moves towards the lizard on the move, pulling a falchion from behind his back.
At the same time, his cat rushes around to bite the creature from behind. Berix hesitates for a second before striking, waiting for his partner's maneuver from the other side.
+1 Falshion (Power Attack): 1d20 + 8 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 8 + 4 = 282d4 + 10 ⇒ (4, 1) + 10 = 15 (slashing)
The cat with a growl rushes to the neck of the dragon when it is distracted by the blow of Berix.
Bite (Power Attack): 1d20 + 7 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 7 + 4 = 201d6 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10 (P/B/S)
No AoO - Plague Hunter has 50ft speed and that's enough to get around without a chance to get attacked
Alli takes a brief bow at the chequered caiman and salutes Janus, "Well ended." She takes a brief peek at Beryx's wounds. "Good morning to you, and what a way to wake up! I've no talent with that brimstone stick, so maybe someone else can soot their fingers."
She tries to assess the situation, sees Carlin looking at the holes in the new dress, and springs to soothe the wounds. "Such waste. Maybe someone can mend it?" She tires to sound hopeful while dealing with the acid burns.
Round 1 Wand of cure light wounds to heal Carlin: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Round 2 Wand of cure light wounds to heal Carlin: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7