GMDQ's Forces of Nature

Game Master DeathQuaker

Can the world's most powerful heroes save the Free Coast from catastrophe?
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Forces of Nature Battlemap

Most of you can probably discern "Ankirree" sounds Neen in origin (with Krowys confirming said fact; given Neen names tend to be long it's probably short for something).

Anyone who succeeds on a DC 25 Knowledge Local or Arcana check indicates you've heard of a Neen spellcaster with a name that sounds like that who, alongside a tiefling swordswoman named Shadowsprung, discovered and drove a contingent of devils out of southwestern Haven about a year or so ago. Those of you from Haven may have even met her (You can decide for yourself: a wizard of few words, quite humble, but whose deeds speak for themselves.


Aphorite Pact Witch of Axis Witch 17 | hp 45/121 | Init +7; Perc +17 | AC31* (T20 FF26*) | CMD 27 CMB +7 | Fort +12 Ref +15 Will +15 (+2 v. Poison & Mind-Affecting) | Resist Electricity 5 | Active Buffs: Resist Fire 30 (12h) Overland Flight (17h) [Liber HP: 41/60]

Modifier of +26 to knowledge Local for Krowys, and even more Arcana, so automatic success! Regardless, have an Arana roll:

Knowledge (Arcana): 1d20 + 29 ⇒ (3) + 29 = 32

Upon hearing Mira's question, Krowys responds, "I have heard of someone by that name, yes. It's a Neen name, presumably a shortening of some longer name, which lines up with a Neen spellcaster with that name, or a very similar one, who, alongside a tiefling Swordswoman named Shadowsprung, discovered and drove a contingent of devils out of south-western Haven... about a year or so ago. I have not met her personally, to my recollection, however."


Half-Elf Titan Mauler Barbarian 16, Cad Fighter 1|HP:195(+51 with rage)|Init:+4|Perc:+22|BaB:17|AC:35 T:19 FF:26 (+1 if opp is bigger)(-2 when rage)|CMD:45 CMB:26|Fort:21 Ref:14 Will:11 (+3 will when rg, +2 vs enchantment)|Speed:75 30ft swim when ra

"Shadowsprung eh? I wonder if she's any good. I don't hold much for swords myself, but I bet I could give her a run for her money."


Aasimar Cleric 17 | HP 105/105 | Init +4; Perc +21 (Darkvision) | TEMP AC 35 (T19 FF30) | CMD 27/23 CMB +13 | Fort +15 Ref +16 Will +23 (+2 vs charm/compulsion) | Resist: Acid/Cold/Electricity 5 Buffs: Ring of Force Shield, Resist Fire 30, Resist Cold 20 (Mass Planar)

Tegany Cottage:

”Ariston… of Varan, obviously. Nice to meet you, Mara.” Ariston takes her hand in a two-hand clasp and holds it for a moment longer than necessary. ”Given all the luminaries here, you’re right. It would be a shock if you were just a simple village priestess. That said, I sort of feel like a lay priest among this crowd, particularly since our host has provided no explanation about why I’ve been summoned. But that’s my headache. I’d rather try to help you with your heartache. Is it possible your Exarch had some seemingly good reason to lie or maybe she didn’t know she was lying at the time? I’m not making excuses for her… I’m just trying to find a ‘why’ that makes sense. Could you possibly tell me what she lied about that has you so upset?”


Forces of Nature Battlemap

Trer: If this Ankirree is here, perhaps this Shadowsprung is here too.

Ariston:

She sighs. "That's the problem. I am not a village priestess, as you say, I am next in line to be Exarch of the Mechanosanctum, which guards many relics. Isil is quite old, and yet I don't think she has trusted me with everything she knows. I have just learned today a man I believed to be dead may simply be missing, and I wonder what else I have not been told." She shakes her head. "I'm a fool to be so upset, but I have dedicated myself to the protection of our Temple, and I do not like being kept in the dark, even if it's to protect something or someone. And I fear I will not be able to do my own job well, if I do not know what I'm supposed to know and I can't find out what I don't know if I don't know what it is I'm supposed to know!" She shakes her hands in exasperation.

She looks at him. "You are absolutely right that she had good reason, but--ah, you said you didn't know why you're here. I can at least tell you something you don't know. Orteza's family has done this about roughly every 75 years. Isil's been around long enough she came to the previous meeting. His family has always kept an eye on potential problems that may arise in the Mevvergard. Big ones--like someone opening a Titan's Gate or an invasion of sharkpeople from the east. They don't gather folks very often because--well, you don't want to make it too known you bring together very powerful people all in one place to talk about these things. But if he asked you here, it's because you have the ability to help a lot of people. I wouldn't just be jabbering on like this to just anyone, you know." She smiles.


Aasimar Cleric 17 | HP 105/105 | Init +4; Perc +21 (Darkvision) | TEMP AC 35 (T19 FF30) | CMD 27/23 CMB +13 | Fort +15 Ref +16 Will +23 (+2 vs charm/compulsion) | Resist: Acid/Cold/Electricity 5 Buffs: Ring of Force Shield, Resist Fire 30, Resist Cold 20 (Mass Planar)

Tegany Cottage:

Mara wrote:
She sighs. "That's the problem. I am not a village priestess, as you say, I am next in line to be Exarch of the Mechanosanctum, which guards many relics. Isil is quite old, and yet I don't think she has trusted me with everything she knows. I have just learned today a man I believed to be dead may simply be missing, and I wonder what else I have not been told." She shakes her head. "I'm a fool to be so upset, but I have dedicated myself to the protection of our Temple, and I do not like being kept in the dark, even if it's to protect something or someone. And I fear I will not be able to do my own job well, if I do not know what I'm supposed to know and I can't find out what I don't know if I don't know what it is I'm supposed to know!" She shakes her hands in exasperation.

Ariston just listens until the words run out of her. He gives her a moment to calm herself, before speaking. ”Actually, I think you’d be a fool NOT to be upset. You are next in line to be Exarch… It is the responsibility of every leader to train their successor. To do otherwise is a disservice to the successor and, potentially, the church. I think your frustration is just.” He gives that a moment to sink in, ”I don’t know Isil but I might have an explanation… Isil is old, and the older we get sometimes the more we think of everyone else as youngsters not adults – regardless of their competence. And we aren’t candid with youngsters… even when they are meant to succeed us. Is it possible she has been viewing you through that sort of lens?”

”I’m sorry to switch subjects but I’m a thread-puller. The missing man… was he the Exarch before Isil by any chance?”

Mara wrote:
She looks at him. "You are absolutely right that she had good reason, but--ah, you said you didn't know why you're here. I can at least tell you something you don't know. Orteza's family has done this about roughly every 75 years. Isil's been around long enough she came to the previous meeting. His family has always kept an eye on potential problems that may arise in the Mevvergard. Big ones--like someone opening a Titan's Gate or an invasion of sharkpeople from the east. They don't gather folks very often because--well, you don't want to make it too known you bring together very powerful people all in one place to talk about these things. But if he asked you here, it's because you have the ability to help a lot of people."

Ariston chuckles, ”A little earlier, I was debating if I was at a secret conclave to deal with a crisis OR if some member of the aristocracy had invited me to his birth celebration as an entertainment… Thank you, Mara, for confirming I’m not here to do parlor tricks.”

Mara wrote:
"I wouldn't just be jabbering on like this to just anyone, you know." She smiles.

Ariston feigns outrage and then winks. ”What? I assumed it was my immense charm and sparkling personality that won you over. Clearly, I need to try harder. If this is ‘jabbering’, please continue. I find you delightful.”


Human Empiricist Investigator 17 | hp 118/156 | Init +4; Perc +33/41 v. Traps | AC 35 (T19 FF32) | CMD 34 CMB +16 | Fort +13 Ref +18 Will +15| Immunities Illusions that allow a save, Mind Affecting Roll twice take better, +1 on Will v Enchantment Death Ward, Displacement, Echolocation, Freedom of Movement, Heroism, Life Bubble, Overland Flight (17 hr), Enlarge Person, Long Arm, Shield, Stone Skin

Lazur looks serious for a moment and says "Yes, of course Ankirree. I met them back in Haven in a professional setting. Good to see them keeping up the fight against evil."

Kn: Arcana: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (7) + 17 = 24 Inspiration: 2d8 ⇒ (1, 8) = 9


Forces of Nature Battlemap

Lazur: Ah yes. The great goblin baby snatching of '89. This was in Ankirree's own hometown, and a merchant had annoyed a nearby goblin tribe. They'd retaliated by stealing the town's infants. (Fortunately, goblins are consummate and cruel tricksters, but would never be so ridiculously awful as to do something like eat babies, but nonetheless the little ones were in serious danger.) You helped her track down and rescue them, and recall the amusing image of the very dour wizard holding an infant with an utterly perplexed look on her face.

Wherever you are doing right now (which I believe is Mira and Krowys and Lazar and Trer discussing names being dropped, Ariston chatting to Mara), the voice of the Senator's butler speaks out in the cottages and across the villa, likely via some machinations involvng multiple ventriloquism spells.

"Senator Orteza thanks you for your patience and ask that you come to the house now. Please be prompt. Luncheon will be served."

Cottage doors open and close as people begin to leave their quarters and head to the manor. From where those of you in the cottage are, you can see out the windows, roughly 10 or so very well equipped humanoids and at least one unicorn. (Trer recognizes the unicorn. She's the Chosen of Tria who gave her Splatter.)

By Tegany Cottage, Mara begins to stow her tools and her crossbow, as two other cottage inhabitants emerge, a weathered, black-haired human in his 30s who looks more equipped for an expedition than a lunch with a senator, and a very elderly half-elven woman in gilded robes bearing a holy symbol of Aurit. Mara swiftly introduces them as "Zax Grierson" and "The Most Reverend Isil" respectively. Zax hovers close to Isil, perhaps serving as a bodyguard.


Aasimar Cleric 17 | HP 105/105 | Init +4; Perc +21 (Darkvision) | TEMP AC 35 (T19 FF30) | CMD 27/23 CMB +13 | Fort +15 Ref +16 Will +23 (+2 vs charm/compulsion) | Resist: Acid/Cold/Electricity 5 Buffs: Ring of Force Shield, Resist Fire 30, Resist Cold 20 (Mass Planar)

Ariston rises and offers them a half bow. "Ariston, Priest of Varan. It is an honor to meet you both."

To Mara, he says, "I've enjoyed our talk. I look forward to continuing it, should time and events allow." With that, he leaves the group and starts heading toward the manor house at a leisurely pace, looking over all the people heading in the same direction.


Buffs:
Haste, Death Ward, Mage Armour, Mind Blank, FoM, Overland Flight, Darkvision, Ant Haul, False Life, Veil, Life Bubble, Darkvision, Shapechangers gift, Echolocation, Heroism, Resist Fire
Human Wildblood Sorcerer 17 | hp 186/172| Init +10/14; Perc +37, Darkvision, Blindsight 40' | AC 26 (T18 FF19) | CMD 22 CMB +7 | Fort +19 Ref +20 Will +22 (+3 vs mind affecting) | Immunities Mind Blank, Freedom of Movement | Status 7 Images
Magic Stats:
CL 18, Spell Pen +22 [Dragons Breath +26]; Con +28, +33 defensive cast
Spell slots:
9/6/1/2/7/7/0/2

As the voice of the butler echoes through the cottage Mira mutters, Finally, it's about time. Come on everyone, lets not keep the Senator waiting after which she promptly floats out of the cottage towards the main building, completely forgetting that she is supposed to be a mild mannered little old lady and not a horribly dangerous and powerful spellcaster.

Behind her, the broth on the stove begins to boil over. It's probably just as well, Mira is a terrible cook.


Aphorite Pact Witch of Axis Witch 17 | hp 45/121 | Init +7; Perc +17 | AC31* (T20 FF26*) | CMD 27 CMB +7 | Fort +12 Ref +15 Will +15 (+2 v. Poison & Mind-Affecting) | Resist Electricity 5 | Active Buffs: Resist Fire 30 (12h) Overland Flight (17h) [Liber HP: 41/60]

Hearing the announcement, Krowys calmly walks to where Liber is to help put the geographic data away before continuing to catch up with Mirabelle. "We will catch up in around a minute or so, myself and Liber are going to put away the books the two of us have taken out," after which the two of them begin to put away all the books that Liber has gathered to view while waiting.

After the tidying-up is over, Krowys gathers his bag of holding and rushes over, with Liber hovering around him, to Mirabelle and the rest of the crowd, to meet up with the Senator.


Human Empiricist Investigator 17 | hp 118/156 | Init +4; Perc +33/41 v. Traps | AC 35 (T19 FF32) | CMD 34 CMB +16 | Fort +13 Ref +18 Will +15| Immunities Illusions that allow a save, Mind Affecting Roll twice take better, +1 on Will v Enchantment Death Ward, Displacement, Echolocation, Freedom of Movement, Heroism, Life Bubble, Overland Flight (17 hr), Enlarge Person, Long Arm, Shield, Stone Skin

Lazur smiles and says "Lunch would be good about now we have had dessert once already!" He then stands up and helps Krowys and Liber put the books away "Many hands make light work! And less time!" and walks with them.


Half-Elf Titan Mauler Barbarian 16, Cad Fighter 1|HP:195(+51 with rage)|Init:+4|Perc:+22|BaB:17|AC:35 T:19 FF:26 (+1 if opp is bigger)(-2 when rage)|CMD:45 CMB:26|Fort:21 Ref:14 Will:11 (+3 will when rg, +2 vs enchantment)|Speed:75 30ft swim when ra

Was busy today redoing the sheet, and didn't want to say anything that might be undone due to tweaking rendering errors, but I'm still here!

"I'll help you with your books Translator!" The immense slab of metal that could more accurately be called a club than a sword that Trer keeps on her back nearly knocks over a stack, but Trer realizes her error before disaster strikes. "Oo, food!" she exclaims, as she notes the pot bubbling over. She carries the pot out with her, seemingly ignoring the heat and foul taste as she slurps down the broth.


Aphorite Pact Witch of Axis Witch 17 | hp 45/121 | Init +7; Perc +17 | AC31* (T20 FF26*) | CMD 27 CMB +7 | Fort +12 Ref +15 Will +15 (+2 v. Poison & Mind-Affecting) | Resist Electricity 5 | Active Buffs: Resist Fire 30 (12h) Overland Flight (17h) [Liber HP: 41/60]

"Thank you both. And, yes, more hands do make less work and less time." the Aphorite replies to the two helping him, and once the task is finished heads out to catch up with the rest of the party.


Forces of Nature Battlemap

You do not need to remember any of these people for the most part, but doing some description to place you in the world and see what your relative peers in Scrithengard might be like. Many of them may have little to do with the immediate adventure but if we stick around and sandbox after they could become contacts for future adventures. Otherwise, if the description is too much let me know.

You step out of the cottage, with no one falling too far behind since Trer and Lazur helped with the books. The group quickly meets up with Ariston, who is walking alongside a gnome priest of Merinn and a quite elderly half-elf priest of Aurit, whose robes indicate she is likely a person of some importance (probably this "Exarch" you were wondering about). A younger human with black hair is escorting the older priest, very focused on seeing her safely toward the manor.

Descriptions of all the other guests:
The unicorn marching up the path, dressed in green dragonhide barding, turns and notices Trer, snorting a greeting to her. Next to the unicorn is a half-orc in a fur lined cloak and bearing a huge flail. Mira thinks that's Kalig the Tireless, a druid she met while both were traveling with a caravan several years ago, and Ariston likely recognizes her as well. On the other side of the unicorn walks a male dwarven warrior in adamantine armor none of you recognize, who is speaking in extreme detail of the architectural benefits and flaws of the structure of the manor.

You can also see an elf in purple robes, the one Mira met before, walking alongside a man in full plate and a simple linen tabard depicting the clasped hands of Pirs, god of agriculture and community. The elf still seems a bit grumpy, and the knightly looking fellow seems to be trying to cheer him up. Pirs is addressing the elf as "Magister Kiriel."

Trailing behind those two is a black-haired halfling in black armor and a motley cloak. He is looking around and greeting all he sees with an affable grin, and turns to look at you and waves, and to Krowys, he snaps both fingers and points in clear recognition. "Hey, it's the Translator! Otherwise known as Uncle Davik's favorite dishwasher," he says with sincere affection. Those of you familiar with the Rovers, especially Krowys but probably also Ariston and others, recognize him: Axel Newhon, a shadowdancer in the service of Lees, about whom the Rovers tell many tales, some of which may possibly be true. You think the man in the Pirs livery is probably an associate of his, a Paladin named Jor--a truly odd pairing, but adventuring brings about unexpected friendships.

Further ahead you spot a petite, brown-skinned Neen woman with a knee-length black braid; Lazur recognizes that as Ankirree. Next to her is an only slightly taller woman with short-cropped auburn hair, wearing a blue Isenorian dueling jacket and carrying a slender longsword. Close inspection shows odd bony nubs sticking out of either side of her forehead, the remnants of broken horns.

As the group nears the manor, from the stables approaches two apparent quite-late comers, a very tall human man with a shaved head who even outsizes Trer, and a tall, strawberry blonde half-elven woman who would look muscular and tall next to most other half-elves were Trer not there. The man seems fairly nondescript in travel clothing and carrying a large axe, and the woman carries a beautifully crafted shield depicting the sacred rose of Sefana, and wears a red cloak embroidered with a fiery motif. Unlike most Sefanites, she bears a warhammer rather than the signature rapier. She is preoccupied getting dust off of her.

The woman in the dueling jacket with Ankirree spots the pair just arriving. "Flame! Kerk!" and charges them both, grinning gleefully, and leaps high into the air at the half-preoccupied half-elf, who barely manages to catch her with a yawp of startlement. She spins the girl in a hug. "Dara Shadowsprung, you haven't changed one bit."

Arriving in the Manor:
Guards and the butler Arden usher you all into the manor and lead you through the wide foyer into a wide great hall. Two tables are set at diagonals toward one end of the hall, set for the number of you who are present, plus a woven grass bed likely intended for the unicorn. The floor of the room is largely empty, and all chairs face the opposite end of the room where hangs on the wall a very large tapestry depicting the Free Coast's seal. The way the room is designed, you would think the area all chairs face would contain a chair or throne or high table, but there is nothing there.

Well, nothing in terms of furniture. A man is standing there, tall, sandy haired with graying temples, a goatee, and a buttoned Isenorian jacket in a gray green that matches his eyes, the color of verdigris. A handful of the people who enter look at him and gasp a little, then try to conceal it. This man presumably is High Senator Orteza. ("High Senator" by the way being the title for anyone elected to serve both on the Isenorian senate and the Free Coast Congress.)

The butler and footmen point you toward the tables to sit (there is no assigned seating), as the senator claps his hands and says, "Welcome, welcome! Magister, welcome, hierophant welcome, Goodman Jor, welcome," and so on and so on.

Once you are all seated, the Senator addresses you. "Now. I am not fond of secrets, but I, mainly for the sake of feeding into Firas Empire intelligence, let only a few people see my true form. You've heard the rumors bronze dragons support the government of the Free Coast. I am one of them. So please do not be startled as I get more comfortable."

And with that, and a shifting and grinding of bone and magical melding of items, the seemingly oddly empty great all floor is now filled with a gleaming dragon who takes up at least about a 20 foot square on his own in the room.

He addresses the room again, a much more booming, yet strangely fluid voice. "I am High Senator Ortezasharak'lantor. Please call me Orteza. We have a lot to talk about, but does anyone have any burning business or questions first. Oh, and the water closets are out the side door to the left."


Half-Elf Titan Mauler Barbarian 16, Cad Fighter 1|HP:195(+51 with rage)|Init:+4|Perc:+22|BaB:17|AC:35 T:19 FF:26 (+1 if opp is bigger)(-2 when rage)|CMD:45 CMB:26|Fort:21 Ref:14 Will:11 (+3 will when rg, +2 vs enchantment)|Speed:75 30ft swim when ra

"Bunch of boring people here," Trer grumbles to herself, "So much power concentrated in one space, and no one's even bothering to spar-" she gets cut off as the senator shapeshifts into a dragon, "The least he could do is fight me." she finishes muttering.

She leans over to The Translator. "If I ever get this boring and stuck up, kill me," she whispers.


Forces of Nature Battlemap

As the dragon has a +38 to Perception, I think it's reasonable to presume he can overhear Trer.

The dragon turns its gargantuan head "I am so sorry you are bored, Trer the Mighty. You had plenty of time to invite one of the other guests to spar before I called you here, so I cannot be blamed for your failing to act on opportunity. At any rate, if you can bear the mind-shattering agony of a bit of talking for just a little longer, I shall provide she who slew the Orc Tribe of Red Teeth without so much as attaining a papercut plenty of opportunity for action, I assure you."

"Any other urgent business?"

The staff in the meantime start serving lunch, putting a variety of foods out on the tables, including delicacies from many of the guests' homelands, from elven preparations of venison to simple but hearty Rover pottage, and beyond.

Also, while I am thinking of it, the dragon is suppressing his electricity and frightful presence auras


Buffs:
Haste, Death Ward, Mage Armour, Mind Blank, FoM, Overland Flight, Darkvision, Ant Haul, False Life, Veil, Life Bubble, Darkvision, Shapechangers gift, Echolocation, Heroism, Resist Fire
Human Wildblood Sorcerer 17 | hp 186/172| Init +10/14; Perc +37, Darkvision, Blindsight 40' | AC 26 (T18 FF19) | CMD 22 CMB +7 | Fort +19 Ref +20 Will +22 (+3 vs mind affecting) | Immunities Mind Blank, Freedom of Movement | Status 7 Images
Magic Stats:
CL 18, Spell Pen +22 [Dragons Breath +26]; Con +28, +33 defensive cast
Spell slots:
9/6/1/2/7/7/0/2

Mira flits between the various guests making small talk and introductions as they head to the Manor House, getting a sense of who is who. As they enter the house she presses a small bag of very expensive tea into the Butlers hand with instructions to prepare an infusion for her. Mira is very particular about her tea.

Entering the large chamber she hides her knowing smile about the true form of the Senator. She grabs a chair and drags it into a more convenient spot, making a horrible screeching noise of the floor as she does so.

My, my she mutters as the Senator shapeshifts. Why don't we get to the point Senator, just why have you gathered us all here. You have enough strength here to make a fair go at invading Firas. You aren't planning that are you?


Half-Elf Titan Mauler Barbarian 16, Cad Fighter 1|HP:195(+51 with rage)|Init:+4|Perc:+22|BaB:17|AC:35 T:19 FF:26 (+1 if opp is bigger)(-2 when rage)|CMD:45 CMB:26|Fort:21 Ref:14 Will:11 (+3 will when rg, +2 vs enchantment)|Speed:75 30ft swim when ra

"Next time get one of your spell slingers to teleport me! I only got in yesterday, and walked across most of the known world to get here. " Trer shows no sign of embarrassment at the public call-out. "Pompous blowhard," she says again under her breath, maintaining eye contact with the dragon as she does so. Still, as she folds her arms over her chest, she leans back and listens to what he has to say.


Forces of Nature Battlemap

Most of the guests are pleased to make Mira's acquaintance, with different degrees of etiquette. The Rover who introduces himself as Axel is quite friendly and asks many questions in amicable curiosity.

All of the chairs are already in convenient spots and the tea is excellent.

The dragon's eyes widen in alarm at Mira's suggestion. "Goodness no, not when the Empire's made such strides in transitioning to a trade economy. We always must be diligent of course lest they shift to their old ways, but no. And the Free Coast Congress has the authority to declare war, not I, and that would be a matter for the military."

"No, with apologies to those of you new to this, as I find it necessary to be vague to avoid unwanted attention. Every few decades, I gather some of the more... potent and helpful warriors, spellcasters, diplomats, adventurers and so on every few decades to make sure you are aware of threats to the safety of the Mevvergard. Demonic invasions, hungry 'kin' of mine who prefer the flesh of the Speaking, impending wars--but not ones I plan to declare--as well as mysteries to explore. Things I think you need to be aware of, or need addressing soon. He flicks a talon to some of his staff not in the process of serving food, and they begin casting illusions to create a moving, illusory map of the continent.

"I am sorry we took so long to begin, as I know you have many important duties, as do I, but it can be quite difficult to get a number of you in one place--given indeed many of you are attending already to urgent matters--and without alerting some of the more... villainous elements in the world who might be tempted to drop a moon on the villa knowing they could eliminate you all at once."

The dwarf in black armor, whose name has been introduced at some point as Durgan, starts to grumble in Zweidoran. (Those of you who can understand it: very creative curse words, including a few quite rare ones.)

"Which of course is not going to happen. Your safety is my priority."

He sighs. "Unfortunately I've learned some of those I've invited cannot join us, and had been waiting for them fruitlessly. I'm sad to report Morag the Gatherer of Souls has moved on to another plane of existence in her quest for eternity, and I shall miss her." As she is mentioned, Axel and Jor nod in shared sadness. Lazur knew Morag; a powerful Chosen focused on Tria's aspect of death, she nonetheless came to your family to ask for training in midwifery, saying she was led to understand birth to know death better. A seemingly quiet, stern woman, she wept with joy at every new life delivered safely.

"And Kendrick Swiftblade apparently was just eaten by Chlorax'lekkar a few days ago, an increasingly aggressive brine dragon to whom I shall attend personally once this meeting is over. With apologies to Trer, for not sharing in the sought-out conquest, but I have something else for the group of you."

He turns toward the two priests from Tegany.

"Finally, Khyber Mercane has apparently been missing for nearly 75 years. Despite divinations to the contrary, the sneaky bastard. And he apparently swore the Exarch of the Mechanosanctum to secrecy."

The Tegany contingent all shift uncomfortably. "I'm sorry," Exarch Isil, the elderly half-elf, mutters.

"This would concern me less except he had last messaged to tell me he'd have something to announce at this very meeting, and I am distressed to not know what it is."

"Shall we begin?"


Forces of Nature Battlemap
The Mighty Trer wrote:
"Next time get one of your spell slingers to teleport me! I only got in yesterday, and walked across most of the known world to get here. " Trer shows no sign of embarrassment at the public call-out. "Pompous blowhard," she says again under her breath, maintaining eye contact with the dragon as she does so. Still, as she folds her arms over her chest, she leans back and listens to what he has to say.

As you had an option to be teleported here (mentioned in the OOC thread), and were intended to be here for a few days before the scene began, I'm not going to engage with this IC.


Human Empiricist Investigator 17 | hp 118/156 | Init +4; Perc +33/41 v. Traps | AC 35 (T19 FF32) | CMD 34 CMB +16 | Fort +13 Ref +18 Will +15| Immunities Illusions that allow a save, Mind Affecting Roll twice take better, +1 on Will v Enchantment Death Ward, Displacement, Echolocation, Freedom of Movement, Heroism, Life Bubble, Overland Flight (17 hr), Enlarge Person, Long Arm, Shield, Stone Skin

Upon hearing Morag is a dead a tear comes to Lazurs eyes and he silent says a prayer to Tria for Morag. As the Senator says she will be missed by him Lazur quietly says "By me as well."


Aasimar Cleric 17 | HP 105/105 | Init +4; Perc +21 (Darkvision) | TEMP AC 35 (T19 FF30) | CMD 27/23 CMB +13 | Fort +15 Ref +16 Will +23 (+2 vs charm/compulsion) | Resist: Acid/Cold/Electricity 5 Buffs: Ring of Force Shield, Resist Fire 30, Resist Cold 20 (Mass Planar)

Ariston watches the meetings, greetings, pageantry, fusses, and transformations in bright-eyed silence, finding it all quite interesting. He scribbles a mental note to himself to speak with Mara about Khyber Mercane.

Orteza wrote:
"Shall we begin?"

Not that the dragon needed his permission, but he felt a response was polite. ”Please do.”


Aphorite Pact Witch of Axis Witch 17 | hp 45/121 | Init +7; Perc +17 | AC31* (T20 FF26*) | CMD 27 CMB +7 | Fort +12 Ref +15 Will +15 (+2 v. Poison & Mind-Affecting) | Resist Electricity 5 | Active Buffs: Resist Fire 30 (12h) Overland Flight (17h) [Liber HP: 41/60]

I was about to say "electricity is fine" as a joke, but turns out the aura is staggering, not damage.

Switching languages on a dime is almost instinct to Krowys at this point, and he switches to Draconic nearly-automatically, Good thing I deleted Protean!

Draconic:
"I do not think there is any other urgent business, so I think we can begin"

Krowys also essentially scribbles the same mental note as Ariston, wanting to speak to someone about Mercane later, but not wanting to hold up the Copper dragon in front of him.


Aphorite Pact Witch of Axis Witch 17 | hp 45/121 | Init +7; Perc +17 | AC31* (T20 FF26*) | CMD 27 CMB +7 | Fort +12 Ref +15 Will +15 (+2 v. Poison & Mind-Affecting) | Resist Electricity 5 | Active Buffs: Resist Fire 30 (12h) Overland Flight (17h) [Liber HP: 41/60]
GMDQ wrote:

You do not need to remember any of these people for the most part, but doing some description to place you in the world and see what your relative peers in Scrithengard might be like. Many of them may have little to do with the immediate adventure but if we stick around and sandbox after they could become contacts for future adventures. Otherwise, if the description is too much let me know.

You step out of the cottage, with no one falling too far behind since Trer and Lazur helped with the books. The group quickly meets up with Ariston, who is walking alongside a gnome priest of Merinn and a quite elderly half-elf priest of Aurit, whose robes indicate she is likely a person of some importance (probably this "Exarch" you were wondering about). A younger human with black hair is escorting the older priest, very focused on seeing her safely toward the manor.

** spoiler omitted **...

EARLIER (I forgot to hit post to this! Ack!)

Seeing a different familiar face, Krowys responds, "Ah, greetings, Axel."

(Whoops forgot to respond to this one)


Forces of Nature Battlemap

The bronze dragon responds in Draconic to Krowys, "Thank you."

"First some situations that need watching."

Going to go through this in summary as it's a general "state of the world" report that again may be useful later for sandboxing but not the immediate adventure ahead. Hope to speed things up a bit.

State of the World:
The illusionists manipulate the magical map as Orteza discuss goings on in the world, which includes some concerns like
- The lich king of Sheenosek is confirmed dead, but the new king is in thrall of a succubus, and the Houses are fighting one another, hence the continued closed borders. One of the Houses tried to merge Sheenosek's capital with the Infernal City of Dis so things are a bit of a mess there.
- Explorer's have found Spring Gate, the gate that leads to the demiplane where the Titan of Air, Ilmea, sleeps, on the western archipelago called the Wanderer's Stand. They're not sure if it's causing the magical storms that whip up in the area, but it seems likely.
- Sea explorers have encountered a race of sharkfolk called sahuagin who are impeding further mapping of the Dragon Sea. Reports indicate their undersea empire is much larger and perhaps more of a threat than first believed.
- The teleportation circle in Three Points is on the fritz.

To the rest of the list of issues, Mara pipes up, "We've had some earthquakes on Tegany. Just little rumbles--it's not exactly a threat of the elder ones or anything--but I'm worried it could result in tidal waves for the Free Coast."

Isil quickly interjects. "We will warn the country if it's a concern. But we should be able to keep things under control at the Mechanosanctum."

"Thank you," Orteza says. "Nonetheless we can warn vulnerable portions of the coast to check on the state of their floodwalls. Please do, Exarch Isil, let us know if things do not stay under control. But there are some more urgent issues I'd ask many of you to volunteer to assist with before they get out of hand. I hope this opportunity to rest steels you for what may come ahead...."

From there he goes into some more immediate threats that he asks specific people present to contend with--an invasion of Qlippoths after some younger adventurers stumbled on a book involving the Elder Ones, a complex possession case involving a high political figure.

To the five of you, he says, "I invited you, and put you together hoping you might get along, because I think you're best suited to address a problem: Winter's Gate is... leaking. While the Flame of Sefana and her compatriots stopped the sorceress Myrsa from opening it several years ago, it appears it did not fully reseal."

(A bit of trivia for Mirabelle: Myrsa dropped an avalanche on the convent you grew up in a few years after you left. She had an even worse time there and was not a stable individual, but the convent might have deserved it.)

"I'm sorry!" the tall half-elven woman with the hammer.

"It's not your fault, my dear. You still stopped her from turning half the Mevvergard int an ocean. You are an armorer, are you not? Not an expert in languages..."

He turns to Krowys particularly. "Which is where you come in. And the rest of you have knowledge or power most suited to the task. It's not going to cause a problem tomorrow but must be dealt with. The demiplane of Vesi is slowly pouring water into the Cloudreaches, and I fear faster than you would imagine--months at most--we could have a glacier ready to cleave the Mevvergard in twain. Best to stop it while it's small." He goes on to explain.

This is what you'll be doing for the next two months and will be handwaved for the most part: There are runes in several languages that need to be restored perfectly, requiring the best translator in the world. Restoring the runes involves some tricky alchemical admixtures, which is where Lazar comes on. But gate itself messes with being able to teleport near it, so you can only get so close and have to approach on foot the rest of the way. That's where Trer, Ariston, and Mirabelle come in, all of whom are experienced with traveling in the region, can serve as guides and protectors, and can easily handle the giants, white dragons, and elementals you might encounter or who might impede fixing the gate. Plus Mirabelle is likely interested in the connection to the titans, Trer will have plenty of huge things to fight, and Ariston will see a location he has perhaps not been to yet. He of course doesn't force you to do this and you are free to refuse, but hopes you'll agree to help and as soon as you are ready to travel there.

Once folks have volunteered or accepted assignments to handle various monsters, environmental hazards, or political situations, he says you can stay in the villa as long as you like to prepare or depart immediately if you so wish. Orteza gets to finally eat his own lunch, which is a whole roasted cow that he swallows in a few bites.

I'll be ready to fast forward two months to the present soon but I'll give you a last chance to react, agree/disagree with what's been said, ask questions, and talk to NPCs.


Aasimar Cleric 17 | HP 105/105 | Init +4; Perc +21 (Darkvision) | TEMP AC 35 (T19 FF30) | CMD 27/23 CMB +13 | Fort +15 Ref +16 Will +23 (+2 vs charm/compulsion) | Resist: Acid/Cold/Electricity 5 Buffs: Ring of Force Shield, Resist Fire 30, Resist Cold 20 (Mass Planar)

No questions from me. I wouldn't mind chatting with Mara a day or so later regarding:

1. Mercane and what she now knows about the Isil/Mercane agreement.
2. If she wants to talk more about her Isil headaches and maybe a path forward, if my speculation was right.
3. Anything she wants to tell me about the Mechanosanctum and why certain Gods are not represented.

Since this is a prologue, it can be an actual conversation or - to save time - you can throw it down as an OOC info drop, if you'd rather jump into the real game. I'm good with either approach.


Half-Elf Titan Mauler Barbarian 16, Cad Fighter 1|HP:195(+51 with rage)|Init:+4|Perc:+22|BaB:17|AC:35 T:19 FF:26 (+1 if opp is bigger)(-2 when rage)|CMD:45 CMB:26|Fort:21 Ref:14 Will:11 (+3 will when rg, +2 vs enchantment)|Speed:75 30ft swim when ra

"Sounds good to me!" Trer may be crass, and a little self centered, but she doesn't want innocents to be harmed by a giant glacier.

After the meeting, Trer will seek out the swordswoman Shadowspring, and see if she can convince her to have a friendly fight.

She'd also say hello to the unicorn that gave her Splatter, and chat for a little while.


Human Empiricist Investigator 17 | hp 118/156 | Init +4; Perc +33/41 v. Traps | AC 35 (T19 FF32) | CMD 34 CMB +16 | Fort +13 Ref +18 Will +15| Immunities Illusions that allow a save, Mind Affecting Roll twice take better, +1 on Will v Enchantment Death Ward, Displacement, Echolocation, Freedom of Movement, Heroism, Life Bubble, Overland Flight (17 hr), Enlarge Person, Long Arm, Shield, Stone Skin

Lazur hears of the danger and when the Senator finishes he says "I'll gladly help look into this."


Buffs:
Haste, Death Ward, Mage Armour, Mind Blank, FoM, Overland Flight, Darkvision, Ant Haul, False Life, Veil, Life Bubble, Darkvision, Shapechangers gift, Echolocation, Heroism, Resist Fire
Human Wildblood Sorcerer 17 | hp 186/172| Init +10/14; Perc +37, Darkvision, Blindsight 40' | AC 26 (T18 FF19) | CMD 22 CMB +7 | Fort +19 Ref +20 Will +22 (+3 vs mind affecting) | Immunities Mind Blank, Freedom of Movement | Status 7 Images
Magic Stats:
CL 18, Spell Pen +22 [Dragons Breath +26]; Con +28, +33 defensive cast
Spell slots:
9/6/1/2/7/7/0/2

Mira grins. Ooh the Winter Gate. Sounds exciting. What happened to Myrsa?


Aphorite Pact Witch of Axis Witch 17 | hp 45/121 | Init +7; Perc +17 | AC31* (T20 FF26*) | CMD 27 CMB +7 | Fort +12 Ref +15 Will +15 (+2 v. Poison & Mind-Affecting) | Resist Electricity 5 | Active Buffs: Resist Fire 30 (12h) Overland Flight (17h) [Liber HP: 41/60]

"I will help look into this as well," Krowys replies after the senator and Lazar finish.
.
AGH. Paizo ate my reply, sorry for the delay!


Forces of Nature Battlemap

Post 1: Wrapping Up the Visit at the Senator's

Ariston wrote:

No questions from me. I wouldn't mind chatting with Mara a day or so later regarding:

1. Mercane and what she now knows about the Isil/Mercane agreement.
2. If she wants to talk more about her Isil headaches and maybe a path forward, if my speculation was right.
3. Anything she wants to tell me about the Mechanosanctum and why certain Gods are not represented.

Ariston:
Mara says, attempting to answer many questions at once. "Mercane the Worldseeker traveled the planes and collected many things from there. The Sanctum houses his collection of planar relics. Having them protected by clergy sworn to certain duties helps keep them safe. Particularly, some come from Axis and have to do with city planning or building and themselves contain wards which help protect the city; hence Lord Merinn's interest as well as Pala and Atanna's. Aurit has an interest over anything to do with learning and magic. It's not about being exclusionary, but involving those who would be concerned with what we do." She pauses. "I know the Shrine to Varan thinks we get too much funding from the Mayor, if that's what you're alluding to. They want expeditionary forces into the mountains to explore a cave system. Which sounds exciting, but we also don't want to annoy the monsters that live in those caves and come invade the city--or worse, the farming communities. Honestly, I feel sorry for the guy who runs the shrine. There's not a whole lot on the island, so he's gotta be a little stir crazy."

And as for Isil: "I think you are right, what you said before. It's hard enough to get tallfolk to realize you're 80 years old when you're only three-foot-three. Even if they mean well. I do still don't know why Isil hid the fact the Mercane disappeared--and not died--and didn't tell Orteza. I intend to find out, and I intend to be sure if I am appointed her position when she retires that I know what I need to.

She smiles. [b]"Thank you for talking to me. You have given me courage." She offers her hand to clasp, if you will take it.

Taking her hand or no, take a hero point for picking up on the relevant part to the plot. Which I didn't make easy.

Mirabelle aka Mira the Obscure wrote:
Mira grins. Ooh the Winter Gate. Sounds exciting. What happened to Myrsa?

"Flame pummeled her!" Dara Shadowsprung (tiefling with longsword) interjects enthusiastically.

"It's not that simple," Flame (half elf servant of Sefana) says, looking rather embarrassed. "I'll explain later."

Mirabelle, if you want a lengthy explanation:
Flame approaches Mira later and if Mira has the patience tells the story: as she understood it, Myrsa heard Vesi the Titaness call to her in dreams to open the gate. Myrsa was a water bloodline sorceress born in the Empire, severely mistreated, and planned to open the gate to drown half the continent so as to destroy the Empire.* Myrsa needed a relic protected by the Sefanites to open the gate which she stole, which put Flame and various associates on her tail. Flame tried to reason with her--understanding that the original source of her rage was entirely understandable--but Myrsa responded by freezing Flame's best friend in a block of ice, killing him instantly. Flame tells the following with more sadness and frustration than boasting of a victory: in a moment's rage, she brought a flame strike down on Myrsa before shoving her through the gate, and the gate shut itself, as though it accepted Myrsa as a sacrifice to halt the coming flow of ice and water. At the time, she felt a great deal of grief emanating from within the gate, and she says she struggles to reconcile the grief she sensed from the gate and Myrsa's destructive rage. When the gate shut, the feeling of grief vanished.

She was surprised and upset to hear the gate hadn't shut properly. The person who would have had the education or magical talent at the time to realize something may not have happened properly was her friend, the man Myrsa killed. Flame's training in the clergy was not an academic one, she admits. She is glad the party is going and gives you some advice for how they approached the place, and names some contacts in Zweidor if you need a dwarven guide. Flame herself is addressing a different emergency that better suits her talents.

*The plot of a novel I wrote many years ago and will never publish. Villain's name was actually Mirra which I've now changed for obvious reasons; a key piece of her history was that she was abused by a boarding school for wayward Blooded. Any similarities are bizarre but entirely coincidental, but I couldn't help throw it in. ;) Forgive me if that's overly self-indulgent.

The Mighty Trer wrote:

"Sounds good to me!" Trer may be crass, and a little self centered, but she doesn't want innocents to be harmed by a giant glacier.

After the meeting, Trer will seek out the swordswoman Shadowspring, and see if she can convince her to have a friendly fight.

Trer Sparring and Chatting:
The woman is a full head shorter than Trer. You notice she has six fingers on each hand. As one might expect, she takes an agile approach to swordsmanship and has trained in Isenorian dueling styles as well as dwarven and Geltier styles. You can outmatch her easily for sheer brute force but she is hard to hit and she knows how to hit where it hurts (within the rules of engagement of sparring), and isn't afraid to get a bit black and blue, truly enjoying the experience throughout.
Quote:
She'd also say hello to the unicorn that gave her Splatter, and chat for a little while.

The unicorn, whom others call the Voice of the Green, is glad for the company of one who appreciates simple pleasures. He does not like to be away from the Deep Green but owed Orteza a favor. He says Trer is always welcome to the Deep Green to help keep the population of green dragons manageable. They belong in the life cycle as much as any creature but they've been "like rabbits" of late.

What You've Been Doing the Last Two Months

The five of you wrap things up and make way to the Cloudreaches. You have the option of teleporting via Circle from San Elspet to Zweidor's capital, or teleporting yourselves courtesy of Mirabelle, but can't get any closer than within 10 miles of the gate. The travel to the gate is tricky, full of hideous weather (while it's spring across the continent, the mountains are still snowy and windy), altitude issues, and the occasional dragon attack. Fortunately you have numerous spells, items, experiences, etc. to have as comfortable time as anyone can and reach the gate unscathed.

When you get to the gate--a forty foot high archway carved directly into the mountain, covered in runes--water is indeed leaking out in giant droplets of water--huge, teardrop shaped things, slightly salty. The droplets roll down a hill an collect, layer by layer, into a large ball of ice that is growing quickly and could soon become unwieldy.

There is an overwhelming sense of melancholy at the place, making it hard to focus, and while many of you are quite mentally resistant such that the effects are not major, you all dream of people or things you cared deeply for and lost, or sometimes of something you thought you lost but when you wake, realize it never existed, and for that you feel a whole new kind of grief.

The runes on the gate are in several languages at once, local and planar including two dead ones even Krowys has never seen before, and part of it appears to be some sort of cipher to boot. The time it takes to translate and correct them is considerable. (You eventually learn part of it is a long epitaph to the Titaness Vesi, "wild hearted," and another part amounts to a geas to prevent her from waking and setting foot in Scrithengard again. After awhile you gain an insight that the Wanderers--the gods--may have themselves constructed the Gate, and need some power of the Chosen to finalize the restoration of the runes, which fortunately Ariston can provie.) In the meantime there are indeed occasional assaults of water elementals who seep through, as well as white dragons, yeti, frost giants who've gotten lost, and various hazards to contend with (including finding ways to keep the forming iceball/baby glacier small so it doesn't do anything while you get the gate resealed). While magics can keep you comfortable, messing with super speed and the like can't help much; you're capable of the task, but it's the kind of fix that just takes time. As you do repair the runes, the sense of grief wanes over time, which is at least some comfort.

It takes nearly two months to complete the task (which may have involved some traveling back and forth to get some supplies), and you've only just taken some time in Ardenhold to report your success and recuperate.

Representing the time taken and goods looted from attackers and as a "thank you for participating and putting up with all this description" reward, you each gain either 5,000 gp cash (which you can bank for spell components) OR one magic item worth 6,000 gp or less. Krowys and anyone else who may have worked extensively on the translations can add either "Stanesprech" or "Genisprek" to your list of known languages. They are ancestral languages to (Giant and Zweidoran) and to (Sylvan and Vargilder) respectively.

You are welcome to speculate and discuss what you might have shared with each other--or gotten annoyed with ;) --during this time.


Forces of Nature Battlemap

Post 2

While you are still in Ardenhold, figuring out next steps (do you report your success to Orteza? That wasn't actually clear), and all of you happen to be very conveniently in the same place, Ariston is the recipient of a sending spell, which he recognizes instantly as from Mara Twitchfiddle of Merinn. He can hear tears, pain, and sheer desperation in her voice.

"Please, if possible, teleport to Ramsmouth immediately. Volcano's erupting. Storms coming. Tsunamis. Mercane’s relic is causing it. Attacked while trying to fix. Many dead already.”

BTW, if you haven't looked at the Game References slide deck you are welcome to do so now. Right now just contains some maps of the island and city you'll be traveling to, and a picture of Mara.


Aasimar Cleric 17 | HP 105/105 | Init +4; Perc +21 (Darkvision) | TEMP AC 35 (T19 FF30) | CMD 27/23 CMB +13 | Fort +15 Ref +16 Will +23 (+2 vs charm/compulsion) | Resist: Acid/Cold/Electricity 5 Buffs: Ring of Force Shield, Resist Fire 30, Resist Cold 20 (Mass Planar)

Mara (2 months ago):
Apologies for dragging this out a post longer…

Mara wrote:
"…hence Lord Merinn's interest as well as Pala and Atanna's. Aurit has an interest over anything to do with learning and magic. It's not about being exclusionary, but involving those who would be concerned with what we do." She pauses. "I know the Shrine to Varan thinks we get too much funding from the Mayor, if that's what you're alluding to…”

Ariston raises an eyebrow at that and chuckles. ”I know your position has you immersed in politics… but I’ve avoided those games like the plague. If I wanted to make a point, I wouldn’t allude to it, I’d just say it. I’m grossly impolitical that way. And I don’t give a damn about funding. If I were in charge of a shrine and I needed money for some worthy cause I’d find a way. I wouldn’t wait on a mayor to throw coins in my direction.” He considers for a moment. ”What I’m questioning is whether leaving the Mechanosanctum solely in the hands of Merinn, Pala, Atanna, and Aurit is the best approach. Yes, the sanctum is in their spheres of interest. But if the artifacts are as powerful as they seem, I would think other Gods might be concerned about their continued safety as well – if only on their followers’ behalf. If you told me you had a draco-lich trapped in a cupboard and it needed to be guarded… it wouldn’t matter to me that Varan isn’t the God of Reptiles. The need is clear. I’m not trying to convince you to upend the established system. I’m just thinking aloud.”

Mara wrote:
”Honestly, I feel sorry for the guy who runs the shrine. There's not a whole lot on the island, so he's gotta be a little stir crazy."

The other cleric replies, ”I’d rather you didn’t think less of me, but, I’m not all that sympathetic to his situation. He accepted the position. He could have said ‘no’. I know, all too well, there are repercussion for that… but you can make choices that will make you happy instead of crazy. I may need to have a chat with him. It will also give me an excuse to perhaps see you again in Ramsmouth. If that idea has any appeal for you.”

Mara wrote:
"I think you are right, what you said before. It's hard enough to get tallfolk to realize you're 80 years old when you're only three-foot-three. Even if they mean well. I do still don't know why Isil hid the fact the Mercane disappeared--and not died--and didn't tell Orteza. I intend to find out, and I intend to be sure if I am appointed her position when she retires that I know what I need to.“

”I’m glad to hear it. It may be uncomfortable, but you have to make her see that you are an ‘adult’ and her successor – not some starry-eyed novitiate.”

Mara wrote:

She smiles. "Thank you for talking to me. You have given me courage."

She offers her hand to clasp, if you will take it.

Ariston takes her hand, slowly turns it horizontally, and places a kiss on the back of it. ”Thank you. I’ve enjoyed our time together very much.”


Aasimar Cleric 17 | HP 105/105 | Init +4; Perc +21 (Darkvision) | TEMP AC 35 (T19 FF30) | CMD 27/23 CMB +13 | Fort +15 Ref +16 Will +23 (+2 vs charm/compulsion) | Resist: Acid/Cold/Electricity 5 Buffs: Ring of Force Shield, Resist Fire 30, Resist Cold 20 (Mass Planar)

In Ardenhold, Ariston is for reporting to Orteza. I’m playing a generally nice cleric… what can I say?

If we want to do some RP about the previous mission, our colleagues, goods buying, etc. I’m all for it. I’m just posting what Ariston would do regarding Mara’s message when we’re all ready.

Mara via Sending wrote:
"Please, if possible, teleport to Ramsmouth immediately. Volcano's erupting. Storms coming. Tsunamis. Mercane’s relic is causing it. Attacked while trying to fix. Many dead already.”

Ariston’s delight at recognition of the sender’s identity turns to ash at her raw emotions and message. His response is immediate. He returns feeling of concern and determination through the Sending. ”I’m coming… and bringing a team. We’ll be there as quickly as possible. See you VERY soon. Stay safe!”

Ariston marches out in the common room to look at the team he’s been with for the last couple of months.

”I just received a message from my soon-to-be fiancée. Ramsmouth, maybe all of Tegany island, is in danger – an erupting volcano, tsunamis, and storms. Many people are already dead. Mara believes Mercane’s relics at the Mechanosanctum are at the heart of the problem. They were attacked while trying to ‘fix’ it.”

He lets the news register before adding, with a lot of determination (and a bit of desperation), ”So, I’m going... Any of you folks wanna be big, damn, heroes and help me save an island?”


Aphorite Pact Witch of Axis Witch 17 | hp 45/121 | Init +7; Perc +17 | AC31* (T20 FF26*) | CMD 27 CMB +7 | Fort +12 Ref +15 Will +15 (+2 v. Poison & Mind-Affecting) | Resist Electricity 5 | Active Buffs: Resist Fire 30 (12h) Overland Flight (17h) [Liber HP: 41/60]

I imagine Krowys would probably work with Lazur on the translation and correction, if Lazur is okay with that, as well as each taking separate languages so as to not have yet another duplicate language in their massive lists.

'As for reporting to Orteza, I believe Krowys would do so as well. II'd imagine he made sure to keep his schedule clear for a fair bit of time, just in case this takes longer than expected, so merely reporting back to the Senator is something that wouldn't bother him. [/ooc]

Hearing Ariston's determination and desperation, Krowys responds in his usual relatively-cold manner, "I will assist you in this, especially concerning a possible connection to the Mechanosanctum."

"Are you three," after which Krowys motions to the three others aside from himself and Ariston, "willing to come along as well?"


Half-Elf Titan Mauler Barbarian 16, Cad Fighter 1|HP:195(+51 with rage)|Init:+4|Perc:+22|BaB:17|AC:35 T:19 FF:26 (+1 if opp is bigger)(-2 when rage)|CMD:45 CMB:26|Fort:21 Ref:14 Will:11 (+3 will when rg, +2 vs enchantment)|Speed:75 30ft swim when ra

Two months ago...:

"Ha ha, yes!" Trer shouts as she duels with Shadowheart. "You're a very good fighter. In a way I could never be. Ever since I was young, my parents said I have what they called, "stupid hands." So none of this dashing, and nimble moves for me. Big weapons seemed to be the way to go. Learned to use 'em. Broke almost all of my bones in the process too. A few times! Still got those stupid hands, not good for much else other than caving in skulls." She brightens. "Say, I've been working on my letters recent-like. What do you say we write each other every once in a while, see how the other is doing?" She lunges forward with a decisive thrust.

I'll figure out what I want in magic swag in a little bit!


Buffs:
Haste, Death Ward, Mage Armour, Mind Blank, FoM, Overland Flight, Darkvision, Ant Haul, False Life, Veil, Life Bubble, Darkvision, Shapechangers gift, Echolocation, Heroism, Resist Fire
Human Wildblood Sorcerer 17 | hp 186/172| Init +10/14; Perc +37, Darkvision, Blindsight 40' | AC 26 (T18 FF19) | CMD 22 CMB +7 | Fort +19 Ref +20 Will +22 (+3 vs mind affecting) | Immunities Mind Blank, Freedom of Movement | Status 7 Images
Magic Stats:
CL 18, Spell Pen +22 [Dragons Breath +26]; Con +28, +33 defensive cast
Spell slots:
9/6/1/2/7/7/0/2

Two Months Ago:

Mira listens to Flame's story with a sense of impending doom. I am sorry that you had to go through that. The power can be too much for some of us. Myrsa was always a troubled soul but you did what you had to do. However, she was also powerful, it may very well be that she remains alive beyond the Gate. Honestly, I hope not. I dont want the Titan to have an agent of such power, if she could get out that could be bad.

And lets hope that something like that doesnt happen to me!

As they travel towards the Gate Mira fills in the group about what happened. Myrsa was a powerful elemental sorceress. She fell under the influence of the Titan Vesi and, I suspect, tried to free her. The Flame stopped her but, well, it was a bad situation. It may be that she is now trapped on the other side of the Gate and is trying to get out. That would be bad, very bad.

On the trip to the region of the Gate and the various trips round and to and from Mira provides magical transport. Sometimes its teleportation, other times she conjures individual mounts and, where the roads are good enough, a magnificent carriage which pulls itself. At night she creates her magical mansion to ensure warm, well fed and comfortable quarters for everyone. She is long past the days when she put up with sleeping on the floor.

While dealing with the Gate Mira demonstrates her wide range of magical talents. She descends into the midst of groups of frost giants, laying waste to them with gouts of dragon flame. Water elementals are banished back through the Gate and dragons find themselves stunned in mid air, crashing to the ground to bring them within Trer's reach.

Each night she recasts a number of powerful magics on herself and others to help deal with the environment and mitigate the risks.

Buffs Galore:

In particular she provides the following each evening if she has the spell slots available. I will add these to my header if they fit and the top of her statblock

Mind Blank on herself and Trer (lasts 24 hours)
Magnificent Mansion (lasts 18 hours)
Extended Veil (lasts 36 hours). This is cast on the whole group, decide for yourselves what you want to look like. It probably doesnt matter that much but its part of her personality.
Life Bubble (lasts 36 hours). I can cast one on anyone who wants one.
Extended Overland Flight (lasts 36 hours)
Extended Darkvision (lasts 36 hours). Again I can cast a regular one on anyone who wants one which lasts 18 hours.
Extended Mage Armour (lasts 36 hours). Again if anyone wants a regular 18 version you can in case of incorporeal things.
Extended Ant Haul (lasts 36 hours)

At the start of each day she casts the following on herself, I will account for these spell slots.

Greater Shapechanger's Gift (lasts 18 hours), to turn into a quickling. Her Veil means she still looks like herself.
Extended Echolocation (lasts 6 hours), gives her 40' blindsight
Extended Heroism (lasts 6 hours)
False Life (lasts 18 hours), gives 1d10 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14 temp HP

Ariston bursts in and interrupts breakfast. What, volcanoes, death, tsumnamis. Of course we will help. Hang on, FIANCE! When did that happen? Never mind, get your stuff ready and I will teleport us back. Best be prepared for an immediate battle.

With that Mira activates several wands and casts a quick spell on the group.

Communal Resist Fire on everyone, 50 minutes for me, 30 for everyone else. Everyone gets resist fire 30.
Wands of Shield and Heightened Awareness, I always expend awareness for the +4 initiative.

Just before we leave Mira twists a ring on her finger and vanishes. Don't worry everyone, I will always be nearby. All trace of her nice old lady persona seems to be gone and now she appears to be all professionalism. She has also changed her appearance several times during the trip, appearing so far as a rugged dwarven scout on the trip to the Gate, an elven archaeologist at the Gate and now as a lightly armoured mercenary with a rapier at her side.


Aasimar Cleric 17 | HP 105/105 | Init +4; Perc +21 (Darkvision) | TEMP AC 35 (T19 FF30) | CMD 27/23 CMB +13 | Fort +15 Ref +16 Will +23 (+2 vs charm/compulsion) | Resist: Acid/Cold/Electricity 5 Buffs: Ring of Force Shield, Resist Fire 30, Resist Cold 20 (Mass Planar)

Ariston gives Mira a thankful smile at her full-throated support.

"I'll have a word with Orteza. Back in a few minutes." There's an inrush of air to fill the void left by the teleporting cleric.


Human Empiricist Investigator 17 | hp 118/156 | Init +4; Perc +33/41 v. Traps | AC 35 (T19 FF32) | CMD 34 CMB +16 | Fort +13 Ref +18 Will +15| Immunities Illusions that allow a save, Mind Affecting Roll twice take better, +1 on Will v Enchantment Death Ward, Displacement, Echolocation, Freedom of Movement, Heroism, Life Bubble, Overland Flight (17 hr), Enlarge Person, Long Arm, Shield, Stone Skin

Lazur looks up in shock at Ariston's announcement. "Of course I will come help. Give me a moment to pack up my belongs and prepare and I will be ready to go." He then drinks his extract of alchemical allocation follow by a potion of displacement making it permanent. He also accecpts Life Bubble that Mira casts daily.

[ooc]He takes the 5k gp. He'll buy a wand of cure light wounds and protection from evil. The rest mat components.{/ooc]


Forces of Nature Battlemap

Presuming you are using Mira's greater teleport, where exactly do you decide to travel to? None of you have been to Ramsmouth, but given your previous knowledge checks in the prologue and descriptions shared with each other, you should have sufficient knowledge to get there. But I still need to know--are you aiming straight for the Mechanosanctum (which you are cognizant likely has some wards against certain forms of travel, though likely you can get close to it), or some place like the Ramsmouth City Hall or the docks (which it's an island, it obviously has)?


Aasimar Cleric 17 | HP 105/105 | Init +4; Perc +21 (Darkvision) | TEMP AC 35 (T19 FF30) | CMD 27/23 CMB +13 | Fort +15 Ref +16 Will +23 (+2 vs charm/compulsion) | Resist: Acid/Cold/Electricity 5 Buffs: Ring of Force Shield, Resist Fire 30, Resist Cold 20 (Mass Planar)

Mass casualty event… I’m thinking City Hall is likely a control hub and casualty center. Seems like a good place to start.


Aphorite Pact Witch of Axis Witch 17 | hp 45/121 | Init +7; Perc +17 | AC31* (T20 FF26*) | CMD 27 CMB +7 | Fort +12 Ref +15 Will +15 (+2 v. Poison & Mind-Affecting) | Resist Electricity 5 | Active Buffs: Resist Fire 30 (12h) Overland Flight (17h) [Liber HP: 41/60]

I'm with you on it being a good place to start, Ariston.


Forces of Nature Battlemap

BTW you don't actually have to worry about reporting to Orteza, I was just offering a suggestion about what you might be discussing. I mean, we can do that if you want, but I don't want you to waste a spell slot on it.

Everyone else good with City Hall? Anyone can attempt a Knowledge local or geography check to be sure a real location is being targeted.


Aphorite Pact Witch of Axis Witch 17 | hp 45/121 | Init +7; Perc +17 | AC31* (T20 FF26*) | CMD 27 CMB +7 | Fort +12 Ref +15 Will +15 (+2 v. Poison & Mind-Affecting) | Resist Electricity 5 | Active Buffs: Resist Fire 30 (12h) Overland Flight (17h) [Liber HP: 41/60]

Knowledge (Local), Krowys: 1d20 + 26 ⇒ (20) + 26 = 46
Knowledge (Geography), Liber: 1d20 + 26 ⇒ (15) + 26 = 41

Who needs roll-twice-on-skill-check abilities when you have a Sage Familiar!


Half-Elf Titan Mauler Barbarian 16, Cad Fighter 1|HP:195(+51 with rage)|Init:+4|Perc:+22|BaB:17|AC:35 T:19 FF:26 (+1 if opp is bigger)(-2 when rage)|CMD:45 CMB:26|Fort:21 Ref:14 Will:11 (+3 will when rg, +2 vs enchantment)|Speed:75 30ft swim when ra

Ain't my wheelhouse either I'm afraid! You guys must travel with Trer for her winning personality or something! Thinking of either an insistent doorknocker or an immovable rod for Trer's item.


Buffs:
Haste, Death Ward, Mage Armour, Mind Blank, FoM, Overland Flight, Darkvision, Ant Haul, False Life, Veil, Life Bubble, Darkvision, Shapechangers gift, Echolocation, Heroism, Resist Fire
Human Wildblood Sorcerer 17 | hp 186/172| Init +10/14; Perc +37, Darkvision, Blindsight 40' | AC 26 (T18 FF19) | CMD 22 CMB +7 | Fort +19 Ref +20 Will +22 (+3 vs mind affecting) | Immunities Mind Blank, Freedom of Movement | Status 7 Images
Magic Stats:
CL 18, Spell Pen +22 [Dragons Breath +26]; Con +28, +33 defensive cast
Spell slots:
9/6/1/2/7/7/0/2

Assuming Krowys can provide an accurate description...

OK, lets aim for the central city square in front of City Hall. Make your preparations now. On arrival, if we are in a fight, then I will Haste you all so you may want to wait for me if you are a bit quick off the mark.


Human Empiricist Investigator 17 | hp 118/156 | Init +4; Perc +33/41 v. Traps | AC 35 (T19 FF32) | CMD 34 CMB +16 | Fort +13 Ref +18 Will +15| Immunities Illusions that allow a save, Mind Affecting Roll twice take better, +1 on Will v Enchantment Death Ward, Displacement, Echolocation, Freedom of Movement, Heroism, Life Bubble, Overland Flight (17 hr), Enlarge Person, Long Arm, Shield, Stone Skin

Lazur says "I'm ready let's do this. He has one of his admixture vials ready to use after they teleport.


Aasimar Cleric 17 | HP 105/105 | Init +4; Perc +21 (Darkvision) | TEMP AC 35 (T19 FF30) | CMD 27/23 CMB +13 | Fort +15 Ref +16 Will +23 (+2 vs charm/compulsion) | Resist: Acid/Cold/Electricity 5 Buffs: Ring of Force Shield, Resist Fire 30, Resist Cold 20 (Mass Planar)
GMDQ wrote:

BTW you don't actually have to worry about reporting to Orteza, I was just offering a suggestion about what you might be discussing. I mean, we can do that if you want, but I don't want you to waste a spell slot on it.

Everyone else good with City Hall? Anyone can attempt a Knowledge local or geography check to be sure a real location is being targeted.

No worries! I figured you'd handwaive the conference about the gate being closed. I was planning to tell Orteza about what was happening in Tegany right now. With tsunamis (that could potentially hit the mainland) I think he might be a little miffed if we didn't give him a heads-up. And I went in person (as opposed to a comms spell) to emphasize the seriousness of the situation.


Aasimar Cleric 17 | HP 105/105 | Init +4; Perc +21 (Darkvision) | TEMP AC 35 (T19 FF30) | CMD 27/23 CMB +13 | Fort +15 Ref +16 Will +23 (+2 vs charm/compulsion) | Resist: Acid/Cold/Electricity 5 Buffs: Ring of Force Shield, Resist Fire 30, Resist Cold 20 (Mass Planar)
Mirabelle aka Mira the Obscure wrote:

Assuming Krowys can provide an accurate description...

OK, lets aim for the central city square in front of City Hall. Make your preparations now. On arrival, if we are in a fight, then I will Haste you all so you may want to wait for me if you are a bit quick off the mark.

~ Ariston Returns ~

He grabs his gear, what little there is. He gives Mira whimsical smile and pats his paunch. "Mira, I am rarely quick off the mark these days."

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