Caraid's gentle nature puts Kerinza at ease. She follows his gaze and manages a shy smile. "The sisters are my friends. They are the only ones that I... That I can't hurt." A mournful look crosses her features, but it passes quickly. "I would do anything for them, to wake them from their slumber. I have spent years trying to help them. Decades. Centuries? Maybe. I've lost count...
"So far, the sisters have proven destructive and unruly. I tried to revive their memories by telling them stories, singing, and holding tea parties like those from my youth. I dressed them in pretty clothes I sewed myself. I anointed them in herbal salves and recited strange spells to break through their stone hearts. Nothing seems to be able to stop their violent tendencies. I have often been forced to punish them." She points to the broken pieces of the stone sister here.
"Thank you for dealing with those meddlesome interlopers who were trying to take my friends away! You are seeking an undead hag, yes? I have seen her. She passed through the Field of Maidens on her way to an ancient manor nearby. It is called Gristlehall! I have been there. I believe there may be powerful magic hidden inside that could help restore my friends to life, but the dangers are great, and I have been unable to infiltrate the place thus far. But, you have proven yourselves quite capable.
"I'll tell you how to get to Gristlehall so you can find the hag you seek. In exchange, I ask that you give me any magic you find in Gristlehall that might help the stone sisters. Do we have a deal?"
Cricket Attack: 1d20 + 10 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 10 + 1 = 18
Mal takes a bite out of the big bug! Uhe's not sure what the bug is, but he devises a good strategy and shoots it! Cricket's shot misses the mark. Gig's needle darts stab into the mushroom-man. The bug avoid some of Brijetta's shard spikes, but the mushroom takes the blast face-first! The slashing attack seems particularly effective, carving off chunks of rotten matter from the fungus's body!
The bug swipes with its tail, trying to trip Mal, but the quick buff fox jumps over the lashing tail!
Tail: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 131d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 61d20 - 2 ⇒ (4) - 2 = 2
The mushroom-man mindlessly stalks forward, swinging a fist at Brijetta!
Fist: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (16) + 11 = 271d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
10 damage to Brijetta and she must attempt a DC 22 Fortitude save or become infected with Purple Pox.
Purple Pox (disease):
Saving Throw DC 22 Fortitude; Onset 1 minute;
Stage 1 2d6 poison damage and stupefied 1 (1 day);
Stage 2 6d6 poison damage, stupefied 3, and the creature is compelled to seek out the nearest myceloid colony—this compulsion is a mental and emotion effect (1 day);
Stage 3 The creature dies. Over 24 hours, its corpse becomes bloated and bursts, releasing a new, fully grown myceloid.
RM -25, SB -34
Doctor Dami insists on staying at the clinic, so as not to worsen the injuries of his patients. You make haste back to Dawnstep Bridge, where the Eternal Lantern stands. You opens the grill on the lantern's southern face, place the blessed copper coins in the cold iron cage within, and then close the grill again. The lantern immediately ignites once more, shedding bright light around it. The strange fog that had blanketed Willowshore clears away at once! The sun shines in the sky above, a bright summer day.
You can feel a stirring in your spirits as the gods' blessings on the copper coins suffuse you as well.
As long as you are within Willowshore, you each gain a +1 item bonus to skill checks with the favored skills of the deities whose blessings you received (Kofusachi, Shizuru, and Qi Zhong). The bonuses you receive are to Diplomacy, Occultism, and Medicine.
From the foyer, the door is open to the dining room. The dining table atop an ornate rug is laden with sugared fruits, fine porcelain teacups, and polished silverware. Embroidered napkins are folded at each place setting. Each object is as meticulously placed as props on a stage set.
The north wall of the dining room bears a huge painting depicting members of a young family wearing unusual garb. The parents and three young boys in the picture are obvious, but the painting has been shredded over the image of a fourth child.
Two animated petrified maidens like those you fought earlier lean awkwardly against high-backed chairs, bound to their sets with thick ropes, ruining the illusion of a whimsical tea party. A tea service cart pushed against a wall contains delicacies the guests aren’t capable of eating and more utensils.
Standing next to the cart is a halfling-sized china doll wearing a black-and-white maid’s uniform. Her face features a wide smile and a glassy gaze. She stands next to the rolling tea cart bedecked with dainty cucumber sandwiches and a steaming teapot. The doll tilts her head to the side with a sickening crack and intones, "Have a seat. It's teatime," in an emotionless voice. She begins jerkily serving tea and sandwiches while the stone sisters struggle against their restraints.
Humerus does what he was created to do--fetch! He easily hefts the heavy statues and carries them without complaint as you make your way back to the Zuntishan camp. Lasheeli's entourage cheer when they see what you have brought, and Lasheeli herself weeps golden tears of joy as she reverently touches the statues of her family members.
"Desna smiles upon us all this day. My friends, you have done me an unfathomable honor. I am humbled, and I am in your debt. Please, accept these gifts, even only convey a mere fragment of my enormous gratitude!"
The priestess gestures, and her guards deliver to you a bronze scroll tube adorned with brilliant gems worht 300 gp. Inside are scrolls of bralani referendum, radiant heart of devotion, and soulshelter vessel.
Dovan explains that the bandits feed Beaky by tossing in chunks of meat between the gaps in the cage. Nobody is brave enough to actually go into the cage with the owlbear! Vesi can't see any visible injuries on the beast, nor anything else helpful.
Russ hears Akiros grunt from the other side of the door. "Fine. Come in."
This long room contains a few piled crates, bags, salvaged lumber, and boxes of dried meat, cheese, and bread. A bedroll is unrolled on the dirt, and a small lantern sits on a nearby crate. Akiros sits on the bedroll, sharpening his longsword. He looks up at the kobold. "You want to help? Take inventory on the supplies over there. If you lot are going to be staying for a while, I need to know if we have enough stock to feed you."
As Blaze continues to play cards with the bandits, she learns more about their personalities:
Rank and File Bandits:
Ayles Megesen: Ayles is a soft-spoken man whose calm demeanor should not be taken for passivity. Ayles enjoys the act of torture the most among the bandits, and often spends hours after a fight “exploring” surviving victims.
Cragger Kench: A former cutpurse, Cragger was beaten senseless by the Stag Lord for stealing and drinking a bottle of his liquor. His injuries have left him resentful and cautious with concern to provoking his leader's wrath—causing him to take long pauses before speaking.
Backhanded Jeb Megesen: Ayle's younger brother, Backhanded Jeb believes he got his nickname for the powerful strike he's accustomed to unleashing on foes, when in fact he earned his moniker by talking out both sides of his mouth.
Falgrim Sneeg: Falgrim Sneeg is an older Varisian man with graying hair and an unruly beard. A former mercenary, he possesses an unnerving calm in the face of violence.
Norry “Gorgon” Driper: Smaller than only Auchs, Norry tends to snort and rumble like an enraged bull, exhibit clumsiness in rooms full of fragile treasure, and sport rancid breath that his fellow bandits claim could easily petrify the living. He wanted "Ox" as his nickname in the band, but alas, it was already taken.
Jex the Snitch: The least popular with the men but perhaps the Stag Lord’s favorite minion is this aptly nicknamed man. His penchant for reporting the other bandits’ mistakes to the Stag Lord is likely to earn him a shallow grave before long.
Topper Red: Topper Red was a struggling street poet from Pitax. He fled that city when an affair turned sour, and he eventually joined the Stag Lord’s ranks while romanticizing the thrilling life of a lawless brigand.
At any given time, three bandits stand watch in the fort's watchtowers. They switch out every 8 hours, rotating duties. They almost never leave the fort these days, relying on the Stag Lord's other servants throughout the region to bring in supplies and tribute on a steady basis. It's nice work, if you can get it.
You follow the giants' directions further along the road. Though not as obvious or massive as the Maw of Karth, the hill you are looking for is easy to see once you draw near.
A steep, bare hillside that at first seems to evince odd patterns of erosion reveals itself upon closer observation to have been carved to resemble a long, narrow face. Two small, shallow caves look out over the ancient road partway up the carved hillside, resembling nothing so much as empty eye sockets above a narrow spur of rock that evokes imagery of an almost beak-like nose. What appears to be a third cave sits near the ground, yet this stalactite- and stalagmite-adorned opening seems to have been blocked from within by an immense round boulder carved to resemble an eye.
The carving very much resembles a classic representation of The Silent Hag. The face itself is 50 feet high. The two eye socket caves are empty, but an examination of the lower entrance confirms that it is indeed a cave that has been blocked from within by the round, carved boulder. Pushing the 5-foot-diameter eye allows it to rotate a few feet within its mouth “socket,” but the eye will only allow itself to be rotated enough so it appears to be looking in a slightly different direction before it quickly self-corrects to shift back to its neutral position, staring straight ahead.
Up close, the stalactites and stalagmites that decorate the lower cave are clearly carvings, not natural formations, meant to evoke the Silent Hag’s sharp teeth. Investigating the teeth, Visna discovers faint traces of dried blood around the edges of some of the teeth where the stone presses to the eye just within...
Appearance | Danger +3 | Freak +3 | Savior -1 | Superior +2 | Mundane -2 | Potential 5*/5 | Doom Track 2/5 | Conditions: None
As the Christmas Promenade starts to reach its zenith, a murmur ripples through the crowd. Heads turn and the crowd parts as a sensuous figure strides toward the members of First Class. Her strapless red dress is trimmed with fuzzy white fabric, and it falls to mid-thigh, leaving a large amount of her purple-hued skin on display. Her voluminous hair falls in rings around her face, and mistletoe-shaped earrings dangle from her ears.
"Long time, no see, amigos," Devil Diva says, flashing a dazzling smile. Her yellow eyes sparkle, and her tail wags happily behind her.
You open a portal back to the Harrowed Realm. A half dozen halfling stagehands use this opportunity to rush through the gateway, a chance for freedom from corrupt Chelish society. The confused audience applauds as you make your escape with The Theater.
Epitomizing The Theater:
A resplendent theater manifests in the village surrounding Harrowheart. Every evening, a talented troupe of actors puts on a new play that, with the PCs’ permission, recounts a previous set of encounters they experienced. A PC who attends one of these two-hour productions benefits from the troupe’s uncanny ability to recreate their exploits and receives a +2 item bonus to checks to Recall Knowledge about topics associated with these encounters.
Alangus frowns and looks down at the card tucked into his costume. "Nay, thou art mistaken. This Harrow card was a gift that appeared to me afore I set out on my quest to tame the savage North! 'Tis a blessing, not a curse, friend."
The crowd murmurs, confused by the sudden shift in the narrative but buying it as part of the performance. Backstage, you catch a glimpse of a man who must be the play's director gnashing his teeth and twisting his hat in his hands as a confused stagehand hurriedly flips through pages of the play's script.
The audience gasps and cries out as you make your dramatic arrival on the stage. The actors pause mid-sentence to stare at you with wide eyes.
After a moment's hesitatoin, the actor playing Alangus Thrune takes a wary step forward. "By Asmodeus's ruby rod! What beneficence! It would seem that more aid hath arrived to battle the dread linnorm Bandraguzun! But, uh, there is no need for that, verily, for I, Alangus Thrune, have the situation well in hand! Wouldst thou kindly return to thine seats that you may witness my glorious victory?"
The next morning, you ride south along a little-used road. The blasted moor eventually gives way to a lowland populated by barren, thorny shrubs and twisted husks of weeds that rattle as they roll along the old dirt road. The sky is streaked with translucent cirrus clouds, and the ghost of the moon makes a slow ascent above the flat landscape.
After several days, the arduous trek finally ends at the lip of a wide ridge offering a breathtaking but macabre view. In the patchy field below, hundreds of stone statues contort in eerily lifelike poses. One raises a shield above her head, her mouth frozen in a primal scream. Another was captured in the act of drawing back her bow to loose an arrow. Still more charge forth, weapons raised, or are displayed in the act of unsheathing blades. Two expressions repeat on their faces: rage and terror. The wind howls through the field, carrying the ghostly echoes of the warriors’ cries.
This is the Field of Maidens...
The Arch of Crowns depicts what appears to be a partially constructed balcony seating area with billowing red and black curtains, which obscure the view of the main theater beyond. When you step through the portal, the tumultuous swell of an orchestra in full swing along with the sound of opera sung in Infernal becomes unmistakable.
Opening the curtains, you find yourselves in an upper VIP box of a grand Chelaxian opera house. Nobody notices your arrival, as all eyes are on the group of magnificently clad adventurers onstage in a singing duel against an immense linnorm. The beast is crafted from a clever framework operated by several technicians, all obscured underneath the linnorm’s deep green cloth exterior. Illusion spells further give the mechanical linnorm the appearance of life. The linnorm, as well as much of the stage scenery and the curtains that hang throughout the opera house, shimmers with a faint blue glow that gives the entire affair an appropriately chilly look reinforced by the fake snow that floats down from above and adorns the stage in periodic drifts.
As a seasoned performer, Sanjana recognizes the opera as Linnorm’s Lost Legacy, a show that presents a revisionist history of how the first linnorm slain in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings was, in truth, slaughtered by an ancient ancestor of House Thrune (thus implying that the whole of this northern nation should belong to Cheliax). It is notorious outside of Cheliax for its blatant attempt to appropriate the heritage of the Linnorm Kingdoms. The “hero” facing the linnorm is a fictional character, Alangus Thrune, who is presented by the play as an actual historical figure from Cheliax who swept north to save the Ulfens from the notorious (also fictional) fire-breathing linnorm Bandraguzun. Regardless, the outrageous costuming of Alangus Thrune makes it difficult to look away.
Visna notices something startling—Alangus Thrune’s outfit incorporates among his unwieldy amount of “adventuring equipment” The Theater card, tucked into one of the many belt straps that adorn his leather armor.
Caraid blasts the closest creature with divine power. Aily and Humerus move in, but neither one is able to hit!
The wounded creature hisses as its wound from Caraid's spell starts to heal! It claws at Aily, and while she dodges its first attack, it hits with its second attack, grabbing the rogue!
Claw: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (1) + 20 = 211d20 + 16 ⇒ (13) + 16 = 29
The other creature claws ineffectually at Humerus.
Claw: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (2) + 20 = 221d20 + 16 ⇒ (9) + 16 = 251d20 + 12 ⇒ (10) + 12 = 22
12 slashing damage to Aily and she is Grabbed (Escape DC 28). Everybody may act! Ceceka's initiative was after the enemies' so the actions he posted will take place in this round.
Glorianna gives Lora a big hug!
She then turns to Royken. "Well, several days ago I tried to sneak out, but I almost got caught. I hid behind some barrels and, while I was hiding, a pale wizard walked through the room followed by some... thing. It was partly mechanical and spider-like, but the top of its back was covered with jars and inside the jars were heads. I recognized some of the faces. It was horrible...
"The creature called the figure ‘necromancer’ and the two, they were talking, and the necromancer said, ‘Loveless and Ibrium will be arriving any day now with the shipment.’ I don’t know who Loveless and Ibrium are, but the necromancer made it clear they were planning to kill them."
The engineer takes a moment to clean her glasses before continuing. "Anyway, I know just about everything there is to know about the Hydroforge. I’m one of the best engineers in this place! I can give you advice on where to head next, if you need. I heard the pumps running earlier this week, which probably means the necromancer has flooded the lower levels. If you want to get down there, you’ll need to get to the control room and reverse the pumps. I can do it—if you protect me, of course."
"Take a look, my fleshless friend," Luwen says with a smile.
Luwen’s wares are mostly odd junk, but there is some firearm ammunition and other related items if you are interested in that sort of thing.
Telvir Diplomacy: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (16) + 12 = 28
Luwen seems initially disinclined to answer Telvir, but with a bit of buttering up, the merchant agrees to talk. "Yeah, there's been a bit of oddness going on lately. There are a few market regulars who've just up and gone missing. Then there's the sad case of an orphan girl in Skull Promenade named Junissa. Poor thing. She does odd jobs around the market sometimes, but lately she just seems...lost. I hope she will be okay."
In the Ark:
Blaze is able to help Marlotte and the chronicles make some progress on the temple project he proposed. "Nice work, kid," Marlotte says, clapping Blaze on the shoulder. She is a scarred woman with buzz-cut hair, but her eyes are warm. "There's still a long way to go, but it's a good start. Why don't you come to my cabin for a bit? I have grub and booze."
Meanwhile, the Enforcer Elon finds Ford as he wanders aimlessly through the Ark. Elon is short and stocky, wearing patchwork scrap armor and brass knuckles. He gives Ford a concerned look. "Hey, Ford, what's up? You look a little lost. Anything I can do for you?"
In the Zone:
"I am sorry. I... I don't remember what happened to me," the man says. He speaks with a strange, foreign accent that Koko has never heard before. "I can't even remember who I am. All I remember is being in the water... And then you found me."
Interlude: Heroes or Gods?
One day, as you are going about your normal business of running your kingdom, Nok-Nok the goblin comes running up to you. "Guys! Guys! The Tanglethrons are back from the dead!"
Once you are able to calm Nok-Nok down a bit, he explains furher. "The Tanglethorns used to live in the northern Narlmarches, bu everybody believed they were killed off years ago by a rampaging moose! Bu now they're back somehow, and their new leader is planning to raid Danteville! I heard it from a friend of a friend of a friend who heard it from a talkative crow! It's crazy! Not the talking to crows part. My friend’s friend’s friend has always been able to talk to crows. The Tanglethorns-back-from-the-dead part!
"We gotta stop them, right? Protect the town? Cause that's what heroes do, and I'm gonna be a big godsdamned goblin hero! Maybe even a hero-god like mighty Hadregash, Venkelvore, Zarongel, and Zogmugot!"
Ekundayo speaks to Vesi about his young adulthood spent in the wilds of the River Kingdoms, where he learned how to hunt and track his prey. After sharing a few stories about the game he was able to take down, he opens up a bit more, mentioning a woman named Ntavi.
"My parents had died from illness. Her family had been slain by giants. She was supportive, if rather rash," the ranger said. "Either way, we got along like siblings. We traveled together for a year, making a living as bounty hunters. But then I came to Bristlehill, where I met..."
He trails off, shaking his head and frowning. "I am not ready to speak of that time yet. Suffice to say that Ntavi did not approve of me wanting to settle down and she left my side. I have not seen her since."
You have gained 1 Influence Point with Ekundayo.
"What lead me to Groetus? Just the overwhelming ennui of knowing that everything in existence will come to an inevitable and inexorable end. And sooner than you may think. Doom is nigh!" Harrim declares, before devolving into a long-winded rant about the end of days.
"No," Jaethal replies curtly to Vesi, obviously not in a mood for conversation tonight.
"Yes! I will tell you the tale of the original four goblin hero gods! " Nok-nok cries, proceeding to elucidate Vesi:
Long ago the goddess Lamashtu stole four barghest servants of Asmodeus and brought them into her service. These barghests found that when they killed mortals, each drop of spilled blood would turn into a goblin. Lamashtu adopted them as her children, and in exchange they swore loyalty to her.
Supreme Chieftain Hadregash is the strongest of the four goblin hero-gods. He taught the goblins tribal loyalty, strategic thinking, and deference to authority. He also spread to them the belief that they should rule Golarion.
Most Glorious Venkelvore the Neverfull is Hadregash's consort. Despite her obsessive desire for feeding which contributes to her morbid obesity, she is considered the most attractive demigod among the goblinoids.
Zarongel the Bark Breaker appears to be the most wolf-like of the four barghests, and has hair composed of magical fire. He espouses fire, dog killing, and most holy mounted combat.
Finally there is Zogmugot, also known as Lady Lastbreath. It is said that Zogmugot looks out of every piece of beach glass with her baleful, colorful eyes, and can see what those who come down to the beach are up to and if she is not happy, she'll trick them out into the riptide by having a nice bit of something shiny floating on the waves to lure them out. She is the one who chooses if a goblin who falls into the sea drowns or washes back up on shore. It is also believed that worshipers are rewarded for their piety with prime pieces of trash, which wash up on their beach.
You have gained 1 Influence Point with Nok-Nok.
Clearing away some of the grime covering the mosaics, Blaze sees that they depict simple village life: hunting, fishing, and farming. Perhaps they might be of interest to some historian...
Yes, you can buff both of them. It doesn't take that long for the smog wraiths to arrive so let's say there's 18 minutes remaining on each one.
Fortitude vs Slow: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (16) + 17 = 33
Bleach manages to momentarily slow one of the smog wraiths. Royken opens fire, but misses due to the concealing smoke. The wraiths converge on the dwarf, attacking with their noxious fumes.
Noxious Hand: 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (15) + 21 = 361d20 + 21 ⇒ (19) + 21 = 401d20 + 16 ⇒ (1) + 16 = 17
48 total poison damage to Royken.
Over the next several days, you make your way across the hills of the eastern Greenbelt on your way back to Oleg’s Trading Post. Soon enough, you make it back to Oleg’s. The small trading post is quite busy now with all of your companions here, and the Levetons scramble to find enough space to house everybody!
You show Oleg the tatzlwyrm head, and he is ecstatic as he prepares to mount it over the mantle of the trading post's fireplace. He happily gives you the reward for bringing him such a trophy.
The hunter Vekkel arrives later that evening when he receives word you have slain Tuskgutter. He spits in the dead boar’s eye, happy that you have enacted vengeance for the leg the beast took from him. He gives you the promised reward.
Jhod is relieved to hear that you found the temple to Erastil and put its cursed guardian to rest. He will have to arrange his own pilgrimage to the site soon to reconsecrate it to Old Deadeye, but he offers you his spellcasting services for free in the meantime.
Rewards: 5 lover's knots, composite longbow, 3 beacon shot arrows.
That night, over a hearty meal, you plan your next moves...
Okay, the gameplay page is up and running! Everybody may begin posting there. Each session of the game begins with an Assembly, as long as one or more PCs are in the Ark. Please refer to the rules beginning on page 103 to decide on which project(s) you would like the People to begin.
I've added a link to the Zone Map at the top of the campaign page. The location of the Ark is indicated by the green biohazard logo. I've also included the DEV levels for the Ark at the top of the page as well.
Will vs Fear: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (9) + 16 = 25
Hargulka completely shrugs off Tandri's spell. His devotion to his dreams of rulership are strong, indeed!
Whenever Hargulka attempts a saving throw against a fear effect, he treats his actual result as one degree of success better than his rolled result.
Sariana only lands one hit while Tyr, Floare and the viper all miss! The trolls regenerate as Hargulka claws Sariana and the female troll conjures lightning between the monk and the eidolon.
Claws: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (1) + 20 = 211d20 + 16 ⇒ (1) + 16 = 171d20 + 12 ⇒ (12) + 12 = 24
17 slashing damage to Sariana. 12 electricity damage to Sariana and Tyr (basic Reflex DC 22)
Hargulka -72, Gurija -17
Ekundayo shakes his head and chuckles softly. The sound is quite unexpected--this is the first time any of you have heard him laugh since you first met!
"Yes, sour grapes. Plenty of those in this group," he says, casting a bemused look at Harrim and Jaethal. "Here, Vesi, allow me to assist you."
By the time the ranger has finished, the wyrm meat has become palatable, if not particularly tasty. Still, you can tell something has changed within the dour ranger. He seems more willing to open up and talk to you. Perhaps there is hope for him after all...
You have gained 1 Influence point with Ekundayo. He is now friendly!
While we wait for the others to finish their characters, Koko, tell us a bit about the NPCs you hate and need to protect. Why did the Enforcer Jonats kill your friend? How did you become close with the Grunt Eriel? You can provide some physical description for the two of them as well, if you'd like.
Damage: 26d6 + 26d6 ⇒ (1, 4, 5, 3, 4, 3, 3, 3, 2, 3, 4, 3, 5, 3, 1, 3, 1, 5, 1, 3, 6, 3, 4, 1, 4, 2) + (4, 5, 2, 2, 3, 6, 4, 3, 4, 3, 2, 2, 4, 4, 5, 2, 5, 3, 3, 3, 1, 2, 2, 3, 6, 3) = 166
With a deafening boom and a huge flash of light, the Maw of Rovagug fires its ordinance across the battlefield! It impacts in the midst of the giant horde, the huge detonation slays a large swath of them! Their advance is disrupted, but they continue to come!
”I have tried throwing every heavy thing I can get my hands on, to no avail,” Blegkenu says. "No matter what I do, the card cannot be moved."
Indeed, while the Juggler card appears to float weightlessly, its weight is extraordinary, and attempts to pick it up or move it fail as though it were extraordinarily heavy. Any attempt to block its path above the stone simply causes the card to change its course—or simply to float in place.
"I've been thinking a lot about how to claim the card. Surely you recognize the card for what it is—a card from the Harrow. This card in particular, it’s from the suit of Keys. A key must be the key, wouldn’t you think? I think if I had a big key, especially a certain very specific key, I could complete my prayer. At that point, it wouldn’t matter whether I had the card or not."
The massive dwarf taps his chin. "I have seen the key in question not so long ago. The good news is that the key isn’t far, but the bad news is that the key is part of the hoard of a nefarious cloud dragon who lives in the valley to the south. This dragon is named Sedisserax. Exiled from the dwarven sky citadel of Cloudspire years ago after she destroyed several historical statues and relics, the dragon’s spent the last several decades moping and fuming in her remote lakeside lair.
"I've visited Sedisserax several times, and can tell you the route to her lair. She may be bitter and cantankerous, but she’s majestically massive and gloriously gigantic, and has given me many insights into the lifestyles of larger life over the years. I must warn you, though, that Sedisserax is vicious and spiteful, and usually eats those who travel too close to her valley—she’s traditionally suffered my visits because I never approach too closely, I am properly respectful, and, I suspect, because she’s guilty about her past and sees the chance to speak to a dwarf as, perhaps, an opportunity to find forgiveness.
"Each time I visited her, I noted a singular element of her treasure—an immense key almost almost as large as my arm. The dragon grew angry when, on my latest visit, I asked to examine the key. She attacked me in response, and while I thank Balumbdar’s mercy for my fortunate escape, I'm positive that I'm no longer welcome in her lair. If you could secure that enormous key and bring it back here for me to meditate upon, I am certain the mystery of the card will be revealed!"
You are able to recall that a large large number of cloud dragons make the Terwa Uplands their home. Each dragon takes a particular valley for their own, usually nesting in the tallest tree or near a mountain pool. Most of them are allies and friends of the Mbe’ke dwarves, so Sedisserax’s crimes must have been shocking and severe to merit banishment.
Alright, I'll just use this same thread for the recruitment, which is now open! I'm looking for four players who are willing to post at least once per day. We will create characters together as a group to establish connections to one another and the NPCs before designing the Ark together as well.
Please post here if you are interested in playing. I'll wait a few days to give everybody a chance to express their interest and then I'll pick the players.
"Yeah, right!" the ratfolk shouts back, disinclined to acquiesce to Ravenna's request. As he prepares to attack, Ravenna opens fire, but he dodges her bullet.
The ratfolk hops off of his lizard and lobs pair of alchemist's fire vials at Ravenna!
Moderate Alchemist's Fire: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (13) + 11 = 241d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
Meanwhile, the lizard rushes in to attack Batman.
Jaws: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 111d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
Everybody takes 2 splash fire damage. Ravenna takes 15 fire damage and 2 persistent fire damage.
Vesi laughs delightedly at the goblin's introduction. "Hello, Nok-Nok, a pleasure to meet you! What brings you to the Stolen Lands? And before you help us kill monsters, would you help us eat this boar? I was going to make a hunter's roast for us tonight."
"Yes! I am happy to help you eat anything you need!" Nok-Nok says with a grin.
"I have come to be a hero! Though, I’m just getting started in that line of work. I am ready to help kill big, scary monsters! But I promise that I won’t kill my friends! Will you be my friends?”
"Hey cousin! What brings you here? What's your hustle out among these longshanks? I know, I know. My teeth are dull, my legs are long, but I'm invited to the cookout back in Chitterwood. I'm Nyala! But here they call me Blaze!"
"Huzzah, big burning cousin! Anybody who enjoys setting fires as much as you do is okay by me! Truth be told, there is no hustle. I am following my grand destiny! You see, I am the sole survivor of the village of Mudsip. A scary hydra attacked, devouring all the other goblins, but I stood bravely before it and defeated it in single combat! The great goddess Lamashtu herself then granted me these two very sharp kukris as a reward for my mighty deed! Since then, I have seen the signs Lamashtu placed before me, guiding me to these lands. She has chosen me to be a big damn goblin hero, so that is what I'm going to be!"
"I'm Knaxshi. Glad you like the boomstick."
"Yes! Such loud! Much boom. Wow!"
You set up camp for the night as Vesi prepares a roast from Tuskgutter's remains. Ekundayo proves to be talented at gathering wild edibles, and he has a knack at finding precise ingredients, pleasant spices, and medicinal herbs as he does so. When the roast is ready, the ranger digs in. "Mmmm. It is... acceptable," he remarks. Dog whines up at Ekundayo and licks his chops, and the man begrudgingly gives the animal a portion of the roast.
Amiri looks over at Nok-Nok between bites and grins. "I like the new guy's attitude. I think we should keep him!"
"Hmph," Ekundayo grunts noncommitally.
Clemeth lets out a whistle at Visna's display of strength. "Damn, girl! Those are some muscles on you! A fine physical specimen, indeed. How much can you bench?"
The orc nods to Pen as she examines the tools in the workshop, explaining how everything works and how she repairs all of the vehicles that come to the scrapyard, everything from wagons to boats to clockwork walking machines.
She looks over to Sanjana when the kashirishi asks for privacy. "Of course, friend. Right this way. Let's get to know one another better before we discuss grave matters such as that."
Reclaimed Paradise’s well‑built, gray slate garage sits in the middle of the yard. Inside, the main hall splits off into five small meeting rooms where staff privately interview customers. Clemeth sits down across from you and begins to interview you. At the start of every job, Clemeth has a long conversation with her clients, asking mundane questions about their past, current occupation, and even life goals. She likes to call this step “collecting scraps,” and any scrap of information might come in handy when working on a repair. While some consider this approach tedious and unnecessary, Clemeth’s sincere enthusiasm for getting to know her clients usually endears her to them, though she takes care never to push too far in her questions.
Eventually, Clemeth sits back, clearly impressed. When you ask about Dieral, the orc nods. "He and I are friends, unlikely though it may be. Dieral needed his wheelbarrow fixed one day, and Reclaimed Paradise had the right resources for the job. Dieral assumed that the shop was only for people with large, complicated vehicles like clockwork boats or iron-plated carriages, but I insisted that I could have his broken wheelbarrow fixed within the time it’d take for Dieral to give an honest effort on an obstacle course of my own design. Dieral succeeded on his first try. Damned impressive! I've been fine-tuning his wheelbarrow ever since.
"I haven't seen him in a while, though. Truth be told, I'm a bit worried about what's happened to him. He talked a lot about some of his other friends in the Grand Bazaar, including Erikanesh at Historia Reliquary and Arhan Benimaya at Kraken's Ink Tattoo."
After informing Clemeth you've already spoken to those two, Clemeth asks you to follow her out to the yard. Here, she shows you her obstacle course, an outdoor training area featuring mechanical mazes, a wall of swinging robotic arms, and a huge mound of twisted and jagged scraps that Clemeth calls "The Leap."
"Wanna give it a try? Make it through the course, and I'll tell you more about Dieral."
Briar may still roll for the first influence round, but you've already gained 5 Influence Points with Clemeth! The rest of you may make your rolls for the second round as normal, but you can also attempt to Run the Obstacle Course.
RUN THE OBSTACLE COURSE (Exploration, Move):
You attempt to navigate the obstacle course Clemeth set up in the Reclaimed Paradise Scrapyard. Attempt a DC 26 Acrobatics check, a DC 26 Athletics check, then a DC 28 check using your choice of Acrobatics, Athletics, or Perception. Regardless of the check, each is a 1-minute activity. You successfully navigate the obstacle course once you earn 3 Obstacle Course Points without taking a break between checks. If you attempt this activity more than 4 times in a row, you become fatigued.
Critical Success: You earn 2 Obstacle Course Points and gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your next check to Run the Obstacle Course.
Visna leads the way to the Precipice Quarter. In its prime, this district featured ancient magical towers, brightly colored homes, and a resplendent fairground, but all of that turned to rubble after an earthquake shattered the sector two decades ago. The quake sheered entire cliffs from the district and cast countless historical monuments into the harbor and the Docks, leaving the Precipice Quarter ruined. It has seen a resurgence in recent years, though, thanks in part to Watcher-Lord Ulthun II, driven out of Lastwall by the Whispering Tyrant's Rise. He and many of the remaining Knights of Lastwall have relocated to the Precipice Quarter and work to purify the undead and other threats that roam the district. Additionally, Acting Primarch Wynsal Starborn has recently established a new guard unit called the Edgewatch that has had much success in protecting the district.
You head to Vigil's Hope, where the Knights of Lastwall have set up their base. The former guard armory and barracks has been further reinforced by archers’ platforms, palisades of scavenged support beams, and other defensive measures. An open-air shrine to Iomedae underscores the martial nature of their camp.
Among the knights here, Visna quickly locates her old friend, Beirivelle Starshine. The knight's eyes light up and she grins as she moves to embrace Visna. "Visna! Blessings of the Inheritor upon you! How long has it been?"
After introductions are made, Beirivelle agrees to house you for the night at her own comfortable abode, providing warm meals and warm conversation throughout the evening...
Feel free to use spoiler to retcon any conversations you want to have with Beirivelle or each other that night.
The next morning, you return to the Grand Bazaar and make your way to your third destination. Parts of Reclaimed Paradise look more like an upscale spa resort than a vehicle scrapyard. A 14‐foot‐tall white stone wall lines the large yard’s perimeter. Within, smiling employees wearing matching overall jumpsuits help customers locate parts throughout the yard. Silencing spells are cast when moving heavily damaged vehicles to mitigate noise pollution, and each piece of equipment is treated with the care and attention it deserves.
The proprietor, Clemeth Falk, is a tall orc in extraordinarily good shape. She wears a comfortable uniform complete with all the necessary safety gear of her trade: goggles, knee pads, thick gloves, and a heavy leather apron.
”Welcome! Haven’t seen you folks around before,” she says with a warm grin. ”Always happy to meet new potential customers! What can I do you for?”
Clemeth’s Discovery skills are Engineering Lore, Labor Lore, Perception, and Society. Her Influence skills are Athletics (to demonstrate physical fitness), Crafting (to discuss repair work), Deception (to invent a fabrication about Dieral), Diplomacy (to openly talk about the PCs’ problems), and Intimidation (to threaten Clemeth for information).
The mastiff hound rises from her bed, yawns, stretches, and walks over to Arhan. The artist rubs the dog behind the ears as he chats with Sajana. "Most magical tattooing requires the same tools as traditional methods, just using magical inks and, sometimes, magical implements, such as needles, bone tattooing rakes, or the like. The New Thassilonian method, though, etches the magic directly onto the skin without puncturing it. The pain remains the same, unfortunately. And the magic persists and renews itself even if the skin is damaged."
He frowns when Sanjana brings up Harrow cards. "I did a design for All-Seeing Hajeck a few weeks back. She's the owner of the game store Three Moves Ahead. I got my inspiration for the design from Dieral Myrnese, who runs a mobile cart called the Harrow Barrow."
At the mention of Dieral's name, Brine rolls his eyes. "Oh, don't get him started on Dieral. Arhan gets all starry-eyed every time that handsome elf comes around!"
Arhan blushes. "Brine! He's just a good friend!" the artist insists.
Brine chuckles. "Sure thing, lover boy! It's okay to have a crush, but you just remember who your actual boyfriend is, okay?" The azarketi points to himself with a mock stern expression.
The mastiff woofs loudly, and Arhan laughs. "Easy, Apple! Easy!" He rubs the dog again and looks back to Sanjana. "Hmm, now that you mention it, I haven't seen Dieral in several weeks now. That's an unusually long time for him not to come around. You don't think something happened to him, do you?"
You have gained 1 Influence Point with Arhan (3 total now). Everybody else may still act in this influence round.
Arhan nods to Sanjana. "Yes, we can accommodate you. Nara, will you bring the henna?"
"Yes, Nara, be a good kobold and do as you're told," the azarketi teases near Arhan teases the kobold, wagging his brow.
"I've got a thing or two I could tell you, Brine," Nara retorts, "but we're not on the docks right now, so I'd rather not start cussing like a sailor at the moment!"
Brine sticks out his tongue, and Arhan chuckles. "Alright, settle down, you two."
As Arhan gets to work, Nara chats good-naturedly with Pen about the wares the shop has to offer. This seems to put Arhan at ease, as does the detailed design he is drawing on Sanjana's body.
Visna's mention of Hell gives Arhan pause. He looks up at the Ulfen woman warily. "I was born and raised and Cheliax, so I know all too well the dangers of Hell. If you know of some infernal threat, I would pray you tell me so that we are not caught unaware. In the meantime, though, I'll tell you my story..."
Arhan Benimaya grew up in a music-loving Shelynite family who owned a small instrument repair shop in the outskirts of Egorian, Cheliax’s capital. When Arhan showed great promise as an artist from a young age, his parents were overjoyed, scrimping together every copper saved to support his artistic pursuits. Growing up in a family of active worshipers in a small but steadfast Shelynite community deep in the heart of a diabolist nation, Arhan knew well the scrutiny his parents were under from the authorities. Even so, nothing could have prepared him for the turn his life would take shortly after his fourteenth birthday. Deep in the night, an urgent banging on the door awoke the Benimaya family—a fellow Shelynite with sources in the capital’s bureaucracy had come to warn Arhan’s parents that they had been accused of heresy, and that imperial guards were on their way. With no time to pack all their belongings, the family grabbed what they could and fled.
The Benimaya family eventually settled in Absalom, Arhan’s parents working as music teachers for children of the city’s affluent merchants. During this time, Arhan stumbled upon a shop selling a serum of sex shift, a potion of transformation that would allow him to become his true self. The potion cost sixty gold pieces, which seemed an unimaginable sum to the young artist who sold quick portraits to travelers on the docks for mere coppers to help his family, so he sought out the most successful artist he knew in the area: Maelara, the tiefling dwarf tattoo artist whose shop, Kraken’s Ink Tattoo, was a Docks district institution. She took on Arhan as her apprentice, and he picked up tattooing with a natural flair both creative and technical. Arhan’s skill was obvious and before long he already had more than the necessary sixty gold pieces he needed to become his true self. After close to a decade working in Maelara’s shop, the elder artist retired, passing ownership of the shop to Arhan. Now a grown man, Arhan carries on the legacy of Kraken’s Ink as the premiere tattoo parlor in Absalom.
Arhan finishes up Sanjana's tattoo about the same time he finishes his story. "There. All done. You know, I've can offer you more than just mundane tattoos, as well. I learned the secrets of magical tattoos from a New Thassilonian a few years ago. I don't offer those to just anybody, but you seem like decent folk.
"So, is there anything else I can help you with?"
You have gained 2 Influence Points with Arhan. He is now willing to sell you magical tattoos. You gain access to the following tattoos: arctic vigor, crown of insight, enveloping light, reflexive tattoo, familiar tattoo, and warding tattoo.
You may engage in a second social round now if you wish.
Earlier at Camp:
Vesi is able to glean much insight into Ekundayo as they watch the man in the camp. He seems to have hardened his heart to avoid getting hurt, and he is wary and suspicious of kindness. Sympathy will not earn any points with the ranger. However, he seems quite determined to seek revenge on Gragglebeard and his band of giants. Promising to support in that endeavor seems a sure way to earn his support.
"I was Davik Nettles," the undead man rasps. "I ran a toll bridge here, the only easy crossing for miles, until not too long ago. But then the Stag Lord rose to power. He informed me that not only were the men bearing his badge to be granted free passage over the bridge, but that I would now have to pay the Stag Lord two-thirds of my monthly take in return for 'protection. I not only refused the offer, but ran the bandit and his men off with my ranseur and my hounds.
"But the Stag Lord did not stay away for long. In the dead of night, the bandits returned. They surrounded my house and set it on fire with flaming arrows. I woke in terror to my dogs’ barking, and as I stumbled out of my burning home, ranseur in hand, the bandits attacked. My polearm provided little help as archers’ flaming arrows rained down, killing my hounds and wounding me. After dousing myself with water, I clambered up to the bridge and tried to escape to the north shore. The bandits followed, and as I passed the midpoint on my bridge, the Stag Lord and his men cut several ropes. The bridge collapsed, plunging me into the river below. Onshore, the bandits watched, gleefully chuckling as I drowned in the strong current, their leering shadows dancing before the hovel’s flames as it burned down to cinders.
"I did not stay dead. The next night, I rose from the river as an undead thing of vengeance. I stalked out of the water, weapon in hand, and murdered the brigands who had remained behind before dragging their bodies into the river. The Stag Lord sent more bandits to investigate several days later, and though I rose again to kill most of them, three escaped to report back to their leader. No more bandits have arrived for months, and I have been denied my vengeance against them and their leader. Until now.
"I am bound to this site. Do what I cannot. Slay the Stag Lord and bring me proof of his death. Then I will at last rest, and you may do with this crossing as you wish."
Reflex: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (7) + 13 = 20
Ally and Mithralline deliver solid strikes, then Caraid’s spray of bones impales the giant! He lets go of his hook as he floats belly-up, blood clouding the water around his body. You can claim the +1 striking gaff and the ring of cold resistance he wears.
The statue to Dagon here is made of ordinary stone. Demolishing it is time-consuming, but not difficult. Once it is destroyed, Mithralline can feel the blessing of her goddess rewarding her for removing the blasphemy.
Mithralline gains Urgathoa’s minor boon: “Minor Boon: You feast on the spoils of life and death. You gain the benefits of the rongut goblin heritage, regardless of your ancestry.”