Well, it was slow going at times and quick at others on our part, but we're finally here! We've reached the finish line for this leg of our journey. There are treasures that you found that I didn't rightly identify or divulge to you because we are at the end. You've each saved Ameiko and helped her discover her divine right to rule. Through methods as varying as the stars, you've established a foothold in her journey and made the journey your own as well.
Whether through stout bravery as the proud and sometimes single-minded in his methods Sir Gavin, the battle dance of unsure Corvus and her wondrous hawk, or the merciless slayings of the lost and confused Jean, you've reached this point. Of course, you couldn't have done it without the amusing mutterings of Mukluk and Gyorgy's stories and the knowledge and divine blessings they presented along the way. Each of you made truly memorable characters for this journey and I certainly don't feel as if Aneiko or Koya or Sandru (poor Sandru) and certainly not Shalelu, will forget them anytime soon.
Right now I'm lost in another state revisiting old family, but I'm hoping to start up Book Two sometime. My eccentricities will likely not be lost among the next leg of the adventure, so if they vexed you here they'll likely do in the next adventure as well. When I start up a thread for Book 2, if any of you are interested, I'll shoot you a message there and you can let me know if you want in. You have been one of the best groups I've ever GMed for and the difference in character designs you came up with was awesome. Certainly a treat for me. If you're not interested, that's fine. It was awesome gaming with you and hopefully the experience was rewarding for you as well.
Until then Riddleport is a few days journey south of your location.
Happy gaming, folks, and thanks for playing.
Also, congrats on your level up!
Ameiko looks to the warding box. "I know what these are. This is the Seal of Amatatsu. I thought it a legend myself, old tales from Father. Never true. If everything you've told me is true then that means I was being guarded by Kami friendly to my family, Fuardians most like. It must have been trying to tell us the Seal was here." Ameiko's quiet for a moment. "It means I'm meant to be royalty." she finishes. "It means I have to return home to Minkai."
At being presented the treasures, she shakes her head. "If I'm meant to return to Minkai, I'll have no use for such treasures. They are yours if you want them." She runs her hand over some of the ones with Kanji on them. "This kanji speaks of more guardian Kami. Guardians of my family. My ancestors likely. Some of the stories Father used to tell tale of were of how our ancestors guarded our family by weaving their essence to these items. I believe that's what some of these may be. Please keep what treasure you will. Those with my family I suppose must go to Minkai with me."
She turns to Sandru and the others. "I do not expect us to continue travel together. You do not have to go with me. Any of you. You have each done admirably in my eyes. You are more than welcome to continue the journey with me, but here at this lost keep, we must all make a choice. I continue on." Shalelu, Sandru, and Koya nod. "As do I." they agree.
Kelda smiles and bows. "I bow to you, my grace, but I must return to my homeland and inform my people of the loss of our brothers. They must be given proper funerary rites lest they become spirits themselves." Kelda turns to the each of you. "You saved me from a dire fate at the hands of that beastie. For that, you will always have a warm fire waiting in the Land of the Linnorm Kings. All you need do is ask. Farewell, brave warriors." She says goodbye to the each of you individually and then takes her leave.
Treygan sighs himself. "This journey has been most rewarding but I fear I must return to Sandpoint to inform them of all that has transpired. I am no hero. I serve where my God leads and though I feel I could do good traveling with you, Sandpoint still needs guardians as well. It is there I shall return." He looks to the party. "That which I've taken possession of during our journey I now return to my allies to better help them on whatever journey they decide.". With that, he strips his prizes and returns them to the party.
Ameiko nods. "It is good to know I leave Sandpoint in good hands." She hugs Treygan and shakes Kelda's hand. "Your honor and bravery shall be heralded across the Dragon Empires when I return home." Treygan and Kelda then bid you farewell and leave. Ameiko turns to the each of you.
(End Book 1.)
Just as Gyorgy asks the question, the disc click and begin to spin. They turn three times in opposite directions of each other and then stop suddenly. As they do, the wall splits open, revealing a short walk (15-ft.) to a room beyond. The dust on the floor of this room swirls into the air, coalescing into an ominous shadowy form that takes on the ghostly image of an old but handsome Tian man. The spirit adopts a defensive posture, his katana held before him menacingly, but he does not attack, you note, until someone crosses the threshold into the room, backing off only when you step back across the threshold.
Perception - 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
You seem to recognize this man but can't quite place your finger on it. You recognize him from your long-ago attempts at trying to impress Ameiko. But who could he be? You just aren't sure, but it does seem Corvus is.
Perception - 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (11) + 13 = 24
This man... You've seen him before. Well, a picture of him in Ameiko's home. You were quite close to her and you recall the family resemblance now. Of course! How could you forget!? This is none other than...
Perception - 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
You seem to recognize this man but can't quite place your finger on it. You recognize him from your long-ago attempts at trying to impress Ameiko. But who could he be? You just aren't sure, but it does seem Corvus is.
"Rokuro Kaijitsu, Ameiko's grandfather!" Corvus gasps.
The spirit wavers then the wraith’s eyes bulge and he freezes motionless. He lowers his sword, then says in a mournful voice in Common: “I... know... this... naaaaaammmmmeeeeee...” A moment later, he raises his arms and cries out in anguish, then turns to face the PCs, tears of dust running down his incorporeal cheeks. He says, “Take the Seal away from here—take it to my child—it is no longer safe—and I am no longer worthy of guarding it...” The wraith points toward the wall behind him then flies apart and is destroyed, opening a hatch in the wall as he does.
The hatch slides open to reveal three chests. Inside the two chests on the left and right are various items - all bearing some sort of magical aura. A calligraphy set that can double as both an artistry set and a tattooist's kit. An ornate kimono of flowing jade. A set of o-yoroi samurai armor with the Kaijitsu clan crest on it. An eyepatch made of the same fine silk as the kimono that bears a single kanji character. A diadem of alluring majesty set with sapphire and jade. An aide to set of Tian poems and song. A book of martial training in Eastern philosophy and fighting techniques. Relics and artifacts of ancient times.
Several other magic items line the inside of the chests as well, but the real prize is in the center chest. The Amatatsu Seal, a statuette of a dragon, sealed safely away inside a warding box to keep it out of the wrong hands. This statuette, you feel, above all else, is what Ameiko will need to recover to full health. You don't know why, but you feel it in your bones.
You gather up the contents of the chests and discover a valuable item as well - a phylactery. It matches the description that Spivey gave of her phylactery. You gather this item up along with the others and make your way back to Spivey's respite.
"You found it! You've found it! Oh, absolutely wonderful! I can feel the evil escape from the castle and whatever powerful magicks were kept within its walls, I can feel are gone. You've done it! Did you find what you were looking for? A way to save your friend? Who am I kidding? Of course you did. All of you look beaming yet distressed. Let me help with that." Spivey puts her phylactery on and waves her hands, casting a spell that instantly rejuvenates you all. It feels as if you've rested a full eight hours (all daily abilities, spell slots, etc. restored) and any wounds you may have sustained are healed. Spivey smiles and claps her hands, "Well? Go! Tend to your friend and go with my blessing! I must get to tending the keep now! Oh, I imagine the mess!
Back at camp, you present your find to your allies. Ameiko doesn't seem to have moved since her collapse those many have its earlier. She seems much more pale. It's only when you move the warding box close to her that she rouses and her body begins to buck. Okay and Sandru attempt to hold her down, but it's too much. She sits up with a start, her eyes flying open and all color returning to her pallid skin. Then she falls forward, Shalelu catching her. Ameiko?" The elf asks. Ameiko's eyes flutter open again and she looks to the each of you. "Shalelu? Corvus? Wha... What happened?" The explanation takes some time before everyone looks to your party. "What did happen in there?" Koya points to the warding box. "That seemed to affect her and heal her. What is it?"
As you've yet to fail a check to identify:
Kikonu, in addition to non-magical wakizashi, wields a magical kusarigama with a Dancing Wasp engraved on its blade. Also, the oni carries a small leather pouch at his side containing several vials of ink, five shiny pearls worth 100 gp each, and a darkwood-and-silver disc decorated with an intricate etching of Brinewall under the noonday sun. This disc radiates faint transmutation magic, and nearly matches another crest you found on the body of the false-god upon your initial entrance to the castle.
Zaiobe looks to your group and to Corvus. "The vaults lie beneath the haunted donjon near the throne room. Beware though because fell spirits abide there." She steps onto the balcony and stretches her wings, taking flight. As she flies off, she nods and Corvus heard one final thought. "Thank you. Pazuzu bless you." Then she's gone.
The haunted donjon is where she says it is, but you find no spirits bothering you. You merely find stairs that descend into a
Or is it...? (Perception 25):
In the eastern wall, you note a small panel. You find you can push the rock face and the panel opens with little effort. In the face are two circular indents.
Kusarigama - Spellcraft 23:
This +1 kusarigama (Ultimate Combat 132) makes a shrill whistling sound whenever it is used in combat. Once per day as a standard action, the wielder of Dancing Wasp can whirl the weapon above his head as a full-round action to summon a giant wasp (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 275). The wasp appears in the air above the wielder’s head and follows the wielder’s mental commands to the best of its ability as long as the user continues to twirl the weapon (requiring a standard action each round), to a maximum of 5 rounds, after which the wasp vanishes
There remain a few unexplored areas left upstairs, but, more importantly, Zaiobe is now indebted to you. Perhaps she knows something that could aid you on your quest?
Zaiobe bows as you return. "Thank you," Corvus hears in her mind. "If there's anything I can do, let me know before I fly free of here."
Yeah, I was just resolving Jean and Kikonu's turns before your arrival.
Kikonu stumbles back as Jean sticks him yet again. The Tian birdman doesn't look good whatsoever but he remains alive though barely. As Mukluk, Gyorgy, and the rest of the party save Corvus, Kelda, and Treygan who remain with the harpy round the corner down the hallway towards the area where they left Kikonu ranting, they witness Jean, bloodied rapier in hand, advancing on a wounded Kikonu. The birdman raises his sword again to swing, cutting into Jean ever so slightly. (A whopping 3 damage, Jean.). "I'll murder you, boy! Gut you like a fish, I will!"
[ooc]Top of Round 3
(Sorry for the lateness. There was a mix-up with our internet bill (got mixed up with downstairs) and ours was shut off instead of downstairs. Three days later it's finally fixed and sorted out.)
Kikonu yelps in surprise again as he is stabbed yet again by Jean and even more blood trickles from the wound beneath the hand covering it. He retaliated by taking a swing at Jean, but misses due to over stretching his wound. He curses yet again and takes another step back. "Blasted rabble!" he crows as he curses Jean.
"He values himself a minstrel, but has done nothing of significance. He's worked on his play for years to no avail and having come here has only been driven to madness by it.". She's cut off by a cry of pain from downstairs as the birdman is struck. (He's flat-footed but not helpless.). She smiles somewhat at Mukluk's comment and the sound of her ex-lover's anguish. "Yes, I do believe your man may have gone that way. I owe your group a debt now it would seem."
The strike is enough to pull Kikonu from his stupor. He turns quickly and knocks your blade away, standing quickly to defend himself and eliminate the threat on his life. "You've interrupted my works twice now! No more chances for you, filth!" He takes a step back (5-ft step that is) and pulls a short eastern-make blade from his scabbard, clutching the right side where Jean stabbed him as he does.
(Due to the stairs, it will take one round to descend and the next round to reach Jean and Kikonu. The map from before is still current, but I'll update the tokens shortly once the two rounds are up. Right now, everyone can roll initiative, but Jean is the only one actively in combat for the next two rounds.)
"His obsession with the play overtakes his mind. It's his weakness. He excludes all else. If you claim he's no longer a threat, then I shall go. I hope you haven't laid a trap for me." She stands up and turns to the balcony. "Is there anything I can do for you to repay you before I go?"
Kikonu continues to sit where you left him, no longer rambling, but stopped over his writing. He doesn't appear to see you.
Corvus hears Zaiobe's response again in her mind. The exact description she gives matches the raving madman you left in the room ranting and raving. She nods to Mukluk as he mentions freedom to travel. She again re-iterates that of you can ensure Kikonu will not hunt her down, she'll help you for as long as you need.
The harpy begins to mouth words at a quick pace after Gyorgy's question, making her indecipherable to you all. Corvus reaches out, grabs her hand, shakes it, and the harpy stops, a look of surprise on her face. A moment later she smiles and begins jumping for joy though you're unsure why.
An onslaught of words floods into your mind as she grasps Zaiobe's hand. "Kikonu was my lover, but he stole my voice. I never could speak since birth, but he can through my words. We haven't spoken in several months. I stay here in the Tower, but I want to...". She trails off when she feels the mental connection between her and Corvus. She stops mouthing words and looks at Corvus. Her mouth doesn't move but Corvus can hear her loud and clear. "You... You can hear me? Oh who am I kidding!? Of course you can. Please, don't be scared. It's a mental link. Its the only way I can speak and be heard. Oh, you can hear me!" She begins to leap up and down happily. "Please, I want to leave. I want to fly south. I'm weary of this castle and I want to seek life elsewhere. Please can you help me? I'll do whatever you want. I just want to be free of my imposter of a lover. He keeps me trapped here now though says I'm free to leave. I'm scared if I do he'll hunt me down."
Corvus doesn't recognize the writing on the ground and the Harpy nods fervently when Corvus suggests 'Zaiobe' could be her name. She nods and points to her and covers her mouth with her hand to signify that indeed she can't speak. She points to her hand and then grasps it with her other, almost signifying her ability to shake hands and then she points to her head followed by the motion of her trying to speak. Then she holds her hand out again in hopes of a handshake. Even without hearing her, you can make out her words.
"Please will you help?"
The woman is a harpy. Mukluk is able to identify everything about her race with ease.
The woman motions with her head and shakes it, pointing to her throat. She opens and closes her mouth a few times while gesturing strangely, but other than that doesn't appear hostile towards your group. She holds her hands out and motions some more with her hands. Finally, realizing no one likely understands her, she holds her hand out, palms up, and slowly and carefully moves them towards Corvus. She kneels before doing so and tries to show you that she means no harm.
Sense Motive DC 14:
She doesn't appear to mean any harm and it seems as if she's being genuine in trying to communicate.
Linguistics DC 23:
She appears to be using a form of sign language to communicate.
I apologize for the layout of this map. It is very confusing. For sake of ease, I revealed everywhere that you readily have access to. The places that are hidden behind locked doors are outlined in colored circles. The courtyard I failed to mark in a similar vein to the ballroom, but it is also 15 feet down from this upper floor.
Finally... *continued below*
... Ascending the stairs into the tower library, you're greeted by an unfamiliar sight. The walls of this semi-circular room are lined with bookshelves, although the majority of the books lie in disorganized piles on the floor. A large, filthy nest of grass, branches, and strips of cloth is tucked into the northeastern corner of the room, while a wooden door sits in the wall of the northwest. A tall woman with wings and taloned feet stands with her back to you until you enter. Upon entering, she turns and looks at you and bows her head, holding her hands up in a joint sign of both surrender and to say she means no harm.
The fungus-covered corpses of the servants here appear to be among the few existing remains of the castle's original inhabitants. Further investigation of them reveals, after wiping away the mold, that the limbs and heads were severed by sharp slashing weapons, and there appear to be no sign of skulls anywhere.
Despite Jean's stealth and his acute senses, he finds nothing in the courtyard. It appears to have been abandoned when you drew Kikonu's forces to you. Not even horses remain within the stables.
Do you head back inside from the upper floor or do you climb down into the courtyard and enter the castle from the first floor?
Opening the door immediately to the west, you spot an ancient-looking catapult sitting atop the stone roof of this flat-topped building. Moss grows on the catapult's ropes and on the four round boulders sitting nearby. Just to the right is another door that leads back inside and a little ways down you can see the guard towers that lead down into the castle and bear view over the castle grounds and the surrounding lands.
Testing the catapult, it sounds just as it looks. The barren courtyard below is of hard-packed earth and contains clumps of tough-looking weeds, furrows in the ground as if made by talented feet, and chalky white mounds of dung the size of human heads. Across the courtyard, the double doors to the stables sag on their hinges and you can make out that the walls appear the same - gray with age and ominously sagging as well. The building itself however appears relatively sound. You count at least three stalls but realize there's much of the stables you can't see.
Immediately across the courtyard to the south lies the gatehouse. The rusted inner gates to the courtyard are open but the gates to outside the grounds are locked and barred by large wooden beams. The stone structure has a floor of,packed dirt much like the courtyard it leads into and numerous wooden support beams for its stone ceiling. The top of the gatehouse roof is a large open area of flat stone surrounded by low battlements.
The birdman keeps consistently squawking his inane ramblings and only squawks louder at you as you interrupt his musings. He tears up the scraps of paper and begins to write again, perfecting his story with all the obsession of a mad scientist perfecting his monstrous creations. Treygan walks carefully over and secures the creature's blade - a strange combination chain-sickle with a weighted ball on one end.
Gyorgy snaps him out of it just long enough to glean information out of him. Appearing perturbed, he rips a key off a chain at his neck and tosses it to Gyorgy then goes back to scribbling. "It is here, the captain lives... No, no. Dwell... Waiting for someone else to fell. No. For you to fell. Go, go. On with your trip. Best watch out... No, be wary... Yes yes.... for Buttersnip. Begone with you. I've got lots more writing that I must attend to. You... To... No, no. You... Two... Yes, yes. Kill them two-by-two. Gone... On... You.. Two. Keep. Sheep."
Perception DC 15 - Kikonu's Scribblings:
Humies and dwarves from outside the walls
Have stormed the castle to kill us all
But in Brinewall Keep
They'll die like sheep.
Dead and gone
Their spirits pass on.
For even though Pazuzu's dead
His servant waits to collect their heads
For here is where the captain dwells,
Waiting for all of them to fail.
His spirit lies in eternal wait
Waiting for them to meet their fate
And Muthildah, she waits for them to eat
Her appetite voracious for humie feet
Go, they go. On with their trip.
Never will they see poor Buttersnips.
Kill them he will two-by-two.
He'd gut his mum just to get to you.
But it's here above my lady lies
Quiet as a mouse with those lovely eyes
Her wings as lovely as ashen air
How I long again to see her stare
The Ballad of Zaiobe, just for my love
Soaring silently in the library above.
"Yes, yes! Humie sand dwarves..." He begins again.
You have quite the selection of exits from this room. If inspecting the weapon, it radiates as a +1 kusarigama.
Though seemingly hesitant at first, hearing the entire party confirm the death of his master seems to sober the up. His mood changes slightly and the grip in his blade loosens as Corvus begins to speak - the eloquence in her voice offering a disturbing sort of calm. "No, this isn't possible. How? How could you have defeated our god?" He becomes increasingly distracted, stamping about his half of the room. "Not possible! It's not possible! NOT POSSIBLE AT ALL!" His voice calms. "But what if it is? What if our master's defeated? What if he's dead and gone. His spirit passed on. Dead and gone. Dead and gone? Gone. On. Yes, yes! That's perfect! Perfect!" He throws his sword to the table and sits down, pulling a parchment out and begins to scribble. "Dead and gone. Spirit passed on. Dead and gone... Spirit passed on..." He continues repeating these last few words, mixing their order and repeating them, ignoring your very presence, completely distracted now with perfecting his disturbing rhyme.
"Dead and gone. Spirit passed on.
What do you do?
While Mukluk's almost content to remain with his magical wand, slightly disappointed at his missing the tro with his trusty pick, Corvus' finds her step and carves off the one Mukluk missed. George attacks the other troglodyte and together the two fell the flanking party (such as it was) and turn their sights back towards the main entryway.
Sir Gavin and Treygan stand toe-to-toe with each other and cut their own swatch of justice through the two troglodytes fool enough to step through their door. As the last of his allies fall, the one remaining troglodyte runs off (catchable if warranted). Kelda and Jean meanwhile vault up the stairs after the old one. As the round the top, they come face-to-face with the old man, who steadily changes form into a bipedal bird like creature.
"You dare invade my castle!? I shall offer your bones as a sacrifice to my master who resides below." He bellows. [b]"My master shall absorb your souls and his many arms shall choke the life from the each of you at once!"
Knowledge Planes 17:
He is a Yamabushi Tengu Oni. See here.
Sense Motive 17:
He's a bit wired, of course, but by piecing together his rant you think he may be speaking of the abomination you encountered upon your entry through the dungeons.
As Jean dashes off, Kelda curses and takes off after him. [b]"I'll keep the little one from trouble." The three troglodytes take a swing at Jean as he passes by, but only two connect and even then just barely. (8 damage, Jean.) Kelda dodges between them as she moves past, glad that they've focused their ire briefly upon Jean. Upstairs enters into a small office wherein lies a desk and chair with papers sprawled across it. There are three doors leading from this chamber and only one is open.
Meanwhile, downstairs, the three troglodytes advance, two of them moving into range of Treygan and Sir Gavin. Treygan whispers a prayer to his goddess and swings his blade, connecting with one of the troglodytes and leaving a large but not so fatal gash across its abdomen. Meanwhile, Sir Gavin strikes out at the one closest to him and manages to leave a twin to Treygan's cut on that of the other troglodyte.
From the back door where Corvus and Gyorgy guard, two trogodytes burst in and immediately work their way up to the two. (I believe that's an AoO for Gyorgy with his longspear.) Then they attack. Corvus' manages to barely strike a glancing blow off her while Gyorgy's manages a bit more (providing he's alive after your AoO, 6 damage; if not, ignore all damage, Gyorgy).
(Upstairs map to come. Want to resolve the fight downstairs first.)
The old Tian man skirts away as the party fells three enemies in quick succession - the not so bright troglodytes stepping up in the place of the last one - falling for the fatal funnel. One is pelted head-on by Mukluk's ray of fire and the ally that takes his place is skewered through his abdomen by Jean's rapier.
Managing to find her tune yet again, Corvus' dance of death fells a third one, finally convincing the others that stepping through the door might not be such a grand idea. Two vanish from sight as another two run up from an adjacent room to take their place.
Kelda screams to the rest of you, "The old man flees upward! Should we pursue?" Corvus and quite possibly Jean can confirm that the door adjacent the troglodytes is now open and there are stairs that lead up to the next floor which the old man took two-by-two, attempting to escape. However, there may be more pressing concerns at hand as you hear chittering of more trogs scurrying from a door at the far end of the room [behind you]. The three remaining troglodytes approach but are loathe to step through the door, their three fallen brothers already lying dead in the frame.
As the amalgam of troglodytes rush your way, they stop short of the door, sending only one through the closed door as a test. He is not greeted with a happy sight of an easy kill. Resigning himself to his fate, he attacks the nearest foe - Sir Gavin - and fails horribly, raking his claws across Gavin's armor and leaving no distinguishing marks on the knight's skin. The rest of the enemies back away and snarl from a distance outside of the room, their leader, the Tian man who now looks less man than ever, barking orders the entirety of the time in a strange language. As he does, he motions to someone just out of your line of sight and screams forcefully.
"Wait here. You two, go around back of them and grab the other two. We'll flank them and push them out!"
[ooc]Use last combat's initiative since it was only a round between the two fights.[/url]
Kelda pulls her blade and readies herself for the volley of enemies likely to rush them. "Agreed! Steeling ourselves is the best course of action. Wouldn't you agree, Sir Treygan?" His falchion already at the ready, Treygan nods but says nothing. "They'll be here any second now," Kelda adds and almost as if in response you hear scrambling from the next room and cries of anger from multiple voices. The rest of the party sets up defensive positions as well - Jean with his dagger and rapier at the ready and Corvus with her scimitar edged and prepared to taste blood.
Map update in the morning as I'm posting from my mobile.
Sorry, Gyorgy, yours somehow melded into an aberration along with Treygan's when I pasted it.
Together, Treygan and Corvus work their way into battle. Treygan cuts down the first troglodyte with a mighty swing of his blade. Meanwhile, Corvus dances into the room, a graceful swan amidst the lake of battle. She arcs her blade upward and inks her name in blood across the second troglodyte's throat. The two reptiles immediately fall.
One troglodyte turns about and as the dagger sticks into its back, the troglodyte roars in pain, turning about to see Jean poking his head in, another dagger seemingly at the ready. Behind the pirate elf he also sees a few of his allies and roars louder in anger, flexing his claws to attack along with his buddy.
Corvus, sneaking past the sleeping troglodytes is easy and you manage to track down the south latch on the eastern bunk room door. How to open it, however, is a different question...
Jean - 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Corvus - 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Mukluk - 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Gavin - 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Treygan - 1d20 + 0d6 - 1d1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + (-) - (2) + 7 = 24
Kelda - 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Trogs - 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (4) + 0 = 4
Round 1 - Fight!
Moving to the other door and popping it open you see that a tangle of stalactites and stalagmites fill this low-ceilinged cavern, with only a five-foot-wide path that runs along the southern wall being clear of obstruction. The cavern winds around a ways until you emerge into the light of the out walls of Brinewall. It would seem this is a second entrance to beneath the castle from outside. Realizing you have but one option left for continuing your infiltration of the castle, you turn and move back towards the stairs in the grand banquet hall where you first encountered the troglodytes. There you move to the stairs that lead up into the main floor of the castle. A large table lies in shambles in the middle of this room, while crumbled suits of armor bearing decorations of dragons twisting around castle towers lie in heaps along the walls. A flight of stairs winds up along a curved wall to the north. The air in this room feels stuffy and carries an eye-watering reptilian stink which is backed by the sound of reptilian squabbling just out of sight.
"I killed the tick! It's mine for eats."
The two don't seem to be paying any attention to your group as you approach. You count for possible ways out of this hall beyond the way you came. Three doors - one along each wall - lie slightly ajar as the two troglodytes bicker amongst each other. The fourth exit is a pair of stairs that lead towards the upper level of the castle.
Perception DC 20:
Although the room is in disarray, you recognize a number of documents, maps, and troop lists that date back to the night Brinewall was attacked. This room has sheltered the documents somewhat, but they’re still damaged. All that can be pieces together from the documents here is the fact that the guards believed the citizens of the village below were rioting, and that several of the buildings had caught on fire. They were preparing to mount an expedition to investigate and bring order, but there is no indication of their success or failure.
Several ruined beds lie in various states of disrepair in this room, their moldy mattresses piled into a filthy heap against the northern wall. It appears to be a barracks. Two troglodytes sleep here.
East Door - Perception 20:
You notice a secret latch in the south wall that opens a passageway into the grand hall throne room beyond.
A large number of ruined bunks have been heaped into a nest- shaped mound in the center of this room.
Before ever opening the door, you hear a barking voice. "Ahahaha! Yes! YES! Perfect! Continue! Continue! It's perfect for my masterpiece!"
When you open the door, rotting, faded banners hang from the walls of this long hall, depicting a stylized castle sitting on a seaside cliff. Thick stone pillars support the ceiling, while at the far end of the hall sits an old wooden throne, its back carved to resemble the towers of a castle wrapped in the coils of a serpentine dragon. Welcome to the throne room.
At the east end of the hall, a wild eyed Tian man with a bristly goatee, deep red skin, and a prodigious nose idly toys with a strange weapon—a combination sickle and weighted chain —and when he cackles in delight as you enter, inviting you to be seated as his “latest masterpiece” concludes.
The stairs wind up for a minute then open into a chamber whose furniture—couches, drawing tables, and empty bookshelves—lie in disarray, with the exception of one writing desk and chair in the center of the room, its surface heaped with pages of parchment and paper. Two doors - one south, one west - lead from this room as does another set of stairs leading down across from where you enter.
Unable to have ever been seen from outside the room, as you reach the other side of the pile of burnt plants, you stumble upon a round bladed weapon - chakram - jutting from the side of the phycomid, still attached to the hands of it's eaten away owner who lay beside the beast. In addition, a smattering of gold coins lay surrounding the fallen adventurer. These total 660 gold. It appears as if his allies wasted no time in making their escape from this beast and had no choice but to leave his fallen corpse (and valuables) behind. The chakram is covered in green liquid and both the chakram, the cloak about his shoulders, and the bracers on his wrists radiate magic upon observation.
Chakram - Spellcraft DC 15:
+1 Corrosive Chakram
Cloak - Spellcraft DC 15:
Bracers - Spellcraft DC 18:
Jean perceives nothing out of the ordinary beyond the left door. It does smell as of it was burned recently. Upon opening the door, a foul smell permeates your nostrils. This foul-smelling chamber drips with moisture—it runs down the walls in rivulets amid thick tangles of nasty-looking fungus. Three washing bins in the walls are completely clogged with heaps of even more repulsive molds and mushrooms, some of which have grown to prodigious size, like the large mound of burnt green mold sprouting dozens of purple-capped mushrooms in the center of the room that appears to have been set ablaze at one point. Nothing else remains of interest that you can see.
Searching through the armory, you find mostly mundane weapons - two longswords, four daggers, three short swords, a spear, four heavy crossbows, and 80 crossbow bolts. The big prize of the day, however, is in the ten vials of alchemist's fire that you also find. Upon inspection, nothing detects as magical.
After clearing the armory, you make your way to the room the troglodytes came from and find it to be a sort of fighting pit, currently unused of course, left in somewhat decent condition.
You find nothing of interest in this room.
You now know Kikonu resides upward. You have three paths left to try - the stairs in the first troglodyte room and the two doors in the "door chamber". Where to?
"Thank uou. Be warned though. Further down these caverns lies the bird's own true master, Nindenzego. He controls all that transpires within these walls, masters." Not entirely shaken by Sir Gavin's attempt at intimidation, the troglodyte champion adds before nonetheless scampering off.
The Morningstar registers as magical to Mukluk's abilities. With little to no effort (given that roll), Mukluks identifies an oily substance secreting from the head of the morningstar. The weapon is in pristine condition despite appearing rusted and it registers as a +1 Cold Iron Morningstar capable of sickening those it strikes. His arcane knowledge sorts out how the magic of the weapon works and surmises having spent innumerable years on the troglodytes person, the weapon picked up its stench and secretes the oil now itself. A truly grotesque marvel.
Troglodyte Morningstar of Stench:
On a successful strike, the target is overwhelmed by the stench and must make a Fortitude Save DC 15 or be sickened for 10 rounds as per the stench universal monster rule. The same creature cannot be affected again for 24 hours.
Without delving into personal details, I'll be bottling Treygan until a good departure point (likely the end of the book). After contacting him, he relayed that he's been trying to catch up and just couldn't and wanted to apologize to everyone for delaying as long as he did.
Treygan, if you come back here and see this, best of luck.
Not wrong, good sir Mukluk.
We have no treasure of our own but if you grant me life, I will turn over my weapon to you. It is very powerful. And the armory just beyond contains as many weapons as you can carry - possibly more." He motions back down the hallway in either direction as he tosses his morningstar to the ground. "My underlings likely attacked out of fear. We have our orders to hold the lower floors, but it's nigh impossible to.
(Gavin) His words seem truthful to Gavin's ears. He appears to value his life more than his false loyalty to the birdmen.
Knowledge Nature DC 15:
For the description of most of these birdmen, you determine them to be Dire Corbies. Kikonu's mistress may very well be a harpy as well.
Knowledge Planes DC 17:
Kikonu himself may not be as base as the others around him though. From the information you've gathered up to this point mixed with new information from the troglodyte here, Kikonu may be something more. Likely a yamabushi tengu of some sort.
"They walk on legs like us and do not fly. Only his winged woman flies but she's not been seen since he stole her voice. Kikonu is his name. We came here to this castle and settled it's ruins but he came and took is. His magicks are too powerful for us. He would certainly kill you all lest you leave this place." he responds. At Mukluk's questions, he expands his answer. "He resides above on the castles main floor. He's usually in the throne room with his underlings. He tries to perform acts of entertainment but his art is lost to us."