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Tzleztor's whip wraps around a zombie's leg and the mephit pulls hard, but he's just not quite strong enough to pull the foe down!

Unfortunately, even with the higher ground bonus, the attack doesn't beat CMD because Tzleztor is flying 15' up so he doesn't have flanking--there's not a foe threatening the opposite (underground?) side of the zombie-cube. The joys of 3D combat!

Chaine, see if you can put these poor zombies out of their eternal misiery.


Monkey Boy's acrobatic kicks leaves one zombie sprawled on the ground, and another destroyed! Setare finishes off another!

Monkey Boy succeeds in tripping Dark Purple, and kills Yellow. Monkey Boy, you don't need to spend the ki point as Yellow goes down before you get to that attack.

Setare destroys Dark Purple.

Two zombies left, and two PCs (Xilt and Chaine) left to go.


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After a good night's rest in the bunks of the Sun Diver, the expedition team decides that they came all this way and it'd be a shame to depart without exploring the rest of Noma!

Okay! Let's assume a night passes. You all recover SP, RP, and daily-use limited abilities. You also regain HP equal to your level. However the food synthesizers work, deduct a meal. Please pick a hex and we'll see where the spirit of exploration takes us.

@Zharis: You don't see any deposits of siccatite left near the ship--either the Speakers didn't understand, or there's no siccatite to be had in Noma.


It looks like we have one suggestion from Zharis for the group to bug out now and one suggestion from Xylian to continue exploring hexes. A good role-playing opportunity! Hani, Tulgram, and Jin, would you like to weigh in?

@Xylian: That ship self-destructed when Sulphrax was killed (sorry, I could have been more descriptive when you emerged from The Core).


INITIATIVE (ROUND 3)

Xilt
Setare
Chaine
Monkey Boy

Attackers

Bold should go!


Monkey Boy's snap kick literally snaps off a zombie's arm! But the undead foe doesn't even seem to notice, as he slashes away with a scimitar! Meanwhile, water flies everywhere as the zombies turn their attention to Silvermane!

Monkey Boy's first attack hit.

Dark Purple attacks Monkey Boy while the other three attack Silvermane (one while prone). All the attacks miss.

@Chaine: Please don't forget to update your tagline from the hit you took the previous round.

GM Dice:

attack vs monkey boy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
attack # 1 silvermane (flanking): 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 9 + 2 = 21
attack # 2 silvermane (flanking): 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 9 + 2 = 22
attack # 3 silvermane (prone): 1d20 + 9 - 4 ⇒ (18) + 9 - 4 = 23


Chaine stabs away with his lance, but his zombie foe just won't go down! At the same time, Silvermane's heavy hooves crunch bone and tear through leathery zombie skin with ease!

Dark Yellow is hit twice by Chaine, but is still barely up thanks to some DR.

Cornflower Blue is hit with all three attacks by Silvermane, and is also just barely "alive"

Monkey Boy, it sounds like you're back, so you can go ahead and act and then it'll be the zombies' turn.


@Setare: Yep--as long as no bad guys get more than 60' away :)

@Monkey Boy: In retrospect it probably should have been a standard action to activate the wayfinder to shed light (with a command word), but it's a moot point now.


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Having explored The Core thoroughly and delved deeply into the secrets of Noma, the weary and wounded explorers decide to backtrack to their landing site. Hours of walking pass slowly in the unchanging light of the sun, but at last, their destination is reached: the Sun Diver! Hop flashes the ship's exterior lights as you approach and broadcasts a welcome: "Woo-eee, pards! I sure got lonely here holdin' down the fort while you were off gallivantin'. Glad to see y'all made it back in one piece! Though some of y'all could sure use a lie-down by the looks of it."

I think the backtrack plan represents the consensus view expressed in this thread and Discussion, but I'll happily adjust if I didn't get it right.


That’s just to remind folks to pay attention to the radius of your light source.


The stars and bars are just hexes you haven't been to yet (for a while I was trying to distinguish which were accessible from your current hex, but that proved unwieldy). Any hex with a letter is one you have visited.


Xilt's magic causes one of the zombies to slip and fall, just as Setare's cestus disembowels another one!

Cornflower Blue fails the save and is prone. Setare destroys Yellow.

Chaine is up, and then I'll bot Monkey Boy as requested.

GM Dice:

Reflex save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13


XP question covered in Discussion. For the walk back to the ship, what route are you taking?


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Tulgram, you did get your bonus--way back in XP Instalment # 20 (I think you may have been the first, actually).


INITIATIVE (ROUND 2)

Xilt
Setare
Chaine
Monkey Boy

Attackers

Bold should go!

Please remember we're in Darkness.


Setare's foe takes up a defensive stance as it tries to clear the glittering sparkles from its eyes. Monkey Boy's foe goes on the offensive. And Chaine is swarmed by a trio of zombies!

Yellow does Total Defence and, at the end of its turn, makes the save against the glitterdust blindness.

Blue attacks Monkey Boy.

Three zombies attack Chaine (two of them provoke AoOs--Cornflower Blue and Dark Gray). One of them lands a nat 20 (not a crit) and does 10 points of damage.

GM Dice:

Yellow Will save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Blue vs Monkey Boy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13
Dark Yellow vs Chaine: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
Cornflower Blue vs Chaine: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
Dark Gray vs Chaine: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13
Cornflower Blue Confirmation: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16
damage: 1d6 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10


The Pathfinders spring into action! Monkey Boy lands a solid punch on one of the zombies, while Chaine's lance devastates another! Meanwhile, Xilt takes to the air as his familiar drops magic dust on two of the zombies. Setare uses a magical scarf to extend her reach and cuts down one of the blinded foes!

Monkey Boy's second punch hit Blue. Chaine hit and killed White.

Red and Yellow are blinded by glitterdust. Setare destroys Red and damages Yellow.

GM Dice:

Reflex (Red): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Reflex (Yellow): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9


@Tulgram: Sorry, I knew I forgot something! The Chronicles for this chapter are for PCs levels 5-6.


Does anyone happen to know a way to put captions or otherwise designate tokens with letters or numbers? I'm not great with colors at the best of time, but I'm even worse when we move beyond the primaries.


Experience Points (Instalment # 23)

Xylian:

+Previous: 17509
Sulphrax: 640
Fire Elementals (x4): 640

TOTAL: 18789/23000

Zharis:

+Previous: 19309
Sulphrax: 640
Fire Elementals (x4): 640

TOTAL: 20589/23000

Jin:

+Previous: 18020
Sulphrax: 640
Fire Elementals (x4): 640

TOTAL: 19300/23000

Hani:

+Previous: 17020
Sulphrax: 640
Fire Elementals (x4): 640
Role-Specific Award (Identify Two Unknown Devices): 1600

TOTAL: 19900/23000

Tulgram:

+Previous: 17180
Sulphrax: 640
Fire Elementals (x4): 640

TOTAL: 18460/23000


INITIATIVE (ROUND 1)

Xilt
Setare
Chaine
Monkey Boy

Attackers

Bold should go!

Please remember we're in Darkness.

GM Dice:

Initiative (zombies): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Initiative (Monkey Boy): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Initiative (Setare): 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (9) + 13 = 22
Initiative (Xilt): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
Initiative (Chaine): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21


As Xilt finishes reading the incantation, a brilliant flash of blue light surrounds you! When the light fades, you find that you're still standing in the camp, but all of Rijana’s supplies are gone, as is the stele! And it’s also as dark as the middle of the night, as, oddly, the sky lacks stars and is black as pitch and the wind is perfectly still. Nothing moves, nothing makes a sound, and the uncanny change is chilling . . .

Suddenly, creatures lunge out of the darkness around the camp to attack!

I'll roll for Initiative and we'll start an encounter. These creatures (there are seven) look like the same type of zombies you fought previously.

Please note the lighting conditions are now Darkness. If you don't have darkvision or another means to see in the dark, you're effectively fumbling around blind.

Blind Condition:
The creature cannot see. It takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class, loses its Dexterity bonus to AC (if any), and takes a –4 penalty on most Strength– and Dexterity-based skill checks and on opposed Perception skill checks. All checks and activities that rely on vision (such as reading and Perception checks based on sight) automatically fail. All opponents are considered to have total concealment (50% miss chance) against the blinded character. Blind creatures must make a DC 10 Acrobatics skill check to move faster than half speed. Creatures that fail this check fall prone. Characters who remain blinded for a long time grow accustomed to these drawbacks and can overcome some of them.

DC 20 Knowledge (planes):
You believe you've been transported to some kind of demi-plane, just as Xilt speculated.

DC 30 Knowledge (planes):
This demi-plane is none other than the fabled Geb’s Accord, a series of linked-but-separated pocket dimensions that Geb long ago used to store equipment and soldiers for battles against Nex!


I am back on duty--thanks for your patience! It sounds like Xilt is planning to read the incantation, and has suggested everyone get ready. I'll wait another 12 hours or so and then we'll see what, if anything, happens.


Sounds pretty neat! I think the others are waiting for you to snap out of your trance, so please describe what happens when you do.


I'm going to be gone for the next 72 hours or so. Don't let the Wastes bloom green until I get back!


Xilt:
Your magic allows you to confirm the literal translation that Rijana provided in the journal. However, it's hard to figure out what it all means. Rijana spent weeks or months studying it, and even her speculations don't seem certain. For this purpose, a good way to imagine the difference between translation and understanding is if someone gave a college freshman a copy of Heidegger. Even translated from the German, it'd be hard to make sense of it without extensive study.


I'm going to be travelling for the next 72 hours or so.

I haven't forgotten I owe you all some XP from that last encounter!

Depending on circumstances (and PC actions), we may be getting pretty close to the end of the chapter. If anyone would like SFS Chronicle sheets, please list in this thread the following:

Player Name (or Paizo Alias):
SFS Character Name:
SFS Character #:
Faction:


As a dusty Zharis returns from digging through the rubble and Jin and Xylian return from exploring the rest of the complex, Tulgram is keeping an eye on Hani when suddenly the telia's eyelids flicker. He's coming out of the trance!

@Hani: You're up :)

@Everyone: Please assume an hour or so has passed since your encounter with Sulphrax.


Xilt begins examining the journals as Tzleztor and Monkey Boy look around.

Xilt:
The two journals are Translations of the Mana Wastes Stele and Flora, Fauna, and Hazards of the Mana Wastes. The first is a half-finished book containing page after page of drawings and translations of the stele; the last written page contains an incantation in Common and instructions that describe exactly how to activate it; a notion below the incantation reads “Making my first attempt tomorrow” and is dated several months ago with no following notation. The page immediately preceding that one has this notation: “Worried that if I activate the stele and don’t like the results, may not be able to deactivate it. Pretty sure the incantation I’ve copied on the next page, when read backwards, will return this stele to normal if performed backwards. Will test later.”

Tzleztor:
You don't find anything else of interest.

Monkey Boy:
You don't find anything else of interest.


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Zharis continues poking through the rubble as Jin explores another area in the complex.

Zharis:
After several minutes of searching, you turn up three glowing crystals. They're very different in size and shape than the crystals you found in the other room.Persistence does pay off, as the adventure keys the discovery to a very high Perception check or at least ten minutes of poking through the rubble.

Jin:
After battering down the final door in the complex, the result is perhaps disappointing: a long corridor leading to where you've already been.


The chaotic and uncertain state of magic seems to abate as you draw closer to the stele--within a radius of 20' or so, spells and magic items appear to work normally.

Xilt:
You don't see anything hidden (neither does your familiar).

Setare:
You don't detect any evil in the area.


The rest of the night pauses without further incident, and it only takes a few more hours of walking in the morning to reach what must be the location discussed in Rijana's journal.

Near a shallow watering hole is a cold fire pit, a collection of well-organized gear and supplies, and two journals blowing lazily in the wind. A small stone monolith, clearly the stele described in Rijana’s journals, is covered top to bottom in intricate and exotic carvings as well as markings and what look to be writings in an ancient language. The entire camp is covered in a thin layer of reddish dust, as if no one has been here for some time.

The layout of the camp is described in the new Slide # 2.


While Tulgram examines Hani and Zharis pokes through the debris, Jin decides to explore one of the corridors to the south.

Jin:
A long hallway slopes gently upward toward its south end. Its perfectly smooth and rounded walls, floor, and ceiling form an almost circular tunnel.

Zharis:
You can tell there was once a technomagical portal here allowing travel between this room and another part of the galaxy. The explosion here was relatively recent, and looks like a teleportation magitech malfunction.

Tulgram:
You've seen trances like the one Hani is in before--he should come out of it in about an hour.


Nothing short of a miracle could save the fleeing hellcat from the vengeance of the Pathfinders!

That hellcat is well and truly dead. We are off Initiative.


Zharis:
A quick check of the rubble doesn't turn up anything valuable, but you can roll an Engineering or Mysticism check to discern something about it.


Frantz is back!

Magic is live this round.

Initiative (Round 7)

Setare
Monkey Boy
Xilt
Chaine

Foe

Bold should go!

GM Dice:

Magic?: 1d100 ⇒ 88


Monkey Boy can't quite find the right pressure point in the strange physiology of the hellcat!

It makes the save exactly.

GM Dice:

Save vs fatigue: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18


An investigation of the room to the south shows it half buried in rubble, as huge, angled slabs of metal lie askew throughout. The walls are scorched and scored. It all leads to only one conclusion: a massive explosion must have wracked this confined space!


Chaine's lance skewers one of the hellcats, leaving Setare to mercifully put the beast down a second later. The other hellcat takes a blow to its leg from Monkey Boy and then turns to flee!

Chaine hit Blue for crazy damage, and Setare's second attack finished it off.

Monkey Boy hit Green, but it made the save.

Having the Frightened condition, Green turns to flee. Monkey Boy, you'll get an AoO.

GM Dice:

Fort save: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28


Zharis:
Your best guess is that Jin is in a deep, mystical trance. His eyelids are flickering like he's experiencing R.E.M. sleep--dreaming while standing up! It doesn't seem to be doing him any harm though . . .


Franz suddenly winks out of existence, a sure sign that magic has again been drained from the area!

No magic this round.

Initiative (Round 6)

Setare
Monkey Boy
Xilt
Chaine

Foes

Bold should go!

GM Dice:

Magic?: 1d100 ⇒ 81


The hellcats streak toward Setare and Monkey Boy, with the former driving a cestus deep into one of the creatures' flank!

Setare's readied action was a crit; the hellcat is frightened for one round and shaken for pretty much eternity.


Hani seems to be in a deep trance, and is unresponsive!

A Medicine check might provide some more info.


Tzletzor's rain of sparkles clings to one of the hellcats, but it can still see well enough to leap out of the way of Xilt's conjured pit! The other hellcat is similarly illuminated by Frantz.

Green is lucky, and makes the saves vs both the glitterdust and the acid pit. Blue makes the save vs glitterdust.

As Setare has readied an action and Chaine has delayed, Monkey Boy is up.

GM Dice:

Green Will vs Glitterdust: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Reflex save vs acid pit: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (19) + 13 = 32
Blue Will vs Glitterdust: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19


A sudden fission in the air and a surge of power as enchantments activate all at once can only mean one thing: magic has returned to this area of the Mana Wastes! But for how long?

Magic is live this round.

Initiative (Round 5)

Setare
Monkey Boy
Xilt
Chaine

Foes

Bold should go!

GM Dice:

Magic?: 1d100 ⇒ 10


Holding their fire until they see the whites of the hellcats' eyes, the Pathfinders know the moment for action is drawing nearer and nearer!

Hellcats now 170' away.


Yet again, no magic this round.

Initiative (Round 4)

Setare
Monkey Boy
Xilt
Chaine

Foes

Bold should go!

GM Dice:

Magic?: 1d100 ⇒ 51


Will patience prove a virtue, or omission a sin? The Pathfinders will soon find out as the hellcats charge closer and closer!

The hellcats are now 330' away from the tent (about the length of an [American gridiron] football field).

@Chaine: The oil of bless weapon has no effect. Like casting a spell (even one with a duration), activating a magic item simply fails this round.


Zharis and Hani take a look at the crystals. Hani picks up the brightest one and staggers, nearly losing his balance as his eyes roll back into his head as if he's entered a trance! In a matter of moments, the brightly glowing crystal becomes dimmer and dimmer.

Zharis:
You notice that of the seven glowing crystals, six glow dimly but the seventh glows brightly. This seventh one is the one described above.

Hani:
You examine the seven glowing crystals. Six glow dimly, and you're able to discern that they are information repository units of some kind! But although they once contained magically compressed data, that information has already been harvested. These dim crystals could be thrown like mk 2 diminisher grenades. However, there's a seventh crystal that glows brightly. When you touch it, you're nearly overwhelmed with a dizzying array of incomprehensible visions of vague humanoid shapes in a variety of environments performing incredible feats of technology and magic! The visions are interspersed with static that resolves into a colossal being of stellar plasma and incomprehensible geometry that gives the nebulous impression of multiple orbs of flesh and tentacles! Eventually the vision fades, but the lingering impressions certainly remain. The crystal glows dim like the others. You have just been affected by a mk 2 ability crystal and should upgrade your character accordingly.


No magic this round.

Initiative (Round 3)

Setare
Monkey Boy
Xilt
Chaine

Foes

Bold should go!

GM Dice:

magic?: 1d100 ⇒ 89

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