The ghostly wizard emerges in the room behind you and instantly begins casting a spell! Suddenly a gout of liquid fire fills the chamber you're in! Togarin cackles. "A cliche, I know. But soon I'll learn what new magic this world has to offer!"
Everyone within the room needs to roll a DC 18 Reflex save. If you fail the save, you take 25 points of damage. If you make the save, you take 12 points of damage. Raynor, your mount will need to make a DC 30 Climb check to keep hanging from the ceiling if it takes damage--on a failure, you and it will fall and land prone for 2d6 damage.
The ghost did one move action gliding along inside the floor before emerging just on the other side of the doorway (because it total cover for the movement, this didn't provoke). It then did a concentration check to cast a spell without provoking another AoO.
Casting Defensively w/ Combat Casting vs. DC 21: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (11) + 20 = 31
Damage: 10d6 ⇒ (3, 3, 2, 2, 4, 1, 2, 2, 5, 1) = 25
The Qadiran being accosted by a dinosaur looks panicked and shouts something in a foreign tongue before recovering his wits enough to draw a shortsword and attack. The blade leaves a red streak on Danduun's abdomen. Hearing the shouting, the man’s companion rushes in that direction only be blocked by Gillie. This second Qadiran also draws a sword and attacks, but the nimble ratfolk dodges out the way.
A few passers-by in the area stop to watch the fracas. After all, it's not everyday, even in Sedeq, that a velociraptor, a ratfolk, and a couple of locals end up brawling in the streets!
Danduun is hit for 3 points of damage.
”What sort of demonic beast is this! Adruo, help me!”
Attack vs Danduun (charge penalty): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Charge attack vs Gillie: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Damage vs. Danduun: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Initiative (Round 1)
Bold may go!
Initiative (Gillie): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Initiative (Avi): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
Initiative (Bennett): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
Initiative (AMT): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Initiative (Sadaf): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Initiative (Kolris): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Initiative (Qadirans): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
Once Sadaf orders Danduun to charge, it's clear that hostilities have started. I'll give Danduun a free charge attack against the Qadiran's flat-footed AC to represent a surprise attack, and then I'll roll Initiative for everyone. Bennett, Avi, and Gillie, you can do the actions above when it's your turn on Initiative or instead substitute something else.
I'll use the same slide to represent this scene as I did for the Secure Market encounter. (bottom right of Slide # 4)
Abaal loudly cuts the door in half, revealing a small chamber that contains nothing more than a narrow, winding staircase that leads about ten feet down onto a stone floor. Strange shrieking starts up from below, and in between the inarticulate cries, you hear the sound of shuffling feet!
Please see Slide # 7.
Now that Sadaf has mentioned it, everyone can notice the otherwise-nondescript Qadirans who seem to be following you. When the dwarf leads you into an alley, your "shadows" don't come in with you--they must be locals and know the area well-enough to realise they'd be exposed.
But after waiting for a few seconds in the alley, you can see one subtly peeking around the corner to see what you're doing in there! The man looks shocked when Sadaf greets him politely, but doesn't seem to understand what's being said. He mutters a few words in Kelish and then backs away, crossing the street to enter a shop where he "browses" the wares while still keeping an eye on you.
"Apologies. Just looking for the latrines."
In the Overmarket, the streets are broader, the buildings farther apart, and the alleyways less dark. The spice levels in the air are much more breathable as well. This is the middle-class portion of the Qalli—not as crowded as the Central Market where the poorest of the poor rub elbows with high-powered merchants. Instead, the Overmarket almost has the feel of a residential neighbourhood, albeit one with many more shops and stalls than houses and apartments. Finding the intersection of Candlewood and Zephyr doesn’t take long, though figuring out exactly where Nasir Tandir’s warehouse is may take some asking around.
Sadaf and Kolris:
As you reach the intersection and start looking around, you realise you've picked up a trail! A pair of nondescript Qadirans, armed with shortswords, seem to be watching you carefully. They're hanging back though, and often try to duck into doorways or blend in with the crowd.
Secret GM Dice:
Perception (Gillie): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Perception (Sadar): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (12) + 11 = 23
Perception (Avi): 1d20 ⇒ 14
Perception (Angry Magic Tree): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Perception (Kolris): 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (16) + 13 = 29
Perception (Bennett): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
A fearsome look of wrath comes into Togarin’s eyes! ”You meddlers should learn your place! He grins wickedly. ”Let’s see what this new form can do!” He reaches out a ghostly hand to touch Luke and the merest brush of the wizard's fingers fills the barbarian with incredible agony! The ghost-wizard then seems to disappear into the stone floor right in front of you!
Everyone within 30’ (which I think is everyone—Raynor, make sure to include your mount) takes 11 points of damage from experiencing the pure hatred in Togarin’s eyes. In addition, each person must make a DC 19 Fortitude save or also take 1 point of Charisma damage.
Luke, you take 46 points of damage but can attempt a DC 19 Fortitude save for half damage.
The ghost's gaze attack is automatic, standard attack to do a corrupting touch, and then a 5' step "down" into the floor giving it total cover.
gaze damage: 2d10 ⇒ (1, 10) = 11
gaze Cha damage: 1d4 ⇒ 1
Touch attack vs. Luke: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Corrupting Touch damage: 12d6 ⇒ (5, 6, 4, 6, 3, 4, 3, 1, 2, 6, 5, 1) = 46
Kolris takes another look through the merchant's wares and realises one of the spice trays seems heavier than the others. Plunging his hands in, he feels something hard buried in the spice and pulls out a small statue of an iron eagle!
The statue is 8 inches tall, 12 inches wide, and weighs 1 pound. I'll need to know who is carrying it and where.
The group fans out and looks around the exterior of the abandoned shrine.
Grunyak & Pai:
You notice a door in the side of the ruined building, mostly hidden by overgrown vegetation. The door is in excellent condition and is closed.
As you look around the graveyard, you notice mounds of disturbed soil—thinking it through, you realise that all three graves have been excavated and refilled recently!
A quick look around the stall shows a lacquered box sitting on the counter (containing forty platinum pieces), as well as several large trays and jars of various spices. Rifling through the pockets of the unconscious merchant and his bodyguards turns up a vial of yellowish liquid and a pouch containing about a hundred gold pieces.
As Carina's magic takes effect, Luke brings his bastard sword to bear on Togarin. The blade slides almost effortlessly through the wizard's ghostly form, but wisps of ectoplasm are torn away by the strike. "You dare! shouts the wizard.
Luke, the attack did half damage.
Ridley & Setare are up, and then we'll see if this ghost-wizard can do anything.
Following Kasadei's brief instructions, you make your way to the old shrine of Sarenrae. It looks just as abandoned as she said. The shrine's stone walls still stand, but the wood-shingled roof that once sheltered the single-story building has fallen in almost completely. The shrine’s front door has fallen away as well, and the stained-glass windows lie shattered, covering the ground nearby with colourful shards. A small graveyard, overgrown with weeds, stands just off to the side of the structure.
Bennett thrusts one end of his quarterstaff into the bodyguard's solar plexus, doubling him over, and then finishes him off with a strike to the temple.
The battle is over almost as quickly as it started. You can hear the normal buzz of the market around you--it doesn't seem like anyone took notice of the brief melee.
We are now off Initiative.
Regarding what to do with the Scarlet Son (kill or show mercy), one option I'll just put out there is a "fade to black" resolution in which whatever happens takes place "off-screen" and isn't mentioned again, so there's no need to decide what "actually" happened. I wouldn't do this in a long campaign where it's important for PCs to work out issues going forward to see what group dynamics will be, but for a short one-shot like PFS, it can help avoid the awkward position of strangers understandably not wanting to impose their views on others. Just an idea to move things along, but if folks would like to work through a more traditional resolution, I'm okay with that too.
The wizardly ghost looks irritated at yet another interruption. "Yes, I am Togarin. Perhaps my reputation must be restored in this decaying age."
It's clear the ghost is about to take hostile action.
Initiative (Round 1)
Bold may go!
Initiative (Setare): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (16) + 12 = 28
Initiative (Ridley w/ H.A.): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (19) + 12 = 31
Initiative (Carina): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
Initiative (Luke): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Initiative (Raynor): 1d20 ⇒ 2
Initiative (Kivuli): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Initiative (ghost): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Ridley, I used your heightened awareness for Initiative.
A resounding "crack" echoes through the market as Angry Magic Tree slams his rusty pipe into the head of one of the bodyguards, knocking the man out cold. An instant later, Gillie's flurry of claws and teeth knock Saldin Marafi to the ground. The merchant groans, unconscious and unable to continue the fight.
The man in the iron mask crosses his arms with satisfaction. All's well that ends well. Now, to reap the rewards. He raises his voice towards the children being freed from the crates. "Young persons! One of you must be Egwenene. Identify yourself. Your father is looking for you, and the Living God has seen fit to return you to him."
Kasadei looks annoyed at Abaal's words. "First, despite your service, don't use that tone with me. Second, if you have questions about Magnimar's policies towards demons, take it up with the Council of Ushers. Perhaps you're trying to say this thing isn't a demon? Well then, it's in your hands, Keleshite--exercise mercy if you like." She motions for her officers to collect the Heart-Taker, and the City Watch leaves. Although the sun is rising on the horizon, little of its rays reach where you're standing. A few of the district's residents lurk near the periphery of the area, curious about the scene before them.
The ghostly figure looks as dismissively at Luke as a soldier would scoff at a mouse.
To Raynor's question, the figure says "The time-lock is broken, and now there is only the present. There is no un-doing what has been done. Now: leave."
DC 20 Sense Motive:
You have a hunch that this figure already had little patience and thinks you're all beneath his notice. If questioning persists, he'll try to swat you like an annoying fly.
Can I get those of you who have been hit--Bennett, A.M.T., and any others--to please update your hit point tally in your taglines? It makes it easier for me to know you've taken into account the enemy's actions. Danke!
I'm pretty sure this encounter won't last much longer--you've just had some low dice rolls and the positioning was awkward.
As Bennett backs out of the fray, Avi tries to transfer electrical energy to his leshy companion's rusty pipe--but nothing seems to happen! And worse, Saldin Marafi's rapier darts out and grazes the ganzi's arm.
Avi, don't forget about the anti-magic field. And trying a spell-like ability before you move away unfortunately provokes an AoO from Saldin Marafi. You take only 2 points of damage though.
Attack roll w/C.E. vs. Avi: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Captain Kasadei seems utterly confused by Abaal's words. She shakes her head as if to say, they got the job done, that's what matters. Out loud, she says "Well, we'll take the Heart-Taker back to the Arvensoar. If she doesn't want to talk, that's fine with me. We have enough evidence to put her in the Hells for the next few decades at least. You've all done well, and have earned the appreciation of the City Watch and the citizens of Magnimar."
Cackling laughter comes from the ghostly figure. "Who is Vuzhon indeed! Long forgotten by the world above, and now utter nothingness. She thought her knowledge of soul-transference trumped my own researches into true eternal being. I only hope her last waking thought before annihilation was of my superiority. But enough idle chatter with peons. By killing Rozimus, you created a paradox and destroyed the time-lock. For this service, you have earned temporary sufferance. Begone now, and try not my patience. I am eternal, but it is not."
The bodyguards manage to duck under Angry Magic Tree’s furious swings. Gillie darts into the fray and launches himself at Saldin Marafi, leaving the merchant bloodied but still standing. Kolris tries to grab the rapier right out of Saldin’s hands, but the swordsman moves it away too quickly.
Kolris, I’ll let you take the disarm attempt now (as a delay from last round), but it will be your turn for the round.
The ghostly figure notices you for the first time as Ridley begins to speak. ”Ah, you must have been sent by “Rozimus.” I’m surprised that idiotic schemer Vuzhon actually kept her word. Her soul must have died in tremendous anger and pain when the time-lock was shattered. I wish I could have seen it.” He sighs wistfully. ”Well, no matter. My brilliance is confirmed, and her folly is proved. And you’ve done your part without my needing to even instruct you. You may depart. I have a world to explore.”
This is what it looks like: a ghost. Normally ghosts are the undead ectoplasmic remnants of restless souls, trapped on the Material Plane due to some great injustice (either real or perceived). Ghosts are normally filled with wrath and vengeance, and are difficult to truly destroy unless the reason for their existence is set right. But the ghost in front of you doesn’t seem to share this sort of common origin. You know that, in general, ghosts are able to pass through walls and solid objects, that their mere touch can drain the life from creatures, and that they can sometimes possess the bodies of living creatures for a short time.