Axebeak

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I can understand the OP. I spent hours on these boards every week. But now they will be supporting a system I am not playing. No criticism of Paizo they have to support their new game.

I have nothing against PF 2nd. It just didn't strike my group in as a big improvement.
When you have enough AP to last 10 years and loads of character options yet to try, and £100's already invested why make a change for a marginal improvement.

I feel a hole in my life coming up. I am still interest in the setting so the fiction will still be of interest, as will any guides to Glorantha. But the crunch not so much.


No my party have no spontaneous casters.
So I am just looking at what will suit Helekhterie.
I do have a rogue in the party, I take you point it would really ruin a climactic fight.
I will look at Twisted Futures.


My group have just reached Nal Shaker, so I have read Helekhterie in more detail.

She has a Spell lattice 2nd. What spell is in it?
She has 6/4/2 spell from her level plus the inflict spells plus Colour Spray and Hypnotic Pattern. So as written it has not been taken into account.
I was tempted with Shield of Fortification to stop the fight ending to early.


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Going back to the OP's original point. This is something I have found amazing. On their own site they have simply made very general comments.

Mathmuse pulled together some quotes to show that Paizo had talked about the design plans

Jason Bulmahn wrote:


Welcome to the next evolution of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game!
Just shy of 10 years ago, on March 18th, 2008, we asked you to take a bold step with us and download the Alpha Playtest PDF for Pathfinder First Edition. Over the past decade, we've learned a lot about the game and the people who play it. We've talked with you on forums, we've gamed with you at conventions, and we've watched you play online and in person at countless venues. We went from updating mechanics to inventing new ones, adding a breadth of options to the game and making the system truly our own. We've made mistakes, and we've had huge triumphs. Now it is time to take all of that knowledge and make the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game even better.
...
New, but the Same
Our first goal was to make Pathfinder Second Edition feel just like the game you know and love. That means that as a player, you need to be able to make the choices that allow you to build the character you want to play. Similarly, as a Game Master, you need to have the tools and the support to tell the story you want to tell. The rules that make up the game have to fundamentally still fill the same role they did before, even if some of the mechanics behind them are different.

Building a Character
It's worth taking a moment to talk about how characters are built, because we spent a lot of time making this process smoother and more intuitive. ...

Playing the Game
We've made a number of changes to the way the game is played, to clean up the overall flow of play and to add some interesting choices in every part of the story. First up, we have broken play up into three distinct components.

The problem is that this is just motherhood and apple pie.

There may have had interviews and/or said things on other sites. But I expected this site to be where I go for that information

Mathmuse did show that the blogs on proficiency and feats had some high end objectives. But I have been disappointed in the lack of information on what was it about Ed 1 which requires a new edition and what they are trying to achieve.

As the playtest is now over I doubt we will get anything


After much discussion the party decide to explore to the south of Talmandor's Bounty. They set off just after dawn, the weather clear and warm. South east of the colony is a tall hill bare of the forest which covers much of Ancorato. The climb while not dangerous is exhausting. The wisdom of the early start soon becoming evident as the temperature rose.

On the south eastern slope the party come across an impact crater more than a hundred feet across punches into the mountainside, shrouded in dense vegetation and surrounded by toppled stone blocks, crumbling pillars, and shattered statues obscured by the island’s lush flora. Small streams flow down from the mountainside into the yawning crater that descends into the earth.
The crater wall is a steep slope covered with vegetation that descends into a lower tier and then opens into a gaping chasm. A long way below this cavernous opening a stone floor can be seen.
Gideon notices humanoid shadows burned into the stone of crumbling walls and other ruined architecture. He also spots an ancient, skeletal, humanoid form partially fused to the stone by intense heat.

That crater goes a long way down, I hope none of you want to go down there Braith comments.

What do you think these are? Muxo asks, pointing at two clusters of carvings on one of the statues. Everyone gathers around looking at the markings. Well they appear to be based on Varsian Trail signs, I am only recognised that one which means “Island” Braith remarks. “When have you ever been to Varsia Braith. From our conversations you had never left Almas until the ship took us here.” Muxo asked looking at Braith with a smile.

“I am a man of mystery Muxo, I have many hidden depths.” Braith laughs back.
After much study Thanith explains Well, those Varsian trails signs were probably influenced by Thassilonian, which in turn was based on Azlanti. I know Azlanti, so I think I have deciphers the markings. Those ones with the arrow pointing down the crater say “danger” and “undead”. Those ones are directions to an Island off of the north west coast of Ancorato. How do we all feel about “Danger and Undead? No need for you to say Chrome, we all know that answer”

Well as I said earlier it is a long way down. So going down a deep hole, with a warning from a famed explorer of the past that it is dangerous. I say just cover it up Braith contributes

Muxo grins. I say we go down. We are here to explore. And anyway there may be Azlanti ruins down there. No risk, no glory Braith.
Looking to Thanith for support, Braith replies I want money, not Glory Thanith was already looking down the crater with interest. We are going down Braith, and as the best climber you are leading the way. Just accept this and it will be easier in the long run. Get your rope out I think we will need two, it is a long way down Thanith replies.

As they clamber down Braith inspects the fused figure. While most of the figure's gear is fused to the remains and the stone behind it, the corpse wears an elaborate (and now heat-warped and worthless) circlet set with a faceted sapphire.

Reaching the edge of the hole at the bottom of the crater, Chrome suddenly spot moving humanoid silhouettes cast against the ruins. A feeling of dread fills the party and they get the sense something bad is about to happen.

Chrome recognises this as a haunt and channels holy energy into it before it fully manifests.

Well that was fun. What just happened? I get the impression we need not want to see that pan out Muxo asks looking around for any other strange occurrences.
Chrome replies solemnly It was a haunt, an echo of past pain or trauma, fussed with negative energy. I have no idea what it was going to do, but they are never good. As the burnt shadows started moving and we are assuming they are from Earthfall, I imagine the haunt was linked to Earthfall. Lets hope we never find out.

Eighty feet below this cavernous opening at the bottom of the creater, you can see a stone floor cast in the shadow of the plant life surrounding the opening.
Braith leads the way, and everyone manages to carefully clamber down the rope into the chamber below. Much of this structure has collapsed and is in severe disrepair, and everything sits skewed at an awkward angle. A portion of the chamber is flooded with water flowing from streams cascading through the overhead cavern opening. The floor, partially obscured by piles of broken stone and crumbling masonry, consists of corroded, interlocking tiles of copper and brass lined with delicate silver circuitry. A pair of steel doors is set in the wall to the north, and a break in the wall to the east reveals another chamber.
Unnerved by the burned-in shadows on the stone walls, Braith gives a slight shiver. "It's no wonder we felt that sinister presence earlier... something bad happened here." he says, both to himself and the others.
After descending even further, the copper and brass tiles inlaid with delicate silver lines draw him immediately. "This...this is very advanced technology. Not just any civilization could've produced such precise workmanship. I wonder if this area has roots in the old Azlanti civilization?"

”That is beyond my scholarship. But realistically there are not many other candidates in this area” Thanith answers.

As they look around. A figure slips out of the shadows and punches Chrome. Muxo reacts with the speed of a cat, skewering it through the abdomen. ” What the hell are you, doesn’t really matter, my rapier has your measure. Undead skum.” Thanith silently moves away and unleashes a minor blast of positive energy. The figure burst in into flame and is surrounded by a cloud of smoke. It then punched Muxo.
Then another figure appeared sheathed in smoke and flames, it advanced on Braith.
Chrome manoeuvred and let off a burst of positive energy.
Muxo then stabs the monster in the eye. Thanith summons an acid jet at the monster fighting Braith. Unfortunately the elf had not been careful enough about his safety. He is badly hit while Chrome and Braith take lesser wounds. Braith slips to behind the one Muxo had pin-cushioned and destroys it.
The creature then explodes. Thanith falls to the ground

”That is unfriendly” Chrome mutters. ” Lord Zohls let you power flow through your servant” Holy energy flowed from her breaking pieces from the last shadow.

Muxo advances on the last monster but misses. The blast shadow strikes back with its fist, Muxo parries the blow and swiftly takes advantage of the shadows lack of balance by landing a good blow. Braith misses. Chrome channels divine energy again healing her friends.

Muxo misses again. Thanith shakily get up and hits the undead with a jet of acid. Muxo suffers another firey blow. Braith manoeuvres into a flanking position and sneak attacks. Chrome casts a spell on Muxo to protect him from fire and moves away.
Muxo finally manages to land a killing blow, causing it to explode.

”Do you think Ramona will let me retire. Growing mango’s is looking good at the moment” Braith asks. ”May be I can join the two fathers in ministering to the spiritual need of the colony. I will have to spend more time around Harcourt and Luetin, but it would only hurt my ears.” Chrome replies.

Thanith, barely staying on his feet ” Let’s get back to Talmandor's Bounty. Any further exploration could set of a trap or haunt or even worse, more of those shadows”

AGREED They replied.


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I have to agree with the OP. Apart from dex bases builds, this rule will make most weapons very sub optimal. Each class will migrate towards the weapon with the biggest dice.

It is one of many parts of 2nd Ed which I think are going in the wrong direction. Hopefully it will change when the finished rules come out.


Interestingly, the party have an opportunity to ally with an underwater NPC who has "Thrown weapon" weapon style! Luckily the NPC is quite effective anyway.


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I agree that unless one is full time looking into this it is impossible to keep track of all that Paizo is saying on the playtest.

Personally I am inclined to stay with 1st edition, but am open to be persuaded. Currently they are not doing that. But it might be that I am missing important messages. Stuff on blogs/streams/interviews need to be linked to a "Pazio Blog" on the site.


While you would loss some of those classes charm if they did not have any spell specific to them, I think that simply having access to level 1-6 spell from an existing list would be OK. Having spell accessed at different spell levels was often problematic so is a good idea to get rid of. This stance if continued will reduce their future design flexibility.

I have no problem with Rangers and Paladin's being spell less.


Plans are made to approach the humanoids to the north. They gather a variety of things the humanoids might be interested in and assure Ramona not to necessarily expect them home each evening. The party depart Talmandor's Bounty, heading up the west coast of Ancorato. Shortly after leaving the colony Chrome spots a humanoid figure hiding in the edge of the forest. From the description Braith identities it as a sahuagin “Shark-folk. Stone cold killers, vicious raiders. Definitely not good neighbours. I hope these are not the people the scouts have spotted.” The party act as if having not seen the figure but it melts away into the cover very quickly.
After about for about four hours or so the group come upon the site the scouts reported. A small hunting camp rises from the coastal shallows here. The camp primarily comprises driftwood frames draped with mesh netting upon which fish and masses of seaweed drip-dry. Other racks hold gutted fish that hang over the open water.
A dozen or so humanoids move about the camp. The lean creatures bear crested fins on their heads and backs and have the wide-eyed and wide-lipped faces of fish. Those on land appear slow and ungainly, but those seen swimming in the shallows move with a startling speed and grace. ” Good those are locathahs, a totally different kettle of fish so to speak. They should be safe enough to approach, as much as anyone is. Let’s get going” Braith tells the others

When the creatures notice their approach, they begin to burble excitedly to one another. One of their number approaches you with hands spread in a gesture of greeting. A strong fishy odor exudes from her.
"Greetings, land-dwellers!" she says in accented Common. "I am Koloshkora. We are the Okoloro tribe. It is good to meet you."

Chrome mirrors the peaceful gesture. Thanith then approaches and talks in Aquan "Good day to you, Koloshkora! My name is Thanith, and these are my companions: Braith, Muxo and Chrome. We come from a newly established colony in that direction." he says, gesturing first to each of the others in turn, then to the direction of Talmandor's Bounty before continuing, "We are glad to meeting you, as well. Our apologies for taking so long to come and make ourselves known, but we have been very busy getting ourselves settled in to our new home. I'm afraid that I am the only one in the colony who speaks the Aquan tongue. It is our sincere hope to establish a good relationship with you and your people. To that end we have come with some goods that we hoped might interest you and show our peaceful intentions." he continues, gesturing to the sack they carry containing the things they brought with them.

Koloshkora continues in common "I shall continue in the surface tongue, it is easier for your companions, and it is good for me to practice. We heard rumours that humans had come to this place on a ship many months ago, but when we arrived, we found only empty buildings. It is my pleasure to finally meet you all! I am a shokokoba--a culture seeker. Much of our history was lost in a cataclysm long ago, when the stars fell from the sky. Since then, our people have striven to forge strong bonds with new species to add new ideas and concepts to our understanding of the world. But there are not many people in this region, and I have not had the opportunity to perform my tasks until now! I would be happy to teach any of you the Aquan language in exchange for insights into the ways of your people."

Muxo peers about the village, taking in their rustic practices. He sniffs the fishy sea air and says, "I suppose that depends on how much you need to learn about us. Have your people lived here that long - since the Starfall?"
Koloshkora shakes her head in a very human-like gesture. "No. We are part of a migratory hunting camp. Most of the time, we live in an underwater community several miles away. We come to this island occasionally to hunt in the shallows and satisfy our curiosity for the surface world with brief expeditions inland to forage for delicious tubers."

Chrome takes up the conversation ”I am sure that mutual trade can benefit both our peoples, and we would be happy to help with that. We are also interested in the disappearance to the people who came before us. Do you have any Ideas of who may be responsible”

Kolshkora scowls. "Unfortunately, yes. Several treats inhabit the shores of the island. Skum have dwelt here since the cataclysm long ago. But we have not seen them in this area in several weeks.
Currently, our tribe is threatened by a different race of marauders. A pack of sahuagin reside just off the east coast of this island. They have been raiding my people moving supplies to and from a large underwater city called Talasantri. The sahuagin are servants of a powerful sea hag named Helekhterie, who has lived on this island for more than a century. The hag has led kidnappings of aquatic peoples for generations.
We are willing to open trade relations with your people, but you must promise to help eradicate the sahuagin threat. We will move our hunting camp closer to your settlement as a show of trust, but we cannot begin trading until the sahuagin are dealt with."

Muxo interrupts to Chromes annoyance ” Sahuagin, Braith isn’t that the name you used for the figure we saw skulking around the colony. The Shark-folk.” Braith just nods.
” The sahuagin are expert raiders, they certainly would scout before any attack. The sahuagin dwell on the Ershani Reef off the east coast of the island. It may take you a few days to reach it on foot. I will meet you over there after moving our camp.
There's also another who might assist us. A water naga named Vriskirsa used to live in the reef, but the sahuagin displaced her. She now lairs in a cave a few miles north of the reef. I do not know her well, but if you approach and promise to drive off the sahuagin, she may be willing to help."

“OK, I am sure we can mutually assist each other with these sahuagin. This city you mentioned. Can you tell us more about this.” Chrome asked steering the conversation back to trade
"All sorts of aquatic races call Talasantri home. The population is primarily merfolk and aquatic elves, as they founded the city long ago, but several hundred of my people reside there, as well as a few cecaelias, tritons, and siyokoys. There are tradesfolk and spellcasters. Lots of trading opertunities. We are more than happy to act as your representatives" Kolshkora offers.

Arrangements are made to move the locathahs camp and for a messanger to be sent when you are ready to approach Vriskirsa
You return to the colony to report back to Ramona. The bard is pleased to hear that the locathah are friendly and will instruct the soldiers to keep an eye out for them when they move their camp closer.

You rest overnight, and are planning to depart Talmandor's Bounty, heading east across the island of Ancorato. However two of the colony soldiers bang on your door. Colson Werton and Sighra Harleau limp into the house with visible injuries. "We were investigating the disappearance of Soran, He went fishing in a canoe a couple of days ago and has not returned" Colson says gruffly. "We went down the west coast on foot to look for signs of him, but a pair of strange, winged reptilian creatures ambushed us!"
"They were too much for us to handle,"
Sighra admits. "But maybe you could discover if those monsters had anything to do with Soran's disappearance--and deal with them if possible."

“So where was the attack and describe the creature in as much detail as possible” Muxo asks, suddenly all business.

Well, They were reptiles on two legs about the size of a BIG dog. They had manes of spikes running down their scaly backs and large, batlike wings. They attacked us 3 miles south of here, on a rocky stretch of coast by sheer cliffs near the mouth of the bay.” says Sighra. “A BIG BIG dog” agrees Colson.

The party gather their gear and set off down the beach. Even with the warning where the creatures attacked Colson and Sighra, they reptiles still ambush the party, launching from the high cliffs they claw Muxo and Thanith as the fly past. They loop back over the sea and claw Muxo and Braith before anyone can react. Thanith summons a jet of acid but misses the agile flyer. Muxo readies himself if they fly past again. Chrome buries a crossbow bolt deep into on and Braith grazes the other with an arrow.

The creatures Fly in and land beside Muxo and Braith clawing Muxo for a third time, but this time Muxo is ready and stabs deeply with his rapier. Thanith scratches it with his spear. Muxo then finishes his one off before the survivor flees.

“Well I have never seen flying chupacabra before. Well technically I have never seen a chupacabra before. But I have heard of them, just not with wings. Nasty blood sucking predators. I suppose we will have to look for a nest, just in case” Thanith peters out. “you mean you want me to climb around and see if I can find Soran’s body” Braith grumbles
Yes agrees Chrome.
Despite a search of the coast no sign of Soran was found.


As they slowly gained their feet Braith voiced what was in all their minds ”I don’t know, what her powers are, but the next time we meet I’m going to kill her”
Chrome quietly butts in ”We don’t know if she is being controlled. I am sure the Bountiful Venture Company did not send anyone dangerous to set up the colony. We should be careful we do not just punish an innocent dupe” Gathering Rayland body Muxo exclaims ”Can we debate this back at The Bounty? We are all hurt and she is not here, so it is for the future. ”
”Muxo has my vote, it can wait until we get back to town?" Thanith is very wobbly on his feet but still happy to agree with Muxo. "I think we all just shook hands with the Lady of Graves, and we need a breather."
They gather Raylands body and take a diect route back to Talmandor’s Bounty.

They come across a grassy field pockmarked with piles of fallen stone and sparse trees stands a monument that is relatively free from damage. A path of broken white marble leads from it, and the grass is curiously cut and edged away from it. The monument itself is a smooth marble disk, about thirty feet in diameter, and marked with representations of the phases of the moon. A semicircular row of thirteen columns surrounds the northern side on a curved marble base, the ends of which have broken off and subsided into the ground. Two adjacent columns near the center are broken and the lintel between them is sundered. Two curved stone benches sit before the semicircle on either side of the path, and two stone buildings lie between them and the monument.

Muxo gives Braith a long look. Oh. This is my que is it? You think I should creep in look around and report back what I see. Braving any dangers that are in their on my own, as you look on. Brraith asked. Chrome ginned back Well you don’t expect a holy priestess to know how to skulk around do you?” Seeing Braiths face She quickly added ”Oh and swearing in front of a priestess is a no no as well”

Braith uses the cover to recon the area. Both buildings have pitched stone roofs and columns on all four corners, with open window spaces that admit light and air. Each has a single door that faces the other structure. Inside each is a simple stone table flanked with stone benches, suitable for temporary gatherings or prayers. Braith scouts both builds looking through the windows. He also sees two metallic sculptures of idealized women. They sparkle in the light of the setting sun.
After this is all reported back the party decide to approach carefully. The metallic figures react to the party by speaking in Azlanti ” Welcome to the shrine of Acavna, mortals. Have you come to offer praise to the goddess?”
Thanith being the only scholar in the party was able to translate "Forgive me, m'ladies, but I must confess that we didn't know there was a shrine here...and I am unfamiliar with the name Acavna. Is she a goddess of the Azlanti people?"
"Yes. Acavna is known as the Shield. She is the goddess of companionship, the moon, and defensive battle. She supports the faithful who are besieged or overwhelmed, coming to their aid," one construct says.
"We would be happy to teach you all about the goddess," the other one says. "Please, have a seat and we will begin your education."

This causes a quick conference Chrome, who was considering the difficulty of fighting two metal women, and knowing they were seeking a place to camp, shrugs and finds a place to sit. "Might as well learn something. By the way in case you don’t recognise them our hosts are celedons, immortal automatons of perfect faith. Forged of the purest extraplanar metals, every celedon exists to serve a single deity. Each possesses a boundless willingness to praise their deity's name, whether through song, oration, mock battle, or whatever performance their creator favours. Most spend the entirety of their existences tending a single holy place, repeating rituals, perfecting services, and creating new works to laud their particular deities. " She says, sighing. "Thanith, you might want to point out that you are the only Azlanti speaker here”

The celedons, who give their names as Ariel and Urlana, begin to lecture about their goddess. And they offer to instruct the rest of you in the ancient language as well.
Kind and compassionate, Acavna regarded humanity, especially the Azlanti, as something to be protected and cherished. From rural militias to elite city guards, many in Azlant praised Acavna and prayed to her for protection in times of peace as well as in times of war. Acavna looked most favorably upon those who were besieged or outnumbered.
An important story in her holy text tells of the siege of the city-state of Bilith-Vel. The invading army was approaching the city under cover of night, and while the besieged awaited attack, a lone guard prayed to Acavna for a revelation that she could use to save her city. As the army neared, the sliver of the crescent moon suddenly shone as bright as a full moon, revealing the attackers and giving the defending forces enough time to reposition and repel the invaders.
The sun has set fully now, but the celedons show no sign of planning to stop their lecture.
” Ariel and Urlana, we are flesh and blood. We need to rest. Tomorrow we will need to go back to our home” The metal woman studied Thanith carefully "Rest, yes we had forgotten that. We will wait until you are suffiently rested. However you cannot leave. Our last pupil promised she would return after venturing to the tower, but she never came back. It had been ages since we had encountered any humans to instruct, and we will not allow you to leave until your education is complete."
As Thanith translated, they all started. “Last pupil, the Tower. Who have they been teaching?” Braith snapped, reaching for his weapon. ”Relax, Braith. These celadons are teachers, not spies, they are no threat”
Thanith starts questioning the celadons
Braith continues to look around. ”It’s not them I am worried about. They may have been talking about Eliza, if so she knows where this place is.”. Thanith turns to the others ad confirms that the previous pupil was Eliza and that she left weeks ago and has not returned. This settles everyone down who now rest for the night (with a guard on watch)
The following morning they talk to the guardians
" Urlana, Ariel...believe me, I would love nothing more than to listen to your lessons, but that would be really selfish of me. There are many others in our village who will want to hear you"
"I give you my word, as a scholar, that I will return to you to continue the lessons. I will be bring others with me, more who would like to hear what you have to say."
Thanith explains. The celadons reluctantly agree to the idea of more pupils.

Packing quickly and making your way back to the colony with all due haste still takes most of the day carrying Rayland’s body. When you return everything seems to be as it was left. Apart from a few eager eyes that have been watching for signs of your return with news of your expedition north.
Ramona is eager to hear what you discovered but looks a little dishearted to see your battered state, and the body.
"Perhaps it will be best to speak inside my home rather than the hall. "
They all go into Ramona house. "Is that Rayland?" she asks once you have some privacy. "I hardly recognize him! What happened? What did you find at the tower? Do avoid the rug with the body."

Braith answered "Yes, it's Rayland. And Eliza, another of the first colonists to arrive was also there. We found them in an old Azlanti prison facility but, under suspicion that their minds were being controlled, we asked them about Silas. When the answers didn’t add up, they attacked us. Eliza is a psychic and Rayland has lost none of his combat ability.
Eliza escaped. We need to warn the colonists to avoid her. We may also need to explain the body we carried in”

After waiting for Ramona to make any orders she wants, Thanith will explain more thoroughly.
"The condition Rayland are in is a known effect caused by the touch of an Aboleth. The effect can possibly be cured by the priests. However, more worrying, both seem to have been under the effect of powerful enchantments."
Thanith will begin a detailed account of their experiences since setting out for the tower, pausing to allow others to add their experiences and observations. He will include the mention of the elf spy and display the books that they brought back for study.
"As you can see, the threat is beyond what we first thought. The part these Skum play is not known, but the true danger appear to be Aboleth, and the knowledge that the Aboleth may have played a part in shaping the Azlanti empire is beyond intriguing.
I think we need to take some time to study these books and the religion at the temple. Hopefully this will give us a clue as to how to proceed now."

That night, Ramona gathers the colonists by the central fire pit in the palisade. She stands on the wooden platform to address the crowd.
"There's been a lot of rumors going around about the body brought back the yesterday. I'd like to take some time to explain what's going on. Following an attack by aquatic humanoids, our colony's troubleshooters tracked them to a tower north of here. They eliminated the menacing creatures, and in the process discovered two of the missing colonists from the first wave of settlers: Eliza Haniver and Rayland Arkley. Unfortunately, both are suffering from a malady that affects their minds. A fight ensued, Rayland was killed but Eliza escaped and must be considered hostile and deadly.
"We still don't know the fate of the other ninety-eight colonists. But all fifty of us are safe here. Thanks to the efforts of Thanith Muxo Braith and Chrome, there is no immediate danger to Talmandor's Bounty. Can I guarantee that danger will not arise in the future? No. But we all knew that forging a settlement in the ruins of Azlant wasn't going to be easy. If we wanted to avoid danger and risk, we all would have stayed in Almas.
"These four have proven themselves strong, resourceful, and brave. I am confident that they can assist us in defeating any dangers that might arise. With all of us working together towards our common purpose, Talmandor's Bounty will survive. It will thrive. Have faith, be good to each other, and let's make this place our home."

Ramona steps down to scattered cheers and applause. A few of the colonists still look uneasy, though. It's going to be hard to completely assuage everybody's fears.

As the meeting breaks up Thanith gathers together Carver, Eamon, Kurvis and Perrell
” While we were exploring, we found a couple of animated statues. We spoke with them, and they had a great desire to teach. They served a goddess named Acavna, if I recall correctly, and were quite eager to teach us the lore of this goddess. From what we could tell the deity was a good-willed one."
"We promised to return and take instruction from them later. I'd hate to disappoint them. But it occurred to me that such information will be of interest to yourselves."

Eamon perk up with excitement. Carver is just open mouthed in astonishment. Kurvis grumbles ”I wish I had time for such interesting diversions, I am sure it will be as fascinating as you have suggested” Perrell appears lightly shy in the company, but turns to Kurvis ” maybe this is exactly what you need. It will give you an outlook away from the demands of your flock”

The four started planning when they can get away from their jobs. Braith chips in. "I tried to convince them to come back to the colony to continue their teaching, but they refused; apparently that area is a holy site to Acavna. You might have more luck convincing them to join us back here than we did. I think it's at least worth trying."
"In the meantime, I don't mind letting you hang on to my notebook so you can copy any information you want out of it. I can get it back from you in a day or two, when you're finished. Make sure no one is travelling on their own. The island is still not safe"

The next several days pass relatively quickly. Alba helps to dose Eliza and keep her in an addled state, though Ramona is sure not to relax the guard around her just yet. After five days, the domination effect fades away, though the psychic remains unrepentant when questioned.
Five more days pass, and at last your lookouts report a welcome sight--a ship sailing into the bay! The colonists cheer as the Justice for All docks at Talmandor's Bounty, stocked with additional food and supplies to bolster the fledgling colony.

Several weeks pass, growing the colony and ensuring the food supply. Eventually Ramona gathers them all together.

"Now that we're a bit more settled here on Ancorato, I have some tasks for you," Ramona continues. "Perrell Beys and Lyra Heatherly are both occupied with other missions, so I'd like your assistance in surveying the island to chart its geography and secure resources essential for maintaining and expanding the colony. Their tasks include locating a quarry of stone suitable for construction of larger buildings, prospecting for precious metals or ore that could expand the settlement's trade arrangements, flagging forests to establish lumber camps, and discovering whether there are any peaceful indigenous inhabitants—and if so, opening diplomatic relations with them. In fact, our scouts have spotted aquatic humanoids of an unknown nature just up the coast to the west of Talmandor’s Bounty, which may be a good place to start investigating."
She turns to Carver. "I'd also like you to work with Carver about helping with his operation on Ancorato. As you know, he's a member of the Pathfinder Society."
Carver nods. "I'm sorry again to have deceived you about my true intentions, but the state of affairs within the Pathfinder Society isn't conducive to an open operation in Azlant, of all places. When I first heard that a ship was bound for these islands, I knew that the Society needed a presence on here. But that brings me to why I wanted to talk to you. I am not the first Pathfinder to set foot on Ancorato. That, my friends, would be the legendary explorer Durvin Gest.
I believe the legendary Pathfinder explored Ancorato during his exploration of the shattered continent, an expedition detailed in the first-ever Pathfinder Chronicles published in 4317. Durvin Gest is perhaps the most famous Pathfinder, and he documented his journeys in some of the earliest Pathfinder Chronicles before vanishing sometime around 4360 AR. After studying the first chronicle, I deduced, due to calculations and similar reference points, that Ancorato was just one of many islands the Pathfinder documented. In addition, my colleagues in the Pathfinder Society discovered that some of the artifacts brought to Avistan from Ancorato contained hidden information—precious knowledge encoded inside seemingly ordinary ioun stones. This fragmentary information, dating back to the empire of Azlant itself, suggests a vast conspiracy bubbling beneath the fabric of Azlanti society, the secret of which may still be hidden somewhere on Ancorato.
"I want you to follow in Durvin's footsteps, revisiting locations noted in the first volume of the Pathfinder Chronicles. Up until now, those Pathfinders who have ventured to the ruins of Azlant have either never returned from the journey or didn't find anything relevant. I know of a handful of locations spoken of in the Chronicles, though not precisely where on the island they may be--if they're even on Ancorato at all. I've compiled a list of them for you to investigate."

Carver hands you a list, which include the following five locations and notes:
Abandoned Ulfen Settlement: Named "Joskadalr" in volume 1 of the Pathfinder Chronicles, this lost Ulfen camp allegedly exists on the east coast of Ancorato, hidden from view of the ocean by its placement in a rocky cove. Durvin's account of the settlement claims it has an "unsettling presence" and that he did preliminary investigations but did not stay long. Carver believes this site may not be far from Talmandor's Bounty and narrows down the search area to an 8-mile stretch of coast.
Waterfall Cave: Durvin's account of this cave speaks of unusual etchings and murals that may have been an archaeological excavation by the Azlanti themselves, potentially of an even older civilization dating back to the beginning of the Age of Legend or perhaps further. Carver estimates the location to be on the far northeastern side of Ancorato in the foothills.
Sunken Laboratory: This fabled site is where Durvin Gest claims to have discovered ancient Azlanti technology that led to the creation of wayfinders. Durvin's journals claim that he was never able to fully explore the ruin due to a puzzling series of locking mechanisms and the presence of dangerous undead. Carver believes this site could hold invaluable information to the Society regarding the nature of ioun stones and how they were used in ancient Azlant.
Crystal Monument: While Durvin did not personally explore this site, in volume 1 of the Pathfinder Chronicles he describes seeing a massive azurite monolith etched with strange runes rising up from a forest-covered island off Ancorato's northwest coast. An approaching storm prevented Durvin from exploring the island, and Carver wants a detailed account of what lies there.
Ancient Observatory: Somewhere in the mountains of Ancorato, Durvin Gest became lost during his expedition and stumbled upon an ancient tower that contained a trove of Azlanti writing, star charts etched into the walls, and a still-functional orrery used to chart the movement of the planets. Durvin was driven from the observatory by packs of creatures Carver believes were aberrations called chokers. Unfortunately, Carver does not know exactly where this observatory is—or even if it still stands after so many centuries.


So I have created a few characters for "The Lost Star" and am starting to look at 4th lv for the next installment. I don't have any earth shattering insights but the following have occurred to me:

* the 150sp allowance appears to allow you to be better equipped the in 1st Ed
* Bulk is very restrictive, far more so then encumbrance was
* the ancestry abilities (not sure they should be feats) should be more front loaded
* no one is interested in the alchemist


This does not appear to have been cleared up in the update. Has an answer come up anywhere else?


Generally the AP is very good. We are having great fun with it. It does have some issues.

The original exploration of the colony had too many intelligent humanoid like monsters for my taste.

Some of the encounters in Book 2 appear overpowered for the party levels.

The party find the first wave of colonist disappeared. But then nothing is done about this till the start of the 3rd book, when suddenly the party is expected to rush head long into a rescue, weeks after the original abductions.

There are some story issues in the underwater city. You many want to read the specific treads about that.

None of these are insurmountable, and many may well not be noticed by players as opposed to GM's


Recently we mainly play AP's.

Kingmaker we have a party who's only healer/status remover was a Paladin. As we entered the 11-12 level area it became increasingly difficult.

Jade Regent. The parties only arcane caster is a Summoner. At 8th level it has not been a problem. But I think it will become so.

Serpents Skull had no character with a full BAB. This caused increasing problems, but mainly due to the GMing style. The 3/4 BAB characters rarely had an opportunity to buff/prepare before combat.

Is it a necessity to have a balanced party? No but as you go up in levels it becomes increasingly telling.

I am strongly of the view that if a group decides on a non balanced party it is the player job to make it work, not the GM's.


Through the door is a featureless dark chamber, empty except for a large ring of an unusual-looking metal embedded in the floor.

Studying it for a short time, Thanith determines that anything within the circle will be subjected to a detect magic effect, but the results of this effect are visible to anyone in the form of coloured auras of differing intensities.
While everyone agreed they had never heard of such a thing they were unsure how useful it would be to them.
Deciding to leave the constructs for now they looked towards the slope. “ I will have a quick peek up there. Stay here while I can scout.” Braith suggests

The ramp winds up to the next floor. Much of this level is a room that wraps around the tower. Another ramp on the south wall ascends to the floor above. Against a wall to the southwest is a table suitable for quiet study. The western side of this area sports half a dozen bookshelves covered in the dust of deteriorating paper and leather. Opposite the shelves is a small stone plinth holding a clockwork bust of a nondescript woman. A large table surrounded by a few stools occupies the eastern side of the room.
A single skum stands among the shelves, examining some of the surviving tomes. Braith retreats and briefs the team

Muxo advances and takes a powerful attack of opportunity landing a blow of his own in exchange. The powerful skum strikes back but Muxo parries the blow. Thanith and Chrome advance. Chrome heals Muxo and Thanith launches a Jet of Acid that wings the skum.

Braith tumbles into the combat and stabs deeply with his shortsword. Muxo misses with a flourish of his rapier. It decides to take out the healer and steps towards Chrome but misses. She strikes back with a strong blow.

Braith’s sneak attack leaves another massive cut in its body. It claws Chrome before Muxo slays the skum.

The skum had a magic potion and a magic glaive, and a ring of five keys.
Once you have a chance to look around more, you can see a brass plaque next to the door in this room. In Azlanti, it reads "Lower Level Tank and Observation Deck." An elaborate lock is set in the door, but the key is in the lock and turned to disable the mechanism.
Examination of the library stacks may be disappointing for seekers of ancient secrets and lore, as nearly all of the books have disintegrated with time. However, two books made of engraved metal plates survive, as well as three others that appear to be standard paper and ink. These "normal" books radiate a faint necromancy aura. A sixth surviving book appears to be a spellbook.
The only item on the desk that has survived the passage of time is a blue gemstone--another recording gem. The plinth holds a strange clockwork bust of a woman. A small slot is built into the forehead of the bust the same size and shape of the gemstone. This appears to be another device for playing back the gems.
Chrome puts the crystal into the bust
A voice begins to speak in the Azlanti tongue. The bust's mechanical mouth moves along with the words. "This recording gem and the information it contains is for the organization's internal use only and not for dissemination to the public, under penalty of law.
"What follows is sensitive information about the Spindle Solution. As far as the public knows, we are dedicated to improving humanity's quality of life through the use of ioun stone technology. We create and specialize in the spindle series of stones, while also performing humanitarian research here at Spindlelock Tower and other stations throughout Azlant.
"This is just our public face, though. In truth, we are a division of the Ioun Imperative that serves as the empire's intelligence organization. Behind the facade, we perform classified military and intelligence research and development.
"Recently, our group captured a spy. Originally suspected to be an elf from Celwynvian disguised as a human, the spy proved to be tenacious, resourceful, and dangerous. Once captured, the spy was placed in temporal stasis, and since the organization's leadership was unwilling to house the prisoner at our headquarters, the Compass, this facility was renovated in secret to contain the individual. Most of the other researchers here are unaware of this development.
"The Spindle Solution leadership has recently determined that the Empire of Azlant has been manipulated by a hitherto unknown aquatic race. Some speculate that the spy might be related to these creatures, so a second series of renovations were performed on Spindlelock Tower to accommodate the spy's release from stasis and eventual interrogation. At this time, the general public is unaware of this aquatic threat. We intend to keep it that way. We do not want to cause a panic. We will record another gem once the interrogation is complete."

The bust's mouth stops moving as the recording ends.
"Wow. So...that was unexpected. Seems like we've found some kind of ancient prison, or at least a holding facility of some kind. I wonder if the one they captured is still in stasis here? That would be quite the rude awakening if we find him and wake him up. Or her, as the case may be." Muxo exclaimed
Braith replies “He could still be alive, I guess.
The voice said he was in stasis. If they never got a chance to perform the interrogation, he might still be waiting.
These Skum could be the aquatic race they were referring to, though they don't seem to like working with anyone or have the needed subtlety to resort to spying or hidden influence.”

Thanith was already flicking through the spellbook “Any objections if I take the spellbook” He mutters, not really listening for an reply.
Before heading upstairs, you open the double doors on this level. This enclosed area is an octagonal walkway illuminated by a soft, pervasive light. The overwhelmingly dominant feature is another chamber inside this area, which has transparent walls and appears to be filled with gently bubbling water. This cistern or tank appears to extend up into the next floor, although there is a stone ceiling 15 feet above this external walkway. On the east side of the tank is a transparent door, complete with an opaque handle.
The tank's walls and door radiate auras of moderate abjuration when examined with detect magic. Chrome can see a vaguely humanoid shape floating motionless in the water--it is likely a water elemental.

Looking at the water tank now more narrowly, Thanith seems suspicious.
"A water elemental in a tank of water? With abjuration spells on it? Sounds to me like they were trying to keep the elemental inside...and if the people here before were trying to keep it in, I see no reason to disturb it at present. There's no way it can be the spy we heard about earlier, a water elemental wouldn't need to be put into stasis...would it? I don't think elementals age."

Studying the aura on the tank, Thanith surmises the spell creates a barrier to keep the water from spilling out. Even if you were to open the door, the water would likely remain within its confines.
Deciding to leave the elemental alone, you head up the ramp to the next floor.
”Hold here while I have a quick look up there. Lets try not to stumble into another fight if it can be avoided.” Braith suggested as he sneaks up the slope
Almost the entirety of this floor is open. In the center of the room is a vast tank of water with transparent walls and no floor that extends down to the story below. Much like in the lower level, a single transparent door with an opaque handle is built into the eastern face of the tank.
Just east of the tank is a much smaller transparent chamber with a similar door. This one contains no water, however, and a blanket is hung casually over the open door. On the floor nearby are some damp blankets, and pots and bowls that contain picked-over rations and the remains of partially eaten fish.
Two people sit on the blankets. One is a lean young woman with long red hair, a fair complexion, and large, expressive green eyes. The other is a broad man with a full head of dirty blond hair, bushy eyebrows above piercing blue eyes, and a thick moustache that frames a square jaw. Disturbingly, both of them have skin that is sickeningly translucent. The exposed muscle tissue and circulatory systems revealed by their practically transparent, glistening skin have transformed the humans into grotesque horrors.

Braith quietly retreats back down and reports his find. Chrome casts Detect Thought

They then walk up the slope.
When they notice you, the two rise to their feet. "Praise Erastil! Friendly faces at last. Did you kill those skum warriors downstairs? They've been keeping us prisoner here. I'm Eliza Haniver, and this is Rayland Arkley. We're colonists from Talmandor's Bounty."

Braith smiles broadly walking into the room "Eliza, Rayland, we have been looking for you. You appear to have something terribly wrong with your skin. Are you in any pain?"

Eliza says. "I'm not entirely sure what happened. I remember coming up here and opening the small chamber and then...everything gets fuzzy. I think something has been tampering with my memory. Somehow Rayland got here too, and this happened to us." She gestures to her translucent skin. "It's very painful. Our skin dries out if we don't immerse ourselves in water every hour or so."
After listening to their response and with Chrome detecting their thoughts, Braith suddenly veer course into an interrogation.
"First though, tell us what you remember about Silas Wetherbee."

Eliza replies "I'm not entirely sure what happened. I remember coming up here and opening the small chamber and then...everything gets fuzzy. I think something has been tampering with my memory. Somehow Rayland got here too, and this happened to us." She gestures to her translucent skin. "It's very painful. Our skin dries out if we don't immerse ourselves in water every hour or so."
When asked about Silas, she glances at Rayland, who shrugs slightly. "Silas? He's a farmer who assisted Father Adran at the chapel. Why do you ask? Is he alright?"

"Alright? He seemed... agitated. Quite upset at Rayland, in fact.
Why would he be upset with you, Rayland?"
Braith continues

"I don't know," Rayland says. "I don't recall doing anything that might have upset him."

"There are gaps in Rayland's memories, too," Eliza says. "We don't even know how long we've been held here for."

” Well it’s just that Silas’s ghost told us Rayland killed him. That, the fact that you still have your weapons and that Rayland appears to be enchanted”

Chrome added to the conversation ”Eliza, your thoughts give you away. They are hostile and you do not see us as liberators at all”

Eliza’s face suddenly turns into a mask of fury. ”Kill them Rayland, kill them all” she snarls. Anticipating this, Muxo moves to the left next to Braith, looking to block and advance to the spellcasters and ready’s an attack. Braith takes a defensive posture. Rayland advances, shrugs off Muxo’s attack and hits Muxo with his sword.
Eliza takes the blanket off the door next to her. Under it is a magic glyph which flares with energy. A number of identical Eliza’s appear. They then cast a Mage Armour spell. Thanith starts casting a long spell and Chrome advances into the room concentrating on the detect thought spell.

Muxo shouts ”We have defeated Grindylows, monkey goblins, skum and many kinds of constructs. Ankhegs, Assassin vines have all fallen to us. Do you think you will prevail” and hits Rayland. Raylands confidence drains out of him. Braith tries to skip past Rayland but gets stabbed for his lack of caution. His return strike wounds Rayland deeply. Eliza summons her psychic magic and pushes a mental probe into Braith’s mind causing some mental damage. ”That hurt, I’ll get to you next, witch”

Rayland steps away from the flanked position he was in. Swinging his sword at Muxo and the shield at Braith, missing both. Thanith’s sleep spell fails to affect Eliza, but the follow up Ray of Frost destroyed an image. Chrome stayed near the ramp to stop anyone escaping, she then channelled healing energy to her friends. ” What are you witch. What have you done to Rayland and all the others?” Chrome questions

Muxo stabs at Rayland, but the experienced warrior avoids the blow. He could not also avoid Braiths cut. Eliza casts another psychic spell ripping into Braiths mind, who slumps to the ground. Rayland lashes out at Muxo with both sword and shield, getting a glancing blow with the shield. Thanith’s Ray of Frost knocks down another mirror image. Chrome stabilises Braith.

Muxo and Rayland trade blows, with neither able to land anything telling. Eliza uses her Mind Thrust on Thanith, leaving him clinging on to consciousness. He moves closer to Chrome and collapses. Chrome heals each of her allies with healing energy.

Muxo and Rayland continue to miss each other. While Braith plays dead Muxo shakes off most of another Mind Thrust. Thanith uses a burning hand spell to injure Eliza. Chrome advances and knocks down the last Mirror Image.

The two fighters carry on searching for a weakness in their opponents defence. Eliza uses her last Mind Thrust and knocks Chrome out. Thanith hits Eliza with a jet of acid.

Muxo finally finds a way through Rayland defence, stabbing him through his heart. Rayland slumped to the ground dead. Eliza uses darts of magic force to drop Thanith. She then moves to the large water tank.

Before Muxo can stop her she flees into the water. “Good job I am stocked up on potions” he mutters as he revives his friends.


Page 55 of Book one talks about "At some point
early on during this 6-week period, the Peregrine (or
another supply ship) arrives at Talmandor’s Bounty,
giving the PCs a chance to sell their equipment and
purchase new gear."

I took this to mean there were two supply ships who travel in a six week schedule (possibly with a change of crew)

The ships will be able to message each other to coordinate purchases etc.


Following on from my previous post.

C2 Buried Laboratory
This is a CR7 encounter. According to The core rule book that makes it epic for a level 4 party. However Blast Shadows appear to be under rated at CR5. Looking at The Beastry
The damage is 38 (OK for a CR8 creature). The rest are at the top CR5.

All of this and the encounter follows a very dangerous haunt.

I normally add material to AP's, customise it etc. I do not normally change the encounters. In this book it looks like I am going to have to double check each encounter!!!!


In addition, the tower has what appear to be stone posts directly abutting either side of the door, hinting that there was at one time a walkway or some other structure attached to the tower.
Braith takes a few minutes to search the door, but doesn't find any traps or anything else of interest. Despite the door's weight, it swings open effortlessly at his touch. The ceiling of the room beyond begins to glow, shedding light into the chamber.
This spacious chamber appears to have been designed to awe or impress the entrant. Pale gray tiles decorated with faint, intricate geometrical designs cover the floor. The walls of the chamber are pure white, illuminated by the unnatural light emanating from the ceiling in a way that makes the chamber appear slightly larger than it really is. Another double door at the far side of the room leads to the north.
In the center of the chamber is a lifelike statue of a man in simple black robes with a helmet that obscures most of his face. It appears to be the same man whose image spoke from the dais you discovered earlier.
Thaniths sharp elven hearing picked up the sound of movement behind the walls nearest the entrance, the slap of footfalls on stone.
Chrome quickly changed from crossbow to morning star, Muxo and Braith prepare to strike anything which approaches.

Two skum step through the walls like they're not even there, tridents raised to strike! Muxo strikes deeply with his rapier and Thanith barely misses with a ray of magic cold. Braith’s swing is wide of the mark. This all put the Skum off who miss the stabs.
Muxo strikes again, nearly killing the first skum. Chrome steps up to a flanking position and lands a solid blow, Braith misses again.
While Chrome managed to dodge the stab aimed at her, Muxo was not so lucky, dodging the wrong way and getting stabbed deeply by a trident. The two skum then fall to a flurry of blows.
Thanith quickly recognises the tridents as magical and these are passed to Muxo and Braith.
Braith peered past the images of the walls, he can see a room that has a simple stone floor and undecorated gray stone walls. The stark nature of the room is interrupted only by a large circle of silvery metal set into the floor in the corner.
After half an hour of study the purpose of the metallic circles remained unclear.
The doors in the north wall are investigated, leading to a large room, a curving ramp along the northern wall of this chamber ascends to the floor above. The east and west walls each have a single door, and a double door stands in the southern wall. Murals cover the east and west walls in this space, depicting kind-looking human adult figures smiling benevolently at children. The children, for their part, are smiling and appear healthy and happy. The figures, both adults and children, have tiny jewels orbiting around their heads in shining rings that resemble halos. Bold words are painted above the door.
Thanith translates Ours is the Great Work to see humanity achieve its greatest potential.
I am more interested in that panel in the opposite wall. It appears to be clockwork, probably something to do with a trap.
A careful visual examination from the doorway revealed to panels, one above each of the side doors.

Well I am going to try and deactivate that panel keep an eye out for me” Braith declares
As Braith starts across the room to the panel, the panels above the doors slide open, revealing crossbows mounted on clockwork mechanisms! They track the rogues movements and fire--both bolts sink into his side, wounding him badly! He hustles to the panel as the devices load more bolts. Muxo and Chrome entered the room hoping to present more targets and give time for Braith to deal with the panel. This was painfully successful, both being hit. Fortunately, Braith is able to disable the trap quickly. They are each hit again. But no one drops before Braith deactivates the trap. Chrome then heals everyone up.
The door on the left opens onto a chamber that appears to be a workshop, as evidenced by a table along the western wall laden with tools and mechanical parts. Two humanoid clockwork constructs are in here, tinkering with some tools. When they see you, though, one of them speaks in Azlanti.
” "You are trespassing on private property. You must leave this facility immediately. Please surrender and do not resist."
They moved towards the party menacingly.
Muxo closes the door, which appears to satisfy the strange constructs, as they do not follow.
The other door leads to a long narrow chamber A long marble workbench runs the entire length of the southern wall, and a rusting metal shelf stands on the opposite wall. Squat stools line up along the bench, which is littered with a variety of small, precise hammers and chisels as well as fragments of crystalline stone that looks like quartz. Another door exits to the north.
A pair of skum poke about this room, inspecting the tools and bits of cut quartz. When they see you, though, they snarl and raise claws.
Muxo rushes in dealing a deep wound. The other prepare for combat outside the chamber. Muxo dodges a flurry of claws and bites. He then kills the one adjacent to him and reteats out of the room. The surviving skum follow and is sneak attacked by Braith. Muxo finishes it off.
Back in the chamber, among the quartz shards on the bench, a dull gray stone that glows with a continual flame is found. “ I bet a light source that constantly circles your head would quickly give you a head ache.” Chrome comments. Muxo grins “ Probably, but you would look cool


Me, in Kingmaker. But I am crazy.


Because we mainly play AP's we don't start new characters very often. So some of the ones below are due to lack of opportunity. Never seen:
Alchemist
Magus
Gunslinger
Vigilante
any of the Occult Adventures
Skald
Hunter
Brawler

The next AP we start is likely to have a Pyscic and and Alchemist, so we are slowly getting here


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I first watched it at Christmas, so to ME its a Christmas movie!


While resting the party notice a group of fishermen running back towards Talmandor’s Bounty. Sensing a problem Muxo runs towards them. Braith quickly jumps to his feet and runs towards the flank. The fishermen are being attacked by three aquatic humanoids, lumbering up the beach. They manage to lay low a fisherman before the others flee shouting.
Those are Skum. Aggressive aquatic monsters, don’t expect any quarter from them. They are very aggressive shouts Braith
Thanith fires a jet of acid hitting an attacker. Chrome casts a spell infusing the party with the power of her lord Zohls.
Muxo and Braith trade blows with a couple of the enemies, the third one misses Thanith, who steps away and starts casting a spell. Chrome heals her friends in a burst of power.
Muxo proceeds to miss his opponent while Braith kills his. The others flee, resisting Thaniths spell, they jump back into the sea.
Chrome quickly heals the unconscious fisherman. The others describe how the figures emerged from the sea, looking aggressive, so they ran.
Sensible tactical decision Thanith adds, getting an odd look from Muxo What exactly do you know about tactics? You are a wizard! Muxo asks. Thanith simply smiled Muxo I am over a hundred and forty years old, my education was long and diverse. Also I am an arcanist not a wizard.
Braith leads the fisherman away Ignore those two. Can you get some of the colony soldiers to help down here, cheers.
This one has a map. It shows part of the island and a tower. I don’t understand the language. Chrome shout, having ignore the banters and searched the body
The body, map and fisherman are all taken to Ramona’s office and she is sent for. After a lot of discussion, no one could read the language. Eventually, Alba Divenvarr explains she can prepare an extract to understand any language. This reveals that the map said Bring prisoners here Troublingly the alchemist could not tell what the language is.

Well this is the first clue to the previous colonist. I want you four to prepare for this. We do not want to get this wrong by rushing into something that has been hidden for weeks. Anything you need in my power, I arrange for you have.
The group come the conclusion that they had no idea what they were getting into, so had no preparations to make. They left the following morning, following the coast on route the party had taken to join up with the Peregrine Following the map they head inland and start to climb.
The forest gives way to shattered fragments of rock and stone, the barest recognizable remnants of a lost civilization. Jutting from the grass and shrubs is a stone promenade, ten feet wide with intermittent flights of short steps that climb up a gentle slope—miraculously unchanged despite titanic upheaval of the past. Walkways extend east and west briefly before terminating into hills of wind-eroded stone rubble that might have once been buildings. A solitary, seemingly intact tower is visible on the northern horizon, approximately a mile away.
The peace of the early afternoon is ruined by a clinking noise coming from the undergrowth to the north, steadily growing in volume. After a few moments to contemplate this a swarm of what appear to be thousands of steel ball bearings emerges, pressing the bushes flat! The balls somehow move in perfect cohesion, rolling towards you unerringly.
Run, get up high. It’s a guard from ancient days Thanith yells running to a pile of rocks.
The others take the elf’s advice. Braith and Muxo get to the top of different piles of rocks. Chrome and Thanith both slipped back off the rocks.
The swarm surround the spell casters jabbing them with little spikes. Chrome manages to climb up the rocks, Thanith fails again, the swarm continues to stab him and he loses his footing.
Grab my hand Yells Braith, reaching down to help Thanith up. Chrome pulls out an Alchemist fire and hits the swarm with it. The air is filled with popping and crackling noises as one by one dozens of the strange constructs melt and burst in the intense heat and fall to the ground as blacken scrap.
Despite the help Thanith still failed to get out of swarm, getting stabbed again.
For Cayden sake, I thought you elves grow up climbing trees Muxo snaps.
Finally Braith manages to haul Thanith to safety. A combination of Burning hands and Flaming Sphere spells destroy the little constructs leaving a field of burnt machinery.
That was a Warden Jack Swarm. I have read of them. An Azlanti defence device. They get bigger and nastier from what I read. And Muxo I grew up in a library not a forest
After healing Thanith the party walk towards the tower, the hills give way to sharp, rocky inclines. A solitary stone structure, a tower at least three stories high, is partially embedded in the rocky cliff wall behind it. The cylindrical edifice is oddly undamaged, however, as if the rock were only the tide lapping at the tower's lower half, frozen in time. The structure has no windows or rooftop battlements. A metal double door is set in the base of the southern side and is slightly ajar.
Azlanti letters are carved into the doors.
[i Spindlelock Research Facility: a division of the Spindle Solution, making tomorrow's humanity, today. Authorized Personnel Only.[/i]
In addition, the tower has what appear to be stone posts directly abutting either side of the door, hinting that there was at one time a walkway or some other structure attached to the tower.


Is it just me, but what is a Feeder in the Deep (CR8) doing in encounter E?
The party is likely to be level 4 and while it is possible to meet it on its own, it is far more likely to be part of a larger encounter.

On top of this the party are not yet likely to totally prepared for underwater combat.

Obviously they may have Koloshkora with them, but that is not guaranteed. Without her it looks to be a TPK. With her I can still see several character deaths.


There probably isn't an explanation, but one of the things which stood out to be is that the farms and hamlets of the hinterland are on the far side of the "The Devils Platter" and the "MossWood"
This makes any journey to town intrinsically dangerous.

How does Sandpoint defend it's hinterland?


The following morning the party, refreshed and rested returned to the well. The lid was removed and they descended. They follow the same cramped passage but took the right fork. This lead to a cave, luckily Braith’s sharp eyes spotted movement on the ceiling. Not sure what is up there but something is hiding.
Muxo brought his rapier to a guards position, Braith followed suit. The cave suddenly goes dark, but the does not stop Muxo from skewering the monster dropping on him, Braith is not so lucky. The weird hood like creatures drop from the ceiling, one grabs Muxo and squeezed him hard. Muxo is saved further damage by a pin point shot from Chromes crossbow. The other darkmantles miss in their grap attempts.
Muxo manages to hit again, but Braith was confused by the magic darkness. The surviving monsters attack Muxo, who falls under their assault. Thanith kill one with a jet of acid. The survivor tries to run but is hacked down.
Why is everything trying to squeeze the life out of me recently? This place should be called “Throttle Island” complained Muxo after Chrome got him back on his feet.
The rest of the exploration is uneventful and leads to another tunnel which is assumed to have been used by the chockers before the well was dug.
The following morning they are disturbed by a disturbance, shouting coming from the center of the colony. A small crowd has gathered around Harcourt Carrolby and Luetin Calewick, who seem to be the cause of the disturbance.
"You are just one man. You don't need all that space for yourself," Harcourt argues.
"It's the closest house to the smithy. Are you a blacksmith? Didn't think so," Luetin counters.
"When my fiance arrives, we will need the space to start a family."
"Yeah, I got a family coming too. My son and daughter. What makes yours better than mine, huh?"

Harcourt sighs. "We also will be extending the Carrolby family's business interests to this island. A working class man like yourself wouldn't understand the demands placed upon people of business."
"Oh yeah?"
Luetin snarls. "I think I understand enough. I understand that you're a coward! You only want this house so you can hide behind the safety of the palisade. 'Oh, save me from the scary monkey goblins! I don't want to break a nail!'
Harcourt fumes, curling his hands into fists. Luetin sneers and cracks his neck. It looks like the two want to kill each other.

Braith looking seriously unimpressed ”Should we let them kill each other? They are both pains in the …”
“NO”
says Thanith unusually forcefully for the quiet Elf “Luetin is the only blacksmith and Harcourt family has a big say in the Bountiful Venture Company.” “Normally I would leave this to Ramona, but I know she had an early start looking at a site up the coast” sigh’s Chrome “I’ll deal with it
“GENTLEMEN
This is a colony not a school playgroup. Mr Carrolby can I have a word in private?”

She then moves a distance away
Harcourt Carrolby follows Chrome “That was very rude. I am not used to being talked to like that by common mercenaries” He whinned. “ Mr Carrolby I am trying to stop you making a serious mistake, so kindly listen. I understand your desire to have a suitable home for your family. However you need to take a long view. Clearly your primary home will be the ranch once established. But you will need a town house. But is this really the one, I know it is available, but have you ever lived near a smithy? They are smelly and create a lot of noise. Surely it is better to plan and build a purpose built home on the other side of the colony” Chrome whispered to him “ I know Luetin is annoying and arrogant, but let him have the house. It is in your long term interest”
Harcourt looked at Chrome with increasing interest. ”I have clearly underestimated you. You are quiet right, I have let emotion cloud my judgement. Thank you for stopping me from making that mistake”
“Luetin, you can have the house” He shouts over his shoulder

Chrome goes back to their house. ”What did you say to him? Offer to sleep with him?” Braith quipped and misjudged his duck and got a whack around the ear. ”For a supposedly intelligent man you really should anticipate when you will need to duck” Thanith chuckled.

Several days later the party are scouting to the south east of the colony when the trees thin out around this field of shattered stones and fragments. Toppled marble columns jut haphazardly from the ground and are partially covered with moss. These rocks are the only evidence that buildings once stood here, but the passage of thousands of years has left little but their broken stone skeletons. One remnant remains incongruous with the ruins: a circular marble dais carved from a distinctly lustrous pinkish stone, perfectly preserved but surrounded by a crumbled stone rotunda that has not weathered the ages nearly as well.
Not for the first time Braiths sharpe senses save the party from a nasty surprise. Hiding in the ruins are monkey goblins. Misile weapons fly. Braith and chrom doth hit with their sortbow and xbow respectively. Muxo and Chrome take hits from javelins in exchange.
Braith charges into combat and hits a goblin. Thanith launches a bolt of force injuring another. The goblin facing Braith makes a run for safety while the other goblins charge Muxo whose pary and repost kept him safe but failed to hit his enemy.
The goblins keep stabbing with their spears but miss. Chrome and Muxo land solid blows, killing a goblin. The others flee.
”Personally I am getting sick of Monkey Goblins. These pests need to be cowed into submission, driven off or killed” Chrome mutters, drawing odd looks from Braith. He had been thinking exactly the same, but hadn’t expected the normally gentle Chrome to voice his thoughts.
They search the area, and as they approach the dais a humanoid figure flickers into existence on the dais and begins to address a nonexistent audience. The figure wears black robes befitting an academic or a spellcaster, and wears a peculiar metal helm that obscures all the wearer’s features except the mouth, which is partially covered by chain links. The front of the helmet is decorated by three upward-pointing tines, like a fork or a trident. The figure’s words are clearly audible, but are spoken in Azlanti, and it gestures with its hands, as if to
calm or reassure. The in Azlanti the image speaks
“Loyal citizens of the empire—fear not. The blot in the heavens is but a ruse by veiled foes to keep us distracted in this time of mounting chaos. Tend to your regular duties, and trust in the Ioun Imperative and your emperor to keep you safe. Do not fail us, and we shall not fail you.”

After Thanith translates for the others.
What was all that about? Ioun Imperative? The blot in the heavens? Illusions talking Azlanti? Anyone have a clue?” Braith asked.
Muxo shrug’s ”I am just the muscle, well the sharp rapier, as only the slight elf here has less muscles then me. Anyway I leave brain power to others”
“Even you short lived humans must have heard of Earthfall. I would assume that is the “blot in the heavens” The rest I don’t know, my studies were mainly arcane, languages and engineering. History is not my strong point.” Thanith replies.
Chrome starts to gather their stuff together and carefully studying the ruins ” This we need to report to Ramona. She may understand it more than us. Let’s start back.”

The journey back was interrupted by a fearsome predator. As they moved across a clearing. A pony sized dragon burst from cover and spat acid at the party. Braith with the reflexes of a cat jumps out of the way. Chrome takes the brunt of the acid, The drake the charges and bites Chrome who falls to the ground. Muxo stabs it for a minor wound. Braith manoeuvres to the side and sneak attacks. Thanith launches a jet of acid that just washes off the drake.
The drake turns to bite Braith in retaliation for his hit, but misses. The tail slap hits Muxo for a minor hit. Muxo and Braith both land blows. This drives the drake to flee.
A potion is given to Chrome who then heals herself.
The rest of the journey was uneventful.
Thanith is persuaded to give the report to Ramona ” We have found an Azlanti relic. It is dais that projects an image giving a public announcement, possibly about Earthfall. Obviously powerful magic has kept it intact. The image obviously is speaking Azlanti”
Ramona shows increasing surprise. ”Thank you Thanith, Chrome, gentleman. This is very interesting. You have clearly had a more dangerous encounter. Rest for a couple of days. I will think about this.”
Two days later Ramona approaches together with one of the colony soldiers Carver Hastings.
“Word of your recent discovery has spread around the colony. Carver here has come to me with some interesting news. I will leave you to it” Ramona announces.
Carver choughs nervously ” I am a Pathfinder. The venture captain who assigned me to this expedition was worried about spies from the Aspis Consortium, so he wanted me to keep a low profile. But it was too great an opportunity to pass up. We suspected Talmandor's Bounty was located near Azlanti ruins originally explored by the founder of our organization, Durvin Gest. Seeing this image lends credence to our theories. I’m sorry to have deceived you, but the state of affairs within the Pathfinder Society isn’t conducive to an open operation in Azlant, of all places. When I first heard that a ship was bound for these islands, I knew that the Society needed a presence on here. I would really like to see this image if you will take me there”

Muxo shrugs ” I am OK with this, people are not always able to be up front with all their details. However understand we are here for the colony, not some semi secret team of meddlers.”

The journey to the dais is uneventful except for the heavy rain.

As Carver approaches the dais the image appears. "That helmet! Do you realize its significance?" He glances around furtively, looking particularly at Muxo for a few moments. The swashbuckler betrays no emotion, though, so Carver shrugs and turns back to you, seemingly having made up his mind about something.
"This man is wearing a powerful artifact called a decemvirate helm. At least, that's what we call it in the Pathfinder Society. The Decemvirate is a secret council that governs the Society, and the helms are enchanted to protect their anonymity. We suspected Talmandor's Bounty was located near Azlanti ruins originally explored by the founder of our organization, Durvin Gest. Seeing this image lends credence to our theories."


There is much debate about the fate of the monkey goblin captive. After as much interrogation as a tongues spell allows it is let free.

The party manage to get a couple of days rest. Thanith spends time scribing scrolls and transferring spell into his spell book. Braith and Chrome spend a few hours a day helping with the building, while Muxo spends a few hours doing guard duty. All much easier then fighting off murderous creatures.
Before dawn there is a bang on the door. One of the colony soldiers, Dag Solidar is there. Romona want to see you as quickly as possible he reports. Whats up asks Chrome. Not my place to say he replies. OK, should we take the time to armour up and get all our kit asks Braith. I think being prepared is more important than getting there a couple of minutes earlier. I would definitely take it all.
A short walk later they and they go into “Government House” Waiting for them is Romona and
Daib Joiner, one of the colony’s carpenters who lives in one of the houses in the center of the settlement. Ok Daib they them what you told me, then take the day off
Well I awoke in the middle of the night to find someone trying to choke me to death. Me and, Geoff Tamor kinda hit it off on the boat, so any way he was staying with me. Geoff got up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water and returned to find some stranger in my bedroom trying to kill me. Geoff struck the ~&@$£ on the head with an iron skillet, but this only seemed to daze the monster, who staggered out the door and into the night. It was horrible little naked man, about Halfling sized with gray skin and long, rubbery chocking arms.”

Okay Daib, try not to chat about this until Chrome and her friends deal with this. When he leaves, Romona turns to you. OK, track this thing down and kill it or drive it off. If you need help with tracking Anya is free to help.

Anya soon find some small star shaped tracks heading south, these headed up the hill towards Levins Farm, which had retained its name despite being occupied by the patch family. The tracks led to the well.

So who going down first. I can supply light. Thanith asks Ladies first? suggests Muxo, and gets a punch on the arm. [/b] I’ll go first, just don’t pull that “ladies tosh” with me[/b] Chrome laughs

The Patch family are warned to stay indoors and keep a look out

Eventually Braith goes down the well with a knotted rope with a light spell from Thanith. He finds at the bottom of the well, just above the waterline, a narrow break in the wall leads north.
The walls are rough and uneven, while stalactites hang from the stone ceiling of this cave. The air is cool in contrast to the warmth of the island’s surface. A natural tunnel meanders in a northerly direction.
The others all manage the climb without incident. They slowing made their way up the passage for about 100ft. then The passage splits into two tunnels. The faint dripping of water into small pools echoes softly down the cave tunnels.

The party take the left hand fork The cramped tunnels open up into a larger cavern. Its irregular walls open to dark spaces. A suspicious-looking pile of bones sits in the center of the floor, a faint scent of blood and viscera has almost—but not quite—faded away.
Four young chokers are in this cavern, each one not even two-feet-tall. They seem to be taking turns trying to lob a small rock into a hole in the cavern wall. When they see Muxo leading the way, they shriek out in alarm before rushing forward.
Braith moves into the cave and prepares to hit any enemy who gets close These are juvenile chokers. Don’t be fooled by the small size, they are still dangerous Thanith take his advice and shoots an acid jet at one but shoots over its head. They finish their charge, missing Braith who misses with a wild swipe with his shortsword. Thanith is not so lucky and finds himself being strangled. Muxo stabs the one choking Thanith, Hold on elf, we’ll get you free. Chrome keeps Thanith on his feet. Braith finishes off the one clinging on to Thaniths throat. Get to the back Thanith, you don’t want to be the first person in the colonies graveyard. Thanith stabs with his spear before stepping behind Chrome We already buried Silas there, fool, good idea though Braith distracted by his attempt at humour, fails to stop another choker grabbing him by the throat. Muzo and Chrome both land solid blows.
The chokers proved difficult to hit but Thanith finishes another off with a magic missile. Braith manoeuvres to get his sneak attack, but misses. Finally Muzo and Chrome finally land telling blows and down the last two juveniles.
Still dangerous, that was a bit of understated. How dangerous are the grown ups? My studies concentrated on more arcane matters. Thanith asks. Well they gab and strangle you with more skill and strength and have longer arms
The party take the side passage which soon opens into a cave. Thanith casts a minor spell to detect arcane aura’s. Braith and Muzo both spot adult chockers hiding in the shadows. Muzo advanced on one and stabbed it. The choker retaliated by grabbing by the throat and squeezing. Chrome shoots with her crossbow, missing. She gets out her morning star. Braith advances and finds the chokers rubbery skin difficult to penetrate. I am not underestimating these things Thanith mutters, drawing the wand they found with the giant grindylow. He creates a 3 foot ball of fire at the feet of a choker, who dodges it.
Muzo continues being strangled, but stabs the choker again. Braith slashes again and fails to land a blow. Chrome channels the power of the heavens and heals both Muzo and Braith. Thanith shoots a jet of acid and misses.
Chrome keeps Muzo on his feet while everyone misses with their blows. The flaming sphere badly burns a choker. Hold on Muzo I will get that thing off you Braith promises. Muzo just gasps for breath. Just then the other choker grabs Braiths neck and squeezes.
Chrome continues to pulse out her healing power. Finally Muzo and Braith land telling blows, felling the two chokers

Ok Thanith, you are not to ask any more questions like that again. I did not want to find out what the parents were like. That was very nasty. Let’s finish your magical sweep and get these two back to Eamon
They find a Meridian belt, a shield cloak, a steel flask of whiskey and assorted other valuables.
On climbing out they discuss how to seal off the well with the Patch family. Finally a large wooden lid is found and piled with rocks.


I completely agree that wizards are powerful and versatile, I just think it can be over emphasised. Scribe scroll is indeed very useful (even more for class which know their entire spell list like clerics) for utility.

I was simply pointing out that a wizard can do many thing, but not necessarily everything in the same day, and is best with some foreknowledge.


gustavo iglesias

Quote:

Or maybe you could, if barbarian and fighter are replaced by, say inquisitor and magus.

Not all characters need to have investigating skills. But it never hurts, and if you like to be involved, having something to do outside of combat important in this AP

I have a serious love of the inquisitor, however you do need to understand their limitations:

Bane is only rounds per level (and does require you to identify what you are fighting
Judgement lasts until combat ends, so cannot be put up before.

Both are swift actions so often you cannot put up both at the same time

They have limitations as a parties only/main front liner


Quote:

Letric said

At level 1 climbing to a house to infiltrate it seems extremely hard for a level 1 party.
For a Rogue the difference between level 1 and 5 will be 4 more skill points, for a Wizard its going to be Fly, Levitate, Spider Climb, pick your thing.

This is true but a 5th level wizard has limited 2nd and 3rd level spells. This goes back to my point about prepared casters shining when they know what to expect. Spell casters can make encounters easy, but only so many times in a day.

Also climb is one of the easiest skills to replace.


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The caster vs martial balance depends on many things (as well as the table)
1. The length of the adventuring day. At low levels a wizard can one shot and encounter (sleep/colour spray) But how often can they do it? At high levels you still have limited high level spells. Lower level spells and wand normal do not have a dramatic effect.
2. Do the party know what they will be encountering? Clearly prepared casters benefit from this more than spontaneous ones
3. Do they know when they will encounter them? Linked to number 1

Clearly each table has it’s own balance. We have never really found a problem. Pathfinder has certainly levelled things out. We certainly find no shortage of people playing martials which is the real test.

• Battlefield control is useful, but not easy to pull off in reality, as opposed to the theory, without also hindering your colleagues
• Direct Damage has improved under Pathfinder but requires considerable specialisation to consistently keep up
• Save or suck is where pathfinder has even things since 3.5. The suck is now seldom as bad as it used to be.


I think you are over thinking this. Whatever works for your GM and yourself about your background will be fine.

On the issue of a Monk you may want to look into methods of your unarmed strike doing piercing damage.


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Serpents Skull and Skull and Shackles can also finish early.
Jade Regent could be changed so that you are simply trying to get the NPC to the other side of the world and not worry about what happens there.

Ruins Azlanti can be finished early, after the end of book 3.


The Peregrine sails south back to Talmandor's Bounty, making the journey in a couple of hours. Upon arrival, the ship drops anchor in the bay and both the crew and colonists work together to begin unloading the ship using the ship's boats.

The Peregrine will depart tomorrow morning, Ramona says. "If you have any treasures you wish to sell, you can leave them with Captain Markosi, and he will send the proceeds of your sales back with the next supply ship. You may also place an order for equipment and special provisions.
"Now then, why don't you show me around the colony and point out any areas of concern?"

Muxo takes the lead

"Most of the buildings are in pretty good repair. You'll notice that most of the tools remain in the tool house here. We are also temporarily using the Tool House as safe food storage, due to the infestation within the Food House.
Those cockroaches and the spoiled food will need to be cleaned up before this building is serviceable again. Whomever you designate for that task will probably want to utilize the swarmsuit we found.
Likewise, the smithy will need to be cleaned up from the vermin we encountered living there. I'm fairly sure all of the smithy tools are there.
The courthouse and homes seem to be in pretty good order, though the temple here might be a problem. There is a restless spirit in that building currently. Still, I would suggest leaving the building well alone, though maybe the priests might have a bit better time talking to him.
As for the palisade itself, you can see that the previous settlers made a good start. It will need to be completed to deal with the goblins and other land based dangers, though the threat of more ankheg can't be ignored.
Speaking of ankheg, clearing up the main fields over there and making sure all of the eggs are properly taken care of should be a top priority.
"So.... there you have it. Let us know how we can help out. We do need to start looking into where the other settlers disappeared to, and hopefully solve the mystery of the poor murdered farmer."

Ramona listens to Muxo’s descriptions as she tours the colony. "Yes, it looks like we'll have a good leg up settling down here. I'll have Luetin go through the smithy to make sure he has everything he needs to set up shop there.
Fathers Eamon and Kurvis will be restoring the chapel. With luck, they can reach an accord with the spirit there until he can be put to rest.

It takes the majority of the day to get everything unloaded from the Peregrine. The ship stays the night and the crew replenishes their fresh water before departing in the morning. During the next day, the existing houses are assigned with the understanding that there may need to be compromises made if the original colonists return. Ramona also assigns work details and specialized crews. She declares the four of you the colony's trouble shooters. While you have no official daily jobs, you're expected to be on standby to respond to any situations that might arise. Aside from that, however, you have free rein to spend your days how you wish.
The party are allocated a house and choose one close to the gate in the palisade. They discuss which items they wanted to sell and which to keep. The decided to sell the Ring of Ferocious action and order a wand of CLW and Detect secret Doors. They also sent the wedding ring they found back to the couple’s family.

The next several days pass rather quickly, with work beginning in earnest to get Talmandor's Bounty up and running again. As the farmers clear the fields and tend to the crops, the carpenters focus their work on finishing the palisade wall. By week's end, the wooden fortifications are complete, creating a secure barrier around the core of the colony.

After several days the governor asks you to see her.

"Since the roaches destroyed a good portion of the food stores here, we need to stock up on fresh meat. I've asked Anya Sandstrider to organize a boar hunt tomorrow. I'd appreciate it if you and your friends could help in that endeavour. Please be ready at a couple of hours before first light"

The next morning the party meet Anya and some of the colony soldiers. I have found several trails used by the boar. I propose to take the soldiers to one and want you four to cover the other.

Muxo replies That works for us. We have got used to working together over the last few days. We wouldn’t want our crashing about to spoil your stealth

After an hours walking Anya points out a trail and the tracks she had spotted. They will come down here just after dawn, be ready

After several hours waiting they see two boars walking down the trail. Braith shots his bow and hits for minor damage, Chrome misses with her Xbow. Thanith casts a defensive spell. Muxo moved into a better position as the boars aggressively moved up Hold them off while I flank them he shout. Braith buries another arrow into the boar. Thanith fires a magic force bolt, while Chrome draws her moringstar and moves up to protect Thanith. Muxo charges out of the woods into a flanking position and misses with a wild swing. Large tusks flash in the morning light but both Chrome and Muxo manage to dodge the vicious blows.

The quiet of woodland path with the sound of the melee, but not the sound of any blows landing as he boars and the party then missed each other for a while. Finally Thanith summons a jet of Acid which hits as Chrome manages to connect with her Morningstar. One of the boars finally catches Braith with a dangerous gore.

Chrome and Thanith (using his spear) double team one of the boars and it falls. Finally, I prefer dinner which does not fight back Thanith mutters. Muxo and Braith finally manage to strike the surviving boar putting it down.

The party sling the boars under two poles and walk back to the colony triumphantly. Anya and her group have also brought back 2 boars. Well we certainly aren’t going to use the pelt of this one says Anya, inspecting the acid burn on it’s flank Food was always the priority, and none of you ended up as boar food, so it’s all good. We must be careful not to over hunt these boars. We don’t want the rooting up out crops, but they will be a useful food supply if conserved

Ramona organises two of the boars to be preserved and the others cooked for immediate consumption. A property welcoming feast is prepared with the whole colony taking part in the preparations. While this lifts the colonists spirits, the fate of the first wave hang over the gathering.

During the party Braith has a conversation with Ramona The tension in Talmandor’s Bounty isn’t going away until we find out what happened to the previous colonist. We aren’t talking about it, but it isn’t going away

Ramona relies Tell me something I don’t know Braith, better yet come up with a clue to follow. At the moment all we can do it make the colony succeed and hope we find something to point us in the right direction. Your team, Anya and Lyra will be my eyes as you explore the areas closest to the colony. Let’s see what turns up.

While we are talking about this stuff. Lyra has been talking to Alba and they think they have identified a site an hour away. It appears to contain loads of plants and stuff Alba needs. She will give you instructions about what to look for. No need for an early start, enjoy the party.

The following day you depart Talmandor's Bounty mid-morning, heading east towards the island's interior. This is better then up before dawn, boar hunting. And herbs don’t fight back Chips in Muxo.
According to the map, it should take you about an hour or two to reach your destination. You travel across a wide stream and through the forest, passing by tall outcroppings of rock.
You continue traveling for a few more hours before reaching your destination. A small hill rises in the center of a copse of trees, their numbers thinning along the incline. A number of trees adorn the hill like the tines of a crown, and in their shadows grow odd-looking ferns, mushrooms, and bushes resplendent with berries of an unusual colour.
Luckily just as they all start to gather the herbs Thanith spotted a gnarled vine, as thick as a man's arm and bearing hand-shaped leaves, convulses slightly out of sync with the wind. As the party prepared to defend themselves the grass and other plants wrapped around their legs, only Muxo managed to avoid the twisting plants.
That thing is an Assassin Vine, they are a common problem in my homeland
Muxo managed to stab it deeply with his rapier and avoided a return blow. Thanith put up a shielding spell. Braith slips free of the plants and shots with his bow, unfortunately the shot goes very wide. Chrome pulls herself free and draws her morning star.
Muxo cartwheels behind the strange plant and lands a minor blow, Thanith summoned a jet of acid, but concentrating on not hitting Muxo ruined the elf’s aim. Braith had no such problem and buried another arrow into the plant. Chrome found that the grass had pinned her in place again.
Finally Muxo and Braith combine to finish the strange plant off.
Once you have recovered from the battle with the vine, you are able to gather the reagents Alba has asked for. There is a veritable cornucopia of rare alchemical substances here that will serve the dwarf well.
As the party retraced their steps they spotted an ambush set up by the stream crossing. Six goblinlike creatures were hiding in the undergrowth and water.
The party rapidly prepare for combat. Chrome enchants her crossbow while the others find cover. The monkey goblins throw spears, one hits Muxo.
Braith and Chrome both advance shooting, Muxo advances, drawing and throwing a dagger with his off hand. The goblins throw daggers scoring multiple hits. Thanith takes one out with a acid jet.
Muxo advanced to combat but missed, he is stabbed in return. Braith hits another with an arrow. Chrome channelled the energy of her lord to heal the party. Thanith uses the wand they had previously found, setting off a cone of twisting colours. Two monkey goblins fall unconscious.
Braith and Muxo kill one more, which drives the survivor to flee. They take one of the unconscious goblins prisoner.
Ramona uses a tongues spell to interrogate the prisoner. She learnt a bit about the tribes and where they come from


Thanks Captain collateral damage

I have only ever used that rule for PC's. Looking thro' other Beastiary's I can see you are right


Just a warning the Monkey Goblins listed on page 13 (and in Bestiary 6) have maximum hit points instead of average. It makes them somewhat tougher then expected.


All adventure paths need the ability to win combat. The point is that the party has skills+arcane/divine magic+combat ability. Not that every character can do all of them.

Will saves for martial characters are often an issue. This AP is no different in that respect.


Druvalia Thrune in Hells Heart (Skull & Shackles Book 6) is the Big Bad Nasty. She is an inquisitor of Thrune.

So the answer appears to be yes.


The party are rowed over to the ship.

An uneasy air hangs over the ship. The tension among the passengers and sailors alike is so palpable it can be cut with a knife. You overhear whispered conversations that the expedition should be scrubbed and everyone sail back to Almas. The ship's officers and crew look sullen and apprehensive.
Ramona goes to try to calm the colonists, but it seems that she isn't having much luck. Several people are starting to talk more loudly about abandoning the expedition, feeding the sense of desperation among the group. Ramona glances at you worriedly.
I could use a bit of help here. I don't want this to escalate to a confrontation--we need to assuage their fears.

Muxo approaches one of the expedition soliders. Antona Sedgewick, Muxo remember some gossip from the voyage. Antona had romantic feelings towards Ramona, which were not reciprocated.

Muxo asks for a private word Look you are meant to be one of the protectors for these people. Your private feud with Ramona is putting people at risk. This ship does not have the food to get everyone home. Shape up solider or we will have to deal with you, to protect the colonists

Antona starts at these words. Okay, maybe I need to toe the line a bit. I’ll stop bad mouthing the expedition. You are right it’s my job to protect these people. Any one ever tell you “You catch more flies with sugar then vinegar?”

Thanith approaches Faedwyr Trundlebrook one of the farmers. A timid man he was a popular figure among the colonists with a generous nature and clearly a knowledgable farmer. Thanith quickly realises Faedwry simply need reassurance about his safety in a weird deserted colony. Thanith arranges a mock fight between Chrome and Braith. Braith using his acrobatics and Chrome mixing in orisons produce a good display, calming Faedwry down.

Mean while Thanith has moved on to talk to Perrell Beys, a short red haired woman. Thanith has had several conversation with Perrell during the voyage. They shared a scholarly nature and had some wide ranging conversations. Thanith quickly worked out that Perrell was simply worried about the unknown. She was uncomfortable with uncertainty. Chrome was soon able to reassure her that such things were to be expected when travelling to a different continent, far from home. It would be unusual if unexpected stuff didn’t happen.

With the colonist calmed down everyone eat roast boar and bedded down for the night.

After breakfast, the party get back into the row boat. Chome did not trust her swimming skill and waited in the boat. The others get into the water and start to swim under the boat when Thanith sees a pair of small brightly coloured fish attached to the ships hull.

Thanith casts a minor protective spell (resistance) on Braith, who swims up to the strang fish and misses a stab. Muxo tries to move up and support Braith but just splashes around. Thanith not wanting Braith to be isolated cast a similar protective spell on himself and advances. The fish take this as an invitation and bites him, latching on. Muxo manages to get the hang of swimming and attacking underwater and impales on fish on his rapier. Thanith summons a jet of acid which injures the survivor who flees.

Looking on from the boat Chrome a spots a lone grindylow bobbing just beneath the surface of the water, observing the fight. It jets off to the north, departing quickly in a stream of bubbles.

The others join her on the boat and go back to report to Ramona

"I saw it too!" a sailor says. "That little bugger jetted off toward a partially submerged sea cave over yonder!"
Ramona nods. "Well, then. It might be worthwhile to explore it and deal with the grindylows on the colony's terms instead of waiting for a surprise raid. Are you up for the task?"

The party are rowed to the cave and clamber over the rocks to the cave. Spotting a couple of grindylows hiding below the waterline. The grindylows surged out of the water and threw spears hitting Muxo. The party moved in finding the cave has about 5 foot deep water. Muxo hits one a good blow, Chrome with her xbow and Braith both miss.
The grindylows continue to concentrate on Muxo hitting him again. Braith flanks ad finishes one off. Everyone else is either reloading or missed. Muzo is hit again before they kill the last goblin.

I hate grindylows snarls Muzo. they can’t miss me Chrome casts a healing spell Zohl’s holy power will wash over and heal your hurts.
Lady Zohl please protect your servant from the servants of evil
She intones and cast a protective spells on herself.

They move on spotting move grindylows at a junction. Braith moves to attack and misses, Thanith also misses with a ray of frost. Both Muzo and Braith are hit but avoid being tripped. Muzo misses and Chrome waits to see an opportunity to shoot an enemy.
Braith kills a grindylow, while Thanith also waits to see what arises. The surviving grindylows flee.
Braith and Thanith both advance, Thanith casting a bolt of force which kills the target. The survivors charge them spearing the both. However this over extended them, Muxo advanced and killed one. Chrome channels the power of her mistress and heals her partners. The rest of the grindylows are killed without hitting again.

They advance but come to a cave with deeper water. Personally I am happier going the other way, with feet on the ground. I know it’s not a long swim, but who knows what hostiles are in there. Chrome says
I can understand that. The other way is good with me Thanith agrees.

They advance up the original corridor. This sets off a roof cave in which the grindylows had rigged. Chrome heals the damage on them all.

After a sharp switchback in the tunnel, a gradual upward slope leads out of the water and into this roughly round chamber with a dome-like ceiling. The floor is covered in a mixture of sand and coarse stones. Rising from the ground near the center of the room is a massive statue of a hand, carved from a smooth, pearlescent, sea-green marble. The hand is bent back at the wrist and posed as if to catch something or to cradle something in its palm. If anything more exists of the statue, it is buried beneath the earth.
A giant grindylow the size of a human reclines in the hand as if it were a throne. Upon seeing you, she slides down off the hand, rises to her full height and bellows, the sound echoing off the chamber's walls!

The Giant grindylow charges Braith stabbing him deeply with her spear. Braith desperately swings back, bouncing off the creatures hide. Chrome channels healing energy again, Muxo moves into position and hits for a minor wound. The ferocious grindylow stabs at both Muxo and Braith missing them both. This breathing space allows Braith to get in a strike. Chrome moves to support but misses as does Muxo. Thanith uses his acid jet but fails to hit in the confusing melee.
Trying to avoid being surrounded Brinetoth steps aside but missed Muxo. Braith getting into the swing of things hits again. Chrome lands a solid blow. The enemy is looking hurt, one final effort extolls Muxo. Thanith realising the difficulty in hitting a target in these circumstances fires a bolt of force that unerringly hits. With multiple target in reach again Brinethooth stabs Braith again, however the follow up on Chrome just bounces off her armour. Braith was just clinging on to consciousness stabbed deeply into the creature and then collapsed. Chrome could not finish her off, but Muxo did.

Braith was brought back to consciousness and the party searched for treasure. Finding a magic amulet, spear and ring. Plus a chest which was taken back to the ship.


I have not read the fourth book which arrived Thursday.

But from reading the earlier books and stating to run book 1, I can't see why a Winter Witch wouldn't work.


Anyone who has read the adventure will realise I have swapped out some of the creature. I wanted less intelligent (as far as that applies to goblins) foes. I felt that animals and vermin fitted the "deserted colony"/where are all the people vib better.


I don’t know about anyone else, but that is something we leave to the priests on the ship Brath gasp’s. Sounds good to me agrees Thanith.
Ok let’s be careful with the next few buildings. Hopefully no more spirits Muxo starts moving towards a L shaped building.

This building is constructed of mud bricks on a wooden frame. The western portion is of the structure is enclosed by four walls. This section has a single open window on the south side, with a canvas curtain hung across the opening. The single entrance is a wooden door, standing slightly ajar, on the southern end of the eastern face of the building. A ten-foot extension connects to the building on the east side. This extension has only a northern wall and is otherwise just a roof sheltering the space below, which is open to the outside. Underneath this cover is a forge with an exhaust flue directly above it, a worktable covered in metal scraps, a small tub of black water, and a partially sheltered anvil.
The party approach slowly, Chrome covering the window with her crossbow. Muxo and Thanith burst into the building. They see several dog sized vermin. One is close enough to Muxo to take a hit. However Muxo’s rapier bounced off the Giant flea’s carapace.
Braith hides around a corner, Thanith retreats casting a protective cantrip. The flea’s then jump into the attack missing with their bites. Thanith finding himself in combat draws a dagger and lands a lucky slash.

Muxo and Chrome both draw daggers but miss with the unfamiliar weapons. Braith slips out of the cover he was hiding in to flank one of the vermin. A quick slash of his short sword finished the creature off. Thanith quickly backs away and casts a bolt of force at the one trying to bite Chrome. Muxo finds defending himself using a dagger instead of a trusty rapier is more difficult and is bitten. The final 2 vermin then die in a flurry of attacks.
The smithy had some very good equipment. Braith took one of the masterwork machetes, while muxo upgraded his armour to a masterwork chain shirt.

Well I suppose there is still time to investigate outside the stockade. We should have a look at the fields and the outlying properties. Chrome suggests. So far the stockade has been dangerous enough. Hate to think what will be out there muses Muxo.
So far it has been mainly dumb critters taking advantage of the food and shelter answers Thanith, not understanding a rhetorical question.

They travel down a path going from the tents, looking at two fields. I know nothing about farming and growing stuff. But I grew up in Darkmoon Vale. I do know when plants have that number of bones and skulls ad stuff by them it is because they have killed things. That large plant there is unlike any of the other, I reckon it is dangerous He gets out his bow and shoots the biggest plant in the field. The others follow suit.

Are you sure about this Braith Chrome asks, reloading her heavy crossbow. We don’t appear to be doing anything and nothing is moving
Then Braith puts an arrow into the large plant and it starts moving towards them. I’m convinced says Thanith and casts a cantrip doing some minor cold damage. Branches slash out at Muxo but the nimble swashbuckler avoids the all, but lands no blow of his own.

Braith switches to his sword and slashes the plant. It then releases a cloud of pollen. Blinding everyone except Muxo. Realising the desperate situation Muxo impale the plant with his rapier.

Whether by bad luck or chance the party never found out, but at this time two ankheg nymphs decided to attack from the other field. One of them attacks Thanith as he had retreaded away from the plant creature. The nymphs bite causing the frail elf to fall unconscious. Muxo continues taking on the plant as it edges towards the blinded people, landing a solid blow finally finishing it off.

Chrome moves to a better position, dodging a bite and lets off a burst of holy energy healing Thanith and stopping him from bleeding out. Muxo moves into combat with the new threat, but it is Braith who land a solid blow. Thanith plays dead as the little monsters continue to bite at Muxo and Braith. Finally with Chrome keeping them on their feet the two of them cut down the Nymphs.

I told you he plant was dangerous. Sorry about not spotting those ankhegs One good thing. That is a plum tree Thanith points. That should be our next place to go. After that there is the cottage on the hill Muxo look at the elf with new respect. Are you sure you want to carry on after that By Aboddon yes, I don’t want any of these thing disturbing my sleep. Lets push on

Standing south of the fields is a fruit-bearing tree with spiny branches and reddish-purple, apple-shaped plums. A few plums have fallen to the ground to spoil in the heat and birds have pecked at others. Nevertheless, there are still many fruits still fit to pick and eat.
Searching around the tree, Braith and Muxo discovers a spot on the ground, next to a fist sized stone, where the earth has been disturbed. Digging a few inches beneath the soil yields a small, flat, leather pouch like a wallet. It seems to have been buried for a few weeks, but is not significantly deteriorated. Inside the wallet is a note:
After Dulin went on the “fishing expedition,” I thought it was smart to change the drop point, lest they drag it out of him. Rayland is becoming bolder and cockier now that more people have resumed supporting him. Don’t tell him anything, no matter how convincing he seems. If necessary, talk to Eliza, she’s on our side and it’s clear that Rayland resents her for usurping his authority. Some of us plan on taking the canoe—since those bastards conveniently took the boat—and finding somewhere to hole up until the supply ship comes. We can’t all go at once, so wait for the quarter moon and go down to the docks a few hours past nightfall. Barnabus will pick you up. Don’t get followed!
—Una

Well this brings more question rather than answers. There was clearly dissention in the colony. I wonder what “fishing trip” means Chrome muses. Well if we feel up to it lets look at the cottage on the hill

Atop a sloping hill stands a solitary cottage built apart from the rest of the colony. A stone well has been built not far from the house’s front door. A large stone near the entrance is painted with the words “Levin Farm.”
The house has a thatched roof, a single entrance with a working door, which is open, and a few shuttered windows. Just south of the cottage is a tilled vegetable patch that grows wild from neglect.

The party approach when a large bird charges (unsteadily) out of the cottage down the slope and aims an unsuccessful peck at Muxo
Muxo is more successful landing a blow, Braith manoeuvres to land a telling blow. The other cast spells which miss. While the Axe beak bites Muxo for a serious wound.
Chrome has to heal Muxo to keep him on his feet. The creature, swaying then delivers a bite to Braith. Thaniths Ray of Frost misses again.
Muxo and Braith finally manage to kill the animal.
Well that’s me done for the day says Muxo. I have strict rule about how many differnet critters can taste my blood in any one day. I have reached that limit. Let’s see what’s in the cottage

A careful approach shows the cottage to be empty. A small barrel of beer has had the top smashed in, presumably by the Axe Beak. The do find under the floor a magic Rapier, possibly Azlanti.

The party go back towards Government House. It is Mid-afternoon, the sky is getting cloudy. By the time they get to the second story building It is raining. They climb to the upper floor and rest And level up

The party wake to a cloudy warm day.

Can I suggest we do a circuit of the colony before we go and join the Pregrime. We may find some useful tracks. Chrome suggests

OK who has been thinking in her sleep Braith quips I doubt we will find anything. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Straight after breakfast.

Braith proves to be correct. No useful tracks are found.

Looking to travel north the spot a large area of disturbed ground. The meadow is full of large holes, a pile of earth beside each one.

Do you think we have found mummy, from those nymph’s yesterday Muxo asks

Well lets check, if so we can come back with the colony soldiers Braith suggests. They approach carefully, weapons at the ready. Despite their caution the ankheg still surprised them as it charged from one of the holes, luckily missing a bite at Muxo.

Muxo responds with a deep trust of his rapier. Thanith unleashes a missile of force. Braith rushed to help Muxo but misses his strike. Chrome shoots his crossbow, but is nowhere near.

Muxo repeats his strike, before the ankheg bites muxo deeply and keeps hold. Acid drips into Muxo’s wound.The party rain blows on to the ankheg hide with only Braith managing to pierce the armour. Muxo passes out from the continued damage. Thanith digs into his arcane power and a jet of acid burst from his hand, striking the creatures head, killing it.

Chrome heals Muxo Next time we wait for the colony soldiers. Scrub that, no next time. Anymore ankheg’s we use bows and stuff. I can see hatched eggs here, no unhatched ones. Hey we have a skeleton here Thanith shouts.

The skeleton turns out to have a ring of protection.

The party start travelling north. Generally following the coast, coming inland when the terrain forced them to. Pines and live oaks make up the majority of trees in the inland forests, with palm trees appearing near the coast. Small evergreen shrubs cover the ground along with short palmettos.

The party enter a clearing in an oak forest to be confronted by 2 boar, They charge the party, missing with their tusks. Muxo hits with a good cut, Braith and Thanith both miss their strikes Good job these aren’t fully grown yet thanith puff’s trying to land a blow with his staff. Chrome crushes the skull of the boar in front of him. The surviving boar turns tail and runs.

Well I am sure the ship will appreciate some pork Braith says. Lets find a branch to sling in on

The party continue their journey. As they are walking along the beach a human figure stumbles out of some undergrowth. As a sign of their time on the island the party initially reach for their weapons before talking to the person. This proves to be wise as it lurches across the beach towards Muxo. The figure is clearly no-longer alive, and move with the distinctive lurch of a zombie. Strangely it has some kind of shell on its head.

Its lurching run across the sand result in it hitting Muxo for a minor blow. Thanith launches another jet of acid but misses badly.
That strange shell it’s an incutilis, puppetmaster they are often called. It controlling the corpse, not dark magic Brath shouts as he shoots at the incutilis. However the small size of the shell make it a difficult target and he misses. Muxo follows his lead and goes for the shell after manoeuvring to a better position, also missing. Chrome find her Morningstar is not the best weapon to hurt this creature.
The zombie slams Chrome while tentacles from the shell slap at Muxo. Thanith tries a cantrip ray of cold but misses again. Braith moves into a flankig positionand lands a good blow. The zombie changes target and hits Braith while Muxo’s swift rapier parries the tentacles. Braiths counterstrike kills the incutilis and the body collapses.

Finding nothing on the beach the party move on. Swiftly being forced inland by a large headland. Mid-afternoon the come across a strange sight (that does not attack them)

A section of ground approximately ten feet wide crossing their path looks as if it is grooved, covered with minute depressions and trampled grass. A first impression suggests a path left by hundreds of thousands of insects marching in a tight formation, but none of the plants appear to be eaten or damaged. Where the strange trail intersects with obstacles, it either splits and goes around the obstacle like water, or veers to avoid it entirely.

Braith and Chrome investigate while Muxo and Thanith cover them. After some minutes the investigations revel a few novel fact

The trail is not perfectly uniform in width, but it is consistently about 10 feet wide with some minor variances, usually where the terrain is uneven. Close examination reveals tiny pointed impressions, like the trail was formed by hundreds of stabs from small spikes. The trail was created by hundreds of creatures or objects, rolled or rolling across the ground. Each is heavy enough to leave a slight impression but not enough to flatten the ground.

Well we all travel across the sea to see wonders. Personal I think that qualifies Chrome states

It was an ocean not a sea replies Braith. But everone can see his heart is not in the banter as he looks at the trail.
Mid afternoon they entered a large bay, Peregrine moored in a sheltered by a cove. A ships boat is drawn up on the beach with some people standing by it.

As they approach the group they recognise Ramona Avandth and Eamon Caranth together with two colony soliders. Eamon is one of the priests on the Peregrine.

You’re here, that’s a relief. We had some... unexpected problems. I’ll tell you about it, but first I’d like to hear your report on the colony. What did you discover Ramona greets them.

Thanith stepped forward The colony is basically sound. The buildings are fine, the crops need attention, but have been planted. The stockade needs to be completed. The tools are still there. As to the colonist, there is no indication where they have gone or why. There is some clues as to internal divisions within them. Some creature had intruded, but have been dealt with. The chapel appears to be haunted. On the bright side we brought fresh meat

As Thanith is talking you can see Ramona becoming more positive. Well the situation is not ideal, the best course is to have the colonists disembark at Talmandor’s Bounty. That is, if the ship can actually get there.
After you were dropped off, the Peregrine sailed almost all the way here without incident. When we approached the cape, however, our momentum dropped to a snail’s pace, despite the fact that its sails were full of wind. The anchor wasn’t lowered, we weren’t dragging the keel through a sandbar, and no giant monster was sighted with the ship in its clutches. At least one sailor swam underneath the ship, but didn’t report anything unusual. The fresh pork will be welcome. Can you start a big fire
she asks the two soliders.

Can I ask you to have an inspection of the bottom of the boat. There must be a reason for what happened. I think you may have a better chance of recognising the problem then the sailor


Elaine Mystica wrote:
Going back to the question earlier about why do the PCs get sent to the island I'd definitely big up the positives if they enquire - 'soldiers are great guys in a fight but investigation needs more flexible approach and you guys have really impressed me, plus I may need them to defend the ship.' seems much better. I was really bugged by the food excuse, the ship has already been described as carrying extra supplies for the whole colony.

One of my players came up with "We mix unique abilities with expendability."

I just had Ramona nod


The next building is one of two long, rectangular buildings are constructed entirely from planks on a wooden frame, with a pitched thatched roof. Each building has two doorframes on the side of the buildings opposite the palisade, but lacks doors. Four window frames open into either side of the long walls, a few of which have no cover and others only a canvas draped across the inside. Inside, the floors are hard-packed earth, and along the walls are wooden bunk beds. Many of the pallet beds are covered with blankets that now gather dust. Those beds have sacks or tied bundles of clothes sitting at their feet.
An insectile creature is rooting around. The size of a large dog, the pale white bug drools noxious ichor from its clacking mandibles. “It’s a baby Ankheg. The adult saliva is acidic, no reason to think this will be different”

Muxo and Thanith enter the building. Well aren't you an ugly one mutters Muxo. Keep an eye on the bug Thanith says as he starts searching away from the nymph. Brath was guarding one of the doors with his bow.

The ankheg nymph darts out from under the bunk, it spits a line of acid at Muxo and Thanith. The arcanist manages to duck behind a bunk to reduce the damage. Muxo takes the full brunt of the damage.

Muxo misses with a swing of his rapier. “Blasted acid is in my eyes” he mutters Chrome creeps in and fire with her crossbow, with the bolt hitting the ceiling. ”Well at least I didn’t hit Muxo”

Thanith not appreciating being doused in acid fires a dart of magical force, this buries itself deep into the nymph. The nymph moves closer to Muxo and savagely bite him. Distracted by the pain Muxo swings widely. Chrome does not like the look of the situation and advances and heals Muxo of some damage ” This is something I know I can do”. The fight descends into a series of misses, until Muxo skewers the dangerous critter through its eye.
”Well if the is a baby, I do not want to meet an adult” puffs Muxo as he drinks one of the healing potions. ”That is something we don’t have to put to a vote” agrees Chrome.”However I don’t see this or an adult being the reason everyone has gone”

A careful search of the bunk house revealed some coins a wand together with a small charm.

The next building is the only two story building as well as one of the largest structures. It has the appearance of a rural courthouse or city hall rather than that of a residence. The front features a small porch supported by rough log pillars, with double wooden doors facing west. Numerous window frames with shutters, some of them open, wrap around the building on both floors. The roof is not thatched, but has wooden shakes instead.

They all enter the building the main doors is a foyer opening to a large chamber that occupies most of the main floor. This room is open to the second floor, and two flights of stairs lead to a gallery that overlooks this space, supported by columns on the main level. At the rear of the chamber against the east wall is a raised desk, like a podium. Tables and chairs are arrayed in front of it like a courtroom. The gallery above has simple wooden chairs so that citizens can observe whatever business is conducted here. Doors at the north and south ends of the main floor lead to what appears to be separate offices.

”Right lets not get ambushed. That nymph has me worried about what else might be here Chrome suggests. The others follow suit looking for dangers before searching the offices for clues on what has happened.

However they spot nothing. A search of the main room reveals nothing, so they look into the separate offices. The northern office contains a looked coffer. The lock was no match for Brath. ”Where did you learn how to do that” asks Chrome looking on wide eyed. ”Oh I picked up lots of useful skills as an orphan in Almas. Ah look this appears to be the colony’s logs. They all stop about a month ago” Brath passes the journals to Thanith to study. The elf discovered magic writing on the back cover. “What on earth does Plum Tree mean” No one had any idea.

As they look to search the rest of the building Muxo spots a small metallic sphere moving towards the window. Chrome raises her crossbow misses by several feet. All they could do was watch as it flew off in a north north easterly direction.

“Does anyone have any ideas what is going on here. The colonist have disappeared. We don’t know why and there was a clockwork spy” Thanith shrugs, “I don’t understand much of what you humans do, but this is puzzling”

Brath has a closer look at the colony’s log. “look at this. Someone skilled has removed several pages. They used a very sharp blade, left virtually no sign”

“ I would not even know where to look for something like that” Chrome mutters. “ Well I can’t heal people Chrome. Ramona knew we all had different areas of expertise. Brath replies, before adding "I think we exhausted this building, lets move on”

The next Cabin has a sign nailed to it Arkley. Everyone was aware that Rayland Arkley was the leader of the first wave of colonist.

The inside of the house is relatively organized and tidy. It contains plain wooden furniture, with simple amenities such as wall racks for weapons and armour, a modest dining table and chairs, and a sitting chair with a makeshift cushion and footstool. A separate bedroom features a wooden bed frame and pallet mattress, a boot rack, and a large unlocked chest.

A search of the cabin reveals three unusual items. Firstly was a pocket watch fallen under a cushion. More intriguingly is a piece of paper tucked into a roof beam. Brath decided climbing a wall to get it. “Why did we not just move the table as stand on it?” Chrome asked. Getting a cross look from a puffing Brath.

The parchment is actually four sheets that have been folded together and tightly creased. When unfolded, it proves to be the Talmandor’s Bounty colony charter. This legal document declares the island and the colony to be under the protection of the nation of Andoran, outlines the colony’s relationship to the Bountiful Venture Company, and enumerates the rights and responsibilities of all colonists. It bears the sealed signature of three members of the People’s Council, representatives of the Bountiful Venture Company, and every colonist that came aboard the Liberty’s Herald. All of the characters remember signing a similar document.
“Is it just me or shouldn’t this document have been stored at the government building?” Chrome asks. “No Chrome, it isn’t just you. Why is this here and why was it hidden are excellent questions. Regrettable we have lots of question but very few answers” Muxo answers. “We have found no sigh of struggle, no blood, broken arrows. No damage to any buildings. No evidence that anyone packed anything. Was there a mass charm? It is all very strange”
The last item is a spell book with the name Hendrake on it. This is under the mattress “Wasn’t Arkley an ex solider? Brath asks. Everyone but Thanith nods. The elf just shrugs. “Maybe it was a friends. As it was under the mattress. A close friend” suggests Thanith. They agree to move on

The group continue their circuit of the colony. The south side of the palisade fence is the only finished side. A large gate set in the fence can be barred from within. The gate is open, however, and the large wooden bar leans against the fence. Beyond the gate is an unpaved road where homes have been built or are in various stages of construction.
The long, rectangular building on the other side appears to be a home, though larger than many beyond the palisade to the south. It has three windows, all covered with wooden shutters, and a single door facing northwest, which is unbarred and slightly ajar.
Simple wooden furniture is in disarray throughout this residence. Tables and chairs are knocked over and pushed aside, though none appear wilfully broken. Articles of clothing and household items are scattered across the floor as if they were examined briefly and discarded. A large pallet bed is visible in a separate room through an open interior door. A third room with no windows is next to the bedroom but is completely empty except a barrel of beer.
A casual search reveals any number of common domestic items, such as boots, spare cloaks hung on pegs, cookware, and plates and mugs—sundries that one might find in any dwelling. You also find a gold wedding band left sitting on a windowsill. “My dearest Livvy” is engraved on the ring’s interior.
In the bedroom is a small metal chest shoved far under the bed and against the wall. It is locked. The charter shows that Livvy was the wife of Father Adran Felton the priest in the first wave.

The small chests lock does not slow Brath and contains five bags, each of which holds 5 pounds of powdered silver, four blocks of incense, and a pouch with 100 gp worth of diamond dust.

“This is my area of expertise” Chrone excitedly exclaims “ These are the material components for bless water, augury, and restoration spells. Not that I can cast them all”

The group moves on to the next building. This large building is durably built in a log cabin–style construction with a thatched pitched roof and three gables. Its several open windows are uncovered, and the sole entrance on the east side of the building is bereft of a door. A small porch covered by a gable shelters this door, though the porch has not been swept and dirt and dust have started to accumulate, while one end of the gable is starting to sag from neglect.
The interior of this building suggests a modest place of worship—not quite a temple but more than a mere shrine. A table near the center of the west wall appears to serve as an altar, draped in a white but dusty cloth. Behind the table, a large wood carving of a humanoid figure with a stag’s head leans against the wall. Two rows of benches face the altar, although some have been knocked over and two piles of ashes are visible in the aisle between them. Scattered throughout the room are assorted objects related to public worship, such as a chalice and a ceremonial rod. An ornately carved longbow hangs on the wall near the altar, as if on display.
Against the north wall is a smaller shrine. Nearby is a wooden statue roughly three feet tall that depicts a male half-human and half-avian creature. One carved wing hangs partially broken from the statue.
“Well clearly the main shrine is to Erastil. The smaller broken figure depicts Talmandor, the agathion patron of Andoran. This is the first sign of a struggle we have seen” Chrome pipes up.
Brath investigates the piles of ashes. They are two burnt books, one being Parables of Erastil

Suddenly the statue of Talmandor flies at Thanith but goes over his head. Everyone starts looking for a hostile force. When the ceremonial rod gives Muxo a glancing blow, they start muttering about poltergeist. As they start edging for the door a voice booms out “Why did he kill me. Why?”

The party react by running for the door.


The Ruins Azlant
Party
Chome Osris Human Female Cleric of Zohls
Brath Fletcher Human Male Rogue
Thanith Ithilnor Elf Male Arcanist
Muxo Surefoot Human Male Swashbuckler
I don’t have back stories yet

After six long weeks, this morning the crew of the Peregrine sighted land to the west. A few hours later, the Peregrine sails into a natural bay with a sandy beach within rowing distance for the ship’s boats. As the crew begins to untie one of the smaller boats to lower it into the water, the sailors pass a spyglass among themselves and finally hand it back to the captain. Captain Jacob Markosi peers at the island for a moment before grunting and handing the spyglass to expedition leader Ramona Avandth. “You should see this,” he says quietly.
Ramona accepts the spyglass and peers toward the shore. When she lowers the scope, she is clearly distressed but trying to hide her worry. She approaches and motions toward the far side of the deck, away from where most of the other colonists have congregated. “Can I have a word with you?”

“Something is wrong. Nobody’s in sight. There’s no smoke from cook fires or the smithy. Some of the tents have collapsed. Sailors can’t keep their mouths shut. Soon all the other colonists are going to hear about this—if they can’t see for themselves already—and things could become… tense.”.
“You four have become friendly during the journey. I want you go ashore and investigate Talmandor’s Bounty”

Muxo a tall slight man with a wiry build looks puzzled. “Why us” He bluntly asks. Brath Fletcher replies before Ramona can answer, “Because Ramona thinks we have the right mix of expendability and competence. None of us are that important to the colony, but we all have some speciality that might be useful.”

Brath looks directly at Bard. Ramona simply nods and continues “Exactly. I am going to ask Captain Markosi to sail north along the island’s coast to a secondary landing site determined by the expedition’s surveyors as an alternative spot to found a colony. The site was later designated as an emergency extraction point should any danger befall the first wave of colonists. After you have check out Talmandor’s Bounty rendezvous with us at this site. It’s about a days journey north.”

The party load onto one of the ships boats. Chome and Brath rowing towards the jetty on the beach. Muxo sitting in the front of the boat on lookout spots two small goblin-like creatures laying in ambush. “Hostiles” He shouts, standing up and drawing his rapier. The rowers stows their oars and draw weapons.

Realising that the ambush had failed the monsters charged but missed. “Freeze sea goblin” shouts Thanith. A ray of cold shoots from his finger, hurting the little savage. The Thanith looks sheepish “Sorry I will try not to shout like that again” Muxo swings and misses. “Hey staying up isn’t as easy as it looks” He whispers.
Chrome silently swings her morning star, killing a monster in a blow.

The last grindylows jets away in a huge burst of speed. This is followed by a rousing cheer from the deck of the Peregrine.

The group land at the jetty and move on to the beach. Looking back Brath see’s The Peregrine sailing out of the bay. [b]“That’s not the sight I really wanted to see” Muxo nodded “I does feel like being deserted” Chrome starts up the path with the others following.

A well-worn path in the grass rises up a slope toward a cluster of buildings to the east. The buildings are arranged in a rough triangle, with each point ending in a wooden circular enclosure with rectangular notches cut intermittently, like battlements. These round enclosures are clearly meant to be three points of a wooden palisade fence, which would enclose this first group of buildings once completed. The palisade fence, however, is complete only along the south eastern side of the triangle and is obviously unfinished elsewhere. The grass around the settlement looks like it was cropped at one point, and many paths exist between locations in the settlement, but in less well-trafficked spots, the grass has started to regrow.

All the buildings are constructed of either rough timber or mud bricks set in a wooden frame, and have pitched thatch roofs. Many have open window frames, but only a few have actual shutters or even a canvas curtain for privacy. Doors are basic, wooden affairs, too simple for locks, and some buildings lack them entirely. The construction is new, quite rough and unfinished.

The party approach straight towards the stockade. Firstly they look at seven canvas pavilion tents were set up outside the incomplete wall, all of which are large enough to shelter two to three people each. All but two tents have collapsed due to wind, rain, and lack of maintenance. The two that remain standing lean haphazardly and do not appear to have been entered for a long time. Grass has begun to grow around them.

A quick search finds no one, but mixed up with the personal effect were some healing potions and a magical shirt.

They then entered the compound and approach a windowless brick building. Opening the door they are hit by the smell of dried herbs and rotting vegetables.

Inside, the ground has been dug out to a depth of 3 feet so that the floor is lower than the ground outside. A short flight of steps set with flat stones leads into this darkened area, lit only by any ambient light coming through the door. The temperature is cool and the smell of rotted vegetables and meat is strong. Strings of garlic hang suspended from ceiling crossbeams alongside chunks of salted meat and bone. Debris and refuse is strewn across the floor between stacks of crates, boxes, and barrels against the walls.

“Why go to all the trouble to dig the floor down” Thanith askes. [b]“It is a lot of work doing that.” Seeing the blank faces of his companions “I thought it must be a human thing. I’ll ask a farmer at a later date” Thanith goes to enter the store room. Brath asks “Is elf flesh immune to insect bites” Thanith looks at him quizzically. “There are lots of cockroaches in there. Thousands of them. I am not planning on finding out how hungry they are” Thanith jumps back and peers in more carefully “Agreed, we can consider how to deal with this from a position of safety.”[/b]

Muxo quickly closed the door. The next building has a sign Tool House The building does indeed contain the colony’s tools. Vital to the future of Talmandor’s Bounty. There was also a looked box. This contains a swarm suit and 2 alchemist fire.


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Seriously Ninja'ed

"Trap Spotter is a great talent for the role you say you want to play."

Trap Spotter and Fast Stealth" Great talents for any style of play in my opinion


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OK.
1. Rogue is the weakest class in the core rule book (and probably the game). This doesn't mean don't play one, but understand they have lots of other classes stepping on their toes

2. You have stated this is for PFS. So think what does my character contribute. Perception is the most useful skill in and out of combat.
a) Out of combat Appraise is seldom of help in PFS length adventures, Picking pockets (Slight of hand) is very very situational. Disable device (lock picking and disarming traps) does come up but not a lot. The social skills Sense Motive, Diplomacy and Bluff all have their uses
b) What is your role in combat? This something you need to consider at the start.

Peronally I love skill points, so do play rogue. The other disadvantage is you need to understand how many of the skill in the game work instead on concentration on just a few.

On your specific character I would move the skill points in appraise and slight of hand skill. I would also question why you have combat expertise feat. If this is to lead to improved feign then fine, otherwise pick a feat which build on your chosen combat preference.

Hope this is of help


I have been excited by this AP. However on reading the first book, I was struck that Talmandor's Bounty is infested by intelligent humanoids.

The Grindyylows can be understood as they are not likely to come on shore and trouble the colony. However I think the monkey goblins and choker break the deserted colony feel.

So I am replacing them with animal. As a side issue the 1/2 CR animals appear a lot weaker then the monkey goblins. Yet another example that CR is more art then science


The Party are trooping back to town, recovering from the effects of the brackish water they just swam through.
Zem starts talking about an after delve drink, while the others discussed what equipment they needed to buy.
They see Sanvil Trett walking past. He changes direction and approaches “Gellima, Kolaya I had heard you are looking to rescue Khonnir. If you find any mechanical wonders, keep me in mind. Whether you want to sell or just help identifying function, look me up” He them gives a short bow and leaves.

Kolaya suggest they make a short trip to visit Khonnir’s adopted daughter “Val” before then visiting the adjoining Foundry Tavern. This meets universal approval.
Approaching the Baine residence they hear a girls scream “ Benhaim runs to the building and throws open the door. Kolaya draws her morning star and moved into the room.
“A strange 3 legged humanoid machine lurches into the room from the opposite direction. Gellima reacts next, charging the strange figure, jabbing his spear deep into it (clearly he thought bombs in Khonnir’s home were appropriate). “You are delaying my drink” shouts Zem before wildly swinging at the robot and missing. Benhaim finishes things with a flame arc.

“Val, what happened here” asks Gellima.
“Dad brought that robot back from his first trip into the caves. It has been sitting in the corner of the store room for days. I was just getting some stuff out for dinner and it lurked to its feet. “
“Well it’s not doing that again” says Zem, thumping it again.
The party report their progress so far and promise to continue their efforts.

The next day the party goes shopping, with most of them upgrading their armour.
They return to the open metal door in the large chamber they saw in there last visit. The chamber beyond is made of metal. The ceiling contains light panels which splutter to life as the party enter. They move through to another similar chamber. This one contains robots similar to the one they had rescued Val from. The party react aggressively. Zem charges but swings wide, Gellima follows suit. Kolaya casts a bless. Benhaim uses a spark cantrip but misses. Finally the robot lurches to life and entangles Zem with net.
“This is unsporting metal man” Zem fumes as she tries to tear loss, but fails. Gellima manages to land a light blow, Kolaya hits harder. She then curses as the robot repairs some minor damage, but was watching carefully enough to dodge the return blow. Zem continues to try to escape, Gellima misses. Kolaya hits again but less impressively. Benhaim mutters אש להרוג את האויבים שלי and unleashes a flame arc, burning one of the legs. Kolaya does not manage to avoid the next attack which really injures her.
Kolaya steps back and heals herself, Gellima throws a bomb, it does not hit squarely but does some minor damage. Another flame arc finally put the robot down.

The party root around and found several artefacts from the time of the spaceship. Benhaim inspected them.
“Well he says this is used to manipulate fine objects, like a lock pick. These are called batteries, I have heard of them. These power these wondrous devices. This I don’t understand. It is too clumsy for a weapon”
Everyone was surprised when Zem pipes up ”It’s an industrial device of some kind. Obviously it clamps things. I think it may help to push things apart as well”
Benhaim was open mouthed. “Well I am not totally uneducated you know. I may like to drink but my brain is not rooted yet.”
Kolaya definitely saw a slight grin as Zem went back to lookout duty.
The party move on, they move into a chamber. It has two strange machines sit to the north and south against the walls here, their faces appear similar to coils of metal tubes with several nozzle-like protrusions pointing into the room itself. There is a second set of doors on the other side of the room.
“Don’t look at me” Zem pipes up. “I’ve no idea”
Benhaim studies the machine carefully but finally declares “I’m with Zem, no idea”
So they move on down a passageway of rough stone with a sand covered floor. As you move half way down the passageway you can see that the spaces in front of you appears to open into a larger sand covered area, you cannot tell the size as beyond your torches / vision is pitch black.
The sand is slightly lower in the center of the passageway and there are swirled marks thought.
At the end of the hall, in the sand there is a large (8ft or so) grey / white rock with pits in it that the swirls appear to continue around the rock.
Kolaya notices “Those marks in the sand, they are like the stone has moved itself”
“There is something moving inside the pits of that rock.” Gellima whispers.
With a great shout Zem charges and suddenly finds the sand sticky, pinning her in place. “Does nothing in this place fight fair” she complains.

Kolaya decides she doesn’t like the idea of sticky sand and throws a javelin, which glances off the stony carapace. Gellima finally finding a target no surrounded by friends throws a bomb, which blasts a chunk off the rock showing some fleshy lumps. Two long tentacles lash out at Zem, both hit doing terrible damage. Zem falls to the floor. An arc of flame flashes from Benhaim into the creature burning flesh. Kolaya misses again with her javelin. Gellima throws again but does not hit squarely. His bomb still does good damage. The strange creature pulled itself along and lashed out at Gellima (as the most dangerous opponent) but misses.

Seeing Gellima and Kolaya repeat their actions, Benhaim repeats his flame arc, but it shoots into the chamber behind. Kolaya decided to do something useful and stabilises Zem. Gellima steps back and throws another bomb. It lodges in one of the holes in the carapace. The creature is blown apart.
Kolaya runs to Zem to find she was still bleeding so uses her best healing spell.

“Well I am ready for a drink” declares Zem. The others agree it will be dangerous to continue.
The swim out of the caves was as unpleasant as normal.
An evening at the Foundry Tavern cheers Zem no end.


Party
Zem: A Human Fighter, she uses a weapon in each hand. A caravan guard who has just blown into town. A simple hard drinking soul, interested in earning some serious money.
Gellima: A 1/2 Orc alchemist. A resident of Tourch. He has been raised by several of the prominent residents. He has been experimenting with the severe heat from the torch on alchemy. A serious scholarly young man. Like many half orcs he matured earlier the humans and is well aware he is likely to also die earlier.
Kolaya: An Elf Oracle of Life: A young elf from Kyonin. She is exploring the world before settling down and has found Torch fascinating. She has been staying here for 8 months. Inexperience about the world, but having a deep compassion about her companion.
Benhaim Pale: A Human Arcanist from Taldor. He has heard of the wonders in the area and has come to investigate. He comes from a wealthy merchant background. This has left him the time and resourse to pursue his interests. He has left Taldor to escape the overbearing Bearded class.
====================================================================

Gellima and Kolaya have become unlikely friend over the last few months and are discussing the disappearance of Khonnir Baine over a drink in the Foundry Tavern. The fate of the various expeditions also come up in conversation. Gellima knows some the missing people and Kolaya natural compassion means that they are both interested in the safety of those who have gone missing.
Gellima then mention of the reward from the town council. A woman with dark hair hacked short suddenly sits down with the. “reward you say this could be interesting, why don’t you fill me in on this situation. By the way my name is Zem”
Despite the somewhat rude interruption, Gellima explained the torch going out and the expedition who have gone before. How Khonnir came back having discovered a metal wall and door, together with various hostile inhabitants. He has not returned from his 2nd trip. The town has offered a reward of 4,000gp for the return of Khonnir.
“A wall of metal, together with a door? Do you mind if I join you? I am Benhaim Pale from Taldor.”
The others agree to Benhaim joining them, Gellima and Kolaya realising what had started as a private conversation had already morphed in another direction, and Zem because she didn’t care and anyway Benhaim was kinda cute.
“I am a scholar and dabbler in the arcane” I heard this lovely lady introduce herself as Zem and she is clearly a warrior. Can I inquire about the identity of the people we are so rudely interrupting?”
Gellima answered “Well I am Gellima. I have been kind of adopted by the town since I was discovered as a toddler. For the last few years I have been experimenting on the effect of the heat from the torch on alchemy. My shy friend here Kolaya a healer from Kyonin. She has been in town for a few months now.
The reward is offered by the council, so if we are going to risk the ruins I suggest we inquire there.

Councillor Freddert is happy to see the four
"It's a pleasure to meet you all," she says, beaming with relief. "I am glad that you are eager to assist Torch in its time of need. As you are likely aware, there's a reward of four thousand gold if you can find Khonnir and bring him back. A separate reward of equal value is still awaiting those who can reignite the torch, but right now we are more concerned with getting Khonnir home safe and sound."
"It's been eight days since the flame went out, but only seven since the first explorers braved the new tunnels Khonnir discovered. There's an underwater passage connecting them to Weeping Pond. Khonnir noticed a large number of human footprints on the pond's banks—he was there the day the fires went out testing the water to ensure it hadn't suddenly grown more toxic—and he realized that a sizable group of people had entered the pond but had not emerged.
"Since then, four teams have entered in all, but only one came back to report what they found—Khonnir's first expedition. Khonnir spoke at length with the council before going back in, and he confirmed what his group told us, despite how outlandish it sounded. The first team was a group of halfling adventurers, the second a group of local thugs, and the fourth a small adventuring party devoted to the worship of Brigh from out of town. Khonnir’s team undertook the third and fifth expeditions under Black Hill, and it was on the fifth expedition—his second trip—that he went missing.
"The caves are inhabited by several enormous vermin and other scavengers, along with some strange humanoids who had the ability to blend into the shadows of the cave walls, and a nest of gremlins. Khonnir believed this indicated a deeper connection in the caves to the Darklands, but of more immediate interest was his discovery of a wall of solid metal deep in the caves. A wall made of a skymetal alloy called glaucite. He said it was like the kind we mine from the hills and surrounding plains, but formed into a structure with doors. It was near one of these doors that Khonnir found a broken automaton that he brought back after his first expedition.
"Khonnir planned on exploring deeper beyond the doors on his second expedition, but who knows if he made it that far?"
"You'll need to swim a bit to get to the caves," Dolga says. "Joram Kyte has agreed to cast water breathing on any group to aid in entering the caves—free of charge, of course. You can find him at the temple of Brigh or up at Crowfeather Palace when you're ready to go.
"Once you're on the job, I'll give each of you a writ that you can show to any of the merchants in town for a flat twenty percent discount on any gear you need to purchase—I wish I could offer a greater discount than that, but that's the best I can do."
The party take up this offer

The party emerges into a dark cave. Initially lit only by Benhaim’s magic. The air is bitter and Zem and Benhaim are both affected by the foul water, coughing and retching.
Well it is nice that a half orc constitution protected me from that. You two OK? What are those red lights. Gellima quipped.
As the party start to look around, Zem and Benhaim hampered by their reaction to the tainted water. Benhaim’s light spell has attracts the attention of a trio of dog sized beetles, carrying their own light source. The beetles advanced looking aggressive.
Benhaim says “Oh good enormous insects. I was hoping the previous explorers would have dealt with things like this” Despite his comments he quickly drew and loaded his cross bow. Kolaya follows suit, drawing a javelin and throwing it close to a beetle, but missing.
The hungry beetle advance and take a big bite out of Kolaya.
“Don’t worry elf lady I’ll save you” Zem shouts, steps up and kills the beetle in one blow. Gellima is silent as he draws a dagger and misses his throw,
“Well bug you picked the wrong scholar to pick on. Let’s light you up” Benhaim uses his Exploit to create an arc of fire, which kills a beetle.
Kolaya then bury’s her morning star in the last insect, killing it in one stroke.
“Well that loosened the sword arm” Zem breezed. “Well exercise has never been my idea of a good time” Gellima grouched.
The party waded out of the water and climbed the low ridge to a cave filled with stalagmites. They organised themselves and recovered from the effects of the brackish water. Moving carefully down the chamber they come across a half orc’s body. Neither Gellima or Kolaya recognised the deceased but agreed they would take the body back when they returned
The party travelled south and entered a large chamber. There were 4 ramshackle huts and a dark pit.
As the party decended a sloop into the chamber A strange, hairless humanoid came out of hiding to talk to them.
My tribe would like to parlay with you. Would half of you talk to our leader, while the oher two stay here?
Kolaya you would be our best negotiator, take Zem as a bodyguard Gellima suggests
Okay you two, come with me. Brath and Yadriss will watch the rest of you to be sure you don't try anything funny." Two more previously unseen humanoids step away from the walls and take up guard positions

Leupel leads Kolaya and Zem to a short passage between two of the huts. The cramped cave beyond is filled with metal junk covering almost every inch of ground. The precarious pile rises up in a heap-like hut to the northwest. Another female Humanoid awaits here, numerous daggers strapped to a harness crossing her otherwise naked body.
"I am Sef, leader of this tribe," she says. "I will allow you and your companions safe passage through my caves, and I will even reward you with a strange device I found in the wreckage here, so long as you agree to two things. First, you do no harm to me or my people. Second, you clear out the annoying gremlins who dwell to the north. These are my terms."
So what did those Gremlins do that makes you want us to go "clear" them out Kolaya asks

"The gremlins are malicious pests," Sef says with a scowl. "They are always sneaking into our caves and tinkering with the items we discover on our foraging trips into the Darklands. Those items usually end up broken or cursed. Sometimes they even go so far as to attack us directly if they catch one of us alone. I've grown tired of their little 'pranks' and wish to see them destroyed or driven away from these caves."

“Our purpose here is to find some missing people from the surface. Can you confirm who has been through here recently” Kolaya asks

"There have been several groups that have come through. I didn't catch many names. The first visitors were a purple-haired woman and a band of humans, orcs, and rat people. She met with my predecessor and arranged a significant payment in return for an agreement--my people would attack and kill any and all others who passed through the caves. They went north through the gremlin caves and have not returned since.
"We slaughtered the next group that tried to pass, but the one after that was lead by a wizard who killed our former chieftain and stole the purple-haired woman's payment from us. They went through the door and came back out. We hid from the next group, and then the wizard came back and we let him pass uncontested. But neither of those two groups came back either."
Kolaya looks to Zem for any comments. “Killing mites is good to me” she shrugs.
“Okay you have a deal we will deal with the mites. We will start now”
The party move into a set for tight caverns, only spotting a spike trap after they had passed it, not setting it off. Then a mite emerges from hiding, buries it’s dagger into Zem and runs off before anyone can react.
The party choose not to pursue and continue northward. They emerge into a slightly larger junk filled cave. On the far side is a metal wall with a closed door. A larger mite is in the room.

Gellima enters the room and draws his spear, reasoning that the situation is a bit too tight for his bombs. “I’ve got you mite” shouts Zem as she rushes in to miss her sword swing by a long way.
“Oh powers of life and growth help my friend in this time of need” Kolaya prays as she cast a bless spell.
The mite wealds its sharpened metal shard at Zem, who deftly twists away. Benhaim starts an arcane spell. The mite proves a difficult combatant with Zem and Gemilla both failing to land a blow. “Stay still you miserable insect” pants Zem as she tries to land a blow.
“Please knit these bones and stop this bleeding, giver of life” Kolay intone as she heals some of Zem’s wounds, just as the mite sticks it dagger deep inside Zem again.
“פיג'מות בתנומה תשכב” Benhaim finishes his spell and the mite falls asleep.
The party leave with their loot

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