Janira thanks you profusely and promises to help you in future missions and submit a glowing recommendation for your heroism in defeating the minoatur, and saving her life.
"To think a group of initiates took down this fierce beast. Amazing. It reminds me of a story of Lazarus Blackfeather and his...Wait!" she cries remembering something.
"Did you explore the caves? What did you find? Is your mission complete?"
As you emerge from teh cave mouth, Janira shouts "You vile beast! I know not what drives your black heart, but I shall not fail my duty. I shall see you driven from this forest, back to the hills whence you came!"
Janira has Bardic Performance active, which provides a +1 to attacks and damage while active. It does stack with Lady Naysha's Bless which has 4 rounds left active as this combat begins.
Minotaur: 1d20 ⇒ 13
Janira: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Naysha: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Finvarra: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
Sekell: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Harkus: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
Zaraah: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Toban: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
After a few more hours of difficult going, the dense forest opens to a wide clearing at the base of a sheer cliff. Thick vines cover the surface of the cliff stretching 30 feet overhead.
"Here! The cave entrance is behind those vines," Janira says with a broad smile as she walks to the cliff's face. She pulls back several layers of vegetation to reveal a narrow crack in the cliff's surface "This is where I saw the gillmen enter."
As she motions toward the aperture, the surrounding woods come alive with the sound of small animals fleeing some unseen danger and a large creature crashing through the undergrowth. The halfling worriedly remarks, "Quick, take cover before whatever it is spots us!"
As if she'd summoned the creature with her words, a massive horned monstrosity emerges from the trees. Standing eight feet tall on a pair of cloven hooves and wielding a tremendous axe, the bull-headed creature roars with unbridled anger when it spots the group.
Wisely assessing that a minotaur is beyond her charges' capabilities, Janira screams, "A minotaur! There's little chance we can stand against it. Take my bag!" she continues, pulling off her backpack, "and I'll lead it away from the caves, lose it in the forest, and join you as soon as I can. Now go! GO!" She heaves her backpack into the cave, casts a spell, and darts off toward the minotaur before turning to lure it away.
The group of initiates works together to find a better path through the wilderness of the forest, and allow the group to keep the pace they need to arrive at the target location on time for the moon to be right.
"Well done, friends!" says Janira with sincere admiration. "Your woodcraft is already much better than mine will ever be. Now, if you need help finding your way in the library, I'm your girl! In the woods, not so much..."
After the combat ends, Janira is quick to praise your fast reactions and skill in dealing with the swarms. "But we need to keep moving. Daylight is burning and we are still some distance from the cave. If we don't reach them by dusk, the gillmen may have already come and gone."
She does offer healing to each of the wounded initiates, either with potions from her bag or by casting cure spells herself.
All lost HP are restored. Harkus STR damage must remain for now, I am afraid.
In the morning, you quickly break camp as the sun begins to rise over the nearby Kortos Mounts and start the uphill climb. The plains of the roadway gradually change to a spotting of trees, then the canopy overhead begins to block the morning sun, and soon, the vegetation grows denser -- you are in a deep forest.
Janira pauses a moment, pulling out an intricate silver compass with the Pathfinder Society logo, the Glyph of the Open Road emblazoned upon it. "I received this wayfinder when I successfully completed my Confirmation. Should we be successful on this journey, you will get your own as well." She flips open the device and holds it in front of her; the initials J.G. are engraved into the inside of the device's lid. After studying the compass inside for a moment, she remarks "We're on the right path. We need to keep heading southwest towards those big rocks ahead."
"We've made good time today, but this is the easy part of the journey," says Janira, stretching her weary muscles from the day's walk. "Let's make camp here. We'll have to leave the road tomorrow and go overland to the cave in question. Things will get more interesting then. Set a watch, get some rest, and prepare for more challenges tomorrow." She pulls a thick book out of her pack and leans against a rock, flipping through the pages.
Use a day of rations. A watch schedule isn't important tonight, but assume you take turns resting. YOu can reset your spells and abilities, if you are a prepared caster you can change up your list for the day, but please let me know if different than on your character sheet.
Janira smiles, glad you are engaged enough to ask questions. "You must not have paid much attention in your training classes. The Cairnlands are a series of abandoned siege towers and fortresses built by invaders who attempted to conquer Absalom over the centuries. They have all been defeated, but their monuments to their failed attempts remain. Some are full of delicious relics and troves of treasure...but we aren't stopping there. Diobel is a city on the other side of the Isle of Kortos, a den of thieves and smugglers if stories are true. All kinds of questionable dealings there, but that's not our destination either. We are looking for the Kortos Mounts, the spiny ridge of Mountains at the center of this isle."
"The Mounts are home to a variety of creatures, centaurs in the lowlands, harpies in the peaks, just to name a few. Those folk may be interesting to study, but they are not friendly to uninvited incursions and may not take our presence in their lands lightly. We must be careful to avoid them, and be very wary if we do run into any."
"As for the cave itself, the entrance is not concealed or hidden, but I did not consider the possibility of a secret entrance inside. Did not see one. The idea of a moon-door is also quite interesting. I have read of such things of course, but never seen one. My first theory about gillmen and the moon was something about the tides, but I have no evidence to back that up."
"Now before we head out, if there are no more questions, we should take a moment to through your gear and make sure nothing important gets left out."
You'll want to make sure someone in the group has the basic adventuring gear. Things like rope, a light source, food, fire-making gear, any source of healing. If possible with gold to spare, you might consider anti-toxin, alchemist's fire, or other more expensive solutions. Go ahead and shop for items if you need to gear up. If you buy items, they must be recorded on your chronicle sheet
When everyone is comfortable they have all the gear they need, Janira shoulders her pack . "Let's get away then. Time is wasting and we need to be at the cave before the full moon tomorrow evening.
"My what an interesting group this time!" says Janira with a big smile. "I am sure you will all be fine if you follow the Pathfinder tenets of "Report, Explore, and Cooperate" I am sure they have become like second-nature to you by now."
"On to the details of th emission at hand," Janira says with an eager grin. "After reviewing my mission reports personally, Master Shaine believes it is no coincidence that each time the gillmen entered the caves it was a full moon, so it is no coincidence that you have been called here now, just a day before the moon is full again. We both believe that tomorrow night is our best chance to find out why these caves are important and what exactly the gillmen are doing in there."
"The caves we'll be travelling to lie under the base of the Kortos Mounts. We'll need to spend every minute of daylight possible to reach the caves by foot, crossing over the Cairnlands, taking the paths to Diobel, and finally making our way through the wilderness. With any luck we won't run into any of the local inhabitants. Once in the caves, we'll need to work together to explore and determine whether any gillmen are present or have been recently. Keep an eye out for any other clues that might hint at the caves' significance, too."
Do you have any questions for Janira, before she moves on?
After Shaine departs, Janira pulls out a large leather-bound journal and opens it on the table. "Before we set out, we should all get to know each other and review our plan. After all, the most important factors that determine whether an expedition will be a success are cooperation and preparation. I'll go first!"
Janira goes on to explain that she joined the Society 4 years ago after coming of age. "My family live in Absalom where my father employs a dogcare to transport goods from the docks to homes of customers. My family reveres the goddess Desna, but I respect all faiths and religions." Additionally she tells you that her time with the Society so far has been under the Master of Scrolls, focusing on learning and preserving knowledge. She aspires to have her own work published in the Pathfinder Chronicles. "I have a life-long love of learning! I hope to become a Chronicler myself some day."
With her story told, she looks at each of you in turn and asks: "What about you? What made you decide to join the Pathfinder Society?"
Feel free to share the background of your character. What makes it a unique individual and not just a collections of stats? Examples of what you might tell are: How long were you an initiate, or did you get a field commission? Where did you grow up? Where have you traveled before coming ot the Grand Lodge? Do you have a favorite class, teacher, or training exercise? How do you handle yourself in a fight?
Further, feel free to describe your character. What are they wearing? What tattoos or marking or other unique markings might they have? You are the star for a moment, so take a turn.
Janira speaks up in an enthusiastic and cheerful voice, "Greetings, aspiring Pathfinders! Six months ago, while I was mapping cave entrances in the foothills of the Kortos Mounts, I witnessed a lone gillman entering a concealed cave. I thought little of it at the time, but I saw another one enter the cave again a month later as my Confirmation stretched on. A few days later, after I completed my assigned task, I entered the cave system but was unable to find the gillman."