Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
And The Hive feel like one of those species that are really intended to be monsters. It's hard to be a good guy when your only way of reproduction is to infest someone with worms and then erupt out of their cocooned body. I could see them being a corruption though, if we get corruption rules in PF2E, which I'm personally hoping for.
It's an underrated series, but Andromeda had Rev Bem who was amazing and totally this. (*note the magog were not insectoid, but that is their mean of propogation)
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gut instinct: I don't think you'd be able to just buy a pdf. I know libraries buy special licenses to digital products to allow for the multiple users etc.
That said - there is a free supported resource that has the all of rules:
The rise of the ancient serpentfolk empire has been prevented by the heroic actions of the heroes. Rather than the return of a powerful and evil god, the group has banished the headless god to his divine realm while his inert and broken skull remains on Golarion.
One sets forth to kill rightful-yet-evil rulers in order to destroy the Mantis Blade.
One sets forth to create the means to destroy the skull of the evil serpent god.
One goes back to the desert island with half of the skull to raise dinosaurs.
The Shiv castaways once bound together by chance are sundered, their actions legend and changing the fabric of the world forever.
Zaine Kildare wrote:
"Now's as good a time to any to mention it, but I'm retiring to the Shiv," Zaine says. "I suppose I can sink half of the damn thing in my lagoon and discourage any investigation with a whiff of grapeshot."
Based on the nods (well, except from the pirates, who seeing there are no gems or coin on the skull don't care what happens to the chunk of bone) it seems most people are happy with the dual location of the the god's skull.
Sasha's head tilts to the side, considering. To Zaine, "It won't create a magically infused coral reef that will mutate our fish will it?" Her forehead furrows, "It can't really be worse than the death energies that used to be there, really."
Kassata grins, "Will a pirate ship be welcome in your harbor, if the shores of the Shiv aren't the deathtrap they were?"
Faith Dagger wrote:
Faith looks at Kline and Glaur. "It seems like you both agree that more research is necessary -- but you differ on the bureaucracy of the matter."
Kline looks at Glaur and the rest of the active Pathfinders. "I've seen that Decemvirate cares more about the exploration of mysteries than the effect on the world." Kline shakes his head, "It'd hard for me, because finding those answers is what drew me to the Society in the first place, but," he shakes his head, "unearthing the first ancient serpent and freeing myself from its control with only the barest sliver of luck, unleashing a horde of those on the surface could only lead to catastrophe."
Glaur winces, looks at his people, the patchwork of injuries and the missing. His gaze settles on Zaira, "We could leave the location of the other half of the skull as a mystery, couldn't we?"
Zaira smiles, just a little, looking from the ancient skull to the adventurers who are heading in different directions, "It seems a safe enough place for it to be hidden until someone comes up with an idea of how to destroy the, well, literal skull of a god."
Áine Aiman wrote:
"I will continue to hunt the snakes...or a way to destroy the skull once and for all." Áine shrugs. "Hopefully, I'll have some help." she glances at Juliver with a half-smile playing around her lips, shrugs. "Either way, it'll probably take some research and..." now her gaze flicks to Pakshee and Faith, "probably a lot of traveling."
Pakshee just looks at Faith, clearly waiting hear where the warpriest is heading.
"Savith's allies threw it into an active volcano and that didn't dent it." Kline says honestly, "I'm sure there must be a means to destroy it. First step would be to delve into the literature and culture that was created around the god, find his opposing forces and deities and then..." he shrugs, "It's the goal of a lifetime of work."
Glaur's interest in Zaine's comment is plain to see, given his straightforward nature. "The Pathfinder Society does have a great number of researchers and magic-users who would love the opportunity to study a literal piece of the divine."
Cutting off Glaur, Kline (who got through the battle with a few cuts and bruises but no lasting injuries) objects. "The Decemvirate is not the place to put this. They want all of the knowledge even if it is the lynchpin to our own destruction." He shakes his head, "It doesn't seem, from your story, that Ydersuis has been destroyed just that his headless body has been banished back to his... divine plane or maybe his sanctum. He is not gone, the serpentfolk are still a force that could rise up. Especially if more of the ancient sleepers are woken."
Zaira looks conflicted, "But isn't that an argument to understand them more?" She looks at the jagged crack that separates the god's skull into two, "Maybe we could have one part of it study and the other half could go elsewhere?"
To Aine, the female Pathfinder adds, "They bear a slight resemblance to abyssal, but are distinct. Despite the glow, they have no magical aura even when it sparks."
It doesn't take long to exit the temple, but navigating the maze of tunnels that connect the temple complex to the northern end of Ilmerea does take a little bit of time. You see no signs of any serpentfolk, but there is an ominous cracking from the giant skull Tulip carries occasionally, the odd runic marking spark intermittedly. In the city proper, there is still a cacophony of noise and the echoing sounds of fighting echoing across the cavernous space. Despite this, you still see not a serpentfolk.
After a relatively short time, you are hailed by Kassata and Aeryn. The pirate hordes had followed the spear from the military district. You see wounds, some particularly nasty amid the pirates and their numbers are reduced, but not as badly had been feared since they were entering into dead center of the serpentfolk controlled portion of the city. A cocky grin grows on the pirate's face as she sees the giant skull. She hands a gold coin to the half-elf, "She said you all definitely had a hand in all of the snakes falling over."
Aerys shrugs, "Too bad it didn't actually kill them all. The stronger ones were only stunned and then they were able to use magic to flee." A tired smile comes through the blood dried on her face from a nasty head wound, "Second best choice given it all."
Heading south, you find that the only remaining fighting is urdefhan keeping both vegepygmies and morlocks clear from 'their' area of the city. However, they suffered losses from the surge of serpenfolks and are unable to take advantage of the aftermath of the battle.
Although not everyone is able to immediately return to the surface, eventually everyone who wants to get there does. The city of Saventh-Yhi is a ruin of it's former glory. The wracking motion of the spears boring through the earth caused a number of earthquakes that destroyed buildings and collapsed structures.
"Whelp." Zaira comments, her left arm in a sling, "Good thing we surveyed the city before we had to go to war, because there isn't going to be much left intact." Despite the truth of statement, there is a weary satisfaction in the Pathfinder's voice.
That night there is both celebration and mourning as there are some, like Conner and Osond, who did not survive the battle. The loss of the sturdy headsman seems to have balanced the Radiant Muse's sanity, at least for now, as she actually speaks to a number of the warriors who battled in the city below.
The next morning, it is Glaur, now missing an eye, that asks, "What is your plan for the serpent's skull?"
Faith's extremities turn noticeably grey in the moments as the group considers what to do with living and dead parts of the serpentfolk god. However, as the warpriest touches the fetish to the regenerating body color returns to Faith's hands and face. In that moment the god's body vanishes away and a resounding crack echos through the ancient stone temple cavern. The skull on Tulip's back splits in two but the interior briefly glows with trace work of runes.
Congratulations, you have been poisoned by a semi-god. Please make a DC 32 Fort save (multiple doses of the same poison do not stack by they increase the DC) or take 1d4 ⇒ 1 Dexterity damage. This is round 1 of the poison effect.
The perception spoiler below is a freebie for you. Additionally, you feel a stiffness in your limbs.
Pakshee looks at Aine, looks at the blackened stone and the vast chasm to the depths of the twilight world below. "You come here, stop blood before snake stand up again."
Juliver, who had rushed to Aine in the aftermath of the god's fall, tries to help the archer onto the carpet. She turns to Zaine. "That was how Savith killed him." Juliver says, "Plus the body was regrowing up over the skull, so it seemed it be a good thing to stop." She looks at the body, "I mean, god, so it kinda makes sense that it can survive in a fashion without his head. Plus one of Ydersius's names is the Headless King, so being without his head has become part of his essence."
Juliver shakes herself, stopping the rush of conjecture, lore and information that is clearly running through her head. "Do I know what to do? No. Savith's party threw Ydersius's head into the lava before they took her to the surface to die from the god's poison. The body is regrowing, so I'd say keeping the skull as far away from the body as possible would be a good thing for all the not-serpentfolk people on Golarion?"
"We could take the head with us..." Sasha says, "Since the volcano down here is not active. Bury it in a harder place for the snakes to get to it?"
Perception DC 35:
The tips of Faith's fingers and the very start of his nose has a grey tinge.
Áine's appears, bloodied and bruised from the blows dealt by the gods tail, "Perceptive bastard, aren't you." she takes a step away and unleashes a stream of magically infused arrows just under the oversized serpentfolk's chin. "Let's see if you can take as good as you give." she muurmurs under her breath, "Okay Pakshee. One of two. Here's hoping."
SR DC 30: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (15) + 17 = 32
Aine's arrows pepper the avatar with wounds which spray heated blood that sizzles the stone beneath with reeking smoke as it eats away at the world. 1d100 ⇒ 1 Fortunately, the blood does not wash over Faith as Aine's first arrow takes out a third of the serpent's massive neck.
Almost all of the nasty wound that Faith dealt heals proving the near-deity's impressive vigor. Determined to end the pesky archer, the serpent lets loose with a series of massive attacks. [ooc](Aine takes 2d6 + 20 ⇒ (6, 2) + 20 = 282d6 + 10 ⇒ (2, 5) + 10 = 172d6 + 10 ⇒ (3, 2) + 10 = 152d8 + 10 ⇒ (2, 4) + 10 = 16 as the god attempts to remove her quickly from the fight. He doesn't quite succeed but Aine is looking quite wan.
Zaine takes careful aim and fires. The musket booms like thunder. The shot doesn't target the creature's neck but pulverizes the deity's body, causing the big creature to stumble back a step.
Faith's first blow looks to be going wide, but the pressure of Zaine's shot shifts the monster's body just enough that Erome is able to finish the job that Aine's arrow started. Washing the priest in the god's acidic blood.
Faith does take 2d8 ⇒ (5, 6) = 112d8 ⇒ (2, 1) = 3 acid damage as the blood washing over him.
Faith is also twice exposed to the innate poison in the god's blood. Please make 2 DC 30 Fort saves or take 1d4 ⇒ 1 Dexterity damage.
In a underclimartic moment, the serpent god's head is again sundered from its body. The skull immediately decays into a bare skul, but even without his head, the massive, punishing wounds on the monster's headless body start to heal.
The blood that pumps from the body blackens and pocks the stone, acidic fumes rising in a poisonous vapor.
"Oh. That's not good." Áine silently comments to herself, as she watches the tiny Faith asp slither over the broken stone.
She gifts her allies a +1 to hit and damage Favored Enemy bonus (should have been +3, but I f@#k3d up when I did my last level) and marks the serpent god as her Quarry.
From her mid-position, Juliver stares slack-jawed at the enormous serpentfolk, her eyes focusing on the regenrating flesh. She looks at the truly titanic skull on the altar. "I do not think we stopped the ritual in time." She is more than a little panicked, "We need to get his head back off." Bardic +3 to hit and damage.
With the good-aligned priest removed from the battlefield, the recoving god moves a step forward, finding balance on the poison-infused stone. His tail whips around his body and bludgeons the impossibly hidden archer. Twice. (Aine takes 4d8 + 20 ⇒ (7, 8, 8, 7) + 20 = 502d8 + 10 ⇒ (7, 6) + 10 = 23 damage.)
"You best get back in that hole before I put you there," Zaine says.
And that's a challenge.
Sasha, being the level-headed and wise person that she is, sprints across the cavern floor towards the large dangerous god-creature, blades out. Just barely getting in front of little asp Faith.
Faith's voice returns as he and Eroeme resume their normal size.
"sssssizable," Faith concludes.
He shakes his entire body, like a dog shaking off water.
Faith moves in to attack, Eroeme slicing through the air. The sword almost seems to be trying to redirect itself towards the god's neck as the sword lands with a nasty blow.
"Faith not allowed to turn to itty bad snake again." Pakshee says with authority. Faith's tattoo from the cannibal flares white with her words. (Faith is marked with Fortune for the next 4 rounds. Each round he can roll 2d20 for a single roll calling for a d20.) She looks around, trying to decide who to hex with luck next.
Zaine ducks low in the saddle and digs his heels into Tulip's flanks. The t-rex takes off like a shot, rapidly closing the distance between gunfighter and god.
The noxious vapors move in the humid air of the deep cavern, revealing a 25-foot-tall serpentfolk whose head is skeletal, the flesh, tendons, and scales of the body slowly regenerating to cover the bone. A tail, just as long as the powerful body is tall, whips the air as a tongue slithers from between bare fangs to taste the air.
He hisses as scents the nearby prey, the sound echoing in your mind long after you can no longer hear it.
Faith please make a DC 23 Fort save vs baleful polymorph or be turned in your a tiny viper
Just as Aine gets to the edge of the chasm (giving the healers one more round of salving wounds), the vapor intensifies, misting the area around, heralding the heavy tread on something large.
Anyone who would have approached with 60-feet of the chasm, please make a DC 30 Fort save or take 1d4 Wis damage.
Juliver, looking a little shaken still from the massive repulsion effect, nod at Aine. "Be careful."
Pakshee nod as she sees Tulip healing up, then looks around to see if anyone else needs some help.
Sasha walks over to Zaine. Looks at the destroyed body of the priest, "That is pretty impressive."
The azata remains.
Perception DC 18:
The vapor rising from the chasm is growing a bit heavier and has a yellow-green tinge. The rumbling of the cavern has a distinct rhythm to it, a pound, pound pause.
Please let me know go where in the cavern as there are places with hazards that are not natural or noticeable.
As the tremors continue to reverberate through the massive cavern, small stones skitter across the acid pocked scars in the stone lining the edge of a 60-ft diameter chasm that falls away to unimaginable darkness.
Zaine turns his attention on the giant snake, putting a bullet into its coils.
Tulip snaps at the big snake again breaking the bones of the serpent's neck just behind the massive head. The creature's body shrinks in death, leaving a sizable but not impossibly large constrictor.
"That's ominous," Faith says. "Eroeme, show me true -- anything going on here that I can't see?" Faith's true sight does not reveal anything that isn't apparent to everyone else.
With the combatant's dead, the azata's attention turns to the dark chasm. "The stones there are imbued with poison and evil." He follows as Faith moves closer to his companions.
Áine scans the surroundings as the rumbling continues. With the constrictor dead, Aine casts Blessing of the Salamander on Tulip, with a "Sorry I didn't get this up earlier, but since I don't know what's going on maybe it'll be of use and might salve the burn a little." Then a glance at Pakshee and the Azata, "unless you'd rather just heal her, of course." she smiles a little self deprecating smile at her spell that likely came along a bit too late to be of much use and deferring to the more accomplished casters.
Pakshee moves up on the carpet, laying a healing spell on Tulip - since Faith is uninjured. (Tulip heals 3d8 + 15 ⇒ (8, 4, 1) + 15 = 28.)
Perception DC 25:
Just barely visible there are wisps vapor rising from the cracks at the edges of the chasm.
Although most of the group is not ground, you can see stones skitter across the cavern floor as the room is wracked by a massive earthquake.
Áine appears, still just outside of her 1st range increment and releases another salvo of arrows. Unfortunately, none have quite the devastating explosive destructive impact she was hoping for. They do tear through his body causing wounds that continue to bleed.
"How about instead I shoot you again?" says Zaine. He takes careful aim and fires. Yet again, thunder reverberates around the room. Between the quick arrows from Aine and the bullets that are not disrupted by the blur effect the priest has, the damage pummels Vyr-Azul's body into bloody pulp.
A frustrated Tulip barley bites into the snake, thanks to the snakes reduced natural armor.
Faith hovers off the carpet and is repulsed along with Juliver.
"You're a product of your environment? You were raised by wolf-snakes?" Faith shrugs. "Best defense I can give for you."
Faith frowns as he is unable to enter the circle. He drops his head for a moment, and an elf-like archer appears on the ground underneath Faith.
"That priest is an enemy of all, would you mind destroying him?" Then Faith remembers who he's talking to, and repeats it in his almost-not-broken Infernal.
The archer nods, and replicates itself. Now there are six.
"Of course, after ... yeah."
With his death the repulsion field falls.
And the ground shakes.
Áine remains one with the nothing.
Zaine shifts his weight and Tulip responds, avoiding the worst of the fire.
"My turn," Zaine says, taking careful aim. When he fires, the musket booms like thunder. 1d3 ⇒ 31d3 ⇒ 11d3 ⇒ 2 The priest's defense do what they are supposed to do, blown away by the bullet and reducing the damage taken by the priest - who is bloodied by the magical critical.
Tulip snaps at the snake but her teeth skitter over magically hardened scales.
Faith presses his attack against the lessened nothing. "Desist existence; cease," he says to the nothing that isn't there. And the nothing is no more.
With both herself and Juliver free, Paskhee grabs Faith and maneuvers the carpet closer to the serpent priest.
Pakshee Will DC 25: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (20) + 16 = 36
Juliver is repulsed by the priest's spell and is forced from the flying carpet as it goes through the area of effect. Faith needs to make a DC 25 Will save to be moved through the barrier otherwise he is stuck outside with Juliver.
Sasha's blade bite into the serpent's scales, breaking through some of them. The serpent's natural armor is reduced by 2 until the start of Sasha's next turn.
Even frustrated that her coils continue so slid uselessly against Tulip, the constrictor's jaw snaps down on Tulip twice. (Attack rolls were 42 and 47. Damage is 1d8 + 26 ⇒ (7) + 26 = 33 adn 1d8 + 26 ⇒ (2) + 26 = 28.
Vyr-Azul's cold mental voice, "That really will not do." He stares at the gunslinger. "Defend me."
Zaine is targeted by a dominate person. Will save DC 23 to negate.
From outside the barrier, Juliver shouts encouragement, continuing to try to push through the barrier. Bardic back on.
No arrows fly from Aine. In fact where there was Aine there is now nothing.
Zaine shrugs off the attack and crouches low in the saddle, digging his heels into Tulip's flank.
"You're mine, you snake-headed son of a b!+$+!" Zaine shouts at the priest.
Tulip runs at the snake priest.
Pakshee curses the nothingness grappling Juliver, to no currently noticeable effect.
Faith continues to strike at the nothing which is clearly there (perhaps?). After a brief moment, a now-free Pakshee starts to smack at the nothing holding Juliver.
Sasha runs up, catching up with Tulip.
The coils of the constrictor slip forward just a bit, enough to allow the snakes powerful jaw to snap at Tulip. Two attacks, one possible hit at 54. 1d8 + 26 ⇒ (4) + 26 = 30 The coils slide harmlessly from the dinosaur's feathers.
The priest moves effortlessly through air, rising to 30-feet above the ground and keeping his large reptilian friend between him and the advancing surface dwellers. He points a finger at the mounted pair. His dry hiss reverberates through everyone's head. "Burn."
Tulip takes 160 hit points as unholy fire burns her. A successful Fort DC 25 reduces this to 10d6 ⇒ (3, 6, 6, 2, 6, 4, 6, 4, 1, 6) = 44.
Juliver still struggles against nothing.
Despite the distance, two of Áine's arrows look to be flying true.
Zaine carefully aims at the grappled t-rex and fires. Once again, the crack of thunder rolls through the room. Even before the creature falls limp to the ground from the massive bullet hole in its skull, its body starts to dissolve leaving the horrible sulphuric smell in Tulip's jaws.
Tulip charges headlong toward the high priest. There is a slight pause as Tulip has to fight through an unseen barrier, but both rider and dinosaur push through.
Pakshee curses the nothingness grappling her, to no currently noticeable effect.
Faith looks toward the priest on the dais, then looks at the carpet, and does a double-take. "Eroeme, show me truly," he requests.
Faith swings Eroeme at nothing. He hits nothing.
Although the feeling is odd, you do sense that the nothing does have an odd amorphous substance like jelly and you do damage it.
Sasha Will Save DC 25: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (18) + 14 = 32
The albino constrictor shifts a bit, her hiss resounding off the huge cavern walls.
The priest motions towards the mounted cavalier and a ghostly replica of the constrictor appears around Tulip, its coils moving to crush the rider.
Zaine needs make a DC 23 Will save or be paralyzed and take 1d6 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12 points of bludgeoning damage.
Pakshee and Juliver continue to struggle, futilely, against nothing.
With the Hollow Serpent destroyed, Zaine turns his gun on one of the newly created tyrannosaurus. It takes him a moment to focus on the gargantuan target but when he fires the bullet hits the dinosaur center section and leaves a gargantuan hole. The dinosaur falls to the ground before dissipating into sulphuric smoke.
Tulip rushes the other dinosaur, jumping just at the end and thoroughly grappling the much larger animal.
Pakshee relaxes noticeably when she see the hollow serpent fall and she keeps a hand on the carpet, ready to command it to go where her spells are needed.
Faith will continue to move with Sasha, preserving flanking wherever possible.
Seeing the second tyrannosaurus well in Tulip's teeth, Sasha starts heading directly for the serpentfolk priest on the dais.
The larger t-rex turns his jaw and tries to grab the painfully annoying smaller creature on his back. He fails... spectacularly.
On the dias, the enormous albino constrictor slithers out on hand to keep the surface dwellers from getting too close to his master.
The priest coldly surveys the temple room. Power flows from him but there is no visual clue.
Perception DC 20 (no take-10):
There is an odd jostling on the carpet and both of the spellcasters seem to be fighting something that you do not see.
The priest has a repulsion spell cast. In order move into yellow aura you need to make a DC 25 Will save or be barred from the area around the priest for 13 rounds. If the priest moves so that you are within the area of effect, then you get a second save.
Charisma damage from the desiccating aura in round 1: 1d6 ⇒ 3. Sasha and Faith also needed to make a save against the aura when they moved up.
Sasha Fort DC 26: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (18) + 16 = 34
Faith's first strike against the undead creepily hollow undead snake is massive tearing a huge chunk from the dry scales.
The priest motions towards the group in the entrance and two fiendishly-powered tyrannosaurus that dwarf Tulip even in her current up-sized form. The pair charge forward but the room is large.
"That isn't fair he is summoning more minions!" (Juliver continues bardic +3/+3)
Positive meets negative to truly explosive results, and what is left of the undead thing in Tulip's jaws crumbles away as Vildeis destructive energy courses over and through it burning the remaining husk to blackened ash.
I should have done this last night after Aine posted. As the hollow snake has been destroyed. Zaine and Faith can you please re-declare. You can choose to use the rolls you have already made or roll anew.
By the way, I think we are up to six confirmed crits this fight...
On the ancient altar with the impossibly large serpent's skull the serpentfolk priest rises into the air, quietly observing the far off battlefield and incanting.
The carpet bearing Juliver and Pakshee moves up, still in the cover of the stone walls but so that they will be able to move about the field to their best use. "Ohff. That is a nasty undead." She flickers her rapier in the direction of undead snake, "Its body actively dries out the air around it to keep it functional and I've heard that it can channel out the negative energy that keeps it animated." (Juliver activates bardic +3/+3)
Áine uses the stone corner to remain mostly out of sight of Ydersius High Priest while sending a quick barrage of deadly arrows exploding straight into the overly muscled serpentfolk bodyguard. The shots are well places and the Faith powered Destructive force powerful enough to send blood, bone, and sinew raining back in the direction of the dais and huge skull. "Vildeis, Desna & Milani send their regards." she quips, before backing another 5' along the wall back towards the adamantine doors and theoretically out of sight of Vyr-Azul.
"All right, you big dead monster, let's make you more dead."
Zaine snaps a shot off at the snake in his way. The gunshot booms and rolls like thunder and the puff of gunpowder smells like a raincloud. The bullet breaks the snakes body almost in half the front part falling momentarily to the group before it rises with a fluttering dry snakeskin sound.
The remaining half of the giant snake slithers forward with unnatural speed, its dry hissing hitting a cresendo as it ends in the entrance way, its body pulsing with black, decaying energy.
Aine, Juliver, Pakshee, Tulip and Zaine need to make a DC 26 Fort save or take 1d6 points of Charisma damage as the air around them starts to draw the moisture from their bodies.
Juliver Fort Save: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (17) + 12 = 29
Aine, Juliver, Pakshee, Tulip and Zaine take 8d6 ⇒ (1, 6, 2, 6, 2, 3, 3, 4) = 27 negative energy (DC 24 Will save to half damage.
Juliver Will Save: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 23
Tulip charges the zombie snake, chomping the writhing body. Her teeth make the worst noise as she breaks through the brittle, desicatted skin and hold fast.
Pakshee carefully, defensively, casts a spells touching both the carpet and Juliver, moving the pair out of the range of the undead's bite and aura.
Faith moves along with Sasha, attempting to flank one of the great serpentine beasts. (As the beastie moved up, please make a single attack against the serpent which will be applied at the start of round 2 and will not detract from your round 2 actions.)
Sasha indeed takes advantage of the flanking provided by Faith, her sword cutting into the grappled undead.
Pakshee can cast Named Bullet, Greater 4x. If you want them to work against serpentfolk then you are picking the monstrous humanoid type. Against demons (and heralds of evil gods) then you would pick evil outsider. Undead is undead. Please choose the type your bullet (or arrow) works against.
Pakshee also casts Heroism on everyone but herself (6 castings).
She has four castings of freedom of movement available. She would vote for Faith, herself and Tulip - in that order.
A huge serpent’s skull of bleached, fossilized stone sits within this vast cavern, mounted upon a two-tiered stone dais surrounded by golden cauldrons lit with purple fire. Rubble and debris litter the cavern floor in several areas, providing evidence of rockfalls from the ceiling overhead. Cracks and crevices lead to a gaping hole in the floor of the cavern to the east. To the northwest, a narrow slope rises to a ledge providing access to a pair of tunnels in the cavern wall, while an elevated stone portico lies along the wall to the southwest, topped with an arched roof held aloft by two golden columns bearing engravings of serpents. A gate of adamantine stands within the portico, carved with the likeness of a viper’s head staring outward, its curved fangs joining to make handles for the doors.
As you open the adamantine doors, Vyr-Azul's hatful hiss fills your head. "Kill them, Khestath. We will not allow them to prevent our lord's return." Even as he telepathically commands the swole bodyguard, the priest moves to place himself before the ancient giant serpent's skull, a final barrier to the god's remains.
Map is up on Roll20. In addition to the two serpentfolk, there is a large undead snake and a huge albino constrictor.
It takes about fifteen minutes for Raviaza's wall of blades to shatter and disappear from reality, giving the group plenty of time to heal and recover. Tulip slowly shrinks from huge to her normal large self. Once the barrier is gone the group is able to move forward into a hallway were several pieces of dry, translucent snakeskin litter the floor. As you move through, you see a number of larger, intact snakeskins which lie piled in alcoves behind the eight columns supporting the thirty-foot-high ceiling. A set of adamantine doors seal the north end of the hall.
K:nature or religion DC 26:
The snakeskins have been treated and undergone magical rituals and seem to be the remains of undead warmachines known as hollow serpents.
Luckily for the group, there don't seem to be any that are currently functional.
The adamantine doors open into an irregularly shaped chamber. The adamantine gates on the far side are just ever so slightly ajar, inviting the party to plunge ahead.
The hissing sibilants of a ritual echo through the ajar gates and the solid stone beneath your feet shakes for just a moment.
Very quick prep - Pakshee has a few Named Bullet, Greater that she offers to the ranged characters (you need to choose the creature type associated), Freedom of Movement, Heroism
Áine appears mildly surprised that the toad demon took her arrows to the face and still stands. She fires again dropping the toad demon, then moves opposite of Tulip and 20' from Raviaza. In the remaining barrage of arrows, only a single one hits the marilith, but it is a devasting blow that blows through the woman's torso.
Sasha quickly draws her adamantine machete, using that with her remaining sawtooth blade.
The three hezrou on the far side continue to batter at Pakshee.
Between Tulip's frustration, Zaine's bullets, Faith's dagger and Aine's arrows (in a moment later) the remaining hezrou are quickly dealt with.
Although she has fallen, the marilith's whirling blades remain. And they are not an illusion.
The writhing snakes and hissing do disappear with Raviaza's death.
Raviaza is carrying 4 +1 flaming daggers and 2 +1 flaming unholy whips.
Áine growls in annoyance at herself for not being out of range of the toad demons attack. She lets loose a fusillade of cold iron tipped shafts into the creatures face, but the tough toad demon remains upright and fighty.
Sasha darts in, both blades drawing blood. The blows nick scales from the demon. The marilith's AC is reduced by 2 until the start of Sasha's next turn.
One of the demon's whips strikes out, wrapping around one of Sasha's wrists and knocking the blade out of her other hand.
At the same moment her tail slaps out, almost catching Faith in its coils.
The three hezrou on the far side take full advantage of the situation and attack the cannibal healer. Thanks to her curses only a few attacks score blood. (Pakshee takes 8d4 + 1d8 + 30 ⇒ (2, 1, 1, 1, 2, 4, 3, 2) + (3) + 30 = 49 damage.)
"At a certain point, of course, we will have to rescind our offer and simply kill you," Faith says, as he enthusiastically attempts to kill the marilith.
Raviaza laughs, even as the ancient weapon scores several wounds in her serpentine tail. "I truly believe that we were already at that point, good to know that I have options I don't need to use."
Tulip closes the rest of the distance to the marilith and almost chomps her. However, the nimble fire blades deflect the tyranosaurus's jaws at the last moment.
Zaine takes careful aim and fires a single shot. The shot hits but isn't quite as devastating as Zaine's bullets often are.
Juliver gamely charges in and attacks the toad demons, however it seems that Pakshee's curse is affecting the pathfinder as not a single wound appears on the toad.
Pakshee takes a defensive step back and carefully heals herself. (4d8 + 16 ⇒ (2, 7, 4, 5) + 16 = 34)
Faith Dagger wrote:
"And won't he be surprised to see us?" Faith asks genially.
"Well, yes." The marilith smiles, "but, unlike me, he doesn't like surprises."
Áine cocks an eyebrow in an oh, really expression, drifting back and up on her carpet out of apparent whip range, at the same time designating the six armed snake woman as her quarry, "You're a tricksy one, I'll give you that. Too bad you're not willing to renounce your ways and let yourself abandon the dreary boredom of these prison walls here, it could've been fun."
Sasha moves up, both of her swords ready, cautiously staying just a tad out of reach.
Raviaza smiles, "The good guys always think that seven on one is a fair fight." She shrugs, flourishing with her whips, "It's ok, I'll make it a tad more fair." She motions and four demons appear in the hallway, most near Pakshee and the final one right next to the archer.
The new demons attack. Teeth clatter harmlessly on Faith's armor but both Aine and Pakshee get bit. (Aine takes 4d4 + 10 ⇒ (2, 1, 4, 4) + 10 = 21 and Pakshee takes 8d4 + 20 ⇒ (1, 4, 2, 4, 2, 3, 1, 4) + 20 = 41.)
"Eroeme, show me true," Faith says, as the player re-read the weapon description and looked up true seeing.
In your vision the hissing, slithering mass of snakes disappears. The marilith is still where she appeared to be. The whirling blades are still there. So are the new demons.
Sacred Armor as a swift, and Faith moves to and attacks the marilith, wherever she is
Faith moves forward, and attacks....
I think marilith are humanoids, so I'm including the +2 to hit, +2d6 damage from Eroeme's bane. GM note: mariliths are evil outsiders not humanoids.
Despite it not being the ideal target for the ancient weapon, it scores a nasty wound across the marilith's torso.
Tulip advances thirty feet directly toward the marilith.
"Okay, lady. You're dead."
Zaine blasts the marilith. It isn't as impressive as the quick shots against the avatar, but it is a nasty bullet wound.
Juliver hops off the carpet and goes to support Pakshee while commenting, "The toad demons are no way as nasty as the marilith!" Bardic +3 to hit and damage
Pakshee, not the idiot she appears, curses herself with protective luck, taking a step out of flanking.
Áine Aiman wrote:
Áine shrugs, "Everyone else ready?" she asks, glancing around at the others briefly before looking to slip between the slashing blades herself.
The marilith looks with amusement as Aine flies up and starts to go past her to get to the barrier of whirling blades. She sighs, "Too bad, it would have been good fun to get out of here."
Disarm vs Aine: 1d20 + 27 ⇒ (9) + 27 = 36
The burning whip lashes out and almost steals Aine bow from hand. "Plus you seem interesting. It's a pity that I can't let you bother Vyr. What is left of the boss's sanity really does want a change."
The marilith laughs, "Try not to do evil?" She shakes her head, "I have never tried to do evil. And don't get me wrong, I quite like have Ydersius in a state where he unlikely to demand I work on his goals rather than my own but that ship has sailed."
Perception or Sense Motive DC 30:
While she is talking there is a slight flicker around her, like there was an image and it was replaced by an identical image.
"I've been given the goal of not allowing you to proceed so that Vyr can finish his ritual." She waves one of her hands holding a whip and a wall of whirling blades appears behind her.
"Unless you want to all leave as a group. That would fulfill my current required goal and you all would get to live."
Faith Dagger wrote:
He peers past the woman. "That is a lot of snakes."
"Small but very poisonous ones." The marilith chimes in, cheerfully, she sighs dramatically as she takes in the tattoo on Faith's cheek.
"I'd love to travel with you," utter honesty in her voice, "I'd give it less than a week before your goddess turned her face from you, then we could go about finding a nice challenge and destroying it utterly."
She considers, "Is that the offer on the table?" Her smile says she knows it doesn't, but it would be grand.
... the GM can't count. Re-looking at the picture, she does have 6 arms not 4.
"Awww, don't be like that, all prickly and cantankerous," the marilith says, "Do you know how boring it can be around the strong, silent, religious types? Even when you can get them to talk it is all, the will of his slithery diviness, we shall rise to the surface and gain dominence over the soft-skinned one, blah-blah-blah."
She twirls two of the four fiery blades, the light forming a halo around her hands, "Tell me that you are more interesting than that."
Second verse, same as the first... only with slightly less adamantine machete damage.
Zaine takes careful aim at the head and fires. The musket booms and thunder rolls. The bullet smashes through the other eye, blowing the thing's noxious brains out all over the floor.
Zaine reloads, blasting the remaining iron golem.
Tulip moves up and chomps the same golem - this time everyone hears the painful scrape and puncture of bone through metal as she grabs on solidly.
The grappled golem (1d20 + 28 ⇒ (5) + 28 = 33,1d20 + 28 ⇒ (18) + 28 = 46) one heavy blow solid enough to overcome Tulip's armor. (Tulip takes 2d10 + 16 ⇒ (2, 6) + 16 = 24 unless Zaine wants to and succeeds in Ride-checking against the attack.)
Pakshee bustles over and lays a healing hand on Faith. (Faith heals 3d8 + 15 ⇒ (5, 2, 6) + 15 = 28.)
More arrows, carefully placed to keep Tulip un-punctured, enough to break apart the golem.
"I ... that's much better," Faith says.
Faith casts, heals, and moves to check if there are any more dangers in the room.
Once the group has had a chance to heal up and regroup (Tulip remaining her magically enhanced size (About 20 minutes has passed since the fight against the temple guards outside the entrance)), they are able to move down the disturbingly undulating serpentine stairwell. It exits in a hallway lined with small doorways, however just past them the group can make out, in the darkness, a larger hall.
The hiss of snakes and serpents echo from that larger hallway.
Ahead, in the darkness, thousands of vipers and serpents writhe across the floor of the hall. Eight columns bearing the carved images of coiled serpents wrapped around them stand before alcoves in the walls and support the thirty-foot-high ceiling above. More snakes wiggle free of the gabs in the carvings' eyes and mouth to fall and join the squirming mass below.
Click here if you make a DC 28 Will save:
The loud echo of the snakes ends suddenly as your mind trys to make out which of the multitude of snakes is making that particular desert related rattle and you realize that the mass of is just an illusion.
As you move forward, just a few feet, to get a better handle on the serpentine clogged hall, a four-armed woman whose body turns serpentine from the waist down. She holds fiery blades and whips, but not in actively aggressive way. With a cheery smiles, "Adventurers!"
"I love adventurers, they have the best toys." She looks over the group, "Oooo. A tyrannosaurus. I would love to make her over to come home with me."
Sasha hacks at the statue with the adamantine machetes, utilization of the correct weapon working in her favor.
Zaine takes careful aim at the head and fires. The musket booms and thunder rolls. The bullet smashes through the other eye, blowing the thing's noxious brains out all over the floor.
"Herald of a god? Never killed one of those before," Zaine says thoughtfully.
Tulip bites the iron golem in confused retaliation. Damaging the statue depiste her teeth not being shielded by adamantine, however not managing a good enough hold to keep the ancient golem still.
Absently, Juliver stabs herself with her rapier, watching as the blood flows down her leg to the carpet. (Bardic +3 hit and damage, will linger for 2 more rounds)
Another blow gets through the flurry of blades Sasha has, but not quite as hard as the last.
The other golem (1d20 + 28 ⇒ (17) + 28 = 45,1d20 + 28 ⇒ (15) + 28 = 43) pummels Faith. (Faith takes 4d10 + 32 ⇒ (4, 3, 2, 6) + 32 = 47 and will automatically attack the golem if he remains confused.)
"No more mind talk from the bad snake." Pakshee comments, then she glares at the golem beating on the red-head. (Sasha is granted protective luck and anyone attacking her has to roll twice and take the worser.)
Áine blinks, as the pain in her thigh has apparently jolted her back to reality. She grimaces, glaring at what is left of the head for just an instant before turning her attention and her limited supply of adamantine tipped arrows on the large iron statues. Utterly destroying the one damaged by Tulip.
"Hiss and hearse? That doesn't make any sense!" Faith shakes his head to clear it, and smacks himself in the forehead with his palm. Or he would if he wasn't wielding Eroeme. He smacks himself in the forehead with the pommel of Eroeme.
No one is confused.
Tulip Confusion: 1d4 ⇒ 3 1d8 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Sasha shudders at the rise in the maddening hiss as the door opens, almost immune to the nasty area effect. She tumbles into the room, pulling out the adamantine machete the group got in their jungle travels rather than her normal sawtoothed blades.
"Okay, you big head. I think I'm doing the world a favor by killing you."
That's a challenge.
Zaine fires one shot at the beast. The shot blast through the neck blasting out the top of the severed eye, completely removing one of the milky eyes. Were the herald a little less epic it would be downed in the single shot.
Tulip is confused. And bites at her own armor as if she were being attacked by ants. Tulip takes 15 hp.
A presence speaks in your mind in accented Azlanti. 'the last time you came blessed by the gods and dripping in the best magic and machines your empire could boast and you only managed to separate body from mind, do you really think such a group as yours can do any better'
'i recommend you all retreat and fear the rise of the serpent'
Mass Suggestion: Flee; Will DC 22 to resist
Juliver seems stunned by the maddening hiss of the multitude of heads. Quietly, not in reverence but still awed, "That is a herald of a god." (Bardic +3 hit and damage, will linger for 3 rounds if she is unable to maintain)
The iron statue near Sasha turns on the ranger, one heavy blow getting through.
The other moves up and (1d20 + 28 ⇒ (14) + 28 = 42) slams a heavy fist into Tulip. (Tulip takes 2d10 + 16 ⇒ (4, 2) + 16 = 22 and will automatically attack the golem if she remains confused.)
"Bad big snake, no more mind talk, no more mind talk spells." Telepathic silence... which means no more witty reparte from the herald and he must make a check to cast any more spells
"Ah, Hell." Áine mutters to herself at the first glimpse of the horrific creature. And then... she stabs herself with an arrow. (Aine takes 10 damage.)
"Well, that's quite a...." Faith's eyes unfocus. He starts to mutter -- almost but not quite under his breath.
"Her burden of things walking out Her burden of things walking out Unearth my Nina Unearth my Nina God forbid a vaguer feat Notion of shell mock me Say the sparrow wants a morbid arrow Here's a quarter; that's the one I want Maybe I'll buy the whirlwind That always keeps me yearning Her sitter's down there mourning Her burden of things walking out Her burden of things walking out Unearth my Nina Unearth my Nina"
Juliver Will vs suggestion: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (8) + 15 = 23 No flee
GM says it stacks. Faith can indicate in the next post if he cast it pre door opening (which I'm very cool with.
The feel of the subaudible hiss strengthens as the outer door closes, enclosing the group in the pressure lock. The inner door isn't locked but it takes more force to push open the doors.
Two serpentfolk statues made of iron dominate this octagonal chamber, standing guard next to a wide staircase descending to the north. The stairway appears to be lined with iridescent snake scales, pulsing and moving with eerie life of their own. Along the south walls, directly to your left and right, twin tapestries made of the same iridescent snakeskin shift and billow with the same rhythm.
The air fills with the sounds of hissing snakes as a giant severed snake's head floats between and slightly behind the iron statures in the pulsing stairway. Its eyes are milky and blind, but a huge forked tongue constantly tests the air for fresh scents, flanked by fangs dripping virulent poison. Below the neck, rather than tendons or muscle, numerous serpents thrash like tendrils of torn flesh. The blood that drips from the severed head sizzles as it hits the ground acid burning through the floor.
Please make a DC 30 Will save vs mind-affecting compulsion insanity effect or be confused for 1 round. If you fail against this effect, you will have to roll against the effect until you succeed.
Juliver Will save: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (9) + 15 = 24
K: religion DC 35 (Juliver automatically aids this check for a +4 bonus):
The creature before you is The Emperor of Scales, the herald of Ydersius. A unique outsider that was created from the first priest-king of the first empire of the serpentfolk.
The double doors to the west open into a wide, rounded hallway. Passing by a few small doors and a small feeder hallway, the large hallway turns abruptly and leads to another set of metal, carved double doors. There is a slight pressure on the those doors as you open them, a notable break of seal as the doors open, only to reveal another set of double doors, like the pair form a pressure lock.
The inner doors do not budge until the outer doors are closed, but the time to figure that out allows your senses to reach out. You can't quite hear the sound, but a subaudible hiss reverberates through your bones and your brain, making your skin itch and fight against going forward.
Your group has enough of a Sense Motive that you sense a mini-boss fight in the upcoming room. You can buff if you'd like, then roll initiative when you open the second set of doors.
Any min/lvl spells cast before the initial attack the temple guards fight will last through this fight and be done. Any round/lvl spells from either previous fight are down. Hour/lvl spells are still up.
Another flurry of arrows, most breaking on the impossibly hard stone.
"Ow," Zaine says thoughtfully, putting yet another musket ball into the construct. Which proves, finally, to be the tipping point in terms of the sheer amount of violence applied to stone.
Pakshee moves closer once the stone is broken on the ground, healing Faith, Tulip, Zaine, Sasha and Aine when she comes closer.
The areas around the entrance courtyard prove to be guardroom, with serpentfolk style chairs and tables. In addition to the two large impressive doors that exit the courtyard (heading east and west respectively) each of the 'guardrooms' has a small set of doors... similar to the small doors that led into guardrooms in the exterior of the temple.
Unsurprising in a place where the inhabitants communicate telepathically, there are no sounds that break through the solidity of the walls.
Arrows from Áine's bow continue to rain down on the stone serpent, and and two of the arrows cause green stone shards clatter against the hard floor below.
Zaine takes careful aim at the construct and fires. The careful shot blasts stone from the construct, not enough to destroy it but it takes a large chunk out.
Sasha continues inching her way towards the huge construct, blades killing a snake on the way.
The snake rears back and both fanged jaw slam into the person who just injured it so grievously - Zaine. (Attack roll1: 37, dmg 4d8 + 9 ⇒ (4, 3, 6, 5) + 9 = 27; Attack roll2: 42, dmg 4d8 + 9 ⇒ (4, 6, 3, 8) + 9 = 30
Tulip swallows the dead serpent man and chomps the last remaining snake down too.
"No attack Zaine, either!" Pakshee says, getting frustrated. (Faith and Tulip and Zaine have 'Protective Luck' for 3 rounds and anyone attacking her must rolls twice and take the worse.)
"Just die, please." Faith says
The construct does not comply.
[b]"Almost! maybe," Juliver continues to survey the combat and offer adivise. (Bardic and Faith also gets an additional +4 to hit.)
Áine shifts her attention to the 2 headed statue and one of her arrows drill deep, cracking off small chunks of green stone with the Destructive energy lent them by Vildeis. Others unfortunately ping ineffectively off the hard exterior.
Zaine snaps a shot off at a serpent man.
Sasha inches her way towards the huge construct, blades laying into the snake companion on the way.
The giant serpentine statue apparently notices small Faith, the heads strike in that direction, but one smashes into the stone floor of the room. (Attack roll1: 37, dmg 4d8 + 9 ⇒ (4, 7, 1, 1) + 9 = 22; Attack roll2: ...natural 1
Tulip shakes the serpent man violently. The serpentfolk dies in blood and gore.
Pakshee no longer looks conflicted. "I said no attack Faith." (Faith and Tulip have 'Protective Luck' for 3 rounds and anyone attacking her must rolls twice and take the worse.)
"Just die, will you? There's a good snake," Faith continues to press Eroeme's point. There are distinct cracks in the green serpentstone.
The minion snakes continue to harry Tulip and Faith. (Attacks vs Faith and Tulip have a +2 to hit from the distraction.)
[b]"I mean... it isn't alive. But just get destroyed already just doesn't have the right," Juliver continues to survey the combat and offer adivise. (Bardic and Faith also gets an additional +4 to hit.)
Áine looks a bit...unwell, almost matching the greenish hue of the stone statue, she glares at it for a time, perhaps trying to determine if it will continue to be a threat or not before releasing her arrows on another serpentfolk.
Zaine takes careful aim at an ungrappled serpent man and fires. The serpent guard sways as a major part of his body is blown away but he keeps his feet. And his weapon.
Sasha's first blow finishes off the guard almost killed by Aine and Zaine. Then she quickly takes out the vicious snake ally.
The giant statue moves, the grind of stone so loud that it echoes through your head and hurts. Both stone fanged jaws snap down at Tulip. (Attack roll1: 44, dmg 4d8 + 9 ⇒ (1, 6, 2, 7) + 9 = 25; Attack roll2: 50, dmg 4d8 + 9 ⇒ (3, 1, 1, 6) + 9 = 20)
Tulip continues to crush the hapless monster in her jaws. It is tough, lively meat.
Pakshee looks just a tad conflicted. "Good snake to not bite Faith. But bad snake to bite Pretty Bird." She nods, "No bite either, yes?" (Tulip has 'Protective Luck' for 3 rounds and anyone attacking her must rolls twice and take the worse.)
Faith's pallor turns ashen, then flushes back where it belongs.
"You will have to try harder than that," he says, attacking the adjacent serpent. One attack is near perfect, then one is average, then one is just bad.
The minion snakes continue to harry Tulip and Faith. (Attacks vs Faith and Tulip have a +2 to hit from the distraction.)
The guard who is very slowly being turned to mincemeat makes some blows that would be nasty, were Tulip not so well armored.
Juliver continues to survey the combat and offer advice. (Bardic and Faith also gets an additional +4 to hit.)
In regards to spells: Between this fight and the previous, spells measured in rounds/lvl would be finished or almost. Anything longer would still be active.
Aine's barrage of arrows proves deadly as one of the tough temple guards falls on the last, speedily shot, incredibly well placed arrow.
Zaine shoots a another one of the guards. The single gunshot blasts through armor and scale, but the tough serpentfolk doesn't make a sound.
Sasha runs into the room, keeping to the edges to avoid any quick glancing blows.
The green stone two-headed serpent statue moves, one of the heads coming down, opening to wash the group with a cloud of gray sticky smoke. (Everyone please make a Fort DC 25 or be turned to STONE! This will take effect at the start of round 2.)
Tulip charges the nearest guard, chomping him between her jaws.
Pakshee's brown skin turns grey for just a moment before the tattoos on her shoulder flare into light and her form remains flesh, if a little greyer.
"Blessing of Destruction," Faith mutters to Áine, and heads toward the snakes.
The companion snakes dart forward, not truly dangerous but distracting - especially with the deadly venom in their fangs. (Attacks vs Faith, Sasha and Tulip have a +2 to hit from the distraction.)
While the jaw chomped guard doesn't achieve much, the uninjured guard manages to land some blows on Sasha.
Juliver continues the advice that she started prior to the door being opened. Seeing Tulip has a temple guard well in jaw, she comments, "If I remember the discussions, the green serpentstone is as hardy as adamantine, so if you have any daggers that are adamantine, that would be beneficial, Faith!" (Faith also gets an additional +4 to hit.)
With Faith's guidance, someone deactivates the harm trap on the first set of double snake doors with the Aklo passphrase, "Sanctum sought, the Primal Coil praised."
The doors open into a entrance courtyard and several arrow-slits pierce the walls of this irregularly shaped courtyard. A green stone statue of a huge two headed serpent stands at the center of the room, staring down at the main gate from a height of nearly thirty feet. Adamantine doors mark the room's exits.
Perception/Sense Motive DC 35:
The guards in the room look to the arrow slits, bodies tensing as they realize their normal, immense, back up is not there - instead out in the city dealing with invading armies.