DM organized's Serpent's Skull Campaign


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Behind you a disappearing sun bleeds red hues that fill a cloudless sky as the Jenivere floats east. The tones reflect off the endless sea water creating an effect that is stunning, although the superstitious might see the crimson flood as something of an omen.

Nearing the end of its expansive trade circuit the merchant vessel is less than three days from its southwestern port of origin. As the ship first turned into the Desperation Bay the smell of vegetation was apparent without any land being visible, although it dissipated as the boat cut across the center of the deep water basin. It has been six days since the ship entered Desperation Bay and since then the wind has ceased to even wrinkle a sail while the heat has become increasingly oppressive.

While the ship seems to hardly lap its way through the water everyone is eager to reach Eledar, the colonial capital of Sargava, where the passengers will depart and the Captain will deliver his goods and take a long week off before starting the two hundred and twenty day voyage over again. It is all he has ever known.

Captain Alizandru Kovack treats his paid passengers fairly and respectfully but he all business when it comes to his crew, and while not unfair his demeanor towards them is stern and demanding. The Jenivere has visited every major port along the western coast of two continents. The ships holds contain exotic trade goods from up to 3,400 miles away and everywhere in between. The passengers aboard the vessel are equally as diverse and exotic, and several cargo holds have been converted to house those who pay for their passage.

The Jenivere’s Chef cooks two hot meals a day and no one misses a chance to refuel regardless of how bad the food is. You file in to the mess hall with rest of the day crew. At the door you yield to the boats grave yard shift making their way to deck. While you’ll be taking supper, this meal was breakfast for them.

Most of the Crew gathers at one of two circular tables leaving you with the other passengers. Leana is absent as usual as is Aerys Mavato. As you take in the simple but well prepared meal conversations ensue.

A well-dressed gnome named Gelik rattles off a snide comment or two suggesting that “While Aerys may be in a rum induced comma the Captain is getting equally drunk off his interest in Leana.” It’s a fairly typical attitude for Gelik, although perhaps not what you would expect from a member of the Pathfinder Society.

Rumors about Leana have been particularly common on the ship. Initially it was said that she was the captain’s lover, then wife. Some have even suggested that she is the actual owner of the ship. While seemly pleasant, she is extremely private and seems to have the full attention of the Captain. Leana is rarely seen outside of her private cabin, some claim they have seen Kovack make personal visits.

Aerys lack of presence is less of a mystery. For as long as she has been on the ship Aerys has been in a constant drunken stupor. She spends most of the day in her bed but can often be found top deck at odd hours of the night. The Jenivere had to leave a crew member behind after he made the mistake of making an indecent proposal to Aerys. Healers are still trying to refuse his shattered knee caps.

Ishirou informs Gelik he delivered Aerys meal to her bunk, and while “not in a coma,” she was “far from lucid.” Ishirou is serious man who displays no sense of humor. He also delivered a dinner to Jask, a prisoner in the ship’s brig. “That man is getting thinner. I wouldn’t be eating much either if I knew I was days away from getting executed.”

Taking Jask food has been a shared task. Everyone has done it and no one who has attempted to talk to the prisoner has been able to get much of a response. What you know from the crew and the captain is that he is a fugitive who had abused his government position and escaped a Sargavan prison after sentencing. He evaded capture for over ten years but luck turned against him. A Sargavan agent apprehended him in distant Corentyn and essentially commanded Captain Kocack to return him to Eledar to serve as an example.

Finally Sasha Nevah shares the table with you. Quiet and reserved Sasha sometimes will smile, laugh, or frown but rarely says a word.

In a quiet moment at the table you catch a bit of conversation from the other table. The sailors seem to be in agreement that recent orders to change the course of the ship indicate some unknown change in plans. Their mood and tone suggest this is a matter of great concern, and highly irregular as the captain has never been known to deviate from the plotted course. One of the veteran crew members insists that if the course is not corrected they will confront the Captain in the morning.

You continue your meal and return to the conversation of your own table.

You can see pictures of the NPCs here:

Golarion Map:
the print is small but Sargava and Eledar are identified in the far southwest corner, south of the Kaava land.

Male Dwarf Monk 3 (favored class)

I look around the table at everyone that is sitting there.

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8

I then look around the rest of the room for anyone acting suspicious or anything out of sorts while I slowly eat my food. What kind of food is it?

I then look at Sasha for a moment to see what she is doing.

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10

Edit: wow, what a first two rolls :(

Rorie Halstein wrote:

I look around the table at everyone that is sitting there.

I then look around the rest of the room for anyone acting suspicious or anything out of sorts while I slowly eat my food. What kind of food is it?

I then look at Sasha for a moment to see what she is doing.

The mess hall is jam packed, noisy, and the smell is something terrible. Everyone is eating, and the food tonight is above average. A school of Sea Bass took refuge in the shadow cast by the boat in the heat of the afternoon. Ishirou made the most of it and fished nearly two dozen out of the water.

Besides the fish there are delicious fruit jellies picked up from a recent port. They make the stale bread rolls into something more than tolerable. Fresh bananas have been available since returning to the southern continent and a variety of pickled items round out the meal. A cheap selection of ales, mead, and wine are available.

Nothing seems out of the ordinary, a lot of boisterous bragging and gossip between the crew and passengers. You do notice that the ships first mate is absent from the meal. Most days he takes his meal with the crew.

Sasha sits with her elbows on the table and her eyes trained to her plate. She takes small bites and seems to be enjoying the rarity of the semi-fresh meal.

Male Dwarf Monk 3 (favored class)

I use Sense Motive on Sasha to see if I can get a clue as to if something is wrong. Rorie finds her attractive and is shyfully trying to work up the courage to talk to her. As I do this, I will continue to eat a bit here and there, favoring the fish over the rest.

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21

Is the rest of the "party" at the table as well? If so, I would like to sense motive and perception on each of them as well to try and size them up.

Rorie Halstein wrote:

I use Sense Motive on Sasha to see if I can get a clue as to if something is wrong.

If so, I would like to sense motive and perception on each of them as well to try and size them up.

You look over Sasha and find nothing unusual about her posture. She rarely speaks and seems to listen, but will not often look at you or the others. You sense she may be lonely but afraid.

The rest of the party is at the table but they are assumed to be silent and eating until they make their first post. At this point you'll have to draw your own conclusions about the motive of other player characters. I'm not that far inside anyone's head yet. None of the PCs have given you a reason to think they have some ill intent and it is safe to assume that everyone has a generally friendly disposition. Still one always wonders why one would head off to a far corner of the world in the middle of nothing but heat, humidity, and jungle...

Male Dwarf Monk 3 (favored class)

Without looking up from my meal I say, " Are you feeling alright lass?" in a barely audible voice. "If something be bothering you, I'm a good listener..."

I'll wait a bit for everyone else now :)

Male Human Fighter 3

Looking up from my plate: "I'd be worried about doing too much talking onboard this ship. Seems as though many of the crew can't keep their mind or their mouths on their own affairs as it is. The change in course does seem to have them spooked, does anyone know about that?"

Male Human Fighter 3

I'd also like to make a perception check to see if I can overhear anything else the crew is saying about the course change. 1d20 +1 (wis)= 16(+1)=17

Gothard Piersson wrote:
I'd also like to make a perception check to see if I can overhear anything else the crew is saying about the course change. 1d20 +1 (wis)= 16(+1)=17

Try again with the dice tags in place. It should display the equation in green and provide you with a random generated number. It should look like Rorie's if you add the tags.

Male Human Fighter 3

perception check 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17

Rorie Halstein wrote:

Without looking up from my meal I say, " Are you feeling alright lass?" in a barely audible voice. "If something be bothering you, I'm a good listener..."

Sasha flicks her eyes up to Rories for a moment before returning them to her plate. "I'm ok but I think you should be asking him."She points a finger to Gothard without looking up, stabs a pickled radish and washes it down with a weak version of the ale, containing just enough spirit to keep it from turning. "We should not be off course."

Gelik picks up on the conversation and chimes back. "We're not off course, we'll be in port in three days. Those guys have been out in the sun all day and their already meager intellect is delusional."

Ishirou looks up and grunts as if he is about to say something. He then shrugs and returns his concentration to the meal in front of him. While he was the last to sit down it looks like he'll be the first one to clean his plate.

Gothard Piersson wrote:
perception check 1d20+1

One of the deckhands at the other table is insisting that he will approach the Captain tonight. One of the more senior sailors warns him that Captain Kovack is likely to toss him over board for questioning his orders, and suggests that they should just sleep on it and see if the course is straightened out in the morning.

Male Dwarf Monk 3 (favored class)

When Gothard speaks, I look at him. When Sasha finishes speaking I give her a puzzled look.

I'm not sure what she meant by "you should be asking him". Is the captain present?

I Use Sense Motive on Gelik to see if he is lying to me or hiding something when he says that we are not off course:

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8

Male Human Fighter 3

I'd like to try and sense motive as well 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3

"I don't know what exactly is going either, but I suggest we keep our eyes and ears open. It could have something to do with the prisoner that the Captain was ordered to take on, maybe he has some friends who want him back. You never can trust people who have no honor."

Male Human Fighter 3

Oh and in case Sasha isn't trusting me, I do a diplomacy check to try and prove I'm not here to case trouble 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (17) - 1 = 16

Sasha meant to emphasize what Gothard had just said. In not so many words she was saying find out what is bothering Gothard. The Captain is likely in his personal quarters where he normally takes his meals and sips expensive rum.

Gelik is a difficult person to read. Gnomes are strange folk indeed. Neither of you are sure what Gelik meant. It is not untypical for him to insult the crew and state his 'I know better' opinion.

You do know that he is a member of the Pathfinder Society, which he has explained to be an organized group of adventurers whose goal is to find and secure all forms of lost and hidden knowledge. Over the course of the trip you have come to know Gelik as someone who might be more interested in taking his dividend of the treasure, rather than someone who might find honor and virtue in preserving knowledge.

Male Dwarf Monk 3 (favored class)

we are rolling HORRIBLY :P

I listen in on what Gelik is saying.

Gelik pushes his empty plate away and leans deeply into the over sized chair. "All I'm saying is that we're sixty hours from our final destination. The last time I checked we are still headed south east. The captain probably made an adjustment for some variation in the current, or the lack of wind."

The gnome kicks his right leg up and rests his boot heal on the edge of the table. "Besides, there's no where else to go." Gelik splits a grin and produces a crooked chuckle. "Maybe he's heard the sirens calling, and now he's got to answer."

Male Dwarf Monk 3 (favored class)

Can I make another sense motive on this new diolouge?

Sense Motive (just in case): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

Edit: I need new dice...

After that I scan the crowd and listen in to see if I hear anything interesting.

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26

Male Human Fighter 3

said to Gelik "You should not tempt fate with statements like that while on the open seas. You're asking for trouble to find us. If I hear you say such things again I'll throw you overboard for the seas to have you."

intimidate check 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22

yes I've got to try the new feat :)

Gelik tries to look un-phased by the threat, but promptly shuts his mouth.

There's a movement of the ship that is subtle at first; hardly noticeable at all. The sound of water splashing on the sides of the boat returns after a week long absence, causing the boat to rock in a mild but sudden rhythm. Even below deck the breeze provides immediate reprieve, however slight, from the tropical summer heat. The crew lets out a collective sigh. Even the wood planks seems to let out a groan. On cue thunder cracks and rumbles in the distance.

There's another blunted bang, but from inside the room.

Male Dwarf Monk 3 (favored class)

I look for the source of the thudding sound.

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26

Rorie recognizes that the thud originated from a pile of crates between the mess hall and the kitchen.

A storm arrives with a ferocity that is only achieved in the hottest, driest weeks of summer. Below deck no one can see the lightning flashing but ahead of the storm you can actually hear it in that very particular kind of electric thunder crackle.

A bigger wave hits the Jenivere causing the two overhead lamps to swing, sending shadows dancing up and down the walls.

The same hollow thud noise is heard again in the mess hall.

Male Dwarf Monk 3 (favored class)

I take a last bite of my food, wash it down with a drink, and then stand up to go secure the crates if I can.

Male Elf Rogue Level 1

Having stayed quiet til this point, Alyosha pipes up having noticed the storm coming.

"Lets hope this boat is worth its weight in gold"

Alyosha does an Appraisal of the boat.

Appraisal:1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9

Alyosha Akeldama wrote:

Alyosha does an Appraisal of the boat.

You feel fairly certain that this fine merchant vessel, constructed of the finest hardwood timbers and well maintained for it's age, is worth no less than 25,000 gold coins in a buyers market.

Ishirou seems to take a moment to ponder what Alyosha just said.

knowledge-engineering: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24

"This ship's been through a thousand storms, and she's as sea worthy as any vessel. Good thing is that she's mighty big; that is a good thing indeed in a rough sea."

Rorie walks over to investigate the crates. As he nears a third thud occurs and a the lid of a large crate turned on it's side bursts open, despite the appearance that it was secured and latched.

A man who appears to be about 6'0 tall and in his mid 20's lunges out of the crate boots first. He wears a leather vest and seems to have a cache of equipment in the crate. He looks up and reaches out, his face filled with terror. He tries to speak but freezes up. Eyes still open he falls to the floor like a rag doll.

Male Elf Rogue Level 1

Wanting to impress the new comer Alyosha does a backflip to a sommersalt all finished off with a round house.

Acrobatics: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19

Assuming the stranger is clearly impressed Alyosha pokes the man and asks, with his best pirate talk, "What be yer name matey?"

The man does not reply or move. He still holds a dish in one hand. The remnants of sea bass and jelly bread have spilled to the floor.

The crate he was in is labeled as canned octopi, and has a packing order to be delivered to an address in Eledar.

A simple observation of the crate reveals that the latch and bindings were false, and it must have took a fair amount of ingenuity to rig the lock from the inside. It is obvious this man is a stowaway

Male Dwarf Monk 3 (favored class)

Upon the man tumbling out, I let out a confused and startled, "Gawah?"

Since he seems frozen, I look him over to see if he is ok.

What does he look like?

Heal: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19

Woken from his sleep in the corner of the mess hall. Luther takes a quick look around, seeing the man fall out of the crate cracks a smile.

"Why did I not think of that?"

Seeing as it is a man that fell out of the box Luther gives him a strong look trying to see what his next move will be now that he is found out.

1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20 Sense Motive

Male Elf Rogue Level 1

Trying to wake the new comer Alyosha attempts some rudimentary First Aid.

" I believe this is the... head. Ah yes, that is right"

Heal: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (11) - 1 = 10

Male Human Fighter 3

While everyone is applying first aid, I examine the man and his equipment to help try to determine what he may be up to and the type of person he may be (i.e a runaway, or someone dangerous, etc)

perception check 1d20 ⇒ 10

The man that was inside the crate is breathing and has a pulse, but is otherwise unconscious. The crate has some shelves built into it housing what appears to be a long bow and a number of other personal items.

There is a moment of panic around the room. One of the sailors runs for deck but his legs fail him after a few strides. Others are already frozen in place, slumped, propped up, and falling over.

Outside the storm rages, and the ship is battered and tossed.

You feel a rush of terror as your feet go numb. The sensation travels up your legs. While you try to react your muscles fail you and you slump or fall in place. It’s a particularly terrifying feeling as the numbness reaches your heart, but the sensation is short lived as it travels up your spine, and is the final feeling you have before the world goes black around.

All player characters are now in an unconscious state until otherwise notified.

Fortitude check: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Luck of the Sea: 1d20 ⇒ 5

Fortitude check: 1d20 ⇒ 1
Luck of the Sea: 1d20 ⇒ 2

Fortitude check: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Luck of the Sea: 1d20 ⇒ 18

Fortitude check: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Luck of the Sea: 1d20 ⇒ 20

Fortitude check: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Luck of the Sea: 1d20 ⇒ 17

Smian Rewar:
Fortitude check: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Luck of the Sea: 1d20 ⇒ 14

Chapter 1:
Souls for Smuggler's Shiv

Gothard Awakens. The luck of the sea was kind to him and except for his weapons, his pack and gear are all intact.

This message is directed to Gothard but as the rest of the party awakens you will experience a similar sensation.

Your head reels. You feel as if you have a severe hangover. The pounding inside your skull is debilitating. You feel a sharp cutting pain as well. You open your eyes and see an early morning sky. You also find a creature that looks like an oversized crab crossed with a scorpion chewing on your leg.

You see there are others around you, all appear to be unconscious or dead. Your hands are empty but there is a pile of weapons nearby. You spot your battleax in the pile, as well as swords, bows, and crossbows.

Gothard takes 1 point of damage and is active in round 1 of combat.

Once you have awoken please roll initiative and relay your actions for the first round of combat. Include any needed dice rolls. Please remember that your character is unconscious until otherwise notified. Subtract 2 from any attack rolls and savings throws due to your condition for the duration of this combat.

Large Combat Map: click here

Map Close Up: click here

Each quare = 5 square feet

Ochre Eurypterid (Small Sea Scorpion): click here

Male Dwarf Monk 3 (favored class)

What size category is the crab? Is it small size? Poor Alyosha :(

Male Human Fighter 3

Seeing the cosmic cowrabion chewing on my leg I decide against moving and prefer to directly attack Should I be taking that -2 that you mentioned here or is that for the unconscious guys?

initiative 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
attack: unarmed strike 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
damage 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9

almost forgot to ask, is my pack and shield and other gear in the same pile as the weapons or do I have that on?

sea scorpion initiative: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6

Round 1

Gothard takes a minus two penalty to his attack rolls due to his condition. 24-2= 22. His unarmed damage is 1d3 + strength. Sorry should have been more specific. You also see your shield in the pile. Everything else that you own is as described on your char sheet.

Gothard's damage:1d3 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8

Before the sea scorpion can act Gothard crushes it with a single punch.

A wave crashes on the sand dropping five more small sea scorpions on the beach.

Rorie wakes up and is available to act in combat round 2

Updated Map -> click here

End round 1.

Male Dwarf Monk 3 (favored class)

Initiative" 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3

edit: The luck of the sea was kind to the dwarf, and all his possessions are on his body. His mule however, cannot be found at this time.

Rorie, go ahead and post your round action along with your initiative.

Male Dwarf Monk 3 (favored class)

Rorie groggily looks around. He attempts to rise to his feet (move action). Some of his memory coming back to him he looks around more alarmed. Seeing the strange creatures coming from the sea he falls into martial arts stance and waits for the enemy to come to him.

I ready my unarmed strike to hit any enemy that enters the square above me (towards the water).

any applicable knowledge for knowing what these things are?

Knowledge Untrained: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0

Male Human Fighter 3

seeing that I have some time before the creatures can get to me and that there is another ally on the field, I stand and move to the equipment pile to recover my axe and shield. I also yell to Rorie as I move "I'm coming to you so they do not surround us!"

edited post to remove un-needed roll and correct move action

sea scorpion 2 initiative: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
sea scorpion 3 initiative: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
sea scorpion 4 initiative: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
sea scorpion 5 initiative: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
sea scorpion 6 initiative: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10

Round 2

Sea scorpion 4 sees an easy meal and uses 2 move action to advance to the feet of Smian.

Sea scorpion 2 uses 2 move actions to advance on Gothard before he has moved. Gothard takes an attack of opportunity as the scorp enters a square he threatens.

AAO: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
unarmed damage: 1d3 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5

Scorpion 2 is crushed dead.

Sea scorpion 3 sees a free meal and uses two move actions to advance to the feet of Alyosha.

Sea scorpion 5 uses 1 move action to advance to Addams feet. The creature bites through his leggings and helps himself to a chunk of meaty flesh.

Gothard moves to the weapons pile, close to Rorie.

Sea scorpion 6 advances on Rorie. As the scorp enters a threatened square, Rorie takes an attack of opportunity:

AOO: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9

Rories AAO does not connect. Rorie holds his ground. He does not recognize these crustaceous creatures.

Addam takes one point of damage, and is now awake and available for round 3 actions. The sea has stolen from Addam, and he does not have his back pack. He does see his weapons in the pile.

Smian and Luther awake at the same time and are available for round 3 actions.

Luther has all his items, and in fact when he takes his first action he sees a shiny pearl on the beach close to him.

Smian has all his gear, but it is saturated with sea water. Any scrolls, papers, or parchment are ruined.

End of Round 2

Round 3 Combat Map

round 2 amendment: Gothard had only enough time to grab his axe. Taking his shield from the pile will require another move action which can be accomplished next round.

Male Human Fighter 3

Now realizing that the scorpions will attack the defenseless and Rorie should be able to hold his own, Gothard pulls his shield from the pile and attacks sea scorpion #4

attack: battleaxe 1d20 + 5 - 2 ⇒ (14) + 5 - 2 = 17 (edited:forgot that we're still sickened)
damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
I'm assuming I can attack diagonally here, correct

You technically pulled your axe last round. If you want to amend you can pull your shield as a move action, and still make a single attack this round. I just realized I left it out of the round summary.

yes you can attack and move diagonal. When moving diagonal the first square counts as moving 5. Moving a second diagonal square requires 10 feet of movement to total 15. If you moved a third diagonal it would be 5 ft and so on and so on.

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