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Thread: Chapter 3: The Hook Mountain Massacre

  1. #21
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    'I'm not into wasteful spending, but we got enough. And a coach would be comfortable travelling, allowing me to start writing down our travels.' Cyrill said. 'Regardless of what happens, the things we've seen deserve to be told.'
    A gentle purring came from Cyrills pocket. 'And I guess little Skimble wouldn't mind it either.'

  2. #22
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    "Well, if Skimbal says so...," Joyya pretend-grumped, still smiling, "I guess a damned coach it is. Fancy bastards we become, eh? Far cry from ol' Sandpoint."



  3. #23
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    Default Day 29

    You have come a long way since that fateful day at the Swallowtail Festival in Sandpoint. It seems like years have past, but it has not even been a month. Still, red yellow and brown leaves are blowing off the branches of the trees, stirred by the chill and moist winds coming in from the Varisian Gulf, marking the swift march of autumn towards winter. With a little bargaining, the price of a carriage with two horses is 300 gp - but if you return the carriage in mint condition, you will get a refund of 200 gp. There is a trail hugging the Yondabakari River all the way to Ilsurian, but it is full of potholes and the ride is hardly comfortable. It is difficult to decide which is worse, steering the carriage from the coach seat in the drizzling rain, or being confined to the stuffy and cramped, but at least dry, cabin.

    As you sit and stare at the landscape passing (slowly) by, you have plenty of time to think - and you contemplate the events of the past month: The goblin raid on Sandpoint, which turned out to be part of a greater plan by the fallen Aasimar, Nualia, to exact vengeance on the town. While seemingly an isolated plot dreamed up by a disturbed mind, you found in her notes mention of a "runewell" located in the ancient thassilonian ruins under the town, as well as a strange amulet around her neck, featuring a an ancient thassilonian symbol, the Sihedron Rune, shaped like a seven-pointed star. When a series of terrifying murders started taking place in Sandpoint soon after - where all the victims had the same Sihedron Rune carved into their chests, it was hard to simply dismiss as a coincidence. The investigation of the murders (which sadly claimed Amadeus' would-be sister-in-law) led you to the conclusion that the perpetrator was Aldern Foxglove, a local nobleman. You tracked him down to an old haunted manor belonging to the Foxglove family and found that he had been turned into a horrible undead creature. Clues led you onwards to Magnimar, which was also plagued by similar murders - seemingly part of the same ritual of marking the victims with the Sihedron Rune before killing them. This time the murders were commited by a secretive cult led by one of the citys high officials, but you discovered that both he and Foxglove were in fact controlled by the powerful lamia (as Cyrill later determined), Xanesha.

    You are left with more questions than answers, it would seem. While you have ended the murder sprees in Sandpoint and Magnimar, the ritualistic killings clearly seem to have been part of a larger scheme, which centers around the ancient Sihedron Rune. The note found in Xanesha's hideout provides a few pieces of the puzzle: It mentions "...nurturing greed..." and "...the quality of greed in a soul..." and when you think back you realize that the victims in both Sandpoint and Magnimar were among the greediest members of the two societies (with the exception of Shayliss' sister, but come to think of it, she wasn't marked by the Sihedron Rune...) - it would seem that the rituals specifically targeted greedy souls, or as the note calls it, "harvesting greed". But for what purpose?

    If the note is to be believed, Xanesha has a sister, who resides in Turtleback Ferry, a small frontier settlement about a week's journey on horseback from Magnimar. You don't know much about Turtleback Ferry, except that it is ogre-country. The particularly fierce tribe of the Kreeg ogres had nearly wiped out the settlement, until Magnimar stepped in and established Fort Rannick near Turtleback Ferry and stationed a band of rangers - the Order of the Black Arrow - to fend off the ogres. You are now on your way to Turtleback Ferry - Xanesha's sister seems to be your only current lead.

    ------------------

    It is now on the second day of your journey and the trail has entered the Mushfens, a huge swath of marshlands stretching along the entire southern border of Varisia. Until now, the journey has been largely uneventful (save for a brief encounter with a small group of bandits, who mistook your carriage for the transport of a minor noble - you quickly convinced them otherwise), and quite boring. During the second day you have seen very few people. This stretch of the trail is not much used as most people prefer traveling on the river.

    You are yanked out of your thoughts as the carriage suddenly halts and you hear the horses becoming agitated and restless.
    Last edited by Abberdaggus; 02-07-2018 at 03:09 PM.

  4. #24
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    Taking the role of driver with surprising pleasure, Joyya is up front when the horses stop and buck a bit.

    "Whoa there, strong ones," he murmurs softly. "Let's see what we can see, eh?"

    Authentic Forum Dice-rollPerception - (1d20+3) [7]

    Authentic Forum Dice-rollHandle Animal - (1d20+4) [6]

    "Oy! You lot! Be ready. Might be trouble!"
    Last edited by Raistlinmc; 02-07-2018 at 06:56 PM.



  5. #25
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    Katharina doesn't say a word. Her mood has been terrible and the metaphorical thundercloud over head almost tangible because of the unpleasantness of the journey. Angrily she grabs her shield and opens the door of the coach to half stand outside and see what's the hold up.
    Authentic Forum Dice-rollperception - (1d20+5) [12] ((+2 against creatures not immune to fear.))
    Characters:
    - Executor Divine Katharina Durmond - Rise of the Runelords
    - Freya 'Forcefox' DeVos - Power Corrupts
    - Six - Trial

    Campaigns:
    - Against the Shadow - Pathfinder Midnight campaign
    - Chronicles of Misthaven - Pathfinder Homebrew campaign

  6. #26
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    'Another gang of Bandits?' Cyrill asked, peering in the distance. 'We should be able to make quick work of them.'
    Authentic Forum Dice-rollperception - (1d20+12) [29] He hadn't minded the desolate journeying, it gave plenty of time to start writing.

  7. #27
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    The rest of the party vacates the carriage as Joyya struggles to maintain control over the horses, his valiant efforts largely wasted. Peering over the marshy terrain - expansive wetlands with dispersed thickets of trees - you hear a faint singing coming from somewhere to the north. Joyya is preoccupied with trying to regain control of the horses, but Katharinas and Cyrills keen eyes pick out the source of the singing. It is a young woman - in fact three of them - sitting in a crooked tree some 100 feet away. They almost look like angels with wings folded behind their backs. One of the women is singing in a beautiful voice, which flows across the waters like the whisps of the early morning mist. It is quite captivating and you find yourselves being drawn to the singing.

    Everyone make a Will save.

    You see that the horses are also affected the singing. Failing to resist its lure, the two horses slowly turn the carriage northwards and start walking towards the women in the tree. There is a wide puddle of water - about 50 ft across between the horses and the singing. The horses seem to completely disregard the water and head straight for the puddle and the women beyond.

  8. #28
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    Authentic Forum Dice-rollwill save - (1d20+8) [19]
    Characters:
    - Executor Divine Katharina Durmond - Rise of the Runelords
    - Freya 'Forcefox' DeVos - Power Corrupts
    - Six - Trial

    Campaigns:
    - Against the Shadow - Pathfinder Midnight campaign
    - Chronicles of Misthaven - Pathfinder Homebrew campaign

  9. #29
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    Amadeus will save Authentic Forum Dice-roll(1d20+6) (1) [7]

    (Hey that one looks like my wife...)
    Last edited by mdh; 02-08-2018 at 05:36 PM.

  10. #30
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    Authentic Forum Dice-rollWill - (1d20+8) [21]

    (OOC: I just spit my water out, MD! Hahaha!)



  11. #31
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    Paulo hops out of the carriage and stretches his legs and back...looking around. His ears pick up the beautiful sound coming from across the large puddle, and he smiles...feeling in the back of his mind that something's not quite right. Still...they should go check on the beautiful maidens over there. Perhaps they needed help?

    Authentic Forum Dice-rollWill save - (1d20+7) (17) [24]

  12. #32
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    Authentic Forum Dice-rollWill - (1d20+9) [16] (deduct 3 if not [Mind-Affecting])
    'Strangly alluring...' Cyrill utters...
    Last edited by Adanedhel; 02-09-2018 at 10:20 AM.

  13. #33
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    Default Round 1

    You all feel the pull of the captivating song, but most of you manage to shake it off. Amadeus becomes completely enthralled by the beautiful voice and starts moving along with the horses straight for the tree.

    Round 1:
    The winged women delays until they observe what you do - in effect, they automatically lose initiative and you move first. There is no map for this encounter - it's theater of the mind. There is 100 ft. between you and the tree where the winged women sit. About 30 ft from your position, a straight line to the tree is broken by a 50ft wide puddle of water. It seems to be fairly shallow and possible to wade across (considered difficult terrain), but this is a marsh and waters could be treacherous. It is possible to go around the puddle, but that would extent the distance to the tree to roughly 200 ft.

    Amadeus is forced to take a double move action straight towards the women. With a 30 ft. movement speed that means down to the water and 15 ft (half move) into the puddle - in total almost half-way towards the tree. The horses move about the same distance given that they have to pull the carriage as well across roots and grassy lumps.

    The rest of you can act freely. Joyya still sits at the drivers seat, so unless he jumps off, he will automatically move with the horses. The monster lore skill is Knowledge (Nature).

  14. #34
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    Joyya hops down and moves to hold the mage back.

    "Whoa, boy. Easy now."



  15. #35
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    Katharina eyes the brackish water with loathing and sees their arcane companion thoroughly enthralled by the sound of the song. She takes out her sling and loads a stone in it as she moves forward. She wasn't a very good shot but it seemed like the most expedient way to deal with the threat.
    Authentic Forum Dice-rollsling attack - (1d20+3) [22] ((Throwing at the singing one; move forward 20ft to close the range to 80ft.))
    Authentic Forum Dice-rolldamage - (1d4+4) [8]
    Characters:
    - Executor Divine Katharina Durmond - Rise of the Runelords
    - Freya 'Forcefox' DeVos - Power Corrupts
    - Six - Trial

    Campaigns:
    - Against the Shadow - Pathfinder Midnight campaign
    - Chronicles of Misthaven - Pathfinder Homebrew campaign

  16. #36
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    'Damn, shake out of it Amadeus', Cyrill said taking out his Orphica.He plays a couple of swift tunes, rapidly succeeding, to create an attentiongrabbing tune.
    Authentic Forum Dice-rollperform - (1d20+17) [29] ((move action Counter-Song. If the Harpies song is magical effect that either is sonic or languagedependent, everyone can do an additional saving throw, substituting the perform check for their actual saving throw.) (move action: Countersong)
    'Faster friends, before the feathered fiends drown the horses!' (standard action: cast haste)

    (Orphica's are rather unwieldy, so Cyrill isn't using his banner. So no Flagbearer bonusses.)
    Last edited by Adanedhel; 02-10-2018 at 05:15 PM.

  17. #37
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    Paulo shakes his head to clear out the odd pull from the beautiful, winged creature's melody. Gaining a bit of his senses back, he follows Katharina's lead (hoping she knows what she's doing) and draws his shortbow as he moves up to the water's edge; putting him just within range. He nocks an arrow, and aims at the singing creature, letting the arrow fly.

    Authentic Forum Dice-rollattack composite shortbow - (1d20+11) (10) [21] +10 ranged, +1 hasted
    Authentic Forum Dice-rolldmg shortbow - (1d6+1) (3) [4]

  18. #38
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    Default Round 1 cont'd

    As Joyya grabs Amadeus and struggles to hold him back, the horses trot down to puddle of water and starts to wade into the water oblivious to anything that happens around them. This is when the sad, but strangely heartening hymn from Cyrills orphica starts flowing across the waters. It mixes in with the singing of the winged witches, carrying a strikingly different rythm, which completely dominates and quickly shatters the harmony of the voices. Shaking their heads, both Amadeus and the horses suddenly wake up as if stirring from a pleasant dream. It takes a few seconds for them to clear their heads and as a result, they cannot take further action in round 1.

    Katharina and Paulo shoot their ranged weapons across the water and both hit the singing woman. She utters a strangely birdlike screech of pain and rage - more likely from the apparent failure of her singing than the wounds inflicted. Seeing that their ambush has largely failed, they decide to take to the air and attack you head on. Swiftly on their wings, they dash across the water and swoop down on Katharina (one of them) and Paulo (the other two) waving crude, but fearsome-looking barbed clubs.



    They come in at great speed and as they pass you by, they take a swing at you

    Authentic Forum Dice-rollBarbed club - (1d20+8) (9) [17] -> Katharina
    Authentic Forum Dice-rollDamage - (1d8+1) [3]
    Authentic Forum Dice-rollBarbed club - (1d20+8) (11) [19] -> Paulo
    Authentic Forum Dice-rollDamage - (1d8+1) [4]
    Authentic Forum Dice-rollBarbed club - (1d20+8) (11) [19] -> Paulo
    Authentic Forum Dice-rollDamage - (1d8+1) [2]

    They fly past you and is some 10 feet away before you get a chance to react. ((Note, Joyya clutches Amadeus and neither Paulo, Katharina nor Cyrill have melee weapons in hand, so no AoO))

    ((Round 2 next - your turn))

  19. #39
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    Katharina drops her sling as she sees the harpy dive attack her and struggles to draw her blade on time yet she's moments too late. Turning she snarls.
    "Stupid chicken! Get down here and face me head on!"
    Her left hand glows brightly and as she points it at the winged woman a fiery spray bursts forth trying to catch as many enemies in the area of effect regardless of allied presence.
    Authentic Forum Dice-rollburning hands - (5d4) [16]
    ((Cast Burning Hands. Reflex save dc15 for half damage.))
    Characters:
    - Executor Divine Katharina Durmond - Rise of the Runelords
    - Freya 'Forcefox' DeVos - Power Corrupts
    - Six - Trial

    Campaigns:
    - Against the Shadow - Pathfinder Midnight campaign
    - Chronicles of Misthaven - Pathfinder Homebrew campaign

  20. #40
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    ((Actually, Katharina wears spiked gauntlets so she should be able to make an AoO. Going to roll it, if you rule it illegal then just ignore it.))
    Authentic Forum Dice-rollAoO - (1d20+9) [27]
    Authentic Forum Dice-rollchannel smite damage - (3d6) [11] ((will save dc17 for half damage.))
    Authentic Forum Dice-rolldamage - (1d4+4) [8]
    Characters:
    - Executor Divine Katharina Durmond - Rise of the Runelords
    - Freya 'Forcefox' DeVos - Power Corrupts
    - Six - Trial

    Campaigns:
    - Against the Shadow - Pathfinder Midnight campaign
    - Chronicles of Misthaven - Pathfinder Homebrew campaign

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