Ongoing Games (In-Character)Play-by-post games are going on in this forum as we speak (well, read). All threads on this board are actual games, so please, only post on a thread if you are a player of that game.
He peeks over his shield at the cobra and has the urge to stick his tongue out at it as it has yet to connect now that he's got his attention on it. He doesn't take his eyes off of the cobra, but continues on with his train of thought, "Lady Lavinia, have you anything to add? I'd really rather not break something of yours. I'm assuming you've no idea how to call them off, if they are indeed guardians of your family fortune, else I'd hope you'd have done it already. However, ideas are welcome."
Actions assuming nothing big changes, of course. If one of the cobras breaks off to attack Lady Vanderboren or an ally is grievously wounded without the ability to stand back up I'd probably change my action, but Full Defense is still the other of the day. Just trying to be proactive this time, since I've made ya'll wait so much. >.<
Never can find my towel...
So it goes.
Healing is like accounting, but with life and death.
R3T3: Wanderfar yet again tries to crack the snake across the face, but cracking stone instead. There is little artistry in the attack, as Wanderfar attempts to bring his mind back into focus. It has been awhile since he has been in pitched battle, however, and his desperation to refresh his mind generally fails to help him specifically.
ToB, p 40, concerning "Recovering Expended Maneuvers": Swordsage: A swordsage can recover one expended maneuver of his choice as a full-round action.
R3T0: Darrius peeks over his shield at the cobra and has the urge to stick his tongue out at it as it has yet to connect now that he's got his attention on it. He doesn't take his eyes off of the cobra, but continues on with his train of thought, "Lady Lavinia, have you anything to add? I'd really rather not break something of yours. I'm assuming you've no idea how to call them off, if they are indeed guardians of your family fortune, else I'd hope you'd have done it already. However, ideas are welcome."
Lady Lavinia says, in fear of getting any closer to the snakes for any reason - even having backed away slowly so as not to provoke them, "I don't know what to do!"
She continues to delay ...
End Round Three, Begin Round Four ...
R4T22: Vakrissa calls out, "Good call, Wavebreaker! Lavinia, present your signet ring to them and command them to break off the attack!"
Vakrissa delays ...
R4T21: Lady Lavinia dares to step forth, presenting her signet ring, and shouts, "Guardians, stop attack and molest no one who stands here!"
The battle is over ..... *whew*.
Now, you are in this long (east-west) room with the two big columns, but there are no valuables in here that you can see. What do you do?
Rabbi Cohen casts CLW on Celiss, healing her fully. He looks a little woozy from the effort.
Darrius aids Vakrissa in trying to find any secret compartments or anything, for not finding anything means that this is the vault .... and its empty. A quick search finds nothing. A better search is made (Take 10), and a check of the northenmost pillar recessed into the chamber's walls reveals that the snake patterns on this pillar are different from those of the other pillars. A search of this pillar reveals a hidden switch that, when triggered, causes the snake designs to animate. They writhe aside like living creatures, forming a coiling archway on the northen wall.
The party moves into the room beyond ...
This octagonal room is supported by a single large pillar with dozens of deep grooves along its sides. The seven walls of this room each bear fantastically detailed bas-relief carvings of exotic monsters in threatening poses. Starting at the wall immediately to the west of the entrance to the room and moving clockwise, the carvings depict a tentacled monster with a glaring red eye and a mouth full of teeth, a looming dragon, a fish-like creature with three eyes and four tentacles, a two-headed giant wielding a pair of immense clubs, a spherical creature with four eyestalks and a bulging central eye over a drooling maw, a gorilla-like beast with a fanged maw and six eyes, and finally a towering black spider with seven eyes. Each monster's eyes consist of a glittering red stone. The ceiling above is only ten feet high, with the now-familiar eight-pointed star pattern radiating out from the grooved pillar. The arms of this star are black, save for the one pointing south toward the entrance, which is red.
The first monster is unknown to the group, though with Rabbi Cohen's help, Celiss believes it may be some form of magical beast.
With some outstanding help from Rabbi Cohen, Celiss determines that the second creature is a red dragon, arguably the most powerful of all of the evil chromatic dragons.
Nobody has any clue whatsoever about the fish-like creature - not even Darrius.
Vakrissa can only verify that the two-headed behemoth is, in fact, some sort of giant .... but doesn't know a name or anything.
The thing with the eyestalks is totally alien to the group, but like the fish-like creature, seems the stuff of which nightmares are made.
Celiss (w/ the rabbi's help) believes that the six-eyed beast is also some sort of magical beast.
Other than the apparent shape of a spider, Vakrissa can't offer any helpful hints on what type of spider the last is.
Rabbi Cohen asks Celiss to see the small bit of parchment they found in the signet ring on the Blue Nixie:
"Chimera looks to sunrise
Cyclops looks to sunset
Medusa looks to sunrise
Umber hulk looks to sunset
Basilisk looks to sunrise"
When it is determined that none of the creatures match those of this room, that bit of inspiration dies. If this was some type of code for this room and not something else, it is too clever for Lavinia. Her parents died before they could tell her anything about the family vault.
Darrius messes with the pillar, and it turns out that the pillar turns in place. It doesn't rotate smoothly. Rather it "clicks" in its socket as it rotates, eight times in the course of a revolution. As the pillar rotates, the eight-pointed star in the ceiling rotates as well, the red arm pointing to a new wall with each click. Starting from the wall immediately to the west of the entrance, Vakrissa realizes that the eyes number 1-7.
Celiss gets a bit of inspiration, that maybe the eyes of each creature on the parchment are a code for the ones in this room - that if it can be determined how many eyes each of the creatures on the parchment have, that maybe the problem can be solved. Meanwhile, Darrius tries his level best to crack the code (using Disable Device, nee Open Locks) .... but the skill of this thing is far beyond his capability and even Taking 20 doesn't help.
With the rabbi's help, Celiss knows that a chimera is a three-headed creature: that of a horned goat, a maneless lion, and a fierce dragon. All are two-eyed creatures, for a total of six eyes.
Vakrissa knows that a cyclops is a one-eyed giant.
Vakrissa knows quite a bit about a medusa. It is a horrible woman with numerous snakes for eyes. It throws her off, and she worries that this parchment might not have anything to do with the code, because the medusa has two eyes .... and then each snake (of varying numbers per medusa) has two eyes. Celiss is able to provide the common sense that it is the medusa proper, maybe, and to assume (for now) that the appropriate number for a medusa's eyes is two.
No one has the foggiest clue what an umber hulk might be.
Celiss (again w/ rabbi's help) knows what a basilisk is, and it has two eyes.
So, this means the code sequence is 6-1-2-(unknown)-2. It is the rabbi who figures that sunrise means east (or right) and that sunset means west (or left). Since all numbers but that of the umber hulk are known, it is a short time before the party cracks the code and opens the vault. (An umber hulk has four eyes, so it would seem from the success with using that number.) Once the combination is entered, the entire room rumbles as the five alcoves rotate in place, revealing several coffers and chests.
The red stone eyes sparkle nicely, but to remove them would be to steal from Lavinia ... and Rabbi Cohen recognizes that they are relatively worthless agates, anyway.
Most of the 20 chests in the vault are empty - at best, only 1d4 silver coins remain scattered along the bottom of each chest. As more and more chests turn up empty, Lavinia grows increasingly distraught. Finally, in the last alcove, there's a reprieve - several of the chests here remain untouched. In all, there's 2,900 gp in coins and gems left in these chests, along with a large number of ledgers and a small iron coffer containing a thick pile of documents.
With this data, she will take an appropriate amount of gold in gems and carryables and the group will lock up the vault and leave Castle Teraknian for her estate on the Merchant's District island. She goes through the ledgers with the group's help (mainly with Rabbi Cohen's help).
Most of the ledgers list debts owed to the Vanderborens from guilds and noble families in Sasserine - it seems that Lavinia's parents made a practice of doing dangerous favors for numerous organizations in Sasserine, yet rarely bothered to collect rewards. Instead, they allowed their patrons to keep the rewards with the understanding that they could collect at any time. The documents in the iron coffer are another story. These documents are written in her mother's handwriting but in a strange language Lavinia doesn't recognize (Vakrissa and Korian recognize - and understand - the language as Sylvan), although she recognizes the letters as being elven. Included in the document are several maps of jungles, coastlines, and other regions that seem to represent some unknown tropical location. The document also includes dozens of sketches of strange, exotic creatures. This document was Larissa Vanderboren's journal cataloging her explorations of what she called the "Isle of Dread." Over the course of the next two adventures, this journal leads Lavinia to discover the existence of Farshore, a distant colony her parents helped to establish on this remote isle, but for now it serves as little more than a curiosity.
Between the gold and the IOUs, Lavinia now has more than enough to pay the back taxes and to begin setting her estate back in order. Nevertheless, the missing money concerns her greatly. It'll be a rough year, especially if her aunt and uncle in Cauldron can't help her out in the months to come, but at least she now has enough to carry on. She'll pay everyone (except Korian) the 300 gp contracted as a reward for their aid, and asks you to come visit her as soon as possible regarding an even more important job when they get the time, but for now they some time to conduct any personal business (and training).
Last edited by lostsole31 : 02-10-2011 at 01:31 AM.
Vakrissa will still be able to help conduct 'in-house training' as necessary, but Lady Lavinia is more interested in placing her more 'mainland' with the plantations and outlying areas for her interests there, rather than in the islands-connected city of Sasserine proper.
Again, though, Vakrissa will stop by plenty often enough for training and socialization. If there is a particular mission that might require her druidic/ aerial skills .... be sure to make mention then. (Lady Lavinia might overlook such tactical things.)
Cast of characters is just fine at 5, rather than 6 ... unless you find specific need of her. She is a level higher than everyone else - for now, that is, but soon to be surpassed. I'm just looking at XP advancement for the characters .... but at least you have a capable ally.
Darrius, you were the one that recognized the symbol and a place in the Merchant District that bore a sign of the Seekers, do you do anything with that information? Any personal information you need to do?
After two weeks of studies and training, much of which is sponsored by the Vanderboren estate, the group is called together again by Lavinia.
Celiss, on two days of independent study, was taking what time she could right there in the mansion to further study and practice advanced Carmendine tractates and meditation, and being coached on athletic skills by Wanderfar.
Darrius has just come from a nearby offshore area that has become a rendezvous point to meet with Quickslayer, and be tutored in the understanding of his gifts, particularly how to dilate the self-imposed limitations of how much soul energy may be invested into melds. Darrius now has the basic lingo of his art, and a deeper understanding of who he is, what energies he manipulates, and what it means to be an 'incarnate,' as compared to Quickslayer, who is a 'totemist.' Today, however, he finished playing 'stealth' games on the grounds with Korian ... with Darrius as the hiding 'rabbit' and Korian trying to spot him. Wanderfar has also coached him on grappling techniques.
Though having spent a nearly spartan existence at the Arena, Wanderfar has spent the last day in the mansion studying religious concepts and basic theory under Celiss; he wanted to avoid having a 'colored' view of all pantheism through the eyes of the Fharlanghanites in town.
Though originally Wanderfar's charge, Korian and he have had somewhat of a falling out. It seems that Wanderfar, though similar to Korian in many basic ways, simply lacks the connection to the wild that Korian just can't (and shouldn't) leave behind. The wild is a place to explore and move through to Wanderfar, wherein it is an exalted home to Korian. As such, Vakrissa has taken him on as a charge. Through Rabbi Eliezer (as he is more affectionately known to you now as compared to his more formal 'Rabbi(-Doctor) Cohen') has made strides to see that Korian has some sense of autonomy in town, with some escort. That said, Korian also has spent an intensive amount of time training at the Arena; his physique is already filling out a little more, though his teeth look they are becoming a little more prominent.. Lady Lavinia was persuaded early, despite initial misgivings, that despite his bestial nature Korian can be trusted and means well.
Vakrissa, of course, has spent much time in the wilderness. As above, she is also guiding or escorting Korian through the same, when the two of them aren't at the Arena. She didn't seem to be so martially focused before, but it is known that she has been undertaking intensive armor training, even though as a druid she can wear no metal armor.
In addition to being Lady Lavinia's administrative aide-de-camp, Rabbi Eliezer has undertaken significant mental resistance training with Vakrissa, the better to be mentally guarded against those who would pry from him his Lady's secrets. Lately, he has been conducting studies into 'psychology' at the academy, while going through the city to pick up what gossip he may.
"Our first point of business," starts off Lady Lavinia, "is to congratulate Corin Denomar here - whom you know best as 'Wanderfar' - on his new assignment. He has told me that he is already restless, and to best suit his nature and his religion, he seeks to travel. As such, I am naming him as my attaché to my family located in Cauldron for the conduct of various financial contracts. He leaves in 20 minutes with a combined trading company caravan. Good luck, Corin, and my Fharlanghn guide you on your travels - for health's sake, and for your Lady."
(Insert any congratulatory remarks and goodbyes here ...)
Corin gives his goodbyes to all of you, and expects to be back in a few months.
Having settle accounts in town, Lavinia's primary concern has turned to her brother Vanthus. Lavinia explains to the PCs that the two of them were quite close growing up, since their parents were rarely around. They grew to depend on each other, and got into a fair amount of trouble together. After one particularly complex prank involving several elixirs of love being emptied into the nearby water tower, their childhoods came to an end. Lavinia was sent to the Thenalar Academy to live out the next five years of her life, and Vanthus was shipped out to work on a plantation. When they returned to live in the family manor a year ago, they had both changed. Lavinia likes to think she benefited from her time at Thenalar. Vanthus, on the other hand, spent his time away nurturing his bitterness. He no longer had time for Lavinia, slept all day, and spent the nights with what Lavinia recalls as "associates of doubtful character." Eventually, he moved out of the house entirely - Lavinia believes he took up with a lover in Azure District, but she never learned the details.
When their parents died, Vanthus returned for a week to live at the manor, but he had changed even more. Gone was the easy sense of humor she recalled fondly from their childhood, and in its place was a bitter cynicism and a morbid streak that sent chills up Lavinia's spine. After several arguments, Vanthus struck her with his fist. Lavinia was shocked, and for a moment she thinks Vanthus was shocked as well, but an instant later he was back to his new self, all scowls and menace. He gathered his belongings and left - Lavinia hasn't seen him since.
She knows something profound happened to her brother at some point to change him, but she's not sure what this was. She believes he's fallen in with a bad crowd, perhap smugglers or thieves or even killers. Although his attitude might speak otherwise, she hopes that it's not too late, that if he can be brought back to her side she might be able to talk some sense into him and redeem him before he passes for ever out of her reach. The problem is, she doesn't know where he's gone.
"I have few clues to where Vanthus has gone," she says. "I would recommend asking around the city; though I doubt he's hiding out in the Champion's or Noble's District, but even these places may hold clues. I suspect that he may be living with a woman in Azure District based on some half-heard rumors Rabbi Eliezer recently heard, and that's the best information I have to give you. I'm not asking you to contact Vanthus. In fact, it's best that you don't; leave that to me. But I would like to at least like to have him found so I can approach him myself to try to convince him to come back home."
Rabbi Eliezer speaks up, "I will go and chat up folks from place to place. Celiss, you'll be with me for backup in case I get into trouble. Your muscular enough - no offense - that I doubt that we should get into trouble. But you're neither exotic nor monstrous like the rest, so it won't hinder my efforts, either. The rest of you will be in reserve. Vakrissa, I want you to fly high for signs of trouble. Darrius, you'll be Korian's escort; I've come to notice from your rabbit games that you have better sight, but Korian is as good as you at blending into the background. I know, Darrius, that you might actually be better than I at chatting up locals; but you are too noticeable and I don't want to necessarily reveal your connection to House Vanderboren just yet. Trail me from a distance. Break off and circuit whenever I go into an establishment. Vakrissa, you'll signal me visually to co-ordinate our movements whenever I and Celiss exit someplace."
The jobs divvied up, you head out ... Celiss, Eliezer asks that you leave most of the talking to him, but feel free to be polite. Your feminine nature might make potential sources warm to you.
Azure, Champion's, Cudgel, Noble & Sunrise Districts: Nothing. Merchant's District: People remember seeing Vanthus here and there, although no one's seen him recently. Everyone assumes he's still living at Vanderboren Manor if asked.
Though there wasn't much success today, Celiss, it is important to note that Eliezer is very patient, and says "Don't worry, just getting folks used to seeing me."
This weak-armed dwarf, whom you already know is a smooth negotiator, really knows how to chat up folks innocuously. It is almost an art form with him. Lazer has a +9 to Gather Information checks.
That evening, after the meal and debriefing with Lady Lavinia ...
Celiss, Vakrissa guides you on Anti-Stealth and Sense Awareness training, with Korian as rabbit.
Vakrissa conducts mental resistance training for everyone.
Though blessed with the stamina of a dwarf, the weak Eliezer was given a physical regimen to follow by Vakrissa, and that is what he works on while everyone goes through mental resistance training.
................................................ Day 2
Celiss spends the early part of the morning in tutelage with an arcane tutor at the Thelanar Academy, discussing spell research. Vakrissa is at the academy for "advanced battlefield control" training. Korian goes with her to study meditative focus for battle. Darrius is honing his trailing/ shadowing skills in town; training must be getting to him, though, as he seems - for some reason, to be more tired than usual. Not enough for alarm, but maybe he didn't get the greatest sleep last night. Eliezer spends time with his people and at Moradin's shrine.
Results of today's IG (information gathering) ...
Azure District: A few people remember seeing Vanthus at taverns here, often in the company of a woman named Brissa Santos, a notorious pickpocket turned semi-legitimate artist who's had her fair share of brushes with the law. Like Vanthus, no one's seen Brissa lately. All attempts to track Brissa fail. Shadowshore: Not only was Vanthus seen in the area, but that he was often seen in the company of a known smuggler named Penkus. Nothing more is known or found out about this Penkus character.
Lady Lavinia takes the news well, since at least there is progress being made, and hopes that the next day will bear more fruit.
Evening Exercise .... Eliezer goes back to study and pray and heal and teach in his community. Korian and Vakrissa return to the Arena. Celissa works on her own meditative techniques.
Darrius, however .... this was an evening you agreed to rendezvous 'on land' on the outskirts of the Sunrise District with Quickslayer. During the lesson (dealing with binding chakras), he suddenly stops and goes to look at you, with you looking right back at him, but he seems to look past you. You are confused by this, and you speak to him. He looks at that spot and he has to reach and touch you to notice you. He then seems shocked, because it seems like he should've known you were there all alone, that it was the trick of the rising moon. You don't know what he meant, but he calls the lesson early, blaming fatigue.
.................................................. . Day 3
Morning Business ...
Darrius is working on various athletic skills under Celiss' tutelage, as a running partner and climbing buddy and the like. There's no doubt about it, Korian's teeth are not becoming longer so much as the canines are becoming a little more defined. It won't be long, everyone figures, before he can actually use his teeth in battle. Vakrissa spends some time at her wilderness abode, and takes Korian with her. Vakrissa and Wanderfar had shown Eliezer some techniques for building upper body strength, and he works on that ... it's kind of comical, actually.
During the run around town, the athletic duo (that's you two, Celiss and Darrius), are accosted on one of your laps. It is a nervous-looking half-elf with withe messy hair, a ragged suit of leather armor, and dirty hands. He introduces himself to Celiss (and only looking suspiciously at Darrius) in a quiet voice. "My name is Shefton. Are you looking for Vanthus? If you are, pay me 5 gold pieces and I'll tell you where he's hiding out."
Celiss, the encounter is suspicious, of course. Still, this guy seems earnest enough that nothing beyond his disreputable state betrays that he is a cheat or a deceiver. What do you (or Darrius) do?
Celiss considers the man for a moment before responding. Is there something urgent you must take care of? Otherwise, I would like to discuss this with my colleagues and patron before making a decision-after all, I can't be sure that you aren't just planning on sending us to some abandoned building or the like.
...Besides, I don't have my money with me. Who brings money with them on a jog? Celiss says, shifting her posture slightly, her pulse starting to slow down as she spoke. While speaking she glances at Darrius, wondering what his opinion of this man's sudden appearance was.
Even in the light of day, the dark skinned man seems to only be getting darker as the days go by. He's not really noticed it, but the faint blue tint to his skin has been slowly leaving in favor of an even deeper black. Worse yet, after he retired to bed last night he was certain that he could see things in the shadows moving about. Though not a paranoid person to any degree, he's been glancing down alleys as they jogged and making sure the shadows stay right where they are. He's even checked his own more than once. More than ever, he wants to stay under the sun and feel its warm rays cascade across his skin and warm him through and through.
It is for this reason that he perhaps does not notice the man at first, even for a few moments after he stops them and starts to speak. His head was turned up towards the sun to catch the rays with eyes almost closed, only glancing down every so often to ensure nothing obstructed his path. He takes a few moments to blink the stars from his eyes and focused upon the disheveled man. He takes a quick look around to ascertain whereabouts in the city they are, as such a meeting could end very differently depending on what district they happened to be in. If he noticed the run down and ramshackle signs of Shadowshore, then he'd certainly be ready to put up a fight, but other districts such as the Azure or the Cudgel would be no place for bloodshed or flashy and strange abilities.
Assuming he's not put on edge by the surroundings, he looks the man over once more before commenting, "The only people who carry more than a coin or two are either merchants with a guard, visitors with wicked blades, or some of the less intelligent nobles. I've not got the five pieces, but if you'll wait for us to confer with our patron I might even toss in a sixth for your patience."
Never can find my towel...
So it goes.
Healing is like accounting, but with life and death.
Shefton says, "I more than understand, but we have to make contact somehow. I will be at the Stemming Chandlery on Palm Street, five blocks from here to the east. It's a busy corner store with little kiosks and a smaller market, so there should be plenty about to make you feel safe and that you are in neutral territory. Meet me in three hours, plenty of time. If I see any more than the two of you, though .... deal's off."
Celiss considers the man's words for a moment before responding. But if you see two different people? If my patron and I, for example, arrived at the store, would that work for you? She asks, shifting her weight and memorizing the location. If she had already composed a mental map of the city, Celiss would probably have been able to place the...place. However, she had focused more on studying, leaving little thought for much else-there was something tugging at the back of her mind, bits and pieces of spells she had been reading over(but not understanding very well-even those that seemed simple required too much power for her to use) seemed to buzz whenever she did her exercises. All very odd.
"Actually," Shefton says looking at Darrius suspiciously, "I'd prefer that. I don't know about this guy here. Bring that friendly dwarf that was asking around with you. I know he's trustworthy AND there's no need to bring your patron into contact with the likes of me."
This turned out to be an interesting [time of day; morning, afternoon, evening], indeed...
Once at the manor, Celiss goes directly to Lady Lavinia and explains what happened.
"At this point," says Lady Lavinia, "I'll take any lead I can get. Five gold is not so much, honestly, for good information.
"Rabbi-Doctor Cohen, take this pouch of 10 gold. Only pay what was asked. However, information merchants give some information, then ask for more pay for more offers of information. I leave it to your wisdom to pay anything more, and then let me know of the cost. But track down any leads to find Vanthus."
Rabbi Eliezer nods and says, "We'll do this as before. Celiss and I, the two primary contacts, will meet with this Shefton at the appointed place. Darrius and Korian, stay far back for a safety perimeter in case there is any kind of trouble. Vakrissa is out at this time, but we should do well without her."
At the meeting place ... Rabbi Eliezer is doing what he can to show some respect to the bedraggled half-elf, who is obviously a low-life. The dwarf hands over the asked-for amount of 5 gp.
"I know where Vanthus is hiding out," Shefton offers. "For the past few days, he's been living in an abandoned complex of smuggler's tunnels below Parrot Island. For an additional five gold, I would be willing to lead you to the hidden trap door on the isle that Vanthus has been using to enter and exit the complex below."
"How do you know so much about Vanthus?" asks the rabbi, pointedly.
Shefton answers, "Vanthus approached me a few weeks ago to help set up a smuggling operation on the old tunnels below Parrot Island."
"First," says the dwarf, "I am willing to pay you the five gold, but not until we are at that trap door. Second, because we are basically conducting a sortie into a lair filled - currently or historically - by the dregs of society, it might be dangerous for us. As such, we will be taking along others."
"Agreed, as long as you understand that I am only guiding you to the door. We have no further business after that."
"Agreed. Now, allow me to confer briefly with my partner." He takes you off to the side. You and he both believe that while it seems that he is sincere for the most part, there is something fishy about the business about Vanthus having lived there recently.
"Don't press the point just because you can," says Eliezer. "I don't trust him, but his low status might make him a repeat source of information. As for this mission, it just might be a trap or a red herring ... but at least it's a lead."
Celiss, it would be bad form for you and Eliezer to leave just to confer with Darrius. Do you have any questions or comments, or do you trust Eliezer with handling this as it's going so far?
For his part, Darrius is leading Korian about nearby parts of Sasserine. He's not so far as the opposite end of the district, but further that just a few buildings down, of course. A street or two away on a path arranged beforehand upon which to rendezvous if things go south. He's got his daggers, one concealed well and the other only barely visible, as well as his shield. Now that its on his mind, he's actually on the lookout for a shield with somewhat better craftsmanship than the one he's got, preferably something a fair bit lighter as well.
Not actually shopping at the moment, but I suddenly remembered I was going to be on the lookout for a Heavy Darkwood Shield or a Masterwork Light Shield (though the former is preferred) when we had the cash, and oh look, over 300 in my metaphorical pocket. >.> I'm a bit slow sometimes. XD
Never can find my towel...
So it goes.
Healing is like accounting, but with life and death.
Darrius, you have to go back to get Korian a few times. "Wow," he says, "it's like there were times I just couldn't keep track of you ... like you would just disappear behind this or that item or behind a passersby, and then I couldn't spot you until you wanted me to notice you. I could smell you, but you would make yourself known before I could pinpoint you."
Rabbi Eliezer and Celiss leave, agreeing on a point at which to meet Shefton in the late afternoon to take a boat to Parrot Island. Darrius and Korian rendezvous with the two, and back at the Manor ....
.... anyone have any precautions? or, are you ready as-is to go find Shefton. Also, again, Vakrissa will not be with the rest of the party for this part. Let me know a yay or nay, just so I know you've had a chance to read this.
After Korian's comment, the dark skinned man takes several moments to stare at his hands, and the rest of his body, to make sure that even he can see himself. He shakes it off and continues about business...
...he has no particular preparations, aside from making sure he has his gear, to make before heading off to meet Shefton.
Hmm... Knowledge Local on Parrot Island? I can't recall if ye want to roll them in secret or not, but if I can, (1d20+7)
Never can find my towel...
So it goes.
Healing is like accounting, but with life and death.
"Very well," says Rabbi Eliezer, handing over the other 5 gp.
Shefton writes out where to meet him in three hours, the time agreed upon to meet Shefton again in late afternoon.
Back at the Manor ...
Lavinia is excited to hear that you are close to finding her brother. However, she is not happy about the fact that he has fallen in with smugglers. "Please find him," she pleads earnestly.
With not enough time to gather Vakrissa, Rabbi Eliezer tells the rest of you to be 'mission ready' ... don't just ready yourselves for a stroll through town, but get your full loadout of gear, just in case (backpacks, bedrolls, rope, etc.). "We're going to a smuggler's island, and who knows what trouble we'll find."
The four of you (Celiss, Darrius, Korian, and the rabbi) rent a boat (cost covered by Lavinia) and row it around to the section where you meet Shefton. Celiss casts mage armor just before meeting with him. He already has a boat. "Like I said, once I show you the hideout, I'm back in the boat and gone. If there's even anything there, it's all up to you."
Celiss and Darrius row the boat behind Shefton's punt. (Because they're the two strongest ... that's right, Korian is weaker than the two of you ... he just seems like he might be stronger because of his bestial nature.) You head towards a narrow isle that is little more than a rocky outcropping surrounded by 30-foot-high cliffs save from the eastern end, where a narrow beach affords an easier approach. The isle is thickly vegetated, the trees above serving as roosts for hundreds of noisy, brightly colored parrots.
Korian notices a partially overgrown trail leading up from the beach to a small clearing at the center of the island. Shefton nods his head appreciatively at Korian's eye and then leads the party up the trail to a very cramped clearing. Hidden at the southern end of the clearing is a stone trap door that Shefton points out to the rest of you
Rabbi Eliezer says, "Sometimes, smugglers and thieves protect their domains with traps. Anyone know how to find such things?"
(The assumption, given his logical warning, is that Darrius pipes up ...)
Darrius, not finding anything, figures that the isle not being well-known as a smuggler's haunt is good enough of a deterrent. Rabbi Eliezer directs the stone trap door to be raised. Once it's open, a five-foot-wide shaft leads down into the darkness below. A rope hangs from a hook in the wall.
"I'm a dwarf, so I can see in the dark. The shaft goes down about 30 feet into a 10' square empty room. But the rest of you? Celiss, I'm sure you need light."
Celiss can cast light on a pebble and drop it down (it is assumed she does). The upper part of the climb is helped by the remains of sunlight coming through the trees.
Rabbi Eliezer mentions that Celiss is the toughest, best 'armored,' and rather athletic of the group; she should go first to act as a vanguard for the rest. It seems Korian can climb down just fine without a rope, but the rabbi fears for his own ability to climb. The rabbi and his gear is too heavy for Korian to carry on his back, so Korian will keep pace with the rabbi and try to help give him aid. This leaves Darrius to go in last.
Celiss goes down first without problem. There is a 5-WP (5' wide passageway) at the southwestern wall that goes 10' before turning to the right. Korian then aids the rabbi, who climbs very quickly (moreso than expected) but with far less surety than Celiss, and they make it down.
Darrius is up top with Shefton. The latter says, "I will stay here to guide you back up by rope. It wouldn't do for me to have potential future clients being led to their doom."
He seems to legitimately mean well, so down Darrius goes without any problems whatsoever. [Climb DC 5, but Rabbi has no ranks in Athletics and a 9 Strength...]
Down at the bottom, everyone hears Shefton give a shout of surprise. A second later, he falls into the shaft ... the rest of the party just dodging his body. His body lands stiffly, and it appears that he has been stabbed in the back.
R1T20: A silhouetted figure from above reaches in and cuts the rope. It comes slithering down the shaft.
"Say hi to Penkus' ghost for me while you're down there!" calls a man's voice, followed by his mocking laughter.
R1T19: Darrius, you see enough of the young man to recognize him as the man portrayed in Lavinia's Manor as her brother, Vanthus. What do you do?
Male CN Amphibious Human Incarnate//Rogue, Level 1, Init +3 HP 13/13, Speed 30 ft (Land), 15ft (Swim) AC 17 Touch 13, Flat-footed 14 Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +5 BAB/Grapple +0/+2 Abilities Str 15, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 12 Condition Amphibious Resistances +1 save vs sleep/ paralysis (racial) Immunities -
Essentia: 2. Capacity: 1, +1 Capacity Feat  Dissolving Spittle: Ed6 Acid Damage as 30ft Ranged Touch. Provokes AoO
 Theft Gloves: Insight to Disable Device and Sleight of Hand of 2+2E
 Worg Pelt: Competence to Stealth of 2+2E
He glances to the rope as it slithers down and then up to the man at the top of the shaft as Shefton's body hits the ground, "Dammit." He glances back to Korian in a lowered voice, "Can you get back up the shaft?" He slips a dagger into his palm as he glances to Celiss and the Rabbi with the same lowered voice, "If you have range, see if you can't catch him while he's still in sight. Try not to kill him. Hopefully he's the only one up there." He whirls around and upwards for the attack...
Basically, he's just seen someone he thinks is Vanthus cut the rope and kill a man. Darrius isn't much for law, but killing people just isn't a nice thing to do no matter who you are. If I can get him with dissolving spittle (30ft range and its a 30ft drop, so thats entirely up to you if it reaches), then that, otherwise its dagger time. I... don't expect to hit, but its worth trying.
Attack: (1d20) +3 Ranged Attack Bonus. If its the dagger, thats what, 3 range increments? So -6?
If Dagger: (1d4+2)
If Spit: (3d6)
Never can find my towel...
So it goes.
Healing is like accounting, but with life and death.
Without the rope, Celiss is pretty sure she will have a tough time getting up this wall. As it is, she has trouble finding any purchase.
Rabbi-Doctor Eliezer goes to check on Shefton, just in case. He shakes his head, "May Moradin and your own god give you mercy in the afterlife."
Korian gets onto the wall, and starts climbing up at double-movement, and is 20' off the ground when his turn ends.
Alleged Vanthus yells, "Serves you right for messing around with my sister, you thugs!"
With that, he drops the stone trap door on the entrance. A second later, the sound of more stone-on-stone grinding is heard.
Korian gets up to the top, but he tries to push through and the stone doesn't budge. The party appears to be trapped. He climbs back down.
There the four of you are ... in the underground something that was used by smugglers ... with Shefton's dead body. He has no equipment to speak of and didn't bring his purse with him. He has a dagger that is pretty crappy and not worth taking with you.
Any ideas? or, just see where this passage leads? any preps?