|Andrew is back, this week – a monk makes far more sense in a jungle than an armoured fighter. A two-weapon ranger would also have worked, but monk it is.
As for ‘Nkekkhi’ – all pathfinder NPCs have K’s in the name. ‘Nkechi’ didn’t have enough, so we have added some.
Nkekkhi lives in a seaside cave in a limestone cliff, only accessible from below. The party pull up their boat onto the sand at the base, but between them and the hermit are a pair of giant crabs. Vik manages to scare off one with alchemical fire, but the other attacks and they kill it.
They approach the path up to the cliff. There is a conch shell at the base. They blow it. After a moment, the hermit emerges: “Who are you and what to you want?”
After some discussion, and a little jeering by Nkekkhi at the very idea of these tenderfeet traipsing through the jungle, he issues a challenge. After all: Gozreh might have different ideas to him. Two challenges, actually: the calling of water, and the challenge of wind.
The party decide to try the challenge of wind, first.
|I’m going to fast-forward through this a bit.|
The challenge of the wind is to get up to a pinnacle and pinch a feather of a Stormbird. The pinnacle, however is 500ft high and lashed with wind and seaspray.
|So, they are making climb checks every round on a slippery surface buffeted with wind. That’s about 40-odd checks to climb. No freaking way.|
They elect to have an air elemental carry Joseph to the top. It does so. At the top is a nest with five eggs. A minute of searching uncovers a suitable feather, and Joseph descends without attracting the attention of the stormbird.
At the base, however, they are confronted by five tribesmen who hold the bird sacred. They challenge the party to a select a champion for a wrestling match. Their new companion is selected. The party magic him up, which is almost certainly cheating, but whatever. A Grease spell means that he is in no danger of losing. The tribesmen permit the party to keep the feather, and also give them some lewts.
Nkekkhi takes their feather, and issues them with the challenge of water.
The challenge of water is straightforward. Go to a place where there are peals, and recover a black pearl. Simple enough – the villages are friendly, even helpful, and trade some equipment for mundane gear. The new guy is sent to go pearl diving file the party watches the float on the surface.
On the second dive however, the new guy is attacked by a kelpie. Enchanted, he is unable to call for help by tugging on the rope. As the kelpie attacks him, by some miracle he snaps out of it and ascends. He and Joshua dive, defeat the kelpie, and resume looking for a black pearl. Mission accomplished, they return back to Nkekkhi.
|We finessed this; the characters have “action points”. Andrew had to spend all of his to escape this. The basic tactical error was sending someone down there alone. The kelpie’s power is to dominate one person once per day – being alone down there is pretty much a death sentence.|
Their missions accomplished, Nkekkhi invited them into his cave and has them sit down while he performs a complex ritual. The ritual involves hallucinogenic mushrooms: the party find themselves on the Astral plane (or a pocket of it), in the form of various animal totems.
They see the while world of Golarion beneath them, and hover over the Mwangi expanse. But before the ritual is complete, they are attacked by a giant snake whom one of them recognises as Yazroth, the cleric of Ydersius who they failed to kill in the temple of Zura on Smuggler’s Shiv. As they defeat her in the spirit realm, she replays the “death” of Ydersius – her head cut off.
They return from their journey unharmed. Nkekkhi is convinced that it is the will of Gozreh that he accompanyy them on their quest. They have a guide.
In town, New Guy and Jericho are treated for the disease they acquired from the coral. And they do a little shopping. But the caravan departs in two days, and they must set out and begin trailblazing tomorrow.
|Yay! Traipsing across the plains to Kalabuto. No Worries!|