SS Week 11 – Nkekkhi

23 February, 2012

The expedition is just about ready to leave, but the Pathfinder captain suggests that they find someone with a little more local knowledge. The hermit cleric of Gozreh, Nkekkhi, fits the bill. he sends them off to recruit him. Seeing as the group is a little light on grunt, he also sends a fourth member – a monk.

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!


GG4 – Week 2

15 February, 2012

Awl right kids. Now put the cat out – your mum will Tom Tit bricks when she gets back if she finds out I been lettin you set light to animals in the ‘ouse. Settle down and I’ll tell you about the time Chimera found ‘is book.


D. P.

  • Nick as Kuraz – Goliath Fighter.
  • Amanda as Mandor – Human Bard.
  • Winky as group conciousness of no name – Shardmind something.
  • Drewf as Chimera – Elf Warlock.
  • Paul as Korgul – Half-Orc Rogue.

and

  • Daniel as various NPCs, including Jimmy.

DMmed by Brendan.


It wos abaht two weeks after the first job they sent us out on anavver one. Two groups were being sent out – one to case the Festival of Shadows, and one for anuvver pick-up job at the university. Now, I went strite for the pick-up job, as the festival wos in a part of town that I didn’t want to be visiting so soon after leavin.

The festival was in the entertainment and (ahem) red-light district, where Korgul grew up.

So about five of us went to the Edderly Forest, which is where the elfs live. Nah, I dahnt wants ta say anyfink negative about the elfs, except they is weird. But not as weird as sum of us. Cos wun of us was like this fing made all out of dragonshards, wot only talked by telepathy. Takes a bit ‘o getting used to, that. Give yer a bit of a headache at first.

Anyway. This other geezer from the shop wos wiv us – Jimmy, oo ad done this sort of fing before, and he was along to make sure we didn’t muck it up too bad.

So we got to the forest, and there was this ‘ouse Phiarlain bloke there (no, he wasn’t … actually yes, he wos – ‘e wos dressed like a clown) and he gave us a map of the premises wot we were to surreptitiously remove some certain paperwork from.

So we went by the thieves ‘ighway and came up right inside the university, in a cleaners closet.


Nah, there wos a bit of a party or summik going on just outside the door, so quick as you like I put on a cleaner’s vest, grabbed a mop and bucket, an opened the closet.

We ‘ad come up in a toilet (no, not in a actual toilet, like – I told youse it was a closet, you should pay attention when yer old uncle is telling yer stories) and sum of the students were ‘aving a bit of party. An they were real drunk – drunk as lords, which I suppose some of ’em might ‘o been.

Well one of em tries to get chummy wiv me, but I growls at ‘im, like this

GRRRR!

an shows ‘im my teef a bit, and fretten ‘im wiv my mop an bucket, and ‘e backs off. The rest of us come up through the closet and everyone sort ‘o works their way through the crowd.

Korgul’s only social skill is intimidate. Everyone else got through with bluff and diplomacy. Korgul’s method of detaching the over-friendly student involved liberal use of the f-word, wot is not suitable language for the delicate shell-pink ears of his audience

Anyway. We ‘ad to get to the room of some professor wot ‘ad absent-mindedly left certain documents in ‘is personal safe. The staff residences were just a bit over the way, so we went there.


We decided that quickest way would be to nip up to the second floor an in froo a window. It was at about this time that I realised that a couple of us wos wearing full plate armour, which can be a bit of a ‘indrance on a pick-up job. I climbed up an went froo the window, and dropped a rope. Chimera came up it, and we decided between us that it might be a good idea to get the swag ourselves while people wos sorting out the whole business of climbing a rope while wearing full plate armour.

The campaign is set in a local thieves guild in Wroat, and people build heavy fighters. 😐

Chimera and I manage to find the room wivvout waking up the whole floor, and he checks it for magic before I goes in. Jimmy is wiv us, which is good, because we don’t spot the picture where the safe is (I never seen a professor’s room before – there wos all kinds of stuff in there).

Now, Jimmy is there to pick the safe, but I asks to ‘ave a go at it first. I have a go, but I don’t gets it open. But Jimmy tells me wot to do and I as anuvver go and it pops open just like it should.

With respect to character development, Korgul was keen to make a good impression on Jimmy, and succeeded. Some good rolls off my green d20.

So we got the swag, everyone is out, and we could go ‘ome. Except Chimera wants to visit the library, doesn’t ‘e? I don’t like it, but everyone else want to go, so I tags along.


So we goes into the library. It’s abaht two hours to dawn but the place is open an’ no-one in there but a couple of constructs. Turns out they are the librarians, wot ‘elp you find the books you want. Chimera goes off looking for sumpink, and eveyone else decide to ‘ave a brows too, because what els are you going to do in a library? I found a book wiv big vicious animals in there. There was this one wiv free ‘eads, and sum dragons, an this one wiv all teef wot burrows through the ground and then comes up and bites yer, anj a chicken wot turns yer into stone if yer looks at it, an …

I’ll skip the whole list, although the kids find it entertaining. I think Korgul may have made up one or two of the entries.

After a bit, Chimera is tryin to borrow a couple of the books. O’ course, the constructs won’t lettim. ‘E as to ‘ave a library card. So I suggest to ‘im that just over in student residences there is a bunch of dead-drunk students and they wouldn’t mind if we temporarily borrowed one of thiers. So we ‘eads over to the students dorm to do a bit ‘o that.

I suggests that we orta make it look like a prank, and knock someone out an paint ‘im blue. Or pink. We ‘ead back to the cleaner’s closet, but there is only white paint in there. So maybe we should find someone black ‘an paint ‘im white. Or a gnome, because ‘e deserves it for being a gnome.

(Never trust a gnome, kids. Every larst one of ’em is a dirty, twisty little pervert wiv insects in ‘is ears. If ever a gnome arsts yer ter look in ‘is ears, dahnt do it. Dunk ‘im in water an shake ‘im, cos the filfy little fings ‘ate bein clean.)

But it turns out the students sleep four to a room, so it could get a bit tricky. So insteads I just sneaks in and opens up a footlocker and tries to find a library car ter bowwow.

Well, I alf wakes one of ’em up, and I as ter leave. But after a mo he settles dahn and Chimera nicks in and ‘as a shufty, and finds one. We ‘eads back ter the library.

But ‘o course, is face doesn’t match wots on the card. So we decide to just staight-up nick the book. E ‘as two ovvem – a big one an a small one. E give the small one to the shardmind fing ‘oping that – I dunno – if it’s sort of all in shards an stuff then the librarians wont notice. But they do, an alarms go off an all kinds ‘o stuff, so it decides to leg it. The librarians case after it.

Meanwhile, the other book Chimera wanted is just sittin there, and the librarians ‘ave PO’d, so I took it. This wos a mistake, becos the librarians weren’t all that wos protecting the books. These dog constructs come out and tries to grab me, but I is too quick for ’em. Kuraz also ‘as a book, and one of ’em grabs ‘im. But anuver one of us ‘its all the dogs wiv a burst attack, and it lets go, but arf a mo later the bloodly things blows up, which strikes me as an extremely silly way to protect a library. I would ‘ave thort something wiv cold might ‘ave been better, and it would double as a fing for if the place catches on fire.

Anyway. I bloody legs it (yer won’t tell yer mum I said that, will yer kids?) and so does everyone else. We all ‘eads back to the dorms and tells the students to run outside an ‘elp with the fire, and then back to the closet and onto the thieves ‘ighway.

When we get back, I gives Chimera ‘is uvver book and tells ‘im ‘e owes me a favour. You ‘ave to keep track ‘o that sort of fing. Everyone doing little favours and paying ’em back is wot makes the world go round.

An that’s ‘ow Chimera got ‘is book. Naah – I’ll tells yer about how ‘e paid me back some uvver day. Ow would yer like to take a day trip to the university? I’ll show yer the book wiv the scary animals in it, eh?


SS Week 10 – Eleder

12 February, 2012

We are running Serpent’s Skull again – just while Andrew is away for three weeks. Unfortunately I was ill Friday, so it’s only going to be two weeks of actual game.

Our heroes, their number sadly depleted with only Vick, Alison, and Joseph remaining – disembark gratefully at the small city of Eleder. Jewel of the south. Not a particularly good jewel, but jewel nonetheless.

They have a few items of business to pursue. Although Vik can read Yarzoth’s notes, the dialect and phrasing are so strange that she will need help decoding them further. They find an inn, they shop, they decode. On the second or third day in town they are approached by Ishoru, who they rescued from the island. He comes with word that the local branch of the Aspis Consortium would like a meeting. They agree.

It seems that word of the rediscovery of Saveth Yhi has got about, and the consortium are arranging an expedition. They would like the heroes to act as scouts and trailbreakers. They offer 500gp each and 1000gp (total) once the city is rediscovered.

The party agree to consider the offer. Next day, Joseph goes looking for some of his old fishing buddies. One (ahem) free trader is particularly keen, and would like to loot Saveth Yhi and purchase and outfit ships with the loot.

After this, offers come think and fast: the red mantis, even the local government are all keen. The only group that does not contact the party are the pathfinders. Our heroes decide to seek them out instead. With five offers on the table, the party manages to negotiate up to a 2000gp prize, and decides eventually to go with the pathfinders – perhaps because they are most likely to have a clue what they are doing.

The translation of the notes is done, and they are quite thoroughly complete.

It seems that the cultists of Zura had been ejected from Saveth Yhi ages ago. They found an old temple of the serpent people on what is now Smugglers Shiv and settled there. The tide stones were old magic by the time they got there – the temple had long been unused. They always planned to return, and the notes on their walls (copied by Yazroth) explained exactly how. Saveth Yhi was hidden, but there was a route in. They would make their way to Tazion, and there make use of “The Pillars of Light”.

The notes provide a decent indication of the location of Tazion. Amivor Glaur has made his plan – the expedition will head east to Kalabuto, then follow the Upper Korir River around the Bandau Hills to the location of Tazion. Once there – well, it depends on what these “Pillars of Light” might be.

Each hex is about one day of travel

The pathfinder expedition is about ready to go. The party are heading down to the warehouse when: chaos on the streets! A pack of mad dogs is on the loose. The party deal with them, not without incident, and then see a plume of smoke. The warehouse is on fire! They run there, and outside throwing alchemists fire on the blaze are a couple of men.

The fight is difficult, but over quickly. Soon the blaze is under control. But the leader of the expedition, Amivor Glaur, has bad news. This fire had been set by the Brootherhood of Freemen – an anti-slavery group made of ex-slaves, and they have kidnapped the expedition’s cook. This is bad news, far worse than it seems, as cooks who can make use of jungle plants without accidentally poisoning everyone are hard to find. The Freemen have siezed the South Arcadian Whaling Company and ntaken their hostage there. Our heroes hustle over without delay.

At the company, one of the slaves is on the roof of one of the buildings and he has the cook! He is addressing a crowd of cityfolk just outside the wall. The party attempt to talk him down, but he retreats down from the roof and they lose sight of him.

They do a brief reconnoiter, but speed being of the essence simply barge in the front door. Two freemen keeping guard just inside defend, and are dealt with – without deaths, I might add. They head into the open yard, where the whales are dragged up from the beach. After a moment, they are spotted. The leader throws the cook to the ground from the first flooy of the flensing house, and he is badly hurt. The leader then jumps down himself to engage the party, while I think Vik rushed forward to administer a lifesaving potion to the irreplaceable cook.

I was doing real XP for this campaign – but screw it. The party ought to be 4th level, and the module works accordingly. I adjusted the stats of the fighters and reduced the numbers because we have only three players. It was still a tough fight. Next game people can level up.

There is a fight, and the party triumph – amazingly managing to defeat the uprising without any deaths (or possibly just one).

After, they discuss. It seems the freemen had been told that “these foreigners” – the party – were slavers. Or pro-slavery, or something. By whom? Well, there’s not a lot to go on. But the descriptions all seem to point to that longtime deadly rival of the Pathfinders – The Aspis Consortium.

Duh duh duh! It’s whacky races time! First to Tazion gets sweet, sweet loot. Or possibly gets bitten by an angry serpent god and dies horribly. Who knows? Departure in a few days. Next stop: Kalabuto. Then through the Screaming Jungle to Tazion. Hopefully.

Everyone needs to level up to 4th.

PS: dudes – The soul gems inside the dolls are worth 2000gp each. The church in town will pay you that to take them off your hands for proper de-necrofication.