PFS – On Hostile Waters


THIS WRITE-UP CONTAINS SPOILERS.
DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT PLAYED PFS SCENARIO #3-11, The Quest for Perfection, Part II: On Hostile Waters.

Khadem Aleghedh, dispatch 6

So haven’t blogged games 1-5 for this character. Meh. I also didn’t collect enough notes to fill in all the names, but after writing this I’ll have a better idea of what I need to keep track of to do this. Until then, I’ll have to put (?) all over the place to indicate that Khadem would have kept better track of this than I did.

Journal of the Journey to Swallow’s Nest, Khadem Alegdh, Pathfinder level 2


(insert date here)

At the order of Venture Captain Amara (?) we set sail from (?) on (?) down (?) river to Swallows Nest, where we are to meet (?). We transport a scared braid of considerable power, and were also directed to take delivery of a quantity of incense from a local tribe, which would hail us along the way.

Our party numbered (insert party here) and seemed a capable group.


(insert date here)

Today, at an hour after midday, we were attacked from the shore by a small group of tribesmen on horseback, armed with bows. Our group numbers only one decent archer, and we were sitting ducks on the narrow river. Our boat has no fortifications to speak of – not even a gunwhale (just a railing). The tribesmen targeted the tillermen, who at the time were myself and (?). To compound our difficulty, the attack was executed at a particularly difficult stretch of the river, and – the tiller momenterally lacking a firm hand – the boat hitched up on snags and sandbars, throwing us about the deck, (?) falling overboard.

The tribesmen continued to attack as we struggled to regain control of the boat and to rescue our colleague overboard. Our archer engaged their leader, hitting him with several arrows (although I was lucky enough to get the final shot). One more shot downed one og the other tribesmen, at which poit the entire group disengaged and fled.

The rules for what happens if the tiller is unattended were nuts – you’d think that a flat-bottomed riverboat starts bucking like a bronco the moment someone lets go of the tiller. It was like the bridge of the Enterprise. I have to assume that in the module, this particular section of the river was dangerous.

We recovered from the leader of the tribesmen a curious box with a snake insignia, which we have not opened. I rather suspect there’s a snake in it.

Although obvious to more experienced pathfinders, I might note the following:

  • As always, the role of the cleric was crucial. Without him, we would without question have had fatalities, including myself.
  • Ranged capability is indispensible when travelling through open areas and overland. A group of swordsmen can investigate a dungeon, but the cannot safely travel road or river without cover.
  • When you make camp, consider defensibility. This is trained into us, but we did not translate the lesson – did not understand a boat on which we would be travelling for weeks as a “camp”. We were hindered by the need for secrecy, but even (say) a carpet or cloth over the railing would have provided concealment, from which we could have fired at liberty.


(insert date here)

Today we were hailed from shore by the tribesmen from whom we were to pick up the incense. After pleasantries and hospitality, the shaman informed us that there had been a snag. The sky-gods, it seemed, had disapproved of the sale of the incense by putting on a lightning storm the previous day. After considerable diplomatic efforts (mainly on my part, although by no means entirely), we managed to persuade the shame that the cause of the Pathfinder Society was a noble one, and that the delivery of the incense could proceed.


Brother (?)

I am pleased to report that we have made contact with the (?) tribe and spent a pleasant evening being regaled by them by a variety of stories. Please find attached both my and (?) best recollection of the substance of these stories and accounts of various mythic personages, the smoking of the hookah (which despite appearances does not appear to be at all narcotic) ,as well as one or two notes about various faux-pas which agents of freedom should be at pains to avoid when dealing with these men in future.

Yours in Freedom, Democracy, and Violent Extrajudicial Death to all who oppose Freedom and Democracy.


(insert date here)

Today, a customs-house at a chain across the river, manned by (?). I am certain that they are looking for the braid, but we managed to conceal it. After some bowing and scraping and payment of a “tax”, we were permitted to continue.


(insert date here)

Today, while proceeding though a narrow canyon with near-rapids, we were attacked from the cliffs above by a tribe of arboreal goblins. The boat, predictably, became stuck on the walls of the canyon and began to swing sideways, in danger of actually stuck fast across the current. While the rest of the crew engaged in the difficult work of freeing the boat, I kept the goblins occupied with my bow, drawing their fire – which mainly consisted of rotten fruit and excreta. Rather a lot of it, really. And not all that much fruit towards the end

At the kind insistence of my fellow pathfinders I spent several minutes being dragged behind the boat in the river and appear to be none the worse for wear, although the same cannot be said for my outfit.


(insert date here)

Today, we reached lake (?).


(insert date here)

Today, we were politely attacked by a military vessel – a galley. We felt that we had no hope of making any sort of resistance, and so we hove to and were searched. The captain found the box of incense but not the braid. She confiscated the entire ship and its cargo, but we had reached our destination, and managed to retain possession of the incense by insisting that it was a gift.

In retrospect, it occurred to us that the galley was manned by slaves, not by soldiers, and that we could have taken the few soldiers aboard. Although, obviously, loss of the boat is not an ideal outcome, nevertheless everyone understands that this mission is dangerous and the boat could have been lost in any one of a variety of ways on the journey so far. As it stands, we have completed the river journey successfully (with a military escort into port, no less), have not attracted undue attention, and are in an ideal position to continue with the rest of our mission.

I fully anticipate success.

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