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Old Mar 12th, 2011, 03:33 AM
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II. The Monastery



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Old Mar 12th, 2011, 03:50 AM
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The sun is lower in the sky and the caravan halts after more than two hour's travel. They had only traveled a mile but Almah was on guard and wanted everyone to keep slow and to keep their eyes wide for gnolls as they traveled deep into dangerous territory.

The said monastery is 50 yards away from the caravan. It might have once been a beautiful mosque, dedicated to a strong and wonderful goddess, but that day has past. Most of the monastery’s walls remain intact, though a few of its towers have collapsed and gaping holes mar most of the structure’s ceilings. Most wooden structures have rotted away and nature has begun to intrude upon the monastery’s interior. Some of the old red and orange tile work remains intact, but where walls and ceilings have fallen the decoration has cracked and faded.

Everyone stops to rest and regather their energy. The camel-drivers bring out food but first ask Alphard to perform halal over it before they pass it out. Garavel approaches the PCs and tells them what he needs of them.

"This monastery is to be our next headquarters and first-line of defense again gnoll raids that are sure to come. Almah wants all of you to explore inside and make sure that it is safe before anyone else enters. Zastoran will be here if you need any healing or potions, just go see him at his wagon. I'm not sure what he has ready but he certainly has something that could help mend wounds. I wouldn't go in the abandoned building not expecting a fight- so be prepared."

 
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Old Mar 12th, 2011, 02:03 PM
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Alphard looks upon the collapsed and gaping holes of the mosque and is overwhelmed with emotion. His eyes begin to tear as he sees the mosque's glory of old. He imagines the sparkling towers with flags hanging lazily in the dry desert wind. He sees the the light glinting off of windows that no longer rest peacefully in their sills and thinks of the worshipers who sat inside, zealously exalting their god. The holes that gape offensively in the roof of the mosque are but small imperfections that the gnome sees as only superficial blemishes. In fact, he sees little wrong with the building, and looks forward to making it again ready and worthy in the name of Sarenrae.

His musings are interrupted as they stop however, and he prays over the food that is handed out to the caravan.

"May Sarenrae the compassionate bless this bounty as we partake in her name. May her blessings and unerring light flow through us, and may we be vessels of her redemption. May all see her healing light through our actions and learn of her grace through our lives. In her name and through her grace, we pray.

Alphard's words feel empowered to him even in the shadow of this formerly glorious religious site, and as he eats he meditates on the teachings of Sarenrae and her compassion. Whilst eating, a revelation comes to him, and he approaches Garavel after completing his meal.

"Garavel, a moment if I may." He looks at the others and then lowers his voice to barely above a whisper. "You are an honorable man, and have served your masters well on our journey so far. I have not shown you the respect and honor you deserve, and for this I am sorry. You know some of my history with the Pactmasters and also my views on the flesh trade; I allowed these views to interfere with our greater mission, and for this I apologize. I beg your pardon, and hope we can continue unhindered." With this, Alphard listens to any response from Garavel and bows before the Caravan Master before searching out Zastoran.

At Zastoran's wagon, Alphard calls out to the cleric of Nethys. "My friend, Zastoran, Garavel tells us you have potions for our coming travails. What do you ask for in trade?"
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Old Mar 13th, 2011, 07:00 PM
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The sun was dropping towards the horizon and Karsh could feel the almost imperceptible change in temperature. Soon he will want to be under shelter with a fire to warm his bones and food in his belly.

The slow progress of the caravan suited Karsh there's no point in rushing around, the desert does not forgive foolishness, they stop a short distance from a ruined mosque and Karsh is somewhat surprised when Garavel announces that this is to be their new 'headquarters' but he makes no comment as he is in the employ of Almah and she has paid for his obedience - up to a point!

" Garavel. it is late in the day and I am sure we would all benefit from a nights rest to regain our strength or just to reacquaint ourselves with whichever God we worship " it would give him a chance to regain his spells for what will probably prove to be a difficult day.

" I would also offer my services for the first part of the watch, obviously being this close to the mosque and what with your warnings about the possible contents of it, it would be prudent to post a watch for the entire night " being on the first watch would give him time to meditate to regain his magic and for a decent sleep.

With no more words Karsh finds himself a suitable spot just out of any firelight, so he casts no shadows, and he makes himself comfortable with a good view of the mosque.
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Old Mar 14th, 2011, 12:50 PM
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Khandir

With a sigh of appreciation and a rolling stretch of his muscles, Khandir dismounts the camel he'd been riding and takes a few steps. He hated camels, the miserable beasts were almost as stubborn as himself. A good tractable horse, loyal and not too bright, was what he preferred. One bred for speed and endurance, the perfect thing to run down slow caravans or from hostile guardsmen. It brings a smile to his face just thinking about it. Though to be honest, fighting Gnolls sounded like a good time too. They were notorious bandits, likely they'd have something worth looting.

With the caravan beginning to bustle with activity, Khandir looks lost for a moment until he catches sight of Garavel. He headed in his general direction, but slowly, and watched the drivers and laborers as they made ready to camp. It gave him a chance to observe discreetly. He liked what he saw, it was clear Ra'is Almah and her man Garavel were not novices and kept a well run Caravan. He caught the scent of food on the dry desert wind, and turned to watch several men approach the gnome and speak. Curious he wandered closer in their direction, eager to grab his own share. What do they do there?

He's surprised to find the gnome blessing the food with Halal, and he wonders why they went to him. Should they not have asked the Ra'is, as our most worthy patron? Having only just met Alphard he could not understand why the peasants might approach him for the blessing. Still, he shrugs his shoulders and bears out the prayer so he can take his portion. Which he eats quickly, listening on as Garavel explains why they'd stopped at the crumbling monastery. Shelter from sun and sand, he approved of, but thought it'd likely do little as defense. Still, he cared only that She wished it done.

The man Karsh's comments distracted him from his meal though, and he swallowed quickly so he might reply. "Would you sleep in the shadow of what may well be some bandit's, or worse, lair? I for one would meet any threat armed, head on, with others at my side. Not half-asleep with their weapons sheathed as they lay down for the night! I call it wisdom, to search out any threat before putting ourselves at its mercy."
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Old Mar 14th, 2011, 04:23 PM
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Karsh

Karsh listens to Khandirs words.
" I agree my friend I would like nothing more than to meet any threat armed, head on with others at my side, but there are some amongst our group, myself included, who need to recharge our 'skills', without this time it would be like you entering a fight without your weapons at your side ". Karsh wonders if he is wasting his time trying to get Khandir to reconsider his point of view.
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Old Mar 14th, 2011, 10:58 PM
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Khalid weighs each point of view carefully. "I, too, prefer to operate at peak performance. The day wears on me, and the morning would see me in better shape. However, Almah bids us enter. I sense that she is unwilling to wait, out of pride if nothing else."

"Here." He unslings his shield and weapon, then equips Karsh with them. "We use these tonight."

"Besides, you may yet find greater favor after tonight's deeds." the infidel quips.

"Curatives may save all of our lives. None of you will regret such purchases. I will see to our merchant. He owes us for a night of wholesome rest tonight. How many do we need?"

Within five minutes, he returns potion-laden. He distributes the supplies as prescribed.

Khalid kneels and touches Alphard on the shoulder. "Would you do me a favor and be our lampbearer, Alphard?" He offers a lantern and a flask of oil. "We don't want to be caught off-guard."

Soon enough, Khalid spearheads the way through the front door unless others have a better idea.

 
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Old Mar 15th, 2011, 07:38 AM
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"I am not sure I understand." Khandir concedes to Karsh, confused by how he might need to...'recharge'... his skills. The human Khalid joins the conversation, and Khandir can at least acknowledge the man was determined, if not eager. But he is yet again confused when the human disarms and offers the weapons to Karsh. Turning to the half-orc Khandir exclaims in surprise "Do you not have your own weapons?"
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Old Mar 15th, 2011, 05:53 PM
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Karsh

Karsh is taken aback by Khandirs reply, he had expected a brash, if not dismissive, response to his suggestion but instead he admits that he didn't understand what Karsh was talking about there is more to this half-orc than meets the eye he admits to himself.

The human Khalid also agrees with the basic idea of Karshs words but feels that Almah wants the Monastery made safe sooner rather than later.

" Thank you my friend but I am unused to using weapons of this type, I will perform better with my spells " He hands back the shield and weapon.

Khandir questions him about not having his own weapons " I have a dagger which is my only visible weapon, my real talents lie along a more magical path. I have been trained in the ways of the Desert Druids by my master Qua'lene and as such I have certain spells at my disposal, some to cure and shield but I also have others " he leaves it at that and prepares to follow Khalid into the monastery.
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Old Mar 15th, 2011, 11:28 PM
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Khalid and Alphard

"Ah! Hello, yes yes yes. I had prepared a few things for your coming." Zastoran bows to Alphard at his approach, his bright red beard brushing his tummy. He leads the know the other gnome inside his small wagon an in the back is an enormous emerald-green trunk wide open, full of shelves and neat little rows of potions of every color. It looks like the most advanced equiptment in all the camp. The gnome waves his hand at the brightly green potions that make up most of the contents of liqueds. "I've cure potions aplenty of various potency but I've a few others in there too." When Khalid arrives he has to duck his tattooed head down low to fit in the gnome's home away from home. The gnome cleric greets him and is pleased to give him the discount[1] from his connections to the agency of the nation's Captital.

Zastoran squints at the enforcer. "Are you burned, my son? How come you didn't come to me sooner!?" The cleric lays a hand an inch away from Khalid's arm and prays. "Nethys, weaver of magic, cast your mystical energies and sooth this man's flesh. Let us witness the gift of magic in our humble realm."

NoteKhalid is cured of his heat damage. He is *healed of all nonlethal damage and is no longer fatigued.


Zastoran's Emerald Trunk
Potions CL Quantity Cost Duskwalker's Cos
Level 1 - - - -t
Comperhend Languages 1 x6 50gp 45gp
Cure Light Wounds 1 x25 50gp 45gp
Cure Light Wounds 2 x9 100gp 90gp
Cure Light Wounds 3 x6 150gp 135gp
Santuary 1 x3 50gp 45gp
Santuray 2 x2 100gp 90gp
Level 2 - - - -
Bull's Strength 3 x3 300gp 270gp
Bull's Strength 4 x2 400gp 360gp
Bull's Strength 5 x1 500gp 450gp
Calm Emotions 3 x4 300gp 270gp
Cure Moderate Wounds 3 x10 300gp 270gp
Cure Moderate Wounds 5 x4 500gp 450gp
Delay Poison 3 x5 300gp 270gp
Delay Poison 5 x3 500gp 450gp
Remove Paralysis 3 x1 300gp 270gp
Remove Paralysis 5 x1 500gp 450gp
Level 3 - - - -
Cure Serious Wounds 5 x4 750gp 675gp
Meld into Stone 5 x1 750gp 675gp
Protection from Energy 5 x1 750gp 675gp
Remove Curse 5 x1 750gp 675gp
Remove Disease 5 x1 750gp 675gp

Karsh and Khandir

As the two half-orcs and Khalid leaves they notice that someone was listening to them the whole time, his dirty black hair hanging over his sun baked skin and his faded tan eyes peering at Karsh and Khandir from around a yellow-faded sheet of rock boulder jutting from the ground. Dashki smirks at the two of them and speaks to them in gnoll. "Best you hop on it before the Lady snaps on your hide. She'll rid of you if she no longer has any of use for her great mission for the Pactmasters. That much you have already witnessed today with the other slave." He barks laughter and sounds much like a hyena, his blackened and rotted teeth agape and his adam's apple bobbing up and down.

Something strange is hanging off of the trail-guide's staff as he laughs. The head of the fey that they killed dangles off a rope at the staff's top like some depraved joke. It's still roasted and blackened from Alphard's cleansing fire and it's eyes were burned out, which Dashki took the opportunity to loop a rope through the empty sockets. The trail-guide hunches away back to the mercenaries' wagons, still snickering.

Abadar's Golden Law: "Do as you will, but do not interfere with trade." This is the second verse of the first page of the Book of Vault, word of the god of cities, wealth, merchants, and law. Abadar rules supreme over Katapesh over any other deity and anyone who considers their self civilized must abide his teachings even if he is not their patron god. Zastoran is all to happy to give Khalid his discount and sees it a blessing going both ways and keeps the wrath of Abadar from coming down on them an cursing the whole mission.

 




1 The Ruined Nave
Scrub brush and a light, patchy carpet of weeds invade the
monastery through two huge fallen sections of the western
wall (A and B). The exposed nave beyond is a huge hallway littered with
bits of debris ranging from tiny rocks to enormous sections of
collapsed masonry. Most of the roof above the long promenade
is gone, but several jagged pillars remains.

 

 
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Old Mar 16th, 2011, 08:48 AM
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Khandir's eyes narrow and he watches Dashki scuttle back to the caravan snickering. His hand unconsciously moves toward his sword hilt, but it stops before gripping the falcata. He would watch that one, he decided, for now. He didn't want to anger Ra'is Almah by disposing of someone who's purpose, while not apparent to Khandir, might be needed. Still, he did not like the dirty manling, and said as much to Karsh. "That one will come to a sad end. Soon, I hope."

He walks with Karsh towards the ruined monastery as they await Alphard and Khalid's return. No point in him walking to see this Zastoran, he had no coin to buy with. So instead he continues the conversation with Karsh. "I have not before met one who claimed to be one of the Desert's own. In truth, I have had no dealing with those able to, uh.., work magic. Though I have heard of such things." This is unfamiliar ground for the half-orc, and he cannot hide a certain amount of awe from his voice, though he tries to mask it. Such things were but stories where he came from, and not usually happy ones. It raises many questions, having such an adept nearby to maybe answer, but he finds he is not bold enough to ask.

Instead, suddenly uncomfortable and unaccustomed to feeling such, he changes subjects. "When we go in, I claim the lead position. The Human Khalid's eyes are weak in the darkness, but he may follow after me if he wishes. I do not know what purpose the gnome serves, so you will best decide for yourselves how you follow?"
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Old Mar 16th, 2011, 01:44 PM
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Reddish burns on the Khalid's shoulderblades heal over, and the night watchman's tight muscles relax as the stinging accompanying his every move subsides. He glides a hand over his former wounds then takes a deep breath.

"Your talents are potent, Master Gnome." Khalid's appreciation and respect are plainly evident. "I thank you for your ministrations. To be sure, I will return often as my mission allows. We are in enemy territory, and fortifications will strengthen our position. Tonight, we move to secure the monastery. While I hope to return quickly and without incident, these will be my insurance policy. Here, take this gold with my compliments."

Khalid hands over 200gp for the gnome's services and four potions of Cure Light Wounds.

----

Khalid lines up with the others outside the ruins, armored and ready for whatever territorial degenerates have taken residence inside. Tonight, he has opted to ready his polearm, a spearshaft with a curved blade, which can hook a man's leg and drag him to the ground. He surveys the structure's exterior, as far as the lanternlight allows.

"It is not your place to claim rights before free men. You will find that weak human eyes perform just fine given adequate light." The enforcer scolds Khandir lightly. He meets eyes with all three in turn. "Stay with the group, work together, and protect the man beside you. We enter two abreast. Karsh and Alphard with the light will follow." Khalid hands each man a potion of Cure Light Wounds. "My compliments to Master Zastoran, but let's hope we won't need these."
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Old Mar 16th, 2011, 03:20 PM
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Two abreast they walk into the nave, weapons ready. The lantern shines in and sends shadows in every directions, making the pillars appear to move. There are tracks in the rubble from various creatures.

* To the north the nave stops at a short flight of stairs. Beyond is a large room lined with pews. Beyond, a stained glass is on the distant north wall and sunlight streams in. That must be the chapel.

* Before the naive reaches the chapel is splits west and east into separate hallways.

* On the east wall of the naive are three doorless openings into other rooms or halls.
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Old Mar 16th, 2011, 07:53 PM
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Karsh

Karsh is aggravated by Dashkis comments, he turns to Khandir " The desert will be an altogether more pleasant place once he is gone ".

Khalid returns from his visit with Zastoran and he hands out potions to everyone, while also telling Khandir that it was not his 'place' to head the group. " You are very generous, I am in your debt " replies Karsh as he takes the potion offered to him, his thoughts however were not quite so pleasant you do not belittle someone you expect to protect your back, especially when you make a point of their not being a 'free man', arrogant fool!

Khandir continues to talk with Karsh as they begin to move towards the ruins, Karsh is surprised by the openness of his brother half-orc, " When we have secured this ruin I will explain some more about the talents I have been taught, if that is acceptable? " .

They stand before the ruined monastery, Karsh makes no comment preferring Khalid to make any decisions, ' at the moment'.
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Old Mar 16th, 2011, 08:47 PM
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1) Nave
* a Southern Opening
* b Northern Opening
* e-g Tight Passages

2) Chapel
* c Western Passage
* d Eastern Passage

 
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