Sepent's Skull/ Zanton Edition

Saventh Yhi

The party solved the puzzle in Tanzion, with Jack accidentally being killed by friendly fire, and discovered the location of Saventh-Yhi. As they did this, Serayla noticed Zakiyya, the succubus from earlier, spying on the party and getting the location as well. Rodrick left a Magic Mouth for their allies with the information, the party left the ruins, escaping just before the Aspis Consortium arrived, with the succubus meeting them.

Ishirou, the monk who slew Steven the monk way back on the Smuggler’s Shiv was also spotted with the Consortium. Trekking through the jungle, the party crossed a bridge over a river of crocodiles, beating off pterodactyls and a ghostly explorer, cutting it from the other side, finally reaching Saventh-Yhi.

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Arriving well before the other factions, the party set up a well-positioned camp. Soon, the other factions arrived. The party chose to continue working with the Sargavan government and visited the other camps, with the exception of the Aspis Consortium, meeting the other shipwreck survivors, who were working in the other camps.Around this time, Rodrick awakened the rooster he had gained from the cockfighting camp, and Curmudgeon the Chicken barbarian was born, fighting alongside the party with the ferocity of a young eagle.

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Moving into the city,the party visited the nearby spire in the merchant district, where they were taunted by a apparition of a undead mage who urged them to drink nearby water, battled keches and chimeras, and discovered the corpse of the aforementioned mage. At the spire, they ventured into a cave underneath. Pao-Pao, scouting ahead, discovered a monstrously large bat, which noticed him and chased him through the cavern. Hal and Curmudgeon battled the beast in the air, and Darve struck it down when it descended to attack.

Discovering the spires could be activated, the party worked to find a way to awaken the structure, succeeding by throwing money at it. The spire activated, the party returned to camp. On the road, The party met Zakiyya, accompanied by a few guards and Ishirou. Barely a word was spoken before the two teams exploded into violence. In a flurry of blades, claws, summoning magic, and alien tentacles, Zakiyya was killed. Ishirou was released from the magical control he was under and he and the surviving guards left for their camp.

Deciding where to go next, Nyles consulted Shelyn, who told the party to go to the artisan district. Acquiring a boat, the party with the exception of Rodrick, who was unable to come that day, went to the island it was located on. As they landed and moved in, they discovered incredibly detailed statues and carvings. Soon, they met bow and spear wielding natives, whos leader allowed them entrance after Nyles showed his holy symbol.

They were discovered to be some sort of Shelyn worshipers, following a leader known as the Radiant Muse. They revealed that Saventh-Yhi translated to “Serpent-killer” and was named for a heroes opposition to serpent-men, and that they were tormented by a blood-drinking monster. Some of those suffering were aided by Nyles.

The party was told they could meet the Muse the next day, with the group resting overnight in the village. Pao-Pao used the opportunity to sneak around disguised as a native, discovering a attitude of nervous apprehension toward the Radiant Muse by her followers. Also, during the night Nyles had a disturbing dream showing Shelyn living peacefully in the city before Earthfall and becoming harsh and cold afterward.

When Pao-Pao returned, a disturbing vision of the undead mage from before taunted them, and caused their guard to walk away and study some carvings and drink some water. This mage would appear repeatedly to them.The following morning the group went to meet the Radiant Muse.

On the way to the spire, Pao-Pao turned invisible, and Nyles angered the guide by attempting to cast beneficial spells on him, and was barred from the entrance. On arrival, the Muse was revealed to be a large half-woman half-snake creature, who asked to see the party’s artist. When she was told that Nyles had been held back, she flew into a rage, screaming in fury at the guide for his action and demanded he be allowed in.

As Nyles approached, Darve dramatically heralded his entrance and his theatrics impressed the Muse. The rest of the party was not so lucky, with their attempts at art failing to make a good impression. The Muse, who secret detection spells revealed to be mentally unstable, declared that the party could win her favor by succeeding at a test, slaying the beast that plagued the village. Just then, Pao-Pao sprang from ambush, landing a mighty blow with his warhammer against the Muse. It barely fazed her.

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Pao-Pao, realizing he had underestimated her, ran and threw Nyles onto Darves horse, and Darve bolted for the boat as the Muse began casting spells and Pao-Pao and the Witch prepared to make a fighting retreat as the locals looked on.

Seralya escaped, and Nyles, as he rode to the boat, decided instead to fly back and attempt to activate the spire. Nyles soon discovered activating the spire would take an hour, but was unable to escape, being shot down and nearly killed by the Muse, who used him as a hostage to force Pao-Pao to surrender. The Muse spared Nyles, at the price of Pao-Pao being forced to promise to help kill the blood drinker.

When the party returned to camp, they found it badly damaged by what the survivors described as a giant frog monster. The party, now with Rodrick, Hal and Curmudgeon again, went hunting for the blood drinker and the new monster, encountering a demonic snake trapped in a jar, who soon escaped from confinement and battled the party, teleporting away before he could be slain. Beyond it’s prison the party discovered a village of frog-like boggards in the agricultural district, who worshiped the Froghemoth.

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After some initial violence, the boggards surrendered. Ignoring their warnings about the beasts power, the party went to “meet” it. The boggards took them to a lake, where the party slew the creature after a difficult battle. The boggards, now awed by their power, allowed them to visit their spire, which the party activated with a feast. The boggards requested that the party find their missing oracle.

Now the party went to find the blood-drinker, finding it was a animalistic, vampire-like creature. The party fought and killed it, however, as the monster was slain, it possessed Curmudgeon, who flew away before the party could stop him. Returning to the Muse, the party was able to activate the spire with art.

In the Temple district, the party battled trogolodytes, and activated the Spire.

Traveling to the military spire, the party found it to be guarded by a force of chaura-ka, who attacked the party after they entered their tower for negotiations after some fighting outside. The party fought through them to their leaders, who released a savage,petrified demon to battle them, however, the party was triumphant, and killing the demon activated that spire as well.

In the Government district, the party met a village of Serpentfolk, using diplomacy to gain entrance and speak to their leader. On the way, they met the boggards oracle, mind controlled by unknown forces, studying carvings. He was freed by the party. Upon reaching the leaders residence Pao-Pao invisibly scouted inside, seeing a woman in a Red Mantis uniform inside.

When they went a woman she claimed to be servant to the master and convinced them to accept food. Seralya went with her to help and the woman attacked, revealing herself to be a snakelike rakasha, the local ruler, and was then killed by the party. The spire was then activated by Hal reading the laws inscribed there. As they left, they saw some shady looking serpentfolk moving towards the spire. The party did not stop them.

As the party worked their way around the city, the various camps fell to the dangers of the jungle, leaving only the Sargavan Government and the Aspis Consortium standing.

Entering the residential district, the party found a courtyard full of colorful webbing and what looked like humans wrapped up in web, and were attacked by a dream spider the size of a small house, known as the Nightmare Dancer.

As they began to battle it, the creature that had possessed Curmudgeon and the snake demon returned, The demon was kept from escaping by a Dimensional Anchor and killed, the spider was slain, and the thing that had murdered Curmudgeon was seemingly killed, then it possessed a baby dream spider and attempted to escape, only to smashed by Pao-Pao.

Just then, their whole camp showed up. The city had suddenly become a battleground, with undead monsters exploding up from underground. The Muse had called the camp to rally at her district and they came, fighting against a undead snakeman and his wight and ghast minions, who were chasing down a panicked elf woman.

Hal and Pao-Pao fought head-on against the creatures, Nyles slaughtered them by channeling positive energy, and the necromancer himself was frozen into a block of ice by Seralya, being killed upon thawing out. The half-elf, known as Juliver, was discovered to be Feebleminded and was cured by Seralya.

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Juliver explained that she was an ally of the famed Pathfinder Eando Kline, who been captured while attempting to stop a hidden serpentfolk army from resurrecting their god, Ydersius and conquering the world.

The party agreed to ally with Juliver and save the world, right after activating the final spire.

The party suffered a loss, when they woke up the next morning to find Pao Pao gone and a note left behind explaining that he had been called away to serve in the wars back in his home country.

In fact, he had left because he knew that Dream Spider venom could be used to produce a powerful narcotic known as Shiver, and he had gone to make himself rich in the poison and drug trade.

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The Ruins of Tanzion

The ruins of Tanzion stand as a remnant of a forgotten age, an outpost of ancient Azlant lost in the southern Mwangi Jungle. Little remains with its walls, with most of the settlement having crumbled or been buried centuries before. The majority of Tanzion’s structures remain unidentifiable. Centuries of weather and erosion has transformed the once splendid architecture into little more than scattered stones, curious topography, and fetid tar pits. Few suspect that the ruins possess the key to finding the lost city of Saventh-Yhi, and its secrets are ripe for the taking.

The Party appears to be the first of the factions to arrive to Tanzion. I must give the Party credit, they made it to Tanzion in optimum time. However, challenges await them.

A tribe of ape-men known as charau-ka now inhabit the ruins, though they are uninterested in whatever secrets may still be hidden there.
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Under the guidance of their mad priest Raogru and his serpentfolk ally Issilar, the charau-ka have broken from their traditional demon-worship and embraced the path of the serpent-god Ydersius.

The party lay waste to an entire patrol of charau-ka before they even know if they are truly evil. Luckily for them, they were totally evil. The Party works it way through the Temple of the Snake. Which is re-consecrated to Shelyn by Nyles in a color scheme that would hurt Rainbow Bright’s eyes. Anyways, Raogru Fang of Yydersius, is a bad ass, but the party deals with him handedly.

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The party +1 hide armor, +1 heavy mace, wooden holy symbol of Ydersius, and among other things figurines of wonderous power (golden lions). The Azlanti Idols are destroyed giving the Party the memories of how to activate the map room, with the proper stones, so that they can locate Saventh-Yhi.

The party takes on some very dangerous giant bees. This part was pretty fun to GM. Pao Pao running from the Giant Queen Bee really made my night.

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The party gets some hints into Ancient Azlant religion in some of the rooms in the temple.

Issilar is the toughest creature that the party has fought yet.

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And he was fittingly worth it in XP. The party might have bought the farm on this one if his dominate spell would have worked on one of them. The party received a wand of web (19 charges), ring of protection +1, spellbook and spell components pouch. Plus three of the gemstones (remaining stones) to activate the pillar in the maproom.

This is where the party left off. There is still some to explore and then it is off to find the location of Saventh Yhi. The clock is ticking, and the other factions could arrive any day now…

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Amghawe's Tomb, Eloko Headhunters, and Zenj Spirit Dancers.

At this point along the river, the parties notice snapped saplings and torn brush, evidence that something large has passed through the jungle. A DC 14 survival check revealed that the tracks of a barefoot humanoid and a larger set of clawed humanoid prints with a stride twice as long as that of a human. The trail leads deeper into the jungle to a small clearing where a boar carcass lies splayed open on a boab tree, its entrails laid out before it. A DC 12 spellcraft or knowledge religion check determined that the boar was slain for extispicy—determining the future by studying an animal’s entrails. At the edge of the clearing sat a small gravesite surrounded by anthills, with a gaping hole in the side of the cairn marking where the tomb was breached.

The party was attacked by a greedy necromancer named Jigeke the Exile and his re-animated fast troll zombie.

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This was a fairly balanced fight. the party received a +1 spear, dagger, amulet of natural armor +! , war mask of terror, onyx stones worth 250 gp, and the necromancer’s spellbook.

The party as they near Tanzion begin to be stalked by a filthy tribe of gnome like headhunters near the ruined city of Liclac. Known as Eloko, these Mwangi spriggans have grayish-brown skin and spindly arms, and spike their hair and beards with lime. Their faces are painted to resemble leering skulls.

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These Eloko are of the Ironbell tribe, and hail from the city of Elokolobha on the eastern fringe of the Screaming Jungle, but they come into the jungle in search of their favorite pray—humans. As the party camped for the night, the spriggans laid in ambush and one of the rang the enchanted iron bell to compel the party to venture unprepared into the jungle, where the Eloko sprang their trap. This worked to a lesser degree, only some of the party were compelled. Picking up on the trick, the party defeats the Eloko and gained the Eloko Bell.

By this time the party has finally left the Screaming Jungle and followed the river across the Korir Plains. At this point, the river widened and became fast and shallow, no more than a few feet deep. The surrounding vegetation consists almost entirely of reeds, mangroves, lotuses, and other water plants. After a few miles of travel, the party spots four young Zenj women bathing in the river. When they see they Party, the girls giggle and shyly invite them to their home just up stream for dinner and rest. They introduce themselves as Alal, MAsozi, Osumare, and Zakiyya.

The party joyously agrees to follow the girls to their home. Dinner is being prepared and the Zenj dancers tell the party of their profession and offer to help them awaken their spirit animials. Everyone is on board except for Darve. Darve is compelled to go outside with Zakiyya (he was dominated). The dancers mix up a brew (poison) someone sense motive (15) to figure out something is wrong. battle ensues. The Party’s witch is also brought under suggestion of the Succubus Zakiyya. This was a very well fought battle. The party was on the brink of being wiped out Zakiyya teleports away and summoned a Babau to fight in her stead (which also teleports away). This is the closest the entire party has been to death. One sense motive fail and they would have been dinner for the succubus.

On the plus side, the zenj dancers were so grateful that they awoke the Parties totem spirit and got nifty tattoos. They gain a +5 sacred bonus as a move action associated with the skill check for their spirit beast or can use wild empathy to commune with creature of the animal species related to their totem.

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The Lake of Vanishing Armies, Warriors of the Child God, Hippo Hunt, and Bodies on the River Bank

Leaving Kalbuto the Party follows the River of Lost Tears to a huge freshwater lake, the Lake of Vanished Armies. Here at the Sargavan border with teh Mwangi Expanse, dozens of tribal settlements line the muddy banks of both the river and the lake. Locals earn meager livings catching mud crabs and turtles, making mud bricks, and growing rice, hippo grass, and other native grains. The soft, shallow banks make it difficult to land larger craft, though the tribesfolk typically pole rafts out to passing vessels heading towards Kalabuto or elsewhere, hoping to barter foodstuffs for worked metal, crafted technologies, and other such materials. The settlements are small consisting only of collections of mud-daub shacks, and they lack such amenities as shops and inns. Still, outsiders quickly discover that these friendly folk are eager to accommodate travelers in their homes, and offer them all sorts of gifts ranging from exotic foods to mystic drugs, and occasionally their companionship.

During the interactions with the tribesfolk, mostly through Nkechi, the Party hears local legend of a monstrous beast calls the Aomak said to live within the lake. The tales describe a titanic, saurian monster that devours fishermen and their boats.

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The party investigate, using Roderick’s summoned dolphins, and manage to get an old military trunk containing 1,000 gold, two potions of lesser restoration, and an adamantine machete (treat as a short sword) without facing off against the Spawn of Aomak.

The Party continued on from there.

Soon after leaving the Lake of Vanished Armies, the party encounters a Mzali warband at the junction of the Pasuango and Korir Rivers. The Mzali wait in hiding and ambush the Party when they are believed to be the most vulnerable. The Party dispatches them quickly.

About 2-2 1/2 days after encountering the Mzali warriors, the Party enters the Screaming Jungle. At this point the river widens. In the center of the widest spot a herd of hippopotamuses wallow and graze. Three lizard folk decide to anger one of the bull hippos with a spear and send the Hippo’s stampeding. This event is dealt with by the Party and the party proceeded towards Tanzion.

The Party enters the Screaming Jungle. The trees grow broader and taller here, their gnarled branches rising to a tangled canopy that blots out the sun. Digging into their roots, giant, parasitic corpse-flowers blossom across the forest floor. Littering the banks of the river are several humanoid corpses, their armor and bodies ripped apart as if by large claws. Suddenly, a series of loud slams and crashing noises echo through the jungle, sending small monkeys in the treetops screaming in all directions.

The Party is attacked by a Possessed Dire Ape. Possessed by what you say? Itombu the shadow demon.

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This was a difficult battle for the party and was truly an epic battle. Shadow demons are no joke. The bodies are the remains of a pathfinder expedition, that thought taking the river this far down was a good idea. The Party recovers a ring of sustenance from one of the dead pathfinders.

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Kalabuto

Kalabuto is the last bastion of civilization before the wilderness of the Mwangi Expanse. Shortly after the Party arrived in the city, a 10-year-old Zenj begger approaches them. Introducing herself as Kibi, she sells them small hand-carved wooden fetishes for a copper piece each. The party buys them up. She says “Please I need food. These are good luck charms—the tribes in the jungle will see them and know you as friends.”

In reality the orphan girl was working for an unknown rival faction and her trinkets mark the Party as targets for the factions agents.

The party picks up on being followed and Poa Poa does some serious ninja action in town.

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He makes himself look like a Zenj and takes the girl and jumps to the roof tops avoiding the authorities, ultimately placing the girl in a wooden box. The rest of the party dispatches the faction agents and manages to get to the bottom of the situation with only a hint as to which faction sent them (Aspis Consortium seems most likely). They let the girl go and send the faction agents off bare-ass into the streets.

The party meets up with a brawny dwarf named Cheiton and he welcomes the Party to his home and says they can discuss the journey to Tanzion “away from hungry ears.”

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Before the party leaves from Kalbuto, Cheiton warns them to be wary of foreign tribes once they cross the Mwangi border. Besides the xenophobic cult-warriors of Mzali, there are also the cannibalistic fey Eloko of the screaming jungle, and the degenerate, demon-worshiping ape-men known as the charau-ka.

Also at this time, Curmudgeon starting losing his feathers. Rodrick wasted no time in taking him to see the local druid, who spoke with the chicken and pointed Rodrick to the snickering ninja.

Later that night, Pao Pao woke with Hal sitting on his chest, as the summoner demanded an apology. Hal couldn’t keep the ninja from escaping, but Pao Pao did say he wouldn’t do it again.

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Village Under Siege, Ankeg Attack, and A Feast of Vultures

As the trail skirted the northern border of the Laughing Jungle, the Party spots a wisp of smoke on the horizon, coming from a small Zenj village huddling under the jungle’s eaves. When its inhabitants spot the party approaching, they quickly attempt to make contact with them, seeming quite eager to trade goods as well as share their hospitality. The villagers invite the party to join them for supper. The party eagerly follows.

Villagers smiled, toting baskets of fruit, meat, and laundry. Others sit in the shade weaving leaves and vines. Barefoot children dart about chasing each other around the small huts. The only person who seems uninterested in the visitors is an older woman with a painted face who, upon their arrival, ducted into her hut and pulled a cloth across the doorway. One of the villagers said “she is our shaman, and is old and wary.”

Supper consists of flatbread, fresh fruit, and a tasty porridge seasoned with sweet tubers. After the meal the party is offered a heady wine and treated to an impressive performance of acrobatics, dancing, and fire-eating as night falls. As folks head out to their huts, the party receives a visitor at their hut. The old village shaman.

After a few moments of silence she speaks in thickly accented common:

“I am an old woman, and set in my ways. My master taught me long ago that foreigners like yourselves carry curses. But this village suffers under a curse already, and all my magic has so far failed to lift it. The spirits do not help me and I have nowhere else to turn. Perhaps I have been wrong all of these years, and perhaps you are the ones who can help free us from this curse.”

The party assist the old woman and are set upon by a pair of Chemosists that night.

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After defeating the Chemosists the old women gives them a Zenj Spirit Fetish (has a one use dispel evil cast upon a shriveled monkey head).

Later the next day in their travels the party encounters an Ankheg Sinkhole and they destroy three ankhegs.

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A day and a half after entering the open plains the party attracts the attention of sharp eyed avian scavengers. One such large bird, two Geiers (giant vultures) decides to attack the party and are quickly slain.

Just before reaching Kalabuto the party notices:

A tall and leafless boab tree standing alone in a clearing, its wood burnt black. A circle of tiny bones surrounds the tree. Over a dozen human bodies hang from the branches, making grisly silhouettes against the blue sky. More bodies lie on the ground at the base of the tree, frayed ropes still around their necks. A circle of tiny bones surrounds the tree.

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The party dispatches eight plus plague zombies at the tree, with ease. Welcome to Kalabuto!

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Fzumi Salt Mine and a Roadside Cockfight

The first leg of the journey ran through the foothills between Eleder and the Bandu Hills. After 5 days of travel, the main trail snaked northeast around a tall section of hills and then detoured north connecting with several of the regions more profitable and still operating mines. The Party’s map showed the location of an abandoned mine to the southeast marked as, you guessed it “The Fzumi Salt Mine.” Cutting through the mine appears to cut one day of travel off of their route.

The Party encounters a feral woman called Athyra, whom claimed the outskirts of the mine as her hunting area.

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She is the pale skinned daughter of the former mine owner and the remaining sole survivor of the tragedy that occurred at the Fzumi mine. Athyra was just a child when undead horrors from beneath the earth boiled out of the mine and slew everyone at the camp except young Athyra, who managed to escape into the surrounding hills.

Left alone and too terrified to return to camp, she was forced to scavenge for food in the wilderness. One day she stumbled upon a clutch of deinonychus eggs; out of curiosity she gathered one up, brought it back to her campsight and kept the egg until it hatched. Athyra cared for the carnivorous hatchling, razing it on scraps of lizard meat, and named it Jaji. Over time, the two became fast friends, and Jaji is now Athyra’s loyal pet.

Now a grown woman, Athyra stands near 6 feet tall with a perfectly muscled figure and stunning features, her dark hair woven into clumped tangles. She dressed in scraps of animal hide and carried a glaive crafted from the toothed jaw of some fearsome jungle beast.

Her initial attitude was unfriendly to the party. However the party sweet talked her into letting them pass through her territory. She warned the Party that the old mine is a tunnel to the underworld, inhabited by spirits of the dead. She knows this because both her father and mother disappeared down the shaft and never came back, and not long after that, angry dead things came out of hte mine and killed everyone in the mining camp. Athyra asked the party to try and find what happened to her father, he wore a silver locket with a picture inside that she wanted back dearly.

Athyra offered to meet the Party on the other side of the hills skeptical that they would make it out alive.

Here is a list of things that the party defeated inside:
1. Crystal Ooze.
2.Several Salt Wights
3. The Blue Warriors (Male Carin Wight)
4. Jelera Crinhouse Salt Wight

The party defeated these creatures, returned the locket to Athyra and informed her of the deed to the mine (the party later gave it to her and set up an administrator to help her run it).

The party encountered a road side cock fight after emerging from the salt mines in the M’neri Plains. Athyra cut a day of their total travel time by giving advice on how to navigate the journey. Long story short, Roderick ends up taking Curmudgeon (a cock-fighting chicken) as his own.

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Also, the party fought off the corrupt "Rickets: Perga (NE male himan expert level 3) and his goons when they try to not pay the parties cockfight winnings.

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Chirok the Stormbird, aKelpie, a Dead Dolphin, and Spirit Totems

So the party that Seralya, Darve, and Pao Pao do the Challenge of the wind.

“The task of wind is a simple one. All Gozreh requires is a single complete feather from a humble stormbird. One such magnificent creature, named Chirock, lives but a days walk east. There, at the end of the peninsula, you’ll spot a lone promontory known as Gozreh’s Crest. The bird nest at the top of the cliff. Return when you have the feather. The 3 person team rides upon Darve’s mighty steed Bree to the nest. Pao Pao battles the wind and manage to go invisible and retrieve the feather before being seen by the bird. When challenged by the natives about what they were doing on sacred land, Seralya bewitched the leader and the party was free to go back to that lying bastard Nkechi.

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The rest of the party, Jack, Roderick, and Nyles made their way to the Challenge of Water.

“The challenge of water is hardly difficult. Mostly, it is a test of patience and fortitude. Gozreh requires that you retrieve for him a single black pearl. Head north a bit, out by the crags of the cape. Those shores are filled with oyster beds, and such pearls are not uncommon for those who know where to look.”

The locals were willing to offer some assistance for a barter but Roderick declined to pay their price. They eventually chartered a boat and Roderick summoned a dolphin to retrieve the black pearl. The dolphin was killed by the Kelpie below.

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The party defeated the Kelpie, with some difficulty. Eventually, they retrieved the black pearl (Nyles was almost swept out to sea).

Nkechi takes the offerings and rubs paste on the party and sends them on a spirit journey to search for the lost city of Saventh-Yi. The party, in their spirit totem forms (you know what they are) traveled and noticed the other factions readying for their journey as well. They reached, eventually what appeared to be Tanzion and were attacked by a Dream Serpent. The battle was somewhat difficult, but the party prevailed and the serpent lost it’s head. DC 20 Knowledge religion check let the party recognize the serpents death as a symbolic depiction of the ancient snake-god Ydersius.

The party awakes and Nkechi agrees to assist the party (Thereby taking a week off of their total travel time to Tanzion), mostly because of the dark omens of the dream.

The Sargavan government, through Rotilius, invites the party to discuss their plans with several expedition experts. It is decided that the party will set out as “trailblazers” with the guide, for the rest of the expedition which will travel a few days behind. The party is given a map of the area and told to meet up with a Dwarf (Named Cheiton) in the city of Kalbuto. The party quickly sets forth on their expedition wasting no time.

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Whales and Acid Trips

The party rushes to The South Acadian Whaling Company to rescue Rotilius Havelar from the Freeman revolt. When the party arrived Umagro (Freeman Leader-Human Barbarian level 6) was at the top of the Flensing House holding Rotilius hostage at knife point. Umagro demanded for the abolition of slavery in Sargava to the gathering crowed below. The party tried to reason with Umargo but to no avail.

The party decided on a more direct approach to get into the building, the front door. The party quickly dispatches the Freeman Insurgents inside the Whaling company, and skillfully avoided the “Hopper Trap” constructed from the mechanism used to grind whale bones. The party further avoided getting lit on fire by whale oil that was thrown at them.

Umargo was the most difficult of the challenges.

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The party face him on the roof of the Flensing House. He quickly slit Rotilius’s throat (down to zero hit points) and let him begin to slide off of the roof. Each part member on the roof had to make a DC 12 acrobatics check and a DC 15 reflex check if they failed or fall off of the roof! Eventually Umagro gets worn down and falls off of the roof. Darve quickly (and somewhat accidentally dispatches him. They are able to stabilize and heal Rotilius. No solid clue as to whom riled up the Freeman Insurgents, but the Aspis Consortium is hinted to be behind it.

Rotilius suggests that before the expedition is ready to leave in a weeks time that the party finds a “seasoned guide” to help them navigate the harsh and strange terrain, as well as to deal with local tribes. The most able candidate is an aged mystic priest of Gozreh named Nkechi. In order to find the holy man the party is advised to take a small boat up the coast and try to approach the Pallid Bluffs from there.

The party follows the suggestion and makes haste. They dispatch two giant crabs, which disappoints Nkechi. Eventually, after Nkechi is made friendly, he clambers down the rocks to meet the party. Once the party explained their purpose, Nkechi says the following:

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“In truth, I am skeptical of your abilities. At best you seem to me blissful incompetents. I doubt you even capable of finding your way back to town, much less through the jungle. But Gozreh may have different ideas, and it may serve his purpose for me to accompany you. I am willing to accept your proposal in you first prove yourselves by completing two simple tests, one of wind and one of water. Of course, you may decline, but I must add that if you fear performing Gozreth’s simple tasks, there is no way you will survive the jungle.”

The tasks were not supposed to be simple…but the party handled them with skill and creativity that bordered on ideal given the situation. The party first decided to split up to save time.

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Elder at a Glance

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The Basics:
LN small city
Corruption +1, Crime +0, Economy +3, Law +3, Lore +2, Society +1
Qualities insular, prosperous, racially intolerant (Mwangi), strategic location.
Danger +5
Demographics:
Government: Autocracy.
Population: 8,900 (8,000 humans (3,000 colonials, 5,000 Mwangi), 500 halflings, 200 dwarves, 100 elves, 100 others.
Notable NPC’s:
Baron Utilinus, Grand Custodian of Sargava
General Septima Arodatus, Grand Praetor of Sargava, commander of the Sargavan Guard.
Commander Ezio Ergorius, Praetor of Elder.
Lady Madrona Daugustana, matriarch of ELder.
Briga, owner of the Sargava Club.
Marketplace: Base value 5,600 gp; Purchase limit 37,500 gp; Spellcasting 6th Minor items 4d4; Medium items 3d4; major items 1d6.

Elder gouges itself into the craggy coast of Sargava’s western shore. Chelish troops founded the port under the imperialistic expansion efforts of mad Prince Haliad I at the place of their first landing in Desperation Bay. In the begining, Elder was no more than a small coastal settlement of fewer than 200 colonist eager to build a new life in the southern continent. The small harbor rested between the Laughing Jungle and the Bandu Hills, impractically located leagues north of Sargava’s only major inland water routes. Nonetheless, the excitement of a new settlement brought settlers by the thousands. From across the north they came, eager to strike it rich. Miners sought to harvest salt, diamonds, and gold in the the Bandu Hills, while foresters arrived to log the exotic hardwoods to the south. By 4138 AR, Elder was granted official status as a Chelish colony.

Elder prospered swiftly, fed from the coffers of trading companies and the colonial aristocracy, both operating on sizable stipends from the Chelish government, with addition fund arriving from ever-increasing cooked tax policies. Expansionists paid great sums to acquire official charters to explore inland, where they hoped to claim the riches of the pristine land. After the discovery of the city of Kalabuto, these same individuals pushed to establish overland routes traveling east. Kalabuto’s distance from the coast served as a powerful lure to those seeking autonomy and financial stability. Yet the intrusions of foreign colonists caused extreme tensions with numerous Zenj tribes. The tribes deemed the colonist exploitative, both in their ruthless trade and abusive labor practices. Conflicts rose arose, with several tribes openly declaring war against the foreigners. This unrest made travel unsafe and further expansion difficult. The overland route between the two cities broke down completely when most of Kalbuto’s trading companies began shipping goods down the Korir River. Kalabuto no longer needed to rely on Elder for trade, and thus continued to prosper while Elder’s growth stagnated.

At present, Sargava’s capital had only three-fourths as many inhabitants as Kalabuto. Despite its smaller population, however, it remains a stronghold for the nations political structure. The bulk of Elder’s economy is divided between its shipping industry and the trafficking and processing of gemstones, gold, silver, and salt brought from the mines in the Bandu Hills. Elder’s harbor is huge, perhaps one of the biggest along the southern coast. Enhanced by dredging, it can handle the deep rafts of massive merchant vessels and similar ships too large to travel up the Korir. At the harbor mouth, jetties slow currents and tempestuous waters. They also provide harbormaster a modicum of power over ship entering and leaving port. Within the harbor, a sprawling array of granite block piers provides docking for ships almost every size from a dozen different countries. Vessels docket there run the gamut from huge merchant galleys to tiny fishing boats belonging to tribesmen.

Elder’s architecture readily displays its Chelish roots, though it has evolved to accommodate Sargava’s far warmer clime. Rooftops are designed to collect rainwater, rather than brush away wind and snow, while open courtyards pull in cooling drafts. Trading company warehouses and shipyards offset the homes of early settlers with their plain, but practical, construction. A large wall of weathered stone encircles properties around the harbor, isolating them from the remainder of the city. Beyond the wall, a noticeable shift in construction style occurs, as Chelish colonial-style buildings give way to thousands of crudely constructed mud-daub huts. These house Elder’s impoverished Zenj, who live off meager wages earned working as day laborers or menial labor for various trading companies, picking pineapples, fishing, or mining. This ruthless class division is the source of much tension between Elder’s wealthier colonials and its indigenous peoples.

Would-be adventurers who arrive in Elder quickly discover the underlying resentment colonials bear toward their profession. Such sentiment is particularly strong in the district of New Haliad. The Lady Madrona Daugustana Actively campaigns against adventurers, damning them as “thrill seeking addlepates” and “would-be liberators come to rile up the natives.” Beyond the nuisance of their carousing debauchery, adventurers have an uncanny knack for angering indigenous tribesfolk, who cannot tell the difference between a cultured colonial noble and a sword swinging Pathfinder. Elder’s militia has swift orders to approach any who stink of adventuring and give them a few hard-and-fast warnings about haw to behave in their city, as well as threaten them with steep fines and a shackled visit to a putrid bilge of a holding cell in Grallus Lock (Slave Pens) should they prove unable to abide by the laws of decent society.

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