Kingmaker

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk

Moonday, Pharast 14, 4711

Chief Sootscale holds the statue in his hands with a fierce look of concentration, as if he were making a particularly difficult decision. Finally, he shrieks in triumph, holds the statue over his head, and then smashes it down onto the ground, shattering it. The other kobolds in the room freeze in shock while Sootscale, a frantic grin on his snout, thanks the PCs for “freeing us from this curse” and then encourages them to come with him to “kill the usurper.”

Switching to the Draconic language, Chief Sootscale repeats the command which you assume is “Kill the Usurper!” The remaining Kobolds look at each other and then after a brief hesitation Nakpik and Mikmek echo the Chief’s cry and lead a charge out of the southeast exit and turn south.

The party is caught by surprise and most of the kobolds are already out of the room before the PCs compose themselves to react. As the PCs follow the kobolds south towards Tartuk’s chambers, the passage turns east. As the heroes take in the room before them, they see the most terrifying image they have ever seen.

The walls of this cavern are decorated by a rickety wooden frame formed from clean-cut branches lashed together with gut and twine. Banners cut from two-foot-wide strips of old blankets and horsehides hang from floor to ceiling, covering much of the walls. The sloppily painted banners bear dozens of primitive icons and mystic symbols. A large cauldron filled with bubbling red liquid boils in the center of the room.

In the back of the room a translucent kobold hovers above the floor with a pale purple coloration that you immediately guess is the terrifying ghostly image of the evil Shaman, Tartuk holding a wand in one hand and a glowing sickle in the other. On the wooden frame above Tartuk you see a large Raven whom you assume is Tickbiter. At Tartuk’s feet you see a Shadow Drake. But before you can fully concentrate on Tartuk, you take in the fate of the Kobold rebellion. Nakpik lies dead on the floor with arrows in his chest. Mikmek is on the floor muttering that he is cursed. His once black scales are colored yellow and he looks like he has some disease or plague. A twisting pattern of subtle, shifting colors weaves through the air, and the remaining kobolds including the Chief appear to be staring at the swirling colors as if fascinated by their beauty.

Anod and Cornath, being accustomed to checking your six, glance north and feel the hair on the arms and neck rise. They see the statue of Old Sharptooth floating towards them slowly.

Brixton
Anod
Cornath
Momo
Tartuk
Shadow Drake

Tartuk.jpg

GM Note: Nevermind about action economy or Divination getting to act in a surprise round or whatever. This is what happened through accident or divine intervention. ;)


Brixton

Drawing his sword and ignoring what for other men would be a terrifying visage, the Sword of the Black Cathedral advances towards Tartuk with a grim look. Angered at the shaman’s mockery of life and the slaughter of the kobolds Brixton offers a prayer to Erastil and asks him to help purge this insult to Erastil’s Glory and to enact vengeance for his new friends. Confident in the blessings of Erastil, the knight was certain that his blade would cut deep.

Anod

The wizard again recognized the value of allies and saw how effective Elly was recently. Advancing behind Brixton, and pulling out his wand, he began the incantations and gestures that would summon aid. It also placed Cornath directly in the path of Old Sharptooth but the capable Halfling had proven his worth dozens of times and the Diviner saw no reason this time would be different.

Cornath

“Uh Anod? Can you cast dispel or something?” says Cornath as he shudders. Thinking he may need a little more humph to “prove his worth,” Cornath pulls his Halfling Sling Staff closer and touching the knotted strap whispers “Shillelagh na miña correa con n” in Halfling.

Momo

With both Anod and Tartuk weaving magic around him, Momo the Deft thought of his father’s favorite saying when confronted with sorcery, “A stout blade is a hearty incantation.” Striding with Brixton, Momo eyed the cauldron wondering if it had some effect or hold on the kobolds. “What might happen if it were tipped over” the Swordlord wondered.

Tartuk

Tartuk in a language no one recognizes begins waving his own wand, weaving patterns in the air as if a script of fell words directed at Momo. The sword smith hesitated a moment seeing the dreadful, terrible symbols for what they were.

Tartuk casts Cause Fear from his wand. Momo has a +1 Will save and as a 2nd level Fighter also has Bravery for an additional +1. The save DC is 15. Momo rolls a a 16 for a total of 18 and makes his Fear save.

momosaves.jpg

Troubled by his doubts, Momo grips his sword tightly and plants his feet firmly underneath him but the sudden wave of adrenaline at avoiding whatever calamity Tartuk imagined for him leaves him shaken.

Momo is “Shaken” for one round. A shaken character takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks.

The Shadow Drake

With the party still quite distant and fresh meat so tantalizing close, the Shadow Drake inflicts a coup de grace on a nearly Kobold and eyes Brixton with blood dripping from its fangs.

Old Sharptooth

The statue, still hovering in mid air, moves no further towards Cornath, but waves from side to side and back and forth. Is it possible it’s casting a spell? Cornath isn’t sure what to make of these actions. “Where is Anod when you need him?” wonders the Ranger.

Round 2

Brixton

Pushing his way through the pacified kobolds, Brixton advances cautiously, ready for any attack.

Brixton gains the benefits of Total defense which adds +4 to AC.

anodnext.jpg

Anod

Summoning the Earth Elemental near the Drake, Anod pushes farther into Tartuk’s lair to get a shot off at the evil . . . ghost? Kobold? Something else?

Cast Jolt.
Attack Roll 3
A Miss.

Elly

An earth elemental rises up out of the dirt near the Drake and moves towards Tartuk. He attacks the Sorceror.

Attack Roll 11
A miss.

Elly_and_Anod_attack.jpg

Cornath

Rushing past Anod, Cornath says, “Anod there’s something behind you. You should check it out.” Cornath rushes into position to fire his sling stone at something tangible.

Cornath fires at the Shadow Drake.

cornathhits.jpg

The Shadow Drake takes 7 points of damage.

Momo

Hoping that the kettle has something to do with the hold on the Kobolds, Momo struggles through the crowd to tip it over. Impeded by the lifeless kobolds, Momo ends up with the Kettle only 5 feet away.

Tartuk

Taking out a second Wand, Tartuk fires three Magic Missiles at the Earth Elemental.

GM NOTE: I made a couple of mistakes here. First, when I read the entry for Tartuk. Under the section called “During Combat” it reads, “Tartuk uses his Wand and Cause Fear. . .” I read that mistakenly as “Tartuk uses his Wand of Cause Fear.” So that’s why Tartuk cast Cause Fear in Round 1 against Momo. He should have used his Magic Missile Wand. So this version of Tartuk happened to have a one charge Cause Fear wand lying around.

The second mistake is I rolled a to hit roll for the Magic Missiles (the 13 on the screen shot). Magic Missiles don’t need a roll. They auto hit. So ignore the 13. Tartuk just fired three Magic Missiles and did 9 points of damage to Elly.

magicmissiles.jpg

The Shadow Drake

The Shadow Drake makes two attacks on Elly

A melee Bite and a Tail Slap. He strikes twice and hits for 4 points of damage. Alas poor Elly is no more.

Round 3

Brixton of the Black Cathedral

Pushing his way through the Kobolds, Brixton manages to get next to Tartuk and bring down his sword with terrible fury.

brixtonhits.jpg

Tartuk takes 14 points of damage.

Anod next

Turning and staring directly at the wavering statue, Anod cannot fathom what exactly the object is or is doing.

anodarcanacheck.jpg

brixtonattacks.jpg

Cornath

Cornath, determined to let Anod deal with the flying statue, runs toward the room to face Tartuk. Both the statue and Tartuk appear ghostly, but at least with Tartuk, he won’t be alone!

Firing at the Shadow Drake, Cornath’s sling flies out . . .

cornathfires.jpg

The Halfling sniper misses!

Momo

GM Note: Sorry guys. I’ve lost this post twice now. I had a detailed write up with screen shots and a little exposition, but the site is eating my stuff. I usually do this on Word and then copy/paste it here just to prevent this sort of mistake but the one time I didn’t . . . .

So here is the skinny version.

Momo

You tipped over the cauldron with your STR roll, took 2 points of non lethal damage and 3 points of lethal damage. It is too early to tell if the cauldron is the source of the red mist swirling through the room, but your first guess, is that the mist is dissipating.

Tartuk

Takes a 5 foot step back and begins to cast.

Shadow Drake

Also takes a 5 foot step back and breathes a cold breath onto Momo and Brixton. Both make their Reflex save for half damage. They each take 4 points of cold damage.

Old Sharptooth

The motions of the statue are becoming increasing more violent and it even appears as if the statue is beginning to come apart.

Round 3

round3tartuk.jpg

Brixton

Coward! Knave! What sort of blackguard retreats from noble combat to cast spells? Tartuk has no honor. Satisfied that Tartuk will soon be dead, Brixton refocuses his fury on the Shadow Drake.

brixtonattack.jpg

The Drake takes 13 points of damage and has now taken a total of 20 points of damage.

Just as a reminder. Here is the Initiative order. Anod is up next.

Brixton
Anod
Cornath
Momo
Tartuk
Shadow Drake

Anod

Anod turns towards the statue of Old Sharptooth and studies his foe intently. Still hovering above the ground and shaking violently, Anod grips his staff tightly and awaits whatever fell effect is about to be conjured by the mysterious statue.

Anod is in Total Defense.

Cornath

Cornath shouts out, “Finish the dragon!”

Momo reorients towards Tartuk after spilling the pot. “Dragon” he wonders. “What dragon?
That thing isn’t even a big dog.”

Cornath shoots at the terrifyingly small “dragon.”

cornathhitsbrixton.jpg

Cornath hits Brixton on the back of the head doing 1 hp of non lethal damage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtBBTxnk664

Momo

With alacrity fueled by years of drilling, Momo moves to the east of the large Knight and strikes at the Drake.

Momo hits and finishes the remaining few hit points the Drake had. The Shadow Drake is dead.

As Brixton and Momo turn their attention to Tartuk, the Kobolds writhing and transfixed begin to emerge from their stupor. The spell has been broken.

Momo shouts, “You will pay for what you have done to this tribe!”

Tartuk snears, “You think them victims do you? Victims? I see no victims. Look down there. Tell me, would you really feel any pity if one of those pathetic creatures stopped moving forever? I think not.”

Looking past the two warriors Tartuk studies the Halfling and the Diviner. “Perhaps, it would be a close fight . . . you appear confident. Skilled even. But I have no time for this. I will leave you to the Stag Lord. I have what I needed.”

Tartuk disappears!

Comments

Brixton advances towards the ghostly visage of Tartuk (Three space east one space north east). Angered at the shaman’s mockery of life and the slaughter of the kobolds Brixton offers a prayer to Erastil and asks him to help purge this insult to Erastil’s Glory and to enact vengeance for his new friends (smite evil).

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Brixton remember you have a movement, a standard action, and a quick action each turn. If you have your standard left over you can “ready” an action. So you moved, you used your quick action to smite Tartuk, and you can still ready an action. When you ready an action you declare the triggering event and what you want to do. You are limited to things that can be done with a standard action. In this case, you could say “I will ready an action to attack the first enemy that is in my threat range.” If a creature then attacked you you would interrupt its action and attack it when it moved adjacent to you.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

As for Anod’s turn I am not sure where Brixton ended up. Anod would like to move forward and color spray the Drake and Tartuk but I think Brixton has positioned himself in the square I need to reach the Drake. (Tartuk is too far away.)

Instead I will use a charge from the summon wand. So – Casting Summon Monster – Full round action. 5-foot step into the space vacated by Brioxton

As a metagame warning the result of Sootscales attack suggest a color spray was used. Remember this when positioning yourself. If you stand next to someone you invite the AoE. Since Brixton has blocked the passage we are “safe” from that for this turn.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

I thought smite evil was a standard action. I’ll ready an action to attack thefirst enemy that enter my threat range.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Momo surmises that the bubbling cauldron may have some effect on the spells being cast and the fascination of the kobolds. Momo moves up next to Brixton. Momo plans to move forward, engage, with the first priority to kick over the cauldron (preferably onto Tartuk).

Momo is taking a side trek to Peru for 2 weeks. I turn over Momo to Anod/Fafrac to run.

Long live Momo!

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Hey Everyone, with Mark out of town, CJ on a camping trip and me once again relapsing into my LOTRO addiction (Mordor will come out in a few weeks), I let this adventure slip a bit just when the confrontation with Tartuk started. CJ is now back, so we have 3 and here we go again.

Reminder, Anod can only move 20 feet per round with his bad ankle. With all of the Kobolds fascinated by the red swirling colors, the east/west line immediately north of Brixton will be considered “Hampered Movement” (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/alignment-description/movement/#Table-Hampered-Movement). You move at half speed and cannot charge.

CJ you asked me what the “D” was on the map. That is a Shadow Drake (see text above) that is at Tartuk’s feet.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Brixton moves one space east and one space north east and then readies uses his next standard action for total defense.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Drop the elemental in the space due south of the drake. Direct the elemental to attack Tartuk. So elemental will 5-ft step to Tartuk and attack ( + 7 hit 1d6+4).

Anod will move 10 feet to the right and Jolt Tartuk (+1 atk (touch AC) 1d3)

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Cornath moves to the space west of Momo and attempts to shoots at the Drake

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Brixton moves to the left of the dragon and power attacks Tartuk.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Brixton PA with smite should be +11 damage I think if PA is +9 normally.

Anod will fight defensively while using spellcraft or knowledge arcana to understand what the image behind us is.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

DOH you are right. I didn’t include the Smite. 16 damage.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

As I read this page:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/skills/knowledge/

You only get one attempt at a KS: Arcana check.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Typically that is true for knowledge skills but different knowledge skills might work. Perhaps not in this case but you could have an item that arcana or planes knowledge might answer.

Since a skill check can take no time Anod could test both Knowledge Arcana and Spellcraft. Based on the success learn different sets of information. You could also just scan the character and take his best skill. SO if Knowledge Arcana was the skill to use the GM would roll that as soon as Anod saw the floating statue. (You could also rule a player needs to be within 10 feet to roll or some other trigger.)

So you have 2 paths to use either a player has to initiate an action to use the skill to gain knowledge. (I tend to use this path.) Or the knowledge passes to the player passively as the GM roll the skills without player requesting it and shares the information based on the success of the roll. The first allows the player to control fate a bit and make more decisions while the second is more realistic.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Cornath shoots at the shadow drake again

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Momo is convinced that the cauldron is entrancing the kobolds and may be the summoning point for Old Sharptooth. Momo jams his sword underneath the cauldron as a lever, and puts his clothed shoulder and forearm onto the rim, and heaves to tip the cauldron over.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Momo will sustain damage as needed, within reason, to ensure the cauldron goes over!

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Brixton raises his sword once more and delivers another power attack to Tartuk.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

B- Tartuk took a 5 foot and the dragon took a 5 foot. You are no longer close enough to Tartuk.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Broxton will attack the dragon instead.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

I think the shadow image is a red herring since (metagaming) it does not appear on the initiative order. Anod will go total defense toward the approaching shadow thing and reserve a action to attack with his staff if the image attacks or enemy gets adjacent to Anod.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

I am not sure how that would work. Isn’t a “Total Defense” action a Standard Action that provides a + 4 Dodge Bonus to your AC for one round? So when you reserve an action haven’t you already committed your Standard Action to defense? Can you reserve a Move Action or a Swift Action or something? I am not exactly sure how to interpret “Total Defense” and “reserve an action.”

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

“Finish this Dragon!”
Cornath shoots at the shadow drake

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Sorry I missed this. I usually get notifications. I must have accidentally deleted it or something. My apologies.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Momo moves forward to engage all the while thinking….who’s first…..dragon or Tartuk…..dragon or Tartuk….dragon or Tartuk…..don’t frankly care. Whatever gets in the way of my blade is done.

Engage….

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

If attacked Anod would have a +2 AC. Anod would then get an action to attack back at a -2 to hit due to the defensive fighting. (It might be -4 I would have to look it up).

Defensive fighting is a standard attack action that allows you to attack at +2 AC with a -2 (or -4) to hit. Total Defense is a full-round attack with an AC bonus and to hit penalty.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Hmm . . . as I look at the map, this means Momo attacks Brixton? That’s weird. ;)

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Here are the two I am aware of. The part that confused me was you used the phrasing “total defense” in your post. So it sounds like you wanted to fight defensively instead (- 4 / + 2).

Total Defense
You can defend yourself as a standard action. You get a +4 dodge bonus to your AC for 1 round. Your AC improves at the start of this action. You can’t combine total defense with fighting defensively or with the benefit of the Combat Expertise feat. You can’t make attacks of opportunity while using total defense.

Fighting Defensively as a Standard Action
You can choose to fight defensively when attacking. If you do so, you take a –4 penalty on all attacks in a round to gain a +2 to AC until the start of your next turn.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

Disappears! Like puff of smoke and is gone disappears? Like Obi-Wan Kenobi when Vader strikes him down disappears?

I disbelieve….then look for secret doors….then search for treasure….

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
 

More like the former. No one “struck him down.”

Disbelieving works. You awake in the Holodeck. The ship is under Red Alert. The secret door opens the hologate and you return to the ship’s corridors. There is gold in your star fleet communicator and the single hollow pip designating you as an ensign on your collar.

Oh I should also mention that the statue of Old Sharptooth floating near Anod crashes to the ground when Tartuk vanished and lies broken and motionless on the ground.

The Ghostly Image of Tartuk
Fafrac

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.