Serpent's Skull

Settling In

There goes the neighborhood

Golarion date 5 Abadius 4711AR

There was much discussion about where to explore and where to pick for a campsite for the large expedition. Before going anywhere, they opened the coffer they had found in the stash next to the skeletal remains of the half-orc Pathfinder. In the box were 3 mithral spearheads, a handful of uncut zircons, a magical ring, and a bunch of old Azlanti coins. Eventually they wandered back to the trade district they had already visited and decided to clear out the Keches.

Joque snuck up to the large building surrounded by monkey men skulls on stakes and saw that the windows were blocked with branches behind which he spied a pair of glittering eyes watching. He returned to the group and they entered the building weapons at the ready. Zelshee, who was in the lead got ambushed by two Keches who were waiting for her in the dark. They tore at her silently with claws and teeth. As battle erupted inside, Mastuuk started casting summoning spells while flying just off the ground outside. He was surprised when Keches started jumping off the roof and mauling him. Flying up to get away, 3 more Keches leaped off the roof and grappled him pulling him to the ground (they were apparently very good jumpers!). He was pinned and mauled nearly to death, kept alive by channeling from Drasheen and eventually saved by Teyla and Joque. When the battle finished Mastuuk was a bloody mess, but the others weren’t too bad off. They explored the building and found some treasure the Keches had gathered, a potion of protection from arrows, a salve of slipperiness, a wand of charm animals, and some valuables and coin.

Exploring further, they spotted a muddy island in a teardrop shaped lake of murky waters in the northwest corner. The island was covered in cracked bones. Most of the buildings in the district were empty, but there were signs of animals: spoor, chewed bones, scratch marks. In one building they found 5 small dinosaurs scavenging for food, but a well placed spell that summoned a field of black tentacles from Mastuuk took care of them. Deciding they wanted to set up camp in this area, they returned to the Pathfinders.

Making their suggestion to Amivor Glaur, he was not thrilled with the idea of setting up camp a half mile into the city in a district overrun by monsters. He was especially worried about the bone covered island they wanted to camp next to. He pointed out they needed to establish a supply line to the outside world, and putting a half mile of haunted city between them and the only exit from the valley was not a great idea. Eventually they agreed on a spot just at the edge of the ruins and began to set up a long term camp.

Meanwhile, scouts reported that the Aspis expedition was entering the valley. Zelshee, Joque, and Teyla went to speak with them. They talked to Dargan Etters and Ishirou, and found Dargan intended to loot the city. Dargan made Zelshee uneasy, and when she checked she could detect the evil aura around him and his men. Ishirou warned them not to cause trouble because Dargan was a powerful sorceror.

Over the next few days the Pathfinders began surveying the city, and Drasheen enchanted some of their weapons with prayers to her god. Mastuuk studied the journal fragments they found near the ghost and determined the ghost was that of Nareem Daress, a survivor of the Pathfinders Alithorpe Expedition lost 200 years ago far to the west. Apparently Nareem had convinced some companions to flee when the expedtion was attacked and wiped out by an ambush of soldiers of the Gorilla King and lost their charau-ka pursuers when they stumbled into Savinth-Yhi. Wanting to claim the treasure and glory of finding Savinth-Yhi to himself, Nareem led his companions into a nest of monstrous fire ants killing them all. The last entry indicated Nareem was leaving the next day with his treasure and glory. Apparently his plans didn’t go so well considering his current ghostly condition…

From the Log of Jocque Tarr

Our encounter with the Keches was interesting. They are deadly silent killers with amazing powers. I think I was almost as amazed as Mastuuk to find him buried under a pile of them. He has been able to side step, slip away from and fly away from most of the things that have attacked us on our journey but he is really feeling the heat here in Savinth-Yhi. This is the second time in two days that he has found himself near death. What scares me is that he is the smartest guy in the team and maybe one of the most powerful.

That encounter with Ishirou and Dargan Etters was interesting too. I could tell from the way Zelshee reacted to Etters that he may be as deadly as some of the Mantis people and just as set on personal gain at the expense of everyone and everything around them. I guess I never realized the nature of the Aspis guys until now. We are going to have to really watch ourselves because if Savinth-Yhi doesn’t kill us first we may find ourselves up against two sophisticated teams of killers who will try to finish the job and leave our bodies in the ruins.

We told Ishirou that he has an “out” with us but he is probably afraid to take it at this point.

Our only hope is to find whatever it is we have to find to stop Ieana from doing whatever she is intending to do here and get away quickly. Then we can leave the killers to each other. I think I am going to have to watch Mastuuk and Teyla pretty closely. They are the most likely to get themselves enthralled with something here in the ruins that they will not drop and run when the time comes. I wish I was smarter and better. But even I know that gold and glory are not much good if you are dead. I can only hope the other guys see that as well. Things are getting really thick and sticky really quick.

From the Journal of Drasheen Rettig

After hours of paryer and meditation the images of Masuuk almost dying once again haunt my thougts, but the way Zelshee looked at Dargan Etters has me speachless. The evil from Dargan was unmistakeable, we will have to deal with him later.
To our surprise the Keches were not just quick, quiet and work in the dark very well but they can run and jump at an amazing speed. When Mastuuk started flying upward I thought how cleaver but then the keches jumped from the roof and attacked him and nearly ripped him apart.
I do feel a bit more secure now that our camp had been set. Being able to enhanse some of our weapons is giving me great pleasure, but not being able to seach with the party has me worried and at time distracted. Faith…more prayers…meditation.

Notes of Zelshee Venso

What an interesting place this is. Scary, yes! But so many things to discover. Just think of it – a city thousands of years old, just setting here, practically intact! Imagine the evil creatures that dwell here. Evil, undead minions of a long dead wizard or sorcerer. Or the worshipers of an evil god or goddess. It actually makes me Giddy thinking of all the evil that needs my axe! In Iomedae’s name I will seek out all the evil in this place. Let Mastuuk have his books and scrolls and wall paintings. Let the others have the gold and riches that they find. I want to find the dead and undead and living evil that abides here. I want to go into each building, each room, each bone covered island and bring justice with my axe.
I had a dream that Iomedae favored my axe for just that purpose!
It started with the sneaky Keches. There were so many of them. But we easily dispatched them.(Unless your name is Mastuuk). BY THE GODS!! He may be the smart one in the family – but he’s not the lucky one!!
I think we must all be very wary of Dargon Etters. He has me more scared than Ieanna, at this time. He’s here now! And he’s looking for things that will make him more powerful. I truly believe those things can be found here in this city. We must find them before he does. He is evil, that much is unmistakable! What if he does become more powerful, because of what he finds here, and then allies himself with HER!! And what deal has he struck with the Mantis? We must beat him to that end too.
I feel the gods have put us all in this place for a special reason. I know why Iomedae has sent me. To be her instrument of justice! Why are they others here? I think each must determine that for themselves. And then perhaps, we will have great success in our entire quest!

From the journal of Mastuuk Venso

5 Abadius 4711AR

Nareem Daress, so far from his appointed task yet willing to do anything to share his discovery with the world. He embodies the core of the Pathfinder, although slightly corrupted. It will be difficult to determine precisely how to get rid of his haunting spirit. He was killed trying to share the discovery of Savinth-Yhi with the world. Perhaps it’s as simple as acknowledging his part in the return of this lost treasure. But things are rarely as simple as they seem at first blush.

This city is dangerous and unforgiving. We were to charge ahead so as to most efficiently explore the ruins but Amivor sued for caution and we relented because he is experienced with large expedition groups. If it were just us, I would not worry so much about supply lines and such. I intend to carefully watch Amivor and follow his advice so that one day I can be the expedition lead on a great discovery!



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