Golarion date 15 Abadius 4711AR
They explored the bone covered island and found evidence of a lot of crocodile bones and other creatures. The primordial giant croc’s lair was in the alcove on the north side of the island, but unfortunately it did not hoard any treasure.
Over the next 2 days Mastuuk and the Pathfinders began studying the cleared trade district. Mastuuk was able to piece together from archeological studies that the obelisk on the pyramid could be activated somehow with a ritual. Either sprinkling the stones of the ziggurat with at least 50 gp worth of powdered gemstones, channel energy into the spear (requires one use of channel energy from a cleric who worships a deity associated with trade or wealth), or perform a 1-hour ritual involving counting money and polishing jewelry.
On the third day they decided to investigate the small keep on the pillar of rock across the water on the southern side of the trade district. The keep appeared to have been positioned to keep an eye on the approaches to the city on this side of the valley. Joque and Teyla began swimming across, Mastuuk cast a fly spell on Drasheen and Zelshee who carried the skinny mage.
When they were half way across, Drasheen spotted 3 creatures peering at them from the ruins of the top of the keeps one large tower. Soon enough she realized it was one creature with 3 heads, a dragon head, a lion head, and a goats head all attached to a winged lions body. As the chimera launched itself from the top of it’s tower, it’s two companions soon followed. As the 3 chimera attacked the interlopers, breathing acid or noxious gas, the group retreated for the shore.
Zelshee tried to make a stand on the shore but was soon overwhelmed and mauled. Drasheen tried to fly at full speed into the ruined doorway of a house, but missed and hit the wall knocking her unconscious. Mastuuk went invisible and summoned a hound archon which was able to distract the critters for a while. Teyla finally made it to shore, and fought valiantly but was also overwhelmed and mauled. Joque tried for shore but was nearly grabbed and fled back into the water. The archon managed to finish off one of the wounded chimera, but soon the summon duration ran out and the archon disappeared. Mastuuk was able to get a few spells off, but was cornered in the ruined building where he had taken refuge when Joque came to the rescue and finished off the last one from behind.
Joque was able to get a wand of curing to work on Drasheen who then healed the mauled warriors and they all celebrated yet another narrow brush with death.
Investigating the ruined keep they found the chimeras had probably laired there for quite some time. They found a hoard of treasure and the skeletal remains of a human which had been burned with acid and then eaten. In his magical satchel they found spell books, a wand, and a fancy amulet with the familiar Aspis Consortium symbol. The name Edran Lekadnus was inscribed in the spell books.
Returning to camp with their loot, they decided to pay a visit to the Consortium camp with their find. The Aspis thugs were not too happy to see Pathfinders in their camp, but when Mastuuk pulled out the symbol Ishirou took them to Dargan Etters. They found Dargan in a sumptuous tent dressed in silk finery. Dargan smoothly welcomed them while somehow implying an unspoken threat. They showed him the symbol they had found and told him about the body and mentioned the name Edran Lekadnus. Mastuuk’s pathological compulsion to lie kicked in as he tried to hide details requested by Dargan. Dargan told them that only 4 men in the world would have that Aspis symbol, and they were high ranking members of the Consortium. One of them was a wizard named Edran Lekadnus, but he had been missing for 10 years. Edran was last known to be operating in Bloodcove but had disappeared.
Dargan spoke with Drasheen about the Consortium members she had killed in the attack on the Pathfinder camp. He managed to imply that the group would only leave alive with his permission, all while seeming the gracious host. Dargan soon tired of toying with them, and allowed them to leave. He had made his point.
They returned to the Pathfinder camp and discussed their next move. The lure of the cave under the sinkhole near the ziggurat called.
From the journal of Mastuuk Venso
16 Abadius 4711AR
I have finally begun my study of the City, fully engaged and without distraction. The obelisks truly are powerful artifacts activated by simple rituals. What these magics do is another story and I have not quite uncovered those secrets. Unfortunately, my companions grow tired of research and find it monotonous. I do not understand but I know enough to keep them engaged and to channel their energies properly, and away from my work. We decided to explore the island fortress and determine what was housed in its spire. At first, this seemed a mistake as we were nearly overwhelmed by three great chimera. If not for my powerful summoning spells we would have spent eternity in this great City. My Archon is a powerful ally, especially against the great evils which reside in the brains of these beasts. He finished one of the beasts and my other magics softened the others. Joque dealt the final blow to the beast who had me corned and I thank him for that.
Once inside their lair, we found little except for the remains of a Consortium member. Edran Lekadnus, it turns out, was a great leader of the Aspis and a powerful mage. A handy haversack full of powerful magics and two spellbooks! I will have to delay my further investigations of the trade district to examine these books. Perhaps I will survive the shortage of spells after all!
From the Log of Jocque Tarr
I am the weak link in the chain of our crew. This got proven again today. I spent most of the battle with these Chimera horrors swimming for my life. Mastuuk seems to be able to bring all kinds of allies in to help us. Drasheen throws her own fate to the winds in order to heal our battle wounds in mid combat. Zelshee fights like a lion and Teyla like a tiger. In the midst of lightnings, clashing weapons, and the appearance and disappearance of strange beasts growling and tearing into the things that attack us I swim in circles!!!
Out of all the people here I should truely be somewhere else. And yet, my hands shaking with every move I have helped them. And when I wanted to run and hide, I came back. And when all seemed lost, my sword hit some vital part of yet another monstrosity and dropped it in a stinking heap at the very feet of the one it was about to kill. Again, I wonder. Am I being aided and my shaking hands guided by something from beyond this time and place I am scrabbling through? Could some diety be helping us and me in particular? I am wet and stinking of fear but we are all still alive and here and to some extent because I find myself able to move when I am frozen in terror and confusion.
I am exhausted and my head hurts from thinking about these things. I hope the others didn’t see me hesitating to come back. The only reason I keep on going at this point is that I know I would be haunted to the end of my days with the way their eyes might look on me if I didn’t. Mastuuk thanked me when he walked out of that building today. I wonder what he would say if he knew just how close I came to not coming up the beach at all.
Just yesterday I was thinking that my mother would not believe it if I got killed doing some of these things. Today, I wonder if she could believe it if she knew how I felt about these people and about how I would feel if I ran. What an insane thought. Where would I run to?
Got to get well and stay in back. Repeat after me…. stay in back, stay in back, stay in back….
Note from Zelshee Venso
Looking death in the face once again!! Years ago, Mastuuk showed me a picture of a 3 headed creature. I laughed so hard. I thought he was just toying with me. I was so very wrong! Not only did these creatures have 3 heads, but they breathed acid / fire / gas / smoke. I think all at the same time! How did we not know these things were here?? They were big. How could we miss them?
I went down soon after the fight began. I don’t even know how to kill one of these things if we ever run across another! Once again, Joque saved my big axe! Because of him and Mastuuk, I live on to fight another day…
We (they) killed the creatures. So we were able to get into the keep. Besides making sure there weren’t any more – we didn’t find anything very interesting. Although, Mastuuk was happy at our findings. Mostly it was a waste of time We did find a dead Aspis guy. And a lot of gold. And a spell book. But nothing really interesting. No weapons of any kind. Nothing a real adventurer can use.
I thought it would be a good idea to inform Dargan of the dead Aspis. Probably not one of my better ideas. He just so evil. And he wasn’t real happy about us dropping by for a visit. Not after that little fight involving Drasheen a few days ago. He had to strut around, show us who was boss, who’s better at intimidating (him), before he would ‘let’ us leave. The egos in each camp around here are MASSIVE and MANY!
Next is the pyramid. Mastuuk said that some kind of ritual could be performed to activate the obelisk on the pyramid. What does that mean? Can all the pyramids be activated? What happens when one is? What would happen if they ALL were?
What would happen if we just went home?
From the Journal of Drasheen Rettig
Again I say this is a scarey place! And again as I close my eyes I see dragons, lions and goat heads flying towards us spuning acid, fire and noxious gas as us. Its just hard to imagine such things, because they are true!! I find myself shaking myself and saying don’t think of such things just keep praying and keep moving. Then we meet a man by the name of Dargan and I can see why we do these things tho keep the likes of him taking over. He was so arogant and full of himself and gave us all such a hard time. I wanted to punch him…yeh…more than once. But we were on a mission of compassion to return the Aspis Consortium symbot of Edran Lekednus the remains of the dead man we found so I held back and calmed down for the good of the party, but Zelshee, she almost lost it. Mastuuk has been getting more engrossed in the findings and learning the secrets of this place its hard to get him to move on. And Joque, ohmy gosh if it weren’t for him I would be dead once again. He thinks he is not brave but he is truely brave!!
If I think about this all musch longer I’ll get some rest…just close your eyes and pray Drasheen just pray.