A Sojourn in Sairundan [Judge: Manzanita]

Rae ArdGaoth

The Letter:


Your brother Rais has returned from his travels, and he will soon become a Dervish of the Sairundan! He need only pass the Test of the Fifteen Winds. Your brother and I wish for you to attend his Dervish trials, it will be a grand celebration. Six full moons from the writing of this letter is when the trials shall take place. It has been two years since you left us, and my heart aches from the absence of my daughter. I hope you will return to us for this momentous event.

But you must be warned: The deserts are dangerous, and the fire clans of the east are encroaching on our trade routes. Should you choose to come home, as I hope you do, you must not travel alone. If you have received this, you will have met my old friend Joe Smith of the Red Dragon Inn. I have sent four small kegs of Sairundani Stormbrew and two bottles of Nimbusad, a rare wine bottled at the edge of the world. They would catch a fair price anywhere, and if I know Joe he will offer more than their value. Take his coin and hire an escort. The Red Dragon Inn's reputation has reached even here, I am sure you will find several able bodied warriors who will assist you on your journey.

One worry you no longer need dwell upon is being bound by the Hurakan tradition to a son of Typhoon. Sabil has had his two years to find his daughter, and she has not returned. Kaida yn Jamil will marry Abdar ai Typhoon. She is absolutely enamored with her husband-to-be, and even Sabil has found some joy in celebrating their happy union.

Should you choose to stay in the wetlands, your family understands. If that is the case, spend the coin wisely.

May your heart be as strong and your blades as swift as the wind,
~ Hayder ai Hurakan


The sky outside the Red Dragon Inn is clear as far as the eye can see. It is near midday in the middle of the summer. The sun is shining brightly overhead as Shadya and her hired escort of adventurers walk the streets of Orussus. Perhaps it is not the best time to venture into the desert, but there is no time to waste: the letter took many weeks to arrive, and the journey from Orussus to Sairundan is long.

But before the group sets out, there are plans to be made and supplies to be bought...
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Rae ArdGaoth

The Rules Spiel

Greetings everyone! Please post a link to your character sheet in your first post. Select your prepared spells as though you have just rested and put them in the first post as well, even if they're listed on your sheet. Also, list your total Listen, Spot, Sense Motive, and Initiative modifiers.

Please use Invisible Castle to roll for your character. Use your character's first name or some other name easily identified with your character. I will always roll for your Sense Motive and Initiative checks, and I'll sometimes roll for your Listen or Spot checks. Other than those exceptions, please roll your own dice. It slows me down if I have to roll for NPCs and PCs. Put your math for each roll in the comment section on IC, and during combat put the round number in there as well. I roll under the name "DM Rae". Secret rolls are made under another (secret!) name, so feel free to check up on me to make sure I'm doing adding all the right modifiers.

I like it when players put the name, class, and level of their character as the title of every post. It helps me keep track of what's going on. If you're feeling motivated, you can put your current AC and HP up there as well. I trust you to keep track of your own status. That means your HP, your ammunition, your spells remaining, your power points left, wand charges, etc. For tracking purposes, it helps to decrement the total when you roll in IC. I'll try to keep a record as well.

I attempt to be as meticulous as possible, but I'm only human, so when I make mistakes or you think I've made a mistake, point it out to me. In combat, mistakes are often hard to retcon, so even if an error is made I may simply decide to move on and fix it in the future. So speak up quickly if you think something is amiss!

I request and expect a relatively frequent posting rate from everybody. That means at least four (4) times per week. When even one player posts slowly, it slows the whole game down. (If my posting rate is slow, yell at me to get my act together and call me a hypocrite.) Life in meatspace is hectic, I know, but please take the time to notify us if you're leaving for an extended period of time. When your PC is in my hands, I take no responsibility for any lasting damages inflicted upon him/her, including material loss, death, and mind flaying.

Sblocks specifically addressed to a certain player are not meant to be read. Try to keep all common knowledge outside of sblocks to discourage the habit of opening them willy-nilly. If you do accidentally read an sblock, don't tell me, just pretend like your character doesn't know. I will dock your XP if you are caught using information from a private sblock, even if it was accidental.

Awarded XP (this excludes real-time XP) takes effect during rest time by default, or whenever I want it to. Real-time XP takes place whenever I want it to. If you level mid-adventure, please be prompt in submitting your character for re-approval. I give ad-hoc role-playing XP awards in addition to combat XP awards, so please, role-play!


A Sojourn in Sairundan, the Adventuring Party:
Shadya yn Hayder, Human, Paragon 1 (Solange)
Cludge Slatefist, Dwarf, Fighter 2 (AGFlynn)
Lasair Alant, Human, Telepath 4 (Rystil Arden)
Conuld, Human, Transmuter 1 (Trouvere)
Kurghaz Vuultan, Half-Orc, Cleric Of Taurusk 1 (Phoenix8008)


You may now introduce yourselves, discuss plans amongst each other, and purchase basic supplies.

Rae ArdGaoth

[sblock=Conuld: ]When compared with your other two characters, I can't help but notice Conuld's distinct lack of... well, distinction! Do you have any plans for Conuld, any places you'd like him to go? I see that he has no familiar. I'd like for him to form a bond with a creature he finds in the desert, perhaps a weasel or an falcon that he saves from certain death. It can be any creature you want, not just a desert creature; it will be fate that brings the two together. The cost of binding the familiar can be deducted from Conuld's other material gains. If you're open to this or any other way of developing Conuld, please tell me.[/sblock]
[sblock=Cludge: ]Cludge has no background! I want him to have something to work off of, so let's come up with some possibilities.[/sblock]
[sblock=Lasair: ]As you mentioned, Lasair is the highest level character in this adventure. The best way of compensating for her lack of material gain, I think, is a special magical/psionic item, worth approximately the difference. Ideally, it would be an item with special role-playing significance, to justify her keeping it in-game. Does anything come to mind?[/sblock]
[sblock=Kurghaz: ]Being an emotionally disturbed half-orc, Kurghaz will face some difficult role-playing challenges. There's a real opportunity to shine in the RP department here. Expect Kurghaz to encounter several moral quandaries. Think about his history and his alignment. I want to solidify Kurghaz's erratic personality and discover his true alignment. It may be CN, or it may be something else. I hope you're as excited as I am, and that you'll play along![/sblock]
[sblock=Shadya: ]This adventure is really all about Shadya. Tell me what you want her to get out of it, emotionally, materially, everything, and I'll do my best to accommodate.[/sblock]
[SBLOCK=Lasair]That sounds pretty cool!

Sadly, though, if we're only using XPH items, pretty much all of the Psionic Items in the book are completely worthless, except for the Torc of Power Preservation, which is worth its weight in adamantine twice over but is waaaaay too expensive for this adventure (though I've been joking about getting one since Festival of Halina and had half a mind to save all the cash she made in Niobe's Dilemma to start her savings for one).

Want me to come up with something myself? There are a few things in the XPH that are sort of kind of useful but terribly mispriced (for instance, Psionatrix of Telepathy gives +1 to DCs of Telepathy powers for 8000 gold. But you can just sell it for 4000 and use the money to buy a +2 Circlet of Int and get +1 to all DCs as well as more PP, showing just how stupid the pricing is :()[/SBLOCK]

Rae ArdGaoth

[sblock=Lasair: ]If you want to make something up based on that book, let's compare it to the Wondrous Items in the SRD for pricing. Not having the XPH, I have no idea what kind of items are in it, so I should be unbiased.[/sblock]
[SBLOCK=Lasair]It's all in the SRD. You too can see how utterly terrible the psionic items are for casters :( I'll try to think of something, but right now I can't think of anything non-vanilla that would be easy to balance[/SBLOCK]


Cludge Slatefist, Dwarven Fighter 2 HP:23 AC:15

[sblock=Cludge] Yes, the backstory's coming. I'll have to look at the world guide to fill in the geographical blanks, but in a nutshell this is is his story: Cludge's parents were members of a very entrepreneurial clan in the ____ and decided to start a caravan venture to transport human goods to the dwarves and vice-versa. The business went well for a few years, but eventually they came to financial ruin when it was learned the his uncle Modr had absconded with virtually all of the profits. Disgraced, the family had to go work for other people as (shame!) hired labourers. Cludge wanted none of this, so joined a local militia. After about a year of volunteer service (no active combat) the unit was disbanded. None of the soldiers were paid. So, Cludge, being of generally optimistic demeanour decided to go into business for himself. He pooled his remaining resources, bought a mule, a pickaxe, some buckets and a tent and headed into the mountains. After all, a dwarf is a natural at finding gold and iron....or not.[/sblock]


[sblock=Rae]Lesse, I want a pony, and a billion, no a trillion platinum, and 2 +5 scimitars of Opponent slaying and... and...


Just a little family celebration would be nice, get to know the Sairundan culture a bit more (It has a rich potential, but it's nice to get some of the little things), and some experience, and perhaps Shadya can learn of the trials a bit for when she's ready (or perhaps pass them herself, it doesn't say you have to qualify fully to be a dervish to take them, it's just part of it).

Maybe some kind of family item might be cool, be it a scimitar, some other kind of weapon or armor, or maybe some other useful or just personal trinket.

I also hope to role play celebrations, a chance to dance and sing (as dervishes and the Sairundan people do) and just have fun and explore the character and the world.

Thanks again.[/sblock]

Edit: Adding Requested info.
HP & AC in my sig
Listen & Spot: -1
Sense Motive: 0
Initiative: +3
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Kurgahz Vuultan, Half-Orc Cleric 1 of Taurusk; AC 14, HP 10/10

Rae ArdGaoth said:
[sblock=Kurghaz: ]Being an emotionally disturbed half-orc, Kurghaz will face some difficult role-playing challenges. There's a real opportunity to shine in the RP department here. Expect Kurghaz to encounter several moral quandaries. Think about his history and his alignment. I want to solidify Kurghaz's erratic personality and discover his true alignment. It may be CN, or it may be something else. I hope you're as excited as I am, and that you'll play along![/sblock]
[sblock=DM Rae]Wow! Can't tell you how excited I am to hear this. Sounds great to me! I'll work on solidifying things as well but the forge of adventure will do the best job at pounding out his new form (whatever that may be). Though if he falls away from CN, then he'll be done being a cleric of Taurusk (unless he falls to CE, but I'd not prefer that personally).[/sblock]
Kurgahz has the following stats to start:
Initiative: +0
Listen: +3
Sense Motive: +3
Spot: +3
Cleric Spells readied: (3/2+1 -save DC= 13 + spell level)
0- Create Water, Detect Magic, Purify Food and Drink
1- Cause Fear, Cure Light Wounds, (D)Grease

Posting rate shouldn't be a problem as I usually post at least once a day, but usually not till the evenings.

IC: "Shadya, did I hear right that there might be some money for uss ta buy ssuplies with before we hit da road?" Kurgahz asks as the others begin to file out of the Red Dragon Inn.


"Yes, I need to turn this note from Joe into money, but I should have 40 Dragons for each of you for helping me and for personal supplies. I'll have a budget for group supplies as well, such as a cart or pack horse, and a tarp or two to keep the sun off during midday," Shadya says.

OOC: I'm putting it out to open season for suggestions on group supplies. Spare water, food, and shelter aside, anything we need to purchase?


Conuld, human transmuter 1 (AC 12, HP 6/6)

"Forty dragons!" says Conuld. "That is astonishingly generous... and it saves me no small amount of embarrassment. I volunteered for this journey without considering the parlous state of my finances."
[sblock=Spells Prepared](0) Ray of Frost; Ghost Sound (DC 14); Message; Prestidigitation
(1) Enlarge Person (DC 14); Mage Armor; Color Spray (DC 15)
[/sblock][sblock=Important numbers]Initiative +6; Listen +1; Spot +1; Move Silently +3; Sense Motive +1[/sblock][sblock=DM]Yes, Conuld is a little bit of a cipher, even to me. This was initially somewhat intentional - a no longer very young man, who has spent the last 7 or 8 years helping out in a private library for little more than bed and board, who feels his life has been wasted until now, and begins a transformation when he discovers an aptitude for magic - and is kicked out of his library by an angry employer when he expresses a wish to earn his fortune. But at least in his first adventure, nothing much immediately sprang out at me - he was a little more suspicious than I expected, and showed flashes of anger and frustration with dithering and with being thwarted. There was, in the back of my head, a peasant background for him, which was going to express itself in feelings of inferiority towards the smarter, Chromatic Order-educated Tommy Worthallingham, but really they got on just fine. Yep, I'm perfectly happy with any acquiring-a-familiar subplot.[/sblock]
[SBLOCK=Lasair]Idea! Lasair talks a lot about measuring people's mettle by reading their ziivash, but right now, it's just flavour-text on her Sense Motive. How about a rare ziivash focus crystal that aids her in taking a person's measure by reading their ziivash, sort of like an aura reading. It's fooled by anything that stops detections, and really it's just a more fun and flavourful version of the Detect cantrips/1st-levels (but it gives more colourful details while not necessarily saying 'good' or 'evil' in black and white--Lasair has to decide that from what is given). It's basically a way for her to get any weird 'aura' type clues that a GM might want to throw in and to measure a person's strength of character. Perhaps if she spends the concentration to use the focus crystal to read the ziivash, she might also get a +1 or +2 circumstance bonus to the DC of Telepaty powers against that person--that's the flavour I've always had for Lasair, that she can read and manipulate the ziivash that flows through every living thing (and leaves a gaping numbing void where there are undead!). This item would be well-within Lasair's means, I think--even if we are to consider the overpriced Psionatrix of Telepathy as a baseline (which seems silly anyway), in raw power, getting +1 or +2 to Telepathy DC without spending an action is vastly more useful than having to spend one round to get a +1 (or +2) to DC and then using a power (because you could just use the power twice in a row and have a much much higher chance of it working unless you're fighting something ridiculous that saves normally exactly on a 20, which is an edge case anyway), so the only real purpose would be for flavour. I'd price the +2 DC version at maybe 2000 (that's the price for a continuous use 1st-level spell or power, and this isn't as good as that).

Tell me what you think and let me know if you have any better ideas along this vein![/SBLOCK]


[sblock=Supplies]Being not familiar with horses in general, what can you load on a pack horse, and what kind of horse would be best? Given the distance we'll be traveling, Horseback just seems faster, and I would think carts would be problematic in the sand.

I've got a pretty big budget for reasonable supplies, so let me know what you think would be good beyond the obvious.

Rae, how long of a trip are we expecting? I'd assume less than 2 months, and closer to 1 based off the letter.[/sblock]


Conuld asks "Have you decided in which direction we shall travel, Lady Shadya? All I know is that Sairundan lies to the south-west, but I do not know how far. Could we take a ship that is heading south from Orussus? I, uh, knew someone who did that recently. Or, I believe there are many villages along the coast road where we could find occasional rest and re-supply. Or we could follow the River Grellgo southwards for a time."

OOC: The river Grellgo obviously flows towards Orussus, so wouldn't speed our travel any, but we could head south towards Lathirn along its banks. Beyond that, I'm mapless.


"The roads to the south are best. I do not trust these buildings that float, if you refer to them," Shadya says. "And no need to call me lady, please."

OOC: I think Riem is on the way, if I remember right. Beyond that, all I know is that it's southwest, closer to the tower of air, and Shadya's been there before. It looks like 400 miles or so along the road by the river Grellgo, as a guesstimate with the map. I think the world is pretty big, but not sure how close to the edge Sairundan is.


OOC: I haven't seen that one. Is there a map that has Sairundan on it? If we get horses that can go 50', we can I think go 60 miles a day on horseback, which still won't get us more than 1500 miles away in about a month.
(OOC: I've seen a map with the deserts on it, and the way Sairundan is described, it has to be in those. The southwestern desert should be substantially far away from Orussus)


"Very well. I am just plain Conuld, too. From my limited experience with ships, they attract pirates - even pirates who have no ship of their own! So I think you are probably right." He muses. "Do you think it would be an extravagance to purchase a wand of healing from the priests of Hyrag?"

OOC - the wiki suggests, vaguely, that Rheim, with that spelling, is somewhere not far from Covington, and both are somewhere beyond the T-junction of the Lathirn-Orussus-Fallon road, about 40 miles east of Orussus. Rystil, you were in Festival of Halina, right? Is there more known about the geography than that?

OOC 2 - with a world diameter of 25,000 miles - but the hints that noone has been too close to the towers for many years - we could still be looking at 5000 to 10,000 miles! :eek: