Big night for the B Team, and we got right into it, with the curiously fast (and altogether oddly armed) zombies taking it to the team. Intermittently poor rolls, reach weapons at close quarters, and a briefly unconscious Sven (very brief, but still) slowed the pace of the zombie slaying, but ultimately the team prevailed, finishing off the last one with approximately 364 arrows as it wandered trapped within a 10 x 10 foot pit.
Once dispatched, the better part of valor suggested that a rest night in the abandoned town was in order, but first a bit of body-looting and asking questions of the dead woman from the fountain. As to loot: each of the zombies carried (what?) a magical scimitar (+1) that were identical of make and dweomer (strange) and a bellyfull of some potion that was still radiating a bit of magic. And this discovery was after Phineas had weighed in on the zombies’ strange dress, which he identified as military kit from southern Golarion from about 500 to 800 years before. All of which asked the question: on what planet do zombies (a) move that fast, 40+, (b) use weapons, (c) wear ancient armor, (d) drink potions, (e) and hide in sandy double-graves waiting for the unwary to traipse by? The answer: apparently this planet, but no one in the party had ever heard of such things.
Snapper then performed the ritual that dragged the mummified woman’s spirit back from the Boneyard and out her to the question: it was, it turned out, the Rijana in question, who hoarsely wheezed (a) the affirmation that her missing books were at her campsite, located about two days travel due north of Geb’s Rest, (b) that her current condition (to wit: dead, desiccated, found in a fountain) was due to her jumping the gun on enacting a ritual at a stele she’d found near her campsite, which was Kelish of origin (a transcription of the text was found in her book, with a relatively poor translation according to Kazeer, a native Kel and fluent speaker of both Old and New Keleshite). The results of this was, according to Rijana, that she was shunted into the past, where a Gebish cultist was assembling some sort of military force to “come through to here,” and that must be stopped. With only six minutes to question her, three formal questions total, and a fair amount of obligatory commentary, not much else was in the offing, and Rijana returned to Pharasma’s keeping, her mortal remains interred with a brief blessing from the Snap.
The night passed uneventfully, and the party took advantage of the abandoned stores at the equally abandoned inn to have dinner and stock up, since they’d agreed the next stop was Rijana’s campsite, two days away (plus, hey, free rations). Just after sunset, Lama *did* see what looked to be some movement out on the flagstone road, some 3/4 of a mile away, but it didn’t seem terribly pertinent, and everyone got a decent rest and set out early the next morning (Lama being a notoriously early riser and not known for suffering snoozing fools gladly). The road itself had seen better days – paved with flags, but untended for a long time, cracked and littered with broken arch and pillar. But it was quiet and combined with the heat (it may be late fall and chilly in Varisia, but northern Geb is well south of the temperate zone) made for somnolent traveling.
Until a few decent perception checks picked up an overturned wagon just screaming “I’m a trap!” The party approached, deliberately heedless, desperate for some break in the boredom of the road even if it meant a little self-inflicted bloodshed. And (surprise) it was a trap, but not in the traditional fashion – instead, Leinard’s elvish eyes
picked out some visual anomalies atop the arch. Nolen heard a scratching noise, but before they could make much of it, Kazeer found himself raked and grappled by (apparently) a largish invisible cat of some kind. Beltran made himself useful (finally) by casting an Invisibility Purge, bringing the invisible cat (for that indeed was what it was) into sharper focus.
The cat maintained the grapple, knocked Kazeer prone and gave him a few more clawmarks to show the ladies of Katheer, while the rest of the party tried to get in position to help him out. But Sven, whose bow had been doing a credible impression of a log for most of the evening, kept to tradition and sent a couple more arrows into the empty field to the east, allowing Lama to charge across his line of sight without fear. But more so, another invisible cat entered the Purge zone as it leaped atop the wagon and toward Sven’s flank. The game was now, as they say, afoot!
OMG I forgot the best part! Leinard, not to be outdone by Beltran, cast Glitterdust to ensure the cats stayed visible. But as a side effect, it can cause blindness. Which it did – not to the cats, but to both Lama and Sven. So when we start on the 17th, we start with one tank a round away from unconsciousness, another blinded, and the rogue blind as well with a cat about to pounce on him.
UPDATE: Dan pointed out that a grappling creature (in this case, the cat on Kazeer) itself acquires the grappled condition, which results in a -4 Dex penalty and, where appropriate, a -2 AC penalty. Sven rolled a 19 when he shot an arrow at the cat attacking Kazeer, which improved to 20 with the addition of Bless, to 20. The cats AC is 21 and I declared the shot a miss (and likened Sven’s bow to a “log” earlier in this recap). However… the -2 penalty from graplled condition would in fact bring down the cat’s AC to 19 and therefore the shot was a lit and Sven’s bow not a log. it did 12 points of damage, which I have allocated appropriately!