I'm still thinking Druid, Wild Elf, scrapping the pacifist idea in favor of a more Survival of the Fittest, Natural Order, Prey or Predator state of mind. Wild Elves are after all more tribal and savage than their High Elf cousins. This particular state of mind will actually cause him to lean away from a support role and more to combat and crowd control, but for the sake of being a team player he'll have a couple heal spells ready for the inevitable times that the rest of the "pack" will need tending to.
Tann, not sure if you normally like a two-weapon fighting ranger or a archery-style ranger, but... Complete Scoundrel had this sweet feat (Swift Hunter) that combined Scout and Ranger in a nice way... level in Ranger counted as Scout levels with regards to the Scout's skirmish ability, and levels of Scout counted as Ranger levels with regards to the Favoured Enemy ability and you were ability to apply the Skirmish damage to Favoured Enemies that were normally immune to Skirmish damage (like undead, and such).
Anyway, pretty straight forward character build. Also, the alternative class feature "Distracting Attack" (which replaces the Animal Companion on the Ranger) makes this build the Sneak-Attacker's best friend.
1) A Half-Ogre Crusader 6. I was thinking he'd be attached to the organization sending out the crew to retrieve the artifact... he's the muscle and (hopefully) insurance that the organization actually gets their artifact. He's all tank, with maybe a bit of minor healing power.
2) An Elan (or re-fluffed Kalashtar) Psion 8. Again, I was thinking he or she would be somehow attached to the organization. The character is actually passing himself off as human. Perhaps the artifact is a rare psionic amplifier or maybe a crystal rumored to contain long forgotten powers. This character is likely battlefield control and blaster.
3) A Kobold Dragonfire Adept 8. He's trying to regain his draconic heritage. Somehow the artifact or the patron are connected to a dragon. This character is all about battlefield control and area attacks. I could make him not a kobold.
Anyway, I can pretty much fit any role. I got more ideas too, these are my top tree. I'm not super interested in playing a cleric... but if I did:
I've been working on a character for several hours and before I get out of hand playing with gear and the like I wanted to check and see what kind of budget I'm working with, do we have access to magic items and what limits beyond cost are there when purchasing said items, and for the sake of preparedness what kind of threats are we expecting in this jungle aside from the aforementioned orcs?
Sorry forgot to mention, level 8's cool. So level 8, 27,000 gold.
Ayrn: All those characters are cool, though I will say the nature of the artifact is mysterious and relatively unknown, even by your employers. Race wise Elan/Half-Ogre are good but I'd rather not have kobolds. The major races of Jamaara are listed in here and offer several variants on the base races. Also Pelor->Setus in the local pantheon, but that's just a name swap essentially.
Shield: Other than a flavour shift of wild elf -> forest elf that druid sounds cool. Malahatag is mostly known for its orc threat but the diversity of its predators is vast and unknown.
Chess: Not a huge fan of the shade blade to be 100% honest with, but it reminds me of the Shadowcaster. Whaddya think?
Tann & Nomad: Any combination of classes are fine, but I will advise a balanced party, looking forward to your ideas!
Again, if you guys want to collab and have past relationships with your chars feel free, otherwise you all mingle and bond(?) on the boat.
Not sure exactly what everyone else is running right now. Seems like we might have roguish types. Maybe. So leaning spell caster. I probably won't finish until this weekend, but hope to firm up a choice before then.