View Full Version : Streets of Atalya Volume Two: Tentacles

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2008-08-28, 06:56 PM
The maid perks up. "Is that the guy with the really hot ass!?"

2008-09-01, 10:53 AM

Daewell sends the maid a smile that doesn't reach above his nose, then returns to the others.

The advancing army is, doubtless, killing and looting as they proceed. I suggest we move to end this in the morning.

Since it seems like we've only got four active players left, are we assuming that Dai and Vodette aren't here? Did I miss a decision on this?

2008-09-03, 01:15 PM
(No decision was officially reached, but... I'm assuming that if they're not here, it's because they don't want to be, in which case I'd just as soon quietly write them out of the story and move on. It's too bad, but I can understand why they'd get fed up with all the sabbaticals. >_>)

2008-09-04, 03:50 AM

Horacio just nods silently.

((Hmmm, you still want the meeting with Snake Eyes to take place tonight, or just bypass that and get on with the hunt?))

2008-09-05, 09:28 PM
(I'd prefer to move on, honestly, unless you had your heart set on the encounter. I suppose we could take care of the details in pm if need be.)

2008-09-06, 03:40 AM
[Ditto. If we can move forward, so much the better.]

2008-09-06, 06:50 AM
(Fine by me. After all this time, I'd almost forgotten what I wanted to ask her about. Up to you if you wanted to handle it via PMs.)

2008-09-07, 07:31 PM
Vera nods. "If you guys need anything else, anything at all, don't hesitate to ask."

"Me too," says Firethena.

"I mean, you're only going on a wild goose chase for a madman who possesses god-like power and controls a vast army of barbaric savages. I could... oh, pack you lunches, maybe."

"Don't forget the tentacle monsters waiting to plunder their anuses, tunnel out their internal organs, and wear their skins like suits," adds Firethena.

"Oh right. You want some chastity belts with those?"

The maid faints dead away.

2008-09-07, 11:16 PM

The wizard watches, stone-faced, as the maid faints, wondering if in fact his life had somehow become scripted by Georges Feydeau. He unloads the rest of the paintings from his pack.

Here are the paintings which we seem to have killed to retrieve. I will require some time to complete my studies, and to report in with the temple. Our employers, if you will recall, Horacio. I will be delighted to meet up with you all again here in twelve hours. In the meantime, I wish you all a good evening.

Holding up the cube again, he draws forth another portal, and steps through.

2008-09-09, 07:33 PM

Horacio frowns at the last suggestion. "The chastity belts don't cover all entry orifices. Is there a way to quickly warp us away from intruders, or make them not want to enter us?"

I never wanted to be in a situation where I had to ask that...

2008-09-16, 12:33 AM
(Oh christ why did that take so long I'm sorry. >_<)

Vera taps her chin. "Well, when we were fighting illithids back in the astral plane we used to wear helmets with lots of spikes on 'em, but I dunno if that would work in this case... maybe if you... didn't take any baths for the next little while...?"

"Garlic?" suggests Firethena.

"No that's for vampires. How about lemon juice?"

"Wouldn't that hurt?"

"More than getting a tentacle monster up your butt?"

"Tough call..."

2008-09-28, 08:01 PM
That night, you dream.

All of you.

(Yeah, there's an elf still in the party somewhere but this is magic, we don't have to explain it.)

There is pitch blackness at first, followed by a flare of light. Two enormous glittering shapes like living orange gems stretch their draconic wings and flank a great iron throne, above which sits a massive translucent crystal, which seems to hold a vaguely humanoid shape...

A voice can be heard. It is deep and hard, like a road worn down by centuries of use. The speaker is feeling casual, but there is an undercurrent of barely witheld anger.

"Can they hear me now?"

"Yes, the spell seems to be working," says a more feminine voice, "they can hear everything you say."


The first speaker walks into your vision.

He is large, not in the sense that he is simply tall so much as he simply seems to have been built on a slightler larger scale than the average human being. Much of this impression doubtless comes from the heavy black and red armor that covers much of his form, thick plates of metal shrouding his entire body from sight and harm. Jutting over his shoulders are the handles of at least four huge swords, swirling around him is a great gray fur cloak, the hide of a once mighty beast. A mane of off-white hair falls out of the back and sides of a featureless helmet and trail down over a breastplate fashioned to invoke the face of a demon.

There have been changes, as doubtless there would have been over nearly a hundred years, but the spectre within your dream resembles nothing so much as Gaudemus Vadis himself.

"Well, isn't this nice."

On of the dragons meanders forward and he reaches out to absentmindedly stroke its great head. Beneath that disturbing visor, twin points of scarlet light flash.

"You're wondering how I knew who you were, doubtless, but you should be able to figure that out easily enough. My friends and family are loyal enough to me, even if my enemies have grown careless and stupid. I'm honestly not sure which you would be, given the chance... but I have no intention of taking that chance. I don't need to. You're on the losing side of this war. Cuthbert's cult was never famed for its mental faculties before, but if Donovan thinks a pack of jumped up sneakthieves like you stand a chance of bringing me down, than the organization might as well apoint a hamster as the high priest and be done with it."

His eyes glow again, brighter this time, and his pet begins to growl lowly.

"I'm giving you some free advice right now. You cut all ties with that damned church. You've nothing to lose by severing your relationship to a group of genocidal zealots, believe me. And run. Run as far as you can, as fast as you can. Run back to civilization and leave Atalya to me."

The throne room behind Gaudemus fades out of sight, and in its place is a sea of blackness, broken only by tiny flickers of light... torches, you realized. Torches held in the fists of a vast crowd of people.

"If you feel any compassion, you might give its people a warning," Gaudemus adds darkly, "you go ahead and tell them I'm coming. And all hell follows behind."

The crowd begins to chant Gaudemus' name, raising thousands of blades in the air to catch the firelight. Even a conservative estimate tells you that the city's guard is no match for such an army.

"You wanted barbarians? We'll show you barbarians," he hisses, as everything goes black, and you awaken in a cold sweat.

2008-09-28, 08:58 PM

The wizard awakened in his chamber.

Hmm. A powerful megalomaniac, to be sure, but a megalomaniac still. Consider the dragon figures, and the multiple greatswords - both noted symbols compensating for a sexuality flagging with age. Perhaps that can be used against him. And since it's Gaudamus who seemed to have declared war on an entire nation, the charges of genocide are clearly transferrance of the most transparent sort. He'd be a fascinating subject, if he didn't quite apparently have powerful magic and an army at his beck.

Rolling out of bed, Daewell rang for some breakfast, and cracked open his spellbook. This would be an interesting day.

2008-09-30, 06:22 PM

Horacio's senses snap onto the dream instinctively as his subconscience rushes to keep up. He glances at everything, trying to put pieces together:

-Does the humanoid crystal look like it holds Aerin?
-Does the female voice sound like Kara?
-Do the 2 dragons bear any resemblance to Nightfang & Scarlet?
-Do Gaudemus's swords look familiar?
-Does Gaudemus sound adamant about his course of action, or is there a hint of doubt in his speech?
-Any other interesting details he notices that could be useful?

Once that's done, he touches his black lotus symbol once. This will be interesting... he thinks as he mentally tries to get a feel for the "dream", figuring out whether he can hold onto it, and how to.

When it sounds like Gaudemus is wrapping up, he tries to grab ahold of the vision, extending it so he can talk with either Gaudemus or the female. (I'll choose Horacio's words once I know more details about the dream. We could probably PM this.)

Spot: 24
Listen: 32
Sense Motive on Gaudemus's feelings about his course: 27
Int/Wis Check to stretch the dream out and talk bace: 21


Once that's over, Horacio's eyes snap open. He takes a moment to collect himself and slow his rapid breathing before checking on Firethena to make sure she's alright.

Spot check; Listen check; Sense Motive check; Int/Wis check to stretch out the dream (1d20+22=24, 1d20+22=32, 1d20+23=27, 1d20+4=21) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1750889/)

2008-10-01, 09:10 AM
Terry sits up himself, rubbing his head.
"Well. That's good. You happen to hear any of that, Slayer?"

2008-10-01, 03:25 PM
The humanoid figure within the crystal is less than a sillouhette- it would be impossible to tell even what kind of humanoid it was, or if it was actually a person or just a dummy of some kind, from the vague outline you see in the dream.

The female voice doesn't Kara's, nor do the dragons look anything like the two dragonblooded people you know. Gaudemus' swords, likewise, don't seem particularly familiar, though you do only catch fairly brief glimpses of the hilts.

Gaudemus' voice is like iron, but haggard and weary. You get the sense that this is perhaps the last act of a desperate man.

His followers seemed pretty enthusiastic, though... and judging by their firelit sillouhettes, there is a fairly wide variety of species represented. A wide variety of well-armed species.

Horacio makes a valiant mental effort, but the communication is one way- there's nothing there for him to grasp, and the dream simply fades when it is over.

Kinslayer jerks slightly in Terry's hands as though he's been awakened.

Hubba wha? I don't see any deer. What are you talking about?

2008-10-01, 03:38 PM

Horacio mulls over the dream with Tahlion as he checks on Firethena.

Gaudemus sounded weary & desperate instead of sinister. He might be attacking Atalya because he thinks he has to, not because he wants to. I wish I could have replied to him. Damned magic, slipping through my fingers like mist.

2008-10-03, 09:33 PM
You'll have a chance to talk with him soon enough. Or, you know, maybe we'll get killed trying to get to him. But we can hope for the best! And I'll sharpen myself in case we don't get it.

Firethena's still peacefully in trance. Either she hasn't had the same dream, or it hasn't outwardly affected her.

2008-10-05, 11:26 PM
A portal opens in Firethena's living room. Daewell pokes his head through tentatively, waving to Terry as he chats with his sword.

Er. Hello. Still up for a big, you know, confrontation this morning? I brought a friend.

He steps through, and then, ducking considerably to get through the doorway, is a tall, golden-skinned man with a loose cream-coloured robe. His skin is a golden brown. His bald head has a fringe of blonde hair, and a beakish nose with a pair of round spectacles perched precariously on it.

By tall, of course, we mean crouch a bit, don't hurt the ceiling tall. And did we mention the wings. Big. White. Archetypally angelic, one might say.

Terry, this is Harper. Harper, Terry. Oh, and that's Kinslayer in Terry's hand. Nasty, demonic, greatsword. I'm sure the two of you will get along famously.

Daewell glanced around.

Where are the others?

2008-10-06, 05:43 PM
"...Hello. Am I in trouble or something, Dae?"

2008-10-06, 05:57 PM

The wizard grins crookedly.

You mean, aside from the fact that we're preparing to face off against an obsessive, genocidal demigod with a hatred for my religion, and with you carrying the sword that killed his beloved wife? No, I think we're in great shape.

He glances up at Harper, who settles into a sitting position against a wall.

Or did you mean Harper here? No, I'm just trying to do whatever I can to tip the scales in our favour. Being on the side of the angels isn't just a figure of speech, you know.

The angel snorts. His voice rumbles like the world's largest bassoon.

The combination of magic and guilt are a potent force for persuasion. Naw. I'm just here to help, in case things go to...

Harper smiles.

Well, you know.

2008-10-07, 04:25 AM
"South?" Produces Terry with a wry grin.
"The others? Here and there. Shall we go round them up?"

2008-10-07, 09:52 AM

Horacio, hearing the commotion, enters the living room adjusting his belt. He freezes midstep as he sees Dae's "guest". His eyes go wide and his mouth begins to curl.

...He brought a f***ing angel...

Horacio's tone turns a tad colder than usual as he cautiously resumes walking towards the group.

"What's with your friend, Daewell? Did the Church decide Gaudemus's divine judgement couldn't wait for the afterlife?"

(How long's passed between waking up & now, anyway?)

2008-10-07, 10:39 AM

Daewell smiles.

Figured we could use all the help we could get. There is, after all, an army advancing on the city.

And on the note of 'all the help we can get'...if we're going to try to defuse the situation through negotation - a goal I believe that you and I share, Horacio - have you spoken with Firethena about joining us? After all, if the army sweeps through this city, she's in just as much danger as everyone else.

2008-10-08, 07:36 PM
(I'm running on the assumption that you guys are convening as soon after sunup as you can, time being a factor and all.

Let me know when you're ready to move on to the portal thing, but this conversation looks like it could go on...)

2008-10-08, 09:22 PM
(Ready to move on, but there's some group buffing that Daewell can offer before we get started. If Horacio can stomach taking any help from a follower of Cuthbert.

Mass Resist Energy - he'd suggest electricity, but is open to suggestions.
He'll offer one PC a phantom steed.
He'll offer one PC an enlarge person.
He'll offer one PC bear's endurance.

Self-buffs as listed on his sheet.)

2008-10-09, 02:00 AM

(Horacio will; he's wary, not theophobic.)

"I have; she declined. She didn't want to see Gaudemus again, at least under these circumstances. She wasn't sure how she'd carry herself."

2008-10-11, 10:30 PM
maybe she should invest in a pusup brassiere?

(At this point all that remains is to activate the cube, unless anyone else has anything else to add.)

2008-10-11, 11:38 PM

After a flurry of spellcasting, Daewell is now almost twice his original size, and a few preparatory spells have been cast on the group.

Setting out the circle of rods to boost the power of the cube, Daewell encourages the group to gather inside. Pulling out the cube, he concentrates on Gaudamus - on all the stories they'd been hearing, on the vivid images from past dreams - from the painting they'd found yesterday - and on the man's own dream-message last night.

Now. Let us seek an ending to this madness now.

A portal begins to open.

Spellcraft [roll0] to get the portal as close as possible to Gaudamus.

2008-10-15, 01:51 PM
The portal unfolds slowly, as if resisting somehow. But unfold it does, and what lies beyond the ring of rune-inscribed metal is a lengthy tunnel of crackling purple energy leading ot, far away, what appears to be a darkened room.

And, standing with his back to them, a tall man wearing elaborate red and black armor with four swords sheathed on his back.

In a perfect world, the quest would be more or less over at this. A quick jog down the tunnel of magic takes you almost to Gaudemus- but as you approach, you can hear him taling to someone else.

"-and you know, what really bugs me is the quality of adventurers we get these days. Study the big bad evil guy, yes, acquire his own tools and use them for your own benefit, yes, but what kind of pack of morons tries to use a powerful magic item against the mage who created the thing?"

He turns just enough for you to see his glowing eye before it flashes deep purple.

The ring of metal forming his end of the tunnel shatters into fragments.

The magic twists and buckles, and a hole opens up beneath your feet.

Heh. I love that bastard.

It is not a long trip. Considering you could have been dropped in the middle of the desert or at the top of a mountain in the forzen wastes, you seem to have gotten off relatively easily. You land with a bump in a temperate forest amid the screeching of startled birds, and a small green-skinned child is sitting on the grass in front of you with an expression of shock and awe on his face.

2008-10-15, 03:47 PM

The wizard's face remains impassive.

Fine. Be that way.

He looks down to examine the cube in his hand.

Spellcraft [roll0] to determine what Gaudamus just did, and whether the cube is still safe to use.

2008-10-15, 03:53 PM
Terry lands gracefully and falls to a crouch reflexively to weather the impact.
"I had a feeling that would happen. Only my version had us turned inside out."
He looks at the green-skinned child mildly, hoping Kinslayer doesn't scare him off.

2008-10-17, 04:03 AM

Horacio lands on his feet and, without skipping a beat, says to Daewell,

"For a worshipper of lawfulness, you really do enjoy cutting corners at the worst times."

Well, chalk another one up in favor of he doesn't feel like killing us yet...

"Next time you decide to drop in early, could you tell us first?"

Horacio warily looks around for anything else here along with the kid.

Spot Check: 25

Spot Check (1d20+22=25) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1772210/)

2008-10-17, 10:17 AM

Daewell turns an impassive gaze to Horacio.

I'm so sorry. I'll let you get us to our destination, then.

And what do you mean by "early"? I talked about doing this last night. Should I have sent a notarized invitation?

2008-10-18, 08:16 PM
Daewell, unfortunately, doesn't possess the cube anymore. It unfolds itself to form both ends of the portal that sends its user through space, after all, and with at least one bit apparently destroyed, there's no telling what happened to the rest.

The child raises a finger and makes a number of choking noises. And Terry realizes, about the same time Horacio turns around, that the child is not staring at them as much as at them and behind them at what looks to be a really god damned big lion.

It tilts its head to one side, curiously, while it tries to get two of its brain cells to stop bouncing around long enough to meet and decide whether to claw or bite all of you, while the third is thinking about sex as much as possible.

(Roll init.)

2008-10-18, 09:30 PM
Terry acts quickly. ...No, really. Quickly. Snapping up his bow he fires a trio of arrows into the thing.
Initiative (1d20+14=33) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1774252/)

Attacks (1d20 19, 1d20 19, 1d20 14=[14, 19], [9, 19], [16, 14]) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1774274/)
So, they come to 33, 28, and 30 respectively. That's a potential three hits, so I'll roll damage accordingly.
Attack one damage, base (2d6 2=5) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1774284/)
Attack two damage, base (2d6 2=6) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1774285/)
Attack three damage, base (2d6 2=14) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1774286/)
Well, that about made up for the first two.
Attack one Sneak, Sudden Strike (6d6=18) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1774288/)
Attack two Sneak, Sudden Strike (6d6=26) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1774289/)
Attack three Sneak, Sudden Strike (6d6=21) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1774290/)

Damage totals:
Attack one: 5 base plus 18 sneak, 23 total.
Attack two: 6 base plus 26 sneak, 32 total.
Attack three: 12 base, 21 sneak, 33 total.
GRAND TOTAL:23+32+33 = 88 damage. Man, I hope this thing is susceptible to precision damage. And if the lion is 13 HD or less, it needs to make a DC 12 will save or be shaken for a round.

2008-10-19, 01:34 AM

Initiative - [roll0]

2008-10-22, 01:15 AM

Horacio grumbles as he turns around to face the lion.

"A bit more 'direct' than I thought. I was not expecting you to try getting an audience without an invitation."

Horacio pulls out a shield and tosses it to the side as he murmurs something; the shield floats in the air next to him. Then he tumbles away from the lion in his face, pulling out his blades.

Rolls:Activating Animated Shield, Tumbling, Drawing Weapons
Initiative: 16
Tumble Check: 27

Initiative, Tumble Check (1d20+11=16, 1d20+16=27) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1779789/)

2008-10-22, 11:11 AM

Don't move! I think I can get us out of here. And sorry, but the cube doesn't come with a "doorbell" function.

Daewell reaches out to touch each of his companions, and teleports all of them back to the place that they just saw Guadamus.

2008-10-22, 02:04 PM
(Em, I think I need to borrow that sequence of facial expressions you posted in the Thrane OOC thread.

Exactly which teleportation spell are you using here, Tol?)

2008-10-22, 05:58 PM
Just the basic teleport, this time.

2008-10-23, 02:34 AM
"Wait! That kid first!" Terry tries to elude Dae's touch before he activates the spell, eyes darting from the lion to the child.

2008-10-23, 03:47 AM
(Waiting to see how Horace reacts to the teleport.)

2008-10-23, 05:12 PM

Horacio glances warily at Daewell, stepping away from his outstretched hand.

"Unless you know how to get to Jennaris, I would rather get my bearings before we retreat."

2008-10-23, 05:22 PM

Daewell stretches out his hand to his two companions.

This isn't retreat, it's advance. If we act now, I can get us to Gaudamus by visualizing where he was. The longer we delay, the less likely we are to end up where he is!

2008-10-23, 06:02 PM

Horacio would pause and stare at Daewell dumbfounded, if he had the luxury to do so when a giant lion's breathing down their necks. As it is, Tahlion gets to hear a lovely mental string of curses.

"Daewell, I think Gaudemus has wards against teleporting. We've already lost the Cube thanks to your 'direct route', are you trying to follow that up by getting us killed?"

2008-10-23, 07:57 PM

Sighing, Daewell floats up out of the lion's reach.

Fine. Let me know when you're ready to go.

Daewell and Harper seem to confer a moment. The angel glares at the lion, and speaks to the green skinned child. The voice is booming but not angry.

Who are you, child, and where are we?

The angel is activating its aura of menace against the lion (Will DC 20 or shaken), and using its tongues ability to communicate with the child.

2008-10-27, 10:33 PM
Terry's three arrows smack the lion in the face. Reeling, it snarls like nails on a chalkboard, then lurches forward and sinks its fangs into his shoulder.

(Terry takes 20 damage.)

The little boy stares up at the angel in awe. "M-m-my name's Rend," he manages, "we're in the woods... who... who are you?"

2008-10-28, 03:45 PM

Horacio tumbles behind the lion so he's flanking it with Terry, then tries to sink both his swords into a tender spot.

Tumble: 18
Tahlion hits AC 30 for 4 base damage + 27 sneak damage.
Lucky hits AC 28 for 3 base damage + 24 sneak damage.

Tumble Check (1d20+16=18) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1789009/)
Tahlion Attack, Tahlion Base Damage, Tahlion Sneak Attack, Lucky Attack, Lucky Base Damage, Lucky Sneak Attack (1d20+20=30, 1d4+3=4, 8d6=27, 1d20+19=28, 1d4+2=3, 8d6=24) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1789006/)

2008-10-29, 12:59 AM

A second glance seems to pass between Daewell and Harper. The angel smiles at the boy.

Excuse me a moment, Rend.

Abruptly, his hands transform into flaming swords, and he slashes out at the lion with both blades.

Full attack by Harper. 5 points of power attack.
[roll0] Attack 1
[roll1] Crit confirmation on 19-20
[roll2] slashing damage
[roll3] Fire damage

[roll4] Attack 2
[roll5] Crit confirmation on 19-20
[roll6] slashing damage
[roll7] Fire damage

2008-10-31, 08:25 PM
The lion doesn't stand much of a chance at this point- Horacio stabs it in the ass so hard it dislocates both of its hips and and Harper immolates what's left.

Rend stares.

"...so... cool."

(And lest you thought I was never going to give any of you XP ever again, I -have- been keeping track, loosely, and considering what you just mangled, the numerous near death experiences you've survived recently, various roleplaying rewards, and heck, a bonus for just not leaving me when I took like ten sabbaticals in a row... uh, let's call that about twelve thousand xp and call it a night.)

2008-11-03, 03:32 PM

Terry grunts and pushes the burny lion bits off his shoulder.
"Is everyone...um, else, all right?"

2008-11-03, 09:48 PM
"That was awesome!" squeals Rend, jumping into the air. "That was soo cool! You guys are great! You might even be as cool as the warchief! Wow, can we introduce them to the warchief dad, can we!?"

This draws your attention to the group of armed orcs swiftly approaching your location.

2008-11-04, 03:48 PM

Daewell glances over at the orcs coming towards them, and down at Horacio.

This might be a good time to share your idea for a subtler way to approach Gaudamus.

2008-11-05, 08:49 AM

"Right now? I'd suggest improvising."

He switches to mental communication so the kid doesn't hear.

Getting captured is a classic, but we could also say we're here to present their warchief- if he is who we think he is- with a gift. It's technically true with the paintings, but we could imply its the swords to get their interest. It all depends who they are and what they want; familiar territory for you, Daewell.

I would suggest approaching this as a merchant, not a follower. We need some information from them before we can act.

Horacio sheathes his swords and looks down at Rend. He manages a grin.

"Do your folks always greet people this way, Rend? You might want to explain what happened before fighting breaks out."

Do either of you know Orcish?

2008-11-07, 04:43 PM
Terry grins.
Not a word.

2008-11-07, 05:50 PM

Daewell speaks to Harper.

Well, you want to try your luck with them? At least, you'll be able to make yourself understood.

The angel shrugs, and the blades, stained with lion blood, vanish back into clean hands.

Do my best.

He too turns to the boy, and smiles again.

Do you speak the human tongue, Rend? Did you understand his words -

He gestures to Horacio.

- or do you need me to translate?

Angels have a constant Tongues effect active, so worst case scenario, we can go through Harper for now. Am I understanding you right, ML, that you're assuming that these orcs are part of Gaudamus' army?

2008-11-07, 10:25 PM
"Huh? Oh, you guys speak the common," says Rend, switching to the other language slightly awkwardly. "No do not worry, my father will see that you saved me from big lion and be very happy. Uh."

He hides behind Harper's leg. "Dad kinda looking for Rend because Rend maybe run away from chores and dad maybe very angry please do not mention that Rend almost got you all killed please."

The orcs arrive, somewhat slowed now that they appearently realize the boy is in no immediate danger, though still very cautiously. They do not dress like most orcs you may have encountered in the past- there is a definite "civilized" influence in the style and make of their clothing, though liberally mixed with orcish tastes in decoration and the overuse of animal fur.

Their apparent leader is a very large orc with a black tattoo covering most of his lower lip. His expression resembles a thundercloud, and as he looks you over you can see his hand clutching tightly around the haft of a simply enormous waraxe.

Approaching you, however, he simply glares at Rend and says, in common, "Tsk, your mother is going to give you hell for those grass stains."

2008-11-08, 03:42 AM

Daewell smiles.

Don't worry, Rend, we should be able to get that stain out before you get home.

He glances around.

Which is...where, exactly?

2008-11-08, 06:37 AM

Horacio shrugs at the leader. "Just be glad there aren't blood stains mixed in with them." He looks at the weapon. "Nice axe. It takes quite a warrior to lug a weapon bigger than me around."

He glances at the kid. "And Rend, I would be more appreciative all you have to do for food is chores. When I was growing up, getting food meant risking your arm on the chopping block. You might want to beg for forgiveness... after chores are done."

He glances at Daewell before turning back to the leader. "Our friend here is trying not to admit he screwed up royally and deposited us who-knows-where. While I'm glad he didn't fling us into the Abyss, we could use some info on the area and a breather before we start traveling again."

He glares at Daewell. "I vote we walk this time."

(BTW, Horacio's comparing the location names he gives with his knowledge of the area surrounding Atalya to figure out how close to Gaudemus's forces they are.)

2008-11-08, 10:58 AM

Daewell's eyes get large as Horacio harangues him again. He glances at Harper, who shrugs. They both nod.

I was trying to take action. But suit yourself. Enjoy the walk.

The two large figures fly straight up, and then away.

2008-11-08, 11:07 PM
"...Looks like somebody's going to be spending tonight on the couch." Terry notes bemusedly at Horacio.
"I'd recommend a bouquet of roses."
Turning to the orcs, Terry nods a greeting.
"Do you have many lions like that around here?"

2008-11-09, 01:31 AM

Horacio shakes his head and sighs. "Wizards..."

2008-11-11, 10:58 PM
The orc leader glances up at Daewell as he and the angel fly away.

"Hmm, it's such a shame when lovers quarrel."

He holds out a hand in Terry and Horacio's general direction- slightly awkwardly, as if it's a motion he's seen performed but never used personally. Regardless of whether or not someone shakes it, he says "My name is Kargath, of the Demonseye clan. We are on the outskirts of what my people have come to call Solaran. Call it a nation, if you like, we simply think of it as our home. You've landed yourselves in the middle of Arrokar forest at the foot of Mount Garde. Abysscats aren't common in this area, to answer your other question- they used to be more numerous, before we devised methods to fight them. I daresay you've just killed one of the last few left, not to mention saving my son's life in the process. I am in your debt."

Anyone with any knowledge of geography will recognize Arrokar as being the forest that covers most of the western part of the southern territories, while Mount Garde is a formidable peak roughly in the center of it. You've travelled a few hundred miles in the past ten minutes- and roughly in the right direction, by the sound of it.

Daewell and Harper, high above, can see most of this for themselves. They can also see what looks like the smoke of many, many campfires around the lower slopes of the mountain.

2008-11-11, 11:39 PM

Horacio lets Terry shake it, following Kargath if he leads them back.

"Arrokar? Sounds like we're on the right track. I've never heard of Solaran before, though. Is it a young nation? How was it founded?"

2008-11-13, 03:20 PM
Kargath does in fact lead them through the woods in the same direction that he and his orcs came from- after a few minutes Horacio and Terry can see that their eventual destination is a mid-sized village nestled in among the trees.

"Very young," he says as they walk, "we've only really named it in the past few years. When my grat grandfather was young, all of this land was divided between disparate tribes of humans, orcs, and elves, and there was nothing but constant warfare between the races and the clans. Those were the dark times, an axe age, a sword age... before he came."

"The sword god," says Rend, more reverently than you've heard him say anything thus far.

"He came to us," continues Kargath, "the Demonseye clan, because of our victory over the demon prince Arkamond in antiquity, and he felt us a noble line deserving of his patronage. He taught us to practice magic and make metal weapons, and when the other clans saw our knowledge and became jealous, it was he who awed them with his power and taught us to trade for what we wanted instead of killing for it. When I was young, I played with human and elven children as though they were other orcs, and I did not think it strange. And now our warchief has declared that this is the way that it should be, a nation, a way of life... a cause, for a people who have never before had one."

He pauses and frowns.

"I tell you this so that you will not judge him harshly for what happens next. You are from the north, I can tell by your speech and your dress, and I must tell you that people from the north have not come here peacefully in living memory. Had you not saved my son, I would have had you killed on the spot. The warchief will honor what you have done for us, but he will not be happy to see you. I cannot say for sure what he will do. But I warn you that it is far better that you face him now and explain yourselves than to attempt to run. The power of the sword god is upon him and his family, and none escape the warchief's wrath."

Above, Daewell can likely see the procession traveling through the trees, and their eventual destination. He can also see a large company of armored men on horseback riding towards the village.

2008-11-13, 04:01 PM

Since the others preferred to walk, Daewell was contented to drift way above the proceedings and observe for the time being.

2008-11-13, 05:49 PM
Terry frowns as he adjusts his shoulder wound.
"Thank you, then, for allowing us as as you have thus far. I hope there won't be any conflict between us."

We have got to find a way to speak with Gaudemus in peace. Look at what he's done for these people, these lands.

2008-11-14, 06:57 AM

Horacio listens intently.

Sounds like it could be Gareth & Kara.

"Ah. I don't like killing people- it's hard to reverse if you screw up- but I know plenty of people from the north that deserve it.

"Your story sounds familiar. We met some travelers on our journey that came from a place like this, human and a half-orc. They seemed troubled by something, but didn't say what. It gave me the chills. Has there been any problems down here that could have caused it?"

Sense Motive: 35 to tell whether he knows more than he lets on about why we're here.

Sense Motive (1d20+23=35) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1811271/)

2008-11-16, 09:51 PM
Kargath rubs his chin and frowns. "Asking me about a human and a half-orc from these lands is like asking me about a pair of rocks you found that came from a mountain. Did you happen to get their names? As far as problems, I have already made it plain to you that we do not trust those who come from the north. Lately their inroads into our lands have been increasing, and coming at an ever greater loss of life. When I was a child such things could be waved off as border disputes... but in the past few years these raids have become organized and vicious in intent. We have been forced to come to the conclusion that there is an organized effort to hurt and kill as many of our people as possible, though we cannot guess why. The sword god seems to believe that they have followed him here. They say he was full over with blazing fury at the sight of their standard, a white cudgel. He has given the warchief orders to raise an army because of this, a mighty horde the likes of which these lands have never seen. ...some of us have become worried. To protect ourselves, to defend our lands and familes, that is certainly to be expected of our lord... but he does not raise an army for defense. he intends to attack. And I cannot help but wonder if his wrath does not cvloud his judgement."

He pauses and looks at you again, far more carefully this time. he does not know why you are here, but he is intensely curious... and jusging by what he's just said to you, he might believe your appearance has something to do with the war that is clearly about to break out.

High above, Daewell and Harper float unseen above the scene. Except by the bulky winged figure that seems to have taken off from within the orc's village and is headed straight for them.

2008-11-17, 09:35 AM

Horacio slowly nods as he listens.

"That's interesting. Very interesting. We heard the sword god was the aggressor, returning for reasons unknown to raze the church and the city to the ground. That could just be propaganda, but they were spending a lot of time and money to find out why he was attacking. By their own admittance, your army would probably run roughshod over them. It sounds like they have no idea your lands were even being attacked.

"And vicious murderers? Cudgelers may be overzealous upholders of law & justice to the point of idiocy, but they also have standards. Few of their people would stand for atrocities like this.

"Could you please go into more detail about what these 'Cudgelers' have don-" *looks up at the winged figure* "Kargath, if there's anything you could do to prevent our friend from getting himself killed, now might be a good time to do it."

2008-11-17, 10:25 AM

Daewell and Piper deflect upwards further, watching to determine what the creature is that approaches them.

2008-11-18, 02:59 PM
Kargath looks up. "Oh. That would be the warchief. Uh, if you have any way of communicating with your friend, now would be the time to warn him to seem as nonthreatening as possible and do exactly as he's told."

The flying thing turns out to be a heavily armored humanoid figure, rising up to meet Daewell on black and red bat-like wings. His armor is forged of some kind of black metal, liberally trimmed in gold, with his breastplate forged in the shape of a roaring lion's head. His face is entirely hidden by his helmet's visor, but his voice, when he speaks, is gruff and orcish. He pauses just within earshot of Daewell and Harper and pauses, hovering, arms folded and glaring.

"You violate the sanctity of my people's ancient land by coming here unnanounced and unwanted," he yells, "I do not wish to attack the companion of a celestial, but know that strangers are not welcome here! You will leave, now, or I will force you to do so!"

He flexes his hands, and sound of his knuckles cracking is like localized thunder.

2008-11-18, 03:38 PM

The wizard nods in acknowledgement of the bat-winged orc's words.

Sir, I apologize for any inconvenience to you. We mean no harm, and are merely awaiting our companions below. We would be pleased to wait here while you confirm these words. I have remained at a distance so as not to to impose on your gathering.

2008-11-18, 11:31 PM


Might want to come down here so we can all introduce ourselves, Daewell.

He turns towards the chieftain, directing his next thoughts to him.

We should apologize for the unannounced part as well. We were traveling to arrange a meeting when our companion's magic misfired, dropping us in the middle of these lands. So far the only trouble's been an Abysscat with an appetite for orcish boys; I would like to keep it that way.

Kargath was taking us to meet you. Perhaps we could introduce ourselves and exchange information before we leave? He told us about the people attacking your lands; there's something wrong with their actions here, and we would like to find out what.


You should also warn any seers you have not to try reading our thoughts. We have defenses against creatures that assault your mind, and they're a tad overzealous.

Sense Motive: 33 to tell whether the chieftain is Gareth in speaking super-powered mode or not.
Sense Motive (1d20+23=33) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1817108/)

2008-11-21, 10:06 PM
The warchief pauses, as though startled, and then looks down at the bits of the party still on the ground.

... oh holy hells he is pissed.

He turns back to Daewell and wordlessly points downwards. And then drops like a stone.

He slows very slightly before hitting the ground, wings flared to cushion the fall, but he still cracks the earth beneath his boots when he lands.

Kargath steps in between you and him very quickly. "Warchief, these men saved my son's life. I know that you have witnessed much agony, but they are not a part of it. Please, hear them out."

The warchief's right gauntlet is wreathed in flame. Behind his visor, twin glowing points of green indicate balefully glaring eyes.

"Damore," interruptsa a new arrival. The troop of armored figures on horseback has arrived on the scene. Their leader is clothed from head to toe in platemail, face hidden by a barbed helm like the visage of a demon, but their voice is warm and gentle. The warchief slowly turns to them. A simple nod communicates more than you can guess at.

The flames around Damore's fist dissapear. "Very well," he growls, "Speak your piece. Make it fast, and make it good. I have little time for foolishness."

Up close, he is clearly taller and broader than Gareth was, his voice far deeper. It could be a disguise, but if so it is a very good one.

2008-11-22, 12:59 AM

Horacio barely maintains his composure as the chieftain land. After he finishes, he just nods and begins speaking.

"Very well. We were hired by the Cudgelers in Atalya to find out why the Sword God is attacking Atalya and make peace with him. Which is strange, because from what Kargath has said about the 'Cudgelers' attacking you, it should be pretty obvious why the Sword God is going to war. The official Cudgelers didn't mention anything about these invading Cudgelers, and they sound much more savage than I'd expect from them.

"We've also found out your Sword God had other enemies in the past. Very adept at infiltration. Very good at possessing people. They've popped up again recently."

(privately to the group and the warchief)

One of them took control of a Cudgeler paladin a few days ago, had him charge into church and try to kill the high priest before it burst from his head and flew off. Before he went mad, he talked about your 'Sword God' visiting him in his dreams. I get the feeling it wasn't really him.

And if you have any men that have talked about weird dreams or have been bleeding strangely lately, I would keep a close eye on them. They would be stupid not to have agents near the Sword God.

"So we have Cudgelers not acting like Cudgelers, the 'attackers' wondering why they are being attacked in return, and possessors that have played the two sides against each other reappearing. I don't think it's a coincidence. But we don't have enough information in Atalya alone to figure it out, so we came here.

"In short, we're trying to get to the bottom of this mess before your god attacks the wrong people and we want your help."

2008-11-24, 10:28 PM
Damore makes a rumbling noise. "One thinks an enemy as clever as you claim to exist could come up with a better story than that. You openly admit to being in the employ of our enemies, and then claim that you are here to help? Have you any proof of this tale of yours?"

His left fist crackles with electricity as he clenches it. "No. I will not allow you to come here and confuse us with yuor treachery. You have saved a child of my clan. I will allow you your lives. But you will go, and you will tell your masters that we will not be stopped by groundless stupid lies."

"There is always the challenge," says the horse rider.

Darmore turns to them in surprise. "Challenge? Trial by combat? That is an ancient law, a barbaric tradition. There is no-"

"It is law. If they wish an audience with you or Gaudemus, and you will not grant it willingly, then they may request a chance to prove themselves worthy of it."

"There are none here by whom they stand accused," snarls Damore, "except me. And if they fight me, they die. There is no more time for mercy. The lives of my people and the future of this land are at stake. I will not be swayed by the course laid down for me by the one whose judgement I have no reason to question."

He turns back to you with a palpable sneer. "Besides, these whelps stand up to me? Thieves and spies haven't the stomach for it. They wouldn't last ten seconds."

Dude. He is totally calling you guys out. You gonna stand here and listen to that?

2008-11-25, 08:00 AM
Terry remains silent, his expression clouded, but not angry.

"While you have every reason to doubt us, our intentions, and our objectives, I don't think I'm going to let you send us off with our tails between our legs, chieftain. I didn't watch my mentor die so I could be rebuffed by a little righteous indignation between me and what has to be done."

"I challenge you to combat. I will either need a different weapon or to insist this fight not dare come to the death--or at least yours." Terry puts a hand on Kinslayer's haft.

"Daewell, if you could heal me before I try and get myself killed, I would be extremely grateful.

(OOC: Down 20 or so HP after that lion love tap.)

2008-11-25, 09:17 AM

"Heal you? What are you trying to do? And, um. I have a potion you could use."

2008-11-25, 12:43 PM

Horacio mutters, "Just as stubborn as the Cudgelers. Great..."

Horacio glances at Terry. "One moment, Terry. I wish you wouldn't volunteer to put your neck on the line so quickly. It doesn't give me time to."

Horacio looks at the mounted horseman. "What are the rules for the challenge? What restrictions are there? How many people can get involved? And is there anything else outsiders should know about it?"

And ask for healing from me, Terry. Well, Tahlion the Holy.

(Horacio will use Tahlion to heal Terry if she can currently heal his wounds.)

2008-11-25, 05:06 PM
Tahlion can and does heal Terry's wounds.

"No rules as such," says the armored figure, "the accuser does battle with the accused, and the challenge ends when one of them is unable to continue to fight. Proxies may be assigned if both sides are amenable to it. Unless the accused is under threat of execution the fight is not typically to the death, but there have been exceptions."

"I am not accustomed to pulling punches," growls Damore. "I will face one or all of you, whenever you can work up the nerve for it. It does not matter. I will not slay an enemy who has fallen in fair combat, I promise this. But I can not promise that you will live through the fall. Choose wisely."

2008-12-03, 12:42 PM
Terry gives the...uh, sword, an appreciative nod.
"Well then, Horacio and I, at least, will fight. The two of us work better with a team, anyway. Dae, Harper?"

2008-12-03, 11:05 PM

Daewell shrugs mentally.

Of course. We're on our way. Maybe this would be a good time to clarify what "the fall" means.

Wizard and angel begin to descend.

2008-12-04, 07:35 AM

"Wisely?" Horacio narrows his eyes at the chieftain. "This is the only choice left to us. There are too many questions left unanswered; too many contradictions not explained; too many warnings of slaughter and terrible consequences to ignore.

"Doesn't anything about this strike you as off? No clues things might not be what they seem? No visions of doom from your own seers? No concerns about other troubles for Gaudemus and his family? We've seen too much to let this lie. Cudgelers be damned, I want answers. And if the only way to get them is to fight with you..."

Horacio holds Tahlion at ease.

"You're High Priestess Kara's father, right?"

2008-12-05, 10:35 PM
Horacio's pronouncement draws two reactions. The armored figure on the horse nearly falls from their steed, accompanied by hysterical- and now clearly feminine- laughter.

Damore, for the first time, is caught completely off-guard.

"Wha- fa- you... me... The High Priestess' father!?"

He pulls off his helmet. The face staring at you is clearly orcish, though his pupiless green eyes and vaguely reddish skintone denote some trace of otherworldly ancestry. He is also just as clearly quite young- perhaps in his mid-twenties at the oldest.

"She'd get a kick out of that one," chuckles the armored woman when she regains her composure. Damore shoots her a look, though now that you can see his face you can see clearly that he isn't actually angry at her so much as continually flummoxed.

"I was not chosen as the warchief for my years of experience or any great amount of wisdom," he rumbles, "I hold this position through strength of arm and skill at leading men into battle. The high priestess and the scion chose me themselves, the sword god approved their decision and gave me his blessing. I do not serve them by questioning their motives. I do as they bid. I am the weapon of our god, a blunt instrument to be applied with direction and force. In this capacity I have few peers."

His eyes briefly flare with emerald light.

"I leave deep thought to those that have the patience for it. The challenge is laid out. Have you the courage to face me? If you can prove yourselves in combat then I shall hear your case and present it to those that it may concern. If you cannot... then it wasn't worth bothering with anyway."

2008-12-06, 05:22 AM
Horacio's turns a bright red as he realizes his leap of intuition was wrong, but his shame is quickly forgotten as he sees their reactions. He shrugs at Damore.

"My mistake. You seemed impressive enough to be her father, and blessings like yours, I imagine he only gives to those who really please him."

Horacio squints his eyes at Damore.

"But now that I get another look, perhaps you were born with those. Bit of demonic lineage? Doubt it's a coincidence they're named 'Abyss'cats, either. Sounds like that area has a few ties to the Abyss. If so, are there ties because you warred with the demon prince, or did you war with the demon prince because there were ties?"

Horacio glances at the armored woman.

"By the way, could it be possible for us to meet the High Priestess and the Scion?" Horacio glances at Damore. "After the trial, that is."

2008-12-07, 08:50 PM
"This place was once the mortal demense of a minor demon lord called Kaljadin," says the armored woman conversationally, "he tempted the orc tribes in the region with power in return for their fealty, and a few tribes succumbed, only to be mostly destroyed by the opposing clans in the resulting war, which resulted in Kaljadin's death. His taint still permeates this place, even long after the fact. Abyssal creatures sometimes appear roaming the land, and some orc children are born with unusual features."

She nods at Damore, who glowers.

"As for your other question, if you wish to speak to Gaudemus, then the high priestess and the scion will certainly be a part of the proceedings. It's something of a family business, really."

2008-12-07, 10:52 PM

"That's reassuring. Better than a dormant extraplanar rift.

"And good. I was afraid they would be away leading the armies. I think we have information concerning them as well."

Horacio looks at the others, then looks at Damore, prepared and waiting for the fight to begin.

(Letting the others say they're ready before we proceed.)

2008-12-08, 12:19 AM
Since there seemed to be no restrictions on preparatory work, Daewell cast several enchantments as he got close to the ground, and Harper offers a blessing touch to each.

Daewell casts Haste on everyone, and Bear's Endurance on Harper. Harper offers a SLA of Aid to each person. That's +1 to attacks and fear saves, and [roll0] temporary hit points.

2008-12-10, 03:19 PM
The horsewoman backs away and Damore takes a businesslike stance, fists glowing with fire and lightning.

(roll initiative, first round actions, etc. Emmy where are you finals can't possibly take the whole week can they?)

2008-12-10, 06:41 PM
Terry draws Slayer and strikes a low stance.

Initiative (1d20 14=31) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1852112/)

Assuming I'm going first--

Without further warning he lunges for the chieftain, bringing Slayer down with brutal speed.
Charge attack (1d20 27=46) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1852116/)
(... :D)
Critical confirm (1d20 27=40) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1852118/)

Critical damage, base (2d10 10=17) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1852119/)
Sneak and Sudden damage, if flat-footed (6d6=17) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1852120/)
...Wow, this is an underwhelming critical. Aaaand practically useless DC 13 will save or be shaken.
Total damage: 34.

2008-12-10, 07:33 PM

Assuming that Daewell starts a little up in the air already, he'll position Harper between himself and Damore. I'm also going to post an action based on the assumption that I'll lose initiative, considering how speedy both Terry and Horacio are...

Initiative: [roll0]

Mobile spellcasting means that he can move while casting a standard-action length spell (in this case, the basic magic missile, for [roll1] unless something interesting happens). Therefore, his move further upwards is 80'.

I'll post Harper's actions when I'm back in proximity to my books.

2008-12-11, 01:29 AM
Harper Initiative: [roll0]

If Damore has not already moved out of range, Harper will activate his armblades (free action) and charge him.

Attack [roll1]
Crit confirmation on 19-20 [roll2]
Slashing Damage [roll3]
Holy Damage [roll4]
Fire damage [roll5]

The attack also triggers Harper's Aura of Menace, Will save, DC 20:
Aura of Menace (Su): A righteous aura surrounds archons that fight or get angry. Any hostile creature within a 20-foot radius of an archon must succeed on a Will save to resist its effects. The save DC varies with the type of archon, is Charisma-based, and includes a +2 racial bonus. Those who fail take a -2 penalty on attacks, AC, and saves for 24 hours or until they successfully hit the archon that generated the aura. A creature that has resisted or broken the effect cannot be affected again by the same archonís aura for 24 hours.

2008-12-13, 07:26 AM

Initiative: 30

Horacio pulls out Tahlion and the buckler (AC 27), activates his Ring of Blinking (50% concealment), and tumbles into position to flank Damore with someone.

Initiative: 30
1d20+11=30 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1855125/)
Tumble check: 37
1d20+17=37 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1855128/)

2008-12-14, 12:25 AM
Damore takes the full brunt of Terry's assault before confronting Harper, shrugging off the blow from Daewell's spell. The orc's eyes briefly widen as the Archon opens terrible wounds through his armor, but they quickly narrow into slits as he raises his massive fists.

"Not bad. My turn."

His blows take Harper across the face twice in rapid succession- one from each hand, leaving the archon battered and bleeding. An aura of rippling heat seems ro rise around the chieftan as he prepare himself for the next assault.

(Harper takes 38 bludgeoning damage, 4 fire damage, and 6 electric damage.)

2008-12-15, 07:50 AM

Horacio notices the heat building and decides to go on the offensive quickly, rather than let the shield loose and prepare to dual-wield.

Nonlethal, Tahlion, and let's hope Harper lasts another round without being sent back.

Horacio mutters an arcane word and his sword arm blurs, rapidly striking Damore in a series of vital points.

Minor Action: Activate haste vest (2/3 charges spent)
Full Action: Full Attack
Uses Opportunist Attack

Attack Rolls:
(Note: Holy damage only applies if Damore is an Evil creature, which I think his half-fiend heritage makes him regardless of alignment.)
Full Attack:
*Hits AC 36 for 52 nonlethal damage (4 base, 9 holy, 39 sneak)
*Hits AC 19 (Natural 1)
*Hits AC 32 for 37 nonlethal damage (6 base, 5 holy, 26 sneak)
Opportunist Attack: (used if someone else connects with a melee attack)
*Hits AC 38 for 38 nonlethal damage (4 base, 8 holy, 26 sneak)

So he should take 127 nonlethal damage total, if all damage applies and someone else hits him with a melee attack.

1d20+23=36, 1d20+18=19, 1d20+23=32, 1d20+23=38 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1857020/)
1d4+3=4, 2d6=9, 8d6=39,
1d4+3=7, 2d6=5, 8d6=34,
1d4+3=6, 2d6=5, 8d6=26,
1d4+3=4, 2d6=8, 8d6=26 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1857021/)

Blink Checks:
Horacio's attacks miss on a 1
1d5=2, 1d5=4, 1d5=4, 1d5=4 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1857017/)

Damore's attacks miss Horacio on a 1
1d2=2, 1d2=2 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1857018/)

2008-12-19, 08:45 PM
(... is everyone else dead?)

2008-12-20, 07:59 AM
(I hope not, else Horacio's in a lot of trouble right now.)

2008-12-20, 12:36 PM

Mike, please note that you've already got a haste effect on you - I don't think they stack. You might be able to save that charge.

The Archon grunts as bones break under Damore's assault.
Grittin his teeth, he slashes back.

He uses 5 points of power attack.

[roll0] Attack 1
[roll1] Attack 1 crit confirm
[roll2] Attack slashing damage
[roll3] Holy damage
[roll4] Fire damage

[roll5] Attack 2
[roll6] Attack 2 crit confirm
[roll7] Attack slashing damage
[roll8] Holy damage
[roll9] Fire damage

[roll10] Attack 3
[roll11] Attack 3 crit confirm
[roll12] Attack slashing damage
[roll13] Holy damage
[roll14] Fire damage

So, if those all hit, he's taking 54 points of slashing damage, 19 points of holy damage, and 7 points of fire damage. If he's subject to critical hits, he takes another 18 points of slashing damage.

How Damore reacts to this will really determine Daewell's action, and I think Terry goes before both of us anyway.

2008-12-22, 07:40 AM
Terry lays into Damore with everything he has while he can.

OOC: Note everyone gains +1d6 of sneak attack from Teamwork Sneak, if you haven't factored it. I get the feeling it might be important.

Full attack, with hasted extra attack.
1d20 27=32, 1d20 27=34, 1d20 22=39 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1865892/)
Wonderful. Oh well, maybe his AC sucks.
Base damage rolls: 1d10 5=13, 1d10 5=15, 1d10 5=11 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1865893/)
Sneak, Sudden Strike rolls: 6d6=15, 6d6=19, 6d6=21 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1865894/)
Attack one: Hits AC 32, 13 base damage, 15 sneak attack. 28 total.
Attack two: Hits AC 34, 15 base damage, 19 sneak attack. 34 total.
Attack three: Hits AC 39, 11 base damage, 21 sneak attack. 32 total.

2008-12-22, 12:25 PM
Extra damage for Harper for the teamwork sneak attack:
[roll0], [roll1], [roll2]

2008-12-22, 01:06 PM
(Daewell: Noted. Scratch the haste use, then.

Hmmm, if Horacio can activate one of Tahlion's healing abilities as a minor aciton, he does so to heal Harper.)

2008-12-23, 11:50 PM
Terry and Harper savage the orc. Great rents are cut into his armor, and wine red blood splatters to the ground in rivulets.

He teeters, and then the armored woman is on her feet in front of him, her hand on the pommel of a large sword.

"That's enough, this battle is over."

"Hnnngh... Jenna... that's not your decision..." rumbles Damore, a moment before he sinks heavily to one knee and coughs more blood on the grass.

"Oh, no, you're right," she deadpans, "what was I thinking. Clearly you have them on the ropes."

"Smartass," grumbles Damore, but he doesn't get back up.

2008-12-24, 07:23 AM

Horacio impassively watches Damore collapse to the ground.

"A thief, a reformed bandit, a merchant and his companion. Twelve seconds. I suggest you think twice before you assume Atalyans don't have the courage or skill to defend their home, else even the street rats will surprise you."

Horacio sighs wearily as he approaches Damore and asks Tahlion to heal Damore just enough that he can stand again. He then looks at Jenna & Damore expectantly.

2008-12-26, 10:29 PM
Oh damn.

Damore's eyes narrow and focus on Horacio with laser-like intensity. His wings spread and if they seem much wider than before it is likely because of the wall of living darkness that follows them and spreads outwards from the orc with a noise like a very large and flammable object catching light. The narrowed eyes turn pure murder red and Damore is on his feet and he is opening his mouth in a fashion which could facilitate either a roar of some kind or the biting off of a person's head.

And then Jenna cracks him over the head with the hilt of her sword.

Damore's eyes slowly bleed back to green, and then he falls forwards with a rather loud thud.

...can we keep her?

"I really thought we'd get through the whole business without him doing that," mutters Jenna as some of Damore's men come foward to pick him up and drag him towards a nearby stream. "Oh well, there's nothing for it now but to go see the wizard. You lot don't have horses, do you? Of course not. Grom, Kargath, you two stay behind and make sure the warchief doesn't take anybody's head off. I'm assuming that since one of you has wings and the other one is three feet tall that two horses will do between the lot of you. Let's go, and keep a brisk pace, you don't want to be here when he wakes up. And please, please don't give me any lip or display the chips on all your shoulders if you can at all help it from here on in because I know you're terribly dissapointed that Damore was a pushover but you are about to meet a number of men who are very much capable of backing up every threat they make and all of whom are very fond of me, and you seem like nice enough gentlemen so I really don't want to watch any of you get unseamed from stomach to chops. All set then? Wonderful, let's hoof it."

2008-12-27, 01:34 AM

Horacio untenses from his "dodge" stance and nods to Jenna as he sheathes Tahlion.

"My apologies. I had too many 'thief' friends lose their lives and minds defending Atalya from threats the Church ignored to let him call them cowardly."

Horacio waits until they're on their way before continuing his conversation with Jenna.

"Thank you for your assistance back there. I was afraid our mission to find out the truth about this was going to become more complicated. I'm honestly surprised you did; you look like you've been in your share of battles, including ones against the 'Cudgelers'. Can you tell us about them? What have they been doing? What are they attacking with? Has anything struck you as unusual?"

2008-12-28, 11:28 AM

Daewell is content to let Horacio go on his usual rants about how evil the priests are who have been defending his city for centuries. He supposed that there was some value to kissing up to these brigands.

He nods agreement to Jenna's terms, and hands a pair of potions to Harper to down.

2008-12-28, 10:45 PM
"I was raised to trust my own judgement," says Jenna as she leads you at a trot through the forest and past the orc village. "And you lot don't act like the northerners I've met before. The fact that you've got an archon in your retinue counts torwards that alot, I might add, but don't expect it to open all your doors for you- not everyone here particularly likes angels."

What? Why not? what's wrong with angels? Why would anyone have a problem with angels? Hmph.

If Jenna hears this diatribe she doesn't react to it. "You act like you can't believe that these 'cudgelers' could be the cause of the destruction we've told you they have, but whatever the organization does in your lands we haven't seen any such benevolence here. Northerners, mostly human, have been attacking the peoples in this land with no provocation and annihilating any trace of us that they've encountered. And every time this has happened the perpetrators were wearing the symbol of your St. Cuthbert. When we fight back they strike at us with enhcanted cudgels and what our shamans have identified as divine magic. They give no quarter and ask for none. When we capture them they kill themselves if allowed to and answer no questions. Of course it's odd. Of course we're suspicious. But attempts to divine the cause of the invasion are blocked and envoys sent to your city have never returned or sent word back. The decision was made to march in force, and not a chieftan of the land would leave his warriors behind while Gaudemus rode the land openly. And so our horde prepares to ride on Atalya, and while there are many cooler heads who would parlay first, those cooler heads are not being heeded nearly so much as the voices crying for blood and vengeance."

Her eyes flash even behind her visor. "I would not say I am not among them. I have lost good friends to these invaders. I almost lost Damore on at least one occasion. I know not whether there has been a schism in Cuthbert's church or if a force rides under his colors without consent, but we do know they come from your city. And your city will give them over to us or bear the consequences."

2008-12-29, 11:05 AM

"That's very strange. The Church is crawling with holy servants and paladins, none of which would stand for the actions occuring here unless they were dominated. I imagine you've seen few, if any, in the attacks. They are a by-the-book police force. They try for non-lethal force whenever possible. They try to state your crimes and demand surrender. They frown on harming innocents.

"I should know; I've been at odds with them my entire life. I don't like them. Part of me wants to dance a jig on their ashes. If I thought they were behind this, I would not only lead you to them, I would unlock their back door for you and wish you well as you stormed in.

"But I've lived my life in the shadows, seen almost every dirty trick in the book. And in my experience, one of the best ways to eliminate 2 enemies is to set them against each other. This situation reeks of it.

"The Church encountered similar difficulties. First its southern patrols were annihilated by Gaudemus's 'barbarians'. Then they heard rumors of Gaudemus's forces amassing to raze the city to the ground. Then they saw one of their own compelled to attack their High Priest, then ripped in half from a parasite within, by 'Gaudemus's blessing'. I wonder how many of them are baying for your blood after that... Sound familiar?

"That's how you set it up. You cause incidents, either by framing them or manipulating parts of them. You cut off or warp any communication between the two. Then let it build until both sides are trying to rip each other's throats out."

Horacio glances at Jenna.

And when the two meeting is like pouring oil on a haystack, you let them. Then toss a torch onto it.

Keep your eyes open. We've encountered no resistance getting here. That scares me. Ambush, betrayal, sabotage, from within our ranks or yours... There's a lot of things that could be waiting to flare up.

"Do you still have any live captured 'Cudgelers' we could question?" He glances at Daewell. "We might be able to gleam something by comparing them with the real thing."

2009-01-02, 09:53 PM
(Are the italics just thoughts or are you speaking to Jenna telepathically?)

2009-01-02, 10:34 PM
(I'm speaking to Jenna, Daewell, and Terry telepathically. Horacio suspects the odds there's a parasite nearby are high; he'd rather let them keep thinking they're morons walking into a trap.)

2009-01-03, 03:42 AM
(Wait...we're not?)

2009-01-03, 11:15 AM
(We are, but the more ignorant they think we are, the less effort they might put into making sure it succeeds, increasing our own chances to throw a monkey wrench into the works.)

2009-01-05, 12:56 PM
(Well, that was actually an attempt at humour, but sounds good to me.)

2009-01-05, 01:47 PM

(With the way things have been going, if you said a pit fiend was going to appear in front of us and kill us through bad dancing, I would give you the benefit of the doubt.)

2009-01-08, 10:18 PM
(Alright, I'm sorry, it's been kind of a hectic week and between multiple problems actually getting this board to work and a number of personal issues I haven't been able to post and... well, tonight isn't looking good either. I've got the day off tomorrow, hopefully I'll have time to sit in a dark corner and beat my head against the wall until something worth typing comes out. Sorry. :/)

2009-01-10, 10:36 PM
Jenna sits straight upwards and gives Horacio a disconcerted look as he talks in her brain. She turns back forward and chuckles to herself as they ride.

"Interesting theory. Unfortunately, I'm not the one you have to convince, and the one you do have to isn't terribly interested in listening to outsiders' points of view."

The mountain looms ahead. "This is your last chance to turn back, boys. Anyone need to stop and visit a friendly bush? You probably won't get another chance."

2009-01-10, 11:19 PM

"I'm good."

Horacio pauses.

"How have Gareth & Kara been doing?"

He looks at Jenna.

2009-01-12, 12:15 AM
"As well as can be expected. Gareth's... getting on in years. We think Gaudemus has more or less achieved immortality, but Gareth is over a hundred and starting to feel it. Kara's not getting any younger herself, but at this rate she's going to outlive him. I don't think she wants that."

2009-01-12, 01:13 AM

Horacio pauses a moment.

"I assume Kara is quite a bit younger than Gareth, then. Or does she have some elvish in her blood?"

Horacio thinks.

"How's Gaudemus taking the fact he might outlive his son?"

2009-01-14, 09:05 PM
"A bit younger, yeah," Kara says evasively. "Gaudemus... is... well, he's not very good at sharing his feelings."

2009-01-16, 04:16 PM
Daewell speaks softly.

May I ask, Jenna...as you've been advancing northward, have the northerners, and the servants of Cuthbert that you've met up with acted the same way as those who attacked you? The same ferocity, the same tactics?

2009-01-16, 05:15 PM

"I don't think they've started advancing yet, Dae, just preparing to. Gaudemus and company would be leading the advance if they had. But you have a point. The Church said they lost several patrols to ambushes by the 'barbarians', Jenna; were those your doing? If so, any reports of them acting differently than the ones attacking you?"

Daewell, we're not going to find many contradictions with the vague info we have. Any way to contact the Church and get more detailed info of the southern patrols?

2009-01-16, 08:25 PM

"That's not the impression that I had, Hor. If the southern armies weren't even at the border yet, how would the priests have been able to judge their rate of advance towards the city?"

I don't have any way of reaching back to the church without physically leaving here. What's Tahlion's range on telepathy? Is there any chance that your priestess could reach you mentally?

2009-01-16, 08:49 PM
"We've been concentrating on defense so far," says jenna as they near the mountain stronghold. "Any excursions we've made to the north have been attempts at reconaissance and the only one of our scouts who came back says the cudgelers he ran into are just as vicious as the one's we've been defending ourselves from. I'm sure we've ambushed plenty of their patrols, but I've never heard of them asking for or offering any quarter. I'm sure we would have allowed them to surrender if they'd asked."

She pauses.

"Probably. It's hard to tell a soldier who's seen his family home burnt to the ground with his family inside that he shouldn't slaughter everyone he sees tresspassing on our territory and wearing the same insignia as those responsible."

2009-01-16, 09:25 PM

"Great. That's two sides who say they've been attacked unprovoked by the other. The Cudgelers probably view you as Kill On Sight as well, after the ambushes and the incident at the Church."

Horacio sighs and looks off at the mountain.

"I just hope Gaudemus remembers enough about the damn things to piece their plan together."

2009-01-17, 01:38 AM

So, was that a "no" on Tahlion?

Daewell almost smiles.

"Or, at the very least, is up for a chat before he kills us all."

2009-01-17, 04:57 AM

Dunno if it's a good idea to be sending telepathic messages to the Church in the middle of meeting a demigod wizard without his permission. I don't think we would get enough information from it to make it worthwhile. Just in case, Tahlion, do you think you could reach someone in Atalya?

"Kill? Calissa is hoping I get tortured first."

2009-01-17, 11:10 AM

But it would have been a good idea for the follower of Cuthbert to cast a spell to contact them? Hmm. Nevertheless, you're right about the extremely limited information. Perhaps, once we get to Gaudamus, we could encourage use of a zone of truth or similar enchantment to help convince him of our veracity. I don't think we actually have anything to hide from him, really.

Hmm. It occurred to me that the tentacled things would have had to been using the actual bodies of the patrols on both sides. Which means that, somewhere on the border, there are one or more places where they exist outside of bodies. Some kind of organized way for them to find, track down and infiltrate these patrols. Perhaps in that is the kernal of a suggestion with Gaudamus - even if he doesn't fully believe us, it might be worth while to spend some time trying to divine a location for one or more bases of these parasites.

2009-01-17, 04:36 PM

Probably. It sounds like the Tentacles have a lockdown on the buffer between the two. They could kill or convert any genuine groups passing through it.

However, I suspect their main base may be within the Church rather than the borders. It would explain their century-old presence in Atalya, how they keep infecting Church members, the divination smokescreen around Atalya, and it would let them select who gets sent south to the borders.

We may need to figure out a way to remove them that doesn't involve razing the city.

2009-01-18, 03:48 PM

Certainly, I'm all in favour of rooting out any corruption in the church. But without knowing more about the situation here, what leads you to believe that their home base is in Atalya, let alone in the Bastion? The only evidence of infestation, up until now, was around Gaudamus himself. The church didn't indicate any difficulties in scrying elsewhere, just Gaudamus himself, so it would seem just as likely that the heart of the infestation is around him.

2009-01-18, 05:12 PM

Gaudemus has more knowledge of them and fewer reasons to tolerate them. It would be harder for them to be right under Gaudemus's nose. It's reasonable for a powerful demi-god wizard to put up anti-scrying measures; it's less reasonable for the Church to do so, thus more suspicious. The 3 infestations we've found were either in the Church or in Atalya, so you'd suspect the Church was involved based on proximity. Most of the strange-acting people appear to be from the Church, which indicates they're the focus of the infiltration. Also, the Church is powerful but easily-manipulated if it's infiltrated. That's the problem with a religion that emphasizes following orders. That's my thinking.

You don't have to convince me, though. You have to convince a pissed-off demigod wizard that the infestation base is on his end and not the Church's. We have no evidence of it yet, and it'll be hard to get any from them.

I would also suspect if they have any bases between here & Atalya, they might clear them out before Gaudemus starts his march so he doesn't accidently stumble on them.

2009-01-18, 05:40 PM

If Gaudamus has known about them for a century, we certainly have no evidence that he's been able to do anything about them, while the Church, as soon as there was any evidence, began a comprehensive screening program. If Gaudamus had any indication of the scope of their activities, it certainly hasn't stopped him from blaming the Church anyway, and launching this offensive. Therefore, my reasoning is that the infestation and manipulation is at least as strong on this end as on the end in Atalya.

And actually, it IS you I have to convince. If we start presenting contradictory impressions of this conflict to Gaudamus, it only weakens our case with him. You understand why I'm reluctant to paint Atalya as the likeliest base of operations for the tentacled creatures, since it's certainly reasonable that the response of - what was it you said? - a "pissed off demi-god wizard" might include engulfing the entire city in flames. Something that I think none of us particularly want.

2009-01-18, 09:56 PM
... I -think- I could contact Atalya from here, but it would have to be someone I'm familiar with, which kind of limits our options just a bit... still, it'd be easy enough to send Firethena or the ditz to the church to ask a few questions, wouldn't it?

2009-01-18, 11:13 PM
It would be vitally important to give them advance word that the southern tribes are being manipulated into this action by the Tentacles. That there may be further infiltrations by the Outsiders, both within and at the borders. And to find out more precisely what news they got back from the border - and who brought it.

He glanced over at Horacio and Terry, assuming that they'd have other points and questions to add.

2009-01-20, 03:48 AM

Why would I need to give contradictory evidence? You think Gaudemus wouldn't come to the same conclusions by himself? You haven't given any evidence yet that would deter him from invading Atalya, but with what we have, we might be able to convince him to use a more precise strike. One that would cut into this corruption without leaving Atalya a smoking wreck, hopefully.

Personally, I plan on pumping him for as much info as we can. We have a few things that could loosen his lips and bring up suspicions. Hopefully that'll give us a clearer picture of where they could be.

Tahlion, we'd probably want Firethena at the house in case we need the tentacled corpse for something. For information from the Church, we should probably contact Nefertari. The sphinx that "gave you a chubby", remember?

Horacio thinks a moment.

Do you think you would be able to contact Kumoru as well?

2009-01-20, 04:58 AM

Daewell grimaces.

I didn't say contradictory evidence. All we're talking about is contradictory opinions of the same evidence. And you'll forgive me for not being excited about what he might consider a "surgical" strike towards Atalya. Consider...what if you're wrong, and the church is not the heart of the corruption. You'll have taken out hundreds of innocents, and a powerful ally against the corruption. Are you so sure of your conclusions that you're willing to risk that?

I would say that the prospect that the corruption is based closer to him, or at least not focused in the people of Atalya, is EXACTLY the kind of prospect that would deter him from a wholesale invasion that will lead to heavy casualties on both sides. I'm suggesting is that we try to provide the facts, and as little theorizing as possible, for as long as possible.

2009-01-21, 05:57 AM

Too bad that's what the facts lead to. Every incident we've encountered so far has been involved with either Atalya or the Church. I think what you mean to do is pry him for as much information as possible before revealing the facts and pray we can make a connection in time.

I would still be thinking of a Plan B in case it does point to the Church.

2009-01-21, 02:12 PM

What about the possible infestation of Gareth? In what way is that the Church?

I'm acknowledging that the sickness may begin there - and in fact, the Church is the only place in Atalya actively trying to screen for the parasites. As opposed to, say, here. All I'm asking is that you try to see past your blind hatred of the church to see that there are other possible scenarios.

2009-01-21, 09:13 PM
(I'm still alive! I swear! I just... can't get this website to work more than like, half the time. o_o I'm doing my best, I promise. Bear with me. I have to go talk to my ISP or something. Let me grab my wrench.)

Oh, her! I can do that no problem. It's a bit of a ways for a direct connection, but I can pass along any information you want me to give her, just, ah, as soon as you decide what that is. Kumoru... I'd have to work on. He's a little hard to lock onto, what with the whole, you know, being undead thing he's got going on.

2009-01-21, 09:47 PM

yeah, it's been pretty buggy the last few days. I don't know why. Usually, it's around the time a new comic is released, but this seems to be something else entirely. Thanks for continuing to try!

Daewell's mental voice dials back.

Tahlion, I've already said what I think needs to get passed along, as soon as possible. I leave it to your discretion what you choose to do.

2009-01-23, 01:46 AM
(I'm still alive! Just...very, very tired. Physical therapy's started, you don't need to hear the song and dance, just that I apologize and I'll try to be more active in the future.)
Terry, having been mulling things over quietly, 'speaks' up.
We're not going to get anywhere with conjecture and maybes. We need more answers. More time. And just maybe a way to speak with Gaudemus and walk away from the encounter. I'll be honest--I'm half hoping he is tuning in on this so he understands all of this. We have no real cards to be tipped to him.

2009-01-24, 09:32 PM
I'd prefer to wait until after we speak to Gaudemus, but I don't know how mush you guys need to contact the bastion. Are you comfortable going into this with the information we have, or do we need to try and do some more recconaisance on the fly if at all possible?

2009-01-25, 01:32 PM
I don't know why we need to choose between contacting them now, or later. Are you only able to use your telepathy a finite amount per day?

Why not send the information, and the request on now, and as we learn more, continue the communications. Even if Gaudamus somehow overhears the conversation, after all, what we're recommending to the church is "exercise restraint" - hardly something that he'd be upset about.

2009-01-28, 07:03 AM

It depends whether Gaudemus can overhear us or just tell we're sending telepathic messages out; the difference between seeing a thief & priest talk and hearing what they say. If he learns we're talking but can't tell the message, he'll get suspicious very fast.

Besides, he didn't react so well when you tried to teleport in without his permission. How do you think he'll react if we try to get a message out without it?

Horacio ponders for a moment, then glances at Jenna.

...However, if you think we must contact the Church now to start gathering info, there would be nothing wrong with asking Jenna if we can. That would be the diplomatic way, wouldn't it, Daewell?

Horacio shrugs.

Personally, I agree with Tahlion. Gaudemus would suspect the word of the Church, so we probably can't use it to persuade him. He would be more likely to allow us, and overhear us, if we ask him for permission to.

2009-01-28, 04:31 PM

"If you were worried about Gaudamus getting paranoid about the use of telepathy, you shouldn't have started doing it five minutes ago. If we assume that he can either detect telepathy or not, without intercepting the content, then it's reasonable to assume that he's registering the existence of telepathy now. One message more or less shouldn't make a difference.

"I have no objection to including Jenna in this conversation, and would invite Tahlion to do so. Again, I think that we have nothing to hide.

"I'm just suggesting that we try to give the Church advance word of what we've learned in case we fail, so that they can try in other ways to avert catastrophe, and benefit from the detective work that you and the rest of us have done. That seems wiser than putting all of our collective eggs in this basket, right Horacio?

"I don't know what you mean about using the church to persuade Gaudamus. If we are able to get a clearer image of what actually happened, by comparing the accounts of survivors from both of the two sides, that's quite different than using opinions and claims, don't you think?"

Daewell speaks aloud to Jenna.

"As Horacio has said, we believe that both of our nations are being manipulated towards conflict. We'd like to send word back to Atalya to encourage them to moderate their defenses, to pull back as much as possible, in recognition of this fact. I'd also like to get more information about the accounts that Atalya's scouts have sent back regarding the skirmishes of the last little while. Perhaps, if we compare accounts, we'll learn something about the way in which we are both being mislead. Is that acceptable?"

2009-01-28, 07:45 PM

Getting paranoid about in-party telepathy is one thing; getting paranoid about a telepathic message sent dozens of miles to the enemy is another.

What I'm saying is that any information we get from the Church that makes it appear innocent will appear to be falsified to Gaudemus. To him, they would be opinions and claims.

2009-01-28, 07:53 PM
Getting paranoid about in-party telepathy is one thing; getting paranoid about a telepathic message sent dozens of miles to the enemy is another.

Spellcraft check to see if that makes any sense, given Daewell's understanding of magic: [roll0]

"Everything you just said is true of everything that we might say to Gaudamus. And again, what I'm suggesting is that we attempt to alter the way that Atalya responds to the advancing army, regardless of any information we are able to gather in return.

"Besides, contacting the priests for more information was your idea in the first place!"

2009-01-29, 04:00 AM

Horacio shrugs.

I've had time to think about it now.

2009-01-29, 10:38 PM
Jenna blinks.

"I don't really care... just... don't tell me where you hid the messenger pigeon..."

As far as I am aware there are no magical effects in 3.5 that project telepathic messages for hundreds of miles, and even if there were they probably wouldn't function in exactly the same way as a potentially psionic artifact magic item. But as far as I understand how magic and its detection works no what Horacio just said doesn't make a very large pile of sense.

2009-01-30, 04:39 AM

Daewell bows his head slightly to Jenna.

"Thank you."

"Well, from my years of study, things don't work the way Horacio is describing them. Tahlion, of course, it's up to you what you decide to do."

2009-02-04, 11:09 PM
You guys concentrate on convincing our friend not to go pyscho on civilization, I'll see what I can do about alerting the sphinx of our situation.

You've arrived at what appears to be the entrance to Gaudemus' Mountain Stronghold. A long stairway leads up to a tall, ornately carved door. A couple of young men of various species step forward to take your mounts.

"I don't think the master is in right now," an elven lad says conversationally to your guide, "but Brannon and Kayle are missing too, so it shouldn't be hard to find them."

Jenna nods. "Thanks, that narrows it down. Come on guys." She leads you up to the entrance and into the structure. Two guards wearing ornate armor and leaning on dangerous-looking pole axes eye you suspiciously but allow you to pass with a nod to Jenna.

As you cross the thrashold, you notice a poem carved into the far wall of the entrance hall.

I am a king of honor
gold and glory
but every king must also die
have I been just and righteous
what is glory
I know I've torn and taken life
and here I stand
a small and simple man

2009-02-12, 11:34 PM
Okay, gonna quit the GM voice now. I think we had a great run, there. Losing half our players in the middle of things didn't help, but... eh. We had some fun. I hope we had some fun. I had a little fun. But we're out of steam now, and I think we might as well just shoot this dog in the head before he goes rabid and tries to kill somebody.

Thanks a lot for putting up with me guys, it was a pretty cool ride. :wink:

2009-02-13, 03:49 AM
Huh, quitting it? I know it was down to basically 2 players, but damn.

Well, just so we get closure, mind wrapping it up? Or at least elaborating on a few of the loose ends we were wondering about?

2009-02-13, 02:54 PM
I understand, MS, and am sorry we weren't able to keep up the momentum.

I'm also very curious as to what the heck actually was going on, but would (reluctantly) understand if you weren't willing to give a peek behind the curtain. Thanks to both of you for a good run!

2009-02-13, 11:19 PM
Oh, right, the wrap up!


Jenna is Gaudemus' grandaughter, for the record. She's the daughter of Gareth and his wife, and she's currently dating the warchief. She gets you into see Gaudemus, but the negotiations don't go as well as you could have hoped, because the church is, in fact, directing assaults on Gaudemus' people.

The Church of St. Cuthbert has been heavily infiltrated by tsochari, aberrations from another planet with the ability to crawl inside a live or dead body and use it as a disguise, and also the unique ability to steal spells from humanoid mages. Years ago Gaudemus and co. fought a few of them, tracked them to the intergalactic portal that had been bringing them to our world, and sealed it.

They didn't seal the only portal, but tsochari don't tend to be organizers or team players, so while one rogue agent managed to infiltrate Atalya and kill Aerin Vadis, the majority could do little more than dream of even greater vengeance... until they met Bob the Cleric, AKA Robert Vaugn Soledis, Gaudemus' second brother, born after he and Kumoru had left home. Kumoru's investigations would have eventually revealed the boy's existence, and that Gaudemus had met briefly with his father a century ago after Kumoru's death, and that the meeting had ended badly- their father, mad with necrotic power, trying to use Gaudemus as a new host body and dying in the attempt, promising that his final, loyal son would have vengeance. Gaudemus dismissed this as an empty threat.

Robert discovered the tsochari, and that they had a few years prior managed to arrange for the death of Gaudemus' wife, but were unable to raise another assault against his defenses. Robert directed their madness, rotting the Bastion of Righteousness from within by arranging for several key clergymen, including the high priest, to be possessed, their own holy magics and positions of authority used as shields against detection. They proceeded to direct a campaign of terror against the southern barbarians, largely through the use of a legion of interdimensional mercenaries that would wear the tabard of Cuthbert to war while the majority of the church in Atalya remained blissfully unaware.

The ultimate goal of this plot was to force Gaudemus to take action and leave the protection of his stronghold, and then capture him. For Robert had discovered that through his innate power, the devotion of his followers, and sheer force of will, Gaudemus had transformed himself into something more than mortal. A quasideity of unusual magical potency, and one relatively unguarded by the standard of most gods. The tsochari had found revenge and power in a single being- they could keep Gaudemus alive and torture him daily while drawing on his vast magical powers for their own use. Robert, in turn, would usurp Gaudemus' place at the command of the barbarian hordes and ride roughsod over nations.

Fast forward to the game, where you, hired by Robert and the Tsochari, are sent to the southern lands. After an abortive first attempt to reason with Gaudemus, he has Gareth take you away- which leads to the revelation that on his travels outside the mountain stronghold Gareth had been possessed by a tsochar. Engaging you in battle, he explains that you exist merely as the final spur to drive Gaudemus to all-out war, an assassination attempt on his own family made by otherwise innocent agents of Cuthbert come under a flag of peace. So saying, he judges that you have inflicted enough damage on his corporeal shell, and kills you.

Except that the mindworm in Horacio's head is a trap laid to guard against just the kind of dark magics the tsochar employs against you. The worm's purpose fulfilled, it dissapears, and without its trump card, the tsochar is driven from Gareth's corpse and killed.

Just in time for Gaudemus to arrive and see how deeply the infection has spread into his own family.

Near mad with grief, he kneels beside his son's body, his elite guards and subjects looking on- fully expecting a miracle. A miracle which does, in fact, occur, as Gaudemus ascends to godhood and resurrects his son, the divine spillover empowering you as witnesses to the event. Kinslayer and Tahlion, likewise caught in the eruption of power, are returned to their humanoid forms. Kinslayer promptly gives Terry a noogie.

But there is no time to celebrate- the tsochar know their plan has failed, and as a last resort they expend vast amounts of their magical resources to send the full might of their six hundred and sixty-six legions against the mountain, and with Gaudemus' troops deployed along the front lines between his mountain and Atalya, he cannot drive them back. Determined to make a stand, he races to his throne room and pulls down the great crystal mounted above his seat, which contains the body of his wife. She is called forth to life as well, and entrusted to your care. "Return to Atalya," says Gaudemus grimly, "do what you can against them there, and keep my family safe. I will stop them here."

You flee, pausing only to rest and discover, via Tahlion, what Kumoru managed to discover just before the energies keeping him alive faded, and that the events Aerin has observed from Celestia confirm the identity of your enemies. Further mental networking would reveal that you do have allies- the tsochar have made their move to consolidate their power base within the city, alerting the remaining clerics of Cuthbert to the situation and uniting them under Nefertari, while Snake Eyes and The Devourer are likewise prepared to shelve their differences long enough to deal with this new threat. During the trip back to the city, you discover that Gaudemus, for all his power, has been overwhelmed by sheer force of numbers and captured, now imprisoned within the bastion in Atalya.

The six hundred and sixty six guarding the city discover enemies from within and without- the main force of the Gaudemus' army arrives to do battle, bolstered by Cuthbert's faithful from other cities to the north, while the clergy of Atalya attack from within, aided by Snake Eyes' operatives, and the illithid offer their services through more discreet channels. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is fairly simple- sneak into the city, liberate Gaudemus, and cut off the head of the snake by killing Robert.

Assuming you are succesful at doing so, you find yourselves confronted by a nightmare in black and red armor, tentacles flailing wildly, great sword gripped in each hand. Robert, a powerful cleric of dark gods in his own right, wearing his brother's armor, still living and possessed by a tsochar wielding Gaudemus' stolen spells, stands before you. Should you manage to defeat him, Gaudemus is freed, and the tsochar, directionless, flee, and their army is routed. Peace once again settles onto Atalya, and Gaudemus returns to his mountain, now with his faimly reunited, and on much better terms with the church of Cuthbert in particular and Atalya in general.

You guys are commended as heroes, laden with heaping bags of treasure, and live the remainder of your lives as living avatars of the power that birthed a new god. Horacio might get to bang Firethena, who knows.

2009-02-14, 12:24 AM

Perhaps he would settle down with Firethena. At the very least, he'd be reinvited to Nightfang's poker games. I love a campaign that ends with the characters still meeting for weekly poker.

Nice to see his suspicions about Gareth being infected, the things infiltrating the Church, and the meeting just being a means to have something go down being right. He thought Gaudemus was summoning the Legion, though... well, can't be right about them all. I assume there was really no way we could learn about the dark magics the tsochar used or drive the thing out of Gareth without the mindworm?

Also, what happened to Tahlion & Kinslayer afterwards?

2009-02-14, 04:32 AM
Hmm, don't forget Vera, either, just to see Dae's reaction when she meets up with him again... Heheh.

2009-02-14, 10:52 PM
I was playing pretty fast and loose with the story. If you hadn't gotten the mindworm in your head you would have found another way to survive the fight with Gareth. Any dark magics employed by the tsochar would likely have been epic or homebrewed spells stolen from or donated by random evil mages. This is just the direction I was planning on taking the game based on where we'd been thus far and where I thought I could make the story though- I guarantee you what would have actually played out would probably at least have been a little different. No story survives long after coming into contact with a group of PCs. :P

Tahlion and Kinslayer I hadn't made concrete plans for, they remained fairly minor characters and would probably have been used as powerups somewhere along the way. Assuming they survived the final battle, Kinslayer would likely hang out with Gaudemus for a while before taking off for parts unknown, and Tahlion might have stuck around with you guys a bit or maybe taken a convenient interplanar portal to see how celestia's changed since she was there last.

Nightfang might not have survived to the end of the campaign, I had vague plans for him to be possessed by a tsochar to slow you guys down/piss you off. Given the direction the game was going towards the end there, we can probably assume he would have either survived or been resurrected after that, though.

Vera's actions at the end of the game would have depended on Dae's, though it is entirely probably she dragged him off to some quiet room and did naughty things to him while the victory celebration was going on.

2009-02-14, 10:58 PM
Wait, Kinslayer & Tahlion were minor characters?

Also, Em & I were wondering exactly what the avatar-ish change would've done mechanics-wise.

2009-02-21, 02:26 AM
They were intended to be. :P They were -swords-. You were supposed to use them like swords. Kinslayer was also there to provide some insight into the mystery, but largely you were supposed to use them as weapons and occasional helpful advice, and maybe some comic relief. Any backstory they have was made up on the fly because you guys were so interested in them. If you hadn't bothered asking, they never would have been fleshed out as characters, and I really didn't have a plan for how they would end up beyond 'whatever seems interesting at the time."

I hadn't entirely worked out the mechanics of the "witness to the god's ascension" bit entirely but it was going to be a template somewhere on the order of ECL +2 or +4, or something in between. Something similar to Celestial with whatever interesting special abilities I could come up with.

2009-02-21, 05:32 AM
Sorry, I just find it hard to believe that the soul-stealing sword we spent the first part of the mission getting, that could corrupt everything around it, kill with a touch, and manifest around its owner as a demonic suit of armor was a minor character. Tahlion, maybe, but not Kinslayer. Hearing he really didn't have much of a role after that is a bit of a downer.

2009-02-21, 08:59 PM
Next time you get to run a campaign and think up something new and exciting for the demon sword to do every day. :D

2009-02-22, 05:42 PM
As long as you have to think up something new & exciting for the holy sword in it to do every day, deal. :p