A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Default IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale


    The party heads south west, back to the wondrous city of Vlastov. The journey is long and tiring, as the horses are not well suited to travel in the thick woodlands of the Fiac. It takes six hours to return to the bridge where the giantess still rests, then another few hours to arrive in Kvak, a small village that sits astride the mighty Westbow. The village is not too different than one you would find in Blackvale. It has a collection of buildings surrounded by a timer wall. The only oddity is that the village does not have a true motte and instead simply places the lord's manor-house on a tiny hill, with no fortifications unique to the keep itself. Elk goes to fetch a room or two at the inn when the lord strides out of her manor to greet the newcomers. She introduces herself as Reggot Pelikanova, Lady of Kvak. After the introductions, the good lady practically begs Halbrecht and his companions to stay at her manor house for the evening. Dinner had already been served by the time the group had arrived, so the cooks brewed some thick stew for the guests. The bedrooms were spartan but nice. Once more Halbrecht was allowed to sleep in the Lady's bed (she and her husband, chose to sleep in a guest room). Morning dawns and the cooks have prepared a wondrous breakfast full of quail eggs and roasted eagle. The party then gathers their kit and heads out to Vlastov.


    It only takes three hours to ride to Vlastov. As you approach the grand city, the first thing you can see is the massive crystalline monolith, shooting high up into the clouds. Elk informs the party that the horses must be re-stabled and that his fee is due. As you trot over to the stables, you spy a drow leaning against a fence, mindlessly thumbing through a small blue book. He smiles as the group approaches, his ivory white teeth standing in stark contrast to his purple-black skin. He waves his hand and calls the party over. "Hello friends. I, Zid, the great and powerful wizard, have been keeping my eye on you." He holds up a black button and chuckles as he looks at Aisha. As the woman looks at the button, she suddenly realizes it is from her backpack. She thought it had fallen off! "You dropped this when we were in underland, I apologize for not returning it but... I felt it best to hold onto it just in case I needed to scry you.

    He nods to everyone, "Your friend and his... Wife decided to return to Scrollford for the time being. Apparently the King of Blackvale has sent a formal request for aid to the lords and ladies of Maghemia." The drow then looks at Raka, "I take it you have decided to continue your misadventures with these folks? What they face next will not be easily overcome. They venture into the belly of the beast. A smart person would forsake this fellowship and return to a simpler, easier, less death-filled life."

    With an uneasy glint in his eye, he nods sadly at Raka when she confirms her desire to stay with the group. "Well... I suppose should be off. OH!" The drow slings his backpack to the ground and pulls out several potions, "These are for you guys. I bought them from the local Church of Kaerin. I do not enjoy going to the broth... Church but I decided to make a sacrifice for you lot. Each potion will heal your wounds, fill your belly and... Engorge your muscles. It's a proprietary blend, or so I was told by a very beautiful Madame... Priestess..." He looks awkwardly at the ground before bringing his gaze up to meet Silith's, "The Mistress of the Forge also crafted five cold iron and ten mithral arrows for me. My beloved likes using them, so I figured you would be the same.

    At any rate we best be off...



    The drow holds out his hand and yells, "Ancient kings, ancient lords, who has the right to rule? Hellfire! Ancient kings, ancient lords, who has the right to rule? Hellfire! Ancient kings, ancient lords, who has the right to rule? Hellfire!" A fiery orb manifests itself. The group touches the flame and is instantly teleported to Hellfire.

    Suddenly, you find yourselves in the dark. The rancid odor of dead bodies and filth permeates your nostrils. It is almost enough to make you puke. Zed uses his magic to cast a light spell on his staff... Only it doesn't work. He tries three more times, each time coming to no avail. he sighs as he reluctantly pulls a torch out his sack and lights it, thus illuminating the ten by ten dungeon you now find yourselves in. The walls are made from stone, thick stone by the looks of it. The wooden door is quite hefty and nearly fifteen feet tall! The floor has been flooded up to your calves with chocolate-colored water. Two dead bodies float over in the corner of the room. The liquid has bloated their flesh, chunks of their body drift all across the surface of the water...
    Last edited by Felhammer; 2015-11-08 at 07:06 PM.
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Spoiler: Raka
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    After traveling through Hellfire, one is normally tired and weary. You, after this journey, are particularly drained. You do not know why but you seem to recall a beautiful woman wearing furs, sitting atop a throne. She had an snow-colored owl next to her... She asked you... She asked you... For help...? Something... You can't seem to recall.

    You feel something hanging on your neck. When you look down you see a wooden pendant with a snow-colored owl on it...

    Spoiler: Mental Image of the Woman
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Upon being dumped in the water filled dungeon, contacted by some mysterious lady who would probably claim to be a goddess, and getting her magic blocked, there was really only one option for Raka. She began swearing. Loudly and blasphemously.
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    The drow wizard looks over at Raka and laughs, "I take it you don't like tiny indoor swimming pools?"
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Raka glared at the wizard. "I don't like a lot of things." she said shortly, before attempting to cast Dancing Lights and glancing around the chamber, trying to get a sense of the area they were in.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Just double checking the magic blockers. Also, Perception Check:
    (d20+3)[12]
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Fare

    Hey, look. Exactly what I expected. Not that that makes it any better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Estralita View Post
    "I don't like a lot of things."
    Fare raises an eyebrow at Raka's sudden outburst and comments, "You know you kind of did sign up for this. It's not like we expected to end up anywhere but a dungeon." She pauses to makes a face at the disgusting water. "But...yeah, I don't really blame you."

    After sploshing hesitantly a few steps, the druid reaches for her spell pouch. With a coin in one hand, she begins experimentally casting a spell, hoping that a slightly different source of magic would still work.

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Fare's just trying to see if all magic is blocked, or if divine magic might be able to sneak through. Attempting to cast Light on a coin.

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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    *** The previous evening... ***

    Halbrecht sat upon the Lady Pelikanova's bed, feeling more than a touch out of place in his current situation.

    In the old days I would never have dreamed people would vacate their own beds for me. Now it seems to be turning into a regular trend.

    Worry creasing his brow, the knight turned earl sat up in bed, placing his head in his hands as he massaged his temples.

    The giantess... Meeting with the council of Vlastov... The gnoll problem... and we've already wasted a full day. On the upside, if we eliminate the giantess or convince her to stop the Hellfire block, we can use it to get to Clearwater instead if the situation her calls for our greater attention. But even so...

    He collapsed backwards onto the bed, a soft prayer sneaking through his bearded lips.

    "Almahara, guide my hand."

    For a minute, he lay there. Then, grabbing a candle, Halbrecht once more pulled out pen and paper and began to write.

    My dearest Arna,

    A lot has happened since I previously wrote to you. Believe it or not, as I've journeyed to Bastion Isle to return the Raven's package, among other things... I have been made into a landed noble. A vast expanse of land in Northern Maghemia is now under my control, among other responsibilities, and I find myself overwhelmed by the combination of this and our original mission.

    As before, in case the worst should happen to us, I would ask that you safeguard these missives - and make sure that everyone, one day, knows the story of...

    Warriors of Blackvale

    Spoiler: Part 1: Origins
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    There is no way I could fit all that writing back into here. Go to the linkage!

    Spoiler: Part 2: Awakening
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    Second verse, same as the first!

    Spoiler: Part 3: Legacy
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    We're almost to the new content...

    Spoiler: Part 4: Mark of the Assassin
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    Here we are! Chapters 8, 9, and 10 can be found here.

    Chapter 11: A Nimrod in Sheep's Clothing1

    As Ash left the company of the Heroes of the Maw for parts unknown, they found theselves in a bit of a condundrum. With her songs and supportive magic, Ash had given them the spirit and strength to fight, providing an edge in combat that had come to form a key part of their strategy - and without her, a rather large gaping tactical hole had filled the void. This was compounded further when, in the inn where they had stopped to rest, an elven boy named Eleber sought their help retrieving his friends from a marauding fire giantess.

    At that point, however, fate saw to drop a few surprises in their lap. The first was a undine sorceror with blue hair, who confidently strode through the doors of the inn and toward the gaping Heroes of the Maw.

    "Hail, good travelers! I have been sent at the behest of Duke Onyxlord to aid you in your-"

    But the sorceress never finished, as to a body, with a great *sching!*, the Heroes of the Maw drew their weapons and pointed them at her neck.



    "I don't know what your game is, Baavesi, but you're not going to fool us THAT easily!"

    "Who's Baavesi? My name is-"

    "Oh, come on! It's so obviously you."

    "Uh, guys? Are we sure it's her?"

    "Aisha, do you know of any other undine sorceresses with blue hair running around Blackvale?"

    "Look, seriously, I have no idea what you're talking-"

    "Silence! I don't know what you were hoping to accomplish, but unlike last time, I'm not alone! You're going down, and the Lord of Nightmares will follow!"

    And with a great bellow from the Heroes, and a squawk of fear from the hapless sorceress, they proceeded to chase her all around Vlastov, while a nearby bard followed behind playing a jaunty tune.

    ...okay, I will confess that didn't actually happen, Arna, but what actually happened was a rather fortuitous coincidence. It got me to thinking of a funnier possibility. In any case, what actually happened was this.

    With Ash gone, as we talked to Eleber, three people came in through the inn door. Two of them, a man and a woman, hurried off to the bar, while the third - a young, elven woman - approached us. She had the look of an experienced fighter about her, dressed in a mithril chain shirt over a long red tunic and brown breeches, and armed with a runed scimitar. Brown eyes matched up with short, bobbed brown hair, and she approached us with a sense of purpose and a very blunt introduction.

    "Would you happen to be the ones looking into the actions of a murderous undine sorceress?"

    And that, Arna, was how we met the newest member of our party, a magus named Raka Spelldaughter. After introducing herself, Raka revealed that the Duke of Blackrock had apparently sent her to help us out. Given our concerns about him and the nobility in general, I am reluctant to open confide our deepest secrets in her, but so far she has been a dependable teammate and has displayed no ulterior motives. I remain optimistic that, with time, we will be able to fully integrate her into the team and trust her with the biggest secret of all (namely, Kasmund's true allegiance).

    Raka's arrival, however, was not the only surprise. The man and woman who had come in with her came over to us as well, bearing the Duke's Seal of Command by way of independent verification - and revealed himself to be none other than our long-missing teammate Luc! Apparently, the reason for his disappearance after the ball was because he had been extended an offer by an Ambassador from Maghemia to attend the College Arcane. The end result that he is now apparently the Sixth Wizard of Camroth, Mage to the Fourth Circle of Rhaegos, Ambassador to Blackvale, and heir to Rubyview.

    Also, he is 40 years older due to magic messing with the flow of time, and is married to that Anrika woman who brought down the dire wolves on us. She is pregnant with their child.

    Anyway, after procuring horses for us, and discussing general tactics and the terms and conditions of membership in the Heroes of the Maw with Raka, we set out at Eleber's direction to find the Fire Giantess and rescue his friends from their sanctum. (Apparently, they have mammoth mounts up in Eaglemane. I could not help but let my inner child squeal a little in joy when I heard that.) That was when things all went to hell.

    We made for a lodge owned by a friend of Eleber's, who we thought could help us cross a river - only to find it burned to the ground, a bunch of gnolls gathered around it. Running forward, Eleber shouted at them, and they replied with mocking jeers at how they had eaten his friend while she was still alive.

    Combat was joined, and with great effort we beat back the gnolls. Things were going well until Silith slew one of their number in particular, a goblin spellcaster named Pezmigs. Horrified, the leader of the gnolls - a half-giant, saw fit to summon one of the old gods - the Lady of Wind, Zephyne. The gnoll leader - Bulog, if I remember his name correctly - begged Zephyne to return Pezmigs to life, and the fifty foot colossus then ordered us to explain why we had killed him. When Silith replied that they had been trying to kill us, Bulog called her a liar - and then we got context.

    According to Bulog, the owner of the inn had been harboring adherents of Kastori, who had attacked the Frostpaws and killed many, including cubs. He claimed that they had asked her where they went, then beat and killed her when she refused to answer before eating her. (Note that this contradicted their earlier taunt where they had claimed to have eaten her while she was still alive.) He then went on claim that we had struck first (technically true) and that they had no intention of fighting us.

    Fare interjected at this point, going back a little further. She explained to Zephyne about how Bulog and the Frostpaws had killed the woman and burned her hut to the ground, and then gloated over it as we arrived in the clearing - making it clear that we had attacked because we were responding to that act, not because of some desire for wanton slaughter, and that while we detested the acts of Kastori's servants we could not condone their actions either. Zephyne considered these words, then shrunk down from colossus size to mere giant size, and asked a question.

    "Do you seek vengeance? You have already murdered his warriors. Will your thirst for revenge not be slaked until you slay the half-giant chief?"

    It was at this point that I myself spoke, giving a response to Zephyne to the effect that the matter was not one of revenge, but justice, and that I could not allow the killing and live cannibalism to go unpunished. She then replied.

    "The strong shall thrive, and the weak shall die. Be warned, however, if you slay the Chief, then the other Gnoll tribes may rise up to challenge you. After all, death calls for more death. It is the way of the world."

    She then told Bulog that if he wished to see Pezmig resurrected, he needed to defeat us in combat. Naturally, we were victorious, but when it came down to the final gnoll present - their standard bearer - rather than continue fighting, he opted to talk, and spat at us. His speech was long, but it boiled down to a few essential points. He began by calling us bloodthirsty barbarians, killing his friends and family for the sake of a woman we did not know. He then called us out for not thinking to talk before fighting, claiming that they would have compensated us for the woman's life, and accused us of killing them simply because they were gnolls.

    Then, he related a very interesting fact.

    He described Eleber - the elf-boy who had lead us there, you recall - as the son of their most hated enemy, who had butchered many of their kind, including the standard bearer's son. Eleber's mother - or, as they called her, the Green She-Devil - had, in point of fact, been the one they were pursuing.

    Initially dumbstruck, I responded that the first thing they had done when we entered the clearing was brag about the killing, and that this had not established the good faith necessary for diplomacy to occur - but if he wished to find another way, then we could talk about the Green She-Devil. The standard-bearer replied that if we wished for peace, the only thing they would accept was her head - along with her gnome companion.

    Who, upon further interrogation, fit Galathan Woodsprint, the Ratfolk Flayer's description exactly. And upon turning around, Eleber was nowhere to be seen.

    Infuriated by the fact that we had been deceived, we immediately chased after the elf-boy, trapping him thanks to Fare's magic. After a swift round of interrogation, he confessed his true allegiance amid a storm of insults - a group known as the Romnid, lead by one Father Hulrick, whose mission was to kill every single member of any race that wasn't completely humanoid. He then, after mocking Aisha's appearance, ordered me to set him free, as I had no right to detain him.

    That was when I revealed that I was actually the Baron of Lake Westbow (among other titles), and very, very much did.

    Horrified, he spilled some more information - namely, that under Father Hulrik's guidance, they had killed the old Baron of Westbow and slaughtered the entire Axepaw tribe, and were likely to target the Fangpaw tribe next. The Fire Giantess was also real, and the mother of the leader of the Frostpaws, who we had killed in battle along with their strongest warriors. He ended by taunting us about how she was going to be pissed when she found out.

    Raka took the first step to earning my respect at this point when, in a fit of inspiration and pure charisma, she delivered a blistering speech deconstructing Eleber's thoroughly disgusting beliefs. I wish I could remember it all, because it was the stuff of legends, but I run short on paper and memory space.

    After gagging and tying up Eleber, then tossing him over the back of Adamant like a sack of potatoes, we then made for a nearby fort commanded by one of my new vassals, Fort Mastermore. We were greeted by one Baron Baylan Lenka, a mighty and well-built man. After informing him of the situation, he immediately jailed Eleber and took us to the tower, where we spent the evening planning out a strategy to bring peace to the region. He also spoke with me at length about obtaining the approval and obedience of my new vassals.

    Other highlights of the evening included a rather decadent dinner, speaking with Raka concerning what we'd learned thus far about Baavesi, and with Starman about the particulars of the philosophies of Almahara versus those of Sonbahar.

    The next day - today - we began our journey back to Vlastov, and it started with both one of the happiest and saddest moments of my life. As a gift to celebrate my ascension, Baylan granted me a wonderful boon - my very own gryphon mount, a young formel named Suntalon. It was joyous because, at long last, I have obtained a companion who truly will be able to withstand and fight on equal footing with anything Baavesi throws against us. On the other hand... It was a sad moment, switching my bond from Adamant to Suntalon. Ever since you left, Arna, Adamant has been one of my only friends, and the decade we spent together contained times that I will always cherish - and as such, once I established my bond with Suntalon, I took extra care to reassure him that he would never be forgotten before bonding him for the time being to Starman. Eventually, as part of his training, I will have him train and raise his own mount, but he is need of a fine warhorse in the here and now, and there is none finer than Adamant.

    Once Starman finds his own mount, though, I am building an enormous paddock for Adamant so that he will never want for anything ever again and live in safety and comfort for the rest of his life.

    Shortly before arriving here in Kvak, where we sleep tonight, we also met another person with gifts to give: A gnomling named Kasdal Lordson, who after briefly masquerading as a merchant (before I told him my true identity) extended me a rather vast sum of money and credit (to rebuild Clearwater) as a token of esteem. He also informed us that the Fire Giantess, to confirm what Eleber had said, was very real - and that she had apparently taken hold of a powerful artifact that was preventing Hellfire teleportation to Clearwater, redirecting it to her dungeons.

    1. Nimrod, of course, is used here in the classical sense. Or possibly not. Your call.

    And that is our story in its entirety, as it has progressed so far. Keep these papers secret and safe, in someplace only you can access. If we should fall, assemble a group of trustworthy heroes to carry on our investigation, if for nothing more than the good of Blackvale and the people of the Amethyst isles.

    You are, and always will be, my dearest friend. Be safe.

    I saw a troglodyte charging.

    *** Meanwhile, back in the present... ***
    Halbrecht

    With a noise of disgust, Halbrecht shivered. He had expected to end up in a dungeon, true, but given Kasdal's description, he had hoped to end up in a relatively clean cell.

    He must have ended up somewhere else. There's no way you could get a cart out of here.

    Concerned at Zid and Raka's failed attempts to cast, Halbrecht turned to them. "Is magic not working here? Any ideas why?" It was also at this point that he decided he was glad to have left Adamant and Suntalon behind, as there was no way they would have done well in here. But on the other hand...

    "Are you holding up alright, Starman?"

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Please say it's an anti-magic field. I have a wonderful cutaway gag prepared for just such an occasion.
    Last edited by Lord Of Mantas; 2015-12-02 at 11:47 PM.
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Both Fare and Raka try to cast spells but to no avail. Zid sighs, "Anti-Magic field by the looks of it. Whether it is blanketing the room or the building, I cannot say, milord."

    Starman, who is easily waist-deep in the muck, retorts, "We don't need magic. Just brawn and brain! It is like Sonbaha..." He shoots Halbrect a worried gaze while flashing a guilty face, "It... Doesn't matter. We just need to get out of here... Milord."
    Last edited by Felhammer; 2015-11-09 at 11:59 AM.
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Raka sighed as her spell failed to manifest. But unfortunately, cursing the gods wasn't going to help in this situation. They needed to think. Raka began going over in her head what she knew about anti-magic fields, and sort of power they might be up against.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Knowledge (Arcana) Check:
    (d20+16)[36]
    On anti-magic fields, how difficult they are to cast and maintain, weaknesses, and so on. Because why think when you can roll a knowledge check?

    Also, did Raka learn anything from her earlier Perception check?
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Halbrecht

    At his pupil's worried mention of Sonbahar, Halbrecht chuckled and gently squeezed his shoulder. "I never said that you couldn't mention Sonbahar, Starman. You lived your whole life under his teachings, after all - and his ways are not devoid of virtues to live by. All I ask is that you keep the words of the goddesses in mind, as well."

    At Zid's words, Halbrecht took another look around at his fellows - many of who specialized in whole or part in magic - and groaned, both from worry and exasperation. "Really? An anti-magic field?"

    *** Elsewhere, on our own earth about six years ago... ***

    "Oh, you just pulled that one out of your ass, didn't you!?"
    Spoony spat, exasperated at the latest plot development in Final Fantasy VIII. "So, why can't they just use magic to overpower the guards or to summon the goddess of ice to blow the door off the hinges?" He adopted the manner of a clueless writer. "Uh, there's a... There's a... Anti-magic field!" Full blown anger returned to his face. "Oh, of course! So someone just invented that, huh?! How the hell does that work!?"

    *** Meanwhile, on a local access TV channel... ***

    "How does it work, you may be asking? How? With SCIENCE, of course!" Standing proudly in front of the TV cameras in his usual lab coat and swirly goggles, Dr. Insano proudly held up the latest wares he was hawking up to the lens - an anti-magic field generator kit. "I'm Dr. Insano! It's what I do! And if you order today, I can have the Dr. Insano Anti-Magic Field Generator Kit overnighted to you! Never again be humiliated by such do-gooder arcane superheroes like Dr. Strange, or John Constantine, or Zatanna! Dr. Strange... What's he supposed to be a doctor of, anyway?! I don't see him doing any real SCIENCE! But now you can shut them down with the new Dr. Insano Anti-Magic Field Generator Kit, with its three settings: Starting from it's lowest economical green setting, David Blaine, all the way up to its highest industrial strength power, David Copperfield! No magic will touch you, and it's all thanks to the new Dr. Insano Anti-Magic Field Generator Kit!" The mad scientist cackled with glee.

    *** Back with Spoony... ***

    "I'm sorry, but if anti-magic fields have been invented, and they're common knowledge, why in the hell is the undine sorceress such a big problem!?" Briefly, Spoony blinked. "Wait... why did I say Undine? I don't think I even know that exists at this point in time..."

    *** Meanwhile, back at the plot... ***

    "But anyway, Starman's onto the right track. With no magic, we'll have to rely on our cunning to get us through this - and should it come to fighting, to strike hard and fast. Ideally, though, we would be able to find the source of the field..." He turned to Raka. "You look like you're hard at work remembering things, Raka. I don't suppose you have some good news?"
    Last edited by Lord Of Mantas; 2015-11-09 at 01:12 PM.
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Spoiler: Raka's Perception
    Show
    The door is unusually warm to the touch. There is also a one foot by one foot hole in the ceiling.


    Spoiler: Raka's Knowledge
    Show
    Anti-magic fields are usually small in size. You would guess only the size of a room or two, maybe an entire level of a tower at most. It would require an antimagic artifact of some kind or an incredibly powerful mage to blanket the entire building in the field.


    Starman nods at Halbrecht, "I understand milord."
    Last edited by Felhammer; 2015-11-09 at 01:22 PM.
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Raka grimaced. "Maybe, maybe not. Anti-magic fields in general don't have very large range. Normally, it would be impossible cover an entire building in one , so we'd be able to escape it by just exiting the field. Unless you have an incredibly powerful artifact powering the field like the one we've already established the giantess has."

    Raka sloshed her way to the door. "Now, the last part's only speculation. We can't know what the properties actually are at this point. This could be a lower powered field after all. But worst case scenario, we won't have magic until we confront the giantess and possibly destroy the artifact." She stared up at the door pensively. "Only way to find out now is to try and escape."

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Is there a visible lock on the door?
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Spoiler: Raka
    Show
    The lock is on the other side of the door.
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Silith

    The ranger is momentarily disoriented when the group springs the trap. The water doesn't bother her much, yet it still takes her a while to get to her senses after the trip. Silith shakes her head. Focus. She looks around, noticing that the others are already attempting to escape through magical means. When that doesn't seem to be working, Silith shakes her head.

    "No magic, then?" She says this mostly to herself, as the others all seem to have figured that part out already. "Great." Silith turns to Raka. "I'll have a look around. See if there's anything that could be of use in getting us out of here. Oh... and if the magic does turn out to be turned off everywhere... It's best to let Halbrecht and me take the lead in that case." The ranger nods reassuringly at the spellcasters in the party, especially Fare, who relies on her magical abilities very much during combat. The ranger turns to look...

    Spoiler: Actions:
    Show
    Perception check to look for potential ways out of the rooms, such as hidden mechanisms etc: (1d20+19)[27]
    Characters in play:

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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Halbrecht

    Halbrecht and Starman also took a look around, attempting to see if there were any useful items or any viable way besides the door to exit the room.

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Halbrecht: (1d20+13)[28]

    Starman ​(Aid Another): (1d20+8)[14]
    Last edited by Lord Of Mantas; 2015-11-09 at 05:22 PM.
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Fare

    Quote Originally Posted by BramsesII View Post
    "I'll have a look around. See if there's anything that could be of use in getting us out of here. Oh... and if the magic does turn out to be turned off everywhere... It's best to let Halbrecht and me take the lead in that case."
    Fare grimaces. "That would probably be a good idea, though I'm really hoping that we're dealing with one of the normal anti-magic fields. Given our luck it's probably going to be the latter..." She then turns her attention to possible ways out of the room.

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Whoopee, right now Fare is very perceptive, very stealthy, and otherwise very unable to do anything useful besides those two.

    Perception: (1d20+17)[27]
    Last edited by Rysc; 2015-11-09 at 07:18 PM.

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    Aisha

    The young woman had kept quiet. Her eyes observing as the light filled the room by the button thief. She glanced down at the rather unsavory water. She nodded a little hearing her companions mention not being able to use magic. "Perhaps magic won't be needed... so long as diplomacy might work..." She spoke out not quite certain of it herself despite her normally more optimistic notion of using it.

    The half dragon ventured up to the door. She looked towards it knowing it was locked. She shrugged, attempting to see if she could brute force it open. She moved back a bit before pushing herself against the door, using her strength in an effort to try and make it budge.

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Cause... why not! Strength check to see if it does anything. Might as well try with Aisha's herculean strength. :P

    Strength check to push locked door: (1d20+7)[11]
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Spoiler: Hal, Fare & Silith
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    You notice the door is unusually warm to the touch. You see a one foot by one foot hole in the ceiling. You also notice the dead body has a bandoleer filled with vials on it.


    Spoiler: Starman
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    You find an ear floating next to you.


    While everyone looks around, Aisha rushes up to the door and tries to push it over. The door is warm to the touch... then hot. Then scalding. The door suddenly bursts on fire while your hands are on it!

    Spoiler: Aisha
    Show
    Reflex: (1d20+5)[16]

    (8d6)[30] Fire Damage, save for Half


    A foul laughter slithers out of the hole on the ceiling. "You ssshouldn't touch the door. Vexx desssigned it persssonally for her own dungeonsss. Who are you and why were you traveling to the cassstle? Are you friendsss or foesss of the Earl? Vexx doesssn't like the Earl. Ssshe wantsss him dead. Ssshe paysss well, well enough for my lover to acquire the reagentsss ssshe needsss. All we need isss one more item and then... You don't need to know. Ssso are you the Earl or hisss friendsss?" The voice pauses then continues, "Or are you more wretchesss from the Romnid? We are fresssh out of runtsss but my lover isss pregnant... Perhapsss one of the liter could be sssacrifissced... For a prissce."
    Last edited by Felhammer; 2015-11-09 at 10:57 PM.
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Raka winced at the sudden fireball, glad that she and tried the door after all, but sorry Aisha had to trigger it. If Raka had her magic...

    But now wasn't the time for that. Raka waited in readiness for her companions' response. Once again, she wasn't knowledgeable enough about the situation to comment. And if Halbrecht didn't want to be known as the Earl, revealing it before he had a chance to reply would be very bad.
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Silith

    Silith winces when the fireball goes off, and almost immediately rushes forward to see if Aisha's alright. The voice coming from the hole in the ceiling causes her to stop, though. More trouble. Cautiously she steps forward, and when she's certain that Aisha's only badly singed, she puts a hand on the girl's shoulder and whispers. "You okay?"
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Aisha

    She gasped out as flames scorched over her body. She cringed, looking on towards the door backing up a bit. She heard the voice, glaring up towards it. Her attention fixated over hearing Silith speak. She nodded, brushing off her clothing a bit from any singing. "Yes... I'm fine." She spoke looking up towards the voice.

    "...and who are you to ask any of our business when we found ourselves stuck in this dungeon? It seems far from a valid position to be snide putting unwitting guests in such a place." Her voice was quite firm, not giving a response back less out of a need of playing safe as much as agitation by the words delivered down to her.
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Halbrecht

    As Aisha made to try and break down the door, Halbrecht called out in alarm.

    "Aisha, don't touch the..."

    Then the door burst into flames, burning Aisha - though thankfully, her reflexes were swift enough that the half-silver dragon was not as harmed as much as she could have been.

    "...door..."

    Alarmed, Halbrecht stepped forward to see if she was alright, but was then distracted by the serpentine voice.

    An alliance with Vexx and the Romnid confirmed? Well, that does not bode well for our chances of being able to negotiate peace with the giantess.

    As Aisha snapped back at it, Hal briefly made to protest, but after some consideration decided that what she said actually opened up an avenue of conversation. He quickly sidled over to the body and began grabbing the vials, giving them a cursory inspection before also adding his own voice.

    "We are travelers to Clearwater, and seek to go there for business. To whom do we speak, and what is this place?"

    Try to get some info out of him, and it may very well be a way out of this room...

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Perception: (1d20+13)[30]
    Diplomacy: (1d20+14)[23]
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    The voice is furious at Aisha, WHAT RIGHT DO WE HAVE!? It isss you who trusssted the dark and vile beingsss who live in Hellfire. It wasss you who threw cation to the wind and usssed magic to ssskip over a few daysss journey. You were foolsss who fell in a trap. I do not pity you. We need the Earl. Are you the Earl!?"


    He seems to calm down when Halbrecht speaks. Even becoming a bit melancholy, "I am the great and powerful Xo!" He pauses a moment obviously waiting for gasps or shrieks. He seems a bit perplexed at the lack of response, "You... Haven't heard of me!? Bah! You are only tradersss after all. One cannot expect them to be asss knowledgeable asss an Earl. You are tradersss? You do not look like tradersss. The last three were tradersss were nice. Their companion, sssadly, died. Hellfire did not agree with him...

    Thisss plassce is the Sssanctum of Essssimer. Built by the godsss, manned by archmagi long forgotten. My lover found the sssanctum. Ssshe is harnessssing itsss magic to perform the ritual ssshe, her mother, her grandmother and her great-great-grandmother ssstrove to perform. That Vexx... Ssshe hasss the last piessce of the puzzle."
    He sighs, "We are not murderersss... Yet fate hasss ssseen fit to make us accomplisscesss to murder. Oh, it is very sssad, very sssad indeed."
    Last edited by Felhammer; 2015-11-11 at 01:43 AM.
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Fare

    Fare had decided that the best way to avoid as much of the water as possible is to stand perfectly still, and so that's what she's currently doing. When Aisha touches the door, she instinctively begins to reach for her wand, before remembering why they were still stuck down here to begin with.

    Sorry. It'll have to wait.

    She stays quiet when their apparent captor begins speaking, instead concentrating on the sibilant voice's words and intonation.

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Sense Motive: (1d20+16)[18]

    Fare is particularly interested in whether or not the voice is speaking the truth about not really wanting to be murderers.

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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Halbrecht

    Keep talking.

    Halbrecht put a note of concern and curiosity into his voice.

    "How has fate made you accomplices to murder, oh Xo? And what is this ritual and the last piece of the puzzle that you speak of?"

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Diplomacy: (1d20+14)[32]
    Hal's Sense Motive: (1d20+8)[20]
    Starman's Sense Motive: (1d20+11)[16]
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    Raka headed over to Halbrecht, interested in the potions he found. "What are they?" she asked quietly, hoping the speaker didn't have extra acute hearing. Internally, she wondered how much more information they could get from him, and how much of what he said was true.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Two checks here
    Sense Motive:
    (d20+1)[14]
    Knowledge (Arcana) What kind of potions are they?
    (d20+16)[32]
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    Halbrecht

    "Not sure. Spellcraft is not my forte. Perhaps you would like a look?" Halbrecht handed over the potions to Raka.
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Spoiler: Raka's Spellcraft
    Show
    Technically the process is more involved that looking at the vials from a distance.

    Determine Properties of Magic Item

    Attempting to ascertain the properties of a magic item takes 3 rounds per item to be identified and you must be able to thoroughly examine the object.

    Retry? When using detect magic or identify to learn the properties of magic items, you can only attempt to ascertain the properties of an individual item once per day. Additional attempts reveal the same results.


    However, since this is a merchant, he labels all of his potions. So I'll just leave the list here. :)

    1. Ant Haul - Triples carrying capacity of a creature. PRG:APG
    2. Touch of the Sea - Swim speed becomes 30 ft. PRG:APG
    3. Mirror Polish - Polish a metal item until it's usable as a mirror. PRG:ACG
    4. Crafter's Fortune - Subject gains +5 on next Craft check. PRG:APG
    5. Snapdragon Fireworks - Create 1 dragon firework/level. PRG:UM
    6. Liberating Command - Target makes an Escape Artist check as an immediate action and gains a bonus on it. PRG:UC
    7. Emblazon Crest - Your coat of arms is magically displayed on any suitable item you carry. KoIS
    8. Blood Money - Use your blood to create material components for spells. PAP:RoRLAE




    Spoiler: Sense Motive 20 and below
    Show
    He is telling the truth.


    Spoiler: Sense Motive 21+
    Show
    He is being lying about something, specifically about the murdering but, you get the feeling he isn't looking to murder the Earl or his band of merry (wo)men specifically.


    "The great Xo doesss not share hisss plansss with interlopersss! Xo's businesss is hisss own but... You are not the Earl, nor do you work for him. You are merely fliesss unintentionally caught in our web, ssso Xo will sssay this - my lover ssseeksss to re-ignite the Ja'Muki Volcano. It wasss onssce the sscenterpiessce of the Fire Giant sscivilization of Rear'agal... Before the Frostsss and Ssstormsss came and closssed shut the volcano. My lover ssseeksss to re-kindle that Fire Giant sscivilization and found a new dynasty!

    Spoiler: DC 20 History or Local
    Show
    You have heard of a pixie ruin called Rhearrhagail. It stands to the east of Halbrecht's lands, just outside of the Barony of Tirnan, in the mountainous territory between Eaglemane, Deepoath and the Rowanoak. It is difficult to get to from the south (which is why Deepoath and St. Rowan have done little with it). Feral orcs, goblins and tribal giants call that rough terrain home, so few from Maghemia bother to risk life and limb to visit a simple pixie ruin (of which hundreds exist elsewhere (and most in far less hostile lands)).
    Last edited by Felhammer; 2015-11-11 at 11:53 PM.
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Halbrecht

    Halbrecht furrowed his brow at Xo's mention of reigniting a volcano, not liking the sound of it but unable to put it in context - until Starman approached him and whispered into his ear.

    "Milord, I've heard of the place he speaks of - a passing merchant selling history books mentioned it, once. It's a pixie ruin, deep in the mountains east of your territory, awash in orcs and tribal giants - and impossible to get to from the south, by all accounts."

    Which would put it just above... Deepoath, I think? How bad would it be if that volcano was re-ignited, I truly wonder...

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    I am wondering the above both in and out of character. Volcanic soil is great for farming, but on the other hand, they're highly destructive - but then again, it's apparently in hostile territory anyway. On the other hand, there's the matter of founding more fire giants. Fel, would it be possible for either Hal or Starman to roll to see if Fire Giants have historically been at odds with civilization?

    Hal History: (1d20+7)[17]
    Starman History:
    (1d20+8)[9]


    And alright, Halbrecht. By the careful use of omission, you've kept him from cottoning on to the fact that we're the people the Giantess is looking for - and who, by the sounds of it, is his lover.

    "Is your lover a fire giantess, then, oh Xo? And if it's not too much to ask, would you kindly let us out of this room?"

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Diplomacy: (1d20+14)[18]
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    Default Re: IC [3] Warriors of Blackvale

    Spoiler: Hal & Starman
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    As a Knight of Valor you'd know the Fire Giants are more like an oppressed minority than anything else. The Storm Giants and Frost Giants are the kings of Giant kind here on Warblade Isle. Fire Giants often try to start settlements but every time one gets going, it is inevitably destroyed by adventurers, armies or other giants. They have sought refuge in many realms but fearful locals also drive them off (or worse, burn their crops and salt their fields, which leads to starvation). Their population is small and nomadic. Unlike the Hill Giants, the Fire Giants do not like their nomadic way and would dearly love to found a civilization of their own. The problem is that no one wants a Fire Giant civilization on their doorstep (fearful at the power such a realm would possess).

    The only place where the Fire Giants have managed to set up a settlement of some size is in the mountains overlooking Grimgorge, specifically Highclaw. The Queens of Grimgorge have long fought an endless campaign against the fire giants, neither side really possessing the might to fully defeat the other (as Grimgorge must be ever vigilant against Micklewaifan incursions and slavers/raiders from Foulbone). Even this settlement is tiny, only managing to collect a handful of tribes.

    The kind of civilization Xo is discussing would be like adding an entirely new kingdom to the map. The political repercussions would be vast. Blackvale's, Rowanoak's and Deepoath's northern borders have always been relatively peaceful (in terms of nations warring with one another)... Except for the time when Queen Rimeborga had her husbands' kinsfolk scurry down the Snowwall Mountains and decimate the cultural and agricultural heartland of Blackvale during the Scarlet War. Putting a Fire Giant civilization up there would alter the balance of power in the region. Whichever realm could woo the Fire Giants would have a significant advantage over their neighbors.

    Furthermore, St. Rowan (the elder Green Dragon who claims the whole Rowanoak for his own) has absolutely zero love for Giant-kind. He could easily mobilize the full force of his woodland realm against the Fire Giants and anyone who sided with them. Considering how he was able to single-handedly end the threat of the Giants during the Scarlet War, his feelings should definitely be taken into consideration. He has never massed his forces before. Who knows what lurks in those dark woods...

    Deepoath may have been grievously wounded in the Scarlet War but the Deeproys are still fantastically wealthy due to Deepoath's abundant mineral wealth. Those gems and gold could go a long way to wooing a newly constructed and impoverished Fire Giant realm.

    Beyond that, you also have to consider the implications of such a nation being born here in the north. The Fire Giants would be literally on Kriegbrecht's doorstep. If there was a war, you would be called upon to defend Eaglemane from any and all aggressors. Furthermore, there is at least a tacit approval of the Fire Giant's nation being created from Vexx, Kriegbrecht's chief rival. However, does she actually support the new nation or is the Fire Giantess just a pawn in her chess match with Kriegbrecht?

    At the same time, imagine being the man who helped found the Fire Giant nation and successfully brought the Fire Giants into an alliance with Eaglemane/Blackvale? You would be praised for all eternity as the man who secured peace in our time.

    This is definitely a complicated issue.



    "Well you are not the Earl, nor his friendsss, ssso you are free to go. Do not travel by way of Hellfire again if you ssseek to go to the cassstle. Inssstead, travel by foot, hoof or by ship." The door swings open, revealing a hallway that is brightly lit thanks to a line of stained glass windows lining the wall opposite the dungeon rooms. To your left is a door leading to the brisk outdoors, to your right a stairway leading up into the Sanctum... No guards in sight and magic has returned to normal functionality as Zid casts prestidigitation to turn his shirt from red to yellow.
    Last edited by Felhammer; 2015-11-12 at 09:51 PM.
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