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  1. - Top - End - #121
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Setsuna

    Though sanity returns to her eyes, it's replaced by a flash of panic as Setsuna looks around. She seems to be counting heads to see who is here, at least until she reaches Chanda and flinches, almost as if she was upset at being so close to her. The tiefling takes a moment to catch her breath before asking, "W-where are Sirus-san, Rico, and the old man?" Did he ever give his name? With everything that'd happened, she couldn't remember. It wasn't important now though.

    "No, wait," she shakes her head. "We can get them in a minute...I...Xanesha found me...she knows that we were waiting here," with a glance toward Chanda, "I thought she was you...it must have been a spell...she got close to me, and we talked...then she did...something...I do not know what, but it felt like I was going mad." Lowering her eyes, she looks toward the floor, "She is not human...I think she wanted to gloat...if the real you had not shown up..."
    Last edited by Desril; 2016-01-08 at 07:59 PM.
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    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Brin

    "I know my business. Stop the biting, close the wound, then address the secondary symptoms." Brin mutters as Chanda cuts in to toss away the wine and dispense her potion. She was beginning to see why Red despised her sister so. Arrogrant prat. Brin wasn't going to be reimbursing her for that tincture, that was for damned sure.

    But any thought of a brewing argument was blown away by Setsuna's words. "Yeah...where are Stoneface and the old man? Weren't they supposed to be on watch? No, wait, not human? What do you mean? What IS she, then? Did she do this to you with a spell, some artifact, a poison?"

    Her thought fly back to the Harrow cards. The Courtesan? There was nothing feminine or political about a dagger to the gut. To the back, maybe, but not the belly. Perhaps The Bear, then. Was the enemy turning towards brute force out of desperation? Or the Tangled Briar. Was Xanesha calling on something ancient and uncontrollable to do her dirty work? Was Xanesha herself some ancient and uncontrollable force?

    No, it was The Joke. Always The Joke. The pounding building in Brin's temples reminds her why she'd fallen out of the habit of doing Harrowings. They summoned up more migraines than answers.

    "Wait...Setsuna, where were you when you were attacked? Why did you go out alone at all?!

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Setsuna

    "I thought I should patrol around the house some...in case there were spies or more assassins watching us, I was sure I could have dealt with them with just Mae-san and myself if there were,"
    she answers. Looking ashamed, with a brief glance toward Chanda, "And when she arrived I thought I was speaking to a friend, so I did not think twice about following her, and let my guard down..."

    With a sigh, she continues. "She said..." shaking her head, struggling to find the right words and not entirely sure she wants to divulge the full details of what'd happened, though finally recognizing her state of dress and covering herself with her arms, "When she...kissed me, I lost the ability to resist...after that, she was just...cruel." The tiefling pauses, clearly not overjoyed at the memory. "She was mocking me, telling me what she would do to all of you, she even dropped her disguise. Her face might be human, but she did not use a spell to change it, then or when Chanda arrived." She shudders and looks almost panicked for a moment. "She was going to...no, it does not matter...Chanda found us then, and Xanesha retreated. She must have thought all of you were there too. Otherwise..."

    Putting a hand over the wound she'd received, Setsuna winces as she traces the inevitable scar, uncertain why the magic had not healed it completely but knowing that it would not. It isn't until then that something finally seems to click and the relative calm she'd been experiencing shatters and her eyes well up, ready to burst into tears. Otherwise I'd be dead...
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    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  4. - Top - End - #124
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Red

    Slipping back indoors to retrieve her woolen blanket, Red returns and crouches, carefully maneuvering the cloth over the tiefling's slim shoulders. It was a little short and didn't quite reach to the tiefling's knees, but it would do. Hopefully it wouldn't be too hard to clean any blood that Setsuna got on it later on.

    At the mention of kissing, Red glances sidelong at her sister, worry furrowing her brow as she pats Setsuna's arm in what she hopes is a reassuring way. "Is she... a d-demon? The kind that... makes people want to do se-"

    Oh. Oh.

    As the likely reason for Setsuna's semi-nakedness becomes clear, Red winces, her eyes brimming with pity. No, Chanda wouldn't have done this. She couldn't have. She would know well enough. Poor Setsuna.

    Dropping to her knees, Red begins reaching out in an attempt to give Setsuna a hug but pauses, remembering that day long ago - the last time she'd met Chanda and Thom, and before she'd left, Thom had taken her aside to explain what had happened in Korvosa to Chanda to make her worse. Perhaps hugging wasn't the best idea right now.

    Instead, Red takes Setsuna's hand in her own, gently massaging the fingers and giving her palm a reassuring squeeze, though her eyes roam towards her sister - who doesn't seem to want to look back. "You are... safe now... We are here. I w-won't let her... get you."

    *****

    GM post

    Aunt Vera appears none too pleased at the mention of Xanesha intruding on her property, nor at the question of where Sirus and Simatzu are. "None of my defensive wards went off... Qist, hurry. Fly above the house and check. This monster might not have gone too far. If you find them not, seek for Master Sirus and Master Simatzu. I myself will check the yard and back garden."

    <Qist go.> Unfurling his clawed wings, the pseudodragon hops off Taladron's shoulder and flaps through the open front door, stirring the hair of those nearest to him.

    While Aunt Vera hurries off, those who turn to look at Chanda find that the thief has lost much of her usual swagger, staring fixedly at Setsuna with a vaguely haunted look in her eyes. When she speaks, her voice is half-choked, almost a whisper. "I... I didn't. That wasn't me. I wouldn't... never..." For a few seconds, Chanda's face is stricken with an odd mixture of terror and disgust, but the thief rapidly recovers, pressing two shaking fingers against her temple and clenching her bloodied fists.

    "I didn't touch her. The Unquenchable Fire strike me down with my own blade if I do lie." Chanda's voice is stronger this time, taut like a serrated wire as her eyes flash with some deeper, smouldering emotion. "Frakken bitch. Steal my face and voice - I'll gut her."

    Knowledge (religion / nature) DC 18
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    Setsuna's description isn't very revealing, but you do recall that there are beings and creatures out there who possess the power to sap one's common sense and willpower, even to the extent of driving their victims insane, all via the merest touch. The succubus would be the most well-known of such monsters with this potent ability, along with allips and lamias.


    Perception DC 15 or Appraise DC 13
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    Your attention turns to the dagger that Chanda had pulled out of Setsuna. Its blade, where not coated in Setsuna's blood, seems rather more lustrous than plain steel. This dagger, you are quite sure, has been coated in silver.
    Last edited by maggie_mcknife; 2016-01-09 at 09:19 PM.
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    RotRL: Burnt Offerings IC - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Hook Mountain Massacre IC and OOC

    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    "Miss Chanda... No one suspects you", Naya looks around seeking confirmation to her words; "Miss Setsuna says you saved her... Right?"

    "Now... Miss Setsuna... You need to rest. I understand it went be easy to fall asleep now, but... You need it. What happened man's we can't delay our assault on that creature's lair... And you'll need all your strength to face her tomorrow. Can you walk? If not, don't force yourself.. I'll make you a ride to the bed... And you need to rest too, miss Brin; my magic is restored already, so I can keep a watch near miss Setsuna's bed in case there would appear any... complications. And... Here, take this cloak - it'll be more convenient than a blanket..."

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    will cast Floating Disk in case Stands needs help moving
    Tome of Radiance, a Magical Girl sourcebook for 3.5/PF.

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  6. - Top - End - #126
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Brin

    "No, we won't let it get to you." Brin agrees with Red, though with venom more reminiscent of Chanda's promise of revenge. "Because we'll be going to get it." It was never easy trying to figure out how to comfort a person who had been through this kind of thing, but Setsuna seemed like the sort of person who did better attacking problems directly rather than brooding on them. Besides, Brin was angry herself. The rage had been building for a while, actually. The murders, the undead, messing with minds, all more wood tossed on the unlit bonfire. But this, this was the spark to set it ablaze.

    Maybe...maybe she'd ask Pharasma to blur the memory for Setsuna later. But not now. They needed Setsuna to remember for the time being.

    "What you're describing...a succubus? Maybe a lamia?" She wonders. "An allip could also damage your mind directly, but I don't think such a spirit would use a dagger...or be interested in the other thing. That sounds more like a lust demon than anything else. And why has this dagger been silvered? Did Xanesha know that one of us is vulnerable to silver, or is she just used to fighting creatures with such a weakness? Like the denizens of the Hells?" Another point in favor of a succubus, but hardly conclusive.

    This was complicated. Maybe it was time to lay all the cards on the table and pool everyone's advice. "Before you interru...before Chanda carried you to the door, I was in the middle of a Harrowing. It was...confusing. It's not unusual for such things to provide different answers from different perspectives, or be meant for someone other than the dealer. Maybe one of you can give me some insight." Brin goes on to describe the reading in detail, along with the typical meaning of the cards and positions (omitting the part about borrowing chocolates as an offering). She even pulls out her antique deck to show them the artwork, in case the sight rattles free some useful idea.

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    K(religion) 24 in dice thread, perception 20 in dice thread
    Last edited by Bhaakon; 2016-01-09 at 09:48 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #127
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    GM post

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    The allip is one of the lesson common types of undead, known for the ceaseless incoherent babble that issues forth from its decaying lips wheresoever it treads.


    Knowledge (nature / planes) DC 17
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    Succubi and lamias, as Brin has pointed out, are both famed for the beauty of their feminine half as much as their hedonistic and capricious personalities, though the succubus is indeed the one that tends more to the side of lust. Both monstrous races are intelligent and though they are often encountered as solitary wanderers or menaces, it is not unheard of for them to form their own societies, usually governed by the eldest or most powerful spellcasters.

    The succubi, like the rakshasas from which Setsuna draws her lineage, are not native to Golarion's plane and are thus likewise more resistant to magical effects and certain types of weapons. The same is true for lamias, though this is because of the magical curse that afflicts their race and not because they hail from an alternate plane.
    Last edited by maggie_mcknife; 2016-01-10 at 12:55 PM.
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    RotRL: Burnt Offerings IC - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Hook Mountain Massacre IC and OOC

    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

  8. - Top - End - #128
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    GM post

    Despite her recent emotional rattling, Chanda recovers sufficiently to peer over Brin's cards with a suspicious eye. "Courtesan seems obvious enough. Middle column's for the here'n now. That's yer seduction of old Vee-Ai right there. She'd climbed all the way into his lacy britches and made him wiggle. Mister Publican's saying your place ain't safe - damn straight, it ain't. She got you right here. And that bottom card - the Vision. That's for magicking, no? So if it's in the spot for bad future, it's saying that you lot doing fancy hand waving ain't gonna be much good. Can't be Xanesha not being good at the hand waving. From all what's happen, she seems a dab hand..."

    Catching the eye of those who might wonder how a thief is so well-versed in the Harrow, Chanda squints and sticks out her tongue, coughing in embarrassment as she looks away. "Had to scam my way out of town in the River Kingdoms once. Dressed up as a dadi and prophesied doom 'til the bandits scarpered... Ain't proud of it. Don't ask, huh?"

    While the rest of you ponder over the cards, you hear the sound of Aunt Vera shuffling back through the kitchen, her steps uneven and her breath coming in slow heavy huffs as if carrying a weight.

    Those of you who turn to look behold a sight that though nowhere as alarming as Setsuna bleeding out on the doorstep, is surely equally unwelcome. The willowy elf half-drags a groggy, dishevelled-looking Simatzu with her, a thin trickle of blood flowing from a deep cut at the corner of his eyes. As your eyes meet Aunt Vera's dark ones in question, she sighs in weariness, her lean face pinched and grim.

    "Xanesha has been working more of her foulness, I am afraid to report. I found Master Simatzu lying unconscious in the back yard with foam at his lips - poisoned. I have given him an antidote, but he is very weak... As for Master Sirus, Qistala found him in the alley, two houses down the road. He..." As Simatzu groans feebly, stumbling as he tries and fails to regain his footing, Aunt Vera presses her lips together and looks away, deep trouble clouding her fair face.

    "Perhaps it is better that you see for yourself." Something breaks in Aunt Vera's composure as she waves her free hand and leads Simatzu aside. Behind Aunt Vera, you behold Sirus's body - frozen in a martial posture and balanced on a shimmering plane of force that hovers about a foot above the ground. His face is twisted in a snarl, the greyish skin that bespeaks his orcish ancestry grown darker - far too dark - the colour of black granite. Qistala perches on his stiff shoulder, his wings drooping as he looks sorrowfully into eyes that stare blindly ahead, unblinking, unchanging.

    "His flesh... it has been transformed to stone. There are precious few ways to break such an enchantment, and even then, many do not survive the transformation back." Aunt Vera's voice trembles as she eases Simatzu down by the fireplace, her eyes flitting uneasily towards the windows, as if half-expecting to see Xanesha's grinning face framed there.
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    RotRL: Burnt Offerings IC - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Hook Mountain Massacre IC and OOC

    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Brin

    Oh, sure, it's all obvious in the retrospect, isn't it. Brin was really starting to dislike Chanda's know-it-all streak. She was the type who'd accidentally walk into an occupied privy and stop to correct your posture on the pot instead of running out the door. "Aye, that's one interpretation. In my experience, there's usually several that will fit after the fact."

    --------------

    "Had to call him 'Stoneface,' didn't you." Brin mumbles, kicking herself mentally as they step outside to find Sirus petrified.

    "This isn't...um...we might need to....
    She gulps hard, trying to keep her voice steady and failing badly. "Xanesha only did this to Sirus, not the old man, Chanda, or Setsuna...maybe there's a limit. Maybe we should leave right now, before she can do it again."

  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    "But if such magic does exist", Naya says, trying to collect herself but barely managing a whisper, "We will seek out a way to use it. But... we can't stay here anymore. It is not safe... not for us, nor for Mrs. Vera, since Xanesha knows of this place know. Perhaps the best option would be to staike back right now... her magic must be drained, at least to an extent... and there's a chance she won't expect a couterattack that soon. Miss Brin, Mr. Taladron, did you restore your powers? Miss Setsuna, do you think you can fight in your condition? And... Miss Chanda, I believe it would only be proper to let you take a revenge against Xanesha as well."
    Last edited by jamieth; 2016-01-13 at 07:57 AM.
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  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Presently, the slumbering behemoth stirs. Hair all askew, amber eyes blinking blearily, saliva stinking and smeared about her.

    Rico scratches an ear, then groans as she stretches, with a reek of sweat and leather, with the creak and clink of armour...

    ...then takes in the scene of chaos at a glance. A handspan of steel is drawn, then shoved harshly back into the scabbard.

    The orcblood constable stomps forward, knuckles crackling, jaw grinding. She scowls deeply, flushing with both shame and rage as she says, "Sorry I was too damn weak to help against wotever da frak happ'd here. ASMODEUS" ARSE. Just lookin' at Sirus an' Hellgirl there. WHAT. Hellish spellcraft an' dire-frakken-ambush? And... ERRYBODY ELSE? All y'all be arright?"
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  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Setsuna

    Already upset, Setsuna looks positively distraught to learn that Sirus has been petrified, and reacts with a gasp before covering her mouth. Restoring him wasn't impossible, like Vera had said, but it wouldn't be easy, nor would it be necessarily safe for the dour half-orc. Still, lowering her hands to her side and balling them into a tight fist, the tiefling resolves to avenge the both of them. Mentally reaching out for Mae, She's a monster, she says silently, her mental voice filled with a calm fury, not bothering to say that she needs to be stopped.

    When Naya speaks up, Setsuna nods. "I am...fine now. And you are right, it does not matter if she expects us, or is weakened, we can not let this sit any longer. We should not have waited as long as we did, we need to go, now."

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    A petrified Sirus helps Setsuna get her head on straight!
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    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Red

    Red didn't know Sirus all that well. After all, when you thought about it, she'd only met him all of five weeks ago. True, in the muddied, bruised way of the world, it was difficult not to become comrades with those that you endured biting hardship with. She'd fought hellspawn and goblins and ghosts next to him. He'd watched her come back from the dead. They'd shared meals, lost a friend, and bled together.

    But above all, Sirus was kind. He never made fun of her. He always talked gently to her, like she wasn't thick. He always had an encouraging word to say after Red had been afraid.

    Red crouches at the side of petrified Sirus, her eyes shining with unshed tears as she strokes his cold arm. She'd never really told him how happy she was with him around. How safe she felt. And now...

    No. Mister Sirus would want me to be stronger. Better than this.

    As Qistala mournfully curls about Sirus's stiff shoulders, sounding a heart-breaking chirrup, Red thumbs away the wetness in her eyes. Giving the statue one last pat, she grinds her teeth together and turns towards the rest. Look at them. Their eyes. Brin's voice. They were frightened. She was too. Mister Cayden was going to need to give them all a whole lot of courage for them to get through.

    "This Xanesha... she wants... to scare us. She... she attacked... the strongest. Of us. We must not... let her win." Red wasn't one for rousing speeches. Especially not this early in the morning. All the same, she tries to stand tall, one hand with an iron grip on the rosary beads around her wrist. "For Mister Sirus. We must not... give up. She must die."

    *****

    GM post

    With both the front door and the kitchen door of Aunt Vera's abode now open, a chill pre-dawn breeze that brings with it the ominous promise of approaching winter sighs through the house. It sweeps up the topmost three cards of Brin's harrow deck, sending them spiraling like autumn leaves to Rico's feet. Meanwhile, standing barefoot in her night-gown and shawl, Aunt Vera shivers, but nods in firm agreement at your proposal.

    "Yes. It is possible that Xanesha may have had the aid of enchanted devices, but the sooner you strike back and put an end to her, the better. She will not be expecting you so soon. Come. I shall prepare some victuals and drink. You must be fortified before you go."

    As Simatzu is given space to recover from his ordeal and the nearest one helps Setsuna up, the rest of you get down to business, shutting the doors and checking your equipment. What has happened to Sirus is terrible indeed, but there will be time to mourn and to puzzle out a way to save him later. If you do not act now, there is no telling who or where Xanesha will strike next.

    Perhaps it means something. Perhaps it does not. Of the three harrow cards that landed at Rico's feet, two lie face up and the last face down. For those who move to retrieve them, you find that two of them include the cards that Brin had pointed out earlier. Lying face down and nearly trodden by Rico as she lumbers off to help is the card of arcane knowledge, The Vision. Overlapping each other and lying face up to its right are The Bear, the card representing brute strength, and The Winged Serpent.

    Knowledge (arcana) DC 20 / no check needed if you know how to read the Harrow
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    The Winged Serpents, otherwise known as the couatls, are one of the great snake races. Known as much for its keen intelligence as its beautiful iridescent wings, the couatl on a harrow card can signify understanding, a bridging of the towers of knowledge and judgment - a reflection of its role as a servant of the gods and a defender of the right. Alternatively, it could also represent the seizing of opportunity, as the rare sighting of a couatl is believed to visit wisdom and knowledge on those lucky enough to encounter the benevolent creature.


    *****

    Setsuna

    Verily, a monster. You have confirmed this for yourself. Maethilur agrees tersely with Setsuna. I do not wish to behold you dallying or withholding your blows when you do meet her. Any mercy of the sort that you wished to grant yesterday to the corrupt Justice and the Hellknights will not do. You ought not to have left me behind just now. I could sense your distress from here, and yet do nothing! You are young and your heart is kind, but this- this utter foolishness is beyond me.

    The black blade's voice is acid, shuddering with suppressed anger. Because you were so eager to extend mercy to the sister of your comrade, because you have watched her from the beginning and thought her fair of face despite her barbed tongue, you complied without a second thought to the monster's request to leave me behind. And thus you marched - marched right into the jaws of death. Like a fool! Yes, it would be a purer, stronger world if those offered the hand of mercy would accept it, but there are monsters in this world who do not deserve that hand. Last time, a noble priest fell because of your foolishness. This time, it was almost your own life that was taken. I do not wish for there to be a third time, lest I must seek for a new hand to wield me because your own lies cold in a shallow grave. Do I make myself clear?

    *****

    Day 37: Lamashan 28, 4707

    It is now 0500hrs.


    Despite Chanda's offer to break into the neighbouring vault of Abadar to help replenish your supplies for battle, the more upright and civic-minded ones among your group had insisted on finding a store that was still open at this ungodly hour of the morning. Thus, freshly equipped and provisioned for, you leave Aunt Vera behind to tend to Sirus and head for the tower that Naya had espied the raven landing on yesterday.

    Permanently shrouded in shadow thanks to the Irespan ruins that loom above the district, the Underbridge seems darker and gloomier than ever to your wary eyes. Within scant minutes to stepping in, it quickly becomes plain to see why the Underbridge truly deserves its reputation as the cesspit of Magnimar. A light drizzle has started since you left Aunt Vera's house, leaving you to trudge past hissing lanterns that cast their wan light over the broken cobblestones. The rain does nothing to alleviate the fetid stench of rotting fish and hot oil that seems to pervade the air and only grow stronger the deeper you head into the district. Doing your best to take shallow breaths, you tread down roads that are little more than muddy gaps between decaying shacks slumping dangerously to one side and salt-blasted tenement buildings. At this hour, the seedy taverns and cheap flophouses remain open, spilling their drunken rabble and flayleaf-addled clientele into streets where the vomit and piss flow almost as freely as the sour beer. Though some of the bolder patrons do leer at your group as you go by, with one or two lewd insults hurled in Naya and Brin's directions, the denizens of the Underbridge are saucy, not suicidal. A simple glare in return is more than sufficient to send the 'bridge trash' scurrying for cover, resentful but respectful looks cast at the weapons that you carry openly.

    There are no watchmen or religious mercenaries patrolling the filthy streets here. All the same, you have no difficulty in picking your way through the squalid shantytown towards the Shadow Clock, which is probably the tallest structure in the district. While the other buildings of the Underbridge huddle like crushed weeds at the foot of the great pillars that support the blackened goliath that is the Irespan, the Shadow Clock alone dares to claw for the sky, its craggy roof nearly scraping the belly of the ancient bridge.

    Passing by a shrine to Sarenrae where vandals have long since desecrated the goddess's statue with foul detritus, you walk down the pitted lane that leads to the sagging clock tower. This close to the support pillars of the Irespan, where the shadows are darkest, the road ahead is quite abandoned, save for scattered cobblestones, tile shards, and a knot of emaciated rats that too busy savaging some small carcass to scatter as you approach. Soon enough, you have reached the end of the lane and find yourself having to tilt your head back and squint in order to take in sight of the Shadow Clock - a dying structure of weathered stone, wood, and rustled metal supports. The entire teetering edifice is nearly 240 feet tall, with entire sections of its outer walls fallen away near the top, where a broken clock face defiantly (and falsely) proclaims it to be 3 o'clock. On the roof, you can just about make out the angelic shape of empyreal lord Soralyon amid the twisted mess of scaffolding, his wings crumbling and his statue leaning precariously to one side, as if preparing a final leap of despair from his perch.

    It's no wonder the Shadow Clock has been condemned as a building apt to collapse at any moment. You can't imagine why on earth young wags would consider it fun to race up the so-called 'Terrible Stair's within. Still, this is where Xanesha is supposed to be hiding. If you wish to discover her and put an end to her foul deeds, it is within this crumbling tower you must go. There appear to be two obvious places to start - the rotting double doors at the tower's base or the mess of open scaffolding at the top, which is where Naya had seen the raven land yesterday.

    GM will only make the map once the party has decided on how to enter.
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  14. - Top - End - #134
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    Setsuna

    The tiefling didn't disagree with Red. She couldn't. Gingerly putting a hand to the fresh scar on her stomach, wincing at the touch, After what she did to Sirus...and everything else she has done. All the trouble with the Justice...and Foxglove...even the elder Vinder sister's death...Xanesha was the one behind all of it... Thinking about it, still hurt and angry as she is, Setsuna nods her head. "You are right...I do not know what kind of monster she is, but she has to die."

    As she returns to Maethilur, however, the tiefling is caught off-guard and entirely unprepared for the emotional outburst from the blade. Vulnerable and upset as she is, Mae's rant hits hard and Setsuna's eyes begin to well up, caught between anger, relief, guilt, and fear all at once and not being able to process all of it. "I-I am sorry! I...I did not mean for any of this to happen! I...I just could not say no to her...but I did not know she was a fake," the Minkan princess argues back with a choked sob.

    ----

    Determined to end this once and for all, Setsuna was completely oblivious to the calls from the more courageous, or perhaps drunk, passerby, though she did make a note to try and clean up the shrine after all was said and done at the Shadow Clock. And once there, her gaze slowly trailed upward before settling on the scaffolding at the top and locking in there with a glare. Strange...why am I breathing so heavily? I wasn't poisoned too, was I? No...Brin would have noticed...then...am I afraid? Trying to clear her head, she turns toward the others. "I do not know if we should fly or take the 'Terrible Stairs' but we should decide quickly before the monster comes to us."
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  15. - Top - End - #135
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    Brin

    Bending down hastily to retrieve the fallen cards, but can't help but crack a shadow of a smile. No mean feat given the things she'd seen in just the last few minutes. "Huh. Winged Serpent besting the Bear? And the Vision again. Magic and initiative defeating brute strength? We may be on to something for once." She thinks aloud as her hands secret away the heirloom deck in its customary side pocket of Brin's haversack.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Walking along through the Underbridge, Brin fiddles nervously with one of the ensorcelled arrows she'd pried from a gum-eyed shopkeeper in exchange for a positively scandalous sum. Or at least that's what she'd think if there weren't more pressing matters to consider. She couldn't even summon up the energy to toss out the fig sign to ward off the cat-callers, let alone belt out suitably obscene suggestions for alternate avenues of stimulation (her usual response). All she could do was watch the crumbling hulk of the clock tower loom ever higher as the arrow twirled between her fingers.

    "Taller than I thought it would be." She finally speaks, once the group is close enough to make a final decision on their approach. "You sure you still want to climb it yourself?" She asks Chanda, "I'm surprised it didn't tumble down when the raven landed."

    "I say we use the cloak and magical flight to make our way. Xanesha might be prepared for that, but she will be prepared for us on the stairs."
    Brin pauses, then adds. "Besides, the last three cards: Vision, Bear, and Winged serpent. Bold use of magic will defeat an overpowering foe. In that spirit, I have a few blessing from the Lady to add before we make the trip."

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    Obviously voting for flight and the cloak. If that's what we decide, Brin will cast the following just before we go:

    Bless
    Divine favor (Brin only)
    Communal Protection from Evil (2 castings, 14 minutes total, divided up as equally as possible)
    Blessings of Fervor 7 round duration, so the last thing she casts, and just as they're heading out

  16. - Top - End - #136
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    Not having said much after the night attacks, Naya stands in front of the tower full of nothing but resolve. "One thing we definitely shouldn't do regardless of our choice is to split ourselves. Miss Chanda, is there a specific reason you object using magic so completely? Because if everyone else is in favour of that, you really shouldn't go inside alone... not to mention, without communication." she looks around, "Unless one of us can communicate telepathically? But otherwise... wherever we go, we go together. I suppose I can fit three people besides myself in the cloak, that leaves two to fly - that much magic I can spare without much worry... and perhaps make some of us invisible? Again, two or three such spells should leave me enough power to throw it at Xanesha."

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    Vote aerial access too, but as long as it doesn't lead to splitting the party. Also, Invis is pretty much everyhting I can do buff-vise, so if anyone wants it... Chanda, perhaps, and/or Red for Sneak Attacking?
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  17. - Top - End - #137
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    GM post

    Setsuna

    Despite your plea for sympathy, Maethilur remains stubbornly silent. You hadn't figured before that black blades were capable of sulking or throwing tantrums, but apparently, this one is. Either way, it would seem that your otherwise patient blade is not at all impressed with your excuses.

    *****

    At the Shadow Clock

    Chanda, who'd remained stolidly silent for most of your trek to the tower, save for her determined chewing of what smells very much like coffee beans, sniffs haughtily at Naya's question.

    "I ain't got a problem with magic. Magic's all right in its own way. But I'm a thief, see. Born and bred and trained by Riddleport's best since I was ten and four. I know how to gets in and out of a place without my buttocks roasted. Said no in Verala's house to flying. Why? Because any good thief knows that all yer needs to flub that spell is something that's anti-magic - bap - yer not flying no more, and who's gonna catch yer when yer dropping and the ground wants to say hello?" She waggles her fingers in Naya's direction. "Cape's like this one yer sporting are lovely, but 'less I'm mistaken, if yer heading to somewhere yer can't sees, yer liable to whack yer noggin or port yerself into hot soup. Plus, now that I'm here and staring at this damn pile of godsforsaken dung, I'm still thinkin' I'd be taking the stairs. That opening up there don't look very big. If we got to creep in the tower one by one that way, we'd be ducks for slaughter. Yer twisted if yer thinks this Xanesha darling hasn't decorated the entire place to keep folks out anyway. Whether it's up there or down here, we're still gonna get a pasting. And I'd rather meet that pasting with me two feet on the ground, thanking yer very much. Least if them Terrible Stairs collapse on me, I'll know exactly where Xanesha ain't."

    "'sides," Chanda remarks aloud, narrowing her eyes at Brin even as she fishes a pair of goggles with violet lenses out from around her neck. "We ain't accounting for The Vision landing face down. Or it being in the bad omen zone of the future when she first showed them to us. If yer asks me and I know yer ain't, I think the cards are saying to beware magic, not to go flush with it. But that's just little mouthy me. All I knows what I learned from card sharpers and my dead Varisian mama. Whadda I know?"

    *****

    Red

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    CLW potions x 4, CMW potion x 1, Mage Armour potion x 2


    Tugging at the collar of her tunic, Red squints up at the tower, biting her lip as the salty breeze whips her hair into tangled strands. It'd been easy to say it in Aunt Vera's house, when she was angry and sad and her heart had seemed bigger, something lifting her from within - kill Xanesha. Now she was here in the dark. Where Xanesha was. And she wasn't so sure she could do it anymore.

    "Rico... Could I please...?" Indicating Rico's hip flask, Red takes a swig of its fiery eye-watering contents, feeling the liquor burn her throat as she places a clenched fist over her heart, the rosary beads around her wrist clacking against her armour.

    Mister Cayden. We are going to face a big enemy. We might die. Please help us not to die. This enemy is evil. She has made many people into slaves and she has made many people die when they did not need to. She has tried to kill my friends. We need to stop her from doing more bad things. Please lend us your strength and help us to take care of each other...

    Red glances over at the others, where Chanda seems to be arguing with Naya and Brin over how to get into the tower. Hopefully they would figure something out soon.

    Mister Cayden. I have died before. It would be nice not to die again. The creature said that Mister Fox gave his life for mine. I don't want to waste Mister Fox's gift. I want to help people like he would have. He would take down this monster. Help me to do the same... to honour you, to honour Mister Fox...

    Red takes a deep breath and another swig from Rico's flask. Not very impressive, as far as prayers went. But that was why she'd stopped praying to Irori, who'd never answered anything she said even with all the incense and bows, and why she'd started praying to Cayden Cailean, who actually did help her to be brave and to win fights and to stay safe.

    Returning the flask to Rico and giving her friend a gentle punch on the arm, Red glances over at Setsuna. That mark on her tummy didn't look too good. Would it fade with time? Scars did have a way of making people feel like they were weak though. She should know. That's why she kept hers covered up when she went outside.

    Walking over to where Setsuna is, Red slips her arms around the tiefling's shoulders in a warm embrace, holding her silence. It will be all right, Setsuna. I won't let Xanesha hurt you.
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  18. - Top - End - #138
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    Setsuna

    Lowering her gaze, looking toward the floor and unable to argue back with a silent sword, Setsuna retreats indoors to collect her thoughts and try to pull herself together.

    ----


    Slowing her breathing as Red puts an arm around her shoulder, though she doesn't say anything in return, she does turn and smile at her. "I am okay now...I think. Thank you," she says before looking to the others. "I do not care how we go, we just need to make the decision quickly." Looking up toward the tower again, her voice sounds somewhat harsher than it usually is. "It does not matter what the cards said, there is no prophecy any more, we just have to pick a path and stop her."
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  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Brin

    After pointedly glancing around at the company she was keeping, Brin almost laughs aloud at the idea that they should beware their own magic. "We'd better be flush with enchantments, 'cause otherwise at least three of us won't be of much use at all in a fight." She scolds Chanda. "Besides, the best way to beat magic is magic. Subtler and better chosen, if we can't managed stronger. Sirus tried to take this thing with his bare fists, and look where that got him."

    The warm coal of anger in Brin's gut , tamped down by fear on the march over, flares hot again as she speaks of their petrified comrade. Maybe it was the wine finally taking effect, too, but suddenly the cautious approach seems all the more foolish. They didn't need a scheme, their enemy was full of schemes, probably considered all their strategies ahead of time and thought up counters. No, what they needed was the unexpected. "You're wrong, Setsuna, we don't have to pick a path at all. Xanesha's the one who is trapped here, besieged. What is she going to do, leap off the tower and fly away? No, we wait right here and she can come to us. And if she can fly...well, so can we."

    Brin takes a step towards the tower and cranes her neck up, forming a trumpet with her hands to focus her voice at the apex of the crumbling edifice. "YOU HEAR ME, XANESHA?! YOU'RE A TRAPPED UP THERE! YOU'D HOPED TO FIGHT US ONE AT A TIME, LIKE THE SPINELESS WRETCH YOU ARE, BUT NOW WE'RE ALL HERE FOR YOU! YOU CAN COME OUT AND MEET YOUR END, OR WE CAN START PULLING BLOCKS OUTTA YOUR TOWER UNTIL IT COMES DOWN ON TOP OF YOU! WON'T TAKE LONG! RID MAGNIMAR OF TWO EYESORES AT ONCE, THOUGH I NEVER HEARD OF ANYONE TURNING TO STONE FROM LOOKING AT THIS CLOCK TOWER! ONE WAY OR THE OTHER, THE LADY OF GRAVES WILL HAVE YOU THIS DAY, IF I HAVE TO DRAG YOU RIGHT TO HER WITH MY OWN HANDS!" If the thing up there really was a succubus, she'd have been judged already, but now wasn't the time for discussing the finer points of theology.

  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Through that morning's tragedy upon tragedy, Rico had remained mostly silent. Simatzu's poisoning. Sirus' petrification. Setsuna's... assault. Other than words that died in her throat, brief touches whose comfort seemed warm yet hollow, Rico had trained her movements to but swiftness and efficiency as they set about their last preparations.

    Ye old dog, I hardly knew ye. But damned hell that ain't no way ta go. Get better soon, sir.

    That whole blasted business with the buying of various potions and alchemical odds and ends... it wasn't to the halforc constable's taste, no it wasn't. But still, they had to prepare. They had to get every little edge they could get. A small part of her mind worries about the myriad vials jostling amongst her coat's pockets and her belt's pouches... as well as the four clay amphorae, carefully stoppered, secured to the rear of her shield by a system of clasps and straps. These were amphorae that Rico did not intend to be swigging from.

    You weren't alone. We're all in this together, dammit. Why? Didn't? You? SHOUT, Sirus? Godsdamnit, man.

    As they went through Magnimar's underbelly, slowly hounding down their fiendish quarry, Rico's scowl had only deepened, her amber glare burning out from beneath the brim of her black hat. A part of her was surprised that she wasn't railing at the sheer disrespect and disrepair the old Sarenite shrine had suffered... then wondered if she could get away with an in-the-field-requisition of the holy water font... and possibly using it as a blessed battering ram... and shoving it up Xanesha's abyssal arse.

    HELLGIRL. Why. whhhyyyyyyyy yuuuuuu sssooooooo stuuuuuupiiiiiiiiid? WE"RE GUNNA GEDDERBACK.

    Glaring upwards at the derelict building, the law-dog in Rico's mind rattles off a laundry list of violations of the Building Code and the Procedures for Structural Safety. She breathes, deliberately, savouring the smells of rot and rust, stone and sea, sweated leather and oiled steel around her, the air ever so slightly a-thrum with the scents of magicks.

    Her meaty hand slowly thumps and squeezes Red's, then Setsuna's. The deep scowl slowly eases into a thin frown, almost, almost a smile...

    The last frontliners of their merry little band. She shakes her head, and says, while taking two vials out and offering those to her sisters-at-arms. "Ladies. Keep yer heads on straight. We bust them up. Get some WRATH done, right an' proper. An'... 'ere. A tot o' these could help us get in under an' past 'pponent's guard."

    ...The thin smile immediately cracks into a heady grin at listening to Brin's challenge.

    "HAAH! HAH! HWAH! kshnort! BWAH! HHAH!
    BRING IT, YA HELLWANKERING LATRINESWILLING ANGEL"S TOENAIL-SUCKING YELLAH LIVERED BARNACLE-SNATCHED DEVIL"S DOUGHNUT!"
    she yells as well in a storm of florid abuse, then snorts at herself. "Wot. Dah. Frak. Was. All. THAT?"

    With one last caress of the dragonshead pommel, Rico's hand presently hovers between her sword and one of the suspicious seeming amphorae strapped to her shield's back, awaiting the results of their decrying, if aught at all.

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    Intimidate, izzit? Ranger bonuses apply if dealing with Evil Extraplanars.
    (1d20+8)[10]
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  21. - Top - End - #141
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    While her companions practice their insulting skills, Naya notices Setsuna pulling a wand out and readying to swing it, and steps towards the tiefling; "Excuse me, Miss Setsuna..." she very gently and carefully touches Setsuna's hand, "It should be easier with a slightly different grip - if I may..." she moves Setsuna's fingers on the wand a fraction of an inch, "Here. Wands have a will of a kind; gripping them too tightly only hinders their magic..."
    Tome of Radiance, a Magical Girl sourcebook for 3.5/PF.

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  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Setsuna

    Struggling with her wand, the tiefling nods at Naya and does as she suggests, causing a short flash of light to erupt from it before the nearly invisible wall settles into place around her. "Thank you...I have always had trouble with this thing."

    As Brin and Rico bellow out their challenges to Xanesha, Setsuna readies Maethilur and looks as if she's about to join in the shouting but as she opens her mouth, nothing comes out of it. Quietly closing her lips, she shuts her eyes for a moment. Remembering what happened, she shudders and shakes her head. I don't need to say anything. I just have to put an end to her when she appears.

    Steeling herself, the Minkan princess opens her eyes, a familiar fire burning in them, but this time with an uncharacteristic scowl on her face as well as she waits for their enemy's response, casting another spell and replacing the image of a single combat-ready tiefling with seven of herself.

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    Mirror Image in OOC, 6 images, 7 Setsunas in total.
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  23. - Top - End - #143
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    GM post

    Taladron has been botted to be back at Aunt Vera's, helping to find a cure for Sirus.

    Simatzu has been botted to still be grievously ill and to be resting at Aunt Vera's.

    Sirus and Simatzu have left the game.


    *****

    Brin's challenge is bold and her voice rings out fearlessly, echoing wildly off the crumbling walls of the Shadow Clock and the empty chambers of the Sarenrite shrine. You would think that it is certainly more than enough to provoke a hardened beast like Xanesha into fleeing. Rico's rejoinder, on the other hand, is rather less effective for its hastily strung-together adjectives, but she more than makes up for it with sheer volume, startling a roosting colony of bats into chittering flight from their perch in the struts of the Irespan's underbelly.

    As the bats squeak in alarm, wheeling and flapping frantically overhead, those of you with your eyes fixed on the crooked tower strain your eyes to see if a response is forthcoming. Unfortunately, as the seconds go by, the only movement you can discern through the drizzle seems to be that of the bats circling round and round the tower...

    The rain falls with renewed vigor, pattering off your clothing and running down your exposed cheeks. Somewhere above you, you can hear the cries of the bats grow fainter as they beat a gradual retreat back to their dank refuge under the bridge. Standing damply in the rain to wait for an enemy who won't respond is a futile endeavour at best, and you are about to start forward to kick down the doors of the Shadow Clock when all of a sudden, you smell her-

    Behind you. Rich amber and warm sandalwood, bright notes through the rain. A heart of sweet jasmine, a feather touch tracing your spine-

    It is impossible that she should have sneaked up on you like this. Surely you would have heard. Should have heard. The crunch of gravel underfoot. Mud pulling at her feet. Something. Those of you who are quick enough whirl, arms raised and at the ready, only to behold the familiar form of the only alabastar-skinned tiefling you know, standing calmly almost sixty feet away in the middle of the road with her wet hair plastered to her forehead and a dreamy smile bowing her lips.

    It's not Setsuna. You know it can't be. The wicked looking barbed longspear that she hefts casually over one shoulder is a dead giveaway. So is the fact that she's clad in nothing more than form-fitting black hosen rather than a hakama. And yet...

    Her face is a perfect match from crimson irises to high cheekbones and it might have fooled you at first glance. But it only at the second glance that you realise that the body - it is wrong - the curve of the pert breasts, the taut belly, the sleek sweep of her thighs - it's perfect. Too perfect. This isn't the Setsuna that you'd seen in Aunt Vera's house, wretchedly gasping for life with an ugly gash in her abdomen, but a simulacra of Setsuna as she could be, with a body flawless in every way.

    The smell of her hangs heavy in the air despite the pouring rain, caressing your senses and making it difficult to breathe. It doesn't matter whether you have known what it is to bed a woman or whether you've never been touched yourself. Despite yourself, the sudden tingling rush of blood to your face and loins is nearly enough to bring you to your knees. And when she speaks, her voice is desire and fire.

    "You would have me? Here I am." She purrs, running a finger lightly down the longspear's shaft, her amused eyes lingering on yours. "Oh, the things I am going to do to you..."

    Forty feet behind you, the doors of the Shadow Clock creak open. For those of you who dare to crane your necks ever so slightly to figure out what is going on, the first two hunched forms that scurry through, knuckling the ground, are immediately recognisable as Faceless Stalkers - the same sort that had ambushed you in the Vadoma Forest. The third form that lurches forth, however, stooping to squeeze its bloated form out the door, is much too immense and grotesque to be one of that ilk. You're frankly not quite sure what it is - it looks like a lot of humanoid body parts sewn together with thick wire and staples into a swollen barrel the size of a carthorse, topped with a lolling idiot head that leers and drools through its stitched lips like a possessed baby. Straw pokes out of the ragged clothing draped about its body, the nauseating smell of decaying dung palpable even from where you are.

    Knowledge (arcana) DC 17
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    With a sickening jolt of the stomach, you realise that the third form can only be a flesh golem. Assembled from multiple cadavers and brought to life with powerful necromantic magic, flesh golems are rare and difficult to construct, but once animated, make for loyal (if mindless) slaves of massive physical strength. As with other golems, flesh golems are able to heal themselves if exposed to an electrical current. They are also remarkably hard to destroy due to their immunity to magic and their sturdy bodies.


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    As the rain lets up for a few seconds, you prick up your ears at a low-pitched rustling sound that seems to be coming from the side of the Shadow Clock. You can't discern anything moving outside the tower, but it would appear that the four visible enemies are not the only ones that you have to worry about - there is at least one more enemy crawling about unseen.


    The party is NOT in combat. But you could be if you choose to attack on your turn. Note the distances between you and all enemies as above in the post.
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  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Brin

    It takes all of Brin's formidable willpower to tear her eyes away from the vision of Setsuna perfected long enough to steal a glance at the bloated monstrosity trundling out of the clocktower's too-small doors with its escort of faceless stalkers. It was too brief a look to know what the thing was, beyond big enough to squash her flat and ugly as an ogre's breakfast.

    But that wasn't important right now. Not when knee-quaking, eye-watering beauty was approaching from the front. Brin had never really thought of Setsuna in that light, but now it impossible not to. She was virtually a child in comparison to Brin, and not just because of the age difference. She was filled to bursting with naive notions about the nature of the world, an almost unbelievable innocence given what she'd seen and been through. Equal measures bold and coy, and each showing through at the strangest times.

    There was something very wrong here, and it wasn't just the real, actual, imperfect version of the bubbly tiefling standing a few strides to Brin's side--dancing at the edge of her peripheral vision. The version that had a blade in her gut just an hour ago. The version whose blood still stained Brin's sleeves. The woman with the spear...there was no shyness in her, no naivete. She was brilliantly, blindly brazen. The real Setsuna might, in the heat of battle, forget that her cursed sarashi had burned away and left her exposed, but even her most elegant bare-chested swordplay was a flickering candle beside the incandescent energy pouring off the doppelganger as she merely stood there, reveling in her unabashed, unbridled, stolen sensuality.

    Something was very wrong. The real Setsuna wouldn't do that. Couldn't do that. No one could do that without magic. "L...Lady..." Brin hesitates, swallowing to clear the accumulated saliva from her mouth before repeating the request for the simple divination more forcefully. "Pharasma, lift the veil from my eyes."

    Spoiler
    Show
    Will to disbelieve, assuming it's an illusion: (1d20+9)[16]

    and cast detect magic, in case it's something else.

    Don't suppose I can get a chance to decide if she's a succubus or lamia? I'll role K(planes) just in case, but Brin's not trained in K(nature).
    K(Planes): (1d20+5)[22]

  25. - Top - End - #145
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Red

    Even as a child, Red had known she'd preferred women to men. It was something about how women were softer. Kinder. How their touch didn't hurt. Fumbling experiments in the darker corners of squalid taverns and the few drink-addled trysts she'd had with the opposite sex had convinced her as much. With women, it was different - she was free, it was lovely - like flowing water over your hands, like a little child running down the side of a hill.

    Setsuna was pretty. She was pretty all over. Red had thought that from the start. Setsuna was a friend. But Red would be damned a liar if she'd said that she'd never once watched Setsuna appreciatively from a distance - the rise of her breasts, the jut of her hips, the graceful curve of her tail. Sometimes at night, in the pit of her dreams, it was true - Red danced with lithe women like Setsuna. Kissed them silly. Lost herself in their arms.

    Setsuna was a friend. Red didn't do the sex with friends, no matter how pretty they were. All the more so if that friend wasn't interested in doing the sex with Red.

    But this... this other Setsuna in front of her. This was too much. Gritting her teeth and trembling, Red squeezes her eyes shut, biting hard down on the inside of her cheek. But the jolt of pain does little to shake the images of the other Setsuna from her mind's eye and to ease the quivering tension knotted in her. The light bow of those lips. The fullness of those breasts. The trickle of rainwater down the hollow of her navel towards her thighs.

    No. Setsuna is my friend. I should not. I mustn't. My body - it mustn't do this. Almost on the verge of tears, Red whimpers piteously between clenched teeth, digging her nails into the underside of her arm with vicious urgency. Dimly aware of the shapes emerging from the tower, she turns her back on the other Setsuna and draws her kukris forth. It helped a little to be not looking at the other Setsuna and at ugly monsters instead. It was easier to breathe. That's what she should do. Should keep on doing.

    "Do... do we kill... her? T-the other... S-setsuna." Red's voice is hoarse as she winces, trying to not think of shapely thighs while doing her best to ignore her body stirring below her belt.

    *****

    GM post

    Brin's Detect Magic / or anyone else using Detect Magic

    Spoiler
    Show
    There is indeed a faint magical aura surrounding the false Setsuna - a hazy lime green light that coruscates and pulses around her nubile body...

    Knowledge (arcana) DC 18
    Spoiler
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    The aura is indubitably from the school of Illusion, which means that the Setsuna with the spear is almost certainly nothing more than mere puffery, incapable of harming anyone. You're not sure of what spell this might be exactly, but it is a potent illusion indeed if the spell is capable of conjuring up smells and sound like this. Taladron, if he were here, might well be impressed by such a display.
    Last edited by maggie_mcknife; 2016-01-22 at 02:06 AM.
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    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
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    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

  26. - Top - End - #146
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Setsuna

    When her doppelganger appeared, it had a somewhat different effect on the real Setsuna than it did on her companions. Desire, yes, that was certainly there, it wasn't vain to say that she'd never seen someone more beautiful, more sensual, than this perfected version of herself and it had an effect even on the naive young tiefling. But for her there was more to it. Facing her copy, flawless in every way, the real version could see more than just images of them together. Where most could be easily seduced, the real Setsuna's fantasy was constantly being interrupted by reminders. Reminders of her imperfections, her fresh scar, created by the hand of this clone, her near death experience, and an almost primal rage at the idea that there's another her here. All serving to keep her head from getting lost, and focused on the task at hand.

    Ignoring the golem and its backup entirely, the tiefling glares coldly at Xanesha with Mae in hand and ready to charge her. It's only Red's uncertainty that keeps Setsuna from dashing in long enough to recognize Brin's spell and realize that perhaps they needed to be a little more careful given how disadvantageous this fight is looking to be.

    Nodding, "Yes. We kill the fake me," she says, her voice barely constraining the anger she wasn't at all certain how to deal with. Though hearing her say that something needs to die is alien, the flesh golem at least is inhuman enough that she does not sound so strange when she recognizes that it needs to be destroyed. "But that flesh golem will be a problem. Naya can not hurt it, and I can not use most of my magic either. We need to destroy it quickly, but I can keep the other monster busy."

    Getting ready to do just that, she intones a quiet spell, conjuring another wall of force to abate blows against her.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Casting Shield.

    30 AC! 14.28% chance to target the real Setsuna! I believe I'm properly buffed now. Will use the rnd/level buffs once combat begins
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    . . . . . .
    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  27. - Top - End - #147
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    jamieth's Avatar

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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Naya

    Naya had no opoptunity to witness Setsuna's curse in action, and the one time she had a chance to take a glance of the tiefling's chest... wasn't pretty, and besides she tried to avoid looking... but even without having a reference, it wasn't hard to determine fake as a fake. The trouble was, even knowing that, she couldn't pierce the veil of what she quickly confirmed to be a magic of illusion - which, of course, proved that the one who put such magic in place must have been powerful indeed. Of course, the nature of this particular illusion amde it somewhat hard to concentrate, as well... possibly, on some subconscious level, Naya wanted to look at that fake-Setsuna.

    She blinked. No. That's... that's not what Lady Kaylee taught me. It's complete opposite... she broke eye contact just in time to turn around and look at the reinforcements. Flesh Golem... the worst possible thing, she thought just as Setsuna - a real Setsuna - confirmed her guess. Well, that meant her magic would have to be aimed at Xanesha herself instead... and Naya wasn't even going to try out her latest idea of generating electricity that affected the nerves of her targets rather then their bodies - she was sure it should work, but such precision took time... and time would likely be a commodity here. Not yet initiating hostilities, though, she conjured a set of shurikens and let them float for now, while addressing the fake... trying to sound calm and wise, but very obviously failing, "Are you... are you that ashamed of yourself that you take such precautions against someone seeing even an inch of your body?" Not that it mattered, of course. Whatever this creature was, whatever she really looked like, Xanesha had to die. After that... everything else could be dealt with after that.

    "Miss Setsuna's right", she addressed her comrades without waiting for the answer, "My magic would only restore this abomination's strength should I attempt to blast it... and most other magic won't be that effective either; I'm afraid we'll have to rely on blades here. It should have weak points after all..."

    Spoiler
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    4 shurikens, 7 rounds remaining.
    Last edited by jamieth; 2016-01-21 at 11:34 AM.
    Tome of Radiance, a Magical Girl sourcebook for 3.5/PF.

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  28. - Top - End - #148
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Brin

    Magic. She'd known as much, of course, but it was nice to have it confirmed. Made it easier to tell herself that THAT Setsuna was an impostor. It didn't make it easier to tear her eyes away from the sinuous swing of her hips, clinging hosen soaked to virtual translucence by the rain. Or stop herself from tracing the flow of the water as it gathered to form a pendulous drip--clinging ever so briefly--at the curving base of each voluptuous, ivory...

    "No." Brin mutters. "NO. Enough!" She shouts.

    "Lady, grant us all the strength to drag this impostor feet! Give us the power to see through her lies and strike her down!" Brin cries, empowering her allies as she readies her bow.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Cast Blessings of Fervor

    Um...ruling required: does the 30' distance limitation apply to the disposition of targets at the casting of the spell or for the entire duration?

  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Rico
    Blessing of Fervor [Option IV]
    HP 56/56
    AC 24/22


    Faintly aware of her suddenly slack stance, Rico struggles not to pant as she stares at an avatar of perfection.

    The cool night breeze blew errant locks across a face most fair. Acrid smoke drifted on the wind, the cliffs lit with the burning hulk of a slaver ship. An emaciated multitude of former inmates of the chain gangs already on their way to Sandpoint's processing, and charity. There I was, atop the rocks, proud of the work me an' the Watch had done, together with the... hah... heroic minstrel Whisper and the Hound, her diminutive companion.

    Thoughts lost in admiring the flames. Pff. How I'd jumped when a pair of warm, cracked lips found mine. Wess' melodious voice sank its silvered hooks into my... HAH... as yet unsullied ears, plying me with the best of Ameiko's liquor and playing my yet untouched heart with the greatest of ease even as we lost ourselves in each other's music.

    Where was Wess now? There's still that little sculpture to give her. And an earful about not singing any damned bugger's life and frigging times.

    Unearthly beauty? Heh. Yeah. This BITCH don't have a candle to her. For all her faults, at least Wess meant well.


    Gasping at the unbidden dampness in her nethers, Rico tries to growl in defiance only to find herself stumbling towards Xanesha. And then she hears her comrades' voices, lifelines thrown to one about to drown in a maelstrom of unnatural lust.

    The halforc's face flushes full, even up to the tips of her ears, burning. Even to her shame, in this dark time, she draws upon their voices. She girds her mind with every more-than-friendly glance cast at her comrades, her friends, all those stolen moments forging a link in her mental chainmail.

    She catches herself gazing longingly at Xanesha's seductive grip upon her spear's shaft and almost moans...

    Those few days when I'd felt the weight of duty and fear flow offa me shoulders, replaced by a warm hand, and an earnest laugh. The only man to have ever made me angry and afraid for him, to have made me blush, to have made me actually yearn for the future...

    Cipriano's quiet wisdom, his righteous anger, his mischievous laughter, his warm hand in hers...

    And oh, ohhhhhh, mmmmmm, that...

    Heh.

    The hidden pain of the past month's mornings... Damned straight, I'm gunna live. We all will. Thanks fer the assist... beloved.

    Hehehehe. To even think I'd ever... HAH.


    "NNNRRRRRAAAAAAAAAGGGHHH!"

    A wave of shock and self-loathing writhes in the pit of Rico's belly, erupting in a primal roar. She straightens up, and bites her upper lip, hard. Twin furrows bleed into her mouth, and she savours the pain, helping sharpen her focus.

    STAY. FROSTY.

    Hocking a glob of bloody spittle, she snarls through a grin, "Ladies. Letsch. Git. Dis. DONE."

    STAY. ON. PLAN.

    Sheathing her sword, Rico strides forth, loosening the ties of one of her pouches. When she gets close enough, she hurls an alchemically treated stone at the spear-swinging not-Setsuna before them.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Forward 40, and hurl a Thunderstone.
    (1d20+10)[19] +4 if Xanesha IS an Evil Outsider. <---There's been a lot of mentions, but no outright confirm? Asking for the sake of confirming on the Ranger bonuses isn't asking too much, is it?
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  30. - Top - End - #150
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    GM post

    From where the rest of you stand, you can just about make out through the sheets of pouring rain the dull green sheen of the thunderstone as Rico chucks it at the smiling, sultry vision in the middle of the road, a fist-sized nugget sailing through the air, arcing towards those hosen-clad feet-

    The explosive bang of the thunderstone as it detonates whipcracks through the air, echoing crazily off the overhanging Irespan and causing the more timid of you to clap your hands over your ears. As the ringing and dull ache in your ears fades, you find yourself glancing over in Rico's direction, perhaps hoping to see the false Setsuna reeling or better still, even downed. Instead, all you perceive is a rather befuddled Rico skidding to a halt, steam rising off her puffing body as she growls and scrabbles in the gravel where the image had stood, glaring left and right in search of where the miscreant had hared off to.

    To those of you better versed in magic, the explanation is clear - the Setsuna that you had seen was but an illusion, in all likelihood meant to distract you. Indeed, you find that the tantalising aroma that had heralded the false Setsuna's arrival has vanished just as abruptly, clearing your mind of lustful thoughts and envy. Which meant that the real Xanesha was still out there, hidden, lurking somewhere close enough to cast.

    Still, there is little time to dwell on such matters. Turning your attention to the motley coterie that had emerged from the Shadow Clock, you find that the big fleshbarrel and the two faceless stalkers have taken up position before the doors of the tower, apparently defending it from your invasion.

    "I frakken' told you we'd have to beware magic," grumbles Chanda unhelpfully to nobody in particular. Scowling over the fading flush of her cheeks, she yanks her violet-lens goggles down over her eyes and draws her rapier, a thin fog of ice already forming around the blade.

    *****

    Combat begins.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Party Initiative:
    Red: (1d20+5)[19]
    Setsuna: (1d20+9)[16]
    Rico: (1d20+1)[11] +2 from Favoured Terrain for 13
    Brin: (1d20+9)[25]
    Naya: (1d20+5)[8]
    Chanda: (1d20+6)[15]

    Enemies:
    Scarecrow: (1d20-1)[6]
    FS1: (1d20+7)[17]
    FS2: (1d20+7)[17]
    Xanesha: (1d20+7)[11]


    Initiative Order:
    > 25 - Brin - BoF
    19 - Red - BoF
    17 - FS1
    17 - FS2
    16 - Setsuna - BoF
    15 - Chanda - BoF
    13 - Rico - BoF
    11 - Xanesha - ... is around somewhere
    8 - Naya - BoF
    6 - Scarecrow


    It is now Brin's turn.


    *****

    Combat Map
    Last edited by maggie_mcknife; 2016-01-23 at 03:28 AM.
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    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

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