The relentless black warrior was on the onslaught yet again. This time not aided by the elemental spirit, but feeling his fury charged by the punishment that the ghost was now evidently accusing. The violence of his next strike was fearsome, even if the execution wasn't perfect, and no dark energies were involved. This probably because the motes of green-blue fire were still performing a macabre dance around the spirit...
Vengeance Strike, +12 vs AC: 28!
Damage: 2d4+17 (4 for CA, 4 for Bloodied, 4 for adjacent enemies, 5 for strength and weapon): 22 + 4 (Hunter's Quarry) -> 26!
Not one second after the cutting dash, but not before a low growling-then-hissing sound was heard, Vurokk suddenly disappeared from sight.
Minor action: Fleeting Shade encounter power. Invisible and +5 Stealth until end of next turn.
Moves to L8 (Hidden with Stealth roll of 22) [OOC] Needless, just a formality because he's able to stay hidden after attacks...
(Link to all rolls)
Vurokk's strategy was impeccable. Now invisible, he was waiting with his blade high and ready to cleave through the incoming ghosts.
He managed to strike the first and remain hidden, but the second one he charged the slash too much and missed. For a split-second he seemed to appear to everybody in the dim light, but then everybody lost sight of him again. Knowing it was just a temporary hiding, he refrained from attacking the two remaining ghosts.
First OA: 27 - Damage: 14 - Check to remain hidden (Shadow of the Wild): 24
Second OA: 15 - Check to remain hidden: 19 - FREE ACTION: Hidden Strike! Bluff check: 23
Effect: invisible to onlookers until start of next turn.
(Link to rolls)
Shrieking and trembling for what it seems to be deep pain, the ghostly figures look more solid each passing second. Rotten faces and hands can be seen, and what it looks like a dispoportionate mouth open in each one as if preparing to wail in eternal anguish.
[[Each Ghost will attack using a Close Blast Area, trying to affect every character they can see (or not see, depending on the case). K4 attacks the area contained between K3 and M1; the one in M5 gets from M4 to K2; K7 gets from L6-8 to M6-8 (only 2x3, since the area is blocked by the wall) M8 gets from L7-9 to K7-9 (ibidem); the other two do as well, hitting no one (they do know there's someone invisible near, just not exactly where).
Let's see the hits (dice roll): starting at Zaphren at the center and following clockwise from there, it seems I hit everyone except Sigg and Hoist for the first blast and Lisha on the second. That's 13 psychic damage for everyone, twice for Zaphrena and Cyl's spirit (if vulnerable to damage at all). Vurokk is also hit only once. Anyone hit at least once is immobilized (save ends).
On my damage side, K4 is bloodied. None of the ghost make their ST against ongoing damage.]]
Attentive to the disgusting vision, our heroes feel a terrible shriek inside their minds, menacing to drill their inner ears out of their heads. They all try to close their ears with no success; there's no sound after all, the whole thing is put directly into ther mind's depths, driving them insane.
The shaken adventurers were quite shocked. None of them had been attacked in this adventure until now, or so they thought. Instead, when the ghostly shrieks reached them, Zaphren clearly suffered the most and started holding his arm, which was now visibly dripping blood from two punctures in his leather garb... It looked like a snake's bite!
After a first moment of pain though, Zaphren's eyes seemed to glow of a smouldering red and with his teeth bared, and his skin turning darker then usual for a brief moment, he clearly seemed to resist some damage.
Zaphren uses Immediate Interrupt Firedeath, reducing damage by 6 (a 7 became a 1).
Cylonea was at first shocked by this, then she felt a surge of heat and energy. Her staff felt ligher in her hands, or her grip stronger... - "That creature's going to pay.... KYAAAHH!!"
Cylonea uses her Vengeful Staff's free encounter power, gaining +2 attack and +1d10 damage against the ghost in M5
Zaphren: "What are you going to do Cyl, wait! ... For the cursed balls of Cosi!!" - "Threader!! Pull that thing where I can hit it along with the others!"
The nearly supernatural grip of Hoist's hook on the quasi-incorporeal ghost held well, and the Kor accurately pulled it, with the ease of a puppetmaster pulling strings.
Ghost in M8 is slided in K5, taking 5 fire damage.
All the ghosts in the area also take 5 damage. Ghost in K4, not having saved from Vurok's ongoing damage, is virtually dead!
"Now you're all going to die for good, you pieces of netherworldly shiit!"
Flaming Burst (Freezing Burst made Flaming) in row 6, against ghosts in rows 5 and 7, CA against those in row 5.
25, 28, 26 vs Reflex! 15 damage and slided 1!
- Ghost in M8, then K5, slided in L4
- Ghost in K7 slided in K6
- Ghost in M5, slided in M4
Cylonea: "Just where I wanted them!!" - She looked so full of murderous intent that Zaphren didn't even know what to say. "All of you, come close to me and wait the release of magic from my attack! Zaphren, get out of the way!!"
Zaphren moves to M1 - "... Ok ok, miss!!... sheesh..."
(Link to rolls)
[OOC] She acts first because she asks the other to ready their actions, so that she can give them magical aid!
Moves to L2
After her companions quickly gave her place and time to act, she roughly stepped into the former position of the mage and brandished her staff with a fighter's strength. She aimed where the ghost's lower body parts should have been, with accuracy, thrusting the staff between her elemental and the wolf, which nearly jumped in her place due to the sudden movement...
Magic Weapon, attacking ghost in M4, +2 bonus from Vengeful Staff's power, +2 from CA granted by Bloodthirst Elemental. +15 vs AC. 17...
Cylonea was clearly going to miss, probably due to the excessive anger that was moving her, something she wasn't accustomed to deal with since it magically came from her staff. The ranger part of Zaphren's brain calculated this just in tiem to make him focus on Cylonea's hands, guiding them with his strong mental energy
Zaphren: -thinking- "I hope this is enough Cyl... Do it!!"
Adept's Insight to raise Cylonea's roll. Using 1 Power Point, 1+1d4...
[OOC] And it's -500- Internal Server Error!! Can't roll this all-important d4! :D
5! Total of 22! (link to roll!)
Zaphren: "Go Cyl, GO!!"
Cylonea: - *Nngh* - "RHAR!" - Damage for Magic Weapon Attack: 15 - All allies (except Vurokk) gain +1 to attack and +4 to damage until end of next turn!
The lucky strike triggered an explosion of arcane energies, as if a wellspring of mana had been opened where the staff had been planted. The energy took the form of orderly floating arcane glyphs, forming a luminous web of glowing symbols between Cylonea and her allies.
Minor action: Healing Spirit on Zaphren, Lisha gains the additional 1d6: 2 (Lisha had 5 THP, so she took 8 from the attack, after the small healing she's at 17 HP); Zaphren's back at 33, but only has 3 surges left.
In no time, a much more quiet energy was summoned by the young Shaman, healing energy directly from Zendikar's elemental spirits. Zaphren felt his wounds closing and Lisha howled briefly too, showing she had received a little part of the boon too.
Bloodthirsty Elemental Attack, against all ghosts in the area, all with CA: 25, 16 (I ask this to be allocated to K4... ), 28 all VS Reflex
Damage: 7 against Ghost in L4, 16 against Ghost in M4 (Vengeful Staff's bonus)
(Link to rolls)
The floating and wobbling green elemental became a vortex of vines and thorns, hurting and impeding the enemies it touched, and being particularly vicious against the ghost that triggered Cylonea's wrath, by the means of her previously unknown staff's power...
Only new damage is shown. The "X" is a reminder that the enmey is going to die at the start of next turn so nobody attacks it... The numbers fater the + are going next turn as ongoing damage.
Blue aura is Cylonea's bonus to allies: +1 to attacks, +4 to damage until end of next turn (applies to Hoist and Sigg/Lisha this turn, since they readied actions )
I wanted to show the characters with lowest HP, Vurokk (who started 1 HP over Bloodied) and Lisha (near her maximum anyway).
Total damage inflicted to the ghosts, all in chronological order, parentheses for damage surely happening next turn:
- K4: 55+28+26+5+5(+5)
- L4: 27+16+5+5+15+7(+5)
- M4: 25+5+15[not written, from Zaphren]+31
- K6: 27+5+14+15(+5)
- M11: 27+5(+5)
- K10: 0!
IMMEDIATE INTERRUPT! - Triggered by taking damage from Close Blast attack
Invisible thanks to one of his most ancient deceptive tricks, Vurokk had just started turning his head to the two ghosts behind him when he noticed they were using their psychic attack that had turned the fortunes of the battle he and his ex-companions lost to them. This time he would use the power of the relic of the Hagra Cistern, the obsidian disc-plate he was always wearing nearly attached to his armor. When the shriek started filling his hears, he activated the arcane device, which shielded him in a nearly invisible ring of force. The unberable shout became little more than a distant sound.
Still, his mind couldn't refrain from answering the psychic attack with a strong paralysis which made him curse violently in his mind.
Disc-Plate of Shielding daily power: Resist 10 against attack, suffering only 3 damage. [OOC] Vurokk's total HP now at 20 (Bloodied)
- thinking, while uncontrollably dripping saliva mixed with blood from his mouth - "Come on... Come here and try to kill me, that's the way I like it..."
"This is why I prefer the outdoors! Too many damned close quarters, no room to maneuver!" Hoist coils his line like a spring and spins it forth over the elemental and Lisha to strike the ghost before Lisha.
Guardian Harrier Strike: +11 (+2 CA, +1 from Cyl) 1d6+5 damage (+4 from Cyl)
[OOC] Invisible Castle seems to be unresponsive. If OK I will roll on my honour: 12 (d20) and 4 (d6)...
26 vs. AC and 13 damage! (plus the secondary hit of 4 damage, if the ghost doesn't move)
When the line whips just beyond the ghost, his arm twists and jerks, reeling the hook in and catching the ghost a second time--if it does not move first.
[OOC] I wil remain where I am otherwise.
*Note by LordArchaon: target is not specified, should be M4.
[OOC] Well, since Gamma-Mage disappeared again, if he doesn't post soon enough, let's use my (BAD...) rolls for him. Here is the link to them, in order. Only two should have hit the ghost, so not enough to kill it. (the Ghost is that in L4). Total damage is 34 (imagine he could have done double that amount...)* ALSO: Sigg now has Resist All 3 until end of next turn, thanks to his Ki Focus property.
With immoblized legs like every other party member, and now suddenly visible, the black knight was looking downwards and was visibly enraged by this condition.
After seizing the situation, he loudly dropped his large composite two-handed blade (Free Action), drew a lighter but sturdy-looking blade (Rhythm-blade Rapier aka "Trusty Machete", Minor Action), with a click on some kind of lever-device expelled his arm-blades (dropping the Shielding Wrist Razor, Free Action), and donned a big shield that looked wicked like all of his armament (Standard Action).
Then he faced the rearmost ghosts with his most terrible, slant and slit-like glare. No verbal challenge was needed.
New defenses: AC 23 (because the armor is still in its "light mode"), Fort 18, Reflex 18, Will 18
And after an instant, with gestures of spellcasting, he seemed to summon a glowing and humanoid creature of stone, the size of a goblin but looking like an elemental of some sort. It stood very still a few steps in front of him, very close to the ghosts!
Minor action, "Shadow Image" (Psionic Image wild talent) in L10 - A Bluff check just to act credibly... 27! (link)
Saving throw: 1! (link)
[OOC] My shot was targetting the ghost at M4.
(sorry, Raf, My email said Sigg, but i meant Lisha)
Suddenly, one of the ghost seems to recover his full corporeal shape, just to fade all over again a second later (yes, the K4 one). Other two seems to vanish all over again into the walls (the ones at M4 and K6), almost like melding into the stone. The remaining three, shrieking and trembling again, opening grossly their mouths to let escape a hellish wail.
[[Each Ghost will attack again having recharged their Close Blast Area. L4 attacks everyone except Vurokk, while the ones at K10 and M11 will try to hit him.
Let's see the hits: (dice roll) Starting in a shape of "Z", they hit Zaphren, Cylonea and her spirit, which is immune and I forgot. That's 14 psychic damage for everyone, plus immobilized (save ends).
And again, none of the ghosts still present make their ST against ongoing damage.]]
The walls look alive now. It seems as the battle being represented got life of its own. Could those hostile spirits get out again?
HP: 33-9(14-5 resistance)=24
Zaphren, now back to strength from Cylonea's elemental cure, resisted quite well to the attack, but audibly cursed the enemies for having immobilized him.
"I would have fried their ex-arses, and I guess they knew!"
Flaming Burst right in the middle of the two, both are surely hit and they are slided in L11, L12, 15 damage!
UPDATE: 19 damage, +4 given by Cylonea's bonus!
"Now they're all facing that knight's summoned elemental, let's see if tin-man studied at the library too, other than smashing scarecrows, for training..."
Saving Throw to end Immobilzied condition: 12!
"My legs are beginning to work again... Even if not as good as yours, heh piles-o-shiit? You ran back to your stony graves as fast as geopedes on a lava field!"
Arcana check to understand something about the walls... 20...
(link to rolls) [Ignore the roll against Vurokk and the Burning Hands damage, he couldn't cast burning hands because he was immobilized. This also means no OAs on him, though, and no half damage to Vurokk, it would have been 13 even at half! ]
"Please wait Hoist! And Sigg! I have an idea!!"
Bramble Ally against ghost in L4... 18 (miss) [OOC]
"This can't be... I always miss in the most important moment!"
Cylonea was emotionally stressed, more and more. She started to think a lot about her confidence with combat and reaction to stressful situations...
The effects of the vengeful staff were passed when the ghost that had hurt Zaphren escaped, but still she managed to transform her feelings of disillusion into something else. It wasn't rage as before, but something very akin to valor as she let the Elemental Spirit disappear, only to summon it near the farther ghosts while leaving her vulnerable to an attack from the front one.
Elemental Spirit is dismissed (minor action)
Call Spirit Companion on square K11 threatening both ghosts (minor action)
"Lisha, I'm under your protection!"
Saving Throw to end Immobilized condition: 19!!
[OOC] Hadn't rolled Saving Throws previous turn... They're 14 and 15! They can move! This turn happens after Hoist's so the ghost in L4 should be dead... If not, Lisha risks an OA.
Lisha charges the ghost in L11, ending movement in M10
CRITICAL HIT! 17 damage
Sigg moves to K9 [Again, if Hoist killed ghost in L4 good, if not, risks OA]
And uses Healing Word on Vurokk: 6 additional HP! Vurokk's HP are now (20+11+6=) 37!
(link to rolls)
[OOC] forgot save last turn: 11 link
Hoist retracts his hook, coils and fires it at the nearest ghost [K4]
Guardian Harrier Strike: +11 (+1 from Cyl) 1d6+5 damage (+4 from Cyl)
14 vs. AC [OOC] Miss? and 12 damage [if hit] (plus the secondary hit of 4 damage, if the ghost doesn't move) link
If miss: Hoist tries to reach the ghosts beyond with a ricochet strike (inevitable shot and inescapable shot). The hook seems to have a life of its own as Hoist manipulates his line like a master puppeteer; sparks fly and the hook arches through the air to strike at L12.
20 vs. AC and 14 damage link
Shifting forward, Hoist presses into the hallway, never content to remain in the rear. He has an overwhelming desire to be in the thick and to support his friends with his physical presence.
[OOC] Hoist shifts into K2 at the end of his turn.
[OOC] Whoa, the action is tense! :D - If Hoist doesn't timely decide to use an Action Point to hit L4, then OAs to both Sigg and Lisha (Lisha's defense are 19,17,17,17)... Anyway, the poor devil is dead before it can act again thanks to ongoing damage, that's the best thing (The Druid can withstand an attack very well, Lisha not so much but she can also return from the dead very easily :P)
START OF 4th ROUND, SNAPSHOT
Damage totals for the two remaing ghosts are:
L11 (Ex K10): 19+17=36
L12 (Ex M11): 27+5+5+5+19+14(+5)=80!
Our HPs, chronolgically:
-Thinking and mumbling while in a soft delirium, maybe due to the effect of the ghost's attack...-
"No stars like back there,
no stars as in no sky,
no way as in no place,
back there like when then..."
The strange stillness that got the shadowy knight's entire body when only his legs should have been affected passed, as quick as it had appeared. And still his legs were blocked, slightly trembling as those of his new-found allies a few breaths ago.
He faced to his right, were the broad and ligneous shoulders of the druid stood motionless while he breathed calmly using the lower torso.
"Thanks for the aid." - Vurokk said to him, in a clear voice. Than he slowly turned again to face the ghost in front of him.
Vurokk Readies an Action: Vengeance Strike + Dread Smite or charge + Dread Smite (depending on range) against any ghost that moves (Trigger: movement, action takes place as a reaction, after the movement) [OOC] This won't change the Initiative order, since he would then act before the triggering turn, thus returning to his position in the initiative chart.
Saving Throw: 18!! (link)
-Whispering gravely- "I'm ready..."
Just as the farthest ghost vanishes into mist just a split second after looking very corporeal, the only remaining ghost tries to reach Lisha launching itself unto it...
OOC: (triggering Vurokk's readied action and Cyl's spirit "mark"... which stops it from moving)
while screaming and extending what looks like gigantic undead claws from it... At reaching Lisha, the phantasmagoric silhouette went rightly through it, like tearing it apart, trying to reach the wall behind Lisha unsuccesfully, but leaving in the poor animal's conscience a sight like none would want to... a deadly essence which remains at her fragile mind. Death and violence, suffering and pain, made one feeling altogether.
OOC: Hit (link) for 11 psychic and cold damage.
After all, these trespassers may succeed were the previous one have failed...
Just when Vurokk was getting ready to charge the monstrosity, shield-high, Cylonea's elemental stopped the moving ghost in its tracks with its contained manifestation of the Roil. The false start made Vurokk hesitate a split-second more than needed and he didn't find a correct positioning to charge, not before the ghost had already changed its tactic and attacked the wolf.
"We have to attract this ghost back here amidst my flames! They're no good without anyone to burn alive... or Undead!"
Fortunately multi-tasking, Zaphren managed to cast two spells while talking his strategy out.
Cylonea: "I don't know if it will come closer, they look coward!!"
Zaphren casts Flaming Burst behind the ghost, Combat Advantage given by Lisha's aura: CRITICAL HIT! And rolled MAX extra damage too, for a total of 23 damage! The ghost is slided in K12
Minor action: "Volcanic Debris" in L11, making it difficult terrain [OOC] This makes it impossible for the ghost to shift there, so he will likely have to take a normal move to get out, triggering Cylonea's spirit's attack again.
"And if the luminarch doesn't ascend, ascension will come to the luminarch..."
And uttering this, with Cylonea and Hoist looking very puzzled by the supposedly funny line, the brawny mage moved forward in big strides...
Moves to K6
... Quite abruptly stopping five feet from the unknown knight, perhaps as a precaution.
Minor action: draw the dejada.
"Hoist, follow me, we got to close in to be effective! I will wait for you to be near and then fire with my dejada, giving you arcane strength!"
Moves to L7
Readies Magic Weapon (with dejada), trigger: Hoist gets adjacent to her.
Zaphren: "Will you be able then to attract the ghost in the flames?"
Cylonea: "Will you think about Lisha first?" - Reaching to the wolf's eyes with her hands - "Come, come behind me Lisha!!"
Spoiler: Cylonea's readied attack's rolls..! Show
With the staff still held in her left hand, the right-handed young merfolk prepared the shot, swinging the large, typically elven wooden sling over her head. And flinging the stony projectile to the ghost!
Magic Weapon at +10 vs AC (lack of feat bonus): 22!!
Everyone except Lisha gets +1 to attacks and +4 to damage until end of next turn.
In addition, all squares adjacent to Cylonea, including the free square K8 become Difficult Terrain for the Ghost
And even if the hit passed through the ghost without any visible effect, when the strike connected, again the glyphs of arcane power ran through the allies close to her linking to their weapons, this time invigorating even the knight's blade.
She exulted with what was probably a merfolk onomatopoeic word.
- thinking - "This time the pressure didn't take over! I'm getting strong!"
Facing back and raising scmitar and eyes towards Hoist, the druid signaled to the hunter to delay his actions for him to maneuver, the experienced kor understanding immediately.
Then with a few gestures, he exchanged his thoughts with the trembling wolf.
Lisha moves to L3
She sitted back there in wait, unscathed and unworried by the fountain of flames evoked by the mage few feet from her, seemingly also enjoying the heat after the cold ghost's touch.
Sigg moves to M8
Free action: Assassin's Shroud on Ghost
Standard action: readies Tending Strike. Trigger: the ghost is in melee range.
Situation before Hoist's moving! Airbrushed squares are difficult terrain for the ghost, not for allies!
The safest and better spot for Hoist should be behind Cylonea. To benefit the most from Cylonea's bonus to attack and damage, I suggest that Hoist could burn an Action Point (we're getting one after this battle anyway, so it's a waste not using it!), and attack the ghost twice, one time with Line Positioning, so that we can all shift 2 towards the back!
Hoist retracts his hook and leaps forward to join the melee. Move to K8
Once there, he recoils and fires it at the nearest ghost [L11]
Guardian Harrier Strike: 14 vs. AC [OOC] Miss? and 13 damage [if hit] (plus the secondary hit of 4 damage, if the ghost doesn't move) link
If miss: Hoist uses an Action Point to attack a second time, trying desperately to make up for his sloppy shot.
31! vs. AC and 15 damage link
[OOC] Great anyway, @dlynch!
Noticing that the hook of the threader was positioned in order to puncture the creature again if it didn't move, the warrior decided to move for the final confrontation with his nemesis. He pointed a finger towards the lone ghost. A black and twisted blotch, perhaps a strange rune appeared as black ink spreading from an invisible spill over its "body".
Minor action: [Raven Queen's] Shroud on Ghost: can now reroll damage on it.
Then he moved, sidestepping away from the apparently dangerous terrain the mage had created in a patch of the corridor.
Move to L12
Now in front of the ghost his eyes glowed green while a sudden burst of cold flames took the creature.
Free action: Dread Smite. 6 damage now and ongoing on a hit. The ghost is now bloodied.
Vengeance Strike empowered by Cylonea: 24 vs AC! 17 Damage and 5 ongoing cold and necrotic.
(link to rolls)
Even without channeling all his fury, and without his preferred weapon, the death dealer managed to strike with his dread powers, ensuring that the cold and deathly fire of his dark powers continued to burn through the ghost for more painful instants.
His shield was now ready for defense, and the challenge was there again, apparent without any words to make it explicit.
[OOC] The ghost will now begin his turn with 15 HP, 11 if it doesn't move, taking two OAs if it moves, and damage of the OA can be rerolled if bad, and being 1d8+11, it can easily destroy it!
[OOC] With the DM's approval...
The now quasi-corporeal and weak ghost lamented the cold burning of Vurokk's dread smite before even having time to react. Then it obviously tried to escape like all his companions. The vortex of Cylonea's elemental didn't manage to catch the fleeing fiend: if Vurokk hadn't attacked it, it could have just as well reached the wounded Hoist, attacking him, or maybe would have shrieked again, severely endangering all of their lives. He knew this, he had fought these before and lost. But now he was upfront, and where the elemental spirit had failed, his trusty machete didn't. Empowered by Cylonea's energies and by a bit of luck, the blade entered the ghost's head as if it was soft gladeheart's butter, stopping it inches from the wall it wanted to merge with and ironically impaling it to it.
OA by Vurokk: 24 vs AC.
Damage: 19 (17: Vengeance Strike bonus was an error, basic attack used instead)
An instant later, the now fully corporeal ghost started to seemingly liquefy into some sort of translucent mucus, which hit the ground with strange splotching sounds and emanating mist-like vapours. The last thing to dissolve was the impaled head, which started to flow down the blade. Vurokk brandished the weapon, rotating and moving it making the viscous fluid stick to it. Until with a sudden and strong downwards slash he projected the thing to the ground in a splash, where it evaporated as the rest.
The moments of tranquil silence that followed ended with Zaphren murmuring something before releasing a big blast of flames towards the wall to his left, startling both the all to near Sigg and Cylonea who had just recovered a state of calm.
Zaphren: "One can never be too sure with these undead things."
Cylonea sent a jagged look to him and then turned to the new warrior, who was in turn facing all of them and approaching, while the fiery terrain and the fountain of flames evoked by Zaphren dissolved into nothingness and Cylonea's spirit too shrunk before disappearing after her silent dismissal.
Seemingly on her own initiative, the now incredibly vigorous Lisha ran towards the front too, waving her tail between Hoist and Sigg in the place occupied before by the black warrior.
Vurokk: "Nice to meet you all, I'm Vurokk, last survivor of the last company descended here." - "And hello to you, brave wolf! You're a she, come here!" - The knight dropped shield and weapon, and took one of his spiked gauntlets off to caress the animal. He still wasn't revealing the color of his skin, since a leather glove still covered his hand, and the helm-mask his head. In the mean time, everyone closed in to meet the stranded adventurer with welcoming words and gestures.
Even the seemingly hostile Zaphren smiled seeing that the black knight wasn't all that dangerous, and recognizing in his behaviour some ranger training similar to that of his own.
Zaphren: "You're a ranger too huh? We're comrades then."
Cylonea: "Nice to meet you, and thanks for helping us here: we could have died or desisted without your intervention!"
Vurokk: "The same I can say to you! You're... Quite similar to the adventurers that went with me, but you work much better as a group then them. If you all met just before the descent, without knowing each other before, I must give to you that you're very good at tactics."
A talk ensued about the happenings of the battle, and more than once, both Sigg and Vurokk had to remind Zaphren that they nonetheless needed to speak softly.
"Speaking of this and my party, I still haven't seen the bodies after the battle, but I guess their equipment is still there. You might find very useful gear among it." - The others looked uncomfortable at Vurokk's words - "Don't worry, they weren't my friends... It's ok, they don't need anything while dead."
The now five-men party, seemingly more tightly-knit than before, accepted the grim offer and started walking again down the ruined corridor, not before Vurokk had recovered his arm-blades which he secured with mechanical devices of some sort to his armor, and grabbed again his big exotic two-hander, latching shield again on his back, and machete to the belt.
After all, they were still in a very hostile environment, and the walls still displayed eerily animated scenes of death and unknown.
The five adventurers felt a little safer than a few moments ago. Nonetheless, every detail their eyes could caught screamed at them to be watchful. They kept walking down the corridor, eyes wide open and ears in extreme caution. Even their skin seemed to be adapting to the situation, trying to catch some sign of danger ahead.
Darkness ended a few dozen yards ahead. A wide triangle-shaped room opened before them with no other entrances they could tell. Decorations couldn't be more different than the previous ones: Angelic visages cover everything from the floor to the ceiling, all in all engraved in the most white of stones, marble perhaps, but more solid if possible.
The room, which seemed a very tall prysm, had an engraved angelic statue that appeared to be about to fall from above. If it weren't unarmed, one could say it was charging to something at the floor with heavenly fury. Vanilla scent was obvious to everyone, as the reason for it: vanilla flowers, as white as angelic feathers, hanged from everywhere around.
The adventurers' senses stayed alert, but calmed soon. As far as they can see, there were no immediate threats in the shrine.
[[OOC: Arcana, Religion and Nature checks are welcome, everyone. Sorry for the gigantic delay, but as some of you know, I was volunteering for my country's national elections ballot, which just ended a few days ago. Let's rock'n'roll again, I have a few surpirses more in stock for you]]
The tall armored figure is the first to step in the surreal place. Was it the first time for him? He's not sure.
Pure Intelligence check: 15
He focuses his attention toward the flowers... How are they sustaining themselves so well in this environment? Why does he feel so attracted to them?
Nature check: 11
As he observes the flowers, Vurokk can tell they seem to have grown from the brinks of the walls. The inexistence of roots, though, makes him think they have some mystical property about them that allows them to grow in such an inhospitable place.
Seeing Cylonea stunned by the arcane energies of the place and already trying to commune with the elements to understand what he believed were going to be just the obvious leylines of the place, Zaphren focused his mind on the aspect that he retained more important, the religious aspect that he knew fascinated Cylonea, while not being something she had learned methodically...
Religion check + Adept's Insight: 21+4 = 25!
"Ok guys, listen up..." - The mage said authoritatively, or so he thought... Nobody was paying attention to him yet.
(Link to rolls)
She again began to link every input she received from that arcane locale into her elemental-attuned mind, trying to find a connection in that sudden potpourri of arcane energies, ominous architecture, and near palpable presence of primal power. She summoned her elemental spirit instinctively, and nearly merged with it as she sat in the center of its roiling vortex, right in the middle of the strange geometrical room.
Speak With Spirits + Arcana check: 33!! (Link)
She opened her eyes abruptly, and they shimmered of a purplish light for an instant, her expression suddenly locked into that of a seemingly-drug-induced stupor: her mouth slowly opening wider and wider, in a very vertical fashion...
While everybody was mentally busy, the elemental druid and his wolf walked the room in circles slowly, focusing on details of the floor... While doing so, very thin green tendrils that looked like new sprouts on a branch in spring, seemingly crawled from his hard legs towards the floor, as if sensing it through their green "skin".
Wilderness Knack: Wilderness Tracker -> Perception check to know number, nature, and precise movement of creatures in a 10x10 area in the past 24 hours: 18...
Hoist recognize the sweet flowers' perfume, recognizing them as cammopillas, a very exotic flower that grows just near the shores at the south, definitely not this deep in the jungle. Khalni gardens were famous precisely for the presence and abundance of these flowers.
Zaphren, on his own, went into detailing the intricacies of the faith of Emeria, goddess of the wind. The blindfolds covering the angels' eyes and their six wings were a significative particular representation of a dogma known as the Defiance of Angels. Theologists beheld angels and saw justice in their haloed indifference, halos being signs of equity and impartiality. Emeria has been conceptualized as a great angelic being since millenia ago, an impartial refuge in a dangerous world —her halo a sign of hope.
Meanwhile, Cylonea identified a subtle yet powerful mana leyline surrounding the room. She could see it sparkling white and green bursts of energy that went directly into the flowers, nurturing them with the power of magic instead of the nurtureness of soil and water.
Sigg, finally, started to notice several footprints that seemed obviuos to him, but for some reason no one have noticed before him: there were five sets of them, all humanoid in appeareance, but he couldn't tell their whereabouts, just that they were circling around the area once and again.
[[OOC: The angel hangs precariously from what seems to be light branches and entangles lianas. While observing them, you can see some curvilined scripture in the blindfold not entirely covering that angel's eyes, but none of you are able to understand it.]]
Vurokk standed still, only moving his head around to explore the place with his eyes, still trying to think if he had seen the place before, with his former comrades, trying to remember if that place had something to do with them and where would their bodies be if they weren't in the corridor nor there.
[OOC] He had rolled a good pure Intelligence check to try and retrieve this info from his mind, a few posts ago...
In the mean time, the eager and crafty Murasa battlemage, after staring the hanging sculpture from different angles, decided to try and understand if it wasn't hollow, for some reason, poking it soundly with his composite fire-belching staff.
He tried to analyze the reaction of the stonework with the same mindset he had acquired early during his childhood, in his birthplace in the underground Glint Pass cavern-complex, back in Murasa.
Dungeoneering check: 14 (link) [OOC] I thought that it could be quite akin to searching for hidden doors and such...
Probably forgetting she wasn't alone like in the many years of her recent life in the Oran Rief, the young merewoman was nearly sitting on the ground, her legs curled in a fashion that the others were starting to recognize as hers. She watched in a state of near-hypnotic awe the mana ley-lines and making her elemental spirit approach the source very slowly, she nearly unconsciously tapped on the white-green power and casted the spell she thought was most similar to what she was witnessing, guided both by the irrational intuitiveness of her shamanic soul and the rational curiosity of her more arcane-bent mind.
Healing Spirit, directed generically towards the leylines and giving the extra cure towards the flowers
Sigg Starleaf was too slow to react to that event, that he would have otherwise tried to stop, being sure that the harmony of that place could be easily disturbed, with possibly dire consequences...
After looking around slowly, Vurokk ended up admitting he couldn't remember the room, which made sense since his new companions found him in the previuos area. Maybe his old fellows weren't succesful at facing those hellish ghosts.
Zaphren asked Hoist to help him climb towards the angel hanging from the ceiling, which he made pretty easily due to the rootvines all-around. When both of them were almost over the statue, Hoist noticed how it looked like if suspended in mid-air. Several vines surrounded the statue and went upwards, to a small dot in the high-above ceiling from which light entered.
[[OOC: I took the freedom to make an Athletics check in your name, David, just because it was an easy one (DC 18) for your character, and combined it with his Passive Perception score]]
Getting close to the vines, Hoist could tell that some just climbed them a few moments ago, probable several times in a row.
Meanwhile, Cylonea couldn't make the flowers tap into the extra energy she tried to provide them. Happily for everyone, Sigg was wrong bout the consequences of disturbing the harmony in there.
With a few words and gestures, Vurokk motions Zaphren to come down from Hoist's shoulders and uses the help himself.
"I will scout ahead, get ready..."
Athletics check: 22 (link)
Once climbing on the vines, Vurokk nearly faded out from everybody's view, to their astonishment, as his strange black armor started camouflaging perfectly inside the vegetation. The vines didn't even move while he climbed like an unseen arachnid heading for a doomed prey.
Standard Action: One With Shadow - racial power (Hide with only partial cover)
Stealth check with +5 from Camouflage, -5 for moving more than 3 squares: 32, critical! (link)
Zaphren looked up with his eyebrows corrugated, massaging the rough semi-mineralized skin of his chin producing a scratching sound.
"I want to go next threader... Then you can set a line. But... I don't want to ruin the surprise that our newfound armored guy is going to be for the poor soul who has climbed this thing, let's wait a few beats more."
"Ok, time to go. I think I can manage to be stealthy too, since I won't even touch the vines with my feet. I can easily climb with the strength of my arms alone."
Athletics check to climb: 12, fumble! (link)
He had just finished bragging when right at the first grasp of vine, his hands slipped and he soundly hit the paved ground below. Everybody tried not to laugh too loud, but it was a hard task!
[[OOC: Introducing... Vittoria "Tori" Xantis, wizard apprentice, relic hunter and adventurer extraordinaire.]]
She was just wrapping several maps and scrolls into her backpack when some noise caught her attention. Not that she was quite perceptive, but hey, sounds like that in a place which was empty just a minutes ago turned all her danger senses on with a blast. Almost reactively, she put her left hand over her spellbook in the floor while the right one carressed gently over the crystalline orb over her staff, detaching it for maximun potential in the case of a not-so-gentle approach from strangers.
Perception check: I really have no chance to beat Vurokk's 32, so I pass.
She looked around, paying special attention to the weird bush she saw a few feet away from her. It looked like it was trembling. She aproached it slowly, not noticing anything out of place.
"These damned ruins give me the chills everytime..."
She tried to relax again, unsuccesfully. She felt like a rabbit... not knowing where the fox was.
Not that he had ever been particularly clever in distinguishing friends from foes in the past, but since his mind was way too "shadowed" (in more than one sense) to calculate every variable that could result in the small girl-wizard being an enemy, he decided to try and take her as a friend. The problem in his mind now was different...
"How will I be able to present myself as a friend without scaring the living mana out of her?"
He considered a few alternatives and in the end he decided that being her clearly a wizard, magic was the right means of communication...
Vurokk, sure that a ruin-delver like her would have known Vampire, created some shadowy vampire scripts in quick succession out of thin air, making them appear right in front of the young woman, while she was looking at the bushes... She watched, startled by the sudden happening...
"I'm a friend" - "No, not vampire" - "Please don't attack" - "I'm coming out"
And after a few seconds, he slowly came up from the hideout, as if coalescing from the thick humidity of the dungeon's air. He slightly bowed in salute, and proceeded to quickly but calmly take off his intimidating helm-mask...
"I'm Vurokslaw Dedahvrov, you can call me Vurokk. I'm the last survivor of the first company that came here, or so I thought. Don't worry, the members of what i think is the second company are my new friends, they're down there, nice guys..."
And while presenting himself, Vurokk smiled trustfully at the young woman and slowly approached her, finally extending his hand to meet her...
Charisma check: 26!! Critical!! (link)
[OOC] How's that for a first impression?!? XD Wooo, Cylonea's going to have a contender..! ;D
Every single hair in the back of her neck told her to be careful. Did a vampire just talked to her out of nowhere and mantioned some nice folk "down there"? Maybe she shouldn't have added that herbs and roots to the fire last night. Maybe they were affecting her in ways she couldn't have predicted.
Eyes wide-opened, Tori just stood there.
He didn't look dangerous at all.
Of course, Lotus Cobras didn't look dangerous to their preys either.
Nonetheless, she had to admit the vampire just in front of her was "friendly", lacking another better description. He inspired confidence in himself. And Emeria knew he exuded confidence!
"I'm Tori Xantis. You can call me Tori, of course. So... what exactly are you and your friends doing down there?"
She asked just to know if he was trustful. Of course she knew what anyone in here would be doing "down there", wherever it was. Somehow, these scavengers had found an entrance to the Inner Sanctum deep inside the northern hedron.
Not alone anymore, the stranded adventurer had mistaken Vurokk for a vampire. He's always been rather used to this, mainly because the material of his armor was the same used by vampire knights. However, he couldn't possibly be aware of this latest silent misunderstanding. After all, he had specified "not vampire" a few moments before. But, maybe because of the spook and startling she had suffered, she probably didn't manage to read the magical message very well.
Some silent moments lapsed, not as awkwardly as one could have thought, as the two adventurers calmly studied each other, accustoming themselves to the new human element in that gods-forsaken place.
From below, the rest of the group had heard some talking, so the eager Murasan didn't loose time and went up the vines to the upper level to be with the strangers. This time he didn't try anything fancy in his climbing techniques, given the probably not so stable hanging position of the statue, entirely dependent on those vines. He concentrated and his eyes flared for a second before trying the climb from the strong shoulders of Sigg.
Athletics check + Adept's Insight (augmented by 1 Power Point): 1d20+11+1d4+1 → [5,11,3,1] = 20 (22 with Sigg's Aid Another action)
The others stayed well clear from the center of the room and the danger of the hanging angel of stone, while the mage started climbing in a discretely secure way.
"Oh, a human mage... Fancy meeting a half-colleague here... How did you arrive here exactly? The warrior told us that his company was wiped out by the ghosts in the only corridor that leads here... Am I missing something?"
- The pyromancer addressed her with the very same disrespectful manners he had employed with the others when their adventure was at the start. His sharp and bold questions were promptly followed by more, before she could think how to properly reply.
- "And I assume you are the one who got rid of the corpses of the previous party..? Because unless the ghosts sublimated them to æther and stuffed them inside their tomb-walls, we should have found them down here in the rarest case, possibly way before..."
Hearing the rant of the new and already troublesome companion, Vurokslaw could only face him with a slight enigmatic smile and a sustained but unfocused look, redirected afterwards to the woman who had listened so patiently. Or not. Anyway, he was actually rather curious to see how the two would have reacted to the situation without his diplomatic intervention...
The stranger was looking at her as if studying her. She didn't feel in danger, but of course, her senses were far off calmed. She was about to state something like "I was tought as a child that staring is typical of goblins, who don't understand anything they see", but then a very talkative genasi appeared from below.
She wasn't given a second to answer, so when the genasi stopped to take a breath, she took her chance.
"Guys! Please, wait and don't jump into any conclusions! I don't have a clue about the things you're talking about... and frankly, I don't care. I don't know you... yet".
She stopped as abruptly as she started, realizing that, after all, she was alone in front of two who-knows-how-gentleman adventurers, and who-knows-how-many-more were down there.
She took a deep breath, but before the genasi started to talk again, she introduced herself with a smile to keep things easy.
[[Let's try a Diplomacy check = 1d20+3 → [10,3] = 13. Hum... Perhaps that smile was a little too shy.]]
"My name is Vittoria Xantis, but you can call me Tori", and then she turned to the mysterious and enigmatic being she suspected was a vampire of some sort "and you, sir, haven't answered my question yet: What are you doing in here?"
Zaphren [OOC: Charcter sheet is corrupted! Will have to make a new one levelling up.]
Unsensitive to both the mood and the words of the newly found fellow-adventurer, Zaphren literally heated up when she displayed a not very accomodating behaviour...
"Now she speaks of not answering to questions..!"
The shadowy warrior motioned his hand towards the elemental mage: a respectful but firm interruption.
"Please Zaphren, she said she doesn't have clues, and she asked first. I think the gentlemen below and here are looking for the Khalni Gem, a quest set out by the Covenant of The Forgotten Relics. I thought every adventurer here was sent by them, am I mistaken, Miss Tori?"
Again the mysterious man fixed the situation. Trying to remember how would she able to proof (or discard) he was a vampire, she followed through the open window at the conversation:
"Indeed. I, myself, am looking for it, but not exactly to handle it to others..." and then she realized it: finally, she grabbed some leverage!
"You know, being an expertised agent of relics recovery, I have some clues about where it is located... and I don't need to keep it. Just let me study it first, then you can keep it for handling to your covenant... or whatever. And, if I'm not wrong, you can always have my other expertises handy."
[[And myself, being the DM, will allow another try to a Diplomacy check = 1d20+3 → [18,3] = 21. Hum... Perhaps it wasn't a smile- but a posture-issue.]]
Tori took her hand to her waist and adopted what she liked to call her "brave and smart, but also pretty adventurer" look. Not that she was pretty, actually, but at least she wasn´t ugly.
"Now... tell me about the other people with you down there."
Cylonea (& co)
The keen ears of the young merwoman had heard the whole conversation. Without further ado, she looked at her companions and after patting Lisha on the head, she raised her hands upwards creating a roil-infused air current, lifting both her and Sigg in the air towards the opening, saving them from the climb.
Hoist followed effortlessly practically gliding up, after having easily attached his hook to the ceiling.
A bit shy and secretly anxious about the new feminine presence, she introduced herself and took the liberty of introducing the remaining not very talkative members of the wilderness-savvy party.
"Greetings... I'm Cylonea, from the Oran-Reef... May the spirit of the roil flow around our meeting..." - She paused while staring at the new face, then after blushing the merfolk way, she curled gown her neck a bit and took two steps backwards while trying a human-like motion of introduction directed to the others. - "He is Sigg, a benevolent elemental from the Vastwood, master of wolves... And he is Hoist, a skilled hunter and threader, adventurer of many lands..."
After the presentations continued more smoothly than Cylonea was worried they would get due to her self-believed social ineptitude, she felt a little more sure of herself and even spoke on behalf of the party.
"I heard your proposal, kind woman, and I am really curious to study this Khalni Gem too, before handing it out... And I think this underground place could get even more treacherous than what we saw already, so I think we could all be thankful for your guidance in exchange for so little..."
"You're the leader, Cyl... I don't have anything to object. Just some questions that remain unanswered."
[OOC] Yeah, like... Wasn't there some talk about treasure?
Zaphren was indeed much more calm than before, but he couldn't help being nit-picky, that was just him.
Vurokslaw was instead working in the background: with his nearly unnoticeable gestures, and few well placed words and smiles, he acted as oil on rather rusty gears, making the whole transaction a lot easier than it would have been. Only the intuition and senses of Cylonea noticed his actions, if a bit later. And she couldn't help being fascinated by them...
A young female figure appears through the shadows of the forest, accompanied by a young scythe tiger. Both of them seems pretty hungry.
-Tori, I've been looking for you! where have you gone! I tought you died in the forest!
I have the dinner here (she fetchs her a dead critter)....
Looking everyone quite surprised.
-Oh, it seems we have company.
(To herself) is this fate, or perhaps a chance...
My name is Mae, and this one is Zuuka, my partner (Zuuka makes a bow-like gesture with her head).
Seeing her fellow adventurer getting close, Tori felt relieved. Maybe she just didn't need to get that far looking for those tasty irrimberries. She has put herself so nervous at the arrival of these new adventurers, she totally forgot Mae should have already been looking for her!
"Mae! Good you're back! Look what I found. These are... er... Furlok, and his... associates... Sapphire, Sealonea, Zikk and Host... aparently they're also looking for the Khalni Gem I told you would be around these woods. I just offered my incomparable talents and knowledge to their help. Of course, I should have probably ask you first, but I knew you wouldn't care... After all, it's like they say, you know? The more, the merrier. Right?"
There it was, the babbling again. "Hello, my name is Tori and I babble this way when I'm nervous, unconfortable or both. It's not you, it's just some unresolved childhood issues about been surrounded by adults asking what I was doing with daddy's wands", she thought.
So she smiled to get things going. She was eager to get down there and look for the gem.
Zuuka sniffing Tori's backpack begins to lick it, perhaps looking for something. At the same time Mae tries to analyze the people she's just met, as looking for something.
"I think someone is still waiting for those berries... By the way, is good to know we have new mates in our little quest. My knowledge is at your service, i'm no witch or cleric, but i'm a wanderer and i know these lands and its perils."
Zaphren: "We have an army down here, we can bring down the whole temple... In many senses, including -with us inside it- I guess..."
Sigg approaches the new beast-master. His movements appear slower than usual and he remains silent, taking long looks at both the new people and the not-so-old party.
Cylonea and Hoist look more worried about Sigg's strange behaviour than anything, but after a small pause, they approach the kor to salute her. Hoist especially seems to be very happy to find someone of his race, and exchanges with the woman a few typical Kor gestures.
Vurokk, after exchanging a shake of hands with Mae, takes his horned helm-mask and slowly puts it back in place, while Cylonea seems to be a little startled and hesitates too much in moving towards him in time (she hadn't managed to see Vurokk's face during this little pause in which he had finally revealed it...). With his voice made slightly metallic again by the object, he speak again: "Well, fellow adventurers, I'm already lost enough with all the things in my head, I can't even imagine leading the way back into the thick of the complex that took the lives of my previous companions. I'm simply out of orienteering skills for today. I say: you two, lead the way!"
"And who made you the boss, anyway?" thought Tori.
Out loud she almost yelled "Sir, yes, sir! Mae, Sick, can you help us down there? If my keen sense of self-location is right (and it usually is), we must be exactly over the Chamber of Regrets. Have you seen a hanging statue down there? Maybe a giant butterfly, a blinded angel or even a large bird? Anything airborne would do, you know..."
[[Religion check -> 1d20+12 = 16 Damn Invisible Castle die rolls!]]
"You know, all of them are Emeria's faithful representations", Tori added, and stopped all of a sudden.
[[DM checking in: Let's get down there with a few Athletics checks!]]
Down we go, said Tori to herself. That roil-damned gem better have the inscription inside intact!
Mae looks quite lost on her own mind, like she's trying to decide something, then she comes back to reality and smiles to the entire new party. While shaking hands with Vurokk she realizes his nature and looking quite serious at him she says: "Step carefully my friend, no path is darker than when your eyes are shut". Then she looks everyone quite excited and happy Mae draws her grapling hook..."What are you waiting for, let's go down...i'm getting older for Emeria's sake!"
Trying athletics check... 1d20+8 → [16,8] = (24) , Mae hooks her grapling hook and go down gracefully.
The young Mae examines the place, perhaps she can see something Tori or the others can't. "Let's see if i can find something similar to a representation of Emeria..."
Trying perception check... 1d20+11 → [7,11] = (18)
Vurokk's slow mind finds itself blocked for at least a good minute, while everybody climbs down the vines. What did Mae mean? Was she referring to his now changed "race"? Did she meet other shades in her wanderings? And what did she know about all of this?
Zaphren passed by the shadowy warrior giving off a slight, short laughter. He then offered Cylonea a "lift", but she kindly refused, accepting Hoist's offer instead, feeling more secure on a Kor's airborn-accustomed arms. Sigg was the last of them to go down being so inexplicably slowed down, so when Vurokk realized nobody was climbing anymore, his dazed state of mind went away just as easily as it had started, and he offered his help to Tori, being more than able to lift her weight and still be capable of climbing...
[OOC] Tori, do you like orange for your character? And Mae yellow? Maybe she'll be better in green, after Sigg will go out of the scene... And DM, should I also roll for the return-trip or are the first rolls still valid? :P
While searching for Emeria's representation "So, tell me Hoist. Which Kor tribe do you belong? or Are you a wanderer ? Years has past since i saw another Kor." Then looking at Cylonea "First time a travel with a people of the sea or merfolk as some name your people...or are you merfolk and they named you people of the sea.....i'm quite confused" Then looking at Sigg "You look quite....shy perhaps... i don't bite nor Zuuka!
[OOC] I like yellow for my char, and DM, tell me....my rolls were succesful?
Hoist and Mae spoke quite a bit about their origins, and Cylonea was listening carefully when abruptely (or so she perceived), the she-Kor asked her a question. "I'm sorry, I think I didn't understand, I was listening to your talks and..." - she hesitated while turning purple a bit. Mae seemed not to care a lot about that and with a smile and what Cylonea hoped was a slight wink, she jumped to Sigg's side to interrogate him in the same cheerful way (receiving again a rather passive response, in addition). After Sigg finished uttering his time-consuming short answer of "I'm not shy, but thanks for the reassuring", Cylonea stopped hesitating and approached the zany woman to continue a chat she was probably in need of: "I'm very pleased to have you and Tori here, I was the only female before... How old are you, if I may ask a personal question..?"
[[Both checks were succesful, so all chacracters handle the way down pretty fine. Just as a reminder, the scenario is a stone-carved moss-filled chamber with a giant statue hanging precariously from the ceiling, almost fully covering the way out... or way in, dependng on your purpose.]]
Distracted by the chit-chat, Tori started to look all around her. The moss caught her attention quickly: How the hedrons did moss grow up down here? And those flowers? Lack of light might explain the first, but would certainly exclude the latter.
"I don't want to be rude, but would you please be silent for a minute? I'm sure we'll have plenty of time to now each other once we got the Khalni Gem and are heading back home... wherever home is for all of you."
And then she looked up, wide-opening her mouth as she noticed the sculpture below the ceiling.
"Did all of you forget to mention this giant angel when I saked about a flying airborne creature representation?" and then, went one, not waiting for an answer. "There must be a way for us to disturb the harmony of life, so the gem will be handled to us... I think"
[[And the DM asks for Religion checks... Any character near Tori, please make a Perception check... and just in case, Initiatives also.]]
Zaphren: "Finally, someone getting to the point. I had eviscerated Emeria's link with this statue before but I guiess I wasn't linking all of this with the gem... In that case..." - Religion check: 17 (link)
Cylonea: Perception check: 33! Critical! (link)
[[What can I say about a Perception critical? Well, for starters, it's not technically a critical.]]
Just as Tori spoke, she raised her arm to point to the statue, which caused her stash, hanging in the shoulder, to open widely. In there, several equipment showed up.
Noticing Cylonea staring, Tori interrupted herself.
"What are you... Oh... I totally forgot about that! They're not mine, just if you're wondering. I'm a lot more stylish than I look, I would never wear these dirty old things. I... er... "found" them not so far from here. Of course, they're magical and all, but I was planning on to sell them later. I haven't even tried them yet. Any one of you want to?"
And, quickly, almost like a goblin menaced by a weapon, she dropped the contents of the stash, showing all of it to everyone in the room. There was a grappling hook (equivalent to Flail of the Winds), a pair of bracers (Bracers of the Perfect Shot), a glove-like bracer (Long Range Dejada +1), a shield (Battleforged Light Shield) a bright ruby (Power Jewel) and some weird accesory with blades around a strip of leather (Shielding Wrist Blades).
Everyone observed with attention the objects brought by Tori, and quickly picked them up according to their skills, except of course for Mae, which had already picked her part of the... "loot", just because there wasn't really a better word to describe it. She was still paying attention to the statue, hoping to find "some way to disturb the harmony of life".
While everyone else was picking their piece of treasure, Mae pointed something at the lower part of the statue. It seemed to be like the vines all over the walls climbed over the statue just at that point.
"That should do it", said Tori. "Can anyone cut that part of the vines? Just exactly the spot where they seem to start grappling the statue."
Mae moves closer to the vines Tori pointed. Then carefuly she removes the vines "just exactly the spot where they seem to start grapling the statue"...."This vines Tori?"
[[Remember the statue is hanging, so reaching the spot Tori is talking about would require one of two things: a ranged attack, or an Athletics check]]
"Yes, exactly those".
Gracefully climbing the statue, Mae tries to remove the vines. Athletics check 1d20+11=28
"I think... Something... is going... to happen..." - Said Sigg in an increasingly slowed down and bass-rich voice...
[OOC] This is before Mae climbing, I guess!
[[Indeed, it looks like a very graceful climbing movement... it's a shame there is no such an olympic discipline in Zendikar]]
Mae climbs up the statue and manages to cut the vines quickly, noticing how harder and harder they become as she cuts them. When she finishes, there's a little tremor around... the flowers around everywhere, rot immediately and fall down, while the vines start shining in a bright green color.
The statue seemed to tremble lightly, and all of a sudden, opened its eyes. Large crystalline diamonds inside started to reflect the light, creating a beautiful, but frightening scenario. And, out of nowhere, an angel started to materialize in the middle of the room. Several voices, both male, female, even animal or demonic, sounded from everywhere around in a cacophonic chorus.
"Those who seek to disturb the harmony of life will see their instruments taken from them..."
The astonishing Angel, tall as two regular humanoids, stood in absolute majesty among the adventurers. A magnificent sword shone menacingly in its hand. A big green crystalline gem rested in its chest, shining from all its faces.
"Instruments taken? Does it mean you won't give us the Gem?" Tori asked naively.
[[OK, please welcome my brand-new Doom Machine, a.k.a. "Admonition Angel". It's a large creature, by the way. Initiative order is as follows:
"This is the time to say a HOLY ****!!"
The angel was there in all his or her majestic and menacing glory... The vines, still pulsating with energy seemed to crawl from the walls to the feet of Sigg. What happened next can hardly be described. Sigg enlarged while his skin turned to true wood. His body deformated and elongated into a serpentine form, while his mouth became a gaping maw. He had become a true elemental, a Wolfbriar Elemental!
[OOC] He wont't fight, Lisha will only act as a guard and help with her aura maybe.
Looking at the angel, Mae decides to fall and face the giant angel. Acrobatics check 1d20+11=13
Then moving as fast as she can in front of the angel (to K9 without triggering OA, passing by m10, l11, k10 and finnaly k9) and giving fierce look at the angel she says: "Don't you dare to touch my comrades! We're not here to fight you"
Zuuka tries to move to I9 without triggering OA and gives the angel her best "roar"!
Without really looking, maybe because of that mysterious halo of light around its eyes, the Angel seemed really aware of its surroundings somehow. He turned his blade to face Mae, and with the same movement, he summoned a second identical blade in its off-hand to stay protected from behind. It muttered a few inintelligible words that sounded like a prayer, and every single magic item in the room started to glow with a golden green dim light. Immediately after this, the items seemed to project themselves to the halo like very thin, almost invisible spider silk.
"You won't have this Gem. You are not the first intruders we have protected it from."
And then, with a split second action, he stroke with enormous strength to Mae.
[[Light Sword attack 25 vs AC: hit for 11 damage! I won't post the link so you can't metaplay with the attack modifier. By the way, it's awesome to have the monster stats in the iPad so I get the laptop all free Yeah, I know, I just had the need to state that I have an iPad. It's an iPad 2, by the way, with 64-GB memory.]]
"Back off, mortals, or we'll make you back off!"
"Cylonea, I wait for you move, then I charge in!!" - The warrior doesn't speak very correctly when a fight heats his spirit of Fury. His ranger eyes saw the advantage represented by fighting alongisde the great beast that was Zuuka, so he wanted Cylonea to leave her place to him.
Then he sets his eyes toward the angel, ready to fight it to death. He never fought one before, but he knows it won't give up, and that they need to bring it down to have their lives safe.
Minor action: Hunter's Quarry on Angel
Move action: to E8 (provokes OA!)
Standard action: Readies a Charge
He moved away boldly to hasten the repositioning and the subsequent charge: the angel didn't waste the occasion and struck him with her big sword that cut between the plates of his armor. He answered with a phrase that those who had fought with him before recognized: "COME ON!! THAT'S THE WAY I LIKE IT!" - His voice sounded like blades of ice scratching one another...
Angel hits Vurokk with OA for 9 damage
Watching the scene unfolding in front of her, Tori had the feeling that the Angel was perfectly able to sense the shadows around it, perceiving Vurokk's movement and seizing the chance to wield its sword against him as he did to Mae.
[[Light Sword vs. AC 24, so again a hit for 9 damage this time]]
"Why is it talking as if they were several of them? Keep your ayes open, everyone!" and then, to the impressive Angel next to her, she went on: "You won't do that again for a little while..."
Taking a step backwards [[from L9 to M10]] and pointing her crystalline orb towards the Angel, Tori yelled some arcane mutterings and several little metallic stars appeared from it, forming a small tornado that surrounded the angel's wings, making it react to defend itself.
[[Winged Horde attack 1d20+10 = 24 A hit! for 5 psychic damage and no OA until next turn]]
"You surely don't look so terrible now, right?"
The young mer-woman was shivering in front of the incredible creature, but she noticed its weakened state due to Tori's spell and took the advantage: she summoned her bloodthirsty plant elemental behind it, then moved next to Vurokk without the abgel being abel to react and told him to wait for Zaphren: "I will infuse your weapons before attacking! Hoist, move here too!"
Moves to F9
Minor: summons Bloodthirsty Elemental in L8 (Angel grants CA)
Standard: readies Magic Weapon for when Zaphren comes adjacent
"I won't fight an angel of Kamsa."
"You stupid... Argh!!" The mage moved right next to Cylonea like she said. Cylonea fired her new weapon, the typical merfolk Dejada. When she did, Zaphren helped her unsteady aim with his strong mind.
Moves to G9
Adept's Insight gives Cyl a +2 bonus
Readies Burning Hands
Cylonea's Magic Weapon MISSES with a 21 total plus CA
"Oh no... Again..."
"Don't worry Cylonea..." The warrior charged with his great "kleev" sword raised. Blue-green flames engulfed the sword and the Angel...
Free action before charge: Dread Smite (6 damage)
Charge: CRITICAL!! 8+9+2(Carnage Weapon)+10(Crit damage)+4(Quarry)+2(Zuuka) = 35 + 5 ongoing thanks to Dread Smite! (Total of 41 counting intiial Dread Smite auto-damage)
Whatever the Angel had between its legs, it must have hurt a lot after Vurokk's incredibly fast and strong strike! And that's when Zaphren acted.
Burning Hands: 14 vs Reflex: miss - 8 damage
- All rolls -
"I tried to be a good girl and you dared to damage my comrades, now you will pay!"
Her arms begin to grow large and then she strikes just at the angel's face.
Masterful Spiral: Dex vs reflex 1d20+8=18
Effect: reach with melee touch attacks increase by 1
Damage: 3d8+4+2(Zuuka's aura) 3d8+6=23; half (that means 11)
The hands of Mae start to glow and her fingers begin to sharpen as needles, then she strikes with all her strenght.
Fallen Needle: Dex vs Reflex 1d20+8=27
Effect: the target takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls against Mae until the end of my next turn
Damage: 1d10+4+2 (Zuuka's aura) 1d10+6=10
After hitting the angel her off hand gracefully do an attack just in the angel's hand
Iron Soul Flurry of Blows: 5 damage.
Effect: the target can't shift until the start of my next turn.
Shift to L9 (Zuuka shifts to k9)
After all the attacks Mae's skin begins to glow, as if it were metal or something similar. Effect: Iron body Ki Focus: gain resistance to all target attacks equal to 2+implement enhacement bonus (1) = 3.
Seen himself surrounded, the Angel crossed both his swords in front of him, in what it looks like a try to both to make those metallic stars disappear and its wounds close... but actually charging some mystic energy and unleashing it next in a blinding burst of light thatn engulfed almost everyone in the room [[only Cylonea remained beyond the area of the attack, a close burst 3]].
[[Admonition Explosion ag. Fortitude: clockwise → Sigg (25) hit!, Lisha (20) hit!, Hoist (13) miss, Mae (14) miss, Tori (25) really-hit!, Zuuka (31) CRIT!, Zaphren (19) hit!, Vurokk (17) miss. Hit characters take 12 radiant damage and are dazed until the end of the Angel's next turn. Zuuka takes 16 radiant damage instead.]]
Right next, with a wave of its hand, the Angel let go out of its mouth some gibberish and points directly behind Vurokk, where it appears an identical but somewhat smaller version of the angel [[a medium one, right in H8]]. This new creature hits Vurokk with his own two-handed sword.
[[Light sword ag. AC 26: Hit for 6 damage only. Admonition Angel doesn't move (it can't, after all) and fails its saving throw against ongoing damage]]
"We will not repeat ourselves! Be gone before you all are dead and forgotten!"
Almost blinded by the flash, Tori had a better look at the angel...
"At least now I know why it spoke of itself in plural..."
She concentrated, trying to remember anything she has read or been told about big angels with halos of light surrounding its eyes and big swords on both its hands...
[[Religion check and Use Vulnerability: 1d20+12 → [4,12] = (16) fail! Hard DC for this monster is a little more than that. Half damage on the attack that she makes next turn.]]
... but in the heat of the moment, and being confused and dazed as she was, she couldn't remember anything.
A bit worried to see the Angel resist the might blow so well, and eager to find some source of Fury, Vurokk's subsequent strike landed badly on the giant creature, not hurting it at all.
Vurokk shifts to J9, next to Zuuka
Vurokk misses with Vengeance Strike
The anger that followed would have been a perfect moment to find energies for a second attack, but Vurokk was still quite debilitated from his recent near-death experience. So the only thing he could do was tapping into some kind of darkness he had inside long before even becoming a shade, probably since his birth. From a time in which he suspects he didn't even live in Zendikar. He breathed deeply, and a nearly unnoticeable wisp of grey gas came out from his helm, directed towards the angel. He used this perhaps innate ability to mark a foe for death. A curse of sorts. It had always succeeded to date.
Minor action: Raven Queen's Shroud encounter power on Admonition Angel. Until the end of the encounter, Vurokk can reroll a single damage die per round against it.
Envying Vurokk's resistance against the Angel's incredibly strong attack, Zaphren concentrated his strength into a burst of fire.
Zaphren misses the Admonition Angel with Fire Shroud but hits the summoned Angel for 15 damage and 5 ongoing (save ends) - KILLED
"Damned, the big one is strong..." - *whispering: "Cyl, you should make the threader do something..!"
*whispering while her body trembled from the force of the Angel's energy: "I think I agree with you..." - "Oh my, I'm sure he will be mad about this... But we need to hit this foe and lock it in place: his hook is the best option!"
The roil elemental of Cylonea seems to briefly engulf Hoist, making him move with an incredible strength and against his will..!
Cylonea uses Spirit Infusion on Hoist: hit with Grappling Spirits for 13 and Angel can't shift and is slowed until the end of its next turn.
"Cylonea!! I didn't expect this from you!!" - Cylonea lowers her head a bit, bit then raises it, accepting the heavy gaze of the kor: she did what she did because she thought it was right after all. And he acted against its will, could that be a heresy for his religion?
Meanwhile, the bloodthirsty plant elemental Cylonea had conjured before, disappears inside the ground the brought it.
Bloodthirsty Elemental expires.
Cautiously she moves one feet away from the angel (shift to K10), then looking fiercely in the eyes of the angel Mae utter some words in Kor language, her eyes burst in flames while the angel "eyes" beguin to focus unwillingly in Mae "I TOLD YOU, DO NOT DARE TO ATTACK MY COMRADES!".
Steel Warrior Technique: Dex vs. Reflex 1d20+8=11 and....MISS
Damage: 3d10+4+2(Zuuka's aura) 3d10+6=28 halved.....means 14 damage.
Effect: it's marked by Mae until the end of Mae's next turn, and if it hits me it receives 1 point of damage.
Mae's skin keeps glowing like metal (Resistance 3 against any damage the angel would do to Mae).
Damage is cumulative and not shown for everyone (everyone else is at -12 anyway, save for Hoist at full HP)
Again, the Angel waved its hands, and with them the dangerous blades shone while cutting the air. This time, it points not only behind Vurokk, but also behind Zuuka, making appear two more identical and smaller version of the angel [[yes, medium ones again, right in I10 and L9]]. This angels hit their victims with his own swords at the same time that the main Angel did it with his.
[[Light sword ag. AC 27 (Vurokk): Hit for 6+6 damage. Light sword ag. AC 25 (Zuuka): Hit for 6+6 damage also. Admonition Angel doesn't move (it can't shift while slowed) and makes its saving throw against ongoing damage]]
"This talking in plural thing is not only annoying, but startin to look pretty dangerous, don't you think?"
And looking for the flamy genasi a few steps aways, Tori gave him a glance.
"You take care of the little ones... " and opening her eyes wide open, she added "I'll take the big bird down with three pairs of broken wings".
Then she started to gesture for a dramatic poise just to stop slowly... it all looked like she was practicing a slow-motion dance with her arms and waist. And probably to the surprise of her new comrades, she started to whistle a lullaby with the help of her crystal orb, which started to make echo to the sound while floating around her.
[[Sleep: 1d20+10 → [20,10] = (30) Critical Hit! She aimed at I5 so she wouldn't affect any allies. No damage, but big effect coming if the Angel fails its saving throw...]]
Swiftly, Tori seemed to whisper, but really she was almost screaming.
"Get ready to rain some serious Roil-level **** all over it, guys!!! I don't know for how long I'll be able to keep this!!!"
Loosing blood - "Sure lady Vittoria... Zaphren, I need you here..! Fury is taking over..."
Surprised that the warrior asked for his help and having witnessed his prowess before, he complied.
Moves to I7
Then he tapped on that crystal he looted, and that he had easily recognized during their short rest: a power crystal!
Uses Power Crystal to regain Fire Shroud
Fire Shroud: hit Angel in L9 and Admonition Angel (16 + 5 ongoing)
The angel that flanked poor Zuuka vaporized in the selective flames that sprouted from Zaphren's body, and the Admonition Angel too suffered the hit, catching fire! The Angel behind Vurokk remained unscathed...
Shifts to K9
The black knight growls while blood seems to rivet from under his helm... Related or not to this growl, Tori manages to see a strange, small shadowy figure appear more or less 10 feet from the chitin-clad warrior, behind the Angel. It didn't look exactly humanoid, but more akin to a wisp of black smoke with tiny magic-lit eyes. The Angel seemed to be angered by the appearance of the strange critter.
Minor: Servant of Vice on L7 -> Admonition Angel grants CA while adjacent to it. Same defenses as Vurokk (+1 from Spirit fo Zendikar) and destroyed by a hit.
New eerie flames flared from the undecipherable runes on his falchion, and while the Angel started to suffer from their deathly cold, Vurokk grasped the exotic weapon from the mid-blade hilts and struck hard at the legs of the beings, angelic blood gushing out of the big cut while Vurokk's curse ensured the strike had been perfect in its deadliness.
Free: Dread Smite: 6 damage on Admonition Angel
Vengeance Strike (including reroll from Raven Queen's Shroud and Carnage Weapon bonus for max die): 22 on Admonition Angel and activates 5 ongoing damage of Dread Smite (total: 28 + 5 ongoing)
Magically aware of Vurokk's painful condition, Cylonea's vengeful staff awakened, making Cylonea feel like a Baloth mother protecting her cubs...
Vengeful Staff: +2 to attack rolls and +1d10 damage against Admonition Angel
Spirit of Zendikar in L9 (+1 to defenses of Mae, Vurokk and Tori)
Move to H8
Not being dazed anymore, Cylonea can finally bring back her elemental ally, but chooses to conjure the earthen guardian first, to protect her allies, and then guided by the power of her Vengeful Staff, she invokes the strongest spirit known to her, that of the healing flood... Ghostly waters seem to form a vortex under her feet and in a moment, the whole room seems to ripple and reflect like water.
Spirit of The Healing Flood: 21 vs Admonition Angel (including bonus damage from Vengeful Staff)
All bloodied allies gain Regeneration 2 and can spend a minor action to end the effect to regain 10 HP
(Link to rolls)
(Total damage: 65 + 10 ongoing (5 fire unresistable, 5 cold and necrotic))
Mae carefully moves next to Vurokk (shift to J9) and looks both the angel and its minion.
Then her arms seems to multiply and gracefuly strikes every enemy at her sight.
Against the angel: 1d20+8=27
Against angel's minion: 1d20+8=17
Damage: 1d10+4+1(magic item i totally forgot on my last posts) 1d10+5=13
Effect: Mae shift one square (to i8)
With her last arm movement Mae strikes the angel's minon
Flurry of blows against the minon : 5 damage
It doesn't matter how many minions you summon!!
Mae's skin keeps glowing like metal (Resistance 3 against any damage the angel would do to Mae).
(OCC) If the angel is bloodied add 1 extra point of damage, Ki expertise.
Damage on the Angel could be 1 less if it wasn't bloodied at -182. Ongoing damage is two separate effects of 5, different types.
Vurokk's Servant of Vice makes ANY creature in the aura grant CA, has the same defenses as Vurokk (icnluding the +1 bonus from Spirit of Zendikar) and is destroyed with one hit. Vurokk is Bloodied. Everyone has Regeneration 2 while bloodied and can use a minor action to end it to regain 10 HP. Hit points of the others are as in the last grid.
Sensing himself surrounded again, the Angel channelled mystic energy and unleashed it in a blinding burst of light less spectacular than the previous one, engulfing just the adjacent enemies.
[[Admonition Explosion ag. Fortitude: clockwise → Servant of Vice (26) hit!, Vurokk (24) hit!, Mae (17) hit!, Zaphren (30) hit! Hit characters take 11 radiant damage and are dazed until the end of the Angel's next turn. Non-hit characters take no damage.]]
Next, waving again its hand, the Angel summoned again its smaller servants [[at H7 and H9 this time]]. This new creatures hit Vurokk and Mae with their swords.
[[Light sword ag. AC 24: Hit for Vurokk, 26 hit for Mae. Hit for 6 damage only. Time of truth: Admonition Angel attempts to save:
It seems Tori didn't manage to keep it sleepy enough... Every character having used an item's power can notice it's gaining heat and a sickly greenish bright. Make a saving throw for each one, s'il vous plait.]]
[OOC] Cylonea fails the save for the Vengeful Staff, her implement... =( While Zaphren saves for the Power Crystal.
Tori, becoming more nervous, said to Vurokk:
And again she looked intensely to her orb in her right hand, making it hover a few inches above. She tried to reach for the angels' minds, looking for valuable information about what they desire the most...
[[Vision of Avarice: Zone created in burst 5 from J7 1d20+10 → [17,10] = (27)Hit! Angel is again immobilized (save ends). Also hit are the servants, with 1d20+10 → [20,10] = (30) and 1d20+10 → [6,10] = (16). I know: another damage-less critical.]]
"I wonder how they'll react when they see the Khalni Gem is on the floor..."
[OOC] Veritatis, I forgive you for your sleepiness, but see what happens now: Visions of Avarice can't affect the second minion this way, because there is no legal course towards the pull, especially since the pull is centered inside the big one :S ... We'll deal with it... (also, I assume Cylonea's implement is taken...)
Cylonea - Zaphren
"Argh, my staff!" - Zaphren's soft spot for Cylonea shows up now more than ever: the mage decides to use his staff for one desperate attack and then drop it.
Molten Strike (Beast Switch changed by Hellfire Staff, flanking): 18(20) vs Fort, MISS..?
Free action: drop staff
Cylonea picks up the staff (Minor)
Minor: Deep Roil Sense (Arcane): Cylonea and Vurokk can now slide 4 hitting with an attack!
Magic Weapon vs Admonition Agel (reach 2): 22 vs AC... MISS...
"Vurokk I give you the roil's energy, but save it for later, cure yourself with the healing flood's energy now, please!"
Vurokk (after delay)
"I know I could use the cure of your spirit Cylonea... But I won't stop... FURY..!!!" - "Noo..! Vuroookk!!"
Vengeance Strike vs Admonition Angel (flanking with Zaphren): 30! 21 damage and slide 4: Angel is now immobilized between K4 and L5
Free action: Hidden Strike: Bluff to beat enemy passive Insight and become Invisible until Start of Next Turn: 24!
Even the wise Cylonea didn't understand what happened when Vurokk struck the Angel: he disappeared... "Vurokk... You're GREAT!!" - She bursts out in joy!
"I told you, it doesn't matter how many minions you bring!"
Looking at the fartest angel minion (the one on I6) mae tries to strike him.
Melee Basic Attack: Dex mod vs AC 1d20+11=21
Giving a frustrated but fierce look at the minions, Mae ends her turn.
Looking as if retreating, the Angel sheathed his blade back onto his waist. Speaking with several voices again, both male and female, it stated:
"This has been enough, mere mortals. It's time for you to pay for your blasphemy once and for ever!"
And when spreading his wings, just beneath his hovering feet thin leylines of light started to spread all over the floor and walls, drawing a mystical continuous rune into the whole room.
[[Curse of Admonition ag. Will (targets up to three enemies in a close burst 5) clockwise : Hoist (19, hit!) Vurokk (27, hit!) Zaphren (24, hit!) All of them take 6 fire and radiant damage and take a -2 penalty to attack rolls against the Angel and its minions. (save ends). After each failed saving throw, the penalty increases by 1 and takes 5 psychic damage]]
Next, reaching for its sword again, the Angel close its wings while at the same time the magic items tied to it started to heat almost burning.
"Now your arcane instruments of doom will be taken from you for good..."
[[Arcana check: 1d20+12 → [15,12] = (27)]]
Tori, feeling the heat, rejected the idea of letting her magical items go unattended in what would become surely an antimagical aura of some sort that disable them permanently... or so she guessed.
"Damn! I don't know if the illusion will last enough to distract them... Shouldn't we try to, I don't know, get away?"
And in case she was listened to, which she highly doubted, she channeled again through her orb, as she performed a trick to sustain the heat, and she concentrated to summon a swarm of metallized objects to distract again the angels in case any fleeing ally got attacked.
[[Tori uses Prestidigitation on her orb to cool it off, readies Winged Horde as a standard action and sustains Visions of Avarice as a minor one:
Admonition Angel: 1d20+10 → [20,10] = (30)
That's three hits for Visions of Avarice sustaining! (and the third damage-free critical of the battle!!!!)
Yhat's also three hits! ]]
"YAH!" Cylonea instantly drops the mage's staff when it begins to heat in her hands. "Don't worry Cyl, here's someone who doesn't mind some heat..." - She doesn't have time to wink at the now friendly Zaphren though. She quickly moves towards the center of the group. Tori, seeing her recklessness decides to unleash her spell right on the illusion that had tricked the angels again. Exploding bits of metal teared the miniature angels apart. While the figure next to Cylonea gave off rays of liquid light from the killing wounds, she nearly merged with the death throes of the creature, taking its place and drawing her new merfolk-made magic dejada. "NOOO..." She had missed with the magic-infused projectile. "I said.. NOOO!!" But tapping on all her energies, she managed to shoot another one almost instantly after, hitting the imposing angel and imposing her magical glyph of purple-blue on the white leylines of the angel's one. The magic of the weapons and implements of her comrades pulsed with new vigor "Now resist the heat, let the spirit of the healing flood protect you!" and it was indeed protecting them... The spiritual water that covered their feet was visibly curing their wounds and it made resisting to the effect easy, even for the non-elementals of the bunch.
"Let's put this staff to good use". The mage effortlessly picks up the dropped staff and laughs at the heat given by the item. He then lets off a simple but unforgiving Magic Missile. The Angel seemed to suffer the magical strike in silence. Then Zaphren looked lost for some long seconds, not knowing what to do.
Right in that moment, a voice resounded from out of nowhere "Go behind it!". The mage understood and quickly complied, taking advantage of the distraction and pain caused by Tori's spell.
Vurokk reappeared and charged the angel, using Zaphren as an anvil to his hammering blow. The angel unfortunately seemed not to feel this blow either. Vurokk, made a fury, took Cylonea's example though, and used all his strength to try and land a second attack, which missed miserably though, probably because of its now unchecked state of fury. His hands gave off puffs of smoke as the heated sword burned them slowly, but he didn't move his fingers an inch on the hilts of the exotic weapon.
Someone else was there to help the group. He had refrained from attacking a being considered sacred by his people, but Cylonea's spirit had magically compelled him to do so, and now he was being attacked and his beloved hook was menaced by the angel's hex too. He followed the example of Vurokk and grasped his implement strongly, silently withstanding the pain. Though his strike seemed to miss too, he was ready to pull the now bound creature later. (Moves back 3 squares)
Total damage: 15 (Cylonea's Magic Weapon and Zaphren's Magic Missile). Tori's damage unknown! Vurokk saves from the penalizing effect. Zaphren doesn't but absorbs the psychic damage thanks to the armor. Hoist saves.
I will reformat later, Mae's turn +1 to attack and +4 to damage, use them well!
Giving a fierce look at the angel, Mae moves cautiously trying to get an angle for a devastating attack (Moves to L11).
Then she charges at the angel an tries to strike with his best melee basic attack:
If the attack strikes: 1d8+10 (for the melee basic attack) + 5 (for unarmed strike)
1d8+10=11+ 5 = 16
Effect: The angel can't shift until the start of my next turn. Mae gains +3 resistance against all damage until the end of my next turn.
"My fists are my weapons you puny angel! You can't take them with your magic tricks!"
[[Before anything, every character holding an affected item will take 5 fire damage and remove 1 healing surge, pay attention to Tori's turn for a description of what happens... it's kinda creepy.]]
"You have all been warned. We shall be doom to all of you!"
The Angel sheathes again its sword, and in a split second, the halo around its eyes dissappeared and what noone has seen before was revealed to them all. The Angel's face was in fact composed of several little faces, all screaming as angered in dispair and trying to free themselves.
Then, all voices said in an unison cacophony of loud pitch noises: "ALEA IACTA EST"
And then, it seemed like time stop flowing at its normal rate... little ghosts were escaping the angel surrounding it and then spreading around the whole room, looking for a place to strike.
[[What's really happening is that this very weird power requires a standard action to activate, so you all will have a round to try to stop it... or face the consequences]]
"You can't rely on luck to defeat me, defilers. There's no such thing as luck!"
[[By the end of each of your character's turn, they'll see themselves surrounded by these phantasmagoric presences, by the way.]]
[[Tori takes 5 fire damage, and removes a healing surge, as indicated by our glorious DM :P]]
Freeing her hand on pain and quite shocked that her magic trick didn't work at all, Tori didn't have any breathe to even gasp in pain as she literally couldn't find air to take to her lungs for a second, which choked her in apprehension. She pulled all the willpower she could grasp from inside to not let herself fall to the floor in panic, and she barely succeeded. But what was worse was the image her allies were perceiving: as soon as she took that deep breath, a ghostly projection of her face started to go straight to the Angel as if screaming in pain, but letting out no sound at all.
Tori tried to say something, but prefered to save her breath. "What the hedrons is all this?" she thought to herself.
Tori paid as much attention to her surroundings as she could, trying to figure out what was happening... If someone seemed to act as if knowing what he was doing, was that impetous pyromancer.
[[Delay action until after Zaphren.]]
"God dam-URGH!" *Zaphren coughed soundly* "-ned angel, the halos of your kin are just witnesses of your failed existences!!" - The visibly wore-out mage was enraged... "Comrades, this abomination can't rob us of our souls... they're just spirits, but these incorporeal images could become corporeal at any moment... BLAST IT!!" (Religion check: 23)
The mage was enduring the heat with ease, but was still under the effect of the Angel's hex and thus could not even rely on Cylonea's boons... "So you said luck can't defeat you... Ponder how much luck you see in this, Judge of someone else's heavens!!"
Zaphren casts Magic Missile twice (burning the last AP) and from melee range, taking advantage of the inability of the angel to make OAs. 8+8=16 damage
Listening to Zaphren, Tori saw at the same time how reckless was as an arcanist. If not for Mae, the pyromancer would have been slapped in the face just for trying such an attack at such a short distance.
Just in case he needed to do it again, it would be better that she had the Angel unable to respond.
[[Winged Horde again against the Angel: 1d20+10 → [4,10] = (14) It's a miss, sorry.]]
Cylonea, apparently going in some sort of meditative stance, motioned Vurokk to act before her. (Delay)
As a channeler of Fury, Vurokslaw could do only one thing: try to rip the being apart before it damaged them any more. He endured the pain of the heating blade which was starting to look reddish on the blade, and he stroke unleashing all his hard training and his dark magic... When the wicked weapon connected with the radiant angel, the arcane runes of Cylonea's doing flashed of a mighty indigo-colored light, with painful results for the Angel!
Hunter's Quarry on Angel
Vengeance Strike with CA and vs Bloodied: +13 vs AC: 27! Damage: 20 (one reroll thanks to Raven Queen's Shroud used on Angel before) -> 24 thanks to Cylonea's bonus!
The black warrior's angelic-bloodlust wasn't satisfied yet, and he moved his hands to the topside hilts of the composite blade, to strike once more rending from the gushing cut while growling... He was nearly failing the complex maneuver, when Zaphren intervened with his latent psionic power... Giving the movement just the right momentum to wound the angel badly again! (21+2 from Adept's Insight = 23 vs AC!) - "RRWAAAGGH!!" Vurokk's head bobbed circularly, hypnotically and spasmodically while he savored the true potency of Fury - "WHAT'S LUCK AGAIN, SCORNED ONE?!? YYEARGH!!"
Damage: 20 (no Hunter's Quarry counted, only once per turn), 24 thanks to Cylonea!
Cylonea (after Mae)
In that dreadful, dramatic moment, the meditating Cylonea opened her eyes... Her hands enduring the heat while blistering painfully... Without uttering a word, she summoned her spirit back, curing Mae and Vurokk instantly while the Spirit of the Flood still regenerated their wounds. Then, raising her left hand, she commanded the spirit to imbue Vurokk with his power, letting his Fury be channeled once again thanks to the spirit power, now that the magic runes she had invoked were gone...
Minor Action: Call Elemental Companion
Minor Action: Healing Spirit (Mae spends HS, Vurokk cured by 3 (5 with regen))
Standard Action: Spirit Infusion on Vurokk: Basic Attack with +2, +4 to damage: 22!
The warrior was briefly launched into the air by the vortex that was Cylonea's elemental companion. While spinning airborne, his blade went right for the unnatural "face" of the Angel, cutting it from side to side before Vurokk landed with magical ease in a squatting wide position, with his blade held high and pointing forward: the Shadow Scorpion Stance that formed part of the heritage from so far away that was engraved in Vurokk's soul, although nearly erased from his memory...
I don't need luck to beat you! I just need to focus my ki on the perfect strike!
Before her strike, Mae takes a brief meditation stance, her eyes and fists begin to glow like radiant fire, then the glowing fire begin to take the shape of a dragon.
Springing Drake Assault: 1d20+10=30 CRIT!
Effect: Slide 2 squares. I slide it just 1 square to the left (J6). And Jump next to the angel (J7)
Mae strikes at the angel, then the radiant fire in her fists begin to consume the angel just like a dragon consumes its prey. Then with one kick she moves the angel violently and then she jumps just in front of the angel.
She recovers 14 hit points.
Seeing how the moment seemed optimal, the hunter took advantage of the turn of the tide and ran recklessly behind the Angel to strike him with one of his most complex combat maneuvers. While he missed with a mighty close-quarters strike, he managed to litter the floor below the Angel with spikes drenched in scoprion's venom. A slight move and the Angel would surely be stinged and posioned.
Move to J4
Spectral Scorpion Sting: Miss. Effect: conjured scorpion sting damages for 5 the target that doesn't end adjacent to it (square: J4)
Being outmaneuvered and surrounded, the Angel couldn't manage the punishment it was going through. With the last attacks from the adventurers, every single energy projection it channeled around was returning to it quickly and strong, as if a spring was forced for too much.
And when they all did, a blast of light blinded them all for a second.
The angel was no more.
In its place, a big greenish bright gem called them all to see it. It sparkled in yellow and white, and it echoed in soft chimings every step of them getting near. A milky halo surrounded it, vanishing quickly.
[[Welcome to level 5, gentlemen]]
"Was that exciting or what?" said Tori, while still shaking and trying to get some dust off her clothes.
"Let's see what we have in here... It seems the gem was bigger than I thought."
The rock that stood where the Angel was had a size somewhat bigger than her head.
And then she kneeled down, staring at the jewel. Next, she grabbed a scroll from her backpack, and with several flasks of ink and a pair of exotic feather quills, she started to write down what seemed to be some calculations.
She was breathless, unable to speak, unable to think. Her mouth was wide open and her breath heavy when she instinctively used a roil current to lift herself a couple of feet into mid-air. She wasn't even conscious of her using her deep roil connection, and she was even less aware of what was happening. From the four corners of the room, leylines of different colors lit up as if the sap of the vines had pulsed with light of its own. White, Red, Blue, and Green, the light crept at her first slowly and then blazingly fast, going up in motes of pure elemental mana when they reached the ground below her levitating feet! They encircled and entered her body ethereally, leaving everybody else but the elemental druid astonished. In that moment she finally opened her eyes, to witness the end of a lightshow that probably had to do something with her. More than probably, it must had! The colors of her skin, hair, eyes, everything on her body seemed to be "fuller" for some seconds while she was gradually coming back to the ground... Her legs seemed to bend with no resistance when she touched down, making her sit with them curled under her body. Her mouth still wide open and now along with her eyes, she finally spoke amidst everybody's silence: "The Four Vengeful Elementals... Have found me..!" - Only after that indescribable happening, she realized that everyone was staring at her, Tori still with her scroll barely in the grasp of her hands. Zaphren and Vurokslaw finally spoke, or better laughed joyfully, Vurokk even taking off his helm and showing his dazzling smile to Cylonea for the first time. "I bet you're feeling great, young mermaid! That looked like something out of this world... Or perhaps way into it..." - "Yes, knight, the second you said... Way into it... She's somehow connected to our world." - He said while looking with just a slight, perhaps a bit forced smile at the two companions looking into each other's eyes for quite a long time. "If we all are of this world, anyway..." - Vurokk had to put some effort into hiding his bewilderment at that line of the fire mage. He was starting to trust these fellow adventurers a lot, but not so much as to reveal his secrets, even less so when those secrets where just chips of broken shadowy memories, coming and going, lifted by strange winds that blew by the borderline of a dark personal dreamland...
"I think we had really turned the tables of this battle to our advantage, in the end... Good fight, everybody..." - "Yes, yes... If you excuse me, I'll go upstairs to confirm my latest spell-bound thinkings... I think Cylonea might not be the last of us to have learned from the very elements after this experience..."
Cylonea gains "Vengeful Elementals", daily Evocation from her Elemental Priest theme.
Vurokslaw gains "Turn The Tables", daily Exploit from his Escaped Slave theme.
Zaphren gains "Summon Magma Beast" and "Melf's Minute Meteors", daily Spells from his Mage class.
Looking at the giant jewel Tori's handling -It's a shame we had to do that, but we must do our job...-Then using the tongue of the Kor people -I'm sorry for that, but you didn't left us other choice. May you return to your sacred plane in peace.
Then looking at the party -I hope everyone is alright, that angel was really powerful and violent, but he was doing his job, after all, that jewel was the purpose of his existence in this plane...
Then looking at Tori -So, is this the famous jewel we were looking for?
Indeed, Mae. I think we can take it out from here so I can take a really hard look and then handle it to these mercena....adventurers. Gentle adventurers. The thing is... I just got thinking, you know? -and then, talking to Vurook and Pyro, but addressing also to Cylonea, she added- All of you were instructed to come here without further knowledge of what this gem does, right? Just to retrieve it and tke it back to the Covenant. Don't be surprised, of course I know about the Covenant... it's precisely because of that that I have this other... proposal for all of you.
[[DM talking: As you may have noticed, we started this campaign "in media res", which roughly translates as "in the middle of things". Tori is right: you just are into it because retrieving this particular gem would turn you into Covenant agents, which is a very nifty status in all of zendikarian urban and not-so-urban areas. What your characters know, too, is that the Covenant is full of corruption: the access to magic items, lost-cities maps, exploring equipment and better prospects are handled to adventurers that fulfill their quests without asking questions. So, as we speak, I'm starting another forum to finish our characters backgrounds with this info. I'll be answering your question about the Covenant, as far as your characters may know, and we'll start in another forum for the second part: "Between the devil and the deep blue sea". Plus, don't forget to level up your characters.]]
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