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Thursday, 21st June, 2007, 05:42 AM #1
Novice (Lvl 1)
Midnight: A Lost Faith's Shadow. Book 1, The Awakening. Ch. 5, The Darkening Wood
Arc of Obares, Day 1 LA 99
Sitting cross-legged on the stone hill above the massive ruined oak, Ladriel is lost in meditation. The cooler wind of Obares whips her hair about her, but her eyes remain closed. Around her, massive, weathered stone monuments rise, an ancient dolmen made by unknown hands. The very air seems to hum with power, dangerous power. In the sky above, dark clouds gather as if the sky is angry at Ladriel's instrusion in the stone ring. Still, the dark clouds do not release the life giving rain. Slowy the afternoon drags by...
As shadows begin to gather in the dying day, Ladriel stands quickly and waves to the Elves below. Following Luthorien up the hill, Ladriel speaks, but does not leave the stone ring. My friends, the way is open, but not for long. With the anger sweeping the forest, even the Old Ways seem reluctant to help. Her face grows grim. The Old Ways are dangerous and treacherous. Stay close and do not deviate from the path. Things lurk in another world that we just do not understand. Ladriel motions to the Heroes to enter the stone ring. Reluctantly, the Heroes enter as Luthorien speaks. Find Hope for us all, my friends. Next to Starhl, Cyz stands closely, her breasts brushing against the big man's arm. Focused on the journey ahead, Starhl is startled by something that brushes up next to his leg. A massive wolf. The same from last night. The intelligent eyes bore into Starhl's before turning to Ladriel. He senses your loss, Northman. He has agreed to help. A servant of the Forest. A good omen. Ladriel smiles. Kaela also feels relief with the wolf joining the group, but she cannot help notice the scowl of jealousy that breaks across Cyz's face.
With a nod, Ladriel turns and walks between two tall stones...and disappears. With deep breaths, the Heroes follow...
A gray and bleak world in twilight surrounds the Heroes. Gone is the green forest of Erethor with is tall hills and deep valleys. Now, tall shadowy mountains tower above ther Heroes. Gone are the oak and maudrial, replaced by tall fir and pine. Ladriel stands awaiting the Heroes, her voice seeming to cover great distances, yet her form only feet away. Follow the path before us, but do not deviate. I do not know how long our journey will be, for the path changes every time we tread it.
The journey winds through forested mountains, with still, silvery lakes silent in the valleys. Dark, hulking shapes skulk at the edges of vision, tempting the Heroes. Kaela is sure she saw Aislinn's mother and father hiding in the trees above the rocky shore of a deathly still lake. Starhl swears the mournful call of the Wolf from months past called to him in a steep mountain valley. Lodric almost left the path, hearing the mournful cries of his sister.
How long the journey lasts is unknow, but as the shadows gather and the ghostly shapes draw dangerously close to the path, the Heroes steep into the brilliant green of Erethor once again. Ladriel smiles at all the Heroes. The Heroes stand in a shallow, stone strewn vale dominated by large oaks; to the west is a large stone ridge, rocky bluffs forming a bulwark facing east. Above the Heroes, a huge maudrial tree stretches high above the canopy and titled, vine covered menhirs stand near to where the Heroes appear. We have traveled almost two hundred miles in the span of one night. We are close to the Darkening Wood. Elven Hunters guard the southern edge, hopefully preventing entry of Aislinn's abductors into that dark wood. Why they would travel there, I would rather not find out. We should make camp here. This is a place of power to the Elves, a bastion in the defense of our forest.
As the Heroes prepare for rest, Ladriel stands quickly. The Whisper...evil intentions nearby. Something comes...to intercept us. The forest is in pain.
A dull roar sounds to the east, just beyond the eastern lip of the bowl-like vale before it descends. Nearby, shadows begin to flit through the green gloom from tree bole to tree bole and tree branch to tree branch. Ladriel urges the heroes to take cover, before calling out in a mix of hisses and whistles. Twenty yards away a Caransil Hunter steps out from beyond an oak, his bow nocked with an arrow. Jogging over, the Caransil shakes forearms with Ladriel and speaks in High Elven, Well met, Whisperer. He is covered in blood, none of it his own. He turns to the Heroes. I am Cullenwe. Your quest is known to us, and others as well. A Shadow forces has penetrated Erethor and has set an intercept course for this vale. It seems your path is known to the Shadow as well. My hunters have harrassed the orc and ogre berserkers. They are heavily armored leaving the forest graping in their wake. We make our final stand here with your aid. If we fail here, our bastion of power will be lost, and a gap in the already stretched thin Caransil defenses could rend, unraveling the Caransil defenses. Will you aid us?
Thursday, 21st June, 2007, 07:05 AM #2
Novice (Lvl 1)
The travel through the path amazed Herger. What magiks could transport the group hundreds of miles? Surely their quarry would be near now. Perhaps with another path like that, they could even cut off their enemy before they reached their goal. He was sitting as they caught their breath and prepared to rest for the evening. He opened his mouth to ask Ladriel about another path when she stood quickly and with purpose. At the mention of evil, Herger begins to look around, not knowing where the threat approached from.
Hearing the noises, Herger stood and picked up his huge axe, gripping it in preparation for whatever the kind elf was concerned about. He takes cover when the others do, somewhat relieved that the forest can even conceal his size to a degree. When the new elf appears, he is relieved, yet notices the blood covering him as they greet each other. As the new arrival addresses the group, he finds himself emerging from his concealment. Then, the question is posed.
Herger stands tall and firm. "Even now, the Shadow tries to detain us from our goal. Aislinn is indeed important for them to make their way this deep into the forest. Your kind have risked much to help us, so my axe and strength are yours in this coming battle." He pauses so that any of the others may voice their opinion and then continues. "Tell us, what are their number? How far away are they? What are your number? Are their more defensible positions that you would have us take? I can throw stones before the enemy is upon us. Are their large stones near that can aid us in defending your homeland?"
Thursday, 21st June, 2007, 07:01 PM #3
Novice (Lvl 1)
Cullenwe grips Herger's forearm. Our thanks, Giant. No more than ten orcs. But they follow two oruks and their battering ram, a berserk ogre. They are- A loud boom echoes through the forest followed by the snapping and cracking of wood and the swoosh of falling leaves. They are smashing through the forest, heading straight here. I think it no coincidence that there approach is timed with your arrival. We have whittled most of their dire band down in a running battle, but we have run out of room. Again a boom and snapping wood echoes through the forest and to the east, below the lip of the vale, the tops of several trees shake as if their boles had been struck by some incredible concussive force. The maudrial tree above the Heroes begins to shake almost imperceptibly, only noticable through the slightly increased amount of falling leaves. Ladriel's hand reaches out to the tree. The forest is in pain. We must flee or fight. Cullenwe swings into the lower branches of the maudrial tree and readies his bow. Giant, you can find stones scattered throughout this vale. We number only ten now and we are almost out of arrows. Use the larger stones in the vale for cover, if you need it. Quickly! They come! The tramp of hobnailed boots on leaf and stone sounds from the eastern lip of the stone vale...
Friday, 22nd June, 2007, 07:01 AM #4
Novice (Lvl 1)
Herger nods to the elf. "Well met." He then begins searching for an area with stones, or boulders that would provide him with enough ammunition should he need more than one. Satisfied with what he's able to find, he rests his axe on a rock next to him and picks up the first boulder ready to throw it at the first enemy which emerges.
He's only got a 30' range on his boulders, so I'm guessing that he will only get one off before the enemy closes. Eventhough he is trying to maximize his throw attempts, he won't be foolish and put too much distance between him and his allies. If he has to take a -2 to hit because he's over 30' and under 60', so be it. He would prefer to not have all of the enemy swarm him by being too far away from the rest of the group.
Friday, 22nd June, 2007, 02:08 PM #5
Enchanter (Lvl 12)
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Lodric moves to stand near Herger, looking for a location where the terrain helps him from being surrounded, takes his inutek in hand and tries to spy the oruks with their battering ram.
ooc: One of those times where a battlemat would be really handy to plan my next actions. My plan is, if the oruks are in a reasonable range (100 ft. or less) Lodric will first cast True Strike and will then throw his inutek at one of the oruks in an attempt to trip him and drop his ram.
Inutek +28 (with True Strike) minus range factor (-2 for each 20 feet of range) Damage 1d3 ranged trip attack
edit: meant to add - True Strike removes any concealment penalty for this attack, so unless they have total cover...
Last edited by Thornir Alekeg; Tuesday, 26th June, 2007 at 12:43 AM.
Monday, 25th June, 2007, 04:51 PM #6
Defender (Lvl 8)
Starhl nods. The journey across hundred of miles had made him fear. His hand goes through the fur of the wolf, and he feels whole again. My brother, the world has summoned you to join us in our fight against the shadow. You are a servant of nature, and the trees cry against the madness.
Starhl raises his sword, and prepares to take the front in his battle against the oruk.
Monday, 25th June, 2007, 05:17 PM #7
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Visibly shaken, Mardo looks around for a good place to hide. He slips and falls over an exposed root, spilling some of his sling ammo out in the dirt. He franticly gathers it back up again, then looks at his hand, visibly trembling. He looks up to Lodric, the closest nearby and says, "If the elves are frightened enough by these beasts to ask for our help, what hope do we stand against them?"
Mardo then notices Lodric set himself against a charge by the monsterous horrors, and is reminded of the stories he'd heard of when his grandfather stood, inutek in hand, against the onslaught of orc hordes taking the Erenland plains a hundred and twenty-some years before. "The bravest," they called him - Yurliesk Fintwicz, and with his gnome allies he slew 11 orcs himself before the armies ended him.
Mardo's hand calms and he stands again, pulling his dagger out and to his side, and getting his sling ready. "I'm sorry. I'm fine I think. We can do this."
With that, Mardo pushes his cart to a protected nock between some trees, and climbs a tree with lower branches not too far from the giant.
OOC: woo! scary stuff!
Marco takes 10 on his Climb check (+0 Climb) if there's a tree nearby that's reasonably easy to climb. His intent is to be no further than 25 lateral feet (not counting height) from Herger, though 15 feet would be better. He is hidden in the tree. Assuming there's a minute or so available, he's going to take 20 on the Hide. If it's a matter of moments, he has a +14 Hide.
His dagger is not hidden, and his sling is at the ready with a "natural bullet" that he'd found earlier.
Mardo readies: when Herger's first boulder hits, Mardo will sling a bullet at the same target.
sling +6, 1d3, crit x2, range 50 ft.
Wednesday, 27th June, 2007, 05:12 AM #8
Novice (Lvl 1)
The last few hours had been a blur to Kaela, the young spellcaster overwhelmed by the alien presence of the elves and the mystical journey. She spent much of the journey in silence, shaping her anger and desire to change the world into enchantments and even more tangible spells. The next orc who tries to hurt us is in for a surprise, she thinks with satisfaction.
She had taken a moment out of her reflection to speak to the wanderer Cyz. Knowing how jealousy can quickly bloom into hatred, she decided to address the issue early.
"A moment, Cyz?" Kaela's smile lights up her face as she reaches out with an open hand. "I know you worry about Starhl. But know this; that hero's heart is large enough to contain a love for the Land and all it holds dear as well as a Sarcosan with such lovely eyes and raven tresses."
ooc: Diplomacy +14 if needed.
Clutching her stone tightly, Kaela gathers her courage as the elf speaks of the oncoming threat. Her mind is already forming a new, more powerful form of the sleeping enchantment she had called upon so many times before.
ooc: I'll use Deep Slumber to take down as many targets as I can, ready to follow it up with a 5d6 Fireball next round. Would such a huge area effect spell risk setting trees and such aflame, or is the area fairly clear? If the risk is great, I'll stick with Magic Missle, targeting the ogre for 3d4+3.
Thursday, 28th June, 2007, 04:42 AM #9
Novice (Lvl 1)
Originally Posted by Bobitron
The tramp of hobnailed boots thunder in the forest as the Shadow's strike force breaks over the eastern lip of the stone vale almost 80 feet away. Snarls and ferocious cries also herald their coming, mixed with the sound of steel on steel. Whatever mission this group has, stealth its least concern.
Initially, the group is hard to see through all the dense trees. As they near, the Heroes see the strength of their enemies. Ten orcs, two rows of five, armed with black breastplates and shields, run with a near tireless gait through forest. War chants and less wholesome phrases echo from their bullnecks. To either side, two oruks in black plate and wielding greataxes as large as Herger's smash through small saplings and score large trees with their deadly steel. But, what draws the Heroes attention, is the ogre, the muscle of the Shadow's force, dressed in plate and wielding a massive warbar, smashing through stone and tree alike. A juggernaut of unstoppable might, Cullenwe was right to flee and seek a better defensible position. At the sight of the Heroes, a strange cry of victory goes up from the Shadow's force as their stride turns to a sprint.
How much Kaela has changed since leaving the Northlands. Her new found powers have almost made her eager for confrontation, but her good nature is not accustomed to it...
Cyz throws her shoulders back and her chin up at Kaela's words. She leans close to Kaela, her words harsh and bitter. How should I feel, Northwoman? He does not acknowledge my love for him! He treats me as if I do not exist! Now I have to compete for his affection with a dirty animal!? Cyz turns abruptly and stalks away. Kaela's nerves slowly calm...
Shaking her head out of the recent memory, Kaela focuses on the attacking force. Confident in her powers, Kaela weaves the eldritch lines of Aryth once again into a gentle breeze and blanket of slumber. Immediately, two of the orcs drop, while another staggers before resuming its run toward the Heroes.
OOC: Two orcs are asleep! Reading the spell descriptions for sleep and deep slumber, it says normal noise will not awaken those put to sleep. Will the sounds of battle? What do you think, Bobitron?
Whirling the inutek over his head, Lodric lets loose. Whirling through the forest, the inutek strikes true, whirling around the oruk and crashing the giant to the stone ground.
OOC: One oruk takes damage from the inutek and is tripped.
A wave of Elven arrows streak through the emerald forest, sinking into orc flesh and splintering on steel armor. Orcs and oruks cry out in pain, but the ogre juggernaut is unfazed.
Several orcs and an oruk were struck with arrows.
Quickly the Shadow's force closes the ground. Herger can only wait patiently until the unlucky bastards come within range. As one orc emerges from the side of massive tree, Herger launches his stone. Sailing through the air, the stone careens off the orc's heavy shield.
OOC: Herger missed on his throw.
Mardo slips into the green foliage, hoping to hide from menacing eyes. Slinking around a branch, Mardo looses a bullet at the orc that Herger missed. Just as the orc lowers his shield, Mardo's stone smacks into its throat. The orc hacks and coughs, its cries of bloodlust now muted in its headlong rush.
OOC: Mardo's stone hits an orc.
Valurel can only marvel at the craftsmanship of his icewood bow as he draws an arrow. Loosing, the arrow streaks silently toward the orc Mardo just hit. At the last moment, the orc drops in a slight gully and his arrow shatters on the orc's breastplate. His second arrow strikes true, however, lodging in the orc's thigh.
OOC: Toric, where art thou? I am assuming Valurel has Rapid Shot... Valurel hit an orc once.
Starhl waits in anticipation with his sword. Next to him, the wold pads to the south and is lost in the trees. Starhl's heart drops at this sight, until the big man can see the wolf flit in and out of sight amongst the trees, flanking the attacking force from the east. This wolf is intelligent. Eerily intelligent. Cyz stands next to Starhl, her fists up. I am ready to die to protect you, erunve.
OOC: Sorry, Krug. Ranged weapons this round, melee next. Make sure to give me feats that you will be using and attack bonuses and damage.
OOC: Next round the orcs, 1 oruk, and an ogre will close. Post player actions with attack bonuses, damage, and any feats or special abilities you wish to use.
Thursday, 28th June, 2007, 07:35 AM #10
Novice (Lvl 1)
Herger is unpleased that his stone did not find its mark, yet he did not have time to concentrate on that. As the force surged forward, he knew that their victory would depend upon how quickly they could all focus their attention on the ogre. He picked up his axe and readied himself for the arrival of the enemy.
He breathed as calmly as he could as the Shadows forces quickened their pace and closed the distance. His mind raced and thought of the spike tied securely around his neck. His mind calmed as he knew that he had yet one more option should it come to that. He then swung at the first enemy arriving within his axe's reach.
Power attack +2 on the first enemy within range.
Power Attack Greataxe +10 (3d6 + 13, x3) (+5 BAB, +5 St, +1 WF, +1 Dorn melee 2handed, -2 power attack, +2 dmg (weapon specialization), +7 damage (strength, x1.5 for 2-handed weapon), +4 damage (+2 from power attack x2 for 2-handed weapon))
Also, cleave if it's an option.
I'm guessing that by the end of this round, we'll have a pretty good idea as to which enemies close with which heroes, but if not, can you let us know which direction they seem to be moving in?
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