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Friday, 8th August, 2008, 08:00 AM #41
Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)
Well. Things are getting grim. Why do evil people always get immortality?
Friday, 8th August, 2008, 08:07 AM #42
Must be nice to have eyes again! It's been a long, long time.
Friday, 8th August, 2008, 11:59 AM #43
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
- London, England
- Read 2 Reviews
ø Block Mathew_Freeman
Aravis is a smart cookie - that kind of planning is exactly the sort of thing that a good DM can reward in the future. And as we all know, Sagiro is a good DM!
I assume he took some sort of XP penalty or something to do that?
Friday, 8th August, 2008, 01:37 PM #44
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
I assume he took some sort of XP penalty or something to do that?
Friday, 8th August, 2008, 04:00 PM #45
Novice (Lvl 1)
Friday, 8th August, 2008, 09:07 PM #46
Guide (Lvl 11)
If Shreen doesn't get his butt kicked, I'm going to be sorely disappointed.
But on a more serious note, I wonder about the out-of-character discussion (if any) around this transfer of the Maze. Did Sagiro say something like, "You've had this powerful artifact / plot device long enough; time to give it up so we can move on to other things in the game"? Was Aravis' player content to give up the Maze, or did he feel like he was getting screwed? What did the other players think?
Saturday, 9th August, 2008, 05:45 PM #47
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Not up to date
But it looks as though Aravis could spare a point of intelligence
Aravis Telmir Race Human
Intelligence 26 (20) +8
How soon does leaving a piece of himself in the maze come into play?
Saturday, 9th August, 2008, 08:33 PM #48
Gallant (Lvl 3)
If it were me, I wouldn't have minded giving up the artifact, but I'd be bummed about losing my "Cool Look".
Monday, 11th August, 2008, 04:24 AM #49
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Sunday, 7th September, 2008, 04:37 PM #50
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
Sagiro’s Story Hour, Part 285
Dranko turns menacingly toward Shreen.
“You promised not to attack me!” the hunchback screeches.
“We made no such promise,” says Aravis. “Understand, Shreen, that you now live at my sufferance.”
Shreen narrows his eyes. “You cannot kill me, Aravis,” he says softly. “But I will let you go. You would be most unwise to attack me in this place. We would TEAR YOU APART!”
Morningstar is unimpressed by the theatrics. “Shreen, look at me!”
Shreen does so, almost against his will.
“Do not get in my way,” says Morningstar simply. “I do not fear you.”
“You should,” croaks Shreen. “YOU SHOULD!”
“But we don’t” says Dranko.
Kibi rolls his eyes. “Why are we still here?”
Shreen couldn’t agree more with the sentiment. “Go,” he hisses. “Leave, and NEVER COME BACK! Just. Leave.”
The Company does just that. For all of Shreen’s bluster, nothing attacks them as they make their way back to the surface and thence to the Plaza of Glory. Flicker looks back on the door before it closes.
“With any luck, the Church of Kemma will come back here with a thousand soldiers and just wipe this place off the map.”
The streets are mostly empty, the folk of Djaw preferring to stay out of the driving rain. The only people out and about are slaves. Dranko tries vainly to keep his cigar lit but soon gives up. All of the Company is covered in mud and gore, streaking and running in the torrent. Aravis doesn’t seem to notice; he looks dazed.
“Are you okay?” asks Morningstar. None of them know exactly what happened in the Maze, or what Aravis sacrificed in that final moment.
“No,” answers Aravis faintly. “Not really.”
“I think we need a good night’s sleep,” says Dranko, glancing worriedly at Aravis. “Him especially.”
For a while the Company makes small talk. Flicker talks about maybe joining a Farangi team, now that he could teleport across the sea for matches. Ernie wonders if meat-on-a-stick vendors stay open in the rain. No one wants to talk about the Big Scary Thing. Dranko makes a tentative foray as they approach the Golden Goblet.
“Hey,” he says. “Is anyone else concerned that the Kivian God of Death wants to flee Abernia?”
Everyone else nods, but no one says anything.
“Uh, ok. ‘Cause that’s kind of been bothering me.”
Ernie adds: “The phrases ‘rat’ and ‘sinking ship’ keep running through my head.”
More silence. Morningstar changes the subject.
“I think we should go back and kill Shreen the Fair.”
“Wouldn’t that be murder?” asks Dranko.
“I have plenty of reasons – legitimate reasons – to kill him,” Morningstar points out.
“In the name of scientific inquiry,” says Flicker, “we should go back to find out if he really is immortal, by stabbing him a bunch of times!”
“I like the way you think,” says Dranko.
“The thing is,” says Morningstar, “for all that I’d like to kill Shreen, that Belshikun creature wanted us to kill him, and I really didn’t want to do what he wanted.”
“Maybe he was using reverse psychology,” says Kibi. “Anyway, if he tries something else in the future, we can kill him then. It sure won’t take much provocation.”
Balthazar greets them at the door of the Golden Goblet, and sees the blood and grime smeared on their skin and clothes by the rain.
“Goodness, what has happened?” he exclaims. “Do you require medial assistance?”
While declining Balthazar’s tender of healing, they do gratefully accept his follow-up offers of hot baths, tea and food. Almost before they reach their private building, servants have prepared the baths and set out whiskey, tea, cakes, bread, figs and cheeses. Soon everyone is cleaned up and refreshed, though still spoiling for a fight. When a servant knocks sometime later and asks if they require anything else, Dranko’s answer is: “Do you want to attack us, so we can burn off some aggression?”
The servant blinks, but then says smoothly, “If you’d like, we can hire you a sparring partner and you can duel in the yard.”
“No, no, thanks, but we’re good,” admits Dranko, slumping back into his chair.
“Is there a Farangi match anytime soon?” asks Ernie.
“I don’t know,” says the servant, “but I can procure the schedule for you easily enough.”
When evening comes around the Company is still lounging in the large commons of their building. Tensions have eased somewhat. It turns out the next Farangi match isn’t for three days; the games are delayed for inclement weather. They make small talk until bed, touching on subjects such as how to end Dwarvish enslavement without riling the Djawish establishment, and wondering what’s happened to their old adventuring companion Tor. Dranko goes to sleep with the intent of visiting Saum Derry’s farm the next day, to reclaim the Candlestick of St. Jenniver, a holy Deliochan artifact.
Sleeping alone in his room, alternating between sweet dreams of Yoba and nightmares of Shreen, Ernie wakes at 3:00 A.M. to discover that his throat his being cut. He tries to scream but his mouth is filled with blood, and he manages only a feeble gasp before the assassin plunges the dagger deep into his heart. He falls back into darkness.
Dranko is woken up by the sound of a screaming cat. Before his mind is fully aware, his adventurer’s instincts take control of his body. He’s out the door in seconds, naked but with his whip in one hand and his holy symbol in the other. A bubble of force starts to form around him once he’s in the hallway, but he slams his body sideways into the wall and escapes the resilient sphere. A black-clad spellcaster some ten feet down the hall mutters a curse beneath a mask.
Dranko glares at him. “I am very, very cranky.”
Pewter’s screams are the direct result of a nearly-successful assassination attempt on Aravis, happening concurrently with Ernie’s assault. Because of Pewter’s last-second intervention, Aravis’s assailant only manages a grievous wound to Aravis’s neck – a poisoned wound that immediately saps him of strength and vitality. With no strength even to lift his arms, all Aravis can do is utter a voice-only spell; he and Pewter teleport directly from his own room into Morningstar’s bed.
“Poison,” he croaks. Petwer continues his furious caterwauling. Morningstar, already awake from the noise and Dranko’s hasty exit from their room, screams “WAKE UP” at the top of her lungs before casting heal on Aravis. Having done that she leaps from bed and stumbles out into the hallway to join her husband.
“Two in the hall ahead of us,” warns Dranko, but Morningstar can’t see anyone. Apparently the assassins are improvedly invisible.
The second assassin casts greater command on Dranko and Morningstar, but both of them resist the compulsion to halt in their tracks.
“Still cranky,” Dranko warns.
Kibi comes crashing out of his room into the hall, beard tangled, barely awake.
“Invisible bad guys down there,” says Morningstar, pointing down the hall. Kibi casts glitterdust and one assassin gains a sparkling outline.
Dranko, wearing a magic eye-patch that lets him see the invisible, snaps his whip at the closest assassin and trips him before following up with more cracking blows. Aravis, freshly healed but lacking his spell components, doesn’t have many battle options. He casts contagion and sends Pewter to deliver it to the glittering assassin. Morningstar casts invisibility purge, and Kibi sees a third assassin pop into view right behind him. Like the others, this one is dressed all in black, face covered.
The assassin who failed with the greater command has better luck with a flame strike brought down on Kibi, Morningstar and Aravis.
Grey Wolf, sleeping soundly enough that the noise hasn’t yet woken him, is instead jolted to alertness by the sharp sting of a poisoned dagger slipping beneath his collarbone. His monkey familiar Edghar is clinging to the assassin’s face, which is probably the reason he’s only injured instead of dead. Grey Wolf leaps to his feet and returns fire with enervation before backing hastily toward the door of his room. He can feel the poison afire in his veins, filling his limbs with lead.
Kibi turns and casts hold monster on the assassin next to him, but the spell fails.
“Why doesn’t that ever work?” he cries, much aggrieved.
Yet another assassin comes rolling smoothly out of Flicker’s room, which doesn’t bode well for the little halfling’s fate. The attacker pelts Dranko with daggers, while another one tries (and fails) to bluff Morningstar into dropping her guard. Dranko has a second to thank Delioch that the poison didn’t take, before one of the spell-slinging assassins points at him and utters the single word: DARKNESS. Dranko’s sight fades to black as the power word: blindness takes hold.
“Crap! Blind!” Dranko yells.
“I’ve got a scroll that’ll get rid of that,” says Morningstar.
“Wonderful,” says Dranko. “I’ll just read it then, shall I? Ernie! Get your ass out here!”
Aravis yells at Dranko to get out of the way. Dranko does so, dropping to the ground and rolling toward what he hopes is an open door. It’s enough to get him out of the way of Aravis’s prismatic spray, and while the spell fails to affect one assassin and does minimal damage to a second, the third one caught in the effect is turned instantly to stone.
Morningstar positions herself centrally in the fight and casts a mass curative, much needed at this point, especially since she herself, along with Aravis, Dranko and Kibi, are blasted with another flame strike.
Grey Wolf’s attacker does manage to bluff him, and delivers a painful sneak attack. Grey Wolf manages to stumble out into the hallway, hoping to get into a better casting spot, but he’s struck by another assassin’s poisoned blade. His remaining strength is completely sapped and he falls to the floor.
“We’ve got to get out of here!” yells Dranko. “Ernie! Flicker! NOW!”
Kibi decides that if Ernie won’t come out, he’ll have to go in and get him. Grabbing as many nearby party members as possible, he dimension doors into Ernie’s room. Ernie is there, lying in his blood-soaked bed, horrific wounds on his chest and neck.
His chest, though, is slowly rising and falling. Somehow, though unconscious, he is alive.
Dranko feels the cutting edge of an assassin’s blade, and his own blood pouring out from many wounds. Blinded, weakened, drained, injured and naked, he laments his plight out loud.
“I’m blind and naked! Can’t you give me a break?”
He hears the closest assassin chuckle beneath her mask. But he also readies an ice storm from a magic ring, intending to drop it on the next enemy he hears casting.
Aravis casts disintegrate at Dranko’s attacker but misses with the beam, and instead vaporizes a chunk of wall. Morningstar has better luck with a darkbeam, tagging the enemy cleric. Better yet, when the assassin tries to follow up with heal, Dranko hears the sound of casting and drops an ice storm on his head. The cleric drops.
“Did it work?” asks Dranko?
“Yes!” says Morningstar. “But we still should get out of... Dranko!”
Another assassin appears out of the shadows and stabs the blind half-orc repeatedly. Dranko drops to his knees, vision reddening. Aravis reaches out and grabs him, then dimension doors the two of them into Flicker’s room. Flicker, like Ernie, is unconscious but breathing despite a seemingly-mortal wound. There follows about ten seconds of cat-and-mouse teleporting, as the Company tries to grab as many of their possessions as possible before a group evacuation, while the assassins continue to hunt for them room to room. Kibi manages to forestall some of them with a wall of force, and eventually everyone in the party is gathered around one of the two standing wizards. With no time or means to coordinate their retreat, Aravis teleports himself, Dranko and Flicker to Saum Derry’s farm hundreds of miles away, while Kibi whisks the rest of them to the Church of Kemma right there in Djaw.
Saum Derry hears a knock on his door at three o’clock in the morning. He grabs a club kept near the bed and stumps to the door.
“Who the hell’s our there?” he calls. This had best be good.
“Dranko. Remember me?”
Saum scratches his head for a second. Does he know a... ? Oh, for Quarrol’s sake!
“You!” he cries.
Saum unbolts the door and opens it a crack. He sees Dranko and Aravis, with Flicker laying on the ground. All of them are covered with blood, and Dranko’s wearing nothing except his eye-patch.
“It is you,” he manages to stutter. “What happened to you? What happened to your friend? Is he okay?”
“Someone just tried to kill us,” says Dranko. “Can I have my candlestick back?”
Saum blinks again, rubs his eyes.
“That? You want it back? Sure, if you want. But...”
He looks pointedly at Flicker.
“Someone just tried to kill you? Here?”
“No, in Djaw,” says Dranko. “We figured we needed to get somewhere far away.”
“Ah, I get it,” says Saum. “You’re in Djaw, thinkin’ ‘where can I go that’s safe?’ and you figure, ‘How about Saum’s farm at three in the morning.’ Right. Well, I was going to get up in a couple hours anyway to feed the chickens. You wanna come inside?”
“Nah,” says Dranko. “We don’t want to get blood on your floor.”
“We can clean it up,” says Saum. “Look, you need rest, and some patching up. Come in. We’ll take care of you. I’ll wake the missus.”
Inside the farmhouse, Dranko heals Flicker back to consciousness.
“I had the worst nightmare,” Flicker says groggily. “I dreamt I had my throat cut in my sleep.”
“You did,” says Dranko. “Assassins attacked us in our rooms at the Golden Goblet.”
Flicker looks offended. “We ought to complain!”
Dranko can’t help but laugh. “Yes. Yes we should.”
...to be continued...
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