PF [IC] - TIDERULER OF MARAN

KahlessNestor

Explorer
Nerath Wall/Long Return
Night
Round 0

Morgrym moved to the girl, kneeling beside her and cradling her in his arms. “Aye, lass. Time t’ wake up noo.” He fed her a bit of the strong whiskey from his flask and some water from his skin.

[sblock=Actions and Rolls]
Move:
Action:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Ministats]
HP: 55/59 NL: 0
AC: 17 FF: 11 T: 16 (+4 vs Giants)
CMD: 16 (+2 vs bull rush, trip)
Fort: 8 Ref: 2 Will: 8 (+2 vs poisons, spells, SLA; +4 v fey and plant effects)
Armed: MW Cold Iron Battleaxe
Ammunition: 9/10 bullets
Storm Burst 7/7/day
Wild Shape 1/1/day

Conditions: Barkskin 496r (AC 19/13/16)

Spells Prepared
0: Create Water, Detect Magic, Light, Stabilize
1: Obscuring Mist (Domain), Cure Light Wounds, Produce Flame, Faerie Fire, [Summon Nature’s Ally 1 (Spontaneous)]
2: Fog Cloud (Domain)*, Barkskin*, Flaming Sphere*, [Summon Nature’s Ally II (Spontaneous)]
3: Call Lightning (Domain), Cure Moderate Wounds, Protection from Energy*, [Summon Nature’s Ally III (Spontaneous)][/sblock]
 
EVERYONE

The dwarven lass accepts Morgrym's help, the whiskey helping the blood flow through her face again.

After Marius' offer, the thing seems to consider the options. Without further observations, the mass agitates itself towards the monk. The wood pavement rumbles a bit as a tendril rises, seeking out the monk's body. After that, the colloidal mass slowly covers the skin, creating an allergic feeling all over his body. A low glimmer comes from Marius' skin, the spirits that once held towards him still intent in protecting their liberator. As they realize Marius' intent, they rest once more, vigilant, a thousand flowing eyes shining upon the monk's body and underneath the advancing colorless mass. Soon, the ooze reaches his face, covering the eyes and the nose. After that, everything goes dark, and it feels as if Marius is swallowing water, drowning in a strange, cold and vibrant sea. His body throbs with a light burning sensation, and soon the mass seems capable of controlling his members, even if with difficulty. It seems to learn and adapt as it merges with the body. Suddenly, before everyone else's eyes, the spirits agitate themselves once more, their images twisting over Marius' skin. The souls, once imprisoned in forgotten statues beneath Maran, course through him, seeking to lodge themselves within his own body. They wish to claim control of the monk against the oozes! The souls are dragged through his gaping mouth, and his body twitches around, feeling the conflict that ensues!

Marius is aware of what happens within. He can't control his body, but his conscience still works normally. He feels he can fight for control against the contending forces. But when his mind stirs towards a potential struggle, a voice reaches out for him. "Savior" - it says - "We can offer an alternative... We can inhabit the mass, if you so wish. We can control it for you. Perhaps we can grant the mass' soul a place among us... But it won't surrender easily. What say you?" - the voice awaits as the spirit army contends against the mass' control.

[Ok, if Marius wants to control everything, roll WILL against DC 16. If he wants to surrender and allow them to fight, just say the word! If he wants to wait as he agreed, once more, just say the word. You didn't think the spirit armor would have something to say about it, did you? I never forget such details, heheheh! :)]
[MENTION=24380]Neurotic[/MENTION] [MENTION=6801311]KahlessNestor[/MENTION] [MENTION=4936]Shayuri[/MENTION] [MENTION=87106]MetaVoid[/MENTION]
 

Neurotic

Adventurer
Used to fine control of his body, Marius finds whole experience unpleasant. When offered a way out, his discipline holds him back, he asked for this. But then again, he didn't get answers before the thing came on. "Spirits...I don't wish to hurt it. Just to maintain some control. Or to communicate and coordinate with it...could you accomplish that through your possession? If we destroy it, the rest of them might destroy us all. There may be a way to help them live among people without killing them."

He focuses on his wishes, but between the pressure of the ooze and strange feeling of disconnectedness, spirits do as they will.

Will roll: 1D20+9 = [2]+9 = 11
 

Shayuri

Villager
Shayuri folds her arms, scowling, then quickly unfolds them again to keep her hands ready to cast.

"I have no idea what the right path is here," she admits to the others. "I hope he's not making a colossal mistake."
 

MetaVoid

Explorer
"And here I thought I am the impulsive one and the monk is studied and careful..." Hagadark looks in wonder as the monk accepts lethal ooze into himself.

OOC: waiting to see what happens, no other option
 
EVERYONE

The reluctance displayed by the ooze is obvious. It became enticed by the very idea of flooding the monk with its "limbs", and it completely ignored most of his questions... For the time being.

Within, the dilemma unfolds. The spirits attempt to gain control of the strange mass, but they fail. The mass resents the attempt, and tries instead to hunt down the spirits within, also in vain, given their ethereal nature. The stalemate puts Marius in a tight spot: now the mass resents the control attempt. The spirits attempt to convince the mass to merge with them, and then to leave the body. Reluctantly, the mass maintains its own position, seemingly using the strength it just attained to seek accommodation within Marius' body. For a few seconds, the monk feels lost, as if the creature simply won't leave him. Slowly, though, the mass willingly offers control back to the monk. His limbs, albeit dormant, regain strength little by little. Marius still feels the mass within, begging to be supplied. Within seconds, he feels ravenous, the mass' hunger merging to his own. The voices stop, the spirits retreat to his skin and the mass keeps begging for food, begging for more. If he doesn't eat soon, he feels he'll either lose control or lose his life. It seems uncomfortable, but possible, to hold on to the ooze without being destroyed. But considering the hunger that overtakes the host, feeding should be constant. Otherwise, instincts might overtake the host, or perhaps the mass might end up destroying the host altogether.

The creature holds on to him a little longer. Fearful of the potential results, it decides to leave. It leaps out, running from his nostrils and mouth to the pavement. The mass glides slowly, returning to the midst of the ooze zombies, and remains there as the monk recovers from the strange fusion. He feels weaker, as if the mass had taken part of his like with it, despite its best efforts not to do it. Perhaps it lingered too long or gave too much to face the spirits... [Marius takes 9 points of damage].

"That is how it happens." - it says. "You are surrounded. We are surrounded. This is risk for both. We can take the weak. We can offer our body. But we must eat. Where should we go?" - it asks, more docile now than before.
[MENTION=24380]Neurotic[/MENTION] [MENTION=87106]MetaVoid[/MENTION] [MENTION=6801311]KahlessNestor[/MENTION] [MENTION=4936]Shayuri[/MENTION]
 

Neurotic

Adventurer
Wiping the blood dripping from his nose into a rag and coughing up wad of blood from his lungs, Marius shakes his head.
"Hosting you is demanding. If you feel the hunger all the time, how can you survive at rest? Anyhow, my idea of eating to replenish you cannot hold. You would need the food with much more energy. Honey, dense meat, maybe concentrated milk or strong cheese. You might be able to survive in a regenerating host such as troll or hydra. But you'd become bestial by your own words. If you give me some time to consult with my companions?"

If they don't give them time, he simply changes to draconic language.
"Once they're inside it is possible to fight them off, but hard to control them. Their primary feeling is hunger and if you cannot provide, instinct takes over. And the body of the host is consumed in time since the hunger is constant. I think we will have to leave them here as-is until we find volunteers or we introduce them to Dram and let him experiment. This last one should be last option, he is not a good man. But maybe it can be offered in exchange for his knowledge? I'm not happy with choosing between two evils, but I don't see the way out of this one. Maybe one of you? Hagadark, you mentioned there could be volunteers? But if they give in to hunger and their natural tendencies it could go very bad for the races if they posses some bloodhungry warlord. On the other hand, it would be short reign and maybe even oozes could mellow the host somewhat?"
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
Nerath Wall/Long Return
Night
Round 0

Morgrym considered Marius’ words after watching the struggle with the disgusting ooze. They really should just kill them.

“Hunger? Well, if we wait until t’morrow I c’n prepare a spell tha’ moight ‘elp.” He kept himself between the ooze zombies and the dwarven lass.

[sblock=Actions and Rolls]
Move:
Action:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Ministats]
HP: 55/59 NL: 0
AC: 17 FF: 11 T: 16 (+4 vs Giants)
CMD: 16 (+2 vs bull rush, trip)
Fort: 8 Ref: 2 Will: 8 (+2 vs poisons, spells, SLA; +4 v fey and plant effects)
Armed: MW Cold Iron Battleaxe
Ammunition: 9/10 bullets
Storm Burst 7/7/day
Wild Shape 1/1/day

Conditions: Barkskin 497r (AC 19/13/16)

Spells Prepared
0: Create Water, Detect Magic, Light, Stabilize
1: Obscuring Mist (Domain), Cure Light Wounds, Produce Flame, Faerie Fire, [Summon Nature’s Ally 1 (Spontaneous)]
2: Fog Cloud (Domain)*, Barkskin*, Flaming Sphere*, [Summon Nature’s Ally II (Spontaneous)]
3: Call Lightning (Domain), Cure Moderate Wounds, Protection from Energy*, [Summon Nature’s Ally III (Spontaneous)][/sblock]
 
EVERYONE

The creature seems devoid of attention at the moment. It seemed to answer to the heroes' request for privacy. Falling silent, it allows the ooze zombies to shamble around in search of food. Opening barrels and visiting adjacent rooms seems to be the solution to the momentary problem. Apparently, the thing decided to postpone the hosts' deaths as much as possible - a peculiar behavioral pattern to a beast such as this, but as it goes Marius' words might have caused an effect, after all...
 

MetaVoid

Explorer
"We trust them enough to rest here? I'd rather be outside, Ariana awaits with the rest of the girls." Hagadark looks at Marius, still not sure what the hell was he thinking!? But then again, he didn't know about any spirits that would help?

"What's the story with spirits protecting you, monk? I'm used to talking to spirits or being talked to by spirits, but I would never allow one, and worse many, inside. Trust me, not really a good idea."
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
Nerath Wall/Long Return
Night
Round 0

“We c’n gae back t’ the inn an’ rest,” Morgrym told Hagadark. “They c’n wait f’r us ‘ere till mornin’. Or d’they need t’ get oot noo?” He shook his head, looking around at the zombies to get a count.

OOC: How many ooze zombies are there? Need a count for how many Goodberry spells I need to prepare.


[sblock=Actions and Rolls]
Move:
Action:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Ministats]
HP: 55/59 NL: 0
AC: 17 FF: 11 T: 16 (+4 vs Giants)
CMD: 16 (+2 vs bull rush, trip)
Fort: 8 Ref: 2 Will: 8 (+2 vs poisons, spells, SLA; +4 v fey and plant effects)
Armed: MW Cold Iron Battleaxe
Ammunition: 9/10 bullets
Storm Burst 7/7/day
Wild Shape 1/1/day

Conditions: Barkskin 497r (AC 19/13/16)

Spells Prepared
0: Create Water, Detect Magic, Light, Stabilize
1: Obscuring Mist (Domain), Cure Light Wounds, Produce Flame, Faerie Fire, [Summon Nature’s Ally 1 (Spontaneous)]
2: Fog Cloud (Domain)*, Barkskin*, Flaming Sphere*, [Summon Nature’s Ally II (Spontaneous)]
3: Call Lightning (Domain), Cure Moderate Wounds, Protection from Energy*, [Summon Nature’s Ally III (Spontaneous)][/sblock]
 
[Right now you have four ooze zombies left. The mass is all around, but rests for now. Apparently, only the use of a host will intensify the hunger. The rest of the mass remains still and doesn't need to feed - at least, not in such a hurry]


EVERYONE


The entity seems appeased by the agreement reached thus far. It relaxes a bit, allowing the zombies to rampage through the storage as they shamble around. The zombified halfling steps forward, lurching as it goes.

"We wait. We can let you out, now. Please, remember us. Please, remember we wish to live. No harm. No harm to you. No harm to us."

The doors open to reveal a startled group of refugees outside. Arvana, crouched before the door, seemed to study it in order to break in. The sudden movement startled her as well, and she leapt back, expecting a trap.

"Are you alright?" - she asks the heroes, still distrustful of the door and what she considers to be an automated closing contraption.


[Ok, you can go for your next steps from here on, if you so wish. You have convinced the thing to open the doors. You can still attack, or you can leave it in search of better solutions to the problem. Describe it and I will present the consequences as we go!]

[MENTION=24380]Neurotic[/MENTION] [MENTION=6801311]KahlessNestor[/MENTION] [MENTION=87106]MetaVoid[/MENTION] [MENTION=4936]Shayuri[/MENTION]
 
EVERYONE

[Ok, the heroes can move out of the building with ease. You have a set of free actions, now. You can come and go as you please, look for a place to rest, seek out a healer, go to Dram, leave the area, ... It is up to you. The section may work as a small downtime, until the group decides its next steps.]

After the strange confrontation, the heroes gather once more. They still have to deal with a couple of prisoners, some freed victims, a fugitive wagon (if they so choose) and the 'minor' problem of the dagger, as well as Dram's appetites for it. Leaving the area quickly grants cover and allows the heroes to avoid further complications, though. You have time to plan on how to move on while you seek refuge among dark alleys and vacant city areas.

But, before you leave, one last thing remains to be told...

MARIUS


After the souls rescind, the monk feels as if a small part of them was left behind. A straggler remains behnd, still inclined to fight, as if the mass had never left the body. Soon enough, the soul, manifested in agitated thoughts, understands the mistake. It comprehends the sacrifices Marius was willing to perform, and in doing so, ceases to fight for control. In fact, it recalls all other souls. Together, they seem to gather within, confronting Marius' own essence. They linger for a while and finally surrender, placing themselves under total submission to the monk. He feels their power surging from their own existences and into his body and mind, making him stronger.

As the process happens, a final voice rises, ringing within the confines of his mind.

"You were willing to sacrifice, not to kill. How worthy you are! We are glad to serve. You are one with us. Remember well. Carry our legacy. Use our power to greater deeds. We tried. We failed. But you shall do it in our name. Remember us, for you are the last of Cartagula from now on." - with that, the voice vanishes, as the protection granted by the souls.

[Congratulations! Your selfless - albeit crazy - act has bore fruit! Marius is the first of the group to surge into something else! Choose your mythical path, please!]


@Neurotic @MetaVoid @Shayuri @KahlessNestor
 
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Shayuri

Villager
"What a mess," laments Shayuri as the group pauses to catch their breaths outside. "Outlaw dwarves, a naga cult and...whatever that slime parasite was! And none of that was even related to our true purpose!"

She looks at the new raft of prisoners, both taken and freed and shakes her head.

"I've no idea what to do with all this. Is this a matter for the city watch?"

It's then that the sorceress realizes she has something still clutched in her left hand. The gem, or crystal perhaps, that she'd pried from the naga. She'd had it all that time, so tense during the encounter with the ooze that she hadn't even put it away.

Shayuri wasn't sure immediately what type of gem it might be, or how valuable, but perhaps while the others dealt with the fallout from this latest misadventure, she could find that out...

(OOC - She'll cast detect magic on it at some point, and if it's not magic will try an Appraise check; if it is, she can cast Identify)
 
SHAYURI

Casting her spells upon the gem is enough to confirm Shay's suspicions. The jewel is magic. In fact, at some point it was socketed into a larger piece - probably a crown, maybe a necklace. The thing emanates with hypnotic blue patterns. Wave after wave, it suggests powerful mind magic, infused into it by skilled hands, no doubt.

The identify spell shows that the jewel forms telepathic bonds according to the wearer's will. It can link up to four minds together. Probably that was the way they communicated to begin with. It sure has seen it's share of uses, exhausted as it is.

[OOC: This is a Gem of Telepathic Bond. It has five charges of fifty - rolled and non-fudged! - and can be triggered by mere contact with the body, plus the trigger-word "Gestalt".]


MORGRYM


The druid considers the situation for its inherent dangers. A quick evaluation of the ooze's situation inspires caution. Since it seems to behave in a desperate - almost predatory - way if hungry, odds are it might do so if left here alone. Besides, it knows it's surrounded. Even sentient beings that feel cornered try to break free at some point. The more this thing stays here, the greater the risk.

[Morgrym understands the need for swift action; each day will increase in ten percent the chances of the ooze breaking out and attacking the rest of the population - if it's not attacked first, that is]

MARIUS

Shayuri's suggestion strikes the monk as a dangerous path. He realizes that calling the Watch might be pretty much the same as calling Dram himself - only without the intention. He remembers his allies at the tavern, though. The other monks might be of assistance, as well as the mountaineers that are lodged around there...

HAGADARK

The half-orc understands that his own people might be accepting of his plan of turning the weak to the thing. In fact, he might get rid of some opponents as well... Mhuagra might enjoy having such resources in hand.

He also knows some men that might be interested in taking this thing away in silence, without alerting Dram at all. The only problem is that such people would charge for the service. Smugglers, well known of his orc brethren, would be glad to take the creature in. They might sell it to the wrong hands, though, or use it themselves.

EVERYONE

Arvana glances at the group, still concerned after the confrontation.
"Can I vote against bringing Dram into this? Emphatically? He's proven to be reckless at the very least. I say..." - she lowers her voice. "I say we burn this place down, avoid further damage and leave while we can." - her suggestion is ratified by persistent nods from the nearby victims and prisoners.

"Well..." - the human rogue comes forward. "I might be able to offer an option... One that could benefit everyone" - he comes forward, cautious. "Beneath the city there are galleries, used mostly as sewers and hideouts for... Unconventional businessmen. You could take it down there. The local gangs would certainly vacate the premises as soon as they saw... This. And it might feed on the creatures that dwell down there... And believe me, there's a bit of everythingdown there.Don't know why, but there is..." - he scratches his left ear as he speaks. "We could even seal the entrances later on. So it doesn't come back, you know..." [MENTION=24380]Neurotic[/MENTION] [MENTION=4936]Shayuri[/MENTION] [MENTION=87106]MetaVoid[/MENTION] [MENTION=6801311]KahlessNestor[/MENTION]
 
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KahlessNestor

Explorer
Nerath Wall/Long Return
Night
Round 0

“Avoidin’ Dram is a guid idea,” Morgrym had to agree. “I’m f’r burnin’ ‘em t’ the ground, tae.” He spat contemptuously. “Takin’ over folk. Bah! Things’re only gaein’ t’ get worse, an’ break oot. But I cuild be persuaded o’er the sewer idea, I guess,” he allowed. “I need t’ get these lasses ‘ome t’ their fam’lies. Then we definitely get oot o’ toon an’ get the thing away from Dram.”

[sblock=Actions and Rolls]
Move:
Action:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Ministats]
HP: 55/59 NL: 0
AC: 17 FF: 11 T: 16 (+4 vs Giants)
CMD: 16 (+2 vs bull rush, trip)
Fort: 8 Ref: 2 Will: 8 (+2 vs poisons, spells, SLA; +4 v fey and plant effects)
Armed: MW Cold Iron Battleaxe
Ammunition: 9/10 bullets
Storm Burst 7/7/day
Wild Shape 1/1/day

Conditions: Barkskin 497r (AC 19/13/16)

Spells Prepared
0: Create Water, Detect Magic, Light, Stabilize
1: Obscuring Mist (Domain), Cure Light Wounds, Produce Flame, Faerie Fire, [Summon Nature’s Ally 1 (Spontaneous)]
2: Fog Cloud (Domain)*, Barkskin*, Flaming Sphere*, [Summon Nature’s Ally II (Spontaneous)]
3: Call Lightning (Domain), Cure Moderate Wounds, Protection from Energy*, [Summon Nature’s Ally III (Spontaneous)][/sblock]
 

Neurotic

Adventurer
MARIUS
As the process happens, a final voice rises, ringing within the confines of his mind.

"You were willing to sacrifice, not to kill. How worthy you are! We are glad to serve. You are one with us. Remember well. Carry our legacy. Use our power to greater deeds. We tried. We failed. But you shall do it in our name. Remember us, for you are the last of Cartagula from now on." - with that, the voice vanishes, as the protection granted by the souls.
Marius stops as the voices arise in his mind. He simply nods at the final proclamation and (maybe to weird looks from his companions) says "I accept. You wil be remembered."


As he shakes off the temporary fugue the monk focuses on Shayuri.
"We still didn't agree on informing Dram about all of this. Can you imagine untold evil he could do with the soldiers enhanced this way? And he WOULD use the creature, make no mistake. Let's see if Mourgryms idea bears fruit. If so, we could maybe make them guardians of the underground groves such as that Garden we were in earlier. Any of the druids could cast the spell and maintain the creature and both have company and have the extra power to stop the intruders."

He thinks for the moment
"I think I can get the help from the inn if we decide to fight the creature. But I'm not convinced it needs to be destroyed. It strives to better itself and is not greedy, irrational or power-hungry. If properly channeled it could do lot of good. But if left in the hands of evil, it can do great evil as we just saw. Killing it as preventive measure doesn't sit well with me. It is not one of the irredimables."
 

Shayuri

Villager
"Not everything dangerous has humanoid motivations," points out Shayuri irately. "A shark commits no evil when it savages children who swam out too far...but it still cannot be ignored."

She waves a hand, dismissing the question.

"But fine. Deal with it as you see fit. The question is entirely irrelevant to my aims, so I have no position to advocate for."
 

MetaVoid

Explorer
"I...I..." Hagadark has never seen anything like this in his life. Giving the creature to his people might make them stronger...but it would at least partially give control to something not orc. And giving such power to Great Spirits that may not see other races as partners but as slaves is problematic.

Losing the creature in the sewers just delays things - it will eventually clear the tunnels and seek once again intelligence above ground. And it may be even bigger after peaceful time in the sewers.

"Shayuri, threat like this...it is never irrelevant whatever your goals are. What if you accomplish your goals and then snakes rule the world? Or demons? Or oozes? What have you got from your goal? MArius, I don't like the idea of destroying it. But it may be the only sustainable option. Creatures like that don't think, they grow as long as they are allowed to. But I'm willing to wait for Mourgryms spell effect. We need rest. I will consult with The Book."

With that, after the party settles in one of the empty dwellings, he sits by the side and chants. Occasionally cutting his hands and arms because what shamanistic ritual of orcs doesn't involve pain, after burning some incense and eating unmentionable things he falls into the trance.

OOC: Divination by the Book?
What is the future of orcs if we take the ooze?
What is the future of the world if we let the ooze live?
How best to destroy the ooze?
 

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