PF IC - Tideruler: The Fall of Laholt

EVERYONE

Both Batknight and Zyara are able to locate traces of the Specter's passage. Nonetheless, nothing else denounces its presence. At least, not for now.

The search isn't in vain, though: both warriors uncover the passage of at least four distinct individuals, all running around the field as the battle took place. The traces disappear suddenly, as if each of these individuals disappeared within an air implosion all of a sudden. Odds are they just teleported away when tney saw the opportunity.

***

Soon, the gryphon riders engage in relieving the heroes from the prisoners, conducting them to the cellars, according to Daxio's suggestion. The woods around are still aflame here and there, and the Green Knigths seem devoted to control the fires before they spread even further. Troops advance to ensure that no stragglers remain, and Thanes' prisoners are conducted north, towards the tower. The Captain himself leaves the scene with a disdainful look upon his face.

Goliath, the heroes - except for Moss - and a few Green Knights remain at the sight. Occasional passers-by surrender information of the many parts of the woods and ruins.

[This is the current state of things, according to stragglers, passers-by and the observations of the heroes themselves - including Moss:

1) The troops that fought at the caves have surrounded the Cathedral of Stone - the temple within the gnome caves. Within the temple, the Drow that fled the battlefield have barricaded themselves - alongside some gnomes, that might be allied with the Drow or might be their hostages. The alessian troops still struggle to bring the doors down.

2) The castle has been attacked. The attacking Drow have been pushed back, but not before a major incursion within the ruins. The Priestess might be within, hidden, but no one knows for sure.

3) The Spiral Tower has been breached. Before fleeing, the Drow managed to destroy a great deal of volumes, including those that recorded the Lyllend's prophecies.

4) The Isles - now occupied by the heroes - also were attacked. Works of art pertaining the prophecy were almost entirely destroyed, along with the works of talented sculptors - many of them sporting magical qualities.

5) The Orchard remains untouched.

6) The encampment faces commotion as some enemies have been discovered. The passers-by report that some fey have been called traitors and captured as well. Given the mood amidst the alessian fey, they might even kill those branded traitors or invaders before any trial happens.

7) The Hills of Wisdom became a healing camp for those hurt during the incursion.

8) The Hills of War stand empty for now.

9) Fires still menace the woods, springing from the Castle, the field before the Caves and the Spiral Tower. The Isles' fires have been kept under control.

10) The Specters' and fugitive Knights' lead is still recent. They can still be investigated, even though teleportation might have limited the reach for results.

Ok, whenever we have larger happenstances and you are released from direct engagements, I'll coordinate things like this: you can individually give me one or more complex actions to peform - e.g. helping put a fire down, investigate a scene, capture enemies, and so on. I'll ask for the appropriate skill tests - if any are necessary - and present the results according to rolls or choices. Each 'mini-downtime' will allow for a certain number of actions, which I'll place before we begin.

Ok, you have time for one complex action each. What will you guys do next?]


@Neurotic @KahlessNestor @Shayuri @Charlotte of Oz @Kaodi @MetaVoid
 
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Kaodi

Adventurer
"I will move to relieve those that besiege the Cathedral of Stone," grunts Batknight. "Perhaps I will be able to provide the necessary muscle to force the door. And if that does not work..." he taps the pommel of his black sword. "Either way those within are my responsibility."
 

jmucchiello

Adventurer
Zyara would like to chase the Drow who breeched The Spiral Tower. She's fast and might be able to catch up with them, assuming it happened recently. (I'm not looking at the map. So I have no idea how far away the tower is.)
 

Neurotic

Adventurer
Moss drops down eastward from the sky toward the galloping Green Knights in case there is an emergency and asks for their report. If it is nothing that requires immediate attention he flies back into the camp, hopefully, to prevent mob killing whoever is caught. That is no kind of justice even against these opponents. "Well, maybe for the demons..." he thinks as he flies next to the lead knight.
"Report, Sir Knight! I'm faster if anything requires immediate handling."

OOC: [MENTION=87106]MetaVoid[/MENTION], your familiar is flying. Why not send him with me next time so we can communicate?
 
Alice will decide to help out, with alchemical aid and care, at the healer's camp - ensuring that the sick are cared for and helped. She'll also use this time to gather details from eyewitnesses to the attacks, and hopefully assemble a more clear picture of what transpired.
 

MetaVoid

Explorer
"We should go directly to the priestess. If she caused some of this, we don't need to give her time to hide her involvement or destroy the evidence." Arduniel tries to keep the group together before everyone goes their own merry way.
"We need to keep together and keep our focus. And prisoners should maybe be high in the air, not underground, they may have Underground allies. And they will feel more comfortable underground...why should we grant them that? In addition, no one sees them underground unless there is a guard constantly with them. I would keep them in the open."


He sends his familiar to find the little dragon
"Furia, go and find Moss. We should keep together."
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
Laholt/Alessia
Afternoon
Round 0

“I will stay here and examine these broken prophecy statues,” Daxio said. “Maybe we can learn something from them. But we should check on those gnomes, too, if they need rescuing.”

[sblock=Ministats]
Conditions: Detect Magic (94 r), Message (1177 r), Fly (101 r)(60’); Sickened (-2 everything)(52r); See Invisibility (1198 r)

HP: 84/122 NL: 0
AC: 19 FF: 14 T: 15
CMD: 20
Fort: 10 Ref: 10 Will: 13
Armed: Dagger
Arcane Reservoir: 3/15/day
Consume Spells: 5/5/day

Spells Prepared
0 (9): Acid Splash, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Light, Mage Hand, Message, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost, Read Magic
1 (6/7, prep 5): Burning Hands, Charm Person, Disguise Self, Magic Missile, Vanish
2 (5/6, prep 5): Darkvision, Hideous Laughter, Invisibility, Scorching Ray, See Invisibility
3 (5/6, prep 4): Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Suggestion, Fly
4 (3/6, prep 3): Charm Monster, Confusion, Greater Invisibility
5 (6/6, prep 2): Dominate Person, Hold Monster
6 (0/3, prep 1): Mass Suggestion

Spell Book:
0: All
1: Burning Hands, Charm Person, Disguise Self, Enlarge Person, Featherfall, Grease, Liberating Command, Magic Missile, Obscuring Mist, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield, Silent Image, Vanish
2: Darkvision, Hideous Laughter, Invisibility, Scorching Ray, See Invisibility
3: Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Suggestion, Fly
4: Black Tentacles, Charm Monster, Confusion, Greater Invisibility
5: Dominate Person, Feeblemind, Hold Monster
6: Greater Dispel, Mass Suggestion
[/sblock]
 
BATKNIGHT

Beyond the tall entrances to the mines and across the thin alleys of the Market place, the Cathedral of Stone rises. Sculpted from a huge stone pillar within the cave, a heavily-detailed gothic portal houses ample heavy doors, depicting the story of Fey ancestry in rich details. Now, the door sheets bounce under the heavy duty of a battering ram.
Batkight’s arrival is a godsend. His added strength springs the gates open, allowing the army to enter the halls and face the last resisting forces as they block the passage. Batknight soon realizes that the enemy forces will fall under the alessian army with ease, but he also realizes that the captains in the army have already left the main hall of the cathedral. It might be that they are in the back, perhaps. Batknight can either help the armies take the main hall or can advance, cutting through the enemy lines in order to explore the depths of the Cathedral and capture the remaining leaders. What’ll it be?

ZYARA

Zyara’s speed allows her to reach the Spiral Tower in no time. A few knights hold their enemies captive. Blood and fire surrounds the area, suggesting a battlefield similar to the one she just faced. Wasting no time, she begins to track the last fugitives. They’ve left towards north, as the trail shows. She moves past the tower, following the fugitive group’s general flow. Before a moment’s notice, she enters a large swamp area, where she manages to bring down another dozen fugitives as they escape. Her steps bring her as far as the Hills of War. She scouts around the edges, finding a curious gathering at an enclosure. There, a hunched witch parleys with three drow warriors, protected by a pair of well-armed ogres and a strange, dark treant. They Exchange quick instructions, looking frantically around. The drow hand her a pair of leather purses that she receives with a satisfied grimace.

[Ok, the Spiral Tower’s a walk away from the Isles – running, she’d be there in less than two minutes. The same goes for the stretch she traverses while hunting stragglers, given her speed. For now, I need Zyara to roll stealth, please. She can approach the situation any way she wants. Also, the dozen warriors brought down by her can be killed or simply incapacitaded.]

MOSS

The knight’s report is short and direct. The areas are mostly controlled, now. Urgency’s all about controlling the fires and keeping the locals under control, but most tasks are already addressed by the knights and the satyrs. It seems that the gravest affair is, in fact, the movement around the camp. With a short leap Moss flaps his wings and finds himself amidst the raging crowd.
At the fires that burn amidst the tents, a number of fyrbolg, satyrs and elves have tied seven dark gnomes. The prisoners took some punishment, lying mangled before the community. An imposing fyrbolg cries for justice, accusing the gnomes of treachery. Apparently, they served the drow by covering their tracks. The last, most recent action was the assassination of the sick – a feat in itself, considering that they’ve had literally minutes to accomplish the crime.
As the fyrbolg works up his own rage, he points out towards a large tent, where suposedly the bodies of the victims have been gathered. Behind the tent lines, a number of frightened gnomes, nymphs and pixies watch the events with a shy attitude. The locals are already throwing stones towards the captives. A few more seconds and they’ll certainly turn into a lynch mob.

[Ok, you have at least forty alessians ready to slay the prisoners. Behind, an equal number of more delicate Fey watch as the group threatens to kill them. How are you gonna solve this?]


ALICE


Joining the others at the healing camp, Alice finds refreshment under the canopies while she relieves the locals of their pain. The attack lasted only a few minutes, but it left quite a few scars: children, elderly and sick people were taken as the band rushed through the city. Alice’s supported by a bunch of pixies and nymphs. Grateful faces show great appreciation for her attitude, and the alessians try to make her as welcome as possible – a comforting feeling, in fact.
Gathering info is no hard task, and Alice’s analytic mind does a great job trying to understand the big Picture. Clearly, the drow have been working this linghtning attack for a long while. They’ve used gnomes to prepare surgical strikes within the city. The targets were the Priestess – and probably the Book of the Dead – by the labs within the castle; the sick – within camp and at Allanor’s hollow tree; any prophecy records and witnesses, within the Isles and the Spiral Tower; and magical and informational tomes.
The bulk of the attack used a mass of less-experienced soldiers in order to distract the bulk of the alessian army. Probably the Drow were already within the city, one way or another, just waiting for the conflict to begin. They might have devices to flee, as well.
Alice easily reaches the conclusion that the sick are probably dead, now. Also, she doubts that the priestess will be found, now. The book’s probably gone as well.

ARDUNIEL

Arduniel’s concerns are mostly overlooked by he pressing concerns of the group. He doesn’t have much time to protest, as well. A few guards beg him to go to the castle, seeking the Priestess. As his familiar accompanies Moss, he’ll surely be able to maintain contact, and four guards follow him, ready to take flight and deliver his messages if he needs to communicate with his allies.
Apparently, the soldiers are hugely concerned with her safety. And Arduniel understands why: if the Priestess was in Fighting conditions, they’d have heard magical conflagrations coming from the castle.

DAXIO

Daxio remains behind, exploring the ruined isles in search of answers. He discorvers a frightening amount of magical statues and idols around the studios and tents. As he expected, most of them portray the ancestor’s cult, typical of the Fey. Still, a few statues translate the new elfic patheon, something represented by the Priestess’ practices around Alessia.
Some of the statues have been enchanted to create emotional reactions on the worshippers – from fear to comfort. Others have been prepared as fertility charms, or simply as pieces to harness magical forces. Some have also been prepared to house natural spirits, while others have been made to become funeral icons.
The ones that interest Daxio the most, though, are those that have been destroyed. They held language and illusion enchantments, preserving messages and tales delivered by the Lyllend as prophecies. He seeks out for any other pieces of information, but it seems that most of the studios were destroyed, along with their owners...

[Ok, I need Daxio to give me a perception roll!]
[MENTION=24380]Neurotic[/MENTION] [MENTION=6801311]KahlessNestor[/MENTION] [MENTION=1231]Kaodi[/MENTION] [MENTION=6847138]Charlotte of Oz[/MENTION] [MENTION=87106]MetaVoid[/MENTION] [MENTION=4936]Shayuri[/MENTION]
 

Shayuri

Villager
Aranel hesitates for a moment, besieged by options that at the surface all seem equally important. But in the end, she is a Lorekeeper after all...

She unfurls her wings and leaps skyward, winging towards the distant spire of the Spiral Tower. Though she marks Zyara's progress on the ground, Aranel herself soars higher, aiming to visit the ransacked library itself and see if anything can be saved...or if not, salvaged.
 

jmucchiello

Adventurer
Zyara

Fugitives: dead

Stealth: [roll0]
Perception: [roll1] Can I tell anything about the origins of the purses? IOW, did the drow bring the purses from the underdark or did they steal them recently? Also do the drow look comfortable with this exchange or does this look like a new "friendship"?
Languages known: Common, Undercommon, Infernal, Abyssal, Celestial, Draconic


Zyara does not plan to take on the group here but she will follow the drow when they leave. (Unless something interesting happens during their parlay.)
 

Kaodi

Adventurer
For a moment the Bat considers holding back to help the army dispatch the drow forces in the main hall of the cathedral but the absence of their leaders is cause for suspicion and so thus he surges forward to cut a bloody path through the enemy ranks in pursuit!
 

Neurotic

Adventurer
Diving from above, soaring low over the gnomes and arresting his flight literally inches from fyrbolgs nose, Moss hisses
"What do you think you're doing?"
*FLAP* moving a pace backward, the claws on the wings barely missing the face of the giant
"You think you're fit to judge anyone?"
*FLAP* another pace and land in front of the gnomes with wings still widespread to protect them from incoming missiles.
"All of you! Did anyone actually see these gnomes do the killing? Did anyone think that maybe they were charmed or possessed? Or that drow and their ilk disguised themselves? Drow thrive on just such chaos and weak morales. You want to help them? Go and kill each other! Come on! This one!" Moss points randomly at an elf
"He is a dark elf, he serves drow because...he believes elves should be most powerful of the races!"
Pointing at the giant
"And this one! He serves the drow, he is actually pushing you all into this!"

He inhales slowly and asks an ominous tone
"Do you believe that? If so, shame on you! You're all fey here. And until proven that they served the drow and that they weren't possessed by the demons...back...off." The last part is snarled more than said.

[sblock=Actions]
Fly check: 1D20+17 = [11]+17 = 28

Sense Motive on the crowd: 1D20+10 = [11]+10 = 21

Intimidate the firbolg: 1D20+17 = [17]+17 = 34 - or the crowd (some kind of crowd check? Giant is definitely intimidated even with +8 from size diff)
[/sblock]
 
Alice reunites with the others, and relays the information she has. She's intensely curious as to study the scene of the theft itself; there's clues to be gathered and conclusions to be drawn.
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
Laholt/Alessia
Afternoon
Round 0

Daxio frowned as he studied the statues. The drow seemed to have known just which ones to destroy, the ones containing prophecy. They had to have had inside help to know that. He peered around the fallen stones.

Perception, sickened: 1D20+2 = [17]+2 = 19

[sblock=Ministats]
Conditions: Detect Magic (93 r), Message (1176 r), Fly (100 r)(60’); Sickened (-2 everything)(51r); See Invisibility (1197 r)

HP: 84/122 NL: 0
AC: 19 FF: 14 T: 15
CMD: 20
Fort: 10 Ref: 10 Will: 13
Armed: Dagger
Arcane Reservoir: 3/15/day
Consume Spells: 5/5/day

Spells Prepared
0 (9): Acid Splash, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Light, Mage Hand, Message, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost, Read Magic
1 (6/7, prep 5): Burning Hands, Charm Person, Disguise Self, Magic Missile, Vanish
2 (5/6, prep 5): Darkvision, Hideous Laughter, Invisibility, Scorching Ray, See Invisibility
3 (5/6, prep 4): Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Suggestion, Fly
4 (3/6, prep 3): Charm Monster, Confusion, Greater Invisibility
5 (6/6, prep 2): Dominate Person, Hold Monster
6 (0/3, prep 1): Mass Suggestion

Spell Book:
0: All
1: Burning Hands, Charm Person, Disguise Self, Enlarge Person, Featherfall, Grease, Liberating Command, Magic Missile, Obscuring Mist, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield, Silent Image, Vanish
2: Darkvision, Hideous Laughter, Invisibility, Scorching Ray, See Invisibility
3: Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Suggestion, Fly
4: Black Tentacles, Charm Monster, Confusion, Greater Invisibility
5: Dominate Person, Feeblemind, Hold Monster
6: Greater Dispel, Mass Suggestion
[/sblock]
 

MetaVoid

Explorer
Arduniel nods to the guards and hurries toward the castle, guards trailing behind him. He looks over the place, both with mundane eyes and the filter his attunement to the inner workings of the world brings.

OOC1: using his own eyes and seek magic script (detect magic in effect) he looks over the castle. He also automatically feels any necromancy and transmutation spell cast within 60' of him.
OOC2: if he sees the scene with the lynch mob, he intervenes.
 
ARANEL

Arriving at the tower, Aranel's confronted by a horde of running elves and gnomes, desperate to salvage the books and scrolls. The library is truly vast, no doubt the sum of books taken from former human lords and elfic knowledge.

The joint effort's greatly boosted by Aranel's talents. She manages to quench a few fires, move several volumes and save most of a harmed floor. Still, she's informed that the volumes pertaining prophecies and divinations were, for the most part, lost.

That is, until the scholars see one volume that Aranel saved from the flames. When they lay their eyes upon it, they rejoice, for the volume contains details of the coming of a future elfic kingdom. The book's a key piece to all their belief system, apparently, and holds detailed explanations on events that succeed the reunion of the fabled heroes...


[Thanks to your intervention, one book of prophecy was saved. Turns out there are at least four more. But this one is their most prized possession. And they'll let you take a peek...]



ZYARA


Killing her foes, Zyara moves to the north. The not-so-secret meeting is brief. She recognizes the tailoring on the bags: Drow-made, worn-out, magical. Bags of holding, certainly. As the creatures part ways, they mention the contents of the bags: elfic ritual spells that bind a soul to a land, as well as two books of prophecy, one of them portraying the gathering of heroes! The exchange is amicable enough, but it is clear that this is a simple alliance, not a friendship cast in iron.

As the others say their goodbyes, they wait till the witch leaves first, taking the bags with her. She gestures towards the murky waters, creating a whirlpool. Promptly, she jumps inside, followed by her bodyguards. The elves turn east, going around the hills and bending north afterwards.


[Zyara can interfere if she so chooses; otherwise, the drows follow north with her following suit.]


Further north, the Drow get towards dry lands. Much before reaching thunderscale territory, they slow down,following old trails towards a gathering of stones. There, they bash against the rocks three times, and from inside a secret door opens to let them in, another dark elf serving as gatekeeper. Clearly this is a passage down towards their city. Gods know how many they have around here.
 
BATKNIGHT

The knight cuts his path through with ease, parrying and blocking strikes here and there as he goes. Reaching the other side, he comes across a double door, entering the back of the temple. The place's been ransacked. Doors hang open where priests were taken by force. Blood colors the floor. Sconces burn in silence. In the back a huge double door, once locked from this side by a set of iron bars, stays shut, but not longer restricted on this side. In front of it, five surviving mages rise incantations, ready to perform a powerful invocation!


[Batknight can stop it if he beats their initiative. Otherwise...]



MOSS


the Firbolg - as well as the rest of the mob - retreats, clearly intimidated by the small, yet ferocious, dragon. He drops the weapon, dissatisfied and ashamed. the others retreat, but they do not relinquish the gnome.

"We can't risk it, oh Dragon. Someone sold us out. The camp's in chaos!" - the Firbolg answers. "We'll keep them under watch, but we fear we've been betrayed. And trial won't do. How many lies can be woven by the underworld sidhe?" - clearly they fear the dark elves' influence up above.

[The situation's under control and no one would dare disobey now... Even in Moss' absence.]


ALICE/DAXIO


Investigations are fruitful for both heroes. Obviously, this was an inside work. In each of the areas - tower, isles - people of influence and knowledge were involved. At the tower, the saboteurs and thieves were certainly amidst the mages themselves. At the Isles, the same happened among the artists - probably someone up until then held in trust was used. Amidst the chaos, it would have been hard to identify them. Odds are the culprits either lie dead or remain under the dark elves' sway, ready to corrode Alessia from the inside.

Gathering info about the targets lead the investigators to a few direct conclusions:

1) The artists were also mages, or at least were in league with a few mages. Their works siphoned special powers.

2) The community has knowledge of powers of divine nature - mythical powers, one might say. They expected to be able to rob such powers to themselves, through the confection of their strange statues.

3) Influence from the astral plane is not to be discarded: the elves studied it, and many a book on the topic is known to have vanished.

4) The influence might still be in place. Further investigation of the surrounding astral plane is truly advised.

5) The prophecies of the Lyllend were a target. Investigations suggest they spoke of powers centered around the prophesied heroes, or around Alessian leaders and heroes, at least. This belief led the statues to be built. Aranel's replica at the square comes to mind.


ARDUNIEL


Given the distance, the elf ignores the events at the campsite. As he arrives at the castle, he sees that most wards were already triggered, leaving only minor protective cantrips as testimonies of domestic concern. Many Owls were killed in a focused, fast and brutal battle. The force that passed through was the real threat, apparently.

Arduniel meets the diseased. Now, they are fully recovered. All three tainted heroes, plus Allanor, are here. They felt they had to move towards the castle with all urgency, seeking out a tome held by the Priestess - they dreamed about it, or so they say. They're kept on a short leash, though: they attacked everyone and everything on sight as they arrived.

Inside, the ruins aren't terribly different. The only true distinction appears on the back rooms, where the Priestess kept her altar: the sanctuary spell fell, the room's been ravaged and the priestess vanished. No one remains, except the dead - both drow and owls. The faint presence of a couple of teleportation spells remain in the air, marks on the floor denouncing it.
[MENTION=24380]Neurotic[/MENTION] [MENTION=6801311]KahlessNestor[/MENTION] [MENTION=4936]Shayuri[/MENTION] [MENTION=87106]MetaVoid[/MENTION] [MENTION=6847138]Charlotte of Oz[/MENTION] [MENTION=1231]Kaodi[/MENTION]
 

jmucchiello

Adventurer
Zyara curses silently as the witch and her friends swim away. The drow linger too long for her to chase after the witch without the drow seeing her. Resigned, she follows the drow to a secret entrance to the Underdark. Entering the Underdark alone was not on her agenda for today. So as the drow disappear she rushes back to the meeting place and searches for some way to track the witch, not a strong ability of hers. She suspects the witch is able to slip through the marsh completely undetected. But do her guards have the same ability? Unlikely.

OOC: Survival [roll0]

Again, the plan is to locate, not to engage.
 

Kaodi

Adventurer
"Enough!" commands the Bat in undercommon as he moves to intercept the mages.

OOC: Initiatve [roll0]
 
"Probably a good idea for us to find a way into the Astral Plane," mused Alice. "I've never been. Should be fun!"

She then confers with the more dedicated spellcasters as to how she might access that plane in order to continue this investigation.
 

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