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4E Somewhere else...

Manbearcat

Adventurer
Skill Challenge complete.

1) You were able to navigate the geographical features of this spiritual mountain to locate a position from which you could percieve your tail.

2) A pack of insatiable wolves trail you where you go, their howls intermittently coordinating their position. You're certain this legion of senses and fanged maws comrpises one entity; the Primal Beast.

3) Finally, you successfully evade their pursuit in a harrowing, exhaustive trip up the mountain. You summit and commune with the spirit of the mountain Stoneroot, who in turn quickly reveals to you the way to The World Serpent.

A chill wind greets you at the mountain's peak. There, a grinding and gravelly voice emanates from no discernible mouth. "He exists in the depths, crushing primordial powers in his grasp, holding the balance of the world together in his eternal coils. You will not find him here. HERE will you find him." At the "HERE", the firm ground of the mountain's peak is replaced by the same nothing that greeted you upon transition to this realm. You feel as if you are falling. Black stone passes by you at a dizzying clip.

Without suffering injury, you find yourself on the cold, harsh, tomb-like stone of the underworld. The inky blackness is complete. There is a shifting around you that you can feel more than you can see. The walls shimmer momentarily with an eerie faded light that cuts the gloom. For a moment, it appears to be gemstones on the walls. Soon your senses are proven fallible. The walls themselves shift and a light you cannot pinpoint cascades across scales of such enormity that you cannot fathom the might of the beast they belong to.

The darkness itself begins to stifle your movement as a great constrictor might. The shadows turn into coils, coils that enfold you. A fanged serpent's mouth explodes from the darkness and its bite sends your mind reeling.

You see the beginning times of this world. A great, lupine creature with eyes too savage and too understandnig stalks a landscape. It is the Beastlord, the elder primal spirit of savagery. You see a human form drawn from the dirt. The great beast runs it down, bites it and the human changes to wolf. That human turned wolf stalks another that draws up from the dirt. The chain continues on and on until you see yourself being stalked. Before it can bite you, you feel a sting on your leg. Looking down a serpent has bitten you moments before the wolf's teeth sink into your flesh. You do not turn to wolf. You hack at the beast and it dies, as do all the wolfs before it.

Your reeling mind releases you. You're subtley aware that you are now immune to Lycanthropy.

A great and terrible voice invades your thoughts. "A gift to you and your lady for your purpose here. You will gift me with the destruction of this enemy reborn. The eternal balance where all things begin and inevitably return to. We are agreed."
The voice says that as a declarative. Not so much as a proposition.

What are you doing?
 
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Binks

Villager
A great and terrible voice invades your thoughts. "A gift to you and your lady for your purpose here. You will gift me with the destruction of this enemy reborn. The eternal balance where all things begin and inevitably return to. We are agreed."
I say to the great serpent: "The Primal Beast plagued this world with the Moon Madness? I have indeed made a terrible and implacable enemy. I expect the carnivorous beasts of this place to oppose me all the stronger as my quest culminates. A thousand thanks are insufficient for your gift."

Referring to his enemy (I presume), I say: "I will exalt in your purpose as I destroy 'The Rotting Man.' Be he primordial or demonic power, I will crush him under the weight of your grasp and rend his strength with your poison."
 

Manbearcat

Adventurer
Referring to his enemy (I presume), I say: "I will exalt in your purpose as I destroy 'The Rotting Man.' Be he primordial or demonic power, I will crush him under the weight of your grasp and rend his strength with your poison."
The World Serpent's voice echoes over and over as your spirit spirals out of this realm and rejoins your body in the world; "You will..."

You sense a massive hulking figure lurking over you and smell hot, oppressive breath on your face. The upside-down visage of your massive bear companion peers down at you. He makes a familiar greeting as you open your eyes and rouse yourself. As you sit up, you take note the sun is much higher than you would have expected and the lack of noise around you tells you that Esmer, Terilion, the children and the rest of your raiding force are gone.

"I had a mind to smear your face with honey so your friend their might wake you, but he wasn't having it. He's quite fond of you. He would have torn my arms off if I took another step." Yamel is seated on a stump across the way from you. His concentration is bent on carving out the shaft of arrows, hand-straightening them, and then working on the next at an alarming rate. "In truth, I thought you likely dead. I guess 'the serpent who grasps the world' has more in store for you."

He looks at the rising sun, stands up slowly using his spear as aid, shoulders his bow, and then looks at you squarely. "Its time..."
You have The World Serpent's Grasp (Level 4 Primal Boon) as outlined upthread. You are acutely aware of this latent primal power coursing through your being as well as your immunity to Lycanthropy.

You can go ahead and handle your Stealth Ritual and roll your Group Stealth check as you had outlined upthread. Here are the stats for Yamel and his Rangers:

Yamel

[sblock]Yamel
medium humanoid (human)
Level 8 Artillery (Leader)
HP 70; Bloodied 45 Initiative +8
AC 21, Fortitude 19, Reflex 20, Will 20
Speed 6 Low-light vision

Traits

Cunning Leader (Aura 5): Allies within the aura can shift 1 square as a free action at the end of their turn.

Standard Actions

Cornering Spear (weapon) * At-Will
Attack: Melee 2 (one creature); +11 vs. Reflex
Hit: 2d8 + 5 damage and Yamel slides the target 2 squares.

Paint the Target (weapon) * At-Will
Attack: Ranged 20 (one creature); +13 vs. AC
Hit: 2d10 + 5 damage, and the target grants combat advantage until the end of Yamel's next turn.

Distracting Shot * Recharge 5, 6
Effect: Yamel uses Paint the Target. If the attack hits, one of Yamel’s allies can make a melee basic attack against the target of the attack as a free action.

Ranger's Lead the Way! * Encounter
Effect: Three of Yamel’s allies within 5 squares of it can charge one creature of Yamel’s choice as a free action.

Free Actions

Cunning Step * At Will
Effect: Yamel can shift 1 square as a free action at the end of his turn.

Skills: Athletics +11, Endurance + 7, Nature +8, Perception + 11, Stealth +12[/sblock]

Rangers * 5

[sblock]Ranger
medium humanoid (human)
Level 8 Skirmisher Minion
HP 1; a missed attack never damages an enemy Initiative +8
AC 21, Fortitude 20, Reflex 22, Will 19
Speed 6 Low-light vision

Traits

Bleed the Prey : Rangers do 2 extra damage versus enemies they have combat advantage against.

Standard Actions

Spear (weapon) * At-Will
Effect: The Ranger can shift one square.
Attack: Melee 2 (one creature); +13 vs. AC
Hit: 8 damage.

Longbow (weapon) * At-Will
Effect: The Ranger can shift one square.
Attack: Ranged 20 (one creature); +13 vs. AC
Hit: 8 damage.

Skills: Athletics +11, Endurance + 7, Nature +8, Perception + 11, Stealth +7[/sblock]
 
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Binks

Villager
You can go ahead and handle your Stealth Ritual and roll your Group Stealth check as you had outlined upthread.
The Ritual was resolved upthread in post 128, here:

* If we siege the Rotting Man's domain come morning, I'm going to use Traveller's Camouflage on the group. My Nature check is between 20 - 29 so that is a + 5 to group Stealth Checks. The duration is 10 hours and the cast time is 10 minutes. I'm hoping we're undetected so we can avoid any hazards or minions he may enact against us on the way to his lair.
I'll roll the Group Stealth Check with + 5 from the Ritual:

[sblock]Saerie Stealth + 17. Rolled 7. 24 passes the high DC.

Yamel Stealth + 17. Rolled 14. 31 passes the high DC.

Rangers Stealth + 12. Rolled 4. 16 passes the medium DC but fails the high DC.[/sblock]

That should do the trick. Again, we're looking to evade The Rotting Man's detection if its possible. I would typically mention to Yamel to tell the clanless in here to leave the caverns because who knows what is going to happen. Even if we slay him and survive, he may attempt to bring it down upon us if it is within his power to do so. However, in this case, I think the best scenario for everyone is for us to quickly enter the domain of the clan that we just slew and head straight for The Rotting Man's lair.

My Passive Perception is 25 (exceeds the High DC). Let me know what we see as we move into those tunnels if there is trouble that we cannot evade via Stealth.

I have few words. I quickly stand up. Last evening I took some cold water from a swiftly moving mountain stream and filled my waterskin. I hold it above my head, douse myself, and dry myself.

"He does have more in store for me...and it begins now. Gather your men near." I quickly prepare the ritual and anoint/paint their faces with sacred earth. When the camouflaging ritual is finished, I make sure my weapons are secure and drop anything I don't need. "Let's go."
 

Manbearcat

Adventurer
I would typically mention to Yamel to tell the clanless in here to leave the caverns because who knows what is going to happen. Even if we slay him and survive, he may attempt to bring it down upon us if it is within his power to do so. However, in this case, I think the best scenario for everyone is for us to quickly enter the domain of the clan that we just slew and head straight for The Rotting Man's lair.
Yamel makes a point to let you know that the only men of the cavern who haven't pledged fealty to The Rotting Man are he and his Rangers. All of the Clanless have done so and thus are poisoned by his will and plagued by the rotting doom that makes them smell of a corpse. He seems to be able to see through their eyes and command them. He advises that avoidance of them is the best course of action.

The Ritual was resolved upthread in post 128, here:

I'll roll the Group Stealth Check with + 5 from the Ritual:

That should do the trick. Again, we're looking to evade The Rotting Man's detection if its possible.

My Passive Perception is 25 (exceeds the High DC). Let me know what we see as we move into those tunnels if there is trouble that we cannot evade via Stealth.
You forgot to roll your Bear's check, but 2/4 at the High DC is sufficient to pass so your good.

You easily make your way down the damaged lane that runs to the heart of the chamber. The Fahvenaards are where you left them, but eerily, their bodies have decomposed amazingly fast. Their skeletons are crumbling to dust before your very eyes. Yamel leans in when he notices you taking in the sight. He whispers, "...The Rotting Man..."

You pass through the tunnels and evade watchful elemental forces that you can barely ascertain their form. They appear to be shapeless creatures of muck, decay, and the gathering of stagnant mineral pools. They rise from the stone, shift from one nightmarish form to another and glide across the surface as waves might on water. Without detection, you finally reach a central, cylindrical chamber that rises vertically some 100 feet into the air. The heart of the chamber has a great column, perhaps a several millennia old stalactite connected to its stalagmite progeny, around which spirals a flat, hewn walkway. On the walkway are several of those same elemental creatures. Near the top, some 90 feet above you, is a stone breezeway that connects the column to a wall and a great mouth of an opening. Yamel nods from the shadows next to you and mouths "Lair".

The walls are sheer but the handholds are not so sparse so as to make the wall unclimbable. If you want to attempt to evade combat with the elemental guardians (by climbing to the lair's opening, etc), it will be a complexity 2 Skill Challenge with each Hard Group check counting as 2 successes. If you wish to fight your way to the lair, you can get a surprise round in. Your PP reveals that there are 4 of these elemental creatures and they can easily move along the vertical walls as an ooze might.

What are you doing?
 
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Binks

Villager
The walls are sheer but the handholds are not so sparse so as to make the wall unclimbable. If you want to attempt to evade combat with the elemental guardians (by climbing to the lair's opening, etc), it will be a complexity 2 Skill Challenge with each Hard Group check counting as 2 successes. If you wish to fight your way to the lair, you can get a surprise round in. Your PP reveals that there are 4 of these elemental creatures and they can easily move along the vertical walls as an ooze might.

What are you doing?
I definitely want to get straight to the lair and evade combat with the elemental guardians.

I place my hand, palm out, behind me to let the men know to "hold" while I scrutinize the landing that the breezeway leads to. I'm looking for the area of the unworked stone wall that has the most advantageous means for climbing up to that area.

[sblock]Primary Check Dungeoneering + 9. Rolled 4. 13 fails the medium DC.[/sblock]

Well. That is a bad start. Let me know what happens.
 

Manbearcat

Adventurer
I definitely want to get straight to the lair and evade combat with the elemental guardians.

I place my hand, palm out, behind me to let the men know to "hold" while I scrutinize the landing that the breezeway leads to. I'm looking for the area of the unworked stone wall that has the most advantageous means for climbing up to that area.

[sblock]Primary Check Dungeoneering + 9. Rolled 4. 13 fails the medium DC.[/sblock]

Well. That is a bad start. Let me know what happens.
0/6 successe1/3 failures0/2 high DCs

You lose a Healing Surge.

As you scrutinize the wall for the best location to climb to the landing above, you hear a sickening sound of cracking and shifting stone overhead. Shortly thereafter, some small rocks (most no bigger than gravel), rain down upon you. The sound continues though more violently. Somewhere in the dark above, the ceiling to theis cavern is suffering some loss of structural integrity. Imminent collapse appears to be in the near future. Suddenly, a few giant pieces of stone dislodge. One smashes into the breezeway, taking part of it and the elemental guardian upon it, to the floor. The other threatens to crush you!
What are you doing? Whatever it is, going to need a Group Check at the Hard DC.
 

Binks

Villager
You lose a Healing Surge.
9/11

As you scrutinize the wall for the best location to climb to the landing above, you hear a sickening sound of cracking and shifting stone overhead. Shortly thereafter, some small rocks (most no bigger than gravel), rain down upon you. The sound continues though more violently. Somewhere in the dark above, the ceiling to theis cavern is suffering some loss of structural integrity. Imminent collapse appears to be in the near future. Suddenly, a few giant pieces of stone dislodge. One smashes into the breezeway, taking part of it and the elemental guardian upon it, to the floor. The other threatens to crush you!


What are you doing? Whatever it is, going to need a Group Check at the Hard DC.
Naturally we'll all use our basic instincts for survival to get the hell out of the way of the big smash-ey thing that threatens to crush us!

[sblock]Saerie Acrobatics + 11. Rolled 3. Crap.

I'm pretty sure all of the rest of the Acrobatics checks are 7, 7, 6. I rolled 8, 15, 15. Totals 15, 22, 21. None of those pass the high DC[/sblock]

This isn't quite how I envisioned this going...
 

Manbearcat

Adventurer
Naturally we'll all use our basic instincts for survival to get the hell out of the way of the big smash-ey thing that threatens to crush us!

<snip>

This isn't quite how I envisioned this going...
0/6 successes2/3 failures0/2 high DCs

You and you Bear lose a Surge and 1 of your 5 Ranger Minions perishes in the collapse.

As the ceiling crumbles, your group scatters. The cacophony of stone on stone is broken up only by a muffled cry. When the dust settles, all but one of you is accounted for. In an instant, Yamel is kneeling beside the broken body of one of his men. He feels for a pulse, knowing there will be none. He closes the man's dead eyes and asks the spirit of the mountain, Stoneroot, to keep his friend.

There is little time to grieve, however. Whatever sentience the elemental guardians possess has led the one who fell from the now collapsed breezeway to investigate your position. It's amorphous, pile-of-muck form shambles toward you with haste. The other guardians maintain their positions.
What are you doing?
 

Binks

Villager
What are you doing?
I suffer a flashback (from another life) and all of this becomes (hopefully) familiar, giving me insight into the appropriate course of action.

[sblock]Guidance of the Past History (free) + 11. Rolled 13, 14. 25 passes.[/sblock]

My mind reels and my human allies in the caves of this world become eladrin in the fomorian-infested Feywild caverns beneath Brokenstone Vale. We're trailing an entire raiding party and we're about to be found out by a straggling fomorian raider who is investigating a stray growl by a Blink Dog ally.

I'm the leader of the expedition, I look back and pantomime drawing my bow and point toward the figure coming around the bend in the corridor. When my troops ready arrows, I count one two, instantly pull an arrow, bring my third finger up with the draw hand, and loose.
Present day...

I silently move next to Yamel and use this insight in the present, pantomiming the same as in the vision that overtook me. I let him lead the hail of arrows as these are his men and his leadership should moralize them. When his arrow is loosed, I do the same.
[sblock]Group Ranged Attack. High AC for this level is 25. Yamel's RBA grants CA to allies.

Yamel + 13. Rolled 11. + 2 if he has CA. Hits with CA. Misses without it. It doesn't matter though because my attack and the Minion's attack both hit even without CA.

Saerie + 12. Rolled 13. 25 hits.

Minions + 13. Rolled 20. Hits.[/sblock]

That is good for 2 successes as you've outlined above.

The hail of arrows lays low the strange elemental creature. It discorporates into a puddle of vile muck on the stone floor. We each breathe a silent sigh of relief.
Before I continue, let me know if the situation with the ceiling collapse is so imminent that we need to exit the chamber immediately. If it isn't, I'm going to enact the ritual Earthen Ramparts along the wall. It should aid our climb (auto-success) and if we ultimately fail, we'll have a defensible position to rain arrows upon our foes.

Let me know.

* EDIT -

Per Manbearcat

There is no evidence that a full collapse of the cavern is imminent. Just the portion of the ceiling that already collapsed. Therefore, there is time for the 10 minutes of the Earthen Ramparts Ritual.
[sblock]Nature check is 14 + 3 so I have a second Wall 2 should I need it for combat.[/sblock]

As each of the men pay their respects to their fallen ally, I quickly set about quietly spreading riverbed clay I have in a jar along the stone floor. I appeal to the Primal Elder Spirit Stoneroot and the clay magically grows into mounds that abut the wall, making our initial ascent all the easier.
Obviously, we're going to quickly climb to the landing, exit this chamber and enter The Rotting Man's lair. My extensive martial training of my current life will physicall prepare me and the under duress climb's of my former life will mentally prepare me for the scaling of the wall. Group Athletics check at the Hard DC for the final successes or final failure.

[sblock]Saerie Athletics + 10 (Mighty Sprint Encounter Power Move + 4 and Athletics + 5, Guidance of the Past Encounter roll * 2). Rolled 7, 10. 25 passes the high DC.

Bear Athletics + 13. Rolled 10. 23 fails.

Yamel rolled 7 and Minion Rangers rolled 20. Rangers succeed. 2/4 does it.[/sblock]

Saerie, her loyal bear, Yamel, and his trusted rangers expertly navigate the magically erected walls and the cliff-face afterward. Saerie and her bear reach the landing first and help each of the men up while keeping a close eye on the unaware elemental guardians of the chamber they are preparing to leave. Each of them offer one last forlorn look toward the man who lost his life. They share a determined nod and exit the chamber, intent on avenging him and putting an end to this madness.

Saerie feels the watchful eyes of The World Serpent.
And herrrrrrre....weeeee...go!
 
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