The Fey, the Far, and the Ugly Space In Between

Your breath comes in ragged, choked gasps. You feel an ache in the labrum portion of your shoulder, surely a product of the wrenching it took to hold onto your nearly hilt-deep buried sword. Rawr's heavy paw has you by the chest, his life-rending claws have torn through your cloak.

But both of you are at rest, severely inclined on the trench's slope, a few feet from the tar-like guk of the slowly flowing necrotic river.

As you finally gather yourself and pull your blade free of the earth, two things appear; one out of both sides of your peripheral vision.

Several, 3 foot tall, vaguely humanoid creatures straddle, stand atop, or poke their heads out of the rotten remains of an old log. Standing just at the periphery of the edge of your light (Reach - 15 ft), you can see their gangly, thin-limbed forms. Pointy ears flank disproportionate, bulbous heads. Large eyes are dominated by an intense purple glow in the middle that somehow imparts malevolence and curiosity simultaneously. All of those eyes are transfixed on you.

From your other eye, a flash of movement. Rawr is positioned to be looking at you after his half-rescue. His back is to the river. From the river rises a black wave. A wave of necrotic ooze that casts a shadow in your light spell. A shadow over Rawr that he doesn't see.

In unison, the eyes give voice to their collective transfixed state. A high-pitched, wheezing, urgent chorus:


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Is it feasible to combine sword and spell and Wind Slash the necrotic wave? Burst technique should do the trick.

Per Manbearcat
It is certainly feasible and, yeah, Burst would definitely get the job done.


As you begin your art, the around you shimmers with six small portals that appear inext to your hand/arm which wields your shining, magic sword. From those six portals emerge six, small, grey hands with fairly nasty claws. Each grasps either the guard of the blade, your hand/wrist, or your forearm/elbow, desperately attempting to restrain you and wrench the enchanted weapon from your grip!

You better shake them off fast or Rawr is getting a deadly bath of necrotic goop!

I violently try to shake my arm free, bending it, straightening it, and twisting my torso for leverage!

[sblock]Defy Danger (Str)
6, 6 +0 = 12!

Wind Slash (Int)
4, 3 +3 = 10

Deal your damage and apply 1 technique.

d8 damage (1 piercing). 3 damage - 0 armor = 3 damage.

Burst: Your attack deals an additional 1d4 damage and gains the ‘forceful’ tag. 1 damage.

Bladesong (Int)
6, 2 +3 = 11

3 Bladesong for:

* Void Note - Teleport somewhere nearby within your line of sight.
* Guarded Flourish - When you have no weapon or shield in your offhand and you take damage, take + 2 armor.
* Blade Crescendo - When you deal damage to an enemy within your melee weapon's range, gain 2 piercing.[/sblock]

Some combination of adrenaline and martial training sees me through as I tear my sword arm free of the grip of the aggressive fey creatures. I use the momentum to rend the air with blades of force and call forth a spell to throw the oozy wave back into the river from whence it came!

Within Rawr's line of sight, the vile little creatures become the target of his rage. 900 lbs of terror explodes up the incline toward the rotted log and the malevolent fey!

[sblock]Move: Trample, break, and wreck stuff (Qua)
2, 4 + 2 = 8

He does it but with some cost or danger.

d8 +1 damage to all (Messy and Forceful tags). 5 +1 -1 armor = 5 damage to each of them.

d6 +5 (extra boggles) damage to Rawr. 3 +5 -1 armor = 7 damage to Rawr.[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
When the dust settles, Rawr has a few superficial wounds that don't even register with him. Whether they're from the tiny creatures' claws or from wood shrapnel (the remnants of the now utterly obliterated log) is impossible to tell.

What is easy to tell is half of the Boggles' numbers lie ruined (soon dead or straight dead) by the exchange, and the other half have scattered into the darkness of the forest like fleeting phantoms.

There is no chance that any survivors will bother you again.

Rawr stands sentinel in the gore and ruin, huffing and half growling at the darkness that the tiny creatures fled to. Paying close attention to the flowing black river, I move up to Rawr and give him a hearty pat on the side to calm him.

I nod toward the necrotic river which snakes toward Shinaelestra and out of this twisted place. "Let's go my friend." When he is settled, we turn to go. For our trek, we stay a little ways up on the slope so to be free of any life-detecting oozy overflow on its banks.

Per Manbearcat
When you follow the necrotic river and endure the oppressive, haunting, stomach-turning elements of Blackbriar Trench, roll +Con.

[sblock]10+, you follow the umbral flow to the waterfall and the elven sentinels of Shinaelestra.
7-9, you follow the umbral flow to the waterfall but something unsettling greets you.
6-, mark xp and Blackbriar Trench is more than you bargained for![/sblock]

I tear a piece of packed linen free that is meant for bandages, tourniquets or bindings. I dip it into some pine resin that serves as an adhesive and some fancy means for wound treating. I don't remember much about the latter. Saerie was explaining it as we were resupplying. Unfortunately, I was barely paying attention :)

Anyway, I tie it around each of our necks like nice-smelling kerchiefs. It will serve to stave off the rancid, rotting stench of this place. The overwhelming, pleasing natural smell of the pine resin will keep our stomachs settled and moralize us the same way the bold light of my sword does.

[sblock]Spending 1 Adventuring Gear to take +1.

Follow the necrotic river through Blackbriar Trench (Con)
1, 5 +1 (take +1 AG) = 8

You follow the umbral flow to the waterfall but something unsettling greets you.[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
I'll move your conflict forward to the umbral waterfall later. First, let me move Saerie forward and handle her plea with the Ranger Lord of Shinaelestra.
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The hustled journey to The Fading City ends with to speak. The perpetual twilight holds the overgrown forest-melded domain of these elves in a quiet embrace. Oddly, fireflies that would typically be dancing like Will-O-Wisps among the boughs of the trees do not cross the Bougainvillea wreath that makes up the boundary of the Fey Crossing which takes the city each and every evening to the mortal world.

Upon closer inspection, the magically-bulwarked Bougainvillea now serves as boundary beyond its typical purpose. No foliage lives beyond that threshold. It is as if the gorgeous natural splendor of Shinaelestra just up and died. Uniformly.

Evidence of bombardment is everywhere. Trees have been uprooted and cast to the earth. Two foot diameter trunks have been shattered by some sudden, awful event.

As to be expected, a single sentry emerges from the deep shadows to greet you, startling your companions.

"Saerie Woodwalker," says Jedah Azforam, a voice, even if muffled, you are fairly familiar with. He is adorned in the same sort of stifling cold-weather dress that you and Otthor were forced to endure while in the remote highlands of the mortal world. He removes his cowl and scarf, then pulls up the multiple layers of his left sleeve to show his identifying tatoo, a signal for you to do the same.

"I hope you brought your cold weather gear with you. The weather, and the present company, is about to take a turn for the worse..."

The Bougainvillea that wreathes The Fading City begins to subtly glow.

", in fact."

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