The Slave and Her Sovereign

Alright, running a 4e No Myth (minimal setting at the outset and it will accrete and firm up as we play), Story Now game for @darkbard and @Nephis .

Below is character information, Minor Quest, and rough setting information chosen by the players to help inform initial scene framing:

CHARACTERS

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Pa'avu, level 1
Goliath, Barbarian
Feral Might: Thunderborn Wrath
Background: Feral Raider, Wandering Duelist, Noble's Guard (Wandering Duelist Benefit)
Theme: Iron Wolf Warrior

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 18, Con 16, Dex 14, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 14, Dex 14, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10.


AC: 16 Fort: 16 Reflex: 13 Will: 12
HP: 31 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 7

TRAINED SKILLS
Intimidate +8, Endurance +7, Athletics +10, Perception +6

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +1, Arcana -1, Bluff, Diplomacy, Dungeoneering +1, Heal +1, History -1, Insight +1, Nature +3, Religion -1, Stealth +1, Streetwise, Thievery +1

FEATS
Level 1: Warrior of the Wild

POWERS
Barbarian at-will 1: Howling Strike
Barbarian at-will 1: Pressing Strike
Barbarian encounter 1: Resurgent Strike
Barbarian daily 1: Tyrant's Rage
Theme Power: Iron Wolf's Charge (Secondary Attack using Implement Scaling of +1 Attack at levels 2/7)

ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit, Hide Armor, Greatsword, Javelin (3)

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Chanvati, level 1
Human, Psion|Warlord
Discipline Focus (Hybrid): Telepathy Focus (Hybrid)
Warlord Leadership: Canny Leader (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlord: Hybrid Warlord Will
Psionic Augmentation (Hybrid): Hybrid Encounter Power
Human Power Selection: Bonus At-Will Power
Background: Tyr - Embedded Spy, Nibenay - Walker of the Exalted Path, Merchant Prince (Merchant Prince Benefit)
Theme: Noble Adept

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 12, Dex 12, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 15.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 12, Dex 12, Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 15.


AC: 14 Fort: 12 Reflex: 15 Will: 15
HP: 24 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 6

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +9, Insight +10, History +9, Diplomacy +7, Bluff +7

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +1, Dungeoneering +1, Endurance +1, Heal +1, Intimidate +2, Nature +1, Perception +3, Religion +4, Stealth +1, Streetwise +2, Thievery +1, Athletics -1

FEATS
Bardic Ritualist: Ritual Caster
Human: Bardic Ritualist
Level 1: Staff Expertise

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Mind Thrust
Hybrid at-will 1: Commander's Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Dimensional Scramble
Hybrid Encounter Power: Vengeance is Mine
Hybrid daily 1: Living Missile
Theme Power: Adept's Insight

ITEMS
Ritual Book, Adventurer's Kit, Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing), Staff Implement, Alchemical Reagents (Arcana) (30), Zills, Ceramic hand
RITUALS
Glib Limerick, Unseen Servant
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

SETTING PHRASES

• Apocalyptic trend toward entropy with a core myth: Seed of Renewal.
• Bureaucratic priesthood of librarians and Dragonborn inquisitors holding tight to access to information.
• Tightly regulated Caste System and Social Hierarchy.
• Dangerous trade routes via Oceas of Sand and Silt.
• Pressing Barbarians at the Gates.

QUESTS

Chanvati's Minor Quest:

A distant city long thought lost was recently rediscovered by explorers. Chanvati hopes to talk his way into the Imperial library, past its overzealous guardians, and retrieve an ancient scroll with historical trade information to bring to his uncle, patriarch of the family and suzerain of its mercantile empire. Or maybe use himself. We'll play to find out!

Minor Quest: retrieve the ancient Scrolls of Xanthar from the Imperial Library.

Pa'avu's Dilemma:

Pa'avu overhears one of Chanvati's cousins (they all sound the same to her) hiring a stranger to assassinate her master, Chanvati. She believes she cannot reveal this to her master without proof and would not be believed as a simple slave. So she's going to protect her master with her life while seeking proof of the conspiracy.

Minor Quest: uncover the author of the assassination plot.




SCENE 1 (The Dome of Illumination)

The Dome of Illumination has served for centuries as the imperial seat of accumulated knowledge and prophesy. The antechamber is open to the outdoors, accessed by an intricately cut archway. The central area is decorated with an elaborately tiled pool, a statue of an ancient Dragon-King in full flight looms overhead, held aloft by great chains. Priests are allowed free reign of the place so when the sculpted stone doors open to the dome itself, its no surprise when a member of the clergy with multiple clerks in tow files out. Spectral servants close the doors behind the regalia-clad Dragonborn Inquisitor.

Being familiar with the crest of Chanvati's mercantile family, the draconic holy-woman stops when she sees you. "Inform him" she sternly instructs her herald, serpentine eyes never leaving you. The young herald steps forward, clears her throat and makes significant effort not to gawk at the massive form of the Goliath slave next to the lowly merchant Chanvati; "The Dome of Illumination is inaccessible to those of neither royal blood nor divine sponsorship while an Inquisition stirs the Empire. I am afraid those of your station will have to seek council elsewhere." Two well-armed and armored members of The Inquisitors' Guard step forward next to the herald to back up her claim with force if necessary.

What do you guys do?
 
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darkbard

Hero
Chanvati flinches slightly at the herald's words, one hand absently running across his bald forehead to the base of his knotted queue. His eyes flit back and forth between the Inquisitor and her mouthpiece.

"Honored Herald, news has not reached the city of a new Inquisition. Just this morning the Guild Lords met--I come from that meeting now--and business proceeds with its usual exigency. It is with this business that I come to the Dome, and the Imperial legions rely upon the trade my humble family provides between the capital and distant lands. Surely the Inquisitor will permit a brief visit into the archives by this servant of the Empire on this essential task before news of the edict spreads and its injunctions take full effect?"

Chanvati lowers his eyes to the tiled floor but briefly extends the etched crystalline staff he carries away from his shoulder, pivoting it on its footing in a half arc to come rest again against his body. No commoner could afford such an extravagent item, and it surely serves as a reminder of his family's wealth and power.

I'm attempting a Bluff check here (I'm assuming a Skill Challenge?) to convince the Inquisitor that Merchant Princes such as himself are but extensions of the Imperial body and thus afforded rights above those of the common citizenry.

Roll 5 +7 Bluff = 12 (meets the Medium DC at level) exactly!

Also, quick update to my character sheet above: my Warlord-side At-Will power is actually Commander's Strike, not Direct the Strike.
 

Nephis

Adventurer
SCENE 1 (The Dome of Illumination)

The Dome of Illumination has served for centuries as the imperial seat of accumulated knowledge and prophesy. The antechamber is open to the outdoors, accessed by an intricately cut archway. The central area is decorated with an elaborately tiled pool, a statue of an ancient Dragon-King in full flight looms overhead, held aloft by great chains. Priests are allowed free reign of the place so when the sculpted stone doors open to the dome itself, its no surprise when a member of the clergy with multiple clerks in tow files out. Spectral servants close the doors behind the regalia-clad Dragonborn Inquisitor.

Being familiar with the crest of Chanvati's mercantile family, the draconic holy-woman stops when she sees you. "Inform him" she sternly instructs her herald, serpentine eyes never leaving you. The young herald steps forward, clears her throat and makes significant effort not to gawk at the massive form of the Goliath slave next to the lowly merchant Chanvati; "The Dome of Illumination is inaccessible to those of neither royal blood nor divine sponsorship while an Inquisition stirs the Empire. I am afraid those of your station will have to seek council elsewhere." Two well-armed and armored members of The Inquisitors' Guard step forward next to the herald to back up her claim with force if necessary.

What do you guys do?

Chanvati flinches slightly at the herald's words, one hand absently running across his bald forehead to the base of his knotted queue. His eyes flit back and forth between the Inquisitor and her mouthpiece.

"Honored Herald, news has not reached the city of a new Inquisition. Just this morning the Guild Lords met--I come from that meeting now--and business proceeds with its usual exigency. It is with this business that I come to the Dome, and the Imperial legions rely upon the trade my humble family provides between the capital and distant lands. Surely the Inquisitor will permit a brief visit into the archives by this servant of the Empire on this essential task before news of the edict spreads and its injunctions take full effect?"

Chanvati lowers his eyes to the tiled floor but briefly extends the etched crystalline staff he carries away from his shoulder, pivoting it on its footing in a half arc to come rest again against his body. No commoner could afford such an extravagant item, and it surely serves as a reminder of his family's wealth and power.
As Chanvati finishes his words, Pa'avu steps forward and slightly in front of him, to back up the legitimacy of Chanvati's request, with force if necessary. She crosses her massive arms and calmly looks down at the trio in front of her, smirking slightly as she takes in the two guards.

My intent in mirroring the guards' protective stance is to intimidate them, showing them that Chanvati is equally (if not better) protected by might.

Roll 20 + 7 Intimidate = 27 (surely a success against a Difficult DC?)
 

@darkbard Changed Direct the Strike to Commander's Strike!

Alright, so sounds like a conflict to retrieve the ancient Scrolls of Xanthar from the Imperial Library. Yes? Success = that goal met. Failure = that goal complicated and we'll see where that goes.

Complexity 2, Level 1 Skill Challenge (200 xp). 6 Primary Skill Successes (5 x Medium DC of 12 and 1 x Hard DC of 19) before 3 Failures. If a Primary Skill to overcome an obstacle is vs AC or NAD, that will be 15 and 13 DC respectively. 2 x Secondary Skill for +2 Bonus at Low DC of 8.

2 Success (both Medium DC obstacles)/0 Failures




Her scars and her menace do the heavy lifting as the Inquisitor's Guard wilts under Pa'avu's willingness to provoke a dust up outnumbered against the primary authority of the city. When you're used to the slave caste being terminally meek in groups, its a shock when a singular one pushes back.

The Herald feels the abrupt mood change and sheepishly looks at the Dragonborn Inquisitor after the plea and stand-off. The Inquisitor, eyes still locked on Chanvati, simply says "a brief visit" stressing the "brief." The Herald echoes that and they are on their way.

Spectral Servants open the doors to The Dome of Illumination, revealing a Fantasia-like affair as books are drawn from towering shelves by telekinesis. They flit through the air to tables where clergy perform their research with staff.

In the middle of the room is a burning brazier of huge proportions. The Oracle, a Fire Genasi chained to the coals, shrouded by inferno, is in consult with members of the military elite. A ritual of blood and smoke fills the central area as a scrivener writes down The Oracles offerings. The screams of the sacrificed do not stir the clergy from their research.

The Spectral Servants set to their librarian tasks, drawing books from impossible to reach shelving and emerging with ancient tomes from the stone stairwell to the undervault. Their rote programming is to assist upon request, but they all seem to be presently preoccupied by tasks of the clergy and military here.

Your presence has not gone unnoticed. A singular mezzanine overlooks the chamber. The Mind is a humanoid entity composed of gleaming, misshapen, crystalline structure. It oversees this great repository of knowledge and is rumored to somehow be connected to every book, every stone, and certainly every Spectral Servant of the place. Though you can detect no eyes, you can feel its "gaze", even from this distance.





Alright @darkbard and @Nephis , you're through your first obstacle and you're at 2/6 Successes and 0/3 Failures. You've got 2 x Secondary Skill to buff a Primary Skill check. You need to retrieve those scrolls! You've got multiple obstacles here, but the biggest one present is The Mind. Resolving its watchful "gaze" will be your hard DC of 19.
 
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darkbard

Hero
Chanvati feels a queer fluttering in his stomach--fear? excitement? arcane feedback?--at the sensory overload emanating from the central brazier. He has visited the Dome of Illumination many times before but never when the Oracle was amidst Dreamspeaking!

Neverthess, now is no time for spectacle. The Scrolls of Xanthar must lie below in the undervaults, among the dusty trade annals of centuries past. Best to slip down there now, when the chamber is ablaze with activity--literally and figuratively.

To evade the watchful gaze of The Mind, Chanvati peers intently about the room, noting the many activities that distract its watchfulness from focusing singly upon him and his brute companion. If he can gauge this correctly, he can anticipate a moment of respite when The Mind focuses elsewhere so he and his slave can descend to the undervaults unmolested.

Chanvati exhales and clears his thoughts, uncentering himself from the white room of his mind. With sudden force, he reasserts his will, fusing his awareness with psionic prowess.

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Secondary Check Perception vs. Easy DC 8 to "read the room" and the rhythm of its activity for buff to

Primary Check Insight vs. Hard DC 19 to anticipate The Mind's gaze being momentarily distracted.

Adept's Insight Encounter Power augmented with 1 Power Point to add 1d4+1 to Primary Check.

Perception Roll 18 +3 = 21 vs Easy DC 8. Success. +2 forward.

Adept's Insight 1d4+1, Roll 1 +1 = +2 forward.

Insight Roll 5 +10 Insight +2 bonus (Perception) +2 bonus (Adept's Insight) = 19 vs Hard DC 19. Just passes!

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Supercharged with psionic energy, Chanvati's ability to process the myriad events and functions of his surroundings accelerates, one unconscious detail after another moving from the fringe of his unconscious to clear focus. He notes how the crystalline "head" of The Mind pivots briefly as each new cry from the tortured rings out and times his signal accordingly.

"Move, sahtree*, now, to the undervault through those stairs," he whispers and gestures to their left. The pair moves quickly to evade the return of The Mind's attention their way.

*An Elvish word for woman generically or bearer-of-burdens.
 
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3 Successes (Hard DC Exhausted)/0 Failures/1 out of 2 Secondary Skills used




Torches on stanchions lick the air and light the way as you spiral down. The dimly lit chamber before you is a calamity of stacks of massive, dusty tomes and scrolls in tubes (and not), haphazardly strewn about the Great Room sized basement that is the Undervault. A few sprawling lanterns on tables push back against the darkness here and there. Finding the Scrolls will be no easy task.

A single robe-clad figure sits with its back to you, slumped at a table, barely moving...either pouring over the great book in front of them or long-dead and frozen in rigor mortis. A fireplace and hearth with an iron-woven screenguard is nearby, fire recently quenched as smoking embers empty their exhaust into the chimney above them. A cat is curled up there. Do its eyes squint, barely opening, to regard you when you enter the chamber? Its difficult to tell at a mere glance.





Alright, Hard DC down, so 3 x Medium DCs to resolve the conflict! 1 Secondary Skill remaining!
 
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Nephis

Adventurer
"Wait, gosb'tar*," Pa'avu murmurs, as she stops Chavanti's progress forward with her outstretched hand and surveys the room. She takes careful note of the cat's apparent calm (no raised fur, no quiet growl) and of the almost still figure at the table (was that movement an intake of breath or a trick of dust motes on the clothing, dancing in the paltry light), before she slowly gazes about the room, searching for possible danger. This would a perfect place for an ambush, she thinks.

* A respectful Giant word for "master" (there are other words, less polite!)





Primary Check Perception vs. Medium DC 12 to read the room for any possible danger against Chanvati.

Perception Roll 18 + 6 + 2 (w/in 10 sq of Chanvati = 26 vs Medium DC 12. Success.


your move, @Manbearcat !!
 
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4 Successes (Hard DC Exhausted)/0 Failures/1 out of 2 Secondary Skills used




Pa'avu's suspicions prove well-founded. The cat, the corpse, and various other items (candelabras, stacks of would-be books, etc) have their illusory magics demystified by her keen inspection. Assassins!

"If your father will not sell, then he will lose what is most precious to him one-by-one...starting with you..." A shadowy figure (1) holding a poisoned blade lurks deeper in the room. All around the room comes alive with phantasmal figures (A's) ready to fling liquid shadow at you!





UNDERVAULT.JPG


* The 2 x 2 with the fire (next to one of the A's) is the floor to ceiling fireplace. The back 2 squares are Blocking Terrain. The front 2 squares are Hindering Terrain. Entering a square of the Hindering Terrain is either 3 Ongoing Fire Damage or Dazed UtEoYNT (as you put out the fire); Player's call.

* The 2 x 1 nearby with the torch is floor to ceiling wall and Blocking Terrain.

* Furniture (tables, chairs, sofa) are Challenging Terrain. They can be navigated by a DC 8 Athletics or Acrobatics check. Failure means they function as Difficult Terrain.

* The haphazard stacks of books and scrolls are Difficult Terrain and any creature that starts its turn in a square of books is Slowed (save ends).

* Being 2 squares away from any light source is Partial Concealment due to the poor lighting.

* The A's are all Minions. AC 15, Fortitude 12, Reflex 14, Will 12

* 1 is a Standard (the Assassin who spoke). AC 15, Fortitude 11, Reflex 15, Will 13

* Grid coordinates; ignoring the bottom and right walls (and partial upper left wall) so that we have an A - Q x-axis and 1 - 12 y-axis so that Chanvati is in square K2 and Pa'avu in L2.

* Light sources are as follows: Lantern on desk in E8. Torch on stanchion in H8. Fireplace L7/L8. Torch on stanchion in L5. Torch on stanchion in M1. Lantern on desk in O5. Dome of Illumination light from grated porthole recessed well into the ceiling spilling down to Q10/Q11. If you're more than 2 squares away from any light source, you're in Partial Concealment. If you have something that lets you enter stealth in Partial Concealment, you can attempt. An attacker takes a -2 penalty to melee and ranged attack rolls against a target in Partial Concealment.

* All the bookcases/shelve looking items on the map are just stacks/piles of books and scrolls. The Undervault needs new management!

* This is a nested combat. @Nephis , take +2 Circumstance Bonus to your Initiative due to your Success. If you defeat your foes by the end of the 4th round, that is 1 Success for the Skill Challenge, and you'll have plenty of time to pick your way around the Undervault and locate the Scrolls of Xanthar (and either make a copy or attempt to pilfer the originals or whatever). If you have not defeated your foes by then, those in the Dome of Illumination above hear the fracas and come to intercede. You'll earn 1 Failure in the Skill Challenge and have to answer for this defiling of this sacred place (your assassins are your problem!). We'll handle the text turns via Discord/Text and I'll update this post (so we don't make a mess and we can deal with off-turn actions/clarifications).

INITIATIVE

Pa'avu = 18 (with Tiebreaker)
1 = 18
A's = 12
Chanvati = 5

ROUND 1

Nephis turn with Pa'avu:

As Pa'avu takes in a deep, centering breath and pulls forth Velmech'ki (her greatsword) from her backsheath, the goliath can feel her already tough skin thicken and harden. With a ululating cry, Pa'avu rushes forward at the speaker, deftly avoiding the shadowy figure lurking near the fireplace (the supposed feline, perhaps?). Picking up speed while nearing her quarry, she allows the weight of her movement continue into the swing of her arms, lending weight to her blow. (edited)

As the sharp edge of Velmech'ti cuts into the speaker's flesh, Pa'avu lets loose a howl of triumph as she twists the blade slightly to further disable her foe. At the unnerving wolfish sound emitting forth from the goliath, the lurking shadow hisses like the cat it had appeared to be and jumps backward into the fireplace, exploding into motes of ember. Its wounded leader remains sadly unafraid of Pa'avu's howl, although the percussiveness of the earlier ululation seems to tear a bit at its flesh. (edited)

1. Stone's Endurance [encounter, minor action, Resist 5 all UEoMNT]; 2. Howling Strike (as charge) against the One, moving to J8 w/out triggering OA from assassin in K8 [Roll 15 + 8 = 23, hit; Damage 7(d10) + 5(d6) + 4 = 16]; 3. Iron Wolf Charge [encounter, no action, trigger: hit w/charge attack, Effect: 1d6 extra damage (Roll 6 = 22 total damage); secondary attack vs Will: roll vs the One: 2 + 4 = fail; roll vs A(K8): 18 + 4 = 22: push into the fire!!); if the One is bloodied by my attack, then Thunderborn Wrath [free action, trigger: attack bloodies an enemy, CON mod damage (+3), bringing total damage to 25!!!]




My turn with The Bad Guys:

Under the onslaught of the barbarian's savagery, the lead assassin falls to the floor...rather dead.

His shadowy minions launch phantasmal darts and wade into melee with daggers, relying upon the cold dark and ample cover to keep them hidden. One unfortunate soul ends up in the fire and scurries out of it to a nearby table, desperately trying to put out its newly aflame cloak. Meanwhile, Chanvati finds himself fending off a pair of dagger-wielding assassins in full-throated melee with his staff.


#1 - Slain

MINIONS

K8 Minion
: fails Saving Throw against Iron Wolf Charge. Dazed UtEoYNT as he puts out the fire (1 action, gives up CA). Moves to M11 (only action). Has Cover vs Ranged Attacks (-2 Hit) from Chanvati due to the pile of books/scrolls. Possible Cover from AoE (pending origin square).

I11 Minion: Shadowbolt Ranged (10) Attack +4 vs Pa'avu (I8) Reflex; (Roll) 16+4 = 20. Hit: 3 cold damage (fully Resisted to 0 due to Stone's Endurance) and the assassin shifts one square. If the assassin has partial cover or concealment, it can make a Stealth check to become hidden. Assassin Stealth +8 + (Roll) 7 = 15. Move: Assassin moves up to 6 squares away while Hidden.

O4 & Q2 Minions: Move: O4 moves to L3 and Q2 moves to L1. L3 Minion Shadowclaw Melee Attack +6 vs Chanvati (K2) AC; (Roll) 7+6 = 13. Miss. L1 Minion Shadowclaw Melee Attack +6 vs Chanvati (K2) AC; (Roll) 8+6 = 14. Hit: 4 damage.

P8 Minion: Move: P8 moves to O10. Shadowbolt Ranged (10) Attack +4 vs Pa'avu (I8) Reflex; (Roll) 13+4 = 17. Hit: 3 cold damage (fully Resisted to 0 due to Stone's Endurance) and the assassin shifts one square. If the assassin has partial cover or concealment, it can make a Stealth check to become hidden. Assassin Stealth +8 + (Roll) 3 = 11. Move: Assassin moves up to 6 squares away while Hidden.

P7 Minion: Move: P7 moves to P10. Shadowbolt Ranged (10) Attack +4 vs Pa'avu (I8) Reflex; (Roll) 2+4 = 6. Miss.




darkbard's turn with Chanvati:

Chanvati observes calmly as Pa'avu charges their unexpected foe. "What is this drivel about Father selling?" he thinks. Just as his fearsome slave plunges her sword through his foe's middle and crumples him where he stands.

As the remaining shadowy figures flit into action, Chanvati moves from thought to action, backing against a teetering stack of books and scrolls to pull a sunrod from his pack. Holding it lighted and aloft in one hand, he raises his crystal staff defensively and draws upon his psionic reserves to scramble spacetime before him.

The assassin's cringe from the bright light of the Sunrod...but its cruelty reveals their hidden forms nonetheless.

Space jumbles and fragments, finally folding in on itself, and one of the shadowy assailants is victim to its uncanny expression, imploding in a cascade of origami hinges. Yet another of Chanvati's proximate foes evades this effect.


1. Shift from K2 to J3 (Move). 2. Retrieve stowed item (Minor) --> shed bright light radius 20 sq. 3. Dimensional Scramble (Standard) centered in M2. Attack vs Fort against A in L3: 4 +5 = 9 vs 12 Miss. Attack vs Fort against A in L1: 19 +5 = 24 vs 12 Hit. Kill.




ROUND 2

UNDERVAULT RD 2.png


Nephis turn with Pa'avu:

As the room is suddenly illuminated with a stronger light, Pa'avu is already formulating her next move. She allows the pile of books and scrolls - behind which are skulking those cowardly shadows - to draw her attention as a flag to a bull and rushes forward. Allowing the full weight of her body to lend strength to her swing, she uses Velmech'ti to shove the pile hard, allowing it to forcefully topple onto two of these wouldbe assassins.

1. Move to K9
2. Terrain Stunt w/ Stacks of Books; Blast 2 on M10/11 and N10/11 and the Minions in those squares. Athletics vs Medium DC; Roll: 6 + 10 = 16 (success). Strength vs. Fortitude on M11 and N10: 17 + 4 = 21 on M11 and 2 +4 = 6 on N10.
3. M11 dead and Difficult Terrain in those 4 squares.




My turn with The Bad Guys:

After Chanvati's Sunrod fully illuminates the room and the barbarian's fury ravages the pile of books into an avalanche, the room explodes with action. Multiple assassins work to blast the Sunrod with darts of freezing shadow, one eventually finding the mark. The sunrod freezles, crackles, bursts and the light cascading through all corners of the room is no more.

Chanvati finds himself fending off the other dagger-wielding assassins in the gloom while one assassin, shrouded in darkness, fires a precision volley of frozen darkness at Pa'avu, ice spreading across her body.


MINION'S TURN

L3 Minion
: Move: L3 moves to K3. K3 Minion Shadowclaw Melee Attack +6 vs Chanvati (K2) AC; (Roll) 16+6 = 22. Hit: 4 damage.

P10 Minion: Move: P10 moves to 08 (had LoS to J3. Shadowbolt Ranged (10) Attack +4 vs Chanvati's Sunrod (J3) Reflex which has Cover (-2 Hit) from Chanvati; (Roll) 11+4-2(Cover) = 13. Miss.

N10 Minion: Move: N10 moves to P9 (had LoS to J3. Shadowbolt Ranged (10) Attack +4 vs Chanvati's Sunrod (J3) Reflex which has Cover (-2 Hit) from Chanvati; (Roll) 15+4-2(Cover) = 17. Hit. Sunrod Vulnerable 5 vs Cold. 5 HP. 8 Cold damage (= Sunrod destroyed/doused). If the assassin has partial cover or concealment, it can make a Stealth check to become hidden. Assassin Stealth +8 + (Roll) 14 = 22

F11 Minion: Move: (Encounter) Shadowflow = F11 Move 2 to D11 and Stealth if Partial Cover/Concealment. Assassin Stealth +8 + (Roll) 20 = 28. (If CA) Freezing Bolt Ranged (10) Attack +6 vs Pa'avu Fort; (Roll) 10+6 = 16. 4 Cold damage and Slowed UtEoYNT.




Chanvati flinches as the shadowy minion steps up and rakes its claws past his guard, leaving a lingering icy pain of coldness in his chest. From across the chamber, others fling bolts of shadow his way, one knocking the sunrod from his hand and extinguishing its light. The room is plunged back into shadow. Still brandishing his staff, Chanvati touches two fingers of his free hand to his temple, completing the circuit of psionic energy that flows through mind to appendage again and again. He releases this energy in a psychic assault against this shadowy figure, frying its neuronal network in overload. It slumps to the ground. With great celerity, Chanvati advances further into the chamber, between the great hearth and the column near it into the furnished space cordoned off beyond. Quickly, he retrieves another sunrod from his pack, illuminating the chamber in bright light once again. The shadowy minions cringe at this new assault. He launches another attack against the two shadowy figures, causing the very fabric of reality to distort in rippling waves from the space between them. Both of the minions succumb to the jumbling of space into and out of their being, as they momentarily exist two places at once and then not at all.

Standard: Mind Thrust vs K3. Roll 13 +5 = 18 vs 12 Will. Hit and destroyed.

Move: J3 to N6 (within 2 of O8).

Minor: Retrieve stowed item (sunrod).

Action Point: Standard: Dimensional Scramble centered in O8. Vs P9 Roll 8 +5 = 13 vs 12 Fortitude. Hit. Kill. Vs O8 Roll 10 +5 vs 12 Fortitude. Hit. Kill.

16/24 HPs, 7/7 Surges, 0 APs.




ROUND 3

Pa'avu barely takes in the swirling motes of chaos destroying the shadows near her, only taking note of the destruction itself. Later there will be time for puzzling over it. Slowly turning around, she sets her sights on the sole remaining assassin. Keeping her eyes trained on it, she holds Velmech'ti in her right hand as she removes one of her javelins with her stronger, more dominant throwing arm, the one on which her once proud father had carved an arrow tattoo to quicken the flight of any weapon thrown by it, the one ... Pa'avu shakes her head slightly to clear her thoughts, takes two weary steps forward, and lets loose the javelin. It flies forth directly into the shadow's face, and suddenly there is nothing but dust. With that, the weariness recedes.

Minor: Retrieve stowed item (javelin).

Move: 2 squares: K9 to K11.

Standard: RBA (javelin): Roll 18 + 6 = 24. That hits, even if it has partial concealment. Killed.

27/31 HPs, 10/10 Surges, 1 APs.
 
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5 Successes (Hard DC Exhausted)/0 Failures/1 out of 2 Secondary Skills used

The quiet of the room, momentarily interrupted by the burst of violence-in-action, returns to its quiescent state. The Scrolls of Xanthar, and the secrets of historical trade information they bear, are found among the various research materials now that you have the room to yourself.

@darkbard , you find something on the lead assassin indicting your cousin. Did they hire the assassins in the capacity of the government; a military elite or a royal or a priest made a promise to your cousin if he did the dirty work for them? Is this some kind of imminent domain situation where they tried to get your offer to sell the family property, but your father refused (because there is something precious under your land...)? Or is your cousin acting on behalf of his father...they're a competing merchant family? Something else?

XP

* That is your Minor Quest completed @Nephis , so you guys split the 100 xp; each of you get 50 xp. Total xp for the Encounter was 250, so you guys each get 125 xp. You need to write a new Minor Quest.

LOOT

* You guys get 2d6 * 10 Gold = 60 Gold for the Encounter.

* Nephis picks a level 2 Hide Armor +1. It'll be her Armor Slot but it'll basically just be a power/property attached to your current Armor (so native to your PC). Due to her barbarian fury enacted in the conflict, she selected:

Screaming Armor: Level 2+ Uncommon
This impressive armor is covered in ornate patterns of screaming faces, enhancing your ability to share your foe's resolve.

Property: Gain an item bonus to intimidate checks equal to the enhancement bonus of this armor.

Power (Fear) ◇ Encounter (Minor Action) An enemy within 5 squares of you [takes] -2 to attack rolls until the end of your next turn.




Scrolls of Xanthar available to you, what is your next plan to get out of here with the information? Are you going to attempt the time to make a copy? Pilfer them? You're in the Undervault and the time alotted to you in The Dome of Illumination was brief. Researchers will come down here, Spectral Servants will be alerted, or The Mind will scan the place for sure.

Go ahead and make your move. It'll be against the Medium DC. You still have 1 Secondary Skill left.
 

darkbard

Hero
(Since Nephis's player is in the room with me right now, we've discussed the following and I am incorporating her input to my post below.)

Before retrieving the Scrolls of Xanthar from their dusty shelf, Chanvati orders Pa'avu to search the body of their lead assailant. The goliath uncovers a coin purse of payment and incriminating evidence linking his cousin Amna to this assassin, member of a secret sect within the priesthood of the Empire. The Empire feels its finances stretched thin as a result of this current crisis and considers my family an economic threat to its hegemony. My uncle has been considering capitulating to the Empire's demands, urged on by his eldest child, Amna, but my father has been urging his brother to hold steady, seeing great opportunity for our family. This assassination attempt is a display of power to cow my father by putting his heir in mortal peril.

When Chanvati relates the outline of this to Pa'avu and thanks her for risking her life for his safety, she responds, "Gosb'tar, I overheard your cousin arranging something like this but could not tell you since I had no proof. Would you have believed me if I spoke out against your family? But I have been ever wakeful to protect you."

Chanvati considers this but does not reply. Something to mull over, this.

The two ascend the spiral staircase with the Scrolls tucked beneath a coil of rope and packets of lentil-cakes in Chanvati's pack.

There is a riot of activity in the central chamber now, as clearly something The Oracle revealed has the scribes and military officers in an uproar of shouting voices. Yet the ever-watchful Mind still looms above in the mezzanine.

"Lend me your vitality, Pa'avu, to fuel my Discipline." Chanvati reaches out and grabs the goliath's wrist, drawing ki from her to augment the psionic fog with which he shrouds them, masking their exit from psionic and mundane notice alike as they slip past the Spectral Servants and out into the plaza, prize in hand!




Pa'avu makes an Endurance Secondary Skill check Roll 3 +7 = 10 vs Easy DC 8. Success.

Chanvati makes an Arcana Primary Skill check Roll 10 +9 +2 =21 vs Medium DC 12. Success!
 

XP

* That is your Minor Quest completed @darkbard , so you guys split the 100 xp; each of you get 50 xp. Total xp for the Skill Challenge was 200, so you guys each get 100 xp. You need to write a new Minor Quest.

LOOT

* You guys get 2d6 * 10 Gold = 70 Gold for the Encounter (see below how you arrive at this).

* Amidst the Scrolls of Xanthar, you find a Hold Portal Ritual Scroll, no doubt useful for ancient merchants whose chariots were besieged by bandits on the secret routes.




"Ah, but is it not the young scion Chanvati!? Just who I was looking for! Hurry, give him our patronage so that we might parley!"

In the plaza, amidst the throng of humanoid...anity...a Tiefling and her retinue of five Minotaurs descends upon you like ravenous vultures on a meal. Eyes full silver orbs, hair the color of blood and intricately braided, gregarious gown and stave signifying the station of barrister, she forces a large purse of gold into the hand of a Minotaur and shoves it toward you. "I am Bita-Bousseh of the barrister's guild. These are my stalwarts. They are good for...research...among other things..."

The Minotaur moves swiftly to you and either places the coin purse in your hands (the coin above!) or drops it at your feet if its not accepted or if Pa'avu intercedes. The lumbering beast then turns to walk back.

The Tiefling says "shall we proceed to your estate? My carriage caravan is parked nearby. We have much to talk about as well as with your father. I've just been hired on by your uncle! That basically makes us family!"
 
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darkbard

Hero
Milestone Achieved: gain 1 Action Point

Short Rest: All Encounter-based resources refresh. Use Inspiring Word to regain 6 +4 HP = 24/24 HP, 6/7 Surges.




In the plaza, Chanvati barely has time to catch his breath after the harrowing encounter in the Undervault of the Dome when the Tiefling and her Minotaur retinue accost him. Pa’avu intervenes between her master and the Minotaur, placing a palm against the beast-man’s breast. Half a head taller, she glowers and grunts, “Close enough. Gosb’tar, do you wish me to take this woman’s coin?”

Chanvati’s face is an inscrutable mask. His mind calculates the web of relationships in this deadly game in which he has found himself a part. Amna has betrayed him. Of that he has no doubt. But he needs to understand where the game stands with his uncle. Has Amna betrayed him too, or does Tarquin stand to benefit from Chanvati’s death? What can he learn from this flamboyant barrister? Can he make her serve his needs instead? Is she assassin or ally? Regardless, he has no intention of being alone with the woman outside of the public eye until he knows more.

“Bita-Bousseh, is it? I would be pleased to make your acquaintance, but I fear matters at my father’s estate are a bit … unsettled … right now. Perhaps instead we can get to know each other better over hot tea and confections. I know of an excellent teahouse—The Waking Dragon—that is but a few minutes’ walk from here. No need for your carriage. Shall we?”

Chanvati slips the coin purse into the folds of his robes.





Diplomacy Primary Skill check Roll 6 +7 = 13, Success vs Medium DC 12.

Minor Quest: Recruit Bita-Bousseh the barrister as my asset.
 

Nephis

Adventurer
Milestone Achieved: gain 1 Action Point

Short Rest: All Encounter-based resources refresh, HP 27/31, 10/10 Surges

New Stats: AC 17, Intimidate +9, Action Points 2




As the two aristocrats parlay, Pa’avu gazes for a moment at each face of the five, smaller guards: clearly they are not as effective as she, for the tiefling needed five of them! Seemingly returning her direct attention to Chanvati (her actual attention is always on dangers lurking around her master), the goliath allows a very faint sneer to grow on her lips.




New Minor Quest: assert her dominance over Minotaurs without alienating them.
 

Alright, lets handle this as a 2 staged Complexity 3 Social Conflict that is effectively 2 Social Conflicts wrapped in one. 4 Successes and she tips her hand. 8 Successes and you form an alliance with Bita-Bousseh the barrister on your terms. If you get 3 failures at any point, you fail to reach whatever goal hasn't been reached and things escalate.

Complexity 3, Level 1 Skill Challenge (300 xp). 8 Primary Skill Successes (6 x Medium DC of 12 and 2 x Hard DC of 19) before 3 Failures. If a Primary Skill to overcome an obstacle is vs AC or NAD, that will be 15 and 13 DC respectively. 3 x Secondary Skill for +2 Bonus at Low DC of 8. 2 Advantages (can be used to either (a) refresh a Trained Skill bonus that has exhausted or (b) turn a Medium DC into an Easy DC before the roll).




1 Success (2 Hard DC Available)/0 Failures/3 Secondary Skills Available/2 Advantages Available)




"Well...truth be told...the owner of The Waking Dragon doesn't love me. Their cousin was the one who accidentally (she whispers <on purpose> after that) slew Senator Hurang during the Popular Assembly at Moonfall Knoll a few years ago...if you recall? Well...I represented them...got them acquitted miraculously! Unfortunately, they failed to fulfill the steep debt they took on for my services...and...well, they were arrested and had both of their hands taken! My guess is he won't be serving us tea today!" She laughs and beats feet to The Waking Dragon, minotaurs in her wake trying to catch up.

The moment you set foot on the teahouse premises, the temperature escalates. An iron-stumped x 2 figure who works as a greeter is gesticulating wildly in the air of the mudroom, clearly intent on making as big of a scene as possible. The minotaurs part smirk at the spectacle and part look on dumbfounded as they can't foresee a real threat to the situation.

However, the epithet-shouting cousin throws his head down and looks to make a reckless shoulder charge at the large burning brazier that provides warmth and light to the mudroom and waiting area. If he knocks it over, there will be several injuries in the mudroom (Bita-Bousseh among them) and authorities will surely be called (authorities you may not like!)!


Medium DC to deal with this obstacle.
 

Nephis

Adventurer
Seeing the danger to Chanvati, Pa'avu immediately steps calmly forward directly into the path of the enraged greeter. Crossing her arms and looking gravely down from her great height, she says to him sternly, "Calm down!"



Primary Check Intimidate vs. Medium DC 12 (or possibly Hard DC 19?) to stop greeter in his tracks by calming him down:

Roll 16 + 9 = 25, success against either DC.
 

2 Success (2 Hard DC Available)/0 Failures/3 Secondary Skills Available/2 Advantages Available)




After Pa'avu's intervention to corral him from doing something everyone would regret, the cousin of the owner of The Waking Dragon is quickly descended upon by members of the tea house. There is a short period of <rabble rabble rabble> as the staff and tea-swilling regulars get the gossip bug out of the collective system.

A staff member seats you after looking at your motley crew of sizable folk. "We have a section for those afflicted...I mean gifted...with...your brand of verticality. Right this way!"

After being seated in an area with sufficient headroom (a small section inside fully open to the sky), the Tiefling barrister doesn't waste much time getting to nitty gritty. With a fairly steep change in disposition, she whispers:

"Look, the priests have been commissioned to wage war on any member of the merchant, artisan, peasant, or slave class that will not provide material support to the border war effort to the north, the trade route expeditions to the east, or the spiritual journeys to discover why creatures terrible to behold are flooding our wilderlands. They are about to pour enough money at tribunals to empty your father's coffers and appropriate your land. That is where I come in. Simply sign this contract and I will represent you to fend off this siege of legal maneuvering for as long as I am able. Long enough for your family to buy new land elsewhere and get out of Imperial crosshairs."

She looks around, nods, a big minotaur paw pulls out a long contract scroll with all the fine print in the universe and a place to sign at the bottom. Its meaty hand fumbles a pen in your general direction as well.





Hard DC here. She means business and isn't interested in dilly dally.
 
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darkbard

Hero
Just as Bita-Bousseh's stalwart unravels the scroll on the low table, servers arrive with steaming iron pots of tea and platters of honey-and-sesame seed confections.

"Ah, delicious!" Chanvati exclaims and claps his hands softly three times in appreciation. "Extend my compliments to Peta-Rivan, slave."

Delicate porcelain bowls are quickly filled and as the platters are passed back and forth, Chanvati launches into a brief monologue.

"As you know, Honored Barrister, ours is the greatest empire of any age, and a primary factor in our excellence is the social cohesion that binds together the strata of our society. Each knows their place, and yet within rank there is tremendous freedom to complement its responsibilities."

He pauses to sip fom his bowl and look directly into the Tiefling's eyes.

"Do you know that I practiced for a time at the Monastery of the Walkers of the Exalted Path? Yes, it's true! Despite my young age and family responsibilities, my father thought it was important that I be educated in broad fashion. And so after my years at Xerxes's School for Gifted Psicrafters, I sojourned among the Walkers of the Exalted Path in their mountain redoubt. The monks there have a wonderful, if occasionally sadistic, facility with practical lessons. Humility to one's betters. Strict oversight of one's inferiors. And above all, the merit of allowing natural talent and diligent development of ability to rise or fall through the castes as is befitting.

Anyway, that is but a preamble to my point. At Xerxes's, I studied many disciplines beyond psicraft, the history and law of our great empire among them. I seem to recall that in the Fourth Dynasty the Emperor Zalthomet was deposed for a cruel and merciless levy during a time of famine and encroachment by the Yuan-ti upon what were then border provinces to the north. Zalthomet, too, used the priesthoods to enforce his will, but he overstepped his bounds, for even an Emperor is beholden by responsibility to the governed, and the Priests of Omthala, praise be the Lady of the Light, stood beside the alliance of merchants and commoners to restore the rightful order.

As a barrister, surely you would concede that therein lies legal precedent to stand against this new levy. No one would wish for the current emperor to risk overstepping her sovereign responsibilities. My family has many friends who can help persuade the Emperor that her zealousness, while admirable, might be somewhat moderated to the Empire's benefit."





Secondary Skill check Religion Roll 8 +4 = 12 vs Easy DC 8. Success = +2 buff to

Primary Skill check History Roll 16 +9 +2 = 27 vs Hard DC 19. Success.

One Secondary Skill used.

Chanvati is attempting to convince Bita-Bousseh that the current imperial assault is not as sure-to-succeed or as cut-and-dried as she might think, that capitulating to the Emperor's demands is not the only option.
 
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3 Successes (1 Hard DC Available)/0 Failures/2 Secondary Skills Available/2 Advantages Available)

One more Success and she tips her hand.




The barrister sits there blank-faced for several moments. A smile then slowly widens across her entire face. She raises her porcelain bowl to Chanvati in a toast.

"I'm impressed. By all of it. The whole thing. And I'm not easily impressed."

She takes a drink. Her look goes mirth to stoic in an instant.

"Let me ask you. (1) Do you think the Empress is possessed or her wits befouled in some other way? Or, worse still, do you think she's a fool?And...if so...possession or madness or fool-headed...what can we do? What means do you have to undo this? I look at the two of you...look. I see an incredible mind and will. I see a...well, I see a giant who no doubt has some measure of prowess of arms to go with her size. But truly...that is not enough. I need much more convincing if I'm to believe that the two of you are enough to contend with the threat that opposes you."

She pulls out a small stoppered vial, pulls it to eye level, and marvels.

"You see this? This tiny spider, The Stonefang, has enough petrifying venom to turn a man to stone in a few minutes. You can't even contend with this little thing, yet you wish to take on...or shake up...the might of our Empire?"

She places the stoppered vial with The Stonefang on the table.

"(2) Make...me...believe you."





Deal with either (1) or (2). Regardless, Hard DC to deal with this obstacle.
 

Nephis

Adventurer
Pa’avu stares at the Stonefang spider in the vial as a long dormant memory is unearthed… a memory from long before her clan sold her to Chanvati’s father. These spiders are used in rituals teaching the young goliaths to fight calmly through great pain and to channel more fully their inherited endurance of stone. Children as young as five years old are forced to stand upright, as spiders – one by one – are placed into their cupped hands. Inevitably they will succumb to the venom eventually and fall into a deep, fevered sleep, sometimes for days, but Pa’avu can still recall her pride that, on the day of her trial, she held as many as seven spiders before succumbing herself. Not only that, she only slept for nine hours, not even a day. She wonders if she is still able to fully access the l’pahb’gin (every goliath’s inner connection to their common blood heritage), and she reaches for the vial to find out.

The spider’s venom floods her lymphatic system. Foggy headed, Pa’avu has just barely enough presence of mind to place the little spider gently back into its vial. She also has a vague sense of Chanvati grasping her jaw, turning her to face him, and staring deeply into her clouded eyes. Can he see her memories? Presently her focus telescopes to a memory: elders proclaiming that she showed great promise and was destined for excellence … promise that apparently ended a few short years later when she was gravely wounded in a caravan accident, leaving her too “damaged” and so she was sold away.

As Pa’avu breathes deeply in and out to focus her strength of endurance, she rasps out, “you see an obstacle: I see a challenge already overcome.”





Nature as secondary skill (vs Easy DC 8): Roll 17 + 3 = 20 = +2 to identify the spider

Adept’s insight: 1d4 + 1 = 1 + 2 = +3, Chanvati psionically interceding to augment Pa'avu's endurance

Endurance (+7) vs Hard DC 19: Roll 5 + 2 + 3 + 7 = 17, fail (barely!!)

I assume there will be some sort of surge loss, etc. I would like to invoke Stone’s Endurance to mitigate these effects and prove visible evidence of Pa’avu’s great fortitude.

I am attempting to (2) Make Her Believe … our power is greater than she imagines.
 

3 Successes (1 Hard DC Available)/1 Failures/1 Secondary Skills Available/2 Advantages Available)

One more Success and she tips her hand.

@Nephis , Pa'avu loses 1 Healing Surge (but not Hit Points). Little Reverse Spider Man Trope incoming! Dangerous Encounter; 1 Solo and 1 Hazard.




Pa'avu swoons but holds fast.

It is the spider that recoils from her Goliath blood. The creature leaps from her, skitters for a moment...then...grows and molts...again...and again...and again. The speed is dizzying. Within a few short moments, the creature has gone from the size of a coin to that of a small Brown Bear!

Bita-Bouseh gasps as the entirety of The Waking Dragon leaps up in terror. Patrons and staff alike exit the premises. A poor canine, mistreated by the staff that run the place, is anchored to the floor by a 15 ft chain which is spiked at the end. It barks wildly and rushes back and forth, snapping at everyone who draws near (within 15 ft).

The Tiefling takes a few steps back as her stalwarts draw their axes and circle to protect her. "The legends are true! There are a mythical few Stone Spiders who draw upon the blood of a mythical few Goliath and grow to impossible size!" She seems almost giddy until she realizes what peril she, and all of you, are in...





* The entire structure is well-lit.

* L5/M5/N5/M6/N4 are table/chairs; Challenging Terrain. They can be navigated by a DC 8 Athletics or Acrobatics check. Failure means they function as Difficult Terrain.

* Every square with orange is a stove or brazier; Hindering Terrain. If you start your turn adjacent to one of these squares, you take Ongoing 3 damage (Save Ends) or is Dazed UtEoYNT (player's choice).

* FG5&6 and UV5 are Difficult Terrain.

* LMPQ9 are all outside and have open walls. If Bita-Bouseh makes it to one of these squares, she can spend a Standard Action to make an Athletics Check DC 12 to leave the scene. If she leaves the scene, any minotaurs that have been knocked unconscious by the end of combat are slain. If she stays in the scene, any minotaurs that are knocked unconscious survive. Players control Bita-Bouseh and Stalwart Minotaurs (see below).

* VA is a Vicious Animal Hazard (Staff Service Animal!). See Below.

* SS is the Goliath Stone Spider. AC 16, Fortitude 13, Reflex 14, Will 13

* This is a nested combat. WIN CON for 1 Success in the Skill Challenge = Bita-Bouseh survives AND at least 1 Stalwart Minotaur. If you do not satisfy the Win Con, you earn 1 Failure in the Skill Challenge, 1 Hard DC refreshes, Bita-Bouseh is gravely injured, and you'll have to resolve that vs Hard DC as next obstacle.

1673601911694.png


Vicious Animal (Hazard) Level 1 Warder XP 100
A savage beast strains against a chain, snapping at anyone that draws near.

Hazard: A vicious animal is chained to an iron spike. It can move up to 3 squares from the iron spike and make an attack.

Initiative +2

Trigger
A vicious animal rolls initiative whenever a character comes within 3 squares of it. Henceforth, the vicious animal makes an attack against any creature it can reach.

Attack
Standard Action Melee
Special: The vicious animal can move up to 3 squares before the attack.
Target: One creature
Attack: +6 vs. AC
Hit:1d8 + 1 damage, and the target is knocked prone.
Effect: Each round on its turn, the vicious animal attacks the closest creature it can reach.

Countermeasures
✦ Nature DC 16 (Move): An adjacent character can calm the animal UtEoYNT so it will not activate against them or their allies.
✦ A character can attack the vicious animal (AC 15, other defenses 11; hp 15). When reduced to 0 hit points, the vicious animal dies, ending the hazard.
✦ An adjacent character can break or destroy the chain & spike restricting the animal's movement (break DC 19 Athletic - Standard; AC 5, Fortitude 8; hp 30). Doing so releases the animal from the chain and befriends it for the rest of the encounter. PCs activate it on its initiative and has 6 Speed.


Stalwart Minotaur x 5
Medium natural humanoid
Level 1 Minion Soldier
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion Initiative +2
AC 17, Fortitude 14, Reflex 11, Will 11 Perception+4
Speed 5 Low-light vision

Traits
Phalanx for Master
Whenever Bita-Bousseh is adjacent to a minotaur she gains a +2 Power Bonus to all defenses.

Standard Actions
(⚔) Axe ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +6 vs. AC
Hit: 3 damage, and the target is marked until the end of the minotaur's next turn.

Triggered Actions
⚔ Subduing Gore ✦ At-Will
Trigger: An adjacent enemy that is marked by the minotaur makes an attack that does not include the minotaur.
Attack (Immediate Reaction): Melee 1 (one creature); +4 vs. Reflex
Hit: 3 damage and the minotaur takes the attack instead.

Athletics + 8


Bita-Bouseh
Medium natural humanoid, tiefling
Level 2 Minion
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion. Initiative Minotaurs
AC 16, Fortitude 13, Reflex 14, Will 15 Perception+5 Speed 6

Standard Actions
Infernal Glower
Attack: Ranged 5 (one creature); +5 vs. Will
Effect: The target cannot attack Bita-Bouseh until the end of her next turn.

There Will Be Order
Immediate Reaction (Encounter)
Trigger: Bita-Bouseh or an ally within 3 squares of Bita-Bouseh is knocked unconscious.
Effect: Bita-Bouseh or the ally heals 1d6 HP and saves against 1 ongoing effect.

Lawyer's Dodge
Move Action (Encounter)
Effect: Bita-Bouseh shifts 3 squares and can shift through difficult terrain until the end of her next turn.

Athletics +3




INITIATIVE

18 Chanvati
17 Pa’avu
15 B & M
14 Vicious Animal
11 Goliath Stone Spider




ROUND 1

Chanvati's mind spins as the tiny spider grows into a thing of nightmare proportions. "Bita-Bousseh thought to test our mettle, eh?" he thinks. "Perhaps we die together at this trial." With a thought, he binds the Goliath Stonefang Spider, then hurls it into the corner, where it strikes the mistreated mongrel, eliciting a high-pitched cry of pain from the poor creature. The two collapse in a heap on the floor beside each other. While this new foe is incapacitated, Chanvati follows up his initial assault with a blast of psionic energy that ravages the spider's mental pathways.

Knowledge check (no action) to recall useful info about this mythological creature. Nature Roll 17 +1 = meets Medium but not Hard DC.

* Goliath Stone Spider - 128 HP, medium natural beast, spider, poison - petrification attack, neutral, "short but violent life - will perish in 5 rounds if it doesn't feed on its source of rare Goliath blood"

Standard Action: Living Missile vs GSS. Roll 11 +5 = 16 vs Fort 13. Hit. GSS is immobilized (save ends).

Minor: Living Missile Attack vs GSS. Slide GSS from P6 to S7.

Secondary Attack vs Hazard Roll 10 +5 = 15 vs Reflex 11. Hit for 14 damage and Hazard falls prone. GSS takes half damage (7) and falls prone.

Standard (spend Action Point): Mind Thrust vs GSS. Roll 15 +5 - 2 for prone = 18 vs Will 13. Hit for 13 damage.

* GSS takes 20 damage, is immobilized (SE) and prone. Hazard takes 14 damage and is prone.

TRIGGER - Vicious Animal rolls Initiative. 12 + 2 = 14




While chaos breaks out around her, Pa’avu’s focus remains fixed upon the once tiny spider. Briefly narrowing her eyes while pointing Velmech’ti in its direction, she breathes in to strengthen herself and – releasing that breath – rushes forward with a blood-freezing scream. Her blade slashes this way and that, wildly and yet precisely, attacking the carapace of the giant arachnid and leaving it staggered. The goliath’s blood boils with a glorious rage as Pa’avu gives in to the tyrant within.

Designate Hunter’s Quarry (GSS): Minor action, Encounter: effect +1d6 damage 1x per rd UtEoMNT

Access Stone’s Endurance: Minor action, Encounter: effect Resist 5 All UtEoMNT

Charge (to R6) using Howling Strike (replacing MBA) vs. GSS: Standard action: Roll 19 + 8 +2 = 29 (prone) vs. AC 16 = Hit!! Damage: 10 + 4 + 4 + 4 (Hunter’s Quarry) = 22 damage

Spend 1 Action Point (1 remaining): Invoke Tyrant’s Rage attack vs. GSS: Standard, Daily, Fear: Roll 10 + 7 + 2 (Prone) = 19 vs. Will (13) = Hit!! 9 + 1 + 4 = 14, and target is Dazed (SE): Pa’avu enters the Rage of the Tyrant!!

* GSS takes 36 HP damage & is Dazed (SE)

TRIGGER (END OF TURN WITHIN 3 SQ OF GSS) -

Skittering Attack ✦ At-Will Trigger: An enemy is within 3 squares of GSS when he starts his turn, or an enemy ends its turn within 3 squares of GSS. Effect (Free Action): GSS shifts up to half its speed and uses bite against the triggering enemy.

Bite (poison) ✦ At-Will Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +6 vs. AC Hit: 1d8 + 1 damage, and ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends).
First Failed Saving Throw: The target also Slides 3 squares.
Second Failed Saving Throw: The target is also immobilized (save ends).
Third Failed Saving Throw: The target is also petrified (save ends).

Attack: (Roll) 15 -2 (prone) + 6 = 19. Hit: (Roll) 6+1 = 7 - 5 (DR) = 2 Damage and Ongoing 5 Poison (Save Ends) to Pa'avu

With the vicious animal barking up a storm, Pa'avu bears down on the Giant Stone Spider with a terrible fury. The creature responds with stone-venom dripping fangs. Her mountain-blessed skin barely registers the minor pinch of the bite, but the venom finds its mark nonetheless!




B & M

Bita-Bousseh transcends her panic and reverts to familiar command of the Minotaurs, who leap into action. Inspired by the eerie cry of the goliath, three of the stalwarts charge across the courtyard, their axes harrying the prostrate spider.

Another circles the table, grabbing the hot iron teapot and flinging it at their foe before positioning himself between his master and the fracas. Unfortunately, it clatters harmlessly against the teahouse wall. Following suit, the remaining stalwart picks up the stool that blocks his path, flings it in a splintering of wood and woven rush against the wall, and takes up protective position.

Bita-Bousseh strides with deliberation and menace around the table, domineering the mythical creature with her very stare.

Meanwhile, Chanvati sends his thoughts telepathically to the barrister: "Should the situation turn grim, take a guard and meet us at my father's estate three hours after the dusk bell."


M (N7) Charges to R8 and uses Axe vs GSS, Roll 15 +7 +2 (prone enemy) = 22 vs 16 AC. Hit. 3 damage.

M (L7) Moves to O6, picks up iron teapot (Minor) and uses Improvised Action to make a Ranged attack Roll 1 +3 +2 granting CA -2 prone vs 14 Reflex = Miss.

M (O4) Charges to T6 (now flanking with M in R8) Rolls 16 +7 +2 = 25 vs 16 AC. Hit. 3 damage, and GSS is marked until the end of the minotaur's next turn.

M (N3) Charges to S6 Rolls 1 +7 +2 CA = 10 vs 16 AC. Miss.

TRIGGER (GSS: Spinneret Cocoon IR on melee miss denied due to Dazed)

M (L7) Picks up stool (Minor), Moves to O8, makes Improvised Attack 8 +3 = 11 vs 14 Reflex. Miss.

Bita-Bousseh Moves K4 to N7 and uses Infernal Glower vs GSS. Rolls 8 +5 +2 CA -2 Prone enemy = 13 vs 13 Will. Hit. GSS cannot attack Bita-Bousseh UEoHNT. She is adjacent to a Minotaur Stalwart so +2 Power Bonus to Defenses UtEoYNT.

Chanvati uses Send Thoughts (Free Action Encounter Power) to communicate message to Bita-Bousseh.

TRIGGER (END OF TURN WITHIN 3 SQ OF GSS) -

Skittering Attack ✦ At-Will Trigger: An enemy is within 3 squares of GSS when he starts his turn, or an enemy ends its turn within 3 squares of GSS. Effect (Free Action): GSS shifts up to half its speed and uses bite against the triggering enemy.

Bite (poison) ✦ At-Will Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +6 vs. AC Hit: 1d8 + 1 damage, and ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends).
First Failed Saving Throw: The target also Slides 3 squares.
Second Failed Saving Throw: The target is also immobilized (save ends).
Third Failed Saving Throw: The target is also petrified (save ends).

Attack (vs marking Minotaur in T6): (Roll) 14 -2 (prone) + 6 = 18. Hit: T6 Minotaur dead.




The Vicious Animal's chain rattles widly as it sneers and snaps at the monstrous stone spider, its toothy maw attempting to clamp down on something meaty.

Standard: Vicious Bite +6 vs GSS AC; Roll 13 +6 +2 (Prone) = 21. Hit; 1d8 +1 = 9 Damage (already prone). GSS is Bloodied.

TRIGGER (END OF TURN WITHIN 3 SQ OF GSS) -

Skittering Attack ✦ At-Will Trigger: An enemy is within 3 squares of GSS when he starts his turn, or an enemy ends its turn within 3 squares of GSS. Effect (Free Action): GSS shifts up to half its speed and uses bite against the triggering enemy.

Bite (poison) ✦ At-Will Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +6 vs. AC Hit: 1d8 + 1 damage, and ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends).
First Failed Saving Throw: The target also Slides 3 squares.
Second Failed Saving Throw: The target is also immobilized (save ends).
Third Failed Saving Throw: The target is also petrified (save ends).

Attack (vs Vicious Animal): 3 (Roll) -2 (prone) + 6 = 7. Miss.




The Goliath Stone Spider sinks its fangs into the vicious animal slaying it. Simultaneously, it gathers its nimble legs below itself and recovers its bearings before it unleashes a barrage of silky strands, cocooning both Pa'aavu and a Minotaur, the latter of which succumbs to the suffocating influence!

TRIGGER (START OF OF TURN WITHIN 3 SQ OF ENEMY)

Skittering Attack ✦ At-Will Trigger: An enemy is within 3 squares of GSS when he starts his turn, or an enemy ends its turn within 3 squares of GSS. Effect (Free Action): GSS shifts up to half its speed and uses bite against the triggering enemy.

Bite (poison) ✦ At-Will Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +6 vs. VA AC; (Roll) 12 +6 -2 (prone) = 16. Hit: 1d8 + 1 damage; (any damage kills) Vicious Animal Dead.

Move: Stand up from Prone.

Standard: (Denied due to Dazed; 1 Action).

Action Point (Free Action > Gain Standard): Stonespinneret Spray ✦ Recharge ⚄ ⚅. CBL3 vs R8 Minotaur and Pa'avu +4 vs Fort; 16 (Roll) +6 = 22. Hit; R8 Minotaur Dead. 13 (Roll) +4 = 17. Hit Pa'avu. Hit: 1d6+3 (2+3 - 5 DR = 0 damage) damage, target is slowed and suffers -2 penalty to hit UtEoYNT

Saving Throw vs Dazed: 11+5 = Success

Saving Throw vs Immobilized: 7+5 = Success

GSS 57/128 = Bloodied




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ROUND 2

If Bita-Bousseh needs 'much more convincing' of our capabilities, then I shall give it to her! Chanvati strides confidently past the barrister and her Minotaur guards, his crystalline staff held aloft and glowing faintly from a rosy light within. He blasts the Spider with psionic force, but this time the creature's alien brain resists his attack. Nevertheless, as the Spider takes his bait and skitters forward at him with its venomous fangs, Chanvati takes satisfaction in his ruse, penetrating the Spider's mental architecture with a second psionic thrust and setting up Pa'avu for a vicious swing of her sword.

* Move Action: L6 to Q7.

* Standard Action: Mind Thrust vs GSS, Roll 2 +5 =7 vs 13 Will. Miss.

TRIGGER (END OF TURN WITHIN 3 SQ OF GSS) -

Skittering Attack ✦ At-Will Trigger: An enemy is within 3 squares of GSS when he starts his turn, or an enemy ends its turn within 3 squares of GSS. Effect (Free Action): GSS shifts up to half its speed and uses bite against the triggering enemy. Shift to R7 and Bite Chanvati; (Roll) 16 + 6 = Hit; (Roll) 3 + 1 = 4 poison damage and Chanvati takes 5 ongoing poison (save ends).

* Trigger - Vengeance is Mine (Immediate Reaction). Mind Thrust vs GSS (no OA because of Staff Expertise), Roll 9 +5 = 14 vs 13 Will = Hit for 4+4=8 psychic damage. Pa'avu moves up to Speed as necessary and makes an MBA vs GSS: Roll 14 +7 -2 (spray effect) = 19 vs 16 AC = Hit for 8+4=12 damage.

GSS takes 20 damage total.

Chanvati 20/24 HP (ongoing 5 poison damage), 6/7 Surges.




Pa’avu briefly feels a faint nausea threaten cloud her mind again, then instantly she feels invigorated by the poison entering her body. Alert to her gosb’tar’s tactical instruction, Pa’avu pierces the spider’s side with her sword, using her momentum to leap over her quarry. Her vault causes air to whistle shrilly through the gleaming mouths covering her armor, and that noise in turn seems to catch at the spider’s nerves, causing it to shake with some agitation. As the goliath lands sure-footedly, she howls and brings Velmech’ti to slice deeply into her quarry once again. Pulling the sword out of the body, Pa’avu places her foot on the side of the spider and shoves it away from her.

* take 5 Ongoing Poison Damage – Resist All 5 = 0 Damage

* Minor Action (Encounter): activate Screaming Armor Power: An enemy w/in 5 sq of you -2 attack rolls UtEoMNT (GSS)

* Standard (AtWill): Pressing Strike: Shift 2 SQ (through enemy OK) (Q8), then Attack: Roll 10 + 7 – 2 (web) + 2 CA (flanking) = 17 vs. AC 16 = Hit!! * Damage: 8 + 4 + 4 (Raging) + 5 (HQ) = 21 HP damage and target Pushed 1 square to R6.

* Save versus Ongoing Poison: 10 Success!

* HQ and Stone's Endurance expire EoT.

TRIGGER (END OF TURN WITHIN 3 SQ OF GSS) -

Skittering Attack ✦ At-Will Trigger: An enemy is within 3 squares of GSS when he starts his turn, or an enemy ends its turn within 3 squares of GSS. Effect (Free Action): GSS shifts up to half its speed and uses bite against the triggering enemy. Shift to R8 and Bite Pa'avu; (Roll) 7 + 6 - 2 = 11. Miss.

* Pa’avu’s conditions: Save vs Ongoing Poison; Slowed/-2 ATT, Eo GSS NT; HP: 25/31; 10/11 Surges * GSS conditions from Pa'avu: -2 attacks via Screaming Armor UtEoMNT (edited)




B & M

Witnessing the relentless attacks of Pa'avu and Chanvati and sensing the giant Stonefang Spider's impending demise, Bita-Bousseh holds her ground, maintaining her infernal glower to hold off the arachnid. "Bring it low!" she orders her stalwarts, and two of them charge the spider with fearsome blows from their axes, surrounding it in the corner of the once-placid teahouse.

M(O8) Ready an action: if GSS enters a square within melee range, attack with Axe.

M(O6) Charges 2 to R7, avoiding OA, Roll 13 +7 = 20 vs 16 AC. Hit for 3 damage.

M(S6) Charges 2 squares to S8 (flanking with P), avoiding OA, Roll 18 +7 +2 CA -2 webs =23 vs 16 AC for 3 damage and Marks GSS UEoMNT.

Bita-Bousseh: Infernal Glower vs GSS, Roll 10 +5 =15 vs 13 Will. GSS cannot attack B-B UEoHNT.
TRIGGER (END OF TURN WITHIN 3 SQ OF GSS) -

Skittering Attack ✦ At-Will Trigger: An enemy is within 3 squares of GSS when he starts his turn, or an enemy ends its turn within 3 squares of GSS. Effect (Free Action): GSS shifts up to half its speed and uses bite against the triggering enemy. Bite Minotaur S8; (Roll) 6 + 6 - 2 = 10. Miss.




The Goliath Stone Spider fights like a cornered beast (which it is) on its last legs (which it is)! Desperate fangs and spinnerets sink into flesh and entomb prey in silk!

Stonespinneret Spray ✦ Recharge ⚄ ⚅. Rolled 6; Recharges.

TRIGGER (START OF OF TURN WITHIN 3 SQ OF ENEMY)

Skittering Attack ✦ At-Will Trigger: An enemy is within 3 squares of GSS when he starts his turn, or an enemy ends its turn within 3 squares of GSS. Effect (Free Action): GSS shifts up to half its speed and uses bite against the triggering enemy. Bite; +6 vs. P; (Roll) 11 +6 -2 = 15; Miss

Standard: Stonespinneret Spray (CBL3 on C, P, M in O8); +4 vs. Fort. (Roll) 12 + 4 - 2 = 14 vs C; Hit. Damage; 5 + 1 = 6 damage, target is slowed and suffers -2 penalty to hit UtEoYNT. (Roll) 2 + 4 - 2 = 4 vs P; Miss. (Roll) 6 + 4 - 2 = 8 vs M in O8; Miss.

Action Point (Free Action > Gain Standard): Bite Pa'avu; (Roll) 20; CRITICAL. 9 poison damage and Pa'avu takes 5 ongoing poison (save ends).

Move: Shifts to S7

GSS - 10/128 HP. Stonespinneret Spray exhausted. Slowed and -2 Hit UtEoPNT.




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ROUND 3

Chanvati is staggered by the concussion force of the Spider's spinneret spray and encased in a thick film of webbing. What's more, the poison from that bite is coursing throughout his system. His heartbeat races. The pain like little he has experienced before. It's all he can do to stagger back in the direction of the barrister, feebly attempting to blast the spider once more with a psionic assault, but his concentration falters and the effect fizzles.

Frustrated, he chastises himself: "Collect yourself, man! This is no way to impress a lady!"

Buoyed, he feels the effects of the poison abate.


Begins turn and takes 5 ongoing poison damage (SE).

Moves to O7. Standard: Mind Thrust vs GSS. Roll 5 +5 -2 (stonepinneret) = 8 vs 13 Will. Miss.

Minor: Inspiring Word on self. Roll 3 + 6 Surge = regain 9 HPs. Save vs ongoing poison Roll 17 = Success. Ongoing damage ends.

Chanvati 16/24 HP, 5/7 Surges, Slowed and -2 Attacks UEoGSSNT.




Experiencing the spider’s futile but dangerous efforts to break free, Pa’avu grimly sets herself to the task of finishing it off … before its death throes take them all out. Fighting off the effects of yet more poison, she moves herself into position. Then she lets loose her tyrant raging within and charges swiftly forward with an eerie howling cry. Spider limbs and hunks of carapace fly through the air as Pa’avu moves in blurred motion. Then there is a sudden crunch as her foot stomps the spider’s body, and all motion stops … save for the goliath’s labored breath.

* take 5 Ongoing Poison Damage: 9 HP

* move from Q8 to Q5

* Howling Strike: charge from Q5 to S6, avoiding OA; attack vs. AC: Roll 18 + 8 + 2 (flanking) = 28 vs AC 16 = Success!! Damage: 10 + 1 + 4 = 15 = dead

* Iron Wolf Charge (trigger: hit w/charge): + 4 = 19 = stomped on by Pa’avu

* save ends: 6 … fail! Slide ...save ends: 6 ...immobilized! ... save ends: 8: petrified (briefly, as save will eventually end that too)!




GSS SLAIN W/ BITA-BOUSEH AND AT LEAST 1 MINOTAUR STILL UP = WIN CON ACHIEVED
 

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