The Slave and Her Sovereign


Infuriated, PA’AVU stomps her foot powerfully down on the chamber’s floor, the thunderous CRACK sending soundwaves vibrating through both the air and the stone. Her deep voice is strengthened with the aid of her gosb’tar’s psionic power and resounds upon the walls. She bellows the following in Giantish:

“THIS [she throws her hands wide at chest level, directing the gesture at all of the other goliaths, especially those holding mallets] WILL NOT HAPPEN HERE IN STONEROOT’S PERCH!!” In mid descent, the goliath drummers’ arms are held in place by telekinetic force, mallets suspended above the taut skin surface of the drums.


* literally “revered Stoneroot”
** Giantish word for slave
*** Giantish word for goliath
**** Giantish word for one who serves a higher cause or entity

* We are wagering our last Advantage for 2 Successes upon a successful check.

* Chanvati makes a Secondary Skill Arcana check: +12 vs 12 Easy DC = autosuccess for +2 bonus to subsequent Primary check

* Chanvati uses Adept's Insight to fuel Pa'avu's threat with psionic reverberation: r(1) + 1 = +2 bonus to subsequent Primary check

* Pa'avu uses her facility with Giantish for +2 circumstance bonus to subsequent Primary check

* Pa'avu makes a Primary Skill Intimidate check to halt the goliaths communication with allies: r(11) + 11 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 28 vs. 25 Hard DC = 2 Successes!!!
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7 Successes (0 Hard DC Available)/0 Failures/1 Secondary Skills Available/0 Advantages Available

The silence that passes over the room after the impassioned speech is deafening. There is sense in the air that something significant may have happened but no one volunteers what. Finally, the female huntress drops her leash, pulls her medicine bag from over her head, and takes a few awkward steps toward the middle of the room. From her bag she pulls a mortar and pestle as she stoops down.

The next several minutes involve her mashing varying items in order to draw a collection of crude illustrations:

* The meteor falling from the sky.

* The people succumbing to mutation and madness.

* Prayer and sacrifice and ritual, begging for deliverance from the earth, the sky, the fire...yet no deliverance coming.

* Finally, some measure of peace...if not deliverance...coming when the remainder of the clan take up venerating the pulsating celestial object.

She steps back, slowly drawing the eyes of her warped face from her pictures to the gathered fellowship before her, betraying an admixture of plaintiveness and indicting bitterness...which evolves into something like stoic resignation...emotionless surrender.

What's the move? MEDIUM DC


Behind the medicine-woman scrawling images on the stone floor, the hunter, one hand to a head addled by the injury sustained from CHANVATI's telekinetic propulsion against the chamber wall, teeters slightly.

Pa'avu reaches out a steadying hand in kindness, and Chanvati senses his entree. "Sahtree, heal your kin," he commands. Her touch may provide no solace from the mutation and domineering weight of will exerted upon the Goliath by the meteorite, yet nevertheless the ringing in his ears, the spots before his eyes, the splitting ache of what might be a concussion are alleviated.

"Translate," Chanvati compels.

"You see, fearsome warriors, we wield great power. But we also wield great mercy and the healing touch of unspoiled earth and stone. Your people suffer under the yoke of an alien oppressor. For too long the possibility of resistance has seemed impossible to you.

The fallen stone brought madness, illness to your kin. And when it offered respite from its unyielding assault, it seemed as if a cool morning breeze before the sun, oppressive, diminishing all under its glare, crests the shading hill.

But we offer a permanent salve to the sickness that has befallen your tribe. Just as my guardian heals you with a touch, so too will we bring relief and sanity to your loved ones.

When our task here is finished, bring us to your hearth homes, and we shall see how a healing touch offers more strength than a wicked will!" Chanvati finishes with a flourish, and Pa'avu carefully communicates his nuance to the mutated half-giants.

Pa'avu uses Iron Resurgence for a +2 Circumstance bonus to Chanvati's Primary Skill Diplomacy check, r(3) +12 +2 = 17 vs 17 Moderate DC. Success. (Didn't even need my Daily reroll on the check!)
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: 1200/2 = 600 apiece (I believe this levels you both? If so, go ahead and level and create book-keeping section of your follow-up post)


* Jade Hairpin returned.

* Take the following Power for your confrontation with the Aspect of Caiphon from the insight Mirage Moonstar has garnered about the nature of your enemy due to her repair of the breach. Describe her insight.

Rapid Calculation
You quickly assess the threat before you and help your allies to properly prepare for the fight.
No Action
Close burst 5
Trigger: You roll initiative
Target: Each ally in the burst
Effect: You slide the target 3 squares, and the target gains a +2 power bonus to all defenses until it takes its first action during the encounter.

In the aftermath of the ritual, the parley, and the various displays of power the following occurs:

* Mirage Moonstar comes out of the intense meditations of her sequence of rituals accompanied by a distinctive noise like a low-thrum and then a pop. "Its finished. The breach is closed." She pulls the Jade Hairpin from her mane, places it back in Chanvati's hand with care (clearly being aware, either psionically or sheer instinct, that the item is precious). When she folds his hand over it she places an image in his head accompanied by a few telepathic words; portents of what are to come (see LOOT above). Describe her insight passed on.

Utterly exhausted from these efforts, she says she must call upon her steed to pick her up from this remote locale and carry her to the Psicrafter's Guild for days worth of soaking in their Astral Deprivation Pool to recover.

* As they carefully and stealthily navigate their kin, the collection of mutated goliaths take you to the rim of the crater-turned-lake where The Aspect of Caiphon is submerged. In the few hours journey, each member in turn displays overt signs of deference and veneration that immediately impress upon you a concern of willingly handing one master for another; a new Cult of Personality developing in substitution for The Aspect of Caiphon. How do you remedy that (if you do)?

* They leave you on the shoreline where a raft of hewn timber, manufactured rope, and barge pole is presented as your means to navigate to the center of the lake. "Udu Kurpt'thuk <Space Rock> will come to you...beware...lake and beasts of lake protect it..." There is only enough room on the raft for either Hazard or Bita-Bousseh. Who is going with you?

Once the above is resolved, I'll get battlemap etc up.
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CHANVATI's Level-Up Choices
Utility Power: Dragon's Tenacity (Warlord Encounter U6)
Feat: Superior Will

Character Summary:
Chanvati L6
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

Str 8, Con 12, Dex 12, Int 19, Wis 12, Cha 16.

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

AC: 20 Fort: 17 Reflex: 20 Will: 23
HP: 44 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 11

Arcana +13, Insight +13, History +12, Diplomacy +13, Bluff +13

Acrobatics +8, Dungeoneering +7, Endurance +7, Heal +7, Intimidate +9, Nature +7, Perception +9, Religion +10, Stealth +7, Streetwise +9, Thievery +7, Athletics +5

Bardic Ritualist: Ritual Caster
Human: Bardic Ritualist
Level 1: Staff Expertise
Level 2: Unarmored Agility
Level 4: Bard of All Trades
Level 6: Superior Will

Bonus At-Will Power: Mind Thrust
Hybrid at-will 1: Direct the Strike (retrained from Commander's Strike)
Hybrid at-will 1: Dimensional Scramble
Hybrid Encounter Power: Powerful Warning (retrained from Vengeance is Mine at L6)
Noble Adept Power: Adept's Insight
Hybrid daily 1: Living Missile
Hybrid utility 2: Mind Shroud
Hybrid daily 5: Create Opportunity
Hybrid utility 6: Dragon's Tenacity

Ritual Book, Adventurer's Kit, Alchemical Reagents (Arcana) (10), Zills, Ceramic hand, Staff of the War Mage +1, Writing case, Jade hairpin, Brooch of No Regrets +1, Residuum (Any) (200), Battle Harness Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing) +1, Disguise, Acrobat Boots (heroic tier), Choker of Eloquence +2, Byeshk Dagger +1, 3 gems, Bracers of Mental Might (heroic tier), Staff of Psicraft +1
Glib Limerick, Unseen Servant, Hold Portal, Animal Messenger, Sending

Medium natural humanoid, tiefling
Level 6 Controller (Leader) XP 250
HP 49, Bloodied 24, Surge 12, Surges per day 8; Initiative +5
AC 21, Fortitude 18, Reflex 18, Will 20 Perception+5, Low-light vision
Speed 6
Resist 8 Fire (5 + 1/2 L)

Infernal Glower (At-Will), Fear
Ranged 10, Target: one creature
Attack: +9 vs Will
Hit: 1d8 +7 damage, and Bita-Bousseh slides the target 3 squares

Hell's Dark Promise (At-Will), Charm
Minor Action
Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature), +9 vs Will
Hit: Bita-Bousseh slides the creature 3 squares.

Infernal Wrath (Recharge 5,6), Fire
Free Action Close burst 10
Trigger: An enemy within 10 squares of her hits Bita-Bousseh.
Target: The triggering enemy in the burst
Effect: The target takes 1d6 +5 fire damage, and the target grants combat advantage until the end of its next turn.

There Will Be Order
Immediate Reaction (Encounter)
Trigger: Bita-Bousseh or an ally within 5 squares of Bita-Bousseh is bloodied or knocked unconscious.
Effect: Bita-Bousseh or the ally spends a healing surge and gains an additional 1d6 hit points and saves against 1 effect that a save can end, and shifts 3 squares, ignoring difficult terrain.

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

Languages Common, Supernal

Acrobatics +5 (Escape), Bluff +12, Insight +10, Stealth +7

S 11 (+3) D 14 (+5) W 14 (+5)
C 12 (+4) I 16 (+6) C 14 (+5)

Before Mirage Moonstar departs on her Pegasus, Sirocco, she pulls Chanvati aside and stares deeply into his eyes.

<<This entity that threatens to break through the boundaries between planes: it calls itself Caiphon, and that meteorite is its mortal aspect. You trifle with powers far beyond your abilities, Stout-mind! What’s more, it observes you, even now. It knows you have bent these Goliaths to your will, away from its service. It thinks your pride and force of will to be selfishness, a weakness to be exploited. If you are to defeat it, you must act without care for yourself, in deference to the protection of your allies. You can do that, right? I wish you luck! Much relies upon your success here.>>

She breaks off the telepathic communiqué, mounts her steed, and flies off.


Throughout their journey to the lake-filled caldera, Bita-Bousseh seems brooding, distracted. She saw the colorful Psionicist return her hairpin to Chanvati. How ever did she get it in the first place?


To Chanvati’s eyes, N’Gauthak and Or’lia, the male hunter and female medicine-woman, defer to him now, just as Professor Moonstar intimated. They call him “great mind … generous mind … noble heart” and speak of him as “The Voice.” Chanvati does everything he can to encourage this bowing to a greater will by the Goliaths. He has designs of returning to Bantouk, a legion of half-giant warriors at his command with which to confront Bita-Bahlin and his other political enemies.

When Chanvati is not watching, Pa’avu stares at him in her usual manner. She recognizes that any deference is demonstrated to her, as well.


Arriving at the caldera, Pa’avu scratches Hazard behind his ears and intones quietly, “H’z’lahto, stay. I will return.”

Pa’avu grasps the barge pole in her enormous palms and begins propelling Chanvati, Bita-Bousseh, and herself across the fetid waters to confront the Fallen Star.
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PA'AVU's level up choices
Utility Power: Shrug It Off (Barbarian Encounter U2)
Feat: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blades, Ki Focuses)

Character Summary:
Pa'avu, level 6
Goliath, Barbarian
Feral Might: Thunderborn Wrath
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Ki Focuses)
Background: Feral Raider, Noble's Guard, Wandering Duelist (Wandering Duelist Benefit)
Theme: Iron Wolf Warrior

Str 19, Con 16, Dex 15, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10.

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

AC: 20 Fort: 20 Reflex: 17 Will: 16
HP: 61 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 15

Perception +13, Endurance +10, Athletics +13, Heal +9, Intimidate +12

Acrobatics +4, Arcana +2, Bluff +3, Diplomacy +3, Dungeoneering +4, History +2, Insight +4, Nature +10, Religion +2, Stealth +4, Streetwise +3, Thievery +4

Level 1: Monastic Disciple
Level 2: Monastic Adept
Level 4: Wasteland Wanderer
Level 6: Versatile Expertise

Barbarian at-will 1: Howling Strike
Barbarian at-will 1: Pressing Strike
Monastic Adept: Crane's Wings
Monastic Disciple: Iron Soul Flurry of Blows
Barbarian encounter 1: Resurgent Strike
Iron Wolf Warrior Power: Iron Wolf Charge
Barbarian daily 1: Tyrant's Rage
Barbarian utility 2: Iron Resurgence
Barbarian encounter 3: Thundering Howl
Barbarian daily 5: Rage of the Crimson Hurricane
Barbarian utility 6: Shrug It Off

Adventurer's Kit, Climber's Kit (2), Crowbar, Grappling Hook, Hunter's Kit, Trail Rations (20), Screaming Hide Armor +1, Vanguard Greatsword +1, Rain of Hammers Ki Focus +2, Boots of Free Movement (heroic tier), Gauntlets of Blood (heroic tier), Badge of the Berserker +1, Antivenom (heroic tier), Javelin (3)

A Dog Named Hazard Level 6 Brute
Medium natural beast (animal) XP 200
HP 59; Bloodied 29; Surge Value 14; Healing Surges 11; Initiative +5
AC 19, Fortitude 19, Reflex 17, Will 16 Perception+10
Speed 6

Standard Actions
(⚔) Bite ✦ At-Will
Special: Hazard cannot use this attack while Savage Protector is enabled
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +11 vs. AC.
Hit: 1d10 + 7 damage, or 2d8 + 8 damage while the dog is within 2 squares
of an ally.

Minor Actions
Savage Protector ✦ Encounter
Effect: Hazard gains +2 Armor Class, cannot use Bite, gains Snarl and Snap
and Harrier. This Effect can be ended with a Minor Action.

Standard Actions
(⚔) Snarl & Snap ✦ At-Will
Special: Hazard must enable this power through Savage Protector
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +11 vs. AC.
Hit: 1d8 + 7 damage
Effect: Hazard marks the target until the end of Hazard’s next turn.

(⚔) Harrier ✦ At-Will
Special: Hazard must enable this power through Savage Protector
Trigger: An enemy that is marked by Hazard and is adjacent to it shifts or
makes an attack that doesn’t include it as a target.
Attack (Immediate Reaction): Melee 1 (the triggering enemy); +11 vs. AC
Hit: 1d8 +7 damage, and Hazard slides the target 1 square.

Skills Athletics (Escape) +12, Perception +10

Str 18 (+7) Dex 14 (+5) Wis 14 (+5)
Con 14 (+5) Int 10 (+3) Cha 11 (+3)

Equipment: Sigil of Companionship (Heroic Tier)
Sigil of Companionship
Level 6 Uncommon Companion Item
The medal, which can be strapped to a leg or hung around a neck, signifies
the depth of experience you and your companion have working together.
Property: When you flank an enemy with your companion, you and your companion
gain a +1 item bonus to damage rolls against that enemy.

For the pending combat, here are our Initiative results, plus several Monster Knowledge checks (use whatever is necessary/appropriate):

Chanvati: r(13) + 5 = 18
Pa'avu: r(5) + 7 = 12
Bita-Bousseh: r(12) + 5 = 17

Chanvati: Arcana checks: 1. r(18) + 13 = 31; 2. r(4) + 13 = 17
Chanvati: Dungeoneering checks: 1. r(10) + 7 = 17; 2. r(20) + 7 = 27
Pa'avu: Nature checks: 1. r(13) + 10 = 23; 2. r(2) + 10 = 12

Let us know if we need to make any other checks.
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The deeper, unfrozen part of the lake is not far from the rebound lip of the crater. During the wet season, this area would be submerged, but now, the height of the lip protects the internal crater from the depths of the reservoir. However, accreted snow that has melted and frozen serves to make the internal crater a slippery, hazardous domain.

The meteorite possessed by the alien entity, the ASPECT OF CAIPHON, resides in the middle, behind a settled circle of ejecta some ten feet in height. As the group crests the outer lip, they can see it and its purple hew, acid and deranging whispers spilling out of tiny fissures. At that very moment, abominations that look like frozen, tentacle-faced centipedes rise up from the snowy ice to meet their master's challengers!

* SNOW-COVERED ICE (ALL SQUARES EXCEPT LIPS): Move Action requires Athletics or Acrobatics check DC 15 or squares are Difficult Terrain.

* CRATER EJECTA LIPS: Black squares around the exterior of the map and the interior crater are 10 ft high lips requiring Climbing (DC 11) to navigate.

* THIN ICE (BLUE OUTLINE): Any creature that enters or starts its turn in a patch of thin ice (Challenging Terrain), must succeed at a DC 15 Acrobatics check or the patch of ice breaks. The creature takes 5 cold damage and is grabbed (DC 15). The patch of Thin Ice becomes Treacherous Ice (Hindering Terrain). Any creature that enters or starts its turn in a patch of Treacherous Ice takes 5 cold damage and is grabbed (DC 15).


Aspect of Caiphon Level 6 Elite Hazard (Warder) XP 500

Initiative +7

Immune to attacks except Cleans the Earth Skill Challenge

Triggered Actions
⚔ Distorting Spew (Acid, Psychic) ✦ At-Will
Trigger: An enemy enters a square or starts its turn within 5 squares of Aspect of Caiphon
Attack (Opportunity Action): Melee Close Burst 5 (enemies); +9 vs. Fort
Hit: 1d8 + 4 acid and psychic damage, and the target is subjected to distortion (save ends). Until the effect ends, the target rolls a d6 at the start of its turn before taking any actions to determine the effects.

1: The target is stunned until the start of its next turn.
2: The target is dazed until the start of its next turn.
3: The target takes 5 acid damage and is slowed until the start of its next turn.
4: The target's first action this turn must be a basic attack or a charge against the creature closest to it. If no creature is within range, the target is dazed until the start of its next turn.
5: The target takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls and skill checks until the start of its next turn.
6: No effect.

SPECIAL: Make a Saving Throw vs DISTORTION Disease at End of Encounter of hit by Aspect of Caiphon.

Countermeasures: Cleanse the Earth, Complexity 2 Skill Challenge (all actions must be within 2 squares of Aspect of Caiphon)

✦ 2 Secondary Skill uses, player choice, minor action, range all, DC 11.

✦ Earthen Stalwart (Exhaust on Success): Endurance or Nature DC 23 (standard action, self). The target calls upon their physical reserves or the primal spirits to steel themselves against the Aspect. Success: Gain 1 Success in the SC and take +1 Fortitude UtEoYNT. Failure: Gain 1 Failure in the SC and take -2 Fortitude UtEoYNT.

✦ Stabilize Sanity (Exhaust on Success): Insight or Heal DC 15 (standard action, self or ranged 5 if used on an ally). Success: Gain 1 Success in the SC and target saves against distortion (free action). Failure: Gain 1 Failure in the SC and target takes -2 to saving throws against distortion UtEoYNT.

✦ Rebuke Delusions (Exhaust on Success): Perception DC 15 (standard action, self or ranged 5 if used on an ally). Success: Gain 1 Success in the SC and the target is imperceptible to enemies and cannot be attacked UtEoYNT. Failure: Gain 1 Failure and the target gains Vulnerability 5 to all damage UtEoYNT.

✦ Reassure Ally (Exhaust on Success): Diplomacy DC 15 (standard action, range 10 ally). Success: Gain 1 Success in the SC and the ally gains +2 Power Bonus to all defenses UTEoYNT. Failure: Gain 1 Failure in the SC and you suffer -2 Circumstance Bonus to all defenses UTEoYNT.

✦ Expose Weakness (Exhaust on Success): Arcana DC 15 (standard action, self or ranged 10 if used on an ally). Success: Gain 1 Success in the SC and the target's next attack roll or skill check gains +2 Power Bonus. Failure: Gain 1 Failure in the SC and the target's next attack roll or skill check suffers -2 Circumstance Bonus.

✦ Sever Material Connection (Exhaust on Success): Dungeoneering or Religion DC 15 (standard action). Success: Gain 1 Success in the SC and the Aspect of Caiphon suffers -2 Circumstance Bonus to Hit UtEoYNT. Failure: Gain 1 Failure in the SC and the Aspect of Caiphon gains +2 Power Bonus to Hit UtEoYNT.

* Abominable Ice Scuttlers x 3 (Controller): 72 HP, AC 19, Fortitude 18, Reflex 17, Will 16

* Every even round (2, 4, 6) a wave of Corrupted Goliaths (Minion Skirmishers) from The Cult of the Gorgon will enter the scene on 1 squares: AC 20, Fortitude 19, Reflex 18, Will 16


A (Abominable Ice Scuttlers) 19
M (Corrupted Goliath Minions) 18



Dungeoneer vs Abominable Ice Scuttlers r(10) +7 = 17 (Moderate DC): Speed 8 (icewalk), Darkvision. Resist 5 cold. Aberrant, Cold, Poison.

Cresting the outer ring of ejecta, CHANVATI espies the malignant entity from the stars, its acid spew and tentacled protectors, then remembers Mirage Moonstar's insinuation: the Aspect of Caiphon thinks him beset by overconfidence, a weakness to be exploited. Thus, he will give it what it expects!

"Comrades, contend with these centipedes! Leave this fallen rubble to me!" Pa'avu and Bita-Bousseh deftly glide across the snow and ice, their forms shimmering with the faint glow of a psionic shield.

With a hitherto unwitnessed grace, Chanvati himself skips between patches of thin ice till he is upon the inner lip of ejecta. Steeling himself, he climbs the broken earth into the interior ring, drawing near his foe. But Caiphon is prepared for him, spewing its acid at the Merchant Prince.

Casting off the alien alternations to his reality the best he can, Chanvati projects his mind into the thoughts of Caiphon. It is fearful! If he can cleanse the earth of its malignancy, its grip on its servitors will release, its power shatter. "Pa'avu, come join me in smashing this hunk of debris!" he calls out.

* No Action: Rapid Calculation, slide P to J4, slide BB to P2. Both gain +2 power bonus to all defenses until first action.

* Move Action: Acrobatics check, r(11) +8 = 19 vs DC 15, success to move L1 to J7.

* Standard Action: Athletics check, r(12) +5 = 17 vs DC 11, success to climb to I10.

TRIGGER: AC DISTORTING SPEW ON C. r(16) +9 = 25. Hit. r(6) +4 = 10 acid damage and distortion (save ends). r(2) on distortion table so C is dazed UtSoYNT.

* Action Point for Standard Action to Expose Weakness, Arcana check, r(4) +13 = 17 vs 15 DC. Success. +2 power bonus to P's next attack or skill check.

* End of Turn: Saving Throw vs distortion; r(16). Distortion ends.

LOCATION: I10. P to J4. B to P2.
CONDITION TO ENEMIES: 1 Success towards Cleansing the Earth SC
CURRENT BUFFS: +2 to P's and BB's defenses USoTNT, +2 to P's next ATK or skill check

The ABOMINABLE ICE SCUTTLERS beseige the foes of their alien master. One frosty centipede grabs Chanvati with its icy tentacles and drags him onto a patch of thin ice, causing it to break. It quickly becomes abundantly clear how the creatures predate upon meals!

The other pair scuttle their way across the snow and ice to the tiefling barrister, spitting quick-setting goo at her as they do!


* Move Action: Icewalk and auto-pass Athletics (+12 vs DC 11) to climb lip r(11). Move F9to H9.

* Standard Action: Abominable Tentacles vs C Fort; r(11) +9 +2 (CA) = 22. Hit; C is grabbed (DC 22) and AIS shifts to E6 TRIGGERING THIN ICE and causing it to BREAK AND BECOMES TREACHEROUS ICE. THIN ICE BREAKING qualifies as Hindering Terrain TRIGGERING CHANVATI SAVE FOR PRONE OUTSIDE; r(5) = Failure. The AIC and Chanvati take 5 cold damage (AIC 5 cold resist negates) and both are grabbed (DC15). The DC of Chanvati's Grab increases by 2 to DC 24 (2 sources of Grab).

Abominable Tentacles ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 2 (one creature); +9 vs. Fortitude, or +11 Fortitude against a prone target
Hit: The target is grabbed (DC 22). The AIS shifts up to half its speed, pulling the target with it.


* Standard Action: Tanglespit (Ranged 5) vs B Ref. r(3) +9 = 12. Miss.

Tanglespit ✦ Recharge ⚃ ⚄ ⚅
Attack: Ranged 5 (one creature); +9 vs. Reflex
Hit: 2d10 + 5 damage, and the target is restrained (save ends).

* Move Action: Icewalk O7 to O3.


* Standard Action: Tanglespit (Ranged 5) vs B Ref. r(17) +9 = 26. Hit; r(8, 3) + 5 = 16 damage and B is restrained (save ends).

TRIGGER: INFERNAL WRATH, A3 hits BB with an attack; A3 takes r(1) +5 = 6 fire damage and grants BB CA UEoYNT.

* Move Action: Icewalk R5 to Q3.

LOCATION: A1 in E6 (with Chanvati). A2 in M2. A3 in N2.
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 5 cold damage to C (Thin Ice Break). 16 damage to B.
CONDITION TO ENEMIES: C is grabbed (DC 24). B is restrained (save ends).
CURRENT HIT POINTS/CONDITIONS: A1 and A2 at 72/72. A3 at 66/72 and grants BB CA UEoNT.

PA'AVU forces herself to focus on the plan her gosb'tar laid out, ignoring the cries of pain he now gives and the accompanying cracking of ice and splashes of water. She rushes forward over the slippery surface, staring determinedly forward and not at the aberrant creatures rushing the tiefling. Her protective instincts scream as she quickly climbs over the ejecta, hopping down on the other side.

Feet now firmly on the ground, the goliath extends her arms at her side, palms facing forward, and calls out in giantish to the primal spirits, requesting the aid of Winter's Slumber, Always Falling's consort, in healing the wounds besetting their ally, the great Stoneroot. As she feels their compliance, she adds her own efforts to renew strength to the earth.

* Move Action: Athletics Check to cross snow & ice: r(10) + 13 + 2 (Expose Weakness) = 25 vs DC 15 Success; Athletics Check to climb ejecta: autosuccess v DC 11; Acrobatics Check to Hop Down: r(10, 14 Powerful Athlete) + 4 = 18 vs. DC 15 Success. TRIGGERS DISTORTING SPEW.


* Minor Action: Nature Check to call upon Primal Spirits: autosuccess vs DC 11, +2 forward

* Minor Action: expend Earthen Renewal (Encounter) to gain +2 circumstance bonus to ...

* No Action: Action Point for Standard Action: Earthen Stalwart/Endurance check: r(10) + 10 + 2 + 2 = 24 vs. DC 23 Success

CONDITION TO ENEMIES: 2 Successes towards Cleansing the Earth SC, 1 Secondary Skill used
CURRENT BUFFS: +2 to P's ends ends; +1 to P's Fort UEoPNT

BITA-BOUSSEH looks on with dread as a tentacled horror drags her consort down from atop the crater's lip and across the field, plunging him through the thin ice into the frigid waters below. Her moment of concern, however, is brief, as two more of the creatures beset her, frosty goo spewing forth in a plume from their maxillipeds, freezing her in place. Instinctively, she lashes out with Infernal Wrath upon one of the Scuttlers, bathing it in punishing hellfire.

Knowing fear of the Nine Hells transcends language and species, the barrister utters Hell's Dark Promise of fire and brimstone at the Abominable Ice Skuttler to her left, sending it scurrying away across the thin ice, then focuses her full fury in an Infernal Glower upon the Scuttler that hit her with its Tanglespit. The Skutler wilts under her glare and skitters away. With a burst of determination, the Tiefling shatters the icy crust that held her entrapped, catches her breath, and nimbly navigates the slippery ice to evade her foes!

* Beginning of turn: Restrained.

* Minor Action: Hell's Dark Promise vs A2, ATK r(18) +9 -2 (restrained) = 25 vs 16 Will. Hit. BB slides A2 3 squares O3 to P5.

TRIGGER: OPPORTUNITY ATTACK (BB Ranged 10 attack while adjacent to A2 and A3): A2 and A3 attack BB with Poisoned Maw. A2 r(3) +11 = 14. Miss. A3 r(12) +11 = 23. Hit; r(2, 6) +5 = 13 poison damage and BB is slowed UtEoAICNT. BB IS BLOODIED.

(⚔) Poisoned Maw (weapon) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +11 vs. AC
Hit: 2d8 + 5 poison damage, and the target is slowed until the end of the AIC's next turn.

TRIGGER: THERE WILL BE ORDER (Immediate Reaction): Trigger: Bita-Bousseh or an ally within 5 squares of Bita-Bousseh is bloodied or knocked unconscious. Effect: Bita-Bousseh or the ally spends a healing surge, gains an additional 1d6 hit points, saves against 1 effect that a save can end, and shifts 3 squares ignoring difficult terrain. Spend Surge (12) + r(6) = regains 18 HP and Saves vs. Restrained; r(11). Success. Restrained ends. Shift to O5 avoiding thin ice.

TRIGGER: THIN ICE COLLAPSE AND BECOMES TREACHEROUS ICE (SECTION WITH P5). A2 takes 5 cold damage (Resist 5 Cold so 0 damage) and is Grabbed DC 15.

* Standard Action: Infernal Glower vs A3, ATK r(9) +9 +2 CA -2 (restrained) = 18 vs 16 Will. Hit. r(8) +7 = 15 damage and BB slides A3 3 squares Q3 to T3.

TRIGGER: THIN ICE COLLAPSE AND BECOMES TREACHEROUS ICE (SECTION WITH T3). A3 takes 5 cold damage (Resist 5 Cold so 0 damage) and is Grabbed DC 15.

* Move Action: Acrobatics check to move carefully across the ice and snow, r(18) +5 = 23 vs 15 DC. Success. Slowed so Speed is 2. Move from O5 to O7, avoiding thin ice.

DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 15 damage to A2
CONDITION TO ENEMIES: A2 slid to P5 and Grabbed (DC 15) by Treacherous Ice, A3 slid to T3 and Grabbed (DC 15) by Treacherous Ice.

Cleanse the Earth Skill Challenge at 2/6 Successes
A1 72/72, Grabbed DC 15
A2 51/72, Grabbed DC 15
A3 72/72, Grabbed DC 15
M * 4 enter scene, act on Initiative 18



A quadruple of slavering, CORRUPTED GOLIATHS of the Cult of the Iron Gorgon disembark from a raft to clamber up the outer ejecta lip, clearly bent on enforcing their alien master's twisted will!


Dungeoneer vs Corrupted Goliaths: r(7) +7 = 14: (Just) misses the Moderate DC.

CHANVATI looks up as four Goliaths reach the crater's "shore." These behemoths are beyond his ken, their minds twisted by the warping control of Caiphon.

CHANVATI reels, both from the spray of acid spewed forth from the alien abomination and the frigid waters. Struggling upward, he breaks the surface of the water and gasps huge lungsful of breath, entangled in the tentacles of the Scuttler and the shards of fragmented ice.

With quick thought that has become reflex, he distorts space--but this time upon his very person, and the grasping form of the Scuttler. The experience is ... unsettling. He wretches dryly, but at least he is safe, transported to firm ice. The Scuttler is less fortunate, maneuvered deeper into the pool of broken ice.

Shaking off the trauma of these assaults, the Merchant Prince buoys himself with the mental image of Pa'avu shattering the meterorite with her fullblade, then deftly makes his way across the ice and climbs the crater lip once again.

And is met by another faceful of acidic, distorting spew, which he frantically spends the next moment wiping from his visage.

* Start of turn: Dazed condition ends. Grabbed. Takes 5 Cold damage.

* Standard Action: Dimensional Scramble centered on E6. ATK vs self, r(9) +9 = 18 vs 17 Fort. Hit. ATK vs A1, r(19) +9 = 28 vs 18 Fort. Hit. Damage = r(6) +5 = 11, teleport self to D7, teleport A1 to F6.

* Minor Action: Inspiring Word on self. Heal Surge (11) + r(4) = 15 hit points.

* Move: D7 to H9. Acrobatics check to cross Snow-covered Ice, r(14) +8 = 22 vs 15 DC. Success. Athletics check to climb Crater Ejecta Lip, r(6) +5 = 11 vs 11 DC. Success. Atop crater lip in square H9.

TRIGGER: AC DISTORTING SPEW ON C. r(12) +9 = 21 vs 17 Fort. Hit. r(3) +4 = 7 acid and psychic damage and distortion (save ends). r(5) on distortion table so C takes -2 attack rolls and skill checks USoCNT.

* End of turn: Save vs Distortion, r(15). Success.

LOCATION: C in H9, A1 in F6
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 11 damage to A1
CURRENT (DE)BUFFS: -2 ATK and Skill checks USoCNT

The ABOMINABLE ICE SCUTTLERS flail wildly, each in turn more frustrated than the last at the escape of their would-be meals! Escaping the clutches of the treacherous ice, one rushes Chanvati atop the inner ejecta lip, another struggles mightily to get out of the entombing ice hazard, and the third spits another glob of goo at Bita-Bousseh from its disgusting maw!

The merchant prince fends off the rush while the tiefling barrister again is covered in quick-setting spittle!


* Move Action: Escape; Athletics +12 vs DC 15. r(5) +12 = 17. Success and shifts 1 sq to G6.

* Standard Action: Charge (Icewalk and Athletics auto-passes climb DC of lip) to H8 and use Poisoned Maw vs C AC; r(6) +11 +1 (Charge) = 18. Miss.


* Start of Turn: Tanglespit Recharge; 3. Fails to recharge.

* Move Action: Escape; Athletics +12 vs DC 15. r(1) +12 = 13. Failure.

* Move Action: Escape; Athletics +12 vs DC 15. r(14) +12 = 26. Success and shifts 1 sq to O6.


* Start of Turn: Tanglespit Recharge; 5. RECHARGES.

* Move Action: Escape; Athletics +12 vs DC 15. r(10) +12 = 22. Success and shifts 1 sq to S4.

* Standard Action: Tanglespit (Ranged 5) vs B Ref. r(19) +9 = 28. Hit; r(7, 1) + 5 = 13 damage and B is restrained (save ends).

LOCATION: A1 in G6. A2 in O6. A3 in S4.
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 13 damage to B.
CONDITION TO ENEMIES: B is restrained (save ends).
CURRENT HIT POINTS/CONDITIONS: A1 at 61/72. A2 at 72/72. A3 at 66/72.
CURRENT BUFFS/DEBUFFS: A3 no longer grants CA to BB. BB is no longer Slowed.

A squad of CORRUPTED GOLIATHS pour into the battlefield, carefully navigating the slick snow and ice while hurling handaxes at Chanvati and Bita-Bousseh!


* Move Action: Athletics r(15)+12. Success. Move to G7.

* Standard Action: Handaxe (Ranged 5/10) vs C's AC. r(14) +11 = 25. 7 damage. TRIGGER: Damage while balancing on top of unstable surface of the lip. Acrobatics check required for C vs moderate DC 15. r(18) +8= Success.


* Move Action: Athletics r(2)+12. Failure so squares are DT. Move to G4.

* Standard Action: Handaxe (Ranged 5/10) vs C's AC. r(8) +11 -2 (Long Range for Range 6 due to elevation) = 17. Miss.


* Move Action: Athletics r(20)+12. Success. Move to J7.

* Standard Action: Handaxe (Ranged 5/10) vs B's AC. r(18) +11 +2 (CA) = 31. 7 damage.


* Move Action: Athletics r(13)+12. Success. Move to J6.

* Standard Action: Handaxe (Ranged 5/10) vs B's AC. r(5) +11 +2 (CA) = 18. Miss.

LOCATION: M1 in G7. M2 in G4. M3 in J7. M4 in J6.
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 7 damage to C and B.

PA'AVU narrows her eyes at the strange purple stone, trying to understand the truth of it. After a moment, the goliath smiles with grim satisfaction as she sees through its various illusions to the fragile, cowering presence hiding within. Then, she turns to climb back up to the rim of the meteorite's ejecta until she reaches the location of her exhausted and much-wounded merchant prince.

"Gosb'tar, take some of my strength," she says as her hands cups his shoulders. She bends her head downward until their foreheads are touching. "See what I can see. See beyond what it is showing us."

* Pa'avu begins turns within 5 of AC: TRIGGERS DISTORTING SPEW.


* Standard Action: Rebuke Delusions/Perception check: autosuccess (15 vs. DC 15): Target Chanvati (ranged 5): the target is imperceptible to enemies and cannot be attacked UtEoPNT

* Move Action: Climb check = Autosuccess (13 vs. DC 13): from K9 to I10

* Iron Resurgence (Melee 1): Target Chanvati: lose 1 surge, spend 2 surges, gain THPs = 1/2 his surge value: 22 (5 THP)

CONDITION TO ENEMIES: 3 Successes towards Cleansing the Earth SC, 1 Secondary Skill used
CURRENT BUFFS: Chanvati: imperceptible to enemies and cannot be attacked UtEoPNT

Frozen beside the bottom of the crater's rim by hardening ectoplasm expelled by the Skuttler, BITA-BOUSSEH can but struggle in vain at her situation. "Chanvati," she curses silently, "this is twice now you've brought me to the snow-covered mountains and the precipice of death! Should I survive this, never again will I follow you into frozen wastes!"

Her blood boils. She feels the flames of her Infernal Wrath lick across her frame, rejuvenating her weakened spirits and melting the frozen ecotplasm sufficiently for her to free herself from restraint once more.

* Start of turn: Restrained (SE). Infernal Wrath recharge, r(6) = recharges.

* Standard Action: Second Wind, spend Surge (regain 12 HP, +2 Defenses USoBBNT).

* End of turn: Save vs Restrained, r(13) = Success.

CURRENT BUFFS: +2 all Defenses USoBBNT (Second Wind)

Cleanse the Earth Skill Challenge at 4/6 Successes
A1 72/72
A2 51/72
A3 72/72
M1-4 (Minions)



Pa'avu transmits telepathically not only the image of the weak, vulnerable core that is alien Caiphon possessing the meteorite but also her triumphant affect at the realization. New vigor floods CHANVATI's system; he rests assured in the knowledge that he is invulnerable to his enemies now.

"Barrister," he calls out, his sweet tenor echoing within the bowl of the crater, "take heart, for we are on the precipice of victory, and our enemies' blows are but the breath of mice exhaled against the toes of giants!"

His magic bracers glow with psionic power, and the Merchant Prince scampers down from the crater's lip and out of sight like a mountain goat buck, down beside the eerily pulsating meteorite, its acid spew no longer a threat.

In a surge of psionic energy, Chanvati's form shimmers and disappears.

* Start of turn: imperceptible to enemies and cannot be attacked UtEoPNT (Rebuke Delusions). Does not trigger Distorting Spew.

* Standard Action: Reassure Ally, Diplomacy check, r(3) +13 = 16 vs 15 DC. Success. 1 Success towards Cleanse the Earth SC, and BB gains +2 Power Bonus to all defenses UTEoCNT (stacks with Second Wind bonus).

* Free Action: Bracers of Mental Might to use INT instead of STR for ensuing Athletics check.

* Move Action: Athletics +10 = autosuccess vs 11 DC to Climb from H9 to J11. Does not trigger Distorting Spew.

* Minor Action: Mind Shroud.

CONDITION TO ENEMIES: 4/6 Successes in Cleanse the Earth SC.
CURRENT BUFFS: imperceptible to enemies and cannot be attacked UtEoPNT. +2 to BB's Defenses (stacks with Second Wind for total of +4 to all Defenses). Slowed and superior cover UtEoCNT.

The ABOMINABLE ICE SCUTTLERS surround Bita-Bousseh with the scuttling devilry. Disgusting maws, laced with poison, nip at her to tear at her infernal flesh, but her morale runs high at this moment and will and skill carry her through the onslaught.

The third scuttler moves trivially up the inner ejecta lip and engages Pa-avu for the first time. The barbarian's armor and physical fortitude is simply too much for the creatures lashing tentacles, almost like she is accepting blows against her to prove how futile the predator's efforts are!


* Move Action: Climb (Icewalk and Athletics +12 vs DC 11 for lip is autosuccess) to move H8 to H9.

* Standard Action: Abominable Tentacles vs P Fort; r(7) +9 = 16. Miss.


* Start of Turn: Tanglespit Recharge; 3. Fails to recharge.

* Move Action: Scuttle (At-Will); Shift 3 (Athletics autosuccess on Climb DC 11) from O6 to M7.

* Standard Action: Poisoned Maw vs B's AC. r(11) +11 = 22. Miss (due to +4 Defenses Buff).


* Start of Turn: Tanglespit Recharge; 2. Fails to recharge.

* Standard Action: Charge from S4 to P6 and use Poisoned Maw vs B's AC. r(6) +11 +2 (CA) +1 (Charge) = 20. Miss (due to +4 Defenses Buff).

LOCATION: A1 in H9. A2 in M7. A3 in P7.
CURRENT HIT POINTS/CONDITIONS: A1 at 61/72. A2 at 72/72. A3 at 66/72.

See the Barbarian riding the top of the precarious ejecta lip like a warrior holding a standard in battle, daring an engagement, a trio of CORRUPTED GOLIATHS pour over her and attempt to knock her from her figurative and literal perch! The various rushes and cascading blows create a frenzy of melee where Pa'avu beats back the coordinated attack but briefly loses her footing in the effort.

Meanwhile, the fourth corrupted goliath rushes Bita-bousseh.

The carnage creates two, discrete violent and fights. The typical sounds of metallic collision, shuffling feet, and guttural growl haunt ice, snow, piled earth while echoing out into the cold night.


* Standard Action: Charge from G7 to I9 (Athletics +12 +r(8) = 20 to traverse ice & snow and auto-success on DC 11 climb of lip) and Maurader's Rush vs P's AC. r(17) +11 +1 (charge) = 29. 9 damage. TRIGGER: Damage while balancing on top of unstable surface of the lip. Acrobatics check required for P vs moderate DC 15. r(20) +4= Success.

(⚔) Maurader's Rush (weapon) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +11 vs. AC
Hit: 7 damage, or 9 if charging.


* Move Action: Athletics r(12)+12 = Success. Failure so squares are DT. Move from G4 to F9.

* Standard Action: Charge from F9 to H10 (Athletics +12 +r(5) = 17 to traverse ice & snow and auto-success on DC 11 climb of lip) and Maurader's Rush vs P's AC. r(20) +11 +1 (charge) = 29. 9 damage. TRIGGER: Damage while balancing on top of unstable surface of the lip. Acrobatics check required for P vs moderate DC 15. r(8) +4= Failure. Unstable but not narrow ground so Pa'avu is prone.


* Standard Action: Charge from J7 to M8 (Athletics +12 +r(9) = 21 to traverse ice & snow and auto-success on DC 11 climb of lip) and Maurader's Rush vs B's AC. r(18) +11 +1 (charge) = 30. 9 damage.

TRIGGER: INFERNAL WRATH, M3 hits BB with an attack; M3 takes r(3) +5 = 8 fire damage; killed.

As the mind-warped Goliath barrels into BITA-BOUSSEH with the full weight of her bulk, the flames of Hell, almost as if with a mind of their own, leap out in a blaze to engulf the now-hapless half-giant. A scream, acrid smoke, a charred corpse in the snow.


* Standard Action: Charge from G7 to I9 (Athletics +12 +r(15) = 27 to traverse ice & snow and auto-success on DC 11 climb of lip) and Maurader's Rush vs P's AC. r(5) +11 +1 (charge) +2 (CA) = 19. Miss.

LOCATION: M1 in I9. M2 in H10. M3 in M8. M4 in I9.
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 18 damage to P and 9 damage to B.

After avoiding all but a glancing blow from the mind-controlled goliaths, PA'AVU is only mildly embarrassed by her slip to her knees. Deftly brushing off yet another attack from the meteorite, she pretends to struggle in regaining her footing. Instead, as the goliath slowly stands back up, she allows her body to fall backward in a graceful arch, ultimately landing in a crouch next to her gosb'tar, head down, one fist touching the crater's floor, the other arm held to the side.

Raising her head and staring once more at the great purple stone throbbing in front of her, Pa'avu straightens her knees and loudly claps her hands together, sending the healing sound vibrations flowing through not only her body but into Chanvati's as well.

As she awaits new orders from her gosb'tar, the goliath draws Velmech'ti, standing ready to engage.

* Pa'avu begins turns within 5 of AC: TRIGGERS DISTORTING SPEW.


* Move Action: Stand up from Prone and shift 1 (off cliff): Hop Down: Acrobatics Check: r(18, 17 Powerful Athlete) + 4 = 22 vs. 15 DC Success! Land in J10

* Standard Action: Stabilize Sanity (focused on Chanvati, Range 5): Heal Check: r(12) + 9 = 21 vs. 15 DC Success

* Minor Action to retrieve stowed item (Velmech'ti)

CONDITION TO ENEMIES: 5/6 Successes towards Cleansing the Earth SC,
CURRENT BUFFS: Chanvati saves against distortion (free action)

Watching her companions slip over the crater’s edge and out of view, BITA-BOUSSEH rages. Abandoned? How dare they!

"Chanvati, should we survive this madness, truly you will come to know the meaning of Hell's fury!" her shout rings out, echoing beyond the crater, across the lake.

Employing the deft maneuvers of navigating threatening courtroom crowds, the barrister retreats between patches of thin ice, wreathed in the protective flames of her ancestry.

* Start of turn: Infernal Wrath recharge, r(1), Fails to recharge

* Move Action: Lawyer's Dodge, ignores DT, Shifts 3 squares N7 to N4.

* Standard Action: Total Defense, +2 bonus to all Defenses USoBNT.

DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 8 fire damage kills M3 (minion)
CURRENT BUFFS: +2 all Defenses USoBNT (Total Defense)


A smile of confidence, perhaps superciliousness, widens CHANVATI's mouth, though his distorted form makes this nearly inscrutable to any but the most gimlet-eyed of onlookers. In futility, the meteorite spits a feeble last splash of mind-warping acid some yards from his feet.

In a weird doubling of his voice in two separate registers, an effect of psionic puissance subtending his words, Chanvati intones, "I may be no priest, alien abomination, but at Xerxes's my study included the mastery of religious rites of use to Psicrafters!

With these words sacred and arcane, I banish your trespassing presence back to the Far Realm; I sever your material connection to this plane!

<<Golptha vyshnihur olnia uth!>>

The eerie pulsating purple light fades from the meteorite. As Chanvati's form solidifies to her view, Pa'avu looks at her gosb'tar; he nods; she steps forward and, swinging her fullblade in a circular arc, brings it down upon the alien rock, shattering it into a thousand shards.

Nevertheless, something uncanny stirs in the back of Chanvati's mind.

* Start of turn: C has total concealment (Mind Shroud)

TRIGGER: AC DISTORTING SPEW ON C. r(5) +9 = 14 vs 21 Fort. Miss.

* No Action: Spend 1 Power Point to augment Adept's Insight.

* Free Action: Adept's Insight, r(1) +1 = +2 buff to

* Standard Action: Religion check to Sever Material Connection, r(7) +10 +2 (AI) = 19 vs 15 DC. Final Success in Cleanse the Earth SC.

* End of turn: Mind Shroud ends.

* Special: End of encounter Save vs. Distortion Disease, r(9). Fails.

DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 6th and final Success in Cleanse the Earth SC inflicted upon AoC.
CONDITION TO ENEMIES: AoC's mental hold on Goliaths and Scuttlers broken.
CURRENT (DE)BUFFS: Distortion disease

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@Manbearcat will update the previous post with the end of the combat scene, but in the meantime he asked that we post a vignette of the win condition and setup for transitioning to the next scene.

Bita-Bousseh's eyes widen in amazement as the abominable ice scuttlers begin to advance upon her, shudder briefly, and then scuttle off across the ice and snow. Looking up at the crater's lip, she watches as the remaining Goliaths jump down from the narrow ledge beyond.

"I'm not going to miss this," she thinks and hustles across the slippery surface to climb the ejecta lip. Three Goliaths stand arrayed before her consort and his slave in some kind of parley. The shattered remnants of the alien presence lie still in the crater's center.

"Behold, I have destroyed the Herald of Caiphon that held your people hostage," proclaims the Merchant Prince. "I have done as promised to N'gauthak and Or'lia. Now, let us return to your people so that we can discuss how this great debt can be repaid."

He gestures to Pa’avu. "Translate."

She looks at him for a moment, then complies.

Chanvati intends this "debt" be repaid in service, specifically the Goliath clan's service to him as a personal army with which to return to Bantouk to face his political enemies.
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@darkbard , while he gathers himself and addresses his former adversaries, CHANVATI finds himself wracked with distractions; visions, pain, other odd sensory phenomena (Stage 1 Distortion of Caiphon)

Distortion of Caiphon Level 6 Supernatural Disease
The skin of the infected subtly...shifts, causing intense pain, both physical and mental. The victim's eyes pulse with purple fire.

Stage 0: The target recovers from the disease.
Stage 1: While affected by stage 1, the target takes a -2 penalty to initiative checks and Will. The target gains a +1 bonus to the attack rolls of powers that have the psychic keyword.
Stage 2: While affected by stage 2, the target loses one healing surge that cannot be regained until the target recovers from the disease. The target takes a -4 penalty to Perception checks and Insight checks.
Stage 3: While affected by stage 3, the target takes a -2 penalty to skill checks. The target's attacks deal 1d6 extra psychic damage.
Stage 4: While affected by stage 4, the target descends into madness and is dazed.

Check: At the end of each extended rest, the target makes an Endurance check if it is at stage 1, 2, or 3.
10 or lower: The stage of the disease increases by one.
11-14: No Change
15 or higher: The stage of the disease decreases by one.

CHANVATI MAJOR QUEST: Investigate any psionic traces of his circumventing the Spirit Gate and seal a possible breach between the Spirit and Far Realms.

* 250 xp apiece. Write a new Major Quest.

PA'AVU MAJOR QUEST: Destroy the Meteorite of Caiphon, freeing the warped Cult of the Iron Gorgon Goliaths from its dread influence.

* 250 xp apiece. Write a new Major Quest.


* 500 + 250 * 3 + 63 * 4 - 250 (BB) = 1252/2 = 676 apiece.


* Bita-Bousseh Infernal Wrath Recharges on 4, 5, 6 (rather than 5, 6).

* The Mountains of Stoneroot's Perch are cleansed of the alien menace. Whenever you take an Extended Rest in these mountains, take a floating Advantage forward for the following adventuring day. You can use it in a Skill Challenge (per typical Advantage rules) or one character gains +4 Initiative in a combat. You have 1 such Advantage available now.

* 400 gold.

The entirety of the Goliath Tribe that formerly constituted The Cult of the Iron Gorgon stumbles about in a collective daze on the shores of the highland lake fed by meltwater from the peak of Stroneroot's Perch. Your boatman pilot shambles through the water and pulls the raft to shore for you all to disembark. He throws his arm out wide, signaling you the way to their oracle's lodge; an open-air, hewn cavern with the overhang fortified by timbers.

Seeing strangers suddenly appear in their midst and being sensitive to the disorientation of the pack, a pair of hounds spring forward on coiled haunches and rush over to the shoreline to meet you, heads low and ears back. If they "go aggro" and bark (or worse), that will signal an ill omen to the tribe.

What do you do?


Skill Challenge:
C2, Level +0 SC = Convince the leadership of the tribe to repay their debt. Success = The tribe agrees to your terms. Failure = The tribe is alienated and the Primordial Vezzuvu finds an opening...

Level 6, Complexity 2 (DCs will be for level 6 so 11, 15, 23 while ATK vs NAD is 18/19 and vs AC is 20/22)

0 Successes (1 Hard DC Available)/0 Failures/2 Secondary Skills Available/0 Advantages Available)
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As PA'AVU whistles for Hazard to join them, she can feel psionic energy pouring into her l'pahb'gin, strengthening her stance. <Thank you, gos'btar,> she thinks to herself before giving her full focus to the pups drawing closer. In response to her call, her beloved Hound gallops joyfully toward the goliath and her companions, rushing past the approaching canine pair, circling around Pa'avu's legs before finally flopping at her feet, gazing up at her besottedly. The goliath's stern glare remains fixed on the other hounds - now a little confused at the subservient response of the much larger Hazard - and she firmly orders them in giantish to lie down, mirroring the words in her hand gesture.

* Hazard as +2 circumstance bonus

* Adept's Insight (encounter power) to strengthen Pa'avu's "alpha-ness": r(4) +1 as bonus

* Primary Skill Intimidate check to dominate the hounds into submission: r(10) + 12 + 2 (Hazard) + 5 (AI) = 29 vs. 23 Hard DC Success!


Quick bookkeeping update:

Milestone achieved, C & P each gain 1 AP.

Short Rest: Chanvati uses Inspiring Word on Pa'avu, praising her for her decisive role in defeating the Herald of Caiphon; she spends 1 Surge (15) & regains r(3) = 18 total HP. 43 +18 = 61/61, 10/11 Healing Surges remaining.

Chanvati retains his 3 remaining Surges and loses 5 THP. 41/44 HP, 3/7 Healing Surges remaining.

Bita-Bousseh spends 2 healing surges (24 HP). 21 +24 = 45/49, 5/8 Healing Surges remaining.

Character XP: C 8807/10,000, P 8808/10,000

Loot: 1751 gps, 5 gems (100 gp each), Brooch of No Regrets +1 (680 gp), Jade hairpin (250 gp) (plus the 15 gp Pa'avu still has secreeted away from character creation).

Chanvati Minor Quest: Convince Bita-Bahlin and his masters that Chanvati is not a dissident-traitor but a true patriot.

Chanvati Major Quest: Discover what besets the Empress such that she cast out counselors (such as Bita-Bousseh), contracted to an inner circle of advisors, and initiated the new Inquisition that besets the Empire of Hageri.

@Nephis is still contemplating a new Major Quest, which will be forthcoming, but has this nearing completion:

Pa’avu Minor Quest: Get the girl to the Sect of Omthala (L+1, C2 Skill Challenge suspended, 5 Successes (0 Hard DC Available)/0 Failures/1 Secondary Skills Available).
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1 Successes (0 Hard DC Available)/0 Failures/2 Secondary Skills Available/0 Advantages Available)

While the dogs are bellying up and getting scritches, one Goliath seems less stupefied than the rest.

An elderly woman, betrayed by a minor bend of the years and a small hitch in her giddyup, is tending a “rock garden” in the open air of the cold night. Most stones require a small heft, but some are quite large. She keeps looking over at you all, she was in fact doing so as you were being poled to shore, perhaps as a muse or perhaps her “gardening” is an appeal for a sign?

The gardener arrays the rocks with a meticulous eye but finds a struggle with the largest. As the encounter with the canines draws to an abrupt close (they run off playing and yapping), she attempts to hustle. Despite her strain, the near-boulder defies her.

What do you do?



While Pa'avu's attention is rightfully drawn to curtailing the threat of roused, aggressive canines, CHANVATI takes note of the milling Goliaths, freed from mind control but stupefied by this sudden shift, and the elderly Goliath and her struggles with the garden of stones. If ever there was an opportunity for generosity of spirit to also serve as a show of strength, this was it!

"Grandmother," he calls out in the Common speech, "you look like you can use some aid." He strides across the snow-blanketed slope to face the imposing glacial erratic with which she struggles. "My people must seem as children to yours, and I am no paragon of physical form even amongst my own, but you will see that my power of mind can project itself to perform great feats even in the physical realm."

The silver filigree of his bracers glows with an electric blue light, and the Merchant Prince wraps his arms around the boulder with which the ancient Goliath struggled, heaving it up and placing it in her desired position in an act that defies all physical laws and logic.

Chanvati uses a Free Action to activate his Bracers of Mental Might, allowing him to use Intelligence in place of Strength for the ensuing Athletics check.

Primary Skill Athletics check to lift the boulder in Herculean fashion, r(6) +10 = 16 vs 15 Moderate DC. Success.
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2 Successes (0 Hard DC Available)/0 Failures/2 Secondary Skills Available/0 Advantages Available)

She smiles a genuine smile that takes her face in full. She slaps her knee and turns away to move more stones in her garden.

Over her shoulder, "I have seen you, you know. In that very stone, in fact."

She shifts a few stones, looks consternated, shifts another, looks content. While looking down at her work, "why don't you look into that big stone. Tell me what you see."

MEDIUM DC. On a success, tell us what interesting and useful vision of yourself you see. On a failure, I'll tell you something interesting that sucks!


CHANVATI seems perplexed. "Seen me?" he asks. "In the rock? What do you mean?"

The old Goliath, even bent with age, is more than two heads his superior. She doesn't turn but merely waves a hand distractedly in the direction of the boulder. "Look," she repeats.

The Merchant Prince regards the great stone, dragged here aeons ago by ice retreating across the region. Perhaps. Alternating striations run their course. Slight fissures and folds, protuberances not yet yielding to the slow, steady grind of weather. For long moments he stares into the rock, scanning its surface for some hint of what the old woman must mean.

And then he sees it: one of the protuberances resembles a goliath's head, no is a goliath's head in miniature, beneath the surface. And the closer he looks, the more his vision is drawn into the boulder, to a place beyond. The Goliath is surrounded by others of its kind, and they form a phalanx around two figures standing before a raised seat. Closer. The larger figure is Pa'avu. Then his own form. The woman on the seat the Empress herself looking down upon him, a smile upon her regal face. Her beauty astounds. But beyond the guards that flank her throne lies something darker in the shadows, inscrutable. As Chanvati sharpens his focus on this presence, he finds himself staring once again at simple stone.

Chanvati makes a Primary Skill Arcana check to tap into the primal energies of time that are centered within the stone, r(7) +13 = 20 vs 15 Moderate DC. Success. This vision seems to suggest that something hidden and dark besets the Empress, that she is neither mad nor a fool but a victim herself, a possibility indicated by Bita-Bousseh many days before.
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3 Successes (0 Hard DC Available)/0 Failures/2 Secondary Skills Available/0 Advantages Available)

Without regarding you but gesturing toward the open-air cave of the oracle, the old stone gardener says "take what you have seen with you. She brought us here when the purple rock fell from the stars. Who can know what master she serves?"

Your eyes are naturally drawn to the cave. As are Pa'avu's as she finishes with the dogs.

Faint traces of colors emerge in the darkness within. The grating sound of chiseled stone or relief-work.

Several, disparate figures gather in front of the cave. Two. Then Four. Then Six. Their faces trade a mask of stupor for menace as they turn to face you, a vanguard between you and the oracle within.

Hazard growls.


Take +2 circumstance bonus when Chanvati's vision is used in this conflict.


As the goliaths make a shuffling exit from the cave to stand in defensive formation, PA'AVU notices a few disparities: the purple dust on their clothing, the chisels in their hands dropping flecks of purple dust, the faint purple glow flickering unsteadily behind them. Narrowing her eyes at their faces, she realizes that - while their faces show menace - there is still a dullness to the focus of their eyes that - coupled with stumbling of their footsteps - suggests puppetry of some kind.

The runes on her armor begin to glow and emit a piercing noise as Chanvati's sahtree raises her fists in the air and bellows in fury and frustration, shaking the branches of the trees, the hairs on everyone's heads, the very air around them: "Is there no end to the alien dominance of my brethren?" Then, she points her finger at the "honor guard" and orders them in giantish to stand down and wake up, as the purple menace from the stars has been vanquished and they are free.

* Secondary Skill Perception (autosuccess vs. Easy DC) to notice the purple dust, the pervading alien influence on these goliath to gain a +2 bonus

* Screaming Armor (encounter power) to as a + 2 circumstance bonus

* Primary Skill Intimidate check (untrained) to dominate the goliaths and "wake them up" from their foreign influence: r(13) + 7 + 2 (SS) + 2 (SA) = 24 vs. 15 Medium DC Success!

4 Successes (0 Hard DC Available)/0 Failures/1 Secondary Skills Available/0 Advantages Available)

The vanguard, stupor arrested and senses fully restored, parts like a curtain. A figure sits in the dark cavern, backlit by an obscured fire, colors dotting the wall in front of her.

"The dread star warned of your arrival, and it is upon us.

Come. Sit. The profit of eyes and ears were stolen from me in the womb. But I have been gifted this.."

The wall before her is a tapestry of illuminated runecarvings. Omens of prophetical significance are interspersed with rote moral lesson are interspersed with pictographs of all manner of things are interspersed with simple conversation (reading via touch). Widely varying colors and glow lie within the chiseling and the kept fire pours light onto the efforts.

"My hands bore it earlier this morning."

She points to a pictorial representation of the meteorite sundered, her people leaving the mountain redoubt, an orgy of blood and violence as Goliath corpses pile before a human throne.

A hammer and various chisels with color-laden tips are in a bucket on the ground near an unoccupied flat rock next to her. What do you do?



CHANVATI motions for Pa’avu to step back and let him handle this situation. He picks up the hammer—almost too heavy for him to wield effectively—and selects the smallest, most slender chisel he can find. Father had said he was wasting his time with that semester of sculpture and engraving at Xerxes’s, but the Merchant Prince held a strong faith in the idea of the well-rounded individual from a young age! He projects his thoughts into the old woman’s mind directly.

<<Visions abound near Stoneroot’s Perch. I too had one, more recently than yours. Let me show you in the manner to which you are accustomed.>>

With his typical confidence, Chanvati chisels away at an unmarred section of the stone surface, near to this seer’s vision of destruction. He takes a step back, cocks his head to the right, then returns to chisel an additional flourish.

It is a crude scene of himself and Pa’avu standing among a throng of Half-giants before the throne of a smiling woman. A scene ripe with promise and hope.

He places the old woman’s hand upon the etching. She moves her fingers across gingerly, probing and tracing carefully. Then she frowns and turns her sightless, soundless head to him.

“Everyone's a critic,” he mutters under his breath and sighs.

I’m utilizing the +2 Circumstance bonus for invoking Chanvati’s vision in the challenge. Primary Skill check Dungeoneering to chisel the scene of his vision, r(4) +7 +2 = 13 vs 15 Moderate DC. Failure.
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4 Successes (0 Hard DC Available)/1 Failures/1 Secondary Skills Available/0 Advantages Available)

When the runecarver turns her dull eyes upon him, the moment of levity is abruptly stolen from him as there feels like a reflexive recoil takes Chanvati...or at least the impulse of it. Whether this is real or imagined, he cannot suss out.

Then...a terrible smile widens upon her face.

Where those dull eyes shed no light before, molten rock pours forth, spilling on the cavern floor, threatening to consume the carver and Chanvati both.

This must be a hallucination...right? Some sort of manifestation of Vezzuvu through the merchant prince's reality-distorting, magical disease? Mustn't it?

His skin feels like its crawling...shifting. His own eyes wreathe with purple fire...

What do you do?

Chanvati loses a healing surge. If you accrue another Failure in your move here, make an Endurance Check at Medium DC for Chanvati. If you fail, Chanvati moves to Stage 2 (nothing happens on a success).

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