The Slave and Her Sovereign


PA'AVU takes point as the Old Way on which they traverse passes through The Gray Grove. She has cautioned the others to follow her steps as closely as possible, watching her hands for instruction. She is grateful for their quiet for several reasons but especially so she can be more fully within herself and her l'pahb'gin: this is a foul, dead place and she can feel the trees and the ground in which they no longer grow affecting the stone of her skin, causing it to itch and burn. Their passage along the Old Way is not quick, for each step the goliath takes, she must to hear through the bare soles of her immense feet what the poisoned stone and earth are telling her, despite the queasiness direct contact with the ground is causing her. Several times the touch of her feet to that soft viscous ground fills her with such revulsion that she immediately retracts her foot and chooses a different path along the wide, ancient road, motioning for the others to follow her altered path. At each of these places she can see -- out of the corner of her eye -- Hazard pull his head up sharply, as if smelling something particularly putrid. To continue on, she tries to take a deep breath and wipes her brow. They can't stop here, so she must soldier on, leading them out of here.

* I'm using Stone's Endurance (Encounter Power) to emphasize Pa'avu's goliath heritage as a bonus here for

* Primary Skill check Endurance to endure The Gray Grove and its nasty traps: r(8) +9 +2 = 19 vs. 15 Moderate DC Success!

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Knowing full well that the Gorgon Mud Traps are but half the challenge of navigating The Gray Grove--he did not spend half a day pouring over the interminable and dry An Excursion Most Difficult and Strenuous by the sixth dynasty travel writer Heramites for nought--CHANVATI schools the others in warning signs that the Cult of the Iron Gorgon is near: the slow beating of drums, like the heartbeat of one under the effect of a narcotic; the low pitched rumble of stray voices, almost like thunder on the horizon; their streaked silver, black, and rust hides, not the mottled gray and blue of Pa'avu's skin; and most of all the overwhelming metallic musk of blood they emit.

All are on high alert, even Pa'avu who works so hard to guide them through the grove at peril to her own body. But it is Bita-Bousseh's infernal heritage, with its sharp eyesight even in this moonless night, that espies a pair of half-giant Cultists through the trees several hundred yards off, thus alerting the group of their presence so as to allow a quick detour from the path and beyond to safety.

Group Perception Primary Skill Check vs. 15 Moderate DC; all receive +2 bonus to Perception checks for being within 10 squares of Chanvati (Canny Leader); Bita-Boussseh receives additional +2 Circumstance bonus for Low-light vision.

Pa'avu, r(15) +10 +2 = 27. Success.
Hazard, r(11) +9 +2 = 22. Success.
Chanvati, r(11) +8 = 19. Success.
Bita-Bousseh, r(7) +4 +2 +2 = 15. Success.

5 Successes (2 Hard DC Available)/0 Failures/2 Secondary Skills Available/4 Advantages Available)

With the varying throttle of drums and thunderous recitation of the rogue goliaths' liturgies left behind, the group finds a night's rest in a covered and concealed shelter (Mark rations).

The morning is cold in the increased altitude. Mists shroud the precarious hike up the ridgeline to The Breathless Chimney with a sheer drop-off of some one hundred feet on your right. Visibility is extremely limited. Weather could turn at a moment's notice. The wind's howl and exposed skin protests. In the distance, somewhere far along the narrow ridge, the sound of a bleating mountain goat is violently cut short as it is taken by a predator. (1)

From behind...wooden mallets pound goatskin stretched on framing that amplifies the drumming to an extraordinary degree...echoes resound across the slopes and canyons of this place. The cult is either tracking you or signaling to far flung allies in higher altitudes...perhaps both...(2)

You definitely have to deal with (1) to get to The Breathless Chimney; Medium DC.

Deal with the threat of (2) at your discretion; Hard DC


The sound of the drumming has changed and catches Pa'avu's attention. She listens intently, holding up her hand, stopping their movement, and silencing the fellowship. It is many years since she has heard the drums used to communicate among and between clans, and she is obviously struggling to hear the phrasal groups and decipher their meaning. She mutters softly to herself in her deep voice, "Wheat? Lost? Sleeping? Boulders in the river? Travelers in the river! Not in the river. Lost in the corn?? Ah, travelers not swallowed in the river, no, the silt." She turns to CHANVATI and says, "travelers not swallowed by the silt; someone not yet touched; direction: the threshhold." In this way she works through the eerie, distorted cadence and provides the merchant prince with enough material to puzzle out meaning: "This cult of the Iron Gorgon has seen you, Pa'avu; you are the one 'not touched.' They have marked our passage and alerted someone--or something--ahead of our coming. They know we seek the Breathless Chimney and approach, even now."

We're wagering an Advantage (this is the bonus advantage gleaned through Gae'al's blessing of Pa'avu's Quest) here before the roll for 2 Successes vs the Hard DC should we succeed.

Pa'avu uses her knowledge of Giantish as a Circumstance bonus +2 forward to Chanvati's Primary Skill Insight check to decipher the content of the message for information advantageous to the fellowship in preparing themselves for/avoiding the waiting threat above, r(15) +12 +2 = 29 vs 23 Hard DC. 2 Successes.

The comical, almost human bleating of a mountain goat near at hand cuts short in a wet gurgle and squeal. Something is out there in the mist, something that can take down a nimble, 300+ lb, sure-footed denizen of this rocky terrain with a single blow, or slash, or bite.

Hazard rumbles a low growl. "Quiet, boy!" Pa'avu whispers. Then, "Tread softly. Make no sound if you can. We wish no violence in this mist if we can avoid it."

Group Primary Skill Check Stealth vs 15 Moderate DC to avoid whatever took down the mountain goat:

Chanvati, r(3) +6 = 9. Fail.
Bita-Bousseh, r(17) +6 = 23. Success.
Hazard, r(18) +4 = 22. Success.
Pa'avu, r(7) +3 = 10. Fail.

2/4 Successes in Group Check = Success.

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

The "breath" of Stoneroot relinquishes as the ridgeline emerges from the misty fog. The barren, "breathless" chimney lies before you.

Unrelenting verticality. Cracks. Crimps. Fissures and vents that betray nesting creatures. Small predators looking for an easy meal. (1)


A quarter of the way up the ascent, the constriction is vice-like. Moist walls of the chimney threaten to betray your hands and feet...but, praise be to Stoneroot, the rock is good. It will hold a piton hammered into it and the weight of a carabiner, ropes, climbers. (2)


The crux is a mixed face, open and exposed ascent with chunky ice that will not betray a well-placed ice axe. (3)


Something large beats a sturdy and vast wingspawn above you...something with sizable prey in its talons. It disappears beyond the horizon of the rock above you as a generous spray of blood and gore splashes your chosen line for climbing and drips ominously downward toward you. A lair near your destination above to be sure... (4)

Choose 1 of those 4 above to feature as the "on screen" leg of the climb (or more if you're using a Secondary Skill).

...The demoralizing gaze upward and the frightening considerations at the arduous task before you.

...The technical demands and the claustrophobic nature of the chimney itself.

...The brutality and suffering of the exposure and hardship that the mixed face crux promises.

...The powerful sensory capabilities, territoriality, and voracious appetite of the apex predator that lurks at the top.

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Though the crux of the climb is harrowing in its own right, and far more technically demanding, this vertical approach to Stoneroot's Perch is aptly named The Breathless Chimney, for it is the combination of pyschologically crushing claustrophobia and physical strain that makes its mark on the fellowship.

The wind howls in an uncanny monotone through the vast crevice. The climbers brace themselves, at times with their backs to the wall and limbs splayed out like top-heavy insects, at others squeezing through sections that practically deny the physical space necessary for Pa'avu to writhe and squirm her mighty form through, as she takes the lead. Brows bead with perspiration at the effort, and the endocrine response triggered by the fear that one minor slip could trigger a fall into so narrow a section that an agonizingly slow death would be the inevitable outcome.

At one point, the panic is almost too much for Bita-Bousseh, and she refuses to go on, repeating in a vulnerable, high-pitched tone so different from her usual sultry affect, "I can't do this! I can't do this." Until Hazard, that is, navigating the slightest jugs in a manner than would make a mountain goat proud, nuzzles his head against her shoulder, and she regains her composure.

We're using an Advantage to refresh Pa'avu's training in Endurance for a Group Primary Skill Endurance check vs 15 Moderate DC.

Pa'avu, r(12) +9 = 21. Success.
Hazard, r(19) +4 = 23. Success.
Chanvati, r(19) +6 = 25. Success.
Bita-Bousseh, r(10) +3 = 13. Fail. [Why can't we roll like this in combat?!?]

3/4 Successes in Group Check = Success.
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9 Successes (1 Hard DC Available)/0 Failures/2 Secondary Skills Available/2 Advantages Available)

As each climber spills over the lip to the landing before them, a cheer nearly erupts from their grateful lungs...but each one stifles the reflex due to what is before them.

The predator in the mists reveals itself. Amidst the whooshing sound of snow flurries and subtle alien whispers, a creature that looks to be an aberrant version of a large, scaly Komodo Dragon with the long, leathery wingspan of the Wyvern that egressed them to Chomrok is enjoying a meal of mountain goat on a 30 ft tall frozen butte. Its eyes slowly regard the fellowship while it enjoys its meal. Its massive hind legs reveal that its going to spring for a helping of the dessert that has just stumbled into its lair...

Frozen mists and icy tendrils spill out of some unseen pit/maw on the northwestern portion of the lair.

Strange, rime-covered, lithe...formations of mutant flesh, rock, and ice sway in the cold breeze...seemingly probing the air.

* Discover a dangerous opportunity and be prepared. There are 2 x Uncommon magic items of level 8 (or lower, player choice) in the lair of a powerful denizen along the way. Use all 4 characters (both PCs and both Companions) and face a level 4 Solo in its lair with an encounter budget of 875 + 350 + 176 = 1401; Level +4. Take +2 Initiative.


* The northwest pit part of the lair is an Icemaw Pit:

Icemaw Pit Level 4 (Aberrant) Obstacle 175 xp
The frozen maw from another world hungers...

Triggered Actions
⚔ Icy Tendrils (cold) ✦ At-Will
Trigger: A creature that lacks the cold or aberrant keywords enters or starts its turn within 2 squares of the pit but not inside it.
Attack (Opportunity Action): Melee 2 (the triggering creature); +7 vs. Fortitude
Hit: The target is pulled into the pit, takes 1d10 damage, takes ongoing 5 cold damage and is immobilized (save ends both), and falls prone.

✦ Proctive Foil: Dungeoneering or Nature DC 10 (Move Action): Success: The character ascertains that the frozen tendrils are of a creature not of this world and makes itself an unsatisfying morsel for the Far Realm entity UtEoYNT.

✦ Reactive Foil: Dungeoneering or Nature DC 14 (Immediate Action; Trigger- when attacked by Icy Tendrils): Success: The character ascertains that the frozen tendrils are of a creature not of this world and makes itself an unsatisfying morsel for the Far Realm entity. The character takes 5 ongoing cold damage (save ends) and is hanging onto the edge of the pit.

✦ Avoid Falling: Requirement: A character pulled into the pit can make a saving throw to avoid falling in. Success: The character falls prone at the edge of the pit and takes none of the other effects of a normal hit.

✦ Leap: Athletics DC 14 (3 sq) or 21 (3+ sq) to jump. Success: The character moves over the pit's space but is not attacked by Trigger UtBoYNT

✦ Climb: Athletics DC 14 to scale the pit's walls (15 ft).

* The eastern, elevated and light blue portion of the lair is Treacherous Ice:

Treacherous Ice Level 4 Obstacle 175 xp
A slick sheet of ice creates a hazardous obstacle.

Hazard: This sheet of ice fills contiguous squares, turning them into difficult terrain.

The ice attacks when a creature enters or begins its turn in a square of treacherous ice. It also attacks when a creature stands up from prone in a square of treacherous ice.

Opportunity Action Melee
Target:Every creature on the ice
Attack:+7 vs. Reflex
Hit:1d6+3 damage and the target falls prone. If the target is already prone, it takes no damage but its turn ends immediately.

✦ Creature can crawl normally on the ice.
✦ Acrobatics DC 14: With a successful check and a move action, a character can move at its normal speed across treacherous ice without risk of falling. (The ice is still considered difficult terrain.) If the check fails or the character attempts to run or charge through treacherous ice, the ice attacks.
✦ Acrobatics DC 21: With a successful check, a character can run (move action) or charge (standard action) across treacherous ice without risk of falling. (The ice is still considered difficult terrain.) If the check fails, the ice attacks.


- The butte the IF is on is 40 ft tall. The butte directly below it is 20 ft tall. They are both climbable via DC 21 Athletics Check if you are in an adjacent square. If you fail the check, you fall from your height or you fall prone, and lose your Move Action. You can access the tall butte via the frozen formations on the treacherous ice (see above) in the east of the lair. Climbing onto a 5 ft tall frozen formation is DC 10 Athletics.

- All squares with rocks are Difficult Terrain.

- Each square of the gloopy frozen rock and ice to reach the treacherous ice in the east of the lair is Challenging Terrain; DC 14 Athletics check or Difficult Terrain when entering a square.

* Advanced Id Fiend (Level 4 Solo Controller): 224 HP, AC 18, Fortitude 16, Reflex 15, Will 16

* Living Lashes x 4 (Level 4 Minion Controller): 1 HP, AC 18, Fortitude 17, Reflex 15, Will 16


LL 25




Dungeoneer vs Advanced Id Fiend r(10) +6 = 16 (Moderate DC): Speed 6 Fly 6 (icewalk), Darkvision. Resist 5 cold, psychic. Saving Throws +5; Action Points 2. Aura 2, Cold, Fear, Illusion, Psychic

Dungeoneer vs Living Lashes r(15) +6 = 21 (Hard DC):
Living Lashes x 4
Medium aberrant beast
Level 4 Minion Controller XP 44
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion. Initiative +5
AC 18, Fortitude 17, Reflex 15, Will 16 Perception+9
Speed 6, climb 5 (icewalk) Darkvision
Resist 5 cold, psychic

Standard Actions
(⚔) Lash ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +7 vs. AC
Hit: 4 damage and the target is pulled 1 square

(➶) Flung Frost Spike ✦ At-Will
Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature); +7 vs. Reflex
Hit: 4 cold damage, and the target is slowed until the end of the lash's next turn.

➶ Toppling Frost Spike ✦ Encounter
Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature); +7 vs. Reflex
Hit: 4 cold damage, and the target slides 1 square and falls prone.

The LIVING LASHES fling their mutant, rocky, frost-flesh at the intruders, forcing them to slip, slide, topple, and draw ever-nearer to the frozen and hungry maw.

<Starting from Top Left>


Standard Action: Flung Frost Spike (Ranged 10) vs P Reflex. r(13) +7 = 20. Hit. 4 cold damage, and the P is slowed until the end of the lash's next turn.


Standard Action: Toppling Frost Spike (Encounter - Ranged 10) vs P Reflex. r(3) +7 = 10. Miss.


Standard Action: Toppling Frost Spike (Encounter - Ranged 10) vs P Reflex. r(18) +7 = 25. Hit. 4 cold damage, and P slides 1 square (C3) and falls prone.


Standard Action: Flung Frost Spike (Ranged 10) vs H Reflex. r(13) +7 = 20. Hit. 4 cold damage, and the H is slowed until the end of the lash's next turn.

CHANVATI delays until after Bita-Bousseh.

The panic in the constricted space of the Breathless Chimney was real, an inescapable force from deep with her. But that was nothing compared to what BITA-BOUSSEH feels now when seeing the large winged reptile atop the tiered butte. Chanvati had forewarned her about the creature when he proposed looting its lair of magical artifacts en route to his slave's destination atop the mountain. But there was no preparation for this, the slow flapping of those great leathery wings, the wicked and intelligent gleam of madness in the creature's eyes, that broad maw with rows of teeth like daggers. It is a creature of nightmare and insanity. It is no foe for her.

But these alien tendrils of living rock: these she can handle. Whispered promises of infernal reward urge the Living Lash atop the lower butte to tumble to its demise, crashing against the stone surface below. Bita-Bousseh shuffles to shield herself behind the great hound and glares, splayed fingers spread in menace, at another of the creatures with the full might of her heritage, and whatever force animates the mutated stone perishes.

* Minor Action: Hell's Dark Promise on LL (J7), r(11) +7 = 18 vs 16 Will. Hit. Slides the creature 2 squares off the butte. Living Lash: No Action: Save vs Forced Movement into Hindering Terrain. r(7). Fails Save. Slid 2 squares and Lash slain.

* Move Action: B2 to E1

* Standard Action: Infernal Glower on LL (M3), r(12) +7 = 19 vs 16 Will. Hit for r(6) +6 = 12 damage & slide 2. Lash slain.

Holding himself back momentarily to assess the situation, CHANVATI watches with admiration as the barrister proves herself to be far more formidable a combatant than he could have imagined. And she has the right idea of things: taking out these weird tendrils of living rock and ice before they can draw one of the fellowship into the icy maw.

With what is now a routine, if uncanny, crumpling of space, he distorts the field between the two creatures at the edge of the icemaw pit and the distortion shatters their forms into thousands of constituent parts.

"Scatter, friends!" he calls, "and do not let this Id Fiend get too close! Beware its aura, I say!" Then he dashes off to his right, past Bita-Bousseh and opening up some space between him and his allies.

* Free Action: Staff of the Warmage Daily Property to increase burst of Dimensional Scramble to A Bu2.

* Standard Action: Dimensional Scramble centered on E10. ATK vs LL (C10), r(10) +8 = 18 vs 17 Fort. Hit. ATK vs LL (G11), r(12) +8 = 20 vs 17 Fort. Hit. r(1) +5 = 6 damage. Both Lashes slain.

* Move Action: C1 to I2.

PA'AVU carefully gets up from her prone position and moves further away from the others, heeding her gosb'tar's admonition that the lizard-demon-beast above them has what Chanvati calls an "aura." Translation: don't be too close together or we'll all be affected.

She snaps her fingers to get Hazard's attention, nodding her chin forward and pointing to the foot of the butte. That should put her Hound a good space from the tiefling, at least, although the poor thing looks as zapped of energy as she feels and won't get as far as any of them would prefer.

Nor will she, but she does take two staggered steps in the direction those icy, disgusting, perverse fronds of otherworldly fungus were dragging her, feeling slightly safer now that they have been taken care of.

The goliath is still stunned by how quickly her gosb'tar and his partner took them down - and grateful. Those things should not have been here, feeding off sacred ground. Beginning to feel slightly less staggered, Pa'avu breathes deeply into her l'pabh'gin for the protection it will give her skin, as she lifts her sword ready for the chance to attack.

* begins her turn slowed (UEoLLNT) and prone

* Move Action: stand up from prone

* Move Action (slowed): move from C3 to D5

* Minor Action (enc.): Stone's Endurance: Resist 5 All (UEoPNT)

41/49 HP; 11/11 Surges remaining; 1 AP remaining

HAZARD, still reeling from the attack of the strange icy grasses, gingerly makes his way as his Giant suggested, looking back at her a few times, hoping not to be so far away. This place is strange and unnatural and makes him uneasy.

* begins his turn Slowed (UEoLLNT)

* Move Action (slowed): move from E2 to G4

* Move Action (slowed): move from G4 to I4

64/68 HP; 11/11 Surges remaining

Without so much as a roar or any signifier of protest at having its meal upset or its lair violated, the aberrant ADVANCED ID FIEND swoops from its frosty perch, leaving the remnants of the freezing goat carcass to "ca-thunk" on the rime-covered ground of the high butte. It flies to within ten feet of the ground and launches a terrible mind-altering attack from its foes...some horrible, illusory visage conjured from their worst nightmares from the material world or The Far Realm.

Hazard and Bita-bousseh, so stricken by these terrible manifestations, recoil and stumble this way and that, fighting off horrifying visions that are not truly there.

The apex predator takes advantage of this to draw the infernal barrister into its clutches, squeezing her body and mind, and flying toward the ICEMAW on the north end of its tenderize and entomb her in frost as a later meal. The freezing tendrils of the maw reach out and attempt to entwine the Tieflings legs, but her wild trashing from fighting off the fearful images in her head save her...for the moment...

* Move Action: Fly down (no additional cost for movement) 6 sq (10 ft up but Melee 2) to H6.

* Standard Action: Manifest Fear (CLBU5 Enemies from G5) vs B, C, P, H Will. (r)18 +7 = 25. Hit B. (r)19 +7 = 26. Hit C. (r)5 +7 = 12. Miss P. (r)7 +7 = 14. Hit H. B, C, and H are dazed and slowed UtEoYNT.

ᗕ Manifest Fear (fear, illusion) ✦ Recharge ⚃ ⚄ ⚅
Attack: Close burst 5 (enemies in the burst); +7 vs. Will
Hit: The target is dazed and slowed until the end of the id fiend's next turn.

TRIGGER - INFERNAL WRATH (FREE ACTION - B): Trigger: An enemy within 10 squares of Bita-Bousseh hits her with an attack. Effect: IF takes r(3) +3 = 6 fire damage and grants CA UEoIFNT.

As the Id Fiend launches itself in her direction, great wings buffeting her with waves of cold wind, BITA-BOUSSEH feels reality distort. The walls of ice and stone constrict around her--it's almost like she is back in the Breathless Chimney again, but suffocating this time in the thin air as the walls become alive with mutant cilia wriggling against her bare flesh! Reflexively, she lashes out, singeing the freak creature responsible for this horror with an eruption of flame.

* Minor Action: Fearful Torment (R10 from 10 ft up so no OA for H...who is also dazed so no OAs for H) vs B (dazed) and H (dazed) Will; (r)11 +7 +2 (CA) = 20. Hit B. (r)9 +7 +2 (CA) = 18. Hit H. r(4) +7 = 11 psychic damage to B, H. B slides 2 sq to E3 and H slides 2 sq to K3. Both immobilized UtEoTNT.

➶ Fearful Torment (psychic) ✦ At-Will 1/round
Attack: Ranged 10 (one or two dazed creatures); +7 vs. Will
Hit: 1d8 + 7 psychic damage, and the target slides 2 squares and is immobilized until the end of its next turn.

* Action Point (Free Action for Standard Action): Double Attack (Melee 2) vs B. Psychic Talons vs B Fort. Slides B 1 square to F4; r(19) +7 +2 (CA) = 28. r(3, 2) +3 = 8 psychic damage and B is grabbed (Escape 16), and the AIF shifts 2 sq with B to H8 and B is in F6. B IS BLOODIED. Jaws Rush vs B AC. Shifts 2 squares to H10 and B is in F8; r(11) +9 +2 (CA) = 22. r(3) +5 = 8 damage and the AIF shifts 2 sq with B to H12 and B is in F10.

Double Attack ✦ At-Will
Effect: The id fiend uses psychic talons and jaws rush.

(⚔) Psychic Talons ✦ At-Will
Effect: Before the attack, the id fiend slides the target 1 square.
Attack: Melee 2 (one creature); +7 vs. Fort
Hit: 2d6 + 3 psychic damage and the id fiend grabs the target (Escape 16) and shifts 2 squares with the grabbed creature (which can be flight)

(⚔) Jaws Rush ✦ At-Will
Effect: Before the attack, the id fiend shifts 2 squares (which can be flight and with a grabbed creature).
Attack: Melee 2 (one creature); +9 vs. AC
Hit: 1d8 + 5 damage and the id fiend shifts 2 squares (which can be flight and with a grabbed creature).


Trigger: A creature that lacks the cold or aberrant keywords enters or starts its turn within 2 squares of the pit but not inside it.
* Opportunity Action: Icemaw attack Icy Tendrils vs B Fort; r(3) +7 +2(CA) = Miss.

* B is in Mind Freeze Aura (see below):

Aura 2 - Mind Freeze (cold, psychic)
Enemies within the aura take 5 cold and psychic damage at the beginning of their turn.

B: Grabbed DC 16, dazed, slowed, immobilized UEoNT, in Mind Freeze Aura (5 cold and psychic at beginning of their turn)
C: Dazed, slowed UEoNT
H: Dazed, slowed, immobilized UEoNT
AIF: 10 FT UP, 218/224 Grants CA UEoNT



CHANVATI staggers as the Id Fiend swoops in and grabs the barrister in his clutches and wings her away to the precipice of the icy maw. Panic. He knew she would die here. That it would be his fault. This is why he never lets people close.

Performing the only act that he can conjure to save her--the very act that might kill her, he centers her paralyzed body, clutched in the wicked limbs of the Id Fiend, and scrambles space around her and the creature.

It works. Though the teleportation wrenches her very being, she is freed from the clutches of the beast, and the beast is grounded--enough paces away to not be an immediate threat. For now.

Start of turn: 28/36 HP after Manifest Fear attack, dazed, slowed UEoIFNT.

* Free Action: Adept's Insight Aug1 on Dimensional Scramble attack vs BB. r(3) +1 = +4 attack.

* Standard Action: Dimensional Scramble A Bu1 centered on F10. ATK vs BB, r(10) +8 +4 = 22 vs 16 Fort. Hit. ATK vs IF, r(6) +8 +2 (CA) = 16 vs 16 Fort. Hit. r(2) +5 = 7 damage to BB and IF, BB teleported to D8, IF teleported to H8 at 0 altitude.

End of turn: 28/36 HP, dazed, slowed UEoIFNT.

"This is the last time I listen to that Merchant and his hare-brained schemes," BITA-BOUSSEH thinks to herself, ironically, as she sees death looming before her. Then every atom of her being tingles and she feels herself wrenched, nauseatingly, out of the Id Fiend's grasp and away from the icy maw. She feels her lifeforce, ravaged by the harrowing of the Id Fiend, flag.

No! Her lust for life perseveres, and she wills herself back into the battle.. Alive. For now.

Start of turn: Recharge Infernal Wrath, r(4), Fail. Has taken 27 points of damage, dazed, slowed from IF, takes 7 points of damage from C = 3 HP remaining.

* Standard Action: Second Wind: BB spends 1 Healing Surge (9 HP) and gains a +2 bonus to all defenses USoNT.

End of turn: 12/37 HP (bloodied), 7/8 Surges remaining, prone, dazed, slowed, immobilized UEoIFNT.

PA'AVU takes in the chaos of the battlefield, her companions somewhat worse for wear and scattered across the floor of the cave, her gosb'tar collecting his senses enough to free the tiefling and deliver the fiend to where Pa'avu can - finally - attack him. Activating her wonderful, loud armor, the goliath carefully makes her way around the badly wounded tiefling to best position herself against their formidable foe, then, herself in duet with her screaming armor, she charges the fiend, hopefully before it notices her.

Unfortunately, the fiend's senses are acute and its wing hits her squarely in the side and knocking her to the ground. Furious and embarrassed to have been knocked down again, the goliath scrambles forward nonetheless and gets in her own set of solid blows, finally ending in a ferocious roar which pushes the fiend away a few paces. Then, not taking the time to even get up, Pa'avu scrambles forward again, Velmech'ti getting another taste of the fiend's flesh.

Pa'avu begins turn with Stone's Endurance still in effect (Resist All 5)

* Minor Action (Enc): Screaming Armor vs AIF: -2 ATK UEoPNT

* Move Action: Move to D9

* Standard Action: Howling Strike as a Charge action: Move to F9 (enough Speed to navigate Crawl, 1/2 Speed, for last square); ATK: r(19) +10 +1 (charge) +2 (CA) -2 (prone) = 30 vs 18 AC Hit; Damage: r(6) + r(6) +5 + r(4)(Vanguard) = 21 HP;

TRIGGER - IMMEDIATE INTERRUPT; WING BUFFET ON P; r(14) +9 -2 (Screaming Armor) = 21. Hit. r(5) +6 -5 (DR) = 6 damage and P is prone 2 sq from AIF.

Triggered Actions
Wing Buffet ✦ At-Will
Trigger: An enemy moves without teleporting to a square within 2 squares of the id fiend.
Attack (Immediate Interrupt): Melee 2 (the triggering enemy); +9 vs. AC
Hit: 1d10 +6 damage, and the target falls prone.

* No Action (Enc, trigger: hit w/attack): Iron Soul Flurry of Blows: +5 damage, and target cannot Shift USoPT;

* No Action (Enc, trigger: hit w/charge): Iron Wolf Charge: + r(2) damage, and 2nd ATK: 11 + 7 - 2 (prone) = 16 vs 16 Will Hit; target is pushed 2 sq (to H6) and - 2 ATK (UEoPNT)

* Free Action (AP for Standard Action): Howling Strike as Charge: Move to F7; ATK: r(20) + 10 +1 +2 (CA) - 2 (prone)= Critical Hit; Damage: 10 + 6 + 5 + 8 (Vanguard) + r(3) (Vanguard on Critical) = 32 HP

* No Action (trigger: score critical on barbarian ATK power): Ramage: ATK: r(18) + 10 + 2 (CA) - 2 (prone) = 28 vs 18 AC Hit; Damage: r(10) + 5 = 15 HP

* Total HP dmg to AIF: 75 HP!!!!
Pa'avu: 35/49 HP; 11/11 surges remaining; Stone's Endurance ends; effects against AIF: USoPNT: cannot shift; UEoPNT: -4 ATK (Iron Wolf Charge and Screaming Armor).

HAZARD shakes his head, trying to clear the fog and fright from his brain. He is uneasy and terrified, two emotions he hasn't felt since belonging to his Giant, and he hunkers close to the ground for protection.

* Standard Action: Total Defense: +2 all defenses USoNT.

Hazard: 53/68 HP; 11/11 surges remaining; Dazed, Slowed, Immobilized UEoAIFNT

The ADVANCED ID FIEND is under siege and the alien, frozen mind of the predator registers it. It reaches into its Far Realm-imbued reservoirs and unleashes a tidal wave of its enemies worst fears. The Tiefling and the Psion are unfazed while barbarian and hound flinch but to do not recoil due to the Goliath's ferocious onslaught.

The creature beats its wings once as if to attempt to take to the air, but it cannot fully escape the harrying clutches of the Barbarian's blows.

* Manifest Fear Recharge; 4. RECHARGES.

* Standard Action: Manifest Fear (CLBU5 Enemies from H6) vs B, C, P, H Will. r(10) +7 +2 (CA) -4 (SA & IWC) = 15. Miss B. r(8) +7 -4 (SA & IWC) = 11. Miss C. r(18) +7 -4 (SA & IWC) = 21. Hit P. r(17) +7 +2 CA -4 (SA & IWC) = 22. Hit H. P and H are dazed and slowed UtEoYNT.

* Minor Action: Fearful Torment (R10, no OA for P due to dazed) vs B (dazed) and H (dazed) Will; r(8) +7 +2 (CA) -4 (SA & IWC) = 13. Miss P. r(7) +7 +2 (CA) -4 (SA & IWC) = 12. Miss H.

* Move Action: (no OA as P is dazed) H6 to H9 and fly 10 ft up.

* P is in Mind Freeze Aura (see below):

Aura 2 - Mind Freeze (cold, psychic)
Enemies within the aura take 5 cold and psychic damage at the beginning of their turn.

AIF 142/224 -4 Hit (Screaming Armor and Iron Wolf Charge), can't shift (Iron Soul Flurry of Blows). AIF is 10 ft up.



CHANVATI delays. On her hands and knees, BITA-BOUSSEH watches in astonishment as Chanvati's slave enacts a fiersome assault against the Id Fiend.

She scrambles to her feet, whispering dark promises of eternal torment in the fiery pits of hell, and then unleashes her own wave of fear upon the aberrant reptile to ground it near Pa'avu one more.

Start of Turn: Roll to recharge Infernal Wrath, r(3), fails to recharge; daze, slowed, immobilized ended at EoAIFLT; prone.

* Move Action: Stand up from prone.

* Minor Action: Hell's Dark Promise vs AIF, ATK r(7) +7 = 14 vs 16 Will. Miss.

* Standard Action: Infernal Glower vs AIF, ATK r(15) +7 = 22 vs 16 Will. Hit for r(1) +6 = 7 damage and slides AIF to H7 at 0 altitude.

End of turn: 12/37 HP, 7/8 Surges remaining.

As the uncanny reptile is slid into place in front of her once again, PA'AVU smiles with grim satisfaction despite still being dazed from its last attack and the sharp icy pain with which the return of its presence pierces her mind. Her many experiences of her gosb'tar's psionic incursions therein have given her practice in better ignoring the slithery weirdness of such personal invasion, although his are not generally this painful. "Thank you, Zel’kisstr’ Tiefling, for returning Velmech'ti's prey so conveniently to our reach."

Breathing in deeply, the goliath allows the pain to ignite and strengthen her ever present rage. Her face contorts into a furious grimace, as Pa'avu gives an unearthly scream with her voice and a ferocious swing with her greatsword. Her eyes squarely meet those of the otherworldly lizard, and she watches its pupils dilate in stunned surprise as Velmech'ti once again cuts into its hide, almost drawing blood this time.

* Start of turn: ISFoB vs AIF ends; Pa'avu Dazed, Slowed UEoAIFNT; w/in Mind Freeze Aura: takes 5 Cold/Psychic Damage

* Standard Action (daily): Tyrant's Rage vs AIF: r(9) + 10 = 19 vs 16 Will Hit; Damage r(8) + r(3) + 5 = 16 HP and AIF is Dazed (save ends). * End of turn: SA/IWC vs AIF end;

Pa'avu: 36/49 HP, 11/11 surges remaining, Dazed/Slowed UEoAIFNT

CHANVATI watches with pride as Pa'avu unleashes a mighty blow and roar against the Id Fiend. Confident, almost arrogant, now, he circles the melee like a predator. "Barrister," he calls out, "fine work, that!" in an instance of rare praise; Bita-Bousseh seems visibly renewed by his confidence in her.

With an exertion of telekinetic effort, he flings the Id Fiend against the wall of the butte, causing the creature some damage of his own as the wall partially collapses in a cascade of broken rock. He deposits the lizard amidst the debris, setting up Hazard for a quick and ferocious attack.

* Start of Turn: Dazed effect ended with AIF's turn.

* Move Action: I2 to G3.

* Free Action: Action Point for Minor Action: Inspiring Word on Bita-Bousseh for Surge (9) + r(3) = 12 HP; BB now 24/37 HP, 6/8 Surges remaining.

* Standard Action: Living Missile vs AIF, r(11) +8 +2 (CA from dazed) = 21 vs 16 Fort. Hit. AIF Immobilized (SE).

* Minor Action: Terrain Stunt in lieu of Living Missile Attack to slide AIF into butte as an attack;

Check: Arcana check (Hard DC) to topple the lower butte (Take +2 circumstance bonus to Arcana for Living Missile)
Success: The lower butte collapses.
Target: Each creature in a close blast 3 in the direction the wall fell. Attack: Level +3 vs Reflex
Hit: 1d10 + one-half level damage, and the target is knocked prone.
Miss: Half damage.
Effect: The space the lower butte covered and the area of the blast become difficult terrain.
Arcana r(10) +11 +2 = 23 vs 21 Hard DC = Success. Collapses butte in CL BL 3 (F-G-H/4-5-6), ATK vs creatures in the blast (AIF) = r(10) +7 +2 (CA) = 19 vs 15 Reflex. Hit for r(8) +2 = 10 damage and AIF knocked Prone. AIF BLOODIED.

The aura of frozen flurries and alien whispers surrounding the ADVANCED ID FIELD explodes omnidirectionally, increasing in intensity, begging the heroes to surrender to the bitter cold and the nightmares locked deep in their minds!


Frozen Madness ✦ Encounter
Trigger (Free Action): The id fiend first becomes bloodied.
Effect: AIF's Mind Freeze Aura extends to Aura 5 and deals 12 cold and psychic damage until the end of the encounter.

* Chanvati Finish Living Missile Attack: Slide AIF to H6 in DT. AIF takes 10 damage, is immobilized (SE) and prone in DT.

Chanvati: 28/36 HP, 7/7 Surges remaining, 2 PPs remaining, 0 APs remaining.

Despite the blast of something like an icy needle piercing into his brain, HAZARD takes heart in the changing tide in this battle against this strange unnatural creature. He watches as it is sliced by his Beloved Giant and slammed this way and that by her two companions and is finally thumped down within his grasp. Pulling his forces together (mentally and physically) the Hound charges forward and savages the winged lizard. At the cheer of bloodthirsty satisfaction from the one his Giant calls "gosb'tar" Hazard's teeth dig deeper into the alien flesh.

* Start of turn: Dazed, Slowed UEoAIFNT; w/in Frozen Madness (Aura 5): takes 12 cold/psychic damage

* Standard Action: Charge ATK vs AIF: move to I4 (AIF WING BUFFET CANNOT TRIGGER DUE TO DAZED); ATK: r(16) + 9 + 2 (CA) = 27 vs. 18 AC; Damage: r(9) + 10 (Chanvati w/in 2 squares) = 19 HP

* End of turn: Hazard: 52/68 HP, 11/11 surges remaining, Dazed/Slowed UEoAIFNT

Desperate and flailing, the ADVANCED ID FIEND lashes out with the last remnants of fury it can muster.

* Manifest Fear Recharge; 2. FAILS TO RECHARGE.

* Standard Action: Double Attack (Melee 2) vs P. Psychic Talons vs P Fort (no slide); r(1) +7 -2 (prone) = Miss. Jaws Rush vs P AC. (IMMOBILIZED SO CANNOT SHIFT); r(8) +9 -2 (prone) = 15. Miss.

* Action Point (Free Action for Standard Action): Double Attack (Melee 2) vs P. Psychic Talons vs P Fort (no slide); r(15) +7 -2 (prone)= 20. Hit; r(6, 2) +3 = 11 psychic damage and P is grabbed (Escape 16), and AIF CANNOT SHIFT DUE TO IMOBILIZED. Jaws Rush vs P AC. AIF CANNOT SHIFT DUE TO IMOBILIZED; r(14) +9 -2 (prone) = 21. Hit; r(4) +5 = 9 and AIF CANNOT SHIFT DUE TO IMOBILIZED.

* END OF TURN; Save vs Dazed r(7) +5 = 12. SUCCESS. Save vs Immobilized r(13) +5 = 18. SUCCESS. B, C, H, P are in Mind Freeze Aura.

AIF 80/224 Prone




BITA-BOUSSEH staggers under the Id Fiend's psychic assault, as waves of frost radiate out from the cold-blooded reptile. It is as if this rime-frosted landscape conforms to the distorted will of the beast, lancing her with needles that gnaw at her flesh, an icy blue network of veins spreading across the surface of her skin!

Clutching her horned head in her hands, she shakes the fear that she is freezing solid, to her death, here on the promontory, and skirts the battle. With what might be her last reserve of energy, she menaces the Id Fiend with a hells-tinged glower, sending it scrambling across the rocky debris of the fallen butte.

* Start of Turn: Begins in Frozen Madness aura for 12 points of cold + psychic damage; 12/37 HP.

* Move Action: D8 to A2 (outside aura).

* Standard Action: Infernal Glower vs AIF, ATK r(18) +7 -2 (prone) = 23 vs 16 Will. Hit for r(4) +6 = 10 damage and slides AIF H6 to J8, breaks grab.

* Minor Action: Hell's Dark Promises vs AIF, ATK r(8) +7 -2 = 13 vs 16 Will. Miss.

* End of Turn: 12/37 HP, outside Frozen Madness aura.

The bizarre whispers of some alien tongue fill CHANVATI'S brain with inchoate but frightful images just as the biting cold cuts through the folds of his thick qaba. Fighting past these obstacles, the merchant prince unleashes as much psionic energy as he can muster to fold space around the Id Fiend and to shunt it back in the direction of his melee allies.

Then he backs away from the scrum, in the direction of the barrister, and shrouds his presence from the alien lizard's perception.

* Start of turn: Within Frozen Madness aura, takes 12 cold and psychic damage, 28 -> 16 HPs.

* Standard Action: AUG2 Dimensional Scramble centered on J9, ATK r(13) +8 -2 (prone target) = 19 vs 16 Fort. Hit, r(5,6) +5 = 16 damage and teleports AIF to J7.

* Move Action: G3 to A7.

* Minor Action: Mind Shroud.

* End of Turn: 16/36 HPs, 7/7 Surges, 0 PPs, 0 APs, Slowed and Superior Cover UEoCNT

HAZARD, growing more used to the Man's strange powers, eagerly leaps forward to protect his Giant. He hopes to distract the weird lizard from Her with his snarls and snaps, and his teeth do some damage at least. Perhaps she will be able to land a solid blow!

* Start of turn: Hazard: 52/68 HP: Within Frozen Madness aura, takes 12 cold and psychic damage --> 40 HPs.

* Minor Action (Enc.): Savage Protector: +2 AC, Hazard marks the target until the end of Hazard’s next turn (Reminder: Immediate Reaction: 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.)

* Move Action: Shift 1 sq to I5 [possible immediate interrupt]:

* Standard Action: Snarl and Snap ATK vs. AIF: r(9) + 9 + 2 (CA) = 20 (18, if prone from Wing Buffet) vs. 18 AC = Hit; damage: r(4) + 9 = 13 HP and the AIF is marked UEoHNT

* End of turn: 40/68 HP; 11/11 surges remaining

Looking very much worse for wear after her tussle with the unearthly lizard, PA'AVU bares her teeth at it and snarls, "Ob’ranzj’sk'k’jkar,* you will not triumph! We will rid this world of your foul and unnatural essence!!" As her hound leaps into action, the goliath takes a moment to allow her l'pahb'gin heal much of her wounds. Then she holds Velmech'ti aloft so that bright light of the greatsword can embolden the hearts (and attacks) of her allies. Then, howling wildly, she charges forward with all her might against the beast.

* Ob'ranzj'sk: foul (smelling) in Giantish; K'jkar: lizard in Giantish.


* Pa'avu: 36/49 HP - 20 (grabbed, etc.) - 12 (w/in Frozen Madness Aura 5) 4 HP, Bloodied; 11/11 surges remaining

* Minor Action (Enc.): Iron Resurgence: lose 1 surge/spend 2: +24 HP, 6 THP

* Minor Action (Daily): Vanguard Power vs. AIF: when charging: if hit, allies w/in 10 = +1 ATK USoPNT

* Standard Action: Howling Strike as a charge: Move: to H7 (Pa'avu's Speed while Raging is 8 on a charge), [possible immediate interrupt; if so, followed immediately by Hazard's immediate reaction] * ATK: r(12) + 10 + 1 (charge) + 2 (CA) = 25 (23 if prone) vs. 18 AC = Hit!; damage: r(1) + r(1) + 5 + 2(GoB) + r(8)(VW) = 17 HP

* Pa'avu: 28/49 HP (6 THP); 8/11 Surges remaining; 0 Action Points remaining

The ADVANCED ID FIELD is a predator and predators instinctively know when the fight has turned against them. There are more high mountain lairs out there to dominate, but the creature has only one beating heart to pump blood through its body.

It beats its mighty wings and takes to the air (and likely sends an alien prayer to whatever patron sponsors it!).

* Eschewing taking Immediate Action from Wing Buffet (and the OA from Hazard that would come with it!) to try to get the hell out of here!

* Move Action: Fly up and away 6 squares.


* Move Action: Fly up and away 6 squares...and escapes.


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Despite their both being exhausted and sorely wounded, mentally and physically, PA’AVU and HAZARD remain vigilant and watchful as they seek to end the skirmish. Therefore they are ready when the aberrant winged lizard attempts to escape through the air. Acting upon instinct, Hazard leaps forward and clamps his mighty jaws around one of its wings. Weighted down by the hound’s substantial weight, the Id Fiend cannot take flight, and Pa’avu is able to – finally – slice through its thick hide. At the sight of the viscous blue ichor pouring out, the goliath leaps backward, happy to see her hound similarly dodging out of the way. Pa’avu wrinkles her nose in disgust at both the foul odor and the weirdness of the hissing as the ichor hits the floor of the cavern.

* Hazard: OA: MBA: r(11) + 9 + 2 (CA) + 1 (VW) = 23; damage: r(2) + 7 = 9 HP

* Pa'avu: OA: MBA: r(14) + 10 + 2 (CA) = 26; damage: r(9) + 5 + 2 (GoB) = 16 HP

* AIF: 19 HP - 9 - 16 = DEADED!!

As Chanvati and Bita-Bousseh carefully examine the Ice Maw and the area around it (from a safe distance), PA'AVU and her Hound climb together to the upper butte. If memory serves, there is a still-fresh kill up there, and consuming its clean flesh should do wonders in restoring their physical well-being. Also, it will be a good vantage point to see if there are any more predators about. They do not see anything dangerous but the goliath does notice something curious. She brushes aside some of the various animal bones remaining from the otherworldly k’jkar’s meals and picks up a large leather dog’s collar.

As she ponders her discovery, she is interrupted in her thoughts by Chanvati sending her his own. <Sahtree, when you are done, I need you here. We have found something interesting, but we need you to retrieve it.> Looking down upon them and meeting Chanvati’s eyes, Pa’avu silently replies, <on our way momentarily, gosb’tar. I am bringing us sustenance to restore us after battle.> She ties a rope around the ram’s carcass and lowers its body to the cavern floor, before signaling to Hazard to head down. As she starts down herself, her attention is caught once again, this time by bones that were not animal. She frowns as she recognizes human bones, delicate v’linski bones, and … are those...? She turns as she hears her gosb’tar’s voice, tone impatient, and slowly continues her descent.

As his sahtree finally deigns to join them, CHANVATI continues to examine his find and discuss manners of its removal with his consort. His goliath turns her stolid gaze to the frozen wall and the figure encased within. She gives a slight frown before suddenly giving the ice a firm blow with the flat of her mighty palm, shattering it. Pa’avu can easily see the bracelet Chanvati so covets. After a pause, she gently reaches inside and unclasps the bracelet from the wrist of the long dead goliath. Turning to Chanvati, she hands it to him, smiling slightly and pointing to symbols she recognizes. She says in her deep gravelly voice, “gosb’tar, these g’v’rech’ti are worn by the peacetalkers of my people. With your silvery tongue and slippery speech, this was made for you. On behalf of my people, I gift it to you.” Sheepishly acknowledging the girth of the mighty forearm of the frozen corpse, Chavanti fastens the beaded damask piece of jewelry around his neck instead as a choker, seemingly unaware of Pa’avu’s implication. Bita-Bousseh raises an eyebrow.

Pa’avu speaks again: “to continue to protect yourself as well as us, you will need this n’zmel’mech’ti.” She places into his hands a dagger with a violet-hued metal blade and explains, “this fights against such otherworldly creatures as that perversion,” pointing her chin towards the Id Fiend’s carcass. She turns back to the cavity in the ice and removes one more item: a wooden club with embedded obsidian teeth. Holding it out with her arm outstretched, she turns it this way and that, as if to measure its weight. “And this will help me in our fight: it is called a m’cuah’tl in my language and will help me reach deeper into my l’pahb’gin.”

His sahtree now reaches into her pouch to remove a dog collar with a stone pendant and hands it to him to examine. Chanvati turns it in his hands, admiring the well-worked leather and the craftsmanship of the pendant: a wolf’s head designed with geometric shapes. “Look here,” Pa’avu says, reaching back and pulling aside her hide armor. There on her shoulder is a tattoo of the very same design. As the goliath whistles for her hound to return to them, she looks down at her prince. “My people have been here, people from my very tribe. This collar is meant to be worn by the companion of a warrior.” Then, after having the hound sit before her, she fastens the collar gently around his neck and ruffles the fur on his head. Looking back at Chanvati, she asserts, “we were meant to come here, gosb’tar.”

Later, as Hazard lies next to her, gnawing on a thigh bone, PA'AVU stares absently at her gosb'tar and his consort, murmuring to each other. They are all sitting at the edge of the cavern, near the funeral pyre Pa'avu lit for burning the body of the ancient one of her peoples. The goliath's callused finger is gently gliding along the m’cuah’tl lying across her lap as if reading the images carved into its wooden surface. Shortly, she will need to put it away in its scabbard she also removed - remarkably still in perfect condition. But now the goliath needs to hold it, feeling the vibration of its energy, as she rests before they continue their journey.

Bookkeeping Matters

per @Manbearcat :


* 1401 - 350 (B & H) = 1051/2 = 525/526


* Each of C & P get a level 8 or lower Uncommon item, and C gets a level 3 or lower Uncommon item.

* Hazard gets:

Sigil of Companionship Level 6+ Uncommon
This 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.

Lvl 6 1,800 gp

When you flank an enemy with your companion, you and your companion gain a +1 item bonus to damage rolls against that enemy.

Hazard's sigil of companionship.jpg

* Take 190 Gold

TAKE SHORT REST, all encounter powers refresh

HEAL, etc.

* Bita-Bousseh: spend 3 surges: 37/37 HP; 3/8 surges remaining

* Chanvati: casts Inspiring Word on himself: 1 surge + r(3), plus spend 1 more surge: 36/36 HP; 5/7 surges remaining

* Hazard: spend 2 surges: 68/68 HP, 9/11 surges remaining

* Pa'avu: spend 2 surges: 49/49 HP, 6/11 surges remaining; attunes to Ki Focus

XP: Pa'avu: 5000/5500 XP needed for L5; Chanvati: 4999/5500 XP needed for L5

2 Uncommon magic items of L8 or lower = Choker of Eloquence +2 (Neck Slot L8) and Rain of Hammers Ki Focus +2 (L8 implement)

1 Uncommon magic item of L3 or lower = Byeshk dagger +1 (L3 Weapon)
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The treeline marks the final, underwhelming when compared to the prior trials, push to Stoneroot's Perch and the summit. At 12000 feet, the air is thin here and bitter cold, but its a beautiful, gentle transit as the birch trees dotting the mildly ascending terrain carry an eerie, mystical quality about them with their scattered drapes of ice and snow.

That is until foolish mountaineer and pilgrim troupes reach the vast, dark moat that bisects the high-altitude grove. Stark white and unmoving freeze turns to dark, mottled colors of rust-infused black-grey which roils and bulges and tumbles like that of a lava flow. There is heat, and it begins to grow as you draw near, crescendoing at the edge of the 40 foot gap of the gaping trench (at the shortest). Meltwater sizzles as it drops from the precipice into the viscous, rocky, mass and there is evidence of prior attempts to transit cutting down nearby trees to bridge the gap...but no tree-bridge remains.

A disembodied voice rises up from the gaping earth and the roiling contents within; the sound of fire melting protesting earth and then the crackling of molten rock as it cools and fuses. It speaks an impenetrable language that no one here knows, but it shares enough with Abyssal that there is fractured communication and an underlying threat.

"Turn back...embrace embodied creation, destruction and the world below...and begin the path of elemental prowess forevermore.

Go forward...embrace the animating spirits of this realm and that beyond...and bear the burden of prey forevermore."

Tell me what your intent and action is to resolve this situation and I'll let you know what the potential consequences are.

Regardless, HARD DC.
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CHANVATI shivers involuntarily at the chthonic communication, received as much by the fellowship in their bones as minds. Something malevolent and very ancient inhabits this place. Did they evade the Cult of the Iron Gorgon, traverse the Breathless Chimney, and defeat the terrifying Id Fiend only to be foiled by an impossible choice: to forge ahead into the roiling lava—and undoubtedly their deaths—or turn back now in defeat?

But, no! Again, his thoughts turn to that marvelous tome, The Fables of Genga, and how its heroine conquered a similar dilemma with the aid of a Goliath hero named Lo-Kag. When faced with a choice between traveling across the Blighted Lands or sailing their ship through the dreaded Straits of the Kraken in their Race of a Thousand Heroes, the ingenious Lo-Kag had modified their ship to take flight in the air, winning the two The Brass Cup of Wishes … and another great adventure.

“Sahtree,” the merchant prince turns to his slave, “you recall the tale of your kinfolk Lo-Kag I read to you many times when we were young, yes?” Not waiting for an answer, he continues, “Is there some other path here we might take? What do you sense in your … l’pahb’gin?”

The Goliath surveys the land about them: the treeline, the rust-hued molten stone, cumulus clouds racing past at what seems an arm’s reach. Mouldering trees felled in years past. A low shield of bedrock. Bedrock laced with pure, uncorrupted iron. Iron, not rust.

“Gosb’tar, I think there is a way,” PA’AVU says hesitantly. She approaches the bedrock, kneels, and takes in a voluminous breath. Exhales. Inhales again, then, breathing out, strikes the stone with her iron palm. A crack opens. Pa’avu scrambles to her feet. The stone crumbles into a thousand pieces, revealing a dark stair carved into the very rock, descending deep below the surface.

“Well done, Pa’avu,” the psion acknowledges, “we have found the way to StoneROOT’s perch!”

Chanvati makes a Secondary Skill History check to recall the story of Genga and Lo-Kag’s solution, +11 vs 11 Easy DC = autosuccess for +2 bonus to

Pa'avu uses an Advantage to refresh training, utilizing Iron Soul Flurry of Blows Encounter Power for a +2 Circumstance Bonus to Primary Skill Perception check, r(19) +10 +2 (within 10 squares of Chanvati) +2 (SS) +2 (Circumstance) = 35 vs 23 Hard DC. Success.

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