The Slave and Her Sovereign

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

The descending path into the bowels of The Spirit Realm leads Pa'avu and Hazard to a lair of smoke, cinder, cooling stone, and endless magma.
The swirling mists clear fully as the goliath calls out the primordial in attempt to banish its perversion of this realm to which it does not belong. Vezzuzu obliges her command...but not in the way she intended.

A pair of burning forms hulk before them; one a tornado of ash and cinder, the other a large pile of magma with massive appendages like arms...

A voice as old as the grinding crust of the world: "Put these foolish ambitions to rest. This realm will hide you no longer. I cast you out...back to where you belong...where all things of creation return to the fires of destruction...and so shall you now, mortal."

Aspects of Vezzuvu accept her challenge...only she and her trusty dog will be the ones banished from this place...not the mighty Primordial!


Hard DC/Advantages
- This is a Nested Combat for 1 Success at the Hard DC. You can wager an Advantage for 2 Successes, but state that at the outset. That would leave you with 1 Advantage remaining. You can spend 1 Advantage to take the make the following Stunt:

Spirit Realm Rebuke (Encounter)
Standard Action - CBU10 (enemies)
Requirement: Nature vs Medium DC 15 (failure = give up CA UtEoYNT)
Atk: +8 vs Will
Effect: The target is dazed and gains Vulnerable 5 all damage (save ends)
Miss: The target takes -2 to hit and Vulnerable 3 all damage UtEoYNT

H reduced to 0 HP - H is shunted from the Spirit Realm back to the material world at Bloodied whereby he could no longer aid P (should P then succeed in the combat and earn 1 Success).

P & H both reduced to 0 HP - P is shunted from the Spirit Realm back to the material world at Bloodied and triggers the final Failure of the SC. This would then trigger (a) a collapse of the ancient ritual chamber and a massive upheaval on the mountain itself that you guys would have to escape which (b) would be a new Skill Challenge. (c) Vezzuvu becomes an antagonist and (d) you'll now have to figure out a new way to commune with Stoneroot as the Spiritual Sojourn ritual chamber would be ruined.

Difficult Terrain - Black squares are large, uneven rocks.

Hindering Terrain - Orange squares is knee-deep magma. It is difficult terrain and if P or H start their turn in a square of magma, they take 10 ongoing fire damage and are slowed (save ends both).

A1: Vezzuvu Aspect Magma (Elite Brute) - HP 156; Bloodied 78, AC 17, Fortitude 18, Reflex 18, Will 15

A2: Vezzuvu Aspect Ash (Elite Controller) - HP 116; Bloodied 58, AC 19, Fortitude 16, Reflex 17, Will 18


Pa-avu 15
A2 13
A1 9
Hazard 8




@darkbard and @Nephis are wagering an Advantage against his Hard DC nested combat encounter for 2 Successes in the SC.

PA'AVU's communion with the earth alerts her to the two hulking predators threatening their passage. As she moves further into this cavernous chamber of magma and smoke, her growing battle senses quickly analyzes their strange new foes and recognizes as the one full of wind as being somewhat akin to her gosb'tar: one who controls the battleground from afar. She will take her fight to it! She focuses the power of her screaming armor on it and - giving her own howl - leaps forward onto the controlling wind's rocky outcropping and begins her assault.

Velmech'ti slices this way and that, trying to find purchase through the ash and cinder, and Pa'avu attempts to push the strange being off of the outcropping and into the magma (recognizes that it may not do much harm, but distance would be good). Her failure to accomplish this infuriates the goliath, who bellows her rage to all who have ears to hear.

Her rage is fueled by the connection she still feels with earth's coolness beyond the limits of this chamber. This connection allows her to retain her focus when she fails to land another solid blow.

* Move Action: move to I7

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

* Standard Action: Howling Wolf as (leaping) charge vs. Ash: Athletics check to Jump: r(18) + 12 = 30 = clear 3 squares to land in E5; ATK (Vanguard): r(16) + 10 + 1 (charge) = 27 vs 19 Hit; Damage: r(3) + r(5) + 5 + r(7) (VW) = 20 HP

TRIGGER (ASH ASPECT) - BURNING REBUKE (FIRE) IMMEDIATE REACTION VS P FORT; r(15) +8 -2 (SA) = 21. Hit. r(5) +4 fire damage = 9 fire damage and slowed (save ends).

Triggered Actions
Burning Rebuke (fire) ✦ Recharge when first bloodied
Trigger: An enemy's melee attack deals damage to the aspect.
Attack (Immediate Reaction): Close blast 5 (enemies in the blast); +8 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 1d8 + 4 fire damage, and the target is slowed (save ends).

* No Action (Enc): trigger: hit w/Charge ATK: Iron Wolf Charge: r(3) extra damage; 2nd ATK (Ki focus) vs. Ash: r(4) + 8 = 12 vs. 18 Will. Miss

* Free Action (to use AP for add'l Standard Action (Daily)): Tyrant's Rage vs. Ash: ATK (Ki focus): r(4) + 11 = 15 vs. 18 Will. Miss; 1/2 Damage: r(9) + r (6) + 6 = 21/2 = 10 HP, & Ash Dazed UEoPNT

Pa'avu: 55/55 HP, 10/11 Surges remaining; 0 AP remaining

Ash Aspect: -2 ATK UEoPNT & Dazed UEoPNT


Ashen Vortex ✦ Aura 1
The Aspect slides any enemy that ends its turn in the aura 1 square.

The VEZZUVU ASPECT OF ASH registers the turbulence to its vortices wrought by the primal fury of the barbarian. It brings the combined force of burning cinders and blighting ash to bear against its foe, but to no avail as the barbarian's feet barely budge under the torrent of its tornadic assault.

* Standard Action: Double Attack on P. Ashblight vs AC; r(3) +10 - 2 = 11. Miss. Cinderlash vs Fort; r(12) +8 -2 (SA) = 18. Miss.

Double Attack ✦ At-Will
Effect: The aspect uses ashblight and cinderlash or uses cinderlash twice.

(⚔) Ashblight (fire) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 2 (one creature); +10 vs. AC
Hit: 2d6 + 3 fire damage, and the target is dazed until the end of the aspect's next turn.

(➶) Cinderlash (fire) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature); +8 vs Fort
Hit: 2d6 +6 fire damage, and the aspect slides the target 2 squares.

The VEZZUVU ASPECT OF MAGMA slides forwad across the protesting earth, leaving molten rock in its wake. Carrying out the bidding of the Primordial that commands its sentience as a mere pawn, the elemental force batters the trusted hound with a blazing aura of heat, caustic vapors, and fists of molten rock.

* Standard Action: Charge to O6 and Slam vs H AC; r(9) +10 +1 (charge) = 20. Hit. r(2, 6) + 7 = 15 fire damage.

Standard Actions
(⚔) Slam (fire) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 2 (one creature); +10 vs. AC
Hit: 2d8 + 7 fire damage.

* Action Point (Free Action for Standard Action): Slam vs H AC; r(6) +10 = 16. Miss.

* Minor Action: Sulfuric Breath vs H Fort: r(11) +8 = 19. Hit. r(2, 3) +2 = 7 poison damage.

Minor Actions
Sulfuric Breath (poison) ✦ At-Will 1/round
Attack: Close blast 3 (creatures in the blast); +8 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 2d6 + 2 poison damage.

* Hazard is in Aspect Magma's Magma Aura:

Magma Aura (fire) ✦ Aura 2
Any creature that ends its turn in the aura takes 7 fire damage.

Yelping at the seering pain, HAZARD eagerly follows his Friend across the small river of liquid heat, ducking under a blow from the strange fire beast attacking him. Whether it is fear of the beast behind, strength of purpose in aiding his Beloved, or some other circumstance in this strange world, the Hound sails over the lava and slams into the smoky wind beast.

* Start of turn: 78/78 HP - 22 HP = 56/78

* Move Action: Move to K5.


* Standard Action: (leaping) charge at A2: Athletics check to jump over lava: r(14) + 11 = 25, clear 2 squares to finish charge in E4; ATK: r(20) + 10 + 1 (charge) + 2 (CA) = Critical, Damage: 10 + 11 = 21 HP

* End of turn: 56/78 HP, 10/11 Surges remaining


Ashen Vortex ✦ Aura 1
The Aspect slides any enemy that ends its turn in the aura 1 square.

A1 156/156
A2 62/116 dazed, -2 to hit (SA)



Still cloaking herself in her righteous fury, PA'AVU feels first the relief of having a Beloved fellow warrior as her H'z'lahto arrives at her side, teeth biting at their smoky foe and bringing with him the odor of burnt fur. Then a wave of cool fresh air seems to dance around them, lifting her spirits and strengthening her furious resolve. Is this proof that Chanvati and the tiefling yet live?

The goliath carefully steps out of the broken rocks for more sure footing with which to wield Velmech'ti against this strange column of wind. Then she unleashes her own vengeance on the unnatural thing, feeling her power against it somehow grow even stronger. They will prevail!

* Start of turn: Blessings of Stoneroot: +2 Power bonus to all defenses & attacks; 5 THP; +5 Power bonus to Damage UEoBBNT: Pa'avu: 46/55 HP, Slowed (SE)

* Standard Action: Pressing Strike vs. A2: Shift 2 squares (= 1 square of Difficult Terrain): E5; ATK (Ki focus): r(4) + 11 + 2 (CA) + 2 (BSR) = 19 vs 19 AC Hit; Damage r(7) + r(4) + 6 + r(5) (raging) + 5 (BSR) = 27 HP (A2 = Bloodied), and A2 is pushed 1 square to C7

* Move Action: Shift to D5

* Minor Action (Daily): Rain of Hammers power: MBA vs A2: ATK (Ki Focus): r(5) + 11 + 2 (CA) + 2 (BSR) = 20 vs. 19 AC Hit; Damage: r(1) + 6 + 2 (GoB) + 5 (BSR) = 14 HP

* Save vs Slowed: r(18) Success

* End of turn: 46/55 HP (5 THP), 10/11 Surges remaining, Blessing of Stoneroot UEoBBNT; A2: Dazed & -2 ATK expire


Ashen Vortex ✦ Aura 1
The Aspect slides any enemy that ends its turn in the aura 1 square.

Primal energy permeates the barrier between the material world and the Spirit Realm. Stoneroot's Blessing bulwarks Pa'avu and Hazard and the thwarting of Vezzuvu's minions enervates the Aspects' elemental energy. Despite the severing of its prowess, the VEZZUVU ASPECT OF ASH is possessed of single-mindedness. Choking ashen vortices and cinders like a whip lash out in all directions, assailing the goliath and her hound, threatening to topple them into the knee-deep magma all around them!

* Standard Action: Double Attack on P. Ashblight vs AC; r(17) +10 -2 (Disempower) = 25. Hit; r(5, 4) +3 Fire damage - 5 THP = 7 fire damage and P is dazed UtEoYNT. Cinderlash vs Fort; r(3) +8 -2 (Disempower) = 9. Miss.

* Minor Action: Emberstorm; Ashen Vortex expands to aura 3

Minor Actions
Emberstorm (fire) ✦ Recharge at the start of any turn when ashen vortex is aura 1
Effect: The ashen vortex expands to aura 3. At the start of the aspect's next turn, the ashen vortex expands to aura 5. At the start of its following turn, the aspect makes the following attack.
Attack (No Action): Close burst 5 (enemies in the burst); +8 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 2d6 + 5 fire damage, and the target is slowed and blinded (save ends both).
Effect: The ashen vortex aura reverts to its original state and size (aura 1).

* Move Action: Shift to C6

* Free Action (Action Point for Standard Action): Double Attack.. Ashblight vs H's AC; r(14) +10 -2 (Disempower) +2/+0 (possible CA from prone if ST is successful) = 22/24. Hit; r(6, 2) +3 Fire damage -5 THP = 6 fire damage and H is dazed UtEoYNT. Cinderlash vs P's Fort; r(14) +8 -2 (Disempower) +2 (CA) = 22. Hit; r(3, 4) +6 = 12 fire damage and P slides 2 squares into D7 and then D8 and Magma Hindering Terrain.


The VEZZUVU ASPECT OF MAGMA glides across the cooled rock, scarring it, to bear down upon poor Hazard as he attempts to extricate himself from the sticky, molten magma pool that he finds himself harried by. Ancient runes from the Elder Spirit of the Mountain flare on spiritual fur, protecting our canine hero from the wrath of the Primordial's servitor!

* Move Action: O6 to I5

* Standard Action: Charge to G4 and Slam vs H AC; r(7) +10 +1 (Charge) +2 (CA) -2 (Disempower) = 18. Miss (due to Stoneroot's Blessing)

* Minor Action: Sulfuric Breath vs H Fort: r(10) +8 +2 (CA) -2 (Disempower) = 18. 18. Miss (due to Stoneroot's Blessing)

* Hazard is in Aspect Magma's Magma Aura:

Magma Aura (fire) ✦ Aura 2
Any creature that ends its turn in the aura takes 7 fire damage.

HAZARD feels a gentle breeze ruffle his fur and brush aside the blows he sees coming. This gives him courage to stand firm against this foe, trusting his Beloved will be all right and soon join him. The Hound sees a moment of vulnerability and leaps forward to bite.

* Start of turn: 33 BLOODIED/78 HP (7 + 10(OG)), Slowed & 10 OG (SE), Dazed UEoA2NT

* Standard Action: Bite vs. A1: r(8) + 10 + 2 (BSR) = 20 vs. 17 AC Hit!; Damage: r(9) + 6 + 5 (BSR) + 5 (Vulnerable) = 25 HP

* Save vs OG 10 & Slowed: 19 Success

* 33/78 HP, 10/11 Surges remaining, Dazed UEoA2NT

A1 131/156 Disempowered until End of Chanvati's Turn (Init 12); -2 to hit and Vuln 5.
A2 18/116 Disempowered until End of Chanvati's Turn (Init 12); -2 to hit and Vuln 5.



PA'AVU - head spinning, skin burning - gazes balefully at the tower of wind and cinder beside her. Then her breath catches as she sees her moment and spears Velmech'ti into it. Her victory at overcoming this one of their pair of unnatural combatants surges through her and clears her mind. She stands and prepares to continue their battle, as her l'pahb'gin hardens her outerskin to protect her from this heat.

* Start of turn: Slowed & 10 OG fire (SE), Dazed UEoA2NT. 27/55 HP - 10 OG = 17/55 HP.

* Standard Action (Enc.): Resurgent Strike vs. A2: r(18) + 11 - 2 (prone) = 26 vs. 19 AC Hit!; no longer Dazed; Damage: r(6) + r(3) + 6 + 2 (GoB) + 5 (Vulnerable) = 22 HP = A2 DEADED!!

* Move Action: Stand up from Prone

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

* Save vs Slowed/OG 10: 4 Failed

* End of Turn: 17/55 HP; 10/11 Surges remaining; Stone's Endurance UEoPNT; Slowed & 10 OG (SE), no longer Dazed

The VEZZUVU ASPECT OF MAGMA explodes in a huge conflagration and spews sulfuric breath at Hazard. Whether by deliverance of Stoneroot, sheer will, or martial prowess, the goliath and the dog emerge unscathed!

* Move Action: Shift to G5 (both P and H are now in Magma Aura)

* Standard Action: Fiery Eruption (fire) vs P and H Ref (CLBU3); r(5) +8 +2 (CA) - 2 (Disemp) = 13. Miss P. r(7) +8 -2 (Disemp) = 13. Miss H.

ᗕ Fiery Eruption (fire) ✦ Recharge ⚄ ⚅
Attack: Close burst 3 (creatures in the burst); +8 vs. Reflex
Hit: 2d6 + 2 fire damage, and ongoing 5 fire damage (save ends).

* Minor Action: Sulfuric Breath vs H Fort: r(9) +8 -2 (Disemp) = 15. Miss.

* Hazard and Pa'avu are both in Aspect Magma's Magma Aura:

☼ Magma Aura (fire) ✦ Aura 2 Any creature that ends its turn in the aura takes 7 fire damage.

HAZARD delays until Pa'avu's turn next round.

However, he takes his 10 OG fire and the 7 fire damage from Magma Aura on his original initiative.

A1 131/156 Disempowered until End of Chanvati's Turn (Init 12); -2 to hit and Vuln 5.



PA'AVU pulls herself out of the fiery liquid, pants with frustration, calls out to her Hound that she is on her way, and moves to threaten their opponent - more slowly than she'd like. There is another breath of fresh air dancing around her as she steps, and her opponent seems to be easily damaged. After Velmech'ti has done her damage, the goliath shoves the thing away from her.

* Start of turn: takes 10 OG - 5 Resist All = 5; 12/55 HP; Slowed & OG 10

* Move Action: move "2 squares" out of Hindering Terrain to D6

* Standard Action: Pressing Strike vs. A1: shift 2 squares to E5; ATK: r(10) + 11 = 21 vs. 17 AC Hit; Damage: r(1) + r(6) + r(2) (raging) + 6 + 5 (vulnerable) = 20 HP, and push A1 to H5

* Minor Action (Enc): Iron Resurgence: lose 1 Surge, spend 2 Surges: 26 HP, plus gain 6 THP

* Save versus Slowed & OG: 5 Fail

* End of turn: Aura 2: 7 damage - 5 Resist All - 2 THP = 0 damage; 38/55 HP and 4 THP; 7/11 surges remaining; Stone's Endurance ends

At his Friend's call, HAZARD waits until she has distracted the strange liquid-fire-beast before struggling out of the fiery mire he has been pushed into. The Hound tries shaking some of the fire out of his fire, then, feeling the same cooling fresh wind, feels ready to take the thing on once more. Limping from the burns on his paws, he resolutely charges at it, against all instinct to avoid fire, and bites at it again.

* Start of turn: Took 10 (OG) damage on Initiative 8; 16/78 HP; Slowed & 10 OG (SE)

* Move Action: "2 squares" out of Hindering Terrain into E2

* Standard Action: Charge ATK vs A1: move to F4; ATK: r(7) + 10 + 1 (charge) = 18 vs. 17 AC; Damage: r(6) + 10 (P w/in 2) + 5 (vulnerable) = 21 HP

* Save vs OG/Slowed: 16 Success

* End of turn: Took 7 Fire damage on Initiative 8 due to Aura. 16/78 HP; 10/11 Surges remaining

The VEZZUVU ASPECT OF MAGMA again explodes in a huge conflagration and spews sulfuric breath at the pair of spiritual sojourners. Their companions disempowering their foes in the material world leaves them a shred of an opening as this spiritual battle hangs in the balance!

* Recharge Fiery Eruption; 6. RECHARGE

* Standard Action: Fiery Eruption (fire) vs P and H Ref (CBU3); r(15) +8 -2 (Disemp) = 21. Hit P; (2, 5) +2 - 4 THP = 5 fire damage. r(8) +8 -2 (Disemp) = 14. Miss H.

* Minor Action: Sulfuric Breath (CBL3) vs P and H Fort: r(12) +8 -2 (Disemp) = 18. Miss P. r(2) +8 -2 (Disemp) = 8. Miss H.

* Hazard and Pa'avu are both in Aspect Magma's Magma Aura:

☼ Magma Aura (fire) ✦ Aura 2 Any creature that ends its turn in the aura takes 7 fire damage.

A1 90/156




PA'AVU, sweat pouring down her face, stone lithoderms so hot they burn, especially on the soles of her feet, gingerly places herself where she can rescue her Hound. She lifts Velmech'ti to slice against their foe of Magma, finally doing visible damage and howls in thunderous triumph. Face grim with murderous rage, she shoves the creature from them, then leaps away, calling Hazard to follow. As she soars through the air, she finally feels the heat besieging her body - at least for now.

* Start of turn: Takes 10 OG; 33/55 HP; Slowed & OG

* Standard Action: Pressing Strike vs. A1: shift 2 squares to F5; ATK: r(15) + 11 = 26 vs. 17 AC Hit; Damage: r(9) + 6 + r(5) (Raging) + 5 (Vulnerable) = 25 Damage A1 BLOODIED; push A1 0 squares


* Immediate Reaction: A1 Fiery Eruption (fire) vs P and H Ref (CBU3); r(15) +8 -2 (Disemp) = 21. Hit P. (2, 6) +2 = 10 fire damage. r(3) +8 -2 (Disemp) = 9. Miss H.

Triggered Actions
Volcanic Fury (fire) ✦ Encounter
Trigger: The aspect is bloodied.
Effect (Immediate Reaction): The aspect recharges fiery eruption and uses it.

* No Action (trigger: Bloody an enemy): Thunderborn Wrath: 3 + 5 (Vul) = 8 Damage

* No Action (trigger: Hit an enemy this round) (Enc): 5 + 5 (Vuln) = 10 Damage

* Minor Action (Tyrant's Rage): push 1 square: A1 to I4

* Move Action (Enc.): Crane's Wings: Athletics (Jump): r(8,15) + 12 + 5 = 32 = clears 6 squares: end in K11 (avoiding OAs)

* Save vs. OG & Slow: 11 = Success!! Finally!!!!!!!!

* End of turn: 23/55 HP; 7/11 Surges remaining; 0 APs remaining

HAZARD, bewildered at this strange place, hunkers down for a moment to regain his bearings. Then, seeing the space his Giant has given him, he scrambles and leaps after her onto the large piece of "land" in this strange, strange world. Feeling a little stronger, he prepares to defend and fight alongside his Beloved Friend. Perhaps the end is at last in sight.

* Start of turn: 16/78 HP

* Standard Action: Second Wind: spend 1 Surge/gain 19 HP

* Move Action: Athletics Check to make a (running) Jump: r(14) + 11 = 25 = 2 squares: Move 6 squares (including 2 jump sq) to J10 (avoiding OAs)

* Minor Action (Enc.): Savage Protector engaged

* End of turn: 35 HP; 9/11 Surges remaining; AC 20 (SP)

As their battle against the servants of Vezzuvu draws to a close, CHANVATI and Bita-Bousseh survey the landscape in an instant. No more foes arise. The magma ceases to flow. Power tangibly ripples across the material plane; the two can sense, somehow, its reverberations in the Spirit Realm.

"Quickly, now, Beets, I must re-establish connection with Pa'avu! Does she yet live?!?" The Merchant Prince seems to lack his usual poise, returns his attention to the sacred "mud-bath" beside him, in which the Goliath's body, and that of her hound, are immersed.

Bita-Bousseh raises an eyebrow. Is it at the pet name? Or his devotion to a slave? Who can say?

"You're going to need to hold down the fort, so to speak, barrister. I will be ... gone from this place for a time, though my body remains."

The Psion holds out his palms above the submerged head and reaches out with his mind, collapsing the space between his neuronal network and that of his slave's. Never has he pushed his psionic reserves to this extent!

<<A cascade of light, a power tapestry, a kaleidoscope of dendrites intertwining like the root systems of a vast forest. Mists swirl. A giant gate like a harp. A hissing serpent, furious, outraged. Lingering malice.>>

And then a semi-physical place of rocky outcroppings and magma flows like rivers. The forms of Pa'avu, Hazard, and the improbable Magma Aspect of Vezzuvu itself looming, terrible, a wreath of flame emanating outward in shimmering waves from its dreadful form.

With uncanny reflexes, Chanvati orients himself and binds the Aspect of Magma to his will, hurling it dozens of paces away, struggling, futilely, against the strength of his mind.

* Start of turn (sort of; see below): Appear in N4.

* Move Action: Stunt to transit to Spirit Realm.

Arcana check vs Hard DC. Success = sustain Bloodied HP damage but spirit transported to battlefield in Spirit Realm. Failure = suffer 1 HS damage and locked out of Spirit Realm. Adept's Insight AUG 1 r(3) +1 = +4 bonus to Arcana check, r(20) +11 +4 = 35 vs 22 Hard DC. Success!

Effect: The enmity of the Spirit Serpent as a lingering cost! Sustain Bloodied HP damage, roll initiative, r(11) +4 = act on initiative 15 in Round 5.

* Standard Action: Living Missile Daily Attack vs A1, r(12) +8 = 20 vs 18 Fort. Hit. A1 Immobilized (SE).

* Minor Action (Living Missile): Slide A1 I4 to -Y14 (2 squares off map).

* End of turn: 1/40 HP, 6/7, 1 PP remaining.

The VEZZUVU ASPECT OF MAGMA finds itself helpless, flung far and wide and immobilized by Psionics.

* Recharge Fiery Eruption; 3. FAILS TO RECHARGE


* End of Turn: Saving Throw vs Immobilized; r(13) +2 = 15. Success. No longer Immobilized.




After PA'AVU finishes her flying leap from the smaller land mass, she takes a moment to catch both her breath and her bearings. She feels a shift in the air, and turns to catch a glimpse of streak of flying molten magma. The directness with which it moves sharply reminds her of actions she has witnessed before, and she turns again, sharply, to the spot she and her H'z'lahto entered this strange realm, not too long ago. She cannot believe her eyes, but surely that is her gosb'tar standing there, looking somehow both triumphant and infinitely exhausted.

Immediately she rushes over to him, to defend him from the inevitable return of their foe, calling out to her Hound to do the same, protecting their gosb'tar's flank. She gives Chanvati a rare smile before turning back to face their foe, Velmech'ti in hand.

* Standard Action: Second Wind: 13 HP, +2 all defenses

* Move Action: move 6 squares, ending in L5.

CURRENT BUFFS: +2 all defenses (SW) UtSoPNT

HAZARD THE HOUND feels his spirits lift as his Beloved Giant points to their newly arrived Companion and calls out instructions to guard him. This feels much more the way things ought to be! Emulating the leap he saw his Giant perform over the channel of liquid fire, the Hound leaps over this smaller puddle of similar fire, landing near the Man. Turning, he snarls and snaps, giving warning to anything that dare threaten them now.

* Start of turn: +2 AC (SW) ends; Savage Protector mode active

* Move Action: move 6 squares (including running jump): Move 2 squares to K8, Athletics Check to jump: r(18) + 11 = 29 = clears up to 5 squares, landing in O6

* Standard Action: Ready an Action: Charge attack versus A1 when A1 is within 3 squares of any one member of the party (Hazard included)

CURRENT BUFFS: Readied action (see above); Savage Protector (+2AC)

CHANVATI knows he has bought them some time. But he also knows this battle against the Magma Aspect of Vezzuvu is far from over. His Goliath and her hound look exhausted, beaten upon, and burnt. And his own transcendence into the Spirit Realm has taken its toll upon him. As his protectors take up a defensive stance before him, it is all he can do to muster up whatever reserves of strength and psionic energy he has within him to continue to bring the fight to their enemy.

* Standard Action: Second Wind: +10 HP, +2 all defenses USoNT

CONDITION TO ENEMIES: 0, A1 Saved vs Immobilized last turn

The VEZZUVU ASPECT OF MAGMA moves across magma and cooled stone alike, drawing a bead on the Goliath warrior...until her trusty dogger rushes in to intercept the avatar of the Primordial, snapping and snarling fiercely, stopping it in its tracks and drawing the monster's attention. It unleashes a wave of caustic volcanic breath, but to little effect.

* Recharge Fiery Eruption; 3. FAILURE.

* Move Action: 6 squares to E8.

* Standard Action: Charge to K5 and Slam (fire) vs P AC


* H Charge to J6 and Snap & Snarl vs VAoM AC: r(17) +10 +1 (charge) = 28. Hit; r(7) + 6 = 13 damage and VAoM is marked by Hazard UtEoNT.

* Standard Action Charge: VAoM Charge (switch targets after H Immediate Reaction) to I6 and Slam (fire) vs H AC: r(7) +10 +1 (charge) = 18. Miss.

* Minor Action: Sulfuric Breath (CBL3) vs H and P Fort: r(13) +8 = Hit H. r(10) +10 = Miss P (due to 2nd W). r(2, 4) +2 = 8 acid damage to H.

* H ends turn in Magma Aura; 7 fire damage to H.

DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 8 +7 = 15 to H. Took 13 from H's Charge.

A1 34/156 Marked by H UtENT



Still energized by the unexpected rescue by her gosb'tar and seeing the chance given her by her beloved H'z'lahto, PA'AVU leaps forward at the entity with a wolf's howl and her Velmech'ti at the ready. Then, after slicing through the magma several times, she shoves it away from her and takes a step back, out of its aura of flames.

* Start of turn: +2 buff from second wind ends

* Standard Action: Howling Strike as charge attack vs. VAoM (Vanguard Weapon): Move to J5; ATK: r(15) + 10 + 1 (charge) = 26 vs. 17 AC Hit; Damage: r(10) + r(2) + 5 + r(8) (VW) + 2 (GoB) = 27 damage

* Minor Action (Tyrant's Rage): push VAoM 1 square to H6

* Move Action: shift 1 square to K5

DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 27 damage to VAoM
CONDITION TO ENEMIES: VAoM pushed 1 square (Tyrant's Rage) to H6
CURRENT BUFFS: not in Aura 2 of VAoM; Raging

Though Hazard ravages the creature of magma in an attack of snapping, snarling teeth as it approaches and Pa'avu cuts through its molten form, shoving it out of harm's way, it comes down to CHANVATI delivering the final blow, as he knew it would. As befitting his station.

The Psion touches two fingers to his temple, drawing upon the latent psionic energy in his glowing crystal staff clutched in the other hand, and unleashes a torrent of psychic force to assault the animating mind of the Magma Aspect of Vezzuvu. Instantaneously, when the psionic energy short-circuits the creature's neuronal pathways as the influx of external energy overloads its mind, it crumples into a steaming pile of slowly liquefying magma.

* Standard Action: Mind Thrust vs A1, ATK r(9) + 8 = 17 vs 15 Will. Hit for r(8) +5 = 13 psychic damage. A1 destroyed.

DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 13 psychic damage to A1

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* Masterial World Combat: 200 + 50x8 - 200 (B-B) = 400/2 = 200 apiece.

* Spirit Realm Combat: 800 -200 (H) = 600/2 - 300 apiece.


* Residuum worth 250 Gold.

* 1 Consumable Item Level 6 or lower (see below).

* 1 x Uncommon Magic Item Level 5 or lower.

Change to Skill Challenge dynamics given Chanvati used his Psionic prowess to circumvent The Spirit Realm Gatekeeper:

Goal: Sojourn to the Spirit Realm, locate the Elder Spirit of the Earth, Stoneroot, and receive his blessing (6 Successes). Then find your way back to the Soul Serpent, Keeper of the Gate for contentious parley (2 Successes).

Success at the first 6 but Failure before the final 2 Successes means you get your blessing from Stoneroot but now you're Lost in the Spirit Realm and you'll have to succeed at a difficult SC to find your way to the Gate.

(Follow-on) Skill Challenge: C1, Level +3 SC = Contentious Parley with Soul Serpent. Success = placated Soul Serpent and back in material world. Failure = some kind of escalation/complication w/ Soul Serpent.

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

The manifestation of "The Burning Mountain" recedes as a gloomy, cool fog overcomes the magma, the heat. Vezzuvu's aspects and the Primordial's presence is driven from The Spirit Realm.

In its stead, somewhere out in the mist is the sound of quiet rainfall dappling stone, converging into a fall, plunging into a pool.

A voice of cracking rock, of grinding earth, of defiance of the infirmity of age envelops you.

"You have sundered my terrible foe. Take rest and recover at my waters (Short Rest and 1 Consumable)." The mists peel back to reveal a mountain spring and pool.

<after you recover>

"Stake your claim on my blessing and pray I do not rebuff you for your lack of proper homage to our great ally who dutifully protects this sacred place."

MEDIUM DC (they all will be here on out!)


After hearing these words from the great K’mniich’ themself, PA’AVU walks a few paces up the mountain slope and kneels down, prostrating herself for a long moment. Then she sits up and removes her armor and gauntlets and places them by her side. Next, she holds out her arms, palms upward, and says in giantish, “K’mniich’Zel’kisstr’, I humble myself to your great power and resonance, opening myself to hear, absorb, and understand what you have to teach of me of my ancestry… and my destiny.” The giant sits quietly this way for several minutes, undisturbed by any restlessness evinced by her companions.

Then, Pa’avu calmly gets up, seeming to know what she needs to do. She walks to the mountain spring and into its cool waters, lying back, arms outstretched. Her companions, attention caught, observe as she draws several deep breaths before sinking beneath the surface. Then they rush over to the edge to witness their giant continuing to sink, finally resting on the deep pool’s bottom. They continue watching, helpless, as her body begins to thrash in the very still waters as if caught in a maelstrom.

Within this watery world, the goliath can feel the sensations of light and (somehow) sound and touch, rushing at her, bombarding her, pushing her, pulling her this way and that. The goliaths’ first taste of the sweetness of strawberries invades her mouth; the first assembled clan, the pungency of onions, the sharpness of freshly cut ginger, enhancing the meat of the hunt, cooking over the flame. She can smell grass, and burnt cinders, and cow dung, and perfume, and snow. The talons of an eagle claw into her breast, a saber-toothed lion gnaws at her thigh. These and a thousand other ancestor-memories flood her senses. Her blood stops flowing for a moment, then suddenly she feels lava pouring out of her lithoderms, then an avalanche of sharp stones beating against her skin. She opens her eyes and suddenly can see the individual molecules of the water in dance around her. All the while, she is merely flotsam and jetsam in this ocean of experience.

After an impossibly long interlude, Chanvati and the Hound retreat as Pa’avu returns to the surface and steps out of the pool. They can almost not look at her: there appear to be diamonds in her stony flesh that gleam, and the blue of her lithoderms has turned to a deep sapphire.

* Use last Advantage to refresh skill training Endurance

* Primary Skill Endurance check to withstand the sensory overload: r(9) + 10 (no armor) = 19 vs. 16 Moderate DC Success

MAJOR QUEST COMPLETE ("Unlock your heritage, gain Stoneroot's Favor")


- Each of you get 200 xp


- Choose between the below two Stoneroot Boon of Earthen Wrath/Earthen Renewal:

1) Defend

Once during your turn, you can mark each adjacent enemy as a free action. This mark lasts until the end of your next turn.

In addition, you gain the warden's fury and warden's grasp powers (Encounter). You can use these powers against enemies to prevent them from harming those you protect.

Earthen Fury
You lash out with earth and weapon at a foe that has attacked your ally and diminish its defenses.
Encounter ✦ Primal, Weapon
Immediate Interrupt Melee weapon
Trigger: An enemy marked by you makes an attack that does not include you as a target
Target: The triggering enemy
Attack: Strength vs. Fortitude
Hit: 1[W] + Strength modifier damage, and the target grants combat advantage to you and your allies until the end of your next turn.
Level 21: 2[W] + Strength modifier damage.

Earthen Grasp
Mud and rock clutch at a foe that has attacked your ally, impeding your enemy's movement.
Encounter ✦ Primal
Immediate Reaction Close burst 5
Trigger: An enemy marked by you that is within 5 squares of you makes an attack that does not include you as a target
Target: The triggering enemy in the burst
Effect: You slide the target 1 square. The target is slowed and cannot shift until the end of its turn.

2) Recover

Earthen Renewal
Drawing upon Stoneroot's Blessing, your fortitude sees you through disaster.
Encounter - Primal
Minor Action Personal
Requirement: You must have at least 1 healing surge.
Effect: You spend a healing surge but regain no hit points. You make a saving throw against every effect on you that a save can end.

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

* Final 2 Successes are to find your way back to the Spirit Gate to confront/parley with its keeper, The Soul Serpent. Any failure in these last two obstacles triggers a "Lost in the Spirit Realm" conflict.

With the encounter with the Elder Primal entity behind you, the strange, surreal world shifts suddenly and violently as if manifesting the Soul Serpent's enmity for your bypassing his dutifully guarding The Spirit Gate.

Your spiritual essences contort and spaghettify as if being tidally disrupted by an astrophysical, gravitational event! Space and time switch places (or cease to exist outright) as you're being drawn roughly..."downhill," sliding on a substrate you cannot detect. The world flings past you in a dizzying sensory experience and you see a pair of divergent, shimmering, luminous "slipstreams":

One slipstream leads to a cast of elderly, female figures remote viewing and commenting on a seminal event from each of your pasts, no doubt Elder Primal Spirits of memories and the future drawing upon the past (1).

The other leads to a terrible maw...that of The Primal Beast, certainly signifying "the hunt is on" for that indifferent avatar of predation to attempt to catch you and devour your essence before you can make it back to The Spirit Gate (2).

This happens with dizzying suddenness, so your response is reaction and instinct more than calculated planning. You'll have to somehow find the balance and proprioception, or otherwise navigate your way, to orient your strange "fall" in a controlled manner, choosing direction and navigating one of these two slipstreams to your chosen course.

Chart course 1 or 2 and make a move to resolve your Spirit Realm slipstream obstacle! Failure here = “Lost in the SR”and you’re dealing with the above course that you chose to not chart.

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XP Pa’avu 6257/7500, Chanvati 6256/7500

Short Rest:

  • All Encounter Resources refresh (except those expended in Umbrella Skill Challege: Sojourn to and Return from The Spirit Realm)
  • Chanvati spends 3 Healing Surges, 40/40 HP, 2/7 Surges Remaining; Hazard spends 3 Healing Surges, 74/78 HP, 6/11 Surges Remaining; Chanvati uses Inspiring Word on Pa’avu: Pa’avu spends 1 Healing Surge (13) and regains r(1) additional HP; 50/55 HP, 5/11 Surges Remaining.
L6 or lower Consumable Choice: Potion of Spectral Form (C)

L5 or lower Uncommon Magic Item Choice: Staff of Psicraft +1 (C)

Stoneroot Boon Choice: Earthen Renewal (P)

When Pa’avu returns from her journey below the surface of the pool and he finishes marveling at her “physical” transformation (here in the Spirit Realm, at least), CHANVATI takes a moment to collect some of the sacred waters into a small vial, secreting it into his belt pouch. What’s more, Pa’avu seems not to be the only one here to receive a blessing from Stoneroot; beside the pool is a rose quartz crystal staff, reminiscent of his own but impossibly intertwined with a twisting granite shaft in double-helix form. Stoneroot rewards his defenders well!

* * *

Then the comparative stability of their locale shifts once again, space and time distorting in ways Chanvati almost pities for the victims of his own dimensional scrambling. The three sojourners slip, plummet, and rise all at once, two shimmering slipstreams taking shape in what passes for ahead in this disorienting realm.

A terrifying maw gapes as one of the slipstreams, threatening to devour them before they can return to the mortal world.

Reflexively, as much to ward off the nausea as to guide themselves consciously, the three tumbling, spinning sojourners, stretched this way and that, try to focus on a single figure within the second slipstream, just as a twirling dancer maintains her balance and poise by focusing on a single pinpoint on the floor. Pa'avu cries out, "That she-wolf? She is our guide.”

Chanvati seems puzzled at first as one of the amorphous figures takes on a distinct shape, an iron gray wolf, white streaks decorating her muzzle. “Yes, focus upon the she-wolf!” he cries. He imprints an image of the paragon figure in Hazard’s mind telepathically, and so the trio tumbles and stretches along the slipstream, the female figures growing ever closer!

Group Primary Skill Perception Check to discern the wolf’s form amid the dizzying spin and spatial distortions:

Pa’avu, r(15) +12 +2 (10 squares within Chanvati) = 29 vs 16 Moderate DC. Success.

Hazard, r(8) +9 +2 = 19 vs 16 Moderate DC. Success.

Chanvati, r(13) +8 = 21 vs 16 Moderate DC.

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

The trio settle under the boughs of a grove of ancient, twisted oaks, a pale moon haunting a cold, dark evening above them. The female wolves bay in sequence at the moon above them, casting the spiritual sojourners thoughts to a memory of their youths long ago.

Chanvati's mind is drawn to more straight-forward time when he was enlisted in Xerxes's School for Gifted Psicrafters. The students' teacher-guided meditations bore them into a maze of their mind's own construction, a lesson of discipline and control, the task before them to find their way out of their personal prisons and then reliably reproduce the effort in the future. How did Chanvati navigate his own mind-maze, find his way to peace, and master his tangled self? (1)

mind is thrust into the first mortal peril of her material life. As a young child of the feral raiding community, it is a common occurrence for your tribe to be beset in the night by a rival clan or pack of beasts intent upon claiming your territory, your means, or "merely" your lives. Such is this case this night in Pa'avu's memories. A Razorclaw Shifter with features an amalgamation of a great hunting cat and a human crouches low before her in the yurt for the children like her, erected to protect them from the terrible winter that had set upon them. Two children lie slain, others scatter in terrible fear and panic as a burning log thrown at the creature has caught the insulating skins of the structure on fire. How did Pa'avu find her way out of this terrible situation? (2)

Pick 1 or 2 and lead your friends to The Soul Serpent and The Spirit Gate through the insight of your memories. Or fail to do so and be Lost in the Spirit Realm. MEDIUM DC.


The older students jokingly referred to The Test as the Total Perspective Vortex. A kind of maze of mind-forged manacles whereby a teacher displays to a student the frailties and limitations of their own perspective so that they can learn to navigate past such obstacles, use discipline and control to solve the puzzle.

For CHANVATI it is a small, white sphere, the tiniest of places closing around him as he struggles and presses against its shrinking borders. And then the scene zooms out: the sphere is but a single atom within the linked network of matter that comprises his brain. Another zoom out: his brain but an infinitesimal segment of the vast network of beings and objects within Bantouk. Another zoom out: Bantouk a tiny pinprick in the vast, sprawling sphere of the planet. Another zoom out: the planet itself a minute point within a swirling array of stars. Yet another zoom out: the stars themselves a nanoscopic layer in the infinitely expanding explosion of planes. The scale of existence to his own being overwhelms, threatens to implode him with his irrelevance. He gives a psychic cry as the sphere closes back in.

And then he understands: this place was made for him; he resides at the center of it all, and by extension everything, all existence, is but secondary to him. With this hubristic insight, the maze shatters and Chanvati’s relationship with the external is forever changed.

* * *

In the Now: he reaches out and plucks an insignificant dust mote between his fingers, a memory within Pa’avu’s mind. <<Hear me, sahtree. Recall your ferocity, how you have driven foes from you in fear. Recall your child self repelling the shifter in the yurt on a winter’s night.>>

Through smoky blue mist of memory comes the bitter tastes of grief and fear. The smells of acrid burning hide, of dank, wet fur, of blood’s iron tang, of urine released by a frightened smaller one also linger at the edge of the mist. But foremost is the memory that this seminal moment of PA’AVU’s young life closely follows another: the test of the Stonefang spider and its bite. Her wounded palm aches in the freezing cold, reminding the young goliath of the venom lingering there and transforming the lithoderm of that palm to a shape vaguely resembling the cause of the pain. It also reminds her of the power she holds within her own blood.

Suddenly, a great thundering howl comes up out of her depths, out of her l’pahb’gin, and into the world, shoving the predatory shifter off his feet and through the tanned hide of the burning yurt. As he scrambles aright, his eyes shifting to meet hers, Pa’avu sees a satisfying fear of her: prey that refused to be preyed upon. And she leads the remaining younglings out of the yurt to the safety of the cold, winter’s night.

* Chanvati makes Second Skill Insight check to navigate the maze of his mind, recognizing his own power and importance, +12 vs 12 Easy DC = autosuccess for +2; uses 1 Power Point to Augment Adept's Insight in transmitting this telepathically to Pa'avu to inspire confidence in her, drawing evidence from her own memories, r(4) + 1 = +5 bonus; +7 total bonus to Pa'avu's subsequent check.

* Pa'avu makes Primary Skill Intimidate check to drive off the shifter, utilizing Thundering Howl (Encounter Power), +2 Circumstance bonus: r(13) + 6 + 2 + 5 + 2 = 28 vs 16 Moderate DC. Success.
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SKILL CHALLENGE COMPLETE: You find your way back to the Spirit Gate to confront/parley with its keeper, The Soul Serpent.

XP: 1050 - 50 (Hazard) = 1000/2 = 500 xp apiece.

LOOT: 270 gold, 2 gems worth 100 gold. 1 Uncommon Magic Item level 5 or below.

(Follow-on) Skill Challenge: C1, Level +3 SC = Contentious Parley with Soul Serpent. Success = placated Soul Serpent and back in material world. Failure = some kind of escalation/complication w/ Soul Serpent.

Level +3, Complexity 1 (DCs will be for level 8 so 12, 16 while ATK vs NAD is 20 and vs AC is 22)

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

As it coils the gate to the material world, there is a background awareness that the prismatic scales of The Soul Serpent should be blindingly radiant, so whatever enmity The Elder Spirit has for the sojourner's indiscretions is not sufficient to bear out hostility...yet...

In your mind, the serpentine-projecting creature speaks with no hint of "punctuating, excessive S's." There can be no doubt that these particular words are directed at Chanvati alone:

"In The Dawn Times, mortals were reckless...volatile...hubristic...destructive...self-destructive; much more in line with the elemental forces of The Primordials that committed themselves to the destruction of that material world.

Nonetheless, there was enough salvation of forethought and balancing harmony for us to 'take up arms' against the forces who would undo your world. Your actions may have revealed a potential breech that the deranging forces of The Far Realm might exploit to truly enter, not merely project themselves into, The Spirit Realm...and at magnitude."

This is at Chanvati. MEDIUM DC (as all will be due to C1 challenge).


"Wise Serpent, Guardian of the Gate, what you state is true, and I stand humbly corrected. Were it not for the exigency of my slave's plight against foes mutual to us both, I would have heeded your stewardship of this liminal space and paid my proper due. You have my sincere apologies.

And I hope you believe that I stand before you as a true ally, no agent of the roiling chaos represented by the Burning Mountain. Our deeds against its Aspects speak the truth in this matter.

What's more, should what you say about the Far Realm be true, as I have no reason to doubt, you have an ally in us against such foes, for the power of the Dread Star, Caiphon, is anathema to us, both personally, from its corrupting influence on our very family, and philosophically, as an avatar of madness that threatens the sanctity of order and legitimacy which our selves champion.

You speak of my recklessness, hubris, destructive acts, but know too that, like the vast sum of my fellow mortals, I exhibit qualities of deliberation and forethought, faithfulness, and an unbounded capacity to create for the betterment of all.

Will you allow us passage back to the Mortal Realm, where we may stand as your allies against the encroaching forces of the Far Realm there?"

Chanvati makes a Primary Skill Diplomacy Check to win back the good graces of the Spirit Serpent, r(4) +12 = 16 vs 16 Moderate DC. Success.



Level 5 Uncommon Magic Item choice: Power Jewel (Pa'avu)

XP: Pa'avu: 6757/7500, Chanvati: 6756/7500

Loot Totals: Residuum (450 GP), 1231 GPs, 5 gems (100 GP each), jade hairpin (250 GP), Brooch of No Regrets +1 (680 GP)

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