The Slave and Her Sovereign

Nephis

Adventurer
In Amna’s rooms:

At the sight of the two young ones, Pa’avu freezes like a statue, uncharacteristically unsure of her next steps. Chanvati’s voice is immediately in her mind: “brilliant idea, Pa’avu: become the statue of their champion and yours and send them off to their caretaker and to bed!”

Pa’avu recalls Amna’s children outside the Arena marveling at the statues, especially that of Gae’al. Chanvati’s plan solidifies in her mind, and, leaning deeply into her l’pahb’gin, she allows her skin to harden into stone. Then, in a deep, gravelly voice, she quietly whispers to the children, “A good evening to you, young Pari. Shame on you, Farzin, shouldn’t you be more mindful of Margred’s words? How will you enjoy watching me, your champion, if you disobey her? Go now, both of you, and entreat Margred’s pardon so that you may enjoy your nighttime snack and sleep well! Then tomorrow you will more fully enjoy the spectacle of I, the great Gae’al, defeating my opponents!”

Once the children are out of the room, Ibhea comes out of the shadows and expertly secretes the scrolls of Xanthar among Amna’s desk papers. The trio leaves the grounds as quietly as they entered, using Pa’avu’s grappling hook and rope for ease of descent (of course, dislodging afterward).




  • Chanvati uses Send Thoughts (Encounter Power)
  • use Stone's Endurance as an Advantage to lower Moderate DC to Easy DC
  • use Intimidate as Secondary Skill to buff Primary Skill: +9 = autosuccess vs. 9 Easy DC
  • use Bluff (!) as Primary Skill: Roll 15 + 0 + 2 = 17 vs. 9 Easy DC



The trio will transition to the Arena to forewarn Gae’al that she needs to establish an alibi for herself, just in case the imaginings of a visit by a talking statue are mistaken for “truth,” and not the fanciful tales of children they so “obviously” are.
 
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8 Successes (2 Hard DC Available)/0 Failures/0 Secondary Skills Available/3 Advantages Available)

8 Successes
and you plant the Scrolls of Xanthar onto Amna or Tarquin or somewhere prominent on their estate.

Still pending is 12 Successes and you sever the Sect of Omthala’s religious accord with Tarquin and Amna. This is necessary to fully resolve this conflict.

But first we go to The Arena and Gae'al.

Minor Quest: Seek out the older goliath Gae’al who fights in the gladiator rings to learn more about Pa'avu's (possibly mythical) goliath blood.

Nearby is The Sanctuary of Light, Omthala's cathedral and Ibhea's religious redoubt. We'll transition there afterward and resolve your C5 Skill Challenge above. Retain your present Training exhaust status for that C5 Skill Challenge, but refresh your encounter powers (Short Rest).




The contests here are neither choregraphed nor contained sparring. Whether you enter for mere training or for the ear or council of the great Gae'al, you do so with the understanding that the least you will leave behind is a smattering of your own blood. Those who enter these sacred grounds speak and understand only the language of brutality, and the price the victors pay is harboring the death on their conscience of valorous warriors who spent a life of beautiful violence, truly attending their art.

Gae'al looks down from the stone mezzanine overhanging The Congress of Savagery as the main arena is known. The pure-bred Goliath's grim, stone-faced (literally) nod and pull-of-chain to open the gates means "begin."





MECHANICS

Wave Encounter. 2 Encounter Waves. Once you defeat the first wave, you get a Short Rest before the 2nd wave. Once/if you defeat both waves, you may parley with Gae'al.

Here is Ibhea

Lucent Messenger Ibhea
Medium humanoid
Level 1 Lurker (Leader) Standard
HP 25; Bloodied 12 Initiative +6
AC 15, Fortitude 12, Reflex 14, Will 13 Perception+2 Speed 6

Traits
The Reformation ✦ Aura 2
An ally that starts its turn in the aura can shift one square as a free action.

Standard Actions
(⚔️) Kukri ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +6 vs. AC
Hit: 2d6 + 2 damage.

Divine Flash (Radiant) ✦ Recharge when no creature is affected by this power
Attack: Ranged 5 (one creature); +4 vs. Will
Hit: 2d6 + 2 radiant damage, and the target grants combat advantage (save ends). Until the target saves against this effect, Ibhea is invisible to every enemy but the target, and its kukri deals 1d6 extra damage to the target.
Miss: Ibhea has partial concealment until the end of its next turn.

Terrible Glow (Fear, Radiant) ✦ Encounter
Attack: Close burst 2 (enemies in the burst); +4 vs. Will
Hit: 1d8 + 2 radiant damage, and Ibhea pushes the target up to 2 squares.
Miss: Half damage, and Ibhea can push the target 1 square.

Acrobatics (Escape) + 2




ENEMIES, HAZARDS, TERRAIN, STUNTS, ETC

Tentacle Grates Swarm (Hazard) Level 1 Elite Obstacle XP 200

Tentacles reach hungrily through the grates, pulling prospective prey toward an unseen maw

Hazard: The tentacles come out of a 4 x 4 grate which is Difficult Terrain. They activate when something moves into their Reach 2 or space.

Initiative +4

Trigger
Tentacle Grates Swarm rolls initiative whenever a character comes within 2 squares of the grates. Henceforth, the Tentacle Grates Swarm makes an attack against any creature it can reach.

Traits

Swarm AttackAura 1
Any enemy that ends its turn in the aura takes 4 damage, and the swarm can slide it 1 square as a free action.

Attack
Standard Action Melee
Target: Two creatures within Reach
Special: 1 Action Point
Attack: +6 vs. Fort
Hit: 1d6 + 2 damage, and the target is grabbed (Escape DC 14)

Countermeasures
✦ Dungeoneering DC 12 (Move): An adjacent character to its Reach 2 can toss the Tentacle Grates Swarm food so it will not activate against them or their allies UtEoYNT or Sustain Minor.
✦ A character can attack the Tentacle Grates (AC 15, F 12/R 14/W 13; hp 40). Resist half damage against melee and ranged attacks; Vulnerable 5 against area and close attacks. +2 Saves. When reduced to 0 hit points, the Tentacle Grates dies, ending the hazard.


Tentacle Grates Swarm (Hazard) Level 1 Obstacle XP 100
Tentacles reach hungrily through the grates, pulling prospective prey toward an unseen maw

Hazard: The tentacles come out of a 2 x 2 grate which is Difficult Terrain. They activate when something moves into their Reach 1 or space.

Initiative +2

Trigger
Tentacle Grates Swarm rolls initiative whenever a character comes within 1 square of the grates. Henceforth, the Tentacle Grates Swarm makes an attack against any creature it can reach.

Traits

Swarm AttackAura 1
Any enemy that ends its turn in the aura takes 4 damage, and the swarm can slide it 1 square as a free action.

Attack
Standard Action Melee
Target: One creature within Reach
Attack: +4 vs. Fort
Hit: 1d6 + 2 damage, and the target is grabbed (Escape DC 14)

Countermeasures
✦ Dungeoneering DC 12 (Move): An adjacent character to its Reach 1 can toss the Tentacle Grates Swarm food so it will not activate against them or their allies UtEoYNT or Sustain Minor
✦ A character can attack the Tentacle Grates (AC 15, F 12/R 14/W 13; hp 20). Resist half damage against melee and ranged attacks; Vulnerable 5 against area and close attacks. When reduced to 0 hit points, the Tentacle Grates dies, ending the hazard.


* Purple Squares are Poisonous Mire (Hindering Terrain). Effect: A square of poisonous mire is difficult terrain for creatures. They sink into the mire, muck clinging to flesh and clothing. In addition, any creature that starts its turn in a square of poisonous mire takes ongoing 5 poison damage and is slowed (save ends both).

* All squares of the vertical timber obstacles x 2 are Blocking Terrain. They can be Stunted with via Athletics or Arcana

TERRAIN STUNT


Requirement: (Adjacent) Athletics or (R5) Arcana (Psionic Force or Teleportation) vs Med DC.
Target: CB3 (creatures in the blast) from one square of blocking terrain or CB1 (creatures in burst) from one square of blocking terrain.
Attack: +4 vs. Fort
Hit: 1d10 +3 damage.
Miss: Half damage.
Effect: The Blocking Terrain becomes Difficult Terrain

* All squares adjacent to the edge of the arena are Spear Hedges (Hindering Terrain). Effect: A creature that ends its turn in a spike hedge square takes 5 damage is restrained until the start of its next turn.

* Grate and stairs (when the grate is up) on the left of the arena are Challenging Terrain (Med DC Acrobatics or Athletics or Difficult Terrain).

* Guttersnipe x 3 = AC 14, Fortitude 13, Reflex 14, Will 13

* Mauler x 2 = AC 13, Fortitude 14, Reflex 11, Will 11

INITIATIVE

16 Pa'avu
13 Mauler
12 Guttersnipe/Tentacle Grate Swarm (Elite)
10 Ibhea
5 Chanvati
Tentacle Grate Swarm TBD

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WAVE 1 ROUND 1

PA'AVU draws upon her previous experiences dueling in cage matches to identify her enemies for Chanvati and Ibhea.

She then takes the briefest of moments to narrow her eyes quellingly at the brute grappler in front of them before taking off running. Her blood-curdling howl lends strength to her swing of Velmech'ki, and the blade cuts deeply into the brute's flesh. [Pa'avu's triumphant yell causes them to cringe in pain, meaty hands over their ears.] The goliath makes a grim smile as she uses her trusty blade to herd the brute in the direction of the grates beyond them both, cutting into their flesh still more as she pushes them.


* Nature Check (No action): Guttersnipes: Roll 10 + 3 = 13; Maulers: Roll 5 + 3 = 8

Med DC for Guttersnipes but nothing for Maulers. However, the Maulers are Brute and grapplers (easy enough to see). Guttersnipes Monster Knowledge: Medium, Natural, Human, Artillery, Sling, Net CB2 (Encounter), Slippery (Encounter). No Resist or Vulns.

* Minor action: Hunter's Quarry on M2 (encounter, UtEoMNT)

* Move action: M21 to M15

* Standard action: Howling Strike as a charge: from M15 to O13; Roll 5 + 8 = 13 vs 13 AC = Hit; Damage: 10 + 1 + 4 + 3 (HQ) = 18; if bloodied: free action, at-will, trigger: your attack bloodies an enemy: Thunderborn Wrath: close burst one, each enemy in burst (M2): +3 thunder damage (now at 21) [above in brackets]

* Action Point for standard action: Pressing Strike: shift 2 sq (O13 to M13), then Roll 14 + 7 = 21 vs 13 AC Hit; Damage: 10 + 4 (now at 32 or 35); then push Mauler2 to N11

TRIGGER

Die Another Day ✦ Encounter
Trigger: The berserking mauler is reduced to 0 hit points, but not by a critical hit.
Effect (No Action): Roll a d20. On a 15 or higher, the berserking mauler is instead reduced to 1 hit point.

Roll: 5. M2 Slain.




The remaining bare-chested, bare-handed BERSERKING MAULER launches itself into a rush toward Ibhea with wild abandon. It picks the acolyte up off the ground, squeezing with massive arms and shuffling toward the grate of writhing tentacles. Leveraging Ibhea against his hip, the Mauler appears to be readying the acolyte for a mighty toss.

* Move Action: E18 to J18

* Standard Action: Charge to N20 and MBA Bear Hug. (Roll) 11 +1 (Charge) +4 = 15 vs Ibhea Ref. Hit. (Roll) 1 +3 (4) damage and the berserking mauler grabs Ibhea (escape DC 12) and shifts 1 square (O20) with the grabbed target.




A pair of the GUTTERSNIPES take cover behind the barricade and launch a volley of slung rocks at Ibhea while he's in the midst of the crushing bear hug of the Mauler.

The third engages Pa'avu with an ensnaring net, getting the upper hand for the moment!


G1

* Move Action: D14 to G16

* Standard Action: Sling (Ranged 10) vs Ibhea. (Roll) 11 +2 (CA while Ally adjacent) +8 = 21 vs Ibhea AC. Hit. (Roll) 2 +6 (8) damage.

G2

* Move Action: F11 to K12

* Standard Action: Sling (Ranged 10) vs Ibhea. (Roll) 3 +2 (CA while Ally adjacent) +8 = 13 vs Ibhea AC. Miss. Covering Move: If the guttersnipe is adjacent to blocking terrain and misses with a ranged attack, it can shift 2 squares as free action. Shifts to I11.

G3

* Move Action: J11 to K12

* Standard Action: Hooked Net - Encounter (CBL2; Creatures) vs Pa'avu. (Roll) 12+6 = 18 vs Pa'avu Ref. Hit. The target Slides 2 squares (K14) and is restrained (save ends). Pa'vu does not have Line of Sight to G2 due to Blocking Terrain. G1 and G3 have Cover (-2) against a Ranged Attack from Pa'avu.




IBHEA

The unshaven priest with the unsavory past reels as the great gorilla of a man heaves him off the sand floor of the arena and prepares to throw him into the waiting tentacles of whatever monstrosity lurks beneath the iron grate. He had been a small boy on the mean streets of the Lower City, and pulls a trick from his playbook against many an older, bigger bully.

He bites down fiercely on the berserker's forearm, eliciting a cry of pain and a momentary weakening of grip, just enough for Ibhea to slip from the man's arms into flanking position with his Merchant-Mystic ally in order to plunge his kukri into the mauler's flank.


* Move Action: Escape Roll 10 +2 =12 vs 11 Reflex = break Grab and Shift 1 square to O19.

* Standard Action: Kukri Roll 6 +6 +2 (CA) =14 vs 13 AC = Hit for (3,1) +2 = 6 damage.




Watching the priest of Omthala slip from the berserker's grasp, CHANVATI raises his crystal staff menacingly and shouts, encouragingly, "Again, Ibhea!" and the priest obliges, opening another wound.

Taking advantage of his ally's tactical aura, Chanvati steps back from the berserker, and blasts past the man's porous mental defenses to explode his brain in a surge of psionic energy. The mauler's eyes roll up into his head as he crumples to the ground.

"Shake it off, Ibhea! We need you lucid!" Chanvati commands, as the priest touches fingers to a rising forehead welt where the slingstone of the guttersnipe struck him. Ibhea shakes the fog from his senses.

Chanvati scuttles in a low crouch, closer to his goliath bodyguard.


* Standard: Commander's Strike on Ibhea = Kukri (MBA) on M1 Roll 12 +6 +2 (CA) =20 vs 13 AC = Hit for (6,4) +2 +4 (INT) = 16 damage.

* Free Action: Since I started my turn in Ibhea's aura, I shift 1 square to O22, just in case the Mauler has any nasty Melee Interrupts!

* Action Point: Mind Thrust on M1 = Roll 8 +6 =14 vs 11 Will = Hit for 8 +5 =13 psychic damage.

TRIGGER

Die Another Day ✦ Encounter
Trigger: The berserking mauler is reduced to 0 hit points, but not by a critical hit.
Effect (No Action): Roll a d20. On a 15 or higher, the berserking mauler is instead reduced to 1 hit point.

Roll: 5. M1 Slain.

* Minor Action: Inspiring Word on Ibhea for Surge (6) +2 = Heal 8 HPs.

* Move Action: Move to L16, avoiding any threatened squares.

Ibhea now at 21/25 HPs.




1674491116219.png





WAVE 1 ROUND 2




As the guttersnipe’s net falls over her and snares her into place, PA’AVU takes a moment to sink into her l’pahb’gin to protectively harden her skin once again. Another moment allows her to ignite the symbols on her armor to send sonic damage in the direction of the third guttersnipe she sees in the corner of her eye. There will be no sneaking up on her gosb’tar this day!

Then, the goliath rallies whatever forces she has to shove over the wall she’s been snared against, hopefully flattening the two guttersnipes beyond, the ones she can no longer see. The wall collapses onto both with a satisfying thunder, but the effort prevents her breaking free of the entangling net.


* Minor: Stone’s Endurance (Encounter Power): Resist 5 All EoMNT

* Minor: Screaming Armor (Encounter Power) on G1: -2 all attacks EoMNT

* Standard: Terrain Stunt: Athletics check: Roll 12 + 10 = 22 vs. 12 Moderate DC; attack on G2: Roll 12 + 4 - 2 = 14 vs. 13 Fort., damage: 6 + 3 = 9; attack on G3: Roll 11 + 4 - 2 = 13 vs. 13 Fort., damage 10 + 3 = 13 (G3 BLOODIED). BLOCKING TERRAIN GONE. 3 X 3 RED OUTLINE IS DT.

* Saving throw vs. Restrained: 3 = Fail




Reeling from the timber barricade being collapsed upon them by Pa'avu, the affected GUTTERSNIPES pull themselves out of the mess of wood and steel left behind and tactically retreat, their sling-vollies steering clear of the stone-skinned (and rather angry) berserker before them and focusing on the much more squishy Chanvati!

The third engages Ibhea with an ensnaring net with the acolyte fumbling backwards, entangled, as the swarm of tentacles from the large grate probes desperately for its next meal!


G1

* Move Action: G16 to M19

* Standard Action: Hooked Net - Encounter (CBL2; Creatures) vs Ibhea. (Roll) 15+6 -2 (Screaming Armor) = 19 vs Ibhea Ref. Hit. The target Slides 2 squares (Q19) and is restrained (save ends).

TRIGGER: Tentacle Grates Swarm rolls initiative whenever a character comes within 2 squares of the grates. Henceforth, the Tentacle Grates Swarm makes an attack against any creature it can reach.

Initiative +4 = 21. Tentacle Grates Swarm acts now on Initiative 12 with Guttersnipes.

TENTACLE GRATES SWARM (ELITE)

* Standard Action: Tentacle (Reach 2) vs Ibhea. (Roll) 2 +2 (CA) +6 vs. Fort = 10. Miss.

G2

* Move Action: (out of DT) I11 to I6

* Standard Action: Sling (Ranged 10) vs Chanvati. (Roll) 16 +8 = 24 vs Chanvati AC. Hit. Damage 6 + 6 = 12.

G3

* Move Action: (out of DT) K12 to L7

* Standard Action: Sling (Ranged 10) vs Chanvati. (Roll) 9+8 = 17 vs Chanvati AC. Hit. Damage 2 + 6 = 8.




The priest of Omthala, IBHEA, struggles against the constricting hooked net that wraps his form, entangled deeply with his golden tunic and scarlet cape. "Tricky," he thinks to himself, "as befitting a warrior raised on the streets."

"See now, another path, that offered by the Lady of Light by those who open their hearts to her dazzling brilliance," this time aloud. His body flashes with a light to rival the sun itself and he seems to disappear in a halo of shimmering radiance, visible only to his guttersnipe foe, who cringes and blinks from the flare.

Ibhea wriggles out from the net, tossing it calmly to the sandy floor.


* Standard Action: Divine Flash vs G1, Roll 11+4 -2 (restrained) = 13 vs 13 Will for (2,1)+2=5 radiant damage, and G1 grants CA (SE). Until G1 saves, Ibhea is invisible to every enemy (including Tentacle Swarm Hazard) except G1 and his Kukri does +1d6 extra damage to G1.

* Saving Throw = Roll 13 = Success, restrained removed.




Staggered by the dual missiles from the slings of the guttersnipes, CHANVATI nevertheless remains very much in this fight. He advances past the struggling Pa'avu to the border of the now fallen timber wall. Calling upon all of his psionic reserves and the magic power latent within his crystal staff, he scrambles space in a large swathe between the two retreating guttersnipes, an uncanny unfolding of impossible angles and locales, depositing one of his foes into the poisonous mire and crumpling the other into a fallen heap, unmoving in the black sand.

* Move Action: Move L16 to L10.

* Free Action: Activate Staff of the War Mage Daily Power to expand Dimensional Scramble to Area Burst 2.

* Free Action: Use Adept's Insight (Encounter Power) to buff attack vs G2. Roll 1 +1 =+2 buff.

* Standard Action: Dimensional Scramble centered on K7. Roll 9 +6 +2=17 vs 13 Fort G2 = Hit for (3)+5=8 damage and teleport to H7 (Poison Mire). Roll 9 +6=15 vs 13 Fort G3 for (6)+5=11 damage = G3 Killed.

Chanvati 4/24 HP




1674532033988.png




WAVE 1 ROUND 3




Sorely fighting her growing frustration at her continued entanglement, PA'AVU takes a calming breath, removes one of her javelins from its sheath, and lets it fly at the guttersnipe standing deep in the mire. The javelin hits them square in the solar plexus, causing the creature to exhale sharply. As Pa'avu shreds the netting from herself, she watches with grim satisfaction as the guttersnipe begins to inhale the poisonous fumes rising up. Surely its final breath.

* Minor: draw javelin from sheath

* Standard: RBA (javelin) on G2: Roll 19 + 6 - 2 = 23; damage 1 + 4 = 5

* Save vs Restrained: 10 Success




With his last remaining ally succumbing to the poison of the mire, the GUTTERSNIPE is fixated on two things; a tactical retreat and ending the divine mark that Ibhea has ensorcelled him with. While the swarm of tentacles futiley gropes around, unable to detect Ibhea due to the radiant mark, the guttersnipe backs carefully behind the other poison mire, his sling stone clanging somewhere well wide of the mark.

His heart racing, he's able to cast off the radiant mark through some combination of fear and grit.


TENTACLE GRATES SWARM (ELITE)

* NA - Cannot "see"/detect Ibhea due to Divine Flash effect. No other targets in Reach 2

G1

* Move Action: M19 to G23

* Standard Action: Sling (Ranged 10) vs Ibhea. (Roll) 5 +8 = 13 vs Ibhea AC. Miss.

* End of Turn Saving Throw vs Divine Flash. 17 succceeds.

G2

* Beginning of Turn takes 5 Poison damage from Poison Mire. G2 Killed.




Spitting to the side and wiping his mouth with a golden sleeve, IBHEA stalks deliberately away from the tentacles grasping from below and towards his retreating foe.

"Our Lady of Light, praise be her Glorious Fluorescence, offers you reprieve from your life of brutality, if only you heed her call! Now, heed, curse you!" he growls and flashes once again with the brilliance of his deity, disappearing in that baleful shimmer to all but his foe.


* Move Action: Q19 to L19

* Standard Action: Divine Flash vs G1, Roll 12 +4=16 vs 13 Will = Hit for (1,4)+2=7 radiant damage, and the target grants combat advantage (save ends). Until the target saves against this effect, Ibhea is invisible to every enemy but the target, and its kukri deals 1d6 extra damage to the target.




He can see that this combat nears its end, and so CHANVATI shifts across the black sands nearer their cornered foe. Lashing out once again with a psionic puissance that bends the very laws of space, he folds and then expands reality in on itself, transporting the guttersnipe into the poisonous mire.

* Move Action: L10 to J16

* Standard Action: Dimensional Scramble centered on G22. Roll 5 +6+2 (CA)=13 vs 13 Fort = G1 Hit for 11 HP damage and telported into mire G21. G1 BLOODIED AND WILL TAKE 5 OG AT BEGINNING OF TURN. DEFEATED.

"You are defeated. But we offer you your life in return for a blood debt and," he pauses, glancing at the priest, "service to the Lady of Light." Chanvati turns to Pa'avu, and the goliath strides to the edge of the mire, looking down at the girl stolidly and reaching out her hand.




"I am called CHIRP" says the Guttersnipe as she accepts the hand out of the poisonous mire. "Though I am short on years, I have known blood debts before. I accept yours and shall honor it as I have those in the past...I have been on both sides..."




@darkbard and @Nephis , we'll transition to Wave 2, but we'll use another page for that (this page is getting fast-bogged down).

First:

* Level Up. You’ll get 700 - 100 (Ibhea) xp /2 = 300 apiece.

* Take 70 Gold and choose 1 Magic Item (total, not each) of 4th level or less.

* Take a Short Rest and Milestone (we'll count the other conflict as "completed" at this time for our purposes here, given that you have C3 worth of SC done).

* Update the thread with your new character sheets.

* Pick squares for PCs to be in for the Wave 2.

* Here is CHIRP THE GUTTERSNIPE for the coming Wave 2:

Chirp the Guttersnipe
Medium natural humanoid, human
Level 1 Artillery XP 100
HP 24; Bloodied 12 6 Healing Surges Initiative +3
AC 14, Fortitude 13, Reflex 14, Will 13 Perception+6 Speed 6

Traits
Pack Tactics
The guttersnipe has combat advantage against any enemy that is adjacent to at least one of the guttersnipe's allies.

Covering Move
If the guttersnipe is adjacent to blocking terrain and misses with a ranged attack, it can shift 2 squares as free action.

Standard Actions
(⚔) Gut Punch ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +6 vs. AC
Hit: 1d6 + 2 damage.

(➶) Sling (weapon) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Ranged 10/20 (one creature); +8 vs. AC
Hit: 1d6 + 6 damage.

Hooked Net ✦ Encounter
Attack: Close blast 2 (creatures in the blast); +6 vs. Reflex
Hit: The target Slides 2 squares and is restrained (save ends).

Skills Acrobatics +9, Stealth +9
 
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darkbard

Hero
Chanvati's Level Up Choices:

Feat: Unarmored Agility
Utility Power: Mind Shroud (Psion U2)

Chanvati, level 2
Human, Psion|Warlord
Discipline Focus (Hybrid): Telepathy Focus (Hybrid)
Warlord Leadership: Canny Leader (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlord: Hybrid Warlord Will
Psionic Augmentation (Hybrid): Hybrid Encounter Power
Human Power Selection: Bonus At-Will Power
Background: Tyr - Embedded Spy, Nibenay - Walker of the Exalted Path, Merchant Prince (Merchant Prince Benefit)
Theme: Noble Adept

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

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


AC: 17 Fort: 13 Reflex: 16 Will: 16
HP: 28 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 7

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +10, Insight +11, History +10, Diplomacy +8, Bluff +8

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +2, Athletics +0, Dungeoneering +2, Endurance +2, Heal +2, Intimidate +3, Nature +2, Perception +4, Religion +5, Stealth +2, Streetwise +3, Thievery +2

FEATS
Bardic Ritualist: Ritual Caster
Human: Bardic Ritualist
Level 1: Staff Expertise
Level 2: Unarmored Agility

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Mind Thrust
Hybrid at-will 1: Commander's Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Dimensional Scramble
Hybrid Encounter Power: Vengeance is Mine
Hybrid daily 1: Living Missile
Hybrid utility 2: Mind Shroud
Theme Power: Adept's Insight

ITEMS
Ritual Book, Adventurer's Kit, Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing), Alchemical Reagents (Arcana) (40), Zills, Ceramic hand, Staff of the War Mage +1, Writing case, Jade hairpin, Rare Herbs (Nature) (10)
RITUALS
Glib Limerick, Unseen Servant, Hold Portal, Animal Messenger, Scroll of Silent Image

Assuming that Wave 2 foes are entering from portcullis/drawbridge/gate-thingy on left of map, Chanvati will begin in square N19 and Ibhea in square K20. @Nephis will place Pa'avu and Chirp the Guttersnipe when she posts her character update.

EDIT: Er, after consulting with @Nephis and her initial placement, Chanvati will begin in square Q12 and Ibhea in Q14.

EDIT TO EARLIER EDIT: After our text exchange, we revise our starting positions as follows: Chanvati L13, Pa'avu K16, Ibhea O14, Chirp the Guttersnipe T11.
 
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Nephis

Adventurer
Pa'avu's Level Up Choices:

Feat: Skill Training: Heal
Utility Power: Iron Resurgence (Heal U2)
Magic Item: Vanguard Greatsword +1

Pa'avu, level 2
Goliath, Barbarian
Feral Might: Thunderborn Wrath
Background: Feral Raider, Wandering Duelist, Noble's Guard (Wandering Duelist Benefit)
Theme: Iron Wolf Warrior

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

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

AC: 18 Fort: 17 Reflex: 14 Will: 13
HP: 37 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 9

TRAINED SKILLS
Intimidate +10, Endurance +8, Athletics +11, Perception +7, Heal +7

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +2, Arcana, Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Dungeoneering +2, History, Insight +2, Nature +4, Religion, Stealth +2, Streetwise +1, Thievery +2

FEATS
Level 1: Warrior of the Wild
Level 2: Skill Training (Heal)

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

ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit, Crowbar, Grappling Hook, Javelin (3), Screaming Hide Armor +1, Vanguard Greatsword +1

Pa’avu will begin in square O15 and Chirp in square U9 (see @darkbard’s post above)
 
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darkbard

Hero
Short Rest Healing bookkeeping:

Pa'avu spends 0 Surges, 11/11 remaining, 37/37 HPs; Initiative Roll 10+3=13 (wins tiebreaker with Chanvati)

Chanvati spends 4 Surges, 3/7 remaining, 28/28 HPs; Initiative Roll 11+2=13

Ibhea spends 1 Surge, 4/6 remaining, 25/25 HPs; Initiative Roll 12+6=18

Chirp spends 4 Surges, 2/6 remaining, 24/24 HPs; Initiative Roll 6+3=9
 
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WAVE 2 MECHANICS

Everything is as above in Wave 1 except:

* The Tentacle Swarm Hazard (Elite) is no longer there. It is replaced by Green Squares which are Acidic Mire (Hindering Terrain). Effect: A square of acidic mire is difficult terrain for creatures. They sink into the mire, muck clinging to flesh and clothing. In addition, any creature that starts its turn in a square of acidic mire takes ongoing 5 acid damage and is slowed (save ends both). This mire will continue to grow progressively (filling the squares directly adjacent to its current size) at the beginning of each round until the combat is over.

* The grate with the Standard Tentacle Hazard is still activatable as is the other Blocking Terrain (Timber Obstacle) which can be stunted with as above).

* Gae'al (Level 2 Soldier Solo) AC 18, Fortitude 15, Reflex 13, Will 14

* Snake Swarms (Level 1 Brute Standard Swarm x 2) AC 13, Fortitude 14, Reflex 13, Will 12

* WIN CONDITION - Survive 4 rounds and earn the respect of Gael'al or bring her to 0 HP where she will yield and grant parley.



INITIATIVE

Gae'al 27 (Free Action Halberd or Backfist & Haft)
Ibhea 18
Gae'al 17
Pa'avu 13
Chanvati 13
Chirp 9
Tentacle Swarm Hazard 9
Snake Swarm (x 2) 6




1674629240057.png


WAVE 2 ROUND 1

Swarms of snakes pour out of both Poisonous Mires.

The massive grate see its swarm of tentacles recede to the nether regions below. In their place, bubbling acid overflows the area, seeping out continuously with a promise to leave no trace of the mess of corpses behind.

The uncommonly large, ancient, slate-skinned goliath, GAE'AL, Keeper of the Games, leaps from her place atop the mezzanine. As she lands in a crouch to absorb the harshness of the leap, her massive braid of hair hammers the ground with a thud akin to a body. She stands and points the blade end of her halberd.

"A worthy opponent. Defeat me and I will hear your plea. Defeat me not and my 'clean-up crew' will have your bones."


* Instinctive Assault (Free Action on Init + 10) - No targets to Halberd or Backfist & Haft.




PA'AVU tries to tamp down her nervous energy at facing her hero directly and attempts, instead, to calmly study her opponent and the changing circumstances around her. She needs to carefully consider her options and not become flustered.

* No Action: Monster Knowledge Check (Nature): Gae'al: 10 + 4 = 14

* No Action: Monster Knowledge Check (Nature): Snake Swarms: 17 + 4 = 21




Gae'al (Medium DC): Large natural humanoid (goliath), 160 HP, Large natural humanoid (goliath), No Resistances or Vulnerabilities, Weapon (no other tags for attacks). Medium DC doesn't normally reveal this, but it would be readily observable. Gae'al has Threatening Reach as a Trait and has Reach 2.

Snake Swarms (Hard DC):
Snake Swarm x 2 Large natural beast (reptile, swarm) Level 1 Brute XP 100
HP 36; Bloodied 18 Initiative +3 AC 13, Fortitude 14, Reflex 13, Will 12 Perception+2
Speed 6, climb 6 Resist half damage from melee and ranged attacks, Poison 5; Vulnerable 5 to close and area attacks

Traits ☼ Swarm Attack (poison) ✦ Aura 1
An enemy that ends its turn in the aura takes 4 poison damage and the swarm can slide it 1 square.

Swarm The swarm can occupy the same space as another creature, and an enemy can enter its space, which is difficult terrain. The swarm cannot be pulled, pushed, or slid by melee or ranged attacks. It can squeeze through any opening that is large enough for at least one of the creatures it comprises.

Standard Actions
Swarm of Fangs (poison) ✦ At-Will Attack: Close burst 1 (enemies in the burst); +7 vs. AC
Hit: 2d6 + 2 poison damage, and the target is slowed (save ends).

Triggered Actions

Divide (Encounter)
Trigger: Snake Swarm is Bloodied.
(Immediate Reaction): Snake Swarm splits into 2 x Level 1 Minions (Viper) within the 4 sq of Snake Swarm. The Vipers have the following attack:

Standard Actions (
⚔
)
Viper Strike ✦ At-Will Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +4 vs. Reflex Hit: 4 poison damage

Acrobatics (Escape) +9, Athletics +3



IBHEA casts his eyes about the arena as the enormous Goliath champion bounds down from the mezzanine onto the black sand of the arena. Like so many in Bantouk, the Imperial City, he has watched Gae'el the Unvanquished defeat many a foe to the raucous encouragement of a teeming stadium, but that in no way has prepared him for her presence, her enormity. This is no foe for him.

Instead, the priest backs carefully away, turning as he nears the snakes swarming from the poisonous mire. The terrible light of his goddess bursts from him in a wave of energy that sends the snakes tumbling en masse across the sandy area floor.


* Move Action: O14 to M10

* Standard Action: Terrible Glow (fear, radiant Encounter Power), Close Burst 2 on S2, Roll 14 +4=18 vs 12 Will = Hit for (3)+2=5 radiant damage +5 vulnerable =10 radiant damage and push 2 to L7. (I'm using the upper right hand square of Swarm 2 as reference point for movement.



GAE'AL bounds forward and unleashes a volley of diamondskin shards onto Pa'avu and Chanvati as her flesh hardens to impenetrable rock.

Her polearm work forces Pa'avu to parry furiously with greatsword and circle left into the mass of snakes to avoid the worst of Gae'al's combination of feints and attacks.


* Move Action: P22 (Upper Right Square) to N18

* Standard Action: Diamondskin Volley ✦ Recharge ⚄ ⚅ . Attack: Close blast 4 (creatures in the blast); +5 vs. Reflex (12 +5 vs P = Hit and 7 +5 vs C = Miss). Hit (2d8 +2 damage; Miss = Half) = 3 +8 + 2 = 13 damage. P takes 13 damage. C takes 6 damage.
Effect: Gae'al has Resist 5 to all damage UtEoHNT.

* Free Action: Action Point for Standard Action: ⚔ Backfist & Haft ✦ At-Will (Weapon). Attack: Melee 2 (one or two creatures); +7 vs. AC. If Gae'al targets only one creature, it can make this attack twice against that creature. Hit: 2d6 + 2 damage, and Gael'al slides the target 2 squares. If Backfist & Haft hits the same target twice, the target is immobilized (save ends).

Attacking P x 2; 17 + 7 = Hit. 3 + 7 = Miss. Hit: 3 +2 +2 = 7 damage (BLOODIED) and Pa'avu slides 2 squares to K18 (inside of Snake Swarm which is Difficult Terrain; See Aura and G's Reach).




<PA'AVU DELAYING UNTIL AFTER CHANVATI>

Wincing at the spray of diamond shards against his skin, CHANVATI nevertheless understands that this assault is as nothing compared to the mighty blows Pa'avu faces from Gae'el's polearm.

Drawing upon the psionic power of his mind once again, he folds space in a cascade of misalignments, catching all three--Gae'el, the serpents, and, unfortunately, his slave Pa'avu--within this spacial collapse, and jettisons the creatures outward, Pa'avu safely away from her foes for the moment.

"Sahtree," he encourages, "do not falter now. Show your champion your worth!"

"And mine," he thinks, blasting away at the Goliath once more, bending space and flinging Gae'el prone form this way and that via dimensional folding.

The Merchant-Mystic delves deep into his reserves of psionic energy and shifts the very fabric of reality around his form, slowing time and blurring his body's position in space to the senses of observers.


* Free Action: Spend 1 Power Point to Augment Adept's Insight on Dimensional Scramble attack vs. Gae'el

* Standard Action: Dimensional Scramble centered on L18; Attack vs Gae'el (17)+7+4 =28 vs 15 Fort. Hit. Attack vs Swarm (13)+7=20 vs 14 Fort. Hit. Attack vs Pa'avu (19)+7=26 vs 17 Fort. Hit. Damage = (5)+5-5 (DR) = 5 damage to Gae'el and Pa'avu, 10+5 (vulnerable)=15 to Swarm. Gae'el teleported to J20 (1 out of 4 squares in poisonous mire), Swarm teleported to L21, Pa'avu teleported to J18.

<Gae'al Saving Throw vs Hindering Terrain: 7+5 = 12 (Pass). G is Prone, next to Poisonous Mire Hazard, in I19 (upper right sq)>

* Minor Action: Inspiring Word on Pa'avu for Surge 9+(3)=12 HPs healed.

* Minor Action: Activate Mind Shroud.

* Action Point: Dimensional Scramble centered on J20: Attack vs Gae'el (17)+7=24 vs 15 Fort. Hit. Attack vs Swarm (3)+7=10. Miss. Damage 5+5-5 (DR) = 5 to Gae'el. Gae'el teleported to H21 (all 4 squares in poisonous mire).

<Saving Throw vs Hindering Terrain: 17+5 = 12 (Pass)> G is prone, next to Poisonous Mire Hazard, in I19 (upper right sq)>

Chanvati 22/28 HPs, 3/7 Surges remaining.




Momentarily closing her eyes and breathing calmly to push down sudden nausea, PA'AVU also reaches down into her l'pahb'gin to again harden her skin against attacks. She feels dizzy not only from the smackdown she just received from her hero but also from actually being on the receiving end of Chanvati's kaleidoscopic power for once. Her parts feel more or less in the right places, albeit rather bruised. Her exhale she keys to her armor, sending its screams at the ears of the elder, far larger Goliath, to weaken her next attacks against Pa'avu and her allies-at-arms.

Then, recognizing where her gosb'tar has positioned her, she takes another, deeper inhalation and - after a vicious swing of Velmech'ti - lets out a furious shriek. Her precious sword cuts into Gae'al's diamonded skin a bit and her shriek seems to cause the other Goliath further pause. Pa'avu's eyes gleam and mouth gives a grim smile, as she swings again, chipping away still more of her opponent's hide as she herself seems invigorated by the rush of violence.


* Minor Action (Encounter): Stone's Endurance (Resist 5 All EoMNT)

* Minor Action (Encounter): Screaming Armor (Gae'al -2 att EoMNT)

* Standard Action (Daily): Tyrant's Rage (Fear, Primal, Rage) on G: Roll 15 + 9 + 2 (CA) = 26 vs 14 Will = HIT! Dmg: 2 + 4 + 5 - 5 (Diamond Skin) = 6 and Dazed (SE)

* Free Action (Action Point): Standard (Encounter): Resurgent Strike on G: gain 6 Temp HP & attack: Roll 9 + 9 + 2 (CA) = 20 vs 18 AC = HIT! Dmg: 3 + 1 + 5 - 5 (DS) = 4

Pa'avu: HP: 19 (6 Temporary)/37 (Resist 5 All EoMNT); 10/11 Surges




"Now why exactly did I join forces with these guys again?" CHIRP mutters to herself as she considers her options. Deciding that - for now - keeping close to these would-be heroes would have to do, she darts a bit closer to the priest, with more than a few qualms. Then, glancing back anxiously at the swarming mass of snakes behind her, she takes aim at the Giant herself.

* Move Action: creep forward from T11 to P11

* Standard Action: Sling on 10: Roll 16 + 8 + 2 (Ally Adjacent) - 2 (vs. Prone) = 24 vs. 18 AC HIT! Dmg: 6 + 6 - 5 (DS) = 7




The SNAKE SWARMS slither and crawl toward Ibhea and Pa'avu. Ibhea finds himself desperately dealing with a torrent of viper fangs while Pa'avu relies upon her deluge of training and hide armor to render the threat moot.

* S2 (bottom left) begins turn in Poison Mire. 5 Poison - 5 Poison Resist = 0. Slowed (Save ends).

* Move Action: (Run = Speed +2 but CA against S2 UtEoYNT) to L10.

* Standard Action: Swarm of Fangs (poison) on I. Attack: Close burst 1 (enemies in the burst); +7 vs. AC. 9 (Roll) + 7 -5 (Run) = 11; Miss. I is in Aura (if Ends there, then 4 Poison damage and Slides one square into Swarm; DT)

* End of Turn Saving Throw vs Slowed; 19. Success.

S1 (upper left)

* Move Action: Circle around (no OAs triggered) to L19 (Flanking with G).

* Standard Action: Swarm of Fangs (poison) on P. Attack: Close burst 1 (enemies in the burst); +7 vs. AC. 9 (Roll) + 7 + 2 (CA) = 18; Hit. 2d6 (9) + 2 poison damage (11 total - 5 DR - 6 THP = 0), and Pa’avu is slowed (save ends). P is in Aura (if Ends there, then 4 Poison damage and Slides one square into Swarm; DT).




1674715995731.png


SS1 = 26/36
SS2 = 21/36
G = 133/160 > PRONE, DAZED

WAVE 2 ROUND 2

The Acidic Mire seeps out further, sizzling against the bones and flesh of the fallen.

From her back due to the flurry of attacks faced, GAE'AL attempts an upkick to catch Pa'avu under the jaw and take the smaller goliath from her feet while she spins her Polearm to entangle her foes legs. When Pa'avu is able to slip the upkick and parry the polearm, the massive goliath chuckles "well done" as she looks up at an opponent for the first time in years.


* Instinctive Assault (Free Action on Init + 10) - ⚔ Backfist & Haft on P. Attack: Melee 2 (one or two creatures); +7 vs. AC; Roll (9) +7 -2 (Prone) -2 (Screaming Armor) (no CA as can't flank due to dazed) = 12. Miss. Roll (1) = Miss.




IBHEA eyes the slithering swarm of serpents at his feet and recalls that episode of his youth, when the Empress’s Templar had caught him stealing fruit from a market stall and sentenced him to twelve hours alone in that dank pit with the cobra. A trauma that still wakes him almost nightly with screams and drenched in perspiration. A trauma that made him turn to as much araq as he could find each day, until he heard that preacher on the steps of the Sanctuary of Light, her soft words like a beacon of hope. Why snakes? he shudders with misgivings.

Glancing over his shoulder and turning, he realizes that Pa’avu now stands above the Goliath champion. Perhaps there is hope after all that they can defeat her and win parley. With purpose, he strides past a shimmering lacuna in the sand and unleashes his goddess’s radiance upon the fallen goliath. But Gae’al only blinks at him in mild frustration, her senses tempered to the challenging conditions of the sand arena, its glares and hazards.

Gulp.


* Move Action: Move M10 to J16 (no OA as Snake Swarm has no MBA).

* Standard Action: Divine Flash vs Ghae'al, Roll (9) +4 +2 (CA) -2 (Prone) = 13 vs 14 Will. Miss.




GAE’AL shakes off the harrying effects of Pa’avu’s furious attacks and unleashes a flurry of her own, forcing the smaller goliath into an off balance retreat toward the Poisoned Mire.

* Recharge Diamondskin Volley: 4. No Recharge.

* Standard Action: ⚔ Backfist & Haft on P. Attack: Melee 2 (one or two creatures); +7 vs. AC; Roll (7) +7 -2 (Prone) -2 (Screaming Armor) (no CA as can't flank due to dazed) = 10. Miss. Roll (16) +7 -2 (Prone) -2 (Screaming Armor) (no CA as can't flank due to dazed) = 19; Hit. (7) +2 - 5 DR = 4 damage and slides 2 squares into I20 (Poison Mire) or Prone in J20 if Saving Throw passed.

* End of Turn: Action Recovery. Whenever Gae’al ends her turn, any dazing, stunning, or dominating effect on her ends. (Daze Ends).



Still distorting reality to veil his presence, CHANVATI skirts the fallen timbers in slow motion. Ponderously raising two fingers to his brow, he focuses his psionic energy into a telekinetic blast at the goliath as she rises to her feet.

"This ends now," he thinks and hurls Gae'al's large form from beside the poisonous mire, clear into the swarming snakes, inhibiting their cohesion, and then through, across the burbling acidic flow, sprawling prone and into the arena's spiked hedge. "Got you!" He allows himself a slight smirk.


* Move Action: (Slowed) L13 to J14

* Standard Action: Living Missile (Daily) vs Gae'al, (9) +7 = 16 vs 15 Fort = Hit; Gae'al is immobilized (SE) and subjected to Living Missile Attack.

* Minor Action: Living Missile Attack vs Swarm 1, (12) +7 = 19 vs 13 Reflex = Hit for (5,6) +5 = 16 damage (half damage to Swarm = 8) and Prone...

TRIGGER

Divide (Encounter)
Trigger: Snake Swarm is Bloodied.
Attack (Immediate Reaction): Snake Swarm splits into 2 x Level 1 Minions (Viper) within the 4 sq of Snake Swarm.

Minions (2) Prone in K18 and K19

...half damage (8) to Gae'al and Prone. Deposit her 10 squares away in S23 against the spiked hedge of the arena's walls. G SAVING THROW TO AVOID HINDERING TERRAIN: 3 +5 = 8. FAILS. ADJACENT TO HINDERING TERRAIN.

Mind Shroud expires. Gae'al = Immobilized (SE) and Prone in S23, 8 damage. Swarm 1 = Prone in L19, 8 damage.

Chanvati 22/28 HPs, 3/7 Surges remaining (edited)




PA'AVU is able to temporarily shake off some of the dizzying effects that she is feeling from various poisonous sources. Outwardly she suddenly appears to be reinvigorated, almost good as new, and she is seething with rage. She allows that rage to force some movement into her stiff and stymied limbs and grimly takes a step towards the closer swarm of snakes: does it seem a bit smaller ... and spread out? Over the years, she has learned to focus more narrowly on the opponents directly in front of her, when her chips appear to be smashed (as her clan father used to urge the little ones when teaching them to fight). With another calming, cleansing breath, and ignoring the hero she would rather be fighting, she shifts into position to deliver a blow against the wriggling swarm. Her swing cuts deftly through half of the venomous vipers. Fine, then, uncle, I'll take it stone by stone, snake by snake.

* Pa'avu starts her Turn in Poison Mire: 5 OG Poison (-5 DR = 0 damage) and Slowed (Save Ends both)

* Minor Action: (Encounter) Iron Resurgence: Pa'avu HP: 33 (4 THP) (lose 1 Surge, spend 2 Surges, gain 1/2 Surge value THP)

* Move (Slowed, Difficult Terrain): I20 to J19

* Standard: Pressing Strike vs. S1 minion (K18): first shift 2 (J19 to J17), then strike: Roll 17 + 9 + 2 (vs. Prone) = 28 vs. 13 AC HIT! Damage: 4 + 5 + 5 (Rage) = 14 vs. Minion = Killed

* Saving Throw vs. 5 Ongoing Poison/Slowed: 5 Fail

Pa'avu 33 (4 THP)/37 HPs, 7/11 Surges remaining, 5 Resist All and Screaming Armor ends




CHIRP keenly watches how the match is playing itself out, first this opponent up, then that one ... now that one flies through the snake swarm and crashes into the wall ... wait, what? Deciding that she is perhaps playing on the winning side after all, she glances over her shoulder at the other snake swarm. Maybe she can contribute, after all. Hmm, that grate is pretty close...

* Move Action: from P11 to M11

* Standard Action: (Encounter) Hooked Net vs. Snake Swarm 2: Roll 17 + 6 = 23 vs. 13 Reflex HIT; Close Blast 2 (where S2 is): Slide 2 (L10 to N8) and is Restrained (Save Ends). S2 ends in Tentacle aura

TRIGGER : Tentacle Grates Swarm rolls initiative whenever a character comes within 1 square of the grates. Henceforth, the Tentacle Grates Swarm makes an attack against any creature it can reach.

Initiative 19, acts on Chirp's Initiative of 9.

Traits

Swarm AttackAura 1
Any enemy that ends its turn in the aura takes 4 damage, and the swarm can slide it 1 square as a free action.

Attack
Standard Action Melee
Target: One creature within Reach
Attack: +4 vs. Fort
Hit: 1d6 + 2 damage, and the target is grabbed (Escape DC 14).
Attack vs S2 Ref: (8) +4 +2 (CA) = 14; Hit. (4) +2 = 6/3 (half damage Melee Attack) = 2 damage and grabbed (Escape DC 14).




The mass of writhing TENTACLES (SWARM) and SNAKES (SWARM) slither and flail and constrict around each other. The ball of snakes is crushed by the tentacles or falls through the gates, reducing its numbers to a mere few which ultimately squirm away from the clutches of the tentacles.

* Move Action: Escape DC 14. (8) + 9 = 17. Cannot Shift 1 Square due to Restrained.

* Standard Action: Swarm of Fangs CB1 on TS; (13) +4 -2 (Restrained) = 15; Hit (6, 2) + 2 + 5 (Vuln Area/Burst/Blast) = 15 damage. 5 HP remaining for Tentacle Swarm.

End of Turn: Saving Throw vs Restrained (14): Succeeds. End of Turn in Swarm Aura. 4 damage (BLOODIED):

TRIGGER

Divide (Encounter)
Trigger: Snake Swarm is Bloodied.
Attack (Immediate Reaction): Snake Swarm splits into 2 x Level 1 Minions (Viper) within the 4 sq of Snake Swarm.

Minions (2) Prone in M8 and M7




S Minions x 3 (K19 PRONE)
T (Hazard) = 5/20
G = 115/160 > PRONE, IMMOBILIZED (SAVE ENDS), ACIDIC MIRE, SPEAR HEDGE

WAVE 2 ROUND 3

1674789423502.png




The Acidic Mire seeps out further, sizzling against the bones and flesh of the fallen.

In the depths of the growing Acidic Mire...amidst a biting maze of her very own Spear Hedges , GAE'AL lashes out wildly from her back with kicks, flailing arms, and halberd. She has as much luck finding her feet as she finds an enemy to assail. She attempts to mutters a curse in Goliath but her lungs fill with acid instead, leaving her coughing and hacking out the caustic liquid to protect her earthen lungs.


* Instinctive Assault (Free Action on Init + 10) - No Targets.




@darkbard and @Nephis , given the situation, its insurmountable for Gae'al. Immobilized (Save Ends) and we're in a Restrained loop next to Spear Hedge with no way to resolve. Going to go ahead and submit with her given the situation. Win Con achieved.
 

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WAVE 2 RESULTS

XP


* 625 + 300 - 200 (Ibea and Chirp) = 725. Someone take 362 and someone take 363.

LOOT

* 1 Head of Your Enemy Slain Encased in Gold (250 GP)

* Choose 1 Magic Item of 3rd Level or Less.

COMPANION CHARACTER

* Chirp is now a friend you might call upon.




After the mighty Games Warden Gae'al yields, she commands her engineers to turn off the flow of acid and the snakes and tentacles retreat to their grates and dens. She takes the head of one of your fallen foes and has it dipped in molten gold to present to you as a grisly trophy (worth a fair amount!).

From her treasury, she brings forth a magic item.

From her mind, she brings forth council <Ask 1 question that History would answer at the Hard DC and she will answer it for you>.
 

darkbard

Hero
From @Manbearcat (in italics):

* Do me a favor when you update your thread. Break down the various constituent fictional parts to date, both setting and situation.

*Play begins in the Imperial City, Bantouk, where a new Inquisition has been initiated.

*The Empire is embroiled in costly ventures: the border war effort to the north (a nation of yuan-ti), the trade route expeditions to the east, or the spiritual journeys to discover why creatures terrible to behold are flooding our wilderlands.

*The Empress may be possessed or fool-headed or mad.

*The Oracle has made some significant revelations, which have the military in a state of agitation.

*There is a secret sect of assassins within the priesthood of the Empire. The priests have been commissioned to wage war on any member of the merchant, artisan, peasant, or slave class that will not provide material support to the Empire’s campaigns. The Sect of Omthala, another religious organization, has a kind of supra-judicial status that places it and its formal allies outside Imperial jurisdiction. Inquisitor Eyo-urth-shala leads an investigation into Chanvati’s family.

*The conspirator behind the assassination attempt on Chanvati is his cousin Amna and her father, Chanvati’s uncle, Tarquin. Tarquin has been considering yielding to the Empire’s demands to submit the family’s economic might to the Empress, but Chanvati’s father, Quwaenthi, desires to hold fast.

*The Scrolls of Xanthar hold trade secrets that privilege those who possess its knowledge. Currently, Chanvati’s father has a copy and is putting in place actions to get the jump on competitors wishing to trade with the formerly lost city, Itirilmish. Meanwhile, the original scrolls have been planted in Amna’s study by Chanvati et al.

*Barrister Bita-Bousseh had been retained by Tarquin to intervene legal roadblocks to the Empress’s demands but revealed herself to be an agent of a group of dissidents (The 2nd Nation) resisting the influence of the Empress’s inner circle upon her and has now allied herself with Chanvati and his father. Formerly, she served the Empress but was cast out by the Empress’s inner circle.

*Senator Hurang was killed by a cousin of the owners of The Waking Dragon during the Popular Assembly at Moonfall Knoll a few years ago.

*Pa’avu’s goliath blood may possess some mythic quality that sets her apart from others of her race. Games Warden Ghae’al, overseer of the arena The Congress of Savagery, is an ancient goliath of remarkable size and holds much wisdom and lore about the race of goliaths.


1) I think you just named the city?

We did: Bantouk. And we’ve gone ahead and named the mysterious and formerly lost city to the east, Itirilmish. Let’s call the Empire Hageri.

2) Pin down (in broad strokes) how you're seeing this Sword and Sandals setting we've developed so far (including city, the faith, etc).

Starting with faith, we see this as a polytheistic society, but the state religion is more like worship of one god (among many) and its exarchs, where each exarch has its own substructure and traditions. The secret sect of assassins, for example, would be one such. The Dragonborn Inquisitors is another. The Sect of Omthala is a different god altogether, one with a strong following beyond the city and empire, accounting for its diplomatic status. Let’s call the state god Mavi-ishiq, Lord of the Heavens; the patron of assassins Ubka; and Bas-Billan the Justiciar, patron of the Inquisitors.

The city is definitely a place of Might Makes Right. The wealthy, with their strength of arms to back their power and influence, indulge in a decadent, hedonistic lifestyle, while the underclasses live in comparative squalor, kept in check by the daily bread dole and other concessions.

Hageri is clearly multiracial, though there are some clear caste implications: Inquisitors are only drawn from the Dragonborn (sworn as a group to Emperor/Empress); Goliaths and Ogres are usually slaves or warriors, though the ambitious, lucky, and clever among them can transcend such rank, serving as, for example, general in an army or Games Warden (like Gae’al).

3) We know we've got a hierarchical structure of Emperor/Empress > Royals > Priests > Military & Aristocracy > Merchants > Peasants > Slaves.

I would add that this strict caste system is complicated by some checks and balances and gray areas, like the Sect of Omthala’s supra-judicial status.

4) Are we in a geographic locale that features massive mountains like the Himilayas and a huge grassy Steppe lands once you get out of these massive highlands...with a huge invading mobile force (fantastic 4e humanoids like Bladelings or Hengeyokai on dire scorpions or fantastic animals of some sort?...with this dangerous looming force being a threat to the trade routes to the other empires)? Completely uncharted sea to the south?

Bantouk must sit in a pass within a great range of mountains, precipitous and foreboding but maybe more like the rock and pine depictions of landscape in Japanese and Chinese brushstroke art than immense like the Himalayas. We know that the Monastery of the Exalted Path exists somewhere in those mountains. Bantouk’s tributary settlements are oases spread along ancient trade roads to the west. The south is an uncharted sea, but one of silt and sand only, perhaps once a great basin of water but now an ever-shifting landscape of windswept dunes. The arid steppes, infringing upon civilization, are inhabited by the scorpion-riding Bladeling Horde, which sweeps across the land in periodic waves, having driven the goliaths before them into the mountains in ancient times past. Nomadic tribes of elves draw much of the Bladeling’s ire these days, though perhaps part of what rouses the military in Bantouk is a prophecy from The Oracle about a new leader of the Horde who wishes to test their mettle in raids against the Empire?

To the north, we’ve identified an ancient nation of yuan-ti, perhaps extant to some extent (wordplay rimshot!). We see there a loose confederation of small humanoid nation-states that resist the Empire’s incursions as best they can.




Pa’avu’s question for Gae’al: Where/how can I develop the mythical aspect of my blood inheritance?

Chanvati will choose the Brooch of No Regrets +1 as his reward for helping defeat Gae’al. New stats: Fortitude 14, Reflex 17, Will 17.
 

Gae'al points to a the tallest of mounts in the distance, flanked by a range that rises only half that high.

"Stoneroot's Perch. You will find burial mounds at its peak; a sacred place for our kind. Those mounds are not for the dead...but rather the living; those brave enough of our kind pilgrimage to that place to commune with Stoneroot himself. But to do so means death; burying one's self alive in an earthen mound until your last breath is drawn. From there you will transcend your mortal form and enter the Spirit Realm. You may find the Elder Spirit of earth, Stoneroot, there. Receive his blessing, unlock the earthen strength of your blood, and find your way back. Or do neither and become nothing more than the legion of goliath bones entombed in those ancient mounds."

* Take 1 Advantage forward to use in any conflict on this Major Quest (write this out please @Nephis ). You can use the Advantage for the normal purposes, but also to gain 1 additional Success when defeating a Hard DC or to reroll any roll in a combat.

* Take 50 xp apiece for resolving your Minor Quest (and write another one when you're read).

* Take 50 gold pieces.




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

12 Successes
and you sever the Sect of Omthala’s religious accord with Tarquin and Amna. This is necessary to fully resolve this conflict.

As you exit the Congress of Savagery, the Procession of the Scrutinous Eye and the Hand of Deliverance is underway. The Order of Omthala is good for The Empire both for alms provided and this perpetual ritual where a family is uplifted by coin-laden purse or a worthy child is conscripted for the honor of serving as herald or scrivener or alms-rationer or vessel-bearer for the many divinations the order carries out.

Here before you is one such example. The procession stops and a massive throng of underclass families desperately appeal for deliverance before the Sect of Omthala's agents. Hakhaman, Tarquin's steward and Warlock, stands behind the the priest of The Lady of Light as the vessel-bearer brings forth the means for a divination, the custom of "shedding light and gaining purchase from darkness" (both material darkness and the metaphorical obscuring of understanding). Hakhaman pulls forth a preserved eye, nerve still clung to it, from his pocket. He whispers into the ear of The Lady of Light's priest who leans into the council.

The holy agent of the Sect of Omthala places the eye in the basin, gathers implements in hand, and prepares for some obscure divination with an impossible Far Realm entity...well outside of the pacts of the order. The gathering congregation looks on in equal parts trepidation and horror as the typical ritual divination of choosing features thematic materials of light, clarity, and cleansing..





What do you do? Do you intervene? Does Ibhea? Do you wait and watch (if you do, then let me know and I'll move things along and reframe)?

Hard DC
 
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Nephis

Adventurer
After effacing herself before Gae’al, Pa’avu says to her (without rising), “I thank you, Zel’kisstr’,*
for this generous opportunity to face you in challenge and to earn the right to ask a question of you.” At Gae’al’s murmured assent, Pa’avu sits back on her heels and asks the elder goliath if the rumors of mythical goliath blood are true and how can Pa’avu learn more about this.

Gae’al looks down at her gravely for a long time, then orders simply, “explain.” Stuttering in nervous excitement in conversing with her hero, Pa’avu stumbles through her tale of the stonefang spider venom, its effect on her, and the effect of her own blood on the stonefang spider itself. “Are the rumors true, about the mythical aspect of the blood of certain goliaths? Is there a way that I can learn more about my blood inheritence and how to unleash its power?” Again, Gae’al gazes at her in long, silent consideration. Finally she tells Pa’avu the tale of Stoneroot's Perch:

“You will find burial mounds at its peak; a sacred place for our kind. Those mounds are not for the dead...but rather the living; those brave enough of our kind pilgrimage to that place to commune with Stoneroot himself. But to do so means death; burying one's self alive in an earthen mound until your last breath is drawn. From there you will transcend your mortal form and enter the Spirit Realm. You may find the Elder Spirit of earth, Stoneroot, there. Receive his blessing, unlock the earthen strength of your blood, and find your way back. Or do neither and become nothing more than the legion of goliath bones entombed in those ancient mounds."

“The great K’mniich’ostr’,” Pa’avu murmurs quietly, almost to herself. Gae’al gives her a small approving smile: “You remember the lore of our elders. Yes, the legends are true. Go and seek the K’mniich’. Good luck!”




Pa’avu’s Major Quest: To access the mythical aspects of my heritage, I will travel to Stoneroot’s Perch to commune with the venerable K’mniich’ himself.

* roughly translates as “revered one” in the Giant tongue.
** roughly translates as “Perch of Stoneroot” in the Giant tongue.
 

darkbard

Hero
CHANVATI looks on with horror as Hakhaman seemingly wields some corrupting influence over the Procession and divination. He doesn’t need the sputtering outrage of Ibhea beside him to recognize that some ill ritual is at work.

Without pause, Chanvati retrieves the
Ritual Scroll of Silent Image from his satchel and intones the words of power. Appearing in the air, hovering above the Lucent Messenger and Tarquin’s Steward is the form of a bleached but radiant elderly woman, her long white hair raised in a halo of static and pulsating with light. She reaches out a forefinger in castigation at the priest. A miracle! An incarnation of Omthala herself to forestall any corruption of her rites!




Reading over our discussion of the handling of Rituals in Skill Challenges, I think this is an autosuccess, but if it’s necessary to have an Arcana check involved for some reason, using the Scroll as a Standard Action (if time is rushed) yields 5+10 = 15 Arcana result. If Chanvati has a minute to prepare the ritual properly, that result would be 10+10 = 20 Arcana result. These are opposed Arcana or Perception DCs by onlookers to recognize this as an illusion.

Obviously, since the Hard DC is 21 and neither passive Arcana check can pass that, if Chanvati is the one making a skill check here, I will only use this resource if it’s an autosuccess. Should that not prove to be the case, I’ll just use Arcana without the Scroll to try to disrupt the magic of Hakhaman/Lucent Messenger’s ritual, without the fancy illusory magic and revise the fiction as necessary (Roll = 10 +10 =20 vs 21 Hard DC would be failure).
 

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

Auto-success is good here. They are performing a ritual as are you. Your performance of the Ritual from the Scroll is 1 minute. There own would be at least that so you're surely able to intervene by activating (and expending) the Scroll.




As your words give form to the illusion, the Ritual Scroll turns to dust in your hands.

Seemingly awoken from a stupor, the priest (ess...long flowing golden locks and a feminine face are revealed when her head is freed from her stark white cowl) recoils from her own doings when the "divine image" of Omthala graces the procession. She drops the ritual vessel and her implements. The contents are fused into a smoking murk from the burgeoning toil and litany of the foiled incantation.

The crowd throws itself onto the ground in unified prostration after briefly gawking and weeping at the "deity's" presence. So they are oblivious to what is to come...

Hakhaman's face is a twisted mask of outrage. His head a stalking sentry on a swivel. He is no acolyte of this goddess and he is not so easily beguiled. Hoping he can draw out the usurpers of his moment, he calls out to the smoking murk to fill the lungs of the transfixed agent of Omthala. The smoking murk takes a slithering form and begins to threaten to invade the white and gold clad priestess...to possess and puppeteer her (?)..to <gulp> change her?





Hard DC if you're going to intervene!
 

Nephis

Adventurer
At the sight of the slithering form threatening Omthala's Lucent Messenger, PA'AVU bounds over the prostrate forms of the faithful to protect her, drawing upon the power of l'pahb'gin to empower her endurance. As soon as the goliath is within arm's length of the smoky form, she takes a deep, powerful breath to inhale and contain it within her gargantuan lungs. She can feel it seem to burn and tear its way down her throat as her dimming eyesight can just perceive the growing horror on the faces of her companions.



* activate Iron Resurgence (Encounter): for +2 Buff on Skill Check (spend 1 Surge)

* Primary Skill Check (Endurance) vs. Hard DC: Roll 4 + 8 + 2 = 14 vs. 21 DC Fail.
 
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9 Successes (1 Hard DC Available)/1 Failures/0 Secondary Skills Available/3 Advantages Available)




The Smoking Murk tears at Pa'avu's lungs as it desperately seeks its true prey. Eventually, the mighty goliath cannot contain the terrible incantation. The instant she hacks and coughs up the vile magic it makes a beeline for the Omthala Priestess, attempting to subvert both her will and her form to the Warlock that enspelled the sorcery upon this world from The Far Realm. The Lady of Light intercedes, a true miracle, with a radiant bulwark imbuing her precious faithful.

"I might have known..." Hakhaman spits in disgust. "Very well."

A whistle later and one of your Uncle Tarquin's mighty guard dogs is at the side of the wagon.




MECHANICS

* Pa'avu starts combat down one Healing Surge worth of HPs.

* If Hakhaman reaches square EFPQ18, he leaves the scene (you can start a Skill Challenge to Pursue Hakhaman).

* WIN CON = Both * Dispel the perverse incantation of the Smoking Murk (Priestess' square) AND * Protect the priestess; accrue 1 Success for the Skill Challenge. If the Smoking Murk isn't dispelled or the priestess perishes, accrue 1 Failure for the Skill Challenge.

* DISPEL THE SMOKING MURK (125 xp). Complexity 1, Level 2 SC. 4 x DC 13 Obstacles (Primary Check = Standard Action w/in 5 Squares or Adjacent to Priestess if Physical. Secondary Check x 1 = Minor Action). * Any Round without a Success and the Priestess loses 1 HP at the End of the Round. * 3 Failures before 4 Successes and the Priestess dies and is "changed" (and becomes an ally for Hakhaman).

* TERRAIN STUNT (GIDDYUP): Orange Square O4 is the Horse drawing the Procession's Open Wagon.

Standard Action
Requirement: You must be adjacent to the horse.
Check: Nature or Insight check (medium DC) to activate the horse.
Success: The horse breaks free of harness and collar and upends the wagon.
Target: Each creature on or adjacent to the wagon.
Attack: Level + 5 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 1d10 + 1 level damage, and the target is pushed 1 sq and knocked prone.
Miss: Half damage and pushed 1 sq.
Effect: The area of the wagon and adjacent become difficult terrain.

* Black outlined squares are Hindering Terrain (Prostrate Crowd). If a creature starts their turn in or adjacent to a square of Prostrate Crowd, they are slowed (save ends). The Prostrate Crowd can be used for Cover or Superior Cover if Prone.

* Wagon Squares are either Difficult Terrain or Challenging Terrain to navigate; Player's Choice. If player attempts Challenging Terrain, its DC 13 Athletics. Failure = Fall Prone in 1st Square.

* Priestess Stats (Smoking Murk is in her square until dispelled).

Omthala Priestess
Medium natural humanoid, human
Level 2 Minion Controller XP 31
HP 1 (15 THP); a missed attack never damages a minion. Initiative +4
AC 16, Fortitude 14, Reflex 15, Will 16 Perception+5
Speed 6

Traits
Divine Intercession
Omthala intercedes on the behalf of her priestess with 15 Temporary HPs at the start of the combat.

Standard Actions
(⚔) Radiant Brand (Radiant, Divine, Implement) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature); +5 vs. Ref
Hit: 2 radiant damage and the target takes -2 to hit UEoYNT

Triggered Actions
Holy Fount (Encounter)
Trigger: The priestess drops to 0 hit points.
Effect (No Action): The priestess gains 1 hit point.

Escape +2, Intimidate +8, Religion + 8

* (H) Hakhaman (Elite Controller/Leader) AC 16, Fortitude 14, Reflex 15, Will 16

* (D) Dog (Standard Brute) AC 15, Fortitude 15, Reflex 13, Will 12




ROUND 1

INITIATIVE


Ibhea 18
Dog 17
Hakhaman 17
Pa'avu 16
Chanvati 14
Omthala Priestess 9

1674977164342.png





CHANTVATI recalls the many horror-inducing invocations Tarquin's Warlock Steward has made over the years and fills his companions' minds with forewarning images. Unfortunately, his knowledge of the gigantic hound is much more limited.

Free Action: Monster Knowledge Arcana check vs Hakhaman = 23; High DC

Hakhaman
Medium natural humanoid, human
Level 2 Elite Controller (Leader) XP 400
HP 80; Bloodied 40 Initiative +3
AC 16, Fortitude 14, Reflex 15, Will 16 Perception+6
Speed 6 Resist 5 psychic Saving Throws +2; Action Points 1

Standard Actions
(⚔️) Staff (psychic, weapon) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +7 vs. AC
Hit: 1d8 + 4 psychic damage.

⚔️ Visions From Beyond (implement, psychic) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature); +5 vs. Will
Hit: 1d6 + 1 psychic damage. The target is dazed and takes ongoing 5 psychic damage (save ends both).

Aberrant Form (implement) ✦ Recharge ⚄ ⚅
Attack: Close burst 1 centered on Hakhaman or his Insanity Rift (enemies in the burst); +5 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 2d8 + 7 damage, and the target is weakened until the end of Hakhaman's next turn. In addition, one ally in the burst gains 5 temporary hit points.

Minor Actions
⚔️ Insanity Rift (conjuration, implement) ✦ At-Will
Effect: Hakhaman conjures an Insanity Rift in an unoccupied square within 10 squares of him. The Rift lasts until it is destroyed, until Hakhaman drops to 0 hit points, or until he dismisses it as a minor action. The Rift occupies its square. Enemies can't move through its space, but allies can. When Hakhaman takes a move action, he can also move the Rift up to 6 squares. If the Rift takes 10 damage or more from a single attack, it is destroyed and Hakhaman takes 10 damage; the Rift is otherwise unaffected by attacks. Hakhaman can have only one Insanity Rift conjured at a time. In addition, the Insanity Rift can make the following attack.

Trigger: An enemy leaves a square adjacent to the Rift.
Attack (Opportunity Action): Melee 1 (the triggering enemy); +5 vs. Will
Hit: 1d6 +2 damage and the target is dazed until the end of your next turn.

⚔️
Collapse ✦ At-Will 1/round Effect: Hakhaman commands the Insanity Rift to make the following attack.
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +5 vs. Reflex
Hit: 1d8 + 2 damage.

Skills Arcana +8, Indimidate +10, Athletics (Escape) +3


Free Action: Monster Knowledge Nature Check vs. Dog = 16; Medium DC

Guard Dog, Medium natural beast (animal), Brute, HP 48, Speed 6, Bite, Athletics (Escape) +10




IBHEA is nearly staggered by what neither his senses nor reason can explain. He knows that Chanvati's ruse was illusion, and a ruse bordering on heresy, at that. And yet he can feel the lingering presence of the goddess, her working of a miracle upon the besieged priestess. Buoyed by this, he will not abide this assault upon a colleague and companion in Omthala's faith, and certainly not on the very footsteps of the Lady's holy Cathedral!

He intones the words and rites of sacred power, used to cast out a possessing force or spirit from a body.


* Standard Action: Religion Skill Check to Dispel the Smoking Murk r8 +9 = 17 vs 13 DC. Success. SKILL CHALLENGE CONDITION SATISFIED THIS ROUND.

C1, LEVEL 2 SC: 1 Successes (0 Hard DC Available)/0 Failures/1 Secondary Skills Available





The huge GUARD DOG instinctively knows who the biggest threat to its alpha is and lunges at the mountainous goliath Barbarian, angry jaws and spittle leading!

* Move Action: T3 to R3

* Standard Action: Bite vs Pa'avu; 12 (Roll) + 7 = 19. Hit; (8)+9 = 17 damage. (BLOODIED; started combat 9 HP down).

(⚔) Bite ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +7 vs. AC
Hit: 1d10 + 3 damage, or 1d10 + 9 while the dog is within 2 squares of an ally.




<EDIT - ATTACK CALCS INCORRECT. VS NAD SHOULD BE +5, NOT +6>

HAKHAMAN brings forth his staff and speaks in a tongue impossible to comprehend. The air shimmers as spindly astral hands and arms seem to emerge from nowhere to...invert (?) the parcel of existence next to the priestess. Insanity claims space and time as a rift to The Far Realm claims dominion over a small location and a singular moment.

Through it, Hakhaman unleashes disorder and chaos...


* Minor Action: Summon Insanity Rift (R4).

* Standard Action: Aberrant Form CB1 from Insanity Rift. Attack vs Pa'avu Fort; (7) +5 = 12. Miss. Attack vs Omthala Priestess Fort; (8) +5 = 13. Miss.

* Minor Action: Insanity Rift Collapse. Attack vs P Ref; (8) +5 = 13. Miss.

* Free Action: Action Point to gain Standard Action. Visions From Beyond. Attack vs Pa'avu Will; (17) +5 = 23. Hit; (1) +1 = 2 psychic damage and P is dazed and takes ongoing 5 psychic damage (save ends both).




Head still spinning, lungs still burning, PA'AVU stares stolidly at the troublesome dog snarling and biting at her. Suddenly her vision seems to sharpen from a power she has come to recognize as coming from her gosb'tar, and she sees her way to slicing at the hound's hide more effectively with trusty Velmech'ki.

At the sight of the wound, the goliath remembers the rough sparring lessons in her clan and the urging of one of her clan-mothers to "take back your power" after one participant received a particularly bad blow to their head. Pa'avu tosses back her own head now as she finally understands the lesson of shaking of the dizziness. This time when she inhales, her lungs are filled with fresh clean air, and her wounds begin to look considerably older than they did a moment ago.

Given the ferocity of her foes arrayed against her, Pa'avu's l'pahb'gin instinctively hardens her skin to stone while her gosb'tar lends a psychic hand to aid her in throwing off Hakhaman's power. For now, at any rate.


* Take 5 OG Psychic Damage

* Free Action (Encounter, Chanvati): Adept's Insight (Augmented by Chanvati spending his PP: 2 +1 = 3

* Standard Action (Encounter): Resurgent Strike against Dog: Roll 11 + 9 + 3 = 23 vs 15 AC HIT!; 1) end Daze, 2) Damage: 8 + 4 + 5 = 17

* Minor Action (Encounter): Iron Resurgence: gain 18 HP + 4 TPH (HP: 22 (4 THP)); 3/11 Surges now available

* Minor Action: Stone's Endurance (Encoutner); 5 Damage Resist UEoYNT

* Save versus 5 OG Psychic: Roll 9 Fail * Free Action (Daily, Chanvati): Broach of No Regrets: Save versus 5 OG Psychic: Roll 20 + 2 = 22 Success




CHANVATI scrutinizes the crowded space on and around the wagon of the Procession and focuses his psionic power there to alleviate some of the proximate threats upon Omthala's priestess. Space scrambles and Hakhaman's hound is transported to the far side of the wagon, beside its master. Then Chanvati advances behind his bodyguard, bracing one hand against her broad back in defensive posture.

* Standard Action: Dimensional Scramble centered on S2, vs D = r(20) +7 = CRIT, vs H = r(5) +7 = 12 vs 14 Fort, Miss. Damage to D = 11 + r(5) = 16 and teleported to Q1. GUARD DOG BLOODIED

* Move Action: K5 to P5.




PRIESTESS OF OMTHALA struggles as the murky form of the smoke monster tries to force its way down her throat. Carefully, she picks her way across the wagon to dismount and scuttle behind her colleague Ibhea, but not before the Rift blasts and dazes her for daring to insert sensibility into this scene of chaos.

* Move Action: Q3 to L7.

TRIGGER OPPORTUNITY ACTION: Provokes OA from R, r(15) +7 = 22 vs 16 Will. Hit for r(3) +2 = 5 damage and O is dazed UEoHNT.

1 HP (10 THP). Holy Fount (Encounter) Available.




1675037676760.png





ROUND 2

IBHEA stands firm as a beacon of hope as his fellow stumbles across the plaza to him. Having previously invoked the divine power invested in him, he now turns to more mundane means, interceding the white cowl that had slipped from the priestess's head over it once again in an attempt to ward off this fell presence assaulting her.

* Standard Action: Untrained +4 WIS Heal check towards the embedded Skill Challenge Dispel the Smoking Murk: r(13) +4 = 17 vs 13 Moderate DC = Success. SKILL CHALLENGE CONDITION SATISFIED THIS ROUND.

C1, LEVEL 2 SC: 2 Successes (0 Hard DC Available)/0 Failures/1 Secondary Skills Available





<DOG DELAYS UNTIL AFTER HAKHAMAN>

HAKHAMAN calls the dog to heal briefly as he channels wilting energy from the Far Realm through the Insanity Rift. It wracks Chanvati's form and steals his strength. Still, the psion-scion has enough gas left in his tank to fend off the spatial attacks that the Insanity Rift assails him with.

"THE PRIESTESS!" Hakhaman shouts to the dog and points as the two advance toward the acolyte of Omthala.


* Aberrant Form Recharge; 5. Recharges.

* Mover Action: S1 to N4. Insanity Rift Shifts R4 to Q5.

* Standard Action: Aberrant Form CB1 from Insanity Rift. Attack vs Pa'avu Fort; (7) +5 = 12. Miss. Attack vs Chanvati Fort; (13) +5 = 18. Hit; (2, 5) +7 = 14 damage to C and weakened until the end of Hakhaman's next turn.

TRIGGER - VENGEANCE IS MINE IMMEDIATE ACTION (CHANVATI)

As the Rift in the fabric of reality collapses all meaning with its impossible geometry, CHANVATI blasts it with psychic energy, setting his slave up for a mighty blow with her greatsword, which seals the rent and restores order to spacetime once again.

Triggered Action (an enemy hits Chanvati): Vengeance Is Mine (Encounter Power) vs Rift; Mind Thrust vs R = r(9) +7 = 16 vs 16 Will (conjurations have same defenses as conjurer) for r(4) +5 = 9/2 (weakened) 4 damage. Does not meet 10 HP threshhold. In addition, Pa'avu gets MBA vs Rift, r(8) +9 = 17 vs 16 AC. Hit for r(6) + 5 = 11 damage. Rift destroyed. Hakhaman takes 10 HP damage.




Observing his master's command, the GUARD DOG rushes the priestess, heedless of Ibhea's bladed efforts to defend her. When the exchange is over, Omthala's divine magic has again rebuked the call of death to her servant; a radiant fountain manifesting to baptize the believer with life.

* Move Action: R1 to P2

* Standard Action: Charge to M6 & (MBA) Bite vs O...

TRIGGER OPPORTTUNITY ACTION IBHEA: Kukri 9 +6 =15 vs 15 AC = Hit for (4,4) +2 = 10 damage to D.

; 17 (Roll) +7 +1 (Charge) = 26. Hit; (10)+9 = 19 damage to O.

TRIGGER HOLY FONT (NO ACTION): The Priestess gains 1 HP.




After attacking the murky creature per her gosb'tar's direction, PA'AVU turns around and focuses hard on Tarquin's warlock. She then immediately charges straight for him, allowing the wind to scream through her armor, visibly affecting him. She echoes the eerie sounds even more loudly in her own howls as she repeatedly strikes him with Velmech'ti. While her blows are not at their usual strength, she still leaves him with several deep wounds.

* Minor Action (Encounter): Hunter's Quarry on Hakhaman (UEoMNT)

* Minor Action (Encounter): Screaming Armor on Hakhaman (-2 Att UEoMNT)

* Standard Action: Charge to N6 w/ Howling Strike vs D: Roll 16 + 10 = 26 vs. 16 AC HIT!; damage: 1 + 5 + 4 (Vanguard Weapon) + 6 (HQ) = 16 damage to D.

* No Action (Encounter): Trigger: hit with charge: additional 2 HP damage (total: 18); secondary attack (Close Burst 2: vs. Hakhaman: Roll 5 + 6 = 11 vs. 16 Will; Miss. vs. Guard Dog: Roll 5 + 6 = 11 vs. 12 Will; Miss.




Watching his slave rush Tarquin's despised Warlock, CHANVATI knows now is the decisive moment. Keeping his eye on Hakhaman, he allows himself a sideways glance towards the hound menacing Omthala's priests and fries the animal's nervous system with but a simple thrust of his mind. Then he cloaks himself in a shimmering energy field and takes several steps back towards the prostrate, now cowering collection of believers.

* Standard Action: Mind Thrust vs D, r(11) +7 = 18 vs 12 Will; HIT for r(9) +5 = 14/2 = 7 psychic damage. Killed.

* Move Action: From P6 to P8.

* Minor Action: Activate Mind Shroud. Superior Cover and Slowed UEoMNT.

Chanvati 14/28 HPs (Bloodied), Weakened until UEoHakNT, Slowed UEoMNT.




ROUND 3

HAKHAMAN: 52/80, -2 ATT UEoYNT

1675075190467.png





Something dark boils in IBHEA'S blood, something he hasn't felt in years. At least not consciously. This abomination that serves Chanvati's uncle must die here! Now, in the street, his cold blood running in rivulets across the flagstone. He assaults the Warlock with Omthala's divine radiance and then approaches, kukri glinting with menace in the sun.

* Standard Action: Divine Flash vs. H, r(13) +4 = 17 vs 16 Will. HIT for r(4,6) +2 = 12 HP damage and the target grants combat advantage (save ends). Until the target saves against this effect, Ibhea is invisible to every enemy but the Hakhaman, and its kukri deals 1d6 extra damage to Hakhaman. Hakhaman BLOODIED.

* Move Action: L6 to M4.



Seeing the tide turn so terribly against him, HAKHAMAN'S head turns this way and that, weighing the frustrating options before him. His face becomes a visage of horror and anguish. As he chooses, he mutters "Far Realm take you..." before summoning another Insanity Rift to threaten Omthala's Priestess and the terrible goliath barbarian.

And then...

...his feet beat a hasty retreat! Ibhea growls and offers up a prayer to both His Radiant Lady and his fellow member of the cloth who has been so beset this day. A flash of holy light and a stream of red blood wets the terrible Warlock's robes as he dashes between the crowd members, no longer prostrate, that are suddenly starting to realize just what is happening!


* Aberrant Form Refresh 3; Fail.

* Minor Action: Summon Insanity Rift (M6).

* Move Action: N4 to H7...

TRIGGER OPPORTUNITY ACTION (KUKRI) FROM IBHEA: Roll of 20; Crit! (6, 6, 6 LAWL) 18+2 = 20

* Move Action: H7 to E13

* End of Turn Saving Throw vs Divine Flash (CA); 9 +2 = 11. Pass

IF HAKHAMAN GETS TO D/E/F 18, HE ESCAPES. You can Pursue Hakhaman via Skill Challenge at your discretion.




PA'AVU shifts a step as she watches Hakhaman hustle away, then she releases her frustration in a blood-curdling scream and hacks at the Rift situated between Omthala's Lucent and herself. In her frenzy she almost doesn't notice that - with the power of Velmech'ki - she has closed the Rift. Pausing her attack, breath panting, she looks around for something else she can attack.

* Move Action: Shift 1 square from N6 to N5, Flanking Rift and receiving CA.

* Standard Action: Howling Strike: Roll 16 + 9 + 2 (CA) = 27 vs. 16 AC HIT!; Damage: 10 + 5 + 5 = 20: Rift = gone & Hankhaman takes 10 HP Damage.

Pa'avu: 22 HP (4 THP); 3/11 Surges available; 0 AP




CHANVATI fights past the uncanny weakness that besets him after the assault of the tentacled form grasping at him from within the rift. He peers through the crowd of the faithful that rises fearfully from their prostrate positions now that the tear in the fabric of reality, seeping madness and chaos, and its summoner, are no longer in view. It's not easy to get a bead on Omthala's Priestess through the intervening crowd to focus his psionic energy in a telekinetic wave of assault against the smoky murk with which she wrestles, but his ki force does not fail him. The dark taint seems tenuous now, nearly dissipated.

* End of Hakhaman's last turn ended Weakened condition.

* Minor Action: Secondary Skill Perception Check vs Dispel the Smoking Murk, r(2) +4 = 6 vs 9 Easy DC. Fail, so -1 forward to...

* Standard Action: Primary Skill Arcana Check to Dispel the Smoking Murk, r(20) +10 -1 = 29 vs 13 Moderate DC = Success.

* End of Turn: Mind Shroud effects end.




Although she is obviously shaken by the events surrounding her, OMTHALA'S LUCENT MESSENGER draws up her courage and her divine implement, pointing it at Hakhaman and murmurs, "you will feel Her brand upon you this day!" Radiant light shoots forward and hits the warlock in the face, hiding her subsequent and swift retreat around to the opposite side of her church's entranceway.

* Standard Action: Radiant Brand (Radiant, Divine): Roll 14 + 5 = 19 vs. 15 Refex: HIT!; 2 Radiant Damage, and Hakhaman = -2 Att UEoONT

* Move Action: from L7 to O13.




Bolstered by Pa'avu's blood-curdling scream, IBHEA strides forward with confidence after Hakhaman. He lifts his arm and throws another Divine Flash in the warlock's face, perhaps not doing as much damage as his earlier shot but discombobulating him nonetheless. Hakhaman stares at the priest in horror as - once again - he witnesses the aura of light around Ibhea.

* Move Action: from M4 to G10.

* Standard Action: Divine Flash: Roll 18 + 4 = 22 vs. 16 Will HIT!; 1 + 1 + 2 Radiant Damage, & Hakhaman grants CA UEoINT.




The sting of the radiant rebukes and dismissal of his Far Realm agent assails the Warlock, but he dare not look back. HAKHAMAN'S lone intent is to get to the engulfing crowd and disappear in the labyrinthine corridors of the city…

* Move Action: E13 to E18...

HAKHAMA NARROWLY ESCAPES (4 HP)!




WIN CON ACHIEVED!

1) You have 1 x Primary Skill Success left on Dispel the Smoking Murk, but there are no further threats or real prospects for failure/stakes. So please just briefly vignette your final Success (pick a thematic move and just vignette the dispelling/purging/exorcism; whatever you feel it should be).

2) I’ll use your vignette to frame the next obstacle in your ongoing C5 SC. IF you’re going to pursue, Hakhaman, let me know and I’ll frame that SC. Be aware however that such pursuit would be extremely dangerous given your resource attrition!

3) Milestone achieved with the combat + SC, so take an Action Point.

4) No loot here (but loot coming for subsequent C5 completion and Quest). XP as below:

Combat: 250 + 125 - 31 (Priestess) - 100 (Ibhea) = 244/2 = 122 xp apiece.

C1 lvl 2 SC = 125 - 31 (Ibhea) = 94/2 = 47 xp apiece.




10 Successes (1 Hard DC Available)/1 Failures/0 Secondary Skills Available/3 Advantages Available)
 
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Nephis

Adventurer
As the warlock scuttles away, PA'AVU – still breathing harshly – briefly considers following him and finishing the job. Then the priestess’s own exodus catches her attention, and the goliath follows her around the corner instead. Pa’avu finds her, huddled against the cathedral’s walls, still in struggle against the smoky murk with which Hakhaman cursed her. The goliath watches intently for a moment, sure that she will now witness the great power of the priestess rise up from within and vanquish the curse, the power Pa’avu has just seen blasting at the warlock. But the struggle continues.

Making a sudden decision, the goliath steps forward, grabs the woman’s shoulders, and – leaning down from her formidable height – growls into her ear, “Fight. It. Off.” Startled eyes meet her own grave ones for a long moment as the priestess’s body continues to shake for a moment. Then the skin of the Lucent Messenger of Omthala seems to glow, searing the smoke away as the sun does morning dew. They continue to stare at each other for a moment. Then, hearing footsteps behind her, Pa’avu drops her hands, straightens, and steps back, face impassive.



* Intimidate Skill = autosuccess

* Embedded Skill Challenge and Combat complete.
 

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




The nearby Sanctuary of Light, Omthala’s cathedral in the city, is less bright and ostentatious than tourists to the city expect. The facade is not marble but stone and the windows are simple rather than stained glass. There is almost a mirthlessness and ironic coldness about it.

A group of underwhelmed tourists gather in front, lamenting the lacking spectacle and awe. Cutting through them like a hot knife is a figure adorned simply in white toga with a hat bearing a burning sun that reaches impossibly skyward to stay on the Cleric’s head…yet it somehow does.

“Your Radiance” Ibhea humbly exclaims while averting his eyes as is custom.

The figure looks well beyond you at the Procession’s abandonment and the terrified purveyors. He looks at the recovering Lucent Messenger who is still unable to speak for herself.

Expressionless and monotone, “…this ritual is sacred and it must remain as sure as Our Lady’s blazing sky from dawn to dusk. What is the meaning of this interruption in the Holy Procession? Your role in the execution of these observances is not…opt-in. This is a dereliction of duty that comes with consequence.”

Turning to instruct the clergy behind him. “See to her abeyance immediately <instructing one>. Take her place <instructing another> and see Our Lady of Light’s will be done.”





If you’re going to intervene with this high ranking Cleric, its at the remaining Hard DC. This is a serious (misperceived) infraction! He will take some convincing and failure to do so will result in serious escalation (Consequence will be +1 Hard DCs…so both of the last 2 Successes would require passing Hard DC)!

If you’re not going to intervene, tell me what you plan to do (I’ll let you know if its Medium or Hard DC via Discord).
 

darkbard

Hero
Between Scenes Bookkeeping:

Yes, we let Hakhaman escape! (Curse that Warlock to the far reaches and back!)

Chanvati uses Inspiring Word on Pa’avu, who spends 1 Surge (9) and gains r(4) additional HP = 13. 35/37 HP, 2/11 Surges remaining.

Chanvati spends 2 Surges, regaining 14 HPs. 28/28 HP, 1/7 Surges remaining.

Both PCs now have 1 AP & Encounter Powers reset.




“Your Radiance,” Chanvati lowers his eyes and head fully in assumed humility. “I am but a lowly patron of the Lady of Light, from House Audaseie*, so please forgive me if I overstep my bounds. Perhaps Your Radiance has been occupied with other matters and Your Radiance’s staff has not had time to alert Your Radiance of the momentous happenings before the Cathedral’s very steps that have led to this disruption, an assault upon the Lucent Messengers of the Lady of Light by forces of darkness, and a miracle of divine intervention, witnessed by the assembled crowd, to save them! I inquire, with utmost humility, is there anything your humble servants can do to ease your burden and allow you to refocus on the extraordinary events at hand?”

*Of course, the hierarchy of the Sect of Omthala is well familiar with the generous donors who help fund their endeavors in the city. (This is the first time we've named the House to which Chanvati et al belong.)





My intent is to see what concerns so beset the Cleric that he cannot recognize the import of the situation before him.

* Use an Advantage (House Audaseie’s patronage of the Sect) to refresh Skill Training Insight as Primary Skill Check r(18) +11 = 29 vs 21 Hard DC. Success.
 

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

Success here and you sever the Sect of Omthala’s religious accord with Tarquin and Amna.




The cleric looks around at the crowd, suddenly registering the varying stages of frenetic "post-miracle stir" among the many assembled.

Averting his eyes from the borderline heretical gesticulations before him, he casts his gaze skyward to the blazing sun.

"A direct miracle of The Lady of Light?" Forgetting himself entirely, like a good bureaucrat who feels taxed with more work than he actually is, he openly laments the necessaries of his position. He sighs and quietly mumbles to himself; "...now I'm going to have to <insert an array of formalities to verify the legitimacy of an actual, unsanctioned, unsponsored manifestation of their goddess, here>."


Suddenly drawn from his borderline stupor over rather mundane frustrations, he seems rather excited at the prospect of your arrival. "House Audaseie (?)...your house is known for the gift of extrasensory perception without divine sponsorship." Consternation and bemusement uncoils into vague but growing excitement at the prospect; "So if there was an enemy of the faith directly interfering with our own means of divination and oracular insight...your house would be unaffected..."

He leans in and demands your gaze. Whispering, "we do not need your monetary investments presently. Our coffers overflow. Hear what I say now but know that if this news spreads, you will be confirmed, and then declared officially, the vector for the panic that follows. I trust I needn't elaborate on the penalty of such a happening." He doesn't even wait for your response. "The blaze of the Everflame that consecrates the Cathedral's altar has grown precipitously dim these last many weeks. I've scoured the histories and this is either a sign of a dark period for the faith-at-large or it's a calm before a great coronal outburst from her celestial body, which would render the material world beset with grave harm from her judgement that we_are_not_worthy. Perhaps there is another, more mundane answer, but I have not the research staff nor time...the hour grows far too late it seems...to delve into the vast tomes on all related subjects. I have asked for Her insight during Communion...but She is strangely silent on what afflicts us. I do not know what that means. Perhaps you could engage your...mind-prowess(?)...on the matter?"





Medium DC (That is all I have left!)
 
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darkbard

Hero
CHANVATI bows deeply from the waist. “Your Radiance, however I may be of service,” he intones, aware for the first time that these machinations in which he finds himself embroiled are far more than the dangerous political maneuverings typical of the power brokers in Bantouk; great powers of the cosmos involve themselves, their mortal agents mere pawns in this greater game.

Ibhea and the Priestess of Omthala, a gaunt young woman with curly golden locks named Arunny, quite shaken by this whole affair, follow the High Cleric, Chanvati, and Pa’avu, who must duck her head beneath the granite lintel of the cathedral’s main entrance, within, into a small meditation chamber off the main nave. A small magical point of light, a mere echo of the once-blazing, now dimmed Everlight above the cathedral’s altar, hovers at eye level in the center of the chamber, which is otherwise arrayed with nothing more than thin indigo cushions upon the woven rush floor.

“If you will allow me, Your Radiance, a few moments of quiet contemplation to center my ki and access fully the psionic energy of my mind, perhaps I can tap into the arcano-elucidatory field to bypass whatever stymies your divinations” Chanvati explains and takes up a crosslegged position on a mat, allowing the hovering light of Omthala’s sanctum to fill his focus and then blur, disappearing entirely in a flash as his mind
transcends the physical confines of the chamber. Flashes of tentacled horrors from beyond, scheming figures conspiring in the staterooms of the Imperial Palace, his cousin Amna and Hakhaman meeting with a shadowy form emblazoned with the Imperial crest.

Chanvati gasps in horror, taking in deep lungsful of stale air as the meditation chamber and his companions are returned to his senses.

“Your Radiance, something most foul and dire is afoot, and I believe it threatens far more than the present communications of Her Lady of Light and her mortal intercessors. A great conspiracy is afoot that seeks to hide its maneuvers from even the most potent light of truth; hence the dimming of the Everlight.” Chanvati continues with an explanation of bargains made with extraplanar powers, alliances between unlikely collaborators, and the necessity of severing House Audaseie’s current leadership from the Sect’s protection or else face cascading consequences from these recondite machinations. The Inquisition must be informed of this threat!





I’m using one of the two remaining Advantages here for Chanvati to circumvent the forces interfering with the clergy’s divinations by accessing a power source external to their sphere to lower the Moderate DC to Easy, 13 to 9. Primary Skill Check Arcana +10 = Autosuccess to complete the Skill Challenge.
 

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

WIN CON ACHIEVED - you sever the Sect of Omthala’s religious accord with Tarquin and Amna.





"If what you say is true, and I have all the reason to believe that it is, then The Sect of Omthala must insulate ourselves immediately and perform an inquest. We must sever all connections, monetary and political, until we have deciphered the enemy in our midst and purged its pernicious influence...by simple nullification of contract...or by blood if it comes to it.

This way," His Radiance says, as he leads Chanvati and Pa'avu from the altar and the Everflame through the nave and out of the cathedral.

"Close the doors" and as the cathedral is sealed behind you, it is clear that is both physical command and metaphor simultaneously.





XP

* Complexity 5, level 3 SC = 750 xp - 25 (Ibhea's Religion) = 725. 725/2 = 363 xp and 362 xp

* Minor Quest Level 1 (Complete): End the Imperial Investigation upon his family. 100 xp/2 = 50 xp apiece.

Write a new Minor Quest please, @darkbard

LOOT

* 90 Gold

* 2 x gems worth 100 Gold.

* 1 Consumable (including Ritual Scroll if you'd like) level 5 or below.

* 1 Magic Item of level of level 4 or less.




* Take an Extended Rest back at your home.

* Compose a Transition Vignette clearly indicating what the goal for the follow-on scene you would like framed is (with rough expectations for the opening obstacle of that scene).
 
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