The Slave and Her Sovereign

Nephis

Adventurer
ARUNNY listens to the painful gurgles of the lunar wolf in its struggles, grimacing in sympathetic pain. Her right hand reaches out, imploring, to whomever will hear her supplication. <Help her!> she silently pleads to the Moonlight.

Suddenly, Omthala's Searing Voice watches with astonishment as the Moonlight swirls and weaves itself around an incredibly tall and translucent figure, clothing Her in luminous garb. The Lady Maba, aglow, turns to face the priestess, admonishment in her opalescent eyes. Then She points to the struggling figure, howling and gurgling and writhing.

Arunny meets the Moon Maiden's gaze and nods. Closing her eyes, the priestess follows the example of the Moonlight and begins to weave her own energies into a protective shawl of protective light and vigorous color.

The Seer throws this net made of her own life's stream through the crevices between air and time and space, singing its path until it gently falls onto the shoulders of one of the lunar children of Maba. Now the Moon Maiden will be able to help Her child through Arunny's intervention.




* Arunny uses Stream of Life, a Daily Power, for an autosuccess to intervene and help the lycanthrope
 

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

The whisky priest disengages from the scrum with his Omthalan rival and desperately scrambles to his feet at the sight of the listing wagon of provisions. On the mean streets of Bantouk as an urchin, IBHEA was no stranger to incidents of vehicle collision, the collapse of derelict building, shoddily-maintained infrastructure, and the like. Ragamuffins learned at a tender age how to read the physical environment and implement a mechanical intervention as necessary for survival ... and profit. And so he leaps into action, stumbling wildly towards the teetering vehicle, and thrusts his pitted and rusted magic rod as a brace between the wheel rut and the leather thoroughbrace of the carriage, leaving the wagon leaning precariously but upright. The rod groans as if in protest at the weight but holds. Until it doesn't.

The weight is too much, even for a rod ensorcelled by Magick, and it kicks out from its supporting position, ringing out a dull metallic clang as it rolls along the rutted roadway.




Ibhea makes a Primary Skill Thievery check to implement a mechanical intervention in the wagon's fall, r(5) +10 (no bonuses from thieves' tools or Necklace of Keys due to situation and type of roll) -2 Consequence penalty = 13 vs 16 Moderate DC. Failure.

The amphora spill from the back of the wagon to the hard earth and shatter like so many eggs. However, the contents therein yield shock more than dismay from the gathered.

Milk, curdled, thick...rancid.

Honey nothing but remnants and in its place a well-fed army of ants and a terrible swarm of hornets! Hornets which threaten a nearby gawking Gan! (1)

The Omthalan priest picks himself up and gathers his slack-jawed disposition to quickly turn the situation into a coup.

"Behold! The curse of this blighted heresy upon Dolg Hana! The only remedy is to forswear Delban and these damnable teachings! Embrace the sun and eat well of Her pure offerings! (2)


-----------------------------------------

You've got a couple of obstacles here. You can engage in one or both and in whatever order.

If you don't rescue Gan, he will be exit the scene, be terribly injured, and the settlement will be demoralized; take -2 forward to next Primary Check. Successfully rescue him and refresh Religious Bastion.

If you don't counter the Omthalan priest, it'll exhaust Bluff as he'll have beaten you to the punch! (you don't have to use Bluff to counter him though).

MEDIUM DC BOTH




2/4 Successes (0 Failures/1 Secondary Skill Available)

ARUNNY listens to the painful gurgles of the lunar wolf in its struggles, grimacing in sympathetic pain. Her right hand reaches out, imploring, to whomever will hear her supplication. <Help her!> she silently pleads to the Moonlight.

Suddenly, Omthala's Searing Voice watches with astonishment as the Moonlight swirls and weaves itself around an incredibly tall and translucent figure, clothing Her in luminous garb. The Lady Maba, aglow, turns to face the priestess, admonishment in her opalescent eyes. Then She points to the struggling figure, howling and gurgling and writhing.

Arunny meets the Moon Maiden's gaze and nods. Closing her eyes, the priestess follows the example of the Moonlight and begins to weave her own energies into a protective shawl of protective light and vigorous color.

The Seer throws this net made of her own life's stream through the crevices between air and time and space, singing its path until it gently falls onto the shoulders of one of the lunar children of Maba. Now the Moon Maiden will be able to help Her child through Arunny's intervention.




* Arunny uses Stream of Life, a Daily Power, for an autosuccess to intervene and help the lycanthrope

The gurgle clears from the throat of the creature as its structure stabilizes from the lifeforce Arunny imbued it. Moon looming high above, its howl rings true into the night sky.

The Lunar Child looks at the encampment where Arunny and Qamra are preparing to lay their heads for the night. Eyes gleam as silver pools that seem to burn with divine insight of your cause...eyes that seem to...beckon.

It turns and runs northward into the night at the breakneck pace of such a creature.





If you immediately break camp and follow into the night, take +2 to try to stay with it.

If you find rest and rely upon your skills of perception or nature to track it in the morning, take -2, for these more verdant northlands have a deeply volatile weather to them which is apt to steal traces of passersby!
 
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darkbard

Legend
Wasps whir and dart, assailing poor Gan, who waves his hands about his head frantically and emits a dull, frightened "Hhhrrrrruuuuhhh!" In response, IBHEA raises the Omthalan semisphere from the chain at his neck and intones, "Blessed Mother of Delban, Sun Scorch, sear these pestilent insects in remembrance of the Spoilt Cleansed. Let no foul bane touch the children of your son, but protect them with your glowing effulgence."

A brilliant radiance gleams forth, a star unto the night even at the height of daylight, and the wasps flare and burn with many a "zap," as so often insects have scorched in the blue-white charge of an electrical storm.

Then the whisky priest speaks: "Do not be fooled by this charlatan's ruse, Dolg Hanans. Is it not written in
The Shadowed Sun that 'Decadent priests will tempt thee with mana from the Astral Sea. But, lo, beware, their counterfeit fruit, for it spoils and tastes as ash no sooner than your silver dragons are collected in the offering plate'?

"Delban's name be praised! His words buoy our hearts and offer succor from the deceits of false and indulgent clergy!"




Ibhea makes a Shining Symbol attack versus the wasps' assault to save Gan from their wrath, r(18) +11 = 29 vs 20 Will. Success. Religious Bastion refreshed, so +2 forward.

Following his rescue of Gan, Ibhea makes a Primary Skill Religion check to counter the Omthalan priest's deceptive cant, r(3) +12 (training already exhausted) +2 Religious Bastion =17 vs 16 Moderate DC. Success.
 

Nephis

Adventurer
After studying for a moment the Moonlight gleaming against grains of airborne sand buzzing with the disturbance of the creature's departure, Omthala's Searing Voice turns to her protegee. "Dear Child," ARUNNY says with some urgency, "let us quickly ready ourselves and our gear for flight."

Once the breaking of their camp is sufficiently and efficiently completed, the Seer leaps forward and leads them along the sound of the glimmering song-path, made up of Lunar breadcrumbs left by the lycanthrope's passage.

Arunny trusts the chimes of Maba's cymbals to give them a True path of silver tones to aid them in traveling forward in their journey.




* Arunny uses a Primary Skill Perception check to follow the Moon Maiden's path: +17 + 2 forward = Autosuccess vs 16 Moderate DC.
 
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4/6 Successes (2 Failures/1 Hard DC Available/2 Secondary Skills Available)

Wasps whir and dart, assailing poor Gan, who waves his hands about his head frantically and emits a dull, frightened "Hhhrrrrruuuuhhh!" In response, IBHEA raises the Omthalan semisphere from the chain at his neck and intones, "Blessed Mother of Delban, Sun Scorch, sear these pestilent insects in remembrance of the Spoilt Cleansed. Let no foul bane touch the children of your son, but protect them with your glowing effulgence."

A brilliant radiance gleams forth, a star unto the night even at the height of daylight, and the wasps flare and burn with many a "zap," as so often insects have scorched in the blue-white charge of an electrical storm.

Then the whisky priest speaks: "Do not be fooled by this charlatan's ruse, Dolg Hanans. Is it not written in
The Shadowed Sun that 'Decadent priests will tempt thee with mana from the Astral Sea. But, lo, beware, their counterfeit fruit, for it spoils and tastes as ash no sooner than your silver dragons are collected in the offering plate'?

"Delban's name be praised! His words buoy our hearts and offer succor from the deceits of false and indulgent clergy!"





Ibhea makes a Shining Symbol attack versus the wasps' assault to save Gan from their wrath, r(18) +11 = 29 vs 20 Will. Success. Religious Bastion refreshed, so +2 forward.

Following his rescue of Gan, Ibhea makes a Primary Skill Religion check to counter the Omthalan priest's deceptive cant, r(3) +12 (training already exhausted) +2 Religious Bastion =17 vs 16 Moderate DC. Success.

With Gan's deliverance assured, the people of Dolg Hana mobilize in exaltation on his position.

Rallying around your invocation of treachery within scripture, they begin to coalesce toward unified menace. A rock is hurled from the crowd and it hits the priest in the ribs who falls back in pain. As the people appear to want more blood, that is when it happens...

The sky ripples in shades of purple, spreading from north to south. Familiar whispers on the wind in an alien tongue assail all present. Most flee to their houses, while some fall to their knees and attempt to stopper their ears with their hands.

The priest falls back and writhes, beginning to speak in tongues in that alien language.


--------------

HARD DC

What do you do here?

(1) Do you let this Caiphonian Manifestation claim the priest and then defeat whatever aberration he turns into (Elite threat or level +2 with you having terrain advantages in Dolg Hana) or (2) do you attempt to intervene and save him? If he survives by your intervention, he would be a boon in your attempt to proselytize the final Dolg. However, if he perishes here in Dolg Hana with your failed intervention being witnessed, it would be a scandal (increasing the level of follow-on conflict in the next Dolg).

(3) Do you attempt to rescue some Dolg Hanans and rally them to your cause? If you do, its MEDIUM DC and you can have a pair of Minions if you choose to let the priest succumb and dispatch the abomination.

Obviously, success at 3 and either of 1 or 2 would end the conflict. Same as failure.




3/4 Successes (0 Failures/1 Secondary Skill Available)

After studying for a moment the Moonlight gleaming against grains of airborne sand buzzing with the disturbance of the creature's departure, Omthala's Searing Voice turns to her protegee. "Dear Child," ARUNNY says with some urgency, "let us quickly ready ourselves and our gear for flight."

Once the breaking of their camp is sufficiently and efficiently completed, the Seer leaps forward and leads them along the sound of the glimmering song-path, made up of Lunar breadcrumbs left by the lycanthrope's passage.

Arunny trusts the chimes of Maba's cymbals to give them a True path of silver tones to aid them in traveling forward in their journey.




* Arunny uses a Primary Skill Perception check to follow the Moon Maiden's path: +17 + 2 forward = Autosuccess vs 16 Moderate DC.

The trail leads to a stone stair that winds up a steep grade that seems endless until it spills you out on a sizable open-air landing where several spectral figures clad in pearl white cloak and cowl lie prostrate, seemingly in supplication to the looming moon above.

There is eerie silence.

A shock of white-blonde hair unfurls from one of the cowls and pools on the ground.

The stone stair continues beyond them, but the only way to it is through this display...





MEDIUM DC

What do you do?
 

Nephis

Adventurer
ARUNNY comes to a halt at the landing, reaching out a hand to grasp Qamra to stop her as well. The Seer looks with desperate longing at the hair so close in shade to her own. <Ahaan!> her heart calls plaintively, but her mind focuses on the larger tapestry of destiny.

Qamra's mentor points to the figure, then indicates that the young warrior should remain here and that the priestess would continue the upward journey, alone.

And thus Arunny, gazing beyond the prostrate figures on the landing to the stairs which beckon to her with sweet waves of moonflower and the gentle chimes of those floating grains of sand, sets her shoulders and heads resolutely towards the stairs to answer the Maiden's call.



* Arunny makes a Primary Skill Perception check (training exhausted) to recognize the prostrate figure of her brother: r(4) + 12 = 16 vs 16 vs Moderate DC
 
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darkbard

Legend
As the sky ripples and becomes tinged a sickly violet, at first IBHEA thinks it is the araq at work, a distortion of his own mind. But when so many Dolg Hanans quake or flee in terror, he realizes this is no internal manifestation but an aberrant incursion in the world From Beyond.

The most ancient incarnation of his faith holds that all life is but an eternal struggle of cosmic entities, and that Delban's Black Flame serves as bulwark against exogenous pathogens that threaten to corrupt the living biome of our cosmos, a veritable purifying flame of cauterization. Indeed, be the enemy illithid or aboleth, beholder, or any manner of foulspawn, tradition holds that Purification by Fire is sole remedy against such taint. And so the whisky priest invokes the full power of Delban's purifying flames, an explosive conflagration unleashed upon the skies and nearer to home, a burning away of threats in the heavens and within the writhing Omthalan priest all at once. (2)

"Stay your hands, Goodfolk of Dolg Hana," Ibhea warbles in a tremulous voice, a voice that becomes more powerful and eloquent for a time, imbued with the very power of the Shadowed Sun. "Our Omthalan brother is but a victim of the madness that would beset us, himself a puppet of forces so profound that to contemplate them would destroy your minds and leave in their stead a babbling, riven fiend of entropy." He pauses as the bloodied priest picks himself up from the dusty desert sands. "No, mercy and unity, the Trinity of Sun and Shadow and Moon, is to be our only hope against such chaos--the forces of light and dark and intermingled shadow united against a senses-depriving nihilism that would overbound all reason in its exuberant rush to dissolution.

"Let us thus stand united, ministers freed from cant and fell influence, ministers ready to spread Delban's word and will to our brethren in Dolg Arat and Dolg Olsolis ... and then all Hageri beyond." (3)

The scrivener, Xin Mae, frantically traces pen across paper in record of these momentous occurrences.




Ibhea makes a Secondary Skill Dungeoneering check to recall canonical lore in combating Far Realm entities, r(8) +4 = 12 vs 12 Easy DC. Success for +2 forward to Primary Skill Arcana check to burn away the aberrant taint in the heavens and within the Omthalan priest, r(13) +13 +2 forward = 28 vs 24 Difficult DC. Success.

Ibhea utilizes Beguiling Tongue (Encounter Power) for a +5 bonus to his Primary Skill Diplomacy check, r(7) +9 +5 = 21 vs 16 Moderate DC. Success.
 
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XP = 1050/2 = 525 xp apiece

LOOT = 1 art object worth 250 coin

TREASURE = either 1 magic item @ level 7 + 1 @ level 5 or change a current item level 6+ for a level 9/10 item

Please recap your character Quests in subsequent post please.




@Nephis

Arunny's brother rises like a spector from his prayers. He takes her hand delicately and walks to the steps. His face still shrouded he fixates on the ascent. Quietly, he says "The Moon Maiden has father drenched in lunar light and in a protective chrysalis at the apex of Moonrise. I don't know his state within, but terrible entities have been extruded from her protections and they coalesce into unspeakable abominations. They do not allow passage and my skill-at-arms seem to be impotent against their strength. It may be that your radiant blessings are the only thing that can save him...if that is indeed even possible at this point..."

++++++++++++++

You're looking at a combat encounter budget of 1575. For just you and Qamra, that is level + 2.5. Further, you'll have to remove the protective cocoon from your father within 5 rounds or he perishes from the strain and privation (This requires a single Standard Action and success vs the Hard DC of 24). If you bring your brother, we'll stat him at as a Standard Skirmisher (we'll use Serra Windspeaker's stats; you can find her as a level 8 skirmisher). You will be risking his life though. If he drops to 0, he perishes outright. But is the cause worth it? Should he be there alongside Arunny?




@darkbard

The priest falls to his knees in praise and kisses the (no longer heretical) book of The Shadowed Sun. You find out he, Keldan, is Dolg Arat's apiarist and one of its primary practitioners of animal husbandry. He speaks for Dolg Arat and pledges it to your cause. He confides in you that he came to Dolg Hana to get the measure of the (seemingly heretical) revival happening here, to bring offerings, and ask for help in liberating Dolg Olsolis. It is the furthest outlying community of the three, up in the highlands on a glacial meltwater lake, and its lone ingress has been inaccessible as it is presently surrounded and besieged by the remnants of the rearguard of the horde. They line needs reprovisioning and Dolg Olsolis is being held hostage for that very reason.

He asks aloud if The Shadowed Sun has their liberations in his designs?





If The Shadowed Sun does, we'll stat Kalden as a level 8 Controller/Leader Monster for the conflict(s) to follow and you can use him. You can do the same with Gan as a Soldier if you wish to risk him.

If yes, what is your approach?

If no, what conflict is next/where?
 
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Nephis

Adventurer
ARUNNY listens to her beloved brother's voice as she watches strands of Moonlight weave images of what lies beyond them, up those stairs, leaving a sickly taste of rotten strawberries lingering in her mouth. The Seer steels herself and ponders in her heart and in her mind the messages she is receiving, then turns to respond to Ahaan.

"Dear Heart," the Searing Voice of their Goddess intones, "if you have yet courage and will to follow, I need you to break the protective cocoon at the appropriate moment. Young Qamra and I will give you that moment: I have seen in the strands of the Maiden's Moonhair. Will you trust me? And continue to put your trust in Maba?"

Then, without waiting to see who will follow, the priestess begins her ascent into battle.




AHAAN'S Stats:
AHAAN
Medium fey humanoid, half-elf

Level 8 Skirmisher XP 350
HP 83; Bloodied 41 Initiative +11
AC 22, Fortitude 18, Reflex 22, Will 20 Perception+13
Speed 7 Low-light vision

Traits:
☼ Group Awareness ✦ Aura 5:
Non-elf allies in the aura gain a +2 racial bonus to Perception checks.

Fey Dancer:
When Ahaan moves at least 3 squares from where he started his turn, he deals 1d6 extra damage and gains a +2 bonus to all defenses until the start of his next turn.

Wild Step:
Ahaan ignores difficult terrain whenever he shifts.

Standard Actions:
(⚔) Short Sword (weapon) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +13 vs. AC
Hit: 2d6 + 4 damage.

⚔ Swift Blades ✦ At-Will
Effect: Ahaan uses short sword twice.

⚔ Rending Assault (weapon) ✦ Encounter
Primary Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +13 vs. AC
Hit: 2d6 + 4 damage.
Effect: Ahaan shifts up to his speed and makes the secondary attack: Secondary Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +15 vs. AC
Hit: 3d6 + 4 damage.

Triggered Actions:
Elven Accuracy ✦ Encounter:
Trigger: Ahaan makes an attack roll and dislikes the result.
Effect (Free Action): Ahaan rerolls the triggering attack roll and uses the second result.

Skills Intimidate +11, Nature +15
Str 10 (+4) Dex 21 (+9) Wis 18 (+8)
Con 11 (+4) Int 12 (+5) Cha 14 (+6)

Alignment Good
Languages Common, Elven
Equipment: leather armor , short sword x2.



Arunny is exchanging her Amulet of Protection +2 (level 6, common item) for a Lucky Charm +2 (level 9, uncommon item), as per above reward. Fictionally, her amulet was scored by a swipe from a bladeling attacking Arunny. The scar on the surface of the amulet released other properties.



Arunny: The golden priestess is fascinated by the tripartite nature of Divinity, Omthala, Delban, Maba and desires learning more.

New Minor Quest: Discover the Moon Maiden's role in her (Arunny's) gift of prophecy.

New Major Quest: Obtain the conjoined blessing of Delban and his consort Maba and through this receive their Mark of the Dark Moon (aka Sehanine's Mark of the Dark Moon) (level 8, uncommon, divine boon).

BROTHER FOUND: Lingering Minor Quest: find her brother Ahaan.

ABOUT TO BE RESOLVED, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER: Lingering Major Quest: free her father from Caiphonian control.
 
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