The Slave and Her Sovereign

darkbard

Legend
At the Dolg Aratian's conversion, IBHEA smiles shyly, offering the older man a hand up from the dusty road and wrapping him in a warm embrace. "Welcome to the true faith, brother, that of Mother and Son in shared Divinity! Yes, I will accompany you to succor Dolg Olsolis, for Delban is both powerful and sympathetic to our brethren thither. Moreover, in our sister Dolg will be found one of His Prophesied Blessed. And we will take stout Gan here with us in our journey of aid, should he be willing.

"But before we depart, I have gifts," he holds aloft the golden amphora of honey Keldan had brought as fitting offering should Pretender prove worthy, after all, "that I wish to exchange with Chono Sarantuya for a certain magical artifact I believe she has in her possession."



XP update: PCs at 15,012 of 16,500 needed for L9.

Ibhea's Minor Quest: break the siege of Dolg Olsolis and rescue Delban's Blessed there.

Ibhea's Minor Quest: return to Dolg Arat and locate the last of the Blessed Ten.

Ibhea's Minor Quest: obtain a Spellscar (prerequisite for Path of the Scarred Feat).

Since we're in a settlement, I'm taking this opportunity to acquire a new magic item, the alluded to interaction above with Chono Sarantuya: an Obsidian Steed in the shape of a donkey named Sunspot (L5 Uncommon Wondrous Item, 1000 gp). I'm exchanging Keldan's 250 gp art object (the amphora), 250 gp, and the 500 gp Vezzuvu geode for this item. I assume the DC for the Streetwise check is 26 (Moderate DC for unfamiliar or dangerous situation but typical settlement +10 for Uncommon item, r(16) +16 = 32 vs 26 DC. Success.

This brings Arunny + Ibhea's remaining loot total to 185 gp (I), + 135 gp (A), + 600 gp Astral shards (I), or 920 gp.

Unless you have something else in mind, why don't we use the following stats for the NPCs?

 KELDAN
(I've renamed the powers and swapped out Resist 10 fire to Human Defense Bonus, represented in NADs)

Iron Circle Prelate​

Medium natural humanoid, human​

Level 8 Controller (Leader) XP 350​

HP 88; Bloodied 44Initiative +6
AC 22, Fortitude 21, Reflex 20, Will 23Perception+9
Speed 5Low-light vision

Traits​

Nature's Embrace Aura 3
Allies gain a +2 power bonus to Will and to saving throws while in the aura.

Standard Actions​

(⚔) Sweeping Scythe (weapon) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +13 vs. AC
Hit: 2d8 + 7 damage, and the prelate can slide the target 1 square.

(➶) Omthala's Wrath (implement, radiant) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Ranged 5 (one creature); +11 vs. Reflex
Hit: 2d8 + 2 radiant damage, and the target is dazed until the end of the prelate's next turn.

Nature's Rebuff (fear, implement, primal) ✦ Recharge when first bloodied
Attack: Close blast 5 (creatures in the blast); +11 vs. Will
Hit: 2d8 + 5 damage, and the prelate pushes the target up to 3 squares. The target cannot move closer to the prelate willingly (save ends).
Miss: Half damage, and the prelate pushes the target up to 2 squares.

Triggered Actions​

Rescue Keldan!Encounter
Trigger: An enemy hits the prelate with an attack.
Effect (Free Action): The prelate's allies gain a +2 power bonus to attack rolls against the triggering enemy until the end of the enemy's next turn.

Skills Nature +13, Religion +11
Str 15 (+6) Dex 14 (+6) Wis 20 (+9)
Con 16 (+7) Int 15 (+6) Cha 17 (+7)

Alignment Unaligned Languages Common, Goblin
Equipment: scythe, chainmail , holy symbol .

 GAN

Tam​

Medium natural humanoid, human​

Level 8 Soldier XP 350​

HP 88; Bloodied 44Initiative +8
AC 24, Fortitude 22, Reflex 18, Will 20Perception+7
Speed 5

Standard Actions​

(⚔) Bastard Sword (weapon) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +13 vs. AC
Hit: 2d10 + 5 damage, and Tam marks the target until the end of her next turn.

Hobbling Strike (weapon) ✦ Recharge ⚃ ⚄ ⚅
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +13 vs. AC
Hit: 2d10 + 5 damage, and the target is slowed and can't shift until the end of Tam's next turn.

Triggered Actions​

Defender's Reaction (weapon) ✦ At-Will
Trigger: An enemy marked by Tam makes an attack roll that doesn't include Tam as a target.
Attack (Immediate Interrupt): Melee 1 (the triggering enemy); +15 vs. AC
Hit: 3d10 + 5 damage.

Skills Athletics +13, Nature +11
Str 20 (+9) Dex 14 (+6) Wis 17 (+7)
Con 16 (+7) Int 12 (+5) Cha 14 (+6)

Alignment Unaligned Languages Common, Giant
Equipment: bastard sword , heavy shield , scale armor
 
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@Nephis

MECHANICS

* FATHER CHRYSALIS: Arunny's father is enclosed in a lunar chrysalis in the purple square. You must remove the protective cocoon from him within 5 rounds or he perishes from the strain and privation. This requires a single Standard Action (Arcana, Athletics, Religion) and success vs the Hard DC of 24.

* DEADLY FALL: Squares that are completely sky indicate a fall that will outright kill you with maximum fall damage. These squares are hindering terrain.

* JAGGED ROCKS: Any creature without phasing who begins their turn in the Hindering Terrain of the Razor Rocks takes 5 damage. Taking a move action on these rocks requires a DC 16 Acrobatics/Athletics check or you fall prone.

* DIFFICULT TERRAIN: Stairs are deeply pocked and with large, uneven risers.

* ILLUMINATION: The yellow circle is fully illuminated by the light of the moon. Creatures outside of that have Partial Concealment unless you have lowlight vision or better. The squares under the trees fully block the light of the moon due to the density of their canopy. Those squares are Total Concealment unless you have lowlight vision or better. These trees are not climb-worthy, but they can provide Cover.

* GOOP SLICK (LEVEL 8 HAZARD 350 XP): 3 x 3 purple square.

Initiative: +8

Triggered Actions
⚔ Attack ✦ At-Will
Trigger: A creature without the Ooze keyword enters a square in the area affected by the goop slick.
Attack (Opportunity Action): +11 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 1d10 + 5 damage, and the targets falls prone and slides 8 squares downhill.
Miss: Half damage, and the target slides 4 squares downhill.

Countermeasures

Keep Feet (Immediate Reaction): Acrobatics Medium DC to avoid the prone + slide effect.
Sanctify Temple (Standard Action): Can be removed with High DC Religion or Nature check.

* (E) Extruded Madness x 1 (Standard Controller; medium aberrant animate, blind, ooze): 88 HP, AC 22, Fortitude 22, Reflex 18, Will 20

* (S) Caiphon Spawn Swarm x 2 (Standard Brute; medium aberrant animate, blind, ooze, swarm): 106 HP, AC 20, Fortitude 20, Reflex 19, Will 20

* (M) Quivering Goop of Eyes x 2 (Minion Artillery; medium aberrant animate, blind, ooze): 1 HP, AC 22, Fortitude 20, Reflex 21, Will 19

* Place Arunny, Qamra and, Ahaan in any Z square. Arunny (R): Z4. Qamra (Q): Z5. Ahaan (H): Z9

INITIATIVE

Arunny (R) = 31 (Goop Slick will not have gooped down to its position until after Arunny goes on round 1)
Qamra (Q) = 24 (Goop Slick will not have gooped down to its position until after Qamra goes on round 1)
Goop Slick (purple) = 22
Caiphon Spawn Swarm (S) = 20
Ahaan (H) = 14 (switched with Arunny)
Quivering Goop of Eyes (M) = 14
Extruded Madness (E) = 13


(Free Action) Arunny will use her Casque of Tactics Daily Power to switch Initiatives with Ahaan. Ahaan Dex exceeds Quivering Goop of Eyes.

1699597059371.png


ROUND 1




Arunny Monster Knowledge (No Action):

Monster Knowledge (Dungeoneering) checks
  • on Extruded Madness (E): r(20) + 9 = 29
  • on Spawn Swarms (S): r(16) + 9 = 25
  • on Quivering Goop of Eyes (M): r(20) + 9 = 29

All achieve Hard DC:

Extruded Madness x 1
Medium aberrant animate (blind, ooze)
Level 8 Controller XP 350
HP 88; Bloodied 44 Initiative +6
AC 22, Fortitude 22, Reflex 18, Will 20
Speed 5 All-around vision, Darkvision

Traits
☼ Warped Ground ✦ Aura 3
Squares in the aura are difficult terrain for enemies.

All-Around Vision
Enemies can't gain combat advantage by flanking the extruded madness.

Standard Actions
(⚔) Bite (acid) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +13 vs. AC
Hit: 2d6 + 3 damage, and ongoing 5 acid damage (save ends).

ᗕ Feast (acid) ✦ Recharge ⚅
Attack: Close burst 5 (dazed creatures in the burst); +13 vs. AC
Hit: 2d6 + 3 damage, and ongoing 5 acid damage (save ends).

Free Actions
ᗕ Infectious Madness ✦ At-Will
Trigger: The extruded madness starts its turn.
Attack: Close burst 5 (nondeafened creatures in the burst); +11 vs. Will
Hit: The target is dazed until the end of the extruded madness's next turn.

Athletics +9

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

Caiphon Spawn Swarm x 2
Medium aberrant animate (blind, ooze, swarm)
Level 8 Brute XP 350
HP 106; Bloodied 53 Initiative +7
AC 20, Fortitude 20, Reflex 19, Will 20
Speed 6, climb 6 (spider climb) All-around vision, Darkvision
Immune dazed; Resist half damage from melee and ranged attacks; Vulnerable 10 against close and area attacks

Traits
☼ Swarm Attack (poison) ✦ Aura 1
Any enemy that starts its turn within the aura takes 5 poison damage.

Standard Actions
(⚔) Slam ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +12 vs. AC
Hit: 2d8 + 10 damage, and the swarm can slide the target 1 square.

Triggered Actions
ᗕ Psychic Howl ✦ Encounter
Trigger: When the swarm is first bloodied.
Effect (Free Action): The swarm and all allies within 5 squares of it gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls until the end of the swarm's next turn.

Athletics +15

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

Quivering Goop of Eyes x 2
Tiny aberrant animate (blind, ooze)
Level 8 Minion Artillery XP 88
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion. Initiative +8
AC 22, Fortitude 20, Reflex 21, Will 19
Speed 0 All-around vision, Darkvision

Traits
All-Around Vision
Enemies can't gain combat advantage by flanking the goop.

Standard Actions
(➶) Eye Ray ✦ At-Will
Effect: The goop uses one of the following eye rays. This attack does not provoke opportunity attacks.

1. Poison Ray (poison): Ranged 20 (one creature); +12 vs. Reflex; 8 poison damage.

2. Frightful Ray (fear): Ranged 20 (one creature); +12 vs. Will; until the end of the goop's next turn, the target grants combat advantage and takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls.

Athletics +1




ARUNNY sends out her senses to understand more fully what she is seeing. She tries not to focus too strongly on her father's cocoon, well aware that his fate lies in his children's success at battle.

Breathing deeply, the Seer allows the scents she discerns to map her plan. Sweet jasmine - usually one of her favorite scents but now perverted with an over layer of decay - lilac laced with pungent odors of mold and rot - and hyacinth - remiscent of joyful, early spring mornings - now oozing with putrid poisonous pus. She closes her eyes and lets a plan form from the co-mingling of these distorted smells.

Opening her eyes, Omthala's Searing Voice strides forward with determination and grim visage. Holding aloft the Crucible of her Lady, the priestess first shifts carefully forward just a couple feet closer. Then, she swings that arm, gathering tendrils of Moonlight and reflected Sunlight before blasting them up the staircase.

These blasts of Radiance annihilate both Quivering Goops of Eyes - sending the purifying scent of burnt jasmine exploding into the air. Another tendril of Radiance hits the Extruded Madness squarely in ... its side? causing it to writhe and quiver, emitting cloudy puffs of pseudo scents of lilac to distort the air and poison the senses.

Happily Arunny and her companions are still too far away ... she hopes.


* Move Action: move 5 squares to U6

* Minor Action: Boots of Fencing Master (Enc): Shift 2 squares to S6

* Standard Action: Hand of Radiance: ATK vs. M(L14): r(15) + 12 = 27 vs. 21 Ref. Killed; ATK vs. M(I14): r(12) + 12 = 24 vs. 21 Ref. Killed; ATK vs. E: r(17) + 12 = 29 vs. 18 Ref. Hit. Damage: r(4) + 7 + 5 (Omthala's Crucible property: 1st implement power you with during encounter = +5 Fire) = 16 Radiant & Fire damage


LOCATION: S6
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: M(L14) & (I14) Killed; 16 radiant/Fire damage to E
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: n/a
CURRENT HP: 59/59
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: r(19) Cast Fortune roll to be used
SURGES: 11/11




There is a slight hesitation before QAMRA follows the path of her mentor. The young warrior does not share Arunny's gift of seeing things in less - and more - confusing ways which in turn can mask the very real confusion and chaos that stand and writhe before them now.

As she moves through this space filled with distortion, Omthala's Radiant Shamshar uses sideways glances to see her way. Stopping abruptly, she sends her Goddess's censure at the nearest mass of writhing something-ness.

The strangely poisonous scents of flowers warring against each other causes Qamra to lift her head up in confusion, seeing what was above them, up those stairs. Oh! How she wishes she hadn't: far above them, near the chrysalis surely holding the father of her companions, is an even greater confusion.

Nevertheless, the young warrior takes aim and throws her scimitar in its direction. Sadly, her inability to bring into focus the chaotic mass causes her aim to be less than true.


* Move Action: 6 squares to T7

* Minor Action: Ensnaring Sanction (ClBu2) vs. S2.

* Standard Action: Sword Flip: Ranged ATK vs. E: r(5) + 13 - 2 (Range) = 16 vs. AC 22. Miss.


LOCATION: T7
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: n/a
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S2 subject to Divine Sanction.
CURRENT HIT POINTS: 73/73
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: n/a
SURGES: 12/12




In exquisite alien defilement of a worldly holy site, the unaccreted residue of the revolting extrusions from the lunar chrysalis pile in a GOOPY SLICK at the base of the stair to The Moon Maiden's altar.

* Goop Slick Hazard Activates




Animated by the unknowable alien malevolence of their namesake, the CAIPHON SPAWN SWARMS gloop toward Arunny and Qamra, piling, undulating, and spewing terrible poison from another world. The younger priest holds her ground as the elder recoils in desperate defense.

S1

* Move Action: 5 sq to R6.

* Standard Action: Slam (M1) vs R's AC: r(20) = CRIT. 26 damage and slides R 1 sq to R7.

TRIGGERS DIMENSIONAL VORTEX (IMMEDIATE INTERRUPT; QAMRA)

The attacks of the strange bubbling, churning purple masses reawakens the young warrior's mettle. QAMRA springs into action: deftly avoiding the attack of the one closest (and ignoring the churning of her revolted stomach), she uses Omthala's gifts to send the other through space to deliver the attack intended toward her mentor onto its brethren instead. Then, Her Radiant Shamshar arches her back, spreads out her arms, and delivers the Goddess's "message" of censure.

* Triggered Action: Dimensional Vortex (enc.): immediate Interrupt vs. S1: 1) S1 teleported to U9 & attacks S2 for half damage/melee: 13 Damage; 2) ATK (ClBu 10/triggering enemy): r(13) + 11 = 24 vs 19 Will. Hits! Damage: r(5) + 9 + 10(Vulnerable) = 24 damage.

Results: S1 subject to Divine Sanction UEoQNT, LOCATION: of S1: U9; Arunny's location remains S6

S2

* Move Action: 1 sq to S9

* Standard Action: Slam (M1) vs Q's AC: r(7) +12 = 19. Miss.


LOCATION: S1 in U9, S2 in S9
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: na
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: Q in both Swarm Attack auras at start of turn.
CURRENT HIT POINTS: S1 = 82/106, S2 = 93/106
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: S1/2 Divine Sanctioned by Q.




From his place of concealment under the heavy-limbed Joshua tree, AHAAN sees a chance to move forward towards the temple. Glancing over to his sister for instruction, the young rojtar carefully and quickly moves to where she indicates, directly across from her protegee: all the better to attack one of the strange writhing purple masses.

Ahaan - already more familiar with Caiphonian confusion than he'd like - blurs his focus self protectively before striking with his twin blades as best he can, almost dancing in his movement.


* Move Action: 4 squares to V9, activating Fey Dancer (move at least 3 squares from where he started his turn, +1d6 extra damage & +2 all defenses USoHNT)

* Standard Action: Swift Blades: 2 ATK vs AC: 1) r(15) + 13 + 2(CA) = 30 vs 20 AC. Hit, Damage: r(1,2) + 4 + r(2/FD) = 9/2 = 4 damage; 2) r(13) + 13 + 2(CA) = 28 vs 20 AC. Hit. Damage: r(4,3) + 4 + r(5/FD) = 16/2 = 8 damage

LOCATION: V9
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 12 Damage to S1
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: n/a
CURRENT HIT POINTS: 83/83
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: in Swarm Attack aura; +1d6 extra damage & +2 all defenses USoHNT




Like an ocean current following the dictates of the sea, the EXTRUDED MADNESS flows toward Arunny with fell purpose. It rises up and its oozy form takes on a mishapen maw to chomp and spew alien acid. The ground warps in otherworldly waves around the distorting pile of foulness.

* Move: 5 sq (2 x DT) to N9 (Ooze keyword so can freely enter the Goop Slick).

* Standard: Charge 4 sq to R6 and MBA Bite (M1) vs R's AC: r(16) +13 = 29. Hit; r(3, 4) +3 = 10 damage and 5 OG acid (SE).


LOCATION: R6
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 10 Damage to R.
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: 5 OG acid (SE) to R. R and Q are both in Warped Ground aura (aura 3: DT).
CURRENT HIT POINTS: 72/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: na




E 72/88
S1 70/106 Divine Sanction (Q)
S2 93/106 Divine Sanction (Q)

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ROUND 2




ARUNNY holds aloft her new cudgel, lately taken from their tiefling foe, and resolutely takes a step backward to better understand the board.

Despite her caution, tiny purple blossoms in the poisonous lilac-scented chaos surrounding her and her protegee bite at her exposed skin, slicing it, drenching it with acidic sputum, and drawing out copious drops of blood. These drops float as heavy globuloids in the air around her, adding to the dulling and unnerving cacophony of sound and smell and motion.

No matter: the grim determination of Omthala's Searing Voice is iron strong. This is not simply a battle for her father: it is for everything, and she trusts the Maiden's guidance and will give her all. Is giving her all.

Maba channels Her power through the priestess, aiding the Lady in the chess match. Pawns are moved, several of their Opponents pieces down - two permanently, and all are positioned as the Chessmaster desires.

As Arunny receives a healing blessing, the shared power of Sun and Moon blasts their opponents through a different source: their Radiant Shamshar. One almost escapes the furious storm, but Arunny's altered amulet forewarns the Seer, who then sends out tendrils pulling it back into place.


* Start of turn: take 5 OG acid damage

* Move Action: 1 square to T5 (2 sq/DT; Triggered Action: OA from E: MBA: r(16) + 13 = 29 vs 24. Hit; damage: r(5,5) + 3 = 13

* Standard Action: Moment of Glory (Daily): ATK(ClBl5) vs. Will: vs E: r(2) + 12 = 14/Miss; vs S1: r(4) + 12 = 16/Miss; vs. S2: r(14) + 12 = 26 vs. 19 Will/hit. S2 pushed 1 square to R9 and prone; Manifestation of Preservation: Divine Encounter/Daily = slide ally within 10 1 square: slide Ahaan to U10

* Minor Action: Healing Word (Enc) on self: 14 + r(2) = 16 HP and +2 ATK UEoRNT.

* Standard Action for Action Point: Tide of First Storm (Enc): ATK (Bu2 w/in 10) vs. Reflex: centered on square S7: vs. E: r(6) + 12 + 2 (HW) = 20 vs 18 Ref/Hit; vs. S1: r(3) + 12 + 2(HW) = 17 vs. 21 Ref/Miss; vs. S2: r(19) + 12 + 2(HW) = 33 vs. 21 Ref/Hit; Damage: r(2) + 7 = 9: S2 = Vulnerable 10, so 19 HP each, and all 3 Slowed UEoRNT; effect: slide allies 1 square: H to T11 and Q to S7; Manifestation of Preservation: slide H to S12

* No Action: activate Lucky Charm Daily Power: Trigger: miss w/attack, skill check, or saving check; effect: roll d6 add to result: r(4): ATK vs. S1: 17 + r(4) = 21 vs. 21 Ref/Hit; Damage 19 to S1, and S1 is Slowed (S1 BLOODED).

TRIGGER PSYCHIC HOWL (S1 FREE ACTION) ✦ Encounter
Trigger: When the swarm is first bloodied.
Effect (Free Action): The swarm and all allies within 5 squares of it gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls until the end of the swarm's next turn.

* Save vs. OG 5 acid: r(15) Success.

LOCATION: T5; Q=S7, H=S12; S2=R9
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: E: 9; S2 & S1: 19 each (S1=Bloodied 😟)
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S2 Prone & Slowed UEoRNT; S1 & E Slowed UEoRNT
CURRENT HP: 45/59 (briefly Bloodied)
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: R: r(19) Cast Fortune use tbd, +2 all ATK UEoRNT; R, Q, & H: Resist 5 All UEoRNT (sustain minor)
SURGES: 10/11




Feeling herself become a conduit for the Divine Energies (both protective and combative) flowing through their Radiant Shamshar, QAMRA holds firm in her stance while simultaneously sending forth her own Divine challenge.

* Start of Turn: 5 OG acid stopped by Resist 5 All.

* Standard Action: Radiant Burst: ATK (ClBu1) vs. Reflex: vs. E: r(10) + 11 = 21 vs. 18 Ref/Hit; vs. S1: r(4) + 11 = 15/Miss; vs. S2: r(12) + 11 + 2(CA/Prone) = 25 vs. 21 Ref/Hit; Damage: r(6) + 8 [+ 10/Vulnerable (S2)] = 14/24 (S2 BLOODED).

TRIGGER PSYCHIC HOWL (S2 FREE ACTION) ✦ Encounter
Trigger: When the swarm is first bloodied.
Effect (Free Action): The swarm and all allies within 5 squares of it gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls until the end of the swarm's next turn.

* Minor Action: Call of Challenge (Enc): ClBu3/enemies: each target subject to Q's Divine Sanction UEoQNT: hits E, S1, & S2.

* Save vs 5 OG acid damage: r(15) Success

LOCATION: S7
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: E: 14 HP; S2: 24 HP
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S1 & E subject to Qamra’s divine sanction UEoQNT; S2's divine sanction continues (Ensnaring Sanction)
CURRENT HP: 73/73
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Resist 5 All UEoRNT; no longer 5 OG acid
SURGES: 12/12




Misshapen appendages form from the goopy masses of CAIPHON SPAWN SWARMS to assail the small form of the holy knight before them. Qamra's enchantments and defenses dodge and absorb the worst of the Caiphonian assault!

S1

* Move Action: Shift 1 sq to U8.

* Standard Action: Slam (M1) vs Q's AC: r(18) +12 +2 (PH) +2 (CA) = 34. r(8, 4) +10 = 22 - 5 (Resist All) = 17 damage; no slide.

S2

Move Action: Shift 1 sq to R8 (still prone).

* Standard Action: Slam (M1) vs Q's AC: r(11) +10 -2 (prone) +2 (PH) +2 (CA)= 23. Miss.


LOCATION: S1 in U8, S2 in R8
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 17 to Q
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: Q in both Swarm Attack auras at start of turn.
CURRENT HIT POINTS: S1 = 51/106, S2 = 52/106
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: S1 Divine Sanction (Q), Slowed UEoRNT, +2 ATT UEoSNT. S2 Divine Sanction (Q), Prone & Slowed UEoRNT, +2 ATT UEoSNT




Again in the shadow of a massive Joshua tree, AHAAN witnesses the distraction of their opponents and his own clear path up the Temple stairs to their father. However, as he begins to stumble on the stairs heavily pocked with ancient and new damage, the young rojtar has a better idea.

A lurking memory from his childhood suddenly presents itself: he can remember a charm his elvish mother taught him long, long ago - a charm drawing upon the spirits of the natural world. She carefully made sure he would remember it, explaining obliquely that Ahaan would need to know this "some day" in the future. Obviously that time has come.

Head bowed, palm flat on the stair closest to - but not in - the Goop Slick made by what has been excreted from their father, Ahaan murmurs the words with his mouth, making the symbols with his free hand.

And the Goop evaporates, leaving the stairs clean of Caiphonian taint.


* Move Action: 4 squares (2 normal & 2 DT), stopping in O10.

* Standard Action: Sanctify the Temple (and remove Goop Slick): Nature Skill check: r(11) + 15 = 26 vs. 24 Hard DC. Success.

LOCATION: O10
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: n/a
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: Goop Slick destroyed
CURRENT HIT POINTS: 83/83
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Resist 5 All UEoRNT




The EXTRUDED MADNESS unleashes a horrifying shriek that mimics the psychic howl of the Caiphon Spawns except for the ears of the heroes. Those Far Realm utterances are impossible for mortal minds to ingest, so Arunny, Ahaan and Qamra are sent reeling. The foul creature shloops and undulates upon Qamra's mentally shaken form and enfolds her with its horrible mass!

* Start of Turn: Infectious Madness (Free Action) vs H, R, Qs' Will: r(5, 11, 7) +11 +2 (Psychic Howl) = 18, 24, 19. Miss H. Hit R and Q.

ᗕ Infectious Madness ✦ At-Will
Trigger: The extruded madness starts its turn.
Attack: Close burst 5 (nondeafened creatures in the burst); +11 vs. Will
Hit: The target is dazed until the end of the extruded madness's next turn.

TRIGGERS SUPPORTING ARMOR DAILY (No Action) ARUNNY. Trigger: An effect dazes or stuns Arunny; Effect: saving throw vs. triggering effect: save ends effect: r(15): Save made/Arunny not Dazed.

ARUNNY's glazed eyes begin to follow the strange but so-pretty patterns in the aura surrounding the Extruded Madness threatening them, her lips beginning to part in a bemused smile. Then, suddenly, she feels a hot indigo burn on her covered skin, immediately followed by the pricks of tiny knives: both of these sensations she recognizes as her Goddess-blessed armor roughly shaking Her priestess out of her daze.

* Standard: Bite (M1) vs Q's AC: r(13) +13 +2 (PH) +2 (CA) = 28. Hit; r(3, 6) +3 = 12 damage -5 (Resist) = 7 damage and 5 OG acid (SE).

LOCATION: R6
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 7 Damage to Q
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: Q is dazed UtEoEMNT. 5 OG acid (SE) to Q. Q and A are in Warped Ground aura (aura 3: DT).
CURRENT HIT POINTS: 49/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: +2 ATT UEoSNT




Goop Slick Destroyed
E 49/88 Slowed UEoRNT, +2 ATT UEoSNT
S1 51/106 Divine Sanction (Q), Slowed UEoRNT, +2 ATT UEoSNT
S2 50/106 Divine Sanction (Q), Prone & Slowed UEoRNT, +2 ATT UEoSN

1699844372478.png


ROUND 3




Now alert and painfully refreshed, Omthala's Searing Voice takes moment to assess their situation and how best to combat it. ARUNNY breathes in the Moonlight pouring from the Maiden's Temple and gives a grim nod, understanding her role to play, understanding all of their roles.

Then, trying not to give away her plan with a careless glance or whisper, she resolutely faces the Madness and sends her Radiance flashing forward.

The beam of sunlight aimed at the strange purple Extrusion is swallowed up by its undulating surface, but the two Caiphonian swarms sizzle from faint slices of other tendrils of Radiance.

In the Seer's peripheral vision, she can see her young protegee still held in the Madness-induced daze. But the Radiant Shamshar will valiantly serve her role and she will be protected, by Maiden, by Lady, and by brother.

Although her eyes fill with tears at the appearance of desertion that her subsequent actions must appear, Arunny turns and walks away, into the gloaming.


* Minor Action: Sustain Moment of Glory effect (Resist 5 All)

* Standard Action: Hand of Radiance: Ranged ATK vs Reflex: vs. E: r(3) + 12 + 2(Healing Word) = 17 vs 18 Ref/Miss; vs. S1: r(7) + 12 + 2(HW) = 21 vs 21 Ref/Hit; vs. S2: r(5) + 12 + 2(HW) + 2(CA/prone) = 21 vs 21 Ref/Hit; Damage: r(2) + 7 = 9 ÷ 2 = 4 HP S1 & S2

* Move Action: move 3 squares (2DT = 4 squares) to Q2.


LOCATION: Q2
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: S1 & S2: 4 each
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: n/a
CURRENT HP: 45/59
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: +2 ATK ends; r(19) Cast Fortune use tbd; R, Q, & H: Resist 5 All UEoRNT (sustain minor)
SURGES: 10/11




Senses swimming along in the current of globuloids of thick cherry red and sickly waves of pulsating purple light, QAMRA struggles to focus in the here and now. Her skin tingles with divine protective magicks, allowing her a brief moment of focus.

Thus, the Radiant Shamshar knowingly allows her head to drop back and arms to spread out, trusting that They will once again use her as a conduit through which to jointly flow Their punitive power to jointly flow, burning the otherworldly predators circling her.

Then, briefly albeit dazedly, she looks directly into Madness, weakly making a fist, indicating her at-this-moment thwarted desire to ensnare him.

Then, she closes her eyes, feeling some relief as the acid attempting to eat at her armor melts away.


* Start of turn: 5 OG acid stopped by Resist 5 All.

* Standard Action: Radiant Burst (ClBu1) ATK vs. Reflex: vs. S1: r(12) + 11 = 23 vs. 21 Ref, hit; vs. S2: r(9) + 11 + 2CA(prone) = 22 vs. 21 Ref, hit; vs. E: r(10) + 11 = 21 vs. 18 Ref, hit; Damage: r(8) + 8 = 16/E and 26/S1 & S2 (Vulnerable 10)

* Save vs 5 OG acid: r(19) success!


LOCATION: S7
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: E: 16 HP; S1 & S2: 26 HP
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S2 remains subject to Ensnaring Sanction; Divine Sanction on S1 & E ends
CURRENT HP: 66/73
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: 5 OG acid ends, Resist 5 All UEoRNT (sustain minor), Dazed UEoENT
SURGES: 12/12




Within their peculiar minds, should they in fact have something that passes for one, there is no sense of the looming ends for the CAIPHON SPAWN SWARMS. There is only the will of Caiphon. And that will is to hammer the unyielding knight of Omthala before them into submission...or annihilation.

S1

* Standard Action: Slam (M1) vs Q's AC: r(3) +12 +2 (PH) +2 (CA) = 19. Miss

S2

* Move Action: Stand from prone.

* Standard Action: Slam (M1) vs Q's AC: r(12) +10 +2 (CA) +2 (PH) = 26. Hit; r(5, 1) +10 = 16 - 5 (Resist All) = 11 damage; no slide.


LOCATION: S1 in U8, S2 in R8
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 11 to Q
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: Q in both Swarm Attack auras at start of turn.
CURRENT HIT POINTS: S1 = 25/106, S2 = 24/106
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: S2 Ensnaring Sanction (Q)




AHAAN watches his golden sister head toward the trees with his brow vaguely furrowed. Arunny has ever been a puzzle to him, but her steadfastness has never been in doubt.

Shaking his head briefly, the young rojtar glides over the Caiphonian swarm of wriggling ... something ... and attempts to slice at it, his squeamishness obviously effecting his aim. However, at the last moment, his natural accuracy prevails.

Satisfied, he slides into place behind the many-eyed Madness. This time his aim is easier, despite the copious and very disconcerting stares aimed at him.


* Move Action: move 3 squares to P7 (ignoring any DT/Wild Step)

* Standard Action: Rending Assault (enc):

1) Primary ATK vs. S2: r(2) + 13 + 2CA = 17 vs. 20 AC. Miss.
Triggered Action: Elven Accuracy: trigger: Ahaan makes a roll and dislikes the roll. Effect (Free action): Ahaan rerolls & uses 2nd result: r(20) Critical hit; Damage: (6,6) + 4 + (6)(Fey Dancer) = 22 ÷ 2= 11 HP;
2) Shift up to speed/3 squares to Q5 (ignoring DT), then make Secondary ATK vs. E: r(18) + 15 = 33 vs. 22 AC. Hit; Damage: (4,5,1) + 4 + r(1)(Fey Dancer) = 15 HP

LOCATION: Q5
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: S2: 11 HP, E: 15 HP
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: n/a
CURRENT HP: 83/83
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Fey Dancer: 1d6 extra damage & +2 all defenses USoHNT, 5 Resist All




As before, the EXTRUDED MADNESS alien pitch and burblings are a wave of terrible sound to those nearby. Arunny and her brother hold fast, but poor Qamra takes the full brunt of the disorienting sound.

Alien intelligence or not, the shapeless mass can detect a threat and the blade-dancing half-elf has shown himself to be one. It floops and goops and shloops into a toothy maw of mloopitude and attempts to engulf him in acidic bloop!


* Start of Turn: Infectious Madness (Free Action) vs H, R, Qs' Will: r(9, 1, 13) +11 = 20, CRIT MISS, 24. Miss H and R. Hit Q.

ᗕ Infectious Madness ✦ At-Will
Trigger: The extruded madness starts its turn.
Attack: Close burst 5 (nondeafened creatures in the burst); +11 vs. Will
Hit: The target is dazed until the end of the extruded madness's next turn.

* Standard: Bite (M1) vs H's AC: r(16) +13 = 29. Hit; r(2, 5) +3 = 10 damage -5 Resist All = 5 damage and 5 OG acid (SE).

LOCATION: R6
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 5 Damage to H
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: Q is dazed UtEoEMNT. 5 OG acid (SE) to H. Q and H are in Warped Ground aura (aura 3: DT).
CURRENT HIT POINTS: 18/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: na




* ALERT * You have this round and the next to save Arunny's and Ahaan's father!

The chrysalis encompassing their FATHER reveals something moving inside of it with frantic desperation!
Goop Slick Destroyed
E 18/88
S1 25/106
S2 9/106 Ensnaring Sanction (Q)

1699931452749.png


ROUND 4



After sending a quick prayer of thanksgiving to the Maiden for Her protection, ARUNNY turns toward the song of pure Moonlight she can see at the top of the Temple stairs.

Carefully the Seer makes her way in that direction, resolutely ignoring the ways of combat and Madness behind her.

<Almost there, Father! Hold on!!> pleads Uzmehr's daughter.


* Minor Action: Sustain Moment of Glory effect (Resist 5 All)

* Move Action: 5 squares, avoiding DT of E's aura, to M5

* Standard Action: move 3 squares (2 DT = 4 squares) to K8


LOCATION: K8
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: n/a
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES n/a
CURRENT HIT POINTS: 45/59
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: r(19) Cast Fortune use tbd; R, Q, & H: Resist 5 All UEoRNT (sustain minor)
SURGES: 10/11




QAMRA's head still spinning with Mad images, Their Radiant Shamshar can only hold her stance and let Their power continue to flow through her.

* Radiant Burst (ClBu1) ATK vs Reflex: vs. S1: r(10) + 11 = 21 vs 21 Ref/Hit; vs. S2: r(18) + 11 = 29 vs 21 Ref /Hit; vs. E: r(6) + 11 = 17 vs. 18 Ref/Miss; Damage to S1 & S2: r(6) + 8 + 10/Vulnerable = 24 HP. S2 DEAD!!


LOCATION: S7
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: S2 Killed, S1: 24 HP
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: Divine Sanction on S2 ends!
CURRENT HP: 55/73
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Resist 5 All UEoRNT (sustain minor), Dazed UEoEMNT
SURGES: 12/12




Its internal alien programing hell-bent on <ATTACK, ATTACK, SLAM, MELT> the last vestiges of the CAIPHON SPAWN SWARMS flails a final barrage that Qamra easily parries and dodges.

S1

* Standard Action: Slam (M1) vs Q's AC: r(2) +12 +2 (CA) = 16. Miss


LOCATION: S1 in U8
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: na
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: Q in Swarm Attack aura at start of turn.
CURRENT HIT POINTS: S1 = 1/106
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: na




AHAAN falls into his past experience with Caiphonian chaos to steel his focus to the vagaries of his Mad opponent, not its specifics. Therein would lie his own delving into madness. Slice and Slash go his twin blades. Squish goes the Extruded Madness. Huh. Despite its dangerous nature, the Madness proves to be an easier foe for his skills than the swarms of purple, bubbling ooze which tumble around his blades.

He glances around the board - for so he has heard his sister refer to situations such as this: a game of chance and fortune ... and ... sometimes ... foreknowledge. In so doing, Ahaan realizes that, though the eyes of his comrade-at-arms are still glazed and barely focused, the young warrior seems to be holding her own, nevertheless. Almost completed her task, in fact.

Finally, looking upward towards the Moonlight highlighting his father's cocoon protectively, he catches a glimpse of his sister on the pocked stairs. The young rojtar rushes up to what is clearly her destination, then stands helplessly staring at the wildly shaking cocoon and desperately hoping Arunny has a way to open it and free their father.


* 5 OG Acid Damage offset by Resist 5 All

* Standard Action: Swift Blades vs. AC: vs. E: 1st ATK: r(11) + 13 = 25 vs. 22 AC/Hit! Damage: r(1,6) + 4 = 11; 2nd ATK: r(11) + 13 = 25 vs. 22 AC/Hit! Damage: r(4,2) + 4 = 10; Total HP Damage: 21, E DEAD!!!

* Move Action: 7 squares (ignoring DT/Wild Step) to K12

* Save vs. OG Acid: r(17) Save made

LOCATION: K12
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: E DEAD
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: n/a
CURRENT HP: 78/83
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: 5 OG Acid (SE); Resist 5 All UEoRNT (sustain minor)




ROUND 5




Nearly weeping in her haste, ARUNNY rushes as fast as she is able up stairs mottled with holes, large and small, all eager to send her tumbling back down the slope. Panting as she finally reaches her destination, she swings her cudgel and misses as the wildly shaking chrysalis dodges her slam! Ahaan groans in disappointment.

However, the priestess holds her stance midswing, heart in her throat, hoping she has interpreted her vision of this moment correctly. Then, the chrysalis - still shaking - crashes into the cudgel on its own and breaks open, their father tumbling out into Ahaan's waiting arms. Omthala's Searing Voice reaches up her arms in gratitude - to the Moon, the Lady, their mother? There is a scent of roses in the air, after all: reminiscent of elvish soothsayers. Roses help make the mind more receptive to deeper sight.


* Move Action: 4 squares (1 DT and 3 normal) to J12.

* Standard Action: Athletics Skill check to break open the chrysalis: r(11) + 5 = 16 vs. 24 Hard DC. Fail.

* Free Action: Cast Fortune result to replace any one attack roll, saving throw, or skill check made by you, an ally, or an enemy: r(19) + 5 = 24 vs. Hard DC. Success: Chrysalis opened!!

* Minor Action: Sustain Moment of Glory.

LOCATION: J12
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: n/a
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: n/a
CURRENT HIT POINTS: 45/59
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: R, Q, & H: Resist 5 All UEoRNT (sustain minor)
SURGES: 10/11




As the Extruded Madness melts and its many and varied eyes dissolve, so too does QAMRA's confusion. Blinking, she sees herself the lone player on the field against the almost wasted Caiphonian spawn beside her. The Radiant Shamshar raises her still clenched fist, points at the mass of writhing cacophony, and spreads her arms once more, this time feeling the power surge through her body with triumph rather than resigned bewilderment.

Somehow, Qamra can hear the cracking of a large shell over the explosion of purple spray all around her. They've done it! Somehow they made it through to the other side. Weary but fulfilled, the young warrior turns to head up the Temple stairs and join her companions ... and meet their father ... again.


* Minor Action: Ensnaring Sanction on S1

* Standard Action: Radiant Burst (ClBu1) ATK vs. Reflex: vs. S1: r(10) + 11 = 21 vs. 21 Ref, hit; Damage: r(5) + 8 + 10/Vulnerable = 23 HP. S1 DEAD

* Move Action: wherever!

LOCATION: on the stairs!
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: S1 DEAD
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: Corpse of S1 subject to Ensnaring Sanction (lol)
CURRENT HP: 55/73
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Resist 5 All UEoRNT (sustain minor), Dazed ends
SURGES: 12/12




COMBAT OVER. ARUNNY/AHAAN FATHER SAVED.
 
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@darkbard , see the layout below and choose your approach.

1699495969854.png


* The elevated Dolg Olsoris is represented by the circle.

* The three spokes of the besieging bladeling rearguard raid force are A, B, C

A: This section features (i) the exclusive ingress/egress into the fortified, remote Dolg Olsoris in the highland valley above, (ii) a mixed host of standard scorpion (brute) with riding standard leaders (each separate creatures with their own action economy) and minion artillery (iii) equaling a total, initial encounter budget of 1576 (2 x Scorpions, 2 x Riders, 2 x Minions). (iv) On rounds 2 and 5 they will be reinforced by B and C; 2 minions and then 4 minions respectively. (v) There will be multiple terrain features here and a fair amount of difficult and hindering terrain. (vi) If you get all PCs to the far squares, you can make a Group Check Medium DC Athletics to defeat a chase by the host and enter Dolg Olsoris where you can engage with the people there and potentially muster a force for a counteroffensive.

B: This section features (i) phalanxes (soldier, swarm) and javelineers (minion artillery) like the Battle for Dolg Hana (ii) equaling a total encounter budget of 1578. However, (iii) one of the three phalanxes will have a battle captain with warhorn. If he acts before he is damaged, he will activate his warhorn and call a scorpion (standard brute), which will arrive in round 2 to reinforce them. If he is damaged before he acts, this is deactivated. Further, (iv) there is a precarious rock fixture overhanging their camp. If you succeed at a hard (DC 24) Stealth or Arcana (if you have some kind of invisibility) or something to skulk through the camp to navigate the face to the precarious overhanging fixture, you can sabotage it with a Terrain Stunt as a Surprise Attack and damage the whole camp. Failure on this means combat starts, you take a -2 to initiative, and you're in squares of my selection when the battle starts.

After this battle ends, you'll take a Short Rest and the force from C will enter the encounter area of B and a new combat will commence.

C: This section is (i) just like B in terms of host and encounter budget, however (ii) there is no overhanging fixture and, in its stead, (iii) there is a secret and dangerous trail that can be used to sneak into Dolg Olsoris; level +2, complexity 1 SC which must start with some kind of skulking move to stealth by the host of C and access the terrain. As above in A, if you can get to Dolg Olsoris, perhaps you can muster a force for a counteroffensive.

If you engage in this battle and resolve it, you can automatically locate the dangerous trail and enter Dolg Olsoris secretly or you can attempt a hard (DC 24) stealth to ambush the forces of B before they react. Failure means you've been spotted and -2 to initiative, and you're in a square of my selection when the battle starts.




Total, the whole host = the combined encounter budgets (which does not include waves of A or captain summons of B/C). Any part of that whole budget defeated is permanent.

Let me know where you land on your approach.
 
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darkbard

Legend
Wowzers, each of these choices is tempting in its own way, especially the latter two! That said, I've decided upon your  B, beginning with the Stealth attempt to sabotage the camp by collapsing the overhanging rock features via forthcoming Terrain Stunt.



The way to Dolg Olsolis is treacherous, little more than a track winding its way in meandering fashion around yellow hills and spurs of bare rock, finally terminating at the walled fortress perched upon a short but steep mesa. The dawn still retains the coolth of the night's journey, and arrayed around the settlement smolder the campfires of the besieging force. Though the green and purple hues of their skin are not visible in the crepuscular light, the wicked blades and spines that jut from their shoulders and legs identify the mutant freaks of The Legion of Ruth!

IBHEA surveys the landscape before the small party, spotting what he believes to be a weak point for an initial assault, one that perhaps can create enough of a distraction and eliminate enough of the enemy that his group can sneak into the city and muster a counter offensive to break the siege.

"There," he indicates a jagged spur hanging from the eastern side of the mesa, a threat to the encamped forces below should it be collapsed. "Follow my lead. If I can sneak past the dawn watch and collapse that roof upon the camp...." His voice trails off as he veritably disappears, his advance through the camp concealed in shadow. The enchantment of his boots prevents any trace of his movement, be it footprint or echo.




I think it's mechanically appropriate for me to take a +2 bonus to my Stealth check from Shadow Walk (Warlock core class ability), since that seems on theme, but I won't quibble if you feel that unwarranted. Let me know either way!

Primary Skill Stealth check, r(19) +13 +2 = 34 vs 24 Difficult DC. Success, and that Shadow Walk bonus didn't matter! Bring on the Terrain Stunt!

Also, and unrelated, Father Chrysalis is a great album name!



Per @Manbearcat:

Alright, so its 3 x standards (phalanxes at 350 each) and 6 minions (artillery at 88 each) for the total budget of 1578.

so need +11 vs Reflex x 9 (starting with the standards).

Hit: 2d8 + 4 damage, and the target falls prone.
Miss: Half damage.
Effect: Difficult Terrain in 9 squares of your choice (once I've got the map up, just let me know which squares you want).

Start with the captain so we can determine if his warhorn power is f***ed or not.

Also, you have CA vs all of them, so its +11 +2 (CA).

[darkbard: Does Prime Shot apply in any of my rolls?

Manbearcat: Yeah, should apply to all 👍

PRIME SHOT
If none of your allies are nearer to your target than you are, you receive a +1 bonus to ranged attack rolls against that target. You do not gain this feature if you choose the Beast Mastery fighting style.

Manbearcat: same stats as in prior encounter, but +1 to all. Let me take a look at them upthread. Updated below for level 8.

* LoR Phalanx (Soldier, Standard, Swarm): 88 HP, AC 24, Fortitude 19, Reflex 19, Will 17.

* LoR Javelineers (Artillery, Minion): 1 HP, AC 22, Fortitude 19, Reflex 22, Will 20]



Having successfully sneaked across enemy lines, IBHEA beholds the rocky outcropping jutting over the bladeling encampment from a safe and hidden vantage. A crackling black sphere gathers around his outspread hand, and he flings it at the stone edifice. Necrotic energy suffuses the whole, seeking cracks, spreading decay.

A soldier looks up as sand and small stones descend like light rain. Then a huge report rings out, and an avalanche of larger stones descends like a raging torrent, crushing many of the bladelings beneath in inevitable death.





Roll vs Captain's Phalanx, S1, r(11) +11 +2 CA +1 Prime Shot = 25 vs 19 Reflex. Hit.

Vs S2, r(3) +11 +2 +1 = 17 vs 19 R. Miss. Half damage. No prone.

Vs S3, r(19) +11 +2 +1 =33 vs 19 R. Hit.

Vs Minions, r(9, 15, 10, 7, 1, 10) +11 +2 +1 =23, 28, 24, 21, automiss, 24 vs 22 Reflex. Hit x4, Miss x2.

Damage = r(2,4) +4 +10 Vulnerable burst = 20 and Prone (no prone on Miss). Captain's horn ability foiled.

Initiative and location:
Ibhea, r(10) +5 = 15, N14
Keldan, r(7) +6 = 13, N16
Gan, r(15) +8 = 23, P15

I'll place the DT in the following squares: N8, N9, O8, O9, Q8, Q9, O13, R11, R12.
 
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Alright, handling @Nephis ' conflict for Arunny et al in #372 above. Following from the above two posts (back-and-forth between myself and @darkbard ) here is his opening conflict for Ibhea et al after Ibhea's terrain stunt does its work:

MECHANICS

* Illumination
: Fully.

* Mountains: Western feature is Blocking Terrain.

* Stone Overhang Collapse: The following squares are difficult terrain: N8, N9, O8, O9, Q8, Q9, O13, R11, R12.

* Boulder (QR17/18): Gives cover if adjacent.

* Brambleweed (4 x 3 of H-K + 5-7 and 3 x 3 of Q-S and 13-15): Brambleweed has finger-length thorns, sharp and sturdy enough to rend flesh. The plant's thick vines spread across an area, hindering any who enter it. Effect: Brambleweed squares are difficult terrain. A creature that starts its turn in a brambleweed square takes 5 damage per tier. A creature that ends its turn in a brambleweed square is restrained until the start of its next turn.

* LoR Phalanx (Soldier, Standard, Swarm): 88 HP, AC 24, Fortitude 19, Reflex 19, Will 17.

* LoR Javelineers (Artillery, Minion): 1 HP, AC 22, Fortitude 19, Reflex 22, Will 20]

* LoR Phalanx Captain's "Horn Reinforcement" power is exhausted.

INITIATIVE

Gan (G) = 23
Javelineers (M) = 21
Ibhea, (I) = 15
Keldan (K) = 13
Swarms (S) = 11

1699654663829.png


ROUND 1




* Monster Knowledge (No Action). Ibhea has already encountered the LoR Phalanx and Javelineers, so this is a freebie. Mild change to the Phalanx (not including "Horn Reinforcement" power as that was exhausted by Ibhea's Terrain Power):

Legion of Ruth Phalanx * 3
Large natural, elemental humanoid (fire, swarm)
Level 8 Soldier XP 350
HP 88; Bloodied 44 Initiative +10
AC 24, Fortitude 19, Reflex 19, Will 17
Speed 6 Low Light Vision
Resist 5 fire, acid, half damage from melee and ranged attacks; Vulnerable 10 to close and area attacks.

Traits
☼ Barbed Swarm ✦ Aura 1
Enemies in the aura cannot shift and take 3 damage if they are in the aura at the end of their turn.

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
(⚔) Razor Storm Phalanx (weapon) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 2 (one creature); +11 vs. Reflex
Hit: 2d6 + 3 damage, and ongoing 5 damage or ongoing 7 damage if target is in a square occupied by LoRP (save ends).
Effect: The target is marked UtEoLoRPNT.

Athletics +14


Legion of Ruth Javelineer x 6
Medium natural, elemental humanoid (fire) Level 8 Minion Artillery XP 88
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion. Initiative +8
AC 22, Fortitude 19, Reflex 22, Will 20
Speed 6 Low-light vision
Resist 5 Fire

Traits
Barbed Reprisal
If an enemy hits LoRJ with a melee attack, the enemy takes 3 damage.

Standard Actions
(➶) Javelin (weapon) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature); +15 vs. AC
Hit: 8 damage or 9 damage if the target is flanked by the LoRJ's allies.

Athletics +7




It takes a moment for the dust and grit to settle after the collapse of the rocky overhang. The field is now eerily quiet, except a few death groans from beneath the rubble.

GAN gives a look back at the two priests, their bodies pressed safely against the rising stone of the mesa, and then to the phalanxes of barbed mutants, some sprawled amid the rubble before him.

"Protect the priests! Charge!" he bellows, and does just that, launching himself, broad talwar before him, at the Bladeling captain's Phalanx of warriors, dispatching two opponents before they can react and get to their feet, and putting the group on notice to the threat he presents.


* Standard: Charge S1, P15 to P13, r(10) +13 +1 +2 CA (prone) = 26 vs 24 AC. Hit for r(6,9) +5 = 20/2 Melee attack = 10 damage and S1 is Marked.

* Ends turn: in Barbed Swarm Aura, takes 3 damage and cannot Shift.

LOCATION: P13
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 10 damage to S1
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S1 Marked UEoGNT
CURRENT HPs: 85/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: cannot Shift




After the overhang collapse, the LEGION OF RUTH JAVELINEERS pick their battered bodies up from the carnage-laden battlefield. What follows is a barrage of steel-tipped hafts. Gan deflects one aside with his shield and Keldan sees his life flash before his eyes as he barely evades a killing blow.


M (P19)

* Standard: Javelin (R10) vs K's AC: r(16) +15 = 31. 8 damage to K.

* Move: P19 to S19


M (G3)

* Move: G3 to M3

* Standard: Javelin (R1) vs G's AC: r(6) +15 = 21. Miss.


LOCATION: S19, M3
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: K: 8 Damage.




Watching in shock at Gan's brave charge, IBHEA swallow hard. A quick movement, a bottle uncorked, and several large gulps fill him with courage of his own, and not a little foolhardiness.

"May the Black Flames of Delban sear your souls from this realm!" he shouts out above the battle din. Then he advances upon the Bladeling phalanx, clinging to the shadows of the mesa. However, a sharp-eyed pikeman spies him, delivering a wicked jab deflected off his armor but leaving Ibhea winded.

In retaliation, Gan strikes at the warriors of the Phalanx with his talwar, calling, "Face me, cowards!"

Flanking the bladeling soldiers now, Ibhea raised Omthala's symbol, which catches the rays of the rising sun, searing and dazzling his foes. Then, rashly, the whisky priest conjures noxious black clouds on the far side of the Phalanx and around himself, blasting the last of the warriors with fatal successive waves of necrotic energy from both sides. Ibhea disappears briefly, reappearing at Gan's side with a wild look in his eyes.


* Minor: Warlock's Curse on S1; activates Armor of Dark Majesty property (+2 all defenses vs enemies under Curse).

* Move: N14 to N11. Activates Shadow Walk at end of Move but provokes OA from S1.

TRIGGERS Razor Storm vs I, r(15) +11 = 26 vs 23 Ref. Hit, r(3,1)+3= 7 damage & 5 OG to I.

TRIGGERS Defender's Reaction vs S1, r(11) +15=26 vs 24 AC. Hit, r(2,6,4)+5=17/2= 8 damage to S1.

* Standard: Shining Symbol vs S1, r(18) +11=29 vs 17 Will. Hit, r(2)+6 +10 Vuln close atk +r(1) (Curse) + 10 Vuln (extra damage) +r(2) Mindbite Scorn=23 radiant and psychic damage. S1 BLOODIED

* AP for Standard: Deathly Conduit Daily Area Bu1 on Q11, atk vs S1 (OA exhausted this turn), r(10)+11=21 vs 19 Fort. Hit, r(6,4)+6+10 Vuln area atk=26 necrotic damage and blinded + 10 damage (adjacent enemies)=S1 killed. Ibhea teleports to P12.


LOCATION: P12
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: Gan does 8 to S1, Ibhea does 59 to S1 and kills them.
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S1 blinded but dead
CURRENT HP: 52/59
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Shadow Walk (+2 Defenses UEoINT), 5 OG damage
HEALING SURGES: 7/7




KELDAN regards the fierce assault of his comrades, and the color returns to his blanched cheeks.

Inspired, the meadow-tender and representative of Omthala's benevolent energies in the natural world displays a physical ferocity that hitherto had only been apparent in his rhetoric. He closes the distance between himself and the Bladeling Javelineer, cutting it down with his scythe like so many blades of grass in the meadow.


* Standard: Charge N16 to R19, atk vs M(S19), r(16) +13 +1 =30 vs 22 AC. Hit. M(S19) killed.

TRIGGER: Keldan takes 3 damage from Barbed Reprisal aura.

LOCATION: R19
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: Hit auto kills Minion.
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: na
CURRENT HP: 85/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: na




Phased for a moment by the geologic calamity and the loss of their captain and his troupe, the other pair of LEGION OF RUTH PHALANXES expertly form up and swarm Ibhea and Gan's position, quickly overrunning Delban's priest with their throng, but tasting the sting of his blade for their efforts.


S2 (BLUE 2 X 2 SQUARE)

* Move Action (circle to avoid OA from Gan): 5 sq into P12, occupying Ibhea's square.

TRIGGERS OA MBA (ELDRITCH STRIKE) IBHEA: r(11) +13 = 24. Hit. r(3) +4 = 7 damage. Slide 1 negated vs M1 attack due to Swarm.

* Standard Action: Razor Storm vs I Ref: r(9) +11 = 20. Miss. Effect: I is marked by S2 UtEoS2NT.


S3 (RED 2 X 2 SQUARE)

* Move Action: Stand up from prone.

* Move Action: Run 8 sq to Q11 (can occupy same space as enemy or ally. Gives up CA and has -5 to hit UtSoNT.


LOCATION: S2 in P12, S3 in Q11
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: na
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: I and G both in S2 and S3 Barbed Swarm aura.
CURRENT HP: S2 @ 71/88, S3 @ 68/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: S3 grants CA and has -5 to hit UtSoNT.




S2 71/88
S3 68/88 grants CA and has -5 to hit UtSoNT.

1699715635125.png


ROUND 2




As the Messenger and Savior of Dolg Hanna disappears amidst the phalanxes of mutant freaks, GAN shouts out, "No, fight me, you monsters! Fight me!"

He lays into the barbed warriors with his talwar, striking down several, but too many remain, harassing him with their metallic spikes and bladed weapons--Ibhea too deep within their ranks to save.

Frustrated by the relative inefficacy of his blows against the metallic skeletons and barbed and bladed hides of his foes, Gan gives out a roar, "Rrrrraaaaaggghhhh!"


* Standard: Bastard Sword vs S3, r(15) +13 +2 CA = 30 vs 24 AC. Hit for r(7,10)+5=22/2=11 damage and S3 Marked UEoGNT.

* Ends turn: in two Barbed Swarm auras, takes 3 damage x2=6.

LOCATION: P13
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 11 damage to S3
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S3 Marked UEoGNT
CURRENT HP: 79/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: cannot Shift.




The remaining LEGION OF RUTH JAVELINEER realizes the unraveling situation before him and carefully triangulates his throw upon the best target; the surrounded Messenger of The Shadowed Sun. Whether its Delban himself or the prowess of the priest, the perfectly thrown javelin finds nothing but a void in the legion of clashing warriors.


M (M3)

* Standard: Javelin (R1) vs I's AC: r(5) +15 = 20. Miss.


LOCATION: M3
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: na




Legions of the Legion of Ruth ... Legionnaires ... surround IBHEA. Blades and barbs and spikes bristle everywhere around him. He is still winded by the earlier blow his armor barely deflected. And so he reacts with the newborn power his Patron has entrusted to him, the power of FLAME!

"May the Black Flames of Delban sear your souls from this realm!" he screeches madly.

All around the whisky priest, the air explodes in a violent conflagration of black flame. Flesh blisters. Warriors cry out. Death follows.

Ibhea gives a maniacal laugh and shrugs off the lingering effects of the previous blow, even as new barbs and spikes pierce his flesh.


* Starts turn: takes 5 OG damage.

* Minor: Warlock's Curse vs S3. Activates Armor of Dark Majesty property (+2 all defenses vs enemies under Curse).

* Standard: Flame Spiral vs S2, r(16) +11=27 vs 19 Ref. Hit. Vs S3, r(18) +11 +2 CA=31 vs 19 Ref. Hit. Damage = r(10) +6 +10 Vuln burst -5 Resist fire=21 fire damage + r(3) Curse +r(1) Mindbite Scorn = 4 fire and psychic to S3. S3 BLOODIED.

Flame Spiral Sorcerer Attack 3
You surround yourself in a vortex of fire, which lashes out at nearby foes.
Encounter ✦ Arcane, Fire, Implement
Standard Action Close burst 2
Target: One, two, or three creatures in the burst
Attack: Charisma vs. Reflex
Hit: 1d10 + Charisma modifier fire damage.
Effect: Until the start of your next turn, any enemy that enters a square adjacent to you or starts its turn there takes 1d6 fire damage. An enemy can take this damage only once per turn.

* Ends turn: r(16) Save vs OG. Success. Takes 3 Barbed Swarm damage x2=6 damage.

LOCATION: P12
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 21 fire damage to S2, 25 fire and psychic damage to S3
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S2 and S3 start turns in Flame Spiral squares.
CURRENT HPs: 41/59
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: cannot Shift, +2 defenses vs S3
HEALING SURGES: 7/7




KELDAN races across the boulder- and brambleweed-strewn battlefield, his allies' succor in mind. His voice rings out, as if multiple tracks layered over one another in different registers, "Beware, beware, the flashing eyes of Omthala, the Black rebuke of Her Son!"

Palpable fear ripples across the battlefield as it seems every molecule of nature itself rebuffs those before the suddenly terrifying priest. Even Ibhea's blood runs cold, and Gan retreats from Keldan's approach, though be it from fear or to further menace the Bladeling warriors is anyone's guess.


* Move: R19 to P14. G and I now within Nature's Embrace Aura 3 (allies gain +2 power bonus to Will and to saving throws while within aura).

* Standard: Nature's Rebuff ClBl5, vs G, r(9) +11=20 vs 22 (buffed) Will. Miss. Vs I, r(11) +11 =22 vs 24 (buffed) Will. Miss. Vs S2, r(1) = automiss. Vs S3, r(17) +11 +2 CA =30 vs 17 Will. Hit. Damage=r(4,7)+5 = 16 and Push 3 (Q12 to Q9, in DT). +10 Vulnerable Close attacks S3= 26 damage. Half damage on Miss=13 damage to S2 BLOODIED and Push 2 (P12 to O11, in DT). 8 damage to G and I. I pushed 0, G pushed 2 (P13 to P11).


LOCATION: P14
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 13 to S2, 26 to S3
DAMAGE TO ALLIES: 8 to I and G
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S2 and S3 in DT and cannot move closer to K willingly (SE)
CURRENT HP: 85/87
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: +2 Will and Saves to I and G (in Nature's Embrace aura)




The blackflame of Delban consumes one of the squads of the LEGION OF RUTH PHALANXES . Mouths gape but no sound comes forth. Flesh sizzles until it disappears into an imperceptible event horizon of darkness. The remaining squad moves in to avenge their allies with ferocity and the sound of steel and armor-clad bodies rings out in a furious melee that consumes Ibhea once again!


S2 (BLUE 2 X 2 SQUARE)

* Start of Turn: Flame Spiral aura (Ibhea): r(1) = 1 fire damage - Resist Fire 5 = 0 damage.

* Move Action: 2 sq (DT) into P12, occupying Ibhea's square.

TRIGGERS OA MBA (ELDRITCH STRIKE) IBHEA: r(3) +13 = 16. Miss.

* Standard Action: Razor Storm vs I Ref: r(14) +11 = 25. Hit. r(4, 3) +3 = 10 damage, and ongoing 7 damage as target is in a square occupied by LoRP (save ends). Effect: I is marked by S2 UtEoS2NT.


S3 (RED 2 X 2 SQUARE)

* Start of Turn: Flame Spiral aura (Ibhea) + Curse and Mindbite Scorn (2d6 and add psychic) = 3d6. r(6, 3, 3) = 12 psychic and fire damage. DEAD


LOCATION: S2 in P12
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 10 to I
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: I and G both in S2 Barbed Swarm aura. I takes 7 OG (SE).
CURRENT HP: S2 @ 37/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: na




S2 37/88

1699843851999.png


ROUND 3




GAN does not recognize this feeling in him, a queasy stomach, a pounding of blood that blanches his cheeks and dilates his pupils. Why should Keldan the beekeeper and priest of the Sun Goddess affect him so?

Once more, the Bladeling phalanxes engulf Ibhea, and once more Gan feels powerless in the priest's defense. He strikes and strikes and strikes again with his talwar. Their bladed forms bite at him, but Ibhea is not released. "No, freaks! Attack me!" Gan is not a man of much imagination.


* Standard: Bastard Sword vs S2, r(17) +13 = 30 vs 24 AC. Hit, r(10,6) +5 =21/2 = 10 damage and S2 Marked by Gan UEoGNT.

* Ends turn: takes 3 damage from Barbed Swarm aura.

LOCATION: P13
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 10 to S2
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S2 Marked UEoGNT
CURRENT HP: 68/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: +2 Will, +2 Saves,cannot Shift




Scrunched nose and looking "down the barrel" of the projectile its about to heft, the LEGION OF RUTH JAVELINEER tries to pick the emissary of The Shadowed Son from the contingent of bladeling myrmidons who are trying to lay him low with shield, spear, and barbed flesh.

It follows through. After the javelin disappears into the fray, his target is still standing, both blade and magic at the call.



M (P19)

* Standard: Javelin (R10) vs I's AC: r(13) +15 = 28. 8 damage to I.


LOCATION: M3
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 8 to I.




All around him, the mutant freaks of the Legion of Ruth thrust and jab at IBHEA with their weapons, with their very flesh. Matters are made worse when that Dolg Aratian priest calls upon Omthala's intervention, but it is pervaded by the fearsome earth itself, unwanted intermediary between the Celestial Powers and their mortal servants. Delbanian Heresy, indeed!

And that's when the javelin strikes him, piercing his side and continuing clear through so that the bladed tip protrudes from the general region of his left kidney. Even through the araq haze, the whisky priest reels, is staggered by the pain.

"Holy Mother, save the servant of your Son!" he cries out, and then, "May the Black Flames of Delban sear your souls from this realm!"

His hand is engulfed in crackling black energies. He reaches out and grabs one soldier, then another. They fall as necrosis sends tendrils throughout their bodies and their minds are shattered by Delban's fell touch.

But there are too many of them. Too many. Jabbing with their blades and spikes. And he is so weak now...


* Starts turn: takes 7 OG damage.

* Minor: Hand of Deliverance: Spend Surge but regain no HP. Gain Surge (14) THP.

* Minor: Curse S2. Activates Armor of Dark Majesty buff.

* Standard: Hand of Blight Melee touch vs S2 (No Action: Spend Fell Might for 1d8 extra damage), r(19)+11=30 vs 19 Fort. Hit, r(4) +6 necrotic and psychic damage +r(6) WC +r(6) MS +r(8) Fell Might. No Action: Arcane Prodigy, +2 bonus next damage roll =32/2=16 necrotic and psychic damage.

* Ends turn: takes 3 damage Barbed Swarm aura. Shadow Walk buff expires. Makes save vs OG 7 damage, r(6) +2 Nature's Embrace aura =8. Fails.


LOCATION: P12
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 16 necrotic and psychic to S2
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S2 Cursed
CURRENT HP: 6 HP/11 THP.
CIRRENT DE/BUFFS+2 all defenses vs S2, +2 Will, +2 Saves, cannot Shift, OG 7 damage (SE)
SURGES: 6/7




KELDAN more hears the whisky priest's cry of pain and ensuing curse than witnesses the--possibly mortal?--blow. In response, he climbs onto and amidst the broken stone of the fallen promontory and sweeps his scythe across the battlefield before him. Heads roll off their shoulders. Bladelings fall. But one remains, a wicked smile to match his barbed longword as he threatens to end the whisky priest's life.

* Move: P14 to O13 (in DT).

* Standard: Sweeping Scythe vs S2, r(14) +13=27 vs 24 AC. Hit, r(5,3)+7=15/2=7 damage. Foregoes Slide 1.

* Ends turn: In Barbed Swarm Aura, takes 3 damage.

LOCATION: O13
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 7 damage to S2
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: na
CURRENT HP: 82/87
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: In DT, cannot Shift, I and G both in Nature's Embrace aura.




There is no retreat and no surrender for the remainder of the LEGION OF RUTH PHALANXES. To the very end they form up, shield and spear in concert, the end a certainty, death imminent.


S2 (BLUE 2 X 2 SQUARE)

* Standard Action: Razor Storm vs G Ref: r(9) +11 = 20. Miss. Effect: G is marked by S2 UtEoS2NT.


LOCATION: S2 in P12
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: na
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: I, K, and G all in S2 Barbed Swarm aura. G marked by S2 UtEoS2NT.
CURRENT HP: S2 @ 4/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: na




S2 4/88

1699926693937.png


ROUND 4




As the last of the Legionnaires form up, grim resignation on their inhuman faces, GAN suddenly hesitates. There is something almost human in their willing facing of death, their fervent belief in a cause for which they would die. He raises his talwar. But then stops. Perhaps Gan is not quite so uncomplicated a man as it had seemed.

* Standard: Bastard Sword vs S2, r(5)+13=18 vs 23 AC. Miss.

* Ends turn: in Barbed Swarm aura. Takes 3 damage and cannot Shift.


LOCATION: P13
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: na
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: Mark on S2 ends
CURRENT HPs: 65/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Marked by S2, cannot Shift, +2 Will and Saves (Nature's Embrace aura)




The LEGION OF RUTH JAVELINEER could almost surely disappear from the battlefield, rendezvous with the rest of the siege force, and live to fight another day. However, the stark turn of events does nothing to shake their commitment to cause and comrade. Another javelin is expertly pulled from fracas and fired into the fray. The sound of it making contact with Ibhea's armor provides the legion servant a smile before its coming, glorious death.


M (P19)

* Standard: Javelin (R10) vs I's AC: r(13) +15 = 28. 11 THP - 8 damage to I = 3 THP remaining.


LOCATION: M3
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 8 THP damage to I so only 3 THP remaining.




IBHEA grunts dully as a second javelin pierces his flesh. Perhaps it is the araq, but he is almost beyond pain now. Yet he can feel the beat of his heart in the wounds nonetheless. And a dark wetness stains his hand as he examines it, having instinctively clutched at the entry point of this latest intrusion into his flesh.

With what is nearly his last iota of strength, he conjures Delban's Black Flames once more, his stained hand wreathed now in crackling energy to strike down the last of the foes within reach.

Then he calls across the battlefield at the marksman who has so injured him, "May the Black Flames of Delban sear your soul from this realm!" The whisky priest, wreathed in shadows, stumbles backward to the safety of a large hunk of basalt fallen from above. He pulls the javelins from his flesh and unleashes a pitiful wail as pain floods his awareness once again.


* Starts turn: takes 7 OG damage from Razor Swarm

* Standard: Hand of Blight vs S2, Melee, r(14) +11=25 vs 19 Fort. Hit, r(2)+6 +r(6) Warlock's Curse +r(5) Mindbite Scorn =19/2=9 necrotic and psychic damage. S2 DEAD

* Minor: Curse M(M3); activates Armor of Dark Majesty, +2 all defenses vs M's attacks.

* Move: P13 to Q18; activates Shadow Walk (+2 all defenses UEoINT), adjacent to Boulder = grants Cover.

* Ends turn: Saves vs OG damage, r(15). Success. OG damage ends.

LOCATION: Q18
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 9 to S2. DEAD.
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: M(M3) Cursed
CURRENT HP: 2/59
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Cover, Concealment UEoINT, +2 all defenses vs M(M3)
SURGES: 6/7




Across the battlefield, the last remaining Bladeling draws another javelin and savors its weight in her hand.

KELDAN wastes no time. He picks his way through the rubble-strewn theater towards this foe.

"You will not have our blood today, warrior. Omthala protects those in her service, as the guardian dog does the ewe in the meadow!" A brilliant radiance fulminates from his outstretched hand, and the Legionnaire is left shielding her eyes from the gleam.


* Move: O13 to P8, avoiding DT.

* Standard: Omthala's Wrath vs M(M3), r(4)+11=15 vs 22 Reflex. Miss.

LOCATION: P8
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: na
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: na
CURRENT HP: 82/87
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: na




ROUND 5




At Ibhea's pitiful cry of pain, the big man shakes his head, as if awakening from a reverie. GAN seems to realize the stakes, how the weaker Ibhea and Keldan are fragile, mortal, how the Bladelings mean to kill them if they can.

"No, you won't hurt my friends!" he bellows and charges across the battlefield. Reaching the last Javelineer, it is so simple. He swipes his talwar through the air, and her head tumbles to the ground with a small bounce. Her body crumples beside it.

The big man seems to recognize his own strength for the first time, and hot tears stream down his cheeks , cutting rivulets through the accumulated dust and grime of the road.


* Move: P13 to P8

* Standard: Charge P8 to N4, Bastard Sword vs M(M3), r(8) +13+1=22 vs 22 AC. Hit. M(M3) Killed.

LOCATION: N4
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: Kills M(M3)
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: na
CURRENT HP: 65/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: na




COMBAT OVER. As per above:

After this battle ends, you'll take a Short Rest and the force from C will enter the encounter area of B and a new combat will commence.
 
Last edited:

Alright, first things first.

XP: 1578 + 1578 = 3154 - 350 * 4 (companions) = 1754/2 = 877 apiece.

LOOT: One PC take 1 item level 9 or less.

SHORT REST & MILESTONE

IBHEA
staggers forward from where he had been leaning against the devastation of the fallen overhang. His aba is stained with blood, but his face seems flush with recovery and his eyes are still wild. Is it the excitement of battle? The araq?

"Brethren," he calls out, "though tested and battered, our trial is not yet done. If we are to provide succor to our sister Dolg, we must endure these advancing foes!"

Through the dust and waves of vision-distorting heat, a battalion of Bladelings advances from the south.


Bookkeeping Matters:

* PCs are now 15,879/16,500 XP needed for L9.

* Ibhea spends four (!) Surges inter-combat and is restored to 59/59 HP, with 2 remaining Surges.

* Per our discussion, Keldan and Gan are restored to full HP between encounters and each has a Surge that they can use to Second Wind or it can be unlocked by another ability that spends Surges. If reduced to 0 HP, they die.

* For the previous encounter's reward, Ibhea's gloves, hitherto merely a component of the Armor of Dark Majesty taken from Bita-Bahlin, become infused with power by his patron, Delban: Gloves of Eldritch Admixture L8 Hands Slot Item.




@Nephis , elsewhere, we talked about Arunny et al's next move. We decided that Bantouk is not the place to end the Heroic Tier for these characters.

Ibhea's Heroic Tier climax is around The Shadowed Sun's reemergence and proselytization to that end.

Arunny's Heroic Tier climax is around her family and faith.

As a result, the fight in Bantouk is not theres. So we're going to site Arunny's conflict around Ahaan and Nerull as the antagonist for both she and Ibhea. Where has Ahaan been? What is his plight?

To that end, please start an editable post after this combat post for Ibhea's conflict with the host of C entering B's encounter area. We'll back-and-forth to see where that goes (which you'll edit and update with my responses). Once we arrive at a clear nexus of conflict, I'll make a new post for us to work that out.




@darkbard

Gan, Keldan, and Ibhea gather themselves as a warhorn sounds for another nearby host. The ground shakes as waves of troops move toward the trio like a wave of dust, steel, and barbed flesh.

A pack of laughing Desert Jackals quickly move in to pull the bodies of the dead into a not-so-neat pile. Their territorial lunges, snarls, and disgusting sounds of feasting are a warding threat for anything living to steer well clear of their buffet.


BATTLE WITH HOST FROM C MECHANICS

* Illumination
: Fully.

* Mountains: Western feature is Blocking Terrain.

* Stone Overhang Collapse: The following squares are difficult terrain: N8, N9, O8, O9, Q8, Q9, O13, R11, R12.

* Boulder (QR17/18): Gives cover if adjacent.

* Brambleweed (4 x 3 of H-K + 5-7 and 3 x 3 of Q-S and 13-15): Brambleweed has finger-length thorns, sharp and sturdy enough to rend flesh. The plant's thick vines spread across an area, hindering any who enter it. Effect: Brambleweed squares are difficult terrain. A creature that starts its turn in a brambleweed square takes 5 damage per tier. A creature that ends its turn in a brambleweed square is restrained until the start of its next turn.

* Desert Jackals & Corpse Pile (Red 3 x 3): A large pack of vicious Desert Jackals have dragged the corpses to a pile. They're devouring the corpses and defending their pile. These squares count as Blocking Terrain (look at those spaces as “occupied by enemies” - can’t enter -for all creatures) and adjacent to them is Hindering Terrain (which qualifies as an Area/Burst/Blast attack). Effect: A creature that enters a square of DJ&CP takes 3 damage (6 to swarms) and a -2 to all defenses (save ends).

* LoR Phalanx (Soldier, Standard, Swarm): 88 HP, AC 24, Fortitude 19, Reflex 19, Will 17.

* LoR Javelineers (Artillery, Minion): 1 HP, AC 22, Fortitude 19, Reflex 22, Will 20]

* LoR Phalanx Captain's "Horn Reinforcement" power noted below.

* Pick your squares and roll Initiative, please.

INITIATIVE

Gan (G) in R7 = 25
Ibhea (I) in O10 = 23
Javelineers (M) = 22
Swarms (S) = 12
Keldan (K) in O6 = 11


1700335887815.png


ROUND 1




* Monster Knowledge (No Action). Ibhea has already encountered the LoR Phalanx and Javelineers, so this is a freebie. Captain (the S1 Phalanx) has the below Encounter Power. If he is hit before his turn, he loses his warhorn and this power:

Horn Reinforcement * Encounter
Minor Action - Martial
Effect: Call a Scorpion to the battlefield (Standard, Brute)

Legion of Ruth Phalanx * 3
Large natural, elemental humanoid (fire, swarm)
Level 8 Soldier XP 350
HP 88; Bloodied 44 Initiative +10
AC 24, Fortitude 19, Reflex 19, Will 17
Speed 6 Low Light Vision
Resist 5 fire, acid, half damage from melee and ranged attacks; Vulnerable 10 to close and area attacks.

Traits
☼ Barbed Swarm ✦ Aura 1
Enemies in the aura cannot shift and take 3 damage if they are in the aura at the end of their turn.

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
(⚔) Razor Storm Phalanx (weapon) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 2 (one creature); +11 vs. Reflex
Hit: 2d6 + 3 damage, and ongoing 5 damage or ongoing 7 damage if target is in a square occupied by LoRP (save ends).
Effect: The target is marked UtEoLoRPNT.

Athletics +14


Legion of Ruth Javelineer x 6
Medium natural, elemental humanoid (fire) Level 8 Minion Artillery XP 88
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion. Initiative +8
AC 22, Fortitude 19, Reflex 22, Will 20
Speed 6 Low-light vision
Resist 5 Fire

Traits
Barbed Reprisal
If an enemy hits LoRJ with a melee attack, the enemy takes 3 damage.

Standard Actions
(➶) Javelin (weapon) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature); +15 vs. AC
Hit: 8 damage or 9 damage if the target is flanked by the LoRJ's allies.

Athletics +7




GAN recoils involuntarily at the sight behind him as the host of the Legion's warriors advance, though be that sight the jackals devouring the dead or the Priest of Delban, covered with blood and with a wild look in his eyes is anyone's guess.

The big man hefts his talwar and advances upon the host at a slow trot but pulls up short as their sheer numbers seem to overwhelm him.


* Move: R7 to P3

* Standard: Hobbling Strike vs S2, r(8)+13=21 vs 24 AC. Miss.

LOCATION: P3
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: na
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: na
CURRENT HP: 88/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Hobbling Strike dependent on Recharge roll




IBHEA raises his dagger in a ritualistic arc, and a circle of star-bright lights wreathes his head. With a gesture, one of these leaps towards the Bladeling Captain in a halo of choking smoke, blasting him before he can make use of his war horn.

With another gesture of his shadowy dagger, the whisky priest causes a sphere of writhing tentacles to crush two Javelineers in its icy grip. Then he madly screams at the nearest Phalanx, "May the Black Flames of Delban sear your souls from this realm!" as he retreats towards the protective stone butte, wreathed in shadows.


* Standard: Daily Crown of Stars Ranged 10 vs S1, r(15)+11+2 Cunning Stalker =28 vs 19 Reflex. Hit, r(7,8)+6=21/2=10 radiant damage and Horn Reinforcement disabled.

* AP for Standard: Shadow Tentacles ABu1 in Y1. ATK vs M(X1), r(9)+11+2 CS=22 vs 22 Reflex. Hit. Vs M(Z1), r(13)+12+2 CS=26 vs 22 Reflex. Hit. BOTH KILLED

* Minor: Warlock's Curse vs S2, Activates Armor of Dark Majesty

* Move: O10 to N13, Activates Shadow Walk

LOCATION: N13
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES, 10 radiant to S1, Horn Reinforcement disabled, Ms (X1, Z1) Killed
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S2 Cursed
CURRENT HP: 59/59
CURRENT DE/BUFFS, Concealment (-2 melee & ranged attack rolls vs I), Possible Cover vs Ms, +2 all Defenses vs S2
SURGES: 2/7





When the horn falls to the ground and fractures into ruin, the LEGION OF RUTH JAVELINEER marshal all of their individual focus as they know no reinforcements are coming.

Steel-tipped hafts fly through the air toward the priest and the warrior with deadly promise. They escape the worst of it, but the skilled throwers only need so many more lobs to land fully true...



M (H1)

* Move: H1 to G7.

* Standard: Javelin (R10) vs K's AC: r(20) +15 = CRIT. 8 damage to K.


M (J1)

* Move: J1 to F6.

* Standard: Javelin (R10) vs K's AC: r(17) +15 = 32. Hit. 8 damage to K.


M (K1)

* Standard: Javelin (R10) vs G's AC: r(3) +15 = 18. Miss.


M (Q1)

* Standard: Javelin (R10) vs G's AC: r(18) +15 = 32. Hit. 8 damage to G.


LOCATION: G7, F6, K1, Q1
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 16 damage to K. 8 damage to G.




With the captain's horn rent asunder, the call for all out charge is followed by the stampeded footsteps of three, angry LEGION OF RUTH PHALANXES, intent to avenge their fallen brethren whose valorous end is transformed into carrion feast. Gan and Keldan meet the charges with battle cries of their own, with the latter nearly disappearing under the numerical advantage before him.


S1 (RED 2 X 2 SQUARE)

* Move: E2 to K3.

* Standard: Charge to O6...

TRIGGER KELDAN OA (MBA SWEEPING SCYTHE): r(13) + 13 = 26. Hit. r(8, 5) +7 = 20/2. 10 damage to S1 (cannot slide due to single target vs swarm).

(Cont S1)...and MBA (Razor Storm) vs K Ref: r(1) +11 +1 (charge) = 20. Automiss. Effect: K is marked by S2 UtEoS2NT.


S2 (BLUE 2 X 2 SQUARE)

* Move: O2 to P3.

TRIGGER GAN OA (MBA BASTARD SWORD): r(11) + 13 = 24. Hit. r(8, 10) +5 = 23/2. 11 damage and S2 is marked UtEoGNT.

* Standard: Razor Storm vs G Ref: r(6) +11 = 17. Miss. Effect: G is marked by S2 UtEoS2NT.


S3 (GREEN 2 X 2 SQUARE)

* Move: T2 to P3.

TRIGGER GAN OA (MBA BASTARD SWORD): r(5) + 13 = 18. Miss.

* Standard: Razor Storm vs G Ref: r(10) +11 = 21. Hit. r(4, 3) +3 = 10 damage and OG 7 damage (SE). Effect: G is marked by S3 UtEoS2NT.


LOCATION: S1 in O6. S2/3 in P2
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 10 damage to G
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: OG 7 damage (SE) to G. K in S1 Barbed Swarm Aura. G in both S2/3 Barbed Swarm aura. G marked by S3 UtEoS2NT.
CURRENT HP: S1 68/88. S2 77/88. S3 88/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: S2 Cursed, marked by Gan UtEoGNT.




KELDAN, in his deep voice, intones, "Omthala's children, fruit of her loins, rise up and repel those who would harm Her servants!" It is as if the landscape comes alive, the dust and sand kicked up from battle swirling into clawed forms that menace the battlefield. What's more, the priest himself takes on a visage terrible to behold, his eyes flashing, his hair floating about his head in a great static-charged mane.

One Javelineer's heart stops in fright, and the Phalanxes scatter across the theater. Even poor Gan succumbs to this supernatural incarnation once again.

Keldan then retreats towards the butte, carefully picking his way through the rubble, the better to protect the wounded Messenger.


* Standard: Nature's Rebuff ClBl 5 M-Q/1-5, vs S1, r(10)+11=21 vs 17 Will. Hit. Vs S2, r(5)+11=16 vs 17 Will. Miss. Vs S3, r(15)+11=26 vs 17 Will. Hit. Vs G, r(5)+11=16 vs 22 Will (in Nature's Embrace aura). Miss. Vs M(Q1), r(18)+11=29 vs 20 Will. Hit. KILLED. Damage=r(2,7)+5 +10 to those Vulnerable to Blast. Half damage on Miss. 24 damage to S1 (BLOODIED), S3, 12 damage to S2, 7 to G. S1 pushed O6 to L6 (starts turn in DT and takes 5 damage), S2 pushed P3 to N-1 (off map), G pushed P3 to R1, S3 pushed Q3 to T-1 (off map).

* Move: O6 to N11 (avoiding DT)


LOCATION: N11
ALLIES LOCATION: G in R1
ENEMIES LOCATION: S1 in L6, S2 in N-1, S3 in T-1
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 24 to S1 S1 BLOODIED, S3, 12 to S2, M(Q1) KILLED
DAMAGE TO ALLIES: 7 to G
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S1 in DT and takes 5 damage Start of turn, S1 and S3 cannot move closer to K (SE)
CURRENT HP: 72/88
CURENT DE/BUFFS: Marked by S2, Nature's Rebuff dependent on Recharge




S1 44/88 S1 in DT and takes 5 damage Start of turn and cannot move closer to K (SE)
S2 65/88 Cursed, marked by Gan UtEoGNT.
S3 64/88 S3 cannot move closer to K (SE)

<MAP ALREADY UPDATED FOR IBHEA'S TURN AND NOT REVISING IT! IMAGINE MINION IN K1 AND I IN N13!>

1700516938579.png


ROUND 2




Though the phalanxes of Bladeling Legionnaires retreat from the Shepherd-Priest's primal incarnation, they do not halt their harrying of GAN, who endures their barbs and thrusts. The poor man seems both oblivious to these wounds and simultaneously terrified at this second transformation of his comrade. He barely defends himself and offers no counterattack to their challenge.

* Starts turn: Takes 7 OG damage

* Standard: Bastard Sword vs S3, r(5)+13=18 vs 24 AC. Miss.

* Ends turn: in Barbed Swarm aura, takes 3 damage. Saves vs OG damage, r(14). Succeeds. OG damage ends.


LOCATION: R1
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: na
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: Mark on S2 ends
CURRENT HP: 53/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Marked by S3 UEoS3NT, in Barbed Swarm aura, cannot Shift




The battlefield more to the whisky priest's liking, IBHEA darts forward, still wreathed in shadow. A painful point of blue-white light leaps from his starry halo in a smoky streak towards one of the Javelineers, whose quick reflexes allow it to evade death. But when a crackling black sphere gathers in Ibhea's hand and he hurls it at his foe, the Javelineer is not so lucky a second time.

* Move: N13 to N10, activates Shadow Walk

* Minor: Sustain Crown of Stars, attack vs M(K1), r(4)+11+2 Cunning Stalker =17 vs 20 Will. Miss.

* Standard: Hand of Blight Ranged 10 vs M(K1), r(10)+11+2 CS=23 vs 19 Fort. Hit. KILLED


LOCATION: N10
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: M(K1) KILLED
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S2 Cursed
CURRENT HP: 59/59
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Concealment from Shadow Walk (-2 Melee and ranged attacks vs I), +2 defenses vs attacks from S2 (Cursed, Armor of Dark Majesty), possible Cover from Ms attacks, in Nature's Embrace aura (+2 Will, Saves)
SURGES: 2/7




LOR JAVELINEER'S DELAYING UNTIL AFTER PHALANXES




The warrior before them seems as a mere stepping stone, but the priest's enchantment's hold. Consequently, the three LEGION OF RUTH PHALANXES charge Gan in unison, the brave human besieged on all sides by a devastating act of numbers, prowess, and discipline.


S1

* Beginning of Turn: Takes 5 damage from Brambleweed.

* Move: L6 (2 sq due to DT) to M5.

* Standard: Charge to Q2 and MBA (Razor Storm) vs G Ref: r(18) +11 +1 (charge) = 30. Hit. r(3, 2) +3 = 8 damage and OG 5 damage (SE). Effect: G is marked by S1 UtEoS2NT.

* End of Turn: Save vs NB (11). Success.


S2 (BLUE 2 X 2 SQUARE)

* Move: To N2.

* Standard: Charge to R1 and...

TRIGGER GAN OA (MBA BASTARD SWORD): r(19) + 13 = 32. Hit. r(4, 7) +5 = 16/2. 8 damage and S2 is marked UtEoGNT.

(Cont...) MBA Razor Storm vs G Ref: r(16) +11 +1 (charge) +2 (CA) = 30. r(3, 6) +3 = 12 damage and OG 7 damage (SE) due to G in occupied sq. Effect: G is marked by S2 UtEoS2NT. (G BLOODIED)


S3


* Standard: Razor Storm vs G Ref: r(2) +11 +2 (CA) = 15. Miss. Effect: G is marked by S3 UtEoS2NT.

* End of Turn: Save vs NB (7). Failure.


LOCATION: S1 in Q2. S2 in R1. S3 in T0.
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 20 damage to G
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: OG 7 damage (SE) to G. G in S1/2/3 Barbed Swarm aura. G marked by S3 UtEoS2NT.
CURRENT HP: S1 39/88. S2 57/88. S3 64/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: S2 Cursed, marked by Gan UtEoGNT. S3 Cannot move closer to K (SE)





When the phalanxes charge the lone human warrior, the LEGION OF RUTH JAVELINEER have their target. Gan's form is nearly blotted out by the barbed bladeling horde, so its impossible to know how well their volley does its deadly work.


M (G7)

* Move: G7 to H2.

* Standard: Javelin (R10) vs G's AC: r(5) +15 = 20. Miss.


M (F6)

* Move: F6 to H1.

* Standard: Javelin (R10) vs G's AC: r(9) +15 = 24. Hit. 9 damage to G (in occupied sq).


LOCATION: H1, H2
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 9 damage to G.




Filled still with the primal forces enlivened by Omthala's energy and light, KELDAN reads the life energies of the battlefield. Poor Gan is surrounded and sorely wounded, sure to fall soon. And the Bladelings and ravenous jackals are ascendant. Perhaps he can play nature against nature to save good, simple Gan?

He races across the battlefield, eyes still flashing, hair still floating in a vision of alpha primate taken to the maximum. "Leave off your meals, beasts!" he roars. "Do battle! Attack!" And the canines submissively oblige, charging as one to engulf poor Gan, snapping and biting at the Bladeling warriors all around him. But poor Gan suffers their assault too...


* Move: Run N11 to U10 (-5 attacks and grants CA USoKNT)

* Standard: Terrain Stunt--DOMINATE (NATURE) DESERT JACKALS (Swarm subtype)

Standard Action
Requirement: You must be adjacent to the desert jackals.
Check: Athletics/Nature check (DC 24) to dominate or scatter the jackals.
Success: The jackals charge up to 6 squares and make an attack in a CB1.
Failure: Take 5 damage and the jackals charge up to 6 squares and make an attack in a CB1.
Target: Each creature in burst.
Attack: +11 (+1) vs. Reflex
Hit: 3d6 +5 damage and the target takes -2 to all defenses (save ends)
Effect: The Desert Jackal hindering terrain is removed from play UtSoYNT.

Nature Skill check, r(16)+13=29 vs 24 DC. Success.

Jackals Charge X9 to T3. Atk vs S1, r(9)+11+1=21 vs 19 Reflex. Hit. Vs G, r(8)+11+1=20 vs 18 Reflex. Hit. Vs S2, r(12)+11+1=24 vs 19 Reflex. Hit. Vs S3, r(10)+11+1=22 vs 19 Reflex. Hit. Damage=r(1,2,6)+5=14 +10 Vulnerable Close for Ss (24). All Targets take -2 all defenses (SE). HT removed from play USoKNT. (S2 AND S3 BLOODIED)

LOCATION: U10
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 24 to S1, S2, S3. S2 AND S3 BLOODIED
DAMAGE TO ALLIES: 14 to G
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES AND ALLIES: -2 all defenses (SE)
CURRENT HP: 72/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: -5 ATK and grants CA USoKNT




S1 15/88 -2 all defenses (SE)
S2 33/88 -2 all defenses (SE), cursed.
S3 40/88 -2 all defenses (SE), cannot move closer to K (SE)

1700618715988.png


ROUND 3




The blades and sharp spikes of the mutants jab and prick at him. All around, a swarm of metallic foes. And then, suddenly, growls and snarls. A ferocious avalanche of snapping canines. It is too much for the simple man. GAN covers his head with his arms, emits a pitiful wail, and retreats from the scrum, the Bladeling warriors' spears and blades stabbing and plunging as he goes.

* Starts turn: Takes 7 OG damage. Hobbling Strike Recharge roll, r(3). Fails to recharge.

* Standard: Second Wind. Spends a Surge and regains 22 HP. +2 all defenses USoGNT

* Move: R1 to R6. TRIGGERS OAs FROM S1, S2, & S3

S1, Razor Storm Phalanx vs G, r(17)+11=28 vs 18 (-2 jackal debuff, +2 Second Wind) Reflex. Hit for r(3,1)+3=7 damage & 7 OG damage. G Marked by S1.

S2 Razor Storm Phalanx vs G, r(3)+11=14 vs 18 (-2 jackal debuff, +2 SW) Reflex. Miss. G Marked by S2.

S3 Razor Storm Phalanx vs G, r(17)+11=28 vs 18 (-2 jackal debuff, +2 SW) Reflex. Hit for r(5,6)+3=14 damage and 7 OG. G Marked by S3.

* Ends turn: Saves vs OG 7 damage, r(16). Success. Saves vs jackal debuff, r(9). Fails.

LOCATION: R6
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: na
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: na
CURRENT HP: 4/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Marked by S3, -2 defenses (SE), +2 defenses USoGNT (Second Wind)




IBHEA cooly watches the big man retreat from battle. He has come to like Gan, whose sometimes childlike candor and approach to whatever life presents him has made him an unusual but effective spokesperson in Dolg Hana's affairs. Is he to meet his fate here, in the yellow hills outside Dolg Olsolis? Not without the whisky priest defending him, that's for sure!

A painful point of blue-white light leaps from the halo about Ibhea's head in a streak of choking smoke and fells one of the remaining Javelineers where it menaces. "May the Black Flames of Delban sear your souls from this realm!" he bellows across the battlefield at the closest phalanx of mutants, hurling a black sphere that crackles with cold and necrotic energies, assaulting their minds as well as bodies, killing them to the last.

Will it be enough to save poor Gan?


* Minor: Sustain Crown of Stars, Atk vs M(H2), r(8)+11+1 Prime Shot=20 vs 20 Will. M(H2) KILLED

* Minor: Warlock's Curse on S1

* Standard: Hand of Blight R10 vs S1, r(4)+11=15 vs 19 Fort. Miss. TRIGGERS HEROIC EFFORT

* No action. Effect: You gain a +4 racial bonus to the attack roll or saving throw. 15-->19. Hit.

* No Action: Spend Fell Might for +1d8 extra damage, r(4,5)+6 necrotic and psychic damage +r(3) WC + r(6) Mindbite Scorn

* Free Action: expend 2 Charges Gloves of Eldritch Admixture Encounter Power for +2d6, r(3,4)=7 cold damage =31/2=15 cold, necrotic, & psychic damage to S1. S1 KILLED

LOCATION: N10
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 15 cold, necrotic & psychic to S1, S1 KILLED, M(H2) KILLED
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S2 Cursed
CURRENT HP: 59/59
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: +2 all defenses vs attacks from S2 (Cursed, Armor of Dark Majesty)
SURGES: 2/7




There is a sense of profound respect oozing across the battlefield. Fellow men-at-arms who have risked their lives for their comrades endlessly, the members of the LEGION OF RUTH PHALANXES understand the extraordinary bravery of the human before them. There is no quarter given, but neither is there disrespect.

The mood is solemn as Gan's fate closes in upon him.



S2

* Standard: Charge to R5 and MBA Razor Storm vs G Ref: r(3) +11 +1 (charge) -2 (Jackals) = 13. Miss. Effect: G is marked by S2 UtEoS2NT.

* End of Turn: Save vs Jackals (15). Succeeds.


S3

* End of Turn: Save vs NB (11). Succeeds. Save vs Jackals (5). Fails.


LOCATION: S2 in R5. S3 in T0.
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: na
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: G in S2 Barbed Swarm aura. G marked by S2 UtEoS2NT.
CURRENT HP: S2 33/88. S3 40/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: S2 Cursed. S3 -2 all defenses (SE)






The last of the LEGION OF RUTH JAVELINEERs finds footing, takes aim...and strikes true.

There is a collective, subtle inhale across the battlefield as Gan falls to his knees. A bladeling member of the phalanx before him steps forward, places a caring hand on the shoulder of Gan and looks the near-death human in the eye.

"Go to your god with glory."

A quick twist of the javelin and a sharp inhale of breath signals that Gan will not suffer.

The legionnaires carefully and respectfully move around Gan's fallen body as another charge looms.



M (H1)

* Move: H1 to H-1

* Standard: Javelin (R10) vs G's AC: r(13) +15 = 28. Hit. 8 damage to G. GAN SLAIN.


LOCATION: H-1
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 8 damage to G. GAN SLAIN.




KELDAN shouts, "NOOOOOOOOooooo," trailing off in a guttural choke as he witnesses Gan fall. Gan, who was so good with the Frill-Boned Yak, so forthright and honest.

Keldan calls out, "Goddess, sear these foes, for, despite their honor, they have cut short the life of one who should not have died here, a martyr in the pursuit of righteous deliverance!" A ray of light streaks out at his foes, and then, like the shepherd defending his flock from the mountain predator, which he is, Keldan charges forward, around the jackals and their grisly feast, brandishing his scythe with menace.


* Standard: Omthala's Wrath R5 vs S2, r(8)+11=19 vs 19 Reflex. Hit, r(4,4)+2=10/2=5 radiant damage and S2 dazed UEoKNT

* Move: U10 to U5, avoiding HT and out if its area of Effect

LOCATION: U5
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 5 radiant to S2
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S2 dazed UEoKNT
CURRENT HP: 69/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: na




S2 25/88 Cursed, dazed UEoKNT.
S3 40/88 -2 all defenses (SE)

1700699687070.png


ROUND 4




Perhaps it's shock. Or the araq still clouding his senses. But IBHEA feels almost nothing as Gan falls, even though that could have been him a few moments ago.

The whisky priest strides resolutely between the rubble, approaching the foes who took down the big man. "These Legionnaires won't escape what they've done," he calls out to Keldan. "Keep fighting, and I swear that before it consumes us, we'll burn our pain to ash in the fires of vengeance."

A mote of burning blue-white light streaks from his halo, striking down the Javelineer who cast the mortal blow.

Then a great conflagration erupts around Ibhea, encircling him and burning past even the native resistance to fire these Bladelings, with their metallic forms, are born with, burning them to cinders. He lets out a deranged and haughty laugh.


<I forgot to note in last move that Ibhea regained his Fell Might when S1 fell, though that has no impact this turn.>


* Move: N10 to R6, activates Shadow Walk.

* Minor: Sustain Crown of Stars, Atk vs M, r(20)=CRIT. M KILLED

* Standard: Flame Spiral, ClBu2, vs S2, r(9)+11+2 CA +2 Cunning Stalker=24 vs 19 Reflex. Hit, r(6)+6 +r(4) WC +r(2) MS +10 Vulnerable burst=28 fire and psychic damage (no Resist to dual-typed damage). S2 KILLED

TRIGGERS ROD OF CORRUPTION PROPERTY

Whenever your pact boon is triggered, instead of taking its normal benefit you can transfer your Warlock's Curse to each enemy within 5 squares of the original target. S3 now Cursed.

* Ends turn: In Nature's Embrace aura

LOCATION: R6
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 28 fire & psychic damage to S1, S2 KILLED, M KILLED
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: S3 Cursed
CURRENT HP: 59/59
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Concealment, +2 Will and Saves, +2 defenses vs attacks from S3 (Armor of DM)
SURGES: 2/7




Whether its the ferocious reprisal of the pair of priests or the withering toll that this fight and a thousand others takes on a body, the last LEGION OF RUTH PHALANXES finds their charge has faltered. Keldan and Ibhea stand before them unscathed, unphased.


S3

* Standard: Charge to U4 and Razor Storm vs K Ref: r(3) +11 +1 (charge) = 15. Miss. Effect: G is marked by S3 UtEoS2NT.

* End of Turn: Save vs Jackals (6). Fails.


LOCATION: S3 in U4.
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: na
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: K in S3 Barbed Swarm Aura. K marked by S3 UtEoS2NT.
CURRENT HP: S3 40/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: S3 Cursed, -2 all defenses (SE)




All around him, the natural world seems to radiate with Omthala's life-giving energy: the sand and stone and very molecules of air seem to support Omthala's clergy in their fight against the Bladeling horde. And so the pastoralist bravely stands against the remaining Legionnaires, swinging his scythe in a wide arc to hold them at bay--and opening some nasty wounds, as well! But their formation is too tight and regimented for KELDAN to maneuver the enemy into position for Ibhea's own attack.

* Standard: Sweeping Scythe vs S3, r(12)+13=25 vs 22 (debuffed) AC. Hit, r(7,1)+7=15/2=7 damage. Cannot slide S3 due to Melee attack.

* Ends turn: In Barbed Swarm Aura, takes 3 damage

LOCATION: U5
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 7 damage to S3
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: na
CURRENT HP: 66/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: In Barbed Swarm Aura, Cannot Shift




S3 33/88 Cursed, -2 all defenses (SE)

1700884368390.png


ROUND 5




IBHEA reads what he takes to be a mix of grief, determination, and frustration writ across Keldan's face. While his fellow priest still holds hope, Ibhea must act!

A flaring point of blue-white starlight blasts from the halo about his head in an explosion of smoke and sound, striking a Bladeling mutant full in the face.

High above, a thick cottonball of cloud occludes the sun, and the whisky priest wreathes himself in the shadow cast onto the battlefield and circles, carefully, upon the remaining members of the phalanx.

Then he calls out, "Radiant Omthala, do not think the Messenger of Your Son has forsaken you in his quest to bring His Black Flames to our world! You have still my devotion, and I beg for your intercession against these infidels." The cloud passes overhead. The sun reveals itself, flooding the theater with sudden light and heat. Ibhea's holy symbol seems to attract this light and then radiate it out again, blasting the remaining Bladelings from the field.


* Minor: Sustain Crown of Stars, attack vs S3, r(12)+11÷23 vs 15 (debuffed) Will. Hit, 5/2=2 radiant damage to S3.

* Move: R6 to S3, avoiding threatened squares and activating Shadow Walk. Now Flanking S3 with K.

* Standard: Shining Symbol CBl3 in TUV/432, atk vs S3, r(12)+11 +2 CA= 25 vs 15 (debuffed) Will. Hit, r(4)+6 +r(6) WC +r(6) MS +10 Vulnerable Blast=32 psychic and radiant damage.

* Free: Arcane Prodigy, Effect: You gain a +2 bonus to your next damage roll. 32-->34 damage, S3 KILLED

LOCATION: S3
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 34 psychic and radiant to S3, S3 KILLED
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES-2 attacks UEoINT for S3 (irrelevant)
CURRENT HP: 59/59
CURRENT DE/BUFFS, Concealment, +2 all defenses vs S3's attacks (Armor of DM), +2 Will and Saves (in Nature's Embrace aura)
SURGES: 2/7




COMBAT RESOLVED
 
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Nephis

Adventurer
Cudgel still in hand, ARUNNY stands stunned, staring at her two lost family members. As soon as Uzmehr seems able to stand on his own - albeit on very shaky legs, the figure supporting him lets go and steps back.

The young priestess rushes forward, hands outstretched, and her father weakly grasps them to maintain his balance. They stare at each in shocked joy, disbelieving their sight.

"Father!" Arunny whispers. "Mehtapchichek!" (my little moonflower) Uzmehr answers. Together they gasp, simultaneously, "it's truly you!"

After a beat that seems timeless and too short, they turn as one to regard the still shrouded figure, standing nearby. Arunny's mind is alive with scent of the explosions of thousands of tiny stars. One contains the thought of whether or not she only imagined the sound of Ahaan's voice earlier, alerting her to their father's plight.

That thought explosion releases the scent of a memory: that of a more obscure meaning for her brother's name. Ahaan is commonly understood to mean "auspicious dawn" and other, similar meanings. But it also refers to "one who is of the nature of time itself."

Has he somehow been transformed? What does his shroud hide? Does she truly want to know: can she? Should she? Will it drive her mad? Is he actually, truly here, at this moment?

"Ahaan?"



AHAAN's hands would be trembling if they were within the bounds of his sister and father's perception.

He seems to realize that they cannot detect those hands so he pulls them from the heavy, entombing sleeves they are clad in.

He then holds what he sees up to his shrouded face seemingly to confirm what he already knows.

Wraithlike, those hands that just wielded a deadly blade for the life of his father are barely there...blinking out of this existence.

He reaches for the hilt of his blade. Only able to manifest the will or physical strength (who knows which) to heft it for a moment, all eyes follow the weapon as it crashes to the ground with the metallic sound of steel on stone.

He pulls back his cowl and his golden mane, his eyes, his face...all barely there...

"Nerull, you are too swift to claim your prize..." he whispers...



As ARUNNY stoops to pick up the fallen short sword of her twin, she glances upward at his face, back-lit by Her Light. The Seer notices a halo of Moonlight surrounding Ahaan's shrouded head, a wispy ring of rabbits, head to tail, the Celestial Messengers of Maba.

This sight is somewhat reassuring, for it feels like a good omen, that the Moon Maiden's protection has not utterly left her brother. That something can still be done to combat whatever has apparently happened to him, is still happening.

Still kneeling at his feet, holding the sword, the priestess watches the ring of Rabbits dancing around his silhouetted head. One skips slightly, another limps. Less hopeful, then.

She remembers their own battle with Nerull, hers with Ibhea and Qamra, and the experience of being cursed by his high priest. During their journey, Maba had entered her dreams, telling the Seer that she has been healed, the debt has been paid.

Paid how? Her brother's state seems evidence of payment: has her curse been transferred to her twin?

"Dear Heart, what has happened to you? How can we help you?" Arunny asks him, for there must be a way.

She has only just found him: she can not lose him now.



AHAAN's apparitional hand reaches far from the folds of his heavy sleeves. Like a phantom, he grazes his sister's own hand with the smallest of touch.

She sees images of her brother much younger than he is on this date, so she must be glimpsing the past.

A spectral figure bearing a scythe in one hand and an hourglass in the other can only be Nerull the Reaper or some terrible, yet lesser, manifestation. The thing whispers to her young brother. Tells him of this thing that will come to pass with his father many years from now and that he himself will perish in pursuit before Ahaan finds him in the far-flung desert and delivers him from this terrible Caiphonian fate that will befall him. That the only way is to pledge his soul to Nerull and the bleak deity of time and death will give him a second life so that he might be the salvation for both his father and sister in their moment of greatest need.

Ahaan senses that this is not mere circumstance...that Nerull's offer is from a place of spite...of ire...that some event would transpire in the future or perhaps had transpired in the past...that only Nerull knew of. That there was a harboring of vengeance animating the deity toward something wicked, something vile.

But it didn't matter. Ahaan instinctively understood that the portent that was before him was the truth. And so he took it up without even a moment worth of consideration. His soul for the deliverance of his father and sister? A small price to pay.



ARUNNY frowns at the "vision" she receives, courtesy her brother's spectral touch, for while she can hear the overtones of citrus, attesting to Ahaan's "truth," that his understanding of his circumstance is the correct one, she can also sense earthier undertones of falsehood, not unlike Ibhea's whiskey.

The Seer pulls forward other memories, some long forgotten, some completely unknown - wisps of memory woven in from her father's store. She watches the Moonlight continue to swirl its wisps: is the Maiden giving her these, or her consort?

Suddenly, a picture superimposes itself over the vision given by her brother. In it Arunny sees the great tapestry of their lives, hers, Ahaan's, and even Uzmehr's, and within that woven cloth, a figure holds the two ends of a broken strand of the weft, holding them eternally connected.

The female figure raises her head and stares steadily at Arunny: her mother. The priestess gasps as comprehension blooms in her mind, understanding the sacrifice her mother made. Falling are scales of the false mythology of her mother leaving their too human life: here is proof.

The Seer places her arm around the nebulous figure of her brother and calls out, "Nerull! The sacrifice has already been made! You cannot receive the price twice: release my brother! He is the son of Uzmehr Dark Moon and is not yours to have. The one who was once known as being of the Nature of Time itself will be taken outside of time and transformed by the Maiden and her Consort."

After a moment, Arunny repeats, more emphatically, "he is not yours to have!"

 
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A disembodied voice like a shadowed whisper.

"You dare..."

Time seems to stand still momentarily. A chill wind suddenly howls and vanishes. The space around Ahaan's increasingly spectral body becomes imbued by shadow-stuff, elongated and phantasmal hands pulling him into a dark nexus as he tries to resist.

"Very well. The Lord of All Moments, Here and Hereafter hears your plea. Today I will claim all souls of your family forevermore, priest. Proceed on your way to oblivion's embrace..."

Shadowy exarchs of NERULL emerge from the dark portal. Yet...silver hands, those you instinctively know of your mother, emerge from the same portal and desperately attempt to fend the necrotic-imbued hands from your brother.





@Nephis

MECHANICS

* UZMEHR BELOW:

Uzmehr
Medium natural humanoid
Level 8 Controller (Leader) XP 350
HP 88; Bloodied 44 Initiative +5
AC 22, Fortitude 20, Reflex 20, Will 20 Perception+5
Speed 6

Traits
Protected by Grace
Uzmehr gains a +2 bonus to all defenses while he is adjacent to an ally.

Standard Actions
(⚔) Quarterstaff of Grace (divine, weapon) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +13 vs. AC
Hit: 2d8 + 7 damage and the target is pulled 2 sqs toward Silvered Hands.

ᗕ Omthala's Rebuke (divine) ✦ Recharge 6
Attack: Close burst 5 (enemies in the burst); +11 vs. Will
Hit: The target cannot use a standard action during its next turn.

Appoint Champion ✦ At-Will
Effect: Close burst 10 (one ally in the burst); the target makes a basic attack as a free action and shifts 1 square before or after the attack.

Inspirational Authority ✦ Recharge 6
Effect: Close burst 10 (one ally in the burst); the target uses an at-will, encounter, or recharge attack power as a free action.

Skills Diplomacy +12, Dungeoneering +10, Religion +12

Str 15 (+6) Dex 12 (+5) Wis 12 (+5)
Con 12 (+5) Int 14 (+6) Cha 16 (+7)

Languages Common , Elven
Equipment: quarterstaff , cloth armor .

* AHAAN (blue square P8): All characters can move through or occupy this space.

* BROTHER BOUND: Ahaan's increasingly spectral form is vanishing from this world, being pulled into Nerull's realm of the dead in fulfillment of their contract long ago. You have 5 rounds to resolve an of-level, complexity 1 SC to unbind Ahaan from his contract with Nerull and the eternal fate before him. Below are the actions and their particulars:

Level 8, Complexity 1 SC. 1 Secondary Skill (no range, Minor Action, DC 12). 4 Primary Skill (DC 16) Successes before 3 Failures or End of Round 5 (whichever comes first).

Primary Skills:

Rebuke Nerull's Contract: History or Intimidate (standard action, range 5 from Ahaan).

Physical Intercession (Encounter/Single-Use): Athletics or Endurance (move action, adjacent to Spectral Hands Hindering Terrain).

Invoke Moon Maiden: Arcana, Nature, or Religion (standard action while standing in one of the altar's squares).

Maternal Plea: Diplomacy (standard action, adjacent to Mother's Silvered Hands Terrain).


SUCCESS: Ahaan's soul is welcomed into Omthala's bosom. Arunny, Qamra, and Uzmehr gain Omthala's Grace; 10 THP, +2 Power Bonus to attack, and all attacks deal +1d6 radiant damage UtEotE.

FAILURE: Ahaan's soul is dragged forevermore into Nerull's Land of Timeless Death. Mother's Silvered Hands disappears and Arunny, Qamra, and Uzmehr gain Nerull's Scorn; -2 defenses UtEotE.


* DEADLY FALL: Squares that are completely sky indicate a fall that will outright kill you with maximum fall damage. These squares are hindering terrain.

* JAGGED ROCKS: Any creature without phasing who begins their turn in the Hindering Terrain of the Razor Rocks takes 5 damage. Taking a move action on these rocks requires a DC 16 Acrobatics/Athletics check or you fall prone.

* DIFFICULT TERRAIN: Stairs are deeply pocked and with large, uneven risers.

* ILLUMINATION: The yellow circle is fully illuminated by the light of the moon. Creatures outside of that have Partial Concealment unless you have lowlight vision or better. The squares under the trees fully block the light of the moon due to the density of their canopy. Those squares are Total Concealment unless you have lowlight vision or better. These trees are not climb-worthy, but they can provide Cover.

* PHANTASMAL HANDS (Black Square): This Hindering Terrain is also Difficult Terrain for heroes. This terrain has no effect on Nerull's minions. Effect: Whenever Arunny, Qamra or Uzmehr start their turn adjacent to or in a square of phantasmal hands, they take 5 necrotic damage and they're grabbed (escape DC 16).

* MOTHER'S SILVERED HANDS (Yellow Square): This is Hindering Terrain for your enemies. Effect: Whenever Nerull's minions start their turn adjacent to or in a square of mother's silvered hands, they take 5 radiant damage.

* (N) Nerull's Phantasm x 1 (Elite Controller; large shadow, undead): 172 HP, AC 22, Fortitude 20, Reflex 21, Will 20

* (R) Shadow Reavers x 3 (Standard Lurker; medium shadow, undead): 70 HP, AC 22, Fortitude 19, Reflex 22, Will 20

* Place Arunny, Qamra, and your father Uzmehr in squares M-O/6 or on the stairs L7/8.

INITIATIVE

(R) Shadow Reavers: 21 (DELAYING UNTIL AFTER NERULL'S PHANTASM)
(N) Nerull's Phantasm: 18
(Q) Qamra: r(4) + 8 = 12
(A) Arunny: r(1) + 10 = 11
(U) Uzmehr: r(5) + 5 = 10


1700808553542.png


ROUND 1




Monster Knowledge (Religion by Uzmehr) check (No Action): Shadow Reavers: r(6) + 12 = 18. Passes Medium DC.

* Shadow Reaver x 3: Medium shadow (undead), Speed 6, darkvision, necrotic, healing, polymorph

Monster Knowledge (Religion by Uzmehr) check (No Action): Nerull's Phantasm: r(17) + 12 = 29. Passes Hard DC.

* Nerull's Phantasm
Large shadow (undead)
Level 8 Elite Controller XP 700
HP 172; Bloodied 86 Initiative +9
AC 22, Fortitude 20, Reflex 21, Will 20 Perception+7
Speed 5 darkvision
Vulnerable 10 radiant; Resist 10 necrotic
Saving Throws +2; Action Points 1

Standard Actions
(⚔) Death Strand ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 3 (one creature); +11 vs. Reflex
Hit: 2d6 + 3 necrotic damage, the phantasm slides the target 2 squares and the target is immobilized (SE).

⚔ Strand Flurry ✦ At-Will
Effect: The phantasm uses death strand twice.

⚔ Out of Space and Time (psychic) ✦ Recharge when the phantasm has no creature out of space and time
Attack: Close Burst 5 (one creature immobilized from time strand); +11 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 4d6 + 11 psychic damage and immobilized ends but the target is out of space and time (SE). While out of space and time, the target is removed from play, and it takes ongoing 10 psychic damage. When the effect ends or the phantasm drops to 0 hit points, the target appears in an unoccupied square of its choice adjacent to the phantasm.

Minor Actions
ᗕ Temporal Superposition ✦ At-Will (1/round)
Attack: Close burst 5 (enemy in the burst); +11 vs. Will
Hit: The phantasm slides the target up to 4 squares.

Athletics +8




SHADOW REAVERS DELAY UNTIL AFTER NERULL'S PHANTASM




The air grows supernaturally cold. Far colder than the windswept night at altitude that the Moon Maiden's altar typically has on terrestrial offer.

As an extension of its deific master, NERULL'S PHANTASM reaches out with time's many fated offerings and with black, snaking shadowstuff from the land of the dead. Qamra is pulled into the dark nexus of shadowy hands which grope at Ahaan while Arunny is grasped and yanked to the phantasm with choking death.



* Move Action: U6 to P5.

* Minor Action: Temporal Superposition (CBu5; enemy) vs Q's Will: r(16) +11 = 27. Hit. Q slides 4 sq into Hindering Terrain (Phantasmal Hands); Q7 (player declines save for prone outside).

* Standard Action: Strand Flurry; Death Strand (M3) vs Q's and A's Reflex: r(8, 17) + 11 = 19, 28. Miss Q and Hit A.

TRIGGERS DIMENSIONAL VORTEX (IMMEDIATE INTERRUPT); QAMRA

Despite being assaulted by the phantasmic reflection of Nerull and subsequently held in the grasp of the Spectral Hands, QAMRA is somehow able to focus within her young but disciplined fighter's body and herself grasp the threatening Shadow.

Shivering slightly at the cold and greasy sensation her skin sends her mind, the Radiant Shamshar uses her Goddess-given power to pull the shadowy figure through one of Her vortices and reappear adjacent to one of his own allies to deliver the blow meant for Arunny onto this hapless soldier. Admittedly it seems to affect the shadow reaver with less force than would have been given to her mentor.

No matter: the young warrior opens herself up as a conduit for Her Radiant energies, thrusting them deeply into the Phantasm, causing a recoiling in the Shadow. A momentary interruption, to be sure, but she will take what she can get. This is sure to be another difficult struggle for them to endure.


* Triggered Action: Immediate Interrupt: Dimensional Vortex: Trigger: enemy hits ally with Melee attack; Effect: Qamra transports target (Nerull's Phantasm) 5 squares to O10. Target makes Melee attack against R3; NP ATK vs R3 = 28. Hits. r(6, 2) +3 = 11 necrotic - 10 (Resist 10 Necrotic) = 1 necrotic damage to R3, slides to Q8, immobilized (SE). Qamra’s ATK vs. N: ClBu10 (triggering enemy/N) vs. Will: r(16) + 11 = 27 vs. 20 Will/hit; Damage: r(5) + 9/Radiant + 10/Vulnerable = 24 HP & N is subject to Q's Divine Sanction UEoQNT.


LOCATION: O10
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: na
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: Q in Phantasmal Hands HT after slide 4.
CURRENT HP: 148/172
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Subject to Q's Divine Sanction UEoQNT, in Silvered Hands at beginning of next turn (5 radiant +10 = 15 radiant damage).




Looking the part of a spectral humanoid with elongated features, no discernible mouth, and white slits as eyes the trio of SHADOW REAVERS are darkness incarnate, shadows turned substance. The dictates of their deathly overlord is instruction to lay low the small knight, the odd vanguard of the heroes. One of the ghastly creatures finds a way through Qamra's defenses, staggering her with an otherworldly touch that pierces flesh and seems to harvest her very soul...

After the assault, the shadows turned substance are substance no more, turning into spectral figures barely of this world.


R1

* Move Action: R4 to Q6.

* Standard Action: Lifedraw (M2) vs Q's Fort: r(11) +11 +2 (CA) = 24. Hit. r(6, 6) +8 = 20 necrotic damage and Q loses 1 healing surge and is weakened (SE). R1 deals +1d6 damage UtEoNT.

Lifedraw (healing, necrotic) ✦ Recharge when a creature adjacent to the reaver becomes bloodied
Attack: Melee 2 (one creature granting combat advantage to the reaver); +11 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 2d10 + 8 necrotic damage, and the target loses a healing surge and is weakened (save ends). The reaver deals +1d6 damage UtEoNT.

* Minor Action: Insubstantial Transformation. Effect: The reaver becomes insubstantial and gains fly 6 (hover) and phasing until it attacks or it becomes dazed, stunned, or unconscious. Insubstantial: The pale reaver takes half damage from all attacks, except those that deal force or radiant damage.

Insubstantial Transformation (polymorph) ✦ At-Will
Effect: The reaver becomes insubstantial and gains fly 6 (hover) and phasing until it attacks or it becomes dazed, stunned, or unconscious.
Insubstantial: The pale reaver takes half damage from all attacks, except those that deal force or radiant damage.

R2

* Move Action: T8 to R7.

* Standard Action: Deadly Flit (M2) vs Q's AC: r(6) +13 = 19. Miss.

(⚔) Deadly Flit (necrotic) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 2 (one creature); +13 vs. AC
Hit: 2d6 + 7 necrotic damage.

* Minor Action: Insubstantial Transformation. Effect: The reaver becomes insubstantial and gains fly 6 (hover) and phasing until it attacks or it becomes dazed, stunned, or unconscious. Insubstantial: The pale reaver takes half damage from all attacks, except those that deal force or radiant damage.

R3

* Standard Action: Lifedraw (M2) vs Q's Fort: r(2) +11 +2 (CA) = 15. Miss

* Minor Action: Insubstantial Transformation. Effect: The reaver becomes insubstantial and gains fly 6 (hover) and phasing until it attacks or it becomes dazed, stunned, or unconscious. Insubstantial: The pale reaver takes half damage from all attacks, except those that deal force or radiant damage.

* End of Turn: Saving Throw vs Immobilized; r(13). Succeeds.


LOCATION: R1 in Q6. R2 in R7. R3 in Q8.
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: Q takes 20 necrotic damage.
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: Q loses 1 HS and is weakened (SE)
CURRENT HP: R1 @ 70/70, R2 @ 70/70, R3 @ 69/70
CURRENT BUFFS: R1 gains +1d6 damage UtEoR3NT. Insubstantial Transformation all.
CURRENT DEBUFFS: R1 and R3 Lifedraw Exhaust (until adjacent creature bloodied).




Nausea from attack of the shadowy figure almost masks the sickly cold of the spectral arms grabbing and holding QAMRA, but the young warrior endures these nasty sensations and fights on to physically intercede with Nerull's efforts. She twists her body, pulling the arms even closer to her ... and away from her mentor's beloved brother.

Then, the Radiant Shamshar summons courage and strength from the cleaner glow of silver hands just beyond Ahaan's ghostly figure. Thus emboldened, she first calls out a Challenge to all of Nerull's surrogates present here, before unleasing her Lady's Radiant rebuke on those closest.

Spent by her efforts, she bends over to wretch.


* Begins turn in Spectral Hands: takes 5 Necrotic and is Grabbed (DC 16)

* Move Action: Physical Intercession: Qamra makes Endurance Skill check vs 16 DC: r(16) + 12 = 28/Success #1

* Minor Action: Call of Challenge: ClBu3 (enemies in burst); Effect: N, R1, R2, R3 all subject to Qamra’s Divine Sanction UEoQNT

* Standard Action: Radiant Burst: ClBu1 (creatures in burst): ATK vs. Reflex: vs R1: r(8) + 11 = Miss; vs R2: r(14) + 11 = 25 vs 22 Reflex/Hit; vs R3: r(6) + 11 = Miss; Damage to R2: (r(3) + 8 Radiant + 10 Vulnerable) ÷ 2 Weakened = 10 HP

The SHADOW REAVER hisses and flails as its substance returns...

TRIGGERS R2 Radiant Sensitivity
Whenever the reaver takes radiant damage, it loses insubstantial and cannot use insubstantial transformation until the end of its next turn.


* Save vs Weakened: r(4)/Fail

LOCATION: Q7
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: R2: 10 Damage
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: N, R1, R2, & R3 all subject to Q's Divine Sanction UEoQNT
CURRENT HP: 48/73
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Adjacent to/in Spectral Hands/Grabbed; Weakened (SE), R2 loses insubstantial transformation UtEoINT.
SURGES: 10/12




As Omthala's Searing Voice analyzes the battleground, both within and without, she can sense a shift inside her psyche: she is not only the Queen on the board, but ARUNNY has become the Chessmaster's Surrogate as well. Pushing that realization to the background, the priestess focuses on the here and now ... while it exists. She also resolutely ignores the probable outcome for her twin - along with her understanding of why he is here in the now. Nerull thinks he knows, but he is very wrong.

Returning her attention to studying the board, Their Radiant Player grants succor to the wounded, her eyes darting back and forth, strategizing how best to punish Their Opponent's pieces. Seeing an opening, she throws a wave of Thundering cacophony at those pieces, hitting half, one critically. This gives her the opportunity to move several of Their own pieces into place.

With determination, Arunny moves herself into place, hoping her attack will encourage Their wounded Knight across from her. Their Opponent's Queen is distracted, but the poor Knight remains weakened.


* Minor Action: Healing Word (Enc): ClBu5 on Qamra: effect Q spends Surge/regains 18 + r(3) = 21 HP & +2 ATK UEoANT

* Standard Action: Tide of First Storm (Enc): ATK vs Reflex/Bu2 w/in 10 (focused on Ahaan's square/P8): vs. N: r(6) + 12 = Miss; vs. R1: r(20) + 12 = Crit. Hit; vs. R2: r(5) + 12 = Miss; vs. R3: r(15) + 12 = 27 vs. 22 Ref/Hit. Damage: R3: r(3) + 7 Thunder + 5 Fire (Omthala's Crucible power: 1st power A hits during Enc w/Holy Symbol = +5 Fire) = 15 & Slowed UEoANT: R1 (Crit): 18 + r(5,4) = 27 & Slowed

* Move Action: 4 squares (2 DT) to M9

* AP for Standard Action: Brand of the Sun vs. N: r(6) + 14 + 2CA = 22 vs. 22 AC/Hit; Damage: r(3) + 7 Radiant + 10 Vulnerable = 20; Effect: Qamra makes Saving Throw vs. Weakened: r(1)/Fail.


LOCATION M9; U = K9; Q=P9
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: N: 20; R1: 27; R3: 15
UEoANT
CONDITIONS R1 & R3 = Slowed UEoANT
CURRENT HP: 59/59; Q +21 HP
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Q +2 ATK/UEoANT (HW)
SURGES: 9/11




As UZMEHR feels himself gently ushered up the stairs, he turns back to observe the activity below. His anxiety is heightened as he witnesses shadowy figures threatening his children and their very youthful ally. Should he return and fight alongside them?

Then he sees the child wrench the shadowy tendrils from his son's specter, his daughter's powerful slam against the larger shadow. A silver hand points up the stairs, urgently gesturing.

Uzmehr breathes inspiration from the Maiden, whose Temple's steps he is now ascending, and - waving his staff in his daughter's direction - sends Her authority into Arunny, giving her an opening to both strike a Radiant blow and strengthen her young comrade.

Satisfied that he has done what he can for this moment, he takes one more step upward, seeking higher ground for his next act.


* Inspirational Authority (Recharge 6/ClBu10, one ally): Effect: target (Arunny) uses at-will, encounter, or recharge ATK power as Free Action: Arunny: Brand of Sun vs. N: r(18) + 14 + 2CA = 34 vs 22 AC/Hit; Damage: r(2) + 7 Radiant + 10 Vulnerable = 19 HP; Effect: Qamra makes Saving Throw vs. Weakened: r(19)/Success

* Move Action: 1 squares to K10

LOCATION: K10
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: (via Arunny): N: 19 Damage
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: n/a
CURRENT HP: 88/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Qamra no longer Weakened




NP 109/172 Subject to Q's Divine Sanction UEoQNT, in Silvered Hands at beginning of next turn (5 radiant +10 = 15 radiant damage).
R1 43/70 +1d6 damage UtEoR3NT, Lifedraw Exhaust, Slowed UEoANT, Insubstantial
R2 60/70 Insubstantial Transformation unavailable UtEoNT
R3 54/70 Lifedraw Exhaust, Insubstantial, Slowed UEoANT

BROTHER BOUND SC: 1 Success/0 Failures/Physical Intercession exhausted/4 rounds remaining

1700950435337.png


ROUND 2




Silvered Hands flay the dark form of Nerull's worldly embodiment. Arunny hammers it with her cudgel while Qamra's radiant rebuke staggers it.

Yet, at the end of the furious exchange, NERULL'S PHANTASM is surrounding the small knight of Omthala with its terrible allies while the radiant form of Arunny has vanished into a pocket realm!


* Beginning of Turn: Silvered Hands Hindering Terrain; 5 radiant +10 = 15 radiant damage.

* Standard Action: Strand Flurry; Death Strand (M3) vs Q's and A's Reflex: r(18, 9) + 11 -2 vs A (marked by Q) = 29, 18. Hit Q and Hit A (individual attacks so separate damage rolls).

MULTIPLE TRIGGERS:

1) Q'S DIVINE SANCTION FOR HITTING A - NO ACTION; 5 radiant + 10 Vuln = 15 radiant damage to NP
.

2) A'S BATTLE AWARENESS FOR HITTING Q W/ A MELEE ATTACK - IMM INTERRUPT;

As soon as ARUNNY senses the Phantasm attack her young charge, Omthala's Searing Voice screams an eldritch cry and slams it with her Cudgel and slides it further into the grasping hands of monnlight silver.

* Triggered Action: Battle Awareness (Enc): Trigger: enemy adjacent to you shifts or makes attack that does not include you; Effect: make a MBA against target: Eldritch Strike as MBA (Enc): r(9) + 14 + 2CA = 25 vs. 22 AC/Hit; Damage: r(10) +7 = 17, and Slide N 1 square to O9. (NP BLOODIED)


NP Cont...vs Q; r(2,6) + 3 = 11 necrotic damage, the phantasm slides Q 2 squares in Hindering Terrain of Phantasmal Hands to Q7 and Q is immobilized (SE)...TRIGGERS SAVE TO FALL PRONE IN CURRENT SQUARE VS SLIDE INTO HT; PLAYER DECLINES. vs A; r(2,1) +3 = 6 necrotic damage, the phantasm slides A 2 squares to L7 and A is immobilized (SE).

* Minor Action: Temporal Superposition (CBu5; enemy) vs A's Will: r(7) +11 = 18. Miss.

* Move Action: 4 squares (DT) to P6.

* No Action (Action Point for Standard Action): Out of Space & Time (CBu5; one creature immobilized by strand) vs A's Fort: r(15) +11 -2 (marked by Q) = 24. Hit. r(4,5,2,1) + 11 = 23 psychic damage and immobilized ends but A is out of space and time (SE). While out of space and time, A is removed from play, and it takes ongoing 10 psychic damage. When the effect ends or the phantasm drops to 0 hit points, the target appears in an unoccupied square of its choice adjacent to the phantasm.

LOCATION: P6
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 11 necrotic to Q. 29 necrotic and psychic to A
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: Q in Phantasmal Hands HT after slide 4. A out of play and OG 10 psychic (SE); blue square signifying.
CURRENT HP: 62/172
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Subject to Q's Divine Sanction UEoQNT. Action Point exhausted.




With the small, agile form of Qamra surrounded in the shadowy mass of life-drawing phantom-hands, the SHADOW REAVERS set to the task of extracting her soul from its husk for their terrible master! She defies them with grit, guile, faith, and raw quicks...but can it only be a matter of time when pressed on all sides by the forces of darkness?!

After the assault, two of the shadows turned substance are substance no more, turning into spectral figures barely of this world. The radiant affliction outlining the form of the third fades.


R1

* Standard Action: (TRIGGERS: Insubstantial Transformation ends) Deadly Flit (M2) vs Q's AC: r(20) +13 +2 (CA) = CRIT. r(6,6) + r(6) +7 = 25 necrotic damage. (Q BLOODIED. LIFEDRAW REFRESHES R1 AND R3)

* Minor Action: Insubstantial Transformation. Effect: The reaver becomes insubstantial and gains fly 6 (hover) and phasing until it attacks or it becomes dazed, stunned, or unconscious. Insubstantial: The pale reaver takes half damage from all attacks, except those that deal force or radiant damage.


R2

* Move Action: Shift 1 sq R7 to R8.

* Standard Action: Lifedraw (M2) vs Q's Fort: r(3) +11 +2 (CA) = 16. Miss.

* End of Turn: Radiant Sensitivity ends.


R3

* Standard Action: (TRIGGERS: Insubstantial Transformation ends) Deadly Flit (M2) vs Q's AC: r(1) +13 +2 (CA) = Automiss.

* Minor Action: Insubstantial Transformation. Effect: The reaver becomes insubstantial and gains fly 6 (hover) and phasing until it attacks or it becomes dazed, stunned, or unconscious. Insubstantial: The pale reaver takes half damage from all attacks, except those that deal force or radiant damage.


LOCATION: R1 in Q6. R2 in R8. R3 in Q8.
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: Q takes 25 necrotic damage.
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: na
CURRENT HP: R1 @ 43/70, R2 @ 60/70, R3 @ 54/70
CURRENT BUFFS: Insubstantial Transformation to R1/3.
CURRENT DEBUFFS: R2 Lifedraw Exhaust (until adjacent creature bloodied). R2's Radiant Sensitivity ends.




QAMRA stares, dumbfounded, at the space where her mentor had stood. It is completely empty of her radiant and powerful presence. Qamra is alone.

Gritting her teeth and fighting back tears of defeat, Their Radiant Shamshar feels an inner Warmth of fortitude. She murmurs, "Omthala holds me in Her Grasp and will not let me go."

Turning toward the shadowy reaver which seems to be sucking light out of the air, disappearing it within itself, the young warrior now roars a challenge to its Creator: "Even if you succeed, you do NOT succeed, you Dead and forgotten God!! She and her Children, Earthly and Divine, will burn you OUT!!"

With that, Arunny's Disciple readies herself for what may be her final act as conduit to her Goddess's Radiant Rebuke of shadows.


* Start of Turn: Grabbed by Spectral Hands and takes 5 Necrotic Damage

* Minor Action: Ensnaring Sanction on R2

* Move Action: escape from being Grabbed: r(4) + 13/Acrobatics = 17 vs. 16 DC/Success

* Standard Action: Radiant Burst vs. Reflex: vs. N: r(8) + 2(Healing Word) + 11 = 21 vs. 21 Ref/Hit; vs. R1: r(18) + 2HW + 11 = 31 vs. 22 Ref/Hit; vs. R2: r(4) + 2HW + 11 = 17/Miss; vs. R3: r(6) + 2HW + 11 = 19/Miss; Damage: r(7) + 8 Radiant + 10 Vulnerable = 25 HP to N and R1 (R1 BLOODIED). TRIGGER - RADIANT SENSITIVITY R1; LOSES INSUBSTANTIAL TRANSFORMATION.

* Triggered Action: Heroic Effort (Enc): Trigger: Q misses w/attack or fails saving throw; Effect (No Action): Q gains +4 racial bonus to roll: vs. R3: 19 + 4 = 23 vs. 22 Ref/Hit; R3 also takes 25 HP Damage (R3 BLOODIED). TRIGGER - RADIANT SENSITIVITY R3; LOSES INSUBSTANTIAL TRANSFORMATION.

* Save vs. Immobilized: r(10)/Success

LOCATION: Q7
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: N,R1, & R3 all take 25 HP
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: R2 subject to Q's Ensnaring Sanction
CURRENT HP: 28/73
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: +2 ATK from Healing Word UEoANT, no longer Immobilized, still in Spectral Hands squares
SURGES: 9/12




ARUNNY floats in the Elsewhere and Elsewhen she finds herself. Strangely, it feels almost ... familiar. A nagging sense of urgency cuts thin stripes of tonal lemon drops on her hands and brow, but the appearance of her own blood only puzzles her.

She tastes it, sticking a finger into her mouth, and it sounds like ripe peaches. <Is everything here edible?> her mind asks dreamily.

But no, the taste is not pleasant, like summer fare. Instead, it tastes like the cries of carrion birds. This puzzles the Seer, who looks around her floating self to understand the puzzle, to see her way through the labyrinth of sensation.

A thin, silver song of Moonlight catches her attention and has been trying to do so for quite some time. Will it call her back from delving into mazes of smoke and lullaby?


* Start of turn: Outside of Play and 10 OG Psychic (SE)

* Save vs. the above: r(9)/Fail

LOCATION: Elsewhere
DAMAGE/CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: n/a
CURRENT HP: 20/59 Bloodied
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Out of play and 10 OG Psychic
SURGES: 9/12




UZMEHR's attention is drawn by a slight <popping> sound from below. Turning, Arunny's father catches a glimpse of her disappearing from sight after delivering a punishing blow to the Phantasm.

As Uzmehr prepares to charge down to their aid, he pauses. While his desire is to put himself physically between those he loves - and those they love - and harm, in this case, his best action is to give this young one so beleaguered an action of her own.

Breathing in the Moonlit air and beseeching all Powers for aid, he once again sends inspiration into another, moving them forward to do battle. In doing this, he glimpses of the luminous Silvered Hands and receives a flash of memory:

A much younger Uzmehr sits with his beloved Dhriish'ta listening her shaman retelling the old stories of goddesses, demons, and the like.

The Moon shines her benevolent light protectively down upon the enraptured and oblivious audience. Beyond their Moonlit circle, Uzmehr can just make out several predators, watching, pacing, waiting for opportunity.... until they give up and slink away in the darkness, unable to find a gap in the protection.

In this present moment, a much older Uzmehr suddenly understands: the Moonlight! Her Moonlight is central! He calls out to those present and absent and almost both: "The Moonlight is the Key to it ALL!"


* Starts turn: makes recharge roll: r(6): recharges

* Move Action: 4 squares (2 DT) to M10

* Standard Action: Inspirational Authority ✦ Recharge 6; Effect: ClBu10 (one ally in the burst/Qamra); Qamra uses an at-will, encounter, or recharge attack power as a free action: Radiant Burst: ClBu1 vs. Reflex: vs N: r(14) + 11 = 25 vs. 21 Ref/Hit; vs R1: r(16) + 11 = 26 vs. 22 Ref/Hit; vs R2: r(2) + 11 = 13/Miss; vs R3: r(20) + 11 = 31/Crit Hit; Damage to N & R1: r(2) + 8 Radiant + 10 Vulnerable = 20 HP, R1 Killed; to R3: 8 + 8 + 10 = 26 HP.

* Minor Action: Secondary Skill check: Religion: +12/Autosuccess, +2 forward to next Primary Skill Check.

LOCATION: M10
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES (via Qamra): N: 20 HP, R1 Killed, R3: 26
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: N & R3 Bloodied
CURRENT HP: 88/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: +2 forward to next Primary Skill Check




NP 17 /172
R2 60/70 Lifedraw exhaust, Ensnaring Sanction
R3 3/70 Radiant Sensitivity

BROTHER BOUND SC: 1 Success/0 Failures/Physical Intercession exhausted/3 rounds remaining.

1701024534095.png


ROUND 3




Ahaan's soul slowly slips inexorably into the grasp of the deity of time and death, so NERULL'S PHANTASM channels His satisfaction despite the radiant pummeling that the material form takes. As Uzmehr is pulled into the vile clutches of the phantasmal hands, an extra measure of sickening delight is registered in Nerrul's extraplanar domain.

* Minor Action: Temporal Superposition (CBu5; enemy) vs U's Will: r(13) +11 = 24. Hit. Slide 4 sq to Hindering Terrain of P7 (adjacent to PH triggers its effect). TRIGGERS SAVING THROW FOR PRONE OUTSIDE OF HINDERING TERRAIN; r(3) fails. U in P7.

* Standard Action: Strand Flurry; Death Strand (M3) vs Q's and U's Reflex: r(7, 19) + 11 +2 vs Q (CA) = 20, 30. Miss Q and Hit U. r(2,4) + 3 = 9 necrotic damage, the phantasm slides the target 2 sq to R7 and immobilized (SE)

* Move Action: Shift 1 sq to Q6.

LOCATION: Q6
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: 9 necrotic to U
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: U in Phantasmal Hands HT after slide 4 and slide 3, immobilized (SE)
CURRENT HP: 17/172
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: na




The small knight gives as good as she gets from the circling SHADOW REAVERS that enfold her. But her Omthalan blessings and battle prowess dwindle perilously as the reavers do not let up their spectral onslaught.

R2

* Standard Action: Deadly Flit (M2) vs Q's AC: r(7) +13 + 2 (CA) = 22. Miss.

* Minor Action: Insubstantial Transformation. Effect: The reaver becomes insubstantial and gains fly 6 (hover) and phasing until it attacks or it becomes dazed, stunned, or unconscious. Insubstantial: The pale reaver takes half damage from all attacks, except those that deal force or radiant damage.

R3

* Standard Action: Lifedraw (M2) vs Q's Fort: r(13) +11 +2 (CA) = 26. Hit. r(1,10) + 8 = 19 necrotic damage, and Q loses 1 healing surge and is weakened (save ends). The reaver deals +1d6 damage UtEoNT.


LOCATION: R2 in R8. R3 in Q8.
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: Q takes 19 necrotic damage.
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: Q loses 1 HS and is weakened (SE)
CURRENT HP: R2 @ 60/70, R3 @ 3/70
CURRENT BUFFS: R3 gains +1d6 damage UtEoR3NT.
CURRENT DEBUFFS: R2 and R3 Lifedraw Exhaust (until adjacent creature bloodied). R3 Radiant Sensitivity ends.




Watching one of her assailants disintegrate gives QAMRA a slight boost despite the wretching pain of nausea besetting her. Deciding that Maba, Maiden of Fate, has given her yet another chance at survival, the young warrior bows her head in surrender for a moment.

Then, with what strength remains - and it is not much - Their exhausted Radiant Shamshar spreads her arms wide and allows the searing light to pass through her body.


* Starts turn in Spectral Hands: takes 5 OG & is grabbed

* Standard Action: Radiant Burst: ClBu1 vs. Ref: vs N: r(14) + 11 = 25 vs. 21 Ref/hit; vs R2: r(3) + 11 = 14/Miss; vs R3: r(5) + 11 = 16/Miss; Damage: (r(2) + 8 Radiant + 10 Vulnerable) ÷ 2 Weakened = 10 HP

* Save vs. Weakened: r(4)/Failed

LOCATION: Q7
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: N: 10 HP
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: R2 subject to Qamra’s Ensnaring Sanction
CURRENT HP: 4/73
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: In Spectral Hands (OG & Grabbed), Weakened
SURGES: 8/12




ARUNNY DELAYING UNTIL AFTER KELDAN. HOWEVER, START OF TURN TAKES PLACE HERE.

* Start of turn: Takes 10 OG Psychic damage while Out of Time and Place.




UZMEHR looks with disgust at the Spectral Hands grabbing and holding him and easily wrenches himself free. Recognizing that they will continue to grasp at him, the priest shifts a step out of their vicinity and takes stock of their dire situation.

Sensing that he must take care of the Phantasm before attempting to rescue his daughter, Uzmehr takes up his trusty quarterstaff, kisses it for luck, then swings - hard - at reflection of his son's tormentor.

His slam first hits substance, then nothing, as the Phantasm dissipates into vapor. Then, before him, shaking her head as if to clear it, stands his beloved Mehtapchichek.


* Starts turn in Spectral Hands: takes 5 OG and is grabbed

* Move Action: escape from being grabbed: Athletics check: r(18) + 6 = 24 vs. 16 Moderate DC/Success. Cannot shift 1 due to being Immobilized

* Standard Action: Quarterstaff of Grace: ATK vs. N: r(10) + 13 = 23 vs. 22 AC/Hit; r(2,6) + 7 = 15, N = Killed. Effect: When ... the phantasm drops to 0 hit points, Arunny appears in an unoccupied square of her choice adjacent to the phantasm (O4).

* Save vs. Immobilized: r(12)/Success

LOCATION: P7
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: N = Killed
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: n/a
CURRENT HP: 74/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: No longer Immobilized; no longer Grabbed/Taking OG, but still adjacent to Spectral Hands




ARUNNY takes a moment to reestablish herself in the Here and Now. One moment she is valiantly attempting to follow a moonbeam through a labyrinth of glass shards, the next she is staring through a fog dissipating greasy mist at her father's worried eyes. Beyond pants Qamra, bent over in nausea and - like Uzmehr - surrounded by grasping, grabbing spectral hands.

Omthala's Searing Voice springs into action. She calls out the word "Come!" in a rich alto tone, and immediately she has whisked her Comrades to safety.

Then, stepping forward, her gaze softens, and she can see the connectors ... everywhere. The Seer reaches her hand into her vision and yanks hard at two of them. One crumbles utterly, and a shadowy reaver suddenly explodes into tiny, moonlit specks of dust and sand.

The other connector does not crumble, but she ties it into a knot, and it vanishes from this realm. Looking up, Arunny sees that it worked: the remaining reaver floats in place, stunned and motionless.

As Arunny returns to her role as Chessmaster's Surrogate once more, the luminous waves of dust catch her eye, and she momentarily caught up in their dizzying dance in the wind.

Shaking her head to loosen the cobwebs within, she urges her companions to complete what they have started ... while they still have the chance.


* Appears in O4 after Nerull's Phantasm is killed

* Minor Action: Divine Call (Enc) Ranged 10: Pull Qamra 3 aquares to P4, Uzmehr to O6; Manifestation of Preservation: Slide U to N7

* Move Action: move 3 squares to O7

* Standard Action: Silent Malediction (Daily) ClBl3/all creatures in blast (R2 & R3): ATK vs Fortitude: vs. R2: r(9) + 12 = 21 vs 19 Fort/Hit; vs. R3: r(20) + 12 = 32/Crit Hit; Damage vs. R2: r(1,1) + 7 = 9 Thunder HP and Stunned (SE); vs. R3: 12 + 7 + r(2) Fire = 21 Fire & Thunder HP/Killed; Arunny Dazed UEoANT; Manifestation of Preservation: Slide U to N8.

LOCATION: A: O7; U: N8; Q: P4
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: R2: 9; R3: Killed
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: R2 Stunned (SE)
CURRENT HP: 10/59
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Dazed UEoANT
SURGES: 9/12




R2 51/70 Lifedraw exhaust, Subject to Q's Ensnaring Sanction, Stunned (SE)

BROTHER BOUND SC: 1 Success/0 Failures/Physical Intercession exhausted/2 rounds remaining.

1701082822257.png


ROUND 4




There are no allies in death and time, so the loss is not registered by the remaining SHADOW REAVER. Only Nerull's instruction:

"Harry my enemies as I claim their kin."

And to that end, the undead creature sets its will...but the temerity of Omthala persists in denying Nerull's designs.



R2

<STUNNED>

* End of Turn: Save vs Stunned: r(8) Fails.

LOCATION: R8.
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: na
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: na
CURRENT HP: 51/70
CURRENT BUFFS: na
CURRENT DEBUFFS: Lifedraw exhaust, Subject to Q's Ensnaring Sanction, Stunned (SE)




At Arunny's urging her up the stairs to safer, higher ground, QAMRA turns to face her mentor and, beyond her, the spectral figure of her brother in his struggle.

She knows she should be the one to speak to Nerull in tones of authority and knowledge, but her voice is caught in her throat. Instead, breath hitching and hiccuping, she takes a moment to compose herself.

Afraid, slightly ashamed at her weakness, and quite simply overwhelmed, the young warrior - nay, child - rushes up the stairs, toward safety and light and away from phantoms lurking in the shadow.


* Standard Action: Second Wind: Qamra gains 18 HP, plus +2 to all defenses UEoQNT

* Move Action: move 5 squares (1 DT) to L8.

* Save vs. Weakness: r(17)/Success

LOCATION: L8
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: n/a
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: R2 subject to Qamra’s Ensnaring Sanction
CURRENT HP: 22/73
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: No longer Weakened, +2 all defenses USoQNT
SURGES: 7/12




Invigorated by the return of his daughter and his own release from the cold grasping hands, UZMEHR rushes carefully up the dangerous steps to stand before the altar of the Magnificent Maiden. There, he uses his earlier insight to implore Her to lend Her aid in saving his beloved Ahaan, twin to Arunny.

The priest holds his quarterstaff in both hands and lifts it high, allowing his head to drop back, facing up toward the Moon. Then he begins to intone in a deep baritone the ancient verse learned all those years before, filled with barely remembered words invoking Her magnificent beneficence.

As his voice carries throughout the Temple, the light seems to grow stronger.


* Move Action: 6 squares (2 DT) to J12.

* Standard Action: Invoke Moon Maiden: Primary Skill (Religion) Check: r(9) + 12 = 21 vs. 16 Moderate DC/2 Successes

LOCATION: J12
DAMAGE/CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: n/a
CURRENT HP: 74/88
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: n/a




ARUNNY closes her eyes before slipping both hands into the silvery stream of light of which her mother’s spectral ones are made.

In the stream moving across her flesh, dancing in and around her fingers, Dhriish'ta's daughter can feel the warmth of Elven melodies her mother once sang to her and the sharp tang of color in the nighttime stories wooing the little girl to sleep.

Sighing, the Seer holds an aching longing in her heart and feels it echo against the skin of her hands, a heartbeat of love, of hearts breaking, of forgiveness and hope, of sorrow and loss.

Opening her weeping eyes, Arunny looks into her mother's translucent eyes, momentarily visible. They share a bittersweet smile. "I miss you. Take care of him," they say to each other.

Then Dhriish'ta says, sharply,
"GO!"

* At start of turn, make save vs. Dazed (Superior Will): r(10)/Success

* Standard Action: Maternal Plea: Primary Skill (Diplomacy) Check: r(12) + 6 = 18 vs. 16 Moderate DC/3 Successes

* Move Action: move 5 squares (2 DT) to L10

* Minor Action: Favor of the Gods (Enc) ClBu2: Qamra/target: effect: the next time Q misses w/attack roll, she can reroll that attack roll. Must use it; Manifestation of Preservation: Slide Qamra to K9

LOCATION: A: L10; Q: K9
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: n/a
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: R2 Stunned (SE) - hopefully!
CURRENT HP: 10/59
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Qamra (Favor of the Gods)
SURGES: 9/12




R2 51/70 Lifedraw exhaust, Subject to Q's Ensnaring Sanction, Stunned (SE)

BROTHER BOUND SC: 3 Successes/0 Failures/Physical Intercession exhausted/1 round remaining.

1701084094160.png


ROUND 5




With his soul harvesting of Ahaan hanging in the balance, Nerull's dark will can be denied no longer. The SHADOW REAVER's stasis fails and the liquid-like darkness begins flitting this way and that.


R2

<STUNNED>

* End of Turn: Save vs Stunned: r(13) Succeeds.

LOCATION: R8.
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: na
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: na
CURRENT HP: 51/70
CURRENT BUFFS: na
CURRENT DEBUFFS: Lifedraw exhaust, Subject to Q's Ensnaring Sanction




Mid-flight, QAMRA stops. Somehow a portion of her mettle has returned to her.

Turning, she carefully makes her way past the Seer's outstretched hand, ending next to the silvery glow of the twins' mother’s protective hands to make her stand.

Face as stern as one barely on the brink of adolescence can be, the Radiant Shamshar opens her mouth to speak. Out comes ... nothing. Her young mind is filled with images of Arunny disppearing, cold greasy hands grabbing, attacks of shadowy phantoms chilling her with their touch. The child squeezes her eyes shut. Her courage got her this far and no further: it cannot give her voice.

However, as bitter tears of disappointment fill her eyes, Qamra does what she can do and prepares to fight.


* Move Action: 4 squares (2 DT) to J12.

* Standard Action: Rebuke Nerull's Contract: Primary Skill (Intimidate) Check: r(6) + 4 = 10/Fail

LOCATION: L8
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: n/a
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: R2 subject to Qamra’s Ensnaring Sanction
CURRENT HP: 22/73
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Favor of the Gods UEoANT; 3 Successes/1 Failure
SURGES: 7/12



The Moonlight seems to follow Arunny's father as UZMEHR walks forward to the top of Her Temple's steps.

"Relinquish your baseless hold on my son, one of Their chosen children, AT ONCE!! Your contract is null and void! Leave this place!"

Moonlight Surges down from the sky, through the man standing on the steps, and out into the Temple and beyond those steps. Each person encountered by Light breathes it in and stands a little straighter, taller, brighter.

Uzmehr comes back to himself and sees his daughter and her young companion: they are truly luminous.


* Move Action: 2 squares to L11

* Standard Action: Rebuke Nerull's Contract: Primary Skill (Intimidate) Check: r(16) + 7 = 23 vs 16 Moderate DC/Success

LOCATION: L11
DAMAGE/CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: n/a
CURRENT HP: 74/88 (10 THP)
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: 4 Successes/1 Failure: Arunny, Qamra, and Uzmehr gain Omthala's Grace: 10 THP, +2 Power Bonus to attack, and all attacks deal +1d6 radiant damage UtEotE.




Almost in a trance, ARUNNY, glowing luminously in the Moonlight surrounding her, walks to the center of Her Temple and turns back to face their sole remaining combatant. As she raises her Cudgel in her outstretched hand, power surges into it, not only from the pendant around her neck but from the particles dancing in the Moonlight as well.

Omthala's Searing Voice slams her weapon to the floor of the Temple. Shockwaves and blasts of thunder echo through the battlefield, seeking and finding their singular target. The reaver is bombarded by cacophony and Radiance and it writhes in pain and torment.


* Move Action: 2 squares to J12

* Minor Action: activate Omthala's Crucible daily power: one weapon in A's square or square adjacent gains a +2 bonus to next damage roll UEoANT (Cudgel/J12)

* Standard Action: Thunder of Judgment (Enc) Ranged 10: target 1 creature (R2) = 2d6 + 7 damage: ATK vs Fortitude: r(6) + 12 + 2 (Omthala's Grace) = 20 vs 19 Fort/Hit; Damage: r(6,5) + 2 (OCP) + 7 + r(4) Radiant + 10/Vulnerable = 34 HP/R2 Dazed UEoANT & R2 Bloodied and Radiant Sensitivity Triggered; Manifestation of Preservation: Slide Qamra to N9

LOCATION: A: J12; Q: N9
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: R2: 34 HP & R2 Bloodied
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: Dazed UEoANT
CURRENT HP: 10/59 (10THP)
CURRENT DE/BUFFS: Omthala's Grace: 10 THP, +2 Power Bonus to attack, and all attacks deal +1d6 radiant damage UtEotE. Radiant Sensitivity
SURGES: 9/12




R2 17/70 Lifedraw exhaust, Subject to Q's Ensnaring Sanction
BROTHER BOUND COMPLETED
PHANTASMAL HANDS HINDERING TERRAIN ENDS


Omthala calls her child into her embrace for his sacrifice and his steadfast duties. Though his body was claimed by the desert, his soul will not be claimed by a corrupting master. Silver and gold radiance are all that remain where the phantasmal hands attempted to drag Ahaan into the dark depths of Nerull's domain, their dark presence shunted from this world.

AHAAN'S substance lingers long enough to give his loving farewell to his sister, his father, and their capable knight-companion.

1701167929728.png


ROUND 6





"YOU..." emanates from the lone SHADOW REAVER. But it is not the voice of the creature, whatever that might be. It no doubt is that of the Lord of Timeless Death himself; Nerull's. Fuming from another world, he sends his minion in not out of soul-claiming design...but out of sheer rage.

Unable to turn insubstantial and fly over the many impediments to Arunny in its way, it barrels into the small knight in the holy nimbus, fully aware that it will be consumed, but also fully captivated by single-minded vengeance.

Qamra stands smirking as the creature's futile attacks are fully rebuffed by Omthala's radiant shield.


R2

* Standard Action: Charge to O9 and Deadly Flit (M2) vs Q's AC: r(11) +13 + 1 (CA) = 25. Miss.

LOCATION: R2 in O9
DAMAGE TO ENEMIES: na
CONDITIONS TO ENEMIES: na
CURRENT HP: R2 @ 17/70
CURRENT BUFFS: na
CURRENT DEBUFFS: Lifedraw Exhaust (until adjacent creature bloodied), subject to Q's Ensnaring Sanction, in Mother's Silvered Hands.




COMBAT RESOLVED (CAKE IS BASICALLY BAKED). END OF HEROIC
TIER FOR ARUNNY ET AL.
 
Last edited:

darkbard

Legend
The last Bladeling on the field is slain, and there is a brief moment of utter stillness. Then, Xin Mae emerges from behind the safety of an ancient and giant erratic boulder, a quill and sheaves of papyrus desperately clutched in his tight fists.

"And on the day of The Battle for the Succor of Dolg Olsolis did fall the Hero Gan, a simple and forthright man who loved children and beasts and brought his mighty sword arm to bear in the hopeful deliverance of the besieged, to spare them their plight and ensure the spread of Delban's faith to all peoples of the Dolgs. A big man has fallen, but in his stead is born The Martyr of Dolg Olsolis, and so shall he be remembered. Thus it is recorded, and thus always will he be recalled." The scholar and linguist seems settled into an unshakable state of near-sedation by the death, so unlike his nervous, excitable norm.

* * *

Keldan retrieves the gem-encrusted helmet of the captain and the battalion's warchest.

* * *

Though the battle has paused, it is not over. To the north, at Dolg Olsolis's gates, the warhorns of the remaining phalanxes of the Legion of Ruth sound even now, marshaling their forces.

"Look there," observes Xin Mae, "the petrified remains of an ancient cypress. It is said that a secret way into the fortress can be found by following a trail at its base."

IBHEA pulls from a pocket in his alba a carved piece of obsidian in the shape of a donkey. "Lay-ah!" he intones, and the carving alters and expands, transforming into a mount of appropriate size, braying and kicking at the sand with its rear hooves. "Help me load our fallen comrade onto Sunspot's back, Keldan, scrivener, and then we will see about this secret way."

* * *

Many moments later, the group has navigated a dangerous, meandering trail, no more than a footpath, really, that leads to a bronze door set into a hidden spot high on the butte. At the approach of the three figures, with a fourth sprawled across the back of the stone equine, the door cracks open. Behind, is revealed a starved and desperate populace on its last legs.

"Good people of Dolg Olsolis, we are here to provide hope for the coming better days in Delban's name! Though not yet defeated, the Bladeling Horde has suffered great losses at our hands; yet for all that, we are not without irreparable sorrow of our own. Lo, Mighty Gan, a warrior strong in arms and honest in spirit, has fallen as martyr to their wicked blades in our coming.

"What's more, we bear gifts that will aid in the replenishing of your stores, treasure taken from our fallen enemies."




My thoughts:

As for what remains in Dolg Olsolis, do I have the following correct: my trajectory is to rally aid for its succor, as (I assume) an SC, and then a final combat against the remaining Legionnaires, the group from area A, not already defeated?

I think the SC could be neatly tied to locating the remaining Blessed in the Dolg, with supernatural fallout on a Success leading to (i) aid against the remaining army and (ii) a religious revival that betokens the spread of Delban's faith.




Per @Manbearcat ,

Why don't we do this. Why don't you write a vignette about you guys finding the hidden trail into Dolg Olsoris (outlined in C) and coming upon an utterly besieged, starving collective. Your aim here is to do exactly as you've outlined in (i) and (ii). The Skill Challenge will default to Level +2 because of this, Comp 2.

The decision-point I had in mind was the following:

* Take a Short Rest only and rally the Dolg, pressing the immediacy of the situation, and the sudden opportunity that needs seizing upon.

* Take an Extended Rest and the Level of the Skill Challenge increases by +2 because these peoples' spirits are broken already due to privation and losses suffered. Another day is asking a hell of a lot of their morale and of their will to hold.

On a failure, the force of A raids Dolg Olsoris and its just you and Keldan with the beleagured people hunkering down in their homes or falling to their knees and begging for mercy.

After your vignette and your choice of the two above, I'll include your opening obstacle based on what you've written in your vignette and your choice.

XP: 1578 - 350 * 2 (companion PCs) = 878.

LOOT: 700 coin and 1 art object worth 250 gp coin




This will level Ibhea to 9 (Arunny is midcombat but will level up thereafter).

His statistics don't change significantly (as it's an odd-level increase); his new HP total is 64, and he picks up a new Daily Power. I will choose Decree of Khirad, the L1 Warlock Daily.

Decree of Khirad​

Warlock Attack 1​

A pale blue flame appears above your brow as you utter a condemnation that makes foes mistake allies for enemies.
DailyArcane, Charm, Implement, Psychic
Standard Action
Close blast 3
Target: Each enemy in the blast
Effect: Before the attack, you slide the target 2 squares.
Attack: Charisma vs. Will
Hit: The target makes a melee basic attack as a free action against a creature of your choice. If the target misses with the attack, it takes 1d6 + your Charisma modifier psychic damage.
Miss: 1d6 + Charisma modifier psychic damage.

Keldan's stats don't change too much either: his HPs increase to 92, and all his defenses, attacks, and damage increase by 1, AC 23, F22, R21, W24.

I will be taking a Short Rest, which will reset Keldan's HP to full, and Ibhea suffered no damage, so he is at full HP, with 2 Surges remaining.

I'm also taking advantage of the opportunity to exchange some coin and loot here since we're again in a settlement. Per our houserules, it's a DC 27 Streetwise check (at-level Moderate +10) in such circumstances, and I've rolled 14 +16 = 30, so that's a success. Ibhea will trade his no-longer-needed Veteran's Leather Armor +2 (at half value, ie 1300 gp) + 600 gp Astral shards + 250 art object (the helm Keldan recovered) +450 gp (warchest) for Bracers of Escape (L7 Arms Slot Item). I imagine this as an exchange between hosts and guests. This will leave Ibhea with 435 GP, just enough to contribute to an at-level SC or similar use!

Bracers

Bracers of EscapeLevel 7+ Uncommon​

These bracers can whisk you out of harm's way.

Lvl 72,600 gpLvl 271,625,000 gp
Lvl 1765,000 gp
Arms Slot

Power ✦ Daily (Immediate Interrupt)​

You can use this power when you are the target of a melee attack. You teleport 2 squares.
Level 17: 5 squares.
Level 27: 10 squares.



Alright, so you're electing for the Short Rest and level +2 option (rather than Extended Rest refresh and Level +4).

Level 11, Complexity 2 SC (2 Secondary Skills, 6 Successes before 3 Failures, DCs 13/19/27, take 1 Advantage due to your stunning victories over much of the force arrayed against Dolg Olsolis): Muster the forces of Olsolis for the coming raid, deliver them from privation, and instill in them faith in Delban's glorious purpose.

Cistern nearly dry. Date palms fully plucked. Silo open and only remnant grain to sift through. A few withered goats remain.

Though the people are on the precipice of starvation and the madness that comes with it, all in the Dolgs have heard of the simple but capable faculty of Gan...of his persistent bravery in defending Hana...and of his steadfast sacrifice in all of the former roles. Faces are a stricken mask of disbelief and grief.

Before anything else, Gan must be put to rest in a ceremony befitting a hero of such consistent valor, small and large. Spirits must be raised from this low before considering any other overtures.


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

HARD DC

Failure here will shake the potential forces you can muster herein should you ultimately succeed at your SC. They will take -2 to defenses (save ends) to begin the raid on Dolg Olsolis.



 IBHEA and the worn representatives of the Dolg trade gifts in ritual exchange. Though there is precious little in the fortress's stores, a hasty and meager meal of porridge is prepared to complete the welcoming ceremony. The whisky priest uncorks a bottle of araq to conclude the ritual, though perhaps he is less generous in his apportioning to others as might be expected from their desperate need of some respite from the siege.

His face flush, the whisky priest stands. "Now that our union is made, let us pay the proper respects to the fallen martyr and confer beloved Gan's body into Delban's welcoming flames."

A small pyre is constructed in the town agora of whatever wood and burnables can be spared.

Sunspot brays his brittle cry.

"Brethren," Ibhea begins, "our fallen warrior before us is no sign of failure but of hope. Delban teaches that the ills befalling our world are due to excess, that to persevere against our basest impulses we must restrain our desires, our drives, our very selves. In this way can be restored the holy order of equity and justice to the fallen."

Several bedraggled villagers nod their heads in eager agreement.

"What The Martyr Gan did in giving his life was the model of restraint, curtailing even his drive to heroism and self-preservation in favor of sacrifice and proffering to others the opportunity to continue in his stead. And so, let us release now his body, as has been released his spirit, freed forever from the tribulations of a broken world!" As the priest's voice rises to crescendo, he unleashes a torrent of black flame upon the pyre and Gan's inert body. The black flames catch quickly, black smoke rising and the body soon catching flame. And then something happens. The black flames turn purple, and the gathered mourners recoil in horror at a ceremony gone wrong.

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


I'm wagering that Advantage for 2 Successes if meeting that Difficult DC.

Ibhea makes a Secondary Skill Diplomacy check to sway the populace that Gan's sacrifice is but a foretelling of their coming victory, rousing their broken spirits temporarily, r(9)+9=18 vs 13 Easy DC. Success for +2 forward to

his Primary Skill Religion check, (r)1+17+2=20 vs 27 Difficult DC. Failure.

Advantage used, one Secondary Skill used, and magnificent failure! <sad trombone> 😆



0/6 Successes (1 Failure/1 Hard DC Available/1 Secondary Skill Available)

No, not the flame itself. The flickering conflagration that consumes the pyre and the body of Gan merely has its hue momentarily distorted...a fell reflection that serves as metaphor rather than transmutation.

Heads crane. Eyes go skyward. Gasps abound.

As before in Dolg Hana, waves of purple undulate across the celestial landscape high above. Images of distorted beings seem to take shape from the alien aurora. Horror erupts as the ritual to lay the brave martyr to rest is interrupted. A supernatural threat to the exhausted people of Dolg Olsolis is more than they can bear. They throw themselves to the ground in supplication and terror at the incomprehensible manifestation. (1)

At the same time, one of the spectators spots a shadowy figure atop the highest of the three peaks that loom over the elevated Dolg Olsolis. "LOOK!" Pointed finger reveals the cloaked Legion of Ruth scout surveiling Dolg Olsolis with spyglass and preparing for a precarious downclimb back to the besieging host. If they get back with their intel on numbers and assets, your efforts will be at disadvantage and thoughts of surrender will no doubt creep into the minds of those you seek to inspire! (2)


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

How do you deal with both (1) and (2). Each are MEDIUM DC.




(1) Reassured that he has not misrememered--or slurred--the Rite of Return to Ashes, IBHEA raises his voice to a shout, breaking the terror that ripples through the assembled. "Do not fear this alien anomaly, goodfolk of Dolg Olsolis! 'T'is but a mirage that would divert our attention from fulfilling our duty to the Martyred.

"Nay, rely on Omthala's clarity to dispel this intrusion and ensure deliverance of the faithful to Her Son's embrace.

"Radiant Mother above, we pray to you now, in our hour of mourning and need, to wipe these foul visions from our eyes so that honor may be done Your Son's mortal servant, our faith reinforced through his sacrifice." As if in answer to Ibhea's prayer, the sun above bursts forth from between two purple-gray clouds, dispersing its yellow light across the heavens. An audible collective sigh is exhaled by the mourners.

(2) Then, in quick response to the old grand dame who espied the Bladeling scout, the whisky priest steps forward from the crowd, in the direction of the highest of three peaks, and gathers crackling black energy into a sphere in his outspread hand. Perhaps in emulation of the Javelineers who felled poor Gan--and almost laid him, himself, low on the battlefield, as well--he hurls the sphere far, farther than any human should have the capacity to perform, and the Legionnaire of Ruth is struck where they cling to their spyglass, their descent unattempted, a crumpled form in its stead.


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

(1) Ibhea makes a Primary Skill Religion check (training exhausted) to beseech Omthala's aid in dispelling the Caiphonian apparition, r(15)+12=27 vs 19 Moderate DC. Success.

(2) Ibhea uses Hand of Blight to strike down the Legionnaire of Ruth before they can return to camp with intelligence about the Dolg, r(7) +11 +2 Cunning Stalker +1 Prime Shot = 21 vs 21 L9 NAD. Success.



2/6 Successes (1 Failure/1 Hard DC Available/1 Secondary Skill Available)

Gan put to fitting rest.

The Caiphonian storm heading Bantouk-wards adjured.

The scout smote.

Yet so much of flagging will and health remains.

(1) A man of extremely advanced age pulls a pittance from the cistern...just enough to wet the lips of those fully broken by thirst. If not food, these people need water...desperately...or there will be no fight in them (MEDIUM DC).

(2) Age. Elderly. Youth. Where are the fighting-age adolescents and adults? Injured or dead, that is where. A grim triage center for those who clashed with the legions forces tells the tale of Dolg Olsolis fighting-capable. They have little in the way of supplies for first aid and many are injured beyond mundane means. The bladeling hordes' encampments are always equipped with magical salves and unguents...

How do you deal with the personnel problem in the Dolg? (HIGH DC if you attempt to sneak into the bladeling camp. MEDIUM DC otherwise).




(1) KELDAN puts a firm but gentle hand on Ibhea's shoulder.

"Our companion is charred and returned to the gods, Messenger, but we overlook the pressing needs of the good people of Dolg Olsolis. Without immediate sustenance, there will be none living in the fortress to stand with us against the Legion of Ruth."

The Dolg Aratian tilts his bearded, shaggy head towards the cistern. "Well's run dry. Folks will die soon of privation. But perhaps in this I can lend my skill."

Rooting about the unburned kindling near the pyre, he picks out a forked switch and begins pacing back and forth across the agora, slim limb extended. He has caught the populace's attention now, and some collect around and follow him. Soon, he pulls up near two dirty and emaciated urchins, the switch dipping as if suddenly ponderous.

"Many a time in the sere summer months, I would dowse the dry hills to water my flock. Dig here, and we shall have a new well to supply us," he finishes proudly.

* * *

(2) Surveying the wounded fighting-capable adults of the Dolg,  IBHEA decides quickly that if they are to stand against the Legion, warriors must be healed and released from their sickbeds.

And so he gathers a small group of agile youngsters to accompany him through the secret bronze gate and within shouting distance of the Bladeling's main remaining encampment. Dusk is beginning to fall, that time when even sharp-eyed sentries battle the changing, dimming light.

"Wait here, young ones, for I must go this last alone," he practically whispers.

The whisky priest is no stranger to the shadows, practiced in the art of moving unseen and unheard since his days as an urchin in Burning Row; now, his patron Delban adds the power of sorcery through means of the enchanted boots acquired from Elven traders. Ibhea literally disappears for a brief moment, stealing into and out of a Bladeling field hospital, and reappearing, arms laden with unguents and salves, at a breakneck run towards the group.


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

Keldan makes a Primary Skill Nature check to dowse for an alternate water supply, r(9)+13=22 vs 19 Moderate DC. Success.

Ibhea expends his Boots of Elvenkind Daily Power--Effect: You move up to your speed, and you are hidden (invisible and silent) during the move--for an Autosuccess.



4/6 Successes (1 Failure/1 Hard DC Available/1 Secondary Skill Available)

The morning sun tickles the horizon and, as it does, fresh well-water trickles past the lips of the nearly zomibified-by-thirst residents of Dolg Olsolis.

The pilfered healing agents bring those near dead back from the brink and those injured to a state of repair.

Spirits are rising like the sun.

That is when howl...or screech...something penetrating...racks the ears and bodies of all present like a wave of discord. A physical blade of terrible sound cutting into the mind. After recovering from the stagger, all eyes pan to the dark entrance of a cave cut into the rock, hewn stair descending its depths.

One of the elders and master potmaker nearby, Jaleh by name, detects Ibhea's consternation and leans in with a whisper. "Ziwar and Yasmin. Returned from us from a terrible plight in the desert wilds. Cast into some awful pit not of their designs. A kind soul delivered them from their suffering...but they returned...changed...and changing still. Conjoined, we thought the seemingly magical affliction would fade. It only grew worse. Their eyes became barren of sight and their skin became so sensitive that Omthala's rays had their comfort stolen, replaced by horrific pain. That is the sound you hear. It is physical hurt at even the most distant rays of the sun...it is emotional hurt at what has been lost."

She walks him nearer the cave entrance.

"In the time before, the girls were infused with magic from Our Radiant Queen of the Sky. Now that font is quenched. And our prayers and our mundane healers have provided no succor. We know not what to do but to ease them into another, unfortunate pit to diminish their suffering until whatever terrible fate this is claims them..."

She looks away in some combination of sadness and revulsion.

"Soon...I think..."

Jaleh walks away from the cave entrance.


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

What do you do, @darkbard ? Maybe there is nothing to do? If you put them out of their misery, you can have it at the MEDIUM DC and that success will count against the HARD DC.

If you confront and cast out their Caiphonian taint, (a) make your move at the HARD DC and (b) you will have to still Heal them afterward as the damage done (and the undoing of their plight) will leave them on death's door. That would be at the MEDIUM DC.



At Jaleh's mention of a pit and mysterious, benevolent stranger,  IBHEA and Xin Mae exchange knowing glances.

When the elderly potter has hobbled off, the two pilgrims enter the dark cave and light a sputtering, dim tallow candle before descending the winding, hewn stairs. At the bottom, squatting amidst fetid bedding of loose straw is an abomination, which wails pitifully at their approach. What was once, clearly, two girls, is now a single creature, a fusion of the two before: one clouded hazel eye and one clouded brown above two twisted mouths set in a single, pallid, asymmetrical face; four arms emerging from a misshapen torso and a single pair of crossed legs.

One mouth opens to speak, "I can sense the goddess about you, priest, even as I could in that other. And yet, something else, too. Do you feel it, Ziwar?"

"Yes, Yasmin. Though it, too, burns, there is almost something soothing in its darkness," speaks the other mouth.

It is clear more than two minds work their expression here, that some third entity suffuses the two children.

"What you sense, pitiable but blessed ones," pronounces the whisky priest with confidence, "are the heralded Black Flames of Delban, Son of the Radiant Mother, returned to free you to your destiny." He retrieves and unwraps The Shadowed Sun from its oiled coverings, turning pages until he comes across what he's looking for. "Yes, here it is: the Ritual to Dispel Aberrant Sorcery!"

Before initiating the ritual, the whisky priest swallows three long draughts from a bottle of araq. "For luck. And power," he says quietly. And then Ibhea begins intoning those words, untranslated, even here in the sacred text, from the ancient tongue of dragons, used by arcanists across the ages, "Beliir x'crathica forticulati sergim hianthi ..."

"Hiarnthi," Xin Mae corrects. "So it is pronounced. Even the most novice scholars of Draconic know that word. The most novice scholars." He sighs. "Begin again."

* * *

Ibhea completes the ritual, holding aloft Omthala's symbol, which gleams with a brilliant radiance that washes over the creature(s) before them, scouring whatever malevolence lurks within.


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

Ibhea makes a Secondary Skill Religion check (training exhausted) to locate within the sacred text the appropriate ritual to cast out the Caiphonian taint, +12 vs 13 Easy DC= autosuccess for +2 forward to Primary Skill Check.

He also uses Shining Symbol (Encounter Power) for a +2 power bonus to the roll.

Primary Skill Arcana check, r(5) TRIGGERS XIN MAE'S HISTORICAL REVELATION
Trigger: An ally within 5 squares of you makes a knowledge check and dislikes the result.
Effect: The target rerolls the knowledge check and uses either result.

Reroll(19) +13 +2 Secondary Skill +2 Power Bonus = 36 vs 27 Difficult DC. Success.

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

The misshapen form rocks frantically and quakes. Its sightless eyes glow gradually, then emphatically, with a deep purple. Both mouths release a terrifying scream of pain. A brilliant flash, and it is diffused.

One is now two again.

Xin Mae rushes over to the still forms on the hay nest. "Ibhea, do something! They do not breathe! This won't do at all. No, this cannot end this way. Rather unseemly. Rather. Do something!"

The whisky priest rummages through a pocket in his qabā and withdraws a sleek glass bottle. Dividing it between the two still forms, he empties its contents into their mouths. And kneels there, waiting.

And waiting.

And then ... paired, deep intakes of breath, mouths dilating and shutting like fish out of water, and four eyes fluttering open.

"Delban is merciful," Ibhea sighs under his breath.

"Welcome, Blessed, to your destiny!"


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

Ibhea expends his Potion of Healing for a +2 item bonus to his Primary Skill Heal check, r(6) +6 +2 item bonus = 14 vs 19 Moderate DC. Failure. for an Autosuccess.

Per @Manbearcat , I would treat your expenditure of your PoH Consumable as a Daily or 1/10 xp worth coin. That should be autosuccess and resolve the SC.
 
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Nephis

Adventurer
From their various vantage points on the decrepit stairs, the three weary warriors watch as their final combatant dissolves into sparks of glowing moondust which float away in the faint breeze. For a moment, no one says a word or even dares to breathe. Then, as one, they turn toward Her altar and make their way up the final stairs to finally reach the pinnacle of Maba's Temple.

There ARUNNY, slightly less battered battered than her two companions, gets out their bedrolls and settles them to sleep. She has already decided to keep watch until morning, now only a few hours away. If necessary she will be able to catch some sleep once the others have awoken, refreshed. For now, both of her fellow survivors are in need of deep, soulful, nourishing sleep.

And she, Omthala's Searing Voice and Maba's Piercing Eye, needs to allow the threads of time, of destinies, of histories, of possibilities, of place, of the Triune of Light to reveal themselves to her so that she can learn something of her place within their weave.

As she stares into the middle ground for countless minutes ... possibly hours ... Arunny begins to notice a pattern discernible on certain stones on the Temple's floor. Examining these stones more closely, the priestess presses down on the pattern on one - an intricate carving of a Moon surrounded by a ring of dancing rabbits - and the stone springs up, able to be removed.

Inside the cavity are a few small, humble offerings: a stone, a rusty dagger, a casbak with a small tear in its sole. When Arunny holds them in her hands, she hears waves resonating through her being in soft blues and greens, carrying the scent of freshly brewed tea. These objects carry in themselves great significance in Maba's story: these are reliquaries buried here as remembrances of those lost in sacrifice.

As she searches through her satchel for her own such object, she can hear the others awaken from their rest. Showing her father the remnant of quilt she has retrieved, she asks if he has anything to add. He does.

He removes a signet ring from his pinky. "It was her father's, Dhriish'ta's father, I mean. We always meant it for him." Uzmehr reaches for the scrap of the quilt once made for him and - twisting it through and around the ring in intricate fashion - creates a flower, handing it back to his daughter, who in turn places it gently into the cavity with the other objects and closes them all inside.

Bowing her head for a moment, she listens to the gentle symphony of all of the reliquaries buried here, protected and protective. Arunny makes no protest when her father urges her to sleep a while, with a much refreshed Qamra now able to take watch.

Hours later, the Seer's eyes open, glowing softly. The portents in her sleeping still swimming through her drowsy thoughts into meaning. A vulture feasting with relish on a bloody, mammalian heart ... a valley with unusually heavy purple clouds that sting the eyes of anyone looking at them ... a seemingly solid ancient tree slowly rotting inside...

"I know where we must go, and we must go quickly!" she whispers urgently. She looks down at the the gift her father handed her the night before, just as he kissed her goodnight. Closing her fingers around it, she holds her fist to her heart and nods resolutely.
 
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