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DM CH-P's CoT: The Bastards of Erebus

Game Master Are


5,051 to 5,100 of 10,986 << first < prev | 97 | 98 | 99 | 100 | 101 | 102 | 103 | 104 | 105 | 106 | 107 | next > last >>

Ancient Shoanti War Spirit 12 | 148/148 hp + 81/81 temps, Init +2, AC 33 (40 with barkskin, shield, and haste, +1 near Derek) [touch 15, FF 31], Fort +18, Ref +11, Will +14; Perception +6
Resources:
1st 6/6 | 2nd 5/5 | 3rd 4/4 | 4th 3/3 | Summon 7/7 | Rage 20/20

Rage 3/18

The ancient Shoanti spirit roars in victory as his foes crumble around him. He eagerly presses his attack on the dark folk that remain.

Hammer
1d20 + 16 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 16 + 1 = 18
1d6 + 21 ⇒ (6) + 21 = 27

Hammer
1d20 + 11 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 11 + 1 = 20
1d6 + 21 ⇒ (4) + 21 = 25

Hasted Hammer
1d20 + 16 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 16 + 1 = 34
1d6 + 21 ⇒ (4) + 21 = 25

Hoof
1d20 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 9 + 1 = 16
1d4 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (3) + 8 + (2) = 13

Hoof
1d20 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 9 + 1 = 26
1d4 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (3) + 8 + (5) = 16

Hoof
1d20 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 9 + 1 = 29
1d6 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (6) + 8 + (6) = 20

Attacking stalker #3 after creeper #12 goes down.


Two swings from Appario's sword takes down one creeper in a combustion of light, while his third swing goes deep into another, although without bringing it down.

Fortitude (Derek): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Fortitude (Creeper #9): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
(plus Appario's first roll)

Duration: 1d6 ⇒ 2 (minimum 1 round for the creeper)

The light blinds Derek for 2 rounds, and also blinds the remaining creeper, although Appario withstands the blinding effect.

***

Three hammer strikes, whereof the first misses wildly, decimates the chain-blinded creeper. As usual, a combustion of bright light follows.

Fortitude (The Beast): 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (11) + 15 = 26
(plus Appario's second roll)

Duration: 1d6 ⇒ 5

Misfortune reroll (Appario): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21

Both Appario and The Beast avoid succumbing to blindness.

After a shift of its feet, The Beast's hooves and horns gouge deeply into the nearest stalker. Despite the mauling, it remains standing.

***

>>>Current Map<<<

Up next: Derek, Yahirma, Semenya.


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 4

"By Asmodeus hairy arse! Can anybody get a bead on the commander? Dont let him get away!"

Derek retreats a little, holding punchline defensivly before him.

5' step back to H5


I'm assuming you meant H1, since H5 is further into the clearing past Appario. In any case, Derek can't 5-ft-step since he's in difficult terrain. Of course, using a regular move works just as well as a 5-ft-step would, since the only adjacent enemy is blind :)


Female Changeling (Mauxi Mwangi) Mwangi Spiritualist 12

Her illusion largely unappreciated for all of her targets being blind, Yahirma quickly ties off the magical weave and hopes that it might stay viable long enough to remain threatening. Stops concentrating, leaving the illusory serpent-creature only 2 rounds of duration It continues to gnash and hiss, perhaps keeping the dark folk concerned.

Taking advantage of the confusion sewn among her enemies, Yahirma ducks under the magical chain as it lashes out once more at Creeper #12. She skids to a halt after dashing to H12 with haste-impelled steps, and there she conjures a second chain of force (K13) that whips around the commander's feet before yanking sharply.

Chain 1 blinds Creeper #12 (5/7 rounds) 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15
Chain 2 trips Commander (1/7 rounds), includes +2 to hit a blind target and might target "flat-footed" CMD 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (7) + 14 = 21
Minor Image makes noise (1/2 rounds)


I'll just point out that Creeper #12 is no longer among the living. The only two enemies left standing near the chain are Stalker #2 and Stalker #3. However, a 15 is a miss regardless of which of these targets is chosen (it would be a hit against a blind creeper, but reaching one of those that remain requires the chain to move).

I'm already counting the -2 AC for blinded targets (as well as losing Dex to AC), so the additional +2 to hit would be a double penalty :)

***

Both of Yahirma's chains fail to hit their chosen targets, but the whipping noises near the commander's feet still stops him in his tracks.

Even as the chain returns to Yahirma's side after Derek's move leaves it in the supernatural darkness and thus out of her sight, the commander drops to one knee. He sets his axes down on the ground beside him, then lifts his arms above his head.

"I can't defend myself. I surrender to your mercy."

***

Semenya sends another pair of firey magic missiles into each of two more creepers.

Fire damage (Creeper #9): 2d4 + 10 ⇒ (4, 1) + 10 = 15
Fire damage (Creeper #10): 2d4 + 10 ⇒ (2, 1) + 10 = 13

One dies, combusting into bright light, while the other appears to be on the verge of death.

Fortitude (Appario): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22

Once again, Appario's eyes withstand the intensity of the light.

***

One stalker reopens its eyes, no longer blinded. It picks up one of the weapons it dropped while stunned earlier, and sees the serpentine creature before it. The stalker steps closer and attacks.

Will disbelief: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20

Upon seeing his sword pass straight through the creature with no effect, the stalker hisses in anger at having been fooled by a mere illusion.

The remaining (all blind) stalkers and creepers remain unmoving, simply attempting to keep some sort of active defense.

***

>>>Current Map<<<

Up next: The PCs.


Male Human (Taldan) Abadaran Militant 12

Round 6, Init 20

Appario shields his face from the multiple explosions, trying to keep his eyes from bleaching in the blasts.

Hearing the Commander's words, Appario races to accept honorable surrender in combat.

Appario will Spring Attack Stalker#1 (who asked for no quarter) on his way to the Commander ending up in J12, blocking Yahirma's path to the Commander.

1d20 + 12 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 12 + 1 = 29 to hit;
1d10 + 1d6 + 5 ⇒ (3) + (3) + 5 = 11 damage.

"Drop your axe, on your knees. I will accept your surrender. What is your name?" Appario will address the Commander, while nodding to Yahirma.

"Watch my back, Yahirma. This one has asked for quarter."


Ancient Shoanti War Spirit 12 | 148/148 hp + 81/81 temps, Init +2, AC 33 (40 with barkskin, shield, and haste, +1 near Derek) [touch 15, FF 31], Fort +18, Ref +11, Will +14; Perception +6
Resources:
1st 6/6 | 2nd 5/5 | 3rd 4/4 | 4th 3/3 | Summon 7/7 | Rage 20/20

Rage 4/18

Shaking the shreds of filthy rag and bits of gore from his horns, the bestial spirit advances on his remaining foes.

Hammer
1d20 + 16 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 16 + 1 = 24
1d6 + 21 ⇒ (3) + 21 = 24

Hammer
1d20 + 11 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 11 + 1 = 31
1d6 + 21 ⇒ (2) + 21 = 23

Hasted Hammer
1d20 + 16 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 16 + 1 = 27
1d6 + 21 ⇒ (5) + 21 = 26

Hoof
1d20 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 9 + 1 = 12
1d4 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (1) + 8 + (4) = 13

Hoof
1d20 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 9 + 1 = 19
1d4 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (4) + 8 + (4) = 16

Horns
1d20 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 9 + 1 = 27
1d6 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (1) + 8 + (4) = 13

Shoanti:
"IS NONE HERE WORTHY?"

Advancing into D7 after the first stalker goes down. If the second on goes down too, any remaining attacks will go on the illusion. He doesn't know any better.


The first stalker is crushed by the first hit of The Beast's hammer, exploding in an expanding ball of white-hot flame.

Reflex (The Beast): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
Reflex (Stalker #2): 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (19) + 13 = 32

Misfortune reroll (The Beast): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24

Both The Beast and the stalker escape the flames unscathed, although the stalker can't escape the bestial spirit's wrath as The Beast steps closer and lays into it with hammer, hooves, and horns. The stalker still stands following the onslaught, but only barely.

Those misfortunes continue keeping the party out of a great deal of potential trouble :)

***

Appario's passing strike creates a fine gash in the stalker's leg, blood beginning to trickle down as the knight continues running towards his true errand.

The commander turns towards Appario's voice, his unseeing eyes not quite able to find the right spot as he stares into the distance. Following orders, he answers the question.

"My name is Stiglor."

***

>>>Current Map<<<

Up next: Derek (still blind one more round), Yahirma, and Semenya.


Female Changeling (Mauxi Mwangi) Mwangi Spiritualist 12

The leader capitulates. Appario seems to be managing these rituals...

Yahirma turns from the blinded commander, steps to G11, and brings her arms together. Following her upspoken commands, both chains converge on Stalker #2.

Chain 1 (6/7 rounds) trips the Stalker 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (14) + 12 = 26
Chain 2 (2/7 rounds) entangles the Stalker 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (6) + 16 = 22


Through some agile evasive maneuvers, the now-seeing stalker is able to keep both chains from fulfilling their tasks, jumping one (which still grazes the soles of his boots) while ducking the other.

It helps to get the full benefits of a 27 CMD as opposed to the 18 it gets while blind!

***

Semenya continues her tactics, dropping yet more firey missiles into the still-standing foes near her.

Fire damage (Creeper #9): 2d4 + 10 ⇒ (2, 1) + 10 = 13
Fire damage (Stalker #1): 2d4 + 10 ⇒ (3, 3) + 10 = 16

The creeper combusts into a final burst of light, while the stalker adds a patch of burnt skin to the gash Appario made.

Fortitude (Semenya): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11

Duration: 1d6 ⇒ 5

The intense light from the creeper's explosion leave Semenya blinded for no less than 5 rounds.

***

I'm guessing Derek won't do too much while he's blind, so I'm moving on to the enemy actions.

***

Seeing their commander surrendering to Appario's mercy, the wounded stalker near The Beast shouts something in its native tongue, then withdraws into the forest to the north (ending 35 ft north of The Beast).

***

The remaining, still-blind stalker turns towards the voice, then it too begins moving.

Direction: 1d8 ⇒ 3 (1 is straight north, then clockwise)

First stumbling into the tent, the stalker changes course.

Direction: 1d5 ⇒ 2 (as before, except without the three eastern directions)

Moving south, the stalker's move ends at the edge of the forest.

***

The supernatural darkness clears, revealing a blinded creeper edging its way into the forest to the south, while the few remaining combatants are embraced by the Morrowfall's bright daylight.

***

>>>Current Map<<<

Up next: The PCs. Derek can see again, while Semenya is blind.


Male Human (Taldan) Abadaran Militant 12

Did the Commander drop his axe? Kneel?

Appario readies to strike again...


Yes. He did that before Appario even arrived. See the post where he initially stated his surrender to Yahirma:

DM Are wrote:
the commander drops to one knee. He sets his axes down on the ground beside him, then lifts his arms above his head.


Ancient Shoanti War Spirit 12 | 148/148 hp + 81/81 temps, Init +2, AC 33 (40 with barkskin, shield, and haste, +1 near Derek) [touch 15, FF 31], Fort +18, Ref +11, Will +14; Perception +6
Resources:
1st 6/6 | 2nd 5/5 | 3rd 4/4 | 4th 3/3 | Summon 7/7 | Rage 20/20

Rage 5/18

With all of his lesser foes vanquished, the Shoanti spirit turns his attention to the giant serpentine monstrosity before him and unleashes the whole of his fury.

The Beast growls his frustration after his attacks meet little resistance. Eager for more bloodshed he surveys the other nearby battles.

Unless somebody entices him to not do so, the Beast is going to go join one of the other fights. What's going on in the adjacent battles?


Madjaw and his band of redcaps look battered, but in control of their corner of the battlefield. About twice as many foes lie dead as redcaps, and now that the chain of command has been broken the remaining foes are either dying or fleeing.

The beetle lies defeated in the midst of a mound of torn-off pieces of flesh and bone. Only a pair of giants and a scattered group of humans have emerged from that battle alive, most with acid-burns on their bodies. The humans have retreated towards the eastern-most reserve camp, while the giants appeared to have been on their way towards the command camp when they noticed Stiglor surrendering and the dark folk retreating, and have instead turned towards the forest.

The Beast could catch up to these giants with a charge.

The two reserve forces set to guard the unassaulted camps are in the process of leaving as well, as they too have noticed the surrender of their leadership.

The Beast could reach the nearest of these reserve guards before they're ready to leave.


Ancient Shoanti War Spirit 12 | 148/148 hp + 81/81 temps, Init +2, AC 33 (40 with barkskin, shield, and haste, +1 near Derek) [touch 15, FF 31], Fort +18, Ref +11, Will +14; Perception +6
Resources:
1st 6/6 | 2nd 5/5 | 3rd 4/4 | 4th 3/3 | Summon 7/7 | Rage 20/20

Rage 6/18

Throwing back his bovine head and loosing a thunderous roar, the hulking spirit charges after the giants.

Actual charge this time.

1d20 + 21 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 21 + 2 + 1 = 31
1d6 + 21 ⇒ (3) + 21 = 24


DM rolls:

#1: 1d25 ⇒ 14
#2: 1d25 ⇒ 23

***

The Beast's hammer crushes into one giant's back, leading to a cry of surprised pain.

The struck giant turns to face its new foe, raising its greatclub to attack. The other giant also turns, returning to aid its friend.

Greatclub attack #1 (Giant #1): 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (2) + 14 = 16
Greatclub attack #2 (Giant #1): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
Greatclub attack #3 (Giant #2): 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (11) + 14 = 25

Greatclub damage #1: 2d8 + 10 ⇒ (5, 3) + 10 = 18
Greatclub damage #2: 2d8 + 10 ⇒ (2, 5) + 10 = 17
Greatclub damage #3: 2d8 + 10 ⇒ (1, 4) + 10 = 15

All of their attacks miss.

***

Up next: The Beast. The giants are currently adjacent both to eachother and to The Beast.

Note: Derek and Yahirma can still affect the retreat of the dark folk; The Beast is the only one who has moved into the "future" as of yet (see this post for map.


Ancient Shoanti War Spirit 12 | 148/148 hp + 81/81 temps, Init +2, AC 33 (40 with barkskin, shield, and haste, +1 near Derek) [touch 15, FF 31], Fort +18, Ref +11, Will +14; Perception +6
Resources:
1st 6/6 | 2nd 5/5 | 3rd 4/4 | 4th 3/3 | Summon 7/7 | Rage 20/20

Bah, copy/paste fails.

The Beast bristles with energy as his new foes turn to face him. As their blows recoil off of his magical protections and the spirit-stuff composing his thick hide, he fires back with his hammer and natural weapons.

Hammer

1d20 + 16 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 16 + 1 = 20
1d6 + 21 ⇒ (5) + 21 = 26

Hammer

1d20 + 11 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 11 + 1 = 24
1d6 + 21 ⇒ (6) + 21 = 27

Hasted Hammer (which isn't valid)

1d20 + 16 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 16 + 1 = 22
1d6 + 21 ⇒ (6) + 21 = 27

Hoof

1d20 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 9 + 1 = 13
1d4 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (1) + 8 + (5) = 14

Hoof

1d20 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 9 + 1 = 11
1d4 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (4) + 8 + (6) = 18

Horns

1d20 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 9 + 1 = 25
1d6 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (4) + 8 + (2) = 14


The duration of haste expired following the charge, so The Beast doesn't get its benefits during that attack routine.

The Beast's hammer and horns lay waste to the first giant, while the other roars in defiance and attempts to draw blood from this beast that stands before it in solitary arrogance.

Greatclub attack #1: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (9) + 14 = 23
Greatclub attack #2: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14

Greatclub damage #1: 2d8 + 10 ⇒ (5, 8) + 10 = 23
Greatclub damage #2: 2d8 + 10 ⇒ (2, 2) + 10 = 14

Again the club bounces off The Beast's protective spells and armored hide.

Up next: The Beast.


Ancient Shoanti War Spirit 12 | 148/148 hp + 81/81 temps, Init +2, AC 33 (40 with barkskin, shield, and haste, +1 near Derek) [touch 15, FF 31], Fort +18, Ref +11, Will +14; Perception +6
Resources:
1st 6/6 | 2nd 5/5 | 3rd 4/4 | 4th 3/3 | Summon 7/7 | Rage 20/20

You're right, my mistake.

Rage 8/18

The hulking spirit is pleased at finally finding a foe that will stand his ground. Responding with a warcry of his own, he lashes out again.

Hammer

1d20 + 16 ⇒ (16) + 16 = 32
1d6 + 21 ⇒ (3) + 21 = 24

Hammer

1d20 + 11 ⇒ (20) + 11 = 31
1d6 + 21 ⇒ (2) + 21 = 23

Hoof

1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20
1d4 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (2) + 8 + (5) = 15

Hoof

1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15
1d4 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (3) + 8 + (4) = 15

Horns

1d20 + 9 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 9 + 1 = 14
1d6 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (5) + 8 + (3) = 16

Hammer Confirming Crit

1d20 + 11 ⇒ (13) + 11 = 24
1d6 + 21 ⇒ (1) + 21 = 22 extra damage


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 4

Derek rubs his eyes and blinks rapidly as his vision returns.
Not bad...
Deciding against attacking the retreating darkfolk, Derek instead turns his attention towards the new targets.


The Beast's new foe doesn't get the chance to stand its ground for very long, as two devastating blows with the hammer leave the Hill Giant in a crumpled heap before the Shoanti spirit's hooves.

At seeing this display of power from the warrior spirit, the remains of the former army waste no time in getting out of the clearing as they scatter in all directions seemingly with no common goal beyond survival.

Under Dog's Tongue's guidance, the redcaps begin demolishing the toxic fires surrounding the Maggot Tree, while a battered and bloody Madjaw walks towards Yahirma with determined steps and a wide grin on his face.

"Woman! Madjaw is ready for his reward!"

***

If Derek packs the Morrowfall back in his pocket, he finds himself almost unwilling to relinquish his grip on the artifact, and becomes increasingly sorrowful at not holding it over the next few days.


Ancient Shoanti War Spirit 12 | 148/148 hp + 81/81 temps, Init +2, AC 33 (40 with barkskin, shield, and haste, +1 near Derek) [touch 15, FF 31], Fort +18, Ref +11, Will +14; Perception +6
Resources:
1st 6/6 | 2nd 5/5 | 3rd 4/4 | 4th 3/3 | Summon 7/7 | Rage 20/20

Shu-Ak’eh-Di watches with pleasure as his foes break before him.

Shoanti:
"A GLORIOUS BATTLE!"

The Beast quickly returns to the previous location with the Gardners and Madjaw.


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 4

Ugh...knowing Satyrs I have a fair idea what kind of "reward" he is hoping for.

It occurs to Derek that the mother would have monitored the battle, as she was looking for a rescue, perhaps there might be a way to avoid it?

Taking a few steps away from the others, Derek begins to whisper under his breath.
"Oh mother, I ask for your ear. We have broken the siege and driven your enemies away.
I ask, if you could grant a small personal boon besides helping my brothers love...
Please, reign in your amorous underling, I do not wish my friend Yahirma to be forced to kiss (or more) a being that reminds me of the fur carpets that is common in some Cheliaxans ladies chambers."


Male Human (Taldan) Abadaran Militant 12

Appario looks at Derek.

Carpets? What about the drapes?

Appario speaks to Stiglor.

"Stiglor, you are my prisoner, and I'd like to keep it that way. Why are you here? Why are you besieging this blasted tree with giants and all sorts of fell minions?"

Appario Detects Evil on Stiglor.


Female Changeling (Mauxi Mwangi) Mwangi Spiritualist 12

Yahirma struggles to regain her non-Infernal linguistic capacity. Putting on a brave face to veil what might otherwise betray a nervous tick, she gives Madjaw a smile as he approaches. "You speak the truth - and beautifully you fought - but recall that the horned champion and his woman-to-be made a pact to stand before the one who could enable their union," she reminds Madjaw with a meaningful look towards the enormous tree. "The two must entreat her blessing first lest they instead invoke her curse."

Diplomacy check just to slow Madjaw's libido before Yahirma is subject to its Greater Overrun attempt 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22

Taking small steps to put Shu-Ak'eh-Di in Madjaw's line of sight, Yahirma quickly scans the clearing's perimeter for signs of Vahnwynne.

Let's see how little trouble I can get us into, she thinks as one after another the glowing chains of force wink out of existence. I wouldn't want him to get any ideas.


Ancient Shoanti War Spirit 12 | 148/148 hp + 81/81 temps, Init +2, AC 33 (40 with barkskin, shield, and haste, +1 near Derek) [touch 15, FF 31], Fort +18, Ref +11, Will +14; Perception +6
Resources:
1st 6/6 | 2nd 5/5 | 3rd 4/4 | 4th 3/3 | Summon 7/7 | Rage 20/20

The hulking spirit catches up with the party, the thick slabs of muscle covering his frame still bristling with barely restrained energy. Within his shadowy form a sheen of sweat cover's the winded Maddok.

The Beast regards the bloodied Madjaw with a snort and a nod, looks to Yahrima, and then back to the Satyr before bellowing his approval.

Shoanti:
"WE HAVE WAITED AGES FOR A BATTLE THIS GLORIOUS. IS THIS ONE SATED?"


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 4

Shoanti:
"Sated with battle yes, now he hungers for another form of physical release..."


Appario detects a faint evil aura emanating from Stiglor.

Stiglor continues to stare unseeing in the general direction of Appario's voice during their conversation.

"Those were my orders from the Council of Thieves. They wish the witch dead."

***

Madjaw gives a great hearty laugh.

"You play hard to get, woman! Madjaw enjoys a challenge! Very well, I shall wait, but not for too long."

He glances briefly at The Beast between them, but focuses his attention on Yahirma.

***

Once Derek puts the Morrowfall and its daylight safely away, it doesn't take long before Vahnwynne emerges from the forest. She searches the clearing for her Maddok, until her gaze finally finds his motionless form within The Beast.

She gasps, her hands venturing towards her weapons.

"What has happened to my love?!" she shouts at noone in particular as she speeds towards The Beast.


Ancient Shoanti War Spirit 12 | 148/148 hp + 81/81 temps, Init +2, AC 33 (40 with barkskin, shield, and haste, +1 near Derek) [touch 15, FF 31], Fort +18, Ref +11, Will +14; Perception +6
Resources:
1st 6/6 | 2nd 5/5 | 3rd 4/4 | 4th 3/3 | Summon 7/7 | Rage 20/20

The bestial spirit studies the Satyr a moment and then looks Yahirma over closely. He rumbles something while motioning to Appario, himself, and Madjaw.

Shoanti:
"THE GREATEST SPOILS BELONG TO THE WARRIOR THAT CONQUERED THE STRONGEST FOES. THIS ONE SUBDUED THE ENEMY'S CHAMPION. WE SLEW GIANTS. WHAT ENEMIES DID THIS ONE VANQUISH?"

As Vahnwynne exits the forest and comes running towards the assembly the Beast growls and paws the earth.

Shoanti:
"ABOMINATION..."


Female Changeling (Mauxi Mwangi) Mwangi Spiritualist 12

Sense Motive for lack of language skills 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
Borrow Fortune! 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20

Phew! The invaders are held at the palisade for a few minutes more, I think, and Vahnwynne has returned to...wait a moment...

Yahirma springs into action with alacrity that has escaped her up until now in combat, jumping between ectoplasmic minotaur and the accursed hunter to prevent a tragically violent reunion founded on misunderstandings. "Slow down, Vahnwynne!" she calls out, endeavoring to be heard but soothe simultaneously.

Diplomacy (Borrowed Fortune cool-down) 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12 <- This one
Diplomacy (Borrowed Fortune cool-down) 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14

Yahirma stumbles verbally, expressing, "Maddok is alive within and alright because he ceded control to - well, it's a pact made when he doesn't want to fight or, see, the creature you see does want to fight."

This would be so much clearer in Infernal.

Exasperated, she calls out for Derek's assistance, points to Shu-Ak'eh-Di while making a few "calm him down" motions, and tries to reassure Vahnwynne by saying "I think we're all just a little excited. Let's calm down, and I'll try again to explain everything."


Male Human (Taldan) Abadaran Militant 12
DM Are wrote:
"Those were my orders from the Council of Thieves. They wish the witch dead."

"Why Stiglor? Who cares about a hag and her tree? And who is this Council of Thieves? I can't wait to get out of this forest, not sure why'd you want to be in it."

1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25 Diplomacy

Appario digs for truth.


Vahnwynne slows down at Yahirma's frantic words, although she still keeps her hands near her weapons, ready to draw at a moment's notice. Her eyes show a great deal of confusion as she looks from Yahirma to Maddok's form within the Shoanti spirit.

"What are you saying? A pact? Ceded control? Like a.." She struggles to find comparisons matching this concept. "Like a man who becomes a wolf at the full moon? Or like a devil taking possession of a child?"

***

Stiglor laughs, but there's no humor in it, only bitterness.

"I live among the elements, not by choice but by necessity. There's no longer a place for me in the city. Only death awaits me should I return there."

"The Council of Thieves is an ancient organization, running and overseeing the organized crime that takes place in Westcrown. Their leadership is largely Westcrown nobility. I don't know why they're interested in this hag."


Male Human (Taldan) Abadaran Militant 12

Appario nods in sympathy.

"A few more questions, please. We are both men of honor and it's nice to talk to someone who understand such." Appario ponders.

1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28 Diplomacy

"How did they gather this army? What did they promise giants for their aid? And these dark ones? What of them? Did you recruit them? How so? And what are they paid?"


Female Changeling (Mauxi Mwangi) Mwangi Spiritualist 12

I just told an emotionally fragile vampire that her lover becomes possessed by a bestial spirit several times a month. That was foolish...

"The force that surrounds him is his totem spirit, a bonded entity that typically guides him and offers advice. Where Maddok is guided by kindness and seeks to create a greater future by the forge's flames, the spirit known as Shu-Ak'eh-Di is aroused by the pounding of blood in one's temples and the hot slick of sweat that shivers, barely evaporating in the heat of battle. Some years ago one found the other, and from the union sprang Maddok's knack for conjuration - including calling the Shoanti animus to empower himself in combat."

Yahirma glances back at the Beast before continuing. "The creature knows loyalty to comrades in arms, but it understands you to be more a threat than an ally for rushing from the woods. For now let us keep a bit of distance until Maddok emerges once again or until Derek can introduce the two of you." She steps next to her vampiric friend and gives the other's arm a reassuring squeeze.

She briefly betrays her vocational background as she confides, "It shows considerable devotion - both to you and to his craft - for him to manifest such a symbiont. At this moment he sees with a different pair of eyes, but within it is still the same man you know. He shall be able to explain the tradition better than I in due time.

"For now, the Mother awaits."

Oh, Appario Lind - you can negotiate unhindered amidst the most turbulent developments.


Ancient Shoanti War Spirit 12 | 148/148 hp + 81/81 temps, Init +2, AC 33 (40 with barkskin, shield, and haste, +1 near Derek) [touch 15, FF 31], Fort +18, Ref +11, Will +14; Perception +6
Resources:
1st 6/6 | 2nd 5/5 | 3rd 4/4 | 4th 3/3 | Summon 7/7 | Rage 20/20

Yahirma your posts are awesome as always but I'm going to move this along.

The bull snorts again in anger sending thick gusts of steam into the night air.

Shoanti:
"THIS ABOMINATION CANNOT BE ABIDED. WE WILL WIPE THIS STAIN FROM THE LAND."

The bestial spirit takes two more aggressive steps towards the huntress before until it suddenly halts and then, without a sound, the shadowy essence composing its hulking form shatters like glass. The dark fragments quickly melt away and dissipate into the air as if they were nothing more than smoke. Maddok's half-waking form collapses in its midst.


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 12 | 136/136 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +6
Resources:
1st 5/6 | 2nd 1/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 3/3 | Summon 7/7 | Rage 20/20

Maddok quickly climbs to his feat and rushes to Vahnwynne's side.

"When he is in control my senses are dull and distant but I felt him want to hurt you. Forgive me. His will is strong and he does not understand our struggle."

As if seeing him for the first time, the big Shoanti regards Madjaw with a nod. "It pleases me to see that you survived the battle", he offers while taking Vahnwynne's hand.


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 4

"It is at times like this I wish I was the type of bard that carried a harp to strum, because this is all worthy of a song Derek quips.
"Alas all I have is a lute."

Either way, he digs out his finely crafted lute and begins to strum a soft melody as he begins to hum and compose a song under his breath.

"Now what rhymes with "lovers reunited...?"

"His tongue is made of silver, for he worships a god of cold.
A man of fiery passion, but in battle his temper is cold.
He seeks the greatest profits; he has a merchant’s heart.
If he possessed all the worlds’ wealth, it would make a satisfying start."

"His strength is that of a giant, no mountain will stand in his way.
To me he is a brother, and will remain so come what may.
He is the lover of Vahnwynne, and for her he will fight on.
No matter what happens, his hope is never gone."

"Yahirma is a woman jungle bred,
And from her home she quickly fled.
Our luck is great that she was here this day,
her native wisdom chase the shadows away."

"Small and fierce like a badger, he is one to watch.
Insult him at your peril, he will cleave you head to crotch.
When you see him smile at you, you will surely faint,
I bid you not sweet friend of mine, or you will become his paint."

"And who am I, your narrator?
Why I am a man of no concern.
My name is Derek Keegan,
and I will never learn."

Perform Stringed: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18
Perform Sing: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20

Need more verses...


Male Human (Taldan) Abadaran Militant 12

Bravo, Derek! We're not worthy.

Appario listens to Derek, but leans in closer to hear Stiglor's replies.


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 4

That was hard I don't mind admiting, I may be many things, but a songwriter I am not.


"The giants were promised they could keep Hagwood as their domain once the witch no longer ruled the forest, as I understand it. I know little of the motivations of the dark ones. They're allies of a Council advisor; I know him only as the Lord of Shadows."

Stiglor touches his face near his eyes, hands close to trembling.

"I have answered your questions. My blindness. Can you cure it?"

***

Vahnwynne listens intently to Yahirma's explanation while looking with worry at Maddok's form within The Beast. Worry turns to alarm when The Beast begins its aggressive approach. She involuntarily gasps as the fragments dissipate around Maddok.

When he comes to her side, she still looks back at the spot where The Beast was last manifested. She looks at Maddok.

"Will that happen again? Will .. he? .. try to hurt me again?"

***

While these various conversations take place, the redcaps have efficiently and quickly taken care of the smoky fires, extinguishing their flames and scattering the wood. As the final remnants of the smoke clears, the branches of the huge Maggot Tree come alive as the thousands of flies and spiders inhabiting it wake from their stupor.

Soon after, an old woman appears as if from nowhere next to the dead body of the giant beetle. The woman stands there a moment, then begins walking towards the assembled group, leaning heavily on a gnarled staff. With every laboring step, the layer of flies covering her body take flight, landing again moments later.

As she comes closer, her hideousness is revealed. Her face is a grayish-green mass of wrinkles, warts, and scars beneath a mop of coarse, bark-like hair. Her eyes are dark and sagging, but lack color; they're flat, black orbs. She wears filthy rags and dozens of bone and stone fetishes. In addition to the flies, hundreds of maggots also cover her body.

She cackles with glee as she approaches.

"I'm the Mother of Flies. I thank you for your aid with this .. unpleasant matter!"

***

Due to Yahirma's and Maddok's earlier research, it's immediately clear that this woman is a Green Hag. All Bestiary information about Green Hags is also known.


Male Human (Taldan) Abadaran Militant 12
DM Are wrote:
"I have answered your questions. My blindness. Can you cure it?"

Appario turns away from the hag to answer Stiglor.

"I cannot here and now. Keep quiet if you want to live...something ubernatural approaches. If we survive and you'll walk back near the walls of Westcrown, I'll see if I can buy a cure inside." Appario whispers to Stiglor. "Besides, we are not done with the questions, Stiglor."

Appario turns back to the Green Hag, Detecting Evil.


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 12 | 136/136 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +6
Resources:
1st 5/6 | 2nd 1/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 3/3 | Summon 7/7 | Rage 20/20

Maddok holds Vahnwynne close to him. Although shaken by what almost happened he tries to not let it show.

"I won't let him hurt you", he whispers to the huntress.

***

As the Mother of Flies makes her appearance Maddok is instantly taken aback. He would never have guessed that the matron of the Hagwood was such a foul creature, but why not? The wise-men of his people often had their own deformities and eccentricities that might appear monstrous to outsiders.

Without releasing Vahnwynne's grasp, he returns the hag's greeting.

"Greetings Mother of the Hagwood. It was a battle that will not be soon forgotten", he answers. "I am Maddok Shiikirri-Quah, and this is Yahirma spirit-talker of the distant Mwangi, Appario Lind holy warrior of Abadar, my little brother Derek Keegan of the Keegan acting company, and this...", his says while looking into Vahnwynne's eyes again, "is Vahnwynne Malkistra the Moon of my Life."


Male Human (Azalanti) Bard 8/Fighter 4

Hah! Unpleasant? This "mother" of ours has a real gift for understatements, and lacks my skilful poetic touch. If I was me, I would have called it HIGHLY unpleasant."

Say, doesn't hags like to mate with and then devour handsome men?
...
...
...
My how ugly I look today! Why compared to these other men here I am surely not palatable at all.


Appario detects a moderate evil aura surrounding the hag.

***

Vahnwynne lets herself be embraced, but Maddok senses that she's not entirely convinced by his whispers of comfort. She keeps close to him as the hag approaches.

***

Madjaw interjects himself in the proceedings, quickly coming before the Mother.

"Mother. I come before you asking for your blessing, as I would have union with the woman Yahirma!"

The satyr grins excitedly towards Yahirma. The hag briefly follows his look before returning her gaze to him.

"Such rush! Where was this rush when your Mother was in need of your aid, hmm? Did you not lay snoring in your shelter only a few hours hence, with no intention of coming here?"

The old crone cackles loudly.

"Perhaps this union can wait as long as I waited! There are other matters to attend to before the sun wakes to scare away the night."

Madjaw dejectedly moves out of her way, glancing quickly to gauge Yahirma's reaction.

The Mother of Flies closes in on Maddok and Vahnwynne, stretching one gnarled finger towards Vahnwynne's chin. She lifts her head and studies it, then strokes her cheek before pulling back.

"So. You wish the curse on this one lifted. It's not an easy task, hmm? Not many know the secret to turning nightwalkers into daywalkers once more!"

She cackles again.

"But this old hag can help you, yes! For a price, of course!"

The hag looks expectantly at the assembled group.


Male Human (Taldan) Abadaran Militant 12

Appario looks confused, looking at Maddok.

"I was told we had a deal, hag. A deal is a deal. Lift the siege and you'll end her curse."


Male Shoanti Barbarian/Summoner 12 | 136/136 hp + 0 nonlethal, Init +2, AC 25 (29 /w barkskin) (+1 near Derek) [touch 16, FF 23], Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +6
Resources:
1st 5/6 | 2nd 1/5 | 3rd 1/4 | 4th 3/3 | Summon 7/7 | Rage 20/20

Maddok looks to Appario with a desperate glance, not one of disagreement but of fear that his outburst might ruin things with the hag.

"What more would you ask?", the big man asks solemnly.


Male Human (Taldan) Abadaran Militant 12

1d20 + 0 ⇒ (15) + 0 = 15 Sense Motive

Nope.

"Wait. We had a deal," Appario asks again, trying to get clarification.


The hag cackles as Appario voices his concerns.

"Abadar's faith runs strong in this one! But I think someone has been forgetful! No deal was yet made. I said I couldn't perform the ritual while under siege, and we would talk more once there was peace around the Maggot Tree. Your warrior friend promised to set my mind at ease."

She cackles again.

"So here we are! I suspect my price will not be met with objections. In fact, it's very possible you would pay it even if you had never come here!"

Another cackle, longer and louder than the last.

***

She speaks the truth, by the way; see this post :)


Male Human (Taldan) Abadaran Militant 12
DM Are wrote:
She speaks the truth, by the way; see this post :)

Well, Appario wasn't at the that meeting so this post is much more appropriate to Appario's viewpoint.

Appario looks at Maddok, uncertain.

"Is this true? We raised an army to help her and she asks us for more? What was the deal, Maddok?"

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