Xerath steps back to N42 and fires off rays of fire at his "child" that seem to weave in and out of the ethereal much like lightning.
Ectoplasmic Scorching Rays
1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 8 + 2 = 30
4d6 + 4 ⇒ (4, 5, 2, 1) + 4 = 16
1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 8 + 2 = 21
4d6 + 4 ⇒ (2, 1, 5, 6) + 4 = 18
Confirming: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 8 + 2 = 13
4d6 + 4 ⇒ (6, 6, 3, 5) + 4 = 24
Xerath completely obliterates his recently-born child with a pair of well-placed rays.
Maddok's child ineffectually attempts to strike the warded warrior.
The commanded shadows also ineffectually attempt to strike their nearest targets (Appario's ward protects him, while Silana's Undead-ness protects her), unless Yahirma gives them other orders.
The audience-shadows seem undecided about whether to attack the one who just sent a wave of positive energy over them, or to continue playing the role of audience.
Silana steps back, nearly bumping into Xerath, and fires a volley of magic missiles at her child.
Force damage: 5d4 + 5 ⇒ (1, 4, 4, 3, 4) + 5 = 21
Her shadow is efficiently unravelled by the force missiles.
The two blue-squared shadows are under Yahirma's control.
Up next: The PCs (Maddok's round 1, everyone else's round 2).
Without Drovalid's signature whip, Maddok improvises.
He pulls Shadowbinder from its harness and, after a dramatic flourish, cleaves into his 'child' with it.
Shadowbinder: 1d20 + 12 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 12 + 3 = 25
Damage: 1d10 + 17 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 17 + 3 = 27
Appario will get into the 'act' teehee and strike down Shadow #3.
1d20 + 15 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 15 + 2 = 18 to hit;
1d10 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 6 + 2 = 9 damage;
1d20 + 10 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 10 + 2 = 13 to hit;
1d10 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 6 + 2 = 13 damage.
Appario, really getting into the Tybain spirit, whiffs like a foppish dandy.
Don't think they need more help now...BUT they are meant to kill their OWN child in the play, so I guess I'll help Appario a bit longer.
Derek moves closer behind Maddok, seemingly to berate Drovalid for betraying his position in the earlier part of the play, but really to make sure his inspiration is strengthen by the closeness to his brother.
Inspire courage +3, 11/21 rounds used.
Yahirma mock-charges her own shadowy devil child, calling out an Infernal battle cry. With wand outstretched, she rushes past the shadow, which sinks obligingly and agonizingly into the ground.
Double move to O-40 between Larazod and Haanderthan while waving the wand (non-magically) at the shadow.
Bluff if needed: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (20) + 19 = 39
Appario's shadow-child continues to ineffectually attack him, while Silana relaxes now that the battle seems well in hand. She moves over to her Ilsandra. "Oh, what trials shall the nefarious Haanderthan administer next?"
Yahirma discovers that even though the vampire is clearly speaking in the Common tongue, she can understand her perfectly.
The second controlled shadow is currently inside the floor beneath M45.
Up next: The PCs (Maddok's round 2, everyone else's round 3).
Drovalid strides forward and cuts down the 'child' the paladin is laughably flailing at.
Shadowbinder: 1d20 + 12 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 12 + 2 = 17
Damage: 1d10 + 17 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 17 + 2 = 26
I'm not sure what Yahirma has planned from here.
Maddok looks to Yahirma and Derek for direction.
With combat done from her perspective, Yahirma salutes her companions, looks to Haanderthan, and announces, "Ha, another of your trials has fallen, vile worm! We have had our way with them." In an aside to the remaining shadows, she adds, "And I am ever nearer to having my way with these lusty companions!"
Flashing a smile, she turns back to Haanderthan and inquires with a hint of mockery, "Are you ready to admit defeat and call down your judgment now, or do you deign to suffer the defeat of another trial? Were you even to call up the hellish legions or a greater power, they would find nothing but delectable innocence."
Bluff for innuendo to Derek: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (11) + 19 = 30
It is your choice whether or not to proceed to Act VI or jump to the judgment of Act VII. We did very well in destroying the shadows...if it isn't broken, don't fix it?
Either we proceed to Act VI to destroy the remaining shadows without angering Silana, or we jump to Act VII and judge Larazod. When Silana was set to play Haanderthan, I was thinking that it would be a good opportunity to have her consumed by an illusory Asmodeus, but Larazod could just as easily be judged unworthy in this rendition, allowing us a chance to array ourselves to strike her down.
Although there are some hints of wistfulness and nostalgia in Silana's voice, I suspect she's too far gone to redeem as we did/are doing for Vahnwynne. Otherwise, I might give Xerath another gratuitous facepalm moment by offering her an escape from undeath. As it is, Appario seems about ready to Smite something, and I can hardly deny a patient paladin that joy.
Ironically enough, Xerath is less inclined to kill this one. It may be that you've broken him down enough to stop caring, or maybe it's because this one hasn't actually done anything. But hey, don't let me stop you from actually taking someone from team evil down.
I think we're leaving it in your hands. Just make a choice either way Yahirma.
"And spoil the ending of the play?" Yahirma responds with a chuckle. "No, no, there is but another act to go that will allow for audience participation." With that she looks to Haanderthan to begin the next Act's lines.
Words I never thought to hear from Appario's lips!
Sure let's see what Derek can extract from his new role. I can't deny a bard his chance to shine.
"Foul wretches! Do you believe this changes aught? Do you in your foolish litlte minds believe that this trial proves anything?
No! You have more tests ahead of you, and this time you will be revealed as the liars and followers of a fool that you truly are. Prepare yourself...for the armies of hell!"
Silana moves over to Yahirma, speaking Larazod's most passionate line of the play once more, this time in its rightful place although slightly embellished, while reaching out a hand towards her.
"Face of hazy dream-like bliss, kiss like fire. I burn for you, princess. Cling to me, dig your talons into my chest and touch my heart with white-hot caress. I yearn to feel it once more before this, what may be our final hour."
Maddok feigns a bow towards Yahirma before delivering Drovalid's final line for the act.
"You do me sweet honor, great lady. I stand in awe of your passion, and these worthy nobles’ unshakable courage. Even this milksop of a pall-o-dine stands hard against the torments of Hell—harder than the fiercest witch."
She is the lover after all.
I'm still not 100% certain what the plan is. Again, I think we're leaving things in Derek/Yahirma's hands. They're just moving veeerrrryyyyy slowly.
Then I will continue waiting with bated breath. =P
Yahirma places a warm hand upon Silana's shoulder, proclaiming, "I am yours for one thousand blissful years. Drink my
sizzling blood from my wrist, or anywhere else you like—
let us seal this sinful compact and consummate our love
in the heat of battle." Her lascivious lines delivered, she tilts her head back to Tybain as if awaiting his own proclamation.
Should an awkward silence result, the stage-erinyes moves onward, reciting the penultimate words that would bring the Act to a violent close. [b]"Great Tormentor, Drovalid Vorclune, let it be said a man
who can bear the vicious ministrations he renders upon
his foes is a great man indeed. Though I am pledged to
this young half-breed, know your courage sends shudders
through my loins."
Curling a finger about Silana's tresses, Ilsandra whispers to vampire, "Let the legion come, and so shall Larazod know the sweet embrace."
Down a few shadows that form the "legion," then either condemn Larazod in Act VII (Haanderthan wins?!? What a twist!) or congratulate Silana personally before Yahirma slips salt down her dress. If she judges the death wards are running out of time, Yahirma can readily bump up the time frame. Fortunately, Derek helped in that regard by transitioning right to the end of Act VI.
Gotta keep a vampire interested, y'know?
Sense Motive to assess Appario's on-stage confusion: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20
"Ah, even now Haanderthan sends the legions of hell to face us — a pitiful gesture that we shall cut down!" Yahirma announces while motioning with her free hand for the shadows to join the party on stage and begin the final combat.
Derek continues his act as Haanderthan/Thesing, walking around sneering at the party as they are about to confront the legions of hell.
And yet...clearly his bravado rings false, there is a worried undertone to his sneer that he cannot fully conceal.
"You struggle in vain fools, give up your foolish quest, cast yourself at my feet and confess your sins, black and manifold though they be, I shall consider showing you mercy..."
I wonder...how dedicated is she really? Could she be swayed from his side? It would be enough if we just did not need to fight her.
The shadows oblige, moving forward as they attempt to portray themselves as a legion of devils.
Initiative (Appario): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Initiative (Derek): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Initiative (Maddok): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Initiative (Xerath): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Initiative (Yahirma): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Initiative (Silana): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11
Initiative (Shadows): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Current Initiative order:
19 - Appario and the Shadows
16 - Xerath
14 - Yahirma
11 - Silana
7 - Maddok
5 - Derek
Appario is first to react to the shadows' movements.
There's also a commanded shadow beneath M45.
Up first: Appario.
Appario's Extortion snaps a few of the creature's shadowy strands, but he feels that the strike was less damaging than it would have been against a fully solid opponent.
The shadow he attacked retaliates ineffectually against its still-warded assailant, while the other two move around him to come at Xerath and Yahirma.
Appario gets an AoO against one of them (his choice).
Incorporeal touch #1 (vs Xerath): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
Incorporeal touch #2 (vs Yahirma): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Strength damage #1: 1d6 ⇒ 2
Strength damage #2: 1d6 ⇒ 6
Xerath is protected by his force armor, while Yahirma suffers 6 Strength damage from the shadow's barely-there touch.
There's also a commanded shadow beneath M45.
Up next: Xerath and Yahirma.
Xerath's going to be at work for a a while still. He asked me to pass his actions on.
Xerath takes a defensive step back and fires off a volley of arcane bolts into the shadow wounded by Appario.
Magic Missiles: 5d4 + 5 ⇒ (1, 2, 2, 4, 4) + 5 = 18
Even though the shadow's insubstantial touch imparts no physical impact, the attack leaves Yahirma reeling. She rasps a piteous plea to Larazod before conjuring a powerful chain to stymie future attacks.
Casting Defensively, DC 21: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (10) + 18 = 28
CMB by chain of perdition to blind Shadow #6: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (6) + 16 = 22
After the chain strikes at the shadow's head, Yahirma makes the most of its state and steps out of its reach.
If the shadow seems blinded, move to P-42. Otherwise step to O-41.
The force-chain wraps itself around the shadow's head, floating along with it and hindering its sight.
Silana stretches one hand comfortingly towards Yahirma, stroking her weakened arm, while pointing the other at the shadow. "Your kin will torment you no more, my infernal love!" Again Yahirma finds herself understanding the vampire's words clearly, despite her language-challenged state.
Force damage (magic missile): 5d4 + 5 ⇒ (1, 4, 4, 1, 1) + 5 = 16
Her words aren't entirely prophetic, as the shadow remains among the unliving despite her volley of force missiles.
Shadow #6 is blinded; I forgot to put a marker on it.
There's also a commanded shadow beneath M45.
Up next: Maddok and Derek (round 1), and Appario (round 2).
Spurred on by erinyes's lusty words (and the need to end the battle before Yahirma suffers another wound like that), Drovalid advances on the fresh shadow and smites it mightily.
Shadowbinder: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15
Damage: 1d10 + 17 ⇒ (8) + 17 = 25
In his haste to come to his companion's aid, Maddok/Drovalid only barely manages to keep his strike aimed well enough to hit the shadow. Once again, Shadowbinder unravels its victim.
The shadow is blinded. There's also a commanded shadow beneath M45.
Up next: Derek and Appario.