A raging, furious madman is shouting of theft, necromancy, foul arts, judgment and long names. I did not expect that. I like this madman already. However, La Siréne choses to raise her hand to her mouth and give a polite cough at the end of this outburst. And follows it with a statement so polite in its presentation it sounds stilted. ”Beg pardon, but this,” she waves her hand around her,” is a hospital. You,”she waves to the raging madman,” are raging, and possibly a madman. I suggest you present yourself, as credible. Please.” She then makes a polite nod.
Without averting his stern gaze from the Baron, Blackacre responds in a measured tone, I may be mad, but I am no madman, and my rage is well placed. I am Gaston Blackacre, Inspector of Galt. This man - he gestures at Volst with the point of his sword - is a criminal.
At that last word, Blackacre shows the slimmest grin of satisfaction. He is a thief of the worst kind - a thief of life itself. He is a thief of flesh, of blood, of souls. Blackacre pauses long enough to nod his head in the general direction of the nurse. As this nurse has seen, and as some others of you may have seen, he has just now pulled teeth and nails from the patients in this ward to feed his depravity. I intend to take him now, peacefully, from this place of healing and deliver him unto those who may judge him fairly, if harshly. His voice drops slightly as he looks the Baron in the eye: I am prepared, however, should he resist.
|Earl J V Caromarc|
Knowledge Local 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (14) + 12 = 26
Caromarc, reflects again on the truth of the adage that when all one has is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Coughing quiet words to himself he activates certain mystical preparations he imbibed this morning and activates his heightened eighth sense.
@ Sandru - You are able to hear a murmur of voices, but what they say remains indistinct. The voice of one man rises occasionally. He is loud and particularly angry.
@ Caromarc - You are also familiar with tales of the Black Breath because you have heard fellow scholars mention it in passing.
Images flash before your mind.
...in a friend's dark study...
...bookcases of polished wood...
...men in silk waistcoats standing at a mantle...
...a crackling fireplace...
...low chuckling over snifters of brandy...
There might be something in your memories. Does it run from you as your mind reaches back? Does it hide behind curtains...or is that merely a draught?
Baron Volst gives a petulant twitch of his upper lip. It looks like if he had mustachios he'd be twirling them for effect. He does not speak. His eyes search back and forth for possible escape routes. He seems to weigh his options and arrive at an internal decision. His expression relaxes, but it is not submissive. In his eyes, there's still a faint hint of mockery.
"I do not subscribe to your sheep-people morality," he replies. "However, for now, I have no choice. I will submit..."
Before he finishes that thought, there is an interruption.
I do not want to be here. It reminds me of the bad place. When I was the 'patient', straps, needles, many sharp metal ugly things.
But that is over. I need to help this Hareton. To help Olivia. The girl that was a fish.
I walk steady, not to drop anything. Medicine. Good medicine. I tried to save her, Olivia. I cannot quit, now. I want to pray, but who would listen?
Blackacre shows the faintest hint of a smile when Volst sees he's caught.
Damn right you don't have a choice, Baron. If only you had resisted, just a little bit, I - whaa?
And then you don't.
And then you do again.
And then you don't again.
As you wait for the spell to stabilize and provide further details, you are hit in your vision by an extremely bright light. Then, everything goes pitch black. You feel the air sucked out of your lungs. Emerald lights arc and zap across your vision against a field of violet photonegatives. The edges of your vision explode with blood. Bolts of lightning strike down and thunder crashes in your brain. You mentally cry out, drowned out by the cacophony of the mental apocalypse. You feel the molecules of the air around you heating up to dangerous levels and splitting apart. Something rends the fabric of space and time...huge dark rifts... You are torn apart into a million pieces.
You are catapulted into the Void.
Baron Volst is about to speak. All of a sudden, there is a thunderclap like an aerojet hitting mach speed, and Caromarc flies into the air as if punched in the chest and is thrown across the room. He hits the wall with a hard smack and drops in a heap on the floor.
Caromarc - you take 1d4 damage.
I remember I have my pack. It is good for carrying things like this. I can put them in, and when I need them... they are there.
I like my packpack. As I walk, I fill it with what Hareton gave me.
Following him, I wonder how surprised Caromarc will be to see me... inside the hospital. It is something Caromarc would do, so I try to calm the man.
Everything will be OK. Caromarc will help her, you will see... he knows about so much. He will help. It is the most I have talked all day.
Yes. At this moment -
In the Reaper's wing:
Ianez, his family, and Caromarc's mechanical servant are halfway down the long hall. Caromarc is also halfway down the hall, but on the other side (of the narrow width of the hall.)
Baron Volst, the Nurse, Gaston Blackacre, La Siréene, and Olivia are just beyond them (towards the far end of the room, further into the hospital. (While invisible and tracking the Baron, Blackacre snuck past Ianez to the far side of the hall.))
Sandru and Hareton are arriving at the entrance to the hall (the near end of the room, closer to the hospital entrance.)
Darious is outside the front of the hospital near the front doors.
|Dr. Hareton Grey|
|Earl J V Caromarc|
Caromarc presses his suddenly-moist palms against his eyes, attempting to block out the outside world for a second as everything jumbles together. He feels as if he is a topsy-turvy marionettes, limbs akimbo and strings tangled.
Drawing upon the meditation techniques he has learnt to clear his mind in order to memorise complex arcana workings and long speeches, he breathes deeply in... then out...
Clearing his vision he carefully rises to his feet.
1d4 damage taken = 1d4 ⇒ 2
Does Caromarc have any idea what might have happened?
Spellcraft 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (11) + 15 = 26
Knowledge:Arcana 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (19) + 15 = 34
"That was... most unpleasant"
Shaking his head - and immediately regretting the action - he pauses, then continues
"Please don't trouble yourself on my account, Sirs - and ladies. I concur with scholar Gastnicht's diagnosis. And if we are correct, we are all in grave danger of infection by a most malicious malady indeed! further.."
He sees Sandru Yes?
"Sandru! My friend! You are well come."
Gaston Blackacre, Inspector of Galt. Mad, no madman. Memorised. Having attained the name of the mad man, and intrigued by what happened to Caromarc, she steps forward, addressing Caromarc; ”You know Sandru personally? How pleasant. I owe him thanks. He helped getting this woman into the ward.” As she speaks, she points to Olive and gives Sandru a warm, sincere smile, which almost makes it seem as if she is glowing inside. She then turns back to Caromarc, expression contemplative.
”Name’s La Siréene Dorée. Seems we’ve got ourselves a problematic situation.”
Outside the hospital:
As Darious prepares his next move, the sky before him deepens in darkness. Small plumes of smoke feather out, as if an invisible menace wades through the air leaving a trail of corruption in its wake. The smoke coalesces. There appears glowing eyes, then a snout, then teeth, followed by scales, wings, legs, a tail...
From the night, lumbers the form an ancient umbral dragon. It cranes forth its neck towards Darious, snaps its wings, and gives a deafening roar.
The hospitals doors close and are bolted with heavy crossbars. The night is locked out.
Did the elf make it inside?
Ianez turns towards the newest arrival, a hurriedly-suppressed look of shock on his face as Sandru's appearance registers. First a philosopher, then a criminal and pursuer, then a...what is it? Ah, well. Politeness costs nothing but gains much, and it sounds as though Caromarc thinks well of him. He lowers his sword and inclines his head slightly in greeting. "A pleasure, sir. Your name is Sandru, I believe? I am Ianez Gastnicht."
|Dr. Hareton Grey|
The next few moments are experienced by everyone in beats, like the rhythm of a heart.
Lub... Iozef groans and clutches his stomach. He doesn't look well.
Dub... A crackle of residual arcane energies around Caromarc. His hair stands slightly on end.
Lub... A soft sigh from Olivia. She dies.
Dub... Iozef sways unsteadily.
Lub... Hareton wails in despair. "NOOOOOO!!"
Dub... Another spark of arcane energy. Baron Volst disappears.
Lub... Hareton falls to his knees and looks at La Siréene and Sandru, his expression one of stunned disbelief.
Dub... Baron Volst materializes near the entrance to the room. He looks surprised.
Lub... Iozef's eyes roll back. He slumps to the floor.
Dub... Amelie kneels at her brother's side.
As the mind and conscious of Nameless snaps back into its own body, and it fights to regain its senses from that uncomfortable episode, the part of itself it has always depended on the most states what it knows to itself, as well as the emotions it regards these events with.
The person known as Olivia died. Humans are falling to the ground, unconscious. Inconvenient.
With the mind and identity confirmed, La Siréene calmly muses over how to react in this situation, wherein there are many things to focus upon. She chooses to give calming Sandru a try. Meeting Hareton's disbelieving eyes, she speaks to Sandru as if from somewhere far away, her face vague and unreadable.
”Sandru? I believe the source of that event is what hurt Caromarc. Swords are out because of fear.”
"Oh, Iozef!" Amelie says.
Iozef groans and sits up. His movement is fast and jerky. From under his dark brow, his eyes glow like red pinpoints. He tilts his head to one side, pulls Amelie toward him, and take a huge bite out of her shoulder. She screams. "Iozef...NO! She goes into shock.
Amelie's eyes roll back in her head. She jerks to her feet and pounces like a tiger at a nearby patient laying insensate on a cot. The victim jumps up, glancing around with feral grunts, and attacks another nearby patient. Within a couple of unbelievably quick seconds, most of the patients in the Reaper's wing have been turned into twitching ravenous zombies.
Blackacre gapes in shock and horror at the disappearance of Baron Volst. When he re-materializes, Blackacre charges him with a roar.
RAAAAORRGGGH! No - don't let him escape me again!
If he gets to the Baron, and the Baron does not make a move to surrender or beg for mercy, Blackacre will apply his bane power to the bastard sword (swift action) and take a two-handed swing at the Baron (what can I say, he's a little obsessive): Attack: 1d20 + 7 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 7 + 1 + 2 = 22 Damage: 1d10 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 2d6 ⇒ (2) + 4 + 1 + 2 + (5, 4) = 18
Ninja'd! Oh, s+$#! I did not see that zombies are out! At any rate, it will take a moment for Blackacre to register that there are flesh-eating undead in the vicinity - one-track mind and all that.
|Nurse of Pharasma|
The Nurse holds forth the holy symbol of Pharasma and chants what sounds like a Gregorian incantation. A bright wavering cerulean light ripples out from the symbol and forms a watery-looking barrier between you and the corridor full of zombies. They clamber and throw themselves against the blockade, dark shapes clawing and scrambling over each other in their hunger to get to you. Bodies upon bodies...until it seems like you're in the depths of Hell. They create a gigantic wall, like the gates to the pits of madness themselves.
This wall stands between you and the end of the room nearer the hospital entrance. It would seem you are trapped.
Therez, Iozef, and Amelie are lost. Olivia's corpse is inside the barrier. However, Baron Volst unfortunately finds himself outside the protective zone of the spell. You see him at the end of the hallway surrounded by zombies, his face stricken with terror.
"I can hold them off for only a few moments," the Nurse says.
are there any hospitalized in our side of the ward?
The terminated are terminating. An inherent oddity. Interesting.
La Siréene turns to answer Ianez Gastnich's question.
"Ianez Gastnich, was it? I possess a magical ability that reshapes stone. Alternatively, I could close the cratures out by creating a wall between us and them. The later use might save the immobile. Would that qualify?"
|Nurse of Pharasma|
"The entire hospital is filling with undead. But yes, there is a way to escape," the Nurse says to Ianez.
To Sandru - "Distribute the potions you carry among those who remain alive. You will need them."
To La Siréene - "He needs to go with you," she says, pointing to Hareton.
"One last word of caution. The streets are unsafe and filling with monsters. Take the high path and flee on the roofs."
Realization of the events surrounding him slaps sense into the charging Blackacre, and he halts his charge at the edge of the barrier. He looks around him, panting and slowly lowering his sword as he backs toward the survivors.
Ragathiel has chosen a rather gruesome and fitting end for Baron Dragomir dan Volst. Were I but a touch faster, it would have been mine.
He halts at Sandru, stands slightly dumbstruck at the sight of the monster for a second, then half-turns, facing the group but not turning his back on the zombies. You have no idea the horrors that man caused. He glances back toward the hungry, shuffling mob. Or maybe you do. How can I assist?
Initative1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
"By helping escorting the survivors, dear mad person." La Siréene smiles at Gaston.
Now stopping to consider the words of the nurse, La Siréene steps up to Doctor Hareton and says, in a soft voice; "Up we go, Doctor. Nothing you can do for poor Olive now. You need to live. Here, I’ll support you."
La Siréene lowers her arm to the crouching Doctor, and half-carries him off the floor, with her supernatural lifting ability, heading for the exit.
She turns her head and smiles a humorless smile as she walks the doctor to the exit. ”Come, Sandru. I have a feeling you unique gift will be very useful. ”
I hear what everyone is saying. I reach into my pack and give out the healing potions found there. It doesn't matter how she knows, I trust her, the nurse.
Done giving potions, I ask the nurse. You will come with us, please?
What is behind that door? Is it locked?
|Earl J V Caromarc|
"The entire hospital? Filling with monsters? Can't we do something?"
Caromarc talks bravely, but even as he talks he unconciously wanders after La Sireene alongside Sandru. As he finishes talking some strange hand gestures and a few strange words pass his lips. Occult barriers flash into existence around him.
Standard action: Cast Shield. Extend with rod. Move action: move to door (assuming Sandru is as well)
Blackacre trails this eclectic collection of characters, sword out, watching carefully their collective flanks and rear. Noting, as Sandru does, the nurse's position and tone, he asks, Are you not coming with us?
|Nurse of Pharasma|
"Our clerics have divined there would be a disturbance," the Nurse replies to Ianez. "We have the latest technology in scrying sensors installed around the outside of the hospital and its environs. The catastrophe that we have feared is at hand!" Her eyes glow with the same blue light as her barrier spell. "In the streets, pouring forth even as we speak, are the most abominable things - raveners, pit fiends, endless armies of skeletons, gigantic ettins on fire!"
"The streets around the hospital are too dangerous right now. You must get to the roofs. From there, make your way across them until you can reach the safety of the sewers."
She turns to Sandru with a sorrowful face. "I must hold them off so you can escape," she says. "Pharasma go with you, brave soul."
The barrier drops. Zombies surge forward. La Siréene's stone wall holds back many of them, but several get around it and speed in your direction.
You look back only once. The Nurse is engulfed.
Roll for initiative.
Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
F@$%in' fast zombies! I hate fast zombies!
|Earl J V Caromarc|
It is easy to read this is not my wish. To leave the nurse. Her words make me want to leave her even less. Someone or something will pay. It doesn't matter how... big they are.
Get to the DOOR! NOW! If it does not open, get out of my way!
I want to draw steel, but how will I climb and help the others? I can react quickly... But I need to make sure the others get out safely. So I go last.
|Darious, The Second|
Darious draws his twin rapiers in preparation for battle against the unknown beast.
His defensive two weapon fighting stance grants him +1 to armor class in this potential battle and readies himself to make his attacks.
"Nay, ranger!" the hospital staff cries. "Tonight you will not be another foolhardy adventurer who is eaten by a dragon!" It takes several attendants, but they pull him indoors just in the nick of time. Now, of course, he is in a roomful of zombies. Which begs the question was their intervention really that helpful? Funny how things turn out.
The rest of the party had hardly noticed, but indeed, there the ranger was in the room with them, also preparing to flee for his life.
With a challenge rating of 19, the umbral dragon would have made quick work of Darious! You owe an offering of thanks to Pharasma, ranger. ;) I will use your initiative roll of 11 for the chase.
My appologies sir, but I was unsure as to whether this construct was also required to roll for initiative.
I hope I have not overstepped my position when I say I have rolled 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
As Caromarc starts moving the mechanical manservant that had been shadowing him does its best to follow, its mask-like face remaining placidly unconcerned.