"Lucky indeed. However Cryxian's are known to be brutal, merciless and above all. Efficient. You required clothes, food, shelter, all the weaknesses of the flesh when a thrall could do as much. Granted not as well as something with free thinking but with a tenth of the needs and thus more efficient." His eyes sparkled as he circled again. "What intrigues me is this smell you refer to... Can you recall more then unbearably light?"
Int Roll (May attempt three times with no penalties DC 10 The higher you achieve the more you remember and yes HP can be used on this as well along with your time abilities. No restrictions so long as the skill, ability or hero point can do it. However you can only spend one HP on Each attempt so choose wisely.
"Hold! Do not shoot as yet but remain ready!" Mirri says to Halloway and his men, glancing at the other Tabaxi.
Extending her claws fully, the wild warrior steps into the yawning void, every fiber in her being poised to strike.
"The Chosen... Who rallies them now?"
”I haven’t the slightest idea,” Cassian admits unabashedly.The swordsman ruminates Talmerren’s explanation with intense focus. ”Without Mog’s mind…” The words circled in his head over and over again. True that we are without it, but I happen to have a keepsake.
Can I make a will save to activate the MoG/Cassian link or would you rather reserve that? Last time I tried was far from pretty but it might be worth a shot if we can get the Temple’s defense system up and running :-)
Will: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21
”If this alternate path is inaccessible to me, who would have such marvelous privileges?”
”As for the recovery of your fellow elves, what would you suggest is the best route to take? I’ve had my rest and recuperation; my hands were designed for better things than being sat upon.”
Leon instead of answering such a loaded question decides to continue towards what ever was pulling Aurora along.
Improved blind sight to help us get through the cloud
It was not easy for Tyrn to leave the brave soldiers to their almost certain doom, but the captain is right. The core needed to be restored or else their deaths would be in utter vain.
"I leave these beasts to you. No one will forget your sacrifices here." Without hesitating further, Tyrn took his small troop and headed for the core.
So sorry for my delay. I started up a campaign and forgot how much friggin' work it is to GM. Plus RL work and RL in general. Sorry to hear you're in the hospital, Cori. I have to say, I'm not surprised ;) What happened if you don't mind me asking?
Leon and Aurora
Remaining Smoke Cloud time 6 rounds
The Skyblade pulls you along through the dust and debris, seeming to deftly dodge any obstacle as it draws you closer to what it yearns for. Th heartbreaking emotions that Aurora was gripped with start to lessen as you make your way towards the ultimate goal. Crushing Despair is now removed.
However as you make your way the Curator's voice echoes loudly through the Museum as she conjures up something through the use of her spells. The baleful calls of her hounds unsettle even your steely Dhampir souls. However their calls attract the attention of the walking dead loitering outside and the sounds of shattering windows and breaking door frames echo throughout the museum just as you come up to a display case.
Gilded in a golden frame, silver lined and platinum symbols of elven houses of millenia past. A set of armor sits encased in thick glass on four sides and topped with a grand rendition of what must have been a dragon of old. As you both draw near the case the dust cloud seems to part away from it as the armor reacts to the presence of the Skyblade. Its internal workings lighting up dimly as gears that hadn't seen use in untold years whirled to life. This mechanical armor appeared to be similarly enchanted as the blade was.
You don't have long to gawk as the sounds of combat ring out in every direction as the Curator's hounds and hopefully the Curator herself, clash with the living dead...
Mechanical in nature as well the armor appears to be made out of platinum scales that are so fine in color it dazzles your eyes. The armor that would cover your belly appears to nearly white in color yet remains strangely Platinum in nature. While the sides are varying shades of whiteish grey and silver in appearance and the backside is the heavy glint of platinum in its purest form. The mechanical workings appear to be in the midsection, the arms and leggings of this armored suit yet the armor doesn't appear to be bulky like you'd expect...
All of these sections are currently dimly lit and pulsing the closer the Skyblad comes to the thick glass...
The Three Tabaxian's accompany you, The caller waves off Halloway and his men leaving them behind as you four alone enter the now unsealed hive...
Ginla and her sisters move with ease despite the smell of decay and stale air. They seemed completely unafraid. They even go as far as to speak despite your poised look. Ginla starts speaking comfortably in your native tongue despite the high way she says each word. "What do you kno of the Hives? The Formian races Mir?"
Shu'li shudders. "Creating a way to seal them was sad, they were never a threat and yet the high ones feared them..."
Gin postulated at Shu'li's comment. "Would you not fear when you have the possibility of thousands of foes beneath your feet? Even the workers would be enough to overrun the temple in hours. Sure they would die easily enough but still... The damage would be catastrophic to both sides..."
Shu'li shrugs off Gin's comment. "Point taken but why have they waited? Why not act?"
Ginla growled at the interruptions of her sisters just as Gin said sadly. "Most likely their queen didn't want them harmed... Without her call there may be little for us to do but see that they are still alive."
Ginla sighed as the two seemed determined to be rude. "At least we can see if they live. They may be needed after all of this." She looked back to Mir then. "I apologize for my sisters but we are still shocked by the changes. However what do you know of the Formian's?"
"I have met and fought alongside Ant, last of the Immortals deep within this place, until we were forced to leave him behind, holding back a tide of enemies for us to escape." Mir responds, remembering her brief friendship with the formian.
"I have met thier queen, been healed by her touch, seen memories of things long past, 'The Battle of Broken Knee, The Fall of Iverstan, The Slaughter of Marranghi, the last stand of Mound Xer, Talmarren's Wrath, The Queen's Mercy and Ant's Immortals.'" she says shaking her head.
"She marked me as...unique" Her language is the same as thiers but less refined, more pure of meaning, straightforward.
Ginla and her sisters all look at each other as you continue walking into the yawning abyss that was the Formian hive. Despite the lifelessness you still feel as though you are being watched...
From everywhere and nowhere.
Ginla finally speaks her tone more curious. "Memories of long past, each that you named were climatic battles that would have decided the fate of this world. Great Victories and tragedies. You though spoke with Ant no less? The legendary Immortal, the first... Free Formian."
Shu'li and Gin look at each other then as she continued. "Unless you awoke like we did then I believe what you saw were his memories. He was indeed Unique and the only one of his kind to be free-willed. Because Formian's are not like us, they live to obey mostly, sure they have instinct like eat, sleep and work but without commands they mostly stand idle. Empty and mostly without thought."
As you all spoke you started to notice the hundreds of tunnels that lined this particular hall you walked, in the vision you had there wasn't so many holes such as this. Even the path had degenerated compared to the one the Ibixian's and Tabaxian's had used to reach the chamber and witness the death of the high one. The same chamber where you met Ant.
It is from these many holes that you feel unnerved, despite your keen eyesight seeing nothing there. Your instinct's were screaming for you to fight or flight yet the ancient Tabaxian sisters appeared calmed and composed. Not a hair out of place as they questioned you.
It takes sometime and for once the others seem preoccupied and become silent, your keen eyes though notice that they appear ready to react now. As if their own instincts were just now kicking in, the warning bells were ringing but you all continue downward. Walking along the seemingly unstable spiral path and passing hundreds of tunnels that led to gods know where.
It wasn't until you reached the bottom of the path that you came upon a massive chamber, the stale air was so heavy down here that it was tiring to just breath and yet you still felt as though something or someone was watching you. Ginla laid a hand on your shoulder and motioned for silence as her and her sisters formed a triangular formation with you at the center. Then, without hesitaton, they Shu'Li summoned forth two balls of light akin to that of the twin of the twin suns of your world.
As the brilliant and beautiful light washed over the chamber, causing you to squint for a moment as your eyes adjusted, your breath caught in your chest. Your heart started to race and your claws reflexively extended as you laid eyes on other Formian's like Ant but much smaller and frailer. But that wasn't wait scared you now.
It was the fact they numbered in the hundreds if not thousands...
They lined almost ever inch of the walls in the chamber, they were crowded together at the edges of the room as if they had been avoiding the path you came down on and now that the lights were circling in the air. They closed in around you, trapping you all in the center of the massive chamber and despite its rough being at least two hundered feet high these small formians were able to release from where they were holding onto the walls. Fall two hundred feet and land without a scratch on the floor below.
More trudged out of the tunnels in the walls and ceiling, joining the growing throng as their antennae moved ever so slowly towards the four of you. Their black eyes watching you, so alien were their thoughts that you couldn't tell if that was all they were doing.
Will save Mir DC 15
More to come, have a head cold now and the flu. So whoopie for me lol. This month keeps getting better! xD
"He was a brave warrior, skilled and...noble. It was an honor to fight alongside him." Miri says, trying to shake off the unnerving feeling.
"I came here awake, through a.....gateway. From home."
Will save: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
As they move further down into the hive, Miri sees the sisters finally begin to sense the danger within. For a moment dazzled by the beautiful light mimicing their home suns, she is horrified at the sight that greets them. The sheer numbers of the little formaians guaranteeing that should they be attacked it would be near impossible to escape.
She steels herself, forcing down the panic that threatens to rise up her spine, knowing that the next move she and the others made would determine thier fates.
"You'd haev to be like me Cassian, you'd have to die and be reborn. But the manner in which we do that is something MOG is most proficient in..."
Talmerren looks at you, his battered face a mask of seriousness just as you recall one of MOG's memories of the core and how Elves are reborn into their metal bodies. The transfer is caused by sudden and brutally killing the body, through the use of negative energy or obliterating it entirely. However through sheer violence this can be accomplished as well...
You recall the strenous and many failed attempts of trying to cater to the body and coax the spirit into the container. Every attempt at comforting or carefully extracting ended in absolute failure. Using spells that contained or removed the soul in other ways failed to accomplish their goals as well as the soul would retained its connection to the body. Even if the body was dead, the moment they attempt to transfer it they would be met with failure and it would pass on as the gods intended.
It wasn't until Mog herself took it into her own hands, her own body was inferior, weak and couldn't accomplish what she needed to do. So in her desperation for success she decided to sacrifice herself in the name of their new religion. She pulled a magical staff, freshly created and as powerful as it could be and snapped it with her bare hands.
The resulting release of the potent magic annihilated her body in an instant and when she awoke she was shocked to find herself contained within the mechanical body that would remain her vessel for centuries. Her discover was what the Cyrissian's needed to push forward and create bodies that would in essence, never die. Souls could be transferred from one form to the next and ensured that their greatest minds were never lost, at least as long as they chose to stay. However this discover broke the tenous relationship between the Cyrissian elves and their nature bound brethren the Circle. It drove such a deep wedge that the two factions now actively oppose each other across the globe...
Briefly you saw eleven more temples. Some deep in forbidding deserts. Some deep in sweltering jungle. The Tranquil Ley was the only one set in the mountains. One set at the base of a great river basin, on the edge of a great waterfall int a set of canyons. Think of Niagara falls. Another deep underwater its massive dome a testament to the engineering the Elves possessed and finally one floating high above, surrounded in frozen darkness and orbiting what could only be the Shining sea itself...
However with time the process was refined, a stasis like chamber was created and when the disciple was ready they were placed within the chamber. The chamber was then infused with a powerful charge and at the right moment it was centralized by several coils that pointed inward towards the disicple, destroying the body so quickly that their was no pain, no suffering, only ash of the old life passing. A flash of light that herald the awakening into a new life...
You/Mog know of very few times that someone accidentally transcended without the use of this process. But replication met with failure and continued attempts were abandoned...
A massive piece of machinery that causes you to start bleeding out of your nose from the overwhelming thrust of information on its intricate and beautiful design. A single one of these could power and entire metropolis if correctly placed. It also could destroy the entire metropolis if damaged or allowed to fall into such disrepair that a critical explosion tore it apart.
It required the most perfect placing that being off by the slightest margin would result in a massive power loss. However if placed correctly and running at full capacity, it produced arcs of pure undistilled energy that struck at the protective wall that surrounds the Core, reflecting the energy back to the core and keeping the output in a constant loop effect. Which resulted in power loss in the low side of 0.019% However degradation of the core would cause more of these bolts of energy and this would threaten even the protection the Awakened bodies provided the housed soul containers. Those made of flesh would die within a minute of entering the core chamber, unless they were going directly to the central control.
Those with the protection of their mechanical bodies would last only as long as they were careful and avoid direct hits as best they could...
In that moment you see the Core shaft and realize their are four access points from the four corners of the temple itself, however in your current state you'd die in thirty seconds and never even get close enough to the main console to see it...
At the empty look on your face and the sudden gush of blood out of your nose Talmerren face tightens up, in a shocked expression. "She didn't..." He grumbles and sits down. "Of course she did, anything to save the temple... Anything. At least you know what would happen... There isn't any going back boy, trust me. I tried."
The young female soldier leads you away from the fighting and follows along with the wounded heading downward. You pass several defensive lines and are in turn passed by reinforcements heading to the front. From whatever nation these men hailed from they were very organized and had been proceeding with almost clockwork precision.
Aucturn leans heavilyon you and the clockwork priest, too injured to walk on her own and lamenting her ill attempt at defeating the insectoid. "I'd never live this down if others found out I was defeated by a Formian!, brianless insectoid filth fought like a demon!"
The machine priest's response was cold and blunt at Aucturn. "Hardly brainless, that was an Immortal."
She scoffed and then grimaced in pain. "So! And your point!?"
He accidentally jabs her wound as he shifts her weight, as she glares daggers at him he looks back at her with a deadpan look. "If he had his other two blades you'd be dead, Immortal's are highly intelligent Formian's, an evolution of their kind and a frightening one. That one in particular I have met before and he was the First Immortal he single handedly killed a beast that none of our weapons could even scratch. Using nothing more than his blades. So again Aucturn, had he been fully armed he would have destroyed you..."
She spent the rest of her time in shocked silence, leaning more on you (Tyrn) then the machine priest. Despite the press of her still obviously womanly flesh, her true form wasn't as frightening as you first believed.
Details to come, comp / mental issues. Sorry. Things are hard to recall as of late. Still healing and heading to work with a work release. :/
Eventually you are lead three floors down into the Elven Cyrissin Temple into what could only be the soldiers Base of Operations. Your group's arrival is met with some out of this world stares of disbelief. As you stand there you spot, of all people, Talmerren tal
Cassian sees the influx of new people, these ones not as injured as the others coming in.
Continuing where the end of the original post was cut off
*Talmerren talking to a rather refined, despite their clothes being slightly tarnished, soldier much like yourself.
Cassian can describe himself from here~
Waiting on Leon and Aurora ;) and Ael will press forward in a few days~
If I was unclear please ask away!
Their numbers continued to grow, every inch of the cavern you stood in was covered in small formian's. They were roughly two to three feet tall and no higher than that. As you stood there you felt a presence growing in your mind. You resist the nauseating sensation of feeling mentall full suddenly with the buzzing of thousands of thoughts and feelings. You saw the ancient tabaxians and yourself reflected in so many angles and directions, viewed by obviously the many formians themselves that it would have made you dizzy had you not somehow steeled yourself to the telepathic assault. Along with the dizzying array of memories comes a hard to determine feeling. Curiosity? Fear? It was hard to tell, so many echoes in your skull that it was nearly staggering to decipher them all.
But you realized with a heavy lump in your throat....
That none of the ancient Tabaxi were connected to them.
That in every image the central focus was You.
They were all watching you.
They were thinking of you.
They were Curious of you?
They feared you?
You were snapped out of the shocking realization by Ginla's slight touch on your shoulder. "Are you alright Sister, your shaking..." The concern in her voice is genuine but it was then you felt a shift in the formians thoughts and as one the small formians stepped forward. Their tiny feet drumming in unison and shaking the ground under your feet with their sudden and uniform movement.
Shu'Li's hands burst into flames as they stepped forward a second time. Her voice was urgent. "Something is wrong! Workers do not act like this! They are not aggressive!"
Gin summoned forth the near translucent creature once more, the bastial reptile creature stood over her and appeared to roar silently in challenge as she too looked nervously at the advancing horde. "If they attack we cannot defeat them all..."
Ginla was about to turn away from you as Shu'Li shouted. "I survived Iverstan, I will not die here! Not now!"
They take a third step forward and hundreds drop from the ceiling to join the advance as more flood from the holes in the ceiling and fill the gaps made by those that dropped down...
Will save DC 10 this time please!
The check was more or less your ability to continue resisting the slew of mental/telepathic intrusion. >:)
Mir is able to focus despite the shift in attitude from so many minds. Now she felt aggression like she never felt before, it wasn't cold hearted or angry it was just calculated and thorough without malice. These Formians were now focused on the sisters, primarily Ginla and were slowly building up momentum as they closed the gap between them and the sisters triangular formation.
There was no tactics in their empathic thoughts, only a straightforward gather and destroy.
In the time it took her to realize that they had closed in another three yards, they were speeding up now and soon would surge forward...
"STOP!!! Mir shouts, both aloud and mentally, willing the advance of the formians to come to a halt. She focuses, sending images of herself standing alongside Ant, fighting alongside the Immortal, trying to project her strange mental connection with him.
Your shout catches the sisters by surprise. Ginla takes her hand away in surprse, Shu'Li's hands stop burning and the translucent entity disappears from standing over Gin. They watch you strangely before looking in surprise as...
1d20 + 27 - 30 ⇒ (4) + 27 - 30 = 1
... the entire horde stops dead, their stance changes but they do not retreat. Merely waiting. Mir felt a strange change in the link she had with them, as their thoughts coalesced and into a single entity. With a singular and powerful voice. :WE.HAVE.WAITED.:
:WAITING FOR YOU!:
The last words echoed in your mind, nearly causing you to stagger as it thunder in your mind as a thousand voices made into one roared in such perfect unison that if it had been aloud the chamber would surely have shaken. THeir voice was gaining clarity now, as if they truly were forming a single entity...
Ginla looks to you as the Formians antennae start to shake in unison. "Whats happening Mir. Why did you shout." They are calm despite the strangeness of the situation but they do not hear the same thing you do...
Ginla can't believe her ears at your words but her questions are stilled as all the Formian's rapid antennae movements stop completely and in unison they look back at Mirrianissa once more.
:WE FELT YOU. YOU LEFT US. SHE LEFT US. NOW NOTHING LEFT. CANNOT FEEL HER. CANNOT FIND HER. WAY WAS SEALED. WHY.: The last word boomed in your mind, almost angrily so yet despite their obvious frustration they were without emotion in their speech.
The sisters look on in disbelief. "Could this be another change?" Was Gin's belief.
Shu'Li scoffed. "They are queenless! How would they change. Their hasn't been a new generation of formian since the times of Dark Sky. And the high one they choose could not bare eggs for them even if they tri..."
Gin interrupted Shu'Li. "Look around and tell me something strange isn't afoot sister. Mir is communicating and they are listening to her..."
Ginla waved her hand and her sisters quieted. "Quiet now my Sisters, let our nomad sister work in peace. It's obvious that something has changed and perhaps the question as to why will be revealed soon..." Ginla was no longer appearing afraid, her outward calm had returned and her eyes sparkled in the dark at the unsaid opportunities such a wonderful discovery like this could yield.
:I MET HER. SHE DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE YOU. BUT SHE HAD TO. SHE CALLED ME SPECIAL. I WILL GUIDE YOU. LEAD YOU.:
Looking to the sisters Mirrianissa shook her head. "Thier queen, I met her or I did in a vision. I cannot tell which is real now. She touched me with her power, healed me and...blessed me somehow."
"But... How is that possible?" The sisters looked from one to the other and none could answer before the Formians bombarded your mind again.
:SHE HAD TO.: It was almost like they were digesting what you were saying. :WHY.:
You felt them pause and their antennae start to vibrate once more in complete unison. :LEAD US WHERE. WHY DID SHE LEAVE. WHY DOES IT HURT. THE EARTH IS SICK. THE HIVE ABOVE DIES. WHY.: Then you felt something emerge, a gnawing hunger deeper then any you had felt before. Like you had gone weeks, no years without food or drink and that was when you realized these formian were frail. Their bodies were battered, their exoskeletons were riddled with injuries, there didn't seem to be a single one of them that wasn't damaged in some way and all of them were suffering equally.
The sisters were about to react but Ginla stilled them once more, not concern with what the Formian's were doing. But with merely watching how you dealt with them...
"There isn't any going back boy, trust me. I tried."
Cassian smears the blood trail across the back of his palm, "You're right. Fortunately, I'm going forward."
"MOG gave me more than she intended to. Tranquil Ley is a lost cause. We need to think bigger. There are other-"
His voice cuts out when he feels the presence of incoming guests. Cassian watches the doorway suspiciously; faintly hoping he'd see Mir return to him - not unlike the style a stray cat returns to the compassionate doorstep. Thoughts of the Tabaxi vanished when he didn't see her among the newcomers.
What a bizarre collection of creatures, he notes. They survived a walk through hell. These, too, are Chosen.
Freeing himself from distraction, he continues where he left off with Talmerron. ”The Chosen are gathering to fight – but not here. We must detonate the Core before the Circle finds our discovery. Rescue what we can, destroy what is unrecoverable. We need a retreat strategy. There are other Temples, more Chosen.”
Leon approaches the strange armor whilst glancing at the Skyblade held in Aurora's hand. Hearing the curator handling the undead and these unknown hounds he quickly pulls out his lock picks and sets to work on the glass case. "Warn me if anything comes investigating, my panther."
Disable Device: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (1) + 14 = 15
If that fails...
Sunder: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (16) + 14 = 30
Damage: 1d3 + 12 + 1d6 ⇒ (3) + 12 + (1) = 16
:YES. THE EARTH ABOVE IS SICK. THERE IS MUCH THAT IS WRONG. CORRUPTED:
She takes a deep breath, trying to emanate calm, control.
:YOU ARE WEAK. NEED FOOD. WATER. HEALING:
Mir looks to Ginla seeking some idea of how to aid the countless formian young surrounding them.
"Damn the circle, they have their continent and we have ours. They won't come near here as the Tranquil Ley is beyond their measly reach. They don't want our technology, only our conversion to the worship of nature like them."
Talmerren shakes his head. "Cassian, we cannot abandon the Tranquil Ley. It is at the center of the strongest Ley Line. If it is destroyed, this world will suffer the same fate as yours. The backlash will disrupt the balance possibly forever. Every creature that relies on magic to live will die in an instant, those that don't will become mindless and bestial. Mass death on an apocalyptic scale Cassian. That's why we made our stand here, we bet it all. The other temples... Abandoned us, despite knowing the risk their cowardice entailed." The last part made Talmerren shake in anger. "If our priests hadn't been off fighting we could have stopped this..."
Seeing the newcomer Talmerren smiles, looking almost relieved. "The Chosen were selected by the Engima Engine and at the time I didn't know why. Each varied in skills, strengths and race. But I think it was for this moment, that Cyriss was preparing us and for once I truly believe that she foresaw this. She is an Enigma of her own Cassian, she hides the truth and forces us to seek it, she teaches us to press forward and not rely on her every step. The temples were built by our hand, the core was a creation of our design. Her method helped us to discover our unlimited potential... Despite the evil it also revealed. Don't give up on this place yet..."
He waves over to Tyrn then. "Tyrn Jade! You look a hundred years younger you Free City Dog!"
There didn't appear to be a way to open the display with tools, it appeared to have no edges and where an edge should be the gilded plates covered it. So you resolved to shattering it...
The moment your blade slams the glass...
??? DC 10: 1d20 + 5 - 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 - 5 = 9
The glass cracks with the brutal strike, splintering like a giant sized spider web an d for a moment the glass appears to hold but little by little the fractures grow in size. After a few seconds the glass gives way completely...
You step back as the landslide of glass craches loudly into the floor. its then that you realize the display glass was 5 inches thick.
The dispersion of visible magic also informed you of why your shoulder was hurting, it had also been magically reinforced.
The platinum colored armor is now within reach...
:SICK. CORRUPTED. WEAKNESS.:
Their thoughts pound into your mind and your words to Ginla don't fall on deaf ears. :TIME. SHORT. THE. WAY. IS. OPEN.: As one the Formian Worker caste looks towards the way you came.
Unsettled by the Formian's reactions so far the sisters look to each other quietly before looking to you. "Theres nothing we can do for so many. Maybe feeding a few dozen, but not an entire hive... I am sorry Mir." Ginla looked truly shaken by her inability to help her eyes go wide as the Formians start to move...
:WE. MUST. FIGHT.: Like an unending tide the Formian workers begin moving towards the way you came. Despite their smaller height there numbers were truly startling, shaking the floor with the universal drumming of their feet.