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When Mai doesn't answer Falldirk doesn't seem too concerned, continuing to work the flames and cook the stew with ease. "Many are the tales of the rusted knight." He sounded almost bored as he started dishing himself some stew, allowing the Muskwood to do its work and filling the room with its heavy scent, much to the discomfort of the nonhumans in the room. "Of which do you speak of Wallace?"
The voices are shrieks in your ears as yo break free from the grasping hands. You nearly trip as the hands that were under your clothes rush to trip you up. The shattered lanterns light makes the shadows dance and cavort and you see your own shadow appears under attack in the same way as yourself. It is in this mad struggle to break free from the unseen that you spot something just arund the corner of the shelves at the end of the long aisle you stand in.
Its long gaunt fingers were pale as ice and its eyes were as black as a corpse as it stared at you. The whispers were maddening now, a cacophony of despair as it slowly, so agonizingly slow in its movements. Creeped around the corner of the shelves. It beckoned with one hand for you to come closer but somehow you resisted and scrambled away...
"CoMe CloSer. CloSer. CloSer. LeT uS LoVe YoU."
Wallace's pale skin regains its color and he gasps as he awakens from his dark dreams...
"Exactly." Is all Falldirk says as he stirs the contents of the now boiling iron pot. "Not many know that name, Muskwood isn't as abundant nowadays. How do you know it eh?" With the pots contents boilingslowly now he pulls out several worn bowls and sets them on a log nearby. "Best eat up. Ya might not get another meal."
Muskwood effects currently are causing -2 will saves to all nonhumans.
Falldirk The Outcast Grenalf Born 4000 AR in Mavradia from an Elven mother and an Ulfen Warrior from the Clan of Grenalf. The actual legendary explorer who survived Iobaria before it was ever known as Iobaria today. Barely survived his birth during that particular harsh winter that claimed the lives of many infants due to the brutal cold that seemed to creep into cribs...
Mother - Manadhel, Race - Elf, Clan - Clanless
Early Adult life - Rebellious and brash Falldirk struck out on his own after nearly a century of being under his mothers skirts. A fact he hated, a burning need in his blood filled him with wanderlust and despite Mavradia's unique racial climate he wasn't interested in mingling with budding women forever. He struck out to become a warrior.
The whispers grow louder now, enticing you to stay, the feeling of being touched has becoming more grasping in feeling. You can feel as though invisible hands are grasping at your wrists, ankles, arms and even a pair are slowly encircling your throat. Causing you to swallow hard in response to the uncomfortably cold feeling these hands radiate.
Falldirk fell into a radical band of Mercs who sought to ring out every ounce of gold they could be killing whatever an whoever their employer asked them too. Being young and gullible he began to believe that everything none human deserved to die, despite being born elfin in nature he was nearly completely human looking in his body structure. Merely possessing the long life of elfin kind. For nearly a decade they spent their time hunting bands of centaurs, burning out non humans and eventually their mantra changed to no holds against anything they were paid to kill. Hundreds died at the hands of these mercs and Falldirk 'The Butcher of Whiterun' was no less responsible than any other. It was during a particularly vicious raid on a supposedly defenseless village where he encountered a warrior as fierce as he was but the age difference was immense. Falldirk was nearing 130 years old and the boy he fought was a mere eighteen...
Adulthood Their fight was long and proud, the boy was a man with the will to fight. They shattered weapon after weapon fighting brutally against each other and though Falldirk thought many a time that he had the advantage the boy proved him wrong. In the midst of their fight this warrior prodigy struck down countless numbers of his fellow mercs as well. Lobbing his broken weapons with unerring precision and leaving Falldirk almost dumbfounded by his ability alone.
From evening until the morning the next day they fought and even though his fellow mercs were in full retreat Falldirk pressed the attack. The boy was flagging finally and he was intent on killing him. And when he found his opening he was yet again denied his victory by the coming of several frostgiant raiders that had swept in from the wastes. With little recourse he and the young warrior turned their hatred against the newcomers and in short order killed them.
Standing on the dead and bearing their giant weapons they faced off once more, both of them intent on destroying the other. The boy laughed aloud before he spoke. Grendan Grenalf of Antoll was who they were, so that Falldirk could create a tomb when they were dead. He was a kinsmen and yet he was still smiling while facing what could be his death.[/b][/smaller]
He spoke his name and hailing from Mavradia, it was all he could manage as the youth smiled at him in a reckless way. The warrior laughed aloud and soon told him quite frankly that he was a fool to be used by cowards such as the Mercs. That he join him and travel Iobaria as Kinsmen. Much to his own surprise Falldirk, in a moment of deep insight, accepted.
Grenden died at the age of 63 with sword in hand and almost a dozen sons to carry on his name. Falldirk had cast off his former title and was now known as 'the Hero of Antoll' alongside his fallen kinsmen. Now nearly two centuries old he returned to Mavradia to face see his mother, who in his time away had risen to the height of Councilwoman of Mavradia. However, she did not recognize him and refused to see him, barring him from the city itself. He took it at first as being outcasted for his deeds but when he caught word of the dark goings on with Mavradia he came to question why he was forced out. He returned and mad his own entry into the city and discovered a foul taint within the city. He ran it to ground and found a foul cult of mind rappers had taken control of the council within the city. So the Hero of Antoll gathered those likeminded to himself and stormed the cultists temple with the intent of no mercy.
With Mavradia freed from cult he reunited with his mother, he continued to travel around Mavradia and inspire people through his deeds. The Drakeplague claimed many lives, including his mother’s when the dragons entered the city in search of a cure. She passed in 4519 AR mere days before the Drakeplague was destroyed, a moment he witnessed and forever remembered as a moment of the most pure sacrifice. The silver dragon is etched upon his armor because of that day, always.
His life continues to spiral alongside the history of Iobaria itself. Arodens death leads to the fleeing Sarkorian refugees from the expanding worldwound. The birth of Mendev and the years of countless struggles against refugees and other non-Iobarian's attempting to claim pieces of land. Falldirk was involved in several of these conflicts throughout the years until Mavradia's fall from a plague that turned its inhabitants into mindless slimes. Thus the second fall of Iobaria was complete and thousands paid with their lives in the process.
Someone poisoned the wells within Mavradia itself, which lead to the containment reaching the population. Falldirk barely survived this aggressive plague and was helpless to stop the destruction of his home. Driven out by the the plagues he spent his time wandering, now in his middle age and having no children he sought to settle down somewhere in Iobaria. He shook his head at the foolish fighting between humans and centaurs while reflecting grimly on his own misdeeds to the equine race. However he no longer felt the need to harm them and avoided them if he could, handing out a beating only as necessary from time to time.
He returned to Antoll, his story now a lightly told folktale of which he didn't mind as it took on a life of its own since then. His time in Antoll was pleasant, he settled down with a young half-elven girl, and together they had five children. Things could not have turned out any better for the old warrior until the night his world shattered. For years, he ran his blacksmithing as his own business until the rise of Koffar Rjul. In his stubbornness he chose not to bow to the new Koffar, which resulted in the death of his young wife and his children...
He was overpowered by the Koffar's henchmen and forced to watch as his family is butchered. He is imprisoned shortly thereafter and was to be executed for his supposed crimes against the Koffar. However, he escaped his confines, butchered no less then seventy of the Koffar's best men and gave the young lordling a lasting reminder of whom he had wronged by taking off his left arm in a single blow, leaving the broken shards of his blade in the bastards skin. Falldirk would have killed him if the Koffar's dragon consort hadn't prevented him.
He fled Antoll and for several years wandered the wastes of Iobaria, fighting everything that challenged him, killing everything that slighted him before eventually heading to the Maw to die. When he defeated each creature there, he headed west towards Brevoy in the hops that someone stronger lay in that direction. However, finding someone to kill him was met with one failure after the next, his blood rage was too strong and each possible killer died at his hands. He fought his way across Brevoy, Galt, Taldor and the Stolen Lands before deciding to head home once more. He witnessed a great many things in his travels and never stayed in one place more than a night before moving on.
While on his way to Iobaria he came upon some survivors who had fled from another outbreak of disease in the western lands of Iobaria. They were being pursued by creatures from the Maw, which he slew without much trouble at all.
He became the Elder and together they eked out a scarce existence on the edges of Brevoyian and Ioberian lands. Several more years passed and life slowly but surely improved for them as they learned how to carve out a better existence in the rocky soil of their village. Falldirk was able to ward off the ravages of other creatures, forever seeking his death in one of their champions but never finding it. However now something fierce stalks them. A beast even Falldirk has lost a fight too, one he believes will take his life and in the twilight of his life he is relenting on the thought of dying so simply.
Now, strangers seeking out the bear face him, one of these strangers bears the likeness of a tribe he once knew. Fearsome and proud were the Dvezda and it was all he could think of now that he was faced by a Scion of that fallen tribe. . If she crossed the Maw... The return of war, the return of infighting in Iobaria was certain to occur. All hell would break loose. She'd be hunted in more ways than could be imagined and these young mercs had no idea the darkness they'd face in that blighted land...
He was tense because the druid built building would probably not withstand the bears assault and beneath your very feet were countless villagers and their children. Falldirk had hidden them away, lighting fires in the caves and burning Muskwood to enrage the bear so that he could kill it. After losing the hunters and the mystic he has no other choice then go it alone and the stones of the druids house would mask the villagers scent until his deed was done. Even if he died.
At the last words the encircling hands wring around your neck, knocking the lantern to the floor as the unseen hands pulled you back and slammed you into a bookshelf. Old tomes and scrolls fell from all sides, creating a blizzards of dust, pages and filling the air with the smell of rot...
Roll a Will save.
Tidus glances at how stiff her frame was, perhaps he was still expecting her to attack. At her response Falldirk's eye returns to a cool squint. "I see." He turns his back on the lot of you, tending to the iron pot full of stew. He speaks again after a long minute passed. "Ya hide your dicomfort well, I am using an old hunters trick. Instead of roaming through the wood lookin for the beast I will draw it here." He picks up a similar log and tosses it on the fire, increasing the potency of the smell as it burns. "It shant be long before it comes."
Anyone who can beat a Perception DC 14:
Wallace appears to be a pale as a corpse, his breathing appears to be ragged as well...
"What did ya say?" Falldirk turns to look at her, appearing at once to be surprised and unable to hide it. He looks away from Rhavenna mumbling to himself. "A Lost Dvezda, here of all places... Gods damn me." He looked back towards Rhavenna then his lone eye narrowed. "So ya are heading to the Maw then. Why are ya going back to Iobaria?"
Tidus looks back and forth between Rhavenna and Falldirk looking a bit uncomfortable with the exchange.
Camp internet is being a friggen pain...
Wallaces antics pay off and as he stumbles Falldirk starts to rise to his feet, his previous slowness apparently a ruse. Though Wallace approaching his blindside pays off and for a briegfest moment his hand contacts Falldirk's armor...
unlike before you are cast into the darkest reaches of the library, one where no light reaches. You carry with you a single lantern to light your way and with each step can hear the muffled voices and whispers of something or others you cannot see. Your skin crawls with the sensation of the lightest of brushing fingers, yet nothing is there, and yet the feeling isn't just on your exposed skin but underneath your clothes as well.
Several books lie before, an entire lifetime of information. Where do you begin to look into the life of Falldirk Grenalf?
Wallace, failing to stop himself on the way down takes a blow to his forehead and appears to be unconscious...
Falldirk appeared to be about to say something but grunts in anger as he rolls Wallace over onto his backside. "It appears ya are an idiot... Asking questions and not watchin' ya feet." He rights the Stump seat and leaves Wallace on the floor, not even checking if he is breathing. He moves over to a iron pot and hangs it over the fire, it appears to be holding some sort of liquid substance. As he does that Tidus steps up and recovers Wallace, settling the unconscious priest off to the side near the fire as he introduces himself.
"Tidus is my nam..."
Falldirk doesn't let him finish, turning and facing the scout with a fierce look in his eyes before berating him for his failures. "Servant of Lord Whitefields son. I know you Gladiator, next time keep ya eyes more on ya feet eh? Or else the Maw will eat ya. Now step off." Tidus's eyes narrow momentarily before he steps back to tend to Wallace.
He looks at Mai and Livain, squinting at them. "You, fliers, best watch the skies. The Lord of the Mountain doesn't take kindly to other creatures in its skies. It leaves us be only because of the canopy over our village, but the bear has destroyed some of that now..."
Looking to Rhavenna he begins to speak and smiles at her annoyed look. "What tribe do you hail from eh?"
You know of it well, remember its all too sweet smell back when you and Livain were locked away in the cells by the one who made you what you were. Though it is not an uncommon wood in Iobaria, it is a type of tree that only grows in those regions. Muskwood, a bitterly sweet smelling log when burnt that causes animals to react in a variety of different ways. However it works well against nonhumans as a means of torturing them as it makes them extremely uncomfortable or hot depending on the species.
For you it made you unbearably hot, which made your scales itch oddly enough...
Stepping past the traps was a bit dicey, they were fairly large and appeared to have a hair trigger when it came to pressure. Surprisingly though...
1d12 ⇒ 10
Editting as Wallace beat me lol. DONE!
None of you set them off as you make your way through the open doors of the stone-crafted longhouse in Stonehedge. As each of you escape the winter chill the rush of warmth from a hearty fire greets you and the snowflakes start to melt away. Tidus closes the doors behind you and avoids the old man's gravelly bark by placing the bar across the doors. Securing them from within. The aged warrior sits wearily upon a large round stool, more like a tree stump, before the burning fire before answering Wallace's other questions. "The Hobs passed us sometime ago..." He smirks viciously for briefest flash before continuing. "Aye, alone. As for the villagers... Hard ta say. If they were wise they are in the caves, for they are small and the bear is too large. If they are foolish they would have run farther and by now there is nothing to mourn but their children. though the fires make it sound like some listened." His words are harsh and tinged with bitterness as he throws another log upon the fire, looking away form all of you momentarily as he does so. Sparks dance in the chimney with the logs addition and Falldirk coaxes the burning logs to surround the new addition.
"So the Luckless Blades come to the cursed town of Stonehedge to kill a beast." He chuckles as he continues to prod the fire. "This storm will keep ya company bunkered down, better hope dem harpy b$$@~es don't come prowling but I doubt they will. The lord of the mountain is about and they have much to fear. However the oddness of ya group strikes me amused. A Centaur, a pair of... fliers and a pair of men banded together, never thought I'd see the day."
Everyone but Wallace roll a perception check +4 to your roll, for rolls at or above DC15
Perception - Nonhumans DC15 and up:
The small amount of smoke coming off the log makes your sense reel momentarily. Your limbs itch and your scales crawl, you want to stamp your hooves in aggravation but for the most part you control yourself. However the source of your annoyance is clear.
Several more tree stumped like stools are set around the chamber a massive table has been shoved to one side and a large wooden throne like chair sits near the wall furthest back. Though it looks to have been unused for sometime. If the cobwebs and dust were any indicator anyways. The few shutters that allow a slight draft into the place are all closed tight to prevent the heat from escaping and only one of the three great chimneys is burning. Allowing the shadows from everythign and everyone to dance and cavort across the walls.
Wallace If you were to try and lay a hand on him make a melee touch attack, but all options are on the table. Dice roll please :3
Tidus was taken aback by the scene and proceeded to brush off sections of the area around Rhavenna and winced when he found six more of the traps, spread irregularly across the entrance of the Longhouse. Some had been purposefully buried and covered by the fresh fallen snow, leaving Tidus shaking his head in wonder. "How did I miss this?" He gives Rhavenna an apologetic look along with the others. "We can pick our way through them but we best make our choice quick..." The blizzard was bringing with it an unearthly chill that hung lazily in the air across Stonehedge. An icefog was forming, as thick as the snowflakes coming down.
?????: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (12) + 15 = 27
He chuckles, followed by a wheezing cough as he looks at Rhavenna's equine flank. "Worthless asses? Funny, I abandoned that fools quest long ago horse. So fire ya arrow or give me a name. Ya choice. But I have traps to fix and I ain't waitin'." The aged man seemed unphased by Rhavenna's nocked arrow and merely watched her as he stepped down from the open doorway and moved towards the sprung trap.
As he did so he responded to Wallace in his deep and gravelly tone. "Falldirk Grenalf, Elder of Stonhedge. Tis a pleasure to meet the famed blades." He says this as he reclaims his pouch and snaps open the wicked looking trap, forcing it down into place once more. His armor jangling as he did so. His tone was as cold as the empty socket where his left eye should have been. He stood up fully again and brushed the thickly falling snow off his armor as he answered Wallaces questions. "Aye. Twas a bear. Bigger than any I ever saw, quiet too. Left few tracks but the ones it wanted followed. So those fools left without permission, died and their fight is over along with the damned Mystic. Fairy tales, the beast bleeds. If you are here ta fight then come inside." He turns his back on all of you then, obviously not content to stay outside longer then he needed to.
The snow was falling thicker now, sticking to Rhavenna's fur and turning her a frosty white. It was clinging to Mai and Livain as well making their scales appear a mixture of their natural colors and pure white. As you stood their discussing the doors to the Longhouse flew open, swinging outward and letting more light to spill out. A warrior clad in the heaviest armor you'd ever seen stands in the doorway like Gorum itself, weilding a battered greatblade in their hands. They stare out at you through their visor before speaking in a masculine but gravelly voice. "By the ancestors. Who the bloody hells are you and you! He points at Rhavenna while setting the blade back in its sheath. "Horse. Watch ya hooves or lose ya leg!" As he speaks he tosses a heavy looking pouch from his belt, it lands a few inches from Rhavenna's front leg followed in the same instance by the snapping of a metal on metal and the falsh of sparks as something hidden revealed its deadly self...
It was a bear trap, a large one and as it appeared the armored male raised their visor. The wrinkled face of an aged man glared at all of you with his remaining eye. A bloody injury revealed the empty socket where the other had been and the fresh claw marks of what stole it away from him. He spits in Tidus's direction before eyeing Rhavenna suspiciously. "Theres a beast on the prowl in these lands. Best you move on or are you here to kill it too?"
Will press forward, Mai and Livain can add their actions if they want to. For now I am assuming they are with the group on foot.
1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15
With their tracks removed Tidus jogs ahead, barely armed as he seemed to prefer and starts scouting out the buildings between the group and the longhouse. Due to the small size of the buildings he is able to quickly move in and out of each in a few short seconds. Each time he ducks into one its a tense moment before the relief of him reappearing. Wallace and Rhavenna peer into the open windows of a few homes and find them deserted, plates of food left abandoned and frozen in place and nothing but burned out ashes in the small clay fireplaces within each dwelling.
As they group approached the longhouse they started to notice other dark dwellings intermixed with the trees and the rocky terrain. THis village was built to be hidden and yet there was still not a soul in sight as the snow began to fall. The thick flakes made visibility on the ground difficult and it was getting worse by the minute. Despite this the group noticed dim light from the front windows of the stone longhouse. Its heavy wooden door's stood closed against the winter cold and the metal banding that reinforced it appeared fairly stout indeed.
Tidus gives the snow covered ground a once over before nodding it was safe to proceed. He jogs back to the fallen branch and starts to clear the groups tracks throughout the village. with the falling snow it would only make his branch sweeps appear like wind swirls...
*Takes notes* Yep I went that route and found out the hard way that Shocking Grasp was near useless. I am feat starved with Alchemist/Magus combo but I may have to dip for the elemental spell. Luckily we are doing something homebrew which allows me to pick additional class features, feats or such eventually. Just takes a lot of time to accrue the needed points for What I want.
I thought about buying the card castor ability so I could add magic to my bombs for added damage to my enemies.
But Being a Magus (Kensai, Fiendflayer, Blackblade) / Alchemist (Grenadier) is a lot of fun. :3 Lots of choices in a fight, can't wait for Holy Bombs!
Tidus nods and remains on foot, snapping off a long treebranch with a mass of pines at its end so that he can sweep the ground behind the group and obscure their tracks further. He uses the time at obliterating traps to allow him time to observe the area around the group.
Will post to move things forward later today after Mai and Livain get a chance to respond along with Wallace.
Apologies for the long break again. This recent drop in oil led upto a long feared layoff of 24 people in my department, despite being new I am the last of the six to remain. This Iran deal isn't making things better with the markets apprehension of their 3+ million barrels of crude oil per day coming into an already saturated market. Sadly this is the life of oil workers, when oil is up jobs are great, when the crash comes jobs get cut. Crash allows companies to trime the fat/trash out of their ranks as well, my department had quite a few sadly. When you have a youtube channel devoted to guys sleeping on the job then its only a matter of time.
Rough enough knowing some 1,000+ people have been laid off since the start of the year and by years end it'll probably top 1500+. My department though is bare bones now. So we'll see if we make it until next year.
Lol, I am poor at figuring out Nova tactics. THough I have heard of that before when referring to magus's. My gestalt Magus/Alchemist is going to be a blast when he gets upto speed. >:3 He's doing an alright job so far in WotR but its not the easiest build to make it work.
Identifying a demons weaknesses is rough as they have very few they aren't resistant too. However 3 attacks per round with a +2/holy blackblade helps in the kill them quickly department. ;3
Tidus nods to Mai and Livain as they land and rises to his feet. "Most likely they retreated into the caves, sadly we lost the bears tracks awhile ago and this storm is going to be an issue especially for the main group. More then likely Hawk will be forced to make camp before the fury of the storm rolls over the main column." He rubs his grizzled chin as he turns to look between Wallace and Rhavenna. "If you wish, I can scout ahead of us in case there are some in hiding. Perhaps I can find a place suitable for us to bunk for the night as well."
It wasn't long after Mai and Livian joined the group that the falling snow began to increase in size and density, in another couple of minutes even this dense tree canopy would be completely covered with the coming snowstorm. The falling snow was already beginning to block out what little light fell on this village already and casting it into a dim shadow.
lmao. arent you optimisitic xD
So Magus Blackblade/Kensai continues to evolve for me.
I found that if you use the blackblade strike to give the blade +2 enhancement (If you arer lvl 6 Magus) that you can follow it with a Arcane Pool enhancement of +2 which allows you to add 1-2 abilities to a weapon. All of this as free actions. Follow all that with Arcane Accuracy and now you can have a +2, holy blackblade with +4< to hit as well lol. If you are a Dervish dancer it makes for a nasty round of damage against demons >:3
You spot a dim light. No more then a flicker in the midst of the dark caves that sat above the treeline. However that is all you can make out at this distance...
You also see a break in the tree line, like some sort if clearing except for the fact their are a multitude of trees that appear to have fallen over. Laying against other trees to firm this crude clearing.
Only the longhouse appears out of sorts its weathered stone sides are smooth and dont show any indication of being worked upon compared to the other buildings which were made from felled logs.
1d20 + 11 ⇒ (11) + 11 = 22
Tadis shakes his head. "Nothing fresh, at least a day old from what I can tell. if they are hiding then they are the best I have ever seen..." The scout flexes his hands and narrows his eyes at the quiet village suspiciously.
Out of the buildings that are visible a single one, furthest from where you all had first ran into the village, appears to be made of stone instead of stout timbers. Built in a sturdy manner and appearing to be akin to a longhouse or some other more centralized structure for the main gathering place of the village...
Tadis nods to Wallace taking up a lead position and dismounting so he could track on foot with his borrowed steed trailing just behind him.
1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21
Tadis makes decent time and the distant drum of the marching column could easily be heard some distance behind you as your group made its way through the thickening trees and brush that clung to the side of the mountainous landscape. It was still near an hour before you all came upon the edges of what could pass for a hamlet bordering on a village in size. The canopy of trees was thick here and not a single light could be seen from anywhere in the hamlet, doors stood closed and the central fire pit was nothing but cold ashes appearing to have burnt out some time ago.
Not a creature was stirring, only the wind that stirred the branches of the trees was the only noiseyou could hear and after about a minute of standing there you noticed thick snowflakes starting to fall betwixt the tree branches above.
Above the tree line
A snowstorm was rolling in hard and fast, bringing with it what cold only be a powerful flurry of flakes and reducing visibility to almost nothing for fliers. The full storm would be on top of the village in the next ten or so minutes...
From the edge of the village
Several buildings are visible to those on the ground, not so much for those above the tree line. However those on foot see the village was built from shallowly dug out plots and reinforced by heavy timbers to create robust and partially submerged homes for keeping the warmth in despite the mountain chill. Not all of the buildings are only partially submerged, one appears to be built straight into the bedrock of the mountainside, appearing to go some distance in before the distance and the darkness make it all but impossible to tell how far in it goes. Natural caves abound around the silent village and aside from the six buildings and fire pit there wasn't much else to see.
From where you all were situated tracks were in abundance, though all were quite old, freshly blown snow obscured quite a few of them. Among them though human, dog and other humanoids were easily discernable...
Those above the tree line viewing the village.
You notice that here a part of the mountainside juts out of the forests and it appears to be peppered with multiple cave opening's like that of a sparrow nest in a rock wall.
Perception checks please~
Yolanda nods cooly and shrugs. "Probably not, but I doubt it'll reach the main column with all the forward scouts. Better keep moving forward unless you want to take it up with Hawk. Otherwise lets get moving the column is catching up." Yolanda taps her horses lightly and her and her fellows ride off ahead of your group...
Tidus: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Tidus nods then. "I will take this to Hawk then." He rides off then and returns several minutes later, the droning march and sound of wagons were now more distinct. The main column was still some minutes behind you.
Tidus looks grimly as a pair of riders tear past your group, their tall warhorses were as distinct as their Gourmite armor was. The teiflings salute riskly as they pass you by. Tidus wheels in next to Rhavenna and looks to the group. "They'll replace us until we ascertain the location of the creature or choose to return to the column. However Hawk isn't stopping the column early, he will leave us behind if we don't move quickly and is deploying more scouts in response."
The sound of the approaching caravan is more apparent, the central column is moving at a steady pace and the sound of the secondary forward scouts are fast approaching. No sooner then Wallace had finished his speech Yolanda appeared at the head of three other mounted warriors. Seeing you all paused in the roadway made her rein in near you. She was about to speak when she saw the carnage. "Desna be merciful! What happened here? "
The warriors who with her looked around suspiciously as the sound of the still distant column droned from some distance away. ..
Mai doesn't see anything over the frozen trees that would indicate a village of any sort...
The creature is a throwback to another age, divine punishment or some other form of rage fueled destruction. Scholars refer to creatures such as this as Dire creatures, This one in particular appears to be a Dire Polar Bear of legendary proportion. Based off your memories the creature was larger then a bear by a great margin. It was as fast as their horses and able to grab opponents smaller then it and annihilate them up close.
Its reach is as long as a longspear and its claws and teeth are like greatswords in sharpness and length. A straight up fight with it will be rough and Rhavenna will be by far the most mobile and most vulnerable of the group as her speed is easily matched by this beast.
The only advantage you might have is that it is injured, so if it hasn't had time to rest and heal it may be easier to take down.
This creature is a Polar Bear with the Dire Creature Template.
Move on then?
If the options seem unclear or I have presented them in a confusing way then I will break it down.
Tidis can be your go between for times when (un)important events occur, such as these corpses. Your moving steadily but you are not at a hard gallop by any means.
You also have the chance to try and find the place that he speaks of or hunt down the beast so it doesn't pose a threat to the main column. Since their are younger more inexperienced mercs the casualties would be high if something with this ferocity struck the main column at its weakest point.
Or you can report the issue, march on and take your chances. The choice is yours.
Tidis grimaced. "Angering Old Deadeye... That sounds like a feat in of itself, normally hes a teacher I thought?" He ponders for a moment before shaking his head and cracking his knuckles before patting Firebolt. "I'll follow whatever you wish to decide."
In the silence, disrupted by only the mountain breeze, its easy to tell that your mounts dislike remaining in this area. They shift about as if spooked by something, even Rhavenna fills an unnerving chill running through her equine frame. It isn't readily apparent as to what is causing it though.
You storm the room with the Librarian and the powerful warcasters of the nation of Cygnus. It was a fight that the two of you would never have been able to win alone and despite the presence of Iron Liches and even a Lich Lord of Cryx you leapt into the fight. Leon interrupted the ritual, slaying one of the casters standing in the circle and disrupting their harmony as they struggled to remove him. They had little reprieve as Aurora's blade bereft another of its unlife.
The battle was titanic in its intensity, lightning scorched the walls of the chamber and runic symbols abounded as the air literal shook with the power being released in this very room. However the battle was nowhere near one sided as even the Cygnissian warcasters fell to the might of the Iron liches of cryx who were led by none other then Lich Lord Terminus who's eyes burned with balefire as he spotted you two.
As you both battled to kill more of the casters and reduce them to shattered bones he cackled with mad glee and raised his hand as if beckoning forth to something. It was then thatyou both felt it... As if your entire being was being shook apart at the seems, that overwhelming loss of control as your will was being torn from you once more. A figure stepped out of the chaos, its movements sure and its walk confident as it approached you both. The Librarian, seeing your distress tried to intervene but was held off by three iron liches that were bombarding her with ancient magic the likes you had never seen.
The figure smiled in a familiar way and your spirits cried out in despair. The Master was alive! You had little time to ponder as he spoke and you both nearly groveled at the ominous tone in his voice. "I hope your taste of freedom was enough, as you won't be free again. I think this time i'll take her as mine. AS for you..." He stepped towards Leon and drew a black sword. Leon wasn't able to cry out as the master stabbed him through the back with his black blade, it emerged mere inches from his heart as the Master laughed in amusement. "Can you feel it? The despair of being able to do nothing. I remember you tried to kill me in a similar manner. It is a great pleasure to return the favor." With that he twists the blade, making ever muscle in Leon's body cry out in pain and yet Leon still could not. Or would not, ever, show weakness before the twist vampiric master.
"End them! Finish the ritual, NOW!" Terminus screeched as a lance of lightning slammed into his army and brought the might Lich Lord to his knees, rack forming in his glss elm where his floated bout madly looking around as the Warcasters held their own against the endless tied of undead pirates, Lich Lords and other cryxian abominations.
The Master wrenched the blade out of Leon and wiped it off on his back mockingly before ending him. "A pity you couldn't watch what I do to your precious lady next, hehe..." You know he is licking his lips in anticipation for what horrible fate he has instore for your partner before he continues speaking. "Perhaps I will keep your skull as a reminder for her. Perhaps tethering your miserable soul to it for eternity!" With that he raises the blade, both hands on the pommel as he prepares to bring it down two handed into your back and pierce your heart.
The Master's eyes hardly leave you as if he were undressing you mentally as he taunted and wounded your beloved Leon. His mental control kept you from doing little more then watching him with wide eyes. However when he stabbed Leon you felt as though a part of you broke free and your eyes drifted to the Skyblade as its internal workings started to hum louder and louder, our armor started to grow warmer as it too started to react to whatever the Skyblade was doing.
A voice entered your mind, though quiet and weak it carried an encouraging tone that brought you out of you despair. <:We...:>
Then you felt it, like something snapped in your mind...
You could grip the Skyblade fully once more, the feeling in your limbs was returning your will...
<:We Fight TOGETHER!:>
Your will was yours once more! You were completely free and the feeling of anger that welled up within you was enormous as your armor started to expand, emitting a faint glow from your chest...
Please add these temporary modifiers to your stats
Your armor takes on a dragonlike appearance, golden scaled and a dragon helm to match.
"Interloper... Tis perfect a name for thine dead one." The stag headed one barked as he stomped forward threateningly.
"That is enough..." The bark woman's words carried the weight of command as the stag headed one glared daggers at Cassian, Flaring his nostrils angrily before turning away and stomping off into the flourishing forest ahead of you.
The pair of women, at least you think the are women watch you momentarily before the bark covered one speaks once more. Obviously pondering your response as she takes your hand in her own. Her bark covered fingers being to smoke and blackened after a few moments of contact with you skin. She waves you forward. "Follow us, but touch not or removing your outer skins."
As she turns the wispy woman flitting about in the air above shot off ahead with a delighted laugh, the laughter reminded Cassian of faint chimes in the wind. It was a warm and cheery tone that left him feeling nostalgic. For what he wasn't certain as her departure brought with a large rush of wind, carrying the smells of cinnamon and mint that left his head spinning with its potency.
The bark clad woman never raised her feet from the ground, seeming to slid along the surface and merging then splitting away from each plant, soil or rock in her path as she glided over each obstacle. The ground gave way to you as you moved forward, receding from you as if you were a fire burning a path through this lush forest.
It was a matter of several minutes of traversing the land, which not a single road or pathway appeared to disturb this verdant place. The bark clad woman moved with purpose, never slowing lest you stopped to look at something and then she waited with the patience of a stone. Stoic and observant of your actions. After what seemed hours you arrive in what could only be what they called home.
A massive tree, its roots forming a great roof above you and its massive branching providing much needed shade as it sprawled out for what seemed miles above you. It was the largest tree you had ever seen in fact you saw where clouds winded their way through its branches and more of the air woman danced and flitted in the air far above you.
More of the bark like woman's kind were among the roots of the tree, going about their business, lounging lazily or tending to the trees massive roots. They were made up of various elements, some were bark like here, stone clad, dirt and even mud. It reminded you of ancient beings called Dryads that once existed supposedly in the old world, Forest Tenders, Fey tricksters, many names were given to the fairies that supposedly once existed in ancient times and not all the names or legends were pleasant ones.
Standing at the base of the tree she waved her hand towards it as she spoke. "I have thought of what you spoke of and none of it is known to me but I have ever left the 1st world since my creation. But your aura reminds me of something in my youth, something I had nearly forgotten out of not wanting to remember that horrible time..."
She escorts you, amid all the stares you were now getting from the inhabitants of the tree, to the center of the tree itself, deep in its roots where the path was lit by faintly glowing rocks and fungi. "Here life never ends, it perpetuates indefinitely, spreading across the realms and preserving the wheel for every generation to come. However..." Her voice cuts off as you walk into a central chamber of natural stone, stalactites and stalagmites where a watery pool sits at the center. Here the stag headed adonis was waiting and the wispy woman from before as well along with another addition who was lighting the room with her very presence.
Made competely out of water a large blue shard sits in the center of her chest, pulsing like a heartbeat and emitting a pale blue light as she looks towards you from the center of the pool of water. She was like a waterfall when she moved, the water that made up her form falling to her feet before surging back up her backside and repeating its continuous fall. None of the water splashed or sprayed surprisingly keeping her form as she approached you. She walked around you, shrinking down to your height as she swirled around you and looked you over. Her voice was like a babbling brook as she spoke, it was hard to understand her words at first but you managed to catch onto her accent. "Is this the it of which you speak you two? One who cannot touch the land without harming it?" All three nod and the water formed female moved back to the center of her pool far quicker then before, dissolving into a swift moving puddle of water before reforming in the center of the pool. "It is obvious it is not from here. Its connection to the land is severed, or mayhap it never existed. I needs to commune with the land on how to attend to this issue. See to it it touches nothing lest it sever those it encounters." Without pausing for a moment it dissolves once more causing not a single ripple in the pool clear water in the center of the room.
The three are quiet for a moment before the stag headed one rises to his hooved feet. "Tis your problem. Thou shalt deal with thine interloper, tis a mote of corruption and I shant have part if it severs another realm..." He storms off in the opposite direction of you and the bark clad woman then leaving you with the woman dancing in the air. She floats more lazily down here, looking almost tired as she floats about the room. She gives you a tired smile as she floats close by. "Ignore him, it is time of rutting for his kin and he is ill mannered because he can't take part. Not all can live as freely as we air nomads~ So what nomad are you? I have never heard of these things you speak of. Elven TEmples, Tranquil Leys. These are new to me..." Her form dissolves and reforms just in front of you before she slowly dances away with a gleeful expression on her face. "Something new, something old, something fresh. If it is not from this land then where is it. How does the land breath, does it uplift or does it crush downward!" She ends her cavorting with a more tired expression then before.
Jaegers blad tears through his opponent and Ethyra's healing magic closes up the injury in his side some.
1d20 ⇒ 20
The next few seconds of struggle were quickly decided and the remaining mongrelfolk fighters were brought down quickly now that Jaeger was close enough to circumvent the protection of their hastily created barriers.
Behind the barriers lies a single doorway, currently closed with a battered stone door...
Wallace: 1d20 ⇒ 14
Spectre: 1d20 ⇒ 17
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
For a moment there is nothing but white, then something comes into focus. You are standing in a forest, a storm brewing just on the edge of your vision and you can hear the frantic screams of horses and men as you find yourself facing a mounted spectre on a paniced steed. Surprisingly you stand taller then the mounted spectre by a fair margin, looking down on him like a god from on high. It was over in two hits, one to kill his horse, breaking its neck in a single blow and a second blow to kil the man. However the spectre was fearless, he thrusted a spear into your gut and twisted it for good measuer as you killed his horse. As you came upon him with the killing blow he laid a lumber axe into your side, accepting his fate and trying to take you with him.
The spectre fades and in its place is the broken body of the man you had touched and his ill-fated steed. Laying on his chest is a book, its cover bloody and its pages torn and battered...
Perusing its abused pages you learn he came from an isolated hamlet in the mountains and that he was one among many that lived there. They lived outside the laws of Brevoy and Iobaria, they were free and made their living off trading furs and lumber as the land they lived on gave little in harvestable crops. Even what ground they could clear was rocky and barren of what was needed to grow with. They had existed in peace for over a decade before it happened.
Hunters disappearing, game becoming sparce and even entire lumberjack camps were disappearing, with nothing more then a smashed apart camp to tell the story of what happened. The man's name was Bill Ryefen, he had been a hunter for over twenty long years and had never seen a creature he could not kill. Yet whatever was hunting them was far smarter and more aggressive then any he had ever encountered. Traps only angered it, bear traps were found smashed, pits found fallen in but empty and log falls were tripped but apparently stopped by a greater force. Whatever it was it wasn't hunting for food, it was killing for the sake of killing and Bill Ryefen was going to kill it in return.
It left no survivors in its passing, only death and devastation. Nothing but paw prints that reminded him of a bear but he'd never seen paw prints this large before. They were twice the size of a normal bear, if it was even a bear.
A week ago a local mystic revealed her wrong doing, admitting on tresspassing on ground sacred to Old Deadeye but she swore she had made things right. The only good thing was she had destroyed her trail but she paid dearly for her tresspass and was exiled from the village. Much to Bill's displeasure because the next morning they found her torn apart across a well traveled trail. The look of terror on her frozen face enough to make the younger men vomit and the veterens to sit on edge. This was only getting worse...
With little recourse they had to look for the den of this creature and put an end to it. He gathered what men and women he could before setting out with as many arms as they could adequately wield. They had barely covered a few miles before the creature smashed headlong into them. The beast was a bear of immense size, its fur the color of snow and unlike anything he had ever seen. Its body bore the marks of many battles, broken arrow shafts riddled its back and the rage in its eyes told Bill at once that it was mad beyond dealing with.
THe story ends in the same way as your fight had been, short, brutal and with Bill's heroic demise. A chilling line is written on the final blank page.
"Next Target: Village?"
Wallace gets a distant look in his eyes as the glaze over at the end of his speech and for a moment nothing happens. Then he starts bleeding from his side and abdominal area from unknown wounds. As quickly as it begins the bleeding stops but its obvios that he is injured now, from what is unknown.
Nothing you can think of save for Chimeric creatures fits the possible tracks you found, but whatever it was wasn't winged as their is no indication that it lifted off. Its tracks are very obvious though, so whatever it is its large and heavy.
The tracks remind you of a bear, but never have you seen paw prints of this size. It was unnatural for them to be this large...
Livain Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Having dealt with the Gourmites and now an angry Mai was more then Hawks worn patience could take. As Mai finished his threat he arced an eyebrow and gave a gruff laugh. "Then do so, but don't b%%&+ to Pharasma when your lady is left to bury you alone. Besides I normally wouldn't take Gourmites as they are nothing but trouble which I don't need however they are natural fighters, especially with the score or so of green horns we have now. So save your anger for Iobaria... You'll need it."
March Day 1
Being the forward scouts you are several minutes ahead of the main column, giving them time to react in case there is danger.
Livain spots something abnormal as she was jumping ahead of her husband once more. A large amount of frozen blood splattered across the side of the tree she was landing on. So much blood that it was literally forming several grizzly dark red icicles. Preering down through the frozen branches she could barely make out the torn apart horse of a horse and the broken remains of a human man who had literally been crushed into the trees base face first. His dead eyes glint in the morning sunlight as they appear to be completely frozen over from the passing of the storm some nights before...
You spot the glint of steel off to your right, while Mai and Livain are tree hopping off to your left. However this glint of steel is in the form of shattered spear and arrow heads that appear to be littered across the pathway. As you and Rhavenna come closer you find trailers of blood, so much so its obvious whoever or whatever was bleeding didn't survive long after. These trails appear to have been preserved by the winter storm of a few nights past as well...
Further investigation reveals more corpses across the mountainside, numbering eighteen in all, along with horses and an assortment of shattered, broken and crushed gear. One particular body had been repeatedly crushed until it was nothing more then broken and mashed flesh with bits of bone sticking out from the multitude of compound fractures they had surffered prior to death. The horses suffered similar and horrific deaths at the hands of an unidentified attacker.
The frozen hoof marks appear to show what was most likely a hunting party set upon by something with large tracks, larger then a human foot by nearly three times...
The hunting parties tracks are also still encased in ice and lead off into the woods along the side of the path, although there appears to be no smoke or any indication of habitation in the distance that you can see from the trailhead you are traveling along.
Whatever did this ran down those that tried to break and run from the initial onslaught, around eight broke and ran and from what you can tell not a single one made it very far. Whatever did this killed the entire group in a very short amount of time. Rhavenna spots the claw marks across the trees in the area, though the marks are focused primarily midway up the tree and in one spot, the bark is completely torn through by the powerful claws of whatever left behind those tracks...
Tadis K-Nature check: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9
He appeared lost as too what the tracks are...
He continues to investigate until the group decides to move on.