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Rayhan Xobhadi

DM Emissary's page

452 posts. Alias of Misroi.


1 to 50 of 452 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

Marythsan looks pained at the revelation. "I knew he was...unwell. I didn't realize just how severe that was. This is an unusual turn of events, but not unforeseen. I know there are clauses that allow for someone to claim the reward due a Victor, so long as that claimant fought alongside the Victor. I daresay you fought with him closer than any here, Grovnaidel." He bows his head and touches the Iomedaean icon on his brow in silent prayer for a few moments. "I'll have someone see to his body while the Rite begins, and there will be time after to make the necessary arrangements with House Greer, but for now, please, follow me, so the Tournament can truly end."

He leads you back into New Harbor's streets. Outside, a crowd has gathered , watching you from either side of the street in reverent silence as Marythsan leads the four of you to a small temple to Abadar. On its steps are the Emissary and a middle-aged woman with gray at her dark straight locks. Her robes of office are immaculate, and she bears an intricate gilded symbol of Abadar about her neck. The two of them approach and bow to you deeply. "Sifu Xho Nuo tells me that you have not only won the Tournament, but safeguarded its legacy," she says. "It is always the privelege of the Archbanker to bless the victor of the Tournament, but never before has the Grand Bank owed a group more than you four. You have our thanks."

The Archbanker performs a lengthy rite that closes out the Tournament, and entrusts you with the promotion and protection of the Tournament as its Champions for the next decade. It takes the better part of an hour, but the Archbanker has a way with words that it seems to pass swiftly for everyone (save Poog, of course). At the end, she asks you to join hands with her, and she says a single word.


The next moment, you are no longer in New Harbor. You're in a stone building, and crystals affixed to the walls emanate a soft bluish-white light. Before you stands an immense vault door, emblazoned with the familiar crimson phoenix upon it. "Hao Jin's legacy stands beyond that portal," she says, approaching it. "Normally, the tournament victors are allowed only a single item from it. However, given the debt we owe, I have amended the agreement in your favor. You may each select an item. I trust there are no hard feelings in this breach of the contract?" She approaches the vault and removes her holy symbol, and you quickly discover it is not just her badge of office but also the key to the vault.

The door swings open. Beyond lies a collection of treasures rivaled only by Abadar himself.

So, what is it you find here?

Quite so.

After you come downstairs, Marythsan approaches your group. "It's time. Whenever the five of you are ready, the Rite of Victory can begin." His face grows solemn as he senses your mood. "Has...has something happened?"

Yeah, sorry about that! I totally missed Bigrin's end-of-round report. I am blind. :(

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You aren't the only one, Mott. :)

Asha and Zak head upstairs to Simon's room, but there is no response from within when they knock.

It's a bad sign when I lag on getting the epilogue done. I'm sure you're tired of hearing it, but my apologies.

The priest is more than a bit confused, but he accepts Kaditula's body and retreats into the shell-shaped shrine. It's already late when Asha returns to the inn, and the remainder of the evening passes without incident.

The next day, the group awakens to find breakfast prepared for them. However, one place at the table remains empty - Simon's.

The priest accepts Kadi's body, and lays him gently on a pallet. "I will prepare his body for his final rest," he says somberly. "I'm not familiar with Vudrani funereal customs, so any direction you give me would be appreciated."

Kadi crumples at Asha's strike, and collapses into his sister's arms. The air goes out of his lungs, and Asha is sure she can hear him thank her with his last whisper. He is still in her arms. The monks in the Pavilion leave her to be with her brother.

"Shelyn's all about mercy, sister," Kadi says, taking a few steps towards her. "From everything I've heard, the dim mak can be relatively painless. One single strike, and you stop my heart. I'm dead before I hit the ground - but I'm sure you'll catch me. After all, you already did."

He looks at you, and a single tear falls from one of his eyes. "Please, sister. Do it quickly." He shudders a bit, his fists clenched.

"I would love nothing more, sister," Kadi says, rubbing his wrists as he stands to face Asha. "But nothing has changed. You've captured the Sisters Wu, true, and dealt the League a blow that they will not soon forget. Someone will pay for this. Who do you think that will be?" He tucks his thumbs into his belt as he sighs with remorse. "If I travel with you, then yes, I'll be safe. There's no doubt you can handle yourself. But Mother? Father? What's to stop them from sending men in the night with long knives after them as punishment?" He picks up a bowl of rice wine the monks had left nearby, and finishes it off.

"This has to end here, sister, and I trust you to end it far swifter and mercifully than them." He looks her into the eye. "One strike, sister. An open-handed strike. The open-handed strike." He closes his eyes and raises his head to the heavens. "Please, sister. Do this for me."

As Asha leaves Simon in his room, she passes by Bao Gan, who bows his head to her in greeting. He knocks upon Simon's door, and slides it open to enter. As he sees Simon, his demeanor grows solemn. "I am certain I am not the first to wish you congratulations on your victory, Simon, but I wish them nonetheless. You called, and I am here to serve." He kneels down next to the old man, his holy symbol in hand. "What service do you need of me?"

Poog is given the most space of all of the Warriors - even in distant Tian Xia, goblins are considered murderous pests at the best of times. Still, a few drinks are passed his way. At one point during the evening, he hears his name shouted. "There you are, you little devil!", says Ganyavesha, a smirk upon her lips. "I know you missed most of the festivities last night, due to saving Marythsan and fighting the Aspis, but I was able to convince one of the acts to stay for you. Huo, come here, this is the Warrior I was telling you about." A barrel-chested Tien man approaches, chuckling as he lays eyes upon the goblin. "Ah! Now it makes sense to me! Hand me my tools, I shall get started immediately!" Someone brings a pair of long handled torches to Huo, and space is made around the three of them. Immediately, he tilts his head back and lowers the flame to his mouth, swallowing the fire. He passes the flame back and forth between his body and the torches, even spewing flame from his mouth at the end.

Kaditula is waiting for Asha when she arrives at the Pavilion. He's seated at the bottom step of the ziggurat, and he's looking up at the stars. His hands are still bound, though in front of him, and a monk is off to the side watching him from a respectful distance. "So, Asha," he says at last. "Where do we go from here?"

You have no difficulties returning to New Harbor, other than the sheer number of people who stop you to congratulate you upon your victory. Yon Loi's Noodle Hut is packed with spectators, as well as most of the Guardians of the Phoenix. Making your way to your wing of rooms is slow going, but you eventually return there.

If there are any of the NPCs you'd like to visit with one last time, let me know!

"Of course, honored Warrior," the Emissary replies, and he gestures for one of the monks to attend him. "Find the priest Bao Gan, that he might attend to the Warrior Simon Greer." The monk bows, and rushes off towards New Harbor.

"Easy now, old one," whispers a sibilant and feminine voice as an arm wraps around his side. He recognizes the bronze scales upon her arm after a moment. "Let's get you back to your quarters," Tsavati says, slowly walking Simon towards the docks. "You've earned some rest after these last few days."

Poog's remark elicits a trio of reactions - a look of stoicism from the Emissary, a snort of amusement from Kiang Zhen, and a sigh of exasperation from Marythsan. "Soon enough, little Warrior," the Emissary replies. "There will be a celebration to honor you as befits such heroes, but rest assured - before the sun rises again, you will each claim your rewards."

Dizhen seems off-balanced by the loss of her sister, a fact Simon takes advantage of by opening another wound on her back. Dizhen opens her mouth to hurl more insults at him, but she is blindsided by Asha's glaive strike - the second Wu Sister falls to the earth, unconscious.

As Zarina snarls at the Xun, they begin to back away in fear, and you notice the fight in the stands has gone about as well for them there as it has for the Wu Sisters on the fight stage. Those who have not been killed or rendered unconscious are fleeing the Grand Pavilion for their lives. The crowds that have packed the Pavilion over the last few days are gone, leaving only yourselves, the Guardians of the Phoenix, and the Tournament officials the only souls in the edifice. Climbing down the steps of the ziggurat, Emissary Xho Nuo approaches you, joined along the way by both Kiang Zhen and Marythsan.

"A heartfelt congratulations on a hard-won victory today, Warriors," the Emissary says to you. "Not only have you earned your right to bear the title of the Ruby Phoenix Champions, but you have defended Hao Jin's legacy today from those who would despoil it for their own ends. There are few here to witness the transfer of the title, but we owe all of you a debt that can never truly be repaid." Marythsan approaches you and kneels, offering up a single orange-red feather to the five of you - as it catches the light of the sun, it seems to shimmer with an inner flame.

Victory! Time to start wrapping things up. The rest of this is roleplay, so I should be able to get to it better than when I'm reliant on being in front of my notes.

Asha's glaive comes close, but Dizhen cartwheels away from the slash. Surrounded on all side, she reaches into her belt pouch. "Fine, you all want to get close and personal? Take this!"

Concentration, DC 21: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12

She begins chanting the words to a spell, but Zarina's attack causes her to drop her components and say a few choice words that certainly aren't part of the mystic language.

The Xun continue to attack Zarina and Asha. Asha's pair rush her, and swing their sansetsukon at her, though Zarina's pair are able to take advantage of their numbers.

Same as before, but Asha's do not get flank this round and only get one attack.

Attack 1a Zarina: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (14) + 12 = 26
Damage 1a Zarina: 1d10 + 4d6 + 10 ⇒ (7) + (1, 1, 1, 1) + 10 = 21
Attack 1b Zarina: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
Damage 1b Zarina: 1d10 + 4d6 + 10 ⇒ (2) + (3, 3, 1, 1) + 10 = 20
Attack 2a Zarina: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (14) + 12 = 26
Damage 2a Zarina: 1d10 + 4d6 + 10 ⇒ (10) + (6, 5, 3, 6) + 10 = 40
Attack 2b Zarina: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Damage 2b Zarina: 1d10 + 4d6 + 10 ⇒ (5) + (2, 5, 1, 6) + 10 = 29
Attack 1 Asha: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11
Damage 1 Asha: 1d10 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13
Attack 2 Asha: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Damage 2 Asha: 1d10 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14

Poog, this is your last round of nausea. Everyone's up!

Poog can do move actions - I unfortunately rolled the max on the rounds you're nauseated, so I think he's going to be out of the final fight. It sucks for 40% of the group, but at least these two weren't a complete pushover like most of the game has been.

Dizhen focuses on defending against Zarina's lethal claws and bites, but is completely blindsided by Simon's attack upon her flank. She refuses to topple, however.

Just waiting on Asha.

Wu Jufeng may be a powerful mage, but she is no match for Asha's skill with her glaive. With a trio of strikes, the air shugenja falls.

"SISTER!", Dizhen cries out as she sees Asha strike down her sibling. It distracts her enough for Simon and Zarina to get a strike in, and the woman is bleeding from her wounds. "No! It cannot end like this. It will not!" She continues to engage Zarina in single combat, her eyes blazing with fury now.

Flurry, Power Attack!
Attack 1: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (11) + 11 = 22
Damage 1: 1d8 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13
Attack 2: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (18) + 11 = 29
Damage 2: 1d8 + 9 ⇒ (1) + 9 = 10
Attack 3: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
Damage 3: 1d8 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11

The Xun falter for a moment as they see Wu Jufeng still upon the sands. "Don't just stand there, you idiots!", Wu Dizhen screams at them. "KILL them!" They look to each other and then back to Zarina and Asha. They scream a battle cry and rejoin the fight.

They will end up moving into flank this turn, though I believe that means they will not be able to make a full attack to do so. They'll also Power Attack.

Attack 1 Asha: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (12) + 14 = 26
Damage 1 Asha: 1d10 + 4d6 + 8 ⇒ (7) + (1, 1, 4, 2) + 8 = 23
Attack 2 Asha: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (12) + 14 = 26
Damage 2 Asha: 1d10 + 4d6 + 8 ⇒ (8) + (1, 1, 6, 6) + 8 = 30

Attack 1 Zarina: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (15) + 14 = 29
Damage 1 Zarina: 1d10 + 4d6 + 8 ⇒ (6) + (1, 6, 1, 2) + 8 = 24
Attack 2 Zarina: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (1) + 14 = 15
Damage 2 Zarina: 1d10 + 4d6 + 8 ⇒ (9) + (6, 5, 4, 5) + 8 = 37

A cheer goes up from the Phoenix Guard as Jufeng falls, and they begin to rally against the Xun. One of the Xun, however, has slipped past both Marythsan and Kiang Zhen. He pulls a long curved blade and is about to stab the Emissary. With blinding speed, the Emissary disarms the man and punches him in the sternum with an open palm. The Emissary's hand vibrates and radiates an orange energy as he withdraws his hand. "You should sit down now," he says to the Xun with an eerie serenity.

And over to you all.

Yeah, sorry, that was supposed to be Zarina getting attacked by Wu Dizhen. I had to type that in two or three times, as the Paizo boards were acting weird at the time. Small mistake on my part there. As for the Xun, none of them are in flank at the moment. That wasn't included in their attack modifiers. Since no flank bonuses were granted, that means that none of them are flanking with Wu Jufeng either, so you can take a 5' step back and attack her, while still maintaining the flank with the blink dog. As for attacking the forcecage, it's possible as per the spell, but you need to beat through its hardness 30 to even scratch it.

Simon's Dispel Magic:

Shield, Greater Magic Weapon, Detonate: 1d3 ⇒ 3

The blink dog snaps at Wu Jufeng, but she leaps away from its snapping jaws for the moment. During this time, Wu Dizhen has been blocking Zarina's claws with forearm blocks, an arrogant smirk on her face as the elemental power grows. By the time Simon completes his spell of unraveling, it has grown to encompass both women.

And then, it suddenly blinks out of existence.

For the first time in this fight, a look of worry crosses Wu Dizhen's face. "No!", she cries in rage. "I am twice the magician and ten times the warrior you are, old man. I'll kill you for that! But first, your pet dragon!"

Flanked as she is by Asha and the planar canine, Wu Jufeng begins casting a spell. Immediately, Asha strikes her, forcing her to try to ignore the disruption in her concentration. Concentration, DC 30: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (1) + 17 = 18 She cannot. The force of Asha's strike steals the arcane words even as they begin to pass through her lips. Jufeng's mask of rage begins to crack with signs of worry.

Asha now goes with the rest of you before Wu Jufeng. That means all my baddies go right now!

"Now, dragon lady," Wu Dizhen cries, leaving her defensive stance for a moment. "You die!" She unleashes a bevy of unarmed strikes at Asha's stomach.

Attack 1, Stunning Fist: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (10) + 13 = 23
Damage 1: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Attack 2: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (16) + 13 = 29
Damage 2: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Attack 3: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
Damage 3: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10

If the first strike hits, then Zarina needs to make a DC 17 Fort save or be stunned for 1 round.

The Xun, having been scattered by the twin toxic clouds and forgotten, regroup and rejoin the fight. The four split into two pairs, each of them moving to assist one of the Wu Sisters.

They each will have one attack on both Asha and Zarina this round.

Attack Asha 1: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (13) + 12 = 25
Damage Asha 1: 1d10 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Attack Asha 2: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (6) + 12 = 18
Damage Asha 2: 1d10 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
Attack Zarina 1: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30
Damage Zarina 1: 1d10 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Attack Zarina 2: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (9) + 12 = 21
Damage Zarina 2: 1d10 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6

And, at last, it's the party's turn again.

Gotcha, Simon. And sorry I haven't posted - my Wednesday got eaten up by writing demands for my Thursday Runelords game. Worth it though. I have every intention of posting this update when I get home.

No problem, Simon - I had to do some research into that one myself. d20pfsrd is a great resource...except when it isn't! As for initiative count, I'm pretty sure it's me, Zarina. I'll update tonight.

From what I've been able to gather, that appears to be an alternate summoning for Pharasman priests, Simon. I'd be willing to go along with it, but it doesn't look like she's one of the powers you venerate. Would you mind picking a different summoned creature?

Spending a ki point will be necessary, so you're next to Wu Jufeng, waiting on her action. In the meantime...

Wu Dizhen notices her sister's predicament, but is unable to come to her assistance with Zarina in the way. Still, Dizhen seems to dislike the idea of facing Zarina directly, and backflips away from her.

Acrobatics: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (14) + 15 = 29

Now 20' away, Dizhen chants a spell, and energy begins to flow into her, giving her a threatening glow. "Come on, dragon lady," she taunts. "Face me. Or are you afraid to lose like your father?" Also, spending another ki point to increase AC again. Seems like it might matter right now.

Spellcraft DC 19:

The spell she's casting is detonate. It doesn't do anything right now, but very soon she's going to be releasing that elemental energy she's drawn into herself. Violently.

The three remaining Xun finally finish getting back their breath, and look to come to the aid of the Wu Sisters. They get to do stuff on their turns again.

Once again, everyone but Asha is up!

A double move will be necessary, Zarina.

Zarina bursts forth from the cloud, and comes face to face with Wu Dizhen. "The dragon lady," she sneers. "I beat your father easily a decade ago. Why have you proven far more troubling?" An arrow flies from the cloud towards the Wu sister, but she casually bats it aside with the back of her hand with ease. She glances skyward as Zakarras leaps into the air and hovers there. "Sister dearest, deal with that one. He has proven most troubling over these last few days."

About time one of these monk characters you've been facing has Deflect Arrows!

As if in response to Simon's call, the cry is answered by a dozen voices. "Guardians of the Phoenix, to battle!", Ganyavesha cries, chanting a few words and growing to twice her height. She and many of the other contestants begin wading into the fray. A number of Xun rush the ziggurat, but Marythsan meets them half way, his blade striking true. A few rush past him, but their attempt on the Emissary's life is cut short by Kiang Zhen's spells and claws.

Poog is out, so DMPCing...

Poog Fort: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11

Well, that makes it easy...

Poog's rhyming chants are cut short as he gets a lungful of the noxious cloud. He flees away from the cloud, retching and gasping for breath as he leaves. Poog is nauseated for 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5 rounds.

"My thoughts exactly, sister," Wu Jufeng says, scattering a handful of red glittering dust towards Zak. "We will deal with you after your friends are dead." A bubble of force begins to coalesce around Zak. And I'll need a Reflex DC 22 from Zak to avoid getting caught in the forcecage. Windowless cell configuration, naturally.

Asha, you're up!

You'd think AC 34 would be at least difficult to hit...

Asha advances on the hobgoblin, and renews her assault. While he is able to dodge or deflect many of her strikes, two sneak through, delivering powerful concussive strikes to his torso and head. Gomwai goes flying, out cold before he hits the ground. Current Hit Points: 74+81 nonlethal

As Gomwai falls, the crowd leaps to its feet. The Emissary stands as well to begin congratulations, but movement from outside the fight stage draws his attention. A pair of figures dart forward, throwing aside veils that disguised their features. They reveal themselves to be nearly identical Tian Min women, dressed in robes that leave a sizable portion of their sides uncovered on opposite sides, displaying a sizable mass of scar tissue. One is dressed in red and carries a quarterstaff of black metal, while the other is dressed in blue and is unarmed.

"The Sisters Wu!", Marythsan shouts from atop the ziggurat. "Have the two of you been behind this the whole time?"

"From the start," the one in blue calls back while the sister in red weaves a spell. "And since your new champions have ruined everything, they'll have to die along with you." The sister in red finishes her spell, and a thin line of green energy lances out towards the fight stage. It flickers and disappears. At once, from the stands, dozens of Golden League Xun pull weapons and begin attacking the Tournament officials. "Kill everyone!", the sister in red screams. "If the League and the Sisters Wu cannot control the Tournament, then no one shall!"


You remember this pair, from a decade ago. Marythsan would have faced Wu Dizhen, an earth shugenja, in the final round, but it was brought to light that she had been cheating. Her refusal to accept forfeitures in the arena earned her few supporters in the crowd, but it was revealed she used her air shugenja sister, Wu Jufeng, as outside aid during contests. Most egregiously, she used Jufeng as a body double during official bouts, allowing her to slip back to Goka for healing and aid.

Your father lost to Dizhen a decade ago. Or Jufeng. It's impossible to know which. In the end, does it matter which?

Initiative Wu Dizhen: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
Initiative Wu Jufeng: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17

Updated Initiative Order
Wu Jufeng
Gomwai (unconscious)
Wu Dizhen

"Your cloud is a good opening gambit, runt!", the Wu Sister in blue sneers at Poog. "Let's see how you lot like it!" She chants a spell, and a familiar roiling cloud of sickly yellow-green gas erupts, covering your side of the battlefield in the horrid stench of the cloud.

Right back at you. Stinking cloud on your end, and the size will engulf all of you. Fort Save DC 15 to avoid being nauseated.

Fort Xun That Actually Made It Out Of Poog's Cloud: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17

As the fog surrounds you, the Xun clasps his hand to his mouth. "Oh no," he mutters. "Not again!" He hacks and coughs as he rushes from the cloud. He's withdrawing, so no attacks on him.

Once again, everyone but Asha is up. Simon, I'm going to guess that you might want to change your action.[/ooc]

The Xun howls in pain as Zarina's claws slash at his back, and he spins to face her. Xun 1 Current Damage: 22 "You'll bleed for that, you scaled freak!", he shouts, and moves to bring his staff around to strike her.

Despite the blow to his side, Gomwai remains fixed on Zak, and he follows the archer, knocking aside each of the arrows in turn. "That was a mistake," he says after sidestepping the last. "I've seen your shots, archer. You can't hit me. My turn!" With a loud cry he unleashes a bevy of blows at Zak. Gomwai's Current Damage: 74 + 22 non-lethal

Flurry of blows on Zak! Also, spending a ki point to increase AC by 4. All damage is still non-lethal.

Attack 1: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (8) + 17 = 25
Damage 1: 2d8 + 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (2, 1) + (2) + 4 = 9
Attack 2: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (19) + 17 = 36
Damage 2: 2d8 + 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (1, 6) + (3) + 4 = 14
Attack 3: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15
Damage 3: 2d8 + 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (8, 2) + (1) + 4 = 15
Attack 4: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (12) + 12 = 24
Damage 4: 2d8 + 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (1, 7) + (2) + 4 = 14
Attack 5: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Damage 5: 2d8 + 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (2, 4) + (2) + 4 = 12
Attack 6: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
Damage 6: 2d8 + 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (3, 4) + (6) + 4 = 17

Gomwai Will Save: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (15) + 13 = 28
Xun 1 Will Save: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Forgot about Poog's hex! Gomwai's only affected for one round, but the Xun predictably failed, and failed spectacularly. Asha, you're up!

Asha's mighty strike hits Gomwai square in the torso, and the hobgoblin teeters. "Not bad," he says, recovering from the blow. "But you're not out of the woods yet."

Movement from the cloud catches your attention. Three of the Xun exit and hunch over, expelling the contents of their stomachs as they cough and choke for clean air. They remain unable to do anything for the next 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2 rounds. The fourth one, however, moves to engage Asha. "You five have interfered for too long!, he shouts, swinging his three-section staff as he charges. "You die here, now!"

No flank on Asha, yet. Power Attack.
Attack: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (11) + 12 = 23
Damage: 1d10 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14

And that brings us to everyone but Asha going now, before Gomwai's second round. Go for it!

Shortly after Simon completes his spell, a roar erupts from the cloud, and Gomwai bolts out of the roiling vapors. He charges towards Zak, striking him in the chest with an open palm. "FELLING OAK FIST!", he cries as he slams his meaty hand into the archer's sternum.

Gomwai's trying for a stunning fist.
Attack: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (16) + 19 = 35
Damage (nonlethal): 2d8 + 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (1, 4) + (4) + 4 = 13
I'll need a DC 17 Fort save, Zak.

I count three. What's your save DCs, Poog?

Fort Gomwai: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (10) + 14 = 24
Fort Xun 1: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
Fort Xun 1: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
Fort Xun 1: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
Fort Xun 1: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19

Zak's arrows fly towards Gomwai, and pierce his tattooed flesh. Though one was aimed straight for his throat, the hobgoblin deflected the blow with his forearm, taking the shaft in the meat of his thick arm. "A good effort," he bellows from across the field, even as the thick green fog erupts around him. "But you will have to do better than that. All of you will have to do better than that." He chuckles to himself as he and men are engulfed by the cloud. Even as you hear choking and retching from within, Gomwai's mocking laughter echoes over the din of the crowd.

You're right. Let's finish the Great Work.

The crowd's roar swells as you leave your alcove, only to become deafening as Gomwai strides forth from his. As you enter the fight stage, the Emissary stands to quiet the stadium. While his face is impassive and unreadable, Marythsan's bears a deep grimace of frustration.

"The final battle is at hand," the old man begins. "Either the Warriors of the Five Elements will win victory here, or the martial artist Gomwai shall. Both have defeated all opponents who stood before them, and they are both worthy of the prize that awaits them, should they win." There is a long pause as the Emissary searches for his next words.

"In life, Hao Jin was a devout Abadaran, and considered the pacts and contracts she made not just binding, but a compact made with the god himself. To break one would dishonor her memory." He clears his throat before continuing. "Part of the arrangement Gomwai made with the Temple was that, while he would be entering as a solo participant, he could call upon up to four allies to aid him in a single contest. As he has not called upon these allies, he has made it known he will use them now." There are some grumblings from the crowd at this, and outright jeers as four rough-looking Tien men take the field on Gomwai's side. All of them bear tattoos and piercings that looks suspiciously similar to those of the men that ambushed you at Yon Loi's two nights ago.

The hobgoblin's grin turns predatory and malicious. His eyes flick to Poog. "Gatavs, lai redzētu, ko jūsu sirds izskatās, žurkas?"


"Ready to see what your heart looks like, rat?"

At last, the shout from the ziggurat comes. "FIGHT!"

Asha: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Poog: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
Simon: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
Zakarras: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30
Zarina: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
Gomwai: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
Xun: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11


Zak, Simon and Poog are up first. As usual, the baddies are roughly 60' away.

Weird, I posted my answer here awhile ago. It must never have gotten to the boards. That probably also explains why there weren't any updates. Take 2!

Other than the congratulations of the Emissary, the adulation of the crowd, and the satisfaction of yet another success, there are no other rewards for this final test of your skills. Gomwai also has a mental challenge, one that he is just barely able to solve - he is forced to put together a shattered stone slab, divine the cipher carved atop it, and answer the question it asks.

At last, a monk brings you back to your private alcove before the final round. "You have one minute to make any preparations you wish, Warriors. The final battle is upon you. I wish you luck."

You've got one minute to buff! Have at it!

No treasure, but you get XP! Which would mean something if I were counting it.

After you are congratulated for your ingenuity, Gomwai's final test is similar - he is tasked to put together a riddle in two minutes' time and also correctly solves it. The crowd cheers for him as well, and the monks begin clearing away the fight stage of all other obstructions for the final battle. You are ushered back to your preparatory alcove by a monk. "The final round awaits you, Warriors. You have a half minute before you are due upon the stage - make any last preparations you require."

"And so it is!", The Emissary cries out in response. The crowd cheers as you give the correct answer, and a pleased look comes over both Marythsan and The Emissary's faces.

I'll see what sort of reward (if any) you get for the solve when I get home tonight.

Almost as one, the Warriors throw off the sheets covering the plinths. Upon each of them, as the Emissary promised, was a single line of text written in Tien. In addition, as each Warrior read the line, a hidden line of text appeared, glowed with a bright orange light, and...

Asha: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
Poog: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Simon: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
Zak: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (2) + 12 = 14
Zarina: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5

Simon is the first to remove his sheet. As he reads, a thin wispy fog engulfs much of the eastern half of the fight stage, including Simon, Poog and Asha.


The message on the plinth reads "But with age I slip away."

Asha Will: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (20) + 17 = 37
Poog Will: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (16) + 12 = 28
Simon Will: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24

Each Warrior feels their wits briefly addled as the mist comes over them, but is able to retain their wills.

Zak Will: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22

Zak removes his sheet next, and reveals his line. He too feels his mind addled for a moment, as the magic of the symbols try to overload his senses, but he retains his wits.


The message on the plinth reads "The oldest are the first to perish."

Asha Will: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (13) + 17 = 30
Poog Will: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (9) + 12 = 21
Simon Will: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28

Poog confidently throws off the lines, and only sees words beneath. Another symbol tries to affect the minds of the Warriors, but they easily resist its effects.


The message on the plinth reads "And every one of me you cherish."

Zak Will: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
Zarina Will: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (16) + 13 = 29

Zarina throws off the final sheet, and reveals her symbol, which flashes horrific images into the minds of the easternmost Warriors. All of them stand strong, however.


The message on the plinth reads "You build more of me each day."

Hmmmph. So much for the trapped pillars. DC 20s on all of them, and all of them passed! For the curious, the effects were mind fog, confusion, symbol of stunning and symbol of fear.

They're all about equidistant, Poog. Which one is everyone going to - NE, NW, SE or SW?

Shortly after Poog asks his question, the Emissary stands. "Warriors, one last test lies between you and the final round. Stand forth in the fight stage." As you enter, the monks move stone pillars into the four corners of the stage. A cloth has been draped over the top of each of them.

Once the setup has been complete, he continues. "Your bodies have been tested throughout these last few days, Warriors, there is no doubt of this! And your hearts have been proven to all here as well - the bands that grace the forearms of many of the other contestants is proof of your natures. Your minds, however, have not been so tested. Upon each of the pillars that are now in the stage is carved a line of a riddle. Read all four, place them in order, and solve the riddle. Simplicity itself! You have two minutes to solve the riddle, Warriors...starting NOW!" As soon as he shouts that word, the scarlet light of the force walls come into being, and the crowd cheers as you move into action.

So, yeah, this is a time based game in the actual mod. That doesn't exactly work that well in a PbP format for many reasons, so I'll likely keep the timing loose. No initiative needed, since it's just you guys. Good luck, and start exercising those leetle grey cells!

My apologies on my lengthy absence here. The next bit is proving difficult to translate into PbP form, so I think I'll just run it with some kludging. Additionally, I developed a fever over the weekend, which prevented me from doing much of anything besides remain horizontal for long periods of time until today. Thanks for sticking with this!

Spell Resistance: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9

Simon's fireball explodes over the giant, and its upper torso are engulfed in flames. When the fire disappears, the creature appears to be completely unharmed. Zak's arrows strike the giant in the chest, and at last, the creature falls.

Knowledge (planes) DC 21:

When Simon's spell fails to hurt the giant, you realize you're not fighting an ettin after all, but an atamahuta oni, a corrupted kami that takes commonly takes ettin form.

The crowd cheers as you defeat the giant, and the Emissary rises. "A close battle!", he says. "But you have vanquished your foe just as you have every other that has come before you. Please, take a moment to rest and recover, Warriors. Gomwai, enter the fight stage for your exhibition match!" He steps onto the sand, and the monks bring out a creature with the body of a tiger, the head of a fanged monkey, and a viper for a tail. Their battle takes longer than the semifinal match, as Gomwai fights a defensive battle at first, learning how the creature attacks, then striking suddenly to pierce its defenses. The creature tries to evade the hobgoblin, but he is able to bring it down in just over a minute of fighting.

You've got time to put some or all of Asha's blood back in her. That one was close!

Will: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29

Zak's shot strikes the giant in the side, and the right head glares at him with unbridled fury. "Kill you all!", the giant bellows, and swings his axe in a flurry of strikes against Asha and Zarina.

He's starting out by attacking Asha until she drops, at which point he's moving to strike Zarina again.

Attack 1: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (14) + 22 = 36
Damage: 2d6 + 12 ⇒ (2, 5) + 12 = 19

Attack 2: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (20) + 22 = 42
Damage: 2d6 + 12 ⇒ (3, 2) + 12 = 17

Attack 3: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (8) + 17 = 25
Damage: 2d6 + 12 ⇒ (5, 1) + 12 = 18

Attack 4: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (14) + 17 = 31
Damage: 2d6 + 12 ⇒ (1, 4) + 12 = 17

Attack 5: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (14) + 12 = 26
Damage: 2d6 + 12 ⇒ (2, 3) + 12 = 17

Attack 6: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (8) + 12 = 20
Damage: 2d6 + 12 ⇒ (5, 6) + 12 = 23

Crit: 1d20 + 24 ⇒ (14) + 24 = 38
Damage: 4d6 + 24 ⇒ (1, 2, 4, 6) + 24 = 37

The first of the giant's strikes opens up Asha's defenses. The second is the follow through. The third misses, but the fourth clips her in the side. She avoids the others by the grace of Shelyn herself, as she feels the Rose watching over her against this beast. "Why won't you fall, girlchild?!?", the giant bellows, a snarl upon its lips.

Asha circles the giant, and attacks it with her glaive. She too fails to connect, though both heads turn to her with concern at the multi-hued glow about her weapon.

Simon darts past the giant's defenses, and stabs at the creature with Grovnaidel. Unfortunately, his attack fails to penetrate the beast's hide, and it clatters off the creature's armor. It rears up to strike at the old man, but when it brings down the axe, he is already gone - a safe distance away from the giant's double axe.

Zarina tears away at the giant's flesh, but she finds it strangely resilient to her talons and teeth. Still, the giant howls in pain as his skin blackens and boils where her flaming touch melts his skin away. 28 damage.

Once the five of you stand in the fight stage once again, the Emissary stands. "Let this final exhibition of the Warriors begin! Release their foe!" The monks wheel a large enclosed wagon onto the opposite end of the field, and from within the wooden enclosure you hear a loud angry voice. "Release me!", it shouts in furious Tien. "Or I will kill and devour everyone I see!" The monks release the catch and immediately flee their end of the stage as a massive two-headed giant crashes out of the wagon. "Ah! Supper!", the head on the right bellows with a malicious smile upon its face. It reaches back into the wagon and withdraws a giant orc double axe. "Come, you will be the first upon my carving table!"


Asha: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
Poog: 1d20 ⇒ 2
Simon: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32
Zakarras: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Zarina: 1d20 ⇒ 14

Asha, Simon:

As the giant enters the field of battle, you happen to notice some motion from the top of the ziggurat. Kiang Zhen has leaned in to watch the battle, something she has not done in any of the prior bouts or exhibitions. Something about this fight has drawn her attention.

Asha: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Giant: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Poog: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Simon: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
Zakarras: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (1) + 12 = 13
Zarina: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14

Tight initiative grouping here. Poog goes before the giant, followed by the giant, followed by everyone else. Since I'm familiar with this much of Poog's turn, I'll have him do an evil eye to reduce its Will save by 4 for 7 rounds or 1 round, DC 21.

Will save: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (4) + 14 = 18 Fails!

The giant roars as Poog meets the giant's gaze eye to eye to eye. He squints, and sweat breaks out on the goblin's forehead. "It am have strong will!", Poog grunts. "But Poog am stronger!"

The giant bellows and shakes a meaty fist at the floating goblin. "I save you for last, runt!", it shouts, and charges towards 1d4 ⇒ 4 Zarina, slashing at her with the double axe.

Attack, charge, power attack: 1d20 + 23 ⇒ (13) + 23 = 36
Damage: 2d6 + 20 ⇒ (5, 5) + 20 = 30

"Blood on the sand!", the giant's right head shouts triumphantly. "I'll dine on flesh tonight!" The left head, meanwhile, gibbers and mutters under its breath.

And that's your side again!

Whoops! An amusing homophonic error on my part. Yes, you are using Huyanwo's spare change to bring back Seishuku, not his terra cotta armies.

The Emissary nods to Simon and Asha. "A fitting use of the Scourge of Xielan's hoard. Very well - if he wishes to return, then a part of Huyanwo's treasure will be used to bring Seishuku back. Your compassion is noted, Warriors."

Asha returns to the alcove where Chung Po and Ganyavesha are watching over her brother. She hears soft laughter as she approaches, and both former contestants are in very good spirits when she enters. "Asha!", Ganyavesha says excitedly. "I heard you were successful this morning - congratulations! I hope you make it all the way!"

Kaditula, however, bears a disgusted look upon his face. "And I'm pretty sure that if you two weren't busy looking after me, you'd have made it all the way already as well." He glances to Asha. "Seriously, these two need to get a room. One that preferably doesn't have me in it."

Nope, he had 83 hit points and a Con of 12. Zak's first successful arrow strike dropped him from 17 regular wounds to 36. The crit dropped another 64 on top of that. He went from about ready to surrender to dead in one shot. Such is life.

Two of Zak's arrows strike Seishuku, the second of which plunges straight into the man's left eye. He topples to the ground, his body shuddering in his death throes. He's taken 100 points of lethal in total, which is a few points past his negative Con.

The crowd is subdued - mostly of how one-sided in favor of the Warriors it ended up being, not to mention the swift death that Seishuku received. Still, the crowd cheers for your success, and the monks carry the ninja's body off to the side.

"Let the second of the semifinal matches begin!", the Emissary cries, and both Gomwai and the elven samurai take the field. It's almost as one-sided - Gomwai leaps upon the samurai before his katana can clear its saya, and forces the other man to submit. The crowd again is somewhat disappointed at the speed in which the final fights are going, and even from the fight stage you can hear some jeers from the stands. "I paid good money for these seats, and I came to see incredible fights, not routs!" You also have some time to heal during Gomwai's fight.

The Emissary stands. "The finals have been set! Either Gomwai or the Warriors of the Five Elements will be this year's Ruby Phoenix Champion! Let us honor both with our thanks for their accomplishments so far!" The crowd cheers, but their enthusiasm is subdued, and it's clear the Emissary notices this.

"To keep our finalists in the competitive spirit, let us have them each give a demonstration of their skills! Warriors, if you will take the field?" The crowd's excitement grows at the sudden announcement of this exhibition.

Yeah, it was too much to hope to make it to round 4. I'll check and see if Seishuku is alive or dead when I get home tonight.

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