Just a reminder than Untrained Knowledge checks cannot score higher than a DC10, which is 'Common Knowledge'.
Knowledge (Geography) DC10:
Before the Battle of the Gods - more than six years ago and after the death of the Nethysian Imperial family - the Nethysian Empire lost a chunk of land to the east of here to the Aerili - it is now known as the Silver Grove to the Nethysians and Yamalundi.
Knowledge (History) DC10:
The Druidic Cirlcle of the Aerili used the chaos in the wake of the death of the Nethysian Imperial family to sieze what they have named for themselves as 'The Cradle Lands'. There was little resistence to this move, due to the infighting which was ongoing in Nethys during this time.
Knowledge (Local) DC10:
Some rumours tell the tale that an Entire Forest crossed the Girdle Mountains to claim some of Nethys' territory, though there are those who wonder at the sanity of people who spread such rumours.
Can everyone give me a rough idea of their current speed or which group they are travelling with? Belyu and Adon are brining up the rearguard by the sounds... but they might only be slightly slower than Yrrin. Just need to know roughly how far apart the two groups would be. I'm assuming the groups will be staying with the slowest member. Vai's speed with Haste is 120ft.
The tunnel begins to get a little hotter as the group goes deeper - perhaps just the planet's warmth seeping up through the ground... though they haven't gone /that/ far.
At some point, the group will realize that Anahita is no longer with them - though Phaezeriel will sense that her presence is still strong within the Collective.
The ominous silence that descended upon the ground as the descended deeper towards the sickly green glow is cut short by a sudden - and distinctly humanoid - scream, from somewhere deeper in the cave. A young woman's voice, echoing up the cave walls.
Vai's blade flashes into her hand again. "Come on!" she says loudly, the echo of the dragon girl's voice mingling with the continued sound of screaming. Her wings are carrying her quickly down the tunnel, and will leave the others behind if they don't hurry... (or if someone doesn't stop her). The screaming stops and starts intermittently...
Phaezeriel (and anyone else with a notably dark background) will probably realize the sounds are akin to what someone being tortured would sound like.
I had thought you guys had just stepped slightly outside the tavern, but either way works - the windows work well enough after all.
As the group prepares for the battle, they see the raiders have entered into the town proper... though still seem to be making for the square at the centre of town. The bears they are riding atop seem to be well-trained (perhaps even domestic, though magic may have played a part as well), though no saddle or other riding gear is present - the raiders are bearbacking, as it were.
Midha's sharp eyes manage to pick out two details the others may have overlooked. One is that the raiders appear to be completely dry - no evidence from the recent downpour on their clothing. The second would be that all the men (there are no women) atop the bears appear to be... not men, but boys. Midha would put the oldest among their bunch at no more than 15.
The raiders appear to be making a direct line for the town square... and the rest of the town is oddly quiet, though the occasional sound of a bar sliding across a door can be heard from a few of the nearby houses. There do not appear to be any townsfolk challenging these bear-riders, though the Innkeeper did mention that their men were off in the mines until later in the evening.
The group does eventually move deeper into the cave, leaving the chill air of the entrance, and the haunted area behind them. As they're advancing down the cave, it becomes abundantly clear that this cave is not a natural formation. The walls become smooth and the cave becomes almost perfectly round, only slightly oblong in the horizontal axis. A slickly green light seems to emanate from some distance down the tunnel, but it's source is currently unseen...
If anyone is /not/ going into the cave, let me know. :)
Yeah. I may take a pretty active role in DMing various bits and creating stories and such, but when it comes down to it, the three that Kryzbyn mentioned have more knowledge and say than I do. I'm not chuffed by being excluded. :)
I decided to sod the map, since my lack of skill/creativity in drawing it was one of the primary reasons I was being held back here (though obviously a busy schedule doesn't help). Many apologies, let's try to get this ball rolling again. I will of course understand if anyone wants to bow out due to the length since we actually had a post in this game. Either way, please feel free to embellish on the town with your imagination. I will provide a framework for you to work off of.
The town, as it stands, is relatively unfortified - the only low walls or fences in the town are to hold the meager livestock - a handful of goats and sheep scattered among several different homes. The houses are setup in a fairly defensive circle though, so at least some planning has gone into the defense of the city. There is a open square in the center, where perhaps a market might be setup on certain days. The primary road, which the raiders are riding down, leads directly into this square, and opposite this road is the largest building the town - which appears to be a (somewhat small) Temple, presumably to the God the innkeeper mentioned. The inn in which our heroes have recently departed is a scant few buildings down from this primary road (which is a dirt road, no cobblestone or paving here), roughly the center of town. For the moment, the armed group is concealed from the oncoming raiders by the town itself, giving them a few moments to decide on a strategy...
The buildings in the town are primarily stone, and the bandits do not appear to be wielding fire, so it might be concluded that their primary motive is either to reveal in slaughter, or to plunder whatever they may. Either way, nothing compels our brave heroes to intervene (other than perhaps their own sense of right and wrong), and they may simply flee the village if they choose...
The chill in the air is slowly creeping back in. Yrrin can tell that, while he has momentarily driven the spirits away with his cleansing fire, they will return. The longer the group tarries here, the more likely the unrestful spirits will have another chance to inflict their pain on the living.
Archimedes Iosus wrote:
"Excellent. That is done. Now, do you wish to speak with the Headmaster, or shall you go on your way? There isn't much else I can help you with administratively." The Scribe says evenly, once again giving Archimedes the choice.
Archimedes, there are classes like that. Sorry I meant to link to a class list but I ran out of time. There are definitely engineering and polearm classes, but I don't think there are any classes for military strategy/tactics or Leadership per se. We had a class list at some point. Almost, most broad-topic classes (like Mechanics, which is the engineering class) come in Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced, though obviously not all of them.
Archimedes Iosus wrote:
"Warden, I have had no choice in my education, no choice in my home, no choice in anything in my life. But, if you are offering me the choice between student and prisoner, I would choose student, though I doubt my wishes make any difference to you." You can tell that your threat of /camps/ has had no effect on the boy, he has a strong will and is not easily swayed, however your offer of a choice has given birth to a small spark of hope or disbelief in his eyes...
"Good, I am glad you made that choice. I'm sure a prisoner would be much more paperwork than a student." he says, ignoring Archimedes' final comment about whether or not his wishes mattered. "And now, since you are to be a student here, there are some mundane matters we must handle. You may sit if you like." the Scribe motions to a chair across from him.
"Now, you will get to select up to four classes which you will attend regularly. The classes range from practical to theoretical, and cover a broad mix of subjects. There are two required classes in addition to the four I mentioned previously. You must be enrolled in History of Agartha and either Basic or Advanced Physical Education. Beyond that you are free to choose any you wish, and even select a free period for one of the classes."
The Scribe slides a list of available classes across the desk as well, for Archimedes to look over. "Here is a small packet for you as well. This contains a student guidebook which has the school rules, as well as a map of the school. You'll find the school is mutable, and shifts to match the needs of it's occupants, so the map is self-updating."
"Now, do you have any questions?"
"I see. So you are a Prisoner of War. Well, I assure you that Avalon is far more comfortable than being in certain camps." the Scribe says dangerously, the emphasis and the threat on the word Camp is apparent. "However, we cannot force you to learn. Whatever these rebels may believe, Avalon is no propaganda machine, nor is mental tampering through psionics or magic permitted without explicit permission from the subject. Do not fear for your free will. Now, tell me: do you wish to learn as a student here, or do you wish to be treated as a prisoner and confined to your quarters?" The floating writing tools have not yet resumed their work, the Scribe's full attention now directed to the boy standing at attention.
Archimedes Iosus wrote:
"I was taken from my home by the Rebels, and they brought me here under duress, to this prison." He says this venomously but allows none of his anger to show in his stance or face, only his voice is colored by his emotion
That finally causes the scribe to pause, all the floating pages and pens in the air around him cease their doings as he looks up from the page to the boy. "I wasn't aware Avalon was politically affiliated with anyone enough to hold prisoners for them. Tell me Mr. Iosus, were you a combatant in whatever war you speak of?"
Archimedes Iosus wrote:
"I see. Are you able to tell me anything relevant? Why you were sent here, perhaps? Are you a danger to yourself or others? There are a few students that are not permitted to leave for that reason, if I am not mistaken." The Scribe returns again, voice completely calm.
Archimedes Iosus wrote:
"I am Archimedes Iosus, I seek the Warden of this prison."
The scribe does take note of the name, his hand writing eloquent and quick.[ "Mr. Iosus, I believe you may have the wrong institution. This is a school for children with extraordinary powers, not a prison." the Scribe returns simply.
The elven scribe raises an eyebrow at the youth, taking a second look at him. One of the pens floating around him finishes it's task and ceases writing on the form, which then floats over into it's proper place in the filing cabinet next to the desk.
"Has our esteemed High Seer added a new title to his impressive resumé? he wonders aloud while a sheet of paper removes itself from a nearby stack and floats in front of the Scribe. A quill magically appears in the Scribe's hand, the tip already wet with ink. "If you are a new student, I will require your name before you speak with the Headmaster, if that is indeed who you seek. What is the name of this 'Warden'?" his hand rests easily above the paper, prepared to take down the youth's information.
In short order, Archimedes finds himself in front of the Main Office. A plain door with a simple label indicates that he has arrived at his destination. Upon opening the door, he will find a middle-aged Elf sitting at a desk in an uncomfortable looking chair. Around him float several sheets of paper which appear to have pens floating with them. Forms filling themselves out. The Elf himself is well-dressed and looks up from his work on the desk as the door opens. There is a name plaque on his desk which reads "Mr. Quillblood, Scribe".
"Good afternoon young Master." the elf says professionally. "How may I be of assistance?"
There are several other doors in the room, one of which is labeled "Headmaster".
Both Adon's disruptive influence and Yrrin's cleansing spell are enough to at least temporarily rid the area of the unquiet spirits which had attempted to force their pain onto others. The chill which had permeated the air here is gone.
Yrrin's knowledge of these things will tell him that while the haunted area is for the moment dispelled, the only true way to be rid of it is to put the spirits of those haunting the area to rest. Knowing how the spirits died might reveal ways to ease their jealousy of the living and help them depart this world truly.
The air inside the cave is indeed quite cold, even with the sunlight a scant few feet away. As the pair cross over the border onto the sandy floor of the cave itself, the air around them becomes tense, and both Belyu and Vickory hear a strange sound at the edge of their hearing - a girl or young woman sobbing.
Suddenly, Yrrin's senses catch a sudden extremely strong flare up of Evil and Chaotic presence around the pair that has just entered the cave. Anahita's Champion senses do not indicate any Living creatures other than Belyu and Vickory within the cave mouth. Phaezeriel's Piercing Sight does not detect anything extra.
The sobbing noise that Belyu and Vickory are hearing intensifies at the same moment, such that the whole group can hear the pitful sound... and Yrrin instantly recognizes this as a haunted location manifesting it's power.
Vickory your re-rolled bugged out for some reason, so here's the actual reroll: 1d20 + 19 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 19 + 2 = 30
Vickory can feel something attempting to delve into her mind, but manages to throw the sensation away, pushing the intruder of her mind. Belyu, on the other hand, is not so lucky, and seems momentarily frozen...
The sobbing sound only intensifies, indicating that this has only just begun... and the chill is beginning to radiate out of the cave, stealing away the heat from this sunny day. The touch of Undeath.
Phaezeriel, Adon and Anahita's practiced minds are attuned to spells being cast, and they can sense that Belyu is currently being affected by some kind of mental tampering spell-like effect.
Vickory West wrote:
As Vickory closes the gap and enters into the cave, the chill washes over and around her, practically a tangible presence in and of itself... though it is not truly negative energy, it does bear the same... texture, if you will. It is definitely similar.
The cave tilts sharply downwards ahead, daylight not penetrating too far, though there is a flicker of light ahead. For a moment nothing happens... then Vickory senses another presence around her...
Vickory, Will Save please, DC 28.
Everyone else, please let me know if you have any of the following currently active: Detect Evil, Detect Chaos, Detect Undead, Detect Magic (or similar such as Arcane Sight).
In addition, as this is happening, everyone may make Knowledge (Religion) and Spellcraft checks if they wish.
Sadie Jhiwoon wrote:
They were just a short way ahead.
Following close behind the vanguard is the rest of the group, emerging from the foliage to the same scene - a cave as described, which appears to be emanating an almost unnatural chill.
Belsayv - Vanguard (Yrrin, Belyu, & Anahita?)
The group follows the trail which ends in what was probably originally a natural crevice-type formation, but has been widened - either by magic or by tools, to accomodate the humongous contained which was dragged here. It is now some thirty feet wide at the base, and another 20 or so feet tall. A daunting entrance to be sure, which could service a fully grown dragon if they took a liking to that sort of thing. The cave has rocky unworked stone for walls with a sandy floor. No vegetation is immediately apparent within the cave, and there's a small circle around the entrance where the grass simply stops.
An unnatural cold seems to emanate from the cave outward, leaving behind a distinct chill in the bones of those present.
Of course make-up works with traps. Heck, my drag queen friend says that the best way to be a trap is to be good at make-up.
Of course he's almost been beaten up a few times by insecure fellas.
Oh wait... different kind of trap.
Sadly, Gardevoir is my /lowest/ level pokemon thanks to the EXP share (also the fact that Gardevoir has a Slow EXP track), which means I'd have to replace my whole team. :/
I might just restart and do Nuzlocke.
Given Phaeze's history and studies, he knows the following:
The n’gathau are not demons, nor devils, nor are they fallen celestials. Although they hail from a plane aligned with evil forces they are not associated with Hell or the Abyss. The Plane of Agony is a neutral ground, as it were, to which humanoids are taken and slain outsiders are sent to be tortured for their "misgivings and failures" (as well as for the pleasure of the n’gathau).
The n’gathau engage in a bizarre trade with other evil extraplanar races. In exchange for living creatures, the n’gathau offer reliquaries that contain the power that mortal pain and suffering offers. These reliquaries are most often used as spell components, used to craft constructs, or used in the creation of magic items. When a living creature is tortured and mutilated, its screams and suffering are captured by machines of alien construction and fabricated into small reliquaries. These items are in turn traded to those who offer the n’gathau what they desire in return—flesh.
Phaezeriel knows that each N'gathau has different strengths and weaknesses, unlike demons or devils which share common weaknesses. Such differences are determined generally by the creatures from which the specific n'gathau are made, supplemented by specific engineered mutations. However, due to the "engineering methods", all N'gathau share an immunity to both poison and acid.
In game terms, a N'gathau is a templated creature, which adds a bunch onto a base creature - typically a humanoid or monstrous humanoid.
Since I neglected to mention, both Belyu and VIckory succeeded on their Knowledge (Planes) checks as much as Yrrin did, and so know the following about the N'gathau (well, Vickory definitely knows the first paragraph anyway):
Yrrin, Belyu, Vickory:
This creature is a N'gathau, a race of twisted and evil Outsiders which hail from the Plane of Agony. Very little is known about the n'gathau, except that they twist flesh and creatures to create new n'gathau, experimenting with creating better creatures. Kidnapping a whole village for their twisted experiments would fit well within their M.O.
It is possible that, based on Vai's account, the n'gathau were drawn to this planet and area by the intense pain and suffering inflicted by the rituals this town practiced, and by Aegythrax himself.
Yrrin's spell is enough to douse the non-magical fire, and the forest is once again quiet.
After a moment, the corpse of the N'gathau vanishes, leaving behind nothing but an imprint of where he had fallen.
The other group can catch up now that the combat is over, unless you guys have somethign time-sensitive. Belyu, are you looking for anything in particular with the stone? It appears to be a completely normal, non-magical stone.
With the concerted efforts of the group, the creature succumbs - Vai's spell has rendered it unable to defend itself, and it falls prey to the myriad of blows from the students. A horrible gurgling sound erupts from it's throat, as the spell releases it and it falls to the ground.
The brush fire that Vickory's spell started hasn't gone out yet, and may spread if not handled quickly.
The boards are being super crappy for me today. :(
Belyu: I somehow totally missed that, my bad. I'll just say the spell dealt full damage, and it is Belyu's turn again (since the stun won't matter now that he's paralyzed). In the words of ots of things, this message is for you Belyu:
[MK Voice]FINISH HIM![/MK Voice]
The grotesque creatures hisses at the combatants closing in on him and moves in to extend a greusomely twisted hand towards Vickory. The hand is covered in metal spikes driven into his flesh.
Melee Touch attack on Vickory, if successful please make a DC25 Fort save or be stunned for 1d4 ⇒ 4 rounds as your body is wracked by immense pain. This is a mind-effecting pain effect. Touch attack: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (10) + 20 = 30
This creature is a N'gathau, a race of twisted and evil Outsiders which hail from the Plane of Agony. Very little is known about the n'gathau, except that they twist flesh and creatures to create new n'gathau, experimenting with creating better creatures.
It is possible that, based on Vai's account, the n'gathau were drawn to this planet and area by the intense pain and suffering inflicted by the rituals this town practiced.
Vickory's spell punctures the defenses of the creature and rips away his magics, tearing the invisibility off of their attacker to reveal...
A grostesque and twisted humanoid creature. The 'bow' it is wielding is actually fused into it's flesh, with an extra tentacle-ish appendage to draw the string. The creature has no hair, and as a distinct head and face, but the flesh is warped and twisted. All throughout his body there are metal spikes pierced into it, the stomach is distended and swollen. It is truly a horrifying sight, but those present are above it.
Frightening Presence, but you guys are over the HD limit.
Several of the groups' blow strike home, and the creature screeches slightly in pain, but another arrow slots into place from inside the creature - apparently it has a self-loading mechanism, and it prepares another attack...
Knowledge (The Planes) please!
The other side of the room Tybalt has entered is your quintessential 'girls room', if one subscribes to those kinds of stereotypes, though whomever lives there has blue as their favourite colour rather than pink. But the decor is fairly lacy, and her side is fairly organized and well put together, though a few textbooks rest open on her desk.
Belsayv - Vanguard group
Belyu and Vickory's spells both fail, feeling as though they were actively resisted by the creature's inherent wards, but Vickory does catch a brief outline of the target as the fire diverts around his form - a grotesque and misshapen humanoid form by the looks of it.
(Un?)fortunately, her casual use of fire has set the small brush ablaze!
A pair of Yrrin's arrows sink deeply into flesh with a sickening *thuck*, while the others seem to bounce off either armour or natural armour of some kind.
This time it is a hail of arrows emerging from the brush towards the paladin, their assailant seemingly uncaring about the fact that he is standing in a burning bush! The flames and smoke are outlining his form though, swirling around the attacker and giving the group a slight advantage.
Effectively, count yourselves as having the double roll benefit of the Blind-Fight feat against this target, meaning you get to roll miss chance twice and take the better result. Your attackers AC is 38, with a touch AC of 19, please total your damage for me.
Hail of Arrows, all aimed at Yrrin (include your Smite bonus please, but still Flatfooted for a total of 33 AC):
Manyshot: 1d20 + 29 - 2 ⇒ (5) + 29 - 2 = 32
Attack 3 confirm: 1d20 + 24 - 2 ⇒ (15) + 24 - 2 = 37
With that hit, Yrrin is now bleeding at 16/round.
The attacker is clearing a master of picking out weak points in various creatures, striking Yrrin's vitals with another arrow! He does not appear to move out of the burning brush whatsoever.
Vickory and Belyu, I need SR checks on both of the spells that managed to hit. Are there any secondary effects to that Ray Belyu?
Yrrin, your allies are both firing at a given spot, should be fair to conclude that they know something you do not. Please remember the 50% miss chance if you are attacking.
Belsayv - Vanguard Group
Yrrin's senses do not pick anything up at the moment...
However, both Belyu and Vickory can hear a very slight rustling in the undergrowth some twenty feet ahead on the track. They see nothing there, but there could be an invisible creature, or it could simply be a small woodland creature. It could also be the first sign of their attackers...
Suddenly, an arrow flys out of the brush Belyu and Vickory noticed, flying directly for Yrrin, putting to rest all theories of non-aggression! The attacker continues to remain invisible though!
Attack vs Flatfooted AC vs. Yrrin: 1d20 + 29 - 3 ⇒ (15) + 29 - 3 = 41
Belyu, PM inbound.
Phaezeriel gains in altitude as they travel, rising to be about 250 feet above the group. His main concern at this point is spotting any possible ambushes before they happen.
Phaezeriel will have some trouble with the forest canopy, but it's not dense enough to completely block vision.
Belsayv - Town Group
The group gathers up after concluding there was nothing of value left here in the town, Vai looking particularly disturbed by this... empty remnant of her former hometown. The group hurries out of the disturbing town, following the huge track through the forest. Yrrin and Belyu's tracks are also fairly obvious as well... though strangely enough, they are joined about halfway to the hill by another, slithering, track. Yrrin has not communicated though the collective... there may be something following them.
Belsayv - Vanguard Group
After a handful of minutes, the three come to the hill and climb the easy slope up to the top, the track contiuuing on in the direction Vai had pointed out. They arrive at the 'ritual stone' described by Vai - a fairly small glacial erratic, the stone is still quite large. A site of such pain and betray, yet nothing remains here to tell the tale - to any inspection, this appears to simply be a normal stone, if somewhat out of place in the middle of this forested, soft soiled, area.
The track of the huge container passes within some thirty feet of the unremarkable stone, continuuing past the stone into the forest...
Yrrin, Belyu and Vickory, Perception checks please.