Shaking her head as Marvel's question catches up with her as he starts talking agian, "I am pretty sure that the sound of Nicholas stabbing him or me being stabbed should be enough of a signal. That and I have no idea what will happen when we get in there. Just listen and wait for one of us to yell for you to come in. Either Lamm will have been stabbed or our rouse fails."
Nodding at Nicholas, "Lets get going."
"Not all holy power is in the form of spells. I speak of other Blessings She has granted me to discharge."
Whenever is appropriate, Shaeda provides her Blessing of Luck to Nicholas. Within the next minute, Nicholas can choose to roll two 20s and take at higher, once, but in basically any roll
"Indeed? Intriguing." Aerel looks at Shaeda, speculatively, but shrugs, his lips curving upwards. "I am no great student of divine magics, so I am perhaps a tad unfamiliar with them. At any rate... if we are all prepared?" He indicates that the two young humans ought to take the lead.
Did I get that marching order right? If not, feel free to move tokens around
The wooden platform keeps sinking slightly, enough to get your ankles wet (shins in the case of Shaeda), but holds your weight. At the end you find that the door is rather narrow, and has a lock on it very similar to the one to the ship's hold.
The key opens the lock easily, and the door swings open.
The air in this large room is chilly and stinks of the river, thanks to a huge opening in the floor that drops away to the river shore three feet below. Several pilings emerge from the waters to support the roof eight feet above the floor, with mossy ropes slung between them. In two places, rusty manacles hang from the ropes over the water. Two five-foot-wide walkways cross the hole to the other side of the chamber, where a collection of old cabinets, lockboxes, and piles of clutter are strewn about. Chipped porcelain plates, a cracked goblet, badly rusted silverware, an old wooden shield with a crossbow bolt embedded in it, the odd dinged helm, and other “treasures” litter the floor of this side of the chamber. Three tables heaped with clutter stand amid this mess. In the southwest corner, a wooden door provides access to a walled-off section. In the water, an aligator lazily floats.
One table has been hastily shoved over, sending debris across the floor. Crouching behind it, holding a crossbow pointed at the door, is Gaedren Lamm.
"That's close enough."
He looks the five of you over, light slowly dawning.
"Well well, Nicky my boy. So good to see you. Come to pay an old friend a visit? The rest of you I've never met in person, but I knows. Gaedren knows. Don't last long in the business without keeping tabs on anyone with a grudge."
"Don't last long by holding one, either. So here's what I thinks. I thinks we make us a deal. How's that sound?"
Nicholas stares at Gaedren, a torrent of emtions hitting him at once. Behind the door, it had been easy to think about. Now?
I...I need to focus, Nicholas tells himself, preparing to try to follow through.
As Gaedren speaks, Nicholas' throat closes as he addresses him. He hadn't forgotten him after all. He looked older, and more strained than when he had last seen him, as well. This was definitely Gaedren. The one who had left him, the one who had raised him. The one who had abadoned him, but also the one who had given him a purpose.
Focus! Nicholas shouts inwardly, trying to stop the flood of emotions. He needed to be ready.
Marvel observes the old man, avoiding his eyes, disgust written clear on his face. "I... I - why should we trust any deal we make with you? I... have seen your kind often. You - I would rather trust a snake not to bite me than you to keep a deal. And what deal could possibly - I mean, what deal could return the dead?"
Marvel points his arrow at Gaedren, but waits for the others to decide on the next action, believing that with the return of his daughter, the rest of the party has lost more to Gaedren than Marvel has.
Aerel disregards the old human's words, his focus narrowing as he prepares to act.
Do we want to move our tokens in, so we can start off the combat? Aerel can't see him from where he is, but is quite happy to start off the combat as soon as he does.
Gaedren grins at Emma. As she passes the gator, it turns to watch her, but doesn't attack.
"There's a smart lass. No need for anyone to get hurt, right? We can all of us be pals."
"I don't just makes my money picking pockets and selling fish filth, no ma'am. This place fronts a far more lucrative trade. Ever hear of Shiver? Marvelous stuff, peps you right up. And it just so happens I has a shipment in the other room there, ready for the street. Worth a nice tidy sum, plenty for each of ya'."
"So here's what we do. You go and helps yourselves, I leave. That's it. And you won't tell the guards, because if they caught me I'd send you up for accepting my generous deal. And you won't stop me leaving because..."
With this he shifts his aim slightly so that the crossbow is no longer pointing at the door. It's pointing at the gator.
"Fun fact about Shiver. With people it just makes 'em sit quiet like for a while and watch the pretty colors. With Gobblegut, there? Makes him madder than a gnome on a bender. And just you guess what this arrow's tipped with."
"So...we all gonna be pals?"
"That thing's still alive?" Nicholas whispers. That creature was more tortured than his Lambs were. How does he still control it? Looking down at his clenched fists, Nicholas then wonders, And what about me?
Letting out his pent up breath slowly, Nicholas glances back at the others. "Justice," he says simply, before running into the room with his weapon at the ready.
"Not today, Gaedren, and never again. Your 'deals' end today."
Moved on in. Let's get this fight on.
Nicholas' aggressive action triggers ready action from Gaedren; he fires at Gobblegut (who I just realized is supposed to be large, so token resized).
Attack/Damage: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 151d4 ⇒ 4
And initiatives for all.
Nicholas: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Emma: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
Shaeda: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Aerel: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Marvel: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Gaedren: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Gobblegut: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Roll-offs between Nicholas and Aerel / Shaeda and Gaedren
Nicholas: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
Aerel: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
Shaeda: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Gaedren: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Combat order will be:
The arrow thunks into Gobblegut's hide, causing the beast to emit a pained growl. It takes a few seconds for the drug to reach its brain, thankfully.
I'm rather certain that from where Marvel is he can't see anyone - so unless that isn't the case, I'll do as follows
At the word "justice" Marvel starts moving. As the contents of the room are made clear to him, he quickly judges the giant creature in the middle of the room to be the biggest threat - utters "At least it isn't another bloody spider..." and starts shooting at Gobblegut.
Attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 81d8 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Perhaps because of the tension running along his nerves, or perhaps simply because he is more prepared this time, Aerel reacts much more swiftly to Lamm's hostility than he did to the spiders'. As such, when Marvel brushes past him, the elf has already begun to move slowly, his limbs describing the arcane patterns of the spell-dance. As he does so, he notices a magical power not his own flashing over him harmlessly. A faint smile blossoms on his lips, but he continues his endeavor.
Within a few moments, arcane power infuses his body, and he moves with startling swiftness and astonishing grace, his feet seeming to barely touch the ground as he sweeps around Shaeda and slips through the door beside Marvel. His violet eyes fall on the elderly human, and his focus narrows as he flows over the floorboards towards where Emma stands. One hand drops and snags a flask of alchemist's fire, which he removes and tosses at the old crime lord in a fluid motion making the most of his momentum.
Throw Alchemist's Fire, AC 5, 25 feet distance: 1d20 + 2 - 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 - 2 = 15
Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 4 fire, plus an additional 1d6 next turn.
Swift Action: Activating Spell Dance for 1 arcane pool point. This gives +10 ft. speed, and +2 AC to AoOs from moving through threatened squares.
Move Action: Moving 40 ft. If I'm not invisible and am moving through threatened squares, you can roll Aerel's Acrobatics against the gator's CMD. Modifier for that is +6.
Standard Action: Throwing a flask of alchemist's fire at Lamm - he's going last anyways, so the deafened effect of a thunderstone is kind of wasted on him.
Nicholas continues his charge toward the man, his rapier darting forward as fast as he can manage. One good blow is all he needed, and Gaedren still wasn't ready for him.
Attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Crit Confirm: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
Damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Damage x 2 if crit is confirmed, which would be awesome.
Gaedren's Will save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Gobblegut's Will save: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
The wily old crook is not about to be fooled by a magic trick, and sees through Emma's distractions. His reptilian companion however is not so canny.
But any smug insult Gaedren was about to give dies in his throat as the flask of liquid flame crashes into him, and he shrieks in agony.
Nicholas takes swift advantage of the opening, charging up and driving his rapier home. It enters Gaedren with a very satisfying squelch.
Crit confirmed! Old man's not gonna last long at this rate.
Shaeda will move next to Marvel, stroke his leg, and tell him, "the luck of Calistria is with you now my friend."
Marvel make sure and roll 2 20s on your next shot.
Nicholas remember to use the luck She gave you already!
Gaedren, fighting through the pain, draws a dagger and jabs at Nicholas.
Move action to draw dagger, standard to stab
Attack/Damage: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 201d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Nicholas gets slashed. Gobblegut, unable to perceive the elf who just passed him due to Emma's chicanery, instead lunges out of the water to take a bite out of Marvel.
Attack/Damage: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 201d8 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
The beast gets his jaws around Marvel and tries to drag him into the water.
Grab CMB roll: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (15) + 11 = 26
Marvel is snatched up by the drug-frenzied gator and crunched between its many jagged teeth!
Hopefully that luck will help out.
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Instincts kick in as the alligator lunges at him and Marvel feels the teeth pierce his body. Flashes of his children and wife pass before his eyes, mixed with toughts such as Does Lamm brush the alligator's teeth? Will I be infected by something? and I never thought I'd die by being eaten by an alligator. At least it is a novel way to go..
Finally Marvel screams at the alligator in a mix of pain, defiance and pure and primal fear, the words barely legible "Let go of me you f#*$ing piece of green flotsam!"
Standard action to try and break the grapple, CMB and Escape Artist are the same, so I'll just go for CMB and use luck
CMB: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
CMB luck: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Realising the alligator is just too strong for Marvel to break free, Marvel shouts out to the rest of the party "Get my daughter to her mother - tell them I love them", as he is being dragged toward the water.
At the words of his companions, Aerel realizes that Marvel is in something of a difficult situation, and with the momentum of his throw, he starts to turn on the balls of his feet, spinning around to face the enormous reptile. His limbs move with fluid grace - his feet striking the ground in deliberate arcane patterns, his arms moving in just the right motions to generate the magic of the spell dance, and within moments he is beside the crocodile.
However, as he attacks, his blade flicks ineffectively against the reptile's hard scales, what little damage he does do being entirely cosmetic. Even as he does so, his limbs are moving through the motions of a familiar spell, his lips shaping arcane phrases and his blade warding away any attacks that might come from his enormous reptilian foe.
Scimitar Attack: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (5) - 1 = 4 I cannot wait until I actually have a BAB... or weapon finesse.
Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Concentration Check, DC 15: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16 Ooh, success, finally.
Free Action: 5-ft step.
Full-Round Action: Spell Combat, attacking, then casting daze. Save DC is 13.
Wincing at the cut in his side, Nicholas darts in for a jab once more, this time readying himself for an attack.
Attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
Damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Totally switched up systems and thought drawing a weapon was aoo. I know too many systems. Anyway, Nicholas will prepare to use Opportune Parry and Riposte if attacked again, even if Gaedren misses...especially if he misses.
Will use Opportune Parry and Riposte costing 1 panache point
Parry Against Gaedren's Attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Riposte Attack at Gaedren: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Crit Confirm: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Crit multiply is x2
Are we doubling results, or rolling additional dice on crits?/Because I plan to get a lot of them.
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I think we'll just double crits for simplicity's sake.
Emma's blow misses the burning crook, but it gives Nicholas the opening he needs to drive the point of his rapier home. Gaedren looks down to see the blade buried in his chest, almost up to the hilt. He raises his eyes one last time to meet those of his killer.
Gaedren falls to the ground, continuing to smoulder.
Fire damage: 1d6 ⇒ 1
Shaeda's spell helps Marvel recover somewhat from the wounds inflicted by Gobblegut, and the beast is currently too befuddled to give him any more.
Stabilization check (basically doomed): 1d20 - 9 - 2 ⇒ (14) - 9 - 2 = 3
Gaedren Lamm, thief, murderer, drug dealer, enslaver of children...performs perhaps the first decent act of his life by expiring.
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I had written this beautiful long novel of a post basically - the best post in a PbP ever! - but of course the internet decided to go on strike for the first time ever when the weather behaves normally and I lost the post!
Marvel, realising that fighting up close with the alligator probably isn't his best strategy with a bow, moves behind Shaeda and shoots at Mr. Gobblegut.
Attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 81d8 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
However, his arms still trembling from the close encounter, the arrow goes wide and doesn't hit his mark.
Aerel flicks his ears, his attention entirely focused on the enormous reptile before him. Even as he notice's Marvel's retreat, a plan forms in the elf's mind. As his blade flicks outwards, the elf focuses more effort on defense than on attack, and begins chanting softly, his body weaving in an arcane pattern as he evades Gobblegut's lashing limbs and tail. His voice lifts as he intones a musical phrase, which conjures a shimmering shield of force before him, protecting him. With that out of the way, Aerel slashes the creature precisely, and though his aim is slightly thrown off by his defensive positioning, he manages to score a cut on the poor beast's side.
Concentration, DC17: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17
Attack, -1 penalty to give the concentration a +1 bonus: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (20) - 2 = 18 ... Y'know, that's really surprising.
Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Crit Confirm?: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (8) - 2 = 6 Yeah, no. That's just a hit. More than I expected, honestly.
Full-Round Action: Spell Combat, casting shield, attacking Gobblegut. Taking an additional -1 on the attack roll to get the concentration check up by 1. Decided not to risk running through the gator's squares just yet, because I'm still really fragile.
"It takes a confident man to be willing to hide behind the short halfling girl."
Believing the creature is still stunned, Shaeda will swing at it and prepare to hold the line for Marvel, the tasty morsel...
Scorpion Whip Hit: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
Scorpion Whip Damage: 1d4 ⇒ 2
On his turn...
Leaving his rapier impaled in Gaedren, Nicholas spits on the man as he crumples to the ground and pulls out the crossbow he had picked up. Using what little he knows about the device, Nicholas carefully pulls the trigger, aiming at Gobblegut.
Shooting into Melee: 1d20 + 4 - 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 - 4 = 6
Lucky Reroll!: 1d20 + 4 - 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 - 4 = 10
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 8
Well so much for that max damage.
Emma circles around behind Gobblegut, and both Marvel and Nicholas' shots fail to hit the beast, which even now is coming to its senses and realizing that its meal has escaped.
Aerel has more luck, successfully casting a defensive spell and dragging a red line across the gator's hide with his scimitar. Shaeda likewise manages to score a strike on it.
Gobblegut, still maddened by the drug in its system, instinctively lashes out at those who hurt it, snapping its jaws at the elf and swiping its heavy tail at the halfling.
Bite/Damage: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 71d8 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9 (plus grab)
Tail Slap/Damage: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 91d12 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
But Gobblegut merely blunts its teeth on Aerel's shield spell, and its tail sails over Shaeda's head.
Marvel starts calming down again. His new friends are surrounding Gobblegut, Shaeda in front of him keeping the beast at bay with her whip and, from the sounds of it, Aerel is standing his ground. They've got this. Lamm is dead. Marvel's daughter is safe. Now all they need to do is drive the beast back, gather the final evidence and whatever valuables can help the children, and then the authorities can take care of the rest. Although, Marvel smiles to himself, thinking aloud "Shaeda, I'll miss this and your words once we are done!"
Marvel rapidly draws his bow, letting two arrows fly at Gobblegut.
Attack 1: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 71d8 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Attack 2: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 221d8 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
On his turn...
Trying to attempt to shoot again, Nicholas fires once more, sighing as his shoot goes wide again.
Shooting into Melee: 1d20 + 4 - 4 - 1 ⇒ (9) + 4 - 4 - 1 = 8
So much for that, Nicholas thinks. Dropping the crossbow, he pulls his rapier out of Gaedren and tries to move around to reach the trashing creature.
Not sure if pulling the rapier out will be the move action (I think so). If not, I'll move around the edge as close as I can get.
Aerel, apparently unimpressed by the reptile's jaws, flicks his blade out to slice at the sensitive skin exposed in its attacks, the sword moving in harmony with the flickering of his shield spell.
Attack: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18 I don't think Emma and Aerel are flanking. If so, it's at 20. That said... so close to a crit threat, but not quite.
Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Standard Action: Attack.
Aerel is not flanking, but hits anyway. Emma IS flanking with Shaeda, so she hits too.
Emma drives the point of her rapier into Gobblegut's flank, and Aerel removes another slice of hide with his scimitar.
Nicholas can't seem to hit the creature while taking care not to endanger his allies. Shaeda uses her powers to improve Marvel's luck.
Gobblegut has had enough. It tries to slink from the wooden walkway back into the water to escape.
Provokes from Emma, Aerel, and Shaeda, if you want to finish the beastie off.