Resting 8 hours should have everyone at full HP.
Kn: Arcana (Magical Beasts- Giant Owl): 1d20 + 24 ⇒ (2) + 24 = 26
NiyutDracAlly: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
NiyutDracAlly: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
@Niyut - This is a primordial owl of the first lands. It is carnivorous and has been known to carry men and beasts away and feed upon them. You beat the DC by 10+. You get 2 additional questions.
A Feeding Frenzy - Round 1
Malthazir (62/62) <-- UP
Garidan (88/88) <-- UP
Gruskorb (90/90) <-- UP
Owl, Giant (0)
Mal's Draconic Ally (17/17)
Status Effects: None
I believe its speed is so high that it managed to close the gap without getting into blindsense range. If I had to guess.
Malz is shocked for a moment at the sudden onslaught, but it doesn't last long. Gods be damned that apprentice! He thinks, as if was Raektov's fault.
The tiny dragon charges into the owl!
Attack (charge): 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 4 + 2 = 20
Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 2 DC 16 fort save or fall asleep for 1 minute
Assuming it doesn't fall asleep:
Malz waves his hand and casts a simple spell. "Iwiek pab."
Casting grease on Raektov's clothing. Unfortunately I don't have anything deadly enough in the air to drop that creature in a single round, and being that high up severely limits my disabling choices.
If at any point Raektov drops, Malz will be casting feather fall.
The owl picture is adorable. How high up is it right now? As for the two questions: 1) Is it intelligent/able to be reasoned with? 2) Any special/magical abilities?
Holy crap, giant hooter attack :p! As part of the owl's arrival, Garidan--or rather, 'Ruza using his immediate action--immediately applied perfect placement to the party and Tacal. I realize that Raektov likely wouldn't benefit from the AC bonus in any meaningful fashion, but he still has it and the Reflex bonus too, along with everyone else. So there's that for your status effect entry.
Also, if Raektov has an owl familiar, can his bird maybe do a bit talking with its larger cousin?
@Malthazir - It perceived the group from above the blindsense range. Like Niyut, they saw it too late to act in the surprise round. It acted first and swooped down. No one noticed it flying in, so It got the drop in the surprise round and grabbed a random morsel of food.
@Niyut - 1. Yes, you've heard stories of them as intelligent and wise creatures. 2. Yes, Their senses are particularly well honed to sensing danger or locating prey. Additionally, the are stories of them communicating with other animals, using them as messengers or informants. Finally, you're grandmother told you as a young girl, that they can even see invisible creatures or see through illusions, at times.
@Garidan - And good thought on the owl familiar, but he is too low level to communicate with it. At level 7, his familiar can communicate with similar animals.
And I think Malz is correct.
Ah well, freaking surprise actions making our efforts for naught :p. Still, I'm going to assume that Niyut shares what she knows with the rest of us.
As the owl swoops in and snatches up Malthazir's apprecentice up with virtually no notice, Garidan is left gaping for a moment. As the oracle quickly informs them of what she recalls about such creatures, however, the swashbuckler recovers and hums thoughtfully before shifting slightly toward her. "Niyut, if that bird is as intelligent as those griffons back around Eastgate, can you or your brother perhaps talk it down before it starts eating? If it needs a meal, after all, we can provide such from either our rations or, if such is not to its taste, I can spend tomorrow's breakfast bringing out enough prepared meat to stuff it full."
Even as he asks his question, Garidan carefully prepares to engage the giant bird in preparation for any effort at a peaceful resolution not being possible.
Assuming that the Giant Owl has just snatched Raektov and is still near the ground, Gruskorb will try to disarm the owl of Raektov.
Gruskorb steps to the side to get a better angle, his arms lengthen unnaturally as his whip darts forwards. Swift Action: Limber Reach.
Like a crack of lightning, Gruskorb's whip flashes out to disarm the bird of the apprentice they had grabbed.
Disarm: 1d20 + 23 - 2 ⇒ (11) + 23 - 2 = 32 Replacing his first attack of his full attack.
His second whip snaps out.
Whip-Crack: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (20) + 14 = 34
Damage: 1d8 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
Whips autoconfirm for Gruskorb
Damage: 1d8 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Conforming with a whip causes the owl to lose its Dex bonus (it is flat footed) until the end of Gruskorb's next turn as it it wracked with pain. -- Snapping Whip
What other bad thing happens to the Giant Owl on a natural 20?
Lightning strikes twice when the Master's Whip cracks back out to strike the huge owl.
Whip-Crack: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16
Damage: 1d8 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
Sneak Attack: 4d6 ⇒ (1, 3, 5, 5) = 14
1 Strength damage
The Owl is bewildered. It takes -2 to its AC from other attackers and -4 from Gruskorb
Gruskorb's Threatened Range is now 15'. If the owl tries to move, it may provoke AoO. Let me know.
Niyut interrupts Garidan's circumstantially inane question,
"Garidan, you might be blind but there is a primordial owl that might want to dine on our ward. Please stab it."
Unseen behind his covering, Garidan rolls his eyes. "No, I'm well aware that the owl is there, thank you," he answers somewhat acerbically. Whatever else he might say, however, is interrupted by the cracking of the hobgoblin's whips and the swashbuckler sighs and shrugs as he approaches the avian.
"'Come to the First Lands, meet new and unusual people and creatures, get into bloody fights for your life with most of them'," the swashbuckler recites with a biting tone as he draws close and plunges his blade into the feathered body. With Gruskorb apparently concentrating on freeing the hapless future owl pellet, Garidan himself focuses on causing the bird enough pain and suffering that it might decide to seek an easier meal elsewhere. Nothing fancy, none of his more extravagent combat frills or tricks, just insert sharp metal into the soft bits as needed.
5-foot step and full attack! Adding Power Attack and passive Precise Strike for additional damage. Oh, and as a swift action this round, everyone in the party gets the benefit of perfect placement; +1 insight bonus to Reflex saves and AC (+3 against AoO), 7-round duration.
Rapier Attack #1: 1d20 + 18 - 3 ⇒ (10) + 18 - 3 = 25
Rapier Damage: 1d8 + 9 + 7 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 9 + 7 + 6 = 26
Rapier Attack #2 (Critical Threat): 1d20 + 13 - 3 ⇒ (18) + 13 - 3 = 28
Rapier Damage: 1d8 + 9 + 7 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 9 + 7 + 6 = 28
Rapier Attack #2 (Confirmation): 1d20 + 13 - 3 ⇒ (17) + 13 - 3 = 27
Rapier Damage: 1d8 + 9 + 6 + 1d4 + 1d4 + 1d4 ⇒ (3) + 9 + 6 + (2) + (3) + (3) = 26
Effects: +1 insight bonus to Reflex save, +1 insight bonus to AC (+3 against AoO), 7 rounds; -2 Wis. Weapon Cord (left): Yes.
Also, Mal... I've started running separate initiative for the draconic allies. Your's goes after the owl.
Ah my apologies, I must have missed that. I have no issue with that. I'll take her turn when it gets there.
OwlLE25: 1d100 ⇒ 92
OwlEE85: 1d100 ⇒ 51
OwlEE85: 1d100 ⇒ 96
Gruskorb's whip lashes out striking the talon that held the wizard. Recoiling from the blow, the owl drops Raektov who tumbles to the ground. The hobgoblin's second whip slashes the bird across the beak, but his third attack misses. The owl begins to flap its wings, wanting no part of this meal. yet, before it can move Garidan slides up and thrusts his rapier deep into its left wing. Feathers flutter everywhere in an attempt to distract the swashbuckler. Unflinching, Garidan pivots to his left and stabs again with his right. This time he finds it's breast. The rapier plunges deep into the avian creature's chest. Its warm blood coats Garidan's arm as a sonic burst pulses from the weapon, knocking the owl backwards. It stumbles once, moans and falls to the ground dead.
COMBAT OVER... before it began
A single essence begins to form over the dead creatures body. Niyut's eyes widen with delight as a silence falls over the forest.
Where there's an owl, it's nest is nearby... the voice of Querkus mutters to the hobgoblin.
1 Ethereal Essence
COMBAT OVER... before it began
I think I can taste the disappointment there :D.
Garidan freezes up as the bird falls off of his weapon, quite obviously dead. Truthfully, he's rather stunned by the sudden and entirely unexpected ending of this... well, he doesn't rightfully know if this qualifies as a fight. His surprise is evident in his voice as he recovers and automatically cleans his weapon. "Um, okay, that was a bit anti-climactic. I mean, not complaining since it doesn't look like anyone but the owl was hurt here, but I can't help but feel that this shouldn't have been quite so easy for us."
Niyut is indeed pleased as she extracts an Ethereal Essence, but she is also concerned. Giant Owls were known to be wise and discerning. What could have driven it to attack.
After Niyut extracts the essence, she gathers samples of its feathers, beak, talons, and blood.
Knowledge: Arcana: 1d20 + 24 ⇒ (10) + 24 = 34 What if any are the uses of giant owls for magical purposes? (If any) She will consult the book on Gathering Parts to see if it has any lore to contribute to the knowledge of her people.
"Strange that it should attack us. These owls are know for their wisdom and intelligence."
Gruskorb helps Raektov to his feet, while Niyut . . . does whatever she does. "Are you okay?"
He brushes off some leaves and hummus from Raektov's clothes after getting him upright.
"There should be a nest nearby. We should check it out."
To the Firebird, the Giant Owl is revered as a wise animals but sightings of these reclusive creatures is considered an omen of death. Feathers, however, are treated as signs of good fortune for those that find them dropped in the wild. But Niyut had never heard of an owl being slaughtered. They rarely attack and not without provocation or when a lone traveler strays far from the path.
To her knowledge, none of the Firebird have ever collected its parts and the book contains no entry of the Giant Owl.
Considering the oracle's words, Garidan shrugs briefly while both he and his sister keep watch for any further sign of trouble. "Perhaps it was seeking a meal? I mean, wisdom and intelligence don't do much to fill an empty stomach on their own, just make you better at finding ways to fill it." Gruskorb's suggestion is a puzzling one, however, and Garidan questions the hobgoblin for his reasoning. "A bird that size surely has a considerable range that it can cover, how can we possibly find its nest and what purpose would there be for doing so?"
Perception Check: 1d20 + 15 - 1 ⇒ (12) + 15 - 1 = 26
Effects: -2 Wis. Weapon Cord (left): Yes.
Malz takes the devil ooze and lets it patch Raektov's wounds. "I would give you a cautionary lesson about being prepared...but I don't think there's much that could have been done to prevent that without bizarre measures. Niyut, perhaps we send your dragon high into the sky to search for avian threats while mine stays low." He suggests.
"Some consider it an omen of death, but hopefully it is for our enemies and not for us. Regardless of its portent, it does seem odd that it should attack so large a group. Brother, could you guide us to its nest? It's nest might give us a clue to why it attacked. I would be interested to solve this mystery. Malthazir, I'll send my dragon higher as you suggest."
The hobgoblin's skin darkens. "Querkus suggested it, and his council has been wise so far."
Amidst the flurry of activity that comes with the party packing their things to depart, Truk’tosh prepares his undonned armor. A flash of memory crosses his thoughts... an oiled cloth used to tend a favored weapon, trod earth from a battlefield, the spoken names of sworn foes. Through the memory, a ritual calling on Mylesar for protection takes form in the druid’s mind.
For a moment he hesitates. The great spirit claimed he demands no oaths but Truk’tosh maintained his skepticism. Still, his twin’s warning echoes in his ears. In these dark times, caution and tradition must take second rank to necessity.
Clutching a fistful of earth in one hand, Truk’tosh traces a pattern across the breastplate of his shadowbrood armor. He chants the prayer, ”Stone and soil, trod in battle. Leather and iron, christened with blood. Through this armor, protect me from harm and the hag known as the Soul-Bleed and all those in her thrall will be struck down in your name, Mylesar, the Warrior, Great Spirit of War and Vengeance."
Truk’tosh will be casting an extended magic vestment on his armor each morning from now on. I don’t know what time we start each day but Truk’s AC is be +2 higher from breakfast through the next 16 hours.
Hearing the rogue’s suggestion, Truk’tosh surveys the terrain and tries to puzzle out potential nesting locations for such a beast.
Survival?: 10 + 15 = 25
Garidan makes a calming motion with his free hand toward Gruskorb. "Easy there, I'm not doubting that there's a reason for what you propose we do. Just wondering what the point is. Unless the nest is essentially right here, in one of these trees, it'll be a bit of traveling to reach it. Not to mention how we're on a bit of schedule here, with the twins' mother and Li'luraant and all. And Querkus surely knows all of this, and yet still recommends that we do this. So why?"
Gruskorb turns away and doesn't answer. Garidan is always second guessing me. It started in the dwarven crypt. 'A talent for finding obstacles' -- f!!# him."
The hobgoblin doesn't admit that the spirit didn't say more. Perhaps there is a hungry owlet who will now starve, if we don't find them.
Niyut overhears Garidan pressing for reasons while she is elbow deep in giant owl.
"Who knows, Garidan, where inspiration springs. I agree that if it is a long hike that it is not worth the trouble. We have business to be about. On the other hand, if the nest is nearby, then not looking would be a missed opportunity. A bird that size must have a titanic nest indeed. We are too far from the Iron Mountains for its nest to be there."
Though she often did not think of it, Niyut knows that the life of a storm hag pulses within her veins. Such a woman could never be denied the skies. She leaps into the air and ascends above the trees.
Perception: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (20) + 22 = 42
She is searching to see if the nest is close by. Any especially tall trees appropriate to house such a bird?
Gruskorb's got his loincloth wrapped a bit high and tight lately. It's clearly making him grumpy :p.
Bemused somewhat by Gruskorb's lack of response, Garidan simply shrugs when Niyut answers instead. "Okay then, same reason for slogging into that ursikka's nest back around Haemil, see if there's anything worth picking up from former meals while we're in the area and aware of the opportunity."
I've re-read all his posts. He is very tchechy. I'm trying to be a faithful steward.
Truk'tosh looks at the fallen owl and lifts his face to the sky, closing his eyes. The wind comes from the southeast, chilling the back of his neck as he faces the northern stars. With no sun to shield it from view, it would come from down wind when it dives upon its prey, he thinks. Not letting the wind carry its scent. He turns to the northwest and begins to move quickly through the brush. A quarter mile later he finds several pieces of down. The druid sniffs the feathers. Owl hatchlings. He spins in a circle looking into the tops of trees. The canopy of leaves blocks his view, but he spies a darkwood fir tree. Such a tree would soar to great heights and its limbs plentiful and strong to hold a great nest.
Truk'tosh points to the tree and motions for his sister to move to the northwest of the tree before she ascends. Niyut nods and takes flight. No sooner had she breached the top of the forest, her eyes set upon a massive nest woven into the crown of the great fir. No movement can be seen from her distance but her brother has led her true. The wind beats upon her face and she smells the odor of death coming from the nest.
With Malthazir keeping a more vigilant watch than ever before and the swashbuckler engaged in a war of tongues with the rogue, Niyut flies to the nest to find a small owlet. Not more than a month old from its size, she surmises. Born in the desolation following the Shaping, it has already died. It's cold corpse is rigid and flesh taut. With a cold gust of wind, several loose feathers swirls about the nest. Several pieces of downdrift outside of the nest and begin the slow descent toward Truk'tosh and the others. Niyut then notices a single, black tail feather speckled with red and brown streaks. It calls to her for some unknown reason. She looks into the Ether and finds no trace of magic in the feather. But she wants it, and so, she takes it before flying back down to the party.
Niyut always follows her intuition. Whys are for the future, she thinks as she reaches for the beautiful feather.
"There was an owlet. Born after the Storm broke the sky. Sadly it has been dead for a while. I'm surprised since there is still life in these lands."
She shrugs. Some questions have no quick answers. She smiles at Raektov, "Careful. We don't want you to end up like the goat."
Back on to the trail of our mother/the stolen essences.
Gruskorb is very glum about the news of the dead owlet. Dreams of raising a Giant Owl to help him enter inaccessible hoards wither on the vine.
"Did you find anything in the nest?"
"Yes, this feather. It's not magic to my eye, but it called to me."
She hands it to the hobgoblin.
He looks at the feather. Querkus, does this mean anything to you?
While the others search the slain giant owl’s nest, Truk’tosh stands guard at its base. Nethuns flits about the open air, hovering near the druid’s shoulder. Recalling how badly injured the spirit was in their last battle, Truk’tosh considers his tiny elemental companion. ”We continue to face greater and greater challenges together brave little Nethuns. You face the same peril as the rest of us but claim little of the reward. Perhaps it is time to see you properly armed.”
Drawing on the animate dream’s stolen power, now imbued into Mylesar’s emblem, Truk’tosh coaxes a handful of the bonds formed with spirits of nature earlier that morning from himself to his familiar. Pleased with the offering of elemental power, the mamiwa spirals upward sending droplets of dew through the air.
Spending 9 EP to imbue vermin shape, flaming sphere, and iron stake into Nethuns via familiar spell.
1d12 + 1d5 + 1d10 ⇒ (11) + (5) + (6) = 22
Not really... tailfeathers are used as ornamental decorations among some of the nomadic tribes of orcs and humans, especially amongst their shaman. But, I have never seen such a feather.
@Truk - Noted.
Continuing onward, the party moves quietly and quickly through the Forest of Night for several hours, only once stopping for some food. As the vibrations in the staff get stronger, Gruskorb confirms to Niyut that her mother's scent is strong, still coming from the northwest.
Through the thicket of twisted vines and undergrowth, the flickering light of a fire can be a hundred yards in the distance.
Gruskorb shrugs and hands the feather back. His heart is ytoubled, but for reason's he cannot explain.
100 Yards Away from the Fire
"This is most likely a trap and they will be waiting for us. However, we should be as prepared as possible. I will scout out the ambush in dream. While I'm gone, prepare as best you can."
Niyut spends a few moments weaving wards and illusions around her body before lying down.
Standard Action: Shield
Swift Action: Mirror Image: 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Standard Action: Communal Resist Energy (Electricity) on everyone.
Standard Action: Shadow Projection
Once she walks the world as an unclothed spirit, she approaches the fire as cautiously as possible.
Stealth: 1d20 + 24 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 24 + 4 = 39
Trusting the rogue's nose, Truk'tosh prepares for battle.
Just barkskin. I don't want to burn the shorter duration buffs until we know for certain our prey is in reach.
Garidan checks his blade, and his sister's readiness, wondering if the new method of seeing through her will manage through the hectic pace of a fight. Beyond that, however, he does little else; the spells in his armor and shield are best held for when they are absolutely needed, and none of the party will know that until Niyut's return.
1d20 ⇒ 14
1d12 ⇒ 10
Niyut weaves her magic with the shadows of the world, drifting away into the netherworld. Slowly approaching, she sees the hooded witch kneeling near the fire, conjuring something within the flames. Nearby, the orc warrior sits quietly guarding two figures shrouded in a thick, black cloud of shadows.
As the rest of the party awaits her return, a burst of commotion draws their attention to the west. Several birds squawk in the distance and Truk'tosh feels the low, rumble of the earth vibrating. Moments later, the crunch of falling trees and breaking limbs can be heard approaching. Several large beasts in the darkness beyond their vision pass the group to the north. They are moving too fast to notice anyone and continue on into the darkenss to the east.
Essentially, Niyut moved to the northwest. A heard passed from west to east between the party and Niyut.
Niyut looks carefully around, gazing into the ether. Detect Magic
Spell Craft: 1d20 + 24 ⇒ (17) + 24 = 41
Perception: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (5) + 22 = 27
Are there any traps? What is the witch summoning? What are these binding shadows? Is the hag here invisible? (The illusion would still detect as magic, yes?)
@Niyut - Niyut sees no obvious 'traps'. She determines that the witch appears to be summoning a new familiar. The shrouded humanoids are the same as when they were set about the Gathering Stone. It's a magical mist that keeps them in a deep slumber. Niyut doesn't see any sign of Li'luraant.
Niyut snaps back to her body to report what she has seen. After tell her companions the lay out of the camp, "Now, seems an excellent time to strike before she has the chance to summon a new familiar."
The passing of the animals has Garidan shift to a wary stance, nervous that one might decide to investigate them, or the others might appear closer to where they wait, but once nothing of substance comes to pass, he relaxe, slightly, until the oracle's return.
The swashbuckler nods his agreement with the plan that Niyut proposes, but then frowns as something occurs to him. "Why attempt to replace her slain creature before reaching the safety of whatever lair that Li'luraant must surely have? I understand that such creatures are certainly important to their masters, but enough to take the time to replace it out here, right now?" he concludes with a dip of his head in the direction of the recently trampled plants.
In spite of what doubts Garidan expresses, however, he's clearly ready to get on with things as he takes a deep breath following his question, then shifts his head unthinkingly down in the direction of his breastplate while the darkened ioun torch shifts a bit at his shoulder. Soon enough, one of the spell formulae etched into the armor's surface flares briefly before growing dull and the armor's wearer fades from sight as it does so. Where he stands, only his voice now betrays his location as he speaks quietly. "Niyut, which of the two targets should I strike for first, the witch or the guard?"
Making a UMC check (DC 30) to activate his armor's invisibility spell, which lasts for 10 minutes.
Use Magic Device Check: 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (9) + 21 = 30
Effects: Invisibility (10 minute duration), -2 Wis. Weapon Cord (left): Yes.
@Valjoen: If Garidan can somehow get in behind the witch and close enough while invisible, would her performing this ritual constitute a helpless state for a coup de grace?
"Lair? She escaped from the Dreaming after the Storm. What time has she had to secure a place of power? We drove her from the Gathering Stones. The witch needs a familiar to refresh her magic. No familiar, no new spells. I would think any would make that a high priority. The witch is decidedly the more dangerous of the two."
Niyut, back in her body, will also turn invisible.
"She's likely very vulnerable, being unable to prepare any new spells and having difficulty casting any she still has. We can capture and question her." He offers.