I think there's some confusion here. Maddok isn't just 'the mageknight' presently - he's a huge grizzly bear. He doesn't have armor in this form just thick fur (which conveniently leaves him with the same AC).
Also, the gnoll is presently pinned. He shouldn't be able to attack at all.
Damn, Feral. sorry. I read the posts early this morning and got distracted when I started asking you alignment questions. I spent most my day drafting a lawsuit and I was totally unfocused with this combat. My bad. I’ll retcon a post tonight.
Grapple: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
Maddok in his bear form pins the gnoll and strikes him viciously. Not to be outdone, the gnoll wrestles free from Maddok and takes a step backwards. Then slamming his battleaxe against the ground he bellows in the gnollish language.
The gnolls wounds begin to close.
@Maddok - Pretty sure I did that correctly. I've not done a lot of combat maneuvers involving grappling and pinned. It looks like I only need to reverse the grappled condition and the pinned goes away as well.
The rest of the post remains in effect. Namely, that Thomas is staggered.
The Temple of Teysura - Round 10
Gnoll (-12, -2 non-lethal)
Thomas (24/24, Staggered rd14) <-- UP
Denenor (17/17) <-- UP
Maddok (31/34) <-- UP
Marcusic (27/27) <-- UP
Status/Effects: Resilient Momentum - (3/6). Heavy winds in Temple. -2 Ranged/Perception
Yeah, that's right. It takes two actions to pin and one to end it. Grappling is dumb like that. =/
Frustrated that the gnoll managed to wrestle free of his grasp, Bear-Maddok goes for blood. With a mighty ursine roar, he rears up and slams down on his opponent with tooth and claw.
Claw: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
Damage: 1d6 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Claw: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28
Damage: 1d6 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Bite: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
Damage: 1d6 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Confirming Claw: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28
Extra Damage: 1d6 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
I'm totes out of this fight. Though were I in it, and a much different character I might suggest that someone disarm this gnoll?
@Valjoen: Marcusic's map position should be one square up from where it currently is.
With the gnoll escaping the transformed bear's deadly grip, Marcusic begins a mournful dirge about soldiers driven by their lust for battle to fight on after death. As the words spill forth, an apparation in the form of a soldier wearing armor found centuries past in Haemil fades into view and drives an insubstantial swordthrust into the gnoll's body.
Standard action to use Raging Song (Inspired Rage), and adding the Lesser Spirit Totem rage power to the song as well. Allies who accept the song get +2 Str and Con, +1 to Will saves against fear, -1 AC, and a spirit that makes a single slam attack (1d4 + 3 negative energy) against an adjacent foe each round, using the ally's BAB + 3 to make the attack. Since the gnoll is adjacent to Marcusic, it gets tagged with such an attack right away!
Spirit Slam Attack: 1d20 + 2 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 2 + 3 = 16
Spirit Damage (Negative): 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Stabilize: 1d20 + 3 - 2 ⇒ (10) + 3 - 2 = 11
Damage on the gnoll was off. I had it correct in Herolab. I missed updating the counter with the previous rounds damage.
The gnoll howls in pain as the grizzled bear tears the flesh from his bones. The first claw rakes across the inner thigh of the gnoll causing him to lean forward clutching at his leg. The bear's second claw came down upon his head and neck, ripping at the exposed flesh. A spray of blood confirms that vital arteries were lacerated open. It staggers back as a gargling sounds emirates from its open muzzle.
A ghostly figure appears and thrusts a sword at the failing gnoll, but misses wide of its mark as the gnoll drops unconscious to the ground.
The gnoll is unconscious but stable at HP: -2.
Fast and dangerous, the fight ended as swiftly as it had begun. Yet there was an impending sense of urgency upon the half-breed. "Quickly - we must halt them from theft of this temple's treasure!"
Denenor made his way to the top of the stairs, setting his keen ears to listen.
Dropping concentration on the weather. Conditions will be as normal in 2 rounds, I presume.
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Bear-Maddok grabs his fallen opponent's neck in his jaws and gives a sharp twist. Backed up by his form's bestial strength, the gnoll's flesh offers little resistance and there's a loud a *SNAP*. Satisfied, he lets prey slump lifelessly to the ground again.
Grunting in agreement with the elf's concern, Bear-Maddok bounds up the stairs.
Thomas watches helplessly as the fight ends in a most brutal fashion. Though the gnoll was obviously the thrall of evil powers, the priest still mourned his passing. One of the greatest gifts of the Sacred Mother is life itself. While one is alive, one can grow and improve. What has been twisted wrong can be set right. Unfortunately, the gnoll would never be set right for he died all twisted.
It is several long moments before Thomas can do anything. By the time he has all his faculties under control, Maddok and Denenor have already raced up the stairs. Thomas kneels next to the fallen gnoll and his discarded axe. He can almost feel the pulse of evil within it.
"Great goddess, mother of us all, I beg for your guidance. Your sanctuary has been invaded. What must I do to make it right? There is an icon of wickedness before me. Please tell me how it may be purified," Thomas entreats his goddess.
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
As Maddok, still shaped as a bear, bounds up the stairs after the elf, Denenor quiets himself and listens carefully. To the north, he hears the soft sound of a door closing. Denenor points to the north and the great bear lumbers up the stairs. At the top of the stairs, they see a hallway leading east, a hallway off the balcony leading north and a set of double doors upon the north wall beyond the hallway.
Thomas leans over the corpse of the dead gnoll and watches in disbelief as the black smoke that once poured from the weapon slowly dissipate into the night air. The foul stench of evil is clearly present in the room. Reaching out to Teysura he finds no direct guidance from the goddess, but recalls the training of his days as an acolyte in the Temple of the First Light in Haemil. The serene voice of Becah Tyuyvord fills the priests head as he recalls the distant memories of the mention of a ritual meant to consecrate the grounds dedicated to the Great Mother. Yet, the High Priestess's voice fades and he recalls little more than the reference. All the rituals of the holy temple were recorded in a tome kept safely locked away.
Map is updated. 1st page is the upstairs and 2nd page is the first floor.
Unwilling to touch the axe, but also unwilling to leave it behind, Thomas wraps it in a cloak and follows in the footsteps of the great bear up the stairs.
I must find the appropriate ritual.
When the gnoll drops, Marcusic turns his attention to the stairs for any signs of further enemy presence, only relaxing somewhat and ending his song when it becomes clear none are arriving. He then follows behind Denenor and the guard-turned-bear, but pauses when he realizes the party is short a member. Turning back, he watches Thomas gingerly handling the axe, remarking when the half-elf draws near. "Uh, didn't take you for the sort to favor an axe in a fight. And it seems a bit much in the way of a trophy as well. So why drag it along?"
"Because it is full of evil power, and it doesn't seem like something I want lying around for the defilers to pick up, and I don't want to touch it either."
Let's assume they follow the noise. There are only so many places in this temple. We will likely explore them all. Just start with one and move clockwise from there.
MaddokPerception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Starting with the door looking over the north balcony, the group finds and empty bedroom. Most of the room is disheveled but there are few adornments as though it was for guests. A tossed bed, a few scattered chairs, an armoire and a desk make up furnishings. The leaded glass windows on either side of the fireplace have been shattered out. Dried leaves and other debris litter the room.
Turning down the norther hall, the group passes another room on the right of the hallway. The door is slightly ajar. Several beds line the walls along with a few bedside tables. An empty bookcase sits along the southern wall. The beautiful leaded windows are intact in this room, but several large cracks have begun to form within the glass. The corpse of a frail, old woman lies in one of the beds unmoving. Marcusic and Maddok tense as they prepare to see the woman arise to meet them, but she does not make any motions. Thomas, as brash and naive as ever, pushes his way into the room and examines the body. Dead, he pronounces her.
Moving down the hall, they come to a T. Taking the left hallway, they proceed west to a door. As Maddok reaches for the latch, he halts and motions for everyone to be silent. A noise can be heard from inside. The sounds of feet dragging upon the wooden floor can be heard with effort. And the tinkling of metal against metal too. The thought of wind chimes comes to Thomas's mind, but he knows the world has changed. The time for leisurely days resting in the foothills of the Iron Mountains as the cool wind comes off the snowy peaks has passed.
Perception Check: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
As the party examines the first of the temple's rooms, something catches Marcusic's attention, and he steps in to retrieve what he realizes is a scroll, sealed with the insignia of the temple's patron. Noting that last detail, he hands it off to Thomas. "This looks more like your business than mine, given the sigil stamped in that wax there." The rest of the search is nerve-racking, and the soldier pointedly keeps his blade unsheathed the entire time, ready--no, expecting--for things to get violent in an instant.
Thomas breaks the seal and opens the scroll. Penned in a fluid yet fatigued handwriting is a note to... Thomas...
"My Dearest Thomas, I hope this note finds you well and in the comfort of your new home in Talanor. I trust you will uphold the good name of your family and shepherd the faithful of your goddess. I sleep well knowing that the Great Mother will protect you as I have since your birth. Until we see each other again, in this life or the next. ~ Lady Alessandra Thorne"
Thomas strangles a sob in his throat, not wanting to draw undo attention to their location. My mother could be dead. Only the comforting pulse of the Great Mother's light within him gave him comfort and strength.
Relaying his observation of a door's soft shutting sound, Denenor inquired of the priest: "Are there any hidden chambers in these temples? An ambush would be deadly." He then saw Thomas reading a letter and gave him pause until he finished.
It was not until they explored further he learned his concern may indeed have been overzealous.
"All temples have a different layout. I've never been here before."
If you guy's don't want the squishy character in the front of all the trouble, we cannot keep getting stuck at doors. I'm waiting until late tonight before opening the door myself.
Lol, I didn't arrange that grouping on the map. I think Valjoen's trying to do you in without being obvious about it :p.
Denenor: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
Maddok: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (15) + 0 = 15
Marcusic: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (3) + 0 = 3
Thomas: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Prisoner: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
?: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (13) + 0 = 13
Oops, meant for Marcusic to be up front with Maddok... my bad. ;p
Maddok slams against the door and the latch shatters. The door flies open with a loud crash. This round room was once a storage room it appears as several crates and sacks now lie broken and spilled. To the right of the doorway a stack of boxes obscures your sight to that side of the room. A subdued growl of sorts comes from a creature hidden to you. Across the room, lying upon the floor is an old man in tattered, white robes. His hands tied behind his back and a gag about his mouth, he looks up at you in a panic. Shackles bind his legs and are attached by a chain to the wall. He struggles to sit up as the chain rattles... it is the sound that led you to this room.
The Prisoner - Round 1
Thomas <-- UP
Denenor <-- UP
Maddok <-- UP
Status Effects: None
Thomas begins to glow with the light of the Sacred Mother as the guttural sounds of a unseen creature stir a look of concern in the bound man's eyes.
The Prisoner - Round 1
Denenor <-- Delayed
Maddok <-- UP
Status Effects: None
Maddok steps into the room and sees another younger human bound and chained to the north wall. The younger human drools excessively and is growling despite a muzzle secured over his mouth.
The Prisoner - Round 1/2
Thomas <-- UP
Denenor <-- UP
Maddok <-- UP
Marcusic <-- UP
Status Effects: None
Entering the room to stand one square to the right of Maddok.
Entering the room a bit more cautiously than Thomas and his transformed guard, Marcusic looks intently at the bound man that the former is attending to, then peers around the crates to look at whatever the latter is examining. The sight of another apparent prisoner, this one all but foaming at the mouth, stirs a deep sense of unease in the soldier. "Right, I'm thinking we want to be careful with that one then," he remarks to the hulking bear, apparently not bothered in the slightest by addressing a beast in lieu of a man. "Nobody muzzles a man unless there's damn good reasons for it."
Can Marcusic make a skaldic knowledge check to figure out what's going on with the prisoner in the fetish kit?
Glancing back at the elf lingering in the hall, Marcusic beckons him in. "Might as well join the rest of us then, and see if you can close what's left of the door behind you. Hopefully, if anyone glances at it casually, they won't notice the shattered latch, just that it's closed."
Walking forward, Denenor lay his eyes upon the bound souls in the room. "Like rabid dogs. What purpose could they have with them?!"
Doubtful as he was their malady had anything to do with the artifact their foes seemed to be searching for, Denenor had no urge to get close to the victims. He was no master of curative powers, nor did he possess the herbs to provide aid at the time.
The man in the white robes seemed well-enough of mind to be helpful if he could speak. "How long have you been here?" he spoke, realizing afterward the response might be difficult for the man to utter.
ThomasPer: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (15) + 11 = 26
Thomas moves to the older man, glancing momentarily at the other figures. The man is dressed in priestly robes and is bound by shackles on his wrists and feet. He bleeds from his nose and mouth and looks malnourished, but he is otherwise unharmed. As he regards the older mans wounds, he suddenly stops and returns his gaze to the other humanoid crouching against the far wall. A feeling of hope overcomes him as he recognizes the flowing blonde locks of hair that is now dirty and matted to the humanoid's face. Then, when Thomas looks in the eyes of the once-human creature, despair overtakes him and he holds back his tears.
"Gunther?" the young priest mutters.
Marcusic slips into the room and, looking over the bear, regards the drooling humanoid with concern. Last to enter, Denenor addresses the old man, who still struggles with his bindings and mouth gag. A quick movement of the elf's hand releases the filthy rag that kept the man from talking.
"Water... if you have it, please,"" the old man manages between coughs. "I don't know... days it seems. The sun hasn't risen but time... or perhaps the end of time, has continued to run."
Knowledge: Religion: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
Thomas runs over to his lover. "Please, Great Mother, please! There is no wound you cannot heal."
Cure: 3d8 + 3 ⇒ (6, 5, 8) + 3 = 22 Thomas' heals restore ability damage/drain and cure disease. Perhaps, this will be enough not to be the end of their love story.
The old man looks confused as Thomas leaps to his feet and runs to the creature. When the light of Teysura pours forth, a crooked smile crosses his face as he recognizes who the elf-elf must be, but as quickly as it formed it disappears as he furls his brow.
"He has succumbed to his wounds... Thomas?" he says. "I'm afraid I was unable to stop them... they... they... brought in a ghoul and let the creature feed upon him. I was powerless to stop them," he stammers as tears well up in his eyes. "He died several hours ago. he will arise as an undead soon!" The old man clears his throat looking to find the words to comfort Thomas.
"I wish there was more I could do, but only the Mother's tears could save him now."
elf-elf . . . heh. So does the light heal him or does it damage the undead creature?
Thomas sinks to his knees and begins to weep.
Given Thomas's reaction to the victim past his healing power, Denenor could only guess a heartwrenching nerve was struck. Though he was more distant from his family - and many people, for that matter - such a situation would have sent him into a rather destitute state.
"Let me see if I can't help you out of there. After some water, that is." He fussed with his waterskin to bring it to the man's mouth, giving him two large gulps and a long breath in between before making him more mobile than sessile.
"What were those intruders looking for? Do you know?"
As much as he wanted to offer some consolation to Thomas, there was naught in his mind he could do. It also was not a safe place to reflect in.
"They did not say. I suspect it was to defile the temple of the Sacred Mother..." the old man says, his mind drifting off to a vivid memory. One that brings him great pain. He stammers and tears begin to fill his eyes. "Did you see what they've done to the vestibule? It was so beautiful... I heard them enter the back prayer chapel. Undoubtedly, they have soiled her font."
Suddenly, a horrifying shriek echoes through the night air. Maddok and Marcusic look toward the west window and then at each other. There was no mistake that the noice came from outside. A low murmur begins to fill air and a sense of dread in your hearts.
"Yes, Father, I know him. He is Gunther Krögen, a member of the royal family of Haemil, one of the Proven, and my lover. Becah Tyuyvord sent me to you." Thomas manages to get out between body wracking sobs. Any one can see the tension in his body as he is fighting every instinct to reach out and hold Gunther.
Knowledge (religion): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Something about appearance and behavior of the bound younger man tickles at edge of Marcusic's thoughts, but refuses to reveal itself fully. Hearing the words of the older priest, and Thomas' identification of the nascent ghast causes the soldier to curse under his breath. And the latter's tearful reaction to this mess makes it obvious that the cleric won't be of any help in doing what is necessary. "Thomas," he begins cautiously. "We can't leave Gunther like this. He's already dead, and well on his way to becoming something vile. If the Father here," Marcusic continues with a nod in the direction of the aforementioned Father Haessen. "Can't pull out a miracle and do it right fast, we have to put Gunther down."
Marcusic is about to add something more, when the shriek interrupts him. Moving quickly to the window, he peers carefully outside, only to curse vilely as he runs into a significant issue; he can't see a damned thing through the darkness! Growling, he steps back and waves Denenor to the window in his stead. "Be so kind as to take a glance out there and tell me what is making that awful noise, if you can make it out," the soldier asks with an annoyed expression on his face.
"Yes," Haessen nods at the half-elf. "I took you for my acolyte seeing the beauty of the Mother's healing magic within you. I am glad to see that you survived this long, terrible night. But I fear the hooded man may return!" He says with a shaky voice as he works against the shackles that bind him to the wall.
Pull as he might, Haessen cannot pull free from his restraints. He begins to panic, placing a foot against the wall and pushing against it for leverage. A stream of blood begins to descend down his right forearm as the metal shackle cuts into his flesh. "Help me get free! There is still a chance that we might save your friend, Gunther. The Mother's Tears!"
Thomas hears the priests words again, and his mind slips into the past, recalling the voices of the choirs in Haemil at the Temple of the First Light. Singing. "Teysura's Lament," the young half-elf mutters.
...And on Her first altar, lay your soul bare,
She will take your hand, ever soft and fair.
Cast aside doubts that Death has the final word.
When the Mother cries tears of blood, your prayers will be heard...
"The Dead!" Haessen hisses at Marcusic. "The dead are coming." He strains to look out the window but his human eyes are no better than the skald's. "The Sacred Mother can save him," he says pointing to the unnatural creature lying nearby. "We have time, but precious little time."
Giving the clergyman a cautious look, Denenor had to ask: "What do you mean 'The dead are coming'? There are more? How many?" He ventured to the window to take a peek for himself.
Didn't seem to be a worry for our friends we put down though. What ticket do they have to get themselves out of this?
Would Denenor know if his warp ability is effective in removing someone from bindings? I don't believe it specifies, but if I recall correctly, it should function unless the bindings are considered part of Haessen for the purposes of saves and the like.
Do we need to put undead-Gunther down before he can be restored or do we need him in his current state? That will effect Thomas' dramatics. I like the poetry by the way. :-)
No. Killing the undead-Gunther would end his arc. To potentially restore him, you'll need to keep him alive... er, undead for now. But you must do it before "midnight" which is 12 hours from now as we'll say it is noon currently in game. Otherwise, he will become a ghast permenantly. Technically, he isn't arisen yet. So, he won't attack but isn't able to move on his own. He can't speak nor understand. Basically, he died and is in the transformation process.
So does this make Gunther only mostly dead then? :D
Suddenly, Thomas' shuddering sobs stop. He rises with a steely grace. There is a mad light in his eyes, that bring to mind his storied mother who crossed the Iron Mountains in pursuit of a vampire elder to liberate her people.
"I do not fear the dead. Neither do I fear arrow nor blade. Tell me what must be done and it will be done. If you need the dead barred from crossing the threshold, then the mountains will crumble to dust before they enter. Please, just restore him."
He looks at the bear watching the proceedings. [b]"Come, Maddok, the temple is not yet secure."
Let's finish securing the grounds.