The Chaos of Anatar

Game Master FireclawDrake

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. - C.S. Lewis


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The Half-Alive Streets | Truth of the Seeker | The Sanctuary of Drowned Delight

My last post was intended to be left open for you to write Midha's diplomatic attempt as you see fit Orthos - you guys have the initiative.


Female Gust Magus [Bladebound, Kensai] | Psion [Kinetecist] 2 [HP: 18/18] [AC: 18 | T: 14 | FF: 14]

Sorry, holiday business over the weekend, combined with work business means some of my posting time has been more limited >_< I'll try to get posting as regularly as I can but I'll be a bit sporadic until January.

"Passing familiar," Midha replies quietly with a nod. "Enough to speak their language, at least."

Midha steps out into the square, hammer resting on her shoulder, a few feet ahead of her companions. Once out in the open, she calls out to the bear-riders, her voice carrying in the air clearly, in Aerili. "If it's gods you're looking for, boys, I can't say most equip their sanctuaries with seating for bears. Judging by how quiet the town's gotten since you arrived, though, I imagine this is no simple pilgrimage.

So I'm a little curious what you're all looking for that requires bears along. I'd really rather not bring this to a fight if it's not needed, but I'm not particularly fond of bandits. I'd like to think you all aren't here to steal anything though. Perhaps we can discuss things civilly? Maybe over some dinner?"


Male Human Wizard / Psion (Constructor)

Augustus stands nearby in the back, not trying to call attention to himself, while being ready to provide quiet, brief updates to Seirin's if she appears confused.

It wasn't his place to speak out without being spoken too, yet, he did pay attention to the antics of the bear riders.


Male Human Crossblooded Sorcerer 1 [ HP 8/8 | AC 12/12/10 , Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +1 | Init +4; Perception +8 (darkvision 60ft.)]

Jericho stands behind and to the left of Midha. His pistols are raised, but pointing at the sky, and his posture is one of wary non-aggression.


The Half-Alive Streets | Truth of the Seeker | The Sanctuary of Drowned Delight

The frontman of the band of apparent raiders barks a few orders to his mates before breaking off to face the armed group attempting to intercept them diplomatically. While this apparent leader is likely the oldest among the group, he's still no older than 15 years of age, though the ease of which he hand goes to an axe at his waist, he's probably seen a few combats.

Aerili:

"Keep going. I will deal with this <derogatory term for a woman who has spoken above her station>."

Since language can say alot about a culture/people, I'll sometimes include single words in <> brackets, just to give a bit of flavour. Midha should recognize this as a swear-word.

The youth is dark-haired with tan-coloured skin. His hair is long and done up into several braids and pulled back behind his shoulders - presumably to keep it out of his face during their raid. He has some kind of pigment on his face, red in colour and painted in a simple pattern underneath his eyes. He speaks with authority for one so young, and his manner is somewhat haughty. His speaks with clear disdain for Midha:

Aerili:

"We are not here to pray to your simplistic gods. We are here because the Great Spirit tells us that this is the source of the pain that has disrupted our Lands. If you would not be killed where you stand, I would not attempt to impede us."

Intimidate check (language-dependant): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11

While the leader has turned to converse, the other bear-riders have not stopped in their ride towards the Temple.


Female Gust Magus [Bladebound, Kensai] | Psion [Kinetecist] 2 [HP: 18/18] [AC: 18 | T: 14 | FF: 14]

Heh, missed a successful check by one, DC was 12 (10 + 2 [level] + 0 [Wis mod])

Aerili:
"Not my gods," she replies casually, unimpressed by the show of bravado. "I just take it personally when an entire town goes silent because a gang of thugs shows up. And I definitely take it personally when I'm threatened. But I can overlook that, once. What say you and your little pack settle down and we have a discussion about this pain you're sent to find."

She switches back to Nethysian and murmurs low to her companions. "They're looking for something from some spirit guide. They're not afraid to toss around threats. And they seem to have a thing against women. Get ready just in case this turns ugly, I have a feeling he's not going to be much longer for conversation."


The Half-Alive Streets | Truth of the Seeker | The Sanctuary of Drowned Delight

The man looks almost... it must be amused - his lips twitch slightly towards a smile, but the stony expression reasserts itself quickly - at Midha's apparent lack of fear and continued attempts to resolve this diplomatically. Again, he speaks, though the disdain has lessened. He guides his bear forward another few feet, now within Seirin's area of Sight.

Aerili:

"Such boldness for a woman! Tell me this, how is it that some strong warrior has not yet put his seed in your belly? It is rare to find such fire in a woman, and you would bear fierce sons I've no doubt!" These are no-doubt strange words coming from a fifteen year old... perhaps intended to enflame or provoke Midha?

Perception/Sense Motive DC 14 (Whole party can make this check):

The man has seen Midha's spellbook and Jericho's strange armaments... it is possible that he is delaying for time while the gang of raiders ride on.

Meanwhile, the raiders will be at the doors to the temple in the about 10 seconds...


Female Gust Magus [Bladebound, Kensai] | Psion [Kinetecist] 2 [HP: 18/18] [AC: 18 | T: 14 | FF: 14]

Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 8

Aerili:
"Haven't found one worth the trouble," she says offhandedly, making no attempt to hide her disinterest at the subject. "Much less to be someone's breed mare. There's a whole world out there to see, countless dangers to live before I'm going to bother thinking about family."


Male Human Crossblooded Sorcerer 1 [ HP 8/8 | AC 12/12/10 , Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +1 | Init +4; Perception +8 (darkvision 60ft.)]

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9.
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28.

"He is stalling. Meanwhile his compatriots carry out their mission."


The Half-Alive Streets | Truth of the Seeker | The Sanctuary of Drowned Delight

The boy almost seems to laugh at Midha's casual rebuttal, though being sobered by something - the seriousness of his task possibly pulling at his humour. There is a glancing towards Jericho when he speaks, but there's a distinct lack of understanding there - the boy clearly does not speak Nethysian.

Aerili:

"You speak as though you were a man! What of your companion there, with the Eyes of the Great Spirit? Does she also wish she were a man?"

I'm giving some time for the rest of the group to react now - Jericho has pointed out the strategy to the group. (You are free to answer Midha, but after that I'll wait for the other's actions before going on).


Female Gust Magus [Bladebound, Kensai] | Psion [Kinetecist] 2 [HP: 18/18] [AC: 18 | T: 14 | FF: 14]

Aerili:
"I don't wish anything, I'm quite happy with who and what I am. I simply refuse to be Chained. By law, by expectation, by tradition, by fear, or by demand. I walk where I wish, live how I choose, spurn safety and security in the name of freedom. I live and breathe because I am free as the wind, and do so as I am, as I decide, answering to no one, slave to none other. The wind cannot be caught, cannot be bound, cannot be chained. I will settle for no less."


Male Human Wizard / Psion (Constructor)

Glancing between those conversing, Augustus from the back lines takes in the foreign language while studying the body langauge cues and the like.

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5

Thinking silently to himself, he continues to study the actions of the raiders while preparing to fight. He really had little desire to mix it up, though the readiness of the others, and the awareness of power, gave him some confidence.

"If it helps, Midha, I've been trained in the art of diplomacy. Surly, if they are pilgrims seeking something religious, perhaps we could assist and help them on their way without issue. I am ready regardless, you need only give word."


F Cinder Flame Oracle/Wilder 2

Seirin frowned. Her clouded eyes turned towards the bear riders leader as she prepared for a possible breakdown in negotiations. She tried to hold herself with dignity, but her mud-covered bare feet, still-wet and now getting a bit frizzy dark curls, her outfit that looked like it was cobbled together entirely out of every spare shawl and scarf she could find and never mind if any of it matched (as if she'd even know if they matched with her vision problems), and the fact that she was barely any older than the bear riders herself all acted together to mostly spoil the effect.


Male Human Crossblooded Sorcerer 1 [ HP 8/8 | AC 12/12/10 , Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +1 | Init +4; Perception +8 (darkvision 60ft.)]

Jericho's voice is hard with urgency, "Diplomacy is allowing him to continue his mission. We need to stop the others. This man is a distraction. Tell him to call his companions back."

Jericho levels both pistols at the man on the bear, the hammers making an audible clicking as they are drawn into the fully armed position.


Female Gust Magus [Bladebound, Kensai] | Psion [Kinetecist] 2 [HP: 18/18] [AC: 18 | T: 14 | FF: 14]

Midha's expression turns to a scowl as Jericho points out the situation, and her focused attention on the group's speaker at last breaks to take notice of the rest of the group's continued procession. She turns back to the leader, her tone taking on a less conversational demeanor.

Aerili:
"Let's call your friends back here and have a nice talk about this thing you were sent to find. Otherwise I think the only way this is going to get solved is by force."


The Half-Alive Streets | Truth of the Seeker | The Sanctuary of Drowned Delight

The youth's grip on his axe tightens as Jericho's pistols are levelled towards him, but is stoic in demeanor, even if the humour has vanished from his face.

Aerili:

"Even the wind can be tamed - our <Wise Ones> have shown us in the past. Come then, if you would fight!"

With that, the man draws forth his axe, his hide-covered wooden shield also coming unslung from his back and finding his hands. He begins to spur his bear forward! Meanwhile, across the square, the other riders have made their target, and the lead bears smash the door to the Temple open, and the other riders begin to pour into the Temple proper.

Initiatives:
Rider - 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Jericho - 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Midha - 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Augustus - 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8 (Your initiative is listed as 0, but should be +1 unless I am missing something)
Seirin - 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20

Everyone won initiative - you may act. Please remember that actions occur in posting order, so if you want someone else to act first, wait for them to post or tag your post such as "After Seirin:"


Male Human Wizard / Psion (Constructor)

Seeing as talking takes no time...

"Is he actually bearing down on us? Is this an attack?"

It would be fairly obvious that Augustus is surprised by these turn of events, and seeks to either validate it with himself, or the folks he's travelled with recently.

Needless to say, it also served to share some quick detail to Seirin, in case her limited vision did not reveal the situation properly.


Female Gust Magus [Bladebound, Kensai] | Psion [Kinetecist] 2 [HP: 18/18] [AC: 18 | T: 14 | FF: 14]

"Oh yes, he is! Scatter and keep out of reach, don't let him corner us! And take out that bear!"


Male Human Crossblooded Sorcerer 1 [ HP 8/8 | AC 12/12/10 , Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +1 | Init +4; Perception +8 (darkvision 60ft.)]

Augustus and Midha's words break through the fog clouding Jericho's mind and he takes careful aim at the accelerating bear.

When the bear is closer than 25 feet, Jericho cries out, "This is not what I wanted!" His words are drowned out by a double report of deafening thunder.

Using Style Technique for second attack, attack and damage augmented by point blank shot and reading the wind.
Using Up Close and Deadly with each shot.

Attack vs. Touch AC: 1d20 + 5 + 1 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 5 + 1 + 3 = 28.
Attack vs. Touch AC: 1d20 + 5 + 1 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 5 + 1 + 3 = 28.
Damage: 1d10 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (6) + 1 + (3) = 10.
Damage: 1d10 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (9) + 1 + (1) = 11.


F Cinder Flame Oracle/Wilder 2

Seirin panics. She can't see well enough to run! She screams and put up her hands defensively as the blur that is the bear gets near. Flames shoot out from her outstretched hands.

Burning hands spell. She's not actually trying to hurt anyone. This likely happens before the bear is in range to get more than slightly singed, not really damaged. She's trying to scare it away.


Male Human Wizard / Psion (Constructor)

It might not be appearent to anyone casually looking Augustus over, given his calm and quiet manner, but, as soon as Midha replies, it's as if a switch is thrown and Augustus falls into his training.

"We may wish to fall back to the building some, for a tactical advantage-- outdoors doesn't provide much cover." His tone is expressionless, devoid of emotion.

First, while not amazingly quick, he clears away from Seirin to give her room and not be grouped up, some fifteen feet away. "Seirin, I am just to your right, a dozen steps or more.". Second, his hand weaves and motions, in the working of an arcane spell, focused on the rider and bear. From his lips, in a language of Celestial origins, the verbal components are uttered in a normal spoken volume. He doesn't appear to shout or show excitement.

Moving fifteen feet, casting Summon Monster I: Celestial Eagle. It shall appear next round and proceed to attack. I don't believe the template of the bird can speak Celestial, but, if it can, he'll order it to flank the rider in move by claw attacks, or similar to help or distract in the fight. Otherwise, it'll fly over, use the Smite Evil, and claw, peck, etc. go go pets!


Female Gust Magus [Bladebound, Kensai] | Psion [Kinetecist] 2 [HP: 18/18] [AC: 18 | T: 14 | FF: 14]

Distance is important. She doesn't have time now to attack, nor does she have a spell at the ready to throw into the face of the bear. While she can still feel the shimmering field of energy around her, she's not sure how well it will hold off those claws or teeth, or whether she can turn it into an offensive weapon. So she falls back on what she knows she can do.

First she retreats, putting some distance between herself and the bear, preferably in a direction away from the rest of the group - scatter, force it to choose between pursuing one or another of them, don't let it get where it could take them all out with a single wide swipe. If she can get behind a building in the process, all the better. Make the bear try to navigate between buildings and alleys.

Secondly, prepare herself for fighting at range. She has one spell at the ready today, so best to make it count. She murmurs the incantation and the hammer in her hand lightens slightly, taking on a more aerodynamic feel.

Retreat 30 feet in a direction away from the bear and the party, behind a building if she can.

Cast returning weapon on her hammer. Lasts 2 minutes.


The Half-Alive Streets | Truth of the Seeker | The Sanctuary of Drowned Delight

Round 1 - Rider's Turn

With a powerful volley from Jericho's weapon and the fire from Seirin's hands, an ordinary bear might have taken that moment to turn tail and flee, especially given the pair of bullets that just embedded themselves into it's side. This is not a normal bear though, and it obeys the commands of it's rider, and charges forward.

With all of Seirin's allies having scattered from around her - Jericho 10 feet to the left of her, Augustus similarily on the right and Midha having retreated backwards a considerable distance.

The man atop the bear charges in... and strangely, does not immediately use his axe. Instead, he aims to grab at the Seirin herself, aiming to pull the woman in front of him onto his mount - perhaps taking himself an early prize.

Grapple check: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22

The rules for this kind of maneuver obviously are being a bit ad-hoc'd, but if he succeeds on a move to pin, that'll be scooping Seirin onto his bear.

He manages to grab onto Seirin's outstreched hand. His hands are strong and quick. A warrior through and through.

Round 2 - PCs may act!


Female Gust Magus [Bladebound, Kensai] | Psion [Kinetecist] 2 [HP: 18/18] [AC: 18 | T: 14 | FF: 14]

Oh like hells you do.

1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6

Midha's not going to allow him to just run off with one of her newfound companions. She grasps the now-lighter hammer and hurls it toward the bear, but the angle's bad and the hammer clatters loudly off the side of a building, missing its target completely. She curses under her breath as it flies back to her, then looks around to get a better gauge of her surroundings.

So yeah, the forum dice continue to hate me. Holding my move action until I know what my immediate surroundings are - things she could climb, hide behind, or otherwise get a tactical advantage from.


F Cinder Flame Oracle/Wilder 2

Seirin shrieked and tried to wriggle free of the grip of the warrior dragging her up onto the bear.

Escape Artist: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15


Male Human Crossblooded Sorcerer 1 [ HP 8/8 | AC 12/12/10 , Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +1 | Init +4; Perception +8 (darkvision 60ft.)]

Jericho swiftly reloads one of his pistols, then levels it at the bear. There is an immediate report as the weapon bucks in his hand again, and the close range makes the shot all the more deadly.

Spending one grit to activate Up Close and Deadly.
Attack vs. Touch AC: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 5 + 1 = 18.
Damage: 1d10 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (7) + 1 + (5) = 13.


The Half-Alive Streets | Truth of the Seeker | The Sanctuary of Drowned Delight
Midha Yamauchi wrote:
So yeah, the forum dice continue to hate me. Holding my move action until I know what my immediate surroundings are - things she could climb, hide behind, or otherwise get a tactical advantage from.

Oh ye forum dice. The Betrayers.

[i]Midha had retreated towards a narrow passage between two larger buildings. Constructed of stones of various shapes and sizes, Midha might recognize this as a building built to withstand earthquakes, given her life underground. Fortunately for her, this means she could scale the 15 or so feet with relative ease if she tried (DC10 Climb checks).

Augustus you have finished your casting. Smite Evil is ineffective against these foes (the rider is not Evil), but you have a Celestial Eagle now.


Female Gust Magus [Bladebound, Kensai] | Psion [Kinetecist] 2 [HP: 18/18] [AC: 18 | T: 14 | FF: 14]

Climb: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14 15 feet up is go!

Excellent!

She drops the hammer back into its belt loop as it flies back to her, then immediately whirls and scrambles up the sturdy building, fingers flying from handhold to handhold as she ascends. The fifteen-foot ascent is quick and simple for the practiced rock-climber, and she pulls herself up to the roof and scans the area below, preparing to take another shot from the advantage of higher ground.

And in the air around her, the energy around and within her body begins buzzing and pulsing again. Hopefully whatever she was about to unleash would mean more trouble for the enemy than for herself....


Male Human Wizard / Psion (Constructor)
GM Fireclaw wrote:

Augustus you have finished your casting. Smite Evil is ineffective against these foes (the rider is not Evil), but you have a Celestial Eagle now.

Having completed his casting, the moment the Eagle appears, it flies straight at the offending rider, now grappling with Seirin, to run interference, and or assist in her escape.

At least, that's the command, what should I roll here? basically 'assist other' skill for Escape Artist, or would attacking the Oracle-napper be a smarter move given he's holding her, riding an animal, not quite sure what's better due to the situation-- but I'm not the brilliant PC that Augusutus is. Suggestions on what to roll, oh GM?

Augustus himself does appear relatively calm, taking in the situation as it unfolds.


The Half-Alive Streets | Truth of the Seeker | The Sanctuary of Drowned Delight

Round 2, Celestial Eagle

The eagle comes into being and, at Augustus' orders, strikes out against the kidnap-attempting rider, it's Celestial talons and beak trying to rip at him!

Talon #1: 1d20 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 3 + 2 = 10
Talon #2: 1d20 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 3 + 2 = 21
Beak: 1d20 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 3 + 2 = 8
1 Talon hit: 1d4 ⇒ 4

The Eagle tears a long gash in the rider's shield-arm, casuing him to cry out, but not lose his grip yet on Seirin.

Round 2, Rider's turn

In spite of this new assault, the rider maintains his strong grip on Seirin, attemping now to pull her onto his bear, to be held in front of himself.

CMB: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20

Seirin is indeed pulled up onto the bear's back, and is now laying on her stomach with one half of her body slinged over each side on the bear. The rider appears to be pressing his shield onto her back, the weight still keeping her held, though she may still attempt to struggle against this.

Again, I'm sort of ad-hocing these rules since this kinda stuation doesn't reaally fit into a standard grapple, but is definitely conceivable. Let's say that Seirin is still considered grappled now, but gains +5 on any checks to break free as she's not actively being held, though her position is still difficult.

Meanwhile the bear swings a paw at the eagle which has struck his master.

Claw: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10, Damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5

While the eagle sustains a greivous wound, it has not yet been dealt enough damage to be unsummoned.

Round 3 - PCs turn!

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