Floria tries to reassert control again
Concentration DC 16: 1d20 + 6 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 + 6 = 21
I can't do anything to hurt this thing, but I could buy the others some time
She moves away from Alessio and the panel, shouting the whole way.
She then summons a bit more psychic energy in the hope of selling it a little.
SR1: 1d20 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 6 + 2 = 23
SR2: 1d20 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 6 + 2 = 11
Magic Missile: 3d4 + 3 ⇒ (1, 2, 1) + 3 = 7
Kara, you can't dismiss pit spells, they have to run their course. One of their annoying downsides.
There's actually a feat for dismissing pit spells specifically. Insane.
Huni tries to keep his eyes averted from the monsters.
1d10 ⇒ 9 of course not
Huni's will is put to the test.
Will: 1d20 + 8 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 8 + 1 = 18
Don't know if that's enough, so.
Refl: 1d20 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 4 + 1 = 12
I'm a bit confused on when we have to roll vs gaze attack? Do we even need to roll if its blind (and so cant gaze)? I feel like there is an efficient way to do this where we aren't all standing around waiting to be stunned but PbF and lots of moving parts means that I can't see it. If pulling out the goggles and putting them on is a Standard then Alrik will do that and then use his move action to get into position to slot the prism. (Last round)
Averting Gaze, Save required on Odd: 1d10 ⇒ 2
Now (slightly) better equipped to deal with the demon, Alrik slams the final prism into place and prepares to push the Activate button when someone else goes for the other one.
1 action to slot, ready an action to push the button
OK, lets see where the die fall!
Alrik Fly, DC 10: 1d20 + 5 + 4 - 5 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 5 + 4 - 5 + 1 = 25
averted?: 1d10 ⇒ 10
Alrik Fly, DC 15: 1d20 + 5 + 4 - 5 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 5 + 4 - 5 + 1 = 23
Huni fall damage: 2d6 ⇒ (5, 6) = 11
1d20 ⇒ 10
Kara watches her errant throw with wide eyes, as it bounces off the wall, and falls off to her right. With a somewhat-less-than-graceful dive, she throws herself towards it, managing just to get her hands under it, as she crashes unceremoniously to the hard stone floor... pride a little shaken, but prism intact.
Pondering previous choices, she hauls herself back to her feet, and tries once more... but even as she starts to throw it, she sees Alrik flying awkwardly off to her left. She tries to adjust, but the sudden change makes her second throw even worse than the first! Once again, she tries to catch it on the way down, but it careens off the wall, and changes directions suddenly. She is unable to compensate, and ends up face down on the floor once more, watching helplessly as the prism smashes into a thousand pieces directly in front of her. Motes of glimmering blue light spread all around, and over her, where she lay... the divine energy released somehow making her feel a little better about it all, and that it will all be alright... despite her more logical mind knowing that is not true at all.
Not really paying attention to what's happening below, Alrik awkwardly flies forward towards the remaining empty slot, smoked goggles covering his eyes, and his gaze firmly on his target, not the much larger danger smashing through the wall not far off. He pushes the prism into the final slot, and immediately all of the gauges swing all the way to the right. Two in the red, the rest fully in the white. Alrik calls out to Sangkip, then manages the delicate flying maneuver required to shift back over to the left activation switch.
The silent bell-like alarm is now audible to everyone, including the giant demon nearby, who howls in anger, as he renews his efforts to smash his way towards the platform.
Huni, ready to help with the activation, can't ignore the sudden increase in destruction behind him, especially given he is still well within reach of the thing. Try as he might, he can't stop his eyes from glancing back to the looming threat... and in that momentary lapse, he finds himself drawn back into the paralyzing gaze, as thoughts of chaos and destruction overwhelm him once more. With no more control over his limbs, his grip on the console slips... and unable to adjust his footing, he soon follows, sliding down the slope of the magical pit, and disappearing down below... crashing to the bottom twenty feet blow (11 falling damage to Huni). You hear the sounds of glass breaking, and suspect the fall may have damaged the panels on the headpiece of his protective suit!
Floria finally manages to pull her darker half back under control, and with a slightly more sensible head on her shoulders, rushes over to the western side of the tower, calling out insults at the demon, trying to distract its attention, as she once again uses her physic energy to throw small mental missiles towards the shemhazian... but her luck proves no better using rational thoughts, all of them dispersing without making contact. The demon seems solely focused on the platform, and those trying to activate the weapon, as it finally manages to clear its eyes. It completely ignores Floria's attempts.
You needed to roll a 20 to get through its SR, unfortunately.
At least you could do it... Kara couldn't even make it on a 20 =)
Luckily, Alessio's bombs ignore SR.
The demon steps forward once more, its massive bulk destroying the last bit of stairs connecting the platform, and putting Sangkip within its reach... as well as exposing Kara and to its penetrating gaze!
Seeing his bomb's effects wearing off, Alessio quickly grabs more components, combining them with practiced hands, only barely keeping the slight tremble at bay. Again, he lobs it at the demon, now looming so large. He's not sure he could miss, even if he wanted to! It smashes across its chest and face, sending small bouts of gritty sand everywhere. Just as it managed to clear the worst of the first, it finds its vision obscured once more!
It bellows out in Abyssal, its voice filled with rage and anger!
"I will chew off your heads, and lubricate the gears with your fluids. Your entrails will turn the wheels, and your death cries will be the new alarms to warn off those who would appose my will!"
It seems angry.
It starts to blindly throw blows towards the platform, and Sangkip, realizing there is no more time to spare, calls out to Alrik to turn the switch!
The right edge of the console is torn off by one flailing claw, showers of blue sparks flying everywhere, and the small vanaran is forced to duck beneath a giant pincer snapping shut over his head, sounding like a guillotine descending to end a not-always-virtuous life. He manages to keep his grip on the console, and one hand over the switch, and his feet firmly planted on the slope, despite it all.
The incessant whine reverberating through the tower from above causes your eyes to twitch slightly, as both Sangkip, and Alrik, throw their switches in tandem!
Pulsing energy seems to flow up the silvery tower in waves, going faster and faster with each surge, as the contraption up top starts to spin, quickly gaining speed as well. The hum recedes, and the sound changes and grows in intensity, sounding more and more like the chant of heavenly hosts.
The shemhazian demon starts to yell something else, but it is suddenly cut off, by one last peel of a mysterious bell ...
... and the the entire world goes white.
|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
Alrik Will: 1d20 + 7 - 2 ⇒ (11) + 7 - 2 = 16
Floria Will: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Huni Will: 1d20 + 8 - 3 ⇒ (6) + 8 - 3 = 11
Kara Will: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Sangkip Will: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
The radiant white light that follows though, seems to wash off your leather protective gear like a cleansing fire, leaving your mostly unscathed. In fact it even manages to burn off the years of grime and dust that had been partially obscuring the glass panels in your headpiece. You're not sure what would have happened if you'd been exposed to it fully, but the suit seems to have done the job it was intended for!
You are fine! Boring!
You are fine!!
The white light that washes over everything, is just as comforting, like it is cleansing all the darker moments of your life 'til this point, and judging you worthy.
You are fine! Dark half not gone, just keeping its head down for a bit.
Your service to Irori has been one of order and perfection... but the sound you hear now... and the radiant light that follows... those are announcing and illuminating your moral choices.
The broken panels do nothing to stop the light, as it fills every corner of you mind and thoughts, and the bell sound reaches right into your ears as if it were tolling just for you. They overwrite any other sounds and sights.
The light seems to sift out and expose all those darker shadows in your soul, where you have not always made those most ethical choices on your way to Irori's perfection. Showing you with radiant light that you could be following that same path, but making better choices along the way. Ones that would have helped others around you more, and kept many of these shadows from forming in the first place!
You are both blinded and deaf.
Although you can not see or hear anything beyond the light and bell, you can still feel the hard stone floor under your back, and you feel something laying across your legs, holding them down... though not enough to keep you from moving them out from under them with a little effort.
Maybe all your instructors at the finishing school were right after all... if you act like a proper lady, good things happen!
Or maybe those good things were going to happen anyway, if you just make the right choices.
As the light surrounds you, you get the feeling it is judging you, as much as it is revealing you to the world... and those choices, until now, seem to pass muster!
Though as you light fades and you look down, it has done nothing to clean the dark smudges from your dress, after diving across the dusty stone floor a few times.
You are fine!
Though, even as you think that, you notice whifts of black smoke wafting up from your belt, and an uncomfortable warmth there.
You will eventually find your wand of infernal healing has become charred and brittle, and burned out of all charges
Though you won't know it 'til later, one of the prisms in front of you exploded (and you are paralyzed (see below), and blasted you back into the pit, and down to the bottom, of course. You will take 11 points of damage... 1 to spare!
You can see nothing but white, and hear no sounds but the everpresent reverberation of that bell tone echoeing through your mind.
You are both blind, and deaf
The physical discomforts are almost secondary to what you're body is experiencing though. Its as if every questionable thing you've ever done is dragged into the light, ever dark corner exposed, ever shady section revealed, and all seemingly judged. They flash by in an instant that feels like a lifetime, one flash of images and feelings, all from a different perspective that forces you to relive every one of them, but not with pride or accomplishment or indifference, but as if all of those life choices have been sadly misplayed.
You are also going to be paralyzed for the next 10 minutes or so... as your mind replays all these moments!
Sangkip and Huni will miss this next bit
As the tolling bell sound recedes, it is replaced by the howls and wails of demonic voices off in the distance. You notice the shemhazian demon is completely absent, though whether it was destroyed, burned away by the holy blast, or vacated during the white-out, you're not sure.
Whatever effect the weapon had, it seems to have been quite far-reaching, based on the sounds coming from outside!
It had an effective radius of roughly 1 mile
Up on the platform, Kara's pit spell seems to finally run its course, slowly closing, bringing those on the bottom up to the surface once more. You see Huni laying there, shifting slightly, though unresponsive to queries or sights, the glass panels on his suit shattered. Laying across his legs, you see the bloody form of Sangkip, face down, completely unresponsive, not moving at all.
The remains of the wrecker demons are completely gone, the holy light apparently cleansing the tower of their abyssal taint.
More eventually, but now I have a meeting to go to!
React as you will, but some folks are not responding normally. =)
|Kara Saint-Germaine SF|
Kara opens her eyes, expecting to see the giant claws of the shemhazian demon reaching for her, but finds only peace instead.
Good work, guys.
Alessio shrugs off his suit and runs over to Huni and Sangkip. Kara, get over here. I need your hands.
heal check: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
"I'm here, I'm OK, are you all alright?"
She goes over to make sure Alessio and Kara look ok, and anxiously awaits word from the platform
Getting to his feet, Alrik looks around for his companions. Seeing only those 2 closest to him unresponsive, Alrik whips out his Wand of Healing and activates to on both of his allies to stem any bleeding.
Temporarily happy with his efforts, he looks to get his companions up to the console.
CLW on Sangkip: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
CLW on Huni: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
I knew I needed a Fly roll but I couldn't figure out what modifiers you were using so figured it was easier just to leave it to you.
Do I still have Fly duration left? Maybe someone can just toss me a rope.
Fly, from a potion, will last five minutes... you guys were only in here a whole minute before it all went boom, and you didn't drink it til half way through... So ya, time left!
(Oh, and as an fyi, the modifier would be +5 (caster level of potion), +4 (for good maneuverability), +1 (for your dex), -5 (armor check penalty). Total, +5!)
Huni seems responsive... he's moving around at last, though obviously sore. But he is not responding to any visual or audio stimuli... Alrik suspect he is both blind and deaf from the weapon's effects, especially once he sees the state of his protective headpiece... his head area would have taken the brunt of it.
Sangkip, though... he's not responding to anything at all. The vanaran just lays there unmoving. Though, when Alrik used his wand on him, some of the cuts and abrasions seemed to heal... so he can't be dead... right?
The first time Alrick uses the wand on Huni, Huni flinches defensively, kicking out from under whatever is holding him down trying to crawl away. He speaks his defiance loudly and slurred. "NAWW! HA'LL FAWGHT WIF BY LATH BITH OF WILL" The healing energies, however, seem to calm him some. "Whoshere? Whoshere?" Huni reaches out blindly, desparately searching for something familiar to cling onto. He starts to make nonsensical sounds in frustration then fear.
Alrik is a little disconcerted by Huni's reactions, the man clearly only able to respond to touch, but with no context for any of it. The paladin pulls out his rope, and secures it to the base of the console, throwing the rest down to those below, for anyone more able to determine what's happening who wants to clamber up.
He will notice that all of the prisms in the slots are now drained completely empty. All the indicators on the gauges have shifted back over to the far left, in the black, though enough energy seems to still be lingering that most of the lighting and backlighting on the controls are still glowing faintly, many of them flickering with no distinct pattern.
Small sparks still occasionally shoot from the damaged section of the panel on the right side, and you will also notice that the prism inserted in that final slot, closest to the damage, appears to have exploded during the activation. It would have been right in front of Sangkip's face at the time, and might account for some of the damage Alrik noticed when the pit expired and brought him and Huni back up. The section of panel around that prism slot is charred, but does not appear otherwise damaged.
The sounds of screaming and howling demons seems to die out quickly, and you can hear ragged chears of soldiers from outside the shattered wall of the tower... though what exactly is happening out there is not visible.
Ollysta Zadrian remains dead, unfortunately, her shattered form laying where it fell still, the remains of the other crusader spread across the floor not far away. Of the last crusader, who the shemhazian pulled out with its savage maw, you see no sign... though given the sounds that accompanied his demise, that might be a small comfort in the wake of everything else.
By the time someone is able to get up to the platform from below, Huni's vision will start to go from pure white nothing, to small bits of shadow and color moving in front of him. Not enough to easily identify what he's looking at, but enough to indicate it might not be permanent. Even the bell toll ringing in his ears starts to fade somewhat, though he still has a tendency to respond loudly when he speaks, overcompensating for the loss.
Alessio, once he finally gets up there, and can take a look, will be able to figure out that Sangkip, is indeed still alive... but his entire body seems to be locked into some sort of paralytic seizure... that does not seem to be fading. Even as Huni's vision and hearing start to come back to him, the little vanaran remains motionless... though easily moved, due to his size.
Technically, blind/deaf portion will last about 30-60 seconds... the paralysis though, will continue for 10 minutes.
Sangkip's reaction coming out of it, yet to be determined. =)
Feel free to move things forward to then, if it helps, nothing else will happen in the meantime, beyond sounds from outside.
Alessio climbs the rope and hustles to the downed team members with purpose. He clears the area of debris and possible dangers before assessing his patients. Huni! Huni, your corneas are overloaded and your ear drums blown out. YOU SHOULD RETURN TO NORMAL IN A MOMENT.
Alessio turns to the motionless Sangkip. He tests reflexes and reactivity to light and sound. Seems that in time he reacts to sound and light as Huni will. The paralysis, may last a bit longer.
We should carry Sangkip back to the camp. I don't think we can do much of anything else here. The area is clear of demons and we should notify the forces to retake the weapon.
Floria waits patiently at the bottom as her arms are not made for climbing, though she is suprisingly adept at carrying so can do her part carrying Sangkip back if required.
Despite not being sure if he can hear her, she talks to him and the others who were on the platform on the way.
"You did an amazing job, that demon was so powerful I thought we were all doomed. I threw everything I had at it but it didn't even notice. I've never experienced anything like it. You saved us all, thank you"
You realize Sangkip's going to be out of it for a while... but Dr. Alessio seems to believe he will recover... eventually. Alrik has an easy enough time getting him down to the tower floor, while his fly potion is still in effect, and when Huni finally stops seeing white, and hearing bells, he is able to lower himself down the rope, joining the rest.
Things seem to have calmed down outside and eventually you make your way back out to see what happened while you were inside Ghalcor's Tower.
The way back proves simple enough. With all the prisms drained and the tower wards down, nothing bars your way as you exit. You do find Horatius in the same room where you last saw him... though he proves to be in much the same state as Sangkip. The hound archon is laying supine on the stone floor, unmoving, but seemingly still alive. Whatever the tower has done to him over his decades of servitude, apparently making him just as susceptible to the holy weapon, despite his celestial origins. Remembering your promise, you work to take him out of the tower as well, though he proves a little harder to move than the vanaran.
Luckily, you don't have far too go, just down the original entry hallway, and out the same exit through which you entered.
The moment you haul the hound archon outside, his form immediately starts to shimmer, and despite being still paralyzed, he disappears... whatever obligation holding him to the mortal plane, finally ending. What awaits him now, back in the celestial realms, that you will likely never know.
You also find many Crusaders gathered, and a small shout goes out as you emerge from the tower, quickly echoed down the line of surviving defenders, until it eventually forms into a loud jubilant cheer. Those you can see look like they've been through two or three wringers. No one escaped the battle unscathed, the wounds and injuries as varied as the demonic hoards who caused them. On almost every face, you see a mixture of puzzled shock, barely suppressed hope, relief, and gratitude. Everywhere, you see signs of the battle. Bodies litter the area, even inside the fortifications, mixed amidst the remains of even more demons.
You later learn that the entire force was on the verge of outright collapse. The demonic hoards proved to not just be a small opposition, but what some surmise was the entirety of their forces in the southern part of the Worldwound. The demons had breached the walls, and the Crusaders were quickly being overwhelmed by far superior numbers.
When the weapon finally fired, everything changed. The blast could be seen all the way to the horizon, and covered the entire battlefield, and a mile beyond. The majority of the demonic hosts were destroyed outright, their bodies consumed in holy fire. Those more powerful demons, were struck blind or paralyzed, where they stood. A few managed to teleport away, but the vast majority of those that survived the initial blast became sudden easy targets, quickly mopped up by the surviving Crusaders.
Even as you look around, you see soldiers moving through the masses, still putting demons to the sword.
News of Ollysta's sacrifice is not met with grief, but praise... every man and woman present knowing full well what her dedication and deeds had accomplished this day. A team is quickly dispatched, to secure her remains, and those of the two Crusaders who fought along side her. Already, there is talk of raising her back, to continue the fight... though no timeline is given.
Another team is quickly assembled to go in to secure the weapon itself, as well as any notes or designs on its function. A couple of you are conscripted to assist in the task, your knowledge of what you found, and saw, apparently integral to getting it functioning again. Or at least that's how they sell it.
Otherwise, the next few days are spent recovering from the Battle of Ghalcor's Tower... already apparently gaining some renown... that you can only assume will grow as it races towards Mendev.
You recover from your physical injuries easily enough... though the wrecker demon bites that Sangkip sustained across his shoulder and arm, do not heal right. Even with magical aid, horrid twisted scars remain to mark where the demon's teeth sunk in. The mental traumas, that Huni, Floria, and Alrik suffered to the restless spirits of Ghalcor and his assistant, eventually fade as well, though the dwarf knows those scars will never truly go away.
Floria is a little disturbed to find her own inner demon never seems to fade back to its previous level of her subconscious. It's as if, after finally getting a true taste of the chaos that waits for it in the real world, her darker side now stands ever vigilant for a chance to reassert itself and taste it again. Of course, she could just be projecting, and its no different than it's always been... she's just looking at it from a new perspective. Either way, like many days in her past, her thoughts are troubled.
The effects of the weapon seem to have a wider impact than just the defeat of the demon hoards. Like Huni, Sangkip, and the hound archon, many of the defenders were affected by the release of so much divine energy... forced to view their lives and actions with no shadows to conceal them, in the bright light of holy judgement. Spontaneous confessions, conversions, and personal recriminations are rampant at first, among many of those affected, though mostly leading only to newfound dedication to the 'cause' if anything at all. Unfortunately, you find out later, that a few seemed overwhelmed by whatever they experienced... eventually leading some to go so far as to take their own lives. Thankfully, such cases were few and far between, and the Crusaders quickly responded, to help others from spiraling down such darker paths.
A few days in, a formal ceremony is held, and all six of the Pathfinder team are honored for their integral part in the victory. Yet another Commendation medal to add to your collections, each of them earning you respect from your fellow soldiers in what seems like an eternal war. You are also surprised to see Ollysta Zadrian at the ceremony, weak, and clearly still feeling the effects of her recent ordeal, and apparent return to life! She was raised only that morning, nearly every surviving Crusader contributing to a pool to help pay for the magic required. She dragged herself here, over her healer's objections... only to find out that she too was to be honored. She proves to be extremely grumpy about the entire thing, clearly not liking being on the receiving end of such merits.
Yes, you get another Mendevian Commendation! The benefits max out at 3, which most of you should have now (except possibly Alrik)
You realize that the people you were, when you first arrived in Nerosyan as fresh-faced new-commers, is nothing like who you are this day. You are now just as much veterans of the Crusade as any of the others who stand before you. Joined by victories and failures.
Perhaps buoyed by the light of new hope, or just wishful thinking, but even now, you hear talk of finally taking the fight to the hoards.
Will segue to the next bit eventualy. Feel free to enter your own thoughts where you will!
Floria's experience with the weapon changes her. She has always feared that despite trying to do good, that the dark part of her soul would damn her to a life in the abyss. She would never admit it to anyone, but she even feared that she was a truly evil person, and her normal personality just a fracture of madness concocted to help her fit in to society.
After the holy light washed over her though, she felt herself judged apart from the thing that lies in her thoughts. She felt peace for the first time in a long time, and she now believes that as long as she remains herself, she has a chance to be free of it, even if its in the next life. She's even not disturbed when those dark thoughts she's been plagued with start to return, and to return apparently stronger than before.
You are a tool. I can use you to do good, and there's nothing you can do about it
At the ceremony she has a fiercely proud look and a beaming smile that only occasionally takes on a sinister aspect. Pleased to see Ollysta, she thanks her for saving their lives and badgers her about the talk she has heard of taking the fight to the hoards.
She even finds time to work on a new set of clothes for herself to complement her new outlook. The Avernathus' earned their fortunes outfitting the Taldan army with uniforms, so she creates something in that style, with shoulder tassels and a place to display her new medals.
Her day job with craft (clothing) was exactly the price for a noble's outfit, so I think it's fitting to say she made one! She'll also grab an elegant, hollow cane to complete the look
That's super cool, Floria.
Alessio requisitions some basic supplies and a couple cots to keep tabs on Sangkip. Alessio's armor and gear lean against a crate. He keeps a small stool next to Sangkip's cot so he can administer mundane treatment over the next few days. Alessio has traded some of his alchemical supplies for books among the crusaders and has taken to reading to Sangkip to keep themselves distracted.
Alessio grabs the back of his neck and stretches backward. He gets a small *crack* from the stretch relieving some tension. The afternoon sun warms his face.
Some time passes and Sangkip comes out of his paralysis and rejoins the land of the ambulatory. Alessio wraps up his unused gear and returns the leftovers to the quartermaster in exchange for some leather and steel polish.
Alessio wakes up the next morning at the crack of dawn. He hadn't done that since the services. He snaps to his feet and sorts out his cot. He sits on his small stool and goes to polish his leathers and chain shirt. He goes to the communal wash station and bathes as best he can. He trims his mustache and finishes with a trim and a wax.
Every morning now Alessio wakes at the same time in the morning. He snaps to his feet, Reporting for duty.
You spend far more time than you expected in the ruins of the once proud village of Gundrun. Despite the tower being secured, and majority of the southern demonic forces routed, no one seems in any hurry to send you back to the Diamond City. The days since the ceremony soon turn into a week, and more, as you wait for whatever new assignment seems to be on the horizon... even if no one will quite point you at it. Venture-Captain Jorsal seems distracted, any attempts to garner information met with vague delays and cryptic comments.
Still, things definitely seem to be happening. Most of the senior commanders seem to ferry from one clandestine meeting to another, communications coming in by foot and horse and magic more and more often as the days drag by.
Of the just over a thousand soldiers that were here initially when you arrived, nearly half died defending the tower... but as your time there lengthens, you soon realize that there are far more crusaders and support troops here now, then when you started! Every day, it seems another troop or battalion of soldiers pass through, some camping just outside of Gundrun, others continuing west. Word of mouth has them coming across from Mendev and up from the south, through Ustalav. You start to hear rumors of a large offensive of some sort in the works, though just where it is aimed seems to change depending on who's talking... though clearly your success with Ghalcor's weapon has put new life, and hope, into those fighting back the demonic hoards, and they are using that success to spearhead something much larger. The forces assembling quite disparate, though singular in purpose.
Eventually, you find yourselves swept up in the masses, at Jorsal's relayed request, moving with them as they travel further west... apparently en route to the eastern edge of the Realms of the Mammoth Lords.
Floria sports a new uniform of some sort, seeming to fit right in with a group of Taldan's, who seem to think her some sort of noble, not quite realizing she made it herself. Alrik is pleased to see so many dwarves there, most of them up from the Five Kings Mountains... but it soon only re-emphasizes how far away he is now, from life in the dwarven homelands. Both Huni and Kara spend some time with the Crusaders, some of which they know from the Battle of Ghalcor's Tower, and all of whom appear to know them. Sangkip and Alessio do not seem to gravitate to any particular group, though Alessio's military background helps him fit in to almost any of them... something so familiar, he slips back into the role almost seamlessly.
It is quite the force, marching across the Worldwound, skirting along the eastern edge of the Shudderwood, towards the Sarkorian Steppes. You occasionally see signs of demonic activity, but they seem limited to shapes flying high in the distance to the north, or dark shadows, pacing through the trees of the Shudderwood to the south. As obvious as you are, none of the locals seem eager to engage such a force.
It takes nearly two weeks to travel the southern length of the Worldwound, to the Sarkorian Steppes... and though the demons seem to have backed off, the land itself continues to oppose you... not so willing to let interlopers travel across it without opposition. You lose more than a few soldiers, supplies, and horses to the vagaries of the Worldwound. The dangers often appearing with no notice at all... from swarms of demonic insects who's venom causes violent hallucinations, to suddenly appearing fumaroles spouting toxic gasses, it is clear the land does not need demons to oppose you. The days are long and hard, the nights bitterly cold, and filled with anxiety at every shadow and sound.
But even all of that is not enough to slow the army marching across it. An army that you hear referred to as the Army of the Open Road... which you are surprised by at first, until you learn that it is Jorsal and the Pathfinders that are spearheading it all. The dwarves and Crusaders all taking their lead from the Pathfinder commanders.
Eventually, you reach the site of the base camp, that the Pathfinders set up along the border with the Realm of the Mammoth Lords... a small town, abandoned decades ago, that has no name that anyone remembers.
Its been used in four different scenarios (maybe more!)... you'd think someone would have given it a name by now... but nooooo. Bah.
There are even more forces here. You see more pathfinder forces, and Crusaders and dwarves... the later an advanced legion of engineers, already well into the construction of numerous siege weapons of all sorts, from portable ballistae to catapults and trebuchets. There are also small kellid forces staying mostly separated from the others, camped off to the side... some riding atop giant mammoths. You also see small contingents of elves and wizards, and even a collection of giant stone golems. Clearly the Pathfinder leaders have been pulling in troops from all over.
You make camp with the rest... comfortable among the soldiers you just spent half a month traveling with. Though again, no one seems to give you any direction beyond that.
News spreads quickly though, and those troops already here seem a little better informed. Soon, you learn that your goal is to finally reach the dwarven sky citadel of Jormurdun. The same goal that was put on hold, nearly a year earlier, due to the demonic Siege on Nerosyan!
Alessio spends some time carousing with the troops to try to get his spirits up. He listens to the same jokes that he heard when he was a cadet so long ago. Alessio spoils a couple jokes they won't hear till their officers or beyond. He seems like a wizened sage to these green-ears.
As the other detachments join the primary forces Alessio makes mental note of their area of focus and size of force. When the siege masters arrive, Alessio makes his way to make contact with the dwarves.
Alessio describes his experience with the military, his medical training, and explosives. The dwarves are proud but he impresses on them the need to work together against the demon forces.
It isn't until late, two days later, that a lone Pathfinder agent tracks each of you down, with orders to report to command.
There is a moment's confusion, trying to sort out exactly where 'Command' is... eventually revealed to be a large canvas tent, in the center of one of the Pathfinder camps.
You are held outside until all of you are present, before you are given the nod to enter. A blast of cold wind accompanies you as you do so, ruffling scattered papers across a makeshift table set up in the center of the room. More a wide wooden board laid across empty crates, than a table, really.
Inside, you see the Master of Swords himself, Marcos Farabellus, though he does not look up as you enter. Instead his eyes seem glued to a large map etched onto the table itself, much like the one Jorsal had in Gundrun. This one however, appears to show the western side of the Worldwound. Like the other, there are numerous red and blue figurines placed upon it, the vast majority of the blue ones near the western edge. You can only assume that's where you are, though you see no label to indicate that there's even a town there, abandoned or not.
Marcos continues to stare at the map, though the blast of cold air seems to have announced your presence as much as a glance would have. He starts talking, without looking away.
"Quite the party we've started up here." He finally says. "Did you know they started calling all this ruckus the Army of the Open Road? Not sure I would have chosen that, but what can you do. Wait too long, someone else names it for you. And once it catches..."
"Well, whatever you call this motley bunch, they're ours now. We've cashed in a great deal of good will and more than a few favors for this chance, and I'll be damned if I let it pass us by." He finally turns away from the map, eyeing each of you speculatively. "That business at the Tower, that was the break we needed. Practically decimated the demon's southern forces, so I've heard. Good job there."
He shakes his head slightly, before continuing. "With the opening that bought us, we're finally ready to move on Jormurdun. The lost Sky Citadel of the dwarves. This could be our best shot."
He leans back, stretching his back, with audible popping sounds. "In case you haven't heard, I've been appointed warmaster for this growing army of ours. The Decemvirate has politely asked me to knock on Jormurdun's door and see who's home. It's been some time since I've pushed this many pieces around, for sure, but I damn sure intend to find out who answers."
"Unfortunately, the base camp here is our nearest entry point. We had a team set it up right after the Siege, and have been fortifying it ever since, but it's still going to take weeks of walking to get to where we need to be... and you can be damned sure there're many an unwelcome resident in the way."
He points to numerous red tokens on the map, spread out in small groups further east of your location. "Ya, there are lots of 'em... but last reports have them fairly spread out. Partly why we're acting now, before they have a chance to fortify them. But only partly..." His face goes grim. "We also have confirmed reports that those demonic forces already mustered are being helmed by some of the Societies latest adversaries. We learned that deceitful cur, Tancred Desimire has thrown himself in with the fiends... and worse, we finally get good information on former venture-captain Thurl is, and it turns out he's commanding some of these opposing forces as well."
You are all too familiar with Venture-Captain Thurl. Your investigations into the traitor's lodge, and the vile lab below it still vivid in your minds. Tancred Desimire, however, is just a name. Though a name you keep coming across. Evidence that shows his involvement in both the Siege, the failing of the Wardstones, and the demonic incursions.
Knowledge (local) might learn a bit more background on Tancred or Thurl, now. You can also use Diplomacy (gather information), but you won't have access to that info for a few hours, once you've had a chance to grind the rumor mill amongst the troops.
Marcos suddenly slams his fist down on the table, the sound making you jump, and a number of the figurines as well. Red and blue pieces flying about the tent's interior. "I'm about done with those two." He growls, his usual good humor gone. "The demonoligist, and the traitor are to be brought to justice!"
He stops himself, calming down slightly, before continuing. "But first, we must reach this Sky Citadel before they do. I can only assume that's the reason Thurl's involved here, his file says he's obsessed with the place... an obsession that seems to have forced him out of whatever hole he was hiding in."
"To that end, Jorsal has recommended you lot. I will need your assistance rallying the troops and getting to the entrance to Jormurdun. You seem to have grown a few ins with many of these folks since the Siege, I hear... which will help immensely with so many personalities in play. All our senior agents are out in the field tracking Tancred and Thurl, and the forces being rallied against us, so as of now, I'm promoting each of you to acting field commander, for the battle ahead."
He nods his head emphatically, clearly a decision made. He pushes aside some of the papers randomly, searching for something... before finally finding a small wooden box. He opens it up, and slides a small silver pin across the table towards each of you. They seem to be a variation of the Pathfinder glyph of the open road, but with crossed swords behind it, and a single bar underneath. You note Marcos has a similar emblem, though his is gold, and has four bars.
"That should make it official." He adds, absently.
"Our allies are waiting to meet with all of us at the war council." He adds absently. "Any questions before we go? Never good to keep those sorts of folks waiting."
|Kara Saint-Germaine SF|
Knowledge Local: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
Kara accepts her insignia with a profound sense of pride, certain that Blademaster Silverleaf would have nightmares to be informed that his "worst fencing student in all of my three hundred fifty-three years" is now commanding troops. She smiles wryly at the thought.
Thank you, Master of Swords Farabellus. We are honored in your trust.
She peers keenly at the map.
Know you, perchance, what manner of foe we may encounter, that I may select my spells to best effect? Any word from the scouts of what lies ahead?
Huni's been spending more and more time with the Warpriests of Iomedae. He's found they have much in common and appreciates the group's constancy. He's trained with them and has improved his skill with the longsword. He's named his Edge of Order.
Huni takes up the promotion. He squeezes it in his fist and says, "I accept the challenge. Who shall we be commanding? Which section of troops?"
Once given that answer, "What more do we know of that vile Thurl and this Tancred?"
Huni finds his command and immediatly begins to order them to his liking. It is an easy task as he's been with them for a time now already. He asks his lieutenants about the traitor Tancred and the madman Thurl.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
Alessio stands at attention during the briefing. He relaxes a bit when the pin is pushed toward him. He looks at it and pauses a moment. Once more into the breach. He takes the pin and secures it to his left lapel per regulations of military medals on civilian clothes.
We'll bring them to justice, Swordmaster. Where should we apply our efforts first?
Knowledge local: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (2) + 11 = 13
Diplomacy for later: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (15) + 13 = 28
"Do we have any reports on the nature of the demonic forces? Dretches and schirs are one thing, but I wouldn't want to send a troop into battle with the thing we fought at the tower..."
Kara does not know any more than has already been revealed, about the armies under Tancred and Thurl's commands, or the two men themselves. Huni and Floria, even less.
A grim smile crosses Marcos' face, as he glances over at Kara. "Don't be thankin' me yet. Command is a thankless job, at the best of times. At least to those swinging the swords and facing the enemy head on."
He sends a stern glance her way, before turning it to take everyone in. "And let me reiterate, that that will not be you. You're job now, is to tell others to die for you... and to do what you can to keep that to a minimum. Out of the trenches and into the tents, as they say. Don't forget that."
"Desimire is a disgraced nobleman." The Venture-Captain adds, shaking his head slightly. "From Cheliax... where the whole damnable lot of them are skating along, one step from Hell, to begin with. That'll tell you how much of a bastard he is. His brother, Algorn, used to be a high up fiend binder workin' for the Aspis Consortium. After Society agents killed his brother, he swore revenge, and surprise surprise... turns out he's a demonologist himself."
"Whole family's a blight, if you ask me." He mutters.
"As for Thurl, you know about that traitor already." He gives you a congratulatory nod. "Now those two have formed an unholy union and are looking to reach Jormurdun before we can get there. We can only assume to steal whatever knowledge they can. Or, more worrisomely, some more specific knowledge we are not aware of."
He scowls, then shakes his head, and forces a half smile on to his face. "But for now, we have to get there, and hopefully beat those two down while we do so."
He glances towards the door, frowning again. "As to the where's and how's of it all, that will all be revealed at the very same War Council we are becoming more and more late to, the more questions you ask."
"We've pulled in allies from all over, including assistance from the Crusaders in Mendev, and quite a few hosts of dwarves from the Five Kings Mountains." He smiles again. "I suspect the dwarves are as eager to reach their Sky Citadel as we are. Has helped motivate them."
"Aside from our own agents, we've also managed to convince a number of smaller, but no less important, groups to join us. All of whom we'll be meeting at this very same Council."
"We'd best be on our way." He adds, with slight irritation.
Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 23 Thurl
Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13 Tancred
Sangkip's eyes pop at the idea of going to war riding on a mammoth, and he's quick to claim a spot in the Kellids' ranks.
"So, once their armies have been banished and put to flight, do you think we'll be able to get at Thurl? Or Tancred, I guess?"
"That is our hope." Marcos replies, as makes his way out of the command tent. "As I said, we have a number of senior agents already trying to track them down. Hopefully we can buy them some room while Thurl and Desimire's attentions are divided."
He does not stop and wait for you to follow, and you are forced to quicken your pace to keep up. He appears to be headed towards a much larger pavilion tent, not far off, though still within the Pathfinder encampment. Any attempts to ask anything further soon hindered by the quickened pace. As you arrive, the guards outside step aside quickly, to allow you entry.
Inside, you see rows of benches, and a massive wooden table adorned with a map, similar to the ones you saw in Farabellus' tent. Like that other, and the one you saw weeks before with Jorsal, this too has blue and red wooden tokens arrayed upon it... but you realize the scale of this map is larger, and the tokens more numerous, and varied... allowing for a great deal more detail, both in the terrain, and the assets upon it.
Dozens of people already mill about. Dwarves and elves. Robed wizards and armored knights. They seem to note Marcos' entrance, and quickly move to sit down. The Venture-Captain pays them little heed as he gestures for you to take a seat on one of the front row benches, before moving towards the table and turning to face the assembled throng.
"Friends and allies," He says, his voice easily heard as the murmurs from the crowd quickly dies out. "I thank you all for coming to this most important of war councils."
He glances around the room, taking a moment to meet the gaze of each of the leaders of the various troops gathered there... all now under his command.
"Our forces stand ready to march out from the Realm of the Mammoth Lords and into the treacherous terrain of the Worldwound, in search of Jormurdun." As he mentions the name of the Sky Citadel, most of the dwarves in the room sit up a little straighter. "Know that this journey will not be easy, as dangerous enemies rest in our path."
For the first time, you realize you are no longer seeing Venture-Captain Farabellus... but instead Warmaster Farabellus. He moves to the side, so that the table and the map displayed there can be seen by all, before pointing to a group of tokens inscribed with demonic runes of various sorts... which from the map you saw earlier, is situated due east of your current location, the Pathfinder base camp.
[b]"Our first mission is to move out from the base camp here, and secure the region south of the Wolfcrags, where we know Jormurdun to be located." As he mentions the Wolfcrags, his hand moves to indicate a hilly and mountainous area in the northwest corner of the map. "To ensure we are not flanked, we'll first need to destroy any enemy formations within the region around Silvershore," Again his hand moves, to point towards a small red dot on the map. "An abandoned town that the fiends are using as a base of operations."
He waves his arm across the table, knocking over dozens of demon-marked tokens with a single sweep. He then starts to haphazardly shove the various tokens representing the Pathfinder army into that same region.
"With this region obtained, we'll be well positioned to engage whatever Tancred and Thurl have waiting for us in the Wolfcrags. We'll use the region around Silvershore as a forward command post and move north from there, towards Jormurdun."
The various people in the room immediately start to talk among themselves as they observe the map, and area in question. Marcos lets them do so, just observing, as excited murmurs sweep across the tent. Eventually though, he calls for everyone to settle down again.
"To ensure our success, I've appointed some of my best agents as field commanders for the engagement to come. Each of them have familiarity with our foes, and have personally stood upon the cursed ground of the Worldwound and done battle. They will be leading our specialist units in crushing the enemy resistance."
"Many of those have already been assigned, but our last few commanders are here now, having arrived with the last of the battalions from Gundrun." He motions towards you, sitting up front on the bench, and you feel almost every eye turning to look your way.
"Many of you are already familiar with them already, and some have lobbied for their placements." He smiles slightly at that last. "I have talked to most of you already, so please stick around after we're done, for introductions. Please answer any questions about your troops they may have."
With a nod, he then turns to look over the assembled room once more. "This is it, everyone. This is the day we find Jormurdun and make Tancred and Thurl pay for their many treacheries!"
There is a cheer from the crowd, as fists thump on armored chests, and booted feet stomp the hard dirt ground.
They all seem ready for take the fight to the Worldwound!
|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
With Marcos' speech complete, most of those in the room start to file out, many stopping to give you respectful nods, or quick introductions, as they pass by. Eventually, only a few remain, and Farabellus moves over to you.
"Well, that's part one." He says, scratching his chin absently. "Now time for your personal assignments." He glances over at the soldiers still present and nods.
Alrik and Alessio
He motions to Alrik, then indicates a grizzled older dwarven woman, with numerous braids in black hair laced with gray, and more gold in her mouth than teeth. "This is Captain Telmas. She heads up the twenty third infantry out of Highhelm."
Alrik will be familiar with the 23rd, as they were one of the groups you traveled from Gundrun with, though he never met Telmas.
"A proper dwarf at the helm, as it should be, going for a lost Citadel." She says with a satisfied nod, her voice a gravely growl.
"Feh!" A second dwarf interjects, as he sidles up beside her. He is quite tall, and almost as wide, his beard a patchwork mess, half of it burned away the rest various shades of black, brown, gray, and, strangely enough, purple. "The Orc Tossers ain't so high falutin' as that. You said we could have that one back there." He points towards Alessio, and grins. Alessio recognizes him almost immediately, as one of the dwarves he met only a couple days earlier, working on the siege weapons. "He may not look like a dwarf, but he's got the mettle, and the mind of o' one! Just the sort to put a little black in our powder."
Marcos frowns slightly in agitation as he introduces him. "Gunnar Blackrock." He says, finally, glancing towards Alessio. "Head of the dwarven Siege Masters of Rolgrimmdur."
"Call me Gunny!" The dwarf in question interrupts, almost as if the Warcommander were no one of consequence.
"Had Grinder try that suggestion you made about the payload for ol' Bessy, and he thinks he can do it." He says excitedly, grabbing Alessio by the arm, and dragging him away, talking all the while, using terms that the rest of you don't quite understand, though Alessio seems familiar with.
Marcos can only scowl, as they move away, and Captain Telmas joins him. "That's what you get from Rolgrimmdur." She growls.
"But they are pretty good at bringing down a wall." She adds, reluctantly a moment later. "If they don't blow themselves up first."
"Come." She says to Alrik, "Let me show you what we have, besides more discipline."
Huni and Kara
Marcos can only sigh. "They're all a little excited." He mutters, before nodding towards Kara.
"Miss Saint-Germain. I believe you already know Sir Morgan here."
The man in question stands at attention, and gives Kara a crisp salute. "It is an honor to meet you again, ma'am, and to serve under your command."
You will all recognize him, as one of the Crusaders stationed at Fort Portolmaeus, when you rode out there with Sir Ilivan of Erages, months before.
"Commander Wardroxan is here to." He adds. "Leading the fifteenth dragoons... A few of us requested reassignment to the one thirty-second, when they said you folks would be heading them up. You pulled a lot of men out of the 'Wound. We all owe you that much."
Again he salutes crisply.
"Uh... yes..." Marcos adds. "As Sir Morgan mentions, you will be commanding the 132nd Mendev Cavalry. A temporary unit made up of volunteers. You apparently have a bit of a fan club."
As for you, he adds, nodding towards Huni, it only seemed fitting to pair you with one of the Queen's special divine combat units. He nods to a tall, stern-looking man, with a rapidly receding hairline, and an old scar along his cheek. He is decked out in shiny metal platemail, the symbol of Iomedae displayed prominently in gold. "This is Lord Tristol of Kenebres, head of the Knights of the Knot."
"What's left of us." Lord Tristol says, with a respectful nod at Huni. "We lost a lot of good men when the demons took Kenebres... and my home. Thurl has a lot to answer for, but that most of all. The warpriests of the Order are eager to see that day come."
He too gives Huni a crisp salute.
"As for you..." Marcos starts, eyeing Sangkip warily. "I've read your file... a few times. A coordinated military command is the last place anyone with a lick of common sense would put you."
The faint hint of a grin ticks at the corner of his mouth, before he continues. "So I figured I might as well give you back some of what you deal. If you can't follow the order, then embrace the chaos, if you will."
"This..." He turns, and looks up at a kellid woman almost a foot taller than he is, beside her is a bear of a man, not quite as tall, but with corded muscles clearly visible. Both of them sport more primitive tribal gear, furs and leathers, their faces showing many elaborate tattoos. "This, is Bloodspeaker Yegva." Marcos says, nodding towards the taller woman. "And Grogun, son of Thanok Sundered Bear, both of the Red Winter tribe." He motions towards Sangkip, the vanaran dwarfed by both of them. "This is Field Commander Sangkip."
Grogun stares at Sangkip with a puzzled frown, clearly not entirely sure what he's looking at, while Yegva starts to laugh heartily.
"This little thing?" She says, between guffaws. "Tungus would probably think him a snack."
Grogun snorts. "Ii'ni s*@~s bigger than that." He growls, glaring at Marcos. "Is this an outlander jest?"
"I assure you, Sangkip is quite capable, and has fought demons bigger than either of you." Farabellus quickly interjects. "I suspect his command style will be right down your alley."
Grogun looks confused, continuing to frown, before running off a string of words at Yegva in their native language.
"I think its what they call the space between their permanent structures." She replies, in common, shrugging.
"We need no spaces, Ii'ni would just crush the buildings." Grogun replies.
"I think its a saying." Yegva shoots back, though sounds uncertain.
Marcos quickly interrupts, "You agreed to give this a try." He reminds them. "Don't worry, I'm reasonably certain you guys will fit right in."
"Gods have mercy." He mutters quietly to himself.
As the others move off to get acquainted with their new commands, only one man remains, a young wiry gentleman with a carefully groomed mustache, wearing fancy attire, and a large felt cavalier hat, with a large flashy multi-colored plume jutting out one side of the brim.
He steps up, and bows formally at the waist, in front of Floria, making a sweeping gesture in front of himself with his hat, as he does so.
"Miss Avernathus, may I introduce Entrigan Roat, Marquis of Elyshond" Marcos says, by way of introduction.
"The pleasure is all mine." Entrigan replies with a coy smile. "I bear a missive from Lady Gloriana Morilla herself, for your eyes only, as well as a gift to aid in our efforts, for the glory of Taldor!"
He says that last with a perhaps a little too much exhuberance, before pulling out a letter, with a fancy red wax seal, and handing it to Floria.
This is the army that we have raised, and I have requested that you to act as its commander. Remember that the world watches you and your soldiers, judging from afar whether we are committed to our cause. Let others witness your crushing the enemy - the more ferocious the better.
If you lead the way, fighting alone to inspire others to press on, all the better.
Forge a new standard of excellence on the battlefield.
I have sent an artifact of great historical significance to Taldor, recovered by your fellow Pathfinders not long ago. It is a symbol to rally your troops, but also a boon to bolster their spirits. Ages ago its strident notes shattered the armies of Deskari. Let it do so again, in your hands.
It is signed by Gloriana herself.
After Floria has had a chance to read the letter, Entrigan produces a flat wooden box, carefully held shut with leather straps. Inside, is an old metal horn, resting on thick felt. Some effort has been made to restore the instrument to its original condition, but despite those efforts, it still is tarnished by age, with numerous small dents and scrapes.
Floria, Knowledge (history) to know a little background info on the horn, if you want. Else I'm sure one of the Taldan's can fill you in. (or if you have a copy of Scenario 5.19, you can read up on it yourself =))
With the last of the introductions out of the way, Marcos nods, before eventually taking his leave to do last minute preparations.
"We head out in morning at dawn. Have your people ready." He says, as he heads out. "Tomorrow, we take the fight to the Worldwound."
Going forward, you guys feel free to RP your armies and members thereof however you want (within reason!) Other than the stat block on the slides, they don't offer much else to work with, so lots of room for creative fun, or additional personnel.
I've just given you a few made up npcs to start with (and one real one) with some vague connections to other scenarios in season 5, to help grease the wheels, if you will. =)
Alessio acquiesces to Gunny as he's drug across the room to the plans, Gunny, I've been looking at the formula we've been using for our ordinance. I think we can make some modifications to make them more effective against these demons. I'll need to talk to your spotters for their telemetry. My suggestions may impact range but make it more deadly. We'll need to see if that's feasible.
"Mammoths eh? Let's get some things straight. I don't plan to spend a lot of time sneaking around, I want us to be where the enemy doesn't want us, to hit 'em hard while they're still picking up their jaws, then move on to the next one. That sound like something you all can handle?"
Alrik wanders away from the group with Captain Telmas to inspect the dwarven legion.
He leans a bit closer to the Captain and whispers "My companions are great - and their abilities many and strong - but they aren't very..... dwarven!
He pauses briefly before speaking more loudly "It will be good to be back among my kinfolk."
Huni returns Lord Tristal's salute. "We don't have much time, Lord Tristal. Come. Tell me what I need to know to get me integrated into your unit so we can make him give those answers we all want."
|Kara Saint-Germaine SF|
Sir Morgan, it is good to see you again. Let us start with a review of your troop's current status, and any equipment they may need. I can not make promises, but I will do what I can to ensure they have what is necessary for success. I trust your mother is feeling better? Last I heard she was recovering well...
Kara leads Sir Morgan back to his troops for a quick review and introduction.
Floria returns the bow, then gives the Marquis a firm handshake.
"Floria Avernathus, of the Yanmass Avernathus'. It is an honour"
After reading the letter and looking at the horn she is looking somewhat overwhelmed.
Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (14) + 11 = 25
"The Horn of Aroden? Truly?"
Blinking back tears, she closes the box and holds it tightly, searching Entrigan's eyes.
"The spirit of Aroden lives on in the Taldan crusaders Marquis, and I'm going to do my best to do it justice. Walk with me, I want to know everything, and there isn't much time."
Alright, after Waaaaay too long a delay (I sincerely apologize for that) ... lets get this going!
You each head back to the camps of your newly assigned troops, spending what time you have learning what you can of them on what seems like painfully short notice. Luckily, most of them are seasoned soldiers, with already established command structures. Your job merely to make sure they're pointed in the right direction for the upcoming campaign.
The night seems to last forever, the nervousness and excitement of upcoming battle almost an entity unto itself.
Most of you get little sleep... much of your time spent going over paperwork on your troops, or reading updates coming in from the scouts. Everyone but Sangkip, of course. The kellids seem little interested in paper, beyond its ability to kindle a fire, nor are their numbers so great that a visual head count isn't good enough.
From the intelligence you are given, you learn that the lakeside settlement of Silvershore was once a thriving fishing town... back when this was still Sarkoris. It had the lucrative privilege, and renown, of supplying a massive, floating pleasure palace known as the House of Reflections, that floated near the middle of the lake. But with the coming of the Worldwound, that all has changed now.
They say the House of Reflections is still there, though many believe it has become haunted and extremely dangerous, in the wake of the abyssal tear.
Scouts are now reporting that an army of tieflings has fortified Silvershore over the past few days, and the ruins of the town now serve as an outpost for demons. They look entrenched, and unlikely to leave their defensible position.
Worse, they report that hundreds of demonic cultists and murderers, loyal to Tancred Desimire, teem throughout the area, forming large armies of their own... and if some of those move to fortify the garrison at Silvershore, rooting them out might prove impossible.
By capturing Silvershore, the Society would not only eliminate an enemy stronghold, but also secure a defensible forward camp. It could then use that camp for its march on Jormurdun, through the passes of the Wolfcrag mountains to the north.
But first you'd need to secure it. The town is still two or three days hard march away.
When the sun finally starts to rise, it does so over the Worldwound, the entire sky taking on the reddish hue of that despoiled land. The armies are ready and moving out before it first peaks over the horizon.
Alrik: 1d10 + 1 - 3 ⇒ (1) + 1 - 3 = -1
Floria: 1d10 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 + 2 = 7
Huni: 1d10 + 1 - 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 - 1 = 4
Kara: 1d10 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 3 + 1 = 10
Sangkip: 1d10 + 3 - 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 - 3 = 1
Tiefling garrison: 1d10 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
yellow cultists: 1d10 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
orange cultists: 1d10 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
pink cultists: 1d10 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
cyan cultists: 1d10 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
green cultists: 1d10 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
red cultists: 1d10 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Note: initiative is a d10, modified by your armies speed + your charisma modifier
Alessio, well used to the rigors and vagaries of military life, has his men ready and moving at the crack of dawn. Moving large siege engines is not quick, so he makes sure they get an early start. Kara manages to get hers moving right behind him, though more because the Crusaders seem to think it is their right to lead any force against the fiends ahead.
The rest get their respective armies moving one after the next, until finally thousands of soldiers are marching across the tainted lands towards Silvershore!
-- Engagement: Silvershore, Day 1 (movement)--
Alessio (dwarven siege engineers)
Kara (mendevian cavalry)
Floria (army of exploration)
tiefling garrison, cultist army x 6
Huni (mendevian warpriests)
Sangkip (mammoth riders)
Alrik (dwarven pikemen)
Alessio, Kara, and Floria can start their movement turn.
Tried to group things up a little, if only to make this bearable... it will all go smoother come day 2
Remember, this is just a movement phase... once everyone has moved (friend and foe), anyone in the same space as an enemy, will move on to a combat phase. Also, you can not move through an enemy occupied space, if you hit their hex, your movement ends there (as does theirs).
I'm still not sure how to best organize this from a PbP perspective, though I think we might need to make some quick references.