"Get back," Ruka hisses. She makes sure both she and Lor-Sinn are as far away from the water as they can get in the narrow passage without running over the rest of the party. "There's something there, under the water."
For all Ruka knew it could be a particularly strange-looking fish, but her instincts are screaming otherwise. "Should we just turn around? Whatever it is it isn't the walking bones; it's too...translucent. Almost blends in with the water."
Kajiwara also notes that geographical gemstones do not look like transparent monsters hidden in murky water waiting to eat you when you get close. He can't tell what it is, but he knows there is something laying wait in the water for you that isn't right.
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"We should just leave it alone and move on. I'm sure if anyone came into my house and poked at my gemstones I wouldn't be happy. Not that I have any gemstones. Or a house. Well, you know what I mean." Lor-Sinn waves at the translucent creature in the water. "Alright, we're going now, sorry to bother you!"
Kaji nods. "Indeed. If we don't need to fight something, there's no sense wasting the resources to do so. We can leave whatever it is be."
GM, does it look, like, fish shaped, or something like that, or is it just a transparent thing? I'm really curious what this is now.
Knowledge Dungeoneering to identify. That should probably tell you what it is right there:)
Moving back into the tunnel, the party takes the southern path which is now the most right option that they have available. Ruka leads the group 50' south until the passageway empties into a large cavern than extends at least a hundred feet in width. The land slowly fades off to dark colored water on the southern side of the cavern. The rock looks slick at the water, green moss covering the rocky ground. Crossing the pool or wading in it requires a DC 14 Acrobatics check to avoid falling prone.
Six humanoid skeletons lie on the ground, scattered throughout this large cavern.
After a minute or two of quiet amoungst the group at the sight, Poppy couldn't put a lid on her nervous energy any longer. "Valking bones..." Poppy said with quiet excitement, her eyes widening at the sight of the skeletons. She couldn't help but wonder if they would make any kind of a dish worth eating. She salivated over the challenge.'A recipe has no soul, you must dream them into the meals that could be.' Arch Chef Kel always wrote. Would the others think that's weird though...nah
"Of course they're tallfolk skellys. Couldn't have been kobold or pixie bones.", she joked, attempting to inspire a little courage in those who'd actually be fighting.
The gnome quickly snapped her fingers four times in a row, each snap creating a swirling ball of light above her head like a crown before shooting off into the dark cavern. Squinting, she adjusted their motions with her stare, dodging and weaving revealing as much of the area as possible, for eyes keener than hers. "No hiding for you!", she jeered, hoping her party would share in her belief that facing fear with brightness and bravado was sometimes worth losing the element of surprise.
Knowledge religion: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
"Well, look at it this way - the bigger they are, the easier you can hit them!" Poppy's lighthearted approach seems to work on Lor-Sinn, who seems a little more confident as she looks upon the scene.
Ruka frowns. "If these are the walking bones, shouldn't they be...walking? They're just lying around." She briefly glances at Murasamemaru in her hands, then sheathes it and quickly ties it to her back before taking her light flail off her hip. Cutting bone seems less likely to work than breaking it. 'Never rely entirely on one weapon,' the books said. Here I thought they were just warning against the possibility of being disarmed.
"I'm going to get closer and see what happens. Stay on your guard." Different weapon in hand, she slowly walks to the nearest skeleton and pokes at it with the flail.
If you feel swapping weapons now is too metagamey I can wait until someone with K. Religion identifies them.
So, it was more cubic in shape? Or, perhaps, amoeba-like?
Kajiwara examined the still skeletons, frowning. "The walking bones didn't come to take the box back until after the goblins took it. We may need to take the box, then lure them to us so we can defeat them."
Kajiwara turned his attention from the skeletons to the water, looking into it to see if he could find the box within - or any other creatures.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
It did not have a definitive cube shape and it was shaped more like an amoeba.
Kajiwara sees no sign of anything but crude skeletons in this area. There is a passageway on the western side of the room that winds north and an opening on the east side of the room that opens to a path to the north as well.
As Ruka moves out into the larger area with Kajiwara, the bones suddenly animate and climb to their feet. As they stalk towards you, it's obviosu these walking bones do not intend to present you with a friendly welcome.
R1: Samton, Skellies, Ruka, Poppy, Askua, Kajiwara, Lor-Sinn
Init: Ruka: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
Init: Kajiwari: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Init: Poppy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
Init: Asuka: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Init: Lor-Sinn: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Init: Samton: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
Init: Skellies: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
If you feel swapping weapons now is too metagamey I can wait until someone with K. Religion identifies them.
Ain't coming from me. One of two Knowledge skills Sam doesn't have.
The young man looked on in horror at the sight before the group: the undead, dank and clattering, shambling up towards them - the same undead that had already decimated much of the Licktoad tribe and now looked to do the same to them.
Well, he sure hoped it were the same undead. If the marsh was home to more than one horde of murderous walking skeletons, then the place was more trouble than it was worth.
Seeing that the animated bones were all headed for the nearest warm body, and expecting nothing more of mindless undead, the wizard hopped on over to the person first in line: Ruka. Touching a single finger to her back, he intoned an incantation that saw a faint protective mist rise up around the woman - and just in time too. Fear had given young Samton the edge over the skeletons as he had been just quicker than them.
Smacking Protection from Evil on Ruka. Seems like I'm focusing on her with the spells, but looking at the map she's the one in for a fair few attacks next turn.
The blade could have told you that it would have been ineffective Ruka.
The skeletons quickly collapse on Ruka and the rest of the party. Being in the front, she takes all of their attacks except one. Only a single stray claw strikes her across her neck, only just missing the major artery there. The last skeleton can't make it to Ruka and stumbles upon a colorful gnome instead, slashing her across her chest. Ruka takes 5 and Poppy takes 6 damage.
R1: Ruka, Poppy, Askua, Kajiwara, Lor-Sinn R2: Samton, Skellies
Claw: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4 Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Claw: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8 Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Claw: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22 Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Claw: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12 Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Claw: 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 + 2 = 5 Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Claw: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19 Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Claw Confirm: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17 Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Ruka had barely started to move forward before the skeletons climbed to their feet. For just a second she stood frozen in horror, and that second was enough. The sudden pain of a claw across her neck brings her back to the situation at hand, and the realization that she's let herself be surrounded. Stupid, stupid, stupid!
Sam's at her back. She can't go anywhere or the skeletons will collapse on him instead. The others are still in the passageway. A scream from her left indicates that Poppy is also being attacked. Nonononono...
She has to create some distance, give the others a path. She targets the skeleton directly to her left, the one in front of Kajiwara, quickly studying it to see where best to strike. Then she swings.
L. Flail, ST: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 5 + 1 = 21
B. Damage, ST: 1d8 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 4 + 1 = 6
Move action: Study Blue
Standard action: Attack
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Oh, that was it! One thing to attack the armed warrior striding into your lair, yes, she could understand that. But the gnome? Who had never harmed anyone? Who had tried to make peace wherever she went? Who had helped Lor-Sinn in the battle with the giant spider, subtly guiding her aim? Oh no no no no, that wouldn't do at all!
Her temper flaring, the tiefling strides past Asuka and Poppy, positioning herself behind the walking bones that had attacked the gnome, and whacking at it with her sword.
Attack, smite evil, flanking: 1d20 + 2 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 + 3 + 2 = 15 Damage, smite, bypasses DR: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
Lor-Sinn's AC is now 22 against Yello Skello.
AoO: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Ruka smashes down the skeleton just as it was getting ready to strike at Lor-Sinn for walking past it. The other skeleton does try to slash at the tiefling, but misses. Lor-Sinn's sword cuts through the bone and destroys that skeleton as well. Two down.
Looking at his bow, Kaji decides arrows are useless against things with no skin or muscle, and notes how effective Ruka's flail was. Stepping forward, he tried to take some of the heat off her by kicking at one of the skeletons - from the rear.
Darting forward, Kajiwara attempted to flip through the two closest to Ruka, settling into a flank with one and swinging a foot at its head.
Acrobatics vs Black: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Acrobatics vs...Goldenrod?: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
Unarmed vs Black, flank: 1d20 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 1 + 2 = 16
Bludgeoning Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
"Ruka, Lor-Sinn, very effective. Let us defeat these walking bones quickly."
Should give Asuka a line of sight to what looks like Goldenrod.
I cant see the word “goldenrod” without thinking of pokemon gold/silver and getting the goldenrod city background music stuck in my head
Knowledge (religion): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Despite knowing that a katana is probably not the best choice for attacking skeletons and that she would be better off with a claw or bite, Asuka had an idea for a cool move, and she had to at least try it once.
After brings down her overhead chop on the skeleton’s shoulder, she also brings up her knee into its opposite side, using the motion crunch the bones like in a vice. ”Crushing Bite of the Hyena!”
Attack with Cold Iron Katana: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
Crit Confirm: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Crit Damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
As it connects, she suddenly realizes that she should have laughed while performing that move to accentuate the “hyena” part. Too late this time, though.
Poppy screamed as streaks of blood pooled from her chest to the cavern floor, replaced by white hot anguish. Her body trembled from shock, but the roar that filled the cavern was more than just from pain, it was fury.
"Nenorocitule!! *Gah!*-Al naibii de rănit!" Poppy released a string of expletives before falling to a knee. She pawed at the mangled flesh across her clavicle, gritting her teeth at the thought of bone scraping bone. She'd couldn't remember the last time she was in such mind numbing pain.
She applied pressure to the wound with her left hand, and tried to slow her breathing as her mind was a swirl of panic, pain, and hostile passion. All of which subsided momentarily, as pieces of the skellys fell to pieces before her. Wincing, she glanced up at her allies, who'd formed an effective wall between her and the remaining undead.
Poppy cracked a smile at Asuka's words and coughed out a chuckle, before shakily leaning forth and limply tapping her feathered friend on her side. "You skelly's are so screwed."
Even more Guidance!
I cant see the word “goldenrod” without thinking of pokemon gold/silver and getting the goldenrod city background music stuck in my head
As you should. Gen 2 best gen.
It was difficult not to feel encouraged, perhaps foolishly so, as an onlooker. Here they were in the black buried bowels of the earth, a veritable grave, confronted by mud-encrusted soulless skeletons, the restless dead animated by hate and pain eager to see these hapless intruders join them in undeath - and what happened? The retaliation had been four blows struck with four crushed cadavers falling to the ground, Lor-Sinn's blade somehow even cutting straight through solid bone. Even with both Ruka and Poppy wounded, it was very reassuring to say the least.
But the fact remained that Samton felt like an spectator to this counter-offensive. Which was fine. It was what he had signed up for, really - to help the others succeed, rather than taking the lead himself. As long as Sandpoint was secured, it didn't matter what part he played in this. It was the end result that mattered. Yup, that was the rationalist approach.
So why did something within the wizard feel ill at ease, even as he joined the gnome in giving Asuka a double dose of magical enhancement?
+2 Dex to Asuka for 1 round. It is Dex you use for attack isn't it?
Asuka shatters the bones of the skeleton with her crushing hyena bite maneuver, taking down a third skeleton. The skeletons respond in kind however, and launch an offensive of their own.
Ruka is slashed across the chest and the wickedly sharp claws cause enough injury that she loses consciousness and collapses to the cavern floor, her flail falling away from her hand. The skeleton then turns to Samton and slashes him brutally across the chest as well.
The remaining skeleton slashes twice at Kajiwara, but he manages to miss both attacks.
Ruka takes 6 damage, Samton 5 and Kajiwara 6.
R2: Ruka, Poppy, Askua, Kajiwara, Lor-Sinn R2: Samton, Skellies
Attack Ruka: 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 + 2 = 21 Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Attack Samton: 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 + 2 = 23 Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Attack Kajiwara: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5 Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Attack Kajiwara: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14 Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Out of the corner of her eye, Ruka sees the skeleton start moving behind her. Sam! But it isn't just Sam the skeleton is aiming for, and she turns just in time for the skeleton to slash a claw at her. Combined with her other injuries, it's more than enough to make her collapse to the ground.
Stabilization Check, DC10: 1d20 + 2 - 1 ⇒ (14) + 2 - 1 = 15
Her chest rises and falls steadily. For now, it seems, she's unlikely to bleed out.
Ruka is Stable at -1.
"Back, you fiends! Back!" Seeing Ruka fall unconscious and Samton gravely wounded, Lor-Sinn pushes past Asuka to stand over Ruka's still form and swing at the skeleton that had injured Samton.
Attack green: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18 Damage, slashing: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
I vote the GM uses Lor-Sinn’s original attack roll.
Seeing Ruka fall, Kajiwara leapt into action, circling around behind the skeleton that downed Ruka and leveling a kick at the spinal column.
I am on mobile, so I can’t load the map. I’m moving into a flank with Lor-Sinn on whichever skeleton downed Ruka.
Acrobatics to avoid AoO: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
Unarmed, flank: 1d20 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 1 + 2 = 8
Ruka comes to with a start, hand already groping for her flail. The skeletons! But she doesn’t hear any sounds of battle, and looking around she sees only smashed remains. Everyone is standing, so it seems like she’s the only one that was seriously injured.
Although she wasn’t the only one hurt, judging by the blood on Sam’s clothes. And of course Poppy too. She remembers hearing Poppy scream just as the battle started. From the way she’s moving, she hasn’t healed herself yet. Hopefully she can. Ruka has no idea what happened while she was unconscious. For all she knows Poppy had to use all her spells during the fight itself.
Ruka quickly pulls herself to her feet, shame beginning to pool in her stomach. If she hadn’t frozen, maybe they could have retreated to the passageway. Made the skeletons come to them one at a time. Instead she’d let herself get surrounded, and everyone else had needed to try and rescue her, and they’d gotten badly hurt in the process.
It was all her fault.
”I’m sorry,” she whispers, staring at the ground. No, that wouldn’t do. She clears her throat and tries again at a normal volume. ”I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have been so reckless.”
Ameiko had been right. She was just a burden.
Sorry, I am absolutely present. Was just waiting on Asuka and Poppy as their turns would very much determine my own actions in what I deemed a pretty bad situation.
It was difficult to adequately describe the pain. Splintered finger bones were not the best slicing implements, as one might expect, they having torn rather than cut their way down the pale parchment that used to be skin, gouging flesh and continually catching on the ribs. Somehow it was the sensation of bone scraping bone that stood out as most vivid. But then where was the need for description? Samton didn't need to describe it; he felt it. And neither did he have to verbally explain the lancing throes going through him now to the others, least of all Poppy; that was perfectly evident on his pale face.
It was undoubtedly the worst Sam had experienced in his short life, and the greatest test yet for his mind-over-matter outlook. The giant snake had smothered him into merciful unconsciousness almost immediately, but here he had no choice but to face the pain, to push it down and force control over his protesting corpus, to enforce rational command over the base and instinctual. Perhaps he would have succeeded too if his oh-so sensible brain hadn't been replaced with a gyrating wad of misery.
Eventually the wizard managed to get back onto his feet (when he had dropped to his knees he had no idea), although this was not accomplished with rational thought or stoicism, but rather something as plain and vulgar as endorphins. Clutching the wounded side and breathing carefully, the young man finally had the wherewithal to check on the others - and was so bewildered by Ruka's apology as to nearly forget the pain.
"Um, t-that's fine..." No, hold on, this wasn't fine at all. "Uh, Ms Kaijitsu... I won't speak for anyone else but I think - no, I know - that I would be dead right now if it wasn't for you. If not for all of you. You... do know that, right?"
Asuka is briefly stunned by Ruka’s drop into unconsciousness, but she is able to stifle the feeling when she begins waking up, not wanting to make Ruka feel guilty or burdensome. When Ruka begins apologizing, Asuka waves it off and gives her a hearty shoulder pat.
”Sam is correct. You have nothing to apologize for! You were acting like a true hero, Ruka, forging ahead into the most mortal peril at a moment’s notice. If they focused upon you, it is only because they understood how great a threat you must be! None of us died or suffered injuries that cannot be healed by time and a healing touch.”
Asuka, as she does often, thinks of her uncle Reiji and his exploits in the Pathfinder Chronicles. ”My uncle is one of the greatest heroes of the Pathfinder Society and was on the team that won the Ruby Phoenix Tournament, and he always charges in first, caution-be-damned! So you are in good company, Ruka. I only wish that I had been faster so that I could have joined you at the front even sooner! I should tell you sometime the story of how he faced down the King of the Storval Stairs one-on-one.” Despite her handwaving of Ruka’s concerns, Asuka does appreciate Ruka’s worries, even finding it endearing. That earnest humility in the face of setbacks is laudable and heroic on its own. But she also believes it’s the duty of comrades to build each other up, not criticize and reproach.
Poppy watched with a menacing glee she rarely let surface, as the skellys were broken into pieces by her companions. She let out a loud sigh and laid on her back, giving a couple claps to the group before quickly stopping from pain. Ow. ow. ow.ow. Message recieved. No clapping, got it. From the corner of her eye, she watched as Ruka rejoined the land of the living and grew solemn upon hearing her words. I'd been reckless too. Almost made it the whole way through without a scratch. Now I'm bleeding on my notes.
She leaned over to the pile of bones and regained her grin. But it was worth it. Adventure complete. She sat up and collected the head and femur of the skelly who nearly fell her. I think it best we leave your recipe out of the book though. She thought hungrily, stuffing the acquired remains in a free rutsack, equally eager to examine how the bones connected. Was it ALL magic? Did any ligaments remain? Her mind buzzed with a multitude of questions. She'd have to examine them and the spider's this evening.
All the while she'd listened to Asuka's speech and felt it was a nice capstone to the affair. "That'z all of them then? Rest of cave iz purely academic, da?" her attempts to stand ellicited an intrusive hiss of pain. She placed a hand over her chest wound and began to whisper some dark encantation, but stopped and made a deep groan, not from pain this time, but over a sudden realization.
"Oh, but the fireworks."
Ruka looks up in surprise at Sam’s response to her apology. He’d had to rush in to try and protect her, and because of that he’d gotten hurt. But...he’s not mad at me? Asuka is less of a surprise, (of course the tengu thought recklessness was a good thing), but that she seemed to think Ruka had been heroic...it doesn’t make any sense.
Out of the corner of her eye she sees Poppy start to mutter an incantation, then stop as she remembers the fireworks. Fireworks...she’s right, they should be here. Where are they?
”You should heal yourself, if you can. Sam too.” Ruka scans the area, eyes troubled. ”The skeletons supposedly retrieved most of the items the Licktoads took, but they’re not here. Also there were only six skeletons in this area. Could six skeletons really have killed the whole tribe?”
She grimaces as she bends down to retrieve her flail. ”I don’t think we’re done yet. There’s probably more skeletons somewhere in the cave.”
A quick peek around the corner to the east reveals a wide path that leads straight north back to the entrance. Doubling back, only one passage now is unrevealed on the far west.
Ruka leads the way way north and heads up the tunnel. It doesn't tkae long before she sees that there a lone skeleton sitting on top of a large chest. As she approaches, the skeleton animates and gains its feet, drawing a wakizashi into its hands. Its armor looks similar to the armor the skeletons in the larger cavern wore, except his was once a masterwork creation of chainmail, though it is now broken and in ruin. A key dangles from its neck, swinging back and forth as it takes a practiced fighting stance and waits for Ruka to approach.
R1: Poppy, Asuka, Samton, Ruka, Kajiwara, Lor-Sinn, Skeleton
Init: Ruka: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
Init: Kajiwari: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Init: Poppy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Init: Asuka: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
Init: Lor-Sinn: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Init: Samton: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
Init: Skelly: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Kaji was silent while Ruka apologized, allowing Sam and Asuka to speak to her. As she recovered her flail, he said, ”If it hadn’t been you, it would have been me. Arrows aren’t very useful against skeletons, and I would have been unable to contribute from behind you in the hallway.”
Turning his attention to the passage across the water, he said, ”Sandru gave me some advice about adventuring. When working with a group, you cannot protect everyone at the same time, and you cannot take responsibility for someone else’s decision. We all chose to come on this expedition, knowing there were risks. Instead of a single protector, we should watch each others’ backs. That way more of us get out alive.”
Lor-Sinn sighs in relief as the last skeleton clatters to the floor in pieces. The fight had started to take a really bad turn for the group, with Ruka down and two others badly injured. She wishes fervently that her religious studies were more advanced - she knew of higher-ranking paladins who could heal others with a touch. What use victory in battle if half the party lies slaughtered afterwards?
She nods her assent at Kajiwara's words. "Watch each other's backs, yes, but also I am the paladin here, so if anyone has failed... it was me, for failing to protect you, Ruka. I will do better next time."
They head down another passage, the tiefling bringing back up the rear again. True to her word, she keeps a very close eye on the remains of the six skeletons behind them, in case any of them gets up to any funny business while the others' backs are turned.
Perception: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (10) - 2 = 8
The Gnome nodded at Ruka's words and acknowledged that there business here was not through. Poppy, still sore from the wound she refused to heal, decided she could hang back in the scuffle, instead healing Ruka under the guise of a reassuring pat after everyones pep talk. "Ve have a much more likely chance of finishing this if you are at full strength or az close az I can get you..", she told the warrior before moving forward.
Before combat CLW: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Illuminated by the pale light of her spell, she could tell this skelly seemed different. The her darkvision let her see him, the light painted a more threatening picture. Alone. Armored. Aggressive. Ruka had barely entered the area when it had clattered to life. You're a threat. No jokes for you.
Pushing through the pain, she turned to Asuka and pulled a tiny pouch from inside her satchel, pouring forth a smidge of it's contents onto her palm. A dull grey powder gathered at the center, which she held up to her lips with one hand and blew toward the Tengu's direction. As her hand had emptied, she pursed her lips creating a thin whistle in the still cavern air. But with her other hand, she took her pointer finger and thumb, lining them up above and below Asuka from her perspective, and pinched them slowly together until she was about half her size, which would mske her roughly Poppy's height!
"Sper să mă ierți. This may be a little disorienting, but like I mentioned this morn on ride here, you'll be much harder to hit and the bigger THEY are... ", Poppy trailed off, saving her breathe for the when the spell took affect. She gripped the loaded crossbow at her side, fully aware it's usefullness in this fight would prove less than.
Reduce person on Asuka!
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Thank you, Poppy! I'll just make sure to stay within line of sight/effect until it goes off on your next turn
If nothing else, Asuka believes in practicing what she preaches. Okay, she actually believes a lot of things, but that's definitely at the top. Maybe top five. She doesn't sweat the details, so she has no idea. Point is, it's important to her, and she's going to do it. Practicing what she preaches, that is. She advances to the front. Move action to move
"Honorable warrior! Skeleton of an honorable warrior, whatever. Know that I am Asuka Narukami, and I have come from far Tian-Xia to relieve you of your dark existence. Fight me, and know the thrill of battle one last time."
She's not actually sure if skeletons can feel "the thrill of battle," but it sounds good, and she had been waiting to use that line for when she found an appropriately dramatic showdown with an undead. Her journal has lines she dreamed up for many showdowns.
Her calling the skeleton out is her swift action to Challenge! She gets a +1 to damage on her first successful attack against it every round, a +1 dodge bonus to AC vs it, and a +1 sacred bonus on saves vs it. Since there appears to only be one combatant, I'll just modify her stat line
She sheathes her sword, as she understands that a powerful opponent such as this will require her to not hold back, even if she really, really wants to use Crushing Bite of the Hyena again. She crouches back into a fighting stance, one claw held up high above her head and the other held low at her waist. Basically going for crouch stance from Tai Chi She always thought that stance looked dramatic and cool. Move action to sheathe her sword
Ruka pauses as they enter the room. This skeleton seems different from the others. The practiced stance it takes, the way it's looking at them, even the armor...it all speaks to this being some sort of leader. Possibly even an intelligent one? Ruka doesn't actually know if it's possible for a skeleton to be intelligent.
As Asuka challenges the skeleton, Ruka's eyebrows raise slightly. "Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but are you challenging it to some sort of honor duel? Would it be improper for anyone else to interfere?" Not that she has any intention of standing by if Asuka is in real danger, but still...honor is important. Even if Asuka doesn't seem to be quite as concerned with it as Kajiwara is.
For now she decides to simply prepare. She moves to Asuka's other side so that she's in a position to assist if necessary. In the meantime she studies the skeleton's broken chainmail, seeking the weakest links.
Move action to move, another move action to study target. Kajiwara, right now the skeleton is exactly 30 feet away from you with its back to a wall. There's no place for you to flip to.
Asuka is genuinely surprised at the question, having never guessed that her speech would be taken that way. She makes a mental note to review it and make adjustments to prevent such misunderstandings, but appreciates the feedback. "What? Oh, no. I don't really do that. Honor duels, that is. Everyone knows a hero is supposed to work with their friends, not be a loner. That's just basic rules of being a hero."
"What's that? Who are you talking to?" Having determined that the shattered skeletons do not intend to rise again, Lor-Sinn goes to see what is happening at the front of the group, her sword drawn just in case.
Kajiwara also moves to stand beside Asuka, knowing that a skeleton wearing nicer armor still isn't going to be particularly bothered by arrows. "It is good to know that our assistance will not impinge upon your honor. I do not know if a skeleton can have honor - I do not know if a skeleton has a mind capable of understanding the concept. I do know, however, that it is dishonorable to interfere in the honor duels of one's friends. You are strange, Asuka, but you are honorable."
Kaji adopts a stance ready to strike at the skeleton with a foot if it comes in range.
Readied Attack: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
When Asuka challenges the skeleton, its posture straightens and then strangely it bows at the waist to her before sliding its left bony foot back a foot before holding the blade centered on its chest. It seemingly accepts her challenge and then issues one of its own towards her, sticking its blade in her direction before swiping it twice and returning it back to its body.
Once back in position, it lunges forward towards the tengu with its beautiful wakazashi with crimson coloring along the hilt. Kajiwara tries to strike it as it closes the distance, but it moves too fast for him.
The bones execute a well formed attack, but fortunately for Asuka the undead creature is a little too slow and she is able to lean out of the way at the last moment and watch the blade slide past the left side of her torso.
R2: Poppy, Asuka, Samton, Ruka, Kajiwara, Lor-Sinn, Skeleton
Attack: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 8 + 2 = 16
Ruka steps forward, helping to surround the creature. She almost feels guilty, invading its cave and then killing it, but...it was a skeleton. It was dead already. They just needed to make it deader.
She swings her flail at the creature, hoping to down it quickly. Before it could hurt anyone.
L. Flail, ST, Flanking, PA: 1d20 + 5 + 1 + 2 - 1 ⇒ (5) + 5 + 1 + 2 - 1 = 12
B. Damage, ST: 1d8 + 4 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 4 + 1 + 2 = 12
Unfortunately the flail whistles harmlessly over the skeleton's head. I really should have practiced more with this thing.
knowledge religion: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
From what she knew of the restless dead, they did not posses a mnd of their own, unless one talked higher echelon undead like vampires and such. Thus, the behaviour of this skeleton is a little unsettling and puzzling as it seems to salute Asuka before swinging at the tengu with its blade. The uneasiness settles deeper into the tiefling mind as Ruka's attack is dodged, but she presses on.
"Hey! Grampa Bones! Why don't you try me on for size?"
With that, she swings her longsword in a chopping motion at its ribs.
Attack, flanking: 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 + 2 = 8 Damage, slashing: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Kaji merely stares at the skeleton as it appears to accept Asuka's challenge and issue its own. He's so surprised, in fact, that his despite preparing a kick for its charge he is slow to react and his foot whiffs through the air behind it.
Noticing an opening behind the skeleton, Kaji attempts to deflty evade its wakizashi and circle into a flank.
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Once clear and behind it, he tries a punch to the pelvis.
Attack, flank: 1d20 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 1 + 2 = 12
Bludgeoning Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Finding a moment to aid Asuka was a bit like waiting on a zooming fly to land before swatting it, so mobile and fluid were the tengu's movements. Nevertheless, Samton found an opportune moment to just graze her shoulder with a finger, all he needed to further enhance her agility.
Giving a now already very speedy Asuka another +2 Dex for a round.
Glee fills Asuka as the skeleton returns her challenge, even bowing. It's always nice when one's foes show proper respect to your efforts at drama! She then tosses a grin to Kaji on the other side of the skeleton as a thank you for his compliment.
The already short Asuka finds herself turning even shorter as Poppy's spell takes effect. It takes her a moment to adjust, but she happily unleashes a full barrage of attacks on the advancing skeleton.
Bites are piercing, bludgeoning, and slashing, and claws are slashing and bludgeoning, so Asuka shouldn't have to worry about DR
Bite (reduce person, flank, augment): 1d20 + 4 + 2 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 4 + 2 + 2 + 1 = 14
Bite Damage (reduce person): 1d2 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Claw (reduce person, flank, augment): 1d20 + 4 + 2 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 4 + 2 + 2 + 1 = 20
Claw Damage (reduce person): 1d2 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Claw (reduce person, flank, augment): 1d20 + 4 + 2 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 4 + 2 + 2 + 1 = 29
Claw Damage (reduce person): 1d2 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Crit Confirm: 1d20 + 4 + 2 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 4 + 2 + 2 + 1 = 27
Crit Damage: 1d2 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Add +1 damage from challenge to the first attack that successfully hits the skeleton
Poppy, overwhelmed with a whirlwind of emotion as she watched the choatic melee breakout. Having spent the bulk of her magics, she saw little recourse but to either use her crossbow, which was about as effective as throwing a herring into the fight what with how many were dog piling. Worse she might even hit one of them. Instead, she decided to aid Lor-Sinn once more, approaching just outside the fights reach and brushed her less bloody hand against the horned ones armor.
"Stab him good for me, da?"
Guidance to Lor-Sinn and move action straight up to behind her unless that provokes.