For several moments, the two princesses laughed, enjoying the fact that they were teasing one another from opposite ends of Elsemar. At length, the wizardess pulled a pale blue tunic over her head and used a spell to begin lacing up a darker bodice overtop. "I must take my leave to attend yet another council meeting, but it was good to converse at such length, Lissa. I really do wish I could be there for the investment..."
"Very funny, and no... no it would not make a difference. I am sorry, but not all of us are fortunate enough to have a year-round growing season."
With a sigh, Alexis looked into the scrying sensor whereupon she reached out with one hand as if to stroke Alis' cheek. "Don't worry about me, please. The situation here shall be challenging, but not nearly so much as the predicament you have found yourself in."
There was a flash of insight in Alexis' blue-violet gaze and she snapped her fingers. "Why did I not think of it sooner? Alissariel... if you are pressed for naval manpower, why not contact Traker for reinforcements? It would be Khoreth before he would arrive, but..."
Even as Alis winked and grinned, hugging her hands to her heart, Alexis glowered, no hint of laughter in her voice. "Please tell me you did not order Knight-Captain Traker to sail across the Boundless."
When Alis whistled innocently, eyes rolled toward the Heavens, and a finger on her chin, her slightly older sister, clenched her hands as if gripping Alis' shoulders to throttle her. "Recall him, Lissa, I mean it! We'll be fortunate to muster provisions sufficient to make it thru winter as it is. The last thing I need is another 300 mouths to feed, particularly since they shall arrive too late to aid in sewing additional fields!"
"No, no," Alexis replied calmly, as she began to rinse off, her much shorter hair taking mere moments compared to her twin's, "you would have been proud of me, I was quite tactful. I took him aside, explained that I estimated his proclivity for action to be better-suited to more proactive responsibilities, and reassigned him as a principle member of my scouting team."
Sud-free and squeaky-clean, Alexis whisked a towel to herself with crook of a finger and began to pat her form dry. "I believe Ravarath shall prove more than capable at executive protection, wouldn't you agree?"
Alexis' eyes narrowed and she folded one arm beneath her breasts, resting the opposite elbow atop her hand and she wagged her brush in the air as if scoring all the affronts to both safety and sensibility. "...and the final affront was in nearly killing Rath, Biter, and I when he shot out one of its legs and very nearly dropped the zombiehemoth on us!"
An uncharacteristic growl of frustration escaped Alexis and a veritable wave of suds and water gushed everywhere, obscuring Alis' scrying sensor for a moment. "You would not believe what he did!"
As Alis blinked against the shampoo threatening to get in her eye, she shook her head at the sight of her shapely twin standing naked in her tub, shaking a loofah brush at her in one fist. "Alissariel Kirmoon... YOU are not allowed to participate in the selection of my retainers ever again. EVER!"
"None whatsoever." Puckering her lips, the blonde wizardess blew at the sudsy figure in her hand and it flew to pieces, falling back into her own bath. Grasping a long, wooden handle with a soft sponge on one end, she sat up, bubbles clinging to the swells of her ample breasts which were set to motion as she scrubbed her back.
"Sir Elorin assures me that the local ecosystem should recover in due time, herbivores expanding into the untapped fields, carnivores following in due time... At present, however, we shall be expecting chiefly lean fare such as vegetables and whatever the sea may offer. I only hope our seed takes root in the soil here–"
In the surface of Alis' mirror, Alexis nodded solemnly, even as she scooped up an handful of bubbles and reshaped them into the figure of a crude, amorphous giant. "It seems the inside of this vast deciduous tree was some sort of antediluvian arcane engine built for the sole-purpose of drawing creatures of a specific kind to a central locale for routine annihilation. While originally intended to purge this region of undead, a tiny rabbit had somehow found its way into the apparatus thereby reconfiguring it to attract all fauna from miles around to their inexorable demise."
"Do you truly think it wise that I divert concentration away from our battle in order to effect such a change? These forms we draw from your memories are no mere illusions. Alissariel believes Alechsularis to wield power, hence so does this form. Is your distrust so great that you would see that advantage wasted?"
1d20 + 27 - 10 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 27 - 10 + 4 = 38 far-fetched, proof
Sense Motive Checks:
S 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17
Alexis gives Alis a sharp look, and steps out from behind the pillar, evidently freed from the spell that had rooted her in place. "Sister, I propose we settle our own differences at a later time. Fate has brought us together and Fate shall see us ended if we do not defeat this serpentine demoness before us. Lureene, Darvesch, you know it to be so!"
"No offense taken, Lureene, Darvesch. I am not certain what else I could do to prove myself to you, but I assure you that I am as eager to seek out this Ieana as you are. She has the lives of several dozen sailors to answer for. It is good that you are vigilant. Can you imagine the calamity one could wreck were they able to successfully impersonate a member of the royal family?" She looks to her sister and brushes the hair from her face. "It would almost certainly be disastrous."
Alexis stops and turns around with an incredulous look on her pretty face as if someone just... well... called her a snake!
"I must admit, I thought it no small coincidence that we should rendezvous like this, but no, I am most assuredly not Ieana." An amusing thought tugs at the corner of her mouth and she asks, "Are you?"
While your spell tells you nothing, your gut tells you that (unlike Alis) Alexis isn't offended by the question by rather amused by it — even if she is trying to keep a straight face in front of the others.
X Will DC 18 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
X B 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
"Well I myself am no tracker so there should be little surprise that I might overlook such a thing. As for dear Elorin..." she sighs, "we were not inside this place overly long before he attempted to exit it again. I believe he hoped to make his way past the demon to scout outside for any possible assistance. If he detected such evidence then he was remiss in his duty to bring it to my attention... just as he was remiss to follow my orders and remain by my side."
Sense Motive DC 29
(+5 for familiarity where applicable)
X 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
S 1d20 + 1 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 1 + 5 = 9 +2 human
"Excellent, I have to admit, I had my reservations at first, but it seems you have done well for yourself. No doubt, your latent aptitude is in no small part the reason why Alissariel is alive today. You have my sincere thanks for that Lureene, you all do!"
When you pass thru the doors, you find yourselves in a cool, musty hallway. Alis' dancing lights illuminate dark stairwells leading upwards to both your left and right. At Alexis' direction, Darvesch leads you up the stairs to the east and then north from a landing into a 15-foot wide L-shaped chamber.
Here, bits of bone and fragments of wood lie scattered throughout. The walls are carved with hundreds, perhaps thousands of strange runes interspersed with the periodic image of a sylized rune that looks like a fanged skull. Further to the north are a pair of closed door beyond which you can hear a chiming sound.
"There are some old priest cells further in where we were resting. The alarm spell I cast should have roused them by now..."
As you ascend the stairs, you can see the tracks of the humanoids thru the dust. However, more recent than their trail is that of the same large serpent you spied by the entrance.
X 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
A 1d20 + 13 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 13 + 3 = 18 alertness, +1 trapfinding
D 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (19) + 14 = 33 +2 stonecunning
L 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9 +3 alertness, +1 trapfinding
M 1d20 + 13 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 13 + 5 = 35 visual
P 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (18) + 15 = 33
S 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18 +2 human
S 1d20 + 18 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 18 + 2 = 38 jungle
S 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 8 + 2 = 25 jungle
For a few moments, Alexis listens to Lureene explain about the strange events surrounding Ieana from enchanting Captain Kovack, to the wreck of The White Pearl to even their findings back in the cannibal's village and the underground cavern. When Darvesch asks his question, she nods solemnly a look of determination upon her face.
"It seems safe to say whatever her goals are, nothing beneficial can come of them."
"Behind the doors to the south, is a hallway leading east and west. We were encamped within a scriptorium up the steps to the east." She gives Lureene a gentle smile and squeezes her hand. "I am certain Ravarath will be... well pleased to see whom I have found. Now then, you never did answer me, how have your studies been progressing, Lureene?"
"Ieana?" She shakes her head. "I had supposed that someone must have entered this place, but thus far I have only encountered these skeletal guardians and the demon outside. Admittedly, I hadn't gone far. Not long after entering, there was a great rush of water and upon returning to this chamber, the doors had closed and the crash of surf could be heard outside. I did discover a lever in the northwest corner of this chamber that may operate the doors, but I would rather imagine that could have catastrophic effects were they to open whilst the doors were submerged..."
She looks up, face pensive. "Lureene, is this Ieana the one you believe to be responsible for the ritual that parted the sea? Do you have some idea of what reason they would have to murder so many good men?"
The slightly older twin gives her sister a kiss on the cheek before releasing her. She looks to the priestess and nods solemnly before casting a spell that makes her eyes glow with a pale blue light.
"At this range I should be capable of..." she fixes her gaze upon Lureene's bosom and nods solemnly. "There."
Looking at the succubus, you note that hanging around her neck is a small, heart-shaped silver locket on a delicate chain. It is hinged on one side and closed with a clasp on the other, although it seems to have been fused shut.
"What did not happen would be a better question. When we drew near to Jehiril, we encountered a pitched battle between minotaur and pirates. We attempted to sew confusion in order to break thru. That was before the Lady Iona was hulled and The Nereid came under bombardment. Lord Brycen was able to cover our withdraw long enough for me to alter the winds for our escape."
She shakes her head and holds Alis by the shoulders. "Sister, do you not see what is happening? Has your gift shown you nothing?"
"Oh, hello Lureene, are your studies progressing well?"
She walks over and points towards the doors down below. "We were sailing for Port Eldarion, when a profuse electrical discharge split the sky last night. Unfortunately, The Nereid got caught in a parting of the sea and now lies ruined on the seafloor. I was able to save Ravarath, Mr. Darknugget, Mr. Trevain, and Elorin, but the others..."
Alexis' voice trails off and she looks away. "Mr. Tre– Gregor thought it best that we reach land as quickly as possible and Ravarath and I both suspected the spectacle we had witnessed only moments before was surely connected to the phenomenon. Finding this place was a simple matter, a mere exercise in following the naked floor of the sea into the lagoon outside."
"The more difficult aspect was combating the reptilian demon we found guarding the area. Seeing the entrance looming just ahead, I ordered a fighting retreat into this place. Elorin and Ravarath sought to delay it while Pete, having superior vision, lead the way inside. That ended... poorly for dear Petrel. The same glyph that you encountered just moments ago consumed him. He now rests with Olarë in the afterlife."
As Darvesch steps up, one of the serpentine skeletons slashes at him with its claws, but they scrape harmlessly off his armor. Ignoring the attack, he lays into one of the undead yet fails to destroy it, nearly losing his footing on a bone that got underfoot as he tries to reverse his momentum for a backswing.
"A commendable proposition, but you do realize that you have situated yourself squarely within the bounds of most burst effects that I might hope to employ, correct?"
Pursing her lips, Alexis leans over the edge and looks below for a moment before pointing at a spot behind the skeletons. In an instant, a bubble of telekinetic force forms and then detonates in a compact yet powerful burst. Shards of bone fly everywhere as the three skeletons are blown to bits, scattered pieces raining everywhere.
Frowning somewhat, the petite elf girl checks her surroundings before shaking her head and feather falling to the floor before you. Looking around at the mess, she sighs and holds her hands up in apology. "I had hoped to test the effects of a telekinetic burst of that magnitude on freestanding solid masses. It would appear that I 'overdid it'..."
After a moment, she looks up with relieved smile. "Alissariel, I trust that your retinue have kept you safe? It took some rather intensive scrying to break thru a rather curious nondetection effect that has been following you..."
slam 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
Reflex DC 19
Bullrush vs CMD 24
As you step into the room, the bones on the floor begin to pull themselves together into forms that look like an eerie blend between the upper torsos of humans with serpentine skulls, and the lower skeletons of large serpents! From somewhere up above, on the bridge, you hear a door grate open and the sound of light footsteps running along its length. Suddenly, a lone figure is silhouetted by the flash of a telekinetic burst and you see bones get smashed to bits and clatter to the ground.
Over the racket, you hear a familiar voice ring out. "Alissariel! Is that actually you?"
A 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
D 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13
L 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
M 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
P 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Alexis 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Enemies 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
Sense Motive 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
There is a sharp intake of breath as Alexis examines the fabric and discovers that there are in fact seams. She eyes Felmor critically, a wand somehow suddenly in her hand as she mouths an activation phrase.
"Lord Aernelóth doesn't stitch fabric together, he makes use of transmutation spells to join the very fibers of cut fabric together. This is..." her eyes go wide with horror, "from Sir Fredrique's of Jehiril!"
And in the next moment, Felmor did get a lovely upskirt view of the perturbed elvish princess as he looked up, suddenly wondering why he felt the urge to go chew slop in a trough.
"Hmmph, men are such pigs..." she commented as she changed back into something more proper.
Alis (green): Smile for the camera Ellie!
*B O O M*
Alexis looks at the new hole in the deck where Priyya was just standing.
Meanwhile at Sea...
"Ravarath," she says, "I just had the strangest sense that something just flew past us. An odd feeling, don't you think?"
Oh yeah, that's right b1tchez, just passed Fallen. >:D
Er... poisons, potions... hey, I just woke up and haven't had any coffee yet. Good thing I'm not a pharmacist, huh? :P
If there are any actual potions or magic items, Alexis will give them the once over.
Spellcraft 1d20 + 11 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 11 + 2 = 24 AA
Gregor Trevian wrote:
"It is a awful mess in there, you sure you want to see it?"
Alexis manages a faint smile at the fatherly druid's concern. "Thank you Gregor, but my twin sister's specialty is making awful messes. I suspect that I shall be fine, how much worse can it be than a 60-foot tall construct made of zombies?"
However, when the demure princess enters, it is not the smell, but the sight of the severed wings that hits her the hardest.
"They cut off their wings. Now how they fly?"
It is difficult for Alexis to hold back the sadness welling up in her eyes when she sees the carnage. She closes her eyes and looks away from the rest of you for a moment upon hearing Quist's innocent sadness. Taking a deep breath and willing herself not to cry in front of the men, she replies, "Perhaps they will learn to fly again with magic, just as I have. Come, let's go find your friends..."
Before moving on, Alexis will once again sweep the chamber for magical auras and attempt to determine their purpose with Gregor's aid. Simply assume that she will do this in every room unless there's immediate danger.
As she scans the room, Alexis wonders what magical rite could possibly require the wings and/or souls of faerie dragons.
K: Arcana 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11