In the midst of being trying to get Sasha to quit hopping up and down on oversized the bed in the master suite, Lureene could hear Grak's thoughts, and feel his anxiety. "Missstressss, Arion sssaysss the bad man'sss flasssk isss a prissson for usss. Evil runesss are inssscribed upon it."
Knowing full well how unreliable Grak's limited intelligence made him at communicating context accurately, Lureene couldn't help but wonder what he meant by 'us'.
Sense Motive Checks:
L 1d20 + 2 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 2 + 10 = 17 super-familiar
Grak hissed and cocked his head to the side. Lord Gallo certainly seemed to respond enthusiastically enough to what his mistress had asked, but he was still a bit foggy on what the particulars were. Lisping slowly as he thought, the serpent responded, "Grak isss... not sssure. The ssslimy man sssaid he will pleassse hisss Princccessss, hisss beauty, and hisss cussstomersss."
1d20 - 1 ⇒ (8) - 1 = 7
Although he was not as well-versed in spellcraft as his mistress, there was no mistaking what had just happened below. Alarm evident in his tone, Grak called out mentally to Lureene, "Missstressss, the bad man hasss cassst Hold Monssster on Sssasha, she isss ssstuck, and he hasss a sssword in hisss hand!"
Wasting no time, Grak moved back to where he had first entered the hold, climbing back atop on of the crates before looking at the heavy wooden grate silhouetted against Brightpool.
"Missstressss, Grak thinksss the hatch weighsss too much for usss to cover the hole..."
Sniffing the air as he awaited Lureene's response, the serpentine eidolon sniffed the air. The scent of Sasha and the sweaty man were about the same distance away, both towards the stern.
1d20 ⇒ 19
Trying to enterprise upon the chance to strike, Grak wheeled about and swooped to attack, but when a wave of hatred from Mother buffeted him, it was everything he could do to avoid crashing into the stone archway she was sheltering behind.
"Thith thuckth," he lisped as he bit his own tongue.
Reflex DC 15
g 1d20 + 6 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 6 + 4 = 16 party buffs
Although Grak knew that he himself could not harm Avoreen with either shock or fang, he also knew his mistress' intention — to keep Mother off-balance and aid her friends.
Teeth crackling with electricity, he snapped at Avoreen's flank, and his jaw, which might well have torn away a sizable chunk from a mortal, instead delivered a powerful, impertinent pinch!
"Take thisss from Missstressss!"
As the trio of lovers prepared themselves, perhaps hoping to delay the demoness long enough for either reinforcements to arrive or Alis to escape, Grak's mind touched Lureene's.
"Missstressss, Mother should not be in thisss plane — there are barriersss... Grak thinksss thisss is tricksss..."
G 1d20 + 7 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 7 + 10 = 28 familiarity
Sense Motive Checks:
As the Princess and company began making their way north to the shrine, Grak hissed, "Excussse Grak, childrensss. We have a messssage for the Princccessss..."
Eager to be away from so many inquisitive hands, the eidolon swooped away from the waving tots and hovered near Alis in order to deliver his mistress' inquiry. "Princccessss, missstressss asssksss that Grak lead you to her pool pleassse."
Yet in spite of the route being significantly shorter, it was still slow going. News that the new ruler (and a member of King Aramandil's family at that) was paying her first visit to Tol Lonnduil quickly drew crowds of curious onlookers. The fact that she was accompanied by a dwarven knight, a Dafari witch, and a flying serpent only added to the spectacle.
When the pearlescent serpent heard Lureene's mental call, he answered in kind, consternation evident to the wizardess thru their bond. "Good morning Missstressss. Grak is with Alisss. The Princessss is kissssing babiesss near sssome big ssstatuesss. There are many elvesss looking at usss. A sssmall one sssought to ssstroke Grak'sss ssscaless... they are climbing the treesss after usss now..."
"No, Princccessss," the opalescent serpent answered without any hint of perturbation, "Missstressss sssaysss they will return later thisss morning. Sssasha and the elf are ssstill with her at that placcce."
The small hairs on the back of Alis' neck stood on end as Grak seemed to... laugh!
"It ssseems hisss majesssty isss upssset. He ssstrikesss Sssasha with fruit and ssseedsss..."
With a bob of his head, the eidolon hissed, "Grak will explore the Princccessss' gardens, and ssstay clossse."
Slithering free of the chair back he had alighted upon, he swiftly took wing, scales gleaming like silver in the moonlight as he cavorted amidst the ornamental trees outside, relishing the chance to swoop and soar about.
From the clear, blue sky, a jagged bolt of lightning arced down to a point just above the tower, shaking the very stones with its reverberation! From within the inky cloud of smoke, an unseen shape coiled and slithered before the cloud was parted by a rush of air from leathery wings!
Determined to carry out his mistress' orders, Grak swooped down on the enemy, seeking to shock him yet he misjudged his attack, very nearly taking himself within reach of O'beilumanji's bloody sword. Wings straining with the effort, he just barely pulled up enough to carry himself safely beyond striking distance, beating wings casting a long shadow on the ground below.
Reflex DC 15
g 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 5 + 2 = 15 AoO for fumble averted
Even as your eyes strained to make out what you were seeing, Grak's lisping voice removed all doubt. "Missstressss, why isss there a girl ssstraped to the ssstone?"
Before you could even think to answer, the massive missile struck home, caving in the keep's east tower and sending stone and blood raining to the ground!
"Missstressss, here isss the wizard'sss ssstick!"
Flapping up, Grak extended the device to Lureene, his larger size making it a simple matter to carry it.
Bobbing his head twice towards the slow-moving galley, he continues, as the wizardess continues to scan the sea, looking for whatever became of Eleventy-Eight and Ozyrankhus, "The handsssome elf isss with usss, but the ship doesss not ssstop."
Lureene launches herself off the back of the Falcata, Grak flying dutifully alongside her. Above, lightning now flashed on its own, the sensation of rain droplets on skin growing more frequent.
As the succubus scanned the choppy waters, she could see that there was an aura coming from nearly 100-feet behind the ship on the starboard (north) side. Although it would take a few more seconds to pin-point it using magic, she could just barely make it out, a 5-foot long staff of wood, it's pale, lacquered finish bobbing on the surface.
Instantly, she conveyed its location to Grak.
Yes missstressss, Grak shall ssswoop and sssnatch!
As if shot from a ballista, Grak dove after it, plucking the valuable item from the sea as deftly an an osprey might catch a fish! Behind them, the Falcata was drawing further away, the storm slowly accelerating it towards the west.
Grapple 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
Distance: Lureene is about 60-ft east of the Falcata, Grak is another 50-ft east of her.
Isaac nearly gets bowled over as the sky splits open and a bolt of lightning strikes the deck right in front of him! There's a deafening clap of thunder, and a billow cloud of crackling black smoke from which he hears a loud hissing sound!
Although the Major cannot see it, in the next moment, Grak bites down hard on Ozyrankhus' shoulder. Although the mage seems initially unharmed (and Grak wonders if he just shattered all his teeth), the flying serpent flashes with a jolt of electricity causing the mage to grunt in surprise from the attack!
sneak 1d6 ⇒ 1
With a bob of his head, Grak launches himself into the air. The air resistance from the galley's swift pace immediately catches his wings and quickly whisks the flying serpent along. Indeed it takes more effort to land than to cover the distance, but banks at the last moment and coils himself around one of the shuddering flag pole mounted in the aft railing. With all attention focused on the pacing captain and the intruder challenging him, no one seems to notice.
Cautiously, Grak keeps his wings tucked close to his body and slithers past the helmsman. He uses the column holding the wheel for cover against getting stepped upon, and hesitantly pokes his head down into the darkened interior below.
Within he finds a large cabin, perhaps 15-feet deep and 25-feet wide. There are no windows or portholes, although he does spy a closed door without handle, latch, or keyhole in the forward bulkhead.
There isss a door into the ssslave'sss ssseatsss missstressss.
Yet for the actual size of the cabin, there is precious little space. The ceiling is only 6-feet high and two large, metal cages take up most of the chamber, only a few feet separating them. A few thin shafts of light in other areas of the ceiling, directly over each cage, clues him in to the presence of the trap doors in the ceiling.
Yet what most interests him is the tall, attractive, and muscular half-elf currently trying to squeeze himself thru the bars of the cage on the port side. In the opposite cage, a young woman with light brown hair, crouches in a tattered nightgown. Her eyes are closed as she speaks the words of a spell.
Missstressss, I sssee a handsssome man and a pretty woman ssstuck in cagesss. They ssseem like Alisss, his armor, her bedclothesss, they look expensssive. The woman cassstsss Liberating Command.
Suddenly, Grak hears the sound of Darvesch casting a spell and pulls his head back up just in time to see his axe burst into flames.
The dwarf'sss axe jussst ssstarted to burn, Missstressss.
Fly 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (15) + 21 = 36
Stealth 1d20 + 19 + 20 ⇒ (7) + 19 + 20 = 46
g 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (17) + 18 = 35
g vs L 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
g vs D 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
From about 60 feet up, Lureene watches intently as Priyya and Darvesch land. She had very nearly caught up to them, when they slowed to take in the scene. Now, she was positioned such that the galley would pass directly below her in another few moments, all she had to do was glide down if she wished to land or grab hold.
As she waited, on the foredeck, she could see a huge man, bigger than Mal, beating a trio of drums with a huge striker even as he sounded a great horn every few moments. Further back, past the dozens of toiling slaves, Darvesch just shook hands with a man built like Tyralor (only nowhere near as handsome) who could only be the captain. Not far from him stood an older man dressed in heavy red robes in spite of the oppressive heat. Whether a priest or a mage, she had little doubt that he had to be a spellcaster of some sort.
As to how Darvesch's negotiations where going, she couldn't tell. He and the captain had just shaken hands and the caster seemed to be friendly enough. Was there actually some chance this would work?
The rush of wind over wings caused the succubus to look to her side just as a large, white albatross flew past her — King Tut. His broad wingspan had covered the distance with much less effort than she had to muster and he had caught up in spite of starting so far behind her. Yet before Lureene could smile in relief or the invisible Grak could make comment, she caught movement out of the corner of her eye.
On the deck of the ship, one sailor pointed out the majestic bird to another. Without hesitation, the second sailor man trained his bow and fired! With a piteous cry of pain, the bird's wing's folded and it plunged toward the sea alongside the ship even as the two laughed and clapped each other about the shoulders in cruel joy.
Missstressss, didn't Alisss sssay that sssailorsss didn't ssslay thossse birdsss?
A 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (5) + 13 = 18
L 1d20 + 8 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 8 + 3 = 18 alertness
Sense Motive Checks:
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
Sense Motive Checks:
Sailor 1d20 ⇒ 1
Bobbing his head in understanding, Grak returns to his smaller size and flies ahead, hissing loudly and attempting to steal the parents' prey. With a squawk of surprise and anger, the two bat-winged reptiles begin dive-bombing the pale interloper, trying to drive him away.
Inexperienced and uncertain, the younger creature cries out in dismay but its parents' calls warn it to stay back even as Grak lures them further away.
Theme: Storm Center
As she says the words 'Grak', 'Swoop' and 'Strike', a feeling of power courses thru Lureene as though she just intoned some eldritch ritual. From high above, an arc of twisting, coiling lighting strikes the center of the tower floor. Yet the tower is neither scorched nor broken. Instead, from the place where it impacted, Lureene can see something in the smoke even as thunder sends a thrill of awe thru her.
There, in the center of the smoke, pearlescent scales crackling with static electricity, is Grak. Yet not the small, nigh harmless serpent she remembered, but larger, his wingspan equal to her own!
Even as she watches, Grak rises in the charged air and streaks towards Sasha, body rippling with the motion! Before the ranger can even tell what is happening, he bites down hard on her shoulder as he soars past.
Even as the young erinyes cries out in surprise, Lureene can hear Grak's voice inside her mind, clearer and more vibrant than before. 'Misssstressss, we are one, let usss ssswoop and ssstrike as one!'
bite 1d20 + 12 - 1 ⇒ (17) + 12 - 1 = 28 medium
dmg 1d8 + 3 - 5 + 1d6 + 1d6 ⇒ (8) + 3 - 5 + (1) + (3) = 10 DR 5, shock, sneak
There is a moment a contemplative silence for a moment, and in the distance, Lureene can hear Sasha's shouting quiet down, as if she too can hear the impending answer. Resonating from the tower, Lureene hear's Grak voice respond, "Grak wishesss to protect his misssstressss... to ssswoop and ssstrike!"
In that moment Lureene realizes that Grak does not merely wish to protect her as a defender, but to do so proactively!
"Misssstressss, Grak lovesss misssstressss too, call thisss one forth!"
Sense Motive Checks:
L 1d20 + 2 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 2 + 10 = 28 familiarity
Suddenly, a loose board that Lureene had stepped on tears free and flies up batting the invisible succubus square in the forehead. Somehow she manages to stifle a yelp of surprise. Outside Grak winces, peering around the ship, but the ghost is still ranting about 'damnable yellow-bellied curs' and doesn't seem to notice anything else.
'Misssstressss watch the firssst ssstep!'
As Lureene waits for the stars she's seeing to fade, her eyes easily adjust to the darkened interior of the ship. The insides are a complete jumble. There are old, broken crates, long-since looted, barrels of foodstuff that rotted long ago, and more than a few skeletons that have been picked clean. Further to the back, she can make out what appears to be a closed door with an axe still stuck in it.
Behind her, toward the beach, much of the foreward hold has been crushed by the force of the impact and it is now full of sand and debris. Other than the aft door, the only other ways to go would appear to be back out of the ship, or up onto the deck thru one of the hatches.
10 + 19 - 5 - 2 - 7 - 5 = 10
As Grak turns to go, he hears a tearing sound and notices two vegepygmies tear themselves free of the surroundings looking around for the source of whatever is disturbing the air. Fighting down a sense of panic, he carefully glides back out of the cave diving over the edge of the precipice to put himself out of sight and banking sharply to avoid notice just as Alis' invisibility spell wears off.
'Jussst in time, Misssstressss, jussst in time...'
g 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
1d20 ⇒ 11
Theme: Touch of Madness
"Yesss misssstressss, yesss princccessss. Grak ssscoutsss ssswiftly..."
Upon receiving both Lureene's protection and Alis' invisibility, the eidolon flaps off as quickly as his leathery little wings can carry him. As he flies across the gulf, he can see that the bridge the other must cross joins a narrow pathway covered in the same dense fungus as the island on which they stand. He follows it around counterclockwise keeping above it as he circles around.
Grak has nearly made a full circle around the jutting spire when he locates a narrow cave entrance on the south-west side facing the sea — the same direction from which the Nightsong must have approached so many years ago.
Breathing heavily, he pauses, attempting to peer into the darkness even as the descending sun glares down into the entrance.
'Misssstressss, there is a cave on the sssunny ssside. I don't sssee any pygmiesss...'
g 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
1d20 ⇒ 7
Putting more concentration into cheering Gelik on than into her own attack, Lureene very nearly trips over her previous opponent and just barely avoids planting a dagger in her shin.
"Careful misssstressss," he lisps, biting ineffectually at the creature's neck, "ssslimy men are ssslippery!"
Reflex DC 13
L 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
From within the web, the savage on the starboard side, tears free, plunging out of the affected area and straight towards the pass thru. Heedless of Grak, it shoves past its broodmate and climbs up.
The one Grak was hovering over attempts the same thing, but he has none of it. Waiting until it attempts to scale the short wall, Grak swoops down and tears a large chunk out of its back, ignoring the foul taste and giving an angry hiss. While it is not enough to knock it to the ground, the flying serpent does successfully check its advance.
"Ssstay ssstill, ssslimy ssskin!"
CMB DC 15
P2 1d20 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 1 + 2 = 12
Q4 1d20 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 1 + 2 = 21 free
Q4 1d20 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 1 + 2 = 15
Q4 Climb DC 10 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 + 2 = 22 rage
T4 Climb DC 10 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 + 2 = 7 rage
In a panic, Grak races below banking hard to avoid running into his mistress' web spell. He immediately dive-bombs the pygmy behind her, hoping to distract it long enough to buy her time to get her spell off. While the pearlescent serpent's acting leaves much to be desired, his bright white scales flashing before the enraged fungus man's red-tinged gaze is like a cape waved before a bull.
Squeaking with rage, the small, green savage swings, seeking to rend Grak apart, but the agile snake deftly avoid the attacks of no few than three of the creatures!
"Grak hasss your back, Misssstressss!"
Without further delay, Lureene focuses on hitting only the murderous vegepygmies and looses a scorching bolt of lightning that tears past Sasha's head and impacts both of the tiny brutes without harming Jask. The first one is badly injured, its green 'flesh' blackened. The other, however, is split in half like a lightning-struck tree before the blast smashes a hole in the side of the hull.
fly 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (18) + 15 = 33
bluff 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (9) + 0 = 9
sm 1d20 + 2 - 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 - 2 = 4 rage
S3 AoO 1d20 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 3 + 2 = 15
Ref DC 16 1d20 ⇒ 15
The pygmy that Grak bites gives a squawk of surprise and tears at the pearly-skinned snake with its grubby black claws opening a nasty gasp on the side of his neck. The eidolon cries out in pain but retains the presence of mind to flaps his wings out of the way just in time to rise above a jagged spear thrust for his heart.
'Misssstressss, it hurtsss and ssstingsss!'
claws 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
crit? 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16 no
dmg 4 + 2 = 6
spear 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Mussst sssave misssstressss!
The sinuous winged serpent waits until the small, green men have their backs turned before he slips silently into the air. A single beat of his wings close the distance and he bites down on the neck of the first fungus man, yet his tiny fangs don't even puncture the spongy green surface of their 'skin'.
'Tassstesss like ssslime!'
g 1d20 + 9 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 9 + 4 = 18 small
1d20 + 11 - 5 ⇒ (9) + 11 - 5 = 15 distracted
bite 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 9 + 2 = 19 stealth
Sticky, clinging webs fill the ship's hold. The one furthest from her is completely obscured — lost to her sight thru the thick mass. The next two are just barely visible, but the succubus can tell that only one of them is rooted in place. Finally, not far from her, squeaking in anger as it gazes upon the newly materialized pink-skin, the fourth pygmy struggles against its bonds, black eyes locked upon her.
'Misssstressss,' Grak hisses, 'the green men are going inssside. You ssseem anxiousss...'
Reflex DC 15
N4 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
P2 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
Q4 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
R2 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
V4 bite 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
Grak swoops down and flies around the ship coming up on the opposite railing. The air around here tasted even worse than on the rest of the island, and he could hear things moving around inside this strange, musty boat.
Folding his wings against his sleek body, the opalescent snake poked his head above the port rail and gazed about. The little green men smelled exactly the same as the rest of the ship, but he could tell that the tall black man had been brought this way. looking to one side, between a pair of stairs now overrun with fungus, he could see a dark, yawning doorway leading inside. Atop the deck of the ship, there was a yellow glow shining forth from a burst hatch now criss-crossed with strands of fungal growth.
"Misssstressss, there is a doorway and alssso a hole in the floor leading inssside."
Grak quietly alighted near his mistress. He had successfully trailed the kidnappers across the entire length of the Silent Island without being seen. While the little green men had taken the long, dark man inside the strange ship, the small, winged serpent knew that his lady would have a plan.
"Misssstress, the mossss men have disssappeared into the shhhip. Shhhould Grak follow?"
As all of you scramble up the rocky slope (or try to in Gelik's case), Grak swoops past overhead, flying low and trying to use the strange, leafless 'trees' for cover.
"Misssstressss, sssomething isss carrying Jasssk away. Lotsss of sssmall green men."
Climb DC 10
L 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
G 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (8) + 0 = 8
S 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17