@Beerg: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
@Kraz: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
EE: -27, speed reduced 5' till next turn
Beerg steps up, calling on his god, and his maul glows with Torm's righteous wrath as it crashes down upon the huge rock man. Sorin, meanwhile, swings through thin air - given her wide diagonal swing, she feels reasonably confident that the drow is no longer in the same position. Nilelane elegantly pitches a ray of pure cold at the rock creature, and it seems to stiffen somewhat as frost forms on its legs.
Kraz smashes into the stone man with his greatsword and connects solidly, but the weapon doesn't seem to penetrate the creature's rocky hide as well as he might expect. Jack, taking advantage of his half-orc buddy's positioning, attempts to shoot the living rock but the quarrel goes high, whizzing over to the other side of the chamber.
The thing roars in apparent rage, and the sound is akin to the screeching of minerals scraping together and the boom of huge boulders colliding. It swings its huge arms out wide, one at Kraz's head, the other at Beerg. The half-orcs both manage to roll aside from the blows, although the force of the swings as they whoosh by is enough to give even the beserker and the brave warrior of Torm pause.
INITIATIVE - Round Four
@Sorin: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
1d20 ⇒ 6
1d20 ⇒ 2
@Kraz: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
2d8 + 5 ⇒ (7, 5) + 5 = 17
@Kraz: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16
2d8 + 5 ⇒ (3, 5) + 5 = 13
1d20 - 1 ⇒ (14) - 1 = 13
Beerg calls upon Torm, and Sorin in particular feels her god's might rush through her. She thus takes her chances, sprinting up to and on top of the shelf where the wizard crouches. Before she can scale the shelf, however, the elemental swings at her, hard, but the wily monk dives low into a roll, comes to her feet, and vaults up the shelf in one motion, unharmed. She thrusts her staff into the drow's midsection, eliciting a grunt of pain.
Nilelane conjures her pool of grease, and the elemental slips to the ground with an almighty crash. Kraz darts forward to attack, but can't penetrate the thing's rocky hide. Jack once more darts to the edge of Nilelane's illusion and fires again, hitting the mage in the shoulder.
Up close, Sorin can see the pain and fear in the mage's eyes... but also the drow cunning in those red orbs. He clenches his right hand, and a band of gold on his ring finger glints just a split second before the drow disappears, apparently into thin air. Sorin then hears a snapped out syllable in the corner before her.
Spellcasters or those proficient in Arcana can make the following check:
Int (Arcana) DC 15:
The drow, after presumably turning invisible, has cast misty step
The rock creature roars, and gets to its feet. It swings again at Kraz, hitting him with both mighty fists (17 and 13, so 8+6 = 14 damage to Kraz). It wobbles as it delivers the blows, but somehow manages not to fall prone again.
INITIATIVE - Round Three
Beerg up to finish up Round Two, and everyone else for Round Three!
The problem is, your rage ends if your turn, or six seconds, passes without you attacking an enemy. That definitely happened, so your rage would have ended. But as I said, let's just keep rolling. Also, want to roll some advantage rolls for your attacks in case the elemental falls in Nilelane's grease?
Edit: Ah right, got you :) Want to move up, shoot, then either hide at the corner or move back down out of sight again?
Also, terrible rolling for that damage! Bad luck! I'll assume you move up, shoot, then retreat to your original position. If any different, let me know.
Jack moves up to the corner of... whatever Nilelane has summoned, and fires his crossbow, finding the target.
You see the drow raise his arm and then jerk it forward, as if throwing something.
1d20 - 1 ⇒ (9) - 1 = 8
slam: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
2d8 + 5 ⇒ (8, 6) + 5 = 19
There is a skittering sound as something hard rolls across the floor to the north of the party, and then the drow shouts out a word - "Karavorei!" - and a split second later the stone floor seemingly tears apart with a terrible cracking sound. From it emerges a 10-ft. tall creature apparently made from solid rock! The drow shouts out in his language, and the rock monster steps forward, attempting to hit Nilelane's illusion! It does so, then rears back, its head moving back and forth, obviously examining the creatures before it - you! It then steps forward towards Kraz, swinging its mighty fist again. It connects with the flat-footed half-orc (a descriptive term only!), connecting with Kraz solidly (19 points of damage, yikes! Not so bad if you were raging...).
Beerg, you're up!
INITIATIVE - Round Two
Everyone to go, with Beerg's actions from last round to resolve first.
Hey Nilelane, you definitely don't lack for good ideas, but in case you haven't seen it, this is a pretty sweet thread about illusions and good things to do with them. I found it to be a fun read; anyone considering running an illusionist as some point may find it useful.
Anyone who is proficient in Religion can make a check to see what this creature is (spoiler alert - it's undead). Elves or half-elves who grew up in elven society can roll with advantage.
DC 20 Religion:
This creature is a baelnorn, an elven lich. They are usually good and honourable creatures, though you have heard tales of those who have become corrupted in undeath. They are very powerful spellcasters.
You've heard the name Reluraun somewhere in the past, in connection with Ardeep Forest. You can't recall any details, however, except that he was an elf. It seems likely the tomb is his.
Sorin disad: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Sorin and Jack hear the murmured spellcasting and whirl their heads to the north, their eyes searching the 10-ft.high shelf behind the throne, specifically the western end of the shelf. Sorin hurls a dart in that direction, and the weapon hits a large dwarven shield -- and disappears through it. The shield itself becomes faint to Jack and Sorin's eyes, as they were staring right at the shield as the dart passed through it.
Jack and Sorin:
The shield is an illusion. Having seen something pass through it, you can see through the illusion. Behind the figment crouches a male drow in dark robes holding something in his hand.
Sorin, at this point if you want to say something, go for it. I was going to say something for you... but that would be just rude!
Nilelane, you can't make an illusion that is transparent on one side... However, if you create a solid object, and your allies are obviously moving within it, they'd be able to instantly recognise the illusion as they're interacting with it. Jack, however, cannot see through it without actually touching it - and, like your opponent, would have no likely way of assuming it's an illusion. The illusion definitely would interfere with the targeting of any of your allies within.
Kraz stands within Nilelane's illusion, looking back and forth in confusion.
Jack, want to reconsider your action(s), seeing as what's just occurred? Please keep in mind that you don't know what Nilelane's just summoned (i.e. that it's just an illusion).
The figure rises slightly off the ground, its feet dangling inches from the forest floor. It holds its staff out parallel to the ground and bows its head slightly forward, fixing Carric with an intense gaze.
"Ota se yhdeltä, joka on kauan ohittanut elävien maalman: tämä ei ole paikka kuolevaisille. Onnettomat kuolleet eivät arvosta muistutuksia entisestä elämästään, eivätkä kuule heidän suonissansa pulssivien lämpimien olentojen verta eikä puiden läpi soivia kirkkaita, eläviä ääniä. Poistu tästä paikasta, jos jatkat asumista. Reluraunin valtakunnasta ei ole täällä mitään oppimista, vain kuolema."
"Take it from one who has long passed from the world of the living: this is not a place for mortals. The unhappy dead do not appreciate reminders of their former life, neither hearing the blood of warm creatures pulsing through their veins, nor hearing bright, living voices ringing through the trees. Leave this place, if you would continue to live. There is no learning to be found here in Reluraun's realm, only death."
You push on as one, the eerie trees around you seemingly leeching the life out of your bodies and minds. It doesn't take long, however, for the appearance of something that quickens the blood in your veins.
Out from behind a large oak tree steps a figure, white-blue pinpoints of light dancing in its empty eye sockets, its long, half-furled ears waving slowly from side to side. It opens its mouth, speaking in a deep, otherworldly voice, and even those who don't understand it can guess that the language is elvish.
"Who are you that disturb this place. You do not belong here!"
Seemingly becoming agitated, it raises its staff at you, shaking it.
"Leave, now, or face the wrath of Reluraun!"
If you wish to take offensive actions, roll initiative as well as declaring them.
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Beerg: 1d20 ⇒ 2
Jack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Kraz: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Nilelane: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Sorin: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
As a group you move carefully through the room, examining the table, the mural, keeping an eye out for anything that looks suspicious, threatening, or out of place. The silence is eerie... until it is broken by the soft murmuring of what sounds like a spell!
DC 12 Perception check to react quickly enough to act in this round - the voice is low and the source unseen, but spellcasting can't be done in silence. If you beat it by enough I'll tell you where it's coming from.
INITIATIVE - Round One
Let's see those perception rolls! Sorin, Nilelane, Kraz, Jack, if you beat 12 you can act right now.
Okay folks, click on the room map link at the top of the page, I've got the original map pic as our map for now :) Please move yourselves around to where you want to be if I don't have it right. Make a post after you have so I know you're where you want to be.
Jack scans the room but doesn't spot anything particularly suspicious. Soren looks around, the words of a prayer on her lips, but she doesn't spot a target for her holy fire.
10am, 2nd of Marpenoth, 335 NR (1367 DR)
Okey doke, refresh hp, HD, spells etc, and away we go :)
Like the clearing you just resting in, the valley below is likewise wreathed in fog, although your elevation allows you to make out some details of the area below you as you look east over the dale. First, and maybe most importantly, you can see the domed centre of the stone structure rising out of the mist, looking strong and whole despite its apparent age. Furthermore, it seems there is a small lake (or large pool) beyond the dome and to the north. The entire vale is perhaps a half mile across (east-west) and half that wide. The game trail through the hilly pass leads down and into the mist.
As you are about to take your first steps into the fog, Hashima rumbles behind you. "Remember, the sword and anything else you find belong to me. But should you survive and succeed - which I sincerely hope you do - I may allow you to take some baubles with you when you leave to hunt your pale nemesis." With that, he settles back, his impenetrable stare still following your every move.
As you move forward into the fog the cold of the condensation in the air settles into your clothes, your skin, and your very bones. Despite the reasonable pace you set, your teeth begin to chatter as you continue deeper. The cold seems to be more than just physical - it sets into your soul, begins to paralyse your brain. Fingers and toes ache, and hearts and minds are heavy.
So this area has a number of effects on you. For starters, even though the temperature is not actually at freezing levels, you'll need to make exhaustion checks as though it were. So that's a DC 10 Con save every hour, or take a level of exhaustion. Second, all fear-based save DCs are raised by 4. Third, any dice rolled for cold damage can reroll 1s. All make sense?
Now, you've only been walking for ten minutes, and you estimate you're probably a third of the way to the centre. You're still on the trail. Simply continuing, or do you want to do something else?
The hours pass without issue, and it is mid-morning by the time everyone is sufficiently rested to venture forth into the valley. The gigantic green dragon rests, curled up like a watchful dog, his eyes trained on your small encampment; those who took turn on watch can attest that his unblinking gaze has never left you. The acrid stink of the creature hasn't faded in the slightest, and the fog hasn't lifted with the coming of the dawn either. The sky is hidden by the impenetrable mist, and you can't help but feel somewhat trapped, by fog, wood, and dragon all.
You're all healthy enough to assume full healing overnight. What's the plan? Heading into the valley to find the tomb, or something else?
"The sword will be unmistakeable. It lies in a golden scabbard, and the hilt and crossguard are worked in gold and black steel. A gem of everchanging colours is set in the pommel. Furthermore, it will be the centrepiece of the tomb. Now," Hashima says with authority, "you may rest until dawn near the valley entrance. I pray for your success."
As the dragon settles back on his legs like a gargantuan dog he holds you with an unblinking gaze, and murmurs something under his breath.
Perception DC 15 and Draconic:
"No priest. Pity."
The dragon raises his chin slightly and looks down his snout at the northman. His nostrils flare as he inhales, then relax as he exhales evenly. "You shall travel into yonder valley," he rumbles, flicking his tail towards the valley beyond the far end of the glen. "There you will find a tomb. Inside is something I have been searching for - a sword. Bring me the sword, and anything else of beauty or value that you find within. Once I have the sword, you may leave, unmolested. I suggest you wait a few hours till dawn. You may take your rest at the entrance to the valley if you wish." Hashima smiles. "Never fear; I will watch over you and keep you safe."
Kraz attacks the door with an impressive brutality, and after a few devastating hacks - one of which sprays splinters of wood as the central section of the door collapses - you can see into the room beyond.
Peering in the door without poking your heads through it, you can see the chamber, shrouded in darkness (and so this description is only for those with darkvision) is 50 feet long north to south, 30 feet wide, and 20 feet high (the now destroyed door is in the east wall). It contains a large, stone throne encrusted with six black pearls to the north, and two onyx tables with elegant runes carved upon them to the south. A giant mural covering the three walls of the chamber facing the throne shows dwarves being captured by drow, carried in boats on an underground river, working in a slave camp, and being magically and painfully transformed into gibberlings, which are then shown stampeding away through tall fields of ripe wheat. The mural works around a small door in the wall directly opposite the throne to the south. Behind and above the throne on the north wall is a ledge which holds various souvenirs and trophies - dwarven banners, shields, and what appears to be the skull of some kind of giant.
Here's a crappy map, pasted into a .doc then exported to pdf - hence all the whitespace :) What's the plan? None of you have entered the room, but Kraz and Beerg up at the door (and perhaps others) can easily see all of the room.
Hashima snorts, his eyes drifting away from you all. "Wizards. Powerful compared to the rest of humanity, perhaps, but overrated in the grand scheme of things. Still," he says, immediately returning his focus to you, "they have their uses.
"Now, down to business, I think. In compensation for the damages you have wrought on my demesne and minions, rather than suffer my wrath - which, as you would agree, would be quite a fruitless exercise for me, and a disastrous one for you - you will do me a small favour. In return, I shall demonstrate my benevolence and provide you with the information you need to find this... Albino Flind." Hashima smiles toothily. "Everybody gets what they want. What could be fairer than that?" He pauses for just a moment before continuing (allowing time for any interjections you may wish to make)...
Sorry folks, an unexpectedly busy weekend.
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
Hashima regards you all with apparent seriousness as you tell him of the Albino Flind and its capacity for treachery, but when you finish he shakes his head dismissively. "I sense your genuine concern for my physical and financial well-being, and that this pale hyena man might swindle me, or burgle my rightful possessions, but I am happy to report that he is long gone. I saw him off myself, after recruiting his followers here. However, it sounds like you may have more than just my welfare in mind; this sounds personal," Hashima notes perceptively, addressing Arthur. His nostrils flare briefly, casually. "You seek him, yes?"
Greatswords are not made for chopping through iron-bound doors, but Kraz's mighty swing crashes into the locked door, doing visible damage to its structural integrity - cracks run up the central third of the door, from near the top to about three feet from the bottom.
You can continue to chop at the door with weapons; you expect it will give in no more than a minute or two with a couple of strikes as effective as Kraz's. You have effectively forfeited the element of surprise, however. Happy to finish the job with weapons?
Jack looks intently at the lock, and while he is confident it isn't trapped at all, there is something odd about the internals. It's as if some unseen thing is holding the pins in place...
Excellent roll, so just to avoid wasting anyone's time I'll let you know: the door has arcane lock cast on it.
Before Reynwyn's response:
Piety says simply, "I am Piety, formerly of Netheril."
Wis (Insight) DC 15:
As Carric introduces himself to the wyrm it eyes him intently. It then turns its gaze towards Reynwyn and Arthur, maintaining the same intensity in its look.
Wis (Insight) DC 20:
As the previous spoiler, except you can detect a little frisson, a shiver, like an electric charge, starting at the dragon's head, travelling down its neck, and working its way down its body and tail as Hashima eyes the ranger intently. It pays very little attention to Revjak, except to squint briefly at Azuredge.
"Well met, well met," Hashima nods to Revjak, Carric, and Piety, after cocking a curious eyebrow at the man-golem. The wyrm then turns to the two half-elves. "And you two? I can smell your talent from here, the pair of you. Are you dabblers, or proper practitioners of the Art? I, myself, take more than a passing interest in magic."
After Reynwyn's response:
The dragon preens at Reynwyn's respectful tone. "Yes, quite... A fiend, you say? A fiend in the literal or metaphorical sense? I usually avoid dealing with devils and demons when I can help it, but one can find evil in many places. Why don't you tell me who, or what, you seek. Perhaps I can point you in the right direction. As for my minions, you have murdered many of their kin... But so long as we get along, I will not let them inconvenience you in any way."
Hashima looks over you all again. "In some ways, you have answered the most burning question in my mind: why are you here? You seek someone, or something. Pray, tell."
EDIT: Ninja'd by Reynwyn! Updated...
Also, a cartoon, just for fun :)
Okay, assuming Carric and Reynwyn will also sheathe their weapons...
Once you all sheathe your weapons and announce the fact to Hashima, he purrs with satisfaction. "Excellent. Now, let us regard each other." Before anyone can react, you hear a mighty whoosh of air, like the filling of a giant bellows; is that the sound of a dragon inhaling? Adrenaline floods your body as you realise that dragons must inhale deeply before exhaling their deadly breath weapons. You tense your muscles, prepared to leap aside, but too late! The dragon breathes out, and the force of its exhalation almost topples you over backwards...
But while the wall of air that hits you does carry a strong acrid odour that irritates your nostrils, you are not struck by fire, or lightning, or noxious fumes. Instead, the fog around you swirls under the force of the breath, blown away from the immediate area to reveal your surroundings.
You stand in a shallow glen, a small depression in the earth perhaps sixty feet wide and one hundred feet deep, with earthen banks that rise up ten to twenty feet to meet the forest, where the trees are once more twisted and forced together. Behind you are the gnolls, some fifteen of them, forty feet away at the entrance to the depression where the trees part. At the far end of the glen you see a cliff that opens out what appears to be a much deeper valley, although it remains draped in thick fog. A pool sits off in front of you to your left (west), its waters black and motionless, its nearest bank formed by a rocky ridge.
But what draws your eye immediately is the huge creature before you. Probably nearly sixty feet long, with its length divided more or less equally between neck, body, and tail, it is indeed a green dragon. A large spiny crest begins between its brows and continues for most of the length of its neck. Its teeth, gleaming yellow-white, are uncomfortably visible even though its mouth is closed, and its black eyes are dark pools of emptiness as it stares at you one by one. It perches on the rocky ridge this side of the empty pool, and the rock crumbles slightly as it shifts its massive bulk.
You are more than aware that this immensely powerful being could crush any one of you like an ant, should it choose, and that while as a group you may cause it some pain, you are far more likely to fall without seriously wounding it than you are to defeat it. You feel your blood pumping in your veins, hammering in your ears, and you are keenly aware of the sweetness of every breath, and just how fragile your life is.
"I believe I have already introduced myself," Hashima rumbles. "Now... who might you be?"
I dare say looks something like this... although currently in a far less aggressive posture.
"Good," purrs the voice, drawing out the syllable with a tone of satisfaction. "Sheathe your weapons, and I will command my minions to fall back." The voice then barks out a series of commands in a babbling, growling language that sounds like insane gibberish.
For those who speak Gnoll:
"Back! Hold the entrance. I will talk to the intruders. They might succeed where you have failed me!"
You can all hear angry but muted growls coming from back in the direction you came from, and the sound of retreating feet on the sward. Then, the voice speaks again. "Excellent. Perhaps you will sheathe your weapons ? Then we may see each other."
Happy to sheathe weapons...?
"Your hissing back and forth seems to hold a note of stress. We have no need to come to blows, despite your reckless attack on my demesne. I have a proposition you may find profitable," the voice purrs. "Rather rush to what would be your certain deaths by engaging my minions and me, I encourage you to hear my proposal. I will not, however, tolerate continued refusal to treat politely. The longer you hold your silence, the shorter grows your time." By the end of the statement a note of menace has most certainly crept into Hashima's otherwise amiable tone.
"I am most commonly known as Hashima," the deep voice answers,"although these gnolls refer to me as Brakk-yolnyu, which I believe roughly translates as Deathcloud; hardly flattering, and somewhat reminiscent of poor digestion. Still, they are by and large obedient, if not clever or diplomatic. Why don't you introduce yourselves, so that we may begin building the aforementioned relationship of trust."