Heh, I forgot that Aliya was with you.
Aliya slowly moves up to Hazreem, fighting off the dragonfear. She gives the wondrous creature a slight bow and turns to Hazreem. "I am no warrior Hazreem and I have missed out on hundreds of years of life. I will return home when I can. However, take this." She hands Hazreem an emerald hair comb. "You can use it as a focus to reach me later. I will tell my court, if it still stands, about what is going on and perhaps they may help."
"Hmm", the dragon ponders. "The templar queen, probably. As for Jhavhul, the prince's unabashed abuse of wishcraft is become a blight upon reality and existence. I guess that he is probably quite defended in every way possible now, especially from divination. But, I am told the Eye's power has no equal."
He looks to Efreat."Ask your friend about the wisdom of such things. I've never used the mirror."
Efreat places his hand upon the mirror and commands it to show him Haleen. He is a bit taken aback as the mirror quickly engages him in a battle of will. Will Save: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (8) + 12 = 20 CL check: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (11) + 14 = 25
After a few moments, however, Efreat's sheer strength of desire to see Haleen again wins out and all goes black for him. Slowly the reality around him shimmers and remakes, and he finds himself back in Kelmarane.
It is an oppressive hot day and he and other women and children are lined up. Something isn't quite right, why is everyone shackled? Efreeti, salamanders, fire elementals, orcs, and knolls, all parade about, as in smug arrogance. Kelmarane has fallen! No, not again.
A crack of the scorpion whip flashes before Efreat’s face. ”March, human scum!” a dog-like voice barks out from the gnoll taskmaster. The women and children march along the path. Days go by, Efreat and the others are parched, near exhaustion, near death. Only meager drops of water and scraps of bread every so often keep you going. Meanwhile, the gnoll and orc guards freely help themselves of the wine, fruit, and other delights. How long can you go on? What fate is this?
Near total exhaustion, you reach a familiar place: the entrance to the House of the Beast! At the gates, a well armored efreeti steps out and halts you all. ”You insolent fools”, he yells out, drawing his sword. You feel the end is here, but are surprised when the large falchion severs the head from the gnoll taskmaster in the front. The other guards step back. ”Were you not told that these were personal guests of the Master?” He swishes the blood off the falchion and steps forward. ”Were you not told that these were to be taken care of?” With a quick strike, another guard goes down. The remaining guards cower. One in the rear breaks off and runs, but a huge boulder thrown from somewhere strikes him down.
The efreeti turns to Efreat and the others. ”Forgive me. I will have a word with the captain in your village. You were to be treated as guests of the master. Your escort should not have been left to the dogs and pigs. Come. I insist.” As you step into the fortress, you hear the dying screams of the remaining escort.
Patrols of fire giants, efreeti, and other familiar creatures roam the top level palace, but it seems that isn’t your destination. No, you have been led back down to the elaborate garden area underground in the palace, a juxtaposition of green and life in this place of death. Four monoliths shaped as scowled heads oversee this garden. You remember this place. The stream. The almond trees.
An azer steps forward and cuts your bonds. The efreeti open his powerful arms, “Drink, eat, refresh yourselves. I am told this is a place of beauty for your kind.” The children whimper and cling fast, even to other strange women, who embrace them as their own. Some of the women, even Efreat, warily sample the waters and lush nuts and fruit. It seems fine and the children join in as well.
”With my regrets, I must say that this is not your final domain. Where we go next is dangerous, do not stray far.” The efreeti leads you to a circular stone room and pulls out some sort of bone. The sigils and runes about the room flash blood red and a portal of flame opens. The azer guard brandishes a wand and begins casting a spell on each person. Efreat instantly feels much more comfortable in the heat. He motions you all to step into the flame, ”It will not hurt you.” He states as he disappears first into the inferno.
Efreat steps forward and is consumed by the flames that do not burn. You are suddenly standing in a warm cavern. The volcanic tunnel before you seems to split into 3 directions. A salamander dressed in obvious arcane vestments steps forward to the efreeti and they exchange some words. He then turns to you, ”You will now be magicked away to the quarters for the master’s honored guests. This stay can be as pleasant or unpleasant as you choose to make it. Who knows, you may even gain his favor and a wish or two. I myself was not always an efreet," he smiles, bows, and steps back through the portal of flames.
It is too much to take in … what does that all mean?
Efreat feels his body moving forward without him. As his body steps forward, he sees her, Haleen! She is sad but resolute and she joins hands with the others. She turns, to where Efreat is standing. Almost as if she knows he is there. How could she? This must have all already happened? She gives a half smile and turns away again. The salamander utters some words of magic and the group disappears.
Reality begins to fade again. Efreat feels like he is shaking. Why is he shaking? Suddenly he becomes aware of is surroundings.
Bahir and Mah’ysa are shaking him by his shoulders. Efreat looks around, as if just waking from a sleep and sits in exhaustion.
Its only been a few minutes or so of time but Efreat’s body feels as though it experienced everything in the vision. Efreat is currently fatigued
The magma dragon steps forward, ”Are those the answers you sought little one? hissss another dripping of magma hits the brass.
"Is there anything else you wish to know? The Vizier would like his mirror back soon."
"Ahh, the blood of the efreet runs strong in you. Yes, the Eye can show you this if you are ready. Place your hand on the mirror and speak thus, 'Kainatın 3-cü gözünün sirri ilə mənə qeybi göstər'"
By the mystery of the 3rd eye of the universe, show me the unseen
If you do not speak Ignan, make a linguistics check for correct pronunciation or UMD check to augment.
The dragon opens his maw and magma seems to ooze from his jaws, hissing as it hits the brass floor, "Yes, the mirror could show you these things if you willed it. However, I can also say that the djinni general Nefeshti fights his forces as we speak. Others ... you seem to have already met. This battle will not be won with armies; don't bother with your Pactmasters of Katapesh, as they have cowed to the Efreeti Prince in exchange for hope to be spared. Pffft," he hisses, "it is a stupid hope."
If you are lurking and don't know much about Legacy of Fire, major spoilers are in this post.
"Ahh excellent question for an Air Elemental,", he says to at Hazreem quite sarcastically. "Hmm, how far back to go", he pauses, " the story of the fall of the impetuous noble prince of Al-Bazan begins with the rebuffed courtship of Ymeri, Elemental Queen of the Inferno."
"Rightfully divining that Ymeri is impressed with power, especially power that could help her conquer Ayrzul, elemental lord of the earthen plane, Jhavhul sought out your world to unlock its treasures and perhaps find something to further his goals. He stumbled onto the cult of Rovagug and the secrets of a terrible spawn: Xotani the Firebleeder."
"He rose up the House of the Beast in dedication to Rovagug and amassed quite an army. He then grew mightily in power through the alarming abuse of wish magic, offering two wishes to his servants as long as their third wish was used to support his efforts to rise Xotani, whose slumbering corpse is thought to rest somewhere below the House of the Beast."
"The djinni Nefeshti felt the tears in the fabric of your world caused by Jhavhul's abuse and amassed her own army, led by her 5 Templar generals, most of whom you have met in some way now," he pauses an looks at Bahir's sword. "After much strife, Nefeshti's lover managed to trap Jhavhul into the demiplane of Kakishon, of which you freed him in a measure of stupid curiosity."
He looks at Bahir now, "The disgraced Prince has resumed his former work and you can find within or beneath the House of the Rough Beast, where this all started, and where you have already been. He has figured out how to block my master's divination now, likely through wishes, and so I can only speculate."
Looking at Mah'ysa, "It won't be easy servant of the Dawnflower. If the rumors are true, he is likely close to his goal now and Xotani may soon be free to destroy your world. He is stronger, his armies are stronger, and he has amassed quite a few defenses. You should seek allies and conduct as direct attack as possible. While powerful, the prince will still die like any other, and I do caution you to finish the job. Simply banishing him back here or binding him will only delay his plans for a time."
He looks at the mirror, "I do entreat you to use the Eye if you would like. I can show you how. It will reveal whatever you wish to see."
The ancient dragon pauses a moment, as if considering your request, and you quickly realize that it is likely communicating with the Vizier. A few moments later, he speaks again, "Your cooperation pleases the Vizier, as you have succeeded where others have failed. The Vizier is a busy man and will not meet you in person. However, I have authority to answer your questions on his behalf."
Fire away. The dragon will attempt to answer your questions, perhaps with the Vizier's help, for a few minutes. We will call that 10 significant questions just to put a cap and move the story along.
Sorry everyone. With my and my kids' schedules, I barely have been getting online. I can't predict the future here, but if you are willing to push forward as time allows, I am game. I am also supportive of another GM stepping in and leading you through Book 6. PbP GM'ing is very time consuming and I marvel at those who can lead and close out sessions quickly.
We are basically done with Book 5. There are some loose ends and then an entire Book 6 to go. The nice thing about a Book 6 is that you are all powerful enough to make things take as long or short to get to the end as you'd like (and ingenuity allows).
Does anyone have thoughts for making combat take up less time?
Annnnd done, wow that was a great spell!
With a final, vengeful blow, Bahir sinks Vardishal deep into the nephilum, who falls hard onto the ground. Any time for introspection is clearly ruined by the sudden landing of an enourmous red-colored dragon, dripping with magma, on the parapet balcony. It seems to momentarily consider breathing out a gout of molten lava upon all of you but instead speaks, "So Ezer is destroyed. Hand the mirror over to Grand Vizier now. Do not hesitate for a moment..."
Ezer begins defensively casting a spell, triggering Efreat's readied counterspell.
As a horrid magic begins coursing through his body, Efreat unleashes a wave of dispelling magic and Ezer loses the spell. Furious, Ezer rushes to the staircase leading back down.
The Emkrah again attempts to spit acid, only guessing where Hazreem might be in all this mess. The acid spit misses the druid wildly.
Party is up
Hazreem maintains his whirlwind form and tosses the Emkrah about in the swirling winds. (11 dmg to emkrah)
Efreat blasts Ezer with a quickened acid arrow and readies a counterspell.
Ezer seems to ignore the acid damage, though perhaps he was just able to shake it off quickly.
Bahir presses the fury of Sarenrae at Ezer. The spirit of Vardishal seems to make the paladin's attacks effortlessly strike on the unholy theurge of Rovagug. (142 dmg) Ezer grimaces in obvious pain but continues to press on with combat.
Attack 1 hits: 52-2(frost) = 50 dmg.
Attack H hits: 37-4(frost) = 33 dmg.
Attack 2 hits: 37-1(frost) = 36 dmg.
Crit confirms: +23 dmg.
Attack 3: misses
Total = 142 dmg.
Mah'ysa casts [i]sunbeam[/] and blasts the Emkrah. It doesn't seem quite as affected as she hoped ... it must not be as ooze-like as it looks.
The frost and acid were resisted, but keep including in case you do get through.
Hey guys, got back from GenCon, today was rough at work catching up. I will try and get an update soon.
Sorry Pae, I am not the one who delights in character deaths, but every so often the dice roller taketh away.
Assuming the party makes it, there will be plenty of new paths open to everyone coming soon.
Ezer focuses his intense hatred on Pae after the halfling tore through his flesh with his scorpion whip.
Destruction, Cleric 7---
Powerful, destructive magic courses through Pae's body, wracking him with pain and sapping his life force.
Pae, please make a Fortitude save
DC24, Failed Save:
Pae takes 130 damage on a failed save. Yes, 130. I think Pae is very much dead if you are reading this.---
DC24, Successful Save:
destruction, pass: 10d6 ⇒ (4, 3, 3, 1, 5, 2, 1, 2, 4, 2) = 27
Pae takes the above damage on a succesful save.---
Ezer steps 5ft northward from Bahir.
Ezer than quickly casts another spell and 5 magic bolts of energy fly out and strike his target. [Pae, if Pae is still up. Bahir, if Pae is dead or unconscious]
The spellcasters quickly realize that Ezer's seeming ability to mix arcane and divine magic, especially with powerful spells is quite rare. This is a formidable foe indeed.
Meanwhile, the Emkrah, attempts to spit acid at Mah'ysa again, though the whirlwind make it tough to target her.
Rest Party is up.
I had it in my head to wait for Mah'ysa too, but never actually said that. My bad! She is probably waiting on me to finish the round, hah.
==== ROUND 6b ====
Hazreem's whirlwind violently lifts the Emkrah off the ground and flings is about within the winds. (failed both saves - rolled offline, emkrah can otherwise act normally, but with penalities to dex and spellcasting) 15 bludgeoning damage to creature.
Seeing their opportunities, Efreat and Bahir move to act quickly. Efreat unleashes a powerful green ray of disintegration, which bypasses Ezer's defenses completely. (Fort: 1d20 + 26 ⇒ (12) + 26 = 38, pass, 34 dmg). Seeing the nephilim still quite capable, Efreat unleashes a follow-up magic missile volley, also passing through his defenses. (+19 dmg).
Bahir, meanwhile, rushes in to flank with Pae, landing a blow with Vardishal against Ezer. (quite a bit of the damage seemed to be absorbed; 12 taken).
Pae, seizes the opportunity gained from Bahir and Efreat's distractions and strikes Ezer with the scorpion whip across his face and then thigh, drawing deep wounds.(81 dmg taken after reductions)
------------------ ROUND 7 ------------------
Ezer steps towards Pae (10ft) and calls upon the fury of Rovagug to fuel his attack. Emboldened, he swings his foul greataxe at the gnome.
Seeing the futility of bypassing or attacking the paladin, the Emkrah spits a glob of acidic mucus at Mah'ysa.
Rest of party is up.
Emkrah Ref 1: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
Hazreem's airy self transforms into a giant whirlwind, bashing the emkrah about and trapping the hideous create within it. took 12 damage and trapped
Taking advantage of the distraction caused the giant whirlwind, Efreat casts dimensional anchor on Ezer, successfully preventing him from further use of teleport magic. Meanwhile, Pae deftly moves past the creature and into position to attack Ezer.
reminders: everyone can smite evil. Bahir cast Bestow Grace on Mah'ysa
Mah'ysa is up.
[-]Ezer points at Bahir and shouts a word in Draconic, "Blinde!" Bahir suddenly feels his eyes failing him.
Power Word Blind---
Caster Level Check: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (8) + 13 = 21
Bahir, there is no save. If I get through SR (if you had any), then you are blinded for some duration (based upon your current hit points)
Ezer then quickly casts another spell on himself.
Divine Favor, Quickened. Seems like I already did this, but I didn't cross it off on my sheet....---
[-]The Emkrah slithers towards Bahir (5'), tentacles flailing wildly about ready. If anyone had a jellyfish phobia, this would be as bad as it gets! Suddenly it unleashes an array of tentacles while the horrid skeletal mouth inside the ooze emerges and also tries to bite Bahir.
tentacle slam 1: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (11) + 13 = 24 for slam: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
If any of those tentacles hit (I think unlikely, but not sure with blinded) it also initiates a grapple.
Party is up
Spells Cast / Items Used Reminder:
Mah'ysa: Resist Energy (Fire) 30 (Self), Prayer (Group), Blessing of Fervor (Group), Onyx Figurine of Wonderous Power
Bahir: Greater AA (Self), Sword is (axiomatic, keen, holy),
Hazreem: Stoneskin (Self), Wand of Bulls Strength (Bahir),
Efreat: mirror image (Self, 8 iamges)
I'll call that about 2 rounds worth of conversation; please keep track of your buff duration(s).
The group steps through the portal, not sure what to expect. Once you appear back into the sitting room, you plainly see the north-west crimson curtain torn to the ground and a horrific beast standing in the threshold.
This semi-gelatenous ... thing ... surges forth a wave of tentacle legs atop a disgusting trunk of jellyfish-like ooze with veins running throughout. On its body sits a fleshy head dominated by a huge mouth and a yawning, empty eyesocket. The map has a picture.
Ezer is also visible on the balcony area behind the creature. He stands at the ready with his greataxe in hand, magical energy coursing through him as though he may have just recently cast another spell.
The creature is an Emkrah, some sort of failed spawn seed of Rovagug that hatch from Rough Seeds (you actually found one of these seeds a long while back).
[-]You recall that this creature is highly acidic in nature, and therefore causes acid damage and likely immune to acid as well.
[-]Given its ooze-like nature, it is probably safe to assume that precision/sneak damage won't affect it.
I can reveal some more information if the checks warrant it.
Mah'ysa is up
Round 4: ----------------------------
Bahir’s detect evil does not detect any strange presence.
The onyx dog sniffs around and heads for the portal, stopping just short. It doesn’t seem super sure of itself , but it clearly doesn’t have the scent in here.
—— Round 2 —-
previous success on spellcraft or another at dc19:
Dimension door would have allowed Ezer to travel between the pocket dimension and anywhere he could get to in range of the spell. There is no planar restriction like teleport.
rules were a bit grey here but since the portal was open, I counted it as anywhere he could reach. You guys could get the same ruling of it ever comes up.
Party is up.
"As I suspected, a battle" he grins.
Mah'ysa moved off to the side.
Ezer Initiative: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
"I am Ezzer Hazzebaim. I stole the Eye from the Vizier and tricked that foolish efreet Al-hassan (Jhavhul's brother) into helping . The idiot wasn't strong enough to hold back the Marid invasion or the Vizier's magics though, which is why I am in this mess now.
He casts two spells upon himself.
Spellcraft DC 15+:
First spell was Resist Energy (Fire).
DC20: Second spell was Quickened Divine Favor.---
He begins moving towards the mirror.
Bahir presses his hands upon the mirror that Mah'ysa freshly anointed with thirteen vials of holy water. At first nothing seems to happen but moments later all of reality around the mirror seems to distort. Reality settles again and you now see a giant of a man (actually large) with the dark skin of a Garundi and long, flowing white hair. He has a hulking, muscular frame, wears a plain brown tunic, and holds a massive greataxe.
He looks up at you and nods, "Ahh, free after so many years. It ... feels good." His eyes turn towards the portal, "I will take the mirror and break this curse, there is no time to lose. The Vizier would know you have the mirror and that I am free now, and his minions surely descend upon us."
Sense Motive DC25:
He seemed almost disappointed in seeing Bahir at first.
This Garundi giant is actually a Nephilim, a race created from offspring of mortal humans and the immortal deities or demigods. They are known to be supernaturally strong and very tough.
You recognize it as the voice and image that has periodically appeared in reflective surfaces and given you clues
As you approach he continues, ”At last the prize is found! Give the bronze abulations in a dozen and one sacred draughts. While it is still wet, place your palms on the surface and simply wish for the trapped to be freed. But hurry, the window of opportunity closes quickly. The many eyes of the Vizier search you out even now.”
Pae scans the room thoroughly and makes his way to the mirror, cautiously checking for traps.
Just as he makes it to the mirror and turns around to give the all clear, a voice is cast out from the polished brass surface, ”It ... is about time”, the voice sighs with relief. ”Please, free me quickly.”
The mirror is about 3 feet tall.
Your arcana check is high enough to know that it takes very special magic (like legend lore), research, trial, or instruction to know how to use artifacts. Simple spellcraft won't do.
Your history check wasn't high enough to recall anything about using it.
Mah’ysa, Hazreem, and probably Efreat all move to eagerly cast detect magic through the portal on the mirror. After getting through the obvious aura of the portal, they all pick up they aura from the mirror. Staying focused , all three are nearly mentally overcome from the overpowering Divination aura. Almost certainly none of the three have felt an aura this strong before. I like the visuals of all three casters, finally seeing their most likely goal , and ticket out of here, rushing to all try and inspect it.
Meanwhile, Bahir, more interested in knowing the whether or not there is a hint of evil taint uses his detect evil ability and doesn’t sense any sort of evil.
“Alright, so what’s the deal?”, Pae interrupts , trying to get a peek.
Assuming Efreat will go along.
As Bahir passes Ymeri's Breath through the shimmering rift, a 10' wide extradimensionl portal immediately opens before you all. Starting into the portal, you see a small brass mirror standing in the middle of a plain room, devoid of any furnishings and decoration so common to the rest of the palace.
Efreat 'al Inferis wrote:
I'm in. I would prefer to continue my sorcerer but maybe a little retraining. There were two NPCs that were important to my character but only one of which I would like to have resolution of before the end of book 6, i.e. Haleen whom we lost at the end of book 3 to an unknown fate.
Thanks for the reminder. I will check into it and we can address it.
Was the other character your mother from the Mummy's Mask game? We can perhaps bring her storyline to a head as well if so.
To keep myself sane, and to fit my schedule, I am going to keep up with a lot less stuff moving forward, specifically during combat. All I ask is that you try and keep your character sheet up to date with what was used and whatnot.
The goal is to make a combat update post not take 1.5 - 2 hrs to complete.