Chezarina, as you turn your intense focus on to the pending danger, you see the creatures more clearly - they are dead elens, all with large, bloody wounds in their chests. They are all sylphs, and recently dead judging by the small amount of decay evident.
you can act first, that was just a little more description
getting us rolling again
Zeph, Sky Lore, ritual: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18
Zephyr mutters archaic phrases in old sylphan tongues, his eyes working back and forth beneath closed eyelids.
The rest of you hear sudden, sharp intakes of breath all around you.
Rustling in the nearby brush, more awful, labored breathing. Elen-like shapes are crawling out of the brush now, gasping, struggling to breathe in the sweet scent of a living demigod.
With Albert not replying, I must assume he is gone for the long-term. We're losing a strong, consistent poster, which means we need to recruit (I've found 4 or 5 to be a good amount to maintain momentum in PbP). I vastly prefer individual recruitments rather than opening a whole thread, so my question is:
----->Does anyone know of a fellow player/players on the boards who is a consistent poster who might have fun in this campaign? Please let me know! Feel free to ask around in your other games.
I'd like to take a brief hiatus this week, so I can think about the game. If Albert/polyfrequencies won't be able to return to posting (and I wish him all the best, hope all is well) I'll need to contemplate re-recruitment, etc.
We'll be rolling perception checks and initiative when we are back (say tentatively Nov 25th). If you wish to post in Gameplay feel free, but for the next ~5 days I am on break.
You have all had a chance to see Fury, Zephyr's elemental companion, by now. Still, the sudden gust of wind is a surprise as the air elemental twirls furiously--ruffling hair and cloaks--to catch Zephyr emir and steady him to the ground.
Has he fainted? someone asks. But no, his eyes are moving back and forth as if in heavy dream ; he has fallen into deep meditation like a hawk soaring into Sky. Anan holds his limp hand, face pinched with worry but eyes full of hope.
No worries if you are busy Zeph -- since you are in charge of the ritual, I'll need some skill checks, but I will bot if needed
all: cast buffs etc, and then roll initiative, as Albert knows you will be attracting unwelcome attention once the ritual starts
Zephyr emir wrote:
Albert nods as Zeph begins explaining a good idea cloaked in mystical phrases. "Well go ahead and get set up, or start meditating. One problem though - the sort of energy you're going to be radiating will attract every Moon-corrupted beastie in a quarter-mile radius."
The head medic assumes his 'game plan' voice, clipped and to the point. "Luu Sânh, I can tell you have a knack for seeing the subtleties or spellcraft. Take Drook with you and help out Zeph."
"The rest of us will be protecting the primary ritual-casters and taking out any baddies that rear their ugly heads. Any questions?"
Can I get a uick update on availability through the holidays next week? It makes a big difference in pacing if everyone can commit to a post a day (or at least every other day).
If we have a few players that won't be available next week, we can call a brief hiatus until after the next week.
Let me know!
Albert intervenes, knowing Bye's...peculiarities better than most. He uses a calm, neutral tone. "No Bye, she was just saying she needs to find a clue. She's expressing confusion in a funny way." He pauses, observing Bye starting to calm down. "Okay?"
Bye looks at Chezarina again, expecting confirmation or denial of Albert's words.
botting Albert for now, PMed and have not heard back. Hope he will be back soon :)
Albert gives a small whistle at the strange sight; not out of irreverence, just sheer wonder at the spectacle- harbingers of death, caught and transfixed like some forgotten taxidermy experiment in the corner of a dusty old med lab.
Albert, know planes, aided: 1d20 + 16 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 16 + 2 = 31
"Well I'll tell you one thing - those are the real deal. Not just vultures, but capital V Vultures. I won't bore you with the technical list of their elemental immunities, because I think the bigger picture is how to cure them."
As Albert says, these are harbingers and carrion-feeders of mythical status. To have them trapped like this could only mean disaster for the supernatural balances, especially those of the Father and His children the sylphs.
You think you know of a ritual to start cleansing this area, but it will take time and concentration to do so.
You see the energies tangling the Vultures in place. Once again, your intuition for the shifting tension of magicks comes in handy.
1) You will be able to aid Zephyr in a ritual he is going to try
2) Your knowledge checks are good enough to know that such a ritual might attract the attention of pitiful creatures that are unable to die due to the Vulture being caught. These would be roughly the equivalent of ghouls, but without stench (and more like blood drinking and breath-stealing)
Topping a small rise on the road, Zephyr sees them first--
the same Vultures that heard your invitation, and called upon the self-titled Prince and heir to Father Sky (you).
They are now utterly frozen in mid-flight, like some museum display, or a conjurer's illusion. You can only guess that they were caught during Moon's journey toward Hearth.
roll knowledge checks to learn more, if you are trained
It is eleventh candle.
After several candles of travel, the light snowfall has ceased. You are the only creatures in the vicinity leaving footprints of any kind, adding to the sense of isolation many of you have been feeling all morning.
In the crystalline stillness, the very sounds from your conversations seem to freeze and fall to the ground. In the chaotic wake of Moon's passing, your words are etched into the dirt and snow, but they are jumbled:
"Pushing back? ** Impossible."
"Survive it? Impossible. Surely impossible."
And now the words appear one at a time on the road before you, here and there, as if they are leading you somewhere-
"and sometimes-- portent is metaphor --- and metaphors are made real --
--death of the Father-
--behold the power of Moon Madness."
Zephyr, Anan looks worried this morning. "Emir, do you think we will witness the awful things the crows were describing?"
top of this page, the crows who were screaming like the dead warned you of holy Vultures who were in peril due to the Breathless Valley and the influence of Moon. You will meet them on the road today, if the crows are to be believed.
It is snowing. You see fat, lazy flakes drifting all about you, as if there are no cares in the world.
As you remove the tarp, you see gray-white clouds above a landscape just starting to turn white from the snowfall. The carnage of last night --upturned roots, dead birds, elen bodies with rictus-smiles -- is slowly being covered by the cold, uncaring snow.
It is a grim morning as you eat, pack up camp, and make ready for the road. Hearth is still over a week's travel away.
I like RPing the watches. I'll post an update tomorrow on the new day's adventures.
Chezarina, Gamberino and Iris share a watch with you. Gamb wants to talk about how volced up everything was last night, but Iris finally snaps at him to be quiet. The ifrit puts his hands up, a wordless apology, and goes to have a smoke on the perimeter. Iris looks at you and rolls her eyes, clearly expecting that you feel the same way.
Thuàng Nê Luu Sânh wrote:
Fredrik, the serious-faced young priest who was goodpriest Edmund's primary acolyte, shakes his head. With slight distaste, he says, "My mentor cautioned against such things. I'll share in the first watch." He stiffly takes his leave. Drook follows shortly after, apologizing for Fredrik.
-the flame-winged presence is gone.
Drook's eyes are completely healed, and all traces of the lingering magicks are gone. He has faint red marks to the side of each eye, like small wings. He is sleeping, a deep, healing rest.
take watches, etc, for the remainder of the night, and mark yourself as healed, spells back, etc.
Your trained healer's hands go for the obvious route, the straight forward techniques -
Albert heal: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (1) + 17 = 18
only to be met with a sudden loss of bloodflow that is as terrifying as it is baffling. Under the treatment of the moly, Drook's eyes go cold and white, almost like frostbite. What could have gone wrong? One last joke of the inquisitor? You think of applying a warm compress, anything--
"No. We claim this one. He will be a witness to our first Acts." A winged silhouette fills the room, flaming wings spreading healing energies all across the enclosure like an ocean--
Albert reroll, divine intervention: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (16) + 17 = 33
Gamberino distracts many of the younger acolytes and alchemists with some card tricks. He manages to find several extra crocodile 3s behind ears, smiling and distracting.
This leaves you time to work on Drook. The moly is prepared from an earlier alchemy check, so here's what I need:
Luu Sânh, spellcraft check to thoroughly expunge the arcane infection
feel free to do buffs beforehand if they will help
The hour is late. Moon Rises.
Candles have passed underneath the wires and tarp of your makeshift shelter. Your elen eyes have been adjusting to the dim gloom of the evening, when the air begins rapidly brighten around you. Yellow light, softened only slightly by the canvas covering, beams into your eyes.
And though this lurid color of yellow is ugly to behold, and the sharp brightness of the light certainly unpleasant...that is the extent of it. Nothing attacks your body or assails your mind. The celerity cage has held. Drook starts sniffling, the emotion of the moment too much for him, reminding Albert and Luu Sânh of their remaining obligation.
Outside, you hear strange laughter--part scream, part moan--rise and fall in time with the light. All the hapless elens and animals caught without protection, now exulting Moon's name with vomited smiles. Wild winds shake the yellow grasses about you, sounding like a derisive hiss from an angry crowd.
Indeed, Luu Sânh's intuition is a thing she simply flows with, even when she cannot see the shape of her own work straight away. By the time the alloys have cooled and the fine wiring soldered in place, you have collectively made a fine rosette pattern that pleases the eye and distributes the theoretical energies quite nicely.
When all the circuits touch in just the right way, Albert adds the final ingredient - celerity. With his alchemical prowess, it's nearly child's play to set up a reaction that provides sufficient energy and protection for the duration of Moonrise.
There is a hum, loud at first, then quiet, as the dense field of celerity settles in to place. The sounds and voices around you all seem muffled beneath that low hum. You feel completely isolated from the outside world. It is cold and damp in the trench Gamberino and the young ones dug.
Gamberino, the garrulous ifrit medic, takes a few of the younger disciples and sets to work on digging a shallow trench with a will. Washakie is missed not only for his kindness and patience, but this day for his natural touch for orean earth-moving.
Iris, the sylphan medic, quietly oversees the organization of the special materials needed for the charged cage; alloys made here, this particular anodization process along there...
Anan puts his hand on Zephyr's shoulder, offering wordless comfort. He can tell the emir is tired this day.
Chezarina, you spook a few wolves into finding an easier meal elsewhere, but aside from that there is little to report. Like a hush before a storm, the local wildlife seems to be hiding from the impending passage of Moon.
Zephyr, your head is clouded after the difficult conversation with Bye. Something about the Breathless Valley, and the nests of lightning elementals, has left you exhausted.
please give the following skill checks to see how the building goes:
albert's craft alchemy is already a success
Luu Sânh, please roll knowledge (planes) to lend your undan perspective on flowing energies to the design
Zeph, please roll knowledge (religion) with a +2 from Fury, to fine-tune the spiritual dimensions of protecting yourself from Moon
Chezarina, please give a Survival check to make sure no wandering baddies disrupt the project. This is close enough to being "Road" for favored terrain bonus, AND take a +2 from Gamb helping (he's comfortable with the outdoors, and tells you about family camping trips off the templeroads as you patrol)
--Somewhat off the main roads will help, but everything in a hundred mile radius will be bathed in moonbeams, so getting out of the direct path is the best use of your time.
--Digging it partially underground, even a few inches, will help "ground out" the various charges that will be flickering in the air.
--Between your spellcraft and alchemy, and the more exotic materials that Iris' group gathered, it can be done.
--You surmise that any dispelling you do on Drook will be most effective INSIDE of the faraday cage, where his 'signal' will be cut off from Moon
There is a dreadful silence that meets these words.
Gamberino speaks first. The ifrit always seem to have ideas. "Well, we can make another cage, like that one in town. Have others dig so the cage is underground, more protection from those rays that make people go crazy."
all: roll what you have in terms of spellcraft, knowledge arcana, and crafting skills. If you have none of those, do survival or athletics instead.
throw out other ideas if you have them - the knowledge rolls will also help you estimate how feasible and effective these will be
Chezarina, the other ifrit in the group (so many sylphs!) wordlessly joins you. You prepare to be annoyed by him breaking your precious silence, but to your surprise he simply does whatever heavy lifting you ask him to do, and other general campwork.
athletics: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (11) + 11 = 22
He gives you a nod of respect as you each finish your tasks. Bellissima," he says as he looks toward the defensible, snug campsite.
"I'm Gamberino. Most people call me Gamb. Next to meet you, eh?" He gives you a smile, then starts to heads back toward Albert and the others, always looking toward his professor for another task to do.
this is all after the Zephyr scene
Nothing is happening in terms of Moon waxing for...a long time. What happened to the pattern? It's the same sensation as be bypassed by a summer storm - calmness and disquiet.
Then you read the arcane currents and pressures more closely...
He is waiting. In two days, Moon will not only wax with strength as never before - He is moving on Hearth. The awful berth of His passage is, even now, tearing at the magical fabrics of the atmosphere.
And worse yet, on his ponderous journey, He will be flying directly overhead in less than a day.
percentile to act: 1d100 ⇒ 12
The awful loss of control is over after but a moment, but you feel the spell worming around in you, ready to make you lash out.
I'll let the scene sit - everyone can have a 'round' to act and try to cure, etc. If you are still on the boards, Luu Sânh, feel free to act immediately.
Aside from the magical items many of you hold and wield, the aura that holds your attention is that coming from the eyes of Drook. In some ways, the aura mirrors that of the detect magic cantrip you just cast - a weak pulsing of divination magic.
Beneath that, however, lies the filmy residue of a permanency spell, with the stopped clocks of Time magic ticking in your ears. The round faces of the clocks become black-framed glasses...you see a smug visage peering at you from behind those glasses...and laughter.
Will Save DC 18 vs Confusion