Asarasa ST

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    Sean Cassidy

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  1. Sigurn held up a hand towards Siwan, stopping her as she collected herself. She took a breath, then straightened her shoulders. "Skirra was struck by some manner of eldritch power, I believe," the Albadian woman informed the band. "She has been sent back to the spirit world until I can evoke the ritual to summon her back to this plane once more." Sigurn showed Siwan the medallion. "It is a symbol of the Empire of the Wheel, each spoke representing one of the major schools of magic. Though I cannot be certain, I believe it may hold some manner of dweomer." By the stairs, the slight girl they had taken in hand stretched out on the floor, trying to get a view into the floor below without crossing the threshold into it, less she trigger an arcane trap, if that was what had assailed Sigurn's familiar. Both she and Siwan had said the Perforated Plains had once belonged to an empire of sorcerers. Presumably there were magical traps all over the place. The domiciles of the wealthy in Shelzar were often protected with magical - as well as mundane - means. Her uncanny eyes not impeded by darkness, Zai looked for what she could, despite the poor angle. From what she could see, the floor below seemed to be largely open, though there was something in the center of the room. "I can see, I don't know, a weird pedestal or table or some such in the center of the room," she said in her faint, accented voice. "There looks to be a smooth round ball embedded into it - it might be able to fit in a hand. It looks to be made of shiny stone, maybe crystal or glass, but I can't tell from here in this light. There's scratchings on the surface of the table or pedestal or whatever it is, maybe its writing, but I can't read it." She glanced back over her shoulder at the other older, more experienced women. "Do you want me to sneak down there and take a look. I'm sneakier than that spooky spider."
  2. Arcana - The Wheel symbol is a somewhat arcane symbol, though old. The eight spokes correlate to the eight major schools of Magic. It was taken by the Empire of the Wheel for use as an Imperial symbol. The pendant itself seems oddly devoid of any weathering or marring of any sort, as if just crafted, even when old or used for some time. That is a common hallmark of items that have been prepared for or have been enchanted. Its inherent warmth could betoken any number of things - an enchantment, a flaw in the enchantment, a reaction to the presence of the eldritch mosaics in the room, some quality of the metal, etc. History - The Wheel was the main heraldic symbol of the Empire of the Wheel, which was established by renegade male sorcerers from Albadia, fleeing prosecution from the Helliann. Pendants of this sort were worn by many of their soldiers and the sorcerers who backed, who were a key component of their success in battle, having large scale, coordinated use of Magic in battle.
  3. Sigurn, in one of the privy alcoves, under the bench seat in a dusty corner, you found an amulet or pendant made of what looks to be polished steel. It's slightly warm to the touch. It looks like the image, without the writing around the rim.
  4. It was only about ten feet to the floor below but the secured rope allowed them to lower themselves without worry of twisting an ankle or suffering some other injury due to the debris of the stair case. It would almost make escalating back up the tower much easier. This floor of the tower was once more an open design, faint light filtering in from the arrow slits. A pair of shallow alcoves opposite each other appeared once to have been privies, judging by the stone benches pierced by circular openings, though there were no signs of basins or chamber-pots. This floor of the tower was unusually warm, but no more than two minutes later, it grew cool, chill even, enough that the breath of the women plumed the air. On the wall between the alcoves was a mosaic of a stylized flame made of what looked to be red glass of various shades, some of the tiles missing. Opposite it was another mosaic, this one of an abstract snowflake made of blue tiles. Approaching the latter, the chill grew even more fierce, while the coolness was absent by the image of the flame. A minute later, the temperature rose once more, enough to threaten sweat. Pooling their arcane knowledge, Siwan and Sigurn guessed it must've been some eldritch device to control the temperature in the tower, though it seemed the enchantment had been damaged. It appeared magic was most prevalent in the Empire of the Wheel, and not only restricted to the hands of the Sorcerer-Kings, though Siwan did not believe this was typical to the Empire. Perhaps it was due to the presence of the Arcane Manufactory. Sigurn's familiar skittered along the wall, pausing above the stairs to stare down at the level below with multifaceted eyes. The stairs here looked to be perfectly intact and secure, only discolored some by rust. Skirra climbed down the stairs. A moment after it was out of sight, the women noticed a brief flicker of light from the opening to the floor below, followed by a thump, and Sigurn felt the destruction of the corporeal form of her familiar, Skirra's spirit fleeing back from whence it came with a mental cry of <Aiee! Arrows of light!>
  5. With Skirra skittering ahead and Kora in the lead, the party navigated to the next floor below, taking special care on the stairs, the old, pitted bolts securing it rattling loudly with each step they took. This level of the tower was divided by stone walls. One half of the floor was an open room, while a hallway leading to the stairs bisected the other half. The large room held high, stone troughs on one side, empty, with several holes at their base, presumably for draining. Next to the troughs was a plain stone block or altar, a different stone from the rest of the tower they have seen, a rust red basalt that looked oddly smooth. The women did not touch the odd stone shelf to determine its actual textual, for its top radiated a palpable heat. Moving down the hall, Kora noted openings into a pair of rooms that accounted for about a quarter of the floor each. One was almost conspicuous in how barren it was. The other had a bent, rusted pieces of metal in the doorway that once may have been a latch. Inside, there were the remains of mildly curved slats of petrified wood, sundered hoops of metals. There was a dark, spreading stain on the floor and the scent of stale mold in the air. Reaching the opening to the floor below, Kora found that here, the stairs had not remained secured. Vision adapted to see in little to no light, she could see the remnants of the iron stairs, twisted and broken, on the floor, about ten feet below them. Faint streaks marred the floor, where the broken stairs had shifted some over time.
  6. Zai tightened her pack against her back then the slight girl leapt across the gap to the tower deftly, her feet sure and soft on the stone flooring. She stood close to the others, then took a step back when Kora gave her an annoyed look. Skirra voicing no sign of threat below, they proceeded down the iron stairs one at a time. The stairs creaked and groaned with each step, rust flaking to the floor below. Siwan looked around the tower as they proceeded, but found it rather utilitarian with few signs of embellishment or interior carving. The top floor of the tower had a circular opening in the ceiling about three feet across and some crystalline slivers on the ground mixed in with the dirt and grit. The circular opening was bordered by a rusted frame with two points that may have served to support something and Siwan guessed may have been able to spin at one time, but held nothing to suggest its purpose. The next floor down was almost as bare as the floor above. There were no large openings in the walls on this floor, only small ones at regular intervals that were clearly arrows slits. At as exposed to the weather, the wooden furnishings radiating in from the walls were not quite as decayed, though they had collapsed under their own weight long ago. Studying them, picking out pieces from the various clusters and noting frayed bits of fabric and rope, Siwan conjectured they were the remnants of beds, likely bunks. Opposite the stairs they had descended from was another set of iron stairs leading down. From a cursory glance, these stairs didn't look as secure as the first set they had navigated, definitely angling more towards the center of the tower. Skirra skittered down the stairs. It wasn't aware of any threat below them, but could tell the room was not open like the two above, divided by stone walls.
  7. Using her own eyes and those of her familiar, Sigurn saw no danger... or much of anything. The circular room was over twenty feet across, with another opening on the far side. From the carved frame around the opening, she suspected it led to a balcony or terrace that encircled the tower, though if so, the balcony had broken off long ago. To the left, about a quarter of the way around the room, was an opening with railess stairs leading down. Though the tower was made of well-fitted stone, the stairs appeared to have been constructed of iron, now rusted and pitted. They creaked and released flakes at Sigurn's prodding, but seemed solid enough. With the listing of the tower, moving about felt slightly unnatural or off kilter. Otherwise, the room was bare, not even any remnants of old furniture laying about, though there were old scuffs and trails through the grit suggesting someone or something had passed through here at one time or another. If this room had once held anything, it had been scavenged or plundered long since.
  8. As the raven flew a spiraling path down into the crater, Zai walked up to the edge with a seeming lack of concern to the height, either due to the sense of immortality that commonly inflicted the young or a familiarity and facility with heights and climbing. She looked down at the side of the crater, noting they were inclined inversely, forming a slight overhang. She studied the wall a bit longer then frowned. The slim girl whispered an arcane word she hardly understood, a hand made a mystic gesture, and as she went to lay down on her front, leaning slightly over the edge of the crater, her longknife slipped from its sheath in the grip of unseen force. The side looked solid enough though pitted and it didn't seem right to her, like poor mud bricks. Zai waggled her fingers and ten feet below the lip of the crater, her longknife swung out then slammed into the side of the crater with the pommel. Once, then twice. There was a grating shiver, then a thin facing on the interior side of the crater sloughed away and broke apart into dust and silt. Zai stood back up and dusted herself off as her knife flew back into the sheath far back on her hip. The girl looked at Kora shaking her head and pointing at the crater. Her meaning was clear. Though not impossible, scaling the inside of the crater wasn't safe. Flying inside the crater, Llygaid was not happy. There was a haze of dust and silt hanging in the air that irritated his eyes and grated on his feathers, perhaps from a faint skirling of wind, and added to by the Titan-tainted girl. He saw what he could then flew back to his perch on his mistress' shoulder, preening as he relayed what he saw. The structures, all no more than a story or two tall, save for the tower were more intact than would have been expected from falling through a sinkhole. That is not to say there were not damaged, most were cracked here or there, often with slate roofs caved in or bare of thatch, many resting uneven from ground that had heaved at some point in the pass. Some of the buildings, bit of corner or one wall, appeared to emerge from the side of the crater as if totally buried. The bottom of the tower was visible, as was the gaping entrance to it, though the entire level was foreshortened by a layer of dirt and and debris, as if partially sunken into the ground. They would have to crouch to pass through the doorway. It gave the small town the appearance of having been buried or swallowed by the ground rather than having fallen into a sinkhole. Perhaps the sinkhole had come later, exposing it to the world above once more. In the constantly shifting and billowing haze of dust and silt, there were not any clear tracks, though there was a muted furrow of something quite large, something with either no legs or too many.
  9. The disposition of the accursed flail settled on for the moment, the band continued on their journey, eating a meal of tack and dried meat in the saddle. If the map was correct, they should reach their goal by noon. With their hunters dispatched, the women rode a bit more at ease, though it did not lessen there wariness. They avoided any danger or engagements, save for one battle with a giant scorpion when they passed too close to where it lay concealed beneath a patch of gravel. They dispatched the immense scorpion readily enough, though not without one of them being caught in its pincers and one of the horses being stung. Its poison was virulent, but the magic of the Albadian Bard and Keltai Druid managed to save it. They spent a few minutes recovering, Siwan using her physician arts to bandage their wounds, then moved on. As the sun approached its zenith, the rode up an incline littered with the crumbled and broken remains of a town or city, the top of a tower just visible on the crown. But when they reached the top of the rise, they found it was a broad, open, old sinkhole, its sides hardened by weather and age. Shadows wreathed the bottom of the deep hole, more ruins visible, if perhaps more intact than those they passed through on the rise. From off center, about a third of the way around the crater, thrust a tower, sixty feet tall or a bit more. It listed somewhat to a side, so a gaping window or balcony lay ten feet away from the lip of the crater. Siwan checked the map again. As best she could determine, thanks to the notations about a tower, this was what they had been looking for.
  10. Zai straightened her slender shoulders at Siwan's praise, a pleased grin on her face. She hadn't panicked this time - it wasn't always the case, especially when out in the wilderness. Her smile faded when her eyes fell upon the bundle the Flail was wrapped in and she quickly glanced away with a shiver. It was a terrible weapon, yet it called to her. The night was uneventful, remarkably quiet in this desolate land. All that was seen while the women each took their watch inside the mystic dome with the unsleeping fey girl was a banded snake and what looked like a rat with quills like a porcupine that they had to shoo away from the horses. Though it had not woken her during the night, Skirra revealed to Sigurn that Zai's luminescent eyes had lingered on the cursed flail more than once during the night. In morning, while the rest of the band cooked a quick meal and picked up camp, Siwan steeled herself against the foul aura of the flail as she passed a pearl over it casting a divinatory ritual to reveal its properties. As suspected, the Flail of Hunger's Demand was indeed infused with Gaurak's power and in fact, it's enchantment was only active in the hands of a dedicated follower of the Titan of Gluttony. In sibilant, tripartite voices, the Flail promised it could consecrate one to Gaurak the Voracious and unlock the full powers of the Flail. The quality of the Flail had been magically enhanced. As well, each head had its own property that it inflicted on those it hit, Madness, Pain, or Paralysis, though it took specialized training to determine with head struck when the Flail was swung. During the ritual, Siwan felt an insatiable hunger and had to eat a second meal after the ritual was complete and the flail was once more wrapped into a blanket. While as long as the Flail was in their possession it would be a concern at least they had ended the threat posed by their hunters. And now, Siwan believed they should reach their destination before mid day, if the map was accurate.
  11. Sigurn had expected Siwan's arrival sooner, before the massive gnoll could ready an attack. So when she saw the howling skulls of of his dead flail screaming through the air at her, she only one recourse and called on the spell she had stored within on of her tattoos to save her. The ink glowed and flashed for a moment as the ethereal shield was struck each time. For it's part, the spell had mostly protected her from such a vicious onslaught, but the skull that did hit wracked her body with pain. Sigurn, instead of cowering from the pain, turned into it, accepting and seemingly reveling in it, gritting her teeth and letting out a snarling moan. Kora has savaged the gnoll with her claws and Siwan, in her form of a great elk, had finally tackled and trampled the huge, gnoll, moving past it, leaving him coughing, contorting and holing in pain on the ground. "This 'meat' has teeth." Sigurn snarled, actually bearing her teeth at the gnoll as she drew her Witchaxe and stalked over to the writing creature, with her eyes dark and crooked grin. Gripping the witchaxe with both hands, Sigurn raised the wicked looking axe over her head and brought it down on the gnoll, the blade biting incredibly deep into his clavicle and past, hitting his upper ribs and sending forth a crimson spray. Sigurn placed her boot on the gnoll's shoulder and pushed, extricating her witchaxe from his flesh to raise it up once more. "I will show you a mercy that would not have shown us, wretch." she told the beastman before bringing her axe down again, on his neck this time, severing his spine and putting him out of the misery of suffocating on his own blood. For as much as Sigurn enjoyed instilling fear in others, she rarely had the taste for suffering, even of such a foul, heartless foe. The scion of Gaurak slain, its enslaved undead were easy to dispatch, the zombies slow and clumsy. Sigurn called upon the magic stored in her tattoos once more to deflect a hard fist, while Siwan took a blow to the flank when a pulped head didn't seem to incapacitate the zombie. While Siwan and Kora rounded up their scattered mounts, Sigurn and Zai dragged the bodies of the hyena-men into a pile to burn, taking a moment to give them a cursory search. One an experienced adventurer, the other a gutter rat from the harsh streets of the Shelzar, neither were squeamish about pilfering from the dead. They found a few pierced coins strung on thongs on the lesser gnolls. On their leader, they found a crude, heavy armlet made of melted coins encircling each bicep. And of course, there was the terrible flail. The miasma of Titanic power lingered about it like the odor of a rotting carcass. The smoke had stopped flowing from the rictus grins of the skulls, the eyes only emitting the dimmest of glows. Just approaching it filled one with a ravenous and indiscriminate hunger, the suggestion of a voice offering promises of power in the air. Zai couldn't seem to look away from the flail, her breaths coming in short, ragged gasps, until Sigurn scooped it into a sack using a blanket, wary of any curses laid upon the Titan-touched weapon. Considering their options, the women decided to set up a new camp at least a mile away, despite the darkness. They led their horses and found a place not too distant in the lee of a collapsed sinkhole, a sloping track of sand, dirt, and rock leading to the bottom. Not as good a spot as the ruins of the ancient village, but it would do, though it lacked anything to burn.
  12. Flind is currently still Prone. It has taken a total of 173, minus however much it healed before. It looks to be in very rough shape. Zai destroyed one Zombie. There is one left that you can see. Initiative order Sigurn Flind Siwan (Delayed action last round) Kora Zai Zombie Gnoll
  13. Eschewing her bow once the Flind went down, Kora donned her cat's claws and leapt upon her foe, tearing into it with a fury only a Manticora can manage without being a barbarian, slicing and tearing with a throaty growl that could remind others she wasn't human. She didn't suffer those who hurt her companions. Flanking Sigurn on her other side, Kora's first slash cut the Flind deep across the ribs, her second opened the forearm it used to defend herself. Under the Flind's flailing arm, Kora raked down with her off-hand, the glinting tines of her Cats Claws ripping into its thigh, and opening an artery. The Flind barked a wet, blood-flecked cough, it's reddish fur growing even darker and more matted with fresh, thick blood as it weakly tried to find its feet. From over the crumbling walls they had placed their false camp against, the band saw a pair of hands and then Zai's head poke up as she scrambled up. Her eyes were wide and bright as she held herself in place with one hand and braced feet while the fingers of her free-hand wove a mystic gesture before releasing two more beams of arcane energy at the closest zombie. The first one hit it in the chest with such force it knocked it back ten feet, its ragged leathers beginning to smolder. The second blast took off its head. The last Zombie continued forward, unthinkingly following its last command.
  14. The Flind is now Prone, and has taken 16 Damage, plus the 102 it took earlier, minus however much it healed. Prone • A prone creature’s only movement option is to crawl, unless it stands up and thereby ends the condition. Standing up costs half the creature's movement. • The creature has disadvantage on attack rolls. • An attack roll against the creature has advantage if the attacker is within 5 feet o f the creature. Otherwise, the attack roll has disadvantage.
  15. Siwan crouched as the earth battered the gnolls and the arrows flew, she studied what she saw and didn't much care for it. the Big Gnoll with the obviously magic flail still stood and what was worse a red mist crept from the beast and at it's touch the ones felled by earth and arrow rose again as undead. Siwan cursed The Flind truly was Titanspawn. To her left Sigurn was casting and in that moment Siwan had her path before her. Standing abruptly she took off running toward the Flind drawing her scimitar as she took her first steps. Sword in right hand staff in left she ran gaining speed, then her back seemed to bulge upwards, the weapons in her hands seemed to melt into her arms which were growing longer. Her neck stretches her head growing as well she ran faster falling to all fours her shape no longer human. The great elk, majestic and full of Fury, charged at the gnolls' monstrous leader. Head lowered, antlers aimed, hooves crashing, Siwan went to battle. Siwan passed right by Sigurn's and slammed into the Flind straight on, her antlers goring its chest and the power and mass of her animal form knocking the Flind right off its feet, tainted strength or no.