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Primeval Thule - #1 Flowers in the Gardens of Midnight


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Neeva rode on the boat and thought about all she had heard while trying to keep an idea of distance and direction they were traveling. She was quiet, but still listened to Lythos, her tribemate and any others who spoke.

To her, this city was a strange world. A place where laying one one's back could be a job and where people owned others as property. This girl, Lundi, had bought her freedom. How does one put a price on another being? Neeva had heard of slaves and such, but had thought them prisoners forced to work, not actual property that another being owned. The fact that Lundi, who did not sound like a terribly bright girl, had endured what she did and managed to secure her own freedom, only to have to have life taken from her and fed to some... plant-thing... for the sake of some foul ritual or some such, irritated the blonde Dhari talespinner and deep inside a her a small ember glowed. Others had been sacrificed as well, and against their own will. This must be why the Forest Gods had sent her here. The stop this perversion of nature and whatever thing or ancient god that these cowards who grab girls and strangers to sacrifice were trying to raise.

"Her deth and the death of the others has angered many. And there will be a price to pay, in blood." she said flatly.

Neeva would see to it that the will of the Forest Gods would be done...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Lythos pulled the boat up to a small stone dock with steps leading straight to a heavy wooden door. He climbed up tot the door knocked and in a few moments the door opened. within a few minute everyone was inside. They found themselves in a cellar holding many barrels and empty crates. Candles had been lit and were resting around the room providing light.

"I will go and find my mistress. Stay down here the soldiers are still looking for you."

Lythos leaves the cellar and the waiting begins.

 

Night came and with it, Lythos returning as promised to bring with him a striking dark haired woman dressed in supple leather a bow slung across her back and a wicked curved blade at her hip.

“I am Dayse Varr, leader of the Obsidian Flight. Lythos has told me that you are the adventures chosen by the Priest Of Mithra to end the abomination be performed under his nose.”

She sits on a barrel as Lythose produces a bottle of wine and serves everyone.

“I am responsible for Lundi being placed with Yellow Paa and so I feel responsible for her death, but also this cult is bad for business. I have already questioned Paa and am convinced he is telling the truth.”

“Can you tell us what you have learned?” Asked Malok

 

The woman drinks from her cup. “More than a month ago a new customer came to Paa's establishment, He was a Northman, he did not give a name and he wore a strange mask that in Paa's words "was scary as all nine hells". He chose Lundi as his companion for the evening he returned several times over the course of the month always with the mask in place and he always chose Lundi. Then one week ago Lundi went to Paa and gave him a bag of coin, enough coin to buy her freedom.” She tosses a bag to Malok who pours out the gold coins into his hands. The coins are very old and of Atlantean origin. “That is what she paid with. Paa never saw her again and learned of her death only when I told him. I have been trying to locate this Northman,” her eyes cut to Yngvar, “since speaking with Paa. I received news of him just before coming here. In the eastern part of the city is an old square tower it rises high above the walls of the city, it was once the sanctum of a powerful sorcerer long since dead. The Northman is there. My arrows tell me that since night fall not only is he there but others from the city have been arriving, robed and masked, to climb the tower.”

She points at the gold in Maroks hand. “That and all the gold you find there is yours. I want you to kill everyone in the Tower, destroy whatever magical abominations these animals have called up from the nine hells and bring me this Northman's Head!”

 

DAYSE VARR   4935117-3257842265-tumbl.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

Neeva was glad to be out of the rank, water-filled tunnels. This artificial, semi-aquatic, subterranean world did not sit well with her, though the cellar was not much of an improvement. She helped Malok to a seat and kept an eye on his as they waited for what seemed like several hours. It was hard to judge the passage of time without the sun, moon or stars.

To pass the time, Neeva offered to share some tales of her tribe (translating them, of course), stories of great hunters, legendary beasts, brave warriors, terrible storms and wise shamans. She was a skilled tale-teller with natural charisma and an ability to bring these tales to life... to such a degree in fact that the listeners could hear the snarling of beasts, howl of wind and sounds of combat. They could smell the musty swamp and fresh, spring air and feel the warmth of the sun on their skin. At times, they even see what she was describing as if it was right before them.

When Lythos returned with the Dasye Varr, Neeva looked her over, evaluating the woman as she listened to her and occasionally checked over Malok. Neeva had always been quite good at reading people and even though she did not know this woman, she could find nothing in her manner or her voice that spoke of deceit. Neeva nodded, fairly certain that Dasye Varr was dealing honestly.

"If you know where this tower is and can aid in avoid the guards looking for us, then I will help slay this abomination and those that seek to aid it or it's spread. This thing is an affront nature and the forest gods and shall be purged. I will go myself, if I must, for the forest gods have made their will clear to me, but I hope I will be alone in this." she said as she rested a hand on Tharra's shoulder with a smile at her tribemate.

Neeva then turned to Malok who was seated on a barrel and crouched down before him, getting to his eye level. She rested a hand on his shoulder and looked him in the eyes as she spoke,

"That is except for you, elf. You magic and steel may be missed tonight, but you are in no condition to confront this horror. You have already done enough. Without your aid, we would not have known where to look or even what this things was. The price your paid for that information was great though. You need to rest now, not go off confront something that already sundered your grip to this world once." she said to the elf, her voice firm, but also tinted with actual concern.

Neeva then stood and patted Malok on the shoulder.

"You need not worry about treasure. I do not think any here would deny the value of the information you brought us. You will get your equal share. And if they do object, then you can have mine." she assured.

 

Spoiler

Very liberal (though subtle) use of Minor Illusion and Prestidigitation cantrips during her tales for added effect. For her it is not so much as knowingly casting the cantrips as much as it is a intuitive use as part of her storytelling.

 

[Noir] 1:32 pm: Can neeva check for deception from Dasye Varr?
[Noir] 1:34 pm: like an Insight check or something
[Nina] 1:36 pm: sure
[Noir] 1:36 pm: cool
[Noir] 1:36 pm: she is +6 Insight, so I roll 1d20 and then add 6?
[Nina] 1:37 pm: yes let me find the sc
[Nina] 1:37 pm: dc
[Noir] 1:38 pm: big money, big money, no whammies, no whammies, stop!
Noir *rolls* 1d20: 10: 10
[Noir] 1:38 pm: so 16
[Noir] 1:38 pm: meh
[Nina] 1:40 pm: your good at reading people and eveen though you don't know her there is nothing in her mnanner or her voice that speaks of deciet. 
You are fairly sure she id dealing honestly
[Noir] 1:41 pm: okay

 

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Dayse stepped closer to Neeva and the elf. "What happened to you Malok?" After explanation was given she too rested a hand on his shoulder. "Listen to your friend Malok, it is a wonder your sanity is intact at all after encountering an abomination unprepared. I will see that you are taken care of until they return. As for aid, i can do more than that" She opens a bag attached to her waist and produces a jar. "If you rub this on the skin that is exposed it will conceal you from those who do not know you are there." She looks at Tharra and smiles coyly "You might want to wear something more concealing at least until stealth is needed no more." She then produces a glass ball filled with a swirling orange gas of some type. before you attack hurl this into he midst of the cultist it will sow confusion in those who breathe it. It will disperse almost immediately so you should be able to attack in a moment or two after throwing it." She hands the bulb to Neeva. "I will see you as far as the tower and we will make sure the city guard and the temple guard are occupied. We should leave soon."

 

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The towering Dhari Huntress sniffed cautiously at the proffered wine, her large, strong hand engulfing the leather jack. Seeing the others drink and nothing ill befalling them, Tharra downed her jack of wine in a single pull then sat on her haunches as Neeva spun her tales and the dark-haired woman in dark leathers made her request. At least this city woman appeared to be a competent warrior.

"I will do this thing!" Tharra proclaimed, standing to her full height. Beneath her bronzed flesh, thick, sleek muscle rippled powerfully as she reached over her shoulder to grasp the hilt of her greatsword. "I will kill these men and the makings of their foul sorcery and bring you the Northman's head. And I will take the gold you offer and no less, Dayse Varr."

Tharra was not as unconcerned as Neeva about the gold. It was not so much the wealth and what it could purchase, but what it signified, being earned by deeds done or from the bodies of slain enemies, her prowess as a hunter and warrior. She looked down at the witchery trinkets Dayse offered them with mild curiosity - they were not of magic such as the Katjaa used, but seemed useful tools all the same.

After Neeva's and Dayse's exhortations to stay behind, Tharra didn't offer her own to the elf man who was the size and as beardless as a boy. They had said most of what she would have and besides, Tharra was more comfortable with might of arms than with sorcery, however powerful and useful it may be. It seemed to her sorcery almost always came with tripwires, for the wary and unwary alike.

When the woman commented on her attire, such as it was, Tharra rolled expressive aquamarine eyes and sighed in exasperation, though Varr had a point. Among the Katjaa, and most Dhari tribesfolk for that matter, what she wore occasioned no great comment. But city men it seemed had odd views and reactions to the sight of bare flesh, and admittedly, she had more flesh to bare that most.

From her pack, Tharra pulled out a great cloak fashioned from the pelt of one of infamous, tawny, striped Saber-Toothed Cat. She donned it across her broad shoulders and gave Dayse as sharp, questioning look. While the cloak fell to her knees and did cover a great deal of her bared flesh, the massive barbarian was hardly an inconspicuous sight.

"Sufficient?" Tharra growled. "If we must go soon, then let us go and get it done. My blades thirst and I tire of the boredom of hiding when not hunting."

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At the mention of masked Northmen, Yngvar felt a single brow raise. Those masks sounded explicitly familiar. Though it was unlikely any of his own tribe were involved. They would have noticed that many of their own abroad, and of those who were dispatched to hunt down the relics, there was no way that enough of them got here before him (at least a month before him, no less) to facilitate such a ritual. Perhaps those members of Eingar's tribe they saw in passing earlier? Though they themselves looked incapable of conjuring the tiniest spark, there was a chance one of their travelling companions had the talent.

"These masked Northmen sound familiar. Do you have any further description of them? Given what you have said, I now have suspicions."

He lapsed back into silence with that, thoughts flitting through his head. If this tribe had, in fact, been involved in the theft of relics he would be..... most irate. Some suitable chastisement would need to be meted out.

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Neeva looked over the glass bulb and nodded, wrapping it in a small piece of cloth and placing it in a belt pouch. It did not matter if it was sorcery or alchemy, either way she knew that they would need confusion on their side in this task..

"From the nature of the elf's vision, we will not have numbers on our side, though many or most seem likely to be unarmed. Surprise and confusion must be our ally." Neeva said as she pulled out her bear mantle and threw it over her shoulders to conceal more of her flesh.

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Dayse helped them apply the ointment and after making arrangements for Malok led the remainder of the party out to the dark streets.

“My arrows have had time to gain the attention of those looking for you and should have clear our path of prying eye. Still we shall stay with the shadows.”

She led the group through he twisting and turnings of the narrow streets and alleys. It took them well over an hour to make the journey only spying a few upon the pathways and those they easily avoided. In due time the tower spoken of came to view.

The section of the city was old and run down while some of the buildings were inhabited it was obvious that these would be the poorest of the poor or those with naught but ill intent. Those remaining building closest to the tower were in ruins none stand taller than one story and none bearing roof. All were crumbling and what doors may have once existed had long since been removed or rotted away. The area leading up tot the tower was exceedingly dark with the only light a single torch at the Door there were two guards. Both armed with short curved swords and they had spears for throwing as well. They appeared lightly armored. The door they guarded was of wood banded by Iron and looked strong.

Dayse pulled her bow from her back and taking two arrows, fitted one tot string and the other held in hand that gripped the bow. After a moment she stepped out and released the first arrow and the second was in the air before the first had covered half the distance.

The first warning the guards had was when the arrow entered the eye of the guard who stood to the left of the door, the guard to the right not knowing his fellow had an arrow in his brain saw Dayse and opened his mouth to call warning. The arrow entered the orifice before any sound could pass through throat, the force of the arrow severing spine and penetrating all the way through nailing the unfortunate guard to the frame of the door.

Dayse waited several breaths but when no alarm was raised she rushed everyone forward. The door was locked and neither guard possessed any key. Dayse produced lock picks and proceeded to unlock the door. Then with a whisper bade them on their way.

“I do not know the layout of the tower inside, as long as no one knows you are there the ointment will keep you hidden. Do anything to raise alarm and it's magic will cease. No one inside this tower can be allowed to live. May whatever gods you pray to guard you and lend you strength.” With that she dashed into the darkness leaving the party alone with the two dead guards.

Spoiler

See combat post thread before posting.

 

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The huge woman gave the fallen guards a cursory glance, assuring herself of their demise and that they wouldn't be surprised by a sudden alarm. Satisfied, Tharra glanced up at the tower then unlimbered her hardwood shield and heavy, bronze mace-axe. With her great stature, Tharra didn't think she'd have much room to wield her greatsword within the confines of the tower, and for now, decided on the protection of the shield.

Tharra wrinkled her nose at the stink of oily ointment on her muscled limbs, but made no other sign of discomfort as she moved towards the door to take the lead for her shorter companions with her bulk.

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Tharra pressed her ear to the door but could hear nothing.

“Are ye waiting for the sun to come up? Open the damned door!” whispered the dwarf as he hunched his shoulders and gripped his mace-axe. Killing was coming and he could taste it already.

Tharra looked back over her should a retort on her lips when she saw Neeva behind Alberich raising her eyebrow and gesturing with a nod at the door. With a glare at the dwarf Tharra gently pushed the handle then threw open the door and flew in after catching it before it slammed into the wall. Her sudden entrance would have caught anyone by surprise had there been anyone present.

But the cold dark stone room was empty, empty and smelled of mold and rot. Litter cluttered the floor from the light of the torch outside they could see a path through the refuse leading to a stone stair along the Right wall of the room the occupied. The room the were in was roughly eight foot by ten with a ceiling at twelve or fourteen feet. Across from the door, the entered was a hall offset from the door by about two feet. The hall was blocked with more refuse and broken stone.

The silence was maddening.

Their eyes adjusted to the darkness and they began the ascent to the next floor.

The stair opened onto a hall which ran the length of the back wall of the Tower some hundred and fifty feet wall to wall. Every ten feet a wide arrow slit was open to the outside which let in fresh air and what little light the night offered for them to see by. At the far wall, another stair ran up along that wall. From stair to stair along the inside of the tower were halls and rooms. There was no light no sound the building was in ruin and the inside showed it.

They continued up.

Each floor was the same, the stairs made a circuit around the tower, seven stairs the climbed and saw nothing but ruin. On the sixth landing, they noticed an abundance of moisture on the walls and that the mold had given way to lichen like moss. Water dripped from the ceiling of the seventh floor and the smell of wet dirt and rotting vegetation was overpowering vines could be seen encroaching from the roof above, slithering into the arrow slits, finding purchase in any exposed crack.

They could hear the heavy thump, a beating drum thudding like a heart beat. Underneath the heart like the beating of the heavy drum, they could her a low murmuring chant.

The eighth stair ran along what would be the front of the tower as it faced the street upon which they had entered. At the top of the stair, they could see one guard partially as well as the clear night sky. As they looked up the stars began to swim across the black sky...

 

Spoiler

Characters looking at the stars when they start moving must make a wisdom save DC 8. Failure puts that character at a disadvantage until the stars stop moving! a character who has failed may take a round to gather herself and make a new save again at DC 8. a second failure requires a roll on the sanity table and the disadvantage continues until the end of combat. please post your actions in the combat thread. you are undetected currently

 

 

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The stars spun disconcertingly as they looked up past the top of the stair and the lone guard standing there into the night sky Alberich kept his eyes focused on the guard, as Tharra and the other women moved forward, waiting to see if they could silently remove him so they could get a more advantageous position before springing on the lot and whatever misbegotten horrid nonsense these mad-folk were cooking up.

Tharra glancing up at the night-sky – she could not tell by the constant shifting of the of the stars and moon, but it was still dark so not much time had passed as they had worked their way up the tower. Then her eyes focused on the guard. Still uncertain about the claimed properties of the goop smeared on her skin, the giant woman crept up the stairs to test it, giving the guard as wide a berth as possible, but her heavy, bronze mace-axe glinted dully under the starlight as she kept it poised above a massive shoulder, ready to strike if the guard seemed to react to her presence. The she felt a touch on her thigh, the Halfling motioned her to wait as she crept by

The ointment was disagreeable, but one couldn't argue with the results. It wasn't that different from the paints hunters used to hide in the brush either. Aridha thought as she glided past the giantess, She had to stifle a giggle as she scurried forward, concealed from view, towards the sentry.

Neeva had looked up at the stars as had the rest of them, brow furrowing before shaking her head and continuing.  At the sight of the guard Neeva had tapped Aridha's shoulder, pointing to the halfling's bow. She had knocked an arrow and looked to the halfling, waiting for her to follow suit. The halfling had just shook her head and made a wicked smile before dashing forward passed Tharra toward the unknowing guard. Neeva, reacting quickly to the changing situation, fires as Aridha reaches the guard, hopefully taking him out silently to maintain their stealth.

An arrow whirred over her head, Aridha realized there was no TIME to do anything but follow it up. The arrow took the sentry in the shoulder, but even as he drew breath to cry out, Aridha reared up and planted one of her swords in his midsection, cutting through armor and bone, lodging in his hip.

She leaps up onto the sword, using it as a springboard to launch her higher and drive her other blade into his neck; turning his scream of pain and alarm into a choked gurgle that quickly ended.

The halfling used her momentum to swing over his shoulder in time to catch his falling corpse over her back, and ease it slowly to the ground.

Aridha smeared with blood, yanked her swords free. And studied the layout before her. From her vantage point the whole of the roof was covered with thick jungle growth with the center dominated by a single tree of huge stature. She frowned, no tree of that size could live without an extensive root system and this roof could not allow that. Before the tree was an eerie tablou, Suspended from a frame was a naked woman. She was bound in a spread nature perpendicular to the ground, face down around were the dozen or so cultists robed and masked, behind them were eight more guards each armed with a spear and short sword. By the tree facing the cultist and victim his back to Aridha was their leader. Though she could hear the steady drum sounding like a thunderous heartbeat, she could see no drummer, but the sound seemed to come from near the tree.

Stepping back she looked down at the others, She nodded to them to come up

It was safe to proceed.

 

Spoiler

we are no longer in combat. but will remain in combat rounds. it will take a full round of movement to reach the cultists. I will post a simple map in the combat thread. they are still unaware of you and so you are still invisible to them. Once the map is up post actions in the combat thread.

 

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At the top of the stairs, Yngvar pauses, taking a brief moment to survey the area before beginning quietly.

"A suggestion, if you would humour me. Allow me to get close before attacking. I have several abilities that, once you are engaging I would be loathe to use. They are rather indiscriminate in their effects on those caught within. While I can target it to avoid the sacrifice, I would not be able to say the same for you."

A flicker of electricity crawls over one hand, dancing between his fingers.

"Also, Alberich, if you would see fit to accompany me, I would appreciate you keeping them out of arms reach to the best of your abilities. I work best when I have the space to concentrate. My follow up spell will require me to stand still, though the effects should be worth the lack of mobility."

A brief smirk passes over his features before setting back into calm neutrality.

"It will be obvious when to strike, but do please await it."

Alberich nods assent and hefts his axe set to follow the sorcerer.

The towering, exotic Dhari woman, Tharra, gives the Nimothan Warlock a tight nod of assent, though her lip curled with faint contempt at relying on his foreign witchery. Slipping her mace-axe into her shield hand for a moment, she used her empty hand to give Neeva a series of sharp gestures in the manner of the Dhari Hunters, conveying her intention to sneak around their prey to come at them from the right, to split their focus and attention.

Not wanting to waste any time getting into position, Tharra left Neeva to explain her actions to the others and stalked into the verdant, uncanny foliage blooming on the tower top. Concealing ointment or not, the enormous woman disappeared into greenery with eerie ease, her fluid steps surprisingly silent despite her size and mass.

Neeva explains and the rest of the group begins a slow advance

With a Hunter's keen instincts, Tharra kept the targets positions fixed in her mind, and proceeded to circle around them, keeping anything she could between her and them. Her expression was remote, calm, but her aquamarine eyes flashed with fierce eagerness. She prowled through the brush and trees, just until she could see the back of the helms of two of the guards. Then she sat back in poised tenseness, her hand tight on the haft of her mace-axe, waiting with predatory patience to strike the moment after Yngvar worked his sorcery.

Yngvar led the way forward with Alberich at his side, Neeva and Aridha following behind until they too parted to take up their own attack positions. The steady heart like beat continued and they could now clearly hear the chanting of the cultists being led by their leader. He would speak and they would repeat. The words if they were words were guttural and incomprehensible to the adventurers and the left an uneasy felling in the heart and mind.

Yngvar took his position and waited he could see his female companions making their way to their places and marveled that the ointments magical properties allowed him to see them but denied the same to their advasaries. The magic must affect the mind not really turning them invisible but clouding them from notice, truly magic he was not familiar with.

Finally the women were in place and Ynagvar signaled his dwarven companion to be ready. Quietly he cast the incantation his hands moving through the intricate patterns learned long a go but never before used outside of the instruction hall. The the final gesture and a last syllable and the spell was cast.

The beat of the heart is drowned out by the Thunders clap as the wave of mystic force released from the Northern sorcerers spell rolls over the foes who remain unaware and die from the bone crushing and organ bursting assault. Caught by the full fury of the spell six of the robed cultist are literally torn apart like wine skins filled to bursting and dropped from a great height, bone and tatters of flesh and torn robes fly across the roof top, two of the guardian soldiers are also caught by the blast and while the do not suffer the fate of the cultist they are thrown from their feet and injured.

The cult leader is also within the area of the spell but its effects on him are very different. His dark robes are ripped to tatters but the wave which crushed and flung the others about like tiny children's dolls in a hurricane only cause him to bend and brace against the magic force. His armor revealed by the tatters of the robe is of the old Atlantean style, a cuirass and greaves of shimmering silver with a faint aura surrounding him can be seen to clash with the force of the wave causing it to split and slide away from him leaving him unharmed.

The sound deafens everyone and indeed can be heard a good deal further away than the roof top causing the curious wot look to the skies for a coming storm.

Among the adventurers they can feel a tingling on the skin as the spell dissipates and he ointment hiding them hardens and crumbles from them its magic expended.

Spoiler

ok now we are in action with initiative order being followed. the ointment no longer protects from being seen but that does not mean that you have been see, in fact the only party member who is seen is Yngvar. Six of the cultist are dead. two guards closest to them are wounded and prone. the rest of the cultists and guards are disadvantaged this round. the cult leader is not, nor is he wounded.

Post your actions in the combat thread asap as always give me waht you are doing your rolls and any fluff you want me to include. I would like your actions no later than wed. i will put an amended map up based on where i believe everyone is.


 

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Yngvar hummed at the carnage of his first spell, a satisfied expression on his features.

"Acceptable."

Alberich braced up, shield ready and mace-axe gripped in classic dwarven wall fashion. Yngnar counted as his 'second rank,' and the freeblade waited for any assaulter to dare head for his charge.

Allowing Alberich to take position ahead of him, he begins laying the groundwork for his next spell, the tang of Ozone growing. Barely a second later, he hesitates, something uneasy curling in his gut. Perhaps it best to keep that in reserve. Assume the worst, that this wasn't the height of resistance to be expected. Idly dismissing some of the gathered energy and reshaping the rest, an ember flickers to life in his hands, before bursting into true fire with a click of his fingers.

Suddenly the cult leader who had been mostly unaffected by Yngvar's deadly casting spun his voice ringing out in low Atlantean “Intruders! Slay them! Blood and Souls Quarnathargol!” He leaps forward drawing two bronze short swords. Wheather or not his target is Yngvar or Alberich will never be known as his foot catches one of the great trees roots and the man falls flat on his face.

The surly dwarf brings his mace axe down on the back of the mans unprotected head with a sickening crunch and a spray of blood. Pulling the axe free Alberich smashes him again and is rewarded with more blood and fragments of bone and brain!

Neeva had slipped through the foliage quietly. This place, however a nefarious place it may be, was at least green, and thus far more familiar to her then the stone and brick of the city. The blonde dhari woman crouched and reached into her satchle and slipped out the glass ball filled with swirling gas and waited for the signal. She scanned over the assemled cultists for a moment before the rolling thrunder hit, obliterating several of the cultists like burst grapes. Before the thunder died, Neeva reared her arm back and threw the orb at the center of the stunned crowd, taking the opportunity to add confusion to the mix from the orb... and followed by fear.

She stood up and stepped from the foliage, warspear in hand and held it over her head as she shouted at the cultists with fire in her eyes.

"Behold worshippers of things most foul! No longer shall you prey upon those weak and alone, stealing their lifesblood for your dark sorcery. You are naught but does in the company of wolves! Now YOU are the prey and under these befouled stars it is YOUR lifesblood that shall be spilled this night!" she shouted at them, sending the lionshare of her vitriol at the cult leader, the guard nearest her and even the strange tree.

Among the booms and orbs and shouting, one might be forgiven for not noticing the small, quick and quiet form of Aridha coming in low and fast with a sword in each hand. Forgiveness would change nothing though. With frightening precision, implying long practice, she cut the back of one of the guard's knees all the way through, finding the weak point in his armor. He cried out and fell, and Aridha fell on him, driving her other blade into his heart...silencing his cries.

Blades in hand, covered in blood, she whirled to face the other guards and find her next target.

Yngvar seeing the cult leadr on the ground with the dwarf's axe covered in his blood and brains , With a casual gesture, Yngvar sends the mote he had conjured sailing through the air past them at the nearst guard who burst into wailing flame.

The sound and concussive force of a furious thunder clap washed over Tharra, ripping leaves from the foliage and ripping cultists to pieces. The time to strike was clear. The huge Dhari called upon the primal fury of Dhar Mesh and burst from concealment. The guardsman, looking towards the Nimothan Warlock who was the source of the thunder and lightning, barely had time to note the disturbance behind him before he knew no more, nor would know anything ever again.

The heavy, bronze ball of Tharra's mace-axe crashed into the base of the guard's helmet, caving in the rim and severing his spine at the neck, killing him instantly. She didn't slow in her terrible rush, stalking towards the cultist between her and the altar bearing their sacrifice in terrifying silence, her aquamarine eyes were almost glowing with their intensity.

The guards and remaining cultist are dazed and confused the Guards lower their spears but seem not to know where to strike and the cultist either cower or flee one of them running off the edge of the tower plunging to her death her screams echoing all to way to the ground. One Guard strikes at Tharra's back as she runs past him to the victim but all he accomplishes is getting his spear stuck in the frame work holding the girl captive.

Spoiler

Cult leader is down, three guards and one more cultist is dead. will up date map and await you next round actions. Everyone needs to make a perception check dc10

 

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The thrumming quickens growing in volume and speed to a low almost constant rumble that could be felt through the great blocks of stone making up the roof as well as heard.


The rumble made Alberich frown and stare around from his guardian position, even as his boot lightly knocked the butchered body of the cult leader aside. The wildling trio were carving through the guards and cultists, but that left the remainder on the other side, where he and the northerner mystic were still under pressure, so he shan't move forward.

Neeva shrugged the mantel from her shoulders, letting it fall to the ground, and burst out from the foliage, charging at the guard nearest her. The Dhari woman's athletic physique served her well, closing the distance so swiftly that the guard barely had a chance to grab for his sword before she was one him like a great sabercat on a doe. She lowered her warspear and bought it up sharply, the blade finding its way through the guard's armor and catching the top of his lung before the point pierced through his throat and spine, the bloody tip poking out the back of his neck. Neeva stepped closed and looked into the man's eyes, her own filled with fury as he gargled on the blood filling his mouth and lungs.

"No deity shall hear your calls this night." she taunted him before yanking her warspear from him.

She stood there for a moment and watched his body teeter and then slowly fall to the ground like a tree that had been felled, landing in a limp and useless heap. She then lifted her gaze from the body to the scared and confused cultists that were just beyond and pointed at the body with her spear as the guard's blood trickled down and dripped from the point.

"You see.. THIS is what the worship of foul things brings. You need not worry though, you will understand just as he now does soon enough..." she snarled.

No sooner had she gotten her blades free of her first victim than Aridha was dashing at the next. She ran past, stabbing his thigh as she did, then spun around and sank her sword into a kidney as he cried out and went to one knee.

But then the rumbling started. She hesitated on hearing it, and looked away...trying to tell where it was coming from.

Witnessing the ferocity that Neeva unleashed on the guards, Yngvar turns his attention to the minor cultists. Best to get rid of as many of them as soon as possible. With the guards otherwise occupied, there should be no one to interfere with his further dismantling the ritual.

A snap and another ember flares to life, sailing almost lazily into one of the ritualists, his robes catching light as the smell of burning meat fills the air.

The guardsmen and cultists were dropping fast, their numbers dwindling. A spear thrust past Tharra's shoulder, thunking into the wooden frame. Tharra threw her mace-axe and shield to the ground and with a low growl, she spun around with furious aggression and drew her greatsword with a soft shurring of bronze on wood. The heavy blade and powerful muscles behind it cleaved the guardsman from shoulder to hip.

The guardsman fell to the ground in two pieces, but Tharra's attention was already on the cultists and guard still standing. The huge woman stalked about the altar, interposing her mighty stature between the sacrificial girl and the remaining guard. If they wished to reach the girl, they would have to suffer her wrath.

A basso thumping sound rolled through the clearing, like the sound of a beating heart growing faster and faster. Tharra's eyes narrowed, glancing around for the source of the sound, but she did not allow it to distract her from her opponents still standing.

The remaining guard confused by the magic of the orb hurls his spear at the towering half elf it flies wide clattering to the roof a few feet away from Tharra. The guard curses and draws his short sword but hesitates. Fight or fly? The three remaining cultists are cowering by Neeva and Aridha all semblance of bravery fled as the begin to beg for their lives.

 

Then the rumbling thumping sound stops.

Spoiler

Next round there are three cultist still alive that can be dispatched no rolls necessary just make the bloody descriptions. there is one guard by Tharra. The thumping has stopped. we are still in combat rounds though so I do need to know what each of you are doing.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alberich his eyes darting about watching for threats sees them rapidly disappearing prepares to dash forward to brain a screaming cultist when the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. Spinning he looks all about for the threat he cannot see.

One of the cultists, eyes wide in terror, turns and runs from Neeva as she speaks, standing over the guard's body.

"Lost your taste for spilling blood when you fear it will be your own?" Neeva taunts as she tosses her spear in the air, reversing her grip to hold it over the shoulder.

The Dhari woman then stepped forward, using the skills honed from a lifetime in the Dhar Mesh to hurl her spear with every bit of muscular strength her athletic body could muster. The point caught the feeling cultist in the thigh, causing him to tumble to the ground in a heap. With pure panic he kept clawing at the ground, trying to scramble away from the slaughter as Neeva ran up to him and grasped the shaft of the spear, shoving it down into the ground to staple the man there. The cultists's confusion and fear was too powerful though and he kept scrambling, tearing his thigh off of the spear, leaving a massive wound of rent flesh gushing with crimson.

"Where do you thing you are going to misbegotten wretch?" Neeva asked as she stepped forward and drew her obsidian knife from the belt sheath, "Let us see how this befouled soil likes YOUR blood." she snarled, grasping the man by the hair to yank his head back as she drag the dark blade across his throat, sending another torrent of crimson spilling forth.

Unceremoniously, Neeva dropped the man's head and stood up, sheathing her knife and then turned to her spear, pulling it from the ground and the lump of flesh it still pinned as her gaze rose to focus on the sacrifice on the frame. The lack of the thumping caught her attention, as did the lack of drummers..

The halfling falls upon the remaining Cultist and her blade make quick work ending that pitiful life.

The sorcerer, Yngvar is pleased with himself , a gesture and some words and another spark flies across the roof striking a fleeing cultist who bursts into flame and falls screaming in agony as his flesh burns.

The guardsman may have hesitated, but the terrifying Half-elven Dhari woman did not. She ignored the spear cast her way and rushed the guardsman, remarkably fast despite her great and muscular stature. He took a step back despite himself, then braced himself, bringing his short sword up to block, knowing it would not be enough.

It was not. Eschewing finesse for brute strength, Tharra brought her great bronze blade down in a diagonal slash, cleaving through sword, arm, and deep into the guardsman's ribs. Shards of shattered metal blew past the huge woman or bounced off her bronze, hard muscled flesh and she pulled her blade free with a savage yank. Viscera of pink, purple, and red spilled from the rent in the guardsman's side as he was from his feet.

Tharra's lips curved minutely in a grin of satisfaction as she slowly turned, scanning the rooftop for any other prey that may remain. Her brows lowered as she noted the drumming beat has subsided, wondering what, if anything, it portended.

Suddenly all is still the only sound the crackling fires of the burning cultists and then a low thrum sounds the roof jolts with it. It thrums again the pitch different.

Alberich still looking for the threat sees it just in time, the corpse of the Cult leader rises from the roof, rapidly as if lifted by unseen hands. The sturdy Dwarf raises his axe and screams as he chops into the corpse's torso. “I killed you once you Bastard I'll kill you again and no bloody magic can save you!” The axe bites deep and a spray of bile colored pus erupts from the wound. The corpse continues to rise until its feet are four feet off the ground then it begins to expand the armor cracks and Long tentacles push out of the body each ends in a hideous mouth.

All eyes are now on this unholy abomination, as they watch frozen in terror the body convulses and the legs fall to the ground and two new legs sprout each twice as thick as the dwarfs torso and cloven. Then the head twists and jerks and falls free and four stalks push themselves from the hole in the neck each stalk capped by a sickly yellow eye. And last accompanied by a deeper thrum than any before the torso explodes revealing a new body barrel shaped, in the center o this new torso a gaping maw surrounded by concentric rings of serrated teeth, each ring spinning like some sort of mechanical saw.

It bellows an inarticulate cry and falls to the roof top with a powerful crash as its hooves impact the stone surface. The whole building shakes despite it size being no greater than that of two men. With a mighty shake of its body then last of the cult leader flies from it and it bellows a challenge once more into the face of Alberich.

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Alberich stared back at the thing that had gotten up from the remains of the cult leader, determined to be unimpressed. "Yes, yes," he grumbled sardonically, "I can be loud too." He shifted his grip and brought the blunt end of the mace-axe onto the creature's skill. "SHUT UP!" The impact of the haft of Alberich's mace axe produced a loud crack as if he had struck stone and sent a shiver up his arm at the impact and brought a scowl to the dwarf's face as he saw how little effect it had on the thing.

 

Neeva looked up, her hazel eyes growing wide and the sight before her as the body of the cult leader had bulged and distorted, birthing some massive, twisted, horrible... thing. Her mind raced and her gaze shot to her tribemate and the Nimothian sorcerer.

She ran to Tharra and placed a hand firmly on her shoulder. The tale spinner called on one of the stories she had learned, one known to all the Dhari about a great hunter who showed an indomitable will to protect his tribe.

"I can take her." she said, motioning to the intended sacrifice, "Your blade best is best served spilling the entrails of that abomination. Like Rokka slew the Great Black Wolf, show this thing what Dhari Hunters are made of!" she sang out, reminding Tharra of the story and steeling her resolve.

She then looked to Yngvar and called out,

"If you have any sorcery left, then unleash it now and make this thing rue the day it ever dared set a cloven foot in our world!"

Yngvar grunted an agreement with Neeva. Silently glad he had restrained himself earlier. Perhaps a slight adjustment to the spell's root, to increase the effect. He wouldn't be able to do it again till he rested, but looking at the creature, it seems it would be worth it. Gathering his concentration he begins to summon his power.

The inhuman thing was already aware of the short but hardy humanoid which had struck it but sounds and movement caused its eye stalks to swivel here and there as others came into its awareness. The Tall creature to its right was summoning arcane energies and needed to be delt with immediately. Tentcls lashed out at Yngvar catching him almost off guard but he managed to catch two of them with his shield but third snakes past its mouth end wide revealing razer sharp teeth which ripped through his armor as if it were made of parchment. The small mouth had bit down hard and tore flesh as well as armor leaving agonizing pain and streams of blood pouring from the wound in Yngvar's abdomen.

As the tentacles slashed in and then whipped back the thing stepped forward and the torso bulged as the saw-toothed mouth shot out of the monstrosities chest! Even though shocked and horrified at the sudden and quite disturbing ability of the thing before him, Alberich easily interposes his mace-axe between himself and the serrated death the thing had intended.

  Aridha takes a step back from the demon that's appeared, and murmurs to the spirits of the land and air.

Come to me. Help me. Show me where the blood is by the skin, where the bones and muscles meet. Show me how to hurt this thing.

Then she charges forward covering the distance in but a few seconds to make a savage attack at the abomination.

Her lunge was spoiled though by a sweep of one of its tentacles, forcing her to abort the attack or be swept away! Truly this beast was a monster!

Holding on to the energy he had summoned , through the pain ,Yngvar recites the incantation and he points at the creature and with a crack a bolt of lightning connects the two of them, stabilising into a beam of buzzing electricity.

He would have to remain stationary, but he could keep this spell going for a moment or two. He hoped it would be enough.

Tharra had sneered in disgust and fury as the unnatural creature burst free of the ragged corpse of the cult leader. She had never seen it's like before, had no real frame of reference for what it was from her life in the jungles of Dhar Mesh, yet the need to confront the aberrant thing, to destroy it coursed through her. She held no thought for gold or saving the sacrifice, she wanted her blade to taste the foul abomination's blood!

The mighty half-elf nodded down at Neeva as she spun her tale, a tight, minute grin breaking her grim facade for a moment - the Tale of Rokka and the Great Black Wolf was a favoured one of hers. She spat upon the ground and growled with the conviction of a sworn oath. "From this day, there will be a greater tale sung!"

She watches as her companions were attacked and returned in kind, then, with one hand on a crossbeam and the powerful bunching of her thickly muscled thighs, Tharra leapt onto the top of the sacrificial altar. Two long strides brought her to the far edge, the wood creaking under her dense weight, then the huge barbarian threw herself fearlessly through the air, avoiding the lightning connecting her warlock with the monster and bringing her great, bronze blade overhead and down on the twisted monstrosity in a great cleave.

Tharra lands and rolls to her feet behind the thing her back to the great tree stunned that her blow had barely scratched the monster.

 

Spoiler

Yngvar has taken 9 points of damage

The monster has taken a total of 34 points of damage.

The monster is Resistant to slashing and piercing damage from weapons of less than +1 quality

 

 

 

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Alberich raised his mace-axe for another smashing blow, but the shifting creature caused the angle of the blow to land at one of the firmer portions of the nightmare's skull, and the backlash through the dwarf's arm suggested it had not be fazed.

Neeva watched the halfling nimble avoid the sweeping tentacle, though it disrupted her swing. The small huntress had catlike grace, and to face this beast with it's lashing tentacles she would need it all it seemed.

"This is just an abomination of flesh and bone. It bleeds, so it can be slain like another other man or beast!" she shouted to the halfling as she started to run toward Yngvar 

Once she had reached the Nimothan she turned to the abomination, focusing all of her spite and disgust and began speaking to it in a sing-song manner, telling it of the it's folly by coming forth and of the fate that awaited it at the hands of this band of mighty heroes... though none could hear a word of it, except for the abomination.

The thing suddenly freezes in mid turn as the whispered words from the Human penetrates it psyche. It is unconcerned with the words and the underlying threat yet the magic woven into them is irresistible and the creature turns and with a lumbering gait crashes past the puny attacking humanoids.
When the beast began to surge back, Alberich seized his chance, and hammered on it some more. Neeva close to the hulking monstrosity struck a blow at it's retreating back.

Each step the otherworldly creature takes causing the roof to shudder as in incredible weight smashes down on the ancient stone. It reels as blow after blow cut into in thick hide.

Quick as a viper, Aridha stabs the creature as it retreats, then chases it with a loud whooping cry!

Its hide is tough, but her blades are sharp, and draw blood one more time before she jumps back

Yngvar adjusted his stance, murmuring the incantation to keep his spell active. The beam pulsing in time with the cadence, electricity arcing around the impact.

As the chthonian creature recoiled from the talespinner's mystical castigation, the statuesque Dhari Hunter struck another, snarling in fury and frustration. Despite striking true twice now, each time, her great blade twisted and slid from the abomination's rubbery, foul hide. She stalked after the retreating being, glowering at its flailing tentacles and struck a third time, swinging her blade low at it's elephantine legs. And a for a third time, her blow was more ineffectual that was her wont.

The beast halts swaying before spinning to face Tharra, the humanoid closest to it now, it's tentacles slashing the air. It bellows a horrid cry full of pain and sorrow.

"May I never find food nor shelter again!" The oversized, over-muscled half-elf cursed. "Neeva! By the Altar, my mace-axe! Toss it to me! If blades will not cut it's hide, I will shatter its bones!"


 

Spoiler

next round the thing is now at 91 damage. and i may have fibbed a little


 

 

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Neeva's lips curled into a smile as the abomination recoiled and fled from her. She could feel each of it's steps through the 'ground' as Aridha and the others chased after it.

Writhing from the apparent pain of the blows the monster stopped at some distance from it's assailants and it turns and turns about, it's mouth tipped tentacles thrashing wildly an eerie wailing coming from them chilling the blood of the humanoids.

Alberich surged forward at the dying thing, but its thrashing tentacles bashed into the path ahead, driving him to a halt.

Neeva's attention snapped to her tribemate's call and she scanned the ground by the altar, spotting the mace-axe. With all speed and grace of a jungle cat she raced to the discarded weapon and dove forward, tumbling over it and coming up with the mace-axe in hand.

"Tharra! Your mace-axe!" as she lobbed the weapon toward her tribemate, sending it hurling through the air. 

"Do not let up! Our prey is bloodied and harried! Finish this abomination and live forever in glorious tale!" she cheered on, feeling the end was nigh for the beast.

 The Thing in obvious throes of agony continues it's flailing as the staunch adventurers continue to press it. It stumbles back and forward as if blind, it's eye stalks twisting every way.

Aridha pursues the creature, hacking at it with her swords as she dodges and weaves around tentacles. Its alien flesh was tough though, and she couldn't quite get enough leverage while still avoiding its flailing limbs!

"AH!" she cried out in frustration, "just DIE already!"

Yngvar growled in annoyance as the lightning beam he has painstakingly held on the creature sparks and sputters. The lightning, while originally making a decent impact was showing a diminished capability of harming. With one final pulse, he allows the spell to die. Perhaps more fire would do the trick. Though hopefully the thing would be dead before it would be needed

Alas such was not to be.

The creature's tentacles flailed at Tharra, drawing thin lines of red across her thickly muscled arms and shoulders, but the sting of pain was inconsequential under the heat of her primal fury and the bolstering of Neeva's encouragement, and the scratches were already beginning to fade.

Tharra stabbed her greatsword point first into the ground and grabbed the tumbling mace-axe from the air. The haft smacked hard into her calloused hands. The towering amazon whirled, gripping the heavy mace-axe in both hands, and brought the smooth, bronze ball of the weapon down on the horrific creature in a crushing blow. Her lips were peeled back in a silent snarl and her eyes glittered in satisfaction. As the blow fell the deep resonating thrum sounded again shaking the very foundations of the tower upon which this battle took place. The think reared back and Tharra's weapon hit but not at the mark at which she had hoped. Wounded, on the edge of death the creature wailed again it voices rising to a crescendo bringing pain to those listening.

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The thrumming increased as well the building shaking violently, threatening to throw the everyone near the thing from their feet.

Suddenly the thing twisted and contorted horribly as it literally grows to nearly double it's current size, it's skin and form splitting and exploding as a new body, slimy and wet takes it's place.

The roof at it's feet creaked stone shattered as cracks spread from where it stood. It torso mouth opened and the ear splitting roar reverberated through the city

 

Spoiler

The ground is shaking and cracking everyone except Yngvar and Neeva need to make a dex saving throw DC 12 to remain standing at the end of the round. If you fall you must expend your move action to get up.

The creature is now 18' tall and it's AC has dropped to 15 it now has 160 hit points and is at full health. The things skin is much more pulpy than it was before it is no longer damage resistant so all weapons do full damage.

It still gets 3 tentacle attacks per round and one bite damage is 1d8+4 from tentacles and 2d8+4 from the bite. It's attacks are disadvantage however and your attacks are advantaged due to its bulk and size.

If the bite attack hits and does damage then there is a risk your character may be swallowed. Make a dex save DC equal to 1/2 the amount of damage taken.

Good luck. Don't miss any more.


 

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Neeva's brow furrowed as the abomination began to twist and contort, assuming a larger, even more disgusting form. That vile... thing... was a twisted and vile mockery of natural life. It did not belong in this world. It's very existence an affront to the Forest Gods.

Dayse had come over the edge of the roof unseen just in time to witness the end of the cultists and the birth of this horror. She had intended to remain unseen unless needed. She wasn't sure yet but the size and unnaturalness gave her pause. She silently readied her bow and weighed her options.

"This is like that trip with the scholar elf that didn't get drugged up," Alberich frustratedly reminisced, "but even worse." The mace-axe chopped this time, biting into the pulpy flesh and releasing slick.. fluids from the injury, but it was a minor one. And hurrah, the whole city would notice it - which was not necessarily a good thing.

Defiantly Neeva stuck her spear into the 'ground' keeping it close and ready to grab. In one fluid motion, practiced over many years living in the Dhar Mesh, Neeva slid off her bow with one hand while the other fetched an arrow from her quiver, drew the bow back and fired. The arrow found its mark in the flesh of the beast, near the wounds the dwarf has inflicted, causing even more ichor to spill forth.

"Be it with spell, steel, bronze, stone or bare fists, this abomination must be purged from our world, and we are the ones this task has fallen to, and I have no doubt that we are up to the task!" Neeva encouraged. 

As the arrow flies by Aridha leaps up onto one of the thicker tentacles, and runs three steps up it towards the monster's trunk before jumping off as it curls back around towards her. She tucks her legs in and uses her momentum to aid her as she slams sword-first into the creature...driving both blades into its rubbery, unnatural hide! It roars and shakes like a wet dog, flinging her off.

The halfling rolls back onto her feet as soon as she hits the ground and holds her swords up, ready to charge again!

Yngvar scowled at the creature. Of course it wouldn't be that easy. With a barked command a circle of flaming runes flares to life around his hand, unleashing a torrent of fire against the creature, sailing cleanly over the rest of the groups heads. Nonetheless, the sudden heat was intense, beating down in waves on the party.

Tharra flexed her knees, balancing readily as the ground cracked and heavily while the horrific creature split its hide once more, swelling and contorting into an even larger and more disgusting form, one that hurt the eyes even to witness. The abomination roared and the huge woman roared back, bashing once more with the blunt end of her mace-axe, but it just sank in and then slid off the creature's slick, pulpy flesh.

Tharra tossed it to the ground then grasped the hit of her greatsword just as it began to topple from the shaking ground. She adjust her hands on the leather-wrapped hit, ducked low under a flailing tentacle and brought her around in a heavy, horizontal slash, cutting into a monstrously thick leg. Ichor and pus of unnatural colors welled up from the deep cut, but the creature's mass was so great, it would take more such wounds to lay it low.

So be it.

The beast, monster, god whatever it was trashes around it's Tentacles flailing wildly Barely missing Alberich and Tharra but one catches Aridtha the teeth shredding armor and flesh. With speed its bulk belies it spins to face Aridha, it's razor toothed center maw thrusting from it's chest, the halfling already off balance from the whipping the tentacle gave her barely avoids being chewed up by the spinning mouth.

Suddenly a black arrow with blood red feathers arcs out of the sky slicing through one of the things eye stalks and driving itself deep into the monstrosities head.

Neeva steals a glance back following the arc of the arrow but before she can see anything she spins back toward the makeshift alter and the victim who is now awake and screaming in terror.

Neeva braces herself as fear washes over her for directly below the screaming girl is something undiscribable, as if the very mouth of corruption has opened on the roof.

Opened and growing!

 

Spoiler

Monster is hurt and now at 71 health

Aridha is hit by one tentacle taking 9 damage

Neeva needs to make a sanity save DC 12. if she succeeds she needs to make a perception at dc8 do these before next turn please

 

 

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After her last shot Dayse had crouched and moved keeping tot the edge of the high roof top and in the shadows. She had covered about 20 paces and stood aimed and fired. The arrow went true and buried itself to the fletching into the monsters soft body

It screams it's inhuman wail. Again thrashing tentacles and stomping the roof under its feet.

Alberich tried to get in a blow but the creature beat him off cursing the dwarven warrior had to fall back he just hoped his two companions could fair better.

Meanwhile, Neeva's eyes went wide at the sight of a growing opening beneath the bound girl. It was a portal of some sort, hovering below the girl inside an actual hole in the floor through which she could see some of the next lower floor of the tower, and the portal was growing. She stared for a moment, caught in disbelief as her mind tried to grasp what she was seeing. There was something.. some stomach, maw, tentacled... thing... and it was huge. She could see through the portal, moving toward it, ready to grasp the proffered girl.

Neeva finally snapped free with a shake of her head, her eyes falling on the tree and the cracks growing in the floor with every step of their current foe. The between this new hole and the stomping of the massive abomination they were already locked in combat with, the roof could not take much more of this.

"Sorcerer! If you have been saving any arcane power, then I suggest you make use of it now! Trust in yourself and let your ancestors guide you!" Neeva yelled to Yngvar as she pulled her warspear from the ground.

With several deft swings Neeva cut first the bonds securing the girls's legs, then arms from the frame and reached out, pulling her from it. The Dhari talespinner then shouldered the girl, or carried her if needed, and moved from the growing portal as fast as she could manage.

"Dispatch this abomination quickly, lest it be joined by it's thrice-damned fellows!" Neeva yelled to the others.

Aridha grunts, and is lashed sideways by the retaliatory tentacle strike. She brings the back of her hand to her cheek and nose and pulls it away to see the blood trickle on it. Her expression darkens, and the murmurs of the spirits in her ears grow clearer and louder. Rage was a howling gale inside her, rage at the sacrifices that this thing had demanded, rage at the injuries it delivered, rage that it simply had the temerity to exist.

She gave that howl a voice as she rushed in again, ducking under yet another flailing tendril of flesh, then springing up to drive one well-worn blade up into the tender flesh that ringed it's maw. It reared back and roared, giving her an opening to stab it again, alongside the first...and scissor the two edges apart, cutting a horrific wide wound. The sluice of ichor made her slip back out, falling a few feet to the ground to stare malevolently up at it.

She wanted to hurl threats at it, but Aridha stayed true to her people's ways. She would not honor this thing by speaking to it. For this there was only the knife, the pain and blood, and finally death.

Yngvar could feel the wellspring that he drew from to power his spells running dry. At the rate they were going, it was unlikely that he would have much more to contribute to the fight. Particularly if there were any more surprises in store for them. Then he heard Neeva and the warning she yelled at him. Eyes darting around, he settles on the cracks in the floor, and the summoning circle nearby, likely providing an anchor. Glancing once at the tree dominating the area, an idea takes root.

Darting towards the tree he shouts a warning

"Give me as much space as you can. I will attempt to destroy the circle. With it's bindings gone, it should prove easier prey." If not outright banishing it, he finishes silently. Best not raise too many hopes if it had the power to remain once the circle was destroyed.

Stopping in position to one side of the tree he takes a deep breath. This would either work spectacularly, or blow up in his face..... quite literally. He draws the last of his reserves to the fore, the incantation refining the energy into something more angry, straining on it's leash. With a final word, he directs the built up spell into the ground in front of him, the crack of thunder once more sounding through the night, accompanied by the splintering of stone as shards are sent scything into the dark. With a groan of protesting wood that is more felt in the bones than heard, the tree begins to topple.

Tharra spared a mere flick of her eyes to determine if the source of the arrows was a new threat and another for her fellow tribeswoman, exhorting haste in slaying the foul creature, but her narrow, furious focus was locked on the Immense monstrosity. Following the distraction of the unexpected arrow and the tiny halfling woman rolling away from the creature, the huge half-elf drove forward, swinging her great blade upwards in a tremendous sweep, cutting deep into it's hideous maw, chips off its whirling teeth sending them flying in all directions.

The monster teeters.

At the hole in space a ripple as four tentacles each as large around by itself as the monster the heroes battle push through into our world. They grasp the solid framework of the makeshift alter and crush it to kindling the they bend across the opening and pushing down on opposite side begin pulling to bring it's horrendous body out of the gate!

The tree which had begun to topple after Yngvar's spell shattered the roof at it's base falls slowly at fist but as it's roots rip from the stone of the roof causing even more damage, it's fall grows faster finally smashing to the roof right over the hole which holds the gate right between the four tentacles. It lands with and earth shaking crash accompanied by the painful bellows of the Monster being fought by the heroes.

The roof shakes threatening to to throw the erstwhile warriors from their feet again. The tentacles let go of the stone edges and wrap around the tree and continue pulling itself up. The added weight of the alien thing in the gate is too much for the damaged and weakened roof and all at once the stones underneath the tree let go and the weight of the now falling tree pulled it into the gate! There is a horrible screeching from where the tree and the gate intersect, a Blast of dark energy, and a silent explosion of nothingness and chaos as the gate collapse in on it self leaving nothing behind but the severed Tentacles of that which was coming.

Everything stops.

The heroes stare and the Monster sways but all eyes are on the hole where the tree and the gate were, where the stones of the roof have fallen through onto the floor below.

The thing wheezes loudly as if with a death sigh and it falls forward, Aridha and Tharra barely jump away and avoid being crushed by it's massive bulk. The roof shudders again then the stones underneath the atrocity give way and the monster falls through the roof to the floor below where it crashes through shaking the tower to it's foundations.

The Roof continues to collapse now as the monster falling below crashes through all the floors on its way to the bottom.

“Here! Over Here! I have Rope!” Cries Dayse.

Neeva, Carrying the once again unconscious victim, Arrives first tossing a second rope to The stealthy archer. “We'll need another for all of us to make it” says Neeva as she uses a third short rope to lash the girl to her back and rapidly leaps over the side to descend to the street below. Dayse ties off the second rope all the while calling out to the other to hurry.

 

Spoiler

The tower is collapsing, The tower is approximately 130 feet tall. Yngvar, Alberich, Aridha, and Tharra must make a dex save to make it to one of the two ways off the roof, the ropes to climb, or the stairs to run down from the inside. the DC for that save is 8. Failure means you character falls through the roof at some point and is trapped in the collapsing tower taking 4d6 crushing damage. if you make it. If using the stairs make 4 dex saving throw dc 10, any failure means your character is trapped in the collapse and takes 4d6 crushing damage. Climbing by rope requires 4 climbing checks at DC of 10. make all four checks and you make it to the street before the tower collapses. each failed check indicates that you slipped an fell from the rope taking 3d6 bludgeoning damage per failed check.

Make your rolls then post your escape from the tower.

 

 

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Aridha looked up at the rope, but her instincts shouted at her to follow a different path. Going with the ropes, she'd be putting her life on the question on if these people knew how to set them right. And the reality was that she was quicker on her feet than she was strong in her arms. There was no time to think, or mull it over.

She went with her gut.

The halfling whirled and pelted for the stairway at a full sprint as the tower rocked and shook. Thick beams she could have crawled inside if they'd been hollow snapped, and stones in the walls buckled and cracked and fell around her as she ran. Floorboards splintered in her wake, and each footstep felt like it was only inches from falling away underneath, throwing her to the bottom where the stones would bury her alive.

But this did not happen. By miracle or fleetness or the mercy of the spirits, Aridha stayed ahead of the collapse, and dove out the empty maw of the doorframe to roll back to her feet and scurry away. It wasn't until she reached the buildings across the street that she paused to look back...there was no telling if it was going to fall over or not, or which way the debris would topple when it finally went.

 

SalmonMax *rolls* 1d20: 9+7: 16


SalmonMax *rolls* 1d20: 9+7: 16
SalmonMax *rolls* 1d20: 5+7: 12
SalmonMax *rolls* 1d20: 8+7: 15

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Alberich turned for the rope, but before he could move, the stones ripped away by the falling body of the slain aberration came out from under him, and he fell with a hoarse gasp down through the tower with it. For a brief moment Alberich had to seriously ponder if this was the way it ended, just after completing a deed with promising rewards.

Fuck you, Nergal.

The impact with shuddering rock raining down, made him black out momentarily.

When Alberich came to awareness, he was buried in dirt, stone and blackness. But, despite the feeling of cracked bones and the anvil weight of pain, still alive. He just needed to dig - his way - out.

Spoiler

[Jeremy] 7:35 pm: Get to the Rope
Jeremy *rolls* 1d20: 1+4: 5
[Kaoleth] 7:35 pm: .....
[Kaoleth] 7:35 pm: Ouch.
[Kaoleth] 7:35 pm: Not a good start.
[Nina] 7:44 pm: ill roll your damage
Nina *rolls* 4d6: 5+2+5+2: 14

Alberich receives 14 bludgeoning damage.

 

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Neeva lashed the girl to her back and grabbed the rope, lowering herself over the side. The stone of the tower shift and buckled as she descended the rope, only her strength honed from a life in the Dhar Mesh allowed her bare the extra weight of the girl. Eventually though, the distance proved too great and Neeva could feel her grip slipping as her arms burned and strained under the weight, until finally the Talespinner's strength gave out, the rope sliding between her hands until she finally gave up on it.

With all of her remaining might and acrobatic prowess she twisted as she fell, shifting her body between the girl on her back and the rapidly approaching ground below. She might die this night, but this was a risk she knowingly took. The girl on her back had no such choice, so perhaps she could spear her such a death, even if it meant giving her own life. Neeva had served the Forest Gods well, headed their warnings and listened to their call. They would ensure she found her way to the Happy Hunting Grounds where she would meet her brother. not by blood, but by bond, once more.

It was then that she spotted a form running toward the tower, looking up at it as it crumbled in place. It was the boy elf, Malok, recovered enough that he sought to lend his arcane power to the fight, even if late. He was too late though, for the fight at least, but not too late to help. With some arcane gestures Neeva could feel a shift in her fall. No longer was she plummeting like a stone, but instead she was drifting down, like a feather on a windless day. 

Softly her feet touched the street below as she landed before the boy elf..

 

Spoiler

Nina witnessed me make 2 of my climbing rolls and then fall.

 

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Collapsing building's, Yngvar reflected to himself, were loud affairs. Sprinting for the stairs, he leapt over a section that had already collapsed to the floor below. He hadn't honestly expected quite this response when he attempted to topple the tree. He had to chide himself for that. The Gods love their practical jokes and dying to the archtecture after surviving the beast sounds like exactly the sort of thing they would derive amusement from. He grunted, sidestepping a splintered beam that would have taken his head off otherwise.

Risking a quick glance over the railing beside him, he judged the height survivable. He vaults over the side, hitting the ground and rolling to bleed off excess momentum, coming out of it at a dead sprint for the door. It always surprised people to see. They heard mage and expected a scrawny weed. The furs did a good job of hiding it, but he was Nimothan first and foremost and was built more along the lines of Eingar than Malok. Clearing the doorway he glances back up as another floor collapses inwards. At least they would not have to fear being killed by it toppling over.

Now out of the way of danger, he makes his way over to Neeva and Malok, eyes flicking briefly over the naked sacrifice. He shrugs off the his outer furs, revealing the chain he wore underneath, a bandoleer containing the paraphernelia of his craft crossing his chest in addition to his spellbook, hung over one shoulder by a strap crossing between the pouches of the bandoleer.. At his waist, a crystal and a large pouch.

"For the girl" he grunts, offering the furs to Neeva.

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The ground sundered apart, swallowing the abomination into the bowels of the tower, along with the tree, and a great tentacle from another foul entity that had almost been freed by the ritual. The tower almost consumed Tharra as well, but the towering woman would not allow her tale to end buried in rubble. She scooped up her Mace-Axe in passing and with her long strides, caught up to Neeva and Dayse, just as her tribesmate went over the side.

"Go!" Tharra commanded Dayse with a sharp nod, as she secured her weapons on her harness. With her great size and dense mass, there was a greater risk the rope would break under her weight, especially with potentially sharp edges of stone jutting from the crumbling tower. "I'm bigger. I'll follow."

Dayse nodded back and slid down the second rope. Tharra waited with tense patience, looking over to side to follow Neeva's progress. When she deemed Neeva and her cargo was low enough that a fall would not be fetal, Tharra swung herself over the side and began repelling. She may have been large and heavy, but her hands were calloused, her arms were mighty, and her long, strong legs let her reach footholds a smaller person could not. Her descent was swift and sure, despite, bits of stone, small and not so small, glancing off her broad, hard shoulders and back.

Tharra joined the others across the street, including the slight boy elf, the sounds of the collapsing tower loud in their ears. The huge woman looked up at the tower, watching it fall inwards on itself, growing shorter by the moment, dust a visible cloud in the air. She frowned, glancing down at those she was standing with, then back at the tower.

"Where is the dwarf man?"

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Aridha shook her head at Tharras question. “He went down with the monster.” she said sadly “He is in there probably crushed.”

Tharra starts toward the rubble. “Hurry! We don't know that he is dead, he could be wounded yet live.”

Dayse puts her hand on the taller woman's arm staying her advance Tharra spins a look of anger at the touch “He was a brave warrior but no one could have survived that. Let the city recover his body we need to go now before the authorities arrive. Remember we are all criminals.”

Before Tharra can retort the sound of shifting and sliding rubble draws all eyes to the fallen tower and the gruff voice coming from the stone.

“Dead! Bloody hell I'm dead! Damned flimsy human construction.”

More rock falls as Alberich pulls himself free and he glares at his companions. “Criminals my arse!” He stoops and pulls his mace axe free and steps down to join the party. He stops at the amazed look on their faces “You all thought I was dead?” Then he realizes that their looks, directed beyond him, are of horror not awe and he hears more rocks slide behind him and the unearthly wail of the nightmare creature.

Spinning Alberaich weapon already in hand rears back and hurls his mace axe with uncanny might and precision “SHUT IT! YOU LOUD MOUTH LOAD OF SHITE!”

The mace axe flies unerringly straight into the creatures maw and out the other side. The things wail cuts off abruptly and it pitches forward, dead.

Horror is replaced by shock and awe as Alberich seemingly untroubled collects his trusty steel weapon and joins his fellows.

“Come let us go to a safe place.” Dayse beckons them to follow and leads them into the dark, to a place of safety and comfort where they can rest and recuperate and live to fight another day.

Spoiler

And now it's dead. Thus ends the first story.

if you all want you can post some role playing stuff or what ever.

No treasure was collected but dayse made sure each was paid some gold. Your characters are not  criminals in Quodeth but neither are you wanted there so you all will leave. the city and make your way.

The next adventure will begin soon  all of you need to move your characters to 5th level I will post some other information in OOC soon pertaining to that.

Good adventure and thanks for sticking with me on it.

 

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Once the party relocated to somewhere safe and secure, Neeva set about looking over their wounds while humming a simple tune to herself. After a minute or two she spoke in a sing-song manner...

 

Gather ‘round and hear the tale of heroes thrust together by fate,
In end the was naught but five, though once they numbered eight. 

On the dark streets of Quodeth this band, they did meet,
An elf, a dwarf and a local girl, two northmen and Dhari three

The city’s priests did gather them to ask for their aid,
They offered food and drink and told them of innocents that had been slain. 

Deep beneath the temple the bodies had be brought,
So to them our heroes went to find answers that they sought.

The dead bodies were covered in marks that looked like somebody did write,
With the help of the elf’s spells they discovered they were bites!

From tables where they rested the dead bodies did rise,
Our heroes slew them once more to discover the foul plant they hid inside.

Through insight gained from skills arcane, of a ritual they did discover,
But the price was paid by the elf, his mind was not in our world, but another. 

From the temple they found there way to an inn by the sea,
And there another to aid them they did meet 

Though dark tunnels and rivers under the ground they did ferry,
The elf was still not well, so him they did carry. 

In a room they waited for a woman with dark hair with knowledge they would need,
Impatient some grew and in time two would leave 

And the elf, fair Malok, was in no state to sneak through a city, find cultists and fight,
So it was decided he would stay and rest, for he had helped them much by night. 

The woman for which they waited approached them in time and offered her aid,
And in time a plan, naught but simple, was made 

They find the cult and the stop the ritual they though would bring them power,
But little did the cultists know, their grave would be their own tower

Five here did depart that night to find and slay these cultists most dark,
Listen now, ye gathered ‘round, for each would play their part 

Albrich the Stout, a dwarf, as strong as a horse, who fought with mace and shield,
No matter the foes, it is battle he knows, and never he would yield 

Yngvar the Grim, a northman, wore chain and many he would kill
For few knew that the man from the snow was a wizard of some skill 

Airdha the Swift, a Dhari of small size, was a skilled hunter whose arrows struck true,
But on this night it was the way of dual blades that she would show she knew 

Tharra the Mighty, a Dhari huntress possessing a ferocity who bounds even not she knew,
By her mace-axe and great sword on this night many she did slew

And Neeva the Bold, the Dahri talespinner, who wrote this tale of battle and glory,
She fought and led and blood she shed, playing a part in this story 

Through guards and up stairs in the tower they did creep,
And on the roof the found the cult, but to them they were naught but sheep 

One by one the cultists fell to spear and sword and fire,
And when triumph near in hand did the time become most dire. 

With the cultists slain the dead leader’s body arose, it twisted, writhed and grew
Until before them stood something grotesque and new 

Fire, bronze and steel the abomination’s flesh did feel,
Until the thought of it’s own destruction caused it to reel. 

The heroes stabbed and chopped and crushed with sword and axe and mace,
And then from beneath their feet grew a new for for them to face. 

Below the girl, a sacrifice bound, a portal did appear,
And through the hole into another world a new horror did draw near 

The ground beneath their feet shook and tore and the beast did roar near it’s end,
And with arcane word thunder was heard which cased the roots of the tree to rend 

With spear and skill Neeva did steal the gril from the beast,
But with the tree a fallin’ twas the horror’s worry in the least 

With a crash of thunder the tree did sunder the portal and it’s magic,
But the floor did buckle and soon it would fall making this story most tragic 

By rope and stairs the heroes fled, as the cult and creatures they did beat,
And one after another they gathered like sisters and brothers together in the street 

They looked around for stout Albrich, but he could not be found,
the floor had collapsed under him and he had falled to the ground

The heroes moured the loss of their dwarven friend, his body buried under the stones,
when from the pile of blocks and wood they could hear him grumble in angry tones

With strength and grunt the dwarf did pull free,
and the beast behind him the others did see 

The beast too had lived and it roared and rose from the rubble,
but Albrich was tired by now and had not time for the trouble

With a great strength, his mace-axe, the dwarf did heft,
into the beast's mouth and out the back of it's head the mace-axe left

In a heap the beast collapsed on the pile,
for this world was not one it would defile

So listen well, you gathered here, and you might end up as sages,
But never forget that this unlikely band would be heroes for the ages!

 

The talespinner untied a large pouch from her belt and opened it, dumping a pile of large teeth, some with bits of flesh still attached, into her hand.

"I made sure to grab these, so we would have trophies." she said, offering them Tharra, Aridha and even the others if they wished.

 

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