Plans within plans

The black orc’s eyes filled with crimson light as it succumbed to the irresistible dire charm of the amulet. It charged at six other orcs nearby, bowling them over the side of the knoll.

The troll’s claws assailed Storm, Kessa, and Morga who quickly surrounded it, none of its fell attacks connected. Kessa’s brass wrymling unleashed its breath weapon at it, consuming the troll in a blanket of scorching flames. You heard your now dead father’s voice resonate in your mind ‘You’re destroying your own army that I built for you, my misguided child’ and your own silver wrymling breathed a stream of silver gaseous spores now and orcs and goblins throughout the vicinity dropped like flies as they inhaled it.  A storm of arrows flew into the hilltop from below, and the orcs and goblins sped off toward the northeast. Most of the arrows were retreating cover fire, 2 snagging you (-5 hp dmg) when you plucked the arrows out of your leg, you saw the arrowhead was smeared in worg dung. Zor, Kessa, Morga, and Storm hacked the troll into pieces and the wrymling incinerated the bits into a charred husk.

Zor: “weak troll”

Valtor: “Silly drow, I blasted the damned thing with my magic missiles earlier in the fight, when you were squaring off against those orcs, my thanks for that”

Zor shrugged, ‘And I thank you for your magic missiles” he said with a grin.

“They’re retreating, without the vampire at their lead they quickly lost all lust for battle” Morga said.

Kessa: “We should hunt them down and slaughter them to the last, if I’d only had a small force of my sisters” she lamented.

Storm: “Let’s get out of here, we’ve seen enough battle to last us the rest of the week. We should head toward the capital, stay on course. Morga, Whisper can you go to the river and start searching for any transport out of here? We’ll be right behind.”

 

 

239 comments
Zakara
Zakara

OC: Did our game die, or just tired from the battle?

Whisper
Whisper


Whisper passes his cold forged blade over the body to detect magical auras and then proceeds with a thorough pat down of the corpse.  "We are not out of the woods yet.  Lord Zor, Bane, Ash do you require any equipment to make good our escape?"

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Ash chuckled at Zakara, came up to him then casted a spell upon him, and he noticed almost all of his wounds disappeared (+25 hp restored), 'Don't get too hot headed there, lad. Where I've been you wouldn't have survived, and it was a just question. One thing you ought learn, not everything or everyone is what they seem"


Ash snapped his fingers and Angel ran up to him obediently and then he dismissed the creature. When Zakara went up toward Balog's fallen body, Ash held a restraining hand on your shoulder, 'Wait, let Whisper do that, Nyriddian. He's better suited to such delicate work" 


Valtor: "The cleric speaks wisely, and mind your manners lad. Ash is someone you especially ought to be particularly kind toward. if we were all to die he'd be the one you wish you held in your good graces, catch me drift?"


As Kessa and Storm rose up off the ground, Zor the drow entered into the maze his eyes scanning for danger. He looked to Whisper 'Where's Morga?' he asked with concern in his gaze.



Zakara
Zakara

Zakara checks himself for bumps and bruises as he listens to Ash question his character.


Zakara stands slowly and stares intently at Ash. Even barbarians know about character, honor and loyalty. It is a large way of our life. Speaking of character, it seems that you seem to disappear a lot when there is danger about. Why is that? Do you lack character, honor and loyalty?


Zakara walks over to Whisper and asks him if he is ok. Turning to Ash he says, "yes a splendid beast and I would be careful around him. He likes coward meat for his meals."


ZAkara walks over to Balog's decapitated body and starts to search it for anything that might help the party.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Zakara had thrown his glaives with all of his brutal fury and Balog’s body seemed to float out of harms way, evading his attacks with a fiendish grin, laughing mockingly. The cleric floated through the air at Whisper, who swung his shortsword at him, tearing a bloodied line across the cleric’s back (-15 hp dmg). Balog stabbed at Whisper with a dagger, missing then swung a morning star toward his head which Whisper dodged easily.

Balog: “Ah yes, fight me you fools. Fight your way kicking and screaming on your way to hell!” he grabbed Zakara and flung him across the room where the barbarian crashed into a mirrored wall, raining shards upon himself. Flinging his glaive at Balog the whirring weapon cuts the cleric’s head off from the shoulders. His decapitated body falls down and black blood drains out of his body as he dies.

It was then that Ash had appeared from the way you had come, and he helped both of you get up to your feet. The cleric grinned at Whisper shaking his head in disbelief, and then he eyed Zakara wearily for a moment ‘Is he friend or foe?” he asked Whisper with a slight suspicion.


Valtor: "The barbarian's my new bodyguard, he's been of some slight use" the elf said to Ash in answer. Ash relaxed, apologized to Zakara "Sorry, last I met you I wasn't so sure about your character. I mean, I knew you were a 'character' but didn't know if you had 'character', that was my joke" he patted Zakara on the back and rubbed Angel's furry head playfully, 'Eh a Dire wolf huh? Splendid beast!' 


What do you do?



Whisper
Whisper

Whisper presses the attack as well, his dwarven blade's potent powers might be able to hurt the demon.

Zakara
Zakara

Zakara frees Whisper for the moment, while inflicting several wounds on him. SO while other members try to determine their course of action, Zakara will continue to inflict damage to Balog as long as is possible.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Zakara appeared and flung his whirring glaive into the air, it made a whirring sound as it flew and it cut Balog’s hand from the wrist severing it, as it found no other tangible targets. Balog, enraged spun angry eyes at you “You dare!? You damned barbarian imbecille!” Whisper collapsed, spun on the ground and upraised his dwarven sword bathing Balog in fire so hot it sucked all of the moisture out of the chamber. Balog laughed ‘little worm, I was born of the abyss and you think this fire will avail you?” the flames licked at him angrilly but seemed to be sucked into necklace amulet.

“Die, Nyriddian!” Balog snarled at the barbarian. Zakara resisted the command, slashed with his glaive(s) and cut a damning gash into the side of the half-demon priest’s neck, opening a fount of his lifeblood. He laughed, ‘you think you’ve beaten me?’ he said with a crooked smile.

What do you do?

Zakara
Zakara

Zakara finally stops running from the effects of the spell. He knows that he wasn't really afraid, but ran because of a spell. So he turns and runs back the way he came, knowing that his party members need his help.


He arrives back and sees Whispers fighting something, trying to get something from around his neck. He appears to be fighting for breath. Zakara will throw his glaive in a direction which will bring it in from the side and go right behind Whispers back. So if something is there, it will be hit by the glaive.

Whisper
Whisper

(39/49 strangled/disoriented)
OC: If the PC is able to control himself and is able to try and keep fighting through the delirium.
Whisper assumed that his unseen attacker was either the devious imp or Balog himself.  He reached his hand upward seeking the appendage cutting off his air while trying to speak the command for his ring of the ram with some of his last breaths of air.  Either the massive magical force would cleave the arm and he'd be free or his neck would be snapped in an instant.

If the PC is unable to control himself:
Whisper tries to hold out as long as he can, hoping to buy his friends enough time to save his hide.  Thoughts of: where the heck is Septul, the hatchling, and the shadow float across his rapidly losing focus mind.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Whisper disappeared as Zakara entered into the hidden mirrored maze behind the revolving door, reappearing behind Balog. Then Whisper pointed his fist at the cambion cleric, sending him flying into a hard crash against the wall behind Zakara shattering glass into a million shards. The force was lethal, it sent Balog's body straight into a spear jutting out of the mirrored spinning door, a spear Kessa had thrown there. 


The cambion plucked the spear out of him, touched Zakara and suddenly the barbarian became filled with terror and fright, running out of the room as swiftly as his feet could take him. He then threw a dagger into Whisper (-10 hp dmg)  immediately Whisper became hot and sweaty, and started seeing a barrage of strange illusory images, random ones plucked from his mind. Balog laughed again, 'All has gone according to my plan" he laughed a mirthless, vile laugh that revealed the depths of his treacherous soul.


Whisper felt a cold, taloned hand wrap around his neck and lift him upward with incredible, iron strength. "You blithering fool, you could have ruled the seven kingdoms as the newly anointed supreme highlord. Yet you rebel with stupid pride. Give yourself to my lord master, and you will ascend to greater power than you or even I could realize. Resist and die"



Whisper
Whisper

Whisper pauses long enough to scoop Tharngrym's lifeless body and equipment into his bag of holding, perhaps he could be restored along with Morga or at the least his remains could be returned to the dwarven lords.  Trusting that his released shadow, Valtor, and the surprising Turd were about he enacted the dweomer of his cloak clasp to send him to the backside of Balog.
OC: Teleport and ring of the ram charge to send Balog towards Zakara which in theory should dislodge Storm and Kessa as he's sent flying.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Whisper + Zakara are both free now, but Kessa and Storm were free first and they ran after Balog. When both of you give chase, bursting through the secret door you see Balog holding Storm up by the neck and Kessa fallen at his feet, his leg pinning her down and pressed against her chest. Then he said 'Fall at my feet, declare yourselves my faithful servants forthwith, and you will know power and survival in this new world. Resist, and these two die out of principal"



graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

 Zakara flung his glaives with all his might at Balog. The enchanted weapon sliced at the cambion, slashing across his chest (-8 hp dmg) and returned to your awaiting grasp. The second one missed as he seemed to weave out of its reach, almost as though it didn't even seem all too difficult.


Storm: "Good work, Nyriddian!'


Balog: “xiognar motrath nygiz’ he chanted, then flung his bladed whip at Tharngrym. The end of the long whip had a sickle shaped blade that sliced the side of the dwarf’s neck, effectively killing him where he stood.

Kessa launched a spear that pierced the cambion in the stomach, the tip of it burst out of Balog’s back. Balog fled down the mirrored hallway about 12 paces away, he seemed to fly/glide across the floor his feet not even touching the ground.

Valtor unleashed a chromatic orb at Balog, it exploded in a shower of orange sparks ruining whatever spell Balog had been trying to cast. The cambion cursed, grinned mischieviously and disappeared through the wall. The wall spun like a revolving door, revealing another passageway.

DECISION?

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Balog sneered, 'The name is Balog, and my master is none other than Demogorgon. Truthfully, you miserable fools weren't supposed to come here. Hendrack was correct, he was going to lead you to the correct path, the path that would lead you to thwarting Tharizdun, the chained one. However, you had to go and do something entirely foolish by assailing Hendrack. You were a arch fool, Jez'zurian swine. You had the amulet of knowledge, you were set to become nothing short of a DemiGod and what did you do? Pissed it away for some cheap come uppance against Hendrack. 


As Whisper moved to position himself slyly, Balog unleashed a spell and you, Tharngrym, Zakara became stiff as statues when his hold person spell overcame you. Kessa hurtled her spear at him, which missed. Storm swung at the cleric, both times failing to connect his weapon. Balog lifted Storm by the throat, then hurled him into Kessa and Valor. Ironically it was Turd that came from behind and shanked Balog in the back with two daggers, killing him (*assassination*). 


The cleric gasped and fell to a knee, looking pitiable. 'Wait, if you kill me, you'll never see your true queen restored"

Whisper
Whisper

Whisper's spoken words of power did not escape from behind his mask as anything more audible then a series of the quietest of indiscernible murmurs.(cast Friends stored in amulet) The rogue feigns frustration at not being understood and partially removes the mask covering the lower half of his face.  He feared that the dwarf's words were too blunt and would not be likely to gain them any information.  He had to try for the queen's sake to get at least something, her life depended on it!  "You serve a fickle master, demon.  For all of your time dedicated in their name what has been your reward?  Is it all of this?"  Whisper waves the blade of his dwarven shortsword about the room as he begins to pace a bit and chuckles as he appraises the power granted to the scheming hell spawn(ultimately he seeks a line of fire that does not also include his companions should it come to that).  “Which undeserving dark god do you swear loyalty to Baltor?  Is it Iuz, Orcus, Tharizdun, or some other?  The leaders of all three clergies have leaked names, locations, and minor plots to the Lorians in an effort to cull the weaklings and threats from within their flocks.  Hendrack and Thanzig seek to consolidate power for themselves; those who they deem a threat are removed when their usefulness is at its end.  Care to venture a guess as to how useful you are?"

Zakara
Zakara

Zakara takes the offered item, placing it in his pack. He pulls his glaive and awaits for things to start.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

 Zakara: you, Azzog, Tharngrym, Kessa, Storm, and Valtor proceed down the ladder. After a minute you come across Balog, the real Balog speaking to Whisper. He spun around, dagger in his hand and a tiny demon perched on his right shoulder that glared at you with evil mirth in its crimson glowing eyes. He then said, in a voice that was devoid of any emotion 'I offer you miserable mortals a golden chance to serve me, and in recompense you will have much power, gold, food, and slaves. Do you not already see that evil triumphs over all? It is not merely foolish to resist, it is absolutely absurd. What will you gain my killing me? There is still the black empire to contend with, your queen who has had her eyes opened, and many others. There is nowhere left for you to go, there isn't a town, city, or hamlet you will be able to hide in. Now that your queen is my masters new puppet, we will conquer all other realms throughout the inner kingdoms. In a way, I have you to thank for this. Keeping you preoccupied has kept the eyes and notice of our enemies away from our true objective."

What do you do?

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

The maze is reflective of light, and you can see well enough in it even though its very dim.


AS Whisper continued through the maze, he detected movement behind him, a subtle shift of wind so faint it was hardly noticed. Balog emerged out of a revolving mirrored hiding place, thrusting a dagger toward your back. You spun out of its path, and he sneered at you revealing his demoniac fangs 'You little fool! You think your little invasion has achieved anything of significance? If I sought it, I could summon my fell master in all his horrific splendour here to lay you low. Bow before me and proclaim yourself my faithful servant and you will have untold power. Decide quickly!" 


'Xioltog nyrgiz myrlag' chimned a small demon on Balog's right shoulder, it was the red eyed rat-spy you saw before nested on Balog's shoulder. 


"Once you've made the correct decision, as I know you shall go and eliminate your pathetic companions as a testament to your obedience"



Zakara
Zakara

Zakara nods when Azzog says that we should go aid Whisper. They quickly change directions and go after Whisper, quietly as possible and ready for anything.

Whisper
Whisper

Whisper brought out a diamond from within his enchanted bag and spoke to it while half listening to the monolog of Baltor.  His keen eyes were looking about for traps or signs of his quarry.  His voice was nothing more then a whisper when it passed through his mask but the magics of the stone did not care about that, "You can begin earning your release today, your bretheren are about as well as a dark cleric who I seek answers from.  Aid me in their capture and you will be one step closer to release from your prison."

OC: Is the area lit in any way or is the PC depending on his enchanted cold iron blade for light?  Does whichever enchanted weapon he is using do damage to the mirrors?  Use item: Darksoul Diamond also equipping Harby's Ring of Survival and Ring of the Ram because having a chance at surviving a sneak attack and hitting a foe that can't be hit by weapons needs to happen.

Whisper
Whisper

Whisper quickly fetches a pair of vials from his vial satchel and holds them aloft for his silver dragon to take.  "Acid, cover the dhampir so the vampire-kin never rises again to plague Scarlor or seek revenge upon us."  With that grisly but necessary work delegated the rogue heads off in pursuit of the fleeing Balog.

Zakara
Zakara

Zakara lies there slightly stunned after being thrown against the wall. He slowly assesses his health and decides that there was no major damage, just bruising. He looks around and takes stock of the damage. There is Trarngrym with a dagger in the back, and other members with various injuries. Azzog and Angel seem to have come thru the ordeal no worse for wear. You also see a few dead bodies of your enemies. The main enemies have scattered, which could be a good thing. They are now separated and not grouped so their talents over lap.


Zakara calls Angel over and pats the wolf on the head, who sits and pants with excitement. He continues to look around and sniffs the air.


Zakara quickly goes and checks on the kids to make sure that they are ok.


Zakara asks this question, "should a few of us pursue say the blond half giant at least and try to eliminate him alone, or should we rest here as a party, try to heal wounds and then pursue, and allow them to probably regroup again.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Tharngrym see’s Balog’s thin outline through the mist, and begins chanting the words of power from the scroll. The clerical runes start to fade from the scroll as you do this, and then you’re upon him clamp your hand on his forehead and his body became a husk of ash that crumbled into a pile of gray ash.

Then, Tharngrym felt a stinging dagger strike him in the back and he collapsed hearing an evil laugh. Someone invisible from behind was there, and all Whisper or Zakara could see was a dagger sink into the dwarf’s back (-9 hp dmg). As some of the mist lessened Whisper and Zakara spotted a trapdoor in the platform slither open then shut “Thanks for killing my decoy off, you damnable dwarf!” the cleric heard Balog cry out before taking flight. Azzog ran to the trapdoor and tested it, it was securely locked. Valtor placed an outline of acid-gel that corroded the door open, and beneath was a rope ladder descending into a damp corridor 10' down.

Meanwhile the blonde haired half giant lifts Zakara up and throws him across the chamber, where he bowls over several slave-children unintentionally. Whisper casts a spell that causes a ghastly yellow face to errupt out of the ground beneath the blonde haired half-giant, who laughed immune to the desirious effect. The big man escapes through a door in the northeast part of the room and slammed it shut with a defiant shove.

The Ice Elemental smashes and clobbers pummeling all other combatants into submission with brutal efficacy, then it disappears back to its native elemental plane of existence.


DECISION?

Whisper
Whisper

With the dhampir down for the time being Whisper focused his attention elsewhere.  
OC: If he is capable of casting with the mask on he will try Spook on the supposedly dimwitted strongman assaulting Zakara.  If not if he can throw daggers at that foe or the black guards he will.  Otherwise he will target the gems keeping the barrier up.

Zakara
Zakara

Valtor will have to fend for himself for a few minutes. Zakara is too close to the big blond for his glaive, but he takes one last shot elsewhere. He throws in the direction of Balog. His intention isn't to hit the person, but to cut his whip weapon into pieces. He then draws his sword and goes after the enemy with renewed vigor. Azzog by his side they go after him from both sides. Out of nowhere Angel joins the fight nipping and biting at the enemies legs, distracting him.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Round 1:

The female fighter with the fangs swung and missed Whisper.

Whisper emits a potent light from his neck amulet, it surrounds and envelopes each member of the party and stings the eyes of your enemies. You feel weightless and energized from the lights effects.

Tharngrym summons an ice elemental from the scroll, the runes on the scroll vanishing. Out of the floor a vortex to the elemental plane of ice ripped open in the fabric of reality, and out sprang a towering ice elemental that begins to carry out the cleric’s command.

Valtor hurtled three magic missiles destroying three gems simutaneously. The bulbous forcefield surrounding Balog diminished slightly. As Turd reached the top of the throne, he tried to wrap a garrotte around Balog’s neck. However Balog seemed to float away from the attack. Balog countered with a hidden dagger, slicing at Turd just enough for the Goblin to lose his balance and fall off the upraised throne.

Meanwhile, the blonde haired thug came at Zakara. Due to the blinding mist, the towering half-giant lost his footing and foolishly left himself exposed (fumbled) for an attack of opportunity from the barbarian. Zakara swung with his glaive(s) in hand but failed to strike the giant, who somehow managed to shift his body in slight ways to avoid being injured by your weapons.

ROUND 1: Whisper noticed the silver wrymling flew out of his bag and leaped into the fray, breathing gas at the dhampir. Kessa added the favor of throwing her favorite spear into the dhampir, skewing the assassin with devatasting effect the spear penetrating the dhampir’s backside and rupturing through her chest right between her cleavage. The dhampir simply laughed, broke the spearpoint with her delicate hand and laughed ‘stupid Elsmyrian whore!’ then, Storm shield bashed the half-vampire girl and severed her head with a deft stroke of his gleaming blade.

effect: +2 to thac0//damage/saving throws for 5 rounds.

Balog leaped down and floated to the ground, a permanent sneer on his face. His face seemed completely concealed in shadows but you could make out a withered man beneath, and from your close vantage point he bore slightly demoniac features like sharp teeth and nails, and Tharngrym knew (vs. wis) that he was a cambion though seemed to physically favor his human aspect in form. At his belt hung a chainwhip that ended with a sickle like-bladed weapon.

Balog laughed a raspy condescending laugh, clapped his hands in mockery ‘I applaud you rabble’s tenacity, however pointless this theatricality. Even after explaining the absolution of your dismal failure you still cling to some fool’s hope!’ he laughed. "You have nowhere to escape! My master's forces occupy your home base, at the invitation of your own queen!' he laughed again.

Kessa ran at Balog with her scimitar drawn, however Elite black guard #1 disarmed her with his longsword, and #2 cut into the ranger with a skilled blow. Then Azzog sprang and inserted his claw into the eyes of elite guardsman #1 killed him in an instant. Then he leaped toward Zakara’s side to help him square off against the big man.

Balog unleashed a spell against Kessa, effecting her with horrible wounds.

Whisper's silver wrymling came out of his bag and began hovering over his shoulder now. Two more dragons one copper, and one brass also came out of Storm and Kessa's bags in similar fashion.

REACTION



Whisper
Whisper

Whisper enacted a dweomer from his family clasp, suddenly the area around the young rogue was bathed in a brilliant emerald light made all the more surreal by the gathering mists. The agile rogue drew his dwarven short sword and spoke before affixing his mask. "Valtor blast the gems on the floor and ceiling to remove the barrier." Whisper smiled briefly behind his mask at the frustration etched on the dhampir assassin. With the benefits of her race diminished Whisper hoped to exploit a weakness the vampire kin shared with his late father's curse, fire!

Oc amulet daily power to create light and aid allies/harm foes. Next idea is to cook the assassin.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Balog's throne shot straight up into the air, raised by a thick pillar and he was surrounded by a bulbous field of blue pulsating energy. His mocking laughter filled the entire chamber, and Zakara and Whisper noticed two gems on the ceiling and the floor that were pulsating with the same exact color of the force field. Zakara's glaive glanced off the bubble, and Whisper's passwall spell had absolutely no effect as the scroll was consumed in his hands. 


The blonde haired big man ran at Zakara, unafraid. Meanwhile a woman appeared next to Whisper and she was incredibly beautiful, with auburn hair and mesmerizing cobalt eyes until she bared her vampiric eyeteeth at him, trying to grab you. Whisper ducked in a low crouch evading her grasp then leapfrogged over her, and the woman clad as a fighter might was enraged at this, 'You move like a little lizard!' she snarled.


A thick blinding mist erupts forth out of the floors, filling the chamber with a irritable gas that stings your eyes and causes you to sneeze briefly. 


Turd began scaling up toward where Balog was perched on his high throne.


Tharngrym noticed two black cloaks came rushing into the fray from hidden doors in the walls, armed with longsword and dagger each. One rushed to engage against Storm and the other against Azzog.


Zakara's glaive tore across the back of the Ogre (-9 hp dmg) and returned to his hand. The Ogre throws a javelin at the barbarian but missed, as Zakara dipped to a low crouch and avoided the attack. 


Balog: "Die, barbarian!" he crooned at Zakara who collapsed to the ground and did as he was commanded.

Storm and Kessa both double team black elite #1, failing to strike the armored foe. 

Valtor: throws a dagger into black elite #1, the dag sunk hilt deep into the fighter who didn't even flinch under the painful blow. 

Tharngrym: you're now in a cloud of blinding mist.

DEICSION?

DECISION?



Whisper
Whisper

Whisper cast Passwall from a scroll, centering the summoned portal horizontally beneath the throne Baltor sat upon. Since the duergar had hinted that the traps were more mechanical than magical the sudden relocation of the heavy throne should snap lines, tubes, or wiring Baltor planned to use to unleash against them. It also had the added bonus of taking Baltor out of the fight for a short while .

Zakara
Zakara

Zakara throws his glaive at the cleric. if nothing else it will provide a distraction to the cleric. Now if Zakara can actually control the flight path of his weapon, he will guide it at the ogre on its return flight. After that he will go against the tall blond haired man.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

The party is guided by Azzog, who lead you through a series of lesser caves beyond the second overlooked door. Once you made it past these caves, the party comes to a halt before a metal door. Kessa detects a giant cave snail in the shadowy corner, but it makes no hostile gesture towards the group. With a great pull Azzog pried the door open, and the party proceeded forth.

Continuing this passage, it eventually deposits into a much larger cavern. The sounds alert you something is ahead, and Azzog stops and calls for silence. Tharngrym buffers the party with a blessing, and Kessa’s skin becomes covered with a thick bark-like protective layer. After final preparations are made, Azzog leads you all into the large spacious cavern and boldly he went up to a throne resting on a dias. Resting on the throne was a man clad in black hood + robe, mottled skin and yellowish-orange cold looking eyes that shone with a lusterous keen, as if constantly plotting something secret. Balog raised a hand and the door behind you slammed shut. Standing next to his throne were two black cloaks, a cleric also clad in black, and two shades dressed in the armor they wore in life: chainmail, brandishing broadswords.  Before him was a large ogre cracking a whip where several children continued sorting mined ore. Next to Balog was a tall man with shaven blonde hair and blue eyes. He looked slightly larger than the ogre.

“So, the blades of Nyr...at last. I am honored, you’ve the teremity to confront your...new liege lord” he laughed a raspy, mocking laughter. “It is much too late for your heroic antics, amusing as they’ve been. What will you do now? Your queen is my slave, the black empire now controls all of your pathetic kingdom, and I had all of your friends, allies, and accomplices assassinated. Indeed, while you were busy chasing dead ends and false leads I’ve been hatching plots within plots against you. It was really nothing a mere child could conceive of. Pitting my wits against you would be like playing chess with a cockaroach. First I destroyed the queen’s special forces those meddlesome Watchers, and now I will add the Blades of Nyr to my list of black works.”

As Kessa and Storm charged forth, Valtor went into spellcasting. Turd his goblin assistant ran up the throne steps, followed closely by Azzog. 


While they rushed to enact swift vengeance, Balog smiled fiendishly and revealed Zor and Bane tied up before his feet, and he laughed 'Your friends are now my slaves!' he chuckled to himself smugly. His eyes bored into Whisper 'Your failure is absolute now, young Lord Altradeaus!' he sniggered.

What do you do?


graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

 Azzog: "I fathom your words, Whisper. I will spare his vileness for as long as is necessary, you needn't worry. Though I am dubious you will be able to glean anything worthy from his lying tongue" he turned to Tharngrym: "Small metal knives, and long dull spikes heated by flame. Though oddly nuff my captors gave me some concoction that numbed the pain, which was perfectly idiotic. Granted we Keltari are able to withstand all forms of torture better than any, but still this was quite strange" he took Zakara's food and devoured it. 

Tharngrym heals Azzog, bandaging his injuries and applying ointment (+4 hp)


Valtor: "We can expect Balog will lay a trap for us, do you have any suggestion to avoiding his treachery?"


Azzog: "There is another door from whence you came, it will take you to his personal chambers. A meditation room, where he seeks the counsel of demons, and his own lair. Ware his hatchet man, he's a big brute and a half giant. Not a great fighter, a lumbering oaf but he can take punishment. He seemed to have some strange condition that renders him impervious to pain."

Whisper
Whisper

"The slave children have been freed, they hide amongst the forge room for our return.  There is a precocious young lass among them that worries for your safety Azzog.  Most of us, "  Whisper pauses and looks to his companions with pride before continuing speaking while snooping about the room.  "Serve the queen as her Blades, Balog has cursed her and several goodly leaders with potent spells.  We seek answers to undo the curses so please refrain from separating his head from his body."  Raising a severed arm off of the trapped weapon beneath it Whisper then continued, "So now you know why we’re here, what brings you to this miserable hole in the ground Azzog?  Looking for someone or something perhaps?"  Whisper pokes around the room looking for anything of interest, exits, other prisoners etc... all the while placing the deceased's weapons on the gaming table for the Keltari to choose from. 

OC: If the orcs are still bound in the other room he'll excuse himself and go dispatch them, set an alarm trap and return.

Zakara
Zakara

After Azzog gets his wounds worked on, Zakara pulls a few rations from his pack and gives them to the ranger. Angel comes up and sniffs at the food, so Zakara gives him a little bit also. Then he moves to a spot near the entry way and sets up watch.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

The Keltari laughed, 'I'm a ranger, I respect all beasts of the wild my friend. Trust needn't be earned, for my kind were created by your kind. It is impossible for me to betray you, though it is possible for you to betray me now that I think about it" it crouched down and petted Angel who played fondly with him, 'I am called Azzog for short. You have a respectable party, a rogue whose a wizard and a dwarf priest, a Elsmyrian battle ranger, and a Knight of the Seas, plus a big bellied Elven alchemist-assassin and his pet Goblin assassin. It is not common to come across such a colorfully decorated group such as yours" Azzog took the armor + weapons gratefully, and greeted Tharngrym and Whisper with a friendly hello. Then it said "I'm afraid I'm must deprive you of some sport you may have in reserve in this place, because of Balog's treachery he ensnared me with a simple ambush whilst out in the wild stupidly sleeping a deep sleep. It is very seldom someone catches me off guard, but I had been busily evading capture from the Lord Govenor's bountyhunters out of Carver city far south of here and exhausted from a week without food or rest. And hence I will gladly destroy that cursed snake, though I must warn you when I had the chance he wielded some hidden power to avoid physical attacks. It frustrated me to no end, be warned"

Zakara
Zakara

The Keltari is now freed from his cell. His speak to Zakara took some of them by surprise because they didn't know that Zakara was a full Drenai.


Zakara walks up to the cat man and pulls his armor from his pack and hands it to the Keltari ranger. The weapon is also handed to the ranger.


Zakara says, "I did not come seeking someone to serve me, and that isn't why you were freed. If however, if you feel indebted to be in my service. For my part I would treat you as a companion, friend and warrior partner. I would give you my oath of loyalty to you, trust would naturally have to be earned on both sides. I also can inflict major damage to those that betray me, and my travel companion.


Zakara bends down and scratches Angel behind the ears. I have been given this dire wolf cub to care for and raise. Are you ok with that, my friend?

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

 Tharngrym: casts bless, imbuing the party with Moradin’s favor. You feel more righteous (+1 to hit/dmg/saving throws)

The dwarf cleric ran up to one of the orcs and ran his hammer into its head, cleaved its skull into bloody pulp (critical, -8 hp dmg)

Meanwhile, as he was having his fun Tharn noticed a whirring bladed boomerang whizz past him and tear through the remaining orcs and the two curious Hobgoblins who were invisible. Zakara felt himself ‘become’ the glaive and was able to guide it in the air, richochet it off of walls and make difficult turns/twists/manuevers.

As the room was filled with fallen bodies of the slain orcs and their two hobs, you saw the cat-man behind the first cell north of the guardroom. It looked tall (7’ ft) and it had a head that was a cross between man and a fierce hunting cat like a snow leopard. It turned proud eyes toward Zakara, sniffed at him once and said ‘You’re of Drenai blood, northerner. Have you come to gain my servitude young master? Few of your ancient kind still walk the world. Grant me my freedom and I will serve you as my brood had aeons ago. But I must warn you I am a sworn, dedicated ranger and incapable of inflicting evil on those undeserving of it.”

Valtor stepped forward, flanked by Kessa and Storm, 'You're saying Zakara here is a Drenai? That's perfectly absurd Keltari. But that can wait, we've come to fetch you and in return only seek what aid you could render. We've lost a member of our band, and we need some more to cleanse this place. What say you?"

The Keltari: "That is acceptable, elf. Though I must say I do not care for the likes of you. You're more than an alchemist but you're also an accomplished assassin, I can tell. The stench of innocent blood mars your hands. Be that as it may you're not entirely corrupted otherwise you wouldn't have a care to freeing the little ones from Balog's clutches.  I can aid your band, but you'd better rest and recover your strength. Otherwise all of your exertions will be for naught."


"Wordy creature" Valtor said, he flung a small metal sphere with protruding barbs at the cell door and it exploded at the hinges. The Keltari emerged out of the cell, having to duck low. It looked down at Turd with menacing eyes, but the Goblin stood there and eyed the towering cat-humanoid with impassive yellow hourglass pupils. Angel sniffed the air toward the Keltari curiously.

The bless spell wears off.

Whisper
Whisper

Whisper could not move to avert his eyes from the gruesome spectacle unfolding before him, Balog's spell held him fast.  The spell did not prevent his mind from coming up with a possible solution, 'Perhaps I can barter the amulet for the remedy with the Lorians?' he thought to himself.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Zakara: the children all appear to be safe and sound, and quite mal nourished. 


Storm: "Whisper! Go after him!" 

Kessa: "I'm on it"

Valtor: "Wait, go and free Bane and Zor girl, Turd get your worthless hide down there! Help the kid out"

 

Whisper leaped through the secret door, finding himself inside of a corridor that lead into a maze of mirrors. Mirrors covered the walls and ceiling a twist of passages, making it completely confusing and disorienting. He heard Balog's voice resonate in a surround sound sort of way, it was full of evil confidence and power: "You've darkened my counsel, little worm. Disrupted the sanctity of my domain. I must say I never thought you damned idiots would have found this place, but it is fitting. I should have anticipated this, surprisingly you caught me unawares a mishap I shant repeat again. I was hoping your harlot queen would have captured and had you crucified by now, but even she has her limitations. Do you not see? All who oppose my master end up becoming his slave"

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

@Zakara Azzog tells you: "We ought wait here, but let us go down below after that young man Whisper and confront Balog by his side. I've a feeling he will need our help" just then Valtor's goblin went down the ladder after Whisper.


Then, Azzog handed Tharngrym a flask full of milk white liquid and said 'This is a potion of heal, it was given me by a priestess of the Catlord in Southern Cross. A gift for your kindness earlier, if you even need such?"

Whisper
Whisper

OC: Whisper will take the time to recover his spells and cantrips if they are resting.
Cantrips
mage hand
acid splash
soul darkness
1st
Grease
Spook
Magic Missle * 2
Wall of Fog
Amulet - stores 3 1st level spells per ring of spell storing - Jump,Mount,Friends
2nd
Invisibility
Web

If not then I think it is back to the cistern room and forward into the trapped throne room.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Concentration is a 3rd edition aspect of ad&d, this is 1st. 


Even so, this is how it works: if you're in the midst of spellcasting and you're actually struck (not merely attacked), concentration check is made. If you make it your spell is cast successfully, if not its disrupted. Clerical spellcasting differs considerably from magic-user spellcasting, its less dependent on gestures and words, more instantaneous.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

It's immaterial if it's high, low, or middle your backpack isn't armor, and it isn't sufficient defense against an enchanted dagger. The dagger cuts through your backpack spilling its contents to the ground as it struck you. It wasn't left inside you but the invisible Balog took it.

Lion figurine: you don't know the command word.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

You don't know as the blinding mist distorts your vision, but he's on the platform somewhere.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

"Call me Azzog, Tharngrym. Aye, your healing touch would be greatly appreciated" he sat to allow you to tend to his many wounds, "These scum you slaughtered would torture me to the brink of death then revive me each morning to my full vitality, but it was not natural healing. They were administering shadow stuff in small dosages. It is poisonous to the soul, cleric. Balog feeds it to all of those he seeks to corrupt, turning them into shades. It is an agonizing process, I pity those he had transformed. Ordinarily we Keltari are able to lick our wounds, but I lost this talent it would seem."

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Brian, Tharngrym's saving throw was a 2, Whisper's was 6, Zakara's was 5 respectively. Truth is, you're a rules lawyer and if you think every decision or action of mine is stupid then what does that make you for participating? Go find a 3.5 edition game where every character is a walking one man party.

Even in other editions, there's no such thing as a backpack of back protection, its not armor. Backpacks don't thwart a perfect backstab from an assassin.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

It's automatically active in completely dark conditions, but not in partially lit conditions unless you decide to switch to it. 

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

concentration only works if you're spellcasting and are distracted/struck/disrupted somehow. Maybe switching to infravision would work.