The difference between being within or without the ruins was ultimately a matter of aesthetics. Raymond walked up the stone steps to an empty archway where he found the door in the form of splintered wood and cast aside rusted iron bands. Inside the templed differed only that there was now a stone floor, along with the occaisional bit of ancient debris. Much of the stone work looked charred, blackened by some force.
As he explored the former temple, he found it easy enough to keep track of what was going on outside, should anything evil elect to approach. Nothing saw fit to assault his search, permitting him to go on in enveloping silence. When at last he knew that there was nothing on the first floor of the temple besides the remnants of the roof and walls that once covered it, he found a stairwell and cautiously proceeded deeper.
Ray saw something, however, that caused him to halt near the bottom long, straight stairs. The bottom led off in a hallway, the length and bredth he could now see at his height. Something was very wrong about it, as it was lit on either side by a torch in the wall. He slowly descended a few more steps, until he saw the hall enter a larger room which he could see was strewn with much rubble, and indeed seemed to be collapsed into a lower level. At the entrance to this room, with their backs to him, stood no less than four skeletons, horrifyingly all standing by their own power. They seemed to be guardians, watching the other end of the room intently.
I grab the torch, hoping that it might do me some good in the god forsaken place. I then stalk up to the skeletons, wondering why they are placed where they are and standing at attention... I do this cautiously, making sure not to get with range of their dangerously pointed finger tips which now resemble more like claws then human hands.
I'm not railroading you dungeon people, you made these choices yourself. (except when I feel at li
With torches relit and order re-established, the five teens returned to the hall. After another turn, they were opposed by a wall, with narrow passages leading both left and right at the end of the hall. Before anyone could foolishly come up with the thought, much less the suggestion, Galen cautioned, "We cannot afford to split up."
Ben boldly stepped up to the challenge of determining which passage would be taken. Without a word, he begins to take the left hall, but as he comes to the first twist, he doesn't take it. On instinct he decides that the tiny hall is a poor place to be caught in a fight, so he backs out of the hall, instilling some confusion in his followers. Ben looks again at the two passages and decides by gut feeling that the right passage may prove to be safer.
In single file they followed the narrow hall as it turned left, only to see that it turned right again before it ran too far, then twice more it turned left. As Ben turned the final left, he saw that the room ahead contained a set of stairs running perpendicularly to the hall, though that was not nearly as disconcerting as seeing that this room was lit by some unseen source. He turns to the others, whispering a soft warning, "I see light ahead, everyone prepare yourselves, we may have to fight again."
He proceeds out into the room, seeing two torches along the far left wall. The obstacle of the large stone staircase forces him to travel along side it to the bottom of the steps. They extend about twenty feet long for a raise of about ten feet into another hall. They are at least ten feet wide. As the others move in behind him he ascends the first steps until he can see down the hall, also lit by a pair of torches. The small light cast from the mounted flames, however, is not enough to bring full illumination to the end of the hall.
"Who goes there?" Ben called to the two shadowy forms that stayed just beyond the full effect of the torch. At once, the two heavily robed figures approach with naught to reply with but the slight scuffle of their shoes on the stone floor. The awkward silence of their reply draws on for a second as their arms fall limply to their sides, previously folded into their sleeves.
As the others draw close behind him, the problem with the scenario becomes evident in an instant. Several factors simultaneously reveal the horrible truth about these apparant monks of the temple. Their pale white hands, barely visible at their sides are bloodstained; the light from the hall torches reveal thick stains of blood running from the corners of their mouth down their neck where the most obvious point lies. Both of their necks bare a bloody gash where they were brutally slit. From their sides the animated corpses, the zombies, dully raise their arms as though reaching out to strangle the life out of the startled friends.
Knowing that the way out must lay beyond the doors behind the zombies, bolstered by adrenaline, new found strength, and recent victories, the living once again move in to clash against the undead.
(Notes: Only the top two winners of initiative get to go into melee with the zombies should they so wish. These two are Jeremy and Ben, both having a total score of 21. Should either of you not go in, you may pass the spot onto some one else by delaying your action or doing something else)
Posted on 2008-07-10 at 19:21:17.
Edited on 2008-07-14 at 04:05:18 by Sibelius Eos Owm
The vision of the bonewalkers caused Raymond to pause for a second. If bad came to worse, he may need to fight against them. That would mean he would be advantaged to have a weapon to use against his opponents. Fire. He saw the torches mounted on the wall and considered their worth. Surely they could be put to good use as a club, in the addition to being a source of illumination. Best of all, many wild creatures feared fire, and those that did not would be bitten by its painful burn. With a quick mental adjustment he found himself embodying the spirit of flame. He now relfected its warmth with his mind, but also he could feel the quick-temper and eagerness to grow, spread, and consume. If mistreated, it could easily become a vicious blaze, but when proper caution was observed, it provided light, heat, and even the energy for life.
As these thoughts wound through his mind, Raymond slowly and carefully snuck up to the torch and slowly eased it out of place. He hoped that the slender wood would hold up to physical punishment should the time come. Now halfway down the underground hall, he decided to have a quick look at what the skeletons were doing. He was already about as prepared as he would get for a physical conflict, so he crept closer. In a horrible moment, he heard a slight crunch under foot as a pebble of rubble reacted to the pressure of his foot. He carefully lifted the offending appendage and set it down to the side of the pebble.
When Raymond had come as close as he dared, he found that he could see little more than he could before. The room looked thouroughly lambasted by some force that appeared similar to a bomb detonation. The room contained a few pillars which put up a valiant effort of suspending what was left of the roof. The far end of the room, beyond the reach of the torchlight sported another hallway.
Two enemies. Well, what else could they be? Hostile implies unfriendly at the very least, but being undead, these pathetic things are likely mindless as well, so that meant if they weren't destroyed, they'd attack and try to kill. It's straight-forward, simple logic, and yet... well, it's just one of those things Galen can't help but dislike. The continuation of the Eternal War; it's what gives life purpose at many times, and yet... it's just silly.
Oh dear, thinking on his own train of thought, Galen reacts rather late. Oh well, the hands of time cannot be turned back, at least not easily, and not without repurcussions. Focus! What needs to be done here? Two 'spells' are not yet used, but one of them should be saved for later, and Galen knows which one would be most useful now.
Space is a bizarre thing. It exists, but one cannot touch it, see it, or easily cut it. Drawing his left hand forward, Galen draws a different rune, this one with two standing waves, meeting at the center in a node, with three lines curving in to strike it, but none of them passing. The standard application of the force of the shield.
Drawing with his mind, he separates the space in which he is in from the space in front, forming a barrier. Nothing even shows physically that it exists, yet it is there. Galen can feel it. A small smile forms on Galen's face.
If there is a spot untaken by the two zombies, Galen takes it, ready to fight. If there is none, he simply says, "Please get out of the way."
Posted on 2008-07-11 at 05:49:45.
Edited on 2008-07-18 at 23:53:53 by Reralae
Ben realizing what it is at the last moment gains a look of surprise, but knows that he must not hesitate or risk being hurt by such a monster. He had fought with zombies before, knew their strengths, their weaknesses, and yet this was the first time coming into actual combat with one.
He raised his re-lit torch into the air again and aimed sololy for the head. He hoped to knock out some teeth with this shot so Ben threw more power into it over actually hitting it.
(Power Attack 1 point)
Posted on 2008-07-11 at 07:14:04.
Edited on 2008-07-11 at 07:33:47 by Tispers
With what little sense I have of this situation, I decide that I reflect on the wraith and the ghosts... and come to the idea that these skeletons may very well be animated dead like the specters that I first encountered. I want to find clues as to where I am if, but at the cost of a 4 vs. 1 battle, I decide that I would soon find doom instead of illumination on the situation. With a continual cautionary stare at the skeletons, I move away to the dark hallway ahead and back to the surface above.
Posted on 2008-07-11 at 23:39:28.
Edited on 2008-07-18 at 01:38:09 by Shades331
He then runs forward to aid Ben in his efforts. Ian once again in favour of his femur brings it back and off to the side, then in one hand starting with his shoulder brings it forth followed by his arm. in attempt to give the Zombie a solid thunk to it's head.
(Oh by the way Reralae, I am planning to move out of your spot as soon as possible)
(Note from DM, who can do this thannks to temporary control over the keyboard, should Jeremy not move in to attack right away, Ian has the so covetted spot from which to attack the zombi. Should he not attain the locale of choice, he shall: *returns keyboard*)
Posted on 2008-07-14 at 04:17:46.
Edited on 2008-07-14 at 04:22:17 by Okron
Upon seeing the skeletons the wound in Jeremy's side stings. Although he regards himself a particularily selfless individual and doesn't wish to hide behind his friends, he knows that another wound like that would be easy to come by and he might not survive the next. He takes a few steps down the hall and prepares to attack the first enemy that comes in range.
Posted on 2008-07-17 at 05:15:26.
Edited on 2008-07-17 at 05:19:08 by Aardvark
Ouch... get some better rolls quickly, our fighters are dying.
Jeremy, recently out of tenth grade, never expected something quite like combating undead for a summer vacation. That is not to say he would ever have imagined his future would involve reanimated corpses. Perhaps the idea that ‘Tomorrow is another day’ was supposed to be a warning rather than a reassurance, this morrow was indeed another reality. The youth leapt to the top of the stairs, though a healthy sense of self-preservation held him back, to wait for the monstrosities to meet his unarmed fists on his own terms.
No such sense possessed the brown haired warrior-at-heart, Ben, who was up the stair and down the hall before Jeremy could say anything. He let go with his torch, improvised into a small club with the bonus of a flaming end. However, as he swung he cursed his weapon, not designed for combat and thus not properly suited for use in such matters. Heck, from the looks of the wood, it might snap if struck too hard.
Ian leapt in behind Ben with a quick oath, filling up the front lines in the hall. As much as Ben had to complain about his weapon selection, Ian was faring no better, as his two-handed femur swipe struck the zombie in the abdomen with much less ferocity than Ian had wanted for his strike. The zombies were slow and had difficulty forcing what would otherwise be a limp and heavy corpse to evade. It was more a matter of hitting hard enough to make the zombie really feel the strike rather than aiming to hit.
Owen left Galen just beginning to chant a spell at the bottom of the stairs and mounted the stairs. He pulled up next to Jeremy, his mind looking for magic that could fix the situation. The words and energy of the force missile spell he unleashed before had left his mind, resulting in a dismal selection. The shielding spell that Galen was putting to use behind him was of no use, especially when one’s goal was to keep far away from enemies. The only other spell he had that was useful in battle was a beam of cold energy, but he could not afford to shoot it, not with his brother and Ben shielding his target with their bodies. While his mind raced, Galen’s footsteps hammered up the stairs and the zombies began clubbing Ian and Ben.
The one zombi before Ben drew its arm back and slammed it into his gut. He had thankfully been taught to push out his stomach to avoid being winded, but that did not mean the pain was not intense [Ben -7 dmg (5/15 HP)]. With some effort of will in addition to the natural painkillers of adrenaline, he managed to ignore the majority of the blow. The other zombi also struck Ian, delivering a powerful punch into his chest that shook his own skeleton. [Ian -6 dmg (5/11 HP)]
Whether Ian could comprehend speech right now or not, Galen drew up behind him. Shield spell now in full use to turn aside blows that came at it. “Please get out of the way,” he commanded. Between Ben and Ian, the latter was the more likely to obey his command to retreat from battle.
On going effects:
Galen - Shield Spell - 1 round
Posted on 2008-07-17 at 22:54:29.
Edited on 2008-11-18 at 19:37:29 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Ian's chest throbed from being struck so hard. At Galen's command to move, he looked for an escape. Rather than retreating, however, he leapt at the zombi in attempt to get past without harm. Once safely (or not) on the other side, he brought his femur to land a blow, while shouting "that hurt!"
Posted on 2008-07-18 at 04:32:37.
Edited on 2008-07-18 at 04:49:36 by Okron
Galen steps forward, feeling the barrier he had erected earlier with his mind. Careful... He thinks, Watch the opponent closely. Galen lets himself grow cold, his mind supplying the mental image of his irises turning black, and an image overlaying his own, as he borrows one of his characters' persona. It likely isn't healthy, but Galen doesn't really mind; most things he is capable of mentally would be considered unhealthy by many people. Besides, he is certain that, without emotion to cloud perception, he would be more capable of fighting. Galen wordlessly swings his borrowed femur across, attempting to strike the zombie in front of him.
Raymond, finding no possible passage that would not involve him in a battle for his life, began creeping backward. Determined not to turn his back on the monsters, he placed one foot behind the other, occaisionally glancing over his shoulder to check the proximity of the foot of the stairs. His stealth went smoothly, the skeletons being completely unaware to the fact that one of the torches behind them was slowly running away from them. Then, a single misstep backwards, causing Ray's foot to slide on loose stones. The sound, in so deadly silent of an environment was comparable to the passing of a freight train as four sets of mindless lights turned on him.
Horrified, Raymond put to use his new favourite answer to such problems. Before the skeletons had the chance to begin pursuit, Ray forced his legs into a swift departure up the stairs. A horrible rattling of bone on stair chased him up and back into the ruined main level. He hurtled out of the stairway into clouded daylight, with a rattling troop following him closely. Knowing that sooner or later, he would have to tire, which meant simply that the skeletons could not be outrun. He vaulted over a low wall and turned around, waiting to strike the first skeleton to attempt to approach. With luck, the wall would provide a physical barrier to his enemy's charge and force them to climb over.
Though against mindless opponents, obstacles were very useful for the little mental effort it took to trick them, Ray never got a chance to put the wall to use. At the top of the stairs, all four undead stopped, lowering the wicked hooks of finger bones they had. They stared ahead breifly, then filed back down the stairs as if under some instruction was given to them that overrode their hunt. Apparantly guarding the depths of the temple was more important than pursuing intruders.
Watching as the zombies maim to of his friends Jeremy can't take it more. Fighting the zombies is sensless and pointless, they're undead, it would be childs play to outrun them. But if Ben and Ian tried to run the zombies might use that opportunity to finish them off. Jeremy winces at the thought of their dead bodies lying on the floor. He tumbles opposite to the zombie attacking Ben and attempts to kick it in the face.
(using cunning insight to add my int bonus to damage roll)
I look at my options after a few moments of resting from my horrific encounters. to go back down is to face certain death, and to return to the cemetery from which I came would mean facing the wraith and ghosts: a death wish as well. The only thing left to do is to follow the path through the intimidating forest and hope that SOMEONE is around who is neither undead or aggressive. I pray that I might be able to make it out of this alive and find my way back home.