Not long after the incident at the pool, the first sign of intelligent life approached Raymond. The clip-clop sound of hoofbeats thundered from ahead, accompanied by the rumble of wagon wheels against dirt road. His eyes confirmed what his ears did know, by way of glimpses of motion through the trees. This was perhaps the best chance all day to get in touch with the civilization of this strange place.
The combat near Jeremy was occuring just too quickly for his body to process in order. The skeleton in front of him collapsed, only to have its place refilled. He vaguely recalled Ben being clawed pretty badly. For the next few seconds, he did nothing but react, drawing himself back and concentrating on holding the danger at bay.
With his blood on the enemies' claws, Ben turned his axe to his own troubles. He brought the weapon over his head, but the wound on his side pulled the swing off, allowing the skeleton to dodge away from the chop. It reacted right away and returned with its own attack. The bloody claw streaked toward him, but it came too quickly in its eagerness and caused the monster to become unbalanced. Ben saw and took the chance to make up for his weakness earlier and swung the rusty old axe again to a miss. Though for his lack of luck in his offense, the skeleton's second claw never found purchase either.
Meanwhile to his left, Jeremy had his hands full blocking the sharp knuckles of the other skeleton. He moved quickly enough to dodge the first attack, and held the second one away just barely with his torch.
(Well, six attacks were made this round, none leading to a successful hit.)
My stomach leaps with excitment as i look in the direction of the sounds. I pray that it is someone who can help me. It is at this time that I notice my hunger and thirst, and hope that they are not only helpful in the form of direction, but also charity.
I await in the middle of the road for the people to come into view.
At Tispers' suggestion, I shall save us the agony of waiting for each round's worth of posts
(You do know, though, that you are allowed to say what you plan to do for a couple rounds in the future, right?)
Round 1 (of this post, like Round 3 of the battle or something)
Finally having regained his wits, Jeremy returns to the brawl with his torch. He lunges forward and sweeps his flaming weapon in a horizonal arc, but the monster pulls back from it quickly. Opposite him, Ben throws a successful crack with his axe, but without flesh or internal organs, an axe is limited to chopping bone. His strike severs the already brittle collar bone and manages to shatter the top few ribs. The problem with undead creatures such as these, is that one never knew exactly how much fight they still had in them. If their phsycial appearance was anything to judge on, they were post mortem, but it was the animating magic that held them in battle. But then, where was the line drawn when a corpse or body was too damaged to continue functioning? Ben would have to keep hitting to find out (2 damage thanks to power attack and DR).
Without abdominal muscles, instead subsittuting the animating force, the skeleton on the left swings its torso back with its claw extended. Much like the other did not so long ago, it stumbled, providing an opening at its skull. Unprepared for this sudden advantage, Jeremy swung his weapon hastily and without proper force. The contact of his torch to skull sounded a crack but inflicted no permanent damage. While he made his opportune attack, however, Jeremy brought himself too close to dodge the other claw, which darted out as soon as the monster regained its balance, which is to say, a moment too soon. (-3 Jeremy 6/9)
On the right, Ben had a full deal on his hands, the skeleton that tasted his blood was all too eager for another. It caught a hold of his left shoulder and dragged its claws down to his breast, shredding more of his shirt that now barely survived. Thankfully, Ben managed to hold off the other claw. He began to feel just slightly faint from the blood loss and he knew that it wouldn't take much more to fell him. (-5 Ben 2/15) (Full damage again, my dice seem to be seeking revenge on you for something. Might I suggest a quick potion just before your attack this round? Don't forget you have one)
While Ben's luck was beginning to turn down and he was starting to struggle, the shock of pain may have been exactly what Jeremy needed. His torch connected again, and with the full force of a prepared attack, he broke off the jawbone and continued to break a couple ribs, allowing the flame on the torch to lick and char the bone. (3 damage + 1 fire)
Posted on 2008-08-31 at 15:30:33.
Edited on 2008-08-31 at 15:37:23 by Sibelius Eos Owm
More fighting... I can't wait to see if things pick up once we're clear of the old campaign.
Ben cast aside his torch and dove into his pocket to retreived the small glass vial with cork stopper. At the same time, he backed away from the skeleton, directly into Galen. The skeleton tried to follow him as he threw the very-slightly minty contents of the vial down his throat (+5 Ben 7/15) but Ian quickly stepped in. He used his bone club as a baseball bat and forced the bonewarrior to reconsider its advance in favour of ducking.
Ian's assault was quickly returned, but he was quick enough to avoid both attacks, though he could not take advantage of a gap in his opponent's defence. Jeremy was less lucky though, and only managed to avoid the first of the two attacks, and had more finger marks etched into his chest. (-4 Jeremy 2/9)
Trying to ignore the pain quickly being brought to him, Jeremy drew lines of smoke between him and his foe, to little effect. He was aware of his plight and took advantage of the new opening behind him, stealing his own potion out of his pocket. He had little time of respite and swallowed it down quickly. The effect was beautiful, all his sores again removing themselves in a flood of tingling energy. (+7 Jeremy 9/9)
Galen was forced to acknowledge the battle again when Ben bumped into him, but only just barely. He removed himself from behind Ben and found refuge from the melee.
Unharmed, Ian kept batting with confidence that one of these hits would take his undead foe away. He clubbed it, but without the force required to put a crack in the opposing bone.
While Jeremy recovered, he was already being closed in by his foe, which drew up next to Ian. It ignored him though, keeping to its original quarry and hooking its claws through the air before Jeremy. The other continued its attempts to eviscerate Ian while he moved quickly. He couldn't hold off his enemy unscathed forever, however, and the skeleton finally reached out and nearly scratched off Ian's face. Ian threw back his head, sacraficing his dodge to save his vitals while those claws dug mercifully shallow gashes into his chest. (-2 Ian 8/11) The fourth and final skeleton took up initiative to move into a place from where it could fight. To obtain the location, though, it clattered through Ian's fight, opening itself to a quick opportune strike from Ian's club. (2 damage) It wheeled around once it gained its position, though, and returned the favour with its claw, to which Ian dodged.
Jeremy struck out again, having very little luck using the torch as a weapon. He had help though, as Ben found himself close enough to enter combat again. Though there was not much help to be had, with his first strike Ben did not force enough power into the blow to seriously crack bone.
Meanwhile, Ian continued to fend off the attacks of two skeletons at a time now, taking the occaisional shot back at the two, targeting first the monster he saved Ben from. It continued to be a pain for him, its mindless body protected by its hardness.
With all three skeletons fighting, the clatter and cackle of bones moving quickly to the fight was growing ominous, Ian suffered two more hits, he could hardly keep track of which skeleton was hitting him. (-2, -2 Ian 4/11) On the otherhand, Jeremy scores a nice shot while the skeleton in front of him leaves itself completely open. The force of his attack was enough to finally obliterate the energy animating the skeleton, by way of breaking the body assigned to it. (4 damage + 1 fire)
After his lucky quick attack, Jeremy leapt forward to retake his old position in battle, to help Ian. He would not be in luck twice in a row, however, and the unweildly nature of the torch made it difficult to use against the skeleton.
Ben was left behind and unable to reach the melee again, though little did he know that he would be thrust back into to battle so soon. As the others before him, Ian found himself needing to get out of the way to use his vial of healing potion. He swung his club one last hopeful time to a miss, then moved away and put his potion to work. It erased any trace of pain or damage to his body.(+7 Ian 11/11)
Despire being fully and well healed, Jeremy wasn't handling his defense so well by the time the monster reacted to his presence. It seems the distraction he gave Ian came at a high cost, as another two clawed assualt spilled more of his blood. (-4, -3 Jeremy 2/9) Jeremy's voice cried out in pain, unable to contain itself from this strike. The other skeleton decided to follow Ian, this time making Jeremy the one to be surrounded front and side by undeath. True to its mindless form, the tactical advantage of closing in on a single target never occured to it, as it gave Ian a close up view of its yellowed knuckles.
Jeremy understood that to retreat now would just as likely mean his death as staying, and so with the conviction that came with such realizations, Jeremy took a wild swing, connecting his torch with his opponent's skull. The shot crushed the entire side of the skull inward, leaving one of the ghost lights of eyes floating and in an odd location. (4 damage + 1 fire)
Ben found himself with what he deemed as his original opponent in close combat again. He swung his axe over the head of the skeleton as it lunged at Ian. As such his chop only glanced off the bones. If the rusted blade were newer, or sharper, perhaps it wouldn't be so difficult to strike with. Though considering that, the axe was probably the strongest weapon available to the group at the moment.
Ian found his opponent was distracted momentarily by the swing of the axe it fought not long ago. He took advantage of the lapse in attention to crush his femur into its ribcage. Whatever way the damage to the body was determined to be too much to be animated was beyond Ian, but the lack of joints or muscles sent the pieces of this life size puzzle scattering. (4 damage) Then he came to the rescue of his friend, throwing himself back into the range of the other skeleton.
The last skeleton, unaware of its own secondary mortality, continued to move its body to flail and jerk at anything its master perceived as enemies. Jeremy's breath caught in his throat as the skeleton's claw swung through the air to miss him. He didn't have time to release it, however, as the other claw caught him in the stomach. (-2 Jeremy 0/9 Disabled) His world spun as the vertigo set on by blood loss took effect. His breath was heavy and laboured as he tried to remain conscious.
It was Ben's passage by that distracted the skeleton from the killing blow, turning to attack the new opponent as he left himself open. (-3 Ben 4/15) He stepped up into the pile of rubble so that he could attack without fearing for Ian to get in his way. Woe would take them soon enough, for as Ben shifted his weight so too did the rubble shift, nearly dropping its burden onto the skeleton.
While the skeleton's lack of mind wrestled between Ben and Jeremy, Ian took up his own disagreement with it in a violent discussion of bone on bone. Several more of the two hundred odd bones in a human skeleton sent report of shattering. (4 damage) This most recent act of offense seemed to offend the skeleton more than either its previous targets.
Round 8 (in actuality, probably 10, 1 minute)
The skeleton raced for purchase in Ian's fleshy body, but would find none. While Jeremy held the wall to brace himself, Ian swooped away from the deadly claws. Jeremy staggered back to a safer place, Ben gave the monster something more to think about. While Owen helped Jeremy sit down, Ian to a crack that only skipped off the pelvic bone. The choice of the femur would prove to be a very good one by the time they survived, being among the strongest bones in the body.
Jeremy already been forgotten in the few dozen word command that a mindless servant can remember at most, the skeleton's assault continued to be directed at Ian. He avoided one claw and with a smart tap on the wrist of the other, held it back.
After a long battle, releif finally came when Ben's axe beat a rusted blade into the lower spine of his opponent. Such a hit would probably instantly fatal to any living creature, but it was not the severance of the nerves from the brain that felled this foe.
Owen now held the torch that was in Jeremy's hand as he asked Galen for the last potion held by the group. At the far end of the room there seemed to be another short hall, which could be seen to have a soft, natural light. The combatants were now collectively exhausted from the efforts to smash skeleton after skeleton, while moving fast enough to avoid blows. The idea set in that most of them had been killed a couple times over, if not for the serendipity of the potions.
(That battle was certainly more life threatening than last time. Who knew Kaed's nearly self-sacrafice could have spared so much. At anyrate having a better init wouldn't have hurt either. Well, except the person with the higher init, who would have been attacked by all four alone.)
Posted on 2008-09-06 at 05:31:35.
Edited on 2009-01-03 at 01:18:06 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Upon felling the skeleton, he took a moment to catch his breath. Quickly he moved over to the barely alive Jeremy whom had bravely taken up the front with him.
"Oiy Jeremy! Don't go dieing on us now, quick Galen do something! I used up my last potion earlier in the battle," he said, panicking slightly.
He hoped that the entrance was nearby. He left Jeremy's side while he let his friends take care of him and picked his torch off the ground. Quickly he began to climb over the rubble, his axe nearby in case there was more trouble. He motioned for Ian to follow him, as he wanted someone to watch his back while he checked out the next hallway.
((You might want to rethink how you're going to do exp about this, Sibelius; now there is no available healing to the group, so further encounters will be substantially more difficult than they were the first time around))
Galen's eyes, previously clouded over before, quickly glance over to assess the situation.
"Don't panic." Galen says simply, as he sets down his little load of rusted weapons and withdraws the vial of potion from his pant pocket, "Panicking is among the worst things to do in any situation; it consumes time, mental effort, and typically fails to do anything beneficial."
Passing the potion to Jeremy, Galen falls silent, as he considers the group's situation.
"We had best avoid further encounters if at all possible." Galen finally murmurs.
Posted on 2008-09-10 at 18:21:13.
Edited on 2008-10-15 at 18:41:33 by Reralae
Raymond, belly half protesting the miscommunication of sustenance, half quivering with the anticipation of civilized life, cast his shadow over the road's center. He could not know what to expect of these travelers, whether they would carry swords as was the habit in medieval times, or how they would be dressed. He knew only that, barring a full on miracle, they were his best chance of surviving this strange land. As the road wound before him, he caught ever improving sight of the folk approaching. A carriage, pulled by two large horses, accompanied by two mounted figures on either side.
The party arrived at Ray's length of the beaten path. It was clear both sides saw and knew of the other's presence, but what would be done of it still hung in uncertainty. The two guards were each clad in a chainmail tunic and leggings, and a plain white tabbard and helm. With a heel in their horses' flanks, they rode out beyond the carriage to meet Raymond. Their sheathed swords were plainly visible at their sides, and their faces bore no image of hospitality.
Raymond had not yet had chance to speak to them when they drew on the reigns, halting their steeds a good twenty or thirty paces away. Each man sat tall in their saddle, elevated to some ten feet off the ground, making for a rather imposing sight. "Move aside, do not bar our way," the guard on the left commanded. Behind them the carriage drew on, a stocky man grasping the reigns of his team.
Posted on 2008-09-14 at 04:36:36.
Edited on 2008-09-28 at 14:51:27 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Ben, the ever bold, unofficial leader of the friends began to show a sudden drop in confidence. His voiced revealed hints of panic as bid Galen to give Jeremy the last of the potions. Galen stepped forward to do just that, but he first warned Ben. There was neither use nor point to panicking and the effect it had on others could quickly destroy morale. Ben gathered himself quickly, and set off across the ruined room, gesturing Ian to follow. Instead, Owen moved Ian over to his friend, and followed Ben himself, speaking not a word.
Meanwhile, Galen handed the vial of amber liquid to Jeremy, who let the subtle flavour of mint slide down his throught. The pain of his wounds were well relieved, though far from whole. (+5 Jeremy 5/9) They soon followed after Ben and Owen, who discovered a tall stone stairway leading straight out into cloudy daylight. The sight of the sky brought a quick thrill of joy to the assembled teens, who found that for all their ache they had no trouble swiftly ascending outdoors. They found themselves still inside, in the strictest sense of the term, as they yet remained within a large ruined structure, the walls of which never making it above 3 or 4 feet above the ground.
Posted on 2008-09-14 at 05:10:27.
Edited on 2008-09-14 at 16:36:31 by Sibelius Eos Owm
As he finishes the potion Jeremy's wounds start closing with the exception of a few. Even though his wounds are fairly small, Jeremy can seldom remember a time when he has experienced such pain. His head is throbbing and he can't stop shaking from his last encounter with the skeletons. He takes a look at Ben's injuries which are significantly larger. The thought of being incapacitated so easily fills him with shame. But he takes some pride in the knowing that every cut dealt to him means one less for everyone else.
These thoughts are abrubtly replaced with a question that has been burning in the back of his mind since he arrived here. "What is this place?" He says hoping that someone has even the slightest idea. "Not just the dungeon we're in, what is this... world? We've been suddenly sent somewhere where we're stronger, faster, heartier, and can use strange sorts of," he pauses, unable to accept what he is saying but says it anyways,"magic." "Its not just that though, the air, the stone, this entire place just feels different."
As Ben took the first few stone steps, I turned to my other friends, clambering over the rubble. "I guess this is the way out," I said. "Appears to be," Galen muttered a reply. What that skepticism? I didn't know, didn't think so. Ahead the promise of fresh air seemed to drag us out of the tomb that was nearly our own. The stale air, though we didn't realize it until our exposure to the world outside, was quite unpleasantly tinged with the reek of death.
"What is this place?" Jeremy asked, midway up the stairs. He hoped that someone has even the slightest idea. "Not just the dungeon we're in, what is this... world? We've been suddenly sent somewhere where we're stronger, faster, heartier, and can use strange sorts of-"
That moment brought ourselves full out into the eerily silent day. I tried to finish his reluctant sentence for him, but the overwhelming quiet subdued my ability to break it, "Magic?"
His hushed voice won out over mine, "-magic. It's not just that though, the air, the stone, this entire place just feels different."
I nodded to Jeremy. This place did feel quite different than home. Was it still on Earth? Another hospitable planet, beyond the Terran solar system? Or an alternate dimension of Earth's? Narnia? I privately chuckled, but put such foolery aside. Having read as many fiction books as I have, I quickly accepted the possibility of being in another world. The pain I experienced was far more real than the pain felt by dreams. Getting home was not a ready likelihood right now, so the best of my situation I made. I was not alone, for one thing, that was a happy turn.
Beyond the small walls of our establishment, a thin fog seemed to veil the land. "Interesting," Galen muttered softly, as he was wont to do, "if the temple has fallen to disuse, then why did we appear at such a place?" Ben looked up to the sky, placing his hand above his eyes as if he were shielding an invisible sun from blinding him. "I sure wish it was a sunny day, why does it always look like it wants to rain on me?"
The sound of his unhushed voice cracking the silence caused me to jump, and I'm sure the others were set on edge for a moment by it too. Another habit of mine, I would alternately flinch at the smallest perceivable sound, then later be unfazed by no manner of disturbance. The latter even more likely when I was envelopped in a book or in the throes of a song I was playing on the piano.
We cast our gaze to the mists around us, not knowing what to expect or where to go. Those lifeless depths offered no solace, however, and even occaisionally shifted, granting the mind the image of some invisible creature's passage.
Posted on 2008-09-14 at 16:23:21.
Edited on 2008-10-11 at 16:10:54 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Clutching the wound at my side, I look up at the two men, eyee pleeing to them.
"Please, I need help! I do not know where I am and have been assailed by beings of undeath and later something from this forest!"
I hope that my cry for help will be answered in kind by some degree of compassion, whether it be a means of transport, a form of mending my wounds, or some provisions. But who knows, high class folk often look down on those with little prestige...
Raymond vs. Alt-World's Noble Class; Scene 2 - the guards
"Please, I need help! I do not know where I am and have been assailed by beings of undeath and later something from this forest!"
The two guards looked at each other for a moment, confusion on their faces. The one who spoke initially turned his horse about with a pull on the reigns, and trotted back to the carriage, now stopped. The second guard gazed at Raymond, his face not betraying his thoughts other than a concerned look.
Without much delay, the door of the carriage swung open and a man stepped out. He was of average height, and slender. He wore his blond hair fairly long, and was dressed in an off-white tunic and leggings. A sword hung by his side and swung slightly as he approached. This man strode past the mounted guard, leaving them both behind.
The blond man's gaze seems to take in everything about Ray. "Barig tells me that you are lost, and have been attacked by the dead who rise. Judging by your lack of provisions and the direction of your travel that you are most certainly lost. The injuries on your side and hip indicate that you have been attacked, apparantly by some wild creature of the forest. This is what I gather from your appearance, now speak, and I shall mark your words." During his whole speech, the man's arms remain loosely crossed over his chest.