Maximus was ready, shield and sword to hand, the Ranger Char beside him both of their bodies for the most part blocking the stairs.
Then as if he had lost his head the lad Dapple tried to push between them and move up the stairs. His shield quickly positioned as a barrier Maximus blocked the young lads movement up the stairs.
“Stay lad there is no need for you to recon the above floor, clear it is they await us to ascend and their numbers matter not. They will be ready no matter what we do, better we thin them out through Jal’s magic.”
Hoping Dapple will listen to him he awaits any sort of response from him.
(OOC: Please don’t hurt me too bad me Lady if Dapple continues to push by me I will not stop her.)
Posted on 2007-08-06 at 06:09:53.
Edited on 2007-08-06 at 06:11:41 by TannTalas
Vanadia Den Mother RDI Staff Karma: 111/12 1188 Posts
Short and less than sweet :)
Dapple blinked and pulled up short as the gladiator barred her passing. Normally she moved too fast for anyone to react, but either she was tiring or the man’s reflexes were really good. She was vexed enough that she gaped at him a moment before his words to her registered.
“Are you daft?” she whispered back, her eyebrows disappearing into her blond bangs,” They’re fighting each other or something else. Do you really think they’d be commanded to hold their ground against us? Their orders would be to charge down here…they’ve forgotten us in a greater crisis….one we can use to our advantage. Let me get up there to circle out of the way before you man mountains go clattering up the stairs!”
With that, she found a gap between the wall and Maximus’ shield, and slipped past the gladiator before he could answer.
OOC: Of course, this is what Dapple INTENDS to do...DM may decide I've got too many actions in this round...
Posted on 2007-08-07 at 03:06:13.
Edited on 2007-08-07 at 03:09:20 by Vanadia
Char and Dapple had already set themselves to move up the stairs when the entire keep seemed to shake down to its foundations. The sound of urgent footsteps and shouting from above and even the ragdoll corpse of the Green as it came flying down the stairwell seemed not to dissuade them but for an instant – Dapple, perhaps, even less than that. The lad, crouched low with daggers drawn, had simply sidestepped the body as it sailed past and made to move up the stairwell despite the foreboding message that the crumpled Green brought.
“Stay lad,” Jal couldn’t help but blink as Maximus interceded, blocking the young thief’s progress with his shield, “there is no need for you to recon the above floor, clear it is they await us to ascend and their numbers matter not. They will be ready no matter what we do, better we thin them out through Jal’s magic.”
The urchin mage blinked again; this time almost expressing disbelief. To a certain extent, he was flattered that the big gladiator had that kind of faith in his abilities but, at the same time, wondered if Maximus might not actually be as insane as many thought Jal to be – not only for thinking that Jal might have the capability to thin out a keep-full of imperials with the few spells he had prepared but, moreso, for attempting to block Dapple’s progress up the stair… the lad was volatile if nothing else and Jal wouldn’t have been surprised if one of the boy’s daggers suddenly found its way into Maximus’ gut… Jal’s lips moved as if to reply but, for now, no sound spilled past.
“Are you daft?” he heard the rogue whisper to the former pit-fighter after gawking at him in disbelief for a scant second, “They’re fighting each other or something else. Do you really think they’d be commanded to hold their ground against us? Their orders would be to charge down here…they’ve forgotten us in a greater crisis….one we can use to our advantage. Let me get up there to circle out of the way before you man mountains go clattering up the stairs!”
The last word of the rebuke hadn’t passed Dapple’s lips before the lad had slipped between Maximus’ shield and the wall and, without a look back, proceeded upward into the keep.
“My thanks for your confidence in my abilities, my friend” Jal grinned as he stepped closer and placed a hand on the big man’s shoulder, “but the boy is likely right. Whatever is happening above has likely made the Imperials forget the mice in the cellar… we can use this to our advantage.”
His pale eyes ticked to the ranger, then, hesitantly, towards Valentine before moving to Kilgrim and Arien… “If my abilities should be needed to… how did you say it, Maximus?... thin them out, perhaps it would be best if I brought up the rear, yes? I fear any spells I might have that would effectively thin out the numbers we hear above would also thin us out as well should any of you linger in the area for long… I will need space.”
((OOC: Okay, if there are no objections, Jal will let the fighting types proceed up the stairs ahead of him and, as Dapple put it, circle out of the way… He’ll have his best offensive spells on the tip of his tongue and components at the ready as he goes up and if necessary (and assuming his friends won’t be in the area of effect) will cast fireball or lightning bolt as appropriate when they reach the next floor up… with luck, though, we may just sneak past that bit. ))
Posted on 2007-08-14 at 16:21:57.
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 142/11 3787 Posts
Sorry for the late post
Char had acknowledged Maximus' presence with barely a nod as he crept forward and up, and then the rumbling and the splatter... Blinking away the urge to squint at the form, the woodsman frowned in realization, and then the rumbling again. Looking up the stairs, he failed to notice Dapple moving in and attempting to squeeze past the two of them. Brief words were exchanged and the "lad" was suddenly through and moving up the stairs (OOC: assuming Roger let's it go that far).
"By all dat is..." Char muttered in surprise, quickly moving after the rogue. That splattered Imperial must've unsettled him more than he'd realized, to allow Da' Moon to skit and skattle before he was moving. Yer fallin' down, Char-lad. Bes' pick i' up 'gin.
Visions of these green tree-men, only larger, filled his head as he quickly ascended the stairs, still in an effort to remain hidden, though not so concerned with the silent part due to the commotion that was raging above. Whatever was happening, it couldn't be good.
Posted on 2007-08-18 at 18:26:08.
Raven Resident Finn RDI Staff Karma: 65/3 975 Posts
behold, dwarven wisdom... or not
WIth everybody patched up and anxious to move on, Kilgim could do only one thing: grin. He'd only made the suggestion of retreating because it seemed like an intelligent solution. Trying to advance in a keep with an unknown number of enemies was simply foolish - even mad. But his fellows had made the valid points he had known they would. If Alloryn was in deed in the hands of the Imperials (and even if she was not), there would be no stopping Arien. And if their own little group had some time to regain their health and powers, so would their opponents.
Still it might have been a wise move and though the dwarven cleric did have some wisdom to share to his younger companions, he was a warrior to the bone and the priesthood only came as good second. So, Kilgim Blackaxe, son of Thorgrim and cousin of Dwan Granitecrusher did what he always did in the face of battle: he grinned. "Ok laddies, with yer minds made up an' me own, let us brin' fear o' the Iron League into the 'earts o'our enemies!"
Maximus the gladiator obviously had the same thoughts as Kilgim did about the voices from above and started to move upstairs. “Stay lad there is no need for you to recon the above floor, clear it is they await us to ascend and their numbers matter not. They will be ready no matter what we do, better we thin them out through Jal’s magic.” Why sneak and let them prepare? However Dapple didn't quite see things the way the two warriors did. Perhaps that was what had kept the lad alive in his lethal profession - wits.
“Are you daft?” Dapple whispered back, his eyebrows disappearing into his blond bangs,” They’re fighting each other or something else. Do you really think they’d be commanded to hold their ground against us? Their orders would be to charge down here…they’ve forgotten us in a greater crisis….one we can use to our advantage. Let me get up there to circle out of the way before you man mountains go clattering up the stairs!” As the last hushed word escaped his mouth, the lad slipped under the big man's arm.
The words stopped Kilgim in his steps. "Aye. Ye've got yer point the lad. My my, yer mind's as sharp as yer.... er... boots..." There was a short pause. "Now, that didn' come out the way me meant it." The bald dwarf sighed and looked at the back of the boy disappearing from his view. "Remind me o' not tryin' t' use anymore o' those ol' sayin's."
As he watched Char followed the lad up the stairs muttering under his breath something Kilgim couldn't quite catch.
Posted on 2007-08-19 at 11:14:20.
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 346/54 6042 Posts
thought I had long ago posted for this segment...
Arien's face contorted in a mask of displeasure beneath his helm. Every fiber of his being demanded the he lead a glorious charge up the stairs, taking the fight to their cowed enemy - and the common sense of Dapple ridiculed the idea for the foolishness that it was.
Of course the troops above would be raining down on the group right now, if something were not preventing them. Even a child understood the tactical advantage that the high ground represented by the upper tower floors, and Arien was sure that these Imperials were commanded by no child. A madman, perhaps...
"Dapple makes sense," Arien agreed. "If Dapple and Char can gain an angle on our foes while they are distracted by us and whatever lies above, so be it. And if we can gain advantage by using our enemies' misfortune, all the better." The knight paused. "I pray to Heironeus that their misfortune does not become our own."
For some reason, Arien was quite sure that such a thing was almost certainly about to happen.
With the battle complete, there was much going through the former Red's mind. Thoughts of his utter failure trying to stand up to the strange sap-creatures flooded out any positive thoughts. Damnit Adrian, focus. You got the killing blow. Your wits brought about the lantern. Your summons bought us a few seconds to prepare. You are not a mere meatshield, it is expected that you can not absorb the hits of the gladiator. At least you stayed awake the entire fight...
That last thought accompanied a glimpse to Jal and a silent smirk.
Valentine let everyone else talk and chatter about what to do. There would be no running away - of that Adrian was certain. He still had most of his spellcasting ability, and his trusty sword was still sharp. Not to mention he had a few potions still handy. Alas, eventually the decision was made. The right one. There was to be no backing down from a fight that we ourselves started. No, we must go on.
Valentine heaved his sword back into a ready position, brushed his ruddy-brown hair out of his face and watched as Char and Dapple began their scouting mission. What came next shocked the fighter-mage.
JAL'S MAGIC?!? J-A-FALL-ASLEEP-IN-BATTLE-L-'S MAGIC? Jal's magic is better suited for hiding in shadows and running away than it is thinning numbers. I'm sure he could tell us a great place to rest the night, or have his invisible friend read our thoughts...
Thankfully, Jal HAD seemed to have read his thoughts. The urchin mage shifted ever so closer to Valentine in the rear, probably siding with safer company. Adrian threw on his most impressive mentor voice, talking to Jal but making it loud enough for all to hear. "Jal, keep in mind that not all who fight above may be enemies. If we spare the correct side, we might find ourselves with new allies. However, slaughter some of each side and both might turn their attention to us."
Not awaiting a response, his dull gray eyes crackled a bit as he searched his mental spell selection for the right one.
(OOC: Do you want spell selections now or can I wait until what I see. Got a couple different plans brewing)
Posted on 2007-08-23 at 14:14:30.
Edited on 2007-08-23 at 14:17:04 by Admiral
Alacrity The Tired RDI Staff Karma: 291/33 6219 Posts
Where's the roof gone?
Dapple moves up the stairs expecting and ambush waiting, but comes across something else entirely. Where there should be a doorway that would lead into hallway that connects the two buildings now is open to the night sky. The roof has been partially destroyed and burns in places, the doorway is torn off its hinges and lies on the ground before you. The walls are scorched in places and you can see into the barracks where bundles and packs lie smoldering and at least a couple of green soldier lie unmoving.
As Char moves up to where Dapple is, the two warriors hear a horrible cry of pain from above. They see a burning body seemingly thrown out of a hole in the tower, near the top. The soldier plummets likes a burning comet directly towards the party and the stairwell. Rogue and Ranger deftly dodge out of the way as the body hits with a sicken crash and rolls to the bottom of the stairs to a smoldering flattened end.
For the party that hung back, it seems to be raining Greens. First one soldier, then another, and pretty soon you will be running out of enemies to kill.
Then, from the south, or the front of the building, a huge chunk of wall flies upwards towards the tower, directly at the hole where the soldier just fell. The stone chunk is obliterated before it reaches the tower by a flash of green fire from within the room at the top. Dust and pieces of rock come down upon the building and you are forced to take cover from the debris. Siege equipment? There was no siege equipment when you scouted the area and certainly not enough time to build one has passed. Magic must be being used to counterattack.
OOC: Okay people, decision time. Where to go? All the action has moved to the tower, but there are clearly some magic users near the front of the building. Most of the building remains that you are in, except for the damage where you are standing now.
Posted on 2007-08-30 at 20:21:41.
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 142/11 3787 Posts
This ain't my cup o' tea, love.
Char stood pressed against the stone wall, his eyes on the tower across the way, his body as flat as he could make it in whatever shadows were present. The ranger's mind churned through the possibilities, the dangers, and the likely results. Magic was certainly afoot and that was not something he knew very much about. He considered briefly that it might be Alloryn who was in the tower fending off those who would be her kidnappers, but he dismissed that idea rather as quickly as it had come up. He'd never seen her wield that much power, and though he couldn't claim to know the noblewoman mage as well as, say, Adrian, there had been ample opportunity for her to display her might on the last outing they had undertaken together.
From their vantage it didn't look as though Char would be able to determine much more of what was going on either below or above, so, with a jerk of his head he motioned that they should return to the others.
(OOC: Barring any objection, or lack of response from Da' Moon...)
Deftly avoiding the corpses of the fallen Greens, Char emerged from the shadowy stairs and went immediately to where his armored friends and their companions had gathered.
(OOC: Please correct the post--or me--if I get this wrong Roger. This is the way I interpreted it.)
"Da walk be gone, so der no' be a way across abo'. Looks like der be a bi' o' magic a' play from da groun' as well as da udder tower. I seen a bi' o' siege warfare in me time, an' wha' we saw up der could-uh been dat, bu' no guarantees. Rocks flyin' up from da groun' an' being destroyed by green magic from da tower.
"So, 'less da two magic-slingers der 'ave some way t' make us fly, we bes' be findin' a way outside an' see if'n we canna' determine who's doin' wha'. 'Less some udder idea comes up."
There is a route to the tower. There is no roof and it is a body falling zone, but there is a route. Only the roof is missing. - Alacrity
Posted on 2007-09-16 at 17:45:52.
Edited on 2007-09-26 at 17:32:29 by Alacrity
Vanadia Den Mother RDI Staff Karma: 111/12 1188 Posts
Dapple had slipped up the stairs, making no more noise than a breeze through a tomb, but it was for naught. Before she reached the top of the stairs, fresh air and smoke and blood teased her nose, so she knew something drastic had changed. No door was awaiting her lock picks.
Indeed, no hallway, either. Dapple gaped at the carnage, and instinct alone had her dodge the burning body as it fell past her. She’d seen magic at work, and knew the best way to counter it was a knife between the ribs of the wielder, but this…this was an insane amount of power.
She shivered within her loose shroud of clothes and glanced over to Char, who motioned with a toss of his shaggy head that they return below. Gratitude washed over her and she complied without a word.
Down below, she let Char describe the situation while she fought to hide her trembling. She’d faced bigger and stronger enemies, and held her own, but this was too much for one little monster, however evil.
And so we will run away…to kill more Greens another day? Perhaps that is wisest…you’re learning…. The black voice from her soul sounded stronger than it had in some time, and Dapple found with some weariness, that she had nothing to counter it’s words.
Posted on 2007-09-22 at 12:45:03.
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 346/54 6042 Posts
the measure of a man
The body of the fallen soldier is shock enough, but the scene outside is something from a nightmare - or from one of the darker visions a religious type might preach of a final judgement.
Arien has never feared magic in and of itself - having spent his life around Alloryen, the young man accepts it as much as he accepts swords and arrows. But the power on display in this sorcerous exchange currently underway chills the raven-haired knight to his very bones. Something that can fling tons of solid stone is nothing to be trifled with - how much less something that can deflect such a stone like no more than an annoying fly? Arien finds that he genuiniely fears these beings. The thought presents itself very loudly that there is no chance of success, that following this path will only lead to his own death, and probably those of his friends, as well.
Arien clutches the handle of his shield, and considers the rearing horse emplazoned upon it. His own father, while noble in deed and life, has always been more a gentleman farmer than a warrior. No, Arien has always followed in the footsteps of his grandsir, the man who bequeathed this very shield to him. The young knight need not ask what his grandsir would say - even knowing the futility of the situation, the old man would fix him in that iron gaze. "Boy," he would speak, "if your sister died in that tower, why are you standing here, telling me about it?"
Arien felt shame burning his cheeks - his grandsir would be right. Anyone could spout noble ideals, could be brave when there was nothing to fear, when they knew they would win. No, it took a man to stand up when things were at their bleakest, when all hope was lost.
He would be a man today.
Not for Alloryen, though he had vowed to rescue her. Not for grandsir, though the old man would expect nothing else. For himself.
The decision made, Arien felt a weight slip off of his shoulders. He would enter that tower - magic, monsters, and soldiers be damned. He would finsish the mission that Dwan had given them. He would rescue Alloryen.
Or he would die trying. Strangely, Arien felt nothing but peace.
Still, he was no fool. "Friends," he spoke quietly, "I will not - cannot - turn back. You have stood with me, have protected me, and I thank you for it. You have ventured further than I could ever have asked. But now, we may truly face death closer than anyone has the right to do - and still live to tell the tale. If you turn back, I cannot fault you."
With that, Arien breathed a silent prayer to Heironeus, gripped his sword tighter, and strode off through the ruined hallway to the tower, and whatever it held.
To his duty. To destiny.
Posted on 2007-09-26 at 22:05:11.
Edited on 2007-09-26 at 22:07:23 by t_catt11
Maximus stood silently as was his nature watching the destruction around him, party members debating whether to run or move up the tower proper.
Inside him there was doubt about what was the right course of action, should they run, it would be safer for sure but he was not used to running away as in the pits that only meant death.
If they stayed and moved up the stairs surely something able to rip off a tower roof would be a formidable enemy. Fear played no part in his choices but yet he still remained silent.
“Friends," Maximus’s attention was drawn to Arien as the Paladin spoke quietly, "I will not - cannot - turn back. You have stood with me, have protected me, and I thank you for it. You have ventured further than I could ever have asked. But now, we may truly face death closer than anyone has the right to do - and still live to tell the tale. If you turn back, I cannot fault you”
And with those words said Arien clearly gripping his sword tightly strode off through the ruined hallway towards the tower stairs and whatever it hid at its top.
Looking towards the rest of the party Maximus made up his mind.
“He cannot go alone” With this said the Ex-Gladiator hurriedly caught up to the Paladin and joined him in going up the stairs.....
Posted on 2007-09-26 at 23:13:23.
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 142/11 3787 Posts
Char watched the knight's face closely, like he was reading the tracks of an elusive prey through a blizzard. He knew that the news he'd delivered was daunting, but he also figured that the bonds of family would be too much for the big man to ignore. Not that the ranger had ever had a family to equate such emotions with, but he'd seen Alloryn and Arien together, had been apart, and yet had witnessed their bond none-the-less. As he stood there, he knew Arien's answer before the man spoke, and when the armor-clad knight made evident his decision, striding off towards the tower, Char hung his head for a moment, his hair cascading down to curtain his face.
Maximus offered his simple conclusion and followed which left the ranger's shoulders shaking as though he were crying. It was a brief moment for those who witnessed it, and the mistake of assuming tears was quickly dispelled as his low chuckle carried from beneath the unruly mop.
Tossing his head back and freeing his dark features from the confines of the mask his hair had provided him, the bearded woodsman slipped his bow from his quiver snatched an arrow to accompany it, and then grinned broadly--even wildly.
"T' da gates o' da Abyss we go den, an' wit da smiles upon er faces we do it, fer it be wit friends we go t' die, an' fer more'n money we do offer 'rselves."
With that, Char, Ranger of the Wild Coast, jogged after the others, his cloak sweeping behind him with some finality.
Upon reaching the top of the steps, Jal was awestruck at the sight that greeted them. The sheer power it must take to do something like this, he marveled, almost seeming to oblivious to the horror and utter violence described by the falling, broken bodies.
For a brief instant, his curiosity bade him to weave a spell that would allow him to fly up into the midst of the carnage, high above the ground that the party now stood on, and feel that power at closer range… maybe even tap into it and use it to their advantage… or at the very least, see from whence it emanated…
"Friends," Arien said quietly, interrupting the Spellbinder’s awe-inspired musings, "I will not - cannot - turn back. You have stood with me, have protected me, and I thank you for it. You have ventured further than I could ever have asked. But now, we may truly face death closer than anyone has the right to do - and still live to tell the tale. If you turn back, I cannot fault you."
Jal had blinked away his fascination just in time to see the knight turn and charge towards the tower… and blinked again when Maximus, stating simply that Arien “cannot go alone,” hefted his own blade and stomped off in pursuit. The urchin-mage’s pale eyes flitted from face to face of those that remained, then. He had no words to speak as the others had and, even if he did, would speaking them make this decision any less final?
"T' da gates o' da Abyss we go den,” Char chuckled – a sound more of resignation that mirth – before following the other fighters in traversing the ruined hallway, “an' wit da smiles upon er faces we do it, fer it be wit friends we go t' die, an' fer more'n money we do offer 'rselves."
Friends, Jal thought, watching the ranger for a moment, then looking to the party members that, as yet, remained on this side of the corridor, I suppose there are worse things to die for. His eyes lifted skyward again, studying the tower for a moment, and the magical carnage that rained down around it, once more considering simply flying to its heights and doing what he could from there; And many have done so for me, in the past… haven’t they, Wynter?
He smiled then, and, without a word, dashed off across the open-roofed hallway in the steps of the fighters who went before him.
((OOC: Okay, Jal’s ruled out “fly” for the time being in hopes of conserving mana for when it’s most needed and is off after Arien and the fighter types… Sorry for the major delay and short post… Couldn’t really come up with much else for Jal at this point (and don’t really feel comfortable/safe with his initial idea about zipping up to the top of the tower… yet…))
So that's it? This is how they choose to die? By charging into a tower full of might and magic?
Ah what the hell. It's been a while since he's fought alongside such spontinaity. This is how the Empire should fight - all that structure simply holds a man down. For some reason though, Adrian expected a knight to be a little more disciplined. I guess love will do that to a man...
Jal seemed to be staring up at the tower. Could he be thinking of flying into the cluster of magical seige? Surely he wasn't that crazy... Or was he? As Jal started to dash off, seemingly given up on the idea, Adrian shrugged and called to him, dashing to catch up.
"I'll go if you go" he wispered to Jal, unsheathing his sword and using it to point to the top of the tower.
(OOC: Assuming Jal doesn't change his mind, Adrian will follow the crew. If he does, then I'll have another post.)