Behind her, Shianna heard the rather loud footfalls of the Khordaldrum behind her. Inside, she grimaced slightly. It wasn't her place to judge others, but she disliked how he always seemed to hound her as though she were a pane of glass. Perhaps he thought he was giving her enough space, but Shianna held discontent at his persistent proximity regardless.
Then, with a snap of a twig, the situation became far more complicated.
Shianna shakes her head; she should've known better... the others were used to the paths worn into the ground, where debris would not fall or lie for long, not the floor of a forest that as easily could reveal presence as well as hide it to those who aren't accustomed to it. Or was this a test for her, set by the world in order for her to grow even more? Was there something to be done?
Thoughts will have to wait, for the hostile creatures draw nearer. Shianna grimaces. No, these are not creatures. There is no word that she knows to describe such abominations. Twisted semblances of the life that was, it is unforgivable. Beside her, Meera growls, and Shianna feels it as well. The desire of the forest around her, no, the world itself, to be rid of this disease that taints it.
"Unforgivable." Shianna barely whispers, before standing tall and glaring at the pathetic and twisted semblances of life before her.
"Let my words be heard even unto thy deaf ears." Shianna begins, holding one hand to the pendant about her neck, the stone circle upon which a tree grows, "The eternal cycle that is the world's life goes in but one direction. From birth unto life, and within life, growth, until finally death. Thou, pathetic semblances of the life that was," Shianna emphasizes, pointing at the decaying creatures, "hearken to me! Are thy senses so dulled that they doest not feel the whole of the world willing to be rid of thee? Let me speak for the forest, no, the world itself," Shianna adds, waving her arm as though to reveal the entirety of the universe to these senseless, instinctual abominations, "I bid thee BE GONE!"
The mists closed in and so did the ‘travellers’ shambling down the narrow trail. But as Volkmar’s heavy boot fell snapped a twig in the undergrowth, and the figures ahead emerged from the gloom, it soon became apparent that they were anything but farmers or merchants. Their flesh hung as sodden lumps of clay upon their frames, and, in parts, it was missing altogether. What was worse was the unmistakeable hunger that tinged their otherwise dead, lifeless eyes.
Neri, however, was not afraid. She could hear and sense the fear of some of her companions nearby, and the quiet fury of others. But Neri was a picture of serene calm.
“Stay calm and stay together,” she muttered, as she drew her large two-handed sword, “there may be others out there.” But her warning was sounded too late. Isaac had already rushed to confront the walking corpses, and Neri, after taking a moment to ensure that nothing else was coming up behind them, found that she had no choice but to do the same.
[OOC: Neri is drawing her sword and heading off to confront the undead beasties as well. I think Shiana only has a 50% chance of turning each zombie, so it’s likely that there will be some critters left that need splatting.]
Blast it all ... I am no Sylvari ... sneaking about from tree to tree ... the will of Ghardan Aglar be done ... strange as it may seem ... to War then ... and may Shianna turn these Undead Filth ... which I have been counting on all along ... and staying close behind her in case of just such an encounter ... but enough of these musings ... to War ... and may Ghardan Aglar guide my spear!
"... to War ... and may Ghardan Aglar guide my spear!"
The unexpectedly voiced words were scarcely out of Volkmar Vanara's mouth as he made a Khord-type beeline from the undergrowth of the trees to join Isaac and help eliminate the shambling monstrosities that had come to greet them.
Spear raised and shield secure on his left arm, Volkmar made war vows to his deity in his Khord tongue as he made his way through the drizzle.
Knowing that Shianna had the ability to turn these shambling foes, Volkmar surmised that positioning himself to strike before the shamblers had an opportunity to recover and attack the party was his best course of action.
His previous battles repelling spiders in tunnels fueled his bloodlust as the Khord closed the gap as swiftly as his abilities would allow ... trusting that his companions would do their best to help destroy these abominations ...
Posted on 2008-11-14 at 18:29:50.
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 349/54 6201 Posts
Isaac was first into the fray, interceding himself between the creatures and the retreating form of Aryan. He swung powerfully, and his two-handed blade buried itself into the rotting flesh of the first zombie, which fell to the forest floor and lay motionless.
Shianna held her holy symbol aloft and commanded the undead to obey Kith-jora's power and leave this place. Unfortunately, knowing how such a thing is to be done, and actually doing it turned out to be quite different things entirely. Perhaps the young priestess harbored a shred of doubt in her heart; in any respect, her attempt to turn these undead failed entirely, for the remaining creatures continued their unholy advance.
Aryan finished her casting, and a bolt of purple energy streaked from her fingertip to slam directly into the face of one of the monsters. The creature staggered from the blow, and the scent of burned meat filled the air - but yet, the creature continued to lurch forward. Unfortunately for it, Neri was there, her blade seeming to flash brightly with Oriana's light. The paladin's stroke was swift and sure, and the creature fell dead, cut almost in twain.
Syana held her ground, allowing another zombie to lurch close before she struck. Her blade sank into the putrid flesh, but unlike living creatures, whom she had faced before, this monstrosity did not seem to recoil from the blow. Meera, the wolf, lunged into the same creature, and rent the flesh with its fangs... and still, it came. Likewise, Volkmar struck true, his spear emerging from the back of the monster he attacked - and yet, it did not fall.
In fact, the creature used the closeness of the spear strike as an opportunity to return the attack to the khord, who was barely able to deflect the attack with his black shield. Syana was also the target of attack, and was struck hard by the undead creature. The force of the blow staggered the quiet mage, and she almost fell from it.
Volkmar struck again, skewering the same zombie again, but the creature still fought on! Both Neri and Isaac tried to help Syana, but were unable to strike the creature who so threatened the bard.
And then, the real trouble began.
More undead abominations appeared from the mist, from the direction the party had already come from. While it was difficult to count among the chaos, it would appear that twice as many new assailants had joined the fray as were already involved. Three were close enough to join into melee, but none of their blows landed. While the party was not fully surrounded, the situation had grown noticeably more grim.
Posted on 2008-11-16 at 20:59:46.
Edited on 2008-12-03 at 15:38:49 by t_catt11
Aryan gripped her familiar tightly. There were enough undead before and with Syana hurt, they had even less a chace. Not to mention the now 8 additional zombies. She cursed under her breath.
She looked at the group members. Aryan looked at the escape route and wondered how good a chance they had to get away. Aryan shook the thought of retreat out of her mind.
Aryan looked again at her foes and sighed. She didn't want to cast another spell and she couldn't do much damage with the staff. Her and Kiar were stuck to be protected by the others.
Posted on 2008-11-17 at 01:03:37.
Edited on 2008-11-17 at 01:29:57 by t_catt11
Isaac was initially heartened to see (or hear) everyone working in unison. But while his and Keri's blows seemed to have stopped each of their respective opponents, the others apparently did not fare so well.
Syana, her wolf companion, and the khordish Volkmar all struck the same foul creature -- Volkmar striking twice -- and yet that one still stood and moved! Aryan's magical bolts didn't appear to affect the crearures any more than did Shianna's attempt to ward them away. Things were quickly turning from mediocre to bad.
Then Isaac noted movement in the direction from which they had just come. Glancing back, he saw yet more of the undead loam-encrusted scum approaching from that direction, twice again the number they originally faced. Not even Falloes the Protector would have done this to a mere mortal, angry or not.
As he attacks again, he speaks quickly, "Neri? Volkmar? Syana? Things here are getting dire. I suggest moving around and beyond these slow-moving vermin and heading out of their reach. But to where? I am no longer sure where we are. I think we should move ahead as we were going and take our chances away from these ever-increasing numbers. If this keeps up, they'll soon be able to overrun us!"
Not waiting for a reply, he shouts for the others he cannot see, "Aryan! Shianna! They have become too many! Unless you have a better idea, this is fast getting untenable. Try to move around them, and move fast!. Avoid contact and head for the road in the direction we were going. We will do the same and discuss other options when we're clear of this mess and these creatures ... "
(( 00C: If necessary, Isaac will attempt to slash a gap in their foes to allow passage for the others to get through, unless there is ample room to just detour around the incoming masses ... ))
Battle was joined and Neri sprang forward to enter the fray. Her blade was held high in what the Drannese called ‘ the ‘posizione di falcone’ – the guard of the hawk – ready to sweep down at a moment’s notice. And that’s precisely what it did as first Aryan staggered one of the zombies with her magic, and then Neri cleaved it in two with one heavy strike of her large sword.
But it seemed to do little good. Her companions fared less well in their battles with the shambling corpses. Syana took a heavy blow, and despite her companions' best efforts only one other zombie fell. What was worse, was that eight more undead monsters shambled into view, each with the same murderous intent as the four that had preceded them..
“Great…they’ve brought friends…” Neri managed, between a couple more blows of her sword aimed at the creature threatening Syana.
Isaac shouted his intention to cleave a way through so that the others could retreat, or try to escape, and Neri found it difficult to disagree.
“If you can get the others to safety, do so. I’ll try and cover your escape.”
[OOC: Neri will swing at the wounded zombie first (unless someone else brings it down, and then try to pick off some others. She’ll try and focus on any zombies threatening/about to threaten the non-fighter types in the party. If the others do try to escape she’ll try and stay behind to ensure they get a good head-start, before trying to do so herself. She is a paladin after all. ]
Posted on 2008-11-17 at 13:17:38.
Edited on 2008-11-17 at 15:08:15 by Ginafae
She had gotten in a swing at one of the abominations, but it wasn’t enough, the creature struck her, hard. The pain was terrible, but the smell was worse. It drifted off the rotting form like a thick cloud as it neared and then overwhelmed her as it tried to initiate her in it’s band.
Face turning greener still she stumbled back off the edge of the road and toward the trees behind her, she managed to keep her footing though, and was grateful for that, the mandolin was on her back and if she had fallen the precious instrument would have fatally broken her fall.
With gratitude in her eyes she watched as her companions came to her aid, even the wolf, but their efforts failed also failed to bring down the corpse. Preparing herself mentally to launch herself forward again with the blade she heard Isaac over the fray. More of them coming. There was no way they could fight them all off, they had to get out he was right. But she was wounded, a quick glance told her she was the only one thus far, a silent curse escaped over her lips.
So instead of moving forward she took another step away from the attacking carrion, keeping her eyes on it the whole time. Crouching down slightly she sheathed her sword and flipped open one of the pouches on her belt, out of it came a small clay vial. Using her teeth to pull out the cork she then let a drop of silver liquid fall to the ground at her feet. The cork popped back into the bottle and then disappeared into her pouch. Very softly she began to whisper very quietly, looking down at the bead of mercury on the ground and fingering the mother-of-pearl pendants around her neck to help focus her concentration.
“Lidana I beg you to help me now… Be with me now and give me strength to get out of this… I call upon Telamor, be with me now as well… Let this drop of mercury become the method of my salvation, let it form a disc that I may ride out of here… Telamor I beg this of you as your humble servant…”
((Casting Tenser’s Floating Disc, which if it works she will get upon and attempt to get to a height out of the reach of the zombies and float up the road as Isaac had suggested))
"No? If thy ears canst hear my voice, thou art beyond the world." Shianna murmurs. If she was disheartened, she knew better than to let it show. Even instinctual creatures would be able to sense faltering of heart, and would strike it. If the wolf pack's prey begins to falter, the wolves will redouble their efforts to take it down. In that case, one life is taken so that others may survive, but what of these abominations? Surely there is nothing that would be provided to them in the taking of life, and nothing would be truly returned upon their death. Just more proof of their unforgivable existence.
Isaac calls for a retreat, and Shianna mentally agrees. There is very little to be gained by killing these monsters, for they are as leaves upon a vile and twisted tree; only by striking the roots would the tree be killed. Still, in order to retreat, an opening must be made, and that meant either felling the creatures in their way, or otherwise making them get out of the way. Glancing over her shoulder to see more abominations gathering, Shianna turns to face them.
"Mayhap thy companions art hard of hearing, but art thou?" Shianna asks, once again holding her stone tree pendant, "Wouldst thou open thine eyes?" Shianna asks, glaring at these mindless creatures, "Canst thou see? The world is not the place for thee. There is no place for thee, mere cancers to life. Hearken to me! Thou art beyond the path given to those that live, yet still thou tread it. Where art thou supposed to be? Not in this world, and I shalt give the world a voice. Hear it, and hear the world's cry. Thou shalt begone!"
((I know the first one was a bit better, or at least perhaps a bit longer, but I don't want to be too monotonous... ))
Posted on 2008-11-17 at 20:22:04.
Edited on 2008-11-17 at 20:29:50 by Reralae
Volkmar was getting increasingly aggravated at the undead creature that seemed to disregard the point of his spear.
At least spiders have sense enough to back away from the pain of a spear point ... spiders are larger and sometimes more aggressive ... but they at least get the point of what a spear can do to end their lives ... but these things ... their lives are already forfeit ... and seem to have no pain ... and my spear seems to be useless against this thing ... but another poke may stop it if I can disrupt its spine ... or some other vile part ...
The Khord spiderguard had managed to protect himself with his shield before shoving the spear into another location.
Nasty and foul smelling walking trash heap ... at least one knows what to expect from a crafty spider ... give me a natural enemy anytime ... Ghardan Aglar guide my spear anew!
Volkmar was too busy grunting under the strain of the undead against his spear to vocalize either his disgust or his prayer to his war deity.
Then he heard the cry of alarm that more shambling undead were following their trail and it was time to break off their attacks and run for their lives.
The Khord had made his decision to stand his ground and finish the fight. When he was certain that his friends were out of danger then he too would follow their trail, confident that even a Khord of his stature could elude these shambling undead if he were forced to abandon the battle to fight another day.
Isaac had a sudden flash of insight even as he made his intentions known to the others. It wasn't going to be as easy as strike-down-the-opponent-and-move-on.
As he heard Shianna again attempt to affect the abominations that had reinforced the four they had engaged, he realized that they had to take all of these vermin out, for various reasons:
One of their number seemed to be seriously injured. This did not bode well for movement, in any case. Slowed down by an inured member, the creatures that had beset them would have more of a chance to catch or overtake them.
And on the subject of movement, no matter which way they traveled, they would eventually tire. If they left anything to follow them, they would have to face them later and be even less effective for being weary. Ant these things didn't seem to tire.
If he, or any of the others, had to pause to engage an opponent, they ran the risk of being attacked by others as they approached..
Neri had volunteered to stay and fight to delay the creatures and cover their retreat, and Volkmar himself had not changed his stance or resolve. Nor had the khord said aught to indicate that he was for retreating. Further humbled by the actions of those two, Isaac couldn't leave and let them take the brunt of all these attacks. No, they all had to stay and hack this out.
He informed Neri of this new change-up of intent: "Neri, if you don't go, I don't go. We have to do this together. With our blades and Volkmar's spear, we should be able to surround the casters. Put them in the middle to better protect them.. Volkmar? What say you?"
"By the beard of Ghardan Aglar I say slay the shamblers!"
If they truly can be slain ... but by my spear we shall soon find out ... for the die is cast ... and these shamblers must be eliminated ... lest we become such as they ... if we are unable to slay ... to see another day ...
Volkmar let his thoughts drift away as he concentrated on shifting his spear in a renewed effort to hit a vital location that would eliminate this shambler ... and hopefully inspire his comrades to help the Khord prevail against the remaining shamblers.
A long, melancholic smile wound its way along Neri’s lips, as she prepared to face the group of zombies and buy time for her companions to escape. The paladin of Oriana never thought that she would meet her end in that manner. Back when she was a girl and had first raised a sword in service to the Lady of Hearts she had hoped it would mean a lifetime of loving and being loved – not a lonely, death in the dark.
‘And yet I should be pleased to die protecting others,’ Neri reminded herself, trying to still the troubling thoughts.
She needn’t have. First the Khord, Volkmar, made his reluctance to depart known, and then Isaac confessed that he had no intention to leave her behind.
“Thank you,” Neri murmured in response with a nod at Volkmar and a smile at Isaac. “Let’s form a ring around the others then, and show these creatures what we are made of.”
Posted on 2008-11-22 at 10:12:49.
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 349/54 6201 Posts
Syana finished her quiet chant, and with a gesture, a glimmering blue disk of force lept into existence. Unfortunately, the rest of her plan did not go so well - as soon as the bard climbed aboard, the disk sank to the ground, then blinked out of existence.
Fortunately for Syana, Meera the wolf was there to cover her gaffe, as the beast pulled the zombie to the ground and mauled it until it was unable to rise again.
Shianna cleared her mind, grounded herself in her faith, and tried to turn the new zombies. This time, her demand was strong, her belief was sure, her appeal to Kith-jora's power was successful. Five of the zombies were repelled by the power of the nature god. For their part, the warriors were unable to score any telling blows as they moved to protect the casters.
The monster that Volkmar had been struggling with finally scored a blow of its own, wounding the khord. For his part, Isaac learned that no good deed went unpunished, as a zombie delivered a staggering blow to the young warrior.
Righteous anger filled Neri, and Oriana guided her servant's blade to deliver a terrible cleaving blow against the nearest zombie. It was a horrific attack, one that split the creature open to expose the inside of its rotting body... yet somehow, through some unholy power, the creature kept coming... and then, the creature slumped to the ground, to reveal the wounded form of Syana standing behind it, still brandishing her blade.
Volkmar attacked the zombie again, but missed badly... and then, the creature slumped to the ground, to reveal the wounded form of Syana standing behind it, still brandishing her blade.
Isaac barely managed to fend off an attack from an undead horror, but Neri stepped in to help. The paladin delivered yet another mighty cleave, and this time, there was no doubt - the zombie fell to the ground, still and unmoving. Volmar was hit yet again, and the khord began to feel the effects of his wounds.
The party was then able to gang up on the final remaining monster. Syana stabbed again, wounding the creature, before Volkmar finally struck the telling blow, and the last zombie fell motionless.
The fight ended, and no more undead monsters appeared lurched forth from the mists. Those that Shianna had turned had fled, leaving no trace behind. Once again, an eerie silence settled over the area.
DM's notes: Isaac and Volkmar are both pretty banged up. Syana is badly injured. To add insult to injury, Syana is out of spells. Aryan has one spell remaining... fortunately, Shianna still has her full compliment of spells for the day. Darkness is falling fast, and the drizzle continues to fall.
Posted on 2008-11-23 at 19:32:34.
Edited on 2008-12-03 at 15:38:59 by t_catt11
Shianna lets out a deep breath. This combat had been finished. Yes, finished; she would not say 'won', because there is still much left to be sought, in both ways of knowledge and recovery.
"Umm, let me see your wounds." Shianna says hesitantly, looking to the others.
With Syana, Shianna carefully feels the wound, noting how Syana winces as she does so, indicating the wound's sensitivity. It is quite possible that a bone could have been fractured by the blow, and if that is the case, there is only one thing that can quickly aid it.
Softly, Shianna murmurs in a half prayer, half chant. With the falling of leaves and the felling of the tree,
Let the wheel of time restore things to be.
By the roots the flower can return to life,
So too may this body heal from its strife.
During the first two lines, Shianna's hands are held clasping each other, but at the third, she spreads her hands apart, as though they are a flower in bloom. At the centre between her hands, a faintly glowing light can be seen. At the final line, Shianna cups the glow in her hands, before reversing her hands and lightly pushing the glow into Syana's body. Shianna bites her lip, as she feels the pain flow from Syana and, through her, into nothingness.
Similarly, Shianna examines both Isaac and Volkmar's wounds, and, noting how the amount of time it would take for them to heal is beyond the time that is available, Shianna repeats her spell for the two of them.
((Cure light wounds to Syana, Isaac and Volkmar))
Afterwards, Shianna looks to the sky. Her eyes tell her what she already feels, with the fading of the warmth and light of the sun. Rest would have to come soon, but where would they rest? Shianna closes her eyes, and feels her intuition and listens to what her senses tell her.
((Making an assumption here, but if I'm wrong, just message me and I'll edit))
No animals, save for the slight panting of Meera nearby. She cannot hear any of the creatures of the wood. If they choose to flee, then that confirmed that the forest isn't safe, for that is the direction of where many of the abominations came from.
Shianna opens her eyes, and she seems to look toward Neri more than the others, "The forest doesn't feel safe, but I... don't trust that town either." Shianna murmurs, but then again, since when did she ever trust cities or towns?
"Where do you think we should go? Should we turn back?" Shianna asks.
Posted on 2008-11-24 at 18:44:08.
Edited on 2008-11-24 at 18:52:41 by Reralae