Canicus only half listened to either of the elves as they both had their little outbursts. The squabbling of his comrades was no concern of his. The bits that he did catch though told him that they both had good points to be made, moving as a group would give them the benefit of numbers, but as the Ranger had stated a group would be spotted much easier than one single stealthy scout, especially with the clanking of his and the Cavalier's armor.
As the Ranger left the Ifrit let his final opinion be known, "Malagaar is right, a single scout will be less likely to be spotted as he goes ahead. A group, especially a group containing some of us in loud clanky armor, will be much more easily noticed. Let him go on, if he gets himself hurt again then rest assured that you are not the only one that can heal him if need be. I may be a Herald of the God of War, a bringer of death wherever I tread, but I am capable of healing wounds when the need arises.
Posted on 2012-11-23 at 01:32:41.
Edited on 2012-11-23 at 02:04:44 by Shield Wolf
The wind was pleasing to his ears, for it carried a soothing song. The sound of the air rushing around for some reason eased his mind. He used it to detect movement, to smell trouble and to augment his search as dust blew over any blemish. He smiled, it was the calm he loved. Peacetime that served him best, for it meant he didn't need to spill blood.
Though, ending the torture of these puppet soldiers was something that he could do. He knew that it was right, and one of the only times it was right, to kill these things. For they didn't choose to live in death, it was unnatural. However, with all killing one must not allow oneself to become obsessed. That is a dangerous path.
He broke from his thoughts, and focused on the task at hand. He overturned every rock with his gaze, hunted every nook for any sign of foul play. He found nothing. Nothing. It annoyed him. Why would these, fools, not defend themselves from attack? Were they so arrogant as to think they didn't need it? He would teach them the error of arrogance.
Yet, when he almost gave up the search, he spotted what at first glance appeared to be an ornate statue, but that turned out into being an armored skeleton, frozen in place. It was alone, which didn't bode well. Either it was a champion of it's kind, or it was a trap. He slithered backwards, down the stairs and back to his team, his voice a hissed whisper.
''There appears to be nothing on the staircase trap wise, however I wouldn't rely on that. At the top of the stairs however is a skeletal figure, ornately dressed for battle. He is unmoving, yet considering what we've seen i wouldn't say that means dead. What worries me most is that he's on his own. This, if he doesn't turn out to be just a statue, would suggest it's either an ambush, or he is a champion fighter. Unless our foes lack brain. I suggest careful movement up the stairs as a group, and for each of us to be prepared for another encounter with these monsters.''
With the scout returning to report that there seemed to be what he referred to as a Skeletal Warrior Champion ahead the Ifrit sighed to himself. More undead abominations, I should have known as much.. At least my training keeps me well informed on how to deal with such things.
(Assuming successful knowledge check to know about the DR most skeletons have. Especially with Monster Lore class feature and being a divine caster)
He turned and addressed the rest of the group, keeping his voice low as the Ranger had, "If this skeleton is in fact another undead obstacle we must pass, I hope you all have blunt weapons available. Without flesh and muscle to slice through the daggers, swords, and other blades you seem to favor will be of little use against this foe. I was looking forward to being able to swing my own blade, use the weapon of my faith, but I too will have to settle for continued use of this morningstar."
Arimm sighed deeply at the news of a possible undead guardian. The assassin possessed no blunt weapons. But he wasn't about to appear useless in front of the group.
Addressing Canicus, Arimm began, "I will be of little use in a frontal assult this time... Perhaps I will stay back and protect Tyrvia whilst she focuses on keeping you all alive?" He suggested, tossing a wink at the female elf.
"After all, I would hate to get in the way...." He added in a lower voice, more to himself than Canicus.
Tyrvia watched as Malagaar strode off towards the temple, hoping that he would be okay on his own. While he was gone she pondered on what to do with the group, providing that they survive this mission. With that thought she looked down at the zombies who had once been, living, breathing, thinking people like herself and fellow blades, she let out a quick prayer, begging for death rather than be reanimated into one of those.
Soon enough Malagaar returned and appeared to be in good health, Tyrvia sighed with evident relief. Malagaar reported on what he saw. The gates were left wide open and inside there was a large single skeletal warrior dressed in full battle apparel and, for now, he was motionless.
Once the report was finished Canicus told the group that only blunt weapons would be of use against their latest foe. Tyrvia, without thinking, reached for her quarterstaff and shifted it from her back into her two hands.
Arimm had no blunt weapons so labelled himself useless against this Skeletal Warrior and offered to protect Tyrvia, since this was the case Tyrvia had an idea.
“Istanius, you could use this quarterstaff more effectively than your sword I offer this to you to use should you want it. I have far more powerful tools up here.” She said, tapping one finger on her head.
Istanius waited quietly for Malagaar's return. Istanius simply didn't feel that there was any point of conversation at this moment. Right now, he was more concerened about how his horse would fair when he was gone
Istanius wasn't too suprised when Malagaar returned unharmed. He obviuosly did know how to sneak, an area which istanius was completely useless in. Malagaar's report brought bad news. Apperently, a skeletal warrior was the gaurdian up there. Istanius knew little of undead; he muched prefered fighting against living enemies.
Istanius definately wasn't pleased when he heard Canicus' information. Bladed weapons would be next to useless against it. He knew they needed a new plan of attack.
When Tyvria offered Istanius her quaterstaff he suggested, he accepted. Istanius didn't want to be totally useless. "Thank you, my friend," He replied thankfully. "I think it would be be for me to divert it's attention while you guys attack it from stealth. I'm sure I can take a couple hits."
Canicus picked himself up from the casual pose he had maintained against the stone wall of the ledge and walked, as if he had a purpose, toward the witch and cavalier.
"Might I make a suggestion? Judging simply from the fact that you wear a shield Istanius, I presume you are more familiar with a single handed weapon such as a longsword. Now I have seen many battles against many different foes in my years, considering that only the elves have lived more years than I, and I have seen many a warrior crush the bones of a skeletal abomination with nothing but the shield they normally use for defense. You see friend, anything at your disposal is a weapon if you know the right way to use it."
Turning his attention now to the witch he added, "I suggest that you lend that staff to your kinsman, his expertise with dual weapon combat would make him much more effective in combat with the stick than our noble friend here. I've witnessed many a monk unleash a flurry of blows with a staff much like that one, and I'm sure our scout there could mimic that fairly well, if he's willing to try." With that last comment he shot a look to Malagaar, half-wondering if the proud elf would accept his knowledge or if he would reject it and continue in his usual headstrong stubborn ways.
Turning his attention now to the dagger wielding rogue Canicus walked over to where he stood and in a low voice added, "How do you feel about underhanded and outright foul combat tricks? If we can bring the monster down, trip him up somehow, he'll be much less a threat to us. I have a coil of rope in my pack, do you think you could weave in and out of the combat while Istanius, Malagaar, and myself keep it occupied and get the rope wrapped around the monster's legs and try to pull it down?"
Turning again, this time to address the entire group, he added, "While your blades may not be the most effective weapons against a skeletal foe, they are by no means useless, however you will have much better luck dealing with this type of foe if we work as a unit and follow the tactical suggestions I have made. Without flesh and vital organs the normal stealth tactics will not work, we'll have to be direct with this one. Tyrvia try not to use too many of your spells, we may need them further down the road, but if you have anything in your magical arsenal that will be especially useful against this foe then by all means use it. Istanius, as I already said, don't forget that the shield you bear can be used to deliver crushing blows, not just to stop them. Malagaar, I know your elvish pride may sometimes cloud your better judgement, I've known many elves just like you, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. However, I truly believe that while you may favor that fancy arm-blade, whatever it may be called, I really think our best option at this point is for you to use your fellow elf's staff as you'd be better able to deliver strikes with it than the heavily armored cavalier." He had intentionally left the sidebar conversation with Arimm out of this address, he was sure that some of the more "noble" members would not approve of such foul play, even against a foe such as this.
Turning his attention just shortly toward the horse he thought silently to himself, tired of words and craving action now, This beast's hooves would be a boon in this fight no doubt, but she's likely be in the way again with the compact area we're being forced to contend with...
((If Arimm thinks he can manage that, Canicus will pull out the coil of rope for him, if not then he'll suggest that the rogue stay by the witch's side as originally planned in case the skeleton is nothing but a distraction for something else to come at them from another angle))
Posted on 2012-11-27 at 15:43:51.
Edited on 2012-11-27 at 15:44:22 by Shield Wolf
Malagaar smirked at the speech made by Canicus. Not out of smite or amusement, but that the fact that each of his team members seemed to want to take charge. They couldn't see it in his eyes, in a team as small and diverse as this one a leader isn't needed. When the need arises, then expertise takes control, not hot-headedness or 'pride'.
Canicus was right regarding Istanius. His shield would act as an effective weapon in his arms. And yet he winced at the suggestion he gave the witch regarding the staff. ''I understand your point Canicus, and please don't take this for me exerting my 'pride', however I am not a monk, and I am untrained in the use of the staff. Whilst blunt weapons would be far more effective, sometimes a less effective weapon is better in trained hands. You may see this as me being 'stubborn' or unable to break the mold yet hear the logic behind my words. A sword can slash as well as stab, and bones will break either way.''
He watched as he turned to Arimm, and grimaced. He knew the only reason one would take that man aside would be to discuss something unfavorable to other ears. He turned to the witch instead. ''I'll take the staff if you also feel it is better, however don't expect miracles.'' Then, to the cavalier. ''I'm sorry about the horse. I will take responsibility if anything happens.''
When Canicus delivered the final part of the speech, and finished what he was saying Malagaar interjected again. ''Canicus, I don't know what impression I have left you but I assure you I don't let something like 'pride' cloud my judgement or rules my actions. Once again, I made a mistake previously, and acted rashly. However that was not pride guiding me. I am here to do a job, to unite my family. I despise the undead in all it's forms because I have seen people worked as slaves and not given the sweet peace of death. For even that to be taken away is wrong. They are morals Canicus. I will take the staff if you feel my untrained strikes with it will surpass my trained strikes with the scizore on my arm. I won't let my morals guide me to death, you have my word. I work for the good of this team.''
With that, he sighed, and looked towards the witch, prepared to take off his scizore and hand it to her if she offered the staff. ''I would hate to leave you completely defenseless my lady.'' He said, upon the reception of the staff.
((Ignore the last paragraph if I end up not getting the staff but I assume I will. Upon that choice being made Malaagar will lead the advance on the stairs, double checking for anything else that could pose a threat.))
Arimm smiled slightly at the Ifrit's suggestion of the rope, and offered a slight confirming nod. This was exactly the kind of thing Arimm was good at. He only regretted that it hadn't been his Idea. Still... Anything to show the Elf up.
Arimm also couldn't help but notice that Canicus was now attempting to take lead. And unlike alot of the other Blades, the Assassin agreed to being led by the Ifrit. Why not? Sure they wouldn't all agree.... But the more support Canicus had as leader, the less anyone could say about it. And Malagaar was obviously opposed to having a Leader. All the more reason for Arimm to go with it.
"Sounds like a good plan." Arimm finally said, obviously not paying attention to the exchange of words past what concerned him. A greater plan was already forming in his head, and the guardian up top now only seemed a minor obstical in his scheme. Indeed, even the cultists were only another bridge to the Assassin's own designs. Yes, he would follow Canicus. He would play the good soldier. And when the time was right........
((Actions: Agree to plan, accept rope, tie both ends of rope in large noose, scheme))
Canicus had expected an argument from Malagaar, the elf may not consider his attitude to be prideful but the Ifrit sure did. "I acknowledge that you are not a monk, the fact that you actually wear armor is more than a fair give away as to that since no monk I've ever met has ever worn armor, something about interfering with their movements or something. I only suggested that you take the staff as you are trained in the effective use of two weapons and both ends of the staff can be used as if it were two separate weapons. If you would prefer to use the blades you favor, then by all means do so, I was just offering another option."
After Tyrvia gave Istanius her quaterstaff, he attempted to practice with it. His attempt showed what he probably should have known in the first place: It was a two handed weapon. Istanius tried to lunge foward, only to have Tyrvia's quater staff bonce off the ground. After Istanius failed at weilding it for a moment, Canicus began his speech.
Istanius listend realizing how imperative it was to follow that plan. It made sense that he use his sheild, and let Malagaar use the quater staff. It was obvious that Malagaar could weild it more efficently than Istanius. And, after all, why would Istanius want to drop a major part of his protection? Istanius tossed The quaterstaff to Malagaar. He looked at Tyrvia," My apologies. I am not capable of weilding the quaterstaf and shield well."
Istanius strolled up to the lead of the group. "So members of the blades," Istanius said trying to sound formal, strong and quiet after a short strong speech, " what's the plan? And I think we should all tip in on getting some blunt weapons when we return." Istanius paused waiting for responses. I also think that we should move out pretty quickly. Every second we waste, another needless death of our army occurs doesn't it?"
Tyrvia watched Canicus make what seemed like another bid to become leader of the small party. He began in the same style of Tyrvia dishing out orders to all around him... bad move. It had failed for Tyrvia, Malagaar instantly blocking her attempt and once again Malagaar blocked Canicus' attempt with his attempt to hide his obvious stubbornness and pride behind a speech of morals and vigilantism. The only person Malagaar would see as leader would potentially be himself and Tyrvia doubted even that and hoped he would never be, he lacked the wisdom and patience to lead the party.
Tyrvia thought that Canicus would make a good leader. He was well rounded and didn't seem to be prejudice, although his comment about the Avanmephion elves offended Tyrvia slightly, but she wasn't one to hold a grudge. Swiftly though Canicus began to retort, rising to the elves insolence. He began patronising the elf... mistake, saying that of course he wasn't a monk. This was only going one way.
Nevertheless Malagaar took the staff from Istanius and agreed to use it. Tyrvia was shocked and did her best not to let it show. Once Istanius had given away her quarterstaff and apologised, in her mind overly, he pleaded to the group to form together and agree on a plan. Tyrvia seized the opportunity to try to unite them and get moving.
“C'mon Blades we have dallied enough and time is pressing and Canicus' plan seems a good one, even to a non-tactically minded person as I.”
She hoped it would get the group moving, better to get it done than to think to much into it.
Canicus felt he had already made it fairly clear what the plan was and felt that having to repeat himself would be a waste of his time and energy. Without a word to the others he headed to the foot of the stairs that Malagaar had already scouted up and waited for the others to follow. Perhaps Tyrvia had been right, this little diverse group did need a leader with a strong hand to guide them, but he sure didn't want to take on that responsibility himself. His expertise was in War, battle, and to a lesser extent death, he was no leader and did not want the burden placed on his shoulders.
Arimm was quick to follow Canicus, double ended noose wrapped about his left arm, right hand on a beautifully crafted dagger. He was eager to be off. If they took to long, it could show badly on all of their records, and that meant Arimm's as well.
The better the reputation they got, the higher priority missions they would be sent on, and the more skilled enemies to vanquish.
Currently, he just hoped this 'Guardian' prooved a bit of sport, and not some petty conjuration of a novice sorcerer.
Pausing a step from the Ifrit, Arimm turned to Malagaar.
"Say Elf, there wouldn't be any sort of out-croppings or portrusions in the walls or cliffs above, would there?" He asked with a smile, giving the rope a small shake.
Posted on 2012-12-02 at 03:23:09.
Edited on 2012-12-02 at 03:25:43 by Salvator Navaar
As Malagaar begun to proceed, the assassin spoke again to him. With a sigh, he turned his head. ''I didn't focus on the details Arimm, an for that i'm sorry. What I did find however is the temple seems mainly intact. Moreover, the gates are shut, so unless we can tempt them to open up, we'll have to find another way in. Unlike our last encounter, there is lots of room to move. In the center, the skeletal figure I mentioned stands on a pedestal and 4 pillars, arranged in a square, around him. These are perfect for ambushing, so be wary.''
With that, he turned back and continued up the stairs.