I planned to have more to offer you, but at least a thing is better than nothing for now
Mite Warren; Hex E6
Krii saw the last mite still somehow clinging to consciousness and safety. At once he immediately decided to let whatever would happen happen. The ominous outline of the funnel in the sky was not going to wait until he was settled in. The tall man turned his back to the mites and began crawling up along the rope to the wagon.
The mite valiantly struggled against the wind, feebly grasping the wet flailing grass and pulling itself forward with all its failing might. It inched closer as its sleeping companions hung limp, oblivious to their plight. For Frodrick, though, this close was too close.
The dwarf refused to permit the vile gremlin the slightest chance that it could work its destructive tendencies on their meagre shelter. He crawled forward with his axe in hand and Miguel's flickering lights above him.
The mite looked up at him, puffy eyes squinting, as the dwarf's shadow passed over it. It saw nothing more than a large, bearded shadow and suddenly a glint of metal. Frodrick struck it square between the eyes, striking hard and perhaps cleaving a chip out of its hard skull (-5dmg MiteA KO) It blacked out and fell limply onto it's back, forehead oozing blackish red.
Kyrie's hand came to rest on her sickle, but she recognised there was nothing left for her to do but make sure everyone was tied up appropriately. She held the rope for Krii to come up. Frodrick had left the rope to kill the mite, so she didn't want to begin pulling them in until she knew he had a grip.
All at once there was a dull, growing roar coming from the direction of the funnel cloud, and they didnt need a crack of lightning to have a guess what was going on across the open hills. Accopmanying the roar by just a few seconds behind was a tremendous, sustained gust of wind as powerful as any they had felt before in this storm. Kyrie had to brace herself while Zeran almost lost his footing if here weren't already anchored to Miguel. All three remaining bodies disappeared before Frodrick in a second, snapped up by the wind, and the dwarf himself had to dig into the ground, feeling himself being pulled by the force of the wind. Krii meanwhile clung to his lifeline and kept his head down from debris.
Krii feeling that his job with the mites finished turned his attentions to getting himself to a more "safe" location, removing his sickle from the earth he began his crawl towards the majority of the party using the sickle as an anchor to aid in his wind plagued travels, all the while wishing in his head to be home in a nice warm bed with a cup of soup maybe upon reaching the cart the wisp would invite him under for tea and crumpets and it would all turn out to be a terrible dream
Krii steadily pulled himself hand-over-hand up the length of the rope while the rest ducked down to take full advantage of whatever shelters there were available. Kyrie remained half-standing as she tried to reach Krii to pull him in faster, lest the tall, gangly man become a short-lived kite in the storm.
Miguel ducked down and covered his head, focusing his mind intently once more—refreshing the lights that were just beginning to dim in time with his incantation creating new ones, centred on the tip of the rope, to guide Frodrick should the rain be blurring his vision even worse than it was the rest of the party. A few feet beside him the ethereal purple glow of the wisp vibrated from under the edge of the wagon, but if it was making any more of its commentary he couldn’t hear.
Kyrie watched for Frodrick in the scant light at the end of the rope even as she held it for Krii still beyond her grasp. The moment she saw the dwarf’s hands clasp, first one, then the other around the rope, she immediately heaved on the rope, dragging Krii nearly a meter into Zeran’s reach. The hardy paladin pulled the remaining slack hand over hand until it was taut between her and Frodrick.
The thunder itself was barely audible over the growing roar of the distant tornado, but even more impressive still was a tremendous -crack!- from the direction of the mite’s sycamore. There was no time to watch or confirm through shots of lightning whether the tornado had uprooted the tree, or merely the surrounding winds torn a branch down.
Regardless, it was not flying branches that were the most threatening thing in the skies—a meaty thump smacked off the top of the wagon and a shadow sailed over the party’s heads. It bounced once more off Kyrie’s shoulder, knocking the girl’s breath out of her lungs and rattling her senses momentarily before its passage rolling alongside Frodrick revealed it to be the corpse of a mite. It was impossible to say whether it was among the four formerly sharing their shelter, or another entirely stupidly caught out at night in the storm.
Though the body passed quickly, its effects did not. Kyrie stumbled and looked like to fall as she struggled to regain her balance. It was thanks only to the rope that she stayed on her feet (-7dmg Kyrie). Frodrick, taking a second wind (or perhaps a third by now), bellowed some form of dwarven warcry or else merely a guttural roar of adrenaline. The force of the wind half lifted him to his feet, hands firmly gripping the rope, and through sheer stout fortitude pressed his way more than a dozen feet toward the group, bracing once more as he saw Kyrie snap to attention.
With a final heave by all members, and much fiddling of numbed fingers, all members of the party were well secured and huddled together against the wind in the meagre shadow of the wagon (which, impressively, chose by some fortune not to catch the wind quite so harshly as it had done earlier).
Minutes that seemed like several subjective eternities passed before the tremendous roar died out gently, followed a couple more minutes later by settling winds and lightening rain. Too exhausted and relieved to give more than half a damn collectively, the party began to pass out one by one as the wisp emerged from the wagon.
“Don’t mind me, I’m just going to see if I can’t scrounge up a snack or two among those little blue fellows out there.”
Morning came grey and perfectly calm. As the party rose they began to survey the destruction. Besides their wagon upended next to them, whatever equipment they were not still wearing on their person was scattered over the hills as far as they could see.
What equipment they did have on their person, of course, was so thoroughly covered in a layer of dried and drying mud that Miguel couldn’t help but laugh out loud, recognising in Frodrick a somewhat racially insensitive character he had witnessed on stage only a few years back.
Frodrick, for his part, hardly noticed a single thing amiss when he saw Jargon Hooves, messy and unkempt as he but otherwise no worse for wear, leading the party’s mounts back to camp from the southwest.
Breakfast was delayed a couple hours, as individual party members rode out in retrieval of supplies and equipment. Despite this, spirits managed to remain somewhat elevated under the general sense of having just collectively survived the wrath of nature.
The sycamore for itself still stood in the distance something about a mile away, though a large branch hung on a thin peel of bark from the tree, broken almost completely.
XP: 350 Each, which I believe brings everyone well into Level 2, so get on those character sheets. If you need help levelling up, I believe there is a chart to guide you, and also when I am not working I can be of assistance.
Didja think that just because I'm trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days as well as two essays I f
Mite Warren; Hex E6
Frodrick watched the steady rise of smoke from his pipe, climbing to the birds soaring high above. Miguel sang lightly as he did every morning, but with a certain jovial quality today, Frodrick thought. Or perhaps he was just being overly sentimental, with the dawn of a bright, if grey, new day with no one significantly harmed.
“Looks like we'll have good weather next couple o' days.” He announced as breakfast was finishing up. “Perfect timing, if you ask me, to round us up a couple o' filthy gremlins.”
They left the horses stationed near camp and walked on foot up the hill toward the tree. All five drew their weapons without a word as they approached. Krii wove his protections around himself and Zeran primed the firing mechanism on his firearm.
There was no sign of life from the tree, just as any other time they had passed the sycamore during the day, but nevertheless they watched for possible attack or ambush.
From up close they could see that, despite whatever had been thrown at it in its long life, the tree was actually still living, with the broken branch showing signs of life beneath the surface. By no means did it look healthy, a scarce skeleton of a tree that should have started budding by now in the season, but only the smallest of green showed on the branches.
Frodrick found the tiny gap in roots that marked the entrance to the underground den of the mites. Krii threw a stone he enchanted with a glowing spell into the hole and the party began their descent. It was a tight, unpleasant squeeze, but the group had no problem climbing down the shaft, overgrown with roots, twenty feet to the bottom.
It was cold, dank, and muddy at the bottom, and the moist dirt squelched between their boots, but it was by no means worse than anything else they had faced in the last twenty-four hours. Indeed, they brought in almost as much mud on their bodies as was already in the warren itself.
The chief problem, really, was a matter of scale. The tunnel that they found themselves standing in fell away deeper underground in both directions had been built to accomodate creatures much smaller than themselves. The roof was just as thickly packed with roots as the shaft of the entrance had been and was barely over five foot at best.
It seemed their entrance had gone unnoted. They had the choice of two possible directions to go, both ostensibly headed deeper into the warren. Conventional wisdom dictated that splitting up was an invitation for disaster, but they needed to choose one way. (Let's call them left or right, though strictly speaking it's a single one-way tunnel and such designations are arbitrary).
(Once again, cramped (formerly called 'hunched') is a condition indicating your relatively restricted manoeuvrability, reflected in a -2 penalty to all attack rolls. Additionally, for people who have more than one weapon to choose from I went with what I think was the default—namely Kyrie's sickle and shield combo, but also Frodrick axe-shield, Zeran pistol, Miguel sabre, Krii sickle. Lemme know if I assumed wrong.)
EDIT(S): First I forgot to account for Kyrie's health increase, then I forgot to account for the damage she took, then I added in the use of 1 of her 4 uses of lay on hands/day and she healed back all 5 missing points of health, so she's full. Again.
OH YAY ANOTHER EDIT: I figured it would be helpful to give you a little cross-section sort of dealie. Rejoice.
Posted on 2013-11-07 at 06:00:02.
Edited on 2013-11-07 at 18:38:42 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Frodrick chose a direction by the wisdom of the coin and proceeded down it, the rest of the group falling in behind him. He did not need Krii's enchanted light-stone, and his hands were full regardless, so it fell to Miguel to illuminate the dark tunnel for the rest of the human members of the party.
(MO: Frodrick, Kyrie, Miguel, Krii, Zeran)
As they descended, their boots quietly squelching in the damp mud, they noticed a foul aroma of damp and dung rising to overpower the scent of wet earth. Barely a few dozen muddy paces from the entrance they came upon an wide open room with large mounds of muck built up, dotted with pale white spheres each the size of a roast pheasant. Unfortunately the ceiling level remained little or no higher, and just as bad, the already mucky floor was criss-crossed with a network of overflowing rivulets running down from the entrance to the back corner of the room and deeper into the warren.
As the light from Miguel's stone shone into the room, it alerted the sole occupant--and the three giant centipedes she was feeding. The mite, whose back was to the door, leapt up from her small stool, squinting behind her at the hateful illumination. Around her the three six-foot-long centipedes reared up and issued a chorus of menacing hisses.
(I'll give you a neat map to look at when I have access to such programs, but for now the room is essentially 'L' shaped, with each branch about 30' long and 15' wide. The entrance is at the juncture, and the exit is past the centipede breeder and her pets (about 15' from entrance) at the end of the one arm. Roll initiative (jk, I'm rolling it up as I type this) with Krii going first; weapons are all drawn.)
Map of the Hatchery ~here~
The left of the room is the entrance, the right leads deeper into the warren. The six mounds are large dung & compost & centipede egg piles and block movement except where they don't cover the whole square.
If the 'R2' square is (0,0), Quoggy the Breeder is there, with one centipede each on (0,1) (1,0) and (1,1) i.e. filling the three adjacent squares up and right.
The party is generally clustered around the 5 squares closest to the entrance.
Posted on 2013-11-19 at 18:23:33.
Edited on 2013-11-20 at 22:19:07 by Sibelius Eos Owm
How to infiltrate a warren of mites: 1) Sneak in while no one's looking
Mite Warren - Hatchery
The mite dropped the bowl and whatever disgusting contents it might have contained. She screamed something Zeran recognised as an attack at her pets and they dropped to the floor to charge.
Krii blasted a beam of frost at the first centipede (-1cold CentA), catching a pair of its many legs in a rivulet and freezing them together. This distraction proved fatal to it immediately, as the lead shot from Zeran’s pistol blew open a small, purple-blue blood covered hole in its side (-8dmg CentA KO).
It writhed and collapsed to bleed out almost instantly while the remaining two crawled over its corpse to attack. The one on the right, behind the breeder, took to the wall and came at Krii from the roof. It lunged at him with its massive mandibles just as he, quick on his feet, jumped back. The other charged directly for Kyrie. The paladin girl wasn’t prepared for its ferocity, and it cleared her defenses and sunk its fangs into her thigh before she could kick it off (-4dmg Kyrie 17/21).
She was swift to retaliate, however. As soon as she shook it off, she cleaved a deep gash in its underside with her sickle (-5dmg CentC) and suddenly it didn’t seem nearly as eager to fight. Miguel made an attempt to finish it off, and likely would have if the cramped confines of the warren had not made it so difficult to manoeuvre effectively.
Frodrick elbowed Krii. “I got yer back.” He thrust his beard at the centipede hanging from the roof. He was ready to throw interference with whatever attack it tried to throw his way, should it live long enough to do so.
Quoggy the Breeder never looked back as she ran deeper into the tunnels, screaming alarm and blue murder at the top of her lungs.
Mite Q: Holy S***, Intruders! Out of Sight
Centipede A: Dying
Centipede B: Disabled
Centipded C: Uninjured
(Miguel, Kyrie, and Frodrick are in melee range of CentB, and Frodrick, Krii, and Zeran are in range of CentC, listed from top to bottom i.e.
And Frodrick is readied to Aid Another should Krii be attacked by the centipede, increasing his AC even higher)
Posted on 2013-11-21 at 18:15:54.
Edited on 2013-11-21 at 18:19:30 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Krii, half stooped over thanks to the low roof, squinted at the mite. It was taunting him with the whole hanging-from-the-roof bit. He took his sickle and very aptly followed Kyrie's example, hooking the tip under it's belly and swinging down, tearing it from the roof as he did so. (-5dmg CentC)
The giant centipedes were both wholly chastised out of their aggression, now, and slunk back away from the group sluggishly. Zeran at the same time stepped back and prepared his next shot. This fight was as good as won, but if the mite's behaviour was any indicator, where would be plenty more marks where those had come from.
Kyrie knew this, too, and took off after the breeder before she could summon help. Unhampered by armour, Miguel outstripped her and disappeared into the downward corkscrewing tunnel—only the light from Krii's stone still shone back into half the hatchery.
The tunnel was narrow and the top too low like everything else in the wretched hive, but Miguel kept on until he saw the small mite. She glanced back, eyes squinting in the light, and hissed as rounded the spiral out of sight. The bard stopped when he heard her shouting something in a strange language. It sounded like she'd made it to the other room.
Miguel doubled back two steps up the sloping tunnel. Kyrie was just by the entrance to the room. The look on his face told her what she needed to know. Do they charge down and hope to catch them as they're still unaware, or do they hold up where they are? The question was simple—what would Frodrick do?
Mite Warren – Common Room
Kyrie looked from Miguel up Frodrick for guidance.
“You got this one, lass,” he told her, “tell us what to do.”
Kyrie nodded. “Let's go in.”
Krii and Zeran crowded into the spiral tunnel justt behind her. Unhesitatingly, Kyrie moved into the next room, the light in Miguel's hands following just behind her while the others chased after them. Miguel took to the wall in a defensive stance just beside Kyrie in the entrance.
This room was narrower than the one above had been, but more occupied and far more crowded. Amid over two dozen hammocks and beds, and old window frames hanging like fine art from the walls, a half a dozen mites lay in scattered assortment, with the breeder standing above them, cursing at them to get up. The room was cluttered with all sorts of broken items, from wagons wheels to bits of bone and feather.
When inhabitants of the common room saw the intruders, and especially the light they bore with them, they leapt up with anger in their squinty eyes. Two dropped their broken stringed instruments and each grabbed a tiny dart from their persons. Two more beside them, who had between them a pile of rocks destined for the musicians picked up their tiny knives, while the final pair in the back dropped the torn book they were (ostensibly) reading to grab at their weapons.
Kyrie and Miguel, standing side by side at the entrance, were pelted with a volley of small iron darts. One deflected off the girl's shield and another missed Miguel narrowly, but each was struck once through their armour (-1sub Miguel, -1dmg Kyrie).
Then something unsettling happened from the mites that drew their knives—including Quoggy the breeder. Rather than race forward to attack, they stood rooted on the spot and stared at the two, as if in deep concentration.
Suddenly their huge bulbous black eyes sprung wide open, bulging hideously for a moment. Instantly a nameless and unplaceable anxiety dropped on Miguel and Kyrie's shoulders, as if something terrible somewhere was about to happen. The mind-affecting effect was weak, however, and both shook it off—Kyrie once for each of the two that attacked her—before it ever took hold.
At the back of the party train, Frodrick followed just behind Zeran on his way down into the tunnel between the rooms.
(Since positioning is a little hard to describe in these odd between tunnels without creating run-on sentences about how so-and-so is just behind but not as close as so-and-such and etc., to be clear: Miguel and Kyrie are just barely within the entrance to the room. Krii is in the middle of the tunnel down, about where Miguel was moments ago, with Zeran still further up just in front of Frodrick, whose full movement speed brought him just inside the exit from the last room.)
(The passage at the south of the map given, by the way, though largely beyond the extent of Miguel's light, appears to be a wide, short tunnel down to the next room closely adjoined to this one.)
As a farmer, there was something to be said for when muck was muckier than dealing with errant weeds or working with animals in rain and fog. Somehow, this place seemed to be able to give that sensation. It wasn't pleasent.
Still, these creatures were clearly too used to their dark and dreary environment. They didn't like the light.
"Miguel, if you can, try putting light on my shield." Kyrie murmurred, "They don't seem to like light, so if I can bring it to them, all the better for us."
((slight delayed action for him to be able to unless he says that he doesn't have that ability))
That done, the time was now to take the fight to them (and to give the people behind her more room). Kyrie moves up as she can to engage the closest one that drew a melee weapon.
4) Umm... is this supposed to be where we profit? They keep retreating...
Krii emerged from the tunnel, red eyes adjusting quickly to the light levels of the new room. He stabbed his finger in the air, seeing the mite that had sounded the alarm. With a sharp crack he shot her in the chest with a bolt of electricity, wounding her visibly (-2elec MiteQ Bloodied).
Zeran emerged from the tunnel, looking for targets, while Kyrie leapt forward with sickle in hand. The paladin stode into the thick of the battalion and cut down the breeder with a fell stroke (-3dmg MiteQ Dying) that seemed not to land as hard as expected.
(I decided there didn't really seem to be a feasible way to quickly combine rock+shield easily)
With his duelling sabre, Miguel came up alongside Kyrie and quickly cut down one of the guards with a single stroke (-4dmg MiteB Dying). The meagre confidence among the guards at outnumbering and overwhelming the invaders cracked under the first death, and vanished entirely once the numbers were closing in on even.
As one the population of the room turned tail and fled down the short, narrow passage into the darkness and adjoining room, just deeper in the warren. Their cries, including unimaginable expletives, were enough as though they had been the ones to face the combined forces of Krii's magic and Kyrie and Miguel's weapons, and not the two that lay bleeding.
As Zeran listened to their caterwauling, he picked out the name 'Grabbles the Ticklerider' and cries of 'leader'. Well, really the word in undercommon translated more closely to despotic ruler, but he hardly expected the mites to appreciate the subtlty—he barely cared when he was taught himself.
“I think that's their leader's room down there,” he said. “We should be ready for any nasty tricks when we go down.”
Behind him, Frodrick rolled down the tunnel at a hearty jog. He let out a huff that might have been partially inspired by a sigh at the sight of the mites' retreat. Whatever there was to be said for dwarves riding horses, he never had problems keeping up with the rest while mounted on Jargon's back. He reckoned they must be something like 40 to 50 feet beneath the tree now.
“I'm still here,” he told Krii, breathing moderately. “Ain't that easy to get rid of me.”
5) Seriously, what step comes next? I don't know what went wrong in 3!
Mite Warren – War Room
Krii, for one, was not about to allow the mites to go without some cover fire for their retreat. He chased them around the wall in the room and fired a beam of frost after the straggler in the back just before it disappeared out of his sight down the passage. The mite took the attack full-on in the back, stumbling as its damp rags partially froze to its body (-3cold MiteA Disabled). It was too badly wounded to run far , now.
Zeran and Kyrie both gave chase after the mites, but neither took a shot. Kyrie kept up just on their tail and Zeran had the opportunity for a shot, but decided to save his shot for when he could be more certain about his aim.
Miguel commanded his light spell, dancing between the roots of the ceiling, down after the mites, illuminating much of the room below as he caught up. The walls of this room were lined with pegs, some of which hung with small, tattered cloaks with overlarge hoods, sized for the mites. Both Miguel and Kyrie could make out a quartet of four mites standing up from a rickety table covered in a rough, dirty tablecloth, each drawing their knives.
A fifth at their table, presumably their leader, marked by holding what might charitably be called a trident, turned toward the party. “Kill the intruders! They must not have our treasure!” Though most the party did not understand the words, a gap in his teeth made a sharp, pronounced whistling noise as he spoke. Then he left his advisors at the table and ran to the left side of the room, disappearing from sight by the curvature of the earthen wall.
Bolstered by reinforcements and their leader's command, the fleeing mites turned to meet the tide. Two mites turned and flashed their eyes open at Miguel and Kyrie. Again Kyrie shook off the vague anxiety, but this time Miguel was unable to resist, and the nameless fear took hold of him. Suddenly he couldn't quite keep his sword hand from shaking, and he felt claustrophobic with his back to the dirt and root ceiling (Miguel Shaken).
Another of the mites attacked Kyrie with its knife, but the girl was too quick with her shield to admit any strike so clumsy. Of the five surviving guards, two did not seem to know what to do. One, because it fell on the far side of the bottleneck, and could not contribute to the front lines of fighting, and the other because it was too badly wounded to fight, but had no safe retreat with its brothers and sisters now pushing toward it to fight the intruders.
At a loss, the frostbitten mite turned up to Kyrie and its eyes bulged—but she cut it down the moment it left an openning, not permitting any more of these magical shenanigans if she could help it. (-1 MiteA, Dying)
As all this action was going down, Frodrick finally caught up with the body of the group proper and inserted himself into the forward position next to Krii, daring that anything should attempt to push past the front lines and get to his ward without first going through him.
In part because his well adapted eyesight, his guarding stance, and even his stature closer to the ground, Frodrick was the first to see the thing coming from the left side of the next room. Grabbles, the 'Ticklerider', rode forth astride a bluish beast of a tunnel tick, bigger around than a dwarf. The mite chief clung to a shabby framework of twigs apparently designed as a saddle.
Grabbles directed the tick, 'Tickleback', to the rear of his column of fighters holding back the door, clinging to the rocking saddle as the beast moved. It seemed he was happy to let his warriors weaken the enemy first, before he charged in.
(Just so you following along at home can keep up, A-C, E, F, and H are guards from the previous room, some of which are dead. I-L are Grabbles' chief war advisors. Also, heads up, I've been removing tags as they get forgotten, hence B and Q are missing like A will be next round; G is gone because not to be confused with Grabbles)
(The map is currently a mess of mites and you guys all crammed into that narrow passage at the bottom of your -Common Room- map and top right of your -War Room- map (below)). The table on the War Room map is indeed the one which is populated with advisers wielding knives, and Grabbles himself is just around the 'R5' icon)
(Heads up, the shaken condition imparts a -2 penalty to all attacks, saves, and skills. Further heads up, the tunnel tick is a medium creature, I know these descriptions aren't always descriptive of in-game statistical information)
Bringing up his shield to and lowering his body to be more stable, Frodrick took up a stance that demonstrated that he was not going anywhere.
He then glared at the ferocious vermin that had shown its ugly head from the darkness and muck. He did not like the looks of it. Almost all insects had some type of venom or acid about them, and this one was sure to do something along those lines if it got a good chomp on one of them. It needed to come down first.
Almost like a second form of sight, Frodrick started to see how it moved: its weaknessess and openings that came with it. He knew that he would be able to direct his comrades to better take it down.
"Never mind the wee ones! focus on that there bug! Mind the legs and mouth and go for the underbelly if ya can: it is less armored and easier to get at the thing's guts!"
Looking to Krii, Frodrick whispered "Keep close to me and follow my lead - they might decide casters be worse than boom sticks or shovels. I will make sure they dont get to ya and if they do they will have a tough time stoppin yer jibber-jabber."
The dwark then held his position, waiting to see if any dared to come at his ward.
Challenge on Tickleback:
+2 damage on Tickleback (Frodrick Only) - unnamed bonus to damage
+1 attack on Tickleback (Allies of Frodrick) - circumstance bonus
+1 AC (Krii only) - dodge bonus
-3 AC vs any aside from Tickleback (Frodrick only)
-1 Ac vs Tickleback (Frodrick only)
Aid another on Krii: give +3 defence if a monster attacks him.
Posted on 2013-12-02 at 03:34:08.
Edited on 2013-12-02 at 04:21:07 by Shades331
Mite Warren – War Room
Though the party couldn’t see them very well, standing in the back of the room, group of mites that surrounded the table could see them fine from this angle. The four of them together channeled their natural power to bring ruination, their eyes bulging out. Once again Kyrie felt a duo of curses fall upon her, only to crash and fade like waves on a beach. Frodrick had a similar experience, throwing off the emotional manipulation with his strength of will, but Zeran was less lucky. The magic took effect and it became difficult for him to control his nerves.
Seeing the congestion of the tunnel before him, Krii decided to let someone more capable in a melee take point. Besides, he’d already mostly done in a giant centipede with his sickle himself today, that’d more than enough for any sorcerer.
Zeran seemed happy to comply, and so the gunslinger charged into the fray blocking the entrance to the next room, drawing his heretofore forgotten rapier. Throwing himself at the nearest mite despite, or perhaps spurred on in defiance of the magical fear, he split the belly of one of the mites in a deadly thrust (-5dmg MiteC Dying). He held his pistol still cocked in his other hand as a banner warning any who dare give him an opening to use it.
Not to be outdone in the forward charge, Kyrie cut down the mite that even as she struck had been looking to get behind her shield (-4dmg MiteE Dying). As she looked around, the crowding around the choke point was clearing. Unwilling to give up the slightest ground, she stepped past Zeran even as he was removing his rapier from his kill, braving an opportunistic strike that was scarcely more than a violent scratch as she did (-1sub Kyrie).
Miguel let his sword arm fall. Nerves on edge, practically doubled over from low ceiling, the fighting conditions were getting more and more uphill. The minions were falling fast, but how long would they last like this once that behemoth of a tick joined the combat? He pushed his doubts out of his mind. There was only one solution for a time like this. He started to sing.
His voice cracked on the first note, but he cleared his throat and belted out a hearty triumphant tenor. As Krii heard Miguel’s magically reinforced voice resound from the front lines, he saw his moment to act. The sorcerer dove in amongst the fighters, stopping short of all the way, and cracked a shot of electricity at the giant tick. The mite directly next to him was too busy dealing with Kyrie to take advantage of the opening Krii left, and the blue arc snapped at the tick’s face (-7dmg *crit* Tickleback), causing the monster to flinch and Grabbles to flail like a ragdoll on its back.
Grabbles shouted orders from tick-back, seemingly indicating to the advisors at the table that they should take a more active participation in the fighting or else take a less active participation in their necks, while the last remaining mites from the common room leapt at Kyrie with their shivs, battering uselessly at her shield and armour.
With almost nothing now left standing between the giant tick and his allies, Frodrick barrelled down the small slope between the rooms and landed directly in front of the monster, knocking aside a mite's knife on the way as if it didn't exist.
“Alright, beastie,” Frodrick told Tickleback, “Keep yer eyes on the pretty dwarf.” He called out to get his allies to surround the monster and hopefully bring it down before it could bring its full strength to bear. Krii had already blasted it hard, but it was still kicking strong and angry—to say nothing of the mite desperately clinging to its rocking back.
The tick seemed to be still angry about the lightning in the face, but Frodrick had blocked off any way to get at Krii and was belligerently preventing it from getting past. Not one to mince words, Tickleback simply lunged at Frodrick and took hold of him in its massive mandibles, doing a good impression of a bear hug (-8dmg +Grab Frodrick). True to its pesky annoying cousins, the tick pierced Frodrick's side and quickly began draining the dwarf of blood (-1Str, -1Con Frodrick), much to its victim's consternation.
(Frodrick is Grappled, which imposes a bunch of different details (but not as much as 3.5) which might make things difficult on him. Also difficult is the blood drain he is experiencing, which as of yet has imposed no penalties from Ability Damage.)
Posted on 2013-12-03 at 23:27:26.
Edited on 2013-12-03 at 23:39:24 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Mite Warren – War Room
The chief’s advisors heeded their leader’s call and moved in to surround and fill the gaps around him. Two took advantage of Frodrick’s predicament to stab at him with their tiny knives (-3dmg, -3dmg Frodrick 10/22).
In the crowded, cramped tunnel Zeran aimed his pistol experimentally. It was primed, but there was no way to get a clear shot at Tickleback, unless…
“Kyrie, give me some room, I’ve got an idea!”
While she was loathe to leave Frodrick’s side, Zeran sounded serious. Perhaps it was the nerves talking or he actually knew what he was doing this time. Either way, she left the tick alone and turned to the mite guard beside it. “Excuse me, little weed.” She cut it down with a flash of her sickle (-5dmg MiteF) and stepped over it, around Tickleback.
The moment Kyrie was free of the shot, Zeran took it. Taking care not to shoot either Frodrick or Kyrie, he tightened his focus at the last second and pulled the trigger. The shot flew true. The nugget of flying lead punched a small hole through the tick’s exoskeleton, not impressive on the outside, but judging from the cracking sounds, doing at least a fair amount of damage as it plunged through a slurry of organs (-10dmg Tickleback Bloodied).
The tick was visibly worse for wear after that shot, but Frodrick’s strength was beginning to leave him as the mite’s jaws clamped on his body. Miguel knew the dwarf was tough as old leather and at least twice as stubborn, but his strength wouldn’t last forever. Pretty soon something would strike vital and he would go down—though not yet, if he could help it.
Between the mite and Tickleback, there was no one around to pay attention to one humble bard singing a song, which suited him fine. Working the spell into his song as a clever refrain, Miguel placed his hand on Frodrick’s shoulder and channeled vitality back into his old body, giving him a rush of energy and a second wind (+9dmg Frodrick).
Amid all this confusion, the last remaining mite from the common room, who had been the one to strike at Frodrick as he ran passed, found itself quickly surrounded by tallfolk too busy to pay it any mind. All, except for Krii, now cut off once again from the frontlines. The sorcerer spied the mite, half cowering, half looking for an easy opening to shank an ankle.
Krii channeled an icy frost and fired on the mite from point blank range, delivering a nasty frostbite to one ear and most of the side of its head (-2cold MiteH). For whatever reason the mite didn't seem to appreciate this treatment, and launched itself, knife first, at Krii. It stabbed clumsily at Krii, who easily dodged.
With renewed vigour and energy, Frodrick bellowed. No overgrown parasite was going to finish the last of Clan Redbrew without some kind of a fight to show for it. He had a company to look after, now, he could not let death overtake him easily. He drew back his axe and brought it down over the tick's head. There was a satisfying crunching sound, and though the jaws around his body did not loosen, he could see the monster's strength flagging. (-7dmg Tickleback)
Frodrick's triumph was short-lived, however. Tickleback's serrated needle cut skin with every movement, drawing more non-clotting blood with each cut (-10dmg Frodrick 9/22). The giant tick tightened it's grip and pulled, dragging the dwarf with it. Miguel and Kyrie saw what it was trying to do, but their hasty attacks bounced uselessly off it's carapace as it turned to drag Frodrick back to its corner, behind the line of mites. (-1Str, -1Con Frodrick)