"I don't like either choice," Aranwen says as the group stares at her, awaiting her decision, "This all seems too familiar, like the road to Crandel, full of fog and unexplainable noises. I feel as if an attack could happen at any time." He stares back at each of them, "Unless anyone has any better ideas, I say we keep moving, ford the stream and take our chances on the other side."
"We are on a righteous mission, friends," Gib announces in a far more optomistic tone than this mission had thus proven to encompass, but one Kith was beginning to appreciate as a juxtiposition to her own constantly negative inner dialogue, "Let us remain sharp and know that a little water on the boots will not have an eternal impact." The bearded priest examines their options for a moment, and then, "There, perhaps?"
Travel often took a turn for the damp, but soaked bottoms were never pleasant. The river proved to be a bit more treacherous than anticipated, Ch'dau taking a spill in his attempt to save Midge, and Kith herself slipping here and there on the slick river rock. Nevertheless they make their way to the far embankment and quickly begin to make camp as the darkness and thick mist descend upon them.
At Kithran's watch, she sits with her back to the fire, keeping an eye on the forest as best she can in the fog; her ears intent on any sound that isn't the cackling of the fire or the soft breath of her comrades; her hands on the shortbow and arrow in her lap for a quick retrieval if necessary. As her thoughts begin to wander toward the dark origin of the heinous, giggling creatures they hunt, a man's scream from deeper into the woods jostles her senses and drives her rapidly to her feet, her arrow nocked and pointed in the direction the sound seemed to carry from.
Ch'dau is by her side in an instant, his own blades drawn, and Kith notices the rousing of the bladesinger as well from the corner of her eye as she too attempts to discern the source of the sound.
Another scream turns all of their heads toward the mist-addled space the sound seemed to be coming from. This time it trails off in a way that even Gib might not be able to warrant an optomistic outcome to.
((OOC: would like to use my Detect Noise skill to determine the direction of the sound and to hear if anything is either heading their way, or any other noises coming from the source of the screams--e.g. footsteps, monching, words, etc. If possible, would also like to try, by the sound of the scream, to estimate how far away it was.))
“What do you make of that, Little Kitten,” the Kazari asks softly beside her, “Has it only been the screams or has there been giggling, as well?”
Kithran keeps the bow and her aim pointed in the direction of the sound as she listens for any footsteps that would garner their immediate rousing of their other comrades, "No," she whispers back loud enough only for him and Aranwen to hear, "only the screams, but the laughter may not carry this far."
She moves closer to the edge of the firelight, where the mist seems to begin its dark wall, "There is distance between us, but I don't trust it, especially with our fire. I would like to scout in that direction, just to be certain they are not headed our way. I am very silent and won't stray too far. Should I come back unscathed, we may be okay for the night with no need to wake the restful. However," she says in a flat, wry tone, "My screams shall be an early warning system and you should come running after me willy-nilly. What say you lot?"
Posted on 2019-07-12 at 14:22:32.
Edited on 2019-09-27 at 07:25:07 by Eol Fefalas
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 145/11 4043 Posts
Sleeping in armor is never a restful experience. To some extent, Gib is used to the lumps, pinches, and constriction that accompanies the practice. While these discomforts can wear on a person they also help a soldier sleep lightly which can come in really handy on nights like this. Even after trekking through the eerie woods with tense nerves and watchful eyes, the war-priest finds it difficult to fall asleep. Trail food isn't the best and he made the decision early in the day to withhold asking for Therassor for a blessing of divine food and water in favor of reserving his deity's energy for more practical uses. As he lay his head down on his backpack, Moreno found himself thinking of the refreshment his god's meal would have delivered. These thoughts are what he finally drifted off to only to be awakened by the distant screams.
Eyes popping open, the cleric stared into the misty canopy overhead, his right hand instinctively dropping from his chest to the loaded crossbow at his side. Seeing no immediate threat looming overhead and hearing the soft pad of Ch'dau's feet, Gib sits up while cradling the crossbow to his chest and peering through narrowed eyes all about.
Shifting his feet beneath him, the priest sets the crossbow down as quietly as he can and retrieves his helmet, securing it in place with practiced ease. Blood pumping with the anticipation of pending battle, the bearded man snakes his arm through the straps of his shield and arranges it securely against his shoulder allowing him to have both hands free to use the crossbow. Taking the ranged weapon to hand once more as he rises, Gib whispers a prayer to Therassor for guidance and victory as he walks over to the gathering companions.
Kithran must have been asked a question that she answers just as the warrior priest comes within range of her low voice, "No. Only the screams, but the laughter may not carry this far."
Squinting in the direction the deadly woman is pointing her bow, Moreno raises his crossbow a little higher ready to take aim at the blink of an eye. To his left, the scout moves further from the firelight and says, "There is a distance between us, but I don't trust it, especially with our fire. I would like to scout in that direction, just to be certain they are not headed our way. I am very silent and won't stray too far. Should I come back unscathed, we may be okay for the night with no need to wake the restful. However," her tone changes to wry, "my screams shall be an early warning system and you should come running after me willy-nilly. What say you lot?"
Being accustomed to the practices of military scouts, Gib can see no fault in this plan. Glancing at Aranwen, he dips his helmeted head slightly to indicate his agreement. Still standing outside of the fire's light himself, the Man of Therassor does his best to keep his eyes pure from the fire so that the darkness does not become darker still. Should it be necessary, he is ready to fire his crossbow, drop the weapon and draw his longsword for melee.
Posted on 2019-07-12 at 16:01:42.
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 359/54 6714 Posts
let's split up, gang!
Cedric and Midge are roused from their slumber as the party quietly debates the screams. Kith sets off to act as a scout while the rest make ready.
The night is still oppressively warm, and the lack of sounds - no birds, no tree frogs, not even insects calling out - is unsettling, to say the least. With no auditory cover, the rogue has to beat down thoughts that every quiet footfall is a thunderclap, that her hushed breathing is a roaring river in the night.
The ground is treacherous, at least for moving silently. Tree roots jut up from the soil, leaves and twigs lie everywhere, just waiting to rustle or snap. Despite her best efforts, Kith can feel the tension rise up inside, but she presses onward, senses razor sharp, looking for anything.
As she carefully slips around a mighty oak to the edge of a small clearing, the rogue spots a dark, human-like shape upon the ground on the far side, perhaps twenty yards distant. On a more normal, brighter night, the moon might have illuminated the scene, but as it is, Kith feels fortunate to be able to pick up on the shape at all.
The first sound she hears is a low moan. The half-syl freezes, realizing that there is slow movement around the falled shape.
The second sound is far more sinister - a quiet, joyful sound of glee... that slowly rises in manic giggling intensity. Close by.
And directly behind her. Between Kith and her friends.
Posted on 2019-07-15 at 10:11:53.
Edited on 2019-07-15 at 16:40:36 by t_catt11
Kithran glances back at her comrades, awaiting their response. At their nods, she poises her bow back in front of her and heads into the mist.
It is so silent that even her breathing sounds like a Kazari roar to her ears. Luckily, as she approaches a small clearing, that and her own small footfalls are all she has heard, and thus her company may indeed rest safely this night.
Lingering crouched a moment at the edge of the clearing, she eyes a body lying motionless several yards away, much farther than she’s willing to go for the likely dead in these woods. She is about to turn back when a slow movement near the corpse catches her eye and she starts to slink back into the brush, then stops cold.
The giggling begins as slow rumbling rolls, growing like waves until they seem to crash into her.
Without a second thought she spins and finally lets loose her nocked arrow at the horrific fiend. Images of the woodsman's wife’s desecrated form rip through her mind as her bow drops to the ground and she draws her daggers, charging the monster.
A roar of her own bursts from her lungs both as a warning to her companions of what lies in this direction, and as her ardent request to join Ch’dau’s Eternal Hunt.
He would be so jealous if she got there before him.
((OOC: Not entirely sure how movement/AoO's work in 2e, but if possible she'd like to get as far past it as she can then turn to face it so she's between the giggs and her party. Bracing for impact.))
Posted on 2019-07-15 at 16:28:28.
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 359/54 6714 Posts
Pupils dilated, flaxen hair plastered with sweat to her brow, breath coming in shallow pants, the young woman screamed anew in agony. Her belly, her back, her womanhood all burned in fiery pain. Blood spurted freely, soiling the bed and pooling on the floor. She was young - only seventeen winters - had no other children, had never witnessed childbirth up close... but she knew that it wasn't supposed to be like this. Oh, the women around the village tittered of pain when the baby came, but nothing like this agony.
Another horrid contraction clutched her tightly, threatened to crush the very life from her lungs, and though she did her best to hold it back, another scream tore its way out of her throat.
The crone by her bed patted her hand kindly. "There, child - one more good push. One more!"
And so, she pushed again, with the pain becoming even more unbelievable. Spots appeared before her eyes, the world began to dim. "You fools!" hissed a man's voice, "if she bleeds to death, all is for naught!"
She felt herself slipping in and out of reality, but focus slowly came back to a backdrop of low chanting. The lass felt stronger, though the pain itself was still unthinkable. They wiped a small form with cloths, and it began an odd gurgling, moaning cry. The crone took it from the acolytes and brought it to the girl.
"You have a son!" the old one proclaimed, pulling the bloody towel back to reveal mottled, splotchy skin. Yellow eyes. Tiny fangs. Fingers ending in tiny claws.
Exhausted, the new mother held out her arms, gratefully accepting the thing to her breast. Even as she felt the tiny fangs pierce her tender flesh, she revelled in the thought.
Heedless of the blood slowly dripping down her blouse, the girl stared dreamily at the tiny figure as she stroked its twisted head...
Posted on 2019-07-15 at 17:00:26.
Edited on 2019-07-15 at 17:15:06 by t_catt11
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 145/11 4043 Posts
Standing watch can be nervewracking. Moreno has pulled his fair share of hours staring into the wilds watching intently for potential hazards. Even in times of danger when the slightest shadow and the cracking of a twig in the distance causes a man's spine to coil, Gib has never felt this isolated. His companions are nearby, sure as he is always confident of Therassor's Will, but there is one who is out of reach and this gods forsaken mist amplifies his anxiousness at her absence.
How long has it been? Looking to the haze blanketed canopy, the warrior-priest squints and furrows his brow. Can't even make out the position of the—The bellow, distant as it is and barely discernable through its muffled volume, snaps his helmeted head back level with the landscape. Crossbow to shoulder his nostrils flare drawing in the unnaturally heated air with startling fury. Kith! His mind whirling with a tornado of thoughts, Gib plucks one from the maelstrom directly and acts upon it.
"Do NOT rush off!" he calls out to his companions and more directly to Ch'dau. "The survival of our friend likely depends on our ability to arrive in force, Therassor willing."
The last thing they needed right now is to have the party divide its numbers as the fastest of the group haul off into the night to face the unknown threat without the support of the less fleet of foot. But time is of the essence... Looking to Aranwen, he moves to their leader's commands hoping that they will arrive in time to be of assistance to the scout.
"Cedric, will Solanis bless us with light?" Though he hasn't seen it thus far, Moreno knows that some undead are pained by the sun. The thought is but a hope that the fighting priest tarries upon as he moves towards the very distant howl.
Posted on 2019-07-15 at 18:39:03.
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 455/28 7987 Posts
“What do you make of that, Little Kitten? Has it only been the screams or has there been giggling, as well?”
"No," Kithran whispered in reply, her senses keen on the direction from whence came the cries, "only the screams, but the laughter may not carry this far."
Aranwen and Gib approach as Ch’dau’s gaze makes a slow circuit of the remainder of the camp’s periphery; he acknowledges each warrior with little more than a blink as they pass in his vision. The kazari’s scan completed as Kith slinked nearer to the edge of the firelight…
"There is a distance between us, but I don't trust it, especially with our fire,” the shadowy syl murmured, “I would like to scout in that direction, just to be certain they are not headed our way. I am very silent and won't stray too far. Should I come back unscathed, we may be okay for the night with no need to wake the restful. However," she added in a flat, wry tone, "My screams shall be an early warning system and you should come running after me willy-nilly. What say you lot?"
I say no, the big kazari wanted to say. Kithran was the best and truest friend Ch’dau had ever had since washing up on Antaron’s shores and the thoughts of losing her to horrors the likes of which they’d faced since Crandel for the sake of a scouting mission was not something he cared to consider. On the other hand, as a warrior, he knew the value of such reconnaissance and, moreover, knew and trusted Kith’s skill in such matters. So it was that he swallowed the protest he wanted to voice and, instead, offered a curt nod of assent to the woman’s plan. “Fine,” he grumbled, his eyes flicking toward her for an instant, “but mind yourself, rrowka.” From the periphery of his vision, Ch’dau glimpsed Gib’s nod of concurrence and, not a moment later, kithran disappeared beyond the fringe of the campfire’s glow.
With each minute she was away, the kazari became more anxious. More than once, he had to force himself to refrain from plodding off in her wake and, more often than that, the man-cat found himself, chuffing and rumbling in agitation. Khr’a cradle her, Ch’dau silently prayed, Rrowl protect her, and… another disquieted snort… Back’chu’s balls, what’s taking so long!!!! The Silver Cat was a coiled spring restrained only by a Syl hair even before the distant roar sounded. When that howl reached him, though, his ears had scarecely perked and instantly flattened before he was set to tear off through the darkened wood. Had it not been for Gib’s admonition in that split second, Ch’dau might have very well succumbed to instinct as opposed to sense.
"Do NOT rush off!" the battle-cleric warned "The survival of our friend likely depends on our ability to arrive in force, Therassor willing."
The mere effort on staying still, in that moment, seemed enough to crush the kazari where he stood and, surely, it had stripped from him any mastery of Apanonese; his only response was a quavering snarl and gnashing of teeth as he forced himself to stay with the rest. As Gib looked to Aranwen for orders, Ch’dau’s gaze briefly followed. “Quickly, khatun,” he growled before his eyes were torn back in the direction of Kithran’s shout… I’ll not wait long…
((OOC: I actually decided to roll the dice to decide if Ch'dau didn't "scream and leap" ... Aaand here we are! The kazari is going "smart not heart" for the moment but is very close to doing his standard charge and chomp routine. He'll shoulder the halfling if he has to, but he's going pretty quick. ))
Posted on 2019-07-15 at 19:37:47.
Edited on 2019-09-27 at 07:29:03 by Eol Fefalas
Watching Kithran slip into the shadows of the forest, Aranwen is uneasy, holding back her instinct to call her back, or even accompany her, knowing her own ability to move quietly pales in comparison to his stealthy companion.
Waiting for Kith to return, the whole camp is on edge. Ch'dau pacing back and forth, mumbling his protestations about how long its been, the worry for his "Little Kitten" plain for all to see. Gib's concern for the rogue is apparent as well, his watchfulness is unparalleled. Cedric and Midge, as well, are clearly worried for their companion, at the ready for any sign.
The minutes tick by, seeming like hours there in the darkness, waiting for Kith to return. But silence reigns, as the pressure mounts, and Aranwen's mind turns to dark thoughts. Why so long? Something must be wrong...maybe she's in trouble and can't call out! How long should I wait? Have I waited too long already? Just as she is about to speak out and set off in search for Kith, a distant roar of battle splits the night. All 5 companions spring into action at the sound, but Gib finds his voice first "Do NOT rush off!" he calls out to his companions and more directly to Ch'dau. "The survival of our friend likely depends on our ability to arrive in force, Therassor willing." The eyes of all the party members look toward Aranwen for direction. The Kazari, barely able to hold back from rushing ahead alone, quietly growls "Quickly, khatun" clearly not willing to wait long for the Bladesinger's direction.
Aranwen's mind quickly takes stock of the situation and formulates a hasty plan of attack. "Gib and Ch'dau, you lead the way. Stay together but move quickly to find her." Looking toward Cedric and Midge, the Sylvari continues "You two follow them as fast as you can. I'll be right behind you, keeping rear guard." Everyone springs into motion. Gib looks toward Cedric "Will Solanis bless us with light?" Not waiting for an answer, the war priest moves off with Ch'dau in Kith's direction, closely followed by Cedric and Midge. Blade in hand, Aranwen takes up her position as rear guard, eyes roving the forest for any signs of danger. The light of the campfire quickly fades from view, and the darkness of the woods takes over. Why did I let her go off alone? Please let us get there in time!
Posted on 2019-07-17 at 07:54:41.
Edited on 2019-09-27 at 07:30:20 by Eol Fefalas
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 359/54 6714 Posts
nightmares brought to life...
The situation is dire, there are no two ways about it. Kithran is alone in the dark woods, with a likely pack of shamblers in front of her, a giggler between her and the party. Experience has been a stern teacher; none among the group save Aranwen have been able to resist the paralysis that these abominations inflict with their wounds. The little rogue knows full well that any lone individual would be taunting the Devourer in this situation.
Still, Kith did not reach where she is today by meekness, by giving up at the first sign of adversity. The rogue fires an arrow at the monstrosity, screaming a challenge, a warning as she does. The arrow does not fly particularly close - darkness and mist are not the best allies of ranged fighting - but it does seem to give the creature a moment's pause, giving the young woman an opportunity to rush at it.
At full sprint, she reaches out with a blade, opens up a gash along the creature's flank as she rushes past. The plan was to inflict damage, to knock the monster off balance, then to turn and fight from a position of balance, of readiness.
War, as they say, is a beautiful thing; plans and schemes are grand and wonderful... right until they meet the enemy.
Fast though she may be, the creature is prepared, and is deftly quick, himself. Heedless of the wound it received, the giggling monster rakes his filthy claws across the rogue's arm as she passes. Even as she pivots, turns to face her foe, Kithran can feel the icy clutch of the grave squeezing her heart, can feel her limbs begin to grow heavy.
Somehow, some way, the rogue finds a strength within that she did not know she possessed. Screaming in challenge, she readies herself, feels the suffocating grip on her heart begin to slowly release. A grin of fierce joy spreads across the rogue's face...
The impact from behind is an utter shock. The pain from the second monster's fithy claws being driven into her back is real. The despair as the ice returns in much stronger intensity is undeniable. As Kithran's body betrays her, her limbs refusing too respond, the little rogue feels anger at the unfairness of it all.
The ground rises rapidly up to meet her as Kithran falls, hard, face first onto the forest floor. With her head turned to the side, the scent of mud and decaying leaves in her nostrils, the giggling of the two monsters is maddening, inescapable. All of her efforts are for naught, for her body is no longer her own; not even a finger will twitch, try as she might to move it.
All sensation is fully intact; Kith can hear the giggling, can see the creatures and the forest floor, can feel the pain of her wounds and the racing of her heart, the drawing of her breath. She can feel her impending doom through the weight of the creature upon her back.
And then,the horror truly sets in as she feels the cold tongue slither across the back of her neck, feels her trousers being yanked down, hears the giggles change in pitch, in meaning. Suddenly, an honorable death in battle is hardly the worst fate she could have met. The abject terror she feels from the press of the cold flesh is indescribable, threatens to drive her sanity away.
A roar interrupts the giggles and the weight is suddenly gone from her back.
At Aranwen's query, Cedric nods and stammers. "Ye... yes, of course!" The young man prays earnestly, and light springs forth from the priest's staff.
The party moves quickly, in concert, towards the sound of their companion's scream. The wood is dark, treacherous, but the need is great. Another feminine scream follows, but is cut off in mid utterance.
"We are close!" Midge hisses in a stage whisper.
The party makes their way into a small opening, walks into the scene of a nightmare.
Kithran lies face down in the dirt with one of the gigglers squirming upon her back, and another standing over the two of them in a leering posture.
Ch'dau roars in hate brough to life, grabs the creature off of the rogue, launches himself forward. The monstrosity never fully understands what has happened, as it is driven into a tree trunk with a wet thump, then pinned in place by one of the Kazari's blades driven through its body and deep into the wood. The scene morphs into a fountain of blood, ichor, and rotted flesh as the beserked warrior rends with claw and tooth until the undead thing hangs in motionless tatters.
The second creature thinks to retreat, but Gib's bolt passes neatly through it's back and out of its chest. The momentum spins the monster around, where it is able to bear witness to Aranwen's blade whipping up and through its body, fountaining black blood as it slumps motionless to the ground.
Cedric ignores any threats, rushes to the side of the prone rogue. "She lives!" he exclaims, "she has the grip of the grave upon her, but she will recover when that loosens."
Any elation that may have been felt from that is quickly tempered by the fact that the the fight has not been quiet, and has attracted the attention of the zombies milling near the body that Kith had discovered. It would appear that the party may have found the horde reponsible for all of the footprints.... or rather, that the horde has found them, as numberous undead shuffle through the treeline, haded directly for the companions in a groaning wave.
Posted on 2019-07-17 at 13:22:44.
Edited on 2019-09-27 at 07:31:45 by Eol Fefalas
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 455/28 7987 Posts
"Gib and Ch'dau, you lead the way,” the Syl bladesinger ordered, mercifully not wasting any time in her decision, “Stay together but move quickly to find her." Looking toward Cedric and Midge, the Sylvari continued "You two follow them as fast as you can. I'll be right behind you, keeping rear guard."
"Cedric,” Gib queried even as he and the Silver Cat strode for the wood ahead, “will Solanis bless us with light?"
"Ye... yes,” the young cleric stammered, “of course!" A prayer from the young human brought a blaze of light forth from his staff and that alone was nearly enough to send Ch’dau storming ahead.
To his credit, though, the kazari kept stride with Moreno, knowing somewhere deep down that arriving alone would likely prove fruitless for both he and Kith in the end. The troupe moved quickly – though, at the same time, it felt as if they slogged through chest deep swamp-waters – and, soon enough, another feminine scream rended the night…
“We are close,” the cidal mage hissed beneath the eldritch light.
…No sooner had Midge uttered the words than the party emerged into a small clearing, and the sight that awaited them tore at the kazari’s heart and brain with wanton brutality. Kithran, face down in the dirt, her trousers tugged down past her knees, at the mercy of two of the giggling monstrosities; one squirming upon her back and the other looming over them in a ogling posture.
No… the big cat growled internally, though only a hateful snarl escaped his throat at the sight… NOOOOOO!!!! That last expressed itself as a roar of mindless rage and a burst of savage speed as Ch’dau launched himself forward, the others unable or unwilling to quell the cat-man’s fury.
He ignored the lurker, of course, and snatched the fetid creature from Kithran’s back. The thing had scarcely the time to squeak it’s surprise before Ch’dau had it smashed into the trunk of a nearby tree, pinned securely with a single blade through it’s rotting heart, and, with claw, fang, and animalistic fury, was rending the thing into sloppy ribbons of dripping gore, insuring that it would never desecrate another inch of anything. Before the impaled giggler had even stopped twitching, the enraged kazari, blood and flesh dripping from tooth and claw, turned on the other, ready to deliver the same judgement he had just wrought on the meat hanging from the tree. Between Gib and Aranwen, though, the second giggler had suffered a similar (if more merciful) fate…
Cedric, it seemed, had ignored any possible threats and, by the time Ch’dau had turned, was already kneeling by Kithran’s side. "She lives!" he exclaimed, "she has the grip of the grave upon her, but she will recover when that loosens."
…The pounding in the Kazari’s chest abated to some small degree, though the snarls and growls that emenated from his gore-soaked visage didn’t diminish. He stalked toward where his friend lay, attended by the priest, snarled, chuffed, heaved, and, in a flash of clarity, reached down to haul the willowy woman’s pants back up around her hips in order to cover the humiliation that had been done. Fix her, priest, were the words that he had intended to speak but rage and bloodlust had stripped any semblance of human language from his throat, so the words came out as little more than growls, snarls, and the clacking of blood-soaked teeth. The kazari had little time to correct his speech, though, as, even in his relief for Kithran still being alive and relatively unviolated, an unholy groaning snatched at his attentions and he, at last, turned to survey the clearing beyond wher they’d found her. A groaning wave of shamblers had been drawn by the sounds of battle and pressed ever closer.
“Take her,” Ch’dau snarled, unsure that the words even came out in a form that his human friends could interpret as he (somewhat reluctantly) left his post over Kith’s prone form and moved to rip his blade from the tree on which he had impaled the first giggler, “fix her!” he flicked the putrescent blood and gore from the blade and braced himself for the lumbering onslaught that descended upon them from the clearing. “I will hold these here!!!”
With that, the battle-mad kazari clanged his blades together, raised them above his head, and, even over the ringing of the struck steel, bellowed a roar into the night as a challenge… no… a threat… to the undead that approached.
((OOC: Just a fluff post, really. An enraged kazari's reaction to his best-friend being subjected to that sort of attack... couldn't help myself! I know we're still strategizing in the Q&A but, as I read Olan's last (again) this bit kind of congealed in my brain and I had to write it down! now, per the discussion in the Q&A, the big cat is still capable of (and will) follow orders if they're given. Thus, if it's decided that Ch'dau should carry Kith back to the camp - or, rather, stand over and protect her in the coming onslaught, he can be persuaded to do so... Just had to get this bit out before I lost it.  ))
Posted on 2019-07-17 at 18:59:43.
Edited on 2019-09-27 at 07:33:44 by Eol Fefalas
Raven Resident Finn RDI Staff Karma: 71/3 1068 Posts
Moar undead? Aaargh!!!
Another night, another rest cut short by the evil abominations. Those were not the thoughts on Cedric’s mind as he rushed with his friends towards the sound of fighting in the middle of the dark forest. Silently he cast a thought of thanks towards his fellow man of the cloth, Gib. His own mind had been such a mess after finally waking up from the deepest of slumbers he had experienced in a while that the thought of praying for a sliver of the Radiant Father’s powers had eluded him completely. Without the magical light, running across the roots and the undergrowth would’ve been impossible for him.
Running was something Cedric loved, but had had very little chance to do in the recent months. He enjoyed running along hunters’ trails through the forests of his home village. He loved inhaling the sweet smell of the oat fields as he jogged on the edges of the ditches running alongside them. Running to keep himself fit or just to enjoy the rural nature back home always made the priest happy. He knew some of villagers in Ashren considered their minister slightly mad because of his running. Simple people, much like himself, they couldn’t see why would anyone expend his energy by running for no apparent reason. Wasting energy meant wasting food and in Ashren there was never enough food to waste.
Now the cleric was running for quite another reason. His friend was in trouble and he knew exactly what the trouble was. They’ve had enough run-ins with the undead for Cedric to know what would happen if they didn’t reach Kithran in time…
Then he saw her, lying on the ground with two giggling monsters on top of her. Then, all of a sudden there was a loud, but familiar roar as a silvery feline form crashed into a giggling dark shape. Cedric somehow registered the presence of the other giggler very close to him, but he could not afford to stop and consider the threat it presented. The cleric certainly had faith in his god, but he also had faith in his companions. They would take care of the undead while he did what he could to do make sure Kith lived to see another day.
Dropping down on his knees beside the rigid body of the sylvari, Cedric was already praying for the merciful Solanis to spare Kith’s life. Around him the combat sounds died as fast as they had started and the cleric had barely had time to put his index and middle fingers softly on the woman’s neck in search for a pulse before Ch’dau was standing beside him holding a blade that was dripping black blood on the ground. The Kazari’s was still visibly shaking from rage and his words came out in a blurry mess Cedric could hardy make any sense of. ”She lives!”, he exclaimed to Ch’Dau and carried on praying.
As Kith was lying on her stomach, Cedric could see the deep wounds inflicted by the giggler’s terrible claws on her back. “Oh eternal and mighty Radiant Father grant your faithful servant some of your healing light, so that I may keep dear Kithran from the grasps of the unholy Devourer. Let us witness the wonder of your power!” As his fingers began to feel warmer and familiar glow of Solanis’ healing magic made the skin of his hand shine, Cedric wasted no time laying the hand on Kith’s back. He could feel the customary tingling in his fingers as the breath of divine magic flowed from the unworthy vessel that was his body into the already blackening wound.
Then it struck him! Perhaps it was the magical light or the healing spell or something else, but in Cedric’s mind it was definitely another blessing by the Blazing Star! Suddenly he knew exactly what the giggling monsters were. He could remember reading about them as he had studied the undead at the temple years ago. “Ghouls! The gigglers are ghouls! That’s why their attack causes paralysis… They’re ghouls!”
In the momentary revelation Cedric didn’t realise there was still a horde zombies intent on feeding on some warm flesh. Ch’dau’s grim command brought the young man to his senses. He cast a quick glance down the hill towards the clearing and reality caught up with him. The priest swallowed. “Yes. Of course… Midge, please help me lift her up!”
As the mage rushed to Cedric’s help and they managed to get back up carrying Kith between them, the priest thought of something and quickly turned to Gib. “The power of Solanis can help keep the zombies at bay, maybe even push them back. I wonder if that is the same for the Battle Lord? We must reduce the numbers or Ch’dau will find his spot in the Eternal Hunt!” Having said that, Cedric reached within his robe with his free hand and brought out the shining steel disk that was the holy symbol of Solanis.
Posted on 2019-07-18 at 16:13:07.
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 145/11 4043 Posts
Ghouls!?Why didn't I remember...? Time to berate oneself for the oversight is scarce. Groans and shuffling through dead leaves, moans and the cracking of branches; the danger is not over. Barely registering the care being administered to poor Kith, Gib gauges the distance between him and the approaching hoard. If there's enough time, he shoulders his crossbow and retrieves his sword, adjusting the shield back into a more comfortable position for defense. Lips pressed together grimly, Moreno steps forward as Ch'dau snarls, "Take her,” and leaves his post over Kith’s prone form. The Kazari moves to rip his blade from the tree on which he had impaled the first giggler and calls back, “fix her!”
Glancing to where the priest of Solanis and the Cidal mage struggled to heft the paralyzed scout, Gib misses the warrior flicking the putrescent blood and gore from the blade.
“I will hold these here!!!” With that, the battle-mad Kazari clangs his blades together, raising them above his head, and, even over the ringing of the struck steel, bellows a roar into the night as a challenge… no… a threat… to the undead that approaches.
"Therassor, Battle Lord, tonight we honor thee," Gib offers up in a calm and level tone that belies the anxious cold hand of death threatening to strangle his voice.
“The power of Solanis can help keep the zombies at bay," Cedric calls out, "maybe even push them back. I wonder if that is the same for the Battle Lord? We must reduce the numbers or Ch’dau will find his spot in the Eternal Hunt!”
"My thoughts exactly, friend Cedric," Moreno acknowledges, glancing towards Aranwen for confirmation, he then lifts his blade up before him brandishing the emblazoned holy symbol of his god towards the greatest concentration of zombies. "The Power of Therassor compels thee! Get thee GONE!"
As Aranwen steps out into the small clearing in the woods and observes the nightmarish scene before her, all rational and conscious thought leaves him as he allows himself to be lost in his battle trance. The Bladesinger goes into a deadly dance of death, her blade humming as she drives it upwards, slicing through the giggler standing over Kithran's unnaturally still form, barely noticing as Ch'dau rends the other monstrosity to pieces, pinning it to a tree, and as Cedric and Midge tend to Kith's wounds.
With the imediate threat taken care of, Aranwen now turns her attention to the approaching horde of shambling undead. After a brief interchange between the priests, Cedric retrieves the shining steel disk that serves as his holy symbol from within his robes, and Gib raises his sword before him and rebukes the undead, shouting "The Power of Therassor compels thee! Get thee GONE!"
As holy light begins to wash over the party, Aranwen is shaken from her battle trance, rational thought returning. Realizing that an all out fight with these monsters will likely end in the party being overrun, the Sylvari calls out "Good! Drive as many away as you can." Looking toward Ch'dau, who seems bent on charging into the midst of the zombies, Aranwen reaches out and touches his shoulder "My friend, we must get Kith out of here, to safety. You must take her! Go! Back toward the campsite. We will defend you!"
(OOC: Hopefully, Ch'dau will comply, freeing up our spellcasters to work their magic. I would like to take out as many zombies as possible, while retreating back toward the camp)
Posted on 2019-07-19 at 08:34:48.
Edited on 2019-09-27 at 07:36:09 by Eol Fefalas
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 359/54 6714 Posts
overrun in the dark...
Heedless of anything else, Cedric focuses solely on tending Kith's wounds. His prayers to Solanis do not go unanswered, and the worst of the rogue's injuries are miraculously improved.
Gib drops his crossbow and weilds his blade aloft, crying out to Therassor to turn the undead abominations. The Honored General likewise does not abandon his servant, and a huge swath of the shambling creatures fall back as if burned, fleeing from the might of the god.
Ch'dau pulls at his falcata, but the blade is buried deep in the tree trunk and will not budge. Without time to wrestle with it, he abandons the blade and scoops up the motionless form of Kithran, though distaste for withdrawal seems to radiate from his very fur.
Midge whips a stone through the night, where it connects solidly against the stomach of one of the rotters, though the abomination seems to not even notice.
And then, the zombies are upon you.
Cedric and Gib are both pummeled by the initial onslaught. The young man pulls his holy symbol aloft, commanding the undead to flee in the name of Solanis. Several do, but many more take their places.
The cleric of Therassor bashes with his shield, knocking a zombie back - but it cannot fall far due to the press of bodies.
Midge intones an incantation, steps up, and flames leap from his fingertips, setting three of the zombies ablaze. One collapses, but the two other press on, one delivering a punishing blow to the cidal.
Aranwen lays about with her blade, felling two of the undead.
The group gives ground, tries to stay cohesive, but the numbers of their foes are great. The moments that follow are tense, fraught with peril. Aranwen trips on an unseen root as she retreats, and is able to recover by the slimmest of margins before her blade touches the soil. Cedric is struck again, as is Aranwen. Gib fells another. After recovering, Aranwen wounds another greatly, but all told, it is all that the comanions can do to hold them off.
Meanwhile, Kith moans, begins to twitch a bit - feeling is beginning to return to her body.
Ch'dau has tried to not outpace hids companions by too much, to stay only far enough ahead to keep Kith safe, but it is obvious that his blades are sorely missed.
Posted on 2019-07-24 at 16:59:21.
Edited on 2019-09-27 at 07:37:28 by Eol Fefalas
She hadn’t expected to live through this encounter. Perhaps, perhaps she could have taken on one of these gigglers, but as her arm began to still despite her efforts, and more of the shambling corpses surrounded her, Kith knew it would be the end.
At least, she thought as she fell and these monsters moved in around her, at least they will have time to find safety.
As one of the giggling monstrosities mounted her, her mind begins to flee. The feel of that cold, rotting flesh on hers threatens to drive her to insanity. Though, that would have been better than anything she could experience in this hell. She attempted to focus the withering threads of her sanity before they slipped away from her completely. These demons may take her body, but her last thoughts would be of her brave compatriots. Of her fuzzy best friend.
Before the beast could take her, as if on cue a different beast’s roar filled the air and the weight on her disappeared. Elation, frustration, and fear all filled her as she heard the now familiar sound of a Kazari ripping a shambler to shreds. The clanging of armor and weapons on slawing flesh now replaced the eerie moans, and Cedric was beside her in a moment.
The priest was shouting something at the others while a warmth began to fill her wounds.
Despite that brief respite of hope, the groans of the undead begin to revitalize, growing louder once more, and her fear and frustration begin to overwhelm her senses.
They should have run, they should have left me here!
She wants to scream again. She wants to pull the shambler’s attention away from those fighting to save her life. She wants to sink her dagger into each and every one of their rotting skulls. But she can’t even grit her teeth at the frustration of being able to do absolutely nothing.
Kith is suddenly lifted effortlessly up by a retreating Kazari, leading her to believe now that things must be far worse than she had even imagined. She was also certain that this was not the way to join in the Eternal Hunt. She could almost feel the rage radiating off of her friend and knew he must be feeling this same thing.
If Ch’dau meant to take her to safety without straying too far from the rest, then the rest were not making much headway. Her dread and anger grew as she listened. Some shamblers fled from the light of the warrior priests, some of their companions groaned at the hits they were taking.
Kithran’s body suddenly twitched as it slowly began to come back to life. Pin-pricks scoured her body and she attempted to shout at Ch’dau to drop her and to go assist their compatriots, but all that came out was a low groan. She could not even scowl at him as an indication to toss her and go tear those things apart.
As it was, Kith could only wait for a release from this paralytic prison, listening to the shouts of pain and orders from her friends, her own rage building likewise inside her.
Posted on 2019-07-25 at 16:57:06.
Edited on 2019-07-30 at 17:52:25 by breebles