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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
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GM for this game: t_catt11
Players for this game: Raven, Bromern Sal, Eol Fefalas, Blackthorn, breebles, KDXArt
    Messages in The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
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Bromern Sal
A Shadow
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3817 Posts




The leader of the pilgrims shakes his head in what Gib registers as worn resignation, "We have traveled far, lost most of our supplies and a third of our number. They come at night—the restless ones. They never stop. They never tire."

He stops, and his gaunt face fixes as he stares into nothingness, "As bad as they are, the laughers are so much worse. They are cunning and merciless." He glances towards Kith. "And they seek the fairer sex... we have lost brothers, but all of our sisters were taken by them."

A snort escapes the cat, then, more derisive than the last and Gib can't help but wonder if the very sight of the Khazari warrior will set the poor priests off again. “Let them come,” Ch’dau snarls, “I grow weary of this endless slogging and would welcome a battle!” As would I, my friend, Gib acknowledges silently.

Midge moves forward and loudly states, "I’m not a priest who can heal your ails, however even I know that morale is a critical factor. I can do nothing for the weather, but most men feel better if they are clean. Perhaps that will lighten your step enough that you can take time to tell us of the trouble behind you." 

The halfling wizard moves closer to the traveler obviously intent on making good on his offering. Gib immediately recalls the magical cleaning and mending that his small friend has blessed them with throughout these past weeks and feels a generally kindness towards the little man for being so gracious.

The pilgrim shakes his head as Midge approaches from the middle of the adventurer's group, "We have tarried too long!" he wails. "We must go, with haste! The Blue Lady's blessings be on you all."

Disconcerting doesn't begin to cover the reception the Priest of Therassor has to his counterpart's words. They come at night—the restless ones. They never stop. They never tire. Dark words with a specific meaning veiled in the enigmatic telling that truly offers no insight relegating the battle priest to imaginative pondering. Blinking away the creeping feeling across his damp flesh, Priest Enderedre responds to the well-wishes with an instinctive prayer, "And may the Battle Lord guide your hand."

As the bedraggled contingent of Lysoran clergy shamble past, Gib turns about to meet the expressions of his fellows. Already burdened with an educated guess as to what the harried priest was referring to, he can only hope that they are prepared.

"This mist brings darkness to us early, my friends," Gib takes his gloved right hand and wipes it under his hooked nose to alleviate a tickle. "And from the report we just received, it would seem the undead travel with it. I know not what the laughing one could be but the others sound like the walking dead to me. Should the Honored General grant it, I may be able to turn some of their numbers away providing less that we need deal with until ready... if we are bese—"

The tattered group is perhaps thirty yards or so down the road when the giggling starts, interrupting the long-winded warrior priest and drawing his eyes past his companions. Curious, Gib frowns. Are the Laughing Ones infectious? Have the victims now become the very foe we must concern ourselves with? But he then realizes that the horrible cackle is, in fact, coming from beyond the Lysoran contingent; further into the mists that still grow.

“The cowards mock us,” Ch'dau growls softly and tears the hood away from his head with one hand as the other, still gripping the hilt of his falcata, begins to tug the blade free of its sheath. The Cat is already moving forward when Gib calls out, "I do not think it them, fierce Kazari!" Whether it is the priest's correction or self-realization that draws the Silver Cat up, Gib is unsure, but Ch'dau does stop his vengeful pursuit.

Now comes the moans—first, the moans of fear from the pilgrims, then the moans of several figures emerging from the dusk...Zombies, of that Gib is certain.

"It can't be" Arancon mumbles from his position on Gib's right as the first shadows close in on the pilgrim group. Startled by the bladesinger's sudden leap forward and the drawing of his longsword, the black-haired priest jerks to the side and drops his hand to the grip of his mace. No... a sword will better serve here, the priest of Therassor corrects his action and draws his own blade.

The pilgrims scream in panic. Their leader cries out, "Lysora save us, they have come!"

At that, a dark shape rushes from among the emerging figures, darting in amongst the scattering pilgrims who scream in terror.

“Lysora be damned,” the Kazari roared tearing the sickle-bladed falcata free and charging into the blooming fray, “it is Rrowl you need!!!”

Pressing his lips together in frustration at having immediately lost their two warriors in an unorganized charge, Gib calls to his Solanis counterpart, "Cedric, stay with Midge and Atharis and see if the God of Light can lessen the press of those zombies!"

Rushing after his warrior friends, sword and shield in hand, Gib also calls to the halfling wizard, "Cold will have no effect on these creatures, Midge!" He knows not whether the little man was planning on using any cold-based magic, but he thought it best to enlighten the mage before he finds out for himself that it is ineffective.



Posted on 2018-07-27 at 17:41:02.
Edited on 2018-07-27 at 18:20:30 by Bromern Sal

PrincessAli
Ody Fan
Karma: 54/39
1117 Posts




By some far-off God's grace, the approaching group turned out to only be a ragtag group of human men. Kithran kept her guard up, but let out a small sigh of relief.

The leader of the group--a man bearing a stringy, dirty beard--called out as they approached. "Block not our path! We cannot tarry here, not with what stalks this road at night. We seek the blessed shrine of Lysora in the Taverton wood; we dare not stop, lest we never reach it." His voice sounded as though he gargled glass. Kithran wondered when the last time this man and his companions had had water was, but he fixed the group with a baleful gaze and continued: "You would do well to be off this road come nightfall. They are coming. They never rest!"

The collective groan that went up sent the hairs that had begun to settle on the back of Kithran's neck standing up again. What monstrosities waited for nightfall? Surely the man's warning had something to do with the sounds, the shadows, the unease the mist had brought with it. It couldn't be merely coincidence.

Gib spoke up: "Sir. Kind sir. Who are They and pray tell, what has befallen you? What should we be prepared for? Please, stop and share your knowledge with us that we may not fall prey to the unknown of which you infer."

Kithran didn't expect the man to reply, so she was surprised when the scraggly human actually answered. "As bad as they are, the laughers are so much worse. They are cunning, and merciless." For a brief moment, his eyes met Kithran's. Instinctively, her hands grasped her weapons. "And they seek the fairer sex... we have lost brothers, but all of our sisters were taken by them."

Comforting. It seemed that whatever peril lied after nightfall would have particular interest in her. Despite wanting to appear as collected as ever, Kithran took a small step in Ch'dau's direction. She could defend herself, but it wouldn't hurt to have her monstrous companion at her back should trouble arise.

The pilgrim shook his head and announced their departure, his group continuing their way away. Kithran's eyes were trained on their retreating forms. A giggle broke the mist and was quickly followed by more. Her hands tightened now and Kithran pulled her blades free when the screaming began. "Lysora save us, they have come!"

Whatever the pilgrims had encountered, it seemed to be ripping them apart. Kithran's knuckles were white as she scanned their figures, looking for the cause. There. A shape, dark and unknown, darted amongst the pilgrims. They scattered in terror, continuing to scream. As Kithran moved to step closer to her companions, Ch'dau let out a roar. "Lysora be damned, it is Rrowl you need!" And with that, whatever protection Kithran might have wished for from him was gone as the kazari went charging towards the apparent battle. Arcanon was alongside him, both focused on whatever was attacking the pilgrims.

Kithran swore. There went Gib, charging to combat as well. Could they have not at least spoken a handful of words of strategy? The pilgrims warning still echoed in her mind as she hovered with the casters for a moment, deciding. Then she gripped her daggers tighter and darted forward, worries be damned.

"Remember their warning!" Kithran hissed loudly, falling into step behind their front line. "I am not ready to be snatched away just yet."

She tried to get exact eyes on their enemy, determining how many and which posed the most risk to herself. Ideally, Kithran intended to strike in tandem with whichever of her companions engaged in combat closest to her. She did not have the raw strength the others may possess, but if one of her companions went high and distracted their enemy, it would give Kithran a chance to go low and attack from the flank.



Posted on 2018-07-27 at 18:34:10.

Oz_Magiccity
Newbie
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4 Posts




Atharis does his damndest to hide his fright, clenching his fist as he holds fast beside Midge.

“What ghoulish terror could this be to cause such fear in so many men….”

His eyes can’t help but wander towards the sound of the screaming pilgrims, he begins to ponder spells and useful magic, summoning a ball of flame into his hand his stands ready for whatever terror may come.



Posted on 2018-07-27 at 18:34:43.

GrinNoCat
Newbie
Karma: 1/0
11 Posts


Stand Ready!

I do not know friend Atharis, [with a little laugh] but apparently our pet monster does!  He said, "No cold magic" and that's a little disturbing.  See if you can't use that little flame to make a larger one - I can use that later.  Best to prepare a defense now though.

[Quietly Chanting, and boldly thrusting his hand, palm forward, in the direction of the screams]  Between thee and me, a shield there be!  {Shield v3p808 - 1 mana}

[He then drops a few round river stones to the ground around him and grips his sling-staff in both hands - lacross style!.  Now ready to attack with it, or let go to cast his next spell as the situation develops]

Hopefully, they have gotten used to how weak these refugees are and our martial friends will be a big suprise.  It would be nice to reverse the initiative and get the drop on them!

 



Posted on 2018-07-27 at 22:23:21.

bvberry
Occasional Visitor
Karma: 2/0
34 Posts




After the attack, Cedric wants to try turning undead if he is close enough. Move closer if needed.

Cedric is horrified at the carnage. "By the Radiant Father, what is it?"

[Also, try to use undead knowlege to identify the creatures.]

Cedric readies his staff.

 



Posted on 2018-07-28 at 11:20:27.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 346/54
6103 Posts


Time to mix it up, yo

Ch'dau and Arancon rush forward, both deftly sidestepping the fleeing forms of the half-starved pilgrims.  Fortunately, it seems that the attackers are, if possible, even less spry than the travel-weary pilgrims. For a moment or two, it looks as if the Lysorans may be able to break free. As they frontline fighters of the party slip past the first few pilgrims, the mist opens momentarily. 

Revealing a scene from a nightmare.

The flesh of the attackers is a pale, greenish-gray - where it still remains whole. In many places, skin and flesh alike hang loose or are missing entirely, revealing bone underneath. The eyes are wide and empty, staring vacantly (provided that the eyes are not missing altogether); yet somehow, you instinctively know that these abominations can see quite clearly.  Two of them have firm grasps on wailing pilgrims, and wordlessly, the kazari and the bladsinger split up to save the afflicted.

Then, the true terror reveals itself.

One creature seems to be in much better physical condition than the others. Where the majority seem to be slow, awkward, animated corpses shuffling along... this one is different. It appears to be a twisted mockery of a human, but it does not seem to be in the same state of decay as the others. It grins broadly, revealing a mouth full of crooked fangs, then begins giggling in a maniacal fashion as it leaps among the terrified pilgrims. It rends about with claw and fang, and every person it touches either falls to the damp ground or freezes in their tracks altogether.

As the melee is joined, you find yourselves outnumbered - there are a solid dozen of the creatures that Gib correctly recognizes as zombies.

Initially, these provide little resistace; Ch'dau drivs one falcata through the chest of a zombie and sweeps his second blade across its throat, nearly decapitating it.  Arancon, now fully in battle trance, sings his wordless melody as he dances among the carnage.  The bladesinger easily sidesteps a clumsy swipe from a walking corpse, then ripostes and drives his blade through the creature's rotting brains.

Gib raises his blade aloft, and calls out to Therassor to come to the aid of the party, to drive these undead from the field.  When he does so, a few of the creatures do turn and run.

Kith takes her opportunity to flank a zombie threatening Ch'dau, driving both of her blades deeply into its flesh.  Midge finishes an incantation, creating a physical wall of worce betwen himself and any would-be attackers. 

And then, the press of numbers begins to work in the favor of the undead.  A blow bounces off of Gib's shield, but another strikes him from behind.  Arancon deflects the attack of another - at the loss of its hand.  Kith pulls back from a grasping attack, only to find herself ironically flanked as she is struck hard from behind. 

Ch'dau fends off an attack, rending another zombie nearly in two, but hears the gigling too late as teeth and fangs sink into his forearm.  Instantaneously, the kazari can feel a dank, unholy chill creep into his very bones - then suddenly, he is unable to move or act!

Initially, Cedric has hung back with the spellcasters, but as he sees the tide beginning to turn, he moves forward.  Holding his holy symbol aloft, he cries out for Solanis to turn the undead from their course - and the Lord of Light sees fit to drive several more from the field.

Arancon fights his way towards the immobilized form of Ch'dau, and rakes his blade along the flank of the giggling monstrosity.  The strike spins the creature around, and it fixes the bladesinger with yellow eyes and flicks its tongue at him.  It leaps, raking its claws along his forearm, then rushes away into the mist.  The sylvari feels the unhaoly chill enter his own body, but it is a passing distraction at most; the pain of the filthy claws is far worse than the old coldness, and he is able to continue the fight without difficulty.

One of the zombies shambles after the fleeing pilgrims, presenting the spellcasters with a shot.  Midge is deadly accurate with a bullet from his sling, and an instant later, a pair of energy bolts fly from the fingertips of Atharis, where they bury themselves into the damaged zombie, causing it to topple to the ground.

Meanwhile, Arancon, Gib, and Kithran are able to cut down the remaining attackers, and suddenly, the only noises left are those of the moans of the wounded pilgrims.

The fight is over.

 



Posted on 2018-07-30 at 18:03:44.
Edited on 2018-07-30 at 18:12:25 by t_catt11

Bromern Sal
A Shadow
RDI Staff
Karma: 144/11
3817 Posts




Breathing heavily from both the effort and the pain inflicted upon him, Gib's gaze rolls across the field assessing the situation and determining that the enemy has been defeated or forced into retreat. How many zombies were sent scurrying? he wonders, concerned about their return as he attempts to determine what damage has been done that he might treat or implore the Mighty General for a miracle of healing upon. Wiping the ichor from the battle off his blade onto the wet grasses, he uses his cloak to then dry the weapon before sheathing it.

"Keep an eye out for any that might think better of their retreat and return for more, if you will," Gib calls to Midge and Atharis.

His fellows are well enough despite the great cat's inability to move. Some small injuries, it would seem, but the priest is leary nonetheless. He is well aware that some undead can cause disease with a touch or inflict curses and other maladies, so his concern isn't complete abated yet.

Gib makes his way back to where he dropped his pack and winces as he scoops it by a strap to return to his shoulder. I will definitely have to ask Cedric to look at that and see if it is just bruising or if there is more to concern myself with. Turning his attention to the Lysorans, Gib moves among them applying what aid he can. Reading the Rites of the Dead is the purview of the shepherds for this flock, unless there are none remaining alive. If that's the case, the warrior priest feels such rites better left to his counterpart as there was no battle given by these poor pilgrims and they would not find a place within Therassor's Halls even if Gib performed the rite.

Once he has finished assisting what Lysorans that he can, Gib turns his attention to his friends. If Cedric has not yet done so, the cleric moves to inspect Kith, Ch'dau, and Arancon.

"I realize that these past days have been stale," he begins as he approaches his warrior friends, "but, perhaps, in the future, we might at least strategize a little before rushing into battle. Like we did when bringing justice to those bandits? That would be most appreciated."

Gib has found that it is best not tread upon warrior's pride when chastising them. 

"Now," the cleric clips once he finishes inspecting his companion's wounds and focuses on the last remaining Lysorans. "How far is it to your destination and will you truly be safe there?"

Would we as well? Rest is going to be needed sooner rather than later, he wonders.



Posted on 2018-07-30 at 18:27:56.
Edited on 2018-07-30 at 18:30:58 by Bromern Sal

Eol Fefalas
Turning Capashanese
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7299 Posts


...

The kazari beast leapt into battle and, while exceedingly pleased to be free of the endless monotony of the march, also, regretted his boredom fueled impetuousness almost instantly. As he sidestepped the scattering Lysoran’s and waded into fight the mists parted and revealed the true horror of what he faced…

These dead are… already dead, he realized with no small amount of shock even as he drove a blade through the gut of one of them and, simultaneously, relieved it of it’s head, What sorcery is this?!

…He flicked the remains of that first vanquished foe from his blades even as he set upon the next but, even as he closed on the monstrosity of twice-dead meat, couldn’t help but recall the horrors he’d seen in Sendria and, given their proximity to that vile place, couldn’t help but think that that closeness must have something to do with the corrupted corpses he now found himself facing. It was in this moment that he realized that, in his battle-lust, he had forgotten about his dear Kith. Even as his closed on his next target, he let his gaze flick away to search for the girl, the tip of his tail flicking in a fractional instant of happiness and relief as he spots her gutting another of the unholy terrors that had sought to flank him. Praise the claws of Rrowl, he thought, as he forced his gaze to let her go and return to the next rotting horror descending upon him, I should never forgive myself were they to take you, little kitten.

With another roar, driven by battle-frenzy and anger at himself for not having assured the thief’s safety by charging off so rashly, he fends off the damned creature’s attack and, in retribution, hews the thing in two with the next swipe of his blade. Knowing that Kith was close, now, the snarling cat was set to turn on the next rotting foe, then, but had made the mistake of losing sight of the chitterer, only to realize, too late, that the thing was already upon him. A sharp pain shot up his arm where tooth and claw had sunk into his flesh and, a scant breath later, a malevolent, fusty chill spread as quickly through his body as had his bloodlust only moments ago. He tried to fight it, of course, but, the more he did, the quicker it seemed to spread and, in an impossibly short time, the big kazari found himself unable to blink, let alone move or fight. He was frozen stiff in the heat of battle and it both terrified and infuriated him. Rrowl was not the sort of deity to respond to pleas for protection on the field and so, as Ch’dau fought against the unnatural immobility inflicted upon him, he sent a silent prayer out to his war-god that his companions fight honorably and their blades strike true… And, should it look futile, Kithran, you run and think nothing of how I might be prone say it will dishonor you.

As futile as he knows prayers to his god to be, and as frustrated as it made him to bear still witness to the end of the battle raging about him, the Silver Cat cannot help but be relieved that the encounter ended in his party’s favor. Between the battle prowess of his martially inclined companions and the spells available to those of less war-like vocation, the rotting soldiers and their giggling leader are quickly enough vanquished. He still fought against the strange stiffness that had befallen him but, at the same time, took some bit of peace in the knowledge that Kith was safe and his other friends, too, had come through the fray with little more than scratches and bruises. Still immobile but able to feel the cursed rigidity, slowly seeping from him, Ch’dau watched as Gib and Cedric tended the Lysoran wounded, fighting all the while to hurry along his return to this damnable stone-state… I’ve not felt this helpless since I was but a cub at my dam’s teat, he growled behind an unmovable jaw, I dislike it!

Soon enough, the rigor afflicting the Capashan beast’s body begins to diminish and, though it aches and pains to do so, Ch’dau forces himself to move, snarling in frustration and, perhaps, some bit of pain as he, at last, manages enough range of motion to flick away the gore that still clung to his blades. A rumbling, angry growl follows as the kazari manages to lift a foot and bring it down hard on the head of the half-rotted corpse nearest him, grunting with some petty satisfaction as the skull crumpled and cracked under his toes. Growling at the effort it takes to do so, he wipes his blades off on the tattered remnants of his fallen enemy’s clothes before sheathing them. As he rose stiffly to his feet, he great blinking eyes sought out Kithran and, again, the tip of his tail flicked happily at seeing that she was well. Any words he might have been prepared to speak to her, though, were set aside when Gib’s admonition reached his ears…

"I realize that these past days have been stale," he begins as he approaches his warrior friends, "but, perhaps, in the future, we might at least strategize a little before rushing into battle. Like we did when bringing justice to those bandits? That would be most appreciated."

… “Quite,” Ch’dau answered, dipping his head by way of acknowledging the mistake he’d made, “My apologies, friend Gib. I should have known better.”

Thumbing the blood from the scratches and punctures on his arm, then, the kazari’s eyes find the party’s rouge, and his feet aren’t far behind in getting the big cat to her side. He licks the blood from his paws before resting them on her lithe shoulders and pulling her closer in something akin to an embrace. “I’ll not leave you at such a disadvantage, again, either, little kitten,” he purred softly enough for only her to have heard, “I owe you more than this, yes?”

((OOC: Room here for anything from Kith, be it a short conversation or a simple rolling of the eyes, a playful swat, and a “stupid kitty!” Up to the Princess.

Assuming that anything following this brief interaction between Kith and Ch’dau coincides with Gib asking the Lysoran’s about their destination, etc… Ch’dau will stick close to his little thiefy buddy and, otherwise, follow whatever orders are given/decided upon between Arancon and Gib. Backposts and such as necessary of course.))



Posted on 2018-07-30 at 20:20:11.
Edited on 2018-07-30 at 20:50:57 by Eol Fefalas

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 346/54
6103 Posts




After the battle ends, Gib seeks out the leader of the pilgrims.  The bearded man is staggering; if you had to hazard a guess, you would suspect that he has at least a couple of broken ribs.  He fares better than several of his companiions, however - two own deep gouges in their flesh, thanks to the claws of the giggling monstrosity, and three more lie dead.  Only a half dozen pilgrims still live... if one could call their half-starved, shambling existence "life".

 "How far is it to your destination," the claric of Therassor asks, "and will you truly be safe there?" 

The bearded pilgrim shakes his head.  "The Shrine is perhaps three days' journey from here.  Will we be safe?  Only the gods can say.  This is good country, the roads under King Jarom's rule have always been safe.  But in these times?  Who can say?  The road ahead must be safer than the road behind us.  All we can do is have faith... and keep moving."

The fixed gazes of the three bodies on the ground stare into the dusky sky and mock the simplicity of the holy man's words.




Posted on 2018-07-30 at 23:00:44.

Blackthorn
Regular Visitor
Karma: 8/0
71 Posts


Aftermath

After dispatching the last of the zombies, Arancon takes in the carnage surrounding him. Rotting corpes are strewn about the battlefield, mostly the fallen zombies, but a few of the pilgrim victims are among them. He frowns at the senseless waste of life, wishing he had been faster, holding himself responsible for their deaths.

Arancon sees Gib helping the surviving pilgrims, and he is satified that the warrior priest has things in hand. Turning his attention to Ch'dau, whose body was rigid from the touch of that laughing fiend, a worried look turns to relief as he sees that the big cat has only sustained a few superficial wounds. And the paralysis seems to be slowly leaving him, as Arancon notices a slight movement and a growl of effort escape from his friend's lips. Placing a reassuring hand on Ch'dau's shoulder, Arancon smiles and says "Don't worry, my friend, together we will battle this evil that has come forth. We will find that laughing demon and end him!"

With that, Ch'dau begins freeing himself more and more from the grip of paralysis. Gib, apparently satisfied with the condition of the remaining pilgrims, comes over and says "I realize that these past days have been stale, but, perhaps, in the future, we might at least strategize a little before rushing into battle. Like we did when bringing justice to those bandits? That would be most appreciated."

Ch'dau now moving about more and more, answers “Quite. My apologies, friend Gib. I should have known better.”

Arancon's face takes on a more serious look "I am sorry, my friend. But there was no time to discuss tactics in this situation!" He points to the three fallen pilgrims near them "As it was, I was not fast enough to save THEM. How many more would lie dead if we had delayed when the time came for action?" The serious look on his face softens as Arancon sighs and says "But you are right, rushing headlong into danger could have gotten one of us killed. We were lucky to have escaped relatively unscathed." 

Gib begins inspecting the wounds on his companions, cleaning and bandaging them as needed. Then, addressing the pilgrim leader, he asks  "How far is it to your destination, and will you truly be safe there?"  

The bearded pilgrim shakes his head.  "The Shrine is perhaps three days' journey from here.  Will we be safe?  Only the gods can say.  This is good country, the roads under King Jarom's rule have always been safe.  But in these times?  Who can say?  The road ahead must be safer than the road behind us.  All we can do is have faith... and keep moving."

Addressing the pilgrim leader, Arancon asks "How long has it been since these fiends first started attacking? Have you any idea where they may have come from or what could have provoked these attacks? Perhaps something strange occurred just before the attacks started?"



Posted on 2018-07-31 at 08:01:21.
Edited on 2018-07-31 at 08:18:23 by Blackthorn

Oz_Magiccity
Newbie
Karma: 1/0
4 Posts




Atharis stands in dismay at the sight of the destruction, his ears ringning with the sounds of the recently deceased.

He looks to his companions and is reassured to know that everyone is relatively unscathed.

Gib approches and shouts "Keep an eye out for any that might think better of their retreat and return for more, if you will," , Atharis looks to Midge with a nod and begins to walk to perimeter of the battlefield, squiting his gaze past the mist to ensure the partys safety.

Atharis speaks to Midge in a somber tone, "One can only hope we never have to see such malign horrors again, I dread this may only be the beginning of something far worse."

Gib begins inspecting the wounds on his companions, cleaning and bandaging them as needed. Then, addressing the pilgrim leader, he asks  "How far is it to your destination, and will you truly be safe there?"  

The bearded pilgrim shakes his head.  "The Shrine is perhaps three days' journey from here.  Will we be safe?  Only the gods can say.  This is good country, the roads under King Jarom's rule have always been safe.  But in these times?  Who can say?  The road ahead must be safer than the road behind us.  All we can do is have faith... and keep moving."

Addressing the pilgrim leader, Arancon asks "How long has it been since these fiends first started attacking? Have you any idea where they may have come from or what could have provoked these attacks? Perhaps something strange occurred just before the attacks started?"

The unsightly shells of the dead strewn about the road and the near lifeless eyes of the few living pilgrims tell Atharis that dark and iniquitous forces are at power here, he envys Gib's abillity to remain so about his wits in the wake of such wicked horror.



Posted on 2018-07-31 at 12:50:02.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
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Karma: 346/54
6103 Posts


pilgrims, more

Addressing the pilgrim leader, Arancon asks "How long has it been since these fiends first started attacking? Have you any idea where they may have come from or what could have provoked these attacks? Perhaps something strange occurred just before the attacks started?"

The bearded man blinks three times, his gaze unfocused.  He takes so longer to asnwer that the bladesinger begins to worry that he has perhaps lost conciousness, yet remained on his feet.  But answer he does, in a choked voice. 

"We have endured this for four nights, now.  Once, twice a night.  They come, they kill, they take." A sob escapes his gaunt frame. 

"What provoked this, I cannot say.  We had hoped that reaching Crandel would end this, but it seems as bad here as it did on the road to the west."

The pilgrim leader is shaking with emotion.  "We are simple folk!  We seek only to honor the Blue Lady!  We have harmed no one, taken nothing, done nothing unsuual at all!  We stick to the road, camp at night, eat the food we brought with us.  Why would these monsters trouble our path?"

Another sob escapes him.  "You will excuse us now, please.  We thank you for your aid, truly.  But we must pray over our fallen.. and Lysora forgive us, we must leave them.  We have not the strength to dig holes or gather stones, and hve learned the cruelty of or enemy - if we tarry to dig, we may as well lie down in the holes with them, for our doom is sealed.  We will not survive another attack.  Our only chance is to get as close to the Shrine as we can, and hope that their attention is diverted for long enough for us to escape their notice."

He moved away from the party, and the survivin pilgrims move to pray over their dead comrades.



Posted on 2018-07-31 at 15:15:26.

bvberry
Occasional Visitor
Karma: 2/0
34 Posts


Our duty

Cedric asks, "Is anyone hurt that could use the ministratations of a cleric?"

Cedric is horrified at the carnage and calls on the Solanis to steady himself.

"Was anyone take by the creatures? I think these people need our help."

Cedric moved from person to person checking for injuries.

"Are these creatures following these people? Or is it a local phenomena?"



Posted on 2018-08-01 at 09:25:03.
Edited on 2018-08-01 at 11:02:55 by bvberry

Eol Fefalas
Turning Capashanese
RDI Staff
Karma: 448/28
7299 Posts


Of the Unworthy

His apologies rendered, Ch’dau releases Kith from his grip and allows his attentions to turn back to the others. As expected, Gib, Cedric, and Arancon are moving among the pilgrims, tending the wounded and asking questions of their leader…

“How far is your destination,” Gib’s voice reached the kazari’s ears first, “and will you truly be safe there?”

“The shrine is perhaps three days from here,” the pilgrim’s leader replied, continuing on with no small amount of ambiguity as to his party’s potential safety. “The road ahead must be safer than the road behind us,” he surmised in the end, “All we can do is have faith… and keep moving.”

Arancon followed up the cleric of Therassor’s inquiries with his own, then; “How long has it been since these fiends first started attacking? Have you any idea where they may have come from or what could have provoked these attacks? Perhaps something strange occurred just before the attacks started?”

The bladesinger’s line of questioning seems to pluck at the frail priest’s emotions more than Gib’s had. “We have endured this for four nights, now,” he began in a choked voice, continuing on to summarize the assaults he and his followers had endured. By the end of his reply, the pathetic wretch was shaking and his sobs were scarcely controllable; “We are simple folk!  We seek only to honor the Blue Lady!  We have harmed no one, taken nothing, done nothing unusual at all!  We stick to the road, camp at night, eat the food we brought with us.  Why would these monsters trouble our path?”

Because you are weak, the Silver Cat managed not to snarl aloud, and the weak are easy prey! Unable to stomach much more of the moans and groans that ululated from the Lysorans, Ch’dau turned away, a low growl trapped somewhere between his chest and throat, and pulled his hood back over his head as he stalked a few paces up the road, leaving the sniveling priest’s final words at his back...

((OOC: I’m assuming there will be some discussion amongst our own party, here, as to what aid we might/will provide them. Ch’dau will skulk silently on the edges of that particular conversation, however it unfolds, until… ))

“…I think these people need our help,” Cedric stressed.

“Let them help themselves,” Ch’dau rumbled, the repressed growl tinging his words as he swipes a paw dismissively in the direction of the disheveled group of priests, “They haven’t the courage or honor to bury their own dead and they flee from battle like scared rabbits! Even if we were to escort them, should another attack come, they’d likely skitter right into the jaws of their doom!”

The kazari’s growling had risen along with his irritation and, in that instant, very nearly escaped from behind his pointed teeth… but not quite… Instead, it came out as yet another derisive snort as the big cat’s eyes tore away from the sobbing adherents of the Blue Lady. “Besides,” he added, trying to tamp down his frustration as he gestured in the direction of the party’s mages, “Atharis and the little one are expected in Crandel by their order… In hours, not days… That is where our duty lies.”



Posted on 2018-08-01 at 11:10:21.
Edited on 2018-08-01 at 11:33:42 by Eol Fefalas

PrincessAli
Ody Fan
Karma: 54/39
1117 Posts




When the battle did begin, Kithran did her best to stay within reach of her companions. The odds were not favorable, but some luck was on their side: their foes were slow, seemingly driven by simple desires rather than deep thought and strategy. But then the mists seemed to clear slightly and her eyes fell on the source of the hideous laughter. Kithran noted the fangs, the superior condition when compared to its companions. Those crooked fangs parted as it continued its giggling and Kithran tightened her grip on her weapons as time resumed its proper rythm.

As the battle commenced, Kithran did her best to avoid attacks and stay with the others. At one point, she watched one of the shambling zombies move to strike Ch'dau and she seized her opporotunity. The cut of her daggers through rotten flesh released an unpleasant odor, but she gritted her teeth and continued the fight. She nodded to Ch'dau, the hint of a smile on her face, before she moved to continue the fight.

In the heat of battle, her focus on her companions proved a bit too forefront. One of the zombies lunged for her and Kithran managed to pull away, realizing too late some of the creature's companions had flanked her. One of them struck her, hard, and Kithran let out a quiet curse. She regained her composure and managed to slay her attackers, losing herself to the rush of combat. A flurry of movement draw her eye and Kithran saw, too late, the giggling fiend attack Ch'dau and Arcanon move to deal with the creature. Momentarily forgetting her strategy to fall back and strike with the others, Kithran dove into combat. Her anger at watching her friend fall victim to that monstrosity and being unable to stop it drove her blades home. She was able to cut down the rest of the shambling enemies, her strikes finding purchase in their rotted flesh.

Before she really realized what was happening, the last zombie was slain and the giggling had ceased. The party was alone with the pilgrims (or at least, what lived of the pilgrims) once more.

Gib and Cedric approached in time, but Kithran brushed off their concerns. She was sore and no doubt the flesh of her back where the foe's blow had landed was mottled and ugly, but no real damage had been done. When they did step aside to tend to the others, her dark eyes searched for the familiar looming furry figure only to meet his. Kithran flashed another ghost of a smile as Gib spoke up.

"I realize that these past days have been stale," he began as he approaches his warrior friends, "but, perhaps, in the future, we might at least strategize a little before rushing into battle. Like we did when bringing justice to those bandits? That would be most appreciated."

Ch'dau and Arcanon's apologies followed quickly, Kithran keeping her own response to herself. The dull throbbing in her back might sharpen her words unnecessarily and bickering would do no one any good. Kithran again looked to her kazari companion as he came to her side. She stiffened slightly when he reached for her, but allowed the strange embrace. Had one of the others tried, they might have been able to see just how sharp she kept her blade, but Kithran had a soft side for Ch'dau. “I’ll not leave you at such a disadvantage, again, either, little kitten,” he purred softly enough for only her to have heard, “I owe you more than this, yes?”

"It was not so terrible," Kithran shook her head at his concern. "I'll have a nasty bruise, but I am here, yes? I should worry more for you. That creature's attack..." She trailed off and her gaze fell to his injured arm. A deep scowl came over her features. Kithran said no more on the subject as she felt uncomfortable expressing her worry when their other companions could overhear, but her expression remained troubled.

"I am glad the effects were not permanent."

At this, she turned her attention back to the pilgrims and the leader's conversation with Gib. Three days' travel. Kithran doubted they would make it, given the extent of their injuries and their three dead companions in the dust. Arcanon took up the questioning from there, pressing the pilgrim leader for more answers. Kithran was not surprised when the man began to lose his composure. Uncomfortable with the sobbing, Kithran was suddenly very interested cleaning her blades. She caught Ch'dau's departure and considered distancing herself, but remained as she knew what would come next.

"These men will die without blades to protect them," Kithran noted, her voice flat. The words held no disgust or worry; rather, she stated it as fact. "They have already died."

She replaced her daggers in their holsters and folded her arms across her chest, her eyes slowly sliding over each of her companions before cutting in the direction Ch'dau had stormed off in. "There will be guilt if we allow them to leave without protection."

((OOC: I also assume there will be some discussion. Kith has said about all she will unless directly addressed.))



Posted on 2018-08-01 at 12:10:27.

   


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