Malice had issued her only warning, and as Silvara channeled an offensive spell, and Zorana searched for a key Malice knew they had not taken her up on it.
Malice moved with incredible speed backing up twenty feet inhaling a great breath of chilled air; and when her chest was puffed till it seemed her lungs would explode, she let loose a great cone of cold from her mouth, the breath weapon fanning out as it covered the distance between her and her opponents. (Malice wins initiative)
Silvara noticed the incoming cone, and dove off to the side caught only by the edge of the incredibly powerful blast. (Silvara 18/ 38 hp) Zorana however, so focused on retrieving the key did not have time to move from the blast, and took the full brunt of the blow, the icy chill burned in its frigid power, and froze the very blood in her veins as she was covered in a thin layer of frost, her breath no longer drawn in noticable exhalations, only mere wisps indicative of the faintest of life.
(Zorana -5/42 hp)
"Foolish mortals, you dare to challange ME!" Malice's words were spoken as a rhetorical statement, not a question, as though the mere notion of it was absurd.
"Fine, you two shall be the first to decorate my glacial garden, and serve as warning to those foolish enough to try and oppose my power!"
(Silvara has an action right now, and I'll allow her to change her action given what's transpired. You still have your Kelgore's Fire bolt as it's only used when you actually strike with it channeled. I know it seems like I'm picking on you ladies, but I'm not! I still loves ya!!!)
The small cloth glided over the length of her blade, and left its steel shimmering excitedly in the dark. It seemed almost alive in Aelistae’s hands, feeding on the nervous energy that churned inside her while she waited for night to fall.
And then finally it did. And Aelistae sang.
There were no words to the song. No particular pattern to the music. But Aelistae’s soft, soprano voice had a quiet beauty to it nonetheless. Her song was a confession to Goddess of the self-doubt and fear she had felt in recent days. And it was a plea to Eilistraee to watch over her friends and give her the strength to protect them.
There was no answer, or at least none that anyone could hear. As the wordless hymn tapered to a close, however, Aelistae could feel that her Lady was with her. Her skin tingled from Goddes’ presence, as if it had been caressed with the touch of her lips, and deep within she could feel her fears replaced with a new found strength and resolve.
“I’m ready,” she said simply to her companions. The drow woman rose to her feet, checked her belongings, fastened them in place, and then finally sheathed her well-maintained sword.
“We should move swiftly and silently. We should leave our horses here, and maybe some water for them to drink. Stay close together, but do not speak over a whisper when we near our goal. By Song and Sword, I hope…I know that we shall succeed. We have come too far to fail now.”
[OOC: Aelistae would prefer to leave the horses here, but if anyone else has a plan feel free to chime in. When we get to the ruins of the bridge, Aelistae will cast Make Whole.]
Xaris sat and thought about what the best plan would be. He agreed with a head shake to camp for the night, and he was still trying to get used to the feel of metal armour on his skin. It wasnt anything to different, just the weight and how thin the chainshirt was compared to his past armour. He sat around the fire, munching on some of the food they had, waiting for midnight with the rest of them.
Then the time came, he watched Aelistae dance in the night, getting her spells from her patron diety. This brought memories back of when he was only a little forest gnome, and he would watch Yyrienel pray to Baervan the Wild Wanderer every morning to gather his ancient magics.
Then when Aelistae was done praying for her spells, it was time to move out. Xaris spoke up with a plan of action.
" I think I should scout out ahead of everyone. If I choose, I can leave not foot steps behind in these trees, if that is ok with everyone. I can hide at night within the trees without being seen, if the need arises. So shall I take point?"
Posted on 2008-08-21 at 18:13:16.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Silvara recovers quickly from her dodge and since she has been making snap decision as her life depended on them, she made one know.
Hoping the that seeming Demi-god can not =use a breath weapon one after the other, she sprints for Zora and goes for the key, she had seen Zora staring at the chest of the Pieta.
With a pray to Corellon and to Tyr for Zora, and with the key in her hand she will leap to the statue, use the key and hope that whatever happens will destroy Malice.
(You know there has to be some hope, somewhere, and one would think the Deities would not want Malice loose.)
Posted on 2008-08-21 at 18:30:35.
Edited on 2008-08-21 at 19:21:44 by Brianna
Reralae Dreamer of Bladesong Karma: 135/12 2310 Posts
Shadows are more than just places where light doesn't travel
Linnix walks over toward Xaris, "You won't go alone; I too can hide in shadows fairly well, although I probably could be tracked if someone tried really hard."
"I suppose, I haven't been truly honest with the rest of you." Linnix says, "I've never actually told you what I did before, for a living I mean."
Linnix averts her gaze, "It's... not anything I'm really proud about, especially not now. A thief, yes, I suppose that describes it well."
She closes her eyes, "I am... ashamed of it now. However, I suppose, it is fortunate, because that gave me some skills that could be helpful now."
Linnix's voice fades, and then she looks back to the others, "But I won't go back to that," she says, her eyes glimmering with defiance at that past, "So, please, don't hold that against me. I will do my best to help, if you can trust me after what I have said."
Silvara was desperate. The other half of her team lay frozen and dying, and Malice had been released upon the world like some twisted variation if the fabled Pandora's box. Dashing for Zora and plucking the key from her frozen fingertip, Silvara quickly bent low and placed the key in the slot, praying it would end their troubles, rectify their mistake.
As the key turned, so too did the base of the alter, the same hidden mechanics grinding and turning as the alter spun round. There, beneath the woman's legs, lay a hidden staircase leading deeper into the temple.
Malice, seeing the alter turn was already on the move, casting another spell, summoning a cruel looking snow white club lined with icy blue runes, and moving in for the kill.
Posted on 2008-08-21 at 22:52:27.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Silvara choices are difficult, run away, run down the steps revealed by the moving statue, but to what end, since there may be nothing down there to help her against this creature. She could possible ry to save Zora but she wasn't sureshe was even alive.
Silvara acted for good or ill her decision is made. She steps to Zora side and uses two charges of her belt to heal her. then takes up a defensive stance to protect herself and Zora.
"Corellon aid me," she prays frevently. "Tyr aid you Paladin."
Posted on 2008-08-21 at 23:20:53.
Edited on 2008-08-21 at 23:25:57 by Brianna
Silvara would not abandon her companion, not without trying to save Zorana. Moving beside her and using the last of her healing belt, but it seemed here in this defiled temple, no aid would come. (3d8's all ones... Zorana at -3hp)
Striking a defensive stance, Silvara awaited Malice's arrival. And she approached, staring down the elf before her, her lips turning into a wicked grin.
"I was generous in my offer, and now you will not have an opportunity to cash in on it." Malice stood before Silvara and leaned on the frozen Zorana.
"Oh, what's wrong my dear, is this armored snowcone more valuable than your life? Does her presence give you hope, or determination? Then let me rid you of such distractions!"
With that the half-dragon Malice wound up in a vicious strike and as the enchanted club struck Zorana's frozen form, she shattered into a million tiny fragments of blood and ice, till nothing was left but her armor and weapon clattering on the floor in an miture of icy shards and frozen crystals of crimson.
Posted on 2008-08-21 at 23:45:06.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
"Let me take her things back to the temple at least, I will leave this place, I have not struck out at you only tried to protect myself. adn help my friend."
Posted on 2008-08-22 at 00:08:49.
Edited on 2008-08-22 at 00:11:22 by Brianna
Malice sneered as Silvara begged permission to somehow salvage the memory of her dear friend. "Pathetic, the way you mortals cling to your beliefs of morality and false ideals of right and wrong."
Malice holds her club above her head in a threatening pose.
"I gave you your chance, and now, you will live forever to reGRET NOT TAKING IT!" Her voice reaching a crescendo, Malice begins casting defensively, her club glowing in an icy aura, before she reached out with her free hand, and touched Silvara unexpectantly. Almost immediately, her skin began to frost over, her blood began to slow and as Silvara's vision frosted over with a pane of ice, her last sensory experience was the sight of Malice grinning and the sound of her evil laughter."
For the majority of the three days Dylan spoke fairly little, but observed much. He studied the habits of his new companions for some time, then began to question them, beginning with the sturdy famrer at the head of this venture. The group he had chanced upon were mostly hired by Bartholomew not so long ago in the city Darromar. Linnix, the drow Aelistae, the half-elf Artanis, and the glowing gnome Xaris were what remained of the original team, having lost two of their members in a fire. Talus joined quite recently, at the last city when he helped with the fire that killed the two women. There was, for a time, another woman who died that same night before Dylan encountered them.
The mission itself was nothing more glorious or heroic than rescuing the James family and relocating them to safety. Still, it had clearly attracted the attention of a good number of able bodied warriors. For scarce profit and nonexistant fame they set out against greater danger than they knew. There's something that would make a pretty good fireside tale, Dylan thought, too bad I'm no story teller.
At the downed bridge, Dylan was slightly put out by the carnal sight before him, being a man with more peacable aims through most conflicts. While the others came up with suggestions for the crossing of the bridge, he considered his options for not the first time. He was already going north, travelling with an obviously well armed company. If he kept his wits about him, he would have a most serendipitous adventure on his way.
Finally, later that night, he decided to officialize his participation in this quest. He unveiled his reasoning and tried not to sound like he was convincing himself as well; the mortality rate of this crew was unfortunately high. Of course, Dylan was no stranger to lady luck Tymora, and had some experience of his own from travelling alone. "Besides," he added, commmitted to the desicion, "I'm a sucker for finding out how the story ends." He didn't really leave any room open for rejection in his speech, though he didn't expect to be denied anyway. He said nothing until after Aelistae prayed to her goddess, listening intently to the music.
"We should come up with a back-up plan just in case this spell of yours doesn't want to work the way you want," Dylan suggested. "No need to waste time on it immediately, especially if this works the first time. Just keep it in mind."
“I have done worse,” Aelistae uttered simply, after Linnix confessed that she had been a thief in the past. The drow woman moved over to Linnix and laid a hand reassuringly upon her shoulder. “It does not matter who or what you were, but what you are now, and that you become the change you wish to see in the world.”
“I am Drow. I have done and seen such things…but it does not matter. The Lady forgives me and loves me in spite of all that. She loves you too, Sister.”
Aelistae smiled at Linnix, and lent in close to kiss her softly on the cheek.
“I’m sure the spell will work,” she directed towards Dylan. “If it doesn’t then we’re all going to get a little wet. Either way, I’m glad that you’ve decided to join us Dylan.”
Nightfall came, and with it came scouting and prayer. Aelistae would prayer to her patron Lady for the blessings of spells, while Xaris and Linnix prepared to scout the Keep side of the river as soon as the bridge was repaired. In a wordless dance of spiritual reverence Aelistae prayed, and as she was washed over with inner warmth, she knew that her goddess had answered her request with her blessings. Making her way out from the copse of trees they had waited in, Aelistae approached the bridge, stepping out on the unsteady planks over the river below. The torn and scorched bridge piece trembled under even Aelistae’s light weight, but the drow priestess knew she needed to be as close to the opposing side, for the spell to properly mend the object spanning such a distance.
With determination and absolute faith in Ellistrae’s power, Aelistae mouthed the incantation, and before the eyes of onlookers, wooden fibers began to form and grow from the edge of the bridge, and steadily stretch and solidify into planks and boards spanning the gap, before fusing and becoming one with the pieces on the opposite side. With a silent appreciation for her illustrious Lady, Aelistae returned to the waiting grounds, where Linnix and Xaris would be next up to scout the area up to and around the keep.
Taking the potion of Darkvision , Linnix, consumed its contents and blinked away the brief distortion of her vision as everything shifted to a grayscale view. Her sight now much more efficient in the dark of night, the two silently made their way across the bridge, one going east, the other west, as they proceeded north towards the keep, taking notes with which to compare upon returning to the rendezvous point.
The pair was gone for over an hour, and even the rest of the companions were starting to worry for the wellbeing of their friends, when like clockwork, Linnix appeared, skipping across the bridge with nary a sound. Within moments Xaris followed, munching happily on a handful of berries picked amidst his outing. After comparing notes and with Bartholomew doing his best to copy it to a physical rendering, the following information was obtained.
Xaris and Linnix's reports on the Multiple goblin camps indicate that each one holds between 10 and twenty goblins, kept in line typically by a small squad of 4 orcs. Weapons and armaments are typically crude as per goblin heritage, but the orcs are armored in various suits of armor and competent weapons.
Xaris also makes note of a group of hunting wargs (4) and a Bugbear beastmaster making rounds throughout the encampment, picking up supplies or dropping off commands.
Linnix discovers an Armored warrior, staked through the chest and spiked into the ground above a pire while goblins dance and chant around it, the word "Thrull" is repeatedly heard by both Xaris and Linnix as they scout.
At various points within the wooded surroundings of the Keep itself, it seems as though Battle has been made recently, with broken twigs, and branches, heavy footfalls or in some cased entire felled trees from spell fire. The goblin encampments are all on high alert and group leaders are tense with paranoia.
A dozen or so pairs of goblins are on patrol around the keep and goblin camp grounds from what Xaris and Linnix report.
Posted on 2008-08-23 at 00:16:47.
Edited on 2008-08-23 at 00:46:21 by Kaelyn