Far to the north of any ‘civilized’ land, and too far south for the elves of the Wealdath to do little more than watch and pray the foul Bolikar’s rule wouldn’t turn his attention to their beloved woods, it was up to a handful of strangers, brought together by happenstance, fate, destiny or the whimsical nature of Tymora perhaps. Whatever the reason for their gathering here and now, the dealers of fate had dealt them their hand, and with it they would do all they could to bring down the seemingly stacked house.
Many of Bartholomew’s group had already pushed the threshold of the structure, using everything at their disposal to keep those gates from being shut, and either entrapping them within the compound with overwhelming numbers at their sides, or worse, separated from the rest of their company, with little hope of escape or aid.
While friend and stranger alike battled for a foothold within the structure, it was Linnix who turned her attention away from the carnage now behind her, to scan the darkness for any sign of the snipers that had attacked only moments before. Linnix’s eyes were far poorer in these conditions than her dark elf companion, but she trusted in her instinct to make up where sight failed her. Drawing her bow, she waits, for the slightest shift in the shadows of the tree lines cast by movement, and when it comes, she lets fly her arrow…
Elendil and Bronwyn were at odds, the ranger’s history filled with skirmishes and battle, her instincts telling her to charge the keep, to slay all who threatened the livelihoods of the innocent or her kind, to put down an ally of the goblin horde as though they were just a withered limb, ripe with infection, needing only to be severed and cleansed by her blade. The mage however, was little more than a well-to-do farm girl, whose impressive theoretical know-how and book smarts had not seen the chance to be put into real world practice, and as such, her still innocent eyes were filled with horror, her heart filled with terror, and her stomache filled with ever rising remnants of whatever might be left within.
As the two women came verbally at odds, each yanking Buttercup’s reign’s this way and that, the pony eventually siding with Brownyn, and adding her own considerable weight against the ranger’s pull had made it clear they would not head towards the keep. Unfortunately for Buttercup however, she would not be heading anywhere except perhaps a compost pile, as Linnix’s wild shot into the dark, missed the archer who grazed Aelistae, missed the caster whose magic missiles passed them by, and sank full to the fletching in the poor pony’s skull. (Linnix had something of a 20% chance to hit Elendil or Brownwin, 30% for the pony (larger target) and 30% to miss and rolled a pair of natural twenties) The shot was so clean, that the women didn’t even immediately notice the arrow, only that Buttercup had stopped her struggle, and simply lay down in a heap. Her laden back toppling to the ground as a few odds and ends rattled around in her saddlebags. And that was the wake-up call for Bronwyn that reaffirmed that she was not dreaming, this may be a nightmare, but she could not simply close her eyes and wish it all away. Her life as she knew it had just been shattered into a million pieces, and her only true companion now lay dead at her feet. The only person before the mage was Elendil, who even for all her lengthy years of life was, for the moment, unable to find the words to say anything.
Back in the Stronghold, Xaris’ Thunderstone impacted moments before he and the others, including Atharam’s own charge spilled into the ranks of the goblin horde. Goblins, fell quickly, with more seemingly endless replacements to take their place. The battlefield soon was growing higher as more and more bodies fell, but momentum soon faded, and it would become a battle of attrition through stamina and strength of arm.
Dylan’s Summoning of a Celestrial Wolf meant one more distraction, and Talus’ Baleful utterance made short work of a feeble club, only to have its wielder cut down by Aelistae’s keen blade. Xaris, Artanis and Intella moved away from the gate itself, trying to make for bigger pray, but the process was slow going, as javelins and sling stones were thrown, clubs and short swords and fists and feet kept at them and those around them.
The battle was hard fought to be sure, but it seemed like they were all making some progress. Atharam’s trio too were having a modicum of success against such vast numbers. At one point, Hawkril was pulled over the side of his steed Charger, and Atharam thought him lost, but just as quickly, a cry to Helm, and a thrust of his spear down for leverage had him back in the saddle, and fighting anew, looking little worse for ware. Seleyon however, for all her training in archery was forced into melee, the sheer number of goblins pulled and prodded her out of position, and with a Shudder, the gates were closed behind her as she hacked furiously at those around her.
Much like Seleyon, on the other side of the keep, Fate too was surrounded, outnumbered, and tiring as more and more blows passed his defences, whittling away at his fortitude and strength. To falter was to die, he knew, and with all the air in his lungs he bellowed out another warcry. “I shall not fall till Bolikar’s Dead!” Bolstering his own resolve he did all he could to outlive, and outlast his attackers.
(Health Recap after a slew of random attack rolls for round one)
(Linnix 32/ 37)
(Bart- Green Status)
Fate- (Yellow Status)
Bartholomew finally pulled up, at the rear of the pack, crossbow in hand, and noticing Linnix’s attention turned to the woods he cast his own glance yonder, but could not see anything save shadows through the trees.
As different factions fought for a common foothold, the image of Bolikar gave one last resounding command, before fading from the sky. “You dare challenge the might of Gruumsh, of Bolikar he who is blessed! I shall squash you impudent infidels like insects myself!”
The fury of the goblins seemed bolstered by their leader’s impending arrival, and somewhere within the complex wardrums began to sound anew, as Hobgoblin Commander’s and Orcish Captains began barking orders. The goblins seemed to fall back, taking Attacks of opportunities aplenty, leaving many more dead as Gnoll’s with halberds began filling their ranks, keeping a perimeter around Atharam and Hawkril, while Intella, Artanis, Aelistae and Xaris fought to reach the mounted men. In a matter of moments, they were surrounded by a ring of goblinoid corpses, and beyond them, halberd points, and orcish axes each separated by a pair of goblin javelins.
Those still at the Northern Gate, Dylan, Linnix, Talus and Bart were cut off from the others as a wall of goblins three deep filled in the space behind their more skillfull warriors, turning their attention to those few left unprotected. Seleyon and Fate were still on their own, outnumbered 10/1 by the little green bastards.
To complicate things further, A lone figure appeared floating over the southern expanse of the stronghold. Certainly not Bolikar by judgement of the lithe frame, spidersilk woven black robes hanging loosely over fine linked chain covering ebony skin, and silvery hair which draped over her feminine shoulders, but imposing just the same. In a voice carrying inflections of an all too familiar accent she spoke. “Bow mortals, to Bolikar, Blessed by the One Eye, and next to Ascend to the realm of Gods!”
Upon seeing Aelistae below, however she also added in a phrase in Drow, that only the priestess could understand. (sent via PM)
All around Aelistae lay the corpses of orcs and goblins cut down by her blade, and the weapons of her companions. They had fallen together in an ugly clump of tangled limbs, spilled organs and dark, viscous blood. But Aelistae’s eyes were focused elsewhere – at the figure that hovered above the keep.
Her fine, graceful features, ebony hair, and shock of long white hair left no doubt what she was.
“Dheraow!” Aelistae cried in a strangled gasp, her voice sounding suddenly distant to her own ears, as if coming from a long distance away.
She blinked silently in the cold cell, but the tears wouldn’t stop. Shafts of burning silvery light spilled through a narrow window and illuminated the thin wooden walls in which she lay. But it, and the pain it caused her eyes, was not the reason for her tears. It was the music that rode on the back of each silvery shaft.
A dozen or more voices rose and fell together in a haunting melody, fitting so seamlessly together it was impossible to tell where one began and the other ended. She knew of what they sang, knew of the heresy that lay each of their words. But although she tried to close her heart to them, the tears wouldn’t stop.
“Climb out of the darkness to join with the light.
Turn your face to the sky, your elven birthright.
Dance with the wind, bring your song into the air,
Behold the forest’s home, with the moon ever so fair.
Lend your strength to the needy; battle evil with steel.
Join in the hunt; to no other gods kneel.
Purge the monster within and without,
The heart becomes free, and holds no doubt.
Trust in your sisters; lend your voice to their song.
By joining the circle, the weak are made strong.”
“Beautiful,” she admitted quietly to the dark, after the song had come to a close.
“Yes it is,” the darkness answered. “Your voice could join them if you wished.”
“No,” she mouthed, partly to that voice and partly to quell the troubling desires that rose within her chest.
“Why? What do you have to fear?”
“Nothing,” Aelistae answered, with renewed conviction. And the sound of her own voice gave her strength.
“Bow mortals to Bolikar, Blessed by the One Eye, and next to Ascend to the realm of Gods!” the drow female cackled from far above her, even as her eyes met Aelistae’s. A flicker of recognition swam across the woman’s face and her lips curled into a sneer. “Dos vel'uss kla'ath l'ssindossa quar'valsharess d'lil kivvil darthiir zhal tlu biu or'shanse ulu l'uss seke Ilhar!” she spat at her fellow drow.*
But any fear Aelistae had felt had long passed. She would not be cowed so easily.
In an instant her sword was in her sheath and her fingers held the tattered edges of a scroll. An instant later she stood as she had before - except for the long, elegant, feathery wings that emerged from her back.
OOC: *"You who serve the whore goddess of the surfacebound traitors shall be an offering to the one true Mother!" (this is what she says to Aelistae according to Kaelyn’s PM).
*Aelistae’s response is: “No! We’re not in the lightless caverns of the Underdark here. There are no other Spider Kissing Bitches to save you. But Eilistraee is everywhere on this moonlit night – in my heart, in my soul, and guiding my arm. We shall see whose Goddess is stronger!”
A more detailed description of her actions is in the Q/A.
Posted on 2008-10-21 at 11:45:04.
Edited on 2008-10-21 at 14:01:48 by Ginafae
Reralae Dreamer of Bladesong Karma: 133/12 2213 Posts
You can't plug your ears and cover your eyes...
Linnix quickly wheels around, glancing with surprise at the Drow apparently hovering in the air. True, she had heard a few stories about the darker Drow, but travelling with Aelistae had almost wiped them from her mind. It does not seem fitting to her, and she certainly could not imagine a more seemingly polar opposite to her friend.
The one shot she had fired into the dark would have to do as a warning, and she couldn't quite tell where the sniper was anyway. Besides, there are more pressing matters at hand. Quickly slinging her bow upon her shoulder, something that probably shouldn't be done to a bow, Linnix reaches into her pack and pulls out her hand crossbow. It doesn't have the same range or strength as her bow, but it does have something she doesn't currently have for her bow. Reaching for a smaller quiver strapped to her ankle, Linnix draws out a yellow-tipped bolt, inscribed with runes. She quickly loads this bolt into the shaft of the crossbow, and takes aim at the drow; it wouldn't do to waste it on a goblin. Seeing Aelistae ahead shouting back at the other Drow in indignation, Linnix adds her own, small voice.
"I will defy you as well, one who taints the name of Drow." Linnix murmurs, and she fires the crossbow.
((Linnix will continue to fire at that Drow with those enchanted bolts, unless the goblins at hand advance further, in which case she'll switch back to her bow and fire at the goblins))
Posted on 2008-10-21 at 19:24:44.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Bronwyn struggled to get Buttercups lead rope away from Elendil. “No! Don’t! You can’t take her, she is mine. I want to go. There is nothing we can do here.” She cried out even as she struggled against Elendil’s hold on Buttercup’s lead rope.
Finally she called out to Buttercup and the loving pony of her teen years responded by pulling back against her lead rope. Suddenly Bronwyn nearly stumbled as the rope pull free of Elendil’s grip. Bronwyn grabbed up the lead rope and turned away from the keep.
Elendil turns and joins Bronwyn heading off in the cover of the trees away from the keep. Relieved that Elendil followed her, Bronwyn presses on patting Buttercup on her velvety muzzle as she walks alongside of her.
“Good Butterup,” We are leaving and soon,I will have that nasty thing off your nose. Bronwyn reached into her pouch for a bit of oatmeal sweet cakes her mother sent along with her. She took a small bit off and slipped it into Butter cups mouth bypassing the nose band. The pony eagerly began mouthing the tidbit and turned her head for some more.
Bronwyn did not so much see and hear the sound that flew right by her. Not sure what it was she ducked down. Holding onto Buttercup’s rope, the pony obligingly turned to stop as Bronwyn did.
Suddenly, Buttercup staggered and then collapses to the ground. Bronwyn was at first startled but quickly recovered and pulled on the lead rope to get Buttercup up, but she did not budge,
“Buttercup, get up,” Bronwyn calls out to her pats the pony on the neck and reached for her halter to help her up.
The pony did not response.
“Buttercup” Bronwyn cries out. She tries to lift the pony’s head up. Wh Even and she wraps her wrms around her head she feels a warm stickiness as she lifts Buttercups head to her lap. But what that might be is not foremost in her mind.
“Come on. Please get up,” Bronwyn literally lifts up her pony’s head. She keeps urging the pony to stand up and refuses what is quite evident to Elendil, with her elven vision.
Bronwyn, was a farm girl, she had been familiar with dead animals all her life. It was a fact of livestock on the farm. However, in her overwrought state, Bronwyn’s mind was not ready to deal with that cold fact.
Tears start flowing copiously down Bronwyn’s cheeks, even as she keeps trying to rouse the pony, some part of her was now dealing with what she did not want to face. However the truth is the truth as her grandfather always said, “It is better that truth is told than making it something it isn’t.” Bronwyn cries out and buries her face into her pony’s neck
“No, No, NOoooooooo.” Bronwyn weeps in earnest now, great wracking sobs that shakes her whole body even as she faces the truth.
Posted on 2008-10-22 at 00:54:38.
Edited on 2009-03-04 at 19:57:27 by Brianna
Things are always getting worse if they aren't getting better with these battles
The point which Dylan had thought to summon the celestial beast, in the middle of a croud of fighting, suddenly cleared out with the formation of the wall. A last minute change of intent moved the summoning point to a more advantageous point for his side of the goblin wall. A ring flashed on the ground briefly, inscribed with unknown sigils, next to him. A swell of golden sparks deposited a silver-furred celestial wolf in the circle, fresh out of the upper planes.
No sooner had it appeared, though, than was it leaping out to attack, shimmering sparks dancing from its fur as seeds from a dandelion. Dylan drew his rapier as it launched away from the summoning circle and took after it. They tackled the goblinoid wall side-by-side one clearly more ferocious and zealous than the other. Dylan kept the prayer in the back of his mind that capricious Tymora would by tired of teasing him by now, and that his life would continue past the decisive moon.
Posted on 2008-10-22 at 15:11:39.
Edited on 2008-10-24 at 14:27:48 by Sibelius Eos Owm
"Well, this is... not ideal." Talus mumbled as he scanned the snarling goblins cutting him off from the others who had fought their way toward the center of the enemy ranks. He couldn't see any way to get through the three-deep line forming between him and the more proficient fighters. The crude weapons the goblins and orcs were using hadn't been able to inflict any serious wounds yet, but Talus knew that one of the dozens of spears and clubs would eventually strike true. Unless someone did something soon the battle, or at least this corner of it, would be over.
Thankfully, before he could let himself consider fleeing, Dylan finished his spell. A ring, inscribed with unknown sigils, flashed on the ground briefly next to him and golden hued wolf appeared in a swell of bright sparks. Immediately after the summons completed the creature leaped out to attack with Dylan right beside it. They hit the goblinoid wall side-by-side, inciting just the frenzy Talus was hoping for.
"Come on, Bart, can't stay here... we've got to move. We won't last long away from the others. Linnix, you coming?"
The warlock clapped his new patron on the back and turned to follow Dylan and the bard's new friend, taking a hoping step to pull the dagger from his boot. He wasn't very good with the blade, but he had to admit sometimes it did the job a lot faster than conjuring up his arcane powers.
He moved up in line behind Dylan and let fly an eldritch blast over the bard's shoulder.
Arcane powers can have their place, too.
((Talus will try to down the goblin in the 2nd row behind Dylan's target, unless Dylan isn't having any luck at all, in which case he'll help the bard with the first row bugger.))
Posted on 2008-10-23 at 21:58:33.
Reralae Dreamer of Bladesong Karma: 133/12 2213 Posts
Gotta play to one's strengths
"Alright, can you cover me? I do far better with my bows than my scythe." Linnix calls back.
Linnix advances forward, keeping an eye on the goblins in front of her, but seeming to pay more attention to the enemy drow in the air. In her mind, this movement is to get a closer shot at the enemy drow than to deal with the goblin rabble or catch up with the others. The goblins are pawns in a much larger chess game, and one doesn't get very far by merely taking a few scales off of the snake.
Elendil drops to the ground and pulls the stunned Bronwyn to the ground behind the dead pony.
She is at a loss as to what to do now. She knows the equipmewnt on the pony was valuable to Bronwyn, but they really needed to be gone from here. She studied the gateway wondering if they was any hope to get the those fighting inside. She was not sure who and what they were, but there were indications that the goblins were under attack.
IF Bronwuyn is still acting distraught, Elendil will cover her mouth until the girl stops crying.
Posted on 2008-10-23 at 22:46:41.
Edited on 2008-10-28 at 03:06:45 by Dragon Mistress
The gates had closed. Despite their hard-fighting, blood, and sweat, the gates had closed.
Atharam failed. They were now trapped within the keep.
What was worse, they were now separated. Well, Seleyon from the other two, in any case. Atharam was stuck in a hellish position. If he left Hawkrill, the young man would likely succumb to doubt and the sheer weight of numbers. But he he didn’t reach Seleyon… The elf maiden was strong – stronger of arm than even Atharam himself! But she was alone, and she was not the hand-to-hand specialist like the knight was. Soon, she would wear down beneath the onslaught. He had to act.
Above the battleground, Bolikar’s visage spoke one last declaration before vanishing, and with that vocalization, the minions of the keep began to organize themselves. Wardrums pounded out a cadence, while leaders began to marshal around the underlings, though many fell while trying to back away from the mounted duo. But with surprising speed and coordination, a perimeter of polearms and spears was now leveled at the riders.
“Damn it!” Atharam hissed, gritting his teeth tightly and surveying the situation. They were now unable to charge, for doing so would present the horses they rode to a hedge of weapon tips. It was too dangerous. And besides, they lacked appropriate room to wind up and build momentum.
“Sir…?” Hawkrill called over the din, looking back and forth between the army before them and his armoured hero. “Sir, what do we do here?!”
Atharam brandished his sword and shield proudly, both to show that he wasn’t going to back down, and that he was unafraid of the threat. There was no room for fear in the breast of the knight. No room for doubt. He could not afford to fail again.
Could he risk slamming his attack straight into that wall? Would that reckless move be enough to shatter their resolve, and save the day? Probably not. But he was running out of options here. Not only did he have himself to take care of, but also that of the two who followed him here, who fought beside him time and time again, who listened to his orders, no matter how dangerous they might be…
A sudden movement caught his attention, above the formation encircling them, and Atharam allowed himself a moment to look at it. A Drow! Another one! But this one was flying… The fact that it somehow carried itself high above the battlefield caused him a great deal of unease, but he couldn’t deal with that right now. He had to solve the problem at hand, and do it quickly.
“Be strong, Hawkrill!” Atharam bellowed, slamming the flat of his blade against his shield with a great clang, and lifting that heavy steel barrier before the minions of evil. Both upon his shield, and his fluttering crimson cape, the raised fist of Helm was visible above the heads of most of the combatants, a symbol of hope and justice. “Find your faith! Embrace it, and let it be your spear and armour! Let it be your strength! Your conviction! We shall reunite our trinity and purge this place of the wicked!”
Digging his heels into Raykel and pushing his knees to the side, he wheeled the horse about with a flailing of hooves and mane, watching as Hawkrill did the same, and set his sights on Seleyon’s struggling form close to the gates, alone amidst the tide of goblins.
“For the glory of Helm!” He heard Hawkrill shout beside him, mimicking Atharam’s war cry as he raced alongside the knight, spear brandished at those before him.
Eyes on the goal. Atharam told himself as he whirled his sword about, trying to keep the goblinkind at bay so that he could force his way through. His shield was raised high and strong, ready to ward of any attacks sent his way. This would be among the most challenging tasks he’d even undertaken, for the lives of his friends were at risk here. But he could not simply abandon Seleyon. That was not even an option.
“Hang on, Seleyon!” The knight screamed as loud as he possibly could so that she would know he was coming to her side. Though his adrenaline allowed him to ignore it, his throat was gradually becoming raspy from his extreme vocals. Losing it was something he could not afford… “Steel your resolve! You are not alone!”
(OOC: Atharam is attempting to reach Seleyon, and is bringing Hawkrill with him. They’re trying to ram right through the crowd, side-by-side. The main goal is to plow straight through to link up with Seleyon, where he will issue out new orders.
I have a very, very bad feeling about this, and anticipate bodies dropping on my end here. So, should that be the case…. It was nice playing with you folks!)
Posted on 2008-10-27 at 20:47:40.
Edited on 2008-10-28 at 03:00:34 by Tek
Xaris fought hard, swinging his mighty steel around and dropping goblin after goblin, but the wave never ended. It seemed for a moment that with each goblin he killed another two sprouted from its corpse, taking the place where it once stood. But eventually the wave thinned, and they withdrew. Xaris was confused at first untilt he blood rush drained and he could heard drums summoning back the goblins. He looked around and the many corpses that now defined the battle line, and in return beyond it a wall of pikes and spears showed up, wielded by gnolls and goblins.
what happened to being low in numbers...
The thought crossed Xaris's mind, referencing the letter found earlier in the camps. He had hoped the numbers at this time were small, and that the attack would be not as ruthless. Unless this WAS their small force. Xaris shuttered at what could of happened had they not come earlier.
Xaris turned his head as he heard the charging humans that were smashing into the wall of goblins. Above the heads of the goblinoids stood a figure clearly seen, one who they must of been after. But then he turned around quickly to see Bart, Talus, Linnix and Dylan stood trapped behind their own wall of goblins. This situation was surely not the best they could be in. Then an idea hit him. He dug into his pack for both his tangle foot bags and another thunder stone. He tossed one tangle foot bag to Artanis.
" Artanis, throw that into the gnolls, we need to rescue Bart and the others, we cant win with us seperated!"
With that Xaris launched his tangle foot bag into the line of gnolls, hoping to stick enough in place and not be charged by some of them. He then turned, sword in one hand and thunder stone in the other, and hurled it into the line of goblins blocking Bart and the other, and then charged in after it, hoping to cut a swath in the line to let the other rally witht he rest of the group.
( ok, trying to stop the gnolls from taking advantadge of a rear charge when i attack the goblins, and trying to disrupt the goblins also so it is easier to kill them. I hope this works, and this is to get everyone rallied together so we can fight as a group, and i hope tek and his group rally, so we can be one super group. Hope this works guys!)
Posted on 2008-10-28 at 02:28:19.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Bronwyn was not sure exactly how long it to her to move through the fives stages of grief. At first, there was denial. She was so sure Buttercup had just fallen and even after the pony showed no response at all she continued to tug on the lead line until her brain told her Buttercup would never rise again. She had passed through anger a well anger railing at the fate that ad brought her here at this time and place, until her brain told her that is just happenstance. She had passed through Bargaining to. She offered her services or anything she could think of for her pony to live again. Her rather irreligious beliefs ended that stage quickly enough. Who could answer her wish for her pony to live when prayers for her mother were never heard. They rarely answered the pleas of their worshippers, so her brain told her. The depression she felt was profound but her brain told her it was non-productive. So with the acceptance of her pony’s untimely demise she rose and pull off Buttercup’s saddle and saddle bags and removed the halter and the nose band from Buttercup’s nose that had kept her quiet. Buttercup would not whinny again, never take sugar form her hand or sniff around for a bit of honey bun or a carrots freshly pick from Gram’s garden.
Bronwyn set Buttercups tack aside and then took the saddlebags and hid them deep in a thicket. They would be there later when she returned.
No she was no combat mage, she had never been in a battle of any kind before today, but her people had wrested a living out of the earth by the sweat of their brows, the strength of their hands and by dogged determination to make their lives better by their hard work with the earth. Her family had stuck it out and had prospered as well. She was of their blood, They had never run away from the hard work the long hours, tough times, naturals disasters, such as floods, storms, fires locust invasion and other sorts of invasions by armies, and brigands--they had never given up. Her family had lived and work that farm for generation/ Every time it was destroyed they rebuilt and restocked. They had started from scratch many times, and they had prevailed.
Bronwyn turns to look at the keep and then turning to Elendil, she spoke quietly and without emotion since she was drained of those for the time being, though it was a bit strained, and a little rough.
“I have one fireball left but that is about it besides my wand of Magic Missile and some minor cantrips. I can cast invisibility on myself. Can we get in there? If not by that gate,, then perhaps by some other way. I wouldn’t mind using it on those goblins.”
Elendil could not help but feel the young mages sorrow at the loss of her pony. From what she had learned of the life of the girl, hers had not been an easy life and after the lose of her last parent, her mother, the pony was special to her, it having been Bronwyn’s first mount as a child. She had her own pains to face as Bronwyn wept in her arms.
Maybe she should have listened to her voices of reason back at the inn where she had first met Bronwyn who was looking for someone to guide her south. Elendil was going that way, over the Starspire Mts on a mission of the Council of Elders. There had been disturbing rumors of Goblin activity to the South and they wanted intelligence on the matter. As an experienced ranger, she was selected for the mission. Recent successes had allowed her to augment her trained and natural skills with magical items that would be use for surveillance and infiltration. Maybe she had been feeling a bit cocky after she had been chosen for the mission and had not heeded her own second thought on the matter to taking Bronwyn south.. Putting aside her trepidations she offered to guide Bronwyn south, feeling that she could easily keep her safe from goblins.
Later on the trip there were a couple of times she was ready to take the girl back, as she was utterly naive about the real world around her, and had not knowledge of the skill needed to trek in the wilds. Yet Elendil had not done so, not wanting to delay her trip.
With a pang of regret, Elendil realized that it was she who was the firect caused the death of the pony. The pony would still be alive if she had not gotten involved in dealing with the goblins. That and the very fact they were here at the Keep was a blame she took squarely on her shoulders. She was the one that attacked the goblins; she was the one to go to the rescue of the captive. She was the one who had wanted to go into the keep to aid the assassin and to kill her favorite enemy.
The sobs finally stopped and the sorrow racked trembling faded. Only then, did Elendil release Bronwyn, who then rose and pulled off Buttercup’s saddle and saddle bags and removed the halter and the noseband from Buttercup’s nose that had kept her quiet. Bronwyn then took Buttercups tack aside and moved the saddlebags to hide them deep in a thicket. Elendil’s brow rose as she worked to hide them, it was not what Elendil had expected the girl to do, but she moved to help her conceal the items.
Bronwyn turns to look at the keep and then turning to Elendil, she spoke quietly and without emotion since she was drained of those for the time being, though her words were a bit strained, and a little rough.
“I have one fireball left, but that is about it besides my wand of Magic Missile and some minor cantrips. I can cast invisibility on myself. Can we get in there? If not by that gate, then perhaps by some other way. I wouldn’t mind using it on those goblins.”
Elendil was shocked by Bronwyn’s sudden declaration. She glances at the gate and sees that it is still open. With a newfound care, she gauges their chances of getting into the gate at this time.
If she sees the gaone gate is still open she mill head that way to better assess the situation inside.
Posted on 2008-10-30 at 20:29:25.
Edited on 2008-10-31 at 00:32:48 by Dragon Mistress
The goblin rabble had turned from a swarming mass of disorganized filth into a rank and filed brigade, augmented with halberd wielding gnolls, axe bearing orcs, and to top it off, a flying drow from which to supervise from above. Bolikar himself still hadn’t made an appearance, one gate was shut, and the momentum of combat was indisputably shifting from advantageous to…well, anything but.
Seleyon was cut off from the rest of her team, and though her bow was her preferred weapon of choice, she was no novice to getting into the thick of things when the situation required. With her curved scimtar whirring about her frame in a defensive line she fought earnestly to stave off the blows as four from the three deep line of goblins separated from the wall, to engage the woman, the wall tightening ranks with seemingly endless reinforcements. The quartet of trouble approached, circling round to flank the forest-born elf. From three sides and between they attacked, and Seleyon miraculously avoided all four incoming morningstars. The failed attack did little to bolster the already cowardly creature’s resolve, and the Helmite scout sought to take advantage of any and all little blessings her Lord bestowed. Turning on her heel, and bringing her scimitar up across her body in a right ankle to left shoulder diagonally sweep upwards, her finely crafted blade caught a goblin in a similar, opposite swath, opening up his chest and dropping him to the dirt in a pool of brackish blood.
Back within the ring of enemies, Atharam saw Seleyon’s skill, and had to commend the only woman he’d ever met who could best him in a feat of physical strength. Yet for all her strength, the enemy numbers were numerous, and she would tire. Gathering Hawkrill to his side, their great steeds rising in a turn as goblins gasped and flinched at the sight, before being cowed and pushed back into formation.
“Hang on, Seleyon!” The knight screamed as loud as he possibly could so that she would know he was coming to her side. Though his adrenaline allowed him to ignore it, his throat was gradually becoming raspy from his extreme vocals. Losing it was something he could not afford… “Steel your resolve! You are not alone!”
Without room to mount a charge, the knight and his squire could only hope to trample over, and hack their way through to their sister of battle. Atharam and Hawkrill moved side by side, protecting at least one of their flanks, but the reach of a Halberd was long, and their were many goblins between them and their goal. With hoof stomping, sword swinging, and spear jabbing they clashed with the wall of monsters which reveled in the chance to spill human blood, spurned forward by the deep rhythm of the war drums, which seemed to sing “Death”
With every beat.
A Drow! Here, now. While the typical dweller of the Underdark was known to revel in anarchy and sow the seeds of chaos, Aelistae still wasn’t quite prepared to see one of her evil kin. Kin, the very word meant there was a blood-tie, a bond of family; and now, seeing one of her race, of the kind she left behind made her stomach lurch with a pang of disgust.
The Drow priestess of Lolth had issued the challenge, more of a threat really, but it would not shake the resolve of Aelistae, or her faith in Eilistraee.
“No! We’re not in the lightless caverns of the Underdark here. There are no other Spider Kissing Bitches to save you. But Eilistraee is everywhere on this moonlit night – in my heart, in my soul, and guiding my arm. We shall see whose Goddess is stronger!”
As Aelistae gave her passionate retort, she felt something surface deep within her. It was like a warm hug on a cold night, and it came from deep within, and as she basked in the embrace of the hidden warmth the priestess knew that somehow, her Goddess had heard her cry, and for this encounter, she was not alone. (Utilizing CD point Bonus 2 for this encounter)
As Aelistae sheathed her blade long enough to produce a scroll, and when her reading of it’s ensorcelled page was complete, the priestess had grown a pair of feathery wings. She gazed skyward, and prepared for a battle unlike she had ever experienced, save perhaps in a nightmare.
Some were headed east, others straight up, but for Intella, Xaris, and Artanis, and likewise Linnix, Talus, Dylan and Bart, there was a need to cut a path through the goblinoids and their gnollish comrades to link up with each other. That in their numbers they could stand against, and defeat the overwhelming odds.
Xaris led by tossing a tangle foot bag at one of the gnolls in his path, but his throw went wide and caught the goblin beside it, wrapping it up in a sticky goo while it struggled to get free. The albino-gnome had hoped to get Artanis to throw a bag as well, but the warrior woman had always felt the best way to deal with conflict and adversity was simply to drive a blade through its gut and be done with it. So, with Intella by her side, the two women lashed out at the wall before them, small piercing weapons, and large blades working in tandem to cut a line through the gnolls, goblins and orcs to get to their friends. Artanis’ bastard-sword took to the gnoll, while Intella squared off against the nearest Orc. Both kept tabs on the goblins between them, but wouldn’t see fit to leave the mightier foes unattended to.
Intella’s strikes were both true, wounding the orc, who glowered over her and responded with an axe strike across her shoulder, chipping bone and causing intense pain to flair down her right arm. (Intella 23/36)
Artanis did marginally better, her Bastard sword cutting a clean strike up into, and through the gut of the gnoll in a powerful thrust. The creature yapped in pain clutching it’s skewered frame, and with Artanis’ removal of the blade it slumped dead to the ground.
On the other side of the wall of goblins, Dylan’s wolf, Dylan himself, Bathrolomew and Linnix and Talus behind them crashed into the wall of green skins with claw, rapier and eldritch blast working with amazing efficiency for the time being. In a matter of seconds, they were through two of the goblin lines before them, with only one more, and then the back of the line of gnolls’ goblins and orcs between them and their comrades. Unfortunately, this left them completely surrounded by the rest of the wall, and the goblins were only too eager to throw themselves and their weapon blows upon the gridlocked heroes. The strikes came in from the left and the right, and not one of those laying siege to this encampment would come out unscathed. Linnix too couldn’t hope to take a shot at the drow with so many in melee around her. She had take a defensive stance instead in hopes of avoiding more pain and injury.
(Linnix 26/ 37)
(Dylans’ Celestial Wolf (Green Status)
(Bart- Yellow Status)
It was Bartholomew this time that took the unlucky blow, as a crude cudgel topped with shrapnel managed to get past his pitchfork, and slam into the side of his head, disorienting him. When the implement was removed, there were still bits of metal sticking from the poor farmers cranium, a bloody section of flesh torn from the side of his right cheek.
Still outside the carnage, Elendil and Bronwyn were dealing with the emotional overload the poor girl was having. Her entire infrastructure had just come tumbling down, and now, out here in the middle of a war zone, all Elendil could do was hold her charge until the tear drops stopped..
Back in the ring, the enemy struck, the Halberds lunging towards any within range, the javelin’s hurled, and the morningstars readied as the ring kept its distance, choosing to strike only with ranged weapons.
(Raykel Green Status)
(Hawkrill -Yellow Status)
(Aelistae 25/ 38hp)
Atharam and Hawkril were making progress Eastward, as were those fighting to link up, but the cost of injuries were mounting. And up above, at seeing Aelistae’s transformation the Llothite Drow merely grinned. Pulling herself higher to sit about 60’ above the combat zone She fell into an incantation, that when finished, shielded her in another brief glow of shifting colours. With a beckoning finger, she taunted Aelistae once more.
A glance to where Fate once fought showed only goblin forces now, with no sign of struggle or combat coming from that direction…
(End of Round one)
(Start of Round two)
Aelistae was more than ready for what was to come. Her heart, and mind resolved that only one would leave this battleground today. Bending her knees, she launched herself skyward, drawing her sword in a flash as her wings propelled her higher with each downward thrust. The Lolthite priestess floated above her as Aelistae’s charge was abruptly ended by the shimmering field around her frame, and the Courtblade slid harmlessly across her enhanced armour. In response, the Lolthite leaned in and whispered. “Feel the kiss of the Spider you so fear.” With the incant that followed, her hand took on a sickly green glow, and as she planted her palm against Aelistae’s chest, the Eilistraeen priestess felt her chest seize and her vision blur as she was infected by a contagion that sapped her sight along with her strength. (-2 Str + Blindness)
~*~ Down below, more progress was being made by the nameless band of would be heroes. Dylan’s wolf, along with the aid of Bartholomew, Talus and himself, had cut their way through to the ring, Intella and Artanis finishing off the stronger ’pillars’ barring the outside corners of their hard fought tunnel as it closed in around behind them, though not as deep as before, with fewer goblins to replace the ranks. Fortunately, this exchange of blows proved far more destructive on the enemy than our companions, with only minor wounds inflicted on their side. Xaris abandoning the second tanglefoot bag switched to his favoured sword and bypassing his comrades, charged into the nearest Gnoll he could find, the short blade eviscerating the poor bastard before he even knew what in the hells the puny white thing running at him with the glowing blue veins even was. (Critical hit for Xaris)
Linnix, finally free from melee for a brief moment, having placed herself out of harms way, wedged behind her friends, and the broken line caused by the strange knights looked up and saw Aelistae recoil, her hand instinctively clawing in front of her eyes. With her magical bolt loaded into her crossbow, she took faith in her ability and let fly. The bolt flew true, catching the Lolthite on the inside of her thigh, The priestess seethed, but could not be bothered to deal with the pain yet, that even now left her body tingling as the enchanted tip sent a jolt of electricity through her. (Lolthite- Green Status)
Outside, still coming to terms, something inside Brownyn clicked. Her tears of sorrow transmuted into fuel of a fire unlike she or anyone had ever seen come from the simple farmer’s daughter. Burying her tack and gear in a thicket, the mageling came to a decision that surprised Elendil, but the ranger knew that the girl needed closure, needed a reason to keep going and feel something more than useless. And while Revenge was not a course to be kept on long, it would serve to spurn Bronyn into action, and face this world for what it truly was.
Stepping outside of the brush, Elendil’s elvish eyes could make out a single figure standing on the rooftop make a proclamation as it hurled a large piece of rock down into the center of the stronghold. Through the gates combat could be seen, various forces battling the green skins, and above it all, two figures hovered in an aerial conflict. Whatever they chose to do they would have to do so quickly, before things got even more out of hand.
Seleyon cut down another Goblin that came within striking distance of her blade, and took a light blow to her forearm from a lucky strike. She was doing very well all things considered, and bolstered by her companions, nothing would stand in their way…
Atharam and Hawkrill finally broke through the enemies ranks, leaving more green skins’ dead, but their steeds more than them paid a heavy price. Raykel took a pair of Halberd slices across his legs, while Charger took a trio of javelins through the protective barding. The steeds though would not give in, and as Charger hoof kicked, a goblin’s lights out that came too close from behind, the White stallion was rewarded with the soothing warmth of a ‘Cure light wounds’ from Hawkrill. “We’ll make it through this yet sir!” The squire said, moments before a boulder smashed into him, and knocked him and his horse over under the power of the blast. The squire’s body lay limp and battered, knocked free of the ring of enemies as the rock smashed into the southernwall of the stronghold. Charger wasn’t moving after taking the full brunt of the blow. Looking up atop the rooftop of the northwest ‘room’ of the keep stood a single figure. Standing nearly one and a half times the size of any Orc anyone had ever seen, and with muscles bulging from beneath the furs of a lion, the figure bellowed out across the field. “I am Bolikar! You shall kneel before my might, voluntarily, or after I tear out your kneecaps it makes no difference to me!”
(And there we have two more rounds of nerve wracking combat down (The ‘center ring of Pc’s is still surrounded by enemies, though the side facing the northern Gate is considerably thinned. Charger is not moving at all while Hawkrill is in Critical condition, and prone with enemies less than 10ft away. Aelistae is blinded, and Bolikar has made an appearance… Game on!)
Posted on 2008-11-03 at 14:51:15.
Edited on 2008-11-03 at 15:16:38 by Kaelyn
Reralae Dreamer of Bladesong Karma: 133/12 2213 Posts
A Sister's Plight
Linnix looks upward; indeed, she had never truly done more than glance at the enemies around her since Aelistae had entered combat with the other drow. Something is wrong. Linnix can feel her heartbeat quicken, and an uneasiness weighing itself upon her. Aelistae looked as though she had been hit, but by what? Whatever it was, it is clear to Linnix that it did not bode well for her.
"Sister, get out of there!" Linnix calls upward, her voice urgent and panicked.
Yet, in her heart, she knew Aelistae wouldn't. She would fight to protect them all, to the very end. The goblin's scowling by her, the grunts and growls of the gnolls, and even Bolikar's outcry, all of this passed by Linnix without her heeding. Linnix grits her teeth. She would not let her sister fight alone.
Linnix drops her hand crossbow. Enchantment was no good now. Something had to be done, and soon. "I will not let you fall." Linnix vows quietly as she brings her bow forward, aiming into the sky at the evil drow, nocking an arrow and pulling back the string.
"Eilistraee, please help me strike true." Linnix murmurs, her entire heart calling, praying, before she releases the arrow into the night.
((Linnix will fire even if it provokes attacks of opportunity. Whatever it takes to help; Linnix is not about to let Aelistae fight alone))
Posted on 2008-11-03 at 19:58:22.
Edited on 2008-11-03 at 20:11:52 by Reralae
High above the Keep the duel had begun between the two drow. Both looked so much alike – with their ebony skin and silvery hair – but felt and thought and loved so differently.
Aelistae’s new wings propelled her swiftly through the air. The blade she held danced in her hands and soared unerringly towards its mark. But the other drow was ready for her. Her sword’s keen edge was turned away with a cruel smile, and with another the Lolthite sent a wave of nausea rolling through Aelistae. And then…
Aelistae cried out as her eyes lost all sight and as her mind plunged into a darkness of its own. Images flashed in her mind’s eye of her time as a child horrified by the dark hearts of her own people; as a young adult left alone as her House and family burned all around her; as a woman wandering alone in the Underdark.
“And in the end I’m going to die alone…and in darkness…” she whispered. She felt so alone, so cold, so numb that the tears upon her face were the only thing she could feel. Even the sword that she cherished so much wavered precariously in her hands.
“Sister, get out of there!” a voice arose from the dark, caressing her numb ears with its message of love and of friendship.
‘No, not alone…never alone’ a voice within Aelistae answered, ‘and in the end, even at the end of all things, there will be a light waiting for you…’
“There is hope,” Aelistae murmured, teardrops still upon her damask cheeks, “there is hope….” And as if a fire had been lit within her, she felt some of her strength return. Her hands tightened around the hilt of her sword and she raised it in defiance. She was blind, and she knew she may die, but she would never be beaten.
“Love, love is a verb, “ she sang in the human tongue, her voice soaring high, impossibly high, above the din of battle.
“Love, love is a verb,
Love is a doing word
Fearless on my breath.
Shakes me, makes me lighter
Fearless on my breath.”
The words came to a close as a vial was brought to her lips and she drank its contents, but returned soon after. She knew she may die, but she would not die alone.
“Teardrop on the fire
Fearless on my breath….”
OOC: Apologies to Massive Attack for pilfering the words to Teardrop. If you want to know the tune to which Aelistae is singing though, you can find the song on youtube.
Aelistae is going to take a 5’ ‘step’ back and drink her potion of haste. After that she’s going to swing at the Lolthite. Her plan is to hold her actions until she knows the Lolthite is casting (since she’ll have to speak some words in drow) or until she can guess where she is, and then try and cut her down with her two attacks in a round. It isn’t a brilliant plan, but, if Aelistae is going to die, I’d like to have her go out in a fitting manner.