As the party started back down to the jungle the Halfling Mage knew they were nearing the end of their task and he recalled many of the events that lead them to this spot. This group had lost friends and his thoughts went to his own brother. Had the head strong actions of Divot been brought out in Ulthok? It did seem the closer they got to the sword the more it influenced each of them. If its strength affected them even before they touched it, what would it do when one of them possessed it? It was clear to the mage that the evil of this place had found a way to bend his judgment and it was trying to do the same on each of the group. Evil twists thought and can cause the best of people to believe what they are doing is the right thing. That is it’s strength, making its wants seem “Right”. As the realization grew Ulthok knew he must show unity, he must lead by following, he must survive.
Sirene turns towards Ulthok and she moved silently until she was near him. The Druid did not hesitate "Ulthok, I apologize for my hasty words. You did not deserve them my friend" her words were straight from her heart and anyone who was in hearing distance would know this to be true.
Smiling up at the natural beauty, Ulthok felt warmed by the kind words she had blessed him with. “Your kindness is an inspiration, your forgiveness is an honor. Thank you. Now I must redeem myself with our leaders and the other of our group.”
Ulthok hurried to catch up to the Paladin as he strode purposefully down to the jungle. “My Lord” Ulthok called hoping he sounded sincere ,’”If I may, I am ready to do my part as the party needs. Cold or heat, steel or club I will do what is needed. This party has saved my life and I owe them no less than my life. I will do as you need.” With that said Ulthok fell into step behind Alasdair.
Posted on 2011-04-11 at 02:11:28.
Edited on 2011-04-11 at 02:25:14 by Odyson
The paladin listens to the ideas thrown around between freezing and frying the plant, to following the great white elephant through the forest. Thinking to himself, " I think that we should follow Cynil through the forest and using the elemental spells to protect ourselves in need be."
Posted on 2011-04-11 at 05:46:49.
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
"Kenji, you and I will stand front guard to start. Sirene, please stay behind us and use whatever magic you are able to weaken the plants ahead of us. We will cut down what we can. Althena and Conall, you take the left and right flank with Ulthok in the center. When we tire, you will move up and continue our progress. Cor and Maggot, you start as the rear guard, with Cynil in front of you. We will cycle through until we no longer have the ability to weaken the plants. This will likely take alot out of us, and I'm sure something will wish to eat us, so be ready. Rayne, you take the center. You will be the anchor for the whole group. Keep your eyes keen and your bow ready."
"You know, I just realized I could lead the way in elephant form and trample a path through those foul plants. So the rest can follow that. I can run to since it would be quicker, I will make sure not to out run you. Either Sirene or Maggot could be look out for that."
Alasdair turns to Cynil. "I agree that an elephant could successfully trample a path through the underbrush. But you saw how many of those vines came to life. I don't want us to be surrounded by plants trying to tear us all apart.
The paladin looks carefully at the jungle, as if attempting to assess the strength of the jungle itself. "There are enough in this jungle to stop even an animal as powerful as an elephant, of that I am certain. I don't want to risk anyone here with a blind charge. No, we go slow and steady, clearing the path before us and expecting attacks from the sides and rear at all times. I believe that to be the safest route."
Alasdair gives Althena a significant look, then turns to the rest of the party.
He takes his place at the front, where he belongs... between his comrades, and danger.
And so it had finally come to pass that this long time party of Man, Elf, a lone Halfling and a single Dwarf found themselves united for the task at hand. With a plan consisting of the basic elements of water and ice and a Druid in the form of a large elephant the 10 members of the party were ready.
Cynil knowing the plan and her part in it, also had the foresight to add to the plan, and before she was to take elephant form she spoke of casting her spell of Create Water to give the party a steady supply of water. It was here, thanks to Althena, who came up with the idea to use 2 of the parties tents as large water bags opened at one end which could then be placed to either side of the druid in elephant form. With a ready supply of water now at hand she took on said form and waited as the tent/bags were affixed to her sides then once ready lowered her massive trunk into the first bag of water at her left side. Her head and trunk lifted she began the spraying of the plants before her and to each side, her trunk acting as a hose to place water on a good spread of area before the party. Then it was the turn of both Ulthok and Sirene as both Halfling and Elf each unleashed a spell of Cone of Cold freezing the wet plants thus causing them to die and become brittle and easy to cut away. With Cynil in elephant form acting as water bearer and hose and various party members acting as cutter’s, they proceeded to move the party slowly forward.
For all the thoughts of threats none did come, the use of Cynil’s elephant trunk as a hose giving the party a very wide corridor between frozen and unfrozen plants. Quickly in what seemed very little time they reached the center of the plant covered area and did rest for the recharging of spells. A good 10 hours later, each member having rested or recharged spells, once more the party began their march forward and another half day of steady slow going the party finally found themselves at the ravine’s edge. The chasm before them as Cynil had seen before in bat form was quite deep, the bottom, even here, obscured by deep shadows. As the party stood and gazed at the distance between sides Cor being the parties only dwarf was able to correctly gauge that the space between sides was roughly 300 yards in length.
Having successfully reached the first part of their goal, they now came to the second, finding a way across the gorge before them. For the moment the slug like creatures, being closer to the pyramid then the ravine, had not yet noticed them. How long that would last for the moment up in the air, the goal just to gain the other side........
(DM OOC: OK sorry about the 4 day delay but I’m only now almost halfway healthy still having a very severe cough and chest congestion. Ok next post hopefully Sun April 24th depending on RL here after Mom’s surgery the 21st. Good posting by everyone and I’m glad to see you all finally seeming to work together. Ya’ all may live through this second part after all, or maybe not.. )
Kenji was glad when they came out from cutting the heavy vegetation … it had been a tiring crossing.. The freezing of the water along with the cutting and stomping by the elephant that was Cynil did work quite well… Kenji was surprised that nothing else had assailed them up until now.
But now they had a problem that no amount of frozen water would help them … the chasm was wide… but not insurmountable … he glanced around and saw only more vegetation … no sign of any bridge or normal means of crossing.
“Well,” Kenji said gazing out across the chasm, “now… might be a good time to use those flying abilities you discussed earlier…. I think this short distance might be … alright.”
He was talking about himself… it wasn’t that he was afraid … he distrusted magic… must more before he joined this group than now… he had seen wondrous feats performed by his companions… things he would have thought evil in the past… but he had come to trust them and their magic.
Turning to look at the elephant… ah Cynil… raised an eyebrow and asked, “Can you change into some large flying creature to carry us across?”
The cutting was done and none too soon. Now another obstacle stood before them, or actually it was nothing that stood before them. Looking over the void, Cor reached down for a handful of stones. First a large one to toss out and listen for it to hit bottom in an attempt to judge its depth. Then a handful of smaller stones tossed in a wide spread, just incase there was way across that avoided their eyes.
Was it determination or the Boots of Striding, Ulthok was just glad that the long day was over. He had been able to keep up with the long legged big people and the gigantic creature. Hour after hour the party pressed forward. The tension was high as they ever anticipated something to reach out of the jungle. But the teamwork and coordination of spells, skills and strength had served the party better than any would have expected. Working in shifts and resting between allowed Ulthok just enough time to keep his spells fresh and the blessing of some unforeseen force let the spells work to the their maximum performance. So all day long it had been spray, freeze, slash, stomp and now here they were at the edge of the gorge. They were in need of a good rest, but also a good plan the far side of the gorge was too far for any creative spells he had to bridge that gap.
Peering over the edge the mage didn’t like the idea climbing down into that gloom and then trekking through who knows what just to try and scale the far side. Cor has said it was only three hundred yard to far side, that was a reasonable distance to try to transport the party and they had several options they could try. If the party would trust in their own will power and the powers of their mages they all could transform into wonderful creates of feather or fur and fly the short distance to the other side. Bird or bats it didn’t matter either would have the strength and endurance to span this gap.
“Friends, now is a good time to seriously consider accepting the magic your Mages can offer to lift you upon wings and let you fly yourselves over to the far side. Whether you would want to be bird or bat is your choice, either form is ample to serve you. Although it is true you will be enchanted you will still be in control of your actions. I’m not so sure of the wisdom to try and fly all the way to the temple, but at least give thought to crossing the chasm.”
Posted on 2011-04-22 at 02:28:51.
Edited on 2011-04-22 at 02:32:29 by Odyson
Maggot stayed the furthest most behind and pasted the long day of Ice and water with a few uplifting tunes. As long as all could hear his music all would know the end of the group was not too far behind. Now standing at the edge of the chasm his flute fell silent and his feet stood still, but always he pondered and smiled.
Conall stood next to Cor and watched as he tossed stones into the wind. “Many times I have stood looking at things that were just out of reach. Many times Odin has deemed it to be that I should reach those things.” He looked at his teacher, guide, and friend. “Again Odin will show us the way.”
Conall then turned and looked at Ulthok, “Strap wings to my ass and have me fly across that,” Conall motioned back over his shoulder. “For one such as you perhaps but I am not as nimble as you friend Ulthok. With sword and shield I am like the rocks that the waves crash upon, forever enduring. Put me upon the back of my war horse and we are as one racing the winds across the grasslands of my home. But wings upon my ass and fly across that. I would put more luck upon finding a wooden bridge then me fling across that and not breaking my neck.” Core then motioned to Kenji, “Put me in the same boat as my friend Kenji and carry me across.”
Conall then moved to the center of the group, “But if I am to be carried or wings placed upon my ass, so be it. I would much rather turn and see a bridge.” With that he placed his pack upon the ground and proceeded to remove his boots so that he may dump the small pebbles that had been plaguing him for the last few hours.
Conall noticed the old man had not yet moved, “and you Old man Maggot, are you trying to smell your way across.”
With Conall’s words falling from the still air the old man spun around on the balls of his feet and into story telling mode. “Oh what a fine picture your words have drawn Conall Glendower of the House Glendower. Though your tone was not uplifting a fine picture it was.” Maggot then lifted an eyebrow and gazed at the mages, “Now can our Masters of the Arcane find the picture that Master Conall as spoken?" He then moves next to Alasdair and places an arm around him and with the other he waves it into the air, “Can our Master of the March see it?” he then leaps infront of Alasdair facing him and rubbing his face with open palm, “Or does his eyes stay cloudy and gray.” Maggot now shows a sad face but only for a moment.
Maggot then dances over to where Conall sits. He too sits and starts pocking at the ground with a nearby stick.
Posted on 2011-04-23 at 16:54:49.
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
The elder paladin looks sternly at the chasm before them, as if by will alone he could transport them to the other side. Alas, those were powers he did not possess.
"I am hesitant to rely solely on magic to get us across, but at the moment I see no other option. Before we tackle this new obstacle however, I suggest we all get some much needed and well deserved rest. We stand watch in shifts as always. Sleep well, eat well. For tomorrow is likely to be as long and rough as today."
"Tomorrow, here is my strategy for the chasm. Those of you who can transform to carry our fellows, you will need do so. Some of us should stay in our natural form. Transforming into something unfamiliar may be a great hinderance if something asails us during our crossing. Those that are to be carried, we will likely want to fasten you to those who bear your weight, to ensure you do not fall and discover the true depth of this chasm the hard way."
Wearily he begins to unshoulder his backpack and lay down his equipment.
"My friends, I recommend spells of flying for all those who are comfortable with them. Those that are not, I believe we have magics and Cynil's uncanny ability to transform that can help you across. Please my casting friends, you are better than I at determining the best use of your spells. I will leave it to you all to determine who prepares the necessary spells for our flight."
That being said he staps over to Althena and takes her aside.
"How are you holding up?" He says, genuinely concerned. "I must admit, I'm rather tired myself. I hope Odin sees fit for our plan to succeed, though I have to say that I am curious about one thing. With everything in this cavern seeming to want to destroy us, all the way down to the very vegitation, why weren't we attacked when we were likely at our physical and magical weakest. I have to believe that Odin is watching over us, and that does give me strength."
He speaks to her about small, relatively insignificant things for a while before voicing his final concern. "Love, what will you do if we get the sword we seek? What then?"
The Druid had used her spells to assist in the passage through the deadly plants. When they had reached the half point, they had taken a well needed rest, at which point she found herself in silent prayer. The elf prayed for prayers she hoped would be of service to them. Her memory served her well from the trip Cynil had taken in bat form. Keeping this bit of information in her mind regarding the gorge. The enchantress would have to pray for prayers that would help her companions reach the other side.
Knowing that vital information, she was able to prepare some spells that she hoped would help their mission to succeed. Slowly laying herself down she slept well, before continuing to use the Cone of Cold the following day until they reached the gorge. The dim lights of the underground could be a friend or a foe, and thus, she used that to help her make her decisions for prayers.
When she had woken up refreshed after a night of sleep and prayer, she rose from her spot and joined the others to decide on their plan. They continued through the brush using up her spells of Cone of Cold freezing the water ahead of them. When finally they had arrived at the gorge the party assembled to discuss the possibilities of crossing the gorge.
Sirene spoke in reply to the ideas ``I agree with the flying across, and I also suggest we first use our polymorph. I could shift into an Eagle or some other large bird and carry some across. When this gift expires we could use fly to get the others across. I believe it will not take long to cross the gorge since we have two of us who can morph into birds to help us cross it. I suggest we bring forth one spellcaster and one fighter first, for we know not what awaits us on the other side of this gorge. We should plan that there will be something lurking before us and behind us at all times. Cynil and I should both be transporting the party members across the gorge. We shall start with Haila as the first spell caster to cross, and Kenji should be the first fighter. That way they can ensure our path remains clear as the rest are transported across.``
``I believe it would be the best plan for crossing the gorge. That way we have defenses on both sides of the gorge to help keep the way clear. Both sides should be keeping an eye open for danger, as we know not what awaits us from any direction. We must be ready for everything to come. What say you my friends?``
"perhaps we should take at least a few minutes to search before we jump to flying across. I agree with you that a good rest might be our best bet at the moment. If we are to fly then perhaps the best time might be in the dark cover of night and not in broad daylight." Cor comtinued searching the edge of the chasm throwing hand fulls of rocks at intervals and looking for anything out of place.
Worst post ever, right here, for your viewing displeasure.ugh
Hanging back Haila allowed the conversation to wash over her waiting to see what the leaders would decide the best course of action to be. She swiftly took stock of her resources secure in the knowledge that should the party need her skills she would be ready.
She listened to the many suggestions posed for crossing the chasm before them. Should they fly? Should they shape shift? Mayhap throw a few rocks? What to do? She had not been very active in the discussions lately preferring to allow others to make the important decisions. Questing was an exhausting affair and Haila just hadn’t been at her best lately, as far as new and innovative ideas went she had offered very little of use. Squaring her shoulders she mentally vowed to offer more of herself to the venture in the future.
A QUIET CONVERSATION. (Alasdair & Althena)
Moving over next to Althena, Alasdair took her into his arms and spoke.
“How are you holding up? I must admit, I'm rather tired myself. I hope Odin sees fit for our plan to succeed, though I have to say that I am curious about one thing. With everything in this cavern seeming to want to destroy us, all the way down to the very vegetation, why weren't we attacked when we were likely at our physical and magical weakest? I have to believe that Odin is watching over us, and that does give me strength."
Althena moved closer and as she replied she rested her head on the Paladin’s shoulder.
“I hope you are correct my heart for I fear that what we have faced so far is nothing to what we will face once we have the sword in our possession.”
"Love, what will you do if we get the sword we seek? What then?"
“Not if my love, but when, it is my destiny to gain it, why I was meant to live as long as I have. And the answer to your question is simple we will take it with us to Shan’ Tara or wherever my foster father is to be found. Then we will destroy it!!”
SOMEWHERE VERY CLOSE
It was time the numbers were on their side and the plants were no longer such a threat thanks to the prey before them. All they had to do now was claim their next meal.
THE CHASM’S EDGE
With the party having made it through the plants and to the chasms edge the talk turned to ways to cross.
With some urging spells of fly, both Druids talking shape change, and others talking other magical means a variety of options were in play. As Cor moved along the chasms edge every few feet he dropped a stone into the darkness below hoping to gauge the depth of it by sound. Yet even though he was a dwarf, he was unable to do so as no sound of stone hitting floor did he hear, the darkness of the chasm reluctant to give up its secrets.
However, Alasdair’s first thoughts were to once again allow the parties Mages to rest and replenish spells and as such assigned watches to both the men at arms of the group and lastly the two female mages. For the first watch all was calm and quiet. However, on the second watch of the night things began to slowly change as first Alasdair, then Althena and finally Kenji thought they heard singing. The voice, clearly female, was beautiful in sound and tone and all three found themselves listening to what sounded as a song in elfish. As the three continued to listen more and more each trying to locate the source but unable to find it. Of the three only Kenji felt something was not right but the singing was harder and harder to resist.
Then all thoughts of something being wrong went to the back of the samurai’s mind as from out of the darkness at the edge of torchlight, highlighted by the glow of the Pyramid, approached a group of nine Elves all beautiful as befitting their race. All appeared to be half dressed with a mix of gender, five being women, four being male. All three of the second watch guards could see that the seven in front all had silky black hair and were in turn trailed by a male and female both with red hair and looking as if sibling twins. The source of the singing was now revealed as both of the redheaded elves were singing softly as they approached the party’s camp, each gazing from side to side as if to keep watch for any danger. Perhaps the singing was meant to keep the plants at bay for of the nine elves approaching not a one had a weapon in view.
Standing to greet them, Alasdair and Althena watched as the nearest pair moved towards them and one moved towards Kenji, while the rest of the black haired elves spread out among the party as if to wake them in greeting. Moving slightly ahead of his love, arms open in greeting, Alasdair was shocked back into reality as Kenji, his mind finally breaking free of the charm of the song, saw the true nature of the creatures before them and shouted an alarm.
For where there had been once nine elves now before the three floated medium sized creatures appearing as if giant exposed brains 5 feet wide with a black beak for a mouth and a single large eye in the middle cleft of the brains two sides. Below the brain, Alasdair could see as he attempted to fell back from its attack, trailed ten, six feet long spiked tentacles, clearly the source of the attacks now coming at him.
With having at first openly welcomed the ’elves’ he was more vulnerable then normal and as he attempted to retreat was hit by seven out of ten attacks causing him to lose his footing and stumble into Althena who was right behind him. However as was quickly apparent along with him having her to support him and stop his fall to the floor, it also had the unexpected benefit of causing the second black beaked brain to miss in its attack, as the female Valar was pushed beyond its immediate range.
The brain attacking Kenji was now faced with an opponent now ready for it, his defenses fully intact, and managed with it’s ten tentacle attacks only to graze the agile samurai before it only once, even its eleventh attack that of its beak, missing. However, he was the only one besides Althena not to be hurt as the last four of the black beaked brains now hovered over the sleeping party members and attacked them as they woke.
Rayne was hit by three out of five tentacles......
Cor next to her by two of five and missed by the beak......
Conall was hit by one out of five tentacles......
Cynil next to him by two out of five and missed by the beak......
Haila was next to be hit by two out of five......
Next to her Ulthok was hit by only one out of five and the only one struck by a beak.......
Sirene also hit by three out of five tentacles and missed by its beak......
Next to her and the last member attacked, Maggot hit only by two......
As the party now fully awake prepared for its turn of attack, once again Kenji at the front of the action was the first to notice the difference between the nine brains.
Where seven of them had black beaks and a single eye, the two that had appeared as twins had red beaks and three eyes in a row running the center of its mass. The same big one as the rest with two slightly smaller ones to each side. The significance of these differences for the moment unknown, the party in combat once again............
(DM OOC: Ok there ya have it my Sunday post and once more you’re in combat, it’s your turn to attack, and another chance for me to try and kill you all!.
So please this week post your actions in this first round of combat and I will do the rolls. As your sleep was interupted no one was able to gain new spells so the spells currently on your character sheets are the ones available to you for this fight.
Now as this is a late posting, its 305am here, I will subtract the damage from your character sheets sometime tomorrow to let you know how badly each of you is hurt.
Ok my next post I am attentively saying will be Sunday May 1st but as Mom is still in the hospital, I am not sure what will happen this week concerning her so RL may interfere with my normal Sunday posting. I will keep you all informed if something changes.)
Posted on 2011-04-25 at 07:57:29.
Edited on 2011-04-25 at 08:06:16 by TannTalas