Cor heard the scream and quickly moved to keep the paladin at bay. "No use charging in half-cocked lad. Let our scouts see what we face." He sent the rangers to recon and they returned shortly giving an overview of the scene they beheld. "Beholder huh? Those are tricky beasties. Those eyes pack a nasty punch. Ah course if ye can get right in fromt of them their own anti-magic ability keeps them from using their eyes to attack, but only right in front. Magic is of no use against them so our mages can concentrate on the orcs, especially the big fellow. If we can kill it and the beholder the rest may scatter." Cor thought for a moment. "Guess a frontal charge is in order backed by range weapons. If the rangers will flank the group maybe their first volley will cause enough of a distraction for the rest of us to close. Keep single file going in so it can only target one of us. Anyone care to lead the charge?" Cor knew there was no way the paladin would not be up front.
Sirène could not explain why she was crying. The tears spilled uncontrolled and unbidden down her cheeks, pooling in the hollow of her neck, and hidden only by the spell of invisibility she had just cast. She had heard and seen worse atrocities than that which was occurring beyond the ridge - of Orcs and a Beholder feeding on human children. She was still young for an Elf, but old enough to remember whole cities of her people in ruin, whole forests murdered, and faces upon faces of people she had known who were now dead and all but forgotten. And yet, it was now that the tears had chosen to come.
‘Am I weeping for my father … or for myself?.’
The thought went unanswered. She had no answer to give. And, she had no more time to dwell on it.
Through her veil of tears, Sirène could hear Cor barking instructions: orders that amounted to a complete dismissal of magic and a desperate, near suicidal charge against the serried ranks of their enemy.
The Elven sorceress groaned inwardly. ‘Men!’
“Dwarven magic may be ‘of no use’, but fortunately I’m not a Dwarf,” Sirène added acidly, behind her invisible mask. “If you need me I’ll be flying above the fray.”
She paused only to cast a second spell, sending her rising into the air. The newly acquired amulet Sirène wore throbbed as the spell worked its magic, almost as it were alive, suddenly awakened and excited by the arcane energy that was sweeping through her slender frame.
::Are you alright? I … :: Niamedris poked his head from a belt pouch, his magically shrunken body suddenly awestruck by the fact that he was 150 yards in the air.
The wind coursed through Sirène’s raven hued hair, blowing her recently shortened tresses across the right half of her face. But she could still see perfectly well. Wargs were fighting over a pile of dead horses, five wagons were encircled by a band of orcs, and one looming and malevolent Eye Tyrant.
“Russe tuulo' moriloomir, eht’en templa” she whispered, causing the intricate tattoos upon her back and the Amulet thrumming into life…
(OOC: While the others chat, Sirene is casting Improved Invisibility on herself and then Fly.
She’s going to fly 150 yards directly above the beholder and then frazzle the beholder with a Lightning Bolt. The Lightning Bolt is going to be the 5’v80’ version, is going to start 10' above the Beholder and is going to be directed straight down at the beholder to avoid collateral damage (ie. placed vertically above the beholder and going straight down). The bolt should rebound off the ground and hit the beholder twice. So if it all works out that’ll be 40d6 damage, or 20d6 if it saves).
Posted on 2012-08-04 at 19:33:01.
Edited on 2012-08-05 at 01:21:43 by Ginafae
Cor had just finished making a plan when once again one of the party deceided they did not need the others. Sirene winked out of existance and Cor muttered, "Still we cannot work as a team; t'will be the death of us all yet." Looking around he added "Anyone else want to take it upon themselves to save the day be my guest. Just let me know now so we don't waste any more time making plans that noone will follow."
Her own cares suddenly seemed trivial. She had spent the morning fretting over Ulthok; worried that there may be some after-effect of the accident, or, worse yet, that he may not quite be the same halfling she had come to know and care for. And, when she was not thinking of Ulthok, she still had to be mindful to swallow the bile that rose up her throat every time she happened to notice her feet dangling unnaturally high off the ground as she continued to sit trussed up on the back of a horse.
But all that seemed as nothing compared to what she now heard of dead villagers, orcish marauders, and beholders feasting on human children.
Valene was no hero. She had never been. Her natural instinct was to run not charge madly into a fight against creatures too horrible to even have nightmares about.
She was scared.
“Umm, maybe we can sneak up on them? You know like Sirène is going to do, except without all that haughty Elven – “Oh, how dare you question my power, puny Dwarfling!” – attitude. We could use that flashy spell Weaver used to get us to Gygax. And time with it whatever Sirène does.”
“As my Uncle Nobby used to say: “If you’re going to get into a fight with one of the big folk lass, make sure to punch ‘em in the bollocks when they ‘ain’t looking.”
Valene refrained from adding that her Uncle Nobby didn’t actually exist.
“Oh, and I’ll be there incognito.” With a tug of her purple feathered hat, Valene altered her appearance to that of an Orc. A dashingly good looking Orc, with a leather eye-patch, a wooden peg-leg, and a squawking parrot on her shoulder, but an Orc all the same.
“Arr, me hearties!” she added.
Posted on 2012-08-05 at 16:57:38.
Edited on 2012-08-05 at 16:58:23 by Ginafae
The tarts had come out even better than Ulthok hoped. It was a good distraction and something the party would enjoy. When the meal was finished the Halfling wrap the remaining tarts in some parchment paper he’d found among the cooking supplies, that would keep the tarts for meals and snacks later. As he was placing them in his pouch of holding Cor saddled up and in a quiet concerned voice said, "Glad ye are all right lad and the apples are a nice touch. But would ye mind explaining why you said dragon just before passing out?"
Ulthok felt a tinge of panic as he looked to the Dwarven leader. Keeping his expression nutral in his well practiced manner he replied, “ Did I say dragon? Oh my, that must have seemed strange. I do admit that the spell didn’t go as it should and I was a bit confused as blurred visions pasted through that odd glow, but I wouldn’t worry about any green dragons, we left them back at the bridge.” Ulthok smiled at Cor walked away to where he keep his gear.
The day next had gone easily, there didn’t seem to any more suspicions from the party. But the calm was broken as after moving on from the midday meal sounds of a child’s cry and a mother’s scream came over the next rise. Cor took charge to stop the Paladins from charging recklessly into whatever was beyoung the hill. Sending scouts, they returned with a tale to terror as a small wagon caravan had been assaulted by Orcs and a Beholder.
Cor formulated a plan."Beholder huh? Those are tricky beasties. Those eyes pack a nasty punch. Ah course if ye can get right in front of them their own anti-magic ability keeps them from using their eyes to attack, but only right in front. Magic is of no use against them so our mages can concentrate on the orcs, especially the big fellow. If we can kill it and the beholder the rest may scatter… Guess a frontal charge is in order backed by range weapons. If the rangers will flank the group maybe their first volley will cause enough of a distraction for the rest of us to close. Keep single file going in so it can only target one of us. Anyone care to lead the charge?".
But the Mage Sirene not wanting to wait struck out on her own. “Dwarven magic may be ‘of no use’, but fortunately I’m not a Dwarf….If you need me I’ll be flying above the fray.” With that she vanished to go on her way.
Groaning Cor muttered, "Still we cannot work as a team; t'will be the death of us all yet…..Anyone else want to take it upon themselves to save the day be my guest. Just let me know now so we don't waste any more time making plans that no one will follow."
In spite of the dire circumstances Ulthok couldn't help but chuckle, “Cor, you may be a great trainer of Paladins, but you still have much to learn about women… Sirene should be fine although it would have been nice to know her plan…."
Your plan seems solid butThen more seriuosly,"We are too far away for an effective charge, they’d be able to from a strong defense. We need to surprise them… catch them unaware. Purhap if we popped in as we did in Gygax then they’d be as startled as the Eagle Flyer was. I could teleport in with the archers first to say ..20 yard or so from the beast. Althena, Rayne and Valene ready and fire as we appear. Weaver could then bring you and other fighter in to about 5 yards away and you charge the thing after the arrows and bolt have weakened it. The Orcs would be surprised and not ready to attack. Weaver and I would prepare to cover you as best can after they recover… What’s you say my friend?”
Valene piped in, “Oh, and I’ll be there incognito.” a tug of her purple feathered hat, she altered her appearance to that of an Orc. A dashingly good looking Orc, with a leather eye-patch, a wooden peg-leg, and a squawking parrot on her shoulder, but an Orc all the same.“Arr, me hearties!”
Ulthok could see how their new party member handle her fear and made him smile. “Just be sure that Sirene doesn’t mistake you for a flashy target now in so close to the party.”
Ulthok waited to hear any refinements to his idea and prepare to cast his spell.
Posted on 2012-08-05 at 20:05:24.
Edited on 2012-08-05 at 20:09:53 by Odyson
"Alrighty then, teleport it is. Try not to kill the 'pirate orc'. I know it is probably too much to ask this group but if ye could at least try to kill the beholder first I think it will go much better for us." Turning to Ulthok he added, "All I need to know about women folks is that they were put on this earth to torment us men. Heck we even invented war as a hobby just to get free of them for a bit."
Ulthok had come round, and the rumours of dragons dissipated slowly throughout the night. However, Lothor stayed wary, he slept warily and only caught a few minutes at a time and his hand rarely left the cold hilt of his Great-sword.
Nevertheless morning dawned with no signs of large, beating wings on the horizon. Wearily Lothor rolled out of his bedroll and blanket and rose to his feet and started his daily morning routine of stretches and sword practice. After he finished the rest of the party were ready and had began to saddle up their horses and ready their backpacks, tying them to their mounts. Lothor joined them fastening his saddlebags and tightening the harness. It became clear that today he would ride with Cor and this gave Lothor a great opportunity to get to know the leader of the small band and talk to another warrior.
The ride began and the weather was fine enough. Conversation flowed easily between the Dwarf and the Human (OOC: I hope that is okay Keeper?) both talking about favoured weapons and recalling favourite fights. The conversation stopped abruptly and Lothor began to wonder why. Before long Cor sent out the two scouts, Rayne and Weaver.
When they returned Lothors blood boiled at their report. Orcs had amassed over the hills crest with something named, a Beholder, apparently leading them. Lothor knew roughly about the one-eye beasts, but most of his knowledge was the wives tales and children's stories he had heard, from all of the villages he had travelled to in his youth. Oddly enough those stories came to life as the two rangers recalled what they had saw.
Soon talked changed to a battle plan, and as teleporting was mentioned again his stomach began to clench. Although he could clearly understand its practicality the effect on his body was worrying, though at this rate he knew he would get use to it. The plan itself did not worry Lothor and he was starting to get restless with excitement as he could feel the adrenaline and fear rising in his body, a feeling he had lusted after for so long, soon the thirst would be quenched. Lothor was also relishing the chance to pit his expertise against a new foe, and the way the group of heroes were talking, it was obviously a powerful one.
As the battle plan was beginning to form, some of the group, most noticeably Sirene, were not happy with all of it, however Lothor himself had no complaints and readied himself to speak.
“I am happy that I can finally demonstrate some of my own prowess in front of you, my new found friends. I will happily follow any orders that you see fit.” He glanced at Cor and cleared his throat before continuing.
“Although I would prefer little teleportation as possible.” He added with a smile.
My first act is to throw my companions into harms way...
Fearing a delay and even more discussion from himself would only prolong the battle at foot. As Weaver sheathed his sword and made ready to teleport, "Grab hold then and once more we shall be the things that young children want to be and Kings only boast about." as he felt his companions grab hold he found himself giving a word of prayer to his Goddess...
This sat upon Weaver for only a split second as there was a whisper of words the smell of burt hickory and he and his load found themselves near the evil eyes. "Quick work of this thing so we may soak the ground with the blood of orcs and goblins. They have a smell you know!" and weaver laughed as he found his new strength to his liking and weapon drawn.
Posted on 2012-08-08 at 03:33:02.
Raven Resident Finn RDI Staff Karma: 71/3 1084 Posts
Go go go!
The ride from Gygax had been pretty much without incidents, if Ulthok failure in casting the spells was not considered one. To Ayreon it felt good to be riding again - to be outside the caverns of the mountain and away from the stinking (although now dead) giants. The horse, although a healthy individual, was not his faithful Pegasus companion. And riding on the ground was totally different compared to flying of course. But the elven paladin was feeling happy and the constant smile on his face said so too.
Therefore when Cor called for a break, Ayreon was a bit disappointed even though he well understood the need to rest and have a quick meal. He would've liked to ride on, but the horses carrying two riders wouldn't have been able to carry on without breaks through the day. There was a nice level spot beside the road on the hillside ahead and the group slowed down and was heading for it when a cry caught their ears. It was clearly a human child, perhaps a baby even and as such wouldn't have called for any action. However the cry was followed by a scream - a scream of a woman, a terrified one.
Without even thinking about it, Ayreon gripped the reins of his horse tighter and was about to storm off towards the sounds when Cor's voice cut through his thoughts: "No use charging in half-cocked lad. Let our scouts see what we face." Turning to face the dwarven lord, the smile had disappeared from Ayreon's lips. He was about to speak his mind to the party's leader, but he knew it would be useless to complain. The dwarf wasn't really his superior, but in such a diverse group as this having a clear leader was a good thing. And Cor was probably right in any case. Charging in might only prove to be bad for the people in trouble. Not that he would've done so anyway. Ayreon was old, experienced and wise enough to keep from getting himself killed needlessly. but Cor couldn't know that for sure, now could he?
The seriousness of the situation quickly became clear to everyone when Rayne and Weaver returned with the details. An orc raiding party led by a far more dangerous beholder had ambushed a caravan. Without the multiple-eyed, spherical monster it would've been easy to dispose of the orcs for they were no match for a group of adventurers such as theirs. But the beholder was a being of magic and immensely powerful and lethal. Ayreon had never fought one before, but was nevertheless well aware of their powers.
A plan was quickly being formed for they all knew they had very little time to rescue those still alive. Therefore they couldn't afford to spend much time to properly plan the attack. Two teleportation spells would be cast and the heroes would take the beholder by surprise. They would try to take it out before the orcs had time to react. It would not be easy though as the eyes of the monster held many different spell-like abilities and it was very, very intelligent.
Therefore as the spells were being prepared, Ayreon voiced his concerns. "While it would be most efficient to beat and cut the beholder to the death in melee, I would suggest we spread out and shoot it from afar. But if you'd have me charge at it instead, then please drop me somewhere in front of it." A boyish grin followed the last sentence as the paladin readied his bow.
Posted on 2012-08-08 at 09:42:51.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
A Sigth to Behold--A beholder, Orcs and Goblins
The journey had progressed without incident for the first day and the second morning’s ride was without incident as well--Until--there is always and until. The scream loudingcut the air and was silenced. Cor stopped the paladin’s automatic response to race forward. aHe cautioned Ayeron--very wisely--that those who could scout it out best went to see what it was going on. Valene and Rayne went up the hill to fetch the information needed for the oarty to act.
“Orcs, Goblins and A Beholder Attacking hymans.”
The scene below was horrendous to her eyes. Goblins and Orcs and a Beholder attack a oarty it looked like most of the men were dead now they were killing the women and feeding the babies to the Beholder.
No one could do three things simultaneously but one could try. Tayne motioned the party below to come forward. She sent Smoke running to harass the Orc heading towards the another screaming baby, which was intended, no doubt to follow the first into the great maw of the Beholder. She sent Aeron off to harass the Orc as well. Drawing her bow she fired at the Orc The arrow of energy flew towards it target.
With the realization that what the party faced was more, then just an Orc/Warg raiding party various plans were very quickly discussed. The final plan, excepting Sirene who had her own plan casting both invisibility, then flight, was to teleport close to the Beholder, catch it by surprise, and take it out first.
However, as with all plans nothing ever goes according to them. One minor hitch and a well thought out plan very likely to work can ruin them. In the case of this plan that ’hitch’ was the Ranger Rayne. Seeing the large Orc readying another baby to be fed to the Beholder and lacking patience she first sent her two animals to attack the Orc while quickly getting to one knee, Her bow ‘Anduril’ by this time readied she fired off a single arrow that quickly turned to magical energy. Though the magical energy gifted the once wooden arrow greater distance it was still too long of a shot, the energy arrow crashing to the ground 30 yards short of the target.
At once, the Beholder, having seen the arrow from start to finish, moved itself amongst the women and children. Calling to the large Orc to force the women to stand surrounding it, it formed them into a living wall. Looking to find the source of the arrow it caught sight of the large wolf approaching at a charge and as the wolf entered range of its eyes, struck out with its Death Ray killing the wolf instantly!. With this threat gone and already having spotted Rayne upon the small hilltop, it once more called out this time to all the Orc’s to ready themselves to protect it. Rayne’s owl being slightly smarter then the wolf turned away from it’s task, afraid, to fly back towards the female Elf Ranger.
With the shouts and commotion coming from the camp, thanks to Rayne, surprise was no longer an option. Teleporting could still work but the party was now faced with the higher possibility of civilian casualties.
IN THE AIR ABOVE
Sirene having cast the spells of Flight and Invisibility had started to move towards the Beholder to position herself above it. However as she reached the position she wanted it was already too late, the Beholder having moved and surrounded itself with the captured women. To use her planned spell of Lightening Bolt was now dangerous for even if successful the chance of hurting the women due to it’s residual electricity was a sure thing. The only real questions now were how many would be hurt or killed and did Sirene have the ruthlessness to cast it anyway.
(Ok here is today’s/tonight’s post. As everyone had posted and I had the day to myself I decided to post early. Ok to give you a better idea of what is going on except for Rayne and Sirene no one else in the party has acted so Valene is still Valene and not a pirate Orc.
This is a good thing, as the Orc’s and Beholder would have attacked her instantly as not being of their clan. Plus the disguise, come on now a pirate Orc, no such thing
Ok next post next Wednesday)
Posted on 2012-08-08 at 20:57:47.
Edited on 2013-10-21 at 20:00:13 by TannTalas
Cor was just about to grasp Weaver's cloak to begin teh teleport when an energy arrow streaked towards the orcs. Ther was only one possible explaination. "Damn it lass, ye ruined the plan, killed your wolf and likely destined a great number of the civilians to death." Cor was furious. "Do as ya all will." He began his own spell, sanctuary. "I'll try to save as many of the wounded as I can." Cor moved out towards the gathered throng of orcs and humans.
The creatures were so close to her she could smell their stink – a mixture of dried sweat and rotting flesh. The whole forest shook with the sound of their drums and cruel speech. Yet she could not run.
“Leave me,” a voice rasped. It was barely audible, little more than a whisper. She turned to face him, and her eyes welled with tears. His skin was ashen-hued, his beard and hair now snowy-white, and his breath burdened with flecks of blood.
“Never,” she vowed, urging him to his feet once more.
He rose with difficulty, one hand over her shoulder, the other cradling the horrible wound lacerating his stomach. She led him on deeper into the forest, showing him the path around knotted roots and tangled weeds. But soon she felt him growing limp in her arms, and the sounds of pursuit grew even closer.
“I’m dying Sirène. You must leave me …”
There was contentment written into his wrinkled face, and, despite the pain, an acceptance of his fate. She lowered him to the earth once more.
“I will save you. I ….”
“You already did. I was nothing when we met all those years ago. Nothing. And since that time what adventures we have shared, and what wonders I have seen. I am old and I am dying. You must leave me.”
“I … I can’t!”
“I can’t,” Sirène echoed. Her body thrummed with power. She felt like she was riding a dark cloud after a hot summer’s day, promising to rain ruin upon all that opposed her. It was power that threatened to seduce her, to swallow her whole in blissful oblivion. And like an addict she longed for release: to send a lightning bolt streaking through the sky, to obliterate her foes with one outstretched finger.
But she couldn’t.
The beholder had somehow sensed their presence, and, once warned, ordered its minions to press its human captives into a writhing, living wall to shield it from any attack. Flying directly above the fray, Sirène knew she could still strike the beast, possibly even kill it outright if fortune and the favour of her Goddess was with her. But it would be at the cost of countless human lives.
With a thought she let the magic, that was welling up within her, dissipate. ‘You may take my life, but not what makes me who I am,’ she vowed, opting for a simpler, less powerful spell.
She hoped she would not come to regret it.
OOC: Sirène is going to stay 150 yards above the Beholder, and blast it with a Magic Missile.
"Ware the Big Folk!", as my Grandpappy used to say...
It was always difficult to tell what the Big Folk were going to do. Spot a gold coin lying on the ground, and they were as likely to try and find the previous owner as they were to do the sensible thing of pocketing it. Set them before a comely lad and they would something silly like marrying the poor bugger instead of taking their pleasure and moving on. And, faced with a horde or orcs, a beholder, and a bunch of captives, they had a tendency to first announce their presence, fire an arrow feebly into the ground and get their pet dog (or wolf) killed.
“Big Folk!” Valene cursed, with a comedy slap of her forehead. Rayne was far from the brightest spark she had ever seen. She suspected it had to do with being so tall and high off the ground. ‘Not enough oxygen up there, I suppose.’
“Well, I guess we do this the dirty way then,” Valene reasoned, drawing her sword with a flourish.
OOC: Valene will also cast Sanctuary over herself and follow Cor into battle. Not much else she can do!
“Big Folk! We are not all easily taught it seems.” Weaver noticing Cor has broken away calls out to him “Cor I will see you and the herd of cats in the middle!” his eyes then fall upon his target the Eye! “Who of the clowder is with me?” with that Weave continues to cast his teleport spell. Any who want to move in with him must do so quickly.