Fate's Fell Hand.   Posted by Autarch.Group: 0
Autarch
 GM, 2601 posts
Sun 3 Nov 2013
at 23:02
Fate's Fell Hand
You tumble together out of the night onto a carpet of stone on the face of a mountain.

The cave, as it is, is shallow and dry, little more than an overhang carved into the side of the dark stone cliffs. Rustling twigs and dried leaves cover the floor, and decades worth of guano cake the back wall.

The leaves crackle and crunch under boot as the walls open all around you. A ghostly form appears in the darkness. Dressed in the guise of a court jester or fool, giggling madly as it capers about, the fool seems ignorant – or blind – to your presence.


He holds one or two handfuls of ivory plaques and deals them in the air before you.

Bells jingling, he first reveals the Two of Swords, then its duplicate, followed by the Sorceress, draped in a crimson dress and doublet. When he draws her, he places her at the head of the first column with one of the Swords beneath it. Next, he produces another Two of Swords which hovers in the third column.

"The Wizard," he trills, placing the sickly yellow personage at the top of the second column.

Yet another Two of Swords, the fourth of such cards depends in the third column yet to have found its head.

The next draw provides its head: The Magician, a cerulean blue.

Three more cards finish the draw: the Ladies in Waiting, The Prince of Swords, and The Hierophant from first to third in columns, with each taking the color of its head.

During the draw, the air about you hums, nearly buzzing, and you detect the whiff of an open wound.

The jester, cardless, strums the air before him and sounds, as if generated in foreign lands, crash the cave. He sings:

A lifetime in this plane seems quite in the cards
But if my analysis of the position is right
Within the manor and the lake,
There seems a glimmer of light
For all of a sudden indescribable things
Have shattered the sleep of both heroes and magi.
Strange as it seems,
There's been a run of crazy dreams
And a man who can interpret
Could go far - could rule them all.


With a rousing flourish of trumpets, he vanishes and the air clears. One of you beholds the vista beyond the cave:


This message was last edited by the GM at 23:03, Sun 03 Nov 2013.

Bill
 player, 103 posts
Sun 3 Nov 2013
at 23:29
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Bill stands in awe at this strange jester or creature as he would think. He looks upon the wide expanse of the open meadow below them and asks his companions." So do we make our way down to the lone house on the range there, or try and find that card dealing fool that was just here?"
Omm
 player, 94 posts
Sun 3 Nov 2013
at 23:39
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm's jaw hangs agape as the mysterious happenings unfold before the group. When Bill finally speaks, it drags the warrior from his reverie and he stammers for a few moments before finding words.

In a spell-bound, hushed tone, Omm replies, "Yes. Let us journey to the house upon the meadow. Ware, friends!"

Omm draws his sword and boldly steps toward, and perhaps into, the landscape suggested by the vista seen at the back of the cave.

This message was last edited by the player at 23:42, Sun 03 Nov 2013.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 423 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 4 Nov 2013
at 19:35
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd peers afar. ''Say... isn't that the silhouette of a mighty tower? There? Behind the moon?''

''Rubbish,'' Zar harrumphs, ''behind the moon. That is not possible. Hm... uhrm... it appears to be so though... Say, how close is that moon?''

''Let's go to the house at the lake then.''
Josh
 player, 77 posts
Tue 5 Nov 2013
at 02:42
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Several times, Arnie opens his mouth to utter some words of wisdom and guidance, and each time shuts it again as one of his companions cuts in before he has his chance.  Eventually he just gives up, sighs, and follows the others down into the meadow.

That's okay man, Felix says as they walk.  It's better to let them keep thinking you're some kind of moron than to start talking again and prove it to them.
Autarch
 GM, 2604 posts
Sun 10 Nov 2013
at 00:48
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
You step from the darkness covered in gray cobwebs that stink of sulfur. Even as you wipe the webs and strands from your face and limbs, they dissolve into smoky wisps that drift down into the tall, dewy grasses.

You and your companions stand atop a high ridge, looking down upon a darkened vale. Above, a fat, gibbous moon sinks slowly below the horizon. Below you can spy the lights of a manor house and trampled fields, all set upon the shore of a glassy lake lit by dancing fireflies. And beyond the manor, obscured by the setting moon, you see a lonesome tower, awash in waves of moon-lit clouds.


Having sunk until it can no longer sink, the moon bows before the sun. Atop its throne in the sky, the sun lights the vale before you -- with a cool, starry-blue light, the same blue hue of the wizard on the ivory plaque, infusing the sky with unmistakable symbolism. The light does not dispel the pervasive haze, and it's through this haze, you trudge, your feet sinking just perceptibly into the tall, dewy grasses.

Between yourself and the manor, the air becomes simultaneously too sweet and too sour, and, because of the gray mists, your feet find the source before your eyes:

The long, plowed furrows are trampled into mud. Bodies litter the field, half buried and crusted with bloodied dirt. Shattered spears, splintered shields, and crushed helms are scattered all around. Cackling crows, their beaks wet with blood, hop about, making a feast of the slaughter.


Arnie's the one who stepped in it, it being the half-filled brain pan of pikeman, his polearm snapped in twain much like his neck. There, the cold warmth of the man's deliquescent cerebral matter soaking his left boot, Arnie curses. It's a good thing young, sweet Del's not there to hear them.

Time: Dawn
Location: Field of the Dead

Josh
 player, 78 posts
Sun 10 Nov 2013
at 01:47
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The conflict in Arnie's mind spreads to his whole body - the foot that stepped in "it" is trying to leap out in a panic, while the other remains firmly planted.  Arnie struggles to retain his balance, takes a moment to slow his breathing and keep control over his stomach, and then addresses the group (heedless of Felix's earlier warning): We must find out who these men were and who did this to them, and then we must avenge their deaths.  My Lord would have it no other way, and certainly He will bless all of us if we all share in doing His glorious work.
Bill
 player, 104 posts
Sun 10 Nov 2013
at 01:59
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
In reply to Josh (msg # 7):

Bill nods his head in agreement to Arnie's wise words and points at the lone dwelling on the range and says to his friends "Should we start at the dwelling there? It is still standing for some reason among  all this destruction and dismay. Maybe it is for a reason. Hopefully it holds clues there to be found. What say you all?"
Omm
 player, 95 posts
Sun 10 Nov 2013
at 18:58
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm nods in agreement with Bill and Arnie's statements. Kneeling down to examine the livery of one of the men, "Perhaps we may learn something of their liege..." Omm searches for any heraldic devices which might adorn a discarded shield or perhaps even a battle standard.

Turning a bit later to address Bill, "Yes. We may yet find answers there. Let's approach. Perhaps get a better look at the place up close before announcing our visit."

Should the group agree, Omm will lead the way, sword at the ready, but not unsheathed.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:59, Sun 10 Nov 2013.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 425 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 11 Nov 2013
at 09:15
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar glances at the sun full of distrust. ''Did anyone notice that the symbol on the blue mages robe, on the card, looked pretty much like the sign of chaos? Arcane symbols can be difficult to read though... Anyway, if the sun is his, I do not like it.''

''Do the dead wear any colors?'' Interjects Sidd. ''For all we know they serve different masters and killed each other. Especially if there's some three sided contest going on here?''

''Yes, I believe so. And if the blue mage is Chaos, then the red sorceress might be his noble opposite. We ought to be on her side! Except maybe you, Sidd, you might rather belong to that sickly yellow guy,'' Zar adds snidely.

The two former friends glare at each other.

Then they suddenly turn away and help searching the battlefield. Sidd is not above taking up a used bow, if he finds one, and some arrows.

This message was last edited by the player at 09:16, Mon 11 Nov 2013.

Autarch
 GM, 2606 posts
Tue 12 Nov 2013
at 03:14
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The mist, the mud, and the early morning chill and decomposition, they all frustrate would-be heraldic seekers. Splotches of yellow, blue, red, more red, and yet more red, these you spot across the battlefield. Sometimes the red is wet and sticky, staining your clothes. In a complementary fashion, sometimes the yellow forms small pools. Such is the glamor of battle beneath the cerulean sun.

Sidd and Zarr dive in, forgetting momentarily their quibbles, for with the loss of sweet, sweet Del, life tastes of dust and grit; that's what they remember when they forget to squabble. Miraculously, Sidd locates a 10 foot pole, uncompromised, from which a shredded banner depends. What shreds remain sport red spots. Zarr grins at discovering a footman's headless body, the body still perfectly swaddled in hide armor.

You could stay here or continue to the manor house.

Time: Dawn or thereabouts
Location: Field of the Dead

Omm
 player, 96 posts
Tue 12 Nov 2013
at 03:37
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm examines the battle standard for a moment, contemplating what armies might have waged battle in these idyllic meadows. Pulling himself from the reverie induced by deeper thought than he is accustomed, Omm comments to his compatriots, "Not much longer yet to the manor house. Let's continue..."
Sidd and Zar
 player, 426 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 12 Nov 2013
at 08:54
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar lets the hide armor be. Recently he is feeling inklings of the arcane and higher secrets and all that, and armor is just not meshing too well with this. He is interested in the banner though.

''Give me that,'' he barks at Sidd. Blue being Chaos, red Order, and yellow the scallywags in between is currently just a theory without much grounding. But just in case, a red banner might be the thing to have later. Or is it just blood on the shredded fabric?

''The sorceress' column sported the ladies in waiting,'' Zar muses. ''I only recently dreamed of three women most wise and fair, keepers of all that is destined and good. I wonder whether these are the same?''

Sidd just eyes the former farmer and his hen. ''Or you are just getting lonely? Anyway, let's do as Omm says. He has some sense.''

Zar rolls what is left of the banner around the pole and binds it with a bit of rope, or a belt, whatever's handy, and trudges along with the others towards the manor.
Bill
 player, 105 posts
Tue 12 Nov 2013
at 09:00
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
If no one else grabs it, Bill does not miss the chance at decent protection and he pauses for a moment to don the hide armor. A small amount of protection is better than none he thinks. He then continues to follow the others..
Omm
 player, 97 posts
Wed 13 Nov 2013
at 05:43
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Upon seeing Bill in his newly acquired armor, Omm comments, "Looks to fit fine enough. A nice find indeed!"
Josh
 player, 79 posts
Wed 13 Nov 2013
at 17:54
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie approaches Omm and says We must be respectful of the dead.  If you take his belongings, see that you use them to help aid in his mission.

Further back, Felix rolls his eyes and mutters It's gonna be a long quest if he keeps taking himself seriously like this.
Autarch
 GM, 2607 posts
Mon 18 Nov 2013
at 03:54
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
It may just be the general state of anxiety, but it sure seems to take Bill a long time to shrug off his everyday clothes and replace them with hide armor. Thing is, it's tight in some places on him, especially around the thews of his thighs. As he tugs, pulls, and curses, the midnight blue sun inexorably rises to its zenith.

Only after he has tightened the last strap and clasped the last buckle, do you resume your march through the field of the dead and to manor house with a lake one one side and a tower in the distance.

No guards ask your business (did they all die beneath another day's sun?), so you decide to take the first steps to making yourself at home.

Worn stone steps rise to the ruined manor house. The once-mighty door hangs ajar, covered in moss and vines. Above, a weathered arch bears the relief of three sigils: a crown, crossed wands, and a star.

Just inside the gate is a large rain barrel (half-full of stagnant water), a muddy iron bar used to seal the gate, a sheaf of six spears, and a shield.


When you're not stepping in a puddle, you're crunching fallen plaster or masonry beneath your boots. The noises hang in the air without the bustle of a busy house to absorb them; you don't hear servants clicking their heels or maids swishing their mops.

To the right, there is the door leading to the tower. In front of you, a set of double doors leads to the interior of the first floor. To the left are stairs leading to the second floor. Everywhere else is rubble and decay.

Time: Beyond Dawn
Location: The High Gate

Omm
 player, 98 posts
Mon 18 Nov 2013
at 05:25
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm runs his hand along the sheaf of spears before grabbing the final in the line. "A fine weapon. I claim it as my own!" he says while examining the spear tip's edge.

The warrior then approaches the shield and examines it for a moment before adding, "I could make use of this, if nobody else has eyes upon it."

With each passing moment, Omm was beginning to look more like a warrior. He was now decked out in a chain hauberk, a long sword, spear, and perhaps even a shield. He certainly looked the part.

Glancing at the three options for exploration, Omm recommends checking out the first floor of the manor house first. Of course, this is just a suggestion and he does not feel strongly about any of the options.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 427 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 18 Nov 2013
at 10:35
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar examines the gate's lintel carefully. ''The crown of the golden wizard, the wands of the red sorceress, and the star of the blue magician. This house harbored all of them. Before they started a quarrel, most likely, and all this destruction ensued.''
He looks balefully at the sun and its unnatural light.

Sidd sighs. ''That's all guesswork for now. But if I am allowed to utter an opinion about your construct of cards, I would hazard that the golden wizard is standing in for order, and the red sorceress for neutrality. Figures, a man at each sides, a woman in the middle.''

Zar mumbles a bit at that, but then pushes the pole with the ruined red banner into Sidd's hands. ''Yours then.''

In regard to the best next venue, both only shrug their shoulders. ''Sure, Omm, the first floor is as good an option as any to start searching the manor.''
Josh
 player, 80 posts
Mon 18 Nov 2013
at 18:19
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Assuming no one vetoes the plan to explore this floor, Felix presses his ear against the double doors to determine if there might be anything for them to worry about on the other side.  If it is clear, he will then walk back and encourage someone else to be the first to actually open the doors.
Autarch
 GM, 2608 posts
Wed 20 Nov 2013
at 06:20
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The spears, though mildewed, can serve and Omm adds one of them to his armament. The shield, far more heavily mildewed and pitted in places with rust, can also serve. It wouldn't serve for a high tournament in its current condition.

Felix leans against the double doors and listens. Snoring! Scandalous at this time of day. What time is it anyway? Long past dawn.

The great creaking and clattering of the doors fail to waken the slumberer, and the sour fumes exuding from him explain why, as do the empty jacks of wine about the throne. With distaste, you notice a sharper, more pungent smell in the air and damp slick along the man's well-oiled leathers. His raiment has the cast of bile, yellow and viscous. You whisper amongst yourselves: he's the spitting image of the Prince.

The great hall is dominated by a large throne set atop a high dais. Flanked by statues of white marble lions, chased in silver and jewels and sheltered by a canopy of the darkest velvet, the opulent throne is fit for a sorcerer-king.

For all its grandeur the throne sits abandoned. Cobwebs hang from the canopy and dust has gathered on the once majestic lions. To the left of the dais sits a much simpler demi-throne of dark, polished wood, carved in the likeness of rearing lion. A warrior sits sprawled atop the throne, his head hung with melancholy. A discarded broadsword rest against the throne.


Time: Dawn no more
Location: The Throne Room

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:22, Wed 20 Nov 2013.

Omm
 player, 99 posts
Wed 20 Nov 2013
at 06:58
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm draws his sword and silently crosses the distance to the demi-throne, senses keenly focused on detecting any sudden movement within The Throne Room. Perhaps closer inspection of the Prince might shed light on this unfolding mystery...
Sidd and Zar
 player, 428 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 20 Nov 2013
at 08:20
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Omm!'' Zar hisses in hushed tones. ''Put that sword away. The man will think you have come to slit his throat. We do not want a fight.''
Josh
 player, 81 posts
Wed 20 Nov 2013
at 14:15
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix creeps toward the throne, not to approach or examine the man sitting in it, but rather the bottles sitting around him.  Perhaps one bears the mark of a vineyard or merchant and can thus shed some (figurative) light on the party's current location.  Or perhaps one will turn out to have not been consumed yet, which is always nice to know.
Bill
 player, 106 posts
Wed 20 Nov 2013
at 14:25
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Bill brings up the rear of his troupe and eagerly watches the seemingly sleeping warrior upon his chair. With the dust and cobwebs about, it appears the warrior may have been in this slumber for quite some time, however even a confidence artist knows that not all is always as it appears to be.. Bill's hand rests easily on his dagger, hoping its not needed yet none can ever be certain....
Omm
 player, 100 posts
Thu 21 Nov 2013
at 09:03
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd and Zar:
''Omm!'' Zar hisses in hushed tones. ''Put that sword away. The man will think you have come to slit his throat. We do not want a fight.''


Omm turns around, a wry grin plastered to his face, and raises a single gloved finger to his lips. He proceeds forward nonetheless, with sword drawn, but not in an overtly aggressive manner. While Omm appreciates Zar's well-reasoned admonition, if ever there was a time for caution, it was now!
Autarch
 GM, 2609 posts
Sun 24 Nov 2013
at 05:19
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Brandish his sword as he might like, Omm's not like to wake the swordsman from utter stupefaction. And were he even to land a heavy foot, the thick, woven rug that leads to the throne and covers too much floor would absorb the impact. The rug depicts a party of mounted warriors pursuing an enormous serpent.

Felix examines one empty flagon and then another, first of Medoc and then of De Grave. From there he can espy a larder to the side of the throne room.  It has a pipe of wine, 130 gallons, and doubtless many not quite spoiled foodstuffs, hard cheeses, salamis, and the like. It's one of the few unruined rooms in the manor that you've seen besides the throne room.

On the other side of the throne room, opposite the arbor, is a set of descending stairs.

Time: Unknown
Location: In the Throne Room with the Stupefied Prince

Omm
 player, 101 posts
Sun 24 Nov 2013
at 07:33
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm shrugs his shoulders and turns back to address his companions, "He's out. Cold."

He takes a couple more steps toward the slumbering warrior and examines the broadsword resting beside the throne. "Maybe the feel of steel in his hand will awaken the warrior trapped within?" he asks aloud.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 429 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 24 Nov 2013
at 10:10
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Hello, Sir Prince!'' Sidd booms. No apparent reaction. ''You know, Omm, I think you are right.''

''Still, I would not touch his sword. Let it be. Hmm, with the throne vacant and the prince stupefied, obviously things are ill in this realm. I suggest we go outside again and take a look at the first floor?''
Omm
 player, 102 posts
Sun 24 Nov 2013
at 10:18
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd and Zar:
''Still, I would not touch his sword. Let it be. Hmm, with the throne vacant and the prince stupefied, obviously things are ill in this realm. I suggest we go outside again and take a look at the first floor?''


Omm, in his characteristically oafish mannerism, shrugs his shoulders and replies "Okay. Sure. Not like he's going anywhere anytime soon."

Glancing over his other shoulder, at the provisions stacked up against a distant wall, "Maybe we check the larder before moving on?"

Then to the stairs, "What about down there?"
Sidd and Zar
 player, 430 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 24 Nov 2013
at 10:22
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar shrugs. ''Sure, let's check the larders. But I would search the floors above first before descending down the stairs.''
He shudders a bit. ''After our recent experiences at the keep and all that.''
Bill
 player, 107 posts
Sun 24 Nov 2013
at 12:21
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Bill moves over to the larder and begins to look through the contents there, hoping to find something useful. He can't remember when he last had good, hearty food but with this stockpile it looks like he is about to remedy that. He calls over his shoulder to his companions " Not sure about the rest of you , but I could sure go with something to eat. Shall we munch a bit while we look about?"
Josh
 player, 82 posts
Sun 24 Nov 2013
at 16:41
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie is struck by sudden inspiration, courtesy of still getting used to his recently increased competence in the priestly arts.  He does not touch any of the swords, as per Zar's suggestion, but he does look closely at the unresponsive prince.  He even moves his hands over the still body, not making contact but no more than a centimeter away.  Perhaps he can gain some insight into the man's condition, if not how to cure it.
Autarch
 GM, 2610 posts
Mon 25 Nov 2013
at 03:26
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd  booms, his voice stentorian. Verily, it must have parted the grey mists across the vale.

The prince of swords, as you know him to be, rubs his eyes wearily at the start of yet another day. He gapes at the melange before and about him: Arnie gesticulating in a ritualistic manner; Omm grandstanding with his blade; and Bill in the larder, his hand thrust in a barrel of pickles. The capering of fools, really.

"I dream?" he asks. He wrinkles his nose as Arnie leans in, the smell of Arnie upon him. He answers himself, "No, I do not."

He stands and towers over the tallest of you. His long lengths of black hair offset a pale yellow cloak. He pays no heed to Omm fiddling with his broadsword.

He addresses you, "I, Captain Kaschei, welcome you to Vale of the Three Magi" -- with no welcome in his voice, only the weight of days. "You, who have just arrived, must be weary with travel. See to your needs. The larder is full. Unlace your boots. Find a couch for repose."

"Share with me my wine and my doom, and, tonight, tonight, we hunt."

You look around. You don't see any couches.

Time: Unknown
Location: In the Throne Room with the Captain

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:26, Mon 25 Nov 2013.

Josh
 player, 83 posts
Mon 25 Nov 2013
at 04:03
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Hold on now buddy, Felix responds.  I'm happy to share this wine and cheese, but I've had enough doom for one life already.  You can keep that for yourself.

Arnie chides the little man, saying Worry not, Felix.  Surely he meant it metaphorically.  He does not intend to doom us, merely to... hm.  He looks at the prince with an expression that is certainly not pleading for help but might be mistaken as such.  He's still having a little trouble adjusting to this whole "wisdom" thing.
Omm
 player, 103 posts
Mon 25 Nov 2013
at 04:25
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm jerks backward with a start when the prince booms in greeting, nearly dropping his sword in the process. Once his heart has returned to its rightful place, Omm stammers a response, "Th...th...thank you kindly, my lord, b...b...but I am quite full indeed."

Standing there with sword held limply, Omm calls out to his companions, "Lads, let's not trouble the good prince for his wine..."

This message was last edited by the player at 07:07, Tue 26 Nov 2013.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 431 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 25 Nov 2013
at 16:39
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Yes, well, as you can gather from my friends' answers we are actually well rested. Couldn't be better, thanks.'' Replies Sidd amiable.
''Now, once it is night, who or what is it you intend to hunt? And why wait until dusk? And what of the yellow wizard? And the two other magi? You see, we have quite a few questions.''
Autarch
 GM, 2612 posts
Wed 27 Nov 2013
at 04:41
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Questions, so many of them. Why waste them all today when we have all of the tomorrows?"

"Fate chooses the hunted." He sticks a finger in his mouth and scrapes a length of gristle free. He tosses it on the rug where it sits, just long enough not to ignore.

With the same finger, he points around the room. "It could be you or you or you -- or me." With a princely flourish, he attains his full height, his yellowish cloak snapping to attention. Fate should choose more wisely, you aver.

"Today, I serve the wizard, Darjr -- as do they."

Two swordsmen step out of the shadows and into your view. Have they been here all along?

"He is not currently here to serve, making the tower by the lake his retreat. There he sees to his droll pursuits."
Omm
 player, 104 posts
Wed 27 Nov 2013
at 06:38
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Or it could be none of us," Omm calls back in response. "For we are hunters, all of us, to a man. Our lot is to hunt!"

Head held high, the warrior's posture assumes a more commanding posture, his chest now prominently displayed in a show of dominance.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 432 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 27 Nov 2013
at 11:10
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar's head rises as the Fates are mentioned. He has had dreams... ''Are these the ladies in waiting?''
He is refering to the cards the jester revealed when this all started.

''Anyway, so your own wizard is up to droll pursuits, whatever that means. What are the others doing? There are three of them, ain't there? And the signs of all of them grace your lintel. Where are they?''
Bill
 player, 108 posts
Wed 27 Nov 2013
at 11:22
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
As the two swordsman appear, Bill decides that now is probably not the time to have his hand in the pickle barrel. He quickly trades the pickle for his dagger and moves in at an angle behind the throne. He has only heard snippets of the debate going on and wants to hear more. As his companions continue to talk, he keeps a weary eye on the swordsmen...
Josh
 player, 85 posts
Wed 27 Nov 2013
at 17:27
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie listens to the prince's explanation (or close enough) and replies And the men laying in the field, who did they serve?
Autarch
 GM, 2613 posts
Sun 1 Dec 2013
at 05:00
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
About the other two magisters he produces no more then that they must be "plotting."

Captain Kaschei fixes Omm with what at one time must have been implacable eyes. "Agreed. Tonight, we hunt," he replies to the warrior, a twitch of a smile about his lips. "Until then, we drink, and then -- we drink as well."

He addresses Omm, "Have your man bring fresh skins," his man plausibly being either Bill, just now sorting himself out, or Felix who, due to his stature, seems more boy than man.

You have a chance to get a closer look at the two swordsmen. They wear mud-caked boots, much like your own from having tromped through the furrows. Also, they have a feeble yellow gleam to their eyes. One of them, a grizzled chap, answers Arnie's plaintive question.

"They serve whom they served. We all do until we don't."
Omm
 player, 105 posts
Sun 1 Dec 2013
at 05:19
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm shoots a glance back to his companions while fumbling for his own wineskin.

With a quizzical look, he asks Captain Kaschei, "Haven't you any goblets or mugs we can drink from?" He surveys the room once more for a serving table where these things might be found.

"And," he interjects, "What shall we drink to? The hunt? If so, what shall we hunt?"
Sidd and Zar
 player, 434 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 1 Dec 2013
at 11:01
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Uh, Omm, let's not dally. We still have business to attend to. Let's not pester our hosts. We can always go hunt later.'' Old Zar pats Omm's hand while unobtrusively pulling him away.

Sidd takes up the cue, and for once agrees with Zar. ''Ah, yes. I think we should move on. We will make sure to be back for nightfall though, with the hunt and everything! And if not, I am sure we will meet again nonetheless.''

He tries to usher out Arnie, Bill and Felix, too.
Josh
 player, 86 posts
Sun 1 Dec 2013
at 16:02
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie walks out with Sidd, whispering I don't think I like this fellow.  That nonsense about "they served whomever they served?"  I'm an ordained priest, well, I think I am anyway, and even I thought that was too vague.

Felix doesn't have much to say at this point, but he knows he doesn't want to be left behind with these weirdos if the rest of his group is leaving.
Bill
 player, 109 posts
Sun 1 Dec 2013
at 16:08
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Bill has a strange feeling about all of these events taking place.. He does know that it one of the best pickles he has ever eaten. Matter of fact, he could spend more time in the larder yet he knows it would not be best to stick around in here as his companions are heading out, he has no quips about following them. He asks the group as they leave "Well now does not this whole place just seem a bit odd? What shall our next move be? I am sure by exploring the rest of this manor, we can add even more mystery to our lives. I am up for anything. I am curious about this hunting taking place around dark howeer."
The confidence artist simply tags along with his friends, all the time wondering what is around the next turn...
Sidd and Zar
 player, 435 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 1 Dec 2013
at 17:38
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Yeah,'' Sidd whispers back at Arnie, ''he's completly meshugge. I will make sure to cover as big a distance away as possible before this loon opens the doors at nightfall and decides to kill anything that crosses his path.''

If they make it all outside, Zar agrres with Bill. ''A bit odd? This place is absolutely bizarre. Interesting though! Shall we take a look at the upper floor?''
Omm
 player, 108 posts
Sun 1 Dec 2013
at 18:48
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Taking a step back, Omm comments to the captain, "Well, as much as it pains me to delay our toasts to the Gods, it seems my companions are looking to move along."

He slings the wineskin over his shoulder again, "Fear not, we will be back, to avail ourselves to your generous offer." Then, noticing he was still clutching his longsword, he sheathes the blade back in its scabbard.

Turning to Zar, "Second floor it is..."
Bill
 player, 110 posts
Sun 1 Dec 2013
at 18:49
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Bill nods his agreement to Zar and says " Yes that is a better way to put it, absolutely bizarre for sure . I say let us find out what the top floor has to offer. "
Autarch
 GM, 2617 posts
Mon 2 Dec 2013
at 01:36
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
You leave the Prince of Swords to what promises to be a long day of succor-less debauchery and return to the entrance hall to gain access to the tower stairs, bypassing for now the stairs to the second floor of the manor. Shafts of chalky, blue light, tendrils more like, slant or worm their way through the open gate.

The door opens to reveal three ladies seated around a glowing brazier. All three wear pale half-masks and diaphanous carmine gowns accented with silk. Slender keys hang around the necks of each lady-in-waiting.

Behind the trio stands a dour woman, her round face framed with a black mantle, girded in a long tunic dress the color of midnight.

And finally there is the Fool: siting atop a tall stool in his striped hose and gaudy tunic, casting clever finger shadows on the wall and entertaining the ladies with a bawdy tale.

At the sound of your entry the seated ladies look up from their needlework, devious smiles flashing beneath their masks. The matron crosses to stand before them, moving with sprightly speed in spite of her considerable frame. The Fool watches on, bemused.


Time: Midday
Location: In the Tower with the Ladies in Waiting

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:36, Mon 02 Dec 2013.

Omm
 player, 110 posts
Mon 2 Dec 2013
at 02:05
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Ladies," Omm booms out in greeting, "we come from beyond the veil, seeking counsel with the Lord or Lady of this Manor, as the case may be."

Omm finishes with an awkward bow. He was a cobbler after all and not accustomed to courtly mannerisms.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 436 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 2 Dec 2013
at 10:27
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar's head whirls. He has had dreams recently. Visions. Arcane secrets whispering in his head. Sigils and runes. And among those, appearing recurrently, the forms of three women. Arbor, loom and scissors. The Fates? Are these women before him those from the dream, just in another guise?
To be safe, he goes down on one knee. ''Are you the Three Fates,'' he asks in awe?

Sidd is entranced, too, but that might have more to do with the translucency of the women's gowns than anything else.
''Err...,'' he says, in another kind of awe.
Autarch
 GM, 2618 posts
Sun 8 Dec 2013
at 03:01
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Oh, no, we're not the three fates, we're the Ladies Signe, Nyx and Morai," the three respond in near unison as they stampede not towards the questioner but towards the bulging personage of Omm.

Signe arrives first, curtseying so deeply as to reveal breasts of marmoreal smoothness, or so he might understandably imagine. Nestled within, he jealously observes, is a key of iron. "Will you be my champion, oh, my immortal war--"

Nyx, possessing breasts no less classic, arrives second and speaks over her sister, replacing her word with her own, as if she has posed the question. A key of copper offsets the whiteness of her bosom.

The slinkiest of the three, Morai, slips between her two siblings and smiles at Omm, the same question on her lips. Sheathed in her more modest endowment is a key of gold.

Before Omm can consider a reply, he finds himself not addressing any of the three "ladies" but the matron who has uncannily interposed herself between the hulking man and his three suitors, her disapproval writ large, larger than even her capacious urns.
Josh
 player, 87 posts
Sun 8 Dec 2013
at 04:33
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie may not have been the subject of the three maidens' requests, but he observed them nevertheless.  Their requests, that is.  And while Omm is still trying to straighten out his thoughts regarding all the different women vying for his attention, Arnie states, in the most gallant voice he can manage, My lord Gorhan would demand it of us.  Now, what is it that you need champions for?

Felix, who is far more straightforward about things, follows this by asking simply And what are the keys for?
Omm
 player, 111 posts
Sun 8 Dec 2013
at 07:56
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Well met, ladies, all," Omm finally replies, his eyes darting cautiously here or there. Mostly, there.

Turning back briefly to his companions to sneak a coy wink, he continues, "Don't worry ladies, there is more than enough champion to go around."

He then awaits any answers the maidens might give Arnie and Felix.
Bill
 player, 111 posts
Sun 8 Dec 2013
at 11:47
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Bill stares at the women in awe. Just before drool would drip down his chin, he comes out of his stupor and says to the ladies "I would more than happily be one of yours champions. Or all of ye for that matter. "
Sidd and Zar
 player, 437 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 8 Dec 2013
at 14:01
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Not the fates then... just some harlots courting strength and steel. I will have nothing to do with it!'' Moping, Zar turns away.

Sidd is upset about him. ''You cannot leave Omm alone with this,'' he argues and waves his hands in wide gestures. ''He has no clue at all what's happening!''

Zar does not turn around. ''Then you explain it to him. I am out of here.''

''Huffy old man,'' Sidd grumbles, and rises his arms in exasperation. Then he turns to Omm.

''Ok, big guy, here's as it is. It's a magic thing, so you should trust me. I think.''
''You have three choices in front of you. There's a sizeable chance that all three are traps and lead to death. But possibly only two are traps, and one is the correct one. I would go with the latter. And be it just for the breasts.''
''Anyway, in that case, pick Signe. She is iron. The warrior's metal. Pick copper or even worse gold, and you will find yourself with a blade which is shiny, but easily hacked in two. You won't want that. There, settled. Explain it to the matron.''


Speech delivered, Sidd does not quite manage it to dissociate himself from the scene though. Hoping that the fearsome black-clothed guard dog is busy with Omm, he sneaks to the side of the woman named Nyx.
''Say,'' he whispers, ''don't you want to forget about that whole immortial warrior business and make out with a promising young mage instead? Honest, I am a way better lover than Omm.''
Omm
 player, 112 posts
Mon 9 Dec 2013
at 05:07
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm stands there with a dumbfounded look plastered on his face. "Where did you get all of that from, Sidd?" he whispers as an aside.

Still, he was not one to turn down the offer of a pretty maiden. Addressing Signe, "I will be your champion, milady."

After all, she asked him first. That was about as much complex thinking he could muster. Philosopher, he was not.
Autarch
 GM, 2619 posts
Thu 12 Dec 2013
at 03:35
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"As my champion at the High Fete, you may request a token from me," Signe positively radiates, her triumph all but blinding.

Arnie doesn't need his question directly answered after all. It's curious. When he spoke, he didn't observe any recognition from any of the ladies in waiting, only a twitch from the nose of Nyx as if it had scented something distasteful in the room. The little man, Felix, he doesn't even get that. He doesn't meet the minimum height requirement for a champion.

Nyx's sly dip of a shoulder suggests she knows exactly which favor Sidd will choose. But as he leans close to admire her declivities, the matron wedges herself between them, establishing a one-foot rule, before he can choose, room enough Mary, Jesus, and their baby, or something like that.

Sulking, Morai awaits her most ardent suitor  -- who will fight for her honor at the High Fete?

A jingle of bells draws your eyes to the fool who sings with delight.

"There once was a lady from the manor
 who pledged to spread for knights who would clamor
 All crimson did her cheeks bloom
 and hasty did she flee the room
 when the pleas never beat a stammer
."

Outrage! The ladies' cheeks burn with it! Defend our honor, they demand as one, their bosoms heaving in solidarity.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:35, Thu 12 Dec 2013.

Josh
 player, 88 posts
Thu 12 Dec 2013
at 14:38
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Ignoring the earlier rebuttal, Arnie steps toward the jester and says loudly You slander these good ladies, sirrah!  You must apologize and make penance to them for your unkind words.  As the cleric speaks, his words take on a booming echo, seeming to come from all around the room rather than just from his mouth.

Josh rolled 21 using 1d20+1. casting roll (Word of Command)
  Will save DC 22 or else the spell lasts for 1d6+1 turns.

This message was last edited by the player at 15:04, Thu 12 Dec 2013.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 439 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 13 Dec 2013
at 16:19
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Ha!'' Zar calls out and turns around again. ''You were wrong, Sidd! Warrior's metal, phhht. Omm just gave himself to the blue mage. Which for all we know represents Chaos! Fools all!''

''Yeah, yeah, I get it, ok. So I erred by lending more importance to the symbolism of the metals instead of going merely by their color. Could have happened to anyone!'' Sidd shoots back.
''Anyone with enough brains to get symbolism, that is,'' he continues under his breath.

He then addresses the matron. ''Actually, uh, I wonder, did I already de facto agree to joust for the sweet lady Nyx here? Or is it all yet, uhm... negotiable?''
''Not that it wouldn't be totally worth it,''
he hastens to add, with one eye on beautiful Nyx's cleavage.

Zar shakes his head. ''Of rather more importance is, who is willing to pick up the cause of the golden maid? Who will represent the yellow wizard? Who, for all we know, might symbolize the noble and higher order of things. We cannot fight for Chaos against Order! Omm! We only now come from a great victory of Order against Chaos! Remember who you are, my friends!''
Omm
 player, 113 posts
Sat 14 Dec 2013
at 05:40
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm beams proudly at the attention now being lavished upon him by Lady Signe.

"Very well, milady," he says while effecting a clumsy bow, a pathetic attempt to mimic courtly etiquette.

After pushing the brim of his over-sized helm out of his eyes, he continues, "The key, what does it unlock?"

"Would that be a worthy token for your humble champion?"

This message was lightly edited by the GM at 23:05, Sat 14 Dec 2013.

Autarch
 GM, 2620 posts
Sun 15 Dec 2013
at 01:32
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Boom as it might, Arnie's voice does not silence the jester who only scampers around the room as if dodging the strumpets' withering glares. He ceases his scampering only to alight on the matron's back after vaulting himself off of a high-backed chair -- just as she is about to establish the one-foot rule between Sidd's bulging eyes and Nyx's copious bounty.

Even as the three ladies bewail their besmirched honor, they splatter it further. Signe scandalously tells Omm that the home of his key (Omm gains the Iron Key)is the only secret with him she won't share, providing that he prevail at the High Fete. And with the matron distracted by the fool, Nyx presses her advantage, "You do know how to lance, good sir?"

"There once was a sage new to the vale
Who saved his feculence in a grail
daily adding to his store
Avowing his offal galore
proved the sagacity of his tale.
"

The three ladies howl in merriment, already forgetting the mortal offenses to their character.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:32, Sun 15 Dec 2013.

Bill
 player, 112 posts
Sun 15 Dec 2013
at 14:31
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
In reply to Autarch (msg # 64):

Between all the bountiful bosom present in the room, the jester hopping about as a frog with feet afire and the spectacle of his companions, Bill is just mesmerized as if under trance or spell, not quite sure what to do or where to go in all this. He continues to be nothing more than a statue among living beings. He is keeping most of his eye and concentration upon the jester though, he just does not trust this fool....
Omm
 player, 115 posts
Sun 15 Dec 2013
at 23:47
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"So, when's this High Fete?" Omm asks while examining the key, his eyes only barely dancing over Lady Signe's loveliness.

When asked about the lance, "Big pointy spear while astride a charger?" He places the key around his neck, tucks it beneath his mail shirt, and continues in a flippant tone "Sure. If not, I reckon I will figure it out."
Sidd and Zar
 player, 440 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 16 Dec 2013
at 08:56
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Actually I would better dispense with any comments about my skills in lancing, since all which comes to my mind are witty things too lewd to be uttered in the presence of a lady,'' Sidd explains smoothly.
With the black matron such distracted by the fool, Sidd boldly extends his hand to lightly pick up the copper key (without removing it from its place), his fingers softly caressing Nyx's soft creamy skin. Really, his head is turning and if he had a question about the key in his mind before, he is unable to articulate it anymore.

Zar meanwhile critically reviews his companions. Who has the stern stuff to be a champion of Order? Omm would have been his first choice, naturally, but that fool Sidd has already maneuvered him towards the blue mage. Bill is a scoundrel. Felix too short. Arnie, though, hmmmm.
''My good young man,'' Zar begins, laying a hand upon Arnie's shoulder. ''I watched your approach of Del with kind eyes. A fine young man, I told myself. Principles. High standards, beyond his outward sheen of bearishness.''
''Do you want to expose yourself to these vain little creatures to champion the cause of Order? Because someone might have to do that. I am considering to do so myself, but my bones are old and aching, and I would offer a younger man the chance to prove himself first.''


Then something the fool says is catching his attention and his head whips around. ''You are talking about the hierophant! The ladies first, and now the hermit! Even though we never met him yet. Do you also have a rhyme about the sodden knight?''
Josh
 player, 90 posts
Tue 17 Dec 2013
at 17:41
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie's eyes are suddenly aglow, perhaps distracted by visions of himself as a Mighty Champion of the Good and Just.  It's enough to easily ameliorate the disappointment of his failed spell from a moment ago (and he thought he had done so well!).  He opens his mouth to respond in eager agreement with Zar's suggestion, but doesn't even make it through the first syllable before the elder man cuts him off with his attempt at solving the fool's riddle.

Felix, meanwhile, rolls his eyes and says nothing.  It occurs to him that he has been doing a fair amount of that lately.  It also occurs to him that not being the center of attention might be a good way to not get himself killed, so he makes no change in his current tactics.
Autarch
 GM, 2622 posts
Thu 19 Dec 2013
at 04:27
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Nyx whispers to Sidd whilst his hand nestles in her ivory plumage, "The token's for me to give, not for you to take," but she makes no move to evict her new tenant (Sidd gains the Key of Copper). In no ways as bold a manner, Arnie also gains his token (Arnie gains the Key of Gold).

It would have seemed that you would have escaped the tower without another rhyme until Zar baits the jester. Never encourage a fool.

For this rhyme, he adopts a melancholy air which you know has just enough insincerity to be insulting.

"There once was a knight not from around here
who found in battle his grenadine cheer
until Sisyphus chained death
leaving his valor tooth-leth:
endless debauchery and him still sere
."

Edified, you retreat from the ladies with some if your virtue intact and ascent the stairs to the second floor of the manor which you discover to be a place of worship (of the spirit, not the flesh).

The small chapel stinks of mildew and blight. The walls drip with mold, and the pews are spongy with rot. At the far end of the dark chapel, three steps descend to a low altar. A tattered white tapestry hangs behind the altar, stained black and green.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:27, Thu 19 Dec 2013.

Josh
 player, 92 posts
Fri 20 Dec 2013
at 02:53
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
At last, something to suggest this place might once have been respectable.  Arnie strolls to the altar in back to see if anything there indicates a specific deity being worshiped.

Felix slinks around to a shadowy corner.  Arnie's welcome to walk into all the traps and ambushes he wants; the halfling is determined to play it safe.
Omm
 player, 116 posts
Fri 20 Dec 2013
at 06:53
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm walks down the three steps and approaches the tapestry with sword drawn. Using his sword, he pushes the tapestry aside to determine if anything might lie hidden behind.

"Riddle after blasted riddle..." he mutters to himself, but still loud enough for others to hear.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 444 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 21 Dec 2013
at 22:40
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd has a somewhat besotted expression as he is lead away from the ladies in waiting. In his hand is the key of copper, but in his mind he still imagines the bulges of soft white flesh.
''Congratulations,'' Zar quips disgruntled, ''you just agreed to let your head be smashed in by Omm in some melee type event. Very clever.''
Sidd only sighs, not really listening. ''Soft,'' he whispers.

''On the good side,'' Zar continues, ''The jester's words might imply that death holds no sway here? So you might survive. Perhaps.''

He then takes a good look around the chapel. Seems rather run down. No wonder, if this is really a place to worship Chaos. That sun is kind of unwholesome.
''Hello?'' He asks aloud. ''Anyone here? Hermits in particular?''
Autarch
 GM, 2625 posts
Tue 24 Dec 2013
at 00:06
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
It is, all things considered, the third chapel you've visited today, the first devoted to the bottle, the second, the body. And the third? It's good to know the recipient of a chapel's devotion. Standard operating procedure.

With a mind to this, Omm crosses the smallish sanctum and draws the tapestry to discover a sleeping nook with its occupant, unmistakably a hierophant, devoting himself, or more accurately, itself, to prayer. For the figure absorbed in obeisance looks more mantis than man. Hunched over a hymnal, he traces the words with long, spidery fingers that extend from rotting sleeves. His back (thorax?) arches to absurd heights, all of them angular and gaunt. At least, you assume it's a thorax for a black robe covers him from head to its metasoma.

Joint by joint, he rises, climbing, after a fashion, a 12' crosier, the head of which sports barbs and short spikes and blades. His frame clicks and sizzles all the while. The second sound disturbs more than the first; he's not exuding acid, is it? Maybe not, but there's no question about him exuding a malefic, predatory air.

About his sleeping area, you can discern various oddments of worship, its candles and ceremonial bowl.

You are, he informs you, just a trace early for the black mass. You can prepare by tainting yourself and then assuming the group lotus position.

Location: Chapel
Time: Dusk

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:04, Wed 01 Jan 2014.

Omm
 player, 117 posts
Tue 24 Dec 2013
at 07:15
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm is repulsed by the creature takes a step backward from the insect-priest, his sword held aloft to keep the creature at bay. "I will take no part in any such rite!" he spits back in defiance.

Once he has regained his composure, he will press the advantage to gain an attack against, should the priest show any hostile intent.

OOC: Sorry, not really sure whether this thing is a threat or not, but reading the text, it sounds like something Omm would attack.
Josh
 player, 93 posts
Tue 24 Dec 2013
at 14:38
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie is incensed and says What do you mean, black mass?  In the name of all gods that would take interest in such matters, I demand to know which is your patron.

Felix creeps closer, hugging the wall.  He is getting the feeling that someone may need to benefit from that contagious halfling luck, and soon.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 445 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 24 Dec 2013
at 20:40
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''I think killing that monster is a waste of time,'' says Zar. ''I am sure it will rise again with the next day. That said, be gone, foul creature. None of us will sink so low as to join in your depravity.''
''However, you seem to be a monster of learning. So tell me, where are your respective masters? And what are they doing? And what is the role we are ought to play? Even if we sure won't do so.''


''Heavens, time sure flies on this plane,'' remarks Sidd as he catches a glimpse at the sun setting outside. ''Say, when is that drunken knight's hunt again?''
Autarch
 GM, 2626 posts
Wed 1 Jan 2014
at 23:17
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The hierophant whips himself to his full ungodly height, his black robe flapping with gale-like intensity.

"Begone, you insolent weevils," he blasts you, the looky-loos, in its chapel.

He slams his crozier into the stone floor, and one shockwave after another rids the chapel of your importunity.

Outside the chapel, you figure you might be able to explore some more before any one of your three prospective social events kicks off. Could you squeeze them all in? Wouldn't the Black Mass start after the Hunt? No, there is no way you could juggle them all? Unless you delegate...

Location: Outside the Chapel
Time: Dusk

Sidd and Zar
 player, 446 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 2 Jan 2014
at 19:51
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Uhm, yes. That's that then. And the sun is setting.'', Zar says.

Sidd only sighs, his thoughts at a soon reunion with alluring Nyx.
Zar hits the back of Sidd's head, and not too gently. ''Ouch!''

''Anyway, what now? Our token-bearers could revisit the tower, I guess, and bash their respective heads in for their favor. Does anyone feel a particular urge to go hunting? Or whatever that knight calls his nightly killing sprees. No one of us, not even Bill I suppose, wants to join that mockery of a mass at least.''

''Or we leave it all behind and search out that spire?''

Josh
 player, 94 posts
Fri 3 Jan 2014
at 01:54
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie opens his mouth to start blathering, but Felix cuts him off before he has a chance.  I'm for checking the spire, the halfling says.  We might as well get the lay of the land as much as possible before things start going even crazier.
Omm
 player, 119 posts
Fri 3 Jan 2014
at 02:06
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm gazes at the spire in the distance while chewing his lower lip. "I don't suppose traveling there will make anything clearer. No," he says while kicking at a loose bit of flagstone, "it'll only muddy the waters more is my guess."

The warrior exhales through the gap in his front teeth before adding, "The hell with it though. I am ready to hunt when called and I don't suspect that opportunity will disappear once we visit the spire. No, we will likely just be give some other choice once there."

Omm has no strong feelings about any of the group's choices. All seemed to carry about as much weight as the next. He was no complex thinker and was not relishing the opportunity to mull over the hidden symbolism or portents that each new riddle presented.

He draws his sword again and gives a few practice swipes before shouting, "Damn the Master of this Realm and these blasted riddles!"
Sidd and Zar
 player, 449 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 3 Jan 2014
at 15:20
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar raises a stern index finger and points it at his compatriots. ''You all. Wait here. Just. A moment.''

Then he quickly shuffles up the stairs to the tower and opens the door a small crack.
''Tell, when and where did you say is this High Fete of yours?''
It's not that Zar does not trust his allies. But... well, he has seen Sidd, and Zar does not want to expose him to those women any more than strictly neccessary.
Autarch
 GM, 2629 posts
Sun 5 Jan 2014
at 20:37
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Timing, you've deduced, is anything except exact here. Zar returns to the tower of the three ladies and discovers a sign hanging from the door:
*****A High Fete!*****
In your Dreams
After Moonrise
Tea on Request,
Crumpets by Demand
Anxiously, you await the cresting of the moon. If one or more of you sneaks off to the captain's larder for some "liquid courage," you couldn't be blamed. When the ice-blue crescent nestles in the crook of the sky, the tower door swings wide and you behold a ballroom bedecked in rapturous shades of red -- as are the three ladies. You consign yourselves (or launch yourselves into) a night of civilized debauchery: courtly dances, rich red wines, and clandestine scheming for a moment's private canoodling.

At the height of the night, the revelers howl for a triple minor dance. And by revelers, I mean the jester and several overly drippy redswordsmen. The three champions and their three partners caper and whirl in the center of the room until, by feat of feet, the three ladies form the corners of the triangle and the three champions, its center.

Signe, her bounteous bosom still reverberating with kinetic majesty, reveals that she and the other two omitted one "teensy, tiny" detail.

There can only be one champion.

"Defend my honor," they beseech as one. The orchestra falls silent for the first time and only the buzzing of flies can be heard.
Josh
 player, 96 posts
Mon 6 Jan 2014
at 04:27
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
If there's one thing Arnie loves more than being in the presence of a lovely woman, it's having all of his body parts where they belong.  He bows to Morai and quietly says Milady.  He then turns to Sidd and Omm and says Gentlemen, the law of chivalry states that a woman must have a champion to defend her.  It can further be inferred that the champion must be the best available.  However, it says nothing of how many women may be represented by a single champion.  I submit to you that I am not the best champion available here, and so I relinquish my title to whichever of you is best suited for it.  This is the only just thing for me to do, and I am certain that the fine Lady Morai will benefit by it.  He follows up his little speech by fumbling to pull the gold key from his pocket, hastily putting it in the closest hand to his own, and then backing out of the triangle and off of the dance floor, bowing at everyone as he goes.
Omm
 player, 121 posts
Mon 6 Jan 2014
at 08:00
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Signe:
"Defend my honor," they beseech as one. The orchestra falls silent for the first time and only the buzzing of flies can be heard.


Omm had been enjoying the revelry and was somewhat startled by the abrupt way in which it ended. He glances about the room dumbly, throws up his hands in a placating gesture and asks, "What has happened?" Looking around wildly now, "Has any trespass been said to warrant indignity?"


Omm has heard nothing of the sort and will be hard-pressed to come to blows with any of his companions just to satisfy the whims of a huffy, impetuous Lady. Her bosom was nice, but not that nice.

Should some actual offense be enumerated, Omm will suggest a wrestling match to determine a champion. He is open to other options, provides they are non-lethal, but his first choice will be one which he holds a measurable advantage.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 452 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 7 Jan 2014
at 12:57
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Haha, a wrestling match! Why not a game of chess instead? But, truth to tell, I think you are not up for a tourney anyway. You seem to be half asleep already...''
Shameless, Sidd attempts to take Omm out of the contest before it even begins and weaves a charm of sleep against his friend.


OOC: Yay, Sidd's first spell is a success! Now Omm has to roll a save. With what bonus or against which difficulty I cannot tell yet, alas.
13:53, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 15 using 1d20+1. Sidd casts Sleep on Omm.

Autarch
 GM, 2633 posts
Thu 9 Jan 2014
at 03:42
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Why he .. Why he .. ," sputters Signe, wheeling about with her finger extending obscenely. "He mauled me with his eyes like I was some spitted suckling pig, my juices hissing and spitting on the coals."

Her finger has finally settled on Arnie. She beams with ecstasy.

"And he ... he ..."

She swivels her finger till it implicates Sidd.

"He's having impure thoughts. Can't you tell by his licentious leer?"

So that's how it is.

As if validating her claim, Sidd weaves mysterious magics and Omm starts to sway to from more than the wine (DC 15 will save check for Omm to stay awake). Leaning over his shoulder, Nyx whispers something breathily in his ear.

Meanwhile, the ambient buzzing rises ever so imperceptibly in intensity.

Init: Arnie, Omm, Sidd.
Omm
 player, 122 posts
Thu 9 Jan 2014
at 04:21
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm begins to yawn, but fights off the sudden wave of drowsiness at the last moment.

"I am quite alright!" he counters, now crossing the floor toward Sidd. "Check?" he says while arching an eyebrow, his body now crouched low and arms held in a wrestling pose.

18:16, Today: Omm rolled 17 using 1d20+1. initiative.

18:16, Today: Omm rolled 18 using 1d20+1. will save.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 454 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 9 Jan 2014
at 07:30
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''If with 'Check?' you mean 'Ready?', I say, bring it on!'' Sidd replies, going into what he thinks might be a combat stance.

08:28, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 12 using 1d20. Sidd initiative.
Josh
 player, 99 posts
Sat 11 Jan 2014
at 01:52
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie waits to see what the other two do.  As they prepare for combat, he is hit with a flash of inspiration.  He approaches Morai, and as if his previous actions had never occurred, he says to her You see how they fight like brutes?  By this action alone, they show themselves to be unworthy of the phrase "defending one's honor."  A true champion is perfectly capable of settling such manners in a civilized manner.  As I am the only one of us three willing to do so, then perhaps I might be considered the only honorable one here.  He raises his eyebrow to try to emphasize his point.

Felix meanwhile, mutters Sod all that nonsense and grabs some snacks from the tray of the nearest servant while he settles in to watch the imminent wrestling match.

Josh rolled 18 using 1d20+1. initiative.
Autarch
 GM, 2636 posts
Sun 12 Jan 2014
at 22:09
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
If one thing is clear by now, the ladies' spurious application of the concept of honor is just a means to an end, your end, two of yours anyhow. Your posturing only sharpens their appetite.

OOC Init Order: Arnie, Omm, Sidd. Go ahead and post Round 1 actions. If you intend to withdraw from the High Fete, make that clear, so we don't overstay this scene.
Josh
 player, 101 posts
Sun 12 Jan 2014
at 23:57
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie looks at Morai and the other ladies, then at Omm and Sidd, then back at the ladies.  He leans in to Morai again and asks Just out of curiosity, what happens to the champions who fail?  Depending on the answer, he likely gulps nervously and then asks about what happens to the winner.
Omm
 player, 123 posts
Tue 14 Jan 2014
at 07:18
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm turns to face the three ladies in waiting, draws his sword and proclaims, "I pronounce myself the undisputed," he casts his companions a reproachful gaze, "champion of the High Fete!"

Brandishing his sword aloft, "There is no need for the farce of competition. Behold your champion, now!"

Omm silently hopes none of his companions contest his claim. Not because he is fearful of battling any of them: he is not. He would just as soon put this all behind them and has no desire to beat down his companions.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 457 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 14 Jan 2014
at 10:46
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd looks flabbergasted at his flailing friends. Arnie losing himself in meaningleass talk, and Omm posturing like a circus strongman without even an attempt at doing something for his claim.
''You two are such... windbags! And Arnie, you already handed over your token, you ninny-hammer!''

Glorying in his newfound arcane powers, he tries to put both Omm and Arnie out of their misery and into deep sleep to finish this his way. He's sure he ought to win this just because he's the only contestant with a spine, apparently.


OOC: You two, up for two Will saves against DC16?
11:40, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 16 using 1d20+1. Sidd, Sleep again.

Josh
 player, 103 posts
Tue 14 Jan 2014
at 18:08
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie turns to Sidd with just enough time to put on a look of indignation.  Then his eyes flutter, his mouth droops, and he collapses to the floor.

Will save = 8
Autarch
 GM, 2639 posts
Tue 14 Jan 2014
at 23:43
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Catcalls greet Omm's strongman display...the loudest of which issue from the jester?

The collective breasts of the ladies verily heave with anticipation when Arnie succumbs to Sidd's sorcery, slumping to the floor after bumping his chin on the cheese table. A solitary hunk of Gouda follows him to the ground and has its fall cushioned by his recumbent corpulence. The breasts seem to ask as one, "How might he finish the fallen champion?"

OOC Omm, your save?

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:44, Tue 14 Jan 2014.

Omm
 player, 125 posts
Wed 15 Jan 2014
at 03:14
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Stay your tongue..." Omm collapses to the floor, mid-sentence.

17:13, Today: Omm rolled 8 using 1d20+1. saving throw.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 463 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 16 Jan 2014
at 13:35
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Staring at the alluring breasts, shaking in their partially transparent wrappings, Sidd is under the impression they might want to tell him something. Bleary eyed he considers their intent...
and is then ripped out of his trance by his conclusions.

''Wait. You want me to kill them, don't you? Putting them senseless is not enough for you. Binding them up or knocking them out won't do either then, heh?''

''I know what is happening here! All of you! The knight and the hierophant, too! Want to come with onto a drunken hunt? Let's go kill one of your friends!''
''Want to join my black mass? Let's go sacrifice one of your friends!''
''Want to kiss and fondle some? Let's go kill two of your friends!''


He reels back. ''Nyx, you are sweet and all, but too much is too much. The High Fete is over now, I think. Declare a winner or not.''

Sidd's eyes have turned from bleary to quite incensed.
Autarch
 GM, 2641 posts
Sun 19 Jan 2014
at 03:13
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
In another demi-plane and time, one where denizens with a sense of humor were the norm and not the exception, Sidd's summation might have elicited a sheepish shrug of the shoulders or two, as if to say what's the harm of a wee bit of ultra-violence followed by some of the jungle sex? You wouldn't deny us that, would you? Harmless fun for us gits and bitches.

As it is though, the six breasts heave with displeasure. As if a double nap could have satisfied the offense to their honor. Now, if Sidd had planted his staff, tossed Omm in the air such that he impaled himself after falling, and then Sidd had decapitated the spitted Omm, that would have been satisfactory, if, and only if, he had then stuck the head atop the staff. It's the finer things that count in the end. Not just any simple fatality will do.

The High Fete doesn't end; it just becomes a disappointment. You slink from the tower with most of your honor still intact and contemplate your next move.
Omm
 player, 126 posts
Sun 19 Jan 2014
at 07:42
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Well, that sucked," Omm says, not being able to think of any other way to put it.

"I'm of a mind to march right back in there and lop off all three of their heads. The jester too!" he spits out.

The warrior was in a foul mood now and was becoming quite annoyed at all the nonsense he had encountered since passing through the portal.

"What next? Anyone have any ideas, because if you leave it to me, there will be blood!"
Sidd and Zar
 player, 465 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 19 Jan 2014
at 09:03
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''No, no, this was quite enlightning. We have their measure now. And, to be honest, that is just what had to be expected from those hussies.''
And, to be honest, Zar might have a misogynistic streak.

''I wonder though... there had been stairs in the Knight's room. Would we be allowed to make it down there? Or is he guarding them? Hard to tell. It might be his equivalent to the keys - a promising venue only to be taken after spilling blood in his name.''


OOC: Are there any other doors/stairs/options we have left in the manor?
Josh
 player, 108 posts
Sun 19 Jan 2014
at 14:43
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix is with Omm on this one.  Sure, let's try the knight's chamber.  There's a lot more of us than there are of him.  We could probably win that fight without me even losing my good looks.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 466 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 19 Jan 2014
at 14:52
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd sighs, still mourning about the lost chance with the ladies in waiting.
''I dunno. This is all about choices. Deciding to kill one of those jerks might be as much a choice as deciding to kill someone on his/her behest. I dislike making a choice here as long as we know so little about the three spell casters behind it all. How about trying to go down those stairs, but to simply retreat if he says no?''

''We could also go and look what is happening on that battlefield near the manor. At night it might look completly different than at day.''

Josh
 player, 109 posts
Mon 20 Jan 2014
at 00:11
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix throws up his hands and exclaims Everything we do here is a choice!  If we want to fight, that's a choice.  If we want to not fight, that's a choice.  If we want to spend the next hour standing here and arguing, that's a choice.  Anything you do is by choice.  You can choose not to decide, you'll still have made a choice!  If these mysterious wizards care about what choices we're making, we still have to make some choices just to find out what their game is.

Arnie responds more calmly at the suggestion of checking the battlefield.  Suppose the dead soldiers come to life at night?  If they are truly alive, they may provide valuable information.  If they are undead, we will be there to destroy them.
Omm
 player, 127 posts
Mon 20 Jan 2014
at 06:06
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm shrugs his shoulders with indifference. "Doesn't make a lick of difference one way or another. This whole blasted realm makes no sense so it's not like thinking's to do us any good anyway. Might as well just pick any thing at random, like a card from a deck, and go with that."

At this point, Omm is ambivalent about any course of action. He will go along with whatever the group decides.
Autarch
 GM, 2643 posts
Wed 22 Jan 2014
at 04:28
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
One of you can't resist a glance outside as you pass through the foyer and its direct access to the high gate through which you entered the manor house. Outside a thick midnight blue mist cloaks the vale and the sky above holds true to midnight blue. Somewhere in the distance, you hear the exultant cry of the captain as he corners his quarry. Overseeing it all is the moon with its jester's cap and curling lips.

Shaking your heads, you traipse through the throne room, sidestepping more spilled flagons of wine, and off to the side opposite the larder follow the stairs down...

...The walls of the stairwell are heavy with moss. A rivulet of water trickles down the steps, pooling on the flagstone landing below. A rusted stone gate rests against one wall. Beyond the low stone lintel, you can see marshland running down to the lake.

The faint scent of rotting meat hangs in the air.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 470 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 22 Jan 2014
at 07:46
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Ah, the Knight is outside, hunting. I even think he might slaughter right now the men we have seen dead on the battlefield! Anyway, that's good for us, because it means the stairs might be unguarded.''

And indeed that's the case, and the party files down the stairs.

''An exit? That's all? We could have taken the front door instead. We could have avoided the stench this way.'' Sidd takes a look for the source of the smell. More corpses, no doubt.


OOC: Is it just the exit, or are there some more rooms, doors or corridors in the cellar?
Josh
 player, 111 posts
Wed 22 Jan 2014
at 15:46
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Nevertheless, it is good to know if there are extra entrances to the place, Arnie opines.  One never knows when such information may become invaluable.

Felix chimes in Is one planning on another valiant escape at the first sign of danger?

I shan't dignify that with a response.

"Shan't?"  Since when do you say "shan't?"  You're really letting this cleric nonsense go to your head, you know.
Omm
 player, 130 posts
Thu 23 Jan 2014
at 04:27
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm exits through the stone gate and walks into the marsh. "Might as well have a look around," he calls out.

The warrior looks at the ground, expecting to find decaying bodies within the tall grass.
Autarch
 GM, 2645 posts
Sun 26 Jan 2014
at 20:48
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The source of the stench is not obvious. With some experimentation, you can tell that it grows weaker when you exit the room. Noting that, you slosh across the marshland, pretending all the while that the moon is most certainly not making obscene gestures at you.

It's a long slog. But the hazards that typically populate fens (vipers, gasses, sinkholes, corpses of the damned) do not inhabit this one. Just mushy ground, reeds, and piping frogs.

At the very edge of the marsh, you find the limit of the world, beyond which swirling mists play host to oblivion. Detached from the marsh, upon its own island of rock, sits a diabolical tower. Into its sides are carved the massive faces of devils, and the maw of one serves as the tower's entrance.

But you are here and it is there with nothing to span the gulf.

There is a small signpost where the bridge should be.

Time: Near Dawn
Location: At the edge of the world

Sidd and Zar
 player, 473 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 27 Jan 2014
at 09:42
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Oh. That is why the tower is even behind the moon. It's beyond the edge of the world...''
Sidd says, and steps up to the signpost to read it.
Josh
 player, 114 posts
Mon 27 Jan 2014
at 18:16
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie also goes to read the sign.
Autarch
 GM, 2646 posts
Tue 28 Jan 2014
at 23:38
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The sign reads:
Tower Beyond the Moon
Hours of Operation
For us: Always
For you: Oneways

Do not dush to cross
on the dust but traipse
On the dusp of night. 

Now, what does that mean? Everybody turns to Omm for his answer.
Omm
 player, 133 posts
Wed 29 Jan 2014
at 03:47
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm throws up his hands in exasperation after hearing the sign read aloud "I haven't a clue what this means. Maybe we can walk right across?" he says while looking across the vast emptiness.

Omm then gives the sign a shove, hoping it will activate a bridge of some sort. Barring that, it is a good way to blow off frustration.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 474 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 29 Jan 2014
at 08:55
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Well, obviously,'' Zar explains, letting his friends come into the benefit of his superior - or so he seems to believe - intellect, ''we can cross the bridge at midnight only. Particles in the air will probably be enchanted by the moonlight. But we can do so only once, so we should make very sure that we have done all we can on this side of the moon before trying it. Not now.''

''I suggest we start strip-searching the whole landscape, and return to the manor afterwards.''



OOC: On a customary RPG map I would beging walking through every hex now. ;)
Autarch
 GM, 2653 posts
Sun 2 Feb 2014
at 00:02
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
More than one of you longs to return to the Fields of the Fallen, a melancholic wind in his sails. But it's on the other side of the manor (as the tower is on the other side of the gulf). The lake's closer and you haven't been there.

"Just a lake," you comment to yourselves, perhaps a bit irregular in form (like an internal organ) you would discover were you to circumnavigate it. And its estuary, were you to follow it, instead of meeting the ocean, meets the ceaseless tide of the starry void.

Like the tower before it, it has a signpost which you quickly read.
Firefly Lake
Hours of Operation: Dusk
Warning: Excessive Fireflies

Huh. Why couldn't the the other sign have been as direct?

Shrugging, you begin the long trudge back to the tower and its field. Your steps assume a regular, if soggy, rhythm. The rise and fall in volume of the buzzing of insects lulls your senses. As if in a waking dream, you share the following vision:

The jester, his silk motleys' greasy sheen just all that much greasier after the night's revels, performs the daily deal:

Al-Hazred, The Scribe
Prince of Swords
Nine of Swords

Darjr, the Magician
The Ladies in Waiting
The Hierophant
Seven of Swords

Erodiade, The Sorceress
Ten of Swords
Eight of Swords


In a stately tone, he proclaims: "Magician Ascendant" and then gives you all a good, long leer before vanishing.

Above you, the sun, a sickly yellow, rises, casting its pale gleams thinly about.

A swordsman in ruined yellow livery greets you at the edge of the fields of the fallen, having separated himself from his less ambulatory fellows to do so.

"My master bids you pay court to him at the Tower of the Moon."

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:48, Tue 17 June 2014.

Josh
 player, 120 posts
Sun 2 Feb 2014
at 02:31
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie steps forward, puffing out his chest in a vain attempt at noble bearing, and says Tell us who is your master, good sir, that we may pay our respects appropriately.  He then drops the act and says, in a more regular voice, And would you happen to know anything about a magician?  A yellow one, perhaps?
Sidd and Zar
 player, 482 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 2 Feb 2014
at 15:40
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Arnie, don't play dumb,'' the cleric is rebuked by Zar.
''The Prince of Swords' master today is the blue scribe. With whom we probably do not want to have to do anything anyway.''

''From our vision I further conclude that our actions on the previous day did cost the red sorceress precious points. We declined her, and now she does not even have an important card to her name anymore, just a few unnamed ones. Whose significance we have not worked out yet, by the way.''


Sidd bulges in. ''So we can choose the yellow magician simply by not choosing him, but by declining the blue scribe? Hmmm... we have to tread cautious.''
Omm
 player, 138 posts
Sun 2 Feb 2014
at 20:34
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm twists one side of his mouth and his brow knits into what might be perceived as incredulity. Or maybe, just utter confusion.

"What actions on the previous day? Points?" he asks Arnie while throwing his arms out wide, hands turned upward.

"I don't quite get what you mean by points, but I can't see that anything we did here so far as made one inch of difference in anything..."

"We talked to a dozing prince, were turned away by a monstrous priest, and were all caught up with henpecking hags. We didn't do nothing, leastwise that I can see."

Omm finds something to sit on, anything, removes his helm and awaits the group's decision about what to do next.
Autarch
 GM, 2656 posts
Mon 3 Feb 2014
at 03:59
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
At Omm's summation, you hear the jingling of bells and peals of raucous laughter. You even catch a waft of spoiled cinnamon buns, but the jester must have found himself a fine hidey hole for you can't spot him.

"I serve," the vassal replies, checking his livery for certitude, "Darjr, the Magician."

While you don't trust his pronunciation, you have no reason to doubt him.

"And so should you," he appends, but with little conviction.
Omm
 player, 139 posts
Mon 3 Feb 2014
at 06:54
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm briefly looks to his companions for guidance as to what to do with the vassal's revelation before blurting out, "What makes Darjr," his handling of the wizard's name was ham-fisted, "so worthy of our devotion?"
Sidd and Zar
 player, 485 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 3 Feb 2014
at 08:51
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd scratches his beard, which has gotten a bit tangled due to neglect by now. ''Uh. So you still serve that yellow guy, and are inviting us over. Across the bridge, I take it. Can we return from there? Or will this end our time here?''
Josh
 player, 122 posts
Mon 3 Feb 2014
at 19:21
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
And how come you're not even sure who you work for?, Felix adds.  Seems like they keep shuffling you around.  What kind of crazy system is that?  You don't even know what uniform to coordinate with from one day to the next.
Autarch
 GM, 2657 posts
Sun 9 Feb 2014
at 03:57
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Things seem to take care of themselves," he says, doing nothing to dispel your nebulous notions of the demi-plane.

You peer a little more closely at his tabard. Beneath the spattered blood and what you hope are just egg stains (what else could they be?), you can make out enough of the number seven to conclude that he is the Seven of Swords, sworn to fealty to the magician--for today.

"Across the bridge at dusk and then return then as well."

"And enjoy your time therein," he offers, noncommittally.

A few amber finches land and begin pecking in one of the field's furrows for their morning nourishment. Not enough to make up a charm but enough to remind you of the deal.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:57, Sun 09 Feb 2014.

Omm
 player, 140 posts
Sun 9 Feb 2014
at 04:05
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Back to the tower then?" Omm asks his companions.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 486 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 9 Feb 2014
at 14:35
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Zar,'' Sidd laughs, ''you have gone blind in your advanced age. This is not the Prince of Swords we have met. It's a lower card, the seven. That one's indeed yellow today.''

''I wanted to try the lake at dusk, but sure, that one won't go away, and I am sure eager to talk with one of the three. Let's be at the tower at dusk then! Now is still morning however, lots of time yet.''

''Shall we recheck on the manor? Or search the countryside? There might be more surprises like the lake around.''

Omm
 player, 141 posts
Sun 9 Feb 2014
at 17:47
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm shrugs, "Sure. No sense hanging around here I suppose."

He begins to depart, before turning and asking, "Wait, what difference does it make who is what color at any given time? Is there some sort of combination that allows us to leave this accursed place?"
Sidd and Zar
 player, 487 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 9 Feb 2014
at 18:09
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''I guess so, yes. This seems to be some game of supremacy between the three magicians, maybe about dominance over this plane, or maybe over some greater prize. I imagine gathering all cards, major and minor, into one hand or color might have significance. But let's not be too hasty about such things yet. There might be more at stake than just getting out of here.''
Josh
 player, 123 posts
Tue 11 Feb 2014
at 02:34
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie nods at Sidd's last suggestion and says Yes, if we must lend our support to one of these magicians in order to escape, e should make some effort to determine which is the most righteous.  Or at least the least un-righteous, which is probably the best we're going to get.
Autarch
 GM, 2659 posts
Sun 16 Feb 2014
at 03:51
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
You leave the Seven of Swords to his solitary station for the hospitality of the manor, for the clarity of your speech belies your wariness. In the throne room, you find Prince of Swords, Captain Kaschei, slumped in the demi-throne next to the other throne, the one fit for a sorcerer king. His cheeks have the rotten hue of a forgotten plum.

With the larder unguarded, you help yourselves to hard salamis and an exceptionally tangy cheddar which calls to mind dreams you cannot yet grasp.

Still some hours until dusk. Still some hours before you have to leave the manor and your cheese to arrive before dusk.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:51, Sun 16 Feb 2014.

Josh
 player, 124 posts
Sun 16 Feb 2014
at 14:23
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix stands and watches the slumbering man while polishing off a salami sandwich.  He swallows and then says to his companions Anyone got some rope?  This guy's allied with one of the other wizards today, so maybe he can give us some info on that one once he wakes up.  And I want to make sure he's going to stay cooperative when we wake him up.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:40, Sun 16 Feb 2014.

Omm
 player, 142 posts
Sun 16 Feb 2014
at 18:52
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm pulls out a shoehorn from his tunic pocket, "Will this help?" he says with a smile.

Shoving the tool back into his pocket, he quickly adds, "Nope. No rope here."

Assuming nobody else produces a coil of rope, Omm will search the premises for anything which might be used to successful bind a person.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 488 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 16 Feb 2014
at 19:00
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Is that a, uh, wise idea?'' Sidd asks. ''If he is drunk, we won't get much of an answer out of him anyway. If he is sober he is too dangerous, maybe even bound. I mean, he cut down most of those guys out on the battlefield, didn't he?''

''I think I would rather just talk with the hierophant.''


''While I cannot help but notice that everything here is... sick. Yesterday the knight was sickly yellow. Today he is sickly blue. This realm is not healthy.'' Zar adds.
Autarch
 GM, 2661 posts
Tue 18 Feb 2014
at 02:45
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
It seems to be a staple of such enterprises, the question of "Do we have enough rope to tie Person X up?" It's bound to be asked at some point in the evening, or in this case, the afternoon, with the lack of ligature presumed to have a dampening effect on the night's proceedings. Anyhow, in its current state (crumbled in some areas and swampy in others), the manor offers no ligature closet, if it ever did.

Tying up the Prince of Swords probably wouldn't be a good idea, you decide upon further consideration--even if you had the rope.

The chapel of the hierophant is on the second floor of the manor. You remember the debacle of your first visit and contemplate a change in tone.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:11, Sat 01 Mar 2014.

Omm
 player, 143 posts
Tue 18 Feb 2014
at 02:56
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Once it has been established there is no rope to be found, Omm finds somewhere to sit down, takes off his helm, casts his sword to his side and leans back against something solid.

"Well, let's wake him up then and see what he has to say this time."
Josh
 player, 126 posts
Tue 18 Feb 2014
at 17:47
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix is still a little worried about the man waking in a hostile mood, so he does his best to make this a happier moment.  He waits until everyone else is ready, whatever that entails, then stands close to the sleeping man's head and says loudly I heard those three wenches are all upstairs, waiting eagerly for the Prince of Swords!
Sidd and Zar
 player, 489 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 20 Feb 2014
at 18:37
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Well then, I would have preferred the hierophant, but if you all prefer a drunken wreck of a killer who happens to be the pawn of an evil chaos mage today...''
Zar's voice has a nagging tone. He also makes sure to stand in the general vicinity of the door.
Autarch
 GM, 2664 posts
Sat 1 Mar 2014
at 22:32
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
At first insensible to Felix's japery, the formerly insensate captain comes to, coughing and hacking tectonically.

"Wine, boy," he bellows after clearing his throat of various and sundry. The shortest among you hastens to offer a bottle of sherry which he drinks down.

He stands before you now, his midnight-blue great cloak billowing in the absence of a wind, and declaims, "Al-Hazred, the Scribe, the Tempest of Infinite Space, awaits you below."
Sidd and Zar
 player, 490 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 1 Mar 2014
at 22:40
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Oh shit.''

''Ha! Today everyone wants to speak with us! Yes, why not? Let's head below.''
Omm
 player, 144 posts
Sun 2 Mar 2014
at 00:27
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Talk, talk, talk. All we do is talk." Omm grumbles as he shuffles toward the direction the drunken captain has indicated.

"Let's go see what the scribe has to say..."

With that, the warrior descends down the stairs.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:41, Sun 02 Mar 2014.

Josh
 player, 128 posts
Sun 2 Mar 2014
at 02:21
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie, being the most valiantly cautious of the group, asks When you say "below," you do just mean the cellar, right?  That's not a metaphor or a euphewhatsit?

Ideally he will receive an answer from the captain before deciding on a course of action, but he's not going to wait around long enough to be the last one left with him if the rest of the group walks out.

Felix is happy enough to just leave with the others, after complementing the captain's cloak and snagging a bottle of wine on the way out.
Autarch
 GM, 2666 posts
Sun 9 Mar 2014
at 03:47
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
It's agreed. You've all decided. Down the stairs you will go. You go down them.

Wait. You know this place. There is no scribe here. Just stagnant water pooling on the flagstone landing. A rusted stone gate keeping the rest of the marsh out.

And the scent of rotting meat hanging in the air. That too.

You take stock of the matter. The Scribe awaits you below, but where is below?
Josh
 player, 129 posts
Sun 9 Mar 2014
at 14:00
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix, struck by inspiration and perhaps the inherited instincts of the small folk, looks around the flagstones for a hold where he might be able to pry one up.  No harm checking, right?  It's not like this place is going to get much shabbier.
Omm
 player, 145 posts
Tue 11 Mar 2014
at 00:34
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm assists Felix in his search, though mostly that just entails staying out of the lad's way, for the warrior is not terrible gifted in such matters. Still, what was the old saying about such things...

Omm wracks his head over this for a moment or two and then meanders to some other thought, "So, maybe a secret door or something down here?" he asks aloud.

He picks at a few loose stones...


14:33, Today: Omm rolled 6 using 1d20. find secret door.
Autarch
 GM, 2667 posts
Tue 11 Mar 2014
at 03:07
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
There is only one stone to pick at, the flagstone, which even the slight Felix has no trouble lifting clear. It's a passage, alright, no longer secret if it ever was. Too narrow for any but a dwarf in armor, it drops an unsafe distance (20') to some noxious landing below. Felix, or anyone who stoops near, can hear the droning wings of legions of flies, no respite to the odour of the abbatoir, now wafting unobstructed from below.

As he peers below, Felix grips the lip more tightly than the occasion would warrant.

From the throne room, the Captain asks, "What the bloody hell do you think you're doing?" but in an elocution richer with imprecations.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:07, Tue 11 Mar 2014.

Omm
 player, 146 posts
Tue 11 Mar 2014
at 03:22
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm responds to the Captain's query, though perhaps not loud enough for the man to hear him, "Trying to bloody well leave this doomed realm!"

Peering down into the darkness, he asks, "So, whose going in?" while looking over his shoulder, perhaps expecting the Captain to appear at any moment.
Josh
 player, 130 posts
Tue 11 Mar 2014
at 16:41
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
I nominate Arnie - he used to spend all his time up to his knees in shit, before he decided he had some holier business to attend to.

There is a world of difference between the smell of shi- the smell of excrement and the smell of death, my diminutive companion.  And clearly the hole calls for someone more, shall we say, diminutive than I?  Worry not, I can ensure that the might of Gorhan protects you as you venture forth.
Autarch
 GM, 2668 posts
Wed 12 Mar 2014
at 02:41
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"It's in here, you bloody fools, it's in here," the Prince of Swords shouts back. "The devil take you if you want to plunge into that pit. And he will..h-"

He reverts to muttering to himself about fate's cruel jest.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:42, Wed 12 Mar 2014.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 491 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 12 Mar 2014
at 11:14
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''A secret entry under the flagstone?! Did we not search the place for exactly such things when we were here before? And another secret door above in the Knight's room, leading to his masters' whereabouts? What did we do here all the time?!'' Zar is nearly frothing.

Sidd pats him on a shoulder. ''Alas, yes, it might just be we forgot about it. We certainly did not look under the flagstone. Though I remember that I intended to look for secret doors, I actually think I forgot about it and then we were out in the march.'' He shrugs his shoulders.
''Anyway, Felix, excellent thinking!''

''I am pretty sure that are not excrements down there, but a multitude of corpses. Our predecessors in this plane perhaps? I will check. Do we have a rope?''

Sidd proceeds to saturate a piece of cloth with strong booze and bind it around mouth and nose. Anything is better than the smell wafting up from below.

If there's a rope, it will be fastened to the iron bars of the marsh gate, and then down he goes.
Josh
 player, 131 posts
Wed 12 Mar 2014
at 14:09
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie is pretty much one to stick to his word, so while Sidd prepares for his descent, the cleric puts a hand on his shoulder and speaks a quiet prayer.  An angelic crown appears over Sidd's head, and he feels more confident in the awful task he is about to undertake.

Josh rolled 18 using 1d20+1. casting Bless.
Effect: Sidd receives a +1 bonus to all attack, damage, save, skill, and spell rolls for 1 turn

Autarch
 GM, 2669 posts
Thu 13 Mar 2014
at 02:43
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Someone produces a pile of rope which is tied to the least rusted bar on the low gate and then attached to Sid with fabulous feats of ligature.

The narrow descent yields to a crag-walled crevice cut into the rock beneath the manor. Hundreds – no, thousands—of black flies crawl along the walls, creeping in and out of cracks spider-webbing the wall, the drone of their wings filling the air.

The stink of rotting meat is nearly overwhelming. Water is pooled on the floor, rising nearly to Sid's calves. Sid can spy broken swords and the occasional spear half-submerged in the inky waters.


There can be no logical explanation for this.

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:43, Fri 14 Mar 2014.

Omm
 player, 147 posts
Thu 13 Mar 2014
at 08:40
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm calls down, "So, what you see down there?"

Meanwhile, he was still wondering how they missed another exit from the Throne Room and why the Captain had been so dodgy about previously relinquishing that information.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 492 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 13 Mar 2014
at 10:02
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Uh... crevice... lots of flies... broken weapons... more flies...'' Sidd's voice is muffled from the cloth before his mouth, but even so the stench is just barely bearable.
Cautiously he searches for a way through the pool without stepping into a broken blade, deeper into the crevice. He brought the group's lantern and lights into the cracks to see what's in there beside flies. Are some of them even large enough to enter?
Autarch
 GM, 2670 posts
Fri 14 Mar 2014
at 21:14
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
This time spent with befouled water saturating one's boots, with pink strands wending their way between one's toes -- What! Are they crawling, worming, swimming? Propelled by tiny hooks? -- is not good time.

Good or bad time, definitely bad, Sid spends enough of it to espy a passage, lit by the one or two lantern beams that can penetrate the cloud of flies, an egress from his current position. It's at a point where the walls don't completely meet, the juncture not completely formed. Filling the gaps before his eyes (too close for comfort really) are thousands of black flies, their buzzing filling his ears (again too close for comfort).
Sidd and Zar
 player, 493 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 14 Mar 2014
at 21:29
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Er... guys? This feels real bad... might be a bad idea...''
Sidd returns aghast to the others, because he certainly will not continue alone into that mess. He shivers, and tells what he has seen in detail.

''So, uh, do we want to head into this?''

''We might learn something vital... but I really dunno...''
Omm
 player, 148 posts
Sat 15 Mar 2014
at 03:10
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm glances down the shaft once more an studies the inky darkness. "Perhaps we should have the Captain lead us to the Scribe first," he says with a gesture of his head, indicating to head back to the throne room.

"That hole isn't going anywhere. We can always come back."
Sidd and Zar
 player, 494 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 15 Mar 2014
at 09:47
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Er, yes. I think we will have to go down there sooner or later, but for now let's make it later. Perhaps we can learn a thing or two about it before.''

Zar leads the others back up the stair to the drunken Knight.

''So! Sir Knight! Tell us. What's that fly-crawling stench-ridden bloody hole below? What the hell is down there?''
Autarch
 GM, 2671 posts
Wed 19 Mar 2014
at 03:13
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
You return to the throne room (and the demi-throne room) to find the Captain Kaschei engaged in one of his daily rituals, The Oiling, having completed the first one in a ruined corner of room given over to a crumble of mossy stone.

A woven rug covers the floor of the throne room, depicting a party of mounted warriors pursuing an enormous serpent, upon which he now sprawls. Jars of thick brown and black oil are at hand, along with rags, both gauzy and thick. Already off are his knee-high hunting boots to receive the black. Conscientiously, he has covered an area of the rug with papers to prevent staining.

He looks up at Zar's intrusion, irritated.

"Fly-crawling stench-ridden bloody hole? You let me know. The sooner the better."
Omm
 player, 149 posts
Wed 19 Mar 2014
at 03:55
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Where is the scribe?" Omm bluntly asks the Captain. Assuming the Captain does not cooperate, or readily offer us the scribe's location, Omm will begin by lifting up the rug to look for a possible concealed trap door. If that doesn't work, he will begin tapping various walls in search of a hollow space, which might indicate a secret door.

This, he will do in the presence of the Captain, assuming no assistance is given.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 495 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 19 Mar 2014
at 09:35
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar glares at the polishing Knight. '''The devil take you if you want to plunge into that pit. And he will...' That has been your exact words. So don't play dumb now! What is down there?''
Josh
 player, 132 posts
Wed 19 Mar 2014
at 12:59
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie stands near Zar and Sidd but does not say anything yet.  Felix will assist Omm in searching for secret doors, tunnels, etc, if things go that way.
Autarch
 GM, 2672 posts
Sat 22 Mar 2014
at 22:05
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
In one of life's small miracles, the corner of rug that Omm pulls back reveals

a rectangular capstone, some 6’ in diameter, set flush with the floor. Chiseled into the capstone is the crude image of a decapitated, three-headed dragon. The capstone is locked in place with three rotating stones, set with keyholes. The keyholes are set with plates – iron, copper and gold.

without disrupting his daily ablutions of leather.
Omm
 player, 150 posts
Sun 23 Mar 2014
at 02:29
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm stabs his finger toward the trapdoor and turns to address his companions, "Hey, I think we found a home for those keys the dames gave us!"

Omm retrieves his iron key and holds it aloft with pride. "Who had the copper and gold ones?"

Once the keys have been retrieved, Omm will insert each into their respective receptacle to presumably, open the trapdoor.
Omm
 player, 153 posts
Sun 23 Mar 2014
at 18:29
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm slides his key into the corresponding slot. Holding his hand back he says, "Alright, let me have the others..."
Sidd and Zar
 player, 498 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 23 Mar 2014
at 18:34
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd hesitates and stalls. ''Uhm. Uhm. Should we really be doing that? Unlocking things does not automatically mean you are able to lock them again afterwards.''
''I would rather speak with that yellow wizard first? He seemed a bit more amendable than the blue scribe? His mantis-priest wanted to celebrate a black mass and everything.''

Omm
 player, 154 posts
Sun 23 Mar 2014
at 18:41
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm sets his jaw, tilts his head downward and motions with his hand once more for the keys to be produced.

"Are we Men, are we mice?" he asks aloud. "This here is the first solid, anything, we have stumbled across since arriving, and now we are going to leave it to go talk to another person who will give us the run around?" he asks incredulously.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 499 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 23 Mar 2014
at 18:44
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Er...'' Sidd, being cowed and bulldozed over by the big warrior, hesitantly hands over his copper key. Oh, memories of sweet Nyx!
Omm
 player, 155 posts
Sun 23 Mar 2014
at 18:51
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm nods and gives Sidd a warm smile, "You're doing the right thing," he says. There was really no way to say whether that was indeed true, but Omm did not think in those terms. Here was lock. They had the keys. It was a no brainer situation to his way of thinking.

"Next..." he says when the two keys have been placed into the lock.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 500 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 23 Mar 2014
at 19:06
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''What if...'' Zar suddenly says, ''what if there is also a set of three locks at the wizard's gate? Perhaps we can only set free one of the three. And that one wins... whatever is at stake here. And we are handing victory to the one of them who is thouroughly evil?''
''I say no. We don't open that lock. And take our keys back. We do not know enough about what's happening here yet.''

Omm
 player, 157 posts
Sun 23 Mar 2014
at 19:42
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm sighs with disappointment and awaits others' input. Whatever the case be, they needed to accomplish something, anything, whether for ill or good. This running around in circles thing was getting old.
Josh
 player, 133 posts
Sun 23 Mar 2014
at 23:24
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
If one of the wizards' servants called for a black mass, then surely he must be the most evil of the lot.  And just how evil can a "scribe" really be anyway?  What's he going to do, write some dirty words into a bible?

In case he hasn't made his point sufficiently, Arnie proceeds to take out his key and put it into the lock himself.
Omm
 player, 158 posts
Sun 23 Mar 2014
at 23:34
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm smiles broadly in response to Arnie's action. "Right, let's see what lies beyond..."

With all keys inserted, Omm attempts to pull the door open.
Autarch
 GM, 2674 posts
Mon 31 Mar 2014
at 21:49
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Lost in his working of the leather, now, specifically, the largest and thickest, and it must be said, the driest, of his many belts, the captain reacts to the grinding of stone against stone as internal mechanisms disbar the capstone with nary a nod.

With an even more satisfying rumble, the capstone slides into a recess, exposing stairs descending into the manor's undercarriage.

The stone stairs wind down to the base of a domed vault. Fractured skulls and bits of dried bone litter the worn steps, and gossamer cobwebs drag at your boots and sandals.

Peering into the darkness below, you can see the vault ringed by six archways. Bright mirrors hang on chains from the ceiling, each suspended at different heights, spinning slowly in the flickering torchlight.

As soon as you set foot on the floor of the vault, the stone sconces along the walls spring to life. The magical light is caught and reflected in the mirrors, brightly illuminating the vault.

In the amplified light, the dome beguiles. Elaborate mosaics stretch from floor to ceiling, depicting complex geometric patterns. Polished gems are set within the mosaics, flaring in the light. Astrologers, sky-seers and sages are quick to recognize the ceiling and the jewels as constellations. The constellation of the Dragon stands most prominent, bright in the southern “sky.”

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:50, Mon 31 Mar 2014.

Omm
 player, 159 posts
Tue 1 Apr 2014
at 06:45
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm stares up at the play of light in the hanging mirrors and comments, "Alright, smart guys, what do you make of all this?"

Having voiced all that came to mind, the warrior then proceeds to scour the chamber for any exits which might be found, or more importantly, the Scribe. Calling now louder, "Al-Hazred, we seek audience with you, show yourself!"
Josh
 player, 135 posts
Tue 1 Apr 2014
at 16:51
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie stays near the others, presumably in the middle of the room.  He's never thought much about star patterns, so while the jeweled ceiling is certainly impressive, the arrangement doesn't mean anything particularly special to him.

Felix has other things on his mind.  Six archways means six opportunities for something to pop out while they're distracted.  He picks the one farthest on his left, gets as close to the opening as he can without making himself obvious, and peers through to see what's there.  If he has time and doesn't spot anything interesting, he will gradually make his way around the room with the same sneak-and-peek routine.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 502 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 4 Apr 2014
at 09:19
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar and Sidd are lost in their contemplation of the strange apparatus of mirrors, lights and gems, examining its workings and guessing about its functions and applications and occassionally muttering in awe. If the owner is around, he will show himself soon enough.
Or not. It might be a matter of the right time and constellation - even the Yellow Wizard asked for them only at dusk.
Autarch
 GM, 2675 posts
Sun 6 Apr 2014
at 03:05
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
You busy yourselves in the manor's planetarium.

Omm circumnavigates the base of the dome, calling out for their summoner, who for the moment proves unsummonable. Amidst the dust of ages, he spots a large scale, with the appearance of rough stone flecked with mica. With his gauntleted hand, he scoops it out from the filigree of ancestral bones and threads of shrouds.

In between one of Omm's throaty expostulations, Felix hears the sound of slithering from one of the archways. Like all disturbing, and most certainly threatening sounds, he can't place it with any accuracy. It could be very well emanating from the furthest portal or the source could be just inches from his nose.

For lack of anything better to do, Arnie experimentally snuffs the air, one of his longstanding habits. It smells cool and damp. Its tertiary signature piques his interest: cracked eggshells discovered beneath a boulder in a parched vale.
Josh
 player, 136 posts
Sun 6 Apr 2014
at 16:32
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Unable to locate the source of the sound, Felix walks back to the others and nervously informs them of the coming threat, vague as it may be.  He then draws his crowbar to be ready for its arrival.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 503 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 7 Apr 2014
at 08:34
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Er... egg shells and slithering? Did some kind of serpent or basilisk hatch in here?''
Zar and Sidd slowly retreat into direction of the stairs, prepared for a hasty flight, but not quite willing to do so yet.
Omm
 player, 160 posts
Mon 7 Apr 2014
at 09:01
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm pockets the scale while drawing his sword in his right hand. Glancing now slowly about the room, sweeping his vision here and there, the warrior calls out again, "Show yourself fell serpent, and may you harbor no ill will toward our lot, for if so, by the Gods, I will lop your head off!"

Omm paces slowly through the mirrored hall, poised to strike anything that makes a sudden move.
Josh
 player, 137 posts
Tue 8 Apr 2014
at 16:50
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
It occurs to Arnie that some divine assistance might be good if any sudden moves are indeed directed toward Omm.  He walks over to the warrior and begins chanting softly, but in his nervousness he flubs the rhythm of the chant, and the spell fizzles.
Autarch
 GM, 2676 posts
Sun 13 Apr 2014
at 02:21
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The serpent, like so many other entities of this demi-plane of the damned, does not seem to respond to verbal entreaties -- if there even is a serpent to respond or not.
Omm
 player, 161 posts
Mon 14 Apr 2014
at 03:38
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm shrugs his shoulders while turning to regard his companions, "So much for that. We don't see to be doing too good here..."

The warrior continues his search of the room, looking for any other exits or portals. If he finds none, he suggests the group go somewhere else and will solicit input as to where that might be.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 504 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 14 Apr 2014
at 18:35
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Er... no snake? But we heard something, did we not?'' Zar sighs.
''Perhaps it is small yet, and does not dare approach us. Or is that too much to hope for? Either way, we are here, so let's take a closer look, and see what it shall bring forth.''

Zar and Sidd start a systematic search of the hall, checking every nook, sending light into every hole and exit.
Josh
 player, 138 posts
Tue 15 Apr 2014
at 17:08
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie and Felix stay close, neither one complaining about the wizards taking lead on this search.
Autarch
 GM, 2678 posts
Thu 17 Apr 2014
at 21:02
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
When you try to illuminate the passages, you observe that the light doesn't travel as far as it should, just a few feet in front of you instead of ten's of feet.

You really can't tell if one passage is any more promsing than another. Nothing is physically preventing you from trying one of them or leaving the star chamber.
Omm
 player, 163 posts
Fri 18 Apr 2014
at 03:07
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm glances around the room once more, pulls the brim of his helm a bit lower and the strides toward and through the nearest archway. "Let's see what lies this way..."

He walks through the first archway and will continue to walk through subsequent archways, testing what happens with each.

OOC: Omm starts with archway #1 and move his way to #6, assuming nothing happens before then. What archway is #1? Doesn't really matter which one is chosen. Closest to the entrance we initially walked through, starting with the one on the left.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 507 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 18 Apr 2014
at 10:20
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''That's the spirit!'' Sidd encourages Omm, and he and Zar fall in line behind the warrior, joining him in the exploration of the dark hallways.
Omm
 player, 164 posts
Fri 18 Apr 2014
at 10:31
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm turns back, nods his head to acknowledge Sidd's encouragement, and boldly (perhaps foolishly) steps into the darkness ahead...
Josh
 player, 141 posts
Fri 18 Apr 2014
at 11:38
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie boldly takes up the rear position.  Felix squeezes into the middle more easily.
Autarch
 GM, 2680 posts
Sun 20 Apr 2014
at 00:56
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Taking one of the six egresses, Omm leads the party further into the manor tomb, what must be some manner of sprawling cavern. Your lanterns, which would normally supply 30 feet of lush illumination (or 80' if hooded), halt at half that, and whoever's holding a torch has his 40' halved to 20'. There's no reason the cave should be so Stygian, let alone oppressive:

The inky darkness seems to press in on all sides. You can hear the sounds of dripping water and smell moisture on the air, mixed with a faint, acrid odor.


Before long, you find the cavern's true inhabitant:

The stone drake that lives here is over 15’ tall when standing upright, with the head of a featherless rooster, the scaled body of a theropod, and long, drooping claws atop vestigial arms. The lizard-thing’s thin scales are the color of stone, flecked with mica.


It blinks a few times, probably trying to remember what a theropod is.

OOC If your init's > 7, you may act before the stone drake.

Init Table
Stone Drake: 7
Omm
 player, 165 posts
Sun 20 Apr 2014
at 03:19
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Without any thoughts of self-preservation, Omm races further into the cavern, his long sword held at the ready. The warrior closes the distance in hopes of quickly neutralizing the stone drake by lopping its head off.

While he might deserve some credit for the attempt, the execution is sorely lacking, due largely to the fact the beast's head sits so high off the ground. Once the drake stands fully erect, Omm can only look up in trepidation at the sheer size of this monster.

"Whoa...this thing is big," he says, stating the obvious.

Then a thought occurs to him. "The dragon! This is it!" again stating the obvious.

17:07, Today: Omm rolled 9,1 using d20,d3. Mighty Deed of Arms: Lop off its Head!
Sidd and Zar
 player, 508 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 20 Apr 2014
at 16:51
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar and Sidd instantly launch into arcane tongues, trying to outdo each other with incomprehensible gibberish. Maybe they should have concentrated more on the dragon than on each others performance, because both attempts at magic come out rather garbled. The effort is clearly taxing Zar and he looks downright famished, but still the best the old man can do is to summon some weakly flickering flames and to blacken his fingertips. ''Ouch!''
''Fool!''
''No, you are!''
''Dotard!''
''Imposter!''

Zar: Casts Flaming Hands, fail and spell lost
Sidd: Casts Sleep, fail and spell lost

18:41, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 9 using 1d20+1. Sidd: Sleep.
18:41, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 4 using 1d20+2. Zar: Flaming Hands.
18:37, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 17 using 1d20+2. Initiative.

Josh
 player, 142 posts
Mon 21 Apr 2014
at 16:06
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie, seeing what is about to happen, quickly moves forward to place his blessing on Omm.  It's hard for him to put enough confidence into the spell for proper casting, but having a halfling nearby subconsciously helps him feel better.  Omm soon has the power of Gorhan guiding his sword (although maybe still not enough to help this round - +1 to all attack rolls for 1 turn).

Felix then whispers to Arnie Hey, give me your trowel.
Arnie whispers back No, I cannot travel safely without it.
No, that's towels you idiot.  I sad "trowel."
Oh, alright.  Reluctantly, the cleric takes the filthy trowel that remains from his old life and hands it to Felix.  Felix, taking advantage of the darkness, sneaks up close to the drake and starts looking for a good spot where he can strike without getting in Omm's way.  Armed with two weapons and shielded by shadows, he is feeling awfully brave at the moment.

Josh rolled 20 using 1d20+1. initiative.

Josh rolled 13 using 1d20+1. casting Bless. - Felix burns 1 luck to raise it to 14

Josh rolled 20 using 1d20+3. sneaking.

Autarch
 GM, 2681 posts
Wed 23 Apr 2014
at 03:03
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The question for Felix is, does the stone dragon have any clear anatomical vulnerabilities? Does a stone heart thump within its chest? Failing that, does a stone lower intestine convey fecal matter to its egress? Felix does not know; he will have to have faith.

While the rest of you sensibly avoid making eye contact, Ohm, by virtue of his attempted heroic feat of arms*, has to raise his eyes (DC 10 Reflex save, pls). He can probably be forgiven in his excitement. Here he is with a dragon - for reals.

Before Zar can sling another insult, the dragon proves itself draconic by immediately clawing him (3 dmg to Zar).

OOC All players may act. Beware of inadvertently subjecting yourself to its gaze attack. Precautions might be warranted.

Felix is hidden and may attempt a backstab.

*Think in terms of a trip or a knock down for this ability.
*A halfling doubles the bonus of a Luck check. For every 1 point of Luck expended, a Halfling gains a +2 to his roll.
Omm
 player, 167 posts
Wed 23 Apr 2014
at 05:45
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"The eyes! Don't look it in the eyes!" Omm cries out in alarm.

Having already looked into the dragon's deathly orbs, Omm redirects his efforts to its feet and legs, and those terrible talons...

Omm attempts to lance off one of the dragon's foot, all the while avoiding looking the creature in the eyes. It's harder than it might sound, and his attack is little more effective than last time.

19:40, Today: Omm rolled 10,2 using d20,d3. mighty deed of arms: knockdown.
18:50, Today: Omm rolled 20 using 1d20+1. reflex save.

Josh
 player, 144 posts
Fri 25 Apr 2014
at 13:53
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie follows Zar as the latter retreats to a safer position, then puts a hand on his wound and speaks a quick incantation.  Nothing happens.  It seems the great god of valor and chivalry has no desire to heal some sniveling wizard.

Back at the front, Felix now springs from the shadows, wildly swinging his crowbar in one hand and Arnie's trowel in the other.  He strikes the monster with considerably less force than he had imagined.

Josh rolled 6 using 1d20+1. lay on hands.

Josh rolled 16,11 using d16+1,d16+1. two attacks. - the 16 might have hit, but I'm pretty confident the 11 didn't
  Josh rolled 2 using 1d6+1. damage. (just in case)

Sidd and Zar
 player, 510 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 25 Apr 2014
at 17:33
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar retreats out of the melee, hobbling and bleeding, and sends an arrow in the rough direction of the dragon, just to show his irritation.
Sidd meanwhile realizes that he has run out of offensive magics already and reaches for his trusty shovel. His strike is a bit on the weak side though, and unlikely to incapacitate the dragon.

12:55, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 4 using 1d20+1. Zar: Bow.
12:55, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 16 using 1d20. Zar disengaging.

19:32, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 10 using 1d20. Sidd: shovel vs dragon.

This message was last edited by the player at 10:56, Sat 26 Apr 2014.

Autarch
 GM, 2684 posts
Sat 26 Apr 2014
at 20:33
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Of the second volley of attacks, the clank of the crowbar announces the only success. Felix's first attack has dislodged a chunk of mica-flecked stone (AC 15)(2 dmg to stone dragon).

Arnie feels the prick of Gorhan's disapproval (+1 to his daily disapproval), which is little worse than a pebble lodged in a sandal. But it's thinking just such as this that transforms the pebble into a burrowing weevil.

Undeterred, the osseous dragon snaps its jaws at the cleric who faints dead away at the descent of the crashing cuspids, leaving naught but air where the cuspids meet. Arnie recovers in time to prepare his retaliation (+2 to A's next action) while the dragon begins to track its gaze across the ants, preparing to petrify one of them.

*S/Z: you only need to make the disengage roll if you wish to move from close to medium or far.
Omm
 player, 169 posts
Sun 27 Apr 2014
at 02:20
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
What is not shining favorably upon Omm, for he continues his bumbling ways and is unable to land a single blow!

The intent was to slice the back of the dragon's hind leg, thereby hamstringing the monster. The execution is something else altogether. Perhaps his sword was not weighted correctly?

Fate's Fell Hand indeed.

16:17, Today: Omm rolled 5,1 using d20+3,d3 with rolls of 2,1. Mighty Deed of Arms: Hamstringing.
Josh
 player, 145 posts
Sun 27 Apr 2014
at 19:39
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie might be facing a bit more disfavor than usual in the eyes of his patron god, but that doesn't feel like as much of a threat as the stone maw that's right here in front of him.  The quick prayer that follows doesn't seem to help matters much though...

Felix, on the other hand, makes a far better show of valor as he continues bashing away at the dragon with both of his weapons.  Once again, the trowel leaves little more than a scratch, but the crowbar makes a good gouge this time.

Josh rolled 7 using 1d20+1. casting.

Josh rolled 16,11 using d16+1,d16+1. two attacks.
  Josh rolled 6 using 1d6+1. damage.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 512 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 27 Apr 2014
at 20:16
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
From his relative safe vantage point halfway up the stairs Zar tries to shoot the dragon with an arrow, but his attempts are seriously inhibited by him closing his eyes. It is no wonder that he misses the dragon - it is rather remarkable though that he manages to not hit any of his friends either.

Sidd, swinging his trusty shovel right at the front line, has more luck (or ability). He is also avoiding the dragon's eyes and concentrates on its feet, viciously denting a toe with the blade of his spade. He might even have severed the little appendage!


22:11, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 3 using 1d4. dmg.
22:10, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 12 using 1d20. Sidd: Shovel.
22:10, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 3 using 1d20+1. Zar: Bow.

Autarch
 GM, 2685 posts
Wed 30 Apr 2014
at 04:06
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Even with Felix's demolition work, you're starting to think there has to be a better way.

The stone dragon attempts to make eye contact with Arnie (DC 10 Ref or turn to stone). Does Arnie have the cunning of Theseus?

Stone Dragon: -8 hp

OOC: You're not in the planetarium but in a cavern beyond, reached after taking of the portals out of the room. After some wandering, you encountered the stone dragon.
Omm
 player, 170 posts
Wed 30 Apr 2014
at 04:46
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Maybe we draw the dragon out into the mirrored room, let it get a good look at itself!" Omm suggests while effecting a measured withdrawal. "Get behind me boys, let's draw it out!"

With that, Omm holds his sword aloft in a defensive stance and slowly backs out of the  tunnel, hoping to lure the dragon into the mirrored chamber.

This message was last edited by the player at 07:23, Wed 30 Apr 2014.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 513 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 30 Apr 2014
at 19:25
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar looks at the group's warrior in astonishment. ''Why the heck did I not think of this? Yes! Retreat to the mirror room it is!''
Since he has already disengaged he uses the opportunity to waste another arrow, and then hurries away through the cave tunnel.

Sidd is a bit slower on the uptake and hence needs all his concentration on pulling off getting away, and has none left to get in another strike with his shovel. Soon enough he is running back through the tunnels, too.

21:23, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 4 using 1d20. Sidd: disengage.
21:22, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 4 using 1d20+1. Zar: bow.

Josh
 player, 146 posts
Thu 1 May 2014
at 16:08
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix makes a last quick attack that glances off of the stony scales, then runs back with the others.  Arnie, though normally a great proponent of any plan that starts with "move valiantly away from the enemy," is currently preoccupied by something in the dragon's eye...

Josh rolled 2 using 1d20+1. Ref - time to find out what this gaze attack does

Josh rolled 10 using 1d20. F - disengage.
Josh rolled 14,9 using d16+1,d16+1. attacks.

Autarch
 GM, 2686 posts
Mon 5 May 2014
at 23:35
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The cavern, not a tunnel, does not allow for a "measured withdrawal" in the same manner a sloping valley might. It's sprawling and preternaturally dark. Really, it only allows for a madcap dash, preferably through one of the portals and not into one of the walls or, worse, the waiting point of a stalagmite, just to mention a couple of hazards.

Arnie won't be facing any of them. He's a monument to the perils of petrification. After his all too few years on this earth, he has finally caught the eye of something more majestic than himself, and just his luck, it's more basilisk than vixen.

A few minutes later, the rest of you, gasping, return to the manor's subterranean planetarium.
Omm
 player, 171 posts
Tue 6 May 2014
at 06:38
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm comes to a stop in the planetarium with shield and sword at the ready, more than half-expecting the dragon to be hot on the party's heels. When he doesn't see the dragon he breaths a sigh of relief, but then notices a missing companion.

"Anyone seen Arnie?" he asks aloud to his other companions. "Arnie?!" he calls out in desperation, perhaps suspecting what might have happened. It could have been any of them: they got lucky.

"Dammit!" he spits out in frustration. For the moment, he waits for the dragon to appear, while shielding his eyes and relying more on his sense of hearing to detect the dragon's presence.
Josh
 player, 147 posts
Tue 6 May 2014
at 12:49
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix, ever the master of tact and respect, says Yeah, I ran past him on the way out.  Let's just say he's looking a lot more cultured these days.  Better dressed, too.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 514 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 6 May 2014
at 13:32
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Let's worry about poor Arnie later!'' Zar calls and comes to a stop.
''Douse the lights! Douse the lights! We want the basilisk or whatever to be hit with a full broadside of itself - once it is here! Not before.''
Omm
 player, 172 posts
Thu 8 May 2014
at 08:41
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm shoots a look to Sidd, who had been carrying the party's lantern. "Close the shutter!"

Perhaps the shutter could be closed to just provide the bare minimum of light and then placed in a spot of the cavern which would draw the dragon to it, with the party hiding in the shadows nearby?

Either way, Omm tightly grasps sword and shield and prepares for the dragon to emerge into the planetarium.
Josh
 player, 148 posts
Thu 8 May 2014
at 13:05
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix makes sure to keep a little distance between himself and the others once it goes dark.  If they have to fight the creature again, he might as well be able to hit it from a different side than everyone else.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 515 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 8 May 2014
at 16:14
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''I carry the lantern? I carry the lantern!'' Sidd, who has been too much occupied with survival up to this moment, remebers the lantern and closes its shutter. Preparing himself to pull it open again once he has an indication that the dragon-basilisk is near. Probably by the death screams of one of his companions if not his own, but well.
Autarch
 GM, 2687 posts
Fri 9 May 2014
at 23:40
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Having re-assembled yourselves in the dungeon-level starscape, you hushedly await the stone-footed pursuer. Either it doesn't have an abundance of self-esteem or it has enough sense to avoid inimical environments. The latter, of course.
Omm
 player, 173 posts
Sat 10 May 2014
at 02:23
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm waits in suspense, expecting the dragon to appear at any moment. When it does, he sighs and comments, "Well, if the dragon won't take the fight out here, on account of the mirrors, maybe we take the fight to it...armed not with swords, but MIRRORS!"

The warrior then attempts to remove one of the suspended mirrors from the chain. Worse case scenario, he will hack one of mirrors free of its chain with his sword, but he will first attempt to finesse it. If the mirror breaks, so be it, there can't be much to that old wives tale anyway. The goal is to secure a sizable shard of mirror and use it against dragon.
Autarch
 GM, 2688 posts
Sat 10 May 2014
at 02:26
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Done! The warrior also recalls from his training how a phalanx could harness the very power of the sun. Could he do the same?
Josh
 player, 150 posts
Sat 10 May 2014
at 03:54
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix follows Omm's lead and looks for a mirror that is both small and low enough for him to remove from its fixture and carry back to the field of battle.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 516 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 10 May 2014
at 12:34
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar looks thoughtfully at Omm. ''I dunno. Without light a mirror is pretty useless. And the light out in the caves was pretty dim.''
''It is pretty bright in here though. Perhaps we need to channel the light out of the planetarium, along a series of mirrors?''

Omm
 player, 175 posts
Sat 10 May 2014
at 16:40
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd and Zar:
Zar looks thoughtfully at Omm. ''I dunno. Without light a mirror is pretty useless. And the light out in the caves was pretty dim.''
''It is pretty bright in here though. Perhaps we need to channel the light out of the planetarium, along a series of mirrors?''


"How do you suppose we do that?" Omm asks with curiosity. He then checks to see whether the light of Sidd's lamp provides enough illumination to see his own reflection in the mirror. It had been a while since he had last seen his own mug and it was undoubtedly as handsome as ever, but still, it paid to know for certain.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 518 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 12 May 2014
at 17:13
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Both Sidd and Zar follow Omm's example and equip themselves with mirror shards.
''Allright! Let's go avenge... Heck, what was his name?''

19:11, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 8 using 1d20+2. Initiative.
Josh
 player, 151 posts
Tue 13 May 2014
at 15:28
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie?  Sure, I guess we could dedicate this to avenging him, as long as it gets us out of this place.

Josh rolled 5 using 1d20+1. new init roll.
Autarch
 GM, 2691 posts
Wed 14 May 2014
at 23:27
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm can see every detail of his handsome mug in the dechained mirror.
Omm
 player, 176 posts
Thu 15 May 2014
at 10:50
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd and Zar:
Both Sidd and Zar follow Omm's example and equip themselves with mirror shards.
''Allright! Let's go avenge... Heck, what was his name?''


"His name was..." Omm starts to answer while walking back toward the location where he last saw the dragon, and then, silence. "Felix? Franky? Froderick?"

Omm then feels badly about not remembering the chap's name, but not for too long. Truth is if the same happened to him, he was not so sure his companion's would remember his name either. He intended not to test out the theory.

With that thought in mind, and with mirror pointed in an angle to navigate by, Omm steps forward...


00:46, Today: Omm rolled 10 using 1d20+1. Initiative.
Autarch
 GM, 2692 posts
Thu 15 May 2014
at 23:29
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie. It's chiseled into one of the faces of the pedestal on which his statue stands. A few cave pigeons have already settled on his bent shovel, but they flap away before any of you get too close. They don't fly away too far; there might be scraps. Even petrified, Arnie emits the odor of offal, no doubt tantalizing the pigeons.

Patrolling around is the stone dragon. When the party violates the perimeter of its sculpture garden, it levels its three unblinking eyes, all set in its forehead, at Omm -- seconds before the fighting man thinks to raise his mirror (DC 10 reflex save to avoid petrification).

OOC all surviving pc's can act and can roll the dragon's reflex save for it.
Josh
 player, 152 posts
Fri 16 May 2014
at 17:16
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix, having been briefed on the plan ahead of time, quickly raises his mirror as soon as he sees the dragon coming.

Josh rolled 4 using 1d20. dragon's reflex save? did I understand correctly what I'm rolling for?
Omm
 player, 177 posts
Fri 16 May 2014
at 18:00
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm is ready for Old Stone Bones, and quickly draws his mirror into position as the stone dragon reappears. "Get a good long look at yourself why don't you!?" he calls out in a taunt.

Holding the mirror in his shield arm, the warrior does his best to position the mirror at an angle that will allow the dragon to see itself.

He's not a complete fool however, for in his other arm, a sword is still at the ready.

07:56, Today: Omm rolled 21 using 1d20+1. Reflex Save.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 519 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 17 May 2014
at 13:38
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Unfortunately Zar and Sidd are mostly busy directing their mirror at each other, maybe in misinterpretion of the task at hand.
''Imbecile!'' ''Git!''


OOC: Assuming that rolling high is bad, because the dragon manages to succeed in his save. If rolling high is good, Zar and Sidd are on a killing streak. ;)

15:35, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 15 using 1d20. Sidd: dragon save.
15:34, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 17 using 1d20. Zar: dragon save.

Autarch
 GM, 2693 posts
Sun 18 May 2014
at 01:47
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
With Felix's brandishing of his unchained mirror, the population of the subterranean sculpture garden doubles. Following him, Omm, Sidd, and Zar each try to petrify the stone dragon with its own gaze, but it gazes no longer.

A trickling of water from the southern recesses of the cavern suggest an egress away from, and not back to, the dome of the mosaicked drake.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:47, Sun 18 May 2014.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 520 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 18 May 2014
at 20:00
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd, discovering a solid core of bravery, knocks with his hand against the mica dragon, to check whether it has really turned into solid stone. Awesome.

Zar turns to Arnie though, checking on his unfortunate compatriot. ''Poor fella. I am dabbling my way into mastery of magics, but against this I am powerless. Let's hope that any consequences in this dire realm are only temporary and that Arnie will be returned to us.''

''Shall we explore the course of the trickling water? Sidd! Light the way.''

And Sidd complies.
Omm
 player, 178 posts
Sun 18 May 2014
at 22:51
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Placing a hand on the statue of Arnie, Omm replies to Zar, "Well, he isn't going anywhere, that's for sure. So maybe we can find a way to bring him back to his old self. Maybe some wizard scroll or somesuch?" he adds while shrugging his shoulders. Such things were beyond his knowledge, but knew wizards were able to tap into the great power held within the strange sigils they wrote on their scrolls.

There wasn't much to do now, but explore further. With that thought in mind, and no dragon running around, he leads the way to where the trickling water is heard.
Josh
 player, 153 posts
Tue 20 May 2014
at 11:11
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix gives the petrified dragon a good whack with his crowbar for good measure before following the others out.  Then a thought occurs to him and he quickly runs back and hits the dragon a couple more times, hoping to break off a small piece that he can keep as a souvenir.
Autarch
 GM, 2694 posts
Wed 21 May 2014
at 03:16
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix's thwacking of the stoned dragon obliterates it. Thwacking might be inaccurate; it was the first thwack that did it. Mica is, after all, little stronger than shale, a sedimentary rock.

Amidst the pebbles and dust, Felix finds an onyx, banded with white stripes and opaque even in the brightest lights (60 gp value).

Feeling more lucky than rich, you follow the sound of trickling water out of the stone drake's cavern and discover:

A small grotto is set into the wall of the cavern. You can make out a wide stone basin emerging from the floor like a stalagmite. Oily black liquid is pooled within the circle, glowing with a faint violet hue in the dim light.
Omm
 player, 179 posts
Wed 21 May 2014
at 07:06
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm cautiously approaches the liquid and takes a closer look in an attempt to discern what it might be. He then sniffs the air.

"Hey, what do you make of this here?" he asks aloud, hopeful his companions will have a clue what it might be.
Josh
 player, 154 posts
Wed 21 May 2014
at 14:10
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix doesn't have any idea, but he decides that for a first test, he will lower one of the many gloves he carries into the liquid to see what happens.  Just a finger-length, if that, and without his hand actually in it.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 521 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 21 May 2014
at 14:39
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''The color, my young friends, of this oily liquid lets me assume that this is the medium we use to interact with our host, the scribe. Some kind of scrying basin perhaps.''

''So how does it work?''

''A moment.'' Zar mulls this problem over. If neither staring into the bowl nor one of Felix's glove fingers shows any result he will have to become inventive.
Autarch
 GM, 2695 posts
Fri 23 May 2014
at 00:25
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
It's a scrying bowl. Peer within and behold the object of your whimsy. Some things are harder to capture than others, and some are best not captured at all.

OOC Will Check for success for those who wish to peer. Variable DC.

Josh
 player, 155 posts
Fri 23 May 2014
at 18:02
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix steps back to let the wizards take care of using wizardly devices.  In the meantime he tries to get as much ink as he can off of the glove - this one might be beyond salvage, but no reason it has to ruin the others when he puts it back in his pack.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 522 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 25 May 2014
at 15:52
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Aaaah!'' ''Ooooh!'' Zar and Sidd, both dabblers in the arcane arts, are drawn forward by the alluring promise of the scrying pool. Knowledge!

Zar is searching for a solution of their current conundrum. How to escape this demiplane and to savely return to the normal world? If possible though he looks for a way which does not only bring them back, but also lets them benefit from the experience. It must be possible to increase his knowledge and mastery of magic in this place?

Sidd is more practical. He remembers his joint labor with Arnie in the shit drenches of A Thousand Sands. He won't leave him here as a mica souvenir of the three mages! So he looks for a way to turn their friend back to human flesh.


17:45, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 19 using 1d20+1. Sidd scrying bowl.
17:45, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 14 using 1d20. Zar scrying bowl.

Autarch
 GM, 2696 posts
Mon 26 May 2014
at 01:20
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
As dabblers in the arcane arts, both Sidd and Zarr know that scrying pools eschew the abstract, so within them, they won't find concepts such as "escape" or "restoration" or even "nourishment." They're strictly a person, place, or thing sort of deal as long as the thing's not an idea, nouns for the literal-minded perhaps.

They could gain a vision of the larder or the Tower beyond the Moon. If they were so inclined, they could even peek in on the Ladies in Waiting or the Hierophant. The Eye of Al-Hazred cannot behold virtue or sin, only their vessels or stages.

OOC Person, place, or thing. Lower DC for better known locations or persons.
Omm
 player, 180 posts
Mon 26 May 2014
at 03:32
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm watches on as the others view the divining pool, sword at the ready in the event some menace leaps out of the dark, swirling liquid.

He could not think of anything to think about while using the pool, at least nothing concrete that would secure the party's passage out of this doomed demi-plane. Not that he knew what that word meant, but he had maybe overheard Sidd and Zarr talking about it at some point earlier.

"So, what d'ya see?" he asks after a time.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 524 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 26 May 2014
at 16:00
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Stymied by the scrying pool's (or their own) limitations, Zar and Sidd concentrate on more direct things to research. Zar settles on the tower beyond the moon - surely there are many secrets worth seeking in that monumental abode. Sidd however sticks with a more obscure topic - namely the Fool himself. A trickster if he ever met one, and poised at the core of this mystery.
Josh
 player, 157 posts
Tue 27 May 2014
at 16:40
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix listens as the two wizards mutter and bicker about how the scrying pool works and what they should use it for.  When he gets an opening he asks them Any chance we could use that thing to show us the rest of this "basement?"  Maybe find some other way out, without having to go back to that stupid knight?  Or at least let us see if there's going to be more trouble ahead like the dragon?
Sidd and Zar
 player, 525 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 27 May 2014
at 19:26
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar gives the litle man his 'you are probably just stupid' eye. ''It's dark in here - not much to see. But go ahead, try for yourself, young man.''


OOC: Really, my guys' Will save, which is what we are required to roll, is probably not better than Felix' own. ;)
Josh
 player, 158 posts
Tue 27 May 2014
at 19:46
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Given that invitation, Felix steps up onto a conveniently located rock and looks into the bowl.  He thinks real hard and twists his face into various positions (certainly not in mockery of any proper wizards, of course not!), hoping some image will show up...

Josh rolled 18 using 1d20+2. Will.
Autarch
 GM, 2699 posts
Thu 29 May 2014
at 02:57
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Heads a-bobb'n, you crowd round the scrying pool, each of you secretly convinced that Al-Hazred will only have eyes for you.

Each in turn has his own vision except for Felix who bethinks of nothing more or less than hope since he has no especial place in mind.

The Tower of Beyond the Moon stands in momentary solitude. But then as the last full light of day fades and the grays of early evening spread, a silvery span materializes and crosses the chasm.

Sidd, in his turn, beholds a canopy of flies which form the recesses of a cavern. The jester appears to be checking the contents of one of the fissures beyond the wall of insects, probably a 16th-century volume of maritime-themed limericks.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:57, Thu 29 May 2014.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 526 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 29 May 2014
at 19:20
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar and Sidd continue to stare into the basin. Sidd, inding the jester to be in the cave of flies, takes this as a pointer and searches those terrible crags with the help of the pool. What might there be beyond the veil of terror and flies? Other than books about maritime-themed limericks.
Zar stays with his original topic and shifts his point of view into the topmost room of the tower of the moon. Belatedly he wonders if there might be any kind of cost connected with the pool, and what it might be. It quite messes with his concentration.


21:14, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 14,2 using d20+1,d20. scrying pool, Sidd, Zar.
Autarch
 GM, 2700 posts
Sun 1 Jun 2014
at 03:02
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd, having technically seen the object he wishes to espy from a distance, has sufficient will to control the pool. However, as in some three-penny farce, the jester's big butt keeps obscuring the pool's view. Each time the eye pans to the left for an angle on the contents of the crag, the joker's big back swivels in turn. It's diabolical.

Zarr, having also technically seen the location he wishes to espy from a distance, although with an absolute stretching of said technicality, cannot muster sufficient will to command the Eye of Al-Hazred and for that he must drown.

An inky violet ichor animates and immediately upon animation plunges towards Zarr's open mouth, even it is open to no more than the smallest of o's, Zarr being a rather pinched personality.

OOC Init for the Eye of Al-Hazred: 23. Match or exceed it to act first, even Zarr.
Omm
 player, 182 posts
Sun 1 Jun 2014
at 03:22
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm suspected something awful might come of messing around with the inky pool, and now his suspicions were being confirmed.

"Draw back!" he cries aloud while drawing his sword in a defensive gesture.


OOC: 17:20, Today: Omm rolled 20 using 1d20+1. Initiative.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 527 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 1 Jun 2014
at 09:23
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zarr is busy gurgling for air.

11:14, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 13 using 1d20+2. Initiative.
Josh
 player, 159 posts
Sun 1 Jun 2014
at 21:38
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix is too busy rolling his eyes at the sudden appearance of yet another weird attacker to actually respond to being attacked.

Josh rolled 4 using 1d20+1. init.
Autarch
 GM, 2702 posts
Sat 7 Jun 2014
at 21:58
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
And just like that, Zar nearly dies. The violet appendage-like thing ropes through the finite space between Zarr's piping mouth and the scrying pool & plunges through the dime-shaped orifice. It's a wrenching, if not catastrophic, experience (5 dmg/ 6 sta loss).*

*the sta loss would result in further hp loss, reducing Zarr to zero hps at which point in time he would be considered "bleeding out." If he is not healed in some way before the end of Round #2, he will die. Or continue to drown. It's hard to say.
Omm
 player, 183 posts
Sun 8 Jun 2014
at 19:19
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm is uncertain what action to take against the violet tentacle that is burrowing inside his companion. He can't rightly attack it. How would that even be possible?

So he does the only thing that comes to mind, he draws off his cloak and throws it over the scrying pool.

Perhaps if the pool goes dark and cannot see the outside world, it will have no power to interact with said world. It is a long shot, but it is the best Omm can muster under such circumstances.

"Somebody help Zar!" he calls aloud while shuttering the scrying pool. He doesn't know what someone might do to help him but it made him feel better to yell it. It's the small things in life.

OOC: Hopefully Omm's cloak is big enough to cover the pool, if not, and I misunderstood the size of the pool, I will need to do something else that actually makes sense.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 529 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 9 Jun 2014
at 19:39
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Zar! Man, hang on!'' Frantically, Sidd pulls Zar away from the aggressive pool and tries his best at reanimating the old man. Fumbling in haste Sidd pours some of the green powder he once found in the Chaos temple into his waterskin and administers the makeshift potion to Zar.


OOC: Zar was at -2 hp. Is he at +2 now, or like in DnD at +4 ?
19:27, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 4 using 1d4+1. healing potion.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:28, Wed 11 June 2014.

Autarch
 GM, 2706 posts
Fri 13 Jun 2014
at 22:13
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix and Sidd drag Zarr away as he drowns on dry land. Omm finds sealing the pool to be impossible with his adventuring cloak; there will always be a fissure through which the Eye of Al-Hazred can shoot forth. It is a very active ichor, and in its rush to kill Zarr it has left its booty exposed: two ivory plaques.

The pool proves implacable if not competent. Extending itself, it once again launches itself at the spasmodically breathing Zarr who twists to the side reflexively to avoid drowning twice in the space of seconds.

Even with the dramatics, you can't but gaze with wonder at the violet extension, reaching all the way from the stone basin to the edge of the grotto. It may be liquescent but it's also tentacular and tentacles can be chopped & clubbed & burnt.

OOC There is no need to make checks for withdrawing from melee range because the Eye only attacks Zar.
Omm
 player, 185 posts
Sat 14 Jun 2014
at 11:33
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm quickly scoops up the ivory plaques and places them within his now wet cloak, wraps them, and draws back away from it before the tentacle has an opportunity to retaliate for the transgression.

"Retreat! Everyone out!" Omm cries out to his companions. The warrior then follows his own advice, carrying his newly gained bundle.
Josh
 player, 163 posts
Sat 14 Jun 2014
at 17:17
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix briefly thinks about swinging his crowbar at the tentacle once he gets a better view of its semi-solid form, but decides that it will likely be better for everyone if he just keeps his hold on Zar's feet to carry him out to relative safety.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 532 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 15 Jun 2014
at 10:19
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd, with the help of Felix, gives his bloody best to hasten with the befuddled Zar to safety. To the planetary at least - even better yet up the stairs and into the drunken knight's presence.
Autarch
 GM, 2707 posts
Tue 17 Jun 2014
at 01:05
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm snatches the two ivory plaques from the basin and joins a hurried, stumbling exit from the grotto and into the stone dragon's cavern. The cards themselves do not feel cold or wet or smooth; they feel like puissance, and Omm has it now. He feels like he could command the captain to fight by his side and he would!



Implacably, impossibly the violet extrusion extrudes, each step of Zarr's adding a step to its length. At the end of one of these steps, the first out of the grotto, it slams itself past the compressed lips of the wizard, the blocking tongue, and the already ravaged throat. Mercifully, Zarr blacks out (tentacle hits Zar for 3 dmg and 5 sta dmg; Zar now has only 1 sta, giving him a -3 hp modifier. His max hps are 2).

OOC DC 10 luck test to find your way back to the planetarium because of the darkness.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:05, Tue 17 June 2014.

Omm
 player, 186 posts
Tue 17 Jun 2014
at 09:40
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm only glances at the ivory plaque for but a moment, because out of the corner of his eye he sees the violet appendage still attacking his companion. He had assumed they could run away from it: apparently not.

No. This thing would have to be killed. Pure and simple.

Omm resigns himself to this task and swings his sword in a wide arc in an attempt to sever the appendage. It is a good thought, but thoughts do not equate with execution.

23:37, Today: Omm rolled 7,3 using d20+1,d3 with rolls of 6,3. Sever the appendage (Might Deed).
Sidd and Zar
 player, 533 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 17 Jun 2014
at 13:55
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
There simply must be a maximum range for the pool's stretch attack, so he helps Felix dragging Zar back all the way, contend to let the halfling choose the course.
''Hang on!'', he tries to cheer Zar, who is drowning and dying all over again. Sidd administers another dose of their makeshift healing potion.


15:53, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 5 using 1d4+1. healing potion.
Josh
 player, 164 posts
Wed 18 Jun 2014
at 14:07
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix leads the way pretty much at random, but gradually growing more confident as they continue their walk.

Josh rolled 8 using 1d20-1. Luck.
-burning 1 luck to bring it up to 10

Autarch
 GM, 2708 posts
Thu 19 Jun 2014
at 01:55
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix returns to the welcome "skies" of the planetarium, straining his luck to do so. But he's in no position to lead the others. Each must find his own way.

Omn thinks to harm the indigo entity and buy some time for Zar. It's a good thought.

Once again Zar burbles to life. He spits out some violet ichor and feels about as good as backroom dishtowel wedged behind the leg of the washing basin, lying in the greasy water that has pooled there and around which flies buzz.

There is no limit to eye's pursuit. It has a philosophy, you see, and Zar is it.

OOC Zar, Sidd, and Omn remain engaged with the Eye; Felix is distant.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:56, Thu 19 June 2014.

Omm
 player, 187 posts
Thu 19 Jun 2014
at 04:29
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm hacks at the violet tentacle yet again and despite his utmost determination,  finds scoring a solid hit, elusive.


18:27, Today: Omm rolled 8,2 using d20+1,d3.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 536 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 24 Jun 2014
at 15:26
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Realizing that his current tactic of flee-as-far-as-you-can is doomed to fail, Sidd takes his trusty shovel and tries to split the flow of water - alas, to no avail.

Zar coughs out some water, rises on his elbows, and sends a hand full of fire toward the pool's water. To everyone's surprise it connects, there's hissing and bubbling, and steam fills the dark cave!


OOC: Yay, 3 fire damage!

17:23, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 3 using 1d6. dmg.
17:22, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 14 using 1d20+2. Zar: Flaming Hands vs pool.
17:20, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 2 using 1d20. Sidd: shovel vs pool.

Josh
 player, 166 posts
Tue 24 Jun 2014
at 16:24
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Well if that's how things are going, Felix supposes he's not going to sit this one out.  He drops the feet of the now semi-conscious wizard, draws the crowbar and trowel that have been serving as weapons, and takes a couple of quick swings and the inky tendril.  The crowbar splashes right through it.  Hopefully that hurts.

Josh rolled 16,9 using d16+1,d16+1. two attacks.
  Josh rolled 6 using 1d6+1. damage.

Autarch
 GM, 2711 posts
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 00:22
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
That'll put a dint in its philosophy! The violet extrusion erupts in a geyser of steam and spittle before a crashing crowbar disjoints it. It no longer forms a perfect extension from the grotto to the star-viewing room. Instead it cants at an awkward angle a few feet from the object of its philosophy, Zar.

Up above, nearly imperceptibly, you hear the tell-tale shatter of a bottle of wine. The captain must be deep in his cups, having completed the "leathering," his only daily occupation.

Eye of Al-Hazred: -9 hps
Omm
 player, 188 posts
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 16:53
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Cursed. Forsaken by the Gods. That can be the only explanation for it. Omm swings his sword yet again, and still manages to strike nothing but air. Who knew violet tendrils were so elusive?

Words escape the warrior. The only vocalization Omm can muster is a single, terse explosion of profanity. Just one word, four letters, but a powerful one at that!

"@#%!"

06:49, Today: Omm rolled 7 using 1d20+1. attack.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 537 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 20:22
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
A body-wrecking cough causes Zar to fumble the latter half of another fire spell. Fortunately he isn't burning anyone, but still, for today this spell is lost.
As some kind of karmic compensation at least Sidd is doing somewhat better with his shovel now, splashing water in different directions.


OOC: Sidd hits for 2 dmg!

22:19, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 2 using 1d4. dmg.
22:19, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 16 using 1d20. Sidd: shovel vs pool.
22:18, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 4 using 1d20+2. Zar: Flaming Hands vs pool.

Josh
 player, 167 posts
Fri 27 Jun 2014
at 15:23
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix continues as well, annoyed that he can't just get a fleshy target that goes down easily like those beastmen (not that he wants another horde of those, mind you).

Josh rolled 7,13 using d16+1,d16+1. two attacks.
And in case 13 is good enough...
Josh rolled 5 using 1d4+1. damage.

Autarch
 GM, 2713 posts
Mon 30 Jun 2014
at 00:56
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The Eye's philosophy's looking pretty ragged now, not a whole lot left to it. What's left fails to force itself on Zar.

Eye of Al-Hazred: -16 hps (AC 10)
Omm
 player, 189 posts
Mon 30 Jun 2014
at 01:55
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm has a brief moment of inspiration and gives the elusive violet tendril a solid slash with his long sword. It was hard to know how much more punishment the thing could take, but the warrior was committed to seeing it through.

15:52, Today: Omm rolled 2 using 1d8. damage.
15:51, Today: Omm rolled 17 using 1d20+3. attack.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 538 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 1 Jul 2014
at 19:48
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar draws his dagger and attacks the vicious fluid - really, that's a sign how desperate he really is, because the old man is rather bad at infighting. He might as well just try to gnaw on the thing. However, to everyone's surprise he manages to indeed draw a bit of blood, er, water (2 dmg!).
Which is still a lot better than Sidd's attempts with his shovel.

OOC: Changed Zar's action from casting Chill Touch to a simple dagger attack after actually reading that spell up.

21:44, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 2 using 1d4-1. dmg.
21:42, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 15 using 1d20+2. Zar: Chill Touch dagger.
21:42, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 3 using 1d20. Sidd: shovel.

Autarch
 GM, 2714 posts
Thu 3 Jul 2014
at 18:56
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Another round of attacks leave the Eye drawing from the last wellspring of its philosophy (1/2 dmg from slicing attacks=1+1+4 from last round). It burbles none-too-delicately at Zar's compressed lips.

14:49, Today: Autarch rolled 4 using 1d4+1. dmg.
14:48, Today: Autarch rolled 2,13 using d16+1,d16+1. josh's attacks.

Eye of Al-Hazred: -22 hps (AC 10)

Omm
 player, 190 posts
Thu 3 Jul 2014
at 19:25
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm slices at naught but air, yet again. Maybe one of his companions would have better luck and put an end to this menace once and for all.

"Somebody kill the blasted thing for crying out loud" he cries out in exasperation.


09:21, Today: Omm rolled 8,5 using d20+3,d8. attack/dmg.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 539 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 3 Jul 2014
at 19:41
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Trying to! Really trying to!'' Sidd calls out, fooling around with his shovel.
Zar meanwhile, keeping his silence due to having to clench his teeth fast, lands a perfect strike, slicing the last remains of the pool not just one way or two, but three! Amazing! Maybe it is Del's lost soul guiding her previous dagger's accuracy.


OOC: Crit for Zar! Normally he does 1d4-1 dmg.

21:36, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 3 using 1d20. Sidd: shovel.
21:36, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 19 using 1d20-1. Zar: dagger.

Autarch
 GM, 2715 posts
Tue 8 Jul 2014
at 22:15
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
And that's the last of it. Turns out that trying to drown a sketchy scryer's not much of a philosophy after all. But Zar really has had a rough time of it. His throat, if such a thing is even possible, is all kinds of misshapen and mis-hued. How could he have possibly had the will to sere the Eye? Was his philosophy, could it have been -- stronger?
Sidd and Zar
 player, 540 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 11 Jul 2014
at 20:27
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar keels over and down to the ground, huffing and puffing and coughing up water.

OOC: How many points of stamina did Zar loose? He's probably down to 1 hp as his new max...

Sidd pats him companionable on the shoulder, nearly knocking the wheezing old wizard out all over again. ''You're a tough old bone for such a geezer,'' he adds well meaning.

''We are done with the pool, I guess. And the Scribe, too, most likely! However, Omm, did you get those cards? What do they depict?''
Autarch
 GM, 2716 posts
Sun 13 Jul 2014
at 00:30
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
With the Dragon, the Southward Wench, and the Obtuse Owl glittering in mosaics above, you collect yourselves and examine Omm's cards eagerly as they provide an excuse to look anywhere, absolutely anywhere besides Zarr's neck.

But what's that smell?

Feculent, for sure. Winey, for another. You're all thinking it but none dare to espy the wizard's over-violated throat.

"Ahem, masters, I, erm, we, are here," Vassal #7 announces.

"To serve," he adds, helpfully.

It's true. He and three of his "able" chaps stand before Omm who stands in possession of the Seven of Swords.

OOC Down to his last one if I recall correctly. But he cannot drop below one hp due to stamina penalties.

Omm
 player, 191 posts
Sun 13 Jul 2014
at 07:29
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm holds the card aloft, for all to see, before finally asking his more astute companions, "So, umm, what, are we supposed to be collecting cards now?"

Then, he walks up to and addresses the vassal, "Your first task: tell me where others, like you, may be found."
Josh
 player, 170 posts
Sun 13 Jul 2014
at 18:44
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
And what we need to do to take care of their leaders, Felix adds.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 541 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 15 Jul 2014
at 17:38
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Fine, fine,'' croaks Zar, ''no reason to help me. I would hate it if you had to go out of your way for me. Just ignore the old man gasping for his life.''

The sarcasm seems to be lost on Sidd as he replies ''Oh, er, sure, if you say so, Zar.''

Zar only coughy and struggles back on his feet. ''What's the other card, Omm? Beside the Seven of Swords?''
''We might have to move fast. The cards seem to change possessors pretty fast? Yesterday the Captain served the yellow wizard, today he served the blue sorcerer, and now perhaps us? Let's put him to use, before the Fool shuffles the cards anew.''

''Let's move to the bridge and the tower, to see how talking with that yellow chap turns out. Cannot be worse than the scrying pool thing.''

Zar coughs some more.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 542 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 15 Jul 2014
at 17:39
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd's head rises at that suggestion. ''Or we dare the crag of flies again. The Fool was down there. Something there is important.''
Autarch
 GM, 2717 posts
Wed 16 Jul 2014
at 00:15
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"We can be found serving our masters who reside variously in the Vault of Al-Hazred, the Tower beyond the Moon, and Vault of Eriodade beneath the lake ."

"Or having served them, lying fallow in the Fields of the Fallen, until we renew our service."

He clears his throat.

"Is that what you intend for us, master?"

OOC In addition to the other options broached, the scrying chamber/grotto had another exit.
Omm
 player, 192 posts
Wed 16 Jul 2014
at 20:59
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Autarch:
"Is that what you intend for us, master?"


"No," Omm states flatly. "You are not to lie fallow in any Field." The warrior takes a step toward the soldier and claps him on the shoulder playfully, "You are a member of the party now, and will take up ranks with us!"

Omm tilts his head sideways then doubles-back, "Really, more like a man-at-arms!"

Then responding to Zar, "Fine, let's go to the bridge and tower."

Assuming there are no objections, Omm leads the way.
Autarch
 GM, 2718 posts
Sat 19 Jul 2014
at 00:23
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The four of them do make a respectable quartet of men-at-arms with their serviceable armor and not entirely makeshift weaponry.

Through some unknown expanse of time and over a previously known expanse of bog, you return to the Tower Beyond the Moon, deciding to leave the enigma, Al-Hazred, to his vault.

(If you had hoped to catch the captain before his jolly hunt, you're too late. He and his happy huntsmen have already left. But, ho, the scent of oiled leathers hangs heavily in the air. Even the least olfactorily adroit could track it.)

So bleary with lack of sleep you must be that you miss the daily deal, but whatever it was, the vassals with you remain. Omm still claims the captain's card as well.

Dusk after waiting:

A silvery span shimmers into existence, arcing through the clouds to the foot of the dark tower. Billows of brume roll over the moon-bright bridge, flaring briefly, as if lit from within.

With trekking back across the bog unthinkable, you cross the bridge:

The arched stone portal is carved in the shape of an enormous maw built into the side of the tower. Within the portal a forked stone tongue divides the spiral stairs in two; one set of stairs curving to the left and the other to the right. Both rise into darkness.

OOC Stat Block for the Seven of Swords:

Armed Vassals (4): Init +0; Atk spear +0 melee (1d8) or handaxe +0 ranged (1d6); AC 7; HD 2d8; hp 6; MV 30’;
Act 1d20; SP half damage from piercing and slashing weapons; SV Fort +0, Ref +0, Will +1; AL L.
Josh
 player, 171 posts
Sat 19 Jul 2014
at 01:23
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Would a Luck roll perhaps give me an idea of which stairs we want?
Omm
 player, 193 posts
Mon 21 Jul 2014
at 09:24
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"This way's as good as any other," Omm says with a quick gesture of his hand, while leading the procession up the staircase to the left. "Someone, light a torch, why don't you?" After somebody complies, Omm continues walking up the stairs.

"Fortune favors the bold, or some-such I once heard. Wait," he says while stopping. "Maybe it was a fool?"

He shakes his head and comments, "Oh well, whatever. Onward we go!"
Josh
 player, 172 posts
Mon 21 Jul 2014
at 13:43
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix assumes one of the wizards will handle the light, but if they don't then he is okay with being the one carrying the large burning stick.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 543 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 22 Jul 2014
at 08:39
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Certainly not!'' Zar croaks with his remaining strength. ''If in doubt, we will follow the path of the righteous! That's the right hand stairs, in case you are not aware.''
He amends with a softer voice. ''This place is about symbols. Such things might be important here.''

He sets foot on the staircase to the right, hoping that the others will follow him. Sidd shrugs, not really caring either way.

This message was last edited by the player at 08:39, Tue 22 July 2014.

Omm
 player, 194 posts
Tue 22 Jul 2014
at 08:44
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Have it your way," Omm demurs, while taking the right fork.
Autarch
 GM, 2719 posts
Wed 23 Jul 2014
at 00:03
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Up the stairs...

The arched portal opens to a musty dungeon cell, lit by glowing braziers. On the far side of the chamber is a man in chains, suspended by shackles bolted
to the wall. His long beard – once white, now caked with blood – hangs to the stone floor. His thin, bony frame is stripped to the waist; a muddied yellow
toga hangs in tatters.

Across from the prisoner an enormous porcine form reclines atop a rusted iron throne. The creature’s bristled belly spills out over its lap, and its
jowls hang loosely around great ivory tusks. The stinking man-beast clutches a glowing poker and a coiled whip in its meaty fists. The smell of burnt flesh is thick in the air.

Directly between the two forms – the broken man and the torturer – a set of ivory plaques hang in the air.

Josh
 player, 173 posts
Fri 25 Jul 2014
at 02:59
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
As soon as he sees what's in the room, Felix pulls the others back a bit, hoping for a whispered conversation in the hall that won't attract the torturer's attention.

I've got two ideas here.  One is that one of you guys (pointing to Sidd and Zar) can cast a spell to make me move faster than usual, and then I run straight for the plaques and grab them.  The other is that I sneak up on the torturer and then distract him while one of you grabs the plaques.
Omm
 player, 195 posts
Fri 25 Jul 2014
at 05:08
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm whispers, "That's better than the idea I had..." Glancing down at his sword hilt, "Otherwise, we can do it the old fashioned way."
Sidd and Zar
 player, 546 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 27 Jul 2014
at 19:50
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Making you faster? You are joking, right, Felix?'' Zar sneers. Knowing how these things usually go he summons a bit of cold energy around his fists though.

While Sidd concentrates and frowns and then concentrates some more, all in a doomed attempt to move the ivory plaques - just with the power of his mind!
However, the endeavor proves to be too much for his budging skill and the spell misfires. Badly.


OOC: Ooh, spell fumble. Misfire table says that Sidd changes hair colour? He was dark brown until now.
Or not? I think a natural 1 only results in a failure - since his actuall result is a 2, Sidd might not have invoked a misfire?

21:44, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 3 using 1d4. Sidd: Misfire.
21:40, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 2 using 1d20+1. Sidd: Cantrip.
21:40, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 12 using 1d20+2. Zar: Chill Touch.

Autarch
 GM, 2721 posts
Tue 29 Jul 2014
at 21:58
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
So pathetic is Sidd's attempt to grasp the cards from afar, so outrageously pathetic, it is as if he has uncreated his attempt to grasp the cards from afar. And as such how could it ever have been noticed in the first place if it never had existed?

Unharried by the wizards' antics, the pig-bellied poker continues to go about his business with whip and fireplace implement.

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:10, Sun 03 Aug 2014.

Josh
 player, 175 posts
Wed 30 Jul 2014
at 01:11
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix shakes his head and hisses You bigfolk are all useless, you know that?  Alright, I'm going in.  Omm, on my signal, run for the cards.  He then starts creeping into the room, timing his movements to minimize his chance of being spotted and maximize his chance of getting behind the torturer.  He is silently thankful that his people, unlike those idiot humans, are naturally adept at remaining unheard and unseen...

What happens next depends on the answer to a question I neglected to ask earlier: what is the torturer wearing?

If I'm lucky enough that it's anything loose, flowing, or perhaps doused in oil from an earlier torture session, then I'm going in with a torch and lighting his clothes.  Otherwise I'm going in with a crowbar and whacking him on the head, from the side opposite the doorway, so as to keep his attention diverted if he's still conscious.  Either way, the attack is followed by me shouting at Omm.

In the meantime...
Josh rolled 18 using 1d20+4. sneaking.

EDIT: Josh rolled 12 using 1d20+1. initiative.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:34, Thu 31 July 2014.

Omm
 player, 196 posts
Thu 31 Jul 2014
at 07:37
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm prepares to run for, and grab, the ivory plaques as soon as Felix gives the signal. The warrior has his sword at the ready, in the event the pig-bellied creature turns on Felix, at which point, Omm will rush to his companion's aid.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 547 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 2 Aug 2014
at 20:11
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar takes up position behind Omm, taking up his bow.

Sidd grasps his shovel tight, but then he decides to change tacks. It is unlikely that the fat man with the poker is inclined to do small talk, but the attempt cannot really hurt, all considered. And it might provide a distraction for Felix.

''Uh, Mr. Torturer, Sir? Why are you doing what you are doing to that yellow-robed man over there?''
It occurs to Sidd that the yellow wizard might be a masochist after all, and hired or even created the fat man for exactly that purpose.
Autarch
 GM, 2723 posts
Sun 3 Aug 2014
at 20:42
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Everybody's attention turns to the sadist. As no one has interfered with his sport, Felix having slipped behind him unnoticed, he assumes a gruff if companionable demeanor.

"A job I got to do if I want my daily grub. It's hard work it is," he continues, "what with the heat, the reek, and the company," answering a question no one has posed.

And he's been working hard at it, judging by his slick exterior, so much of it visible to the eye. This is to be expected given the garb of the trade: usually no more than a few leather straps passing for a harness with an apron that never provides full coverage. It's the get up's like this that scream extreme hedonism.

However, one look at other participant -- you do spare that -- shows him to be rather anhedonic.


This message was last edited by the GM at 20:42, Sun 03 Aug 2014.

Josh
 player, 177 posts
Sun 3 Aug 2014
at 22:12
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
With the torturer's attention already diverted, Felix changes tack as well, going for the cards himself rather than having Omm take them.  He keeps his crowbar at the ready in case he gets caught.

don't know if I need any new rolls here...
Omm
 player, 197 posts
Mon 4 Aug 2014
at 06:23
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm gruffly calls out to the torturer, "We mean to acquire those ivory plaques, and are prepared to do whatever is necessary to see our aims through. You can either assist us with the task, or be dealt with accordingly!"

Omm strides confidently forward, assured in his mission, hand on sword hilt.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 548 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 4 Aug 2014
at 20:38
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd sighs audibly. Just when things took a turn for the better... after all, the torturer was neither torturing or attacking them, and actually he even seems to be inclined to talk stuff.
''Never mind my headstrong friend here. Who is it you are working on so arduously? Might it be the fabled yellow wizard?''

Sidd adresses the prisoner dircetly. ''Good Sir? I hope you are well enough to provide an answer or two, perhaps? I would like to know whether you are the yellow wizard, and why you are being tortured here?''

''Or even better yet, what the hell is the meaning of all this?''

Josh
 player, 178 posts
Wed 6 Aug 2014
at 13:19
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Well, so much for Plan A.  Felix does his best to stay out of the way and unnoticed for now so he can eke out whatever advantage he can if things turn sour.
Autarch
 GM, 2725 posts
Thu 7 Aug 2014
at 03:22
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
You learn in short order what the torturer does when some fool makes a grab for his cards. He gets down to brass tacks!

Springing off his throne, he interposes himself between the fighting man and the cards after landing nimbly upon his cloven hooves. A fierce thrust of his poker, destined for Omm's heart, is deflected neatly by his shield. Where the searing poker caught the shield the boss now gleams with unmistakable dweomer, the corruption having been seared off.

With his other weapon, a whip, he lashes at the spear of one of your men-at-arms, cruelly wrenching his arm while yanking the polearm free (1 dmg to vassal #1 and currently disarmed).

Sidd receives no response from his address; the manacled man's face and eyes are empty of all but a yellowish pallor.
Omm
 player, 198 posts
Thu 7 Aug 2014
at 06:41
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm jumps back in defense when the torturer lashes out against him. "Oh! So that's how it'll be," he chides while bouncing back with his sword and shield at the ready. Pressing the attack, Omm raises his shield and follows with an overhead feint and underhand strike.

Omm attempts to knock the poker out of the torturer's hand, a solid strike, but perhaps not as effective as he hoped.

"Men! Attack!" he orders.

20:38, Today: Omm rolled 2 using 1d8. damage.
20:37, Today: Omm rolled 21,2 using d20+3,d3 with rolls of 18,2. attack/mighty deed (disarm).

This message was last edited by the player at 06:42, Thu 07 Aug 2014.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 549 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 8 Aug 2014
at 17:54
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Dammit!'' Sidd snarls. Things had been going so nicely for once, and now they were facing, what, a greater demon? Dammit.
Nonetheless the young wizard-to-be raies his shovel and whacks the demon for tenacity's sake. (hit 11, 3 dmg)

Zar simply lets an arrow fly, which hits its target very nicely. (hit 20, 4 dmg)


19:52, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 4 using 1d6+1. dmg.
19:52, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 20 using 1d20+1. Zar: bow.
19:51, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 3 using 1d4. dmg.
19:51, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 11 using 1d20. Sidd: shovel.

Josh
 player, 179 posts
Mon 11 Aug 2014
at 00:14
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Oh, of course.  The torturer just happens to have a super fast springing move that gets him out of harm's way a moment before he makes it clear that it's time for Plan B, or C, or whichever one "indiscriminate violence" is.  So he does his best to catch up to the bastard and club him on the head with a crowbar.  This time, Felix's best is still fairly unsatisfying.

Meanwhile, the man-at-arms who lost his spear chases after it, while his companions fan out and advance on the torturer.  One of them at least manages to touch him.

Josh rolled 7,6 using d20+1,d6+1. attack, dmg.

EDIT:Josh rolled 6,1,18 using d20,d20,d20. three attacks.
  Josh rolled 6 using 1d8. damage.
  #2 appears to have fumbled.  GM, you can roll for effect, as I can't tell from the stat line what armor they are wearing.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:33, Mon 11 Aug 2014.

Autarch
 GM, 2728 posts
Mon 11 Aug 2014
at 00:55
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
It's only now that you notice that your men-at-arms cannot be properly termed men for they lack all semblance of flesh. They should probably be called skeletons.

It is for this reason that the demon's poker, which might have skewered a real, fleshy man, only cracks a few bones (5/2=2 dmg to skeleton #3). You can't believe you hadn't made this most elementary of observations yet. You're sure you would have figured it out in a few days even without witnessing their resistance to piercing and slashing weapons.

With his other weapon, a whip, the torturer wrenches Zarr's bow away from him (1 dmg) and neatly deposits it at his feet, after which he plants one of his cloven hooves right over it.

Since you are all fully exploiting your vision, you can see no trace of wounds left upon the honest workman despite your myriad applications of force. Astounding!

OOC no effect from the fumble.
Omm
 player, 201 posts
Mon 11 Aug 2014
at 01:46
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"It cannot be wounded by mortal arms!" Omm calls out aloud in warning to his companions. "Should we fall back?"
Sidd and Zar
 player, 550 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 12 Aug 2014
at 09:38
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Uh. Retreat. Retreat!'' Zar croaks, and stumbles out of the room and down the stairs again, being barely capable of still doing so.

''Wait! Wait for me!'' Sidd exclaims, and flees after him.


OOC: I assume Zar has 2 hp, even with his gazillion Sta malus? 1 from his level 0 die, and 1 from his 1st level die?

Josh
 player, 181 posts
Wed 13 Aug 2014
at 02:39
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Works for me.  You guys coming?, the halfling adds, toward the skeletal warriors.
Omm
 player, 202 posts
Wed 13 Aug 2014
at 03:53
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm turns on his heels and flees from the scourge-wielding creature.
Autarch
 GM, 2729 posts
Wed 13 Aug 2014
at 21:31
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
As one you turn your backs and spines on the room and its grotesque spectacle. With his ivory placards no longer threatened, the master of insertions and removals returns to the application of his trade, a series of delicate procedures involving the lower extremities. You wouldn't know this because you're looking the other way.

You can take a few moments to consider your options or you can try the other staircase.

OOC Yes, sta modifiers can't reduce hp accumulation below 1 per level.
Omm
 player, 203 posts
Thu 14 Aug 2014
at 07:46
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
After catching his breath, Omm remarks, "Okay. That did not go so well." This is, of course, an understatement.

"How to get those damn cards?" he muses aloud. "None of us were able to harm him, and he certainly didn't have that difficulty. No, I take it his whip stung nicely."

Omm looks to the others for ideas. As per usual, the warrior is at a loss for what to do next, if it doesn't involve brute force. That seems to be Omm's modus operandi. It's what he is good at, well, except for when he faces invulnerable foes.

That, is more problematic.

Maybe the thinking types will come up with something?
Sidd and Zar
 player, 551 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 14 Aug 2014
at 21:31
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Gah, that was horrible,'' says Sidd. ''Let's see what's up at the top of the other flight of stairs.''

Zar just pants and coughs, obviously near the end of what he can endure.
Omm
 player, 204 posts
Sun 17 Aug 2014
at 05:00
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm nods at Sidd's suggestion and then leads the group upstairs.
Josh
 player, 182 posts
Mon 18 Aug 2014
at 19:47
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
In reply to Omm (msg # 315):

Felix follows along.  Might as well see what kind of awfulness awaits them over there.
Autarch
 GM, 2730 posts
Tue 19 Aug 2014
at 00:11
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The stairs rise into a warmly lit throne room. An elderly man, draped in a voluminous yellow toga, rests atop a throne overseeing a court of automata. The
king’s long white beard and bald pate belie his muscular form, giving him an ancient, yet timeless air.

Automata – clever mechanisms disguised as the living – bustle about the court. A silk-feathered nightingale sings from its perch atop the throne. A trio of musicians, their faces formed of leather and clay, play tunelessly in the corner. A pair of towering eunuchs, armed with a painted wooden falchions, watches over the throne. Strange mechanized courtiers pass left and right, ignorant of your presence.


The superannuated monarch beckons you into his throne room.

"Come! Come! Come in. Don't be alarmed at the members of my mechanical court. Their clockwork performances charge my days with what little zest they might have.

Here he pauses and you hear the first stanza from the trio's melancholic ballad:

"The rusted chains of prison moons
 Are shattered by the sun.
 I walk a road, horizons change
 The midnight fete's begun.
 The devlish piper plays his tune,
 The choir softly sings
 Three lullabies in an ancient tongue,
 For the court of the amber king
."

He grins at you expectantly.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:09, Tue 19 Aug 2014.

Omm
 player, 205 posts
Tue 19 Aug 2014
at 09:26
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm takes in the magnificent scene with wide, alert eyes. Eventually he pulled from his admiration of the automata and turns his attention to the toga-wearing monarch.

He boldly addresses the man, in a voice loud enough for all to hear, "Good day My Lord. I am Omm the Warrior. I grow increasingly weary of riddles and games. I desire to be gone from your realm, at once. Please tell me how to do so."

The warrior cocks his head sideways in eager anticipation of some instruction as to how to accomplish this task.
Autarch
 GM, 2731 posts
Tue 19 Aug 2014
at 23:25
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"First, let me introduce myself, for I am the seer-king Darjr, heir to mysteries and enigmas beyond creation. And you are wonder-workers yourself: You have solved the Riddle of the Magi."

One of the courtiers, this one wearing some greasy motley, whispers, "Surely, it was some god who breathed in their ear."

Unfazed, Darjr speaks over him, "None who has visited this court has accomplished that."

As if on cue, the trio lugubriously shares the second stanza:

"The keeper of the planar portals
 Put shutters on the dreams.
 I wait outside the poltroon's door
 With insufficient schemes.
 The black queen chants
 the funeral march,
 The cracked gold bells will ring;
 To summon back the fire witch
 To the court of the amber king
."

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:10, Tue 26 Aug 2014.

Omm
 player, 206 posts
Wed 20 Aug 2014
at 03:53
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm waits for the trio to complete their lay before commenting:

"Nope, apparently not."

He turns back to address his companions.

"Always with the riddles! Can't anybody around here speak in plain, common language?" he cries aloud while throwing his hands up in frustration.

"What the heck is a poltroon, anyway?" he asks.
Josh
 player, 183 posts
Wed 20 Aug 2014
at 19:59
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix keys in on Darjr's grandiose title and says Heir of enigmas, eh?  So I guess that means you can help us decode some, right?  Like the mystery of how to get the hell out of here?  Maybe we can make it worth your while.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 552 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 20 Aug 2014
at 20:36
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Uh...'' Sidd stammers, amazed by the prospect they could already have solved by acident the riddle they are in up to their ears. ''Uh...''

Zar rather keeps his focus and his calm. Thin-lipped he says ''Who is the man who is tortured next door?''
Autarch
 GM, 2733 posts
Tue 26 Aug 2014
at 21:24
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Ah, you are full of questions as I knew you would be. Where is that? Who is this? Why did he put that there? How can we serve tea for three?"

Darjr claps his hands briskly twice. In rolls a wooden serving girl, supported by cables that rise beyond sight, bearing a platter with three flasks.

To note its arrival, the trio produces:

"The gardener plants an evergreen
 Whilst trampling a sun flower.
 I chase the wind of a prism ship
 To taste the sweet and sour.
 The placard juggler lifts his hand;
 The orchestra begins.
 As slowly turns the grinding wheel
 In the court of the amber king."


He smiles beneficently, first at the flasks and then at you.
Josh
 player, 184 posts
Wed 27 Aug 2014
at 00:00
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix carefully approaches the table and sniffs the tea, hoping he can get a clue as to what's in there before anyone actually drinks it.  Even if he isn't tall enough for the table, he has a good enough nose that he should be able to pick up something...
Omm
 player, 207 posts
Wed 27 Aug 2014
at 06:24
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Likewise, Omm examines each of the three flashs, looking for any signs of ornamentation of other clues as to their content, aside from mundane tea. Nothing in this realm was mundane, after all.

"So," he questions while looking at the flasks, "am I to assume we are to drink from the flasks? If so, which one would you recommend, Sir, and why?"
Sidd and Zar
 player, 553 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 28 Aug 2014
at 20:48
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Wait, wait...'' Zar hazards. ''The midnight fete from the first stanza, that was our tourney with the three ladies!''
''Did those sing any lullabies then? No, I think the midnight fete might be what we are at now. With the choir singing three boring verses.'' Sidd replies sharply.
''But the keeper of the planar portals - that has to be the blue magician? With that murderous pool of his.''
''And the black queen - is that the three ladies' chaperon? - and some golden bells summon the red sorceress here, to the yellow king's court.''
''But what does this all mean? We still need more information to interprete this...''
Omm
 player, 208 posts
Fri 29 Aug 2014
at 04:39
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm shrugs when asked what the riddles might mean. Sidd likely didn't direct his question at the warrior, but he felt obligated to acknowledge it nonetheless.

Omm sighs, "I am sorry sir. I am a warrior. A fighting-man. It's all I ever really been good at, and saying that much is a stretch."

He looks down at his dirty boots, as though he is embarrassed to not be of more help.
Autarch
 GM, 2734 posts
Fri 29 Aug 2014
at 23:30
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
It turns out not to be tea.

The seer-king, staring at a point just to the right of where Omm actually stands, responds to his request a beat or two slower than might be expected. This seer-king's social skills appear to have rusted in the company of automatons.

"You may choose one of the vials as your reward for solving the Riddle of the Magi. Each contains colored sand which, when poured out, will produce wondrous effects, perhaps even as wondrous as your collective wisdom," he declaims.

In a very measured display of elocution, he notes the effects of each in turn:

Blue Vial: “To free you from our realm.”
Black Vial: “To free us, its captives.”
Yellow Vial: “To a quick end.”

Then, perhaps in answer to Sidd's frenzied inquiries, the doleful players conclude their ballad:

"On soft gray mornings widows cry
 The wise men share a joke;
 I run to grasp divining signs
 To satisfy the hoax.
 The yellow jester does not play
 But gently pulls the strings
 And smiles as the puppets dance
 In the court of the amber king."

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:33, Fri 29 Aug 2014.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 554 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 30 Aug 2014
at 13:52
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd puts his hand on Omm's arm, anticipating a grab for the blue vial. ''We must not be hasty about this.''
''We didn't even solve any Riddle of the Magi yet. I don't understand a thing of what's happening! Let's stall and visit the red sorceress. We need more info!''
Omm
 player, 209 posts
Sat 30 Aug 2014
at 18:44
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd had apparently read Omm's mind. Not that this was a very difficult task, but it was noteworthy nonetheless.

In truth, Omm had been debating between the blue and yellow vial: the former because it seemed like the obvious choice and the latter because it seemed like the choice in the event the first was a trick. The middle option never crossed Omm's mind. He cared little for the people of this realm. None had given him a compelling reason to help, so why should he stick his neck out?

At any rate, Sidd probably saved the party from another rash decision.

Sighing, Omm adds, "Fine then. Keep that tea warm Old Man...err Lord. Let's go see the Red Sorceress..."

This message was last edited by the player at 00:48, Sun 31 Aug 2014.

Josh
 player, 185 posts
Sun 31 Aug 2014
at 00:27
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix cuts in here.  Wait, one last question before we go.  You told us what the vials are, and we certainly all appreciate that.  But is there anything else we should know about them?  You know, like they only work under certain conditions, or there's some annoying catch, or anything like that?
Sidd and Zar
 player, 555 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 1 Sep 2014
at 15:43
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Or... how's about that...'' Sidd continues, frowning in thought and grasping for straws.
''The pool in the blue seer's cave proved to be real dangerous. I would not be that surprised if we had found his drowned corpse in the next room if we had dared to proceed.''
''What if each choice here comes with a pronounced downside? Like looking into the pool did. And each of the wizards engaged in such a choice and choose wrong. Maybe the real yellow wizard is the chap being tortured next door, because of a poor choice or performance, and this one here is just an automaton like the band - trying to goad us into the same wrong choice. Turning us into fodder for this plane...''


''The question then is - what is the right choice? Beside the valid option that engaging in the game at all is the wrong choice. But eventually we have to chose anyway, to be able to escape all this.''

Sidd and Zar look at each other and nod in rare agreement. ''Yes, to the red sorceress and her lake, for more information.''
''And back to the seer's cave!''
Autarch
 GM, 2735 posts
Mon 1 Sep 2014
at 19:54
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd:
...and this one here is just an automaton like the band...

There is a pause in all of the things that make living or non-living things tick.

The cables that depend from beyond your vision guide the serving girl back into a recess of the room, along with her platter of sands.

The Seer-King, as he calls himself, slouches in his throne while the three players tune their instruments.

After the time it takes for a gear to rewind, the performance beings anew.

"Come! Come! Come in. Don't be alarmed at the members of my mechanical court. Their clockwork performances charge my days with what little zest they might have..."

Nearly inaudibly, flies buzz their disappointment but by the time you look around, the greasy-smocked courtier has departed by avenues unseeable and unreachable.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:55, Mon 01 Sept 2014.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 556 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 1 Sep 2014
at 21:14
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar's head swivels this way or that, sensing the presence of the fool, but being not quite able to detect him except for some flies.

Sidd meanwhile just blinks. ''Uh... did I solve the riddle of the yellow wizard just now? Cool...''
Omm
 player, 210 posts
Mon 1 Sep 2014
at 21:34
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm, dumbfounded, watches the production going on all around him. When it has concluded, he says, "So, are we going to see the Red Sorceress now?"
Sidd and Zar
 player, 557 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 1 Sep 2014
at 22:04
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''We are.'' Zar states. ''However, let's take a quick look at the tortured wizard next door first. Just in case something changed because of what happened here?''

''At the very least this means that the vials of sand will always be here, waiting for us, if we finally decide to pick one. After we have solved the Riddle of the Magi.''
Josh
 player, 186 posts
Tue 2 Sep 2014
at 16:39
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
One of those bickering philosophers being right on the money like that?  Felix is quite surprised.  Might as well ride this streak out though, and go see how things look with the Red Sorceress.
Autarch
 GM, 2737 posts
Tue 9 Sep 2014
at 22:09
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Dazedly, you make your way back down the stairs and then up the stairs to the torturer's apartment. You're dead on your feet, figuratively, a luxury your four vassals do not enjoy. You have been going forty, fifty, who knows, hours straight, much of it knee-deep in muck, which you still track across the stone of the Tower Beyond the Moon.

Acting at Zar's behest, you peer into the chamber. The two of them appear to be taking a breather, with pig-man dabbing the sweat seeping from his chin folds and one of the seer kings, well, just breathing, being unconscious and all. His partner has not been remiss; he sports at least two new puncture wounds (one quite impressive) and one minor slash.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:10, Tue 09 Sept 2014.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 558 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 12 Sep 2014
at 16:21
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Uh,'' Zar utters, and retreats instantly again. Sidd manages to wave half-heartedly with a hand at least before cautiously withdrawing.

''Ok, nothing changed.'' He yawns. ''Let's take a look at the pool we fled from again. When we rest, it might be revived and in position again - right now it should still be pretty dead. For a pool, I mean. Anyway, back to the manor and the cave labyrinth? To see what malady the blue wizard is in?''
Autarch
 GM, 2738 posts
Fri 12 Sep 2014
at 19:52
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
With his fading glance, Sidd perceives that the number of new wounds might be closer to four rather than three with the fourth, until now unperceived, bearing all the hallmarks of concussive force as might be delivered by a spade or mattock.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 559 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 12 Sep 2014
at 20:28
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
On the stairs Sidd wonders about that fourth wound he has seen. ''A concussion wound, like from a mattock or spade. Where is it from? Doesn't the demon wield a whip and a sword?''

Zar coughs. ''Someone DID use a spade in that room recently. You did, you moron.''
''I assume that any wounds we caused the demon appeared on the captured wizard instead. That's why the demon was unharmed. No not-a-magic-weapon mumbo jumbo.''
The old man spits out.

''We could try attacking the prisoner of course. Just in case this enchantment works either way. Risky though - it might kill the prisoner.''
Josh
 player, 187 posts
Sat 13 Sep 2014
at 03:28
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
If we're really feeling brave, one of us could sneak off to observe the demon while the others give the wizard a nice cut or two.  Then we meet back up and compare notes.
Omm
 player, 212 posts
Sat 13 Sep 2014
at 08:50
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"You want me to beat the old man a few times?" Omm asks, his eyes wide in anticipation as he fidgets with the pommel of his sword.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 560 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 13 Sep 2014
at 18:58
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Uh... uh... that sounds kind of drastic? Also, when the demon tortured the prisoner before, there certainly didn't appear any wounds on itself. Just saying.''
Josh
 player, 188 posts
Sat 13 Sep 2014
at 21:20
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Okay, fair point.  Maybe the old man has to be freed first, and then the torturer can be hurt?  Or if we're really unlucky, then it has to be chained up first...
Omm
 player, 213 posts
Sun 14 Sep 2014
at 00:22
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm scratches his head in confusion, "So, no to whacking the old man?"

"Maybe we just walk up and free the old man? Maybe it is that simple and we are over-thinking this?" With Omm, there was no chance of that, so perhaps it sounded odd coming from his mouth.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 561 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 14 Sep 2014
at 18:50
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd scratches his head in bewilderment. ''I just don't know!''
''I don't think we can just free him. Perhaps wounds inflicted by other beings than the demon transfer to the demon. Perhaps not. Perhaps we need to do some nifty trick with the sands from the other room. I just don't know!''


Zar only shakes his head. ''Either way, I won't step back into that room. I can barely walk and breath as it is.''


OOC: Zar currently has Stamina 1 and 1 hp remaining. :/
Omm
 player, 214 posts
Sun 14 Sep 2014
at 19:03
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Maybe we should rest?" Omm suggests to his companions. "We've been at it for a while now and it just might do us some good."
Sidd and Zar
 player, 562 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 14 Sep 2014
at 19:06
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd and Zar look at Omm and then at each other.
''Agreed.'' ''A rest sounds fine.''
Josh
 player, 189 posts
Mon 15 Sep 2014
at 16:38
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Huh.  Now that you big folk mention it, I could use a nice bit of sleep.  Where do you think is safe?
Autarch
 GM, 2742 posts
Sun 21 Sep 2014
at 03:47
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
You leave the discussion of beating the old man for another night, something to chew over again time and circumstances permitting. And even though he's not like to have a peaceful night's rest, that's no reason you shouldn't, the ungodly swath of swamp notwithstanding.

You decamp from the Tower Beyond the Moon at a time, you wager, just before the end of dusk, the automaton's ballad having beguiled you for a spell. In something akin to fugue state, you cross the bog. It's hard to tell when but at one time or another, one or more of you find yourselves leaning against the exposed rib cages of your skeletal spears for support. And Zar, he piggybacks, having succumbed to the entreaties of vassal of amber #7.

And so it is, that the servants put the masters to bed, one and all. They fill decanters of cistern water to stave off the parchedness of aftermorning and find some heavy tapestries to double as blankets. Apologetically, they explain that the ladies in waiting have confiscated all of the true bedding of the manor.

You awake half a day later. You receive no visit from the dealer of cards, the jester of fates. Omm discovers that his shield has been burnished to shine beyond amber. Etched into its boss is the image of a great warrior withstanding a thousand hammer blows.
Omm
 player, 215 posts
Tue 23 Sep 2014
at 06:26
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
After completing his morning stretches and While admiring his shield, Omm comments, "So, where off to now?" The warrior then remembers someone asking him about the ivory card he pocketed earlier. He snaps his fingers together for emphasis and adds in, "Oh yes, this thing," and then produces it for the others to see.

"What do you suppose this means?"
Sidd and Zar
 player, 566 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 24 Sep 2014
at 07:32
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''It means, huh, that the game changed?''

''Yes, the fact that there is no new hand of cards dealt at morning is curious... also, why is your shield the color of the seer-king? Are we a card of his now? Or is it because Sidd 'solved' his riddle by dumb luck? And if so, why did your shield get enchanted instead of his... shovel?''

''Don't ridicule the shovel! It is a wizard's staff implemented with a warrior weapon's head. And nifty in a ditch to boot!''

''Suuuure. Anyway, we are making progress! Let's check on the cellar and look how Arnie is doing, and the basilisk, the pool and that nasty blue sorcerer.''
Josh
 player, 191 posts
Thu 25 Sep 2014
at 01:23
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Personally, I think he looks better as a coat rack than he did as a person, but I guess if he did turn back we might as well drag him out of here with us.  So much for any bond between the two men who had come from the same village and suffered through so much together.
Omm
 player, 216 posts
Sat 27 Sep 2014
at 08:33
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd and Zar:
''Yes, the fact that there is no new hand of cards dealt at morning is curious... also, why is your shield the color of the seer-king? Are we a card of his now? Or is it because Sidd 'solved' his riddle by dumb luck? And if so, why did your shield get enchanted instead of his... shovel?''


Omm glances down at his shield and gives it a curious look for a few moments and concludes with an unknowing shrug. "No worldly idea...but hopefully it helps us in battle!"

"Wait, how did Sidd solve the riddle again?" Omm still didn't quite understand that part.
Autarch
 GM, 2744 posts
Sun 28 Sep 2014
at 01:04
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The fourth vassal demurely explains that the shield* has always been enchanted and had just needed a proper bossing, a bossing that shall faithfully apply when its bearer takes his rest.

"I have a discerning eye in such matters," he admits, and you make plans to have him find the caramels among chocolates.

The question of how Sidd solved the riddle or even what that riddle might have been dampens the mood of your first meal of the day like the staining of the first white doublet.

You move the carpet aside to once again expose the trapdoor which leads to the subterranean planetarium. Passing through it, you admire the constellation of the dragon, each point a polished gem.

You find poor old Arnie in short order. A placard has been hung from his too slowly raised right arm, bent in a futile attempt to block the drake's gaze.

"To soften his stone,
Erodiade, the sorceress,
bids you vist her
beneath the lake
."

Sidd wags his finger aggressively. I think I've got it!

*Any day the bearer makes an offering to the god of the shield, he is granted a DC 10 Fort save to ignore a single critical hit. The offering must be equal or greater to the character’s level x 15 gp. The effect works but once per day, but at the judge’s discretion multiple offerings of geometrically increasing value may be considered.
Josh
 player, 192 posts
Sun 28 Sep 2014
at 23:09
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Great, and how are we supposed to get under the lake?  And who even left the sign, for that matter?

The halfling pauses for a moment letting his thoughts swirl, and then snaps his fingers and says Hey, maybe if we just leave this big knucklehead as he is, some more signs will show up and give us some more useful advice.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 567 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 29 Sep 2014
at 20:12
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar shrugs. ''There's a ferry service at the lake, naturally with its own signpost. Apparently it takes its passagers below the water instead of across, as we assumed.''
''Let's go there - but only after taking a looking at the blue mage. I wonder what his fate might be.''


''We could also revisit the praying mantis! I forgot who wields the Hierophant's card right now, but it wasn't the blue mage anymore. The yellow seer-king perhaps? That might have changed the priest's disposition.''
''However, I want to take a look into that cave beyond the pool first, too.''

Omm
 player, 217 posts
Fri 3 Oct 2014
at 06:56
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Not particularly wanting to go see the mantis right now, Omm suggests, "A boat ride sounds fun. Let's go there." Assuming there are no objections, Omm leads the way.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 568 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 3 Oct 2014
at 08:54
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''No no. We are standing right beside Arnie's statue.'' Sidd points at the stone coat rack.
''Let's go those couple of feet further and take a look at the pool and the blue mage first.''

He, too, begins to lead the way.
Autarch
 GM, 2745 posts
Fri 3 Oct 2014
at 19:27
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Unanimously, you go that few feet further past the scrying pool and into what appears to be the last crypt in the manor tomb.

A robed figure stands silent at the rear of the chamber. Its face is hidden by a hood, and its hands are buried within the fulagin folds of the robes. The robe itself seems fashioned of a mantle of stars, set within fabric the color of night but with an unmistakable azure tint where the fulagin does not hold hegemony.

The robed figure rasps, "Stay your steps -- listen to my entreaty."
Sidd and Zar
 player, 569 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 3 Oct 2014
at 20:47
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''We are listening. Go ahead.'' Zar replies, coming to a halt.
Omm
 player, 218 posts
Sun 5 Oct 2014
at 08:09
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm does as the robed figured requests and takes his position alongside his companions.

"Yeah. Speak your piece," he chimes in support of Zar.
Josh
 player, 193 posts
Mon 6 Oct 2014
at 18:51
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix grumbles something about how this better not be more riddles, but other than that he makes an effort to pay attention.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:08, Mon 13 Oct 2014.

Autarch
 GM, 2746 posts
Sun 12 Oct 2014
at 03:15
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
You suspect that would there were world enough and time that the figure would like to present his proposal in the form of Sudoku or a sliding panel puzzle but maybe inasmuch as he has had enough of both world and time, these ones, he pithily proposes, "Their cards for ... "

Well, anything really. That's the only message of the roaring silence.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:16, Sun 12 Oct 2014.

Omm
 player, 219 posts
Sun 12 Oct 2014
at 03:30
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
In response to the robed figure's 'entreaty', Omm throws up his hands in exasperation and turns says aloud to his companions, "Well, I don't know about you, but I feel better having heard that..."

Then, the warrior's posture becomes more upright and threatening. He takes a step toward the robed figure and gruffly rebukes, "Cards for what?! What in the hell are you even talking about you blubbering fool? You want our cards? Is that it?" he demands. "What will you give us for them?"
Sidd and Zar
 player, 570 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 12 Oct 2014
at 20:57
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''I dunno...'' Sidd starts, but is interrupted by Zar.
''I believe the blue mage might not even be able to speak faster. He might have trapped himself in time? The question is, is it possible to hear him out just by waiting, or is it a moot endeavor because the lag is simply too great?''
Omm
 player, 220 posts
Sun 12 Oct 2014
at 21:09
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm turns to regard Zar. Arching one eyebrow, the warrior inquires, "You want we should wait for him to finish what he is saying?" Omm's right hand instinctively gravitates to the pommel of his sword, though there is no apparent malice in the gesture.

It's just good to be prepared, just in case. You never know when a sword might be useful, especially when not sure what to do next.
Josh
 player, 194 posts
Mon 13 Oct 2014
at 17:14
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix chimes in.  Here's a weird idea - how do we even know Robes there is real and not, like, some illusionary messenger or something?  You know, like maybe the real guy knew this time thing was going to happen and he left this behind?

As his first attempt to answer his own question he cautiously approaches the figure, hoping he can look up and see the face under the hood.
Autarch
 GM, 2747 posts
Wed 15 Oct 2014
at 20:55
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Closer, Felix approaches, triggering an entreaty from the robed figure to come no closer. Even though he is no more than five paces from it, Felix cannot vouchsafe the presence of a face beneath the hood, only that of a shadowy nebula or constellation. Still, the only way to be sure would be to pull the hood back.

"Anything, anything," it rasps. "Their plaques for anything. Not yours, theirs. So beseeches you, the Scribe, Al-Hazred."

Al-Hazred again motions for Felix to stay his approach, gesticulating with his robe-covered extensions.

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:55, Wed 15 Oct 2014.

Josh
 player, 195 posts
Thu 16 Oct 2014
at 15:20
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Anything?  So if we bring the other plaques, you can get us out of your little world here and send us home?
Sidd and Zar
 player, 571 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 17 Oct 2014
at 19:39
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix's curiosity has infected Sidd. ''Who is this blue mage promising us the moon in exchange for some magic cards? Is he a human being at all? Or just... some sticks and stones?''

In an act of foolish daredevilry he goes as far as to reach for the mage's hood to unmask the creature!
Autarch
 GM, 2748 posts
Mon 20 Oct 2014
at 01:06
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
After a series of bold steps, Sidd employs the empirical method by brushing back the mantle. No sooner has he done so, he find himself about to be sucked into the insane embrace of space, for the mantle hood conceals nothing but the starry night. Just previously, as his fingertips had slipped the covering back, they had been seared with the arcane energy of the robe.

Ohm, Zarr, and Felix, too, feel the suck of the void. Stellar winds whip across their backs, buffeting them closer to the form formerly known as Al-Hazred.

It would seem that Sidd's effrontery has ruined the possibilities of palaver with only the howling silence of the void filling the vault.
Distance in Feet from the Void
Vassals: 20
Ohm: 15
Felix: 10
Zarr: 10
Sidd: There

PCs within 20’ of Al-Hazred must attempt DC 10 Fort saves or be sucked 5’ per round towards the void. On a successful check, the PC may move 5’ away from the void.
Omm
 player, 221 posts
Mon 20 Oct 2014
at 03:05
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm spins headlong toward the void. The warrior attempts to yell out in protest, but finds his voice consumed by the nothingness swirling around him.

OOC: Crit failure


17:03, Today: Omm rolled 2 using 1d20+1. fort save.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 572 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 20 Oct 2014
at 14:59
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Oh, that's what under the robe...'' Sidd says, before he nearly falls right into the void. He is made from sturdy stuff though and clings to reality as he knows it. He pulls away from the void, barely, and starts the long way back from the terrible pull of the abyss.

Zar, of course, is way ahead of him.

OOC: Managing both saves! Given that Sidd gets one at all?
16:55, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 15 using 1d20. Zar's Fort Save.
16:55, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 11 using 1d20+1. Sidd's Fort Save.

Josh
 player, 196 posts
Mon 20 Oct 2014
at 16:36
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix looks to the vassals and shouts Little help, guys? as the starry void draws him closer.

Josh rolled 5 using 1d20. Fort +0.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:37, Mon 20 Oct 2014.

Omm
 player, 222 posts
Tue 28 Oct 2014
at 09:17
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm continues to drift further into the swirling vortex. The brash warrior tries to scream for help, but all sound is drowned out by the all-encompassing nothingness.
Autarch
 GM, 2750 posts
Mon 3 Nov 2014
at 01:30
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Their lungless ribcages heaving with relief, the four vassals lurch back -- safe and clear from the void! They holler encouragement to those still respiring near the portal, born of a form formerly known as the Scribe, Al-Hazred.
Distance in Feet from the Void
Vassals: Free and Clear, yelling encouragement: PC's now receive +1 on their fort saves.
Ohm: 10
Felix: 5
Zarr: 15
Sidd: 5.1
Omm
 player, 223 posts
Mon 3 Nov 2014
at 03:29
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
While being drawn toward the swirling nothingness, Omm bumps into something solid. The fighter grabs hold of it and uses that solidness to pull himself away from the void. It may very well have been another person for all he knows, but at least he was going in the right direction now.

"Somebody pull the hood over that guy's face!!!" he cries out. He wasn't sure if that would make it stop, but it was worth a try.


17:24, Today: Omm rolled 15 using 1d20+1. Fort save.
Josh
 player, 197 posts
Mon 3 Nov 2014
at 17:01
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Let someone else deal with the hood; I'm getting the hell out of here .  With a surge of might, the little man pushes himself a few feet further from what he assumes is a cold and painful demise.

Josh rolled 13 using 1d20. fort.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 573 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 3 Nov 2014
at 17:36
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd struggles outward, but Zar's progress is suddenly put to an end when Omm grabs the old man from behind and uses him as a handhold. ''Hey!''


18:33, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 14,5 using d20+1,d20. Sidd, Zar, Void save.
Autarch
 GM, 2751 posts
Mon 10 Nov 2014
at 17:32
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Like strangers passing in the night, some of you go one way and another one of you goes the other, albeit somewhat more interdimensional, way.

The vassals extend the ends of their spears towards Omm.
Distance in Feet from the Void
Vassals: Free and Clear, yelling encouragement: PC's now receive +1 on their fort saves.
Vassals: Free and clear, extending their spears: PC's at 15 receive +1 on their fort saves.
Omm: 15
Felix: 10
Zarr: 10
Sidd: 10.1
Sidd and Zar
 player, 574 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 10 Nov 2014
at 18:02
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar strives heroically against the tide of the void and, cheered on by their undead chorus, manages to make ground again.
He does not hold a candle against Sidd though, who walks like a god among men as if the void was nothing more than a triffle to him.

18:57, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 22,16 using d20+2,d20+1. Sidd, Zar, Void save.
Omm
 player, 224 posts
Mon 10 Nov 2014
at 18:15
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Though he had temporarily succeeded moving away from the swirling mass of nothingness, that victory is short-lived--a moment later Omm is drawn back.Frustrated, he looks around to see if there is anything nearby to grab, preferably something anchored to something solid, like a wall.


08:04, Today: Omm rolled 5 using 1d20+2. fort save.
Josh
 player, 198 posts
Tue 11 Nov 2014
at 20:25
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Not about to be outdone by those damn philosophers, Felix pushes on toward the outer rim of the void's power.

Josh rolled 16 using 1d20+1. fort.
Autarch
 GM, 2752 posts
Mon 17 Nov 2014
at 18:26
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
There is nothing to grab, just the emptiness of cavern space, and through the disrobed entity formerly known as the Scribe, Al-Hazred, even that can't be had.

Colossal step after colossal step frees Sidd from the Scribe's entreaty and any chance of snatching his robe.
Distance in Feet from the Void
Vassals: Free and Clear, yelling encouragement: PC's now receive +1 on their fort saves.
Vassals: Free and clear, extending their spears: PC's at 15 receive +1 on their fort saves.
Omm: 10
Felix: 15
Zarr: 15
Sidd: Free and clear

Josh
 player, 199 posts
Mon 17 Nov 2014
at 20:31
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
With a final surge of effort, Felix grabs onto a spear and pulls himself to safety.

Josh rolled 11 using 1d20+2. fort save!
Sidd and Zar
 player, 575 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 17 Nov 2014
at 21:26
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar grabs for a henchman's spear and pulls himself towards safety.

Sidd meanwhile realizes that maybe he could have made a grab for the enchanted robe. It seems to hang loose enough.
''Uhm, Omm, if you happen to be drawn further towards the void, could you reach for that piece of cloth for me? Only if it is no bother though!''

22:03, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 13 using 1d20+2. Zar Void save.
Omm
 player, 225 posts
Tue 18 Nov 2014
at 04:57
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm struggles against the pull of the swirling void, desperate for it to be over...one way or the other.


18:55, Today: Omm rolled 13 using 1d20+2. fort save. (not including the add'l +1), total = 14
Autarch
 GM, 2753 posts
Fri 28 Nov 2014
at 22:42
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
If the direction of his steps are any indication, it is clear that Omm has -- selfishly -- not given the sorcerer's proposal full consideration.
Distance in Feet from the Void
Vassals: Free and clear, yelling encouragement: PC's now receive +1 on their fort saves.
Vassals: Free and clear, extending their spears: PC's at 15 receive +1 on their fort saves.
Omm: 15
Felix: Free and clear
Zarr: Free and clear
Sidd: Free and clear

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:45, Fri 28 Nov 2014.

Omm
 player, 226 posts
Fri 28 Nov 2014
at 22:58
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm continues to resist the pull of the swirling void, but, to what effect?




12:57, Today: Omm rolled 11 using 1d20+3. fort save.


Josh
 player, 200 posts
Sun 30 Nov 2014
at 04:54
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix extends his crowbar toward Omm on the off-chance that this will be more helpful than the skeletons' spears.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 576 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 30 Nov 2014
at 08:29
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Felix,'' Sidd admonishes the halfling, ''let that stupid crowbar business be. Rather look for a rope. Do we have a rope? I want to go back in!''
Josh
 player, 201 posts
Sun 30 Nov 2014
at 15:35
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix looks annoyed at Sidd's admonition and says No rope on me, but if you want to go back in there be my guest.
Autarch
 GM, 2754 posts
Mon 8 Dec 2014
at 19:51
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
A vast sensation of sucking and then nothing.

One of the "embodiments" of the magus (previously known as the Scribe, Al-Hazred) has vanished (and his far more corporeal shroud, Sidd wryly notes), leaving this demi-plane vacant of one of its three contestants. It is said that there had been seven such manifestations, which have now been reduced to six, courtesy of grasping hands.

The four vassals congratulate you all on not being sucked irrevocably into the void. Although they cannot smile as such, there bobbing chins indicate pleasure at your perseverance.
Omm
 player, 227 posts
Tue 9 Dec 2014
at 08:07
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Regaining his breath and composure, Omm comments drily, "Well, that majorly sucked." Though a smarter man might have intended the play on words, probably not so of Omm. He honestly meant what he said and the irony may have been lost on him.

"Now what?" he asks his companions, completely exasperated at their predicament and perhaps even somewhat forgetful about why they had even come here.
Josh
 player, 202 posts
Wed 10 Dec 2014
at 04:01
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix ponders the events for a bit and then says hesitantly Well, if confronting one of the mages made them vanish somehow, then maybe, um... maybe we should confront the others?
Omm
 player, 228 posts
Wed 10 Dec 2014
at 04:15
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Josh:
Felix ponders the events for a bit and then says hesitantly Well, if confronting one of the mages made them vanish somehow, then maybe, um... maybe we should confront the others?


"Fine" Omm snaps back hotly. "Let's go confront one of the other mage and be ready for trouble from the outset." The warrior firmly grips his sword and adds, "Maybe let the sword do the talking this time..." , his eyes are distant and stormy as he imagines what this might be like.
Josh
 player, 203 posts
Fri 12 Dec 2014
at 16:39
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Now hold on a second, big guy.  A sword wouldn't have helped here, and it might not help with the others.  Maybe we should send one of the skeletons in first to check it out.
Omm
 player, 229 posts
Fri 12 Dec 2014
at 20:07
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Josh:
Now hold on a second, big guy.  A sword wouldn't have helped here, and it might not help with the others.  Maybe we should send one of the skeletons in first to check it out.


"Okay...if you say so," he adds in a deflated tone while returning his sword to its sheath. Turning now to the quartet of skeletons, "You hear that boys? We got a little mission for you!"

He takes a few steps toward the empty space where the Scribe once stood and then examines his stone placards for any signs of change.

After that task is complete, he addresses his companions, "So...who do we visit next?"
Sidd and Zar
 player, 577 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 12 Dec 2014
at 20:24
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''But the robe...'' Sidd grieves for the only magic treasure he ever touched that really interested him, and now it is gone.

''Remember, we can vanquish the Yellow mage quite easily. We have simply to hit that demon torturer. But is that what we want to do? With the mages gone, it might be us who have to hold the fort here, unable to leave this dimension and bound to it and that damned fool. I would reconsider that path of action until we know more about it.'' Zar states.

''Anyway, we have an open invitation from the red sorceress, so I'd say we head over into her lake.''
Autarch
 GM, 2756 posts
Sat 13 Dec 2014
at 22:53
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
There is one thing to grab, after all: The Magician's card.



With what it is to be checked out considerately undefined, the four continue to bob their jaws in gratitude.

Off to the sorceress, one and all, the cavernous vassals chummily agree.

Having forgotten about Arnie until one of you bangs his elbow on his stone placard, the one that reads

"To soften his stone,
 Erodiade, the sorceress,
 bids you visit her
 beneath the lake
,"

you are further convinced of the rightness of your destination.

It must have been Sidd, too busily daydreaming about the cloak that could have been his.

After a day's worth of slogging you gain the lake, conveniently just before dusk when you're sure the show will begin.

At this most crepuscular hour, the lake begins to reveal its supernatural nature. Countless fireflies dance about the marshy grasses, casting a glow about the lake’s glassy surface. The demi-plane's moon has replaced its sun in the sky, having just begun its traversal across the horizon. There is probably astronomical term to define this but the Sage fails to breathe the word across the void.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:29, Wed 17 Dec 2014.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 578 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 13 Dec 2014
at 23:49
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar blanches as he picks up the card.
''This is a new one. The mage has turned into a card! Does this mean we will, too, if we die here? And turn into toys of the Fool even more so than we have already?''
''We have to avoid this at all costs!''

Omm
 player, 230 posts
Tue 16 Dec 2014
at 04:30
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm looks carefully at the lake's in an effort to discern some hidden path beneath the water. Such a flight of fancy was entirely possible in a demi-realm like this. In particular, he watches the reflection of the moon in the water and hopes to find a portal of sorts. Barring that, the fighter will stride into the water a few paces, careful not to disturb it too much.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 579 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 16 Dec 2014
at 21:42
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd and Zar help Omm in the search for a passage.
Sidd also remembers that there has been a signpost around somewhere...
Josh
 player, 204 posts
Wed 17 Dec 2014
at 18:15
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix is content to watch the others do the hard work for now.  If they ask him for any kind of assistance he will probably oblige.
Autarch
 GM, 2757 posts
Thu 18 Dec 2014
at 00:14
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Deep-thewed Omm, not normally given to moon-gazing, studies the position of the satellite in the waters. It approaches Darjr’s tower and should reach it ere long; only those well-versed in astronomy could predict the time of its occlusion.

Impudently, some might say, Omm plunges one boot into the enchanted lake's water, so the fireflies respond with truculence, three more so than the others. The luminous insects would set the man ablaze!

OOC: Meet or exceed init 3 to act before the fireflies

This message had punctuation tweaked by the GM at 23:15, Sat 20 Dec 2014.

Omm
 player, 231 posts
Thu 18 Dec 2014
at 11:17
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
After wading knee-deep in the water for a bit, Omm notices the fireflies approaching closer and becoming more agitated with each passing second. Sensing the danger, the warrior readies his sword. Two of the fireflies come within striking distance. With a fluid flick of the wrist, Omm executes a vertical slash followed quickly thereafter with a horizontal slash, the goal being to slice and dice both at once.

"Look alive boys!" Omm calls out, not realizing the irony of such a comment, when considering the nature of the party vassals. Maybe it wasn't ironic. Oh well, let the philosophers quibble about such things. There were things to stabbity-stab.


01:15, Today: Omm rolled 4 using 1d8. damage.
01:05, Today: Omm rolled 15,3 using d20+1,d3 with rolls of 14,3. Skewer the Fireflies.
01:03, Today: Omm rolled 4 using 1d20+1. Initiative

Sidd and Zar
 player, 580 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 19 Dec 2014
at 19:52
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
It is said that, as a youth, Zar raced vipers - it might be true, since his reflexes are still paramount.
''Fight fire with fire!'' He cries, and flames shoot from his fingers. Unfortunately his magical power is not big enough yet to engulf all of the fireflies, but at least he gets one. If it isn't immune to fire attacks, that is. Zar might have been a bit hasty.

Sidd meanwhile tries to swat a fly with his shovel, but the wily beast avoids his swing.


OOC: Zar casts Flaming Hands and hits one target for 3 dmg.
Sidd hits only AC 9, I suppose that's a miss?

20:48, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 9 using 1d20. Sidd does his thing with the shovel.
20:47, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 3 using 1d6. dmg.
20:47, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 15 using 1d20+2. Zar casts Flaming Hands.
20:47, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 22 using 1d20+2. Initiative.

Josh
 player, 205 posts
Sat 20 Dec 2014
at 01:43
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix doesn't see much sense in using daggers or crowbars just to hit flies.  So instead he dons a pair of leather gloves, from the set that he's been carrying around all this time for who knows what reason, and tries to catch one of the fireflies between his hands.

Josh rolled 5 using 1d20+1. initiative.

Josh rolled 8 using 1d20+1. catching a firefly.
Note - if it's obvious to me that this is a bad idea, such as if the fireflies are completely engulfed in a significant amount of flame, I will edit this post accordingly.  Though with that attack roll it's not likely to matter much.

Autarch
 GM, 2758 posts
Sat 20 Dec 2014
at 23:47
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The one unextinguished son of Lampyridae alights on Felix's shoulder where some splash of swamp muck prevents ignition and then takes off into the moonlight.

Four sons, more belligerent than the rest, descend upon the lake invaders.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:55, Tue 30 Dec 2014.

Omm
 player, 232 posts
Mon 22 Dec 2014
at 22:46
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm retreats a few paces in an effort to regain solid ground underneath his feet. Once there, he readies his sword to swat down the next wave of fireflies. Well, at least one of them.

OOC: Conditional attack in case the fireflies come to Omm


12:47, Today: Omm rolled 15,1,7 using d20+1,d3,d8 with rolls of 14,1,7. conditional attack.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:48, Mon 22 Dec 2014.

Josh
 player, 208 posts
Thu 25 Dec 2014
at 20:09
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Okay, maybe the crowbar would be a better idea after all.  Felix pulls it out, finds himself some good footing near (but not right on) the edge of the water, and swings at any firefly that gets close.  He swings downward, hoping that plunging them into the water with enough force might help extinguish the flames.

Josh rolled 18,2 using d20+1,d6+1. attack, dmg. (just in case)
Sidd and Zar
 player, 581 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 29 Dec 2014
at 17:20
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd and Zar just nod at each other and carefully step out of the water, retreating to the shore and solid ground. They hold their weapons to swap the fireflies away, but otherwise they are putting a theory to test.


OOC: The equivalent of full defense.
Autarch
 GM, 2761 posts
Tue 30 Dec 2014
at 20:00
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Not one of the luminescent fliers will brave the fury of Felix's bar now that it casts its moon-shadow over the mushy shore of the lake.

It looks like you have some time on your hands, assuming you wish to uphold this détente between biped and insect. How do you wish to pass it? Surely, you would not be invited to the enchantress's lake without an eventual means of ingress.

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:01, Tue 30 Dec 2014.

Josh
 player, 209 posts
Wed 31 Dec 2014
at 02:03
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Keeping his eyes on the flies, Felix says to his companions Could we send the guards into the water to keep a path open, and then we go in between them?
Omm
 player, 233 posts
Wed 31 Dec 2014
at 05:23
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Or pass under cover of our own shadow? Say by holding a tarp over our heads while walking across? Or, by walking in the shadow of the tower itself?" Omm offers before looking at the lake to determine whether such a thing is even possible.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 584 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 4 Jan 2015
at 21:46
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Uh...'' Sidd is at a loss.

Zar is, too, but he would be damned to admit to it.
''Hmm. To enter the presence of the blue sorcerer we had to unravel the riddle of the basilisk. I am sure there is a solution to the fireflies, too.'' Also, Zar likes to hear himself talk.

''Maybe we can cut off long reeds and breathe through them while swimming under the water's surface? Sidd, give it a try!''

Sidd bristles, but due to the lack of any better idea he follows Zar's plan. He cuts off a foot of reed and then dives into the lake, too fast hopefully for the fireflies to go after him, and stays under the water.
Autarch
 GM, 2764 posts
Tue 6 Jan 2015
at 02:54
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Nobody seems to pay any attention to Felix, except for the guards who have retreated a respectful distance from the lake's edge.

You pass some time in feckless yet persuasive palaver, with Sidd prepared to submerge himself within the lake and swim its breadth. Does he even know how to swim? Before he sinks even one booted foot into the water, three scions of Lampyridae flit feverishly towards him.

The moon crosses the sky, its occlusion of the tower of the torturer inevitable.

OOC Sidd, if you meet or exceed init 11, you can act before the fireflies.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:56, Tue 06 Jan 2015.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 585 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 11 Jan 2015
at 21:03
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
With one foot already hanging over the water Sidd realizes belated that he cannot, indeed, swim. Indecision paralyzes him while the fireflies converge on him - really, a piece of bad timing that.
His confidence in Zar's plan is shot to hell anyway and he will retreat after the flies' first attack run.
Omm
 player, 234 posts
Sun 11 Jan 2015
at 21:10
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Come back to the shore Sidd!" Omm calls out while extending his left hand to help him ashore, the right still grasping the hilt of his long sword.
Josh
 player, 210 posts
Mon 12 Jan 2015
at 17:46
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix orders the skeletal guards into the water.  Once it's clear that Sidd is relatively safe, he says Maybe we can try my idea now?  Any volunteers?
Omm
 player, 235 posts
Tue 13 Jan 2015
at 10:18
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm sighs, shrugs his wide shoulders and steps forward. <Blue. I will do it. Let's go boys," he says to his skeletal retainers.

OOC: Assuming makes it back safely.
Autarch
 GM, 2765 posts
Tue 13 Jan 2015
at 23:38
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Ordinarily compliant, the power of the placard further amplifies their obeisance. Yet the bone quartet hesitates...

"It's not like they're a mess of brambles, they're a bleeding cloud of pyromaniacs. We can't very well cut our way through them."

They pause, hoping that some sense of sanity will dampen Felix's ingenuity.

If their protest doesn't, the smoldering remains of Sidd might. The fireflies have charred Sidd right and there (3 hits for 10 dmg), leaving Omm no recourse but to pull his crispy body away from the shore.

Upon this sorry scene, the moon sheds its light, not having quite reached its time of conjunction with the Tower of its namesake.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:39, Tue 13 Jan 2015.

Josh
 player, 211 posts
Wed 14 Jan 2015
at 14:45
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix pauses to consider the events of the last fifteen or twenty seconds, which hadn't registered until just now.  After some thought he finally says, with little confidence in his voice, Anyone got a bucket?
Omm
 player, 236 posts
Sat 17 Jan 2015
at 20:27
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm grimaces and reaches for his belt pouch. He pulls a small curved wooden implement from the pouch and says, "I have a shoehorn, but no, no bucket." Omm is poor. Dirt poor. Without a pot to piss in. Figuratively and literally. If he ever made it out of this forsaken demi-plane he resolved to change that. Was that too much to ask?

"Any other ideas?"
Sidd and Zar
 player, 590 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 20 Jan 2015
at 19:52
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Sidd! You stupid muck-raker! Cannot you do anything right?!'' Despite his harsh words Zar seems to be honestly afraid about his collegue. He kneels down in the mud - making sure Sidd has his feet out of the lake - and administers one of the prepared potions to the still smoldering Sidd.

Sidd coughs and moans, coming back to life. Barely.
''Ouch.''
Autarch
 GM, 2769 posts
Thu 22 Jan 2015
at 22:16
Re: Fate's Fell Hand


Eventually the four vassals convince you to desist in your foolishness and just pass the time in whatsoever manner you might choose.

This allows the moon to pass before Darjr’s tower, at which time the hundreds of fireflies sink to the water’s surface, outlining a series of 16 steps across the surface of the lake. At the end of the path is a portal, and a stair leading down beneath the lake’s surface.

Clear, crystalline steps descend beneath the water’s surface, to the muddy lake floor below. The air is fouled with the stink of muck and rotting wood. The
stairs descend into a small chamber on the lake floor, lit by the glow of fireflies through the waters above.


A narrow passageway, scarcely 2’ in width, exits the chamber.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:17, Thu 22 Jan 2015.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 591 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 23 Jan 2015
at 19:22
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Uh. I cannot breath water. And I am certainly not going to try, just because there might be a water-breathing enchantment on the stairs.'' Sidd coughs.

''Aw. You are just grumpy because of the fireflies.''

Zar examines the steps and stairs. If there is indeed a water-breathing enchantment, perhaps his senses as a fledgling magician are able to pick this up...
Josh
 player, 213 posts
Sat 24 Jan 2015
at 02:08
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Impatiently, Felix says Come on, it shouldn't be that hard.  He walks forward into the lake and down the steps, just far enough to put his head beneath the surface (by luck, or perhaps by design, this allows the halfling to stay considerably closer to shore than any of his companions if they tried the same trick).  He stays there for just a few seconds, enough that he can tell if he is breathing or not, and then walks back up to tell the others the result of his experiment.
Omm
 player, 238 posts
Sat 24 Jan 2015
at 07:20
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm pushes his way to the front of the party. "Here. Let me lead the way," he spits out grumpily. "This mage, Darjr, better not talk in any riddles when we get there, after all this, or else!" he offers in a threat that he probably can't back up, but doesn't care nonetheless.

Interjecting into Sidd and Zarr's comnversation, "Fireflies. Really Zarr? How about this whole darn business. It's been one bit of skullduggery after another!" He mutters something under his breath and then remembers he is still holding his trusty shoehorn. Perhaps it brought him comfort? Some measure of who he was, where he was from, before being sorted in that village to strike out against the Beast-men.

Now. This.

Shrugging he says, "Oh what the hell, let's get this over with!" With that, he strides forward, through the narrow passageway.
Autarch
 GM, 2770 posts
Sat 24 Jan 2015
at 20:00
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The lake and the chamber at the lake bottom, while in the same place, are not in the same place. As muddy as you would imagine it to be, the lake floor sucks at your boots and toes -- a shoehorn may well soon see its time of need -- as you trudge deeper beneath the surface. Drops of water plink your pauldrons but the crushing depths do not intrude -- held at bay, no doubt, by powerful magics.

Scintillating colors cascade down the liquid walls and ceiling of the domed chamber. The pervasive stink of rot is heaviest here. In the center of the chamber, ankle-deep in the muck of the lake bottom, crouches a young woman. Dressed in veils resembling sheets of falling rain clasped with a belt of silver, she radiates a self-assured majesty. She is drawing lines and shapes in the mud with a narrow twig.

The lady remains crouched and beckons you to enter.


Near her is the calcified form of Arnie who would, you imagine, be quite at home in this haven of nightsoil.

She has her plaques laid out before her, resting atop the mud. She is inscribing sigils and runes around the plaques, and muttering aloud as she plots her next skullduggery. Hers, you recall, was the weakest deal (the Ten of Swords and the Eight of Swords).
Omm
 player, 239 posts
Sat 24 Jan 2015
at 20:08
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm approaches the majestic women, remaining at a comfortable distance, and announces their presence, "Good evening Lady. I notice you have some ivory placards. Neat. We have some of those too. Let's say we figure this thing out and come to some sort of agreement?"

He didn't know what that meant, but it sounded like something a smart man might say. Except Omm isn't bright. He is a man of action.

He looks back to his companions, perhaps dubious as to what he just said. He then fiddles with his shoehorn, somewhat nervously.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 592 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 26 Jan 2015
at 19:14
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar is skeptical. So far every visit of them by one of the mages proved to be some kind of trap. This one will probably be no different. And in all the muck and dirt the alluring figure of the woman sets quite a contrast. Zar rather suspects some illusion.

Sidd however just gapes at the beautiful woman.
Autarch
 GM, 2771 posts
Wed 28 Jan 2015
at 01:17
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Hearing Omm's introduction, she looks up, effulgent: "Wondrous. I need those and more. Which ones do you have?"

She introduces herself as "Erodiade the Sorceress," adding the "One and Only" with simple charm, but Zar doesn't buy it for a second. There must be many sorceresses hidden in this water recess; he will look out for them!

It is the one before you who continues to speak after finding a plate of provender, edible reeds, dried, and then seasoned with ginger and garlic for you. Crunchy! To drink, she offers each of you glasses of ruby red wine from the part of the chamber set aside as a bar.

"You must have already met my worthy antagonists, that gas bag, the sage, and that gear freak, Darjr."

"With their cards, I could leave his damn plane. It's no place for a lady."

Judging by the feculent stink of it, you'd have to agree.


Josh
 player, 214 posts
Wed 28 Jan 2015
at 01:38
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix blurts out So how come you have to stay here?  And then he perks up as another thought collides with the first, and he adds When you say "leave," do you mean this room, or this plane?  And would you take anyone with you when you go?
Sidd and Zar
 player, 593 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 29 Jan 2015
at 09:42
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar is still full of distrust. Talking with the other mages was impossible, so talking with this one probably constitutes the trap. He presses his lips shut and does not say a thing.

Sidd has no such inhibitions however.

''Er, mylady, there is so much about this plane and the cards we do not understand. How did you all come here? What about the Fool?''
Omm
 player, 241 posts
Fri 30 Jan 2015
at 07:49
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm is content to let Sidd do the talking for the moment. He probably has less of a clue of any his companions about what this place is all about and what their role in it might be and is somewhat relieved to hear his confusion echoed by one of the wiser party members.

The warrior remains vigilant for the slightest hit that the sorceress might become hostile.
Omm
 player, 242 posts
Sun 1 Feb 2015
at 01:08
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Unable to hold his tongue, a character flaw really, Omm interjects, "Hey, what do you know about the Torturer? That swine-face had some cards, but we couldn't pry them out of his sweaty hands. Not that we didn't try!"
Autarch
 GM, 2773 posts
Sun 1 Feb 2015
at 01:19
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Erodiade's all ease and charm as she satisfies your questions while she tucks in a few tubular treats.

"Why -- here as in everywhere here. Back to the real world. Or one of them."

After a draught of wine, she suppresses a scowl before trusting herself to answer Sidd.

"The answer to one question is the answer to another. The pinhead the fool, he brought us all here and you as well. Don't forget that. We're all here for his bloody amusement--it could drive a person mad and already has, just ask the amber king."

"And I can get us all out," the lady beneath the lake whispers.
Josh
 player, 215 posts
Sun 1 Feb 2015
at 17:17
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix perks up even more at that.  One, how do we know we can trust you.  And two, how are you going to get us out of here?
Omm
 player, 243 posts
Fri 6 Feb 2015
at 07:19
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm looks in Felix's direction and nods in agreement and solidarity, as if to say, "yeah, what he said." Except he doesn't mouth it. He is done talking for the moment. Truth is Omm is inclined to help the sorcerer, though he doesn't know why. Maybe he just likes the way she looks?

Omm is a simple guy after all.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 594 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 6 Feb 2015
at 21:10
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar continues to watch the sorceress with distrust. She behaves like a glutton - the odds that she covers an appearance which is appropriate to the setting simply with an illusion is significant. But of course he cannot be sure. Finally he voices a thought though.
''Why should we give any cards to you instead of keeping them to ourselves? I see no reason to favor any one of you three.''
Autarch
 GM, 2774 posts
Tue 10 Feb 2015
at 21:08
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Erodiade, the Red Sorceress, rattles off some answers. They don't seem to have required much thought.

"For one, you can talk to me. You expulsed one into the void and the other's mind disappeared into it long ago. So I'm the only one you can talk to."

"You're welcome to return to the Court of the Amber King," she allows, with a dismissive sweep of her arm.

"And I, the only you can talk to, the only one, you know, who can participate in a discourse, can sit upon the throne."

"I am the arch mage, after all."

OOC With the power of the plaques and a seat upon the throne, she can bend time and space to her will.

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:08, Tue 10 Feb 2015.

Omm
 player, 244 posts
Wed 11 Feb 2015
at 08:42
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Sounds awfully tempting..." Omm whispers to his companions, his eyes remaining on the Red Sorceress the whole time.
Josh
 player, 216 posts
Fri 13 Feb 2015
at 04:12
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix, having grown up with plenty of stories about conniving, trouble-making humans, isn't satisfied just yet.  He faces the sorceress and says So what do you want with the throne?  You get to be in charge of a dumpy castle and some ragtag soldiers?  You've gotta have something a little bigger than that in mind.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 595 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 17 Feb 2015
at 21:30
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar sighs. ''We might actually take you up on that. But I think we have still some exploring to do and plaques to win. See you then.''

''Ready to travel on, guys?''

Omm
 player, 246 posts
Sun 22 Feb 2015
at 10:21
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Fine," Omm grumbles while casting another sad glance back at the Enchantress. "Let's be on with it and see what else may come." Turning to leave, he calls over his shoulder to the woman, "We'll be back just as soon as we take care of this other thing. Don't get off to anywhere now."

With that, he will lead the party to their next destination. Not knowing where that might be, he chimes in, "So, where we going?"
Sidd and Zar
 player, 596 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 22 Feb 2015
at 10:52
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Two options, I think.'' Zar replies.
''Either we go to the yellow wizard and his demon and clear this up - probably ending up killing the poor schmuck. Or we go back to the fly infested hell hole under the manor's cellar. There is a mystery hidden there. It might give us pointers about the Fool. Or it might kill us all, even odds, I guess.''

''I would also like to visit the moon,'' Sidd adds, without offering an explanation how to do so. Most likely there is none.

''Or, we go back to that mad mantis priest. By doing the tourney of the three ladies we got the key to the blue mage. The priest might have some clue about the yellow wizard or the sorceress.''


OOC: I might need a rest first either way. Zar is at 1 hp because he lost about all his Stamina score some time back (ah yes, first visit with the demon, I think) and still needs to recover that, and Sidd is barely above 0 hp from his encounter with the fireflies.
Both will keel over if someone looks nasty at them.

Josh
 player, 217 posts
Tue 24 Feb 2015
at 03:52
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix tosses the ideas around in his head and then says Didn't the mantis priest attack us when we didn't want to join his congregation, or whatever exactly that was about?  Are we sure he's going to be helpful if we go back?

A few seconds pass for everyone to ponder that, and then the halfling adds On the other hand, the sorceress seems interested in getting herself the hell out of here.  Maybe everyone else wants to get out too.  You guys think it would help if we tried playing that angle with everybody?
Sidd and Zar
 player, 597 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 25 Feb 2015
at 20:45
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar considers that. ''We sure have no handle on that prisoner angle the yellow mage is running. Trying to get some information out of the mantis priest could be the way to go. Say, does anyone know who is wielding his card currently?''
''Last time he wanted to sacrifice one of us though. That's difficult to play along with.''


Sidd shrugs. ''We can at least give it a try.''
Omm
 player, 247 posts
Fri 27 Feb 2015
at 06:29
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Maybe we should find a place to rest while we think it over a bit?" Omm offers while looking at Zar's haggard form. "Didn't the King have a pretty nice spread? He might not mind if we helped ourselves to his table. Not that he was with it enough to even notice. Might be asleep after all." Omm states while departing the cave.
Josh
 player, 218 posts
Sun 1 Mar 2015
at 17:10
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Like most of the noble smallfolk, Felix generally prefers a good meal and a nap to any kind of nonsense involving magical politics and interdimensional travel.  He voices his agreement with Omm's suggestion and follows along.
Autarch
 GM, 2777 posts
Mon 9 Mar 2015
at 22:08
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
If Felix's words wound the skeletal servitors, their demeanor does not belie them. They continue to wait, nearly motionlessly save for #8's tapping of his ribcage and #4's tugging on his tattered tabard, by the tunnel that leads back up the lake's moonlit surface. Perhaps, they rest easily in the knowledge that whatever good fortune befalls their four masters will spill over onto them.

Erodiade favors Felix with a queer look. "Why would I want to stay here? That would be for the entertainment of another, not mine."

If she's at all put out by your public discourse of private concerns, she, like the quartet, betrays no outward evidence of disturbance.

"By all means," she encourages. "Return after you have finished your business with the masochistic king, the mantis priest, and whomever else you favor with your presence."

"And take him with you," she adds, performing some small, subtle gesture that loosens the gong farmer's limbs.
Josh
 player, 219 posts
Tue 10 Mar 2015
at 03:25
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Dammit.  Just when Felix was ready to go for that whole "rest and regroup" thing, the sorceress had to go and say something that caught his attention.

"Masochistic king?"  You mean the guy who was being tortured?  He's the one in charge there?

Arnie, for his part, is at first befuddled by the sudden change in scenery.  Then he continues to be befuddled.  So much so, in fact, that all he can do for now is mumble frantically and incoherently.  And walk, which helps, once everyone does finally start moving out of here.  And at one point it looks like he is tracing an H on his forehead, and then looking relieved (though still out of his mind).  A prayer to some minor deity, maybe?
Autarch
 GM, 2778 posts
Mon 16 Mar 2015
at 20:32
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"There is no one in charge there. It's all pantomime, albeit set to clockwork, in the throne room. Just the two halves of the yellow king remain, confined to close quarters as it were in another chamber."

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:33, Mon 16 Mar 2015.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 598 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 19 Mar 2015
at 20:30
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd stops in his tracks as the enchantress transforms the petrified Arnie - he had kind of given up hope on his old rival and friend.
''Arnie! Hey! You dirt-nosed mud-shoveler!'' He gives Arnie a hug for good measure.

He then bows before Elodie. ''That was very kind of you. We will keep your proposal in mind!''

''Yeah. That.'' Zar says, if with less fervor. ''So the demon is actually part of the yellow king? Interesting. We witnessed that wounds appeared in the imprisoned part when we attacked the demon. Will the demon-half take wounds when we strike at the prisoner? And would that accomplish anything beside killing the wizard?''
Omm
 player, 248 posts
Fri 20 Mar 2015
at 03:16
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Want me to beat the crap out of that prisoner?" Omm asks with an arched eyebrow, his muscles tensing in anticipation.  "Just say the word fellows and I am on it..."

He shrugs his shoulders and adds, "Well, if it will help us get out of this place, that is." He did not understand the logic posited here, but complex and abstract thinking were never his strong suit. Omm was used to problems one could tackle straight-on. This was apparently not the sort of place for simple thinking.

Good thing the others were of that bent.
Autarch
 GM, 2779 posts
Sat 21 Mar 2015
at 23:40
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"I think that," Erodiade winks at Zar, "would do the trick."
Josh
 player, 220 posts
Mon 23 Mar 2015
at 02:35
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie is completely taken aback by Sidd's odd and unexpected show of affection, and hesitantly replies And you, um, muck raking heretic?  Chicken-livered slime merchant?  Was it something like that?

Apparently the de-petrification process is more gradual than it appeared, and not all of his brain cells have gotten the message yet.
Autarch
 GM, 2781 posts
Mon 30 Mar 2015
at 19:19
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Some time after firm resolutions have been planted in the air only to drift away...
Destinations declared, plans penciled in...

Some time after this, and the lot of you remain planted in the bed beneath the lake of Lampyridae, munching desultorily on reed cakes and lily tarts.

The sorceress, all hospitality and consideration, rolls out a few beds of moss and provides a few pillows of down.

And, then, just like that, it's breakfast time beneath the lake and you have overslept your deal, no idea where the cards lie. Zar has had the decency at least to take one step away from death's door.

Your four servitors, faithful to their endless ends, or as long as you caress their ivory, discuss strategy over low tones and kippers and capers.

"We know how the board lies," #7 offers before #9 interrupts, "But not who set it!"

#5 continues for #7, "Three royals on the board, each with shifting courts. Now only two, with one of the two having been split in twain."

Here, #11 dolefully intones, "...in the Court of the Amber King."

Then all, of them, #4 through #12, do chant, "The answer in ivory lies, the answer in ivory lies."
Josh
 player, 222 posts
Thu 2 Apr 2015
at 16:36
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie is up early, eager to get to his morning prayers again and hopefully regain his god's favor.  He overhears the guards' discussion and asks Was the deal not done by that damnable jester?  Or has that also changed since I have been... indisposed?
Sidd and Zar
 player, 601 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 3 Apr 2015
at 21:02
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Naturally. But who, or what, is the Jester? Anyway, the answer in ivory lies.''
Zar takes a considerating look at their fatless henchmen. ''I take this to mean among bones. Which might be the pit of death beneath the mansion...''

''Mantis first, then, and after that the pit.''

Omm
 player, 250 posts
Fri 3 Apr 2015
at 23:53
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd and Zar:
''Mantis first, then, and after that the pit.''</Aqua>


Omm listens to his companions philosophizing and when it becomes clear a plan of action emerges, he zestfully chimes in, "Sounds great! Let's be off then. To the Mantis Priest!"

His mail shirt clatters as he strides off in that direction, eager to get there with haste.
Autarch
 GM, 2783 posts
Tue 7 Apr 2015
at 02:11
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
After much trudging...

The small chapel stinks of mildew and blight. The walls drip with mold, and the pews are spongy with rot. At the far end of the dark chapel, three steps descend to a low altar. A tattered white tapestry hangs behind the altar, stained black and green. Unnaturally tall and gaunt, with long spidery fingers extending from rotting sleeves, Father Moro exudes a malefic, predatory air. He is dressed in a hooded black robe (with sickly yellow smudges) that bunches on the floor, and walks unsteadily, leaning on a 12’ crosier.


"You have come to make your obeisance," he states rather than asks.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 602 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 11 Apr 2015
at 21:36
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Uhm, no. Actually we have come to talk. By the way, we did the Ladies' tournament and got keys - is there anything in for us when we do your obeisance? Whose card are you anyhow today?''
Sidd is quite matter-of-factly with his questions.
Josh
 player, 223 posts
Wed 15 Apr 2015
at 16:48
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix and Arnie both stand by, waiting for the mantis' answer.  Arnie is mentally preparing himself for a potential theological debate.
Autarch
 GM, 2784 posts
Sat 18 Apr 2015
at 00:15
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"The last deal left the wizard Darjr as my bishop. But he never asks anything of me; I can't even say how he musters his forces for battle every day. Maybe it's all automatic."

This moment of plain speaking over, he looms over you from an even higher height and demands obeisance again. It is something, his stance implies, that you give -- with no thought of what you get.

OOC No more parley. Meet or beat his init of 18 to ask first or abandon his chapel. He is 30' from you.

This message was lightly edited by the GM at 00:16, Sat 18 Apr 2015.

Omm
 player, 251 posts
Sun 19 Apr 2015
at 18:56
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm had been quiet, allowing his companions to speak to the mantis priest. When it is clear the strange creature has no attempts to answering their questions, the warrior attempts to bring his sword to bear. Might makes right, or something like that.

Unfortunately, pr perhaps fortunately, it seems that would not be an option.

08:52, Today: Omm rolled 10 using 1d20.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 605 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 19 Apr 2015
at 19:16
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''I think, perhaps...'' Zar starts, but the world will probably never learn what his thoughts are exactly at this moment, since the situation mercilessly develops without waiting to hear him out.

21:12, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 4 using 1d20+2. Initiative.
Josh
 player, 225 posts
Mon 20 Apr 2015
at 03:26
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie takes a similarly assertive stance, facing the mantis, and begins speaking.  His voice is unusually firm and courageous, bolstered by his faith that he is about to do something important, and that his patron god will see him through the action.  He gets as far as You see now how- before his adversary acts.

Josh rolled 3 using 1d20+1. initiative.
Autarch
 GM, 2787 posts
Tue 5 May 2015
at 22:31
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
It appears that the Counsel of Trent will have to be held another day as the Hierophant demands obeisance (DC 13 will save to approach closer than 20').

OOC Let's just have the quartet make a group save.
Josh
 player, 226 posts
Wed 6 May 2015
at 23:13
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie ignores the vile priest's words.  He slowly steps closer, though never crossing its unholy threshold, and his voice builds from a whisper to a supernatural boom as he says No.  You are wrong.  You must REPENT!

Josh rolled 19 using 1d20+1. Word of Command.
Mantis priest must roll Will 19+ or else obey my command for 1d6+1 rounds

Sidd and Zar
 player, 609 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 8 May 2015
at 20:11
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar drops the idea of just talking with the evil insect and decides to put the opportunity granted by all those prayers cast around to plant a solid arrow into the priest's carapace. Thud! Arrgh!

Sidd holds his staff tighter, but cannot quite bring himself to charge the unholy man. Surely there might come up, er, a better opportunity for that. Later.


OOC: Zar hits for 6 dmg, yay! Sidd fails his Will save though and stays where he is.

22:07, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 6 using 1d6. dmg.
22:04, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 16 using 1d20+1. Zar arrow.
22:03, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 18,12 using d20,d20+1. Zar, Sidd, Will save.

Omm
 player, 255 posts
Mon 11 May 2015
at 05:07
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm charges forward and executes a powerful, sweeping slash with his sword in hopes of lopping off one of the mantis-priest's legs. Unfortunately, the blow is not terribly effective.


19:05, Today: Omm rolled 7,2 using d20+3,d3 with rolls of 4,2. attack (lop off leg).
Autarch
 GM, 2791 posts
Tue 12 May 2015
at 21:29
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"I am Father Moro and I have pledged myself to skinning supplicants and then devouring the swaths of skin as unholy host."

He sighs.

"I now recognize that I was wrong to do this and that the gods, whoever they may be, are neither fraudulent nor uncaring."

To punctuate his repentance, Zarr's arrow pierces his carapace (hits AC 15 for 6 dmg).

OOC all pc's are up

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:29, Tue 12 May 2015.

Josh
 player, 229 posts
Wed 13 May 2015
at 17:03
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Encouraged by the initial success of his plan, and rolling with the "assistance" offered by some of his companions, Arnie continues in his forceful preacher voice: Do you fully forsake your profane ways?  Do you accept the attrition inflicted upon you, and give yourself over in service of great Gorhan?  Only by doing so, with true belief in your heart, can your repentance be accepted!

Felix, meanwhile, walks slowly toward the mantis priest's flank.  He doesn't do anything just yet, but he wants to be ready in case more "attrition" is necessary.

Josh rolled 21 using 1d20+2. Felix - will save.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 613 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 13 May 2015
at 19:52
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar entertains no illusions how long Moro's repentance will last - exactly so long as Arnie's magic binding can enforce it. He calmly notchs another arrow and places a masterful shot, nearly taking one of the mantis' claws off.


OOC: Yay! Crit! And another 7 dmg.

21:48, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 1,6 using 1d6,2d3. dmg.
21:41, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 7 using 1d6+1. Crit die.
21:37, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 21 using 1d20+1. Zar arrow.

Omm
 player, 257 posts
Sat 16 May 2015
at 16:44
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm wanders away, unable to bring himself any closer to the mantis-priest.
Autarch
 GM, 2793 posts
Sun 17 May 2015
at 00:54
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Head bowed, the mantis priest admits that his choice of appellations for the upstanding gods of the universe may have been too scatologically inclined.

"I was wrong to call the Far Shifter the Fat Shitter. I can see that now."

Such an statement pains him even more than Zar's second shaft, one that brings him within one feeler's length of the false death of this demi-plane.
Josh
 player, 230 posts
Sun 17 May 2015
at 12:51
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Mental gears spinning furiously (and hopefully without any cogs slipping out), Arnie tries to push a little further.  He says to Moro If you truly repent, you must drop whatever magical defense surrounds you now, as it is the power of false gods whom you no longer worship.

Felix continues to stand by, crowbar at the ready, and will strike as soon as the mantis appears to act aggressive again.

This message was last edited by the player at 12:52, Sun 17 May 2015.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 614 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 18 May 2015
at 18:01
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd snickers at Moro's Fat Shitter comment, but Zar only sneers disparagingly.
''Will you guys start sticking pointy things into this false priest? He will attack us as soon as Arnie's prayer wears off!''

However, it appears that Zar might be able to finish the mantis off on his own as just another arrow miraculously strikes true.


OOC: Zar's on a roll here! Alas, only 1 dmg this time.

19:58, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 1 using 1d6. dmg.
19:58, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 17 using 1d20+1. Zar arrow.

Autarch
 GM, 2794 posts
Mon 18 May 2015
at 21:39
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The weight of contrition proves too much to bear: the penitent crumples to the dusty chapel floor, the scourging shafts lodged in it one place and another.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 615 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 19 May 2015
at 19:57
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Ha! Got you!'' Zar shouts in triumph. He recovers quickly though and reassumes his usual composure.
''That was a very powerful prayer, Arnie. I always knew you had potential.''

Sidd shakes his head in bewilderment. ''How is it you can usually barely hit the broad side of a barn, and now you fell a dread mantis monster with just three arrows?''
Then he snickers. ''The Fat Shitter must have goaded your hand...''

Still chuckling he steps forward to search the remains of the dead priest. After prodding the corpse with his shovel first - you never know.
Josh
 player, 231 posts
Wed 20 May 2015
at 16:45
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
But... but I could have really converted him!  We were going somewhere, you know.  He seemed like he was really willing to listen.  The disappointment in his voice is as clear as the conviction that preceded it.

Felix, on the other hand, is happily preoccupied with checking the late monster's forearms to see if it might be feasible to detach one and use it as a weapon.  Even if he has to wear gloves to wield it safely.
Omm
 player, 258 posts
Fri 22 May 2015
at 10:17
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The battle now apparently over, Omm eventually wanders back to his companions, ashamed of his performance and seemingly at a loss for words. The warrior sulks about just behind them, before lowly commenting, "You all fought well. Can't say the same for myself..."
Autarch
 GM, 2795 posts
Sat 23 May 2015
at 21:16
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Beneath the Hierophant's robes Felix finds six folded, stilt-like legs, two of which twitch with the illusion of life. Would gross dismemberment sidestep this demi-plane's curse of immortality? Save a foreleg for yourself and chop the rest into bits? Surely, it's been tried.

A more tempting martial implement, the crozier can be wielded as a staff and wreck a face when it descends with a purpose (d6+1 dmg).

After you give the room a good shakedown, the priest's tools of the trade are found behind the ratty tapestry: a trio of partially burned candles, a hammered copper bowl stained with blood, within which rests a short yet razor-sharp dagger -- too stunted to be a kris, too long to be a bodkin.

Arnie finds himself running his blackened fingers along the rim of the bowl, contemplating his next prayer.
Josh
 player, 233 posts
Sun 24 May 2015
at 14:23
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix gives the crozier a couple of practice swings but decides it doesn't feel as comfortable as his trusty crowbar.

Arnie shakes his head in sorrow and disappointment as he examines the bowl.  He puts his hands over it, maybe six inches above, and says Noble Gorhan, Protector of the righteous, please cleanse this vessel of wicked sacrifice.  I consecrate it now with Your power, in Your service.  The cleric puts a bit of his own divine power into the prayer, and in response, the glowing image of a crown appears briefly above the bowl.

Josh rolled 19 using 1d20+1. cast Blessing.
  by the book(p255) that (maybe?) turns the blood into holy water, but I imagine in this instance the effect will be a little different...

Omm
 player, 259 posts
Sun 24 May 2015
at 19:00
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Not seeing any ivory plaques among the mantis priest's possessions, Omm comments, "Maybe we should look around to see if it had any of them cards?" With that, the warrior begins searching the chamber, placing particular emphasis on looking for any loose stones in the floor.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 617 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 24 May 2015
at 19:21
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''There might also be a secret door...'' Zar said without much hope. Any new clue would be valuable, and he joins Omm in his search.

Sidd however has obviously found his destination as a warrior - the crozier, the weapon of choice for learned men. He gives it a whirl - sleek as a staff, heavy as a mace, and as handy for whack-a-mole as his trusty shovel. Really, the crozier has all the attributes of a great and terrible weapon!


OOC: Weee, Sidd increased his melee damage from 1d4 to 1d6+1 - that is nearly doubling his DPR output!
Omm
 player, 260 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 09:14
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Well, looks like we are done here," Omm chimes in after giving the mantis priest's chamber a final once over. "Maybe pay the Yellow King a visit again?"

"Or we can check out the pit again?"
Josh
 player, 236 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 17:11
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix chimes in and says Noooo, let's not go anywhere near that pit if we don't absolutely have to.  The king sounds fine.
Omm
 player, 261 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 17:23
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"My thoughts exactly," Omm confides. "The King sounds like a much better option. Maybe we can even get fed there!"
Sidd and Zar
 player, 619 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 17:27
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd nibbles his lower lip. ''Yeaaah. Let's treat the pit as some sort of last reserve. If everything else fails.''

''But what if it is the way out? The golden gate covered in vile illusion?'' Zar chips in.

Sidd flares up. ''And what if it is the lethal piece of hell it seems to be? Or if it is only accessible after we have solved all the riddles? And is DEATH otherwise? Thought about that, old man?''
He harrumphs. ''No. Let's go to the yellow king.''
Autarch
 GM, 2798 posts
Thu 4 Jun 2015
at 15:51
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
It is a trip you know all too well. A long slog across the stinking mire to arrive at the fickle bridge just after dusk has given in to evening, guaranteeing another day cycle before it appears. If only the quartet hadn't insisted on a spell of rest a few hours into the slog to ease their weary bones.

The next dusk, the moon-lit bridge appears, granting egress to the Tower Beyond-the-Moon.

Following the right set of stairs, and not the left, you behold the soul set against itself:

The arched portal opens to a musty dungeon cell, lit by glowing braziers. On the far side of the chamber is a man in chains, suspended by shackles bolted
to the wall. His long beard – once white, now caked with blood – hangs to the stone floor. His thin, bony frame is stripped to the waist; a muddied yellow
toga hangs in tatters.

Across from the prisoner an enormous porcine form reclines atop a rusted iron throne. The creature’s bristled belly spills out over its lap, and its jowls hang loosely around great ivory tusks. The stinking man-beast clutches a glowing poker and a coiled whip in its meaty fists. The smell of burnt flesh is thick in the air.

Directly between the two forms – the broken man and the torturer – a set of ivory plaques hang in the air.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:52, Thu 04 June 2015.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 620 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 5 Jun 2015
at 21:18
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar, remembering the lash of the whip all too well from their last encounter, stays in the back of the group while he notches an arrow.

Sidd cannot quite help himself though. He wants to give talk at least a chance.
''Uhm, good sir?'' He says, adressing the bloated demon.
''Would you be interested in any deal about the cards or a way out of this forsaken plane?''
Autarch
 GM, 2799 posts
Sun 7 Jun 2015
at 19:45
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The good sir replies that he has a good thing going here and he's not about to give it up. Finally, he swears, Darjr's getting what he should be getting and getting it good. He'll be happy to cut you in on the action if you make a move towards his cards.

OOC Meet or exceed init 23 should you care to intrude.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 621 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 7 Jun 2015
at 21:11
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd and Zar look at each other and their companions, and sigh. And grip their respective weapons, going to raise diplomacy to its next level.


OOC: Cannot beat that initiative even with a natural 20...
Josh
 player, 237 posts
Sun 7 Jun 2015
at 21:51
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix, ever the pragmatist, has different ideas when he hears the torturer's words.  Besides, he thinks he remembers something about this being Darjr's request, or some kind of metaphysical self-flagellation, or... well, one he gets into words like that there's no use trying to keep thinking.  Anyway...

Well, what if instead of trying to stop you, we join in?  You know, give the guy more of what he deserves, with you rather than against you?  Could we take the cards then?
Autarch
 GM, 2800 posts
Wed 10 Jun 2015
at 02:37
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
If this devil has any virtues, sharing isn't one of them. He responds to Felix's overture with a thrust of his poker (hits AC 12 for 4 dmg). Then he snaps his whip at Omm who absorbs its bite with his heavily embossed shield. Crack!

OOC Can't say that I know Felix's AC, Josh. All are up, including your quartet.
Omm
 player, 263 posts
Wed 10 Jun 2015
at 07:59
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm charges forward, sword raised high, while belting out a mighty battle cry. The warrior brings down his sword with a heavy chopping motion, hoping to sunder the pig-man's poker in the process. Unfortunately, the blow is wild and imprecise and only sends a shower of sparks as it crashes down onto the floor.

The warrior lifts his sword back up and squares off against his foe.


21:57, Today: Omm rolled 5,3 using d20+3,d3 with rolls of 2,3. attack/sunder.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 622 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 10 Jun 2015
at 17:49
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar lets loose of his notched arrow and puts it matter-of-factly into one of the glowing braziers as if he had aimed at it in the first place.

Sidd sighs and takes heart and charges after Omm into the inferno. Unlike the warrior he is not aiming at the demon though - instead he tries to run his unholy crozier through the poor old prisoner. ''Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! It's ought to be for the greater good!''


19:39, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 4 using 1d6+1. dmg.
19:39, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 15 using 1d20. Sidd charge prisoner mage.
19:39, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 4 using 1d20+1. Zar arrow vs prisoner mage.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:49, Wed 10 June 2015.

Josh
 player, 238 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 02:53
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix is unarmored, and his survival thus far has been based more on not being attacked than on standing up to attacks.  The poker does severe damage to the poor halfling, and he falls to the ground quickly fading into unconsciousness.  His last words as he goes are Don't... let... my gloves get... blood on them.

NOOOOO!!! shouts Arnie as he sees his old friend fall to the ground, bleeding badly.  You cannot die here!  We were supposed to make it home together to build a memorial for Dave!  Maybe I forgot to tell you about that idea, but we should do that!  Not a statue though.  I don't much care for statues lately.  Suddenly he remembers who he is and what he does these days, and he lunges for the halfling's body.  Putting his hands just over the injury, he starts fumbling through a prayer of healing, but it doesn't seem to do any good.

Josh rolled 5 using 1d20+1. lay on hands.
Felix is at exactly 0 hp, and will die next round if no one can heal him.

Omm
 player, 265 posts
Tue 16 Jun 2015
at 07:01
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm shields his eyes from the flying sparks, grunts in frustration, and draws his sword back up. He then notices Sidd attacking the old man, and is momentarily confused. Then he remembers!

"Ah, hells!" he shouts aloud in self-rebuke. "Bloody hells you pig-eared dumb oaf!"

Of course, this curse is self-directed, channeled from a time when he was still a small child. Words, among others, known all too well to Omm.
Autarch
 GM, 2804 posts
Thu 18 Jun 2015
at 14:51
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The quartet stands idle, anticipating the afternoon's promised rounds of whist.

A bi-directional attacker, the pig-man-devil savages Omm with his poker (hit for 4 dmg) and his whip does no things a whip should ever do to Sidd (2 dmg + a permanent loss of 2 hps). After the encounter, the whip almost appears to bulge with satisfaction.

Even though he's hanging nearly motionlessly from his fetters, the schismed self has little flesh to offer and what's there is equal parts sinew and bone (Sidd hits AC 10 for 4 dmg). Pleasingly, the wound manifests on the poker. You wonder how many of these he can take?

OOC All are up. Or not.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:52, Thu 18 June 2015.

Omm
 player, 266 posts
Thu 18 Jun 2015
at 17:52
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Reeling from the pig-man's attack, Omm grits his teeth, turns and brandishes his sword against the chained old man. It makes no sense, but none of this does to his simple mind. He will trust in the fates of his Gods now.

With a clean, purposeful blow, the warrior swings his sword in a wide arc, leveling it at the old man's head, in an attempt to lop his head straight off his shoulders.

"Die, you old bastard!" he curses between gritted teeth.

OOC: Might be a hit for 5 damage with a Deed die success?


07:51, Today: Omm rolled 5 using 1d8. damage.
07:46, Today: Omm rolled 18,3 using d20+3,d3. attack vs old man.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:52, Thu 18 June 2015.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 627 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 19:43
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd gurgles and goes down under the onslaught of the whip. Zar does not let himself be distracted by it though and puts an arrow into the prisoner.


21:42, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 4 using 1d6. dmg.
21:41, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 17 using 1d20+1. Zar arrow vs prisoner mage.

Josh
 player, 241 posts
Wed 24 Jun 2015
at 00:19
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie sees Sidd go down, but he is already at Felix's body, and he knows that the wizard has more time left in him (even if only a few seconds more).  Once again he puts his hands on the poor halfling's bleeding body and says, a little more assertively this time, My Lord, I beseech you, allow your unbelievable power to run through my hands and to heal this small man, your unwitting but no less valiant servant.  This seems to work - the hole in Felix's chest closes up just a bit, the hemorrhaging slows down noticeably, and he even opens his eyes and starts mumbling.  Shirt... ruined... kill... bastard...

Josh rolled 17 using 1d20+1. lay on hands.
Josh rolled 1 using 1d6. healing.
I am displeased with my fictional patron deity right now...

Sidd and Zar
 player, 628 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 24 Jun 2015
at 05:17
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
As Sidd utters a half-formed order with his last breath, the skeletons, sans scruples, charge the prisoner.

OOC: Hit AC 9 with 5 dmg, AC 18 with 4, a crit for 3 dmg (+ crit effect?), AC 16 for 1.

07:13, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 9,5,18,4,20,3,16,1 using d20,d8,d20,d8,d20,d8,d20,d8 with rolls of 9,5,18,4,20,3,16,1. skeletons vs prisoner.

Autarch
 GM, 2809 posts
Fri 26 Jun 2015
at 18:50
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Like a locust quartet, the retainers buzz by the porcine poker and sting the yellow king twice -- to death, death with capital letters. Both the torturer and the tortured fall to the ground, devoid of any animating force. Nothing happens, but you know that decomposition has begun and will be more ugly for former than the latter. It's not a total calamity; you can still join the court of the Amber King at the top of the tower.

With nothing to stop you, you collect the three ivory cards: The Ladies in Waiting, The Hierophant, and the Seven of Swords. Already you can hear another quartet plunking its way across the marshes of this demi-plane. What will their game of choice be, you wonder? Vint?


This message was last edited by the GM at 18:50, Fri 26 June 2015.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 629 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 26 Jun 2015
at 19:07
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Uhm...'' Zar had entertained the hope that the lethal wounds would only appear on the demon when the prisoner was hit. Oh well, you cannot win them all.

Either way, much more important than the fate of the amber king is the life of that idiot bleeding to death on the floor. Zar rushes to him and applies one dose of their dwindling supply of healing salve on his wounds.
Wel, at least if Arnie does not beat him to it with a prayer.
Josh
 player, 242 posts
Sat 27 Jun 2015
at 16:23
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie does indeed beat him to it.  Another quick prayer, waving his hands over the wounds, and in a moment they are reduced to a scar that looks two or three weeks old (Sidd heals 3hp).

Josh rolled 20 using 1d20+1. lay on hands.
  Josh rolled 3 using 1d4. healing.

Omm
 player, 267 posts
Sat 27 Jun 2015
at 18:30
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm searches the demon and robed man for anything of obvious value. If they ever got out of this crazy place, he would like to have something to barter for a tankard or two of ale, a healthy feast, and maybe an indulgence or two with some of the working ladies.

He knows the poker pretty well, so his search starts with that.

After completing a cursory search, Omm comments, "Well, it turns out brute force was what was needed all along. At least here." He looks around, trying to see if they missed anything. "Well, we got more of them cards. What's next?" he bluntly asks.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 630 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 27 Jun 2015
at 18:48
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd coughs and rises into a sitting position. ''Arnie, is that you? Thanks, man.''

Zar picks their new cards out of the air and broods over them. ''What now? Claim them for ourselves and see what we can do about this plane? Or trusting in the goodwill of the Enchantress and give all the cards to her?''
''I suggest we return to the manor house first. Perhaps we can get something out of those ladies as long as they are ours.''


''Oh yes! Smooches!''
Autarch
 GM, 2810 posts
Fri 3 Jul 2015
at 23:24
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
It would seem that some of you, at least, have developed a taste for the pleasures of this demi-plane, and itch for the kisses of the Ladies-in-Waiting. With their ivory plaque in hand, you could command them shamelessly.

You skeletal lackeys prefer other diversions.

"If it's all the same to you," the octet, formerly a quartet, asks, "mightn't you mind if we play a few hands of elimination hearts in the throne room?"

"It's adjoined by the larder," one volunteers but for the life of you, you can't see how that's relevant. Old habits you guess.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:02, Sat 11 July 2015.

Josh
 player, 243 posts
Sat 4 Jul 2015
at 00:35
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Relevant or not, Felix agrees that a trip to the larder might be nice about now.  Although as far as the throne room goes, he suspects the prince or captain or whoever he was might have something to say about the group's growing card collection, and he says as much to the rest of you.
Omm
 player, 268 posts
Sat 4 Jul 2015
at 04:46
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm agrees with Felix's assessment and chimes in, "To the larder then! Let's celebrate our victory over the mantis priest by taking our fill of food and drink!"

A thought crosses Omm's mind, a rare occasion indeed. Turning to address the skeletal lackeys, "What is elimination hearts? I never heard of that."
Sidd and Zar
 player, 631 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 7 Jul 2015
at 21:06
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''We should not play a game of cards here! Not here of all places - it could trap us in this plane for eternity, or until we are slain by the next hapless group of adventurers. No thank you.''
''But yes, once in the mansion we can question the Captain and the Ladies. See whether we can learn a thing or two.''


''Also, that hellhole is in the mansion. Or rather under it...'' Sidd shudders.
Autarch
 GM, 2812 posts
Sat 11 Jul 2015
at 22:30
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Initially, the octet speaks of elimination hearts with reluctance, a look of fear having passed over their collective bony countenance at Omm's inquiry. Essentially, it's just like hearts (which everybody knows) except when a player receives his 13th point, he is dropped from the round, and by that process, the players are eliminated (hence, the name, several lackeys add didactically). At it's best, the game supports an octet-- and that explains everything. A lackey could never deny a master a seat at the card table. Could he?

Back at the great hall, you help yourself to the larder while your men set up a couple of tables and begin dealing the cards, assuming Omm had the grace to not insert himself. It is much as you left it, the large throne set atop a dais, the demi-throne of mahogany to its side. The capstone, the one with the chiseled image of a decapitated three-headed dragon (formerly three-headed?), still lies to the side, granting access to the manor tomb.

The captain, whose card you possess, is not in attendance, but the scent of sour wine and leather polish belie his earlier presence. He's probably out hunting.

It isn't until you've loaded your arms with provender that you realize that the eight bones have commandeered the only table in the room. Not sure where to put his ham hock, cheddar round, and barley bread, Zar teeters back and forth a bit, as his face reddens and his arms strain.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:36, Sat 11 July 2015.

Omm
 player, 269 posts
Tue 14 Jul 2015
at 06:52
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm watches spends a little time watching with passive interest as the skeletal retainers play a few rounds of elimination hearts. Like others, he stuffs his face, unsure of when the next meal might be.

Once sated, Omm asks, "So, what's next?"
Josh
 player, 244 posts
Wed 15 Jul 2015
at 18:13
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix is too focused on the food to think about anything else, but Arnie considers Omm's question for a moment, then says I have an idea.  May I borrow the Captain's card?  Assuming that whoever has the card hands it over to him, he goes to the throne, holds the card forward in a manner that might almost be called "brandishing," and calls out Great warrior, I hold your card, and I command you present yourself to me at once!  He then looks about expectantly, waiting to see if it worked...
Sidd and Zar
 player, 632 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 15 Jul 2015
at 18:50
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar is not even that hungry, he finds, so he eventually drops his food stuff on the empty throne. Because he is pretty sure he does not want the place of one of the card playing skeletons.
''Do you notice? Things align itself to get us to play. To join the game of the Fool. Which, well, would be foolish thing to do. I guess the Blue and the Yellow Mage each lost their own game of Elimination Hearts.''

''I also suspect that you cannot meet the object of the cards you possess. easy enough to verify - we can simply pay a visit to the Ladies. I believe we won't find them though.''


''Omm's questions holds true though. What's next? It still boils down to the Red Mage, the hell hole, or the Ladies.''

''We have all major cards, don't we? Captain, Ladies and Priest. Might be time for the hell hole...''
Omm
 player, 270 posts
Mon 20 Jul 2015
at 03:43
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm, having taken his fill of food and drink, is growing edgy with each passing moment of indecision. "To the hell hole then," he remarks with a tone of apprehension. "We haven't fully explored it yet, so might as well..."

Omm volunteers to lead the way, mostly to get the party moving toward getting out of this place. For good.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:44, Mon 20 July 2015.

Josh
 player, 245 posts
Mon 20 Jul 2015
at 16:13
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix grumbles but follows along.  Arnie, doing his best to act in accordance with his god's wishes, proceeds a little more bravely.  But only a little.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 633 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 20 Jul 2015
at 20:00
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Ok, I suggest we try the Ladies' room first then, just to check whether Zar's theorie about them being gone is right? After that, it is the hell hole.''

Sidd orders their skeleton crew to follow them, if they can be budged to leave their game, and leads the group up the stairs first. He secretly hopes they are still present though.
However, if they are indeed gone, the group will then proceed to the foul pit.
Autarch
 GM, 2813 posts
Tue 21 Jul 2015
at 22:46
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
It is a strange thing mystifying that the cards-playing octet had shown no inclination to rise until Sidd motioned them towards the manor tower, rather than towards the low gate.

Inasmuch as you're not expected, not having been invited to a second High Fete, you have to bang indecorously upon the door to their tower chamber. In response, you hear feminine giggling and then a harridan's hush. All is silent until the door groans open the width of one of Signe's tresses. It wide enough to absorb the fully unimpressed visage of the matron -- ever vigilant, ever ready -- to defend her wards' always imperiled honor.

This message was lightly edited by the GM at 22:47, Tue 21 July 2015.

Omm
 player, 271 posts
Wed 22 Jul 2015
at 03:10
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm fights the urge to blurt out something rude and defers to one of his companions to say something nice and polite. Should nobody offer up anything of the sort, he will have no compunction taking a direct tact to force his way into the room.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 634 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Wed 22 Jul 2015
at 18:10
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Brandishing the card of the Ladies (but out of reach of the matron's thick arm), Zar simply states ''Step aside, matron, and answer our questions. Surely you are part of this card and bound to obey.''

Sidd meanwhile tries to peek beyond the matron's forbidding body and waves at the ladies inside.
Josh
 player, 246 posts
Fri 24 Jul 2015
at 13:35
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix and Arnie have both shifted to the back of the group at this point.  They await the matron's response to Zar.
Autarch
 GM, 2814 posts
Sat 1 Aug 2015
at 00:47
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The mass of the matron precludes the peeping. You can content yourselves with their grunts and exhalations as they fling themselves bodily upon the great expanse of the matron's back -- perhaps compelled by the magic of the card. It is no use. She can't be budged.

The matron's face sours further (such a thing was possible, you now can confirm), "Those greasy cards can't command me."
Omm
 player, 272 posts
Sat 1 Aug 2015
at 08:58
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Want me to deal with it?" Omm asks of his companions.

Not waiting for their response, the impatient warrior gruffly calls out, "We say again, step aside madam. We have business here and no man or woman for that matter can say otherwise. We have already defeated several denizens of this realm. Don't add yourself to that menagerie!"
Sidd and Zar
 player, 635 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 1 Aug 2015
at 11:36
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar waves the issue aside. ''Ah, let's go. Remember how I suggested the Ladies would be gone? This is just like it. I suppose only harm can come from attacking the matron. Let her be.''

''The hellhole it is.'' Sidd adds bleakly.
Omm
 player, 273 posts
Sat 1 Aug 2015
at 17:32
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm's drops his chin in defeat and sighs, "Okay then. To the hellhole..."
Josh
 player, 247 posts
Sun 2 Aug 2015
at 01:02
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix taps Omm on the knee to console him and says Don't worry about it too much buddy.  A woman like that, she probably wouldn't go down in a fight anyway.  Beat you to death with a wooden spoon or something.  No, you'd need some kind of trickery to get past her.  Something about the word "trickery" lodges it in Felix's mind, and he does his best to remember that idea in case the party does come back here later.
Autarch
 GM, 2815 posts
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 00:59
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Isn't that always how it is? You've got your head so close to some honey's cunny that you can smell the sewage and hear the buzzing, and then you realize you're not at the mouth of some cunt (or three) at all. No, it's a bleepin' hellhole that you uncovered beneath a flagstone in the room with the low gate.

The faint scent of rotting meat had hung in the air and now you know it comes from within more than without.

What you have, and not what you wanted, is a narrow, muddy shaft that stretches beyond the feeble gleam of your torch, candle, lantern, or what have you.

From the throne room, you can hear the happy slapping of cards as the octet resumes its rudely interrupted game.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 636 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 20:36
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''It's either this here, or giving the red witch our cards without knowing what we are doing,'' says Zar through clenched teeth.

Sidd is pale but leads on. Putting a hand before his mouth and nose. Sweat glistening at his temples.
Omm
 player, 274 posts
Wed 5 Aug 2015
at 06:49
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Here," Omm interjects, "let me lead the way." The warrior then moves into the lead.

Omm searches to see whether he can find a somewhat safe path down the narrow, muddy shaft. Assuming he finds one, he will lead the trek into the abyss.
Josh
 player, 248 posts
Thu 6 Aug 2015
at 16:41
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie does his best to look brave and valiant as he brings up the rear.  He can't hold it for more than a few seconds at a time, but you've got to give him credit for trying.

Felix doesn't bother with any of that.  He just scrambles for any dry(ish) surface he can stand on to keep his boots as clean as possible.
Autarch
 GM, 2816 posts
Thu 6 Aug 2015
at 21:08
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
So narrow is the shaft, it will only permit the descent of the scrawniest of humans but little people could drop right down to the bottom, wherever that might be. With some lubricant and no armor, a hulking human might be able to slime his way down.

From the other room, you hear the curses of one of your servitors. He has drawn the singleton queen on the no-pass hand!

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:08, Thu 06 Aug 2015.

Josh
 player, 249 posts
Fri 7 Aug 2015
at 16:37
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix looks at the shaft.  He looks up at the others, looking down at the shaft.  He looks back to the shaft.  And before anyone can say what he assumes they are all thinking, he says No.  No way.  Not gonna happen. ... Okay, at least not without dropping some light down there first so we can see what kind of floor we're dealing with.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 637 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 7 Aug 2015
at 17:56
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Uhm, dropping down a torch on a rope is tricky business. Does anyone have a lamp?''
Omm
 player, 275 posts
Sat 8 Aug 2015
at 05:08
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd and Zar:
''Uhm, dropping down a torch on a rope is tricky business. Does anyone have a lamp?''


Omm shakes his head in the negative. "I don't have any source of light, whatsoever."

"I think I am too big to fit down there, otherwise I would give it a go," he adds in a moment later.

"Wait," he snaps his fingers, "Maybe we can filch a candle or something from the great hall?"

Then, Omm goes and does exactly that. Returning with a handful of candles and a way of lighting them, he removes his armor and prepares for his descent into the hole.

Once the candle is lit he says, "Well, here goes nothing..." and slides down into the hole.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:55, Sun 09 Aug 2015.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 638 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 9 Aug 2015
at 06:15
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Oh dear oh dear oh dear oh dear.'' Sidd is as pale as if he had to go down there again himself. While Zar just clenches his teeth together. Both are assisting Omm as good as they are able to, holding the rope and scanning for dangers.
Autarch
 GM, 2818 posts
Mon 10 Aug 2015
at 23:36
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The narrow descent yields to a crag-walled crevice cut into the rock beneath the manor. Hundreds – no, thousands—of black flies crawl along the walls, creeping in and out of cracks spider-webbing the wall, the drone of their wings filling the air.

The stink of rotting meat is nearly overwhelming. Water is pooled on the floor, rising nearly to Omm's calves. He can spy broken swords and the occasional spear half-submerged in the inky waters.

Omm
 player, 277 posts
Tue 11 Aug 2015
at 05:21
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm looks around for any signs of an exit from the bottom of the water-filled muck. He calls back up to his companions and reports his findings:

"It's filled with water down here. Some weapons in the water, but I don't see any signs of an exit!"

Omm then begins to retrieve weapons from the water, examining each in turn to determine whether any are of decent quality. At the same time, Omm feels around in the water for any signs of a trapdoor beneath the water. The warrior runs his fingers along the floor, hoping to find something...
Sidd and Zar
 player, 639 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 11 Aug 2015
at 07:58
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar holds a hand before his face, trying to keep away the black flies Omm startled. ''Sidd saw the Fool in there, doing something. Search the crevices.''
Josh
 player, 250 posts
Tue 11 Aug 2015
at 16:56
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Since Omm has bravely volunteered (much to everyone else's relief), Arnie offers to grant him summer divine protection before he makes his descent.  However, it seems for the moment that if Gorhan's earthly representative isn't going into the pit, then neither is His power.

Josh rolled 11 using 1d20+1. Protection From Evil.

EDIT: Checked the book now.  Yeah, no magic.  My patron is disappointed in me.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:55, Thu 13 Aug 2015.

Omm
 player, 278 posts
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 03:56
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Heeding the cries from above, Omm searches the crevices after feeling around in the murky water.
Autarch
 GM, 2819 posts
Sat 15 Aug 2015
at 21:26
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
After a few seconds to gain his bearings, the descended warrior perceives a greater buzzing than the one immediately about him. The flies have nearly occluded a tunnel-like passage exiting the pit. It is even thicker with them than the pit bottom.

Then he scoops his mailed fingers through the pooled water where he spies a shaft or hilt. In a minute, he's extracted both a hand-and-half sword and a spiked mace from the putrescence. Neither looks capable of more than a few swings of service.

A third weapon, a footman's flail, also emerges from an underground tarn. This one, though, has not been raised courtesy of Omm's biceps and triceps. Instead a mass of flies has formed its own arm to wield it -- with more swarming to form the torso.

OOC Meet or exceed 6 to act first.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:01, Tue 18 Aug 2015.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 640 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 15 Aug 2015
at 21:42
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Due to spatial restrictions, Sidd and Zar are forced to hang back and do nothing but cheer Omm on.
''Yay, Omm, you will make it!'' ''You are the best!'' ''Go go go!''

Zar nudges Arnie in the side. ''Just hold your healing prayers ready.''

This message was last edited by the player at 07:16, Thu 20 Aug 2015.

Omm
 player, 279 posts
Sun 16 Aug 2015
at 01:01
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm is quick to respond to the coalescing swarm of nasty flies. He jumps back and draws his sword for a ready strike.

An oversized fly-swatter might be more effective, but steel is what he knows best. So he uses it. The warrior strikes out at the flail, attempting to sunder it from the forming arm. It is a swift powerful strike, but would it be enough to strike through the flail and into the mass of flies?

"Gah! The flies are back! In a big way!!!"


14:56, Today: Omm rolled 16,2 using d20+3,d3 with rolls of 13,2. Attack/Mighty Deed (Sunder).
14:55, Today: Omm rolled 21 using 1d20+1. Initiative.

Josh
 player, 251 posts
Mon 17 Aug 2015
at 17:09
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix isn't sure what to do about this, so for the moment he draws his crowbar and hangs back to, uh, protect the wizards.

Not so for Arnie.  In his mind is a rushing confluence of the need to act more in accordance with his deity's strictures and of memories of his past life, before he took up the collar.  He gives Zar a melodramatic look that would make any fourth-rate actor proud, and says I'm afraid I am needed down there more than I am up here.  Hold the rope steady.  He then grabs the rope himself and lowers himself into the pit as quickly as he safely can.  He has his pack with him, and as he descends he goes over the contents in his mind.  There is a bag of dung in there that he's been carrying since the gods know when, for the gods know what reason.

Well, maybe this will be the reason...

Josh rolled 20,17 using d20+1,d20+1. initiative for A, F.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:32, Fri 21 Aug 2015.

Autarch
 GM, 2821 posts
Sat 22 Aug 2015
at 02:23
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
First to join Omm in the Pit of Flies, Maggots, and Larvae is Arnie, who splashes down next to him, just in time to witness the sundering of fly fist's flail. The action itself causes little harm to the nascent swarm as not only do more flies coalesce around the hand and wrist already formed, but also through the passage Omm had noticed more flies pour in.

These and others mass together until the arm is joined by a shoulder, chest, neck, and all the rest: a fully-formed fly being, empty-handed but ham-fisted.

Above the pit, the scholarly men shout encouragement and in the next room, the servants lusty game of elimination hearts continues.

OOC: All may act

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:24, Sat 22 Aug 2015.

Omm
 player, 280 posts
Sat 22 Aug 2015
at 18:48
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
If Omm were a smarter man, he might mull over the fact his attacks might have little, if any effect on a swarm of flies. But that's not the case here. He continues to swat at the fly-being with his sword, hoping to dissuade their further formation.


08:45, Today: Omm rolled 7 using 1d8.  damage.
08:45, Today: Omm rolled 12,2 using d20+3,d3.  attack/mighty deed.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 645 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 22 Aug 2015
at 19:52
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Aha!'' Zar triumphs. ''I have just the right spell for an infestation of flies. Burn, you vile little insects, burn!'' His incantation works indeed and flames shoot from his fingers and veil the flies in fire.

Sidd meanwhile tries to apply his unholy crozier as an oversized fly swatter, but is not really succesful with that.


21:48, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 8 using 1d20.  Sidd Crosier.
21:32, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 7 using 1d6+1.  dmg.
21:30, Today: Sidd and Zar rolled 18 using 1d20+2.  Zar Flaming Hands.

Josh
 player, 253 posts
Sun 23 Aug 2015
at 22:46
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie hears Zar's spell in the works, and waits to let it take effect.  After that, he proceeds with his plan of opening the bag of dung and inviting the remaining flies to feast on its contents.
Autarch
 GM, 2824 posts
Thu 17 Sep 2015
at 10:47
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
A jaunty jingle and an insistent refrain becomes audible just over the hellacious buzzing: "Fistful of flies, Fistful of flies, Fistful of flies." It is articulated in the same way a cook might chant, "Chick'n 'n beans, Chick'n 'n beans."

The fated fist does not arrive. With Arnie having diverted the new arrivals, the fly thing cannot regenerate. And with two servitors joining you in the pit, having been unjustly eliminated from their game, you overwhelm the thing of flies with sword, fire, and crozier.

Before it can reform, you squeeze through the aperture, and all but one of you cannot recall a time you quite felt so larval. You find yourself in a much larger space but identical in theme, the focus a certain end stage in the cycle of life.

At the far end of the cavern, you can discern a quivering wall. Before it and before you stands the jester, all draped in drippy motley, his tri-belled cap pinging. He mouths a three-word refrain to himself.
Omm
 player, 282 posts
Thu 17 Sep 2015
at 12:57
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The mailed warrior emerges through the aperture, batting the pesky flies away from his face  with his free hand, the other with sword held aloft, at the ready.

Upon seeing the Jester, Omm bellows "Hold your tongue! Lest I cut it from your fool mouth!"
Autarch
 GM, 2826 posts
Fri 18 Sep 2015
at 12:24
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
With one of his hands, he extends his tongue, a thick, ropy appendage with a split tip. With his other, he cinctures it, before yanking it back and forth while leering at the god among men, Omm.
Omm
 player, 283 posts
Fri 18 Sep 2015
at 21:57
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Autarch:
With one of his hands, he extends his tongue, a thick, ropy appendage with a split tip. With his other, he cinctures it, before yanking it back and forth while leering at the god among men, Omm.


Omm cracks the semblance of a smile while continuing to pace forward. At least the jester was good at his job. "Clever, fool, clever. We have ivory cards and are looking for others. What is your game?"

Omm feels quite uncomfortable doing much talking in this place and may have already said too much. Oh well, maybe he was in fact the fool?
Sidd and Zar
 player, 647 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 19 Sep 2015
at 08:44
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd and Zar proceed pale through the narrow aperture, following sturdy Omm. Sidd repeats unvoluntary (and quietly) the eerie chant, but from his mouth it just sounds like 'a fistfull of lies'.

Zar hobbles forward to put himself beside Omm. At least he is happy that he pushed the others to get here. Not that he has any idea what to do now that they have made it.

''Yeah, what's your game,'' he repeats Omm's question. It actually sums it all up.
Josh
 player, 255 posts
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 00:03
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie and Felix are the last into the jester's room.  Since the others have already started the conversation, they wait patiently to see how it proceeds.
Autarch
 GM, 2827 posts
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 20:12
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Grinning, the harlequin reaches into one of the loose folds in his pantaloons that doubles as a pocket, withdrawing a few white cards of his own. He entices you to come examine them by means of various hand, facial, and tongue gestures.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 648 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 20:19
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar just knows - the cards the Fool is holding depict themselves. Zar wants nothing to do with them, or this plane, or the Fool. Omm was right from the start. The only goal here is going back home.
''We don't want to play your game! Just let us go!'' He cries out.

''And that nice enchantress, if you would. She treated us decently.'' Sidd adds mumbled.
Autarch
 GM, 2828 posts
Thu 24 Sep 2015
at 13:56
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Apparently, neither the scholars' petulance nor their invocation of the fetid lady of the lake sway the harlequin from his purpose. His various appendages motion you forward to come examine his flimsy, filmy cards.
Josh
 player, 256 posts
Thu 24 Sep 2015
at 16:42
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie is probably getting ready to say something about bravery and valor, but Felix's impatience wins out.  The halfling strolls up to the jester, rubbing his gloved hands together, and says Okay crazy man, show me what you got.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 649 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 24 Sep 2015
at 17:14
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar and Sidd step forward, too, and be it just because there is nothing else to do.
Sidd at least also looks past the beckoning Fool. Maybe there is an exit somewhere which would be worth making a run for it?
Omm
 player, 284 posts
Thu 24 Sep 2015
at 19:13
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm paces forward while straining to see the Fool's cards. The warrior's muscle twitch in anticipation of battle, but perhaps it will not come to that?

Never hurts to be prepared...
Autarch
 GM, 2829 posts
Sat 3 Oct 2015
at 13:03
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Obligingly, you draw close to view the harlequin's hand. His cards are not the proud, upright ivories you have gallantly snatched from mad sage and magician. No, they are barely playing card size, forcing you all to bump cheeks to get a peek at them. The first, the Jack of Flays, portrays a strapping buck slicing an old man to bits. They're in some kind of over-the-top torture chamber with oversized braziers and undersized tongs and pincers. The jack, as always, wears little more than a strap and apron so that his heaving thews seem to sweat through the paper, which is rather moist you have to admit. The next, the Eight of Ulnas, shows an octet of lackeys throwing stones for wagers. Convulsing with laughter, they admire the pantomime of the third lackey: a dead-on rendition of a petrified man left as a lizard perch in a lost grotto. Occasionally, a blind cave fish blunders into his stone feet. It is truly a marvelous pantomime, you concede. Another card, the King of Feculence, shows a greasy, robed man displaying tiny cards to oglers, so intent on their ogling that they've no mind to where they've been stepping and what they've been inhaling. It's a little dizzying made no better by the fuggy heat and rancid odor of the cavern.
Omm
 player, 286 posts
Sat 3 Oct 2015
at 19:25
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm struggles to make sense of the cards. "Enough of this madness, tell us what we need to do to get the hell out of this accursed realm, Fool!"

He then rubs his head, his face twisted in a mixture anger and confusion.

This message was lightly edited by the player at 06:36, Sat 10 Oct 2015.

Josh
 player, 257 posts
Sat 3 Oct 2015
at 21:43
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix says Hey, tell me if the card changes, then turns his head toward the position of the card's presumed viewer.  Arnie watches the card carefully to see what happens.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 652 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 4 Oct 2015
at 20:54
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar's head rears back as he registers the last card, instantly suspecting that they have been lured into a trap. He coughs to clear his throat and looks hectically around, ready to dodge any incoming attack. He refrains from attacking the Fool though - Zar is not a man of brawn, to be honest, and will always seek to settle a riddle or a conflict in a brainy way.

Sidd just gawks and grips his crozier.
Autarch
 GM, 2830 posts
Mon 12 Oct 2015
at 19:43
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Leaning too, too close to Zar's ear, the lord of the flies whispers, "There can be truth without fact; fact without truth can be as well." As the heat of putrefaction emanates from the shut-in's corpse in August, so does the breath from the lord's lips.
Omm
 player, 287 posts
Mon 12 Oct 2015
at 20:00
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm leaned in to hear the Lord of Flies whisper and feels dumber for the effort, "What a load of horse manure!. Always with the riddles in this cursed place! It's no wonder the Gods have seen fit to wipe this realm from the heavens. Good riddance, I say! The hell with this place and its people!"

Omm's heartbeat is now beating rapidly and the voices around him become thin and cavernous: the sound he hears before entering battle. The warrior's left eye begins twitching and he feels a warmth course through his body as he grips his sword ever tighter.

For the moment, he restrains his base instinct and doesn't attempt to decapitate the riddling fool on the spot.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 653 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 13 Oct 2015
at 19:48
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''It's all lies!'' Zar cries out in indignation. ''Lies and illusion! I refuse to believe anything of it!''
''There is no foul water. No reeking stench. No flies. There's not even this cave!''


As if to prove his point he closes his eyes and sits down, right into the disgusting brine they are standing in. He completly ignores his senses, shutting their input out, and wills it all away.
Josh
 player, 258 posts
Tue 13 Oct 2015
at 22:54
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
What about this guy?, Felix asks.  Is there this guy?  As he says it he pokes the jester to be sure of whether or not he is really there.

By the way, did the card change at all when Arnie was watching it?
Autarch
 GM, 2831 posts
Thu 15 Oct 2015
at 13:12
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix regrets poking the man of mystery (imagine poking an eel's crevice), but far, far less than Zar regrets his sit.

Responding warmly to Omm's heated expostulations, the mysterious man shares his wisdom, this time, with him. If the ratio of drool to wisdom is unbalanced, so be it.

"There is strength in calm but no calm in strength."

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:20, Mon 19 Oct 2015.

Omm
 player, 288 posts
Sun 18 Oct 2015
at 10:30
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Autarch:
Felix regrets poking the man of mystery (imagine poking an eel's crevice), but far, far less than Zar regrets his sit.

Responding warmly to Omm's heated expostulations, the mysterious man shares his wisdom, this time, with him. If the ratio of drool to wisdom is unbalances, so be it.

"There is strength in calm but no calm in strength."


Omm is at the end of his rope now, "I have no worldly idea what you are blabbering about! How about telling us something we can act upon, instead of just flapping your fool gums to hear the sound it makes when you force air out of your hole?!"

"How the hell do we get more cards so we can go home!?" he asks in frustration.

Omm looks at the jester and then turns to his companions, as if to say, 'what next guys'? all the while, firmly gripping his sword, ready to strike as the moment strikes him.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 655 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 18 Oct 2015
at 21:09
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd takes a step forward. ''Oh, puh-lease. I can get that Omm is about strength, ok. But that doddering old codger being about truth and facts? Ha! Ok, spill it. What kind of riddle do you want to give me?''
Josh
 player, 259 posts
Mon 19 Oct 2015
at 16:49
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie had opened his mouth to say something (wise and/or inspiring, no doubt), but with the others taking over him shady he decides not to bother for the moment.  Better to see what the damnable jester has to say first.
Autarch
 GM, 2832 posts
Mon 19 Oct 2015
at 19:55
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
If Sidd had hoped for a private audience, as it were, the Duke of Decomposition chants to himself a refrain about a chicken and its bits, before coming to a sense about what he wants to say.

"When the guests become the host, upon what shall the flies feed?"

Given the fool's tinkling yet moist tones, it's difficult to tell where he has placed the stress.

You are all still in a rather festering place, another part of the subterranean manor chambers, still buzzy, still stinky, still shitty. A wall of the same stretches across the chamber some distance beyond the koan-prone bro.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 656 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Tue 20 Oct 2015
at 19:58
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd rears back. ''I do NOT want to become the host of this place. No way! Keep your flies to yourself.''

Sidd walks away from the Fool and circles the room instead, checking every foot of the wall for further exits.

Zar dawns that he might have made an error of judgment, but on the other hand he is way too proud to easily admit to that. He continues to sit in the vile water and tries to wish it all away by sheer concentration. After all he is sure that they are fooled in some way.
Josh
 player, 261 posts
Wed 21 Oct 2015
at 02:40
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
At this point Arnie has lost much of his patience (although that's okay, as patience probably isn't one of those things his patron deity values).  He looks the jester dead in the face and says Look, what do you actually want?  Not just from us, but at all?  Surely you must want more from life than to sit in this dank pit giving riddles to strangers.
Omm
 player, 290 posts
Wed 21 Oct 2015
at 02:52
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Josh:
At this point Arnie has lost much of his patience (although that's okay, as patience probably isn't one of those things his patron deity values).  He looks the jester dead in the face and says Look, what do you actually want?  Not just from us, but at all?  Surely you must want more from life than to sit in this dank pit giving riddles to strangers.


"If I understand things right, not going to be many strangers soon, anyways. The whole place is going to pot and Mister Cryptic will be left here with just himself," Omm grumbles.

"We'll see how you like that!"
Autarch
 GM, 2833 posts
Thu 22 Oct 2015
at 15:36
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd scrutinizes the wall of maggots, wondering if there might be a crevice into which he might squeeze, leading to ... a greater hall of maggots -- although as far as maggot-themed domiciles go, this one's pretty great. He does spot a depression in a particular area of the wall, into which he might he might stick an entire arm. But only Zar, he thinks, would be crazy enough to do that.

"I'm the Lord of this Pit. What are you the lord of, shit-tosser?" the lord of this pit fires back at Arnie. It's unclear if, as the lord of excretion and flies, he should be more careful about the denigration of shit.

"What, do you think you're going somewhere, card-tosser?" he tosses back at Omm.

Whirling to face his wall, his bells all a tinkle, he shouts at Sidd, "Unhand my wall."

It's a loud shout, even deafening. You seem to have alarmed him.
Josh
 player, 262 posts
Thu 22 Oct 2015
at 15:44
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Summoning all the bravery he has ever had, and probably the next year's reserves as well, Arnie strides over to stand by Sidd and defiantly say to the jester Or what, bub?

Felix, on the other hand, decides that this would be a great time to get out of the jester's line of sight.  He cautiously edges around until he is completely behind the motley man (assuming that he's facing Sidd and Arnie at this point).
Omm
 player, 291 posts
Thu 22 Oct 2015
at 16:55
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Wall of flies...Wall of lies" Omm says lowly. Without another word, Omm walks to Sidd and begins tearing at the depression. He hopes to bring this place down by destroying the wall.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 657 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 22 Oct 2015
at 21:48
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd looks hopefully at Arnie - but no, the priest is not putting his arm into the hole. Then Omm comes up, and he tears at the wall. Which is great if it works - but he is not putting his arm into that hole either.

Damn.

Sidd realizes that it is left to him. Oh well. He has two arms anyway, he can probably do without one.
He puts his arm into the maggoty crevice, as far as it goes, and gropes around with his fingers in the hope of finding something. You never know, anything might be inside it. An exit. A key. Even a card with the Fool on it.

Zar notices that something more important as his own deliberations is going on, and begrudgingly he swallows his pride and ceases his attempts on meditation. Egad, that water is really awful anyway. He quickly rises to his feet.
Autarch
 GM, 2834 posts
Tue 3 Nov 2015
at 18:13
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Praying to all past and future deities that the maggots are not the burrowing sort, (but, his rational side protests, aren't all maggots of the burrowing sort?) Sidd (and his arm) take the plunge. In a rushing second, his arm reaches its fullest extension, touching nothing but grub, save for the tip of his forefinger which pushes against a rigidity. As exciting as this is, Sidd knows he can't extract the hard thing with a fingertip. He'll have to do more.

The jester's plea whines from afar, "Unhand my box, I said."
Omm
 player, 292 posts
Thu 5 Nov 2015
at 04:21
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Pay no attention to the Jester," Omm commands. Omm will assist Sidd in any way he can, even if it means shoving him aside to muscle the rigidity free using brute force.

"We are well past negotiations..." he mutters angrily.
Josh
 player, 264 posts
Thu 5 Nov 2015
at 17:46
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
It's unlikely that more people will fit in that tight spot, so Felix and Arnie both hold their positions while they await the outcome of Omm's action.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 658 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 5 Nov 2015
at 20:32
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
The jester's plea is so blatantly reminiscent of reverse psychology that Sidd nearly withdraws his hand from the hole. Or maybe it is just his dislike of maggots. Either way, it cannot be helped, he has to see this through.

''Gyaaah!'' With a gurgle of utter disgust Sidd gives it all to reach and grab that thing he feels, presumably a box. His shoulder vanishes inside the winding maggots and he takes a deep breath to follow with his upper body and even head if need be.

''Why isn't the idiot simply using his crozier?'' Zar asks and shakes his head.
Autarch
 GM, 2835 posts
Sun 15 Nov 2015
at 15:48
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Like a farmer delivering an albino calf from the straitened canal of a heifer, Sidd extrudes the jester's treasure from his wall of maggots, launching a tremendous spray of the same with the final, super-grunty extrusion. At the end of his extrusion he has his prize: a grub-smeared box. He wipes away the great gobs of grubs (in for a penny, in for a pound). It's a diabolical container with obscene carvings celebrating the debased themes of decomposition, limericks, and whist. It has three key holes: copper, silver, and gold.

From what seems to be a remote corner of the cavern, you think you can make out the mewling of a spoilt child who has just been thrown by his favorite rocking horse.

OOC Edited color of bronze key to copper. thank nothing of it.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:58, Sun 15 Nov 2015.

Omm
 player, 293 posts
Sun 15 Nov 2015
at 22:33
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"We found a set of silver keys, right?" Omm asks. "Not sure about the others..."
Sidd and Zar
 player, 659 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 15 Nov 2015
at 22:57
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''We had a whole set,'' Zar comments. ''Won them from the Ladies and used them to open... I think something in the Stargazer's abode. Do we still have them?''
''Though, no. One of those keys was copper, not bronze...''

This message was last edited by the player at 22:58, Sun 15 Nov 2015.

Josh
 player, 265 posts
Mon 16 Nov 2015
at 19:31
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie proudly produces a gold key from his pocket and says I obtained this when... um... well, this place is doing strange things to my memory, but the point is that I have it!
Omm
 player, 294 posts
Tue 17 Nov 2015
at 07:30
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Well, let' see if they open the box then," Omm says eagerly, hoping it will bring them one step closer to returning home. He keeps a watchful eye for the sudden reappearance of the Jester, his hand firmly placed on his pommel, just in case.
Autarch
 GM, 2836 posts
Thu 19 Nov 2015
at 17:55
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
In a farrago of insertion, removal, and reinsertion, you finally find three things that fit the triplets, the three locks that is, and the tripart lockbox pops open as satisfyingly as, say, the clasp on a vestal's belt.

Within you find one ivory card: the Devil. It's a pretty good card and you feel that, while you don't have all of the cards, you have a good many of them, a damn good hand. You'd really want to try to "shoot the moon" with this one.

Although it would be impossible to sense such a thing in place such as this, you think you detect the buzzing of one additional fly among the millions already buzzing.
Omm
 player, 295 posts
Fri 20 Nov 2015
at 02:44
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm looks around, swatting away at the small flies hovering near his head in an effort to discern whether a larger insect might be lurking about.

"You think this card might help us get across that lake we had trouble with earlier?" he asks his companions while still looking for any sign of approaching enemies, particularly those of the insectoid, winged variety.

This message was last edited by the player at 02:46, Fri 20 Nov 2015.

Josh
 player, 266 posts
Fri 20 Nov 2015
at 18:53
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie is busy celebrating their progress (internally, anyway), but Felix is curious to see how the jester has reacted to the new acquisition.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 661 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 23 Nov 2015
at 18:12
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Lake? I dunno. Did we have any trouble crossing the lake? I thought we went under it...'' Zar muses.

''Either way,'' Sidd cuts him short, a strained ear catching a worrysome sound. ''I think our welcome here is running out. Let's leave and see how to, well, 'shoot the moon'.''

''And a good day to you, sir,''
he nodds to the fool.
Omm
 player, 296 posts
Tue 24 Nov 2015
at 09:35
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd and Zar:
''Lake? I dunno. Did we have any trouble crossing the lake? I thought we went under it...'' Zar muses.

''Either way,'' Sidd cuts him short, a strained ear catching a worrysome sound. ''I think our welcome here is running out. Let's leave and see how to, well, 'shoot the moon'.''

''And a good day to you, sir,''
he nodds to the fool.


Omm looks confused and comments, "I thought there was a moon hanging over that tower on that island. So I figured shooting the moon had something to do with that. Maybe. I dunno..."

Looking toward the exit, "I'm all for leaving though. We got what we came for, so yeah, let's leave!"

With that, the warrior leads the way out of the Fool's abode.
Josh
 player, 267 posts
Tue 24 Nov 2015
at 17:19
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Felix and Arnie both shrug and walk out with the others.  Unless, of course, anything interesting should catch their eyes at the last moment.
Autarch
 GM, 2837 posts
Tue 24 Nov 2015
at 20:44
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd:
''And a good day to you, sir,'' he nodds to the fool.

-- after which nod he feels like a fool for no fool stands to receive it. One might be flying, might very well be a fly, but picking out the fool from the flies would be very foolish indeed, so you quit this cell of the fool's abode.

Up through the piss hole to the low gate and then back into the throne/card room. Your servile octet, having slapped together several semi-ruined tables, plays its games of elimination hearts.

"He's trying to shoot," #4 warns, trying to trick one of the others into taking a heart-laden trick.

The captain has returned from his hunt and offers his grim respects if not his fealty.

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:45, Tue 24 Nov 2015.

Sidd and Zar
 player, 662 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 26 Nov 2015
at 21:25
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''I actually... have no idea how to shoot the moon. Wasn't the tower even behind the moon?'' Zar sounds flabbergasted.

''We could go ask the enchantress...'' Sidd offers.

''No way,'' Zar replies, ''she would just ask us for that horned card, and then we would do what? Let's ask our own men instead.''
''Hey, you, Sir Captain. How do you shoot the moon?''

Josh
 player, 268 posts
Sat 28 Nov 2015
at 21:48
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
All this talk of card tricks is making Felix a bit curious.  While the guards play their game, he tries to get a glimpse of who is holding what, or what cards are out on the table at the moment.  He's not above pulling up a chair to watch a hand or two if that's what it takes for him to see something.
Autarch
 GM, 2839 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2015
at 15:25
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"That's not my game," the captain responds sardonically. Before you can absorb the fullness of his meaning, number#3 interjects chipper as can be: "Shooting the moon's when you capture all of the tricks with hearts and the bitch. Everybody else gets--"

The general air of disapproval and a few audible clavicle clicks forces #3 to retrace his verbal steps: "...when you capture all of the tricks with hearts and take the Queen of Spades as well."

"To her room," he adds defiantly.  "To her room!"

At this, the octet can't help itself.

The Prince of Swords, as he's known on his card, provides his counsel.

"You have it all, the power and glory. You could rule this spit of a demi-plane. Make pronouncements from up high: tell that Matron where to shove it. Better yet: demand that she join tonight's hunt. If that's what you want to do. The glory and the power, you have it all."

He leans back against the demi-throne, flicks a bit of skin and hair off one of his oiled boots.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 664 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Thu 3 Dec 2015
at 21:41
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd is thrown off his track by this line of thought, obviously imagining about how to put that kind of influence over the three ladies to good use. However, Zar is less enchanted by the prospect.
''Rubbish! I do not want this fly-infested piece of supernatural real estate! It is a curse, not a boon! I certainly don't want to spend the rest of my life here!''
''The question is, how do we leave?''

Josh
 player, 269 posts
Fri 4 Dec 2015
at 17:51
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie, also one for the occasional metaphysical thought (though he's unlikely to label it as such), suggests What if ruling this place means being able to physically change it?  Perhaps then we could create our own exit.
Autarch
 GM, 2840 posts
Mon 7 Dec 2015
at 15:04
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Zar and Sidd, being pretty clever in the cleverness department, recall something the Captain has just said: "Make pronouncements from up high."

Taking a look around the room, it's not hard to catch his meaning.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 665 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 7 Dec 2015
at 17:26
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd and Zar stare at the throne and then at each other. ''Make pronouncements from up high,'' they start in unison.
''We can just sit down on that throne and state our desires!''

''Like calling forth the ladies for some cuddling...''
''Or simply denouncing this whole shit-hole!''
Autarch
 GM, 2841 posts
Fri 11 Dec 2015
at 16:03
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Yes, you could do that," the octet replies in unison, the flow of their game unstopped, "but you wouldn't leave us, would you?" Their voices have an unexpected harmonic quality, as if all their bones were resonating just right. It doesn't take much imagination to imagine their fate should you decamp this pleasure plane.

The captain says nothing, but you detect the light of hope in his eyes, that accursed glimmer.
Omm
 player, 298 posts
Sat 12 Dec 2015
at 02:37
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
"Well, what's it going to be lads?" Omm asks. "To my mind, this here isn't really our battle. Never was, except when it was thrust upon us. We've spent our whole time here trying to find a way to leave, and if we have an opportunity to do so, we should!" he says with conviction.

"Say it!"

"Make it so!"
he implores.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 666 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sun 13 Dec 2015
at 22:02
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Yeah, you are right,'' Sidd says, stepping towards the throne. ''I will accept the respon...''

''Rubbish!'' Zar interrupts him sharply. ''I don't trust you as far as I can throw you - and I cannot even lift you. You simply cannot keep your head straight. I will do it.''

''But ...,'' Sidd starts, but he has trouble coming up with a suitable answer. ''The ladies!''

''See?'' Zar shoves him aside.
Already on the lowest step of the throne he turns to the others and says ''Okay, everyone alright with me taking a seat here and speak for all of us? If that works. Maybe everyone of us has to refuse this plane for himself.''
Omm
 player, 299 posts
Sun 13 Dec 2015
at 22:33
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Sidd and Zar:
''See?'' Zar shoves him aside.
Already on the lowest step of the throne he turns to the others and says ''Okay, everyone alright with me taking a seat here and speak for all of us? If that works. Maybe everyone of us has to refuse this plane for himself.''


"I, for one, want no part of this plane. I want to return home, to familiar surroundings."

Omm paces a few steps and continues, "So, yes. I refuse it for myself, if it means a shot at leaving."
Josh
 player, 270 posts
Tue 15 Dec 2015
at 04:29
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie raises his hands and face to the heavens (at least he hopes that's still above them somewhere) and proclaims As all the gods witness, yea, you shall deliver us from this wretched place!

Felix, being of a far less melodramatic mind, just shrugs and says Sure, go for it.
Sidd and Zar
 player, 668 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 18 Dec 2015
at 19:41
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
''Okay then,'' old Zar says. He takes a deep breath and sits down on the throne.

''We, Omm the warrior, Arnie the holy man, Felix the half-man, Sidd the moron,'' ''Hey!'' ''and I, we have vanquished the riddles and challenges set before us since we were brought to this plane and trapped here. We vanquished them all and won the appropriate cards, or most of them.''
''We could rightfully call this plane ours now,''
he proclaims.

''But we do not! We do not want any part of it! We will go free. And in addition we decree that the other people trapped in this world will be free, too. The red dame of the lake, the ladies three and and their matron in black, the staunchy captain, our trusty servants of bone, and even the vile mantis priest, everyone shall go free - except the Fool. He shall rot in this prison.''

''This I say, and so it shall be.''

For someone declining to rule Zar seems quite smug that he can lord it from the throne above and announce his disdain of this plane in particular but likely also the world in general for everyone to take notice.
Omm
 player, 300 posts
Sat 19 Dec 2015
at 09:03
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Omm shakes his head in agreement to each of Zar's pronouncements. When his companion is finished, Omm offers in refrain, "Well spoken Zar. Well said!"

The warrior then waits in anticipation of what will come next, his heartbeat strong and slow.
Josh
 player, 271 posts
Sat 19 Dec 2015
at 17:24
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
Arnie and Felix similarly show appreciation for the little speech, and eagerly anticipate the result.  Surely some cosmic (or at least demi-cosmic) power must be taking notice...
Autarch
 GM, 2844 posts
Sat 19 Dec 2015
at 18:05
Re: Fate's Fell Hand
And Zar frees you from the fetters of fate's fell plane (demi-). But in the same way that freeing a planet from its cozy solar orbit rockets it into the black abyss (see the Sage), severing the tie between you and here would be world-ending (literally and metaphorically). This is, fortunately, foreseen, for upon sitting his tokus down on the throne, the wizard enjoys near-godlike prescience, granting him enough foresight to extend a key phrase:

"Everyone shall go freely to a...more civilized abode," his addendum eliding the fool's punishment.

What might a more civilized abode be? It probably doesn't have anything like a Wild Hunt, Grand Fete, or a Dark Mass. Well, depending on the sense of humor of the god who might be spying on this place for its amusement.

With that, the demi-plane winks out and its vanishing welcomes its denizens to oblivion.