Scales of War: EPIC!   Posted by Mittens.Group: 0
 GM, 2188 posts
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 07:01
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
Mits seems able to hone in on the direction like Timo and Kyle.

(( Auto-win for Religion.  Skill challenge owned. ))

The trees thin as the land slopes gently downward to a
small, sluggish stream. The stream’s water is black and oily
and coats the stream’s banks.
Beyond the stream stand two figures. The first is large
and massively muscled. Clad in a voluminous hooded cloak,
shadows cluster thickly about the figure, which carries a
massive sickle of black metal.
The other figure is man-sized. Skin hangs from its
skeletal frame and a shredded cloak hangs limply from its
shoulders. At sight of you, it holds up one hand in greeting.

Mits waves back!  "Was expecting more of an, 'attack on sight' reaction."
 player, 731 posts
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 07:06
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
May waves back happily!

May says quietly, "Don't let your guard down. This guy might be smart or know who we are..."

She calls out, "Hail! Are you the number one ritualist we've been hearing about?"

May begins to approach. Tim and Raichel follow as usual.
 player, 1464 posts
 Crossbow of SCIENCE...
 Or MAGIC? I always forget
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 04:44
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
  Kyle stays close enough to provide his usual buffs, which also tends to be far enough to be outside of the average burst spam.  He really hopes the cloaked guy doesn't know slashing kama style-wait, Raichel is the Monk to think about that.
 GM, 2189 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 05:30
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
Skeleton dude looks like this:

"Nope," the lich answers casually, "That would be Irfelujhar.  I know liches probably all look alike to folks such as yourselves, but nevertheless, I'll give you a hint on recognizing him.  He favors a wearing a purple robe with a spider web collar, and a baby dragon skull helmet.  Looks too big for his head.  Here, I'll show you."

He uses prestidigitation to show a picture:

"So what brings such nice folk such as yourselves to a gloomy place like this?"

"We're the Heroes of the Mortal World," Mittens explains, "We're here to stop Ear-Fell-Into-A-Jar from completing his ritual.  Why, you a friend of his?"

She telepaths to the group through May, "He sure looks an awful lot like Vecna's supposed to."
 player, 732 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 05:37
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
Timothius paths, "Well he DOES have the single-eye thing going that Vecna and Gruumsh have in common."

Raichel says, "Actually, you have a fuller head of hair than the undead we're used to..."

May says, "I'm gonna make an educated guess and say that you were expecting us, despite your asking us who we are and why we're here. You look like someone who would be in the know."
 player, 1465 posts
 Crossbow of SCIENCE...
 Or MAGIC? I always forget
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 05:43
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
  "Most of our outings would never happen in the first place if more people were in the know."  Hey, let's NOT attack that city for the fifth time. Just maybe?  No? Okay have fun with people chasing you across several dimensions to kick your ass.
 GM, 2190 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 05:57
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
He answers Mits, "Ear fell...  heh.  I'll have to remember that one.  No, not a friend.  On the same mission as you, actually."

And Rai, "Why thank you.  I'm glad you noticed."

May's question makes him look embarrassed.  (  )

"No, actually.  I uh...  I've kinda been stuck here in this forest, unable to enter the Mantled Citadel due to a powerful ward."

Mits huhs.  "So... why are you out to stop Nurf Well Ajar?"
 GM, 935 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 06:00
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
Timothius says, "Poweful ward? That isn't gonna keep us out, is it?"

Raichel gives a weirded-out look at the skeleton acting more like a Mittens puppet show than a normal lich. She isn't sure what to think.

May says, "...and can I examine your friend's weapon cloooser?"
 player, 1466 posts
 Crossbow of SCIENCE...
 Or MAGIC? I always forget
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 06:05
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
  "Imagine a Marilith that was born a Kobold.  Then you have a basic introduction to May."

  He finds nothing odd about a magical undead skeleton man having facial expressions.  But then he also finds nothing off about gears and springs with unibrows.
 GM, 2191 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 07:00
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
The lich chuckles from Kyle's description, shrugs to May, and looks over to the Abhorrent Reaper.  The Reaper grins at May, and creepily welcomes her closer with a gesture.  (

couldn't find a proper welcome gesture.  oh well.  this will have to do.  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pini...594435a883bd51ae.jpg )

To Timothius the lich reluctantly admits, "I'm not sure.  But I'm guessing it will."

To Mits he expositions, "1,000 years ago, Irfelujhar was among Vecna's most talented ritualists.  Irfelujhar benefited greatly from working for Vecna, and was allowed access to vast troves of knowledge.  But his greed and lust for power drove him to betray Vecna, steal off with invaluable tomes of necromancy, and work for Tiamat instead.  I was sent by Veca to capture him and recover what I can of the stolen tomes.  But he has grown so powerful, that I believe that this latest ritual of his could tip the scales of power so greatly in Tiamat's favor...  Your world will likely become nothing more than a feeding ground for dragons.  If you help me achieve Vecna's goal to prevent this from happening, I'm sure he will reward you most richly."

Mits huhs.  "Yeah, Vecna's angel said as much about, 'This ritual must be stopped.'"
 player, 733 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 07:07
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
May approaches the reaper happily.

Timothius and Raichel follow. Timothius says, "Then let's not waste any more time. Our group will be more than happy to get straight to Irfelujhar."

May says, "Yeah... excited as I am to examine your buddy's weapon more, I'm rarin' to go stop this guy before he gets further. That said, we noticed this whole place has discarded ritual vestiges. You could save us time and empower us to deal with him if you are able to quickly point out the best ones for a group of heroes to take hold of."

Raichel says, "And if you stick with us, maybe you'll be able to enter once we figure a way past the barrier."
 player, 1467 posts
 Crossbow of SCIENCE...
 Or MAGIC? I always forget
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 07:13
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
 Such a polite skeleton.  Kyle will slightly miss them when they inevitably have to fight them because the dark god upset at all the betrayal doesn't grasp irony.

  "If it helps, you would bee divulging the secrets of Vecna's enemy, not Vecna's secrets."
 GM, 2192 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 07:44
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
The lich looks shocked by Mits mentioning an angel of Vecna.

He nods to Kyle and answers May, "It depends on which ones the wind blow your way.  But the closer you get to the Mantled Citadel, the more potent they tend to be."

The creepy reaper dude points the way.  Mits shrugs and starts headed that direction.

Module: "When it is obvious to Rithkerrar that the PCs have
shared all pertinent information, he orders the abhorrent reaper to attack."

Me: ...becaaaause?

From everything else I've read, it makes NO sense for this NPC to just randomly attack the best chance he's had in centuries to get at his goal.  But I figured out a way to keep to the script that could work.  Irfelujhar pauses from his ritual and hits this lich with a potent magic that forces him to attack.  "Bwahahah I'm your module boss and am annoying!"

But I'll leave it up to you.  I'm fine with this NPC joining the group.  I'll just forget to include them in initiative like I did with Kas.  They helped by dealing with off-panel adds.  Or would you guys rather kick the tar out of this guy because Irfelujhar forces him to attack?
 GM, 936 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 08:01
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
May actually lets the others head off first and brings up the rear. Just because this lich was nice doesn't mean she trusts him. After they are far enough, May then trots over to be in front. :)

Timothius says, "A reasonable lich. I'd say now we've seen everything, but I get the feeling this won't be the last surprise."
 player, 1468 posts
 Crossbow of SCIENCE...
 Or MAGIC? I always forget
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 08:04
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
  "Given our track record, it's staying reasonable that seems to be the sticking point.  Even if seeing it in the first place is in itself rather infrequent."

  If there is still a betrayal, it will be due to sickle guy wanting to not pass up a cliche 'I'll give you a close look' about that weapon... You know, if they ever talk.
 GM, 2193 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 08:24
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
The lich shrugs and calls back to the group, "Liches are simply powerful wizards who chose magical immortality over gambling on a favorable outcome in the afterlife.  What is arguably more surprising, is a priest of Pelor to be willing to team up with a lich rather than the other way around.  Oh...  and watch yourselves.  The water is not to be touched.  And some trees are just downright nasty.

"Many of the trees in the forest have
been infused with the tortured souls of Irfelujhar’s
servants. The trunks of soul trees are speckled with
off-white patches of bark.
Locked in the skeletal trees and consumed with a
burning hatred for all things, the trapped souls try to
crush any living creature coming within ten feet."

Mits idly zaps said trees from a safe distance while floating along on her flying carpet.  "Just don't talk about teaming up with Slaads and I think we'll get along juuust fine."

She blasts with much more force.
 GM, 937 posts
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 04:37
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
Timothius says, "I like your idea, Mittens."

Timothius glows, shapeshifts into a white cat and sprouts wings. Then begins to fly over the trees. But he does scoop up May and place her on Mitts' carpet.

May hugs Mittens and grins at her, whipping out the gun Mitts designed and says, "I have a bullet in this one JUST for the next slaad to attack us."

Raichel flies as well! She offers to drop Kyle off on Mitts' carpet also.

Timothius answers the lich with, "You're right, of course. But my willingness to team with you is just as much a desire to see the Prime Material survive as it is my willingness to hear out anyone, no matter their background. At this level, it almost seems silly to bring up, but do not forget that my sisters and I, as well as May here, are all considered monster races by most; for most mortals, it is more surprising that three shifters and a kobold would fight for good."

May says, "Part of the reason Tim's surprised is how often we've personally witnessed people who would have otherwise been safe and survived, wind up attacking us for no reason other than fear. Even after we have developed a reputation across the planes as a group who shows mercy to those who surrender, our enemies would sooner die than not fight us / fall on our swords... much less team up with us."
 player, 1469 posts
 Crossbow of SCIENCE...
 Or MAGIC? I always forget
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 04:43
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
  Kyle does feel he is fortunate to have hit a more natural state of agelessness, just because through an affinity to the arcane arts.  But doesn't mention it because it doesn't come with growing your skull back later when it is removed like a lich does.

  "In the constant conflict of good and evil, consistent in the failings of both has been a lack of professionalism, yes." Tooootally not biased in that observation.
 GM, 2194 posts
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 05:04
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
Mits smiles brightly and returns the cuddle.  "Thanks!"

The lich seems contemplative and answers Timothius.  "Perhaps when this whole business is completed, we can have a nice chat, you and I.  I'd like to hear you out as well."

He chuckles from Kyle's statement.  "Very true.  Good to see you bunch are the exception to that rule."

Mits seems a little surprised at being accused of being professional by a lich, but doesn't comment on it.

Deeper into the Gloom Level 26
Skill Challenge 18,000 XP
As the PCs draw closer to the Mantled Citadel the ground
begins to slope steeply downward into a deep valley. As
they descend, the forest becomes more depressing and
warped; the gloom deepens until it is almost pitch black on
the valley floor.

2 (6 successes before 3 failures)
Primary Skills
Arcana, Athletics, Endurance, Nature, Religion.
Secondary Skills
Perception, Stealth.
If the characters achieve 6 successes, their sudden approach
surprises the creatures in Encounter F5. For the first five
rounds of battle, the PCs get a +2 bonus to all attack rolls.
If the heroes achieve 3 failures, the alert guardians in
Encounter F5 note their approach. The creatures gain a +2
bonus on their initiative check.
Success or Failure
Each character loses two healing surges automatically
at the end of the skill check. This can be reduced; see
“Religion.” Characters who are immune to necrotic damage
lose no healing surges.
Arcana DC 26 (1 success, maximum 2 successes)
The character attunes himself to the flow of energy within
this area. His heightened senses enable him to identify
locales with particularly high levels of necrotic energy.
Dodging these areas shortens the heroes’ journey.
Athletics DC 17 (1 success, maximum 1 success)
The forest is divided by a steep-sided chasm. Every character
must attempt this check at once as they cross. If all succeed,
this counts as a success; if any fail, it counts as 1 failure for
the group (no matter how many fail individually), and each
character who fails loses one healing surge. Characters with
Athletics training can aid others in this attempt.
Endurance DC 17 (1 success, maximum 1 success)
The monotony of the forest, its fell aspect, and the necrotic
energy swirling through it sap the characters’ vitality. Every
character must attempt this check at once. If all succeed,
the characters resist this malign effect and gain a success
for the group. If any fail, it counts as 1 failure for the group
(no matter how many fail individually), and each character
who fails loses one healing surge. Characters cannot aid
one another in this attempt.
Nature DC 26 (1 success, maximum 3 successes)
The trees in the forest are horribly twisted and warped
by the necrotic energy flowing from the Mantled Tower.
In this area of the forest, the effect is particularly
pronounced. A success enables the characters to avoid
many of the hazards of the forest including soul trees,
grasping boughs, and writhing roots.
Perception DC 17 (1 success, maximum 2 successes)
In the darkness of the valley floor, the PC finds a number
of ancient game tracks. Successfully following one of these
tracks helps the heroes find a way out of the valley.
Religion DC 26 (1 success, maximum 1 success)
The character uses his skill to sense the greatest
concentration of evil in the forest. Because Irfelujhar is
the most powerful creature in this domain, his aura acts
as a beacon of sorts. As the characters draw closer to the
citadel, Irfelujhar becomes aware of the intruders and
manipulates the necrotic energy in the valley to attack
them. If a PC succeeds on this check, the group gains 1
success and each hero loses only one healing surge at the
end of the skill challenge instead of two.
Perception DC 22 (no successes, maximum 2 attempts)
A character making a Perception check notices an
important feature. This could be a thinning in the trees
where the characters can get their bearings, a tree much
taller than its fellows that could be climbed for an allaround view, and so on. The next primary skill check made
to exploit this discovery gains a +2 bonus.
Stealth DC 14 (no successes, maximum 2 attempts)
Characters moving stealthily through the forest may
surprise the next group of monsters they come across. If a
PC scouting ahead of his companions makes a successful
Stealth check, all characters gain +2 bonuses on their next
initiative checks in the forest.

(( No need to bother with dice rolls, we got this one easy. ))
 Player, 105 posts
 Fluffy angel kitty
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 05:42
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
If Miku were the religious member of the team and noticed that Irfelujhar noticed the team, she would happily smile and give Irfelujhar the bird.

Instead, it's Tim and Mitts. Timothius smiles brightly and waves in the direction of Irfelujhar, as if to say "I see you too". Raichel, seemingly out of reflex, waves in the same direction in unison with her twin.

Upon Irfelujhar attacking the group, Timothius smiles in exactly the direction that would have him lock eyes with Irfelujhar's scrying. Irfelujhar feels weaker just for trying, as if his muscles are failing him. (Flavor for Tim's own aura of peace combined with his insight) When he stops trying to attack the group, Irfelujhar feels his strenth return.

Timothius looks back to the lich. "Your description of a lich is well worded; Many seek immortality while not realizing everyone lives forever, so long as they don't run into those who destroy souls. But the afterlife isn't a gamble, really..." His tone turns slightly sad as he says, "I'd argue becoming a lich is more of a gamble: After all, how many liches do you know that remember the beginning of mortals? Compare that to the number of souls in the Celestial Plane who do remember. Fact is, most liches are gone."

Thanks to flight, the entire team doesn't need to do any athletics.

This message was last edited by the player at 05:42, Mon 10 Apr 2017.

 player, 1470 posts
 Crossbow of SCIENCE...
 Or MAGIC? I always forget
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 06:01
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
  Excuse me, Miku wouldn't do that!... without graceful musical chimes to go along with the rude gestures that is.

  Kyle provides redundant second opinion on 'yup, that sure is necrotic allright' subjects.  Though he didn't even realize an endurance check had happened.

  "A bit of a skewed number when most souls that doesn't get eaten ends up in the astral sea eventually, or respective destination.  Though most who decry 'delaying the inevitable' tend to be enjoying the luxury of breaking those very rules themselves, if not actively thwarting them."  The main problem with the lich scenario even when comfortable with the form.  Hmmm, do I wait until character level 21 and be an eco friendly lich... Ooooor, sacrifice a baby and attain sweet skeleton powers right now?
 GM, 2195 posts
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 06:15
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
Mits shows off the painting of the group standing in front of a dead exarch.

The lich does flip the bird at the scrying sensor.

He chuckles at Kyle's statement and asks, "You wouldn't happen to be referring to the Raven Queen, now would you?"

Then he addresses Timothius.  "Allow me to re-phrase.  'What they believe to be a gamble.'  You see, many necromancers are told all their lives that what they do is immoral.  So they figure there's slim to no chance of having a pleasant afterlife.  But yes, the number of liches has diminished over time.  Nobody ever said it was a perfect option."

Mits grins.  "So the lich ritual is a dying art?!"

The forest thins out slightly. Ahead, a huge, blackened, and
warped oak tree dominates the area. A few sickly, yellow
leaves cling to life atop its highest branches.

nature Check
DC 24: This mighty oak has in some minor way resisted
the corrupting effects of the forest.

erception Check (to notice naiethar Traihel)
DC 24: A beautiful, pale-skinned, slender, eladrin female
peers at you from behind the huge tree. Her long, white hair
falls almost to her waist and her large, vibrant blue eyes
regard you with a mix of interest and terror.

If the heroes pierce naiethar’s disguise, read:
This humanoid creature is seemingly composed of decayed
wood. Dead vines coil about it and a few desiccated leaves
hang from spindly branches sprouting from its head.

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:18, Mon 10 Apr 2017.

 GM, 938 posts
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 06:27
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
The twins and May giggle from Mitts' pun!

Timothius looks over to Kyle and says, "For good reason. Most mortals who gain immortality use it for evil purposes. Rare is the person who becomes immortal and uses that to good ends."

Timothius then nods at the lich. "I meant no offense; only to present the truth and to learn. How old are you, if I may ask?"

Then tree happens.

May doesn't see through the disguise. "Hey there, cute face! Wanna join us? We're on our way to stop Irfelujhar!"

Timothius says, "I see through your disguise, but you need not fear us if you are on the side of good. In fact, as long as you aren't interested in hindering us, we will take you along. Just ask Rithkerrar here."

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:44, Mon 10 Apr 2017.

 player, 1471 posts
 Crossbow of SCIENCE...
 Or MAGIC? I always forget
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 06:42
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
  Given the scenery and Timothius's reaction, Kyle makes an educated guess about the circumstances.  "That would depend on if they could survive the distance, more than willingness."

  Perhaps if they had not chosen the form of an Eleadrin that sterotypically disdain the tree hugging hippy aspects of elfhood, Timothius would not have passed his check.

 Oh right, most important detail.  "That would be UNdying arts, Mittens." There. Glad that's sorted.
 GM, 2196 posts
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 06:55
Re: Scales of War: EPIC!
"Not sure," the lich answers, "No offense taken."

Mits smiles.  "Trees like light, right?"

She lifts her hand and a mini smiling sun begins to rise.  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pini...0c452b92ea50237e.jpg

Naiethar emerges and speaks
with the newcomers. She is driven mad by the suffering she senses all around and comes across as
incredibly disturbed.

"Oh thank goodness, salvation!  I will murder you!  After so long, can it be?  Your flesh shall feed my roots!  Please help me!  Your beating hearts will be rent from your chests!"

Mits stares and sweatdrops.  "Um...  How do you expect us to care enough to help with heart-free chests?"

The lich adds, "Split personality, I'm betting.  She's dangerous.  Destroyed part of my team."

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:55, Mon 10 Apr 2017.