Chapter Four: The Final Empire.   Posted by The Empire.Group: 0
The Empire
 GM, 817 posts
Mon 1 Jan 2018
at 10:20
Chapter Four: The Final Empire
You all awake at the same time, the remnants of a splitting headache draining away as you open your eyes. You are all lying on a dusty stone floor in a burned out building, shafts of sunlight slanting down through the half shattered ceiling. If you squint, you can see the contours of the Emporium in the soot stained walls, but only the ghost of its soul remains. The villagers are spread in a circle around you, still sleeping, but there is no sign of Sigmund.

Next to Gilad is the glowing white diamond from the pommel of the dancing swords, and a small white stone statuette of a man in robes, looking very similar to the Owner. It pulses softly with a warm yellow glow.
Gilad Rott
 player, 362 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Tue 2 Jan 2018
at 04:38
Chapter Four: The Final Empire
As a ray of sunlight shines down on his face, the bard's eyes flicker open. For a brief moment, basking in the warm light, the perils of their adventure feel like no more than a distant memory. Gilad smiles... and sputters as he coughs out a mouthful of dust.

Groaning as he sits up, Gilad rubs his head, taking a look around the ruined building. "Are we... home?" he murmurs. His hand brushes against the diamond beside him; the bard holds it up into the light for a better look, and recognizes a remnant of the Owner's animated sword. "Pity, we made a good team in the end." Gilad muses to the diamond, with a faint grin. He glances down at the white sabre he discovered back in the Sun Falls. "Mayhaps we shall again, my sword could do with a handsome adornment..."

Pulling his thoughts away from enchantments and treasures for a moment, Gilad looks over to see how his friends are faring... and notices their band is one short. "Sigmund?" he calls, getting to his feet. "Already up and scouting, I'll wager..."
Vander
 player, 323 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Tue 2 Jan 2018
at 13:07
Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Vander wakes, bleary eyed and with a bit of a headache. His first thought it to look for Zanne, and upon finding her he head over and gently touches her hand. He then whispers her name until she wakes.
Shakru
 player, 287 posts
 Half-orc barbarian
 Hits 45 / 38 rec: 5/4
Thu 4 Jan 2018
at 21:11
Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Shakru grunted and turned over to one side, slowly he opened his eyes and saw the others laying there next to him. He groaned again and rolled back over onto his back

If I'm dead then the grand Druid is playing an evil joke on me and the afterlife really sucks, he thought to himself

But then the aches and pains in his body made him realize he was very much alive. That added to the lingering but receding presence of the owner in the back ressesses of his mind made him realize he'd actually survived his great sacrifice. On the one hand he was glad but on the other hand he felt slightly betrayed by fate for not letting him have his glorious death... Oh well maybe fate had an even greater end for him that would be sung at the fire side of Tribal gatherings for centuries to come.

With that thought in his mind he slowly pulled himself up onto his knees then onto his feet. Steadying himself he looked at the others with a big grin on his face "so my soft and fragile friends we survived our adventure" and he roared with laughter
Zanne
 player, 263 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Thu 4 Jan 2018
at 22:27
Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Zanne starts awake. "Vander!" she notices him by her and visibly relaxes. "You're.. okay?" she asks softly.
Vander
 player, 324 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Thu 4 Jan 2018
at 22:57
Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to Zanne (msg # 5):

"Slight headache...oh, and a real tragedy-my tunic got all messy! Look, I won't be able to fix that!" He shook his head with mock despair.

"Are you ok?" He then said, sounding actually worried as he took her hand gently.
Gilad Rott
 player, 364 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Fri 5 Jan 2018
at 02:51
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Shakru:
Steadying himself he looked at the others with a big grin on his face "so my soft and fragile friends we survived our adventure" and he roared with laughter


Gilad joins the orc with a hearty laugh of his own. "Yes... against all odds, we did." he smiles faintly. "How are you feeling now, my friend? You'd lost your bluster for a time there, under the Owner's spell..."

Stooping over to pick up his plumed hat, Gilad spies the glowing statuette resembling the Owner and halts in his tracks. "Vander... what became of our erstwhile host?" he calls, keeping his eyes on the curious sculpture.
Vander
 player, 325 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Fri 5 Jan 2018
at 03:03
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to Gilad Rott (msg # 7):

"Ummmm....he had an accident. Fell on a dagger with his neck...7 or 8 times. And after I warned him not to move, too. Real bad luck, that. Not as bad as the people he used as human shields mind you..."
he growled that part.

"I apologize if that upsets you, Zanne." He said to her, touching her cheek and smiling.
Gilad Rott
 player, 365 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Fri 5 Jan 2018
at 05:02
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"I shan't shed any tears for him." the bard answers simply, not altogether surprised to hear of their foe's demise. After the sights they saw in Brooken, it'd be hard to argue the Owner deserved any better fate.

"But there's the matter of this trinket..." Gilad indicates the statuette. "Perhaps it holds some inkling of our foe's power, perhaps it holds something far worse." he shrugs. "Perhaps he just had ego enough to craft magic lights in his image. Care to take a look, Zanne?"

As he calls the sorceress over, Gilad continues to study the statuette, trying to recall anything familiar about the enchantments weaved around it...


Gilad Rott rolled 18 using 1d20+10 with rolls of 8. INT + Wandering Minstrel.
Zanne
 player, 264 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Fri 5 Jan 2018
at 10:29
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"We gave him at least 7 or 8 chances to do this some other way. You'll have to work harder to upset me." Zanne meets his eyes and smiles, covering his hand with hers.

She glances over at Gilad. "All right," she sighs. "But you tend to do better at this than me." As she speaks she rolls herself up and moves to study the figurine.

23:34, Today: Zanne rolled 17 using 1d20+9 with rolls of 8. Int+Sorc.
The Empire
 GM, 821 posts
Sat 6 Jan 2018
at 12:51
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Neither Zanne nor Gilad gain any insight into the pulsing statuette, other than the obvious - this is a magical effect.
The Empire
 GM, 823 posts
Mon 8 Jan 2018
at 18:48
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
As you get to your feet you can see our through the shattered walls to the square. The burned and smoking ruins of Brooken lie beyond, with only blackened stone still standing. The square is strewn with scores of corpses, men women and children, none in uniform. Crows are picking over the bodies, which have been dead several days.

However, there is no doubt in your mind that you are in the real Brooken - what's left of it.
Vander
 player, 327 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Mon 8 Jan 2018
at 19:08
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Vander grips Zanne's hand a little tighter seeing the carnage. His face goes pale and he grinds his teeth. "We...we..." words monetarily escape him as the smell wafts over them all.

He gets clean cloth from his pack,  tearing it in half. He makes a rough filter for the nose and mouth, putting it on Zanne first. Then he uses the other half of the cloth for himself.

"We need to burn those bodies. " He finally says. Half choking, but weather from smell or despair he could not say.
The Empire
 GM, 824 posts
Mon 8 Jan 2018
at 19:09
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Also don't forget the still-sleeping villagers you rescued.
Zanne
 player, 266 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Wed 10 Jan 2018
at 01:52
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Leave it alone for now," Zanne suggests to Gilad. "If that's him, let's hope he's trapped, and if it's a relative, I don't want to start this all over again just yet."

Her face darkens as she notices the carnage and nods gratefully to Vander for his aid. "At least get them out of sight before the others wake up," she agrees. "Too many of them are going to have loved ones among the dead."

Looking around she adds "Where's Sigmund? I'd expect him to already be digging graves."
Gilad Rott
 player, 367 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Wed 10 Jan 2018
at 23:04
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Unable to make head or tails of the statuette, Gilad nods at Zanne's suggestion. Getting to his feet, the bard's face falls as he gets a clearer look at the desolation surrounding them. "Yes... this man and his art has caused enough harm already..."

But as he begins to take a step away from the statuette, the bard hears something from the pommel gem of the dancing blade...


A certain new item's making an INT check to weigh in on what the statuette is!

Gilad Rott rolled 27 using 1d20+15 with rolls of 12.  Sword Know-It-All INT check.
Gilad Rott rolled 17 using 1d20 with rolls of 17.  Recharge.

The Empire
 GM, 825 posts
Thu 11 Jan 2018
at 08:58
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
The gem speaks in a fussy, self-satisfied voice that you all hear in your head.

Ahem! Clearly the item in question is a speaking stone; you can communicate with whoever holds its counterpart. Just hold the stone to activate the spell. Turning to more salient matters, I seem to be missing a body. Please find me a suitable blade post-haste, one commensurate with my standing.
Gilad Rott
 player, 368 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Fri 12 Jan 2018
at 01:05
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Gilad blinks, caught off guard for a moment by the unexpected input from his new trinket. "Well... much obliged." the bard says at last, smiling faintly. "I think I've got a fine abode in mind for you..." he continues, patting his sabre. His brow furrowing inquisitively, Gilad holds the gem against the base of his sword's hilt, half-expecting it to fuse itself into the pommel. If such sorcery is beyond its abilities, alas, the bard resolves to find a craftsman to attach them through more conventional means.

Turning his attention back to the statuette, Gilad ponders who-- or what-- the Owner has been speaking with through this stone. Zanne's probably right, meddling with this could well be an invitation to more trouble, but Gilad's never been one to pass on a mystery. The bard reaches down and picks up the speaking stone...
Vander
 player, 328 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Fri 12 Jan 2018
at 03:20
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Vander looked back at the sleeping townsfolk. Then he held Zanne's hand.  He then headed over to the many, many bodies and proceeded to start to lay them in rows. Zanne could burn them later,  after they where ID'd. Of course, that would Be after the sleeper awoke and faced this horror.

After laying out his third child, next to someone who may or may not be a parent, Vander needed a break. He actually raised the mask and threw up a bit. Then he stabbed the ground for no sensible reason. Then he wiped his eyes and got back to work.

He made sure Zanne did NOT do this work with him...he would not allow it. She could deal with the magic talking rock...or whatever. He would spare her this, even if he wished someone would spare him this. However, it needed doing.
Shakru
 player, 290 posts
 Half-orc barbarian
 Hits 45 / 38 rec: 5/4
Mon 15 Jan 2018
at 10:13
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Shakru watched the little man starting to move the bodies and laid his axe against the ruins and stepped out after him.

With just a nod the half orc lifted a body as gently as possible on each shoulder and moved them to where Vander was arranging them.

When it came to the children the huge barbarian lifted them gently into his arms and cradled them as he carried them to their final resting place.

He continued like this until the work was done
The Empire
 GM, 827 posts
Sun 21 Jan 2018
at 14:17
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
As soon Gilad touches the statue it flares with a white light before becoming animate, turning to look at Gilad with somehow shrewd eyes. A tinny voice sounds out.

So you are awake at last. Excellent. I am known as the Third Arbitrator and I have been assigned as you judge for the murder of one of our kind, known to you as the Owner. The sentence of death has already been passed, but I am empowered to suspend the sentence indefinitely if you help us unwind a little local difficulty that, in a real sense, is your fault anyway. You see, unlike yourselves, Sigmund had the strength of will to look into the mulitverse. He sought out his heart's desire, a reality where he ruled over an unchallenged Empire. He experienced his whole path to power, a series of improbably victories, alliances and betrayals leading to Sigmund as the supreme leader of the world. But as he followed events, your Sigmund connected with the Sigmund that walked this path in reality. Not, like him, a moral man steeped in honour and nobility, but an unwanted bastard raised by a bitter uncle who wanted nothing more to use him as a proxy to the throne. This Sigmund has consumed the spirit of your friend, but retains his knowledge of events. Sigmund has butchered his way to power, and his perfect foresight leaves all of his enemies ploys in the dust. The only ones than can stop him are you for you , like Sigmund, are not wholly bound to this reality.

Would make sense if those going to bury the bodies stopped and listed to this exchange first I think.
Vander
 player, 329 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Sun 21 Jan 2018
at 17:03
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to The Empire (msg # 21):

Vander stopped and listened to the voice with horror and rage. "Our fault!? This piece of crap was enslaving people and using them as human shields! You hand out judgement, and you don't take his actions into account!?" He wanted to stab the voice,  but that was silly.
Shakru
 player, 291 posts
 Half-orc barbarian
 Hits 45 / 38 rec: 5/4
Sun 21 Jan 2018
at 19:46
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Shakru barked a laugh "they are all the same these beings, they are just annoyed that we killed one of their own..."

He looked at the statue with discussed on his face "but if our friend is in danger then we must do all we can to help"
Gilad Rott
 player, 369 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Mon 22 Jan 2018
at 02:22
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Conquered an empire for himself while we were out napping? Sigmund always was a go-getter." the bard attempts a quip, but his tone falls flat, his face lined with obvious concern for their comrade.

"If what you say is true," Gilad addresses the Arbitrator, taking a deep breath, "we accept your terms. We've not a high opinion of your 'law', but we owe it to Sigmund to undo whatever evil's twisted his mind. But answer me this: You're not of our world, why does it concern you who rules these lands?"
Vander
 player, 330 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Mon 22 Jan 2018
at 15:53
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to Gilad Rott (msg # 24):

"It's a trick!" Vander said to Gilad. "These...things are liars! They won't honor any promise they make! Best to fight them now while we still can!"
The Empire
 GM, 828 posts
Wed 24 Jan 2018
at 06:56
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
The statue contrives to look a little shamefaced as it answers Gilad. We also have rules we must abide by. The sequence of events around your exit from the demi-plane has caused a potential reality to become active in the local node, and may even form the dominant braid. Which nobody wants. Besides, totalitarian empires are always bad for business.
Zanne
 player, 267 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Wed 24 Jan 2018
at 23:23
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Our fault," Zanne snorts. "Like we didn't give him enough chances to survive. If that's what you call guilty, it's just another reason to ignore judges and their "law". But..." she sighs. "Vander. Leaving the stupid talking rock out of it- it's Sigmund. We can't just abandon His Royal Highness, even to himself. We owe him that much. Besides-" she gives him a crooked grin "Royal reward, remember?"
Vander
 player, 331 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Wed 24 Jan 2018
at 23:43
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to Zanne (msg # 27):

Vander looked like he wanted to stab the talking stone...as if that would do any good. However, Zanne made his anger melt away, and he grinned back at her. "If I get one evening of dinner and dancing with you, it's reward enough." He kissed her hand, and glared at the statue.
Gilad Rott
 player, 370 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Thu 25 Jan 2018
at 07:20
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"What a shame, I hope we haven't inconvenienced you too terribly." Gilad smirks as he answers the Arbitrator, amused by their judge's discomfort. "Of course, since it's in your best interests to see this matter resolved as expeditiously as possible, I'm sure you have all manner of aid and assistance ready to shower upon us, don't you?" he winks. "We'd even be willing to accept your generous offer, provided there are no strings-- or braids, in your case-- attached."
The Empire
 GM, 830 posts
Mon 29 Jan 2018
at 15:39
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Sadly we cannot intervene directly, but are willing to provide information. Most of the powers you know from your reality have fallen before the Final Empire. The Elf Queen endures still, flitting from from stronghold to stronghold. The Prince of Shadows has gone to ground somewhere. Some elements of the old Imperial army still resist the usurper. And the Orc Lord still fights with what's left of his armies. The High Druid has fared the best, waging a guerrilla war against the legions of the Final Empire. His forces are scattered over half the continent, making him harder to pin down. This region of the Empire is settled, give or take the odd rebellion. Brooken was razed by the Seventh Legion for withholding tribute two days ago. The force may still be in the area.

What happens next is up to you. I suggest you try and make contact with one of the many enemies Sigmund has made, but I wish to remain ignorant of your exact plans. This device may be used two more times to contact me. I suggest you do not waste it. Are there any more questions before your rebellions begins?

Vander
 player, 332 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Mon 29 Jan 2018
at 15:44
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to The Empire (msg # 30):

"Yes. Any chance of you inter-dimensional bastards go twaddle off to whatever hell you vermin managed to escape from and never come back after we do this?" Vander said with a fake smile.

This message was last edited by the player at 15:44, Mon 29 Jan 2018.

Gilad Rott
 player, 371 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Tue 30 Jan 2018
at 23:43
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Took the words right from my mouth." Gilad grins to Vander. He waits a minute, should Shakru or Zanne have anything to ask the Arbitrator, then stows the statuette headfirst into his pack.

"I wouldn't trust anything our 'judge' just told us, but I fear his words must bear some truth; we'll notice soon enough if the Empire's fallen under new authority." the bard addresses his friends, once their conversation with the Arbitrator has concluded. "I've half a mind to head straight for Axis, and find out for ourselves if Sigmund's still the man we knew."
Shakru
 player, 292 posts
 Half-orc barbarian
 Hits 45 / 38 rec: 5/4
Sat 3 Feb 2018
at 18:06
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"I say we head to the high Druids followers if what this stone says has any truth to it they seem to be having the most effect against the final empire. They might be in a better position to listen to us and act with us once we work out what needs to be done" stated Shakru
The Empire
 GM, 831 posts
Mon 5 Feb 2018
at 06:47
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Vander:
"Any chance of you inter-dimensional bastards go twaddle off to whatever hell you vermin managed to escape from and never come back after we do this?" Vander said with a fake smile.

Only if you succeed...

With that, the statuette becomes inanimate once again. As you head out into the square to deal with the corpses, you see a lone figure enter from the other side. There is something familiar about him... with a shock, you recognise your old comrade Durum!
Gilad Rott
 player, 372 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Mon 5 Feb 2018
at 08:50
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Wait, is that...?" Gilad squints as he catches sight the advancing figure. Instinctively, he reaches for his blade... but as the dwarf comes into view, Gilad's hand falls, and a smile spreads over the bard's face.

"Well I'll be... Durum!" Gilad calls, waving to the druid. "Have we got a story to tell you! You and Vethryn make it out of that Hell Pit all right?" the bard strides forward, but his grin fades as he remembers the Arbitrator's words. Gilad studies Durum's face for any glimmer of recognition, wondering how much of their own past has been rewritten in this altered world...
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 197 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Tue 6 Feb 2018
at 03:24
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Durum stares at the heroes with his mismatched eyes. His toes seem to dig into the earth as he considers what to say.

"My name is Durum Stoneguard. We've never met, yet somehow you recognize me. Who are you? How did you come to be here?" His voice is deep and grating almost like stone grinding against stone.
Vander
 player, 333 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Tue 6 Feb 2018
at 03:44
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to Durum Stoneguard (msg # 36):

"Durum...it's us! You must remember me! I annoyed the hell out of you most of the time!"

He looks back at Zanne. "Don't worry, he really loves me like son...well, maybe a grumpy uncle..." He grinned at her. Then he turns back to the dwarf. "You must remember Zanne! Nobody forgets her!"

This message was last edited by the player at 03:44, Tue 06 Feb 2018.

Durum Stoneguard
 player, 198 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Tue 6 Feb 2018
at 05:16
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"If we had met, I'm sure I would remember. And yet I suspect you're right and you'll annoy the hell out of me most of the time. But at least we're starting to make progress."

He turns to Zanne and gives her a slight bow. "I take it you're Zanne. I was tasked with meeting the heroes who can defeat the Final Empire. If you could gather your friends and perhaps tell me their names?"
Gilad Rott
 player, 373 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Tue 6 Feb 2018
at 06:47
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Most extraordinary!" Gilad muses, stroking his chin as he listens to the exchange between Durum and his friends. As their onetime ally asks their names, the bard clears his throat to get his attention.

"Gilad Rott, wandering minstrel, weaver of tales, and sometime treasure hunter, at your service!" the bard affects a sweeping bow. "And while 'tis a pity our last meeting has been lost to antiquity, Master Stoneguard, I relish the unique opportunity to make a second first impression!"

Gilad pauses a moment, giving the others a chance to make their introductions.

"Now, you say you came here to recruit our merry band for a dangerous, heroic undertaking? 'Twould seem history repeats itself! Pray tell, were you tasked with this mission by the High Druid? Is the High Ark still nearby?"
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 199 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Tue 6 Feb 2018
at 07:05
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Obviously you know something about the High Druid. The High Ark is somewhat nearby but it isn't threatened; at least not yet. Our concerns are more terrestrial. If you look around you, you can see what the Emperor Sigmund is doing to the people who do not support him strongly enough.

"The High Druid continues to fight against him, but we lose battle after battle. It is as if Sigmund knows exactly what will happen. The High Druid believes you can break this cycle and give us a chance to kill Sigmund."

Gilad Rott
 player, 374 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Fri 9 Feb 2018
at 00:28
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Kill Sigmund... hmn." Gilad repeats Durum's words, frowning to himself. "Hopefully it shan't come to that, but we've no love for tyrants, and we'll do all we can to see the land freed from oppression. Are any more of the Druid's forces nearby? Perhaps we could convene with them, get word of the Emperor's activity..."

The bard pauses, taking a look around at the remaining townsfolk of Brooken, the few who'd survived the sojourn between realities. "We've another matter... these last survivors of Brooken, they've gone through the same ordeal we have, and now they've a lot more to take in. Ah, reality's rewritten itself around us, you see. It's complicated." he smiles apologetically. "Still, we need to help them to shelter before our campaign of regicide can begin in earnest. Can any of your fellow druids aid them?"
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 200 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Sat 10 Feb 2018
at 05:40
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"I can get word to the others, they should be able to help these survivors," Durum responds. "Having more of our forces join you would result in defeat. Sigmund knows what we're doing before we do. The High Druid believes that you four are immune to this power of his. Hopefully my presence won't take away that advantage; more certainly would.

"I have a way to contact the High Druid, but it is a limited resource. Be certain before you have me use it."

Gilad Rott
 player, 375 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Sun 11 Feb 2018
at 01:05
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Gilad nods thoughtfully. "Sounds like we're on our own, friends. If we've an empire to overthrow, I suggest we start at the top, or the closest we can manage. I'm inclined to make for Axis and look for a way to infiltrate the court, what do you think?"
Zanne
 player, 268 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Tue 13 Feb 2018
at 05:25
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Axis, yes, but I'd rather know more about the situation before we get set on a plan. We don't know if this Sigmund would recognise us on sight. That would be bad."
Gilad Rott
 player, 376 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Wed 14 Feb 2018
at 19:42
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"True, I'm eager to learn more about what's changed in the world... including ourselves." the bard muses. "Have we counterparts in this altered reality, as Sigmund does? And if so, have their lives taken turns as different from ours as this Emperor's has?" he furrows his brow. "Can't say I'd mind if the Gilad Rott of this Empire has been more, ah, frugal with his coin..."

"At any rate, for now we are simply travelers, on our way to Axis. You're right, let's get the lay of the land before we decide our next move."
The Empire
 GM, 835 posts
Wed 28 Feb 2018
at 15:32
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Meanwhile the villagers are slowly regaining consciousness. Sadly their joy at escaping the dark dimension is quickly eclipsed by the desolate version of Brooken they awake to. But what will you tell them about their predicament, and what do you suggest they do now?
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 202 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Fri 2 Mar 2018
at 05:31
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Durum looks around at all the survivors and frowns. He gestures to the adventures to come closer.

"If these people stay here, they will be killed when the next patrol passes through. I didn't realize how many there are when you asked me earlier. This is too large a group to sneak to safety. If you want them to survive, we will have to fight Imperial troops."
Vander
 player, 334 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Fri 2 Mar 2018
at 13:54
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"It is possible to magically hide them?" He suggested, looking at Zanne at the other spell chucker types.
Gilad Rott
 player, 377 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Sun 4 Mar 2018
at 03:23
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"You can't be serious." Gilad turns to Durum, incredulous. "Why-- why would the Imperial troops attack them? Look at them, they're harmless! They've done nothing wrong!" But despite Gilad's protests, the look in Durum's eyes tells him this is no jest. Clenching his fists, the bard lowers his head.

"You know the land better than us, master Stoneguard." Gilad continues after a moment, in a calmer voice. "We need to find a defendable position... where shall we make our stand?"
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 203 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Tue 6 Mar 2018
at 06:35
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"The five of us against an Imperial patrol?" Durum's deep voice conveys a hint of doubt. "We're all going to die eventually, I guess here is as good a place as any. If the four of you wish to risk everything defending these innocents, I will stand with you.

"I would suggest setting an ambush rather than letting the Imperials control the flow of battle. If we move these people to a deep valley or other terrain feature that will channel the Imperials, we can then conceal ourselves and, as the Imperials move in for the kill, we strike. If we survive, it will be the first victory against the Imperial forces in some time.

"Can any of these people fight? If so, perhaps they can help defend the others while we deal a killing blow against the patrol."

Zanne
 player, 269 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Tue 6 Mar 2018
at 10:13
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"It might," Zanne answers Vander. "There's an interesting question about that. I'm tied to- well, I don't know how my magic will work here. But it's as good a time as any to figure that out." She begins to pace around. "Let's see, I could..." her voice trails off, but her lips keep moving as she paces.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:45, Tue 06 Mar 2018.

Vander
 player, 335 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Tue 6 Mar 2018
at 16:38
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to Durum Stoneguard (msg # 50):

"I think we should do Durum's plan and Zanne's plan. We see if she can magically hide the people until the Imperials move on. If not, we can force them into a narrow place where their numbers won't be as much as an advantage..." He points out.
Zanne
 player, 270 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Wed 14 Mar 2018
at 08:47
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Zanne shakes her head in irritation. "That might... but.. damn it all!" She turns and begins rummaging through her pack, eventually pulling out the magic mirror. "Hey, Priestess, are you still there?"
The Empire
 GM, 837 posts
Wed 14 Mar 2018
at 10:59
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
The mirror turns misty, then the visage of the priestess manifests, looking around with a satisfied expression. You all hear her voice in your heads.

So you escaped the pocket dimension. Excellent! I had no wish to live out my existence in that  grim domain.

She appears puzzled for a second, then assumes a knowing expression.

However, it appears you have returned to an alternate reality. How amusing... so, what is it you need this time?
Zanne
 player, 271 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Thu 22 Mar 2018
at 03:44
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Amusing?" Zanne snorts. "Sure. I need to get a bunch of people to safety. I know it can be done... but I'm not sure how in this place."
Vander
 player, 336 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Thu 22 Mar 2018
at 15:11
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to The Empire (msg # 54):

"Yeah-we are not having an a good time here. We could use some help." Vander said, a little annoyed that their dire situation was mocked. Only he was allowed to do that...
The Empire
 GM, 838 posts
Sun 25 Mar 2018
at 12:34
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
The priestess looks thoughtful for a moment. Yes.. I suppose my knowledge and craft can direct your species' natural powers. I believe... yes, I can perform this spell with you, but at a cost. You must consume the mirror and free my soul to power the magic.
Zanne
 player, 272 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Tue 27 Mar 2018
at 21:33
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Zanne glances around at the others but then shrugs. "Well, I don't see a lot of other options," she says, as much to them as the priestess. "If it means we can get these folks somewhere safe... sure, you got a deal. What do I have to do, just break the mirror or build a fire, or what?"
The Empire
 GM, 841 posts
Thu 5 Apr 2018
at 06:33
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
After some discussion and magical experimentation the priestess determines the maximum range of the teleportation and you figure out a suitable destination, somewhere that you have visited before and can visualise. You settle on Riverfall, a large trading town in the Giantstep Mountains close to the High Dock hills, around 100 miles Northwest of Axis.

Everyone gather together is a circle as close as you can...

Giving you a few days to react, otherwise you will be teleported at the weekend :)
The Empire
 GM, 842 posts
Mon 9 Apr 2018
at 10:22
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
The priestess taps into Zanne's racial power, vastly magnified by the destruction of the mirror. There is a surge of magic, a moment of bright light and universal transcendence, then your reappear on a snow-covered escarpment half a mile above the road leading to Riverfall. The wind is freezing and the villagers immediately begin to shiver with cold.

One of the villagers, a young malnourished woman, raises her gaze and looks around in wonder and satisfaction.

"At last!" She truns to Zanne, a wicked smile on her face, before disappearing in a flash of mana. Her last words linger in the frigid air.

"My thanks for the new body. Now if you will excuse me, I have important work to do"
Vander
 player, 337 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Mon 9 Apr 2018
at 14:29
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to The Empire (msg # 60):

Vander moves to throw a dagger at the woman's neck...but she was already gone. "I really hate those scum!" He snarls, and kicks a clot of dirt.
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 206 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Tue 10 Apr 2018
at 22:36
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Who, or what, did you just unleash upon my world?" Durum asks. "Try to remember this is likely your world now as well."
Zanne
 player, 273 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Wed 11 Apr 2018
at 00:34
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"DAMN IT!" Zanne shouts in frustration as Vander throws his dagger. She turns her temper on the dwarf. "I don't know what she is, and I didn't hear other plans! Now, let's get the rest out of the cold before we lose everyone and then you can continue to blame me for what happened!"
Vander
 player, 338 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Wed 11 Apr 2018
at 18:40
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to Durum Stoneguard (msg # 62):

"Hey, Zanne just saved the lives of all these people!" Vander snapped at Durum. "If we did not exceed to that...things...demands, they may all well be dead! Not that we knew the thing could possess people!"
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 207 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Wed 11 Apr 2018
at 22:24
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
As Zanne and Vander turn on him with anger, Durum stands silently and listens to what they're saying. Once they finish, he nods to them slightly.

"I apologize," he says, his voice lower and more gravelly then normal. "Saving these people is important and the right thing to do, but.." he falls silent with a shrug.

He glances at the people who were saved. "We still need someplace safe for them."
Gilad Rott
 player, 378 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Mon 16 Apr 2018
at 19:16
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Gilad grimaces as the priestess vanishes, musing over her final words. "I don't like the sound of that... still, we did what we had to." he idly strums his kantele, in tune with the howling wind, "Let's not dwell upon our erstwhile benefactress and her motives, when we've more pressing concerns..."

Peering down the slope towards Riverfall, the bard straightens his hat. "We'll catch our death out here, best make it into town. And best make sure we've got our story straight, wouldn't do to go about advertising we've slipped through another reality." he looks over his friends, and the shivering townsfolk. "Refugees, of course, but from a calamity that shan't arouse the local authorities' suspicions. Mayhaps an emerging hellhole, like the one we encountered with Master Stoneguard's counterpart. We can certainly recall the clockwork demons in detail... what do you think?"
Vander
 player, 339 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Mon 23 Apr 2018
at 17:55
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"We don't need to lie, or go into explicit detail. We can let the many people Zanne just rescued give the truth to our story. So let's get them squared away and safe before anything else happens." Vander pointed out. "The fact they are here and need help should be the priority. The rest will sort itself out."
Zanne
 player, 274 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Mon 23 Apr 2018
at 21:14
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Zanne gives a smile to Vander, clearly touched by his support. "I think our dwarf would know the best story," she points out to Gilad. "Being both a native and an expert in how things should be done."
Gilad Rott
 player, 379 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Tue 24 Apr 2018
at 05:16
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Don't need to lie?" Gilad arches an eyebrow at Vander's declaration. "Careful, Zanne, you're making an honest man out of him!" the bard grins for a moment, but his smile fades as he considers their position. "I wish that were so, but if this realm is truly as far under the yoke of oppression as we're told, I fear we've no choice but to hold our tongues. Brooken lies in ruins, razed by the imperial army-- how do you think 'loyal' citizens of this empire will treat her refugees?"

"But you're right, our guide knows this land better than us." he answers Zanne, and gives the dwarf a nod. "Your counsel is welcome, of course, Master Stoneguard. For now, seems we've little time to spare, I suggest we get ourselves to Riverfall..."
Vander
 player, 340 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Tue 24 Apr 2018
at 14:42
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to Gilad Rott (msg # 69):

"I am honest. She is honestly perfect in every way, expect her taste in men which I cannot understand-but am more than willing to take advantage of." He grinned at Zanne. "Having a place in mind for these people is the best plan I have heard yet. Let's get going to Riverfall."
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 208 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Wed 25 Apr 2018
at 03:23
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Given that the Emperor ordered the slaughter of Brooken," Durum says slowly. "I wouldn't expect them to find safe haven in any of his cities. They are mostly likely believed to be dead, so if they don't draw attention to themselves and break up into smaller groups..." He falls silent with a shrug.

He looks directly at Zanne. "I don't know what to tell you. I wasn't expecting more than the four heroes. I don't want to see these people die, but people do die and many have already. Many more will die if we cannot stop the Emperor. I am a druid, but I'm more warrior that mage."
The Empire
 GM, 845 posts
Tue 1 May 2018
at 12:04
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Moving fast to avoid the biting cold, you shepherd the villagers down the escarpment to the road leading to Riverfall, which comes into view as you round a high down. You remember the town fondly. It is set into a terraced hillside, and the river above is diverted into a hundred different streams, pools and waterfalls that crisscross the city, before rejoining the river to flow into the valley below. The water in the streams is warm from underground springs and an almost tropical haze of heat surrounds the town, creating a micro-climate where tropical lianas, palms and fruit grow trees grow in every courtyard and garden.

What you see before you, however, is a sad shadow of that charming town. By the look of it most the intricate waterworks have been demolished or damaged, and the town has been stripped bare of vegetation. The streets seem half empty; however a dozen Imperial guards stand outside the gate where your road ends, questioning the small line of peasants trying to enter...
Gilad Rott
 player, 380 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Wed 2 May 2018
at 18:50
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"By ourselves, I'd suggest finding another way to slip into town..." Gilad mutters, face falling as he sees the guards awaiting them up ahead. "But we've too many for that. We'll have to brave the front gate." he tugs his cloak closer around his chest.

Should none of his allies suggest otherwise, the bard leads the refugees towards the gate, holding out hope that between the enchantments of old Niftt's doublet and Gilad's own silver tongue, they might yet talk their way through...
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 209 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Thu 3 May 2018
at 02:39
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"If the guards recognize me, they'll try to kill me," Durum says flatly. "And likely everyone with me. I'll take down many of them in the process, but I have no illusions of immortality."

With a silent shrug, he follows Gilad toward the gates. As he walks, he hums quietly to himself. His bare feet sink slightly into the stone and earth of the packed roadway yet he leaves no more tracks than another traveler.
Vander
 player, 341 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Thu 3 May 2018
at 14:31
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"I am very good and getting into and out of places. There may be a black market or underground method for getting inside." Vander pointed out. "If they have an underground stream, they might have underground passages as well."
Gilad Rott
 player, 381 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Thu 3 May 2018
at 17:30
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Then I hope you've some means of staying unrecognized." the bard remarks, halting in his tracks as Durum brings up his own infamy. "Er... do you?"
Zanne
 player, 275 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Tue 8 May 2018
at 02:57
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Well, how likely is that?" Zanne slows down a bit as she asks the dwarf. "Can we get by with a fake name, or is your picture posted at every gate?"
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 210 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Tue 8 May 2018
at 03:12
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Durum pauses to consider the questions. As he ponders, a grey squirrel darts from the underbrush and climbs to his shoulder. Absentmindedly, he pulls an acorn from a pouch and hands it to the squirrel. As the happy creature darts away, Durum answers.

"I haven't stood in an arena in nearly twenty years. I look quite different since then, a fake name should be sufficient. But there is a chance my former fame will cause problems."

He frowns slightly, "If they search me," he adds as he lifts his shirt revealing a belt made of finest leather and studded with gemstones. "This might give me away. Do any of you have magic that could disguise it?"
The Empire
 GM, 847 posts
Thu 10 May 2018
at 11:16
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
You approach the gates, gaining some comfort from the fact that all of the peasants queuing have been admitted. Only as you are closer do you realise they are all showing some sort of glyphstone to the guard sergeant. Durum hasn't seen this before, but it's been a while since he entered an Imperial town.

Up close the guards look tired and out of sorts, although their armour and weapons are gleaming. The sargeant calls out as you approach. "Form an orderly queue and present your permissions!"
Gilad Rott
 player, 382 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Thu 10 May 2018
at 21:35
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Gilad waves the townsfolk to follow the guard's order, filing behind him as he steps forward. "We've no passes." Gilad tells the sergeant, adopting a gruff, plain voice. Straight talk seems like it'll get farther with his type than eloquence. "Lost most of our group scouting out in the Sun Falls, ran into this lot on our way back." he points a thumb back at the peasants. "Hellhole opened up near High Dock, caught a glimpse of it. Swalllowed their town whole. Ain't got much but the clothes on their backs. Tough luck all around, huh?" he manages a weary smirk.


Gilad Rott rolled 29 using 1d20+18 with rolls of 11.  CHA + Wandering Minstrel (includes Nfft's Doublet).
The Empire
 GM, 848 posts
Sun 13 May 2018
at 12:57
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
The sargeant looks to one of his subordinates. "Nothing about it in the daily roster sarge, but sometimes things get missed"

The man shrugs. "Alright, head for the travelers' barracks for now and stay put until we can confirm your story and give you your passes. Through the gates and head left until the square with the fountain."
Gilad Rott
 player, 383 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Mon 14 May 2018
at 19:25
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
With a thankful nod to the sergeant, Gilad motions for the others to follow him into Riverfall. "Bought ourselves some time, but they're bound to be back with more questions." he whispers to his companions, once they're out of earshot of the guard post. "I say we play along for now, get a warm meal out of the barracks if we can, and slip out after nightfall." With a frown, he looks over at the Brooken folk, before turning back to his fellow adventurers. "We... we probably can't all make it out. I'll let them know the risks, any who want to chance it can stay. May yet be safer for them than the the path we're taking..."
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 211 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Tue 15 May 2018
at 01:08
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"If the guards discover they're from Brooken, they will be questioned. Such questioning will reveal that they arrived with you from elsewhere," Durum says softly. "Or they might just be killed. Either way, not something we want.

"We may need to take drastic action,"
he looks at the group. "The war has to start somewhere right? Perhaps it should start here."

Edit: Fixed a typo.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:09, Tue 15 May 2018.

Vander
 player, 343 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Tue 15 May 2018
at 02:56
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to Gilad Rott (msg # 82):

"Maybe we can get them some sort of...city contract?" Vander gestured towards the refugees that followed them. "If we can get them all organized as a work force, they could get money for food and board for their families."
Gilad Rott
 player, 384 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Tue 15 May 2018
at 19:52
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"How drastic are we talking?" Gilad answers Durum. "Even if we can liberate Riverfall ourselves, we can hardly defend it from the Imperial army without backup from the High Druid or another patron."

"'Twould be ideal... if we could avoid questions about our pasts." the bard muses over Vander's suggestion. "Speaking of our pasts, I don't suppose you knew anyone around these parts with a knack for forgery, did you? The world's changed itself quite a bit, but some old habits die hard..."
Vander
 player, 344 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Tue 15 May 2018
at 20:47
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to Gilad Rott (msg # 85):

"I can find out. I have a talent for this sort of work. I will meet back up with you once I learn more." He nodded at Gilad, headed over to Zanne and kissed her, and then headed off to see if he could find where the forgers in town worked out of.

(OOC-Can I do this sorta thing with my thief background and a roll?)
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 212 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Tue 15 May 2018
at 20:52
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"The High Druid doesn't have an army," Durum replies to Gilad. "The other Icons have already fallen to the Final Emperor. There isn't an army to face his. He has perfect foresight and wins every battle. The High Druid believes that you four can defeat him because somehow he cannot foresee your actions."

This message was last edited by the player at 23:50, Tue 15 May 2018.

Zanne
 player, 276 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Tue 15 May 2018
at 22:23
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Zanne kisses Vander back. "Be careful. And watch your back," she says, touching his face gently. "I still want that dance."

"Are you sure?" she asks Durum. "That they've fallen, I mean. If the Queen is gone, shouldn't I be... she gestures vaguely "less... talented?"
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 213 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Tue 15 May 2018
at 23:49
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Fallen, not dead," Durum says sadly. "They have fallen under his control. But some smoldering embers of rebellion still burn in them. Give them hope and things may change."
Gilad Rott
 player, 385 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Thu 24 May 2018
at 23:31
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Hope, yes..." Gilad muses over Durum's words. "You may be right, my friend, but if the only advantage we hold over Sigmund is that we can escape his notice, I'd avoid drawing attention to ourselves until it becomes unavoidable. For now, let's keep a low profile while we see what Vander can dig up..."
The Empire
 GM, 850 posts
Mon 28 May 2018
at 11:43
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Vander scours the town trying to locate the criminal underbelly, but has no luck in his search. His subtle inquiries are rebuffed, and the less salubrious taverns are boarded up and empty. After a fruitless hour or two he draws too conclusions: the population of Riverfall is has been severely depleted, and those left are fearful of strangers...
Vander
 player, 346 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Mon 28 May 2018
at 16:48
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Vander comes back to the group, clearly angry and annoyed. "I may need to give it a few more tries. Most people around here are not too found of outsiders, despite having a low population in the first place. However, that may be our way in. If the newcomers are willing to work for their place here-then Riverfall may have to accept them. Their population is too low to turn away potential workers."
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 214 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Wed 30 May 2018
at 22:02
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"These people don't have papers," Durum says. "The guards are already looking into your story explaining why they're here. Conflict is rushing headlong toward us now."

He looks at Vander, "Why do you think the population here is so low? The Final Emperor doesn't tolerate any resistance and always knows when it is coming. His not being aware of what is happening right now tells me the High Druid is right about you. But soon he will know about this weakness."
Gilad Rott
 player, 386 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Fri 1 Jun 2018
at 23:25
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"If we must fight, we'll fight." the bard answers Durum. "But even if we can defeat all Riverfall's occupiers-- and I'm flattered you think us capable of that feat, of course-- we'd be inviting reprisal upon the town and its folk, and we'd be no closer to Sigmund ourselves. "

Gilad looks up at the barracks looming ahead. "I say we play along for now, keep a low profile until the night, but keep our eyes and ears open. See what we can find out about how many are stationed here, perhaps how often other troops come through. Better yet, find out if there are any obvious marks here we might, ahem, 'liberate' some convincing passes from."

"And after nightfall, we'll have to make our choice. If we've a chance of quelling the soldiers here without word getting out for at least a few days-- long enough to put some miles between us and Riverfall-- it may be worth the risk. If not, we'd do better to slip out quietly, preferably with some documentation that can get us past whatever other checkpoints are between here and Axis."

Durum Stoneguard
 player, 215 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Sat 2 Jun 2018
at 19:02
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Getting a small group to Axis undetected isn't the problem," Durum says. "Keeping the survivors of Brooken safe is. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think here is safe for them. I'm not sure where is.

"I will back you no matter what. You're our only hope for freedom. Long ago I decided I would die before serving the Emperor again."

Zanne
 player, 277 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Mon 4 Jun 2018
at 01:57
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Is there any wiggle room for the survivors?" Zanne asks the druid. " If we vanish and they claim their homes were eatern by a hellhole, like Gilad said, and that we lied to them too... do they get wiped out on general principles or does the heat come after us?"

This message was last edited by the player at 02:45, Mon 04 June 2018.

Durum Stoneguard
 player, 216 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Mon 4 Jun 2018
at 02:24
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Honestly, I have no idea," Durum says. "Usually the imperial forces are ready when a Hellhole opens. His foresight isn't limited to human activities. As far as I know, his purges don't leave survivors ... so that might work in their favor.

"This may be their best chance. They'll be basically enslaved but that's true of almost everyone in this Empire."


A flash of sadness breaks his stoic expression. "All of you, I'm sorry. This isn't a happy world you stumbled into. I wish I could take away this bitter cup and send you back to the obviously happy world you come from but I cannot."
Vander
 player, 347 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Mon 4 Jun 2018
at 04:31
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"There has to be a black market here." Vander points out. "Every time a tyrant tightens his grip, enough desperate or cunning folk always find space between his fingers." He sighed.

"That being said, teaching these people to live in the wilderness might be the best option for now. We do have a druid with us to help in that a regard..."
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 217 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Tue 5 Jun 2018
at 02:14
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Durum looks at Vander with a curious expression. "They are within the walls and housed in a guarded location while the guards verify the story you told. Do you think the guards will just let them walk out?"
Zanne
 player, 278 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Tue 5 Jun 2018
at 02:48
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"More like it's not hard to sneak people out of a city that's been smashed to pieces," Zanne says. "Old waterways, for one, or hidden tunnels..."
Vander
 player, 348 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Tue 5 Jun 2018
at 14:53
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to Zanne (msg # 100):

"You are so smart! And yet you let me hang around you. I never will understand that lapse in judgement, but I will gladly take advantage of it!" He chuckled, and moved to tickle Zanne until his hands are slapped away.

"I should try to find all hidden ways into the town, and doubtless the local thieves' guild will make their presence known to me. Most likely with threats and such-unless I can offer them something valuable. I will have to wait and see what they want."
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 218 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Wed 6 Jun 2018
at 22:22
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Durum shakes his head sadly. "Vander, where do you think the Final Emperor first started his purges? Thieves' Guilds across the Empire fell one after the other. He would tell his forces go to this city and be at this location at this time. Arrest everyone there and kill those who resist.

"He has perfect foresight. He always knows what is going to happen. It makes his men impossible to defeat. Some will die in the battle, but he always sends enough men to win.

"If he takes to the field of battle, he is an unstoppable force. He doesn't need to parry an attack as he simply steps aside. His strikes always hit and always find the weak points in his opponent's armor.

"I keep trying to tell you this, but it doesn't seem to sink in. He always knows. The Thieves' Guilds are gone. Most of them are dead. Others are in prison or fighting for him."

Vander
 player, 349 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Thu 7 Jun 2018
at 14:51
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to Durum Stoneguard (msg # 102):

"So you are saying he's some sort of God?" Vander looked skeptically at that. "If that's the case then we would all be better off in the wilderness...unless he controls all that too?"
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 219 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Thu 7 Jun 2018
at 18:20
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"As I said, the High Druid believes that you are immune to his foresight. I can't make decisions because he would become aware," Durum says. "I don't know if the others share your immunity."

This message was last edited by the player at 21:22, Sat 09 June 2018.

Vander
 player, 350 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Thu 7 Jun 2018
at 19:14
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to Durum Stoneguard (msg # 104):

"Ok-so we can kill the bastard. Sounds good. But if we are immune to his foresight, then can't we find a place these people could be safe without him knowing about it?" He pointed out. "Tell your high druid I will take the contract on the man if he, master of wild-finds a safe place for all these people in said wilderness. Most of them where farmers anyways..."
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 220 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Fri 8 Jun 2018
at 04:29
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"If the High Druid or I decide to protect these people, the Final Emperor will know. And those you wish saved would be doomed.

"I suspect the decision to send me to meet with you is what caused the purge of Booken. If a decision is made that impacts his interests, he knows. You heroes are the only people we believe is immune to this. I don't know if it extends to the survivors of Booken who arrived with you.

"The longer we discuss this, the more small decisions I have to make. Each makes it more likely that his attention will be drawn here."

This message was last edited by the player at 21:22, Sat 09 June 2018.

Zanne
 player, 279 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Fri 8 Jun 2018
at 08:06
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Then we'll have to go it alone," Zanne says firmly. "Though it'd have been nice if you explained this before we teleported to this town- could have saved us some trouble. And should you even still be here, if that's the case?"
Vander
 player, 351 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Fri 8 Jun 2018
at 15:17
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Ok, then this is how its going to go. Those people are not going to be left shivering in the cold. You and your high druid are going to have to do something for them-and that involves shelter, food and water. If the Emperor knows everything, then he already knows they exist. So if that's the case, then you might as well help them. In the meantime, our group will try to kill him once we know his location. That is the price for our service, take it or leave it." Vander said.
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 221 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Sat 9 Jun 2018
at 21:27
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Zanne:
"Then we'll have to go it alone," Zanne says firmly. "Though it'd have been nice if you explained this before we teleported to this town- could have saved us some trouble. And should you even still be here, if that's the case?"

"I didn't know about the passes," Durum says. "This is my first time in a city since before this began. Had I known, I would have mentioned them."

He pauses and thinks briefly about her question before answering. "The High Druid tasked me with meeting you and assisting you. I'm to make no decisions that would draw the Emperor's attention. As long as I remain passive and simply go along with what you decide, I won't draw his attention. But, if you want me to leave, I will do so. You are our only hope, so I will do as you command."
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 222 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Sat 9 Jun 2018
at 21:38
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Vander:
"Ok, then this is how its going to go. Those people are not going to be left shivering in the cold. You and your high druid are going to have to do something for them-and that involves shelter, food and water. If the Emperor knows everything, then he already knows they exist. So if that's the case, then you might as well help them. In the meantime, our group will try to kill him once we know his location. That is the price for our service, take it or leave it." Vander said.

"If that is what you want, I can contact the High Druid at sunset. I will need a fire to serve as the conduit. Remember, I can only contact him five more times after this," Durum says. "Hopefully the Final Emperor will feel these people aren't worth the bother."
Gilad Rott
 player, 387 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Wed 13 Jun 2018
at 23:41
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Please, contact him." Gilad answers Durum. "The handful of us can't protect these folk and track down the Emperor at the same time."

"And while we wait for sundown, my friends, I suggest we see what other leads we can uncover here-- discretely, of course..."

Once they've gotten themselves settled in the barracks, Gilad looks for a mess hall or other common area. Ostensibly looking for a meal, Gilad keeps an eye out for any locals or fellow travellers... but even if there's nobody else here but off-duty soldiers, they can't all be tight-lipped, and the bard's nothing if not a people person. With any luck, there's a mark or two eager to hear embellished stories of their escapades in the Sun Falls, who might by plied to let slip some news about current events or local gossip, without suspecting anything...



Gilad Rott rolled 19 using 1d20+18 with rolls of 1.  CHA + Wandering Minstrel.

Oof. Guess there's not a receptive audience for the bard with that roll.

Zanne
 player, 280 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Thu 14 Jun 2018
at 00:02
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Even if there's no... shadowy elements, let's say" Zanne mentions to Vander, "the ways to get out will still be there, and if they're used to being told what to do by some all-seeing force, they may not be watching them too closely the rest of the time. All we have to do is find them. Easy enough for clever and creative individuals. And we can bring the others along with us, I guess."
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 223 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Thu 14 Jun 2018
at 02:35
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Rather than risking me drawing any attention, I'm going to wait inside the building until sunset," Durum says. He moves over to a fireplace and makes sure a fire is ready for his communication.
The Empire
 GM, 851 posts
Mon 18 Jun 2018
at 10:13
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Like Vander, Gilad finds the population listless and dispirited, in no mood to listen to an itinerant bard, no matter how talented. Soon the sun is setting, and Durum prepares his fire ritual. As he breathes in the smoke, he is transported to a timeless place, a beautiful glade in a primordial forest. The spirit of the High Druid appears...

PM to Durum below. To the rest of you Durum is in a trance.
Vander
 player, 352 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Mon 18 Jun 2018
at 14:45
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Vander looked at the druid staring off into nothingness. He looked back at Zanne and whispered to her. "We are sure he is in magical communication with someone and not just...well, crazy-right?" He always trusted her when it came to magical things that confused and frightened him a bit.
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 224 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Tue 19 Jun 2018
at 03:04
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Durum isn't in the trance for long, but when he comes out of it, he looks somehow even older.

"There is a ring of stones a few miles from here on the high dales. If we get the villagers there before sunrise, the High Druid will take them in." Durum says. "He also gave me a warning. 'Know that the tyrant has retaken the flying realm of the Crusader, once known as the Battle Barge. He directs his unnatural empire from within, high above the realm.'"

He looks to Gilad, Vander, and Zanne. "Is that sufficient?"
Gilad Rott
 player, 388 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Wed 20 Jun 2018
at 01:13
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"His aid is greatly appreciated." Gilad answers Durum, bowing his head. "I hesitate to ask more of your patron... but should he know aught of where the tyrant's Barge now flies, we would be grateful to hear it."
Vander
 player, 353 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Wed 20 Jun 2018
at 14:39
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to Durum Stoneguard (msg # 116):

"Works for me. Although trying to get us to a flying barge does seem like a trick. Granted its actually good news. If he was so godlike as he says he is, he would not hide on a flying boat." Vander points out.
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 225 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Mon 25 Jun 2018
at 21:51
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"While the High Druid can pinpoint the location of the flying realm, he can't determine its path. The tyrant uses teleportation magic to travel back and forth from the realm, but bulky supplies must be taken up from the ground," Durum says. "The High Druid doesn't know where this takes place, but suggests the High Dock would be a good place to look."
Gilad Rott
 player, 389 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Tue 26 Jun 2018
at 22:48
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Understood, he has our thanks." the bard responds. Gilad pauses a moment to see if any of his allies have questions of their own for the High Druid, then addresses them, "No time to tarry, if we've until dawn to reach the stone circle. Let's gather the villagers and look for the quickest way out of here."

"Hopefully those guards are more interested in keeping strangers out of Riverfall than letting them leave." he muses, sighing as he looks over at the watch posts. "If not, I'll do what I can to keep them distracted..."
Zanne
 player, 281 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Tue 3 Jul 2018
at 05:12
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Did you happen to find any old smuggling routes while you were looking around earlier?" Zanne asks Vander. "Front doors are always trouble."
The Empire
 GM, 853 posts
Tue 3 Jul 2018
at 06:21
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
As you make your decision your hear a commotion outside. A squad of guards is converging on the travelers' barracks!
Vander
 player, 354 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Tue 3 Jul 2018
at 14:55
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to Zanne (msg # 121):

"No. If there is a thief's guild here, they are very good at hiding. If the ruler here can really 'see all', then I doubt any organized smugglers would make it very far..." He would have said more, but then the guards started breaking in! Vander drew his daggers, preparing to slip into a shadow and fight.
Gilad Rott
 player, 390 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Thu 5 Jul 2018
at 23:22
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Seems we've outstayed our welcome." Gilad remarks, listening as the squad advances on the barracks. "Maybe they're more sociable than they've been letting on, but I wouldn't bet on it. Get ready for a fight..."

Stepping out of their quarters, the bard watches calmly as the guards approach. "What's all the commotion?" he asks casually, feigning a look of complete innocence.
The Empire
 GM, 854 posts
Sat 7 Jul 2018
at 08:29
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
The same sergeant you spoke to at the gates is at the head of a squad of soldiers a dozen strong.

"In the name of the Emperor you are under arrest. Lay down your arms and come with us!"
Gilad Rott
 player, 391 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Sat 7 Jul 2018
at 22:44
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Under arrest?" Gilad repeats, loud enough to make sure his companions hear him. "Now, whatever you think we've done, either you're barking up the wrong tree... or you really have found yourselves a band of vicious fugitives." the bard gives a baleful smirk. "And if that's the case-- well, what are the odds a dozen-some grunts stationed at a yokel town are any sort of match for us?"

"So, I'm going to do you chaps a favor. Any of you want to turn around and let us saunter off out of town, we'll keep this little inconvenience to ourselves, no hard feelings."


Gilad keeps his tone playful, but with more than a hint of malice. He's little hope of getting out of Riverfall without a fight, but mayhaps he can scare a few of the guards into breaking ranks...


CHA roll to try and get a few of the guards to back off. Pretty low, so chances are we're in for some combat!

Gilad Rott rolled 22 using 1d20+18 with rolls of 4.  CHA + Wandering Minstrel.

Durum Stoneguard
 player, 226 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Sat 7 Jul 2018
at 23:30
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
As Gilad attempts to intimidate the soldiers, Durum moves up to stand next to the bard. As he does so, he readies his shield and hammer.
The Empire
 GM, 855 posts
Sun 8 Jul 2018
at 08:33
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Everyone roll for Init!
Vander
 player, 355 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Sun 8 Jul 2018
at 14:20
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to The Empire (msg # 128):

Ooc-10:20, Today: Vander rolled 20 using 1d20+13 with rolls of 7.  Initiative.
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 227 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 80/80; Rec: 10/10
Sun 8 Jul 2018
at 18:18
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
OOC Initiative 11
  10:17, Today: Durum Stoneguard rolled 11 using 1d20+5 with rolls of 6.  Initiative.

Gilad Rott
 player, 392 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Sun 8 Jul 2018
at 20:53
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Gilad Rott rolled 24 using 1d20+8 with rolls of 16. Initiative.
Zanne
 player, 282 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Mon 9 Jul 2018
at 07:09
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
23:09, Today: Zanne rolled 28 using 2d20+8, dropping the lowest dice only with rolls of 20,4.  Init.
Shakru
 player, 294 posts
 Half-orc barbarian
 Hits 45 / 38 rec: 5/4
Wed 11 Jul 2018
at 12:07
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Ooc

13:06, Today: Shakru rolled 23 using 1d20+8 with rolls of 15.  Initiative

The Empire
 GM, 856 posts
Wed 11 Jul 2018
at 12:27
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
The guards hesitate for a second, but then the sergeant leaps forward with an oath and his men follow suit.

Round 1. Init Order: Zanne, Gilad, Sarge, Shakru, Vander, Guards, Durum. Escalation dice +0.

12 guards, 1 sergeant, all nearby.

Zanne
 player, 283 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Thu 12 Jul 2018
at 04:08
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Never works!" Zanne brings her wand up in a wide arc, letting a burst of magic fly as she does so.

Chaos pulse attacks a random enemy, so GMs call who it hits. 30 vs PD, 22 thunder damage.
20:03, Today: Zanne rolled 4 using 1d4 with rolls of 4.  Damage type.
20:03, Today: Zanne rolled 22 using 3d10+4 with rolls of 10,1,7.  Damage.
20:01, Today: Zanne rolled 30 using 1d20+11 with rolls of 19.  Attack.

Gilad Rott
 player, 393 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 72/72 Rec: 9/9
Thu 12 Jul 2018
at 21:36
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Pity. Have at you, gentlemen!" the bard booms, drawing his sabre with a flourish and lunging in with a stab at the sergeant.


Gilad uses Hallo for +2 defenses until hit, and Song of Heroes for +1 to our attacks and saves until my next turn. Melee attack vs the sergeant, 28 vs AC, 39 damage on a hit. Hit or miss, the Hang Tough battle cry grants 4 bonus hp to Shakru.

Gilad Rott rolled 28 using 1d20+11 with rolls of 17.  Melee attack.
Gilad Rott rolled 39 using 5d8+9 with rolls of 6,8,2,6,8.  Damage.

The Empire
 GM, 857 posts
Fri 13 Jul 2018
at 10:07
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Zanne's thunder magic arcs into one of the guards, leaving him bloodied but still standing. Gilad's killing blow smashes against the sergeant's armour, which deflects the powerful attack. His longsword riposte is easily dodged by Gilad.

FYI the guards have a certain amount of free uses of the Well Armoured ability (Ignore all damage from a hit (but not a crit) against AC.).

Shakru and Vander, you are up next.

Vander
 player, 356 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Fri 13 Jul 2018
at 12:07
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Vander is gone from sight...but not for long...

(OOC:
08:06, Today: Vander rolled 21 using 1d20+13 with rolls of 8.  Shadow Walk.

If that fails to hit the highest MD, Vander can use his full round normally. Otherwise he vanishes from the game'board' until next round.)

Shakru
 player, 295 posts
 Half-orc barbarian
 Hits 45 / 42 rec: 5/4
Tue 17 Jul 2018
at 20:20
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Subtly was never the half orc's talent and this moment was no exception.

Stepping forward towards the guards the huge barbarian simple swung his battle axe in one limb slicing arc

Ooc

21:16, Today: Shakru rolled 30 using 1d20+10 with rolls of 20.  Axe attack.

21:19, Today: Shakru rolled 28 using 3d10+7 with rolls of 8,3,10.  Damage

The Empire
 GM, 858 posts
Thu 19 Jul 2018
at 11:40
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Shakru's axe blow almost cuts one of the guards in half. The rest charge the party and engage, three to one.

Gilad takes a blow from the sergeant and one soldier, Durum is also wounded twice as is Shakru. Zanne does not take a scratch.

Gilad is engages with the sergeant and two others, everyone else is engaged with 3 soldiers. One of Zanne's opponents is bloodied.

Gilad 26 damage
Durum 24 Damage
Shakru 16 damage

Durum, you are up.

Durum Stoneguard
 player, 228 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 56/80; Rec: 10/10
Sat 21 Jul 2018
at 20:05
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Durum takes the hits with his usual stoic silence. His hammer strikes out at one of the soldiers who hit him. As he does so the power of Earth flows through him partially healing both Gilad's wounds and his own.

OOC Warhammer attack 18 19 to hit vs. AC; 34 damage on a hit, 5 damage on a miss.
  An even roll triggers Warrior's Blessing, healing both Durum and Gilad 9 hit points.
  11:59, Today: Durum Stoneguard rolled 18 using 1d20+8 with rolls of 10.  Warhammer (attack).
  12:01, Today: Durum Stoneguard rolled 34 using 5d8+6 with rolls of 7,5,6,6,4.  Warhammer (damage).
  12:02, Today: Durum Stoneguard rolled 9 using 1d6+6 with rolls of 3.  Warrior's Blessing (healing).

Edit: I forgot to include the +1 to attack from Gilad.

This message was last edited by the player at 20:11, Sat 21 July 2018.

The Empire
 GM, 859 posts
Tue 24 Jul 2018
at 08:40
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Durum's blow is turned aside by the guard's armour.

Another use of the Well Armoured power.

Round 2. Init Order: Zanne, Gilad, Sarge, Shakru, Vander, Guards, Durum. Escalation dice +1.

Everyone except Vander is engaged with 3 opponents.

Zanne & Gilad, you are up!

Zanne
 player, 284 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Tue 24 Jul 2018
at 09:22
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Zanne is too busy cursing at the guards to correctly focus on her targeting.

I doubt a 15 hits his PD, but if it does 23 damage. On a miss, she does 5 fire damage to the guard.
01:17, Today: Zanne rolled 2 using 1d4 with rolls of 2.  Damage type.
01:16, Today: Zanne rolled 23 using 3d10+4 with rolls of 10,6,3.  Damage
01:14, Today: Zanne rolled 15 using 1d20+12 with rolls of 3. S.

Gilad Rott
 player, 394 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 55/72 Rec: 9/9
Sun 29 Jul 2018
at 21:37
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
The bard grimaces beneath the rain of blows, but does not break his chant. Ducking under their swings, Gilad bounds forward with another stab into the sergeant's chest.


Song of Heroes persists for another round, +1 attack and saves for the party. Melee attack hits the sarge for 30 damage if his deflection's used up; either way, Hang Tough battle cry gives 4 temp hp to Durum.

Gilad Rott rolled 20 using 1d20 with rolls of 20.  Sustain song.
Gilad Rott rolled 25 using 1d20+12 with rolls of 13.  Melee attack.
Gilad Rott rolled 30 using 5d8+9 with rolls of 2,3,2,7,7.  Damage.

The Empire
 GM, 863 posts
Wed 8 Aug 2018
at 06:00
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
One of the troops throws himself into the path of Gilad's blade and takes the hit, almost gutting himself. The sargeant's riposte is easily turned aside by the bard.

Shakru and Vander, you are up.
Vander
 player, 359 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Wed 8 Aug 2018
at 14:14
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Vander appears among Zanne's foes. Stabbing one under the armpit, the other in the neck. Both wounds start bleeding horribly.

OOC:

Using Bleeding strike and shadow walk sneak attack. Got lucky with my elven grace and got a second attack off. To hit rolls of 3031 with bard bonus vs AC and 2223 with bard bonus vs AC.

Target 1 takes 70 damage.

Target 2 takes 74 damage

Both victims will take double damage (added in above) and then suffer d4x5 points of ongoing bleeding damage (not effected by doubling.) on the start of their rounds.

10:09, Today: Vander rolled 24,7 using 4d8+6,3d6 with rolls of 1,1,8,8,1,4,2.  Damage before doubling from sneak attack.

10:15, Today: Vander rolled 4 using 1d8 with rolls of 4.  extra die forgotten on damage roll 1.

10:08, Today: Vander rolled 22 using 1d20+12 with rolls of 10.  Second blow from elven grace on second Zanne foe.

10:08, Today: Vander rolled 1 using 1d6 with rolls of 1.  Elven grace.

10:08, Today: Vander rolled 24,7 using 4d8+6,3d6 with rolls of 6,6,3,3,1,5,1.  Sneak attack damage before doubling.

10:15, Today: Vander rolled 6 using 1d8 with rolls of 6.  extra die forgotten on damage roll 2.

10:06, Today: Vander rolled 30 using 1d20+12 with rolls of 18.  Sneak attack on most injured Zanne Foe.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:49, Wed 08 Aug 2018.

Shakru
 player, 296 posts
 Half-orc barbarian
 Hits 45 / 42 rec: 5/4
Sun 12 Aug 2018
at 18:34
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Shakru felt his blood raising he swung his axe at the next guard letting the red must fall over his eyes

Ooc

19:32, Today: Shakru rolled 7 using 2d20 with rolls of 2,5.  Add +10 to the highest roll. Total 15
19:34, Today: Shakru rolled 26 using 5d10+8 with rolls of 7,1,3,4,3.  Damage


The Empire
 GM, 864 posts
Mon 13 Aug 2018
at 10:32
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Zanne's blast singes one of her opponent, but he avoids the worst of the damage. Vander's surprise attack kills two of the guards fighting Zanne outright. They both collapse is a pool of blood. Shakru's blow is turned away by the guards armour.

Another use of well armoured.

The guards continue to press their attack, face grim and determined but also fearful.
Gilad, Durum and Shakru are all wounded.

7HP damage Gilad, Durum and Shakru.

9 guards and one sergeant left, all engaged.

Durum, you are up, then Zanne and Gilad for the next round.

Durum Stoneguard
 player, 230 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 58/80; Rec: 10/10
Tue 14 Aug 2018
at 02:39
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Durum strikes at the same soldier again. A surge of nature's power strengthens the attack.

OOC: Trigger Ancestral Guidance on this attack. This recharges all of Durum's Flexible Attacks. Attack 16 vs. AC; 26 damage on a hit; 11 damage on a miss.
  18:35, Today: Durum Stoneguard rolled 16 using 1d20+9 with rolls of 7.  Warhammer (attack).
  18:38, Today: Durum Stoneguard rolled 26 using 5d8+12 with rolls of 1,1,5,6,1.  Warhammer (damage).

The Empire
 GM, 865 posts
Sat 18 Aug 2018
at 08:22
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Durum's glancing blow none the less staggers his opponent.

Round 3. Init Order: Zanne, Gilad, Sarge, Shakru, Vander, Guards, Durum. Escalation dice +2.

9 guards and one sergeant left, all engaged.

Zanne and Gilad, you are up!

Zanne
 player, 285 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Sat 18 Aug 2018
at 09:00
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Zanne lets more fire fly, this time most of it glancing off a shield.

Another miss with Chaos Pulse, this time 11 damage.
00:58, Today: Zanne rolled 22 using 3d10+4 with rolls of 10,2,6.
00:56, Today: Zanne rolled 15 using 1d20+13 with rolls of 2.

Gilad Rott
 player, 395 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 48/72 Rec: 9/9
Sun 19 Aug 2018
at 21:58
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"All your men ready to fall on their swords for you?" Gilad snorts to the sergeant, shaking his head as he pushes aside the soldier who took his last stab. "Shan't have any left at this rate." with dogged persistance, the bard leaps forward with another strike at the leader of their foes.


Song of Heroes persists for another round of +1 to attacks/saves, melee attack deals 34 damage to the sarge if it hits. Pull it Together battle cry lets Shakru spend a recovery and get +3d6 hp if he wants.

Gilad Rott rolled 10 using 1d20 with rolls of 10.  Sustain song.
Gilad Rott rolled 27 using 1d20+13 with rolls of 14.  Melee attack.
Gilad Rott rolled 34 using 5d8+9 with rolls of 6,7,4,3,5.  Damage.

The Empire
 GM, 866 posts
Tue 21 Aug 2018
at 15:43
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Gilad stabs the sergeant in the thigh, causing a grimace of pain and frustration. His riposte is easily parried.

Shakru & Vander, you're up.
Vander
 player, 360 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Tue 21 Aug 2018
at 16:25
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to The Empire (msg # 153):

Vander does a throat strike to the remaining Foe on Zanne, causing him to be dazed due to the sudden blow. Once he was blinking back stars in his eyes, Vander throws his dagger at the Sargent, which is headed right between the man's shoulder blades. Hit or miss, the dagger arcs through the air and lands safely back in Vander's hand.

OOC:
12:18, Today: Vander rolled 212 using 1d20+134 with rolls of 8.  Slick feint vs Zanne's foe's MD. Forgot +1 for bard bonus.

If that hits, foe is dazed and Vander gets a secondary attack with +2 to hit.

12:21, Today: Vander rolled 27,13 using 5d8+6,3d6 with rolls of 6,7,2,5,1,4,5,4.  Damage on sarge assuming thrown dagger strikes. Total damage=40.

12:20, Today: Vander rolled 234 using 1d20+156 with rolls of 8.  Secondary slick feint attack via thrown dagger on sarge.

The Empire
 GM, 867 posts
Mon 27 Aug 2018
at 05:39
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Vander's dagger thuds into the sergeants neck and returns with a spray of arterial blood. The rest of the guards break and run, leaving behind a small crowd of horrified onlookers who quickly melt back into the background in a flurry of closing doors...
Gilad Rott
 player, 396 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 48/72 Rec: 9/9
Tue 28 Aug 2018
at 05:05
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Leaving already? I'd take offense at being deserted by our audience, but under the circumstances, I can't fault them for letting us make an early exit." Gilad quips, but for all the bard's jests, his eyes dart warily over the fleeing guardsmen and villagers, and he makes no move to sheathe his sabre.

"Quickly now, before they're back with friends..." Gilad motions to the Brooken townsfolk to follow, as he begins to make his way out of the barracks...


Gilad Rott rolled 20 using 1d20 with rolls of 20.  Recharge roll.

Song of Heroes recharges, will be available next battle.

Vander
 player, 361 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Thu 30 Aug 2018
at 01:27
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Vander checks over Zanne first thing. "Are you ok? Did they hurt you? Did I get blood all over your nice robe?"
Shakru
 player, 297 posts
 Half-orc barbarian
 Hits 45 / 42 rec: 5/4
Fri 31 Aug 2018
at 07:54
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Now with his blood pounding in his ears the half orc's swings his battle axe into the guards

Ooc

08:52, Today: Shakru rolled 30 using 2d20 with rolls of 10,20.  Add +10 to the highest roll total 30 max roll

08:54, Today: Shakru rolled 41 using 5d10+8 with rolls of 3,8,10,7,5.  Damage

The Empire
 GM, 868 posts
Tue 4 Sep 2018
at 14:05
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Leaving the reluctant and uncertain villagers You quickly leave Riverfall, finding the gate nearest to the stone circle without problems. The locals watch you warily from a distance, and the guards do not make an appearance. The guards on the gate melt away without resistance.

You head towards the stone circle in the high dales in the biting cold. The wind picks up driving a freezing sleet, and the villagers are on their last legs when you finally see your destination a hundred yards or so away.

However, you notice something flying swiftly towards you from Riverfall, wreathed in flame. It will be upon you in a few scant seconds...
Gilad Rott
 player, 397 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 48/72 Rec: 9/9
Wed 5 Sep 2018
at 01:09
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
"Glad they thought better of tangling with us." the bard remarks as their party leaves town without resistance. "This might be easier than--"

Gilad halts in midsentence as he spots the fiery shape in the air. His mind races with possibilities-- a firing mechanism? A dragon of some sort, under imperial control? But then bard recalls that when a flaming object is hurtling through the air at you, best not to stand there and gape...

"Scatter!" Gilad shouts. "Look for cover!"
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 232 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 58/80; Rec: 10/10
Wed 5 Sep 2018
at 02:06
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Durum reacts to Gilad's command by moving away from the others by moving straight ahead. As he does so, he tries to make himself a larger target than the others.
Shakru
 player, 298 posts
 Half-orc barbarian
 Hits 45 / 42 rec: 5/4
Wed 5 Sep 2018
at 16:00
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Upon hearing the bards warning the large half orc took second to assess the situation.

Seeing his dwarf companion run forward he realised the warrior was trying to lure whatever was heading their way away from the villagers.

Grunting to himself he headed in the same direction but on the dwarfs left flank.

It was a good idea he thought but though the dwarf as stocky perhaps a large brute of a barbarian would make an even better target.

As he got level with Durum he signaled to the dwarf that he had his companion's left flank covered if they needed to stand and fight
The Empire
 GM, 870 posts
Wed 12 Sep 2018
at 05:47
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
The balls of fire overshoots you and lands with an impressive bang and gout of flame. Into the melting snow steps a tall man in rust and orange banded armour, with a well-trimmed red beard and reddish skin tone. He carries a huge greatsword easily in one hand. The warrior burns with a fierce  aura of flame, hot enough to melt the snow around him, but shows no discomfort. In fact he smiles broadly as he hails you.

"Surrender in the name of the Emperor! But I'd prefer it if you make a fight of it, only have to bring one or two of you back for questioning"

Anyone who might know important magical NPCs in the Empire make an Int or Cha roll DC 22 to identify him, skills apply.

Also, roll for Init, just in case this turns into a fight ;)

Vander
 player, 362 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/72, Recovery-8/8
Wed 12 Sep 2018
at 13:32
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to The Empire (msg # 163):

OOC: Nat 20 for Vander to know about the guy due to his guild contacts.

09:31, Today: Vander rolled 15 using 1d20+13 with rolls of 2.  Initiative.

09:30, Today: Vander rolled 28 using 1d20+8 with rolls of 20.  Cha+lvl+Thief.

Gilad Rott
 player, 398 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 48/72 Rec: 9/9
Wed 12 Sep 2018
at 19:30
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Gilad can't help but turn to watch as the fireball rockets into the ground, the force of the blast sending his plumed hat flying off into the snow.

"Nice entrance!" the bard remarks. Alas, he doubts the newcomer is up for much of a chat...


Gilad Rott rolled 34 using 1d20+14 with rolls of 20.  CHA + Wandering Minstrel.
Gilad Rott rolled 19 using 1d20+8 with rolls of 11.  Initiative.

Shakru
 player, 299 posts
 Half-orc barbarian
 Hits 45 / 42 rec: 5/4
Fri 14 Sep 2018
at 05:13
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Init 18

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:28, Sun 23 Sept 2018.

Zanne
 player, 286 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 64/64
Sat 15 Sep 2018
at 21:45
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Zanne pauses as she tries to recognize the man...

10 Init, 23 to recognize.

13:43, Today: Zanne rolled 23 using 1d20+11 with rolls of 12.  cha check.
13:41, Today: Zanne rolled 6 using 2d20, dropping the lowest dice only with rolls of 6,2.  init.

The Empire
 GM, 872 posts
Thu 20 Sep 2018
at 16:03
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Everyone but Shakru has heard of the de Bris family, a line of half-azer all with exceptional powers of pyromancy and extravagantly unstable personalities. The youngest scion of the line, Ferro, was an exemplar of both traits, which led to his imprisonment in a cell below the Archmage's tower for murder and arson on an industrial scale. Evidently the new Emperor has found a use for him.

Shakru, combat hasn't started yet, will use your roll for Init. Durum, need you Init roll.
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 234 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 58/80; Rec: 10/10
Fri 21 Sep 2018
at 04:49
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
OOC That's a 19 to recognize the man and a 23 for Initiative.
  20:47, Today: Durum Stoneguard rolled 19 using 1d20+7 with rolls of 12.  Cha + Level.
  20:48, Today: Durum Stoneguard rolled 23 using 1d20+5 with rolls of 18.  Initiative.

The Empire
 GM, 873 posts
Sun 23 Sep 2018
at 07:42
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Round 1. Init Order: Ferro, Durum, Gilad, Shakru, Vander, Zanne. Escalation Dice +0.

Ferro grins and then, throwing his arms out wide, sends a inferno of flame exploding in all directions. Luckily the villagers are out of range, but everyone else is badly scorched.

40HP damage everyone.
Vander
 player, 363 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/52, Recovery-8/8
Sun 23 Sep 2018
at 12:23
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to The Empire (msg # 170):

Ooc-using interrupt power roll with it to take half damage.
Gilad Rott
 player, 399 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 8/72 Rec: 9/9
Mon 24 Sep 2018
at 00:40
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Gilad tumbles into the snow, coughing out smoke as he beats the flame out of his smoldering cloak.

"Ferro de Bris... you certainly know how to make an impression!" the bard hacks, strength returning to his voice as he plucks at his kantele. Two old, charred figures emerge from the snow beside Gilad-- echos of the azer's past victims, perhaps-- and lunge at their foe...


Yikes! Lot of damage there. I should've remembered to spend a recovery after the last fight.

Using Halo for +2 to my defenses until hit, and Song of Aid to give myself 9 temporary hit points. Casting summon undead to bring up two ghouls, who engage and attack Ferro, at 17 and 18 vs AC. 10 damage apiece if they hit.

Gilad Rott rolled 9 using 3d6 with rolls of 1,5,3.  Song of Aid temp hit points.
Gilad Rott rolled 2 using 1d3+1 with rolls of 1.  Number of ghouls.
Gilad Rott rolled 17,18 using d20+10,d20+10 with rolls of 7,8.  Ghoul attacks.

Vander
 player, 364 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/52, Recovery-8/8
Mon 24 Sep 2018
at 12:10
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Vander attempts to vanish once more to get into postion.

Ooc-08:05, Today: Vander rolled 24 using 1d20+13 with rolls of 11.  Shadow step. Vs Md. If this fails I can take my full normal action instead.
Durum Stoneguard
 player, 235 posts
 Dwarf, Druid; AC 21
 HP: 64/80; Rec: 8/10
Tue 25 Sep 2018
at 02:27
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
The fire burns Durum but a faint glow from his belt heals some of his wounds. He calls on the power of Earth and his wounds heal further. A faint glow of green and brown reaches up from the ground to Vander as well.

He charges Ferro and strikes out with his warhammer. The power of Earth and Stone flows through him granting the strike added force.

OOC Vander, please take note of the effect on you below.
  The Girdle of the Undefeated allows him an immediate Recovery.
  He Quick Casts Earth Strength targeting himself. Vander is the random secondary target. If Vander is staggered, he can spend a Recovery. If he isn't staggered, he gains a +3 bonus to Attack and Damage rolls until he ends his turn staggered.

Melee Attack: 27 vs AC to hit (triggers Ancestral Guidance); 30 damage on a hit; 11 damage on a miss.
  18:22, Today: Durum Stoneguard rolled 27 using 1d20+8 with rolls of 19.  Warhammer (attack).
  18:25, Today: Durum Stoneguard rolled 30 using 5d8+12 with rolls of 1,6,3,1,7.  Warhammer (damage).

Shakru
 player, 300 posts
 Half-orc barbarian
 Hits 45 / 42 rec: 5/4
Wed 26 Sep 2018
at 05:38
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Shakru took the full force of the blast and was picked up by the force and flung back.

He hit the ground and rolled over and over in the snow coming to rest with a grunt against a tree stump.

Thankfully the roll in the snow had put his flaming furs out but as he dragged to his feet he dropped back down to sit heavily on the stump still steaming the smell of half roasted half orc filling the fridged air.

Ooc: crap down to 5 hit points that has to hurt
Zanne
 player, 287 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 9/9 HP 24/64
Thu 27 Sep 2018
at 03:45
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Zanne screams as the fire washes over her. "Damn you, de Bris," she curses as she almost instinctively sends her magic to protect her rogue.

Resist Energy! Vander gains Resist Damage 16+ to fire.
The Empire
 GM, 876 posts
Wed 3 Oct 2018
at 07:14
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Shakru pciks himself up and launches himself at de Bris, smashing his battleaxe against the half-azer. Durum also lands a crushing blow.

You do 31 HP damage Shakru. Also, rolled 38HPs from Durum's recovery.

Everyone is close combat with the pyromancer is scorched from from the intense heat.

5HP damage Durum and Shakru.

Round 2. Init Order: Ferro, Durum, Gilad, Shakru, Vander, Zanne. Escalation Dice +1.


"How gratifying to be recognised!" comments de Bris, as he gracefully dispatches the two charred zombies with a dazzling display of swordsmanship.
Vander
 player, 367 posts
 AC-20, PD-21, MD-16
 HP-72/52, Recovery-8/8
Wed 24 Oct 2018
at 15:26
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
In reply to The Empire (msg # 177):

From seeming no where, a dagger glowing blue-white sinks into De Bris's back. Just as quickly as it flew to its target, it rips itself free and returns to the hand of Vander, who just threw it.

"Yes, we will put your name on a very poor tombstone." He said to the pyromancer.

OOC: Using flying blade to use returning throwing dagger of winter.

11:23, Today: Vander rolled 34,12,15 using 5d8+7,3d6,3d6 with rolls of 5,7,8,1,6,2,4,6,6,3,6.  Damage roll-Bonus from earth strength, sneak attack, cold damage dagger, x2 shadow step.

11:20, Today: Vander rolled 24 using 1d20+15 with rolls of 9.  Flying blade of winter attack on De Bris, coming from Shadow step and bonus from Earth Strength.

With all those bonuses-total damage is 122, 30 of it being cold damage.

11:23, Today: Vander rolled 4 using 1d6 with rolls of 4.  Elven grace.


This message was last edited by the player at 15:28, Wed 24 Oct 2018.

Zanne
 player, 288 posts
 Human Sorcerer
 R 8/9 HP 45/64
Fri 26 Oct 2018
at 08:00
Re: Chapter Four: The Final Empire
Zanne takes the chance to catch her breath.

Spending a recovery. 21 HP back.
23:59, Today: Zanne rolled 21 using 5d6+2 with rolls of 1,5,6,6,1.  Recovery.