Volume 1: Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion.   Posted by Azurak the Blue.Group: 0
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 387 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 6 Sep 2015
at 21:36
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
The miasma of the Brown Lands is only a mile behind you, but the feeling is already fading.

You've been moving now for 24 hours, and the rolling plains of Rhovanion stretch before you, verdant and restful.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 147 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 12 Sep 2015
at 12:28
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Well this sure beats the Brown Lands" Tilaleria said. "Did you people find any clues or anything while you crossed. All we found was a barrow with some magical traps, but it wasn't the same time period as the Wive's crossing or anything, and " she laughed "it was a barrow. Not seeing the Ent Wives living with the undead"

"Other than that it was just endless unpleasantness"
she looked again at the greenness and decided that this good. "How about if we go a few miles and break for a camp" She knew that humans needed sleep and that the journey had probably been grueling for a lot of them
Arithal Kodiak
 Outrider, 28 posts
 Human Male
 Druid/Monk
Sun 13 Sep 2015
at 06:12
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Signs of the Entwives have long since passed from the ken of mortals," Arithal responded to Tilaleria.

"We found a petrified tree, but it wasn't an Entwife. And we saw the bones of a giant beast, but we did not investigate them."

As he talked, a smile turned up the corners of his mouth, for Otorno was acting most strange... gamboling about in the grass, rolling around on his back. He was clearly happy to be free of the Brown Lands.
Elmohtar
 Fellowship, 42 posts
 Aasimar
 Menhir Savant/Priest
Sun 13 Sep 2015
at 06:35
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Elmohtar is glad to be out of the Broan Lands. He lets Tilaleria recount their adventures to the others, and looks for a place to camp. Once they are well away from the Brown Lands, he points a likely spot to his master.

"Lets camp here."
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 33 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sun 13 Sep 2015
at 06:41
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Excellent suggestion!" Radagast exclaimed at Tilaleria's words.

"Anira, can you set up your cottage again? A night's rest would not only do us good, but should shake off whatever remaining traces of the miasma there might be."

"I must confess... I am used to traveling alone, going where the winds send me. If any of you have a suggestion on what we should do next or where we should go from here, it would be appreciated."

"I was just planning on heading due east. The amulet does not give precise directions... the distance is too great and our maps and knowledge of the Distant East too limited for triangulation to work... yet."

"Do you think we should head for the Red Mountains? Might the Sea of Rhun have been part of the path the Entwives took?"

"We must also be on the watch for the Dark Riders. I do not know how many of them there may be now, but they were allied with the Dark Lord."


When Elmohtar spotted a suitable campsite, Radagast said:

"Well done, Elmohtar! This open land is not my normal habitat. Any place looks as good as the next to me!"

"Saxon, do you wish to keep your wagon set up outside the cottage?"

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 148 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 13 Sep 2015
at 08:33
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
If we travel a day north or south and the reading is still east then we know it doesn't matter where we go as long as it is east. If we zig zag slightly towards it then at some point the amulet will stop saying east and at that point it is probably worth worrying about the destination as we will be able to compare the reading at dawn and dusk" Tilaleria suggested

"Until we get that difference my suggestion would be to pick the route that offers the least chance of encountering foes or distractions. Since the Ent-wives are a long way away, I thiñk the chance of learning something that we couldn't learn when we are closer to them is almost negligible, especially given the huge amount of time since they have paseed"

"Given we have the amulet I'm not sure we need worry about the route the Ent-wives took, unless an impassible barrier appears in front of us. In which case of course we can probably just fly over it"

"Perhaps you could tell us what you know of the Red mountains and the Sea of Thun"
she suggested "I like hearing of places I haven't been to, and anyway we can speculàte"
Jak
 Fellowship, 53 posts
 Human
 Fighter/Magus
Mon 14 Sep 2015
at 18:49
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
As an impromptu halt is called, Jak quietly stretched his legs as he listened to the discussion, eventually breaking in himself.

"Speaking of the amulet, I would very much like to hear the story of how you came into the possession of it told. Perhaps later, over supper?"
Anira
 Fellowship, 37 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 12:02
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Like Otorno, Melda had sprung to life again once they were out of the Brownlands.  She’d leaped off Anira and glided a ways then gamboled about in the grass.  The flurry of activity was short-lived, the squirrel quickly wearing herself out so she climbed back up Anira’s leg and disappeared into a loose pocket somewhere under her robes.

"This does look like a good spot," she agreed and was glad to cast the spell which conjured the cottage.  The forced march through the Brownlands had taken its toll on everyone and knowing Saxon liked to cook, she turned to him with an inquisitive gaze.  "Would you like some help preparing a meal?  I’m sure we’re all famished and two sets of hands are quicker than one."
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 112 posts
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 19:16
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Saxon nodded, "Yea, Ill park it right next to the cottage and keep watch with the red guard and I. I kind of require my wagon as I am going to try and spend a few hours tonight to invent a flare of some kind. If we have one person with each group if we split up again, someone can set off their flare to call for help."

He smiled at Anira when she offered to help cook. "I would adore some help. Tonight is oyster mushrooms cooked in a white wine and sweet onions. Rumbled dried Salmon over the top. A good meaty dish to fill hungry bellies."
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 34 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Wed 16 Sep 2015
at 03:12
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
A bit later, when every is done eating or nearly so, Radagast tells Jak about the amulet and everyone about the Red Mountains and the Sea of Rhun.


"The Ents in northern Mirkwood were in danger. I could sense it, but not the cause. Several of the Keepers were with me, so we hurried to the Ents aid."

"By the time we got there, they were nearly dead, dying from some sort of disease. When we tried to get close enough to cure or aid them, a... creature rose up out of the contaminated ground. It was called a Plaguire... a type of living spell."

"If too much power is channeled into a spell, especially if the caster is even a tad off kilter, the spell... sort of backfires... turns into ball of spell energy that takes on a semblance of life."

"Someone figured out a way to control the Plaguire and sent it after the Ents. The misfired spell, of course, was 'Plague'. The Plaguire had this amulet. The amulet had a sliver of Entwives in it, allowing the Plaguire to use to find the Ents."

"The Ents themselves, and the rest of us, have long thought the Entwives dead or destroyed, but these slivers were less than two years old!"

"So that is why we now seek the Entwives. After all these years, we have proof that they may still be alive!"


"As for the Orocarni--the Red Mountains, little is known of them. It is thought that the Lost Dwarven Clans once lived there, and may still be there. They are volcanic and rich in minerals and metals that the volcanoes spew up onto the surface, thus making them easy to mine."

"These materials have been used to forge weapons and armor that the Dark Men of Rhun wielded in the Last War. Should we encounter any of them on our journey, expect them to be well armed and armored."

Tavaro
 Fellowship, 72 posts
 Maiar Undine
 Druid/Mighty Godling
Wed 16 Sep 2015
at 08:20
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tavaro seemed greatly angered at the story. Still in his massive form, his voice boomed. "To work that sort of magic, one needs to be of great power. Did you learn who sent the Plaguire after the ents!?"
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 120 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Thu 17 Sep 2015
at 09:20
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Borun had no idea what "rumbled dried salmon" was, but it sounded delicious and the thought of a hot meal made Borun's stomach rumble in agreement.

"I can help keep watch, Master Saxon. I also know a spell that can create a magical light up to 200 feet away. I could position it up in the air so that others could see it. Although the light is faint, it should be visible at night."

OOC: Dancing lights
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 149 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 17 Sep 2015
at 11:48
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"So that sounds to me like 'avoid the Dark Men of Rhun" Tilaleria commented. "The Lost Dwarves... well perhaps they are as friendly as those we know. Which is to say 'treat them with respect and they are good people'." she pondered on what else had been said. It was a parcel of news... no doubt about that ... but she wasn't entirely sure how she could contribute. She was very interested in the answer to Tavaro's question though.

It would be trite of her to compliment Radagast on his work. He was the Istari here after all. Still she was impressed: dealing with the Plaguire sounded hard work. "Are the Ent's recovered from the Plaguire?" she asked. She rarely interacted with them. In fact she found it hard to remember the last time she'd taken a message from her mistress to Treebeard... perhaps it was time to remedy that: she could go see him herself anyway. See what the old tree was up to.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 35 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Fri 18 Sep 2015
at 05:34
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"The Living Spell had... well, I wouldn't quite call it a personality," Radagast answered the others.

"It is not the first such creature to walk the land, which is why it had the name Plaguire, though I have no idea who gave it to it. Given the nature of the spell, it was probably sent by the Necromancer. Yes, I know, the Necromancer was destroyed. But there have been rumors of a new one who has taken up residence in the Mirkwood. The other Keepers were dealing with that."

"As long as the Plaguire... 'lived', he was contaminating the soil around the Ents, transmitting plague through it. We could forestall further damage, but until after we destroyed the Plaguire, healing the Ents was impossible."

"Once destroyed, though, the Ents were healed quickly."

"We also left a few Keepers with Ents in case some other attack on them was made."

"The best thing we can do for the Ents, of course, is re-unite them with the Entwives."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 150 posts
 Messenger Girl
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 06:49
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"The only good thing about that story" Tilaleria said thinking hard about it "Is the fact that 'once the Plaguire was destroyed the Ent's got better'. That's a strong indication that the creature is dead. There isn't much other good news...." she bit her lip thinking about what it would be mean if the Necromancer had returned. There were few pictures of the future she could pain that were pleasant. Even worse... "I am still convinced" she continued "that the changes we saw in the Blight were... the bound creatures... the Dragon/Hydra... they reeked of some new power in the world. A new tool of the servant" she tried to get her thoughts clear

"The Plaguire indicates that the Necromancer has returned. The Blight indicates that there is a new servant of the enemy. It seems to me that fighting one of them will be hard, and two even worse. One thing we do know about the Enemy though is that 'Evil Feeds Upon Itself'" she pronounced the capitals "We should be thinking about this as we move against the Enemy's servants."

"In my mind I was thinking that the people that had sent the amulet to you were servants of the new power. And now I am not so sure."

Elmohtar
 Fellowship, 43 posts
 Aasimar
 Menhir Savant/Priest
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 07:19
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Dragon?" Elmohtar asks. "You faced a dragon?"
Tavaro
 Fellowship, 73 posts
 Maiar Undine
 Druid/Mighty Godling
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 20:03
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tavaro, still in his grand form, rumbled dismissively. "It was nothing like one of the great fire drakes, but rather one of its lesser land-bound kin. It was spreading foulness, fire and destruction across the Great Greenwood." But the giant creature seemed to be missing information. "This Necromancer, you say he was here before? Long have I slept, and always have I cared little for the affairs of men and elves."
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 36 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 21:59
T.A. 2951 Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"You were not the only one that missed it," Radagast replied to Tavaro. "The darkness that began seeping into the Great Greenwood almost 2,000 years ago was the first appearance of the Necromancer when he began building the fortress of Dol Guldur. We did not know that then. It took 50 years before the Wise realized it."

"At first, we thought it was a Nazgul, but then we thought it must be the Witch-King. There were other things happening and we always meant to get back to Dol Guldur. We could not believe that all the bad things that were happening were connected. It was too... preposterous." They also seemed to be unrelated."

"Eventually, we did go to Dol Guldur, and we drove the Necromancer out. The damage had been done, however, and the Mirkwood, as it was now called, would never be the same again."

"None of us could quite put a finger on it, never quite expunge it from the whole forest. It was slippery, elusive. We'd cleanse one area only for it to appear somewhere else. It was seldom dangerous, never outright evil... just perpetually gloomy. It was as if the sun refused to shine on it any more."

"I've spent most of my time and effort keeping it from getting any worse, but it was slowly doing so anyway. I finally had to summon the Keepers."

Tavaro
 Fellowship, 74 posts
 Maiar Undine
 Druid/Mighty Godling
Tue 22 Sep 2015
at 10:13
T.A. 2951 Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Ahhh... The ring-wraiths. I have heard of them, some time ago, before I went to sleep. Ahhh. Servants of the servant of evil. Even now his dark deeds live on, long past the time where he was cast out of this world, and the servant slain." The giant form turned to look at the Great Eagle that accompanied him. "Landroval has told me of his fall. And not soon enough it had come. Still, it surprises me to hear that its servants live on until this day."
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 151 posts
 Messenger Girl
Tue 22 Sep 2015
at 22:09
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"I met an Ice Dragon before I joined the others. At first I thought it was an Ice Drake" she grimaced at the memory "I was nearly over confident and thought I could deal with it. But a dead messenger is of no value to anyone, so I fled it. It was as well that I avoided it, as I quickly realised it was more than I first thought. Perhaps I would of prevailed, perhaps not. The Ice Drake had been 'chained' where it was. Chained by the temperature around it. Perhaps it was kept there to guard something, or as a pet, or for purposes even more vile"

"The dragon/hydra that Tavaro dismisses was a second creature. It was perhaps more disturbing. It had many heads, each breathing a different attack. It reeked of manipulation and sorcery. That magic is not the magic of death, not the magic of the Necromancer. It smelled different, tasted differently"
she shrugged "I have not met the Ring Wraiths although my mistress has taught me much lore about them. I do think that either dragon was created by such as they"

She nodded to Radagast's tale, remembering countless trips during that cleansing.
Borjnen Boulderol
 Fellowship, 45 posts
 Dwarf
 Barbarian/Hill Giant/Ftr
Wed 23 Sep 2015
at 00:43
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Realizing the need to vacate, Borjnen quickly jumps down from the wagon landing with a loud thud. The trip through the Brown Lands did little for him. At least the disconnect from the land was offset well enough riding through rather than walking. On the bright side, with all the free time his axe was now the sharpest it has been in many weeks.
Turning to Saxon, "Thanks fer the ride, I think from 'ere on out i'll walk."
Tavaro
 Fellowship, 75 posts
 Maiar Undine
 Druid/Mighty Godling
Wed 23 Sep 2015
at 21:46
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Ancient memories came to Tavaro unbidden, and he spoke in a grim, resonant tone. "Created? No, no... the making of such a creature is beyond such lesser beings. It was the first Dark Lord who made these creatures when he walked these shores, along with many other foul things, long, long before the ring-wraiths were made by the second Dark Lord. The great drakes were his battering rams for his armies, his greatest concentrated force of power. Terrible they were, powerful in body and mind, and they could only be slain at great cost. Great too was the destruction they wrought in those days, and many an age did I spend repairing their damage. For sadly the drakes bred and multiplied, but thankfully their greater kin are a rare sight in this age. The creature we had slain was but a lesser kin of the great drakes of old. I do not believe it could even speak. Perhaps one day they will even be extinct. The world will sigh in relief at their passing.."
Elmohtar
 Fellowship, 44 posts
 Aasimar
 Menhir Savant/Priest
Thu 24 Sep 2015
at 06:02
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"I have realized that something was stirring in Mirkwood, things there have recently turned far worse than they have ever been in my time." Elmohtar says. "But dragons? Master, is it not foolish to seek the entwives in a time such as this? Or do you believe that finding them can somehow help against this growing evil?"
Tavaro
 Fellowship, 76 posts
 Maiar Undine
 Druid/Mighty Godling
Thu 24 Sep 2015
at 12:19
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
The giant form of Tavaro interceded before radagast could reply. "It would be foolish not to. Their kind has been around for countless seasons. If we were moved to indecision because of their presence, we would never act.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 152 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 24 Sep 2015
at 14:51
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"A lot of what you said about the dragons depends on how you view things, Tavaro" Tilaleria said. "It is pretty clear that that hybrid was not a natural thing. And I think it was a recent thing. It is a thing that I have not heard of in the ancient tales."

"Did the 'creator' form the beast out of air and rock and water? Like you I doubt that, although it is the path of foolish to assume that we know everything and to assume that nothing will every change. It is still the case that that the creator of that thing made a new life that had not been seen before. Personally I find that disturbing"

"I do share your views a little on the Ent wives."
she nodded to Tavaro to indicate that agreement "They have been missing for millenia, and this is the first serious clue we have found in that time. It is possible to say that this action is hasty, but there are those that say any action is hasty and would do nothing: constantly considering options while the Enemy acts unopposed"

"Ignoring the matter of the rights and wrongs of rescuing the Entwives right now, I feel that if the Enemy acts here, then we need to know how. Without that intelligence how can the Wise make sensible decisions? Another Plaguire would be bad. It can from somewhere. Let us find out what we can about that"

Sky Sheer'enn
 Fellowship, 106 posts
 Elf
 Fighter/Archer/Driuid/
Thu 24 Sep 2015
at 15:44
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"There was another hybrid creature in Dol Guldur," Sky speaks up. She'd been listening to all that was said, but the unnerving Brown Lands had dampened her spirit far more than she'd realized. She still preferred the forest to the open plains, but her natural exuberance was slowly returning.

"The Keepers I was with tried to deal with it, but it was vast and monstrous, possibly a cross between a hydra and a kraken. In the dark, we could not fully see it. We may have hurt it, but we could not flush it from its lair, and had to flee to rethink our plan."

"That was when we received the call to aid the Ents. The other Keepers were going to return to Dol Guldur in greater numbers and resources."

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 113 posts
Thu 24 Sep 2015
at 16:10
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Saxon peeked over when they started talking about making dragons. "It really isn't that hard to make something like that. As long as you have the needed materials you can fuse the bits and then revive the body once it is all done."

"The corruption happens from the animating force. If you try to force it with darkmagic, or restart the natural body functions."

"The more important thing is that the animator had enough energy to bring it up, control it, overcharge the spell to forge the living spell, and then had enough magic left over to control the living spell."

"He isn't even in our area of power, likely in a whole other zone. That being said, its no small task to toss that much power around and still keep it hidden. If he or she didn't blow every last ounce of power they had, they are in recovery now."

"Being able to use that much magic is great, but there is still a limit to what someone can do. To that point we have set back any advantage they had when we killed it and the other monsters. it wont be a rapid recovery. Now is time time to marshal some of our own forces in response."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 153 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 26 Sep 2015
at 11:17
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Well we are those forces that have been marshaled. And we are responding" Tilaleria observed "We are going to rescue the Ent wives. At the least we are going to prevent the vile magic that used them to create the Plaguire" she didn't like to think about that. There was the "obvious way" it could of been done, but she wasn't chasing that. It just made her more keen to get to the Ent Wives, and less likely to waste time on red herrings on the journey

"When we return Sky, all things being equal, we will track down that creature and destroy it. And I think we should explore the Ice Dragon I found as well. As I say I think it was guarding something... I would like to know what"
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 121 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Mon 28 Sep 2015
at 10:49
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Borun listened attentively to the talk of dragons and corrupting magic before adding his own opinion.

"We are on the trail of the entwives. That tiny flower is surely a sign that we are on the right track, and we have travelled so far already. We have also declared out intention to find them to the male ents. Once the entwives are safe, I would be happy to help deal with the other threats."
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 37 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Wed 30 Sep 2015
at 05:52
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"I suggest we get some rest before continuing," Radagast says, "though I realize that the relief from the Brown Lands has left us a bit excited."

"Rest until noon, and then we continue on."


He follows his own advice, heads to the cabin that Anira has set up again, enters, selects a bed in the corner and lays down. He's soon asleep.
Elmohtar
 Fellowship, 45 posts
 Aasimar
 Menhir Savant/Priest
Wed 30 Sep 2015
at 06:47
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Elmohtar follows his master's example, though he is used to sleeping outdoors, and so sets up his bedroll and tarp nearby.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 154 posts
 Messenger Girl
Wed 30 Sep 2015
at 11:18
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tilaleria nodded to Radagast and wandered away from the camp. She would feel better exploring the green around them. After the aerial flight here: thrilling or not, she felt the need to get the dirt beneath her feet, and sense the life. She knew humans needed to sleep, so didn't pressurise them, but the talk around the fire hadn't lessened her desired to get to where the amulet was taking them
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 389 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Fri 2 Oct 2015
at 19:33
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
While the others who need it rest, Tilaleria scouts the area around them. It is typical plains with gradual rolling hills here and there. Vegetation is just grass and a few wildflowers. About half a mile from the cottage, she comes across a 'path'. She cannot tell if this is a regular path or not because it was made by a large number of horses... several dozen at least. They hoof-prints are shod, and the reasonably orderly way that they passed indicates that they had riders. They clearly weren't wild horses.

They came from the north and rode south about six days ago. There hasn't been enough rain to wash away the tracks, nor enough time for the grass to regrow.


Otherwise, the time passes uneventfully, and noonday hour arrives all too soon. Radagast awakes precisely on time, alert and ready to go.

He expects Saxon will provide another nourishing meal before they set off.
Tavaro
 Fellowship, 77 posts
 Maiar Undine
 Druid/Mighty Godling
Sat 3 Oct 2015
at 21:22
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tavaro had changed into a grand oak tree overnight, as the others would surmise in the morning as they awoke to the sight of the verdant giant in their midst that had not been there the night before. The fact that the mighty Landroval had nested himself in its crown was another indicator to the fact.

As morning came and Radagast got ready, it uprooted itself and took a new form, one more suited to the plains ahead but one no mortal eyes had ever seen. It was a hoofed creature like a horse or stag, but only a single antler grew from its forehead. Its fur was green as moss, but vast and long red manes draped from its every limb, including its tail. Lithe and fast it seemed and this was not a trait the mighty spirit had chosen idly, for he bounded off immediately. Restless it had become, tired of the company of men and elves and their trappings and yearning for the wind and revelry of motion. From afar the group could spy the spirit now and then, for his ranging returned the mighty creature to the group every now and then and on occasion the prince of eagles could be seen overhead as well, doing the same..



http://cs616526.vk.me/v616526850/1bfd/trhDGQOP9Y0.jpg

Elmohtar
 Fellowship, 46 posts
 Aasimar
 Menhir Savant/Priest
Sun 4 Oct 2015
at 11:52
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Elmohtar stares at the strange unicorn, but says nothing. he has grown accustomed to wonders when traveling with his master.

He folds his tarp and bedroll into their sack, and packs it all on the back of his giant bird. He puts on a long-rimmed hat against the noon sun, and is ready to continue the journey.
Anira
 Fellowship, 38 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Wed 7 Oct 2015
at 15:34
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Anira decided some rest would be in order so had curled up in a bunk as well, having been silent through all the discussions.  She had been asked to help find the ent wives and that's what she intended to do, letting other tasks fall to those Radagast had already assigned.  Not that she wasn't curious about other things but too much curiosity wasn't always a good thing.

When everyone was up and ready, she dismissed the house and then watched as Tavaro turned into a wondrous creature.  Though he may have seen her and the others as small and perhaps petty, she respected and even admired the spirit.  Others took to wing, either their own or friends, but she settled in with Saxon and the others on the wagon.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 114 posts
Wed 7 Oct 2015
at 20:00
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Half the fun of an adventure was all the meals. It was like alchemy, a number of reagents added can have wondrous effects on people. Today he used up the last of his fruit into a odd salad. A sweetly tart mix with plenty of citrus and sugars to give everyone that much needed kick in the pants.

He set up a number of odd tubes on the counter of his expanded wagon. "A bit of alchemy, pull the cap off, tug the rope on the bottom, and it shoots up a light for others to see if things get really bad."
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 38 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sun 11 Oct 2015
at 05:23
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
A quick nourishing meal before he retired was barely enough to sate his appetite so that when he woke around noon, he was ready to eat again. Fortunately, Saxon was as adept at preparing meals as he was at preparing potions.

"Excellent repast, Saxon!" he complemented the chef. "I've been meaning to ask you how praline is made. It seems like it is something an alchemist would have brewed in his lab, but I've always been afraid to ask what it is made of."


Once everyone has awoke and eaten and made what every preparations they need to continue the quest, Radagast is ready to leave.

"What a marvelous creature, Tavaro!" he says to the nature spirit. "Is it... natural? I don't recall ever hearing of such. Does it have a name?"

Once more, the group treks eastward. There would be several hundred miles of plain to cross. Other than the inhabitants, little was known about it.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 155 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 11 Oct 2015
at 16:16
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tilaleria had taken her repast with the others, then settled down to the journey east. This was new territory. A place that she'd not been to, and heard little of. "Have you been here before Radagast?" she asked as they traveled. She knew he'd known of the inhabitants, but the wise knew of many things.
Tavaro
 Fellowship, 78 posts
 Maiar Undine
 Druid/Mighty Godling
Tue 13 Oct 2015
at 12:14
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tavaro would not have halted for anyone, but it made an exception for Radagast. The creature replied in an eerily haunting sing-song, one clearly not produced by its mouth, but carried from elsewhere..

♪ In days of old, when this place was wylde ♫
♪ Great Yavanna once walked and smiled ♫
♪ Moss and tree, flower and beast ♫
♪ Were made in many forms, one like thysse ♫
♪ But the wylde needs no name ♫
♪ for it is not for men to tame ♫

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 39 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Tue 13 Oct 2015
at 19:59
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Oh, yes, I quite understand. My knowledge of the Wylde pales in comparison to yours," Radagast responds to Tavaro. He still wondered if Tavaro had conscious control over the form that he took, or if it was just a kind of resonance with the Wylde.

He then answered Tilaleria's question.

"No, I have not been in this part of Rhovanion before. There has been too much to tend to in the West--no time to go where I am not wanted. Nothing here for me to tend."

"There is also a... reluctance... I wouldn't go so far as to say a compulsion... to venture eastward. Perhaps there is some great ward on it. After all, we all came from the Far East... Elf, Dwarf, Hobbit, Man... we were all born or created in the East."

"It does seem odd, now that I think about it, that we don't go there, that there's no desire to explore our roots. Perhaps that is something that was built into us at our creation. We went forth and built a world. Maybe when the likes of Morgoth and Sauron can no longer exist we will be allowed to return."

"As for right now, I suspect that our quest, our fellowship... is over-riding whatever force or spirit steers us away."

Anira
 Fellowship, 39 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Sat 17 Oct 2015
at 16:36
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Anira listened, as Radaghast had come to expect, with unfeigned interest.  Whether it was something more dryly historical or some of his fanciful tales, she obviously admired and respected him deeply.  "Well if that time comes and I'm still around, I would love to go investigating with you," she stated when he'd stopped speaking and no one else seemed to have something to say.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 390 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 18 Oct 2015
at 03:35
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
As the group continues on, it's around 5 in the afternoon, just as people are keeping an out for a suitable campsite, when some of you, Tavaro and Otorno particularly, feel a vibration through the ground. It's faint, but it's clearly the hoof beats of horses... lots of horses.

Lady Isile, who once again was scouting from the sky, was returning for camp anyway, but she reports a group of mounted riders coming up from the south. She estimates 100 horses at least.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 156 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 18 Oct 2015
at 09:47
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Well... Run, Hide or Greet" Tilaleria listed the obvious options, suspecting the others would be thinking the same. As an Elf she would normally just hide at a time like this "Perhaps one of you people that can fly can see what they are like. If they are orcs, we may choose to change our mind" she doubted it though, usually horses meant Men. "I would recommend myself that we move quickly... I doubt if they have horses that can keep up with us"

Under her breath she muttered the words of a spell, one of the few she knew, if it came to a fight it wouldn't hurt to be prepared
Anira
 Fellowship, 40 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Sun 18 Oct 2015
at 16:43
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"I can fly for a short period of time but cannot change my form," Anira replied with a tinge of regret.  "I've had people not take it so well so perhaps our flying friends can give more detail of the riders," she said, looking to Lady Isile in particular.  "Were they flying any banners or anything unusual about them to give a clue who they might be?"
Tavaro
 Fellowship, 79 posts
 Maiar Undine
 Druid/Mighty Godling
Sun 18 Oct 2015
at 20:46
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tavaro was ranging in the meanwhile, but the tremors did not escape his attention. He breathed deep, and threw out his senses, passing through leaf and wind, to see what was transpiring all around..
Elmohtar
 Fellowship, 47 posts
 Aasimar
 Menhir Savant/Priest
Mon 19 Oct 2015
at 07:04
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Elmohtar, who had traveled on foot with the main group since they broke camp earlier that day, now changes form into a falcon.

"I shall see what that is about." He says before doing so. Then both birds - the falcon and the roc, fly in direction of the sound.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 122 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Mon 19 Oct 2015
at 10:59
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Horses, eh? Borun thought. The teachers at the Diamond Heart Academy had not trained him to fight an army of cavalry. Evasion would be the better option. Yet with so many travellers and a wagon, hiding was impossible. Nevertheless, Borun did his best to disperse the ashes of the campfire and looked around for suitable hiding places or cover.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 391 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Mon 19 Oct 2015
at 20:51
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tilaleria can outrun the horde. Lady Isile, Tavaro and Elmohtar can fly away. Can Saxon's wagon outrun them? And will it hold everyone else: Anira, Arithal, Borjnen, Borun, Garan, Grimfast, Jak, Orndir, Radagast, Sky and Otorno (Arithal's bear)?


Tavaro tries to commune with nature, and encounters something he's never felt before: Nature in this part doesn't like him! It's kind of like Nature here doesn't speak the same language. It's not overwhelming by any means, but he has to fight it for every scrap of knowledge that should have come easily.

The horsemen are one of the Horse Clans of the Plains of Rhovanion, what most folk call Easterlings. This particular Horse Clan are Dark Riders. They are hard, tough, warriors. 'Nice' isn't even in their vocabulary. Neither is 'mercy'. At best, you could say they are nomadic raiders.

They were on a raid somewhere to the south and are 'returning'. If the group stays where they are, the clan will pass some 5 miles to the west. However, there's no guarantee that the group won't be spotted, particularly with all the flying creatures.

They seem to heading for a watering hole about 10 miles to the north.

Just as his spell is dying out, he is able to sense something else, perhaps the cause of this land's condition--the ground has the 'feel' (touch, stench, taint) of Sauron. It's very faint, but it is all around.


Elmohtar flies over to where the horsemen are. They aren't riding fast, but the fact that there are so many of them affects the ground.

He can see that they are all rather dark-skinned, dark-haired, wearing black armor, only some of which is metal, the rest being leather. They have small round helms with horns and strips of fur around the edge. He does not spot any lances or spears, but various swords, axes, maces and clubs are visible. Many of them also carry crossbows.

The horses are at least semi-warhorses. They are not as large as typical warhorses, but they are all wearing black leather barding and seem to be trained to fight.

The only unusual feature is that the person at front, presumably leading them, is not wearing a helm at the moment, and has flowing white hair.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 157 posts
Tue 20 Oct 2015
at 05:31
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion

This message was deleted by the player at 08:33, Thu 22 Oct 2015.

Sky Sheer'enn
 Fellowship, 107 posts
 Elf
 Fighter/Archer/Driuid/
Fri 23 Oct 2015
at 06:36
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
She'd rather have been out scouting herself, but the lands were strange... in ways that she couldn't quite put her finger on.

She recognized Tavaro's effort to commune with Nature; she'd done it a few times herself. When it looked like the nature spirit (what else could he be, changing into all those wondrous forms?) was done, she tentatively approached him.

"What did you discover, Tavaro?" she asked. She was as much interested in the details as his wisdom.
Tavaro
 Fellowship, 82 posts
 Maiar Undine
 Druid/Mighty Godling
Fri 23 Oct 2015
at 12:03
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"They are men" the spirit replied, not veiling his resentment that he reserves for those who do not attempt to live in harmony with nature. His eyes, the deep orbs of stars, take on a deeper darkness as he speaks. "Men. Men on horses, who bear the same taint as this land does, for I smell upon it the lingering scent of Mordor. They come from the south, and are headed north, to a place where clean water flows. They will pass to the west, but only an hour or so as you walk. You may wish to fly or hide, for their scouts may find you. And as the ground already trembles at their approach, you know their number is beyond you."
Sky Sheer'enn
 Fellowship, 108 posts
 Elf
 Fighter/Archer/Driuid/
Sat 24 Oct 2015
at 00:05
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Perhaps they are beyond me," Sky replies with a grim smile as if to say 'don't be so sure', "but they are not beyond all of us."

"However, they have done nothing to us... yet. We need no assistance from them and we are not a diplomatic mission, so I see no need to cross paths or swords with them."

"Saxon, if you take your wagon over there to that gully, the rise should hide you from their sight. None of the rest of us stand up so high, so we should be safe. My concern is for you, Tavaro. I do not think you are in any danger from these riders, but in your current form, they will surely hunt if they spot you."

"Oh! But there's an idea! Would you be adverse to leading them away to the north, so that we can continue on once they pass? You can then turn into mist and rejoin us."


While she agreed with about men and nature, she'd had it explained to her that Morgoth and Sauron did not think that way. To them, those who were connected to nature were the ones in the way. She understood the concept, but she could not resolve it with her own belief.
Elmohtar
 Fellowship, 48 posts
 Aasimar
 Menhir Savant/Priest
Sun 25 Oct 2015
at 11:25
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Elmohtar flies back to the group, and describes what he saw. He pays special detail to the white-haired man.

"Have any of you heard of such a man?"
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 160 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 25 Oct 2015
at 13:20
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Many times have I heard of a man with white hair" Tilaleria commented "Especially in a leadership role. Is there anything other than the indication of his age that makes him stand out? Perhaps the lack of helm is that he doesn't want to get hot and sweaty. I myself, like many of us, don't have a helm"
Arithal Kodiak
 Outrider, 29 posts
 Human Male
 Druid/Monk
Thu 29 Oct 2015
at 04:36
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"He's just showing off," Arithal suggests, "not wearing a helm. On the other hand, if he's an albino, his leadership role is probably compensation for not getting much respect in his youth."

"If he's from the East, none of us are likely to heard of him."

"I say we avoid battle. Although I haven't gotten the impression that this is supposed to be a stealth mission, I don't think it will help us to make waves. Let's go to ground and let the column pass."

Elmohtar
 Fellowship, 49 posts
 Aasimar
 Menhir Savant/Priest
Thu 29 Oct 2015
at 09:00
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"I agree, lets avoid battle. I'll keep an eye on the riders, and you can keep an eye on me, to know where they are." Elmohtar says.

He changes back into a bird, and flies to check on the riders' progression and direction.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 161 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 29 Oct 2015
at 11:11
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"I've seen thousands of men with white hair. In fact most that live a long time get it, or end up with no hair. And I've seen perhaps two albinos" Tilaleria observed. "Was his skin very pink? You could probably of seen that as he had no helm. Mind you if he was an albino he would have to hide from the sun, unless he has magic to ward the rays and keep them from burning him"

She looked around

"One question is 'can we out run them'." she chuckled as she looked as Saxon remembering the chat they had had about this before. "Let's see if your wagon is faster than a troop of Nomads in the short term. We cannot avoid leaving tracks, unless some of you have suitable magics. Mind you mortal horses are restricted to some tens of miles in a day, and I think we can move far further than even the most gifted such horse, so if we can stay in front of them for some hours, they will have to stop unless they want to kill their mounts"
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 40 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Wed 4 Nov 2015
at 05:52
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"We probably can outrun them, but they would pursue us," Radagast replies. "It would then become a question of endurance. And we would then have an enemy at our back."

"I think our best option is to hide. Let them pass. The alternative is to engage."

"Can any of you adjust the wind? Change the direction towards us so that their horses won't be able to pick up our scent."

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 125 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Wed 4 Nov 2015
at 13:16
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
In reply to Radagast the Brown (msg # 59):

"Not I," Borun shook his head sadly. Weather manipulation was rarely required in the dwarven caverns. "However, I am able to create a simple illusion, perhaps something like a boulder formation that might hide us."

OOC: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/...pells/s/silent-image
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 162 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 5 Nov 2015
at 10:34
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tilaleria shrugged in response to Radagast. It was hard for her to see how they weren't going to be spotted: they left many tracks, and the tracks of the wagon were unmistakable. A group that large would have outriders. Perhaps magic would solve some of the problems: she didn't do much magic and certainly nothing on the scale that would be needed to solve this problem. Since it seemed they had stopped she leapt easily into the branches of a nearby tree. Up there she cast one of the small charms she knew, one that would help her if, or when, they got into a fight

This message was last edited by the player at 10:58, Thu 05 Nov 2015.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 392 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 8 Nov 2015
at 04:26
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
True, the group may have left tracks, but they haven't left any that the column of mounted men are likely to cross on their current course.

Also the flyers can report that there aren't any outriders. These aren't invaders in some foreign territory--this is their homeland. They don't seem to be concerned about anyone attacking them.

However, since this is their territory, any sudden boulders and such are likely to attract their attention. Rolling grassy hills, on the other hand, all tend to look alike as there aren't any significant landmarks to go by.

Laying low until the column passes is the best course of action... other than attacking them. The men in the column may not be nice people, but they haven't done anything that the group knows to warrant attacking them.

Borun is able to cast his Silent Image spell to make the group appear like just a continuation of the rolling grassland.

It takes about an hour for the column to pass far enough for the group to continue on.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 163 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 8 Nov 2015
at 08:53
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"And they were overconfident and incompetent" Tilaleria said, releived at the end. "I wonder if that is because  have no serious enemies around here? I've never seen a body of troops that big that didn't have scouts out before..." She bit lip thinking "This is both good and bad. It's good that it we want to ambush them, we can easily. And it's good they didn't seee us. It's bad because their confidence is probably backed by the fact that they probably dominate this area, so much they don't need to worry. Still we should celebrate good fortune when it occurs. Nice spell Borun"

She turned and looked at the others

"We were very lucky then. Is there anything we can do to mean that we can carry on being lucky. We are leaving huge tracks at the moment. Do we care about that sort of thing?" She looked at Radagast who had earlier said that he didn't want to be followed "if so do we want to start leaving fewer tracks?"
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 41 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Mon 9 Nov 2015
at 07:18
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Yes, we've been careless... at least a bit," Radagast concurs with Tilaleria. "However, a few of us have the means to eradicate those tracks, perhaps even leave a false trail."

"From now on, we leave no tracks. Can any of you help with that? I'm more adept at dealing with animals."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 164 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 14 Nov 2015
at 18:50
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tilaleria nodded at Radagast "Could we not get regular groups of animals to trample across our trail? It would be 'notable' but we will need 'something' to mask the very obvious tracks of the wagon." she thought for a while, but decided that her small skills in magic were of little help, and that most of the others were better at woodscraft than herself, so left it in their capable hands.
Anira
 Fellowship, 41 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Sat 14 Nov 2015
at 19:20
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Anira was quiet and thoughtful, absently stroking the sleeping squirrel on her shoulder.  There were many spells she could access but none that she knew would be helpful in regards to the wagon tracks.  "I have nothing to help I'm afraid," she finally replied apologetically.  "I would just suggest, if others have not the ability to hide the tracks, that we make haste.  They went a different direction and if we are lucky, they will not come this direction anytime soon."
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 42 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sat 14 Nov 2015
at 22:46
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Ah, yes... a herd of stampeding squirrels would definitely hide our tracks," Radagast responds to Tilaleria humorously. "Out here, though, prairie dogs might be more likely."

"Seriously, without knowing what animals live on the plains here, any such action would be as much a red flag as our own tracks."

"Elmohtar and Tavaro might be able to hide our tracks, otherwise, Anira is probably correct. The column of riders isn't likely to return this way anytime soon. Besides, I don't know how far they might pursue us. How far does their domain extend?"

"Ride on. Lady Isile and Elmohtar can take turns keeping an eye on the column until we our well out of their probable range."



With that, Radagast climbs back up in Saxon's wagon. He climbs in the back this time, where he finds a fishing pole. He sits on the back and appears to start fishing out the back.
Elmohtar
 Fellowship, 50 posts
 Aasimar
 Menhir Savant/Priest
Mon 16 Nov 2015
at 12:52
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Elmohtar does as his master bids. He will certainly warn the others if the riders change direction, but he is also curious about these people and their goals.

If possible, he will try to eavesdrop on conversations, if there are any.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 393 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Mon 16 Nov 2015
at 22:49
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
It's hard for Elmohtar to eavesdrop on the column of soldiers as they are prone to trying to shoot him out of the sky.

However, over the course of the next several hours, he manages to overhear a few snippets.

"Who knew the Brundings would have so much treasure!"
"Too bad their weapons were of such poor quality."
"Made them easy to kill."
"Yeah. Don't know that was such a good idea."
"Know whatcha mean. Leave 'em alive to gather more treasure for the next time we raid them!"
"Ha! Truth! Now there's nothing there."


"So where do you think Relonril will lead us next?"
"Dunno. He's feeling his way. Don't think he's strong enough to challenge Rohan."
"They are a myth! But the Westerlings have lots of treasure."
"Maybe. There could be a reason the Dark Lord never sought the treasure of those mountains."
"What? Dwarves? They just scurry off into their damned tunnels like rats!"


"Think he'll attack the giants?"
"Nah. No point. Wood giants ain't got much treasure. Now mountain giants! That's whole 'nother story!"
"I heard wood giants are peaceful. Not much challenge either."
"Well, yeah, until you get them riled. We could battle them and probably win, but it'd be hard to add them to our ranks."
"Truth there! We'd starve to death tryin' to feed them!"
"And then they'd eat us if they got hungry enough!"

============================================================================

The next two days pass uneventfully as the fellowship travels across the rolling grassy Plains of Rhovanion. There is little to no sign of other people having passed this way in a long time. An occasional small campsite is passed, but they are all months old.

At the end of the second day, you spot a forest ahead. It's still several hours travel away; you won't be able to reach it before sundown.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 165 posts
 Messenger Girl
Wed 18 Nov 2015
at 14:45
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"How is the indicator for the Ent Wives doing" Tilaleria asked. Going through the forest was likely to slow them down a lot. She looked at the people that could fly "Any sign of an easy way round" she asked, then took a careful look at Saxon's wagon. She really couldn't see how they were going to get a wagon through a forest... maybe they could carry it or something... but that looked unlikely. Still Radagast's sledge looked an unlikely vehicle for going through a forest, and that didn't seem to have any problems. Perhaps Radagast had magics that would help...
Anira
 Fellowship, 42 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Thu 19 Nov 2015
at 01:55
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"I think we'll have to worry about trying to get around tomorrow since I doubt we can even make it anywhere near the treeline before nightfall," Anira stated, shielding her eyes as she looked at the distance they still had to cover.  "We could press on until dark or even past dark if you wish then I can make the shelter for us again," she offered.
Elmohtar
 Fellowship, 51 posts
 Aasimar
 Menhir Savant/Priest
Thu 19 Nov 2015
at 08:00
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Elmohtar shares with the others the things he has learned from eavesdropping on the raiders. Perhaps his master, or one of his companions, would recognize the name of the raisers' leader, Relonril.

"Perhaps we should look for these tree giants? Their name suggest they might know something about the ent-wives, and in any case, if we can befriend them, they might help us with other information about this strange land."
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 166 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 19 Nov 2015
at 08:48
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Need a way to find them and make friendly contact with them" Tilaleria observed mostly agreeing. Mind you she'd not had much luck inteacting with the Giant folk: in her experience they tended to side with the powers of Morgoth. Still Tree-ents were a good counter example, although they too needed to be approached with caution and respect.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 127 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Sat 21 Nov 2015
at 10:38
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"I have no way of easing the wagon's passage through a forest," Borun said, "but we could go up towards it anyway. When we are close, I could scout ahead into the forest and look for any potential danger."
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 43 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sun 22 Nov 2015
at 07:55
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Relonril is it? Ha. Probably not his birth name," Radagast said. "It is Elven for 'Platinum Bandit'. I wonder if it was a name given to him, or one that he chose himself. Perhaps some day I shall find out."

"No matter. Even from here, the forest looks... strange. I know not how large it is, but I would hate to have to go around it just the same."

"A friendly giant--that is even more unusual. Perhaps you are right, Elmohtar. These giants may be able to give us information... if nothing else, about what to avoid!"

"Your magic house is eminently useful, Anira! With it, we do not need to worry about making camp. So let us spend another hour or so approaching the forest. Perhaps more details will present themselves to us."

"Yes, Borun, scouting might find us the giants we seek... if they don't swat us like insects."

"Alas, Tilaleria, the only friendly way to approach a giant that I ever heard of was to just jump in its mouth. Keeps them from getting annoyed with you."


He directs Saxon to continue on.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 167 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 22 Nov 2015
at 10:51
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Radagast was being 'wise' again Tilaleria realised. That mostly mean she didn't know what she was saying. "Are you saying that that it is unlikely that we'll could make friendly contact" she asked as they continued onwards, although she still didn't really know what they were going to do with the wagon. Perhaps abandon it at the edge. She had to admit it had come a lot further than she had expected, perhaps one of the other mighty magic using people would have a plan for dealing with it "I have to say I am unhappy with the idea of mind raping by magic" she observed. She'd seen people get casual with the use of controlling and manipulative magics, and in her view that line of magic could lead to the Path of Morgoth faster than anything else "Still perhaps someone has a good idea how we might talk with them. Perhaps capture one. Perhaps do the 'I am tougher than you route'. I've found that often strength talks when working with Morgoth's less intellectual minions in a way that reason and compassion doesn't"
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 44 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sun 22 Nov 2015
at 20:11
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Aye, Tilaleria, I do not like mind-probing other sentient beings, and I only do it--reluctantly--if the need is dire," Radagast replies to the Elven messenger.

"I was not suggesting that. Perhaps just a friendly gesture would suffice. I confess, I have never heard of these forest giants before."

"How say you, Tavaro? Are you familiar with large folk that live in the woods?"

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 168 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 22 Nov 2015
at 20:31
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Oh I was more referring to those spells that dominate, control, or somehow make the target think you are their 'friend'" Tilaleria said. "I was once under the influence of such a spell, and I have to admit it is not an experience I wish to repeat. I too have not heard of forest giants other than Ents. I think it will be interesting to see if the Hand of Morgoth is upon them. Certainly it seems to upon the rest of this land. The stench of corruption is everywhere"
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 395 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Thu 26 Nov 2015
at 20:02
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
The forest continues to look stranger as you approach it. About an hour before sunset, you can now see that the trees are all growing in neat rows and columns. They appear to be 30 feet tall or so. Oddly, there is no forest detritus on the ground. No leaves, branches, logs, etc. The trunks are far enough apart that Saxon won't have any problem getting his wagon between the rows.

There don't appear to be branches, either, certainly now with leaves on them. The trees are comprised of large leaves.

It is Radagast that finally figures out what you are all seeing, though possible Saxon and Elmohtar do, too--tobacco plants! Giant tobacco plants!
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 169 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 26 Nov 2015
at 20:17
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Well I know a dwarf, and not a few men, that would like the sight of this" Tilaleria commented. "I have to wonder if it smokes as well as the normal stuff" she examined the forest, and quirked a smile at Saxon "And that's just good news as well"

20:15, Today: Tilaleria rolled 28 using 1d20+18 with rolls of 10.  KNow Nature.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 396 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Fri 27 Nov 2015
at 07:22
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tilaleria is finally able to put two and two together. Rhovanion is known for its fine wine and its... tobacco. What gets exported is the finished product, not the raw broadleaf, which these certainly are.

And the forest giants are probably voadkyn--wood giants, that cultivate the giant tobacco plants.
Arithal Kodiak
 Outrider, 30 posts
 Human Male
 Druid/Monk
Wed 2 Dec 2015
at 19:51
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Ahhh, wood giants! Now it makes sense," Arithal commented. "Still think we should try to find them and ask directions?"


The Entwives were still far, far away, as he understood it. It didn't seem likely that the Voadkyn would have any accurate information about where the Entwives were. Even if they did, it'd be suspect.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 170 posts
 Messenger Girl
Wed 2 Dec 2015
at 19:55
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Well I see a few futures" Tilaleria observed "They will either attack us on sight or not, then will know something about the Ent Wifes that passed through here thousands of years ago, or they won't"

"I am not a betting girl, but if I was, the change of them not attacking us on sight, and actually knowing something isn't something I would wager any significant sum of money of"

"I guess it boils down to 'do we mind possibly having to kill a lot of Wood Giants'. I personally bear them no ill will at the moment. If any of us feel they are sufficiently versed in Wood Giant lore to try the task of peacefully approaching them, I'd be happy to try. If not, I don't particularly want to leave the ground littered with their corpses as we head on"

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 128 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Thu 3 Dec 2015
at 02:27
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"I am no diplomat," Borun commented, "but it may be worth asking them anyway, even with only a small chance of gaining useful information. If they attack us on sight, then they deserve what's coming to them."
Jak
 Fellowship, 54 posts
 Human
 Fighter/Magus
Thu 3 Dec 2015
at 03:43
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"I wouldn't mind challenging a wood giant to a game of cards," Jak chimes in. "But I try to avoid combat of any kind if I can."

"I'm with the Messenger. I say push on. We're collecting valuable information on what lies in this area, though I must confess I don't see much use in that information."

"About the only thing the Voadkyn might tell us is what dangers might lie here in there tobacco forest and perhaps beyond."

"What say you, Old Man?"
He directs the last at Radagast.
Anira
 Fellowship, 43 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Fri 4 Dec 2015
at 13:46
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Anira had been quiet since Tilaleria had brought up mind rape, the insinuation that they would so blithely do something like that not setting well with her.  She could and would do something similar if necessary but she also wasn't going to argue with the woman though so instead had focused on other things.  She did nod in agreement with Borun and Jak, more than willing to continue and deal with problems as they continued on the trail.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 45 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Wed 9 Dec 2015
at 04:39
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"I admit that Jak's reasons for contacting the Voadkyn are valid, but only if they have those answers," Radagast responds. "While it seems odd that time should be a factor after all this time, I feel it best that we push on."

"We may have a lot of ground to cover. No one remembers what the Far East held, or even how far away it is, or what may have happened to it in the intervening years."

"We do know that the Entwives are there. Once we find and return them, perhaps then we can explore this area further."

"We move on."

This message was last edited by the player at 04:39, Wed 09 Dec 2015.

Sky Sheer'enn
 Fellowship, 109 posts
 Elf
 Fighter/Archer/Driuid/
Wed 9 Dec 2015
at 07:45
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
 Sky listened to her friend and said. "I agree. We should move in and if need be come back to explore this region better. If there are no objections I'll have Nightbreeze scout ahead for us?"

not sure what time of the day it is or if we need to rest?

This message was last edited by the player at 07:52, Wed 09 Dec 2015.

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 171 posts
 Messenger Girl
Wed 9 Dec 2015
at 08:04
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"I share your views on that Sky" Tilaleria commented "I feel the enemy is moving, we know at a least one Ent Wife has been hideously experimented on, and have no reason to believe that more are not being tormented and twisted. This gives me a sense of urgency."

"It's all very well saying, for example 'don't  hasty', but delay and inaction could mean the end of the Ent Wives, as they are turned into terrible weapons. It is this sense of urgency that is making me want to avoid delays en route. I quite like the idea of exploring these areas. I suspect given a few decades of careful study, it should be quite possible, and very rewarding to talk to the Voadkyn. We know they trade for tobacco, that implies that it is possible to interact with them peacefully."


She nodded to suggestion of aerial scouts. The more the better

This message was last edited by the player at 12:16, Wed 09 Dec 2015.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 397 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Thu 10 Dec 2015
at 02:44
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Once again, the Fellowship is in an odd position. It's the end of the day, and while there doesn't seem to be any impending threat traveling through the giant tobacco forest, setting up Anira's cottage would be obvious out here.

It would be quite dark going through the forest. The huge broad leaves of the tobacco would block out all the starlight and moonlight.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 172 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 12 Dec 2015
at 09:48
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Do we care if the cottage is obvious?" Tilalerial commented "It is pitch black in here at night, and while I can call upon my training to operate in the dark, I am unable to sense anything beyond a stones throw away. My understanding is that even the creatures of Morgoth are similarly restricted"

"MInd you we should probably have a picket line, or rather given our numbers a few guards. I don't need to sleep in the way some of you do, so I am happy to take part in one. A second person woud be good, as would any animals you can ask to keep guard for us"

"Unless a 'patrol' stumbles across us or our tracks, we should be fine."
She paused "did any of you good at tracking spot signs of a patrol?"
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 129 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Sat 12 Dec 2015
at 14:25
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"I think that it would be sensible to rest here for the night," Borun replied. "I am happy to take part in the nighttime watch."
Sky Sheer'enn
 Fellowship, 110 posts
 Elf
 Fighter/Archer/Driuid/
Wed 16 Dec 2015
at 02:35
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Sky had her companion take the lead. Now just near the cottage she yearned him back. Sky mumbled a phrase and cast. detect magic Sky then took her pack off and said, "I shall take first watch if that's ok with you all?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:42, Wed 16 Dec 2015.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 398 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Wed 16 Dec 2015
at 06:29
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Anira conjures up her magical cottage again, just outside of the strange tobacco forest.

So, yes, the cottage detects as magical to Sky.

Watches are posted, but the night passes uneventfully. In retrospect, it did seem unlikely that the Voadkyn would be 'tending' the plants at night. The only real concern was the wildlife. Who knew what kinds of creatures might be attracted to these giant plants.

The next day dawns mostly bright and clear, but there are dark, ominous clouds on the southern horizon.

Traveling through the tobacco forest is fairly easy going. The distance between the stalks is more than enough room for Saxon's wagon.

Scouts to the rows left and right can easily provide warning, but it isn't necessary. It takes just over an hour to get to the other side of the forest.

There were sounds heard in the forest, probably Voadkyn tending the plants, but it was far enough away that it wasn't a threat nor was it worth side-tracking.


Once out of the shade of the towering tobacco plants, more rolling plain greets the eye, but there's a slight difference. There are more rocky outcroppings here than on the other side and the hills are a bit higher.

The biggest problem with the journey is that it's long; it's already starting to wear on some of the group.

Creatures can be seen in the distance, perhaps a pack of wolves.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 173 posts
 Messenger Girl
Wed 16 Dec 2015
at 16:33
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Well I'm glad to be out of there" Tilaleria commented. There was always just the edgyness of 'did they have to worry about an ambush.

"So... "
she shaded her eyes and looked hard. "Wolves. Or Wargs." Tilaleria wasn't the least perceptive of her kin, and hoped to be able to see if there were riders or things like that

"If they are just natural creatures and they decide to fight us, we should control it. I know normal wolves only hunt things the size of a rabbit, but if there are wargs among them all bets are off. We could set them a target, and let that target fall back a little from the others, like a solitary wounded member of a pack. When they close in the others can join in the fight. I'd be happy to be that target. I am smaller than most of you, and they will probably assume that I am the easiest killed."

"I assume if 'the target' was to lure them together you nature magicians have means of restraining them."


Tilaleria paused in thoughts

"They are pack animals. If you were to either control or replace the alpha, would the rest follow you?"

Then continued with

"Mind you if they have riders, it's all moot. We'd have to deal with the riders, and that's a totally different situation"


OOC Perception 48
Sky Sheer'enn
 Fellowship, 111 posts
 Elf
 Fighter/Archer/Driuid/
Wed 16 Dec 2015
at 18:51
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Sky used her wild empathy and nature sense tword the pack of animals, As she stood at the beasts, she suddenly could feel the pack,their hearts beating, the air flowwing through each members lungs.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 399 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Wed 16 Dec 2015
at 23:02
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tilaleria does not see any riders on the distant creatures, and they appear to be just wolves, although the pack is rather large.



Sky is able to sense the pack's 'emotions'. The first thing she realizes is that there are three separate packs--meaning three alpha males. Yet they aren't fighting each other.

It's because they are fleeing. There is something they all are afraid of that is pursuing them.
Sky Sheer'enn
 Fellowship, 112 posts
 Elf
 Fighter/Archer/Driuid/
Thu 17 Dec 2015
at 00:21
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"They are just wolves. Three packs to be accurate. They are scared and fleeing something? Give me a minute." Sky said word in Elvish and began to levitate into the air to get a better view. Once Sky had gotten high enough to make out the surrounding area, she pulled her bow out and notched three arrows. Using her empathy with Nightbreeze, Sky felt a protection sense and had her friend run to the packs and lead them back tword the group.

Sky waited to see what purcuced the three packs before doing anything. Even though Sky despised anything that hurt nature and its animals, unless it was for self preservation. "0nce the packs get close to us form a circle so we will have every direction covered."

Sky was now in her element, a farm with huge plants. Sky waited till she was able to see and the packs were being chased by.

" If we must fight then so be it. If anyone can cast a greese spell? If so then wait till their pack leaders are about to fall behind a bit. Cast the sell in a circle around the evil enemy or whatever it is? After the greese is down I'll use a fire arrow to ignite it. That should give us a nice containment until we either kill or question they might just be hungry, tired, and being squeezed of the three packs hunting ground. so any objections? These plants should be helpful and then we will make a more stealful way tword the cottage." .

"It's personally to me now. I am ready to fight off this threat," Sky told the others.


Sky rolled + 35 perception, plz bear w/ me I hate typing & am using a phone. I wish there was a microphone for this game instead of just texting. And to top it all I lost over a third of my books.

This message was last edited by the player at 07:12, Thu 17 Dec 2015.

Sky Sheer'enn
 Fellowship, 113 posts
 Elf
 Fighter/Archer/Driuid/
Thu 17 Dec 2015
at 07:15
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Leviteing now for a bit the others found see the bottom of her boots sole tapping up and down. <red>"it could be an ambush?" Sky came.bak to earth and want happy she was ready to get this done.

Sky hoped on her own wolf and scouted ahead. <red>"I'll find out.".<red>

This message was last edited by the player at 07:23, Thu 17 Dec 2015.

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 174 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 17 Dec 2015
at 14:32
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"If they are fleeing in terror will they pause to hunt?" Tilaleria asked. "Perhaps if we just move sideways out of their path, they will move past us. We should of course prepare" in fact she prepared right then casting a charm that protected her from fangs and claws a little "I think though that preparing a few hundred yards away from their line of flight should help"

"Do you think you can see what is chasing them, or what they are worried about Sky?"
she asked "And are the other animals fleeing, or is it just this wolf pack?"


OOC Shield spell
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 400 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Thu 17 Dec 2015
at 17:56
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
The wolf packs are fleeing northward, pursued by something from the south. They are about 2 miles away from you.

Nothing is immediately visible of the their pursuers.
Tavaro
 Fellowship, 83 posts
 Maiar Undine
 Druid/Mighty Godling
Thu 17 Dec 2015
at 18:23
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
The words of the two women wash over him as a breeze, but like a breeze, they carry the scent of their concern. It is not their welfare that concerns him, any more than all creatures of the world concern him, but the tone arouses his senses. Something does concern them.

"Mordor... yet different... a blend of old and new... new blasphemies that taint the land, corrupt the living, invoke the dead," he mutters.

Once again in his hybrid deer form, he turns his head to the southeast, his sight penetrating the distance like the sting of a bee penetrates the skin.

"Orc-but-not-orc. More than Orc, less than Orc. Vile and foul, their very touch is anathema to the living. Their mere presence corrupts the air, carried on the winds for all to sense."

There were clearly times when Tavaro seemed to exist on another plane, or perhaps it was that his own senses were perceiving other times and places. As if coming out of a reverie, he shakes his hand and turns his gaze back to the others in his company.

"You call them gorgun. And perhaps that is how they started, but they have been corrupted beyond all that is natural."

"Black be their skin, red be their eyes, with extra limbs and extra size. Should they but touch a wolf, the wolf will be transformed into a warg--the only beast that could be a suitable companion for their kind."

"The wolves are too close to nature, so easily fall prey to nature's corruption."

"Four and twenty gorgun will soon turn this way, for even as I sense their  corruption, they will surely sense our purity, which is as anathema to them as they are to us."

"This be not a battle we can avoid, nor should we."

"Ah, there it is! The source of the corruption, the architect of their vile construction!"


Tavaro transforms into a giant eagle and takes wing into darkening sky.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 130 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Sat 19 Dec 2015
at 12:50
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Borun frowned at Tavaro's disconcerting words. Mutated orcs with multiple limbs and warg companions would be formidable foes. On top of that, twenty-four of them heavily outnumbered our modest group.

Borun had been considering an illusion spell, but Tavaro implied that the orcs' senses would penetrate such minor magic.

Borun steeled himself for combat. If he was to die here alongside these brave, honourable friends, so be it. He would make the orcs pay heavily.
Sky Sheer'enn
 Fellowship, 114 posts
 Elf
 Fighter/Archer/Driuid/
Sun 20 Dec 2015
at 02:20
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Well then Orc blood is on the soup menu today. I've been itching to slay some nasty orcs. I'm sure they know we're here and we know they are there so neither has a surprise advantage. Let's prepare now and kill them once they attack." . Said Skyy.
Oh course Skyy wasn't about to eat blood soup it was a saying. She readied her bow and leaned it against her hip. "I have a couple buffs I can give out but my spells are more suited for pain."

Skyy closed her eyes,said a word or two,then snapped her fingers. She then focused on the three packs of wolves. Sending out the feeling of safety if they came to the group and helped fight the orcs. Skyy took off a black mask and replaced it with one that was white with blue stars. She gave Nightbreeze a loving rub on his neck, then grabbed her bow and notched an arrow.


Ooc cast bless + 1att for group& cast bark skin on Borun lasts 5 min/ +3AC

This message was last edited by the player at 10:06, Mon 21 Dec 2015.

Sky Sheer'enn
 Fellowship, 115 posts
 Elf
 Fighter/Archer/Driuid/
Mon 21 Dec 2015
at 10:11
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Skyy heard the worry in Borgun's voice. "No need to fear my friend I have plenty of spells suited for this type of terrain. We will make mincemeat out of these ugly things. So let's set up for a fight, let them come to us and use some of their energy.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:37, Mon 21 Dec 2015.

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 131 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Mon 21 Dec 2015
at 13:57
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Borun's heavy heart was buoyed by Skyy's confidence. He looked up at the elf and nodded. "Thank you, Skyy. Let us prepare for the battle."

Borun flexed his limbs in a kata.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 175 posts
 Messenger Girl
Mon 21 Dec 2015
at 16:03
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Can any of you nature types make the plants grow enough to allow us some structure. It would be ideal if they could only approach us from one direction, and then we can place those that are robust in melee combat in the way, while the other fire missile weapons and spells. It's a simple plan, but I think it would make a big difference. Some sort of Wall of Thorns, or even Plant Growth..."
Arithal Kodiak
 Outrider, 31 posts
 Human Male
 Druid/Monk
Tue 22 Dec 2015
at 01:04
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"We are not as outnumbered as you think," Arithal says as he glances around at everyone. "Counting Otorno and Nightbreeze, there are 18 of us... well, perhaps only 17. I don't think we can count on Tavaro to be of any help, if he returns. He seemed to think that there was some controlling force behind these gorgun. If there is, it may be a match for the Maiar."

"I'm sure some of us can create a barrier, but, alas, that spell is not in my repertoire. I have other things that can handle these creatures, though."

Sky Sheer'enn
 Fellowship, 116 posts
 Elf
 Fighter/Archer/Driuid/
Tue 22 Dec 2015
at 04:28
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"I have many of the spells you speak of. But we need to wait till they get in range then I can snare and entangle them making easy targets," said Sky. She looked back to the wooded tobacco fields and said, "Let's move back closer to the fields." Sky then cast warp wood making a small shelter with slits to shoot arrows out of.

"Once they attack I'll be able to snare and entangle them using the plants. It shouldn't be a hard fight then."

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:24, Sat 21 Jan 2017.

Elmohtar
 Fellowship, 52 posts
 Aasimar
 Menhir Savant/Priest
Tue 22 Dec 2015
at 07:37
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Elmohtar, who has been lost in thought for the last day or so, is awakened to danger at hand. Perhaps, he too, senses the coming evil.

He directs his great bird to fly alongside Tavaro, and bring news when the enemy nears.

"With so many plants around I will be able to teleport to essentially any point within this, well, forest, I guess. And take three of you with me. So we can flank them, once they are here. But for now, I can raise a wall to protect us."

He casts Plant Growth to make a kind of fort or wall to best defend them against the oncoming attack.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 176 posts
 Messenger Girl
Tue 22 Dec 2015
at 08:22
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"My proposal Sky" Tilalera commented "was to prepare the battlefield so that they cannot circle around us. For example some thick undergrowth here and here" she pointed "would mean that they could come at us from only one side, giving us a huge defensive advantage, and allowing those of you who want to stay out of the physical fighting to do so"

"I imagine that her entangling strategy will work extremely well, but if we can funnel the attackers, concentrating their forces by restricting where they can come at us from, then I suspect the spells will work end better"


She nodded to Elmohtar "Please" she said. "The wall is good. You flank, and I will be part of the living wall and bait that you will flank them against. We need something to draw them in after all"
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 46 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Wed 30 Dec 2015
at 01:59
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"I think we should be at a disadvantage if we were to stay within the 'forest' of the tobacco plants," Radagast finally speaks up as preparations are made for the expected onslaught of gorguns.

"We will not be able to see them all, nor will we be able to guard each other's back."

"We do not want the wolves to join us, Sky, as the very touch of the gorguns will turn them into wargs to fight against us. We would then be forced to kill them. Alas, there is no way I know of to remove the touch of darkness from them once they have changed. I bear wolves no ill will; they are but another nature's creatures. Respect them, and they will respect you. But they will still eat you if you give them a chance."

"Interesting use of the 'warp wood' spell, Sky. I doubt if the sages would classify these giant tobacco plants as trees, in spite of their size, but it appears magic only takes the size into account."

"Do not remain within your little fort too long, though, or you may find yourself trapped."

"As long as we remain here until the gorguns get closer, then these walls of thorns will channel them to us. Keep in mind that they will only work for a little while; it is quite likely that the gorguns can leap over them to get to us."


When he finishes speaking, he casts his own 'Wall of Thorns' spell on the other side from where Elmohtar had cast his, thus creating a funnel that would--hopefully--channel the gorguns into what was general called a 'kill zone'. While killing was anathema to him, the dark touch of Morgoth could only be dealt with by killing.
Arithal Kodiak
 Outrider, 32 posts
 Human Male
 Druid/Monk
Mon 4 Jan 2016
at 04:41
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Arithal casts Longstrider on himself, but then waits until the gorguns at least come within sight, and it looks like they are heading for the group.

He then casts Barkskin on himself and on Otorno.


"I've got a few spells that might work against these creatures," he offers. "I figured I'd start off with a nice sleet storm as they get closer, and then I can call down lightning on them."

"After that, Otorno and I will go into melee with whatever is left of them."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 178 posts
 Messenger Girl
Mon 4 Jan 2016
at 11:24
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tilaleria moved to the front of the cone. She was going to be bait. "When they see me, I will flee along the funnel a short way" she commented. She was almost as ready as she could be "When they get about a minute away could you let us know" she asked the flying scouts
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 153 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Mon 4 Jan 2016
at 19:16
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
From above there was a loud screech from the eagle that was flying overhead.
Anira
 Fellowship, 44 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Mon 4 Jan 2016
at 21:46
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Anira had also voiced her wishes to not involve the wolves.  Like Radagast and a few others, she respected the wolves and did not wish for any of them to be injured or transformed into something hideous.  They were all preparing for battle and she cast a spell upon herself as the tiny squirrel disappeared somewhere in her cloak.  "I can cast an ice storm and lightning as well," she said, giving Arithal a nod and readying her bow.  "I can also bring some fire into the mix though I would rather not ignite the tobacco forest."



Casting Mage Armor so AC now 26.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 402 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Thu 7 Jan 2016
at 05:24
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
There are still a few rounds before the gorguns reach the group, so there is time to prepare.

This is the current scene:


           Walls of thorns
           \             /
            \           /
             \         /
              \       /
               \     /
                \___/ Sky's fort
O   O   O   O   O   O   O   O   O   O
          Giant tobacco plants
O   O   O   O   O   O   O   O   O   O

O   O   O   O   O   O   O   O   O   O





Anyone going to cast range spells will have two chances to do so. The first is when the gorguns reach the opening of the funnel. The second will be when the gorguns get about 2/3 way through the funnel because they'll be starting to get in each other's way by then.

After that, it'll be down to melee.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 179 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 7 Jan 2016
at 09:56
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tilaleria positioned herself near the others. Close to the base of the funnel, as she didn't want to be in the way of any of her companions area of effect spells. As she heard the eagle overhead screech she had cast another defensive spell and used a wand. Her main ones though she was going to wait until the Gorgun's got close.

And finally they did. The moment they came into sight, she cast a haste spell, following it quickly as she walked forwards to get the attention of the Gorgun's with a spell that made her hands sparkle with a mixture of ice and lightning.

OOC Initiative 21
Please note I have cast haste on most people, the round before you all start spell casting. You decide if you have it or not. It will be active for 9 rounds from when you start spell casting

This message was last edited by the player at 10:13, Thu 07 Jan 2016.

Arithal Kodiak
 Outrider, 33 posts
 Human Male
 Druid/Monk
Thu 7 Jan 2016
at 17:21
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Well, then, Anira," he says to his compatriot, "shall we stagger our attacks? Lightning and ice one round, then repeat the next round?"

As he said it, though, he couldn't help wondering if this area had ever experienced winter. In the warmth of the land, the sleet and cold wouldn't last long enough to damage anything. It might kill a few of the tobacco plants, but he wasn't expecting them to be in the area of effect.

17:22, Today: Arithal Kodiak rolled 4 using 1d20+3 ((1)) for initiative for he and Otorno. Yikes! The battle may be over by the time he gets to act!

This message was last edited by the player at 17:25, Thu 07 Jan 2016.

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 116 posts
Thu 7 Jan 2016
at 18:32
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Saxon pulled his wagon to be sure that it would be on the opposing side of a torn wall from any initial charge from grogons. Given that he stood on top of the wagon. "Yea... if I start throwing bombs around, it will catch the forest on fire as well. Cant even use my ash form without causing issues. I'll save the bombs for when they get clear but for now I will empower my bodyguard."

The red robed thing climbed out of the wagon as Saxon started pouring black smoke from his hand over it.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 154 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Thu 7 Jan 2016
at 19:59
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion

14:56, Today: Secret Roll: Lady Isile rolled 29 iniaitive

From above she watched and waited for the right moment to blast the foul creatures that pray upon the good land.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 132 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Fri 8 Jan 2016
at 12:09
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Borun nodded at Tilaria. "I have a spell that may hold the gorguns in the funnel. Once you have run through, I shall delay them. May I cast a spell on you that may help to protect you?"

If Tilaria consents, Borun casts Magic Circle Against Evil on her.

Then Borun took up a position hiding behind one of the tobacco plants next to the funnel.

Stealth: 22
Initiative: 13
Ready to cast Black Tentacles after the gorguns enter the funnel

 

Elmohtar
 Fellowship, 53 posts
 Aasimar
 Menhir Savant/Priest
Thu 14 Jan 2016
at 07:01
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
As there seem to be no takers on the "teleport and attack from behind" idea - indeed, there was probably enough spell casters among them to make melee an unnecessary risk - Elmohatr assumed once again the form of a falcon and flies up, casting Shield of Faith to protect himself just in case.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 181 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 14 Jan 2016
at 08:11
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tiloleria flawed an apologetic smie at Elmohtar. She was the bait, the one in front, so she had to stay in front l"that's very kind of you" she said to Borun. "Ah a most potent magic" she commented as the spell was being cast. "Wards against the powers of Morgoth are certainly a good thing". She took the opportunity to win cloth around her hands as she waited
Anira
 Fellowship, 45 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Fri 15 Jan 2016
at 02:49
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
One eyebrow arched as Saxon brought out his "bodyguard" but she simply nodded and turned back to Arithal.  "I'll do the ice first while you do lightning and then we switch," she agreed.  "Be careful," she said with obvious concern to the others, particularly Tilaleria who would be presenting herself as bait.



20:44, Today: Anira rolled 21 using 1d20+5 with rolls of 16.  Initiative.
Just let me know when I need to make rolls for spells and I can edit them into here or a new post.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 404 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Fri 15 Jan 2016
at 05:22
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Apologies for the delay. I seem to have painted myself into a corner without realizing it. I suddenly had no idea what was going to happen or how it would happen. The paint has finally dried!


The gorguns are fairly swift, having a speed of 40, but it still takes them half an hour to reach the end of the funnel. The ends of the funnel are tapered off, being nearly non-existent at the ends, so the gorguns are already into the funnel before they realize there are side walls.

On the other hands, they probably can't figure out what their purpose is anyway.

While they travel in a sort of pack, they don't show any kind of pack mentality or tactics. Three of them, however, are clearly in the lead, with the middle one probably being a leader of sorts.

No one really needed to roll initiative; the Fellowship automatically has it--you know they are coming and watch them approach. Initiative in this case is only about which of you goes first.

Initiative Order is then:

29 Lady Isile
24   Orndir
23   Borjnen
21 Tilaleria
21 Anira
21 Radagast
18   Grimfast
17   Garan
16   Saxon
13 Borun
11 Sky
 7   Jak
 6   Elmohtar
 4 Arithal & Otorno

 1 Gorguns

I generated an initiative for anyone that I didn't see an initiative roll from.
If you want to try and better my roll, go for it before your turn comes up.

Not sure what Elmohtar and Saxon are planning on doing.
Those that are indented have to wait until the gorguns get within melee range, as they don't have any ranged combat abilities.

Grimfast and Orndir are support personnel, too; both have cure spells.

So, Lady Isile... you're up! The first of the gorguns enter the mouth of the funnel, which is 120 feet away from the 'fort'.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 155 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 16 Jan 2016
at 18:37
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Waiting till they are in deep enough so they will not be able to turn around she would send a bolt of lightening down the path of them so that most of them feel her blast.

Casting Lightening Bolt.

13:36, Today: Lady Isile rolled 40 using 10d6 with rolls of 6,3,5,4,5,1,3,6,2,5.  Lightening Bolt.
DC 23 Reflex

Anira
 Fellowship, 46 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Mon 18 Jan 2016
at 19:49
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
As soon as the gorguns entered the funnel, Anira called upon the ancient power to help her bring down some frozen mess that might impede the abominations at least a little.



Casting Ice Storm - "Great magical hailstones pound down upon casting this spell, dealing 3d6 points of bludgeoning damage and 2d6 points of cold damage to every creature in the area. This damage only occurs once, when the spell is cast. For the remaining duration of the spell, heavy snow and sleet rains down in the area. Creatures inside this area take a -4 penalty on Perception skill checks and the entire area is treated as difficult terrain. At the end of the duration, the snow and hail disappear, leaving no after-effects (other than the damage dealt)."

13:43, Today: Anira rolled 11 using 2d6 with rolls of 6,5.  Ice Storm - Cold Damage.
13:43, Today: Anira rolled 5 using 3d6 with rolls of 1,2,2.  Ice Storm - Bludgeoning Damage. (sucky rolls!)

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 133 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Wed 20 Jan 2016
at 13:45
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Borun waited in hiding patiently for the gorguns to enter the funnel. Then he summoned forth grasping tentacles from the ground to hold the gorguns in place.

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG.../blackTentacles.html


Black tentacles grapple combat manoeuvre roll: 23
 

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 406 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 26 Jan 2016
at 07:16
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Apologies for the delay. It's been a rough week. Most of the time I've been too tired to post.


Lady Isile is the first to strike... from above. It's a lot easier to determine those in a line from her aerial viewpoint than it is from the ground. Still, because the gorguns are kind of all spread out at first, the most she can hit with her Lightning Bolt is 7 of them.

They are charging forward in 8 jagged rows, though the front row only has a single gorgun in it. Unfortunately, he can't be target in the line without reducing the number she can hit at once. But then he doesn't look any bigger or nastier than any of the others.


Anira then casts her Ice Storm over the gorguns. The spell does not have a very large radius, but she manages to catch 6 of them in its effects. The spell is weak, and it doesn't look like the hail has any effect on them, but the cold does.


Borun casts Black Tentacles at the front of the group of charging gorguns, and his spell stops them in their tracks as the tentacles grab them. He managed to ensnare 5 of them, and the front three are about 60 feet away from Sky's fort.

The CMD of the gorguns is only 22. However, they cannot break free of the tentacles, but may be able to escape the grapple at the end of the round.


Next up is Radagast and Arithal.

Jak and Sky may be the only ones with range attacks at this point.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 47 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Wed 27 Jan 2016
at 05:25
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
He was pretty sure that a single bolt of lightning would not slay one of the gorguns, perhaps not even two or three, but he was hoping it would discourage them from continuing the attack.

On the other hand, if they merely drove the creatures away, they'd attack someone else.

The black tentacles had ensnared several of them, making them easy targets, as Radagast called up a lightning storm.

05:23, Today: Radagast the Brown rolled 20 using 5d6 ((6,5,3,2,4)).

He targets one of the grappled one other than the front three.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 117 posts
Sat 30 Jan 2016
at 18:59
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
There was a short moment Saxon wished he had designed summon bombs, but that was a point for another time. At current the red robed figure stood guard over him as he started going down his list of benefits.

He pulled out a number of vials, mixed them, and sprayed an aerosol over himself. He needed time and freedom to do healings and buff spells.

invisibility

This message was last edited by the player at 19:35, Sat 30 Jan 2016.

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 134 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Thu 4 Feb 2016
at 14:07
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Borun smiled as the charging gorguns became tangled in the waving tentacles. He moved forwards to the edge of the tentacles, ready to strike the first gorgun to break through.

Borun checked to see if any of his companions had moved forwards alongside him. If so, he casts Blur on the ally. Otherwise, if he stands alone, he casts Blur on himself.


http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/b/blur

Black tentacles damage from first round: 10

Black tentacles grapple check round 2: 24
Black tentacles grapple damage round 2: 7

Arithal Kodiak
 Outrider, 34 posts
 Human Male
 Druid/Monk
Sat 6 Feb 2016
at 21:59
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Arithal decides to hold off until the others have made their attacks because his own attack wasn't that powerful. He wanted to find a soft spot.

He casts Call Lightning, and a bolt of lightning strikes down out of the sky and attacks one of the gorguns in the second rank. He doesn't need a target to be immobilized to hit it.

21:50, Today: Arithal Kodiak rolled 13 using 3d6 ((6,6,1)).

He's got 59 more of them to go. Unfortunately he can only do one per round. He hoped he lived that long!
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 407 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 9 Feb 2016
at 00:33
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
As expected, the gorguns aren't very smart. 6 more of them push forward into the black tentacles.

Both Radagast and Arithal are calling down lightning bolts. They can do a lot of them, but they aren't potent enough to take out a gorgun with one stroke... not even two or three.

This will soften up the creatures, but it's still going to get down to melee to finish them off.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 184 posts
 Messenger Girl
Fri 12 Feb 2016
at 06:59
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tilaleria could hardly be more prepared. She'd had ages to cast preparatory spells. As she moved towards the first Gorgun she could see that posed the biggest immediate threat, she drew in her training to fill her fists with energies that would harm the creatures of Morgoth.

OOC
I don't have a clear view of where the Gorgun's are. If there are any not trapped I'll go for that one. If they are all 'sorted out' I'll go for the one's near Sky.

Because I have to move I only get one attack. I have a move of 60' this round.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 409 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Thu 18 Feb 2016
at 01:06
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Aargh... took longer to catch-up than I thought it would!



All the gorguns are within the funnel of thorns.

Round 1 saw Borun's Black Tentacles spell snare 5 of them.

Round 2 saw another 6 gorguns rush forward into the tentacles.

At the end of round 2, two of the trapped front gorguns were able to break free and move forward. The nature of the attacks so far haven't enabled the gorguns to locate the source of the attacks, but their senses still detect 'prey' ahead of them.


Those of you still in the thorn fort, or otherwise waiting for the gorguns to get close enough, can now attack with range weapons, or move to engage the first two in melee.


Tilaleria has been waiting in the 'kill box' for them to reach her. The first one does and she has no problem hitting it. It is not intimidated by her, but it is staggered.

00:43, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 16 using 1d20+11 ((5)).

He, of course, attacks back!

00:49, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 34,33,36,36 using 1d20+19,1d20+19,1d20+19,1d20+19 ((15,14,17,17)).

All four of his clawed arms miss... or at least miss doing any damage.



Arithal drops another Lightning Strike down on one of them.
Jak
 Fellowship, 55 posts
 Human
 Fighter/Magus
Fri 19 Feb 2016
at 06:35
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
The one thing that Jak had learned over the years was patience. He kept an eye out on the perimeter while he waited for the gorguns to get close enough. As it was, he almost missed his chance as Tilaleria took the battle to one of those that had broken free of the black tentacles. He'd have to remember to thank whoever had cast that spell!

He'd also been waiting for the more powerful spellcasters to 'soften up' the creatures.

He leaped the fort wall and dashed within 30 feet of the one  that Tilaleria wasn't bashing on.

Then he flung his deadly card at it, using Arcane Strike to channel True Strike through it.

06:08, Today: Jak rolled 57,38,12 using 1d20+39,1d20+19,1d4+9 ((18,19,3)).

I sure hope that's a hit... and a critical...

Only 12 points for a hit but 24 if it's a critical.

Before the beast can advance to attack, Jak nimbly dances back to the fort and over the wall, courtesy of his magic boots.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 135 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Fri 19 Feb 2016
at 16:07
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Having already cast Blur on Tilaleria, Borun stepped into the path of the second gorgun and channelled power through his fists.

Swift action: arcane strike
Full-round action: flurry of blows

First attack including Stunning Fist attempt: 36
Stunning Fist Fort save DC 22
Damage: 21

If the gorgun is stunned by the first attack, then Borun continues with the second attack (against lower AC). If the gorgun is not stunned on the first attack, then Borun will attempt Stunning Fist again on the second attack.

Second attack: 26
Stunning Fist Fort save DC (if relevant): 22
Damage: 15

If neither of the first two attacks achieved stun, Borun will not attempt Stunning Fist again.

Third attack: 27
Damage: 13

Fourth attack: 22
Damage: 17

If the gorgun was stunned by either of the first two attacks, Borun gains two more attacks with Medusa's Wrath.

First Medusa's Wrath attack: 25
Damage: 15

Second Medusa's Wrath attack: natural 1


Sky Sheer'enn
 Fellowship, 117 posts
 Elf
 Fighter/Archer/Driuid/
Mon 22 Feb 2016
at 20:06
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Although she and Nightbreeze were anxious to get into battle, as an Arcane Archer, she was also quite good with ranged attacks.

She had some of the abilities of the others, but had chosen to let them attack first. She had no justification for feeling this way, but she felt she was the last line of defense.

Well, not by herself... as she glanced at the others that were waiting. Even with Orndir and Garan and Grimfast and Arithal and the Dwarves, they could be overrun by the gorguns in such massive numbers. No, this plan was the smart and safe way to go. Cut down their numbers before they ever got into melee.

She was wearing the Mask of the Archmage at the moment, and deciding to help whittle down the numbers from behind her makeshift fort. She cast Scorching Ray at the next one still trapped in the tentacles.

19:54, Today: Sky Sheer'enn rolled 26,8 using 1d20+15,4d6+2 ((11,1,2,2,1)).

"Well, that could have gone better," she commented to those beside her. "Just barely hit the brute, and didn't do so well at that!"

She still had two more rays to use; hopefully they'd work better.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 411 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Mon 22 Feb 2016
at 20:32
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
The two lead gorguns are getting hit quite a lot, but neither of them has gone down yet. The one on the left (the 'leader') was not shaken, but it is staggered.

The second one was not stunned by Borun's flurry of blows, but the damage has taken its toll on the creature. Since he wasn't stunned (just barely), Borun never got the Medusa's Wrath attacks, so no fumble.

The creature strikes back with its four arms.


20:22, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 36,10,32,15 using 1d20+19,1d8+9,1d20+19,1d8+9 ((17,1,13,6)).

20:23, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 33,16,22,10 using 1d20+19,1d8+9,1d20+19,1d8+9 ((14,7,3,1))

The gorgun manages to hit Borun twice, for 10 points of damage with the first hit, and 16 points with the second.


Sky's scorching ray just barely strikes an entangled gorgun and does almost minimal damage.


At the end of the round, three of the gorguns trapped by the tentacles break free, though no more enter that area. They are momentarily unsure of how to proceed (they aren't fast thinkers).

Arithal drops another lightning bolt on one of them.


As far as the gorguns are concerned, it's just mass confusion. Anyone with spells or ranged attacks can attack pretty much at will. There are enough characters to keep watch to make sure none of them 'break away from the herd'.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 185 posts
 Messenger Girl
Mon 22 Feb 2016
at 20:36
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tilaleria gave silent thanks to her trainers, and to the good luck that had allowed them to prepare for this. Without that preparation she suspected that the flurry of blows from the vile creature would of been pretty devastating. As it was, it was only by the skin of her teeth, and her mistress's training that she'd survived it

Still she had survived it, and she didn't want to mess around with this thing. There were plenty more and just the fact they had survived the magical onslaught indicated how tough they were!

Her fists and feet moved. The essence of her fighting style was to deny the opponent the opportunity to attack, while creating opportunities to strike at full power with deflection or parrying. As the Gorgun's attacked her, she put this into practice every movement an attack, every piece of footwork a kick, every parry an attack as deadly as a sword blow.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 412 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Thu 25 Feb 2016
at 19:50
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Once again, Tilaleria has no problem hitting the gorgun. In fact, her first two blows kill it just as two of the others that escaped the black tentacles charge forward.

She gets an attack of opportunity on each of them as they enter one of her threatened squares, and then she attacks the first one with her 3rd flurry attack, and kills it.

She now uses her 4th flurry attack against the other one, which turns out to be a critical, doing maximum damage of 48 points, and killing that one.


Arithal drops another lighting bolt on one at the end of the round.


Two more gorguns break free of the tentacles and surge forward.


At the end of the round, Tilaleria is standing amid three dead gorguns. Borun is engaged with two more, and another two are moving forward.


Sky shoots another Scorching Ray at the same gorgun at the beginning of the next round, who happens to be one that just got loose.

19:45, Today: Azurak the Blue, on behalf of Sky Sheer'enn, rolled 26,21 using 1d20+15,4d6+2 ((11,6,6,3,4)).
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 136 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Fri 26 Feb 2016
at 14:15
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Borun was dismayed to see the gorgun resist his attempt to disable it. Worse still, Borun himself suffered two blows from the creature. At least Borun's False Life spell soaked up the worst of the injuries, but now the spell was depleted.

He was encouraged by Tilaleria's more successful attack on the monsters. Borun was prepared to continue his offensive and hopefully buy more time for his companions.

Same as last turn

Swift action: arcane strike
Full-round action: flurry of blows

First attack with Stunning Fist attempt: 24
Stunning Fist Fort save DC 22
First attack damage: 12

Again, if the gorgun was stunned by the first attack, Borun will continue making normal attacks (against the lower AC). If not stunned, Borun shall attempt Stunning Fist again.

Second attack roll: 23
Stunning Fist (if relevant) DC 22
Second attack damage: 16

If both of the first two Stunning Fist attempts failed, Borun will not try that again.

Third attack roll: 22
Third attack damage: 19

Fourth attack roll: 27
Fourth attack damage: 15

If the gorgun was stunned by either of the first two attacks, he gains two more attacks with Medusa's Wrath.

First Medusa's Wrath attack: 32
Damage: 12

Second Medusa's Wrath attack: 35
Damage: 17

Current hp: 134 of 140

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 119 posts
Sat 27 Feb 2016
at 17:15
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Everyone was throwing lightning, and fire, and physical harm... So not wanting to be left out Saxon took a few chemicals and mixed quickly.

With a shake and a toss he placed one of his makeshift grenades in the largest mass of gorgons presented.Today: Saxon the Dead Smith rolled 14 using 5d6 with rolls of 1,5,2,2,4.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 186 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 28 Feb 2016
at 16:03
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Breathing a sigh of relief that they had fallen so quickly: mostly thanks to the horrific magical damage they had endured on the way in, Tiloleria moved to intercept the two that had just got free, attacking one as she got close to it, and preparing to deal with the onslaught of both. She could see Borun was dealing with his two, that the others were putting the hurt into the ones trapped, so these two were probably her's
Arithal Kodiak
 Outrider, 35 posts
 Human Male
 Druid/Monk
Sun 28 Feb 2016
at 20:07
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Arithal drops another lightning bolt from the sky... for only 8 points. He's going to start targeting the ones at the back, in an effort to whittle down the numbers as well as drive the rest forward into the kill zone.


20:03, Today: Arithal Kodiak rolled 4,15,10,9,14,9,14 using 3d6,3d6,3d6,3d6,3d6,3d6,3d6 ((1,2,1;6,5,4;2,5,3;3,3,3;6,2,6;2,2,5;6,4,4)).


Since he's got 7 more of those to drop, I just rolled for all 7 of them... apply one per round as needed.
Elmohtar
 Fellowship, 54 posts
 Aasimar
 Menhir Savant/Priest
Sun 28 Feb 2016
at 20:23
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Seeing more of the gorguns breaking loose from the black tentacles and thus moving into melee range, Elmohtar realizes it's time for him to contribute some more.

He casts another spell--Summon Monster V, calling forth a Dire Lion that springs to attack those just escaping from the tentacles.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 48 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sun 28 Feb 2016
at 20:29
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
His talents hardly lie in the realm of tactics and generalship, so it isn't his place to direct the efforts of the others. In any case, his direction doesn't seem to be needed. The others are working effectively as a unit if not quite a team.

He also doesn't have any spells that would harm others; that would go against his very nature as a Keeper. Not that there aren't creatures that shouldn't be destroyed, but they usually manage to do that themselves.

Still, Radagast keeps watch over the battle. He spots Lady Isile flying over head in bird form, knowing she is doing the same.

He knows Grimfast and Orndir are more like him... healers, not harmers. If any of the gorguns make it to the fort, though, that philosophy will be sorely tested.
Jak
 Fellowship, 56 posts
 Human
 Fighter/Magus
Sun 28 Feb 2016
at 23:25
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
The kill box was getting a bit too crowded for him to repeat his previous tactic, plus his True Strike spell was used up. Instead, he decided to target the two gorguns that were converging on Tilaleria.

With the flick of a wrist, both of his hands spat out a lethal Harrow card.


23:17, Today: Jak rolled 29,32,10,12 using 1d20+19,1d20+17,1d4+9,1d4+9 ((10,15,1,3)).


First card to the gorgun on the left, second to the one on the right.

That went better than he expected.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 413 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 8 Mar 2016
at 18:29
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Ack! Jury Duty. Messed me up for the whole week!


The battle rages on!

As long as Borun and Tilaleria are out in the 'kill box' dealing with the gorguns that break loose, there's not really sufficient room for the others to engage in melee, so, for the moment, they remain in the 'fort'. Not that there are many of them.

Borun only manages to hit one of the gorguns on him with his 4th attack. He can tell it's on its last legs, so to speak, but the other one that moved up is still strong.

Fortunately, Elmohtar's Dire Lion leaps on the second one. Since the gorgun moved this round, it doesn't get its full attacks.

The same is true for the two on Tilaleria.

17:49, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 31,29,20,37,20 using 1d20+19,1d20+19,1d20+19,1d20+19,1d20+19 ((12,10,1,18,1)). Save vs. Tilaleria, atk on Borun, atk on lion, atk on Tilaleria, atk on Tilaleria.

Tilaleria's attack hits, but the gorgun isn't staggered; it's really hard to do (they'd have to roll a 1).

Borun is hit again. So is not. The gorgun that Tilaleria hit just barely manages to hit her back!

18:05, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 17,11 using 1d8+9,1d8+9 ((8,2)). Damage.

Borun takes 17 points of damage, Tilaleria takes 11 points of damage.

Tilaleria's AoO against the second one that missed her just barely hits (because it 'fumbled').

The black tentacles will only last two more rounds.

Arithal's lightning strikes continue to hit random targets, as do Radagast's lightning strikes.

There are only 3 gorguns still trapped in the black tentacles, leaving 13 still on the other side of them. One of them decides to try the thorn bushes that are fencing them in. After taking a bit of damage from them, and not having a weapon to chop them away, he finally decides to jump over them.

Several of the other gorguns follow his example. 4 jump over the left side, 4 jump over the right side (though one doesn't quite make it and lands in the thorns before tumbling out the other side. The remaining 5, not as agile perhaps, decide to take on the black tentacles. No doubt they think their comrades up front are having all the fun!
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 137 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Thu 10 Mar 2016
at 13:52
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Borun winced as the gorgun's axe bit into his flesh. Still, it would take a lot more than one axe wound to fell a graduate of the Diamond Heart Academy.

Similar to before, but I won't attempt Stunning Fist again. Their Fort saves seem to be too high.

Swift action: arcane strike
Full-round action: flurry of blows

First attack: 25
First attack damage: 17

Second attack: 30
Second attack damage: 17

Third attack: 21

Fourth attack: 28
Fourth attack damage: 16

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 414 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Fri 11 Mar 2016
at 08:02
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Actually, I did know that Borun had cast Blur on Tilaleria, but just forgot to check for it. Going with the 'high is good, low is bad' rule, rolling 81-100 would mean she was missed.

07:57, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 99 using 1d100 ((99)).

Guess the gorgun's attack missed her after all... or perhaps it was just a glancing blow that did no damage.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 187 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 12 Mar 2016
at 01:34
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tilaleria's eyes opened wide with worry as the one of the Gorgun's fists came straight for her despite her every effort. There was a little breath of relief as Borun's magical protection saved her. It was time to end this fight, Tilaleria decided and she called on the lessons of her mistress to cause the light of Eärendil to shine as she moved even closer to the Gorgun, moving her body in line with it's movements making it look almost as though they were dancing together.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:31, Sat 12 Mar 2016.

Garan
 Fellowship, 35 posts
 Half-Orc
 Bloodrager
Fri 18 Mar 2016
at 20:56
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
The Half-Orc hated waiting, but he wasn't really impatient. He fully understood the reason for the strategy and the tactics of the battle. He wasn't at all sure he could have fared as well as the Messenger in that sort of battle, but letting the forefront of the gorguns break against the wall of warriors meant that Garan and the others behind the fort would have to take the battle to those behind.

He wasn't sure if he was the first one to spot the gorguns that jumped the thorns, but he was mildly surprised at the effort and ability. It was the opportunity, though, that he was looking for.

He ran out from around the side of the fort and charged the gorguns on the left, activating his rage as he ran. Just before reaching the first one, though, he breathed his green dragon breath on it. Then he used his Boots of Springing and Striding to leap the last 30 feet to come down on top of it.

20:31, Today: Garan rolled 34 using 10d6 ((1,6,2,1,4,1,6,2,5,6)). Dragon breath

Breath was first move. Leaping attack was second move. Moving only allows one attack, so he's doing a berserk claw strike with Vampiric Touch!

20:47, Today: Garan rolled 28,36,6 using 1d20+22,3d6+23,1d6 ((6,6,6,1,6)). Claw attack, damage,+1d6 acid.

20:50, Today: Garan rolled 19 using 5d6 ((2,6,4,4,3)). Vampiric Touch.
Grimfast
 Fellowship, 17 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Fri 18 Mar 2016
at 21:34
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
More so than even Radagast, the Beorning was a creature of the land. The gorguns were an affront to nature. Even an Orc had its place in the Scheme of Things, much like vermin. The Orcs of the Dark Lord had been corrupted and twisted away from that... into something foul and vile... the antithesis of green and growing things, an enemy of Nature.

Unlike the Half-Orc, Grimfast was not keen to rush into battle. He did so when it was necessary, but it wasn't in his nature. When the gorguns came over and around the thorns, though, he was only slightly behind Garan to charge out from behind the fort. He went to the right, though, wild-shaping into his bear form as he ran.

Also unlike the Half-Orc, he not only had no way to take the battle to them so quickly, he was more prudent, and decided to wait for them to come to him.

He judged their speed again... about 40 feet (per round), and stopped at that range, stood up on his hind legs and roared out a challenge to them. It was as much a disguise for his spell-casting. He cast Greater Thunderstomp.

21:32, Today: Grimfast rolled 26 using 1d20+15 ((11)). CMB vs. trip!
Sky Sheer'enn
 Fellowship, 118 posts
 Elf
 Fighter/Archer/Driuid/
Fri 18 Mar 2016
at 22:02
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Like the other warriors, Sky had been biding her time. The range was a bit longer regardless of how accurate she was, but she didn't want to waste arrows. Normal arrows, not a problem. Magical arrows, not so much.

Admittedly, she added her magic to the arrows, but that was limited, too.

Now that some of the gorguns had broken confinement, and were drawing closer, she had to laugh a bit at their foolishness. No doubt they thought the fort held 'victims' or loot. It was literally a blind, though, and instead of victims, it held death.

She would have liked to have joined in on the melee end of battle, but as long as the Istari and Arithal were dropping lightning bolts on the back of the beasts, someone needed to stay and defend them, just in case a gorgun broke through the wall of slaughter that was Tilaleria and Borun.

"Hey, Jak! I can provide fire support for the melee on the left here. Can you do the same on the right flank?" she called out to the Cardcaster.

Matching actions to her words, she let off a pair of arrows at the gorguns flanking Garan.

21:57, Today: Sky Sheer'enn rolled 35,38,16,14,21 using 1d20+23,1d20+23,1d10+10,1d10+10,4d6+2 ((12,15,6,4,6,4,6,3)). 1st arrow, 2nd arrow, damage, damage, and Scorching Ray with 1st arrow.
Jak
 Fellowship, 57 posts
 Human
 Fighter/Magus
Sat 19 Mar 2016
at 21:48
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"I had the same thought in mind!" Jak called back to Sky. "You just said it first!"

"Yell if you are in danger of being overrun! I'll do the same here!"



With Radagast and Elmohtar still in the fort, he really didn't have any concerns about the fort being overrun, but he really wasn't sure what they could do. He couldn't even imagine Radagast being killed by the likes of these gorguns.


Fortunately, these beasts didn't have any ranged weapons, so he leaped up onto the top of the fort and flung a pair of energy-charged cards at the gorguns Grimfast was challenging.

21:36, Today: Jak rolled 36,38,10,13,12,17 using 1d20+19,1d20+19,1d4+9,1d4+9,4d6,4d6 ((17,19,1,4,3,4,1,4,6,1,4,6)). card attack, card attack, card damage, card damage, frigid touch damage, frigid touch damage.

Assuming Grimfast was more or less in the middle, he tosses one card to the left, one card to the right, imbuing them with his Frigid Touch spell. Since these are ammunition, he can imbue both at the same time. But, of course, the cards are chewed up in the process. Fortunately, he has several decks in his pockets.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 415 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Thu 24 Mar 2016
at 17:04
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion


Borun attacks with a flurry of blows again, but only hits with his 2nd and 4th strikes. Three of the gorguns in the black tentacles broke out, and one moved to engage Borun, who hadn't yet disposed of his other foe.


Tilaleria attacks with a flurry of blows, too. She hits with 4 of them, only her 3rd one missing. Two of these gorguns on her were the ones in the black tentacles that broke loose. Three of her attacks kill one of them, and she's able to land her 5th blow on the other one.


Garan attacks a gorgun that jumped the thorns and is trying to circle around on the left flank. His green dragon breath attack combined with his vampiric berserking rage claw strike reduces the creature to 1hp left!


Grimfast moved out on the right flank to deal with those gorguns that were attempting a flanking maneuver. However, as soon as he was in range, he cast Greater Thunderstomp, and knocked all 4 of them off their feet.


Sky's 1st arrow carrying with it her scorching ray delivers devastating damage to the outside gorgun flanking Garan, and her 2nd arrow finishes it off.


Jak's pair of card attacks both hit the gorgun on the inside of where Grimfast had tripped them. That would make the outer gorgun take a few seconds longer to reach the fort... if he made it that far.


At the end of the round...

There are 3 remaining gorguns outside the thorn barrier on the left flank.
There are 3 remaining gorguns outside the thorn barrier on the right flank, but are prone from being tripped by Grimfast's spell.
There are 2 gorguns on Borun, one of which is on his last legs.
There is only 1 gorgun left on Tilaleria.
There are 5 gorguns stuck in the black tentacles.

Just a reminder, anyone trapped in the black tentacles takes damage each round.

Those gorguns still standing now get their attack.

Gorgun #24 on Garan gets all 4 attacks because he didn't move--Garan did all the moving.

16:27, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 27,34,33,30 using 1d20+19,1d20+19,1d20+19,1d20+19 ((8,15,14,11)).

Because he's only got 1hp left, he's too weak to get all his attack bonuses, but only one of them miss.

16:32, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 10,12,13 using 1d8+9,1d8+9,1d8+9 ((1,3,4)).

Garan takes 35 points of damage from the creature's fairly feeble attacks.

Gorgun #15 is also able to attack Garan.

16:37, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 36,37,32,36 using 1d20+19,1d20+19,1d20+19,1d20+19 ((17,18,13,17)).

This one is more or less fresh, having only been hit by a lightning strike once. He manages to hit Garan with all 4 attacks.

16:40, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 12,10,16,10 using 1d8+9,1d8+9,1d8+9,1d8+9 ((3,1,7,1)). That's gonna hurt!

Garan's down to 112hp.


Grimfast doesn't get attacked because the gorguns on  his side are all prone.


Borun has two gorguns on him, but one moved this round so only gets one attack. The other one is weak, though.

16:53, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 38,25,21,23 using 1d20+19,1d20+19,1d20+19,1d20+19 ((19,6,2,4)). About right.

Borun gets hit only once.

16:56, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 12 using 1d8+9 ((3)). Again, about right.

Borun takes 12 points of damage.

16:58, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 26,16 using 1d20+19,1d8+9 ((7,7)).

That's a miss.

And the gorgun on Tilaleria, having moved this round, only gets 1 attack.

17:00, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 27,17 using 1d20+19,1d8+9 ((8,8)).

And that's a miss, giving her an attack of opportunity on him. She easily hits him.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 188 posts
 Messenger Girl
Mon 28 Mar 2016
at 12:10
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
As sometimes happened in a fight, Tilaleria had plenty of time to reflect. Her opponent was very dangerous. Very dangerous indeed. But brutish, and she had trained for centuries to deal with things like this, and that gave her the luxury of being able to take in the battle field

So ... nothing catastrophically had happened, but it wasn't going well. She'd rather hoped that the wizards would crush these creatures under their spells and alchemical concoctions but that hadn't happened. She could see over a dozen left without taking any effort at all. The tentacles were doing a marvelous job, but they were only going to hold the Gorgun's for a few more seconds...a minute at the most. So she and the others had to deal with the active ones.

"You break right, I'll get the ones to the left" she shouted to Borun and followed her words with actions. At the moment she was only keeping one dealt with. She suspected the blood rage of the one she'd hit a couple of times, would keep it focused just on her as she leapt away, leaping over the wall of thorns as though it wasn't there, casting a minor spell as she did, before landing in front of the three on the left

OOC
Move action: Move to the three Gorgun's at the left
Standard action: Cast Frostbite

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 138 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Wed 30 Mar 2016
at 09:23
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Borun nodded at Tilaleria's recommendation. He focused his blows on the gorguns to the right.

Swift action: arcane strike
Full-round action: flurry of blows

First attack: natural 20!
Critical confirmation: 31
Normal damage: 19
Extra critical damage (if the attack was a successful critical): 15

Second attack: 22

Third attack: 21

Fourth attack: 28
Fourth attack damage: 14

Current hp: 105 of 134

Borjnen Boulderol
 Fellowship, 46 posts
 Dwarf
 Barbarian/Hill Giant/Ftr
Sat 2 Apr 2016
at 23:25
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
The advantage of the funnel of thorns was that it kept too many of the gorgons coming through at once. The disadvantage is that it meant there wasn't room for everyone to attack the gorguns either.


Now that the gorguns had jumped the fence, there was lots of room and a lot of targets.

Grimfast had been the second to leap out from behind the makeshift fort, and had done an impressive job of knocking all four of the gorguns down before they could attack. It would take them time to recover, and for Grimfast to react, so Borjnen dashed over that way to lend a hand.

Getting to a target meant he could only get in one attack with his axe. He was much better at bull rushing his enemy.

00:21, Today: Borjnen Boulderol rolled 31,19 using 1d20+19,1d10+9 ((12,10)). Attack and damage.


"Hey-O, Grimfast! Well, that went better than I expected. They are much easier to hit when they are on the ground. That's why I like to bulrush them first! You took all the fun out of this one, though!"
Orndir
 Fellowship, 47 posts
 Elf
 Druid/Summoner
Sun 3 Apr 2016
at 01:03
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Not being one of the battle sorts, he'd kept himself in reserve. If the plan had gone another way, he could have summoned an assortment of creatures to fight for him. He could see that the tide of battle had finally turned in the Keepers' favor, and saw that as his cue to finally take action... to make sure the tide didn't swing back the other way.

He cast his summoning spell and brought forth a celestial dire lion... and sent it right down the center as Tilaleria jumped the hedge of thorns to the left, leaving Borun to deal with three gorguns... and the ones breaking out of the black tentacles.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 416 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Wed 13 Apr 2016
at 07:03
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
The battle rages on for another dozen rounds or so, but by now the outcome was already assured. Although the gorguns were rather durable, they weren't particularly adept at combat. Ferociousness futilely tried to make up for skill.


The spell-casters had softened up most of them to the point where they were easily defeated in melee. Still, when the last one fell, everyone breathed a sigh of relief.


Apologies once again for the delay. In this case, I was just procrastinating while I tried to figure out what to do about this game.

There seems to be only 2 or 3 people still posting, so I was debating on whether to continue this game.

As for the combat, I really had no idea how it would go at the beginning. I'd been half expecting the spell-casters to eliminate half of the gorguns right off the bat, but that didn't happen, so it turned into actual combat. It was close to impossible for the gorguns to hit anyone, so it was mostly just a case of attrition.

At this point, the end was obvious, so I felt it'd be pointless to continue the battle (even if a few players were enjoying it).

So, the question now is: do we continue? Are there enough players left to make it worthwhile to go on?

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 418 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 26 Apr 2016
at 05:51
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
In the aftermath of the battle with the gorguns, everyone decides it's best to rest instead of moving out. It also takes a little while to restore the area to its pristine condition.

Aerial scouting does not detect any other threats. Although those that can fly can see a long distance when they are airborne, it doesn't give them a good perspective, or a lot of detail. Mountains can be seen in the distance, but it is uncertain how far away they are.

The night spent in the shelter of the giant tobacco plants passes uneventfully.

The next morning, the fellowship heads out early. The Ent-wives device still indicates that they lie farther to the east.

That day, and the next day and the day after that, passes uneventfully. It's almost like a walk in the park... if the park was a hundred miles across!

Finally, on the third day, hills can be spotted ahead, marking the end of the Plains of Rhovanion. It will take another day to reach the hills, though. By then, you will have passed beyond the ken of mortal men. Truly no one from the West has ventured this far east. Knowledge of the hills in nearly non-existent. Only a name is known: the Dorwinion Drift.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 190 posts
 Messenger Girl
Tue 26 Apr 2016
at 22:58
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"It is a long time since I've been able to say 'I've never been this far from home before'" Tiloleria observed rather happily. She loved to travel and she loved to stay at home. Which ever she was doing at any one point in time was the one she preferred. "It is good as well that the taint we felt heavy on the land is not so noticeable here.

"It has an interesting name this place. Do any of you have any clue as to why it is called such?"


Do I have any idea?
23:58, Today: Tilaleria rolled 32 using 1d20+17 with rolls of 15.  Knowledge geography.

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 140 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Wed 27 Apr 2016
at 12:15
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
As the last gorgun fell, Borun heaved a sigh of relief. They were tough - tougher than he expected. However the tactical advantage of the choke point allowed the smaller group of companions to defeat the monsters.

Borun looked around at his friends, ready to administer healing to the injured. Fortunately no-one was seriously injured - indeed Borun himself seemed to have suffered the most. After a brief rest, the group headed forth.

Despite the pleasant countryside, Borun remained suspicious. It was only a matter of time before Mordor's taint arrived here. No doubt orcs, gorguns and worse were waiting in ambush just around the next hillock.

"Dorwinion Drift, huh?" Borun shrugged at Tilaleria's question. "The names of Men have little relevance in our halls."
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 419 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 3 May 2016
at 22:53
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Information about the East is sparser and sparser the farther you go, but there have been rumors of the Drift... according to some rumors, it's called the Drift because the hills... drift. They move. Slowly, but not in a straight line. Across the 200 miles or so, new hills slowly form to the north and drift south until they disappear.

Then there's the tale of the Dark Towers--two of them. This is an even more nebulous rumor, but probably more made-up than factual. Since the hills drift and disappear, any towers on them would vanish, too, wouldn't they? So to get around that 'contradiction', the towers also move, which is why they are also known as the Towers That Walk.

It also said that Men of Darkness live in them, but that may only be an association based on words.

As near as anyone can tell, these 'tales' come from Wainriders of Rhun, who may, in turn, have gotten them from trading with the Men of Darkness.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 143 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Thu 5 May 2016
at 11:02
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"You're saying the hills themselves move around?" Borun narrowed his eyes suspiciously and frowned. Then he suddenly burst out laughing, almost doubling over. "Hoho, that's a good one! You almost had me for a minute." The companions have not seen Borun so animated since the journey began. "Those superstitious humans love their tall tales." Borun coughed self-consciously and sobered up. "Present company excepted of course."
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 49 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Fri 13 May 2016
at 17:29
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
"Most folk don't believe that trees can move around and talk, and yet there are Ents," Radagast comments as he pulls his pipe from out of his beard and begins puffing on it. "As dark as Sauron and Mordor can get, none of that particularly surprises us, though perhaps we've just become used to that degree of evil."

"Just because we've never heard of it before doesn't mean that hills can't move. What we take as hills might merely be creatures of the earth."

"What intrigues me are these towers. If the earth moves, it might be a natural phenomenon. Towers that move, however, speak of sorcery."

"In either case, they might have knowledge about the Ent-wives. The hills may have long memories, and the occupants of the towers might have a history."

"The alternative, of course, is to go around the hills. I am not inclined to extend our journey any more than necessary."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 193 posts
 Messenger Girl
Fri 13 May 2016
at 20:01
Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion
Tilaleria listened to the exchange with interest. "I think it's obvious that we should take the quickest and safest route" she commented. "We know that dark forces are messing with the Ent Wives and I would feel bad if we delay enough to mean that another one dies. Either possibility sounds dangerous. Walking towers or moving hills are both quite scary and both have the possibility of being ultimately deadly"

"It is a hard call to say which is the most scary. Given who we are though, I think I prefer the risk of the towers. Borun and I are quite resiliant to magic, and you are one of the Wise.We have a better chance of avoiding the towers than the hills that we walk on I think"

"By a hard call though, I mean that I do not feel strongly about which is the best... or perhaps I should say worst. If either of you have a preference, I'd go with it"

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 50 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Mon 16 May 2016
at 00:06
Into the Drift
"Then it's into the Drift," Radagast replies.

"Lady Isile can keep aerial watch for these Towers, especially if they are walking."

"I do not intend to detour very far to reach or pursue these towers, though. We must stay focused on our goal."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 194 posts
 Messenger Girl
Mon 16 May 2016
at 01:16
Into the Drift
"Avoiding them is absolutely the best" Tilaleria agreed. She'd expressed that sentiment and was glad to see Radagast had the same view "Is there anything you can suggest to decrease the chance of them spotting us. For example do we go as fast as we can, or should we try and sneak do you think?" From her body language it was obvious she preferred the idea of speed, but was open to the other's views
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 145 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Mon 16 May 2016
at 12:51
Into the Drift
Borun listened sceptically to Radagast's explanation. Borun was not entirely convinced, but he was prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to the Istari.

Borun pondered Tilaleria's question. "I am agreeable to both options, although I would prefer to make haste. If we are forced to fight our enemies along the way, so be it."
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 420 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Thu 19 May 2016
at 06:25
Into the Drift
They'd already learned that Saxon's wagon could move fast enough to keep up with most of them. The only one that couldn't was Arithal's bear. Getting it into Saxon's wagon was a bit difficult, but managed. It didn't slow down the wagon, though.


Heading into the Drift, moving rapidly, the group traveled through the day without encountering anything.

There was an odd feeling about the Drift, but nothing out of the ordinary. None of the hills appeared to move, but they could be moving very slowly. As dusk began to fall, Radagast called a halt.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 51 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Thu 19 May 2016
at 06:30
Into the Drift
"We'll take a rest for a moment," he told everyone.

"We don't know how wide this Drift is, but we've encountered nothing that was threatening. I don't sense any evil in the area, so I think we should continue to travel through the night... unless any of you need a rest."
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 195 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 19 May 2016
at 21:04
Into the Drift
Tilaleria looked at the others. Thr question about rest was clearly aimed at them. As an Elf she didn't need rest the way some races did.

"It would be good to be through the Drift" she agreed
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 146 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Fri 20 May 2016
at 10:23
Into the Drift
"Aye, let's carry on," Borun agreed. "I can see in the dark and I am happy to lead."

Borun shouldered his backpack and prepared to continue the trek.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 158 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Fri 20 May 2016
at 14:11
Into the Drift
 Flying overhead she kept a watchful eye for any movement of mountains or any towers with her dark visions she can see a little further than normal eyes.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 421 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Thu 26 May 2016
at 05:30
Into the Drift
Lady Isile is able to fly high enough to get a sense of the distance involved. The hills stretch for 130 or so miles, so it will take three days travel to cross them, probably less by traveling at night.

Even from Lady Isile's aerial viewpoint, though, she can't see any movement in the hills.

Travel is about 4 miles an hour. That's a somewhat fast pace but not pushing yourselves too hard. Day travel covered only about 40 miles because of breaks, but night travel will drop to 3 miles an hour and cover only 30 miles.

If Lady Isile wants to continue flying at night, she can, but without vision enhancements, she's not going to be able to see much in the darkness.

Somewhere around 2AM, however, she spots lights in the distance, but it takes nearly an hour of watching them before she can determine that the lights are coming from two towers... and the towers are moving. She can't make out much detail in the darkness, though.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 422 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 12 Jun 2016
at 03:05
Into the Drift
Lady Isile finally returns and lands to report what she saw.

She didn't have a very good sense of how fast the towers were moving, but it wasn't very fast.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 197 posts
 Messenger Girl
Tue 14 Jun 2016
at 20:30
Into the Drift
"Hmm" Tilaleria commented "If they aren't moving fast you can probably steer us around them. They might pick up our trail at dawn of course, but that should give us time to have a good head start"

"If they do turn and move towards us, could you let us know Sky? We'll probably move from avoidance to going to talk with them. I suggest I go do that openly as I have had probably had more practice approaching strangers than many of you. Could I also suggest that those of you that are sneaky act as backup."

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 147 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Fri 17 Jun 2016
at 10:27
Into the Drift
"Moving towers." Borun frowned. "Almost as weird as walking trees," he muttered under his breath.

Borun listened to Tilaleria's suggestion. "'Sneaky', huh? Are you talking about me?" Borun scowled. "We prefer to say 'covert'." Nevertheless, Borun assented to Tilaleria's plan.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 198 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 25 Jun 2016
at 09:16
Into the Drift
"Covert is good" Tilaleria laughed "Myself... I can be very sneaky. As well as being very covert." she punched Borun gently on the shoulder as gesture of affection "Maybe that's too much talking to humans coming out in me"

"You are right they are weird. Still we'll see how it works out"
it was obvious she was hiding her nervousness about her plan. Being bait in a negotation was always a dangerous role. She did have training for that role, and some magical defenses, but would they be enough?
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 52 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sat 25 Jun 2016
at 19:19
Into the Drift
"I must say, I am torn between wanting to know more about these walking towers and drifting hills," Radagast offers, "and continuing our quest."

"While they might have valuable information, the question is will they share it willingly? And if they are not friendly?"

"We have no idea how much farther we have to travel, and therefore no idea what else may delay us."

"So, I agree, too, with Tilaleria. Let's avoid the towers."


When there are no other opinions, he directs Saxon to steer his wagon a bit to the south.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 423 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 25 Jun 2016
at 20:15
Into the Drift
Upon entering the Drift, it's actually hard to tell where the Drift actually begins, though Radagast can point out that the grass between the two areas is different, though only slightly so.

The Drift is grass-covered rolling hills, no trees though a few scrub bushes and some rocky outcroppings here and there.

It's about an hour later that you realize that you aren't making as much progress as you should. You quickly figure out that the ground seems to be moving beneath your feet and wheels. However, it's a slow movement. You can increase your speed to compensate for it.

You finally exit the Drift by morning. That is, the Drift ends... at a scarp. Tales tell of it, calling it the Bastion Scarp because it was almost impossible to scale it.

A bit to the north, however, you can see a series of switchback stairs that have been cut into the face. With the sheer rocky cliff face around 200 feet high, that would mean around 250 steps to the top.

There are a number of bird nests on the scarp, where a bird has managed to find a small ledge.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 199 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 25 Jun 2016
at 20:28
Into the Drift
"Well that was just odd" Tilaleria said "I'm glad we went through it. I shall write it in my diaries... gosh .. what a thought. We will be writing things down that no one else will have experienced. It won't be a 'me too' journal. It will be a 'here is the only source...'" she looked a little stunned at the realisation and was quiet for a little while as she thought about it

"Well that will be fun to get up" she observed. "Imagine getting a wagon up there" she paused "Or a sledge..." she suspected that others would have magic to make it possible though.

"Perhaps you aerial scouts could check out that there are no ambushers up there. Borun why don't you and I sn...er ... 'covert' our way over there and covert our way up the steps?"
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 148 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Tue 28 Jun 2016
at 20:27
Into the Drift
Borun frowned at Tilaleria's "joke", although an observant viewer might notice the corner of his mouth briefly twitch into a smile.

"Yes, I can scout out the steps with you. Let me go first."
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 200 posts
 Messenger Girl
Tue 28 Jun 2016
at 20:37
Into the Drift
Tilaleria gestured for Borun to go first. As was probably not too much of a surprise she, as an elf, was actually quite good at sneaking along quietly. Something helped by the lack of weapons and armour. Within a short distance she became just another shadow drifting through the bushes



21:35, Today: Tilaleria rolled 39 using 1d20+23 with rolls of 16.  Coverting
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 424 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 28 Jun 2016
at 21:47
Into the Drift
Only Elmohtar and Lady Isile have a companion or familiar that can fly, although a few others can shape-change into a flying form while others can summon flying creatures that will scout for them.

Other than that, Lady Isile has been your 'eyes in the sky'.

Seeing the obvious potential threat, she sends her hummingbird aloft, while Elmohtar sends his roc aloft. In Elmohtar's case, the roc has been aloft the whole time; it's a bit like a shark in that has to keep flying.


As Borun and Tilaleria reach the stairs, it becomes obvious to Borun that the stairs were carved by Dwarves. There are quite intricate and elaborate carvings all along the sides and bannister. Even the risers are so carved.

The carvings and runes tell of a great battle fought here several centuries ago, called the Time of the Reckoning. Although Sauron isn't mentioned by name, the impression is that some evil very much like him was responsible.

Many things happened because of that battle: the scarp was raised, and the land on the top was shattered and broken, beyond which the Searing Desert was created. Cities fell. A few that didn't fall were forever altered.

About every twenty steps there is a column that supports the bannister. It is on these columns that runes of warning are carved. The runes are warnings of things to come: the stone trolls, the Fire Beasts of the Pits, Naethrul the Cursed City of the Dead, the Black Rifts, the Great Trolls of Forstani, the Mad Orcs of Belegost, the hummerhorns, the Shining Spires of Sharandor, the Mechanar, the Rovotic, the Vaharadar, and the Avari.

The runes hint that there is a safe way through each of these features, but it doesn't say what they are.

The risers on the steps have images, dates and deeds of Dwarves that died or survived in the battle. Maybe one in 25 seems to have survived.


You've reached about the midpoint when the flyers report a swarm of other flying creatures approaching. They appeared to have come out of caves in the cliff face... or perhaps the nests. None of the nests are close enough to the stairs that you can get a good view of them, but they do seem to be a bit on the large side.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 149 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Tue 5 Jul 2016
at 09:17
Into the Drift
Borun's grim demeanour changed into a smile at the sight of the dwarven sculpture. He eagerly pointed out the images of dwarven warriors, slain orcs, and a couple of dwarven kings, one of whom wielded a holy warhammer. Borun has not been this animated for weeks.

However his mood changed with the repeated warnings of traps and dire consequences. He reluctantly explained the first few, but became increasingly disquieted and eventually stopped volunteering the information. He continued on silently, and spoke again only after the flying scouts reported their findings.

"Perhaps I should go ahead first to assess the threat. Even if they see me, which is unlikely, I should be be able to return quickly and safely."
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 201 posts
 Messenger Girl
Tue 5 Jul 2016
at 16:50
Into the Drift
"I think it unlikely they have found us" Tilaleria breathed. "Why don't we two scouts go forwards together, leaving the others behind. I'm not particularly worried about a few birds, and I'm no slouch on my feet either. We'll see how the traps work out, I'm keeping my eyes open for them"


17:49, Today: Tilaleria rolled 45 using 1d20+29 with rolls of 16.  Perception.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 150 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Wed 6 Jul 2016
at 10:44
Into the Drift
Borun nodded at Tilaleria.

"May I pre-emptively cast a protective spell on you?" he asked her.

If Tilaleria agrees, Borun casts Magic Circle Against Evil on her.

With a final glance at his companions, Borun turned and crept forwards.

OOC: Stealth roll 37
Perception roll 29


Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 202 posts
 Messenger Girl
Wed 6 Jul 2016
at 17:02
Into the Drift
"That's very kind of you" Tilaleria said. She didn't normally let other people cast spells on her, but she'd come to know and trust Borun. "I have no similar spells, I'm afraid. I'm limited somewhat to simple and direct magics." she gestured ahead "Let us ... covert ... our way over there. Perhaps something has disturbed the birds. It may well be our companions, but if not it is probably interesting" with that she began to move in that direction as sneakily as before
Anira
 Fellowship, 47 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Fri 8 Jul 2016
at 23:24
Into the Drift
Anira remained at the bottom of the stairs with the others, shifting from one foot to the other and back again with a concerned expression.  If there were traps it was possible she could prevent them from triggering them but she also felt that two could likely get through with less likelihood of being spotted than three or even more.  For now she would wait though was ready to ascend quickly if needed.  With the idle time, she turned to the others.  "How is everyone faring?" she asked, her attention a little more on Radagast.  He wasn't a youngling anymore and she wanted to make sure 'grandfather' stayed well.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 53 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sat 9 Jul 2016
at 00:01
Into the Drift
"We are all well, thank you for asking," Radagast replied to Anira. "I am well."

Why does everyone thing I'm some old man? he thought, only mildly annoyed. While they waited, he pulled his pipe out from his beard. It always seemed to be lit, of course. Equally of course, it was always lit. Hidden under his scruffy shaggy beard was a pouch with peculiar dampening properties, given to him by Eloryn.

As he puffed on it thoughtfully, he continued his conversation with Anira.

"Sling a hammock in Saxon's wagon and the travel is not so bad. We were just contemplating how to get his wagon up the scarp. I do not think Elmohtar's roc is large enough to carry it."

This message was last edited by the player at 05:27, Sun 10 July 2016.

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 120 posts
Sun 10 Jul 2016
at 05:04
Into the Drift
Saxon tilted his head side to side as he was leaned back looking up at the sky, "Could just enchant a few very strong summons with a spider climb spell. I have two magic items that enable me to carry a lot more, should work on a summon as well."

"The hard part is we would have to wait until the coast is clear, as anything I summon would have to make a mad dash up the wall. I can do a few strong summons for ehhhh, ten minutes at most?"
He signed a bit, "Days like to day make me wish I was a wizard. Just cast three floating disk spells under the wagon and let it float up with me."
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 425 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Mon 11 Jul 2016
at 19:34
Into the Drift
The eerie keening cry of the flying creatures reaches the group just before the foul stench of decay. The cry sends involuntary shivers running up everyone's spine, including Radagast!

The beasts are the size of condors or large eagles; the swarm now numbers in the dozens.

These are fell-beasts known as hell-hawks. It's been known that the Dark Lord bred Elder creatures into winged beasts to dominate the skies. The stench is not because they are decaying, it is simply an odor they emit, much like the stench plant.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 207 posts
 Messenger Girl
Tue 12 Jul 2016
at 17:15
Into the Drift
As the birds flew past them, clearly ignoring the two on the path, Tilaleria cast a spell. It was clear they were going to have to chase after the birds and she wanted to be able to do that quickly. Spell cast she began to move down the stairs at a pace that would normally be reckless, if it wasn't for the magics that allowed her to do it safely

"If you can cast fly, that would be good" she called to Borun. It wasn't just the getting there by flying, it was the 'what if they pick us up and drop us' and the 'how do we get to them'.


Borun you and I are hasted

This message was lightly edited by the player at 17:17, Tue 12 July 2016.

Anira
 Fellowship, 50 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Thu 14 Jul 2016
at 04:19
Into the Drift
The screetch and stench assaulted Anira's senses and she instinctively snapped up her mage shield then drew the flaming rapier which ignited in flames.  Turning to face the oncoming swarm, she lifted her arm and pointed her finger uttering the word "Fánaperyar."  A bolt of lightning streaked from the tip of her finger straight at the oncoming hellhawks, hoping to possibly deter them or at least wound as many as possible to make things easier for them.



17:20, Today: Anira rolled 28 using 10d6 with rolls of 1,1,3,2,4,4,3,4,5,1.  Lightning Bolt.  >.<  Couldn't even get half of the possible damage and Reflex saves means only 14 points of damage.

AC: 26
HP: 110/110


Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 152 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Thu 14 Jul 2016
at 12:27
Into the Drift
Borun cast a spell of magical flight upon Tilaleria, then hustled down the steps towards the group.

Standard action: Casting Fly on Tilaleria
Move action: 50 feet down the steps


Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 124 posts
Fri 15 Jul 2016
at 20:42
Into the Drift
Saxon quirked an eyebrow at the fluttering mass of monsters. "Well... That is going to be a bit of an isssue if I had ever seen one... Best get ready."

He took out a number of bottles and a few reagents of questionable potency if not odd origin. His range of effect was limited to as far as he could throw even with a bomb thrower. So he prepared one of his light bombs to test a theory.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 429 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 19 Jul 2016
at 03:34
Into the Drift
Anira's lightning bolt cuts through the hell hawks, managing to strike all but three of them.

The bolt mostly delivers shock to them, but two of them were hit square on and leathery hides exploded from the surge, sending those two careening aside, colliding with some of the others. Unfortunately, it didn't kill those two (or any of the others), and they swoop down to attack.


Borun and Tilaleria are on the stairs, about halfway up, on one of the landings where the stairs switch back to the other direction. They can hide behind the solid balustrade if they want, or they can make noise or something to get the attention of the hell hawks. Or, of course, you can go back down the stairs.


The others at the bottom still, awaiting the all-clear signal from Borun, are mostly ground fighters. There's almost no way for them to attack the hell hawks until the hell hawks attack them first.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 211 posts
 Messenger Girl
Tue 19 Jul 2016
at 08:35
Into the Drift
Muttering a spell as she moved, Tilaleria used Borun's fly spell to head towards the crowd of birds. Her plan was simple. To attact the attention of the birds so they went for her instead of the others, and move them downwards to within striking range of the others. Hopefully they would focus on her leaving the spell casters to do their spell casting and deal with the the threat
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 159 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Tue 19 Jul 2016
at 16:19
Into the Drift
As the hell hawks approached the eyes, Isile had a few rounds to get ready. She landed up top, beast-shaped into a lammasu, then cast Stoneskin on herself. She wasn't normally a combatant type, but she felt this was one of those exceptions, since most of her friends couldn't fly. The battle would have to be taken to the hell hawks... in the sky.

Then she launched herself off the cliff top in a power dive at the flock of beasts. She was sure they were magical, but so was she!

When she was close enough that she could catch as many of them as possible, she cast her own lightning bolt at them.

17:17, Today: Lady Isile rolled 44 using 10d6 ((6,5,6,5,3,3,5,3,3,5)). Lightning Bolt.

Lady Isile thanks you, Anira! If your roll hadn't been so poor, mine might not have been so good! :-)
Elmohtar
 Fellowship, 55 posts
 Aasimar
 Menhir Savant/Priest
Tue 19 Jul 2016
at 18:33
Into the Drift
Although it wasn't his strength, Elmohtar was one of the few that could take to the air if needed. Clearly he wasn't as adept yet as Lady Isile, for he could not take the form that she could--the powerful lion-bodied lammasu.

He had other options, though.

Round 1: Summon Nature's Ally V--manticore.

Round 2: Summon Nature's Ally IV--griffon.

Round 3: Call Lightning Storm.

His thinking was that the griffon and the manticore might provide protection for his allies. If this was a replay of the last battle, then the lightning would not kill the beasts.

He had his summoned creatures wait in reserve, only attacking the hell hawks if they got too close.

He'll also use his Lore to see if he knows anything about these hell hawks; they are nearly legendary.

19:30, Today: Elmohtar 18,19,17,21 using 5d6,5d6,5d6,5d6 ((6,6,1,4,1,4,3,4,3,5,2,1,6,3,5,3,6,5,2,5)).

And thank you Lady Isile, for getting the only good roll! Pfft.

That's four lightning bolts, but only one per round. He'll target whichever one appears to be the weakest/most damaged in the hopes of eliminating it.
Anira
 Fellowship, 51 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Wed 27 Jul 2016
at 17:04
Into the Drift
With a few others bringing some fight to the air, Anira decided not to cast something that would injure their allies so once the hellhawks were in range, she let loose a burst of flames from her hands hoping to singe at least a handful of the creatures.



11:59, Today: Anira rolled 13 using 5d4 with rolls of 2,4,1,3,3.  Burning Hands.  Reflex halves damage.

AC: 26
HP: 110/110

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 430 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Wed 27 Jul 2016
at 20:46
Into the Drift
As far as Tilaleria knows, these hell hawks are some sort of descendant of prehistoric flying lizards (pteranodon). She believes they were transformed through dark magic, and some were further altered to become ring-wraith steeds.

They aren't creatures of the dark any more, though, as they are clearly flying in sunlight without any ill affects. If they have a weakness, it's their bloodlust and aggressiveness... sensing an intruder, food, or blood, they take on a single-minded purpose.

Her ploy to fly directly at them kind of has the desired effect, in that those that see her swerve to aim at her and Borun. However, Anira's lighting bolt had disrupted their pseudo-organized flying formation, and those that got scattered a bit don't spot Tilaleria and continue on at the others.

20:56, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 24,33,33 using 1d20+20,1d20+16,1d20+16 ((4,17,17)). Hell hawk #1

20:57, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 28,33,26 using 1d20+20,1d20+16,1d20+16 ((8,17,10)). Hell hawk #2

20:57, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 40,25,29 using 1d20+20,1d20+16,1d20+16 ((20,9,13)). Hell hawk #3


As three of them swoop at Tilaleria, she discovers their unusual attack method--impale the target with their long pointed beak and then claw! Since only the 3rd one manages to hit Tilaleria (for 20 points of damage). It's the equivalent of lance charge!

Both claws miss, even though they have a bonus because she's temporarily impaled. It's still trying to grab her, though. She realizes its tactic is to drive a target to the ground and then stab and claw it to death. However, it only weighs about 80 pounds, so it's not enough to knock Tilaleria out of the sky.


...to be continued...
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 154 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Mon 1 Aug 2016
at 09:24
Into the Drift
While Borun had basic physical and magical ranged attacks, he was far better in melee. Thus he spent another round casting a flight spell on himself, then moved into melee alongside Tilaleria.

Standard action: Casting Fly on himself
Move action: Fly 60 feet to the hell hawks


Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 160 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Tue 2 Aug 2016
at 05:30
Into the Drift
Lady Isile, in the form of a lammasu, is the first to dive into the flock of hell hawks. She has just enough time to cast Bull's Strength on herself. It wasn't much, but every little bit helped.

It might seem foolish for her to get up close with a monster, but her amulet and stoneskin should easily see her through the battle.... she hoped.


06:08, Today: Lady Isile rolled 29,28,27,24 using 1d20+20,1d20+20,1d20+15,1d20+15 ((9,8,12,9)). Claw, claw, wing, wing. Rake if both front claws hit.

06:21, Today: Lady Isile rolled 28,27 using 1d20+20,1d20+20 ((8,7)). Rake: claw, claw.

06:23, Today: Lady Isile rolled 50,8 using 4d8+32,1d6+5 ((7,4,4,3,3)).

Mostly horrible rolls, but I think she may have hit with 4 claws and one wing. She pushed it as much as she could... using a power dive/charge. If she can't hit with that, she's probably not going to be any good in melee.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 431 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 2 Aug 2016
at 06:01
Into the Drift
Elmohtar's lightning bolt, even though he cast it last, strikes first, hitting one of the hell hawks. He can't really tell if it's one that Lady Isile zapped first, though. In any case, it doesn't go down.


Elmohtar's manticore attacks as the lead hell hawk continues to target the group.

06:37, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 12,14,17 using 1d20+10,1d20+10,1d20+12 ((2,4,5)). Awful. Bite, both claws and spikes all miss.

Elmohtar's griffon also attacks as the hell hawks get close.

06:41, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 17,13,17 using 1d20+8,1d20+8,1d20+7 ((9,5,10)). More horrible rolls! Bite, claw, claw all miss.


A hell hawk attacks the manticore.

06:44, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 40,27,30 using 1d20+20,1d20+16,1d20+16 ((20,11,14)). Beak, claw, claw... all hit!

06:49, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 11,9,11 using 1d12+4,1d12+4,1d12+4 ((7,5,7)). Does 42 points of damage to the manticore, but it's not down yet.


Another hell hawk attacks the griffon.

06:47, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 40,31,31 using 1d20+20,1d20+16,1d20+16 ((20,15,15)). Beak, claw, claw... all hit!

06:52, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 9,10,13 using 1d12+4,1d12+4,1d12+4 ((5,6,9)).  Does 41 points of damage to the griffon, but it's not down yet either.


Anira's Burning Hands hits one of the hell hawks, but it's not nearly enough to take it down.


Lady Isile, however, hits a hell hawk in her power dive, and she winds up doing the exact same thing to the hell hawk that it tries to do... drive a foe to the ground. The hell hawk doesn't have nearly the wing strength it needs to even support the lammasu, let alone resist the full power dive. It slams into the ground with the lammasu on top of it and take another 20 points of damage.

Unfortunately, it still has some kick left.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 432 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 9 Aug 2016
at 06:08
Into the Drift
OOC: Apologies (again) if you're waiting for me. Crappy week and crappy weekend.


Unless I missed someone, that was the end of that round. Except for the one hell hawk on the ground, the rest flyby and have to circle back around. Technically, they don't have to, but that's just the way they do things.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 213 posts
 Messenger Girl
Wed 10 Aug 2016
at 20:35
Into the Drift
PM
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 126 posts
Wed 10 Aug 2016
at 23:04
Into the Drift
Saxon was massively limited when it comes to foes at range. More so when he had not had a chance to really get to understand any other monster that came about. So... this was an opportunity to really check and see if some of his unique bombs would work.

After all, he wanted to be sure that he would not hurt his peers when he started lobbing bombs all over the place.

So he tossed a little blue vial at the creature that was driven down. There was a burst of white light that burned at corruption, but would it burn the being?

17:59, Today: Saxon the Dead Smith rolled 16 using 1d20+11 with rolls of 5.
17:58, Today: Saxon the Dead Smith rolled 17 using 5d6 with rolls of 4,6,1,3,3.

16 to hit
22 pnts of damage to undead or similar creatures.
DC 20 reflex for half
Splash damage 10 pnts.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 433 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 16 Aug 2016
at 02:30
Into the Drift
In no particular order...


Another of Elmohtar's lightning bolts strike one of the other hell hawks.


Only one of the three hell hawks struck Tilaleria, and she is able to make attacks of opportunity on the two that missed. It's not a lot of damage, but she did injure them.


Elmohtar's summoned griffin flies after the hell hawks, and manages to hit one of them twice, and critical with one. It significantly wounds the hell hawk, but doesn't kill it.

Elmohtar's summoned manticore also flies after the hell hawks, and manages to hit one of them, but it's not enough to kill it.


Saxon's bomb affects the hell hawk on the ground, sufficiently so that Lady Isile/lammasu is able to finish it off.


You don't see a flying Dwarf every day, but Borun is able to launch himself at the tail end of the flock. He can't quite land on the creature's back, but does manage to land two of his flurry of blows.


At the end of the round, there is only one hell hawk dead, but all but three of them have been injured. The remaining 23 are swinging around to attack again. There's a free round for anyone else to do something before they return.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 214 posts
 Messenger Girl
Tue 16 Aug 2016
at 17:53
Into the Drift
It was a serious number of bad guys. Lots and lots. Tilaleria moved herself so that she was in the way of any attack on the people on the ground. Obviously it was going to be hard to protect them all, and worse she knew that she'd been lucky not to be hit so far. She was though going to be able to take the time to start putting the hurt in on these creatures. Her whole body exploded with shards of ice dripping off her, and her hands grew particularly cold. These creatures might take her down, but it wasn't going to be easy for them
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 156 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Wed 17 Aug 2016
at 10:43
Into the Drift
Borun steadied himself in the air behind the flock and performed a series of rolls and blows at the hell hawks' wing joints.

Swift action: arcane strike
Full-round action: flurry of blows

Borun shall attempt to stun the hawk using Stunning Fist on the first attack.

First attack with Stunning Fist attempt: 37
Stunning Fist Fort save DC 22
First attack damage: 20

If the first attack successfully stunned the hawk, then it loses its Dex bonus to AC and takes an additional -2 penalty to AC.

If the stun attempt was unsuccessful, Borun will attempt Stunning Fist again with the second attack.

Second attack roll: 36
Stunning Fist save DC (if applicable): 22
Second attack damage: 17

If both of the Stunning Fist attempts were unsuccessful, Borun will not attempt Stunning Fist again.

Third attack roll: 20
Third attack damage: 16

Fourth attack roll: 32
Fourth attack damage: 18

If the hawk was stunned by either of Borun's first two attacks, Borun gains two Medusa's Wrath attacks.

First Medusa's Wrath attack roll: 22
Damage: 19

Second Medusa's Wrath attack roll: Natural 20!
Confirm critical roll: Natural 1 - lol
Damage: 18


Anira
 Fellowship, 55 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Tue 30 Aug 2016
at 15:54
Into the Drift
There were so many hell hawks and so far they weren't thinning the numbers significantly.  It was worrisome to say the least.  Rather than fling another bolt that most would avoid, Anira cast something they had used every night that kept them secure.  A cottage sprang up and she ran to the door.  "EVERYONE INSIDE!!  FIRE WON'T HURT IT AND WE CAN WAIT THEM OUT!!"



"The dwelling does, however, provide considerable security otherwise—it is as strong as a normal stone building, regardless of its material composition. The dwelling resists flames and fire as if it were stone. It is impervious to normal missiles (but not the sort cast by siege engines or giants)."
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 434 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Wed 31 Aug 2016
at 06:52
Into the Drift
Lady Isile was able to do enough damage to one that she'd hit with her lightning bolt that she is able to finish it off.

Saxon's alchemical bomb wouldn't have normally hit, but the hell hawks had their flight path disrupted, and he is able to hit one of the ones that Lady Isile had damaged with a lightning bolt.

Elmohtar is able to drop another one of his lightning bolts on the same creature, and finishes it off.


Tilaleria is pretty much able to fly among them and let them attack (and miss) so that she can make attacks of opportunity on them.

Her first attack misses, and it takes her next four attacks to finish off another hell hawk, leaving two attacks to damage another one.


Borun's flurry of blows is almost as successful, as his first two attacks both hit and stun the next beast, and the reduced AC lets his 3rd and 4th attacks hit. He is also able to hit with both his Medusa's Wrath attacks.

It was one of the one's 'softened up' by Lady Isile's lightning bolt, so Borun's damage is able to finish it off.


At the end of that round, three more hell hawks lay dead on the ground. That's a total of 4 down and 20 to go.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 215 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 4 Sep 2016
at 19:59
Into the Drift
Tilaleria found little joy in the death of Morgoth's creations, but this seemed necessary. The creatures so far seemed to have no fear of pain and defeat and were keeping on coming. As was often the case in the battles between Light and Dark, the good guys were better but the bad guys were endless...

She decided to nearly follow Anira's advice, moving down to just above the entrance to the magical safe house. She would enter when every one else had done so, and in the meantime would keep on giving back to these Hell Hawks what they were trying to do to her: no more and no less.

As her fists and feet flew at the Hell Hawks that came near here, she muttered a word of power, and pressed her finger to her bracelet, refreshing her mind .. allowing her to call forth more power to fight this battle
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 127 posts
Sun 25 Sep 2016
at 02:31
Into the Drift
The amount of information that he got from that initial detonation was not very conductive to a final verdict if the light bombs would do any real damage to the hell hawks. Sure, he hit it, but he was not really able to see any clear sign that he harmed it.

So with a rub of his chin and a lean forward he gave only a slightly closer inspection of the creature. Wounded or not he should be able to glean signs of physical damage from his undead blomb.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 158 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Sun 25 Sep 2016
at 16:00
Into the Drift
Noticing Anira's instruction and group's retreat into the magical refuge, Borun also made his way over there. Doing his best to evade the talons and beaks of the hell hawks, he ducked and rolled his way in mid-air to the hut's entrance.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 436 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Fri 30 Sep 2016
at 06:28
Into the Drift
OOC: Frak! It's taken me so long to get back to this I forgot half of it!


The hell hawks can barely hit Tilaleria, but she has no trouble hitting them. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of damage to kill one of the beasts. She hits with all but one of her attacks, but can't really apply all of them to just one creature. So none of them drop this round.


Elmohtar makes it to the door of Anira's cottage, and waits for everyone else to get inside as he continues to drop a lightning bolt onto the creatures. He's only got a few left, and they don't do much damage. By themselves, they'd never take out a hell hawk, but they work well to soften one up for Borun or Tilaleria.


Saxon is able to tell that his undead bomb did have some effect on the creatures. As creatures twisted by the dark, the light did hurt them because of its intensity, since clearly normal daylight wasn't bothering them. As near as he can tell, the bomb delivered only half the damage it would have done an actual undead creature.


Borun makes it to the entrance of the cottage without getting hit. As aggressive as the creatures are, they aren't stupid enough to fly into a wall, which is what the cottage represents. Everyone else (except Elmohtar and Tilaleria) is inside by the time Borun gets there. As he flies through the door, Elmohtar continues to drop lightning bolts, and watches Tilaleria's back as she finally makes her way to the door.

As soon as Tilaleria is inside, Anira slams the door closed.

Even thought the hell hawks lair in caves, the small door of the cottage was too small for them to consider. They aren't prone to landing to attack from the ground.

Once inside with the door closed, the hell hawks virtually cease to exist. Whatever they are doing on the outside, it has no effect on the cottage.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 217 posts
 Messenger Girl
Fri 30 Sep 2016
at 11:11
Into the Drift
"Clever! .. Good idea this place"  Tilaleria said her breath coming fast. She'd been working hard. Really hard. There was few activities as hard as combat, and 'not being hit' by that many opponents took it out of her.

"You can shoot out of this right?
" she looked a little annoyed at herself "Now I regret not having brought a bow. I traveled light, and it's rare indeed that I need such a thing."

She paused in thought

"it is clear that we need to defeat this foe. We cannot be trapped here. Perhaps those of us that are skilled in not dying against such unpleasant foes could venture back out to act as a lightning rod for them, and the rest of you can blast them. If you do ... for example ... fireballs, I am quite skills in deflecting such magics from myself, so unless I look battered don't be afraid to launch them at me."

"I'll not go out until we are confident it's the right thing to do"

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 54 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sun 9 Oct 2016
at 18:07
Into the Drift
Once everyone was inside the cottage and the door was closed, the attacking hell hawks had virtually vanished.

Radagast made his way over to one of the comfy chairs, sat in it, pulled out his pipe and began puffing on it.

"I am a creature of nature, much like my friends," he says, even as one of his friends climbs up on top of his head--a bushy-tailed gray squirrel.

"There are some that have referred to me as a 'druid', but while I espouse similar principles, that is not my calling, if I even have such a thing. I suppose the main difference is that a druid strives for balance, but I have no interest in seeing evil thrive."

"These hell hawks are not evil, but they have been touched be evil. Yet they are living creatures, and I do not wish to see them destroyed. Certainly, I cannot contribute to their demise. They are carnivores... predators... and presumably that is why they attacked. Or perhaps they were also defending their territory."

"I admit that they caught us by surprise. Our focus was on reaching the Ent-wives before they truly did die."

"I think it is clear by now that the Ent-wives very existence is being masked by the dark forces of Mordor... in some manner that is beyond my ken."

"I have been pondering this as we traveled. Much time has passed. Sauron's activities... even his minions...  have affected the land in ways we can barely imagine. This scarp, for instance, may not have been here when the Ent-wives came this way, which means the very shape of the land has probably been altered."

"Will the Ent-wives be able to return this way?"

"As for the hell hawks, it seems as if only Tilaleria and Borun are suited for a prolonged battle with them. As I observed the battle, you two were well-defensed against the hell hawks such that it took a lucky effort for one of them to hurt you. At the same time, though, they were able to take a lot of punishment."

"If they were intelligent, or being controlled by some intelligence, this cottage would not survive long against their onslaught. They are only animals; they will not throw themselves against the walls of a building."

"So, now we must decide what to do. They will most likely give up their hunt by nightfall and return to their nests. I am thinking that we may be able to seal them in their nest-caves with a bit of spider webs."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 218 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 9 Oct 2016
at 18:31
Into the Drift
"While the rest of you were learning magic, we were learning not be hit" Tilaleria observed. She suspected with the 'right' spells the others would have been that effective, it was just that they hadn't a chance to prepare

"The world would be a better place without them" Tilaleria continued "And they may choose to hassle us after we have passed. I would also comment on the fact that they have no fear. They have lost numbers, but still attack like crazed things. I think the safest option is not to run away from them letting them attack us when we aren't ready, but for us to attack them. It looks like you can target spells on them while still inside this shelter. That means that Borun and I can draw them in, and you can all blast. That would play to all of our strengths. It is a simple plan and I think likely to work. With this fly spell upon me I don't particular fear their most potent attack: the pick up and drop. Since it will not last forever, we should engage them within a minute or two"
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 159 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Mon 17 Oct 2016
at 12:35
Into the Drift
"They do seem to be unthinking animals," Borun agreed with Radagast. "Perhaps we can indeed bypass them without further combat."

Borun considered the problem for a moment. "While I don't have a spider-web spell like you suggest, I can create simple illusions, both visual and sound. How about an illusion of a prey animal, perhaps a lamb? The little lost lamb bleats and draws the attention of the hell hawks while we sneak around."
Arithal Kodiak
 Fellowship, 36 posts
 Human Male
 Druid/Monk
Wed 19 Oct 2016
at 05:21
Into the Drift
"I will only attack the hell hawks if they attack me," Arithal says. "Nor will I attempt to provoke them into doing so. They have as much right to live as you or I."

"They are not evil creatures; they were only altered by evil--merely the first step on the way to produce the Ring-Wraiths."

"Perhaps, though, Borun is on the right track. While they might attack potential food, what might cause them to flee? What do they fear?"

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 219 posts
 Messenger Girl
Wed 19 Oct 2016
at 05:30
Into the Drift
"No they don't" Tilaleria disagreed with Arithal "We are not creatures of Morgoth and we don't attack, rend and kill people passing through our territory in a mindless and violent fashion. The same argument could apply to orcs: do they have the same right to live as you and I? If you think the answer to the question about orcs is yes, then I think we'll just have to accept we differ on that. If you think the answer to the orcs is no, then exactly the same answer should apply to the Hell Hawks"

"I don't like the idea of leaving them to attack us when we aren't expecting it. They move faster than us. They can fly. We are all 'set up' for the fight now, and we won't be if they attack us on the move"

"We've had a while to talk about it and I think we haven't come up with a good idea that doesn't just allow them to attack us at will when they choose, harrying us as we travel. So unless there are any strongly dissenting views I'm going out that door, and will attract their attention. I'd appreciate your company Borun: they are scary and it only takes a mistake for it to go wrong"

"I will attract them together. So you can blast and tentacle and so on. If any of you have spells that will help me resist the magics you will use that would be great, if not I will have to rely on my training"


OOC We've been about three weeks saying 'yes or no' with no real ideas, so I'm just moving this on. If anyone objects say so, or otherwise this weekend I'll move out the shelter
Anira
 Fellowship, 58 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Wed 19 Oct 2016
at 16:54
Into the Drift
"There is the difference between the orcs and the hell hawks ... intelligence," Anira injected.  "So you can't really compare them to each other.  I agree they are creatures and normally I would say to leave them be but they have been warped by evil and pose a threat to any and everyone in this area.  There are valid points on both sides but these abominations will attack over and over so we will be forced to kill them," she said, trying to appeal to both sides of the argument.

"That said, I will need to rest and commune to get spells that are less about healing and supporting and more offensive.  I recall some spells that might be helpful and will look through some notes I have taken over the years."  She looked at Tillaleria and shrugged her shoulders.  "That will require time and patience but it is the best I can offer as my focus was on not only magic but fighting as well," she stated with a half-smile.  Her type of fighting was quite different from the exotic elven woman's.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 55 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Wed 19 Oct 2016
at 18:51
Into the Drift
"As Anira has just said, there is a difference," Radagast says. "The real difference, though, is whether Orcs have souls. I feel it is safe to say that the hell hawks do not."

"As you are all aware, I respect Life... in all its forms. So I do not normally take a life if I can help it, which I usually can. Whether Orcs have a soul or not, it does not bother me to slay an Orc, so I wonder if that means that they aren't truly Life."

"The hell hawks have been touched and twisted by evil, but they are not evil. They are merely animals. They are no different than a wolf or bear--you invade their territory, they will defend it. We invaded the hell hawks territory, and they merely defended it."

"As Arithal said, if we can find something that they fear--if they fear anything at all--then perhaps we can use that to keep them from attacking us as we pass through their territory."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 220 posts
 Messenger Girl
Wed 19 Oct 2016
at 18:55
Into the Drift
"I don't really care" Tilaleria said, her voice reasonable despite the words "Matters of 'are they evil or animalistic' are for those people in ivory towers that don't have to live in the world. Let us suppose that we had been a group of women and children heading this way. Perhaps fleeing from something with intelligence...  What would have happened to that group of women and children? That is not an idle question: I want you to think about it. To think about the sheer violence, aggression and horror that they wanted to visit upon us, and were only foiled because of our magical power and strength of arms"

"The Hell Hawks are creatures of Morgoth that is clear. Their hatred for all things is not natural it is imbued in them by the Evil One. The world will be a better place if they are not in it. That ignores the fact that if we leave them alone they may well ambush us. It is far better to use their unreasoning behavior against themselves. The spells cast on me will wear out in a few minutes, so we have a short time to discuss this, and despite my 'I don't care', it is a valuable discussion. My 'I don't care' is because I care not about their nature being evil or animalistic: the end result is the same. In both cases I want them all gone. "

Anira
 Fellowship, 59 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Wed 19 Oct 2016
at 19:07
Into the Drift
"I assure you I was not raised in an ivory tower but nature itself, not quite like Radagast but I and the others do understand the world a lot more than you are giving us credit for, Tillaleria," Anira stated just as reasonably.  "I agree that it would be horrid if women and children were coming through here but given this isn't normal territory, I doubt seriously that would happen."

She had tried to remain quiet times before when the arrogant elf tried to enforce her will on the entire group but she couldn't any longer, not when she was actually being unreasonable.  "I was offering my assistance but it will take time as most of my spells aren't what you need.  The spells that you have on you now can be recast yet you are insistent that we do what you want right now.  We are a team and there's a phrase of 'there is no I in team' ... and your need to kill things now could get us all killed."
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 221 posts
 Messenger Girl
Wed 19 Oct 2016
at 19:30
Into the Drift
"There is an I in team. Lot's in fact, one per person. And it is important to balance the I with the team with the goals of the venture. Otherwise the venture will fail. You should know that. "

"You are talking quite aggressively, and accusing me of having a 'need to kill'. I think you heard the words I said but didn't really think about them. You should be aware that I almost always try and avoid fights. I have avoided every possible conflict I could on the way over here."

"I don't however think this is a fight we can avoid. I'm not worried for myself particularly. I have been trained by the Lady Galadriel and feel fairly confident that I will not be killed by the creatures, although things can go wrong in any fight. I am concerned for you and the others. You have invested your time into learning magics, while I and Borun have spent that time learning how to survive this sort of conflict. I have not heard a credible way of avoiding these things, despite waiting for some significant time, so I want to deal with them in a way that plays to our strengths and minimizes theirs. I want a way of dealing with them that doesn't end up with one of you dead. If you want to hear those words as some sort of blood lust you are welcome to do so, but you would be mistaken"

"They are creatures of Morgoth and the world will be better for them going. I will not sing a song of joy at their passing, but I will sleep more soundly knowing the world is safer place. "

"Now if your magics are exhausted we can always do this in the morning. Perhaps someone will come up with a better plan, before them. But this 'I' in team, isn't really keen on any plan that is based on hoping they don't attack us"

Anira
 Fellowship, 60 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Wed 19 Oct 2016
at 20:44
Into the Drift
"You are the one who is hearing but not thinking or paying attention, too busy going on and on about how great you are," Anira retorted.  "I told you I would assist but needed time to seek the power of different spells because what I had prepared for today wouldn't be of much help, not that my magics were exhausted.  Either way, I was saying some time needed to be allowed but you kept pressing that we do this now because the spells you have on you were about to expire.  Also, since this is a team, the majority should rule and if there are more votes against you then we will not be setting upon the hell hawks ... unless you do it by yourself and are no longer part of the team."
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 160 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Thu 20 Oct 2016
at 11:07
Into the Drift
Borun was disconcerted by the bickering. He stepped forwards between the two ladies and coughed politely.

"We are indeed a team and we are trying to help each other, right?" Borun looked at both of them. "We all bring useful talents to the group, be it magical or mundane, else Master Radagast would not have invited us. I am sure we are past the point of judging each other's skills." Borun chuckled awkwardly.

Borun looked at Anira. "I am unsure what this "majority rule" concept is. All groups, however large or small, require a leader who makes the important decisions. While individuals might occasionally give advice, the leader has the ultimate power."

"We acknowledge Master Radagast as our leader." Borun looked carefully at Tilaleria. "As well as being our leader, he is an Istari with unsurpassed understanding of nature, as well as vast experience of dealing with evil."
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 56 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sat 22 Oct 2016
at 04:35
Into the Drift
"I don't lead so much as I encourage," Radagast replies, apparently a bit uncomfortable at the role Borun was thrusting him into.

"We are all wise in our ways, which is why we won't always agree."

"Tilaleria merely wishes not to waste time, opportunity and the magic that has been expended. Such things should not be taken for granted."

"Anira doesn't so much disagree, only pointing out that she is temporarily ill-equipped to continue the battle at this time."

"You all have valid points. Had we the time to investigate the hell hawks, perhaps we could make a better-informed decision. Alas, we do not."

"Tilaleria and Borun... are you prepared to continue the battle right now... on your own? For that is the gist of this discussion, is it not?"

"It is not that we don't wish to aid you, but as Anira has pointed out, we are not equipped to do so at this time. That does not mean we will not help you if you do continue, but it does not seem as if we would be able to slay all the hell hawks at this time."

"What, then, do you wish to do? Remember, you always have this cottage to retreat into."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 222 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 22 Oct 2016
at 10:20
Into the Drift
"No it's not" Tilaleria responded to Radagast "I've already indicated that I'm quite happy to wait, so I don't really know what the discussion is about anymore. I thought it was that old chestnut of 'evil against animalistic' but apparently not."

"I'll just wait for the rest of you to decide what to do since no one wants to do anything specific, and Anira wants to treat me a some sort of Pariah. I've offered one solution and no one has come up with a credible alternative so when dawn arrives and we are rested if nothing else happens I suggest we do that. Alternatively we can just walk out without a plan and hope that nothing bad happens"

Anira
 Fellowship, 61 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Tue 25 Oct 2016
at 17:23
Into the Drift
"I do not want to treat you like a pariah but I also do not appreciate the way you talk down to the rest of us, acting as if you are the only one with a valid option," Anira corrected.  "Other options were given but they were not anything you wanted to hear.  Since it seems Radagast is willing to try to take on the hell hawks in the morning, I will try to ensure I have more offensive spells ready," she stated and retreated to one of the cots with a book.  The tiny flying squirrel decided to get some exercise, bounding over cot and companion.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 57 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sat 29 Oct 2016
at 05:19
Into the Drift
"I fear the problem is my fault," Radagast tried to soothe over the nearly-feuding women.

"I, too, accepted the hell hawks at face value, that they were creatures of an evil nature. That is probably because I knew of their origin."

"In truth, they are no different than a lion or bear. Yes, they are a flock, whereas most predators tend to be solitary, and that also influenced me."

"We are moving through strange territories, and what we are used to is likely to be very different here."

"I will attempt to come to terms with these creatures so that we don't have to fight them. Is that acceptable to you, Tilaleria?"

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 437 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 5 Nov 2016
at 01:05
Into the Drift
Whether anyone sleeps or not, sometime near morning, Radagast slips out the door. By the time everyone else is ready to exit the cottage, Radagast is waiting outside.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 223 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 5 Nov 2016
at 08:20
Into the Drift
Tilaleria had already said that she was going to leave what happens to other people, so she waits to see what was going to happen. She still didn't know that issue Anira had with her, as the words used seemed to bear little resemblance to what Tilaleria had said or proposed doing, but perhaps it was just a 'personality conflict'. She moved to one side of the secure shelter and pulled out the crude map she was making of where they were and began to work on it
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 161 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Sat 5 Nov 2016
at 11:51
Into the Drift
In the morning, Borun greeted his companions amiably.

"I suppose that it's time to go deal with the hell hawks," he casually commented like this was just part of his breakfast schedule.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 58 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Wed 23 Nov 2016
at 00:40
Into the Drift
"We do not need to deal with the hell hawks," Radagast tells the others. "I have come to an agreement with them. We are no longer prey to them, nor are we intruders."

"I hope that is satisfactory to all of you."

"We can now climb the stairs without worry."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 225 posts
 Messenger Girl
Wed 23 Nov 2016
at 17:40
Into the Drift
Tilaleria nodded, and moved to head back up the stairs again. She didn't understand the Hell Hawks. She'd never heard of anything natural even remotely like them: no natural animal other than some insects would attack as madly as they had, but perhaps it was a measure of Radagast's power that he could deal with even things as tainted as the Hawks

"Shall we just do what we did last time?" she asked "Two scouts going ahead and checking"
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 162 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Thu 24 Nov 2016
at 14:03
Into the Drift
Borun raised his eyebrows at Radagast's declaration. The Istari's power over nature was indeed astounding.

Borun peered suspiciously at the hell hawks in the distance. "Of course I am happy to scout ahead."
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 438 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Wed 30 Nov 2016
at 23:40
Into the Drift
Continuing up the stairs, there is more of the runic carvings and the recording of those that died. It isn't until you just about reach the top that you notice a difference in the words. A dozen steps from the top, there is no longer a record of someone who died, but rather a series of phrases carved into the riser of each step.

The first four are:

Where the cold wind blows and the bright stars shine,
Where darkness abides and the fat rats dine
Let Naethrul’s path revealed with summer wine
Count the wings for flying nine


The next seven are different, which is why you are able to differentiate between the two groups:


Two down, three up, five around,
Never breaking ground
The night gate found
By the leaping hound
A tail is wound
The way unbound
By Forstan’s sound


Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 226 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 3 Dec 2016
at 15:59
Into the Drift
"Well isn't this interesting" Tilaleria commented "Clearly a riddle or a warning of some sort. Probably both"

"Perhaps we should pause and consider its meaning. Perhaps we can trigger some ideas by discussion"

"It seems to me that this is a rutter for a way into Naethrul, the city of the dead. The first two lines feel like a description of the destination, the third a statement of how to get there, although 'summer wine' is, at might be expected, a puzzle"
she gave a half laugh "I am reminded of a human song I heard a century ago, but it had that haunting quality and stuck in my head. A girl rode with a man and tempted him to drink her summer wine. When he woke, she was gone, as were his valuables"

"Another puzzle is the 'count the wings'. The most obvious meaning of the 'nine', when we discuss Morgoth and his works, is the nine rings made for mortal men. As far as I know they don't have wings though. Perhaps this details mounts for them, or aerial scouts. Neither is attractive. Perhaps this has something to do with the Hell Hawks: they are large enough to make a mount for a wraith"

"The second verse seems more obvious. A set of movements to make. Perhaps two steps down, three up, and then either turn around five times, or see some other meaning at that point. The 'night gate found' comment would imply that this little ritual should be undertaken in the dark."

"The 'leaping hound' would mark the start of that movements perhaps. It might well be that its tail would indicate the direction to turn around in, or perhaps indicate a side set of steps or something: only to be taken after the two down, three up"

"The final line is worrying. I have no great desire to fight one of the great trolls of Forstani, and few others would make that sound."


Tilaleria shrugged "Mostly hypotheses and guess work. Perhaps they will trigger ideas in the rest of you. I do suggest though that we look for signs of a leaping hound, or a great troll in this signs"

This message was last edited by the player at 18:10, Sat 03 Dec 2016.

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 163 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Thu 8 Dec 2016
at 14:07
Into the Drift
"A riddle, huh?" Borun frowned. "Who or what is this "Naethrul"? City of the dead, you say? Most flying creatures have two wings each, so I suppose "flying nine" should have eighteen wings."

Moving on to the second poem, Borun simply shrugged in confusion.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 227 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 10 Dec 2016
at 06:06
Into the Drift
"I don't know much about this 'Naethrul'" Tilaleria said thoughtfully. She moved down some steps and gestured at some runes carved on the column supporting the bannister "See these runes here. There are talking a Naethrul the curse city of the dead" she pointed back down to the previous column "And those about the Great Trolls of Forstani"

While she was moving she as looking for 'clues' any thing that might match the poem: things indicating her guess work was correct or flawed
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 59 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Tue 13 Dec 2016
at 00:10
Into the Drift
"Naethrul and Forstani... these are unfamiliar places to me," Radagast comments. "We thought that these lands had been destroyed. Nothing was coming out of the East to make us think differently."

"These runes said there was a way to get past these places safely. It didn't say to go around them. I'm guessing that when we reach the cities, these riddles will make more sense."

"Can someone write them down?"

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 230 posts
 Messenger Girl
Tue 13 Dec 2016
at 22:34
Into the Drift
"Sure" Tilaleria said and began to do just that. She had a good memory but Radagast was correct. "I thought it was instructions 'here', but I suspect you are right"

She gave a half laugh

"You know when we get back and a hundred years from now, or in the next age even, these may be the only records from this place and time. People reading them will think we have far more lore than we do. It's worth wondering if the heroes of legend were as puzzled by the things they meet as we are"
Elmohtar
 Fellowship, 56 posts
 Aasimar
 Menhir Savant/Priest
Wed 14 Dec 2016
at 04:59
Into the Drift
"I've never heard of these 'great trolls'," Elmohtar offers. "I suppose they could be the same as the Olog-hai, but it seems like something else is meant."

"The runes spoke of a city of them. Doesn't sound like Olog-hai, especially if we can get through them... or the city... without having to fight our way through them. The runes almost make it sound like we can reason with them. Like maybe there's a password to get them to leave us alone... or maybe even help us."

"Anybody else get that impression, or am I reading too much into it?"

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 231 posts
 Messenger Girl
Wed 14 Dec 2016
at 22:49
Into the Drift
Tilaleria mused aloud for a while, obviously thinking about what Elmohtar was saying. She was hoping that this would spark off some ideas. "I'm not a great expert on Runes, but my reading of them is subtly different. I am reading about 'the Cursed City' and 'The Great Trolls of Forstani', but I don't know how the two are linked other than these words 'by Forstan's sounds'. Even this is awkward because is Forstan in this context a troll? There is so much context needed to read these runes that we don't have"

"All that said your interpretation is interesting. I like the idea of the password certainly. I've fought a Cave Troll and it wasn't my idea of a good time. I lost friends. People I have known for many lives of men.  And a Great Troll could easily be as bad or worse. I would rather not loose more."

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 165 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Thu 22 Dec 2016
at 11:43
Into the Drift
Borun frowned silently at this talk of "great trolls". Although Borun himself had not fought against trolls, those few dwarves who returned from such fights were often maimed, both physically and mentally.
Anira
 Fellowship, 62 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Wed 28 Dec 2016
at 20:42
Into the Drift
Anira was quiet as they read the runes and others began to discuss what they might mean.  It was clear she was trying to drudge up something from the depths of her mind, brow furrowed as she continued to stare at the puzzle.



14:38, Today: Anira rolled 20 using 1d20+10 with rolls of 10.  Knowledge History.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 442 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 31 Dec 2016
at 18:28
Into the Drift
OOC: Ack! The New Year is fast approaching!


Both Anira and Lady Isile have a bit of knowledge about these two places, and the possible... perhaps even probable inhabitants.

The information carved into the steps by the Dwarves would seem to support this information, but the information is old, so there's no telling what conditions still exist in the Broken Lands.

Reaching the top of the stairs, the vast expanse of the Broken Lands stretch out before you. Although Lady Isile had aerially scouted the area already, it looks far more imposing up close.

There is no area of level ground that you see for as far as you can see. Huge slabs of rock are tilted upward at precarious angles, interspersed with smaller angular boulders scattered everywhere. At various spots across the rugged landscape are pinnacles and spires of stone. The pinnacles (small mesas) look like they are the remnants of hills or even mountains, whereas the spires look like daggers of rock thrust upward from the ground.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 162 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 31 Dec 2016
at 19:23
Into the Drift
When she was in her true form she made sure to speak to the group about what knowledge she was able to gather about things.

"Almost nothing is known about the East any more... that is, nothing since Sauron took over the area and corrupted most of it.

But some information did swish into my ears.

Naethrul is supposed to be the name of the necromancer than founded the city. Supposedly, he wasn't a 'bad' person; he thought he could use necromancy to heal and cure people. Somewhere along the way, though, he took the wrong path.

Even so, the undead that he created to populate his city are the people he couldn't save. Some remnant of their previous life continues to linger in them. That's why you can talk to them, negotiate with them, trade with them.

As for the the old city of Forstani was taken over by the Great Trolls. Most of the original citizens fled. No one knows, however, what keeps the Great Trolls there. The Great Trolls are larger, more intelligent trolls, prone to obesity, and somewhat masters of magic.

When the land was broken, only the two walled cities remained standing, but no one knows why. Actually, until now, no one was even sure that they had survived.

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 234 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 1 Jan 2017
at 20:29
Into the Drift
"Well I guess we keep following the trail" Tilaleria said after listening to what the others had to say. It was thought provoking but she didn't really know where to take the information "We've made notes. Maybe it will help later" she looked at Radagast "which way?"
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 60 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Tue 3 Jan 2017
at 00:27
Into the Drift
"I believe we should stick to the--as you called it--trail," Radagast replied. "We don't know what lies to either side of this so-called path. If we had months, even years, where we could explore these lands, that would be different."

"Without that kind of knowledge, though, we have no way of knowing which would be the quickest, easiest or least dangerous path. The Dwarves conveniently left us clues to get past what we would have considered serious dangers, so that's the way I think we should go."

"The broken terrain will slow us down some. My concern is for Saxon's wagon. There is no way it is going to be pulled over all those rocks."

"Do any of you have a solution to that problem?"

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 235 posts
 Messenger Girl
Tue 3 Jan 2017
at 18:19
Into the Drift
Tilaleria gave a helpless shrug "A wagon is not a suitable form of transport for the type of mission we are on. Even horses may be awkward, but on the whole their advantages outway their disadvantages. I believe when I mentioned this problem  originally the suggested solution was 'summoning something big to carry it'. Failing that we must simply take what we can from the wagon and distribute it among ourselves. Perhaps hiding the wagon as this is the most likely route we will return along"
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 164 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Wed 4 Jan 2017
at 03:59
Into the Drift
She looked at the wagon "I do not possess the power to transform it, yet.  I would suggest placing it in a safe place for later.  I can always teleport you back here.
Elmohtar
 Fellowship, 57 posts
 Aasimar
 Menhir Savant/Priest
Wed 4 Jan 2017
at 05:59
Into the Drift
"There may be other options," Elmohtar suggested.

"The first thing that came to my mind was some sort of creature that could traverse this rocky terrain. I was thinking a spider. If we could somehow enlarge a spider to the point where we could fasten the wagon to its back, that would solve the problem."

"Another option, perhaps, is making the wagon fly... or just float. That way, we could just tow it behind us."

"And lastly, that I thought of, what about shrinking it down to a size that would make it easy to carry?"

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 236 posts
 Messenger Girl
Wed 4 Jan 2017
at 18:42
Into the Drift
"All of them good if you have the magic to do them" Tilaleria observed "Unfortunately I am not a powerful worker of such magics so can't contribute much to the discussion other than observing we are going to be faster, more maneuverable, stealthier and generally better off without the wagon."
Orndir
 Fellowship, 48 posts
 Elf
 Druid/Summoner
Wed 4 Jan 2017
at 20:20
Into the Drift
Even a loner such as himself realized that there was a bond of fellowship that kept them together. The Council of Druids met only once a year to discuss matters of import to the world, mostly the animal and plant world, but sometimes to the People World. Seldom did they concern themselves with the land. Earthquakes and volcanoes happened regardless of what Druids did.

"I have considered summoning a creature to transport the wagon," Ordnir contributed, breaking his long silence.

"Unfortunately, they do not last long enough to traverse the whole distance."

"Perhaps my eidolon could take the shape of a giant spider and so carry the wagon. While I doubt we will be all that inconspicuous clambering over these rocks, carrying the wagon or even floating the wagon would make us stand out."

"What about making some sort of road? I considered summoning an earth elemental to do it, but, again, wouldn't last long enough. How about a wall of ice or wall of stone cast over top of the rocks?"

Anira
 Fellowship, 63 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Fri 6 Jan 2017
at 01:33
Into the Drift
Anira considered things, mulling the wagon over and over in her mind.

"If we could make it smaller, we could fit it inside the cottage I'm able to conjure.  I've left things in there before and they were there the next time it was called.  I know it wouldn't be available until it's called for rest but it would at least be safe," she offered.

"If no one can shrink it, I recall a spell that allows things to squeeze through smaller openings," she added as an after thought.  She knew the wagon was important to Saxon so was hoping they could work something out for him.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:46, Fri 06 Jan 2017.

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 61 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Fri 6 Jan 2017
at 20:16
Into the Drift
"You can do that?" Radagast said to Anira.

"I never really looked at your spell very clearly. When we were inside, it seemed like any other version of the spell that I've seen or heard of... well, with a few exceptions."

"Red Mikal insisted that the outside of his shelters were always painted red! Something about 'friendly fire'. I suppose if you were friends with a fire elemental, however unlikely that would be, you could consider that friendly fire. Don't know what that had to do with painting his shelters red."

"Though, to be honest, I never did understand how he managed that."

"Thallistranda always made her shelter's out of flowers! Always colorful, and flowers were always in the area somewhere. Very strange, though--flower walls as tough as stone."

"So, one problem solved! Wagon in the shelter. The next problem is Otorno... and some of us. We are going to have trouble climbing over all these rocks. Do any of you have a solution... at least for yourself?"

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 165 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Wed 11 Jan 2017
at 03:22
Into the Drift
She smiled "I have no problem getting over them.  I may be able to assist a few but surely not all.

OOC: How many are here now?  I can Teleport but if more than 5 well some may need another way
Anira
 Fellowship, 65 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Wed 11 Jan 2017
at 03:36
Into the Drift
Anira felt color rush to her cheeks but looked rather pleased when Radagast spoke of her spell, nodding in the affirmative.  "I've had some time to work on it and I might even be able to make it more like a barn so the doors will be big enough to roll the wagon inside," she replied with fair certainty.  He had been one to teach her about magic and given his reaction, she felt like she had truly accomplished something.  There were many times she felt she inadequate having split her focus on magic as well as the sword work and other more mundane things.

As they considered how to travel across the more dangerous terrain, she chewed on her bottom lip as she considered what her patron granted her.  "I can teleport myself and three others.  Perhaps the two of us combined can get us all across?" she informed, hoping they would be enough.  "The distance with the one spell would be up to about a thousand miles," she estimated.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 167 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Wed 11 Jan 2017
at 12:33
Into the Drift
"I am nimble enough to cross most of the terrain." Borun replied. "I can jump across crevasses or, as you know, I can cast a spell that allows flight. My flight spell will work on you, but it only lasts for a few minutes, and I have a limited number available each day."

This message was last edited by the player at 12:34, Wed 11 Jan 2017.

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 62 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Thu 19 Jan 2017
at 23:30
Into the Drift
"Let's see... we have...

Anira
Arithal and Otorno
Borjnen
Borun
Elmohtar
Garan
Grimfast
Jak
Lady Isile
Orndir
Saxon
Sky
Tilaleria

and myself,"
Radagast enumerates.

"So that's 15 of us. Unless some of us do not wish to continue."

"We do not know what we will encounter, so we do not know if anyone's particular talents will be needed. No one will think less of you if you choose to turn back now. Or perhaps some of you could take another route in search of the Ent-wives."



[OOC: Should we split up the group?]
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 238 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 21 Jan 2017
at 03:05
Into the Drift
"I'm tasked by the Lady of the Golden Wood to travel with you, and will do so while it's possible" Tilaleria said after a few minutes of thought "I've never really had a problem traveling across rocks. I don't climb up sheer cravesses or anything out of choice, but anything mostly horizontal is fine: I'm not going to slip and fall while we clamber and balance.  I have no powerful magics like flight, but if I have a day to prepare I have some minor magics that allow me to climb difficult surfaces from sun up until sun down, or to allow ... umm .. a handful of people to climb like a monkey for perhaps an hour and a half"

OOC This seems an excellent time to have the people who have left, actually leave.
Arithal Kodiak
 Fellowship, 37 posts
 Human Male
 Druid/Monk
Sat 21 Jan 2017
at 03:54
Into the Drift
"It seems as if we would get separated one way or the other," Arithal commented then. "Not all of us can clamber nimbly over this broken terrain, so those that can must, by needs, leave the others behind."

"But if those that can't clamber were to teleport, then they would leave the others behind."

"While I wish to rescue the Ent-wives, I am not quite as motivated as the rest of you. I will continue at my own pace. If others join me, then we shall have a second string to our collective bow, in spite of there being safety in numbers."

"I will head north, and attempt to find a less challenging path to the East."

"Who else will join me?"

Orndir
 Fellowship, 49 posts
 Elf
 Druid/Summoner
Sat 21 Jan 2017
at 03:59
Into the Drift
"I am a druid, and though all land is mine to protect, the lack of Green in this broken land is... not to my liking. Nor to my companion's," Orndir said.

"I cannot speak to the wisdom of this course of action, but I shall accompany Arithal and Otornu."

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:19, Sat 21 Jan 2017.

Borjnen Boulderol
 Fellowship, 47 posts
 Dwarf
 Barbarian/Hill Giant/Ftr
Sat 21 Jan 2017
at 16:29
Into the Drift
"Aye, fighting the gorguns was a great battle, but not so much the hell hawks," Borjnen spoke up.

"Having two Dwarves in the group seems a bit wasteful, and this second group shall need a stout-hearted fighter. And, since I am one of those that will not be able to clamber over this broken wasteland, perhaps it is best that I also go with this second group."

"It also occurs to me that our large numbers attract the attention of an equally large number of nasties, so maybe reducing our numbers will serve both groups better."

Garan
 Fellowship, 36 posts
 Half-Orc
 Bloodrager
Sat 21 Jan 2017
at 17:04
Into the Drift
Even though this group of people had formed some sort of 'fellowship'--he didn't really understand what that meant, but he'd felt the bonds come into existence when it was formed, they weren't really his people. He was beginning to think there was no such thing, though. He certainly didn't get along with orcs.

He was still getting used to the idea of comrades... friends. Orcs didn't have friends. Ever. Every other orc was a minor enemy... or else a minion, if one managed to attain leadership. Even then, there was always some other orc that wanted to be you, and would kill you in a heartbeat to attain that.

Maybe it was the numbers. There were too many 'friends' for him to relate to all at once.

"That being the case," Garan quipped up then, "and since I'm not going to be very effective clambering over that jagged terrain either, I suppose I should join the second group, too... to keep the Dwarf honest! Har-har-har!"


Of course, one of those friends was Sky. He couldn't say why, doubted she could, either, but they'd somehow formed a closer bond than they had with the others. Still, she was her own person. If she wanted to go with the second group, that was her choice. If she didn't, still her choice.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:06, Sat 21 Jan 2017.

Sky Sheer'enn
 Fellowship, 119 posts
 Elf
 Fighter/Archer/Driuid/
Sun 22 Jan 2017
at 04:00
Into the Drift
Did Garan even think about her? she wondered, when he volunteered for the second group.

She didn't quite understand the bond she had with him, but if he was going in the second group, then so was she!

"Count me in, too!" she exclaimed. "Someone's got to watch your back!"


Nightbreeze, her black panther, would have probably been able to negotiate the broken terrain fairly easily... far more easily than she would! And this way, there were two less that had to be teleported, cause she sure wasn't going to leave without Nightbreeze.
Anira
 Fellowship, 66 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Tue 24 Jan 2017
at 22:31
Into the Drift
Anira was quiet as people made their decisions but there was a certain sadness when Arithal indicated he would go a different path.  Several others chose to go with him and she wished them all luck on their journey.  "I'll stay with Radagast," she stated, giving her mentor a teasing smile.  "Someone has to make sure he remembers to eat."
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 168 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Wed 25 Jan 2017
at 00:23
Into the Drift
She didn't feel the need to speak as it was evidence that she would be traveling along side of Radagast.  Her knowledge would be more helpful at his side seeing that he hasn't been in these lands and she may have spells that would grant knowledge of the land.  Plus the saving of the Ent-wives.  Her spells would get them out of these lands safely and quickly.
Jak
 Fellowship, 58 posts
 Human
 Fighter/Magus
Wed 25 Jan 2017
at 06:29
Into the Drift
"Well, this is unexpected," Jak finally spoke up. "I can't say as I was looking forward to scrambling over all those rocks, but I could have managed it."

"I think it's better if I go with the second group, though. We considered this before... splitting up the Fellowship. It didn't seem like a good idea at that time, but I'm just getting a feeling that this is the right thing to do--two strings to our bow."

"We know nothing about this land, so this way, we gather twice as much information. And I feel certain we'll meet again at the rainbow's end."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 240 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 28 Jan 2017
at 08:52
Into the Drift
"Well it looks as though we are mostly sorted" Tilaleria observed, and addressed those that were going around "I'm hoping to meet you all on the other side of this treacherous place. If we don't, I wish both groups of us the best of luck, and perhaps we can meet back in a more civilized place in the near future"

She turned to Radagast, and those traveling with him

"Well. I guess we'd best get started. The longest journey begins with a single step, and I'm keen to take that step. Those Entwifes won't save themselves, and the quicker we get to them the fewer will be changed by our Foe"
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 63 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Fri 24 Feb 2017
at 02:15
Into the Drift
As the other group heads out northward, Radagast stares at them speculatively until they are out of sight, and even for a few minutes afterwards.

"Were they sacrificing themselves for us?" he asks thoughtfully.

"Oh, I don't mean that I'm expecting them to die. As much sense as it makes for those who can't climb over all these rocks--and that would have included me, too--did they choose to leave so that they wouldn't handicap us?"

"Anyways... as I understand it, both Lady Isile and Anira can teleport us... now that we are down to a manageable number. So, if Lady Isile once more takes to the sky and sees if she can spot this first city, Naethrul, if it is a reasonably large city, she should be able to see it from the air and thus give her a destination to teleport to."

"Not inside the city, mind you, but somewhere outside yet nearby."

"Who will you take with you, Lady Isile?"

"Anira can then take the rest and teleport directly to you. Less chance of mishap that way."

"Does that sound like a reasonable and workable plan?"

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 242 posts
 Messenger Girl
Fri 24 Feb 2017
at 18:26
Into the Drift
"Go do" Tilaleria said. It sounded fine to her. She mostly disliked teleport intensely: the few times she'd done it, it had played havoc with her 'this is where I am', but she could see the need
Anira
 Fellowship, 68 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Fri 24 Feb 2017
at 18:47
Into the Drift
Anira had watched the other group go as long as Radagast and her head bobbed to the side when he spoke about sacrifice, perhaps revealing she had been thinking the same thing.  "They are noble and taking the path they see is best for everyone," she commented quietly and then waited for Lady Isle to determine who she would take with her to the new point, working to attune herself to the lady for when it was time for her to bring the rest.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 170 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 25 Feb 2017
at 04:11
Into the Drift
She looked over those that didn't leave and wondered who would be interested in allowing her magic to flow over them and teleport them to where she needs to take them.

"I will take anyone who is ready and looking to enjoy the next step in life. extending her hand for those to join for the spell to take the effect.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 243 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 25 Feb 2017
at 08:32
Into the Drift
Tilaleria enjoyed almost every step in life, and was mostly always ready. She nodded and passed her hand to Lady Isile
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 170 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Sat 25 Feb 2017
at 15:02
Into the Drift
Enjoy the next step in life? Borun wondered. She has got to be joking. As if there was any "enjoyment" to be had from teleporting to a potentially dangerous location during wartime. Nevertheless, Borun volunteered to travel.

"I should go with the first group." Borun declared solemnly. "There may be unforeseen danger at the destination."
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 64 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sat 25 Feb 2017
at 17:40
Into the Drift
"Of course, Borun. That is sensible," Radagast agreed, trying to keep the smirk out of his voice that implied none of the others could fight.

"I, too, shall go with Lady Isile. This city of the undead might have other dangers."

"Anira, that just leaves Grimfast and Saxon for you to bring along. We are in murky waters here, perhaps more so than in Mordor, for this is unknown, whereas Mordor was just evil through and through. Thus, I shall let you decide how soon to follow us. Woman's intuition may well serve you better than magic or logic."

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 447 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 7 Mar 2017
at 04:46
Into the Drift
Those crossing the broken terrain have climbed to the top of the stairs, while the other group headed north along the base of the cliff.

Lady Isile has no problem flying up high enough to spot the distant city... now that she knows what it is. It wouldn't have been wise to teleport into an unknown place anyway, but it was good to know what was there just the same.

She'd been able to pick a spot that looked like it would be hidden from the city proper... an upturned boulder. Landing again, she explained what she saw and where she was planning on teleporting. Not knowing what else might be in the area, it was a good thing Borun was going with her.

When everyone was gathered around, Lady Isile teleported herself, Radagast, Tilaleria, and Borun to the spot she'd selected.

Anira waited for a few moments before she also teleported--to Lady Isile--with Grimfast and Saxon.


The two teleporters arrive just where they intended... behind a large somewhat-flattened stone seemingly thrusting up from the ground. It's about 30 feet high, half that across and maybe 10 feet thick. It appears to be much like an iceberg, with a large part of it buried underground, so there's no chance of it toppling over even though it is up-thrust at a 60-degree angle.

There is no signs of life in the area. Lady Isile's landing spot was another slab of rock, tilted at only a slight angle. Similar rocks of varying size surround them, haphazardly scattered about at dissimilar angles.

The rocks form numerous crevasses and nooks and crannies, but nothing comes crawling out of them. To those use to the green, this place is eerily silent.

As the closest thing to a scout that the group has, Tilaleria cautiously peers around the edge of the upturned stone. More jagged rocks lead up to the city wall about 300 feet away, but they get smaller and less jumbled as they get closer to the city wall.

The city wall soars around 120 feet into the sky, seemingly made of the same stone as that scattered all around them. Some of the jumble at the base of the wall appears to have come from the wall itself, as there are gouges in it, and the once pristine parapet has gaps in it.

The oddest part of the wall, however, is the symbols and runes both carved and painted on it. The few black-painted runes hurt Tilaleria's eyes when she looks at them. Other than those, she recognizes warding runes, defensive runes, and protection runes, plus dozens that she can't identify.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 129 posts
Tue 7 Mar 2017
at 06:30
Into the Drift
Teleporting Saxon was an easy enough thing to do as he didn't have his wagon till later. Once on the other side, however, his skin had taken on a slightly darker tone and his eyes burned even brighter. The closer he got, the brighter he burned internally.

He was quiet but followed the casters. He did have a number of languages that others either wouldn't or couldn't know.

Who keen if his up bringing would pay a minor stipend of lore and luck with the runes.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 245 posts
 Messenger Girl
Tue 7 Mar 2017
at 07:40
Into the Drift
"Thank you" Tilaleria said as they arrived at their destination. As Lady Isile went back for the others she took another look at the runes. They were unpleasant to look at, and hurt a litle, but there were ways of dealing with that taught to her by one of the finest Loremasters in the world.

"I wonder what caused this destruction"
she thought aloud as she took in how the blocks were laid out and looked at the edges of the stone"

Curiosity satisfied she turned to Radagast. "Do we need to go through the city or around it. If the the magic to detect the entwives points onwards, let's do the same again... jumping tens of miles a time. If we zig zag then the triangulation of the detection magic's direction will allow us to make some estimate of range"


I have to admit I feel very scouty.
I'll take 10 on stealth (not feeling pressured) 31
07:38, Today: Tilaleria rolled 47 using 1d20+28 with rolls of 19.  Perception.
07:29, Today: Tilaleria rolled 40 using 1d20+21 with rolls of 19.  Knowledge Arcana.
07:35, Today: Tilaleria rolled 32 using 1d20+17 with rolls of 15.  Knowledge Engineering.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:34, Tue 07 Mar 2017.

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 130 posts
Tue 7 Mar 2017
at 15:36
Into the Drift
Saxon moved behind and to the other side of Tilaleria, "Although I don't cherish the idea of going through... The shortest distance between two points is a line." He frowned, Tila was a cheering presence for him, but the idea of the city was a downer through and through.

"Such places carry the weight of emotion that had lingered. Like the Bree Barrows back home. The weight of presence holds for a very long time. Kinda why I stuck with a home one can pick up and go. Best to save a house for the positive feelings of family." He smiled then, nothing did good for an area like the feeling of home and community.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 65 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Tue 7 Mar 2017
at 18:06
Into the Drift
"We discussed this before," Radagast replied to Tilaleria.

"We simply don't have enough knowledge of this amulet, nor of these lands, to say what will work and what won't work. Something created the amulet, and not so long ago, so using it may lead us right into a trap."

"It seems passing strange that we can use it in the way that we are. I would have anticipated that had I created the amulet; I don't think we can afford to say that the enemy is any less perspicacious. It may turn out that there are wards that make the amulet less effective... less accurate... the closer we get. We could wind up teleporting into some place that we cannot then teleport out of."

"The runes you saw on this city's walls are dark and dangerous ones, lending credence to that hypothesis."

"I'm not saying we shouldn't use it, but the more often we use it, the more likely it is to draw attention to ourselves. We still know that the Ent-wives are to be found farther east, beyond The Drift that we are now crossing."

"As for entering this city, the Dwarven words on the steps said that making peace with this city will give us a way into the next city, and that one may have answers we seek."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 247 posts
 Messenger Girl
Tue 7 Mar 2017
at 18:28
Into the Drift
"We are using it often" Tilaleria pointed out. "If we move at an angle to the direction of travel we have a reasonable chance of getting more information" it seemed pretty simple to her, but she wasn't one of the Wise, so she decided not to push it any further.

She nodded at the summary of why they were here

"Do we try and sneak in or should we announce ourselves" she asked. It was obvious from her body language that she preferred announced herself, but she was waiting to see what the others wanted
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 449 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 7 Mar 2017
at 18:33
Into the Drift
The walls of the city were made of great slabs of stone set upright--nothing that Dwarves couldn't do, but these were clearly not of Dwarven construction. Tilaleria has no way of knowing--just from observation--whether the stones were put into place by physical effort or by magic.

The broken terrain was most likely created by powerful magicks wielded by more than one wizard probably causing massive earthquakes. Such magic would have been directed at the city to bring down the walls. That it survived is astounding. The runes carved into the walls may have had something to do with that.

Those runes are protection wards; the size of them indicates powerful magic was needed just to activate them, further explaining why the earthquakes were brought into play.

Some of the other runes on the walls were 'bastion runes'--painted on the surface to reinforce the material itself, making it stronger and less brittle.

The black runes Tilaleria was having trouble with are Symbols spells. Symbol of Pain, Symbol of Insanity and Symbol of Death were the three she could readily identify... all three of which were painful to her.

It seems probable that the distance at which she was viewing them is what kept them from being fully effective. She is perplexed at how they could still be active after so long of a time.

Finally, Tilaleria did spot... 'something' moving atop the walls. She could not readily identify them as people, nor as undead, and they did not seem to be performing some sort of ongoing patrol. The seven Keepers behind the rock slab would not have been visible to any of those on the wall had they been looking.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 171 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Wed 8 Mar 2017
at 14:35
Into the Drift
Borun peered closely at the worked stone of the city's walls. "No dwarf raised these walls." He shook his head. "Indeed I don't recognize the architecture at all."

When Tilaleria pointed out the seven "Keepers", Borun replied, "Well spotted! I think we should take a closer look." With that, he crept towards the figures, using the rocks and slabs as cover.

OOC: Stealth roll 22.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 451 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Wed 8 Mar 2017
at 16:21
Into the Drift
OOC: Yes, I know it's been a loooong time since the Keeper threads were in play, but... you guys and gals are the Keepers! No one from the city walls can see you there behind the upturned slab of stone. Lady Isile had chosen her spot well.
Grimfast
 Fellowship, 18 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Wed 8 Mar 2017
at 16:36
Into the Drift
"The Dwarven riddle on the stairs told us how to get inside, didn't it?" Grimfast asked the others in a subdued voice.

He'd never been in a land like this, and had no idea how well sound would carry, though, presumably, voices could echo off the rocks. Whether it would reach those on the city wall was unclear, as was whether they could even hear, being undead.

He'd copied down the words from the steps, as had several others, but he pulled out the paper and repeated them now.

"This is what it said:

'Where the cold wind blows and the bright stars shine,
Where darkness abides and the fat rats dine
Let Naethrul’s path revealed with summer wine
Count the wings for flying nine'


"Now that we're here, does it make any more sense?"


He glances up at the slightly overcast morning sky, but did not see any stars, bright or otherwise.

"Where the bright stars shine... wouldn't that be night?"
Anira
 Fellowship, 71 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Wed 8 Mar 2017
at 19:32
Into the Drift
Anira was relieved when they teleported correctly, letting out the breath she'd held as they'd winked through the ether.  She took a little bit to study their surroundings from their hiding place and listened to Grimfast recite part of the runes they'd seen before.  "I wonder if they mean the top of a tower ... where the cold wind blows and the bright starts shine," she said thoughtfully, her voice kept low as well to prevent it from carrying.  She wasn't great with riddles a lot of times but was trying as sometimes even the most innocent of statements could help.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 131 posts
Wed 8 Mar 2017
at 19:44
Into the Drift
Saxon smiled and looked at the wizard with a knowing glittering his eyes. Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo! Ring a dong! hop along! Fal lal the willow! Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo! He chucked to himself remembering the man prancing about and singing when it was time to learn what herbs did what.

"The cold wind and starts bright may likely talk about the location as you can only see all the starts so far from fire and candle light. The sing of the dancing dead brings shadow and darkness, yet rats still feast even as the dead do dance. "

"Not sure about the summer wine though... If you want wine for the first day of summer you need to store it the third week of the eleventh month. Otherwise it wont be settled, it will be like drinking sand."

"Tom is better at riddles than me, I am far to literal."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 248 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 9 Mar 2017
at 19:25
Into the Drift
Tilaleria informed the others about the symbols, making sure that she didn't look at them again

"Riddles can have a million interpretations, and which ever one is correct will look obvious afterwards, even though it has nothing to differentiate it from other equally valid interpretations." she observed "We should probably try all of them. Waiting for nightfall seems sensible. I have a little Laketown wine in my bag that I have kept for a special occasion, and we could perhaps sip that at midnight tonight. The top of a tower is as good as many places, and perhaps better then most"
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 66 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Thu 9 Mar 2017
at 21:37
Into the Drift
"I've never heard of 'summer wine' before," Radagast said then. "Winter wine, yes, but not summer wine. Perhaps the riddle was merely referencing that winter wine wouldn't do."

"'Where the bright stars shine'... Why would the emphasis be on 'bright stars'? I can think of two explanations for that. They could have been referring to particular bright stars from a constellation that passes through the night sky at limited times or elevation. For example, the star Mizar is in the constellation of the wolf, which is only visible at certain times of the year on the southern horizon. That could mean that it is the south wall that we must examine."

"The two brightest stars in the sky are the Morning Star and the Evening Star. While they appear across the entire sky at various times, there are also times when they only appear in the morning or evening, and don't rise very high in the sky. The only time they appear together is to the east."

"I'm inclined to go with the latter. Otherwise, it might mean that we can only gain access to the city at certain times of the year. While that could be the case, it doesn't seem very... practical. 'Come back in six months and we'll talk to you.'"


He stops there to see what everyone else had to say. As Tilaleria said, more than one way to interpret a riddle.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 249 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 9 Mar 2017
at 22:07
Into the Drift
"Most wine is made from grapes collected in mid summer" Tilaleria said thoughtfully. "A rare few are left to rot on the vine and perhaps could quantify as 'autumn wine'. As always the answer will be obvious afterwards, but equally likely the use of the word summer wine is to imply 'normal wine'" she shrugged "I'll take a sip anyway and perhaps other people have other alcoholic beverages to test too. I suspect you are right, but we can try"

She liked the explanation of the bright stars. Simple and obvious. She thought back to her knowledge of astronomy for when the next conjunction took place.



OOC thabks for telling us about the stars: would never have guessed that. In real world the morning star and evening star are the same thing of course! Venus

Knowledge geography: 34

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 132 posts
Thu 9 Mar 2017
at 22:29
Into the Drift
Saxon tilted his side to side, "I have a potion that is either a hallucinogenic or fire belly liquor, depends on what I add to it... I work alchemy so I can pretty much make it do whatever I want." He tapped his foot a bit, "I can only make a few of them. But the option is there if anyone wants them." When it came to everything else he was at an absolute loss. He was use to his little spot in the old forest, not the open wide world... it was scary out here!
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 172 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 12:45
Into the Drift
Borun had little to add to the riddle discussion. His mind was far too literal to take such leaps of interpretation. Instead Borun proposed a practical approach.

"Let's go to the east part of the city and find the highest point - perhaps a tower? Then we camp there overnight. I suppose those who want to indulge in ... beverages could do so."
Grimfast
 Fellowship, 19 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 22:22
Into the Drift
"Climbing up onto a tower... isn't that the same as entering the city?" Grimfast said.

"Telling us to enter the city to get permission to enter the city seems... well, absurd."

"Cold winds don't always blow up high. Hot air rises, so it will always be colder near the ground. And there are valleys where the cold wind comes down off the mountain that can freeze your blood!"

"It sounds like we should explore the east part of the wall. If we find a cold wind there, that's where we look. If not, then I guess we climb."

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 452 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Thu 23 Mar 2017
at 03:53
Into the Drift
The group had been approaching the city from the west, and the teleports had taken you a bit to the north on the west side, so now you need to move around to the east side. Climbing over the rocks near the base of the city isn't as hard as they aren't as large as the ones out on the 'plain'. It's almost as if some powerful magic had kept the upheaval from affecting the city--perhaps those very runes and symbols on the walls.

The east side of the city appears just like the rest of the walls. Some runes have been carved into the stone, but other runes and all the symbols have been painted on. They do not seem faded from the elements.

There was a large set of double doors on the west side, and you pass another similar set along the north. There is yet a third set on the east side. Not surprisingly, the doors are also made of stone. However, they are also bound with iron straps crisscrossing each door diagonally. In the center diamond formed by these straps is carved the name of the city: Naethrul.

There is no remaining trace of any road that might have once led to or from the doors, but the ground slopes down and away from the city to the southeast. The jumbled boulders make it hard to tell, but there might once have been a north-south valley off to the east.

Presumably the clue indicated your efforts will be more fruitful at night.

Will you make camp and wait for nightfall? Or will you explore a bit?
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 173 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Thu 23 Mar 2017
at 14:19
Into the Drift
"We should go inside and have a look around now, in the daytime," Borun suggested. "We might find something useful or relevant in there."
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 250 posts
 Messenger Girl
Fri 24 Mar 2017
at 07:45
Into the Drift
"I would wait for nightfall and try the ideas we just had" Tilaleria said slowly thinking about Borun's words "That view is amplified by the fact that there is no obvious way in, and the place has clearly been magically warded. I'll remind you of the symbols of death and other dire effects that are still active although weaker. I suspect it's only because we had distance on our side that we were not affected. This isn't something to be assayed lightly: the magical defences on this place are on a level that make the Valley of Singing Gold look like a child's playground"
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 67 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Mon 27 Mar 2017
at 21:17
Into the Drift
"As opposed to waiting for six months, nightfall doesn't seem to be too long," Radagast concurs with Tilaleria.

"Although the riddle didn't actually imply that we needed to look when the two stars were evening stars, it can't hurt to wait till then."

"Besides, I don't think there's any danger out here. I think the danger is within the city walls. However, I am a creature of the Green. I cannot get an accurate reading on this stone-tossed land."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 251 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 30 Mar 2017
at 17:41
Into the Drift
Tilaleria took the lack of enthusiasm for conversation or entering the city as a sign that they were going to wait. She found a nice place to rest and entered that semi-awake, semi-asleep mode of thought that she could keep up almost forever. She clearly thought that following Radagast's advice was a good idea and having spent so long traveling a few hours meant nothing
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 133 posts
Thu 30 Mar 2017
at 18:28
Into the Drift
Saxon took a moment to count heads, "Waiting may be best but if we get frogy I can either make them undead... ish... for a bit or just make everyone invisible. I only have so much material so waiting is good..." He shrugged all the same, "Any alchemy requests? I can crank the stuff out faster than any other."
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 172 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 1 Apr 2017
at 00:01
Into the Drift
Time was a bit on their side right now and as she waited she thought about casting a few spells to see if they might help grant her some insight on the area.

Casting:
Whispering Lore
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/...s/w/whispering-lore/

Clairvoyance
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/...dience-clairvoyance/
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 453 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 16:38
Into the Drift
Anira isn't sure what'll happen if she conjures up her shelter, as there does not appear to be any flat area large enough for the shelter to sit. She's never conjured it on such rough terrain, so she has no idea if it will be 'self-leveling'.


OOC: While the following is information that only Lady Isile is able to gain, presumably she'll pass it on to everyone else. Rather than make this a PM to her, thereby forcing her to paraphrase it all or simply repost it, I'm making it readable by all to save effort and memory on the site.

However, I did make it a spoiler, so if you don't want to know, don't read it!




Spoiler text: (Highlight or hover over the text to view)
Lady Isile is able to cast a pair of spells, though not at the same time, to gain some information on this area.

With Whispering Lore, she is able to learn much about what happened here. For a moment, it is almost staggering, but the passing of centuries has reduced it to a dull roar.

There was a great war waged here. On one side was the darkness and power of Sauron. On the other was the magic, inventiveness and tenacity of Men and Dwarves and Elves. In those days, necromancy wasn't the evil thing that Sauron eventually turned it into. In the city was also Cerulia, the other Blue Wizard.

Since neither Naethrul nor Forsten worshipped Sauron, he sought to destroy them. Armies of evil-corrupted creatures broke against the walls of the cities. When the armies were all dead, he raised them to fight again... and again... and again... all to no avail, for the magicks of the Blue Wizard were as strong as Sauron's.

In final frustration, Sauron tried to throw the very earth against the cities. Still they stood. The land was ripped asunder, shattered into a million pieces. In the aftermath, there was no longer any ground upon which to grow food and raise livestock. With nothing in the surrounding lands to support the people, though, the leaders turned to necromantic means to save them. They didn't realize that Sauron's corruption of necromancy would have an adverse affect. In Naethrul, it turned everyone into an undead creature, based on his or her penchant, though none of them were truly evil.

The land and the city have stood that way ever since.


Lady Isile's Clairvoyance spell into the city proper has mixed success. First of all, she encounters powerful resistance against it, which she is able to trace to some of the runes carved into the city walls. The age of the magic has weakened it, though, and she is able to push through, but only as if seeing things through a shifting mist.

The city is inhabited... by undead creatures... ghouls and ghasts and ghosts, vampires and skeletons and wraiths (not Ring-Wraiths), apparitions and banshees and shadows, haunts and huecuvas and mummies, nightshades and phantasms and poltergeists, revenants and reapers and wights. It appears as if they go about the business they did in life, except that they don't actually do anything. A banshee bard, for instance, entertains the crowd, except there is no crowd. A blacksmith wight goes through the motion of pounding a hammer on an anvil, but there is no hammer in his hand and the forge is stone cold.


Anira
 Fellowship, 72 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 23:26
Into the Drift
Anira looked at the jagged ground and frowned slightly.  "I don't think I want to test the cottage and risk things going askew for us," she finally stated with an apologetic expression.  They would have to endure the openness but it seemed they would be going into the city at night so for now she decided to settle down and rest a bit.  "I'm not sure what to request to be honest," she said to Saxon, wishing she had a better grasp of their current situation so she could be of more help.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 136 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 23:41
Into the Drift
Saxon gave Anira a warm smile, "Perhaps I shall think of something unique and make a gift of it."

As the information was brought in through magic Saxon was getting more and more energetic. Shifting foot to foot, taping his fingers on a book at his hip, even his eyes seemed to flicker with that light far more interested and less forbidden.

He turned to the brown wizard. "Um... Is it wrong for me to want to go into the city? Tom and his wife are not here so I don't have them to guide me on this. But it's sad and I am the Smith... I kinda want to see if we can breathe life into them, give them purpose again." He frowned a bit. "Immortality is a gift... They should be allowed to pass their skills and knowledge onto future generations, not be trapped in an eternal loop."

"What should I do here as The Smith? You're the only one here who knows that part of me."

This message was last edited by the player at 23:48, Fri 07 Apr 2017.

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 173 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 00:09
Into the Drift
She was surprised at the knowledge the land was able to share but after casting her spell and being able to see inside only made her sadden.  She had a few spells that may help but not enough to help the whole city.  Plus she still don't know what her magick would react to the Necromancy magick in there.

Was there a way of getting the people out?  Now that may be a better solution.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 68 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 01:53
Into the Drift
"We all thought the Blue Wizards had failed in their mission," Radagast replied to Saxon, "for they did not return from the East, and nothing more was ever heard from them."

"I do not see how Cerulia could be in the city, not after all this time. Perhaps after Sauron was stopped, she moved further on to the East."

"Perhaps she succeeded in her mission after all, at least partially. The Blue Wizards were sent to turn the East away from the worship of Sauron. There is no record of these two cities, but if they did not worship Sauron, is that because of the Blue Wizards?"

"The people have been trapped in an unlife for centuries. It does not sound as if they have turned fully undead, though. They still have their minds... partially, at any rate."

"There was no food for them to live on, but the undead must also feed on something..."


He glances at the city again, and this time studies it a bit more speculatively.

"They feed on the night... on the shadows that fall. The sun would be anathema to most of them. Should we be able to change just one, we could feed him. How would we feed them all?"

"At night, when they are sated, we need not fear them. They will not attack us. In the day, their mind is in abeyance to their hunger. We would be a most tempting morsel for them!"

"Somewhere in there, someone has the answers to the questions we seek. We can only get them at night, but we must be gone before the sun comes up."

"I think the riddle was a way to bypass the protections on the walls so as to enter the city."

"Saxon, you cannot hope to make sufficient potions to give to all the citizens, though as long as it's night, I suspect we would have no problem getting them to drink them. Well, those that can."

"Lady Isile, might your spell work once we are inside the city to tell us how many citizens there are?"

"No, that wouldn't make a difference. We might learn that there are 83 skeletons, but we would need to make 83 restorative oils. Beyond our ability."

"Saxon, can you transform even a small portion of these rocks so that plants can grow again? Is that within your abilities?"

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 137 posts
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 03:47
Into the Drift
Saxons energetic state turned to something far more grim as he took a few steps toward the wall. He reached out like he was gripping something in the air and his shadow became long. His eyes burned so brightly the glow could even be seen with his back turned. "It isn't right Radagast." He turned around and indeed he blazed with an inner brand. "That bastard twisted something that was meant to be beautiful and give strength to future generations. The dead should spend their time resting and be able to visit their descendants by returning to their bodies, whole and well, for a short time. Immortality is not meant to be this horror, undeath was to be a song to ensure ancestors are never forgotten!"

He clacked his teeth and started actively quenching the brand within him. "If there is an ounce of power in the will of a Wizard there is an ocean in the love of ones descendants. The care, respect, and love of others should be the sustaining energy for them, not the life or blood of the innocent." As he pulled back the brand there was the light of his elf blood winning over the brand. "If you are Radagast the brown then I claim the title of Saxon the black. I would gladly suffer the curse of every soul in that city if I could. Just to allow the souls of the dead to rest or benefit their descendants."

He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Sorry, I know it doesn't work like that. Sorry... My world is a paradise of open doors, it is not easy to deal with a closed path."

He thought on the wizards request. "I think there is something I can do. Tom taught me the song of spirits. I can sing to the stones and call up a few spirits. They can travel through stone like fish in water. All they have to do is touch a stone or two and draw them back into the earth. Below the stone there should still be soil." He thought for a moment more. "Give me a day or so and I think I can manage enough land to make a small farm. Stone spirits to draw down the stones back under the soil... A few of my elf light bursts to burn away the darkness... I can also extract any magic left behind from the dirt."

"I am ok at growing things but you are better than I am by leaps and bounds."


"...But yea, it will take a bit of work but if you find me a patch of really big stones we can clear them in a about a minute, few days and they will have a good patch to pull soil from. With that they can make roof gardens to grow things."
At this point Saxon looked like a true elf. Not just one you saw out in the woods but one in its element. That spark that made them seem different from a human. A state very much unlike the very human seeming elf that Saxon was.

"I could also infuse a few potions into alchemist logs. The smoke generated would carry the potions effects."

This message was last edited by the player at 04:29, Sat 08 Apr 2017.

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 254 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 17:42
Into the Drift
"I've lost the thread of what is happening" Tilaleria confessed "Do we need to get into the city to save the Ent wives or not? If we don't we should continue. We can return here, and I would like to do that, when we have stopped the torture and torment of the Entwives. There are many things wrong in the world, but this isn't getting worse as we speak, it isn't allowing the bad guys to create a living spell out of the essence of an Ent wife and allowing them to send the living spell to do unspeakable harm. There is an urgency in our mission and I am keen to fulfill it"

"Put simply the clock is ticking, and we don't have long to save the Ent wives. We don't know how many are still alive, and we don't know how fast they are being using up. I would like you all to imagine how you would feel if we failed to save the last living one because we entered the city and delayed now, rather than returning in what should be only a few weeks. This city has living in sorrow for so long, a little longer makes little difference"

Grimfast
 Fellowship, 20 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 18:43
Into the Drift
"Hmph. While I agree about a lengthy delay, it is my understanding that entering Naethrul here will give us the secret for entering Forsten safely, and that within Forsten we will learn the path to the Entwives," Grimfast responded to Tilaleria.

"I do not believe that we can get anywhere more quickly without passing by, if not necessarily through, these two cities. The more we teleport into the unknown, the greater the chance of mishap. Is that not so?"

"Lady Isile, when you were aloft, were you able to spot the city of Forsten? Can we teleport there?"

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 174 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 19:01
Into the Drift
She was glad that Grimfast spoke up for she would of said almost the same thing but a bit longer and more in details.

Looking to him she nodded her head. "You are right about the mishaps of teleportation but looking into the city was dangerous enough and I don't want to risk anyone life from the wards that are placed upon the city.  One never knows what could happen.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 69 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 19:11
Into the Drift
"I, too, believe it is as Grimfast has said," Radagast added.

"It is also as Saxon has said. Have any others visited these cities and walked passed them because they could not do anything or did not have the time? Would we not be remiss in doing so ourselves?"

"However, it is also as Tilaleria has said. We are on a mission... a quest, if you will, and delaying it unnecessarily would not be good for us nor for the Entwives. Still, if it is within our ability to aid those trapped in this city of the dead, then it does become necessary for us to do so."

"Saxon, clear an area for Anira to summon forth her mansion, so you have access to your wagon."

"There might possibly be seeds still within the soil below; those I can work with."

"The problem, though, as I see it, is how do we feed a city until they can grow their own crops. Perhaps, Saxon, you can make the mist slow-acting. They can slowly start changing back, reaching a point where they can cultivate food crops. No livestock, though."

"If nothing else, we can work on this as we travel. Once you create these alchemical logs of which you spoke, Anira or Lady Isile can always teleport them back and activate them then."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 255 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 19:31
Into the Drift
"We already have a way to find a path to the Entwives" Tilaleria pointed out. "The nature of teleport is such that if we arrive to where they are and they are hard to get at we can return here almost instantly. And at that point we would have a lot more knowledge about what we need"

"I am all for helping the natives. But it is going to take a long long time. Perhaps months, perhaps years, perhaps decades. It's certainly not a quick thing. With something on that timescale it is worth spending time planning. Making sure in our heads that what we do will be the right thing, and that be starting something that seems good but is perhaps ill-advised, we would be making things worse"

"As Fangorn says 'let us not be hasty'"

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 138 posts
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 21:58
Into the Drift
Saxon pressed his lips into a thin line and nodded. If the fellowship did not care to stay and help the undead, then he would honor their choice. If worse came to worse he could always come back in a few hundred years. He was the smith of the dead after all, that was not a mantle that you disrespected, but the dead have a lot of free time.

He pressed his hand into the stone under his feet and started humming a tune. "I can bind a spirit for just over an hour each time I make a push. Just over eight hours is the best I can do for a day. Considering I am just having it pull stones down through the soil rather than pulling them up, this should be fairly easy."

Hey do, merry do, the mountain's son.
The dead smith is calling, his name Saxon.
Your help is needed to make things right.
Pull stones down and wrap them tight.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 454 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Thu 27 Apr 2017
at 21:37
Into the Drift
Saxon's 'spell' soon clears an area large enough for Anira's cottage, and a bit more. Radagast then walks around the area and soon a few sprouts peek up from the dirt.

The weather in this area isn't particularly hot, but all the rocks absorb the sun's rays and heat up, so Anira's cottage will be helpful.

The rest of the day passes uneventfully, though thunderstorms form off to the east where the mountains are, but they don't come in this direction.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 256 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 29 Apr 2017
at 18:51
Into the Drift
"I'm not really sure what to do now" Tilaleria confessed. She'd no idea if it was a good idea to go in the city or not. She'd expressed she thought it was a bad idea to do it now, but the others wanted to try. There was every chance they were right so she'd just watch and see if she could help at all
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 139 posts
Wed 3 May 2017
at 05:43
Into the Drift
Saxon spent a good time fussing over his wagon when it appeared. It was the total sum of everything that he owned and even more. Most people had a home to return to or some kind of home to go back to when it was all done. Saxon, on the other hand, had nothing of the sort save for the clothing on his back and his bare bones. Assuming that he didn't die on their adventure he had plans to settle down a little more some place that he could practice his craft. The edge of the old wood was nice but he was at a point he could deal with the angry trees.

It was nice to have a chance to sit down and puff on his pipe a bit. He within the wagon he tossed a set of red robes that started filling out with a presence. "From what I picked up, we have to go through the city, get a direction and information, then head to another city to do the same."

"It is all to avoid overuse of magic to prevent errors in the casting."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 257 posts
 Messenger Girl
Wed 3 May 2017
at 15:47
Into the Drift
"We don't need to go into the city to get a direction" Tilaleria said confused. "We have the same mechanism we used to get here. I thought we'd agreed that we would continue searching for the Ent Wives and return here when that was sorted. I'm all for having a rest and regaining spells, but shouldn't we be continuing?"
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 70 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Wed 3 May 2017
at 23:41
Into the Drift
"In theory, the device does direct us to the general direction in which the Ent-wives can be found," Radagast responded.

"My concern is that the closer we get, the more unreliable it will be. Yes, I know that's a bit counter-intuitive, but as I keep saying, the East is unknown. It was once in the thrall of Mordor, and may still be, particularly in ways that we don't understand."

"If I felt it was warranted, I'd have no problem rushing in blindly to rescue them. Regardless of when we get there, it might still be too late. If they are all dead when we find them, then it wasn't meant to be. But, if they've survived this long, a few more days may not matter."

"We should not discount the warning nor the information the Dwarves conveyed to us on the steps. And, as you said, the rest to regain spells may be to our advantage."

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 140 posts
Wed 3 May 2017
at 23:48
Into the Drift
Saxon tilted his head side to side. "Right, so we get in... I sit on my hands and dont get caught up trying to set up a slow acting cure for all the people... we find out who knows the story of the blue mages and what they had planned to do after the fact... and carry on from there."

"I do promise not to hold everyone up. I will work on something as we go so when we come back through we can stay here a bit and just fix the people after fixing the land, butnot until we are done with our main task."

"That being said... if they have any texts on what happened to them I will ask to take it so I can study on our way out. Also, if there is a spirit of the stone that the overfluffed bad guy spoke to in-order to raise the stone... I WILL be tempted to talk to it to take its stone back.. but I wont hold up the group."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 258 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 4 May 2017
at 00:05
Into the Drift
"And rightly is it said 'go not to those of the wise for counsel, for they will say both no and yes'" Tilaleria said

"This is a place full of life draining undead. We all accept we want to change that situation, but all know that it will take time, and is best done after we have saved the Entwives.  We all know that the Entwifes are being killed one at a time slowly to feed evil magics, and that in fact days may make a difference. Do we need to enter this city or is it a distraction"

"For me it has the words 'distraction' written all over it. The walls are so old that the magic symbols and runes on them have decayed and lost their power. No Entwife has entered that city for over a thousand years at least, so the best they can do is say 'lo those thousand years ago we saw the Entwives'. It is extremely likely that in the eons since that time the Entwives will no longer be in the same place."

"The words on the steps were carved a long time ago. They were written for many people, and I think it is hubris to beleive they were for us"

"So why don't we try following the magical device that has got us this far until it starts leading us in circles? Because we have teleport at that point if we decide that we need to come back here and clutch at straws we can do so"

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 141 posts
Thu 4 May 2017
at 04:38
Into the Drift
Saxon made an Mmm sound. "I cant entirely agree with that though. I do agree with you, without fuss, that any location information that they will have is likely too old to be of worth directly. However, apart from being able to put points on the map for us, they may have texts from the blue mages."

"For example, I can think of a few processes that could create a similar echo to the life energy of any creature. Using that technique I could place a number of such tricks all over the east so the moment any means of tracking get worse. Such information could be lost."

"Not to mention that if we do go in during the day they are just normal people. Go in at night and they are hungry lost souls."

"Absolute worse case I can go in and dig as fast as I can, even if I get stuck in there during night fall I can disguise myself as one of them or just do my old woods thing. If not for the fact we can only get in at a certain point of time, I would already be in there on my way out. Just to save time."
Half self serving as the smith of the dead did want to cleanse the taint, but also there HAD to be text after text of valued texts in there.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 259 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 4 May 2017
at 17:29
Into the Drift
Tilaleria clearly couldn't see any point in this, or in discussing it further, so settled back to see what the others would do. She wanted to get on and save the Ent Wives, but if the others weren't wanting to continue and saw a value in meeting many thousand year old undead in that pursuit, she'd have to wait
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 174 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Mon 8 May 2017
at 10:31
Into the Drift
Borun quietly listened to his companions debating before he spoke. "Master Radagast implies that we can afford to spend a couple of days in Naethrul. I am happy to do so. If Master Saxon can truly make a cure for these afflicted citizens, that would be splendid." Borun nodded respectfully to Saxon.

"If not, however, it would be better to purge the city of the undead inhabitants." Borun frowned. "This "half-life" is a mockery of Eru Ilúvatar's vision - a corrupt stain upon the world."
Anira
 Fellowship, 73 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Tue 9 May 2017
at 17:34
Into the Drift
The whole area, city and surrounding lands, bothered Anira though she tried not to show too much anger and sadness.  The lifeless earth made her long to see it renewed and she nodded in agreement with Borun regarding the undead.  "They should be at peace but there are so many of them and so few of us, most of us unable to truly help them," she stated softly.  She would summon the shelter when they were ready and would rest and do what she could while they remained here but she too was anxious to get to the Entwives.  She trusted Radagast and would follow his lead.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 71 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sat 13 May 2017
at 21:32
Into the Drift
"Well, I do agree that a few more days or weeks or even years shouldn't make any difference to these people, unless, of course, something destroys one or more of them, in which case those people couldn't be saved," Radagast says.

"Haven't you asked yourself why we don't just teleport to the Entwives? True, they may be beyond our range, and we don't know the area at all, but it could also be a trap, even an unintentional one."

"The inhabitants of this city are still trapped within, so they are no threat to us as long as we stay outside the walls. At this point, however, the same cannot be said of the next city."

"There may be knowledge to be had in Forstan that will lead us to the Entwives... perhaps a shortcut or an easy route. You say you are worried about the time, but what of the time we might waste traveling a route that takes us years to reach the Entwives? How would we even know if that time was wasted?"

"We have been given a clue that should grant us access to this city. That, in turn, should give us a clue how to approach Forstan and find out what they know."

"It is not my way to rush off willy-nilly, to just dash off at a moment's notice unnecessarily. When we are done with our rest, we shall investigate this way into the city. We can always change our minds then."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 260 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 13 May 2017
at 21:40
Into the Drift
Tilaleria didn't understand Radagasts argument at all. Perhaps it was the path of wisdom that was eluding her, but she couldn't imagine how a city of dead people that hadn't interacted with the outside world for over a thousand years could possibly help. She shrugged. She couldn't help the entwives on her own so she'd stay with the others. Perhaps through some fluke, or Radgast's wisdom  some good would come out of this. She hoped so
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 175 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Wed 17 May 2017
at 10:31
Into the Drift
Borun nodded his assent to Radagast. "At first light then, we enter the city."
Anira
 Fellowship, 74 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Wed 17 May 2017
at 15:20
Into the Drift
Anira could see both sides of the coin but had trusted Radagast for as long as she could remember.  It might not help the trapped souls here immediately but they were working on something to help in time and, while it was likely dangerous, they should be able to get a better clue on getting to the Entwives.  Giving Til an understanding and encouraging smile, she turned her focus on forming the more barn-like structure for them to rest safely and give Saxon access to his wagon and supplies.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 142 posts
Wed 17 May 2017
at 15:25
Into the Drift
Saxon shook his head, "First dark, if I remember right the night is their replacement for food. If we go during the day it will be a one sided war. Go in at night and they are normal people mentally."
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 176 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Fri 19 May 2017
at 11:50
Into the Drift
In reply to Saxon the Dead Smith (msg # 341):

"Ah, good point, Master Saxon. At nightfall then," Borun agreed.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 455 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Thu 25 May 2017
at 03:57
Into the Drift
Ultimately, there is no correct course of action, not unless someone can foresee the future.

Saxon has cleared and leveled a section of the land large enough to accommodate Anira's cottage, as well as provide a bit of dirt that lets Radagast bring forth a few plants. Weeds can grow among the rocks, but not very well, and they certainly won't feed the people.

The area cleared was in front of the wall where the secret entrance is supposed to be, but not too close... perhaps 100 feet out from the wall.

Now it's just waiting for the sun to set.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 261 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 25 May 2017
at 08:17
Into the Drift
Tilaleria waited for the others to go in.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 177 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Thu 25 May 2017
at 10:12
Into the Drift
Borun meditated silently inside Anira's cottage, mentally reviewing his checklist of spells and special combat techniques as if in preparation for a forthcoming battle. Despite Saxon's optimism, Borun was fully expecting some sort of resistance.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 456 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Fri 26 May 2017
at 23:50
Into the Drift
The rest of the morning and the afternoon pass uneventfully. Those who wish to get some rest can do so, as the interior or the cottage is conducive to doing just that.

It seems to take a long time for the sun to go down, though, as there is no forest and no mountains to hide the sun, only the vast expanse of the Broken Lands.

It's about an hour after sunset that the stars begin to shine.

Anira's cottage is good for many hours, so it does not have to be dismissed. Saxon's wagon can remain safely within, unless he feels he needs it with him.

Radagast leads the way to the section of wall that you'd scouted earlier.

Grimfast brings out the paper where he'd copied the riddle, and recites it once again:

"'Where the cold wind blows and the bright stars shine,
Where darkness abides and the fat rats dine
Let Naethrul’s path revealed with summer wine
Count the wings for flying nine'."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 262 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 27 May 2017
at 10:31
Into the Drift
Tilaleria followed the others. She had no desire at all to do this, and it was clear that she totally disapproved of this. Still she'd been outvoted so she kept quiet and to herself
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 143 posts
Sat 27 May 2017
at 21:42
Into the Drift
Saxon rubbed his chin, "Right, the riddle. There is no Summers wine, at that point you just have grapes, no liquor. Grape Vines climb and the last line speaks to flying. So fourteen feet up there should be an entrance to the crypt?" He started walking up the wall. Well, he was really in the mimic of the action an inch from the wall. The fact he could fly was beside the point.

He even sparked up one of his undeadly shards, a formula designed to mimic the elf stars held in the hand.

This message was last edited by the player at 21:43, Sat 27 May 2017.

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 178 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Wed 31 May 2017
at 11:56
Into the Drift
The riddle confused Borun. Why couldn't they just use plain language? Nevertheless, Borun suspected that Saxon had made a mistake.

"I thought "summer wine" was wine drunk in summer?" Borun mused. "Maybe we need to sprinkle wine or even grape juice on the ground? Maybe there is a vineyard inside?" Borun shook his head. ""The flying nine" have eighteen wings. To count them means we have to walk eighteen paces."
Grimfast
 Fellowship, 21 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Tue 6 Jun 2017
at 16:46
Into the Drift
"I think Borun has the right of it," Grimfast said. "There is a 'winter wine', which is brandy. The amount of water in it is reduced to make it easier to transport."

"It therefore follows that 'summer wine' would be anything that wasn't 'winter wine', or, as Borun said, the wine you drink in the summer."

"So there's something about the ground or the wall that reacts with wine, but not just water. That's the way I read it."

"Careful, Saxon!"
he called out as the Alchemist began going up the wall.

"This secret entrance is going to be either in the ground here to let us go under the wall, or else at the base of the wall. In either case, it's to let us avoid the runes and symbols on the wall. Remember, not all of them are dead or inactive."

He steps over to the wall, and begins searching the ground for any section of stone that might hold a symbol. As long as magic was involved, the stone didn't necessarily have to appear to be big enough to allow passage.
Anira
 Fellowship, 75 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Fri 9 Jun 2017
at 18:58
Into the Drift
Anira joined Grimfast in the search, quiet and brow furrowed as she concentrated on finding the right spot as well as not springing any traps.



09:00, Yesterday: Anira rolled 29 using 1d20+27 with rolls of 2.  Perception.  Will be a 31 to find traps.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 457 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 10 Jun 2017
at 00:50
Into the Drift
The stone of the wall doesn't appear to have been worked, certainly not by any stonemason or Dwarf. Yet, it has a semi-finished appearance, not unlike what you could get with a stone-shape spell. Or possibly what Saxon can do with his elemental influences.

That's why Borun is the one to spot the correct area. There's a workmanship to a particular section that isn't there anywhere else. He thinks it was cleverly worked to appear to be just another part of the wall.

He thinks there is a secret door or compartment.

Saxon has wine in his wagon, and brought it with him. He pours a bit of it onto the wall section...

And an image is revealed. Normal stone would just darken when it gets wet, but somehow, an image has been imprinted into the stone here. The image is that of a flock of birds... nine birds, to be precise.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 263 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 10 Jun 2017
at 07:51
Into the Drift
"So is there anything that I can say that will dissuade you from this act" Tilaleria asked clearly frustrated. She had heard Radagast's words, but they didn't work for her. Quite the opposite. She was wondering if he was turning from the path of wisdom to something else: this was a occasional problem with the Wise "We need to find the Entwifes, and they are being experimented on and tortured. Their souls being ripped out of their bodies and being turned into spells. This place has not been in touch with the outside world for thousands of years, so I find it hard to believe that going here has any relevance at all to our quest. Every day we spend here means that the Entwives are tortured for another day and reduces the chance of us finding a single one left"

This message was last edited by the player at 07:53, Sat 10 June 2017.

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 179 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Sat 17 Jun 2017
at 11:22
Into the Drift
Borun sighed in response to Tilaleria's objection. While she was correct that time wasted here could delay the rescue of the entwives, Master Radagast also suspected that clues might be found in the city that could help with the task. The only way to find out would be to investigate the city.

Borun briefly considered making this point, but decided instead to allow one of his more articulate companions to voice the argument.
Grimfast
 Fellowship, 22 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Sun 18 Jun 2017
at 01:51
Into the Drift
"Well, that wasn't hard, though I admit that I doubt if I'd even have thought of pouring wine on the wall," Grimfast said, "but then, I'm not sure I would have looked for a secret entrance into a city of the dead."

"So, what do we do now? Search the ninth bird for a secret compartment or switch or something?"

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 180 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Tue 20 Jun 2017
at 08:23
Into the Drift
"We have to "count the wings", right?" Borun replied. He cleared his throat and self-consciously cried out the numbers from one through to eighteen in the common tongue.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 72 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Wed 21 Jun 2017
at 02:56
Into the Drift
"That sounds like an astute observation," Radagast replied.

"Nine wings... are all the wings visible? And from which direction? Search that area."
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 175 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Wed 21 Jun 2017
at 04:40
Into the Drift
She was still in her bird from and couldn't speak much at the moment.  But she did listen to see what everyone was thinking on doing next.
Anira
 Fellowship, 76 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Wed 21 Jun 2017
at 13:01
Into the Drift
Laurel gazed intently at the imprint of the birds upon the wall, hoping for a flash of brilliance.



07:59, Today: Anira rolled 38 using 1d20+27 with rolls of 11.  Perception on bird imprint.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 144 posts
Wed 21 Jun 2017
at 20:15
Into the Drift
Saxon rubbed the back of his head, riddles are always so hard. "The only other thing I can think of is the Passerine bird family. If I recall they are the only kind of birds that can have nine primary feathers on their wings. There are only so many such birds of this kind in the area. Blue Jay, House Sparrow, great tit, hodded crow, and a masked weaver."

"I could be overthinking it..."

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 73 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sat 24 Jun 2017
at 03:34
Into the Drift
Radagast peers at the images on the stone again, too, even looks more closely at them.

"I don't see enough detail to make out individual feathers. Nor does there appear to be sufficient detail to identify the type of birds," Radagast comments.

"Besides, they all look the same to me, and I'm pretty good at identifying birds."

"It's either birds or wings; I'm guessing wings, because they put up nine birds to distract us."

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 181 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Fri 30 Jun 2017
at 12:29
Into the Drift
Borun stepped forwards to inspect the image of the birds more closely. Were all of the birds identical? Were they all in the pose of flight? Were all eighteen wings visible, or were some hidden due to the pose of the bird?
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 458 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 2 Jul 2017
at 18:47
Into the Drift
Anira soon realizes that the birds aren't all identical, but there doesn't appear to be enough detail to say what breed of bird was being represented. It doesn't look like they were supposed to be identical, but it just might be a lack of consistency from the carver.

She notices that all 18 wings are visible. The birds are facing/flying to the left, so there's one wing in front/below each bird, and one wing behind/above each bird. The birds actually overlap each other such that only the last bird on the right is completely depicted. It also means that the wings are staggered, so that you can count one up, two down, three up, four down, etc. Thus you could count 9 wings across the top, 9 wings across the bottom, or make it about halfway counting both to 9.

As Borun examines the birds more closely, both he and Anira see that the 5th upper wing has a slight difference in it. There has apparently been some weather over the centuries, particularly wind and sun, but precipitation may have been scarce. In any case, dust has accumulated over the carving, further helping obscure the details, but on the middle bird, there is an extra line demarking the wing from the body that has filled with dust.

Up close, Borun can further see that there is more dust around the whole wing than on any of the other wings. Not much, and it'd be hard for anyone who wasn't familiar with stone carving to notice the distinction. But Anira also noticed the 'difference'.

That seems to indicate that the wing is a separate piece, probably some sort of pressure plate/switch, since that is precisely what they are looking for. Borun might be able to depress it hard enough to make it work, but it might work more easily if the dust is scraped away.

He has no problem pulling out his kama and scraping away some of the dust of centuries, revealing the cracks in more detail.

It looks like he's thus been elected to do the pressing.

He presses the button, and still has to exert some effort to make it go in.

He's almost caught by surprise as the ground beneath his feet begins to shift! He manages to jump aside as a slab of stone slides back under the wall. The dirt and debris on top of it is scraped off and tumbles into the hole now revealed. A set of stone stairs leads downward under the wall.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:57, Mon 03 July 2017.

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 182 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Mon 3 Jul 2017
at 12:57
Into the Drift
"Aha!" Borun exclaimed. "A secret passage!"

Borun glanced at his companions and began to lead the way in.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 265 posts
 Messenger Girl
Mon 3 Jul 2017
at 18:05
Into the Drift
Still not knowing why they were walking this path of foolishness Tilaleria waiting for the others to go in. She'd wait at the back one of the more dangerous places.
Anira
 Fellowship, 77 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Mon 3 Jul 2017
at 18:44
Into the Drift
If Saxon wished to store his wagon in the shelter, Anira would then dispell the barn-like structure and retrieve the pebble she'd focused the spell upon before turning back to the stairs.  Then she cast Light upon her sword and followed Borun down the stairs.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 176 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Tue 4 Jul 2017
at 00:09
Into the Drift
She was a bit surprised to see a hidden passageway let alone she couldn't discover it being the Elf that she was.  Honing in that skill would surely be her next task.

"Good job Borun.
Grimfast
 Fellowship, 23 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Tue 4 Jul 2017
at 08:02
Into the Drift
Grimfast, too, chose to bring up the rear, along with Tilaleria. He couldn't help notice the expression on her face, which was clearly less than happy.

"You could very well be right," he commented to her. "Just because he is Istari doesn't mean he never makes a mistake."

"On the other hand, they often see things that the rest of us can't. Your path and my path might be clear and straightforward, but I doubt that the Istari path is ever either of those things."

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 145 posts
Fri 14 Jul 2017
at 02:47
Into the Drift
Saxon was directly interested, this whole thing went to show that a person who is learned in books is not always the most clever. He was, however, already walking down the steps. He left no trace of his passage as he wasn't really applying his weight to the steps so much as he was just a fraction of an inch above them. But that would take another elf to know he was being cheeky with his abilities.

The dead smith seemed to be alight with the fact that they walked forward to old knowledge and lore. His bread and butter.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 460 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 16 Jul 2017
at 16:04
Into the Drift
The stairs drop down about 20 feet, though barely enough to get under the wall. There's only about a 6 foot clearance of the ceiling, once you've descended about halfway down the stairs. As you can see once you start down the stairs, the obscuring slab was a good 4 feet thick.

At the bottom of the stairs, there is flat landing, and the passage under the wall opens up to the right. However, the passage only goes 5 feet before it appears to turn into a maze, turning right, left, left, right, right... but then straightens out and appears to continue under the wall, which was 30-feet thick.

Only Borun realizes that the passage isn't going straight under the wall but has sufficient angle to it that after about 50 feet, it'll actually be inside the city wall.

Along this straight passage, every other five feet staggered on both sides, is an alcove with a skeleton standing in it, back against the wall, arms crossed against the chest, one skeletal hand clutching a sawtooth sword while the other has a rusted, dented buckler.

It definitely gives the impression of a gauntlet that you have to pass through... but none of the skeletons move.

At the other end, the passage makes another left turn, goes 10 feet and ends in a door. Standing in front of the door is a figure, clearly looking like some undead type. It's dressed in faded and tattered blue robes with a thin gold crown set cockeyed atop its head. The red eyes are clearly watching you.


[OOC: Grumble. I wrote this post two days ago, but just as I went to post it, I lost my internet connection. I think the local server's been having trouble in the neighborhood. We seem to get that from time to time.]
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 266 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 16 Jul 2017
at 16:17
Into the Drift
Tilaleria concentrated on the undead figure to see whether her training said she could kill it. Her mind flickered through all the things she knew about undead, the ways to kill them if needed. Not all undead were evil she knew, but many were: the long years driving them insane and into the hands of Morgoth


Knowledge Religion: 31
Detect evil. If it's evil I will be smiting it and doing an acrobatic charge.

Anira
 Fellowship, 78 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Sun 16 Jul 2017
at 16:31
Into the Drift
Anira followed along behind Borun, alert and ready to act if necessary.  When they reached the end and the figure was watching them, she quietly studied it and tried to dredge up as much as possible in her mind while trying to perceive any threats.  She made no threatening moves.



Detect Magic cantrip going while moving along and upon the figure.
11:26, Today: Anira rolled 22 using 1d20+10 with rolls of 12.  Knowledge (history).
11:26, Today: Anira rolled 31 using 1d20+19 with rolls of 12.  Knowledge (arcana).
11:27, Today: Anira rolled 41 using 1d20+27 with rolls of 14.  Perception.

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 177 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sun 16 Jul 2017
at 17:18
Into the Drift
Lady Isile was very interested in the maze and she did her best to remember how to recreate it when she returns back to her own estate.  Being the race that she was she was very good at underground caverns and this was something she liked.

As the party moved onward it was good to not be attacked while traveling to where this maze was taking them but at the end was another interesting figure.

She wanted to know what type of Undead they were facing so that she would best know how to communicate with it.  They were here on a mission of peace not war and if they were able to save any of the lives that were trapped here then she would do whatever she could to aid it.


13:17, Today: Lady Isile rolled 31 using 1d20+18 with rolls of 13.  Know: Religion: Undead.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 461 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 16 Jul 2017
at 18:54
Into the Drift
While Tilaleria can get a reading on the figure ahead, she can't quite grasp what that reading is. The best she can tell is that it is neutral but has a taint of evil to it; she just can't tell where or why that taint is.

And that in itself is strange, because she's pretty sure the figure is a lich.


Anira also identifies the figure as a lich, but less from the undead/religious point of view as from the arcane practices necessary to become a lich.

She also recognizes the clothing as being Khandish in design, and thinks the crown bears the crest of the Variag kings. She can't be sure, though, as so little has ever been learned of these peoples and lands.


Although Lady Isile recognizes the maze-like nature of the corridor, it turns out not to be a true maze at all, though she realizes it serves to functions--it is a better support for the roof above, and it limits the number of men that could attack the front at one time.

She, too, recognizes the lich, but she also knows that not all liches are inherently evil, even if the practice of becoming a lich is generally viewed as evil, and such beings tend to do evil to preserve their existence. Once having embarked upon that path, the probable corrupting influence of such an existence is likely to keep them from ever willing 'die'.

In the current context, however, the lich's existence is highly speculative.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 268 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 16 Jul 2017
at 19:12
Into the Drift
"Great it's tainted by the work of Morgoth" Tilaleria said "and subtly too. We're talking top notch deception and corruption. Not a word it says can be trusted. Just what you need at a time like this. Are you sure we can't do this after we've actually accomplished our task instead of wasting time talking to thinks who... Best case... Knew something several thousand years ago?" It was clear she absolutely did not support this activity and was only going along because she wasn't going to abandon the group. This discovery that any information they did receive would be tainted did not exactly endear her to this task
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 74 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sun 16 Jul 2017
at 21:25
Into the Drift
Perhaps you are right, Tilaleria," Radagast responded, "Trusting what this lich says would not be wise, but I've always been told not to judge a book by its cover."

"He may not quite be what he appears to be, just as this whole city is not what it appears to be."


No one else seemed inclined to step forward to speak with the lich, assuming it was even capable of speech, so Radagast did so.

"Greetings," he addressed the lich. "I am Radagast, often called the Brown. We are following the clues left by the Dwarves on the stairs up the cliff."

"To whom am I speaking?"

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 462 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 18 Jul 2017
at 22:24
Into the Drift
"I am Pergomar, the Last King of Naethrul," the lich replies.

"You could not have got here any other way. You have not come to end the curse, though, have you?"

"You have come for... The Secret."

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 146 posts
Wed 19 Jul 2017
at 02:42
Into the Drift
Saxon raised his hand, "I did, come to fix the curse. Saxon the Black, smith of the dead. I dont think that I could fix you at this very moment but I am sure that if I am given enough time I can work around the curse and restore you to the correct condition of undeath. A state that allows you to rest and return as you so need to aid future generations."

"That is what this whole curse is meant to be, a way for the dead to foster future generations."

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 178 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Thu 20 Jul 2017
at 17:09
Into the Drift
Looking at the King she raced in her mind for any lost knowledge of his league.

"King Pergomar, he speaks the truth and so do you.  There is more than one mission here and we plan on completing them both.

Will you allow us your blessing on both?




13:08, Today: Lady Isile rolled 31 using 1d20+22 with rolls of 9.  know: History.
Anira
 Fellowship, 79 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Fri 21 Jul 2017
at 15:53
Into the Drift
Tilaleria's negativity was getting more and more annoying, especially when she continued to harp that they were wasting time.  It all boiled down to trusting Radagast, which was something Anira had for as long as she could remember.  Even if he could be flighty or odd, he'd never steered her wrong before and the continual pecking at him by the exotic elf was grating to say the least.

Rather than be confrontational to her though, she focused on the task at hand instead of the one who had a darker cloud of doom over her than even the lich.  As others had already voiced their intention to help as well as obtain secrets, she simply nodded though gave the lich a respectful bow.  He was a king after all, even in death and she felt it prudent to offer respect.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 463 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 22 Jul 2017
at 23:22
Into the Drift
Lady Isile has heard tales... more like history lessons... of King Pergomar. He was a king of Rhovanion some several hundred years ago. Oddly, what or where he was king of wasn't mentioned... or possibly known.

Although he wasn't lost to history, his deeds seem to have been.



"You have made it farther than any others have, so perhaps our plight will now become known to others. It is a non-existence for us. Emotions have been purged from our consciousness... for the most part... our memories fade a little with each passing year."

"The secret that you seek is in the Tower of the Sky in the center of the city. None of us have been in it since the... Event."

"If you find it, and continue on to Forsten, there is a black crystal in their central tower. Destroying the crystal will break the curse that lies upon Naethrul."


He turns then and opens the door behind him and steps through. It leads outside, somewhere in the city. The Tower of the Sky is clearly visible in the background.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 179 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sun 30 Jul 2017
at 00:14
Into the Drift
Lady Isile was impressed that her knowledge of King Pergomar was better than expected, but she did hope to remember or know more.  Listening to him speak again and then watching as he steps through the doors and leads the party to the hidden city.

Her eyes looked around as best as she could and seeing the Tower of the Sky she only had one question for the king.

"Does magic work normal here or will it fail?

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 464 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 30 Jul 2017
at 05:46
Into the Drift
"That is an interesting question," the lich-king answers Lady Isile. "If you mean, does it work in the city, yes, it does, though  there is little that can be done. I used to mend things that got broken, but after awhile, there didn't seem to be much point."

"Perhaps now I shall resume that task."

"I believe magic works in the tower, but I cannot say for sure. There is a powerful ward on it that keeps undead from entering. As you can probably guess, divination is not in my repertoire."

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 180 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sun 30 Jul 2017
at 13:22
Into the Drift
That was very good to hear so she would be able to teleport up there if needed or even fly to make things a bit simpler.

"Thank you King Pergomar. she bows her head.

"I will do all within my power to aid you and your people.  There is too much history and knowledge that you have that should be shared.  So that this may never happen again.

Then she looked at her companions and wondered if they wanted to fly there quickly or teleport.

"Which do you choose? she asked them.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 147 posts
Fri 4 Aug 2017
at 02:15
Into the Drift
Saxon rubbed the back of his head, "Sir, would you be opposed to allowing me to take a few samples? The alchemy of things is part of my own training. One of the things I can do is extract certain properties. If I find some way to extract any alterations to the ongoing immortality you have, thus causing your current state, I would be happy to do so."

"It will take a bit of research but if there is anything outside of just removing the magic that keeps you all going, such as mending it so you all can come and go to rest as you see fit... well that is the better option."


Lady Isile got a smile from Saxon. "We should save the teleports as much as we can."
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 75 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sat 5 Aug 2017
at 18:18
Into the Drift
"I know Tilaleria would not wish to make the climb and waste yet more of what she feels is precious time," Radagast responds, "but as I've said before, the journey is often as important as the destination."

"I would walk the path and climb the stairs to the top, but I will bow to the wishes of the group. If you wish to fly up to the top of the tower, so be it."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 270 posts
Sat 5 Aug 2017
at 18:46
Into the Drift

This message was deleted by the player at 19:03, Sat 05 Aug 2017.

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 184 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Tue 8 Aug 2017
at 11:24
Into the Drift
"You also have my thanks, King Pergomar," Borun agreed.

Addressing Lady Isile, Borun continued, "I am sure that flight could take us there quickly enough. I myself have learnt that power, and I could take more than one of us if necessary."
Anira
 Fellowship, 80 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Tue 8 Aug 2017
at 19:09
Into the Drift
As they moved to follow the lich-king, Anira inclined her head to him as well.  "Yes, thank you King Pergomar and we will do all we can to help you and those trapped here," she stated.  She hoped it wouldn't be an act that would turn against them but freedom and peace had to be followed.  Turning to the others, she gave a small shrug.  "I tend to try to use my magic sparingly but I can fly and also teleport so will do so if that will help the group," Anira stated.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 181 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Tue 8 Aug 2017
at 19:45
Into the Drift
Looking to Borun "I'm only able to transform myself but I can cast Levitation on anyone if that would help.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:45, Tue 08 Aug 2017.

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 76 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Tue 8 Aug 2017
at 23:45
Into the Drift
"Perhaps flying up there would be prudent," Radagast says. "If it had not been for King Bergomar's words, I would climb the tower so as not to miss any clues along the way."

"While I believe Anira could use her Dimension Door spell to take us all up there, perhaps flying would be a more prudent method."

"As I understand it, Anira, Lady Isile and Borun can all fly. That leaves four of us that can't. Not sure of your strengths... can each of you carry another one of us? If not, then Lady Isile can cast her Levitation on someone and he or she can be pulled behind us."

"So the question, Tilaleria, will you go with us, or would you rather remain here until we return?"

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 185 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Thu 10 Aug 2017
at 11:50
Into the Drift
"I apologise if I was unclear," Borun replied. "While I am sure that I could carry someone, what I really mean is that I can cast the Fly spell multiple times, easily enabling everyone to fly." He continued, "Indeed I could cast the spell up to eighteen times in a day, although that would leave me somewhat depleted in spell power." Borun chuckled awkwardly. "Each spell lasts ten minutes."

This message was lightly edited by the player at 11:51, Thu 10 Aug 2017.

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 77 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Thu 10 Aug 2017
at 22:07
Into the Drift
"Well, it shouldn't take us more than a minute or two to fly up there," Radagast replied, "so that should work."

He glances at Tilaleria to see if she'd made up her mind yet.

"Then start casting, Borun. Let's not waste any more time than we have to."
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 182 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Thu 10 Aug 2017
at 23:48
Into the Drift
Nodding her head then she shape chances into a hawk again and begins to fly up when the rest are moving along.
Anira
 Fellowship, 81 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Sat 12 Aug 2017
at 14:10
Into the Drift
"I will check the area," Anira said and flew up to check the entries and inside.



Perception 28, 30 for traps.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 273 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 12 Aug 2017
at 15:44
Into the Drift
Her options at this point were a bit limited. She could give up on the quest entirely. She could retreat back out of the city and continue the quest on her own. She could remain here where she was and wait for the others to get back.

Or, she could go with them, however annoying that course of action was to her.

In the end, she could not in good conscience abandon her companions.

"Fine. I will go with you." she said. Under protest. She didn't need to say that out loud as her demeanor made that all too clear.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 466 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 12 Aug 2017
at 16:07
Into the Drift
Once Lady Isile changed into a hawk and flew into the sky toward the tower, it only remained for Borun to cast his Fly spell on all those remaining who needed it.

The group then followed Lady Isile.


Approaching the top of the tower, which is presumably where they needed to go (but, if not, it would be so much easier walking down the stairs rather than up them), you can see that there is a narrow 5-foot wide balcony running completely around the tower. The tower appears to be made of stone, and the balustrade around the balcony (to prevent people from falling off) is also made of stone.

Lady Isile's speed and maneuverability let's her reconnoiter the tower more quickly than the others, and as she circles it, she spots the large gold door on the east side.

She also spots the interlocking chain of pentagrams carved into the stone and even the gold door, as does Anira when she reaches the tower.

Both are able to identify the pentagrams as warding-type pentagrams, as well as identify the ward as against teleport, albeit from slightly different perspectives.

Anira does not spot any traps on the balcony, nor on the door.

The gold door is 5-feet wide and 10-feet high, mounted flush with the outside wall so that the pentagrams overlap. The door should clearly swing inward, though, as there is insufficient room for it to swing outward... unless, of course, some sort of magic is involved, such as shifting it ethereal.

Once everyone has landed on the balcony, there's barely enough room for all of you to actually view the door at the same time. The door does not appear to have a lock on it.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 186 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Tue 15 Aug 2017
at 11:43
Into the Drift
Borun cast his Fly spells and then joined Lady Isile and Anira on the balcony. "Would you like me to go first?" he suggested, although he suspected that Anira would prefer that role herself.
Anira
 Fellowship, 82 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Tue 15 Aug 2017
at 19:59
Into the Drift
Anira was studying the door as the others joined and Borun offered to go first.  "I don't detect any traps and these markings are to prevent teleporting," she stated thoughtfully.  "It seems almost too easy though," she said but then shook her head.  "Stay to the sides of the door," she suggested to them and when the others were hopefully out of the potential danger zone she gently pressed against the door to see if it would push open or was like a portal.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 183 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Tue 15 Aug 2017
at 22:09
Into the Drift
Still in her bird form she flew to the side of the tower keeping a watchful eye out for any incoming surprises.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 467 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Wed 16 Aug 2017
at 15:19
Into the Drift
Lady Isile flies around the tower, resting on the balustrade when she needs to, but there is nothing in the air that poses a potential threat. This seems reasonable, for there is nothing around here that could sustain any living creature. While there are some undead that can fly, even some that could climb the outside of the tower, she does not spot any such threat.


When Anira touches the door, it feels solid to the touch. Nothing else happens, though. And when she tries pushing on it, nothing happens then, either. It seems to be secured in some way, perhaps magically, but perhaps only locked. That's when she notices the 'dials'--three circular carvings--one above the pentagram, one below the pentagram, and one within the pentagram.

She can't tell how far any of them can actually turn. They could be some sort of screw that has to be turned completely several times in order to disengage the lock. On the other hand, there do not seem to be any marking around the dials or on the dials to indicate a stopping place, such as would be needed for a combination.

That tells her that it's probably just a sequence... turn one first, then the next, and then the third.

Going top to bottom would be the simplest 'combination', but also makes no sense--why bother with a sequence at all, if that was the case?

It's the one within the pentagram that gives her the clue she needs. Opening the door would break the anti-teleport ward, but the combination would be used to prevent that. Thus, it follows that the top and bottom one are there to disengage the pentagram one, which, in turn, disengages that central lock but probably keeps the ward intact.

She tries the top one first, and finds that it only makes a quarter turn clockwise before it stops. The bottom one makes a quarter turn counter-clockwise before it stops.

Now, as she touches the center one, she can feel the magical field of the ward... which wasn't there a moment ago. Oddly, she discovers that the center dial can be turned either way... and quickly deduces that it's 'on' and 'off', or perhaps 'lock' and 'unlock'. It moves one-half turn before it won't move any more.

When she now pushes on the door, it swings easily away from her. Because it's night, she expected there to be darkness beyond. Instead, there is light... the equivalent of torchlight, but light nonetheless.

The light reveals what she can only think of as a library--floor to 40-foot high ceiling bookshelves filled with books and other things. About every 20 feet around the room is an ever-burning torch set into a wrought iron sconce a-fixed to the bookshelves.

You also can see that there are four large stuffed chairs (with foot rest) spaced equidistantly around the room, away from the shelves and toward the center. Each has a small table next to it with a lamp upon the table. These lamps direct a cone of light onto the chair, which reveals the chair is upholstered in maroon velvet.

Between the two farthest chairs, there is a free standing mirror in an ornate brass frame. Between the two chairs on the left, there is book stand, but there is not book on it.

In the very center of the room, there is an semi-circular iron railing which presumably is the top of a spiral staircase leading down.

There are no windows in the room, but as you look up, you can see that the ceiling is carved in many arcane symbols, not the least of which is the anti-teleport pentagram that takes up the whole ceiling. The other runes are all carved inside the pentagram.

They look to be protection runes of some kind.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:20, Mon 21 Aug 2017.

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 148 posts
Thu 17 Aug 2017
at 20:37
Into the Drift
Saxon had flown up along the tower and true to the request made he kept his body mass under the door but peeked in through the bottom of the door. "Looks like a it is some kind of panic chamber. There is no telling if its to keep something in or out but it is all very well crafted." He tilted his head side to side, "I have a fire form that is kinda invulnerable but it would not be wise in a library. Ummm, I can alter my biology to a state of death so anything in there could look right past me... Doesnt last forever but nothing really does."

"Want I should pop in and have a look?"

Anira
 Fellowship, 83 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Thu 17 Aug 2017
at 21:17
Into the Drift
Anira looked to Saxon, a wrinkle of concern in her brow.  "The lich said it was warded to keep the undead out.  Wouldn't that be a little more dangerous for you if you changed to that sort of form?" she asked while focusing as much as she could on the runes as well as the area inside.



16:15, Today: Anira rolled 38 using 1d20+27 with rolls of 11.  Perception (+2 more for traps).
16:15, Today: Anira rolled 22 using 1d20+19 with rolls of 3.  Knowledge (arcana).

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 149 posts
Thu 17 Aug 2017
at 21:26
Into the Drift
Saxon stood on the side of the tower like down was in that direction. "Just because it is designed to keep undead out, doesnt mean that it zaps them once inside. Could just be a barrier and I would be trapped inside until the spell wore off."

"That being said, its a working, I can not use it just to be safe."

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 184 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Thu 17 Aug 2017
at 22:12
Into the Drift
Taking a moment to peek her head in to see what this room possesses.  It was all the runes that got her attention and she did her best to determine them.  Once that was done she would be able to further aid the party in knowing what they protect and ward off.

18:11, Today: Lady Isile rolled 47 using 1d20+27 with rolls of 20.  Knowledge Arcane.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 468 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Thu 17 Aug 2017
at 22:54
Into the Drift
The first runes that are easily identified are the teleport runes. Inside the warding pentagram, it means that you can't teleport out of the room.

The other runes are a bit trickier, but only because they are variations on normal runes: fire and undead. As near as Anira and Lady Isile can interpret the runes, fire won't work in the library. You might be able to light a tindertwig, but it would be instantly snuffed out. For the undead, any undead is warded out, but should any somehow make it into the room, they would take constant damage as if from holy channeling as long as they are in the room.

It takes a bit more thinking to figure out the remaining two runes.

One is 'evil' and the other is 'outsider'. The library is warded against those two as well.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 150 posts
Thu 17 Aug 2017
at 23:18
Into the Drift
Saxon paced around the door, "I do alchemy and celestial magic but I do not think this should hurt me. It may be like swimming through mud but I think I can manage. Give the word and I will head in, I'd rather not step on your toes when you said to sit and stay."

"Easy enough to plunge in."

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 187 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Mon 21 Aug 2017
at 11:40
Into the Drift
Borun silently observed his companions while they inspected the runes. He waited patiently for their instruction to enter the chamber.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 78 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Mon 21 Aug 2017
at 15:15
Into the Drift
"Interesting, interesting," Radagast mused as he studied the interior runes.

"How... clever... and interesting. You can't teleport in, and you can't teleport out... with a book, for instance. The protections they've put on this library would make you think that very important books are stored here. And they just may be! These could be thousands of years old! Think of the knowledge they might contain!"

"We will definitely have to come back here! But, unless something leaps out at us, we shouldn't tarry here to study."
He casts a glance at the sullen Tilaleria.

He boldly steps through the doorway. As he does so, a bluish shimmer appears around him as he passes through the magic field.

"Just take a casual glance at the book titles, in case there is something that we need."

Since nothing seems to happen to him, he walks over to the book stand, as it seems somehow out of place.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 185 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Mon 21 Aug 2017
at 16:07
Into the Drift
Following behind him. She to steps inside and wanting to see what kind of knowledge is hidden here in these books and tomes
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 151 posts
Mon 21 Aug 2017
at 16:31
Into the Drift
Saxon shrugged as it seemed everyone was moving in. He leaned forward and shifted around the door until he was at the top of it. He then passed in sticking to the roof like a snake, sure he was being overly cautious but considering the room could blow him up he was justified. Once he was inside and he was not exploding randomly he started working with gravity. He started inspecting the way down while others looked at the books. Sure he wanted to read books but he would have to come back later for that.

He was no rogue but he was at least another set of eyes. "If you see any books on advanced alchemy, let me know. I mean the really advanced stuff."

This message was last edited by the player at 16:33, Mon 21 Aug 2017.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 469 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Wed 23 Aug 2017
at 15:20
Into the Drift
As everyone enters the library and looks over the books, you realize that not all of them have titles written on the spine, and even the ones that are seem to be written in many different languages. Not all the books are standing upright, either. Some are laying flat on the shelves. It also appears that not all books are bound volumes either. At least one 'book' appears to be a bundle of tied-together scrolls, while another one appears to be a series of wooden slats tied together with rope and then rolled up into a bundle.

From the few titles that are visible and readable, however, it does appear that the books are grouped in sections by common themes. The first section to the left of the door seems to deal with 'natural magic', while the next one is about botany and wilderness. The first section to the right of the door deals with shamanism, while the one next to it covers crafts.

The book stand is sturdily built, the top slanted forward, and would seem to be able to hold a large volume. The ledge at the bottom to keep the book from siding off is a bit thicker than is necessary, but probably to accommodate the lettering carved into it.

The letters spell out the words 'Book of Souls'.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 274 posts
 Messenger Girl
Wed 23 Aug 2017
at 15:42
Into the Drift
In spite of thinking this 'path' is a waste of their time and a serious deviation from their very important albeit self-appointed quest, she finds this vast library is piquing her interest... not that she is going to grab a book and start readying, but still...

As a messenger, she has mastered many languages, for how else could she say what had to be said when she delivered a message? There are languages here that she doesn't even recognize, however.

On the other hand... if this had been a library completely dedicated to the topic of cosmetics, which it clearly is not, then that large mirror would conceivably make sense. Why else would anyone in a library need to see her reflection in a mirror? Well, it was possible that the mirror could show magical auras on a person, particularly a hex or curse. For that matter, it might even remove them! Books could be so trapped.

If the mirror wasn't there for casting your reflection, though, two other possibilities came to mind--scrying or communication, such as with a palantir, or... a magical gateway. The latter somewhat made sense if the library was proof against teleport.

She walked over to the mirror and began examining it.
Anira
 Fellowship, 84 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Wed 23 Aug 2017
at 17:11
Into the Drift
The books on natural magic certainly piqued Anira's curiosity but firstly she too was interested in the mirror and moved with Tilaleria to inspect it from all angles.



12:09, Today: Anira rolled 37 using 1d20+19 with rolls of 18.  Spellcraft.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 470 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Wed 23 Aug 2017
at 18:50
Into the Drift
The large oval mirror is free-standing, in a gilded oak frame, mounted on a sturdy stand. Now that you are closer, you can see that the glass appears to be black... or perhaps it's the backing. It still casts a reflection, though.

What, at first, appeared to be just decorative scroll work on the frame, now can be seen as arcane symbols cleverly hidden amid the scroll work carvings.

It doesn't take much effort to pick out a half-dozen symbols that would be connected to teleporting. Several of the others are probably control symbols. Some of the others look like they might be restrictions... such as one is a protection from undead, while another is protection against Dwarves.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 188 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Thu 24 Aug 2017
at 09:43
Into the Drift
Borun followed the group into the library, staring around at the rows of books. Upon seeing the section on "natural magic", Borun picked up a random book, wondering if it described sorcery. Such books would be a boon to any magical institution, including his own alma mater, Diamond Heart Academy.

Given the peculiar restrictions on entry and teleportation, Borun looked for the proper entrance to the library, presumably a regular door into the tower, doubtless similarly warded against undesirables such as undead.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 275 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 24 Aug 2017
at 09:59
Into the Drift
"I'm sorry, but I cannot stay and watch you betray your oaths" Tilaleria said at last

"I am feeling for the tortured souls of the Entwifes. We know that they are being turned into living spells through unspeakable acts of torture and yet we waste time here"

"We know that this place has not been in touch with the outside world for thousands of years. No one has come up with a single credible reason we should be here now instead of in a few weeks time when we have saved the Entwives. We already know that the hand of Morgoth has been here, so any information we do actually get has every chance of being a trap"

"And yet we dally and indulge our curiosity while the Entwives are tortured to death and worse. I suppose there is a faint chance something good will happen of this. Perhaps even though we have literally no clue leading us here and reason for being here, it is 'fated' that this is the only way we will find the Entwives. If anyone has a case for that, I am interested. If not I do not comprehend your reasoning, or the reasoning of those that are with you ignoring the plight of those we are sworn to help, and heartlessly ignoring their screams and cries for assistance"

"You are on the edge of becoming oathbreakers, and I am disappointed in you all. I was proud to be a member of this group when we set off, and now I am ashamed"


She looked thoroughly disgusted as she headed back out. Perhaps she had no chance on her own but at least she would not be an oathbreaker in her own eyes
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 79 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Thu 24 Aug 2017
at 18:13
Into the Drift
Radagast tries one last time to get Tilaleria to see the wisdom of their course of action.

"I have not said that there is only one path to reach the Entwives. In fact, the other half of our group has pursued such an alternate path."

"I cannot fathom why you think that this path must be nothing but a straight line. If this path is rife with pitfalls and traps, is it really wise to stumble upon everyone of them, to waste valuable time and energy recovering from them? Would it not be quicker, and therefore wiser, to go around such traps?"

"We have clues. They were carved into stairs leading up to this area known as The Drift. We would have had to pass by this city on our way anyhow, just as we shall have to pass Forstan, another city of which we know nothing. Can you honestly say that should a cohort of demonic spirits exit the city and attack us that we could prevail against them? Even if we did, how many of us would be left to deal with the next threat? And the one after that? And the one after that?"

"And even if only one of us survives to reach the Entwives, could that one alone bring the Entwives back?"

"None of us have broken an oath, not the Oath to free the Entwives nor any other oath. We merely exercise prudence so that we may achieve our goal rather than stumble blindly through the unknown and thereby accomplish nothing."

"Furthermore, unless you have more knowledge about such matters that you have failed to share with us, nothing has been said about the Entwives being turned into living spells. Nor was anything said about the Entwives being tortured. That may very well be the case, but we have no knowledge of it nor any way to determine that until we find them."

"I would also like to point out that this mirror appears to be a portal. It would be extraordinary if it led directly to the Entwives, but I would say, at the very least, it could take us to Forstan... with little effort, little energy, little magic, and most importantly to you, it seems, little time."

"My dear Tilaleria, the world is not so cut-and-dried, so straight-forward as you seem to think it is. Even at sea, wind and wave and creatures of the deep can divert your ship on a mere whim. You still aim your ship for where you want to go, and make corrections to your course as necessary."

"That is all we are doing... making course corrections. For all we know, this amulet is the true trap. All that it confirmed is that one Entwife was still living when it was made."


He did not expect her to be swayed by his words, but he had to try. She was as stubborn as they came. She wished to rush forward like a bull in a pottery shop. It was probably the messenger in her--the direct approach, get to where you had to go so you could deliver the message. While he had no doubt that she might try, he was pretty sure she would not risk traveling through Mordor to deliver a message on the other side. She would go around. The shortest way? No, but the wisest.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 152 posts
Thu 24 Aug 2017
at 23:57
Into the Drift
Saxon moved and sat on the ledge of the stairs leading down. His eyes burned like flames in the lowered light as a mark of something branded on him. "More than that, some of us understand very well what it means to be in the hands of the blackness. To be effected by them day in and day out until the end of your will breaks into little bits and all you have left is a sorrow that you are not able to repay in kind the little things done."

"Men, elves, and dwarves are all entirely different processes based on lifespan and mental fortitude. I myself had to be raised from birth and they still couldn't turn me to their dark ways. From birth, all I knew was that it is right to inflict suffering on others, that people are born to service my will, and that the dark lord himself would reward me to work my old magic to ensure the forges can make wonders of all kinds. Our dear friend the Brown mage and his ally Tom taught me another way."

"Yet here I am, making a path with a pack of friends because someone who showed me mercy asked me nicely. You drank from my cup, drink from it again and take in an understanding."

"Armies have clashed the dark force alone and in a straight path. Brilliant mages taught by the colored ones as well. All have taken a straight path to conflict and they are all dead. The witch who tended me called it 'Sacrifices to give us more strength.'"

"Go forward, and find out the bridge is out to backtrack and then go around. Stop to read the map and it can save you years on the trip. For the most powerful tool of the enemy I was raised with, is ignorance. Know even half your foes power and he will be made weak."

This message was last edited by the player at 23:59, Thu 24 Aug 2017.

Grimfast
 Fellowship, 24 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Sat 2 Sep 2017
at 15:02
Into the Drift
Books were intimidating. Oh, he could read all right, but books could be a trap. Once you started reading them, you couldn't stop! There was always another book to read. That's the way he saw it, anyway.

Reading was hard to do on adventures, and some books were just too big to drag around. That looked to be the case for the Book of Souls. The stand was clearly meant for a large tome. But, where was it now? What was its significance?

If the city hadn't become a city of the undead, he probably wouldn't have given it a second thought. Here in Naethrul, however, it did not bode well. Or, perhaps it did. Were the souls of the city trapped in the book? If it was returned, would that bring them back to life? He wondered if people so trapped for so long could 'get on with their lives' finally? Could you forget all that? More importantly, maybe--did you remember that life?

He walked around the bookshelves, just glancing at the books in case some title caught his eye, working he way to the mirror.

"So. Do we want to use the mirror to go to Forstan?" he asked. "It could wind up being a trap. Maybe not intentionally, but we could find ourselves trapped in some room there with no way out."

"We have the key to entering Forstan, but we assumed it meant from the outside, like we did here. However, since the first key led us here, might this not be the way we are supposed to go, rather than traipse across the countryside?"

"Tilaleria, would this not send us on our way even faster than we would have been able to travel on foot? When you've delivered messages, have you ever used such a portal to do so?"


He understood her concerns, but didn't really agree with them. Their quest was not the same thing as running into a burning building to save someone, even is she seemed to think it was. There was a puzzle here--the Entwives were merely the center of it. At least some of the puzzle needed to be solved for them to succeed at their quest.

After all, there was a reason on one had ever returned from the East in hundreds of years... a reason that they did not yet know.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 277 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 2 Sep 2017
at 19:42
Into the Drift
"The clues are in the path for all that walk up them" Tilaleria stopping on the way out. She clearly found it difficult to talk to oath breakers. She'd in her heart cut them from her caring, and resigned herself to a slow death because the alternative was to become an oathbreaker like they were. Something she couldn't do

"In the last several thousand years since they were there, many people have walked up the stairs. The clues were as likely for them as for us. They are the clues for how to get into a lost city that no one has visited for thousands of years, they are not the clues to the Ent Wives, or if they are I struggle to see how words left thousands of years ago can describe the current location of them in any way."

"We have a way to get to the Entwives. We can do it quickly: far more quickly than we have been. We have teleportation magics and a guide. We just have to use them."

"This is a diversion to usage your communal lust for knowledge, and in following it you have abandoned your oaths to save the Ent Wives. When we entered I expressed my severe disgust with you all, and now you have new toys to play with. Toys that do not help our sworn duty"

"So yes I call you Oath Breaker, Radagast the Brown. I do not know why you have left the path of wisdom, but you have. Words like 'it's not cut and dried' or 'it's not as simple as that' are the words of those that try and justify their deeds."

"Perhaps the portal is as effective as a teleport spell. I don't know. We have teleport spells, we have a way to know where the Ent wives are. I can see no reason why you don't man up to your obligations, to your sworn vows, and actually act to stop the torment and slow murder of the Ent wives rather than mess around wondering if magical mirrors left here by the great deceiver could be a trap or not"
she shrugged and turned back down the steps

"I do not know why I try one last time to turn your hearts back to the mission you swore to accomplish and have abandoned. But I will try. You are foresworn, but you can make amends. Give up this lust for secrets, and return to the mission you swore"
Anira
 Fellowship, 85 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Sat 2 Sep 2017
at 21:05
Into the Drift
"You are the most arrogant, narrow minded ... person I have ever met," Anira snapped, finally so tired of the walking pile of fecal matter disguised as a humanoid that she couldn't contain her anger anymore.

"Our oaths are not broken as we are still on the path to the Entwives but because you have no patience or trust, you insult us.  Go!  Be gone from us and know it is you who is an oathbreaker by breaking the bond of fellowship."
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 153 posts
Sat 2 Sep 2017
at 23:07
Into the Drift
Saxon quirked an eyebrow, one would think the words of someone who had lived with the enemy held weight. "So, to clarify with everyone still honoring the quest. The East is the land from where none return. Considering the blue mages haven't been heard from either, information is in dire need."

"Moreso as the closer we get the less accurate our guide. Sooooo, I'mma go down and poke my nose into places it doesn't belong. If I know the high sages well enough the blue robes had left some kind of small journal. The wives left flowers in the old wood, it would be nice to have a guide if they left others as it is within their history to do so."

"And ten gold says we are going into the exact opposite of elf paradise in the west."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 278 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 3 Sep 2017
at 17:47
Into the Drift
"The entwives are that way" Tilaleria pointed backwards "You are going on a side mission to explore new libraries and exciting magic items. And I'm narrow minded when I call you oath breaker. I see."

"Well few people like the truth being exposed about themselves. I don't like being called narrow minded, but I suppose it's true. I have in fact a single focus: to free the Ent Wives. You probably don't like being called Oath Breakers, but you could do something about it. You could actually not break them. And try and save the Entwives. Or maybe try using reason to persuade me I am wrong, rather than ignoring my issues. Which you did. Ignore them I mean. I gave a load of reasons why it is pointless coming here, and no one addressed a single one of them. Even though I am narrow minded, I respond to reason"
she shrugged

She did listen to Saxon's words "Perhaps we should randomly search in every library we come across. In our several thousand miles of journey I'm sure we will come across... well several human lifetimes worth of reading material. We have skipped several libraries already in the traveling castles. Perhaps we should go back and read those, as the secret is even more likely to be found in those than here. It will only take several lifetimes to read all the books, because who knows in which random piece of literature the secret will be found in. It's certainly unlikely to take a short time to do that."
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 154 posts
Sun 3 Sep 2017
at 18:11
Into the Drift
Saxon called up as he was slowly making his floating way down the stairs just to be sure there wasn't a shade or something sneaking up at them. "That is not what I said, your straw man argument is not going to be addressed."

"Do not count yourself so wise as to discount the opportunity to learn the path of the most powerful sages to travel east."

"Pride is, for certain, the cause of many downfalls."

This message was last edited by the player at 18:13, Sun 03 Sept 2017.

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 80 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Mon 4 Sep 2017
at 02:48
Into the Drift
"We have not deviated from our course, Tilaleria," Radagast tries one last time to convince the messenger of the error of her thinking.

"The Entwives, at least as far as the amulet indicates, are somewhere to the east. That is the direction we have been heading ever since we left Mirkwood."

"We have no idea how long this amulet will continue to function, nor do we even know if it is accurate. We would have passed this city on our travels anyway, so it is no detour."

"As to studying these tomes, while it is something that is desirable, that was never our intent here. We are merely surveying the books in case something catches our attention. What if there is a book titled 'The Tale of the Entwives'? Would that not be of significance?"

"According to what we now know, Forstan will be the next city we pass on our travels. Again, no detour, it is just on our way. We know nothing about it. Is it hostile? Should we go around it?"

"How can you not see that gathering information as we go will help us on our quest? We are not delaying, we are not detouring. We have considered various courses of action, but have not succumbed to those temptations."

"As you can now see, this mirror appears to be a portal that will takes us to Forstan. That will significantly shorten our travel time. And that, my dear Tilaleria, is why we take the path less traveled."

"Someone in Forstan may know that the Entwives are now residing in the Valley of the Kings. Would not that information help us on our quest? Speed us to the Entwives?"

"Despite your harsh words, we do not consider ourselves as having broken our oath. Even if we had, there are consequences to doing that, and none of them have occurred... unless... it is this disagreement among us. But is that our oath broken, or yours... for following us when you believe it is wrong?"


He could not tell if his words were reaching her or not. Perhaps it was time to tell her about the prophecy... perhaps tell them all.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 190 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Sat 9 Sep 2017
at 10:00
Into the Drift
Borun frowned at Tilaleria's tirade. He was especially rankled by the accusation of "Oath Breaker" at Master Radagast. In the weeks that Borun had travelled with the group, it was clear that the Istari was unimpeachable.

Borun would have retorted, but Radagast himself calmly responded - and in a far more respectful tone than Tilaleria deserved.

In any case, she was free to go and pursue her agenda, while the rest of us continue on the path.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 279 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 10 Sep 2017
at 05:51
Into the Drift
"Each point you raise Radagast I have addressed already" Tilaleria pointed out "The book you name could be found in any of the libraries we have passed, and if we found it there at least it would not be thousand of years out of date. Similar points are there for every thing else you say"

"Well as you have all convinced yourself that this is the path for you, I will go and try and save the Entwives"
she shook her head and left never to be seen again
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 187 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sun 10 Sep 2017
at 12:20
Into the Drift
Lady Isile never said a word during this whole foolish debate, she has lived far to long and witness very similar debated in her own home land. Those have lasted much longer than this one but still the results was fair.

To be called an Oath Breaker without calling the human girl anything was insulting but still living so long one learns to ignore and move on with more important things.  Liking looking for a book that might help in determine where or information on the Entwives.

Watching as the Messenger Girl left.
Anira
 Fellowship, 87 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Sat 16 Sep 2017
at 12:48
Into the Drift
Anira ignored Tilaleria now, her piece said and only wanting real peace for the group that was left.  She still seethed at the insult to Radagast but it was time to focus on their mission.  "So do we wish to go through the portal?" she asked as others completed their search of the books.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 191 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Sun 17 Sep 2017
at 10:58
Into the Drift
Borun flexed his fingers. "I am ready. Onwards to Forstan."

He stepped forwards, preparing to lead if so instructed.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 189 posts
Sun 17 Sep 2017
at 11:54
Into the Drift

This message was deleted by the player at 11:55, Sun 17 Sept 2017.

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 190 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sun 17 Sep 2017
at 11:54
Into the Drift
Still taking her time to peruse the shelves of books.

"Are we done here looking for any help?  We just got here and all that transpired was being called an Oath Breaker.

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 81 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sat 23 Sep 2017
at 12:12
Into the Drift
Never say 'never'... he thought at Tilaleria's departure. Was that an echo of her thoughts, or a perception of her intent? He could not say at this time, and perhaps never would. He was sad at her departure, but he still wished her well. He had  become quite fond of her; even this... odd attitude of hers did not change that.

"She is quite stubborn and obdurate, is she not?" he addressed the others.

"I fear there may be something... amiss here. I cannot fathom why she would not... perhaps could not consider our words. She claimed to have addressed all of our points, yet she did not. Did she truly believe that she had?"

"And we did listen to her, though she would not listen to us. Upon discovering the nature of this city, Saxon wished to free them, but we listened to her council and realized that it was not practical for us to do so at this time, for that might truly have been an oath-breaker... though, perhaps not. Oath-breaking has to me in your heart, and intentional. If we took the time to help these people but still intended to find the Entwives, that would not have constituted breaking our oath."

"She was laboring under the assumption that, after all these years, the Entwives were now in mortal danger. While that is quite possible, that is not what I found; I do not know where she got that sense. Since she could not or would not explain why she thought so, it seemed more like an obsession."

"I wonder... Do you think she might be under some external influence?"


He paused for a moment to consider his own statement.

"If she is, I cannot detect it. It is too subtle for me."

"Anyway, despite the delay in our attempting to persuade her, that, too, has not broken our oath, but it is time to move on."

"Did any of you spot any books that might be of help to us? 'Tales of the Entwives' maybe? Or, 'Mysteries of the East'?"

Anira
 Fellowship, 89 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Sat 23 Sep 2017
at 20:39
Into the Drift
Anira had said more than she probably should have before so remained quiet about Tilaleria.  Instead, she took a few moments to search through the titles of books and tomes to see if there was anything more that might be of use to them.



15:37, Today: Anira rolled 35 using 1d20+27 with rolls of 8.  Searching Books/Tomes for anything useful.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 475 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 24 Sep 2017
at 13:04
Into the Drift
As everyone looks over the books, once again it becomes mostly obvious that the books are grouped into sections by topic. You can garner this by the titles that you can read. The topics are, from just to the left of the door all the way around to just right of the door:

Natural Magic
Botany (3 shelves) and Wilderness Skills (3 shelves) and Knowledge (2 shelves)
Mysticism
Technomancy
Elemental Magic
...Air (top 2 shelves)
...Earth (middle upper 2 shelves)
...Fire (middle lower 2 shelves)
...Water (bottom 2 shelves)
Languages
Invocation
Scholarly Skills
Necromancy
Physical (4 shelves) and Roguish Skills (4 shelves)
Wizardry
Performance Skills
Crystalomancy
Cultures (5 shelves) and Trade Skills (3 shelves)
Witchcraft
Alchemy
Cartomancy
Combat Skills (1 shelf), Knowledge (5 shelves), and History (2 shelves)
Cryptomancy
Thaumaturgy (top half) and Talismancy (bottom half)
Shadomancy
Craft Skills
Shamanism

It also become evident rather quickly that there are a few areas that are noticeable missing, such as geography, the planes, dungeoneering, and religion, though it's possible they might be covered minimally in the Knowledge section. Based on the titles you can read, the focus seems to be on magic and how magic works with the various topics, such as The Map-Making Amanuensis in the Cartomancy section.

Saxon has no problem spotting the largest book in the Alchemy section: Ye Compleat Catalogue of Alchemaria. The 5"-thick book is 18" high and just barely fits on the shelf. It is metal-bound, and the title is engraved onto the metal spine.

Anira does spot a section of books that might be relevant:

Mysteries of the East: Belegost
Mysteries of the East: Durandor
Mysteries of the East: Shining Spires of Sharandor
Mysteries of the East: Beyond the Veil
Mysteries of the East: Mechanar of Steamport
Mysteries of the East: The Rovotic Nightmare
Mysteries of the East: Vaharadar
Mysteries of the East: The Great Wood

They were all written by Azurak. None of them are all that thick (about 1"), however, but appear to be bound in 'blue dragonhide'.
Anira
 Fellowship, 90 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Sun 24 Sep 2017
at 15:28
Into the Drift
The tomes on witchcraft and rougish skills certainly caught Anira's attention but she continued looking, knowing their main concern right now was the entwives and how to find them.  When she came across several books bound in blue dragonhide she made a soft "Aha!"

Pulling each of them off the shelf, she held out the last one to Radagast.  "It would make sense to me to look in The Great Wood for anything about ents ... though there could be other useful information in the others," she said.  "I wonder if we could borrow some of these to study on the way?"
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 193 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sun 24 Sep 2017
at 15:59
Into the Drift
Lady Isilë was very impressed by the books they were able to discover and she took great interest on Mysticism, Invocation, Wizardry, Thaumaturgy and Mysteries of the East: Shining Spires of Sharandor.  Knowing that she will have to return back her after the mission is complete and help the people get their final rest or remove the curse.

In any case she wondered which of the books written by Azurak would be helpful.

True but any of the others might hold some hidden secret as well.  If only I had that spell that would allow speed reading of tomes or books.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 82 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Sun 24 Sep 2017
at 17:05
Into the Drift
"Speed reading? Yes, that might be helpful," Radagast replied, "but you would still have to be careful turning the pages."

"I know of a spell called Osmotic Sleep that allows you to absorb the contents of a book merely by sleeping on it under your pillow! It was quite helpful to me in my youth."

"It still does not give you understanding of material that you don't already understand, such as advance mathematics or engineering principles."

"Given the nature of this library... broad spectrum of subjects, though not as extensive on subjects as many other libraries... and the protections put on it, it would not surprise me if there were not... hunters? Enforcers? ...that went after anyone who took a book from the library... or perhaps did not return it in a timely fashion."

"Those hunters are now among the undead population, and cannot leave the city, so there is not much chance of them pursuing us if we choose to borrow a few books."

"My greater concern is whether the books can even be removed from the library. Clearly, you cannot teleport out of the library, carrying a book. But, can you step out onto the balcony with one? Will the portal let us take one through with us?"

"Portals are not teleport devices, though, so unless there are additional protections on the portal, I can't see a problem there."

"So, counter to what Tilaleria believed we would do, I suggest we might each try to take three books with us... that we can read or study while we travel or when we rest. Naturally, we will need to return them."

"Azurak was the name of one of the Blue Wizards that were sent to the East to stop the expansion of Sauron. That makes me think that the books titled Mysteries of the East may truly be about the unknown East, rather than just some arbitrary place east of the home of the author."

Grimfast
 Fellowship, 25 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Sun 1 Oct 2017
at 19:16
Into the Drift
Grimfast is not that keen on books, but he is willing to carry some of them for the sake of the group.

He was sad that Tilaleria was so blinded by her obsession that she could not see the wiser path to take. He trusted Radagast's statement that the amulet would not be reliable the closer they got; why couldn't she? It was magic, and everyone knew how fickle magic could be. That included teleport, apparently, though he was hardly an expert on it. He was vaguely aware that it was very obscure albeit powerful magic, so its limitations might not be known, especially in this region twisted and corrupted by Sauron.

He selected three books: Belegost, Beyond the Veil and The Great Wood. Durandor sounded Dwarven, so probably of more interest to Borun. The Shining Spires did not sound like a place he would wish to visit, but The Great Wood did. And he was curious as to what this Veil was. It might refer to death, of course, but they wouldn't know unless they read the book.

"I'm ready to go," he announced to the others after storing the books into his backpack. "I think we should go through the portal. I cannot perceive anything about this place that would indicate it could be a trap, even if I suggested it. Protections there might be, but there have been no traps. A nice fireball for trespassers would not be amiss, since everything in here is protected from fire, but, presumably, not the trespassers."

"Just my two pennies, for whatever it's worth."

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 192 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Tue 3 Oct 2017
at 09:17
Into the Drift
"Durandor?" Borun replied to Grimfast. "Hmm, it rings a bell." Borun picked up the book and quickly leafed through it.

With three shelves of "botany", surely there would be something useful about ents? Perhaps the most obvious was "The Magic of Trees" by Miranda Portwood. Borun was unsure if there was anything about ents inside, or even if the content was likely to be accurate. Nevertheless, he took the book.

In the "combat skills" section, Borun found "Perfect Self: Two hundred years of meditation" by the elven ascetic Rinudia Maethel. No doubt that would be an excellent read. While Borun had heard a little about elven unarmed combat styles, a book by the undisputed queen of kick-boxing would be enlightening.

Walking past the "roguery" section, Borun noticed an intriguing title: "Second-storey Man" by the notorious hobbit thief Rosco Undertree. Borun quietly glanced around, then furtively picked up the book and browsed through it. After five minutes, he reluctantly returned the book to the shelf.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 157 posts
Sat 14 Oct 2017
at 03:48
Into the Drift
Saxon had gone missing for about two shakes of a dragon's tail until he was found sitting behind one of the chairs. He was good to travel with a group but when it came to studying he was used to being alone, deep in the woods, surrounded by living treats that wanted to eat him alongside too many monsters. When there was mention of a spell to learn the contents of a book by sleeping on it he perked up. "Please teach me that spell when you get a chance."

Ye Compleat Catalogue of Alchemaria was firmly in his hands and there was a sense that if he could juice the thing through his Formula Alembic and learn all its secrets he would have. Next to him he also had the text on Necromancy and Technomancy. Alchemy naturally gave itself over to more advanced creations.

He would take the eastland book if no one else did, but he was a bit selfish when it came to Knowledge.
Anira
 Fellowship, 91 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Sat 14 Oct 2017
at 12:47
Into the Drift
Anira listened to the others but mostly she wondered about the potential that the books might not stay with them once they stepped out of the room.  "One way to find out," she said lifting a book in her hand and heading to the doorway they had entered, hoping something didn't zap her when she stepped out onto the balcony.



Just seeing if the book will remain with her though know it's possible it might not and also that something might happen.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 476 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 14 Oct 2017
at 19:36
Into the Drift
Anira steps out onto the balcony carrying the book, and is at least mildly surprised that nothing happens. There appears to be no magic in place that would punish such effrontery (or, if there had been, it may have long ago worn off), nor does the book disappear.

In retrospect, of course, it now seems as if the magic of the library was there to protect the books. There might be a loophole in that one can't teleport out of the library... presumably with a book, but stepping out of the room lets you do that. Then again, maybe there was some protection to keep the door closed, and they bypassed that. After all, the apparent main entry into the library was up the stairs.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 194 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 14 Oct 2017
at 19:45
Into the Drift
She took the four books that was mostly on her mind to study
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 83 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Sat 14 Oct 2017
at 20:05
Into the Drift
After observing Anira's actions, Radagast spoke up again.

"Do you want to use the portal, or would you rather we teleport to Forstan?" he asked the others.

"I admit that the portal could be risky... dangerous, but as I tried to advise Tilaleria, these lands have been twisted by the wrath and fury of the Dark Lord Sauron. Teleporting from here on will also be risky. As you can see by the inhabitants of Naethrul, magic has been altered, perverted in ways we can't begin to understand."

"It could teleport us to some unknown locale, divert us into a trap. We could wind up bouncing all the way back to where we started from."

"I would only risk a short-range teleport to somewhere within sight and that at least had the appearance of neutrality. We know nothing about Forstan, so we cannot say what its status is."

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 195 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 14 Oct 2017
at 21:15
Into the Drift
Let us use the portal. Be a shame to come all this way as deprive it of its power for so long.  She smile while looking at the mirror
Grimfast
 Fellowship, 26 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Sat 14 Oct 2017
at 21:39
Into the Drift
"Bah. Portals, teleports... hate 'em all!" Grimfast grouses, but you can probably tell he's half joking.

"It would be a powerful trap, indeed, if it could hold all of us. Then again, anyone using it would likely be rather powerful, too."

"So, what do we do? Spell out Forstan in the symbols?"


He walked over to the mirror and began touching the symbols that he thought spelled 'FORSTAN'.

"Say... you think if we spelled out some other place the portal would take us there?"

He paused for a moment before touching the last symbol as he scrutinized the symbols.

"G-D-O-V-M-T-E-Z..." he spelled out the symbols he could read. "Anybody heard of Geh-dov-meh-tez?"
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 84 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 13:04
Into the Drift
Radagast watched as Grimfast touched the final letter, and there was a sudden shimmer to the mirror. It was still reflective, but it was like there was a constant ripple to it now. If it was open, nothing was visible of the other side through the 'glass'.

"Doesn't seem very practical... not being able to see where you are going, does it?" he said as he approached the mirror.

"Not that teleporting does it any better."

He slowly touched the mirror with his hand, and found a liquid-like substance, yet it didn't flow out of the mirror. He pushed against it, and his hand disappeared into it.

"I would hazard a guess that it is currently a two-way function... given the nature of it. I will go through first. If everything is safe on the other side, I will attempt to put my hand back through and gesture for you all to join me."

"If I am unable to do that... well, you're on your own."


He continued to move into and through the mirror until he was gone from sight.

About 10 seconds later, a hand stuck out of the mirror and waved everyone else to follow.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 477 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 13:43
Into the Drift
As the others followed, you all find yourselves standing on a high platform overlooking an amazing sight--below you is spread a city of crystal spires!

The portal on this side appears almost identical to the one in Naethrul, except that this one is made of crystal.

You look up and see that the tallest crystal spire of all is the holding the platform. It soars another 100 feet into the sky, tapering as it goes, only to be topped by a large gold sphere.

Even the platform you are standing on is made of crystal, as is the railing around the perimeter of the platform.

The crystal is not perfectly clear, but has a rainbow of colorful specks throughout it.

Along the outer side of the central spire, you now spot a flight of crystal stairs that winds its way down and around the spire... into the crystal building that forms the base of the spire.

As you continue to gaze out over the spectacular sight, Lady Isile notices some specks below that separated from the city and begin to fly upward. It only takes a few seconds before they resolve themselves into some sort of crystal and gossamer flying device manned by a single person.

There are a dozen of these flyers, and it isn't until they get to within 100 feet that you realize that the people in these devices appear to have blue skin and blond hair.

Once they reach the platform, they fly around it, observing you and apparently evaluating you. Lady Isile, because she spends so much time in the sky, notices that they can't hover. They don't have to fly very fast, and they can pull up into a stall for a second or two, but they do not appear to be able to hover in place.

Finally, two of them begin circling around the spire, drawing in closer with every circle, until finally they are within the edge of the platform's railing, and they both land gracefully on their legs. The diaphanous wings fold up onto their back somehow.

You can see that they are wearing a crystal harness. One is male, one is female. They have pointed ears like Elves, but are of tall stature.

They stand there and watch you for a minute with eyes wide in wonder before taking a tentative step toward you, arms outstretched, palms facing you.

"Attro am I. Duana is she," the man says. The words are understandable, but the grammar is odd, and he has a significant accent.

"Welcome you are to Forstan."

He clearly doesn't say anything more because he's waiting to see if you understood him.
Anira
 Fellowship, 92 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 16:05
Into the Drift
Anira had followed behind Radagast, heart beating a little faster but slowing as he was obviously okay and they would not be separated from him.  She took several moments to look around and found the city absolutely breathtaking in its beauty but she knew that some of the deadliest things were beautiful so was concerned again when they were observed.

She had remained still and calm with her hands out so they could be seen were not not wielding weapons nor gesturing for any spells, hoping these people would not mistake them for trying to attack.  When the two landed and approached, those hands shifted to palms up and she inclined her head respectfully.

"I am Anira and we thank you for the welcome," she said slowly and clearly.  She looked to Radagast then, deferring to him yet standing slightly to the right and in front of him in case she felt he needed protecting.  Of course he was far superior to her but that's why she felt the need to guard him.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 196 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 16:55
Into the Drift
Taking shape of her familiar flying figure she then flew through the portal mirror to see what wonders Radagast walked into.  Not slowing down her pace when coming through she took to the air to get a better look and grasp of the landscape.

Afterwards she noticed the flying shapes and flew back to where Radagast and the others were just in case trouble was at hand.

Once seeing the shapes of the two that landed so graceful she knew they had to be kins to the Elven race but she never seen these ones before or read about them.  Her mind raced as to wanting to learn more about them and in time if allowed she surely will get that opportunity.

Now that she got herself familiar with the landing they were standing upon if needing to teleport again.

When she got next to the others she allowed her true form to take shape.  Allowing them to notice the long ears and graceful form that she also possessed.

"Greetings to you as well. Lady Isilë am I.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:04, Tue 24 Oct 2017.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 478 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 17:14
Into the Drift
Having flown through the portal and taken to the skies, all the while marveling at the wondrous cityscape below, Lady Isile was quite surprised when she ran into... something. Fortunately, she hadn't been flying straight up or else she would have ran into it directly! As it was, she'd only sort of bumped into it as she had been flying a bit obliquely.

Thinking at first it was some attack by an invisible creature, she quickly turned her attention outward, and that's when she saw... it. 'It' was a nearly transparent dome that covered the entire city! It felt like something solid, but she could not identify what it was made out of. She was pretty sure, though, that it wasn't just force... perhaps something akin to glassteel.

It had been hard to spot from any distance, and since she hadn't been looking upward, she'd completely missed it until she'd bumped into it. As it was, once she was more than 50 feet away from it, it was all but invisible. However, she could tell that it covered the entire city because, from this lofty point of view, she could see that curve of the cultivated strip of land that encircled the city proper.
Grimfast
 Fellowship, 27 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 17:27
Into the Drift
"Grimfast am I," the Beorning spoke up, following Lady Isile's example.

"And this be Radagast the Brown." He couldn't quite fathom what form he needed to use in this altered grammar.

He knew Radagast would never have used the adjective, and it might not matter this far away from rest of the realms, but the Blue Istari had been out this way. It might mean something to these people.

Borun and Saxon could identify themselves.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 480 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 19:11
Into the Drift
"You are the first visitors to Forstan in over a thousand years," Duana replied.

"Where do you come from? Did you come from Naethrul? What news can you tell us of the world?"
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 198 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 19:15
Into the Drift
Taking a step closer to Radagast and whispering something into his ear.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:04, Tue 24 Oct 2017.

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 85 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 19:24
Into the Drift
Radagast's eyes widen slightly in surprise at Lady Isile's words, but he recovers quickly.

"Yes, we come from Naethrul," Radagast explains.

"No one has come this way because we thought the East was lost. The few who dared venture this way have never returned. We now know why... at least, up until Forstan."

"Sauron rises once more."

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 199 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Tue 24 Oct 2017
at 03:07
Into the Drift
She looked at the two when the name Sauron was mentioned.  Wanting to see if they know of the name and any body language happens.

23:07, Today: Lady Isile rolled 41 using 1d20+21 with rolls of 20.  Perception.
Anira
 Fellowship, 93 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Tue 24 Oct 2017
at 15:03
Into the Drift
If they were the first visitors in a thousand years, that meant the others of Radagast's order never made it here.  Or they could be lying.  Anira studied them as Lady Isle whispered to Radagast and he was forthright with the news of Sauron.



10:01, Today: Anira rolled 27 using 1d20+19 with rolls of 8.  Sense Motive on Greeters.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 482 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 24 Oct 2017
at 19:27
Into the Drift
If Anira is referring to the Blue Wizards, they went into the East in 1050, fifty years after they arrived in Middle Earth. The current year is 2955, so there has been 1705 years for the Blue Wizards to have gone about their business.


Attro and Duana seem concerned at Radagast's mention of Sauron.

"Alatar's Great Dome has kept out the Dark Lord for all that time," Attro responded. "Is there any reason to think that it should no longer protect us?"


At this exchange, the others look around but while they cannot see the dome at this range, it now becomes obvious that it extends to the ground, for the arc of its circle is a clear delineation between the cultivated fields of Forstan that surround the city and the Broken Lands that lie beyond it.

In fact, you now notice that there is a darkness to the Broken Lands that may not have been there in Naethrul. Or maybe it's just the contrast between the outside and the inside.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 86 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Thu 26 Oct 2017
at 21:31
Into the Drift
"We do not know yet what power Sauron has managed to gather... that he could come back from the grave," Radagast replies. "Specific reason? No. General reason... yes. That as well as time. Even Alatar's power would not last forever."

"Have you noticed any change in the dome? Has it changed color? Fluctuated in any way?"

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 194 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Sat 28 Oct 2017
at 13:01
Into the Drift
Borun gaped in astonishment at the magnificent architecture. No dwarf had ever constructed anything like this. After regaining his composure, Borun gawked again at the blue-skinned "elves" in their flying vehicles.

Taking his cue from Grimfast, Borun stammered through his own introduction. "I am B-Borun Redbeard. Representative of the Diamond Heart Academy in the Iron Hills."

Borun fell silent while Radagast began negotiations. After preliminary discourse, Borun added, "Actually we seek the location of the entwives, who have been missing for centuries. I don't suppose that you know anything about them?"
Anira
 Fellowship, 94 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Sat 28 Oct 2017
at 16:06
Into the Drift
Anira's lips curved into a small smile when Borun went straight to the heart of their mission.  She rather liked his straightforwardness and while she too was curious about these people and their protective dome, she knew they would have to be moving along quite soon.  She remained quiet for now, respectful of Radagast and the emissaries.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 158 posts
Thu 2 Nov 2017
at 01:24
Into the Drift
Saxon was the last man out because he was doing something very dumb. He had tied a rope to the door and then walked through the portal. He hated portals, too much magic and not enough logic when it was all boiled down. Once he... galumphed through the portal he pulled the rope to ensure the books remained secure and that door closed.

He made the choice based on his love of books and his desire to keep them safe even after everyone left.

His eyes still burned from the closeness to undeath but his stance was far from a thing of authority. He was scrunched around his books and looking around for anything that would assault him for the books.

He gave a weak smile and waved at the long-eared people. "Saxon, I'll save titles until I am up to speed."
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 483 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 7 Nov 2017
at 17:56
Into the Drift
"You speak of the Trees That Walk?" Duana replied.

"No one here was alive then, but we have tales of the Passing of Trees. Since we can not leave the dome, we have no idea where they went or where they are now. They came from the west and moved to the east."

"How did you get through the dome?"
she asks. There is clearly a slight sense of hope in her voice.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 195 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Fri 17 Nov 2017
at 12:16
Into the Drift
"We used some sort of teleportation device from the city of Naethrul," Borun replied. "Alas, the city itself has been cursed. The citizens are reduced to a form of walking death. We hope to help them after we rescue the entwives."
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 87 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Mon 20 Nov 2017
at 00:42
Into the Drift
"We came through the portal," he explains, gesturing to the portal on this side, which looks nearly identical to the one they stepped through.

"Were you not aware that this was a portal that led to the library in Naethrul? Of course, you have to worry about the undead that now inhabit the city."

He was not yet ready to tell these people everything. Not that he distrusted them, but he got the impression that Forstan was like a cork in a bottle, and he did not want to be the one to pull that cork.

He'd have to examine the dome more closely. It had clearly been a way to protect this city from Sauron, but was it even still doing that? Or was it just a prison now?
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 484 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Mon 27 Nov 2017
at 05:07
Into the Drift
"Portal? NO! We were unaware that it is a portal!" Duana replies.

"We thought it was a scrying mirror... one that was either broke or we didn't know how to operate."

"Undead? What can you tell us of them? And can you show us how to operate the portal?"

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 200 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Tue 28 Nov 2017
at 01:51
Into the Drift
It wasn't a surprise that they didn't know what it was for if they did they would of used it by now.  So many years locked under this dome.  There was a slight sadness to her facial expression but was removed when more questions were presented.

Looking over to Grimfast

"It is best that we don't share much about their Fate to you but only that we wish to help them to be free as we will with your people.  To learn how to use the portal we would first need to meet with anyone here that is your leader or your High Council.
Anira
 Fellowship, 95 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Tue 28 Nov 2017
at 14:02
Into the Drift
Anira remained quiet and observant, wondering if they had opened up a whole new can of worms.  Had these people been protected by the dome or kept here to keep others safe from them?  She wished she could speak her thoughts openly but knew it was best to keep suspicions under wraps for now.  In essence, they were trapped here now as well except for the portal and they couldn't very well turn back now until this part was finished.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 88 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Tue 28 Nov 2017
at 22:21
Into the Drift
"I realize that you have been trapped here for several hundred years, but you must realize that, outside the dome, there is nothing there, nowhere to go," Radagast added.

"I don't pretend to know what that's like... there's nowhere to go, but the fact that you aren't allowed to go there chafes against the soul, doesn't it?"

"Have any of your people given any thought to what you would do or where you would go if you could get through the dome?"

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 486 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Fri 1 Dec 2017
at 17:34
Into the Drift
"No such plans have been made, though dreams... wishful thinking... have been considered," Duana replies.

"We expected to go out and search for anyone else that may have survived, but we had no real hope, as no one has visited us in so long that we figured all others were dead. At one time, our Elders worked on figuring out what an expedition would need... food, water, etc."

"The Entwives were the first indication that we had that anything else still lived, although we occasionally see flying creatures in the distance, though we had no way of knowing if these were creatures of Sauron or not."

"As soon as you were spotted, the Elders were informed. We are here to learn who you are, why you are here and whether you are any threat."

"I do not see that, so we can escort you to the Elders, if you wish."

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 197 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Sat 2 Dec 2017
at 14:19
Into the Drift
"Yes, we should like to meet your Elders," Borun agreed. Perhaps the Elders knew more of the entwives. If nothing else, Borun and his companions could give them information about Naethrul that might help them to reconstruct the portal.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 202 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 2 Dec 2017
at 14:43
Into the Drift
She nods her head in agreement with Borun.

I wonder if they get old or have they lived these years out alone in here. she thought as they began to walk.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 487 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 2 Dec 2017
at 15:56
Into the Drift
The group is led around the balcony to a flight of stairs that spiral down around the spire. The stairs are crystal as well, which makes it a strange sensation walking down them... it's almost like walking on air.

There are a couple of landings as you go down, with doors into the spire.

You don't go completely to the bottom, but enter a door one level up. A short hallway leads you into a central chamber that's a good 60 feet high. There are three other entrances into this central chamber, and along one side is a raised platform with five chairs. People are seated in the chairs.

Duana approaches them.

"Elders, these are the visitors. May I present Radagast the Brown, Lady Isile, Anira, Borun Redbeard, Saxon and Grimfast."
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 203 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 2 Dec 2017
at 17:39
Into the Drift
While standing there her eyes focus on the five people sitting in the chairs.  Trying to determine their race or any information possible from that.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 198 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Tue 5 Dec 2017
at 03:45
Into the Drift
Borun bowed respectfully and waited for Master Radagast or the Elders to begin the conversation.
Anira
 Fellowship, 96 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Tue 5 Dec 2017
at 17:13
Into the Drift
Anira bowed as well, respectful in demeanor as she continued to defer to Radagast. She would observe as he spoke with the elders, trying to assess their mood and motivations.



Taking 10 on Sense Motive for a total of 29.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 488 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Wed 6 Dec 2017
at 18:04
Into the Drift



"My emissaries tell me that you have come from outside of Forstan, using a portal to penetrate the dome," one of the Elders addresses the others.

"If this is true, then you are the first visitors we've had in a thousand years."

"Is this portal a way that we can finally leave the dome?"

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 204 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Fri 8 Dec 2017
at 01:06
Into the Drift
She looked at the Elders and only wished she was capable of casting a spell undetectable.  But the spell wasn't something she could do at this moment.  Here eyes looked at them all and wondered why none of them ever tried the determine what the mirror/portal was or its power.

That alone would mean that there are no one here capable of casting Arcane magic or a library to study the mirror.

"A thousand years.

Has your people been able to reproduce or have you all lived the same age for the years?

I'm not sure if the portal is your way out but we can take the time to understand it more while we are here.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 489 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 9 Dec 2017
at 22:17
Into the Drift
"We live normal lives," replied the Elder. "We are born, we grow up, we have children, we grow old, and we die. Fifteen generations have passed since Azurak the Blue created the dome to protect us from Sauron."

"He left then, to assist others. At least, that is the legend that has been recorded. We did not know how long the dome would last, or how long it would be needed. Sauron, in his anger at not being able to attack us or corrupts us, destroyed the land. For years, we had no reason to leave the dome. But it has been hard to convince each new generation that the city is the whole of their world."

"It worries me that anyone we send out now to scout the region might never return, but we would not know if that is because they did not want to come back to living in the dome again or if they had perished."

"What can you tell us of the surrounding land? Does anything live there?"

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 89 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Tue 12 Dec 2017
at 22:10
Into the Drift
"Back beyond Naethrul, there is a scarp with strange flying beasts living in the caves," Radagast replies. "And farther to the west there is Endor. Although Mordor lies in that area, too, there is also the Shire, Gondor, Rhovanion, Arnor, Lindon, Rohan, Rhun and Eriador. It is several days travel to get there."

"As for the surrounding lands, we have not been here long enough to encounter anything living yet, but we have not seen any creatures or people."

"As I said, however, Sauron is on the rise again."

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 205 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Mon 18 Dec 2017
at 23:25
Into the Drift
Looking at Radagast then to the Elders "As Radagast stated we have no idea what the outside of your dome looks like for we didn't travel by land.  If we are able to get out then we could assist in helping you.  But that too is a mystery to us as well. she wanted to see if anyone Elders gave Radagast the Brown the respect one would of someone of his station.

"Yes he has and we can only hope to repair any damages he has done.

Would you happen to have a library that we might be allowed to learn from?
she asked the Elders.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 90 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Tue 26 Dec 2017
at 23:37
Into the Drift
"To be more specific, we do not know how much distance there is between Naethrul and Forstan," Radagast adds, "and since we did to travel across that distance, we have no idea what lies there."

"As we were able to see from up on the spire, the lands immediately around Forstan have been ravaged and shattered just like they were around Naethrul. It appears to extend for hundreds of miles, but we do not know just how far it goes. We were hoping you might have some knowledge of that."

"But, first things first. We need to go and inspect the dome up close. Could you lead us to it?"

Anira
 Fellowship, 98 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Wed 27 Dec 2017
at 15:33
Into the Drift
Anira was definitely curious about the dome as well, mostly how it had lasted so long.  Like Lady Isle, she also wished to seek information in the library.  "Perhaps there are maps in the library that could give us an idea about what the area used to be like, help us make a connection from then to now," she suggested.


OOC:  Anything on the 29 on sense motive I made earlier?
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 491 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Wed 27 Dec 2017
at 17:46
Into the Drift
"I see..." replied the Elder. "We were hoping for more information. What you have said is little more than what we already knew. It certainly explains why we have been isolated for so long, but that does not make the burden any easier."

"We could not believe that the whole world had been destroyed, yet had no evidence to the contrary."

"We will show you to the Dome. And then to our library. I am Veralynn,"
the female Elder finishes.

All the Elders then rise from their seats and lead the procession out of the chamber, down a curving flight of stairs, and across and through the streets of the city to the edge. Most of them stop about 20 feet away from the Dome, but Veralynn walks up to it and cautiously reaches out a hand to touch it. It is completely transparent, so you can't really tell that it is there except for the demarcation on the ground where grass grows right up to the Dome, but becomes tumultuous rock-strewn ground after that.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 91 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Mon 1 Jan 2018
at 21:01
Into the Drift
Radagast just stares at the Dome for awhile even though there's nothing to see. He's trying to sense the power behind it, the magic that powers it, and any other non-visible properties.

He pays attention to the arc the Dome creates at the ground, does some mental calculations, and then says:

"Roughly a two-mile diameter. Definitely a Wall of Force, but cast at a very high level. I did not know Azurak had that ability. Hmmm. Perhaps the two of them were able to combine their powers."

He then turns to Veralynn.

"It is beyond my ability to take it down," but holds up a cautionary hand at Veralynn's frown as he continues. "I'm pretty sure I can poke a hole in it, but that would be all. You would then have the problem of not being able to seal it back up."

"However, if you have a group of spell-casters, it is possible that they could combine their power to reclose it, and even reopen it when you want. I can instruct them how to do that, perhaps even teach them."

"We are on a quest, though, and cannot tarry for too long."

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 207 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Tue 2 Jan 2018
at 01:13
Into the Drift
She listened with great intent, hoping to also discover a spell in the process of watching this take place.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 494 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Fri 5 Jan 2018
at 22:57
In Forstan
Veralynn looks slightly disappointed at first, but then brightens at the thought that the solution might be within their own hands.

"Yes, we have spellcasters, though not many," she replies. "There has been little to use magic on in our tiny little world. How many would be needed?"
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 201 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Mon 8 Jan 2018
at 10:54
In Forstan
Borun coughed politely. "I have studied basic spellcasting at Diamond Heart Academy," he said. "Our source of magic is not from books, but from force of will, so I am unsure if I can teach this technique to those without some talent," he admitted.

"Nevertheless, I can cast the spell Dispel Magic, which would be the basis for creating a hole in the dome. Also, I know the spell Mage Armour. While this is a limited protection for the just caster, I believe that it conjures the same force that is used in the more powerful defensive spell Wall of Force." Borun paused awkwardly. "Anyway, if I can help at all, I shall."

This message was last edited by the player at 10:56, Mon 08 Jan 2018.

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 92 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Mon 8 Jan 2018
at 15:30
In Forstan
"At least three would be necessary, but five would be better," Radagast replies. "Seven and thirteen are also good numbers, but the more that there are, the longer it usually takes to train them to all work together."

"Unless there is a particular place you'd like to try and create this portal through the wall, then we should meet back here in one hour. I and my companions will need to prepare a few things."


He turns to Borun then.

"Yes, those two spells may be useful as a basis for what I'm attempting, but I think Dispel Magic might be wrong way to go... or not. It requires some consideration. I don't think that the Forstani will be able to muster the magical strength to actually take down the dome, but I cannot rule that out. At this point, I'm not sure that would be a good thing anyway."

"Apparently, Azurak created the dome because he wasn't able to stay here and protect the city himself. I cannot do that, either, so taking down the dome would leave them unprotected."

"In any case, Borun, what I need to teach the Forstani mages is a technique called 'Shape Spell'. If they can master that, they the Dispel Magic can be focused in a small enough area to merely open a portal just large enough to allow a person to step through. And it isn't permanent."


He looked to Anira and Lady Isile then.

"Is this a technique that you know?" he asks them. "Have either of you ever worked together with other mages to cast a spell? It's often called a coven, though that usually is reserved for Witches. It is also known as a Circle, or Spell Circle, or Casting Circle."
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 208 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Mon 8 Jan 2018
at 22:00
In Forstan
Lady Isile shook her head "I'm not familiar with the way your speaking of.  Being a Sorceress and my magic comes from my blood.  But studying a spell with a Wizard may be interesting but still might not be very helpful to me.  But I can aid in the Circle if possible.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 495 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Mon 15 Jan 2018
at 18:46
In Forstan
The circle requires spell-casters, but it's not specific to either arcane casters or divine casters--it just takes more effort and more training when it's mixed.

The preparation was Radagast gathering up a dozen rings... it didn't seem to matter if they were gold, silver, copper, ceramic, wood, gems or threads.

Once he had the dozen rings, he had Saxon do an alchemical procedure to make sure they were all true... free from defects and flaws so they'd withstand the magical process the circle would invoke.

Ten of them survived.

Once back at the Dome, you all meet up with the Forstani. Radagast has the five selected spell-casters form a small circle sitting on the ground.

He spends about ten minutes instructing them on how to visualize the magic that they wielded. From there, they had to visualize the others magic. It was only after they did that that they could now 'blend' the magic together. He then had each of them put on two rings--one on each hand.

Once all five magical auras were blended, they could now move the 'circle' over to the Dome and press it against the Dome, whose magical aura was now visible.

Then they had to push through. It was hard, and Radagast kept urging them to push harder. After a dozen minutes, there was now a hole in the Dome! Fresh air could be felt flowing through the hole.

Anira and Lady Isile can also join in the circle if they wish.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:47, Mon 15 Jan 2018.

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 93 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Mon 15 Jan 2018
at 18:54
In Forstan
"Anyone who wishes to go through the hole should take one of the rings, but only one from each of the spell-casters," Radagast announces then.

"It is the ring that will allow them to enter back through the Dome."

"I'm afraid that we must leave now. Hopefully we will return. But we do not need a ring, for we will not be coming back through the Dome at this time."

"If you are all ready, it is time for us to leave."


He steps over to the hole, but hesitates before stepping through to make sure everyone is ready.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 209 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Tue 16 Jan 2018
at 00:16
In Forstan
Lady Isile didn't refuse a chance to weild her magic and help shape a hole in a Dome of such power.  Allowing the people that has been trapped here some freedom.

After aiding in creating the circle she only stared at it for a few more moments before hearing Radagast speak of leaving.  Then she moved over to his side and was ready to leave.  But she also learned something very important this day.  Something she would learn how to create at a later time.

"Yes the Entwives are still out there needing our aid.

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 202 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Tue 16 Jan 2018
at 14:46
In Forstan
Borun watched with rapt attention as the senior spellcasters manipulated magical energy.

As Radagast prepared to walk out through the hole, Borun turned to say his farewell to the blue "elves". "I hope that we can remain in friendly contact in the future. If you should ever have need, travel to the Iron Hills and call upon my colleagues at the Diamond Heart Academy. I have no doubt that we shall meet again. I don't know where or when, but
I know we'll meet again.
"

Borun bowed deeply and followed Radagast.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 496 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Fri 19 Jan 2018
at 02:20
In Forstan
With everyone of the fellowship outside the Dome now, one brave Forstani volunteers to step through as well. He has a ring.

Then the hole closes.

As the fellowship begins to walk away, the hole appears in the Dome again. Even though the Dome is completely transparent, when the hole is made, it starts out as a pinprick-size hole that expands as far as the wizards wish it to be. As it enlarges, it's like the force is being compressed backwards, which distorts the light a bit with the compression. The more compression, the greater the distortion, until the edge is a translucent white.

The volunteer steps back through, clearly relieved, while those within are just as clearly excited at the success.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 94 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Fri 19 Jan 2018
at 02:28
In Forstan
Radagast walks in the crevasses among the tumbled boulders and rocks of the surrounding fractured land but only for a short distance.

"We can climb over these rocks, but the going will be rough and slow," he tells the others. "While loathe to suggest it, I think we might try to teleport for short distances... no farther than we can see, though."

"Lady Isile, might we prevail upon you once more to take to the skies and scout the terrain ahead? We merely need a flat piece of terrain... even a mostly flat boulder will suffice... with which Anira can set up her shelter."

"Again, beware of both flying threats and anything that might be able to attack you from the ground. We probably will not be able to help you if such an attack occurs."

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 210 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Fri 19 Jan 2018
at 02:45
In Forstan
Lady Isile walked through the dome and on the other side she was shocked at the landscape and wondered how would anything survive out there but she knew that the Entwives were out there somewhere and they were the main purpose for the group to save.

Nodding her head to Radagast she smiled as her body shimmered and took the shape of a eagle.  Taking flight in the air she needed to see if there was a spot that the party could teleport to safely but she also had to keep a watchful eye for anything flying in the sky toward her as well.  That was the blessing of her own innate powers to detect magic as she scanned the area and skies.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 203 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Mon 22 Jan 2018
at 12:08
In Forstan
While Lady Isile scanned the terrain, Borun kept his own vigil at ground level. His gaze surveyed the horizon all around, occasionally checking the land closer to the group.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 497 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Mon 22 Jan 2018
at 17:46
In Forstan
While Lady Isile scouts ahead from the sky, someone from Forstan comes running out of the city through the hole before it closes.

"Veralynn sends her apologies," the woman says. "Veralynn was so caught up in the moment that she forgot her manners. Though, your departure was rather abrupt."

She holds out her hand and presents three walnut-sized crystals.

"As you may have noticed, we Forstani have had to focus our... interests internally, since the Dome went up. We've developed a skill with crystals."

"These three crystals are bridging crystals. You can use them to cross the rifts. To be honest, we don't know that the rifts exist, but we were told that by the Orcs of Belegost many years ago."

"They are one of the surviving cities in the Broken Lands. At least, they were. They tried to attack us several times after the Dome had been raised. Of course, they couldn't get through the Dome. Eventually, we came to an understanding with them. They respected our strength because the Dome was stronger than anything they could do."

"They haven't been back in a long time, but they told us they were the masters of the Broken Lands, that Belegost was in the center of them, and if we ever needed safe passage through the Broken Lands, we should ask them."

"I know. It's rather farfetched, isn't it? And it's been so long that we haven't really thought about it much. But, Veralynn thinks that they might be able to help you, if you can make peaceful contact with them."

"This ring may help."


She slides a ring off her hand, and hands it to Radagast.

She turns then and runs back through the hole in the Dome, as if she's afraid of what might be out here, or afraid of being stranded outside.
Grimfast
 Fellowship, 28 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Thu 25 Jan 2018
at 03:01
In Forstan
"That was... unexpected," Grimfast commented. His abilities hadn't been needed much on this part of the quest. Mind and magic were the tools required so far, and those were not his strengths.

But, Orcs! Now that was more like it!

"Wait. That doesn't sound like any Orcs I've ever heard of. Can we really make friends with them?"

This message was last edited by the player at 19:13, Fri 26 Jan 2018.

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 95 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Fri 26 Jan 2018
at 19:10
In Forstan
"Well, now... that was... interesting," Radagast commented to the others as the Forstan woman retreated back through the Dome.

Lady Isile was already aloft, so he couldn't ask her to keep an eye out for these rifts. They must be pretty large... or perhaps deep... too deep to climb down and then up the other side.

"As I said," he told the others, "I think from here on magic will be problematical. The bigger the magic, the more difficult it will be to control. I can feel it. It's in the landscape. The same dark magic that was used to shatter this land still lingers. That's what we'll have to overcome to do magic."

"At least we know this fractured terrain doesn't go on forever."

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 498 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Fri 26 Jan 2018
at 20:15
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Once up in the sky, Lady Isile's view is considerably broader, but she has to go pretty high to see anything more than the broken rocks.

She can barely see Naethrul back to the west, nothing else to the south, but some distant hills to the north. To the east, the direction they needed to go, there are some different features. She can see a trio of dark lines running across the landscape north to south, and beyond them, a pinnacle of rock that that kind of looks like a crude fortress.

She can't quite see the end of the broken lands, but presumably they stop at the two ranges of mountains that she can see.

Remembering what she was supposed to be looking for, she spots large flat stone to the west, but a bit north of a direct route. It appears to be close to the first dark line.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 212 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Thu 1 Feb 2018
at 21:06
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Diving down toward the party she swoops past them then turns around in a slower speed as her form chances when she is by the party.

"It is a beautiful sight from above.  But we must be careful I seen a trio of dark lines running across the landscape north to south, and beyond them, a pinnacle of rock that that kind of looks like a crude fortress.


To the west I could see large flat stone.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 499 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Wed 7 Feb 2018
at 17:44
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Now that Lady Isile has surveyed the surrounding landscape and rejoined the others, it's up to Anira to teleport everyone. With a decent description of the landing site, and the direction, Anira has no problem teleporting the group there. Only this time, it's different.

Until now, she's never felt any sensation during the instantaneous teleport. One moment she's here, the next moment she's there. This time, it seems to start out normally, but she has a distinct impression of not only moving/motion, but it's as if she was moving against a current that got stronger as the destination drew nearer.

She can't really say that it took longer, only that something was affecting the transition.

She wasn't the only one that felt it, either. Everyone else had the same feeling.

Other than that, though, the transition was without problem, although the landing was slightly high... maybe one inch.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 96 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Wed 7 Feb 2018
at 18:02
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
"Did everyone else feel that?" Radagast asked upon landing.

"That was the external magic interfering with the teleportation. It couldn't quite stop it, but that may change the closer we get to the center of these Broken Lands, which is presumably the Orc abode."

"That may also explain the Orcs. As creatures of dark magic to begin with, if that much power has been twisting them for all this time, it could very well have twisted them into something not quite so dark. I wouldn't go so far as to claim it turned them into something good. That may be impossible. Kind of like turning the skin of an apple into a suit of armor. Not that it can't be done, but the final product is so far removed from the original as to not really be the same thing at all any more."

"This distance wasn't very far, really. Sauron was tampering with things he didn't fully understand. It didn't matter to him as long as the end result was what he wanted. The fallout from it was insignificant as he didn't think there was anything in the universe that he couldn't master... except his own hubris."

"The Blue Wizards may have crossed the line a bit, too... in an effort to fight fire with fire, as it were. We can't yet say whether they were justified. We've seen two results, neither one of which was totally bad."


He glanced around at the flat rock they were now standing on. It was certainly large enough, which had made it easy to spot from the air. But, it wasn't really totally flat, though close enough for their needs. Nor was it completely level. It had a slight tilt to it; again, close enough for their needs. It looked like a huge slab of stone had risen up out of the ground and then fallen over and shattered. The largest central section had remained intact.

"I suggest we set your mansion, Anira, then rest and regroup for the night... think about what we will do tomorrow. We can study those books we got from Naethrul."
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 204 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Wed 7 Feb 2018
at 18:04
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
In reply to Azurak the Blue (msg # 506):

Borun almost stumbled after the teleportation. He frowned and raised an inquiring eyebrow towards Lady Isile. "Something... not quite right?"
Anira
 Fellowship, 102 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Thu 8 Feb 2018
at 06:33
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
They made it to the right spot but Anira was pale and her brow furrowed as she shook her head.  "That was ... unpleasant," she stated mildly.  When Radagast suggested it could be even harder the closer they came to the center, she frowned even more.  The suggestion that the orcs could be twisted wasn't a pleasant one but she stifled her thoughts on the matter, knowing they would cross that bridge once they reached said bridge.  It didn't take her long to cast the spell giving them a safe place to sleep, or at least rest.  Though she had known things would not be pleasant, the longer they searched the more she wondered if they would ever make it back home.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 213 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 10 Feb 2018
at 01:54
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Looking at Borun "I agree that there is something amiss here, but it will take time to understand it or to even grasp what it really is.  And time is something we don't have much of.

It is ashame that there is so much knowledge here that we can't take the time to peruse


She moves to place her hands upon the stone and cast a spell.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/...s/w/whispering-lore/
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 205 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Sun 11 Feb 2018
at 16:21
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Borun listened patiently to Radagast's detailed explanation. He continued frowning,but remained silent while setting up inside Anira's magical shelter.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 500 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Mon 12 Feb 2018
at 14:49
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
For the first time EVER... Lady Isile gets a null result from her spell. Thinking at first that she might have miscast the spell somehow or that something disrupted it, she soon realizes that she did get a result--it was just an 'empty' result. It requires something living to sense the surroundings and do the whispering.

There is nothing alive here--no people, no animals, no insects, no plants... not even fungi, mosses or lichens. It's not quite sterile but the unseen world is... suppressed. It takes a full ten minutes before her senses begin to register... something.

It takes awhile before she further realizes that it is the wind. As harsh and unforgiving as the land may be, it does not extend into the skies. The wind still blows across the land, though no birds bother coming this way any more, as there is nothing for them to feed on, not even water to drink.

The wind tells her this is a land of death; only dead things can be found here.

The land to the east is hurt. Those lines are rifts, great scars torn into the earth by some malevolent force, ripped asunder by gigantic claws, though she can't even fathom a creature so large it could do such a thing. It would dwarf even a dragon.

The wind also carries a faint glimmer of hope in the nebulous trace of green things and life far to the east. More than that seems to be sapped out of the very air by the land beneath.

In a whirlpool of blackness, there is a speck of gray at the center. Lady Isile realizes this must be the Orc stronghold, a lesser blackness in a vast expanse of deeper blackness.

While the spell leaves her with a vast sense of emptiness that soon passes, she also realizes that had the devastation not happened so long ago, it would have been far worse for her.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:50, Mon 12 Feb 2018.

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 214 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sun 25 Feb 2018
at 21:40
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Lady Isile had tears running down her face at the end of the spell, it only showed her horror that happened to the land and wondered if it could be ever healed.  Most scars leave a mark but in time heal, could that happen here she wondered but by the stench of death in the air she didn't think so.

"This place is not a place I would ever wish to live in.  I can feel a slight glimmer of home in the East but the rest of the land is dead.  Plain dead.

What kind of creature can leave scars like that in the land? she asked Radagast.

She would share what information she collected to everyone.

Anira
 Fellowship, 103 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Mon 26 Feb 2018
at 15:27
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
The utter lack of life other than themselves was oppressive to Anira as well and she reached out to touch Lady Isile's shoulder, trying to comfort her though there was no true comfort in a place like this.  "Well we know the Entwives won't be here so the quicker we get through here, the better.  I say once we get a good rest, we teleport ourselves as much as possible to get through here."

She hesitated, looking to Radagast.  She had never questioned him before but she couldn't suppress the shudder that went through her.  "Are you sure we should try to make contact with the orcs?  Maybe would could try to circumvent them ... get through the area and hopefully to a more living environment?"  She was more than ready to go inside their little save haven, to pour through the books they had borrowed.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 97 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Mon 26 Feb 2018
at 20:03
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
"No, I'm not sure of anything," Radagast answers, "except that I'm not sure. Of that, I am sure!"

He's trying to lighten the mood.

"This is all new to me, too. I've felt the oppressiveness of this area since we entered it. You may have a point about the Ent-wives not being here. Are you positive that they can't be down at the bottom of those giant claw marks?"

"And, no, I cannot think of any creature so large it could make them. I've seen some Orc mining operations that made similar crevasses in the ground."

"As for seeing the Orcs... as I understand it, they represent the center of this shattered land. Getting there via teleport will be harder the closer we get, but once we get there, teleport after that should start getting easier."

"Just cautioning you, though, that once out of the broken lands, we don't know what we'll find. It could be worse."

"Anyway, at the moment, we can get near the center, and then see what happens with the Orcs then."

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 215 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Mon 5 Mar 2018
at 03:11
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
She had nothing to add but didn't quite like the idea of getting close to an Orc. even if it is said to be neutral.  One can never tell how the mood of an Orc can sway so quickly when it see an Noble Elf.  Let alone if they were to discover more about her they might even fear her or want her dead.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 501 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Mon 5 Mar 2018
at 04:42
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
As the remaining group settles in for the night, resting as necessary, each of you has one or more books to read and study.

Lady Isile has Forgotten Mysticism by Theron Skayne, Mighty Invocations by Jurok Valimar, Ye Secrets of Wizardry by Elandris, Practical Thaumaturgy by Zanthar the High, and Mysteries of the East: Shining Spires of Sharandor by Azurak. She looks through the first four books, finding that they have information that will be useful to her, but that they will require studying. The last book, however, holds her interest. It tells the story of a city in the Searing Desert built and occupied by a race of red-skinned humans that call themselves the Thari. The city is described as made of glass spires that shimmer in the sunlight and glow at night. The Thari are known for making crystal balls and mastering arcane divination magic.


Grimfast had chosen three books from the same group: Mysteries of the East: Belegost, Mysteries of the East: Beyond the Veil and Mysteries of the East: The Great Wood, all by Azurak. Belegost is the city of Orcs. The author claims that these Orcs--orak-shan--have souls. They have honor, they've mastered a method of stone-shaping, and they consider themselves Masters of the Broken Lands. Stone-shaping, magic, drinking, and target shooting are favored pastimes. Not of the same quality as Dwarven stone-crafting, it is still rather impressive.

The Veil is a hundred mile long rainbow-colored waterfall that lies on the far side of the Searing Desert. It is supposedly the home of water sprites.

The Great Wood is just that--a great wood. It has trees that are a thousand feet high! According to the book, it lies at the Edge of the World. Entire cities live in the trees. The trees provide everything for the inhabitants, including food and drink.


Borun had three books: Mysteries of the East: Durandor by Azurak, The Magic of Trees by Miranda Portwood, and Perfect Self: Two Hundred Years of Meditation by Rinudia Maethel. The first one tells of a race of red-haired Dwarves that live in the fortress-city of Durandor which lies at the edge of the Broken Lands and the Searing Desert. They have a sort of stand-off with the Orcs of Belegost. They know the Orcs are there, but dare not enter the Broken Lands where there are deadly beasts and where the Orcs would have home territory.

The second book has lots of information about trees, with one important 'secret'--trees absorb magical energies from their surroundings, which is why many useful materials can be had from trees if you know how to harvest them and then how to treat them.

The third book deals primarily with meditation techniques, with emphasis on how to meditate even while one is in the midst of combat. It also 'teaches' the art of meditation before battle to achieve greater effort in battle.


Saxon has Ye Compleat Catalogue of Alchemaria by Trismegistus, The Other Side of Necromancy by Solon Darga and The Art of Technomancy by Sidra the Storm. The second book deals with a positive side of necromancy, rather than dark necromancy that most people understand. The third book covers the 'art' of technomancy that it calls 'science'. It deals with meshing and merging mechanical devices with magic, including what the advantages of that is.

The first book, however, is what absorbs Saxon's interest the most. It's not really a primer on alchemy so much as it's a huge workbook on how to make an extensive array of alchemical items--everything from potions and oils, adhesives and solvents, salves and elixirs, rings and amulets, cloaks and hats, salts and sands, automatons and clockworks, and dozens of other things. It starts out with talking about alchemist's fire (something everyone is probably familiar with) and covers several variations: alchemist's frost, alchemist's spark, alchemist's shriek, and alchemist's burst.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 206 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Mon 5 Mar 2018
at 23:48
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Borun started with Mysteries of the East: Durandor. He was astounded to discover that there may be dwarves still living in the far east. If Borun had any chance of contacting them, he would certainly pursue the opportunity. What lore we could share!

Next, he began reading Rinudia's Maethel's text. She had described a few katas in the book, and Borun tried practising a routine after studying its details. Unfortunately, some of the poses were difficult to achieve with Borun's short limbs. More study would be required. Borun frowned and moved on to the third book.

Miranda Portwood's book on trees was somewhat dry and tedious. Nevertheless, the details on harvesting magical materials might prove useful - at least to someone else. Borun pointed out this section to the more nature- and alchemical-inclined travellers in the group.

After a few more minutes of reading, Borun grew tired and settled down for a night's rest.
Grimfast
 Fellowship, 29 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Tue 13 Mar 2018
at 20:51
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
In the morning, when everyone is getting prepared for the day's journey, Grimfast shares what knowledge he gleaned from the books with the others.

"As I understand what the book said, if we can parlay with the Orcs of Belegost--these orak shan--they will escort us safely across the other half of these Broken Lands to the border where Durandor lies."

"So, do we want to risk teleporting right away, or hold that ability until we actually need it?"

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 98 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Sun 25 Mar 2018
at 03:50
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
"It is up to our sorceress and witch whether they want to risk teleporting across these broken lands," Radagast responded to Grimfast's question.

"The alternates are walk or fly. If the Orcs can see us safely through the other half of the Broken Lands, that would seem to imply that there are dangerous... things here in this region. Flying may be safer, though, since Orcs can't fly."

"one way or the other, we should get going."

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 216 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sun 25 Mar 2018
at 13:02
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
The time she took in reading the books/tomes were very peaceful and quiet but her mind was able to grasp a few things from them without reading the entire book/tomes.

Taking a moment to grasp the knowledge that she just injected she looks to the others that was also taking the time to read the books they borrowed.  Hearing the shared knowledge from Borun and Grimfast she too took the liberty to share with the group the information that she was able to learn.

"I would like to not risk the lives of others with the knowledge of knowing that teleporting may be dangerous and not knowing the land and how magic works it would kill us.  she paused "I agree that walking or flying would be our best transportation.

She gather her belongs and was ready to move out when the group started.
Anira
 Fellowship, 104 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Mon 26 Mar 2018
at 00:40
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Anira nodded agreement with Lady Isile.  "I can only fly for a short distance and teleporting I feel is too risky, so my suggestion would be to walk.  Besides, there were always those flying creatures at the other tower so who's to say there aren't flying dangers here as well."
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 207 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Thu 29 Mar 2018
at 12:28
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
"While I can cast several Fly spells per day for all of us, each spell only lasts for a few minutes." Borun nodded to Anira and Lady Isile. "I suppose we are walking."

This message was last edited by the player at 12:28, Thu 29 Mar 2018.

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 159 posts
Thu 29 Mar 2018
at 15:51
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
"Many secrets revealed in the book," Saxon announced both solemnly and excitedly. "A veil has been lifted from my eyes! Curiously, it never explained why there are limitations, but it did explain how to work around them."

"I have been studying the book fastidiously throughout the night, with our current dilemma in mind. I would take a week or several to master everything within that enlightening tome, such as teleporting, though I doubt any potion or elixir could surpass the darkness upon these distant lands."

"No, I considered flight as the most logical approach. I can now easily make potions of
Overland Flight for everyone. These will last all day. We may not be able to fly like the wind, but we can cover as much ground as if we were walking, which, over this broken terrain, would not get us very far."

"An alternative might be potions of
Gaseous Form, but while that would mostly keeps us safe from attack, we would also be subject to whatever winds scour this forsaken land."

"Is that acceptable to everyone?"

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 217 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Thu 29 Mar 2018
at 22:40
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Shaking her head "Let those that can walk start while those that can fly ahead to keep lookout do that. she smiled.

"I will keep communication opened with Radagast.

Then she took the shape of a flying bird of prey and started to fly off not too high but high enough to look over the land ahead and to see if anything comes flying down from the skies above her.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 160 posts
Sun 1 Apr 2018
at 17:30
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Saxon quickly brews up five potions in his wagon, and then hands four of them out to Radagast, Anira, Borun and Grimfast, while downing the other one himself.

With his wagon still secure in Anira's shelter, he exits and starts to fly after Lady Isile.

"Not used to flying," he calls back to the others. "Any of you know how to do this?".

He looks a bit wobbly as he flies off in the direction Lady Isile went.
Anira
 Fellowship, 105 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Mon 2 Apr 2018
at 15:27
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Anira held her potion and watched as Saxon tried to fly after Lady Isile, wincing a little as he bobbled a little.  She couldn't normally fly for long periods of time but she'd learned to control herself pretty well.  "Don't struggle so much.  Think of it like swimming and try to go with the current if you can to make it easier," she offered.  Lady Isile had suggested they walk while some of them flew ahead so she looked to Radagast.  "Walk or fly?" she asked of him and the rest.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 99 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Mon 2 Apr 2018
at 22:27
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
"We wouldn't be walking so much as climbing over all these jumbled rocks," Radagast offered. "Not that we couldn't do it, but it would tire us out a lot more and would take three to four times longer."

"I understand the inherit dangers of flying, even in numbers. Any aerial predator is not going to be intimidated by a flock... he's just going to think it's his lucky day!"

"Until Saxon told us about the potions, flying wasn't an option. That's a pretty impressive tome, Saxon. Maybe you can see if there's something in there that will help us return the Ent-wives back to Fangorn."

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 208 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Thu 5 Apr 2018
at 19:55
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Borun waited for Saxon to consume his potion before drinking his own. Borun wanted to confirm the effect first. Not that he was suspicious; rather he wanted to exclude any potential... mishap.

Borun himself had often cast the spell for various purposes. Once airborne, he did his best to inform the less agile travellers of the best flight technique. "Try holding your arms by your sides. No need to flap them around." Borun sighed. "You don't need to "run" through the air either. You will only tire your legs. Try to think about moving forwards."
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 503 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 15 Apr 2018
at 18:22
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
As Lady Isile flies along, scanning sky and ground, she experiences a slight problem with her vision--she seems to have trouble focusing ahead of her. It only takes a few seconds for her to realize that it isn't her eyes that are the problem, but that there's something in the air ahead of her. It started as a sort of heat shimmer that turned grayish, and now continues to darken. It's moving with her, and when she tries to fly around it, it moves to stay in front of her.



Meanwhile, those flying below find themselves in their own predicament.

Writhing black tentacles suddenly shoot up from crevasses in the rocks below! One manages to snag Anira while another grabs Radagast. Three more miss the others.

14:02, Today: Azurak the Blue rolled 30,14,14,27,20 using 1d20+10,1d20+10,1d20+10,1d20+10,1d20+10 ((20,4,4,17,10)).

The tentacles begin to coil around you and start to constrict.
Anira
 Fellowship, 106 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Mon 16 Apr 2018
at 13:08
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Anira was also impressed that Saxon could make an elixir that would help them fly for long periods of time and downed hers right after Saxon and Radagast.  "Good advice, wore myself out the first few times trying to swim in the air," she said to Borun.  Things seemed to be going well for a bit and then trouble found them, as usual, and Anira found herself not liking being snagged out of the air so tried to twist out of the tentactle before it started trying to crush her.



08:04, Today: Anira rolled 20 using 1d20+7 with rolls of 13.  Escape Artist.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 220 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Mon 16 Apr 2018
at 17:14
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
While flying in the air and the off grayish form keeps in front of her, it only allows her time to shift her sight and allow True Seeing to come into focus so that she could get a better look at what is trying to elude itself from her.  Then she will be better prepare to know what spells to blast it with.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 504 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 17 Apr 2018
at 21:00
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Partly because she's encountered one before, Lady Isile's True Seeing lets her realize that the 'thing' in front of her is a Living Spell, though she can't yet tell what spell it is. It's probably attracted to her magic.


The tentacle wasn't able to deal any damage to Anira the first round because it had to use a double move to reach her. As it starts to constrict this round, however, Anira is able to slip out of the tentacle's grapple.


16:58, Today: Radagast the Brown rolled 15 using 1d20+7 ((8)).

Radagast, however, isn't able to escape from the tentacle around him.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 100 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Wed 23 May 2018
at 16:44
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
He was as surprised as anyone to be caught be the writhing black tentacle, especially since it had sprung up from the ground! He knew of the spell, but was not familiar with its particulars. It was certainly borderline dark, even though it smacked more of a sea creature.

Even as he struggled against the entwining tentacle, he could feel it trying to feed on his magic... his essence, really. It could clearly sense the magic even as he could sense its nature.

"A little help here would be nice!" he called out to the others.

This message was lightly edited by the player at 05:41, Sat 02 June 2018.

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 222 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Fri 1 Jun 2018
at 19:31
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
15:30, Today: Lady Isile rolled 25 using 1d20+20 with rolls of 5.  Knowledge Arcane on Living Spell.

Keeping her distance while her mind races for the right way to battle such a foe.  What is its weakness and how to destroy one.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 507 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 2 Jun 2018
at 21:40
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
25 was what you needed to know anything about Living Spells, other than what you've already experienced.

Living Spells are a fairly new phenomena in Middle Earth. They are caused by powerful spell casting that somehow goes awry. The result is the spell taking on physical form and a life of its own. Although not strictly an ooze, the Living Spell seems to function like one.

In theory, it can be damaged much like an ooze can, but a Living Spell has damage resistance as well as spell resistance.

Possible ways to destroy a Living Spell are:

Attacking it with weapons

Attacking it was spells--the problem with that is that if you don't overcome its spell resistance, you could actually wind up feeding the Living Spell with your spell energy.

Anti-magic Field--again, overcoming its Spell Resistance. If you do that, it can't exist within the field.

Dispel Magic--overcome its spell resistance and it will be destroyed.

Mage's Disjunction--usually the best bet, as spell reistance doesn't work against it.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 161 posts
Sat 7 Jul 2018
at 20:17
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
At the strange attack from a lifeless land, Saxon was a bit annoyed that he didn't have access to his wagon at the moment, but it was stored within Anira's magical mansion.

Mentally, he ran through his options of what he had on him. His repertoire was pretty versatile, but it couldn't cover every contingency. Could it cover this one?

It depended on what he knew about living spells. He knew black tentacles were virtually indestructible, so that meant some sort of dispelling was called for.

The real trick was going to be getting close enough to deliver his potion without getting caught himself. Or... he could just let them grab him, and then he'd be close enough!

He flew over to where the tentacles were strangling Radagast. The Istari did not seem to be fairing very well against the living spell, although he was holding his own at the moment. There were enough tentacles to grab all of them, but only Radagast had fallen prey to them.

A tentacle lashed out a Saxon... it took all of his willpower to let it grab him. He kept his arms raised, though, potion in hand, and as the tentacle started to squeeze, he smashed his potion of Dispel Magic against it.

The tentacle just dissolved, as it was made of solidified magic. Even as he was released, the dispel continued on down the length of the tentacle, all the way to the ground, and then started climbing back up the rest of them. Within a minute, it was all gone.


Now he turned his attention the living spell that was confronting Lady Isile.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 224 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Wed 18 Jul 2018
at 19:44
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
She was thinking of the best way to destroy the creature and it comes to her mind of Dispelling it.

Taking the time to concentrate on her spell and allowing it to be Merged with another spell in hope that it would be enough to destroy the Living Spell.

Casting Dispel Magic (Merge Feat)
Dispel Magic x2 upon the Living Spell.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 510 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Wed 18 Jul 2018
at 23:37
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Not sure how Merge Spells would work according to the rules, but I would tend to think it would make the effort have a bonus. Possibly it could give you two chances to Dispel... since it's two spells.

19:22, Today: Azurak the Blue, on behalf of Lady Isile, rolled 30,23 using 1d20+11,1d20+11 ((19,12)).

Dispel Magic is not affected by Spell Resistance, so overcoming the Living Spell is a target number of 14 normally. But even with the +5 bonus of the area to the Living Spell and without the +5 bonus to the Dispel, Lady Isile easily overcomes the Living Spell, and watches it fracture and dissolve into wisps and vanish.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 225 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Wed 25 Jul 2018
at 00:22
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
With her own immediate threat taken care of she looked down at the others and see that they are being attacked by something.  Diving down toward the group but keeping a distance so that she don't get caught up in the tentacles.

She wanted to see if she knew what was attacking them.

What do I roll Knowledge ?

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 511 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Fri 24 Aug 2018
at 04:23
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Having just dealt with a Living Spell of her own, Lady Isile flies down to see what is attack the others. Even as Saxon's potent potion dissolves the black tentacles, Lady Isile recognizes them not as some sort of monster but as another Living Spell. She can tell, though, that the magic is weaker, probably not because of the source but because of the age.

Ordinarily, it would have fed on the ambient magic, but there does not appear to be any left in this region.

Both Living Spells have now been destroyed. The group can continue their flight eastward.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:26, Fri 24 Aug 2018.

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 226 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Wed 29 Aug 2018
at 02:42
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Looking around she didn't like the fact that the group was so in the open and others could watch them as they moved about.

Taking flight again in the shape of a bird she wanted to keep a watchful eye for any more surprises that may be ahead of them
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 101 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Wed 29 Aug 2018
at 18:48
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
"It's a good thing, perhaps, that we did not use the Teleport," Radagast comments as they fly along. "I cannot fathom what a Living Teleport Spell would do. Then again, these Living Spells seem to be remnants, so maybe the Teleport wouldn't have been affected."

"Can you see now why I think teleporting far to the East is not advisable? We know so little of that area. We thought it was all devastation left by Sauron. At least now we know that something still survives."

"But, like these Broken Lands, we have no idea how things may have been twisted. A Teleport spell will not teleport us into an area that is immediately harmful, but it can still teleport us to an area that might soon be dangerous... such as on the lip of an erupting volcano or into the middle of an Orc army. That is its normal parameter. Here, it could be twisted in ways we can't even imagine."

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 512 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Wed 29 Aug 2018
at 19:16
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Towards the end of the day, the Rifts of which the Forstani spoke become visible, first to Lady Isile who, as a bird, flies higher than the rest.

Saxon's potions of Overland Flight begin to wear off and it is soon clear that they won't last long enough to get you over the Rifts.

As you approach the Rifts, you can now see that wisps of black smoke waft out of the Rifts, but it soon thins out to the point where they aren't even discernible any more.

Lady Isile can see that there are 6 parallel Rifts in total. These are long north-to-south fractures in the ground that span the width of the land from horizon to horizon. The distance across each Rift varies from maybe 60 to 120 feet across.

Lady Isile spots what appears to be a camp on the other side of the 6 Rifts. It does not appear to be a very large camp... maybe large enough for a dozen people. She can make out 3 teepee-like circular tents and half a dozen bedrolls, but doesn't see any sign of people.
Grimfast
 Fellowship, 30 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Mon 10 Sep 2018
at 01:55
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
As Saxon's potions wore off and the others slowly sank to the ground, Grimfast took the last few moments of opportunity to scan the rifts and the camp on the other side.

"Orcs," he informed the others. "Can't smell them, though... no wind to blow their stench over here. But I can see them. They were watching us."

He turns then to Saxon.

"So, how many more of those flying potions can you make?"
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 162 posts
Sun 16 Sep 2018
at 19:08
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
"For the moment, that was all I could come up with," Saxon replies as he scans the area. "Even with my wagon, I do not have sufficient ingredients to make any more, and this is not an area that looks as if it will provide those ingredients."

"Speaking of my wagon... Anira, can you conjure your magic house in this environment? Can it rest upon such jagged terrain? If not, perhaps I can do something to level the area for it."

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 102 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Sun 16 Sep 2018
at 19:14
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
"We were told that there would be Orcs," Radagast also replies to Grimfast. "However, the Forstani warned us that these would not be Orcs that we were familiar with. They did not actually say that these would be nice Orcs, but did imply that these Orcs might have honor, and be amenable."

"Lady Isile... would you be willing to approach the Orcs through the air and see if they can, indeed, be bargained with?"

"I think it might be a waste of those gift crystals the Forstani gave us to use them now to span these great rifts only to be attacked by the Orcs."

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 227 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sun 16 Sep 2018
at 20:01
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
She looked at Radagast with a smile "I would be delight to interact with some Orcs. he could tell that there was some sarcasm in her voice on the word Orcs.

Then she took flight to see if she was able to spot any tribes or gatherings of Orcs in the upcoming areas.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 513 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 16 Sep 2018
at 21:15
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Lady Isile, as well as the others, had spotted the camp across the rifts as the group approached the chasms. It did not look like a large camp, probably between 10-20 Orcs.

On the other hand, if this was more than just a camp, most of it could be underground.

Even as you start to fly in that direction, a spout of inky smoke erupts from the first rift. It's not close, but about 50 feet to the north.

She can sense that this isn't Living Spell type magic... more like corrupted nature magic. It just feels wrong.
Anira
 Fellowship, 108 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Mon 17 Sep 2018
at 19:18
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
At Saxon's comment, Anira looks around the area and frowns, then shrugs her shoulders.

"The spell is partly self-leveling, since it creates a level floor in the cottage," Anira answers Saxon, "but if the ground is too uneven--beyond the spell's ability to compensate for, then the spell just fails."

"I think this is probably more than the spell can handle, so if you can level an area out, that'd be great."

"We should probably wait, though, until Lady Isile gets back and lets us know the situation."

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 163 posts
Fri 5 Oct 2018
at 02:34
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Saxon nodded, "Understood, let me know one way or another and I will try to talk the stones into giving us a little space and firm foundation." He rubbed the back of his head. "No fire, water, or wood to talk into helping out around here so that is about the only thing I can do to get us a firm foundation. I have a few other tricks but its a coin toss for what is most effective."

"I may still have my thread tents though. I used them to sleep in the trees when the trees got a little grabby back in the wood. If you slept near their roots you wound up deep in the ground."

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 514 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Fri 12 Oct 2018
at 23:53
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
After Saxon talks to the stones and gets them to settle/rearrange themselves into a mostly level but solid foundation, Anira casts her Secure Shelter spell again and the cabin/house once again is available and Saxon can access his wagon.

Now everyone is just waiting for Lady Isile to get back.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 228 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 13 Oct 2018
at 00:25
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Stopping herself in going in that direction she turns around to report to the group of her findings and also inform them of the Corruption in the area.

Landing next to Radagast
"There is a camp, looks to be small but you never know where they truly might be living.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 103 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Sat 13 Oct 2018
at 01:08
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
"So, you didn't make contact with them?" Radagast asks.

"They are supposed to be friendly... at least as much as any Orc can be."

"Did you see if there is any place to land before we get to the other side? We have bridging crystals to get over these crevasses, but only enough for one way."

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 229 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 13 Oct 2018
at 01:16
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
"My concerns is a spout of inky smoke erupted from the first rift.  I can feel something about it that was corrupted.  Not a Living Spell but different.

Do you wish to risk it ruining the bridge?
she offered in wisdom
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 104 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Sat 13 Oct 2018
at 01:45
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
"Well, now that you've said that, I'm more confused than ever," Radagast replies.

"Wouldn't we have the same problem if we flew over the rifts? Assuming, of course, that Saxon could make us some more flying potions."

"Do you have any other suggestions for getting over the rifts?"

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 164 posts
Thu 18 Oct 2018
at 06:54
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Saxon was digging in his wagon when he called back, "As stated before I need time and components to make more flight potions. This is a barren land and naps are not normal in such a place." He poked his head out of his wagon, "What do you mean corrupted? That is a very complex word."

"Corrupted as in the magic has turned sour? Or corrupted as in the enemy is doing something strange like burning bodies with dark magic in mass? One we can deal with using a mass of water, the other... not so much."

"And are you ok? Some forms of corruption get into your head through your eyes and root there. Not feeling tingly or anything?"

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 230 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Fri 19 Oct 2018
at 01:23
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
OOC:  Azurak can you give more details in the Corruption she saw?
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 515 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Wed 24 Oct 2018
at 18:14
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Nature is never good nor evil, even if the uneducated peasantry often perceives it as so. Sunshine, rain, rainbows, good harvests, abundant fishing... all those are accepted as 'good' parts of nature. Earthquakes, tidal waves, storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, volcanoes... those are the 'bad/evil' aspects of nature.

Here in these corrupted lands Nature has been twisted into dark and evil things. Black smokers, for instance, occur naturally, though usually underwater. They are primarily super-heated water, ash and algae. On land, they occur as hot springs, fumaroles and geysers.   The black smoker that Lady Isile spotted has components that go beyond just super-heated water. She could sense the 'evil' taint that it had, but she has no idea what it would do.

The whole land is that way. For all she knows, the very ground has become poisonous.

Tidal waves, floods, hurricanes and probably storms can't happen in the area, but earthquakes, tornadoes, and volcanoes might be possible... and possibly in a different way than you would expect--an earthquake that erupts upward, a volcano that sucks you downward, a mini-tornado that attacks you...  Possibly things that she can't even imagine.

The only positive aspect of all this is that there is no sentience behind it any more, no conscious thought. It might simply react to your presence, or it might just happen spontaneously.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 165 posts
Sat 3 Nov 2018
at 03:34
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
Saxon listened to the details best he could, "Well, from the story last time the enemy stood in one place and trigger the events. It makes me think that he uses anchor points. Sort of like setting up a poison stone up river to route out infestations of mosquitos down river."

"If we ever find something like a core source I may be able to make a Temperant Bath for it and extract whatever properties it has. Though I would have to move the effect to something else, and no idea if I can do something this powerful, never tried before."

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 516 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Mon 29 Apr 2019
at 04:15
You Are Now Leaving Forstan
((OOC: Sorry it's taken so long to wrap this up. Don't know if anyone is still around to read it...))


Having befriended the Forstani, they gave you bridging crystals to span the Rifts—a series of chasms scarring the land to the east. They also told you about the Orc citadel of Belegost—another city in the midst of the Broken Lands. It is an Orc citadel. The Orcs tried attacking Forstan long ago but couldn’t get through the dome. Sent raiding parties for a few years but haven’t been back since.

The Rifts were smokers that spewed black choking gas, plus there were several living spells that inhabit the area—a living cold spell, a living fire spell, and a living poison spell. Crossing the Rifts on the ground via the crystal bridges, you encountered a coffer corpse, though it was unclear how it ever got there.

Reaching Belegost, you found a city-state of (enlightened) Orcs (orak-shan), apparently turned that way by the corrupted magic of the land. As instructed by the Forstani, you made peace with them, and they saw you safely through the rest of the Broken Lands as they considered themselves the ‘masters of their domain’ and it was a point of honor. They had developed a natural stone-shape ability and made fancy décor, decorative features, colored stones, paintings, and sculptures. Even the Citadel stone fortress was carved from jagged rocks. You discovered that the Orcs had the Book of Souls, and it has transformed them. Orcs don’t normally have souls; these do. They are still somewhat violent but not vicious. They hunt hummerhorns, rock creatures and the giant black and gray wasps. You went on a hunt with them. You showed up with a corpse creature (the only thing they fear). You had a target shooting contest with them, gave them some magic and had a drinking contest. They eat moss and fungus, but also hunt meat.

The Broken Lands are subject to frequent ground quakes, massive upheavals of rocks, and freed elementals trapped in the earth. On the other side of the Broken Lands, you came to the city-state of Durandor, home of the Red Dwarves--red-haired Dwarves that have no beards but mustaches and mutton chops and van dykes. Fortress Durandor straddles the edge of the Broken Lands and the Searing Desert.

Crossing the Searing Desert, you encountered sandstorms, animated sand creatures, scorpions and spontaneous fire bursts, finally coming to another city-state—Sharandor. The Shining Spires of Sharandor are the home of red-skinned humans.

On the other side of the Searing Desert, you came across a great waterfall known as the Veil and a city-state named Steamport, home of Mechanar Dwarves. These are at war with the Rovotic Elves that live across the valley. You had to pass through both places to reach
Vaharadar where the Tall Dwarves live. The Vaharadar gave you the method of contacting the Avari as only the Avari could guide you through the Great Wood to the Ent-wives.

After successfully contacting the winged-Elf Avari, they did, indeed, guide you through the Great Wood which had 1000-foot tall trees, but they weren’t ‘living’ trees like the Ents.

Once you found the Ent-wives, you discovered that they were all healthy but lonely. They thought the Ents had all been destroyed. In any case, they did not feel that they were capable of crossing the land the way it had become. The Searing Desert alone would probably have killed them.

Exactly how you would have returned the Ent-wives to the Ents will probably never by known.
The Fellowship that made it to the end was: Anira, Borun Redbeard, Grimfast, Lady Isile, Radagast, and Saxon.

There would have been a second quest: find out whatever happened to the Blue Wizards. Possibly new players would have been recruited.