0.1 Valley of Dry Bones.   Posted by The GM.Group: 0
The GM
 GM, 280 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Tue 25 Sep 2018
at 22:07
0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
House Deneith Internal Investigation:
Final interview: Doriah d'Hevian

Q: Your orders were to proceed with your Captain and the thirty men in your platoon to the stronghold south of Fort Bones, correct? Can you speak to the condition and capabilities of the Captain? The platoon? Were they ready for a fight?
Doriah d'Hevian
 player, 25 posts
Fri 28 Sep 2018
at 04:06
0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
"That's correct," Doriah asserted. She didn't feel comfortable being put on the spot, especially knowing what happened, but there was only so much she could do at the time. That was the problem. The fact she excelled at killing most things that moved, and usually enjoyed the fact, might not have worked in her favour either.

"Oh, we were ready. Captain Rory Harker was a capable leader. He didn't have much tolerance for disobedience or other rubbish from his troops, and in his way, he brought out the best in us."

What she didn't say was that he also brought out the violent side, but such was the way of war.

"He was armed with a sword and daggers, just as I was. We were in Karrnath, and proceeded with the platoon south to Fort Bones and on the stronghold from there. It held a fortified lab and we fought our way in, but that's when things went very wrong."

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:26, Sat 29 Sept 2018.

The GM
 GM, 296 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Mon 1 Oct 2018
at 22:12
0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
House Deneith Internal Investigation:
Final interview: Doriah d'Hevian

Q: What were the first indication to you that things were not going according to plan? Did Captain Harker acknowledge these difficulties? Were there any warnings?
Doriah d'Hevian
 player, 26 posts
Fri 5 Oct 2018
at 14:32
0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
"Intel suggested the stronghold was undermanned, and at the outset, the enemies we faced were consistent with the fact. The first sign things might have changed was when support troops arrived and they were more proficient than the guards. Don't get me wrong - they were still within our capacity to handle, or should've been."

Here she sighed, her gaze dropping to the table, as the memories flooded back.
"Captain Harker didn't acknowledge this because he disappeared. I don't mean literally - I mean in the chaos and the fighting, one minute he was there and the next he was gone. I found him, but it wasn't until minutes later. I didn't know he was a sorcerer, but that's what he was doing - casting magic."
The GM
 GM, 309 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Fri 12 Oct 2018
at 18:11
Re: 0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
House Deneith Internal Investigation:
Final interview: Doriah d'Hevian

Q: So Captain Harker was not with the bulk of the forces, and not supporting the troops under his command. And you had no idea where the Captain was at that time. So that's when control over the troops fell to you. You told us that's when the heaviest resistance of Karrnathi undead was encountered; scores of their zombies and warrior skeletons. What did you instruct the troops to do? Is there anything you can add to your description of the battle?
Doriah d'Hevian
 player, 29 posts
Mon 22 Oct 2018
at 02:32
Re: 0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
"The Captain was supporting the troops at first, but then as I said, he left us. When I found him again, he was like another man, not the Captain I knew. I wondered if they'd somehow got into his mind or if a changeling was in his place, because.. I hate to say this because I respected the man, but.. he joined the other side. I think he was using necromancy. One of our men fell trying to pull him away from the enemy, but he just stood his ground while the enemy walked around him, seemingly not caring at all that he was there.

Control of the troops fell to me, yes, as the second in command. They were already engaged in battle so only the closest troops knew of the change in status. At that time we were trying to defeat the enemy and survive.

We trapped some of the skeletons in a corridor of the facility and sealed the doors at both ends, as there was little of interest there. It cut down the numbers. Fighters with magical strength equivalent to their fighting skills or stronger used it as a primary attack. Most of troops fought with melee weapons - knives and short swords, due to the close quarters. They're not highly effective against the skeletons so I ordered troops with bludgeoning weapons to attack them.

I only instructed the troops closest to us. At one point, there was nowhere to retreat to as the enemy's support troops surrounded us, so we fought on. We were gaining the upper hand, and then Captain Harker set several of the men on fire. His own men, but I still don't think that was the Captain Harker we knew."

This message was last edited by the player at 02:35, Mon 22 Oct 2018.

The GM
 GM, 329 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Sat 27 Oct 2018
at 20:00
Re: 0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
OOC: We might not get that Marlowe after all (sad, because I wanted to do warforged versions of Spade, and Archer, but the highway of RP is littered with the corpses of good ideas, like rusting Rolls Royce that break in the deserts of Saudi Arabia).

They'd passed contraptions of bone and metal in the halls. The zombies needed more time to kill, but the skeletons were more nible and more dangerous. Some of the men had sustained wounds that slowed their progress, but they were dogged, and well trained.

Another voice sounded out in the hubbub; Karrnathi accented, and magically amplified "Get out! You must get out or die!" It must have been the mad necromancer who was running this unholy laboratory.

Doriah had a choice; attempt to join the fighting on the first floor, or to pursue the wayward Harker up to the second floor where she heard Harker and the other voice loud in argument. Harker was saying something about his life.

The central section was opened now, and the platoon began to surge into the chamber. It was a circular chamber, ringed with a balcony on the second floor; that was where Harker and the necromancer were shouting. The floor was plain hard dirt, and there were more skeletons emerging from the earth.

About three quarters of the platoon had already charged into the chamber. Doriah felt a sudden surge of extreme danger; a hunch given by her mark, and one she trusted.

A loud sound blasted out. The rest of the platoon moved in to engage the enemy: their shouts of encouragement seeming to herald the end of their conflict. Just this one last battle and it would be over.

OOC: did Doriah move to the second floor, knowing that the platoon had things well in hand on the first floor, or did she try ti assist the troops in wrapping up the final combat?
Doriah d'Hevian
 player, 32 posts
Thu 15 Nov 2018
at 04:00
Re: 0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
OOC: Marlowe? I'm not sure I understand. I think I'm just missing the reference.

There was so much going on at once that Doriah felt divided, but one aspect of her training involved choosing her battles, so to speak. She had a bad feeling about the chamber, but it was one the platoon either didn't share or chose to ignore. She wasn't yet convinced the enemy could be defeated here and now, but she hadn't called to retreat. Not yet.

The shouts of encouragement seemed to prove her wrong, and so she made a snap decision. She went after Harker. It wasn't just to help her Captain or find out what had become of him. A necromancer was a danger to them all.
The GM
 GM, 356 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Wed 28 Nov 2018
at 02:24
Re: 0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
Necromancer
"Shtop! You vill die! You do not know the danger you are in! Leave zis place immediately! I varn you, your life iss at ztake! All ov you!"
Captain Harker
"I think not, herr Kaminarr!" Harker laughed. He was caressing the framework of a dragonshard-powered mechanism that was composed of bones and metal. It had a disturbing appearance. "You'll work no further necromancy with the Soul Engine of Saggan Necrooman!" With that, Harker pulled the dragonshard out of the machine.
Necromancer
The device thrummed, then howled. "You fool! Zhere iss a manifest zone actiff here. You haff doomed everyone!"
Two tall Karrnathi skeletons flanked Doriah, awaiting the order to attack. Below, a cheer went up as the last of the armed resistance in the fort was defeated. Doriah heard a Corporal cheering.


OOC: what happened next?

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:38, Sun 16 June.

Doriah d'Hevian
 player, 34 posts
Sun 2 Dec 2018
at 21:17
Re: 0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
Doriah listened, absorbing every word she heard and committing it to memory. She wanted to know what was going on. On the one hand, it seemed like Captain Harker's allegiance had turned. On another level, it seemed like he was confronting the Necromancer behind it all.

She wondered for a moment if it was because he was on their side after all, or might he be wanting to take over from the Necromancer?

It was unclear why the skeletons that flanked her offered no threat to him. So Doriah did what she felt was the logical thing. She picked one - the skeleton to her right seemed a little closer, and attacked before the other one had time to move in. If she could take down this one fast, she mightn't need to fight two at once.

Of course, that still left Captain Harker and the Necromancer to deal with, if she needed to.

OOC: Do you need some dice rolled?
The GM
 GM, 371 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Tue 18 Dec 2018
at 01:20
Re: 0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
As this is an opportunity to learn D&D 5e combat for both of us (and as it's in the past, and we know you survive), let's fight it out with the rules:

You have the initiative, and moved first: The skeletons both have armor class 16, so that's the target number to hit; you roll a d20, and add your bonus from the attack stat (I think Dex) and the proficiency bonus. If you hit, then roll damage.

Also I ought to help you get the character sheet together, as it's pretty empty.
Doriah d'Hevian
 player, 36 posts
Thu 20 Dec 2018
at 21:41
Re: 0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
OOC: Thanks for helping finalise my sheet there and putting it together more nicely. :)

Okay, so d20 + Dex Bonus (+3) and Proficiency Bonus (+3) =

21:40, Today: Doriah d'Hevian rolled 21 using 1d20+6, rerolling max ((15)).

Does that look correct? I beat 16. :D

The GM
 GM, 382 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Tue 25 Dec 2018
at 00:54
Re: 0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
Kaarnathi Skeleton
The room was plain; on the north and south walls were the doorways, The Necromance had entered from the north, Doriah from the south. Along the west wall was Captain Harker, and the strange machine. To the east was the balcony that overlooked the arena below, where the rest of the Deneith militia were still shouting. When one of the skeletons moved to interpose itself between the necromancer and the captain, Doriah took the opportunity to strike. Her rapier thrust at the Kaarnathi abomination at the very instant of it's distraction. It turned with inhuman speed and assaulted Doriah with its two huge whirling blades. It's eyes glowed spectrally, as they all did; the unholy nature of its very existance no longer turned Doriah's stomach, but she knew how dangerous these monsters could be in close combat. One blade connected
Armor Class 16 (breastplate) Hit Points 18
Multiattack. The Karrnathi skeleton makes two attacks: Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: (1d6 + 4) slashing damage
Captain Harker
"I prefer my own theory: that you have uncovered as great a treasure: you have perfected the Soul Engine, and the greatest destructive weapon ever dreamed of! And now this weapon shall be mine!" Harker shrieked in anger as the skeleton body guard engaged his blade. "I will not be denied my legacy!"
Kaminarr the Necromancer
The necromancer scowled "Necrooman's theories are insane, but he, in madness has found truth! Zere iss a balance off life undt death. Ve can exploit it! Ve are on zhe brink off finding the zecret! Don't meddle in vat you do not understant! Zhere iss a balance off life unt death! You must leave here now!"

OOC:
  • roll the damage for the rapier: 1d8+3 (You may use your Dex Mod or your Str Mod for to hit and damage with finesse weapons, your DEX Mod is +3)
  • Your armor is Leather which gives your 11+ Dex Mod (+3) AC= 14
  • With 5 levels of rogue and a 12 Con, you have 8 + 5*4 + 2*5 = 38 HP.
  • Remember to uncheck 'reroll max' from your hit and damage rolls
  • the skeleton rolled a 10, and a 24, and so got one hit against you
  • Doriah has the Uncanny dodge reaction, and so can halve the damage from one attack
  • Doriah takes 9/2=5 damage and has 33 hp.

Doriah d'Hevian
 player, 47 posts
Sat 2 Feb 2019
at 00:18
Re: 0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
Doriah knew she was in the heart of the enemy's territory here, more than ever when she viewed the necromancer and its strange machine. She wouldn't have guessed what it was exactly or what it could do; she only knew it was likely an instrument of the darkest evil. It was likely a tool or work of the necromancer, and so she believed no good would come of it.

Captain Harker had no place here, she thought. At least, the Captain Harker she thought she'd known. Could it be a lie - all she knew of him? Was this who he truly was the whole time, or was this the lie? Some kind of trick to draw out the enemy so they'd make themselves vulnerable?

The Kaarnathi abomination wasn't so easily defeated, but somehow Doriah sensed it wouldn't be. They could be dangerous, as it seemed only too eager to prove. It wasn't as though it was defending its life - more like its unlife, perhaps.

Doriah's stomach dropped when Captain Harker spoke. Soul Engine? She didn't know what it did, but she could draw out its meaning from his words and it seemed too terrible a thing to contemplate. What would Captain Harker do with it, should he claim it as his legacy? That word sat oddly with her, and caused her to wonder if in some way this had been his birthright.

Tilting her head as the necromancer spoke, the soldier tried to understand his meaning. He was almost siding with Captain Harker while trying to protect the machine and keep it in his power? Doriah knew she had to stop both of them before either of them used it - because to kill one, might place it firmly in the hands of the other. Was she really going to kill Captain Harker?

She would've called for reinforcements, but knew they wouldn't hear her, so she endeavoured to cut down the abominations first. Tempted as she was to call out to the Captain and reason with the man, she chose not to draw his attention until she'd dealt with the minor adversaries in the room first.

OOC: Dice rolls to follow shortly.
Doriah d'Hevian
 player, 48 posts
Sat 2 Feb 2019
at 00:27
Re: 0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
OOC: Dice Rolls (hopefully I got these right). :)
The GM
 GM, 410 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Wed 6 Feb 2019
at 02:47
Re: 0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
Doriah's background and training kicked in, and she recalled the pertinent details of her foes from training and lectures. Captain d'Hanven was her specialist instructor for Kaarnath.
Captain d'Hanven had explained about the Karrnathi undead:
The Karrnathi undead are tremendously efficient solders. A normal zombie requires some sort of necromancer to sustain and command it, but the sentient Karrnathi undead can integrate with any unit. Fear, hunger, and exhaustion are alien to them. They can see in perfect darkness—an advantage over the warforged, and one that Karrnath often exploited in conflicts with Cyre. One of the few limitations of the undead derives from their utter lack of mercy or compassion. Left on its own, a Karrnathi skeleton will slaughter all opposing forces—soldiers, civilians, even children. A commander must exercise close control if he wants his undead to leave anyone alive.
Forewarned by her training she turned awkwardly aside at just the right moment, she prevented the cut from going any deeper than it might have. Her blow had landed well enough, but unlike a living foe, there would be no pulling back, no flinching from pain or danger. Chunks of ribcage flew as she wrenched her rapier free.
Captain Harker
"No! my blood and sweat went into formulating these techniques. This belongs to me, and I'll not let you claim the Necrooman/Harker effect as your own!" He slashed at the second skeleton with his sword as he shouted. His blade clashed against the two scimitars the monster held. It struck at the Captain, but he dodged the attacks.
Second Skeleton
Armor Class 16 Hit Points 18
Multiattack. The Karrnathi skeleton makes two attacks: Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: (1d6 + 4) slashing damage
Kaminarr the Necromancer
"Foolishness! You would use such a thing as a weapon! You would just as soon fuel a bonfire with the greatest wands of our age. You are an untutored boor, not a scholar of the arts. These discoveries will change the very role of our existence! We will work wonders the giants only dreamed of. You will meddle no further in things you can have no possible means of comprehension!"
Captain d'Hanven:
The Odakyr Rites—the ritual used to create the Karrnathi undead—isn’t a cheap form of Raise Dead. The original victim is gone. A Karrnathi skeleton doesn’t have the specific memories of the warrior who donated his bones. The military specialty of the undead reflects that of the fallen soldier, so only the bones of a bowman can produce a skeletal archer. However, the precise techniques of the skeleton aren’t those of the living soldiers. Rekkenmark doesn’t teach the bone dance or the twin scimitar style common to the skeletal swordsmen. So where, then, do these styles come from?
First Kaarnathi Skeleton
The skeleton facing Doriah took up the 'Stance of the Dragon' then whirled both scimitars downward. Doriah could not completely avoid the stronger strike, and the second caught her full on the arm. Pain shot up, but the armor prevented any permanent damage.  The grisly skull was inches from her face. The eyes had tiny points of green flame within the sockets. A strange, faint nimbus, a network of glistening dewdrops of pale violet color encircled its brow. The light from the machine was deeply disturbing, and it made the creature's face seem to come alive.
Armor Class 16 (breastplate) Hit Points 18 13
Multiattack. The Karrnathi skeleton makes two attacks: Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: (1d6 + 4) slashing damage

OOC:
  • Doriah takes 9/2=5 damage and has 28 hp.
  • Doriah takes 5 damage and has 23 hp.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:36, Sun 10 Mar.

Doriah d'Hevian
 player, 53 posts
Sun 3 Mar 2019
at 17:18
Re: 0.1 Valley of Dry Bones
Captain d'Hanven's lesson left her ill at ease, and yet it might be the key to success here. She shook her head as Captain Harker attacked the second skeleton for the wrong reasons. Oh, she would let him fight the enemy. It might be the only chance they had, but when all this was over she couldn't let Captain Harker just walk away. Her stomach sank at the thought, even as she fought on.

She would've joined their conversation, but she was listening and learning what she could. She also didn't want them to turn on her together, which seemed unlikely at best, but it made more sense to let them just fight it out.

They spoke of things that could have a huge impact on the future, especially for their would-be victims, who might not survive the process. Captain d'Hanven's words so long ago helped her put the pieces together. It raised as many questions as it answered, but it made sense they wouldn't use their own soldiers for the rite if they had any choice about it.

Doriah silenced her scream when the first skeleton's attack struck her arm. Even as she recoiled an analytical part of her mind considered just how effective these skeletons were in combat. They were excellent warriors, didn't have the weaknesses of most people, no fear, and they were intimidating. They couldn't be allowed to succeed and she'd enjoy killing them - if she could, but the strategy was sound aside from their enemy's total lack of morals and use of the darkest magic.

It occurred to her that she had magic at her disposal. She couldn't put the skeleton to sleep - it didn't work on the undead. She could cast blade ward, but she needed to end this combat in her favour, not prolong it. Her arm wasn't aching any less, though she was resolute it wouldn't impact the force of her strikes. So she sent a message - and in so doing tried to ensure Captain Harker wouldn't be able to walk away from this mess.

She sent it to someone she trusted, casting quickly toward one of her men who had been alive the last time she saw them and whispered to his mind. "Captain Harker has betrayed us. I need help fighting off the undead in the chamber upstairs."

Then she readied her sword and prepared for further attacks from the undead skeleton.

G.M. EDIT: you are upstairs, not downstairs, from where the rest of your men are. You are in a hallway/antechamber one flight up from the central chamber. There is an open balcony, railed, but not barred, which you used to sent the Message spell through.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:16, Mon 04 Mar.