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  #451  
Old Nov 5th, 2009, 10:12 AM
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Crucas' mind became a field of blurred pain as he reeled from the chieftan's blow. He tried to focus, but every stab of pain brought tears to his eyes. He recovered very quickly, though, when more blows came hurtling towards him, as well as a powerful gout of flames. Crucas suddenly could see clearly, although the wound was still painful in all the worst ways. He was able to deflect away most of the flame and the rest of the blows, thanks in part to a cloak of shadows that deflected blows away from him.

Crucas' mind was clear now, focussed not on the blinding pain of his wounds but on the task given to them. It was apparent as to what he must do. Punish those who would hide behind a facade of strength to bully the weak. Bahamut would have him do no less. So Crucas drew himself up and spoke to the little runts of the scaled world.
"Tiamat ornla qe molmonsore ekess ocuir wux ti ultrinninan zyak. Svanoa si ornla itov ekess ocuir nebeur ehaism svadrav nebeur sees wux sva nebeur hoinp, torir onelkara!" ("Tiamat will be most disappointed by your loss. How I wish I could see her face when you all grovel at her feet, begging forgiveness!")
Crucas snapped forward when he said face with a swipe that left him feeling slightly riled. Maybe his speech did more to him than his opponents, but one thing he was never going to miss was a chance to play by the kobold's rules when they weren't expecting it. The blow, while not with the sort of power needed to cleave shields and slice heads from their owner's bodies, was accurate and struck true.
As his speech finished, Crucas moved on (towards W2 if it's still alive, either over the corpse of the dragonshield or into the water, depending on whether it's still alive or not. If it's not alive, then onto the Dragonshield corpse if it's dead or nowhere if it isn't) and pointed his sword at the wyrmpriest (or I if the priest is dead, or D2 if the dragonshield is still alive).
"Wux geou ocuir nebeur jaka. batobot si inglata." ("You will see her soon. That I promise.")

 
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  #452  
Old Nov 5th, 2009, 12:26 PM
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Ryns breaks the "dragon's" shale breath from the floor and potato sack hops to get away from the Kobold. The movement breaks off the rest of the shale and Rynd runs towards the far wall where he falls easy prey to the flames. His world goes dark.
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Old Nov 6th, 2009, 06:57 AM
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Elwen's world is fire and pain. Unable to think clearly, she stumbles through the waterfall, falling into the pool before and sinking like a stone as hundreds of gallons of water press down on her from the falls. Eventually, the current takes her away from the falls and her natural buoyancy brings her to the surface. She coughs, sputtering and shivering, the shock of fire replaced by freezing water stunning her thoughts. The initial panic fades and she begins to wonder what just happened...In a flash, memory returns. Her friends are in the cave, likely being eaten by a red dragon. For a moment, the temptation comes. Her limbs are so tired, her body bloody and fatigued. How easy it would be to just let the current take her away, far away from the carnage. She could sleep...

A mental image of Kaestra being eaten by the reptile stirs her into action. Shalla, Ryns, Loki, Georg, Crucas and Bregga..She could not abandon them, even if she wasn't sure she had anything left to give. Ignoring her own wounds for now, she struggles against the current, swimming to the shore and lifting herself onto dry land. She stands up, her dark hair wet and clinging to a face that is determined. She just hopes she is not too late...

 

Last edited by Elwen; Nov 10th, 2009 at 07:27 AM.
  #454  
Old Nov 6th, 2009, 09:33 PM
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... that could have gone better...

Crumpled in a heap at the edge of the cave, the pounding waterfall just a foot or two from his head, Georg shakes his wispy hair wildly to clear the remaining cobwebs of terror from his mind, but it does little good. On the ground and disorientated, the mage suddenly feels a great anger well up through his sinewy body. How dare they?! His lips purse into a sputter of rage and he sits up to show them all who they are dealing with.

"STEP AWAY!" he shrieks through watery eyes and slams his staff into the ground between his legs. The cave floor surges with arcane power and ripples towards the whole lot of kobolds pressing the companions into the waterfall. Just as the powerful energy washes over the group, the wizard groans... was that Crucas's shield that he just sent sprawling away...

 
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Last edited by Halcyon; Nov 6th, 2009 at 09:35 PM.
  #455  
Old Nov 7th, 2009, 05:17 AM
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With Ryns down on the ground, Shalla moved forward to defend him as best she knew how - with aggression. The wyrmpriest was quick to duck under her blow, however. The distraction was enough - Loki saw to Ryns' wounds, and stopped the worst bleeding. The rogue was still unconscious, but he was in less danger of dying now.

Bregga moved to the other side of the cave, easily side-stepping the attack the priest made as he left. He saw kaestra's powerful blast of light almost take down the other wyrmpriest, and then saw it stagger behind the walls, as Georg's thunderwave missed it.

Crucas stayed and tried to take down the dragonshield. His blow staggered it, and as Georg's thunder blasted past, the pair were locked in arms, and both were almost swept off their feet. The paladin quickly noticed that the only thing holding up the dragonshield was himself, and as he let go, the dead kobold fell to the floor.

Outside, Elwen was moving back towards a very different scene. The wyrmpriests were each retreating after hurling another handful of flames (9 damage to Crucas, 6 damage to Shalla). The war priest, warily watching Bregga, circles around him and summons up more fire. It still looks strangely like a dragon's breath, but it burns enough to be real (3 fire damage (after resistance), 5 ongoing fire damage (save ends)).

With his priests deserting him, the chieftan looks up at Crucas, and says "Oh, ye'aint gettin' me gone that easily!" He tries once again to disrupt the paladin's likelihood of offspring, but this time Crucas was ready, and battered away the shaft of the axe. The blade whistled through the air, but likewise, Crucas blocked it with his shield.



 

 
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  #456  
Old Nov 7th, 2009, 06:10 AM
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Elwen stumbles through the curtain of water again, this time seeing a very different scene. The first thing she notices is the lack of a dragon..not even a corpse. Perhaps it fled? The priest is new..Then she sees Ryn's crumpled form on the ground, with the old dwarf tending to him. Which means he's likely not dead, or Loki would not be taking such care with his wounds..And really it is a rare battle that doesn't see the rogue close to death's door. She glances around at the survivors...bloodied and some of them on fire, but alive. She sends a blast of divine magic to help Crucas, but again the inaccurate spell goes wide.

 
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Old Nov 8th, 2009, 01:01 AM
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Bregga shrugs off the scorching flames and closes with the kobold illusionist while remarking cooly,

"Don't let the water essense fool you, my friend. My kind is resistant to all the elements of our birth realm. The lesson comes too late for you."

Bregga's swordarm flutters in front of the priest for a few tantalizing moments before ripping a blow across its robed midsection. Cloth parts instantly and loudly, the frayed ends wicking blood to dye the surface red. Bregga's pupiless eyes flash for a moment as he weaves an arcane stipulation to his blow. The wyrmpriest would not step away from him without eliciting another painful rebuke.


 
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  #458  
Old Nov 8th, 2009, 05:49 AM
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Loki slaps Ryns in the face, after covering his face with groundhog earwax. It doesn't do much, so he stuffs some wax into Ryns's nostrils. That really seems to open up the rogue's airways. The shallow breathing of a few seconds ago is replaced by a restful slumber. "He'll need a rest, the young fellow, he's worked hard today. Yet work's not finished yet..." The dwarf looks up at the remaining three kobolds. The lesser magician tries to run away at the right, but Shalla's close by. Mr Blue keeps on stalking the dragon... why on earth did that dragon take on the shape of a kobold, by the way? Hmm... nevermind, I never understood those scaly monsters, they are wicked through and through. I hope the wyrm doesn't go and sit on Mr Blue, since he might not have altered his weight when he turned into a kobold, heheh, that would be one hell of a heavy pig!
The wrinkled blue eyes gaze at Crucas. The young paladin was still facing the angry kobold chief with the mean axe. Again the creature tried to squish the young paladin's crotch, how nasty. Luckily Crucas could block it. "Again, I say, young knight, bring yourself to safety! You have fought valiantly, but more battles await you in the future... don't make this your last one!" he shouts at Crucas. Then, Loki whispers, "Father of fathers, creator of the people beneath the stones, punish this chieftain for trying to kill Crucas's offspring..."

Suddenly, the anvil on Loki's belt starts to glow, and what seems to be a white-hot glowing gauntlet flies out from the iron, smacking the kobold chieftain's temple. Unfortunately, at the moment the gauntlet is fired, Loki stumbles on a small pebble, and the shot needs all the adjustment Moradin could offer, and it might just miss the kobold... "Ahhh... I'm getting to old for this sort of thing..." Loki ponders out loud, trying to shrug away the dizziness in his mind... unsuccessfully. The voice of Clangeddin still echoes in his ears, pulling him a small step closer, back into insanity.

 

Last edited by Olorian; Nov 8th, 2009 at 05:52 AM. Reason: spelling
  #459  
Old Nov 8th, 2009, 08:01 AM
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Crucas staggers slightly under the flames. His stern demeanour cracks as he feels his energy and vitality slipping away. His hand holding his sword felt as heavy as lead and his shield was up only out of combat habit. He was very nearly beaten.
When Elwen's magic failed, Crucas' hope flickered like a flame under heavy wind. He had to retreat.
"Let's call this one a draw, little brute. You've bested me, but very soon you'll be chewing on thunder and fire. Farewell."
Crucas, while he was talking, took a step back, away from the kobold's reach and into the water. He almost fell as he entered the stream, but when he was out of reach he turned and ran.
It wasn't his proudest moment as he burst through the waterfall. He was fleeing a group of kobolds, badly wounded and bested by but one. He forged his way through the water as best he can, then simply lies down on the top of the water. He lets the water take him further downstream, relaxing and letting the cool water soothe his cuts and burns...

 
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Old Nov 8th, 2009, 01:39 PM
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Kaestra was not about to let the chieftain off so easy, and besides, the creature was dangerous! The last thing she wanted was to see that axe coming at her, and with Crucas moving away, that was a serious possibility. The sorceress sent one of her mind-bolts his direction to convince him that abandoning this fight was in his best interest. She then retreated slightly, bringing her next to Elwen. She smiled broadly upon seeing that the cleric had not been swept away to a watery death.

 

Last edited by girlplay; Nov 8th, 2009 at 01:48 PM.
  #461  
Old Nov 9th, 2009, 10:46 AM
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Shalla snarls at the wrympriest and imagines how good it will fell to split the creature in two. As she moves towards it, she notices an opening in the chieftan's flank. She covers the space between her and the kobold leader with speed and grace ramming her sword deeply into it's unprotected back.

 

Last edited by clark352; Nov 9th, 2009 at 10:47 AM.
  #462  
Old Nov 9th, 2009, 11:42 AM
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Goerg's eyes fixate on the palm off his hand, now half submerged in the stagnate water. The wizard lets out an uncharacteristic chuckle; Ryns had said to wash his hand. George refocuses on the situation, finally managing to clear his mind.
Without bothering to stand first, he scoops up a handful of water and throws it at the axe wielding Kobold while murmuring an incantation. Fortune did not smile on Georg as his frosty burst fell short of target.

 
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Old Nov 10th, 2009, 05:17 AM
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Elwen finally returned, but still soaking wet from her brief swim, she was unable to keep her arms still enough to land her shot. She watched Bregga move after the war priest, and give him a solid thump. Shalla quickly closed in, and broke a few ribs with a careful flanking manoeuvre (bloodied).

Loki stumbled, and missed with his attack - some could say it was less the uneven floor, and more the sight of the paladin leaping backwards through the waterfall. His heavy armour quickly pulled him under, even as the water swept him away from the cave.

Kaestra sent a blast at the chieftain, but was unable to connect the rebound shot - aiming from someone else's location was still a little foreign to her. Georgio, still prone in the water, also missed with his blast of frost. The chieftain laughed at his attempt, in an effort to return some of the morale to his final allies, but the priests were all set on fleeing. The two lesser wyrmpriests lobbed their fire at Bregga and Shalla, in an attempt to distract their war priest's foes. They missed, but desperate for distance, the head priest drew a mace and smashed it into Bregga's face, then slipped around the genasi, retreating with the others towards the east.

Bregga tried to catch him as he moved past, but the surprise as the mace was haltered a mere fraction of an inch from his face was distraction enough. The chieftain cried out a curse in draconic towards the fleeing priests, and charged at Bregga, but his axe was met only by the swordmage's sword.


 

 
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Old Nov 10th, 2009, 06:57 AM
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Elwen's eyes widen as Crucas switches from Draconic to Common. Let's call this a draw? What does he mean by-oh.. Her confusion disappears as the paladin withdraws from the combat and then begins rushing past them, passing the fallen wizard and the two fey on his way to safety. This confuses the young cleric, who had always heard tales of the valor of the knights of Bahamut. The first into danger, the last to withdraw, never leaving a fallen brother behind.. She glances over to Ryns, still clinging to life, then to Kaestra to her right, uncertain. She knows the temptation of flight, she very nearly did not return when she found the current carrying her away. Suddenly, another thought comes to her. The water was deep, the current strong. Will he be able to swim with so much armor?

The resounding crack of kobold ribs brings her attention back to the fight as Shalla makes her presence known to the warpriest. Yes! This battle is far from over. "Your cowardly allies flee your side, and may live to fight another day!"She taunts the chief as the priests flee deeper into the cave. "Surrender and you might share their fortune." She tries to draw the chief's attention away from their own reduced numbers as she moves closer through the water. With renewed faith, she channels Sehanine's moonlight to form a nimbus of silver energy around the cornered kobold, outlining him for her allies and slightly burning him in her light.

 

Last edited by Elwen; Nov 10th, 2009 at 07:31 AM.
  #465  
Old Nov 10th, 2009, 09:12 AM
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Crucas sank.

His body, bruised and battered and burnt, almost refused to respond to his will to move. His sword cut through the water while his other arm was only kept aloft by his shield. His body had gone past feeling the cold of the water, the weight of his armor and the dull throbbing of his wounds that came just before the adrenaline wore off. He felt ill-used, weary and, most of all, shame.
He knew that he had broken almost every tenant of the law laid down by the Lord of Dragons himself. He had failed in combat (the least of his concerns now), had run away from a foe (almost understandable, given the circumstances, but a great blunder nonetheless) and, worst of all, he had left others to their fate. The abandonment of others was the worst, an action that could've landed a priest with excommunication. As it was, Crucas would spend the rest of his afterlife erasing the acts of the past few minutes.
But at this exact second in time, Crucas was past caring. Let those who knew what they were doing deal with the kobolds. He had no experience fighting armies.

Crucas closed his eyes, willing himself to simply let go. Just like back home. Maybe I'll wake up back at town...

Meanwhile, in Crucas' mind...What are you doing?
Whaa...? Where did you come from?
What are you doing, here, now?
You're in my head... just let me sleep, you know what I'm going through...
More than you know. What are you doing?
What does it look like I'm doing? I'm giving up.
Why?
I failed in my duty. Ryns is dead, the others are mortally wounded and I couldn't do anything.
And you're giving up? Not really fitting for a paladin of Bahamut, is it?
Why are you here? I've already said that I've given up... I've left whatever I was behind with Ryns.
Really?
Crucas opened his eyes in confusion. He was standing, wearing a simple linen tunic that was ash-grey and seemed to be darkening slightly with each passing second. What he saw was indescribable - he could see himself and he seemed to be able to see a few feet in front of him, but outside of that was a sight... no, more a sensation, like he was seeing what a blind man saw. Not just closing your eyes, that was darkness and that was something. Out there was... nothing.
I don't think you've given up yet. I certainly haven't.
The other voice seemed to come from the nothingness. It was, surprisingly enough, a female voice. It reminded him of someone, but he couldn't quite place it.
Why do you say that? You're not me.
Does that mean that you won't listen to sense?
What sense do you have to say to me? You know nothing of what I feel.
You're looking on something you've never seen before. You're clothed in your actions and are at a crossroads: continue on the path of desperation or break the last tenant of your god. Does that sum it up?
Pretty much, I suppose. How...?
Why not go back?
I'm beaten! One more sword blow and my life is forefeit! How can I contribute anything when I'll be knocked down with a feather?
Crucas' tunic darkened to a sort of stormy grey, the colour of a thunderhead.
Does that mean you have nothing to contribute? Do you have no faith in your companions?
I...
You haven't thought this through. You fled, panicked, and aren't brave enough to turn back on your actions.
No! They're all dear friends, I wouldn't...
But you did.
Crucas hung his head, but his tunic cleared to an ash-grey colour again.
There's more.
Is there?
[I]The greatest tenant of Bahamut, the one thing that defines a stalwart warrior is dedication. If one sets himself on a path, he must walk his path to the end. If one attacks, one must attack until one has no route of offence. If one finds an unwinnable fight, do not be ashamed to flee.
Despite your teaching, though, you feel shame. You fled from unwinnable odds and yet you still feel you did the wrong thing. Do you know why?
I left everybody to die. All those who joined the fight with me have been left to deal with insurmountable odds.
Close... but no. Think. What do you know about the battle?
Crucas pulled his head up, staring quizzically into the darkness.
What do you mean? There's nothing to think about.
Aye... just like your flight was nothing to think about?
That voice... Crucas could almost place it, but it eluded him...
Crucas settled down to thought. He tried to clear his mind, and eventually he was able to picture the battlefield and it's occupants.
The kobolds have all holed up in a cave underneath the waterfall. The chief has a fearsome axe and wears the skull of a dragon. The dragon priest posesses a great knowledge of magic...
Irrelevant. Think lower.
Closer...?
The kobolds are keen to defend the cave. They have many minions, including wyrmpriests and dragonscales...
Wait... the dragonscales... when they pledge servitude to a dragon, they gain an affinity for that dragon and the energy it wields. The dragonscales we've seen are resistant to fire. That means that...

Now you know. Will you still run?
This changes nothing. I fled from insurmountable odds, and this makes the unlikely impossible.
And you call yourself a servant of Bahamut...
Crucas looked back into the nothing. Who was this voice who dared to preach the teachings of Bahamut to him?!
Yes, I do. I have done everything to the letter of his word. I have shown dedication, courage and been nothing if not forthright with my faith.
And you think this is what Bahamut would want? For you to leave innocent people to die while you slink away with your tail between your legs?
Of course not... but... the law of dedication says...
People interpret the law of the gods in different ways. The tenents and holy writs are nothing but other people's interpretations of what the god's true will actually is. You learned without making an opinion.
Do you imply that the laws of Bahamut are flawed?
No... merely your interpretation of said. You must make your own decisions about the tenants of your god, not accept another's viewpoint. Your view may agree with another by chance, but your view is your own.
So... what does this mean?
What do you think it means?
Protect the weak... raise the downtrodden and bring the good fight to the servants of evil?
Is that a statement or a question?
I... I don't know... A statement, I think...
Don't think then. Feel.
What
Do what appeases your feelings. Your sense of honor, your charity, your good heart... do what feels good to them.
What would you do now to appease your heavy heart?

Go back and fight the good fight, even if it kills me.
Well then, what are you waiting for?
Crucas didn't know either. He was still in the nothing.
I think... I'm scared... I'm scared of dying there, without any sort of closure.
Again, you have no faith in your companions. Do you really think they would let you die there?
No... No, they wouldn't.
Besides, courage isn't about standing toe-to-toe with imminent death. It's standing there when it makes a difference that counts. Killing yourself is idiotic. Killing yourself to save seven people is heroic.
So it's the cause that makes actions brave... not the odds.
When Crucas made that statement, the nothing began to take form as Crucas began to lie back from what seemed to be an amazing force in slow motion.
One more thing... who are you?
Who am I? You don't know yet?
Crucas was heading back to reality, but just before his world snapped back into focus Crucas recognised the voice.
Elwen...?
The voice, like Elwen's lyrical tones but more... more...
Think higher, Crucas.


Crucas opened his eyes with a start, one words on his lips. Sehanine. This word was rapidly replaced by another word: "Dragon!"
Crucas struggled to get his head above water, but eventually he managed to get his feet on solid ground. He had only been truly unconscious for a second, but Crucas felt like he had been knocked out for hours. His body ached, his burns weeped and his muscles screamed in protest. But Crucas needed to get back to warn everybody. He sloshed through the water, bursting through the waterfall with a rough plan in his mind.
"YOU!!!" Crucas screamed as his sight cleared the mist to see the chieftan accosting Bregga with his heavy axe.
"You may have beaten me, but I will not allow you to harm the others! Leave them... and fight me!"
Crucas shifted his sword to his shield hand and drew his crossbow. It wasn't loaded, but he used it to make a point.
"Leave them or your axe will never find it's mark."
As he pointed his crossbow, Crucas spoke out to the rest of the people fighting the kobolds (Crucas couldn't bring himself to call them allies anymore).
"These kobolds are under the servitude of a red dragon. It may be away, though. These worms need to be killed soon, lest the bigger worm return."
Crucas chose his words carefully. He didn't refer to the other fighters as friends or allies as he had. Doubtless, none of the familiarity that was there before could survive. He would fight to the end here, then fight for forgiveness from his allies.

 
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