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  #121  
Old 05-01-2020, 12:50 AM
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Novak's fortitude
Dice Novak's Fortitude Check:
1d20+12 (2)+12 Total = 14
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  #122  
Old 05-01-2020, 01:27 AM
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Novak Krill
The Vrock's shriek, harm Novak in a way he'd never been hurt before. In recoil from the pain he lets his weapon and shield falter to the side as he tries to cover his ears.

 






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  #123  
Old 05-02-2020, 03:42 PM
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Novak's Trait fortitude reroll
Dice Novak's 2nd Fortitude Check:
1d20+12 (1)+12 Total = 13
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  #124  
Old 05-03-2020, 05:58 AM
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As Mikael squeezed himself into a doorway, Novak and Ambrosia both stopped in their tracks, stunned by the demon's hideous screech. They halted, unable to do anything, even defend themselves. Esprix and Bakku were more resilient, both of them attacking the demon in their own way. Esprix
Dice Will saves:
2d20+8kl1sh19 (4, 17 (keeping 4) )+8 Total = 12
cursed it again, while Bakku struck at precisely the right angle, making a screech of his own as his ears reverberated to the sound of the vrock. It snarled, a curious sound through its beak, and turned on the cleric. It stumbled, too many bones broken, and lashed out
Dice Claw attack:
2d20+9kl1sh23 (2, 14 (keeping 2) )+9 Total = 11
2d6+5 (2, 1)+5 Total = 8
one more time. Bakku saw the claw coming, saw it catch him off-guard and tear through his armour, but a twist in fate turned it aside so it merely scored a deep gouge down his vambrace. The armour would not do for a parade, not now: but this was war, not ceremony, and for war it would suffice.

On the far side of the room, Bokak swiftly dealt with the two
Dice One attack:
1d20+9sh27 (16)+9 Total = 25
2d4+3 (1, 4)+3 Total = 8
archers, evading their last desperate strikes as they tried to take him down. The great room fell silent, and now the heroes could take a moment to look around.

The court must once have been beautiful. The walls were decorated, detailed carving of angels and knights in a frieze around the room, though it had been defaced and altered to show the warriors engaged in foul acts with beasts and demons. Only five columns remained standing, and the rubble to the north completely blocked the doorways: the ceiling, thirty feet above, looked quite unstable. The door to the south, to the Area F3aentryway, was barred from this side, and could be opened if needed.

But then Bokak heard something: a small voice, calling out.

"Is that you?", it said. "Ambrosia? Marcus?"

He could hardly believe his ears, for the voice was that of Nurah, the halfling who had disappeared so early in the assault on Drezen...

OOCWell, looks like Bakku did enough damage to finish the vrock: I was expecting it to get a full attack in. On the plus side I have learned how to use the dice roller for Misfortune hexes!
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  #125  
Old 05-04-2020, 08:54 AM
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Mikael saw the creature eye him, then turn his attention instead to Bakku, who had imparted an impossible blow to the vrock who had seemed to single-handedly stand against the entire party. He needed to be able to help - but twisting the fabric of reality was so slow... he needed to be able to cast faster. Particularly, he needed to be able to be able to call forth creatures more quickly - fast enough to react to the task at hand, since so often he failed to cast his most powerful spells before the party found themselves attacked.

As he contemplated his so-called plight, he heard a small voice. "Nurah?" He perked up, scanning the room for the halfling who had disappeared.
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  #126  
Old 05-04-2020, 08:27 PM
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Esprix perked up at the halfling's name.

"Nurah?" she asked. "Did we find Nurah?"

The ratling was excited, even if her battered body didn't seem to indicate as much energy as her voice. The little ratling had borne the brunt of several vicious attacks so far in the citadel, but in her eagerness, ignored the aches and wounds that covered her small furry body.

"We found Nurah!" she exclaimed, and then paused. "No, you are right," she said quietly. Tiger kept flying circles with his mistress, while she nodded her head in assent. "It could be a trick."

"Do any demons sound like other people?" she asked. "Maybe we should ask something only Nurah would know."
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  #127  
Old 05-06-2020, 05:40 AM
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”Nurah?” Asked Ambrosia with a grin, as she gave a sidelong glance at the goblin who had so profoundly berated her for botching Nurah’s rescue.

Then the ratling assured everyone that it could be a trick, and little Esprix asked the only logical question, ’Do any demons sound like other people?’

Ambrosia was only familiar with herself as a quasidemon. And she wasn’t entirely sure if imitating others was in her skillset, perhaps under the right circumstances and careful study. She pondered what she’d heard from the tiny voice from somewhere and considered if it were faked. Then she tried to mimic the voice that was presented as Nurah’s. But without any study and too little exposure, her voice came out more squeaky than small.

Bakku perked up. As a tengu, linguistics were engrained deeply into his lineage. The cleric considered the cry from the supposed halfling and compared it to what he thought might instead be a demon with a different volume lung capacity and foreign larynx or even a strange abyssal lingering accent.

The challenge to replicate the sound was amusing and he clucked his been twice in reflection of the task at hand. Not since he was a lad did his childhood friends play pranks on others by throwing their voice or mimicking another. Bakku never picked up the trick, but curiosity got the better of him and he tried anyway. Once again, more squawky than small.

”I say that we ought to find this voice and rescue its owner, rather than try and learn how to replicate her voice post mortem.” He turned to look for a suitable hiding spot. ”Though I must say that is a rather convincing portrayal of Nurah’s voice, the pronunciation and mannerism is spot on. Whomever is masquerading as poor Nurah is a rather cunning linguist.”

Ambrosia began clearing a path through the room. ”I think she’s over here!”


 


 
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  #128  
Old 05-06-2020, 10:11 AM
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"There are plenty of demons that can sound like other people." Mikael said somberly, "And those who can look like others. Some of the worst are like soul-vampires they drain a person of their essence and seemingly become them. But demons of that power are typically demonic generals, and if one is here, we have greater problems than it not being Nurah."

Realizing he was rambling, Mikael shut his mouth in a bit of a grimmace, and followed the others. His guard was mostly down - maybe they would actually get to save someone, here.
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  #129  
Old 05-06-2020, 11:00 AM
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With a short search, it was easy to locate the halfling. Her left leg was pinned under the rubble, and she was badly injured, but alive. As far as anyone could tell, this was no demon: just the scout, now found again. Of course she had heard the conversation, and managed a pale grin in reply.

"You're right not to trust me," she said. "A lot of demons would do this, and enjoy it, if they could. But I can tell you that you're traveling with Aron and Sosiel, and Aron's your best scout, and that Ambrosia and Esprix bonded over chocolate. Does that help?"

She paused, and some of the pain crept back into her voice.

"Does it at least earn me one of you lifting these rocks off my leg, please?"
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  #130  
Old 05-06-2020, 08:18 PM
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Esprix, given her small size and frame, could not help with the boulder removal. She could, however, lay a paw on Nurah, and send healing into the little halfling. With a smile, the ratling did.

"I'm glad to see you again, Nurah. And glad you aren't a demon. There's a lot of them around. And archers. Did you see a demon?"

 
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  #131  
Old 05-07-2020, 07:54 PM
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Bakku rushed over to help with the rocks. He was strong for a bird man, but he was still a bird man, so his attempts were marginal, if not completely ineffectual. ”Perhaps the Mighty Bokak would be better at this task? But while we are all gathered round, let’s see about mending some wounds.” The cleric closed his eyes and two pulses of radiant energy shed from his being that offered new life to the living.

Ambrosia basked in the positive energy and was inspired to assist with the rocks. Bakku had cast a spell earlier on that made her feel much more capable of lifting and carrying things, so while she was more dexterous than strong, her efforts went further than she anticipated. ”Hold on, Nurah, we’ll have you freed in no time. I spent the whole night scouring the graveyard looking for you. I am so glad you are alive. Some were convinced you hadn’t made it.” She added, nodding her chin toward the goblin.


 


 
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  #132  
Old 05-08-2020, 03:23 AM
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It did not take long to shift the rocks off Nurah. They were heavy, but with a team working on them, and lifting one at a time, it was easy enough to free the halfling. She wiggled her leg out of its trap, then slowly clambered down the heap of rubble. Just in time, it seemed, for an ominous rumble gave warning of a further collapse, and the heroes scrambled back in time to avoid the heap shifting. It sprawled, dangerous and precarious, blocking access to the rooms beyond.

"Ahh, thank you!" she said, smiling. "I cannot describe how long it has felt, being trapped there! But there are faces I don't recognise. The bird-man, and the one with the shield: greetings; I am Nurah Dendiwhar, a historian of the Worldwound and thoroughly unsuited, it turns out, to this sort of perilous expedition. These demons are... remarkably unpleasant," she finished with a shudder.
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Old 05-08-2020, 04:39 AM
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Bakku pulled back at the halfling’s nomenclature. ”I am a tengu, thank you very much. And if you are going to marginalize my race and appearance, at least put a little effort into it. I happen to prefer ’large beaked anthropomorphic avian with a penchant for linguistics, religion, and justifiable violence’, myself.” The bird man produced a small book from his pocket and held it out daintily to Nurah with two claws and a smile, if beaks could smile. ”My name is Bakku Bakarak Ak’Ak,” he said, pointing his beak up into the air as he ushered out the guttural phonetics of his name that ended in what seemed almost a reflexive squawk. Gesturing with the book once more, he added, ”I am a cleric of Shizuru, whom I believe is closely allied with Iomedae. Here are a few words of her teachings. May they guide you to a path of enlightenment, or atonement, whichever you are seeking.”

Then he cocked his head to the side in thought and said, ”Wait, the Nurah Dendiwhar?” He wasn’t sure if he remembered her or not, but it felt like he might. ”You did the thesis about demons’ cross ascension with crusading paladins, didn’t you? That was so amazing, nobody believed a word you wrote! How did you even research that?” Suddenly he felt as though he had imagined everything and hoped he was back before the time when he started talking to the halfling.

Ambrosia couldn’t help but giggle while the tengu navigated his horribly awkward introduction but let out a snort of laughter as he identified her supposed thesis. The tiefling produced a blanket from her haversack in which she enveloped the halfling. ”Here you go, dear. When was the last time you ate?” She asked. Then she produced a bundle of food covered in waxed parchment and a small vial of viscous amber liquid. ”Here, I prefer the gnomish rations. They’ve found all the good bits of the world and managed to scatter them throughout a seemingly randomized process and somehow it ends up here, in this bundle of delicious. And there’s a bit of honey to soften the bread. I don’t have any water, but this curative elixir ought to go well with the meal. And, best for last,” she added, breaking off a small square of dark brown. ”A bit of chocolate to wash it all down.” She said with a smile.

”Would you be able to tell us what you witnessed while we were separated?” Asked Ambrosia. Then she looked around to the others and asked, ”How are we doing here? I sense that there are magics in play. Should we keep moving or do we have time for a short break?”

Bakku sighed. ”Yeah, so the magics that have been used to benefit the group are not going to last much longer. But that’s not such terrible news because I am getting the impression that this is not going to be just a quick saunter through a cathedral as many may be accustomed to. So they probably wouldn’t last anyway.” He held a clawed hand out and wavered it as he said, ”Some benefits may have as little as five minutes left, some may have as much as fifteen? Depending on who you are. It was a significant investment that has already paid off quite well. So it is what it is. It looks like we have to figure out our next move anyway, so I would love to hear Nurah’s tale.”


 


 
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  #134  
Old 05-11-2020, 09:06 AM
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"Nurah!" Mikael offered her a hand down from the pile of rubble, and then stood perhaps slightly too close to her afterwards. "I'm glad you're alive. We were worried you might have been killed by the demons, or interrogated, or... well, demons do plenty of unpleasant things we don't need to get into. Still, you're back safe, and we'll protect you better next time."

"Hmm." Mikael's eyes wandered over to the pile of rubble that filled a sizable section of the room. "I think we need to deal with that. There's no way it will block the doors as it is." He snapped to attention now, realizing others likely didn't follow his train of thought.

"See, many demons can teleport. But their servants can't. These rocks prevent us from going down those hallways, but they also prevent demonic servants from approaching us using them. We should block them off further, to minimize the number of entities who can get behind us."
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Old 05-11-2020, 10:13 AM
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Nurah turned to Bakku, her good cheer reviving as she ate the rations that Ambrosia provided.

"Do you mind if I shorten that a bit? Ak'Ak, is that the polite address? I'm not sure I'm very well suited to pronouncing your name. I've heard of Shizuru, though she's not exactly local. It must be an interesting story, how you came here, instead of fighting evil closer to home. Or closer to your goddess' home, at any rate.

"And yes, I did do some research, but the short answer is that demons are tricky, and if the paladins aren't constantly on their guard - and I mean constantly - it's easy to make a misstep. The research methodology was quite simple. I pretended to be a demon disguised as a halfling historian, and went to see which paladins I could seduce, and discovered which of them were prone to spilling secrets. Even the best of people makes mistakes, and it was quite the eye-opener."


She gave a saucy grin.

"Some of the paladins are very repressed. I think I was an eye-opener for them."

Then, becoming serious again, and having engulfed the rations with the haste and appetite of the truly hungry, Nurah turned to Ambrosia.

"Well, the first thing was a big dark shape, winged like a shadow, swooping down upon me. I tried to fight it off, for it had obviously seen me, but it paralysed me and carried me off here. They thought I was unconscious, and I tried to play up to that, but I watched and listened. Last night they sent Soltengrebbe to attack you - I don't know who that is - but this morning they were cursing that "the fool beast" hadn't done his job, and then there was a lot of shouting and explosions, and then it went quiet until you came in. As I said, I've been trying to lay low, and I was making a very cautious attempt at an escape when one of your explosions dropped a bit of the roof on me. I don't think the rest of it's that stable, so be very careful if you try moving stuff.

"Oh, and all of them were talking about what Staunton will do if they don't stop the attack, so I think Staunton's in charge. That sounds like Staunton Vhane, who used to be a paladin. Dwarf, he was the one who took the Sword of Valour out of the citadel in the first place, which was the mistake that let the demons in. We used to think it was a mistake; it was your friend Irabeth who found out the truth. You need to be careful of him."


Nurah paused for breath.

"You're lucky that most of them are away, of course we planned that when we chose to strike now, but Staunton's got a lot of the cultists out trying to fight off your army. He hadn't expected the prisoners to be a liability to him. I think the best thing would be to look for the prisoners they still have hear: I heard there's a senior prisoner, Arueshalae or something, in the dungeons, and a human warrior somewhere on this floor. And there's the chapel, that was the room just west of here, but I think there's a demon in there. Janeamine, they called her, and talked about her "pets", so she's probably got some beasts with her. Sorry it's all guess-work, but I've not been able to move around much. I'm just lucky they didn't think I was worth guarding properly!"

OOCWell, Nurah overheard more than I realised, so here you go! I haven't acted on the suggestion to block the doors more (or less) since I'm not sure exactly which option you're going for. Please tell me explicitly and then I'll move on the action.
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