Game Thread Round 4 (ekidnu, HenryLockwood, Wishkamon) - Page 2 - RPG Crossing
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  #16  
Old Aug 20th, 2021, 06:38 AM
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FuturesVWOOOOOSH!

The sound the whirring building made was hard to describe, but VWOOOOOSH! is how Aegaras would have spelled it. He began to duck, out of the way, then changed his mind at the last moment and dashed towards the demon. Yes: Aegaras the Drunk, cowardly mage and extravagant storyteller, was running towards danger. He was disappointed to have so few witnesses! With a last-minute twist, he threw himself into a slide between the demon's ankles, lightly scratching himself on the last few grains that Rocky was still collecting together. The scratches were nothing serious. The bruised ribs where the demon almost trod on him were, though, and it was only Aegaras' own lingering magic that saved him a much worse injury.

Magna was not so lucky; without the lingering protection of Aegaras' spell, she had been hit - and hit hard - by the soul-prison. It had knocked her flat, like she was accustomed to do to trainees. If the situation had been less dire they might all have laughed at the irony. Aegaras felt a pang of guilt; he had been so busy attacking the demon that he had neglected to watch out for his friends. Heroism was all well and good, but teamwork was more effective! And Rocky had faced a different challenge; stone through sand would not harm him, but the vortex that was building up could scatter him far and wide, leaving him unable to help: but the elemental was prepared, and pulled himself together. Aegaras smiled: Rocky would not appreciate the pun on the figure of speech, so someone else would have to laugh for him.

With a view to teamwork, Aegaras paid more attention to what the others were doing. Magna's vines were clawing at the bishop, trying to tear him apart, while Rocky had shifted to opening up the prison itself, clinging to the structure as it whirled through the air. How to help? Aegaras could do little from here to break the door down, nor did he feel directly able to harm the enemy. It was time to revert to old habits, protecting his team long enough for them to do the hard work. He felt a pang of shame, resolving to learn - at least a little - how to fight more effectively himself, just in case he was one of a small crew of rescuers once again. A silver tongue was all well and good, as was an encyclopaedic knowledge of poetry, but the world needed a more direct approach.

Not now, though. Now was the time for courage, and Aegaras could help with that.

"Magna!" he called. "'What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish?' The poets always have an opinion, and there is always the right answer. Your vines are the answer here! Tear down this villain, let the vines and brambles do their work, let him crumble and rot before his time.

"And Rocky: you are more a hero than you realise. You can make the poem true: you can turn the words to reality; I can only remind you of them. 'Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel / There is the empty chapel, only the wind’s home. / It has no windows, and the door swings.' Go for the hinges, Rocky! The door is too large, too thick, but break the weak point and the rest will fall!"


And Aegaras turned his mind to the future, to what they would do after the Bishop was defeated, and layered on shield after armour, armour after shield, for his friends. With a surge of inspiration, he stopped quoting others, stopped telling other, ancient tales, and made his own. With this vision, this courage - this dream - they would prevail.

"Think of courage when you think of me.
Think of me, afraid, but standing fast.
See only life when you see my grave,
For swamp and stone outlast.

"Dream of futures when you face our foe.
Dream of pleasant sunlit lands.
I stand before him, at his foot,
Staggering, with empty hands.

"See an ending when you look on me.
The drunkard, standing, terrified.
I will not run when you look on me,
For hope has not - yet - died."


Aegaras paused. He needed a moment to collect his thoughts; the poem so far had been found, unforced, but the last stanza would be harder. He needed to wrap up his themes, to bring it together, to draw the strands of the magic together and tie them into a net he could cast wide. The meter was constraining him, forcing him into a pattern, but it built tension in the spell, and if he could balance those two needs...

"Your futures shine bright in my mind.
There are homes, travels, companions, friends.
I cannot see their places, their names,
Only that this is not your end."


He was dissatisfied with the result; his own verse had never been as fluid, as compelling, as he would like: but for something improvised in the heat of battle, it would suffice. He believed, truly, in its underlying message: the Companions would not fall here; this would not be the end of their tales. There would be a future.

He only hoped he would be there to see it.


Mechanics and OOCDodging, using (what else?) boots!
Dice 2d6 rolling low, CN3:
2d6sml4 1 ✔, 5 ✘ (1/2) Total = 6

One success, so the Armour of Words is used up and takes care of the wound from the partial effect.

Dice I have an Armour of Improvised Poetry, 3d6 rolling high, CN3:
3d6smh3 6 ✔, 6 ✔, 5 ✔ (3/3) Total = 17

Three successes, so each of us is armoured against the next wound.

Quotes are from TS Eliot's The Waste Land, taken out of context. The full poem is original. Credit, as always, to ekidnu and Wishkamon for inspiration and proofreading!


Statblock
Aegaras 'The Drunk', Half-elf CN3
Current Wounds: 0
Signature Moves:
Charming Narrative: Aegaras can talk the hind leg off a donkey. More usefully, since meeting angry donkeys has not been a key aspect of any of his varied adventures, he can generally charm, convince, influence, and - if all else fails - outright beg people to see things his way. Some might view this as a leadership trait, but Aegaras is not enough of a planner to be a great leader.
Known Spells (2):
I have an armour of words: buff; language-dependent. Aegaras tells a story of heroic survival against the odds; the magic prevents the first Wound a character suffers. More successes on the casting roll means this affects more characters.
Befuddled by the light: debuff; language-dependent. A barrage of words, some relevant, some not, quickly confuse an enemy, conveying a Debuff and reducing the likelihood they'll dodge Aegaras' allies' attacks. Mechanically, this usually works as a Buff (+1d6) to allies' attack rolls.

Adventuring Gear:
Coin Purse: Aegaras has no head for figures, and is never entirely sure how much money he has to spend. When he attempts to purchase something, bribe someone, or similar, his Coin Purse may or may not contain enough for what he needs.
Well-laced Boots: Aegaras always makes sure his boots are comfortable, waterproof, well-soled, and above all else well-laced. This helps if he's out for a comfortable stroll, crossing a rough surface, or running away from overwhelming odds.
His Father's Sword (Spell Focus): Aegaras has still not realised that the sword isn't actually very good quality, or that he's not very good at using it. He can parry a blow, or make an attack of his own, but it's not as a sword that he really uses it. No: when you're going into battle, you feel a lot more confident with a sword, and Aegaras' father was wise enough to know that his son was not a swordsman and never would be. He handed over his third-best sword, told the young man it was a mighty blade, and watched Aegaras' face beam with pride and new confidence. This item does not count as a weapon for Adventuring Gear purposes and conveys no +1d6 on combat rolls.
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Last edited by HenryLockwood; Aug 20th, 2021 at 06:59 AM.
  #17  
Old Aug 20th, 2021, 10:25 AM
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An all or nothing Gamble
The long swipe with Fu's Tavern as a weapon worked fairly well. Magna had been severely hammered by the structure, and even the nimble Aegaras caught some of the blow. To the Bishop's dismay though, a layer of magical protection still lingered on Aegaras, and The Drunk was not injured during the crash.

Assessing the situation, Bartholomew knew that he needed to eliminate the poem-weaver before he would be able to deal with the other two companions. Magna's intrusive vines continued to invade his 'personal space', making any movement more difficult. Rocky was present, but his actions were not an immediate threat to the demon. Drilling a hole through the door to Fu's Bar was going to take some time, and it wasn't the safest place for Rocky to be hanging. Bartholomew figured he could deal with Rocky last.

With the limited mobility available to Bartholomew, he swung the soul-prison around one more time, before changing its trajectory to swing directly over his head, and come down crashing on top of Aegaras. Hit or miss, it was sure to burry Fu's Far deep in the ground again, and it would not be as easy to extract this time. Swoosh! Fu's Bar flew with great speed before making contact with the ground. It looked like a meteor had just landed. Dirt, chunks of rock, and stone all exploded upward under the force of impact. For a moment it was silent as the dust settled before anyone could assess the damage. Had Aegaras been smashed to smithereens? Was Rocky buried underneath the rubble? Was Magna still able to control her vines?

One thing was for sure. The next few moments would be pivotal in determining who would come out on top in this battle.

EventDodge a building II! Bartholomew has focused all his efforts on smashing Aegaras. Make an Outplay Roll, rolling Low to avoid being smashed! This time, it requires 3 successes to completely avoid being hit. With 2 successes, take 1 Wound. With 1 success, take 2 Wounds, and with 0 Successes take 3 Wounds.

Rocky - still trying to drill through the door to the tavern, and stuck there when the building hits the ground takes 2 Wounds. (This is also a penalty for having only 1 success last round).



OOGM
Aegaras still has protection from 1 wound from "I have an armor of words". Rocky's was used in the above crash, so he only takes 1 wound, and for Magna's we will follow precedent, and have 1 wound taken this round prevented by the spell as well.

Alright, folks, this is it. Your last post for this round, and for Outplay 2021! It has been an absolute blast gaming with you. Thank you for making this such an enjoyable event this year.

This thread will be locked at 10 pm EST on Saturday the 21st of August. So, you have a bit more time than normal to get our posts in, if you need it.
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Last edited by Bhelogan; Aug 20th, 2021 at 10:26 AM.
  #18  
Old Aug 20th, 2021, 02:29 PM
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Living in the momentAegaras was living in the moment. There was no choice, really, when the moment was very loud, dusty, and chaotic, as a demon attempted to hammer you with an entire building. Another hero might have been discombobulated. Not Aegaras! It was fortunate that he had spent half a lifetime living in the moment, and ironic that most of the other half was spent making careful plans to support this habit.

Aegaras might have been a student of words, and of the world, but he was not a student of irony.

He saw the building coming. It was not difficult; buildings on the end of demon-wielded chains were far from the most subtle threat he had ever encountered. He dithered for an instant - do I dodge left or right? - and settled on scrambling backwards, the way he'd come, between the demon's ankles. That way, if Bartholomew wanted to hit Aegaras with a building, he'd have to hit himself between the legs. Even if demon anatomy was different from Aegaras' own in a crucial regard, that would still hurt!

There was an almighty CRASH! as the building hit the ground. Aegaras had dodged the structure itself, but the shrapnel as it hit was more of a challenge. Fragments peppered him, adding a layer of dust all over his clothes, skin, and hair. Minor abrasions, cuts, grazes; they stung, for sure, but he was lucky enough - and fast enough! - to avoid real injury. The dust, though: that would take a week of washing, at least, before he was presentable again! Aegaras wiped some muck out of his eyes in the darkness. His hand came away filthy, and he was abruptly glad of the lack of an audience: the city guard, and the Grey Guard, had all fled. On another day, in another place, Aegaras might have joined them: but while Magna and Rocky still fought, he could not, would not, leave. He was, miraculously, still unharmed on this awful day; his life was as charmed as Sir Orfeo's or, he began to suspect, the blasphemous bishop's.

There was a terrible ghastly silence.

The dust settled, that which had not already adhered to Aegaras.

He saw Magna, struggling through her injuries; but he could not see Rocky, who was most likely the other side of the solid object. He called out "Rocky! We're still alive!"

He hoped Rocky could still hear. He knew the elemental would care, if he heard: Rocky understood metaphor even less than Aegaras understood irony, and thus his heart of stone was only literal. Literal: like Rocky's mind. No metaphors, figures of speech, or complicated instructions: in a flash of insight, Aegaras saw the way, and shouted:

"Rocky! Smash the door, it'll be faster!"

He had no similar words of wisdom for Magna; the old witch would make her own plans, and would not appreciate his interference. She'd most likely call him a whippersnapper, or some other Dwarven word for an importuning youngster. Unfortunately, he didn't have a clear plan for himself: there was no way he could tunnel into the prison fast enough; he would not be able to break the physical chain; and the time for negotiation was long past. Finally, Aegaras fell back on what he tried to avoid: direct confrontation. He drew his coin-purse from his belt. The money would not help, not directly, but hadn't he read that demons couldn't stand silver?

Maybe that was werewolves. He had a horrible suspicion it was werewolves.

With a heroic yell, Aegaras hurled handful after handful of coin. Copper, silver, and gold all mixed together, pelting the demon, a short-lived but glittery cascade of missiles. He ranted as he threw, casting aspersions on the bishop's ancestry, personal hygiene, morals, appearance, intellect, and complexion. Since the bishop was in fact a towering demon, these insults were all to easy to form; unfortunately, they were none too likely to have any more impact than hand-flung coins. Mixed in with the insults were pleas and bargains: offered to the Nine, and to any minor deities and folk spirits Aegaras could call to mind, any being that might be listening and might be able to help. Normally so erudite, so verbose, Aegaras' well of words was running dry. He had his coins, his insults, and his prayers. Perhaps they would confuse the monster, as Aegaras had confused it before; this was all he could do for now.

He would think of his next move later; right now, Aegaras was living in the moment.

It was a grand place to live.


Mechanics and OOCDodging, using (what else?) boots!
Dice 2d6 rolling low, CN3:
2d6sml4 3 ✔, 2 ✔ (2/2) Total = 5

A crit! A palpable crit! Aegaras survives unharmed, and still armoured.

Using the Coin Purse, because it feels neglected, and casting Befuddled By The Light. The potpourri of insults and prayers, with the confetti of coins, are probably pretty confusing.
Dice 3d6 rolling high, CN3:
3d6smh3 6 ✔, 4 ✔, 2 ✘ (2/3) Total = 12

Two successes, because you can always throw money at a problem.

The only deliberate quote in here is from Douglas Adams.

And finally: my heartfelt thanks to all competitors, spectators, sources of inspiration, judges, and most of all DMs, for running Outplay 2021. It has been intense, maddening, and among the most fun I've had in approximately 15 years on this site!


Statblock
Aegaras 'The Drunk', Half-elf CN3
Current Wounds: 0
Signature Moves:
Charming Narrative: Aegaras can talk the hind leg off a donkey. More usefully, since meeting angry donkeys has not been a key aspect of any of his varied adventures, he can generally charm, convince, influence, and - if all else fails - outright beg people to see things his way. Some might view this as a leadership trait, but Aegaras is not enough of a planner to be a great leader.
Known Spells (2):
I have an armour of words: buff; language-dependent. Aegaras tells a story of heroic survival against the odds; the magic prevents the first Wound a character suffers. More successes on the casting roll means this affects more characters.
Befuddled by the light: debuff; language-dependent. A barrage of words, some relevant, some not, quickly confuse an enemy, conveying a Debuff and reducing the likelihood they'll dodge Aegaras' allies' attacks. Mechanically, this usually works as a Buff (+1d6) to allies' attack rolls.

Adventuring Gear:
Coin Purse: Aegaras has no head for figures, and is never entirely sure how much money he has to spend. When he attempts to purchase something, bribe someone, or similar, his Coin Purse may or may not contain enough for what he needs.
Well-laced Boots: Aegaras always makes sure his boots are comfortable, waterproof, well-soled, and above all else well-laced. This helps if he's out for a comfortable stroll, crossing a rough surface, or running away from overwhelming odds.
His Father's Sword (Spell Focus): Aegaras has still not realised that the sword isn't actually very good quality, or that he's not very good at using it. He can parry a blow, or make an attack of his own, but it's not as a sword that he really uses it. No: when you're going into battle, you feel a lot more confident with a sword, and Aegaras' father was wise enough to know that his son was not a swordsman and never would be. He handed over his third-best sword, told the young man it was a mighty blade, and watched Aegaras' face beam with pride and new confidence. This item does not count as a weapon for Adventuring Gear purposes and conveys no +1d6 on combat rolls.
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Off sick - expect to be back in business around October 6th.
Maps for Wrath
Pronouns: he/him/his, etc.

Last edited by HenryLockwood; Aug 20th, 2021 at 02:43 PM.
  #19  
Old Aug 21st, 2021, 02:25 AM
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ekidnu ekidnu is offline
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FallenIt hurts. It hurts a lot. In fact, it feels like a building just landed on him.

Wait a minute ...

Rocky remains perfectly still, and not just because ‘freezing’ is the instinctive response to avoid becoming a target—really, who would be foolish enough to run around and draw attention to himself, to become the number one target of the demon? No, by remaining motionless the Terran can better sense the vibrations quivering through the earth, refracting through clay and reflecting off bedrock—he can feel what is going on.

Immediate surroundings first—the elemental is at the bottom of a massive crater, right next to the prison, with his finger still stuck in the incredibly thick wooden door. The reinforced chain has gone slack, and over the crater’s lip he can see the demon towering far, far above, paying him no heed. Groovy. Rocky is safe for the moment.

But why is he in such incredible pain? The prison actually landed upright beside him, not on him; he is wedged between it and an enormous slab of limestone, with his stones all intact. In fact, there isn’t even a chip anywhere—inspired by Aegaras’ rousing speech, he was able to hold himself together, just as his diamonds sustain the integrity of his sandy form.

And why is the pain so extraordinarily strange? The sensation is neither physical nor psychic, and yet it is both. He discovers the answer the moment he removes his finger from the door.

The diamond is cracked. A long, ugly fissure severs his eye completely in two.


Flashback: The Crystal GardenIt was a simple ritual, befitting of Terrans. Rocky just had to listen—with all his heart and mind and soul, more intently than he ever had, or ever would—but in the end, the gemstones would call to him. He just had to listen.

He heard it, after only a decade. It was the sound of laughter and love, of delicious sorrow and sweet understanding, of a perfect moment that stretches to eternity. Rocky had found his diamonds, and he would never be alone, for the gems in the crystal garden are the souls of Terrans past, distilled into their purest forms to serve as lifelong companions for a new generation.


FightRocky realizes that he is completely wrong about the demon—he would much rather fight a frail wizard instead.

How can he possibly face something that destroyed his diamond? He has to protect his remaining eye, at all costs. Surely it isn’t cowardice to avoid suicide?

Yes, remnants of hope remain: even though he can’t see her, he can feel Magna’s crooked gait and thumping staff—she’s clearly hurt but still alive. He can hear Aegaras yelling, reassuring him that they are alive—how thoughtful of him!—and he can feel the half-elf running and skidding back and forth between the demon’s ankles, his stride miraculously unimpeded by injury.

The courageous diatribe, so sophisticated that Rocky doesn’t understand a single word; the daring dash towards the demon, confronting it head-on; the defiant tossing of pebbles, or some like objects, at Bartholomew: all of these are the marks of a true hero—perhaps an ineffective hero, but a hero nonetheless. Rocky is inspired and moved—he wants to help Aegaras so badly, and knows that he should be by his side, confronting the danger together with his friend … but Rocky has had quite enough danger for one day. By his diamond, he just can’t do it.


EndgameFortunately, the merchant’s son provides a solution.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aegaras
"Rocky! Smash the door, it'll be faster!"
“Groovy!” Rocky bellows gratefully to let Aegaras know that he hears, agrees, and is alive—and, most importantly, is incredibly thankful for the excuse and permission to not fight the demon. He looks for the hinges, as his friend had previously instructed … there they are, right next to the block where the chain is connected ...

Rocky has an idea.

He didn’t want to break the chain while the prison was being whirled around—even he could see that that might be a bad idea for the prisoners inside. But now that Fu’s Bar isn’t moving …

He needs to act quickly, before the ex-bishop treats Fu’s Bar like a flail again. There isn’t enough room for a running start, so he tightly coils the blanket around him, pausing for only a moment to indulge in its comforting touch. Ooohhh. So soft. With a sharp tug, he starts spinning—this is the only way he can build momentum in such close quarters—and then hurls his entire massive body, as hard as he possibly can, at both the wall and the door. With the hinges and chain’s attachment so close together, he smashes open a hole big enough to swallow them both—a hole that would both sever Bartholomew’s connection to the prison and allow his friends to escape.

With any luck, this would be the turn of the tide. Instead of just Magna, Aegaras, and himself against Bartholomew, they would be joined by the formidable powers and talents of all of their companions inside. Sorbo. Jeremy. Haerrsk. Sapphire. Denmuk. Kase. Tikum. Rammariel. And more. They would be an impressive force, numbering … well, Rocky can’t count that high, but there would be a lot of them. At least three. Or is it five?

Anyway, with all of their friends joining the field of battle, they would have more than just a fighting chance. And Rocky probably wouldn’t need to fight at all.

This is the endgame. It’s time for the Crossing Companions to assemble.


 

Last edited by ekidnu; Aug 21st, 2021 at 02:42 AM.
  #20  
Old Aug 21st, 2021, 01:09 PM
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Magna Harper-Gravelmane
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The line between heroics and stupidity was a blurry one at best, and in this line of duty it was one regularly toed. She saw it all the time in training -cocky youngsters making brash moves in hopes of looking cool or getting a leg up in the race for glory.

Generally speaking, Magna did not approve. Fortune may favour the bold, but it also advocated vigorously for those who were still alive.

No exception to this opinion was made for Aegaras’ decision to get in close to the demon. He might have had the bravado to fool most people into thinking he could use that sword, but she was not so easily to beguiled, and bravado alone didn't bring down monsters. Support should stay back. Let the heavy hitters take the brunt of the attacks. Gods, had she taught him nothing?!

“Oh, you’ll be getting a thick ear later on, that’s for sure,” she muttered. Supposing, of course, that she was still going to be alive to provide one.

A stream of colourful swear words, frantic pleas, and loose change bombarded the demon, and she began to question that possibility.

She worried less about Rocky, about his physicality anyway. He had sounded frightened and distressed earlier, but she knew how deeply he cared for the companions inside the soul-prison. He would fight for their freedom until the end, she hoped. As the dust began to settle, there was a reassuring rumble of ‘groovy’, and a flurry of motion and crashing sounds from the bar.

Rocky was making use of his famous spinning attack to buffet the wall of the magical cage.

“Good lad!”

If they could free the rest of the companions then the day was surely won, and she could have a blasted sit down.

Magna felt like a damaged conduit channelling more power than it could rightfully handle. She blinked rapidly to try and banish the white spots that threatened to overtake her vision. She might have had more to say about the fast and loose tactics of her remaining companions, but she dared not spare any attention away from focusing on her spell, and staying upright.

The old witch could feel the vines writhing away inside the demon like parasitic worms, but they only served to slow him, not bring him down. Whatever damage they were doing, it was not immediate enough.

Something else then.

All at once, she dropped control over the internal vines, letting them become still husks inside his body. She picked up the retracting arcana just beneath the surface of the earth and channelled it into new growth.

The ground in front of the dashing poet split open violently, and another huge vine broke the surface between the demon’s ankles.

With no hesitation it shot directly upwards up with incredible speed and force, aiming mercilessly for the space where she hoped that demons kept their family jewels.

A punch to the Clergyman’s Cobblers ought to slow him down, and if backup was on the way, then it might just be enough to turn the tide. Besides, it would serve as a nice reminder for the rest of the companions emerging from the prison, to never, ever, cross her.


Stat Block
 

OOC
Thank you all so much for an epic competition! You guys are all groovy by my measure.

 
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Last edited by Wishkamon; Aug 21st, 2021 at 01:18 PM.
  #21  
Old Aug 22nd, 2021, 01:39 PM
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CliffhangerAnd so, here we stand at the end of our grand adventure. Three stalwart heroes facing off with the Demon Bartholomew, trying to save not only their own lives but also those of all the Crossing Companions who had been trapped inside Fu’s Bar. Each had their own unique, and sometimes unorthodox way of battling the foe.

Aegaras was unphased by the building that had been sent soaring straight for his head. When the dust cleared, he was unscathed. When a bard has a bad performance, often times the audience will pelt him with rotten fruit and vegetables while flinging insults. If he does well, coins might be tossed instead. Aegaras had this a little backward and flung coins, and insults at the Demon, in a spray of copper, silver, gold, and clever words.

Rocky felt that even 3 against 1 were not great odds for the Crossing Companions and instead focused on freeing his allies from the soul-prison, Fu’s Bar. To do so, he needed to smash through the tavern’s door. What better way than to use his signature Spinning Maneuver? If he could just smash through that door, surely the tides of the battle would be turned, and the demon would be quickly overpowered by the combined efforts of all the Crossing Companions.

Magna knew it was not time to risk something odd or unfamiliar. When it matters most, oftentimes it is best to stick to your bread and butter. That one thing you do better than everything else. She focused all her energies on conjuring up more vines. This time, it would be focused on just one, large vine, aimed at delivering a cheap shot that would hopefully knock the demons’ senses into yesteryear.

Would their efforts be enough? Could Aegaras’ coins, or Magna’s vines be enough to subdue the foe? Or would Rocky’s prisonbreak be successful in time to save them? Only 6 watchers knew the answer to those questions, and their answers would come in time….
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  #22  
Old Aug 26th, 2021, 06:47 PM
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Bartholomew's DefeatRocky's spinning maneuver was too much for the door to Fu's Bar, and in short order, it was shattered to pieces. As the doors broke, an eruption of energy exploded outward. Everyone who had been inside, while watching the events conspiring on the outside world, yet not really grasping their weight, was suddenly sucked out. They flew like kettle corn popping out of a frying pan, landing on the street, surrounding the massive demonic form Bishop Bartholomew.

Although disoriented, the scene all the Crossing Companions observed was one that would go down in history, repeated for generations of adventurers. There Bartholomew stood, being showered with coins and insults from Aegaras. So painful were the welts from the projectile coins, and the sting of insults, that Bartholomew never noticed what was coming his way.

The older people get, the less they play fair. They know better. And, a strong cheap shot was just as good a way to end a fight as any other. Magna's students in the past had learned this lesson when trying to outsmart or outmaneuver the swamp witch. A quick whack of her stick would set even the naughtiest of boys in order. Magnify that by ten thousand, and you get a cheapshot delivered by a massive magical vine. The demon groaned, as it grabbed its tender spot, then fell over, incapacitated by the pain. No backup was needed. The Bishop was out for the count. The Battle had been won. In the end, The Drillmaster had schooled the faux clergyman.
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