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  #391  
Old Aug 25th, 2022, 03:12 PM
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Taurri Stellaur
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Taurri will was broken. He was beyond spent, his body felt wasted. He was tired, scarred, both burnt and frozen. His clothes were soaked. And if he didn't know better, a small pebble had managed to make its way into his boot. There was even just the littlest bit of sand aggravating a piece of skin in a sensitive location that was finally starting to chafe. Overall it was more annoying than painful.

He watched as his Flaming orb took Xandala in the back, while Kyro took her in the side. But the quick turn from human to Ape happened again. And then he watched as Xandala crushed Kyro. The cat man had been nothing but a pain in Taurri's mental side. They didn't agree on the definition of honor. They didn't agree on the best way to conduct oneself in dining. They didn't even agree about how best to eat a ration (hydrated with water as a soup, every gnome knows that). But even still, as he watched the Tabaxi crumple a part of him broke.

Kyro wasn't supposed to die here. He was supposed to die of old age. Or even better, at least in the cat's catnip filled head, at the end of a sword to an honored opponent. But not to some addle-minded, two-faced, hedge-witch!

Then the Zombies approached Taurri.

His mind snapped. He had read about wizards who had cracked. Those who took the necromantic path and never returned. The stories of Vecna and Acererak were famous. Even Halaster Blackcloak was a cautionary tale told to apprentice wizards of someone who went too far down a path to never return from it. Taurri had made promise after promice, conviction after conviction, statement after statement that he would never go down the path that those had tread. But in that instant he knew what the first step was. Because he was taking it himself.

That rationalization that a person would do anything in their power to save those close to them. Anything to be just a little bit faster. A little bit smarter. A little bit stronger. More Power. And Taurri had it in his hands. In his head. In his fear. He had seen it at the doors of death, countless times in his life already. He had seen it in the peaceful void that he had just awakened from. He he was more then willing to grab it, take it, use it, and add it into himself right then and there.

"You... bring me back that ape, or whatever she decides to change into" It was a good thing that no one was really close around to hear Taurri. His face was a mixed grimace of anger, pain, hurt, and just a touch of fury. But it was a blackness in his eyes that would have been a cause for concern to anyone close to the gnome. His voice itself was not his normal voice. It was laced with power. Laced with intent. Laced with Death Itself. And Death itself was not happy at the moment.

With a bell chime that could be heard by those nearby, the zombies changed their focus, and made towards the Ape Xandala. Completely ignoring Sskath along their route. Taurri was wrong. Someone had been close enough. But That didn't mean that he would stop his actions. Xandala needed to be stopped. While the zombies moved one, Taurri followed after them. It was then that he realized that his sphere of fire was still around. With a twitch of his non-bell hand, the sphere moved towards Xandala as well, just missing the zombies along it's path of psudo-destruction.

 

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  #392  
Old Aug 27th, 2022, 06:53 PM
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Hannibal Caine, Artificer
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The ape's feet thunder through the city as it crashes into the water, and Hannibal's ears are still ringing from the concussion of the ice storm that still lies around him in chunks. His head spins. There is an old man on the yuan-ti's shoulder, and the young man can just barely hear him singing a vaporous tune, "Little light, little light, spread your radiance all around." It reminds Hannibal of a working ditty that he likes to sing... liked to sing... when at his bench with his tools. "Hammer, stone, hammer, stone. Keep your ears open wide!" A similar rhythm, a similar tune.

"What's that?" he shouts to the old man. He coughs, squints. "What are you singing?"

The tabaxi has fallen. Hannibal wades through the broken ice toward him and the swordswoman, lifting his little bot to release a pulse of green light, then when he's on the other side of the tabaxi firing off a bolt at the the back of the giant ape.



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  #393  
Old Aug 27th, 2022, 10:17 PM
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Sskath Yiskah
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This was the tipping point. Sskath's mind was reeling from Elonast's unexpected presence and their strange but thrilling symbiotic use of magic, but she could still sense clearly that the battle hung in the balance right now. Taurri was restored, more or less, and he rained fire on Xandala. That one, hurt badly, flexed her powerful magic again and resumed the ape form. She swung one mighty fist at Kyro, who dodged it with effort. The blow was a feint, though, and the second blow - the true blow - laid the Tabaxi flat, stunned senseless.

For the second time in as many moments, the sorceress' heart lurched in her chest. First Taurri, now Kyro, their relentless fighter. Instinct and reflex had Ssketh draw breath to call out the same syllables that had roused Taurri just seconds ago. The cool, reptilian part of her mind cut the breath off. This was the tipping point. The battle hung in the balance. You know what to do, Sskath's mind told her. And she did.

While she knew what to do, the ascerbic Yuan-ti was not entirely sure how. But she remembered what it had felt like, with her back to the fire at their first camp, watching the zombies draw closer and closer. A cold confidence steadied Sskath from within. At the same time, the spectral form of Doc coalesced from nowhere and settled by her shoulder. Sskath could feel his light-hearted energy buoy her, while his murmured tune soothed. "Little light, little light, spread your radiance all around," Doc crooned, and the light was real.

Can you do it again? Sskath asked through her connection to Elonast. The dragonet's response was a short flash of derision and an echo of a quiver of irritation. Hissing and cracking her tail at Xandala's familiar, Elonast made it clear through the link that his mistress must act now.

Sskath saw it. Clicking, the sorceress rose in Princess' saddle and clicked with an authority she hadn't before felt. She spun the beast west and drove it hard toward the river's edge. As Princess's thick toenails dug into the ground, Sskath reached out with her magic and wrenched time as hard as she could with it. For just an instant, just where she was, the continuous Quickened castflow of time slowed enough that there was the smallest gap between one moment and the next. Now, Sskath sent, and released magic through elonast one more time. It was the same spell that she had used on Bacon, and that made it easier. Elonast dodged the other dragonet and settled on Kyro's chest just long enough for the magic to pass from Sskath to Kyro. Like the Fist, the Tabaxi's chest immediately relaxed as his body no longer had to labor so hard to deep death at bay.

Immediately, time resumed its constant flow. Sskath felt exhausted from the effort, but there was much more to do. Princess reached the water's edge, and Sskath absent-mindedly squeezed her knees together to halt the lizard. What she had in mind was not easy, requiring power and cleverness if there were any chance of success. Terror filled her as Artus and giant traded shattering blows, but her face betrayed little more than focus and tension. All Yuan-Ti knew the form of the spell, but Sskath had never used it. Quickly, her long-fingered hands wove an intricate pattern in the air. A web made entirely of magic, all gossamer-thin strands, settled over the giant's head.

"Hold your blows!" A flick of thought broke her connection to the blessings she'd wrapped around Morril and Kyro. It wasn't easy for Sskath to pitch her reedy voice in a way that would cut through the din of battle, but she managed, accepting the sore throat she'd have tomorrow. If there was a tomorrow for them. The giants were so big. She had never seen anything like them. She triggered the spell. Now the giant would have to listen. "Why not spare this one for now, that we might save this place and its knowledge? Xandala is the real threat to all of us, help us slay her!" Sskath thrust her arm accusingly at the ape-Xandala imperiously. Her magic WIS save DC 13drove the giant to see the suggestion as a sensible one...for a time.

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  #394  
Old Aug 29th, 2022, 03:17 PM
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As the headless corpse of the human interloper hit the ground, Sunder was already a blur of motion towards the loud crashing and shaking coming from the falls. Hannibal's cries had instilled a frantic hurry in the construct but as their Rage left, the cold reality of the existing threats to Ki'Taro guided Sunder's feet. The two gigantic figures roared and flailed at unseen threats, but the arrival of a massive ape promised even more destruction.

With smooth, long strides, Sunder nimbly scaled a village wall and headed towards the falls. Approaching the final wall barricading the beach, the warforged leapt and crashed into the wall, showering stone chips as their progress halted.


 


 
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  #395  
Old Aug 31st, 2022, 06:55 PM
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The battle had become a race. A race to stop Xandala before she reached Artus. A race to reach the action before it was over. A race to keep the fallen out of death's cold fingers. Morril's blade ripped through Xandala's pesky pseudodragon, sending it back to its fey realm, while Sskath's beloved Elonast settled upon Kyro and bound his soul to his body. Sunder raced through the maze of broken ruins, a terminator on the move. Hannibal bolstered those nearby with another pulse of his adorable contraption but the scorching arrow that he fired between Xandala's simian shoulders did not break the sorceress' command of her magic.

Taurri's bell rang out cloaking his dark whispered words. The feral undead bowed their heads to their new master's will, turned and sped towards the giant ape as the gnome commanded, his flaming sphere bounding over a ruined well and then the river to rest at Xandala's side. Sskath was headed that way too, her blessing slipping from her companions as she wrapped the nearest frost giant in her enchantment, words that shouldn't have made sense pierced the giant's thoughts deeper than any arrow and corrupted his will more swiftly than any poison.

The undead reached the ape first, their dead flesh sizzling as they entered the soggy marsh at the edge of the waterfall. One of the zombies dug their foul fingers deep beneath Xandala's hide. The ginormous ape turned and crushed the zombie beneath her fist, turning its rotting carcass into mush. Leaping into the crashing water, Xandala reached up, thrust her hand through the falls and snatched Artus from his sniper's perch. As she turned her head up towards the cliffs with thoughts of escape, the bewitched frost giant's mighty axe found her, opening up her side with its sharp edge. Not even the splintered ribs or the gaping wound could break the shapeshifting sorceress' iron will.

Nearby in the marsh, Sunder and Taban were near enough to feel the ground tremble as the other frost giant cut down the brave dragonborn warrior. Artus gave a ragged cry of grief, not even seeing the giant storm to the edge of the river and raise its axe once more. Confusion marred the giant's movements. His companion was suddenly attacking the ape that had snatched their bounty. But the bounty was right there in the ape's fist, ripe for culling. Torn with indecision, the haft slick with the blood of the dead dragonborn, the giant's axe flew free of his grip, whirring through the air end over end to disappear with a splash beneath the falls.

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Only Artus could save himself. Drawing a wicked dagger from the sheath hidden beneath his sleeve, Artus tried to stab down into Xandala's massive forearm. His hands sweaty, he could barely keep a grip. He could barely breathe. With a desperate scream, he stabbed down again and again, at last puncturing the flesh. Xandala roared with pain, jerking away her wrist so hard the dagger was torn from Artus' hand just as the sorceress lost control of her magical form. She did not lose a grip on Artus though. Clutching his shirt the pair fell, plunging into the swirling waters, disappearing from view.


 

 

 


DevelopmentXandala is grappling Artus 5 feet under rushing water. The foam from the waterfall is obscuring the surface of the water.

They have 1/2 cover (+2 AC and DEX saves) vs all attacks
They have 3/4 cover vs ranged attacks made from more than 20ft away (+5AC and DEX saves)

They have resistance to fire damage.

Melee attacks made with any other weapon other than a spear, trident, javelin, short sword or dagger has disadvantage


EnemiesFrost Giants: AC15
Shago: AC 16
Xandala: AC13 > Giant Ape AC12 (CON save +2)
Xandala's Pseudo Dragon: AC13
Feral Zombies: AC12

Map Terrain MechanicsCliff Walls: The BROWN line marks the cliffs. They are 30 ft high impassible terrain although it can be climbed with an Athletics check DC18. All normal Climbing rules apply.

Cliff Stairs: The GREY arrow marks the narrow cliff path to the basin floor. It is difficult terrain. It is impossible to climb or descend while mounted without risking a dangerous fall (Animal Handling DC15 to convince mount; Acrobatics DC15 to avoid slipping and falling. If the Animal Handling check failed, the Acrobatics check suffers disadvantage).

Dense Jungle Foliage: The GREEN LINE marks dense jungle foliage. It counts as difficult terrain.
- Creatures in this foliage have half cover from ranged attacks (+2 AC/DEX saves) from enemies that are further than 15 feet away and 3/4 cover (+5 AC/DEX saves) if further than 30 ft away. They have full cover and cannot be targeted if they are further than 50 ft away.
 


Light Jungle Foliage: Any other areas that CLEARLY show foliage that occupies more than half the square is Light Jungle Foliage: Creatures may use such areas to gain half cover from ranged attacks (+2 AC/DEX saves)
 


Large Trunks: The brown circles are large tree trunks. If they occupy half or more of a square, it is impassable terrain. The trunks block line of sight.

Village Walls: The THICK BLACK LINE marks the 15 ft high stone village wall. It is impassible terrain although it can be climbed with an Athletics check DC14. All normal Climbing rules apply. Ranged attacks made from the walls to targets on the ground benefit from a +1 elevation bonus to attack rolls.

Ruin Walls: The THIN BLACK LINES mark the walls of ruined buildings. It is impassible terrain. It provides 3/4 cover from ranged attacks (+5 AC vs ranged attacks and +5 to DEX saves). The other ruins on the map without black lines count as difficult terrain and provide 1/2 cover (+2 AC vs Ranged attacks and +2 to DEX saves).

Marsh Land: The YELLOW LINES mark areas of land flooded by the river. It counts as difficult terrain. If you end your turn here make a DC13 STR save or become STUCK! Anyone proficient in survival cannot become stuck.
 

River: The river is 5ft deep and quite fast flowing. Each 5 foot of movement costs 15 ft of movement unless you have a swimming speed. This movement penalty can be reduced to 5ft cost 10 ft of movement with a successful (Str) Athletics check DC12. Those wearing medium or heavy armor suffer disdavantage on this check. Normal rules for aquatic combat apply in the river.

Rope Bridges: The rope bridges count as difficult terrain. A successful Acrobatics check DC12 allows you to move normally instead. Anyone making this check who is not proficient in Acrobatics and fails, falls prone into the river, ending their turn. Raptors require a DC13 Animal Handling check to convince them to cross. If trying to move swiftly across the bridge on a raptor, the Acrobatics check DC increases to DC15.
 


Labyrinth Hedge Walls: The labyrinth is in a poor state of repair. The THIN GREEN LINES mark 10ft tall hedge walls. These walls are impassable terrain and block line of sight. The other unmarked walls count as difficult terrain and provide HALF COVER.
Burning WallsPassing through squares with burning walls requires a DEX save DC13. On a fail take 1d6 fire damage for each burning square you passed.

 


Mounted Combat MechanicsMounting/Dismounting: costs you half your movement speed
 


 

PC StatusSskath (Sk): mounted (8)thps ((8 thps)26/26 hps) Concentration on Suggestion
Taurri (Tr): (5) thps unmounted (13/26) Concentration on Flaming Sphere
Kyro (K): /8) thp - unmounted; prone, unconscious, stable - Bastard (7/26)
Tiffa (Tf): DEAD
Morril (M): (8) thps unmounted 1 Mirror Image mount: DEAD
Sunder (Su) :
Taban (Tb): (80/80 hps) dismounted (26/26hps)
Bacon (B): Unconscious (0/39 hps) prone - mount (DEAD)
Hannibal (H): (8) thps

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  #396  
Old Sep 1st, 2022, 06:02 PM
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Morril had hoped for a splatter when the heavy end of her maul met the pseudodragon's flesh, but a puff of ethereal glitter would have to suffice. She felt the bolstering aura that the glowing man's device exuded flowing over her once more, and she turned to give a nod of thanks to the newcomer. What type of man joined a fight so full-throated not knowing any of the parties involved? Of course, that was an assumption. She didn't know what he knew, or what might motivate him.

Morril ran out of the stone ruins, passing by Kyro's form, his chest rising and falling evenly. The work of Sskath, whose honeyed suggestion one the giant's also seemed to be following, despite all logic. An enchantment, no doubt. That one might have a prickly exterior, but when the lives of her companions hung in the balance, a fierce protector awoke.

"Forward!" Morril called out, but her voice was ragged and carried no farther than two lengths of her arm. Instead, she put down her head and began sprint towards the water, leaping at a small corner to take her into a potential flanking position for the ensorcelled giant and closer to Artus and Xandala.

She couldn't see them clearly, but both their forms seemed to be struggling. Artus! She could not allow him to die.


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Old Sep 2nd, 2022, 11:25 AM
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Sskath Yiskah
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The spell worked! There was no doubt about it...anybody looking could see the axe-wielding behemoth shake his head slightly as the force behind the spell overcame his resistance. He changed combatants between one eyeblink and the next as if it were the most sensible thing in the world. Sskath exulted as the giant cleaved into Xandala once, and then again. "Forward!" That was Morril, reliable as always and offering good, simple directions.

The sorceress eyed the rapidly-shifting battlefield. Fights moved so quickly, and Xandala was a particularly wily opponent. She didn't want to get too close to the giants and their axes, and if she could avoid the packs of zombies - and where had those come from? - that would be a benefit. The fight was surging south and west, away from Sskath. She saw an small island, nearly spanning the river where it made its turn south. Once more, Princess, she thought, driving the raptor hard one more time so as to be able to churn through the strong current and thick muck lining the bottom of the channel.

But from the island, Sskath felt like she could see everything, and felt a small degree of safety. Two dozen feet west, Xandala and managed to grapple Artus, and the pair had plunged beneath the shallow water, still locked in deadly combat. There was no way she was going to plunge into that water and try to fight, but she knew just the spell...Xandala was wounded, and though the river's flow washed the blood away as soon as it welled up, those wounds were serious. Sskath's magic reached into some of the slashes, WIS save DC 13 or 11 necrotic damagespeeding up the natural decay that had already begun imperceptibly.

She felt so drained. Physically, emotionally, and magically. Sskath's powers had been depleted, badly. But there was one thing that absolutely had to be done while things hung in the balance. From her jungle island perch, the verdant sorceress drew deeply on her magic, trying not to be frightened by how little strength remained. But there was enough...and maybe just a bit more. She turned to face the fallen Kyro. Reading Sskath's intent through their connection, Elonast flapped her wings awkwardly once, then rose off the Tabaxi's chest and winged off, head craning around in a vain attempt to find Xandala's own pseudodragon. Sskath wrapped Kyro once more in a web of arcane power, but that web was much more robust than the previous one. At her single spoken word, that web sank deeply into her fallen friend. Many of his wounds Healed for 11immediately closed, leaving no trace of their existence. Kyro's chest hitched hard, once, then the fighter's eyes snapped open.

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  #398  
Old Sep 2nd, 2022, 06:35 PM
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“Kyro”
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The darkness began to settle upon the tabaxi. He had no illusions about an afterlife. Regardless of what others had said, Kyro knew that the here and now was the only thing that mattered… to live and die with honor was the only thing that mattered.

As his consciousness faded, Kyro believed he had failed. What honor was there in being laid low by a solitary blow from a magical beast. There was none. As the light faded from his eyes… Kyro bared his teeth and released a hate filled hiss.

And then… Kyro’s eyes opened once more.

In all his long years of arduous training, Kyro had been taught that to control one’s emotions in all things was the goal of a true warrior. Now… Kyro threw that wisdom away, discarded it as the bygone worries of a dying breed that had no part in this battle.

Kyro sprung back to his feet, glad to see his ruby tinged katana still clutched securely in his hand. His body was whole, but the samurai was still grievously injured… Kyro did not care.

“Where… is… she?” Kyro growled as he looked to Sskath, following her eyes as she looked towards the river. Kyro closed his eyes briefly… a slight moment of thanks to the reptilian woman for her healing before he sprang forward, a blur as his powerful legs propelled him forward. The tabaxi, without breaking stride, launched himself across the river heading towards the overhanging rock that looked over the pool at the bottom of the waterfall.

Coming to a rest upon the rock, Kyro ignored the giant to his rear… that was not his fight. Xandala was.

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Old Sep 3rd, 2022, 02:43 AM
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Hannibal Caine, Artificer
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Hannibal coughs and leans forward, one hand on his knee. Coughing is unpleasant. His lungs feel full of fungus and his breath comes ragged. Dizzy, confused, he tries to make sense of what he's seeing. You can rush in to try to help people who appear to need your help, certainly, especially when you suddenly have a strong, young body and you can always make a good robot. But as the battle shifts, he knows you can't just make judgments based on appearances, and side with who's getting beaten up the worst, or who isn't a magical giant ape, or who is getting his head beaten in by your robot friend. There are factions in this fight, for sure. Maybe more than two. A winter faction. A swimming faction. A raptor faction. A zombie faction. There was a dragonborn around here somewhere. And well, the yuan-ti are often their own special faction.

What would be great is if all these challengers would line up more clearly. Maybe wear identifying armbands or jerseys, like a nice game of pitz. But the zombies seem suddenly reasonable, the giants are remarkably compliant, and the elk has disappeared. One thing they all seem to have in common is a desire to get to possibly the most dangerously sacred spot in the whole complex: the waterfall. The ape goes thundering toward it. The tabaxi, down and out just a second ago, is now up and running that way, as is the woman with the maul. Everyone goes leaping vigorously off toward the waterfall, and Hannibal cradles his robot. The noise of the water slamming into the pond below is everywhere here, all the time, until you almost forget that it's here, and of all the things that haven't changed since Hannibal died years ago, the waterfall is the most obvious one. And there aren't any others.

"Hey," he shouts at no one and everyone. "Be careful around that waterfall. It's kind of sacred to Ubtao and while I'm no holy man, more of an architect really, you never can discount--" He finds that he is stumbling, then trotting over toward the waterfall himself.

Was there a thing he used to be able to do that was like... walking on water? or flying? He can't remember now, or do it now, but one thing he can do now is sprint, so he does that, as the torrent of water gets louder, to try and see what's going on under the surface. He pulls up next to the fighter, keeping the tree between him and the giant, but finishing his warning, panting now and shouting over the falling water: "--you can never discount the presence of the Father of Dinosaurs. He is one tough tyrant. You know?"


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Old Sep 7th, 2022, 09:26 AM
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Taurri Stellaur
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Taurri knew in his head that Kyro was alive, based on the bellowing rage that was screaming from behind him. But, that didn't really do much to ease the mental construct that was driving him forward towards his goal of stopping Xandala. It seemed that she had found her quarry, which only helped to stop her from running away from him. The waterfall, and in fact the river itself, might be cause for concern for the flaming sphere. Regardless, Taurri had other tricks up his sleeve. Tricks that he could do while holding onto the Wraith's Bell.

Taurri allowed the flaming sphere to dissipate as he continued to move towards Xandala, however slowly. It was always his slowness that was a problem, but he had recently figured out a way to bypass that slowness. He had used it before, during the dinosaur race, and now it was a race of life and death, luckily it just wasn't his life that currently hung in the balance. With a quick snap of a finger, Taurri's body was enveloped in mist, and quickly moved through space and time.

The intricacies of magic were an odd thing. The spell didn't really move him in the grand scheme of things. That was the interesting things about most teleportation magic that non magic users didn't realize. At a micro level of reality, when one teleported, they weren't moving their own body around, they were moving, in some small way, the entirety of reality so that the universe itself 'shifted' around the caster. Or at least, that's how all of the magical theory seemed to do things. The greater the distance - the weirder the placement - the harder to know the end location, the harder the spell would be to cast. Luckily, Taurri could see just where he was planning for the universe to end up around him, and the mist that was Taurri reformed close by.

And following that "jump" was an enveloping spectral hand, grasping out towards Xandala, and touching her with death magic. Magic to draw forth her life force, and not allow her to know respite. Not allow her to seize her goal. Not allow her to kill again. "Xandala, you've wrought too much havoc. You need to stop."

 

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Last edited by Insacrum; Sep 7th, 2022 at 09:27 AM.
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Old Sep 7th, 2022, 10:18 AM
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Sunder drew long, smooth breaths as they pounded across a marshy beach near Ki'taro's falls, eyes locked on the towering giant that seemed to grow in stature as the warforged approached. The fury and cold intensity of purpose that suffused Sunder was a tool to be used, just as the Great Cats of Chult utilized quick, savage power. It was an honor to the hunter and its prey, Sunder knew, to let the world fall silent save for a moment of single, violent struggle.

Now, with the strange foreigners crying into the air, casting magicks and falling, Sunder relied on that understanding to simplify the churning chaos in Ki'Taro and the supposed resurrection of their creator. Calmly at first, then increasing like a boar in charge, the construct began to hyperventilate and wave their greataxe erratically as they closed the gap to the giant, howling defiance at the creature's intrusion.

The construct clomped over the body of the fallen dragonborn, heedless in their fury and swung wildly, cleanly missing the giant.

 


 
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Old Sep 9th, 2022, 09:11 AM
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The group collectively moved towards the sacred waterfall. Sskath, atop swift Princess, arrived first while her healing word sealed the worst of fallen Kyro's wounds and stirred the tabaxi back into the fight. The sorceress priestess did not need to fully see Xanadala, obscured beneath the swirling waters. She could sense Xandala's hurt. Without a word, Sskath's magic dove beneath the surface and dug out Xandala's soul through the wounds. Just as Taurri arrived beside Sskath a forlorn bell tolled; this time the ring did not sound from the wraith's bell in the gnome's hand. A moment later, a split second before Taurri unleashed more life siphoning magic upon the traitorous sorceress, her body floated inert to the surface, face down, pulled gently downstream by the swift waters.

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The threat of the giants remained. They too sought Artus. With Xandala's death, Sskath's enchantment had served its purpose. The giant shook his head to clear away the haze. Ki'Taro's automaton guardian closed in on the other giant but Sunder's axe could not bite all the way through the giant's thick leather boot. Taurri sent his magic at the giant that turned its deadly axe on the guardian. Sunder turned aside one of the giant's fearsome blows, but the power behind the attack left him staggered, unable to defend himself from the follow-up attack. Steel carved through steel.

The other giant thrust its hand into the rushing waters and snatched Artus as the man struggled back towards the surface, dragging him onto the river bank where the giant smashed Artus across the face with the butt of his axe, crushing Artus's nose like paper. Blinking through watering eyes, Artus's hand glowed ice blue. Ice formed in the air beside him, taking the form of another icy fist. The fist punched the giant right back in the face, busting open its nose as well. But the furious giant did not release its fierce grip on his prey.



 

 

 


EnemiesFrost Giants: AC15
Shago: AC 16
Xandala: AC13 > Giant Ape AC12 (CON save +2)
Xandala's Pseudo Dragon: AC13
Feral Zombies: AC12

Map Terrain MechanicsCliff Walls: The BROWN line marks the cliffs. They are 30 ft high impassible terrain although it can be climbed with an Athletics check DC18. All normal Climbing rules apply.

Cliff Stairs: The GREY arrow marks the narrow cliff path to the basin floor. It is difficult terrain. It is impossible to climb or descend while mounted without risking a dangerous fall (Animal Handling DC15 to convince mount; Acrobatics DC15 to avoid slipping and falling. If the Animal Handling check failed, the Acrobatics check suffers disadvantage).

Dense Jungle Foliage: The GREEN LINE marks dense jungle foliage. It counts as difficult terrain.
- Creatures in this foliage have half cover from ranged attacks (+2 AC/DEX saves) from enemies that are further than 15 feet away and 3/4 cover (+5 AC/DEX saves) if further than 30 ft away. They have full cover and cannot be targeted if they are further than 50 ft away.
 


Light Jungle Foliage: Any other areas that CLEARLY show foliage that occupies more than half the square is Light Jungle Foliage: Creatures may use such areas to gain half cover from ranged attacks (+2 AC/DEX saves)
 


Large Trunks: The brown circles are large tree trunks. If they occupy half or more of a square, it is impassable terrain. The trunks block line of sight.

Village Walls: The THICK BLACK LINE marks the 15 ft high stone village wall. It is impassible terrain although it can be climbed with an Athletics check DC14. All normal Climbing rules apply. Ranged attacks made from the walls to targets on the ground benefit from a +1 elevation bonus to attack rolls.

Ruin Walls: The THIN BLACK LINES mark the walls of ruined buildings. It is impassible terrain. It provides 3/4 cover from ranged attacks (+5 AC vs ranged attacks and +5 to DEX saves). The other ruins on the map without black lines count as difficult terrain and provide 1/2 cover (+2 AC vs Ranged attacks and +2 to DEX saves).

Marsh Land: The YELLOW LINES mark areas of land flooded by the river. It counts as difficult terrain. If you end your turn here make a DC13 STR save or become STUCK! Anyone proficient in survival cannot become stuck.
 

River: The river is 5ft deep and quite fast flowing. Each 5 foot of movement costs 15 ft of movement unless you have a swimming speed. This movement penalty can be reduced to 5ft cost 10 ft of movement with a successful (Str) Athletics check DC12. Those wearing medium or heavy armor suffer disdavantage on this check. Normal rules for aquatic combat apply in the river.

Rope Bridges: The rope bridges count as difficult terrain. A successful Acrobatics check DC12 allows you to move normally instead. Anyone making this check who is not proficient in Acrobatics and fails, falls prone into the river, ending their turn. Raptors require a DC13 Animal Handling check to convince them to cross. If trying to move swiftly across the bridge on a raptor, the Acrobatics check DC increases to DC15.
 


Labyrinth Hedge Walls: The labyrinth is in a poor state of repair. The THIN GREEN LINES mark 10ft tall hedge walls. These walls are impassable terrain and block line of sight. The other unmarked walls count as difficult terrain and provide HALF COVER.
Burning WallsPassing through squares with burning walls requires a DEX save DC13. On a fail take 1d6 fire damage for each burning square you passed.

 


Mounted Combat MechanicsMounting/Dismounting: costs you half your movement speed
 


 

PC StatusSskath (Sk): mounted (8)thps ((8 thps)26/26 hps) Concentration on Suggestion
Taurri (Tr): (5) thps unmounted (13/26)
Kyro (K): /8) thp - Bastard (7/26)
Tiffa (Tf): DEAD
Morril (M): (8) thps unmounted 1 Mirror Image mount: DEAD
Sunder (Su) :
Taban (Tb): (80/80 hps) dismounted (26/26hps)
Bacon (B): Unconscious (0/39 hps) prone - mount (DEAD)
Hannibal (H): (8) thps

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Last edited by jbear; Sep 9th, 2022 at 09:13 AM.
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Old Sep 12th, 2022, 12:30 AM
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Hannibal Caine, Artificer
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Hannibal goes to the river and pants at the water's edge. He's dizzy and sick, exhilarated and exhausted, both. The ape turns back into a woman, who dies underwater, and immediately begins to float downstream. But the battle continues between winter and winter -- blue giants and an icy caster. The strangers all converge in silence on the giants, and Hannibal is confused. He turns toward the woman whose ruined corpse is tossed now on the rapids, and has no answers. Factions upon factions. Why did they come here to fight with their apes and giants? Sunny is fighting in a frenzy, so at least some of them are bad.

"Who are you people?" he yells, his voice nearly swallowed by the thundering waterfall. "Who was she? Who was that ape?"

It was his father who taught him to survive in the jungle. How to run and jump and climb. Of course, it wasn't a jungle -- it was -- it must have been the plains. His father was a horse trainer, a quiet man, born to the saddle and stirrup. Quiet but not weak. His constant imperative, for the boy to come out of his books and builds and inhabit the world of hills and trees and rivers, animals and men. "This world requires you to act. Not research, not reflect, but act. This moment is lightning, here and gone. You can't pin it to the sky by thinking."

He shoves the robot under his arm and dives into the water, going after the corpse of the woman he had a hand in killing, before she disappears in the foam.

He flounders. He sinks, as his body fails. But he has made this dive a hundred times, and even as an old man. This water is sacred, this waterfall is holy, and as he gulps down a mossy swallow of river, he reaches out to the god for whom his labyrinth was built, and swims.


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Last edited by lostcheerio; Sep 12th, 2022 at 12:37 AM.
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Old Sep 13th, 2022, 12:10 AM
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Morril felt it, the moment Xandala died. The death curse the dusky half elf had placed on the sorceress was fulfilled, and as the last breath was forced from her broken body, a portion of her life essence was siphoned away and pulled into Morril's own flesh. A buzzing warmth seeped through her limbs, the bruises and burns, Xandala's parting gifts, beginning to fade.

But Artus was still very much in danger. Nearby, the helpful interloper shouted his questions and Morril tore her eyes from the battlefield to look at him. Though he did not know them, he had thrown himself into the fire, quite literally. He deserved answers, but before she could speak, he rushed towards the water and leapt in. Not to be outdone, Morril charged in the opposite direction, coming up behind the giant, whose own form was three times that of herself and swung out with her magical maul.

"Take them down!" Her own blow bounced harmlessly off the giant's armor, but across the stream, Taban made his way through the mud and in position to flank the ailing giant there, lashing out twice and biting the massive enemy's flesh once.


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Old Sep 13th, 2022, 11:42 AM
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Sunder heard Hannibal shouting and muttering to himself as the man wobbled and dove into the water, pursuing the now dead sorceress' body. A distant, internal smile swept over Sunder--until the giant's blade struck, nearly throwing the golem from their feet and grinding something awful against their stone skin.

Snarling, gnashing their teeth, Sunder spun and dragged their greataxe down the giant's calf, blood showering the golem, pattering off stone.

In the moment of weakness, the Chwinga grew emboldened by the wild, Chultan antics of Sunder and Ancestral Guardians applied!swarmed the golem. Unseen to the party of strange adventurers, the golem soon glowed from head to toe like a Being of Old, translucent green reflecting off the showering mist from the falls.


 


 
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Last edited by Smokefire12; Sep 13th, 2022 at 11:42 AM.
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