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  #61  
Old Sep 21st, 2023, 09:00 PM
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Chaos and Magic
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Tegan watched as his first handaxe throw went wide and the strange creature enchanted a blinding field on him and his allies. DIscipline in place. Tegan reflexively placed his forearm across his eyes, shielding himself from the dust storm that was conjured by the fiend. Pushing forward, Tegan saw that his allies were slowly repositioning north. Blyne and Besimeh were at the edge of the black pool, shouting and stabbing at an unseen fiend.

Tegan was completely out his element. Magics were the others area of expertise. Tegan had seen one of the small demons explode under Talia's hand, but decided it was a necessary evil. Positioning himself on the flank of the nearest mephit, Tegan swung Kanna in a slow wide arc. The creature had remarkable agility, dodging and weaving, but with the split focus, Kanna's blade found a way to strike true. Tegan felt his eyes sting as the mephit exploded, but his weary eyes, blinked the dust away.

He kept his eyes and ears open for any further clues on the best course of action from his allies. Aric had already indicated that flight would be wise, but Tegan was going to be the vanguard if retreat was their course.

 
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Last edited by Tommyk382; Sep 22nd, 2023 at 10:06 AM.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2023, 06:29 PM
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The Hidden Threat

Sharp steel and hardened wood repeatedly struck at the living clouds of swirling dust, weakening the wild magic that animated them and making the small, unholy creatures violently burst in an explosion of fine sand that threatened to rob the heroes of their eyesight. But even so, facing creatures that were in nature more like the desert surrounding them than any being of flesh and blood they had encountered, wasn’t enough to make the heroes despair. Though only a few of the companions had received a warrior’s training, each one possessed skills and powers that allowed them to prevail over their enemies. Their bravery and ingenuity would have easily granted them victory, had it not been for the fact that the moment a dust mephit was destroyed another seemed to take its place. Even before exhaustion made their limbs heavy and their breathing labored, the heroes realized that their actions were ultimately futile. As long as the source of the wild magic remained active, turning the infinite grains of sand around them into malicious creatures eager to destroy all life, their courage and battle prowess could accomplish little.


Aric and Devari retreated, hoping that distancing themselves from the site where the world had been scarred by chaos would be enough to keep them safe from the ever-spawning mephits. While the youth put his faith in his deadly arrows, the woman did what she knew best - she put whatever power had awakened inside her in her words. The taunt she delivered stung more than she expected and she saw the supernatural creature in front of her that would normally have been immune to remarks about its outward appearance, scream out in fury and at the same time clutch at its head as if it tried to keep it from splitting in two. Devari was surprised to see that her words had a weight that was comparable to that of a well-thrown stone. The mephit glared at her with hatred, but didn’t dare to approach her, choosing a target that was closer at hand.


Zendra’s heart was racing and her thoughts felt as sluggish as the movements of her hands. She refused to believe what was happening around her. This should have been a solemn moment, the moment she had been looking forward to ever since she left the city of her birth to travel to Khur. She had lost her way in the desert, had been captured and abused by bandits, and had even been braving the heat without (much) complaining just so that she could finally reunite her uncle with his long-lost wife. Both of them deserved peace in death, a peace the gods should have granted them in the first place. She was here to correct the gods’ mistake and do the right thing and yet the entire world appeared to be against her. The thought of this unbelievable injustice drove her mad with anger and filled her eyes with tears. She wanted to scream in frustration and curse the mephits, the desert, the world and the gods for being so cruel to her. What had she done to deserve their ire? Why could they not just let her in peace!?


As if reading her thoughts, the little demon that had been initially chasing after Devari, swooped down on Zendra in an attempt to rip her face to shreds. Reflex immediately took over and the archaeologist used her enchanted crossbow to push away the small creature, its sharp claws slashing at the air mere inches from her eyes. Within heartbeats Xihue was at her side, menacingly brandishing his shepherd’s crook to keep the terrors away from her. The Alan-Atu urged her to retreat and she clearly saw the wisdom in his words, but still she hesitated. If she left now, would she ever be able to return? Wouldn’t a veritable army of these filthy creatures forever defile her aunt’s resting place? Would her poor uncle ever find the peace he longed for, if he never rejoined his loved one in death?


As Zendra posed questions that none but the gods could answer, Tegan and Talia valiantly kept on fighting against the creatures. The two truly couldn’t be more dissimilar in the way they did battle. The Solamnic was slow and deliberate, constantly aware of his surroundings and making sure that each attack counted, while the kender was a virtual whirlwind of activity, springing here, striking there and immediately retreating before the mephits even had a chance to realize what was happening. One of the little demons exploded, the dust cloud enveloping the squire and the Xihue is blinded, Tegan succeedswarrior-shepherd, while another Tegan needs to make a Dex save DC 10 or be blindedtargeted them with its foul breath.


Some distance away from the humans, who were trying to keep the dust out of their eyes, Isandril was thinking. The dust mephits weren’t the problem here. Despite their viciousness they were rather weak and obviously no match for his companions. The real problem was the chaos scar. The elven mage had heard of many such places in the world that had been so ravaged by Chaos and his minions that they would not heal even after decades had passed. Not even the returned gods seemed to be able to undo the damage that the Father of All and of Nothing had done. His mark was indelible. Or was it?


The apprentice studied the black surface that appeared to absorb all the light around it. It looked sinister, but in reality it was only glass, desert sand that had probably been superheated by a fire dragon’s deadly breath. Would shattering it neutralize the wild magic it emanated? He couldn’t be certain of course, but it seemed likely. Talia was already racing towards the black mirror, intent on using her hoopak to break it to pieces. It seemed unlikely that even her ingenious weapon could crack the magical glass, but perhaps he could somehow assist her. Perhaps his magic would be able to affect the mirror, make it more brittle. Carefully approaching the area of black glass, Isandril started chanting the words of power that were inscribed in his mind. They flared red and the White Robe immediately felt the release of energy. Normally, the process of spellcasting was intoxicating and it took enormous willpower for a mage not to lose themselves in the magic. This time, however, the arcane power felt sluggish, almost reluctant to take the form the wizard had willed it to. Isandril persisted and little by little the influence of chaos was overcome. He was rewarded with a burst of intense cold that covered the chaos scar almost entirely, barely missing Blyne who was standing at the edge of the mirror. A thin layer of ice formed, ice that was impervious to the desert heat. For now.


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Isandril’s ice spell


Blyne took a step back, keeping a healthy distance from the encroaching ice and more importantly from whatever it was that only she could see. Her fingers danced as they wove Krynn’s magical energies, forming complicated patterns that changed so swiftly that it was impossible to memorize them before they disappeared forever. Electrical sparks started forming around her, tiny at first, then larger and brighter until jagged tongues of electrical energy radiated from her body, threatening to electrocute whoever dared to approach. Having woven the protective spell around her, the mystic-sorceress looked at the shiny black surface beneath her feet, making sure that the fiend that had come out of the black mirror was staying back for now, hopefully intimidated by her lightning armor. What she saw made her gasp in shock. wild magic surgeUnder the light of the electrical halo around her the fiend’s features appeared even more horrific than she remembered them. Even Onysablet the Black in her mad genius wouldn’t have thought of distorting Blyne’s beautiful features in such a way. The woman’s youthful skin seemed to have melted like warm wax with boils and scabs covering every inch of her skin. Her hair resembled writhing worms, her eyes were dark pits devoid of even the memory of light and frothing black liquid came out of her mouth.


Blyne now has the frightened conditionBlyne screamed in panic, her previous confidence melting away before the creature’s nightmarish visage. For the first time she realized what would happen to her, if the creature managed to penetrate her magical defenses. The fiend wouldn’t just kill her. It would no doubt devour her very soul!


Besimeh stared at the sorceress, torn between staying safe as Blyne had asked her to do, and blindly rushing forward, hoping that her dagger would be enough to offer her friend the assistance she so desperately needed. Blyne’s scream of pure terror finally gave the solution to the Khurish merchant’s dilemma. Besimeh started running towards the other woman, but she almost fell down as her boots, made to walk over sand and stone, the icy surface is considered difficult terrainslipped on the icy surface of the black mirror. Forced to tread more carefully, the merchant nonetheless moved as quickly as she could and when she finally reached the place that Blyne had indicated, repeatedly thrust with her dagger.


At first all she cut was air, flanking cancels the Disadvantage from invisibilitybut when she stabbed a third time the dagger was unexpectedly met with some kind of resistance. Besimeh pushed harder and she was rewarded with the feeling that something was being torn. The “thing” pulled away and the woman fell forward, almost losing her balance. Looking at the blade, she realized that it was covered in a dark viscous liquid that slowly dripped, staining the black glass beneath her feet. The sight was sickening and yet Besimeh raised her dagger triumphantly, calling to the companions.


"Look. Look! It bleeds. The fiend bleeds. It is real! Please, don’t let Blyne face it alone. Help her. Please, I beg you!"


The eyes of Blyne and Besimeh met and the merchant saw her friend’s indescribable fear in them. She was looking at the black surface, but the fiend was no longer there. It had disappeared! Suddenly, the mystic’s arms grew stiff, as if someone was trying to overpower her One square to the NW from Blyne’s current positionfrom behind. Invisible fingers bore into her flesh, 14 points of necrotic damage, though 10 are absorbed by the magical armordraining all warmth, color and life from it. Blyne screamed, just as the energy of her magical armor was released, striking at her invisible attacker. The force exerted by the creature lessened and the woman managed to free herself from the fiend’s grip, only… What was she to do now?


How could she and her companions destroy a demon they could not see?



Calendar13th Day of Aelmont (Winter) 422 AC / 38 SC, Noon

Solinari: 7/36 (Waxing)
Lunitari: 16/28 (High Sanction) - conjunction with Nuitari
Nuitari: 5/8 (Waning) - conjunction with Lunitari

Boons/Penalties:
White Robes - | Red Robes +2 spell DC, ADV on spell attack rolls | Black Robes +2 spell DC, ADV on spell attack rolls


 


 


 


 
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  #63  
Old Sep 23rd, 2023, 08:44 AM
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Talia Dawnstar
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Talia had a front row seat to the drama between Blyne, Besimeh and whatever invisible creature attacked them. Seeing as Blyne might be dead soon, Talia decided not to think of her as Beef the gully dwarf. As for the creature attacking the lover’s pair, it might as well be a gully dwarf because Talia had no clue. Regardless, Talia still bent forward and pumped her little legs hard as she ran towards the chaotic glass.

Before she had cleared half the distance, Isandril had enacted an ingenious plan and Talia saw the black, shiny surface suddenly frost over as it acquired a gleaming coat of ice.

Talia shifted her grip on her hoopak as she lengthened her stride. Even though her legs were quite short, she made up for it with multiple bursts of speed. Even as the kender saw Besimeh draw blood, she did not waver from her target.

Talia made it to the edge of the ice and trusting her excellent balance, she tried to slide her way towards the center of the glass. Her balance failed her, however, and Talia fought to keep her balance as she slammed the point of her hoopak down onto and hopefully into the ice and glass.

To her utter delight, the surface under her feet cracked open, but then to her horror small tendrils of frost snaked up her legs and she felt a bone numbing chill stab into her flesh.


OOC16 to hit glass: 6 damage (No Aoo - fancy footwork)
 

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Last edited by Begon Ugo; Sep 23rd, 2023 at 09:38 AM.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2023, 03:03 PM
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Isandril Moonsilver, Wizard of High Sorcery
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"Ligiis frigio draconis."

Having little time to dwell on whether his plan regarding the surface of black glass was successful or not, Isandril had already moved to lend his aid to Blyne, who apparently was indeed being plagued by some unseen assailant rather than the whole ordeal being an illusion or a hallucination only she could see. And his aid came in the form of a torrent of ice and cold aimed at the area directly behind the shapeshifting mystic, who felt its chill at her back perhaps a bit too close for comfort. The creature, whatever it was, was indeed invisible, but this particular spell needed no specific target. At worst, it would hurt their foe; at best, it might actually either destroy it or incapacitate it long enough for others to finish the job. As the magic left him, the elven mage reached out and telekinetically pushed Blyne away from the torrent of frost and -hopefully- from the unseen foe as well. Satisfied, he then glanced towards the black glass.

Talia had just shattered the ice and -hopefully- the glass beneath it. But what happened next startled him as the very ground seemed to retaliate with the same ice that had covered it and icy barbs climbed up the kender's body. Had his plan, risky as it was, backfired? The wizard shook his head and turned his focus towards Blyne once more. But not before... Not before he threw a pebble in the River. And as he did so, Talia once again stepped on the ice and she once again shattered it. Perhaps, just perhaps, things would go a little differently this time around.

An improvement. The voice was cold and it was ancient, but, most of all, it was full of malice, even as it, in its own way... congratulated him? For this time, unlike his previous attempts, the ripples he had caused had indeed made a difference. Talia was still hurt, yes, but not as much as before, a before that never was. The kender had withstood the cold well enough. And that was as it had always been.

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Last edited by FCastor; Sep 27th, 2023 at 05:53 AM.
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Old Sep 24th, 2023, 11:59 AM
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Chaos and Magic
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Tegan had avoided the explosion of the dust from the mephit he struck and turned to Blyne who was shouting about the fiend further. Tegan scrutinized the battlefield but could not discern where any creature was. It wasn't until Bessimeh stuck her dagger nearly up to the hilt into an unseen foe that Tegan registered that the fiend had some kind of devious enchantment to hide it from sight. Talia and Isandril fought to destroy the black glass and Aric and Devari repositioned to the North.

If this was some kind of portal spawning fiends from the Abyss, Tegan knew it was their charge to close it, one way or another. First, they had to handle the fiend that the statically charged Blyne was engaged with. Isandril cast a spell upon it and Tegan, sheathing Kanna and swinging his pack to the ground, quickly searched through his pack. Finding what he was looking for, Tegan stood with a flask of oil in one hand, his horn in the other. He hadn't consciously reached for the horn, but now that it was in his hand, it felt right. He stood and shouted across the battlefield, pointing to the flask in his hand. "If we can reveal the fiend's form, we can offset it's advantage. Use oil or anything that will stick if you don't have magic to offset it's prowess."

As the squire shouted across the battlefield, a second mephit stirred up a field of dust straight into his face. Sand laced every inch of the warriors face as he reacted sluggishly and the full effect of the dust storm swarmed his eyes, nose, and mouth. Coughing and sputtering, trying to spew the coarse sand from his esophagus, Tegan staggered in the direction where he could hear Blyne screaming. Tegan tried his best to wipe his eyes clean, but had little success as he stumbled towards the sorceress.

 
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Old Sep 27th, 2023, 01:40 PM
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Xihue of the Alan-Atu
The Eyes Have It
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Portions of the sky were black as coal while the obscured light of the setting sun raked across the dynamic vista over the unseen heights above them. From Xihue's perspective, there was a darkness, rimmed by a brilliant backlighting while the sky directly above him remained graduated from blue to indigo, and rapidly fading toward the appearance of this evening's first stars in the east. The storm was coming with a chaotic promise of destruction, hail, lightning, and thunder balanced by life-giving rain, a promised break to the summer's sweltering heat, and the beauty of refreshed mountain rivers. It road upon the plain's like some horizon-swallowing giant who's open black maw beneath the lips of clouds was ready to swallow the Ilquar range.

It was both frightening and beautiful, welcome and feared. Balanced.

"You can not oppose nature, Xihue." said the Master."She will do what she does without concern for you. Accept that which is beyond you, embrace it. Then control whatever may be controlled. You are like an ant upon this mountain. Insects cannot stop the foot that crushes them but they can get out of the way.

Come, let's get inside before a hailstone strikes what sense remains from your head."

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Xihue
Talia's Gully Dwarf, Beef, was calling out something about a hellish fiend and many of the company seemed to be responding to her announcement. Xihue glanced at Blyne, trying to determine what threats were real, which were manageable, and which were beyond him. He had already realized that these dust sprites were likely to overwhelm them all, regardless of skill or prowess, simply by persistence over time. Therefore, it was best to escape... unless... whatever might be spawning the little devils could be conquered.

Was it this "fiend"?

As another imp exploded in defense of Zendra, Xihue's distracted gaze remained open too long which allowed a few grains of sand to blind him. Tears instantly welled up, naturally washing away the irritants but it had cost him time as his vision cleared. "A change of plans, lady Zendra, perhaps we should assist the others at the black pool? I have no magic against an invisible foe but I can see these mephits. I can deal with them until they blind me while others deal with the greater, magical threat. Come, let's move. I will try to be the shield at their backs. Young Aric has sought the advantage of range. Join him or join the search for the fiend, either way I will try to defend you until I can do so for the others as well.

Tegan, are you with us?"


"If we can reveal the fiend's form, we can offset it's advantage. Use oil or anything that will stick if you don't have magic to offset it's prowess."

As always, the Solamnic Squire had a plan. The knight-to-be struck out toward the black mirror frozen pond as Talia shattered it.

Xihue guarded Zendra and waited for her choice. If she left to follow Aric, the shepherd would cover her retreat. If she chose to join the assault near Isandril, Talia, Blyne and Besimmeh, he would intercept threats on the way and do whatever he could to manage the "raindrops" of this storm before they drowned him in dust.


 
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Last edited by Black Jim; Sep 27th, 2023 at 01:45 PM.
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Old Sep 27th, 2023, 07:59 PM
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Zendra Zantir
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Zendra gave Xihue a baleful look that perhaps fortunately the monk was too blind to see. She'd have loved nothing more than to deal with the "fiend" but with one of the hideous imps clawing at her she could not easily turn her back on it. Nor was it easy to abandon her aunt's resting place even if it was with the intent of carrying on the fight in a better position.

On the other hand she was hardly doing any good here especially as the horrible creature was too close for her to use her crossbow. After a moment's hesitation and doubt Zendra decided she'd have to help with the 'fiend' - whatever it was clearly it was the true power among the chaotic creatures here.

It was the desperation and fear in Besimeh's voice that made her mind up however. She couldn't stand and listen to the strange sorceress Blyne simply die.

"Guard my flight Xihue," she said before moving as fast as she dared towards the "glass" and whatever unseen horror was there.



 


 


 

Last edited by RossN; Sep 27th, 2023 at 08:31 PM.
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Old Sep 28th, 2023, 04:20 AM
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Taking a moment to look around, Devari realised that she had become isolated.

"Not a good position to be in," she chided herself, moving closer to Aric as he notched another arrow.

"You've got the right idea," she said. "Stay away from the creature's claws. I need to learn to use this crossbow."

She glanced towards the black mirror, scrunching her face in confusion.

"Why are they all gathering there? Shouldn't we be running away?"

She found that she had been humming to herself, stoking the power within her. It was comforting. It felt like she could do anything, but the aura of this place was making the melody discordant, wrong. The power felt tainted.

Use it, she thought, and immediately hummed louder, not even trying to hold a melody any longer. She focused on the nearest creature and let the power loose, grinning in satisfaction to see it squirm in response.

 
 
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Old Sep 29th, 2023, 11:24 AM
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Fight or Flight

Tegan’s mind was racing. The Solamnic didn’t need to see with his eyes to know that things were not looking good. And it was equally obvious to him that with each passing moment things were only going to get worse. The fell magic of the chaos scar was powerful and no matter how many of the little creatures they destroyed, more formed to take their place. Tegan, however, was not fooled by the swarm of dust mephits. Had this been a battle against enemies of flesh and blood, the little creatures would have been the army’s rank and file - dangerous in numbers, but capable of little else. The enemy general remained hidden, their attention focused on only one among them.


Blyne.


Why?, Tegan wondered, but he could give no reply to his own question. Perhaps he would get to know the answer in time. Perhaps Blyne would provide it herself. But first they needed to survive. And to do so they had to choose between fight or flight.


For Tegan the choice had been made long ago. It had been made when he first came upon his companions near the Standing Stones, unaware of what the future and the gods had in store for him. It had been made the day he had first picked up the heavy wooden sword and strode forward to compete with the rest of the Solamnic squires. It had been made the day his father had raised him in his arms as a baby and spoken the one phrase that marked his entire life ever since: Est Sularus oth Mithas. My Honor is my life.


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The Kingfisher, the centuries old symbol of the Knights of Solamnia


Though sand kept him from seeing with his eyes, Tegan could see with his heart. Holding a small flask full of oil in hand, he moved towards Blyne and the abyssal fiend that attacked her. His steps were uncertain, but his heart was confident. Kiri-Jolith was at his side. With the god’s help they would prevail.


Though no one had named him the party’s leader, Tegan’s friends and companions followed his example. Aric, who had intended to leave this cursed place as soon as possible, abruptly stopped and turned around, releasing an arrow that sadly failed to hit its intended target. Zendra too, though reluctant to allow her aunt’s uncovered grave to be defiled by the filthy spawn of chaos, moved towards the chaos scar as quickly as she could, taking care to avoid the little terrors that were pursuing her. Devari used her newly discovered magic against a mephit that blocked her path and saw it grimace in pain. She fully expected it to explode before her eyes, but either the creature was more resilient than its brethren or her magic was not yet as powerful as she pictured it to be.


Xihue rushed to finish what the young mystic had started. His first strike went awry, but the attack had only been meant as a distraction anyway. As the mephit successfully dodged the Alan-Atu’s staff, it found itself the target of the warrior-shepherd’s fist. It never even got the chance to cry out in pain, its ugly face literally getting pulverized by the powerful blow. The monk took a step back, knowing that even in death the creatures could be dangerous, but the mephit didn’t burst in a cloud of sand as expected. Instead it slowly raised its battered little form from the ground, opened its mouth that now resembled a crater and exhaled forcibly. Caught by surprise, both Xihue and Zendra, who had turned around to see whether the warrior needed her help, I sadly failed at both saves. So sorry about that.were blinded by the miniature sand storm.


The rest of the mephits that had been chasing after them immediately seized their chance, swooping in for the kill. Xihue grabbed his staff with both hands and started whirling it around with a skill and speed that was incredible to behold, but even though he succeeded at keeping the little monsters away from the woman next to him, he wasn’t able to stop them from harming him. Talons that were as hard as stone and as sharp as obsidian tore his clothes and the skin beneath it at the shoulder and the thigh. The fabric turned red and the Alan-Atu’s blood mixed with the sand of the Khurish desert. The wounds weren’t so deep as to rob the warrior-shepherd of his strength, but they were painful. And now that he couldn’t rely on his eyesight to defend himself, they were likely not to be the only ones.


On the other side of the black mirror Isandril once more chanted the familiar words of magic, turning the arcane energy of the moons into a cold as fierce as that of a silver dragon’s breath. Again he noticed that the process felt more sluggish than usual, but he nonetheless persisted, choosing caution over speed and power. His magic was severely weakened, but it was nonetheless reliable. Little by little he would accomplish his goal. Impatience was the mark of the younger races. He would not allow himself to go down that path, for it only led to ruin. Spreading his hands, he allowed the cold to flow out from him, hoping that the spell would affect his invisible opponent, while at the same time telekinetically distancing Blyne from the area of intense cold and most importantly from the touch of her invisible nemesis.


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The Black Mirror breaks!
At the very same time Talia was bringing down the sharp point of her hoopak on the frost-covered black glass, the look of her face one of excitement and determination. A kender had defeated the Father of All and of Nothing, ending the Chaos War. Another kender was about to deal with the god’s legacy and heal the scars he had left on the face of Krynn.


One. Two. Three!


The hoopak’s metallic point penetrated the ice and struck the glass beneath it. The surface was hard, much harder than normal glass, but the cold had made it brittle. A tiny crack appeared, only as large as a normal spider one might encounter in their cellar, but in a single moment the cracks grew from that central point, forming an entire web. Talia grinned. She had done it! There was no one better than a kender in breaking things. The Dawnstar had once more…


The fissures between the cracks widened as a frigid wind escaped, colder than even the fiercest ice storm encountered beyond the Icewall Glacier by the tribes that called that inhospitable place home. The winds swirled around Talia’s small form, causing her muscles to stiffen and her skin and hair to be instantly covered with rime. The kender’s triumphant eyes glazed over and her beating heart slowed down to the pace of that of a slumbering dragon, her mind struggling to retain consciousness and failing.


Talia could very well have died that day, had not a tiny, insignificant pebble been cast into the wide River of Time. The ripples that formed were ephemeral and would be completely forgotten as the River ran its course, but their consequences were lasting.


Talia was not engulfed by the howling wind, but managed to jump away just in time, escaping the fury of the storm. It was as if she had expected it, as if she had known what would happen once the black glass cracked. But such a thing was impossible, right? A kender couldn’t foresee the future, much less relive it. It must have been luck. Kender were known for it. Yes, it was definitely luck.


A laughter echoed inside Isandril’s head, colder than the cold he had summoned moments before, colder than the winds that the broken mirror had released. He didn’t recognize it, but he knew it all the same. And his heart grew cold and still as Talia’s had. Or rather as it had not had. One messed with the River of Time at their peril, as even the great Raistlin Majere had realized, the consequences of such actions unforeseeable even by the wisest.


It was Talia’s hoopak that had borne the brunt of the storm’s fury and the kender feared that she had lost it forever, the frost-covered wood seemingly now as brittle as the ice stalactites forming in deep winter in most places of the world. Obviously not Khur, though, Talia thought as she gingerly tried to retrieve her weapon. Her palm brushed against the frozen wood and it immediately grew as cold as if she had dipped it into a frozen lake - which she had in the past. Talia gritted her teeth and willed her numb fingers to move and close around the hoopak. There were pangs of intense pain each time she moved her hand, but it was not that bad. Talia had had worse and the feeling would pass eventually, she knew from experience. The real question was whether or not it had all been worth it.


Blyne alone knew the answer to this question, for she could feel the wild magic imbuing the place more keenly than anyone else. She realized that cracking the black mirror had done nothing to diminish its power. The nameless creature that had come out of it was still very much alive, though the elven mage’s spell had weakened it. What would it take for it to be completely destroyed? Could she muster the magic necessary to do so?


Blyne shut her eyes. Now that the fiend was no longer standing on the reflective surface they were useless against it. Instead she listened to her heart and the soft voice in it, her mother’s voice.


The power lies within and without you. You have to take hold of it and shape it according to your will, as carefully and precisely as a weaver. Give it purpose and guide it to perfection. Always gently, always patiently. You have all the time in the world.


Blyne’s heart beat faster at the memory of her mother’s words. It had been her first lesson, the first time she had been allowed to work magic herself. She had been so anxious to make her mother proud, something that Kira had reprimanded her for. There was no place for emotion in the art of weaving magic, she had explained, neither for excitement, nor fear. One had to be calm and in perfect balance with the world and oneself. This was the path that all irda walked. This too was the path that Blyne would walk.


Perhaps Kira had been right about this, though she had been wrong about other things as well. Blyne didn’t have all the time in the world and neither did her mother. In fact, the time of her presence on Krynn had been far too short, the mark she had left behind her almost completely erased by now. She felt tears well up in her eyes and couldn’t tell whether they were the result of her bittersweet memories or the terror she felt at the thought that the fiend would best and devour her. No, this couldn’t be her fate! It simply could not be.


While Besimeh tried to keep the nearest mephit at bay with quick thrusts of her daggers that sadly failed to do any damage, Blyne felt the bond all creatures shared with the earth. Channeling the primal energies around her, she strengthened this bond, making the ground crack, feeling the fiend’s discomfort as it strove to free itself from the ground’s pull. She felt it grow heavier, the fiend’s speed is halved for this roundeach step it took laborious and exhausting. If she could only force the ground to open up and swallow it…


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Stirges, the larger, more monstrous cousins of mosquitoes
The sound of a forming crevasse made her open her eyes. The ground had indeed opened at her command, but the fiend had managed to escape. She was sure of it. The sound of beating wings succeeded the groaning of the earth as three large insects emerged from the very ground, summoned by the wild magic not even one as skilled and powerful as Blyne was fully able to control. With large leathery wings like that of a bat, sharp pincer-like claws and a horrible looking mouthpart resembling that of an oversized mosquito, there was no doubt as to what these new terrors were: stirges, infamous for being able to suck the blood of creatures ten times their size.


The insects seemed to avoid the one who had summoned them and since the dust mephits lacked the sustenance they craved, they focused their attention on the ones that actually possessed blood. One creature lunged at Aric, who, having encountered their kind back in the forests of his homeland, was quick to chase it away with his bow, and the other desperately tried to penetrate Tegan’s armor, though it eventually came to realize that its proboscis was not made to pierce metal. The third stirge proved luckier, however, for a mage’s robe, even one that had been woven by skillful elven hands, was no match for the creature’s needle-sharp appendage. Isandril cried out in pain as the stirge’s mouthpart penetrated the skin of his back and the insect started feeding on his sweet, elven blood.


"Blyne, be careful. Close your eyes!"


Besimeh’s warning accomplished the opposite of what she had intended, for her friend immediately turned to make certain that the merchant was alright. Without warning a cloud of dust engulfed both women, one spewed forth by the dust mephit Besimeh had been unsuccessfully trying to keep away from the sorceress. At the same time the sands started shifting once more, giving birth to three more mephits. If things didn’t change, the companions would very soon be facing a veritable army of them.


Blinded, beset by enemies from all sides, and facing a mysterious foe they couldn’t even see, would this be the sad end of the gods’ chosen ones?



Calendar13th Day of Aelmont (Winter) 422 AC / 38 SC, Noon

Solinari: 7/36 (Waxing)
Lunitari: 16/28 (High Sanction) - conjunction with Nuitari
Nuitari: 5/8 (Waning) - conjunction with Lunitari

Boons/Penalties:
White Robes - | Red Robes +2 spell DC, ADV on spell attack rolls | Black Robes +2 spell DC, ADV on spell attack rolls


 


 


 


 
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 08:28 AM
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"Why are we still here?" Devari wondered, and then she remembered that Zendra had not yet finished burying her uncle. In a way this battle was their entire mission writ small. They had been entrusted with taking care of the dead, of ensuring that their deceased loved ones could rest peacefully. Whatever challenges they may face, they couldn't expect it to be easy. There would be times when they would have to knuckle under and persevere. If they gave up here, now, what did that say about their chances later, when things were even more difficult?

If I had just tried a little harder to free Amare from that prison, maybe she wouldn't have died in the first place. The thought made her shiver despite the desert heat. She gritted her teeth and pressed forwards, towards the ever multiplying tiny terrors. Her magic had so far proven fairly useless against these little creatures, so she focused instead on helping her friends.

"Come on!" She urged those closest to herself. "Casting Aid on Aric, Xihue and Zendra (the only people within 30 feet). Add 5 to current and max HP for 8 hours.You're stronger than you know! Dig deep and stay together!"

"Xihue," she shouted, noticing that the normally unflappable shepherd was struggling. "Bardic Inspiration (D6) on XihueYou moved like the wind when you beat that big ugly minotaur, these things aren't fit to tread the same ground as you!"

 
 
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Old Oct 1st, 2023, 12:09 PM
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Tegan fumbled blindly towards where he heard Blyne and could feel the uncertain slippery footing underneath him... it felt like... ice? He hesitated and heard a massive cracking sound as the Kender broke the iced glass field. As she did, something Blyne had just screamed echoed in his mind

"The black mirror is a portal! A fiend has crossed into our realm! Hurry! You can see its reflection!"

You can see its reflection!

The glass was cracked, he could retrieve some and use it as a mirror to see this unseen foe! Well he could, if he could see. Memories of spider poison and a near-death experience flooded into his mind. With his lack of sight, the images were vivid and bold. He had a third-person view of himself in a tent in the elf-camp, holding Kanna. Kiri-Jolith had used the blade to heal him of his poison. He knew that the same magic imbued in the sword could repel the blindness.

"Kiri-Jolith, you reward courage and defense of those in need. Bless me in this time as I strive to protect my allies. Be with me and remove this ailment - open my eyes again to this world and reveal to me this fiend."

Tegan could feel the power in Kanna release as the magic of the sword healed his eyes. Vivid color returned as he could see the grains of sand falling away as scales to the ice under his feet. He was indeed standing on a frozen, cracked field of ice, black fragments underfoot. Talia, the ever-brave Kender was next to him, her freezing hoopak in-hand as she shivered to the frigid cold.

"Well done Dawnstar! Now lets find the fiend and banish it back to it's own world - and get off the ice!"

Also next to him was a massive insect with ill-intent. It's stinger was near the warrior, but he couldn't be distracted from his cause. Bending, he braved the exceptional cold and retrieved a large piece of the broken glass, marveling at how this could potentially aid them. He held it up, using it's mirror-like finish to try and find any hint of the fiend in the area he had heard Blyne screaming originally.

As he looked, he moved towards where he had last thought the foe to be, treading carefully across the field of ice. As he searched, he yelled back to the sorceress,

"Blyne! You said this could show it's reflection? Where was it?"

 
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Old Oct 1st, 2023, 04:25 PM
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Zendra Zantir
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Zendra's turn had been on instinct and even as she was doing it she regretted it. Then the sand hit her, thousands of grain swept up in a whirlwind dashing into her face, her eyes and nostrils. She opened her mouth to scream and half retched, spitting out mouthfuls of sand. The world vanished around Zendra as she closed and opened her eyes, desperately trying to regain some vision.

More than half blinded she stumbled on in the direction she had been heading, hoping against hope she could help her comrades if they needed it - or that they could help her.

Above all she wanted to SCREAM her rage at this terrible country that had brought her nothing but misery and at the gods who if they did exist seemed to delight in torturing her every step she had made in Khur.

But she didn't scream or sob or groan. Not with the sand storm still whipping around her.

She didn't dare.



 


 


 
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Old Oct 3rd, 2023, 02:26 AM
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Whatever seemed to have attacked Blyne had, apparently, left the area. It was unclear if this was the case or not because none of them (with the exception of the shapeshifter herself, apparently) could even see the threat that had wounded her. Aric had chanced a shot and missed, and that was enough indulgence in her invisible phantom for the young man. It’s always something with her. Everything’s just another test of faith, with nothing to show for it. There was no point firing at her unseen spectre when Aric was facing a literal threat in front of him.

”Ugh, to hell with you!” he bellowed out. ”I should have stuck to the plan instead of running towards her foolishness.” He pushed with his bow against the strange bug thing that had tried to latch onto him like the other had done to Isandril. The force of the push staggered the strange insect for only a moment – AoO vs Aricbut he hoped it would be enough. He used the space to head 30 feet northfurther in the direction of the Khalkist mountains, and when he felt there was enough of a gap between himself and the bug which had attempted to exsanguinate him he
Dice * Attack (disadv) vs blue stirge:
1d20+7sch14kl1 (8)+7 Total = 15
1d20+7sch14kl1 (16)+7 Total = 23
turned and fired.

 
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Old Oct 3rd, 2023, 02:16 PM
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Talia Dawnstar
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Talia stood in the center of the shattered glass and ice wondering what in hells just happened to her. For one moment she felt the thrill of victory as her hoopak pierced the onyx sheen, but then she was immediately stung with freezing needles that sucked the breath from her small body and threatened to have her shivering to pieces.

But… then it was gone and her brain felt scrambled as if she had been physically… or mentally snapped like a rubber band. The freezing sensation was gone and she stood looking at the chaos around her, wondering what, if anything she could do.

Teegan yelled about needing to see a demon that was harassing Beef/Blyne and that shook Talia from her stupor. Talia was a kender and the small folk had a peculiar skill set… one skill in particular might be handy in this situation.

“Hey!” Talia screamed in the general direction of the mystery creature, “You’re a gibberling jabba monkey!Taunt DC 12 Wis save A greasy, slime faced pickle sucker!”

Talia knew that once she got under the creatures skin, she would become its primary target. If that was the case, it would give her companions time to figure out their next moves. While she hurled the insults, Talia ran towards the insect harassing Teagan and gave it a quick stab.

To her surprise, her hoopak retained the frozen sensation, painfully so, but when the tip of her spear pierced the blood sucking cur... the freezing sensation flowed from the hoopak into the stirge. Talia stared, wide eyed as the oversized mosquito froze in place and then shattered.


OOC20 to hit mosquito near tegan: 18 damage (No Aoo - fancy footwork)
 

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Old Oct 5th, 2023, 10:56 PM
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Blyne was rightfully horrified over this test that had been thrust on her this unexpectedly, but she wouldn't be Irda if she were to allow herself to lose control. Her mother needed her to maintain control. Her fated companions needed her to maintain control. And most of all, Besimeh needed her to maintain control. For the fiend that had emerged from the mirror was certainly the evil that was turning this field of chaos against them right now, and only Blyne could direct her allies against the demon, and only Blyne could weave the primal sorcery that surrounded them to the degree that she could. Only I...

But the control that the frantic sorceress sought was not to be had. Following her mother's teachings, Blyne succeeded and shaped the forces of the universe that surrounded her with a speed and finesse that none of her allies could match. Isandril's magic of the moons was dimmed, and although his ice allowed the black mirror to be shattered, it did little to disarm the threat that they all had to face. I can't... I must... There was no way to control the chaos that had been the bane of her race. As the young Irda wove her spells, even more cracks appeared in the ground, and instead of miasma, this time pests appeared. But what else could Blyne do?

Just as the mystic realized that she had lost sight of her nemesis now that it kept away from the reflective surface, Besimeh cried out in warning, and Blyne's head snapped around to spot how the merchant had abandoned trying to hunt the fiend herself when one of these elemental evils had appeared near them. The young irda was helpless to keep her friend safe as Besimeh kept making these decisions that would put her in harm's way, and she could barely cover her eyes in time when a blaze of dust swept over the two of them, making Besimeh cry out when the rough particles blinded her violently. Blyne was dismayed, but her friend's warning had kept her safe. "Besimeh!! Come here!!"

Nimble even albeit blinded, the khurish merchant stumbled in the shapeshifter's direction, who was scared that the elemental would hunt Besimeh down in her vulnerable state. Still, Blyne knew that she also mustn't lose sight of her nemesis, and then Tegan's yell made her turn around to him, where she saw him running in her direction while holding a black shard of the broken mirror in his hand. That's it! With one last check to confirm that Besimeh was moving in her direction faster than her elemental assailant had been able to react, Blyne hurried to pass up Tegan, calling out loudly for her blinded friend to keep following her voice. "Tegan! Please, give that to me!"

While the ice made the small jaunt into a precarious endeavor, the desperate sorceress managed to stay on her feet and soon enough she held the reflective shard in her hands, holding it up to her hazel eyes to peer along its surface while she scanned the area where she had suspected the fiend to have veered off to. "There!" Just as Besimeh stumbled into Blyne's reach, the shapeshifter, wrapped an arm around her irreplaceable friend and protectively pulled the merchant with her, a few steps away from the frozen area that Isandril had created.

The sorceress was aware that the battle raged everywhere, but she barely paid attention to most of it, her vision now narrowed in on the shard in her hand, her mind already drawn in on herself as she reached out into the wild arcane forces that roiled and raged around all of them. In these streams of wild magic was raw energy to be found. Blyne couldn't control everything, but right now she could control and use the blazing heat of the surrounding desert sands. Keeping Besime safe on her other side, the sorceress chanted the words and performed the sigils as fast as she could, before roaring lances of flames erupted from her hands and flared across the battlefield to envelop the fiend in the greatest flames that Blyne had ever produced. With her eyes wide and shining with power, Blyne was already gathering further magic to unleash the same spell one more time.
 
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