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  #796  
Old 03-01-2019, 12:35 AM
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Drusilla Vanadici
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Though still struggling a bit with her gag reflex, Drusilla is more or less back to her usual cold, analytical self when Fandrik tries, but fails, to disperse the centipedes with his magic. Her mind continues to sort through other options when Grak pushes his way into the rotting mound of maggoty flesh, tearing into that which should be left alone.

The stench is almost too much to bear, and the Chelish warrior cannot help turning away, covering her nose and mouth in disgust as a sickeningly warm, putrid breeze wafts from the now exposed core. She watches as Dullen quickly reacts, trying to wash away the centipedes and maggots and filth with conjured holy water, but it is an impossible task—one might as well try to quench a river of fiery lava with water squeezed from a damp rag.

Taking a step back, she impassively observes the situation. There is no need to panic—the centipedes are leaving the rest of the party alone, at least for now, and indeed, it's hard to tell how much of an effect they are having on the druid. Grak is clearly annoyed by them, but is it mere annoyance, or are their biting mandibles having a more lethal effect? She doesn't even know whether or not they are poisonous, and the unfamiliar dog form of Lamashtu's disciple makes it difficult for her to read his reactions.

What's done is done. Unlike the others, she is more used to Grak's impetuous nature, and rather than wasting his haste, she intends to channel his predicament into something useful, in the same way that she turned her chains of captivity into a weapon in Kelmarane so long ago. He is already partway through the decaying mound—he might as well go all the way to peer through the opening, to glean some information about what lies beyond.

“Well? What's on the other side of the opening?” she whispers in a flat, unconcerned voice to Grak. It's not that she doesn't care if the gnoll dies—it's simply inefficient to waste her breath asking about his health. If he's in genuine trouble, he'll turn back on his own, without any prompting from her—and if he's not, well, he should make himself useful.

 
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  #797  
Old 03-01-2019, 03:51 AM
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Hector Grimm
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Hector look to Abd beside him, both of them - despite coming from very different places and very different lives pre-enslavement - are utterly disgusted by the route they have ended up taking. Abd glances toward the exit behind them, having heard the captain’s suggestion, but Hector grasp his shoulder. Cold sweat on sinewy fingers against fever-hot skin. Hector’s eyes are fixed on the battle between vermin and beast ahead, taking as few breaths as possible and trying to control the turmoil in his stomach.

Drusilla, prodding for Grak’ark to continue into the mass, receives a judging glare from the old man. He does not know her background and the relationship between her and the gnoll, but he keep thinking that if the Ustalav army, on Count Olomon Venacdahlia’s side, had had more of Drusilla’s types and less of the fat, bloated, self-pompous bastards that infested the higher ranks, they had repelled the invaders of the Furcina Plains, despite Hector’s failure.

With as little breath wasted as possible, Hector explains to Abd what their job and strategy will be, Keep a lookout behind us, if the mass of bugs move this way, we retreat to a safer distance.

He took to staring at the vermin swarm again, hoping to come up with some brilliant idea of dispersing them, but their peristaltic movement and the horrible smell ruined everything for him. The only thing he could do was for Grak to be over with it, very, very soon.


 


 


 



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  #798  
Old 03-01-2019, 09:04 AM
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Fandrik
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The cantrip wasn't working so Fandrik let it fade as Grak'Ark jumped into the pile of bodies. Like squeezing an over-ripe, bloated grapefruit, the druid sank into it and the halfling turned his head to dry heave as the warm smell of sweet rot wafted over them.

"If this be why the beast smells so vile" - gag - "I daresay we found its smelly heart." Why would they dump bodies here? Why here? The vile sight of black liquefied organs brought another gag. This place needs to be burned clean.

Centipedes covered the druid, swarming about in a collective mass he had never seen the likes of before. While contemplating the severity of the centipedes and trying to ignore the smell, his free hand dug at his pouch. He had saved some of the vials they had found on the gnolls when fighting along side Lazrul. Some of them had been acidic and they might serve to send the wiggly creatures away.

As soon as he found it, the vial was tossed. It landed next to Grak and cracked open, splashing its contents about with a sizzle. Unfortunately most of the vial sank straight into the mess without the damage he had hoped to see.

 

 

 
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Last edited by Jarl11; 03-01-2019 at 09:05 AM.
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  #799  
Old 03-01-2019, 03:32 PM
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Grak'Ark
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The death and decay that Grak'Ark was swimming in was irritating. The nasty bites and stings of the swarm of centipedes was maddening. But the thought that he might have to explain to the goddess that he was killed by insects filled the heart of the gnoll with sheer terror.

The cooshie's back paws paddle furiously as he struggles to keep himself from submerging in the gore that surrounded him. He opens his mouth to spit out a chunk of decaying flesh before he continues.

"Ca..." he begins, stopping mid-word as a vial of acid thrown by Fandrick splashes up into his face. He growls in pain, but continues with his spell.

"Caeli" he intones, causing the area around him to begin to swirl until a creature pops into view. The 4 foot tall creature was from the elemental plane of air and was forced by the magic of the goddess of deformity into an unnatural, yet vaguely humanoid form. Despite it's shape, the creature had almost no substance, for it was made nothing more than powerfully swirling wind and grit.

The transformed Cooshie moves his paws around him frantically to bat away the biting centipedes, growling as he does so. "Get them <cough> off <spit> me!!!" he commands the summoned creature, hoping that if the creature did not understand his words it would at least understand his intent.

The creature responds with an ethereal howl of understanding as it moves over to the transformed gnoll and begins swirling at a frenetic pace, creating a vortex of wind directly on top of it's master.

Grak'Ark closes his eyes and struggles to move forward as gore splashes around him, unhappy with the disgusting sprays, but a bit relieved as the powerful wind begins to pull the multitude of centipedes from his body. He reaches out towards Drusilla with his paw, trying to pull himself out of the nastiness that surrounded him and onto solid ground.

 


 
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:36 AM
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DM Summary
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House of the Beast: Day 2
Gozran 13 4710 – Moonday

Sunrise 6:30AM | 8:00PM Sunset
(07:08AM)

Light Bearers
Dullen, Holy Symbol (20' normal / 40' shadows)
Abd, Fandrik's Stone (20' normal / 40' shadows)

Darkvision
Grak'ark (60')
Remkah'ar (60')
Fandrik (60')
Gark-the-Goblin (60')




House of the Beast: The Lower Temple
[DiCE]
Grak'ark Climb (DC18): Rolled 25
Grak'ark Nature (Knowledge) (DC14): Rolled 15
Hector Nature (Knowledge) (DC14): Rolled 6
Fandrik Nature (Knowledge) (DC14): Rolled 9
Fandrik Acid Attack: Dmg 1 to Centipede Swarm and Grak'ark

Room 14: Hall of Rot

Wiggle of the mustache and the vial flies through the air. It break and acid splatters everywhere. The orange centipedes wiggle and shrink like roasted mushrooms, legs fraying. Drops splatter on the dog's face and he swings his snout away. His fur burns and sizzles.

Grak'ark coughs up the somatic words as he crawls out of the shore of rot, paw crushing through a torso on his way out, and the air above him condenses into a solid sphere. The sphere unfolds and a four foot tall creature from the elemental plane of air and was forced by the magic of the goddess of deformity into an unnatural, yet vaguely humanoid form. Despite it's shape, the creature has almost no substance, for it was made nothing more than powerfully swirling wind and grit.

"Get them <cough> off <spit> me!!!" The creature, wrenched with pain by Lamashtu to do his will, becomes a vortex directly onto the swarm as the dog drips from the mess. The orange centipedes, moving as one, reaches towards the druid as Dullen and Drusilla give him to room. The air elemental comes down in a vortex, howling in pain, as gore splatters everywhere with the little worms going in all directions. Some splatter against the tunnel walls and others just land into the pool of dead, wiggling to right their selves with probing legs. Dru, Grak, and Fan feel the bugs land on them and slap the little things as they bite, but in such small units they do no real damage.4 rounds The swarm has been broken for the moment.

Dullen steps up now that the swarm has been dismantled and begins to wash the centipedes Adds 2 more rounds of breaking the swarm each time the spell is castwith fresh water to keep them from collecting again.. The water instantly turns black and brown as it swirls between bodies and drains hundreds of centipedes down below the gunk. If they want to keep this up then Dullen will have to keep washing away the centipedes as our heroes go about their buisness.

Hector and Abd, standing in the back, were about to back off when they see the spellcasters have somewhat taken control of the situation.

The enemy was not defeated, it will keep collecting if they remain here, but it is kept at bay as long as Dullen pours water in spots where they keep collecting.

The air elemental can no longer create a vortex and just floats there, staring at the dog with hateful glowing white eyes for more orders. It will expire in less than a minute and return to the Plane of Air if Grak'ark has no other use for it. It yearns for those roaring fields of blue and gray that backdrop it's home dimension.

So! Does one brave soul go through the layers of the dead to view the other side?




Dullen 250 XP
Strategy
Keep the Swarm at Bay


Grak'ark 250 XP
Strategy
Keep the Swarm at Bay





DM Notes
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  • Drusilla, Hector, and Fandrik are all sickened


  • Corpses: Dead pile, requires climb (DC18) or swim (DC15) check to move across.


  • Swarm: Centipedes. Automatic damage and poison chance.



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Maps
 

Last edited by PIG; 03-02-2019 at 09:10 AM.
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  #801  
Old 03-02-2019, 08:37 AM
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:38 AM
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:38 AM
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  #804  
Old 03-03-2019, 01:30 AM
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Drusilla Vanadici
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Drusilla steps back, making room for Grak'ark as he retreats, though she pointedly ignores his extended paw. Perhaps if he was in gnoll form she would have grasped his hand and helped pull him out ... or perhaps not. What is certain is that, in dog form, the druid seems to be pawing at her, like some sort of lecherous hound—not the type of gesture to elicit a favorable response from the daughter of Cheliax. She is about to retreat further up the tunnel when a wind elemental appears, reminding her of the one they had fought earlier in the House of the Beast, though this one is considerably smaller. Still, she reflexively grips her bardiche more tightly until it starts dispersing the swarm.

In the space of a moment—just enough time for Dullen to conjure more water to keep the centipedes at bay—she makes a decision. In that instant she weighs the pros and cons of retreating and advancing: there is light ahead; there is an opening large enough to shove all these bodies through; the priest's water is keeping the swarm from re-forming; this is probably their best and only chance to bypass the swarm; and most importantly, time is limited, due to the gnoll sentry's earlier call of warning.

“Forward. While we still can.” She flicks a glance at Dullen, nodding for him to continue washing away the vermin, then unloops a few coils of the rope at her waist, in case it is needed to help someone navigate the pile of the dead. Despite her decision she hesitates, clearly not eager to wade into the disgusting mound, but after gesturing at Grak to take the lead, she puts her bardiche away and follows.

 


 
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Last edited by ekidnu; 03-03-2019 at 11:36 PM. Reason: forgot Sickened condition affects skill checks
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:04 PM
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Grak'Ark
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Grak’Ark takes a moment to shake, sending gore, blood and few centides flying as he did so. He waits for a moment when Drusilla motions that they should move forward, silently shaking his head ironically. There are no other options.

He stops himself just before he was about to leap into the cesspool of death, his eyes catching the diminutive form of Fandrick, A rumble came to his lips as he realized what he must do, although he was not happy about it.

"Fandrrrrrick, you will not be able to make it on yourrrr own. And when we get to the other side, I will need yourrr nimble hands. Grrrrrab a rrrrope and climb on my back." he growls, clearly displeased by the necessity of doing it this way.

" We will anchorrrr it best we can on the otherrrr side. Follow me." he barks as he waits for Fandrick to climb on.

 


 
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  #806  
Old 03-03-2019, 09:34 PM
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Fandrik
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The rapier vanished into its sheath and one hand had been slipping up by Hector's hip when Grak shook vile material everywhere. Being dirty was something Fandrik didn't mind when it was in the heat of the moment but this was completely different - the heat of rot, bile and waste. The halfling turned on instinct and covered his face from the gore, his hand intending to lift Hector's rope instead simply grasped the item and pulled at it. "Sorry old chap. Can I use yours? Mine seems to be non-existent at the moment."

Grak had already turned and started back into the slush of bodies by the time Fandrik had his shield on one arm and the rope around his chest, with a loop in front to go over the dogs head and help him hold on. Fandrik shook himself like a bear and flew forward.

Sprinting up to the mess, he leaped and took a few steps along the wall before springing off, tumbling around in the air to land on Grak. One foot cushioned his landing as the rope dropped passed the dog's snout and the halfling slid down to straddle the druid. Like a cowboy on a rocking steer, Fandrik held on and his hat waved in the bucking motions. The shield he used as best he could to push decomposing forms away until he realized it worked best as a paddle when Grak was forced to swim.

The sudden thrill of the ride and knowledge of the story to tell later almost had the mad halfling calling out like a wild beast rider as he fought to stay upright and get through the sludge. Almost. The smell and fear of having the black bile in his mouth, however, forced his jaw to remain closed.

 

 

 
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Last edited by Jarl11; 03-08-2019 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Added 2 items from gnoll rogue
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  #807  
Old 03-04-2019, 10:00 AM
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Dullen focuses inward and becomes aware of the Iroricloriants in the air all around them. They permeate the bodies, the ground and through everything around. Dullen draws upon the power of Irori to create balance upon all Touch of Law... use #1 of 7things. His body glows a faint blue.

Dullen moves past the group and bounds off the wall and then appears to run Acrobatic 11 (Touch of law) + 1 (dex)+1 Rank + 3 class skill + 5 visualization of the body = 21lightly on top of the bodies barely leaving a trace as he steps on the floating bodies. They bob, but just factions dipping into the water as he runs to the other side.

As he lands past the bodies, he takes a deep breath. ”Irori, be praised, the Redeye training goes well.”. Dullen then prepares to create more water to disrupt the centipedes as needed.

 


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Last edited by ShinobiMaster123; 03-05-2019 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 03-05-2019, 02:34 PM
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Hector Grimm
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The raging of elements have always been an issue to Hector. He felt at ease when the Ustalav fog lay still, with only the slightest ripples, the rain fell with a steady sincerity or the sun beat down on his olive groves with a fierce and constant strength. Unpredictable weather, month long droughts, storms and other outbursts of nature’s rage was uncontrollable. Hector disliked ‘uncontrollable’. This applied when someone, presumably Grak turned hound, summoned a creature made of storms and howling gales. Hector snarled in disdain and covered his eyes as something wet, soft and spongy flew past his ear.

As he stood there, he felt someone grabbing at his carefully balanced equipment. He knew he and Abd had been the rear guard so his instincts took over in a flash of the moment. He whirled around and immediately grasped for the assailant’s soul. The essence started to flow from his foe and into his dark, malicious grasp when he saw that it was Fandrik who had been able to circle him as he kept a wary eye with the elemental. To Fandrik, the sensation was unbelievable depressing. Dark tendrils had seized his soul and was draining all willpower, all joy, laughter and optimism (and there was a lot in this halfling), all character and all color out of him. He had a clear idea that all his life’s essence was flowing to Hector and the look of anger, turning to surprise, in Hector’s eyes was a clear indication that this was the case. Hector shook his head, and looked sincerely sad. The seeping sensation had vanished as Hector had cancelled his claim on Fandrik’s soul. Hector had had a taste of what Fandrik was, but unlike the halfling, he knew how devastating it could be to have your soul locked away, for just a few seconds, I... Sorry! He crouched before Fandrik, started to unhook the rope and help I have removed 50 feet hempen rope (10 lbs) from Hector’s equipmentFandrik to have it while he looked the little man in his eyes, I should not have done that. You surprised me and I acted on instinct. I hope, with time, you can forgive me? Saying it didn’t make it anymore correct. He doubted that Fandrik would ever be able to trust him. You don’t take soul stealing lightly, when it haunts your dreams, make glitches and errors in your feelings and make room for seeds of corruption in your life essence.

Despite his unease on the summoned creation, the combination of the storm embodied and Dullen’s holy water spring, bought them time. He urged Abd Al Dari forward and followed closely behind. Rok lifted from his shoulder and carried himself easily over the spongy mass to the other side, trying to get an overview to relay to his master and Drusilla - the only ones able to understand it.

Abd found semi-solid footing on a skull and quickly scampered after the others. Hector, on the other way found his fleeting luck catch up on him. He plunged one booted foot into the pile and sunk in to his thigh. Hell! The anger and disappointment of his own inability to overcome the hindrance before him flared and gave him a look of sheer hatred, as if the radiance of wrath could disperse the gunk.


 


 


 




Last edited by Dressedtojazz; 03-05-2019 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:24 AM
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DM Summary
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House of the Beast: Day 2
Gozran 13 4710 – Moonday

Sunrise 6:30AM | 8:00PM Sunset
(07:09AM)

Light Bearers
Dullen, Holy Symbol (20' normal / 40' shadows)
Abd, Fandrik's Stone (20' normal / 40' shadows)

Darkvision
Grak'ark (60')
Remkah'ar (60')
Fandrik (60')
Gark-the-Goblin (60')




House of the Beast: The Lower Temple
[DiCE]
Drusilla

Room 14: Hall of Rot

Drusilla is the first to dive in, climbing through the gunk, and she sees a gap to squeeze into. Body shuddering, she reaches her hand in to open up between a torso and... something else she can't recognize. She wedges her fingers deep within, holds her breath like she is about to take a deep plunge, and within she goes.

The fighter's head goes into a reddish darkness and her eyes don't adjust at first as she squirms through the soaking and squeezing mass. Pulp presses her left cheek and she elbows through violently, the wall crushing from her arm and splashing on her face. A shock crosses over her whole body as she wiggles deeper within, knees pulling her in as a dozen vague dead faces stare back at her. She dares to want to grasp for breath, vomit pouring into her mouth, but she swallows it and clenches her body to not breath anything in. Her brow brushes something and it's the teeth of a goat, her sight staring down it's gullet. With two fingers, steel driving her, she uses the mouth to puller deeper within.

A nice gap is left behind by Drusilla and Fandrik grabs the bubbled flesh of Grak'ark's neck, Hector's rope trailing behind. The most unlikely grouping is seen as Grak'ark arches his strange dog form and chases after Drusilla with the halfling riding on top. Fandrik still feels Hector's unintentional touch upon his soul as he breathes deep and wraps his short arms around the druid's neck in preparation for Hell. That touch from Hector disconnects as Gark'ark rushes forth with four strong arms.

Grak'ark ducks his head and into the hole he goes. Shmack! The glorious ooze is all around him as he begins to swim within. Fandrik clenches his eyes shut, squeezes Grak until the druid can barely breath, and lets the dog do most the work.

The rope whirls and then tightens from behind as Dullen darts across the expanse, lightly with his boots, as if he was running up a hill. He stops at the top and casts his spells. The centipedes keep trying to collect back but the rushing water from the air prevents it. ”Irori, be praised, the Redeye training goes well.” He then signals Hector, Abd, and Gark to follow across. Hector, relieved that he didn't kill the halfling in his good intentions, braces his self like all the rest and swallows his massive ego to carry through this gruesome endeavor. He grabs Abd and pushes him through first. The young man has been through much (he has been here years longer than Hector) and actually, to my surprise also, goes through that ripped hole. Hector shudders as he wrenches through.

Our heroes follow through the tight cavity made by Drusilla. She meets an impasse and the weight of all the dead collapses around her. A sharp bone bites into her ribs and glides down her cage, soaking an open soar with bacteria soaked juices. Dead bodies weigh ontop of her and she feels the darkness close in on the edges of her sight. Her teeth clench. Rot pours down her face. Is the end?

Room 2: The Maggot Throne

She punches through the dead and gasps for air.

Firelight greets her with a wash of air and Drusilla's angler face pokes out from a sea of bodily fluids. She can feel Grak digging up from behind and it jiggles against her skin. But with the gain of "fresh, cool" air she barely notices as she opens her eyes to see what's around.

She's just another, muck-slicked face among a sea of the dead in this instance as her gray eyes scans the room.

The first thing she sees is a gnoll the size of the "demon gnoll" they already fought.

Instantly she knows that it's the legendary Carrion King.

He stands 10 feet tall and wears no crown, but the massive muscles and intensity from the creature is enough to give him off. He stands up from a great throne of intertwined dead bodies, quickly reminding her of the Revered and his alter, Dullen's father, back in the temple before the monk took it back when the killed off the Kulldis Tribe. This must be the Maggot Throne.

A circle of unfortunate elven women sit chained around the throne. Drusilla is reminded instantly of how the Kulldis wanted to send Lucilla to Pale Mountain as a gift to their King. She can't help but to feel rage as she sees a beautiful elf look her way, eyes vacant and empty, as the Carrion King grasps the chain around her throat to pull her close to pet as he speaks to a gnoll across the expanse.

Dru glances to the north and sees various gnoll guards and some human. She glances south and sees some gnoll speaking to the Carrion King across an expanse of the dead. She feels Grak grow closer as Fandrik holds his breath, let Grak do the dirty work.

The great beast, the King, slowly turns his head towards Drusilla and she swears his yellow eyes look directly at her.

She ducks her slowly in the slop. She realizes that she might have been seen.

Grak comes up next to her and she hugs the dog close, seeing the halfling clinging to him. She squeezes his canine body to let him know to stop. They can't breath. Something leaks into her ear but she doesn't know what. Her ear burns, her brain and lungs are on fire. "Stop! STOP!" she warns in a whisper. She then feels Hector climbing up after them. A thousand maggots glide across their skin.

The just climbed into the Throne Room and might have found their doom discovering them.

Dru saw the Beyond:

What are the details she observed?

Roll Perception Check (DC10)

Roll Perception Check (DC15)

Roll Perception Check (DC20)

Roll Perception Check (DC25)

His yellow eyes burn... burn... burn into her mind. The usual sight of insanity. The eyes of Rovagug gazed her way as she swam the dead.



Room 14: Hall of Rot

Dullen casts another spell as he protects the back end. Gark-the-Goblin comes up to the sea of dead but does not follow, clearly nervous now that he come to the point of his mission. Dullen looks to the goblin with a serious face, without anger but very urgent. "Are you following or not? The moment I stop casting these spells the caterpillars will soon gather into a swarm again. I can't stop them once they are together." He nods his head and speaks a words as another gallon of water splashes off a dead, rotted gnoll's head and washes away some centipedes. "What are you to do?!" The goblin begins to pant in a panic.

Then the dead tremors as something moves. Something big is coming. Dullen Grasps the stone walls as he feel the dead shift under his feet. Gark chokes and backs off.

Dru, Grak, Hector, Fan, and Abd feel the shake as the scales of weight shift. What in the worlds is now coming? A thousand maggot glide under Dullen's feet.

What do they do now?




DM Notes
left-aligned image


  • I need Dru to roll her four perspective checks, in a row, to know what she saw before vanishing under dead.

  • Drusilla, Hector, and Fandrik are all sickened


  • Corpses: Dead pile, requires climb (DC18) to get in. A Swim (DC15) check to move across to the other side.


  • Swarm: Centipedes. Automatic damage and poison chance. Dullen is currently keeping them from coming back into a swarm. Once joined into a swarm all he can do is prevent their approach in a certain direction.



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Old 03-07-2019, 01:24 AM
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