Thursday, October 28, 2010
She felt humiliated though that he was able to capture her so easily. She had underestimated his magical powers and he had known her own powers too well. Shackles and chains, pah!
Suddenly a scream from Kelarel and the Shadowfell creature got her out of her thoughts. With an inaudible noise, the glimmer emanating from the magical circle on the ground around her vanished. So Kelarel was dead. One problem solved! She got up and peaked over the base of the statue to see the attackers. All male and a dwarf! Perfect! She went back down on the cold stone, adjusted her suit and the shackles, brushed off some dirt from her tattooed dark red skin and gave off hushed sighs.
Nothing happened. She rolled her eyes and started to breath loudly and in quick succession as if nervous.
Again nothing. She looked over the edge again and saw them healing and searching only the immediate area for now. She sat back down and shook her head. Well, she had to take what she could get. She took a deep breath and with the most helpless voice she could master started to speak...
Orestes whirled around, parrying the blows from his assailants. They had almost surrounded him now. Soon they would bring him down by sheer force of numbers. Trying to concentrate, he matched his opponents’ attacks, his blades blocking their blows. His breathing was calm as his mind recited the teachings of his master. “To strike at the enemy is not to kill him. To parry the enemy’s blows is in itself not to kill him. Every movement not intended to bring about the death of the enemy is wasted movement.”.
“Orestes!”, the sound of his Master’s voice boomed across the field. “Deny them movement! Push them aside! Drive them to place of their deaths! Where they see chaos, you must see patterns; where they see confusion, you must see purpose. Within the tempest is an eye of calm, find it!”
Orestes, pondered this, almost absentmindedly stepping back from the onslaught. A blow connected with the side of his head, sending him reeling, silvery slivers of pain piercing through his skull from his temple. He fought to control his anger. Lifting his blades, he drove his longsword in a wide arc, scattering his enemies while his short sword stabbed repeatedly, denying any attempts at stepping back into his reach. He spotted an opening. It was the bastard who had landed the blow! Orestes leapt forward, his rage giving him power as he rammed the sword into the exposed neck. His enemy staggered backwards, falling as Orestes’s sword connected again, his rage powering his blow. Orestes leapt on top of his helpless enemy raising both swords to strike….
There was an explosion of pain followed by darkness.
When Orestes opened his eyes, he saw his Master’s face staring sternly down at him.
“You are nothing but a disappointment!” The master landed a kick in Orestes’ groin. Ignoring the groan of his student, he continued, “There is too much of your grandmother in you! What are you, a common orc? You could have won, but instead you gave in to your rage. Striking out at an enemy that was no longer threat, ignoring those around you, ignoring the one that simply walked up behind you and gave you a little slap!” Orestes stirred, trying to sit up, while his master continued his tirade,
“Why did your grandmother’s tribe perish? Was it because they were weak? They weren’t, they endured great hardships. Was it because they were foolish? They weren’t, they were cunning opponents? Was it because they were cowards? They weren’t, they showed great courage against overwhelming odds. They perished because they acted on their passions, they perished because they mistook yesterday’s enemy for the enemy of the now. They perished because they struck without understanding why! They perished because they were, in the end, nothing but orcs, fuelled by hatred when they should have acted on duty. They had a duty to their living children, a duty to your mother, which they failed. Will you fail as they did?”
Orestes sat up, shaking his head. “No, Master, I will not. I act on duty, duty to the world and duty to the situation at hand. I know that all circumstances have their prescribed actions.”
His master turned his back to him. “I am done with you. Your duty and your nature are in conflict, only by leaving this place and going into the world can it be resolved. If you are successful, you will repay the debt of your ancestors to this twisted world, if you fail, you are just another orc. Now, leave me!”
Confident that the echoes provided by the ruins will disguise his position, he calls over the wall to offers the annoying Halfling tart another chance.
‘If we cannot arrange a draw, then we’re at an impasse. Our Warlock magic can’t compete with the range of your bows and you're no match for us close up.
So it comes down to this. If you wish your deaths, by all means, keep moving forward, but be fully aware that we’re happy to wait here all day.’
The Rift is closed. Winterhaven and beyond have been saved.
But at what cost?
Daelagor lies dead in the temple above and Egil was last seen pushed through the portal, roaring in defiance, never to be seen again.
Searching Kalarel's body reveals that his Rod of Destruction was merely a means for channelling his filthy arcane powers. He was, however, carrying a wickedly magical (+2) dagger (+2 to hit and damage, and +1D6 damage on a crit) presumably employed in his grotesque sacrifices.
The suviving party members also find a cache of gold behind Kalarels altar which divides (conveniently) into six 150gp piles.
Having defeated Kalarel the party lick their wounds and return to Winterhaven - carrying the corpse of Daelagor with them. Velorien wonders how he will explain this to his queen...
Upon arrival, the scholar Parle Cranewing is waiting for them - having made the journey to Winterhaven himself on hearing from his colleague that the party had set off for the ruins. In return for the painstakingly drawn maps that you have accumulated he gives each of the six surviving characters 250gp for their trouble.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Azazel looks amazed.
‘They don’t want the draw?’
Belial looks bemused.
‘They’re going to chase us down?’
Mastema looks muddled.
‘They think they can win?’
And Vorland looks vexed.
‘Fuckity! This is the longest any of our battles have ever lasted and we’ve only fired a single crossbow bolt between us!’
Azazel stops to think.
‘It’s that Halfling bitch. She’s actually got a plan and they’re sticking to it.’
Vorland grinds his teeth.
‘I hate it when the enemy actually thinks things through and doesn’t rush straight in. What kind of freaky Orcs are these?’
Mastema hoists her generous bosom.
‘If I’d known it was going to last more than three rounds, I would have put in more training. I’m buggered.’
‘Not now baby, I’m a bit busy. Maybe later if you’re a good girl.’
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
‘It’s OK Vorland. You’re OK.’
Azazel whispers to them (despite being several hundred feet away from the Denim recruits and behind cover). ‘What are we going to do? They’re just standing there… With bows!’
‘I know!’ barks back Belial. ‘Cowardly bastards have retreated to the far corner!’
Vorland props himself up onto his elbows. ‘We can’t stay here though… That is, unless we want to call the draw?’
Friday, October 22, 2010
‘What’s wrong pookie’, asks Mastema.
‘It’s our next opponents. They’re a group of non-human Strikers.’
‘So… That’s our advantage gone!’
Azazel and Belial join the conversation.
‘Are they all spell casters?’
‘No, but two of them are Rangers. We were lucky to beat the last two.’
‘Two more Rangers!’
‘What of the other two?’
‘Well, one’s a Sorceress and the other’s a Warlord.’
‘A Warlord? Warlords aren't Strikers!’
Vorland’s face brightens.
‘Damn, you’re right! What was I worrying for?’
With beaming smiles, the four naked Tiefling’s joyously return to their prior fornication.
Monday, October 18, 2010
The Denim recruits!
Destructive girl: A psychotic looking Halfling Sorceress.
Prince of the Rodeo: A camp but frightening looking Half-Orc Ranger.
Sailor man: Another camp but frightening looking Half-Orc Ranger.
Denim demon: The campiest and possibly most scary mary of them all. An Eladrin Warlord!
Personally, I feel sorry for the Apocolypse dudes.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I give you an outlaw band of fierce rebels, attacking authority in all possible forms,
in particular that of other rebels. They are punkier than thou, and so cool that even the
halfling can pull off leather trousers. Not that they would ever wear such apparel, nothing
but blue denim can contain their swelling magnificence!
First out! Here is the DESTRUCTIVE GIRL!
This halfling Sorceress is the true leader of the gang.
She is a nasty piece of work whose only endearing trait is her love of meat-pie. Abandoning
her former romantic entanglement with an anthropovoric hill giant to pursue her love of
destruction, she rules the gang with an iron fist, tempered with the velvet of maternal love
and home-baked sentient-creature pies.
Second the two half-orc ranger twins: The..Prince...of the Rodeo, and...The...Sailor Man!
The Prince of the Rodeo abandoned his name and clan and travelled the wastes of Fissa,
seeking to prove his manhood by taming the mighty beasts of the world. His filial love
was reignited during his attempt to bludgeon the mighty sea leviathan into submission
using only his unnatural weapons. Unaware of this struggle, his brother, The Sailor Man
was busy committing a one-man mutiny against the crew of a Seawellian Man-o-War. While sages
speculate as to the outcome of this epic battle, these speculations were rendered moot by
the leviathan smashing into the ship and gobbling up the crew. As the brothers mounted
the leviathan and set sail for the Furnace Coast they swore never to be apart again.
And last, but not least we have....are you ready? We have...THE ONE....THE ONLY....DENIM DEMON!
This former noble Eladrin Warlord tried to be part of the Eladrin Court Scene, but his love of coarse fabric made him an object of ridicule amongst his effete, fabric-softener loving fellows. His loneliness and despair focused his mind and now he is back with a bang, with his own denim gang, and while not all of them are men, he is going to make denim come back again!
See them and despair!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
But, they were not expecting the sheer ferocity of destruction and evil meted out by four of hells lieutenants. Un-earthly aberrations blood-thirsty and cowardly.
As the friends approached the battle field, they saw the evil degenerates at the far corner. To the right were trees, to the left massive ruins. The cowards, of course made their way to cover and the friends decided that they should engage them sooner than later.
This was the first of their mistakes. The warlocks clearly had been here before and moved around the space with ease. The brothers Rip and Van moved slowly but Winkle and Twinkle moving quickly did not want to leave their hearts behind.
Soon they found themselves in an poor position, their movements hampered by the walls and lakes. Still, as soon as the demons were espied the girls fired arrow after arrow at them in full assaults. The dogs responded and the brave ranger Twinkle sadly took the full force of the eye-bite and witch-fire and was soon unconscious. Winkle managed to respond and take down one of the demon-seed-females, but to her horror the spiteful evil cowardly devil spawn struck again at her dying sister.
Seeing his lady go down, Rip was incensed and managed to get in a strike at the razors. However, his valour was to be repaid with pain, and his brother's healing hands were not enough to keep him going.
Each time brave soldiers channelled Kord's divine might into massive damage, the Tiefling would down another potion and be healed. Likewise Winkle. - their efforts were not enough as their enemy skulked around the battle field never engaging in valiant combat as should be right. Soon Rip was down too.
Van eventually succumbed to the assault in the most evil manner. The hell-spawn of dogs' most cowardly tactic? To move to engage the honourable paladin, then immediately step with a demon stride away though another plane to reappear far away, leaving a bolt of fire to rend him asunder; without any opportunity to strike back. Utterly Evil.
Winkle eventually found herself alone with just two of the slime remaining standing - maybe she still had a chance. But before she could do anything more, they had healed each other and were about to descend on her.
She knew then, it was all over.
At the opposite corner, far in the distance, they can see their opposition.
Two heavily armoured Dragonborn Paladins and two lightly armoured Human Rangers.
Female Human Rangers…
He likes Human Females.
Beautiful and they taste like chicken.
Running as fast as they can, the Hellrazors charge toward the cover afforded by the stone ruins. They can’t allow those two archers to use their range advantage.
Fortunately the Dragonborn Paladins are slowed down by their armour and the Rangers don’t seem to want to separate themselves from them.
Creeping forward and running between cover, Azazel is the first to spot the enemy.
‘Hmmm, Ranger or Paladin?’
It’s a dilemma. The Paladins have the ability to heal with a touch, but the Rangers can score massive damage from miles away…
Ultimately it comes down to competition.
That Human bitch is far too pretty and she saw Belial's look of desire.
‘Die Bitch!’ Azazel screams as she releases a burst of psychic energy.
Unbelievably, considering the skill she has and the short distance, she misses.
Soon the battle is joined by the Dragonborns and the other archer.
Azazel, Belial and Mastema are all hurt by multiple arrows, but they manage to stay out of the way of the Dragonborn Paladins.
Then the archer targeted by Azazel in the beginning is hit from three blasts of arcane energy. With no will to resist, she falls to the ground only to be blasted again by Vorland.
Vorland’s brow creases for a moment before he smiles broadly.
‘Die puny mortal!’
Her team-mates are enraged and the Dragonborns blast several of the Hellrazors with their acid breath as they close the distance.
The other archer takes advantage of the confusion and shoots multiple arrows at Azazel.
The Rangers skill is phenomenal and the sultry Warlock goes down, pieced in several places.
‘Bitch!’ Screams Belial. ‘No-one pierces Azazel but me! ... And Vorland!’
He tries to retaliate but Dragonborns block his way and the surviving archer has cleverly positioned herself to be out of range.
The Dragonborns stifle any attacks against them and frustratingly, constantly heal themselves throughout the battle.
Finally Mastema is able to put one of the durable Paladins down permanently but as she does so, she exposes herself to the Ranger.
It’s only for a moment, but it’s enough. Mastema is hit by several arrows and collapses.
Belial stops in his tracks. ‘That bitch has killed our bitches!’
He runs up to the last Dragonborn and just as he reaches him, teleports towards the last Ranger. The void left behind implodes and takes out the last noble Dragonborn.
‘Brace yourself bitch. Daddy's coming!’
Seeing the evil intent in the Warlocks eyes, she drops her bow and raises her hands…
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
‘The Knighty knights?’ ponders Vorland out loud as he spies the next challenge.
‘Sound like Paladins to me…’
Looking around, Azazel licks her plump lips and responds.
‘I’ve heard they’ve got a couple of archer Rangers as well.’
Belial looks up.
‘Archers you say? Our previous opponents have all been melee-based combatants. That gave us a strong advantage…’
Mastema’s eye’s start to well up and, looking to their leader, she asks.
‘Are we in trouble?’
Vorland smiles as he answers.
‘Well if we’re to die, does anyone fancy another quickie?’
Monday, October 11, 2010
It takes several heavy blows from Egil’s sword to smash it down but before he can charge in, Zahig steps into the breach and summons up a floating ball of fire.
With nowhere to run, Hobgoblin after hobgoblin are horribly burned.
Seeing his cause lost, the War chief tries to dispatch Daelagor but he’s stymied by the heroic efforts of Bayern and Egil.
After a few healing words are uttered by the Dwarven cleric, Daelagor wakes in the dim light to the smell of burning flesh.
The Hobgoblins are clever though and (dragging Daelagor behind them) flee from Vogir's line of fire towards a side room.
Running up as quickly as they're able, Egil and Bayern struggle with the metal portcullis until Vogir drops his bow to aid them.
Slowly the bars bend apart until even the Dwarf can slip through.
It’s too late however.
The Hobgoblins have made it to the next chamber.
It’s a simple pressure pad that releases the portcullis slightly ahead.
Deftly jumping over it, Daelagor enters the empty room.
Vogir is halfway down the corridor when the ambush is sprung.
The Eladrin is rushed from three directions by at least a dozen hidden Hobgoblins.
He tries to slip back past them but is cut down before Vogir can even release an arrow in his defence!
The Hobgoblin War chief looks up towards Vogir and signals his ‘men’ to press the attack.
Instinctively Vogir stamps down on the pressure pad at his feet.
The portcullis slides into place with a clang, separating Vogir and the rest of the Party from the Hobgoblins and the heavily bleeding Daelagor.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
The slavers only had covered a few feet when Daelagor started to turn and head for the mechanism when he saw the weapon coming towards him from the left. Unable to dodge it, he could feel it penetrating his shoulder just a second later and now noticed also the other three opponents, storming out the door to his left. He tried to parry the next two attacks but - with the first sword still constricting his movement - failed. Now that his body had a chance to catch up with the recent chain of events, the pain started and darkness started to take over.
He could feel the rays of warm sunlight on his face and opened his eyes. Lying in soft, mossy grass he looked up where the rays broke through a canopy of white leaves far above him, bathing the forest around him in soft light. It was reflected from the silvery bark of massive trees. Never had he seen such majestic trees! Even the most beautiful white trees of Senaliesse, the home of the summer queen Tiandra, seem pale in comparison to them. His hands felt the warm grass around him and with his eyes now getting accustomed to the bright light he could make out the chrystal-like buildings and hanging bridges in the tree tops. While trying to lift his upper body, unbearable pain suddenly started to cloud his mind......
Pain! He again opened his eyes in the midst of a raging fight. Directly above him he could make out the dwarf Bayern standing over his chest and being surrounded and attacked by three opponents, fiercely defending his position. Just when Daelagor tried to make sense of the scene his eyes could see, it blurred and the darkness came back.
Walking on the soft grass he reached out for the silver bark of the tree in front of him. How did he get here? The bark was sleek and flawless and he looked up the tree which was at least 10 feet wide with branches only starting in the far distance. He could feel the power of nature radiating from the tree up his arm and through all the cells of his body. He turned around and for the first time noticed the silky white robe he was wearing. It was of outstanding quality and he only had seen comparable fabric at the court of the Eladrin queen. Still feeling the fabric with his hands, he noticed the woman standing near the next tree, watching him. She was also wearing a perfect white robe which seemed to play with the sunlight hitting its surface and Daelagor could make out the bottom of a staircase behind her. He started to walk slowly towards her and opened his mouth to speak....
The loud noise of metal hitting metal next to him made him open his eyes and the face of Egil occupied almost his whole field of vision. He could feel the paladin's hand on his chest and felt a warmth emanating from it as if life was streaming back into his body, attenuating the pain. Within seconds his head was clear again and his trained senses took over. The hobgoblin warchief was standing between Egil and the dwarf and despite their attacks the slaver seemed to try to attack Daelagor. The hobgoblin's sword scratched along Daelagor's arm while he was getting up and before leaping out of the danger zone Daelagor's dagger just missed the open spot within the armour of his opponent. Just seconds later Daelagor could see the hobgoblin going down and the noise of battle dying down. Daelagor looked at Egil and Bayern who were standing over the now dead body of the leader and piecing together the few memories of this battle he realised, that without these two companions he would be dead by now. A debt that he won't take lightly! He could also feel a image of majestic trees and a woman slowly fading away. Before he could make sense of it and it was gone.