Traubon lay on his back, and slowly sat up with his legs loosely crossed. He had listened to everyones suggestions and felt that both of them had some slight problems. Slowly moving as to not make his aching shoulder hurt any more, he positioned himself to face the group.
"Ta'nil, we canna' fight that beast like we are. Geron's hurt, I'm hurt, poor little Aly is shaken to dah' bone, and everyone else seems tah' be too lost in their minds right now to fight."
He looked over at Aly, and felt sorry for her. He had felt a little worried about her coming to help fight, and even though she was safe and sound, he couldn't help but worry about how she would be after seeing and experiencing something like this. He hoped she had enough will to pull together and not have this traumatize her.
"Aly, my friend. I feel our brief fight with dah' beast came out better then expected, no ones dead, and this?" He gestured with with his head to his shoulder. "I'll sleep it off. But I'll still be glad to have you take a look, I know Helena had taught you well. One thought troubles the mind about both your plans, the sun lay low in the sky and it be night soon. If we try tah' fight, then we fight and track in dah' dark. If we go back, well, I know I wouldn't wanna' get jumped by that mother ah' beasts while hikin' back home, and by all the braids in me fathers' beard, bless his soul, I know she be' lookin' for a fight."
Traubon stood up, with help of his halberd, and started to look around. "So, I say we make camp and rest up as much as we can, a roaring fire might shake that beasties will tah fight us, and the night will be kept back just as well." He looked around, and suddenly looked down to his own chest. " Apparently, I'm as hungry as whole team ah' mules! What I wouldn't give for some good ol' mutton right now..." He chuckled heartily smiling to the group, but then coughed and winced as his shoulders shook with every almost brutal cough. He leaned heavily on his halberd, keeping his balance from almost falling over.
"So, how 'bout we get 'ways from here" His coughing picked up and shook him two more times. "...and rest up?" He gave a weak smile as he spoke, trying to keep his compusure but his reliance on his halberd seemed more than it should be.
Glitch aimed his cannon at the beast, chanting in Brathnaii as the strange purple mist began to swirl around the end of the cannon. This beast will fall. The mist continued to pour into the end of the tube, when suddenly...
What is it doing? Why isn't it working! Cmon cmon cmon cmon cmon cmon shooot shooot shoooooooot WHY WONT YOU FIRE! Piece of khordal trash that's what this is. It should have fired by now. I said the words right, I MADE THIS RIGHT. It should have worked by now. Why isn't it working. The mist gathers around the tip of the automated-muscle-atrophy device, then the purple stuff forms a ball, then the ball fires out the end and I am supposed to aim it. Then the ball goes whizzing through the air like WHOOOOSH and then it SLAMS into the beast's head. Then the tendons that connect muscle to bone wither away to nothing and the chemical mediators that allow the brain to respond to external threats are NULLIFIED. THATS WHAT I SAID. I ALREADY MADE THE SPEECH. I already said the words. I even pronounced mbala correct which is the word that needs to be said with the wrong accent... I did that on purpose because even those that speak Brathnaii won't understand it. Maybe I got it wrong though? No I've used this before. I hit that one trader that tried to screw me and watched his muscles wither down to nothing... Maybe monsters require a different adjunct?
"Glitch, Ryan, we need your help." The Sylvari scout called to him.
Glitch looked around and realized at that point that not only had his weapon failed, but he was also several yards away from the fight. How in the...
“Right... lets go,” he called as the small Brathun galloped back to find Geron and Traubon much worse for the wear.
What happened? (Spellcraft?)
Glitch took the time of discussion to examine his “wand” closely and even banging it against a rock and analyzing the sound it made.
“Something must be wrong. Perhaps this thing has access to strange magical powers. My vote is to return to my laboratory and do some tests... The beast is gone, right? That means we shouldn't have to worry about it for a while, right?”
After a short while, the group got back together at the creature’s nest. Ta’nil was eager to follow the beast and finish it, but the others were less hasty in their pursuit. They were all still pretty shaken from the sight of the monster pulling the skin back from its head, except for Geron and Traubon, who were pretty shaken from what happened after that. The old warrior was leaning heavily on his longsword and almost fell backwards from Aly’s frightful hug. He regained himself though, and comforted the young Cidal woman as best he could.
When everything had settled down a bit, they debated for a while, contemplating whether or not to return to the town, to stay in the forest and camp, or go after the beast right now. Eventually it became clear that the majority of the group was ready to return home before the night really claimed the forest. Geron was in a bit of a twist, since he was set on killing the beast, but also reasoned that they would have a much better chance of slaying it in daylight.
And so they retraced their steps and made their way back to the forest road. The darkness enhanced the sounds of the forest. The air was crisp and it eagerly carried sounds of bugs and creaking wood, warping them such that the adventurers tensed every time and expected the monstrous creature to jump out from the bushes that lined the road with every deer-nibbled leaf.
They could see the lights of Stone’s Hollow’s closest buildings in the distance when the sounds suddenly ceased. They had felt watched and jumpy while on the road, but now a new kind of terror struck them. This was not the kind of fear children felt when a nightmare haunted them. It was the kind that came with the realization that the nightmare was real, and coming for you.
Before them, blocking out some of the far off lights, a dark shadow stalked from the tree-line and positioned itself between the Monster Hunters and their destination. It limped a bit, but was otherwise silently stealthy as a cat. They recognized the monster they had been trying to find the whole day, though they could not discern any of its features in the cloudy night. And suddenly they understood where the description of ‘shadow wolf’ had come from. In the absence of light it seemed to hit the mark perfectly.
Slowly the creature approached, then suddenly launched itself at the group.
(OOC: Just when you think things quiet down, they suddenly drop themselves on you. You guys should be able to handle this thing. As it approaches, you can see it is still quite wounded, and for now we’ll assume that both Jethro and Ryan are part of the team.)
As if out of nowhere, his hand flew to his dagger and he began to run towards the beast. He prepared to jump over the beast even while he ran in a attempt to flank it. He didn't once stop to think about what it could mean if he got hit, just that if he did, he did. He heard the party behind him prepare their weapons.
Whatever they did, he trusted them though he only knew them a short while.
Posted on 2011-09-29 at 19:20:33.
Edited on 2011-10-03 at 15:18:53 by Takley
Let's see if the cidal fear bonus helps this time.
Aly could feel it long before she saw the creature, a deep-down fear that knotted her stomach and told her she could not avoid Shinara's fate.
She had hoped and she had prayed their entire journey towards Stone's Hollow that she would never face this creature again. Let braver folk slay that thing, she thought to herself. Geron and Traubon, perhaps... or one of the others. Just let me return hearth and home and tea and Helena.
But it was not to be, and the young Cidal knew it. Deep into her bones the shadow of the beast crept, even as her eyes located its shadowy form amongst the trees. Lysora, have mercy!
Her breath caught in her lungs and her chest tightened. She could hear her heart quicken its pace and felt her skin tingle with anticipation. This is it, she tried to steel herself. “This is it,” she muttered to herself.
“It’s coming, Aidan,” she whispered to her companion. The dog whined slightly, barked at the shadow, and then whined some more. It’s coming…
As if on cue, the beast leapt out in front of the group, blocking any way of returning to home without death. Aly covered her ears with her hands and tried to avoid making eye contact with the creature, tried to avoid the sight and sound of doom. Dodging to the left side of the beast, Aly and Aidan attempted to flank it.
[OOC: Aly is hoping to deafen the sound and avoid the sight of the creature as she moves to the left side of the creature. She will still be looking to keep some distance between her and the creature (about 20 ft). In the following rounds, if she isn’t overcome with fear, Aly will attempt to hit the beast with a slung stone, and Aidan will attempt to attack the creature from its rear left flank. If it seems the creature is about to scream and peel back flesh, Aly will again attempt to avoid the sight and cover her ears… even if it means dropping her sling. If the creature looks like it is coming to enter into melee with Aly, she will cast her entangle spell, centered on her. Hope that’s all clear. ]
Glitch was done... he was just ready to be back home surrounded by his books. There was so much study to be done. He knew for fact that some wizards, his old master included, was able to produce fear and terror in people much like that creature did.
He thought he remembered them calling it Scare but it was a bit fuzzy. Perhaps he could find a way to create a totem to cause this fear effect in others. THAT is why he needed to return to the lab.
The Brathun mumbled to himself about various images he could use in the theoretical scare-machine, at one point even considering an angry dwarf full of alcohol...
But soon his musing were cut short by the appearance of their prey. The thing they had actually set out to kill kindly presented itself to them right by home, no less.
This would be easy... hopefully. No more magic wand though, he wanted to test it and find the source of it's failure before trying to use it again.
This called for a more... hands on approach. Glitch lowered his goggles and pulled a small empty vial from his pouch, and spoke a few words in Brathnaii.
"Behold the wonders of alchemy! HIYAAAAAA"
He twirled the flask between his fingers as it slowly filled with a green liquid, which continued to fill and expand as it flew through the air towards the shadow wolf, eventually spilling out into a mass of bubbling green stew.
The monster swiftly approached them. It’s maw was opened in anticipation, and its eyes reflected a deadly intent that went beyond hunger. Hard pumped its claws into the loose sand of the road and its strong muscles swelled and released like a tide of death rushing onwards.
But the monster hunters had faced this creature before. Some of the fear they had felt earlier in the day came back. But it would no longer compel them to run away.
Ta’nil was the first to react to the deadly sight of the creature. The scout did not only ready his weapons, but decided to meet the monster head on. He sprinted at it and at the last moment jumped over its head with an agility that came so unexpected that the creature didn’t know what to do. It tried to snap the rogue out of the air, but couldn’t reach him and still continue running on. Ta’nil spun on his heels and would soon be at the monster’s back.
Meanwhile, Ryan had grabbed his rapier and also approached the monster. His attack missed precision, most likely because he couldn’t see very well in the dark, and he cursed softly.
As one, Traubon, Glitch and Jethro sprang into action. The Khord swung his halberd high and down. The creature had too much momentum to dive out of the way, and the blade struck the monster right between the shoulder blades. The monster twitched and roared furiously, but the blade would not come loose. Traubon tried to yank his weapon loose, but found that he could not. What he could do though, was steady the monster, so that it would not dart back and forth too much. It became a heavy tug of war, as the monster spasmed and clawed, with dying attempts to free itself.
Glitch took a step forward and hurled the small vial into the monster. The glass broke against the bulging muscles and acid engulfed the creature’s flank. A high pitch erupted from the creature’s jaws, but the now smoking fur caught a lot of the damage. Still, the smell of singed hair and burnt meat washed over the nightly road.
Jethro boldly stepped in front of the monster’s face. With Traubon holding it down, and his allies all around the creature, the young guard was raising his trident for a killing blow. But he was cocky, and took a moment too long to savour the power they held over the monster. With a desperate blow the monster hooked his clawed paw into Jethro’s side and pulled him within range of its devastating teeth. The guard cried out, but the monster enclosed its jaws over his neck and bit down hard. A wet gurgle sounded, and the lawman went limp.
Alyannah had readied a stone in her hand. While she was ready at any moment to cover her ears should the monster try to use its scare tactics again she realised that while it had its mouth full of Jethro, it was not capable of producing horrid sounds. With Aidin on the move she could put her full attention to her attack. She swung her sling a few times with extra vigour and planted the stone right between the monster’s eyes. It went suddenly still, its gaze cross eyed, and then it plummeted into the road in a cloud of dust.
The dark forest road was suddenly still again. The panting of the combatants was the only sound that penetrated the night air. They looked at each other and at the dead monster. They had defeated it, but had lost one of their own. Jethro lay unmoving in a puddle of his own blood.
Ryan could not stand the sight any longer and flung himself onto the grassy side of the road, where he vomited violently.
Geron approached slowly. “This beast,” he stated solemnly, “will hunt the forest road no longer. Stone’s Hollow is free once more.”
(OOC: the monster has been defeated. This means two things: 1 – you guys can update all the way back to Stone’s Hollow, where everybody is asleep. I will update everything into the next day, so any intentions you have towards the future should be included in your post. 2 – you all gained a level, so your character sheet will need to be updated. I expect a post from every player in the Q/A listing what the changes in your sheet will be, and I’ll update the sheets on the first page. )
The men and women laughed loudly on the other side of the tinted glass. Arra felt fine with that. The night was a only bit chilly, not biting like it would be in winter. Besides she had her fur to keep her comfortable.
Comfortable and hidden from sight too. There were two private guards patrolling the wealthy manor and they had so far failed to spot her on the premises. Silent as a cat (what an analogy) she dove from one dark corner to the next. She had left the window to the dining room behind and now bound towards a dark alcove where a door led into the house. Her nose had brought her there. It told her that on the other side of the door was the manor’s kitchen, and a fat goose smothered in plum gravy was almost ready to be eaten.
Stealthily she opened the door. The hot scents of fresh bread and rich ingredients steamed into the night air. She glided inside and entered a small hallway from which she could see the kitchen in its full glory. A fat cook just left the room with a big tray with mixed salads, fried and salted potatoes and roasted vegetables. She goose was still there in a high metal tray; her prize for that evening.
Moments later she had it in her hands and marvelled at the moist tissue and the heavenly stuffing the lay underneath. She went for a door when suddenly a hand clutched her by the shoulder, and a man’s voice rang.
“Well, in Alanus’s expending pouch, what have we here?”
(OOC: You’re looking into the face of one of the manor’s patrons. He’s a tall, handsome man, dressed in the finest clothing and wears a thick, silver chain around his neck on which dangles an ornate symbol of three interlocked rings. He smiles politely, but his grip is not as friendly as his face.)
The beast was dead, as was Jethro. Glitch had a moment of remorse that he never really knew the boy, and that he died at such a young age. After taking a few moments to gather his breath, Geron broke the silence.
“I am unfamiliar with the Human death rituals... I believe burial is appropriate? You only burn your nobility, correct? I believe I heard that once...”
Ta'nil then went to carry the body, and spoke of raising. “Nonsense. Raising the dead is the stuff of fairy tales...”
His face went very somber and voice got very low, or as low as a gnome's can.
“Or very, very dark magic, and from everything I know of necromancy the soul is vacated while the body lives on anyway. No my friend, Jethro is gone forever. His body deserves a warrior's funeral, not an endless existence as some shambling corpse. Did he have any family? I believe he said he worked at the stables.”
But death was no reason to stop the march of science. Glitch had so many questions. What was the hide of this beast made of to resist acid so well? How did it get it's shadowy appearance? How did it manage to create that scare effect? He grabbed samples of the animal's fur, nails, meat, hide, skin, and brain. With no objection from the group, Glitch moved the creature off the path and under a brush for the scavengers to pick apart.
Back at camp, Glitch volunteered to help in whatever way possible, from lighting the pyre to digging a hole, of course using magical and non-manual means to do so.
He will offer no words at the funeral as the only thing he would know to say would be in Brathnaii.
After he will return to his home for a much-needed rest. For tomorrow the research will began.
Tired and wounded, but alive. Traubon stood with his halberd as he wrenched it free from the beasts back, and quickly helped bring Jethro's body away from the beast. It's surreal, how quickly one person can be moving, breathing, talking, living, and the next they are completely motionless and void of all life.
Traubon looked as Ta'nil and others spoke, and he slowly shook his head.
"I'm 'fraid he's right 'bout that. If, some how we did have the means tah' find someone who can' be raisin' the dead, the money to fund such a takin' would be well out of our reach, nay it might as well drain all the coffers from the vaults of Anduhar! Poor boy lived a warriors life, and died a warrior. He shall get none less respect than what one o' me great stonelord ancestors would recieve. And I know thah' earth will take good care o' his soul, as she respects all those who fights with and for her children."
Traubon helped carry his body back as he watched Glitch disassemble the animal, and just shrugged at his questionable behavior.
He kept the thought out of his mind as to why Jethro had died. Being right near him when he died, Traubon had seen the pause in Jethro's strike, and the cost of hesitation. He would not utter a word to anyone, and would let him pass as a hero who gave his life for Stone's Hollow, and would do everything he would need to in the burial and passage of his body.
That night, when back in Stone's Hollow, Traubon would stay at the tavern as long as he could, having a hot meal and many drinks, only talking to those who would approach him about the whole ordeal.
Arra froze, every muscle in her body screaming with the need to run. How could she have been so foolish? As his fingertips dug into her fur, to the flesh beneath her striped coat, she searched his eyes and swallowed back a little fear.
"Please, sir," she spoke, her purring voice no louder than a rough whisper. "I meant no harm. Let...let me go and I shall find a way to repay you."
Her tail twitched, bristled along its length and fluffed in her stress. Though he clearly had no fear of her, or of her claws and teeth, she feared him as if he had possessed these things in larger and sharer quantities. Her eyes lit on the silver chain, unable to take the ice in his handsome face.
With his fine clothes, she guessed he must be the master of the house, and hoped he would be lenient on her. "I'm...I'm sorry," she whispered, and tried to pull back from him, testing his strength.
The death of the monster left the group of local heroes occupied in several ways. Some chose to deal with the death of their fellow hunter, others were more concerned with the machinations of the beast which had slain him. So, in a silent parade they carried both corpses along the forest road, through the meadows beyond it, and onto the town’s square.
They had been spotted early on by a patrolling guard, who signalled his fellow guardsmen with the ringing of a brass bell. Lights blinked behind the sleepy windows of Stone’s Hollows residences, and when the monster hunters finally made it onto the square, it was filled with curious folk who stood waiting with craned necks and anxious twittering.
The crowd parted as they passed, Ta’nil and Traubon carrying Jethro, and the others hauling the beast between them. A silence swelled where they walked; excited murmur became gaping horror, and cheerful shouts were quickly choked. Everybody watched in terrible awe as the group moved on. Whalen, the innkeeper, was standing on their path in his nightgown and sleeping hat. He motioned for the group to come closer.
“Bring the lad into the inn. I’ll make a room for him there.”
While Traubon and Ta’nil moved the young man’s body indoors, Geron motioned for Glitch, Aly and Ryan to put down the monster. Its limp form lay sprawled on the clammy cobblestones, as the old adventurer straightened his back a bit. He eyed the townsfolk around him, and particularly the few guards in their midst.
“People of Stone’s Hollow. A great evil has been lurking in your woods, killing people, taking innocent lives. But you can rest peacefully now, knowing that it is no longer! Thank your gods, but thank your fellow townsfolk who stood up to this monster even more. Know that they were strong of will, and brave in soul. Know that they are your kin and that you can find that strength in yourself as well. Know that, and you will fear no more.”
The silence continued, and Geron let out a few sharp breaths that fogged the cool air. “In this dark night, one of your people has given his life for your safety. Tell his story, pay him the respect he has earned, and give him the burial of a hero, for he was just that.”
With that he stepped over the monster, and strode past his fellow hunters. They could hear him whispering softly: “Told myself I wouldn’t care… tsssss.”
Behind him, the guards picking up the creature and started dragging it away. The crowd of people started to dissipate. Slowly, a murmur built up again as people made their way back to their homes. Amidst the crowd stood an old, familiar face: Helena the druid. Quietly she approached Aly, and hugged her close.
“You did well, sweetie.” She said softly, but it was clear that her heart was filled with sorrow as well; sorrow for the lives spent today.
She suddenly grabbed hold of Glitch too and dragged him against her robes. As she held him and Aly firmly, a motherly love engulfed them both. It was a feeling so strong that it was almost warm and tangible. For a moment it was as if they were at peace with the earth. Then she let go of them and pointed at the inn as she addressed Aly.
“Go with your friends. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Two days later they buried Jethro’s body. It was a sober burial, but very dignified, which the whole town attended. The mayor even held a short speech about the bravery of young men and how he wished he could have know Jethro better. Geron remained silent during the day. He was feeling feverish and worn from the day in the woods and the hardship it had brought.
After the burial, Geron returned to the Golden Barley Inn, and was not seen for another two days.
Then a messenger was sent to Glitch, Aly, Ta’nil and Traubon the stoneworker, requesting their presence at the inn. Geron needed their aid once more.
(OOC: You guys have four days of downtime to do what you desire. There are several things to do for everybody, I think. If there are some things that are unclear, or need my approval or DM’s eye, let me know in the Q/A or via PM).
After the funeral, Ta'nil decided to not walk around town for a day. When he did go out of his house he tried to find Soranman to see how well he was doing on flourishes.
When he found Soranman, he was talking to some friends. As he was walking away, soranman heard his steps and stopped him
"Hey Ta'nil, sorry about your friend there."
"Its alright, I didn't know him long, but he was a did fight well. Anyway, I wanted to know how your doing with your flourishes."
"there alright, I practice every so often and cut myself yesterday."
"Which one were you practicing?"
"ah yes, may I see it?"
Soranman shows Ta'nil the flourish.
"Try angling your hand a little bit more upward, but otherwise it is good.Keep trying"
Ta'nil goes back to his house and does a couple of flourishes himself. From the Arakno'mel to the Karne'pweyo.
The rest of the two days he spent at home, eating and sleeping and practicing more flourishes. On the third day he went hunting for some more meat for some food, this went until the fourth day until 11:35 pm.
At the end of the fourth day, he got a note under the door saying that Geron needed him and his friends again. He went and awaited his friends coming to the inn.
Posted on 2011-10-18 at 20:15:43.
Edited on 2011-10-24 at 15:05:30 by Takley
“You’re sorry?” the man stated. It was a question, but Arra got the feeling that it was not one that needed answering. He pivoted around her, so he stood between her and the door, blocking the way out. His grasp remained firmly on her shoulders.
“No, I’m sorry.” He said then. Before Arra knew it he had released one of his hands and produced a dagger from his belt. She tried to escape his grip but he held firmly. Quick as lightning the dagger shot forward and sliced wildly. Arra’s heart pounded in her chest, but he had only cut off a patch of hair from her shoulder and now released her, unharmed.
“You can try to run now.” He turned to lean casually against the kitchen counter. “But I will know where you are and what you are doing.” He held up the patch of hair so it caught her full attention.
“So… let’s talk. First, put the goose back please. The cook might be able to save it still.”
(OOC: Can’t continue until I know if Arra's bolting or if she's listening.)