North West Dock
Drefast~Positive Tide is normal
~Negative Tide is rising
The tension in the party was still tangible when they reached the stone stairway leading to the north west dock. The docks were wooden walkways alongside the river, wet and slippery by the splashing water. Boats lay tied to the thick poles, going slowly back and forth, sending soft reverberations through the harbour every time they collided with each other. There were hardly any people at the docks at this time of day, and the calm contrast to the busy streets was soothing.
The group passed a small stall, where a fishmonger called them to take the last of his salted halibuts. Up ahead lay the First Thunder River Bridge. Its stone bulk cast a deep shadow over the water and the docks below it. Somewhere in the shade there was the Freemen’s Way, the tavern where Dorothy was supposed to be found.
Suddenly their attention was taken by an old fisherman who had been dangling his pole in the river at the edge of the wooden walkway. The man sprang up and looked in the water. After a single glance he turned on his heels and hurried past the adventurers, dropping his pipe in a panic.
Before they could react, the water split open and a strange creature dropped itself on the wet walkway. It had a large body, like a porpoise or a small whale, with a leonine head and forepaws. A ruff of silky hair ran from the top of its head all the way down to its tail flukes. It was only 20 feet away from them, and roared ferociously.
The path towards the Freemen’s Way was blocked now, and they could only go backwards.
The consensus ended up being for visiting family at the Freeman's Way back across the bridge. It wasn't Miran's decision but for the time being he was content to be but a peon in the greater war. Besides the company that was to go along with dinner would most certainly be of a more amiable sort.
He followed his siblings and paused to consider each of them. Everyone of them grew up without the comforts of individual parents, but had to instead become united by a fatherlike figure that was and is Ormander. Indeed it could be said that they argued like siblings, and lived for much of their time as though related. Even though for a shared heritage however, there remained a mental barrier between complete siblings and orphan mates, that allowed them to look upon each other and occaisionally find one other attractive.
As such pondering of foster parentage usually caused, Miran's mind wandered to the mystery of his own lineage. He had learned from Ormander, as did all orphans when they were deemed of the right maturity and age to handle such matters emotionally, that he had been left in the standard fashion for unwanted children, in a basket under the silver ram. He decided, in a rather detached manner, that his parents were likely two young nobles who had spent rather more than enough Guain on their Midsummer Eve's drinking tab, though he still knew that just anyone could have been his mother or father. The fishmonger over yonder calling out to make a profit of his last few catches, or perhaps even the fisherman.
He turned swiftly as the fisherman passed, looking to make some humor of the situation.
"Come now my good fishmaster, from what fire do you run?"
His vocal intentions may have been thus, though most of the jest beyond 'fishmaster' was eliminated by a wet smack that inspired a near-yelp of surprise by the mage. He turned to whatever beastie had thought to set itself in their path. Miran supposed that a more studious life might have invested within him a better idea what this ugly creature might have been, but before a fight was less than an ideal time and place to confess regrets.
His hand shot to the rapier worn at his side quickly, for it was indeed of more use than show. He drew the elegant blade from its sheath and leveled it before himself protectively as he worked on the next step to his strategy. Merely owning and knowing how to use a blade hardly made one a swordsman, even less so for one who dabbled much with illusions. Though as for that, a good wizard had a number of tricks for many situations. Wearing armor made difficult the movements required for weaving magic, so Miran made use of a useful spell that would call upon magic to sheild him.
Shield, he thought, the word in mind bringing behind it a memorized routined of gestures and words, combined with the stored mental release of energy that would make this possible. The air before his left hand seemed to compress into a large disk of energy, outlined faintly. By the completion of the spell, the visible tell-tales had given away, leaving one battle-ready magic user/swordsman.
Three to two was not really the consensus Pio had hoped for. And, in fact, he had almost wished to be out voted, if only to appease his sister.
The knight gave his sister a weak smile. He was tired. Tracking across the city is the heat of the day… he could handle that. But Percy`s tirades and spiteful words… those wore heavy on him. Without a word, Pio began to make his way towards the Freeman`s Way tavern. He stopped after a few paces however, and turned back to Percy.
`Sister, will you walk with me?` He offered her his arm… a gesture that he hoped Percy would see as a sign that he was still looking to work with her, in spite of their differing opinions.
[OOC: If Percy takes up his offer, cool! If we need to RP some conversation along the way, double cool, although conversation will need to be Percy`s initiative. Pio will be lost in thought… see below
If Percy does not accept the offer, cool! Pio will continue to lead the way to the tavern]
As Pio walked on, he thoughts focused on Percy`s pointed words which called into question his honor. He reflected on his actions, in particular those in front of the courthouse. Was I mistaken, m`lord? Pio petitioned Therassor silently.
It wasn`t long before the siblings were approaching the First Thunder River Bridge, nearing the tavern where he hoped Dory would be found. Dear Lady Fate, let Dory be here, was Pio`s prayer to Shinara. Please…
The knight`s thoughts were interrupted by the sudden eruption from the River. The monstrosity that lurched on to the docks awed the knight briefly… the sheer power found in one of those forepaws alone. The creature looked as though it could cause some serious damage.
Pio felt his blood begin to pump faster to his joints and muscles, the excitement of battle lifted his spirits. He released Percy`s arm, looked at her briefly with a smile, `Aim high, okay?`
With that said, the young knight move in to engage the creature.
[OOC: I apologize in advance for the length of this OOC. I am putting down Pio`s combat information in detail. I`m not sure how familiar you are with the Tome of Battle material, Almerin… so here is goes…
Pio randomly gains two of his Crusader maneuvers at the beginning of combat, gaining the remaining ones, one at a time, randomly, at the beginning of his turn each round. On the 6th round, all of his Crusader maneuvers `refresh` and he once again gains two randomly selected maneuvers… repeat process.
If you want to randomly selected these maneuvers, Almerin, that`s cool by me. I rolled for them in this combat round to speed things up. Pio received ~Charging Minotaur~ and ~Leading the Attack~ in this first round.
Pio will switch his Draconic Aura from ~Presence~ to ~Power~, granting all allies within 30 ft (including himself) with a +1 bonus to melee damage. This uses up his Swift Action.
Pio is currently in his ~Punishing Stance~ which adds an additional +1d6 to his melee damage, and applies a -2 penalty to his AC.
Pio is moving forward to engage the monster in melee combat. This uses his move action. Drawing his blade while moving is a free action, I believe.
Pio is attacking the monster with his +1 bastard sword, using his Warblade maneuver ~Mountain Hammer~ which, if successful, deals an additional 2d6 damage and automatically overcomes damage reduction and hardness. This uses his standard action.
Final combat numbers:
AC: 19, Touch 9, Flatfooted 19
Damage: 1d10 +1 (enhancement) +3 (str) +1 (aura) +1d6 (stance) +2d6 (maneuver)
Pio also has his Crusader ability ~Steely Resolve ~ which essentially acts as a 5 HP delayed damage pool. If the monster succeeds in attacking Pio, the first 5 points of damage are placed into this delayed damage pool, which Pio takes after his next round.]
Percifeer crossed her arms angrily at Pio when he motioned for her arm. She followed the group slowly, scraping her feet on the ground and muttering to herself. She mentioned, while they were walking "It's not like we'll find out anything worthwhile!" just in time for a fisherman to run and a large monstrosity to land on the ground in front of them.
She was almost shocked enough to laugh. It was as though the gods themselves were announcing to her siblings that she was right. Pio turned to her and said "Aim high" and she simply grimaced as she stepped back a little. Then she leaned up against a wall and waited for the battle to be over or for it to become bad enough that she felt a need to jump in.
Posted on 2008-05-15 at 23:44:31.
Edited on 2008-05-16 at 00:02:48 by suicidolt
North West Dock
Drefast~Positive Tide is normal
~Negative Tide is rising
The slippery boards that made up the docks proved a tight space to fight. The companions pushed past each other, trying to ready themselves for this fight. Percifeer was least of all interested in getting rid of this creature. If it was a sign from the gods not to go to the Freemen’s Way, so be it. In any case, it suited her fine, as it proved that they should’ve chosen a different course. This was their mess, and she had no intention of aiding the others.
Beinsel’s nature was entirely different. He didn’t hold grudges for so long, and frankly, he delighted in the action, for it was a chance for him to prove his worth to the group. He had his darts out in the blink of an eye, and flung the projectile hard at the monstrous creature before them. Not being used to the slick surface his boot slid away slightly when he stomped it down for extra flinging force, and his dart missed his enemy entirely.
Llammoth drew her short spear and moved close enough to the water-creature to strike. She chose a spot on the side, which would enable her later to flank her opponent with one of her companions, which would disrupt its attention. When she came close however, the creature pawed at her with a lightning speed. Her thrust afterwards was a bit shaky, and missed accuracy.
Then Pio dove in. The knight was glad for a situation that didn’t involve talking for a change. Drawing his bastard sword as he ran, he came at the beast with stern determination. He had faced his share of walking nightmares before, and this one would die as did the others.
The creature was too slow to react to the attack, and Pio’s blade hit it straight in the chest. The monster roared as his scaled hide sprang open and its dark blood started flowing down, spreading fast over the wet docks. But it was far from ready to give up a tasty meal. With a deadly precision one of the creature’s claws struck Pio in the face, missing his eyes by an inch. Sharp nails drove into his flesh and raked down. Then the feline monster moved backwards, ears flat and ready to receive another attack.
Miran had completed his spell by then, and felt a lot safer now. The almost invisible shield of magical power gave him confidence. Now he was ready to help his brothers and sisters.
(Ok, that was round 1. Good job so far, but there is plenty to do. )
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee ~ Cower behind sheild made of force
By the time the that Miran had finished his shielding spell, the battle was well under way. Only Percifeer was not in action against the beast that had leapt out of the water. Miran glanced at her, but made no motion to try to change her mind. Besides, there would be no telling what kind of spells she would cast in the mood she was in.
Returning his full attention to the fray at hand, Miran moved in with his rapier next to the other two siblings, striking when he could into the flesh of the beast, while deivising a strategy for best using his tactical spells.
Percifeer noticed the beast slashing dangerously at her friends, and couldn't help herself. She drew her crossbow and loaded it. Surely, under normal circumstances this beast wouldn't have attacked them. They had attacked first. Still, it was hard to sit back and watch her allies get battered.
She decided not to intervene just yet. No one was seriously hurt, and with any luck it would just run back to its home where less dangerous meals awaited. However, should it choose to do more than claw, like try to grapple or eat one of her allies, she would have to intervene. For now, though, there was no danger of that.
((if called to act per above, her readied action is to cast true strike, the next round will be called shot eye, which should be a kill also))
Llammoth was never much of a fighter. What she did was merely for her own protection. That being said, she wasn't the type to allow an innocent life to be taken right in front of her face. Not that she truly believed in the lie of innocence, everyone had something to atone for, however, more or less she had to go with the benefit of ignorance. Sometimes it was the only thing that woke her up with the courage to go on in life.
She readied her spear to strike at the beast, whatever foul thing it was, though she had been unprepared for it's flurry of strikes. It had shaken her composure, notably as she had missed her target."Get it together," she thought to herself, "there is no time for doubt."
Seeing that her family had moved against the creature as well, she elected to take up a good old fashioned trick of the dirty rogue. Hit him where it hurts. Moving to a side opposite that of her brother Miran, in an attempt to take full advantage of the monster's split attention. If she could, she would end this bout quickly and with no kinly blood spilt.
“Arrgh!” Pio sounded out as his blade cut through the creature’s thick scales with righteous power. The blood lust was in the man’s eyes and pounded in his ears. This was Pio’s call --- standing toe to toe with the beast.
Pio could see that the beast was about to retaliate, and attempted to dodge the blow. The slick wood hindered him, however, and the knight took the full brunt of the creature’s fury. The sharp nails dug deep into his face, releasing spray of blood. His nervous system attempted to overload his brain with “pain”, but the knight’s visage merely became more grim and determined as his faced the beast once again. Years of training and practice took over as Pio moved through the fluid motions of his next strike.
[OCC: Alright, here the breakdown for Pio.
Last round, Pio took 10 points of damage for the Sea Lion: 5 points went into his delayed damage pool ( the crusader class ability called “Steely Resolve ” ) and 5 points were taken off from his regular hit points. That means that Pio’s current hit points should actually be 40 (not 35). After Pio’s turn, this round, if he (or someone else) doesn’t “heal” the damage in his delayed damage pool, he will take those 5 points of damage as well. The delayed damage pool then resets itself back to zero. If the Sea Lion strikes Pio before his turn, he’ll take all that damage as well. If the Sea Lion strikes Pio after his turn, but before Pio’s next turn, Pio will again put 5 points of damage into his delayed damage pool.
Steely Resolve  goes hand in hand with Pio’s other crusader class ability, Furious Counterstrike. If Pio has 1 – 5 points in his delayed damage pool, he gains a +1 untyped bonus to his attacks and damage.
Pio’s randomly gained Crusader maneuver this round is ~Stones Bones~ .
Pio is currently projecting his draconic aura ~Power~. He will continue to do so. This granted ALL allies within 30 ft (including himself) a +1 untyped bonus to melee damage.
Pio is switching his martial stance from ~Punishing Stance~ to ~Martial Spirit~. This stance allows Pio to heal any ally within 30 ft (including himself) of 2 points of damage each time he makes a successful melee attack. This also removes the -2 penalty to Pio’s AC. Switching stances uses up Pio’s swift action.
Pio is still attacking with his bastard sword and is using his Crusader maneuver ~Stone Bones~. If Pio successfully strikes the Sea Lion, he gains a damage reduction of 5/adamanite until the beginning of his next turn.
1)If Pio hits, he will heal himself of two points of damage. [Martial Spirit stance]
2)If Pio hits, he will gain a damage reduction of 5/adamanite until the beginning of his next turn [Stone Bones maneuver]
3)At the end of Pio’s turn, he will take the 5 points of damage from his damage pool. Which then resets to zero again. [Steely Resolve ability]
Hope that made sense!
North West Dock
Drefast~Positive Tide is normal
~Negative Tide is rising
Percifeer was still staring at the battle without acting, but her attention was caught now. After all, this proved to be a nice diversion from all the verbal hardship she had experienced today.
Beinsel lifted another dart and this time made sure to plant his feet firmly on the slick boards. Now his projectile found its way passed his companions and into the water monster’s shoulder. It let out a surprised hiss on impact, but remained concentrated on Pio before it.
Llammoth had hoped for a chance to slip past the creature and get the advantage of flanking opponents. But the creature was slowly backing away, and a normal attack would have to do.
After a quick step, she thrust her longspear into the creature’s hide, drawing more blood and aggravation.
Pio pressed on as well, but was perhaps a bit too eager to strike, and his blade only cut some hair from the feline head of this monstrosity. On top of this, he felt a delayed pain in his face, like a suddenly stinging realization that this monster was indeed very dangerous.
The Sea Cat in turn, was desperate to get away. But it was also hungry. Hunger had driven it to board the docks and attack the group, and now she would not be denied a meal. In a final attempt for food she launched herself on Pio. Llammoth and the knight both saw an opening to attack the creature before she fell on Pio, but only the rogue sealed the opportunity. Llammoth’s spear made a sharp scratch along the monster’s flank as it sprang on her brother. With its claws flinging wildly it grappled a hold on Pio, but instead of attacking, the creature rolled away with him, and they both dove off the docks and into the water where they disappeared out of sight.
(OOC: stopping here because it will change everybody’s actions, I assume. Sib: Miran still has an action left this round, you are free to alter it now, so I want to know what he intends to do. For the rest of you: Pio is under water, still grappling with the cat, and is wearing his full suit of armor. Something needs to be done fast, for fighting AND holding your breath is nasty, and he has only enough air for 7 rounds of underwater combat, based on his con. After that it is increasing CON checks for him.)
Posted on 2008-05-31 at 10:28:33.
Edited on 2008-05-31 at 10:32:44 by Almerin
The hero is not always the gallant knight in shining armor.
As the massive cross between a cat and something wet and ugly drags his 'brother' off the bridge Miran throws down his rapier on the dock, not granting himself a second for thought, for to think at this point would be to doubt. He ran to the edge of the bridge near where Pio and the beast elected to go for a dip and himself leapt over the edge with his dagger replacing his longer rapier. Below in the depths were his targets, for he intended to invite himself into yet another private party, by taking hold of the beast to stab it. Perhaps a spell might have helped, but now was the time for action rather than strategy.
If this idea of entering the grapple proves so soon sour, Miran will attempt to convince the uglier (not Pio, if that wasn't clear) member of the fracass to leave early with a quick dosage of enegy bolts from his Magic Missile spell. Lastly, he has four more of the daggers on his person, so the loss of one wouldn't be a tragedy, however he would like to avoid it.
Posted on 2008-05-31 at 15:28:27.
Edited on 2008-06-04 at 01:32:53 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Percifeer was glad she had readied her actions. As the fish prepared to grapple Pio, she got the jump on it and cast her spell. "Let my arrow fly true to save my brother in his time of need." ((this is per book on readied actions, I get to act before his initiative, which moves my initiative to just before his in the following round, meaning my spell is cast, he grapples Pio and gets into the water, then I get to act before he gets another action)) Her next action was obvious. She rushed over to the water's edge, pointing her crossbow over the rail.
She had prepared herself as best as possible, but it was going to be a tough shot. She was firing into the water, and aiming for a very particular spot on this fish. Still, she had to attempt to save her brother. She aimed carefully at the beast's eye and fired. The shot would have to enter the water, strike the eye, and cut deep enough to enter the brain to be a kill. Still, there wasn't a better shot to take at this point. She could only hope for a bit of luck. A loud *THWANG* echoed through the streets as her crossbow loosed the arrow at the beast.
North West Dock
Drefast~Positive Tide is normal
~Negative Tide is rising
As Pio was dragged into the waters, Miran acted instantly. He dropped his rapier and ran to the edge of the dock. Then he plunged himself in the green and foaming water of the Thunder River. As the bubbles of impact cleared around him, he swam down, until he became aware of the location of Pio and the beast. They were both going down rapidly, and the Swashbuckler had to swim hard to catch up with them.
In the mean time, Percifeer had overcome her anger and also edged near the water. She drew her crossbow and tried hard to estimate the location of the underwater fight. With a THWANG that echoed over the water, she let go of her bolt. It soared through the river’s surface and disappeared from sight.
Beinsel was not so sure of how to proceed, throwing a dart into the water blindly was not what he considered a sure aid to Pio. But what to do, he did not know.
Llammoth was equally stunned and stared at the spot where the beast and Pio had disappeared. Was this the end of their brother? Was there anything they could do?
Meanwhile, Pio was fighting hard to hold off his opponent and the urge to breathe out. Then, in the midst of warding off claws and bites, he found an opening. Without hesitation he punched the creature hard in the face. Blood sprouted from the monster’s nose and blurred the knight’s vision even more, so he didn’t see the crossbow bolt that soared by harmlessly.
But the Sea Cat retaliated with a punishing slash from its claw, drawing another group of cuts on Pio’s head.
By now, Miran had reached them, and was trying hard to enter the grapple, so he could aid Pio. He grabbed the monster, and tried to pry his dagger into its ribs. A massive paw pushed him away before he could finish his thrust, and he missed.the creature by an arm’s length.
(OOC: we’ve got 6 rounds left before Pio gets in serious breathing trouble. Get kicking guys!)
Percifeer was looking over the edge at undisturbed water. The crossbow obviously didn't kill the beast, and she didn't have time to worry about whether it did. She wasn't going to sit by and let one of her siblings die at the hands of a fish, no matter how upset she was.
She used her power to summon a powerful creature (Summon Monster II) in the water below her. Her mental order to the beast as it formed was to attack the big fish with the knight in its mouth. Such a task would be too complex, except that she had an image of the beast as well, and the creature would do as she commanded. 'What appeared in the water?' you might ask. A shark (Fiendish Shark) swam down into the depths after the two mid-battle.
Now, she only had to hope that her brothers wouldn't try to keep fighting the creature when the more formidable threat appeared.
By Miran's calculations, neither of them had very much air to go on. Already his chest began to tighten for want of a breath. His heart pounded, taking only whatever oxygen remained in that breath before he hit the water from his lungs to the rest of his body.
The attempt to join the party had been denied by a massive clawed, webbed paw pushing him aside. Had the beast not been preoccupied with chewing on the knight, it might have managed to rip a wound in the thoughtless mage.
Not to be deterred while he could still act, Miran kicked through the water to the beast. This time he would not be pushed aside. Instead of trying to budge into the wrestling match, he tried to inform the beast at dagger point that bleeding profusely and eating citizens was not permitted within the waters of the Thunder River. Held backwards, the way he grabbed it, he struck downward at the beast's back with his dagger.