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Death by poison.

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File 140770298382.jpg - (137.43KB , 480x640 , Face in the Stone.jpg )
5074 No. 5074 edit
The screaming winds of sand and dust batter the party as they push through. The ones pushing the cart have it the worst, and Killua is nearly thrown off his feet by the ferocity of the storm. Ves notices the cart beginning to tip, and shouts a warning to those outside to bring it back under control. Recette warns of another sudden gust, and the group braces themselves just in time to avoid being floored by it. http://orokos.com/roll/213386 (14)

It seems that the dust devil has thrown everything it can at you, for moments later you emerge through to the other side. Walls of roaring dust circumscribe a hollow area of still air bisecting a high cliff face. The cliff contains the relief carving of a massive humanoid face. The empty eyes are black shadows, but the gaping mouth is set with two granite obelisks that look like massive teeth. You see flashes of several humanoids darting about within the mouth cavity. The space you're in now is an open desert.

The crodlus are shaken, but seem to be okay. Recette is immensely relieved.
"For a moment there, I thought we were gonna die..." she murmurs, catching her breath. As for the wagon itself, it is in surprisingly good condition.

You've reached the Face in the Stone. Whatever it is Yarnath seeks, it lies inside.

Skill challenge completed. You gain 750 experience points (150 experience points each)
68 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 5149 edit
"... Never mind. The runes are probably for a magic trap that triggers if you try to open it without unlocking it. This door doesn't open, even from the inside, but seeing as the room inside is man-made, if we're looking for a hidden magic artifact, I think it's worth exploring."

Ves relays what she can tell about the trap, then heads back inside the room to look further.

What's an obsidian guardian?

Take 10 perception, take 10 stealth. I'll explore a couple squares at a time, making checks as necessary.

>> No. 5150 edit
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"Dinnae worry about what-ifs, Recette. All any of us can do is try ta improve," Kudust says, coming up beside the sullen stranger. He notes the ghost's warning and waits for her to finish scouting.
>> No. 5151 edit
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Recette seems to cheer up slightly at Kudust's encouraging words. She still doesn't say anything, but she doesn't look quite as sad as before. She just watches the space Ves left for now, waiting for the ghost to return.

Ves continues to investigate the passage and heads further in. The crevice widens in the middle, but isn't large enough for Ves to fall more than a few feet, if that. If she were able to fall down such a thing, anyway. In the middle of the room, the path splits on both sides, each direction framed by a doorway. There's another door directly ahead, and it is shut securely, but doesn't appear locked. Ves also finds a small skeleton near the left doorway, its hands clutching at its throat. It appears to have been here an extremely long time. It'd require a difficult heal check to figure out what it died from.

The passage on the left contains a small chamber, with a stone basin full of a maroon liquid set into the wall. Ves can feel that the liquid has been magically preserved, for whatever purpose. There's something written above the basin, apparently made using charcoal. Unlike the runes on the door, it is written in early primordial, and Ves is mostly able to read it:

To the abstemious, be blessed.
To the rapacious, taste bitter death.

The opposite passage on the right contains a similar basin with an identical message written above it. This basin holds an aquamarine liquid, also magically preserved. It's impossible to tell at a glance what either liquid does, though the function of both can be discerned with a successful arcana check.
>> No. 5152 edit
Still thinking about the liquids, Ves checks the neck area of the skeleton for discolorations or such.

Arcana check (liquid functions) (19) http://orokos.com/roll/217965

>> No. 5153 edit
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Arcana (Ves) : The maroon fluid in the left chamber, when sipped directly from the basin while in the chamber, returns a spent healing surge to the drinker. It can only confer this benefit to a character once per 24 hours; if the drinker has all their surges they instead gain 10 temporary hit points.

The aquamarine fluid in the right chamber, when sipped directly from the basin while in the chamber, recharges one of the drinker's daily powers. It can only confer this benefit to a character once per 24 hours; if the drinker already has all their daily powers, or does not have any, they instead gain a +2 bonus to the attack roll and a +5 bonus to the damage roll of the next attack power they use within the next 24 hours.

If a person drinks from both basins in a 24-hour period, they gain no benefit from the second basin; instead, upon sipping from the second basin, the drinker gains ongoing 10 poison damage and a -2 peanlty to saving throws (save ends both).

Heal (Ves) : The skeleton lying in the middle of the passageway shows signs of poisoning. Likely from ingesting from both basins.
>> No. 5154 edit
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"Let's try to get in, then."
Killua walks toward the door and get some tools out, then he attempts to deactivate the trap on it.
Thievery: (17) http://orokos.com/roll/217980
>> No. 5155 edit
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Killua tries to pick the lock, but he seems to be off his game. After half a minute of nothing happening, there's a clicking sound as an enormous bolt of lightning strikes Killua dead on and brings him extremely close to death once more. Inside the lock, there's a sound like machinery as something shifts around.

"Oh my gosh! Are you okay?!" Recette calls out to Killua in alarm, approaching Killua slowly and cautiously.

Killua fails to open the door and activates the trap, and is CRIT for 19 lightning damage
The DC to deactivate the trap has increased.

Last edited at 14/08/31(Sun)20:33:52
>> No. 5156 edit
Before Ves can do much with the basins, she hears the trap zap someone, so she phases back to the rest of the party. "I just finished healing you!" says Ves, healing Killua (again) and also Kudust with the stray healing energies.

Healing Spirit for Killua (7+4=11) and 1d6 (4) for Kudust. http://orokos.com/roll/217985

Last edited at 14/08/31(Sun)21:48:29
>> No. 5157 edit
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Kudust raises his eyebrow as he is healed and turns to face Killua. Moving over next to the rogue, he comments, "Might wanna be careful there, aye? Anything we can do?"
>> No. 5158 edit
"I'm fine, I'm fine..." explains Killua to the party, somewhat ashamed.
"I understimated this door, it might be too hard for me to figure it out." Then, feeling like an idiot, he asks "...did anyone check to where that other route goes?"

Last edited at 14/09/01(Mon)23:20:25
>> No. 5159 edit
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"Is this way no good then? I don't want to see you hurt yourself again.
>> No. 5160 edit
"You would expect more hejkin the other way, wouldn't you? As for this door, the first room had types of revitalizing fluids, between which you could only drink one. Another door also led beyond, which I haven't gone through yet."

If the conversation doesn't continue, Ves goes back in to explore the other door in the basin room. Take 10 perception to look through.

Last edited at 14/09/03(Wed)23:39:46
>> No. 5161 edit
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"I guess you're right..." Recette concedes as Ves vanishes again. The specter shifts through the door undeterred... And finds herself in a brightly lit room.

Roars of flame accompany the dancing lights from four massive braziers that burn, one in each corner of the chamber. The large skeleton of a snakelike creature lies crumbling on the floor, its eye sockets seeming to smolder with embers. An altar carved of stone and bone stands near the northern wall, carved in runes similar to those on the stone door.

Speaking of, there is another stone door on Ves's right. It too bears unfamiliar runes.

Just as with the previous room, there is no trace that anyone or anything has stirred within this chamber in ages. Besides the roaring fires, it is eerily quiet.

>> No. 5162 edit
Ves pokes the skeleton from afar. Mage Hand.
>> No. 5163 edit
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The embers flicker in the skeleton's eyes, but it does not move from its position.
>> No. 5164 edit
The spirit companion joins the poking.
>> No. 5165 edit
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The skeleton does not react.
>> No. 5166 edit
The spirit tries yelling at it. Voice of Battle. http://orokos.com/roll/218715

>> No. 5167 edit
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As Ves makes to attack the skeletal figure on the floor, several things happen. With a puff of smoke, a skeletal form appears in each of the two northern braziers, burning but undamaged by the flames. Fire flares in the eye sockets of the skeletal creature on the floor; its tail rises, and lashes. Smoke puffs in the two southern braziers, and as it fades, several shambling corpses appear in adjacent spaces. Two of those corpses are crusted with salt.

One of the burning skeletons hurls a sphere of crackling fire at Ves that strikes her dead on. Her ghastly form is engulfed in flames. Before she has time to process this, the tail of the skeletal creature whips at her, grazing her and infecting her with a vicious poison. The zombies proceed to gang up on her, charging in from the left and the right. Ves's form begins to distort and flicker before one of the salt zombies sucks the unlife out of her. This is more than the ghost is able to withstand, and her body collapses into a slimy residue on the ground.

"Miss Ves? Miss Ves!" Recette calls out in alarm, "we heard sounds of fighting! Are you okay?" Not getting any response, Recette is visibly trembling when she asks the others "should we go in after her?"

Ves hits Whipping Tail with Voice of Battle for 6 psychic damage, activating it

Blazing Skeleton 2 hits Ves with Flame Orb for 5 fire damage plus 5 fire damage

Whipping Tail hits Ves for 1 damage plus ongoing 5 poison damage

Zombie Rotter 2 moves to G-8
Zombie Rotter 2 charges Ves with Slam for 3 damage (reduced from 7), ending at I-9; Ves is now bloodied

Salt Zombie 1 moves to F-6
Salt Zombie 1 charges Ves with Claw for 6 damage (reduced from 13), ending at I-8, and Ves is grabbed

Salt Zombie 2 moves to I-10
Salt Zombie 2 CRITS Ves with Salt Feast for 7 damage (reduced from 14) and Ves is REDUCED TO ECTOPLASM

Last edited at 14/09/04(Thu)19:29:55
>> No. 5168 edit
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"...Don't worry. She's already dead. the Rogue explains.
"Let's wait her a little bit. If she's not back in 5 minutes she might have been captured or somehow incapacitated."
>> No. 5169 edit
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Recette looks uncertain, but doesn't voice any objections.

Wait five minutes?
>> No. 5170 edit
Before Ves discorporates, she gets a look at her enemies.

Religion knowledge checks.


Whipping tail: 26
Blazing skeleton: 27
Zombie rotter: 23
Salt zombie: 21

>> No. 5171 edit
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Religion (Ves) : Athas's climate assaults corpses, and zombies do not linger in their rotting forms. Where abrasive winds and high temperatures batter the land, bones are quick to shed bloated flesh. But in the ever-thirsty mudflats and salt flats, zombies retain dried-out flesh as the terrain leeches the moisture from their undead bodies. Thus you have creatures such as the salt zombies, level 1 soldiers. Salt zombies prefer to use their brute strength to grab their enemies with their claws (Claw is a melee basic attack that grabs a target on a hit[/b]). Against particularly weak targets, they latch on tightly and devour them slowly and wholly (Salt Feast is a melee attack that grabs a target; the target takes a -4 penalty to escape attempts, and each time they fail to escape, they take 5 damage). They are, however, very brittle, and will easily fall apart in the face of a powerful attack (its Zombie Weakness causes it to automatically be reduced to 0 hit points by any critical hit).

Zombie rotters, however, are relatively frail in comparison, being level 3 minion brutes. They are fairly slow, but are also quite powerful, preferring to hit their enemies over clawing at them (its Slam attack deals 8 damage on a hit). Sometimes, however, their hunger drives them to keep going, unless faced with overwhelming force (Deathless Hunger triggers when the zombie is reduced to 0 hit points, but not by a critical hit, and has a 25% chance of causing the zombie to instead be reduced to 1 hit point).

Perhaps the most troublesome enemies are the blazing skeletons, who are level 5 artillery. Whether up close or from afar, they attack with fire for significant damage. It is arguably even more dangerous up close, as the heat emenating from it is enough to cause harm on its own (its Fiery Aura deals 5 fire damage to creatures that end their turns adjacent). It can attack in melee by slashing at enemies and setting them on fire (Blazing Claw deals damage and ongoing 5 fire damage (save ends)). And it can hurl fireballs from afar to set enemies ablaze as well (Flame Orb is a ranged attack that deals fire damage and ongoing 5 fire damage (save ends) on a hit). They prefer to stay in locations where they are safe from retribution, such as the braziers.

All the undead have darkvision, heavily resist necrotic, are immune to disease and poison, and are vulnerable to radiant damage. The blazing skeletons also resist fire.

The whipping tail trap is made from the corpse of some sort of primordial cultist, its body warped and twisted by its master, and is a level 2 blaster. The tail prefers to attack enemies only, but will include allies in its attacks if it can catch fewer than one ally and more than two enemies with it. On a hit, an enemy takes some damage and is poisoned. Disabling the trap requires attacking it directly, as though it were a normal enemy, or making a series of successful Thievery or Arcana checks on the altar behind it, pressing the runes in the correct order.

Last edited at 14/09/05(Fri)17:41:35
>> No. 5172 edit
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"Aye, I suggest we wait," Kudust confirms. "See wha she has ta say when she gets back... if she gets back. If she's not back in ten minutes, we'll go a'ead."
>> No. 5173 edit
The party decides to wait out the ghost's return. It doesn't take too long before Ves reincorporates within the room of the undead.

Or what was the room of the undead. Though the traces of a scuffle are still there, everything seems to have returned to how it was when Ves first entered, with no enemies to be seen. Most annoyingly, the whipping tail seems to have mended its damage.

Ves seems to be safe for the moment.

Advance five minutes
>> No. 5174 edit
Ves phases out the door, drains the power-recovery fluid, and phases again to rejoins the party. "I'm back," says Ves, looking rather faded.

Using the daily-recovery liquid, probably absorbing it with her touch attack like with enemies and water. HP total should be 3/14 with 3/4 surges.

If no one reacts or anything, I'll just relay what I saw.

Last edited at 14/09/09(Tue)12:39:13
>> No. 5175 edit
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If Recette is spooked at all, she hides it well. "You're hurt!" she says to point out the obvious. She does seem sincerely concerned, at least.
>> No. 5176 edit
"Yes. In the room after the next, there was an undead ambush of two skeletons on fire, two salt zombies, and two regular zombies. Until a snake skeleton triggered it, the enemies were invisible, and when I came back to life, they were gone again."

Ves takes a moment to pull a spectral fruit of nowhere and eat it, and then continues into enemy descriptions.

Eating a Potion (Fruit) of Healing, spending a surge to heal 10 HP (13/14, 2/4). Then I'll relay monster knowledge.

According to Astaroth, the ambush happens "if the tail is attacked, or if somebody moves 4 squares into the room."

Last edited at 14/09/09(Tue)14:20:52
>> No. 5177 edit
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"Interestin'," Kudust replies, readying his shield and hammer. "Ah don't suppose there's another way around? Tha prooblem seems ta be tha locked door..."
>> No. 5178 edit
"None I could find. But the runes on the door look similar to those on the altar, which could deactivate the snake skeleton when pressed in a certain order. There should be a 'correct' way to open the door as well."
>> No. 5179 edit
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"Unless our resident handyman fancies takin' anoother crack a' tha door, we could proceed doown tha way not blocked by a door," Kudust decides.
>> No. 5180 edit
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"I'm all for not seeing people get zapped anymore."
>> No. 5181 edit
"Going to see more Hejkin won't necessarily help us avoid lightning," points out Ves.
>> No. 5182 edit
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"That's... That's also true," Recette relents. "There doesn't seem to be any good choice here."
>> No. 5183 edit
"We should give it at least one more attempt, as long as Mr. Killua is willing to try again. Did you see where the lightning came from? Mr. Kudust has a shield, so maybe he can be ready to block it while others help with the door. Who's good with their hands?"
>> No. 5184 edit
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Kudust will take up a position near Killua and ready himself to try and shield his ally from further lightning.

Move up to Killua and aid defense.
>> No. 5185 edit
"What the heck, we're already here" says Killua with a smile.
"Frog-man, would you lend me a hand? The patterns in this lock are somewhat complex, I need someone help me to memorize my attempts."
>> No. 5186 edit
Gleen's aid another at thievery (8) http://orokos.com/roll/221908
>> No. 5187 edit
Ves walks through the door, examining it in more detail and passing along anything that looks helpful to Killua.

If allowed, take 10 Aid Another to Killua's Thievery. DC 11, and 10+1=11.
>> No. 5188 edit
Killua tries again, assisted by Glenn and the ghost.
Thievery (21) http://orokos.com/roll/222524
>> No. 5189 edit
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Killua tries again with some assistance, though Glenn isn't as helpful as he'd hoped. Another half minute passes before a loud click emanates from the door. Rather than the burst of lightning as expected, however, nothing happens.

Killua successfully unlocks the door
>> No. 5190 edit
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"It worked" the rogue simply adds. Then he prepares himself and opens the door.
Total defense (just in case)
Open door.

>> No. 5191 edit
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Kudust addresses the ghost, "Ye scouted tha place, aye? Got any suggestions how ta approach?"
>> No. 5192 edit
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Killua pushes open the door and braces himself for the worst. What greets him is the stale air of a mostly undisturbed passage. There is still the fissure in the middle of the room.

Last edited at 14/09/20(Sat)10:45:39
>> No. 5193 edit
"First comes drinking from one of the restorative basins, but not both, since that can kill you." Ves then explains which one does what again.

"This room looked safe enough. The ambush happened in the next room, and walking too far in or harming the snake-thing will trigger the trap. I may be able to disarm it from afar with some pointers from someone knowledgeable in those runes, but no guarantees."
>> No. 5194 edit
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Kudust takes the lead, choosing the east wall to sidle as he attempts to not fall down the crevice and head towards the restorative basin, motioning for the rest of the party to follow. He has his hammer drawn, just in case.
>> No. 5195 edit
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Recette dutifully follows behind Kudust to provide illumination. Both of them find the basin, just as described by Ves.

Recette glances between the torch and the basin, and waits for Kudust to have the first drink. Not because she thinks it's poisoned, of course! She just doesn't want to drop the torch.

>> No. 5196 edit
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Kudust does his best to remember what the ghost told them about the basins, then shakes his head. "Given tha shape we're in, ah think we may be better off wit' tha maroon pool, as unsavory as ah find it." With that, the dwarf will sidle back around the crevice and head to the opposite pool. Barring no interruptions, he will also drink from it.
>> No. 5197 edit
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Kudust drinks deep from the basin, and finds the liquid... Rather bitter, like medicine. Tellingly, he also feels somewhat invigorated. Recette, meanwhile, tries the same with the aquamarine fluid and nearly spits it out. "Bleck!"

Kudust regains a healing surge
Recette regains the use of Living Missile

>> No. 5200 edit
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