View Full Version : Hell of a Party! - IC Thread
11-14-2007, 02:13 PM
Ah, Hagen – jewel in the crown of the Hendrick Empire. Truth be told, the empire has seen better days, and the jewel is looking a bit tarnished as well. Still, some cultures are sweetest when in decline, just as there is more sugar in over-ripe fruit.
That sweet smell has drawn each of you here to Hagen during the Days of Festival. This annual event is always a bit of a bacchanal. This year, though, it promises to be a real corker, with elderly King Parfitt set to officially pass off power to his bastard son Pirot. The feasting has been scheduled to last a week.
Truth be told, the kingdom isn’t thrilled that its ruler-to-be is a by-blow. Depending on who you ask, Pirot’s mother was a half-dragon sorcerer, a hell-spawn troublemaker, or just a really unpleasant lady. All agree, though, that she was a lovely woman and a great dancer, and both her features and her dancing ability have been passed on to Prince Pirot. He seems a reasonable enough boy, and about half of the empire, give or take, are pleased as punch to be having him take over.
Did I mention the decadence? Hagen is a grand city, with sweeping spires, a massive bridge over the harbour, and a world-famous system of plumbing. Oh, and demons. The odd dragon. Slavery run rampant, what with tribute from neighbouring nations often coming in the form of second sons and less marriageable daughters. It is a place where thief-lords, scholars, and emissaries of a dozen races – not all of this plane – rub shoulders.
You’ve never had any contact with the royal family, and have not heretofore been an overly service-oriented being. Still, your stay in Hagen has been enjoyable; full of silliness, the occasional flash of violence, and roars of laughter from the underclasses. What could be more satisfying?
What, you ask? How about a sealed invitation to a party, stuck just outside your recently acquired abode this morning. With it is a note:
Dear [your name]
Although you are a newcomer to our city, your power is obvious to one with my sensitivities. Attached is an invitation to Prince Pirot’s pre-investiture ceremony this evening. Present this at the main entrance to Hagen Hold this evening at dusk, and ask for an audience with Lady Cylla. You will be shown in to me for further discussion. Burn this note.
Cylla Von Tiedemann
11-14-2007, 03:23 PM
Thok saw the note addressed to Feng and knew it was for him, since he has always introduced himself using the common orc name since entering the city. He decided it would probably be a good idea to attend this meeting, since refusing could have the guard after him and he was tired of always having to crush those puny munthreks. (humans)
After feeding himself (including the crumpled note) and actually taking the time to wash himself Thok made his way towards some of the tailor's shops to see what most of the courtiers were wearing lately. He then spent about an hour or so in front of a mirror using his Hat of Disguise to replicate many of the outfits he saw, no need to spend money on things that can just be copied.
After selecting a simple but elegant outfit, Thok ensured that all of his equipment was secured safely within his Ring of Arming. Noticing that it was nearing sunset he set out.
Edit: forgot to dispose of the note.
11-14-2007, 03:37 PM
I would wonder which power though...
Holding the paper in his hand, he focused for a moment, magics rising in a small flame, consuming the note. The platinum ring on his hand grew warm for a moment from the flame's touch.
From a nearby table, he takes a tasteful, pale blue headband and slips it on, before hesistating over small bracers of gorta hide. Shrugging, he puts them on as well. "It will be interesting to see if any notice beastland hides, or assume them to be standard leather." he chuckles to himself.
Pulling an errant brown hair from behind the headband, he moves to the sumptuous master bedroom, grabbing a pair of silk lined, dragonhide boots. A rich but unadorned, phase spider silk clerical vest is the last to be found and worn.
Still chuckling to himself, he pulls on a single glove, a deep black that reminds him of deepest night.
Might as well see the city while I meander there, I think. I haven't had a chance to take in all the local color yet.
11-14-2007, 05:25 PM
"How nice." A green hand holds the note up for inspection once more.
"And I have been in this city so little time, too... I suppose it is small, but then it is also very, very crowded." The voice is a light feminine voice, speaking to itself, it would appear.
The speaker frowns suddenly. "Burn the note... why, I wonder?" She looks about. "And how?" The fireplace is unlit, and will remain so. The innkeeper and his wife had been more than happy to put her up in exchange for her blessings upon their vineyard, and would doubtless have given her more than what she asked for, which was a room with a window; no doubt they could also supply firewood, but she didn't particularly want a fire in the room. She shrugs, and snaps her fingers, eliciting a burst of flame; the note flares to ash.
"Ah, well. But what to wear?" She frowns, tapping a green finger to her lips. After some deliberation, leaves sprout from her body, weaving together to form a long gown made from living greenery. Her hair, too, is dark green, rather like a tangle of thin vines; with a frown, she straightens it out.
"There." The green woman leaves, gliding gracefully down the stairs and out the door.
11-14-2007, 07:47 PM
"A party? Oh, what fun!"
Slender, delicate fingers carefully fold the note before reaching into a nearby fireplace, letting the square of paper burn before extricating themselves unharmed. Talia stares at her hand a moment before sighing.
"But... What to bring? And what to wear? I've never been to a mortal party before. Well, not invited to one, anyway."
She observes herself in the mirror for a moment. Stunning, of course. Flawless, and elegant. But not, unfortunately, dressed for a party. So tempting, to go out and buy a dress, but then what would she do with her precious sword? Would there be time to have one tailored to fit her wings (and speaking of which, one, two... oh dear, three feathers out of alignment. How had that happened)? And hadn't she meant to play the part of the rough-and-tumble adventurer?
Heart full of indecision, she steps outside and begins to walk down the street, long black hair bouncing vibrantly as her body sways gracefully with each and every step...
11-14-2007, 10:35 PM
The city is abuzz with the festival, and every tavern is doing booming trade this evening. As are the cutpurses, people of the red lantern, and street hawkers. Still, somehow, each of the four pass unmolested through the streets. Whether that is a tribute to an aura of power, menace or strange beauty...or something else altogether...remains to be seen.
Hagen Castle sits brooding over the city on an artificial hill, visible to most of the citizens. At least, those who contribute the most to the civic coffers. Tonight, the castle is ablaze with torches, lanterns. As each of the four approaches, they note that there are also a few magical light shows starting up in the courtyard, and nearly the turret of one outer tower.
Approaching the castle, there are hints as to the opulence of the gathering party. Crowds of curious commoners stand about at the roadsides, gawking at those who approach. Carts with foods, and dozens of musicians, are making the slow climb to the gates. Already, from open gardens within the walls, it is possible to hear the shouts of servants mingling with the warbling warm-ups of minstrels.
As each of the four approaches the gate, they are met by an honour guard of four halberdiers, backed by a solemn looking older woman with glowing blue eyes. An officious-looking slender priest of Olidammara, dressed in what looks like the tightest-fitting leather armour possible, is examining carters as they enter.
Through what would be called coincidence, if such things existed, each of the four arrives within moments of each other.
Lora, the first to arrive, is greeted by the young priest by a flustered: Oh! A guest? Well, the party's not for a couple hours yet. Are you sure you want to go in? Fantastic costume, though!
11-14-2007, 10:58 PM
The leaf-clad woman smiles at the priest, brushing her hair back over her shoulder. "Why, thank you." Her skin is a pleasant shade of light green as well, looking perfectly natural. "I know I am early, but I am afraid my eagerness got the better of me, and now that I am here, I may as well go in." Withdrawing the invitation from... somewhere under the leaves, she displays it to the priest.
"The vizier may be busy, I understand, but I wonder if it is not possible to arrange an audience with her, at some point? Before the party would be lovely" she adds, "if Lady Cylla is not too busy."
11-14-2007, 11:06 PM
The young priest nods smoothly, and gestures to one of the halberdiers.
Lady Cylla? Certainly. I'll alert her that you're here, Miss...?
The halberdier steps forward, and then nods and slips away into the castle. The priest smiles a bit nervously as a huge half-orc in very fashionable attire, and a black-winged vixen approach the gates from different directions.
Madam! Sir! So good to see you. May I be of assistance?
11-14-2007, 11:24 PM
As Thok walked towards the castle, he noticed a green woman speaking to a priest at the gate."She smells like a caesin." Thok tought as he approached the gates himself.
"Greetings sunathaer," Thok addressed the priest at the gate when he arrived, "My name is Feng, I recieved an invitation to this party and I was hoping to speak to the vizier before it fully began and Lady Tiedemann becomes too busy." With this Thok produced his invitation and showed it to the priest.
11-14-2007, 11:37 PM
"Oh yes, of course. My name is Lora." The green-skinned woman stands politely to one side as she notices others approaching, looking at both the winged woman and the unusually tall half-orc with interest. Perhaps he is very old... but no, orcs do not keep getting taller as they age, do they?
11-15-2007, 12:13 AM
Naturally, Talia had decided it would be impossible that anybody could look more beautiful than she does, no matter what she is wearing. She regards the green woman and the large half-orc with curiosity before tilting her head and looking at the priest.
"Hm? Oh! Why, I'm here for the party, of course! Lady Cylla asked me to come, and... oh dear, where is that invitation?
As she digs for the "lost" invitation, Talia twists and turns her body, offering all around her an extensive view of the curves of her body, demurely hiding from some of them behind her wings...
11-15-2007, 08:00 AM
Impossibly, Thok actually seems to fade into the background a bit as the priest, the halbardiers, and even the old woman with glowing eyes, turn to follow Talia's every movement. A small sigh escapes the lips of one of the guards.
The priest eventually finds his voice as he takes her invitation as well.
Sweet lady, if I were even a little bit right-handed, you would so be invited to the after-party at the temple tonight. Actually, come anyway - we'd make an exception.
Switching to clear if accented draconic, the priest turns to Feng and bows to him.
Mister Feng, welcome. Miss Cylla will no doubt be sending someone for you two as well. I believe Miss Lora here is also here to see her.
The woman speaks softly, but loud enough for all to hear.
The orc's really a minotaur. The women are, sort of, what they are.
The priest smiles, a bit pained at the potential for faux pas.
Thank you, Kala. We'll work on those signals some more.
He turns to Feng, his smile a bit pained.
Mister Feng, you understand. With the costume ball tonight, it's important that we know the actual identities of all attending, but are trying...
He flashes an angry glance at the older woman.
...not to ruin anyone's fun. Have a great time at the party.
He turns now, glancing up as a flower-seller's cart wheels past and down again at his list. When he looks up again, he smiles as he sees the finery-bedecked Miloen approaching.
11-15-2007, 08:21 AM
Walking calming towards the entrance, Miloen hands the invitation to the door keeper. "I assume you can direct me to Lady Cylla?" He smiles benignly at the person, and then raises an eyebrow at the lady with the glowing eyes. "Nothing special to see here, my dear. I am what you see, and all you see is me."
11-15-2007, 08:42 AM
The old woman stares hard at Miloen, but says nothing.
Filling the moment, the young priest smiles and takes Miloen's invitation.
Of course, sir! These three other worthies are also expecting an audience with her. I believe that Lady Cylla is likely to be along shortly, but in the meantime, I'll ask that you step to one side, so that the arriving supply wagons don't splash onto your lovely boots. Is that dragonhide?
11-15-2007, 08:46 AM
Miloen does as asked, and steps to the side. "Why yes, it is. It is hard to find such supple material anywhere but from the dragons, that also hold up to nearly anything."
11-15-2007, 09:59 AM
Turning to address the priest, "I understand your need for caution," Thok says as he glares at the old woman, " my disguise is not to decieve you, but to protect me from undue prejudice." With this he waits to the side and gives a sneer at the man with the dragonhide boots.
11-15-2007, 10:20 AM
"Undue prejudice? Why ever would that be? I am neutral in all things, so unless you act like a rampaging moron, I don't care what race you are."
He looks the half orc over. "And as for my boots, dragons have more than enough skin to cover a single pair of boots, and did I mention killing one for these?"
11-15-2007, 10:46 AM
"You may be willing to accept different races, but others are not, namely the populace at general."
11-15-2007, 10:48 AM
"Then your sneer was for...?" The man sounds mildly curious.
11-15-2007, 02:22 PM
The tension hangs in the air for a moment. The halbardier sent to summon Lady Cylla returns, with a rugged-looking middle aged man, with short swords at both sides of his belt and a patch over his left eye. The man calls out in a deep voice.
Who's here fer a meetin' wit' Lady Cylla?
11-15-2007, 02:23 PM
"I would be, my good man." Miloen nods to him. "Lead the way, if you would."
11-15-2007, 02:27 PM
"An after party? It sounds like fun... are you sure it's ok if I come?"
Talia smiles sweetly at the priest, and then turns to look at Thok and Miloen for a moment. Interesting men. Useful, perhaps. She would see. She returns her attention to the Priest.
"So... this is a costume party? Oh dear. I had no idea. You don't think I'll look silly, do you?
Oh. Well, no time to worry now, I suppose. Take care, Mr..."
She looks at the priest a moment longer before waving to the halbardier.
11-15-2007, 02:42 PM
The priest colours slightly.
Lady, with your moves and the way you show off those, ah, wings, you'll be a hit at every party.
He glances up at Thok appraisingly.
Come to think of it, bring jolly here. Hey, you like bears, Mister Feng?
He points out the four who are waiting for a meeting, and the monocular man leads all four onto the castle grounds.
The five pass through a decorated but still very functional courtyard, around to a side entrance to the main castle building, and down some narrow steps. The man reaches into a pouch, drawing out a small flickering flame backed by a mirror. He glances back at Thok.
Sorry for the tight fit.
Several twists and turns later, the man leads you to an unmarked steel door, where he knocks several times in a complex rhythm. After a pause, the door opens, and he gestures for the four to enter, while he remains outside.
Inside is clearly an office - a large one, thank goodness, because it already has a massive desk, several steel boxes overflowing with paper, and an ogre leaning nonchalantly on a surprisingly slender staff, behind the desk.
Pushed into the corner is a small cot, on which rests the very still figure of an older woman, whose auburn hair is turning to grey. As is her face, a closer look reveals. The woman is dressed in elaborate robes, and a greenish-brown dagger is on a simple chain around her neck. There are no signs of life from her.
The ogre gestures to a pair of chairs opposite the desk.
Please, make yourselves comfortable.
He looks intently at each the four for a moment.
Yes. This must be right.
He refers down to a pile of papers, and then back up at the four.
Thank you each for coming. If tonight turns out to be nothing more than a good party, well, I guess I can find a way to compensate you for your trouble, and send you home with a hangover. And if I'm right, we'll need you for a bit more, and I'll owe you quite a bit more.
He covers his face with his hand, a bit embarrassed, and extends the other across the desk to Miloen.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm Lady Cylla von Tiedemann.
11-15-2007, 02:53 PM
Surprised, Miloen hesitates for half a second before reaching across the table and shaking the ogre's hand.
"Magic Jar? Or something else? You are a very curious person, if I do say so myself, Lady Cylla."
11-15-2007, 03:02 PM
"I wonder what the priest meant by bears?" Thok thought as he squeezed his way through the small halls. He could smell the ogre before he saw it, but was surprised when it introduced itself as Lady Cylla von Tiedemann. "This should be interesting."
After the introductions Thok asks Lady con Tiedemann, "Would you mind if I got more comfortable?"
11-15-2007, 03:08 PM
Lora is politely quiet as the others display their invitations. She follows the monocled fellow down to the door in a similar silence, making very little noise—only the soft sounds of bare feet on stone and the swish of her verdant gown.
She's rather surprised at the ogre's introduction, peering at him—or her-curiously, but the introductions return her composure. "Hello, Lady Cylla. It seems you know our names already," she says by way of a friendly greeting.
11-15-2007, 03:15 PM
The ogre smiles, and extends his - her? - hand to Lora, and on to the others.
That's coming a great deal, from a man as enigmatic as yourself, Miloen. Have the four of you had a chance to introduce yourselves? Well, I suppose that'll come.
The ogre is about to sit in the rather delicate and expensive looking chair behind the desk, and thinks better of it.
Suffice to say that my body is busy becoming something considerably more, and my mind didn't have time to take the week off. Imperial schedules seldom line up with the wishes of their servants, regardless of those servants' talents, after all.
But we're not here to talk about me. As the Vizier, I occasionally, well, viz. And last night, I had a vision of four gods with four servants, whose service to the empire came dramatically and at a point of great import. Orden, the Horned Destroyer. Ehlonna, the Protector. Glasya, the Cold Beauty. And Zagyg, the mad wizard. The vision showed me four places in and around the city, where these servants might be found. I have associates who did the rest.
The ogre sighs.
I wish there was more time. The vision also showed Prince Pirot being kidnapped, and I believe that the fact that he was surrounded by fantastical creatures at the time suggests that this will happen tonight, at the party.
Cylla glances up.
Did I mention it was a costume party?
11-15-2007, 03:24 PM
After Lady Cylla stated that the party is a costume party Thok decided to dismiss the illusion cast by his hat and take a seat to make himself more comfortable. "I assume you summoned us here to protect the prince?"
11-15-2007, 03:33 PM
Miloen's brow wrinkles at the mention of Gods and their servants, but he shrugs.
"No, I don't think you did. Either that or I haven't been paying close enough attention to details again. Any magic would suffice here, I assume, to look different?"
"And I would be so bold as to assume you would like us to be some of the fantastical creatures surrounding your Prince, in an attempt to thwart the kidnapping?"
11-15-2007, 03:36 PM
"I don't think so," Lora replies, glancing down at herself, "but I suppose I'll fit in nonetheless!" She takes the ogre's hand without reservation, having talked with stranger creatures. Like the... horned dragon-man the half-orc just became. Well, that was a little stranger than usual.
She frowns. "Kidnapped... oh, dear. That doesn't sound good. Yes, of course I'll help with that, if it happens." She's maybe a little disappointed that that was the reason she was invited, but not too put out.
11-15-2007, 03:44 PM
Lady Cylla smiles a bit at Lora's expression. The effect, on an ogre's face, is not reassuring.
I'm sorry this couldn't be much of a social occasion. Perhaps next festival time.
Anyway, it's sad for the Vizier to say this, but I'm not sure who'd be kidnapping him. Not that there's a shortage of candidates. Any of half a dozen Earls have an eye on the throne. If half the rumours of his mother are true, there may be extraplanar forces at work. And, of course, there are always profiteers and such looking for an opportunity.
She turns her gaze to Thok.
You are correct, sir. And it's harder than you may think. Pirot is an independent spirit, and will not take kindly to an attempt to "coddle" him with extra guards. Parfitt has already turned down my request to postpone the party, although he has put on extra guards at all the entrances. And of course, we maintain magical wards over the castle against those who might wish to enter intangibly, by teleport or from another plane.
The ogre gestures to the woman in the cot.
But I've been...awfully busy lately, dying and all, and I'm sure that there are things I'm missing.
11-15-2007, 03:47 PM
"I wish you had told me it was a costume party... this could have been so much more interesting..."
Talia sighs, and flexes her wings.
"Oh well. So long as you know the price for services like mine... hm. I wonder, though, if the usual rate applies right now. I should look into that, it could be important."
She laughs softly.
11-15-2007, 03:50 PM
The ogre raises a shaggy eyebrow.
And that would be?
11-15-2007, 03:56 PM
Miloen speaks a few words in the arcane language, hands making gestures, before he shifts and compacts, a kobold now staring at the ogre.
"When your time comes, it comes, but may I help to heal the stress on your body until then, my lady? The light of the divine can at least let your body rest easier until final resting comes to you."
11-15-2007, 04:00 PM
"Well, you know... a promise here, a favor there... nothing major. we can work it out later."
She laughs again; a soft, airy, infectious sort of laughter...
11-15-2007, 04:05 PM
The ogre smiles at the kobold/priest.
Aren't you a gallant one? Softest hands I'd have had on me for a few months now. But no, with thanks. I'm resting about as comfortably as possible, under the circumstances.
And back to Talia.
Well, my work isn't so very far off from yours, in some ways, Talia. Promises and favours are my stock in trade.
Her chuckle rumbles deep, rising at the end.
Oh, there's some stupid rule Pirot's made about "no divinations in the ballroom." Something about maintaining everyone's privacy - so that they can act as they feel, some bacchanalian nonsense, no doubt. I'm not sure how they'd enforce it, or if they'll even try, but I thought you should know.
11-15-2007, 04:24 PM
"As you wish then." Miloen keeps the form of the kobold though, for his 'costume.'
"Are there any particular offers you might make for payment? Understand that I wish for new experiences as much as, if not more, than I do currency, if you would. Gold comes and goes."
11-15-2007, 04:29 PM
"You know, I could probably help you get back in there..."
Talia motions towards the woman's body.
"I know a guy that knows a guy..."
11-15-2007, 04:33 PM
"If her body is dying, then it is quite likely that it is not strong enough to support a still able mind, which would be why she is borrowing the body of a guard. There are those that refuse to accept death until it's last moments, trying to pull every bit of experience out of life that they can."
11-15-2007, 05:10 PM
The ogre Cylla simply smiles at the references to her body.
Payment other than gold...
Well, if things go right - or wrong, depending on how you look at it - I suspect that a title would be offered. You could play politics, I suppose. It's a game that rarely goes out of style. I myself have some interesting research that I might consider sharing with another practitioner such as yourself.
Anything more...vigorous than that, I'm sure, Miss Talia here would be better at demonstrating than I ever could.
11-15-2007, 05:12 PM
"Research and politics sound interesting enough, I would think. What would you have us do with your errant prince then, just keep near him?"
11-15-2007, 05:20 PM
Talia glances absentmindedly at Miloen, then looks to Cylla again and laughs.
"Why, whatever do you mean?"
11-15-2007, 05:24 PM
Ogrish faces have a natural predisposition for blankness. Normally, this is an impediment when trying to convey information.
Sometimes, however, it is a positive boon. As when, for instance, Cylla turns to gaze at Talia.
Smiling eventually, she turns back to Miloen.
Well, lurking in his immediate vicinity is unlikely to work - he'll make you for guards in minutes. Pirot is cavalier, but not stupid. You might consider working the room, since there's a good chance that the nabbers will be coming from within.
She glances over at Lora.
If nothing else, Lord Yendrik will take a shine to you in a heartbeat.
11-15-2007, 05:31 PM
Lora smiles, puzzled. "I'm afraid I haven't heard of him... then again, I haven't heard of very many people here at all. Why?"
She considers Cylla's words. "The prince doesn't want to be guarded... well, the young will be young. I did rather hope to meet him, though. It would be a shame to miss him at a party in his honor."
11-15-2007, 05:45 PM
"Is there any distinctive smell to the prince, a special frangrance or anything? That would allow me to keep track of him throughout the room and track him should he leave anywhere."
11-15-2007, 06:09 PM
Cylla smiles at Lora.
Well, he likes power, flowers, and pretty girls. Guess which ones I was thinking about?
And I'm not saying you shouldn't meet the Prince, but there will be close to two hundred guests here tonight. He's the main attraction, so there'll be a lot of vying for places close to him. Staying right on him will, I suspect, draw attention. I'd love to be proven wrong.
Sorry, Feng, I don't think I could really say what the Prince smells like. He wears a lot of leather, and works out a lot. Does that help?
11-15-2007, 06:35 PM
"I will simply have to get close enough to him to get a good idea of his scent and I believe either of the aesthyr could get the prince's attention."
11-15-2007, 11:10 PM
Well, I've got a few other arrangements to take care of for this evening, and if the four of you are going to work together at all, I should probably give you some time to do that. If you exit, Senna should be there to show you to a private chamber - you've got about an hour before most of the guests will start arriving. You'll want to decide whether you wish to be announced, in which case Senna will slip you back around to the front entrance, or not, in which case he'll slide you in from a side chamber. There are still a few in this empire that care about ceremony.
That is, unless you have any more questions for me?
11-16-2007, 08:40 AM
"I'm fine with a quiet entrance, myself. Announced, I think, would put more eyes on me."
11-17-2007, 06:20 AM
Lora looks indecisive for a moment. "Well, announcing us would draw more attention... but wouldn't not announcing us also draw attention, if people noticed we hadn't been announced? And if we came in like everyone else, we'd seem like just another guest... oh, I don't know." She glances at the others to see what they think.
11-17-2007, 01:26 PM
The ogre shrugs at Lora's question.
There are always those who are checking off mental lists. On the other hand, while I'd like to believe that you'll be the only guests sneaking in the side...well, I don't run the place.
Content that the four are ready for their own deliberations, the ogre barks out "Senna!" and the door opens. The man draws the four out into the hallway, and the door closes quietly behind them.
Back in the hallway, Senna nods respectfully and gestures for the four to follow him. He leads them down to a door on the other side of the hallway, leading to a small receiving room. Inside, there is an elegant and slightly ancient looking set of chairs arranged in a rough circle, to which has been added a rather massive oak stool. A counter in one corner bears a wide array of coloured decanters, and crystal glasses.
From a ventilation hole in the ceiling, warm air wafts in, accompanied by the the distant strans of brass instruments.
11-17-2007, 07:08 PM
"Well now, well now... this looks like fun, doesn't it?"
Talia leans on one of the chairs, and stretches her wings luxuriously. She turns her head to look at the others around her, and smiles.
"So tell me. What sorts of things do you want to see happen, hm?"
11-17-2007, 11:15 PM
"As much as I would enjoy an all out vargach, that doesn't seem to be the best thing," Thok said while reclining back against the wall stretching out his wings. If any of you would like to have your name called out at the door go right ahead, but I don't think many people will be comfortable to hear "Now arriving, Thok the Destroyer," and I know that I can at least be myself in a costume party.
11-18-2007, 03:22 AM
Lora looks at the winged woman, slightly confused. "I'm not quite sure what you mean... I suppose I'd like it if nobody tried to kidnap the prince, and we could all enjoy ourselves." She falls silent, fidgeting a bit, but the minotaur's comment does remind her of something.
"Well," she laughs, "you wouldn't tell them to call you the Destroyer. That's not a very nice title anyway. But that reminds me—none of us have been introduced. I'm Lora."
11-18-2007, 09:53 AM
"I am Miloen."
Miloen frowns, before he walks to the other side of the room and starts whispering to himself. "No, Yes, Yes, No, not to your advantage."
11-18-2007, 02:49 PM
"Well, of course I want to learn more about you! What you like, what you're best at... that sort of thing. Getting to know you getting to know me, learning how to work together and having a bit of fun. I'm sure you know the drill.
You can call me Talia, by the way."
11-18-2007, 06:51 PM
Once she realizes Miloen probably doesn't want her to hear, Lora tries to stop listening to his mutterings.
"Oh... well, I'm afraid I don't, really. I haven't spent a lot of time in cities," she confesses. "I suppose I like seeing new people and places, or learning more about the ones I already know," she continues uncertainly, not sounding entirely sure how to answer. She's never really been asked to describe herself like that before.
"What about you?" she asks, hoping to deflect attention away from that fact.
11-18-2007, 07:31 PM
"Oh really? So you travel a lot then? It's fun, don't you think? Although I must confess, I'm a city girl myself, so it's always a bit more about the destination than the journey for me...
But don't be shy! You can't mean to tell me you don't have a talent you're proud of, right? What do you do? What can you do?"
Talia grins, revealing her perfect teeth.
"And don't you boys be shy, either."
11-18-2007, 07:58 PM
Miloen walks back over to the others, his muttering to himself done. I am a priest of Zagyg, and I am also a sorcerer of decent ability. I've been traveling recently, gaining knowledge and wisdom of this area. I've found many interesting things, and hope to find more. I must admit, I'm actually looking for experiences outside of my normal duties, which is what drew me here. A chance to see how others live, as it were."
11-19-2007, 03:39 PM
"Travelling is fun," she agrees, "although sometimes I like to stay in the same place for a while, too."
"And... oh, I suppose I've always been rather good at talking to trees?" She shrugs slightly, which makes a rustling sound. "Most people can't do that, although I don't know why..."
11-19-2007, 03:42 PM
"Most people, I would assume, are too impatient to stop and listen."
11-19-2007, 04:06 PM
Lora nods. "I guess. They don't speak up very often. It's a shame, though."
11-19-2007, 09:00 PM
"I prefer people to plants, myself... probably a work-related mindset, I guess. Still, talking to trees... that must be pretty interesting. Does your being here in the city mean you're on vacation, too?"
11-20-2007, 02:48 PM
"Well... not really? I think jobs are something of a city concept... Outside cities, I talk to trees and animals. Inside them, I talk to people. It's not too different, when you think about it."
"You're on vacation, then?"
11-20-2007, 09:53 PM
"I am. It's nice to get away and just unwind like this... I should have done it years ago. Even when you enjoy what you do, it's an entirely different feeling when the pressure's off. But then... I guess you wouldn't know about that."
11-20-2007, 10:45 PM
"No, I guess not." She falls silent for a moment before speaking up as something occurs to her.
"Perhaps some of us should be announced and some of us not? That would keep people from thinking we're together... not to change the subject, of course," she adds hastily, "but I don't know quite when Lady Cylla wanted us to go in and it could be quite soon."
11-21-2007, 01:43 PM
"Not change the subject? You've been trying to dodge it since I brought it up! We should talk later. You seem like you have a hard time expressing yourself. I could help with that...
But you do raise an interesting point. Nobody here is going to be particularly hard to pick out of a crowd, even at a costume party, so there's not much risk in splitting up. And personally, I've got no problem being announced properly..."
She smiles, perhaps a bit mischievously.
11-21-2007, 02:48 PM
"This is getting tiresome just waiting here," Thok says with a snort.
"I think that the kothar would have the best chance to staying close to the prince with her obvious... talents. I will simply have to get close to him once to pick up his scent. As for you vorastrix, I have heard of magicians creating a magical mark that they can track using their spells over great distance, I've been subject to this a number of times.
11-21-2007, 03:16 PM
"My arcane mark, you mean? Yes, I could easily enough do that and then scry for it if we lose him. It would take me a moment to cast it though, and I'd have to actually touch his skin, since we would not want to put it on clothes that can as easily be removed from him."
11-21-2007, 04:38 PM
Lora flushes a bit. Probably; the green skin makes it hard to tell, but she looks flustered, as well. "I'll go in the main entrance, too, then. And, er, sorry—I'm just not used to answering so many questions," she adds to Talia.
11-21-2007, 08:23 PM
Talia tilts her head curiously at Thok's speech.
"...Come again? I'm sorry, cutie, but I can't understand that accent of yours. Were you referring to me at any point? I think you were, but it's hard to tell..."
A blush, regardless of skin color, does not escape eyes like Talia's. She immediately returns her attention to Lora, leaning closer to her speaking in a whisper:
"Does this mean you'll be my partner for the evening? You have good taste, I can't wait to see how we perform together..."
11-21-2007, 08:37 PM
Lora blinks, looking a bit confused. "Well, all right... what sort of partners, though?"
11-21-2007, 09:04 PM
Talia licks her lips, and grins suggestively. "That all depends on you..."
11-22-2007, 04:10 PM
After some banter and libations, the door to your waiting area opens. It is Senna, who simply nods and gestures for you to follow. Again, the four are are lead through a series of passages, and eventually separated, the men squeezing through a narrow side door, the ladies lead past a barrage of servants, guards and hangers-on into a lush receiving room.
Thok and Miloen eventually emerge via a secret passage into a dark hallway, where the distant sound of laughter and music filters through a curtained doorway. There are small doors opposite the curtain, and as soon as the secret door closes behind you, a figure emerges from one of the doors. It is a savage-looking lizardfolk, complete with javelin and woven shield, and he (she?) is still adjusting his/her loincloth. The lizardfolk glances at you and gives what might either be a snarl or a smile, and darts through the curtain. From beyond, you glimpse a dance of coloured lights, and the music and noise swells.
Lora and Talia are shown into line with other guests waiting to be announced. Many of the guests look human, and are dressed in the oversimplified and tarted up versions of outfits that the rich have always used when imitating the poor. Nouveau-riche “farm girls” swish along in skirts of silk woven to resemble homespun. Fat old men dress in elegant and ornate versions of the garb of bakers, artisans and funerists.
More than half of those waiting, however, are more exotically attired. With some, the use of illusion is explicit, as flashing lights and shifting colours on clothes adorn fantastical adaptations of elves, half-dragons, ancient wizards and dashing minstrels. Others, however, simply seem to be something quite unhuman. A radiant looking white unicorn prances coquettishly, ridden by a cricket-legged fae. A pair of stone giants, adorned with giant diamond necklaces and scepters, bend their heads close to whisper together. A somber skeleton in black robes holds a gleaming black metal staff. A young boy surrounded by dancing gems rides the shoulders of a massive, smouldering Balor.
The two ladies end up in line between the unicorn and fae in front, and a somber looking pair of mummies behind. One of the mummies’ wrappings is obviously contemporary and false, and does little to conceal a prominent mead-belly.…the other’s seems much more convincing. The two mummies chat quietly about the likelihood of there being enough food to last the whole night at the party, and the potential problem that open flames pose to both of them.
11-23-2007, 04:40 PM
The various guests elicit a number of reactions from Talia, from interest to derision to outright scorn (none of them spoken aloud, of course), depending on the quality of the costume... or the resemblance to demons, as the case may be. She looks at the unicorn, then at the mummies, then at herself. She sighs, and picks a bit at her blouse.
"I knew I should have bought a better outfit. I'm not at all dressed for this..."
11-23-2007, 05:22 PM
Lora has mostly gotten over both the confusion and embarassment from earlier. In contrast to Talia, she simply looks about with interest, taking in the people and costumes and admiring or gazing curiously at the more interesting ones.
"I think it looks all right, really... The wings do help."
11-23-2007, 05:38 PM
"I suppose... but if my body is the most interesting thing about me, why bother wearing anything at all, you know?"
11-23-2007, 06:00 PM
The delicate unicorn first rotates an ear backward, then glances back at the ladies. It turns to speak to Talia in a surprisingly baritone voice.
Pardon me for saying, miss, but if that's not a costume, then I'd be delighted to give you a ride later -
The faerie riding the unicorn abruptly slaps it on the head hard, just behind the horn, and the two trot forward a bit in line. The conversation appears to be over.
Ahead, the two ladies see a grand hall opening up, separated off by thick blue velvet curtains. Through the curtains, they hear a basso profundo intone:
Milady Charlotte de Corday and Lord Marat.
11-23-2007, 09:30 PM
Once the guests begin to be announced Thok waits patiently at the side until there is enough of a crow that he can walk past the prince as unnoticed as possible.
11-23-2007, 09:35 PM
Talia gives the unicorn a coy wink before it trots off. She peers ahead at the curtains as a couple ahead of them is announced.
"It looks like we go through there. Shouldn't be too much longer... how are you planning to be announced, though? I can't believe you'd have a title, and plain old 'Lora' just won't do..."
She smiles, and runs a hand playfully through the other woman's hair.
11-23-2007, 09:37 PM
Miloen, still in the form of a kobold, meanders out past the curtain. He will attempt to get close to the prince and bump into him, trying to drop an arcane mark on his leg.
"S.S.Sorry there." he slurs. "Thought you were the double, not that one." Miloen points to an empty space and then walks through it. "Guess he was."
11-23-2007, 10:49 PM
Lora's hair matches its appearance; it feels almost like living greenery rather than hair. Lora herself smiles, a touch nervously. "I'm not really sure—I hadn't thought of it yet. Do you have a title, or some way to introduce yourself?"
11-23-2007, 11:30 PM
"Hm? No, I usually just go by Talia. I've got a military rank, but I'm not supposed to go around touting that while I'm not on duty. But actually, I was thinking I might just spend tonight playing the part of your retainer. Your name just lends itself so much better to titles, don't you think?"
11-24-2007, 12:32 AM
"Er, does it? All right, then... are you allowed to do that?" she asks as an afterthought, remembering that people were sometimes touchy about names and titles. Well, it made sense—an oak or an elm would surely hate being called an ash, and nobody would want an alder calling itself a beech.
11-24-2007, 12:53 AM
Talia laughs mirthfully at Lora's question.
"Well... technically, no. But, if that bothers you, we could always call you an heir-apparent. I could even pull some strings after the party and get you something official, if you'd like. You've definitely got a better air about you for this sort of thing, though. Are there any titles you know you particularly like the sound of?"
11-24-2007, 01:39 AM
"No, there aren't any where I come from... er, lady, perhaps? That seems popular." She looks about them to see if anyone is listening.
"People won't mind, will they? It is the duke's party..." Impossible to tell whether she thinks that's good for this or bad, because she isn't sure herself.
11-24-2007, 02:13 AM
"Oh, you worry too much. You're from a land without nobility; that means nobody's going to be here that could contradict you. All you need is a good surname... something exotic, like de la fleur, and you'll be all set. As good as you look, nobody will even question you. And if they did?"
Talia laughs a bit, and winks.
"Just leave that to your faithful servant, ok?"
It was an old addage, oft repeated in Hell: the truth, stretched far enough, makes the best blindfold...
11-24-2007, 02:38 AM
Lora smiles back. "All right." It was harmless, after all, and the other woman did seem to be enjoying herself with it. "So, the Lady Lora de la Fleur, then? Does that sound about right?" She swirls the gown of leaves about herself, making a noise like wind in a forest.
11-24-2007, 06:04 PM
Following the lizardfolk through the curtain, Thok and Miloen emerge into what seems like one of several smaller banquet rooms. On the far side, they can see a tall archway leading into a taller hall resplendant with crystal chandeliers, and purple walls inlaid with gold. The room they are in is no cave, either, with a few slender windows high up supplemented with dancing spheres of light. A pair of minstrels with horns sit on a central platform surrounded by platters of cheeses and fruits. And the guests!
Even in this side chamber, there are easily 30 individuals. A few are simply dressed in fancy-dress, dripping with gems, with half-masks of harlequins or animals. A few actually seem to BE animals - a cat prowls the food table, wearing a diamond neck chain, and a golden monkey sways on a wall sconce. Others are dressed as sailors, guards - or are those actually guards? - or a barmaid. The room also contains a second lizardfolk, who has joined his/her companion as they head towards the main chamber. No one in sight is more clearly regal than the others.
The ladies see the unicorn and fae slip through the curtain, and shortly hear them introduced as the Earl of Croom and Lord Marbuncle. A lined and earnest-looking man's face appears briefly through a fold of the curtains, and murmurs respectfully.
And how shall the ladies be introduced this evening?
11-25-2007, 08:05 PM
Lora looks expectantly to Talia, who clearly knows a bit more about this sort of thing than she does.
11-25-2007, 10:29 PM
Talia catches Lora's gaze, and flinches, hiding her body behind one wing as though she was expecting a blow. After a moment, she seems to recover, and stands back up.
"I'm sorry, I did not know milady meant for me to speak. This is the Lady de la Fleur," She gestures to Lora, "and I am Talia, a servant most sorely remiss in her duties..."
She looks at the man sheepishly.
In case it's necessary: Bluff - [roll0]
11-26-2007, 12:04 AM
The man looks with a professional blankness at the two ladies, both understanding and choosing not to respond to everything. He holds the curtain open for them as he announces:
Lady de la Fleur, and Talia.
The two women are at the top of a staircase that sweeps to the sides and into the midst of a grand ballroom. Off to two sides, smaller - but still grand - chambers can be seen. The main chamber contains perhaps a hundred guests, with the same kind of variety in garb, manner and species as Lora and Talia glimpsed in the entry hallway. Servants in white robes swirl through the guests, dropping off drinks and holding trays of meats and pastries. A half-dozen chandeliers dance with varicoloured light, and the same chandeliers seem to be pulsing with a lively, if low-volume music.
11-26-2007, 05:07 AM
Lora looks at Talia for an instant in first uncomprehension and then shock before returning herself to composure. She glides forward as she's announced, halting at the top of the stairs to gaze out at the room.
She has a moment of confusion waiting for Talia so they can go down the stairs together, then realizes she would probably be expected to go down a step ahead of her, if Talia were supposed to be a retainer.
Still, she manages to whisper back to Talia, barely moving her lips, "I don't really have to behave like that, do I?!"
11-26-2007, 03:57 PM
"Well... you don't have to. But any good noble knows how to keep her servants in line..."
A smiles spreads over Talia's lips as she struggles to suppress a giggle. Following Lora down the stairs, she looks about the room.
"The only thing to do now is wait for the prince. But knowing royals, he'll probably want to be the last name announced... so that just leaves milady to enjoy the party."
11-27-2007, 11:01 AM
The four circulate, gravitating to the main room. More guests arrive, and soon it becomes a challenge to move without being pushed and prodded back.
The music segues into a brassy fanfare, with a hint of glass bells behind, and eyes slowly turn to the closed curtains at the top of the stairs. The herald professional demeanour can't conceal a smile as he calls out.
His Majesty, Prince Pirot, Duke of -
The rest of the announcement is cut off, as there is a deep-throated bellow from within the ballroom. Heads swivel in time to see the Balor which had been carrying the boy surrounded by gems around, snatch the youth from his shoulders and dash him to the ground. Abruptly, a massive ape-like demon appears in the air near them, bathed in a weird red glow. The balor's voice is thick and smoky, rumbling the chandeliers.
For those who speak Abyssal:
Now we REALLY party!
[Map is coming up, but the room is about 120' on a side. None of you is immediately adjacent to the creatures. Please post initiative rolls and initial actions.]
11-27-2007, 11:25 AM
Miloen blinks at the appearance of the demon, but shakes it off, before holding up his holy symbol at them while walking towards them. "In the name of Zagyg and others upon high, I demand you to stop, demon!
Moving towards the demon, casting Demon Dirge. Causes [roll1] damage a round for [roll2] rounds, no save if CE in alignment. No damage if not CE. Fortitude save of 23 or stunned for the duration if it is a true demon.
11-27-2007, 09:45 PM
Bellowing a challenging roar to the ape-like demon, Thok activates the power of his ring and moves to engage the demon. "Yth vargach kothar, wux loreat. Thok kurik vux malsvir.
Activates Ring of Arming as Standard Action and moves maximum speed towards the ape-like demon. As a swift action move into Absolute Steel Stance.
11-27-2007, 10:18 PM
Lora looks eagerly up at the entrance at the announcement, fully ready to see who it is they're protecting, and the interruption jars her. She looks anxiously towards the demon, easily picking the other two out of the crowd as they rush in, and moves towards the commotion—not so close as the others are, but close enough to get a better view. "Talia! Do you know what it's saying? What's going on?"
11-28-2007, 12:49 AM
With a flourish, Talia draws a rapier and a dagger leveling the longer blade at the Balor from across the room.
"As if I'd demean myself enough to learn that gutter mouth gibberish they call a language!" she snarls at Lora.
"Demon! You're at a party. If you want to dance, at least be tasteful about it..."
Initiative - [roll0]
Swift action - entering stance: Pearl of Black Doubt
Declaring Dodge on Balor. Total defense action as she waits to see what the Balor's next move is...
11-30-2007, 12:53 AM
A wailing goes up amongst the crowd, although the music, now seeming dreadfully inappropriate, plays on. Guests push back from the balor, whose body is now wreathed with flames. Some are rushing towards the stairs, or the side chambers.
Talia draws her two blades with a flourish, staring intently at the Balor.
Miloen steps towards demons, raising his hands. His words carry power, and both wince in obvious pain. The airborn demon snarls at the calm man.
Thok raises an arm, and abruptly, it holds a massive axe. The great horned man is now clad in gleaming armour. He pushes through the crowd towards the demons.
The flaming balor glares down at the boy who had been riding him. The boy scrambles clumsily to his feet, and he raises his eyes to the ceiling. The boy's hands begins waving, and a string of high-pitched singsong spills from his lips.
The Nalfeshnee rises higher into the air, its vestigial wings flapping madly. The red glow surrounding it intensifies to a bright pulse, bathing the room in red light.
Everyone: Please make a will save.
If Lora wishes to join in, she can roll initiative at any time.
Those who wish to, and who make a Spellcraft DC 20 check will learn that the boy is casting Summon Monster V.
11-30-2007, 03:05 AM
Will save, [roll0]
11-30-2007, 09:11 AM
Miloen blinks as the red waves wash over him.
Will save: [roll0]
11-30-2007, 04:21 PM
Will save - [roll0]
12-02-2007, 04:35 PM
[DM rolling save for Lora...and she passes too.]
The pulse of light washes over the crowd, briefly obliterating other light sources. All of the four heroes - some might add quotation marks around that word, but this DM will not stoop to such editorializing - are able to put down the feelings of fear that rise within them, but about half of of the guests stop in place, staring wide eyed into space. Some are whimpering, and a few others twitch reflexively.
Round 2 - actions please!
12-02-2007, 05:01 PM
Miloen looks up at the Nalfeshee, frowning. "Really now, you shouldn't be frightning the guests, it's in terrible form." Holding his holy symbol up at the demon once more, Miloen intones powerful clerical words. "Return now to your own plane, hellspawn, and may you not return again!"
Banishment on the Nalfeshee. Will save of 25. [roll0] SR check if need be.
If they're opposed to my holy symbol, I get +1 to CL for SR check, and +2 to the save DC.
12-03-2007, 10:50 PM
"Sorry!" Lora apologizes to Talia as she passes by.
She frowns as the waves of red energy sweep over the crowds. "Here, that's not very nice." She raises her hand to her face, whispering into it for a moment, then opens her palmand blows a small cloud of pollen out towards the demon and into its eyes.
Sorry, I'd rolled OOC—I have a tendency to do that when I don't have anything else to post. Likewise for initiative, which was 16.
Blinding Spittle (SC), cast at the nalfeshnee (or the balor if the nalfeshnee is gone). Ranged touch [roll0], blinds the target for [roll1] rounds on a hit. SR: [roll2]
12-03-2007, 11:33 PM
"Pothoc nurh kothar!" Thok roars and he moves through the crowd.
Thok moves as close to the Nalfeshnee as possible, if it has been banished, he moves towards the Balor. If within range to attack after moving [roll0] to attack with his greataxe using Elder Mountain Hammer, [roll1] base damage, [roll2] fire damage, [roll3] electricity damage, [roll4] maneuver damage
12-07-2007, 02:17 PM
Talia stalks towards the Balor, dagger held in front of her defensively. When she reaches the demon, she brandishes the small blade with a flourish, twisting her body and thrusting forward with her rapier, thrusting in just such a way so as to knock the demon off balance as well as impaling it...
Sorry for the delay...
Moving to Balor, transferring dagger's enhancement bonus to AC via defending property. AC at 50 (51 vs Balor). If she can reach it in one turn, she'll attack with Disrupting Blow.
Attack - [roll0]
Damage - [roll1]
Balor must make a Will Save (DC 22), or be unable to take any actions next round.
12-07-2007, 02:19 PM
Confirmation - [roll0]
Critical Damage - [roll1]
12-07-2007, 06:35 PM
Darting nimbly over the crowd on soft black wings, Talia streaks towards the Balor. She slips under a hasty swing of its massive arm, and her blade manages to dig deep into its neck. Gouts of black blood spit and hiss in the flames surrounding the demon, and the flames engulf the slender woman's arm, but do no harm. The demon's eyes lock with Talia's, and the silent enmity between the two is palpable...possibly to those in other parts of the castle.
A high-pitched whine continues to sound from Miloen's direction, causing the Balor further distress. He presents the disk around his neck with a flourish, and the flying demon abruptly vanishes.
Wading through the milling crowd like an iceberg at a rowboat convention, Thok strides towards the demon. The massive minotaur stops well short of the demon, and with a massive swing of his axe rips a flaming tear in the demon's side.
Lora's hand goes to her mouth, and from her vantage on the stairs perfectly nails the Balor with a puff of stinging pollen. Unfortunately, the spores seem to catch flame in the ring of flames surrounding the behemoth, and don't even reach its face.
Abruptly, the demon's hands held a flaming barbed whip and a black sword, both of which lashed out at the nimble swordswoman. The dance is ancient, swift and terrible. Talia seems to be more than holding her own, but a lucky strike catches her on the leg.
Meanwhile, the boy's spell finishes, and a massive red and black boar appears between the boy and Thok. The beast slips forward, and black tusks scrape at the minotaur's armour. Initially, it seems as if they will find no purchase, but manage to punch into a small crevice.
The Balor gestures towards Talia, and the young man he grabbed nods. With a few sentences and a quick flourish, he creates a grey cloud that moves quickly towards Talia, pushing hard against her.
Talia's strike does hit, and succeeds as a critical.
Miloen's spell penetrates spell resistance, and the Nalfeshnee goes away.
Thok's attack also hits, although the flames and sparks both seem to gutter out ineffectually on the Balor's skin. Both attacks are subject to Damage reduction (although the Elder Mountain damage is not).
Lora's attack hits, but fails to penetrate spell resistance.
Talia takes 14 points of damage (that's with 5 points of damage reduction already taken off) from the Balor's attack.
Thok takes 16 points piercing damage from the boar's attack. BTW, Ninja, the enhancement bonuses from your gauntlets and belt don't stack, so your strength should be 2 points lower - sorry.
For those who wish to roll a DC 21 spellcraft check, the boy's spell was Forceful hand. It penetrates Talia's spell resistance.
Phoekun, please make an opposed strength check.
Round three actions, please!
12-07-2007, 08:36 PM
This did not happen.
Lora frowns as the demon hits Talia, and as the boy's summoned creature attacks Thok. Maybe the demon wasn't angry with him... then what started this? Could this be an attempt to kidnap the prince? It doesn't seem all that subtle...
Oh- if the boy is with them, maybe I should make sure he doesn't hurt anybody, or get hurt... Lora fades view in a manner that somehow manages to evoke the image of fading into the foliage, despite an absence of any foliage but her own dress.
Or maybe that wasn't so nonsensical, as something else fades into existence near the boy. Fifteen feet tall and akin to a willow-tree, there are humanoid traits visible underneath its cloak of hair-like branches; a vaguely feminine figure, and the hint of a face. The willow-woman's branches reach out, gently scooping up the boy and wrapping about him.
Shadow Stride to teleport 50 feet as a move action, and shifting to forest form (AC 50, reach 15 ft). Attempting to grapple the boy; as long as he's within 70 feet of where Lora starts, he ought to be in range.
Touch attack: [roll0]
Grapple check: [roll1]
Damage (nonlethal): [roll2]
If the boy is evil, add 1 damage to that, and he has to save against golden ice.
12-07-2007, 09:19 PM
Thok grunts in pain and turns hit attention towards the boar.
Attack 1 [roll0]
Attack 2 [roll1]
Attack 3 [roll2]
Attack 1 [roll3] base, [roll4] fire, [roll5] electricity
Attack 2 [roll6] base, [roll7] fire, [roll8] electricity
Attack 3 [roll9] base, [roll10] fire, [roll11] electricity
12-08-2007, 03:03 AM
Talia - Opposed Strength Check
Her eyes never leave the Balor's, but she can feel it - the slight trickle of blood running down her leg, and the terror that comes with the knowledge that somehow, somehow, she had been hit. If she had a heart, it may well have stopped at this point.
But there was no time to focus on panic or revenge just yet, not with this cloud of force pushing up against her. Talia resists it with all her considerable might.
Strength Check - [roll0]. Turn's actions will come after I know if it's a success or failure, and what happens.
12-08-2007, 10:14 AM
"Really child, you should not be so disruptive, did you not know that?"
Miloen begins chanting for a moment, Miloen brings forth [roll0] celestial brown bears. "Hold him down."
They draw AoO until the boy is out of attacks as they try to grapple him.
AC is 15.
Rolling for up to three bears.
Touch attack: [roll1]
Touch attack: [roll2]
Touch attack: [roll3]
12-08-2007, 10:47 AM
The grey cloud coalesces into massive grey hand, which pushes Talia backwards 10' towards the stairs and Lora.
12-14-2007, 11:27 AM
With a beat of her wings, Talia flies up and over the hand, hovering just over the Balor's head. She twirls her rapier and unleashes a dozen blurred strikes. He dared make her bleed? Then she would return the favor. Tenfold.
Repositioning above the balor, activating Bloodletting Strike.
Attack - [roll0]
Damage - [roll1] plus 4 Con Damage (DC 20 Will Save for half)
12-14-2007, 11:29 AM
I am sensing a pattern, and I like it.
Critical Confirmation - [roll0]
Damage [roll1] (I don't know if the Con damage doubles or not)
12-14-2007, 12:12 PM
Talia is not able to fly away from the hand, but is able to reposition herself so that she is able to attack past it, to the Balor. It follows her immediately, and proves an annoying encumbrance, but her skill overcomes these obstacles, and she manages to strike the Balor again. It's finding it harder to shrug off these attacks now.
Miloen brings help to the party, and a massive bear appears on the other side of the boy. It has no difficulty pushing him to the ground and holding him down.
The combined savagery of Thok's attacks turn the massive boar into so much striploin, and it vanishes at the third of his strokes.
[PAUSING TO GIVE THE SNARK AN OPPORTUNITY TO REPOST AN ACTION, IF DESIRED, SINCE THE BOY IS CURRENTLY ALREADY GRAPPLED. IF I DON'T HEAR ANYTHING IN THE NEXT DAY, I'LL ASSUME SHE'S JOINING IN THE GRAPPLE.]
12-14-2007, 04:16 PM
Summoning spells normally take a full round to cast, so they wouldn't activate until the beginning of Miloen's next turn... shouldn't it be the other way around, giving Miloen a chance to put his summoned thingies someplace else?
If not, I'll work up something else.
12-14-2007, 08:11 PM
Miloen's summoning will go off on his action.
12-14-2007, 10:20 PM
Lora frowns as she sees the cloud push Talia back, although fortunately it doesn't seem to have done too much to stop her. So the demon wasn't angry with the boy? This doesn't seem very subtle, for a kidnapping attempt... the Prince isn't even here yet. She watches for a moment longer; with the bear's arrival, the others seem to have things in hand. I hope the bear doesn't hurt the boy any. Wait- maybe they're supposed to call attention to themselves... Her dress of leaves twirls as she turns towards the top of the stairs, and midway through, she fades into nothingness, reappearing slowly at the top of the stairs as she goes through the curtain.
Moving to the top of the stairs with Shadow Stride and back through the curtain to see if Lora can see the Prince. Spot: [roll0]
If she does see something with only a 5-foot step (and if 50 feet took her all the way to the top of the stairs), she might have an action left, but only if it's obvious as soon as she steps past the curtain.
12-15-2007, 02:05 PM
Lora seems to drift into the air, reappearing on the other side of the curtain she's passed through. The antechamber, previously partially full of guests waiting to be introduced, is now a frenzied choke point for the crowd trying to escape. Guests and servants are pushing towards exits. A few guards are now trying to stay out of the way, unable to make much forward progress against the crush. None of the figures are wearing a crown, and as of yet, no one has yet been identified as the Prince. It is all Lora can do to avoid being swept further into the receiving chamber by the guests behind her.
The Balor rises a bit into the air, the better to face the intrepid Talia. His sword and whip swirl out in a haze of motion, and only her extraordinary quickness saves her from the net's grasp. However, the sword finds her twice, slicing into her arm and wing. The demon's mindvoice is harsh and thuggish in her head: Meddling hellspawn! The boy is mine by right, and you will not take him!
The boy speaks a single word and vanishes from the bear's firm grasp. He reappears a moment later, clinging to a chandelier about 30' above the combat. Abruptly, the grey mist reorients, and pushes Talia towards the ground.
The Balor took a 5' step "up", but is still currently within reach of Thok and Talia. She takes 20 points from one strike of the vorpal blade, and 17 from the other - I haven't applied DR to either of these attacks. She danced VERY close to a beheading this round!
Talia will need to make a DC 20 strength check to avoid being pushed towards the ground. On the assumption that she is currently 10' up, a roll of 20 or more will indicate no movement; a roll of 15-19 will indicate a push downward of 5'. A result of 14 or less will indicate that she is on the ground (but not prone).
Anyone making a spellcraft check DC 19 knows that the boy cast Dimension Door.
12-15-2007, 05:50 PM
Seeing that the boy is not interested in doing damage at the moment, Miloen instead turns towards the balor, casting a spell and moving. "Life stands still, and a demon's life is the same, Balor."
Casting Slay Living, then attempting to touch the Balor after moving to it.
Fort save: 24 for [roll1] damage instead of death, if Miloen can reach him.
12-16-2007, 05:21 AM
After scanning the crowd, Lora realizes she isn't likely to find the Prince this way; she doesn't even know what he looks like. She turns around, trying to slip past the guest behind her and back through the curtain.
I don't know whether I'll be able to make it with a single move action or not, so I'll wait to post more actions. Strength check to move through the crowd, if I need it: [roll0]
12-16-2007, 05:30 AM
We can retroactively establish that Lora moved back through the curtain, fighting the crowd as she did so, at the end of her last turn.
Miloen will be able to cast and move, but not make the touch attack this round. If he moves right up adjacent to the Balor, he will take an attack of opportunity from the large creature.
12-16-2007, 01:40 PM
Still covered in the blood of his fresh kill, Thok gets ready to take out his remaining rage on the Balor.
Attack 1 [roll0]
Attack 2 [roll1]
Attack 3 [roll2]
Attack 1 [roll3] base, [roll4] fire, [roll5] electricity
Attack 2 [roll6] base, [roll7] fire, [roll8] electricity
Attack 3 [roll9] base, [roll10] fire, [roll11] electricity
12-16-2007, 01:46 PM
12-16-2007, 02:34 PM
Go ahead and take the AoO to get close. Oddly enough though, if I'd moved and then cast while within range, I could have made the touch attack, no?
12-16-2007, 05:08 PM
Lora slips back through the curtain after only a moment. Oh- the boy is gone? No, there he is. How did he get up there, I wonder? She glides down the stairs, raising both hands, and says something in a tongue that sounds like leaves rustling in the wind. Vines seem to grow from the sleeves of her dress, twining down the length of her arms; then, in a burst of growth almost too fast to see, the first vine stretches out to the boy, twining around him and fastening him to the chandelier; the second loops out towards the balor.
Lora moves to put both Balor and boy in range, then casts Kelpstrand. If the two are within 30 feet, she hits both of them; if not, only the boy.
The spell description says to add Wisdom and caster level in place of Strength and size to the grapples, which seems to imply you still add base attack bonus... never noticed that before.
Ranged touch (boy): [roll0]
Grapple (boy): [roll1]
Ranged touch (balor): [roll2]
Grapple (balor): [roll3]
12-18-2007, 08:23 PM
[DM Action] Talia is slammed to the ground by the fog, but is quickly pushing back to her feet. Her sword slashes up at the Balor, drawing a modest wound.
Miloen brings a spell to fruition, his hand darkening with a fatal aura. He slips closer to the creature, ducking under a swing of the barbed whip. The hum of his previous spell still hangs in the air, seeming to drive the demon to further distraction. The summoned bear, seeing no other target within reach, leaps at the great demon. The bear's claws fail to penetrate the tough hide, and the demon's flames singe the bear's paw.
Thok takes full advantage of the demon's focus on Talia. His first strike bites deep, although the flesh creeps part-way closed again after. The second strike buries deep in the demon's side, and the third stroke goes wide. The balor turns, seeming to notice the massive minotaur for the first time. The axe drips with black blood.
Lora steps forward and stretches out her arms, and a whiff of the sea fills the room. Thick, ropy and glistening, they snake forward towards the boy and the demon. The boy, clinging to the chandelier, is powerless to evade the strand, and it wraps him up tight. The demon is able to slip away from the other strand, which withers on the ground.
The demon drifts another 5' up into the air. Snarling at Thok, he spits out a single, vile syllable. It is possible to see some of the slashes covering his body begin to inch closed.
The boy struggles with the strand, to no avail.
The demon is now 10' up , above and 10' above Talia, Miloen and Thok.
Thok is struck by Power Word Stun for [roll0] rounds.
12-20-2007, 06:23 AM
Lora nods in satisfaction—he'd be safe up there, and he wouldn't be able to hurt anyone, either. Perfect. She turns to the others, realizing that whatever this demon was, it was looking more and more difficult to deal with. "What is it that you're doing here?" she calls over the din of battle to the demon. "What is it you want?"
She casts no spells, nor does she charge towards the demon, but she is not idle, either. The green woman quite literally grows upwards, slowing and halting at around fifteen feet tall. Her skin darkens to a dusky green, and has a hard look to it, as if it would resist a blow, and the dress of leaves she wore seems to flow about her now, becoming a mantle of thick, foliage-enclosed branches like those of a willow. Her face is largely hidden under the branches as she takes a slow, shuffling step towards the demon.
Shift to forest form (AC 49), and grow an extra slam attack as a move action. As her second move action, she grows another (or increases the damage of her slams/slam if unable). And a 5-ft step towards the balor.
12-21-2007, 04:39 AM
The demon looks up - and up - at the soaring Lora, and snarls defiantly.
The whelp abused our pact, and I claim his soul as forfeit. This grli'bruch -
He snaps a glance to Talia.
- will not interfere.
12-21-2007, 08:46 PM
Talia sinks into the Balor's shadow, reappearing in the air on the the demon's other side. Shadows swirl around her rapier, but no blow falls... for now.
"And what would you know of pacts, hm? Your kind is as likely to eat a contract as write it... and you certainly wouldn't do it properly. Tell me, how does one even go about breaking these "pacts" of yours?"
Rule of Diabolic Etiquette #549: It's rude to stab someone in the same round you're talking to them. :smalltongue:
Using Shadow Stride to move up and to the other side of the Balor (and away from that blasted hand), and readying an action to use Obscuring Shadow Veil if the demon resumes any sort of hostilities whatsoever.
By the way, how in 9 hells am I being hit so much? Not to metagame, but... this... shouldn't be possible. Right? *shakes head, terrified*
12-21-2007, 09:05 PM
Branch-enfolded arms place themselves ponderously where her hips would be (and possibly still are, through the foliage) as Lora looks at the balor sternly. "Maybe he did, but starting a fight at a party is no way to behave. He's not going anywhere right now, so let's put the weapons down and you can tell us what happened in detail, all right?" Her voice doesn't sound any different in this shape; perhaps a touch louder.
I don't know if I should be making a roll for this or not? Diplomacy is +17, if you want to roll it.
12-25-2007, 02:18 AM
The balor sneers back at Talia.
Maybe I should eat you, Ba'at filth. Nah. Give me heartburn.
Lora's words flow like the sap of reason over the conflict. As the demon again winces at the sound emanating from Miloen's spell...and up at the boy wrapped in kelp...and the dozen guardsmen finally breaking through the crowd to help intervene.
A shrug seems to ripple through the demon's body, and the weapons vanish from his hands.
Fine. Take the boy...and choke on him.
Without further comment, the demon simply ceases to be there, leaving only a whiff of volcanic fumes, and a trashed ballroom.
A large, golden-headed parrot with bright red wings and black tail darts from behind the curtain, and settles in Lora's branches.
That's got to be the BEST costume here tonight. And thanks for shutting up my cousin.
The boy in the chandelier seems to try to cast another spell, but it doesn't go off. The hand reappears above Talia and continues to push her towards the ground, but unsuccessfully.
The Balor has scored several natural twenties on you. With five attacks a round...be happy that none of them were confirmed, given the vorpal sword...
12-25-2007, 04:01 AM
"Oh, thank you," Lora says at the parrot's words, pleased at the compliment. And at the end of the fight, too, of course. "You really think so? I- no, wait a moment." A branch stretches out and upwards towards the chandelier, and the leaves and branches at the end of it wrap themselves around the boy, lifting him gently but keeping a firm grip on him. The branches part around her face, leaving her looking slightly down at him.
"Well," she says in a firm lecturing tone, but not altogether unfriendly, "I hope you've learned your lesson? You've frightened nearly everyone away, you know."
Joining in the grapple, although she doesn't want to do any damage; Lora can reach up to 25 feet high. Grapple checks are at +23 in this shape, if they're needed.
12-25-2007, 09:59 AM
Finally able to move again, Thok dismissed his armor and weapons and used the power of his hat to assume the appearance of a large half-orc. Taking a few minutes he finds the nearest full bottle of alcahol, not particularly caring what kind, and drinks back the bottle in one gulp.
12-25-2007, 11:54 AM
Miloen cancels the held spell, and then dismisses his altered self spell. He looks around, wondering what might happen next.
01-01-2008, 08:03 AM
Guards begin spilling into the room, followed by a variety of other servants. More than two dozen guests are either frozen in place about the room or lying, slumped like discarded mannequins on the floor. There is still a great deal of shouting.
As Lora draws the boy to her, revealing his face, she sees that his eyes are trembling, working quickly back and forth. It's not clear to her whether he hears her words, but he certainly has no response.
The parrot shifts on its perch on Lora's shoulder. It's bird voice is rasping, but also a bit sad. Ah, Caleb. You always were a twit.
Thok slips easily into the seeming of a big half-orc, and downs a bottle of some sparkling wine with a flourish and a belch.
Some of the guests are returning to the room, moving to help others on the stairs and at the entrance ways.
Happy new year, folks! I'm back again. I hope you all got a chance to enjoy a holiday.
01-01-2008, 11:08 PM
As things return to normal, and it looks like the boy—Caleb?—is finished, Lora shrinks back down to a more normal size, about five and a half feet. The thick branches and foliage shrink and turn from an olive-green to a brighter shade as they form into the close-fitting dress of leaves she was wearing before. The boy is set down on the ground, with Lora's hand resting on his shoulder. "You know him?" she asks the parrot. To the boy, she says encouragingly, "Well, things look like they're all right now. Can you tell me more about what happened? Why were you doing that?" It's hard for her to be angry at a frightened-looking child, but she manages to sound a little disappointed with him at the last line.
01-02-2008, 01:34 AM
Slowly, the boy's eyes clear, and he stares at Lora, startled and a little star-struck.
I...huh? Where'd everybody? Why am I wrapped in seaweed?
Comprehension seems to dawn on him. The parrot squawks, and takes to the air as Lora shrinks down. It settles on the ground, a few feet from the boy.
Know him? I've been kicking his butt on a regular basis for the last three years. Creating some sort of construct, maintaining a complicated too much trouble for you, Caleb? So you had to go and get a REAL Balor on short notice. And then you bind it improperly to boot.
Servants have begun helping patrons up and out. Others with brooms and mops are scooting into the room.
The parrot abruptly grows into a bold young man with deep auburn hair, casual but obviously well-made clothes, and a slender platinum band across his head. A passing servant ducks his head nervously to the young man.
01-02-2008, 04:47 AM
"Oh, sorry," she says, waving a hand; most of the kelp clutching the boy dissipates, leaving only a lingering smell of sea-salt. "You don't remember? The demon got mad, and you started casting spells. At us, so we sort of had to keep you out of the way. Sorry."
She nods to the person who was the parrot a few seconds ago. "You should listen to him. Bind something nicer next time, maybe," she adds encouragingly, patting his shoulder. "Somebody could have gotten hurt." Then Lora turns to the young man, looking about. "Oh, I hope the party's all right. So many people left. Do you think they'll be back?"
01-06-2008, 10:49 AM
The former parrot smiles at Lora.
I should certainly hope that folks will stick around. I do throw a mean party.
Stepping towards the centre of the room, he shouts.
All right! Let's get the music playing again! Once this is all cleaned up, I'm sure that there are a few corners of the wine cellar that haven't yet been emptied. The night is young!
He bends to help up the pale-skinned boy, who surveys the chaos and now seems terrified of the red-headed young man. Nevertheless, the boy takes his hand and rises, dusting himself off.
Th-thanks. I'm so so sorry. I just wanted to make an im-
The young man quiets him with a smile and a raised finger.
Hush. A matter for tomorrow - or the day after, if this party goes as well as I hope.
Servants are now starting into the cleaning process in earnest. All of the injured and unconscious guests have been removed from the room, and a few of the others are shifting back in - some to grab drinks, others to actually help with the cleaning and straightening.
01-06-2008, 03:50 PM
The moment the Balor disappeared, Talia had slumped to the ground. She stares at her wounds in equal parts disbelief and horror. It... it hurt. Even her beautiful wing! She reaches out to touch it, and both hand and wing recoil from each other. She shivers, and shaking, reaches for her belt and pulls out not one, but two potions. Hungrily sucking them down, she sighs with relief as her wounds close over and heal. Eventually, she stops shaking, and moves to wipe away the tears in her eyes before at long last standing and glaring daggers at the boy.
Drinking two potions of Cure Moderate Wounds:
1 - [roll0]
2 - [roll1]
01-06-2008, 10:18 PM
Looking at Talia as she drinks the potions, Miloen moves towards her. "Potions are a poor substitute for the true light of the gods, my dear."
Reaching out, he touches her shoulder as a holy light enters her.
Maximized Cure Serious. 39 points of healing.
Afterwards, he turns to look at the party. "Messy, messy, messy."
01-07-2008, 04:43 AM
Lora smiles happily as the party slowly begins to rejuvenate itself. "Oh, thank you. It would have been terrible for a silly accident to have spoiled things." She gives Caleb a sympathetic smile to take away any sting her words might have held for him—it was impossible to be angry now that he looks so sorry about it. She looks about, eyes finding Miloen, Talia, and the orc that Thok had turned into again without a problem. Oh- I should have healed her... but we're not all supposed to be together, so I don't think I should go over to apologize just now. I hope we haven't given ourselves away...
The remaining mess, and the fact that other guests are helping to clear it away, also catches her eye. "Do you think we should help tidy up?" she asks the crowned man and his cousin anxiously. It was hard for her to tell where people wanted things put in their own homes, as she had found out firsthand when she tried to help clean the inn she stayed at, but maybe the servers could tell them...
01-09-2008, 08:25 AM
A young servant struggling to shift an overturned table turns at Miloen's "Messy Messy Messy", clearly biting back a retort. Instead, she simply nods and returns to her work.
Young Caleb smiles gratefully at Lora's words, looking both slightly less miserable and also quite adoring, in his own way. A swell of romantic music seems to spring up between Lora and Caleb. No, wait. It DOES spring up. The disembodied music has returned. As Caleb opens his mouth to speak, though, the redheaded man takes him by the shoulder.
Yes, yes. Now, the least you can do is put your talents to work getting all of this straightened away. I'm sure that the side chambers are a mess too.
He propels Caleb off towards a side chamber. The youth glances back at Lora a bit forlornly. The redheaded man turns back to Lora, and extends his hands in a gesture that includes Miloen, Thok and Talia as well.
Well, please accept my thanks, and my father's. I'm sure we'll be getting underway again shortly.
He winks at Talia.
Perhaps a dance later? We've got a hell of a band.
01-09-2008, 08:44 AM
A young servant struggling to shift an overturned table turns at Miloen's "Messy Messy Messy", clearly biting back a retort. Instead, she simply nods and returns to her work.
Miloen shrugs at the servant. "I had not a scroll of spectral servants with me today, my apologies." He helps her to shift the table where she wanted it.
Perhaps a dance later? We've got a hell of a band.
At this, Miloen turns with a frown. "You've already had balors, don't bring hell into this as well, child."
01-09-2008, 10:23 AM
After swigging down the bottle of alcahol and wrapping a table cloth around the wound on his midsection Thok walks over towards Lora, " Who sent the child away, I was going to eat that."
01-09-2008, 04:44 PM
Unfortunately for Caleb (but also quite possibly for herself), Lora seems to have missed the romantic cues. She gives him a nod and an encouraging smile to indicate he should go off and help clean up before turning to the person she's fairly certain, by now, is the Prince. She's not that oblivious. "Oh, you're welcome! Anyone would have done it." The rest of the guest list, who hadn't, seem to recall themselves to her mind, and she blushes a slightly darker green. "Well, anyone who could help would have, I'm sure."
"Thok, you can't go around eating people," she says with a trace of shock as he approaches. Noting his wound, she touches him, and it starts to close up. "Besides, there's plenty of food..." She looks about at the overturned tables. "... well, they'll bring in more soon, I imagine."
Lesser Vigor, heals Thok 15 points over the next minute and a half.
01-11-2008, 12:00 AM
Within seconds of being touched by Miloen, all signs of the shaking, sobbing Talia of a moment ago completely disappear, leaving only the winged vixen from before. But the transition is marked, just for a moment, by a look to Mileon of profound... thanks? No, that can't be right. Still...
Talia turns to the redheaded man and smiles demurely.
"A dance? Hm... sure. But can the band keep up? I'm a hell of a dancer, if I may say so myself."
She winks as she licks her lips.
01-11-2008, 09:10 AM
The servant takes to Miloen's help with a startled and grateful smile. The red-headed man arches an eyebrow at Miloen's retort, but seems to have shifted his focus for the moment to Talia.
Well, if these ones can't keep up, we'll just have to send out for more. Consider me on your dance card, madam.
Bowing with considerable elegance and only a faint hint of mockery, the redheaded man then leaps into the air, becoming a parrot once more. He flits off into the side chamber that Thok and Miloen entered from.
There is some sense of the party beginning to return to life. Hastily arranged plates of cold food and quickly opened bottles of wine are whisking their way in. Plates and glasses that can be salvaged have been pressed back into service. The crowd is thinner - some people have clearly decided not to return - but there are already fifty or sixty costumed revelers back in, and more streaming in.
01-19-2008, 02:16 AM
Lora looks over again at Talia, who certainly sounds all right, and then around again to check if anyone else is still hurt. It doesn't look like it, so she swirls into the returning crowd to resume mingling, glancing back at Talia to see if she's coming. She glances to Thok and Miloen, too, but they're not supposed to be together...
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