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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    Default Re: Climbing Mount Olympus (IC)

    Damien has many more questions besides, but he accepts the dragons answer as both thorough and enlightening, and he puts away the rest of his inquisitiveness for another time and place. "Balancing on the sky is a truly ancient and powerful technique, great one. It was discovered by great sages of the wind and shadows, when they took the natural lightfootedness and grace of the Shadow Hand path to its ultimate conclusion." He ponders for a moment before continuing.

    "It is like... breathing after a great surprise. It is like moving through a room with sleeping occupants. It is like walking on the deck of a ship while the sea rocks beneath you." Damien shakes his head, not satisfied with his explanation; what would a dragon know of such things?

    "It is like the ground is where you choose it to be, like the soles of your feet know their own path, and refused to be swayed by the pull of the earth. It is like freedom, and serenity, and balancing on the very edge of the world." He nods, content. "Does that answer it well enough, great dragon? I could go into technical details on how I accomplish such a feat, but I do not believe that is what you wanted to know."
    Last edited by RaggedAngel; 2012-06-21 at 01:18 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #272
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    Cychreides rumbles a chuckle, again stirring up a particularly unpleasant smell from the depths of his lungs.

    "There is poetry in you, sir. Great poetry. That does indeed sound remarkable, and nothing like what flying means for me."

    Cheiros channels a wave of dark energy into Hestia to help her restore her borrowed body. He hops down off of the dragon onto the beach and stares out at the bay, where ships were still foundering and sailors were still struggling to save some of their numbers from the churning waves. Cheiros sends mentally to his colleagues.

    "I am going to head below the waves, the better to see if there are sailors who can still be rescued. And then I'll see if there's some sign of how long Scylla had been lurking down there. Hestia, would you join me?"

    The newly restored fury stretches her arms and floats down to settle next to the old grey-skinned man.

    "Least I can do."

    He weaves a spell, and the two of them grow into a majestic and muscular green-skinned man and woman. Together, they dash into the waves and disappear.

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    I think that tomb-tainted soul allows Hestia to be healed by negative energy (say, from Harm) even in another body. I could be wrong about this. If it doesn't work, then just a little bit of shuffling around different aquatic forms will heal her up.

    Cheiros is casting Shapechange, shared with Hestia, and they transform into Ocean Giants (MM2).

    They'll do a circuit of the battle site from belo - first looking for possible survivors, then gathering up the dead. The humans for return to the ships for either raising by Berenike, or a funeral. Dead furies that have dropped into the ocean are gathered up for possible animation later.

    Finally, spiralling deeper, the pair will try to see whether there are signs of a resting place where Scylla had been. Also, he's just curious about what a titan looks like in death. Hey, he's a nice Dread Necro, but he's still a Dread Necro!
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  3. - Top - End - #273
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    While Damien and Cheiros and the animated-and-somehow-still-flying dragon chatter about more important universal truths, Berenike says, "Angela, see if you can help Mopsus, and then we'll need you below!"

    She then flies down to the water to use Alcaeus' strength to help guide men to safety .... but the greater majority of her ability is in guiding those men to do it themselves than to focus too close to the weeds. She will moderately use her other spells where able to give what aid she can.
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  4. - Top - End - #274
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toliudar View Post
    Cychreides looks for a place to land.
    . I assumed that we could find a place.
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  5. - Top - End - #275
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    "Thank you Lady Berenike for your healing."

    Only partially listening to the conversation between the two sons of man, on of undeath and the other of extraordinary life discussing such things as the boundaries between life and unlife. What most interested her though was Damien's explanation on how he flies without the aid of true magic or wings to keep him aloft.
    Its an interesting thing, some of the things he can do. Maybe that should be the next step in her training perhaps? But then there would be the problem of finding a tutor to get her started much less on the path of mastery of such a education. Maybe it would be worth asking Damien if he could reference her a possible tutor if not himself? But that will have to wait.

    Hearing her name called out, she flaps over towards the undead dragon to take a better look at their silent friend to see what is wrong with him.

    "Mopsus? Are you ill?"

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    [In Character] Heal check: Taking 20 for a result of 38
    [Out Character] Maybe we need to remind him that the game is still alive?
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  6. - Top - End - #276
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    The aftermath of the battle is a bloody and horrific place. Of the fleet of some 40 ships that had set sail that morning some 27 are far out to sea - now specks on the horizon as the sailors beat to quarters while the rest... 4 still float in the red stained and body filled waters of the bay where some 1600 brave men and wome have died. The beach is a vast sea of writhing and screaming humanity as those wounded by the monsters or burned by the rain of fire or deafened by the cataclysmic thunder are tended to by the healers.

    Queen Berenike is the highest ranking of those who have survived. Wherever she walks mortally injured men rise with looks of wonderment on their faces - scars and burns vanished in an instant by her magical gifts. Her two winged companions, the angelic Angela and the 4-footed Alceus keep pace easily adding their own skills and power to the healing efforts.

    At the high tide mark with the great flag of Ithaca lies brave Odysseus. Deep in grief beside the a large tent, within lies the manged remains of his daughter Kalliopi- torn apart by a tentacle from the great Titan. He pays no attention to the Queen or the heroes so deep in his grief.

    The rest of the men on the beach- another 1500 or so do. Great cheers following the Queen and her companions even as they uneasily work alongside the animated creatures of Cherios as the prepare great pyres for the thousand dead. More dead that keep arriving every few minutes as Hestia and Cherios ply the dead featching the dead from the red shrouded waters of the bay. THe hulls of the ships that were broken fuel for the great funeral fires.

    Underneath the surface of the water- amidst the blood and body parts that float gently in the bay its a different world. A world of magical shifting light and srange low hoots, whistles and clicks that entrances the pair. The great body of the titan lies spread over the bottoim of the bay. A colossal figure stretching almost 200ft from the head to the vey base of her tail that had lain hidden beneath the waves. The body cannot be missed as a corncupoia of life swarm over it. All manner of beast from the humble cra to strange beasts from the deep oceans have appeared to feast on the divine corpse of a creature that was near enough a God to them. To Cherios and Hestia's eyes they can see the monsters of the children of men being born before them as the Titans flesh brings about strange changes upon the fish that devour it. With so many beasts around it seems unwise to approach too close as the denziens of the ocean may object to a creature not of their own intruding upon their godly feast. Particulaly those that have changed with the spark of sentience in their pallid watery eyes.

    As the day draws on and the funeral pyres are lit and the songs begin the heores are afforded a degree of repsectful privacy. Broken only by several of the surviving ship's captain approaching you. "Noble Queen. What do we do now? The Gods have unleashed the Titans upon us. Do we try to make peace and offer prayer and sacrifice or do we find new Gods and prepare for war"

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    THanks for being patient Its been a brutal week at work so have been shattered in the evenings. Thanks for keeping the game chugging along by talking amongst yourself.

  7. - Top - End - #277
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    The Queen of Naxos, weary more from her rounds in seeing the death of her countryman than the battle itself, echoes words she heard in her mind and she echoes them aloud.

    "Flames must be cooled..."

    She will take a prominent place. "Athenians, Thebiens, Thessalonians ... all of you Greeks. Now you know the folly of trying to make gods of men. The healing magics you saw me perform today .... these are not gifts of my own study, but from Athena. She still grants them to me because I still believe and pray to her.

    "Pray to the gods .... the rightful gods .... not the men that were cleverer than most or killed a chimera here or a gorgon there. Ask to be forgiven for your trespass. Burn a hekatomb of cattle for every primary god of the pantheon. This will be the way to assuage most of them to cease this assault on mankind.

    "I say most, because I fear that there are some gods who will revel. Do not refuse them, either. All have a place, and should be respected or feared rightly for their see. Should those rattling Olympian sabers be fewer in number and lesser in rank, they will then incur the wrath of their own peers."
    Last edited by lostsole31; 2012-06-23 at 09:16 AM.
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  8. - Top - End - #278
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    After the grisly work of finding the living and retrieving the dead is complete, Cheiros and Hestia linger below, watching the body of the great titan give birth to a hundred new forms of life. The old, old priest supposed that in the long run this could be a moment of great danger. That the safest thing to do would be to exhaust more of his simple talents in battling these new things while they are still few, unsettled, dazed. But his heart was lightened by the thought that the extraordinary vitality of the magnificent titan was carrying on in new forms. That there would still be this kind of wonder in the world.

    Later, back on the surface, the priest stood perfectly still and watched Queen Berenike's oratory. It would seem that this rebellion against the injustices of the gods was over before it had begun.
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  9. - Top - End - #279
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    Queen Berenike is not pleased that she is the senior ranking after Odysseus. She may not like Agamemnon as a man, but he was a great king and leader in his own right nonetheless, and it would be a loss to Greece to lose him.

    She goes to Odysseus. "King of Ithaca, which of Greece's greatest have we lost. Do you know?"
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  10. - Top - End - #280
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    Alcaeus will seek whatever guidance may be given him by Berenike to scout out what herbs in this area may be used for healing, and use his tremendous speed and survival skill to forage what he can and bring back to the wounded.
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    Alcaeus' K-Nature (1d20+9)[12], Aiding ...
    Berenike's K-Nature (1d20+15)[28]

    RESULT: Berenike's adjusted Knowledge check = 30. So, this means that she might be quite able to tell him not only what herbs look like, but where to find each kind in this area to cut down his search time.

    Alcaeus' Survival (1d20+28)[35]. Since he is foraging for these herbs, all of his great tracking bonuses do not apply.
    Last edited by PSinger; 2012-06-26 at 04:37 AM.
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  11. - Top - End - #281
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    The crowds of Greeks gather and shout down the Queen initially as she suggests worship and peace before they begin to listen to her words and see the logic of her suggestions in the hope that war can still be averted.

    Even as the feasts begin and the night watches are posted, Berenike and the others can hear the funeral dirges to mighty Hades and the higher happier notes of songs to the mysterious Artemis and the sizzling of bullocks burning on sacrifical pyres.

    Quote Originally Posted by lostsole31 View Post
    She goes to Odysseus. "King of Ithaca, which of Greece's greatest have we lost. Do you know?"
    Over by the quieter tents where the Ithican's stand the mighty King of Ithaca moves to look over at the Queen of Naxos. His shaggy hair brushed out of his piercing eyes. "Not many, a scant few minor warlords. Our mighty Kings set sail and fled with the wind. Back to mighty Sparta to prepare for war."

    His eyes stray to the small pyre beside his tent. Marked out and stretched out by the King's own hand and surrounded by the elite guards of Ithica his daughter's pyre still burns. "Queen of Naxos. Had you spoken but 6 short hours I would have spoken with you. But now....

    His hand clenches around the haft of the spear. "I will see Olympus burn for the death of my daughter and so many of Ithicas' sons. Poseidon can choke on my spear before I tear his heart from chest."

    He stands screaming the last to the skies... "Mighty Sea father, you hear me. I Odysseus King of Ithica, I am coming for you and will bring you down".

    As the words echo across the beach a mighty rumble of thunder and a vast surge of water up the beach throws up another few tens of body. The vast crack of thunder silencing the hyms on the beach for a few moments...

  12. - Top - End - #282
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    Damien looks to the sea, and the sky. He looks to the crumpled form of fallen warriors, and to the broken hearts of those grieving their loss. He looks to the earth, and to the last shards of dying light in the sky. Damien looks to the world, and he is left hollow and sad.

    He sheathes his greatsword, silently putting away the powerful tool. In its stead he takes out his simply, carved oak staff, its ends blunt and carved with only a modest talent. He draws his cloak about him, and the gleam of his armor and the faint glow of his adornments and tools fade into the shadows. He pulls down his hood, and his face becomes enshrouded as well. He becomes nothing but a figure in grey, stooped slightly by the weight of his actions and the gravity of the times he has found himself in.

    He begins to walk forward, and it is only after a moment that it become apparent that he has begun to move upwards as well, taking slow, silent steps into the sky. He continues into the sky for a time, his progress silent and steady, until he is but a bare speck against the great expanse of the sky, and those below are little more than spots of movement against an ever-moving background.

    He stands still for a time, until his perceptions have spread beyond the mundane. Then he speaks, calmly and politely, in a voice no louder than he would use in a conversation with a friend. "What has become of the world that was? What will you make of it, given free reign? For free reign is what you have always had, and if the world is not how you like it..." His voice goes harder, and a subtle fire is kindled in his eyes. "Then you have no one to blame but yourselves. You are acting as children, not gods. Children that have realized that they are not the only ones that can win at a game, and so they wish to destroy the playing board, lest they finally meet their match."

    Damien throws back his hood, and he raises his voice, his challenge echoing through the sky and the heavens. "I have loved and believed in you, each of you, since I was a small child. I have never wavered, never swayed in my faith. You gave me my power, my strength, my mind; all that I am I owe to you, and Ares most of all. And what have you done to reciprocate my thanks, my devotion? You have struck down those that cannot defend themselves, lashed out with sneak attacks and horrible monsters."

    He turns to the sea, gesturing with his staff grandly. "Poseidon, brother of Zeus, Father of the Sea and Horses; does it truly take but one remark from an enraged mortal to spark you ire? To make you respond with your own remark, your own taunt? Is that all the patience your possess, one whom we call a god?

    I have not lost faith, Olympus. I have not lost my belief in your power or you divinity.

    I have, however, lost faith in your rational and your judgement. I have lost faith in your reason, in your tempers, and in your imperium. The divine right to rule is not something that you cannot lose, Olympus. It is not something that cannot be inherited, either by words and deeds..."


    He turns from the skies, looking back to the Earth. He begins to descend, slowly, calmly, and he utters his final remark with a voice both soft and sad. "Or by the blade."
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  13. - Top - End - #283
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    The grey-skinned old man steps forward towards Damien, but then feels a tug at his cloak. Hestia, still in the borrowed body of a fury is there, her face sombre. She lifts a hand, still tipped with razor claws, and carefully cups his chin in her palm.

    "I'd like to."

    "Of course."

    With a small nod, she rises twirling into the air, her wings a blur of browns and greys. She rises to float above the survivors, and her voice is clear and sweet, despite the darkness of her message.

    "I am here in the form of a fury, in the form of one of your tormentors, but that is not my true form. I am a woman, just an old woman. Hades took my husband away from me. He took my family. My neighbours. My home. Three homes, over the years. And now, Hades and his family have declared war on men. Well, I am only an old woman, and my life is not worth very much. It is time for their family to answer for all of the orphans and widows that they made this day."

    Her voice falters and falls silent. Lifting her eyes to the still-unsettled heavens, she drifts back down to where Cheiros waits, arms outstretched. Their embrace is silent, sexless, the twining of two stems that have grown to virtually become one plant.
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    Alcaeus looks at his friend. He doesn't speak "aloud," but he does say simply to Berenike.

    "Friendly or no, Berenike, monsters and inhumans? Doesn't matter outlook, not even ability to speak, but Greeks will never listen to liches and minions of death, nor old-women-posing-as-furies, nor flying Amazons, nor freaky men with powers granting them inhuman traits .... and definitely not flying centaur sons of the very gods they seek to fight.

    "You whispered the message in my mind with Cheiros' spell, and I know what you fear. Not titans, for that is your own fear, but you fear for Greece. But Greece needs you now, will you or no. Of all of us here, even the well-spoken warrior they might otherwise adorate is less a man of country as he is pledged to his skill. I know what must be done, and it grieves me, but it is the very destiny the Fates wove for us, to whatever end. We need your words, Berenike. All of Greece needs your words now."
    Last edited by PSinger; 2012-06-27 at 12:05 AM.
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    Berenike put her hand on Odysseus' shoulder in his rage, but only to comfort, not to compel, coerce, or countermand. "Perhaps, Odysseus, there is another god more fitting for that fate, but we have yet to see."

    She observes all that goes on in the makeshift war camp, watching the propitiations, the vituperations, the cursing of the gods, the swearing to the gods, but most of all the sense that this cannot be what there is. Just as she, negotiator as she knew herself to be, was shouted down in short order in attempting to get the men to return to worship of the gods.

    Even if I personally wished it, I know now that this cannot be in this time, she laments to herself. She then thinks to herself about what has come.
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    Athena: "Daughter of mine. Consider what you do. You imperil the world itself. Flames must be cooled and the blood grieved. Do not bring your grievance to our home. An eternity of pride is hard for many to overcome ..."

    Berenike: "Great Athena, I will obey. But how can we heal this rift? It is without doubt that some of Olympus are hell-bent on destruction. And now a titan? What is to be done, if not a direct appeal?"

    Athena: "The question you ask is a riddle fit for Orpheus himself. I not know how to cool ardent tempers. Only offering prayers that we can somehow avoid the death of mortals and spilling of mortal blood."

    Internalization:

    1) I am Athena's daughter. Even now, with a Godswar at hand, she seeks to be the loving mother and I the dutiful daughter. More than just magical strength flows from her.

    2) In attempting to go to Mt. Olympus, the world is imperiled. Therefore, do not seek to go to Olympus.

    3) "Flames must be cooled ..." It is too late to cool the flames. That is obvious, however, to control the flames as a smith ... used to forge a weapon without fire getting out of control ....

    4) "...and the blood grieved." That much has happened on a massive scale, thus simple reversal - as is seen in Grecian refusal to acquiesce to the god's commands - is impossible. Because this has transpired, more blood will be spilled, regardless, as now all of Grecian blood is grieved (or will be, upon hearing of this massacre).

    5) Again, do not go to Mt. Olympus ... but again, where else not to go is not stated.

    6) An excess of pride is mortal. An eternity of pride is deific. Those most likely to be the instigators thus far are the Hecate and Ares as coddled by Hades. Poseidon is likely one who has been infected by poisoned words, rather than a directly responsible party. Ares is prideful as a warrior, but not wounded pride. Though he and my mother are both gods of war, their sees as such actually differ in approach, and his is more general. He profits with any war, but should have no direct ill with the race of man itself. Hecate, the Sorceress, has been foiled in attempts to control larger areas of the world, but she is merely the tongue that whispers deceit, and not its inventor.

    Hades, on the other hand, was tricked by Zeus to rule the Underworld. He has spent an eternity nursing his wounds. He is master of his realm, but spiteful of it. He is the only god who is not usually depicted as visiting Olympus.

    7) I have given my word to obey as I can best interpret above ...

    8) Ardent tempers ... MORTALS: are either cooled with reason or pathos or time. Reason has failed. Pathos (fear/ pity/ tragedy) has struck and tempers are higher than ever. Only time can heal cool those tempers, even if it is time spent in too much death and further pathos.

    GODS: An ardent temper must be cooled the same way. Since time is nothing to an eternal being, this is not the way. To outreason the mind of Hades - far more incomprehensibly intelligent than I or Cheiros - is likewise impossible. With so much committed, and the loosing of the Scylla (and its subsequent destruction), it is doubtful that Hades will now listen to reason anyway. With the will to let forth those that the rest of Olympus has long feared might again be let forth in the world is too much. It was no mean task for Zeus to imprison them. It is no mean feat to do it again.

    No, Hades will only be affected by pathos. We cannot go to him to reason, that is beyond our reach now. We must make him feel what pain we can ... that he will overextend his reach even now. We will likely fight even greater horrors, but soon his power will be stretched too greatly and the rest of Olympus .... who likely do not move against him more out of fear of what power has grown with him as much as any hamartia where mortal worship is concerned .... will check him so that the order of the universe is not unraveled.

    9) Avoiding the death of mortals and spilling of mortal blood is impossible, and that has been seen. However, to minimize those deaths is best. This comparatively small measure of Greece will be a spark to the rest, and that will ignite all the city-states. War is inevitable, but how can that and the fury be controlled?

    10) Pray to the gods .... but not Hades. Observe rites for the dead, but secularly. Give him no veneration, no due, no propitiation, no sacrifice, nothing. Name him as a by-product of a curse, but not a god. But pray to the other gods if possible.

    ANALYSIS: War is inevitable, but man would not know where to start. I will provide them a target: those earthly holdings that belong to Hades. It is specific, measurable, and until such time as Hades unleashes what he must to now fight defensively to protect these things (through mortal and undead agents), we will wipe his temples, shrines, and dark places from the land systematically.

    The other Gods may or may not cast their lot with Father Gloom, and it is obvious that Poseidon (for now) might, as well as his past confederates Ares and Hecate. Ares will enjoy war, and will be loath to commit too fully against man unless his favorite pastime end too quickly. Hecate will be wary to allow too many creatures and casters of magic to die, on either side at that, for they are far fewer in number then men of arms. Poseidon's power is most limited to the sea, so focusing on those areas further inland is best. Too, Hades is often associated with the earth and his dark shrines are often inland at hills and mountains.

    AFFIRMATION: Declare war on the god Hades himself, and wreak his places so that his mortal worship greatly wanes. Then, do not go to Olympus ....

    ... but to Hades itself.
    Last edited by lostsole31; 2012-06-27 at 01:36 AM.
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  16. - Top - End - #286
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    Sorry for the double-post, but I needed some separation from the above...

    Berenike sees Hestia's fury-form attempt to give some fire to the men. It is a mixed message. Men know what they see, and only the wise what they cannot. They are told about an old woman, but they DO see a Fury. On the other hand, her message is a two-fold blessing. First, it paves the way for Berenike; second, and perhaps more importantly, it is an alleviation of the fear that Cheiros would side with Hades. With Hestia, and obviously with the lich's consent, that fear is gone.

    She sees Damien's form as well. She may not know what he is thinking to himself (and surely cannot hear him), but floating by himself she can tell easily enough.

    But Alcaeus, son of Hermes, stands leaning on Hermedoron and provides alacrity where once there was hesitation. She says to Odysseus, "Understand that Poseidon did not profit today, but the God of Death did."

    She storms off to where the funeral dirges are being held. With a spell she shrieks a monstrously loud and powerful cry of anger - not sorrow - that likely overbears all noises on that beach, if only temporarily.
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    Great shout, angled above anyone's head so as not to kill .... and is used theatrically not only to stop the rites to Hades, but to command attention from the entire encampment.

    She then casts a series of spells
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    ... miracle for voice of the dragon (+10 to Diplomacy), greater visage of the deity for even greater presence (+4 to Charisma), and through this she will express moment of prescience.

    Maybe Odysseus' prior passion and Hestia's remarks will count as Aids as well?

    The Queen of Naxos, and likely the most powerful individual of the Delian League turns 360 degrees to look at all the assembled.

    "Odysseus of Ithaca ... Zeno of Ionia ... Aineias of Kavala ... Alexandros of Lymnos .... all you who are Greeks. All of you who are the cut of the civilized world. All of you who had the strength, fortitude, wit, or luck to survive this day. Look you arm yourselves to fit your fancies to reason's will, not vengeance. But look you arm yourselves for War!

    "I thought to talk you from war, but I see now it is inevitable. Someone .... something ... must account for this today. The Scylla is nothing more than a primordial monster loosed from the Titan-zoo Tarterus by one who schemed for this war to happen.

    "The scylla came from sea, true. Poseidon seems to have a hand in this, true. Mayhaps all the gods will strike but we have yet to see this. But look at this death! This chaos! Who benefits? The Lord of the Sea? How? The Scylla was not his child ... the titans came before the gods ... she merely was of the sea. Even if Poseidon had a part in this, he little gains from this.

    "So who was it? Who gains from this? Out of the mouth of a Fury itself, a very avenger of the Underworld, comes the indictment: Death. Death has gained more souls today than Poseidon lost. Lost, I tell you. For sailors still pray to the Undersea King for safe travels and good navigation, sometimes reverently, sometimes absently ... but always venerated. Hades has gained, and Poseidon has lost.

    "If we blast out in blind fury at all of the gods, we cannot win. I do not say this because men are weak or not, and gods have the power they do or not ... that is for the Fates to weave. It is because we will not know where or how to strike next. Only blind vengeance will have us hewing at whatever divine thing comes our way.

    "No, we are the greatest civilization in the world. Our power in arms is only overmatched by our great generals and philosophers. A canny general does not attack everything out of what is nearby. Sometimes he gives up the low-hanging fruit to shoot the apple at the top of the tree.

    "So must we. We must focus our attempts on that god that seeks to swallow the world in death, that seeks to destroy it by braving Zeus' wrath in freeing titans as his shock troops. We must carefully and purposefully strike Hades' holds on our world.

    "I know we must hold accounting to the engineer of this atrocity. But we likewise must be as cunning. You have now seen the power he can bring to bear. Most of you are ill-equipped to fight titans. But phalanxes and cavalry will overbear those of Hades' temples that will not yield. We shall purge each city, each town, each secret place we find of his and blast it beyond reckoning. If a guard or priest or holy seer of bones should resist, then let Hades earn that soul. Put to the sword all of his devoted, and to ruin his works.

    "As for the other gods, do not give them reason to punish on their own. Mayhaps they will at first, but their is no love for the Dark Uncle. They are our parents, and most have loved us and shown us favor; love them still. Pray to them for strength. But for Ares, do not give in to his mindless bloodlust but pray to Athena for wisdom in battle. To Hecate, give no congress for illicit power but to Apollo and Zeus for their powers.

    "Come with me to Sparta to meet your kings which thought to lengthen their lives by hastening away from your indomitable spirits and the danger you faced." Alcaeus will lead a cheer at this point (as marked by ***).

    "Demand of Agamemnon that we'll sue for war, but not madly like an army of Bacchanalians. Each of us will be generals of our own spirits and march with purpose and as one to our targets and prove to Hades why we are the foremost armies on the fields of war in the world!" ***

    "Fight with Odysseus. Fight with me! Fight for your homes, your wives, your children, your lands, your very survival. Fight ... For ... Greece!" *** This will likely be a stronger cheer for most.

    More threateningly, and building over the next several back to fever pitch ...


    "And to Hades ....?"
    and here Berenike randomly blasts any accoutrements of Hades from the dirgers she sees ... without targeting the people themselves ... with her invisible needle. (7d4+17 damage = 35 average force damage.)

    "... to Hades with Hades!" ***

    "We shall weaken him that he shall be sick of the surfeit of souls he has demanded, as one gets from too many a sweet thing. We shall knock on his Gates. We shall make sure that Hades has no safe harbor in this world, or it shall be razed to the ground!" ***

    "And when Hades has lost his power on this world, when his grasp over his own realm begins to slip?"

    "We will march on the Underworld itself!!!" ***
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    With all modifiers, that's a Diplomacy of (1d20+77)[92]. Add to that any Aids from Hestia and Odysseus' prior speeches and passions.
    10-19 is +2.
    20-29 is +3.
    30-39 is +4, and so on.
    Last edited by lostsole31; 2012-06-27 at 02:42 AM.
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  17. - Top - End - #287
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    At the words of Hestia - beloved wife of dark Cherios garbed in the flesh of the demons of the underworld the men of the beach begin to stir. A few kicking over the shrines in the sand as the talk turns to war against the Gods. A talk made stronger as Odysseus bellows his challenge. Many voices joining that of the King of Ithaca only to be silenced by the crash of thunder.

    In the calm after the thunder eyes focus on the swordsmen standing in the sky unbuffeted by the wind and the wave. They can see his speaking but know not what he says even as he threatens the Gods, lightning crackling and flashing across the evening sky.

    The unatural hush of the beach after thecrack of thunder changed into a more insistent hubub until the crack of the Queen of Naxos's voice boomed acrss the sounds.

    The young queen seeming to grow taller and more majestic as she began to orate- glowing with a holy light that began to spread across the beacj like the dawn of a new sun.

    As she speaks the men quieten - hanging intently on every word that she does. The kings and warlords standing to attention at her words as they are pointed out. Even mighty Odysseus looking up and clambering to his feet at her words. His towering grief and thrist for vengeance slowly crystallising into a desire for nothing more than the destruction for the God of the Underworld.

    He nods at her words as the men around begin to cheer in time with the centaur. The air punctated by punching fists, the clatter of spears on shields and the hammering of fists on armoured chests.

    "We will march on the Underworld itself!!!"

    He joins in the others at the end. A mighty full roar as the beach erupts with the roar of thousands of throats all cheering for the queen in unision. The war against Death has begun!

    As the men begin to make preparations and the nearest Temple and small shrines to Hades are cast down into the sands Odysseus and the other warlords; Zeno of Ionia, Aineias of Kavala and Alexandros of Lymnos all approach the heroes.

    "We agree with your wise words Lady Queen. The God of death and the God of War have begun this and must be brought low."
    Odysseus nods - "I shall travel to Sparta. You and your companions should travel to Ephyra; there lies the ancient Temple of Hades the Nekromanteion where his highest priests do dwell. He glances towards Cherios. I assume you know it well? THere shall the first and greatest blow be struck!"

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    "Thank you for your support, Odysseus. Take what men you need for protection and what skirmishes may come. I will lead the rest to lay siege to Hades' temple at Ephyras whilst I and my companions give those of the temples who would live and not worship death a chance to leave."
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    Cheiros slowly detaches from Hestia. His face is grim, determined. If he wasn't already dead, he would look weary.

    "Yes, I am very familiar with that place. If it is your will, I will lead you there."
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    "Thank you, Cheiros," says Berenike. "I will be targeted from a military standpoint - as a rabble-rouser. But I imagine that the most special part in Hades black heart of torture is actually reserved for you."

    For now, the men still need rest. If Odysseus leads a contingent now, that is fine. But the remaining army needs to pull the ships up to shore and then set camp.

    Berenike will get to setting organizational command in the recently disarrayed army.

    She will task Alcaeus (and if it please her, Angela) to organize watch rotations and best manner of setting sentinels ... and then to switch off with each other for aerial recon. "A & A, once you have set sentinels, can you speak to the archery captains and give them guidance or additional training?"


    Cheiros and Cychreides and Hestia (as it pleases the former) are a fine backup to aerial reconnaissance, but for that she would prefer to be more high-altitude outer perimeter air-guard (or even water), but of Cheiros ...

    "Cheiros, if you and your non-breathing contingent can possibly check underwater for a dead Fury to use your dark powers upon, it may be good to gather information? I will do the same this evening, asking Athena for visions of or near our target.

    "You know where the temple at Ephyra is .... please tell me what you know as far as terrain, approaches, anything you know about the enemy's strength (in personalized force and in number, etc.).


    "Damien, you are a hero and a leader, even if you are not a part of the military. The men will look to you. Grieve as you will, but be sure you do not do so as openly as you have. The passion was good for the time, but they need to see Damien, Man of Action. The men do not have your flexibility in going from melancholy to power as quicky as yourself, and the former is more infection.

    "Only so much can be done in a night. I understand that, but are you willing to undertake weapons training with some of the junior officers. Sure, there is no way they can learn your supernatural secrets .... but if we penetrate the temple and need a full force rather than just us, the commanders need to guide their men in close-quarters combat. The Grecian hoplite doesn't have that training, and they could desperately use your expertise beforehand."


    "All, it is obvious that Mopsus, for whatever reason, has left us. Until we know otherwise, we must assume that he is lost to us and adjust all tactics accordingly."
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    Cheiros stared back at the queen. Was it possible that she didn't know...or didn't care, perhaps? It was so hard to know with royalty.

    "My lady, every day that Hades has not come to sweep me into an eternity of torment has been an unexpected gift. We have gathered the remains of several furies. There is also still the spirit of a living fury, imprisoned, as well, although it will be more difficult to communicate with that spirit. I have my own ideas for questions to ask, but what would you like to ask.

    "As for asking Athena - have you considered the possibility that she is plying you for information as you seek answers from her, raising doubts in your mind? Do you have any reason to believe that her loyalty is not to the same gods who unleashed this ancient horror today? I would still be eager to know why you chose to turn around when you did."
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    Berenike nods thoughtfully at Cheiros' words. "For the first, you are my superior, no doubt, as your long life has given you a different perspective. If you can use the limits of your spells - which you know better than I - to determine who (or what) set the Fury (and if possible, the Scylla itself) on its dire mission, and from where, and if for any purpose other than just carnage? was there a specific tactical objective, or just rampage?"

    She thinks oh-so-briefly. "As for the second, I only have one word on that, and it is all that is needed: Wisdom.

    "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an exhausting night ahead of me and we all have work. I don't enjoy your 'natural' lack of fatigue."
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  23. - Top - End - #293
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    Cheiros nods slowly, not at all understanding Berenike's answer but feeling no need to press the point.

    "Of course. As you wish, My Lady. But you had asked for more information about the temple at Ephyra..."

    He waits until Berenike either opts to stay or takes her leave, then begins to draw in the dirt with the tip of his staff:

    "This is the island of Ephyra. For obvious reasons, it's been some time since I've visited, so don't be surprised if there are some changes to the structures since I was last there. Here are the Acheron, Pyriphlegethon and Cocytus rivers, that come together around the island. Barges and ferries here and here ferry worshippers from the mainland.

    "The main temple building is virtually a fortress in and of itself. The main floor is primarily given over to living quarters, houses of worship, places of training.

    "Hundreds of priests train there - prayers and service to congregations during the day, the magics of death by night. The complex is guarded by perhaps five hundred dedicated warriors, all dedicated to death. And there are the Hands of Hades - a fanatical and much-feared group of assassins who are said to encourage people along towards death when Hades is especially eager to meet them face to face. They kept themselves fairly separate from the rank and file when I was there, but there were a few dozen at most.

    "Below ground, there are mausoleums for the especially honoured dead - and the dead who refuse to remain dead. Darker experiments into weaving together life and death in different ways. I knew very little of such things when I studied there, but there were always whispers.

    "Above the rank and file, there are perhaps a dozen or two senior priests. And of course the high priest and Nikodemious. Their chambers, their places of power, are down a long hallway underneath the temple. Each priest has their own private demesne, sealed off from unwanted intrusion. It is said that, at the end of that long hallway, there is a portal to Hades' realm. I was very young when I was there, and did not see the portal myself."


    Cheiros settles into a slightly creaky crouch, staring at the rough outlines he has made.

    "This is of course insanely dangerous. But in these times, what isn't? If we wish to minimize the number of non-residents who are present, we should find a way to strike either in the early afternoon, or late at night. Most services are in early morning or early evening. By day, the living servants will be most active, but it might make it more difficult for some of the unliving to join in open battle. If we strike at night, more of the men will be asleep, but the power of the undead will be at it's greatest."
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    Alcaeus says to Berenike, "Sound like early afternoon to me. Whatcha' think?"
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    Berenike would obviously stay for an intel briefing.

    "I needed to whip the men's fervor to focus not just us - but Odysseus in getting the bulk of the Greeks - to march on Ephyra. My intention, which is now reinforced by this, is that the main army would besiege this fortress. Systematically peel away the layers until they all have only to go inside further, or come out to fight, or to surrender. I have no intention of leading a massive, brazen frontal assault.

    "No, I can't wait out the undead, but they're only the brute power, but we can weaken the resolve of the less powerful mortal worshippers.

    "Now, once/ if Odysseus can get Agamemnon to commit more forces to Ephyra, I'm not sure if what we have can support an onslaught of Hades' stronghold."


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    Speaking of which, and I understand if you do NOT want to get down to the nitty-gritty .... because I am NOT a battlefield genius ... can I have a rough idea of what strength would be marching with Berenike and the other surviving warlords?
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    The next few days pass in a blur of exhaustion and activity as hundreds of men are trained whilst others prepare the ships for the war and going bcak out to sea.

    Each night great fires are raised and bulls roasted for the men and a strong watch is left over the water's edge as each night as Hecate's cloak covers the earth in darkness strange creatures of teeth, claw and tentacle climb the beach. Each costing human life and blood as they are turned back.

    Soon however the boats stand ready. Odysseus, Zeno, and Aineias all set to head to the lands of Myceane and Sparta to rally the rest of the Kings.
    Alexandros of Lymnos standing with the Queen of Naxos ready to begin the initial siege of the great mausoleum to Hades...

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    There are about 3000 soldiers standing ready on the beach.
    Odysseus suggests ~1200 go with him and the party lead the other 1800 to Ephyras to begin the siege.

    Do you want to RP it all out or fast forward through the 2 week journey to your arrival?


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    We'll hold a heroes' feast for the royalty, in time to accord each other well.
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    I'm actually good for either. Sure, two weeks gets us 'there.' But, if you have fun things planned for an overland march ...
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    I'm good with the fast forward as well, as long as I can work in the Speak with Deads along the way. I'll need to know how many dead furies Cheiros and Hestia reclaimed from their watery grave. The one that was in Cychreides' mouth the whole time gets Speak with Dead cast on it the first night (Will DC 29), with the following questions asked:

    1. Where did you live prior to coming here?
    2. Who ordered you to attack these ships?
    3. Who told you to come here?
    4. When did you get this information?
    5. Who was controlling the cloud that concealed your approach?
    6. Did you have any instructions for after this battle?
    7. [if so] What else were you told to do?
    8. What did you hope to gain in the attack?
    9. Was there a particular target in this attack?
    10. What is your name?
    11. What is her name (points to fury who Hestia is magic jarred into)?


    More questions to come, but I'd like to see how those go first.
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    Sorry about being a bit quiet there; I've had a crazy weekend, but I'm back in action now. I am also fine with the timeskip, and Damien has a few questions of his own for one of the furies, if that's alright with Cheiros.

    Concerning the storming of the temple of Hades, we have several very impressive Diplomacy scores amongst us. Is there any chance of talking our way into Hades?
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    Damien's welcome to chime in. Just post the questions you want asked. Same goes for everyone.
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