The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    "I'm afraid that the situation is more dangerous than Gratoire's report might suggest."

    Oathbreaker interjects.

    "It was not merely a pocket dimension inside the volcano, but a gateway. We discovered several sealed doorways within the pocket dimension, and the decorations on them suggest connections to the Elemental Plane of Fire.
    They remained closed while we were there, but the arrival of Al'Sura'Garrash'A'Tuin's emissary suggests that is no barrier to travel for the denizens of that elemental plane. She asked for you by name, and seemed to expect you to be present and prepared to offer some sort of restitution to her master. I do not know if you made an agreement personally with this efreeti lord, or it was a prior arrangement made by another Pharoah before you, either way the emissary seemed pleased rather than angry that you were not present. She threatened all of Osirion, which was why we could not allow her to report back."


    Oathbreaker grimaces as he remembers the grim desperation of that battle, and the image of the efreet lord that the fey had conjured in desperation.

    "I have no reason to doubt that this efreeti lord is quite powerful, and could fulfill the emissary's threat against all of Osirion. Combined with the gateway nature of that pocket plane, and it is possible that should those gates open, they could admit an army of the efreeti lord's servitors into our world."

    Oathbreaker's grimace deepens as he recalls the other images he had seen on the murals covering the doors.

    "There's one other thing that may be an even graver threat than that. Also depicted on the gates of this pocket dimension was an artifact known as the Bottle of the Bound. I do not know how much you are aware of its purpose, nor do I understand yet why the Bottle was depicted there, but it is a terrifying object of power from my time. I trust that it has remained sealed away, as the army of daemons it could unleash might be even more devastating than any army of efreeti could be."

    There was just a note of defiance in Oathbreaker's tone there in referencing the bottle's fate, as in his experience past Pharaohs had *not* understood its dangers, and he'd had had to spend quite a few of his past lives hunting down various daemons released from the bottle due to their hubris and folly. The carnage those abominations had left in their wake haunted him still.
    I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.

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  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Osorkon noticed the vampire in the baths and barely hid his disgust. Why the vampire was in the baths was beyond him but Osorkon decided to hold his tongue for now. He kept his anathema tingling his fingertips, ready to be released just in case. Seeing no immediate threat to the Pharaoh from undead, Osorkon decides to let let his companions finish the report first.

    Osorkon bowed to the Pharaoh and let the others speak, just sad interested in the report as the Pharaoh. His eyes widened at the mention of Asuulek. He’d seen the burns but never imagined it was from such a powerful creature. Oathbreaker’s information was even more disconcerting. Ma’at it seemed was in much danger and Khemet was at the heart it. Osorkon realized he’d need to push himself beyond his limits in the days to come.

    ”The creature in the next room is a vampire.” Osorkon hissed once the others had spoken. ”He does not seem interested in us at the moment but such creatures are normally masters of deception.”

    Osorkon waited for the Pharaoh’s reply, hoping Khemet had some good news to share in spite of all this.
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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Khemet listened to your report, deigning eye contact with each as you speak but seemingly completely unphased and nonreactive to each new information. His gaze had started torward Conall when Osorkon spoke up and a small quirk of a smile crossed the Pharaoh's face. Ah yes. That is Astrophel, Newly Risen Scion of the illustrious House Kürşat. He is a visiting dignitary of the country of Geb and is here on my invitation. Though I do appreciate the vigilance, Brother Osorkon. I knew I had picked the right replacement. Then he turns to Conall and nods, indicating he should start his report.

    Well... what your Guard has told you is mostly accurate as far as I am aware. I was holed up in my Mage's Mansion during their rescue operation. Though a small correction, er, Oathbreaker was it? Weird name. Sokar's Boil is, in of itself, not a pocket dimension. It resides here, on the Material, just as this room does. Until 3 weeks ago, my teams and I's survey was going slowly but steady. The Ancient Red Dragon, Asuulek, who I surmise was also interested in the Boil, attacked the surveyor's camp we had established. In the process he destroyed all my research notes and data and, presumably, all the other surveyors. I retreated to the chamber with the golden doors, what we had begun to call the Circuit of Golden Portals, knowing the effects the volcano was having on many magicks. There I waited, within my Mansion. I suspect that is when you noticed the lack of contact... Conall's voice hardened, ever so slightly, as he glared daggers at the Pharaoh. During this time, I attempted to continue my research but Asuulek kept hunting me and soon narrowed down his search to the chamber I had holed up in, effectively trapping me. And there I sat.

    For 3 weeks.

    Before your lovely Risen Guard rescued me.


    Ah yes, you had an eventful morning hand't you? He takes a sip of a nearby goblet, as if this is normal conversation between friends.

    So you haven been scrying on me. Conall threw an accusatory finger at the Pharaoh, his stance aggressive. You insisted on constant communication with me and you waited two full Pharasma-damned weeks before you even acted! Your grandfather-

    Khemet slammed the goblet down hard, the metal clacking echoing in the misty chamber and its red contents sloshing over. We will not speak of my Grandfather in my presence. Do you understand, Conall, Confidant of the Legacy? There was an icy steel to Khemet's voice, one you hear rarely. His normally jovial and easy going demeanor has hardened into an aggressive stance, despite his otherwise seated posture.

    There were several tense seconds before Conall muttered a reply, avoiding eye contact. Yes... There was more silence before Conall met Khemet's eyes again and he quickly added. Pharaoh. Khemet visibly relaxes, his typical relaxed stance returning instantly.

    No, I have not been Scrying on you. Our magical communication was sufficient up until Asuulek's assault. I had waited the time I did to ensure it was not a slack effort on your part and then till I had time to organize a covert reconnaissance. Technically, my Risen Guard's mission was to return with news of what had happened. As always they have gone above and beyond. I have, however, been scrying on our friend out of time nodding to Oathbreaker. As part of my preparations to return him to the land of flesh and blood, I inscribed runes upon his stone facade that would make tracking his movements and actions trivial. I've been scrying on you each morning, though admittedly it was quite boring till today. I do wonder whose idea it was to run alongside the mountain instead of simply teleporting away immediately.

    That is because, Pharaoh, the Boil is a planar hotspot. The boundaries between planes are extremely thin making teleportation magic extremely dangerous and unpredictable. We'd just as likely end up on the surface of the sun as back in Sothis. I may have lost my research notes and data but I still remember what I learned. He takes a shuddering breath and sighs. Oathbreaker's analysis of the golden doors is actually fairly close. The doors are, indeed, planar portals. Fortunately, at the moment closed. Though I do not believe it connects to the Eternal Forge, as he suggests. Not directly. And the Pixie you encountered confirms it. I believe the doors lead to a demi plane that sits, metaphysically between the Eternal Forge and the First World of the Fey. Such a demiplane would be a wild place, filled with strange fey creatures touched by primal fire. And, it seems, this Efreeti Lord has discovered it and bent it to his will. Or at least some of its inhabitants. But you knew that already didn't you, Pharaoh? The already sweltering temperature of the bath house seemed to boil with the tension.

    When Khemet didn't deign to respond, Conall continued, growling out his report through gritted teeth. My survey showed that Sokar's Boil is building to erupt. And based off all my magical investigation the eruption will be catastrophic. Conservatively, I estimate it will completely decimate the area around the Boil for hundreds of miles and black out the sky for thousands past. Osirion will turn into a molten wasteland, covered in fresh lava. The Inner Sea will be choked with volcanic ash. Only the furthest northern reaches of Avistan will be spared direct damage. But, there is a disconnect. The volcano is no where near large enough to produce an eruption of that magnitude. It's magma chamber is, actually quite small. In fact, its entirety is between the space of the four golden doors we've encountered. As far as magma chambers goes, that is tiny. I suspect the planar connection to this demiplane means that, when it erupts, the contents of the demiplane will follow. So yes, Oathbreaker. When the doors open, an army will march out. An army of fiery fey, riding upon mounts of ash and lava.

    The room is quite for several minutes, only the faint sound of water circulating echoed against the walls. You are dismissed, Conall. Remain here, in Shiman-Sekh. I will call for you when your services are required again. Conall opened his mouth to respond but it died on his lips. Dramatically, he spun, tugging his cloak as he stomped out of the room. After he had cleared the partition and the drapes had finished shifting, Khemet turned to you. Well I have good news. Khep is alive. Or, at least, he was a few hours ago, when he contacted me.

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    I'm breaking up this exposition dump so you have a chance to breathe and react to what you've heard. Khemet has more to say but I don't want this to be a several page word vomit for you.
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Gratoire eyed the vampire hesitantly. He shifted his shoulders to include the undead in his field of view, but took no other actions. The last time they had interfered with a diplomatic situation, they had to kill the emissary.

    Gratoire listened patiently as Conall gave his report, he idly looked around the room to see which of the other Risen Guard who would be guarding the Pharoah today. He stiffened as Khemet suddenly lost his temper, wondering what about Khemet I that would create such tension. The title 'Confidant of the Legacy' sounded familiar. Gratoire began to realize that Conall could actually be one of the Absolomites who had helped Khemet I restore the Pharoah and overthrow the satrapy. He looked at the elf in a new light as it began to dawn on him just how much Conall had contributed to Osirion.

    His thoughts were broken by the news of the impending invasion. He weighed the strength of the Osirion military, his mind remembering his discussion with Zadkiel about how the Osirion soldiers would be able to handle the elemental monsters they fought, realizing that that the scale of the enemy force could quickly change his viewpoint. The lack of reaction from Khemet worried him, but he kept his trust in his Pharoah, he knew he must have had a plan already to deal with this volcanic threat.

    Again his thoughts were broken by a further startling revelation. Khep was alive. Gratoire felt relief and pride in his fellow brother. "Kheo is alive!? That is incredible, is he safe?"
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  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    "At least that's a relief to hear," Zadkiel said somewhat distantly as he weighed all the other information he'd just been made privy to. "Are we going back for him?"

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Osorkon blinked twice but kept his face blank at the mention the vampire is sanctioned. Khemet knew how he felt about them and Osorkon knew he’d have to be respectful to it in the name of diplomacy. Perhaps one day we can purge this house Kürsat. He thought.

    Osorkon‘s eyes widened that the elf would take on such an insolent tone with the Pharaoh. Khemet must have his reasons and Conall wasn’t giving him a chance. When the Pharaoh finally reacted, Osorkon wasn’t surprised but chills ran down his back anyway. When the Pharaoh got angry, everyone backs down. Osorkon wasn’t nearly as familiar with Osirion’s history as the others and made a note to ask Gratoire about this legacy later.

    The rest of Conall’s report was the most terrible news imaginable. The very fabric of Ma’at was coming undone. The consequences of this event could throw everything into chaos let alone the prime plane. Nothing else mattered, if the elf spoke true. Even the news of Khep’s survival seemed irrelevant. It was good news, but did they have time to waste saving a brother?

    Vampires running amuck, efreeti and fiery legions at the border and a massive dragon hunting us, it seemed to Osorkon that Ra truly did have plans for him. How else could Osorkon be here. Grim faced with determination in his eyes, Osorkon looks to Khemet, fist clenching his Sun-spear amulet to Ra. ”What must we do, Pharaoh?”
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  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Oathbreaker raised an eyebrow at Khemet's outburst of anger, although as far as Pharoic outbursts went, it was fairly mild.
    Oman would probably have had Conall's family boiled alive in front of him for challenging him so, or something similarly "dramatic".
    Still, the fact that this Pharaoh had triggers to his anger was interesting - perhaps he would need to research this grandfather of Khemet, although it hardly mattered at the moment.

    Conall's report was even worse than Oathbreaker had feared - it was not just an army, but a world-destroying apocalypse that they were facing now.
    No doubt the efreeti did not care if he came to possess a burnt-out coal of a world devoid of life, merely that it was now properly his.
    In light of that, the positive revelation that Khep was still alive was irrelevant.

    "What is your next task for us, Pharaoh? Conall certainly seemed to believe that you were aware of many of these details already - no doubt you have been working on a plan to resolve this crisis before it is too late?"

    There was no challenge in Oathbreaker's tone now - perhaps if he still had full access to his abilities he could make an attempt to stop this or at least preemptively avenge the world by assassinating the ones responsible. As it was right now, he was dependent on others to provide solutions for him. Hopefully Khemet's secrecy was merely informational security, and not a cover for incompetence as other Pharaohs had ultimately revealed themselves to be in the past.
    I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.

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  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Khemet's smile lessens as everyone (except Oathbreaker) enthusiastically wait for their marching orders. Khep is not safe. He contacted me with the device I gave you, moments after you Teleported away. He could hear Asuulek searching for him. Likely, he was found. I gave him a standing order to do whatever he can to survive. If Asuulek did find him, and I have little doubt he did, he might keep him prisoner to glean what information he can from your brethren. Maybe even leverage him as a hostage against me. He sighs heavily and looks at with remorse. But your task is not be his rescuer's. Asuulek is a powerful foe not to be trifled with. You narrowly escaped with your lives just earlier today and only with a headstart and many magical protections afforded to you. But, that is the risk you all took when you agreed to join the ranks of the Risen Guard. His smile softened and added I will continue to monitor Khep remotely. If anything changes, I shall inform you all post-haste. He turned to Oathbreaker. I've been aware of the situation. That was why Conall was researching Sokar's Boil in the first place. Luckily, I am a man of many resources. With Conall's report, I can start working towards a direct answer to the threat presented to us.

    The curtained partition opened and the heavily clothed vampire shuffled into the room. He bowed deeply to Khemet gracefully head nearly touching the bath waters. Astrophel of Geb, at your service Pharaoh. As instructed, I entered after the elf had left. The vampire held the bow, awaiting a response.

    Welcome, Astrophel. I hope Osirion's sun has not caused you any undue discomfort.

    Not at all, Pharaoh. One such as myself takes appropriate precautions before traveling abroad.

    Astrophel, these four are members of my personal retinue, the Risen Guard. Allow me to introduce you to Zadkiel, Osorkon, Graitore and Oman.

    Astrophel's rose from his bow, giving each of you your own, short bow as he greeted you. Greetings, Risen Guard. I heard many tales of your exploits in defence of your esteemed Pharaoh.

    Astrophel is here as a diplomatic envoy from Geb, our ally from the south. He wished to see our beautiful country.

    You are too modest, Pharaoh. Osirion is a modern wonder and I feel enlightened for just experiencing its wonders. But, my time in this wondrous country nears its end.

    Yes. Your task is to escort Astrophel to the southern border and ensure his safe passage through Osirion's sands. I suggest you head towards Ipeq before reaching the southern border. I should not have to remind you that any harm that comes to Astrophel while within our borders would be reflective of me in our ally's eyes. Khemet's tone was even, but your experienced ears pick up the undertoned threat. You are dismissed. Astrophel, your company has been a delight. You are welcome here in Osirion at any time. Astrophel bowed once more and exited the room whilst walking backwards through the partition. As you start to shuffle out, Khemet speaks up once more. Oathbreaker, if you please. I'd like to speak with you. Privately.

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    So opinion poll here; you are in Shiman-Sekh, to the far east of Osirion's lands. Your destination is the pass through the mountains that make up Osirion's southern border, further south than Ipeq. The distance of this trip is much greater than your first. How would you like to handle the journey? Personally, given PbP sluggish pacing, I'm in favor of swift overland movement interrupted by important story elements and few-to-none random, non-essential distractions.
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  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; A Friend, A Foe and A Foreigner

    After about thirty minutes, Oathbreaker rejoined the others and Astrophel in the changing room. The diplomat informed them of his preference for traveling at night; a smart move even for those who don't instantly die in the desert sun. Desert travel was best handled at night, when temperatures were cooler and the sun didn't sap your thirst. You move about the city, gathering mundane supplies and then taking time to rest in darkened rooms of a local inn. Astrophel greets you as you gather in the inn's common room at dusk, the last remnants of light peeking over the waters of Shiman-Sekh. Thank you for escorting me, Risen Guard. I hope to make our trip enjoyable with my company if nothing else.

    A Friend, A Foe and A Foreigner

    The first night of travel was uneventful. The night was cool (ish) and the moon was high, making the landscape easy to make out if not for the long shadows the dunes cast. As the moon started to sink, you break to make camp within the hollow of a boulders that would provide shade during the brutal day. As a fire was started, Astrophel took a seat on the sands. Tell me, Risen Guard. I have heard that only those who have died protecting the Pharaoh enter your order. If I may be so bold, I'd like to hear your stories.
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  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Gratoire leaned back and smiled, relishing a chance to tell one if good old war stories. "It is true, each of us died before becoming Risen Guard. However for some, like myself, it was to protect the family of the Pharoah. Before I was Risen Guard, I was a soldier within Osirion's military. My squad was pulled out on immediate deployment to eliminate a cult that had kidnapped Ojan, the Pharoah's brother.

    They were performing a ritual to summon a river demon and possess Ojan with it. We had no idea how close they were to completing their ritual so we charged in zealously, myself in particular. They were unprepared for us and we cut through their ranks with ease.

    I do not know magic very much so I can't say for sure what happened, but when my friend Tolmin slew one of the ritualist's with an arrow, a powerful shockwave burst out knocking everyone over. I was one of the first to stand and when I did, I saw a strange darkness floating about the room moving towards Ojan. I intercepted and the shadowy thing just went into me. It began to talk to me from within my head, swearing that it would use me to overthrow the Pharoah.

    With the last bit of free will that I had, I took my own life, denying the demon with my last breath. I have to say he was pretty upset as I died.

    The next thing I knew I was waking up as a Risen Guard."

  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    "I was with the army, part of a regular patrol in the desert between towns. Might seem like nothing but empty wasteland out there but every village needs some kind of contact with the wider nation, or each would be wiped out when tough times hit. And there's all kinds of creatures in the desert that'll cause trouble for travelers, or even attack settlements if they feel brave enough, elementals especially. Long story short, ran across a company of highwaymen lying in ambush for a caravan, and took it upon ourselves to take them by surrpise. We were tough, wily bastards who knew the desert, but so were they. The last of us were killed just as the caravan guards arrived to finish off the bandits, and as it turned out, the merchants were so well-connected they had the ear of the Pharaoh himself. So impressed were they by our final stand, me and two others, that we were given the opportunity to return to life and service as Risen Guard." Zadkiel had changed a few details of the story he felt he ought not to mention to a foreign diplomat, under their protection or not. No one needed to know the Pharaoh himself had been part of the caravan, out in the trackless desert at night for reasons unknown. Zadkiel and his unit weren't wiped out by bandits, but by elite specialists of some foreign army, he was sure—and that wasn't just his ego talking.

  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    From his place in the shadows near the outskirts of the camp, Oathbreaker spoke up. The truth, of course, was too dangerous and fantastic to believe, but there were a few details that were basically true.

    "Technically, I am not a member of the Risen Guard. Instead, I serve as a . . . problem solver for the Pharaoh. He values your friendship very highly as he assigned me to ensure your safety as well."

    That was all true, but there wasn't much else he could add. All the other details could risk giving something away, or were too painful to call back up from the depths of his perfect memory - all the battles, the atrocities, the long service throughout the years. But he felt that something else was needed, so he finally settled for what the others had provided - an origin point.

    "It is a position I have served since I was a child. A band of gnoll raiders destroyed my village and I was the sole survivor. I slew several of them with a sickle much like the one that I carry now, despite being only a young boy. Apparently, that was impressive enough for me to receive further training, and to be given my current position."
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  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Osorkon listened to the others with interest, wondering how much trust they’d put in a vampire. During their brief respite, Osorkon had looked up what little he could of Geb. What he found he didn’t like. ”I was a freelance in Sothis before my death.” Osorkon pulls out the dagger and shows it’s wicked curves in the light. The reddish tint playing in the firelight. ”Kopeshman of Sothis plunged this into my chest himself.” Osorkon slides the bandages on his chest away to reveal the scar before continuing. He looks into Astrophel’s eyes intently.”Curious what goes through one’s mind while waiting for that moment.”

    After a brief pause he continues while putting his clothes back in place. ”You must be familiar with such a thing, no?” A slight bit of contemptment slips into his voice at the end, but attempts to mask it by leaning back and biting into his ration while awaiting a reply.
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  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    As you tell your tales, Astrophel begins unloading his camel. The bulk of the cargo are half a dozen cages, in which two hens sit. They squawk and squabble as their cages are lifted but quickly settle after reaching the soft sand. He takes time to drop a pile of grains and millet into each cage, as well as filling two small bowls with water, which the hens eagerly eat and drink. After Zadkiel's tale, his feeding had finished and he took one hen from it's cage, leaving the other alone. He settled in around the fire and for the first time, he removed a part of his elaborate robes. He pulled down the gauzy covering most of his face, revealing a handsome (if unnaturally pale) man of Garundi descent. A rounded nose, smooth cheeks and soft jawline matches well with the contemporary description of male beauty on the continent. He licked his lips, a gesture that seemed futile as his tongue was as dry as the desert sands, before sinking his fangs into the chicken. The creature's panicked squawks briefly interrupted 'Oman's' tale at the word 'friendship' but the bird quickly quieted. As if by magic, Astrophel's feature's softened further and the deep olive color of the Garundi returned to his flesh in moments. As 'Oman' finished his tale and Osorkon started his, the vampire methodically stripped the feathers from the hen and stringed it to a rotisserie spit, placing it over the fire and turning slowly with what seems an expert hand.

    As Osorkon finished, his jab did not seem to phase Astrophel. I take no pleasure in my condition, nor its needs, Osorkon. You may not believe me, but if I did not partake in my cultures traditions, I would be dead. As would be my daughter. She lives, as you do now, and passed her 9th year just prior to my journey here. He picks up the chicken, inspecting it before tearing off a leg and offering it Osorkon. In Geb, there are few that live and those few cement their place by being useful. Powerful arcanists skilled in necromancy, sages with invaluable knowledge un-tainted by the demands of necrotic flesh. They are few and for good reason. There is... a staleness to the court of Geb. He summarily divided the chicken, handing pieces to the rest of you. The old guard are... well old. Many hail from Geb's transition to undeath and are firmly entrenched in their position and their ways. While they may espouse that the living have as much privilege as the dead in Geb, this is a formality. They serve a use and when they expire, someone new takes their place. The life of the living is too short and they suffocate in the stale air.

    Astrophel began unwrapping more of his garments, even now as the horizon began to lighten to a ruddy pink. He let down his ornate hood revealing well coiffed raven dark hair. If not for his fangs, he'd look just as another man on the street (though a striking one). I took it upon myself to continue my family's traditions, just as my Daughter will, when she bares a child. I hope to enact change and I cannot do that when my life is a blink to those who wish to see Geb still in its staled squalor. His words carried his conviction, his red eyes reflecting the burning fire and radiating it back. I understand your resentment, Osorkon. I have 'lived' this life for ten years and I still feel the echo of guilt in my dead heart. That is why I came to Osirion to meet with The Ruby Prince. I wish allies in my quest and your Pharaoh is known for his generosity and hospitality. He stops, blinking, and then blushes. Oh. I'm sorry. I got worked up and caught up in myself, didn't I? I apologize.
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  15. - Top - End - #255
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Gratoire listened idly to Astrophel. Besides the ways it could interfere with their mission, his wards lineage did not concern him at all. Once the Pharoah had vouched for Astrophel, Gratoire put aside any misgivings he had about the vampire. He took the chicken graciously and savoured each bite. He swelled with pride when the vampire complimented the Past, glad to see his great leader assisting even those beyond his country Once Astrophel had finished Gratoire responded to the vampire's apology.

    "Think nothing of it, having a deep passion even after having died is an achievement to be proud of, and it is quite a passion to have I'll say.

    So I'm guessing that you became a vampire once your daughter was born? What's her name?"
    Last edited by thegoldenfedora; 2019-03-07 at 05:57 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #256
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Osorkon did not share Gratoire’s leniant attitude towards vampires. He stared at the piece of chicken before finally taking it and eating. ”A noble cause. He admitted. He took a swig from his water skin before continuing. ”Many evils are done in the interest of good, but some evils are great... and corrupt the very soul in damaging ways. Perhaps you used it as an expression, but your choice of words drives my point home. An echo of guilt.

    Osorkon shifted to the edge of his seat, close enough to the campfire to feel it start to burn. His features were blasted in the radiating light and his grim face was unmistakable. ”It is very easy for one to change with the corruption. I will help you because the Pharaoh told me to and I hope you never stop fighting for your true sense of self. Osorkon nodded to Astrophel before shifting back and finishing his meal. He wondered what action he could possibly take on Astrophel’s behalf that could balance it out.
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    You beautiful bastard, making me agree with you by complimenting me

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  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Astrophel merely smiled at Osorkon, not deeming the retort worthy of response. She is Abeba and she is my bright star. Yes, as is tradition in my family. We live the life of a mortal till we bare an heir then our Sire converts us. You can refuse, of course, but you are swiftly ousted from the family holdings and left destitute. The conversation died down as the sun started to peak over the horizon. Astrophel assured you he'd keep watch as you slept, having redonned his attire, pulling a thick gauze over his eyes, though he very intentionally remained within the shade.

    The next week and a half of travel repeated much in this same manner. You traveled through the cool night, talking with Astrophel and each other to pass the time in the late evening, before the sun had fully set. Finally, as you crest a hill, you see the the expanse of Totra, its many ships bobbing in the waters of the split bay in the distance. It's just after midnight, so your arrival will be quiet and largely unnoticed. As you start down the hill, Astrophel hisses a warning. There is something here, under the sands!

    Spoiler
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    Roll Init! Also, you can continue talking with each other/Astrophel in the chatter channel, if you wish. The map is on roll20
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  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    "I see it too. Northeast!" Zadkiel growled a soft warning as he turned his camel around to put himself between Astrophel and the direction of danger, and nocked an arrow to his bow.

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    Roll20 doesn't play nice with my phone so I will have to position myself later. Moving as indicated and Readying the Barrage action to shoot if some hostile creature should emerge.

    Attack: (1d20+8)[22]
    Damage: (2d6+5)[12]

    Attack: (1d20+8)[9]
    Damage: (2d6+5)[10]

  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Oathbreaker feels a strange sense of kinship with the man-turned-vampire as Astrophel relates the story of how he came to be what he is.
    Duty - to family, to country - could ask for a heavy burden to be borne, yet for the right reasons, it was not as difficult to carry as it might seem.
    It remained to be seen how long Astrophel could endure and yet still maintain his optimistic belief that the world could be changed for the better.
    Oathbreaker had had his doubts over the long years of his service, awakening each time to find some mess that needed to be cleaned up, but perhaps . . . perhaps the Ruby Prince really was different from those Oathbreaker had served before.

    ************************************

    Hearing the warning of trouble ahead, Oathbreaker descends from his camel, his hands already weaving out the magics as he yells out the familiar arcane phrases.

    "Arcana Initiated: Summon Athame! Arcana Initiated: Limited Invisibility!"

    Oathbreaker vanishes from sight just as a dagger made of pure force energy appears in his off-hand.
    He then begins to quietly advance towards where Zadkiel and their guest were looking.

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Ride check to attempt Fast Dismount: (1d20+7)[16] vs. DC 20
    Dismount - Either Free or Move
    Swift - Summon Force Athame, expending Feather Fall to do so
    Standard - Cast Vanish
    Move Action (if available) Stealth 15' to the Northeast of Oathbreaker's current position
    Stealth: (1d20+11)[29]

    Additional note: Each day, Oathbreaker has been filling his Shawl of Lifekeeping with 10 HP, and then using a casting of Infernal Healing to restore his HP back up to full. The spell should be marked as expended on his character sheet now, and all spells that he normally has prepared should be listed with either a "1" or "0" next to them. Everything should be in order!
    Last edited by Inspectre; 2019-03-09 at 01:00 PM.
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  20. - Top - End - #260
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Gratoire surveys the impromptu battle field trying to determine what the approached. If they were attacking at night they probably could see the Risen Guard better than the Risen Guard could see them. Recognising his disadvantagous passion, he quickly hopped off his camel and rushed to join just ahead of Zadkiel to be the first line of defender without blocking the view of the archer.

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    might as well try the fast dismount as well (1d20+6)[15]
    Move to front line
    If fast dismount was successful I'll ready an attack to punch the first enemy to enter melee range.
    Concealment (1d100)[57] low fails
    (1d20+8)[11]
    Damage (1d8+3)[4]
    If successful hit use grab
    Concealment? (1d100)[79] low fails
    Grapple (1d20+12)[24]

  21. - Top - End - #261
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Osorkon marveled at the ships bobbing in the water, he’d never seen such a sight. As he began to follow down the the hill though he heard the warning. Following the lead of the front, Osorkon dismounts and pulls out his dagger and get into position to reach any threats and allies.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Dismounting and moving forward as shown on roll20.
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    You beautiful bastard, making me agree with you by complimenting me

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  22. - Top - End - #262
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    As you begin to reposition, the sand ripples as something massive moves beneath the surface. For a moment, it seems it would pass you but this is not the case. A large, red worm like creature bursts from the sands, bellowing from a mouth full of razor sharp teeth. It spews a blast of ichor over Astrophel, Osorkon and Zadkiel just as the archer unleashed his arrows, one going wide. Astrophel curses as the camel crumbles underneath him. Keep them distracted, please! He began working a spell, chanting arcane phrases in rapid succession. There was an edge to his words, one not heard in your previous conversations. Meanwhile, Oathbreaker finds a second worm has decided he is lunch, its powerful jaws clamping down on his back. The wound already has begun to fester and angry red, dripping with caustic saliva.

    Spoiler
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    Oathbreaker took 20 damage and must make DC 17 Fort save or take (1d2)[2] Con damage for the next 6 rounds.
    Osorkon and Zadkiel must make a DC 17 Reflex save or take 23 Acid Damage (save half). For the record, Astrophel and his Camel failed their saves and took full damage.

    If you deal Piercing or Slashing damage, your weapon will take (3d6)[6] Acid damage. This damage is not halved for an energy attack damaging an item but it still must bypass hardness (Steel has a Hardness of 10). You can make a DC 17 Ref save to halve the damage.

    If you make physical contact with a Death Worm, you are poisoned as Oathbreaker was (note; additional doses of the same poison increases the save DC and duration).
    Last edited by MesiDoomstalker; 2019-03-10 at 07:16 PM.
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  23. - Top - End - #263
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Flicking his wrist, Gratoire quickly catches his wooden grappling stick as it falls from his wrist sheath and rushes to Osorkon's aid. Pushing aside his backline ally he swings the rope using it's momentum to strike into the worms side, letting the weapon continue to swing on its rope and wrap around his hand into his waiting grip.

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    Swift action: draw dan bong
    Full round action: Charge power attack (1d20+8)[27]
    Damage (1d6+7)[13]
    AC=18

  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Oathbreaker grunts in pain as the worm sinks its fangs into his back, injecting a rather heavy dose of poison to go along with nearly biting him in half.
    He manages to wheeze out his next magical commands as he stumbled around to the worm's flank and hacked blindly at its undulating body, reappearing as a multitude of copies.

    "Initiate Arcana: Frostfire Sheath! Initiate Arcana: Illusionary Copies!"

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Swift Action: Using Arcane Pool Point to enchant blades with Frost & Flaming enchantments
    Full-Round Action: Spell Combat, 5' Step to the SW first, Casting prior to attacking so as to avoid the AoO for casting in melee
    5' Step
    Spell: Mirror Image: (1d4+1)[5] Images
    Miss Chance: (1d100)[25] (20 or Less = Miss)
    Attack: (1d20+9)[22] (-2 Dual-Wielding, +2 Invisible) vs. Flat-footed
    Damage: (1d6+5)[7] plus (1d6)[5] Fire plus (1d6)[3] Cold
    Reflex Save for Weapon: (1d20+5)[16]

    Fort Save: (1d20+6)[7]
    I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.

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  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    "Bastard thing," Zadkiel cursed through clenched teeth as he shook off the acid and spun around to keep up the attack. His attempt to shield Astrophel just got the both of them sprayed with acid, so he tried to draw it away from the rest of the group with his movement.

    Spoiler
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    Swift Action: Activating Bane (Magical Beasts) on his bow.

    Move Action: Move to the indicated position.

    Standard Action: Barrage, attacking the one on Oathbreaker.

    Attack: (1d20+10)[22]
    Damage: (4d6+7)[20]

    Attack: (1d20+10)[24]
    Damage: (4d6+7)[20]
    Last edited by Athaleon; 2019-03-12 at 12:57 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #266
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Osorkon shields his eyes from the blast of acid, burning his arms black. The sickening smell of his own flesh clogged his nose. Osorkon cautiously backed away while drawing some of the blood from his exposed flesh into the air. The floating blood mixes with light as Osorkon chants, finally white it shoots towards where Osorkon points his dagger: Oathbreaker. Oathbreaker’s wounds begin to repair themselves but it is clear the spell won’t be enough. ”Hold on!” He shouts.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    5’ step away and use cure on Oathbreaker, healing 10 hp. Osorkon takes 2 nonlethal damage and uses a spell point. 13 AC
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegoldenfedora
    You beautiful bastard, making me agree with you by complimenting me

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  27. - Top - End - #267
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    As Oathbreaker wound up to swing, he found his perspective shifted. No longer did the worm tower over him. He struck the creature with a forceful blow, elemental energies discharging over it painfully. A black ray rushed from Astrophel's finger, striking the worm and its form heaved forward, seeming barely able to keep itself upright. At the same time, Oathbreaker found his failling health returning to him, as Osorkon's congealed blood infused him with restorative power. Graitore and Zadkiel's blows rained heavily on the other worm, it roaring in pain. It lunged forward, latching onto Graitore and injecting it's noxious saliva through the man. The final worm lunges at Oathbreaker but it passes through an illusory duplicate.

    Spoiler
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    Graitore takes 25 damage and needs to make a DC 17 Fort save or take (1d2)[1] Con damage for the next 6 rounds.
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  28. - Top - End - #268
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Gratoire roars from the pain and looks down at the worm latched onto his shoulder with a wild look in his eye. He flips his hold on the weapon and slams down onto the worms head.

    Spoiler
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    free action activate berserker -2 AC +8 hp

    Concealment (1d100)[90] 20 or less miss
    standard action brutal strike (1d20+8)[22]
    Expend martial focus for +10 damage (1d6+13)[14]
    AC=18 hp=26

  29. - Top - End - #269
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Oathbreaker hacks wildly at the worm continuing to assault him, not even pausing in the moment of battle to nod his thanks to Astrophel and Osorkon who had just given him much-needed magical aid.

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Full-Attack on the Worm next to Oathbreaker
    Attack #1 - Sickle
    To-Hit: (1d20+7)[11]
    Miss Chance: (1d100)[63]
    Damage: (1d8+6)[12] plus (1d6)[4] Fire plus (1d6)[5] Cold
    Reflex Save vs. Weapon Damage: (1d20+5)[15]

    Attack #2 - Athame
    To-Hit: (1d20+7)[21]
    Miss Chance: (1d100)[34]
    Damage: (1d6+3)[4] plus (1d6)[1] Fire plus (1d6)[1] Cold
    Reflex Save: It's a weapon made of magical force - I don't know if it can take damage? Still Reflex: (1d20+5)[8]

    Fort Save vs. Poison: (1d20+5)[18]
    I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.

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  30. - Top - End - #270
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    Default Re: [PF] The Risen Guard of Osirion; Forged in Strife and Fire

    Zadkiel kept shooting as the worm bit Graitore, continuing his wide movement. As he channeled more power into his bow, the arrows began to blaze with yellow-white flame as they flew through the air.

    Spoiler
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    Move Action: Move as indicated on map
    Swift Action: Change to Stance of Piercing Rays
    Standard Action: Barrage the worm on Graitore

    Attack: (1d20+10)[27]
    Damage: (4d6+7)[16] + (1d6)[4] Fire

    Attack: (1d20+10)[18]
    Damage: (4d6+7)[20] + (1d6)[3] Fire

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