The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #361
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Palace of Teeth

    With the order decided, Gilbert led the way hammer in hand. Right or left made no difference - either path led toward a set of large wooden doors. As Gilbert approached, the doors swung open to reveal what appeared to have once been an elegant study. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves lined the walls, and a pair of heavy desks and several overstuffed chairs provided seating. Most of the books appeared to have been shredded, their pages and covers forming small nests. The chairs had all been sliced open, their stuffing removed and likewise fashioned into small nests. An unsteady chair made of stacked books stood atop the larger of the room’s two desks. Loose teeth were piled on the shelves, affixed to the ceiling, and heaped on the floors in strange, spiky patterns. Several fairies scampered or flitted out of the way as the doors swung open.

    Seated atop the chair was a tooth fairy - larger than most - wearing a crown of teeth. Beady eyes stared at the party and he clutched an iron-wrought scepter (also made with teeth). "Who comes before the Great and Mighty Prince Uspid!" he shouted, his shrill high-pitched voice falling rather flat.

    Spoiler: Prince Uspid
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  2. - Top - End - #362
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Gilbert

    "Nope." Gilbert pulls the doors closed again. "Do we really have to?"

    Spoiler: Action
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    Gilbert flexes that second feat again.
    Quote Originally Posted by lt_murgen View Post
    Exploratory expeditions expeditiously expediting exploration would be epicurially equipped.
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  3. - Top - End - #363
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Cotyledon lifted a root-like finger, opened her mouth as if to say something, then lowered her hand.

    After a moment, she looked at Gilbert and shrugged.
    "Seeing as I do not have teeth, perhaps the rest of you can go wait downstairs while I try and talk to them? If they are somehow the rulers of this place, perhaps getting their blessing will allow us to continue traveling the Dead Roads?"

  4. - Top - End - #364
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Gilbert frowned dramatically and looked from Coty to the door.

    "WILL YOU GIVE US YOUR BLESSING TO TRAVEL THE DEAD ROADS?" He yelled through the door.
    Quote Originally Posted by lt_murgen View Post
    Exploratory expeditions expeditiously expediting exploration would be epicurially equipped.
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  5. - Top - End - #365
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Palace of Teeth

    For several moments, the party heard (just barely) the sound of several voices in heated whispers. Then a pause. And then finally, a tiny voice yelled out, "THE GREAT PRINCE USPID - MAY HIS MOLARS NEVER FALL OUT - WILL GIVE YOU HIS BLESSING TO TRAVEL THE DEAD ROADS, BUT FIRST YOU MUST PERFORM A SERVICE. SEND IN ONE TO NEGOTIATE."
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  6. - Top - End - #366
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Cotyledon placed a hand on Gilbert's shoulder as if to say 'calm thyself,' before slipping through the door (and making sure to close it behind her).

    She gave a bow to the odd tooth fairy king.
    "I am Cotyledon... the Toothless. I will negotiate for my party. What service would you ask of us?"

  7. - Top - End - #367
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Palace of Teeth

    "Yes. Yes. I see the wisdom in sending a toothless one to negotiate," Prince Uspid muttered. The fairy prince was several times the size of any of the other fairies, though he was still dwarfed by Coty. "My mother has refused to honor my rightful claim as ruler, so I have confined her to the upper level. Some of her followers have escaped on errands for her - I know you lot have slain some of them, they are meaningless to me. These are my loyal followers." Uspid gestured to the set of tooth fairies perched here and there around the study. "I will grant you the passage stamp you desire if you will eliminate her."
    Last edited by Othniel; 2019-07-29 at 04:33 PM.
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  8. - Top - End - #368
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    "What if we can convince your mother to recognize your claim? Would that also suffice?"

    Coty inwardly did not like the idea of being an assassin for the pint-sized self-styled king.

  9. - Top - End - #369
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Palace of Teeth

    Prince Uspid narrowed his beady little eyes at Coty. He scratched his tiny chin and then nodded. "That would suffice. You will need to retrieve her staff of office, however! It is in the form of a jaw bone from one of those bigger folks!"
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  10. - Top - End - #370
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Cotyledon nodded, and gave Uspid another bow.
    "Very well, I shall relay this request to my companions. When next we meet, we will have some manner of response or result for you. By your leave."

    Coty left the fairies' presence, and motioned for her companions to follow her back out of earshot, near where they had fought the soul bound dolls.

    "Well, this Uspid wants us to either kill his mother, or convince her to recognize his 'claim to the throne' or what-have-you. He requires we return a symbol of office, apparently a jawbone, to him. Apparently his mother is confined to the level above us.

    Now... I didn't get the sense that Uspid was being truthful with me. I doubt his claim is valid, at the very least. I'm not sure if his mother is another tooth fairy or something else, but... this all seems rather needlessly complicated. The intrigues of tooth fairies are hardly as important as discovering what happened to your town on the material plane.

    Uspid claims he possesses a stamp of some kind that would allow us to continue traveling the Dead Roads. His mother might have more information for us. She could also be just as deranged as the other fairies here. Fey are unpredictable at the best of times. How do we wish to approach this?"

  11. - Top - End - #371
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Gilbert managed to maintain the same grimace from before Cotyledon had even gone to speak to the tooth fairy all the way up to the point where she finished laying out their options. He sighed in an aggressive, yet resigned way before offering his own copper piece.

    "Now, I'm not usually one to suggest violence as a first option, but..." he started, somehow ignoring the copious fairy viscera spattered across his clothing, "If they're all tooth fairies they likely killed who ever was originally in charge here. Meaning that either the ability to grant passage is transferable, or none of them can help us anyways. We might as well clear this place out for the good of whoever else comes through here next."
    Quote Originally Posted by lt_murgen View Post
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  12. - Top - End - #372
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Henrietta

    Henrietta hefted her glaive.

    "If the mother'll talk, then I'll take the shot at ending this without a fight. But if she's hostile, then all bets are off. And with our luck, I wouldn't get your hopes up."
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  13. - Top - End - #373
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Bellas

    The elf hoisted her long blade to rest on her shoulder and sighed as she gave Henrietta a wry glance.

    "That won't be a problem, I didn't have any in the first place." Her smile was vicious.

    "Let's go talk to mom."
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  14. - Top - End - #374
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Henrietta

    "Let's."


    Henrietta lead the way back down to the ground floor, then took the east door on the south wall of the courtyard (being that the west was locked).
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  15. - Top - End - #375
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Palace of Teeth

    The room Henrietta opened the door to appeared to be a stable just large enough for one or two horses. Pegs on the wall held a few decayed leather straps, the floor was covered with dried grass, and a pungent animal smell pervaded the room, its origin seeming to be a tarp on the back wall.

    Spoiler: Loot
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    Detect Magic will net you a small cache of treasure stuffed in a feed bag:
    1 x Wand of Cure Light Wounds (22 charges)
    1 x Pair of Feather Step Slippers fashioned after a pair of ballet shoes
    1 x Bead of Healing (from a Lesser Strand of Prayer Beads).


    Spoiler: OOC
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    In the interests of brevity, we'll say Prince Uspid gave Coty the key to the western tower upon your agreement to his offer.
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  16. - Top - End - #376
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Henrietta

    After the items were identified, Henrietta nodded briefly.

    "Well, these will come in handy. 'Course, now that we've said that it turns out there's going to be a reason we needed them..."


    Spoiler: OOC
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    Just a little ray of sunshine.


    "You should probably hold onto the healing items, Coty, since you're not in the front. Anyone want the slippers?"


    Once everything was distributed, Henrietta led the party over to the locked door and proceeded through once Coty unlocked it with the key given to her by the prince.
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  17. - Top - End - #377
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Palace of Teeth

    When Henrietta opened the door and stepped through, she was greeted by a macabre sight: A skeletal creature with the long, sinuous skeleton of a large snake, its head a humanoid skull with a snake’s jaws.

    Spoiler: Initiative
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    The Necrophidius gets a surprise round and uses it to sway side to side, effecting everyone when they see it either immediately (Henrietta, Gilbert, and Bellas) or on their turn when they come in view (Vesper and Coty). Please make will saves. This is a mind-affecting Compulsion effect. Those who fail will be dazed for (2d4)[7] rounds.

    Spoiler: Coty and Vesper
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    You identify this snake-like skeletal creature as a Necrophidius. Despite its sinister appearance, the snake-like necrophidius is not an undead creature. Rather, it is a magical construct built from the skeleton of a giant snake and then mounted with the skull of a humanoid creature. Fangs are cemented into the jaws of the skull, after which the entire creation can be brought to life by a series of obscure and expensive rituals—these rituals are traditionally well guarded by those who discover them.

    As a mindless construct that requires neither food nor sleep, a necrophidius makes an excellent guardian, and its innate stealth allows it to slip up on the unwary undetected. In certain areas, the necrophidius is commonly employed as an assassin, able to disable its quarries with its dance of death or paralyzing bite before disposing of them in a gruesome manner—as long as the assassination doesn’t require any particular intelligence to carry out. Particularly macabre creators might even construct the creature from the skull of a friend or loved one of the intended victim in order to magnify the horror of the assassination, leaving much of the flesh on the skull so the victim can recognize its source. This flesh rots eventually—only freshly crafted necrophidiuses have this grisly feature (although regular applications of gentle repose spells can keep such a morbid decoration fresh for a much longer period of time).

    Although a necrophidius is mindless, it can follow the simple commands of its creator. These can include commands to lie dormant until some specific condition is met or to follow and kill an indicated target to the exclusion of all other activities.

    A typical necrophidius is 10 feet long and weighs 200 pounds.

    You both know that they are resistant to slashing and piercing damage.
    Spoiler: Coty
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    You further know that necrophidiuses can entrance their opponents by swaying back and forth and possess a paralytic bite.


    Spoiler: Skele-snek
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    Last edited by Othniel; 2019-08-06 at 08:18 PM.
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  18. - Top - End - #378
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Suddenly, most of the party seemed to stand slack-jawed. Catching a glimpse of the dancing skeleton-construct, Coty cursed aloud. It seemed only Bellas and herself were unaffected. She moved to the door and closed it.

    "Bellas! Help me hold this shut! The effects of the necrophidius' dance should fade in a few moments!"

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Coty will move and close the door. :/

  19. - Top - End - #379
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Palace of Teeth

    Coty quickly threw herself against the door, slamming it in the face of the necrophidius. For several long moments she and Bellas held it shut as the bone construct pressed against the door. Eventually, however, it realized the futility of its attempts and became quiet.
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  20. - Top - End - #380
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Gilbert drooled silently.
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  21. - Top - End - #381
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Cotyledon pressed her back against the door alongside Bellas for several pulse-pounding moments (if she had a heart), but after a while everyone seemed to recover from the skeletal snake's dance.

    Her voice somewhat exasperated, Coty spoke to her companions.
    "Okay... that thing in there is a type of construct, not an undead. A necrophidius. As we all clealry just saw, it can entrance people with its magical dance. That... did not go very well. It is also rather tough, resistant to arrows and blades especially, although smashing it to pieces is more effective.

    That said, if all we are trying to do is get up to that walkway up there, I have some rope. Someone more athletic might be able to scale these walls and lower a rope down, allowing us to bypass that necrophidius without risking all of us falling under its hypnotic spell once more. I could even send Shrine up first to let us know if the coast is clear."


    She extended her arm, and the strange creature bobbled out from the nest of her vine-hair. Moving her hand to the wall, the eight-legged creature began to steadily climb up the exterior wall to the walkway; Coty paid attention to their empathic link, sensing for any feeling of trepidation or fear from her spirit animal.

  22. - Top - End - #382
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Palace of Teeth

    Faster than its appearance would otherwise suggest, Shrine scaled the walls and surveilled the walkway. It sent back feelings of relief, suggesting a lack of danger, and quickly climbed back down to report success. Bellas produced a grappling hook, and combining it with a rope provided by Coty, a (relatively) less dangerous means of ascent was gained.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    I'm not going to make you roll to throw the grappling hook up there. It may take a few tries, but you'll get it eventually.
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  23. - Top - End - #383
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    "Looks like somewhat precarious footing up there," said Cotyledon. "Bellas, should you scout ahead? Or Gilbert?"

  24. - Top - End - #384
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Henrietta

    "I can do it. I'm not super fancy with my footing but I've got decent balance."


    After waiting to see if Bellas or Gilbert were also willing to head up, Henrietta climbed up the rope, following behind whichever one volunteered (if any).

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Take 10 on Climb for 11 to get up the rope.
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  25. - Top - End - #385
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    "I'm on it" Bellas climbed up the handy grappling hook she'd forgotten she had stuffed in her bag on an entirely different plane of existence.

    Spoiler: ooc
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    taking 10 on climb
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  26. - Top - End - #386
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Palace of Teeth

    The long bridge stretched from the door at the top of the guardhouse to a door at the top of the palace. The southern half of the bridge arched above the courtyard 30 feet below. The northern half of the bridge had a drop of only 10 feet to the roof of the castle below. The bridge was only a few feet wide and had no handholds or railings. The door at the north end of the bridge appeared flanked by several narrow windows, each 2 feet tall and only a few inches wide.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Do you check out the top of the guardhouse, or go for the palace door?
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  27. - Top - End - #387
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Henrietta

    "Should probably check the gatehouse. Might be more supplies there."
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  28. - Top - End - #388
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Palace of Teeth

    Assenting to Henrietta's suggestion, Bellas moved forward to check the door into the gatehouse for traps. It appeared to be clean, though her elf ears detected a strange, rhythmic sound coming through the door.

    Spoiler: Bellas
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    Sounds strangely like snoring.
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  29. - Top - End - #389
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Bellas cocked an ear at the door, listening intently.

    "I hear snoring." She whispered at Henrietta.

    "Should we try to sneak in?"
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  30. - Top - End - #390
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    Default Re: Othniel's Tyrant's Grasp I

    Henrietta

    "Against my better judgement... yes."
    Henrietta nodded.
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