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 Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below

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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:20 am

[Enter, Keitha Ainsley.]

[Keitha is presently a Level 5 Ranger with all skills, Feats, equipment and other attributes as listed.]



In the heart of the central Ainsley Wood, at dusk
Late September, 1376 SE




Days had passed into years since she left her father's home in Erluon, and even further behind were the memories of her mother. The crested ring resting on her finger would never permit her to forget her time among nobility, even if the passage of time ever would.

But there was solace in the woodlands where she made her home. There, neither bird nor beast would ever judge her. There, no elves would veil their pity for the stouter and more temporal half of her heritage, and no noblefolk would dim their eyes and utter snide calumnies of bastards and half-bloods. There, she could find contentment in her own state of lordship, the tempered hand to work the wildlands around her. There, she was the lady of her grove.


(Keitha - Wilderness Lore check (DC 10): Success (21))
(Keitha has hunted, trapped and foraged successfully, returning to her camp with four gray squirrel carcasses, two large smallmouth bass, two snowshoe rabbits, two hands of wild blackberries, a large brown channel catfish and a hand of brown mushrooms...enough food for five days, if she wishes to spare her trail rations.)

But such humble dominion was not without its trials. And even as she returned to her improvised camp, something dark and dangerous seemed to hang heavily in the air.

The hooked bundle of fishes, rabbits and squirrels at her side was lashed to dangle from a low bough as she made her way forward. Her steed, a roan horse of five winters, lay slain on his side, two legs and several large hunks of his flesh brutally hacked off and carried away by unseen hands. Her clay pitchers, once seated on the flat boulder nearby and heavy with rainwater, now smashed to wet shards and scattered about the clearing. And the wolf Killian Fang, her constant companion and friend of many years, gone from his watch over her camp. Missing.

Had Keitha truly wandered so far in her food gathering? Or had her despoilers moved with unanticipated swiftness and silence?

Whoever it had been, they had not come without a struggle; the tracks of hooves and paws ripped the fallen leaves of autumn and scored the damp earth with fury and desperation, and...something else seemed to be here as well. Something familiar, perhaps.

Soon, the sun would be gone from the sky. But by moon and star alone she could surely find her way.

There remained but the matter of discerning which way that way would lie.





(Feel free to come up with a name for Keitha's dead horse at this time, if you wish.)

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:45 am

Anger and anixiety ripples through Keitha like a wave crashing on the shore at the sight of Storm dead and Killian missing. She took only a quick moment though, for her to compose herself and focus on the task at hand. Keeping to as much cover as possible, she slowly started to check the perimeter using all her senses.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:24 pm

(Keitha - Wilderness Lore check, Tracking favored enemy across soft ground (DC 10): Success (12))

The grassy earth was softened by the nearby pool and the recent rain, and it held distinct footprints easily. Near Storm's sundered body she found the footprints left by bare feet and heavy boots alike, and she noted their similarities: short in length, broad at the balls of the feet, thick toes with no webbing between them, possible calluses on the soles, weight concentrated on the heels for sturdiness. And short, heavy strides.

Dwarves.

Some variety of dwarves, but she knew not which.

The footprints suggested three dwarves in number, who came from the north, took what they wished and departed as they came, taking Killian Fang with them. And the wolf's scraping and bellying against the soft earth told her that he did not go willingly.

Travelling dwarves tend to stick to lowlands out of habit, so she could perhaps anticipate their path well before she saw it. But not a sound could be heard in the still forest air. The dwarves had gotten farther than she had hoped, and she might need to move swiftly to overtake them.

A pity it was that she no longer had a horse.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:31 pm

Keitha quickly found a good spot for her hunt and then began to move to catch up to the dwarves. All the while she kept a close eye on the trail and the sights and sounds around her. She wanted to be able to get the jump on them not blunder into the middle of them.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:09 pm

(Keitha - contested Move Silently check: 7)
(??? - contested Listen check: 17)
(Uh oh.)

The trail left by dwarves and wolf wove through copse and clearing, and soon Keitha heard deep, bickering voices ahead. She crept low to the ground as she drew near.

But the damp autumn leaves draping the earth betrayed her. An ill-placed footfall shuffled them audibly and crunched a twig which the leaves concealed. The bickering fell to silence in that moment, followed by frantic scurrying and shuffling.

Somewhere beyond the wall of scrub ahead, she heard Killian's familiar snarling and whining as he strained against his bonds. Through the brush she perceived the settled grass of a clearing, grass pressed flat by nesting deer in recent nights.

Killian lay somewhere beyond that scrubline. But so did the dwarves. And they were likely waiting for her.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:19 pm

As quietly as possible Keitha slowly started to make a large circle around the general area that she had heard the voices coming from. If she could just manage to turn her little blunder into her favor.... All the while she carefully listened for anything that would give her a better idea of where her enemy lay in wait.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:02 pm

(Keitha - contested Listen check: 22)
(Dwarves - contested Move Silently check: 16)
(Keitha wins.)


(Keitha - Spot check, with Listen synergy (DC 15): Success (17))

Creeping anticlockwise around the clearing to avoid the roving habits of dwarven eyes, she directed her ears at the subtle shuffling of the dwarves moving away from each other, forming a rough triangle as dwarves preparing an ambush are wont to do.

They seemed to turn as she moved around them. She could hear them, but they could hear her too. The dwarves' campfire in the clearing muffled Killian's whines as she moved to place it between her and her friend, and there in the grass and leaves beneath a birch tree she saw them: impressions of dwarven unshod feet three yards before her.

But the dwarf itself could not be seen, nor could the other two dwarves who surely lurked nearby. And only one breed of dwarf had mastered the art of invisibility: the duergar, gray dwarves of the Underdark and familiar foes to Erluon. But the gray-skinned duergar rarely emerged from the dark hollows of the Underdark, save for raids or for food. For what reasons had these gray dwarves come to the surface?

As she watched the footprints beneath the tree, they turned slightly to face her, then scooted back to flatten against the tree again, as if hoping that her attention would wander elsewhere.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:19 pm

Keitha easied her bow and arrow to the ready. Then she quickly took aim at about where the chest might be of the dwarf and let fly her arrow. Without waiting she turn and darted away into the woods, trying to listen to what may be coming behind her and if she had hit her mark. She was also careful to try and pick a path that would give her the best advantage of 'seeing' her purcuers if they were coming and also find a good spot for an ambush of her own.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:11 pm

(Keitha - shortbow attack on invisible duergar (AC 10, -4 Attack for invisibility): Hit (18))
(Duergar takes 6 Damage)

(Duergar - dagger attack on Keitha (AC 13, invisibilty negates Dex bonus): Miss (3))
(Duergar's invisibility ends)

Keitha gauged the lay of the unseen dwarf's footprints and took aim. The arrow flew with a snap of the bowstring and stopped in the air with a wet thunk.

"Ack! Agghh! Ye blasted worm!" barked a belligerent contralto voice. "Ye poked mih hide! I'll cut ye good!"

The footprints raced at the ranger, but she ducked to the right as the thrust of a dagger missed her by a gnome's arm. The cloak of invisibility fell away with that failed stab, revealing her attacker. The bald duergar woman's skin was streaked with dirt and black ash, and the exposed skin of her back and shoulders was scored with the scars from numerous whip lashings. The broken-chained shackles around her wrists and ankles, as well as her simple loincloth and crude burlap top denoted her status: an escaped slave, likely fleeing from masters in the Underdark.

Two more pairs of thundering footfalls approached, heralding the approach of the dwarf woman's invisible cohorts. From the camp, Killian barked excitedly as Keitha darted away from the duergar, preparing her next move.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:17 am

As Keitha darted back away, she continued to circle around the camp and listened for the sounds of her pursuers. She also quickly stowed her bow and drew her swords preparing for closer combat. If she could make it to Killian to cut him free she would do so. She could also use Donovan as a decoy if the opportunity presented itself.




*I want to try and get some distance between me and them and then release my pawn (Donovan). Then either have him hide and then make his way to free Killian or if the opportunity presents itself have Keitha free Killian*
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:00 pm

(Keitha - contested Tumble check: 15)
(Duergar #1 - contested Tumble check: 11)

In the hollows of the earth, the duergar would hold certain tactical advantages over Keitha. But here, among the trees and scrub of the forestlands, the opposite would hold equally true. Diving and rolling through a clump of brushes as she turned to retreat placed Keitha well ahead of the wounded duergar, who was left to poke and lunge through the folliage in her pursuit.

The ranger quickly put several yards between herself and her enemy, minding the pounding footfalls of the duergar's unseen cohorts and their angered shouts. "That longshanks arrowed Braxa! Cut 'er down at the knees!"

The bow returned to her back, and a scimitar flipped from its scabbard to take its place. Keitha's other hand cradled the white pawn from her pouches. The servant Donovan would serve her as either Killian's rescuer or a diversion for the duergar; Keitha only needed to find the opportunity to call the servant forth.




(The thin northwest passage leads directly into the duergar's clearing, where Killian Fang will certainly be found; it could also lead to a trap if the surrounding folliage is hard to penetrate or if more duergar are there lying in wait. Going west will continue circling the clearing (and depending on Keitha's raw speed to outpace the duergar), while moving away from the clearing may lure the duergar away from Killian and possibly towards the pools and lowlands, which could lead to other complications for Keitha and/or the duergar.)

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:45 am

Keitha continued to head towards the clump of trees, west of the northwest passage. Once she got to a spot where she had pretty good cover, she pulled out her pawn and summoned her pawn Donovan. When the pawn finished morphing into the hill dwarf, Keitha quickly drew out her small dagger and handed it to Donovan. As quickly and quietly as she could, she summerized the situation and the area. Keitha told Donovan to continue around in an northeastern direction and try to get to Killian to release him and she would try to keep the duergar busy.




OCC .... Keitha is going to continue to look and listen for the dwarves to see if they sound like they are coming her way. She is also going to hide and attempt to ambush the dwarves whom may follow after Donovan.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:57 pm

Darting to the Northwest, Keitha briskly stooped and set the pawn on the ground. The duergar were very near and running as swiftly as they could. She would have little time.

"Marbol beckens!"

The command phrase spoken aloud, the pawn shimmered and jumped of its own accord. And when it returned to the earth, it was no longer a pawn.

"Donovan Stoneward, at your...."

"Quickly! Take this dagger, find Killian Fang and set him free!"


(Keitha gives her dagger to Donovan the Pawn.)

The wolf's fearful howl pealed through the trees, and Donovan instantly knew which way to go. And fortunate it was, for in that instant the duergar were upon the ranger.


(Unfortunately, Keitha did not have time to prepare an ambush; Duergar #2 was too close behind.)


(Keitha - Quick Initiative: 9)
(Duergar #2 - Quick Initiative: 18)


(Duergar #2 - Dagger attack on Keitha (Flatfooted AC 13): Hit (13))
(Keitha takes 2 Damage. 52 of 54 Hit Points remain.)
(Duergar #2's invisibility ends.)

(Keitha - Double scimitar attack on Duergar #2 (AC 10): Hit (16), Automatic Miss (Natural 1, Fumble Check: 12. No Fumble rolled.))
(Duergar #2 takes 4 Damage.)

"...Gut ye like a cavefish, humie lass!"

The unseen blade slashed widely, finding the gap of exposed skin between Keitha's leather sleeve and her cuirbouilli gauntlet. A deep nick drew blood as the ranger reflexively wheeled around to deliver bladed strikes of her own.

The dwarf shed his invisibility in time for the first scimitar to find his outer thigh, cutting deeply into the muscle with its cruelly curved blade in passing. The second blade was not so telling. Striking too high for the duergar's crouched stance, the scimitar caught the crook of a hanging tree branch, and only a quick jerk of Keitha's wrist kept the sword from being wrenched free from her hand.

The duergar woman soon came up behind the slate-bearded man, and the third remained unseen in the scrubline. "We didna escape the cruel masters of the dark hollows to fall under yoor hand!" the dwarf snapped as he reared for another slash.


(Donovan - untrained Hide check: 6)
(Duergar #3 - Spot check: 1)

Though Keitha could see Donovan lurking low in the shadows beneath the brush, the duergar apparently did not. They continued their advance, closing on Keitha and leaving her little time to decide what to do next.


(Keitha is now in melee with Duergar #2. She can turn and run if she wishes to avoid getting mobbed by all three duergar, but doing so will give Duergar #2 an Attack of Opportunity as she turns her back on him....)


Keitha (Init 14)> Retreating to lure the duergar further from the clearing
Duergar #1 (Init 12)> Full move, closing into melee with Keitha
Duergar #2 (Init 4)> Dagger attack on Keitha
Duergar #3 (Init 2)> ??? / Invisible action


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:27 pm

Keitha was unwilling to run the possiblity of being mobbed by all three and she also wanted to lure them farther away from their camp, so Keitha retreated. All the while she tried to be as hard to hit as possible, while looking for an area where it would be to her benifit in the fight and listening for the dwarves.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:34 pm

OCC : I want to keep them busy following me and fighting me soo.... while i am retreating, its main purpose is to draw them away so that Donovan can get Killian. If that doesn"t seem to work then I will probably go for a more head on aproach, of sorts.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:00 pm

(Duergar #2 - Attack of Opportunity / Dagger attack on Keitha (AC 15): Automatic Miss (Natural 1))

The gray dwarf snarled as his blade sliced nothing more than air. His foe had already taken to flight, and vindictively he gave chase.

In her retreat, Keitha boasted two distinct advantages over her pursuers. Dwarven bodies are built for strength and durability--not for swiftness--and though dwarves are renowned for their stubborn determination in all things, a half-elf could easily outpace and escape a dwarf given enough distance.

Additionally, the duergar were out of their element in this forestland, while their foe found herself quite at ease in it. Here, they were as oxen dropped into the ocean to confront the shark. And they certainly couldn't expect the shark to confront them openly and forfeit her edge.

"Ye think ye can draw our blood an' escape us with yoor skin? Ye'll beg us to kill ye well afore we're done with ye, foolish long-damsel!"

The angry voices fell away behind Keitha as she darted through the folliage and ducked past a dead willow, driving herself fleetly into a lowland. And soon before her, sunken beneath a broken hedgerow, the land fell even lower.

The season had not been kind to the local waters, as the dwindling brook ahead mutely testified. Water from the drying brook puddled through its muddy ravine, some puddles too shallow to touch a child's ankle, others just deep enough to drown a grown man's knees. The shrubs along the ravine's edges had grown quite thirsty, and their half-naked roots snaked and jutted from the mud in their eight-foot descent to taste what water remained.

The mud's tone and coloration suggested a middle consistency: not dry enough for her to run across, yet not soupy enough to swallow her up to the knees. The withered brook and its ravine would surely delay her, yet perhaps she could prove clever enough to somehow turn this terrain to her advantage.




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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:46 am

Keitha scanned the muddy ravine quickly and looked for the easiest way to cross. She hoped, if she was lucky, to lure the dwarves into the ravine where the mud would reveal their location and place herself in a position where she could be on more solid high ground to their angled muddy one. At worst she could at least use the their muddy footprints as a guide for her sword strikes. She made her split second decision and started across.


OCC: If she makes it across before the dwarves are on her...she will find a place if possible where the brush or tree can be a bit of protection to her back without totally boxing her in or limiting her sword swings. Also more on the edge where they may be on more slippery ground and her more solid ground. ..... If she doesn't make it up the ravine she will use the mud as a guide for her strike until they are revealled. She will continue to use her listening skills to help pinpoint there location and attempt not to get cornered.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:18 pm

(Keitha - untrained Jump check (running jump, DC 11+): 4 (5 feet, no extra distance))
(Keitha - Wilderness Lore check (DC 10): Success (15))
(Keitha crosses the ravine without difficulty.)

Keitha barely slowed her pace as she looked over the far side of the ravine, spotting a thick tangle of exposed tree roots near a pebbled rib of sediment rising from the water. Leaping into the ravine, she gripped the roots and dug her toes into the coarse, pebbled mud, pulling herself up and scrambling out of the far side of the ravine. The mud had barely touched the heels of her boots as she rolled onto the solid ground beside a thick evergreen shrub and waited.

She was not long in waiting; her pursuers soon came into view--two of them, with the third only heard--and pointed to her with threatening gestures, barking words she could comprehend scattered with words she could not.

"There! We have you now, longshanks! You die now! Rirgo keta ketmag, hirroc! Rirgo!"


(Duergars - Jump check (DC 11+): 5, Natural 1, 12)
(Duergars - untrained Wilderness Lore check (DC 10): 6, --, 11)

(Duergar #1 leaps but falls far short, landing in the water and getting herself bogged down; she is unable to run or move faster than 5' a round until she pulls herself free.)

(Duergar #2 falls into the ravine and faceplants into the mud; he is now Prone.)

(And Duergar #3 leaps 7 feet across the ravine and crosses the rest of the ravine without trouble, but Keitha can still take one attack of opportunity on him as he climbs and crawls up the incline; he's still invisible, but his telltale environment reduces the duergar's concealment to 20%.)

As one, the three dwarves barrelled over the edge. The slate-skinned man sprung just a bit too late, and he tumbled straight down the incline, splattering the mud as he landed soundly on his face with a muffled curse. The woman fared not much better; water sprayed and rained across the ravine as she splashed down in the muddy water, sinking well past her knees. Even from where she stood, Keitha could hear the wounded duergar woman's teeth grinding in frustration.

But a thump pealed from the other side of Keitha's shrub, closely followed with the noises of clawing and kicking. The ranger's eyes peered around, beholding the twisting and tugging of unseen hands on weather-worn tree roots, and the living furrows cloven by thick, bare toes digging into the mud just beneath.

The third dwarf--still invisible--was almost upon Keitha, and he was climbing swiftly.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:46 pm

OCC: as she is moves to attack the 3rd.... or she hopes hit him...she slides her foot along the grow and tries to kick any dirt, rocks, mud, etc. towards the sounds that the dwarf is making to hopefully add to her ablity to get a good hit in. Also, try to keep an eye on the others.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:23 pm

(Keitha - attacking 20% Concealment (d%): 85)
(Keitha - Attack of Opportunity / scimitar attack on Duergar #3 (-2, AC 11): Hit (18))

(Duergar #3 takes 7 Damage.)

Keitha could scarcely find any debris to kick onto the climbing duergar...but then, she didn't truly need it.

A token kick sent no more than a single orange autumn leaf off the grassy ledge, where it settled in midair about a foot below. The convex blade sang downward a half-second later, cutting the leaf halfway through. A terrible screech tore the air as the half-split leaf tumbled earthward again, newly stained with fresh blood.


(Duergar #1 trudges 5 feet through the mud towards Keitha's shore. Duergar #2 spends the entire round getting to his feet.)
(Duergar #1: Strength check (DC 15): Success (20))
(Duergar #1 will be freed from the mud next turn, though her movement through the mud will still be halved.)

The other two dwarves continued to struggle angrily against their wet, muddy confines. The duergar man pushed himself up from the mud and fell completely away, his rump sinking deeply past his waist before he curled onto his haunches, then slowly rose to stand. He wore the mud as a second skin; only the back of his head and his upper back had been spared the mud's crusty caress.

But being a dwarf, the touch of clinging earth was hardly distressing for him. His ire rested not with the mud itself, but with the immobility it imposed.

And muddy water splashed and foamed around the duergar woman as she slogged heavily through it, one hard-labored step at a time. The water level rose from her waist to her midriff, then sank again as she slowly advanced.

And then, the scratch of steel against enamel whispered below Keitha as a dagger was drawn from between dwarven teeth. The clump of roots twisted violently, a subtle warning against the bladed stroke to come.


Duergar #3 (Init 13) > Dagger attack on Keitha
Keitha (Init 12) > Striking Duergar #3 with one scimitar, defending with the other


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:38 pm

occ: She will try to block with one sword while attacking again with the other.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:31 pm

(Duergar #3 - Dagger attack on Keitha (AC 15): Missed (13))
(Duergar #3's invisibility ends.)

The dwarf's form emerged into full clarity as he barged onto the precipice, pushing Keitha back and slicing madly with his dagger, nicking her abdominal leatherwear but cutting no deeper.

With the last duergar's invisibility shattered, Keitha could clearly see the wound she had inflicted before. She had cut deeply into the dwarf's bald scalp and the cranium beneath, leaving a trailing slash that split the skin of his forehead, stopping just short of his left eyebrow. It was a grievous wound, and the blood had already trickled down his cheek, dreadfully staining a third of his beard with a ghastly shade of scarlet.

With one more telling blow, the dwarf would be finished. And behind his furious, watering eyes, he knew this much.


(Keitha invokes Expertise and falls into a defensive stance and parrying, increasing her Armor Class by 1 (to AC 16) as long as she maintains Expertise.)

(Keitha - two scimitar attacks on Duergar #3 (AC 11): Missed (6), Hit (Natural 20) / Critical Threat: 9. Normal hit.))

(Duergar #3 takes 4 Damage and falls, subdued.)

The ranger's scimitars spun and danced wildly, goading the duergar into retreating half a step back. The first slash fell inches short of his beard-cloaked windpipe, and reflexively his head leaned back. But his trunk remained where it was, and the next swinging scimitar drew blood, ripping through his skin of his bare chest and tearing deeply into the layers of bone and muscle beneath.

The dwarf had endured enough. With a mighty, gurgling groan he collapsed, crashing facefirst into the leaf-littered grass of the forest floor. He did not fall unnoticed.

"Rokor!" the duergar woman screamed. "Ueho...ueho a takdud Rokor! You killed Rokor, you foolish mongrel! Your blood will join his in the black earth below!"

With a howl and a spit, the duergar leaped onto the incline and pulled herself out of the ravine. In seconds, she would be slashing and stabbing at Keitha in turn. In truth, Rokor was not dead...bloodied, defeated, drooling in great pain, but not dead.

A pity that there would be no time to explain that before the duergar woman's fury would hurl her headlong against the ranger who dared to strike her friend down.


Keitha (Init 22) >
Duergar #2 (Init 2) > Charging dagger attack on Keitha
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Jazman
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:47 pm

Occ: again use experise..... +2 armor...... I am going to prepare for the attacking she dwarf but I also want to try to distance myself from the fallen dwarf so that I don't get an unwelcome surprise just incase he decides to get one last go at me.
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:31 pm

Wary of the downed dwarf, Keitha skipped back about two paces as his cohort rushed at her. The duergar woman was quick. But Keitha was far quicker.


(Keitha - double scimitar attack on Duergar #1 (AC 11): Missed (3), Hit (15))
(Duergar #1 takes 5 Damage. She too falls, Subdued.)

The scimitar blades crossed Keitha's body, guarding her as the dwarf raced at her. But at the last possible moment the scimitars rose and lashed crossways with three-quarter swings. Only one of the blades licked her attacker's flesh, and it licked deeply indeed.

The dwarf's crude bandeau, already soaked with blood from the previous arrow wound she received, was split with a sudden scarlet bite crossing from the gray meat of her whip-scarred shoulder to the sickly bulges of her starved belly. The burlap garment fell away and landed with a wet flop as the woman collapsed soundly, sobbing bitterly and curling up in searing pain. The dagger tumbled from her numbed hand as she fell, standing erect as its rust-flecked blade sunk into the thick topsoil.

The last remaining duergar peered up from the ravine, not expecting to find himself alone. "Geb...geb nafa! Nafa girrob! What have ye done to 'em, humie? Answer me!"

But the only answer he received was a low growl which rose into a rising snarl behind him. And from behind, a tufted form leaped and descended.


(Killian Fang has joined the fight.)

(Killian Fang - charging bite attack on Duergar #2 (Flatfooted, AC 10): Missed (7))

The familiar form of Killian Fang was airborne as soon as Keitha laid eyes on him. Though the remaining dwarf was entirely taken by surprise, Killian's leap fell short, and his wicked lupine teeth clamped down on nothing. The mud swallowed the wolf's paws past the ankles, but Killian quickly found his footing and faced the dwarf, bristling with an air of rage.

But that rage went well beyond that of mere servitude to his master; between the rope burns around the wolf's limbs and the numerous tiny cinder burns and dribbling rents which scored his hide, Keitha could readily discern that her companion had come at the dwarf seeking nothing less than the satiation of a primal thirst for revenge.


(Killian Fang has previously suffered 3 Damage while subjected to torments at the hands of the duergar; 15/18 Hit Points remain, and The Party thread has been updated.)

Still buried in mud halfway up his calves, the last duergar bared his blade and turned to face the wolf, grinning the grin of naked malice. "So...the puppy comes to face his betters again, eh? Stupid beast! Stupid! I will bury the half-elf lassie's bones in yer flayed, hairy hide!"

Killian answered with a growl, tensing for a lunge at the dwarf's throat. Keitha looked again to the writhing, defeated duergar at her feet as aggressions flared once more.


Killian Fang (Init 12) > Retreating at Keitha's command
Duergar #2 (Init 7) > Dagger attack on Killian Fang
Keitha (Init 6) > Moving in for a disarm attempt


Last edited by The House of Ainsley on Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:03 pm

Keitha didn't hesitate once the dwarf's back was turned but went in to disarm and kill if need be. She hoped that she could get at least some information but she doubted it. Either way she had gotten back Killian and that was all that really mattered to her. As she landed her blow, she yelled at Killian to halt his attack and maintain a safe distance.

"Hold", Keitha said with a strong commanding voice.

OCC: as I said I want to go for the disarm more than a kill, but as this is an enraged dwarf....well a slow kill works better. I also am going to keep an eye on Killians moves so that I don't accidently get him if he starts his attack before the command. Also using expertise and +1 armor
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