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 Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below

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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:31 pm

(Keitha's full movement disrupts her defensive stance, ending her Expertise.)

At her command, the wolf leaped away from the dwarf's thrust and stayed his distance, growling defiantly. It was not long before the duergar deduced what had happened.

"So...this be yer wolf, eh? Fascinatin'."

By then Keitha's feet had already left the earth. She descended into the ravine again, a single scimitar reared behind her and readied to strike. The dagger flipped from one hand to the other, and the duergar greeted the ranger's leap with a thrust of his blade.


(Duergar - Attack of Opportunity / dagger attack on Keitha (AC 15): Missed (6))

(Keitha - Disarm attempt / contested Attack roll (+8 for weapon size): 23)
(Duergar #2 - contested Attack roll: 3)
(Duergar #2 is now unarmed.)

The dwarf stabbed at Keitha's ribs, but his ill-timed attack pierced only the breeze...and that was his downfall. With a half-pirhouette and a swing, Keitha caught the dagger's quillon with the concave edge of her scimitar and tore it away. Somewhere behind her, the dagger rose in a steep arc and splashed with an audible ploop as it landed in what evaporating brookwater remained.

The dwarf's predatory leer gave way to fearful eyes, glancing timidly back and forth between Keitha and Killian. "Now...now let's nae do anythin' rash, lady. Mebbe we...can come to some sort o' deal, eh? Let's be reasonable!"


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:47 pm

Keitha took up a ready position just in case the dwarf tried anything crazy. In a calm and liquid smooth voice she spoke, "Now, you want to deal?...... I have already taken back my brother wolf from you..... what else could you possiblely have to deal with that I could not just kill you and take anyway? Speak quickly and truely, for I have no more patience to deal with you and your lot.....Killian has even less, for he would just as soon rip out your throat as mess around with you any longer." As if to prove her words true, Killian gave what seemed to be an impatient growl and began to pace slightly.

OCC: I want to use dectect disception during our conversation.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:30 pm

The duergar stammered and faltered, gesturing at the deep slash which Keitha had dealt unto him before. "I'm hardly in a place to lie, longshanks, and I'd not consider it; no proper dwarf ever would. All I can offer ye is guidance and knowledge, and in this: our enemies be yer enemies as well. They will send their slavers to hunt all the escaped duergar down and take us back afore we can reach our own dark dwarven home far an' away. And while their slavers are out enjoyin' this fine night with me kin chained in tow, they'll likely figure, 'So now that we are here, what say we gather up some more local folk to toil their lives away in our mines?' And believe ye me, they'll not care in the least how miserable a half-blood like ye may be down there...nor will they care for the welfare o' whatever other folk they catch from the surface, clap in chains an' drag down to the depths o' the earth with 'em."

From the precipice, the two direly wounded duergar moaned and writhed from their grave wounds. Killian paced the mud, circling back and forth in the mud behind the standing duergar. And frantic footfalls came racing up to the east edge of the ravine.

"Wha...what did I miss, my lady?" Donovan gasped, bracing his hands on his bent knees as he paused to catch his breath.


(Keitha has earned 1,500 Experience for defeating the three duergar singlehandedly.)

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:14 pm

Without taking her eyes off the duergar before her, she answered Donovan. "Well, I would have to say just about everything but seeing how you performed your task well, I will over look your late arrival." Keitha's lips twitched ever so slight for a split second in a smirk.The mood had a little bit of a lighter feel to it but disappeared so quickly, one could easily doubt that that feeling was ever there. As the duergar looked into the eyes of his captor all was left there was a coolness and the feeling that only death awaited those who crossed this one. When she spoke, she got right to the point, "Who is it you are running from?...... When did you escape?..... and Where is this place you escaped from?"


occ: again I want to continue to use sense deception.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:24 pm

The dark dwarf's bitter gaze did not relent. "If ye must know, the infernal drow elves are the ilk what took us! Our leader, Zauboth Ogor, arranged our revolt and escape, so we fled that blighted drow city Bathellor around five days past and the Underdark itself two days later. We'd not even be on yer surface were it not for Bathellor's unbreakable walls and large patrols. But make no mistake: the drow elves are as persistent in keepin' their duergar slaves as duergar are persistent in keepin' their drow slaves. If we escape Bathellor, then Bathellor will simply come for us. And as alien as this surface world is to us, I expect that those blasted elves will have little trouble with findin' us and bringin' us back. We'll never find our way home to Morgarrod; all this be is a brief respite from the normally incessant hunger an' floggin' an' chafin' of iron on bare skins. Zauboth does not agree with such realisms, but more the fool is he."


(Keitha cannot sense any deceit in the duergar's words; either he's being entirely truthful or he's an incredibly accomplished liar. Of course, Keitha, expert on dwarves that she is, would likely know that the duergar and their culture lean sharply towards brutal, callous honesty, take a very dim view of falsehood and will think nothing of taking hot irons to someone's tongue for telling any minor lie--or cutting the tongue out as penance for a big lie--to the wrong people. But one can never be entirely certain of unknown, desperate individuals.)

Donovan could not hold his tongue, cultured though it was. "And I was so certain that the duergar enjoyed being clapped in irons and left to hammer at ore veins for a century at a time."

The dark dwarf's gaze soured further. "And best to just flee, girl. A half-blooded elf who keeps company with a lazy hill dwarf an' a simple beast would only impede the drow folk as far as havin' to find manacles o' the right size."

"Lazy, am I?" Donovan retorted. "As if working oneself into a joyless life and an early death as duergar do were somehow admirable...."

The duergar cast an angry scowl behind him, then turned his eager gaze to the muddy pool where his dagger had sunken. No doubt he wished with all his heart that he could escalate his bickering with Donovan beyond mere words, and Keitha's readied blades were all that convinced him to refrain from that.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:57 am

With a slight jerk of her head, Keitha directed Donovan to pick up the dagger that the duergar had dropped. Caustiously Donovan moved around the duergar to retrieve the dagger from the mud. Keitha's eyes never left the Duergar and she remained ready if he were to attempt to move aggressively toward her or her compainions. Keitha voice, smooth as honey and calm as a windless night, drew the Duergar's attention once more. " Well...... I am afraid that provides a bit of a dilema for me. You see, I would prefer your pursuers didn't know of my exsistance and by your own words, you will more than likely get captured once again. Perhaps when you do get captured again, you relate our exsistance to your captors. Whether or not you volunteer this information or perhaps you are tortured for it is irrellivant, but I assume at the very least you will be asked about you injuries and where you got them. Of course, there is also the possiblity that once I let you go you will decide to come after us to perhap exact your revenge or some missed placed justice. Oh and let me assure you that that would be the last bad decision you ever made. Either of these options are quite troublsome to me. With that in mind, the only other option I can see that would take care of this dilema in the simplest manner would be to kill you all because after all, dead dwarves don't talk." Keitha pause for a moment as if she was having an internal debate to decide the fate of the duergars. "So tell me why I should not pick the third option because so far it doesn't look good for you and yours."


OCC: CONTINUE TO USE SENSE DECEPTION
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:40 am

The gray dwarf's scowl persisted for a moment longer as Keitha's deductions sank in, a scowl which then perished beneath a grim, thin-lipped gale of dry guttoral laughter.

"Heh...ha! Yeh threaten us with death, when the drow elves threaten us with worse? Believe ye me, ye'd do us a favor in butcherin' us where we lay. We may ne'er see home an' hearth again, but neither would we suffer the blasted drow's torments an' indignities e'er again. Surely I speak for me fellows when I say that we can live--or die--with that.

"But if ye think to toss the drow hounds from yoor trail with me eternal silence, ye're but foolin' yerself. Not too familiar with drow slavers, are ye? I'll grant ye, not ev'ry slaver's worth the rock on which she stands. But for such a wave o' fugitive slaves as ours, Bathellor may as like send naught but their best: their foremost ranger an' manhunter, Lorthelytt. 'Tis said that Lorthelytt the Slaver tracked a freed tiefling across twenty-eight miles o' flat, solid limestone once--an' from a half-day behind--just from followin' the whispers o' the tiefling's breath. An' once Lorthelytt the Slaver an' her damnable spider-beast are on your tail, ye'll not escape her. Simply merciless, she is...vex her too greatly an' she'll not squelch the flames of her whip first. Best t' spare yerself a floggin' and clap the manacles on yerself."

The duergar woman squirmed in pain on the precipice nearby. Donovan returned to Keitha's side with two daggers in his hands, one borrowed and one gathered. He desisted his hostile demeanor for the duergar simply from a trace of compassion; the dark dwarves were in bleak enough straits without his contributions.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:41 pm

"Donovan go check on the other two." Donovan moved caustiously around to go to the other dark dwarves. Keitha took a moment to think over what had been said. "So why would you and yours get the best tracker?....... What else can you tell me about this Lorthelytt?....... Also who is this leader you spoke of, Zauboth Ogor?" Even as she bombarded him with questions her composure remained cool and collected.


OCC: Basicly I want to find out any quirks and discription of the tracker.....what makes these three special......and who is this Zauboth, plus any history that I can gather. I also still havn't gotten a direction from where this place they are running to and from. Also I would like Donovan to not only check the vitial of the two down dwarves but search their clothes for any valuables. I will also continue to use sense decption.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:33 am

The duergar grimaced and clutched at his deepest wound, settling onto one knee and casting a baleful glance to Donovan scurrying up the bluff to find his cohorts. "Why d'ye think the drow would send one o' their best trackers? The drow elves are far better at castin' spells and breedin' giant spiders, not for swingin' a mattock about an' breakin' away chunks o' crude iron an' what. So who mines the metals to uphold that darling civilization o' theirs? Us. The trod-upon duergar, that's who! We sniff out th' veins and lodes, we chip out the ore, we lug it up from th'pits an' we smelt it an' forge it into whatever the drow matriarchs deem useful. The drow elves have smiths for weapons an' jewelry, but most o'the metalwork is thrust on us. So Zauboth Ogor led o'er three score of us to freedom, an' I imagine th'matriarchs are tearin' their hair out o'er the smelters goin' cold as we speak!"

From over the ridge, the duergar woman spat and howled and cursed. "Ow! Owwwww! Tha's my bad leg, yeh nitwit!"

Not impressed with his cohort's pain, Keitha's captive continued with little pause. "Lorthelytt is more legend than knowledge for me, but she's sure as stone not one to cross. It shouldna be any surprise if...."

A loud, thundering crack of thick, breaking wood preceded a thundering impact somewhere to the north, and from there came the wails and roars of conflict. Killian Fang bristled and bared his teeth, clearly dismayed with the clamor.

"Ah, it sounds like someone else may've found some of our camps," the duergar miner intoned with a soured stare, "an' they don' sound like friends."


(Naturally, the duergar have no possessions, save for their daggers and ragged clothing. If they have anything of value, it's most likely back in their camps.)

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:36 am

OOC Grab the weapons handy and anything of value and take off (Killian and Donovan also) in a southern direction for a ways then I will circle back around to see what is making the rackett. I want to stay in cover as much as possible and look for the terrain that will hide our foot prints as much as possible. I also want to continue to use listen and try to gauge what and where this new enemy is
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:42 am

With a hushed command, Keitha bid Donovan to take the daggers from the duergar nearest him as she darted into the pool behind her own defeated foe. As shallow as the pool was, she was not long in searching for the fallen dagger. Stomping into the drained creek bed, Donovan handed over his two duergar daggers while returning the blade that Keitha had lent him earlier.


(Donovan returns Keitha's dagger, and Keitha takes the three duergar daggers as well.)

The noises of conflict did not cease, and so Keitha gathered her servant and her wolf, clambering out of the muddy ravine and leaving the three dark dwarves to crawl away and lick their wounds behind her.


(Keitha - opposed Move Silently check: 18)
(Drow Elf Wizardess - opposed Listen check: 17)

Clinging to the thickest patches of grass as she strode forth in search of the discord, she moved forth well ahead of Killian Fang and Donovan, scouting for an ideal path towards the din of conflict.

The clearing soon stretched before her, and it harbored another duergar camp. Meat, furs and hides harvested from various forest animals hung from many a branch or roasted over the campfire cobbled from dry deadfall, and three tents haphazardly stitched together from crude cloth and beast skins had been pitched to shelter the refugees from the elements.

But the camp offered the duergar no respite from their oppressors. Within the camp a deep hole yawned, the freshly turned earth scattered as if punched upward by an unstoppable force from below. Though the drow elves who then invaded the camp were outnumbered, they were better trained and better equipped...warriors and a mage, no mere slaves. The two men-at-arms draped in dark, shimmering chainmail had drawn their steel and closed on two of the duergar, their light rapiers of drow-forged steel a greater threat than the crude clubs and daggers which the refugees used to defend themselves. The lone woman among the three invaders threw her hands forth with an alien chant, twining her fingers together in a twisted arcane gesture, the prelude to the web which sprung from the air itself and raced outward to latch onto the earth, the trees and the surrounding folliage, ensnaring three of the four dwarves who raced at their pursuers and binding them in thick, sticky gossamer strands; of the fourth, he was left to delicately pick his way through the magic web, careful to avoid the webbing lest he too be bound like his cohorts.

Barking and bellowing and commanding and pleading between arrogant drow and desperate duergar followed for moments after, but in a language which Keitha could not comprehend. Mindful of their quarry's mutual fluency in the Undercommon tongue, the mage then chose to address her two swordsmen in a tongue not likely to be familiar to the duergar: Elven.

"Zauboth Ogor is not here! Lorthelytt would see him slowly flayed as an example to this rabble. Finish subduing this lot, but do not damage them too greatly. We must find the author of this revolt, and we will put this entire forest to the torch if the task demands it...."

A duergar woman yelped as the swordsman opposing her thrust his whisper-thin blade too near her face. But even over the ruckus, Keitha gasped too deeply as she stopped in her tracks. Clutching her black grimoire to her breast, the wizardess bolted erect and turned her eyes in the ranger's direction, watching and listening for the source of the sound yet failing to pinpoint the half-elf crouched among the high grass. Shaking the distraction from her mind, the drow woman returned her focus to the task at hand.

Donovan and Killian Fang crept in low behind Keitha. Whether she chose to avoid the confrontation or to enter it, this would be her time to decide...and quickly, at that.




(Also, now would be a good time to decide which 1st Level spell Keitha prepared this morning, just in case she needs to cast it here or later. As with most young druids and rangers, she already has a braided mistletoe to hold and use as her divine focus for the casting of certain spells. But if she wants to use anything fancier than the mistletoe, she'll have to craft it, buy it or hunt for it later.)


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:53 pm

Keitha assested the sistuation quickly. It would probablely be wiser to fight another day but her hatered of the dark eleves was just too strong and she was never one to run from a fight. Keitha gave a quick silent signal to Donovan and Killian to hold back out of the fight unless they were needed. She hoped to entangle to group and keep them busy and provide a distraction that lasted long enough to give her the edge to grab her bow and fire on the mage. She reach inside herself for her magic and began to cast her spell as quietly as she could.


OCC I am going to use Entangle and then use Qucik Draw to grab my bow and fire on the mage.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:28 am

The Entangle spell has a 40-foot radius (or an 80' diameter). Each square on the map's grid represents 5 feet on an axis and about 7.5 feet on a diagonal. Bear in mind that the Entangle spell knows no friends; the rapidly growing vegetation is as likely to trap the duergar, Killian, Donovan and even Keitha herself as well as the drow elves, if they are in the area of effect. Also bear in mind that, since Keitha is a Level 5 Ranger, the area effect of her Entangle spell will last for 5 minutes (roughly 100 rounds), and even if someone frees himself or herself from the vegetation (with either a pure Strength check or the Escape Artist skill), the twisting and grasping plants can easily ensnare them again if they remain inside the area of effect.

So, with all of that in mind, pick a point on the map to serve as the dead center of the Entangle spell's effect.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:46 am

OCC I will use the mage as the center of the spell. If I counted right, that leaves my party out of the circle but gets the other two drow, right? It is hard to tell the squares in the grass. Very Happy Also in addition to the spell, once i am ready to use my bow i will still use quick draw and can i use experise or is that only when using my blades?
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:26 pm

To escape the Entangle spell:
(Drow Wizardess - Reflex Save (DC 13): Success (15))
(Drow Warrior 1 - Reflex Save (DC 13): Failure (7))
(Drow Warrior 2 - Reflex Save (DC 13): Failure (2))
(Duergar 1 - Reflex Save (DC 13): Failure (5))
(Duergar 2 - Reflex Save (DC 13): Failure (8))
(Duergar 3 - Reflex Save (DC 13): Failure (5))
(Duergar 4 - Reflex Save (DC 13): Failure (12))
(Duergar 5 - Reflex Save (DC 13): Success (21))

To escape the Web spell:
(Duergar 5 - Strength check (DC 20): Failure (8))
(Duergar 6 - Strength check (DC 10): Success (23). Duergar #6 may move up to 15' through the Web.)

From her place among the trees, Keitha thrust her braided mistletoe towards the drow magician, she who was most obviously the leader of the drow party. No sooner had the uttered invocation to the forest spirits left her lips than an unsettling sylvan whisper rose from the clearing around the wizardess.

A rapier of drow-smithed steel reared back in the farthest warrior's hand, ready to transfix the lowly duergar cringing before him. But green tendrils lashed from the high grass behind the dark elf, snaring his sword arm and halting his hand for the moment. All around the clearing, grass grew rapidly and twisted with a will of its own. Roots of oak and beech ripped out of their earthen moorings and lashed across the ground, binding any legs that they might catch. Branches and boughs curled towards the earth, reaching for heads and grasping at arms and bodies.

The writhing vegetation bore down drow elf and duergar alike. Only one escaped Keitha's spell with her freedom: the very elf she had targeted, rising among the whipping shades of green and brown unfettered, like a stone tower at the eye of a hurricane. Across the expanse she found Keitha unshouldering her bow and nocking an arrow in one smooth and nigh-instantaneous motion, and the spellcaster's eyes sank from the wideness of surprise to the narrowness of bitterness and ire.

"We are attacked by another, comrades! Deal with the pitiful rabble! I shall strike her down but briefly."

Meanwhile, at the farthest edge of the wizardess' thick gossamer web, a lone dark dwarf picked his way free of the strands and slunk low through the grass, unnoticed.



Keitha (Init 18) > Shortbow attack on the Drow Wizardess
Drow Warrior 1 (Init 17) > Stabbing at Duergar 1
All Duergar but Duergar 6 (Init 16) > Attacking with daggers (if drow elves are in range) or standing there struggling in their bonds (if not)
Drow Wizardess (Init 10) > Casting an unknown spell in Keitha's direction
Killian Fang (Init 10) > Staying at Keitha's side
Drow Warrior 2 (Init 8) > Stabbing at Duergar 2
Donovan (Init 7) > Staying at Keitha's side
Duergar 6 (Init 4) > Turning himself Invisible


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:43 pm

Keitha quickly drew her bow and arrow, took aim at the Wizardess and let loose. She knew she needed to take this one out first and as quick as possible before the others got loose. She was mindfull of the others and what they were doing but her main focus was the wizardess. Keitha was confident that Killian and Donovan would guard her back if the need arose.

(OOC us quick draw with the bow)
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:31 pm

(Keitha - Shortbow attack on Drow Wizardess (AC 13): Hit (17))
(The Drow Wizardess takes 4 Damage.)
(Drow Wizardess - Concentration check (DC 15): Success (25))
(The Drow Wizardess continues casting her spell...)

The bowstring sprung with a sharp snap, launching the hissing arrow across the expanse, past curling branches and whipping vines. The wizardess stifled a screech at the arrowhead bit deeply into the meat of her belly, but her focus on her spell would not be deterred.

"Ver'korsimada, palkesnia vur hsss calidurn..."


(Drow Wizardess casts Ray of Enfeeblement at Keitha)
(Drow Wizardess - Ranged Touch Attack on Keitha (Touch AC 12): Missed (6))

From the magician's hands sprang a dark, pulsating beam of necromantic energy, leaping across the clearing at Keitha faster than the eye could follow. But the shooting pain of Keitha's arrow had thrown the wizardess' aim off, and the terrible, debilitating ray punched through the leafy canopy over the ranger's head, turning the wood black and withered wherever it passed.


(Dice dice dice...)
(None of the drow elves or duergar escape the spell effects this round. The Drow Wizardess remains free.)

(Duergar 1 takes 3 Damage from Drow Warrior 1.)
(Duergar 2 takes 4 Damage from Drow Warrior 2.)
(The Drow Warriors take no Damage.)

Among the twisting and winding wild growth, the battle was going poorly for what few duergar dared to resist their oppressors. Screams and screeches pierced the forest air, and bloodied rapier blades were drawn from strong muscles and trembling gray hides.

The wizardess ignored it all, focusing her ire on Keitha as she spread her fingers and traced yet more arcane patterns in the vine-torn air before her. All the world around the two seemed to fade into fog and shadow as arrow sang and spellfire howled.

And if no one had noticed the lone, escaped duergar before, they would surely never spot him now. His bloodborne magic had done its work, concealing his rugged and knotted form from the halflight itself.



Drow Wizardess (Init 21) > Casting an unknown spell
Keitha (Init 5) > Shortbow attack on Drow Wizardess


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:36 pm

OCC I will continue to fire another arrow at her.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:59 pm

(Drow Wizardess casts Mirror Image, creating two illusionary duplicates of herself.)

The last syllable of the incantation was spit from the drow woman's scarlet lips briefly before Keitha could level her arrow and send it at her enemy. But in that moment, Keitha began to question her own mind and her lucidity, for not one but three wizardesses drifted and danced before her, each exactly like the others down to the most minute details.

Keitha clenched her teeth and set her arrow free, hoping that the visage for which she aimed was her true enemy.


(Keitha - Shortbow attack on the Drow Wizardess (AC 13): Missed (12))

But the wizardry was playing unsettling tricks on Keitha's senses. For the scantest of seconds, the ranger found herself bedazzled by the dance of illusions. In that unfocused state, she released her arrow a split-second too late. It split the air between two of those wizardess heads, its racing arc ending with a dull thunk in a tree trunk somewhere beyond.

Keitha's deft fingers plucked another arrow from her quiver, racing the clock as her enemy and both of her duplicates raised their hands in a perfectly synchronized reach for the heavens, bringing her fingers earthward as her next spell began....



Keitha (Init 16) > Shortbow attack on Drow Wizardess
Drow Wizardess (Init 9) > Casting another unknown spell in Keitha's direction...


Last edited by The House of Ainsley on Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jazman
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:04 pm

OCC Let loose the next arrow at her...... and pray....alot
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:31 pm

(Keitha - Shortbow attack on Drow Wizardess (AC 13): Hit (14))
(Mirror Image check (d3): 2)
(Keitha's arrow hits and destroys a mirror image instead of hitting the Drow Wizardess.)

Keitha silently prayed to whatever gods or forest spirits would hear her as she raised the arrow level with her eye and let it soar. For a fleeting moment, her heart tasted elation as the arrow spun directly at the drow woman's throat. But elation fell into disappointment as the arrow punched through that neck and into the forest behind the wizardess, dragging a trail of stardust behind its fletching. The illusion trembled for the space of a breath before it shattered into a thousand scintillating fragments, cascaded to the earth and burst into pinpricks of light and color.

The arrow had not been a complete waste, for the wizardess then had but one mirror image to hide behind. The twin visages completed the spell unfettered, and a plume of phantasmal scarlet fire rose from the breastbone of wizardess and illusionary double alike, congealing into a grasping spectral hand in the space before her. The leafy tendrils whipped and clutched at the ghostly hand but availed naught, for it was vision with a nearly negligible substance.


(Drow Wizardess casts Spectral Hand.)
(Drow Wizardess takes 3 Damage from sacrificing a portion of her lifeforce to cast that spell.)

The spellbinder and her double smiled predatory leers at Keitha as they thrust their hands to send the spectral hand forth. Keitha kept her bow and her quiver at the ready, while Killian and Donovan kept watch over their leader. The battle continued to sing and scream nearby, almost escaping the notice of the drow leader herself. Such was the focus which she invested in this new threat to her errand and her life itself.


(Dice dice dice...)
(Drow Warrior 2 takes 4 Damage from Duergar 2.)


Keitha (Init 17) > Shortbow attack on Drow Wizardess
Drow Wizardess (Init 8) > Casts another spell as the Spectral Hand races at Keitha...


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:39 pm

Keitha didn't give any less focus to her target. She was determined to be the winner of this battle. She strung her next arrow and pulled back the bow. With another silent hope sent to any of the Gods that maybe listening, she let loose the arrow.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:19 pm

(Keitha - Shortbow attack on Drow Wizardess (AC 13): Hit (25))
(Mirror Image check (d2): 1)

(The Drow Wizardess takes 5 Damage and falls. She is now Dying.)

Keitha was no sorceress, but she did not need to be one to know that the spectral hand streaking towards her held no goodness in its touch. And somewhere behind that hand, the wizardess' twin sneers erupted into fully malevolent grins steeped in her ancestral wickedness and venom.

But in that moment did she find her focus. There was no spectral hand, no twisting branches or tendrils, no distance or wind. There was only the wizardess' heart. Keitha aimed at that heart and hoped with all the hope she could muster that she chose the true wizardess, and not a mere phantasm.

In the blink of an eye, the arrow darted through the ghostly hand's red, horrid fingers birthed of dark magic, and at the chest of the one who had sent that hand forth. But this time, there was no stardust, no twinkling whispers, no cascading fragments of a bursting illusion.

The blood dribbled down the spiderweb pattern of the drow woman's vested robe, and her duplicate sprouted a matching wound. With a pained and pitiable wail, the spellcaster fell back onto the grassy earth, not caring in the least as the vines and roots and blades of grass engulfed her. For Keitha had already done far worse to her than the greenery ever could.


(Keitha receives 1,000 Experience for defeating the Drow Wizardess.)

(Dice dice dice...)
(Duergar 1 takes 3 Damage.)
(Duergar 2 takes 5 Damage.)
(Drow Warrior takes 5 Damage.)

Without its creator's driving will behind it, the spectral hand lingered suspended in the air before Keitha, its glowing fingers inert and hanging in a languid spread. In the tangle of mystically animated plant life, rapiers and daggers thrust through the green. The duergar would not endure for much longer; though spirited in resistance, they were too poor and ill-prepared to best the pair of trained and chainmailed swordsmen.

The spells' effects would not subside for several minutes more. Keeping her place between Killian and Donovan, Keitha regarded the fifteen remaining arrows in her quiver and weighed her choice: send more arrows at the remaining combatants, or sit back and let slave and slaver settle their grievances without her interference.



Keitha >
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:06 am

Relief washed over Keitha, as she watch the wizardess fall. She would have to give her thanks properly to the Gods, for so far she had truely been bless this day. At the moment however, there were still enemies afoot. She moved over to her left so that she could have a clearer view of all of the others in play. Being carefull not to get caught in her owe spell as she went, Keitha did a quick scan of the scene and noticed that even with her spell in place the drow had an overwhelming advantage over the dwarves. She really didn't have any love for the duergar but she knew the drow served as a threat to her that needed to be eliminated. Keitha took aim at the drow to the right and let loose her arrow.

OCC I am going to move so that the tent doesn't cause any obstruction to my aiming at drow #1. Also I want to use search as I to a quick scan around as I am moving into place.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Black Earth Below   Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:55 pm

(Keitha - Search check (DC ??): 22)

Keeping a keen and wary eye on the surrounding trees and scrub, Keitha slunk through the wavering grass and crept around the trunk of a mighty oak, nocking an arrow and sending it through the morass of twisting vines and boughs.


(Keitha - Shortbow attack on Drow Warrior #1 (AC 14): Hit (21))
(Drow Warrior 1 takes 4 Damage)

A surprised hiss escaped the dark elf's lips as the unexpected missile punched through his black chainmail and sunk obliquely beneath his shoulder blade, freeing a thick scarlet rivulet to course down his back, link by link. Scarcely lifting his eyes from the two dwarves who challenged his blade, he barked a wrathful curse in a tongue which found no familiarity in Keitha's ears.


(Drow Warriors 1 & 2: Rapier attacks on Duergar 1 & 2 (AC 9): Missed (3), Missed (6))
(Duergar 1 & 2: Dagger attacks on Drow Warriors 1 & 2 (AC 14): Hit (19), Missed (5))

(Drow Warrior 1 takes 5 Damage)


(Duergars 3, 4 & 5 - Strength check (DC 20): 3, 4, 15)

The skirmish continued to race, denying the Underdark's combatants any opportunity to free themselves from the creeping shoots and ivy. Killian and Donovan brought up the rear as Keitha checked her quiver, satisfied that she had plenty of arrows if the clash lasted overly long.



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