BK
01
CH
09
SC
09

The Annals of Pelor
A Fell Taint

…continues from Book #01, Chapter #09, Scene #08

Synopsis

The 28th Day of Ches in the Year of the Sudden Journey
The group have chased down an orc that stole some of their goods from the wagon along the Old Road and defeated the rest of its tribe. Upon searching for their goods, however, they have encountered a very strange beast.

Cast List

Scene Length

This scene starts on Tuesday 30th October 2012 and is expected to be completed by the end of Friday 23rd November 2012.

Players are expected to be able to post at least once a day.

OCT
30

Combat
Initiative Block

I

Round #08

Combat Encounter Completed


Creatures in Play:

[23] Zero - 1d20+6+2: 23 - HP: 28/50 50,36,16,35,30,45,28

[21] Kireth - 1d20+9+2: 21 - HP: 39/44 44,29,44,39

[15] Beltak - 1d20+6+2: 15 - HP: 42/47 (Healing +5) 47,42,37,32,46,47,42

[15] Khalin - 1d20+6+2: 15 - HP: 16/51 (9 temp hp) (Bloodied) 44,28,40,25,51,45,30,21,16

[De] Tradden - 1d20+6+2: 23 - HP: 23/57 (Bloodied) 46,31,26,48,37,56,51,38,33,28,-3,13,0,1,-17,0,28,23


Removed from Play:

[09] Fell Taint - 1d20+5: 9 (Dmg: 210) (Marked by Tradden) (Bloodied) (Insubstantial) 0,4,17,27,64,78,84,86,97,111,116,123,129,135,140,151,154,155,161,170,186,191,163,166,179,190,193,210

OCT
30

Combat
Battlemap

BM
Battlemap
OCT
30

Combat
Features of the Area

AF

Illumination: Darkness, with light provided only by artificial light. Visibility shown on map.

OCT
31

Combat
Zero Uhlit

01

The small hairs on the back of Zero’s neck began to rise and the rogue continued to step back, the point of his crossbow wavering as he pointed it at the gnoll.

Even though he tried his best to huddle behind Kireth he could still feel the cold black orbs staring at him, and that tongue flickering. That tongue…

Without thinking he squeezed the trigger on the crossbow and melted back towards the comfort of the darkness near the curtain.

[Gloaming Cut]

[Primary Attack vs Gnoll: 1d20+9+2: 20] - misses!

[Shift: NW, W]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 25] - success!

[Zero is hidden from the Gnoll]

The crossbow shivered in his trembling hands and for a moment Zero had thought he had struck Kireth in the back by mistake. In fact, would it matter? They were all doomed by this odd thing before them. He shook his head and tried to wipe the thought from his mind, noticing the bolt quivering fast in the wood over the fireplace.

He took some comfort in the thought that the eyes were no longer on him and he steeled himself for what was to come.

NOV
01

Combat
Tradden Aversward

02

Tradden heard, rather than saw, Zero’s bolt whistle past his head.

‘Now, seems to me you are outnumbered and surrounded my weird… blackeyed… friend. Perhaps you would like to talk about this…?’

The thing suddenly whipped its head around to stare at the fighter, its glass-like black eyes staring right through him. It was a stare that could have curdled milk or frozen water.

Although Tradden was a brave lad, or perhaps just naive, and would normally shrug such a stare off without though, this one pierced him to the soul and he felt himself baulking for a second from engaging the foe.

‘No-one ever wants to just talk!’ he said, with a resigned sigh, as he side-stepped into a better position.

[Pass Forward]

[Move: E, E]

He then swung round in a seemingly clumsy action at the creature’s head.

[Surprising Stab]

[Primary Attack vs Gnoll’s Reflex: 1d20+12+2: 25] - hits!

[Damage: 4] and [Gnoll grants Combat Advantage] and [Marked]

[Secondary Attack vs Gnoll: 1d20+11+2: 15] - misses!

The swing was far from clumsy however, and was in fact a feint to allow the fighter to get in a stab upwards with his other blade.

The creature, initially taken off-guard, quickly reacted after the first ‘clumsy’ hit took a small tuft of fur from its head, and easily avoided the second blow.

‘I see, it’s like that, is it?’ challenged Tradden, who took comfort from the fact that whilst those strange eyes were now focused solely on him, the thing’s back was exposed to Khalin and Beltak.

The cut where Tradden’s longsword had removed some of the creature’s orange fur kept splitting even as the fighter missed the opportunity to follow the slice up with a more deliberate strike. It did not bleed, however, just opened up ever so slightly revealing a shiny black skin beneath.

NOV
02

Combat
Kireth Majere

03

They were encountering many new persons and creatures in this fascinating new world but there was something about this one that made his skin tighten and hair stand on end. He suspected it may not be of this plane but then, why was it here? In this cabin? With orcs? It didn’t add up… yet.

The creature would have to be subdued, probably killed, first. He regretted this, but safety first was a lesson the group had learned very quickly.

[Force Orb]

[Primary Attack vs Gnoll’s Reflex: 1d20+9: 27] - hits!

[Damage: 2d8+5: 13]

The mage’s ball of force burst over the gnoll’s chest with an audible crash, slivers of pure force cascading past and into the fireplace causing the embers to sparkle and flame.

Splinters of the ball cut tears across the gnoll’s orange fur that split and contorted in front of the group, a writhing black mass underneath starting to bulge through.

The gnoll looked undisturbed, however, by the petty strikes of the group so far, simply looking up at the group with disdain.

NOV
02

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

04

Tradden’s strike was swift and Kireth’s was powerful, but the beast before them still stood firm.

Beltak was unsure what his minor powers could do in comparison with those that his new-found comrades were able to display time after time. He hesitated. He was not one for battle and found himself stumbling back, away from the thing before him, almost stumbling over the chair.

[Shift: W]

He almost fumbled his prayers as he uttered a short prayer to Pelor, but a divine light spread out from his symbol to cover the gnoll and Khalin.

[Lance of Faith]

[Primary Attack vs Gnoll’s Reflex: 1d20+8: 27] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+5: 10]

[Khalin gains +2 to attack Gnoll on next turn]

‘Whatever you are, you will fall before Pelor!’ gasped the scribe bravely, but the tremor in his voice belied the bravado.

NOV
03

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

05

‘Aye!’ roared Khalin as he stepped forward into the space vacated by Beltak.

[Move: SE]

‘I’m nay personal friend of Pelor, but he is a good neighbour to me and my kin and last I saw him he asked me to give you… this!’

With a spin in the air that Tradden would have been proud of the warlord brought down Aecris in a smashing motion.

[Warlord’s Strike]

[Primary Attack vs Gnoll: 1d20+10+2+2: 34] - critical hit!

[Damage: 2d10r2+7: 27] plus [2d8: 6 critical damage] plus [1d6: 4 flame bracers damage]

[All allies gain +2 to damage rolls vs Gnoll until end of next turn]

Both Pelor and Moradin were both certainly present at that exact moment and smiling on the dwarf, Aecris powering down onto the creature with a blinding flash and thunderclap, which gave steel to all Khalin’s comrades.

If the phenomenal hit had excited the dwarf, however, he was too cool to show it. Instead he studied the head of his hammer in a critical fashion. ‘Hmm, perhaps there is something in this weapon twirling thing after all, my lad.’

He then turned to Beltak. ‘My thanks to Pelor, let his light continue to shine!’

When the dwarf turned back to the gnoll, though, rather than witnessing the bloody pulp he expected he saw a rather different scene and the confidence and cocky attitude started to wane. Where he thought he would see the gnoll’s crushed skull, he simply saw the flesh hanging limply off to one side and a writhing mass of black, unfurling before their eyes.

NOV
03

Combat
Gnoll

06

Despite the offensive the group had launched at the creature it still stood before them, impassionate and stoic. Across its chest its flesh had been ripped by shreds of force and radiant light. Its face was darkened by whatever lay beneath its skin.

It moved slowly, but surely, its arm moving up towards its face, grabbing a hold on the limp flap of fur that hung loosely down. It began to pull, and the blackness within moved and rippled in tandem.

Then, the lights went out.

NOV
04

Combat
Zero Uhlit

07

Zero did not like the look of whatever secrets the gnoll hid behind its flesh. The writhing blackness behind had reminded him a little of the kraken and when the candles snuffed out he panicked, moving backwards swifly towards the comforting light of the kitchen.

[Move: W, W]

In the darkness and confusion he bumped into the curtain, but caught his balance before stepping through. Pale and sweaty he lifted his crossbow to aim, but thought better of it before he loosed a bolt, desperate not to hit one of his friends.

NOV
04

Combat
Tradden Aversward

08

Tradden’s hands involuntarily tightened on the hilts of his swords as the light disappeared suddenly.

It was so fast, it seemed a little odd.

‘Kirrreettthhhh?’ he growled slowly as a question to the mage.

[Delay]

[Tradden delays until after Khalin’s turn]

The young fighter shivered as he stood and waited for something to happen.

NOV
05

Combat
Kireth Majere

09

The mage found Tradden’s call irritating him, building on the anger rising inside that he did not know what was happening here. Something was definitely wrong, something maybe not even of this plane, but the darkness prevented him from piercing the veil and gathering the understanding he needed to best it.

He realised he was sweating and there was the curious sensation of fear in the chill in his body and the cruel taste of defeat in his mouth. Well, he wasn’t defeated. Not yet.

He thrust his staff high, shouting the word that brought light back to the room.

[Light]

[Kireth creates magical light at the tip of his staff with a radius of 5 squares]

The bright magelight threw the room ablaze, the shadows of the corners and the ceiling banished with Kireth’s spell. The furniture and oddments remained as they were, but the gnoll was gone.

For a moment the mage frowned. He had sensed no magics or movement in the brief time the room had been plunged into darkness. The only remains appeared to be the flaps of orange-furred skin that had been cast to one side by the blows of Khalin’s hammer and the forces of the mage.

There was, he noticed, however, more of the skin on the floor behind the table and realisation began to dawn.

Then, he looked up.

Where he had expected to see a ceiling there was none, the room extending upwards right into the rafters that had previously been hidden by the low light of the candles. The stairs ended in a precipice as though the upper floor had been ripped out. And there, glistening in the light of the mage’s staff was the horror that he feared.

It was revolting yet somehow beautiful. Translucent, almost insubstantial, orbs of wispy tendrils flowing and writhing about five feet above the table as if they were cast upon the wind. The tendrils were the deepest black, irridescent in sheen, and perhaps a couple of feet in diameter. It dripped with whatever ichor it had needed to keep itself within the fake body and now it was unleashed had started to unfurl the tendrils like great tentacles of the kraken they had encountered before.

Fell Taint

The sweat on Kireth’s skin now chilled him to the bone. He knew in his heart that this creature, whatever it was, only wanted one thing from them.

To feed.

‘Riiiigggghhhhhhht…’ said Tradden.

‘Lights out again, please…’ he added, dryly.

‘Bad,’ stated the mage backing off, ‘very bad.’ With his free hand feeling the corner of the table behind, he instinctively moved to its opposite side.

[Move: W, NW]

The others, well Tradden at least, would be hoping he could offer something else. ‘Well, ok, you ugly sack of… I have absolutely no idea, let’s see if you have a brain in there.’

[Nightmare Eruption]

[Primary Attack vs Gnoll’s Will: 1d20+9: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+5+2: 9] plus [5 psychic vulnerability]

The thing seemed to writhe and flex, convulsing with the magic that Kireth aimed at its brain. The tendrils stood on end, reaching as far as Tradden and then they recoiled and swam from side to side in the air as it appeared to calm.

NOV
06

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

10

The scribe looked abhorrently at the floating creatrure, unsure whether to fear or revile the thing.

‘You are an abomination,’ uttered Beltak hoarsely, before lifting his symbol and starting the now familiar words of prayer.

[Consecrated Ground]

[Close Burst 1 centered on Beltak]

A crackling web of radiant light began to spiral upwards from the floorboards around the scribe. They spread out five or ten feet from the priest and sparked and fizzed when they touched the tendrils of the creature. Khalin could feel the strength and the warmth of Pelor’s grace, however, and knew it would help if they were injured.

NOV
07

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

11

While the mage and scribe worked their magics, Khalin had seemed transfixed, a low uncomfortable growl emanating from behind the dwarf’s lips. For a moment, clearly unsettled by perhaps the most vile, grotesque ‘thing’ they had encountered so far, the warlord part of him quickly reasserted itself and he sprung back into action.

‘In Moradin’s name we need to take this thing down. And fast!’ Khalin quickly surmised, wondering what other horrors the thing might unleash when it struck back.

As he spoke Aecris was already moving and once again the dwarf brought the mighty craghammer round in a graceful loop, the head of the weapon building up speed as it whirled round and up. With a flourish he reached high above his head to try catch the monster with a powerful strike…

[Shielded Assault]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+10: 16] - misses!

[+2 AC to self and adjacent allies until end of next turn]

As Khalin launched into his strike one of the tendrils snapped out and caught the craghammer around the shaft, pulling with incredible strength and throwing the dwarf to one side.

[Fell Taint: Seeds of Discord]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8-2: 21 vs Khalin’s Will (17)] - hits!

[Khalin re-rolls triggering attack against a target of the Fell Taint’s choosing]

Before the dwarf could react he found the hammer coming around in an arc towards Beltak’s head! Part of it was the tendril’s grip on the shaft, but part of it seemed to be Khalin’s desire to strike down the scribe.

[Shielded Assault]

[Primary Attack vs Beltak: 1d20+10: 18] - misses!

Although the scribe wasn’t expecting it, he just managed to get his shield up in time, diverting the blow.

NOV
08

Combat
Tradden Aversward

12

Tradden was not fazed. He had already been traumatised by long tendrils — that was so a few months ago. With a one-step, twirl, two-step, samba, he moved gracefully through the various dangling tendrils to arrive at Khalin’s side.

[Shift: SW]

‘That… one!’ he said playfully to the dwarf, gesturing with his short sword at the floating monstrosity. This only drew a roar of rage from the warlord.

Turning back to the matter at hand, choosing the nearest tentacle, Tradden tried to chop it in two.

[Melee Basic Attack - Longsword]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+12+2: 25] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 13] and [Marked]

[Damage reduced to 6 due to Insubstantial]

The sword cut through one of the shimmering tendrils, slicing it from the thing’s body. It gently and silently fell to the floor like a feather.

NOV
08

Combat
Fell Taint

13

The thing in the rafters began to roll out its tendrils, obvious to the group that they could reach a fair distance.

Then the crackling web of light from Beltak’s prayer covered them, boiling them with radiant light and energy.

[Beltak: Consecrated Ground]

[Damage: 1d6+2: 5]

[Damage reduced to 2 due to Insubstantial]

The tendrils refused to succumb to the holy power and simply swayed and waved in the air as though they were being blown by a gentle breeze, almost mesmerising. Then they snapped taught and a shock of air hit those closest.

[Seeds of Despair]

[Close Burst 3]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+8: 24 vs Tradden’s Will (18)] - hits!

[At the start of target’s turn deal 5 psychic damage to adjacent allies (Save Ends)]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+8: 22 vs Khalin’s Will (17)] - hits!

[At the start of target’s turn deal 5 psychic damage to adjacent allies (Save Ends)]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+8: 15 vs Beltak’s Will (20)] - misses!

The blast reeled through the group, disorienting and confusing them. The thing pressed its advantage, reaching out with its tendrils to latch onto the one that had struck it last.

[Spreading Despair]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 24 vs Tradden’s Reflex (20)] - hits!

[Damage: 3d6+2: 15]

The pain was excruciating, far more painful than the warrior expected from such wispy limbs. For a moment he was stunned, his eyes staring into nothingness, wide open with fright. Then he seemed to snap back into the room as if released from some spell.

NOV
08

Combat
Zero Uhlit

14

The tentacled monstrosity was giving Zero the willies. Using his new-found combat wisdom he decided to keep his distance, trying to get all of the advantage he could from the gap in the curtains.

‘Eat this, you h-horrible thing,’ Zero whispered, with a telltale stutter.

[Fleeting Spirit Strike]

[Shift: E]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 28] - success!

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+9+2: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+4: 8] plus [2d8: 15 sneak damage] and [Bloodied]

[Damage reduced to 11 due to Insubstantial]

[Shift: W]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 22] - success!

Zero was swift, moving to the curtains and then stepping back once more without even watching the bolt.

It was straight and true and plunged into the centre of the writhing mass of tendrils, causing the creature the whirl in an agitated manner, some form of liquid dripping down onto the table beneath it.

NOV
11

Combat
Kireth Majere

15

The abomination had seemed to react quite negatively to Kireth’s attempt to disrupt its mind. As, once again, they were fighting in close quarters it seemed the most logical spell to try again, at least until another avenue presented itself.

[Nightmare Eruption]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint’s Will: 1d20+9: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+5: 9] plus [5 psychic vulnerability]

The thing squirmed as Kireth concentrated his efforts on its mind, tendrils snaking left and right and the irridescent sheen pulsed with strange patterns. Whatever magics the mage was conjuring up were definitely affecting the beast.

NOV
11

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

16

Beltak continued his chanting, eyes focused solely on the aberration before him, the crackling strands of radiant light continuing to flow from the floor like tendrils of steam.

[Consecrated Ground]

He started to add to the chanting, weaving further prayers into the ones he was already reciting, the resulting litany gaining volume and speed.

[Beacon of Hope]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint’s Will: 1d20+8: 18] - misses!

The warmth of Pelor’s divine radiance filled the hearts of those closest to Beltak, but the abomination simply wrapped three of its shimmering tendrils around the scribe’s arm that held aloft his holy symbol.

[Fell Taint: Seeds of Discord]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8-2: 22 vs Beltak’s Will (20)] - interrupted!

Tradden was quick to try to sever the tendrils before they could act on the scribe.

[Tradden: Melee Basic Attack - Longsword]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+12: 25] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 11] and [Marked]

[Damage reduced to 5 due to Insubstantial]

The young fighter cut across the tendrils but with little purchase and the abomination tightened its grip.

[Fell Taint: Seeds of Discord]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8-2: 22 vs Beltak’s Will (20)] - hits!

[Slide: NW, W, W]

[Beltak re-rolls triggering attack against a target of the Fell Taint’s choosing]

The tendrils squeezed and flicked the priest across the room until he crashed into Kireth, the final words of the divine spell upon his lips.

[Beacon of Hope]

[Primary Attack vs Kireth’s Will: 1d20+8: 25] - hits!

[Weakened until end of next turn]

[Kireth regains 5 hit points]

[Zero regains 5 hit points]

[Healing powers for Beltak provide additional 5 hit points healing]

The scribe swore, drawing a raised eyebrow from Kireth even as the mage felt his physical and arcane strength wane with the misdirected prayer.

NOV
11

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

17

The dwarf simply couldn’t help himself as he tried to focus his assault on the whirling tendrils before him, as he tried to move to flank the thing he took offence at the look on Tradden’s face and struck out without thinking at the young fighter.

[Seeds of Discord]

[Khalin hits Tradden for 5 damage] and [Bloodied]

As the blow struck, Khalin looked at his friend in growing horror — the vile beast had a spell on him and now rather than the shield and protector he should be, the thing had again turned him on his comrades. As he shrugged off the blow, Tradden gazed back at the dwarf and their eyes met in understanding.

‘I’m sorry, lad,’ the dwarf apologised and he backed away from his friend before he could strike him once more…

[Shift: NW]

Grateful that the lad was savvy enough not to take too great offence at this unexpected turn, Khalin decided on a different tack. ‘Now then, ignore me, and clobber that thing again!’ he urged, enthusiasm once again surging to the fore.

[Inspiring Word]

[Tradden spends a Healing Surge and regains 2d6+14: 22 hit points]

[Tradden is no longer Bloodied]

[Last Legion Officer: Tradden gains +2 to AC and Reflex until start of next turn]

‘Go on!’ repeated Khalin at Tradden and pointed the hammer at the floating aberration.

[Direct the Strike]

[Tradden makes a Basic Attack vs Fell Taint]

‘With pleasure, master dwarf!’ growled Tradden, lashing out furiously.

[Tradden: Melee Basic Attack - Longsword]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+12: 30] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 14] and [Marked]

[Damage reduced to 7 due to Insubstantial]

The young fighter was ready for whatever retaliation the thing could throw at him, but none came.

Khalin tried to compose himself and shake off whatever curse the beast had laid upon him…

[Saving Throw vs Seeds of Discord: 1d20: 1] - critical failure!

…but the curse was strong and the dwarf felt nothing but despair.

NOV
12

Combat
Tradden Aversward

18

Feeling better due to the inspiring words of Khalin, Tradden assessed the situation tactically, re-assessed, realised the only viable tactic was ‘Hit. Tentacles’ and kept at it.

[Melee Basic Attack - Longsword]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+12: 23] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 12] and [Marked]

[Damage reduced to 6 due to Insubstantial]

Hacking away without any plan felt strangely good…

[Saving Throw vs Seeds of Discord: 1d20+1: 21] - critical success!

It warmed him enough to shake off the odd feeling that had been bothering him for the last few minutes.

‘Come on!’ he snarled in a challenge. ‘I’ve seen more dangerous tentacled things on the dock fish stalls in Deepingwald!’

This brought a look of disbelief from the arrayed faces of his comrades. Even Zero managed a look up from reloading his crossbow. Tradden was perhaps the only person on the whole island who could turn a fight with a floating bententacled monstrosity into an advice on best places to eat.

‘Seriously, guys…’ he added, lopping off a stray smaller tendril for good measure, ‘…stay away from Zam-Zams’ All-You-Can-Eat. Trust me on this one!’

NOV
13

Combat
Fell Taint

19

Free of the crackling energy from Beltak’s prayers the creature began to assert its dominance.

[Seeds of Despair]

[Recharge: 1d6: 5] - success!

It continued to unfurl its tendrils, spreading them out and thrusting them in the direction of the dwarf, snapping them rigid as they struck his head.

[Spreading Despair]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8-2: 22 vs Khalin’s Reflex (15)] - hits!

[Damage: 3d6+2: 16]

Khalin looked stunned, but Tradden lunged in.

‘Oh no you don’t!’ he shouted.

[Tradden: Combat Challenge]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+12: 31] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 13] and [Marked]

[Damage reduced to 6 due to Insubstantial]

The young fighter sliced off another of the translucent, irridescent tendrils, but the creature kept on writhing and pulsing.

With Khalin stunned for the moment, it moved off towards the others.

Tradden swung again and Khalin shook off whatever had befallen him, striking out with Aecris as the tendrils the creature left flowing behind it.

[Tradden: Opportunity Attack]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+12+2: 20] - misses!

[Khalin: Opportunity Attack]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+10: 27] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10r2+7: 11]

[Damage reduced to 5 due to Insubstantial]

The wild swipe from Tradden went amiss, but Khalin bashed one of the larger tentacles. The creature kept on moving though, going below Khalin and in a great sweep around to the curtain near Beltak.

[Move: SW, W, W, W, NW]

It glided effortlessly through the air and appeared to have no issues with entering the crackling web of radiant energy that Beltak was maintaining.

It then opened its tendrils and appeared to shiver in the air.

[Seeds of Despair]

[Close Burst 3]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+8-2: 21 vs Beltak’s Will (20)] - hits!

[At the start of target’s turn deal 5 psychic damage to adjacent allies (Save Ends)]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+8-2: 22 vs Kireth’s Will (16)] - hits!

[At the start of target’s turn deal 5 psychic damage to adjacent allies (Save Ends)]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+8-2-2: 17 vs Zero’s Will (17)] - hits!

[At the start of target’s turn deal 5 psychic damage to adjacent allies (Save Ends)]

A cold fear came over the trio near the curtain and the stark shadows cast by the bright magelight atop Kireth’s staff formed shadowy outlines upon their faces.

The floating behemoth was not finished at that, however.

[Action Point]

It continued its advance and thrust out the tendrils once more. Not at Beltak, however, but past the scribe and directly for Kireth.

[Spreading Despair]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 21 vs Kireth’s Reflex (18)] - hits!

[Damage: 3d6+2: 15]

Kireth grimaced with the pain and faltered for a moment, then snarled back at the abomination.

NOV
13

Combat
Zero Uhlit

20

Zero looked uncomfortable at being this close to the be-tentacled thing and let loose a quick bolt before sneaking back further into the kitchen.

[Gloaming Cut]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+9+2-2: 18] - misses!

[Shift: N, N]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 31] - success!

[Zero is hidden from the Fell Taint]

With the rogue’s shaking hands the bolt went astray, but he slowed his breathing and movements enough to hide himself, or at least so he hoped, from the array of tendrils.

[Saving Throw vs Seeds of Discord: 1d20+1: 17] - success!

His shivering stopped once he felt he was hidden and some sort of calmness returned to his demeanour.

NOV
13

Combat
Kireth Majere

21

It took some moments for Kireth to work out where he was. He felt drained and strangely impotent. His vision was blurred and he lashed out with his staff at the first shadow he saw, striking Beltak across the shoulder.

[Seeds of Discord]

[Kireth hits Beltak for 5 damage]

As his vision allowed him a moment of clarity, Kireth squinted to see what he had lashed out at. ‘Ah, only Beltak,’ he sighed with relief. He would have been most disappointed had it been Zero.

Despite this slight lack of care, Kireth did not in fact wish to injure the cleric again, if it could be avoided anyway, so was once again restrained by the spells he could unleash.

He stepped away from the vile creature.

[Shift: NE]

He then prepared one of his more controlled attacks.

[Shadow Claws]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint’s Fortitude: 1d20+5: 13] - misses!

[Fell Taint will take damage if moves on next turn]

Dark wisps of shadow shot up violently from the cracks in the floorboards to tug and wrench at the creature’s tendrils, but they failed to gain any significant hold.

Kireth braced himself for any retort from the creature but for now it looked to be ingoring the mage.

[Saving Throw vs Seeds of Discord: 1d20: 17] - success!

With a brief respite granted, Kireth managed to shake off the strange psychic forces the creature had laid upon him.

NOV
15

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

22

The scribe kept his prayers going, muttering to Pelor under his breath, and the web of radiant light kept its vigil around him.

[Consecrated Ground]

He smarted at the strike from Kireth, wondering why the mage had caught him with a staff he never used for anything other than aiding in his spells, but did not have time to ponder this in his usual way.

At close quarters such as this Beltak’s powers were limited, and yet he did not want to move away and let the creature out of Pelor’s radiance.

He could see the welts starting to form on Kireth’s face where the creature had grabbed him, so decided to strike out at the creature and in the energy of the strike bless the mage with some much needed healing.

[Healing Strike]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+6: 11] - misses!

[Fell Taint: Seeds of Discord]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8-2: 22 vs Beltak’s Will (20)] - hits!

[Slide: E, E, E]

[Beltak re-rolls triggering attack against a target of the Fell Taint’s choosing]

As Beltak swung his mace around the tendrils lashed out and caught ahold of his arm. With a violent tug they pushed him away down the length of the room towards Khalin. With an irate snarl the priest lashed out, catching the dwarf.

[Healing Strike]

[Primary Attack vs Khalin: 1d20+6: 21] - misses!

Fortunately for the dwarf his reactions were quick and he managed to bring his shield around to deflect the unexpected blow.

Beltak looked dazed, unsure as to what was happening. He did manage to gather his wits to send a blessing in the direction of Kireth, however.

[Healing Word]

[Kireth spends a Healing Surge and regains 2d6+11+4+5: 28 hit points]

Content, for now, that the mage would be safe and able to continue his arcane assualt, the scribe tended to his own needs, summoning up the willpower to break whatever curse the creature had lain upon him.

[Saving Throw vs Seeds of Discord: 1d20+1: 19] - success!

The scribe began to breathe easier now that his wits had returned.

NOV
15

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

23

Khalin was getting tired of the fight, something within him giving him the sense that they could not win, they would be overwhelmed. The pathetic priest had chosen to heal the selfish mage, too, and not him, who was on the forefront of battle and far more deserving. The scribe had even tried to hit Khalin with a mace, too. It was a good job the dwarf was a good warrior. In fact, he’d show Beltak just how good he was and lashed out with Aecris.

[Seeds of Discord]

[Khalin hits Beltak for 5 damage]

The dwarf’s head was still ringing from the earlier touch of the creature’s vile tentacles. Once more he regarded a comrade with surprise as no sooner had he struck out at Beltak he recoiled. This was simply not the sort of battle the marshal excelled at. Green-skinned opponents arrayed before him with axes and swords, yes. Hovering abominations from the depths of the nine hells, no.

It was difficult to ascertain if the thing was weakening and he’d be damned if he could figure out its weakness — or potentially if he couldn’t at this rate.

‘Sort yourself out,’ he cursed at himself. ‘You're no ruddy craven!’

With that he steeled himself once more.

[Dwarven Resilience]

[Khalin spends a Healing Surge and regains 12 hit points]

[Khalin gains +2 to defences until start of next turn]

If the red mist had really descended on the dwarf, then he’d darn well channel it against this monstrosity. Sliding away away from Beltak lest he lash out at the cleric once more…

[Shift: SW]

…Khalin muttered a prayer to Moradin — who’d blessed the journey so far — once more, before his face contorted into a snarl of anger.

‘Zero, put this thing out of its misery!’ he shouted, drawing the creature’s attention and letting the hidden rogue a free shot.

[Direct the Strike]

[Zero makes a Basic Attack vs Fell Taint]

There was barely a sound from the shadows behind the curtain, just the snap of a crossbow string…

[Zero: Ranged Basic Attack - Hand Crossbow]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+9+2: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+4: 8] and [2d8: 14 sneak damage]

[Damage reduced to 11 due to Insubstantial]

…and the satisfying squelch as the bolt struck home. The creature whirled on the spot in a flurry of tendrils.

‘Come on then, have some dwarf if you think you can handle it!’ Khalin taunted at the thing.

[Saving Throw vs Seeds of Discord: 1d20: 8] - failure!

But no matter how he voiced his bravado, he still felt strangely affected by the abomination.

NOV
16

Combat
Tradden Aversward

24

The effect of a long day was starting to take its toll on Tradden — he felt alright now, but there was a wearniness behind his eyes suggesting there wasn’t an awful lot left in the tank.

‘Still…’ he thought, mentally rolling up his sleeves, ‘there is work yet to be done…’

With a yell he charged across the room, sidestepping furniture, where necessary, and ran straight into the mass of drooping tendrils, swords chopping away…

[Charge]

[Charge: SW, NW, W, W, …] - interrupted!

The floating monstrousity didn’t flinch one iota and when the young fighter came within range of its tendrils and did not appear to take much care it grabbed ahold and served up the mental pain that the group were becoming all to familiar with.

[Fell Taint: Melee Basic Attack - Tendrils of Despair]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 23 vs Tradden’s Reflex (20)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+2: 9]

Tradden grimaced, but continued the attack nonetheless…

[Charge]

[Charge: …, W]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+12+1: 15] - misses!

[Marked]

[Fell Taint: Seeds of Discord]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 20 vs Tradden’s Will (18)] - hits!

[Slide: E, E]

[Tradden re-rolls triggering attack against a target of the Fell Taint’s choosing]

…but the momentum was gone and the strike was a weak one. Tendrils grabbed the young fighter and he felt himself disoriented for a moment, not quite knowing where he was, thrashing out with his twin swords until he realised he was striking Khalin!

[Charge]

[Primary Attack vs Khalin: 1d20+12+1: 27] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 15] and [Bloodied]

The sharp longsword ducked underneath Khalin’s well prepared defences and opened a gash along the dwarf’s thigh, drawing a cry of alarm and a curse.

NOV
16

Combat
Fell Taint

25

There was no time for respite from the hovering behemoth, however, its tendrils began to quake and shiver once more.

[Seeds of Despair]

[Recharge: 1d6: 6] - success!

The tendrils rose and fell in a curious rhythm, tantalising and mesmerising, until a chill came over those nearest.

[Seeds of Despair]

[Close Burst 3]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+8: 19 vs Khalin’s Will (17)] - hits!

[At the start of target’s turn deal 5 psychic damage to adjacent allies (Save Ends)]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+8: 26 vs Kireth’s Will (16)] - hits!

[At the start of target’s turn deal 5 psychic damage to adjacent allies (Save Ends)]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+8: 28 vs Zero’s Will (17)] - critical hit!

[At the start of target’s turn deal 5 psychic damage to adjacent allies (Save Ends)]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+8: 11 vs Tradden’s Will (18)] - misses!

Fear and despair overcame Tradden and Khalin and they eyed each other suspiciously, their weapons slowly rounding on one another.

As they watched each other the tendrils were off, through the curtain and into the kitchen, seeking out a new victim, one lurking somewhere in the shadows, his position given away after the orders to strike from Khalin.

A victim the monstrousity had yet to taste.

As it moved away the wisps of shadow that Kireth had conjured clawed at the moving tendrils, ripping and tearing them.

[Kireth: Shadow Claws]

[Damage: 2+4: 6]

[Damage reduced to 3 due to Insubstantial]

[Move: NW, NW]

It found the rogue easily, lurking to the north of the kitchen, and closed in. It did not show feelings but Zero could sense its menace and purpose and shivered at the thought.

It reached out its tendrils for him and the rogue nearly screamed.

[Spreading Despair]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8-2: 23 vs Zero’s Reflex (20)] - hits!

[Damage: 3d6+2: 14]

As it touched the rogue the tendrils seemed to increase their fury, thrashing and sliding from side to side in a rapid motion. For want of a better description it appeared to be excited, thrilled at tasting Zero’s psychic energy.

[Action Point]

So much so, it pressed down once more on the rogue’s head, the tendrils flexing and pumping with pleasure.

[Spreading Despair]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8-2: 26 vs Zero’s Reflex (20)] - critical hit!

[Damage: 3d6+2: 20] and [Bloodied]

Zero went white and when the abomination finally released him, he looked as though he were ready to keel over.

NOV
17

Combat
Zero Uhlit

26

‘Aargh…’ managed Zero feebly, backing up against the crude cupboards as best he could.

The rogue was pale and stared at the tendrils in horror, barely able to move.

He seemed to remember something, back from their time underneath the ruined keep and mumbled a half-recalled command word, his black leather armour turning red and not just with his own blood.

[Bloodcut Leather Armour]

[Zero gains Resist 10 to all damage until end of next turn]

Then, he bolted. Closing his eyes and darting through the tendrils with abandon, the doorway and the warmth of the sunlight his only thought…

[Fleeting Ghost]

[Move: SW, …]

… but the tendrils closed in as the rogue darted through.

[Fell Taint: Opportunity Attack - Tendrils of Despair]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 13 vs Zero’s Reflex (20)] - misses!

With a duck and roll that left even Tradden impressed Zero was through and tried to spin and dodge behind the door jamb for cover.

[Fleeting Ghost]

[Move: …, SW, S, S, S]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+12: 14] - failure!

This time the manoeuvre was less eloquent and the rogue bounced off the woodwork with a crash.

Undettered and emboldend he raised his crossbow, aiming for right of centre to try and unbalance the creature.

[Unbalancing Shot]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+9: 22] - misses!

The bolt skimmed through the tentacles and slammed into a cupboard door behind it.

‘Damn!’ swore the rogue and began to shiver once more.

[Saving Throw vs Seeds of Discord: 1d20+1: 12] - success!

The clash with the doorway had at least brought the rogue to his senses and he managed to overcome the eerie spell the creature had put upon him.

NOV
19

Combat
Kireth Majere

27

The creature had moved out of Kireth’s sight. This bothered the mage not just from a combat perspective but also because the thing unnerved him enough that he wanted to know where it was at all times.

He moved forward to lay his eyes upon its beastly form.

[Move: SW, S, S]

‘Excellent,’ said the mage with a smile, he may not get another open opportunity.

[Shock Sphere]

[Burst 2 centred on Fell Taint] with [Damage: 2d6+5: 7]

[Burst Attack vs Fell Taint’s Reflex: 1d20+9: 18] - misses!

[Half Damage: 3]

[Damage reduced to 1 due to Insubstantial]

Lightning burst from Kireth’s staff and engulfed the mass of tendrils. For a moment it looked as though it would destroy the thing, but the flashes petered out quickly, with only minimal effect. Kireth snarled.

[Saving Throw vs Seeds of Discord: 1d20: 8] - failure!

The mage began to seethe with anger at being bested by this creature, losing his normally controlled demeanour.

NOV
19

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

28

Beltak looked pale and white, not quite understanding what the creature was or how it could be.

‘I… I cannot harm it,’ he stammered. ‘I know not what it is.’ As he spoke the web of radiant light that had been surrounding him began to falter and dim.

‘Still, I can be of some minor service, perhaps,’ he rallied and turned to Tradden, laying his hand upon the young fighter’s shoulder.

Holding his holy symbol with his other hand he uttered a short prayer to Pelor and Tradden felt strength and vigour flow through him.

[Cure Light Wounds]

[Tradden regains 14+5: 19 hit points]

The scribe was not content with that though, lending strength to all of the warriors he could as they would surely need their prowess and continued his prayers for Khalin.

[Healing Word]

[Khalin spends a Healing Surge and regains 2d6+12+4+5: 30 hit points]

Khalin retuned the prayer with a snarl and Beltak backed away.

[Move: E, SE]

‘Steel yourself, master dwarf’ the scribe uttered, aghast at the warlord’s actions. ‘This fell enchantment will not last!’

NOV
19

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

29

Khalin could not help himself. Tradden had seemed to bask in the radiance from Pelor’s grace whilst he had felt no such warmth. It was not fair and the boy would pay. With a backwards swipe he struck out at Tradden to teach the useless lump a lesson.

[Seeds of Discord]

[Khalin hits Tradden for 5 damage]

Khalin had been concerned that the joshing bonhomie he had displayed so readily back on The Islands and in The Bronze Lion had deserted him more and more these days. And right now his mood was at its foulest yet.

With that fool boy out of the way the dwarf stalked back towards the doorway. That ruddy tentacled monstrosity was responsible for this, and it’d feel the back of the dwarf’s hammer again for it.

‘Right ya slippery bag o’ worms,’ he challenged, turning towards the enemy once again and shouldering past Kireth. ‘I’ve had quite enough of you!’

The dwarf picked up speed as he careened through the gap, aiming to punctuate his exclamation with the mark of Aecris

[Move: W, W, NW, …] - interrupted!

As the dwarf picked up speed he ran straight into the tendrils floating behind the curtain that swiftly reacted and reached out to encompass him.

[Fell Taint: Opportunity Attack - Tendrils of Despair]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8-2: 19 vs Khalin’s AC (15+2)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+2: 6]

The warlord ignored the pain from the tendrils’ grip and continued to close in regardless…

[Move: …, NW]

…before swinging Aecris as hard as he could.

[Melee Basic Attack - Craghammer]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+10: 23] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10r2+7: 13]

[Damage reduced to 6 due to Insubstantial]

‘Zero!’ he yelled through the outer door. ‘Chin up, or I’ll whack you myself!’

On some subconscious level the warlord hoped his words would lift the rogue — but right now his visage was so grim he didn’t tarry to check.

[Inspiring Word]

[Zero spends a Healing Surge and regains 2d6+14: 19 hit points]

[Zero is no longer Bloodied]

[Last Legion Officer: Zero gains +2 to AC and Reflex until start of next turn]

The rogue finally had some colour in his cheeks and the warlord turned inwards to shake off the odd effects of the abomination.

[Saving Throw vs Seeds of Discord: 1d20: 16] - success!

A calm began to pass over Khalin as he finally pulled away the darkness that had hung around his mind.

NOV
21

Combat
Tradden Aversward

30

‘Stop hitting me!’ shreiked Tradden as he ambled after Khalin. Pushing past Kireth the fighter continued through the gap, moving towards the main entrance to put himself between the thing and Zero.

[Move: W, W, NW, SE, …] - interrupted!

As the young fighter slipped through the curtain the tendrils reached out, stretching for Tradden’s head.

[Fell Taint: Opportunity Attack - Tendrils of Despair]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 26 vs Tradden’s AC (21)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+2: 13]

It wasn’t the strength of the tendrils that made Tradden grimace but the odd, cold, numbness and lingering pain. They left red welts along the side of his face which angered him. He staggered over towards Zero with a growl.

[Move: …, SE]

‘If your leaving, it’s over my dead body!’

With that Tradden charged into the mass of tentacles. It was only after he had started charging that he considered the wisdom of his last statement. It was this sudden introspection which lead to his warcry for that charge becoming ‘I… really… need… to think… about… what… I… say SOMETIMES!’

[Charge]

[Charge: N, N]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+12+1: 17] - misses!

[Marked]

As he stormed in he faltered when a blanket of tendrils covered his face and burnt his skin. Blind he continued his strike.

[Fell Taint: Seeds of Discord]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 21 vs Tradden’s Will (18)] - hits!

[Slide: E, E]

[Tradden re-rolls triggering attack against a target of the Fell Taint’s choosing]

The sword swept around, but not at the target Tradden had anticpated…

[Charge]

[Primary Attack vs Khalin: 1d20+12+1: 27] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+7: 15]

Tradden’s twin blades cut an impressive sight, but unfortunately they were aimed at his friends.

created | updated
NOV
21

Combat
Fell Taint

31

The tendrils of the creature flickered ghost-like in the sunlight through the open door. The shadow of Zero’s body cast against its translucent form. It looked moist and slippery, writhing endlessly, and something not of this world.

[Seeds of Despair]

[Recharge: 1d6: 5] - success!

A familiar buzz, dulling their senses, invaded those closest. Not audible but inside their heads, growing and growing with each moment.

[Seeds of Despair]

[Close Burst 3]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+8-2: 17 vs Khalin’s Will (17)] - hits!

[At the start of target’s turn deal 5 psychic damage to adjacent allies (Save Ends)]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+8-2: 17 vs Kireth’s Will (16)] - hits!

[At the start of target’s turn deal 5 psychic damage to adjacent allies (Save Ends)]

[Burst Attack: 1d20+8: 25 vs Tradden’s Will (18)] - hits!

[At the start of target’s turn deal 5 psychic damage to adjacent allies (Save Ends)]

Shadows of dark thoughts coalesced in the minds of the young fighter, the warlord, and the mage. They cast glances at each other full of distrust.

They barely noticed the creature move off to the south.

[Move: SW, …] - interrupted!

Khalin, however, had not had his senses dulled enough to pass up the opportunity of striking the creature as it moved away.

[Khalin: Opportunity Attack - Craghammer]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+10: 29] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10r2+7: 15]

[Damage reduced to 7 due to Insubstantial]

The hammer made contact, but seemed to go through the tendrils, rather than causing them much damage. The abomination moved for the rogue.

[Move: …, W, SW]

Zero’s eyes grew wider as the creature advanced and only a feeble cry fell from his lips as the tendrils reached out to encompass him.

[Spreading Despair]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8-2: 23 vs Zero’s Reflex (20+2)] - hits!

[Damage: 3d6+2: 15]

[Damage reduced to 5 due to Resist 10]

The creature pulsed and thrived on the rogue’s life energy.

created | updated
NOV
23

Combat
Zero Uhlit

32

Zero couldn’t stand being close to the writhing mass of tendrils any longer and started to back off through the door and across the porch.

[Fleeting Ghost]

[Move: ] - interrupted!

The tendrils followed the rogue, however, seeking out his energy, desperate for another taste.

[Fell Taint: Opportunity Attack - Tendrils of Despair]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8-2: 18 vs Zero’s AC (19)] - misses!

Zero was too quick, though, and left the irridescent tentacles grasping at empty air as he slipped to the side, gaining some cover from the sturdy doorframe.

[Fleeting Ghost]

[Move: …, SE, SE;]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 29] - success!

[Zero is hidden from Fell Taint and gains Combat Advantage]

Out in the sunlight Zero felt instantly better. In the shadows and flickering candlelight the beast seemed more formidable. Out here in the sunlight the rogue was instantly warmed and he took his time to pick an exact spot to launch one of his special bolts.

[Bloodbath - Spider Bolt]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint’ Fortitude: 1d20+9+2-2: 27] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+4+1: 8] plus [2d8: 11 sneak damage] and [Ongoing 11 damage (Save Ends)] and [Slowed until end of next turn]

[Damage reduced to 9 due to Insubstantial]

The strike was true, slicing through several tendrils and squelching into the centre of the mass, exploding into a sticky web that clung to the furniture and doorframe, slilting the creature’s movements.

A silvery goo dripped slowly down onto the floor. The rogue had hurt it badly and the abomination tried to shake and shiver in anger against the webbing from Zero’s bolt.

With the thing pinned, Zero grabbed another bolt, confidence racing high and loaded his crossbow.

[Action Point]

With a dramatic flourish he loosed the bolt, shimmying from side to side that would even have impressed Tradden had the young fighter been able to see and ducked out of sight of the creature.

[Gloaming Cut]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+9-2: 10] - misses!

[Shift: E, W]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 23] - success!

[Zero is hidden from Fell Taint and gains Combat Advantage]

The bolt thudded into the doorframe, severing a strand of the webbing. But at least Zero felt he could breathe a sigh of relief at being concealed.

created | updated
NOV
24

Combat
Kireth Majere

33

The clumsy oaf Tradden was putting Kireth out of his stride, barging around and banging into his allies was not what the mage considered the right path to follow. The young fighter had already struck Khalin a couple of times and there was no way Kireth would suffer the same fate.

When the fighter’s back was turned the mage thrust the butt of his staff into his back.

[Seeds of Discord]

[Kireth hits Tradden for 5 damage]

Wait. This wasn’t right. Many times he had felt a desire to lash out at Tradden but he’d never actually done it. Why now? Why in the middle of combat? It made no sense.

Kireth tried to clear his head but could not find reason.

He turned his attention to the, strangely, more straightforward matter of dealing with the creature.

Moving around the other side of the creature he wove his magic once more.

[Move: N, N]

Concentration etched across his brow, Kireth unleashed another assault upon the creature’s conscious.

[Nightmare Eruption]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint’s Will: 1d20+9: 23] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+5+2: 11] plus [5 psychic vulnerability]

The tendrils squirmed erratically as Kireth’s magic struck the creature.

Buoyed by the result, the dark mage decided to press the initiative and tried to burrow deeper.

[Action Point]

[Nightmare Eruption]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint’s Will: 1d20+9: 17] - misses!

This time the creature had time to steel itself and Kireth could feel its mental barriers up and strong against his powers.

Kireth, in return, tried to match the creature’s endurance by shaking off the fell taint it had cast over the mage.

[Saving Throw vs Seeds of Discord: 1d20: 20] - critical success!

Clarity returned to him once more.

created | updated
NOV
26

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

34

From the far side of the room Beltak could witness the rest of the party lunging at one another and uttering petty remarks. What was going on?

He needed to get closer, if only to protect them from their selves.

[Move: NW, W, W, W, W, NW]

By the curtain, in the middle of the group, he could see they were eyeing each other with mild distrust.

‘Stop this!’ uttered the scribe. ‘Snap out of it!’

The group paid Beltak relatively little attention, their thoughts focused on the writhing mass of tendrils or each other.

Beltak looked through the curtain’s gap, held up his symbol and spoke a soft prayer to Pelor.

[Sacred Flame]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint’s Reflex: 1d20+8-2: 14] - misses!

But the prayer seemed to falter on the scribe’s lips as he spoke.

created | updated
NOV
26

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

35

Khalin grunted in annoyance. He was calculating the best tactics to deal with this creature and all around him were interruptions and distractions. Even the bloody scribe was annoying now. With a snarl he turned and berated Beltak, pushing his warhammer into the scribe’s chest.

When Tradden raised an objection he gave that lanky youth a piece of his mind too, followed by a swift jab at the boy’s legs.

[Seeds of Discord]

[Khalin hits Beltak for 5 damage]

[Khalin hits Tradden for 5 damage]

Once again Khalin shook his head — his actions somehow didn’t seem… right. He looked again over to the doorway and the hideous mass of writhing tentacles that hovered menacingly on the edge of the light. It did look injured. It was time to put this charade to an end.

Raising Aecris aloft before him, Khalin’s words rang out loud and sonorous…

‘Moradin, Pelor, Bahamut!’ he hailed each deity’s name with honour, ‘bless this strike and send this abomination back whence it came!’

As the dwarf lowered his hammer to point at the enemy his comrades took heart from the warlord’s prayer.

With that the dwarf moved in towards his prey, turning the handle of his weapon over and over as he readied a mighty strike…

[Move: SW, …] - interrupted!

Regardless of Khalin’s prayers the tendrils streched out and struck the dwarf as he neared.

[Fell Taint: Opportunity Attack - Tendrils of Despair]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8-2: 23 vs Khalin’s AC (22)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+2: 9] and [Bloodied]

The tendrils drained his strength, clawing at his mind, but the warlord managed to keep going.

[Move: …, SW]

With a throaty roar the dwarf did his best to ignore the befuddling effects of the tendrils’ grasp and struck out with the craghammer.

[Stand the Fallen]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+10: 16] - misses!

[Beltak spends a Healing Surge and regains 11+3: 14 hit points]

[Last Legion Officer: Beltak gains +2 to AC and Reflex until start of next turn]

[Kireth does not need to spend Healing Surge]

[Zero spends a Healing Surge and regains 12+3: 15 hit points]

[Last Legion Officer: Zero gains +2 to AC and Reflex until start of next turn]

[Tradden has no Healing Surges to spend]

The draining effect the tendrils was becoming too much, though, and the swing slowed. Khalin could hear the sniggering and laughing behind from Tradden, joking with the pathetic wizard on how he couldn’t even strike the tendrils.

They were taunting him, guffawing on how the dwarf would bravely run away, like his forebears.

[Fell Taint: Seeds of Discord]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8-2: 20 vs Khalin’s Will (17)] - hits!

[Slide: NE, NE]

[Khalin re-rolls triggering attack against a target of the Fell Taint’s choosing]

The warlord found himself stood before the vain fighter and decided to chop him down to size with a swift swing at Tradden’s legs.

[Stand the Fallen]

[Primary Attack vs Tradden: 1d20+10: 22] - hits!

[Damage: 3d10r2+7: 31] and [Dying] and [Prone]

There was a splinter of bone and the young fighter fell instantly to the floor.

Fog lifted from the dwarf’s eyes and he saw Tradden lying still on the wooden floor.

‘Noooo!’ he gasped in horror at his own doing.

Rage once more welled over the dwarf — this time directed once more at the fell taint. ‘No, the gods will not forsake us this day!’ he cried once more, his faith staying strong despite his prayer being cruelly ignored.

[Stand Tough]

[Beltak regains 10+3: 13 hit points]

[Kireth regains 10+3: 13 hit points]

[Tradden goes to 0 hit points and then regains 10+3: 13]

[Tradden is no longer Dying and is Bloodied]

The was a gasp and a howl of pain from the floor as Tradden gulped in air.

Sure enough, at his words, Tradden stirred once more, life seeming to flow back into his battered body.

‘Pelor be praised!’ whispered the dwarf, relieved, before whirling on the taint once more.

[Action Point]

‘Zero!’ he yelled in fury — hammer brandished at the beast in defiance once more. ‘FIRE!’

[Direct the Strike]

[Zero makes a Basic Attack vs Fell Taint]

The rogue needed no further encouragement to try to stop the beast advancing…

[Zero: Ranged Basic Attack - Hand Crossbow]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+9+2: 12] - critical miss!

…but the rogue was unsure of what was going on in the room. He was sure he’d heard Tradden scream and the momentary lapse of concentration fumbled his shot and blew his cover.

[Saving Throw vs Seeds of Discord: 1d20: 9] - failure!

Despite Khalin’s bold cry towards Zero, the fog in his head still remained.

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NOV
26

Combat
Tradden Aversward

36

His knees ached and he wasn’t sure if he could stand. There were enemies all around him, leering above him and ready to finish him off. He still had some moves, though, even if he was laid on his back and swung his sword around in a vicious arc.

[Seeds of Discord]

[Tradden hits Beltak for 5 damage]

[Tradden hits Khalin for 5 damage]

[Tradden hits Kireth for 5 damage]

Tradden was only partially in attendance now. The others could see it in his eyes — there was a distant look indicating that either through the bizarre effects of the tendrilled monstrosity or through simply the beating he had been taking, he wasn’t quite there. He seemed dazed as if suddenly hit by a cacophony of sound that demanded attention from all his senses. He looked around constantly, as if trying to pay attention to a hundred things at once.

He did have enough about him to haul himself to his feet, but he wavered dangerously from side to side, looking as if he might return whence he came to the wooden floor any second.

[Move: Stand]

‘Will… everyone please… stop… hitting me?’ he murmered in a quivering voice, as if pleading to his assembled companions. For a second his glazed-over eyes narrowed into murderous slits and they focused on the dwarf next to him. ‘Especially you…’ he whispered menacingly. For a moment it looked like he might strike the warlord once again, but after a pause he instead shook his head and turned back to the floating, tendrilled thing. It looked a lot less bulky than it once was.

‘You!’ said Tradden, pointing his longsword and walking towards it, each step taking him over the various twitching tentacle ends which were scattered on the floor.

[Move: SW, SW, …] - interrupted!

The fighter had been in enough battles now to know that both he had his enemy were both on the brink of death. Each would have one last roll of the dice, and Tradden gave it one last shot to roll a six and go again…

…but the tendrils had other ideas and reached out to grab the fighter’s unprotected head as he closed in.

[Fell Taint: Opportunity Attack - Tendrils of Despair]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 23 vs Tradden’s AC (21)] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+2: 13] and [Dying] and [Prone]

The young fighter collapsed under the strange weight of the tendrils, he could go no further and he slumped to the ground.

‘Noooo!’ cried Khalin once more and without regard for his own safety lunged after the monstrousity.

[Fearless Rescue]

[Move: SW, SW]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+11: 15] - misses!

[Tradden has no Healing Surges so goes to 1 hit points]

[Tradden is no longer Dying and is Bloodied]

The dwarf straddled the fighter bringing his warhammer down against one of the outsretched tentacles. The blow was weak but the shout that accompanied it was strong and the young fighter’s eyelids flickered open with life.

The tendrils snaked around the haft of the warhammer and around the warlord’s head and Khalin shivered involuntary.

[Fell Taint: Seeds of Discord]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 27 vs Khalin’s Will (17)] - hits!

[Khalin re-rolls triggering attack against a target of the Fell Taint’s choosing]

The dwarf turned slowly, perhaps unaware of his actions, and brought the warhammer down on Tradden’s exposed head.

[Fearless Rescue]

[Primary Attack vs Tradden: 1d20+11+2: 25] - hits!

[Damage: 2d10r2+7: 18] and [Dying]

There was an unnerving crack and the flickering eyelids moved no more.

[Saving Throw vs Seeds of Discord: 1d20+1: 11] - success!

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NOV
27

Combat
Fell Taint

37

Translucent goo continued to drip from the centre of the mass of tendrils onto the wooden floor, some dribbling along the length of the tendrils.

[Zero: Bloodbath]

[Damage: 11]

[Damage reduced to 5 due to Insubstantial]

The tendrils quivered as though they had lost all strength, but they still managed to squirm past Khalin, snaking over the warlord’s shoulder and landing lightly on Tradden’s bleeding skull.

They moved like tongues, savouring the warm taste of the young fighter’s draining life, before squeezing ever so slightly, thrilled at the energy that was released.

[Fell Taint Feeding]

[Coup de Grace vs Tradden] - automatic hit!

[Fell Taint is no longer Insubstantial]

[Fell Taint regains 28 hit points]

As the tendrils pulsed and tightened the thing began to solidify, the translucent appendages became a ghastly opaque, grey and mottled. A smell hung in the air that reminded Khalin of Deepingwald docks and the tendrils that snaked over his shoulders became heavy and real.

It slumped to the floor underneath the sticky spider’s web that Zero had cast, floating no longer as though it could barely take its own weight.

The lacerations and lesions that the group had placed upon it started to heal as it squeezed the limp body of Tradden.

It would not be much longer before it was well on the way to recovery.

[Saving Throw vs Bloodbath: 1d20+5: 7] - failure!

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NOV
27

Combat
Zero Uhlit

38

The rogue wasn’t sure what in the nine hells was going on, but he knew some things, he’d hurt the thing badly, it wasn’t ghost-like anymore, and he wasn’t scared any longer.

His usual swagger seemed to return and he fired before shimmying from side to side.

[Gloaming Cut]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+9: 28] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+1: 3]

[Shift: E, W]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 25] - success!

[Zero is hidden from the Fell Taint]

The bolt nicked one of the tendrils drawing a thin line of goo.

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NOV
29

Combat
Kireth Majere

39

The situation was dire. You didn’t need to be a cleric to realise Tradden was on his way out. If help didn’t get to him soon the lad may have swung on his last chandelier. Kireth had not healing skills but he could help those with them get to the youth.

Though now, apparently, substantial, Kireth decided to stay with attacking the creature’s mind. It had worked well thus far.

[Nightmare Eruption]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint’s Will: 1d20+9: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+5+2: 8] plus [5 psychic vulnerability]

The thing writhed on the floor as Kireth concentrated his efforts, tendrils swaying to and fro in a shivering motion.

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NOV
29

Combat
Beltak Ancaron

40

Beltak had seen it coming. The distress and confusion that was caused by the tendrils’ touch was plain for him to see. How had he been so slow to react?

Tradden was on the floor and in a bad way, with Khalin stood over him ready for the killing blow. Beltak moved swiftly to the young fighter’s side.

[Move: SW, S]

The wounds were heavy. Tradden was covered with welts from where the tendrils had clung on and the young fighter’s skull was showing in a couple of places where the warlord had pounded him with his hammer.

Beltak drew out his holy symbol and used all of his strength to summon the radiance of Pelor.

[Cure Serious Wounds]

[Tradden goes to 0 hit points]

[Tradden gains 28 hit points and is no longer Dying]

A warm light spread over the fighter’s face and the lacerations and bloody cuts began to close before Beltak’s eyes. Colour returned to Tradden’s cheeks and his eyes lurched open with a jolt.

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NOV
30

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

41

He could hear the boy splutter and breathe again. No doubt the fool would get up and make a mess of things again, getting in the warlord’s way. Better that the youth take a lie down. Permanently.

In an instant, Khalin had swung the warhammer down, missing Beltak by a fraction, and slammed it into Tradden’s chest, knocking the wind out of him once more.

[Seeds of Discord]

[Khalin hits Tradden for 5 damage] and [Bloodied]

Khalin was familiar with the term ‘fog of war’, and maybe this battle would qualify. Moradin only knows, the dwarf’s head swam — enemies seemed to surround him, and that infernal noise, a cacophony of horns blaring in his ears, there was something familiar about it — something from back at Blackengorge perhaps? — but recognition lay just beyond his grasp.

The fool fighter was rising once more, but he'd have to wait.

‘Up, up the lot of you!’ he urged, apparently oblivious to the fact that most of his allies were already on their feet. The dwarf’s eyes stared into the distance, as if he was somewhere else, and once more he rounded on the enemy. ‘To glory!’ he shouted.

[Heroic Effort]

[Allies gain +3 to damage rolls until Khalin no longer bloodied]

[Khalin gains 6+3: 9 temporary hit points]

Willing his bloodied body and addled mind into action once more, the dwarf swung again. Somewhere deep down behind the red mist, the marshal’s mind urged his hammer hand to finally hit the true enemy…

[Melee Basic Attack - Craghammer]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+10: 14] - misses!

Exhaustion was starting to take its toll and the dwar’s swing was wild. The tendrils barely moved, though, and for once the warlord was left without the feeling of anger towards his allies.

[Saving Throw vs Seeds of Discord: 1d20: 18] - success!

Calm and certainty now overcame Khalin’s mind and he could see the true target at last.

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DEC
02

Combat
Tradden Aversward

42

‘Glory… yes, glory…’ mumbled a distant sounding Tradden. Glory at that point seemed a wholly pointless endeavour. All he wanted was a hot, soothing bath and a lie down someplace where tentacles were not an issue and the pain and blaring noise of horns in his head would just go away.

The main part of Tradden’s brain having essentially gone for a wander, his subconscious was now in control and did a grand job of barking directions to the various parts of his body that were threatening to chase after the brain.

Slowly, hands on one knee so that his swords stuck out sideways as he did so, Tradden hauled himself up.

[Move: Stand]

After a short pause, whereby the tall human swayed a bit, he took a step forward. Tradden’s subconscious was clearly far more sensible than the usual brain functions, as although there was a table to jump onto the fighter instead barged into it, occupying the space just small enough to stand in next to Khalin and over the still-pulsating mass of strangeness.

[Shift: NW]

No humorous quips were forthcoming — just a vicious attack which seemed to come from deep down in Tradden’s bowels — a feral, primeval swipe full of spite and malevolence.

[Action Point]

[Sweeping Slash]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint’s Reflex: 1d20+12+3: 17] - misses!

[Marked]

The first swipe was a feint, to try to open up the beast’s guard, but as Tradden looked into the mass of tendrils he was mesmerised by their movement.

[Fell Taint: Seeds of Discord]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8: 19 vs Tradden’s Will (18)] - hits!

[Slide: SE]

[Tradden re-rolls triggering attack against a target of the Fell Taint’s choosing]

The tendrils seemed to snake around and around and at the centre of them was Khalin. The same dwarf that had been striking Tradden repeatedly. Khalin must be the enemy, he simply must. Without thinking, Tradden continued his manoeuvre.

[Sweeping Slash]

[Primary Attack vs Khalin’s Reflex: 1d20+12+3: 26] - hits!

[Cannot Push]

[Secondary Attack vs Khalin: 1d20+11+3: 18] - misses!

Khalin managed to stand firm against Tradden’s initial assault and block the second with his shield.

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DEC
03

Combat
Fell Taint

43

More goo, this time real and putrescent, slipped along the lengths of the creature’s tendrils, the source somewhere in the centre of the mass where Zero’s bolt lay firmly entrenched.

[Zero: Bloodbath]

[Damage: 11]

The creature looked less threatening now it was solid and real. The webbing from Zero’s bolt had dissolved, but the thing did not look as though it was going far in its current state.

Slumped to the floor, no longer floating nor shimmering or translucent, it was a hideous sight.

The thing was still moving, though.

[Seeds of Despair]

[Recharge: 1d6: 1] - failure!

There was a familiar buzz for a moment, a crescendo building up, but it quickly passed.

The the thing was moving, slowly, but surely, wriggling and pulsing along the floorboards and heading for the sunlight and the porch.

[Shift: S]

Out in the open the sunlight glinted off the mucus-covered tendrils and it made Zero shiver.

The tendrils snaked out, the rogue caught in a moment’s hesitation, and then they struck.

[Spreading Despair]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8-2: 23 vs Zero’s Reflex (20)] - hits!

[Damage: 3d6+2: 17]

The tendrils seemed to sting the rogue, clamping down aside his unprotected head, drawing great red welts, similar to those the orcs had upon their heads.

Zero was dazed, but the creature didn’t appear to want to stop.

[Action Point]

[Spreading Despair]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+8-2: 10 vs Zero’s Reflex (20)] - misses!

Zero shrieked, flapping his arms from side to side, and managed to fend off the heavy tendrils.

Invigorated by the sunlight perhaps, or by the taste of Zero’s psyche, the creature began to rise in the air, floating once more, as it began to fade and take on its translucent form.

[Fell Taint is hovering and Insubstantial]

[Saving Throw vs Bloodbath: 1d20+5: 22] - success!

With a squelch that sounded like a spit, the bolt that had been causing so much harm shot across the porch and skidded to a stop at Zero’s feet.

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DEC
03

Combat
Zero Uhlit

44

Zero nearly tripped over himself in his haste to backpedal, almost falling off the end of the porch as he tried to escape the clutches of the tendrils.

[Shift: SE]

With white knuckles grabbing the stock of his crossbow he let fire, almost blindly into the centre of the writhing mass, more hope than certainty.

[Gloaming Cut]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint: 1d20+9: 25] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+1: 7]

[Damage reduced to 3 due to Insubstantial]

[Shift: E, NE]

[Stealth Check: 1d20+14: 24] - success!

[Zero is hidden from the Fell Taint]

As the bolt left the crossbow he turned, dodging to the side and behind the wooden wall of the shack. Out of direct sunlight and in the shade he prayed he was safe from the reaching appendages.

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DEC
05

Combat
Kireth Majere

45

Kireth could no longer see the creature having moved itself behind the wall of the next room. Though it was only a guess really, the mage felt the thing was now surely on its last legs. The battle was surely ending and it would be safest to hang back now.

Safest… Both Tradden and Khalin stood, just about, blood ebbing from deep wounds, breath coming heavy and hard. Zero outside, in what condition he could not tell. Safest.

The first Khalin and Tradden knew of it was the brush of his velvet robes as the mage moved forward and through the gap in the curtain.

[Move: SW, NW, NW, W]

There it was, insubstantial again.

‘Well, I have something for that," said Kireth through gritted teeth.

[Nightmare Eruption]

[Primary Attack vs Fell Taint’s Will: 1d20+9: 25] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+5+2: 12] plus [5 psychic vulnerability] and [Dead]

There was a shudder from the creature as Kireth spoke the last words of his spell, but for a moment nothing appeared to happen. Then it materialised in an instant, the shimmering iridescent tendrils becoming a grey putrid mass and the thing fell to the ground with an almighty crash, splintering the wood of the decaying porch.

There was no movement, no last throes of life.

A release of tension filled the air as if a dark cloud blotting out the sky had sped onwards on the wind revealing sparkling rays of warmth. A distant ringing was all that remained in their ears, the noises abated.

‘Well that was fun,’ commented Tradden and promptly fell to the floor with exhaustion.

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DEC
05

Combat
Completed

CO

[Combat Encounter Completed]

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DEC
05

Combat
Short Rest

XP

Healing Surges

Healing Surges are applied.

[Khalin spends 1 healing surge (0 left) to get to 30/56 hp]

[Kireth spends 1 healing surge (5 left) to get to 48/48 hp]

[Tradden spends 0 healing surges (0 left) to get to 29/63 hp]

[Zero spends 2 healing surges (2 left) to get to 55/55 hp]

Encounter Powers

All encounter powers are recharged.

Milestones

Milestone achieved.

1 Action Point awarded.

Experience

Experience awarded.

[Khalin gains 843 xp to reach 10,110 xp]

[Kireth gains 847 xp to reach 10,090 xp]

[Tradden gains 841 xp to reach 10,122 xp]

[Zero gains 846 xp to reach 10,098 xp]

Levelling

Khalin is ready to progress to level 7.

Kireth is ready to progress to level 7.

Tradden is ready to progress to level 7.

Zero is ready to progress to level 7.

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DEC
05

Combat
Completed

End

[…continued in Book #01, Chapter #09, Scene #10…]

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