Close to the Heart (Astarte)


Tassadar

Panda King
Moderator
Nov 10, 2008
16,038
83
#61
Re: Close to the Heart (Astarte)

Laelia: HP = 71/61, PP = 47, EP = 54/56, Status = Probably Fine, Transformation X=5 for Body (+5 Speed +20 temp HP +15 grapple/attack/dodge +10 reflexes/damage +5 AV/PP dealt/Focus/Willpower/Perception/Stealth) Upkeep = 0 EP 5 HP, 9/9 bullets loaded

NPCs
Raeglynn, innkeeper
Thomas the Younger


Raenan the Bandit currently deceased

Aegen


Things
Weapon cache along the road (three dozen crossbow bolts, five sabers, four hatchets, a heavy crossbow) hanging from a tree branch

Old unmarked grave beneath the crab apple tree


NOT FRIENDS
Phantom Archer 1: On the left tower
Phantom Archer 2: On the left tower
Phantom swordsman: Next to the left tower

Phantom Archer 3: On the right tower
Phantom Axeman: Next to the right tower

Phantom Knight 1: Charging down the lane
Phantom Knight 2: Charging down the lane
Phantom Knight 3: Charging down the lane

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>:3: Not here... As far as Laelia knows :3

Rolls
Perception: ???

"Oh? Not so confident on your own after all, eh? Well... I shan't begrudge the assistance. Perhaps yer right, and it'll make findin what ye need easier," Aegen replied in response to Laelia's request to join him, and with a final check on his various weapons he took up his shield on his right arm and nodded. "I think a jolly jaunt into battle with someone at my back might even make this pleasant... C'mon, it's not far but the path into the castle is annoyingly winding, I scouted it out before the storm came in."

The armored warrior, head and shoulders taller than Laelia now that he was standing up, started out from the under the cover, leaving his fire to smoulder itself out, and if Laelia followed she would find him heading towards the right-hand path around the secondary keep they were determined to invade. Where the area she'd already seen had looked like a battlefield, littered with walls and ramparts and barricades and towers that would slow any would-be invaders and force them to break formation, the initial pathway between the outer and inner wall was narrower but also clear. An army could march through it comfortably, albeit with their ranks tightly together, if they wished to be vulnerable to bombardment from both sides. The outer wall itself had a break of sorts, a single massive tower with no entrance set across from right around the middle of the inner wall, and given its location on the plateau it would be almost impossible to ascend it from anywhere but from wherever its entrance was without first establishing firm control of the corridor down which Laelia and her armored companion walked.

Aegen walked ahead of her, shield up and armored head turning steadily from side to side, obviously scanning for threats, and he kept close to the inner wall as he strode forward. The entire aesthetic of the corridor changed when he and Laelia approached the corner of the inner wall, revealing the trap that this section was. The corridor continued for another fifty feet or so, lined on a shorter continuation of the inner wall that was about ten feet high but also a full rampart, producing a solid wall of sharpened spikes that were still intact for the most part. The corridor narrowed slightly as another solid wall extended out from the outer wall, and after a brief lip that hid such dangers the rampart continued, producing a fifty foot corridor lined on either side by sharpened spikes, with muddy ditches inviting a slip into what would surely have been an unpleasant death for any invaders. Behind the ramparts on either side were towers, one where the walls began and one at the end, with protected platforms from which archers could no doubt rain down freely on the approaching forces. The primary pathway which started some twenty feet before the entrance to the deadly corridor was paved, at least, and unlike the ascension ramp the paving was still mostly intact, producing an easier path to walk than the muddy field they'd just walked across.

"Heh... I'd hate to have to siege this place proper," Aegen muttered under his breath, producing the only sound to be heard besides their footfalls and the clinking of his gear. The silence was oppressive as he paused right where the inner wall ended, opposite the lip creating a gateway of sorts into the interior of the killing field. Through the death corridor was a large open area where Laelia could see what looked to be a couple of dilapidated siege engines scattered about, age having rotted their timbers and sinew until they collapsed into useless junk. Past it on the left and off in the distance, the interior of the castle let out into another courtyard that she mostly couldn't see, backed by a slightly shorter inner wall with a single large, open gateway through which she could see the corner of another building that looked more like a dwelling than a fortification.

However Laelia might respond to Aegen's remark, if she even bothered, he would ultimately started forward again, his hand reaching up and closing on the hilt of his greatsword as he edged forward. Dangerous as things looked, so far nothing directly threatening had appeared to make use of the terrain advantage presented by the ancient fortifications. "C'mon."

They made it about twenty feet into the corridor, Aegen opting to walk down the very center of the path, before anything happened to change that situation. The world suddenly seemed to bubble around Laelia, a vague sense of other-worldliness washing over her in an ever expanding wave. The shadows lengthened and warped as the bubble spread, but before she could even try to figure out where the strange emanation had originated something came up to demand her attention. Screams exploded around them, androgynous cries of horror and pain that Aegen could obviously hear as well, though he only stood and searched around with his shield raised. Hundreds of them. Thousands. It became a deafening roar of human suffering within moments and lasted for several achingly long seconds, and no matter what Laelia might do to try and drown out the noise she would find it piercing her every defense. It didn't end so much as coalesce, fading into a number of amorphous blobs around them, and then a blinding flash left her briefly unable to see, either with her eyes or with any other sense natural or otherwise she might hope to use to determine if a threat was upon her.

When the sensory deprivation had ended, Laelia would find that her worries were not unfounded. The screams continued in the form of distant echoes, but now they were forming, gaining literal physical mass as Laelia watched. They started as amorphous glowing blobs of formless white mass, one directly ahead of them at the mouth of the alley, one on their left and behind on the tower near the entrance, and another directly across from it on the right tower. The blobs gradually gained form, the ones upon the towers gaining manlike shapes and the ones up ahead becoming something larger, each shape splitting into multiple smaller ones.

Within a pair of seconds they had nearly become recognizable as what they would become, and another pair later they had fully formed. On the left tower, slightly behind them, stood a pair of men that were not men. They had form and substance, even facial features, but pieces were simply... Missing. Chunks of skin, pieces of hair, portions of flesh. On one she could see his ribs as if they were bare, a heart desperately pumping beneath it, and on the other there was only a skull at the top of their neck. The outlines of the missing portions were there, even the clothes that should have covered the missing body parts, but they were transparent and colorless. Even the "whole" portions of the men were somehow off, possessing less substance than a living person would. By the time they had fully formed the otherworldly screaming had faded until it was only a whisper, barely detectable at the edge of Laelia's senses, and when the phantom men opened their mouths to shout it was like a single voice among the faded cacophony briefly grew louder.

Atop the leftmost tower, two not-men raised bows, pointing them down at Laelia and Aegen as they nocked arrows to fire, and at the foot of their tower stood another man with a sword in one hand and a round shield that looked to have been made of wood on the other. All three wore blue tabards, a light blue garment over their polished maile that bore the same symbol that was present on the swordsman's shield, a serpentine dragon's neck in a shape vaguely like most of a backwards J, drawn in red with black eyes and dark flame bursting from its mouth. On the right, another similarly clad archer appeared on top of the tower, and at its base stood a man clutching a halberd or greataxe that was, along with most of his torso, mostly translucent. Most dangerous of all, however, were the three figures that took form up ahead; three skeletal horsemen on steeds that were similarly without flesh save for the transparent remnants of the men they had once been, bones and iron blackened as if burned. The trio's mounts pawed the ground a moment before their riders urged them into motion, kite shields protecting their left flanks and lances clutched in their right hands lowering. The three together didn't quite cover all of the remnants of the paved section of the path, but they covered most of it, meaning that if she and Aegen wanted to remain standing on solid ground they'd undoubtedly be simply run down. The alternative was to step aside and risk slipping into the spike-laden troughs on either side of the path, and all the while the archers would be free to pepper them with shafts, well out of reach behind the wall. It would be impossible to get cover from both angles at once in the corridor, and even if they could somehow get over the spiked wall they would have to face the guards waiting by the ladders to the top of the guard towers.

"Deal with the archers," Aegen grunted urgently, and Laelia wouldn't have more than a moment to do as much and perhaps respond with something brief before the horsemen started thundering towards them and the first arrows would take flight.
 

Astarte

Tentacle Monster
Dec 28, 2014
353
18
#62
Re: Close to the Heart (Astarte)

"It's not a matter of confidence, merely prudence." Laelia shrugged off Aegen's comment, "I'm going to have to fight my way through this place either way, might as well have someone watching each other's backs, no? Well, I'll follow your lead, you've been here longer than I have."

With her tools safely packed away, Laelia slung her pack over her shoulders once again, linking her weapon so that she could carry it in one hand for now, and getting ready to start moving again. Now that Aegen was standing the difference in height between the two of them was made very clear, her eye level being effectively in the middle of his back as she followed behind him. She kept her eyes on their surroundings as she followed him, doing her best to keep track of their route and remain on the lookout for any threats, but the castle was as eerily quite as it had been since she'd arrived.

With every corner they turned and corridor they passed through Laelia was reminded of how glad she was that there was nobody here to man the fortifications. While her field of engineering was mechanical, she'd still done her share of studying on fortifications. Considering that an important application of her field was in siege weapons it was only natural that she would have to study what they were designed to break through. Even with all that knowledge, it didn't take an expert to understand how much of a nightmare this place would be to assault, even with an entire army at your back. Besides the natural defences providing a significant barrier to even getting inside, the interior was one big trap itself. There was no way for an army to present its full strength in any one location, and trying to navigate would leave them spread out and easy prey for the defenders in any one of the many kill zones set up throughout.

"And I'd thought getting inside the walls would be the hardest part," Laelia replied when Aegen echoed her thoughts out loud, shaking her head "The inside is even worse. No good way to get an army through a place like this."

Fortunately they seemed to be through the worst of it for the moment. The spike-lined corridor ended in a more open field up ahead, and beyond that she could make out an entryway—into the inner castle, if she had to guess. Laelia followed close behind Aegen as he began to make his way down the deadly corridor, ears standing at their full height as she strained to pick up any sound that wasn't their own footsteps or Aegen's armour, but the place remained oppressively quiet.

That lasted only a few more steps before the entire world seemed to come apart around here. She blinked a few times, trying to make sense of what she was seeing, but couldn't even figure out where the source of the strange distortion was. Just as she was reaching her left hand up to activate the magic detecting function of her glasses, the screaming started. They seemed to come from everywhere at once, Laelia's ears flattening against her hear as she took an unsteady step back, but it did little to help. It didn't seem to be just her, Aegan seemed to be hearing it as well, though his reaction to it was tamer than her own. Whether a result of her hearing being stronger than his or another reason she couldn't tell.

The screaming only grew louder though, Laelia's legs nearly giving out under her as she resisted the urge to drop everything and just cover her ears with her hands in a feeble attempt to block it out. Eventually it began to change, seeming to gather into several distinct sources instead of coming from everywhere at once, only for a blinding flash to rob her of her sight as well as her hearing for a few terrifying moments.

Finally both the temporary blindness faded and the screaming died down, leaving Laelia once again able to perceive her surroundings. From the slight pain in her throat, Laelia was fairly sure she had started screaming as well at some point, though she hadn't even been able to hear herself do so. Unfortunately there was no time for her to recover, forms coalescing seemingly from the echoes of the screams into solid forms. She knew of the undead of course, but this was like nothing she had ever heard of before—evidence that there truly was some dark magic being practised in this place, at the very least.

"Right." Laelia managed to give Aegen an affirmative, though her voice even sounded strained when she spoke. There was no time to worry about minor discomforts, whatever these things really were, they certainly didn't seem friendly, or patient. Dealing with the archers was easier said than done, however. They were up in their towers, nearly impossible for her to reach, leaving Chrysanta's revolver her only option, and it wasn't designed for ranges like this.

Once again splitting her weapon, Laelia held the spear defensively at her side in her left hand, raising the blade to quickly take aim at the lone archer to the right. It was a bit of a long shot, but not unreasonably so. She could only hope that bullets were enough to bring these things down, unlike the man in the forest, as she flicked the release switch with her thumb and pulled the trigger twice in quick succession, firing a pair of shots at the lone archer—hopefully before it could start shooting back.

Taking two revolver shots at the archer on the right (25 foot range increment)
Attack (x2): 12d10+18
Damage: 4d8 + 9, Ignores 15 AV and any "Strong Against" property on armour.

Possibly relevant modified stats
Speed: 40
Dodge: 10d10+14
Grapple: 8d10+15
AV: 14 (3 Natural, 6 Worn, 5 from Buffs.)
Reflexes: 30
Focus: 16
Willpower: 22

Miscellaneous Bonuses/Penalties
+2 to Perception checks involving Sight or Hearing, no penalties for darkness.
+5 to Resistance checks when using skills.
+5 to checks made to resist being disarmed and to parry checks (And +5 max Parry DC) while wielding Chrysanta.
+5 to Spell/Power attack rolls while wielding Chrysanta.
-5 to Resistance checks to avoid being Blinded or Deafened, and an addition -2 versus being Blinded by bright lights.
+5 to Pregnancy rolls.
+5 to PP Damage taken.
+8 to PP Damage taken through her ears and tail.
1.5x Corruption gain.
 
Last edited:

Tassadar

Panda King
Moderator
Nov 10, 2008
16,038
83
#63
Re: Close to the Heart (Astarte)

Laelia: HP = 71/61, PP = 47, EP = 54/56, Status = Probably Fine, Transformation X=5 for Body (+5 Speed +20 temp HP +15 grapple/attack/dodge +10 reflexes/damage +5 AV/PP dealt/Focus/Willpower/Perception/Stealth) Upkeep = 0 EP 5 HP, 7/9 bullets loaded


Things
Weapon cache along the road (three dozen crossbow bolts, five sabers, four hatchets, a heavy crossbow) hanging from a tree branch

Old unmarked grave beneath the crab apple tree


NPCs
Raeglynn, innkeeper
Thomas the Younger


Raenan the Bandit currently deceased

Aegen: Taken 41 damage.


NOT FRIENDS
Phantom Archer 1: On the left tower
Phantom Archer 2: On the left tower
Phantom swordsman: Next to the left tower

Phantom Archer 3: Destroyed
Phantom Axeman: Trying to teach Laelia about pointy things the hard way

Phantom Knight 1: Turning around
Phantom Knight 2: Milling around in the lane
Phantom Knight 3: Stunned, Weakened, Taken 20 damage, milling around in the lane

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>:3: Not here... As far as Laelia knows :3

Rolls
Laelia takes her two shots.
Attacks: Both hit.
Damage: 31 and 28, enough to destroy the target.

Two of the knights try to have their horses Overrun Aegen while they attack him with their lances. The third does the same to Laelia, while Aegen tries to cut down that one.

Aegen puts 2 dice into defensive fighting, uses Crushing Blow and attacks Phantom Knight 3.
Attack: 108 vs 93, hit.
Damage: 54 - 24 - 10 = 20 damage.
Resistance Check: Aegen wins, leaving Phantom Knight 3 Stunned and Weakened.

The two knights respond with their overruns and stabbing.
Overruns: 136 vs 73 and 97 vs 137, Phantom Knight 1 gets through, Phantom Knight 2 is stopped.
Attacks: 114 and 99 vs 76, both hit.
Damage: 55 and 54, both minus 34 for a total of 41 damage.

Axeman leaps down and tries to bullrush Laelia.
Grapple: 85 vs 58, failed.

Laelia was right to think that there wasn't much time to spend worrying about the sudden barrage of discomforts she'd suffered as the small army of phantom warriors had taken form around her and Aegen. Her ears still had a painful ringing to them and numerous white splotches appeared in her eyes, but there was nothing to be done for it but raise the portion of her customized weapon at the archer and open fire before he could try to add an arrow to the current unwelcome occupants of her heart.

The modified handgun barked twice, two bullets quickly flying from the barrel with thunderous bursts of fire, and both smacked into the undead creature's chest before he could fully nock the arrow. Despite his appearance the figure staggered, clutching at his chest as if they were a living man. They collapsed to their knees and then seemed to simply dissolve, melting back into shadowy essence that issued faint echoes of the screams that had nearly deafened her earlier before simply evaporating.

The immediate ranged threat having been dealt with, Laelia was able to turn and see how Aegen intended to deal with the oncoming horsemen. One of the horsemen had shifted back to trail one of the others as they moved to the side, the hooves of their mounts all thundering in a steady beat as they closed in on the pair, primarily on Aegen. The armored man raised his sword and shield, but as one went wide he lunged at it with his greatsword held comfortably in one hand. The loud clang roared from the impact as he struck the rider right in the head, their helmet preventing the blow from taking the top of the dead man's head off but still sending the rider reeling. The horse, without direction from its stunned rider who had let his lance drop, slowed quickly to a trot and began to shift direction to idly mill about.

The other two riders weren't inhibited, however, and his extension to go after the rider who had been leveling his lance at Laelia left Aegen open to their attacks. The first caught him in the shoulder with its lance and spun him in place, the glancing blow tearing through his armor and flesh with the massive force of horse and rider behind it. The horse continued forward at a gallop, and after taking the hit from the lance Aegen couldn't get out of the way quickly enough and was sent to his knees on the ground. The trailing horseman aimed his lance at the fallen warrior as if to simply impale him on the spot, the progression far too quick for Laelia to hope to intervene in time... But then he rose suddenly, and though the horsemen reoriented his strike he didn't manage to drive the weapon through his abdomen entirely.

Instead Aegen suffered another glancing blow that spilled more of his blood upon the muddy ground, but this time the tall warrior raised his shield and shoved himself forward into the charging horse, which rather than simply ride through him rose up on its hind legs and kicked out at him. The rearing beast hit only air as Aegen stepped backwards, but the last horseman had lost his charging momentum and now would have to face the ground based warrior on more even terms. The stunned horseman began to shake himself out of his stupor in the meantime and drew a longsword from his side, getting his mount under control, and the one who had charged through began to slow in the wider area so that he could turn to make a second charge.

If Laelia thought she would go unmolested, however, she would be sadly mistaken. The axeman, free of the responsibility to guard the tower, took a run towards the edge of the wall and leaped, sailing over it and landed solidly despite the slippery ground. His momentum only barely halted, he took two steps and shoved the handle of his axe at Laelia's chest like a crossbar, and the kitsune would find no time to simply sidestep as he tried to barrel her right into the spike filled pit beside her. He was bigger and had the advantage of momentum, but Laelia found herself the more deft of the two and ducked, preparing to put her shoulder under him and flip him back first into the spikes he'd intended to push her into. He reacted quickly enough to stop that from happening and hastily stepped back, but only just so, giving Laelia an opportunity to try and deal with him or one of the horsemen before he could take a swing at her with the axe in his hands. The other two archers and the swordsman, in the meantime, were out of sight from their current position.
 

Astarte

Tentacle Monster
Dec 28, 2014
353
18
#64
Re: Close to the Heart (Astarte)

Laelia barely spared the archer a second look after it dropped, just long enough to confirm it was truly down before turning to the oncoming horsemen. Aegen held against their charge, but not without injury. He managed to stop the first, seemingly stunning it and leaving its horse to merely trot forward without direction for the moment, but he didn't fare as well against the second. She watched in shock as the rider's lance tore through his armour. She couldn't see how bad the injury was, but the blood was enough to tell her it wasn't minor.

He fell to his knees as the horse continued past him, but she was too far away to do anything to help before the third rider reached him. She swung her weapon around, its size making it a little harder to quickly aim with than a typical revolver, but before she could do more than point it in his general direction the rider was already upon him. Instead Aegen surprised her, rising just in time to avoid a vital strike and stopping the horse's charge. He took another hit though, nothing crippling, but he couldn't last if he kept taking hits like that.

Laelia was forced to look to her own safety before she could help him though, spotting the axeman who had been guarding the archer she shot jump down to charge at her. With spikes on either side that was a dangerous prospect, forcing her to abandon her attempt to help Aegen in order to defend herself against the oncoming charge. He certainly had the advantage in size and mass, so meeting his charge head-on would be foolish. Fortunately she'd had some training in grappling, even if it wasn't her strong suit. She just needed to redirect his momentum away from herself, let him throw himself into the spikes instead.

She lowered her center of balance, shifting her legs farther apart and lowering her stance, intending to flip him right over her back and into the spikes behind her. Unfortunately these things seemed to have more intelligence than she'd given them credit for, or perhaps they simply retained good instincts. Regardless of the reason why, the axeman came to a halt and stepped back before she could throw him, apparently recognizing her manoeuvre for what it was.

He had lost his momentum though, and that was all Laelia needed to go on the offensive. One step forward closed the distance between them and the blade in her right hand came up in a diagonal slash across his chest, followed by a thrust with the spear in her other hand towards its stomach as she circled to his right. She pulled away, taking a few steps back before charging straight back in, spear set to impale it straight through the chest. If the archer was anything to judge by, these creatures died like any human would, so she was confident it would only take a few good hits to bring them down.

As soon as she was free of the threat of the axeman she continued her charge forward, intent on intercepting the horseman who was preparing for a second charge, using her momentum and leaping into the air to bring her sword around in a heavy slash at the rider, revolver barking again at the end of her swing as she used the recoil to continue the spin she'd thrown herself into and land out of the horse's path.

Using Whirling Death and Flurry and making 3 attacks against the axeman just to be safe. One with her sword and two with the spear.

Sword Attack: 9d10+28
Sword Damage: 2d6 + 35

Spear Attack (x2): 9d10+27
Spear Damage: 2d8 + 28, Ignores 2 AV


Then attacking Phantom Knight 2 (I think? The one that got past Aegen and isn't stunned) once with her sword, and firing the revolver for a bonus of +10 to Dodge and defensive Reflex checks until the beginning of the next turn.

Sword Attack: 9d10+28
Sword Damage: 2d6 + 33


Bull rushing through the axeman if he's still alive after 3 attacks, trying to push him into the spikes if it's possible on her way to the horseman, otherwise just dragging him with her. Effective grapple for bull rushes is 8d10+20.
Also, she will attempt to Tumble (With an effective Reflexes roll of +50 including all bonuses) away from any bull rush made against her this round.


Current defensive stats:
Speed: 40
Dodge: 10d10+24
Grapple: 8d10+15
AV: 22 (3 Natural, 6 Worn, 13 from Buffs.)
Reflexes: 30 (+10 for defensive checks)
Focus: 16 (+10 for defensive checks)
Willpower: 22 (+10 for defensive checks)

Miscellaneous Bonuses/Penalties
+2 to Perception checks involving Sight or Hearing, no penalties for darkness.
+5 to Resistance checks when using skills.
+5 to checks made to resist being disarmed and to parry checks (And +5 max Parry DC) while wielding Chrysanta.
+5 to Spell/Power attack rolls while wielding Chrysanta.
-5 to Resistance checks to avoid being Blinded or Deafened, and an addition -2 versus being Blinded by bright lights.
+5 to Pregnancy rolls.
+5 to PP Damage taken.
+8 to PP Damage taken through her ears and tail.
1.5x Corruption gain.
 

Tassadar

Panda King
Moderator
Nov 10, 2008
16,038
83
#65
Re: Close to the Heart (Astarte)

Laelia: HP = 36/61, PP = 47, EP = 54/56, Status = Wounded, Transformation X=5 for Body (+5 Speed +20 temp HP +15 grapple/attack/dodge +10 reflexes/damage +5 AV/PP dealt/Focus/Willpower/Perception/Stealth) Upkeep = 0 EP 5 HP, 6/9 bullets loaded, Whirling Death, +10 Dodge and defensive Reflexes, 9/30 AV


Things
Weapon cache along the road (three dozen crossbow bolts, five sabers, four hatchets, a heavy crossbow) hanging from a tree branch

Old unmarked grave beneath the crab apple tree


NPCs
Raeglynn, innkeeper
Thomas the Younger


Raenan the Bandit currently deceased

Aegen: Taken 41 damage.


NOT FRIENDS
Phantom Archer 1: On the left tower, accurate
Phantom Archer 2: On the left tower, most accurate
Phantom swordsman: Next to the left tower

Phantom Archer 3: Destroyed
Phantom Axeman: Regrets some unlife choices as he dissolves into nothing

Phantom Knight 1: Vaguely annoyed about this weird kitsune stabbing him, taken 31 damage.
Phantom Knight 2: Taken 62 damage, -31 Dodge/AV/attack/Parry
Phantom Knight 3: Weakened, Taken 20 damage, unduly proud of managing to hit someone in the back from the back of the horse

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>:3: Not here... ?

Rolls
Laelia activates Whirling Death, uses Flurry.
Attacks on axeguy: 95 from sword, 95 for spear, 74 with automiss on last swing. Vs 53 Dodge. Two hits, one with each weapon.
Damage: 46 and 42 respectively, both minus 12 for the sword and 10 for the spear. Total of 66 damage.
One attack vs Phantom Knight 1 after some clarifications were made: 84 vs 79, hit.
Damage: 43 - 12 = 31 damage.

Aegen uses Softening Blow.
Attack: 82 for the shield, vs 69, hit. Damage: 31, reducing armor and dodge by that much.
Attack: 92 vs 38. I THINK HE HITS.
Damage: 62 damage total, no AV. THAT MAY HAVE HURT.

Phantom Knight 2 responds by trying to stab Aegen: 87 vs 94, miss even before I subtract the softening blow penalty.

Phantom Knight 3 charges Laelia POWERFULLY: 87 vs 70, hit.
Damage: 45 - 22 = 23 damage. 13 damage to armor.

Phantom Knight 1 tries to stab Laelia too: 89, hit.
Damage: 29 - 22 = 7 damage. 8 damage to armor.

The archers can see Laelia and take shots, but get a whopping 42 and 35 with an automiss, hitting nothing but air and dirt.

The spellworked blade on Laelia's highly customized weapon tore through the revenant's torso, cutting deep even through the chainmail he wore as she hacked into him from hip to shoulder. The same motion let her spin the weapon and jab the spear end into his torso, a move that would have disemboweled a living person as she tore the weapon aside and had a similar effect upon the phantom she faced. Astral gore spilled across her, the second slash from her sword passing through him like it might pass through thick ooze as his form became indistinct. As the axe wielder died like the archer he'd been guarding, Laelia hastily turned and dashed towards the knight who was turning to make a second charge.

She met her target as he was swinging about, hacking into his side and getting her blade under his shield as he tried to raise it in defense. The wound spilled milky white blood upon the ground and Laelia, and he responded by dropping the lance and drawing a sword, aiming a slash at the kitsune even as she used the momentum offered by a shot of her weapon's gun portion to dart backwards. The blade only clipped her cheek, opening a very shallow cut, but the pain distracted her enough that she didn't hear the thundering of hooves coming from behind her until it was too late. Breaking from her position in the corridor had given the knight that Aegen had struck earlier the opportunity to build up enough speed that his horse's momentum was able to add power to his strike, and she tried to turn and duck a second sword slash far too late to fully avoid it. The blade luckily deflected off of her skull, but she felt it scraping bone as it dug through the flesh of her forehead, agony shooting through her as the deeper gash also opened on her face, the cut going from the center of her forehead to her right temple and threatening to blind her with blood before too long.

Her change in position had also taken her out of the corridor, leaving her in view of the archers on the left hand wall. They had been waiting for this and had taken careful aim, loosing shafts at her as she was distracted by the two knights who were now milling about. As the knight to strike her more severely turned, the two shafts whizzed by either side of Laelia's face, missing her by inches but missing her nonetheless.

Aegen, in the meantime, was having a bit more luck than she was, though he also had fewer opponents to worry about at the moment. He drove his shield into the horseman he faced, striking him and nearly knocking him off of his mount, and followed up with a vicious overhand slash the drove several inches into the man's shoulder before he wrenched the blade out. He had struck like the horsemen hadn't been wearing any armor at all, and the feeble follow-up from the knight was deflected easily off of his shield. The knight wasn't down, however, leaving the ground-based warrior momentarily unable to rush to Laelia's aid as four opponents focused on her at once.
 

Astarte

Tentacle Monster
Dec 28, 2014
353
18
#66
Re: Close to the Heart (Astarte)

Laelia winced as the horseman's blade clipped her cheek, bringing her weapon up to guard against any further attacks, only to hear the thunder of hooves approaching her from behind a moment too late. She tried to dodge, but she was already overextended, only managing to twist out of the way enough to avoid what could have otherwise been a decapitating strike. Instead the blade caught her in the forehead, sending her vision swimming for a moment and pain lancing through her head.

She stumbled, barely managing to keep her balance until her vision cleared, head still spinning but leaving her aware enough to keep fighting. Her head was throbbing, the wound painfully distracting but fortunately not seeming to be anything worse than a gash and a hard knock to the head. A more solid strike could very well have cracked her skull, and she was fortunate she'd gotten off as lightly as she had from a head wound. She could already feel the blood flowing down her face though, and adrenaline could only go so far in numbing the pain. She needed to end this quickly, but she couldn't afford to take another hit like that.

Not only was she wounded and surrounded, but she heard arrows sailing by as well. She'd moved out too far, into the line of sight of the remaining archers, but she couldn't easily retreat right now, not with the pair of horsemen circling her. Fortunately they seemed to have rather poor aim, but she couldn't count on that lasting. What she needed was to break away from these two, or to at least take one of them down.

Linking her weapon together again, Laelia made use of the extra reach and swung the blade in a wider arc, taking the opportunity to fire another shot at the horseman in front of her and continuing her spin by shifted her grip and slicing at the horseman behind her with the broad spearhead on the weapon's opposite end. She pulled the trigger a second time, this time only to add to her momentum as she spun, taking another cleaving slash with her sword. Finally she turned back to the horseman who had wounded her, putting all the momentum she had built up into a single thrust with her spear. It was a dizzying technique, especially when already suffering a splitting headache from her head wound, but she couldn't afford to focus on only one of them in this situation, she needed to keep them both at bay until she could finish one off. She could only hope her quick and erratic movements were enough to throw the archers off as well, she couldn't deal with them until she could kill or get away from these two horsemen.

Maintaining Whirling Death and using Flurry and Storm of Strikes, attacking Phantom Knight 1 twice with her sword (Firing the revolver for +5 damage on the first and +10 to Dodge and defensive Reflex checks on the second) and Phantom Knight 3 twice with her spear. And each hit gives the target -10 to Attack rolls.

At Phantom Knight 1:

Sword Attack 1: 9d10+28
Sword Damage: 2d6 + 30

Sword Attack 2: 9d10+28
Sword Damage: 2d6 + 23


At Phantom Knight 3:

Spear Attacks (x2): 9d10+27
Spear Damage: 2d8 + 18, Ignores 2 AV


Current defensive stats:
Speed: 40
Dodge: 10d10+24
Grapple: 8d10+15
AV: 22 (3 Natural, 6 Worn, 13 from Buffs.)
Reflexes: 30 (+10 for defensive checks)
Focus: 16 (+10 for defensive checks)
Willpower: 22 (+10 for defensive checks)

And I'm not sure if her armour is at 9/30 or 14/30 TP. The numbers you gave seemed a lot higher than I expected (Though when I initially checked I forgot only armour AV was subtracted, which explains most of my confusion), but with 2 DU my math came to 45 - 6 = 39 / 4 = 10, and 29 - 6 = 23 / 4 = 6 respectively. 13 and 8 would be the results if divided by 3 instead of 4, so if that was intentional based on something they do that I'm not aware of, ignore this and she'd be at 9/30.

Miscellaneous Bonuses/Penalties
+2 to Perception checks involving Sight or Hearing, no penalties for darkness.
+5 to Resistance checks when using skills.
+5 to checks made to resist being disarmed and to parry checks (And +5 max Parry DC) while wielding Chrysanta.
+5 to Spell/Power attack rolls while wielding Chrysanta.
-5 to Resistance checks to avoid being Blinded or Deafened, and an addition -2 versus being Blinded by bright lights.
+5 to Pregnancy rolls.
+5 to PP Damage taken.
+8 to PP Damage taken through her ears and tail.
1.5x Corruption gain.
 
Last edited:

Tassadar

Panda King
Moderator
Nov 10, 2008
16,038
83
#67
Re: Close to the Heart (Astarte)

Laelia: HP = 31/61, PP = 47, EP = 54/56, Status = Wounded, Transformation X=5 for Body (+5 Speed +20 temp HP +15 grapple/attack/dodge +10 reflexes/damage +5 AV/PP dealt/Focus/Willpower/Perception/Stealth) Upkeep = 0 EP 5 HP, 4/9 bullets loaded, Whirling Death, +10 Dodge and defensive Reflexes, 14/30 AV


Things
Weapon cache along the road (three dozen crossbow bolts, five sabers, four hatchets, a heavy crossbow) hanging from a tree branch

Old unmarked grave beneath the crab apple tree


NPCs
Raeglynn, innkeeper
Thomas the Younger


Raenan the Bandit currently deceased

Aegen: Taken 41 damage.


NOT FRIENDS
Phantom Archer 1: On the left tower, almost accurate
Phantom Archer 2: On the left tower, not quite accurate
Phantom swordsman: Next to the left tower

Phantom Archer 3: Destroyed
Phantom Axeman: Regrets some unlife choices as he dissolves into nothing

Phantom Knight 1: Vaguely annoyed about this weird kitsune stabbing him, taken 69 damage. HUE.
Phantom Knight 2: Obliterated.
Phantom Knight 3: Weakened, Taken 66 damage, less proud that he can't stab them.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>:3: Not here... ?

Rolls
Laelia continues whirling death, uses Flurry and Storm of Strikes.
Attacks on knight 1 with sword: 102 and 90 vs 87
Damage: 39 and 31, both minus 16 for a total of 38 damage AND -20 to hit.
Attacks on knight 3 with spear: 83 and 81 vs 70
Damage: 23 and 31, both minus 4 for a total of 46 damage AND -20 to hit.

Aegen goes for Slay.
Attack: 111 vs 80, hits.
Damage: 86 - 16 = 70 damage. Down they go.

Phantom Knights 1 and 3 try to pay Laelia back for her stabby shenanigans.
Attacks: 74 and 52 vs 82 and 77 respectively, miss and miss.

The archers take some more pot shots at Laelia.
Attacks: 62 and 70 vs 72 and 67 respectively, both miss.

She will gain a stack of Weakened if she maintains whirling death after this round.

Caught between two of the horsemen as they began to circle around her, with both of the phantom knights already already winding up another pair of slashes while making openings wide enough for the archers to shoot through but too narrow for her to make any sort of meaningful attempt at outright escape without the very real risk of simply being trampled, Laelia found herself falling deeper and deeper into very real trouble. She felt the exhaustion beginning to override the natural adrenaline of combat, felt her limbs growing leaden and her reflexes slowing. But she was far from out of danger, and to let herself go idle now was to invite joining the countless ranks of those who had come to this castle to die.

The kitsune scholar's gun barked as she slashed, adding an extra bit of oomph to the slash aimed at one of the knights, catching him under an arm and forcing him to lean back to turn what could have been a dismemberment into a light graze. Another jab from the other end served to both wound and ward off the other circling knight, and Laelia's deadly spin continued with another bark from her pistol that made her motions even more wild and unpredictable. Another spin, another cleaving slash with her sword rent open the rotting chainmail covering the revenant's body, but it hardly seemed to phase the undead as it launched its own strike in answer to her repeated blows.

Laelia was already getting out of the way, however, her added bit of motion provided by the momentum of her gun firing allowing her to dodge the sword's arc by the breadth of a hair. She actually felt some of her hairs split as the blade severed them, but now likely wasn't the time to worry about her hair styling. Instead she drove her spearpoint into the other knight's shoulder, allowing her to slow his swing enough even as it descended in a curving downward arc towards her face that she could backstep enough to avoid it.

The two riders weren't her only problems, however, as she felt an arrow whiz by one of her ears, very nearly clipping it as it flew past. A second shaft soon followed, this one barely missing her left arm, and already the two were raising their weapons for another volley.

Aegen, in the meantime, seemed to be getting along just fine on his own, though he faced only a single opponent. He allowed his shield to hang upon his arm by its straps and took up his sword in both hands while Laelia struggled between the other two knights and the archers took pot shots at her. It rose above his head as the undead knight raised both sword and shield to stop it, twisting in the saddle, but when the heavyset knight brought the strike down neither blade nor shield nor armor nor flesh stopped it. The phantom was bisected down the middle from shoulder to crotch, a leg lopped off to boot, and the horse below was practically sliced in half in turn before both began to disolve into shrieking mist just like the other fallen dead had.

With his own opponent dispatched, Aegen turned towards Laelia, saw her dire straits, and took up his shield once more to begin rushing towards her. "The archers!" He shouted as he came, boots stamping loudly upon the paving stones over which he charged, "deal with the archers! Leave these to me!" He was gathering speed and nearing the point where the walls forming the makeshift corridor ended, lowering himself and tucking in his shield as he surged toward her. The walls were high, and reaching up to attack the archers directly would be hard, but perhaps with the right bit of timing and a bit of aid from her oncoming ally she could reach their heights... Or she could simply try to pick them off one by one using the ranged portion of her weapon, if she was feeling a little bit less ambitious.
 

Astarte

Tentacle Monster
Dec 28, 2014
353
18
#68
Re: Close to the Heart (Astarte)

Laelia was breathing heavily now, the battle taking its toll on her. She cursed under her breath, feeling the ever-present drain from the dagger in her chest even more acutely than normal, though fortunately it didn't actually seem to be any worse. It was simply more evident with the strain her body was under. She managed to strike both of the horsemen and narrowly avoid being hit in return, but neither seemed slowed significantly by the wounds she had inflicted, and she wasn't sure she could keep this up much longer, especially while still needing to avoid shots from the archers—she was sure one of them had clipped her ear on the last shot.

Fortunately, a quick glance at Aegen was enough for her to see him cleave his opponent in two, leaving him free to assist her with the remainder. Laelia stayed low to the ground while she darted back, trying to create an opening between the two horseman while keeping as far out of their reach as possible, seeing Aegen charging in, shield raised in front of him at an odd angle. It took a moment for Laelia to make the connection when he shouted to her, but she nodded in response, trying to dodge around the two horsemen to meet him halfway.

Legs tensed and ready, Laelia waited for the best moment she could see before springing forward, trying to dart between the two knights and make a dash for the approaching Aegen, leaping at the last moment to spring off his shield and towards the archers firing down at them. It was a fair jump still, and despite her confidence in her athletic skills she wasn't entirely certain she could make it even with assistance, but she already had a backup plan in mind. Chrysanta held in her right hand in its combined form, she kept her left free, ready to grab onto the wall and climb the rest of the way if she couldn't clear the entire height. Normally she might have questioned her ability to climb this sort of wall, but she was banking on the assumptions that these walls would not be heavily warded like the outer walls, and that she would be able to use her powers to create handholds as she went.

If she managed to make the jump, she would be quick to strike at the two archers, separating her weapons once again and darting between the two with her blades. Hopefully Aegen would be able to finish off the two knights, and the swordsman guarding the tower would stay put long enough for them to handle the rest. The archers didn't seem nearly as tough as the horsemen, judging by the one she'd taken down initially, so if these two followed the trend she should be able to make quick work of them.

Dropping Whirling Death to avoid getting weakened (Not sure how long she can wait to do so, whether it has to be at the beginning of her turn or not, but whenever she needs to to avoiding paying upkeep), then trying to jump up to the Archers and hoping Aeden's help is enough. If she needs to tumble to get to him, her total bonus (Including Reflexes) is +35.

If she doesn't make the jump, she will try to use Reshape (Probably only needs the 1 EP version? But will spend more if needed.) to form hand/footholds on the wall to climb the rest of the way.

If she does make the jump, immediately going to attack the two archers with Flurry:

At Archer 1:

Sword Attack 1: 8d10+28
Sword Damage: 2d6 + 32
Firing the Pistol for +5 damage (Included).

Spear Attack: 8d10+27
Spear Damage: 2d8 + 20, Ignores 2 AV


At Archer 2:

Sword Attack 2: 8d10+28
Sword Damage: 2d6 + 25
Firing the Pistol for +10 Dodge/Defensive Reflexes checks.

Spear Attack: 8d10+27
Spear Damage: 2d8 + 20, Ignores 2 AV


Current defensive stats (After dropping Whirling Death):
Speed: 40
Dodge: 10d10+24
Grapple: 8d10+15
AV: 16 (3 Natural, 6 Worn, 5 from Buffs.)
Reflexes: 30 (+10 for defensive checks)
Focus: 16
Willpower: 22
Perception: 5d10
Stealth: 4d10


Miscellaneous Bonuses/Penalties
+5 to Resistance checks when using skills.
+5 to checks made to resist being disarmed and to parry checks (And +5 max Parry DC) while wielding Chrysanta.
+5 to Spell/Power attack rolls while wielding Chrysanta.
-5 to Resistance checks to avoid being Blinded or Deafened, and an addition -2 versus being Blinded by bright lights.
+5 to Pregnancy rolls.
+5 to PP Damage taken.
+8 to PP Damage taken through her ears and tail.
1.5x Corruption gain.
Ignore a single 1’s result penalty on Perception checks relating to sight or hearing. No sight penalty in darkness.
 

Tassadar

Panda King
Moderator
Nov 10, 2008
16,038
83
#69
Re: Close to the Heart (Astarte)

Laelia: HP = 31/61, PP = 47, EP = 54/56, Status = Wounded, Transformation X=5 for Body (+5 Speed +20 temp HP +15 grapple/attack/dodge +10 reflexes/damage +5 AV/PP dealt/Focus/Willpower/Perception/Stealth) Upkeep = 0 EP 0 HP, 3/9 bullets loaded, 14/30 AV


Things
Weapon cache along the road (three dozen crossbow bolts, five sabers, four hatchets, a heavy crossbow) hanging from a tree branch

Old unmarked grave beneath the crab apple tree


NPCs
Raeglynn, innkeeper
Thomas the Younger


Raenan the Bandit currently deceased

Aegen: Taken 42 damage.


NOT FRIENDS
Phantom Archer 1: Annihilated
Phantom Archer 2: Devastated that Laelia never felt his wood
Phantom swordsman: Next to the left tower

Phantom Archer 3: Destroyed
Phantom Axeman: Regrets some unlife choices as he dissolves into nothing

Phantom Knight 1: Massacred.
Phantom Knight 2: Obliterated.
Phantom Knight 3: Weakened, Taken 66 damage, unimpressive.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>:3: Not here... ?

Rolls
Tumble past the knights: Success.
Laelia's acrobatics: 5 successes... On four dice. Guess Aegen's assistance will be ALL FLUFF.
Tumble past the swordsman as he tries to intercept: Success.
Attacks: Four attacks, four hits.
Damage: 41 and 28 for the sword, each minus 6. Enough to drop one archer for sure. 36 and 28, both minus 6 as well. Enough to drop the second archer, albeit just barely.


Aegen goes for Slay again, this time with 4 dice into defensive fighting.
Attack: 83 vs 53, hits.
Damage: 112 - 16 = fucktons damage.

Phantom Knight 3 tries to swing at Aegen.
Attacks: 98 vs 61, hits.
Damage: 31 - 34 = min 1 damage.

The sword guy will try to to cut Laelia.
Attack: 67 vs 79, miss.

Laelia dashed between the two horsemen encircling her, diving into a roll to avoid them as they tried to keep her contained. She came out of that roll in a run, surging towards Aegen as he stomped forth to meet her. He fell into a partial crouch, shield rising, and she leaped up and landed on it with her feet planted firmly. The hulking warrior tensed and then surged upwards, adding momentum to Laelia's upward motion as she leaped up and forward, towards the archers who scrambled to bring shaft to string as the kitsune flew towards them. The swordsman guarding the base of their tower took a swing at her as she flew by, trying to intercept her and cut one of her legs out from under her, but a mid-jump shift of momentum and tuck of her legs allowed her to roll out of his reach.

She hit the edge of the tower in a roll and came to her feet, her weapon separating so that she could dart strikes at the two undead archers at once. A bullet-assisted stab with her sword to one, a quick slash to the other, vicious stab to the first's eye with her shortspear and then a reversal to put it into the second archer's chest and both were crumbling into shrieking goo. The swordsman came up the ladder two rungs at a time, redrawing his sword before he'd even fully cleared it, but Laelia had enough time to make herself ready for her next opponent.

Aegen, in the meantime, let his shield hang loose again after launching Laelia towards the archers, taking up his greatblade in both hands. The knights turned to meet him, but he reached them before they could build up any real momentum and delivered another heavy overhead swing that bisected a second knight, shield and all. Even as that one began to crumble the next clopped forward and swung with his sword, but the blow bounced without any apparent effect off of Aegen's heavy armor and the gigantic man raised his sword again to bring about a third rendition of his brutal manner of dealing with the undead knights.
 

Astarte

Tentacle Monster
Dec 28, 2014
353
18
#70
Re: Close to the Heart (Astarte)

The jump was perfectly executed, Laelia just barely managing avoid her pursuers as they tried to cut her down and landing on Aegen's raised shield. Between his aid and her momentum, she managed to easily reach the top of the archers' tower, landing in a roll and separating Chrysanta into its two halves as she came out of it in a crouch. She was already striking at both of the archers as she rose back to her feet. Her spear struck the archer to her left in the eye, piercing straight through in what would have almost certainly been a fatal strike against an ordinary person, while her sword stabbed straight into the chest of the one on her right. A tap of the trigger and the gun barrel atop the sword blade fired while she tore the blade free, the momentum from her jump and from the shot aiding her in completing her half-spin, moving past the two archer's and turning to face the ladder up the side of the tower.

Finishing her motion, Laelia's blade carved deep into the chest of the archer now on her right, whose eye she had gouged out previously, and with a quick thrust her spear buried itself in the chest of the other. The kitsune let out a long breathe as the two dissolved into the same strange goo as the first had, but she only had a moment to recover before the swordsman cleared the ladder. She dodged to the side as it tried to strike her, risking a quick glance over the edge of the tower to check on Aegen, just in time to see one of the two horsemen dissolving in the same way.

He seemed to have things well in hand, so Laelia focused on the opponent in front of her. Linking her weapons again, she lead with a heavy overhead swing with the sword blade, following up with a straight stab with the same blade. Tearing the blade upwards, she struck at the swordsman's side with an upwards slash with the spearhead on Chrysanta's other end, continuing with the momentum of the slash until she was holding the spearhead at chest-level, and then stabbing forward in what she hoped would finish her opponent off.

Nothing special this time, just a full Flurry.

Sword Attack 1: 8d10+28
Sword Damage: 2d6 + 27

Sword Attack 2: 8d10+28
Sword Damage: 2d6 + 25

2 Spear Attacks: 8d10+27 each
Spear Damage: 2d8 + 20 each, Ignores 2 AV


Current defensive stats:
Speed: 40
Dodge: 10d10+24
Grapple: 8d10+15
AV: 16 (3 Natural, 6 Worn, 5 from Buffs.)
Reflexes: 30 (+10 for defensive checks)
Focus: 16
Willpower: 22
Perception: 5d10
Stealth: 4d10


Miscellaneous Bonuses/Penalties
+5 to Resistance checks when using skills.
+5 to checks made to resist being disarmed and to parry checks (And +5 max Parry DC) while wielding Chrysanta.
+5 to Spell/Power attack rolls while wielding Chrysanta.
-5 to Resistance checks to avoid being Blinded or Deafened, and an addition -2 versus being Blinded by bright lights.
+5 to Pregnancy rolls.
+5 to PP Damage taken.
+8 to PP Damage taken through her ears and tail.
1.5x Corruption gain.
Ignore a single 1’s result penalty on Perception checks relating to sight or hearing. No sight penalty in darkness.
 

Tassadar

Panda King
Moderator
Nov 10, 2008
16,038
83
#71
Re: Close to the Heart (Astarte)

Laelia: HP = 31/61, PP = 47, EP = 54/56, Status = Wounded, Transformation X=5 for Body (+5 Speed +20 temp HP +15 grapple/attack/dodge +10 reflexes/damage +5 AV/PP dealt/Focus/Willpower/Perception/Stealth) Upkeep = 0 EP 0 HP, 3/9 bullets loaded, 14/30 AV


Things
Weapon cache along the road (three dozen crossbow bolts, five sabers, four hatchets, a heavy crossbow) hanging from a tree branch

Old unmarked grave beneath the crab apple tree


NPCs
Raeglynn, innkeeper
Thomas the Younger


Raenan the Bandit currently deceased

Aegen: Taken 42 damage.


NOT FRIENDS
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>:3 is... Eheheheheheheh...

Rolls
Attacks: Four attacks, three hits this time.
Damage: 29 and 34, each minus 18, and 27 minus 4. Total of 50 damage. Exactly enough to kill him if I opt not to let him have any HP bonuses, which I think I will for the sake of ending the fight.

Aegen goes for Slay again, this time with 4 dice into defensive fighting.
Attack: Hits.
Damage: 90 - 16 = 74, ded.

Victory fanfare! Gain 8 xps.

The swordsman brought up his shield as Laelia made an overhead swing, but he wasn't quite fast enough, nor prepared for the reach of her weapon. Her strike cleaved into his shoulder, and though the decrepit chainmail he wore was specifically built to resist such a strike her finely crafted weapon was more than sufficient to rend through the decaying metal links protecting his ghostly flesh. The second blow from her sword proved similarly effective, leaving his shield arm hanging limp and allowing a reverse jab with the weapon's other half to send the enchanted jade at her engineered weapon's other end through the nose of his helmet. Again the phantom warrior dissolved into screaming mist, and it joined the final chorus of their battle as Aegen finished the last of the horsemen as he had the first two.

The battleground fell to silence, the pitter patter of raindrops and their heavy breathing the only sounds to be heard as the agonized screams from which the undead warriors had been formed began to fade. Fortunately, no more seemed about to appear, and after a few moments of cautious peering about Aegen began to straighten and relax. "That was the last of them... For now. But it seems there are no treasures to be found among the dead," the hulking man declared, every 'r' sound rolling smoothly as he turned and began to approach the rampart-lined causeway once more. "Before you come down, take a look about the place. See if there's anything else waiting fer us!"

As the armored knight stomped forth, Laelia would have a few moments in which she could take advantage of the tower's raised status to look around the portions of the courtyards surrounding the inner keep that had been hidden by the wall she had leaped over and the secondary castle itself. Past the causeway in which they had just fought was a wider area that was entirely paved, a square at which a sizeable number of troops would be able to marshal. Past that was a field of decrepit war machines, their timbers rotted and the sinew that had once given them strength decayed well past the point at which it could no longer hold any sort of tension. The mustering field and artillery section took up more or less the entirety of the space to the wall on the right, but the majority of the remaining area that had been hidden from view was on the left.

Immediately past the wall she had just ascended over was another wall, this one several feet taller and about level with the tower. It was a proper wall that ran all the way to the mustering field, with crenelations for the protection of those standing upon it from invaders who might conquer the portion of the courtyard that she was currently occupying. Beyond it lay another paved courtyard, and there Laelia saw the doors into the inner keep, a mural painted around them that was difficult to make out from here given the distance, the rain, and the effects of time. She couldn't see most of that courtyard due to the wall, but she could see another short wall beyond it, likely to form a symmetrical defense of sorts after the maze she had seen. Away from the doors, there was another series of defenses like she'd seen before; walls and towers and ramparts seemingly constructed at random to better confuse and separate any attackers who had gotten that far.

The military constructions did come to an end, however, and in their place what must have once been opulence appeared. Crumbling architecture from a dozen different cultures, some of which Laelia hadn't seen outside of pictures drawn in history books, could be seen among the areas leading up to the crumbling mansion. Past the amphitheaters, the gardens, and all of the other expensive distractions that had been created stood the mansion itself, another colossal construction but of a far more affluent nature compared to the practical construction of the castle and its surrounding fortifications. Past it, where the wall narrowed as it climbed up the cliffs beside the sea, towards the lighthouse.

"See anything else waiting for us?" Aegen inquired, having reached the corner of the wall near the tower she was standing on. There was nothing to see, no movement among the rubble nor any signs of humanoid figures lurking among the decrepit barricades. Should Laelia report as much, however, Aegen wouldn't seem particularly perturbed by the news, and merely said; "Come back down then, we'll proceed forward together." Whether or not the kitsune actually wished to continue traveling alongside the knight, however, was up to her. A path was open before her, or at least the potential of one; if she could make the jump to the wall and climb up onto it, she might be able to circumvent a lot of walking through areas that were undoubtedly easy to spring an ambush from.
 

Astarte

Tentacle Monster
Dec 28, 2014
353
18
#72
Re: Close to the Heart (Astarte)

Laelia lowered her weapon as the swordsman dissolved into shrieking mist, letting her breathing being to steady. She looked down over the tower's edge again, ready to provide assistance if needed, but Aegen seemed to have things well in hand with the remaining horseman. Before she could even try to line up a shot, he had already cleaved the last rider in two. Once the shrieking died down and silence descended on the castle once again, Laelia took the opportunity to use her vantage point to scan their surroundings.

"Nothing I can see from here." Laelia called down to Aegen in response to his question, eyes still on the path ahead, doing her best to commit it to memory. "But with the way these ones just appeared, that doesn't mean much."

The buildings up ahead were intriguing, examples of architecture she'd never seen in person. Some of these buildings might very well be some of the last intact examples of ancient architectural styles. The fact that there were so many different styles in one place was also interesting. Either the owner of this place had a significant interest in various cultures, or there were people from many cultures living here. Laelia sighed, pushing those thoughts aside for the moment. Academic curiosity could wait, this place was too dangerous for her to do any proper studying on her own. Certainly not before she found what she was really looking for.

She had also noticed that the height of this tower gave her another option, to make her way along the walls themselves. It would make for a more direct route, and if the adversaries they faced were the ordinary sort it would likely be much safer than walking through these kill zones below. Unfortunately, the nature of the creatures that had attacked them gave her pause. She would likely need to split up with Aegen if this was the path she chose, she doubted he was too acrobatic in his armour, so the jump they'd need to make looked dangerous. In this situation, sticking together seemed to be the best option. Travelling along the walls was no guarantee that she couldn't be ambushed regardless, and with even less cover available.

"Alright. I'll be right down." Laelia called down again, pausing for a few seconds to release the energy she'd been using to maintain the strengthening effect of her elixir. A shudder ran through her body as everything returned to its normal state, or as close to normal as could be expected from a shapeshifter, and then she began the climb down the tower. Now that there was no immediate threat she took the ladder carefully, but didn't waste too much time before rejoining Aegen, tucking the spear half of Chrysanta under her arm to hold onto it and separating the halves, flipping the revolver cylinder open and reloading the empty chambers while she walked. "I didn't see any sign of movement at all from up there, so the path seems clear of... material threats. I can't say anything about more of those things though, they seemed to just appear out of nowhere, and there were definite blind spots as well." She elaborate on her previous statement once she reached Aegen, locking the revolver cylinder back in place and locking the two ends of her weapon back together, ready to continue on as soon as Aegen was.

Dropping her Transformation buff now, and reloading her gun.

Laelia will also keep her eye out along the way for any discarded weapons or armour (Anything metal, basically) and collect some scrap metal if they pass by any.
 
Last edited:

Tassadar

Panda King
Moderator
Nov 10, 2008
16,038
83
#73
Re: Close to the Heart (Astarte)

Laelia: HP = 61/61, PP = 47, EP = 54/56, Status = Fine, 9/9 bullets loaded, 14/30 AV


Things
Weapon cache along the road (three dozen crossbow bolts, five sabers, four hatchets, a heavy crossbow) hanging from a tree branch

Old unmarked grave beneath the crab apple tree


NPCs
Raeglynn, innkeeper
Thomas the Younger


Raenan the Bandit currently deceased

Aegen: Spent 12 EP


NOT FRIENDS
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>:3

Rolls
Perception: 1 success, insufficient. Laelia does not find THE METAL.

Climbing down from the tower left Laelia on the raised embankment backing the ramparts, and a short jump over the wall left her rejoining Aegen. The hulking knight waited patiently, but when she was standing before him again he reached out suddenly and grasped her by the shoulder. The massive warrior's armored gauntlet dug painfully into her skin even through the mild padding offered by her garments, but through that pain she felt an emanating tingle that spread up to her head. The wound on her forehead, which had been threatening to blind her with the blood oozing from it before long, closed as quickly as it had opened, and the cut on her cheek likewise closed immediately. The minor burst of curative magics did nothing to ease her growing exhaustion, but it reduced her various pains to phantoms of what they had been.

"Better," Aegen said as he released her and retracted his hand, "it does not suit a lady, no matter how capable, to go forth wounded! It is unfortunate that I cannot do anything about the blood."

The constant drizzle would at least help some with that, gradually cleansing her features of her own sticky vital fluid, and unless Laelia wished to discuss things further he would then turn, hefting his shield and drawing his sword once more, and proceeded onward along the path on which they had been ambushed. Fortunately for the two of them, no second batch of phantoms would appear to bar their path, at least while they traveled down the rampart-sided pathway. Aegen seemed to expect another fight, but he wouldn't get one before they'd cleared the last portion of sharpened wooden stakes, nor as they stepped out onto the wide square.

Aegen turned left promptly, expecting Laelia to follow, and they passed a small gatehouse guarding a ramp leading up to the raised area onto which she had jumped to reach the tower. It, too, was abandoned, and they stepped through an easier to travel section of the ruined fortifications into another mustering field. This one was smaller, but only due to the partially sunken structure dominating one corner of it. It seemed to be a barracks of sorts, built partially into the ground to be protected from artillery strikes.

Aegen ignored it as they passed it by, the structure to their right as he made for the inner castle doors that were now on their left. There had been no signs of useable materials along the path, not even the most rusted remnants of discarded arms and armor, but there she might find something at the cost of added danger. Should Laelia make towards it he might be made to pause, but if she likewise left the barracks without bothering to explore them they would soon find themselves approaching the doors. There were fewer fortifications here to block their path, just another pair of guard towers and a narrow path created by more ramparts.

There was a humming in the air as Laelia and her heavily armored companion advanced through the last barriers between them and the inner keep’s doors. Aegen paused suddenly, raising his shield as if expecting a blow to come. When, after several seconds, none did, he lowered it again and muttered; “I have an ill feeling about this… It is too easy.

There were three possible entrances into the keep. The main doors lay just ahead, but every step forward heightened the uncomfortable sense of energy hanging in the air. It was familiar, and yet not at the same time, and the vague sense of dread that it brought with it only built as time went on even if it was not directly approached. Besides the closed primary doors, there was a side entrance visible off on the right,the small doorway partially hidden among the end of another secondary wall. In addition, a collapsed section of wall off to the left might offer another potential ingress, but it would likely be hard for Aegen to squeeze through the rubble given his bulk.
 

Astarte

Tentacle Monster
Dec 28, 2014
353
18
#74
Re: Close to the Heart (Astarte)

Laelia flinched, fighting the urge to pull away when Aegen grabbed her by the shoulder, but it only took her a moment to feel the healing power spreading through her. She hadn't seen anything that would indicate that he had cast a spell—though such methods varied—Perhaps spirit powers like her own then? If, as she had considered, he had some relation to the orcs that would be more likely than magic regardless. Regardless, it eased the throbbing pain in her head and halted the trickle of blood that threatened to obscure her vision.

"Thank you." Laelia replied, wiping some of the blood away with the back of her glove. It would need to be cleaned later, but so would everything else she was wearing, so it didn't make much of a difference. "I hadn't realized you knew how to heal. Don't worry too much about me though, I've dealt with worse wounds than that before."

The rain would wipe away the rest of the blood eventually, though the uncomfortable sensation reminded her of the damage done to her armour in the last fight. The leather was tough enough to protect her to some extent, but it didn't hold up too well to repeated combat. It was already showing signs of wear, a few shallow gashes in the thicker parts of the leather padding that hadn't quite broke through, and what had drawn her attention in some of the fabric beneath tearing, raindrops landing on the bare flesh beneath. A hand on the damaged portion and some channelling of her own and her power spread through the garment, tears stitching themselves back together and severed threads mending, leather flowing as if liquid for a moment and evening out, leaving no sign of the cuts previously marring their surface. This was only a patch job, but it would do for now—she could only work with the material that was left, reshaping it to fill any gaps. Any that was torn or scraped off would have to be replaced later, when she had proper tools to work with.

As soon as she was finished, the kitsune hurried to follow behind her armoured companion, not wanting to get separated in this place if she could help it. She kept her eye out as they continued on, knowing that she could use the same process to create usable ammunition for her gun if she could find some scrap metal that wasn't too badly rusted. She had chemicals and oil on her that could substitute for the rest with a bit of manipulation, but she needed more metal. Unfortunately, nothing usable stood out to her, and she didn't want to stray from the path in her search.

Despite her previous misgivings, no more of the strange phantoms appeared to attack them on the way to the main keep. They walked in silence, eerie silence that had Laelia on edge the entire way. She kept her weapon at the ready, finger resting on the trigger guard in case anything else appeared to block their way, but nothing presented itself. It was strange, and worrying. By the time they were in sight of the keep proper, Laelia was actually hoping something would happen, even if she knew she would regret that the moment it did.

The air felt like it was getting denser the close they got, and she could feel the magic in the air. Something oddly familiar, a nagging sensation that she knew this, but it was different. Wrong somehow. Her eyes shot between the potential entrances in her surroundings, from the main gate to the side door and finally the collapsed wall. The latter was likely to be difficult if she wanted to remain with Aegen, but the side door presented an opportunity if it wasn't locked. Something told her the main doors were dangerous.

"Like this is some kind of trap, yes. Something is wrong about this place, I can feel it in the air." Laelia scanned her surroundings for a second time, raising her free hand up to the side of her head and tapping the side of her glasses three times once again, activating the enchantment placed on them. There was some kind of foul magic in the air, if she was lucky the enchantment would be able to make some sense of it for her. She didn't like the idea of walking into this blindly.

First spending 3 EP to restore 15 TP to her armour, leaving it at 29/30.

Then, once they reach the final path to the gate, activating her enchanted glasses to detect and identify magic in the area. Costs 3 of the glasses' EP pool, and acts as Analysis' detect magic function.
 
Last edited:

Tassadar

Panda King
Moderator
Nov 10, 2008
16,038
83
#75
Re: Close to the Heart (Astarte)

Laelia: HP = 61/61, PP = 47, EP = 51/56, Status = Fine, 9/9 bullets loaded, 29/30 AV, Glasses at 7/10 EP


Things
Weapon cache along the road (three dozen crossbow bolts, five sabers, four hatchets, a heavy crossbow) hanging from a tree branch

Old unmarked grave beneath the crab apple tree


NPCs
Raeglynn, innkeeper
Thomas the Younger


Raenan the Bandit currently deceased

Aegen: Spent 12 EP


NOT FRIENDS
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>:3 Not here... Yet?
Knight-Thing: Clearly does not belong in this category!

Rolls
Perception: 2 successes

Wilpower: 6 + 17 = 23....

"Best not be too confident," Aegen cautioned Laelia in low tones after she'd thanked him, "lest it lead yeh to join the dead we've been' fighting." His voice softened, however, as he added; "Sides, we're to aid each other as we can, are we not? Ahahaha..."

If the hulking armored warrior had any compunctions about the magic that she used to repair her armor, he didn't elect to show it, and his own armor seemed totally undamaged despite the fact that he had taken at least one direct hit from a charging lance. As such, they would reach the doors that might take them into the chamber without further incident of note, where they ultimately paused as the ominous feeling grew overwhelming. When she reached up to tap the side of her glasses, activating their magic, what exactly they had approached would perhaps become clearer... But whether Laelia took comfort in that knowledge was up to her, though now there would be little else to take as comfort.

Having never studied the organized branches of magic other than alchemy, there was only so much that the kitsune could truly glean from what she perceived. In some ways her mind simply lacked the innate understanding that would have been required to fully glean wisdom from what she saw, though if that was because she had not delved into the proper lore or because no living thing could ever fully comprehend the things that she saw then, she could not say.

At first it seemed as if she had become immersed in a field of sorts, a cloying presence that she could only barely feel even now that she could see it. Aegen was likewise immersed in it should she glance his way. It was like a change in the tint, an alteration of the world's color that her brain eventually interpreted to be green, but where in most places it seemed to be a mist of sorts, as her gaze drifted to the door and the wall above it seemed like the metaphysical substance had... Congealed. Clumps of that formless something, that indecipherable energy, had gathered there to form what could only be described as cancerous tumors.

Detail wasn't so much noticed by her as it was filled in as her mind processed what she was seeing over the course of several seconds, the stimuli themselves granted to her courtesy of the enchantment on her glasses. First that energy was pulsating, like a thing alive, though no vein-like cords of power moved through it or connected one chunk to another. Additional less tumors began to appear on the varied masses, forming pulsing globs of unusual thickness and empty slits, and on the largest mass Laelia found herself unable to look away from one of the forming openings.

She found herself locked in place, a rapidly rising terror that spread from her core and emanated out to every extremity forcing her to keep still and watch. Every moment demanded at once that she look away immediately, before whatever lay beneath that opening was revealed, and that she keep watching until it did. A dull, distant howl began to play in her ears, like a whisper carried from far away, and it was only the first of a rising chorus of sounds that professed agony unimaginable into her imagination. Every second seemed to make her heartbeat skip as she was kept enraptured by the formless sentinel hanging over the door leading into the castle. Was that eye - for it could only be an eye - opening? Did the shutter of ethereal flesh protecting her from its attention flutter, or had she imagined it? Or would it remain forever shut, perhaps locking her in place like the gaze of a medusa?

The captive kitsune could not tell how long it was that she stood there. Any sound Aegen might have made, any words he might have spoken, were lost amidst the whispered screams of a thousand voices that now pounded through her ears. The rest of the world, physical or metaphysical, simply didn't exist save for that one closed eye... Until, suddenly, it simply flicked open, a black pupil orienting upon her and widening. The thing's gaze pierced through her like a spear hurled by some terrible god, tearing through the constructed fabrics of her hopes and dreams, of the petty happenings of her menial experiences, to examine the dismantled value of her very existence.

Whatever it might have thought - or if it even could think in a way that she might normally use the word - she could not know. All that was left was faded, patchy memories of what had paralyzed her, the blissful ending of her glasses' spell, and what she saw upon reverting back to physical reality.

"LASS!!!"

Whatever had formed while she'd been captured in her stupor, it was now bearing down upon Laelia with the speed born of untold fury. It might have once been a man, though now it was swollen such that it would have even towered over Aegen. Clad in armor that might have once been beautiful - a suit of plated mail with a full fauld reaching past its knees, all ornately filigreed in silver and heavenly blue - but was now stained in black ichor and dried gore, the creature had launched itself at her, crossing the full distance from the door to where she stood at the entrance to the grounds leading up to that portal into further darkness... With a single leap, despite the weight that it bore. A greatsword was clutched in its left hand, stained like the thing's armor and raised behind it and ready to come down upon her and cleave her in half with a single strike when it landed upon her. The other armor hung limp, for the shoulder of its armor had been rent open, and from that gaping wound in the metal came an outpouring of writhing flesh that hung around it like a twisting cloud, all jagged bone and gnashing mouths, and as it began to descend that mutilated rope of sinew whirled to bear like a flailing cat-o-nine-tails. The leaping thing's head, once held within a closed helm with a chain mesh veil, had exploded into a white faced shrieking visage with milky white eyes. The sound of its agonized cry reached her ears like the paralyzing chorus had, at first heard as if from a distance but then suddenly growing so loud that it was nearly deafening... But not paralyzing, giving Laelia the final heartbeats of the monstrous knight's descent in which to react to the sudden attack.
 
Last edited:

Astarte

Tentacle Monster
Dec 28, 2014
353
18
#76
Whatever Laelia had expected upon activating the enchantment in her glasses, what she saw was no it. The magic was something fairly simple, intended merely to allow her to perceive the makeup of things both mundane and magical in a way impossible to the naked eye, but what she saw the moment her finger tapped the thin metal for the third time was something that shouldn't have been possible. She had never studied much of proper magic, no more than the basics she was required to learn, but she knew that what she was seeing was not normal. She had used this enchantment many times, and it had never done anything like this before. It was if her surroundings had changed entirely, as if something in the world around her had shifted in ways her mind couldn't quite grasp.

Was the magic here so strong it had permeated everything, even the air around her? That would explain the odd sensation she had felt... as would the massive, pulsating mass of what she could only rationalize as some sort of massive collection of energy before her. The way it shifted and grew didn't fit any description she'd ever heard before, but somehow she could tell that it was some sort of eye, or at least something approximating one in function. Whatever it belonged to had to be even more massive, even more powerful, and that thought terrified her.

Her head felt like it would split from the pressure, the countless screaming voices that seemed to assault her ears from all directions. Where had those come from? When had they begun? Or had they been there the whole time, and she had merely been unable to perceive them? She couldn't tell, couldn't think long enough to try to make any sense of them. Whatever this was, it felt like it was trying to tear her mind apart, yet she couldn't look away, her body locked in place.

"Ah!"

She wasn't sure what finally broke her free from her trance, Aegen's shout or her spell ending, but she only had a brief moment to comprehend the massive thing bearing down on her before instinct took over. Whatever it had been—human or elf if she had to guess—it was now something else, something horrific and monstrous. She could only imagine that whatever it was had to be tied to the "eye" she had seen, but she could barely guess at what either was. Perhaps a knight of some kind once, based on the armour it still wore, but corrupted, mutated into some kind of monster. Whatever it was, it was fast, and she could only imagine it was powerful.

Her first reaction was to try to block the incoming attack, but she wasn't sure she could stand up to something that massive, certainly not in a test of strength. While capable, she was far from truly strong. Whatever it was, it looked strong, far stronger than her. It was fast too, and she wasn't sure she could outrun it. She had to make a split second decision, and she didn't relish the idea of testing it herself. Instead she reached out with her spirit, gritting her teeth against the pain lancing through her body as she overextended herself to latch onto the rubble and even the stones of the path or the surrounding earth itself if she needed to, drawing them together into a rough facsimile of a large human shape rooted to the ground in front of her, exceeding even the oncoming creature in size. It was a crude creation by her usual standards, not even capable of walking and entirely lacking in the mechanical parts she prefered, instead merely a mass of earth and stone held together by tendrils of her power. It would serve, however, both to shield her and to test the true strength of this monster. If she was to stand any chance against something like this, she needed to know what she was dealing with.

Using Assemble Contraption to create a stone construct directly between herself and the enemy, X=9, plus 3 EP to grant 2x Pain Resistant and make it Immobile for +4 Body/Mind, Battle Hardened, and Resilient. This comes to 14 EP, exceeding her spirit ceiling by 4, for a total cost of 18 EP and 8 HP.

Stats
60 Body, 22 Mind
101/101 HP
38 AV
10d10 Dodge
30 Reflexes, 17 Focus, 10 Willpower

12d10 Attack (2d6+30 Melee Damage / 3d4+22 Ranged Damage)

10 Cold/Fire/Elec Resistance
Immune to Poison & Sneak Attacks

Golem, Mindless, Immobile
 

Tassadar

Panda King
Moderator
Nov 10, 2008
16,038
83
#77
Laelia: HP = 16/61, PP = 47, EP = 33/56, Status = Fine, 9/9 bullets loaded, 29/30 AV, Glasses at 7/10 EP, Wounded, Weakened, 18 EP spent this fight

Things
Weapon cache along the road (three dozen crossbow bolts, five sabers, four hatchets, a heavy crossbow) hanging from a tree branch
Old unmarked grave beneath the crab apple tree

NPCs
Raeglynn, innkeeper
Thomas the Younger

Raenan the Bandit currently deceased

Aegen: Spent 12 EP
Wall: 52/101 HP


NOT FRIENDS
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>:3 Every post will add additional eyebrows until his return! Or I get bored. Or forget.
Knight-Thing: Wants to cuddle. Possibly Mexican. 80 Body, 18 dodge, Sword is +10 attack/damage and has an extra damage die and vampirism 8, taken 14 damage.

Rolls
Summoning! The wall cometh.

Monstar swings at wall with sword.
Attack: more than 93 (I am lazy and don't want to calc all of the bonuses) vs 52, hits.
Damage: 27 + 60 - 38 = 49 damage.
It gets d6 tentacle attacks: 3
Attacks: 38, 109, and 96. They target; Statue, Laelia, and Laelia respectively. Wow, bad luck. Lots of damage penalties at least.
Laelia's Dodge: 51
Damage: 13 + 27 - 12 - 9 = 19 damage, 12 + 27 - 12 - 9 = 18 damage, for a total of 37 damage to Laelia. That gives her a Weakened stack.

Aegen tries to hit it with a Crushing Blow.
Attack: 112 vs 102, hit.
Damage: 66 - 39 (full plate) = 27, 27/2 = 14 damage dealt.
Resistance: 37 for Aegen vs natural 20 on the dice for knightguy, who don't give a fuck.

With an effort of will that left blood running from her nose and pain throbbing at her temples, Laelia reached into the ground with raw, will guided power. The earth beneath their feet rumbled and rose, but with it came something that Laelia had not intended to bring up, and as the statue of stone and dirt rose to its full, towering height, amidst the ground was a veritable tomb's worth of corpses. Some were rotted to bleached bones, others retained portions of decaying flesh strewn with maggots, and still others were fresh enough to show rotting blood still visible on their terrified, sunken features. They were of many races, and rotted armor of many types clung to their decaying or decayed frames, but even as it rose the armored monster she had brought the horrific golem up to face released an unearthly shriek in challenge just before it landed.

The unnatural thing's greatsword came down onto the stationary guardian statue at the end of its leap and tore through the dirt, stone, and corpses that made up its body like so much wet clay. The golem lurched to the side as it was rent from where one shoulder would be to where the ribs would end, with lurched again as its attacker ripped the greatsword back out through the path it had come. Even as it landed the very air around them seemed to change, growing moister as the rain picked up, and the thick clouds in the sky grew darker still as thunder rumbled and lightning flashed to illuminate the grisly abominations in front of her further.

The golem had taken the first hit in Laelia's stead, however, and because of that she was still alive... But that monster's assault wasn't finished yet. It's right arm flapped limply at its side, but the grisly tendril emanating from its right shoulder writhed in the air and, a second after its landed, lashed out. It grew as it whirled through the air, each of the maws appearing on its length letting out a grisly howl before being reabsorbed into the writhing band of mutant flesh, and the trunk of it weaved around the golem without hitting it to reach towards Laelia and Aegen. With terrifying grace it tore through the air and slammed a portion of its length into her shoulder, and where it hit she felt it grow jagged spikes that ripped through her clothing and dug painfully into her flesh and caused further trauma as it tore away. That wasn't all, however, as the thing bent away, letting the tip crack like a whip against her back, where she felt maws grow and close only to rip away, leaving her bloodied and maimed.

Even through fresh waves of mixed agony, however, Laelia saw Aegen thunder forward with greatsword already swinging. The weapon was ill-suited to dealing with plate armor, but Aegen swung it forward with strength enough to dig through the weakened section that he targeted, one of the joints in its torso. The creature howled as the blow dug deep into its side, but when Aegen retracted it Laelia saw that the wound bled for only a moment before the spilled fluids turned to mist and retreated back into the wound, already starting to regenerate. "Bloody wretch!" the armored knight shouted as this latest monster howled in fury and turned its attention toward him - and luckily away from Laelia.

Even as the two prepared to trade blows, however, Laelia saw that their surroundings had changed. Phantom figures, ghostly pale unlike the rotted green of the undead that had already attacked her, were all around them. A battle was playing out around them, and they were at the focal point of it, the center. The ramparts to either side were being held by desperate groups of soldiers against equally desperate invaders, though their insignia and even their races Laelia could not tell given their pearly translucent appearance. Horrors stalked among the defenders, however, reaching over them occasionally to tear at their attackers or slaughtering messily any defenders who broke and ran for the doors. Those horrors, bipedal batlike creatures with blood-drenched snouts and wings that could spread as wide as a house, were as large as the knight-horror now facing them and, unlike the pearly hoards, were the transparent green she had seen in some of the apparitions that had attacked her and Aegen earlier. There were two of them, one on either side, and for now they seemed unaware of Laelia and Aegen as they enjoyed their grisly duties, at least ensuring that she could engage them at her own discretion.
 

Astarte

Tentacle Monster
Dec 28, 2014
353
18
#78
Laelia barely had time to register the many corpses that she dug up in the hasty creation of her guardian before the enemy was upon it. She might have been disturbed by the sight were it not overshadowed by the monster bearing down upon her. The creature's greatsword cleaved through earth and stone with ease, proving just how poor an idea it would have been to try to try to block that strike herself. Her creation still stood—She'd built it for durability, after all—so it had done what she needed it to, but she knew it couldn't take more hits like that and remain intact.

Unfortunately for her, while the creature tore its blade free of her creation, the aberrant growth on its right side struck out independently of the main body, over her golem and towards her. She tried the block their path with her weapon but she was too slow, and their movements were too erratic. She staggered back as the first struck her in the shoulder, spikes tearing through the leather of her armour, right into a second which slammed into her back, biting maw tearing at her before pulling away.

Laelia was fortunate that Aegen drew the monster's attention away from her a moment later, because it was all she could do to remain standing, burning pain from new wounds joining the harm she'd done to herself during her summoning. She could feel her movements getting sluggish as she fumbled with the pouch on her belt, retrieving a pair of potion vials. First was her strengthening elixir, the second was one to restore her energy. She'd need it if she wanted to maintain the effects of the transformation for long. Unfortunately she'd already used her only healing potion and hadn't had time to brew another, but this could at least keep her going, and help protect her against the creature's monstrous tendrils—though she still didn't want to test herself against its blade. This time she finished an entire vial, followed by the entirety of the energy potion, tossing the empty containers aside as she felt her body shifting, her muscles growing stronger and flesh strengthening until it could rival the plate armour both Aegen and their opponent wore in toughness. It wouldn't heal the wounds she'd already received, but it would at least keep her on her feet for now.

She still didn't know what they could do, though. Aegen had managed to strike the creature, but it barely seemed harmed even by such a heavy blow. Even strengthened as she was, she doubted she could do any better. She wasn't even certain she could outrun it, considering how fast it had moved when it leaped at her, which would make escape a difficult prospect. Made even worse a moment later, when their surroundings changed. It was like they had stepped into a memory of some past battle, ghostly soldiers both attacking and defending the fortress. Unlike the apparitions they'd encountered before, these ones appeared truly ghostly, and she wasn't certain she could even harm them, or they her, nor was she eager to find out. More notable were the other monsters that had appeared, the same translucent green as the phantom knights they'd previously fought. Surprisingly, they seemed to be aiding the ghostly defenders, and so far ignoring the fight in the center... but what were they? She didn't know, and she didn't have time to figure it out. They could be important, but drawing their attention could also merely quicken their doom. They looked strong as well, and turning her back on the monster in front of her would only end in her death.

"We can't beat it like this!" She called to Aegen, watching even as the minor wound he had dealt it began to knit itself back together. But what did they do? Retreat? Hope this ghostly army could somehow harm it, and wouldn't see them as enemies? Ignore it and go after the other creatures, on the slim hope that might do something? None of the options seemed good, not without a better idea of what this thing was. Normally, this was where the enchantment on her glasses would come in handy, but that had proven to be a poor idea in this place.

Nevertheless, Laelia split her weapon once again, taking one blade in each hand and preparing to jump in to aid Aegen if she saw an opening while mentally commanding her construct to strike it as well. She didn't expect much from it, but if it could even provide a minor distraction, that would be something. Her eyes scanned the battlefield around them, looking for something—anything—that she might be able to use against the creature. Her own weapons would be all but worthless if Aegen's strike had been any indication, but she wasn't certain what would help them here either.

Don't really have any method to either harm this thing or survive even one other hit as is, so just casting Transformation X=13 for Body, for 10 EP and 8 Upkeep. Choosing AV for the Soul's Strength increase. Also drinking an energy potion as a move action to regain 30 EP afterwards, for a net gain of +20 EP for the round.
Gaining 52 Temporary HP, +39 Grapple, Weapon Attack, and AV, +26 Dodge, Weapon Damage, and Reflexes, +13 Focus and Willpower, +10 Speed and +2d10 Stealth and Perception.

Modified Stats (Including Weakened penalties)
16/61 HP, 52/52 Temp. HP
53/56 EP
Speed = 40
Dodge = 8d10+25
AV = 48
Perception = 5d10
Stealth = 4d10
Grapple = 6d10+39

Reflexes = 41
Focus = 19
Willpower = 25

Wall will try to attack, because it can't do much else.
Attack roll is 3d10+12d10, damage is 2d6+30.
So probably not going to break AV even if it hits, but can at least give it the -5 Dodge penalty for multiple attackers for Aegen's attack.
 
Last edited:

Tassadar

Panda King
Moderator
Nov 10, 2008
16,038
83
#79
Laelia: HP = 16/61, PP = 47, EP = 53/56, Status = Fine, 9/9 bullets loaded, 29/30 AV, Glasses at 7/10 EP, Wounded, Weakened, 18 EP spent this fight, Transformation X = 13, Upkeep = 8 EP. 52/52 Temp HP

Things
Weapon cache along the road (three dozen crossbow bolts, five sabers, four hatchets, a heavy crossbow) hanging from a tree branch
Old unmarked grave beneath the crab apple tree

NPCs
Raeglynn, innkeeper
Thomas the Younger

Raenan the Bandit currently deceased

Aegen: Spent 12 EP, Taken 47 damage.
Wall: 52/101 HP


NOT FRIENDS
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>:3 Every post will add additional eyebrows until his return! Or I get bored. Or forget.
Knight-Thing: Wants to cuddle. Possibly Mexican. 80 Body, 18 dodge, Sword is +10 attack/damage and has an extra damage die and vampirism 8, taken 34 damage.

Rolls
Buffs! Yey?

Wall punches: 81 vs 92 Dodge, misses but at least Aegen's swinging against only 87 Dodge?

Aegen will use SLAY!
Attack: 111, hits. Lose 3d from Dodge though.
Damage: 95 - 39 = 56, 56/2 = 28 damooge.

Monster makes his swing at Aegen.
Attack: 107 vs 32, hit.
Damage: 32 + 60 - 45 = 47 damage. The enemy regains 8 HP.
Tentacle Attacks: 1
Targets: Wall.
Attack: 8 before penalties vs 64, misses.

With her injuries mounting, Laelia's decision to hold back while swigging her pair of potions at least left her outside of the mutant knight's direct attention. Roaring in inhuman fury, it turned towards Aegen and raised it's sword overhead while he and Laelia's conjured golem engaged it, leaving Laelia momentarily undisturbed as her potions took effect. One causing her spirit's energies to flow through her body, strengthening it to the point that the exhaustion stemming from the cursed dagger buried in her heart didn't seem so bad, and the other restoring the energies she'd spent conjuring her golem and empowering herself after it failed to fully protect her from the monster she now had to deal with.

Aegen raised his blade in turn as the knight-horror swung down at him, but Laelia's construct swung first, rearing back to slam its makeshift fists against the knight's chest. Even as immune to harm as the thing seemed, however, it still turned to avoid the blow, leaning back and half turning to avoid the swinging fists of the corpse-laden golem. That quick dodge momentarily kept the thing from bringing down it's strike upon Aegen, however, and the armored man took the extra moment to rear back, planting a foot forward and putting all of his might into a powerful swing. His blade blurred through the air and landed in the knight's gut, tearing through the cracks in the overlapping plates and the mail beneath to dig deep into flesh.

A mortal man would have been gutted, their abdominal wall breached and the organs it protected left to spill out as Aegen tore his blade back out the way it had come, but the rush of blood turned to mist even as it erupted, and like the first blow it rushed back in and began to knit the wound back together. The creature howled and completed the delayed strike, and with all of his strength put into the devastating blow that he had tried to render onto the thing Aegen could only shift enough to put his sword and a strong part of his armor in the path of the monster's sword and brace for impact. The thing blew through his guard with next to no effort and slammed it's sword into his shoulder, and the man gasped in pain as armor rent to reveal vulnerable flesh to the creature's steel. His knees bent, but the blow stopped short after only digging lightly through flesh and muscle and steel.

Even as it retracted, however, Aegen gasped again as his blood turned to mist like that of the creature. The crimson cloud curled around the blade, running up back towards the creature and hastening the regeneration of its injuries. Aegen cursed and took a stumbling half step back, ending the effect as he left the range of the effect, but the creature followed and raised it's sword again. Another howl burst from it's mouth, this time a hungry one, as it prepared to bring its blade down on Aegen once more.

Laelia, in the meantime, had a free moment to observe both their direct threat and the phantom battle still going on around them. The creatures among the phantoms were still acting as they had before, one reaching over the ranks of the defenders to tear a woman - who screamed silently all the while - from among the attackers and tear her bodily in half. The other grabbed a fallen defender and brought it to it's batlike head, sniffing momentarily before opening it's jaws and gorging itself, ripping gore from the figure's belly and flesh from its ribs. She could watch in real time as it's tongue dug through the offal and coiled around the fallen man's hearts, tearing it out and swallowing it whole, before holding his lifeless form over it's own head to let the remnants of it's grisly meal dribble into it's open maw.
 
4x25 Fairy Tail | Senran Kagura | Brettspiele