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Autumn 1372

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:45 am

Skeleton's were tricky beasts to battle. There were few 'primary' targets to take out. The mortal body was full of vital organs, arteries, muscles. Any number of which could incapacitate the body. Once that body was already dead though... things got much more difficult.

Elric however was a master at his craft.Spinning, twisting cutting and slashing, It took very little time before the warrior was able to outmaneuver his undead opponent. He could still hear. Even without the sacred guardian being active, his instincts told him that the other advanced monster had turned on his wife. And she didn't have the arm to power to power her weapon...

He spun low with a feint and watched as the former elf dropped his shield to block and counter attack. The feathers of the shield could easily have cut through him right there, if that had been his true attack. One hard cut on the elbow, and whatever magic had held the bones together failed, sending the shield to stone ground in a loud clatter. a horizontal slash after, sent a skull following.

"How... are you doing... this...." The skull spoke with a hiss as the light faded from it's eyes. "Is it the sword...."

"Or is it the armor?!" The skeleton facing Ashara finished without a pause. Too talkative for Skeletons... Whoever was controlling them was seeing through them... and now speaking through them! The half-elf had never heard of such a thing before.

Hatred glared at the priestess as it moved in for an attack. Adaldo pulled back the string of his bow and leveled it at the skeleton. He knew it wouldn't do any good, but it may prove a distraction...

Still... Arrows were a limited resource right now...

"Need a hand Ashara?" He inquired loudly as he drew a bead on the creature
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:42 am

"Need eyes and ears behind us," Ashara called back to Adaldo. The two Seekers were raining holy water down on this thing and she heard the first skeleton clatter to the floor just a second before. With a bit of attention from the salk-sirra master, this foe wouldn't last long and she was growing more and more concerned that the molydeus and company would be charging down the hall at them at any moment!

The speaking skeletal warrior had startled her momentarily. These things weren't supposed to do that! Then again...nothing down here seemed to play by any rules and she looked forward to finding out why...

That surprise almost cost her dearly as her shield dipped, opening up an easy strike to the head. "You have some surprises yourself, don't you," Ashara taunted through clenched teeth.

The skeleton drove the pommel of the blade toward her face but a quick step back and she avoided the blow. "Well, I'm afraid they'll do you no good anymore!" Unfortunately that extra space was exactly what the warrior wanted. One thing you never want to do is give a fighter with a two-handed weapon room to swing!

The sword spun in skeletal hands slashing out at her with surprising force, driving hard against her shield which she was barely able to get up in time. The reverberation sent waves of agony up her arm.

Tirtero had gotten to his feet at this point and though he was unable to do any direct damage to this creation, he bravely pressed the attack, providing additional distraction.

Ashara didn't let up. "When...we find you...and end your miserable pretense of a life...." As her husband taught her, she used the momentum from her opponent's strike and spun around behind him, slamming a vial of holy water into the side of his skull. "I will personally strip you for parts..."

Hissing through her teeth, she delivered her promise to their foe controlling these bones. "Your remains will be used to make items to serve the very people you sought to destroy."

The enraged skeleton spun to face her again, intending to falsify her promise by ending her right here, but in doing so, he made the unenviable error of turning his back to the biggest threat.

Ashara smiled sweetly at the skeleton as Elric charged in.

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Re: Autumn 1372

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:29 pm

Her husband didn't disappoint her.

Leaping sword first, he cut hard at the shoulder chipping away a large portion of enchanted bone. Necromantic magic. Enchanted for control and movement. Not total control... the spirit of the dead was still in there, but it was thoroughly subjugated at the moment. This knowledge flooded through the half-elf's mind as quickly as he saw it. The Arm's ability to see magic was a magnificent thing... He'd heard Therogeon talk about the various colors and such from his detect spells... or more accurately HIS 'analyze' spell... but even when Ashara had gifted Elric with spells... He had never seen anything like this.

The arm had other powers though... powers he found much easier to comprehend. As his sword cut down, he let it slip from his right hand and into his left. Power surged from the enchanted pauldron down through his arm as he flipped sideways and smashed down with all his strength and magic combined into a devastating 'power smash'. Bones splintered an the skeleton dropped to the ground.

Elric gaped at his fist which still hummed with power and glanced at Ashara in wonder.

"Not done yet!!" his Elven companion shouted out. Adaldo was right. The skeleton had quickly got back to it's knees and shot out the great sword in an arc that left a thin trail of blood across Elric's midsection. Tirtero threw himself bodily on to the monster.

"Get him!!!" He cried out as his hands tried desperately to find purchase on the ancient armor. "Get him NOW!!"

Elric accommodated him. Switching his sword to the armored fist again, It once more shone with magical energy. One more swipe and the second skeleton's head went spinning away.
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:20 pm

"Well done, team," Ashara congratulated them as the final foe...in that room at least, crumpled to the floor in a heap of bones.

Turning to Tirtero whom she'd already seen take a wicked shot to the back, she found Mairlen already tending to the wound. It was a deep gash but a clean one. With the priestess' ministrations he'd patch up well enough for now until magical healing could take him the rest of the way. It was just important that he be in as good a shape as possible before the fights got really scary.

She didn't want to step on any toes, and left Mairlen to her work, turning to her husband instead. Only scratches...

"The Arm suits you well, Melamin," Ashara smiled as she inspected the cuts, "but what's this?? Are you getting slow on me, old man? Can't have you taking scratches from skeletons when there's a molydeus out for your blood!"

She smirked at her own playful teasing, but it was short-lived. Her gaze turned to the doorway where Adaldo stood in silent vigil just inside the room. If anything was coming, he'd know it.

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:50 pm

"Slow?!?!" Elric cried out in mock indignation. "What do you mean slow???" Try as he might he couldn't keep the gleam out of his eyes as he pointed to the shallow cut across his midsection.

"This... THIS is nothing....I mean, how else am I going to lull this particular monster into feeling overconfident?"

"If it's a lich we're dealing with... I've never heard of one that wasn't confident to begin with." Tirtero piped up.

Elric smirked as he saw the warrior smile himself under the tender attention of his own morninglord.

"Hush you!" the half-elf couldn't help but respond jokingly.
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:39 pm

Ashara teasingly harrumphed at the half elf. "Well, see to it that no more 'lulling' happens. If you intentionally let anything hit you again, the molydeus will be the least of your worries, I assure you..." With a sharply arched eyebrow, she let the hollow threat hang there a moment for effect and turned her attention to the cacophony of noise coming from the other side of the room.

Crunching through shards of glass and piles of wet ash, the priestess took a few hesitant steps towards The Machine. It whirred and buzzed and blinked and beeped in the most alien fashion.

"Gnomes," she assumed. "Has to be..."

"Anyone know what this thing does?" she spoke aloud. "Could it have something to do with the growing dead magic zone?"

Ashara couldn't make heads nor tails of the contraption and judging from the pile of goo that lay on the floor near it, she didn't exactly want to give it a more thorough inspection.

She stopped a goodly ways from The Machine and glance at the skeleton that now lay inert at her feet. It still bore the tabbard that once belonged to it in life. A very familiar symbol still proudly emblazoned on the front.

With horror in her eyes, the priestess knelt down at the side of the Hawksong skeleton. "Oh Vailis..." She breathed sadly. "I'm so glad you're not here to see your family ill-treated in this way."

This alhoon deserved much worse than simply being stripped for parts. Ashara took comfort in the fact that it would come to a very violent end. And very soon...

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:46 pm

Elric forced a grim grin at her vague threat. Truth was, he wasn't entirely disappointed in his performance. His enemy was down, there had been no casualties... Tirtero had much less luck against the creatures... but despite his flippant words, He had NOT let them hit him.

Without his magic... he was slower, and Ashara was right. There were bigger fights to come...

Glancing at the monstrous machine, the half-elf's brow crinkled. "I... I don't know. You may be right about it being gnomish... but... What's it supposed to do?!"

"More important... do we think it's something that needs to be destroyed or not?" Jorelon piped up.

"It's magical..." Elric answered seeing the aura through the power of his arm. "Alteration I THINK... though I'm not sure how I came up with THAT..." He smiled weakly at the others. "This thing didn't come with very good instructions."

"Though apparently more than the average artifact." Marilen said as she finished caring for Tirtero and joined the conversation. "We usually don't try things here till they've been completely identified."

"Or unless we need to." Jorelon corrected. "I've swung more than one weapon that I had no idea what it would do... but sometimes you have to take a chance."

"Point taken, on both counts!" Elric said staring at the giant machine. He looked down at his ring and grimaced. He could see magic on it. His boots too. The enchantment was there...

"Kil'ral..." he whispered under his breath and waited for the familiar surge... but it never came.

"Does dead magic stop the magic... or just stop you from using it?"

"What's the difference?" the other warrior asked as he adjusted his shield.

"Your sword... I can still see the magic on it. The same as I did back at the Dawnspire... The magic is still there!"


Jorelon stared for a moment in thought. "I'm not really sure... I always believed that the magic was simply gone... His sword... your boots.... should just be 'normal' in here." The implications bounce around his head as he continued.

"Of course... since we could never cast detect magics in a dead magic zone... nobody really knows... I think that arm is going to solve many mysteries...
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:58 pm

Ashara just shook her head.

"I thought I understood Dead Magic pretty clearly until I came here... Whatever it is that we're dealing with, it certainly doesn't seem to fit the mold of the classic DMZ, and I wonder if that machine there doesn't have a large part to play in that.

"But Mairlen's right, we can't just go pressing buttons and hoping for the best." She nodded in the direction of the gooey pile of meat near the machine. "That might happen to us...or worse! Perhaps we can ask this alhoon where the instruction manual is before I strip him for parts...

"Speaking of which, I have that promise to keep. Are we ready to go?"

As the team considered which hallway to turn down next, the braided priestess stood and picked up the sword and shield from the remains of the undead Hawksong.

"I'm going to keep these to give to Vailis." Ashara whispered as she held them out in her arms for her husband to see. "If squid-face has already been to the estate, then there's probably little else that we can recover for your adoptive elven father."

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:01 am

The look her husband gave her was nearly unreadable. Confusion mostly with hint of curiosity and disgust all mixed together.

"I.... Wait..." He stumbled over the words. "First of all, I agree with the sword and shield. It'd be best if we could somehow put this guy's bones to rest again... but I have no idea who he is.... ehh was..."

Then his nose wrinkled, "I THOUGHT I heard you say something about 'parts using'.... but wasn't sure in the heat of battle...

"What could you POSSIBLY have in mind that requires 'squid-lich' parts?!?!"
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:02 am

"Oh, I don't know," Ashara offered somewhat non-commitally as she strapped the Hawksong sword to her waist and threw the shield over a shoulder. "I was just trying to keep his attention on me. Initially at least...

"It's a suitable fate for such a monster. Parts of him could be used for magical items bearing protections from psionics or mental control, not to mention weapons that do more damage against undead or armors and shields that can help protect from negative energy.

"The rings of telepathy I considered making for CoRD required illithid brains and I'm quite sure his would fit the bill as well."

She looked up into Elric's emerald eyes, concerned of what his opinion of this might be. "That...that doesn't bother you that I would consider such a thing does it? After all the suffering this alhoon has caused the Seekers and so many others here in the ruins, it seems only fitting that in death he might serve to protect them."

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:08 am

Elric stifled a laugh as he threw an arm over her shoulder and they walked back toward the hall.

"I guess that's one of those things that I was warned about... Little habits and interests newlyweds have to discover with time... Granted, I thought it would be more like snoring or only eating bread without crust.... but if you like to deal with creating magical things... and stripping evil creatures for parts... It certainly doesn't upset me. After all... we've been collecting components for Therogeon.... and I HATE being a hypocrite!"

He gave her a wink and added in, "Granted, I don't need to know EVERYTHING that goes into the items I'm wearing... and... Just promise me you'll wash up before dinner!"
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:10 am

Ashara chuckled. "I think I can manage that, and hopefully after nearly a year and in spite of these warnings,the good stuff still outweighs the bad!"

She snaked an arm around his waist and pulled him closer, briefly leaning her head against his shoulder.

"I know it goes without saying," the young woman whispered to him before they took their respective places at the front and the back of the line, "but please be careful up there... I'm counting on you having to deal with all my idiosyncrasies for another eighty years or so!"

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:26 am

"Amin naa tualle, melamin." <I am your servant, my love> His eyes danced as he snapped to a quick bow and kissed her gauntleted hand. "I look forward to every one of them..." Spinning back to the others he addressed the waiting crowd.

"So, what's the plan. Continue on? Maybe toss some of Kaldric's little... things into the machine?" The curiosity was evident on the half-elf's voice.

"I think I agree with Ashara," Tirtero said glancing back at the machine. "It barely looks stable as it is... if it explodes...." The thought hung there ominously.

"hmmmm... Point taken." Elric answered with a disappointed sigh. "I DO think it's a problem... but no sense poking a dragon when there's still more to do down here. We can blow it up later!" He took one more look in the decrepit hall and just as he was about to leave something didn't look right.

"Hold up guys..." He skipped past the bones to what used to a peculiar pile of rubble. Just as he'd thought, the familiar shape of a door was hidden behind the rubble. Disguised would be a better description the half-elf realized as he forced the door open. A wave of ancient mold and disgust washed over him, as he stumbled back to the group.

"Never mind... " he gasped with a greenish tint to his face.

"What? Secret door?" Mairlen asked with concern.

"Nobody hides the door to the privy..." Elric said shaking his head. "There's a pair of old half-eaten slippers sitting in there if anyone wants them."

"Pass." Jorelon said with a grimace.

"Ok then... which way next? Left or Right?"
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:43 am

"Wait!" Ashara blurted out excitedly, ending the beginnings of what might have been some productive decision making. "Wait... The slippers," she hesitated, "are they just normal slippers or..."

The young priestess bit her lip girlishly.

"Are they animal slippers of some kind?"

Mairlen looked confused. "Is that important?"

"Yes! I mean...maybe not at this particular juncture I suppose, but...but I had a pair of pegasus slippers when I was little and just I loved those things soo much! They were so warm and soft! I've just always wished that I still..."

"Seriously?"

The remainder of Ashara's story died on her lips as Mairlen's confusion turned to disbelief, and she was silent for a long moment.

"No... No of course not! I'm just kidding, obviously," she laughed awkwardly, her eyes drifting to the privy door. "Not the best time for a silly joke is it... Let's just carry on then!"

Ashara cleared her throat. She'd have to come back to investigate the slippers again later...

With an arm raised, Adaldo hushed the companions and brushed a few of the raven hairs back behind his ears, listening intently to either side. To the left was a short hallway that ended at a wooden door and to the immediate right was another door of the same make.

"This path seems the more well-traveled of the two," he said in a low voice, motioning to the right," but I can hear no noises coming from either direction, though it may be masked by the racket of that machine."

With no further clues available, the companions chose to take the passageway to the right, hoping to quickly find the source of all this trouble.

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:01 am

Visions of unicorns danced through Elric's eyes as he led the party on through the door. He didn't have any memory of these special shoes... they must have appeared after he'd left, but he made a mental note to remedy THAT situation as soon as he could!

The next room was another broken room. Mostly empty of anything that Elric saw useful, it was quickly time to continue on. Moving cautiously, he reached for the ancient door, when he leaped back suddenly.

Sharp sense warned him of danger just before the impact came. The stone floor was actually attacking him! By all appearances, the stone had grown some kind of amorphous stony pseudopod and slammed him hard. Rolling with the impact he quickly counter attacked, and watched as he carved a chunk out of the thing.

"What... Is THIS?!?" he said as he danced carefully out of it's reach.
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:33 am

"Some kind of ooze?" Ashara guessed, but Adaldo shook his head in doubt.

"There are some similarities... However this appears to be more stone than slime. In all my years here I've never seen its like, but this is Gemblaunt, isn't it. A mage creation of some sort would be my guess."

"Packs a punch too," Jorelon remarked after witnessing the surprisingly quick and solid strike that Elric took.

The elf pulled an arrow from his quiver and nocked it. "Only if you get within reach of it. Don't see why that's necessary at all."

Two arrows loosed in quick succession, buried themselves in the rocky hide of the strange creature as it flailed about helplessly.

Jorelon and Mairlen joined suit with their slings, a couple bullets glancing off the stones, but within a matter of less than a minute, the guardian fell inert.

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