PrP: Beneath the Church

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Beneath the Church




|   Name   |  Race  |    Class    | E Lev| CHP | HP  | AC  | For | Ref | Wil |
|Drakha    |SITH-MAK|Sor          |  3   | 15  | 25  | 16  |  4  |  3  |  3  |
|Kilroy    |WAR_GOLE|Bbn/Sor      |  2   | 18  | 20  | 18  |  4  |  2  |  2  |
|Garthos   |HUMAN   |Ftr          |  5   | 49  | 50  | 18  |  8  |  4  |  5  |
|Zarr      |SITH-MAK|Ftr          |  4   | 39  | 40  | 23  |  8  |  4  |  1  |
|Arissa    |HUMAN   |Sor          |  5   | 31  | 31  | 14  |  4  |  4  |  6  |


An urgent plea goes out to any adventurer willing to make the journey to a developing town a few days journey from Alexandria. Kidnappings are on the rise, there are murmurings of a dark cult setting up shop just outside the town, and the leaders of the village are at their wits end. Enter the brave adventurers, here to find the source of the kidnappings and free the prisoners.




Encounter 1: Complete.

6x CR 1 Religious Zealots.

Cumulative CR 6.

Encounter 2: Complete.

4x CR 1 Shadow Elf Soldiers.

1x CR 3 Shadow Elf Cleric.

Cumulative CR 7.

The Adventure

<OOC> Drakha says, "Oh and for record, my AC is 1 higher than what the pdmscan shows, since my lvl 3 bloodline power isn't counted in to the code."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Ah, okay."

The message posted via the Guild sounded about as urgent as a bunch of ink slapped down onto some paper can sound. The details were somewhat scant, but not so scant as to make the letter seem like a hastily written trap. The general gist conveyed by the note is that a village about a solid two days of travel by wagon beyond Alexandria's walls is suffering from a series of disappearances. It is not a large town, but neither it is small and the populace is quickly growing panicked as the missing persons count grows higher and higher. It is precisely because of the rate and volume that the locals from both the town and outlaying farms are vanishing that the village head has posted the notice and bid all couriers great haste in ferrying him news about interest in it. He is well-informed ahead of time then about the five adventurers travelling to his town.

The welcome the wagons receive, carrying both trade as well as the five of you, is hailed as something of a godsend. In the time it has taken for the note to be delivered and the five of you to arrive, the disappearances have not ceased. Those that are about to note the wagon take a moment to thank whatever deity they pray to, as well as quietly cheering on the wagons procession as they pass by. Some even follow all the way to the town hall where the wagons come to a halt, and an 'end of the line' announcement is made by the drivers.

The village head, a man teetering on the edge of wizened, pushes open the oaken doors and bustles to the wagons to great the lot of you. Somewhat gnarled though still powerful hands are clasped together as he fervently announces his welcome, "Welcome, welcome my friends. Please follow me, we haven't a moment to waste. The day is growing late and it is during the night that the demons beset us and steal away our folk." He turns about, motioning to the group as he climbs back up the small set of steps and into the town hall.

Arissa is well-rested and ready as the wagon arrives; she promptly gathers her things, gives a 'thank you' to the driver, and steps out to meet the elder. "You are absolutely correct, there is little idle time in a matter such as this..." Her demeanor is one of soft patience, paying attention as she follows up the steps. "Though, really it is demons? Are you saying that in specific reference to creatures born of the hells themselves, or of so many other threats? Has someone identified them?" A lot of questions, but all of it is inquiry; Arissa's voice lacks any edge of accusation.

Kilroy, the large black war golem in the party, disembarks from the wagon as it rolls to a halt in front of the town hall. "Seems as though we're walking into this a bit unprepared. It would be well if we could learn what we will be up against," he remarks to the others.

Garthos had been happy to chat along the way. To Zarr - whom he'd not met before - he'd introduced himself in usual fashion: 'Garth, or Numbers, whichever ya like more'. And now that they stand at their destination, the large man - rather cheery during the trip - becomes a bit more serious, a bit more focused on the work ahead of the group. He hops off the wagon, moving after the man that had come to greet them. "Good to meet cha." he asides to him. "If ya can give us anythin' to work off of, be lots of help. Any of ya folks here ever seen them?" he asks.

Zarr's gaze is cool-blooded as he stares about him. Considering the scales and metal and otherwise "Unfriendly" look to him, the adoration and welcome of the townsfolk is.... unaccustomed, to say the least. "Time enough to water and rest," he rumbles in suggestion to Garthos, glancing about the town curiously. He slides from his poor (and very unfortunate!) nag of a horse with a clatter; metal only punctuates the warrior's hard angles as he dismounts the beast, leaving it to the wagoneers to tend. He leaves the speaking to others, for the nonce.

Drakha steps out of the wagon also, right after Zarr, for someone who wouldn't know better, it would be easy to think the two sith-makar as twins, so similar in appearance and size are they to each other. Even though, unlike Zarr, he isn't clad in metal, but a simple cloak wrapped around him, and holding a fairly ceremonial looking spear in hand. "Everything looks like a demon to the uneducated in the dark." he comments idly to what Arissa is asking from the elder, but other than that, stays quiet for now as he follows along with the others.

The village head passes through the hall swiftly, entering into his own office at the far end of the building. As soon as everyone has been gathered within the deceptively spacious room, he closes the door tightly and leans against it before glancing towards the only window in the room, situated behind his desk and chair. Moving with surprising haste, he closes the shutters and drops the small latch to keep them thus. As soon as the soft 'click' of the latch falling into place sounds out, he exhales deeply. Something like relief, to the keen ear.

"Thank you all for coming, as quickly as you could. Please, please, have a seat and I will tell you know what I know of our situation." He motions graciously in a bone-weary way to the chairs gathered in the room as he seats himself, sinking into the wooden chair with another deep, weary sigh. As he sits there, he lifts his hand up to rub at the bridge of his nose for a moment before bringing both hands together atop his desk in a much more business-like fashion, looking across the piece of oak furniture now. "Now I said demons, but I was being.. Figurative. It's not so simple as hateful creatures from another realm. I have my suspicions about the root of the cause, you see." Here, he looks furtively again in the direction of the door and squints ever so slightly as if to discern whether it might be eavesdropping. "In the last few months, a man came to our town. A holy man of some sort, though we were not exactly clear on who or what it was he serves. But he was polite, gracious, and dispensed aid without a thought of recompense. In short he made himself a very popular man very quickly, so we granted him leave to establish a small church not far beyond the village." A hand is waved, in the general direction that he implies. "But lately things have gone.. Amiss. He does not visit us now, we have not seen him in some time. Not properly, at least, but there have been.. Murmurings. He has been spied in the witching hours of the night, skulking about like some prowler, some say."

He leans back now, laying his hands atop the arms of his chair as he reposes himself somewhat. "I am one of them. I am positive, beyond a doubt, that I saw this man slithering about town two nights passed. He had a cruel look to him, not at all like the gentle face I recalled. Before his seclusion, however, he attracted a following within the town. Many of which moved themselves out to his small church in order to pray and worship alongside him. That small church has become something of a monastery, though humble in size. Before they departed, those who chose to follow him seemed.. Odd. High strung, tense. We have not seen one of them return yet, once they leave they may as well have walked off of the face of the world." His old blue gaze shifts from each of you to the next in turn, before refocusing on the surface of the desk. "I have my suspicions that this man and his zealots are abducting the villagers, carting them off in the night to that.. Church. To do what, I cannot say, but not one of the missing has been found yet. Not so much as a scrap of cloth or a single hair. There is foulness about that place," he shakes his head slightly, voice growing dour, "it's so thick you can practically see it in the air before your eyes. What I would like you to do, all of you, is enter that church, explore it from tip to bottom. Find our people, or any evidence of what has become of them, I beg you."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Feel free to ask whatever you want, ICly or OOCly. Requests and so forth. Which reminds me, I should have asked you all beforehand if there were any pre-plot purchases you wished to make?"

<OOC> Zarr says, "Ten kegs of oil for re-urbanization of the chu--err... Nope. Not a thing."

<OOC> Arissa says, "No, I'm good."

"It sounds is as if we have our work cut out for us," says Kilroy, hoisting a hammer to one shoulder. "Let's go and see this 'church' with our own eyes and make of it what we will."

Zarr rumbles darkly upon hearing the explanation, the grim news. "And then, some demons in the dark or merely soft men," he remarks to Drakha. He tilts his head, considering thoughtfully. "Why not wait until the morning?" he suggests. "Spend night now patrol, scout, watching for skulkers. Perhaps catch one for... in-depth conversations." The Makar grins, as invitingly as an alligator. "Then, come morning light, we go to church. To visit. Yesss."

"Perhaps so, but a lack of education on the most vile wretches in existence is no great flaw." Arissa continues to pace along with the elder even while conversing. "And they may be able to describe the attackers all the same." As they arrive, she takes a seat and listens, mind racing through possibilities to explain what has happened.

After a few seconds of silence, she doesn't voice any of the several theories she has come up with. Instead, she looks straight to the elder with sympathy and a light voice: "Absolutely. You were right to ask us to spare no time in tending to this..." She rises and concludes, "It will be set right. Please take heart in that." Zarr's suggestion catches her attention, and she becomes curious. "Are you certain that will go well? I am not certain we can safely cover the whole area and ensure no more people vanish. You have a sound idea otherwise... perhaps if someone were between the church and town, to raise alarm if they see anyone being taken away?"

"We'll give it a look. What ya just said don't sound good at all." Garthos confirms, nodding once at the concerned leader of the little community, as if trying to reassure him. He turns, then, to his adventuring colleagues. "Shall we, folks?" he asks the others, taking one hand in the other and giving a nice, loud little crack of the knuckles. He's ready to conduct business, looks like. Zarr's suggestion earns him a ponderous look from the Angorite. "We'd have to catch one of 'em in the deed. I ain't very stealthy, so hidin' and waitin' for 'em won't really work too well far as I go." He sounds kind of like a key ring being shaken gently when he walks, yes.

Drakha listens the lengthy story from the elder, glancing between the others as to see what they think. "How many people joined this... monastery? Approximately? So we will know what kind of numbers we are dealing with, if your suspicions are correct." he inquires. Everything else he might have wanted to ask about was already covered by the others.

The village head listens to the conversation playing out before him, his old eyes switching from one face to the next as each speaks up. "Please go about this as you see fit, I am in no way suited to telling you how to conduct your investigation. The abductions are not nightly, but they are frequent enough that it may be possible for you to catch the culprits or at least one of them. However," he pauses, glancing at a small chart next to his desk. "We lost two last night, and after all this time I've noted a pattern. They come one night and abduct as many as they may, and then are silent for at least a day or two before they arrive again. Our own meagre patrols have, so far, done nothing to daunt them." He looks thoughtful now as he considers the question Drakha has posed, "Originally, there were about.. Thirty converts or so. Since that time, the number of abducted borders on triple that count. That church is only so large, I do not know what they are doing with this many of my people, or how they are hiding them within if indeed they are."

Kilroy says, "In that case, I suggest we make haste to ensure the safety of the newly taken captives."

Zarr's tail snaps behind him, an odd whipcord of flesh and scale upon the ground. "The dark does not shield them from me," he announces, glancing to the others. "Though I do not know if these who are stolen will still live. Day or night-- the blood tastes the same." He crosses his arms, turning his eyes back to the others. "The choice is yours."

"We might be riskin' the ones that have been taken by waitin'. It's not a risk I'm willin' to take, dark or not." Garthos says earnestly, frowning deeply. "Wish we'd gotten here sooner. I say we get movin'." Seems like the warrior has made his choice - immediate departure.

Arissa takes a few steps away, starting to leave... but clearly doesn't plan to stomp off alone; she's waiting even as Kilroy speaks. "Really your words mirror my heart, and we should leave immediately. Though, we might gain entrance with word more easily than blade. When we approach, might I present us as curious of their faith and ask to be allowed in to learn?"

Anticipating objections from the elder at least, and likely others here, she quickly adds: "It is but a ruse to gain entrance and not any real intent to join them."

Drakha frowns at this information. "Thirty... that is quite a large number." he admits, but doesn't ask further questions, seeming to be ready to move on as well. He has some suspicions as to what might be going on, but doesn't want to discuss about them while they are just that, theories, no need to make the elder worry even more over what might not even be true. He does, instead, reply to Arissa. "Let us first go and see this church. There might not even be anyone there for all we know."

Zarr snorts at the suggestion, tailtip setting a subtle rattle among the metal plates. "My preferences are more direct," he grumbles, "Not given to.... indulging religions." He exhales a jet of hot air, grumbling some more for good nature. "Let us go and see what they have," he says finally, nodding his head. "Perhaps talking will work. If not..."

Toothsome grin.

The village leader shakes his head, lifting his hands up again as he reiterates, "Please do as you see fit. If you think you can convince them to let you in then by all means do so, but I am not sure you will walk about out without breaking down the door. All who have left so far have yet to return, and I am beginning to wonder if of the original thirty, it was not for lack of trying." As he lowers his hands back down to the arms of the chair he speaks again, "I wish you all luck, and pray fervently for your swift return. Any news you can bring us will be welcome, even if it is not the news that we wish to hear but.. Many have been gone for so long, I hold out little hope for those first taken. Please, do what you can."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "I take it the consensus is marching off to the church, then. Just have to decide whether you're knocking or kicking the door in."

<OOC> Zarr says, "We knock, of course! Girl Scout Cookies do not kick down doors. :("

<OOC> Drakha says, "Well I would prefer to at least take a look at the church first to see if there is anything of note going on outside it, or anything else noteworthy that we could find before actually marching to the door"

Kilroy has disconnected. Garthos has disconnected.

(Log note: We lost Kilroy from this point on till after the first Encounter, Garthos did not reconnect till the end of the second Encounter)

<OOC> Zarr says, "So far, we want to use Survival to check out the church. Read the "past traffic", so to speak. See if there are hidden entrances, or places where folks have been dragged rather than walking, etc. If possible!"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Well, whoever is left can roll Survival if they'd like and I'll get that sorted."

GAME: Zarr rolls Survival: (16)+7: 23

You paged Zarr with 'There is heavy foot traffic that appears to be going into and out of the church. The village head mentioned thirty, and it the number of tread marks certainly fit that estimate. There is not much around the sides and back, however, just a few here and there and nothing terribly out of the ordinary. If the people were brought here, they were dragged through the main doorway.'

After arriving at the church, Zarr takes time to scout out the area, to survey with a careful respect. The rattle of metal plating is shockingly quiet as the scarlet Makar moves, rumbling to himself in quiet hisses, soft words of Draconic, roaming about the building with patient steps. Long minutes pass as the sun glitters on the horizon, slowly sinking before he completes his circle. "If the missing have been taken here," he rumbles, "Then it was through the main doors." He points, a steel-tipped claw glittering ominously. "It is the only entry. The only path to be taken. More than this, I cannot say."

Arissa mostly kept quiet and let Zarr work in checking trails, but makes a single nod when he announces his findings: "Then it seems the matter is simple enough and we should go forward. We may be running low on time... I would like to begin immediately if there are no objections?"

<OOC> Drakha says, "I assume there is no guards or other people outside?"

Zarr simply raises his hands in reply, a moments glance to check the bands, dexterous claws working to tighten the grip of those metal blades. "In peace or in war," he intones, "Let the fire burn. I am prepared."

<OOC> Drakha says, "Is there any signs of people being inside, like light shining from under the doors or speech heard or anything?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "The sun is just going down, so with the light shining on the face of the church it's pretty difficult to say. A good perception roll will tell you more."

GAME: Drakha rolls perception: (12)+6: 18

<OOC> Lithuin says, "About lights on inside and such. There's no overt noise from where you're able to spy on the place though, since I assume you didn't walk right up to the doors."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "And no posted watchmen."

Drakha also waits for his 'twin' to finish the survey of the outdoors area, the night falling does not bother him, his eyes see in the dark just as well as in the light. He nods to what the other sith'makar says, then starts walking towards the doors. "Well, I suppose we need to deal with the doors next, then." he notes, making some gestures over his form then and speaking a few words in draconic, making his scales glow red light for a moment, before it dims again.

GAME: Arissa rolls Perception: (9)+1: 10

You paged Drakha with 'You can see no lights, but occasionally there is a dark shape against the stained glass windows. Someone or several someones are puttering about just inside the hall.'

GAME: Zarr rolls Perception: (17)+0: 17

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Arissa is distracted by a passing moth. It is very pretty."

<OOC> Drakha says, "Casting mage armor on myself, it lasts 3 hours so hopefully long enough"

<OOC> Drakha says, "Right when we are getting ready to go to the doors"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Noted."

<OOC> Drakha says, "Will proxy cast it since its my bloodline spell and thus not on my sheet"

You paged Zarr with 'You can see no lights, but occasionally there is a dark shape against the stained glass windows. Someone or several someones are puttering about just inside the hall.'

GAME: Drakha casts Magic Missile.

<OOC> Drakha says, "that gives me +3 ac (since it overwrites my bracers of armor) to total of 20"

You paged Arissa with 'You can detect nothing out of the ordinary. The church seems very quiet and still in the late evening sun.'

Zarr nods in agreement with his opposite in red, starting towards the doors.... Freezing after a few moments, to glance back to the others. "There is movement inside," he rumbles softly. "Knock, or....." Clawflex. "Knock?"

Drakha as they move closer he narrows his eyes at something, glancing at the others. "There are people inside... at least one person, maybe more." he warns them.

<OOC> Arissa says, "Can I get a Levitate in on that prep-work spellcasting?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Sure."

Arissa's voice is quiet, hoping to not be overheard by those inside as the group debates. "It is up to you. I am willing to speak with them, but you had no fondness of this last time I spoke of it. The matter is suspicious enough and worrying enough that none would fault a more abrupt entry if you insist. I will go as you wish, but need a moment." She retreats some distance from the building, a rod held overhead as she chants in Celestial... and miniature 'angel wings' form on her back. She returns after that, making a nod to the group. "I am ready."

GAME: Arissa casts Levitate.

As everyone makes ready, Arissa walks up to the door and knocks, announcing herself by speaking aloud immediately after: "Good evening! A scholar has come to learn more of your faith, and would meet you presently!" Vocal, energetic, polite... she's trying to seem enthusiastic yet naive about this.

The doors are promptly flung open, and Arissa's polite inquiry is met with two pairs of wide-eyed stares. Also, two crudely-formed speartips. They are both men, likely in their mid thirties and shaved completely bald. Both have the look of a person who has not slept - and the smell of a person who has not showered - in several days. Wild-eyed and rather twitchy, the one on the right speaks, "We treat with no guests, we admit not visitors. You're from the town, we saw your wagons. Begone from here, and tell the heathens they follow the wrong god!" The silent one gives his spear an emphatic rattle.

That said, they haven't tried to stab anyone yet.

<OOC> Drakha says, "Do we see anyone else in what we can see inside behind the two guys?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "The interior of the church is rather dark. It would appear that the light filtering through some of the uncovered windows is not doing much. Toss me a perception and I'll tell you more, or less."

GAME: Zarr rolls Perception: (19)+0: 19

<OOC> Drakha has darkvision to 60 feet, and low light vision, in case that matters

GAME: Drakha rolls perception: (2)+6: 8

You paged Drakha with 'My the interior of the church is pretty. Such lovely wood flooring.'

You paged Zarr with 'You can clearly detect the presence of at least two more men, armed the same as those at the door, in close proximity. At the farthest end of the church is the altar, and a door sits off to the side. It is guarded by another two men, who are now watching the exchange at the doorway very carefully.'

Arissa tries to mask her momentary offense at their smell by instead acting whimsically smug. "Oh my... so firm and threatening. Please, there is no need for weapons; really I have no fondness for violence when it can be avoided." Then she sobers up some and asks more seriously, "Tell me, what false god do they follow? For that matter, which one do you now follow in your new enlightenment? Once I know that, I may depart in peace."

Drakha is standing a few steps behind Arissa, holding his spear in hand, though in a non-threatening posture for the moment, just kind of looking like big and looming behind her while he silently watches the two 'faithful' with those alien reptilian eyes that make it fairly hard to read anything about his intentions.

For himself, Zarr hovers ominously at Arissa's shoulder. Back a step.... but only a step. A lizard of red scale and burnished metal and sharp, sharp edges. Waiting patiently, as those glittering eyes rake past and into the room beyond. Hungry. Waiting.

"Then leave this place if you do not wish violence, and take your lizard men with you. They offend our master," the speaker of the two replies, looking as wild-eyed as ever. His friend is likewise just as silent as he was before, though he nods his head fervently causing the sound of flapping jowls to emanate from him. "They follow the Terrible One, the Liar, the Tormenting Usurper!" More jowl flapping as the silent one agrees again. "/We/ are the few, the chosen, the blessed. We follow she who will lead us to the promised end, to plenty and to dark paradise, our sweet Weaver of the Night. Now you have your answers, so begone!" They move to slam the doors soundly after this exchange.

<OOC> Arissa says, "Alright if I go ahead and give the signal to move in/attack/etc. presently?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "We'll move to init."

<OOC> Arissa says, "Hm. Pose and then init, I take it? The pose would just be all 'oh, okay... no on second thought GET THEM!' as she steps aside."

<OOC> Arissa says, "(No attacking/spellcasting/etc.)"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Sure, go ahead."

Arissa listens with some curiosity... but each detail she hears either annoys her and eventually causes her to interest mid-sentence, trying to speak over them. "Then I know what I need to and will depart presently. Well..." She begins to walk behind Zarr and Drakha. "I say that, but really I cannot abide such wretched service to a vile deity. Strike now, but do not end their lives if you may help it!"

GAME: You clear initiatives. GAME: Lithuin has cleared initiatives.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Roll away."

GAME: Drakha rolls initiative: Roll: 18 + Bonus: 2 = Total: 20

GAME: Zarr rolls initiative: Roll: 1 + Bonus: 3 = Total: 4

GAME: Arissa rolls initiative: Roll: 4 + Bonus: 6 = Total: 10

GAME: You roll initiative for GuardSet1: Roll: 10 + Bonus: 1 = Total: 11

GAME: You roll initiative for GuardSet2: Roll: 14 + Bonus: 1 = Total: 15

GAME: You roll initiative for GuardSet3: Roll: 10 + Bonus: 1 = Total: 11

===== Current Initiative Order =========
 20                  Drakha
 15                  GuardSet2
 11                  GuardSet1
 11                  GuardSet3
 10                  Arissa
 4                   Zarr

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Ho boy. Okay, Drakha, you're up first."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "They're closing the door, but you're speedier."

<OOC> Drakha says, "How far away I am from them?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "If you were standing just behind Arissa? Probably no more than about 10 feet."

<OOC> Drakha says, "Ok, since Arissa moved back, I will cast burning hands hitting the two guys, and after that take 5 foot step to get in melee range of the two and threatening them. with my spear"

<OOC> Drakha says, "Threatening aka so will hopefully get AoO if they try to close the door or do something else silly."

GAME: Drakha casts Burning Hands.

GAME: Drakha rolls 3d4+3: (8)+3: 11

<OOC> Drakha says, "ref dc 15 for half damage"

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20: (1): 1

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20: (19): 19

<OOC> Lithuin says, "One roasted, one half roasted."

<OOC> Drakha says, "Both still up?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "One is looking in rough shape but not down, the other is burned but still standing fine."

Drakha doesn't make much sense out of what the bald guy is blabbing about various gods, though the insults towards him he does understand, and does not appreciate. So Arissa's words are more than enough to make him to get him to take on the two men. Starting with a cone of fire that he breathes on them in properly dragon like fashion, before he steps closer to bring his own spear against theirs. "Not so fast, wretches." he hisses to the more or less charred fanatics.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Okay, so. The guards are up now. First up on the init are going to spend a round running over here, they'll be here at the start of the next init and the group at the far back will be here in two."

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (12)+3: 15

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (10)+3: 13

<OOC> Lithuin says, "And the two at the door miss terribly. Arissa is up next, whilst I pose the response."

<OOC> Arissa says, "Hm. Both are currently Threatened, right?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Yeah, Drakha is in range."

The two leap backwards shrieking as the fire engulfs them and sets their robes alight, causing both of them to slap madly at themselves here and there where the fires singe at their skin through the robe. Both maintain grips on their spears, but they are also thoroughly shocked by the fiery display and so the stabs they make in the direction of Drakha go horrible awry and do nothing but puncture the air near the Sith'makar.

<OOC> Arissa says, "Okay. Magic Missile on the two closest ones. Splitting the missiles, just 1 on the one that took 11 damage, 2 on the one that took 5/half. Reason: Arissa is trying to not outright Kill them."

<OOC> Arissa says, "(And will be making moves to stabilize them if still alive by end of combat.)"

<OOC> Zarr says, "1d4+1 each."

<OOC> Arissa says, "1d4+1 each, so 1d4+1 to the most damaged, 2d4+2 to the least."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Roll 'em. I think you moved back so you're out of their threat range, no need for a concentration check. Unless you really want to."

<OOC> Arissa did indeed pose moving. Was going to leave that up to you in any case, but here goes:

GAME: Arissa casts Magic Missile.

GAME: Arissa rolls 1d4+1: (4)+1: 5

GAME: Arissa rolls 2d4+2: (6)+2: 8

<OOC> Lithuin says, "You got the damaged one down to 0, so he's disabled and the other is still standing but only juuust."

<OOC> Arissa says, "Alright. Pose just about ready. She'd ask them to drop their weapons as well."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "While Arissa poses, your go Zarr."

<OOC> Zarr will put that one down. Step forward, and introduce the guard's chin to a steel-clawed fist. Or two.

Arissa's eyes glaze over, fully gold and looking every bit as distantly dazed as the apparent worshippers do... with one key difference; she is smiling widely, twirling around in place with quite some energy as she thrusts a palm forward and shouts in Celestial; a trio of gold-white magic spheres fly out, one striking the most wounded and two striking the least harmed of the pair... and both are clearly on the verge of losing consciousness. "This is as far as you go!" Arissa calls out to them, "Lose your weapons and no further harm will come to you!"

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d20+7: (4)+7: 11

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d20+7: (15)+7: 22

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Second hits."

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d6+5: (1)+5: 6

<OOC> Lithuin says, "He dead. Well, dying."

The call to arms. The sound of war. The screams of searing, raging flames. Savage pleasure marks Zarr's face as he steps forward, steel-clawed hands curled in fists of fury. As the first falls before the Lady's magical barrage, the second remains standing... And sadly so, for he is to receive the gift of razor edged claws driving upward in a terrible stroke, a gut-punch of agonizing precision.

"Or face me," he purrs towards those still inside, sliding blood-slicked talons from teh guardsman's stomach. "It really makes me no difference..."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Go ahead and pose that, and we move up to the top of the round. Drakha? The second set of guards will be up in your grill poste haste."

<OOC> Drakha says, "How far away are the second pair from me?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "You can get to them with a move action. They're pretty close, 15 feet we shall say for numbers sake."

<OOC> Drakha says, "Ok will walk over to 10 feet away from them, and then give them some burning hands too. Not sure if disabled people still get AoOs, but if they do, that guy can take one on me from the move, he probably drops if he does though since I would imagine that counting as strenous activity. ;)"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "He's just a pile of burn and ow. No AoO."

<OOC> Drakha says, "Ok will warm up the next pair then. :)"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Burn away."

GAME: Drakha casts Burning Hands.

GAME: Drakha rolls 3d4+3: (7)+3: 10

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20: (18): 18

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20: (4): 4

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Huh. Weird pattern, that. One catches it full, the other is half-toasted."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "That said, they're both still standing. Same as before really, difference of 1 damage."

Drakha feels the feeble thrusts from the 'faithful' ones spears draw across his thick scales without managing to do any real damage, he is about to retaliate with his own spear, when his 'twin' cuts down the one front of him, and he ignores the almost dead one then, simply stepping over the body of the fallen to meet the next pair of zealots, although he stops a few steps away from them, taking in a deep breath, which he then exhales out in another cone of fire, scorching these in much the similar manner as the first two a bit ago. "It seems your 'true' god is not able to save you from dragonfire!" he growls out to them.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "They're going to try and turn you into lizard-on-a-stick, let's watch."

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (11)+3: 14

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (11)+3: 14

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Good lord they suck."

These two men burn just as the last two did: quite well, really. More shrieking erupts as the flames lick across their robes and set small fires which they pat out as they hop about attempting to stymy the burning. Luckily they have no hair, or that'd surely be gone as well. In retaliation, both attempt to skewer the firebreathing Sith'makar but are just as good at doing so as the last pair who are currently laying in a heap on the floor some several feet away.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Next set will be up next round. Arissa?"

<OOC> Arissa says, "Arissa moves next to the dying front guard, draws CLW wand while moving, and tries to use said wand on him. If so, and if you'll allow this, she's also trying to 'pull' the healing... just trying to stabilize him, not get him back in the fight."

<OOC> Arissa says, "In mechanical terms, trying to do as little healing as possible."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "I don't personally have an issue with just stabilizing him, if you roll high enough to do so."

<OOC> Arissa says, "Roll high enough on what, just to be sure?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Well I meant the wand, unless there was something else."

<OOC> Arissa nods. I have to make a UMD check on it in any case.

<OOC> Arissa says, "Make the relevant rolls and pose, then?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Sounds good to me."

GAME: Arissa rolls Use Magic Device: (7)+13: 20

<OOC> Arissa says, "Just enough to get the wand to work. Using and rolling."

GAME: Arissa used a Wand of Cure Light Wounds.

GAME: Arissa rolls 1d8+1: (2)+1: 3

<OOC> Lithuin says, "He's out cold then, but not bleeding out. Zarr's murder is thwarted."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Pose that, and it is Zarr's turn."

<OOC> Zarr nods! "Meanwhile, I'll advance and lend a claw-strike to either of the two guards that were flambe'd. And it was self-defense. Totally."

Arissa hurries over to the front-most pair as they fall, a wand in hand as she presses it to the one with a much more noticeable bleeding problem. The tip glows gold, some of the blood disappearing... and no more flows forth to replace it. "You must listen to me!" Arissa calls out, "None of you can withstand us and will only be felled if you continue this fight. Please set your weapons aside!"

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d20+7: (14)+7: 21

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d6+5: (1)+5: 6

<OOC> Zarr goes after the worst-hurt. Leave the Crit for dreamland!

<OOC> Lithuin says, "He's still standing, but wounded."

Zarr proceeds in accord with his twin, letting the dying fall into Arissa's tender ministrations, advancing fearlessly into the maelstrom of his cousin's flames. Metal flashes, razor claws towards the chosen target-- metal rakes in a shriek of pain, the pulse of hot blood bursting into the air.

"Surrender now," the Makar growls, "Or it gets *worse*."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "We're back up to the top with Drakha."

<OOC> Drakha says, "I will poke the more wounded one of the two with my spear"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Shiskabob him."

GAME: Drakha rolls 1d20+4: (1)+4: 5

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Go ahead and pose that, and it is there turn. Quickly followed by the other pair as they hit the scene of combat."

Drakha decides to stop barbecuing the men for now and switches to taking a thrust with his spear on the one his kin just clawed, but has rather bad grip on his spear and it slips, making him to have to focus more on not dropping it than actually hitting. "Surrender now, or next one will hit!" he growls out to them, yes that was just a warning!

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (19)+3: 22

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (15)+3: 18

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (13)+3: 16

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (15)+3: 18

The zealots are in no mood to surrender. Even wounded, they press on, unaffective combatants though they apparently are shaping up to be. The crude spears are thrust forwards, though only one strikes a solid target with anything resembling force and the fire-spewing Drakha happens to be the target of that particular blow. The other three are left just stabbing wildly and uneffectively.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Arissa?"

<OOC> Arissa says, "Magic Missile. Splitting, one missile on the most wounded of the ones Zarr/Drahka are fighting, two on the least wounded."

<OOC> Arissa is also stepping inside the building with a Move action, albeit staying back some.

<OOC> Arissa says, "Basically just past the first fallen pair."

<OOC> Arissa says, "Cast/roll/etc.?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Roll away."

GAME: Arissa casts Magic Missile.

<OOC> Arissa says, "Most wounded:"

GAME: Arissa rolls 1d4+1: (2)+1: 3

<OOC> Arissa says, "Least:"

GAME: Arissa rolls 2d4+2: (8)+2: 10

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Both are still standing, though the least wounded is now one of the most wounded."

Arissa shakes her head several times as fighting continues, stepping over the fallen and into the church. "Listen..." A hand is held high overhead, three more gold-white bolts forming. "...To me!" A downward swiping motion sends the magic flying forth, zipping around the pair of sith-makar to hit those they are fighting. As before, Arissa is consciously splitting her fire; she just wants to take them down without being instantly lethal, a measure that ends in felling neither; both remain standing, if laboring to do so.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Zarr?"

<OOC> Zarr says, "Split attacks-- Most and least hurt. The unhurt will be tended to momentarily, but my first focus is to get them off of Drakha."

<OOC> Zarr says, "Most hurt first."

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d20+7: (7)+7: 14

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d20+7: (7)+7: 14

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Juuust misses both times."

<OOC> Zarr nods!

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Go ahead and pose that, and we move up to the top of the round again."

<OOC> Drakha says, "I will try to poke the most wounded guy again with my spear"

Zarr curves in sauriel posture, glittering claws gleaming with a new color, bright in scarlet. The Makar shifts in position, curving to intrude upon the spearmen levelling their weapons on Drakha; the claws miss, but only just-- pale faces and faint beads of sweat are the results left behind, and Zarr snarls as he continues, moving for the kill.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Let's see if it works better this time."

GAME: Drakha rolls 1d20+4: (1)+4: 5

<OOC> Drakha says, "Haha"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "This spear-working is not going well tonight."

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (10)+3: 13

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (7)+3: 10

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (11)+3: 14

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (2)+3: 5

Drakha growls out as this time one of their spears manages to penetrate his scales and actually draw blood, this also distracts him enough that his next thrust also misses by a wide margin, he usually isn't quite this clumsy in using it.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Eesh."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "We're back to Arissa already, after four rolls of fail."

<OOC> Arissa says, "Levitate 20 feet up. Magic Missile. Splitting, one on each of the currently wounded-but-active types, one on the nearest unwounded next to Zarr/Drakha."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Okay, roll it."

GAME: Arissa casts Magic Missile.

GAME: Arissa rolls 1d4+1: (2)+1: 3

GAME: Arissa rolls 1d4+1: (4)+1: 5

GAME: Arissa rolls 1d4+1: (2)+1: 3

The four guards are, if possible, getting even worse at trying to stab the intruders upon their holy ground. Perhaps it is the general reptilian onslaught that keeps them well back on their heels, as well as the magical bursts zipping around the two large Sith'makar to punch magical burns and damage into their flesh. These factors probably certainly help, as not a single guard manages to land anything resembling a decent hit on the pair of Sith'makar right in front of them.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Okay, so.. First one is down, second one is so close it's not even funny, and the last one is sitting happy more or less."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "The first one is actually dying, on that note."

Arissa rises straight up and begins to float over the battle, her miniature 'angel wings' allowing her to have a surprisingly serene hover as she looks down even though this clashes with the forceful palm-thrusts she makes; another such gesture creates another trio of holy-magic bolts to fly out and strike an equal number of men; one falls with heavy breathing, a second looks ready to join the first, and the other flinches from the blow but remains standing. "It looks like you won't understand until I force you to. That's well enough... If I continue like this, none of you will have to die."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Zarr?"

<OOC> Zarr leaves the Sir Almost-Dead to Drakha, and will engage the other two. Both attacks on Mr. Happy. (the last one mentioned)

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d20+7: (1)+7: 8

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d20+7: (11)+7: 18

<OOC> Arissa nods. Will be working on stabilizing them /after/ the fight... most of them should have enough HP/high enough Con scores to not immediately die, so.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Last one hits, cruuush hiiim."

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d6+5: (1)+5: 6

<OOC> Zarr says, "...."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Or, y'know. Engage in gentle fisticuffs."

<OOC> Zarr mutters. :3

<OOC> Lithuin says, "He's still standing. Hurt but still very upright."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Aaaand back up again, Drakha?"

Zarr twists towards the remaining guards, leaving the badly-battered form of the last to Drakha's good graces. He grins in that alligator-styled way, stalking forward with a slash to engage. Claw vs spear is a difficult battle-- the Makar strives to get close, and the spear gives the less-trained warrior reach. Difficult, but not impossible.... And the score of bloody lines on the spearman's arms indicates it as swiftly.

<OOC> Drakha says, "Well I will try to hit the most wounded of the ones still standing. Maybe I manage to roll higher than 1."

GAME: Drakha rolls 1d20+4: (17)+4: 21

<OOC> Drakha says, "Woot"

GAME: Drakha rolls 1d8+3: (6)+3: 9

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Drakha you impale the poor devil. He's knocking on death's door now, won't last many more rounds."

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (14)+3: 17

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (16)+3: 19

Drakha seems to get back into the rhythm of the fight now as the spears of his enemies find no more weak spots in his natural scale armor, and he in turn finds a weak spot in the defenses of one of them, running the man through with his spear with a hiss, then yanking it back out as the man starts to crumble to the floor and turns towards the next one.

<OOC> Arissa says, "Descending to floor, Magic Missile on the one Zarr hit. Full shot on him."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Roll it."

GAME: Arissa casts Magic Missile.

GAME: Arissa rolls 3d4+3: (10)+3: 13

As two of the four crumple into a heap at the feet of the other two, things are looking very grim indeed for them. To their credit, however, they only spare a single glance down at the pair of dying men before renewing their charge on the pair of Sith'makar, stabbing much more effectively this attempt but still completely failing to land a single blow. Things do not look good for them at this point.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "So, you blew the one Zarr was fighting away."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "That leaves one standing, Zarr?"

<OOC> Zarr says, "He's mine."

Arissa silently takes mental 'inventory' of the fallen, knowing she may have only seconds to spare in tending to each when this is over. And in the latest case, 'when this is over' will surely be too late... so even as her magic flies out to strike down the man Zarr is fighting, Arissa descends to the floor and looks to the man that was just felled at spear-point, knowing she may only have moments to keep him alive... and the same for the one she just shot.

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d20+7: (6)+7: 13

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d20+7: (9)+7: 16

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Second one hit."

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d6+5: (5)+5: 10

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Dead!"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Well."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Dying."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "So, all four of them are in varying degrees of 'I'm comin' home mamma'. Combat's done, so proceed as you like."

<OOC> Arissa will basically be going along trying to heal them in order of most-dying to least.

Zarr has no such compunctions-- for him, battle is battle, a challenge to be met until one is either yielded, dying, or dead. The first lash of steel claws slaps the guarding spearpoint away; the second executes its horrible, lurching strike as the red Makar steps forward, silvery tips curve, rising, to strike at underbelly's tender, tender flesh....

"Insufferably poor," the Scarlet growls, as he leaves the mankneeling in a puddle of his own entrails before him, dying with a moaning wail. "Surely there are others nearby to be driving such rabble into conflict."

<OOC> Zarr nods!

<OOC> Zarr will take a look around the church room. Search and see! Such as can be.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Assume you can do so without issue. They'll all be stable and unconcious."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Roll per for me, Zarr."

GAME: Zarr rolls Perception: (1)+0: 1

<OOC> Arissa will also have a CLW wand charge to use on Drakha due to damage taken earlier.

Drakha sees the combat end for now and looks around to see what else of not there might be in the room, leaving the dying for Arissa apparently, especially he is looking for any kind of hatches on the floor or stairs going down or the like, as thats the most likely way forward.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "In any event, you see absolutely nothing. The glass is very pretty, however. Much like Arissa's butterfly from earlier."

GAME: Drakha rolls perception: (12)+6: 18

GAME: Arissa rolls Use Magic Device: (13)+13: 26

GAME: Arissa used a Wand of Cure Light Wounds.

GAME: Arissa rolls 1d8+1: (1)+1: 2

GAME: Lithuin damaged Drakha for -2 points. 22 remaining.

Arissa hurries over to the fallen with wand in hand, working to get pressure and improvised bandages -- usually some part of their own attire -- on the bleeding... it's not much, but it will keep them alive. Her wand is brought in hand after that, tapped to Drakha's form and mending some of a spear wound...

You paged Drakha with 'You are keen enough to note that the first man felled back by the door is no longer by the door. He was wounded bad, but able to crawl away sneakily while the fighting was going on. He's left a drag trail along with blood, but he's nowhere in sight now. Up at the front where the foremost guards had been you see a very solid-looking door with an equally solid-looking lock on it.'

Zarr leaves the wounded to Arissa's ministrations. Zarr simply wanders around the room, certain that there is more, somewhere... But not much caring for it as yet. His eyes wander over the delicately made glass, hovering on teh different colorations with fascination. "Sssstained glass...." he murmurs, apparently the first he has seen such things.

Drakha pages: That trail is heading to that door?

You paged Drakha with 'The trail is headed back out of the church. The wounded guy is crawling.'

You paged Drakha with 'The door itself is at the opposite end, looking imposing and interesting.'

Drakha looks around some in the church, checking behind the altar and the back first, then shaking his head as nothing of interest is there and walks his way back towards the entrance. Then he stops and growls. "The one from the entrance has escaped out... if you want to question one of them Arissa, I suggest tracking him down, he can't have got far, that trail of blood is not hard to follow." he points out to the others, then walks to a sturdy looking door near the entrance. "After that, I believe we find the answer to this mystery from behind this."

<OOC> Arissa will be doing that. Going off to pursue the escaped one, that is.

Kilroy has connected.

"Not simply to question him but also save him, if my impression is apt." Arissa responds as she begins to jog for the front door and heading outside, planning to track down the one that fled. She calls back as she goes, "You may wish to secure our other foes, but please do not be cruel to them!"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Okay, Arissa. He was severely wounded so he hasn't gotten far. You spot him crawling in the general direction of the woods near the church. A lazy trot will carry to you his side before he gets anywhere near it."

<OOC> Arissa looks. Anyone following? Or are the other PCs planning to stay and secure the church/fallen enemies/etc.?

<OOC> Zarr will admire the pretty glass a moment longer, then move on to guard Arissa.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "As for the chaps in the church, Drakha has pointed out a sealed and important looking door. What you do with that is up to you."

Arissa overtakes the wounded man with ease, smiling even as the glow in her eyes fades and her expression otherwise returns to normal. "What is this? You saw that I went to some lengths to spare your fellows and even now you flee? Will you not stand down and accept my aid, so that we might bring this to a good end?" Her voice is light, honestly trying to offer help instead of taunting the defeated... even if she does look a little odd by showing a softly warm, wide smile right after a violent fight like this.

<OOC> Kilroy says, "Important looking door? I'll search for traps."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Sure, give me a roll."

GAME: Kilroy rolls perception: (15)+5: 20

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Door seems untrapped. It's just securely locked with a big heavy lock on the exterior."

<OOC> Kilroy says, "I'll try to disable the lock."

Zarr perhaps.... diplomatically, remains some distance from Arissa and the wounded. Though looking nonchalant is an impossibility, considering the blood clinging to steely fingers.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "I'll just assume you can open it, given enough time."

<OOC> Kilroy says, "Ok"

<OOC> Drakha says, "I will instead search the unconsious people for keys..."

Within the church, Kilroy carefully examines the sealed door. After examining the door, he draws some probes and tools from his kit and proceeds plies the heavy lock on the exterior with them. "Damned, accursed thing.." he fights with the lock for a while, eventually popping it poen with a click.

The wounded man crawls with one arm, assisted by some knee-work. His other arm is across his chest, stemming a steady trickle of blood from a wound there as he scrapes his way across the rough ground in the direction of the trees. Arissa's voice causes him to start abruptly, and then begin to crawl with even more vigour - which accomplishes nothing. It's rather pathetic really. He groans and slumps in a heap on the grass with the pain of the exertion, though continues to inch forwards. "Away from me, heathen! I want nothing to do with you and your pets."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Drakha would locate a key on one of the downed men, fits the lock on the door Kilroy just picked. Might be more locks ahead though, you never know."

<OOC> Arissa is curious about something, and going to try an alignment-dependent effect on the wounded man.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Sure."

Drakha finds a key from one of the unconsious men and puts it in one of the pouches at his belt for now since the door is already open. "Well then, lets see what more we can find from downstairs, once everyone are back." he offers, waiting for Arissa to return before moving onwards.

Arissa's smile remains even as the man crawls away and shouts at her. She walks over beside him, conjuring up gold-white holy flame and letting it 'burn' him... only, the fires refuse to do so; they vanish within seconds of contact, leaving the man to have only felt a momentary pleasantness in his body. "It is as I thought. You rail at me, but really you are no cruel man and the heavens would not see you dead. My offer is plain enough... I would tend to you if you will tell me more of what has happened. If you refuse, I will still tend to you but leave you unconscious, so that you may not hinder our efforts."

She offers him a single nod, still giving the man a warm look despite her odd offer. "It is your choice, but please decide quickly. Your life is guaranteed regardless."

  • That* comment draws Zarr's merciless eye. Fangs flash again as he unfurls the gore-splattered arms, and the calm of just a moment prior is supplanted by the more-than-willing urge to re-educate the wounded man on *not poking toothy lizards*.... The gleam of heavenly fire is remarkable, beautiful, sparkling... And quite the forerunner to an angry metal fist thumping into the palm of the other, the Makar glaring pointedly.

"Let me hit him," Zarr growls, glaring at the unconcious zealot. "He will live, and there are still others to find."

GAME: Arissa rolls Diplomacy: (14)+9: 23

<OOC> Lithuin says, "He's a hostile, so according to this chart it's a no go."

<OOC> Arissa nods.

The wounded man yelps as the painless flames wash over him, and though it does him neither harm nor good Arissa might as well have kicked him a few times in the ribs. Her words fall on deaf ears and the wounded man waves angrily at her with a clenched fist - as best as he can manage - "Begone, witch! I'll not be tainted by any of your unclean magic. I would sooner die than be befouled by such devilry." Tad ironic choice of words. He continues to crawl along, gaining on the woods at the pace of a wounded turtle.

Arissa holds up a hand at Zarr's offer. "You must not do that. I would see him..." She's cut off by more ranting and yelling, and backs off a few steps in resignation. "Nevermind what I said. Strike him so that he will no longer trouble us, but do not end his life! I have seen evidence enough that he is likely a victim in this matter who can only be helped once this matter has been set right."

Zarr growls, but nods. And tends to the poor, sad man with the "gift" of unconciousness.

One hearty *crack* upside the head later, Zarr moves in behind Arissa, the cultist tossed over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. "Not worth chewing on anyway," he mutter to himself. "Smelly and pathetic. Hssssk. The now open doorway reveals a series of stone steps, carved out of dirt and then covered with carefully carved rock to serve as the only way down into the bowels of the earth beneath the church. It is not well lit, in fact it is nearly completely dark once the first spiral in the stair caries the doorway and the light flooding through it out of sight.

<OOC> Kilroy says, "I'll belt on my conveniently heatless everburning torch."

Seeing the looming darkness below, Kilroy draws a torch from his back which glows with magical fire, tucking it into a beltloop for light. He takes up a solid grip on his hammer, ready to follow Zarr into the darkness.

Zarr discards his "package" at the top of the atairwell, alongside the other senseless cultists. Clawed blades briefly cleaned, the Makar enters the stairwell, spiralling down into the shadows with careful steps. Metal clinks as he moves, reflecting from polished plate, glittering tines. Bright eyes all but glow as he moves, sniffing at the air as he slides beneath the earth.

Drakha will let the two more heavily armed ones to go down first before following after them. "Lets see what we can find from here, don't use light yet, these are humans, they can't see in the dark, so they likely have their own lights there. We can move through the dark without much problems as we are in no hurry."

Arissa offers a 'thank you' to Zarr as he deals with the last of the men, and then she follows the group with magic rod in hand. "Humans in unwitting league with vile forces. We do not know for certain what we will face and I would not fault having lights ready."

The walk is a fairly long one, the air growing damp and cold the further down the party proceeds. Should the light remain lit, it will flicker on and illuminate the path ahead of the party to just around the next bend in the staircase until at long last they come to bottom layer of the church. The walls appear to be hewn out of the very stone making up the ground here, and the sound of running water somewhere off to the right can be heard. It is as black as pitch beyond the glowing aura of the torch, but that glow will eventually reveal another solid door at the end of a long passage. It too is currently locked, but not by a padlock. The keyhole in the door itself though looks about the right size to be fit by the key Drakha had grabbed earlier. However, even to the shoddiest hearing, the sounds of chanting can be heard coming from the other side of the heavy door.

<OOC> Arissa has buffs to hand out!

<OOC> Arissa says, "If it's okay."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Go right ahead."

<OOC> Arissa says, "Okay. First up is Bless (will have to be 'proxy-cast' due to bloodline spells and code issues). +1 attack, +1 save vs. Fear for 5 minutes."

<OOC> Arissa says, "If nothing interrupts this, Levitate on self (lasts 5 minutes)."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Okay."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "You're free to cast levitate."

<OOC> Drakha says, "I will also cast shield just before we open the door"

Chanting on the other side of the wall causes Arissa to do likewise, as she steps back and holds up a hand to stall the group. "A moment. I would share a gift of the heavens with you if we are to proceed!" She then begins chanting in Celestial, with two notable effects. First, her 'mini-angel wings' return. Perhaps more dramatic is the 'explosion' of gold-white light that erupts from her, washing over the party... and when it fades a moment later they're all instilled with a sense of righteous confidence! A nod follows, Arissa's eyes now glowing fully 'glazed gold' once again.

GAME: Arissa casts Grease.

GAME: Arissa casts Levitate.

Drakha eyes the door as they get to it, taking out the key and handing it to either Zarr or Kilroy, whichever wants to get it. "I believe this fits to the door. Lets see whats going on there, shall we?" he suggests, before making some gestures front of him and speaking in draconic, making a glowing field of force around him for a moment, before it fades.

<OOC> Zarr grabs key. Opens door. Menaces evildoers. Good times.

Zarr retrieves the key from Drakha, a sibillant sound of assent given in return. A tiny click, the flicker of motion-- the Makar releases the lock on the door before he opens it in the most prime and profound way.... a savage kick to the doorjamb.

"Hello..." Zarr rumbles with a wicked grin, striding into the room with malice aforethought.

GAME: You clear initiatives. GAME: Lithuin has cleared initiatives.

The bang of the heavy door crashing into the wall has every set of eyes within the room rotating to fix upon the now open portal and the Sith'Makar standing there. The light from Kilroy's torch, however, only illuminates so much but it is enough. Near the door are more doors, set into the walls themselves. These resemble the doors of a secure prison, however, with little slats at both the top and the bottom. Groaning and moaning can be heard from within the cells, but the true eyecatcher of the room is the centerpiece. The only reason it can be seen is because it is light with two torches of a baleful blue light that burn atop the statues shoulders. The statue itself is a beautiful women with long flowing hair, all carved into marble. Her smile is not right though, it is cruel and as cold as the dark gems that serve as her eyes.

Beneath this statue, with arms raised up to it in supplication, is a richly-robed Shadow Elf. Around him in a semi-circle are four more of his kind, all armed and armoured though not as extravagantly as the apparent head of the group. The four beneath the priest are the ones currently turned to look at the intrusion, eyes gleaming in the low light of the room until the priest himself turns around as well. "Kill the interlopers," is all he says, his tone one of completetly collected calm. He claps his hands once, and the blue torches on the statue are snuffed out leaving that area in total darkness. The only light for those unable to see in the blackness is Kilroy's torch.

<OOC> Arissa says, "Hm. Can I ask a few geometry questions before we go into inits?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Sure."

<OOC> Arissa says, "What are the general dimensions of this area, /including/ ceiling height (since this impacts Levitate usage)? Any significant terrain that would modify how one moves about in here?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "From what you could perceive when the torches were lit in the center of the room, this chamber is probably at least sixty feet around, as it is circular. From the light of the torch you can tell the ceiling over your heads slopes upwards the further towards the middle you get, but it's safe to assume that it is likely at least thirty or forty feet high. Beyond that, the terrain is hard to tell. Directly before you from what you can see in the torch light, paved stone. Those with dark vision can tell that the room is largely empty, save for two altars off to either direct side of the statue and that the roof does indeed slope to a very high point."

<OOC> Arissa says, "Works for me!"

<OOC> Arissa says, "Are we going into inits at this point?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Yeah, we're cleared for take off."

GAME: Drakha rolls initiative: Roll: 2 + Bonus: 2 = Total: 4

GAME: Arissa rolls initiative: Roll: 20 + Bonus: 6 = Total: 26

GAME: Zarr rolls initiative: Roll: 1 + Bonus: 3 = Total: 4

GAME: You roll initiative for SEBoss: Roll: 15 + Bonus: 4 = Total: 19

GAME: You roll initiative for SESoldiers: Roll: 19 + Bonus: 3 = Total: 22

GAME: You roll initiative for SESoldiers2: Roll: 15 + Bonus: 3 = Total: 18

===== Current Initiative Order =========
 26                  Arissa
 22                  SESoldiers
 19                  SEBoss
 18                  SESoldiers2
 16                  Kilroy
 4                   Zarr
 4                   Drakha

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Okay, so first up is Arissa. At this point, you can't see the SE's but they can all see you."

<OOC> Arissa says, "Arissa levitates 20 feet up, begins casting Summon Monster 2. This will require an additional full-round action next round to complete."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Okay, go ahead and pose what you like. Next up are the first set of soldiers. I split them into two groups of two for ease."

GAME: Arissa casts Summon Monster II.

You paged (Drakha, Zarr) with 'You can see what they're up to. They both move off as a well synchronized pair to the left and forwards to flank the group, both drawing long, slim blades as they go.'

Arissa calls back to the voice, "Your efforts are vile, and will meet failure and not victory!" She begins floating toward the ceiling, once more bobbing up and down in the air after her ascent... and she starts chanting in Celestial, a glowing white circle forming in front of her. It persists for several seconds, her voice continuing a soft 'singing chant'... she can't see everything in here, but that isn't immediately concerning to her.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Arissa, roll your Will save. DC 15."

GAME: Arissa rolls Will: (7)+6: 13

<OOC> Lithuin says, "You are frozen in place up in the air."

<OOC> Arissa says, "Can I get a spellcraft check to ID the effect, since that's just mental action?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Sure."

GAME: Arissa rolls Spellcraft: (14)+8: 22

You paged Arissa with 'It's Hold Person.'

From afar, Arissa nods.

There is the sound of chanting from the centre of the room, followed by the sound of very quick footsteps padding across the stone floor as well as umistakable noise of swords being drawn from their sheathes. For those with dark vision, they are able to discern exactly what the Shadow Elves are up to. For those without, it just sounds ominous.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Kilroy?"

<OOC> Kilroy says, "I'll cast shield"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Okay."

GAME: Kilroy casts Shield.

<OOC> Kilroy says, "I'll then move up 20'"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Alright, go ahead and pose such. Zarr?"

You paged (Zarr, Drakha) with 'The other pair did the same by the way, just the opposite side.'

You paged (Zarr, Drakha) with 'They're fast, and they're pretty might /right/ next to the group, just outside the light of the torch.'

Kilroy waves one hand in an arcane gesture and utters a phrase in a strange tongue, creating a shimmering, translucent shield before him. He advanced slowly into the room, his torch casting shadows all around.

<OOC> Zarr says, "Well, since two of them were so polite as to come, I'll meet them halfway-- Hopefully a bit of surprise as I move to engage them in the Dark! The team to the flank, if you please. Charge SE Team 1!"

<OOC> Kilroy says, "Should give the others dim light out to 40', which hopefully illuminates a 60' room from 20' in"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Sounds like sound math to mine ears. You can all see what's up now, not just the Sith'Makar."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "The cleric is hanging way back at the statue, pointing at Arissa currently. The two groups of soldiers sprinted off and are now a hop skip and a jump away from the door with swords drawn."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Well, you can.. Get the general gist. Dim Light and all."

<OOC> Zarr says, "Engages the team attempting to flank. One target, but charging. So!"

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d20+11: (19)+11: 30

<OOC> Zarr says, "Threat."

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d20+11: (11)+11: 22

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Crit."

GAME: Zarr rolls 2d6+10: (7)+10: 17

<OOC> Drakha says, "I will move to meet the other pair of soldiers, to 10 feet away from them and then light 'em up with burning hands"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Roll 'em."

GAME: Drakha casts Burning Hands.

GAME: Drakha rolls 3d4+3: (9)+3: 12

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (2)+3: 5

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (5)+3: 8

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Slow Elves. They get burnt pretty damn good but they're still up."

Darkness. It is a cloak and a shield and a solace, a screen from brightness and light, an armor of utter power for those who live in shadows.

But gods help you if you face another, so attuned to the night, to taste the blood and scent and sweat on the air....

Lightning envies the Makar as he springs into motion. Lazing as if to the last second, as if he could not see the approaching warriors in the dark-- Steel flashes in a glittering arc of silver, and Zarr's snarling rage is epitomized in the first stroke of bloody fury. At the flank of the party, a dark elf warrior stares in horrified fascination as the room explodes into a spray of red. Zarr snarls as the warrior falls, throat ripped completely away by a murderous slash.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Back up to the top of the round. Roll your Will again Arissa."

Drakha marches into the room, his keen draconic vision able to easily pierce the shadows, he sees his kin taking on one side of the approaching enemy, and moves himself to intercept the other ones so Zarr wont get surrounded, stopping just a few steps away from them as he takes in a deep breath, and then breathes out a cone of fire bathing the shadow elves in it, and briefly illuminating them for those with lesser visions, and also likely turning their skin even more black than it was already. "Fools, darkness can not hide you from the eyes of dragons." he bellows to the two badly burnt elves front of him as he holds his spear at the ready for them.

GAME: Arissa rolls Will: (19)+6: 25

<OOC> Lithuin says, "You break free."

Arissa gasps as her legs suddenly go rigid... then her circle vanishes, as the rest of her body similarly seizes up, including her mouth! She just continues to bob up and down softly in the air... then manages a whisper to herself: "Not yet..." Her hands start to twitch as she forces herself through the paralysis, starting to smile...

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Sorry about that, had to check something."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Roll Will again, Arissa. Same DC."

GAME: Arissa rolls Will: (11)+6: 17

<OOC> Arissa is guessing that was another Hold Person? Matters for posing.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Silence that time."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "I'll handle the next soldiers then do a chunk pose to get that mess all summed up."

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (2)+3: 5

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (9)+3: 12

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Hoy." <OOC> Lithuin says, "Okay, posing."

As one of the Elves in the first group is obliterated by Zarr, his companion quick-steps backwards as the shower of gore splashes across him. He is quick enough to get an arm up and protect his eyes, but his temporary flailing of that limb also causes his strike to go awry. The slim blade is swung through the air, completely missing Zarr.

The cleric, meanwhile, is looking annoyed at the failure of his first spell. He begins to murmur again, his hands moving rhythmically for a few seconds before an invisible force blasts from his hands in Arissa's direction. It completely loses steam before reaching the floating caster, however, and dissipates like a soft wind against a brick wall as it washes across her.

The other pair of Elves, both still smoking in places, fair no better as they attempt to coordinate themselves on the Sith'Makar who just roasted them quite thoroughly. Neither, however, are able to see well enough at this point to land a hit at all.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Kilroy!"

<OOC> Kilroy says, "I'll rage, charge, and flank the shadow elf in melee with Zarr."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Charge away."

GAME: Kilroy rolls 1d20+12: (9)+12: 21

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Hit."

GAME: Kilroy rolls 1d12+9: (7)+9: 16

<OOC> Lithuin says, "He's down."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Not dead, but down."

<OOC> Kilroy says, "ok"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Zarr?"

<OOC> Zarr says, "Charge the cleric!"

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d20+11: (15)+11: 26

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Ho boy. Hit."

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d6+5: (2)+5: 7

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Solid blow, the cleric is suspiciously more sturdy than the soldiers however."

<OOC> Zarr says, "Suspicious!"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Drakha, you're on deck."

<OOC> Drakha says, "I five feet step back away from the two guys on me, and then burning hands them again"

Kilroy's optics flicker from green to red, the golem flexing his steel ligaments as he raises his hammer. He charges toward the shadow elf engaged in in melee with Zarr, flanking him. Kilroy brings down his lucerne hammer on the shadow elf, striking him to the ground in a single blow.

GAME: Drakha casts Burning Hands.

GAME: Drakha rolls 3d4+3: (9)+3: 12

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (10)+3: 13

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+3: (6)+3: 9

<OOC> Lithuin says, "They're done."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Extra crispy."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Pose roasting them alive, and we're back to Arissa."

Zarr hisses mocking laughter as the last solider swings blindly, only to meet his end on the warforged's heavy hammer. Before the second elf hits the ground, Zarr is on the move, heavy plate and powerful muscles unleashing the bloody storm of blades in the dark elf cleric's direction. The red Makar leaps, silver claws slashing; the hit is a strong one, viciously scored. Blood flies briefly as the Makar warrior lands, teeth glittering as he grins with ferocious malice.

"Show the throat, softskin," Zarr rumbles. "Or suffer the more for it!"

<OOC> Arissa says, "Begin Summon Monster 2."

Drakha laughs at the feeble blows from the two shadow elves, stepping back from their reach as he draws in another deep breath, before exhaling it in yet another fan of flames, engulfing both of the two shadow elves and burning them thoroughly enough that both slump down in a smoking heap, after which he turns his attention over towards the apparent leader of these elves.

You paged (Drakha, Zarr) with 'At the far end of the room, you two will notice that there is a suspiciously glassy surface to the wall. Looks like someone slapped a mirror up there or something.'

Arissa begins chanting once more, the white circle in front of her returning as she continues to float. It vanished last time on account of her being interrupted, and this time the circle similarly does nothing immediately obvious even as Arissa continues her soft Celestial urgings at it...

To (Drakha, Lithuin), Zarr pages: Hmmm! Magic is your perview, Cousin.

GAME: Arissa casts Summon Monster II.

Drakha pages: I wonder if knowledge/arcana would tell anything of note about it? You paged Drakha with 'I'll save you the trouble: it's not magical. From what you can see, it's just a mirror albiet a very well-polished one.' Drakha pages: Ok

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Zarr, you get an AoO on the cleric. He's getting the hell out of Doge."

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d20+9: (11)+9: 20

<OOC> Lithuin says, "You hit, Zar."

GAME: Zarr rolls 1d6+5: (2)+5: 7

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Wounded, but he gets away."

The cleric lurches back as Zarr engages him, hissing as his blood leaks through the fresh wound dug into him. "Begone, lizard. You meddle in affairs beyond you," he replies in a cold, accented voice. The grip of the Elf is surprisingly strong as he grabs the Sith'Makar's limbs and forces the much larger creature off of his far smaller frame. He turns abruptly, exposing himself to retaliation from Zarr but disregarding the danger as he suffers whatever blow he is given in exchange for making his escape. He is sprinting swiftly across the cave floor, bleeding from rather grievous wounds that do not manage to slow him. To those unable to see well enough in the dark, it looks like he's running directly at a very solid wall.

A very loud crash resounds throughout the cavern hall as he slams into the polished glass there, turning his head and barrelling into it shoulder-first. He sails through in a spray of glass, sinking out of sight rather quickly: apparently there is a very big pit on the other side of the now-broken mirror. Seconds later, a splash.

<OOC> Arissa says, "So he... went into water?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "How fast can the lot of you run?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Yes."

<OOC> Arissa can send some summons that could easily overtake him depending on which terrain they're going into.

<OOC> Drakha says, "Well water somewhere far below at other side of the window"

<OOC> Kilroy says, "I can go 120' per round running, myself"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "He dropped into an underground river and is, presumably, swimming like the devil. The flow will carry him very quickly."

<OOC> Drakha says, "Same, but would prefer to not jump down to some unknown pit."

<OOC> Arissa has summons that can easily overtake him in water.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Feel free to use them."

<OOC> Zarr hrms! "Speed reduced to 20 by the plate, but can swim like the dickens..."

<OOC> Arissa nods. Will do so on my turn.

<OOC> Arissa ends questions for now though since it's not my turn.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "We're back to Kilroy, by the by. What would you like to do?"

<OOC> Kilroy says, "I'm not going to jump in after him, so I'll roll the bodies."

<OOC> Kilroy says, "And stop raging, of course"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Alrighty, Zarr? Your call. I'm not going to say specifically what's down there until you leap, if you choose to do so."

<OOC> Zarr chintaps. "Why not? LEAPRARRH! After him!"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Fair enough, Drakha?"

<OOC> Drakha says, "I will walk over to the window and look down to see what is there, and then depending on what I see, will likely say something"

You paged Drakha with 'You'll see that the pit going down is hardly a smooth one. There are rough hewn edges all along, some apparently carved specifically so that the unwary will dash themselves to pieces leaping down. At the very bottom, easily a hundred foot drop, is a rushing river.'

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Zarr, gimme a reflex by the way."

GAME: Zarr rolls Reflex: (16)+4: 20

<OOC> Lithuin says, "You avoid breaking yourself to pieces on the oddly jutted rocks that point out here and there the whole way down the drop and make it to the water."

Drakha frowns as he sees the cleric dive through the window, marching to the edge to look down and see whats there, shaking his head then. "It would be crazy to jump down there, and by the time we get down safely, he will be long gone. But, it seems that the problem has been dealt with here, he isn't likely to return after that narrow escape." he concludes, looking back around the others. "Lets instead see what is in the cells, perhaps we can still save some of the villagers."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Arissa, your call. After you we're more or less done with init."

<OOC> Arissa says, "Ah. Basically she's sending a Small Water Elemental to pursue. Swim speed 90 feet."

Impetuous? Who? Ah, red Sith named Zarr.... Who took to the waves in hot pursuit, barely able to dodge underwater rocks! The swim is difficult but not impossible; the thick tail is powerfully built and capable of propelling even the metal-laden warrior back to the surface with a growl. Pursuit!

<OOC> Arissa says, "She's not going in herself however, so will be mostly looking around the area to check cells and such after she lands"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "What's the perception like on them?"

<OOC> Arissa says, "Perception +4, has Darkvision."

GAME: Lithuin rolls 1d20+4: (4)+4: 8

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Perception check, to find him down there. Won’t succeed."

<OOC> Arissa says, "Ah, okay... so, basically the water battle is now a non-issue?"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Yeah, he's more or less fled."

<OOC> Arissa says, "Okay. Arissa lands and begins looking around the cells."

GAME: You clear initiatives.

GAME: Lithuin has cleared initiatives.

<OOC> Zarr nods. "And with that, Zarr returns to the party. And I must sleep. Late!"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Just the wrap-up now, more or less. There are a lot of cells in this place, and they're all locked. Drakha's key will work."

Arissa's chanting is eventually rewarded with a swirling mass of water with something vaguely resembling a face emerging from the circle; it takes to the water with obvious ease, pursuing the departing shadow elf.

As for Arissa, she has no urge to fling herself into rivers... and thus lands on the floor, proceeding to walk toward the cell doors, hoping to see if anyone is within them and whether they need help or not...

Drakha walks to the nearest cell an opens it with the key, then starts going around the room and repeat the process for each one, leaving it for Arissa to check the contents of them.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Each cell will have about four to five people in it. There is not a total of 60, and close inspection of the altars near the statue will reveal a lot of old blood."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "They're all pretty weak, and none of them exactly come spilling out of the rooms."

<OOC> Arissa has, um, various healing (Heavenly Fire on Good people, Heal checks, etc. CLW wands if necessary)?

<OOC> Drakha says, "If they are in walking condition then I would imagine its good enough and we can get them to the village where they can rest"

<OOC> Lithuin says, "No one will die on you out of hand, but you'll want to be getting them out of this dark hole at some point in the near future. Think concentration camp prisoners."

<OOC> Arissa nods.

<OOC> Drakha says, "And we probably want to deliver the 'converts' from upstairs to the village too to be put in custody."

<OOC> Lithuin says, "One of the rooms, not far from where the cleric leapt through the mirror, opens up into a hall. Should you choose to go take a quick look, it will eventually lead you back up to the surface and out in a heavily wooded area. There are definite signs of traffic there."

Kilroy divests the newly-deceased shadow elves of their valuables then positions them in compromising poses before giving the statue of Taara a peremptory smashing.

As the cells' contents are revealed, both by door opening and Arissa conjuring up some magical light to aid her vision, she lifts a hand to her mouth and lets out a gasp... then tries to stow that; the people within don't need horrified shock, they need confident benevolence.

Thus, she stows her magic rod and approaches groups of them at a time, speaking up to be heard by all: "It is alright now. You will come to no further pain and we are here to help. Please stay as you are... you will be tended to and then brought back to your homes and families." This softness is perhaps an odd contrast to Kilroy's more... vengeful actions.

GAME: Arissa casts Light.

<OOC> Lithuin says, "Also worth note, more than one of the prisoners mutters something about "Thank the Black Father" when you free them. You won't get much more out of them than that though."