PrP: There and Back Again

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Log Info

  • Title: There and Back Again
  • Emitter: Fiaol
  • Characters: Karl, Nasirri, Garthos
  • NPCs: -
  • Place: Unamed Hamlet - Alexandros
  • Time: Oct 17, 2001
  • Summary: The Unnamed Hamlet is visited again. This time Karl has brought more than one friend to visit pain and death down upon Sharia and her sister. The flirting continues, of course, and a deeper evil is found.
  • APL: 6
  • Death Concent: YES
  • Encounter 1: 2 Lamia +4 Zombies CR 8.5
  • Encounter 2: 1 Advanced Mohrg + Zombie Minions CR 9

It is a miserable day - cold rain falls from the sky, the wind tries to bite to the core. Autumn is coming, because this certainly isn't a late-summer storm. None the less, there is evil afoot, and it does not wait for the weather to turn to sunshine and rainbows.

Posted in the Explorers Guide, and murmured by word of Karl's mouth, there is something wicked North and to the West of Alexandria - a poor unnamed hamlet has been besieged by evil that is woman ... well, Lamia. Rumor said, not long ago, that the entire hamlet was dead, that is when Karl and Nasirri visited it.

That is when Karl and Nasirri found themselves in a draw with wicked evil creatures, and with no real answers.

Nasirri has been recuperating from her wounds, and Karl has been anxious to spar with Sharia again - though why is anyone's guess. It is to this juncture that fate brings the four of you together, just a half an hour from the edge of the hamlet in question.

"These creatures are cunning," is Karl's quiet warning, "Don't let them touch you, and try and keep your mind clear, if it's at all possible. They're well-versed in magic and fighting both, so try not to underestimate them..." He's finished loading his gun, and he's holding it in a ready position, aimed off to one side as he regards the tall, waving fields of corn around the hamlet, lips pursed in a tight frown.

Recovery has been an unpleasant experience. Wounds heal quickly, and without harm; scars to the mind less easily so, and with far more reluctance. It is an embarassment that Nasirri does not speak of, save to murmur with soft clicks of breath, the ruffling of feathers along her crest.

"The lamia are a cursed creation," she says after a few moments, eyes tracing out towards the nearby village. "As demons might be, yet born of our own warmth and world." She traces her gaze up towards the heavens, growing silent as she draws the grey of her hood tighter overhead. "...We must drive them away, or many more might suffer."

Garth strides alongside his companions, the rustling of chain and clanking of plate a counterpoint to the rain and peals of thunder. The water trickles in rivulets down the armor, and his feet sink deep into the mud the rainfall is creating.

"Heh. That's gonna be a tough one." the Angorite asides to Karl as they walk. "But I figure she can fix it after the fact, yeah?" There is a grin there, friendly, at Nasirri. Despite the words, he does not appear to be fearful of it all, his step neither faltering nor stopping.

The short, blind barbarian has been comforting Nasirri in the best way (to her mind) available to her. That is, except to occaisionally reach out and smooth the prickling feathers that she hears rise up with a vague 'there-there' gesture. This, of course, might be more annoyying for poor Nasirri than anything else, but Thistle is determined that this sort of thing fixes -everything-. The rain that pours down her face and gathers in beads and rivulets on her much sturdier ruana don't seem to bother her very much, though occaisionally she shakes her head and sends her slicked white hair to flying in every direction.

There're no more words from Karl about what they're going to be facing; he seems almost distracted by the task at hand, gaze searching the rows of corn as the rain rattles down over it, causing the strands to stir and waver from the steady rhythm driving from the skies. Making it harder to spot true movement within the fields. Water drips down from the stiff edge of his hat, and then he gives his head a subtle shake, moving to stride forwards, saying qu ietly at last, "I'll keep an eye for tracks in the mud..."

At the outskirts of the village, Nasirri breaks from her somber reverie to move in her own way, with whispered touches and the brush of a taloned hand. The smoothing of feathers shows her appreciation for Thistle's comforting hand, if only by the narrowest of margins; the grweater difficulty lies in the danger ahead, like whispers curving across the moon, clouds raking the skies with wings of rain...

Few words come, but hearfelt ones-- a prayer for the strength to bear shielding her allies once again, as she places the subtle warmth of her touch on the warriors at hand.

<OOC> Nasirri shall place Shield Other on Karl and Garthos. It was useful then, and may be so now as well.

GAME: Nasirri casts Shield Other.

GAME: Nasirri casts Shield Other.

"Yeah. Ya do that." Garthos agrees with Karl, tensing up slightly as they move closer and closer to the hamlet. His hands flex, his eyes scan the surroundings - a big, meaty paw of a hand wipes rainwater from his face to no real avail but momentary comfort. He accepts the little platinum loop without question from the Egalrin, slipping it on his finger wordlessly. He knows that charm.

The rain seems to dampen sound, but there soon drifts something upon the chill wind, making it seem as cold as the northern gales.

"I ... sssseeee ... yoooouuu ... mmmyyyy ... loooooove," whispers the wind - the eerie whisper a voice familiar to Karl and Nasirri. Though where it comes from is difficult to tell. One looks in the direction on thinks it should be whispered from, and there is nothing there.

"You... come again, to play, Karl Martock? Mmmmm.... and you brought friends," is the cat-like whisper dancing on the wind. "You ... are ever so thoughtful. Do you still want a kiss? I will give it to you .... and more if you like, Karl."

Thistle stops where she is, her heavy mukluk boots splashing in the sloshy mud. A shudder goes visibly over her at that voice as she turns around, seeking this way and that with her blind eyes. Ears facing the sound of the voice, and then to the world around them. But the rain makes it difficult, almost impossible. Everywhere there is sound. Little droplets striking the earth. Air moving through the corn. Her companions breathing and moving. And the rain washes the world of it's scents, making everything smell one and the same.

Garth snaps in the perceived direction of the voice, enormous muscles tensing in preparation for combat. Eyes dart about warily. He turns about as the direction abruptly changes, by now waterlogged short cape swishing behind him in the motion and sending a rain of heavy droplets into the air. His brows are furrowed deeply, and he gives poor, unfortunate Karl a glance out the corner of his eyes.

Nasirri's footsteps come to an end just before one of the larger puddles, a morass of mud and slurry lost and forlorn, a miserable mess upon the road. Dark talons curve into the earth, a whisper as she responds to the sound; bright wings flicker and shift, feathers rousing anew with subtle, seried clicks. "Caution," she murmurs, gentle advice as she brings her hands up before her; quiet words echo after with the hint of gentle song, a soft singing drifting free on the wind.

It is a call to greater eyes than her own, the Egalrin's prayer; the eyes of the Roc, that pierce the heavens and leave evil no place to find a shield....

As that eerie whisper slithers through the rain, Karl's head lifts up slowly, gaze raising from the mud to regard the fields... seeing nothing, still, even as he murmurs under his breath, "Hello again, Sharia. I've come to bring you something, that's for certain..." Can she hear him? Who knows. He straightens all the same, rifle at the ready, and slowly continues over the muddied road leading towards the hamlet, eyes sharp and muscles tense.

GAME: You secretly roll 1d20+15:16

GAME: You secretly roll 1d20+15:17

GAME: You secretly roll 1d20+6:18

GAME: You secretly roll 1d20+6:24

GAME: Nasirri rolls Perception: (9)+10: 19

GAME: Thistle rolls perception: (7)+2: 9

GAME: Garthos rolls Perception: (6)+7: 13

GAME: Karl rolls Perception: (11)+12: 23

You paged (Karl, Nasirri) with 'You know their tactics. But the odd thing is, you sense at least ... three motes of evil, Nasirri... and three points of movement, Karl. There are more? This can't be good. Give me a ... Wisdom or Tactics check. Both of you.'

GAME: Karl rolls Wisdom: (16)+2: 18

GAME: Nasirri rolls Wisdom: (8)+3: 11

You paged Karl with 'THey are coming at you from 3 of the 4 cardinal directions, basically. The movement is. So... odds are ... there is a fourth somewhere.'

Karl drops dead in his tracks suddenly, his head lifting. "One, two..." He swears, turning to shout back over his shoulder, "Form a circle, we're surrounded! They're coming from all four sides!"

A laugh runs cold upon the wind, "My love ... my love," sings the woman's voice now dancing from somewhere else. "You make this too easy," she purrs, one can almost hear her licking her lips. "Come dance with me... I will bring you bliss complete... and that kiss you desire so much."

Garthos draws his sword immediatelly upon Karl's warning, sliding it from its sheathe with that dangerous noise of steel gently scraping against leather. The runes upon the blade flare briefly, then subside as he holds it at the ready, moving to the group's flank to protect it - mostly to defend Nasirri. Narrowed eyes peer into the fields, but he sees... absolutely nothing, truly. He trusts Karl, however. He doesn't say a thing. Doesn't pay mind to the jeers and taunts.

Thistle steps backward till she feels the warmth from the others to her sides and behind, then holds her position, pointing her spear outward.

GAME: You secretly roll 1d20+15:18

GAME: You secretly roll 1d20+15:31

GAME: You secretly roll 1d20+6:21

GAME: You secretly roll 1d20+6:17

Nasirri's wings shift as she moves with the group, eyes chasing up as she surveys the waving fields, bright eyes piercing through the grey. The bright eyes seem to glow brighter still as she murmurs, the focus of her search sweeping in slow, mystic flame. "There are four," she murmurs, "Thus far, where I face. They are our equals...." A click of her beak echoes on the air, wings shifting with a ripple. "But not our better. We are even."

GAME: Nasirri rolls Perception: (6)+10: 16

GAME: Karl rolls Perception: (18)+12: 30

GAME: Thistle rolls perception: (15)+2: 17

You paged Thistle with 'You smell rotting flesh.'

GAME: Garthos rolls Perception: (1)+7: 8

The rifle's snapped up to Karl's shoulder as he looks to the north through the rain-swept fields, his eyes narrowing. "South and west," he hisses out in low, tight tones, "Smaller than one of them, not sure what's out there, but they're coming towards us. Hold steady..."

GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+15: (8)+15: 23

GAME: You secretly roll 1d4+3:7

GAME: Karl rolls 1d7: (6): 6

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Will saves, please? Everyone."

<OOC> Nasirri says, "With a +1 for the Shield Others."

GAME: Nasirri rolls Will: (16)+7: 23

GAME: Karl rolls Will + 1: (6)+3+1: 10

GAME: Thistle rolls will: (17)+3: 20

<OOC> Fiaol chokes and dies laughing.

GAME: Garthos rolls Will: (3)+6: 9 <OOC> Nasirri weeps.

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Garthos, Karl, dice off. 1d20, lowest looses."

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

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20: (15): 15

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Garthos falls asleep!"

There is a rustle, just enough of a movement to allow Karl to turn his rifle towards the noise, then eight Lamia leap out from the fields, moving in to strike at Nasirri. Karl manages to shoot one of them, and it disappears, but that does not stop the attack at the egalrin cleric. "I will fell you again, creature!" exclaims the Lamia as her hands turn into claws, just brushing against Nasirri's feathers and doing no real damage to the woman.

In the mean time, there is laughter from the corn, and the sound of lyrical dark chanting. For a moment, a wave of sleepiness washes over the group, but the majority push it aside, Karl with considerable effort. Alas, Garthos succumbs to the sensation and falls unconscious. Though, with battle beginning, it shouldn't be hard to wake him.

Thistle takes a deep breath, a sudden look of alarm crossing her face before the sound of Garthos falling down into the mud drags her attention away. She shifts her grip on the spear, then ungently reaches back with the butt of it and smacks it at the ground where she believes the man to be lying. "Wake up, stupid!" She hisses, then turns her face back toward the corn. "Somethink-- Aha!" And then she's bounding off, dissapearing quickly and eagerly into the corn.

OOC Note: Thistle's player had to run.

Garth snores. No, really. He snores, loudly, for a few seconds, before the solid CLANK of spear butt meeting his armor jars him out of it. "Hunh? Wha'? ... oh dammit." He's on the ground. There's mud. There's also leonid paws. LOTS OF THEM. This is the worst day ever.

Nasirri, assailed! The rush of lamia leaves little time to respond as she rushes to bring her shield into play, just dodging the rake of the creature's claws. "We shall see, " is Nasirri's reply, wings flaring as she unleashes a breath, a quick gust of billowing flame. The leonine images dodge the worst of the singign burst, leaving the Egalrin's golden winged form to step carefully back from the multi-hued onslaught. "We shall surely see!"

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+6: (10)+6: 16

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+6: (11)+6: 17

Oh! But the day gets BETTER! out of the fields come two other shapes... shapes with flesh dripping off of them, a putrid grey-green color of utter death. And worse ... they're not slow in the least. Like some scene being wound faster by magical energies, two of the walking dead rush from the fields, one to swipe a claw at Garthos, another to swipe a claw at Karl - thankfully missing, thought the stink of rotten flesh fills the air around the pair.

<OOC> Karl says, "Vital strike!"

GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+8: (6)+8: 14

GAME: Karl rolls 2d6+3: (9)+3: 12

"Narkin, you bitch, get away from her!" It is perhaps telling that Karl appears to be on a first-name basis with their enemies. As a zombie suddenly lurches from the rows and sweeps a claw at him, he ducks back, then pushes forward with a mighty thrust that drives the iron bayonet at the end of his rifle straight through the creature's head and out the other side. One foot comes up, and he shoves the deanimated corpse off his bayonet with his boot.

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+7: (13)+7: 20

GAME: Garthos rolls Will: (3)+6: 9

Narkin licks her canine-like teeth, smiling at Karl. "No..." she hisses slowly, a sickly glow swirling around her hand as she strikes out at the Egalrin cleric. There her cat-like eyes narrow as the lamia hisses. "Hold still... you know you like the rage... the consuming flame..." she purrs at the priestess.

Meanwhile, another creature walks out, this one not even offering clothing upon the upper portions of her body. Her eyes dark at Karl, and give him a wicked gleam of a smile, before she swings her gaze slowly to Garthos.

The world seems to hold still for a moment as she holds her hand out to Garthos. "I just wish to talk. Karl simply does not understand... come... come, let us talk. I am Sharia... what is your name," she purs to the man as she beckons towards him to come closer.

Those eyes, that is what seems to catch Garthos' attention the most. That dark gaze which could draw a man in, and let him drown blissfully in their shadows. Surely such a creature must have some honor somewhere....

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1+1+1-4: (3)+6+6+1+1+1+-4: 14

GAME: Garthos rolls 2d4+19: (8)+19: 27

Garthos stares at Sharia for a moment. He frowns, unable to really fathom why he suddenly feels the poor, unfortunate and not at all evil lionwomen have done nothing wrong and must be victims in the mess. Why, they were probably running from the vile undead! Or somesuch. The nearby one is likely lashing out at Nasirri out of pure fear!

"STOP! This ain't right! I don't think they're the trouble here! Stop!" Garth wails desperately, even as he cleanly decapitates the zombie and pulls himself out of the mud to his feet. With the undead gone, his sword drops, panicked eyes flicking between the fighters. He has to stop this madness!

GAME: Garthos rolls Will+2: (6)+6+2: 14

Bright eyes narrow as the Egalrin maneuvers her shield, holding back that baleful dark caress. "An all-consuming flame," Nasirri replies, one hand rising as she prepares a second shielding ward, to prevail against malevolence and evil... And then Garthos' words, like a chill unto the soul.

"That burns with purity and shining heart." A step back as she brings her hand down on the warrior's shoulder, the gift of her protective ward given to Garthos instead. "To help cleanse the land of dark things and cruel evil. A shield against all who might chain another's heart to themselves with such fiercity!"

GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+15: (8)+15: 23

GAME: Karl rolls 1d7: (5): 5

There's a sharp crack of gunpowder in the air, and then another one of Narkin's duplicates shatters like mirrored glass from the impact of a bullet. Karl's reloading his rifle again--has he noticed Sharia coming up from the other side where Garthos is fighting? No, no he hasn't just yet.

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+7+2+2: (13)+7+2+2: 24 GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d4: (3): 3

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+15: (20)+15: 35

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+10: (9)+10: 19

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+15: (20)+15: 35

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d4+5+5+1d4: (3)+5+5+(2): 15

"Meddlesome bird!" hisses Sharia as the spell's effects clear from Garthos' mind. "You do not know what you have gotten yourself into!" she hisses, before leaping at the priestess, swiping at her with a glowing hand.

This allows Narkin to howl in deep, evil laughter as she, herself, lashes out with her dagger now, not bothering to teach the pretty birdy. This time the dagger dances away from the cleric's shield and cuts deep into Nasirri's side and robes, leaving a jagged, bleeding gash behind.

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1+1+1: (10)+6+6+1+1+1: 25

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1+1+1-7: (10)+6+6+1+1+1+-7: 18

GAME: Garthos rolls 2d4+19: (4)+19: 23

From afar, Karl attempts to net Sharia! Ranged touch attack to entangle.

You paged Karl with 'K. Roll it.'

GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+9: (15)+9: 24

Garthos... hunkers down, his hands going to the sides of his head. So confused! So lost! Why does the world make no sense, after that brush of magic and feather?! He almost rejects the spell's aid, almost fails to shake off the influence - but Narkin's feral grin and sharp claws kickstart some primal survival instinct.

His brain wakes up, proverbially puts a boot to his hind, and tells him: 'You and your friends are going to DIE, you blithering idiot.' And that does it. With a growl, the man's mind slowly clears of the fog.

"I really..." he begins, voice low, raspy.

"... REALLY..." He straightens. He's ANGRY.


With a furious yell, the Angorite launches himself at Sharia, the offender, driving the blade into her wide flank and leaving blood pooling. Further strikes, fueled by rage and mostly devoid of proper precision, land in the mud, sending filthy water up into the aid with each impact.

Nasirri's defenses crack before the attack, that cold, black touch leaving every feather on end, a shivering gasp streaming from parted beak. The twin dagger strikes are quick to bring her back to earth, the slender glimmer of light chain beneath her robes of little aid when the cuts strike true, deadly and deft as blood arcs in a hot flash of pain. A bright hand rises, flickering with healing fire, but as swiftly it fades-- Nasirri is forced to let the spell go to defend, until Garthos brings himself more fully into the fray!

"Sharia!" As the lamia leaps into view, Karl's hand drops from his rifle to his belt; tugging from a hook there his net, the folded tangle of knotted cords swung around twice before he hurls it out, the web of it spreading out in mid-flight to drape over her leonine form as the weights drag it down. He grips the trailing rope, twisting it around his wrist as he hisses out, "Got you!" Ropes trail in the blood left by his comrade's blade, soaking up the red.

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Karl, will save or sense motive, whichever is higher."

GAME: Karl rolls Will + 1: (1)+3+1: 5

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

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+15: (18)+15: 33

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+10: (6)+10: 16

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d4+5: (2)+5: 7

Since no one is paying all that much attention to her, Narkin and her images lashout out at the cleric again, another slash is drawn across Nasirri, this time along the back, before the lamia brings the dagger to her lips and laps up the blood with a wicked gleam in her eyes.

In the meantime, Sharia tugs at the net, curiously, before her dark eyes sparkle as they turn upon Karl. "Indeed," she purrs almost laughing. "You have me. Indeed, a big bad hunter such as yourself .... who needed your friends to distract me ... and a net, of all things. Yes. Such a strong man, who did not think he could wrestle me down all by himself ...." Now Sharia pouts as she looks at Karl, a mocking glance, "All I wanted was a kiss," she murmurs.

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1+1+1-4: (6)+6+6+1+1+1+-4: 17 GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1+1+1-7: (15)+6+6+1+1+1+-7: 23

<OOC> Garthos says, "Nonlethal misses, lethal hits?"

GAME: Garthos rolls 2d4+19: (4)+19: 23

"He ain't the one to worry yourself over right now!" Garth barks at Sharia, bringing his blade around in an attempt to connect the flat side of it mightily with her head. The lamia ducks the blow deftly, in spite of the net, but the followup has him scissor the blade across her midsection, letting yet more blood stain the mud below.

GAME: Nasirri rolls 3d6: (10): 10

Nasirri flares bright wings, sharp rustles of feather as she brings the ebony polish of her shield up before her. She continues the dance of battle between Narkin and herself, bright eyes locked in their focus against the lion-woman. "Does it bring a warmth to your heart?" the Egalrin asks, words in counterpoint to Sharia's own. A taloned hand curves to collect spilled blood, raising it before her like a tiny flame. And like a flame, it ignites in a warm pulse, a swirl of healing flame to salve as a balm against woundings. "Bloodshed cannot heal the wounds of loneliness, Narkin. Death will never fill that empty place."

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+15: (6)+15: 21

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+10: (19)+10: 29

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+10: (13)+10: 23

"Sharia, stop placating these ... creatures," hisses Narkin as she slashes twice at Nasirri. Once the knife scratches the cleric's shield, the other lops some feathers and flesh from Nasirri's wing. "They are not worthy!"

Sharia simply arches an eyebrow at her sister, before looking back at Karl. So far the netted Lamia has made no move to attack, or even defend herself. Her dark eyes are focused solely on Karl as they glisten. "Mmmm, no... sister," she purrs, her arms falling limply to her side as she licks her lips as her gaze takes in ALL of Karl, "I think this one is worthy... "

"He is a worshipper of those that cursed our people!"

"This one sees beyond, I think..."

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+13: (20)+13: 33

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+13: (6)+13: 19

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d4+5: (1)+5: 6

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1+1+1-4: (20)+6+6+1+1+1+-4: 31

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d5: (1): 1

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1+1+1-4: (8)+6+6+1+1+1+-4: 19

GAME: Garthos rolls 2d4+19: (5)+19: 24

<OOC> Garthos says, "24 nonlethal!"

Nasirri's dark shield carries the scores from the slender daggers, the sharpness scarring the dark wood once again. Her free hand remains at her side, glimmering fires shining still with the touch of healing energy. "There is no curse so terrible it cannot be broken, no chains so well-designed that they cannot be burst free." She shifts away from Sharia's netted form, bright gaze focused on Narkin as she lashes out, dagger's ugly cut leaving its mark on Garhtos' frame.... And on the Egalrin's own. Healing energy streams out a second time, ugly marks burned away, new feathers returning with the whisper of reborn bristles. "The crimes of a lifetime may be healed, if there is but the will to pursue that end."

Garthos narrows his eyes at Sharia, but seems to buy the story. His fury abates, the man dashing away and towards her sister instead. He shoulders in between her and Nasirri as best he can, taking the dagger between armor plates for his troubles. In retaliation, however, he plants the pommel of his sword in the stomach of one of the images... and wouldn't you know, it's the real deal, as she wheezes from the force of the blow, the air knocked out of her.

"If ya don't wanna stop fighting, I'll MAKE YOU." he growls at her.

Nasirri's dark shield carries the scores from the slender daggers, the sharpness scarring the dark wood once again. Her free hand remains at her side, glimmering fires shining still with the touch of healing energy. "There is no curse so terrible it cannot be broken, no chains so well-designed that they cannot be burst free." She shifts away from Sharia's netted form, bright gaze focused on Narkin as she lashes out, dagger's ugly cut leaving its mark on Garhtos' frame.... And on the Egalrin's own. Healing energy streams out a second time, ugly marks burned away, new feathers returning with the whisper of reborn bristles. "The crimes of a lifetime may be healed, if there is but the will to pursue that end."

"I am talking--" Karl brings the rifle up, levelling it at Sharia at point-blank range despite the risk of trying to shoot someone when they're that close to you, narrowing his eyes as he glares down the barrel, "--to you. If you have any hope of coming out of this alive, both of you stand down and start talking. If there's some-- curse-- like the priestess says, it can be healed. There's always a way."

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+14: (19)+14: 33

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

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+10: (8)+10: 18

Narkin flies into a furious rage. "You know nothing! GENERATIONS ago we were cursed with this form! Hate is all we know of all the gods save one! One has embraced us and has not shunned us, and now... you arrogant bird, you must DIE!" is shrieked as two slashes of the dagger miss Nasirri. "This ... will have to do," notes Sharia as she tugs the net a little bit, before lunging forward, and wrapping Karl up in her arms in an expert grapple. "Now," she whispers in the man's ear, followed by a little kiss ... "Hold still ... you'll like this part."

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1+1+1-4: (4)+6+6+1+1+1+-4: 15

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1+1+1-7: (20)+6+6+1+1+1+-7: 28

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d5: (5): 5

"If ya ain't gonna stand down, I'm gonna put ya down!" Garth screams, bringing the sword around. Two of the decoy images shatter like spun glass from the measured blows, flat or blade, but the real creature remains unharmed. "Don't do anythin' stupid, you! I don't wanna kill ya, but I will if I have to!" he barks at Sharia, even as she provides Karl with much-needed cuddles.

Nasirri's eyes reflect her sorrow, but it is the order of Passions that rule this day, and rage is one she remembers all too well. Twin daggers strike their lines against her shield, and regret lingers as she brings her hand forward again, the healing light flaring into a sharper, more focused intensity. "There is always hope," Nasirri replies, broad wings tightening as she pulls them to her back. "I will pray for you."

Light and fire erupt, a sharp flash of intensity; an image flares in orange and red light, a glittering storm before it fades before the beam's bright heat.

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+14: (20)+14: 34

<OOC> Fiaol winces.

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Can you crit on a grapple?"

<OOC> Nasirri says, "I imagine so!"

<OOC> Garthos says, "You know I've no clue."

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Just a sec, gonna read up on grapple."

From afar, Karl suddenly glad lamia don't have a teleport power. :D

<OOC> Fiaol says, "okay ... so ... I can damage with an attack, but it doesn't say if I have to roll the attack or the grapple. (I do have to roll grapple to keep it... so I'm assuming that's the attack."

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Confirmation..."

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+14: (19)+14: 33

<OOC> Fiaol winces.

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d4+1d4: (2)+(3): 5

GAME: Fiaol damaged Karl's Wisdom for 5 points. 5 total damage.

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Now for Nassiri."

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+13: (6)+13: 19

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+8: (9)+8: 17

"Silence, fools! You know nothing that awaits you, even if you manage to get past us!" hisses Narkin as she lashes out at the Egalrin Priestess twice, for now ignoring Garthos. "You will die gloriously and be great sacrifices to the bloody daggers! She will take us in her bosom and give us greater gifts, and we shall, her loyal servants, remain!"

It is not Nassiri that is in trouble, however. Sharia just laughs darkly in Karl's ear as she nibbles on his neck, holding him tightly in place, even as her wisdom-draining magic starts to take effect. "YOu ... you I like and will take with me... mmmm, yes, imagine the kits we will raise together," she purrs with hot breath in Karl's ear.

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1+1+1-4: (20)+6+6+1+1+1+-4: 31

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1+1+1-7: (20)+6+6+1+1+1+-7: 28

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d2: (1): 1

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d2: (1): 1

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1+1+1-4: (16)+6+6+1+1+1+-4: 27

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1+1+1-7: (16)+6+6+1+1+1+-7: 24

GAME: Garthos rolls 4d4+19+19: (9)+19+19: 47

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Ow. ANd ... um ... *does math, carry the one, devide by seven, cube and then square root .... * She's dead."

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Oh, right, non-lethal. She's unconscious ... ALOT."

<OOC> Garthos says, "Okay then. Attack 2 does not even happen! I take a move action to move to Sharia instead!"

<OOC> Garthos says, "And... end my turn. :("

Garthos peers at the two images. Fifty-fifty.

He likes those odds.

Picking one of the images, the man spins, bringing not the deadly blade but the pommel of the weapon forward. It impacts Narkin - the real one! - directly in the face, breaking her nose with a sickening crack, giving her a concussion, and sending her and her decoy duplicate spinning into the dirt in a wonderfully synchronized fashion.

"Okay. Now, set him down nice and slow and hands up, miss. I ain't gonna ask twice." says Garthos to Sharia, stalking over with purpose.

Nasirri winces at the sound of Garthos' blade finding its mark-- and how! The odd way Narkin's face shifts before she crumples disturbs the Egalrin more than she cares to admit, bright feathers slickening in an avian cringe. "I...." Words of wisdom fail at that point as she steps back from the fallen atwoman, twisting over to unleash a firebolt. It sails like a shining star, bright and true and beautiful... And absolutely missing the mark.

"Release him!" she adds for emphasis, faint pinkening flaring along her nares. "Or there shall be more of the same."

GAME: Karl rolls CMB: (12)+8: 20

GAME: Karl rolls will: (13)+0: 13 to Fiaol

Feline eyes look back and forth at Nasirri and Garthos, then to Narkin on the ground. Sharia hisses and reluctantly releases Karl, allowing her arms to snake away from him slowly in a caress. She does bend to Karl's ear, nibbling and whispering, before she finally takes a step backwards from the man. "Narkin is ... a zealous one," she purrs as if that explained everything.

A half-step back is stumble once she lets him go -- inertia from his struggling -- Karl's head shaking as if to clear it for a moment. Then he's looking back at her with an unreadable expression, bringing the rifle back up to his shoulder and turning away, the net's lead still wrapped around his wrist. "Is Narkin down?"

"She'll be out a while." Garth says of poor, unfortunate Narkin, lowering his weapon somewhat - but still looking at Sharia with mistrust clear as day upon his features. He's tense as a bowstring - ready to give her a clobbering if she so much as lifts a finger in suspicious fashion. "Right, then. So what's all this about anyway?" he asks, eyes narrowed.

Bright warmths shimmer around Nasirri's fingers for a moment more, fading as the Egalrin forces her wings to return to their place. It is the work of seconds to return to fallen Narkin, kneeling with cautious care. Fingers slide with a healer's touch, whisper sure as she brushes the ugly harshness of the woman's features.... "She is down," she answers, exhaling carefully. "But she will live. And without---" A sound, like broken celery.

"-- marring," she adds, voice a murmur. "Blessings from Heaven that she is unconscious, now."

Sharia paws at the ground, giving Karl's back a pout. "At least leave me free of the net? I did no harm to you," she purrs at the man, before looking at Garthos with a frown, and then giving a reluctant nod of thanks to Nasirri.

"What is going on here? Why ... you have seen zombies and lamia ... you are one that sees many things, why not guess? It can be a great game, I will tell you if you are close or not!"

"I can't say as much about my friends," Karl mutters under his breath, bringing the rifle up to his shoulder. The immediate combat seems to be over, at least. Back to Sharia, he adds, "..and I want to keep you where I can see you. I know that you two didn't do this. You aren't the sort for necromancy. There's some dark priest here, isn't there?"

"Ain't in the mood for games - but also never up for needless killin', either." Garth says, gruffly, turning the sword point down and leaning lightly on it. Eyes never leave Sharia, however. Watching. Vigilant for the wrong move. His jaw is tight. "Better start talkin'. I ain't a patient kind of guy, I didn't like ya messin' with my mind, and I don't appreciate ya attackin' us for no reason."

<OOC> Nasirri still has Detect Evil active. Shall keep a close watch on Narkin, and begin meditative scanning once more. For lack of better word... ^^;

You paged Nasirri with 'They are both evil. VERY. And in the distance, more into the hamlet, something even more evil lurks.'

Nasirri settles, shield at hand as the priestess bows her head in quiet, meditative pose. Watching, listening, attentions on some elsewhere place just beyond the senses...

"Her nature is of evil, Karl," she says quietly, feathers whispering on the wind. "Yet there is a greater evil beyond them, in the village...." Bright eyes slide, focusing intently. "Servants or slaves, Sharia? Which are you to the thing dwelling just within the village walls?" Fingers tighten at either wrist as the slender hands descend back into the folds of her sleeves.

Sharia actually pouts at Garthos now, her tail flicking back and forth as it sticks out from the net. With a sigh, she sits down on her hind quarters and scans the group as she considers. "A priest? No, no. There is nothing like that here. Well ... hmmm. No, no, not a priest," she says, thoughtfully, her lips pulling back into a feline grin. "And why did we attack? Why, ask Karl. He knows," she purrs, smiling languidly at the rifleman. "We are hunters. It is what we do."

Sharia then looks at Nasirri and laughs gayly. "Mmmm ... neither?" she suggests with a wicked smile full of sharp teeth. "We are our own. But that doesn't mean we do not know what lies further in the town. Nor are we bent on pushing it from our hunting grounds."

"I know what she is," says Karl quietly, "There's a curse on her people..." He steps in closer to the lamia once more, his lips pursing in a tight line as he watches her carefully, "...Sharia. Just tell us what it is. We've beaten you. These aren't your hunting grounds anymore, they're ours."

Garth's eyes flick to Nasirri as she makes that comment. His teeth grind for a moment, obviously somewhat stuck between a rock and a hard place with the revelation. He has every reason to just lop the heads off the two lion-women... but he's no cold-blooded killer. "And no huntin' people no more." he adds to Karl's words, with narrowed eyes. "Or raisin' zombies or whatever it is you two have been doin'. If there's a next time and I have to come back, I ain't gonna be usin' the flat of the blade."

Nasirri shares the troubles, eyes sharp as she weighs and measures-- grades of frustration. "Tell us what we face further within the village," she says, releasing her breath with a whistling sigh. "Tell all that you know, and we shall release you once again. A trade of even measures, for the kindness of..." She gestures down, taloned fingers a gentle touch on teh unconscious lamia's face. "... for the kindness. Or do you prefer that when next you see Karl, it will be as the walking dead?" She clicks her beak, a flicker of sharp sound. "Gray and cold to the touch, no longer a warmth to stir the dreams?"

GAME: Nasirri rolls Diplomacy: (1)+10: 11

<OOC> Karl says, "She's just jealou-- wait, what was that in there about seeing me--"


One of Sharia's front paws pads at the ground as the leoine woman bows her head as Karl speaks to her. She looks up at him, her lips turned down in a tell-tale pout. "We can't come and play with you anymore then?" she asks with the hint of a sniffle in her tone. Then Sharia turns to Nasirri, that wicked smile saved only for the Egalrin priestess. "Evil. Evil reboorn," she says playfully, before looking back to Karl for /HIS/ answer, not the bird-woman's.

A heavy sigh from Karl, one hand sliding up to rub against the nape of his neck, fingers curling in to scratch against the skin there in some mild frustration. "Sharia-- just-- tell us. What sort of evil's in there waiting for us?" He watches her gaze for a long moment, then adds, "...please."

Sharia looks at Karl, tilting her head to the side. "But I do not know what else to call him ... it. Evil Reborn. He was evil once.... a follower of the Mother of Assassins..." she purrs happily. "He was executed, and now he has returned, with Illotha's blessing. This place is hers now. Can you not feel it? All the murder and death that has taken place here? You do not want this has hunting grounds, Karl Mattock. No... there is nothing here for you to hunt." There is a pause then a twinkling of Sharia's eyes, "I know better places. I will show you ... if you ask..."

GAME: Nasirri rolls knowledge/religion: (7)+8: 15

You paged Nasirri with 'THere are several things it could be, many types of undead. But Vampires don't much care for zombies. Zombies are pretty mindless. Ghouls and Ghasts ... no, this doesn't seem right. It might be a Mohrg. But it might also be a revenant of a cleric, who knows.'

Garth makes a bit of a face - probably at a mental image of what the part-leonine children of Karl and Sharia might look like. He allows Karl to talk, however - after all, he seems the only one Sharia is truly willing to listen to. "I'm gonna keep an eye on ya." he says, pointing at the lion-woman with a gauntleted hand's index finger. "Ya make more trouble and kill more people, there will be hell to pay." he promises. Angry Garth will be very angry if letting them live goes sour... but he is at least somewhat of a believer in second chances, however foolish such may be.

Yellow-gold feathers rise in an array of subtle flickers, whispered clicks as Nasirri shivers. "The undead," she says simply, eyes brightening as she returns the rake of her stare to Sharia. Figners tighten with her robe as she steals some array of calm, exhaling a breath before she turns to Karl. "The choice is yours, Hunter. If you desire, we may end... two evils in one stroke." She turns her gaze back to the lamia, clicking her beak in quiet reluctance. "Or we may allow them their hunting ground, move in to destroy this evil, and depart. After what has been done here, I do not think there is... Anyone, who would return to live in this place."

There's silence for a long few moments from Karl, watching the half-human huntress, and then he turns his head to look over to Nasirri, sweeping a hand towards Sharia. "Let them go," he says quietly, tightly, "We'll deal with whatever evil's in there, and then leave them to this blighted land... maybe we can find some cure to their curse."

Sharia blinks, and stands up, her tail flicking behind her wildly. "You will let Narkin and I go? OH, yes, we will hunt, and always remember you for this," she says, though somehow it does not seem reassuring. Her cat-like eyes turn to look at Karl, as if waiting.

"Ya kill more people, though, we'll be back." Garth repeats, gruffly, sheathing the massive sword at long last and stepping away from the lamia, leaving it to Karl to fold his net and set his furry beloved loose. He's clearly not entirely pleased - but his gaze turns towards the town, his frown darkening as he steels himself for what lies ahead.

"Don't..." Karl takes a step closer, leaning in nearly eye to eye with Sharia, "...don't make me regret this." There's a silent moment, and then he's stepping alongside her to untangle her from the net, "Just keep away from the damn city and the villages. I know you two were just taking advantage of what's going on, but if I hear you've been killing people..."

In a feline manner, Sharia leans over, brushing her head along Karl's side - marking him as her own as she purrs. "But you will come and play again sometime?" she asks as the net is slowly peeled away from her. Dark eyes turn to look at Karl, and Sharia mewls almost delightedly as she does so. "Do you have to go now? We can play first, then you can find and do as you wish with the Reborn. Please?" is asked as her tail thumps heavily behind her.

Nasirri watches with an intense gaze, eyes unblinking and bright as she observes. When she moves, it is with equal caution, equal care-- removing one of Narkin's blades from the slack clasp. She hefts the dagger for a moment, shaking her head with a breath before she leans towards the fallen lamia. Slender fingers comb dark tresses back, drop the blade with a deft movement; a cut, a whisper, a slender lock and a glitter of steel return in clasped hands. Tokens of promise.... One of claw, and one of magic.

A huntress in turn, in her own fashion.

"Just--" Karl draws in a slow breath, then exhales it, meeting Sharia's gaze steadily, "--just go." It's neither confirmation nor refusal, pulling away from her and turning his back, "Let's go find this bastard and end this."

Sharia watches Karl for a moment, then smiles at him. She slithers carefully over to Narkin, and grabs her sister, before dragging her sibling away with herself, into the cornfields and wheat fields, out of sight, for now, at least.

It is then that the silence of this place becomes apparent. The stillness, even with the rain falling, is ... oppressive for lack of a better word. Nothing is moving except the wind, and it whistles and moans through the trees along it's chilling path.

The road to the hamlet is mud, and yet there seem to be no tracks, nothing to suggest that life of any time, or even any undeath is to be found. Occasionally the wind whips through a broken window, knocking something off a shelf, a crash, or the movement of a curtain causes one to possibly jump.

In truth, the most frightening thing about this place is the quiet, the utter stillness to be found.

Karl walks slowly into the hamlet, pausing to take a knee now and then and check for tracks. Nothing. He straightens again every time, shaking his head as he leads the way, murmuring under his breath, "I don't like this. I don't like this... one bit..."

Nasirri lids her eyes for a moment, letting the heartbeats pass as she draws a long breath, letting the air whistle over her nares. The stench of carnage has long since passed, if ever it were present; the undercurrent of sorrow remains. "I can only wonder how long it has been," she murmurs softly, eyes flickering open as she kneels down, brushing a palm across the soil. "Since a child played along these roads." Clawtip stirring the wet morass, she draws her hand away with a silent shiver.

"It is waiting," the Egalrin murmurs quietly, beak clicking in subtle stacatto. "As a spider in its lair... Or as a hawk, before she takes wing to strike. It is the stillness before the storm."

Garthos watches the two lion-women retreat, heaving a sigh. He reaches up with one gloved, gauntleted hand, passing it across his face - more smearing the blood and the pouring rain's water than really wiping it from his features - his grip tightens about the sword's handle and he strides forth, with Karl's guidance, apparently unfearing the dark and the silence. "Course ya don't. It don't look good. But it's gonna look better when we're done with it." he says to his fellow Angorite, eyes narrowing in the gloom - flicking this way and that whenever a window is rattled by the wind.

The wind whispers through empty houses, darkening as the sun begins it's slide into the horizon. The hamlet consists of a handful of buildings - an inn, a general store, the mayor's home, and the blacksmithy. Nothing makes a noise here that is living. The ocasional creak of hinges might make one jump, but there are no pleas for help, no carrion birds cawing, nothing.

That is until a single lamp lights casting light spraying from the windows of the Inn.

From afar, Nasirri has Detection going still. "There is evil in the Inn?"

You paged Nasirri with 'VERY MUCH SO! OW! It hurts to look!'

The rifle in Karl's hands is held at the ready, brought up at every clack of a shutter slamming against a wall or creak of hinges in this cold breeze. He falls silent in the wake of the others' words, walking slowly deeper into the town, his own boots leaving marks in the muddied dirt of the road. Rain drips from the brim of his hat, but the eyes that gaze through it are focused... more or less. A subtle distraction tugging at him, but it's one he's ignoring.

Then the light spills forth from the inn, and he whirls towards it, bringing the gun up. "Garthos," he says quietly, "You want to take point on this one?"

"Such evil," Nasirri whispers, brushing her fingers up to touch her nares. The trace slides up to her brow, back and away again as water slides from her fingers in a flurry, and golden feathers slicken with a hot shiver. "It is the heart of the village's darkness," she replies, "But it is there we must go to find this creature... Prevent it from visiting such ruination again." She pauses to give Garthos' shoulder a frim squeeze, steeling herself with his strength as much as offering a silent prayer. "Fortune favour us all," she breathes.

"Guess that's our invitation." Garth says gruffly, turning in the direction, eyes narrowing under the shadows the open-faced helmet of his armor casts. "Kick the door in, do ya think? I mean, normally I'd knock, but I don't reckon this is the time." Plate-reinforced boots sinking deep into the mud with each step, he turns in the direction, pausing only a moment and glancing over his shoulder at Karl and Nasirri - to allow his companions to stop him if they wish. He doesn't even try to hide - the sheer amount of steel on him creates a cacophony even when muffled by the sound of driving rain and ominous thunder, and someone of his height and musculature is unlikely to remain unnoticed anyway.

As Garthos approaches the door, it simply slips open. Alas, no door kicking for Garthos ... yet! After the door opens, another candle or lamp is lit, then another, and another. As Garthos stops, the sounds of a shuffling step, and a pleased ... slithering hiss ... is heard from inside, along with a faint child's whimper.

As those sounds reach Karl's ears, his jaw clenches up. "It looks like we're expected," he murmurs in a low, grim tone, "I don't see any choice but to accept the invitation, do you two?"

"It would be impolite to refuse," Nasirri returns, eyes glittering brightly. She readies her shield, grip tightening on the dark wood, old leather. "Let us enter, and rescind this creature's presence if need be."

Garth lowers his lifted foot to the ground with a huff, but doesn't complain that he's spared the splinters. Careful steps take him inside, enormous blade held in both hands, at the ready - leaving muddy stains upon the woodwork with each stride. It creaks ominously under his weight. His teeth are grit and eyes dangerously narrowed, silent but for the rattle of his armor and weapons - guess he doesn't have any witty quips of his own.

The stench of death greets the adventurers as they enter the inn. A stiff-jointed woman bends oddly as she lights the great fireplace, before shuffling to stand behind the inn's bar. Three glasses are slowly, and carefully set on the bar as the woman turns, her neck seemingly stuck at an odd, perhaps even painful angle, as she grasps for bottles.

There are piles of bodies just laying around. Some are neatly lain, like cords of wood, while some are just masses of body parts tangled together. There are the occasional bodies laying about singularly. And from the numbers, the entirety of the hamlet, the surrounding area, and some unfortunate passers by lay rotting here.

There is a stage, surrounded by candles and lanterns, usually reserved for the odd passing bard to perform on. Instead, now it is the dias of some skeletal warlord - the largest chair in the area set back on the stage like a throne. The skeleton in the chair has a mass of ... entrails still within it's chest cavity which writhe and move still. The creature, dripping rotten flesh, is holding a young girl, no more than 10, by the chin. She is bruised, pale, and shivering.

The skeletal head turns as the heroes enter into the room, it's jaw clacking, as if laughing. The horrible entrails rise up like a monstrous tongue and lick at the teeth which still remain as part of the skull.

Then the creature does something truly horrible. It reaches out with it's other clawed skeletal hand, and simply squeezes the child's head until a 'crack' is heard. The girl's eyes immediately grow vacant as her last breath escapes her.

Oh, but that is not all! The creature releases the girl's chin, and the child slumps forward ... but does not fall to the ground. Instead there is a moment, before the child awkwardly stands on her own two feet and turns to look with her dead eyes at the group. Her lips move, then pause as no sound comes out. The skeleton seems to glare at the child as he adjusts himself of the 'throne', before settling down with another clacking of it's jaws. There is a hissing as the child draws in breath, and now she seems able to speak, "The Master bids you welcome and offers you drink."

As Karl steps into the abbatoir that used to be a taproom, the rifle in his hands comes up, sighting in on that skeleton's skull. "Put the girl--" Too late. The words come too late as that sickening crunch is heard, rage flashing in his eyes and his lips curling in a vicious snarl as the girl's limp body falls down to stand upon dead feet, "--back to the Hells, you filthy spawn of Illotha's bloody gash!"

Golden feathers slicken down as Nasirri bears witness. The poor woman, the stacks of bodies arrayed like cordwood. A child that might be saved... and then that hideous finality that leaves golden feathers flicking outward, an eruption of anger akin to the sun's flame. "The Phoenix bids you begone!" Nasirri counters, bright eyes ablaze with passion's rage. "Great Ceinara! Fierce Angoron! Lends us your fury now, as we answer this sundered call for freedom, for vengeance!"

Wings flare as she thrusts a hand forward, bright energy gathering in her palm in a ball of bright, cleansing flame. "Leave these people be!"

As the child is slain before their eyes, Garthos lets out an almost inhuman roar of outrage and pain, anger etching its harsh lines on his face all too readily. There's no hesitation - like a spring coiled entirely too long, adrenaline floods him and he leaps into action - moving to dash at the ghastly creature on its throne. "I'm gonna rip every last bone in your disgustin' body asunder! Iron Mountain, grant me your strength, so I can crush this fucked-up abomination!" the Angorite screams, weapon held high.

"Whiskey then," offers the girl after another rasping breath inward. "The Master is offering civility, and needed a Voice. I filled the need." A pause as the young girl shakes with another ragged breath in. "The Master has survived for a long time. The Master has waited patiently. The Master is in no hurry to kill you," she says, even as she steps directly in front of 'The Master.'

All the while, the skeletal creature sits where he is, that jaw clacking, laughing. It seems he is quite confident.

GAME: Nasirri rolls Knowledge/Religion: (10)+8: 18

GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+17: (20)+17: 37

GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+17: (2)+17: 19


As the tormented corpse of the girl speaks for her 'Master', Karl doesn't even stop to listen; he sights down the barrel and fires. A single bullet cracks through the air, striking dead-center in the horror's skull, sending cracks radiating across it from the hole that he's made above the thing's eyes. Apparently its brain isn't a vital organ, though, since it's still up. "Destroy it," he snarls out, starting to reload.

Nasirri curves the shield before her, a gentle shimmer blazing in the queit shien of her robe. "Blessed Phoenix, hear now our cry," she begins, releasing the fiery orbto hover overhead, like a miniature star. "Bless us now in our hour of need. Grant us the blessings of passion and righteou glory; give us the Great Eagle's strength, that we may crush this foe of all who love and live and breathe..."

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1+1+1+1: (16)+6+6+1+1+1+1: 32

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Hit."

GAME: Garthos rolls 2d4+9+6+2+1+1+1: (5)+9+6+2+1+1+1: 25

"THULIAN PIECE OF SHIT! LAUGH AT THIS!" Garthos says, clanking forward, sliding to a stop before the macabre undead creature and bringing his sword into it in what's literally a bone-shattering blow. It rings terribly, chips of white and bits of flesh sent flying. "Have a whiskey on me in the Iron Hells!!" he growls.

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+1: (6)+1: 7

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+1: (16)+1: 17

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

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+3: (17)+3: 20

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+3: (3)+3: 6

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+3: (1)+3: 4

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

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

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+3: (4)+3: 7

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

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+3: (17)+3: 20

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+10: (11)+10: 21

GAME: Garthos rolls Fortitude+2: (8)+9+2: 19

Things happen all at once:

First the Voice, turns and claws at Garthos so quickly, it is almost a blue. A little girl ... a DEAD little girl shouldn't be able to move so quickly! Once her attempts to pull at Garthos' armor are complete, the girl looks back over the group. "The Master is not Thulian. The Master is Alexandrian. The Shadow Hand of Illotha! The dreaded nightbringer of Altima! Assassin of the Sorcerous Wars! You are peasants and bugs compared to the Master! The Master has no desire to stain his shoes and squash you like the bugs you are, but the Master will!" she shrieks.

Other bodies rise and move. The barkeep drops the bottle of whiskey she was pouring, and moes with a swit attack pulling several of Nasirri's feathers. Other bodies, some more decayed than others, some pristine, rise and begin surrounding the heroes as they all slash with claws and hands. Even more zombies rise from the piles, one grabbing a chair-leg, another grabbing a discarded sword, and others other weapons... why, one is picking up a bow.

The Inn is quickly getting crowded.

Finally the Master turns to Garthos. That horrible, disgusting entrail of a tunge lashes out, finding a weak-spot in the Angoranite's armor, latching onto the back of Garthos' neck. There is a prick of pain, then joins start to become stiff, reluctant to move and to work as a lethargy spreads through Garthos' body. Luckily, however, the rage and anger inside of the warrior shakes him from what could have been a fatal moment, and he shoves the stiffening of his body away through sheer force of will.

GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+13: (2)+13: 15

GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+8: (14)+8: 22

GAME: Karl rolls 1d6+8: (5)+8: 13

GAME: Karl rolls 1d6+8: (4)+8: 12

"Oh, Taara's tits," Karl swears, thrusting his iron bayonet into the head of one of the dead--sending it tumbling to the ground, twisting to thrust it through another's chest, tearing away an arm as it pulls back but not felling the undead horror, "Nasirri!"

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+9: (9)+9: 18

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+3: (18)+3: 21

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Okay, I will say 1/3 of the zombies start screaming and start to burn. HOwever, only the one that Karl left standing dies." <OOC> Nasirri nods!

<OOC> Fiaol is not rolling 20+ zombie saves, sorry.

The Egalrin answers Karl's cry by continuing in her prayer, curving upright as her voice rises higher. Words slide upward to become liquid notes, as though all the stolen color of the grey outside, leached from the dead village and its grey, sad mud, suddenly erupted in the evocation of fiery verse and wordless song. A swift step rises to steal her away from the dead bartender's clawed hand, closer to the sound of Karl's call; Nasirri's prayer continues in its singing blaze, and the tiny sun overhead pulses as it bursts outward in harmony to the Egalrin's morning cry, a blaze of fierce, bright light.

Holy energy burns in a corona around the bright bird, its gleaming light searing out with all the ecstasy of the morning star!

But it is a struggle against death and weariness and deathless grey, emotionless, unspeakable grey...

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1+1+1+1: (17)+6+6+1+1+1+1: 33

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1+1+1+1-2-5: (17)+6+6+1+1+1+1+-2+-5: 26

GAME: Garthos rolls 2d4+20: (4)+20: 24

GAME: Garthos rolls 2d4+20: (2)+20: 22

"Walkin' corpses are Thul's children. So to him, or to the bitch ya serve, I send your filthy-- gnnnghhh..." For a moment, Garthos stops moving, muscles cramping dangerously. Eyes close tightly, the warrior spasming, willing himself to move. Just a moment longer. Just a moment, just to send this bastard to whatever pit he spawned from. Movements are choppy, insecure - painful as the toxin spreads. "... your filthy soul, with my regards!" Heavy blows ring on bone, muffled in the sound of Garthos' enraged roars. A rib spirals away into the inn's commons, clattering over the wooden floor. Undead claws rake against Garthos' armor, screeching and leaving scrapes in the steel.

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+6: (12)+6: 18

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+6: (17)+6: 23

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+6: (11)+6: 17

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Just dogpiling Garthos. (I'll do the master's grapple later) Now the dogpile on Karl."

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

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+6: (16)+6: 22

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+6: (2)+6: 8

<OOC> Fiaol says, "And now Nasirri."

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+6: (1)+6: 7

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+6: (4)+6: 10

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+6: (17)+6: 23

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Okay ... Karl, your CMD?"

<OOC> Karl says, "24!"

<OOC> Fiaol says, "YOu luck dog!"

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Nasirri is grappled. Now... 2 more with weapons move up to hit at Karl and Nasirri."

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+6: (19)+6: 25

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

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Nasirri is missed, Karl is not."

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d8+2: (3)+2: 5

<OOC> Fiaol says, "Er... I should roll for a confirm on that."

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+6: (12)+6: 18

<OOC> Fiaol says, "So just 5 damage there, Karl."

GAME: Fiaol damaged Karl for 5 points. 52 remaining.

<OOC> Nasirri takes 2 of it. Shield Other. :>

<OOC> Fiaol says, "The Voice... ... is talking."

GAME: Fiaol damaged Karl for -2 points. 54 remaining.

GAME: Fiaol damaged Nasirri for 2 points. 32 remaining.

<OOC> Fiaol says, "And the Master is annoyed at Garthos and grapples him."

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+19: (13)+19: 32

More and more of the hideous vile zombies rise and start to make their way towards the three heroes.

"This is not a battle the Master has initiated. He will be appeased if you leave and spread the word of his return. He wants living vessels to spread the fear of the return of the Shadowhand of Illotha. Let those who have forgotten his deeds seek to remember. Let those who would dare deny him, beware! The streets were bathed in blood at his desire! Even Altima feared him enough to hire him away from all others. For loyalty to coin and his goddess are the Bloody Knives' only loyalties. And now... now he is raising an army for his mistress!" chants out the Voice, her face looking euphoric, while her eyes remain dead and unfixed.

Corpses begin to pile on top of the group. While Karl does manage to evade being entangled, Nasirri is finally weighed down by one of the zombies. And meanwhile, Karl does not see a blade in time to avoid it - a minor slice, but annoying none the less. Who knows what plague these creatures might harbor!

It seems that Garthos is getting annoying, therefore, the Master reaches out, and skeletal hands yank the man towards him - all bones and sinew, the Mater should not be this strong.

But he is.

The Master wraps Garthos firmly up in a grapple, only rising after fully entangling the man. That wicked tongue directly in Garthos' face threatening to bite at him with impunity.

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+3: (1)+3: 4

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+3: (3)+3: 6

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+3: (1)+3: 4

<OOC> Fiaol says, "NOw the other guy."

GAME: Fiaol rolls 1d20+6: (11)+6: 17

The mithril-chased barrel of Karl's gun flashes briefly amongst the thrashing bodies of the restless dead, sighting in on the poor girl whose husk has been turned into the Voice... and he fires, even as a tear streaks down his face at the sight of the girl in his sights. The bullet splits right through her skull, collapsing it in a moment, splattering her brains across the wall and sending her tiny body to the floor. "I'll kill you for that, you bastard," he hisses under his breath.

Nasirri struggles as one of the creatures rises, clambering up against the dark shield. Golden wings flare as the other creatures gather, a wave of diseased grey clouds rising to overtake the sunrise... And just as swiftly, burning before the rays of glorious golden light. The Egalrin's song reaches from beneath the battling morass of zombies, life and heart and heat and hope; grey flesh responds in kind, shuddering and searing away before the shimmering song's embrace.

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1-2-2: (10)+6+6+1+-2+-2: 19

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d20+6+6+1-2-2-5: (17)+6+6+1+-2+-2+-5: 21

GAME: Garthos rolls 1d4+6+4+1: (1)+6+4+1: 12

The skeletal creature's bony hand closes around Garthos' wrist, restricting his movement, and the undead's rancid breath blows in his face, making him recoil. The warrior wrenches one hand free of the bonds. He punches the creature, managing a workable distraction.

"Oh, kiss..."

The hand closes in a vice-like grip around the undead's flailing tongue, wrenching it aside. Drool sprays on Garthos' armor.

"... my Angorite..."

Garthos' stance widens. He leans back, teeth gritting furiously.

"... ass!!"

The man surges forward. His helmet meets the necrotic energy empowered bone of the Master's skull. A sickening cracking noise resounds and bone yields before steel, the skull caving in on itself as the undead is destroyed by the sheer force of the blow.

After The Master is punched into submission, the other zombies stiffen, retreating through rigor mortis. Some of the older zombies loosen their grips, past the stage of the freshly dead. Other lay smoldering from divine fire.

All in all, however, they all lay still and dead once more.

There's a little shakiness of the rifle in Karl's hand as he lowers it slowly with the destruction of that undead horror, the tip of his tongue moistening his lips momentarily, the apple of his throat rising and falling once as he makes sure he's able to talk steadily. "...everybody alright? We need to-- check the village for survivors. There might be more, somewhere in here, like--" Like the girl. A glance to the headless body, a grimace, and he looks back away.

The final sickening crunches of metal on bone, the hard taste of cordite aflame on the air-- combat's touch, as any place blessed by Angoron's rage should be. Nasirri slowly drops the final chords of her song, sunrise tones setting in a last, gentle recall. It takes a moment for her to answer, hiding her shiver beneath bright feathers and shining robes. "We should rest for a moment," she replies softly, eyes tracing over the fallen dead... And back at last to the smaller body, at rest so forlorn apart from the others. "Then, some time to search. I shall...." She pauses, stops beak clicking together before she draws a faintly whistling breath. "I shall prepare the fallen for rest."

Garth steps on the half-crushed skull, putting his entire weight on it. Now that the unholy power from it is gone, it is crushed under his boot entirely - foul ichor exploding from the tongue-like appendage dangling from it to coat the stage. The man spins, his enormous blade brought around, and cleaves the chair - the creature's former throne - in half.

And then, well, then the rage slowly fades, giving way to sorrow. Tears roll down his face unabashedly, if silently. The sword scrapes against the floor, dragged behind him more than carried, as he hops off the elevation and back to the pair.

"Ya do that." the Angorite agrees quietly with Nasirri. "We'll... we'll need a Vardamite. To bless 'em. Before we..." Burn them. Cleanse the taint. Digging that many graves...

The thought of survivors bolsters his resolve, at least. He straightens, steels himself. The sword finds way back into its sheathe and he goes to follow Karl.

"I know people at the.. Temple of Vardama. After we do a quick search, we should get back to the city, let them know what happened here..." Karl slings his rifle, moving slowly now, mournfully, turning to approach the door, "Nasirri, finish checking the inn while we check the rest've the town."

Silence fills the air. Not even the scurrying of insects can be heard. There is naught but the wind outside, filling the area with a doom and palpable taste of evil.

The search for survivors, alas, turns up only more rotten corpses that seem to have fallen over doing various tasks.

Nasirri nods quietly, bright eyes gentle as she dips her head. "Have care," she offers, and then sets to her own grim task... To greater sorrow, and the pangs of a fiery heart. The search is over far, far too quickly.

Even after, there is little solace. The Ceinaran moves with care, reverence, slow steps from one place to the next. Bodies arrange in proper rest, each to their own place far from the inn and its ichoric throne; until the other join her, Nasirri places them out near the fields, among the golden grains and their sheathing stalks. It is several hours of backbreaking work, moving one corpse, then another.... Removing them from the confines of the darksome inn. Even the child, covered with the cleric's robe before she is placed far from the dark building.

"My apologies that I did not fly swiftly enough, Little Sister," Nasirri replies, bowing her head in a moment's soft breath. "But rest easier, knowing that you are avenged. May the Phoenix give you wings to rise, and heart to find joy among the flames."

Afterwards, there is little else to do. Words evoked, prayers spoken, and holy flame to cast the cursed inn into an inferno of screaming flames.