04FEB11

(9:48:14 PM) D_M: So when we last left our antihero, he was hitching north (and east) toward the Scary Woods. Things have been pretty unremarkable on the journey, aside from that the nightmares have returned. It's possible that they never left, but while he was wallowing inactive in the city, he slept very little.
(9:48:16 PM) Gerhal: (oh,nvm)
(9:49:13 PM) D_M: Now, long days of travelling have worn Serribon sufficiently to make him require some kind of genuine rest, either via the elf route or the human route, and either way, as he retreats into dreamspace, he finds that dreamspace troubled and unwelcoming.
(9:49:47 PM) Gerhal: (The Caiman deserves a nemesis. Perhaps an fae... an Unseelie Court jester named the Harlequin.)
(9:49:55 PM) Serribon: (heh)
(9:50:22 PM) D_M: (Man, the animated series was so good. That chick was messed up.)
(9:50:50 PM) Gerhal: (Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey, Mr. J.)
(9:51:15 PM) Serribon: (Mark Hamill is still the best Joker)
(9:51:31 PM) D_M: Serribon, it is dusk, and you are now travelling alone along the edge of the forest, in search of the landmarks that will lead you to the Andropolitan settlement.
(9:51:39 PM) D_M: Are you mounted?
(9:52:05 PM) Serribon: Yeah. At least until I have to go into the forest (if there isn't a trail).
(9:53:13 PM) Serribon: (the Onion's AV Club has been doing a series where the reviewer watches and discusses the animated series in air-order. It's pretty interesting)
(9:54:55 PM) D_M: There should be a trail, if you can find it. That's what you're searching for now. The remains of a dwarf-built road, per your mission brief. Presently, your path follows the edge of the forest, which is not exactly a hard demarcation. Occasionally you pass through small patches of wood, but generally the grey twilight overlays vast plains on your left and fails to penetrate the forest on your right.
(9:55:25 PM) D_M: The moon is rising over your right shoulder.
(9:55:35 PM) D_M: GUPC.
(9:55:50 PM) ***Serribon is using good ol' Clip-Clop as sensory backup.
(9:55:53 PM) Serribon: ,roll 1d20+14
(9:55:54 PM) HAXX_Emprah: Serribon: 34:20+14
(9:56:22 PM) D_M: Apparently.
(9:56:33 PM) Serribon: (http://www.avclub.com/tvclub/tvshow/batman-the-animated-series,149/)
(9:56:36 PM) Serribon: (indeed)
(9:57:25 PM) D_M: You do not feel as alone as you purportedly are. It is a familiar and unpleasant feeling.
(9:59:07 PM) ***Serribon checks the horse's reaction for guidance.
(9:59:46 PM) Aquaman: sorry
(9:59:48 PM) Aquaman: Ben called
(10:00:01 PM) Serribon: ,roll 1d20+2 (wild empathy)
(10:00:01 PM) HAXX_Emprah: Serribon, (wild empathy): 14:12+2
(10:00:26 PM) Aquaman: (He's on the road and wasn't seeing any other cars, he needed someone to keep him awake, I am TERRIBLY sorry)
(10:00:28 PM) Aquaman: :<
(10:01:08 PM) D_M: (Dude, it's quite all right. That was a good turn you did him. Travel safety is a top priority, and he needs to get somewhere safe for the night. Tomorrow's going to be crappy.)
(10:01:11 PM) Serribon: (idea, though feel free to shoot it down: wild empathy pulling double-duty as Sense Motive with animals. Or perhaps a bonus to the latter due to rangery power)
(10:01:56 PM) Serribon: (though my sense motive mod is actually higher, I think)
(10:02:49 PM) D_M: I'm down with that.
(10:02:55 PM) D_M: You want to roll SM instead?
(10:04:34 PM) Serribon: (I kinda like the other one - animals are still a bit tougher to read since they're not people)
(10:05:06 PM) D_M: All right.
(10:05:50 PM) D_M: For now, your horse seems to be plodding along as if asleep in motion. You do notice that you hear no other sounds of wildlife. The air is still and silent.
(10:07:46 PM) ***Serribon keeps an eye/ear peeled, but isn't fully convinced it's just not him losing his mind again.
(10:08:15 PM) Serribon: He leads Clip-Clop further along the forest outskirts in the direction he was given for the dwarf-road.
(10:09:10 PM) D_M: Your scan sweeps the forest, and your eyes catch in passing what seems a humanoid silhouette in the shadows deep into the trees.
(10:09:24 PM) D_M: Yes, there is definitely someone there.
(10:10:30 PM) Serribon: How bit was the shape? Was there any intel on what sort of creature was plaguing the colony?
(10:12:11 PM) D_M: This shape is man-sized, if it's really a person. You can barely make it out from the natural shadows with your low-light vision. The plague on the colony is unknown. Fae are blamed, but exactly what happened to the colony is not clear. Children vanishing. People attacking one another, or being attacked. Nothing proven or conclusive.
(10:12:25 PM) D_M: The shape, if it is a man, is standing completely still.
(10:14:06 PM) ***Serribon will keep an eye on it, but continues on his way unless it does something else.
(10:16:10 PM) D_M: You ride forward, watching the shape as dimly lit trees slide between it and you, craning your neck to track it as it passes behind you and eventually is obscured by the forest.
(10:16:13 PM) D_M: "Serribon."
(10:16:30 PM) D_M: The voice beside you draws your attention back to the caravan with which you are travelling.
(10:16:40 PM) Serribon: 'Hm?"
(10:17:35 PM) D_M: "This is where we part," says the other caravan guard, giving you a look of concern. "Your path follows the edge of the forest west, if I recall, in search of the dwarf roads. We are going east."
(10:19:14 PM) Serribon: "Oh. Yes. Good luck to you, then."
(10:20:13 PM) D_M: "You're... you're welcome to bed with us one last night if you like. We'll make camp shortly."
(10:20:35 PM) D_M: Sense Motive.
(10:21:21 PM) Serribon: ,roll 1d20+4
(10:21:21 PM) HAXX_Emprah: Serribon: 12:8+4
(10:21:36 PM) D_M: He is perterbed.
(10:22:29 PM) D_M: \
(10:23:33 PM) Serribon: "I am on no particular time table. If you are expecting trouble, I can stay one more evening."
(10:23:50 PM) D_M: "We're not," he says quickly.
(10:26:06 PM) Serribon: "If you say so."
(10:26:27 PM) D_M: So what do you do? The moon is rising in the east. You can easily travel by its light.
(10:27:29 PM) Serribon: "I'll spend the night. A warm fire is better than a cold night in the dark.
(10:28:13 PM) Serribon: And if there are fae, they may be attracted to the novelty of/pissed-off at a group of people encamping nearby.
(10:28:15 PM) D_M: You spend one more night with them, then. In the morning, you take your own path, heading to the west, putting the forest on your right hand and the vast plains on your lef.t
(10:30:09 PM) Serribon: Was the guy who talked to me the only other guard?
(10:30:18 PM) D_M: No, there were a couple others.
(10:30:35 PM) D_M: Do you wish to interact with them prior to departing?
(10:30:48 PM) Serribon: Yeah. While passing the evening, I would try to see what had them (or just him) so on-edge.
(10:31:24 PM) Serribon: ,roll 1d20 (GUDC)
(10:31:24 PM) HAXX_Emprah: Serribon, (GUDC): 20
(10:31:31 PM) D_M: Really? Really, man?
(10:31:33 PM) Serribon: ,roll 1d20+4 (sense motive)
(10:31:33 PM) HAXX_Emprah: Serribon, (sense motive): 17:13+4
(10:31:38 PM) Serribon: (apparently)
(10:32:02 PM) Serribon: (of course, this doesn't bode well if there's any combat or saves later)
(10:32:15 PM) Gerhal: (The Caiman is the world's greatest detective)
(10:32:35 PM) Aquaman: (So what's ibram'
(10:32:38 PM) Aquaman: snickname?)
(10:32:43 PM) D_M: Very well. The fire is built, and the moon rises over your circled wagons. Dinner is eaten, and cups of hot beverage are being passed about. You attempt to subtlely determine the source of their discomfiture, and soon you come to the firm conclusion that it's you.
(10:34:17 PM) D_M: (I'll have to give that some thought. Caiman evolved very organically.)
(10:34:46 PM) D_M: Make a listen check, Serribon.
(10:34:55 PM) Serribon: Hm. Given that, I'd be tempted to just vanish in the middle of the night.
(10:35:00 PM) Serribon: ,roll 1d20+14 (GUPC)
(10:35:00 PM) HAXX_Emprah: Serribon, (GUPC): 32:18+14
(10:36:05 PM) D_M: Overheard in the night: "'ja see him earlier? With his neck all twisted around? Feckin' creepy, man." "You ain't kiddin'. Somethin' feckin' wrong with that elf..."
(10:36:56 PM) D_M: You vanish in the night, then. It is easily done with your stealth score.
(10:37:23 PM) Serribon: (did I pull a Linda Blair at some point?)
(10:37:44 PM) D_M: No, you were just riding along with your head craned way around to the right, staring at nothing.
(10:38:37 PM) D_M: It was just a very odd and unnerving thing to see a healthy half-elf do, just riding along with his head twisted as far around as it will go.
(10:39:48 PM) Serribon: So - heading off near the woods in the middle of the night. Gonna make camp towards dawn and get a move on in the afternoon.
(10:41:17 PM) D_M: The sun rises on you as you journey westward. Now that you are travelling along the edge of the forest on your own, solitude settles upon you, and your horse settles into a steady, monotonous gate. The breeze blows quiet off the plains, and the trees drift by.
(10:42:03 PM) D_M: You are not alone. You can't explain it, nor find any sign of anything stalking or following you, but deep down, you know you are not alone.
(10:43:35 PM) ***Serribon idly wonders why this never happens when there's a wizard handy.
(10:44:06 PM) D_M: Eventually you come across a landmark you were expecting, an old ruins described in your brief. Shortly thereafter, you find the road you've been seeking, and are able to turn northward again and enter the forest.
(10:45:52 PM) Serribon: About where on the world map is this?
(10:47:19 PM) D_M: See the map that shows the city of Andropolis?
(10:48:42 PM) Serribon: yeah
(10:49:41 PM) D_M: East of that mountain range is all forested frontier, as far as you know. The realm from Andropolis (and the road to Acer) to the edge of that forest is the rich Andropolitan plains.
(10:50:12 PM) D_M: You have travelled north-east across the plains to the edge of the forest, then turned west along the edge of the forest toward those mountains for just a little bit, and now have turned due north into the forest.
(10:51:02 PM) D_M: Since map scale is not reliable in your era, you are likely nearing the edge of the charted world.
(10:51:27 PM) Serribon: right-o. Thanks
(10:51:35 PM) D_M: (The other northern forest, on the other side of the mountain range, to the west, was where you met the proto-Herzlandian barbarians and did your first fae-hunt.)
(10:51:48 PM) Serribon: (*nod*)
(10:52:29 PM) Serribon: What do these ruins look like?
(10:52:32 PM) D_M: In that respect, the climate on this side of the mountain range is very different from that on the west side, for reasons unknown to you, and the forest has a different feel. Less alpine and evergreen, more hardwoods with a dense canopy.
(10:53:22 PM) Serribon: And do I know if Cassandra may have made it this far north in her travels?
(10:54:25 PM) D_M: The ruins are clearly of dwarven design and so marked, and are mostly the lingering footprints of old above-ground setlements and watchtowers, now crumbled and scavenged by locale forces unknown.
(10:55:27 PM) D_M: If Cassandra has been sharing the details of her adventures, then you know she is up in this vicinity in her time, perhaps a little further west or east, staying among some native halflings.
(10:56:34 PM) Gerhal: (I don't think Cass really tells anyone ICly the details)
(10:56:39 PM) D_M: (Aye.)
(10:56:44 PM) Serribon: (*nod*)
(10:57:25 PM) Serribon: Well, knowing that she's exploring the northern world (if not exactly where), Serri pokes through the ruins looking for a spot where he might leave something.
(10:58:52 PM) D_M: Once you reach the old dwarf road, you have a few options along the way. Every few miles you find an old dwarfish stone obelisk, a road marker, and sometimes you find the bases of watchtowers or other ruined stone structures.
(11:02:03 PM) Serribon: Picks one of the mile markers and constructs a small cairn of loose stones in the growth around the base. There, he leaves one of his daggers. He continues on his way to the colony.
(11:02:18 PM) D_M: Roger.
(11:02:28 PM) D_M: Eventually, you reach a fork in the road and you take the larger, more travelled path, per your instructions. After another day, you discern smoke rising above the trees in the distance. Evidence of Andropolitan presence is easily discerned now.
(11:02:59 PM) Serribon: Any sign of a tail along the way? Or more disturbing presenses?
(11:03:38 PM) Gerhal: (Roll Wis, or Int serribon. Whichever is higher)
(11:04:50 PM) D_M: Just that perpetual sense of being never entirely alone. And whatever Gerhal's cooking.
(11:06:15 PM) Serribon: ,roll 1d20+2
(11:06:15 PM) HAXX_Emprah: Serribon: 14:12+2
(11:06:50 PM) Serribon: (same mod, so whichever is more appropriate/useful)
(11:07:35 PM) Gerhal: Serribon can remember Vargas dropping tokens of some kind at the beginning of each whump, and on the return. But you can't quite remember what is drawn on the tokens. He mentioned they might be used to divination or something.
(11:08:00 PM) Gerhal: This memory comes to mind when you left your dagger at the cairn.
(11:08:31 PM) Serribon: *nod* That was the inspiration. Though not having any of them, he did what he could.
(11:09:19 PM) D_M: Oh, make another one. GUPC.
(11:09:36 PM) D_M: We'll give serribon all the interesting noticings tonight.
(11:10:10 PM) Serribon: ,roll 1d20+14
(11:10:10 PM) HAXX_Emprah: Serribon: 25:11+14
(11:10:44 PM) D_M: You also notice that the carvings on the dwarfish obelisks are familiar to you, though you can't quite place them at this time.
(11:12:05 PM) D_M: Ok, so anyway!
(11:12:29 PM) D_M: The time comes at long last (especially OOCly) that you reach the Andropolitan military encampment.
(11:12:49 PM) Serribon: Hooray!
(11:13:39 PM) ***Serribon has his letter of marque or whatever says "I'm here to help you in the name of St. Cuthbert" at the ready before he reaches the outer gate.
(11:14:02 PM) Serribon: What's the place look like?
(11:15:19 PM) D_M: You are able easily able to make contact with the commander there, who gives you the scoop. He leads a small force that is presently a bit on edge and itchig to burn down the whole damn wood, given all the tall tales going around. The settlement is just a litle further north, in the next valley. As it is late in the day, you are offered a place to sleep before venturing on. The military camp is pretty typical of an Androplitan frontier bivouac, lots of tents in a hastily-cleared area, interspersed with cooking fires and dirty, weary men in brush-topped helmets and armor skirts and breastplates.
(11:15:25 PM) D_M: ...As it is late in the day, you are offered a place to sleep before venturing on. The military camp is pretty typical of an Androplitan frontier bivouac, lots of tents in a hastily-cleared area, interspersed with cooking fires and dirty, weary men in brush-topped helmets and armor skirts and breastplates.
(11:17:21 PM) ***Serribon asks for more details on what's been going on exactly. How and when people disappear. Odd lights, sounds, or sights. That sort of thing. Names and locations of eye witnesses.
(11:18:40 PM) D_M: The original settlers are all gone. The current settlement, the second try, is mostly abandoned at this time. Only a few of the civilians remain. The army has come to protect those who remain as best they can.
(11:19:43 PM) D_M: Details are hard to find. In an era before the advent of scientific method, what constitutes a detail or even a "fact" seems rather up for debate. However you have a few names of remaining villagers who claim to have seen things. The commander also mentions that there are a couple of soldiers with similar stories to tell...
(11:20:12 PM) D_M: ...but he doesn't want that sort of thing exacerbated amongst his troops, so he prefers that you stick to interviewing the civilian settlers, if you're going to stir up that sort of stuff.
(11:21:11 PM) Serribon: Dang. Ok. If they're under orders not to talk about it, I guess I'll move on in the morning. How long a journey to the settlement?
(11:21:55 PM) D_M: Not far. An hour's walk at most. He's just not sure you're likely to find hospitable accomodations there at the moment.
(11:22:36 PM) Serribon: Well, if it's in walking distance, I'll camp with the army, if they'll allow it.
(11:22:55 PM) D_M: The CO is offering you a bed.
(11:23:08 PM) D_M: And a meal, too. He seems a decent chap
(11:23:14 PM) Serribon: Awesome.
(11:23:20 PM) ***Serribon will take him up on it.
(11:24:36 PM) D_M: You settle in for the night in a tent you are sharing with a young officer, then. Luxuries include tea and elevated cots.
(11:25:39 PM) D_M: Is Serribon going to sleep tonight, or meditate?
(11:26:26 PM) Serribon: Speaks with his bunk mate about what garrison life is like out here.
(11:26:55 PM) Serribon: Meditation. He wants to range a bit while the moon's still out.
(11:28:30 PM) D_M: The lieutenant is maybe twenty years old, a genuine youngster, but he's seen a battle or two at this point, and he seems to take things in stride. Life in the wilderness is difficult, but not as difficult for them as for the settlers who are trying to make their lives entirely from local resources. At least as a regiment, they have a tenuous logistic link to the civilized world.
(11:28:48 PM) D_M: He misses his family, though, and his young wife.
(11:29:04 PM) Serribon: Has he had any direct interaction with the colony?
(11:30:08 PM) D_M: Plenty. He can tell you that the remaining colonists are mostly not pleasant to spend time with. They're distrustful and gloomy, and growing fatalistic. They are convinced that the forest has a life and mind of its own, and it is rejecting their presence.
(11:30:30 PM) ***Serribon exchanges stories about the weird shit he's been up to, casting things as happening somewhere in the south, rather than the future or whatnot.
(11:31:25 PM) D_M: Your sea-stories generate some genuine interest from the young lad. He seems pretty taken with your burly, mercenary mystique and super awesome superhero armor.
(11:31:35 PM) Serribon: (heh)
(11:32:13 PM) D_M: The hour grows late, and eventually he opts for sleep, since he has to be up with the sun tomorrow to do his job.
(11:32:34 PM) ***Serribon leaves him be and tries to get some shut-eye himself.
(11:34:35 PM) D_M: A tight cot is practically a feather mattress after so many days on the road, sleeping on the ground, and the tent is quiet and protected from the elements. The only thing that disturbs you is that late in the night it gets very cold. Cold enough to wake you.
(11:36:16 PM) Serribon: Serri's eyes pop open and he looks around to see if someone left the flap open. He smiles inwardly at the fact that he's actually sleeping somewhere with a flap for the first time in a long time.
(11:36:37 PM) Serribon: ,roll 1d20+14 (GUPC)
(11:36:37 PM) HAXX_Emprah: Serribon, (GUPC): 27:13+14
(11:37:04 PM) D_M: The tent is completely dark, y'know, in the dark.
(11:37:19 PM) D_M: The cold is biting.
(11:37:38 PM) D_M: There is an oil lamp between your cots, though. You were using it before you went to sleep.
(11:38:12 PM) Serribon: Can I hear anything? Like sleeping noises?
(11:38:30 PM) Serribon: And I won't bother with the lamp, I have a glowstone.
(11:38:42 PM) D_M: You can hear your host asleep on his cot. You hear his breath, slow, in and out, in and out.
(11:38:48 PM) D_M: You unwrap your glowstone, then.
(11:39:20 PM) D_M: The tent is sealed shut. You see your breath condense before you and rise up in little, slow-drifting curls
(11:40:32 PM) D_M: You get that sinking feeling.
(11:40:35 PM) Serribon: I've been in this area, and sleeping out of doors, for a while now - is this cold normal?
(11:40:40 PM) D_M: No.
(11:41:12 PM) D_M: As you concentrate, you realize that you are hearing the young officer breathing, but you are hearing other breaths as well, other than his, other than yours.
(11:41:32 PM) Serribon: (Something there is that doesn't love a tent.)
(11:42:20 PM) Serribon: ,roll 1d20+14 (GUPC, attempt to pinpoint the invisible thinger)
(11:42:20 PM) HAXX_Emprah: Serribon, (GUPC, attempt to pinpoint the invisible thinger): 33:19+14
(11:42:46 PM) Serribon: (I do have blind-fighting, as well. No inherent bonuses, but training in this general direction)
(11:43:12 PM) Serribon: (also, I somehow have gotten a 9mbps connection tonight. And I'm using it for IRC.)
(11:43:25 PM) D_M: (Heh, good man. Priorities in order.)
(11:44:14 PM) D_M: Right. Well, pinpointing it is not hard, especially Serribon feels his cot shift and creak as if under a great weight, and then another great weight settles on one of his legs.
(11:45:55 PM) ***Serribon reaches for his witch-iron dagger, which he's taken to keeping close at hand for just this sort of thing.
(11:46:25 PM) Serribon: Can I tell if the presence on me is the only other one - or are there more that might threaten the officer?
(11:48:00 PM) D_M: You may do so as more weights come down on you. You are grappled. A huffing, animal-like breath can be heard directly over your face, now, and you can feel it, hot in the cold, and you can see it blowing away the whisps of condensation emanating from your own mouth. You are unable to determine if there are other presences in the tent, as you are fully occupied with this one.
(11:48:13 PM) D_M: Feel free to make an attack.
(11:52:24 PM) Serribon: ,roll 1d20+12
(11:52:24 PM) HAXX_Emprah: Serribon: 29:17+12
(11:52:44 PM) Serribon: (or did I need to make a grapple check?)
(11:53:18 PM) D_M: It's your choice, to either ignore the grapple and make an attack with a one-handed weapon, or contest the grapple and attempt to take control of it. You seemed to be opting for the former, by reaching for your knife.
(11:53:59 PM) Serribon: (yeah, just checking to see if I needed to try and break first)
(11:56:08 PM) D_M: You strike nothing, as if there's nothing there. In the process you knock the unlit oil lamp from its perch. Something grabs your arm, and you are pinned. Another weight comes down on your chest, with sharp points, squeezing the breath out of you as it digs into your flesh. The cot creaks again. You may attempt to contest the thing pinning you, but it is tremendously strong and heavy. You can feel it breathing on your face.
(11:56:52 PM) Serribon: ,roll 1d20+11
(11:56:52 PM) HAXX_Emprah: Serribon: 16:5+11
(11:57:13 PM) Serribon: "Thracius!"
(11:57:34 PM) D_M: Insufficient. The thing has you pinned, and when you cry out, it clubs you across the head.
(11:57:53 PM) D_M: ,roll 2d6+8 (lethal damage)
(11:57:53 PM) HAXX_Emprah: D_M, (lethal damage): 15:7+8
(11:58:44 PM) ***Serribon snarls and tries to fight back with renewed vigor.
(11:58:48 PM) Serribon: ,roll 1d20+13
(11:58:48 PM) HAXX_Emprah: Serribon: 22:9+13
(11:59:12 PM) Serribon: (gotta step away for a bit)
(12:01:44 AM) Serribon: (back, though I'll have to step away again in a bit)
(12:02:31 AM) D_M: Serribon attempts to contest the pin and fails again. Something like hand made of crushed glass comes down on his head, pushing it against the cot and holding it down and turned to one side. Unable to lift his head, Serribon can see only the tent wall as the thing digs into one of his arms with claws.
(12:02:31 AM) D_M: He can hear but not see the young officer shouting his name and cursing and trying to ask him what's going on.
(12:02:35 AM) D_M: ,roll 2d6+8
(12:02:35 AM) HAXX_Emprah: D_M: 12:4+8
(12:02:50 AM) D_M: Another 12 lethal as your arm is lacerated along its length.
(12:03:09 AM) D_M: The cot creaks, and then it sags as one of its supports snaps.
(12:03:44 AM) Serribon: "I don't know!"
(12:04:17 AM) D_M: Do you wish to attempt to contest the grapple again?
(12:04:28 AM) D_M: It's pretty much your only option, now that you're pinned.
(12:04:36 AM) Serribon: ,roll 1d20+13
(12:04:36 AM) HAXX_Emprah: Serribon: 25:12+13
(12:04:52 AM) Serribon: (this sort of thing rarely ever happens to Batman)
(12:05:19 AM) D_M: Again, not sufficient.
(12:07:36 AM) D_M: Another support snaps in the cot, and then it gives out with a sudden bang and crashes to the ground. Your glowstone is obscured. The young officer is shouting in terror for you to hold on. You can hear the flint and steel working somewhere near you, and then the weight leaves your body. You hear a cry and a crash as the young man falls against his cot.
(12:07:52 AM) D_M: You are released from the pin for a split second. Your action.
(12:08:42 AM) ***Serribon tries to roll out of the wreckage of his cot and go to Thracius's aid if the thing's gone after him.
(12:09:39 AM) D_M: You need a round to pinpoint it, as there's nothing to see except Thracius recovering from his shock at being knocked off his feet and severely slashed across the chest.
(12:11:21 AM) Serribon: (This is totally going to turn into one of those Evil Harvey situations)
(12:11:51 AM) D_M: All at once you feel that grip again, like a hand made of sharp glass fragments, as it takes your throat and begins to lift you up.
(12:12:20 AM) D_M: In the movies this is always a simple thing. Someone gets picked up and choked for a bit and then dropped. But if you've ever tried hanging by your neck, you know that necks are not designed for this.
(12:12:54 AM) D_M: The invisible hand lifts, and Serribon begins to grow light on his feet, and he can feel his weight stretching the tissue in his neck under the already crushing power of the grip that holds him.
(12:13:19 AM) D_M: Now he is on his toes, and it feels as if his very vertebrae are separating.
(12:13:22 AM) ***Serribon reaches for the invisible arms holding him up and tries to take the weight off of his neck.
(12:14:15 AM) Serribon: He struggles and kicks against his assailant to the extent that he can w/o snapping his own neck.
(12:14:18 AM) Serribon: ,roll 1d20+13
(12:14:18 AM) HAXX_Emprah: Serribon: 33:20+13
(12:14:24 AM) D_M: There's nothing there. Now he is on the very tips of his toes. Being possessed of great endurance and empowering rage, he is able to fight against the loss of oxygen and remain conscious as the thing lifts him
(12:14:48 AM) D_M: Ahem, there's nothing there to grab, but you rolled a natural 20 on the subsequent attack.
(12:14:59 AM) D_M: That guarantees you a hit. You hit... something.
(12:15:03 AM) Serribon: (break-pin attempt - ah. so I can't really grapple at all?)
(12:16:03 AM) D_M: You can't grab the thing, but you can contest its grip on you. A nat-20 is sufficient to do this. You twist yourself out of its horrid grasp and collapse to the floor.
(12:16:09 AM) D_M: The cold vanishes.
(12:17:14 AM) ***Serribon checks on Thracius.
(12:17:34 AM) D_M: Thracius scrambles away from you, wide-eyed with terror, muttering about evil spirits.
(12:18:28 AM) ***Serribon flops back on his butt, across the wreckage of his cot. "Healer. Or a priest," he rasps.
(12:18:54 AM) D_M: Thracius hesitates another moment, and then he scrambles out of the tent.
(12:19:16 AM) D_M: There are some hastily exchanged words outside, someone coming to investigate the ruckus and meeting Thracius going the other way.
(12:19:30 AM) D_M: You are left in peace for a few minutes, as no one attempts to enter the tent.
(12:20:36 AM) ***Serribon takes that time to put his dagger into his pack.
(12:21:02 AM) Serribon: He switches it with his healing wand, but holds off on using it.
(12:22:22 AM) D_M: You are able to recover your gear. Your wounds are certainly real enough. You're developing a monstrous goose-egg on the left side of your head, and your left arm is seriously lacerated. It's HP damage, which means it's not critical damage. You aren't bleeding out or anything. It's just very painful and whatnot.
(12:23:02 AM) Serribon: Which is why he's not healing himself at the moment. Evidence.
(12:24:30 AM) D_M: After a while, the tent flap opens, and an older man comes in, an obvious cleric of Pelor by his garb and holy symbol. "What is it? What happened here? The lieutenant spoke of evil spirits!"
(12:24:35 AM) D_M: I should stipulate something here.
(12:25:02 AM) Serribon: (yus?)
(12:27:48 AM) D_M: Two thousand years of JudeoChristian dominance has given us in RL a sophisticated concept of Good vs Evil that did not exist in a culture like Ancient Rome. Things like Death and the Underworld were regarded as terrifying and dark, but they were all part of the big picture.
(12:27:48 AM) D_M: As such, Andropolitan-era metaphysics would not be as bi-polar as that of later eras, and the word they're using, "evil," is more descriptive than judgemental. Evil as in malevolent.
(12:29:52 AM) Serribon: "And I would agree with him. I have had previous experience with such things before. Though not this bad."
(12:30:19 AM) Serribon: "It did this, but was largely intangible. And it brought with it the chill of the pit."
(12:32:19 AM) D_M: The priest frowns and begins some healing ritual, as well as some abjurative prayers.
(12:32:25 AM) D_M: ,roll 2d8+10
(12:32:25 AM) HAXX_Emprah: D_M: 23:13+10
(12:32:29 AM) D_M: 23 healing.
(12:33:25 AM) D_M: After he gets you settled into the remaining cot, he adds the Protection from Evil.
(12:34:17 AM) D_M: Eventually, he retreats from your quarters, assuring you that you will be left alone, but that he will maintain a vigil outside, in case you require further assistance.
(12:34:37 AM) Serribon: "Thank you, ecclesiarch."
(12:35:01 AM) Aquaman: (Does he have a combat pope hat?)
(12:35:06 AM) D_M: Heh.
(12:35:32 AM) D_M: He bows out and leaves you to yourself.
(12:36:27 AM) Serribon: "Actually, before you go - can you detect the presence of evil spirits pressing against the walls of this plane as the magi can sense magic auras?"
(12:37:56 AM) Serribon: "These things have been plaguing me for a while, and I wonder if they may have left a mark upon me that they can track."
(12:38:53 AM) Serribon: (also, this amuses me every time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e0Gsn4khss)
(12:39:31 AM) Aquaman: There is a lack of space marines in that link)
(12:39:43 AM) Serribon: (but it does have sharks)
(12:39:52 AM) D_M: The priest looks at you for a moment from the tent flap and then sighs. He pulls out some more incense and components and mutters another prayer. Concluding this, he opens his eyes again.
(12:39:52 AM) D_M: He looks at you, and then, seemingly, past you, over your shoulder. His expression grows pale. With great sorrow in his eyes he focuses on you again. "I can do nothing more for you. I'm sorry."
(12:39:55 AM) D_M: He ducks out of the tent.
(12:42:13 AM) ***Serribon frowns and lies back to collect his thoughts.
(12:43:26 AM) D_M: The tent is quiet. You are alone.
(12:43:48 AM) D_M: Something in the tent chuckles, and begins to scrape away at the salt circle that surrounds your cot.
(12:44:16 AM) D_M: However, you are able to pass the night without further assault.
(12:45:41 AM) Serribon: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMVMzzWPDSk)
(12:46:13 AM) ***Serribon will make his apologies to Thracius and the garrison commander and set out at dawn

04FEB11

Clockwork Ancient