Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Myth: A New Age CYOA

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by Fangshi, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    3,270
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    I like the looks of F, but I agree with Nevill. We need a decent escape plan for the demolition team. I'll assume we're working on that and the cube distribution and flop to F>B.
    I'm cool with leaving some chariots for their escape. We're bound to have casualties breaking through anyway, so we'll have chariot space available before we're done anyway.
    I'm not down for giving all the Cubes to Lyssa. We should keep some for our own conflict.
     
    ^ Top  
  2. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Well the more grenadiers the quicker he can go so he would like them all but he is willing to settle for six. Currently his team would look like this: Berty, Lyssa, six grenadiers and both your archers to set off the trap.

    You ever seen someone try to drive a team of horses at top speed with absolutely no experience? Along a winding mountain path no less? :lol:

    I am not saying it can not work but it does increase the risk somewhat.

    She would do better than the untrained dwarves but it would also be a new experience for her. The horses will likely be on edge given the mages chasing them and the explosions from the satchel charges though she might be able to calm them.

    The slower they go the safer it is but you have no say in how quickly they will try to go unless you go with them and enforce it yourself. With a pair of powerful mages after them they will go as quickly as they need to.

    Certainly doable, yes. It won't be without its risks but it is not doomed to failure or anything.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  3. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Okay, so I will agree to F on the following conditions:

    1) We don't give away all of our Energon Cubes to Lyssa.
    2) We leave our team 5 chariots with 4 drivers to make their escape. Is my math right, Fangshi? One for Berty and Lyssa, and four for 12 dwarves, including the drivers. No one gets left behind.

    With luck, we will turn the situation around and trap them right as they are trying to trap us. The Watcher was always a lousy tactician.

    I imagine that archaen, as the man behind the initial idea, would have to agree to these modifications (or make his own), first, before my vote will count towards the plan. I do not want to introduce another option when the differences are rather minor and can be easily settled.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
    ^ Top  
  4. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    621

    Those mods are fine. I'm at work for the next 12 hours but I'll try to come by and check. If the consensus comes up with another plan on the ring I'll go along.
     
    ^ Top  
  5. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    621
    I like the mass assault spell more than the mass fear spell. If used against the crows it could knock a ton of them out of the sky or if used against the enemy troops trying to trap us could let our soldiers cut them down for an escape. Same save, same mastery, instantaneous effect instead of concentration.
     
    ^ Top  
  6. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Sadly, it is not an instantaneous effect. Or is it? The assault spell requires us to work the subject's mind before we attempt anything. I am not sure how the mass version works. I am also not sure if the instant shock would be enough to drop their lot out of the sky. Somehow I feel that you need more than that for the birds to forget how to fly. :)
     
    ^ Top  
  7. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    621
    I thought it basically dazed you like a flashbang. A murder of crows slamming into each other and not flapping their wings could be bad for their health if they don't recover before hitting the ground. If it is a concentration spell then the fear one is better. I seem to remember Derryth laying out a guy in the bar and the effect lasted after she cast.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
    ^ Top  
  8. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Normally Derryth and Thaïs tailor their mental spells to the minds they are attacking. If you loaded Mass Assault into the ring you would not have time to modify the content of the spell before it unraveled. Most minds could resist such an unfocused assault without too much difficulty but it might make them hesitate a little. If you just want to surprise someone then Mass Fear would work better as it is easier to create a memory that is universally terrifying than to create an assualt spell that would work against all opponents.

    Now that being said if you are targeting the crows you could probably cause some damage since they are just birds, clever birds mind you but birds all the same. They will not really have mental defences exactly so even hitting them for a second might be enough.

    Just be aware that these mental spells will be less powerful and their effects will expire quicker than they would if cast by an actual mentalist.

    Derryth has used the spell to absolutely pummel a few people (usually when she is annoyed and overreacts, girl has a temper :lol: ) but you will not be able to get results like that from the ring. She had to maintain those spells for at least a few minutes and the 'stunned' effect her attacks caused (which did last for some time) where more the result of completely exhausting the minds of her victims than anything else.

    The numbers are right but you only have six dwarves (the two archers are humans) not eight. I don't know if that changes how you want to set it up or not.

    If you want a few more hours to work out the details I have no problem with that. I won't have time to actually start on the update for at least eight hours so I will leave the vote open till then with an update to follow within six to eight hours after the vote closes.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  9. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Alright, so assuming we want to catch some (or all) of the army pursuing us, how is that going to work?

    Will Berty withdraw when the enemy enters line-of-sight, leaving Neel to detonate the satchel charges? Does Neel know where the tunnels (the ones that Rand suggested we should take) are and how to navigate them? Is it easier for him to follow the tunnels, or will he prefer to escape on a chariot with everyone? For that matter, where will he hide so that the chariot could reach him in time?

    Also, why are there 2 humans? What would the second one do? Or will they detonate different traps simultaneously?

    I guess we can spare 1 more chariot if it helps us not to lose the best tracker this side of the Cloudspine. 1 chariot will hardly make a difference.

    Make it 6 chariots and 5 drivers, then.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
    ^ Top  
  10. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    3,270
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    Yeah, I'd think Neel is worth a chariot.
     
    ^ Top  
  11. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    After you set up most of your group will flee via chariot. Hopefully the mages will push through after them, then Neel hidden behind a sort of makeshift blind will set off the trap when he thinks he can do maximum damage. If it works he should be able to take out a few of them at least and slow them down.

    Neel knows about the tunnels but he does not know where they all go, he might be able to make it through them if he had to and he will make for them if he can not make it to the chariot. The chariot would be easier for him though.

    The chariot will have to hide around a bend in the road further on to prevent the enemy from spotting it easily. He will have to run for it but he knows the risks.

    Because it is part of the plan as presented to me:

    The other archer is the secondary shooter. If something goes wrong he will take the shot. Otherwise he will either help to detonate the charges or he will go get the chariot while Neel works. It will all depend on what they decide to do.

    Six chariots then?

    So the teams will look like this:

    Assualt Team:
    1. Derryth
    2. Thaïs
    3. Myora
    4. Biliku
    5. Uttu
    6. 14 Veteran Grenadiers (Dwarven)
    7. 8 Veteran Sell-swords (Human)
    8. 5 Veteran Warriors (Maul)
    9. 35 Royal Guards
    10. 14 Light Chariots
    11. 1 Carriage loaded with gold and diamonds

    Ambush Team:
    1. Berty
    2. Lyssa
    3. Neel
    4. 1 Veteran Archer (Human)
    5. 6 Veteran Grenadiers (Dwarven)
    6. 5 Royal Guards to act as drivers for the dwarves
    7. 6 Light Chariots

    And you will give Lyssa your ring loaded with Mass Fear.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  12. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    621
    Looks good.
     
    ^ Top  
  13. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,493
    Wonder if it works with voodoo?
    I summon archaen just for fun and to check if it really works, or is it some kind of h(o)ax?

    Edit ei IT WORKS!
    as for plan i am always ready for something entertaining.
     
    ^ Top  
  14. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    :hmmm:

    Is it possible to take down the archmage this way? Yes, no, maybe?

    Yeah, that's some "Speshul Taktiks: Myth Edition" right there.

    It would also be cool if Neel detonated the charges and ran from his pursuers, only for the second archer to emerge out of hiding and detonate yet another set of charges, killing the pursuit off. A bait behind a bait, so to speak. After that, they'd think twice about running after anyone. You'll never know, there might always be a third archer. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
    ^ Top  
  15. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    The answer to that is a definite maybe. In theory you could, if it is an archmage, and more importantly if it is a shade then it is built for devastating offense. In the games they are not that hard to kill provided you can avoid the Dispersal Dreams they throw.

    It will all come down to the dice and how the parties involved react.

    Anyway it should be safe to close it now. You will go with the ambush plot and I should have the update ready within ten hours, just have to finish up a few things first.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  16. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    807
    Location:
    Greece
    Late flop to F too. Was away for the weekend.
     
    ^ Top  
  17. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Chapter 41: The Drowned Dead

    You turn the possibilities over in your mind. You could fight, charge up the path right into those mages coming after you. You might even catch them by surprise but if they are as powerful as those signals they are emitting suggest then you will have a difficult time defeating them. There is also the force to your rear to consider, they could easily hit you while you battle their superiors.

    No, fighting is out.

    Then you have to run, simple as that.

    Marshal all your forces for a breakthrough attack on the smaller group, or perhaps decapitate their leadership by targeting the enemy mages. You are not sure though whether you have time to succeed with either plan.

    There is also Rand's tunnels, but no. You will not abandon your followers without a fight.

    You mutter to yourself, "Fight or flee... maybe fight and flee..."

    "What are you thinking Derry?" your wiry tactician asks from your side.

    "What if we attack both groups," you reply with a subtle smile.

    "That... that would be suicide," Rand replies as he edges towards his hole, "I am not going to stay here and die trapped between mages. Come with me, we can regroup, we can come up with a plan, we can-"

    You stop him right there. From what you have been told of the man he is not a coward and the odds are admittedly stacked against you in a straight up fight.

    Of course you have no intention to fight fair, "We are not using the tunnels. We are going to get out of this together."

    Myora and the Captain nod, likely relieved that you do not intend to sacrifice them. Rand, however, does not let you say another word. He is gone in an instant, back into the darkness of the tunnels, racing from the light into the cold earth.

    "Want me to send someone after him?" Myora asks, "The traditional penalty for desertion during battle is death."

    She radiates hostility, most of it directed at the hole through which Rand made his escape.

    Death, a high price to pay but then perhaps it is fitting. In any battle each soldier needs to know that their comrades are there for them until the bitter end. If loyalty will not suffice then fear may have to do in a pinch. Either way it is of little concern now.

    Dismissively you gesture at the tunnel, "Let him go, we do not have the time or the people necessary to worry about him at the moment," you motion for your comrades to draw closer, "I have a idea, but I need a little help setting it up. I want to put our grenadiers to work mining the road, then..."

    ---------------------------------------------------

    You consider the enemy formation through your spyglass. It is nothing if not odd.

    The ghôls form a tight line pressed shoulder to shoulder, five ranks deep. Before each ghôl in the front rank is an impressive metal shield buried in the dirt.

    Behind them, wrapped in heavy cloaks stand nine figures. They feel identical though they clearly are not. Some are short, some are tall, some are lean, almost skeletal, while one is almost as wide as she is tall and you are fairly certain that one of them is a maul. In form they could not be more different but in action they appear identical.

    "Decoys?" you mutter.

    Thaïs at your side offers a suggestion, "Perhaps some sort of illusion similar to those used by Miosguinn?"

    "Maybe," you focus in on the group, "Someone over there is definitely casting."

    None of them seem to have their weapons ready from what you can tell and that makes you nervous. You are fairly certain that they are hiding something but you are not sure what.

    You hate surprises, at least when they are directed your way, so naturally you resolve to uncover this mystery in the most direct way you know of.

    You pick out the first ghôl in the line and you launch an assault his way. Your attack goes wide however, something or someone is shielding the minds of the ghôls thought they are not too terribly strong. It must be the enemy mage.

    You could try to force your way through, fight both the ghôl and the mage at the same time and it would work eventually, but there is an easier way to do this.

    "Thaïs," she gracefully turns her head as you call her name, "Care to help me interrogate one of our enemies."

    She beams, "Certainly, which one did you have in mind?"

    "Third from the right," you subtly gesture at the ghôl, best not to hit the same target twice, "When I attack the enemy mage is going to try and stop me, I want you to attack him or her and buy me time."

    She nods and begins to focus.

    Again you launch your assault, again the ghôl's mind collapses before you. You feel the enemy signal build, it comes for you again. This time your friend is waiting and she hammers it as you sift through the ghôl's recent memories for the information you require.

    You are not gentle as you smash through the compartments of his mind. You rip and shred his mental landscape in search of the information you seek and you think you are closing in as one second passes into the next.

    Something is wrong.

    The signal Thaïs is fighting splits, first into two, then three, then six and finally nine. Nine incredibly weak signals. Each of the new signals would barely be worth your attention, such weak signals hardly even rate as actual talents, and yet you sense danger here. There is something else as well, something dark, watery, deep and eternally hungry.

    The new signals lash out at your friend from every direction. They move in mesmerizing patterns, they split, they vanish, they fuse back together and launch a new attack from an unexpected quarter.

    What is worse is that every time they strike her they attach the tiniest thread of a spell. You can only just perceive what they are doing. They are weaving a trap for her, trying to drag her mind away toward that hungry darkness. She is aware of this and tries to break away but they are all about her, she can not escape and you doubt you would be able to either if they had caught you in that trap.

    Once while crossing the Cloudspine mountains years ago a summer storm had forced you, Henry and your caravan into a set of shallow caves. You waited out the storm there in complete safety and your guards kept away the beasts of the pass. The next morning as you sat on the lip of a nearby ridge and looked out over a wide valley you saw the most fascinating and saddening dance play out before you. An old bear beset by a pack of wolves, far more powerful than its foes it fell all the same to their coordinated attacks. A feint here, a bite there, they dragged it down to death. As your friend attempts to fight off the pack assailing her you once more see that bloody dance.

    Thankfully she is not alone as that bear was, she has a friend in this and you will be damned if you will watch her fall. It takes everything the signals have to keep your friend contained, to drag her slowly towards the wet, looming darkness. You have a clear view of what they are doing and you intend to stop them.

    You snatch up what little you can from your victim, a few words and imagines, then you launch yourself into a new offensive aimed at the little signals.

    Together, in perfect harmony, they could just trap Thaïs, maybe they could even trap you, but the two of you together are far too much for them. They scatter as you move to strike them and your blows hit nothing but ether. Quickly you free your friend and cease casting.

    "What?" she pants, "What was that?"

    "I don't know," you give her a shoulder to lean on and a moment to recover.

    You look out at your enemy, moving in perfect synchronicity. You think of Mazzarin, you think of Faceless, you think of Shiver, and slowly a dark thought comes to you "Maybe... he couldn't... did he?"

    "We are running out of time here ladies," the Captain marches up to you with Myora close behind, "My chariots are ready."

    "As are the infantry," Myora adds with that tone of cool professionalism you are becoming accustomed to.

    "Good," you reply with a slight nod, "However we have a problem. Those ghôls in the front rank are chained together through magic and are concealing long spears. If we hit them with a cavalry charge we won't break through."

    "Then we will load a few grenadiers onto the backs of the chariots and we will hit them with a few volleys to soften them up," the Captain answers undeterred.

    Sadly there is more, with a sigh you continue, "The second rank also has heavy crossbows."

    "What is a crossbow?" the Captain asks as Thaïs produces hers. He laughs, "My men are heavily armoured, if all they have are those little things then they will never injury us."

    You shake your head, "Theirs are much larger. They will fire them using the first rank and their shields for cover. Hell, they will probably aim for your horses, they are not well armoured. They have done this before though not against chariots I think."

    Myora stares at her feet, lost in thought as the Captain curses, "How in the hell did they get this sort of equipment! Armour! Shields! Now these, these crossbows!"

    Thaïs provides the answer, "Our enemy has dwarves in his employ. Perhaps they are giving the ghôls this equipment or perhaps they have taught the tribes how to make them themselves."

    "Well what are we going to do?" the Captain mutters in annoyance, quieted by the thought of dwarven traitors serving the Dark.

    You think to yourself, now that is a good question and yours is not a military mind. You do not really know how to solve this.

    It seems though that someone else does.

    Myora begins firing off questions, "You said they have done this before? What were their targets?"

    Your answer is quick and to the point, "Merchants, the odd militia."

    "Good," she nods, "We can do this if they are not a veteran company. My infantry will go in first, stay behind with the chariots and wait for us to punch an opening."

    She seems almost happy as she speaks, you feel compelled to comment on it, "You really enjoy this don't you?"

    She gives you a wink, "It is what I live for," she turns to her assembled men, "It is time to show our new employers what Blackrock can do!"

    They cheer as they from rank. Mauls to the front, humans to the rear, and the dwarves in the centre.

    They advance with Myora at the heart of them.

    The first volley hits them quickly enough. The heavy crossbows live up to your worst fears as dozens of bolts strike home with tremendous force.

    Yet not a single maul falls.

    They laugh in fact, howling at the tops of their lungs.

    Those mauls with skin thicker than leather and heavy armour dozens of centimetres thick will not fall to a little arrow fire while the humans and dwarves behind them are safely sheltered.

    The ghôls frantically reload their bows as the mercenaries begin to close.

    The dwarves swing out from the center, splitting in half they advance on each wing as the mauls increase their pace.They break into a sprint, great shields and blades swinging through the air.

    The ghôls are faced with a dilemma, strike the mauls with a close volley and attempt to break their charge and that of the human warriors behind them or focus on the grenadiers, each of which readies a cocktail for a devastating volley of their own.

    The robbed figures do not know what to do. This is not a problem that magic can solve, at least not with you and your friend present to pressure them. They also have no mind for military matters, they freeze as Myora's soldiers hit them.

    The heavy spears of the ghôls are of little use against the chopping blades of the mauls. The great warriors rend and break the spears by the score while the dwarves bombard the enemy, painting the path in blood and littering it with body parts.

    What is left of the enemy force wavers, it is clear the ghôls want to flee but chained together as they are they must stand and fight. You need them to break as you are quickly running out of time.

    The scene before you is controlled chaos, bodies flying and blades clashing. Above you the crows circle, flying back and forth from the battle to fort. None of them try to directly interfere though, perhaps they are concerned for their own welfare, Lyssa certainly seems to think that is the case.

    You catch the back of a chariot and Thaïs quickly follows as the captain leads his men out. You have to get to those mages and deal with them quickly.

    -------------------------------------------

    The captain personally drives your chariot with skill and daring. He slips through a hole in the enemy's line with six chariots close behind.

    As you approach the enemy mages you feel a small tug on your mind, the piece of the Watcher calls to you but the call is weak. Sealed within multiple boxes each with a different lock and key held by a different member of your group there is no way for anyone to get to the fragment bolted to the floor of the Captain's chariot. It is safe and so are you.

    The cloaked mages howl together and begin casting as you approach. A bolt of pitch arcs from the fist of the closest mage. The mage aims for you but is far too slow and does not think to lead his target. Instead the bolt strikes the fourth chariot back but the result is still devastating. The bolt hits the chariot in the side and splatters the riders and horses. They scream together as they begin to dissolve and plummet over the side of the trail into the valley below.

    The nine continue to cast, readying another bubbling bolt of black fluid but you have no intention of allowing them to cast unimpeded.

    As you approach the group your chariots split. Your chariot swings to your left with two behind you as the other three chariots, including Thaïs', break right. Hopefully they will only be able to target one group at a time.

    Four of the chariots loose a javelin, each striking a separate target in the torso or upper legs. Your opponents seem undeterred and barely register the projectiles lodged in their frames. They hurl another bolt of pitch completely missing their target as they coat the ground behind you. A pair of your allies are not so lucky as they race over the patch and their chariot begins to dissolve. Their horses' legs give out and melt away as their wheels buckle throwing the riders clear from the crashing chariot.

    Having witnessed the punishment these things can take you decide not to take any chances. You launch a firebolt spell at the closest mage. The crimson bolt coils through the air between you. She watches it come, without fear or anger, she lets it strike her. Even as it consumes her, the flames shifting from red to harvest yellow, emerald green, then sky blue, she continues to cast. The blast knocks back her hood and the visage that greats you is horrific, bloated, rotten, dead. These mages are dead, merely a shell for something else. The idea worms its way through your mind as her flesh burns away, as her muscles are consumed, as her very bones are rendered to dust she merely continues with her spell.

    Her ashes blow away in the wind as the mages ready another bolt.

    You hold up a single hand with a single finger raised at your friend, you shout the word, "One!"

    These things, whatever they are, are not people. They are tools and you will break them all, it is perhaps the closest thing to mercy you can do for them and if you can practice your magic while you do it then so much the better.

    You are momentarily distracted by one great cry from above you. The crows, each and every crow from here to the fort, scream out in unison and begin to swirl high into the sky. Their combined mass casts a shadow over the sun. For a second you think they are massing for an attack but it is quite the opposite. Rather than attack, this great airborne army moves off to the northeast. They continue to scream as they go, fleeing as quickly as their wings will carry them. A curious occurrence to be sure.

    You return your gaze to the battle just in time to catch a truly amazing sight.

    Thaïs scores next, with a energon cube in hand she manages a greater energy bolt that catches a pair of mages on the far side of the pack from you. This is your first time seeing your friend's new spell and it is a thing to behold. It almost has a life of its own as it springs from her knife blade. It claws its way through the air, howling, screaming, diving at its target. Purple, sapphire, cobalt, the many strains of her spell loop around and through one another in a masterful dance as they crash into the pair with a tremendous boom. The bolt arcs between them as they are burnt away in moments.

    She beams at you as her group passes near, "Two!" she shouts as she begins to weave another spell at an impossibly tiny little woman.

    "Damn show-off," you mutter to yourself. You scan the group looking for a target and spot a set of three. The tall one, the round one, and an elderly one, bent by age. The tall one begins to conjure up another black blob. You wonder if perhaps that is the only spell this group knows that is suitable for offence. They certainly are not powerful or creative but they seem untiring and perhaps that is why they were sent to shadow you.

    "Captain, bring us closer to that group," you point at the three.

    "Your sure ma'am? They look like they are getting ready to fire!" he shouts back.

    "That is what I am counting on!" you will show her how to improvise a spell! You know the basic theory she used to create 'Greater Energy Bolt' and you are fairly certain you can apply it here with firebolt but you also do not want to use up an energon cube like she did so you plan to do something just a little underhanded.

    You prepare a Greater Firebolt spell and you wait, the spell perched at the tip of your staff. The plan is ingenious but simple.

    Back during your rather suicidal assault against the Watcher's army outside the border fort you and your friend had each hit the same target with an elemental spell. The two spells had attempted to devour one another and did tremendous damage to the target.

    This time, working from the same principles you intend to let your enemy's spell power your own. Just as the three cloaked figures are finishing their spell you hit it with your 'Greater Firebolt'. Your spell, much more powerful than theirs and desperate for energy quickly devours their spell and takes on some of its properties. It solidifies somewhat, tuning into a dark red paste that coats each of the three mages, painting every inch of them above the waist in a boiling hot magical concoction that quickly dissolves them into one large puddle of bubbling fluid. It also eats a two metre wide and one metre deep hole in the ground.

    "That's four!" you shout to your friend as she watches, mouth agape.

    She gives you a wink and proud smile as she blasts the legs from out of a tall, muscular mage and lets the chariot run over its head. Just to make sure it is dead she blasts it again reducing it to ash, "Four for me too!" she shouts.

    The remaining mage, the maul, attempt to draw enough power to cast but is unable to and so changes tactics. With a surprising burst of speed it charges at your chariot and up ends it. You and the captain crash out into the dirt. You have the presence of mind to cast the Warrior's Mask on yourself as you roll clear of the wreckage. The Captain manages to land on his feet, "Must be part cat," you mutter.

    The beast is quickly bearing down upon you when it is struck in the back with a blue bolt of electricity as your friend rushes by.

    It turns to meet this new attack and you exploit the opening to hit it with another firebolt, then a third in rapid succession. You focus on the left side of its body and with you fourth bolt you manage to shave its arm clean off. The massive mound of rotten flesh crashes into the dirt with a resounding thud.

    You are slowly wearing this thing down but you only have a few minutes left before your ambush party will come racing down the mountain. You need the enemy routing by the time they show up.

    Thaïs coordinates her next shot to hit at the same time as yours. The swirling maelstrom of fire and lightning that is unleashed upon the maul as you hurl your spells is impressive. The dwarves continue to hurl javelins into the monstrosity as well and eventually its bloated body gives out and collapses in the dirt.

    With the last mage dead the chains holding the ghôlish line together shatter and all resistance evaporates. The path is clear but you can feel two powerful signals racing down the mountain.

    They can probably feel your success and are determined not to let you escape.

    As the thought crosses you mind a deafening explosion rings out through the mountains.

    ----------------------------------------------

    That strange little man and the mage left a few minutes ago.

    The dwarves had done their work well. Giggling like children in the first days of spring, they loved their trade as surely as he loved his.

    Now he just has to wait.

    Just him and his prey.

    Well, really just him, his prey, that young tracker and their driver but that does not sound half as good.

    They are nervous.

    He isn't.

    This is not his first hunt.

    It is not his first battle.

    And if this is war, it is not his first either.

    One of the men mentioned an archmage, said something about a Shade, meaning a dead archmage. Well if a guy wants to be technical an undead archmage.

    Balor used them. Soulblighter used them. Some even say that Alric's buddy the Deceiver brought a few over to the Light during the last war.

    Doesn't much matter really.

    Neel has never fought an archmage. He has never fought a Shade either if that is really what is waiting for his arrows but he knows a little, he knows enough.

    He knows it can be killed.

    He knows that ordinary men like himself have done it in the past and will do it again.

    He knows it is possible so he is going to try.

    'Cause that fucker killed his friend and some things a man simply can not abide.

    ---------------------------------------

    He hovers along at top speed lost in his own thoughts, he will catch them, that much is certain but it is all so very dull.

    This was meant to be an easy job.

    Something he was forced to do as a way to make up for his last failure.

    Failure.

    Something he has not experienced in over five hundred years.

    It has a curious taste to it. An interesting aroma but now that he has experienced it again, refreshed his memory so to speak, it too has grown stale.

    Boredom.

    Nothing is worse than boredom, not pain, not humiliation, not loss, nothing. Tastes like rotten eggs and it just sort of hangs in the back of your throat.

    Yet he had to go and worse yet one of the 'master's' little flies insisted on coming along. As if the job was not easy enough they had to bring that experiment of theirs along as well. Why not simply send the entire bloody army and be done with it!

    Annoyance.

    Ah, annoyance. Better than nothing, tastes like sea salt and burns like mustard. Still, what he wants more than anything is to be surprised. It is so hard to surprise him that every time it happen it is to be cherished.

    He was surprised when he discovered that those mages were present.

    The crows told him quickly enough and he prepared for something glorious, like the last time they met. Alas they proved to be nothing but a disappointment. They took the bait just like the mercenaries would have and now they have lost their fort and soon they will lose their army and their lives. No, not their lives. They have talent and he will not see them become part of the 'master's' experiments. He will take them, he will bind them to himself and use them as he sees fit. A fitting fate for talented mages without cunning, they will become his tools in the world and they will love it, love him, like they all do.

    Unfortunately that means he has to rush somewhat. He has mobilized his entourage and roused the Shade. First they will catch the lone signal on the cliffs, no doubt some sort of rearguard that has lost its nerve.

    Well it will serve just as well as the other two.

    Then he will descend on his pretty things and snatch them up. The experiment will probably fall to them but it is of little importance, perhaps that will encourage his 'master' to stop toying with that thing he created. If it-

    Surprise.

    It smells of roses and early morning dew.

    It tastes like chocolate and cinnamon.

    The arrow flies past him, past two of his men and hits the ground.

    His eyes follow its flight, right to a satchel charge.

    He grins.

    Oh! These girls will be fun to play with!

    ------------------------------------------------

    The entire ridge lights up.

    A good chunk of it even rolls down the mountain side.

    Neel shouts and pumps a fist in the air, "Well fuck me! I don't know if any of them were archmages or Shades or what-have-you but they are fucking dead now!"

    The three soldiers cheer as the remains of the pursuing party rain down around them.

    -------------------------------------

    "All of them?" you ask in disbelief.

    Lyssa nods grinning from ear to ear, "Every last one," she just about shouts.

    Myora is quick to caution you, "They may have left part of their force in the fort or they may have a larger force on the way to secure it given that they took pains not to damage it. It may be wiser to continue on to Mygard for the time being."

    Berty chimes in, "If they establish themselves in these mountains the army may have a hell of a time dislodging them, Derry. We may be able to capitalize on this tremendous good luck if we can seize and hold the fort until reinforcements can arrive."

    You consider your options.


    1. There are a few ways you can play this:

    A) Return to Myrgard. Without an enemy force in the area (that you know of) the trip should be relatively safe. Once you reach the city you can personally inform the King of what has happened or choose some other course of action.

    B) Return to the Fort. You will have to be careful of any traps left by the enemy but your unexpected victory here might allow you to recapture your fort. If you do so you will: (B choices will be counted together with the most popular choice chosen should B win)

    Warn the King (The King can send a large military force of Albrecht Guards but they will be the least well trained of your options and will take the second most time. You may be able to get him to give you some funds to help with the defence of the fort. Alternatively he can send a detachment from the Royal Army in his capacity as King. These soldiers will take longer to deploy as they require an order from the assembled Lords but they are also the best trained of your options. If the issue goes before the Lords and passes then you will also likely require funds to help hold the fort. Should the motion fail then you will have to try something else. Alternatively they may offer to buy the fort from you and turn it into a military outpost.)

    i. You will send a message to the palace by chariot informing the King of what has happened and asking for House Albrecht reinforcements. This has the advantage of allowing you to get rid of the Watcher fragment in your possession should you so desire. (A simple yes/no on the stone with this option will suffice.)

    ii. You will send a message to the palace by eagle informing the King of what has happened and asking for House Albrecht reinforcements. This is the quickest means of requesting help from the King but it will also deprive you of all your air recon capabilities.

    iii. You will send a message to the palace by chariot informing the King of what has happened and asking for Royal Army reinforcements. This has the advantage of allowing you to get rid of the Watcher fragment in your possession should you so desire. (A simple yes/no on the stone with this option will suffice.)

    iv. You will send a message to the palace by eagle informing the King of what has happened and asking for Royal Army reinforcements. This is the quickest means of requesting help from the King but it will also deprive you of all your air recon capabilities.


    Ceannard and the Arrows (Ceannard can mobilize more quickly than anyone else and can keep what is going on a secret should you so desire. His men are well trained and about on par with Blackrock. He will expect to get paid of course.)

    v. You will send a message to the Arrows by chariot to purchase Ceannard's help. This has the advantage of allowing you to get rid of the Watcher fragment in your possession (you can still send it on to the King) should you so desire. (A simple yes/no on the stone with this option will suffice.)

    vi. You will send a message to the Arrows by eagle to purchase Ceannard's help. This is the quickest means of requesting help from the Arrows but it will also deprive you of all your air recon capabilities.

    Your other Blackrock Mercenaries (Myora has offered to send an order to your Stoneheim branch requesting reinforcements should you desire. They can send half their force should you wish. It will take them some time to arrive but they are skilled warriors and it will allow to maintain control over the fort while also avoiding payment for mercenaries.)

    vii. You will send a message to Stoneheim by chariot to request reinforcements from your Blackrock branch. This has the advantage of allowing you to get rid of the Watcher fragment in your possession (you can still send it on to the King) should you so desire. (A simple yes/no on the stone with this option will suffice.)

    viii. You will send a message to the Arrows by eagle to request reinforcements from your Blackrock branch. This is the quickest means of requesting help from Stoneheim but it will also deprive you of all your air recon capabilities.

    ix. You will simply hold the fort with what you have to hand. This is your business and you will deal with it yourself.

    x. freeform: any combination of the above or something else entirely.

    C) You will take control of fort and set charges to decrease its defensive capabilities. You will then return to the King.

    D) Freeform
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
    ^ Top  
  18. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Party/Organization Changes:

    Party Changes:

    Show Spoiler
    Derryth:

    Lost the following Items:

    1. Three Energon Cubes - Used to place a Mass Fear spell on your ring which you gave to Lyssa.

    2. Your Gold Ring - give to Lyssa at the beginning of the update.

    Gained the following Items:

    1. One Energon Cube - From Lyssa

    2. Your Gold Ring - returned at the end of the update, unused.

    Learnt the following Spell:

    1. Greater Firebolt - a more powerful version of the standard firebolt. It can be devastating against individual targets or small groups if used creatively.


    Thaïs:

    Lost the following Items:

    1. Four Energon Cubes - Three used to place a Mass Fear spell on Derryth's ring which was give to Lyssa. One used to cast greater energy bolt.

    Gained the following Items:

    1. One Energon Cube - From Lyssa


    Lyssa:

    Lost the following Items:

    1. Five Energon Cubes - Three used to place a Mass Fear spell on Derryth's ring which was given to her. Two given to the other mages.

    2. Derryth's Gold Ring - Given back to Derryth at the end of the update

    Gained the following Items:

    1. Derryth's Gold Ring - Given to her at the begining of the update, it was returned unused.



    Organizational Changes:

    Show Spoiler
    Dead Unnamed Personnel:

    - 1 Veteran Maul Warrior

    - 3 Veteran Human Warriors

    - 7 Veteran Dwarven Grenadiers



    The Rolls:

    Show Spoiler
    Oh so many rolls. So many disappointments... :negative:... :lol:

    Right, starting from the beginning.

    You got a single roll to see if Rand would stick around. It used your CHA not Thaïs' as you were the one he was judging. You failed, he fled.

    The ambush group rolled to progress on setting up the ambush, building the blind, laying the mines and so on. These were all tasks that the characters you sent excel at so there was no real difficulties here. They finished a bit quicker than I thought they would but nothing much out of the ordinary here.

    You group had a large number of reasonably difficult checks though.

    To begin with I gave Derryth and most of the main characters a check to see if they noticed how oddly the enemy was acting. It was not a difficult check but only Derryth passed which was a surprise.

    Then you had a roll to assault the ghôl, you did about average but the Drowned Dead did much better and blocked you. As Derryth is not one to give up she roped in her friend to help.

    The second time in you again rolled about average and Thaïs did fine on her first few attacks. Then the signal split and each of the Dead attacked her. She did about average in defending herself but every time she failed they managed to get a hook in her.

    You succeeded in getting some information out of your target before breaking off to help your friend. Hard to say what, if anything, you missed out on there but Derryth simply won't take that sort of risk unless she absolutely has to.

    You and Thaïs together are substantially more powerful than the nine mages you fought so together it was quite easy to force them to break off. You did not roll well but you did not fail completely either.

    Myora had a few easy leadership tests while leading her men.

    The ghôl had a number of attacks on your soldiers due to their superior range but they whiffed them all. This is the point where the dice started to really go in your favour as you made it through that initial charge without losing anyone.

    One you punched through to the mages I was allowed to have a little fun with how you would dispatch them. Without their soldiers to shield them there was next to no chance they could will the fight and being mages the girls took the chance to flex their magical muscles. Thaïs finally found a target worthy of greater energy bolt and Derryth got to put her WIS to good use by improvising a little with her magical theory.

    They both rolled well to very well and the Drowned Dead rolled horribly on top of being weaker than you. Your escorts did not do great though so you lost on team and two chariots. Still you got off fairly easily there.

    Now about the damn anticlimax.

    Your archmage kill count is now at 1.

    Or rather Neel's is. The man really is the best tracker east of the Cloudspine it seems as he rolled perfectly. He assessed the situation properly and he placed his arrow perfectly, right in the centre of the group.

    Each of the mages was given some sort of roll, regeneration, resistance, anything. But they were difficult checks since your men got them dead to rights. Can't rob you of that you hit that Shade pretty much dead on and there was nothing left to do except see how many chunks he was blasted into.

    Ah well, the Watcher has spares. :lol:

    You even managed to take out a few dozen ghôl priests, some of the Thin White Mage's slaves and the Creature himself. Though at this point it is safe to say that, that likely will not be permanent.

    You have also managed to collapse a good chunk of the path leading to your fort so that will need to be fixed at some point if you choose to keep the fort.


    There was also a second, third and fourth set of rolls going on during this update but those are all things Derryth won't know about in the short term. There are hints in the update however about the location and nature of one of the sets of rolls.

    And that should be it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  19. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    24,412
    So mass fear was unused, then what made the crows flee?
    And Rand is not just a coward but a traitor, probably the tunnel offer was a trap.
    I must admit that the plan worked, congratulations guys.
    For now I won't vote, I am iclined towards choosing the quickest option, but I am unsure about using the eagle.
     
    ^ Top  
  20. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Since they fled north-east, something must have happened at the Watcher's Keep. Hopefully, Mazzarin have finally showed up, because I don't know what else can make the Watcher that worried.

    I don't think it was Nanshe, because the Watcher should have had doubts about her when she hit one of his slaves. The crows did witness it, and some of them (well, the ones that survived the lightning storm) should have informed either him or the Drowned Dead of her treachery. Besides, at this point he is unlikely to consider Nanshe a threat, merely a nuisanse.

    Yes, it seems a bit strange how Rand was insisting on us using the tunnels, but I am hesitant to call it a trap. I guess it is plausible that he managed to stay alive, since he is an assassin and thus should be quite proficient at staying unnoticed. It also makes sense that he isn't a combat-oriented guy, and this was not his field of expertise. Still, he is one of the commanding officers, and it makes his desertion a pretty grave crime.

    Still, when your new and yet unproven boss implies he will attack on two fronts against superior forces backed by archmages - with a subtle smile, no less, - I can understand one's desire to flee the hell out of there and never see the lunatic again. Without proper context, it was truly a suicidal proposition, and Derryth's way of phrasing it didn't help one bit. :lol:

    Not sure if I want him back, but I am also not sure I want him anywhere else. I mean, if the Eberhardt remnants get their hands on him, it could be much worse for us.

    I'd prefer him dead, but hunting a professional and an extremely gifted assassin is a fool's errand. We'll see what to do with him when it comes to it.

    As for the Fort... we might want to consider that we've already got reinforcements on the way, since we've send an Eagle to the Pathfinders. We might be able to defend the Fort for a while. Still, without an army, I fear it would be nigh impossible to hold on to it for long. We might want to sell it off.

    I guess I will vote for holding the Fort while requesting the help from the Arrows, Pathfinders, and our own mercenaries, while we wait for the army to arrive. Also, we need guns mortars. Lots of mortars.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
    ^ Top  
  21. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Messages:
    8,175
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    Biii
    Bvii
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
    ^ Top  
  22. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    621
    I think we should have a discussion about the watcher stone and what to do with it. We know the nobility is riddled with agents of the watcher and Albrecht has a collection of Watcher stones already. Do we want to make his collection a bigger target? We might be better off casting the one we have in lead and keeping it locked up somewhere else just in case. We also need to check if anyone on the ridge had a stone.

    Should we bring Albrecht into this? I can't think of any compelling arguments against it unless we want to openly work with the ghols. This is a major threat to his kingdom and we just saved him from having a fortified outpost manned by an archmage a stone throws away from his door step. I think it is reasonable to use his troops.


    For now I'll vote Bii Bvii. No

    We don't have the funds to be dropping on the arrows right now. Let's take the heads of the ghols here. If the chariots are up to it we can send them back around to pick up the rest of our diamonds and grab the heads now we have cleared everyone out. It's only been half a day and that is a ton of wealth laying around.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
    ^ Top  
  23. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Depends on how much the Arrows are going to cost us. We've got about 45 WPs in cash and 94 WPs in diamonds right with us. Sounds like funds to me.


    Hmm, we've been in charge of our company for a single day and we've already lost 27 out of 54 soldiers, and 2 out of 3 officers (of which one have deserted). We might want to consider a hiring campaign. Personally, I would like Albrecht to assist us with this. The Blackrock securities will be not just a mercenary company, but THE mercenary company, led by the heroes of the Kingdom. I'd like to make them to other companies what the Legion is to the Imperial Army. I want men to consider it an honor to join our ranks, an honor on part with the one the King's guards receive. Some agreement may be established, for example, the service in our company counts towards the service in the elite military regiment (except it also pays well), or something.

    Or maybe make them into a legal alternative to the Pathfinders, a bunch of expertly trained irregulars in service of the crown. Well, in our service, really, but seeing how heavily we are invested in Albrecht's continued reign and how our interests coincide with the ones of the crown, I don't think there is too much of a difference. I believe there is a lot of merit in this for both involved parties. We solve the problem with people shortage and maintenance, greatly expanding the company in the process and providing us with our personal army, and Albrecht gets another useful tool at his disposal, though not directly under his command. We are already fighting his battles for him, and I think he would appreciate having some forces that a) do not require a decision from the Assembly of Lords to mobilize them, b) can actually accomplish something, and c) can be officially acknowledged, unlike the Pathfinders.

    I wonder if anyone else wants to take our company in that direction.

    Also, we need to start hiring mages eventually. They are making things so much easier (or harder, depending on which side has more powerful ones) that it is not even funny.


    For the current choice, I will request the army, the Arrows, and the Blackrock reinforcements from Stoneheim. All by chariots. And dump that Watcher's stone in the Albrecht's collection, the last thing we need is for it to distract us at the worst possible moment. I am sure the Creature will bring more slaves with these trinkets to our doorstep.

    Guess that means Biii, Bv, Bvii, Yes.


    Fangshi, some questions.
    1) How much the Arrows are going to cost us this time? An educated guess would be nice, since we can't receive an answer outright.
    2) How quickly the reinforcements from the Arrows, the mercenaries, the Pathfinders and the Royal Army would arrive if we don't encounter unforeseen difficulties? Again, all I need is estimates for all of the options. Also, now that the crows are gone, when can we realistically expect our second eagle to return?
    3) What forces do we have on hand? I didn't see our escort's casualties mentioned anywhere. Were two chariots all that we've lost?
    4) What do our troops think of us? Myora, the rank-and-file, the Royal Escort? How is the morale? Seeing how we have constantly refused to abandon our forces in dicey situations, can we consider the matter of our legitimacy as the leader of our company settled?
    5) Are there any experienced officers in Stoneheim? We are kind of short of them at the moment.
    6) We did ask Bari to bring the supplies in, right? I remember it was mentioned when the option was brought up. If not, what are our options for restocking the Energon Cubes and bringing in some equipment that would help us hold the Fort?
    7) Can we find more animals for Lyssa to work with? I imagine some other birds for scouting, dogs for tracking, and some small intelligent animals like mice or rats for infiltration purposes would be really nice to have. We can't have eagles do all the work around here.
    8) What was our character implying? I didn't quite get it.
    9) On a scale of 1 to 10, how butthurt the Watcher is going to be about the recent developments?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
    ^ Top  
  24. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    621
    Never mind on sending out the chariots for the ghol heads as we already grabbed all the diamonds in our carriage. It's not worth exposing them for 30 gold or whatever it was. We will probably need everyone to clear out the fort.

    I would like to reiterate the question on what went out in the letter to Bari. I voted to ask for energy cubes and to hire a bombard. If that's the case we may be able to get away with less forces when the artillery arrives.
     
    ^ Top  
  25. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Unfortunately, we can't be sure of how many reinforcements Bari will bring with him. The White Mage was talking about bringing the whole army here. He was being sarcastic, of course, but after what happened here, would he remain so? If they bring several Shades with them next time, we might find ourselves in a tight spot. I don't want to take chances. I want everyone and their mother in there, because chances are, we are going to be hit hard.

    I think it is safe to say we'll be seeing the Creature constantly from now on. We are the only entertainment it has left in its unlife.

    Just what the hell is that thing, anyway? Any information on this Creature would be nice. I want to put it into the ground for good. At the rate we are going we'll soon run out of creative ways to kill it. Each time we encounter it, it wisens up to our tricks. Not exactly the safest enemy to have.

    Honestly, I just want the army to take over and then get out of here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
    ^ Top  

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.