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Myth: A New Age CYOA

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

  1. Absinthe Prophet

    Absinthe
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    Cii>Ci
     
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  2. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
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  3. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    I won't have time to write anything today but I should have time for an update tomorrow.

    The vote will close in twenty four hours with an update to come within sixteen hours of that.
     
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  4. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Alright, the vote is closed and Cii takes it.

    Here is the plan you will go with:

    Show Spoiler
    Avian Assault Plan: "Since the sky is finally clear of the crows. While we are busy fighting their vanguard, two of Lyssa's eagles each equipped with a spell ring with something powerful (Greater Firebolt and Greater Energy Bolt respectively) in it would soar in the sky, well beyond the spell range. When the time is right, we give them a signal (say, Uttu's flare in the enemy faces, which can also - probably? - blind them, giving us an additional advantage), whereupon they dive on the enemy from behind at top speed and unleashes the spells at the Mage while we do our best to distract him."

    You have a few proposed force compositions for C, they are as follows, if you do not care about the actual composition of the raiding force then a plain C vote will suffice:

    "Lyssa, Derryth, Thais and Uttu.
    Two of Lyssa's Eagles with a greater energy bolt ring and a greater firebolt ring.
    All Pathfinders with their mortars loaded onto two separate chariots with drivers.
    Ceannard and half his archers. The other half left in overwatch on walls.
    Neel and his scouts.
    Eight chariots loaded with royal guards.
    Four chariots with drivers for our main characters."




    An update should be ready in sixteen hours, give or take one or two.
     
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  5. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    :avatard:
     
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  6. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    Can't wait to see the crazy bullshit you guys want to try to kill off the thin white mage next time.

    :avatard:
     
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  7. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
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    Next time we are going to lose people as we go in for his head to box it up like leftovers for the in-laws. We need to learn/make a stasis or healing spell that can keep a disembodied head alive for long enough for us to get it in there. We don't have any time magic so I think we are going to have to experiment with a healing spell, rodents, and ground mandrake root to see if we can make it work.
     
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  8. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    White mage going to love us. We are preparing new screwed up death for him each time our roads cross. This time carpet bombardment flavour.
     
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  9. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I don't think it will have a desired effect on the Mage.
    Though it makes for another unexpected way of killing him.

    We should probably do some research before we start thinking about getting rid of him for good.
     
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  10. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    I am afraid this is going to be a bit of a good news/bad news sort of post.

    I had something come up tonight which I really could not put off. What that means:

    The Good News:

    The update is about three quarters of the way finished so it should not take too long to complete.

    The Bad News:

    I am not going to have time to finish it for maybe twelve hours or so unless I can get it done in the next thirty minutes (not terribly likely to be honest).

    So I am afraid the update will be delayed by about twelve to fifteen hours, my apologies.

    Also, since apologies are not good for much:

    I have a few finished interludes in one of the folders around here. When I have a moment this week I will type one up and post it so you will get an extra update this week to make up for this one being delayed.


    I am also willing to let you pick which one you get:

    A. Serpent & Christine's Honeymoon Part 2

    B. Amena and Ithapi's boarding school for gifted young cultists.

    C. Nanshe's rebellion
     
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  11. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    C! Seeing how the Thin White Mage outsmarted himself by sending her our way would give me a much needed boost of confidence when dealing with him in the future.

    Besides, I don't think we will have a better opportunity to have an inside look at the ghol society. It is highly unlikely we will poke our curious nose anywhere near their tribes without an army behind our backs.
     
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  12. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
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    No problem Fangshi, we understand that writing this LP is probably 125th down on your list of importance and we appreciate it.

    As for the vote I wouldn't mind any of them but C seems to be the least likely for us to find out on our own.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
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  13. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
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    B. Just out of curiosity.
    Show Spoiler
    D, ALL OF THEM.
     
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  14. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Let's not get greedy. B>C
     
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  15. Sunnmøring Novice

    Sunnmøring
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  16. GreyViper Erudite

    GreyViper
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    B. Amena and Ithapi's boarding school for gifted young cultists. Sounds interesting and take your time. Tis a fine thing we have here, like good vine.
     
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  17. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    B. Let's hear about our own crew first.
     
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  18. Absinthe Prophet

    Absinthe
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  19. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I am a bit unsure about the number of eagles we have.

    We gained two of them in Chapter 32: To the Victors.

    Then we've sent one of them to Muirthemne. I thought it was one of the two, but apparently, there were 3 of them at this point, as our messenger still haven't returned yet.

    And now we have another one of them, up to four.

    How many eagles did Lyssa have, overall? How many can we expect to return, in the best case scenario? Some of them might have been caught in the hut when Mazzarin collapsed it.

    And another question. How smart are the mice and rats we have? The rats at least should be pretty intelligent. What kind of tasks we can expect them to excel at? How good they are at staying unnoticed in the wilderness or indoors, even if somebody wanted to find them? Are there any natural predators around the fort that could impede their tasks? I imagine most of the wildlife would flee before the approaching undead army.
     
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  20. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    She had eight in total though they would go out in rotations. She had two in her hut when Mazzarin crushed it so there are possibly six of them out there.

    They re just your standard mice and rats. They are fairly smart for animals, just don't expect them to do anything too clever or complicated. They should be fairly good at sneaking about and generally doing what mice and rats do. They are also rather wild at the moment so they often disobey orders if they decide they want to do something else. (They are essentially working for you at the moment because Lyssa has promised them all the grains they want and freedom from persecution and cats. So they are a rather 'mercenary' force at the moment.)

    They should be able to move around without being noticed unless someone were looking for them in particular. Of course there are a lot of things that eat mice and rats so those might be a problem. Snakes, burrowing animals, that sort of thing. Your eagles would also normally hunt them so you will need a way to sidestep that tension.



    Also the update is done, when I said twelve hours I guess I meant twenty four. ;)

    It is a rather lengthy one as well so that might be a good/bad thing depending on how you look at it.

    I am just going to give it the once over and post it. I might not have time to include all the rolls and such in the second post but I will add them when I have a moment (maybe in six to eight hours or so if I do not get them up right away).


    Also I will leave the vote for the Interlude open for maybe another thirty hours or so since I am not likely to have time to type one of them up till then.
     
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  21. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Can our spellcasting ring store and successfully execute a Retrieve Item spell? If we specifically prepare the item we want to recall, hold it before our eyes while casting the spell, and make sure there isn't another such item in the world to avoid confusion.

    I guess if it works, then the distance from which we would be able to recall the item, as well as the item's size will be determined by how much power we pour into the spell.

    It would be a very specialized trick, I admit, but I think I have a use for it.
     
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  22. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Chapter 43: The Battle of Blackrock II

    The preparations for your strike have gone well all things considered.

    Thaïs, as always, proved supportive and her words added to your own were more than enough to convince the others to take this risk.

    It will certainly be a challenge, but you feel it is worth it. You do not want the Thin White Mage to finish whatever he is doing and the only way you know how to stop him is to kill him, again.

    It is a bit frustrating, to put all this effort into removing the man, if he is a man, only to have him reappear within days but you can see no way around it. You need him out of the way for as long as possible and you also need to know what he is doing out there. You need to know what that structure he is erecting will be used for and if possible you intend to destroy it.

    For all these reasons you are about to sally forth against an unknown number of mages with unknown capabilities and a small army of undead supporting them.

    You had thought the most difficult part would be convincing people to come with you.

    That proved easy.

    No the most difficult part was convincing a certain someone to stay behind.

    You knew going in that this would not be easy, so you resolved to do it together with Thaïs. Your hope was that your friend's way with people would serve to soften the blow a little, it did not work.

    "What do you mean I have to stay!" she hurls a clay pot across the room. It strikes the wall a metre from where you stand; leaning against a tall writing desk. It shatters into dozens of small, cutting fragments which join a quickly growing mound in the girls' room.

    Thaïs adopts a soothing tone as she approaches the girl, "We are sorry dear but we do not want to put you at risk unnecessarily."

    You just about wince, that is not going to help. Biliku may be a child, but she is also a warrior and no warrior wants to be 'protected'. Particularly one whose self appointed job is to protect others.

    Biliku is absolutely livid. You have not seen her this upset in the entire time you have known her and sure enough the accusations pour forth, "Goddess! Why don't you trust me! Why don't you ever take me with you!"

    "We do trust you dear," your friend tries again, "We just do not want anything to happen to you. The people we will be challenging are very dangerous and-"

    "Oh, dangerous! Right!," she snatches up a cup and pitches it toward the pile, "But it is not too dangerous for Uttu!"

    The knowledge that her little sister will be going with you certainly has not done wonders for her mood either.

    Perhaps it is time to step in, "Kid," Biliku turns toward you as you step toward her, "That is what this is about isn't it. You are worried about Uttu."

    With the cause of her discontent now plain for all to see her demeanour shifts. Manic energy gives way to a profound stillness within the girl.

    "I-" she drops her gaze, studying her feet. She stands in silence as one moment turns to two, then three, "She is all I have left."

    Thaïs begins, "You know we will never let anything happen to her."

    "We promise, we will keep her safe," you add with a reassuring smile.

    Biliku will have none of it, "You can't promise that."

    "Dear we-" your friend begins but you gently stop her.

    "Can we have a minute alone Thaïs," you ask, somewhere between an order and a question.

    "Of course," she replies with a nod. She gives one final look to the girl and withdraws from the room.

    You both watch her go.

    As she exits the room and shuts the door you turn to your protector, "You're right. We can't promise that we will protect her."

    Biliku's eyes betray a hint of gratitude, the truth, it is all she wants.

    You push on as she eyes you carefully, "I won't lie to you here. Any of us could die out there. The people we will be fighting are dangerous and while I hope this plan works I can not guarantee that everyone will make it back," she tries to glance away but you hold her stare, "What I can promise you is that I will take every precaution necessary, and I will not under any circumstance abandon Uttu. You have my word on that."

    She knows you, she trusts you, she would die for you.

    But this is her sister, her responsibility, she is trusting you with and so she hesitates.

    She stares at you, stares into you, your past, your present. She interrogates your very soul with those probing eyes and she finds what she is looking for.

    She knows you will keep your word if you can.

    She throws herself at you.

    It is not the first time and it damn well won't be the last but still you are caught off guard.

    She squeezes you, "Thank you, Derryth. Just, thank you."

    It must be hard for her, poor kid. You imagine she will fret and worry over her sister the entire time you are gone.

    In that instant a peculiar thought takes hold in your mind, "Biliku."

    She looks up at you, "Yes?"

    "Since I am borrowing one of the most important people in your world, I think it is only fair that you borrow one of the most important people in mine," she releases you as you remove your pack and begin to root through it.

    You drop down onto her bed and motion for her to sit next to you, which she dutifully does.

    "Ah, here he is!" you exclaim as you dramatically produce a single worn tome from your pack.

    She eyes the book sceptically, "There, there is a person in there?"

    You laugh. But on reflection it is not such a silly question. After all there is a person in your bracelet and a living, severed head in your room. From her perspective you might have a man trapped in a book as well.

    You hand her the tome and she reads the inscription on the cover, "On the Cycles of Light and Dark by Professor Henry Jones."

    She turns the book over in her hands, testing its weight and durability as if it were a weapon.

    As she opens it you explain, "That book was given to me by the most important person in my life up until this year. He used it as a teaching aid, though I will admit I often didn't pay attention, he used it as a research text, and he used it as a journal. Everything you could ever want to know about the man is tucked into the pages of that book," one such page comes loose and drifts down toward the floor.

    You snatch it up and hold it out for her to see, "This is a perfect example. You see the black text there," she nods as she follows your finger, "That is one of only seven intact accounts of the first diplomatic meetings between the Province's General Gaeth and Tenqgor of the Western Skrael during the Great War, the result of which was the first alliance between men and skrael since the fall of Yer-Ks. It was one of the many alliances the Province signed with neighbouring peoples when the Fallen Lords pushed westward."

    Biliku nods attentively but it is clear that little of it is sticking. It occurs to you that she, likely does not even know who the Fallen Lords were, what with spending her whole life underground and all.

    Still it is of little actual importance for your first lesson, "Anyway, see the blue writing in the margins here," again she nods, "Those are Henry's notes to himself and to me, in this case he decided it would be of use to him to have me learn Skrael. We must have spent three months wandering up and down the edge of the Deep Mire looking for a skrael that would not attack us on sight. We slept in caves and in trees with rocks and logs for pillows and the whole damn time it rained, and rained and rained," you beam as you recount the tale and Biliku nestles up next to you, leaning her head on your shoulder, worn down from worrying and her earlier tantrum.

    "So after three months of chasing after a damn 'friendly' skrael we finally find one. Well, turns out that he only speaks Fir'Bolg and half a dozen words of Bruig. We must have spent ten, maybe twelve, months slowly winning over his trust and then he drops dead," you shake your head, chuckling to yourself, "Turns out he was the equivalent of a ninety two year old human. Honestly it was a miracle he made it as long as he did."

    Biliku grins and looks up at you, "So that is what you meant. His life is in this book, so he is in this book."

    "Exactly," you help her turn back to the correct page and slip the torn sheet back in, "But not just his life," you turn to the middle of the volume, flipping past well worn pages till you reach newly written text, "Henry would often lend the book to me for large periods of time. He would say, 'Derryth! I want everything there is to know about land claims south of Tyr! And I want it by next week!' Now usually by the next week he would have completely forgotten about it, but I still had to write something to make it look like I was busy. So I would do the research sure, but I would also write what I was thinking, or what was going on at the time. There is a lot of 'me' in that book as well."

    "And you are giving it to me?" she stares at it in reverence.

    "For a while, yes," you smile down at her, "Until we get back it is all yours. Read it, learn from it, maybe put a little of yourself in it too."

    "That's... wow," she glances up at you and grins, "I will! I mean, if I can think of anything I will be sure to write about it! Thank you!"

    She begins to quickly leaf through the pages, running back through the book to the beginning.

    You quietly see yourself out as she rolls onto her bed and begins to read, her feet tracing circles in the air as she rests on her stomach, nose firmly lodged in the book.

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

    The sun on his back, the cool mountain air in his lungs, the sound of obedient slaves in his ears. There is nowhere he would rather be right now, he can even forgive the Shades for sticking him out here. Ordering him to build their little plaything, he has no need for it, it is too brutish, to inelegant, a means to victory. Just thinking about the structure fills him with, well it would fill him with disdain if he could work up the motivation.

    He pushes the thought from his mind, no sense nibbling at such meagre fare when a feast is nearby. He focuses on this day, the sun, the air, the sounds.

    It is perfect.

    Well, almost perfect.

    It is missing something.

    It is missing them. Those delightful, clever, little darlings. But he will fix that soon enough.

    In nine hours and twenty three minutes they'll be his.

    For the first time in an age he grins and it is genuine.

    They are two for two and that is far better than the vast majority of the world will ever do.

    They are good, so good in fact that he must possess them, he will possess them.

    Should they fail, and they will eventually fail, he will pick them up, dust them off and induct them, with all the ceremony befitting their station, into his inner circle. They will love him, they always do.

    But until then he lives for the next surprise.

    The Copper Mage approaches.

    He reflects on that moniker, 'The Copper Mage'. Fitting, for that is all it is now, a copper mage that builds and levels, with metal and lightning, but once his servant had a name. When it was lord and master over all it surveyed. Yes, this 'Copper Mage' was once a king amongst kings. He bested the Thin White Mage four times and for that was rewarded with service within the Creature's most inner circle. This fallen king loves him, they always do.

    Ah, and as if on cue. Or rather, exactly on cue. His other servants come to him. There it walks, in that Wyrd-awful fuchsia, it was once an instructor at the premier magical academy in the Old Cath Bruig. An expert at air magic, a 'Goddess of the Winds', so to speak. She bested him five times but three of those were before he became... as he is. She too was awarded a place within his most intimate sphere and just as all the others, she too loves him.

    These two together will be all he needs to capture his pretty, little things.

    He just needs time an-

    A dull being in dark brown leather approaches, another slave, a puppet to him and Puppet is all he will ever be for he does not even bother with names. It speaks to him, warns him of his approaching prey.

    Magnificent.

    He is not ready but it matters little. This time he will not lose, one way or the other, through cunning or force, he will win the day.

    They are not content to hide, his pretty, little things, and he loves them for it.

    No doubt they have some great trick to play on him, he can taste it, smell it, feel it drawing closer.

    And he wonders as the enemy makes contact, whose trick will win the day?

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

    Everything is ready. The mortars are in position to your left, the archers led by Ceannard are deployed further on and to either side of the mortar. Finally your chariots wait in the wings in case you require a quick strike or a sudden retreat. Neel's men should also be in position by now, stationed in hiding along what is likely to be the enemy's flank.

    You and your fellow mages remain well back with Uttu, ready to commit to any spot that looks like it needs additional aid.

    Already your enemy forms up ahead of you and begins to advance, it seems you have not caught them completely by surprise but there is nothing you can do about it now as you elect to commence your attack.

    On your command Bari's mortars and Ceannard's archers unleash a truly withering amount of fire into the oncoming undead. The first volley is devastating, soulless fall by the score as they push on with the mages spread out behind and the thralls in the middle.

    Bari orders Ori to aim directly for the Creature, the shell will move faster than most people can see so it is certainly worth a shot but you are not surprised when it fails to connect. The Thin, White Mage does not move a single muscle to defend himself. Instead one of the mages in the Creature's command group casts out a cone of coppery fluid that spreads out, saturating the air space in front of the Creature. As the shell passes into it, it explodes with a great show of sound and fury that fails to even scorch the mages' clothes.

    Ceannard tries next with a single volley from his archers. Over a dozen arrows hurtle through the air toward the Creature. This time the second mage unleashes a spell. A powerful and foul gust of wind sweeps the arrows well off course long before they reach their intended targets.

    Quickly, both the Arrows and the Pathfinders redirect their fire toward the rapidly approaching undead.

    The remaining soulless are now well in advance of the rest of the army and are pushing along at top speed to reach your lines. As they do so they serve both as a distraction and as a screen for the remaining thralls.

    Which is odd when you think about it.

    The Creature is using his hollowmen to protect his thralls as they approach. You are no general but you think that they would be better employed the other way round. Common sense would dictate that he use the, largely worthless and expendable, thralls to protect the more valuable and versatile soulless until they could unleash a few volleys of their own.

    You wonder what he is up to.

    It certainly is a puzzle and not one you really want to deal with at the moment. Still you set your mind to the task, raising your spyglass you examine the advancing formations. The remaining soulless should be no problem, there are barely five left already, another volley and you should have complete ranged mastery save for the enemy mages.

    The thralls however have been allowed to advance half of the distance to your position without suffering a casualty.

    They could do a lot of damage if they reach your line but again, you are no strategist. Those thralls should be slow and they are bunched together in groups of five. Your men should be able to pick them off at their leisure.

    As the thought crosses your mind the sky begins to darken and a strong breeze begins to build. The second mage is once more casting it seems, drumming up some sort of storm. You glance to a distant copse of trees, not a one stirs. The spell is aimed specifically a your men, a few of which are forced to take several steps back and properly brace themselves. This will greatly reduce the range of your projectiles unfortunately.

    Well, at least this spell is not likely to hamper your eagles, you just hope they are in their places and remember the plan.

    Your attention is pulled back to the battlefield as the Thin White Mage begins to cast. Something odd and powerful, it takes the form of a slight tune upon the wind, upbeat and lively but it does not seem to be directly dangerous.

    You casually turn your attention back to the running thralls, wait, the running thralls?

    You focus in on them, sure enough, they are sprinting across the battlefield.

    Some bellow in excitement, lending their voices to the music carried on the wind. Others swing their weapons wildly through the air as they bare their teeth, hungry looks in their eyes.

    Whatever those are, though they may look like thralls, they are certainly not thralls.

    Worse yet, some of them begin casting, harnessing the storm above them. They stoke its fury and summon its wrath.

    A bolt of blue lightning cracks down from the sky and obliterates two of your chariots. A second bolt hits one of your mortars. Ori howls and throws himself in the dirt. You can not tell if he is alive or dead.

    While their brethren bring down the storm others begin to twist, transforming as they run.

    They become great broken backed stallions, rotting, flayed bulls, screaming beasts of madness and despair. Part of you shudders at these transformations, even as you marvel at them.

    Shapeshifting is a lost art, the only known practitioner of which was Soulblighter and as far as anyone knew he took that secret to the grave with him. How these creatures know how to do it is beyond you.

    As you examine them though your keen eyes spot discrepancies. These things don't move correctly for the animals they are fashioned from, the way they run, the way they leap. You think they might be illusions. You hope they are illusions at least and the thought gives you courage.

    You begin to shout the order to shift fire but your captains have already taken the initiative.

    You watch as Bari shouts new coordinates to his men. A volley of shells, grenades and cocktails fill the air but due to the storm many of them fail to reach their targets. Worse yet, it begins to rain. The enemy must be trying to silence your dwarves with a little water but the Pathfinders seem undeterred. The mortar continues to fire as they switch from cocktails to their special grenades.

    Ceannard's men also manage to put up a steady and reasonably accurate rate of fire, dropping almost a dozen of your enemies in a single volley.

    You feel the need to step in but quickly remember that these beasts are simply expendable pawns. The Creature alone is likely to require all your abilities and those two mages with him do not seem weak either. From what you have seen here and the strength of their casting auras you are fairly confident that each of them is also a match for both you and your friend combined. In a fair fight you would be easily outgunned, thankfully you do not intend to fight fair.

    A cheer encroaches on your thoughts.

    As the beasts begin to drop the spells around them fail and those that have 'shifted' instantly snap back to their human forms. You were right, they were merely illusions meant to scare your men and against weaker soldiers they may have worked but the Arrows are the best and the Pathfinders simply will not run from a fight.

    The music on the wind builds, it flows over you and through you but it is becoming clear that it is not aimed at you. As it builds to a crescendo the thralls begin to glow slightly and leap into the air. Easily, they cover the distance between them and your line of battle in mere moments.

    Uttu squeaks in horror at this new threat levelled against her idol.

    "Some sort of physical spell?" you mutter.

    Thaïs nods, "Looks that way," concern creeping into her voice.

    Your enemies land amongst the Arrows and their axes reap a bloody toll on the mercenaries before they can react. In moments Ceannard loses half of his force, mostly newer recruits as his fully trained Arrows roll and weave out of the way. Quickly they draw their falchions and proceed to take the fight to the enemy. They may be masters with the bow and lightly armoured but it seems they do not lack skill with a blade. As you watch Ceannard personally drops a pair of attackers with a well placed feint, a roll and two quick cuts.

    Uttu cheers with each cut and thrust, you think you hear her mutter, "I want a sword like that."

    The thralls are falling, though not as quickly as you had hoped. These things certainly fight better than normal thralls but their equipment still drags them down, it is heavy and poorly made. The results are telling.

    With your enemies now hopelessly entangled with your own forces most of the Pathfinders and some of your escort quickly rush into the melee.

    As you focus on the fight something catches your eye. You focus in on the face of the nearest monstrosity. As the rain soaks it, it appears to be melting. Or rather the blues and greens of its face are running down its neck. Instantly you grasp the importance of this information. These things are not some secret arcane horrors, they are not even thralls, hell, they are not even undead. They are human. Completely human, a few of them may be mages but other than that they are simply sell swords in your enemy's employ. Your men quickly realize the same and cheers ring out along your line as the information spreads. Still, they are fighting with a suicidal conviction that you would not expect from mere sell-swords. You wonder how exactly your enemy has managed to acquire such loyal servants.

    Speaking of your enemy you turn your gaze back to his last location but he is gone.

    Has he withdrawn?

    You scan the battlefield.

    No, he has not fled.

    In fact he is rapidly advancing with his two mages in tow and a fourth figure in brown leather.

    His party is advancing on you, using the distraction caused by his men to cross the battlefield unmolested.

    This is it, he will reach your group in moments and you hope that everyone is prepared.

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

    They have been surprisingly direct so far. It disappoints him. It bores him.

    He knows that they must have some sort of trick awaiting him but he does not care anymore.

    Either he will win for himself a delightful surprise or he will win them. Both outcomes are satisfactory.

    As he closes, he raises a single hand, drawing his servants to heel.

    Puppet steps forward, today he shall be the Thin White Mage's mouthpiece.

    "Good afternoon," his puppet greets those lovely creatures with a slight bow.

    "Um, hi," it is not either of his targets that replies, they merely eye his man coolly, but a third woman.

    He eyes her, interrogating her as his puppet continues to speak, "You, ah, you are the signal from the ridge, correct?"

    She hesitates for a moment then nods.

    He smiles warmly though there is not a single ember of real warmth left in him.

    "Marvellous!" the puppet clasps his hands together, "I came for two and I shall receive three. You will of course come with your friends into my service."

    "Your service?" the mage replies, she glances from the puppet to his master, "You are speaking through this poor man?"

    The Creature grins to himself and orders his puppet to nod.

    Good, this child is not a complete dullard and may also be of use if given time and proper instruction.

    "We aren't going anywhere," the lead mage replies.

    She has, hmm, spirit perhaps?

    Most unbecoming in a lady or a servant and doubly damning here.

    Well he will simply have to cure her of that, "I would prefer if you came of your own free will. It is so much more pleasant that way and I am sure you will agree-"

    "I sincerely doubt that sir," the second mage interrupts.

    Rude, these two are rude, it annoys him slightly, "My dears there is nothing you can do to me here. My servants will protect me from any spells you may wish to cast and I can assure you that your soldiers will not be able to overcome our combined might. You have put up a splendid performance, though this last act of yours is perhaps wanting, still I must say I am impressed."

    He glances past them at the child standing nearby, his puppet steps forward as it speaks, "What a little dear you have there. Is she a mage too perhaps? Would you like to come with your friends dear?"

    She sticks out her tongue.

    Little brat.

    He has no time for children, perhaps he will feed this one to the 'master's' priests. A fitting end for such a creature to be sure.

    He turns his attention back to the lead mage as she once more insists on speaking out of turn, something about 'fighting to their last' or some other such nonsense. Such poor behaviour, he shakes his head in disappointment as he gestures for Fuchsia to increase the ferocity of her storm.

    The rain turns to hail and thunder rumbles low through the mountains drowning out the lead mage's mewing. She is beaten, whatever she has to say is of little importance. A rival might deserve such respect but a child deserves nothing but punishment.

    Hmm... punishment.

    Perhaps he should kill their young child now as a lesson, though they might well attack. People can be so terribly unreasonable about such things.

    He might lose a single follower, perhaps two, to their first volley of spells but it would be a fair trade all things considered. He would lose a pair of toys but gain three new ones to mould and shape as he sees fit.

    Yes.

    A fair trade.

    He begins to cast.

    The girl will die he-

    Surprise.

    Two quick volleys from behind.

    The arrows fly true coming from beyond the limits of Fuchsia's spells. She falls without so much as a scream and as she dies her spell dies with her.

    He turns to spot a small group of archers, but nothing he can not handle. An ambush, clever girls, but nothing more than clever. To be brilliant they would have to do so much more.

    Quick as thought he issues his orders. To Copper he hisses kill, and points at the archers.

    Copper grins as bolts of electricity dance across his fingers and he marches toward the archers, incinerating their arrows as he goes.

    He cuts loose on the enemy, easily vapourizing three of them within moments and catches the lead archer in the hip; throwing him to the ground. Ah, at least Copper never disappoints.

    To his puppet he whispers capture, the thought slides easily from his mind to that of his servant.

    With a nod Puppet is gone, fading into thin air as his invisibility spells take hold.

    Unfortunately those rude girls have decided to attack as well. Puppet, loyal servant that he is immediately moves to protect his master as is only natural.

    He is quick but only just quick enough to die as the three ladies each loose an elemental spell. Winds buffet Puppet preventing his advance as fire and lightning weave around one another binding together and feeding off each other in a way the Thin White Mage has never encountered before.

    The braided purple bolt strikes Puppet. His skin cracks, blackens and flakes off. He wobbles till the spells devour his knees and he falls backward carried by the wind. Crashing into the rocky ground, he dissolves into nothing.

    Well this is most unpleasant.

    While their surprise is not terribly interesting it has already cost him two of his more interesting pieces. If he loses Copper then this whole expedition will have been a net loss.

    As if on cue Copper's signal drops out. With a frustrated sigh he focuses on the cause of this further annoyance. It seems a couple of his enemy's soldiers have managed to slip away from the fighting.

    A pair of dwarves bicker over his servant's corpse, "Damn it Bari! It counts as my kill! See that blow there? That was from my staff!"

    Those two will pay for killing one of his finest pieces, particularly one as useful as Copper and he knows just the spell to do it.

    "You must be losing it old man!" the second dwarf replies, "See that knife sticking out of his throat? That is my knife and I am telling you it counts as my kill! Hell it should count as double points on account of being a mage! That would put me ahead by exactly-"

    Damn it all!

    He missed.

    That old dwarf is far faster than he expected.

    The two dwarves roll together along the rough path and spring back to their feet.

    His spell continues to dissolve the ground they had been standing on.

    He is now severely outnumbered.

    Still he does have a way out, gifted to him by the shades in case he was 'once more outsmarted by children'. He shudders slightly, he is going to have trouble living this down.

    He reaches into his robes and withdraws a half metre long shard of black stone. It pulses, alive in his hand as he begins the incantation.

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

    You're plan is working, the Creature is now alone, without allies and living shields to absorb what will come next.

    Hell, you might even be able to beat him now without your last surprise.

    Everything has gone so wonderfully. Then in moments it all threatens to come crashing down.

    The Creature produces a rod of pitch black stone. It takes you mere moments to realize what you are looking at, it is possibly the largest piece of the Watcher you have ever seen and as he holds it before him he begins to chant. The rod is carved along its length, strange sigils and runes glow silver and red along its surface.

    Even looking at it pulls on your mind. You want to possess it, need to possess it and glancing around the battlefield you are not the only one.

    A thin black tendril of ethereal energy extends toward you and you are powerless to stop it. It hovers in front of you and a similar tendril snakes toward each of your allies. They are dark, cold and wet, a manifestation of the Creature's will as fuelled by his master's near limitless powers.

    Most of your soldiers are too far now to help and those that might serve as threats are all bound by similar tendrils.

    Your companions look at one another, hate in their eyes, all it will take is a single order, a single instruction and they would slaughter each other to possess the rod.

    Even your own extensive training does little good as you feel your mind pulled toward the rod.

    You cast about, looking for some sort of aid as your reserves begin to fade, Caoilainn screams in agony, already lost to the rod. You search for your allies but even Thaïs and Lyssa seem close to the very edge. All may well be lost, your eyes begin to close, then a flash of light crosses your vision and strikes the Creature head on.

    Uttu has managed to fire her flare. The Creature must have forgotten about her in the chaos.

    Your mind begins to fold but you smile. If the eagles can just reach you in time.

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

    The flare is more of an annoyance than a serious threat now though he will miss that arm.

    It will take him at least half a day to replace it and he finds that quite vexing really.

    Still he has no one to blame but himself. To think he missed the child, thought her defenceless due to her age. It is not a mistake he will make again.

    Well, no matter, it was simple to fix, one more tendril and hardly worth mentioning.

    The incantation is working splendidly, in a few more moments the tendrils will attach themselves and he will be able to use one half of his enemies to slaughter the other.

    Then he will make his captives pay.

    Those dwarves, perhaps he will pour molten copper down their throats, that would be fitting.

    That child, he will need to think of something special for her, perhaps the boats? Or the saw? Maybe the compression disks. Or perhaps, just perha-

    Well that certainly came as a surprise.

    Death from the skies.

    He hums to himself as he drifts away on the breeze.

    Maybe next time ladies.

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

    "That is a rather deep hole," Lyssa is the first to speak and she sounds awfully impressed.

    It is a rather deep hole you are proud to admit, maybe three metres by one metre.

    The way your spells interacted was actually a bit terrifying.

    A serpent of fire and a great bird of thunder, each crashed into the other and attempted to tear one another apart. At the centre of it all stood your enemy, a direct hit from both of your eagles ensured his demise. They hissed as they burnt off his clothes, they screeched as they devoured his flesh, peeling large chucks off his slender frame.

    They screamed together as they cracked and crushed his bones and he just stood there, in shock.

    The flames and smoke cast up from his body quickly became electrified as arcs of azure energy coiled around him. The spells even hit him with such velocity that they burned this hole into the very rock. It was quite impressive, you are not afraid to admit.

    He died quickly but painfully and you can't say you are sorry to see him go, even if it is only temporary.

    If one thing disturbed you about the whole affair, it was the eternal smile plastered to his face and the excitement that mingled with the flames, dancing in his eyes.

    As he faded away you could swear that three words were carried to you on the breeze.

    Next time ladies.

    You shudder slightly but you are victorious and now you must decide what to do with your victory.


    1. The Structure: The Creature's party was building something. You need to decide what to do with it.

    A) Leave it. You do not want to waste any time with it. (No extra time)

    B) Level it. Have the Pathfinders try to destroy it with their remaining mortar. At least you will force the enemy to start over again from the beginning. (Ten minutes?)

    C) Investigate it. This may take time, which you may not have, but you will attempt to study the structure and determine what its purpose is. (Unknown time)

    D) 'Investigate it. This may take time, which you may not have, but you will attempt to study the structure and determine what its purpose is. Use the time the chariots are taking to shuttle your wounded to investigate. If it is important to the enemy and has unreplaceable components that can't be easily taken, level it. If it has important components that you can transport, steal them. If it is nothing special leave it and save the ammo for the army.'

    E) freeform


    The Wounded: You have several wounded from the battle but you do have some mandrake roots on hand. You could use them to heal some of your forces while you could try transporting others in your chariots. Note: your force can only travel as quickly as its slowest members. (For example, if the dwarves have to walk then that is the speed you will travel at. If necessary you will send any wounded ahead though.)

    2. Ori: He is alive but only barely. Thankfully you have now mastered the Heal spell so a single mandrake root should almost bring him back to healthy condition.

    A) Of course you will heal him. (1 mandrake root, 1 minute)

    B) You will use your mundane medicine to try to save him. You do not want to use a root just yet. If you can get him stabilized you will need to use a chariot to transport him (1 chariot, 25 minutes)

    C) You will link up with Thaïs and Lyssa to cast Heal on Ori without using a mandrake root. This will be a bit more difficult than simply using a root so it will take a little more time. It will also use up one third of your remaining magical reserves. (5 minutes)


    3. Neel: He is badly injured but it is not likely fatal. You could easily heal him with a mandrake root or you could try to patch him up and send him back to the fort in a chariot.

    A) You will use a mandrake root. (1 mandrake root, 1 minute)

    B) You will quickly patch him up and send him by chariot. (1 chariot, 10 minutes)

    C) You will link up with Thaïs and Lyssa to cast Heal on Neel without using a mandrake root. This will be a bit more difficult than simply using a root so it will take a little more time. It will also use up one third of your remaining magical reserves. (5 minutes)


    4. Your Soldiers: You currently have five wounded soldiers in various conditions (Four Black Arrows and a dwarf from your escort). How do you want to treat them?

    A) Use mandrake roots on all of them (5 mandrake roots, 5 minutes)

    B) Use mandrake roots on the seriously wounded and send the lightly wounded in chariots (2 mandrake roots, 3 chariots, 15 minutes)

    C) Do not use mandrake roots on any of them. Try and save them with mundane medicine and use chariots to transport them (5 chariots, 60 minutes)


    5. The Black Rod: It currently sits smouldering at the bottom of the hole you made. From what you can see it is not damaged in the slightest. Merely looking at it fills you with the urge to pick it up and wield it but you hold yourself back. What do you want to do with it?

    A) Leave it. You do not want that thing anywhere near you or your people. You will fill in the hole and trap it. If the enemy finds it at least you are likely to kill a few of them as they recover it.

    B) Take it. You do not really want it around and you have no intention of actually handling it (or letting your other mages handle it) but you will not leave something this powerful for the enemy.

    C)'Throw it in the tunnels and then collapse them. You'll wait outside, far, far away from it until the job is done. Have a chariot drag the staff to the fort and have a dwarf with no magical affinity as driver and a separate dwarf carry it to the tunnels and cover it in molten metal. Cover it in lead if you have enough. If you have almost enough base metals to cover it then consider smelting gold into the mixture to get enough.'

    D) freeform

    6. You can send messages to the following parties, trying to coordinate your actions with them. (Select as many as you wish, those options that receive more than half the votes will be chosen. If you do not wish to send a message then simply select B)

    A) You will send out messages:

    i. 'Send a letter via an eagle to Albrecht explaining that you have engaged the main Watcher's army and though you are holding your ground, you are taking casualties. Also send him a detailed breakdown of the Watcher's forces that Nanshe have given you. Request any assistance he can bring, legally or illegally.'

    ii. 'Send an eagle to intercept your Stoneheim reinforcements en route and warn them about the enemy sieging the fort so that they would know what to expect. Have them keep the eagle so that they can communicate with you when they get near the Fort. You may have to plan a way for them to get into the Fort through the enemy forces, to use them as a diversion for when you need to make a move, or to have them strike in the enemy rear at the decisive moment.'

    B) Don't send any messages. You want the eagles on hand.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
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  23. Fangshi Arcane

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

    Party Changes:

    Show Spoiler
    Derryth:

    Lost the Following Item:

    1. 'On the Cycles of the Light and the Dark' - lent to Biliku

    2. Four Energon Cubes: (One Energon Cube used to maximize her firebolt spell without draining herself, three used to cast greater firebolt to the ring without draining yourself at all.)

    3. Your Gold Ring - Lent out to one of Lyssa's eagles

    Thaïs:

    Lost the Following Item:

    1. Four Energon Cubes: (One Energon Cube used to maximize her energy bolt spell without draining herself, three used to cast greater energy bolt to her ring without draining yourself at all.)

    2. Her Gold Ring - Lent out to Lyssa's other eagle.

    Lyssa:

    Lost the Following Items:

    1. Two Energon Cubes: (Both used to maximize her strong wind spell without draining herself.)


    Organizational Changes:

    Show Spoiler
    Lost Personnel:

    1. Three veteran human archers


    Rolls:


    Show Spoiler
    As a battle there were naturally a number of rolls involved in the update.

    Each group made a number of checks as you rapidly deployed and the TWM's forces deployed in defence. Nothing much out of the ordinary happened here. Neel's men had to make a few checks to sneak into the enemy's flank/rear and that was about it except for general movement rolls.

    As the battle began you ranged units opened fire and did quite well really. The enemy could not return fire as both the mortars and the Arrows (master archers that they are) had greater range than the soulless. They simply had to eat the first volley and you did a lot of damage there.

    Then the enemy mages began to cast and your rolls started to sour a little.

    The enemy sell-swords and mages had a few rolls as they crossed the battlefield and those lightning bolts were scattered across the field at random with another pair of rolls.

    The illusions cast on the human soldiers also had a few sets of rolls attached to them. The first set was whether or not any of your people would fall for the illusion, they all did and even Derryth was fooled for about a minute. The second set of rolls dealt with whether or not your men would be bothered by the illusions. They all passed these checks. The veteran Arrows (Black Arrows) made an easy check to hold their ground as they really are 'professionals', their newer recruits also had to make a check which was harder but certainly not impossible.

    The dwarves did not have to roll. If the Royal Guards lose you then they are all expected to kill themselves so there is no point running. The Pathfinders are functionally fearless as a group, Pathfinders simply do not run.

    The TWM made a roll to jump his soldiers into your line of battle and that went fine.

    Once in melee both sides made a number of rolls. The fake thralls' axes were capable of killing Arrows quite quickly but the Arrows are fast and hardly defenceless. There was a second set of rolls as well to see if the dwarves would hold back a bit or fully engage. They chose to fully engage the enemy so from that point on you were more or less alone.

    TWM and his followers crossed the battlefield without noticing Neel. Neel managed to successfully ambush them but only dropped one target. There were rolls attached to both the movement and the ambush.

    Then you had the final few rounds of rolls.

    First were Copper's attacks on the Archers. He under-performed a little as he should have been able to kill all five. Instead he 'merely' killed three and wounded Neel. Your top tracker's luck held as he just managed to dodge the spell (essentially a luck roll).

    Next came your barrage of spells and Puppet's roll to try and stop you. He managed to put himself between you and your target but simply was not quick enough to cast anything that might have saved him from your combined spells.

    While this was happening Bari and Alvis managed to break free of the fighting and come to your aid. Almost all mages in Myth are 'glass cannons', very powerful but just as mortal as anyone else. The Pathfinders blindsided Copper and dropped him quite quickly. The rolls involved were difficult though, they just make it look easy.

    Everyone that was targeted by the Thin White Mage's spell received a will check or two. These checks merely determined how quickly you would fall to the Watcher's influence not whether you could resist it entirely. The Watcher is so much more powerful than you are that the option to directly battle his will simply is not there, it would be like trying to empty an ocean with a bucket, it is not going to happen.

    However the TWM did not attack Uttu as he did not deem her worth his time. She had not done anything through the entire battle and he does have a tendency to underestimate people. I would not expect him to fail in that way again.

    The eagles did not need a roll. Once they were committed to their diving run there was no way for the Creature to save himself unless he knew ahead of time that the strike was coming. Your spells tore him apart quiet nicely.

    There were a few rolls unrelated to the battle in this update as well:

    There were a few CHA and WIS based checks during your conversation with Biliku while you were trying to calm her down. Nothing of too much importance though but your successes there did do a bit to calm her and help her focus. There may have been consequences had you completely failed to convince her (she might have slipped out and followed your group by herself).

    There were a number of rolls for the main army advancing towards your position.

    There were a number of rolls also for three separate events that you will not know about for at least a little while.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
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  24. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    That fucker have killed our trackers!

    THAT FUCKER HAVE KILLED OUR TRACKERS!!!

    MURDER! DEATH! KILL! A million deaths are not enough for the Thin White Mage! :argh:

    Otherwise, not half bad of a job. A shame about the Arrows, though.

    All I know is that I want to bury that rod either under our Fort walls so that the enemy would have to take EXTREME casualties retrieving it, or throw it in the tunnels and then collapse them. We'll wait outside, far, far away from it until the job is done. No way this thing is going back to the enemy easily.

    Take precautions while handling it, too. Disarm the warriors that are going to carry it, and tie them to chariots with ropes so that we could pull them back if anything happens. Have them checked afterwards, too.

    How long until the enemy army is upon us?

    Also:
    6. Send a letter via an eagle to Albrecht explaining that we have engaged the main Watcher's army and though we are holding our ground, we are taking casualties. Also send him a detailed breakdown of the Watcher's forces that Nanshe have given us. Request any assistance he can bring, legally or illegally. The last time we sent a request, we didn't know what we were about to deal with. The Lords do not need to see that letter, though he may want to go through the legal channels anyway.

    We need reinforcements, airships (the easiest way to get the reinforcements in once the siege begins), mortars, energon cubes, mandrake roots, a general/tactician or two to help us hold the fort, a lot of explosives (I have a plan of what to do with them), and a lot of lead to hold that Watcher's stone or to ward off the area it is going to be buried under.

    Sending us a little now would save his kingdom a lot of trouble later. Have him pull some strings, if need be. He might want to do it before the Thin Mage returns with the rest of the Watcher some other bullshit up his sleeve.

    Essentially:
    This, please.

    Also, Fangshi, please renew the list of our forces that were left after the battle.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
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