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  #126  
Unread 11th of June, 2008, 15:10
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"Oh, I think we can come up with something, but the concern is that we would have to frighten them enough so that they wouldn't come back any time soon... which doesn't seem likely. I do not think heading into the storm is a good idea at the moment anyway."
  #127  
Unread 14th of June, 2008, 19:56
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Deciding that discretion is the better part of valour, Lade leads the way down the steps and motions silently to Finn that they are leaving to try and find a path to the tower without a blockade.

Outside the terrible storm glares down, thunder rumbles and flashes of red and white dance. Looking at the barricade from street level shows no signs of the hiding rats, but it seems certain that they are watching. Waiting for anybody foolish enough to try and pass by.

Keeping one eye behind them as they retreat, the scene shows no sudden signs of life. Backtracking, circling around and then reapproaching takes much longer than it ought to due to the maze-like quality of the narrow winding paths through the city.

After almost half an hour spent walking, a time which has fortunately seen only two of the mysterious shafts of white coming to ground nearby and stealing chunks of whatever they touch, the party find themselves stood upon a small step terrace. The reduced height of the structures ahead provides a view across the centre of this part of the city, including The Broken Tower itself.

The air above the ruined tower wobbles slightly much like a heat haze in the dead of winter. Pulsing like an invisible heart, the column of distorted air stretches from the ruins up to the storm above. The centre of the storm. A twisting eye of light grey shrouded in black clouds. Here the red lightning is far more common, erupting outwards almost constantly. The sound of thunder overlaps again and again forming a continuous rumbling sound that all can feel in their very bones.

Looking down at the small plaza around the tower there are scores of rats. Size and colour seem to be a forgotten division. Now they swarm together, white, black, grey, brown, all as one. Numerous firepits dot the debris strewn landscape, some seem to be being used for cooking. Some sit in clusters, others man the cooking fires and the rest dance. A steady stream, maybe two or three a minute, of the creatures emerge from the tower to join their fellows. Small bands of the creatures abandon the celebration every so often and set out.

The thunder drowns out any sound the creatures may be making.
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  #128  
Unread 16th of June, 2008, 08:49
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As soon as Finn spots the rats he crouches down motioning the others to do the same. The traveler focuses his eyes on the ensuing chaos, taking in the magnitude of the situation he has found himself in. "We better alert the priests of this ever increasing rat army. But we need to know what their intentions are. Do you think the elder rats are still in the tower? I could try to move ahead and see if I can get a good look at the tower. I honestly don't think there are enough sword bearers in the whole city to stop these rats. They're very fast with their blades and they're clever enough to set up perimeter guards."

Finn watches the departing rats trying to get a sense of their intened direction.
  #129  
Unread 17th of June, 2008, 10:43
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"I don't think ya could get that close without being eaten," Lade said trying to count the rats out in view. "Besides which, from the looks of things they dont seem very opposed to the portal being open anymore. Goddamnit all," he swore, punching the ground with his fist. "We're going from bad to worse here. The rats could be beaten, but it would take a small army and it would be bloody - more so with that blastard storm.

"Unless anyone can think of something else I'm all for getting out and warning everyone about the damn rat army before it's too late. And if on the way out we happen to notice some nice isolated rats, a prisoner for questioning wouldn't hurt."
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  #130  
Unread 17th of June, 2008, 11:43
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A nod is all Malkanus can muster in response to Lade's frustration. Finally he swallows and pushes asides his swirling thoughts. "If the portal truly is open, which is damned well looks like, we might be in for a hell of a ride here. We need to get back immediately to see if we can find a way to shut down the portal before more rats flood into the city."

They said they were guarding it! Damn it.

Gatekeeper, give me wisdom...
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  #131  
Unread 19th of June, 2008, 06:30
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Shihiram calmly looks at the others, and nods. "Yes, let us return to the priests. We have little information to work on here."
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Unread 23rd of June, 2008, 03:24
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Avoiding what looks to be certain death, the party head out of the Broken Tower district with haste. Not that the distinction between the plague area and the larger region of Edinhumber holds any real distinction with the arrival of the storm and the hordes of rats.

Taking care to avoid passing the barricaded street again, the party quickly find themselves at one of the hastily constructed brick walls which marks the edge of the quarantined area, the door having been destroyed only yesterday by men seeking the fortune attached to each rat head. Perhaps not even Lord Franchesca has large enough coffers to cover the army currently swarming throughout the city.

Distant screams and shrieks, both of the rats and any common folk too obstinate to leave, provide a constant background noise with regular punctuation courtesy of the raging storm above. Looking up at the extent of the clouds it seems that the storm has already covered Edinhumber entirely and the pillars of light are starting to fall upon the neighbouring regions of the city.

Rounding a corner, the party spy a plank laid between the houses on either side of the street offering an unsteady walkway some twenty feet above the cold, hard cobbles. Sounds of nearby commotion swell from up ahead and a cautious approach reveals a gang of rats busily working.

Most of the half dozen stand atop a single house, laying out planks to neighbouring rooftops. One of the smaller creatures carries a sack of nails and a large hammer which it is using to add some stability to one of the pathways while a much larger white holds the wood steady.

At street level, one creature rummages through an abandoned crate, nose buried deep, hurling occasional items out onto the street behind. The final figure appears to be the leader, one of the smaller white-furred rats wearing a brown shirt so oversized that it looks more like a robe in contrast to the salvaged leather armour worn by the rest. Holding a short stick in its paw, it to gestures up at the roof team while it snorts and squeaks in a language not known to the party.

Despite their industry, each of the creatures (bar the leader) is obviously armed. The two largest of the creatures both have a vicious looking mace and a bloody axe positioned beside them, while the smaller creatures bear a mixture of crossbows and more rudimentary weapons.

The windows above the rummaging rat burst open and the upper half of a man leans out, hurling a heavy ceramic chamber pot down at the creature below. It crashes with a loud bang and splash but misses the intended target entirely causing the rats to drop tools and ready weapons, swarming around for battle. Following his failed attack, the man then spots the party and shouts,
"HEY! YOU! YOU GOTTA HELP!"
The suddenly attentive rats follow the direction of the waving, and also spot the party.

Initiative
Nabi
Finn
Rat Leader [RS]
Large Rats [RB]
Malkanus
Lade
Shihiram
Small Rats [M&R]

Map
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  #133  
Unread 23rd of June, 2008, 07:39
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Nabi squirms when he sees several rats turn their attention to his associates and himself.

"Do we try to reason with them, flee or god forbid try to fight them?"

[OOC: If possible, delay Nabi's real action till one of the core group gives directions]
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  #134  
Unread 24th of June, 2008, 23:23
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Finn nocks an arrow and aims at the rat just ahead hoping to make short work of the creature. After he fires he reaches for another arrow and steps into the nearest doorway.

Last edited by Flagg Thornington; 29th of June, 2008 at 12:01.
  #135  
Unread 25th of June, 2008, 20:57
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So much for an answer, Nabi mutters at the sight of Finn's attack.

"Someone kick open this door here, I will provide us with some decent cover!", he shouts excitedly, then starts reciting words to bring into being a dense mist in the alleyway. Once finished he adds, "Don't let yourself get disorientated, come to my voice!"

[OOC: Cast Obscuring Mist, then a 5ft step away from the door, to make room]
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  #136  
Unread 30th of June, 2008, 07:42
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Finn answers Nabi's question by surging forwards bow in hand and loosing a single deadly arrow. The shot catches the leader of the rat gang entirely unaware, only luck causes a slightly twist of the neck which converts a lethal strike to a merely severe one. The head of the arrow runs a sharp edge along a furry neck, sending a wide sheet of blood outward onto the cobbles.

Behind the rogue Nabi intones ancient arcane syllables. The air thickens, taking on a slight bluish grey hue. A moment later and the hue has become a dense mist shielding the party while also reducing their own ability to perceive the rat cluster.

Pressing one paw to its neck wound, the robed creature curses Finn in an unknown tongue. His other reaches within the robe to retrieve an item too small to be seen. Waving the tiny thing through the air, the creature chutters and screeches arcane words of its own before turning and leaping impossibly upwards. Its robe balloons outwards as it descends and makes a loud thwump during the graceful landing upon the rooftop, in a manner that would be comical were it not for the drips of blood scattered through the air in the process.

Crouched upon the rooftop, it points down at the roiling mist cloud and squeaks out more commands. The largest of the rats respond to these orders by hopping down upon the cobbles (cracking them as their bulk meets stone) and racing toward Finn with weapons at the ready. Finn twists and dodges as the axe and mace pass sweep around him and somehow the young rogue emerges from the flurry of violence unscathed.

Initiative
Nabi
Finn
Rat Leader [RS]
Large Rats [RB]
Malkanus
Lade
Shihiram
Small Rats [M&R]

Map

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  #137  
Unread 1st of July, 2008, 07:21
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With the fog growing dense the cleric's vision of the door is obscured. Instead of simply throwing his weight against the thing and giving his group a chance for some cover he instead has to spend a moment finding the damned thing first. Once he manages to spot his target three large steps backwards and a bit of momentum become his arsenal.

OOC: Find the door then bash it in; this is all assuming the door isn't unlocked, of course.
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  #138  
Unread 1st of July, 2008, 09:40
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Everything happened faster then he could keep track of it. Rats suddenly there - working together - a human in the house shouting for help, Finn rushing forward to fire at them, then Nabi's mist cutting the young rogue from his sight.

"Get that door open!" he bellows over his shoulder, stepping forward out of the mist to find himself face to face with one of the oversized rats. Sliding his axe into his hand in a move smoothed by endless repetitions, the ageing mercenary swung an underhanded blow at the creature in front of him.

[[OOC: 5ft step forward, axe in the face of RB1]]
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  #139  
Unread 5th of July, 2008, 02:03
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With the mist flowing around him, obscuring vision into the area, Shihiram finally smiles. Words of power flow from him as he draws his ocarina to his lips, and begins to play a dirge. Dark music flows over the area, evoking images of death and doom, as the creeping power takes effect. An enormous monstrous roar erupts from the fog, blasting through the area. The sounds of doom continue to flow as the sound grows larger, stronger, and more violent. Something.... is coming.


<OOC: Cast ghost sound for a monster-like roar noise to attempt to scare off the rats. The dirge is pretty much flavor for his casting the spell>
  #140  
Unread 5th of July, 2008, 22:19
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The cleric stretches out his arms, running them across the walls in search of something which feels rather more doorlike than the rest. The door groans as Malkanus begins his assault upon it, and in short order the lock snaps from its wooden surround sending a few shards of wood about and granting the party access to the home. Inside, the building is a sizeable kitchen and common room in a state of disarray as if the occupants packed very quickly indeed. The remains of the kitchen's fire still burn.

Lade emerges from the mist and catches his quarry almost entirely unaware. At the last moment it brings its own axe up horizontally in both paws, using the wooden haft to take away some of the weapon's momentum but it is not enough. Lade's axehead ploughs into rodent flesh, and bites through the bone beneath. Blood pours from the creature's shoulder as it shuffles back slightly and the old man tears his weapon free.

The terrible dirge from within the mist does not go unnoticed by the rats, they shift nervously as Shihiram weaves his magic. When the roar comes it is truly terrible and although the bard cannot see his foes he has no doubt that he has them on edge. Flee, however, they do not. The leader shouts and squeaks in their guttural language, obviously reassuring his gang.

Another of the rats joins the fray at the alley opening, but its blow is clumsy and Finn is swift leaving the club to strike against brickwork rather than the young rogue. Up above, a rat leaps from one rooftop the to the next, arriving upon the top of the building Malkanus managed to secure entry too. A previously unseen foe, another of the smaller creatures, this one piebald and carrying a shortsword skids into view but is unable to close with the party due to the tight confines of the alley. He waves his weapon and grunts angrily.

A bolt whizzes into the melee, catching one of Lade's legs with a glancing blow. The crosbow rat has moved to stand beside the leader and rain down ranged attacks.

Two more bolts announce the repositioning of another two rats who had been working out of sight before the attack began. Standing upon the rooftop above Lade, they both take aim at Finn and fire. The two short wooden bolts stab into the rogue. One shatters upon a rib while the other manages to dig itself into the soft flesh just above his hip.

Initiative

Finn
Nabi
Rat Leader [RS]
Large Rats [RB]
Malkanus
Lade
Shihiram
Small Rats [M&R]

Maps



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  #141  
Unread 7th of July, 2008, 01:57
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Realizing that he won't last long standing in the street next to Lade, Finn steps back to the edge of the mist cloud and looses two arrows in rapid succession. He shoots straight up the street using his memory of where the rats are standing.

[ooc 5' foot step full attack assign dodge to rat directly in front of him]
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Unread 9th of July, 2008, 04:43
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Nabi squeezes himself past Malkanus and into the doorway and kneels down, touching the floor with his bare hand for no more than a second. Reassured and not wanting to waste any more time to get into relative safety, he gets up again and quickly takes stock of the room, then proceeds up the stairway warely.

[OOC: Go inside and see if there are any possible points of entry there]
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  #143  
Unread 9th of July, 2008, 18:55
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At such close proximity Finn's target has little chance of dodging the pair of lightning fast arrows emerging from the vague humanoid shape a the edge of the mist. Both find their target in the rat's centre of mass, a serious wound. Or it should be. The blood seeps but briefly from the wounds and the arrows tumble back to the ground.

Upstairs Nabi finds, perhaps unsurprisingly, where the tenants of the house used to sleep. A number of beds, rather less than might be expected in such a poverty stricken area and beds rather than loose amalgamations of blankets and loose straw, occupy the two rooms with a jumble of tables and boxes strewn around by way of decoration. Entry into the second room finds two large windows of the sort large enough to clamber out onto the roof by. Their shutters remain closed but such things are only a very minor obstacle to the rats getting in from the roof or the party getting out upon the city rooftops.

Seen clearly only be Lade, the leader of the rats stands atop the rooftop waving its paws in what can only been arcane gestures. The flurry of action ends with the creature squeaking a single word and a tiny pulsating glob of white energy gliding horizontally away from the caster. It pauses within the mist and then detonates.

The outburst of flame fills the alley with searing heat and concussive force. It lasts but a mere fraction of a second before the flames die down taking Nabis' enchanted mist along with it and leaving all but Nabi scorched and charred. The stink of burned flesh and hair fills the narrow alley.

Dazzled slightly by the blast of arcane flame, the hulking rat engaged with Lade offers a pathetic sweep of his weapon which is easily evaded. The second follows Finn and drives his mace around in a sweep which catches the rogue and drives him into the wall of the adjacent building. A few roofing tiles fall to the street from the force of the impact.

Initiative

Finn
Nabi
Rat Leader [RS]
Large Rats [RB]
Malkanus
Lade
Shihiram
Small Rats [M&R]

Maps




[ooc: The extra map is now the second floor as the first floor is as before]
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  #144  
Unread 13th of July, 2008, 10:01
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The rolling fire through the mist was enough to force the cleric shield his face and drop to a knee. Now with the protection of the fog gone, he and his allies were now doomed to be picked off at range.

"Ge-" he starts to shout, though is interrupted by a heaving cough because of the burnt odor. "Get inside!"

It only takes a moment for Malkanus to follow his own advice, stepping just inside the door and immediately pulling out the wand stashed inside of his pack. Knowing that his allies are wounded, he waits for them to find their way to the protective indoors to heal them.
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  #145  
Unread 16th of July, 2008, 00:38
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Lade didn't see where the fire came from, but it burnt with an unholy fury. Idly he wondered if any of his hair remained.

Twisting around to track one of the large rats that sped past, Lade saw the previously obscuring mist hanging in ruined tatters and his heart fell. Malkanus' shout echoed from the surrounding buildings and the aging mercenary nodded grimly to himself, they needed to get out of there before they were cut the shreds.

Yet instead of fleeing, the man slid backwards next to the badly injured Finn and swinging an across body blow at the creature saving him. He could not in good condition leave him companion behind.

"Come on you furry little fleabag," he screamed at the creature, not caring if it understood. "Try picking on someone as ugly as you!"
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Unread 17th of July, 2008, 05:32
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Malkanus vanishes inside, stave at the ready to heal his allies as they file in past him, but they do not come. Outside Lade shouts as he swings his axe into one of the hulking rats, it cuts deeply into its side. A blow sufficient to end a man, and one good enough to cause the creature to roar out in agony. Ripping his weapon out, the old warrior can already see the wound starting to stitch itself back together. The larger rats heal quickly.

The wounded rogue feels a hand upon his back and suddenly his grievous wounds feel rather less mortal. Finn knows he is still hurt, but Shihiram's magic has hopefully staved off death for now.

One of the smaller rats quickly fills the space made by Lade and lashes out with its short sword. An attack which Lade deflects with ease using the haft of his own weapon. Bolts thunk into the stonework between the bard and rogue, missing both but coming within fractions of inches of inflicting fresh wounds. The archer next to the leader, sights carefully at Lade but misses due to the frantic motion of melee.

Initiative

Finn
Nabi
Rat Leader [RS]
Large Rats [RB]
Malkanus
Lade
Shihiram
Small Rats [M&R]

Maps
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  #147  
Unread 17th of July, 2008, 11:34
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After watching the rats wounds heal themselves almost instantly the rouge decides that standing in the street is suicide. The rouge carefully withdrawls into the partial safety of the house.
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Unread 19th of July, 2008, 19:52
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Nabi retreats back to the first bedroom, closes the door and starts shoving furniture towards it, in an attempt to barricade the door.
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  #149  
Unread 20th of July, 2008, 18:18
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Red-cheeked and with grievous wounds, Finn steps backward safely out of reach of the hulking ogre-like rats before turning tail and fleeing, taking up a position opposite the red-robed cleric. The axeman and the bard stand alone in the alleyway. From his window, the man trapped within the house at the end of the alley looks pleadingly at the two,
"PLEASE! Don't leave me!"

Upstairs, Nabi hastily seals off the main body of the house from the easily accessible room on the first floor.

Glittering shards of force rush from the rat standing upon the rooftop. They move jerkily through the air but with unerring accuracy, each one fetching the bard a shallow piercing wound.

Hefting its mace up into the air above its head, one of the rats steps forwards and brings its weapon around in a vertical arc. Shihiram hops backwards, evading the attack which turns the cobbles upon which he was stood into dust.

An axe swings toward Lade but the older warrior manages a skillfully parry with his own. The weapons clang loudly as they meet but neither opponent is injured.

Initiative

Finn
Nabi
Rat Leader [RS]
Large Rats [RB]
Malkanus
Lade
Shihiram
Small Rats [M&R]

Maps



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  #150  
Unread 21st of July, 2008, 02:45
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With Finn's entry into the house, Malkanus begins to fear the worst for those still out in the street. Still, in his exhausted state he didn't dare go out into the fray; rather he secretly hoped that it would come to him.

The cleric steps forward into the doorway and places two fingers on one of Finn's open wounds. With a simple chant the wand held in his palm glows slightly before channeling its energy through the cleric into the rogue.

With one of his companions healed, he hoped that the others would be able to make it through to safety - with him in the doorway he was determined to block the pursuit of any of the rats if they chose to follow.

OOC: 5 foot step East; Expend one CLW charge from wand for Finn; Allow companions through into the home while serving as a blockade for enemies.
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