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 Soul Destroying Experience

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Phlegm

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Number of posts : 747
Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: Soul Destroying Experience   Mon 4 Aug - 13:01:49

Soul Destroying Experience

Re- nutriated by the energising effects of the ring we tackled the stairwell to enter a fiery domain. The area was a great sea of flame with a narrow latticework of paths spanning the gap between two island landings. The landing on the far side was home to a fire giant who guarded the now familiar spiral staircase that led up and out of this hellish, sulphurous flaming vista.

We were welcomed by a boulder hurled by the guardian as we edged out on the narrow safe paths. Barakor cast resist fire on himself and led the way as the missiles continued to hurtle in. Several went wide but one went straight for Holly and it looked ugly for a moment, but at the last second she spun flipping the massive boulder aside with phenomenal speed and grace. Zionestes was not so lucky, almost knocked into the flames by the next one.

The situation was meanwhile made all the more difficult by a flock of fire bats that attacked whilst we tried to close these swarmed about us, clamping on when they scored a hit draining blood and scorching flesh. I suffered such a fate as did Saladin, Barakor, most of us at some stage in fact. Whilst we fought, the rocks continued to fly in. Desperate for countermeasures, I resorted to my robe of many pockets and pulled out just what I needed at this direst hour: A 12í rowing boat!

It fell away from me as it launched from the pocket dropping into a sea of flames where it quickly ignited and burned merrily for some minutes. It might have been amusing had our circumstances been less dire Ė I mean, what possible good could a boat be to us down here, wherever here was?*

* A question that would be answered in the next level

Eventually we slew some ten bats, I having to waste valuable magic missiles which could have been better deployed against the giant. We then all resumed advanceing, but Barakorís sword indicated a trap ahead: The vanguard puzzled on how to advance: An area of reverse gravity would cause anyone moving forward to Ďfallí up to the ceiling above. A large hole dominated the ceiling so fallers might well drop upwards into the shaft to who knew what fate unless they caught the edge.

Meanwhile the missiles would pick us off while we delayed and pondered. The giant, clearly aware of the reverse gravity field hurled his next rock with added vim through the field low and it bounced up into Barakor knocking him down and back into Saladin, who fell into the flaming area. Strike!

To be fair, we had set ourselves up in the naÔve belief that missiles would be unable to pass, but of course their flight was as unaffected by the reverse gravity field as it was by the normal gravity elsewhere, and our tactic did give us the appearance of a set of skittles. Saladin, scorched and furious hauled himself out aided ineffectually by Ripven; meanwhile I cast slow on our enemy in the hope that it would buy us more time.

Crossing the zone Holly fell to the ceiling using her monk skills and speed to avoid injury. Eldras was able to use his spider climbing slippers once he had fallen under rope control from Barakor whose strength kept him from injury. I fired up my levitation spell and carried Ripven and Roscoe across; Zionestes was busy healing himself and was left behind with Saladin.

Eldras with un Eldras like battle fury charged the giant once across whilst Holly and Roscoe more cautiously tried to flank. I hit the vast humanoid with a ray of enfeeblement and Barakor joined the attack. The creature, already slowed, missed with its massive greatsword and took some critical hits from Holly and Barakor before Roscoe and Saladin piled in and finished it, Saladin having run through the flames in a frenzy to join the combat.

The far landing that we had struggled so much to reach now revealed its secrets: A pile of rocks, an open sarcophagus and the stairwell. The latter however turned out to be an elaborately carved column that from a distance resembled a staircase but was infact nothing more than an illusion of one carved in stone and iron.

The greatsword was about 75 pounds in weight and we left it ruefully as even with Barakor and Saladin working together its use as a weapon would be impossible for us. The sarcophagus contained gems, an ornate crown and a ring revealed as magical by our detector swords. Saladin and Barakor had a dispute about the crownís ownership after Saladin accepted the ring initially then took umbrage at Barakorís decision to wear the crown.

We moved on swiftly: With the staircase a blind alley and my levitation spell running out we needed to explore the hole in the ceiling. I ascended the chimney with a rope attached after Holly reported that it led to the bottom of a body of water. Bursting up into the water I found myself at the bottom of the ocean: The water was salty and about 15í deep, south of me I could see a coral reef, to the north, a small island complete with palm trees, but like so many other places here, all was not as it seemed, there was sunlight, but a ceiling and distant curved walls showed that we remained inside.

Also like other places there was danger: A huge serpent like fish was all jaws and tail attacked me taking a great chunk out of my leg as I floated up out of the water to what I hoped was safety. I tugged frantically on the rope in a signal that might have mean anything as we had failed to pre arrange anything, and the others took it as a signal to follow me up.

In ascending/ descending? Saladin discovered that he was almost floating and subsequent testing suggested that his ring enabled him to float safely down when jumping off something.

More pressingly though an inconvenient fact presented at this point: Namely that only Ripven, Holly in tiger form and Roscoe could swim. Ripven took Zionestes on his back and Saladin rode the weretiger. I used my spell to give buoyancy to the other three who thrashed to make their way towards the island. The great fish attacked the two clerics who were tail end Charlieís twice but failed to hit them and we all reached the safety (we hoped) of the beach.

A thorough search of the island revealed nothing but rock and sand; once again we had been drawn in the wrong direction it seemed. The pair of palm trees might provide enough wood for a small raft, but that sounded too much like hard work, plus no one thought of it. We rested and recovered spells, conscious of the watcher in the water that occasionally betrayed its presence with a great fin or sinister rippling of the surface.

I used my levitation spell again to carry two others south to investigate the reef. We walked along the ceiling using our hands to propel us laterally whilst Eldras once taken up spider walked on his own, discovering what might well be an exit hatch just below the water to the south east.

I shuttled the others across and we all gathered around the submerged hatch, most of us up to our waists in water. Barakor began rotating the wheel to unlock it when we were attacked by a school of manta rays. We fought these off, turning the sea red with blood around us. When we had finished we discovered a fortune in gems in their watery lair nearby.

Climbing down into the watery shaft below the hatch, gravity reversed again and we found ourselves climbing up and out of the water using handy rungs set into the wall. We emerged into a huge circular chamber with a vaulted ceiling high above. The room was divided into eight segments emanating from the roomís centre, where a huge rotating gem a foot across floated, slowly rotating.

As we watched a sudden flash of brilliant light exploded from the gem, blasting one segment with power away to our left. We emerged into the room and approached, Barakor reaching out only to find an invisible barrier protecting the gem. A minute later another blast of power scoured another segment of the room, thankfully not one where we were standing.

The blasts continued and we could discern no pattern; it was only a matter of time before our luck ran out. Barakor struck at the barrier with his sword and although he seemed to cause some damage, the power of his own blow was deflected back onto him. Then the inevitable happened: We were all caught in the blast of terrifying light and each of us felt a mental attack that seemed to tear at the very hearts of our being.

In my case, and that of Roscoe and Eldras, it ended there. I was told that the others beheld our aethereal forms being ripped from our collapsing bodies, which were drawn screaming into the glowing gem where they vanished. I have vague recollections of being trapped amid thousands if not millions of disembodied tortured souls; I can only hope these recollections fade completely over time.

Zionestes joined the attack on the gem and then Holly and it was the weretigerís attack that broke down the mystical barrier, though all those who struck it paid with injuries as fearsome as those that they struck. Barakor seized the gem, placing it in his bag of holding. Its removal was the signal to teleport in a final wave of guardians and we recognised leading them none other than Trinner, who had treacherously betrayed and eluded us before.

He led seven longsword wielding humans all clad like him in studded leather and bearing shields. Barakor tried to hold three of them which would have evened the odds, but only one enemy was affected. The rest of the survivors were quickly locked in combat with one or more opponents. Saladin and Barakor tackled Trinner and he was the first to go down, then the rest were taken out eventually. Only one survivor who had had his leg shorn off in a single blow by Saladin lay writhing on the floor at the end.

Ripven interrogated the survivor, healing his wounds but not of course being able to restore his severed leg. The survivor knew he said how to escape this place but little else stating that he had been placed in stasis by Urush. Trinner he said would have known more. Saladin, unhappy at the turn of events and quality of information provided had one of his accidental crossbow moments, shooting the prisoner point blank before being restrained.

The survivorís information on how to escape proved accurate: Touching the gem to the floor activated one of the familiar transmat terminals; we had found another key on Trinnerís body. Looting nine magic weapons from the fallen we returned to Faffleenís fortress via the teleport.

Faffleen was able to return our plundered souls to our bodies and learned more from mind probes of the prisoner. He confirmed that the Halls of Ryzek was our ultimate destination where we would find the last staff that could be used to destroy Rirndale amongst other things. Studying the transmat key from Trinner revealed a probable location as he could trace its history of use and one unknown destination regularly visited by Trinner must be the place.

Faffleen gave each of us a potion of extra healing and me a handsome set of spellbooks. He also replaced Saladinís armour with magical chainmail and identified other items we had found. He also indicated that he would pay each of us 20,000 gold pieces for services rendered so far, with promises of more for the successful completion of this final mission.

The potions from the manticore room were of water breathing and flying, the one from the sphinx lair was healing, the mace found there confirmed as +2. The medusa potion was of sweetwater, the ring worn by Saladin was confirmed as a ring of feather falling. The longswords gathered from Trinnerís crew were all +1 and Trinnerís dagger +2.

Those of us requiring further training will be able to use Faffleenís considerable resources to level up before we leave. How many of us will return from this mission seems open to question though: Faffleen has warned us that Ryzekís halls will be like nothing weíve ever faced.

Kravaine
Characterisation & Roleplay 30
Ray of enfeeblement 50
Slow 200
Levitate across reverse gravity zone 150
Scouting water zone 150
Fire Giant 545
Fire giantís treasure 1210
Ixitxachitl 50
Ixitxachitl treasure 1340
Mission completion 5000

Total 8,725

Eldras
Fire Giant 545
Fire giantís treasure 1210
Discovering water level exit 25
Ixitxachitl 50
Ixitxachitl treasure 1340
Mission completion 5000

Total 8,170

Barakor
Characterisation & Roleplay 30
Healing 50
Resist fire 50
Detecting reverse gravity area 50
Roping strategy 50
Fire Giant 545
Fire giantís treasure 1210
Ixitxachitl 50
Ixitxachitl treasure 1340
Attacking the gem barrier 500
Hold Person 50
Assassins 300
Assassin weaponry 680
The Soul Gem 10000
Mission completion 5000

Total 19,905

Holly
Deflecting fire giant rock 30
Fire Giant 545
Fire giantís treasure 1210
Scouting Chimney 50
Ixitxachitl 50
Ixitxachitl treasure 1340
Breaking the gem barrier 200
Assassins 400
Assassin weaponry 680
The Soul Gem 10000
Mission completion 5000

Total 19,505

Saladin/ Grom
Characterisation & Rolepay 40
Fire Giant 545
Fire giantís treasure 1210
Ixitxachitl 50
Ixitxachitl treasure 1340
Assassins 400
Assassin weaponry 680
The Soul Gem 10000
Mission completion 5000

Total 19,265

Ripven
Characterisation & Roleplay 40
Spiritual Hammer 50
Healing 50
Fire Giant 545
Fire giantís treasure 1210
Ixitxachitl 50
Ixitxachitl treasure 1340
Saving prisoner for interrogation 250
Assassins 400
Assassin weaponry 680
The Soul Gem 10000
Mission completion 5000

Total 19,615

Roscoe
Fire Giant 545
Fire giantís treasure 1210
Ixitxachitl 50
Ixitxachitl treasure 1340
Mission completion 5000

Total 8,145

Zionestes
Healing 40
Fire giantís treasure 1210
Ixitxachitl 50
Ixitxachitl treasure 1340
Assassins 400
Assassin weaponry 680
The Soul Gem 10000
Mission completion 5000

Total 18,720

Name Class 2nd Class B/F Cumulative Target Current Level
Kravaine MU*
9,598 60,045 69,643 95,001
(Cool 7
Eldras T*
8,987 54,903 63,890 70,001
(Cool 7
Barakor F*
10,948 C*
10,948 29,337
29,337 40,285
40,285 70,001/
55,001
(7/7) 6/6
Holly M
19,505 48,222 67,727 98,001
(7) 6
Grom/ Saladin F*
21,192 49,957 71,149 125,001
(Cool 7
Roscoe T*
8,960 38,879 47,839 70,001
(Cool 7
Zionestes C*
20,592 51,114 71,706 110,001
(Cool 7
Ripven C*
21,577 42,733 64,310 110,001
(Cool 7

*EP Bonus applied 2.8.14
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