Shielding Alliance

helpful humor

OOC:If this was Izzi he would respond “We are a sordid band? Cool!! I’ve always wanted to be in one of those!”

Pertinax chuckles again.

“I actually think the attempt at humor is quite skilled and brings up a good point. Internecine conflict does us no good and I am responsible for more than my share of it. You see, I was brought up to think elves are superior, if only implicitly. We all do certain things better than the others, and in the grand scheme of things it is obvious some races are better at some things than others. The humans are hardy and resourceful and I am impressed. This fine elf would be dead many times over if it wasn’t for all of you. I aim to repay the favor many times over.”

“Oh, and Treveylan, what do you find sordid about our band? I think our purpose is true, for the most part, and as far as I know we haven’t partaken in any foul practices.”

“I had meant it as literal statement… we as a band are quite filthy… it was meant as an innocuous term… my error “

Turtle & Trevelyn square off

” mind your tongue when you speak ill of me.”

*Turtle kicks a stone around with her boot. “That is indeed good advice. Perhaps you should follow it, especially given that most of us here are ‘foolish humans.’ Trevalyn, we owe no more to your guidance than we do to Florent’s faith, my shields, and the farm queen’s bow. Or Fernock’s lock skill for that matter.” The stone gets a boot, scattering into the darkness. “You are also forgetting that the magic item responsible for helping all of us garner better deals was not only my idea, but financed 100% with my coin, so please do not take credit for that.” Her foot finds a new stone to move around. “This all being said, we do appreciate your expertise, diplomatic and otherwise, just as I’m sure you appreciate ours. Now, shall we move onto the matter at hand? There is little to show for this current expedition, particularly of reward.”

OOG, I don’t know when this conversation is occurring.

“I know what you all are.. I have made no error in realizing your heritage… I am NO elf… and if it were my choice I would not be a damned half-breed as I am, but I had no say in my conception, and therefore I falter between the two worlds of Man and Elf, finding no purchase in either world. You of pure bloods have no understanding of what it means to be left out of all things in life… humans generally distrust me, because of my Elven heritage, while Elves distrust me for my Human heritage…

I spoke quickly, and allowed myself to speak without complete thought, I will say no more on this subject. Consider my end of this… argument??... complete.”

He steps away from the group, scanning the fallen bodies… quiet ramblings to himself, “Even here… even here across the sea… nothing changes… is there hate and mistrust in every corner of Oerth? I had hoped not… but it seems I will have no place on this Oerth where I will truly be accepted… so be the way of it…”

post-combat regrets
Furnock watches, listens, and mutters

Furnock watches the others and listens to the arguing about him. Finally he mutters almost to himself but alittle too loudly. “Go or stay, let’s choose! Staying in one place too long brings trouble legal and not so legal if we linger… I do not trust that ranger (but then again I trust no one) leaving me to the skeletons and then shooting the elf… Suddenly Furnock realizes he has said this aloud and drops back into his stupor just muttering ”... stupid farmers… it should have worked… mom always said I was a fool… I should never have left home”

His face stern and grim, an expression of fury, yet calm, “You should know, that I warned you to run, Furnock… it happened quite quickly… you were right behind me in seconds. Should I coddle you and carry you the whole way too?? You seem able enough to walk and run, as well as fight. Further, Pertinax, the ELF, shot ME!!! I am a HALF-ELF… get it right… foolish humans that cannot see the obvious differences right before their own eyes. Whether you choose to trust me or not, is your own issue. I have done nothing to cause you to mistrust me, rogue… I do not hold any grudge toward you, and all of you have survived in this wilderness because of my ability to lead us through this forsaken land, as well as bargain a better deal for your gear. So, If you think you can do it on your own, try. We shall see how far you get. If I had wanted you dead, Furnock, it would not take much to do… but as I do not wish it, nor have I ever wished wish harm against you, you have nothing to fear… so mind your tongue when you speak ill of me.”

Furnock responds:

O great and venerable ranger it is you we all look too! Have mercy upon my weak foppish person. I am incapable of holding up my wrist let alone my sword. Your calm, stern, guiding, stalwart, visage guides and bargains without compare. Your indominable aim points the true way. Take pity upon this poor gambler’s uncouth tongue. I am but a weak human rogue, foolish in the ways of the world and totally below the notice of your brainy, mighty, greatness, save for my ability to open stubborn doors so your flaming bow of rightiousness make speak its doom upon the foul elements of evil. (with lots of deep bowing and much scrapping)

Your attempt at humor is poor, but that is fine enough with me. I regret allowing my anger to get the better of my tongue… We each hold an integral part of this sordid band, and none could last with one of us missing. We each have our strengths and weaknesses, and we try to work around them to best employ our skills to the scenarios at hand…

The foolish ploy of inability does you no good… you are most adept at stealth and the machinations of the dungeon realms, I grant you that. There is none better than you that I have met that can do so well… I am from the wilds and therefore the “natural” world is more akin to my blood and temperament… my retort was quick and not well placed… my error on that account. Now quit acting the fool and stand up… I am no king nor do I deem myself higher in rank than any of you… stand up…,” a perplexed look upon his face trying not to laugh.

Ambush Aftermath

After dismissing the noxious cloud that helped turn one of the flanks the elf looks around at the rest of the band.

“How is everyone doing? It would seem we stepped right into their ambush. Whatever they are protecting, they seem intent on not allowing us to venture further. Which , of course, means we have to find whatever is in the depths of this complex.”

“So, the first question is, how do we avoid further ambushes? The second question is, could we have done anything differently? One thing I would suggest is that whenever Fernock can surround a creature we give him preference since he is quite adept at finding soft spots in most creatures when they focus their attention elsewhere. The rest of us can find different angles.”

“I believe we did a good job of forming two fronts and keeping the enemies at bay. Treveylan alertly returned to where Sulmia and Fernock could give him support. As a band we are adept at missile combat, with Sulmia being particularly skillful. Turtle and Florent took out a significant group of gnolls, which is no easy feat.”

“Alas, unharmed I may be, but I am also drained of High Elven Magic.”

“I am… cough… hurt, but seem OK… I lost nearly half of myself back there… (a pained grimace and watery eyes comes across his face as forces 3 arrows through himself from his back with ) they certainly were ready. I agree we did well, but the shield wall only seems to effectively protect the heavily armored directly… I am not saying it is not effective, nor does it protect us indirectly, I am just curious as to how could we better prepare for a fight on 2 fronts… I myself cannot wear armor like yourselves, and will not wield a shield, as it seems to cumbersome for me… And I agree that Furnock should have prime position to take full advantage of our enemies flanks… I was ready to fight and saw that Turtle and Florent may need some help… it was my error.

I will survive, but will need a little healing if we are to continue on… but I will only take it after others have been mended first…”

Turtle makes a suggestion

“I miss you, my shield sister, Turtell. I prefer fighting on one front, eef possible. What else can we do for better beating monsters when we return toute suite al la Temple Elemental?”

Turtle rubs a bruised forearm, looking thoughtful. “I, too, missed the Steel Wall, both here and back when I was trying to holding the door from those gnolls…” (she lets the statement hang out there before continuing)

“My suggestion is that we stick with three, set rotations. The first for exploring the Temple, the second for when we fight, and the third for when we’re sleeping. As far as a plan, I think until we’ve either learned more about whats going on or have found more treasure, we stay. Explore as much as we can, and then retreat to rest.” (she turns to face towards the tower) “I’d like to go back and clear out that initial area we went to. I know the room with the bodies will certainly be…unpleasant, but I possess the fortitude to clean it out.” (looking a little embarassed about saying that, she hurries on) “Moreover, it is outside the walls, letting us sleep somewhat easier. It has an exit for escape and is defensible. While I’m sure the bodies might have since attracted something, it is likely to be a worthy test before we face the Temple clerics.” >(she stretches her shield arm) >”Finally, there are techniques for working together as a group that I have heard about. Basically practicing various techniques as a team so that we all benefit from the effort.” (she shrugs and returns to looking at the tower)

I am no so sure about the tower for place to rest. Even eef you get rid of bodies, the fluids have soaked stones by now. I agree eet is more defensible, but eef I cannot rest because of smell then advantage is lost. For fighting, I agree that sometimes on two fronts is unavoidable, but eef we are closer together it would be easier to ‘eal and aid each other. But would this make us more vulnerable to, ‘ow you say, ball of fire?”

Vive, no Mort!

Pardon Moi,

“Eet is no so difficult decision pour moi, when eet comes to resting and fighting prudently and no resting and dieing foolishly. ‘Elm calls for protection, oui, but for using all of our gifts to the fullest as well. Better to live long and protect for many years than die before completing our first mission.” Leaning closer he says to Trevelyan and Pertinax, “And there is no way in ‘ell I am dying a virgin!” Blushing and realizing he’s said too much, he quickly recovers, “Besides, we ‘ave to get our skinny ami ‘ere to make it to 900 years, don’t forget!” He laughs with excessive enthusiasm and nervous energy.

“As far as catching a cleric, this will be tres difficile. I especially think ‘Lareth the no so beautiful’ will no so much be cooperative.” Again with the nervous laughter. “Mostly I see chaos ‘ere. You are sure they even have plan beyond just being very bad?”

...or maybe not

You all speak of leaving, and sleeping, but there is more that is happening here than any of us assumed. We cannot leave, yet we are not equipped well enough to fight what may come… (the statement hangs openly to emphasize its’ point)

Pertinax, “Treveylan, you have a gift. The gift to confound me with words. Are you saying that you wish to push on or to rest in the woods or tower and then come back?” not see that we have done poorly thus far. As Pertinax made mention… no matter how hard you prepare for something, your plans could easily be changed… and quickly. We have done well thus far and seem to be doing the right thing by cleansing the temple of these evil scum… but yet, there has been no true indication to their cause, or purpose. We seem to merely be cleaving through their minions, but have found no true reasoning behind their madness.

While we could discuss tactics and how to better fight, I do

Thus far we have fought gnolls, bugbears, ghouls, ghasts, humans and numerous skeletons… some more monstrous than others… but still. There is a Harpy… as Pertinax tells me… though I cannot recall it. We have much to be wary of, if something swayed me so easily… though I have one request. Perhaps, we do not kill them all? Perhaps when, and if, we fight the clerics… we keep one alive? Question him… try to discern the logic and reasoning behind this temple?

It is merely a suggestion… I will do whatever the group decides…

Pertinax, “That is a worthwhile idea. I could try to make them go to sleep, but weak-willed creatures fall prey to my enchantment first and usually these clerics are difficult to ensorcell.”

I am not sure which is the wiser course… pushing on seems wise, as it keeps the enemy on their heels. While resting, be it in the tower or the woods, would be wise for us… however it puts us on our heels… as our enemy has time to regroup and prepare for our return…

I am lost at how to decide which action would be better… while each path seems to have it’s benefits, there is no doubt the negative aspect of each choice as well. Which is the lesser of the two evils, is a mystery…. again… I will go whichever route the group decides… I am ready to fight, but without Florent’s healing, we will be dead soon enough…

Decisions are at times most difficult when one must decide whose life is more important… ours? Or those we try to extinguish?

rest stop

“It is good to see you are well, my human friend. While your life is incomprehensibly short to begin with, it would indeed be a terrible tragedy if foul undead cut it even shorter before we fulfill our promise.”

The elf then looks at the females.

“How are you both doing? Sulmia, it would appear that you are grieviously wounded, much like Turtle was before. Perhaps it is time to take a brief respite from this wretched place. I would think that the wilderness around here might serve us well, since we have the good Treveylan to guide us. I could use some time to regain some of my High Elven Magic too.”

“Merci pour your concern, Pertinax. I know it is ‘ard for you elves to understand ‘ow I am so much stronger than you at only 18 years, but you will ‘iit man’ood soon too. Eef you turned your devotions to ‘Elm, then you would find the strength of the protector too.

I am all for resting as well. I can ‘eal those in need eef I ‘ave time to pray and meditate on the graces of mon dieu. Also, I welcome advice about dealing with the undead and dangers we face in the temple. I am no so much experienced with this, as you may ‘ave noticed from my almost dying. (Insert nervous laugh here). I miss you, my shield sister, Turtell. I prefer fighting on one front, eef possible. What else can we do for better beating monsters when we return toute suite al la Temple Elemental?”


The elf chuckles good-naturedly.

“I like that. Hopefully, in the 900 years that I have to look forward to, I can aspire to be as strong and as effective with a flail as you are. Alas, I think it might not be in the bones for me as perfecting High Elven Magic requires all of my attention.”

Then to the rest.

“I highly recommend resting at this point. I have very little magic left and I think Florent is in similar shape. There is no point in pushing again. There is wisdom in talking about how to become better as a group. I don’t know what we could have done differently in this last situation that would have radically altered the outcome. We can attempt to keep our enemies on one side but sometimes it is inevitable to have to fight on two fronts.”

Mon Dieu

”’Elm be praised. Mes Amis, that was a battle incroyable. Did you see the power of ‘Elm over those undead? They were blasted into dust with ‘is power invoked.” Florent stares down at the glowing holy symbol on his dented shield in admiration and growing faith. “And even when my mortal strength failed and I was lying at ‘Elm’s doorstep, ‘e still found a way to protect ‘is faithful. Merci Beacoup for the ‘ealing potion downTreyvelan, by the way, and for pouring down my shattered jaw and throat, Pertinax. You were the vessels of ‘Elm’s power, and saved my life. It is a bit scary ‘ow quickly I can be reduced to a broken and bleeding pile of metal and bones, though.” A shadow of fear comes across his eyes, quickly replaced by the feverish light of faith. “Mon Dieu, you are powerful. Mon cheri, Sulmia, and Turtle, say to me what ‘appened at the other end of the corrider. I ‘ear screams and fear it was you, mi amour, I mean, my friend. Did you face the skeletons as well?”

BIG recap

OOC:Last night was a blast! Thanks to the host, as usual, for allowing us in his house and taking us to another world for a few hours of camaraderie and righteous bloodshedding. Thanks to Steve for the delicious, organically-grown, antibiotic-free, pure-grain-fed chicken wings (mmmmm… wings). Thanks to Brian for showing up and being his usual sunny self (I keed, I keed… no, really, Brian seemed to be in a good mood).

For the benefit of THE Luke and THE Chris (who is probably at the beach gawking at bikinied babes as we speak) here is a little recap from the point of view of a xenophobic, uppity, aloof and arrogant elf (are there any other kind?).

IC: ‘I have been feeling strange for a few hours’ thought the rail thin and pale elf. ‘It’s almost as if I wasn’t myself.’

The smell of rotting flesh brought him back from his brief internal soliloquy. A procession of humanoids, bearing an unfamiliar standard, was entering the temple while the band lurked amidst the liquefying and bloating bodies of their previous victims. This tower would be an easily defensible position from which to attack them, but only if we could draw them out here.

Turtle kept pushing us to seize the element of surprise and our relative health instead of letting the newcomers prepare for us when they saw the carnage we left in the dungeons beneath the temple. Furnock was asked to serve as bait, drawing the temple dwellers into the open field where they could be peppered with arrows from the murder holes in the tower. “I’m not going out there by myself!” quipped the human. “Well, I think we should rest and regain magic” said Sulmia in her twang which always seems to bring the Helmite cleric from his occasional stupor. “Oui! Suhlmia speaks wisdom. We should rest and allow Helm to return his blessings to me.”

In spite of the reticence, Turtle was able to convince the foolhardy band to just go out and be aggressive with the newcomers. With Treveylan (OOC:that’s mr TreveyHlan to you) at the point the small team set out from the tower with the hopes of shooting temple dwellers with arrows. They encountered no resistance and were able to follow footsteps down towards the eastern side of the temple and the stairs going down. Furnock took his usual position as trap finder, magical eyepieces dangling from his nose.

It then dawned on the party that one of their presumed advantages, being able to shoot arrows at the enemies on an open field, was lost in the dungeons. So they decided to head back and down again through the familiar passages into a room in which they could rest and reverie, thus regaining spells and divine favors. Initially the room that served as a jail for the captured villagers was considered but it was deemed a death trap due to the one and only exit. The party decided to quickly investigate the southern passage and found two long-abandoned armories, which would serve as places to rest. Pertinax quickly entered his reverie and Florent took off his armor and went to sleep. The rest decided to investigate a bit and could hear orcish voices down a corridor. Furnock’s magically enhanced stealth skills allowed him to move without raising the alarm and informed everyone of his discovery. Watch turns wre determined and a handful of hours went by without incident. Helm bestowed his blessings on Florent and Pertinax studied his mostly empty, ornate, leather-bound spellbook.

With Furnock, Turtle and Treveylan spearheading the incursion, the party prepared to delve deeper into this den of depravity and walking death. A battle erupted between the previously heard orcs and the front line of Turtle and Treveylan, with Furnock lurking in the shadows waiting for his opportunity to strike. Various orcs stepped forward and engaged Turtle while Treveylan shot his bow over her. From a passageway that bisected the positions of Furnock, Turtle, Treveylan and Sulmia from the location of Pertinax and Florent came four undead flesh-eating abominations. Florent quickly called upon the might of Helm and the ghouls, sensing the positive emanations from the cleric, quickly left the fray but not before Sulmia was able to stab one of them twice.

The undead menace averted the six companions huddled and set out to mow down the orcs, which were now reinforced by gnoll archers. Arrows and javelins whistled back and forth, sometimes finding flesh. Furnock used his magical blade, Turtle bashed, Florent moved to the front lines and swung his flail, Treveylan and Sulmia repeatedly cocked and released their bow strings and Pertinax intoned arcane words of power and gestures that released hidden energies in the environment. One powerful gnoll used his flail to part Turtle from one of her shields. While this was happening a distressed human stumbled out of a door further north, to be quickly grabbed and pulled back by a hulking bugbear.

Once the forces in the first hallway were defeated (after a brief scare in which Sulmia learned the finer points of coup-de-grace technique) Treveylan and a suddenly very brave Furnock followed the bugbear. Treveylan quickly returned to where the rest of the party could see him with a look of concern. Where was Furnock? What was inside the door? We will find out soon enough.


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