No Dark Place
The party begins the long hike back to Tradegate. Elmhollow quickly disappears as the forest closes in around the road. Rising out of the Kragholme, Arillia scouts ahead of the group, ever alert for danger. At the crest of Kragholme Ridge, she sees movement in a glen below. Three tall humanoids, still a half-mile away, are carrying smaller objects in their arms. They drop them to the group and then lope away, quickly disappearing into the brush. The objects may have been human-sized bodies. From all appearances, the giants happened to be doing this when chanced upon by the party and they haven’t noticed you yet.
You each gain 170 XP.
Arillia makes a note of what direction the they disappear in, but then waits for the rest of the party to come forwards. They make their way down to the clearing to inspect the objects/bodies cautiously, but as a group.
There are four bodies, all of them elves. It looks like they are in varying states of decomposition. Their bodies show ragged wounds and deep cuts.
All around you are long mounds of upturned earth. Some trees are halfway knocked over in long rows that wind throughout the clearing, and you detect the smell of fresh dirt from where the rocks have been disturbed.
Ni’shand takes a look around the clearing, studying the bodies. “My guess is it is some sort of sacrificial area. We shouldn’t stay here, either we press on, or we return to the brush and wait to see if anything happens. Standing here in the open is only a bad option.”
Ni’shand has a bad feeling about this. Someone definitely positioned these bodies in this spot for a reason. There is a sudden lurch as the ground shifts slightly beneath you. Then all is quiet again.
You feel a steady vibration grow from a minor tremor to a heaving movement of the earth beneath your feet. The ground beneath the bodies sags downward, then the sinkhole lurches upward. There is a violent spray of dirt and stones and torn vegetation as a huge shape rises out of the ground. It is a huge beast, long and eyeless like a worm, and covered in bony plates of a deep purple, with a jagged maw hanging open some twelve feet over your head.
It swings its head to each side and unleashes a hissing sound, then a hoarse bellow.
Arillia is off inspecting the woods in the direction the figures disappeared off into, but noticing something wrong returns to the bodies in the clearing as the rest arrive. She is inspecting the bodies when the ground starts to move, and is ready when the worm emerges from the ground.
I also got a nat 20, so init: 29
Karthas is kneeling on the ground when the trembling starts, and notices the tremors earlier than his compatriots. As the creature bursts through the ground, he gestures towards it with the pommel of his mace, from which a brand of light erupts. “Begone, beast!” he shouts, as filaments of power drawn from the astral plane lace the worm’s skin.
Initiative 26. Astral condemnation: 34 vs. reflex, 22 damage, takes a -8 penalty to all damage rolls until my next turn, minor action to sustain.
Alierris This is what I get for following these guys, eh? I’m going to hold back until I see what these new allies of mine are looking to do, and how helpful I can make myself look in the face of this worm.
Init: Rolled 17+6 = 23)
DM init: 19 (you rolled a 3).
Shade views the rising worm with a sinking feeling. He should never have come to the fairy-infested ‘leth-latrine of a plane in the first place and now he might just die here. Death would not be the end of it, of course, and Shade didn’t enjoy the thought of what awaited him in the pages of the deadbook. Worst than that, though, he wasn’t even going to get paid for this damned trip.
Init: 18 I’ll wait until I’m closer in the count.
The worm lunges at Ni’shand and seizes him with a mucous-covered, toothed tongue. Ni’shand is able to throw it off in a panic, and avoids becoming a meal.
Arillia leaps backwards as the worm starts to emerge, and by the time it’s fully out and “looking” around, she’s back by the tree line and has an arrow nocked. She instinctively sinks it into the creature’s gaping mouth, causing a swarm of insects to start harrying its head, as she wracks her brain for some memory of what this might be, and if she’s seen it before.
Arillia sinks and arrow into the creature’s body and recognizes the horror as something called a purple worm. It is a dim-witted, wandering predator with a boundless appetite.
(I’ll just give you the link to the wiki page.)
Karthas sets the worm alight with astral flames.
Astral condemnation: 34 vs. reflex, 22 damage, takes a -8 penalty to all damage rolls until my next turn, minor action to sustain.
Alierris moves up near the worm, but decides to wait until the time is right to make a move against it. He picks up a rock from the ground, attempting to fool the worm’s senses, and hides in with the terrain.
Diversion to Hide (Bluff vs Insight): 40
Stealth Check: 36
Nice: two natural 20s. You are now hidden from the worm.
Alierras moves left, the worm moves right.
Ni’shand capitalizes on the shifting members of his party to wind up and deliver a crushing blow with his sword, cleaving down into the flesh of the wyrm.
(Attack: 28) (Damage: 21)
Ni’shand’s sword bites deep, but the worm suddenly thrashes against him and the githzerai is sent sailing through the air to land in the underbrush nearby.
Immediate reaction: 29 damage (don’t worry, it rolled maximum) and you are sent flying. Retcon: The worm takes a damage penalty, so it’s only 21.
DM intervention to keep things moving… I’ll take Shade’s turn.
Shade lays a dire curse on the purple worm, but its thick hide repels his spell.
Warlock’s curse and assassin’s shroud on the worm. Eldritch blast against the worm. 16 vs. Reflex is a miss.
The purple worm throws its huge jaws toward Karthas, who barely manages to escape being devoured. He then dives out of the way as its tail, topped with a massive stinger three feet in length, slams into the ground next to him. Vile green liquid seeps into the soil, but Karthas is unharmed.
Arillia sends another arrow off towards the creature, this time trying to hold it in place. She yells “It’s just hungry – just try to scare it off” to the others before moving to the side, hoping her arrow was successful and the sound of her movement won’t draw too much notice.
Attack (mischief spirits): 27 vs AC
Damage, if hit: 18 and if the worm moves on its next turn, it falls prone
Move: to H8
Karthas scrambles backwards (I13), trying to duck out of reach of the monster. As he moves, he jabs towards the worm with his mace, and a blast of lightning leaps forth. The bolts line the worm’s skin and gather back up on the other side of the monster, where they combine in a bright flash, as Ni’Shand is teleported to a flanking position.
Alierris decides it would be prudent to save his own ass by following Arillia’s advice and trying to scare the beast off. He comes out of hiding to move to flank the beast with the newly teleported Ni’shand. He slashes with his dagger, attempting to trip up the worm’s limited intellect.
Into Harm’s Way roll and damage (and sneak attack), vs Will If I succeed, move it one square, and allow Ni’shand an additional attack as a free action. Hit
Ni’shand feels a tingling sensation, but Karthas’ spell is unable to teleport him. In the blink of an eye, he lands on his feet opposite Alierris, and doesn’t hesitate to strike the Wyrmn with all his fury. Even he is a bit surprised by the force with which he brings his sword to bear, blood from the wound gushes up around him.
Karthas misses, so Ni’shand doesn’t teleport. Therefore, Alierris doesn’t have a flank but still hits. Ni’shand gets the extra attack and also hits with villain’s menace.
Moving beside the cart for a better shot, Shade grumbles about the conditions here in the Feywild. “Sodding faerie-lands are full of enough bugs, why let ’em get this big?” He pulls at the shadows around him, sending a black lance straight for the worm’s heart. “Still just need to swat ’em, though.”
Move to G16 to gain concealment. Deathboon against purple worm, 29 vs. Ref. Damage: 15 + 5 = 20. Let me know if that bloodies or (unlikely) kills it, I’ll get a bonus! That’s a hit, but it’s still around 3/4 health.
The party unleashes a withering arsenal of spells on the worm, but it is able to absorb a sickening punishment without showing any signs of slowing down. It only gets angrier.
Still shaking slightly from being blasted with Shade’s death magic, the purple worm throws its toothed tongue around Ni’shand. The tiny githzerai feels a powerful muscular action draw him inside its mouth and he disappears. The worm shrieks and whips its tail around at Alierris, but he dodges the stinger by inches.
13 damage to Ni’shand, and he is swallowed. Ni’shand occupies no square and no one has line of effect or line of sight to him.
Arillia sees the horror of what just happened, and puts some extra power behind her next shot in an attempt to daze the worm and make it easier for Ni’Shand to break out of. She also moves back and away another 5 spaces, trying put more distance between herself and the worm.
Karthas runs forward with a savage yell, his mace swinging high. Wisps of lightning surround his mace, and he smashes it into the creature’s side.
1) My last attack should have been 7 higher. I only did d20+12, it should have been d20+19. Would a 33 have hit? If it doesn’t this next attack won’t either. Hit! See below
2) Thundering Steel: 1d20+19=31, 2d8+9=17. The next time someone hits the worm before my next turn, it takes another 3 damage. Hit!
Retcon: Karthas did hit with his spell last round (wrathful lightning). Which means he deals 10 damage and Ni’shand did get teleported. That means Ni’shand would have been in a position to make a free melee basic attack, which I just rolled and he missed. Net change: 10 damage applied to the purple worm.
Alierris – Alierris, not a huge fan of being eaten by the big worm himself, is going to attempt to push the damn thing away from him with another cleverly placed slice.
1d20+20=23, 1d4+8=11, 3d8=17 Positioning Strike with Damage and Sneak attack. I wasn’t sure if I still had flanking/combat advantage…? I succeed, slide the worm 4 squares away from me.
Ni’shand – Ni’shand feels himself falling forward into the gaping maw of the worm. He tumbles of the side of the worm’s mouth and slides down into the belly of the beast. The sensation of falling lasts longer than he anticipates, before ending as he thuds up against the side of the worm’s long body. He tries to swing one of his swords to cut into the worm’s side, but his movements are restricted and he can’t manage more than a flailing attempt at a swipe. He halts for a moment, and begins to chuckle. The last time he felt the sensation of falling he was partially crushed by two planets colliding. The fates had an odd sense of humor and it was all Ni’shand could do not to crack up completely. That time he had been ill prepared to deal with the machinations of Fate, this time the universe would not enjoy the same victory. Sliding his arm up over his armor he traced a pattern on the mail. A low light began to emit from it. In an instant Ni’shand was outside the worm, bits of goo still clinging to him as he landed next to the beast. (move to B-12)
Breaching Armor: Daily Power (standard action)