Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby LadyTevar » 2017-01-26 01:38pm

"Given all their advantages, we need to make them mistakes."

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-01-28 08:01am

Handren looked down over the battlements. A vast horde stretched across the fields and farmsteads the filled the lowlands. The Khaduli were as numerous as locusts and advancing slowly through the empty fields. "So," he said, "they always start off by smashing through the walls."

"That's what the surviving witnesses say," Marcosa replied. The mage was shorter and slighter than the prince he served. "Once does not need catapults when one has enough demons, I suppose."

Handren looked past him, at the messengers shivering in the cold morning air. "Get to the Temple and let them know the Khaduli are on the move."

The boy nodded and then hurried from the wall. "They won't be able to bring through enough. This isn't the first time priests have tried this to stop them."

"I don't think the gods will be inclined to hold back. They're running out of temples."

"True, but it hasn't stopped them."

"It doesn't have to. Just bleed."

"I hope the elf is up to something devious."

"Just worry about keeping me alive Marcosa. That's your job. Leave deviousness up the elf. He's good at it."

"At least the kind that involves killing. For which I am properly grateful."

-----

Tzerika rode along the lines. The various tribes were arrayed and ready, with archers and lancers ready to support and exploit the breakthroughs. There was no question that there would be breakthroughs. There always were. Behind a gap in the lines mages readied themselves with their initial preparations. Soon demons from the Abyss and the elemental spirits would answer their calls. All was in readiness.

And yet she could not help but feel uneasy and she knew why. Her uncle had rattled her. The demon ridden gnoll berserkers that would have been used to lead the storming parties. They had suffered massive casualties and the mages had been too busy in the aftermath to bind demons to the remaining gnolls. The war in the dark against the house dweller rangers had depleted the remainder past the point of any real utility. That wasn't the worst though.

Some important spell reagents, particularly for the greater summoning spells, were now scarce and the swath of ruin they had left meant there were no traders to bargain with. The war, particularly the cursed elf, had taken its toll on the demons and elementals at their disposal, not to mention the wizards that could summon them. The lessers could still be summoned in number, for now at least, but the many of the greater had fallen. It would be centuries before some of them could manifest again.

She could see the King of Tribes now walking out beyond the front rank. Walking, because he had not desire to be thrown or crushed by a dying horse and no horse could possibly survive what was going to be thrown at him. He would not be pleased if he attacked alone. She had no intention of being the subject of his displeasure. She turned her gaze back to the mages under her command, which was pretty much all of them.

Two giants of earth and rock, twice the height of a man, ripped themselves from the ground and lumbered forward. Their pace was slow, but their large gait made them deceptively fast. Two funnels of air rose from the ground into the air while the grounds bled red light from a new fissure. The fissure widened and winged horrors, unholy amalgamations of starving men and rancid vultures, rose into the air while bipedal lizard-toads pulled themselves up and out of the Abyssal rift. Two monstrous boar-bears rose up on undersized feathered wings while great taloned hands gripped the earth.

Massive muscles heaved and revealed the head and torso of a demonic beast of immense size. It pulled itself up and out of the rift, planting hoofed feet on solid earth. It was immense, as tall as one of Cardan's wall towers. Its massively muscled body was covered with shaggy-fur and its head sported a bestial muscle and curved horns. It threw its head back and roared.

Horses reared in panic all along the line. Several Khaduli, members of a warrior people who spent much of their lives in the saddle, were thrown from their battle mounts. The other demons, including the mighty nalfeshnees, fled from it. Tzerika's ears rung in the aftermath as acidic spittle sizzled on the new grass. The demon roared again and the strode forward.

-----

"What in the name of the Trinity is that?" Handren asked.

"Time for us to leave the wall, my prince," replied Marcosa. "While we still can."

"Can you do something about that thing?"

"No," said Marcosa. "Perhaps the elf can. Or the gods might be kind."

The air above gatehouse shimmered and wavered, dancing like mirage before turning reflective. The distortion hung in space for a moment and then was gone. In its place were beings unconcerned by mere gravity.

Two were half again the height of a man and born aloft by four wings of iridescent jade feathers that did not move. Their bodies were armoured in a gleaming substance of identical colour that seemed to have more in common with beetle carapace than honest metal. On their shoulders they bore three heads. In the center was that of an impassive man, albeit closer to one carved by a sculptor than possessed by a human and marked by time and the world. To the right was the head of a bull and to the left was that of an eagle. In their right hands they bore a spear of gleaming steel, for the way of law is the straight path and in their left they bore swords of dark metal for judgement awaits those who transgress.

Between them was a greater being, twice a man's height. From his back were six wings of iridescent green feathers and upon his body was plate of ivory and platinum. The face facing forward was impassive, for the law is not subject to passion. The face facing left was wrinkled and marked by wisdom. The face facing right bore the fury that was the Sons and the backwards looking face was covered by a veil. In his four hands he held the golden Rod of Authority, the star tipped Scourge of the Master, the bloodied and terrible black steel Sword of Death, and the open hand that could be Greetings or Mercy or the Fury of the invoker. Above him was a halo of golden fire, a great wheel taller than a man and six eyes burned like newborn suns along its length.

Men flinched away in terror. Those the eyes gazed upon fell to their knees and wept. The light of the divine halo ignited the damp green grass below them. A distant rumble, like continuous thunder, could be heard, could be felt through the air. Two men screamed and hurled themselves from the walls.

Sarabiel, Keeper of the Father's House, chief servant of the Trinity, had arrived.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2017-01-28 09:02am

This should be entertaining.......
"That's what the surviving witnesses say," Marcosa replied. The mage was shorter and slighter than the prince he served. "Once does not need catapults when one has enough demons, I suppose."

Once should be One here

Horses reared in panic all along the line. Several Khaduli, members of a warrior people who spent much of their lives in the saddle, were thrown from their battle mounts. The other demons, including the mighty nalfeshnees, fled from it. Tzerika's ears rung in the aftermath as acidic spittle sizzled on the new grass. The demon roared again and the strode forward.

Not sure what type of demon this is but pretty damned strong would be my guess, should be then instead of the.
You know, its remarkably easy to feed an undead army if all you have are just enemies....

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2017-01-28 09:14am

Missed this,
Massive muscles heaved and revealed the head and torso of a demonic beast of immense size. It pulled itself up and out of the rift, planting hoofed feet on solid earth. It was immense, as tall as one of Cardan's wall towers. Its massively muscled body was covered with shaggy-fur and its head sported a bestial muscle and curved horns. It threw its head back and roared.

I think that should not be there.
You know, its remarkably easy to feed an undead army if all you have are just enemies....

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-01-28 03:10pm

Nothing I can do about it. I can't edit the posts.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby LadyTevar » 2017-01-28 04:43pm

Imperial Overlord wrote:Nothing I can do about it. I can't edit the posts.

How odd... I thought everyone had that ability on this board. I'll look into your permissions if I can
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-01-29 02:49am

There's an edit window, but it expires by the time I get any feed back. So no fixing of dangling "the" and no correcting word substitution for "muzzle". The demon, for those who must know right now, is a goristo. If you had bets on the creature's identity, the appropriate parties may now collect.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-01-30 04:11am

One did not need to be an elf to hear the demon's roar, but it did help. From his spot near the summit of Barrow Hill, Nalifan turned and gazed down upon the battlefield. He immediately recognized the vrocks circling in the sky and the hezrou demons advancing across the ground but it was the giant goristro that held his attention. The Abyssal monstrosities were frequently used living siege engines by the demon lords that owned them. It was no mystery to him what it would do to the gate, the walls, the army on the walls, and the city beyond. Not to mention the people inside, although the painfully intense brightness above the gate might have something to say about it.

The drow turned his attention back to his spell while the Outsiders clashed at the foot of the hills. The earth groaned and shook as Nalifan invoked elemental binding earth and stone to his will. A giant sheet of turf and sod tore itself free from the hillside as if the flesh on a giant limb was being degloved. Nalifan flayed the earth from the surface of the hill, tearing up grass, rock, and soil. Tearing open the resting places of countless dead and spilling dry bones and rotting corpses into the mix. Ten thousand graves were violated in a dozen heartbeats. The wave continued to grow.

Above the gatehouse the wheel of eyes glared at the host before it with the fraction of divine wrath that was its to hold. Vrock demons fell from the sky, ablaze with celestial fire. The silver spears flew from the hands of celestial hierarchs in lines that were ruler-straight, pithing hezrou demons like frogs on a vivesectionist's board. After each strike the spears reversed their flight and flew straight back into the hierarchs' hands for they were subject to their masters' will in accordance to their making and the law. The spears flew again and again, leaving demons to writhe and dissolve into primordial slime.

Four voices rose from the four throats of the celestial imperator. Each spoke of the law as it was in the beginning, when the universe arose from the chaotic spew of the Abyss and barriers were raised to separate what was wholesome from the filth that sprung from the primordial source of creation. The law bound, the law separated, and the law conferred Authority. Authority that was Sarabiel's to invoke and to wield.

The cyclones tore themselves into gusts and gales and the earth titans crumbled back to soil for the law had Dominion. The nalfeshnees huddled in the goristro's shadow as the ranks of vrocks and herzous were decimated. The huge demon surged forward, too ignorant to recognize the foes that it faced and too stupid to comprehend that it should know fear.

Rays of of celestial fire scorched its skin, but an Abyssal siege engine would not be much use if fire could easily destroy it. The goristro roared and continued its advance. Spear spears pierced its unholy flesh, but they were little more than pin pricks to giant demon. It neither waved nor slowed. Behind, marching intently but on legs a fraction of the goristro's, advanced the King of Tribes wearing the bronze harness of a barrow-king.

Sarabiel raised his rod and pointed at the goristro. Thunder roared, louder than the demon's roar, and the great beast staggered back. He lashed out with scourge and the strands stretched for a hundred yards so they could reach the demon. Black blood splattered through the air as the star tipped strands tore open unholy flesh. He gestured with his empty hand and three mouths muttered spells. Blue-white lightning flashed. Gold glyphs burned in the air around the goristro. Sky blue runes blazed into existence around Sarabiel. The demon roared and shook its head, but did not yield.

One of the nalfeshnees raised a talon-paw haloed in crackling darkness and the gold glyphs flared and died. The launched a beam of narcerous green mixed with hell-red, acid yellow, and midnight blue light at the hierarch on the left. Armour corroded under its awful mark and golden ichor boiled from the wound.

The spears sang. One missed and the other pierced a nalfeshnee in the shoulder. The wounded boar-demon roared and closed. The hierarch awaited him with the Spear of Law returning to his right hand and the Sword of Death in his left. The other unleashed a crackling ball of black lightning from between its paws. The blast staggered the wounded hierarch, but did not down him. Light blazed in its eyes and it spoke a word of law and the demon fell the earth, stunned.

The other nalfeshnee charged the celestial hierarch. The spear took the wounded demon low and the sword struck high. The demon blocked with its arm and the blade cleaved through, down to the bone. Black blood sprayed from the wound as the demon pushed forward, driving the spear through its body and through its lower back. It raised its other paw and smashed the hierarch out of the air. The ground shook with the celestial's impact. The demon fell upon hierarch to rend, to tear, to gauge open, to feast.

The Sword of Death tore through its mouth and out the back of its skull. The hierarch threw the half ton mass of demon of its body like a raider throwing a baby against a wall. The celestial rose to its feet and ascended into the air as if it was being pulled up on invisible wires. The hand of the goristro closed upon it.

The mighty demon tore the celestial apart like a cruel child tearing apart his younger sister's doll. Angelic blood boiled into golden vapor and inhuman flesh transubstantiated into shimmering light that faded into nothingness. The hierarch's death was not without cost. As the goristro turned its attention to shredding the wounded angel, Sarabiel was left unharried. The wrath of the Warden of the House of the Trinity fell upon the demon lord's fist.

The other hierarch sung a spell of banishment and a dark rift opened behind the surviving nalfeshnee and sucked it in before closing and vanishing. Sarabiel spoke with all four mouths and struck with all four hands. The Rod of Authority shattered the goristro's left hand. The jagged ends of broken bones protruded from the ruined mass that was once a hand that could punch a basalt wall without suffering harm. The scourge took the demon's left eye in an explosion of light and wrath.

Golden chains materialized to bind the goristro's limbs. Others anchored the demon to the earth and more bound him to clouds in the sky. The demon threw back its head and screamed. Massive muscles flexed and heaved. The earth shook. Horsemen in the Khaduli lines struggled to control their steeds while the King of Tribes stumbled and fell to his knees. Two chains from the sky were torn free and dissolved away. Sarabiel flew close to the struggling demon. The Sword of Death swung. The mammoth head toppled from the demon's shoulders and fell to the ground.

-----

Krazad watched the Outsiders tore each other to pieces. The enemy had brought stronger beings to bear than expected but perhaps that was to be expected. With so many of their nations having fallen, the house dweller gods were as desperate as their worshipers. But where was the elf? Tzerika and the others could smash the walls and assist the King of Tribes, but where was the elf's hand. He should have aided the celestials. It would be a foolish waste not to and the elf was no fool. Where was he?

He felt the magic first. Strong and growing stronger and not coming from the city, but close enough to matter. He turned his head and saw. He spoke a spell and his sight became clearer, piercing through the distance to see exactly what the elf, and it had to be the elf, had raised.

He had flayed the hill, turning the mass of earth and tone into a titan of moss and grass and moist black earth. Broken tree limbs and tombstones protruded from the vaguely humanoid mass but that's not what caught his eyes. Skulls and femurs, ribs and spines, bloated and emaciated corpses were part of the ghastly mix. Elemental magic might have been used to raise this horror but it was necromancer that fed. A city's worth of violated graves were mixed into the obscenity. If Krazad's hands were less stained by atrocity he would have been rendered speechless.

The giant took a step. It was slow, but the immense length of its stride made it deceptively fast. "Tzerika," Krazad called out with a messenger spell. "Forget the gate. Look to the left. Kill that thing."

There was no response for a moment. "Then," she sent, "this thing is of the elf. Yours to kill."

"The elf is mine to kill. Deal with this, I will deal with its maker."
Last edited by LadyTevar on 2017-01-30 10:46pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: ImpFeline fixed typos
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2017-01-31 09:55am

Well one of the two hierarchs is gone along with the enemy elementals and what appears to be the majority of the abyssal forces including the mighty goristo.
While the King of the Tribes is invincible I'd say he is going to have to work for a bit here as the Vescoria summon up more lesser demons and elementals while the Khaduli warriors ready themselves for some siegework.
You know, its remarkably easy to feed an undead army if all you have are just enemies....

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-02-04 07:25am

Crows cawed to each other excitedly as they circled the battlefield. The horde of carrion birds following the Khaduli's merciless progress were now meeting and clashing with the recently displaced of Barrow Hill. They squawked angrily at each other, but nothing worse than that. They were smart enough to know there would soon be enough food for all.

"Narveth, Kylann, Cerzin," Krazad snapped. The Vescoria wizards clustered around Tzerika turned their heads. "You three, with me," ordered Krazad. Tzerika suppressed a curse. Stopping that thing was hard enough with the goristro banished. Losing three of her best wizards didn't help.

"Fall back and regroup!" Tzerika shouted. "Anything you can do to slow that thing down, do it!" The Khaduli were already fleeing from the monstrosity. What use are lances against a hundred foot tall colossus made of corpses and grave dirt? Their mightiest demons and elementals had already been unleashed.

The wizards seized their horses and joined the fleeing horde. The colossus slowly strode forward as the Khaduli abandoned their King of Tribes to flee. Not that the King of Tribes cared. He barely spared the colossus a glance before returning his attention to the celestials before him.

Magic did not come easy to him, even with a direct conduit to the Maw itself, but Krazad had been helpful. He focused on what he desired and let the god provide. He strode around the goristro's head, the fallen demon having been large enough to provide cover from the celestials, with a spear of red light humming in his hand.

He let fly.The deadly spell punched through the harness of the surviving hierarch and corroded his flesh. Gravity ceased to be disdained. The hierarch tumbled to the ground and lay still. The King of Tribes advanced.

The wheel of eyes gazed upon him. The ground blackened and smoked. His armour grew hot and the air swam around him. Ballista bolts from the battlements shot passed him, one disintegrating in front of him before it even touched his armour. The pieces burned under the glare of divine wrath.

What did he care about divine wrath? What were the gods to him? The spirits of wind and sky, earth and flowing water had all been overcome and thrown down, replaced by his master and the one truth. All flesh is to be eaten, whether by hunters after the kill or warriors after a triumph or maggots in the grave. The spells on his armour drank most of the celestial's fury. The rest did not matter. Pain only made him stronger and The Maw sustained his life.

Sarabiel spoke again, all four mouths chanting the initiators of a mighty spell. Blinding light flashed around the King of Tribes, runes glowing blue-white and then shattering into pieces as enchantments were destroyed and magic unwoven. Treasures fit for the mightiest of kings became mundane bronze, an antiquated panoply inferior to the steel armaments of a common man-at-arms.

The King of Tribes shrugged. He never much liked armour anyway. He could not die and he loved killing. He had killed with his teeth, this hands, and every weapon he could name. These house dweller spirits might require a little more than that, but that wasn't a problem. The King of Tribes called out to The Maw and The Maw answered.

-----

Krazad eyed his wizards. The were robed in flayed hide reinforced with bone wards set in gold and platinum bound to their robes or worn their bodies. Kylann with no grey in her blonde braids or lines on her face was the youngest, but none of them were old enough that their flesh was in danger of failing them and they were all masters of the art. It was a pity he was going to have to sacrifice some of them.

Kylann's gaze carried more than a little heat and while Krazad had access to all the slave flesh he might desire, that wasn't the same as the lust of a peer. He made the decision on the spot. "Kylann, approach the hill from the left. Narveth, go at it straight on." The grey haired mage glowered on him. He knew it was the most dangerous position. "Cerzin, go right. I'll move to the top and hit him when he engages."

They didn't like being set up like sacrificial goats, but they had a chance of surviving if the went along with and none if they defied him. And if they died they had at least a chance of being returned to life. They began layering on defensive spells. Krazad invoked his own and teleported into the sky.

He could see nothing but billowing white, but that was the point of teleporting into a cloud with a flying spell active. An invisibility spell would be easily detected while the cloud was just a cloud. Sometimes throwing more magic at the problem was not the solution. He dropped down through the layers until he hit open sky.

He was above and behind the hill, hopefully in a spot the elf would not even consider looking. The hill looked strange, abruptly transforming from green covered sod to naked earth where the elf had flayed away the land and graves to make his undead warmachine. Such power. Eating the elf might make him as mighty as The King of Tribes.

Crows cawed at him and banked near his wards as he dropped through a flock. He dismissed the birds without a thought. The only thing that would happen if they struck at him is that they would fall burning from the sky. He could see Kylann advancing, sheathed in jade light. Narveth was flying above the grave colossus, having used it to shield his approach for as long as possible. Ice-blue flames danced around him. Where was the elf?

There. A dark robed figure orbited by those very familiar and very effective shielding orbs of silver light. Cerzin struck at him with a lance of ruby light and burned a blackened line through the soil of the earth. Silver orbs began to wink out as Narveth and Kylann unleashed blasts of red-black flame and an icy ray. The elf unleashed an unfamiliar sorcery upon Kylann that tore apart her protective spells, but did not touch her.

His wizards stuck again, blasting the elf with lightning and rock-shattering thunder. The silver orbs vanished under the assault, consuming themselves in negating the killing sorcery. The elf unleashed an emerald beam at Kylann and blasted her into dust and smoke in a flash of green light. Krazad's face contorted with fury as he unleashed a torrent of flaming meteors from his hand.

Narveth and Cerzin followed suit as half the hillside was covered in detonations of red-black flame. A howling whirlwind of ice shards drawn from the Eight Circle of Baator's Hells and a seething massive of corrosive mass rolled through the fire and smoke where the elf had stood. Smoke and clouds of greenish acid obscured Krazad's vision. He was sure the elf had been within the blasts when the meteor swarm, but if had managed to survive the meteor strike perhaps he had been able to escape in the few heartbeats before the acid had rolled over him.

The gas began to clear. The ground was broken and cratered, but a withered silhouette lay sprawled on the ground. They had got him! He was dead!

A deep voice rumbled from behind him. "You should have paid more attention to the crows and less to my simulacrum." Krazad tumbled from the sky, his flying spells failing. Twisting in the air he saw a huge armour plated orb-beast slowly descending from the sky. It was a deep purple-blue in colour and sprouted a dozen eyestalks the length of a human arm from the top. A fang filled maw split the orb near the bottom and an unblinking central eye followed his descent.

Narveth and Cerzin watched Krazad smash into the rocky side of a half exposed barrow with enough force to splatter into bloody goo instantly upon impact. The terrible eye tyrant descended towards them, glaring at them with its central eye and its clusters of eye stalks writhing with murderous anticipation. More killing sorcery left their lips, but died as they spoke it. Only the mightiest magics could overcome the magic suppressing power of a beholder's central eye.

Nalifan shifted so the central eye pointed only at Cerzin and then lashed out with his eye stalks. A blood red beam flayed open Narveth's left arm and a grey-white beam turned the wizard to stone. Cerzin turned to run and Nalifan closed his central eye. A paralysis beam bound Cerzin in place while another eye caused the doomed wizard to rise into the air. The drow repeatedly smashed the wizard into the barrow's rocky side, right next to his master. Soon they were virtually indistinguishable.

The beholder was now hovering mere inches above the ground. Nalifan resumed his own form in an eyeblink. The drow raised his arms, clad in gauntlets made from rings of power and bracers that were some of his finest and most dire work. His fingers danced and reality trembled from the baleful words he spoke, the locality's very alignment with the cosmic order shifting as he spoke. Green witchfire began to burn on the bodies before him and a cold wind picked up from nowhere and everywhere.

"Now, let the dying start in earnest."
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Esquire » 2017-02-04 09:43am

I've just caught up with the recent additions, and I want to say that I'm really happy you decided to continue the story. I can't wait to find out what that last spell did.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Rogue 9 » 2017-02-04 11:36pm

"The elf unleashed an emerald beam at Kylann and blasted her into dust and smoke in a flash of green light. Krazad's face contorted with fury as he unleashed a torrent of flaming meteors from his hand.

"Narveth and Kylann followed suit..."

How does she do that while disintegrated? ;)
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby LadyTevar » 2017-02-05 02:10am

Rogue 9 wrote:"The elf unleashed an emerald beam at Kylann and blasted her into dust and smoke in a flash of green light. Krazad's face contorted with fury as he unleashed a torrent of flaming meteors from his hand.

"Narveth and Kylann followed suit..."

How does she do that while disintegrated? ;)
Fixed the typo, since his edit-window closed
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-02-06 07:59am

It took the colossus three times as long as a man to complete a single stride. Each of its strides was fifteen times as long as a man's. Fiery explosions blackened moist earth and charred corpses. Bursts of icy cold mottled its surface with hoarfrost and lightning blasted scars into its body but nothing stopped it or slowed it. Not turning the ground into mud which caused it to sink up to its ankles or causing masses of vegetation to erupt from the ground. Walls of fire, of ice, of stone, or even magic itself were too puny to bar its passage. It did not slow and it did not tire. It was not slowed by the masses fleeing before it or the congestion caused by thousands trying to escape. It closed with the inevitability of a tidal wave.

Horses and men flew through the air where the titan lumbered into the Khaduli horde, crushing and kicking as it went. As it closed the mightiest of the Khaduli's wizards rose into the air, forming a semi-circle in front of the colossus. It had taken precious time for Tzerika to regain control of the Vescoria after the initial chaos and panic of the grave titan's advance. The disorganized rain of spells had been essentially worthless. Tzerika knew she had to do better.

"Disintegration!" she commanded. "Blast it down to size." Spells of obliterating matter were rarely chosen by Khaduli wizards, except in time of siege. As such, many were held by the wizards assembled around her. Rays of jade and sky-blue light were unleashed by the two score wizards around her. Chunks of the grave titan vanished in flashes of light and trailed away from its body as clouds of dust.

The slurry of earth and corpses shifted, filling in the holes in its body and reforming its mass. More spells struck it and its body shifted and reformed as it trampled men and horses underfoot. When the barrage finished the nightmare was half its former height.

"Earth moving spells!" she shouted. "Earth and stone! Finish it!"

-----

The King of Tribes roared to the sky. "Give me a deathbolt!" He screamed while raising his left hand. Black unlight streamed from his fist like negative lightning that cast shadow all along its path. It struck the wheel of eyes, blasting flakes of shadow and blue-white sparks from all along the rim. The celestial wobbled in the air, but did not fall.

Sarabiel spoke words of authority and law while lashing out with his scourge. The words would have thrown a Lord of the Pit from this world and sent it falling broken and battered back to Baator's Hells. The King of Tribes barely felt it. He raised he left hand to block the scourge. The stars that tipped it burned through the bronze vambrace and the gambeson underneath to sear the flesh beneath down to the bone.

His breath hissed through clenched teeth. The wheel gazed down upon him and his whole world became fire. His flesh burned and his armour became hot metal strapped to his body. Smoke rose from his gambeson as it charred and his eyes began to boil in their sockets.

He could take the pain, even the pain of burning. Pain was not to him as to any other man. Wounds, no matter how terrible, were ephemeral. Pain, no matter how terrible, was momentary. He only had to endure and it would abate, leaving him with only the ghost of its sensation. The world was smoke and only he was solid. He screamed to the sky, his saliva boiling in his mouth. "Black Hammer!"

A shadow blocked the sun as fist of impenetrable darkness the size of an elephant materialized in the air above his head. It struck with the speed of a ballista bolt. The wheel of eyes exploded into fragments of light and fire which rained down over the gatehouse. The overwhelming heat died, another ephemeral experience, although hot metal remained strapped to his body. He roared in triumph. "You," he shouted at Sarabiel, "what now? What now that you're all alone? What now that I have slain so many of your brothers, laid waste to so many of your nations, so many of your cities and temples? That I have eaten so many of your faithful? Now, when you have to face me alone? WHAT NOW?"

Four mouths spoke and the very earth shook. "Now I wipe your filth from the face of the earth." Sarabiel descended in wrath, the mightiest of the servants of the Trinity in the fullness of his power. His words smote The King of Tribes in a pillar of silver fire and brought down lightning from the clouds. From his wings came a hail of feathers that pierced like razor-edged knives. He landed as the pillar of fire died, in front of the charred and blackened form of The King of Tribes, pierced by a dozen knife-feathers.

The King struggled to his feet as the Rod of Authority came down. Bronze deformed under the blow that shattered his skull. The Sword of Death cut his right arm from his body at the shoulder and went deep into his chest. The King of Tribes fell. His body rolled down the hill.

The King of Tribes rolled to his knees. Blackened hands tore off the helmet of malformed bronze. He got to his feet, heat swirling around him, bronze armour burning his flesh through the remnants of the gambeson. Burned skin sloughed from regenerating muscles as he got to his feet, flexing a new right arm that was already sprouting fingers. "Is that it?" he laughed.

Sarabiel struck. The King of Tribes blocked the scourge with new right arm and stabbed the celestial in the thigh. He took a bone breaking strike to his left arm and the Sword of Death through the rib in reply. Bright red blood and golden ichor spilled onto the ground. Laughing, he clutched the Celestial's leg and reached into the wound with his under developed right hand. Shining gore spilled as he probed and tore.

Sarabiel toppled and The King of Tribes mounted his body. Sarabiel's resisted, but The King of Tribes was stronger. Hands with the strength of a titan tore off a cuirass that was part of the celestial's very being, exposing raw and glistening flesh. He tore out shining gobbets and feasted on the still living body.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby SCRawl » 2017-02-06 12:54pm

I wonder if Serabiel is fully aware of how well connected (and therefore dangerous) the King of Tribes is. You would think that he is, considering that he's, you know, the right-hand being of an actual pantheon of gods, and if he was sent to deal with a problem then it has to be a pretty big problem.

I pose the question because if he was in full possession of the facts, he might have gone for head removal at the point when the King of Tribes was struggling to his feet. (In-game it could have been as simple as a roll from the "sword of sharpness" results table, of course. Assuming that that hasn't changed since 1e.) Not that head removal would necessarily do the job, since if he's able to regenerate lost limbs and recover from full-thickness fourth-degree burns and skull fractures almost instantly he might be able to re-grow a whole body. Indeed, one wonders if any sort of permanent solution is possible, though I hope to find out soon :)
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby LadyTevar » 2017-02-07 02:03pm

SCRawl wrote: Indeed, one wonders if any sort of permanent solution is possible, though I hope to find out soon :)

I'm beginning to think the only way to kill him is somehow sever his tie to The Maw
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Nitram, slightly high on cough syrup: Do you know you're beautiful?
Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2017-02-08 03:21am

LadyTevar wrote:
SCRawl wrote: Indeed, one wonders if any sort of permanent solution is possible, though I hope to find out soon :)

I'm beginning to think the only way to kill him is somehow sever his tie to The Maw

Or kill the Maw somehow. Its powerful, but it is not a deity and I doubt it is as powerful as one of the dukes.
As a side note however, one can potentially imprison the King of the Tribes as a near permanent solution. He has massive regeneration, but I do not think that can counter a petrification effect or an Imprisonment/Trap the Soul spell.
You know, its remarkably easy to feed an undead army if all you have are just enemies....

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby LadyTevar » 2017-02-08 05:48am

Nal is fond of Trap the Soul.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-02-15 07:23am

Wisps of green fire began to burn in the violated graves of Barrow Hill. The flames grew into roaring blazes with humanoid shadows twisting in their heart. Nalifan drew the blazes higher, the ghost fires consuming the shades of the dead, the lingering death energies of the grave fueling the spell. The shadowy fragments of once living beings were capable of only the most basic emotions and thought and they only knew they were being torn from their rest and consumed. All they knew was fear and rage.

Nalifan's hands danced as he pulled the flames higher and began weaving them together. A twisting tower of life devouring flame slowly rose into the sky and with it came the howls of the dead. The pillar and turned and twisted, gaining speed and creating a cold wind as it dragged in air and shades to fuel itself. The cyclone of malice and death energies grew higher and higher. Dark silhouettes writhed in the flames as the necromantic whirlwind began to move towards the Khaduli army.

The Khaduli had many wizards, but they had expended many of them already. How many did they have left? How many of the spells they retained were suitable for use against an undead conglomeration of shades and cold fire? Nalifan's guess was that they would find it even more difficult to deal with than the grave colossus but there was only one way to be sure. The Howling Vortex wasn't something he had fine control over, but that was the whole point. To it the dead were fuel and the living were easy to make dead.

He pointed down the hill, to where the Khaduli horde was reforming amongst a field littered with the dead. He uttered a word of command. The screams rose in volume as the cyclone raced down the hill towards fresh tinder. Nalifan smiled.

In a way, his whole life had lead up to this day. He had been trained since childhood in magic and his aptitude for necromancy had been richly supported. No expense had been spared into making him a weapon with which to shatter his house's enemies. And now, having essentially exiled himself from his family, he was making war and weaponizing horror for others. For all his power he was just another male wizard dancing to the piper's tune.

The irony made him smile. "Some things we cannot escape, no matter how hard we try," he whispered. "But the last lines have not been written and I may still be the hand that wields the pen."

-----

The King of Tribes ignored the chaos raging behind him. Others would take care of that. Ambrosia danced on his tongue as the after taste of celestial meat lingered in his mouth. His body was coated in golden gore that was slowly boiling away in streamers of mist as he rose from his victims, his belly full and his brain giddy with triumph.

They shot at him from the walls. Arrows and bolts and even several rocks, although all the last missed but not always by much of a margin. He was six times pierced as he neared the gate, snapping shafts as he went. His body slowly ejected what was left, which meant that four arrow heads were still lodged as the gate drew near.

It was oak, steel banded and reinforced. Double doors, undoubtedly barred and so forth. He raised his hand. "Firebolt!" he shouted. Power rushed through him, burning him from the inside out, but that was fine. It would heal as every other wound healed. Swiftly and without scaring. Red hell light blazed from his outstretched hand and blasted the stout oak into burning flinders. Burning wreckage hung from the hinges and the bar remained in place, but that was as unimportant as the burning splinters lodged in his gambeson.

He walked forward and reached through the gaping hole in the doors and lifted the bar. A kick sent the door creaking inward on its hinges. Inside a portcullis barred the way half way through the gatehouse. Another set of double doors blocked the far end. He was on the killing floor.

Oil poured through holes in the ceiling above. This would be the fourth time he had done this and the pain was great enough that it made smashing down the walls a job that was preferably handled by sorcerers and their summoned minions. Pain was smoke and ghosts but a lake of fire was a lot of smoke.

Oil ran down over his hair and face, over his chest and down his legs. It pooled on the floor and the pools spread into each other and then, as always, the fire came racing down from above. Then the world was fire. Pain was smoke but now all the air was smoke. All the world was smoke.

He screamed was he burned. He screamed as his face burned and his scrotum cooked. He screamed as his eyes hissed and bubbled as everything became pain. Agonized fingers closed on the portcullis bars and he screamed his pain and directed his spite.

For a moment nothing happened and then the bars began to crumble under his hands. He pulled the ones he was gripping lose and then kicked ahead of him. He felt the bars give away and then the whole thing collapse in a rang of clanging iron. His legs buckled and he slumped into the fire. So much pain. Let it end. Just curl up and let it end. But it wouldn't end faster. He rose.

He walked through the rusted remnants of the portcullis. Each step was agony and he was walking blind. Every part screamed at him. He would have wept if he was able.

He beat the doors. "Break!" he screamed. Or tried to. The door exploded away from him as all the bones in his arms splintered. He staggered forward, his arms hanging limp from shoulders. He was still burning, soaked in oil. So much pain.

But he was out of the lake of fire and the doors were shattered. He was through. They would try to stop him, wound him, kill him. They would fail. All that mattered is that the pain would soon be gone and that he would soon be killing again. The gates were broken. The larder was open.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2017-02-15 02:23pm

I have no clue as to what spell Nal just used, but it seems to be fueled by the destruction of the souls of the dead so this could be the permanent end of Krazad the Carnivora who's body was among the mess Nal made of Barrow Hill. Even if his soul wasn't consumed by the magic Nal should be more then capable of trapping his soul as he has had that spell for some time already before constructing his astral soul catcher.

And I had a nasty thought. I remember that Nal had been working on a spell that used the victim's life force to fuel magical flames around their internal organs (it was mentioned in Since When Does Trouble Knock at the very beginning) so it is possible that he had completed it. How would the King of Tribe's regeneration work with a spell that would continually burn while he regenerates as his life force would never end? If Nal has finished it, this would be... well not an end as the King of Tribes could only die when the Maw wills it (or possibly if the Maw itself was permanently slain), but the sort of eternal suffering one might compare the Wall of the Faithless or the punishment of the absolute worst of the False and would be the sort of thing that helps define the legend of Nalifan. Providing he survives of course.
You know, its remarkably easy to feed an undead army if all you have are just enemies....

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby LadyTevar » 2017-02-15 03:57pm

The name of the spell Nal just used is "The Howling Vortex". And yes, as it kills, it will add more souls to fuel the spell, so it's gonna last a while.

However, I'd totally forgotten the "burning internal organs" spell! That would certainly slow the King of Tribes down!
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Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2017-02-15 10:16pm

Googled Howling Vortex, couldn't find it, but I am presuming that those it kills (and the initial souls used to make it) are permanently gone so no returns to life are possible.

And yeah, the King of Tribe, while invulnerable, does have a pain limit so....
You know, its remarkably easy to feed an undead army if all you have are just enemies....

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-02-16 01:59am

It's a custom epic level spell. And, to be clear, it doesn't affect souls (which requires massively powerful magic in D&D to do anything nonconsensual with a soul). In the D&D cosmology there's energy and impressions (including the shade) left with a dead body (all totally mineable with the right necromantic magic), but the soul goes on its way. Thus you can use speak with dead and get a cryptic, bitter bastard to talk to even if the subject is your best friend and you can get undead forming from traumatic deaths while the soul goes on to its reward.

And while it won't eat the Carnivora's soul, Nal is right there on top of the body with lots of powerful necromancy and the means to contract with soul grabbing Night Hags.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby LadyTevar » 2017-02-16 12:31pm

Imperial Overlord wrote:And while it won't eat the Carnivora's soul, Nal is right there on top of the body with lots of powerful necromancy and the means to contract with soul grabbing Night Hags.

And there's always SoulJar spell. For when you want to keep a soul around for your personal pleasure :angelic:
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Nitram, slightly high on cough syrup: Do you know you're beautiful?
Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-02-16 03:01pm

LadyTevar wrote:
Imperial Overlord wrote:And while it won't eat the Carnivora's soul, Nal is right there on top of the body with lots of powerful necromancy and the means to contract with soul grabbing Night Hags.

And there's always SoulJar spell. :angelic:


Wrong spell. That's for body jacking.
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