Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-05-19 04:42am

Grimnosh wrote:Yeah, good luck with that, considering drow you'll really need it. Of course finding them would be difficult considering dimensional travel, and the Tribes would lose so badly fighting underground it wouldn't be funny.


A couple things to remember. One, when the locals mean elves they mean the handful in the north. They've never seen an elf before, just third hand stories. They don't know how different Nalifan is.

Second, they have a lot of high level wizards. That, their numbers, and the fact they fight as a unified army means they can manage extradimensional travel and would eat most drow city-states from breakfast. You haven't seen all their tricks yet. You'll have a better view of how formidable they are by the end.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Highlord Laan » 2014-05-20 01:49am

Grimnosh wrote:
Imperial Overlord wrote:"To him they are." The King of Tribes paused for a moment. "His people. These elves."

"Yes, oh King?"

"They are too much trouble. We kill them all. All but the girl-children. We will see what their blood yields when mixed with our own."

Yeah, good luck with that, considering drow you'll really need it. Of course finding them would be difficult considering dimensional travel, and the Tribes would lose so badly fighting underground it wouldn't be funny.

Great work as always IO, keep it up.

Couple of context (spelling) mistakes that I spotted, a brain pan full of whine instead of a brain pan full of wine and dark died human hide should have been dark dyed human skin, still great work.


Not even just drow. Fighting elves in general in places like forests, built up terrain or cities is just plain nasty. And they have ancient magic in the hands of arch wizards millenniums old, titanic, world-shaking artifacts and ad entire pantheon that isn't exactly skittish about getting directly involved if things get bad enough. Elven civilization is still standing for a reason.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2014-05-20 07:58am

Imperial Overlord wrote:
Grimnosh wrote:Yeah, good luck with that, considering drow you'll really need it. Of course finding them would be difficult considering dimensional travel, and the Tribes would lose so badly fighting underground it wouldn't be funny.


A couple things to remember. One, when the locals mean elves they mean the handful in the north. They've never seen an elf before, just third hand stories. They don't know how different Nalifan is.

Second, they have a lot of high level wizards. That, their numbers, and the fact they fight as a unified army means they can manage extradimensional travel and would eat most drow city-states from breakfast. You haven't seen all their tricks yet. You'll have a better view of how formidable they are by the end.

I'm not sure that beating the drow would be that easy IO. Yes they have what you say, high level wizards, numbers and a united army. Thing is the drow have that and more on their side. Each drow, even the least, has a pretty good resistance to magic and a great deal of superior equipment (granted it can't take daylight but most drow don't run around in that to begin with). The more experienced drow of course, have even better toys. They also possess a great number of high level casters, both mage and clerical, of their own with a huge slave population ranging from kobolds to minotaurs and greater which they can toss around as well as exotic units like lizard cavalry which are unimpeded by most terrain. And if the King of Tribe's comment on elf-girl children was heard by most female drow, as they worship Lolth, it would have them enraged to an almost unbelievable degree.

You'd also have to add in drow tactics.

If the drow had to fight the Tribes on the surface, it would only be at night which would be to their best advantage as even surface elves have a hard time at best detecting drow at night. The Tribes would have their sentries shot by drow crossbows and put to sleep (via the sleeping poisons drow commonly use), probably have their necks slit as the drow pass by, and the morning after would be counting their dead in the thousands as the drow would murder them while they slept. If detected while doing their dirty work, they would flee into the night while the humans stumble around with lit torches which would let the drow know exactly where they are and make them easy prey for ambush if they didn't just avoid them completely. Not even wood elves, arguably the best trackers on the surface would want to try and chase drow in the night. Add in that the drow would never have an above ground camp, using caves which probably would need magic (such as a portal) to access, the Tribes would have a hell of a time at best assaulting their forward bases, which could easily have the tunnels to the surface collapsed if they could be found at all.

Underground it is even worse, as the few places there are that are large enough for a horse charge tend to have bad ground for such, while the drow lizard cavalry have no troubles with wall and ceiling climbing. Considering the basic factor that the Tribes (as being human) need some light to see and fight by, which the drow themselves do not need, is easily countered by the drow's innate darkness magic which even the least of drow can use. Add in drow's innate invisibility combined with their piwafwi (drow cloaks) and you can have ambush central anywhere the Tribes are even in the midst of their formations (such as levitating down from the stalactites) while they stumble around blindly in the dark. If the Tribes went into the Underdark to fight the drow, they would (IMO) be wiped out, either slaughtered by the drow in combat or taken captive and either sacrificed or pressed into slavery.

Ultimately the Tribes are great in open combat on the surface particularly on horseback, but have no skill or knowledge of tunnel or dark fighting, which is something the drow have in spades having done it for thousands of years.

But I guess we will have to agree to disagree.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-05-20 11:27pm

Grimnosh wrote:I'm not sure that beating the drow would be that easy IO. Yes they have what you say, high level wizards, numbers and a united army. Thing is the drow have that and more on their side. Each drow, even the least, has a pretty good resistance to magic and a great deal of superior equipment (granted it can't take daylight but most drow don't run around in that to begin with). The more experienced drow of course, have even better toys. They also possess a great number of high level casters, both mage and clerical, of their own with a huge slave population ranging from kobolds to minotaurs and greater which they can toss around as well as exotic units like lizard cavalry which are unimpeded by most terrain. And if the King of Tribe's comment on elf-girl children was heard by most female drow, as they worship Lolth, it would have them enraged to an almost unbelievable degree.


The combined drow-slave population of most drow cities is outnumbered several times over by the fighting strength of the Khaduli horde. The same weight of numbers means the drow casters are badly outnumbered by their Khaduli equivalents. This is the army that routinely mantains hundreds of bound demons as cannon fodder and summon great elementals as a back up plan. And again, the division and lack of trust in the drow ranks leaves them at a crippling disadvantage. And that's without actual treachery happening and when one remembers that the great houses of Menzoberranzen turned on each other during a battle to resist an invader who intended to annihilate them, treachery is likely to happen.


If the drow had to fight the Tribes on the surface, it would only be at night which would be to their best advantage as even surface elves have a hard time at best detecting drow at night. The Tribes would have their sentries shot by drow crossbows and put to sleep (via the sleeping poisons drow commonly use), probably have their necks slit as the drow pass by, and the morning after would be counting their dead in the thousands as the drow would murder them while they slept. If detected while doing their dirty work, they would flee into the night while the humans stumble around with lit torches which would let the drow know exactly where they are and make them easy prey for ambush if they didn't just avoid them completely. Not even wood elves, arguably the best trackers on the surface would want to try and chase drow in the night. Add in that the drow would never have an above ground camp, using caves which probably would need magic (such as a portal) to access, the Tribes would have a hell of a time at best assaulting their forward bases, which could easily have the tunnels to the surface collapsed if they could be found at all.


I have no idea why you assume that all the fighting will occur at night. The drow are at a significant disadvantage during daylight. Guerrilla tactics will work, to a limited degree, that's why Nalifan has unleashed rangers. The Khaduli, on the other hand, can lose ten thousand fighting men without significant degradation of their combat effectiveness. The drow can't say the same.

Underground it is even worse, as the few places there are that are large enough for a horse charge tend to have bad ground for such, while the drow lizard cavalry have no troubles with wall and ceiling climbing. Considering the basic factor that the Tribes (as being human) need some light to see and fight by, which the drow themselves do not need, is easily countered by the drow's innate darkness magic which even the least of drow can use. Add in drow's innate invisibility combined with their piwafwi (drow cloaks) and you can have ambush central anywhere the Tribes are even in the midst of their formations (such as levitating down from the stalactites) while they stumble around blindly in the dark. If the Tribes went into the Underdark to fight the drow, they would (IMO) be wiped out, either slaughtered by the drow in combat or taken captive and either sacrificed or pressed into slavery.



This assumes the Khaduli will have very limited access to light, can't shoot lizards off ceilings, can't counter darkness magic despite having vast magical resources, and can be entirely defeated by guerrilla skirmishes. Most tunnel attacks will be suicide because the Khaduli will just crush the attackers with numbers as they can afford to trade five to one against the drow and win (and the drow won't get those ratios) and those attacks will mostly not happen as no drow warrior thinks that killing three or five or seven Khaduli is worth his or her precious tender buttocks getting stuck in a mob of human killers. They're drow, they don't do self sacrifice. That's for faerie. Again, the drow cannot withstand the Khaduli and are likely to badly underestimate them.

Ultimately the Tribes are great in open combat on the surface particularly on horseback, but have no skill or knowledge of tunnel or dark fighting, which is something the drow have in spades having done it for thousands of years.


The Khaduli have no experience in siege warfare either but have cracked every fortress they've faced in less than a day. Their elite is fueled by black magic, their leadership is a ruthless meritocracy, they have vast numbers, they have enormous amounts of brute magical force, and a powerful epic wizard isn't their heaviest hitter. This is an army no one sane wishes to face.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-05-29 07:56pm

Handren ducked his head as he entered Nalifan's tent. There were two stools, a cot, a lantern, and very little extra space. The arch-necromancer was sitting on the cot. "You wanted to see me?" Handren asked.

"Yes," said Nalifan. "Sit or stand as you prefer." Handren remained standing. His was a head taller than Nalifan and twice as massive. He looked like he could be broken like a twig. Such a fragile hope. But that appearance was a lie. Almost everything about the elf was a lie.

"What do you want?" Handren asked.

"I need someone to lead a detachment to reinforce Cardan."

"Do you want me out of the way?" Handren asked.

"No," said Nalifan. "Why do you ask that?"

"You're grinding the Khaduli down to a force that you can actually defeat. Attrition. You need them to bleed at Cardan, but you don't need anyone there alive. Better for you if they all die, if they can sell their lives dearly enough. So I ask you, do you want me dead?"

"Very good," said Nalifan. "You have an excellent grasp of the situation and what I need. That's why I need you there and that's also why I need you, if no one else, to survive the cauldron. As a field commander alone, you're far too valuable alive. To say nothing of your political value."

He paused. "The Khaduli are going to have the choice of bypassing or taking Cardan and they're going to choose to take it. Circumstances will make ignoring it too costly and too much of a risk. They'll also want to make someone hurt. They'll come and when it matters, I'll be with you."

"You're a cold one," said Handren.

"So are you," said Nalifan. "Give you another couple of decades and put you in a situation where your options are constrained and your allies are absent and you will make glaciers."

"So Cardan."

"With two thousand more men and your father's mage-spy. Her job is to keep you alive and get you out of the city alive. Take command of the garrison, make whatever preparations you can, and wait for me to arrive."

-----------------------------------------

Haakon looked down from the trees as the Khaduli warrior pulled the bucket out of the well. The village was deserted, the inhabitants having fled in advance of the horde. Not everyone had fled north when Nalifan had given the order, but many more had joined them in the wake of the army's retreat or when given warnings by rangers. This village had been empty for less than a day. The refugees weren't moving fast enough to escape the horde.

The warrior sniffed the water. The well wasn't poisoned, although Haakon had poisoned the wells of two earlier villages. The Khaduli had succeeded in rounding up a few stray chickens, but left the pig carcasses alone. That was was wise, because those carcasses were poisoned. The Khaduli were going to cook the chickens and supplement it with the dried meat and berries they carried in their saddlebags.

He looked over to the west. The sun would set in another two hours. It was too far to reach the main body of the horde so the Khaduli would camp here. Nearly a hundred men and women, hardened and experienced killers who could kill with bow, sword, and lance and ride better than they could walk. They would mount a strong watch and man for man and woman for woman were stronger, better fighters fighters than Haakons rangers.

That wouldn't matter. There wasn't going to be a fight. None of the Khaduli were going to make it to the dawn.
Last edited by Imperial Overlord on 2014-11-02 03:20am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-06-04 09:59am

The male lion yawned, showing a mouth full of killing fangs as it sunned itself on the hill. A cool breeze played over the long grass, just cold enough to take the edge off the heat of the day. A lioness emerged from the grass to rub her muzzle against his while the rest of the pride stalked prey at the water hole below. The lion blinked and turned to gaze at the humanoids walking below. Protected, his senses said, and that was enough. Dusk would be coming soon and then he would join the hunt. He returned the female's nuzzle. There were other ways to pass the time.

"The lions look peaceable enough," said Sylvetria. "The tigers work or are they just well fed?"

"Everything is well fed in The Beastlands," answered Elvarra. "Long summers, mild winters, and abundant growing seasons. Wounds heal quickly, completely, and clean; the waters are untainted, and the dead are reborn in this world or the another as the next generation. Paradise if you're dumb animal."

"These animals speak," said Mikos

"Some do," Elvarra agreed. "Paradise if you're a hunter as well. I think you would do well here, in the cool forests with game you know. Me, not so much. I don't see any palace around here."

"Of course you don't," said Trizkel. "What prey animals would choose to live near the home of the King of Cats? It moves according to his will and only the cats can see it." He tapped the mithril prosthetic that covered a quarter of his skull. The spider-eye gems glowed softly. "That cats and a few others. It's in the trees."

"Savannah with large patches of dense forest?" said Mikos. "That seem a bit . . . odd to everyone? One requires a hell of lot more water than the other."

"Cat Realm," said Elvarra. "Forest and plain so every kitty is happy." She stepped toward the shadow of the deep woods and the others followed.

A leopard looked down at them from an overhanging branch as they approached. "Well well well," he said softly. "What do we have here? Elves and humans and even a gnome. Oh my."

"How do you do, lord leopard?" Mikos asked. "We're here to see the King of Cats."

"Of course you are," the leopard purred. "Why else would you be here and why else would the tigers let you come? You're not the first, not even the first this month, and you won't be the last. Although this might be the last trip you'll ever make if the Cat Lord doesn't like you."

"That goes without saying," said Trizkel.

"Yes, but it amuses me to say it," said the leopard. He yawned, showing a mouthful of killing teeth. "Time, I believe, matters to you. Not to us, not here. You are on the right path. Take your time or don't."

They walked down the game trail, beneath the spread out limbs of tall trees. Birds chirped and the underbrush rustled. The savannah vanished as they moved deeper in, hidden by a veil of trees and shadow. Sunlight lanced down from gaps overhead, creating alternating pools of light and shadow. Unseen creatures moved not far away.

The path opened to a clearing dominated by a magnificent white marble palace. Dozens of windows pierced the structure, letting the sunlight and exotic flowers grew in beds under the windows, creating a miniature pastel jungle around the walls. Mighty felines reclined on the sills or walked from one ledge to another while winged cats perched in the highest windows or sunned themselves on the roof. A great doorway gaped wide open and a deep red carpet covered the walkway leading into the palace itself. A pair of gurgling fountains flanked the doorway. A white feline with black spots the size of a medium sized dog sat at the edge of one of the fountains and batted a fish out of the pool. She jumped down and began eating.

"Seem rather . . . . mundane for a god," said Sylvetria.

"The King of All Cats is his species, idealized. Some live in homes or palaces, others hunt in the wild. So a palace, but one that is open to all and a playground and a hunting ground as well as a home. At least I think how that's how it works. Or maybe that's how it works now and maybe it works differently at different times."

"This is The Beastlands," said Elvarra. "A place of animals, not of walls and priests and castles. As a Beastlord he lives much like an animal, not as a human god-king. The strength of his fortress is in the sinews of that leopard and those tigers."

"Correct," said a high voice that carried in the air. From the shadow of the doorway a massive shape emerged. A blood red tiger with black stripes across her back sauntered from nothingness and onto the carpet. He paws were the size of a man's chest and she must have weighed more than two tons. Riding just behind the tiger's massive shoulder blades was a slender grey and black striped tabby cat.

The cat spoke again. "I am The Grand Duchess Hunts-The-Light, Chamberlain and Steward to His Divine Majesty the King of All Cats. I have the honor of presenting my boon companion Margrave Shreds-the-Night, of the Great Khan's Court, Keeper of the Door."

They all bowed. "Great and noble lady," Trizkel began. "We are greatly honored to meet you. We have come a long way to beg a boon from your lord."

"Yes," said Hunts-The-Light. "We know. Are we not cats? His Divine Magesty, the Cat Lord and the King of All Cats has consented to hear your petition in person. Follow us and we will convey you to his Divine Presence."

The great tiger turned and stalked back into the palace. She made absolutely no sound at all when her paws touched the ground.

"Out of the frying pan," muttered Kuuni as the little gnome had to hustle to keep with the others as the followed the cats inside.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-11-03 08:27am

The dark columns of the retreating army of Vanyard crawled down the road of the deserted countryside. Fields were untilled, hearths were cold. Animals had been driven forth were their owners let loose. Flowers and new grass were sprouting in the pasture as marching boots turned the damp roads into mud. They were victorious, but tired and retreating. Behind them the Khaduli were consolidating their position on the north banks and bringing their people across. Soon they would finish the crossing, sorting their dead, and trying to drag their greatest heroes and mages back from across the veil of death. Soon the dreaded riders would be on the move. Soon, if they weren't already.

It wasn't the outriders of the horde that were going to catch them. In the cloud above, a v-formation of five eagles chased the army. They ignored the other birds in the sky and the animals on the ground. The rear guard of the army before them were the prey. First one and then the others shifted from eagle to leather clad nomads, spells of flight spilling from their mouths as they dropped below the clouds. Buoyed by magic, Tzerika and the four other wizards spoke spells of shielding and protection as they slowly descended from the sky. The elf and the rangers were not the only ones who could harry their enemies. They would teach such lessons as to leave the Vanyard praying for the arrows of their kin.

Above them one those ignored birds watched them as they transformed and descended. A second soul watched through the raven's eyes and then was gone. Rorik Penthat shuddered as his mind returned to his body and gripped his staff with a wrinkled hand. He forced himself to rush forward. "Miranna!" he shouted. "Miranna!"

The mage cadre commander turned her head at the call. "Five Khaduli wizards come from the sky!" She turned and looked. Five dark specks were visible against the clouds.

"You must get Nalifan!" Rorik shouted. "Hurry! Before they strike!"

"I have this in hand," she said and as she said the words she knew they were true. These events had been anticipated, by her and by others. One of the advantages of a leading a cadre with so many hedge wizards was there was a large number of familiars which could be employed to keep watch. She reached to her belt and pulled out a small pouch. From it she took two marbles, one red and the other purple, both of which glowed softly with their own internal light.

"Never do anything for free if you can paid for it," Nalifan had said when he gave her the pouches. "Its not always a good rule, but it is with fiends. I made the night hags pay for the harvest they reaped. Be very precise in your language when you use these. Since you're offering them prey it won't be as bad as it could be, but these are beings of endless malevolence. Treat them accordingly."

She spoke trigger words, enacting the binding and summoning spells bound into the marbles. "Five enemies approach from the air. Kill them swiftly and endanger no others. Remain receptive for telepathic contact so your orders maybe amended."

Smoke that matched the marbles in colour poured from them as they disintegrated in her hand. Towering nightmares coalesced from the smoke. It seemed as if she was watching herself from a distant place. "You have your orders," she said in voice with more steel than she could ever muster. "Execute them."

Wings one shade of purple lighter than black occluded the sun. "As you command," the other said in cultured voice that came from a predator's maw. The first vanished from sight as it rose into the sky, buffeting her with wind from its great wings. The other stepped into the sky, rising to meet the Khaduli wizards.

Tzerika saw the wizard rise to challenge them, a distant speck wearing red robes and some kind of elaborate headdress. "Fools," she said softly. Arrows from the rear guard rose up to meet them, but most fell short. The few that rose high enough missed. Two hit mages and vanished in smoke as their wards triggered. Some commanders thought quickly and several of the Vanyard formations began to break up. "Rizek," she said to her second, "kill some of these houselander fools and retreat. I'll burn that one down," she said pointing at the distant wizard who was striding through the air toward her.

She flew towards the other wizard to meet him as brilliant flashes lit up the sky behind her. Hot air and smoke rose from fiery clouds which contained thrashing shadows. The killing spells of the Khaduli caught fewer than they might have as the formations flew apart, but kill they did for those unfortunate enough to be caught. Tzerika readied her own spells and then her breath caught in her throat as she saw her enemy more clearly. Her wore no mask or headdress. The antelope horns that crowned his skull were his own as was the smiling jackal maw he showed her. An arcanaloth, a mercenary magician-scholar from the darkest pits. A negotiator and keeper of contracts and, on some occasions, an executor of the same. "Fuck me like a goat," she said.

Strings of crimson light spilled from the arcanaloth's hands and tore at the fabric of Tzerika's spells. Beams of violet light glared forth from its eyes and tore through her damaged wards to flay strips of skin and muscle from her breast. She screamed in pain, but her will was iron and the last sounds were the initiator of spell. It hammered the arcanaloth and spun it around, leaving it laying limp in the air. Tzerika tottered in the air and began to fall.

Behind her Rizek felt wind buffet him and then a hammer blow to the face that shattered his wards. A nightmare figure materialized in front of him, dark and massive, muscled like a bull and with eyes glowing like dying stars. A spiked mace five feet long was gripped in his right hand. His left hand was clawed and large enough to enclose his head and crush it like a grape.

Lightning flashed from Rizek's hands. The yugoloth roared as its flesh blackened and smoked. It steadied itself on its great wings and it lashed out again with its mace. Rizek's remaining wards shattered along with his collarbone. The young mage tumbled from the air. Another swooped down to catch him as the others assaulted the yugoloth with streams of glowing darts. Blood like molten lava bubbled from it's wounds.

Tzerika hissed another spell and caught herself, arresting her fall. She shouted out another spell and ice encased the arcanaloth. The fiend tumbled from the air. Pained laughter leaked from her lips. The fiend vanished into a cloud of carnelian smoke that disappeared a moment later. Victory! Then the arrow struck her in the thigh. Below her archers nocked their bows to loose again.

She flung a fireball and turned a half dozen into torches, but they were too spread out to kill quickly. Shafts rose toward her. Several were deflected by her wards, but one pierced her abdomen. She shouted words through bloody teeth and was gone.

As Tzerika vanished the yugoloth fell on one of the attacking mages. Lances of burning lights tore its flesh and the membranes of its wings but it bulled through the arcane scourging. Its mace broke wards and then broke a skull like an eggshell. It turned toward the other but he had shifted shape back into a eagle. The wounded yugoloth could not match his speed of the wizard as he fled the field. He turned to the others.

The archers completed their deadly work. Having fallen low enough that they could be struck, arrows had been loosed at them. Many turned to smoke as their wards obliterated them, but several did not. Pierced in the shoulder, the other mage let Rizek slip through his fingers. Two more shafts caught him before he could escape and both mages tumbled to the ground.

Howling the yugoloth vanished in a cloud of violet smoke, its obligations discharged. Below dozens were dead and more were wounded. Miranna looked at the carnage. She knew this was a win. Three dead Khaduli wizards, their bodies beyond the Khaduli's ability to recover them. This was playing the game smart. This was winning.

"To Hades with this," she swore. "There has to be a better way."
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Rogue 9 » 2014-11-03 09:52pm

Holy shit man, we both started working on our old stuff at the same time. :lol: Very well written.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2014-11-04 08:57am

Imperial Overlord wrote: "To Hades with this," she swore. "There has to be a better way."



When underlings start getting ideas its usually not a good thing.
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 Rogue 9 » 2014-11-04 07:34pm

Grimnosh wrote:
Imperial Overlord wrote: "To Hades with this," she swore. "There has to be a better way."



When underlings start getting ideas its usually not a good thing.

She's clearly Good-aligned, or at least uncomfortable fighting fiends with fiends. You may recall Gaheris from the earlier stories; he had the same hangups (being a paladin) with more clout to enforce them in the circumstances... but the enemies there were considerably less deadly than the Khaduli.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby LadyTevar » 2014-11-05 01:35am

Rogue 9 wrote:
Grimnosh wrote:
Imperial Overlord wrote: "To Hades with this," she swore. "There has to be a better way."

When underlings start getting ideas its usually not a good thing.

She's clearly Good-aligned, or at least uncomfortable fighting fiends with fiends. You may recall Gaheris from the earlier stories; he had the same hangups (being a paladin) with more clout to enforce them in the circumstances... but the enemies there were considerably less deadly than the Khaduli.
Which makes me wonder how Gaheris would look at this invasion and what he'd try
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Rogue 9 » 2014-11-05 05:27pm

LadyTevar wrote:
Rogue 9 wrote:She's clearly Good-aligned, or at least uncomfortable fighting fiends with fiends. You may recall Gaheris from the earlier stories; he had the same hangups (being a paladin) with more clout to enforce them in the circumstances... but the enemies there were considerably less deadly than the Khaduli.
Which makes me wonder how Gaheris would look at this invasion and what he'd try

He'd be completely out of his depth and probably die horribly trying to wage a guerrilla campaign. He's a deadly stealth fighter, but he's not a soldier, and he's certainly not a battle-mage of the power needed to stop the Khaduli or deal with the Carnivora or King of Tribes.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2014-11-06 09:41am

Rogue 9 wrote:
Grimnosh wrote:
Imperial Overlord wrote: "To Hades with this," she swore. "There has to be a better way."



When underlings start getting ideas its usually not a good thing.

She's clearly Good-aligned, or at least uncomfortable fighting fiends with fiends. You may recall Gaheris from the earlier stories; he had the same hangups (being a paladin) with more clout to enforce them in the circumstances... but the enemies there were considerably less deadly than the Khaduli.

Good aligned or not, its still usually not a good thing when underlings start getting ideas. The tactics Nalifan is employing are working and as long as everyone stays on the same page, they will continue to work. When underlings deviate from the plan, things fall apart usually for the worse.

Nal is very good at making plans and is more then ruthless enough at executing them with as little regard for losses as needed while keeping an eye on the big picture ultimately completing the plan with an acceptable cost rather then either minimal losses until the endgame where higher losses would occur as the enemy is much stronger and has more options with their forces then they would have or heavier losses from needless combats which would greatly weaken his forces without doing as much as they could to the enemy.

The Khaduli lost Rizek (Tzerika's second, presumably the third strongest mage they have) and 2 others, while a few dozen soldiers dead and wounded were Miranna's losses, a very favorable trade as common foot soldiers are (ultimately) cheap and easy to replace compared to mages.
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 Rogue 9 » 2014-11-06 06:28pm

Yeah, but summoning up yugoloths is a great way to get your eternal soul damned to Gehenna, which seems to be more the problem. I doubt she'd be having issues if deals were being made with celestials (and a solar would kick considerably more ass, if you could get one to show up). At any rate, until she thinks she's figured out what that better way is, I wouldn't worry too much. You know, apart from the crazy cannibal Mongols at the gates. :wink:
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2014-11-08 08:58am

Rogue 9 wrote:Yeah, but summoning up yugoloths is a great way to get your eternal soul damned to Gehenna, which seems to be more the problem. I doubt she'd be having issues if deals were being made with celestials (and a solar would kick considerably more ass, if you could get one to show up). At any rate, until she thinks she's figured out what that better way is, I wouldn't worry too much. You know, apart from the crazy cannibal Mongols at the gates. :wink:

The problem there is that it is generally much harder to get something like celestials to help out. Nal has to work with what he's got, and it is far easier and ultimately cheaper to hire things that care less about what your alignment is like then others that would not give you the time of day if you do not meet their exacting standards.

It should be noted that the yugoloths she used had already been paid for their services so its not like she had to give anything up to them.
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 » 2014-11-09 09:06am

Rogue 9 wrote: I doubt she'd be having issues if deals were being made with celestials (and a solar would kick considerably more ass, if you could get one to show up). At any rate, until she thinks she's figured out what that better way is, I wouldn't worry too much.



If only night hags contracted with solars. . . . :wink: Seriously, there is one huge advantage that Gaheris has over Nalifan if Gaheris was dropped into the situation. Gaheris could call upon allies who could help without tripping over the geas. His people might not be happy about the situation, but they are far more likely to pitch in than plot bloody revenge.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Rogue 9 » 2014-11-09 10:58am

Sorry, the last campaign I actually played Gaheris in was a high-end cheesefest with a Hathran named Diasann who made regular practice of whistling up celestials with planar ally and getting them to do a lot of the heavy lifting. It kind of affected my thinking. :wink: But yes, he could do that... but nobody he could get to show up is in Nalifan's league (not even Diasann, and their relationship was purely an instance of compatible goals more than a long-term alliance), and trying to bargain with Nalifan himself, while not out of the question (obviously from past events), wouldn't get him anywhere since he has nothing to bargain with.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-11-09 11:21am

Rogue 9 wrote:Sorry, the last campaign I actually played Gaheris in was a high-end cheesefest with a Hathran named Diasann who made regular practice of whistling up celestials with planar ally and getting them to do a lot of the heavy lifting. It kind of affected my thinking. :wink:


Along with negative energy/shapeshifting shenanigans is how we handed the lack of in party healers. With the whole party being built around "win initiative inflict massive damage/save or die with massive DCs to decimate the enemy before they get a turn" alpha strikes, summoning wasn't central to our combat strategy. One mid level conjuration spell gets you a Celestial with cleric levels that will unload an arsenal's worth of healing spells on the party. And people wonder why summoning spells got slashed and nerfed in 4th and 5th editions. :wink:
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby CyrilsScribe » 2014-11-09 10:51pm

Kind of a pedantic question, but how powerful is an Arcanaloth compared to something like, oh, say a Lord of Change? I, and I believe several other people here are more familiar with the 40K fluff. This is just to give me an idea of how powerful the Khaduli are from the side of "Oh just another Delta class psyker" to the "Oh crap it's a Beta class" or the "Pray to the God-Emperor it's an Alpha Plus!".
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-11-09 11:52pm

CyrilsScribe wrote:Kind of a pedantic question, but how powerful is an Arcanaloth compared to something like, oh, say a Lord of Change? I, and I believe several other people here are more familiar with the 40K fluff. This is just to give me an idea of how powerful the Khaduli are from the side of "Oh just another Delta class psyker" to the "Oh crap it's a Beta class" or the "Pray to the God-Emperor it's an Alpha Plus!".


There is some variation but arcanaloths are highly skilled magicians and schemers but merely deadly instead of ridiculous in melee and very tough instead of ridiculously tough so not quite as bad. Depends on the individual really.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2016-08-21 08:14am

Light filtered in from windows high up in the palace walls, creating a lattice work of sunlight that criss crossed the darkness. The air was hot, stirred by a slight breeze. Cats, great and small, sprawled in a few pools of light. Others moved, silent and invisible in the darkness.

The great hall abruptly came to an end at a wall that appeared out of the darkness. Alcoves studded its height and width, half of them empty and the rest occupied by lounging felines ranging from elephentine tigers to slender kittens. An archway large enough to admit a full grown mammoth opened into pitch black the defied even drow vision. A pair of male lions flanked the portal, each as large as a full grown rhino. The great cats yawned as Shreds-the-Nights stepped between them and into the dark.

Tryzkel looked back at his companions and shrugged. He approached the lions. They looked at him placidly with amber eyes. "I would not waste the time elfling," the one of the right rumbled. "You only have until he gets bored."

Elvarra strode passed Trizkel and into the darkness. The others followed, Trizkel close at her heels and the rest lagging behind. The stepped through the darkness and into warm sunlight filtering down through a glass ceiling. The room sprawled out around them, dotted with wooden pillars of varying thicknesses and heights. From piles of cushions and silken nests cats and cat folk watched them. Three leopards whispered to each other around a water pipe they shared. Golden eyes stared from a pool of absolute darkness. A white cat with feathered wings dropped from a pillar above and coasted to the ground near them, staring with blue-eyes. Hoarfrost chuffed from the muzzle of a white tiger sprawled on a pile of furs.

Shreds-The-Night halted before a grey and back tabby kittern stalking a vivid blue butterfly. "You August Majesty," said Hunts-The-Light. The kitten looked up at her. Hunts-The-Light turned around on the blood-red tiger's back and addressed the adventurers. "You may approach His August Majesty and make your petition."

The kitten looked up as the adventurers approached. "Your August Majesty,-" Evarra began.

A voice interrupted her, as vast and as deep as a dwarven mount hall. "I KNOW WHAT YOU WANT." There was a pause. "YOU SHALL NOT HAVE IT."

Evarra stood silent for a moment. "Why?" she asked. "If it's a matter of price-"

"THIS IS NOT A FISH MARKET. PRICE IS OF NO MATTER. I CAN GIVE YOU WHAT YOU WISH BUT YOU WOULD NOT LIKE THE RESULT. NEITHER WOULD HE, SO I GIVE YOU NOTHING."

"That's it?" Elvarra shouted. "Nothing?!" Tryzkel grabbed her arm and pulled her back.

"Don't piss off the nice god," he hissed.

"NOTHING," the Cat Lord replied. "I LIKE NALIFAN AND HE HAS OFTEN BEEN A FRIEND TO MY PEOPLE SO I WILL SPARE YOU FROM THE DISASTER THAT YOU BELIEVE YOU DESIRE. BUT MANY STEADINGS OF THE HOUSE LORDS WERE DESTROYED WHEN HE BURNED WESTGATE SO I WILL NOT TELL YOU HOW TO AVOID THAT DISASTER."

Elvarra hissed. "So this is how you deal with those you like?"

"TO TRESPASS AGAINST MY PEOPLE IS TO TRESPASS AGAINST ME. HE HAS OFFENDED AND HE MUST PAY. I HAVE SPARED YOU DISASTER AND TIGERS DO NOT YET PLAY WITH YOUR SKULLS. I WOULD SAY MY AFFECTION IS QUITE VALUABLE. BUT. IT. IS. NOT. INFINITE."

"Right," said Sylvetria, quickly bowing. "We'll be going. Thank you, August Majesty."

"YOU ARE WELCOME HUMAN. DO NOT NEGLECT FISH AS PART OF THE DIET OF YOUR HOUSE LORDS. SWORD FOOT IN PARTICULAR WOULD APPRECIATE IT."

"As you say, oh mighty one." They bowed, turned, and walked through the doorway. They walked out to find themselves at the edge of the Cat Lord's domain.

"What in the name of the Nine Hells do we do now?" Mikos asked.

"I have no idea," Trizkel replied.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2016-08-21 09:56am

A nice update and a good way to stop Nalifan's friends and Vanyard from potential destruction, as Nalifan would be forced to defend Vanyard from them....Nal knows them and should know how to beat them, but in doing so their interference could cause more then enough damage that would cause Vanyard to lose against the Khaduli either from removing Nal from their defense by force or just doing irrepairable destruction on virtually anything that they come across, be it castle, town, farm, livestock, people, or bridge.
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 SCRawl » 2016-08-21 11:02am

It's good of you to pick this up again. I know that many of us are interested in how it turns out.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby LadyTevar » 2016-08-21 06:17pm

This and Dresden/SG1 both update on the same weekend, just when I need the pick-me-up. :luv: :luv: :luv:

Please don't take two more years to post more :cry:
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Rogue 9 » 2016-08-21 11:25pm

So THIS is how burning Westgate winds up biting him in the ass? It put some cats out of house and home, so he doesn't get help? That is fucking delicious. :lol:
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