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[IC]Secrets of the Fire Swamp
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Ancient History
Invincible Overlord


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:45 am    Post subject: [IC]Secrets of the Fire Swamp Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

For months you have sailed towards the unknown land hinted at in the interplanar port of Veronova - and sailed with many other adventurers aboard the paddle-brig The Black Crusade, playing dice and studying the absurd maps and improbable legends of the mysterious coasts. For the last week the heat has almost been intolerable, both from the tropical sun and the constant steam that rises from the Boiling Sea, where the waters boil. Then you caught the first glimpse of the Fire Swamp, stretching from east to west as far as the eye can see...and the captain steered her course to the delta of a great brown river, beyond which some sailors say they had glimpsed the ruins of a great temple or city, some ways inland. There she dropped anchor.

Lots were cast, and you lucky adventurers have been chosen as the first landing party. Equipped with a pair of twelve-foot craft, you have rowed with all your gear past the basalt pillars that line the whole coast, effigies with twisted, demonic faces on which any wood-hulled vessel might smash itself. Past that line, the waters of the river cool the waters of the Boiling Sea to the warmth of fresh blood, and you see recognizable sea-life for the first time in days.

There is no beach. Massive mangroves stretch down right into the water, so that there is a line of trees on either side of the broad delta - though the woods seem thicker to the west, and rise up a bit, while to the east the trees seem sparser and the land lower, perhaps indicating a marsh. Straight ahead is the great river - with no interrupting islands or sandbars that you can judge - though you can see only perhaps a mile along its length, and find it hard to judge what may be beyond.
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Dominicius
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List



"So, anyone up for another quick round?" Vian asked with a smug grin as he sat back at the dice table, a bunch of coins jingling in his hand. The fire mage rested back on his stool, balancing it at an almost impossible angle despite the constant swaying of the ship beneath him. "No? Oh well."

Pocketing his winning he hopped swiftly to his feet and moved upwards through the vessel. A moment later he emerged from the bowels fo the ship, stepping onto the the main deck where the chosen adventurers were already already climbing aboard the smaller craft.

"Pardon the delay." He said before hopping in with the rest of the landing party.

The sailors began to row towards the dense overgrowth, cursing the blazing sun. The sounds of life growing louder as they got closer to the shore and while Vian was immune to the oppressive heat, the tension that settled over the vessel was something that not even he could ignore.
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Archimedes doesn't say anything in response to Vian, merely scrunching up his massive body as much as possible on the craft to make room for the others. He scans the horizon, trying to see further along the river. "We're almost on land," he growls. "I'm going to fly up and see if I can get a better look at the river. It'll also give us all a lot more space." Archimedes pauses, making sure he can actually take off without tipping the boat or knocking anyone over.
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Ancient History
Invincible Overlord


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The white dragonspawn half-minotaur flaps his wings experimentally once or twice, and then seems to jump in the air. The boat rocks, but stays afloat. Gaining altitude, Archimedes circles.

Some distance north, down the river - perhaps twenty miles as the dragonspawn flies - he can see the ground rises, and there are shapes that might be the domes and spires of buildings picking themselves out of the swamps. Over all the ground seems to rise to the west, and there are several thin plumes of smoke as from cooking fires, and what looks like breaks in the trees where there are clearings. To the east, the trees grow thinner, gradually giving way to marshlands, dotted with what might be ruins or simple piles of white stone. Along the coast, some miles away, he also makes out what could be a sandy cove, bustling with activity and small structures of some sort.
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RelentlessImp
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Meanwhile, the prow of the rowboat was occupied by a tiny rodent-like creature of tawny fur and dark stripes. It lay on its belly on the prow, watching the approaching shore, head cocked slightly to one side as they approached land, ho. Upon the rodent's head perched a brightly-colored hummingbird, all but iridescent as it cocked its head back and forth with the approach of land. Tucked against its side was a small crystal that hummed very faintly, vibrating with psychic energies infusing it.

As people fly off the boat, the rodent's head lifted, peering up after them, then small shoulders seemed to shrug as it resumed watching the approach of land, eager to be off water and onto more solid ground for the first time in a long time.
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radthemad4
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A small, greyish humanoid creature with freakishly long hands and bat like wings sits next to a sleeping dog much larger than him. He's wearing clothes, unlike most of his kind, who he's never encountered.

Orr contemplates following after the giant bull person, but feels like he's got the situation handled. He gently strokes his sleeping dog. "Come on Quinn, we're almost on dry land. Get up." (Orr can talk to animals and magical beasts as if they share a language)

He'll go up to the rodent and the hummingbird. He'll speak in animal (or rodent, followed by the same thing in hummingbird), "Greetings. Don't think I've seen creatures of your kinds on such good terms with each other before."


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AcidBlades
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The red-scaled dragonborn gave a swift, yet lofty swipe at his snout, and glares off into the distance, trying to pick out what is over the horizon. Giving out a snide remark after the large flying bull-man left the craft. "Phew, the stench alone was going to murder me. The wizard that messed around with that big bastard really aught to put some constant prestidigitation effect so that his stench didn't litter the damn boat with it." Shaking his head over at the other passengers, his tongue jotting out from his toothy maw. "Ah well. Everyone else here smells like boiling sauerkraut overcooked by gem gnomes."

He himself worn a rather ragged down robe with some brown-greyish pants. All which was not covered in cloth was his snout, with his tongue sliding over every few seconds or so. Despite what seemed to be a grimace. The reptilian form seemed to darken out of existence, like a shadow trying to stand out in the open sun. Pulling out a wine bottle from his sack, he snaps his fingers and the ball of flame with the vague impression of a tiny being that accompanied him darts out of existence, poofing back just 18 seconds later. After he corked the wine bottle. His tongue patters the open lid, with a simple wag of his finger a beam of cold and ice erupts from his hands like a spear. Intentionally missing his aim at the bottle, yet firmly places the wine til' it was taken over by a deep cold. The shot of the ray beam misses just over the edge of the boat, making sure not to strike down any passengers.
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Dominicius
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Vian scoffs at the remark made by the hooded reptile. "Hey pal. I'm a fire mage, not a water mage. I don't do showers if that is what you were expecting on this trip."

Still it was clear that it did not bother him that much, in a way it was welcomed distraction as the boat continued to slowly row up river. The display of ice magic probably bothered him more than anything as pressed his already thin lips firmly together.

"Assuming this place is inhabited we should find ourselves a guide. Once our 'handsome' scout returns we should head for the nearest village. Sounds like a plan?" He lithe human asked while the sound of leathery winds echoed above.
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CapnTthePirateG
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The drow shrugged. "Works for me", he said, ignoring the undead horror hulking behind him.

Dark gods, the waiting. The waiting was what he despised most. What good was having the power to twist an enemy's soul and subvert his flesh when the only enemy was one's own anticipation?


Still, now that Dragaan mentioned it...

The drow muttered a few words from an old tongue, best long forgotten and pointed. A simple prestigiditation. Thus armed, Malagos began the laborious process of smelling less like shit.
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maglag
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There was a corpse in the boat, of a blonde woman clad in dark, old-looking half-plate. One of her eyes was covered by a black eyepatch and the other was open staring lifeless into nothing. Then the corpse stood up.

"Finally we're arriving. Look at all this mess, so much work to be done. But I have all the time in the world for it... First we need to secure a good landing location."

The armored revenant then steps out of the vessel and instead of sinking right away under the weight of her heavy armor, instead standing on top of the water's surface. As she starts running forward, her feet barely disturb the water's surface.

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Clara will look around for a place where the nonfliers could row the boats toward, taking care not to approach the land too much herself, and also looking down now and then for anything lurking under the water.

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Ancient History
Invincible Overlord


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There are places on either side of the river (east or west) where the boots can be tethered securely. The western side, which is more heavily forested, has a game trail leading off to the north-west. The eastern side has fewer trees, and what might be the remnants of a road, leading off to the north-east.
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maglag
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Clara reports her findinds to the rest of the party.

"I say we go explore the east road first. It means signs of civilization, and the flying bull spotted ruins in that direction. Certainly we'll find something useful there."
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radthemad4
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

At Quinn, in dog, "Now remember what I taught you. If I get off you, don't be a hero. If we get into combat, keep your distance unless I tell you otherwise. This place could be dangerous and I need you alive to carry my stuff, and occasionally me. Now wait here till we reach the coast."

"Ruins! Sweet! Lead on, zombie lady (this is said in a somewhat excitable tone without any hint of disdain). But okay, might as well see what the locals have to say first." Orr will fly off the boat and help tether it to the coast.


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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Archimedes dips down enough to be within 100' of the party. "Let's check out the east road and the ruins," he agrees telepathically, nodding his shaggy head. "Splitting up seems unwise." With that, he lands, sniffing out the east road (Scent).
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Ancient History
Invincible Overlord


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

You tie the boats securely to the trunk of a great mangrove on the east side of the river, near where the road - if once it was a road - runs straight down into the brown waters. The road, if such it was, is perhaps eight feet wide, and made of rectangular blocks of white stone, which perhaps once fitted tightly together, but now are so overgrown and undergrown from roots and grass that it is only a broad, bumpy, stone-studded path through the trees - though at least somewhat higher and less marshy than the rest of the ground.

The half-minotaur dragonspawn sniffs, dragging all the smells of the swamp into his sensitive nostrils. Many are unfamiliar: plants and animals exotic to his senses, but lingering beneath it is something unpleasant and unnatural. Indeed, it seems strongest the closest to the tree that the boats are tethered to, though aside from size the mangrove looks little different from any of the others nearby.
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RelentlessImp
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Alim mostly ignores the individual trying to speak to him, and lightly hops out of the boat once it's tethered, the crystal moving up onto his back to ride upon him. On all fours, he plods through the surf, stretching out all four limbs and unlimbering the ridiculously long tail into the air, straightening himself out and working out kinks.

And then, perhaps surprisingly, the creature speaks in Common, in a high-pitched voice that is somewhat reminiscent of a squeak, with cultured pronunciation. "Well, since we came all this way, I certainly hope we'll be investigating this place. I didn't stick myself on a boat for that long to turn away an opportunity to explore dry land."
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Archimedes telepathically relays the source of the scent to the rest of the party: "Be careful. There's a weird scent trail leading to the tree our boats are tied to. I speak telepathically in case there's anything hiding there, or the tree itself is a creature. If anyone has a plan let me know, ideally silently; I'll be able to hear your response."

He then pauses for a moment, realizing that the tiny creature he figured was either the pet or the familiar of one of the others speaks perfect Common. Much better than Archimedes himself can. Finally, Archimedes shrugs, deciding that ultimately that's probably far less strange than he is. He is glad he decided not to try petting him back on the boat ride, though.
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AcidBlades
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Spry like a red-headed rooster, Dragaan pulls out his crossbow from his sheep-skin sack and pulls back on the string. Planting an arrow as his tiny "Familiar" aspect dissipates from the planes. The look in his eyes scornful. "Course there's gonna be some corpse eatin' crocfucker waitin' to ambush us. These lands are real treacherous, gotta keep ya tongue out y'know?" Dragaan's tongue slippers out from his teeth once more keeping it wriggling in the air, like a worm hooked to a fishing instrument.
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CapnTthePirateG
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

"That is the nature of our profession, is it not? Whether it be some two-bit thug or bizarre supernatural creature, there is always something lurking just out of sight," says Malagos in reply. Banter had always helped him focus. "Gort," he addresses the skeleton, "move over there. Now," he gestures to a point in front of the party.
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Ancient History
Invincible Overlord


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The hot, humid air is still except for the buzz of the stinging insects - nothing seems to move on this side of the river except the insects and the river. You hear no birdcalls, see no trace of spore or trail of game, no woodland creatures chitter or skitter in the branches around you.
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Dominicius
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

"You know, used to be I'd just burn down things that bothered me. Bad idea... led to plenty of forest fires." Vian shook his head as he hopped off the boat, feeling dry land under his feet after many months of sea travel. Even though this land was strange and unfamiliar, it was still solid ground and he was more than glad for it.

Besides, he could not deny that he was a familiar itching in his sword arm. He could not help but grin.
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radthemad4
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Telepathically, "If we make a small fire, I could animate it and send it ahead as bait. Unless anyone has a different plan or any objections? I think we should probably avoid talking aloud from now on."

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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Archimedes watches the skeleton intently, waiting to see if anything jumps it.

Telepathically, to Orr:
"Talking telepathically is definitely a good idea. I'm not exactly the best talker anyways. I'm also in favor of your plan, although I'm not much good at starting fires. Perhaps one of the others can help?"
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Ancient History
Invincible Overlord


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The skeleton silently obeys the necromantic command, bare bones clacking on dry stone and squishing on wet ground. It stands at the appointed place dumbly, empty sockets staring at nothing.
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CapnTthePirateG
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Perhaps we should go with the fire plan? Malagos says telepathically. Though I don't foresee any ambush predators assaulting a living fire. Or a skeleton, either.
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"And thus the denizens learned that hating Shadzar was the only thing they had in common, and with him gone they turned their venom upon each other"
-Sarpadian Empires, vol. I


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