Thursday, July 12, 2012

EPISODE 68: The Trial of Champions IV - A Clash of Gambits! Faceoff with Auric's Warband

Juliar 18, 754 YE

The final battle begins! Dziga and Tirra disappear while Khellek the wizard begins bombarding Rosegate Company with fireballs and thunderclaps. Auric shouts orders and the stone golems advance.

Emeris advances via teleportation and blasts Auric his three golems with Killing Shadows! One golem goes after Vatex and tries to smash him - but the elf dodges! The other two golems try to smash the shadowcaster, but he outmaneuvers them and uses Killing Shadows against them -- they explode!

Suddenly the ground starts shaking violently. It sounds like something is trying to break through the floor of the arena! But the battle continues for now.

Invisible to all, Dziga uses his powers of darkness. His murderous intent is focused on Auric, who is using his amazing powers of command to empower his allies. He rushes past Vatex while the elf hacks apart the last golem. As it collapses into a pile of rubble, Tirra de-cloaks before him and steals the effects of his haste potion with her supernatural thieving skills. He fights back but she is quick, and blinking in and out of the ethereal. She counter attacks, slashing with a flurry of ghost knives. While attacking, she manages to completely strip him of his mithril shirt, his speed boots, and a magical amulet. Early, arriving to the melee a bit late after getting stunned by one of Khellek’s spells, joins the elf and hacks Tirra to bits, splattering her across the sand before she can remove any more of the elf’s stuff..

Khellek and Emeris trade spells, the wizard launching fire rays and feeblemind spells, and getting hit back with the shade’s Afraid of the Dark mystery, eroding his will. The battle is suddenly interrupted by the Apostle of Kyuss bursting through the earth. It is a massive, advanced ulgurstata from the Wormcraft Fissure itself, summoned earlier by the tiefling cleric Bozal. It had been waiting in that big black egg they’d found in the Kyuss worshipers hideout a few days ago.

Some people look on his horror, others think this is awesome and it’s part of the arena’s final event! An old man in the executive booth with Raknian steps forth and calls to the ulgustata, “Glorious Apostle of the Wormgod! There!” he points at Auric. “There is the champion you seek! Feed upon him, and bring the blessing of Kyuss to this forsaken city!”

The ulgurstata vomits forth a legion of Kyuss spawn as the huge monster looks upon Auric. Before it can eat for holder of the Champion’s Belt, however, Dziga appears and murderizes Auric so bad he shoots a geyser of blood 100 feet in the air, much to the old man's annoyance.

Early and Vatex hack down the swarming Kyuss spawn, while Emeris supports from the opposite side with Killing Shadows and Shadow Storm mysteries. Urlgurstata breathes a wave of necromantic slime over Vatex and drains his health.

As Vatex dervish dances through the last of the Kyuss spawn, Saygraam teleports into the fray, attacking Early with his Sodom Sword Storm attack. Early gets hacked up! His body is covered in hundreds of small cuts and blood gushes out of him. As Saygraam prepares to finish him, the Cyber Ninja arrives, appearing up in the stands!

Cyborg Ninja carpet bombs the arena with her liquid missile launcher, hitting everyone. Saygraam begins closing in for the kill on Early, and Emeris conjures up the Shadowgeist Reaver to stop him. Saygraam hits the shade with his Ruby Eye Rays and dodges a slash from the spectral blade.

Early chugs a potion and runs into battle with Saygraam. Early HERO POINT parries the AoO from the big steel arm. He Swooping Dragon Attacks Saygraam and stuns him! His mask cracks from the impact! Emeris flanks and slashes with the Reaver, drawing Saygraam’s lifeforce!

While Emeris and Early fight Saygraam, Vatex defeats the last Kyuss spawn. The elf joins Dziga to flank the huge Apostle of Kyuss. Dziga activates his Deathstrike Bracers and jumps onto the monster. Asura and Gozu Vrow strike devastating hits. The monster flails about, unleashing a Waves of Exhaustion SLA against Vatex as the elf advances. A slashing fury of Wind Duke swords murderize the ulgustara!

Early drinks another potion while Ruby-Eye is stunned. Then Emeris makes a desperate attack with the Reaver... and dazes Saygraam! This locks the strange Baatorian in place and Early powers up his ultimate attack -- RAGING MONGOOSE WOLF BLITZ!!! Saygraam is destroyed!

Cyborg Ninja stamina surge extra move actions from the stands to the arena ground, and fires a liquid missile at Vatex as the huge bulk of the monster flops over. On her other side, Dziga Emeris and Early gather in attack formation. Cyborg Ninja wastes no time, doing a Demon Rush Tactics maneuver which nearly kills the three of them Early, Dziga, and Emeris.

Cyber Ninja then does her Meteor Smash maneuver and KOs Emeris. He is not dead though, and his shade healing goes to work, stabilizing him and slowly bringing him back to consciousness. Early and Vatex look on to attack in a blaze of glory, but she does lunges forward with a Rising Deflection Attack and gains crazy DR. Everyone keeps their distance and drinks potions.get

Dziga's hiding ability was so supernaturally good that the Cyber Ninja's visual decoder could not detect. So Early passes Cryssaegrym to him so that if ninja kills everybody, she can’t get the sword. Early and Vatex fire guns at her while Dziga takes the sword and disappears. THe bullets bounce off her armor.

The ninja can’t get the sword, so she figures that she will just kill the others then leave, let them get resurrected, and come back for Cryssaegrym later. She uses her Zu Khen Spacetime Cut on Early and cuts him in half.

She then does Zhu Khen Spacetime Deceiver, bringing Vatex towards her. She then uses the Obliterating Hydra Slash maneuver. Vatex gets miraculously lucky and lives. He counterattacks and hurts her pretty good. Then Dziga appears and fires three shots from his bow hoping to kill her. If it does not succeed, everyone is fucked when she strikes back. Fortunately the Ninja goes down.

Emeris wakes up, and everything seems pretty good overall. Khellek the wizard had fled, so it seems they had won the Trial of Champions. But not much of the audience remained, and the referee was long gone. And even Raknian and the other dudes in the executive booth have also fled.

But there was a bigger issue. When the Cyborg Ninja went down, a protocol was activated in her Biocrystal Armor that armed a nuclear detonator, so that her remains would be destroyed and no one would trace her back to the Rebel Moon. Dziga attempts to disable the device but cannot go quickly enough, and to avoid death Emeris gathers everyone up (along with the two halves of Early) and plane shifts them to the Shadow Plane just as the explosion goes off.

Thousands die in the explosion. The arena is basically obliterated. One of Dalengard's towers and main walls collapses. The surrounding neighborhoods are in chaos.

In the Plane of Shadow, the Rosegate Company chills out for a bit, and are visited by the... ghost, or something, of Dagda Hazareth, whom they had seen before. Hazareth tells Emeris that dark power is swirling around him, seemingly aroused by his merging with the Shadowgeist Reaver. This is creating a disturbance in the Plane of Shadow, with which the true essence of Hazareth merged long ago. Eventually, says Hazareth, this could cause a severe problem of a metaphysical nature.

NEXT TIME (if there is a next time): No one has the faintest idea what to do, actually, so who knows.