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41
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« Last post by Johan on May 23, 2015, 11:02:45 AM »
Most of those gathered at the Grove of Needles tonight understood that Kaltya was different from other soldiers. She had clearly been a dryad at birth, but to the eye, in contrast to the normal elegance that is the hallmark of those sylvan tribes, Kaltya was quite ugly to look at. While not misshapen, she did have numerous bulbous cysts about her body that were reminiscent of tree burls.

Also, there was a sheen to Kaltya’s grayish flesh that made her look like she was slightly wet. As long as Bal-Jhor had known her that sheen had always been there. Though, aware of her sylvan ancestry as he was, he was confident that she was born either very pale or slightly green as any other dryad he had ever encountered or heard about.

Those who were familiar with sylvan languages and dialects understood that Kaltya was ancient, even by sylvan standards. Fra Shathor is what Kaltya’s people’s tongue called the Gnarcheon, and that title, Bal-Jhor knew, had fallen out of use long before the birth of any currently living elf. For the past few thousand years, the most of the sylvan races favored terms such as the elves did: Tra’Baellyan, or that of the sprites: Sho-Atraliar as in the case of Varshya or Mirriam.

A small part of those gathered tonight also knew Kaltya as the Lady of the Spore. Kaltya had walked the Lichen Path, and now lived in a symbiotic relationship with the Fungal world. Few understood what the meant, exactly. Shankaria likely did, but it was far beyond the ken of Bal-Jhor.

But then, there was something that Bal-Jhor knew about Kalta that few others could…possibly not even Kaltya herself, and that was that Kalya’s spirit was completely tangled with that of the fungal world. She was inextricably one with the world of mushrooms, lichen, molds, and such. By the astonished look on the half-orc’s face, Bal-Jhor understood that this newcomer saw what Bal-Jhor saw as Kaltya moved to take the audience.

“Caterpillars.” She said in her leathern voice. After a pause, she added, “Tadpoles.” Then, after another pause she added, “Kossuth’s descent”. Pause. “An erupting volcanoe.” Pause. “Venric.” Pause. “Puberty.” Pause. “The Blood Tear.” Long pause.

Bal-Jhor was confused, and the brief murmur that spread through Grove of Needles told him that he was not alone. A lesson was coming, surely, but what lesson?

At length, Kaltya continued. “The lesson of the tadpole is the same as that of the erupting volcano. It is the same as that of the caterpillar or Kossuth's descent: change is at Mahiya’s foundation.” She let that sink in. “Change is not a thing that we should fear; it is everywhere about us and it is vital to life…without it, there is nothing. Stagnance, leading to withering, leading to oblivion…to the Void of Zxyxu.”

“The question in many minds is why do we fear the volcano, but not the tadpole? Why do we fear the Blood Tear but not the caterpillar?” Bal-Jhor felt very much like a new acolyte just then.

“The answer,” Kaltya said, “is because we lack the certainty of understanding. We know that the change that the caterpillar goes through will result in a butterfly. The tadpole will be a frog. But what of the volcano? What change will that create? We know that ultimately it will create new land, but what will be destroyed in the making? We can’t know.”

“What change will come on the heels of the Blood Tear?” She asked no one and everyone. “We can’t know. No one can, and so the Blood Tear sows fear.”

She paused even longer now. Looking directly at all the gathered assembly at once. Through the power of the ritual, she scrutinized all faces simultaneously. “Let us fear only the Void.” She said. “Let us not fear the Blood Tear. The change that is heralded is yet to be wrought…let us make it as we wish it to be…as we understand Her will for the change to be.”

“The only other lesson that I have for you tonight, children, is that of the leaf.” She held high an oak leaf in her hand. As to be expected this time of the year, it was large and green. “The lesson of the leaf is this: Do your work well, and age with grace and dignity.” In her up-stretched hand the leaf began to curl slightly, then it changed colors from its brilliant green into the splotchy but beautiful reddish-yellow of Rynnyx.

As it changed to deeper red and brown, Kaltya completed her lesson, saying, “…and be ready to depart when She shall call.” She let the browned leaf fall to the floor of the Grove. It drifted into the white pine needles.

Even the wind and the peepers were silent as Kaltya ceded the audience.

One of the great lessons the fall of the leaf teaches, is this: Do your work well and then be ready to depart when God shall call.
~Tyron Edwards
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General Info / PF MECHANICS: Have a Nice Trip!
« Last post by Wildfire on March 12, 2015, 12:51:31 PM »
Have a Nice Trip!

Often in the heat of the moment we can forget that there are options in d20/Pathfinder melee that go beyond the “swing-hit-get hit” back and forth of combat (I like to imagine it being more like a dance with a series of attacks and defenses rather than just trading punches to the nuts). Sometimes in combat it’s hard to get the upper hand against a foe that is currently more than your match. Among many Combat Maneuvers is the “Trip”. The Trip Maneuver will knock an opponent prone and that’s just where you’ll want them in order to turn the tide of battle.

Trip

You can attempt to trip your opponent in place of a melee attack. You can only trip an opponent who is no more than one size category larger than you. If you do not have the Improved Trip feat, or a similar ability, initiating a trip provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver.

If your attack exceeds the target's CMD, the target is knocked prone. If your attack fails by 10 or more, you are knocked prone instead. If the target has more than two legs, add +2 to the DC of the combat maneuver attack roll for each additional leg it has. Some creatures—such as oozes, creatures without legs, and flying creatures—cannot be tripped.

Prone

The character is lying on the ground. A prone attacker has a –4 penalty on melee attack rolls and cannot use a ranged weapon (except for a crossbow). A prone defender gains a +4 bonus to Armor Class against ranged attacks, but takes a –4 penalty to AC against melee attacks.

Standing up is a move-equivalent action that provokes an attack of opportunity.
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General Info / PF MECHANICS: Be Defensive, Be, Be Defensive!
« Last post by Wildfire on March 10, 2015, 01:13:20 PM »
Often in the heat of the moment we can forget that there are options in d20/Pathfinder melee that goes beyond the “swing-hit-get hit” back and forth of combat (I like to imagine it being more like a dance with a series of attacks and defenses rather than just trading punches to the nuts). Sometimes in combat you just need a little bit more defense, other times you’re really desperate and are hoping you don’t get hit before the cleric arrives, and other times you just need to withdraw from combat altogether.
So here’s some options that you might use when the time is right.

Total Defense

You can defend yourself as a standard action. You get a +4 dodge bonus to your AC for 1 round. Your AC improves at the start of this action. You can't combine total defense with fighting defensively or with the benefit of the Combat Expertise feat. You can't make attacks of opportunity while using total defense.

Fighting Defensively as a Standard Action
 
You can choose to fight defensively when attacking. If you do so, you take a –4 penalty on all attacks in a round to gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC until the start of your next turn.

Withdraw

Withdrawing from melee combat is a full-round action. When you withdraw, you can move up to double your speed. The square you start out in is not considered threatened by any opponent you can see, and therefore visible enemies do not get attacks of opportunity against you when you move from that square. Invisible enemies still get attacks of opportunity against you, and you can't withdraw from combat if you're blinded. You can't take a 5-foot step during the same round in which you withdraw.

If, during the process of withdrawing, you move out of a threatened square (other than the one you started in), enemies get attacks of opportunity as normal.

You may not withdraw using a form of movement for which you don't have a listed speed.

Note that despite the name of this action, you don't actually have to leave combat entirely.

Restricted Withdraw: If you are limited to taking only a standard action each round you can withdraw as a standard action. In this case, you may move up to your speed.
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In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« Last post by Wildfire on November 03, 2014, 07:42:14 PM »
Cailyder listened to Mirriam’s report with an unwavering intensity. Her province was also part of the Great Forest and the political events could, in some way affect her. After Mirriam told his tale of events there was a somber cloud hanging over the group of Mahiya’s children. Shankaria herself, a delightful soul, even seemed to take a reserved air.

Cailyder looked over the crowd illuminated by the glow of the chromatic fires. Their faces seemed almost ghostly in the primal light. These were the faces of the past and the future. Eventually some would return to the cycle and others would carry their knowledge. Each generation building on the last and hopefully not repeating their mistakes. She could count on the children of Mahiya to honor the wisdom of that course for the most part but the children of civilization she doubted would. So often they repeated their ancestors ways as was evident by Mirriam’s tale.

Cailyder then saw Eswarth, who was clearly taller than anyone embracing the fire, step forward. He had his part of recent events to tell his brothers and sisters. He began, in his bass voice, by telling the tale of a magnificent champion of Mahiya, a centaur of utmost devotion and conviction. His name was Teruss and he was the warden of a forest which is now in the northern city state of Maruchek. Though he was a child of Mahiya he was a devotee of Istisha. Through Istisha did he perform incredible acts of healing, healing the very forest itself.

Eswarth, the mighty centaur, continued with a notably regrettable tone. Cailyder, feeling this story perhaps better than most could, listened with unshakable attention. Terrus, Eswarth explained, fell into a foul melancholy. To this day it has never been understood why this happpend. Some speculated that he was corrupted by The Void and others say he became too protective of his forest and to prevent it from dying he grew closer to death. His melancholy grew into despair and then a burning hatred. It was rumored that Istisha, feeling that Teruss had lost his way, abandoned him. Others maintained that it was Teruss that abandoned Istisha. In either case, Terrus became that which he, at one time, would have most despised- a blighter…a fallen druid that destroyed rather than protected. Even his very form began to change, Eswarth explained. Once a proud, majestic centaur, Teruss twisted into what collectively was known as The White Demon. A corrupted version of what he once was. The Teruss that once protected the forest was now gone.

Eswarth looked at the ground and to Cailyder seemed to offer himself and Teruss some self reflection and a prayer. He was not ashamed of what his kin had done for he knew that there were no accidents. Rather he pondered the potential of what could have been. Perhaps everything was in the right and a plan was proceeding as it should have. Maybe, Teruss was chosen.

Eswarth’s demeanor changed as he told the story. He further explained that The white Demon had become obsessed with pain and death but wanted to procure those things that were life. In his pursuit he found Istisha’s Tear. Istisha’s Tear was one piece of three that formed the Eye of Istisha. The White Demon reveled in his perceived victory. In his greed for life, The White Demon, Eswarth explained, was now trapped in an obscure seaside cave. Since Teruss had chosen the way of death and brought death to the forest he once protected he would now suffer with protecting life. He would be the guardian of the Tear of Istisha.

The tall centaur looked to the stars as he told the rest of his story. It was as though he gave Istisha thanks, and more importantly, understanding as the final revelation of his telling. Eswarth explained that The White Demon had been defeated by those that would see the Eye of Istisha once again rejoined. He suspected it was the Shadowhunters that Varshya had spoken of. Cailyder never expected to see the mighty Eswarth nearly brought to tears when he explained that The White Demon, Teruss, had, in his death, been forgiven by Istisha for his transgression and was accepted in the healing embrace of the green moon. It was that embrace that caused Istisha, the green moon to briefly move out of place. It was Teruss returning home.

Eswarth looked up to the crowd as if waking from a trance. Bal-Jhor, Cailyder saw, brought his right hand to his chest as though to salute the proud centaur. Cailyder’s appreciation for the mysterious ways of the divinities grew wider after Eswath’s story.
45
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« Last post by Johan on September 28, 2014, 01:24:20 PM »
Dakhaire watched as a tiny sprite flitted up toward the front of Mahiya’s fire to address the gathered brethren. His minute, spritely  stature was distractingly accentuated by his proximity to the giant centaur who had earlier admonished Dakhaire; the sprite barely stood as tall as the centaur’s ankle.

Although Dakhaire had only seen Miriiam twice before tonight…at Dakhaire’s previous visits to this festival…it always seemed to Dakhaire that Mirriam carried his own blueish glow about with him, much like the color of Akadi’s fire. That glow played with the iridescent light strands that rained down to canvass the Grove of Needles as a result of the communal ritual that all present had cast. Even more: Mirriam’s diaphanous wings caused the falling light to refract and eddy about his little person, making him seem so much more like a small air elemental.

Dakhaire was fortunate, in a sense, that Mirriam first spoke of the eastern-most part of the Great Forest, which was where Dakhaire spent most of the year. Mirriam picked up on Varshya’s narration of Shadow Riders in the plains east of the Great Forest. They didn’t stop there, he had said.

Mirriam was an orator at heart, and he had a powerful presence that lent emotion to his listeners, whether they wanted to listen or not. Shadow Riders, he said, along with their Shade Wolf mounts had come to their forest, and had even gained a foothold in the city of Kurr, just north of Lake Vallensun. This was Dakhaire’s homeland, and the gravity in Mirriam’s voice was easily internalized: the Great Forest was as war with Xankathos, even if she didn’t know it yet.

This explained the strange things that Dakhaire himself had been hearing and seeing in his homeland: wolf conversations in the night there were NOT wolves...these voices carried through the night on a malevolent air, and made Dakhaire’s spine crawl. Dakhaire had found huge, black, hooked claws at the scenes of numerous marauder attacks on caravans, travelers, and settlements. And the occasional dead outlander that no one seemed to be able to identify.

Mirriam went on to talk about war in the middle portion of the Great Forest too: Prince Ravenwood had declared war on the wildlander tribes there. Dire news, indeed. News that angered Dakhaire almost inexplicably. With Xanthakos pushing west, it would do no good to have the west at war with herself. Dakhaire wondered fleetingly whether the Rhohannus / Wildlander war wasn’t part of Xanthakos’ machinations.

But the Rhohannus / Wildlander war wasn’t as black-and-white as it might be. It seemed that Rhohannus herself had split allegiances. Not all the barons of the city-state of Rhohannus were sympathetic to Prince Ravenwood’s efforts to subjugate the wildlanders. The Barons Ashburn (of the Barony of Mharqual), and DeMorgyn (of the Barony of Naulgrath), along with the Baroness DeMorgynand (of the Barony of Verindoc) all aligned themselves with Prince Ravenwood. Meanwhile, the Barons Spearson (of the Barony of Spearson), Jalgraxa  (of the Barony of Travantias), and  the Baroness K’Aviak (of the Barony of Durthain) all had allied themselves with the Wildlanders. The two Wildlander nations – the Wildlanders and the Bavaan Scyth – were united due to this declaration of Prince Ravenwood’s, but overall these were bleak happenings.

By the time that Mirriam had completed his speech, Dakhaire didn’t know if he should be angry or sad…or both. He also wondered whether he was the only one to suspect that this Rhohannus / Wildlander war might be promulgated out of Xanthakos.
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General Info / Bones
« Last post by Johan on September 26, 2014, 10:50:46 AM »
Sooo...we get CANDY??
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General Info / Bones
« Last post by Wildfire on September 23, 2014, 08:00:07 PM »
Oh excellent! I was wondering how to do that... Thankies!
48
General Info / Bones
« Last post by Griznuq on September 23, 2014, 08:53:59 AM »
Just so you're aware, if you take the part of the URL of a youtube video at the end, after the equal sign and then put it in the youtube tags, it will display the video right here...  For example, this one was 7OZQIAVKyXU

so

Code: [Select]
[youtube]7OZQIAVKyXU[/youtube]

Will give you

[youtube]7OZQIAVKyXU[/youtube]
50
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« Last post by Wildfire on September 11, 2014, 08:21:17 PM »
Yarlia’s attention keened to a sharp edge upon hearing Shankaria speak of recent changes. Her world was one of constant study and that study did not concern the world beyond the borders of Karyn’Zyth, the elven homeland. For her to take a journey beyond the borders was to open her mind to the outside world. It was often spoken that all of nature is one. What affects one thing affects all things. Suddenly Yarlia felt that the self imposed isolationism of her people could be their undoing. Their withdrawal was understandable but was hardly sustainable. Perhaps the Blood Tear that the gnome elder spoke of would also be a sign of a change in her kin.

On the other hand, she had seen the destruction of many elven villages and even the now decrepit remnants of Crusindiar, once a city for all to meet and trade in peace. The overgrown and burned out shells of buildings and halls she saw was a nauseating reminder of the raw carnage that could be inflicted upon a community. It was difficult to shake those images from her memory. The hope and promise that was there and the laughter that no doubt echoed off of those stone walls haunted her. Yet it was those promises of hope that allowed her to believe that things could be different…that her mentor and, for all intents and purposes, her second mother, Varshya, could bury the searing animosity for outside races- specifically humans.

Yarlia intently watched Varshya enter the center fire circle where all of the high ranking druids convened and the others gathered around. She was once again dressed in her green and gold ceremonial robes that had been shed at the beginning of her song. The young apprentice witnessed Varshya scan the crowd until her eyes came upon the one elder human among the many gathered here. She knew her master well enough to know that when she twitched her eyebrow that it was an unfavorable judgment that she had cast upon the elder human. It did not seem to matter to Varshya that he was standing with all of the others. He was a human and that was enough.

In Varshya’s address to the crowd she spoke of The Shadow Riders (the unofficial agents of Xanthakos) being seen more frequently in the open plains between the city states, Xanthakos, and north of Kaaryn’Zyth. It was a lonely stretch of land that was claimed by nothing except the stench of war.

She also spoke of gargan (a general term used for common humanoid and giant enemies) attacks increasing in the elven forest homeland. This was quite an unusual turn of events since most of the gargan had been routed from the forest centuries ago. It was enough of a concern to worry Varshya which meant to Yarlia that it must be more significant than she ever would have guessed.

Yarlia heard concerned whispering from her elven kin behind her. One newly inducted disciple, Jerril, tapped Yarlia on the shoulder and she asked, “Yarlia, do you know of anything about this? How come we have not heard anything until now?” Yarlia wanted the question to wait until Varshya was finished with her telling but she needed to prevent a possible panic among the others. “The situation is being dealt with by those that deal with it. Rest assured that if it’s a concern to Varshya that many are out keeping ours safe.”

Jerril wasn’t entirely satisfied with Yarlia’s response. Not being told that her home was in danger seemed too secretive in her mind. It was her home after all so why shouldn’t she be told? Jerril leaned back toward Yarlia’s ear and pressed the point, “It seems wrong to keep that threat a secret. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Yarlia was quickly getting infuriated. She wanted to hear Varshya speak. “Do you think it wise that all tender information be known by everyone? I’m sure that would swiftly compromise the security of homeland. Do you think it wise that our folk needlessly panic? Have you ever known our kin to not take precautions to securing our forest? Someday you may be a keeper of secrets and know that not all information is for everyone. Some information is veiled for a reason. Now pay attention to Mistress Varshya.”

Varshya also spoke of a meeting that an elven scouting team had with a band of adventurers and a pack of Shadow Riders simultaneously. Each group had members of the Nightstar family-presumably brothers. The adventurers, who called themselves the Shadow Hunters, were quite clearly fighting the Shadow Riders. They were fighting over the sacred Elemental Eyes which is what initially drew the scouting team to the adventurers. The elven scouts aided the Shadow Hunters in beating back the Riders. It was apparently a fortuitous decision to help them because the Shadow Hunters were sent by Zebulon (whispers murmured through the crowd upon hearing the name) and not the petty fortune seekers they were thought to be.

Varshya finished her part in the address, “The ancient Nightstar Family still rules Xanthakos. They’ve sent one of their own to lead a campaign it would seem. I do not expect that they’ll abandon it so easily.”

Varshya’s words hit Yarlia like a hammer. Change was upon them indeed.
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