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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

As Azure's arrow comes flying towards the tanar'ri, the marilith bends slightly and the arrow misses her. The fiend locks her gaze on the elf, and pulls herself up on the tower wall. Obviously, she isn't afraid of any attack.

In his mind, Azure sees visions of the marilith tearing his belly apart with her claws, and feeding on his intestines.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

OOC: Saath is a tiefling of obvious Baatezu descent. Grayish skin, bald, a few bony ridges and some scaly patterns on his face are a testament to that. He wears a high quality chain shirt and has a floating shield, not unlike Sejanus. The weapon he is wielding looks like solidified yellow energy, grasped in a peculiar way by his hands onwhich he wears skeletal gloves made of cold iron.
Saath is also on alert right now.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

OOC: Ian is a 5'11 tall Half elf, with dark hair and green eyes. Dressed in dark gray leather armor and a dark green cloak, anyone who looks closely will notice the small haversack he has strapped to his back, beneath his cloak. He wears a single leather glove on his right hand, and despite the fact that he is holding a Rapier (that looks surprisingly sharp), he has no sheath for it. He is also wearing a silver ring on his right hand, that he keeps running his thumb over. He's probably not even aware he is doing it.
Also, on close inspection, you see a number of bumps under his cloak. it would appear that he has certain items stratigically placed on his person.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"I think we should decide NOW who stays and who explores the tunnel," Naruk says, nodding towards the marilith. Those who look up see another marilith face appearing besides her - the second fiend clone climbed the tower by now.

As she pulls herself upwards, a couple of wriggling snakes can be seen in her hands.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

*Blackthornes looks at the marilith and then back to his companions*
"well, I have no magical means of hitting these fiends, so, it would seem that I will be in the expedition party."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Azure watches his arrow sail past the marilith.

"If you're asking for volunteers to not stay here, count me in." Azure will head down the tunnel, pausing just long enough for his eyes to adjust to the darkness.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"I'll stay," Naruk says, pulling out a piece of chalk from one of his pockets. He kneels down and looks to the group. "Those who explore the tunnel, go there now. Those who stay, go behind the line I'm drawing now!"

The first marilith bends down the wall and begins climbing it down - its body being upside down. The picture is grotesque, six arms keeping her on the wall, while the half-human, half-snake body slowly climbs downwards with unnatural movement.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

[OOC: So, if I get things right, the following characters head down the tunnel: Ian, Saath, Blackthornes, Azure. Naruk stays at the battle front.

I'm not sure about Sejanus - did the comment about using holy powers mean he stays?

I haven't heard in a while from dread pirate swan (sent him a PM, though) - if he doesn't reply in the next two days or so, I'll assume the Masked Gnoll goes with the exploration team.]

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

*Blackthornes draws his rapier and heads down after Azure*

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Sejanus makes his intentions clear as he steps behind Naruk's line. As he does so, he reaches for a baldric of fine leather secured across his hip and waist, and with drilled precision, reaches into one of the myriad cases, drawing forth a white capsule, crushes it upon the blade and then rubs in the celestial residue, leaving only a hint of white light.

That done, Sejanus causes the shield to come between him and the descending marilith, and then with only a slight expression of will summons up a form out of the shadows below. As it manifests, it seems to be a spectral mist, shaded black, slithering like boiling vapors, only occasionally gaining enough semi-solidity to reveal a mob of crying and wailing children, blood-red runes weeping from their skulls. The entity manifests palpable menace and hatred -a sense of overweening doom. Luckily for those present, the malice and doom is not towards them.

Sejanus pays little heed to the foreboding doomspirit, as it hangs floating in the air overtop of the tunnel's hole.

Sejanus then turns to Naruk:

"If this is magic you cast, speak so, and reveal its nature, or else your plan may be thwarted. The souls of the Maug is a shield to magic."

[OOC: Sejanus takes free action and draws oil of bless weapon, and does movement action to apply to Brahmastra. Then takes standard action to call forth dark companion. Depending on Naruk's response, Sejanus may lower his spell resistance to gain the magic's benefit if possible.]

[OOC: also, to let everyone know, I am not going to be availible for the next three days -wife is going into induced labor]

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"Gnoll, I'm going to need you and our new friend to stay here and protect Naruk. I'll check the tunnels. Hold the entrance for as long as you can, if we can't make another way out, this could be very bad."

Ian will then, weapon drawn, charge into the tunnel. Running, because there is no time to lose.

OOC: Congrats, Dialexis!

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"No magic", Naruk replies in short. Obviously concentrating heavily after he has finished drawing the line, he puts his finger onto the chalk line, pressing it hard upon the ground. Slowly, his finger moves into the ground, while the white line flickers slightly.

All around have a sudden feeling that something's not quite right...

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

OOC: I put the puppy down before, so, I take it that it just aimlessly follows me, right? That is, unless I give it it's command. Oh, and, Congrats ahead of time on being a dad dialexis!

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

[OOC: @Blackthornes: Right Smiling

@Dialexis: Congrats from me, too!]

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

OOC: So, Ian's in the tunnels, what does he see?

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

The tunnels are dark, without a light source of their own. The stone walls are definitely hand-crafted, with no erosion or other effects of time visible.

The smooth walls are clean and straight, just like the tunnel itself: So far, no turn and no exit can be seen anywhere. The tunnel ceiling is about three and a half yards over the ground.

Unless anyone has an activated source of light at hand, the tunnel turns totally dark for human eyes after no more than five or six yards.

As Sejanus waits at Naruk's side, he sees the first marilith reaching the ground. The snake-fiend raises up to a height matching that of Sejanus, giving the Maug a wild grin. The marilith at the top simply drops the half-dozen snakes she had in her hands, then begins climbing down herself.

Naruk's chalk line stops flickering, then turns into a strange silver darkness... merely looking at the line gives Sejanus a rare feeling of sea-sickness, like reality itself had a sloping position.

Suddenly, the line breaks, and the tunnel fills with a square disc of silver darkness. It has no colour, no light, yet it is strangely shimmering.

Naruk steps away from the darkness with precise caution. "Don't even think about touching it," he whispers to Sejanus. "Everything could happen if we touch it from this side."

He turns to the tunnel, then to the ceiling. "This barrier won't hold long. I need to make chalk lines on all sides of the tunnel for a better barrier. Can you help me with your size?"
He breaks the chalk in two pieces and holds one to Sejanus.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Ian pulls out his everburning torch, and continues on his way. Not only is he looking for a way out, or any new areas of tunnel to explore, but he frequently looks at the ceiling.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

*Blackthornes will be looking ahead on Ian's torchlight to see if the group is approaching anything. He will also continually look down at the puppy to make sure it is staying with him.*

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

The entire group has a slight feeling of sea-sickness as they head down the tunnel, but it gets better as they keep moving away from Naruk's creation.

[OOC: As Dialexis is gone for a few days, I assume Sejanus helps Naruk in drawing the chalk lines.]

Sejanus takes the piece of chalk, and together the two unlike planewalkers create a chalk square in the tunnel. Once more, Naruk kneels down, and presses his finger on the ground.

Meanwhile, the silver darkness in front of them begins to flicker - just like the chalk line did before -, then suddenly disappears. A group of seven phantom mariliths waits at the other side - obviously angry, but also somehow appearing confused. One marilith lies on the ground, its body strangely grey, the eyes wide opened and the mouth opened to a scream. The creature has obviously died a horrible death... whatever that means for a marilith.

For a short moment, Naruk is confused by the sight, the focusses his attention on the chalk line again... and the chalk square flickers once more.

One of the mariliths screams out in anger, and jumps forward - just as the silver darkness appears again and the chalk lines break up. Once more, the tunnel is closed by a square disc of shimmering nothingness.

In that same moment - the group has headed too far down the tunnel to notice the creation of the second square -, the entire tunnel seems to bend for a moment... then it becomes clear nothing has happened. Everyone in the group has the feeling he just had a moment of strange nausea, rather than something happening with the tunnel.

The exploration team runs down the tunnel, but Blackthornes quickly notices the puppy can't keep up to him. They have passed about fifty yards by now, with nothing extraordinary visible to them.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Saath is uneasy as he runs alongside Blackthornes and Ian. Still, this makes him even more alert, half expecting one of those mariliths to pop out of the wall at some point.

OOC: A reminder, just in case. Saath has darkvision, so he can see farther than what the torch sheds light on.

And congratulations Dialexis! Have a healthy baby Smiling

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

[OOC: I know, but so far, all he sees is just more tunnel.. Smiling ]

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

[OOC: @Blackthornes: What do you do with the puppy?]

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

*Blackthornes sheaths his rapier and picks up the little puppy. He will carry him, still being watchful of the tunnel.*

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

After almost seven hundred yards, the tunnel makes a sudden turn to the right, then ends with a blank wall. A round metal disc with an opening in its center, reminding of a lightning bolt symbol, is set into the ceiling. The disc has a diameter of five feet and consists of a silvery metal which looks as if it has just been polished.

No other exit is visible.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Ian stops beneath the metal disk and looks up.
"All right folks, end of the line. We need a back door, and it looks like we need to build our own. If any of you have any tricks besides simply beating the heck out of the ceiling that can help, now's no time for secrets."
"Anything that weakens or destroys stone or metal would be best, unless any of you have a good old fashioned means of magical transport that can take multiple people. I have a trick or two that might get myself topside, but its a guild secret and wont work for you folks."

"But whatever we do, we need it to be either quite, or very fast working. Because this plan is moot if we've made enough ruckus to attract attention to this side to have a fiendish welcome waiting for us. I can only hope we're far enough to be a street or two over, and out of sight."

"So, what do we have to work with?"

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"What makes you think we'd be safe up there only this far from our entry? Last I checked the lightning made a bee-line for us, the sky was crowded with Vrocks raidin' the ruins, and you couldn't turn your bum or step on a silvery snake. But I have a suggestion alright. How's about we use that key we got from... a certain someone" Saath glances paranoidly at the puppy, "in the hole of that convenient, silvery and obvious bounded space above us? Last I checked you pocketed it before I could get a good look at it, Ian."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"Theres no such thing as being safe in the abyss. But if we can slip away unnoticed, or even just get a head start, we might be able to make it to our destination before they catch up."
"And yes, I have the key, but I doubt very much that this is what we are looking for, with the lack of a Sigilian style tower and all."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"For all we know, there is a tower up there. However, what really troubles me is that symbol on yon disk. I've a sneeking suspicion that whoever touches it will know firsthand what its like to be on the recieving end of Thor's ire. I for one did not flee thunderbolts being hurled from the sky just to get zapped underground. I am, however willing to waste one more arrow testing my theory, if all of thee will step back a bit."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"Fine then." Ian says, stepping back. "But as much as I am for caution, we are running on the clock."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

[OOC: @Dialexis: Are you back?]

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"I've got nothing, though, we should see if it's trapped as azure said. Though, I would much rather just search the bugger for traps myself."
OOC: Searching for Traps on the door.

11 Bonus for to do
I rolled 1d20+11, the result is 21.
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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Blackthornes takes a few seconds to inspect the door in the ceiling, but finds nothing suspicious - except, maybe, that there's no obvious mechanism to open the door.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

[OOC: Dialexis back and reporting for duty -and thanks for all the encouragement and support!]

(Assuming Sejanus has caught up with the forward expeditionary group and hears Ians comments): Sejanus will wait and see the effects of the arrow, but is poised with his sword, transmuting the Brahmastra to Baatorian Greensteel, though only holding the massive blade in one hand, the other readying to touch the metallic disc.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Sejanus, the Masked Gnoll and Naruk catch up with the rest of the group as Blackthornes searches the door; from the close distance they could hear Azure's suggestion of firing the arrow.

Naruk gives the others a nod, and explains, "I think we have a minute or two, but the barrier I created won't hold much longer than that. With a bit of bad luck, it could crumble any moment. I do think, though, that two of the mariliths are dead."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Ian nods, and places a hand on Naruk's shoulder. "And that alone is no small help. Thank you." Ian removes his hand.

"Now, we need to get topside, and as quietly as possible. This far from the entrance, there is a chance we might be able to sneak away, or at the very least get a head start. But if we make too much noise, they will be on top of us even before we break through, and it all falls apart."

"See what options you guys can come up with. I'm going to check out the situation above."

Suddenly, Ian turns jet black, as if his entire body turned to shadow. The shadow shimmers... and is gone.

OOC: Shadow Jaunt, Ian is heading 50 feet up, if there is something in the way at 50 feet, he appears in the closest open area in between.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Everything around Ian turns dark... not pitch black, just as if only the smallest possible amount of light would still touch his surroundings. The world he is in now appears somehow unreal. There appears to be no up or down, no left or right - just darkness, and darkness within darkness.

He moves into the direction his mind tells him should be "up" - although to his senses, there is little difference to where he was before. When he has moved far enough that his experience tells him he has passed about fifty feet in the "real" Abyss, he steps out of the shadows again.

The moment before reality comes back into his view, he sees a pair of dark eyes looking straight at him.

Then, he stands in the middle of an open place, surrounded by ruins except at one side. To his left, where the tunnel would lead if it wasn't over at the door in the ceiling, there is a high wall, reaching about twenty yards from the ground.

He has obviously entered a ceremony - he is in the middle of a circle of beings. About twenty dark figures in bright green robes have gathered here, looking down, possibly in deep meditation.

At his back, Ian feels a dark, lurking presence towering over him.

One of the creatures in front of him raises its head, and its face becomes visible: An elongated shape with neither mouth nor nose, and three long and twitching tendrils each where eyes should be. Both face and tendrils reach about an arm's length out of the robe, and both are pitch black.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Naruk suddenly turns pale as Ian disappears.

"All good powers... I hope Ian knows what he's doing. If I interpret this right, he's slipped into the plane of shadows. That could be a dangerous thing in a place like this."

Nervously, he walks over to Blackthornes and pets the puppy, obviously trying to get something different to think about.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Ian looks around, and his eyes go wide at seeing the... thing in front of him.
"Don't mind me, just passing through." He says, taking a closer look around.

OOC:
Spot check: 14 + 11 = 25. He's mainly looking for the tower they came from, the sigilian tower, or any mariliths from before.

Diplomacy: 12 + 18 = 30.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

*Blackthornes nods to naruk*
"Well, I hope nothing happened to him. We need him to get out of our current perdicament. He's a good leader, it would be a shame to lose him now of all times."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

"He leads from the front, I'll give him that." Azure draws an iron-tipped arrow and fires it at the lightning-symbol on the metal disk.

0 Bonus for attack (ranged) to do
I rolled 1d20+0, the result is 5.
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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Naruk shakes his head. "He's less of a leader, than a survivor... and following him helps to survive. If that's all one wants, he's a great leader. But a real leader needs more, I think."

Naruk steps aside as Azure shoots his arrow. A light CLANK! appears as the arrow hits the door, then it falls down on the ground. Nothing else happens.

Ian sees neither mariliths nor a tower, although he notices that behind the wall to his left, thick mist rises. Azure described the tower they were searching for as "hidden in mist".
Strangely, even the tower they came from is nowhere in sight, although it should be if they had walked the same path over the ground.

Another thing comes to his notice: While there are still vrocks attacking the city, they have become fewer - a few hundred maybe, but few enough that walking through the city would not be the same as certain death.

The creature in front of him shows no apparent reaction, but keeps 'looking' at him - or at least, its tendrils still point roughly in Ian's direction.

[OOC: @Azure: Despite the bad die roll, hitting the symbol was quite easy, so your shot was successful - even though the arrow only hit the symbol's edge.]

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Suddenly, something flows through the tunnel - a change that everyone feels, although it can't be grasped what exactly changed.

Naruk turns around, then whispers, "This means two things... first, the barrier has gone, and second, I won't be able to create one again."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Ian uses his ring to lift himself into the air, as high as he has to to feel reasonably sure that the green-robed things wont be able to reach him, and no higher. While he's in the air, he takes another look around, to see if his higher vantage point gives him a better view of his surroundings.

He moves himself over them, and then starts to descend in the direction of the wall where the tunnel should end.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

*blackthornes looks to Naruk*
"well, we'd better get pushing that thing then. Somebody boost me up."

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Well, shit.

Ian makes a break to the edge of the ring, heading for any space he can find in between the creatures. Just before he reaches them, however, he tucks and rolls.

OOC: Tumble = 12 + 12 = 24. This should easily get me past without an AoO if I can find a gap and slip past, but they still get an AoO if I pass through their space.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Ian uses his ring, but finds himself not moving an inch from the ground. The lurking feeling slowly turns into immediate danger, as if something is forming behind him - always behind him, even if he turns around.

Naruk turns to Sejanus. "I guess with your size and strength, you're the best choice to lift him up, would you agree?"

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

As he tries to make his first step, Ian almost falls flat on his face, barely keeping his balance. He realizes his feet are stuck to the ground.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

Ian crouches down as best he can, to see how his feet are stuck to the ground.

Well, it would seem I've gotten myself into a fantastic mess this time. Lomax, if you're listening, I would greatly appreciate it if you could pass along some information about all this to someone in the tunnel. They need to know what's waiting here for them.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

The tunnel doesn't lead here, Lomax replies. It leads to a place beyond the wall, where these creatures can't get to.

But indeed, you got yourself into a fantastic mess. The reason you are stuck to the ground is that you are stuck in an Abyssal isle - a piece of the Abyss that was detached from its original layer. It has been a long time I have seen something like this. Such a thing can be used either to create a new realm, or... to capture someone for eternity.

Looking at his feet, Ian can't see any obvious reason for his feet being immovable.

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Game: Great minds think alike (Part II)

[OOC: Where is everyone?]

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