Zomaris:Khanate Rising/Chapter 23
Chapter #23: Best Axe Ever
<mainstreet> You wake up in the morning, and find yourselves quickly on the road again. Your cart now has the aforementioned box, still sealed, as you continue along the path towards Quillspire City. The forests are starting to get a bit thicker, but the road itself seems clear. You still have that eerie feeling that you are being watched as you proceed along the road.
- Fir plays follow the leader and chats with plants along the way about the weather and nitrogen content of the soil.
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy sits in the cart, staring at the box like a chain smoker three days into quitting cold-turkey. It taunts her with its unknowable-ness.
<Capn_Mercy> Her eye twitches slightly.
<mainstreet> Fir, Nil: You notice that off to the left, there seem to be four individuals stalking your group. They seem to be dressed similarly. Two are Humans, and two are Nagaji.
<mainstreet> Mercy: You continue to chill.
<Fir> "I wonder what they want," Fir says idly.
<Capn_Mercy> "The box, duh. That's why we're carrying it."
<Capn_Mercy> "...wait, who's 'they'?" She looks up for the first time.
<Fir> "Oh. Right." Fir looks at the box, having mostly forgotten it was there.
- Nil sighs. "We could've been discreet about it. Ah, well. Wanna just face them directly?"
<mainstreet> You hear a jostling off to the left. Clearly, they heard your not very discreet discussion.
<Fir> "I could try to entangle them?" Fir whispers.
<Nil> "We shouldn't initiate anything physical. Laws and stuff."
<Capn_Mercy> "Yeah, we don't *know* that they're highwaymen. Technically. Maybe we should hit the gas and try to outrun them?"
<mainstreet> Four individuals, two humans and two nagaji, appear on the path on your left. They are dressed in what appears to be some kind of formal armor.
<mainstreet> One of the nagaji hisses at you. "Hand over the box, travelersssss, or we will take it from you!"
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy stands up. "What box? I don't see any box."
<mainstreet> "We are not fools. The box you carry in the cart. The box that belongs to the Great One. We will see it returned to its rightful glory!"
<Capn_Mercy> "Oh, well if you just want the box, hang on and we'll get our stuff out, and you can have it."
<mainstreet> Nil: You recognize the armor now. This armor is the ceremonial armor for the Warpriests of Apep. The 'Great One' they mentioned is almost certainly a reference to Apep as well.
<Fir> "Is that the same Great One as the last Great One?" Fir asks.
<mainstreet> "There is only one Great One," one of the human priests declares solemnly.
<Fir> "Then she must be the same," Fir says, nodding.
<Nil> "They are talking about Apep, the Devourer of Dawn."
<Fir> "Who's Dawn, and why would anyone devour her?"
<Nil> "I choose to not believe in the gods. It only encourages them."
<mainstreet> The nagaji nods solemnly at Mercy. "Well then, bring us the box. It is good to see you recognize our superiority in this situation."
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy blinks. "Wait, what? You *actually* just want the box itself?"
<Fir> "If we open the box and look inside, are our employers going to kill us, like in that bard story Teleporter?"
<Capn_Mercy> "Story? ...uh, look, we can't actually give you the box. We took a contract."
<mainstreet> "Then DIE!" they yell together, pulling out vicious looking scimitars!
<Capn_Mercy> "No, YOU die!" Mercy draws her mighty axe.
<Nil> A maniacal look crosses Nil's face as he pulls out two glass flasks full of...well, whatever it was, he threw it in the direction of the nagaji. He doesn't even stop there, pulling out two booze flasks and emptying them in the direction of his face. A lot of the booze splashes onto Mercy's axe, and Nil shoots her a heated, murderous glare. A glare so heated, in fact, that Mercy's axe catches fire!
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy looks at her newly improved, flaming axe. "Nil, you are officially my favorite person ever."
<mainstreet> Nil's flasks hit the nagaji and burst into flame, a hot soaring flame that burns the entire enemy team! The blaze burns furiously.
<mainstreet> Two of them (one human, one nagaji) run up and attempt to slice Nil up!
<mainstreet> One of the slices actually hits and gives Nil a cut across an arm, but the other misses entirely.
<mainstreet> The remaining human fires off a spell, also aimed at Nil.
<mainstreet> Fortunately for Nil, that misses.
<mainstreet> The remaining Nagaji begins a spell of some sort.
- Fir heads over to the nearest enemy, lifts up her hands, and shouts, "Kablooey Cobra-ey!" in secret mystic magic language. A line of fire appears, beginning at the enemy in front of her, and snaking its way along the ground to all four enemies.
- Fir , looking at the result, nods satisfactorily to herself. "Yep, what this situation needed was definitely more fire."
<mainstreet> "AHHH MORE FIRE!"
<mainstreet> The nagaji that was attempting to cast a spell has now lost that spell.
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy leaps off of the cart, axe at the ready. "Ahhh, MORE fire!" Hmm, sounds familiar. She launches herself at the nearest baddie and takes an enormous swing...on FIRE!
<mainstreet> The nagaji attacking Nil goes down hard!
<mainstreet> Her second swing, however, wildly manages to get her axe thudded right into the cart. The cart is now on fire. Nice going!
<mainstreet> "Hey, watch it!" Kenny yells, irritated. "We rented this thing!"
- Nil facepalms
<Nil> As soon as he removes palm from face, Nil curls it into a fist and swings it at the human who attacked him in melee
<mainstreet> BAM! The man goes down hard!
<mainstreet> The nagaji, having lost a spell already, decides not to risk a spell that will take that much time again, as he continues to burn, and fires a spell off at Nil.
<mainstreet> The light beams straight into Nil, burning him up a bit.
<mainstreet> The human simply charges, attempting to hit Mercy.
<mainstreet> *slicesliceslice* A thin line of blood now appears on Mercy's leg. Yep, that slice hurt!
<Capn_Mercy> "Arrgh! So much for thighs of steel..."
- Fir mutters "su" and snaps her fingers at the cart. A cascade of water pours over the cart. "Mustn't let the quest items burn," she says quietly.
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy's axe is also doused. She's visibly upset as she puts ont boot on the cart and tries to yank it back out of the charred wood. "Hey! I was using--WHOA!" She stumbles a bit as the axe head unexpectedly comes loose earlier than she anticipated, off-balancing her as it swings around behind her...and lops off the head of the human trying to stab her unprotected backside. She blinks in surprise...then, moments later,
<Capn_Mercy> the axe-head ignites again, all on its own. She looks at it. "...Best. Axe. Ever."
<mainstreet> Fir. Nil: Out of the corner of your eye, you spot two figures attempting to sneak up behind the cart! They seem to be in some sort of shadow field that makes them hard to spot, but you spotted them!
- Nil points a finger in the direction of those sneaky figures, and also burps in their direction. "Oi! What're you doin'?!"
<mainstreet> They say nothing. It's not their turn.
- Nil then gets himself between them and the cart, fists raised and ready
<mainstreet> The last cultist pulls out his blade, shouts "FOR APEP!!!!" and charges Fir, the one person that hasn't already killed one of his comrades horribly yet (though she's certainly done plenty of damage).
<mainstreet> His slice attempt is far off the mark, though.
- Fir slices her fingertip at the cultist in front of her, says, "dondurma", and reaches out to touch him. Amidst all the fire, feathers of ice begin spreading along his skin, giving him a severe case of frostbite.
<mainstreet> The nagaji seems to be barely functional at the moment, with being on fire and having frostbite at the same time.
<mainstreet> Indeed, he suddenly topples over, knocked out.
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy twirls her flaming axe of +5 Badassedness as she approaches the semi-hidden guys and takes a swing.
<mainstreet> The axe slams into the mysterious shadow figure, and she is forced to emerge fully back into reality and she takes a huge flaming axe to the gut. Hey wait a minute, that's Baldar armor, not Apep! ...actually, you recognize this one, now that you've hit her. It's our good "friend", the former Countess-Princess Victoria!
<Fir> "Hey! It's that...um...lady," Fir trails off.
<mainstreet> "Dammit, those fools couldn't even last TWO FREAKING ROUNDS!" she yells in frustration. "I knew this plan was stupid!" She attempts to strike back at Mercy. "But there's not much any of us can do about our current situation. Her reach is long."
<mainstreet> The first slice does some damage, but the second does not.
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy deflects the blow with her axe handle. "Oh, I remember you! You're the one who ran away like a bitch when we overthrew your sorry ass."
<mainstreet> "I would never have run away. I was taken away. By someone I would have gladly helped you against. Sadly I can only do as commanded, now."
<mainstreet> "The True Queen desires the box. The cultists were merely a diversion to soften you up. We tricked them."
<Capn_Mercy> "What's so damned special about the stupid box, anyway?"
<mainstreet> "What, you haven't even opened it?"
<mainstreet> The shadowy figure makes an attempt to strike Mercy as well, at this time.
<mainstreet> However, he does so with a hand.
<mainstreet> However, he falls over, stumbling all over himself, only managing to take himself out of shadow. He's revealed as Count Ivan, as you probably expected by now.
<Nil> "What's in it?"
<mainstreet> A small smirk is all that is recieved from Victoria. It is, after all, not her turn.
<Nil> "...take them alive," Nil says, stepping forward cautiously and throwing a punch to test Victoria's defenses
<mainstreet> Her defenses are better than *that* lame punch, anyway.
<Fir> Drawing on yet more opposite-of-fire, Fir whispers, "buz nize" and makes a shivering motion with two fingers. As she does so, giant ice spears pop up beneath Vicky and Ivan.
<mainstreet> Victoria and Ivan manage to stay on their feet, but they definitely both feel the ice, Victoria a bit moreso.
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy glances at Nil. "No promises." Lethal flaming axe death comes flying at Vicky's head...
<mainstreet> And completely misses said head. "Nice try," she mocks, as she returns the favor.
<mainstreet> Neither of her slices hit either, though.
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy makes a face. "Nice try." Her voice is dripping with sarcasm.
<mainstreet> Ivan attempts to slice up Nil now.
<mainstreet> Ivan manages a massive slice right though Nil's midsection, sparking with energy. Ivan's follow up strike misses, but that first one looked bad enough.
<Nil> "Yeah, gonna need a potion or somethin' for that one. But a potion won't cure what I'm going to do to you two..." Nil says, then throws another punch in the direction of Vicky. His other hand is extended expectantly in the direction of Fir
<mainstreet> Again, that punch doesn't even approach her. She snickers.
- Fir rummages in her bag as quickly as she can, pulling out two vials. She sticks one in her own belt and runs over to hand the other to Nil.
- Nil quickly downs the one handed to him
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy, clearly annoyed that she hasn't yet wiped the smirk off of Victoria's face, furrows her brow and hauls back for an especially nasty strike. "Dodge *this*." The blade goes snicker-snack, and Victoria's upper body goes one way while her legs go another. The bloodied blade continues on to bury itself into Ivan's side, gravely wounding him as well.
<Capn_Mercy> It's only afterwards that Mercy realizes what happened. "...oops. Again."
<mainstreet> Ivan attempts return strikes on Mercy. "You killed my wife. You'll pay for that!"
<Capn_Mercy> "Ow! Cut that out! It's not my fault your wife's dead! ...I mean, sure, I cut her in half, but only because you were trying to steal from us!"
<Nil> "Let's TRY to take this one alive," Nil says, taking a moment to look over Ivan's stance, and then determining the best course of action is just punching the guy.
<mainstreet> That would be a good course of action. It would. Except for the problem that your punch needs to actually connect to have an impact.
<Capn_Mercy> "Tell you what - I'll stop killing 'em when you start hitting 'em."
- Fir whacks at Ivan with her quarterstaff.
<mainstreet> That whack fails to penetrate Ivan's armor and thus does not affect him in any way.
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy stands there...blood on her hands, fire on her axe, and killing intent in her eyes. "You saw what I did to her. Are you really going to chance the same thing happening to you?"
<mainstreet> "I will chance it," he replies softly. "I want my revenge, and even if I die, at least I am free from the reach of the Queen."
<Capn_Mercy> "You must not like her very much. So why do all this?"
<Fir> "Did she cast a spell on you to compel you?"
<mainstreet> "There are compulsions that go beyond that of magic," Ivan replies.
<Capn_Mercy> "Hmm. I'd love to know more--" *WHOOSH* "--but oops, my axe slipped."
<mainstreet> Ivan is now in two pieces.
<Capn_Mercy> "At least they're together now." She glances at four bisected halves. "...figuratively speaking."
- Nil sighs. "At least we get their stuff."
<Capn_Mercy> "Sorry, Nil. I tried, really. But...you know. FLAMING AXE."
- Fir helps Nil look for things.
<mainstreet> Both Ivan and Victoria have similar gear in terms of their accessories: Ring of Mind Shielding, Ring of Arcane Signet, Wand of Cure Moderate Wounds, Eyes of the Eagle. You also get Ivan's +1 Shocking Burst Ominous Scimitar, and Victoria's +1 Jurist Frost Ominous Light Mace
<mainstreet> You also find 2000 gold.
<mainstreet> Other than the +1 Scimitars each of the cultists had, they have nothing else interesting.
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy takes a Ring of Mind Shielding. "Fuck you, telepaths. ...no offence, Nil."
<Nil> "Oh, don't worry. I understand."
<Capn_Mercy> "Fir, you might want that wand for support purposes."
- Fir tucks the wand into her belt, putting the vial back in her bag.
- Nil takes the other Ring of Mind Shielding
- Fir puts the other wand in her bag.
<Capn_Mercy> Mercy gathers up the weapons. "Kind of small for my tastes, but we'll see."
<mainstreet> ---END SESSION---