The Raiders – Part 22Your Cadre, as you asked, is ready to travel almost at once. Each of them possesses an extradimensional container of some sort or another, where much of the personal items they may need are stored. You're no exception of course; you have always preferred to travel light, though. Self-reliance has prevented you from falling into a variety of bad habits you have watched others indulge in. The Silver Swords transfer the knowledge of the lair's location into your minds, along with the territories nearby. The greatest difficulty is always the same: arrival would ordinarily place you anywhere from a few to a few hundred miles from the Lair itself. As a result, making the Lairs deep beneath the ground is the most expedient method of getting there accurately. It usually ends up with many suffering from painful injuries as their bodies attempt to materialize in solid rock, but it is far better than arriving in the open and attempting stealth to get to the Lair unnoticed. Especially on the back of dragons.The ability isn't entirely natural to your species, of course. The development of the ability to project oneself from the Astral to the Physical entirely is innate now, but the method and secrets of how it was hardwired into the githyanki body or mind are lost secrets. Or at the very least, secrets that are well kept. Those spellcasters and gish of a more philosophical bent argue over the source of the ability indefinitely, but the only one who might actually know....well, seeing Her Majesty up close has a way of changing a githyanki. Assuming they survive the experience.The Guild of Acquisitions has dispersed, flying throughout the Conclave and delivering the forked metal rods that will allow you to focus upon the correct material plane to commence the Raid upon. While not strictly necessary to use the ability to shift to a material plan, the possession of such a rod guarantees that one will not end up in a different material world than one's brethren. The inherent difficulty of selecting one particular material plan to invade is the duty of scouts; building a fork to guide the raiders to the correct realm is another part of their job.
You most likely aren't the first to wonder about creating a rod unseen and untouched by others, you imagine, but you can't help but wonder at that very thing once more as you take the bronze rod with tips of colorfully banded agate in hand. The rod resembles a tuning fork, used to make the sound of an instrument a specific tone as you understand it, but greatly enlarged. The heavy bronze is warm to the touch, and you can feel the intense latent energies of the thing the pull that it generates through the Astral towards a curtain of flowing energies somewhere out in the Fundament. The prongs are tipped with cylindrical hooks of the banded agate, and lozenge shaped one covers the base of it. You grip the soft metal firmly, though not tightly, and offer it to your companions as they rise from their seats or step closer if standing. They touch it, eyes closed, feeling the alien energies of the rod, attuning their minds to the sensation it imparts. They open their eyes and look to you, awaiting your first command as Leader on Dunzamn's Great Raid. Have them all meet on the field immediately and prepare for transition. Give them one last Turning to complete any leftover tasks before meeting while you prepare Yzia. Ask them if there are any last warnings for their companions anyone wishes to deliver.... Draw Siobhan and make them repeat their Oaths to Serve you. Discuss strategy for carving out a niche in the Lair for yourselves upon arrival. Write in?All Siobhan can think and sing about is spilling all that rich elven blood.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/XsQuestmistressPastebin: http://pastebin.com/5H8tWFRePrevious Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/1617969/>Akko, like all her kind, has a measure of psychic ability. She will simply use most of these powers without prompting, instinctively, when appropriate. Her spells are another matter.>She is a high ranking Gish, and may give orders to low ranking Knights; mid-ranked Warriors; high ranking Spellcasters, Skulkers, and Murderers; and any Gish lower ranked than herself.>True Silver Sword: SiobhanSiobhan offers her opinions and advice on matters when a vote is called for, drawing on Akko's potent intellect and voicing subconscious thoughts for her to consider.>Current Spell SelectionSlaver Set Enhanced (Marauder) – heavy subdual and mass combat, moderate utility, moderate defense/buffs + a few really destructive spells.>Current Cadre: Yzia: Adult Mythic Solar Dragon, lover and companion. She may carry Akko and five others.Falna: Mid-ranked Warrior (Unstable position); Class:Slayer, bound by Oath.>Silver Sword: MalnaeYashi: High-ranked Illusionist (Your Spellcaster); Class: Illusionist Wizard, Bound by Oath only; you have a Not-Silver Sword for her.Tzanzi: High-ranked Murderer (First in Command); Class: Pureblade Slayer, Bound by Oath and Friendship.Auena: Mid-ranked Gish (Yzia's new quarry); Class: Psychic Warrior, bound by Oath.Schechei: Mid-ranked Gish (mated to Falna); Class: Magus, bound by Oath>Silver Sword: TiagotheKteine: Mid-ranked Gish (your adoptive daughter and acolyte); Class: Psychic Warrior, bound by Oath>Silver Sword: Achris>Akko's Current Supreme LeaderDunzamn, a Lord Knight with a True Silver Sword (Voorsi), leader of the Raid upon the Elven and Human Kingdoms of Iridaiya and Boggsteading, respectively.Character Sheet always In Progress: https://www.myth-weavers.com/sheet.html#id=1009380Spell Book: http://pastebin.com/WjH8UfyY
>>1656190> Ask them if there are any last warnings for their companions anyone wishes to deliver....> Draw Siobhan and make them repeat their Oaths to Serve you.
>>1656190>[X] Ask them if there are any last warnings for their companions anyone wishes to deliver....>[X] Discuss strategy for carving out a niche in the Lair for yourselves upon arrival.Hi XS! How are you tonight?
>>1656190>[X] Discuss strategy for carving out a niche in the Lair for yourselves upon arrival.>[X] Have them all meet on the field immediately and prepare for transition.
>>1656210they're trying to burn down California and petechial hemorrhage has made one of my eyes look like I got slapped around. Not that I mind a little rough stuff, but it looks horrible.
>>1656225That sucks, if the smoke's blown to where you're at, I hope it disappates quickly.
[X] Ask them if there are any last warnings for their companions anyone wishes to deliver....[X] Discuss strategy for carving out a niche in the Lair for yourselves upon arrival.“I trust that if there are any issues the Cadre must deal with together, you will announce them to one another now? I would find it very annoying to come up against a foe that was looking for someone else just before bedtime.” Your wry smile and amused tone of voice is accompanied by a very factual and firm warning thought; you really would be annoyed if you were caught unaware by issues that were caused by your Cadres conflicts with others.“I had forgotten about that,” admits Tzanzi. “I will have to get used to sleeping. And dreams.”Auena smiles and shakes her head, more to indicate she has no entanglements with others. “I have teas that will help mitigate dreams if you need them, Tzanzi.” The murderer inclines her head to the soft gish, and studies her rather speculatively; she seems to simply be honestly helpful, rather than making another kind of offer, given her lack of reaction to the gaze.“Will we be receiving our Silver Swords there, or before leaving?” Schechei asks mildly, though she shifts nervously in place. Falna slides a hand over the crystalline armor covering the young githyanki's shoulder, while Kteine gives her a sympathetic glance and looks to you. You do not miss the movement of her fingers towards her twin, nor the purposefully blank expression that she maintains as Falna reassures Schechei.You look to the others, who do not voice any issues, save Yashi. You may expect some conflict concerning my presence with you. I have never participated in a Raid, much less one so well manned and ambitious. It will attract the attention of others who will undoubtedly be interested in my services. She smiles faintly and directs a thought to you alone. Or in my ability to service.“If that's the least of the issues we face, that will be a grace, Dead Gods be Praised,” you murmur with irony so thick that it could be cut with a Silver Sword. Much to the amusement of the others. “I have been told that you may go to the Master Smiths yourselves to collect your swords, and if you do not, Dunzamn will be given blades for you. It would be safe to say the swords you will be give will be a match for your natures; the Masters know their work well.” Your personal theory is that the other Silver Swords, perhaps even the True Silver Swords, report on the nature of those who have earned them. “Or, you could try and collect them from Dunzamn now, though I would personally recommend doing so before he becomes overwhelmed with requests and duties.”Schechei considers the possibility, and shakes her head. “I will wait. I would rather not delay our arrival much.” Kteine nods her agreement.
“Good. We will be hard pressed to make a place for ourselves if we do not do so quickly.” You gesture and Yzia smiles. “Yzia is prepared to leave at once, but I believe we should have a strategy. While the rod will relocate us all to the same location in the proper material, that will not necessarily be close to the Lair, or withing the place in the Lair we want to be.”“Given the number of slaves and the requirements for capture, and the nature of the slaves we are planning to capture, I would prefer an isolated area towards the edge of the Lair, somewhere with privacy and where the guild can be brought quickly to make adjustments and alterations to our location if we need them.”Falna frowns. “You're suggesting we make a place for ourselves within the Lair that is defended and private in comparison to others?” Tzanzi inclines her head in agreement. “That smacks of an agenda, and I do not think we want to make that much of an impact, do we?”Yashi speaks aloud and her voice makes your skin crawl in a delicious manner; Falna shudders, and Schechei shivers, her emotions in turmoil from the sensations Yashi's sweet voice inflicts. “We have an agenda. We want the most slaves and the best place to keep[ the peculiar slaves we are taking at first. Others will undoubtedly take an interest and might even decide to take the easy method of collecting slaves.”Auena nods – she may not keep slaves, but she has been on slaving raids before. “Yashi is right; we're going to make some very fine targets of ourselves, given the value and number of slaves we will be able to take in comparison to most. We have an unusually large cadre with very good resources.”Kteine and Schechei both look annoyed, and distressed by the concept. Falna shakes her head. “Disgusting.” Yet very true – we will need to be able to defend our catch. I will make sure that no one thinks of us as a target. The fact is that elven youth make for easily stolen slaves. If we are near Dunzamn, that prevents slave-theft, but has it's own danger. We could build a secondary Lair and work from there, but that will take time. Write in?Siobhan thinks that being near Dunzamn is dangerous, or any near knight-led cadre for that matter; she suspects the knights will not be a threat to your captures, but that another strong cadre would be unless alliances were made.
>>1656283>[X] Yet very true – we will need to be able to defend our catch.>[X] The fact is that elven youth make for easily stolen slaves.Kteine (and to a lesser extent Schechei)'s response to this interests me, maybe have Akko ask what's upsetting them unless it's something obvious I'm not getting?Like I don't think it's the idea of slave-taking or githyanki scheming against each other, is it?
>>1656283> Yet very true – we will need to be able to defend our catch.> The fact is that elven youth make for easily stolen slaves.
>>1656283> Yet very true – we will need to be able to defend our catch.> The fact is that elven youth make for easily stolen slaves. Hey Xs, think you could explain why elves are so.... mindless when they're young? At least that's the impression I got from that interlude.
Rolled 12, 18 = 30 (2d20)Knowledge rolls, Planes and Arcana.
>>1656324Akko can, with those rolls
>>1656324I'm not sure of the biology, but I think the underlying reasoning is in most forms of DnD, the minimum age for elf PCs is like 50 to 100 years old, because that's when they're considered adults, so XS found a delightfully unnerving way of explaining why that is.
>>1656283>Very true, we will need to be able to defend our catch.>Maybe your half-orc could help with that, among other guards... But she might need items to help her.IIRC the half-orc is used to defend our magic equipment, and is decently tough, no? Or would it be out of place to use her as guardian for our part of the Lair?She'd probably enjoy lording over some elves while in a sexy outfit, in any case.
>>1656351The problem is I'm pretty sure she's weak compared to any worthwhile Githyanki, also she thinks she's dead and the Astral Plane is hell, and Akko is a demon sent to punish her for being attracted to girls and enjoying being a sub (I forget which her tribe thought was worse).So while taking her to a Material Plane and have all those assumptions unravel would likely be pretty funny, I don't think it'd be useful.
>>1656343Well that's unsettling as hell.
>>1656359I'm pretty sure she's tough enough to at least make most Gith reconsider trying to take Akko's stuff on their own.As for the other thing, well, arriving in a huge cave and told to guard new slaves wouldn't exactly dispell the impression she's in Hell, I'd say.
>>1656368XS likes unsettling stuff.
>>1656372While not wrong, she'd definitely notice that she once more needs to breathe, and gravity still exists etc.
>>1656381Fair enough, but we shall see.
[X] Yet very true – we will need to be able to defend our catch.[X] The fact is that elven youth make for easily stolen slaves.[X] Write in? What, surprised we suffer from infighting, girls? I thought you would have picked up on that by now. It is Falna's response that earns a small snort of laughter from you. Kteine's and Schechei's distress is also amusing, though. “Surely you two cannot believe we would not be subject to scrutiny and plots and possible theft? We are hardly a unified race outside of the pogrom and the influence of the knights.” They both look somewhat abashed. “The enemy is utterly ruthless and incredibly powerful. We cannot afford to ever be weak, and the strong take what they can. We breed for intelligence and strength, and the only way to do so is this....competitive, combative nature we have.”“You almost make it sound like we practice eugenics,” Auena half accuses.Tzanzi looks surprised. “We do.” Auena looks at her, startled. “Denying the fact that our people were experimented and bred to the designs of the enemy is stupid, and the only counter to that is to do the same. It's a fact of our existence, and one you cannot look away from.”Falna nods grimly, much to your surprise. “Tzanzi is perhaps the most knowledgeable githyanki about the enemy there is in several Strongholds. Akko, for all her flaws, is probably the most knowledgeable about our kind. Trying to gainsay either of them about these matters is blatant stupidity, no matter how unpleasant the truth is.” “I am almost flattered,” you comment flatly, which earns a laugh from Yzia and a coy smile from Yashi. “Auena is correct though – we are going to earn a lot of attention very quickly for the number and kind of slaves we will be taking. So a defensible and strong position away from anyone who might bother us for any reason is required. The knights obviously have an interest in me, and I think that Yashi's skills are going to help us immensely; Kteine as well.” Kteine looks surprised and then touches the Stronghold Defender's badge she wears on her regalia.“Elven youth are....well, the best way to define them is 'mindless'. They're not like our get; they are slow to mature, and their brains are strange. They are easily controlled, but that also means they're easily coerced by others. Depending on how well they've been trained, they can be capable of putting up quite a fight.” You consider a moment, fingering Siobhan's hilt, which causes her to make a lewd image or two in your mind. “Elven bodies mature in a relatively slow manner, and their brains have to adjust to a much more intense connection to their body and the world. They process information slowly as they grow older. They're sentient, but not truly sapient.”“You mean their minds are animalistic?” asks Auena curiously.
“No, the opposite. Our maturation cycle is a reflection of our evolution. Elven growth is a reflection of their creation. They are incredibly sensitive beings, their entire body is essentially a sensory organ in tune with magic and realities we cannot perceive without using psychic or magical forces. They lose that when they start actually thinking, but in the mean time, their minds are overwhelmed with sensations, constantly. They drift in and out of awareness as their brains mature, and they learn by rote, instead of by forming patterns of behavior due to action and reaction – they will not respond to an injury by fearing what caused the injury, but by exploring the sensations that resulted, which could lead to repetition of the injury. They only become sapient when their brains finally become meshed into the material world.” The others are looking at you, Falna with doubt, Yzia with that entranced fascination she has when you surprise her with something, and Yashi with a measure of awe. “Yes, I study these things. I like to know what I am dealing with. In any case, elven youth are essentially autistic in the most basic sense – they exist in a self centered world of absolute sensory inundation, and they only interact with other beings when forced or when exploring their senses.”“Would we not be in violation of their absolute terror field upon capture of them?” Yashi's question make you shudder, and Tzanzi licks her lips.“They do not suffer the high ego issue that would create one, which is why they're so heavily guarded. They are pretty helpless before their training is close to finished. Their ego is deficient; they essentially have an id, but their id is overwhelmed with sensory data, and their keepers – they have a crèche system similar to ours – impose the super-ego traits that form their minds into functional elves. Only when they become fully mentally mature do they develop an ego, and when that happens, they are real creatures, in tune with the reality everyone else perceives.”“....they would make perfect thralls,” Auena murmurs softly.
You nod. “Elves will kill their young before allowing them to be enslaved. That's why they're valuable to any slavers. They take special treatment because they are individuals that develop in a literally individual fashion before they're even intelligent creatures. The fact that most of them know how to kill people or have a grasp of magic before they are even fully matured makes them extremely dangerous as thralls as well – their rote training sticks very well after about twenty years, and years or even decades after they mature into thinking beings you might suddenly find yourself with a sword through the back when you least expect it, or suddenly be suffering under the power of a Charm spell. Their individualistic nature is not merely societal, it is a biological function of their life cycle, and when they mature they remember the rote training more than they remember their childhood, which can make things very awkward.”“I always wondered why elves practiced wizardry as opposed to a more ingrained or naturalistic form of magic,” Tzanzi murmurs, and Auena nods. “Wizardry is easily taught by rote in comparison with other forms of magic. Their resistance to Charms and Sleep would be a result of having spent most of their early life in a state of utter isolation and self-involvement where their brains shut off randomly, while their talent for enforcing their magic upon others is simply decades of experience they have from subconscious training.”“You are a particularly terrifying person, you know that, Akko?” comment Kteine mildly. The others glance at her. “When you study a subject you don't hold anything back.”You hold out your hands, Yzia smiling proudly. “I have a brain and I have time. I use both.” Then you make a sharp cutting gesture to cut off the conversation. “That said, we are going to need a plan once we get to the Lair. The layout is not terribly unusual, if larger than normal.” You gesture to Yashi and she crafts an illusion of the Lair that Dunzamn placed into your minds earlier. It doesn't take long to locate a couple nice, large, defensible positions with easy slave-penning and away from areas claimed by others Dunzamn spoke with before the conclave.“All right. The final question is....”>You may treat these as 'yes' or 'no' questions and answer them all, or as write-in-prompts as you like. Are we going to fight for the place we want if it is occupied already? Are we going to make our own Lair if we are too far out? Are we going to populate our area with our slaves to take care of things as we raid and rest? Are we going to make an immediate sortie against the elves and buy our location in the Lair from Dunzamn? Are we going to try and Teleport into the Lair is we are too far out at first? Are we going to petition and bribe Dunzamn for a location before we leave? Write in?
>>1656351I did include this write in into the choices.
>>1656403>>1656397>>1656403This reminds me of your posts on the Dark Folk in one of the first threads of the quest, really fascinating reading.It makes me wonder if the maturation process is identical for drow, or if the magic that shaped them (and, depending on their situation, the evil deity they're a thrall of) changed that up at all
>>1656408Hmmmm...I definitely think we should fight for the place we want. Whether literally or not. Bribing seems a waste though. If we teleport will we get there first to call dibs? If not consider whether making our own is a reasonable use of time and resources with the othersAnd definitely keep slaves around to make things comfy
>>1656408As for the questions>No, unless it seems like it'd be really really easy which is probably unlikely>Only if we're like, really far out>Yes for Cyrillian, not sure about the other two (since one's an archmage who never figured out how to regain spells in the Astral Plane)>If it turns out we're close enough that the elves are in our line of sight yes, otherwise I think no>Soft no to teleport>Hard no to bribery
>>1656415If you think about how drow are portrayed in the previous edition/3.5, it becomes very obvious that the process is exactly the same....and thoroughly abused as such.
>>1656408No reason to fight, really. Sortie + buy seems like a fair approach. No need to bribe at least. I'm open to consider making our own or teleporting though, just seems like a bit of waste of resources. As for slaves, how would be bring them over?
>>1656429Yeah I can see that now, it was mostly because some depictions of drow society seem so dedicated to cruelty mostly for the sake of it (though sometimes given a survival of the fittest veneer) that I was unsure if they could keep sufficient quantities of their young alive long enough.
>>1656437It would take a couple of trips, but githyanki (and their dragons) can innately plane shift to and from the astral and a material world or vice versa (2 trips per day, there and back essentially).
>>1656444Hmmm...not too bad I suppose, but it is extra work that could be better spent slaving perhaps.
>>1656453Remember, in theory Akko and co. will be here for months, possibly years, perhaps decades, and no time will pass in the astral. It's more a gauge of plans and potentials.
>>1656463True enough, I suppose some slaves to handle the running of things is a fair indulgence.
>>1656408> Are we going to fight for the place we want if it is occupied already?No reason to, unless it's the only place left and the fight doesn't cost much.> Are we going to make our own Lair if we are too far out?Only if we're so far out it becomes impractical to do the journey> Are we going to populate our area with our slaves to take care of things as we raid and rest?For our Fire Genie Sorceress, sure, if she can come. For our serpent, sure, unless she has another task to do in the Astral (I don't remember what we told her to do last time). For our half-orc, only if doing so won't damage her psyche or anything else. For our wizard, only if doing so won't damage her psyche or anything else and if we can still contain her.> Are we going to make an immediate sortie against the elves and buy our location in the Lair from Dunzamn?Doing a sortie too early doesn't seem to be a good idea, it'll ruin the surprise, and I'd rather not pay if we don't have to.> Are we going to try and Teleport into the Lair is we are too far out at first?No. Teleport drain ressources, and even Akko would risk to get to the wrong place if she tries to teleport to an unfamiliar place. We just can't afford it.> Are we going to petition and bribe Dunzamn for a location before we leave?I am not in favor of this.>If we let our half-orc guard our Lair, put a Dungeon Ring (Prisoner version) on her finger. Or maybe tease her to put it on willingly, if there is the time.
>>1656470Oh right, we told our slaves to liquidate pretty much all our assets didn't we? Should we give them "time" to do that first?
>>1656470Mmmmh, we have enough Dungeon Ring for all our slaves, after all.For those who don't know:>A jailer’s dungeon ring is worked gold, set with carnelians. The ring is magically attuned to one or more iron prisoner’s dungeon rings. When the wearer of a jailer’s ring places a prisoner’s ring on a subject, the prisoner cannot remove the ring without the use of a remove curse, limited wish, miracle, or wish spell. The wearer of the jailer’s ring can also remove a linked prisoner’s ring at any time.>The jailer is aware of any wearer of a linked prisoner’s ring like a constant status spell. Additionally, all wearers of linked prisoner’s rings count as familiar to the jailer for purposes of spells such as scrying and teleport.It would make our Lair safer to have at least some of our slaves wear one, at least to keep an eye on things.
>>1656428>>1656470I kinda feel like 'no' to every option (even if soft) is kinda counterproductive. I mean yeah ideally we just find the perfect lair and don't need to do anything, yay! But it seems like the whole point of the vote is to decide on what course of action to take if that isn't an option and we'll have to resort to one of the above - unless anons can come up with a better custom idea. Some variation of 'prefer not to' on everything leaves XS with no better idea than before on what anons would want.
>>1656474I've said the conditions in which I would consider doing those things worthwhile. Meaning that what I want is:>Not to fight for a place unless it's the only option>Not make our own Lair unless we're really too far out>Populate our area with our slaves unless it's bad for the slave in question>Not go on a sortie>Not Teleport >Not bribe the guy.Because we can settle for the options that don't include doing that.The whole point of the vote is to determine what option we're going to do or not do, not "we'll have to resort to one of those, so pick one."
>>1656474I guess that's a fair point.If we're really far from the lair my personal preference is "head to the lair normally but snag some elves along the way">"Make our own lair"">"Teleport back"And if we're close "find a spot that's almost as good">"fight whoever is there">"make our own lair"
>>1656478And I mean "really too far out" as in, we need to cross miles of lands where we can be detected.We can teleport once we're familiar with the place.
>>1656478I mean, assuming we're willing to settle for a sub-par lair sure. But I don't see any reason to do that over something relatively benign like bribing or the like at least. And yeah, we could luck out and just get a good one, but if so then all of these options are pointless anyway so it's obviously a 'what if' scenario.
Rolled 9 (1d12)Consider the fact you will end up 5-500 miles from your target location in a random direction chosen by using a 12-sided dodecahedral direction (12 is zenith, 1 is azimuth, seven is westerly and up, 6 is easterly and down).
Rolled 38, 73, 66, 1, 81 = 259 (5d100)>>1656485....that is not the picture I intended. Anyways....
>>16564855-500 huh? That's quite the spread. 5 almost seems too close really.
>>1656483Because bribing the guy, aside from costing us money, will also put a big "here is where Akko's slaves are going to be" sign on the place, and not protect us.
>>1656488Oh boy, we end up half-way of the maximum.
Rolled 11, 11 = 22 (2d20)Perception, Sense motive.
To be fair, the only reason I don't want to make us an independant Lair yet is because it'll make us isolated and risk to make us easy picking if someone counterattack.Though I suppose Akko and Yashi *could* make a Lair safe against most scrying, but considering who we're going to face...
Rolled 4 (1d4)Final roll: Weather conditions radomly generated indicate rain with low wind speed. A d4 locates you in/around the clouds.1=middle2=above3=below4=off to side
>>1656517Well at least we're not wet. Also being somewhere in the sky is somewhat better than somewhere filled with solid rock, though not great for stealth.
We could establish a secondary lair, just in case.
>>1656522Middle of the clouds might have been best for stealth really. Rather dim view however.
>>1656522>>1656525Standing next to rainy clouds is still pretty stealthy. People from the ground will just see a dark shape next to a bigger dark shape, that's all.
[X] Write in? Much of this is dependent on where we arrive, but if the elves are easily accessible in comparison to the lair, a sortie and some thefts might be worthwhile....establishing our own location in the lair shouldn't involve violence, and definitely should cost us nothing otherwise; bringing in our own support will be worthwhile as well, though it may take some time.It takes a very short while to sort through the situations and potentials, and the consensus is reached mostly through telepathy. That you listen to your subordinates is one of the things that makes you a good Leader. That you recognize the impossibility of planning everything to the letter is why you make for a dangerous warrior. But you settle on a generalized and less than dangerous plan for your arrival. The hard part is not knowing where you will arriver in relation to the Lair.The worst case scenario is ending up in some underworld caverns that are inhabited by something alien. You were on a raid that was cut short by that happening once; someone had managed to Plane Shift into the lair of a neothelid, which then proceeded to Teleport Trace the fleeing raiders into the Lair. That was possibly the most frightening experience of your life, really: out of thirty-seven raiders, six made it back alive, you and Tzanzi included.Arriving up high and far out is the most likely case, and that means your response will depend on the location of the elven and human cities in comparison to the Lair. While you have a good enough sense of the Lair to Teleport there, that has a similar issue of unpredictable location. Still, you have one memorized and the spell-scar of one, so it would not be tragic. “Yashi, give me two of your scroll, and give one to Schechei. If we arrive in a location that is too far from elves and Lair alike, we'll just have to risk a direct Lair Teleport. I don't want to assault the humans; they respond much more quickly to intrusions and prepare responses much more rapidly after. The disorganization of the elves makes things somewhat less annoying for later raids, despite their magic.”Yashi pulls out the requisite scrolls and passes them to you and Schechei; Auena gives one of her Power Stones to Kteine, with similar reasoning. You give one of the scrolls to Yzia. “Just in case.” She smiles and shakes her head, her confidence in your abilities unshakable. It's rather flattering to be honest. As Yzia w\moves a short distance away, Falna pulls a rolled up rug from within the dimensional pack that she uses on raids. As she lays it out with Schechei's help, Yzia transforms, her harness and the equipment packs already fastened and prepared.
'Have you been dragon riding before, Kteine?” She shakes her head, unsurprisingly. “You sit between Yashi and Auena then; basically, try not to let gravity remove you from your seat. They will show you how to strap and buckle in. If we get into an aerial fight, let Auena and Tzanzi take the lead; use your powers, rather than trying to use your weapons, unless you have a bow or spears. Just do not pierce Yzia's wings. It will annoy her.” A soft mental giggle from your dragon makes you feel all warm and gooey inside. Sort of. ”Yashi, you ride in front of Tzanzi; she will be your defender. Only use minor defenses for now, since it is very doubtful that we would need to enter combat immediately.” Yashi, who has apparently ridden dragons before, straps in easily, while Auena assists Kteine. You do happen to notice Schechei glancing at Auena with a distinctly envious sort of expression; apparently the affections there are still somewhat mutual, even if Falna has lost the pretty psychic warrior's heart. That could be trouble, but it could also save her life if Falna dies on her. It might be worthwhile to speak to Kteine about it later. You move up to the crown of horns and the golden chains and glassine mask your dragon wears, and put on your own. Tzanzi, of course, has been wearing the one you made for her. As you take the chains and bind yourself to Yzia, Falna's magical carpet rises to match your height.Do you have a layout of the geography and topography?I do, but only for the surface. If we end up underground, most likely we will be shunted to the Lair. You finish and Siobhan sings soft melodies of war, blood, beauty, and destruction to you. You imagine Malnae is doing the same for Falna. You'll have to find time to present Yashi with her sword. In private. Probably naked. Yzia likes that idea a lot. So does Siobhan, in a very peculiar way. We're using the same rod, so we should shift in the same area. If not, have Schechei Teleport you to the lair and establish a good position if you can. I will home in on you.The expression on her face as she realizes your magecraft has expanded so far since she knew you is gratifying in a petty way.you are sometimes more dragon than githyanki, my treasure, Yzia murmurs in your mind.Must be the company I keep, you reply and you close your eyes and begin the Transition to the sound of her laughter in your mind. Kteine, Yashi, start breathing now. It will help. Your body will remember quickly. Auena already ensured that none of you were suffering form any poisons or other lingering effects that would cause issues when time resumes. BEGIN!
With that you sync your mind with Yzia's, and gather the telepathic links to your Cadre, and concentrate. Yzia's magic holds Tzanzi to her; you would have to be touching her to do so yourself as the Transition begins. Her damaged brain makes such efforts difficult, and telepathy impossible.The rush of atmosphere around you and the chill of the height you are at combined with the brightness of a sunny day are confusing at first, until you realize you've materialized next to a massive raincloud, far above the world and from the looks of things, a pretty vast distance from the Lair. Also from the target lands, though you can of course see the elven forests and the human lands, along with a fairly good sized mountain range and a moderately large lake – undoubtedly the source of the regions wetlands.Inconvenient, Falna murmurs, though she is not particularly unhappy about not arriving underground in some death-trap from her emotional content.Heavy, complains Yashi, unused to true gravity.I will teach you some spells that will help later. For a price. The image of the slim, naked githyanki illusionist kneeling before you, delicate tongue exploring, receives quite the intense response from her. And Siobhan. Yzia is looking forward to watching it. More publicly, you ask, I need bearings. Immediately your Cadre starts looking around at the ground. You'll fly there – at this distance no one is going to notice for some time. Teleportation is all right – you can use the scroll this time. Look around for landmarks yourself. Let the others look for landmarks – you want other information. Some dust of illusion will make Yzia and your cadre look far more innocuous. Write in?Siobhan is terribly miffed about not arriving right there and in the midst of a situation where a fight would be in order.Random Encounter Roll: Chances are 3 in twelve – 1 hostile, 12 friendly, 7 neutral. RESULT: 6, no encounter.
Bah, I'll live with that one. I kept the roll, though.
>>1656536One shy of a neutral encounter, I wonder what there would be all the way up here>Fly there>Illusion dust>Let the others look, you want other information
>>1656537Pity about the no encounter, but so it goes!>[x] Look around for landmarks yourself.>[x] You'll fly there – at this distance no one is going to notice for some time.
>>1656537> You'll fly there – at this distance no one is going to notice for some time.> Let the others look for landmarks – you want other information.> Some dust of illusion will make Yzia and your cadre look far more innocuous.
>>1656537> You'll fly there – at this distance no one is going to notice for some time.> Let the others look for landmarks – you want other information.
>>1656537 You'll fly there – at this distance no one is going to notice for some time. Let the others look for landmarks – you want other information. Some dust of illusion will make Yzia and your cadre look far more innocuous.
Can't be too careful, clearly!
[X] Let the others look for landmarks – you want other information.[X] Some dust of illusion will make Yzia and your cadre look far more innocuous.[X] You'll fly there – at this distance no one is going to notice for some time.You take a packet of the Dust of Illusion from one of your belt pouches and then realize you'll need two of the five – one for Yzia and her riders, the other for Falna and Schechei. Though, if you were perfectly honest, it would be for Schechei's, and therefore Kteine's, sake you'll be using it.So fortunate you are not honest, my beauty, Siobhan purrs into your mind. Yzia matches her purr, amused by your blade's observation.Hush, you. Once more addressing your entire Cadre rather than only Siobhan and Yzia, you scan the clouds and sky as well as the ground, looking for threats and dangers, or opportunities. Yzia, bank left and move through the cloud. Falna, you follow her. Focus on this. the image you send of of a massive flight of ravens, a creature so ubiquitous that it would be an astonishment if they didn't exist in this world. If you weren't in flight and moving the illusion would be less difficult to pierce. You want Yashi \'s mind on things other than illusions, so the powder will suffice.Other things? Is that what you call it now?No, that is sex. Other things are not sex. Anything you can sense that we should be concerned with? Yzia laughs warmly at your stoic comments, despite them being colored by thoughts of Yashi under your hand. Or atop you. Hard to decide really, so both must be in order.Only a few elementals within the clouds; they are uninterested in us for the moment. You pour the dust into the sky as Yzia banks tightly, and on her second circle she passes through the shimming fall of rainbow dust. Falna follows, and the illusion takes hold, the dust altering under the impact of their powerful visualizations.There, Kteine calls, her breathing a little labored and her thoughts unsteady after the Transition. She is fine, though; Tzanzi would have alerted Yzia if she wasn't. Those menhir and that marsh were near the landmarks that lead to the Lair's entrance.I see them. To the left and towards us, the entry point. The illusion is easily discerned at this height. Falna's mental indicators are easy to follow, but you're looking elsewhere at the moment, studying the forest you will soon be assaulting.
The home Trees are easily discerned at this distance as well: taller, broader, and more thick of branch and heavily leafed. Five of them. You study them carefully, and can take a stab at which one might house the majority of the most powerful and oldest elves, and therefore the most valued children. There's no urge to make an incursion against them yet. Equally important are the farms and livestock that you locate, marking them as places to recommend the resource gatherers concentrate their efforts, both elven and human.I see it also. But I don't know what that is, and it looks significant. Schechei indicates one of the mid-sized mountains in the range that walls off this particular area to the south. You turn and study it, and then frown. Megaliths, several of them; but more importantly, polished and therefore what caught the githyanki's sharp eyes. Akko? she asks privately, concerned by your reaction – or rather, the lack of one.It's a set of standing stones, and far more recent than Dunzamn's scouts have been here. I see movement, but nothing larger than a githyanki figure, and only a few of them. Possibly the architects. Yzia's curiosity is no less potent than yours, but you see something she does not – the power of the stones is a match for that which you carry, the Elder Power that makes you so formidable.>Please Roll 1d20 with your votes. It is most likely either a dwarven outpost or a dragon's lair. I suspect our scouts would have informed us if it had been there as recently as months ago. Ceremonial place most likely, and not our concern. You found it, what do you wish to do with it? We can inform Dunzamn later, and he can assign scouts. Write in?
Rolled 18 (1d20)>>1656630> I suspect our scouts would have informed us if it had been there as recently as months ago.> You found it, what do you wish to do with it?
Rolled 2 (1d20)>>1656630>[x] I suspect our scouts would have informed us if it had been there as recently as months ago.>[x] It is most likely either a dwarven outpost or a dragon's lair.Any way to inspect them more closely without being discovered?
Rolled 2 (1d20)>>1656630> I suspect our scouts would have informed us if it had been there as recently as months ago.>Inform her of the Elder Power you're feeling from those stones.>"How fast could someone build something like that?">To your entire Cadre: "Could those who built that be druids?"
Rolled 8 (1d20)>>1656630> You found it, what do you wish to do with it?Good question
>>1656647>"How fast could someone build something like that?"Akko comes from a culture that routinely uses magic to create entire cites; she is aware it could have been crafted in a day by an ambitious spellcaster, hours if they had help.>>1656639Akko is aware that Yashi has several divination spells, though they may not be memorized.
>>1656652>Akko comes from a culture that routinely uses magic to create entire cites; she is aware it could have been crafted in a day by an ambitious spellcaster, hours if they had help.Well, yes, but not any magician with two bits of magic could do it, so the question is more "how fast could someone *that our intels indicated to be around* could build something like that.
Hope this isn't a roll high kind of situation!>>1656652Maybe we can ask if she can look closer then. I'll support adding that.
>>1656665We got 18 without bonus
>>1656682XS doesn't always take best of when she calls for rolls. We'll see though!
Rolled 33 (1d36)Arrival number the.....
>>1656693Dunno what this result will mean but at least it's not another middle-of-the-road result!
[X] You found it, what do you wish to do with it?[X] I suspect our scouts would have informed us if it had been there as recently as months ago.[X] Write in? Oh Yzia, that is a little more than a few standing stones! The others needn't know though.Yzia, there is Elder Power stemming from that place. You cannot sense it? That means the others should be ignorant of it's power as well, which might be a good thing.No, Akko; t merely looks like any other place of power to me, a place built to contain or gather power or veneration. It isn't anything more, as far as I can tell. It doesn't seem to have much in the way of true power at the moment. Her tone changes to a more concerned one. A trap of some sort?You consider carefully. It seems incredibly coincidental, but it is entirely possibly that it is actually coincidence. On the other hand, I suspect that between you and I, we count as a force that would move oracles and priests to see portents and to cause wizards and sorcerers to see signs in the stars at this point. You suddenly grin and cast an image for her of some poor, beautiful woman-child bound to menhir by chains and painted in ritual symbols. It might even be an invitation.I've never had sacrifices made to me before, she muses thoughtfully, much to Siobhan's amusement.To the others you send a much different viewpoint. I sincerely doubt that it was here more than a few months ago. It seems far out of place for elven or human construction and most likely took at least a month or two of hard work, assuming the materials were readily available along with enough people or slaves to build it. The scouts would have noticed it – even from the ground, that place would be fairly obvious within a few dozen miles. Perhaps some strange sect of nature-priests. There is quite a bit of doubt from your Cadre on that account though.The wise thing-Silence, Falna. You found it Schechei – what do you think should be done with it? You ignore Falna's irritation and fuming thoughts, thoughts she does not share with the others. You half turn, attracting Tzanzi's attention, and she looks up at you. Demonstrating what makes you and she so formidable as a pair despite her lack of telepathy, you make a few quick, sharp gestures and indicate the location. She turns and studies it, and signs back to you that it is definitely a place of worship, but what or whom is worshiped isn't something she's familiar with. The design is too....invitational to be anything but, to her thinking.
Schechei doesn't take long at all to make a decision. We have oaths to fulfill and slaves to take, Akko. It will not be very likely to vanish in a day or even a month. We should rejoin the others. You give Falna a wash of smugness that makes her frown bitterly, Schechei proving her nature and worth as githyanki yet again. You also feel Kteine keeping track of your thoughts and feelings as well.Well chosen. We will report it to Dunzamn perhaps, if you feel the need, and lay a claim on the place for you, or perhaps scout it out on our own. She is absurdly pleased by your praise, even more so by the credit you give her for the discovery. Slave mentality, really, but forgivable. Keep pace with Falna, Yzia, let us keep the illusion intact. Your interest in the place isn't all that obvious, fortunately, It doesn't take terribly long to reach the illusory fields that hide the gate to the Lair. It's not a small Lair either; a vast cavern hollowed out of the bedrock itself and made into a serviceable home away from home. With as many dragons and githyanki present, to say nothing of slaves you'll be taking, the place has a larger number of guild present to support the raiders. You aren't very pleased to find that almost all of the dragons, and therefore all of those they carried, are here before Yzia's arrival. It will make carving a niche for your Cadre to enjoy that much more difficult, though only about half the total has entered the Lair proper. Land among them and see what others have found out. Land close to the entry to the Lair and have Yzia accompany your Cadre. If Yashi has the appropriate spells, have her divine to see one of your choice areas is available. Since the choice spots you looked at are just as likely to be chosen by others, find the best and see if you can 'negotiate' something. Just fine a place to settle – you can deal with making or taking a nicer spot later. Write in?Siobhan isn't going to say 'she told you so' but she is perfectly willing to make a fight out of it for the best location.
>>1656716>[x] Land among them and see what others have found out.>[x] If Yashi has the appropriate spells, have her divine to see one of your choice areas is available.Well, shit.
>>1656716> Land close to the entry to the Lair and have Yzia accompany your Cadre.> Since the choice spots you looked at are just as likely to be chosen by others, find the best and see if you can 'negotiate' something.
>>1656716> Land among them and see what others have found out.> Since the choice spots you looked at are just as likely to be chosen by others, find the best and see if you can 'negotiate' something.Only the best
>>1656716> Land close to the entry to the Lair and have Yzia accompany your Cadre.> If Yashi has the appropriate spells, have her divine to see one of your choice areas is available.>>1656744The best would be to check for what's available before searching to make a deal for what's occupied.
Rolled 3, 18, 19, 2, 7, 10 = 59 (6d20)Hmn.
>>1656781That's quite the spread
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>1656722>>1656729>>1656744>>1656770Tiebreaker between >Land among them and see what others have found out. (#1)and>Land close to the entry to the Lair and have Yzia accompany your Cadre. (#2)since they are mutually exclusive.
[X] Land among them and see what others have found out.[X] Since the choice spots you looked at are just as likely to be chosen by others, find the best and see if you can 'negotiate' something.[X] If Yashi has the appropriate spells, have her divine to see one of your choice areas is available.While githyanki tend towards stoicism in large groups, there is often a small amount of telepathic 'chatter' that occurs when conducting group efforts. Much of it has to do with the fact that a certain amount of coordination is necessary when dealing with dragons and groups of people moving into a new territory, but there is also an amount of gossip that occurs. Such gossip is usually used to keep tabs on other githyanki's dramatic situations and thereby keep running bets and make people aware of situations to be avoided. The fact that there are so many here helps.Arm and armor yourselves. I want this location, and it is going to be occupied. You give them the image and knowledge of the place, and Yzia slows her flight and stabilizes herself into a slow glide to allow you all to manifest and cast. You gesture to Tzanzi and she inclines her head with a wicked smile, knowing just how interesting your 'negotiations' can be.Tzanzi informs Yzia of a likely landing area, one not necessarily near an entryway, but one isolated enough not to alarm anyone with the fact you and yours are girding for combat. Not that it's unusual by any means; you just don't want any of them to assume they're being targeted. Yzia agrees and starts slowly banking in for a landing, keeping her glide calm and steady. Two of the three other stragglers fly in, looking unharmed and none the worse for wear.It doesn't take long to learn what you can. Which sadly isn't all that much, truth be told. By and large, the mountaintop 'cathedral' was noticed by a number of githyanki, and seems largely unimportant. Dunzamn has arrived and has already set up the War Chamber and has set the guild members to tasks, including the distribution of arcane marks for those spellcasters – guild or not – who may desire to be contacted for services of varying sorts. There are at least two fights going on, and there are tensions between several dragons that are expected to become troublesome. The general consensus is that the humans are the target of choice, but there are a fair number who will be raiding the elves, and that at least three cadres have dedicated themselves as siege groups, one of which is planning an assault on the elven Home Tree.
Focusing your telepathy you inform Yashi of your plan. I need to know of you can scry on any of the areas where I planned on settling us. If so, tel me who is there and what their situation is. She divines your plan instantly and reaches into a pocket, pulling out a variety of glass beads. While she makes several mystic passes and signs, she does not speak the spell; better that way, in your opinion. The marbles change into eyes the same color as her pale yellow ones and a dozen rise from her hand, darting off at high speed and avoiding the githyanki and dragons.I will have information for you shortly, my Leader. she says pleasantly.Tzanzi steps up to you, carrying two of the hefty packs. Falna takes up the third without orders, while you take one of those Tzanzi has. You tell the others your travel pattern, and they quickly take up positions. You don't even need to tell Tzanzi the organization of your group; she's done this many times. Isolating your thoughts to your Cadre alone, you ask Yzia, Do you require us to secure your holdings?No, Akko; I believe I will make contact with Dunzamn's dragon. I want to know why Vermithrax saw fit to impersonate him at the conclave, and I will join you in your own holdings later, since I can maintain my forms indefinitely now. Auena glances at you, surprised; Schechei looks suspicious; both of them are apparently aware that it is an unusual talent for a dragon as youthful – relatively speaking – as Yzia is to manage that. I will have to maintain my form to do so, of course....“Don't be too long. I have the feeling Akko will be wanting some of your attention shortly,” Tzanzi says, making Falna and Auena stiffen. You smile, knowing that mind-blind as Tzanzi is, she knows Yzia all too well. Yzia lowers her head and you reach up, caressing her jaw with one gauntleted hand and kissing her, as her tongue slips over the side of your face and caresses your tongue, her breath scented of cinnamon, molten metal, and desert sun. That nets you some serious stares from a number of githyanki, all of whom you ignore. You then lead your cadre into the smooth stone halls of the Lair. The Lair, being as large as it is, is still under some measure of construction. Guild members move here and there, sometimes accompanied by trusted slaves, but more often by githyanki who used to be slaves. This isn't likely to be their home, but many enjoy the respite from the hardships of the Astral during raids like this. You head towards the upper areas and out towards the edge off tot he side, not too near the entrance, but given a location close enough to be accessibly but large enough to be useful to you.
As you and your cadre walk – Yashi in the center, Schechei and Kteine flanking on either side of you and unburdened, Falna and Tzanzi both burdened and flanking Yashi, Auena behind and unburdened for safety's sake – every now and again Yashi holds up a hand and catches a floating eye. Each one is tucked into her palm and her eyes glaze over; she places a hand on Kteine's shoulder in those moment,s and Kteine becomes especially alert to threats, protecting the spellcaster.It might be nothing, but you suspect that there is a budding friendship there.After the fifth, Yashi speaks up. Akko, the upper area with the gallery that you thought would be good for us all, if a slave pen was added? It is held by a five person cadre, Joerno being the Leader. He has two warriors, a knight, and a spellcaster under him, and he favors the location for the view it possess and little else. Promising, promising....another four eyes and she makes a second announcement. The others are held by more dangerous groups of gish and knights and in one case, both.“Let us go pay a visit to Joerno, and see if he might be willing to vacate the premises for us,” you comment mildly, and Falna tilts her head curiously. Tzanzi grins, baring her spurs, while Kteine and Schechei become tense and prepare themselves for a fight. Auena pulls on her thick, bejeweled gauntlets and flexes her hands. Siobhan, of course sings blood-pumping songs of war, and you take a deep breath. It might not come to that of course....….but if it does, there is no question in your mind who will be leaving that particular battleground alive.>To Be Continued....>More votes=longer writing time.
>>1656870Thanks for writing XS! Don't worry about the writing time!Really looking forward to seeing how this goes next thread.
Thank you for reading and playing. I'll stay for a short while for any questions that may be had.
Thanks for runningWill we have more random encounter rolls in the future?
>>1656889Yes. Incidentally, there was actually something for each number, but only three of those numbers had an immediate encounter behind them. The others were each a peculiarity or interesting detail of the world.
>>1656897For the curious - one was a hostile githyanki cadre, one was a friendly and curious sylph sorceress playing with her elementals, and one was a floating city nearby (hostile, friendly, and neutral, respectively).
Thanks for running!
>>1656903Those all sound like they'd have been fun encounters. Cursed dice! Well, I'm sure we'll have plenty of fun without them too.
>>1656907Well, you got a mysterious mythic Temple out of it, so it's not all bad.Though it being Schechei's homeland would have been interesting.
>>1656903> one was a friendly and curious sylph sorceress playing with her elementalsWell, it's probably better for her to not have met Akko's Cadre.Though Akko *might* have let her keep her freedom after some seducing, given the relative hurry everyone was in.Question, are those encounters still on the table for next time, or were they a one-time-only deal?Question 2: what does Akko thinks of Sorcerers in general?
>>1656874Thanks for running! So is this mostly the first time Yashi has been outside the Astral since she was born?Also is there a Guild whose main job is getting food and clean water and supplying it for the lair, or is it every cadre for themselves?
>>1656929>So is this mostly the first time Yashi has been outside the Astral since she was born?Not likely, she had to grow up, so she had to spend years outside of the Astral.
>>1656924There will be different encounters next time, but those three will always be on every table (hostile, neutral and friendly encounters). Akko finds sorcery fascinating, but you haven't met one in this world - you will find my take on them quite a bit different than most of the ones you encounter. You will have absolutely zero doubt about whether a spellcaster is a sorcerer or a wizard in this game upon encountering them. Witches are a little more difficult to suss out but the chances of you encountering a witch re low, unless you break into one of the prison areas of your chosen raiding target.>>1656929Yes, this is her first time. But she is both intelligent and well read. It will be interesting to see how she develops.Typically the guilds support of a Lair is minor, but this is a serious endeavor, and there are in fact food and water makers/growers/collectors (Gardeners) in this Lair. Air is usually fairly easy - they have architects for that among the Masonry guild members. There are fountains which are the sources of drinking water, but bathing water is something that must be collected or paid for. Restroom facilities that are alchemically self cleaning are provided as well, and commonly placed (this was one of Akko's criteria for the choices in location she made, along with fountains).
>>1656937No - there are locations in the astral that are demiplanes where time passes normally; these are only accessible through the Stronghold. So she did have a period of time where she experienced normal life, but that was well over a thousand or more years ago. she has never been to a material plane.