CAST OF PLAYERS:
Jeremy Whitener…………Korin Alabaster………………………Were-Mongoose
Jera Morrison……………….Alseyne Aulaudin…………………Sidhe Changeling
Debora Silkotch…………..Casey Gavin…………………………Human Psionic
Aron Head……………….Story/Setting/Everything Else…….Game Master
Elijah dashed into the room, Korin at his side. Pip charged in immediately behind them and cut to the left, quarterstaff at the ready, as Alseyne came in on the right.
Claws, his newly regenerated eye glowing an emerald green, loped more slowly into the chamber. The massive Khan ran his claws along the walls as he went.
Casey stood warily in the doorway, sword in hand. Pana remained at her side.
Before Korin and Elijah reached the center of the room, the stairs became fluid and shifted into a towering stone colossus standing some 18 feet tall.
Off to Alseyne’s right another stone giant roared forth from the curving wall behind her. It slammed its foot down, shaking the room.
A third emerged from behind Pip.
“Go! Go!” Pip urged Elijah and Korin.
Elijah leaped into the air — but the reach and speed of the first giant were too great. It slapped him down with a bat of its monstrous hand.
“Yarg!” Elijah crashed onto his back on the floor.
Korin sprang back as the colossus hand struck the vampire down. “Hurts doesn’t it?!” With the stone giant’s attention on Elijah the Mangoose bounded forward and scrambled up the wall. As his foot set down on the tiles above, he was BLASTED back by a tremendous wind. He twisted in the air, startled and unbalanced. With a punishing WHUMP he crashed back to the floor.
He pulled himself to his feet. Elijah did the same. The vampire shook his head attempting to clear it.
Pip, still charging for the central colossus before him, leaped — and bouncing off the first giant backflipped onto the shoulders of the monster to the rear. With a twirl, he smashed his staff down onto the creature’s head…
To no real effect.
From her vantage point just outside the doorway, Casey turned her focus onto the colossus that was barring Elijah and Korin from the high door. She reached for its mind, searching for a sentience there that she might attack.
She found one…but this intelligence was something wild, more alien than any mind she had ever touched. It was intelligent, but nothing like human. The thoughts were indecipherable.
So much for mind tricks. Time for something a bit more direct. She launched a bolt of telekinetic energy at the monolith’s head, attempting to shatter it.
The creature’s head snapped back, causing it to stagger a step. It appeared to be momentarily dazed.
Okay, that wasn’t going to be enough.
What was left?
Her sword? She had no doubt that the Adamas blade was strong enough to damage stone, but she wasn’t nearly as sure of her own strength in delivering the blow. Not to mention her ability to get close enough without getting squashed flat.
What was left besides that?
Nothing was coming to mind.
Claws shifted into his Chatro form and sprang forward. At full speed he leaped at a wall, hitting it about 8 feet up, using it to spring off and rebound toward the head of a stone colossus. He crashed HARD into the giant!
Meanwhile, Alseyne called out, “Wood to ashes, Stone to dust” and let some of the lint in her fingers waft free as she rubbed them together.
Well, that was not altogether true. While her cantrip appeared to have no effect, Claws’ attack did. It was so effective in fact that he sent the stone giant toppling over toward Alseyne!
Claws was already springing, launching his momentum in a different direction.
Frowning at her failure to cast the spell properly, Alseyne’s head jerked up in surprise when the monolithic figure toppled towards her. She dodged a few degrees to the right in a long-legged sprint.
The giant CRASHED to the floor. The force of its fall sent Alseyne pitching forward, colliding with the wall and bloodying her nose. She fell to her hip but rolled immediately back to her feet, reorienting herself to her adversaries. She didn’t bother wiping away the blood; she grabbed part of her gemstone skirt and rubbed the diamond-look-alike rhinestones over the blade as she intoned quickly,
“Steel is fine but diamond’s harder.
Please take heed of what I said.
A Diamond sword I need to barter
Sharpened to a monofilament blade.”
The sword trembled in her hand, and there was a crackling sound. The steel of her blade was unchanged, but a faint aura appeared about it sparkling prismatically as if the the steel was instead diamond of the finest quality.
With a faint sigh of relief, Alseyne immediately turned and brought her sword down on the arm of the creature at the joint where his right arm and shoulder met. The blade, driven by the Sidhe’s popping muscles, hewed the arm from the creature.
At the same time, Casey slipped into the room with Pana at her side and crossed swiftly to the fallen giant, swinging her blade over her head and bringing it down as hard as she could onto its stone neck. Like a hot knife through butter she separated its head from its shoulders.
There was horrible shriek, and the entire form bounced as if filled with Mexican jumping beans. And at last, the thing dissolved into a million pebbles.
Casey skittered back from the loose pebbles, beaming. “That’s more like it! Hey Claws, knock another one down for us!”
The Man-Cat hurled himself at the center stone giant, the one that had been staggered a bit by Casey. He hit it hard in the chest, sending the thing careening into the wall behind. It stumbled to the floor with a mighty crash.
Alseyne turned to Casey, “Let’s follow Claws. He knocks them down. We cut them up. Failing that, we aim at their legs and prepare to dodge quickly.”
Casey nodded. “Sounds like a plan.”
Alseyne dashed across the room, poised to strike.
Just then, Elijah hurled himself up to the wall. The vampire was over the lip just as he was caught up in a whirlwind and flung out across the room, crashing at the feet of the giant Pip was fighting.
Casey winced at the sight, but sympathy didn’t slow her down any. She followed Alseyne to the colossus that Claws had knocked back into the wall, throwing another bolt of power at its head for good measure. The creature’s head snapped back at the forceful blast of telekinetic energy.
Casey moved in for the kill, but Alseyne beat her to it. With a dramatic arc of her blade, the Sidhe beheaded the creature. In a repeat of the previous monster’s demise, it trembled and shook before dissolving into a wave of pebbles.
“Woohoo!” Casey crowed her exhilaration. “Next!” She turned to face the last giant, moving toward it cautiously. To Alseyne she added, “I’m going to stay back a little this time and try to keep it stunned. Holler if you want me to jump in.”
Claws crouched to leap at Pip’s opponent, but the stone giant unexpectedly grabbed him up by the scruff of the neck and POUNDED him into the floor! He hit the pavestones hard, not far from Elijah.
Alseyne grabbed Casey urgently.
Before the rational part of Casey’s mind could catch up with her instincts, a pulse of energy burst out to knock Alseyne’s grip from her arm. An instant later she damped down the telekinetic surge. “Sorry about that. Personal quirk. Usually not a good idea to grab me like that.”
Alseyne nodded and grinned. “I’ll try to remember that. Wouldn’t want you to pull an Ogre on me.” She continued in a low tone, “Casey, we need to split up. I’ll try to distract him from the front and lure him away from Claws and Elijah so we can topple him. You try to get behind him and take a good shot high up on a leg and we’ll see if we can’t get him on the ground too. Be careful — we don’t want to bring him down on top of anyone.”
“Okay.” Casey moved off, attempting to get behind the creature.
Alseyne moved to confront the massive figure, staying on the balls of her feet and looking for openings to try to get a good chop at one of the hands or arms.
Scrambling groggily off the floor, Claws grabbed Elijah by the arm, dragging him along out of the range of the massive creature as well.
“…Oooo…” the vampire groaned.
As the two females angled their way towards the remaining stone colossus they noted that the entrance to the chamber had sealed. The only way out now was the door on the upper level.
Pip cried out a triumphant, “Yehaaah!”
The creature on which he rode exploded in a flashing rainstorm of tiny rocks. Pip landed on the floor between the women. “That wasn’t so hard,” he commented just as a loud groan of stone against stone filled the chamber. “What in the…?”
Three giant pipes were revealed in the wall, from each of which a flood of water rushed sweeping all of them off their feet.
“Yikes!!” Casey’s blade melted back into its hilt as she disappeared beneath the roiling surface of the water. She had a difficult time holding onto the hilt, but managed to get it secured in its sheath. A moment later she surfaced, both hands empty now and paddling strongly.
To Casey’s astonishment, Alseyne began screaming in fear. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!” Her panic was palpable, it radiated cold and bright and shrill against Casey’s perceptions. Like the flood water itself, terror washed over the Sidhe, overwhelming her. Her cries were cut short as she drew a lungful of water, and she tumbled beneath the racing waters.
Casey swam toward the flailing woman, but Pip got there first.
“I gotcha, Als.” The satyr was right there at her ear, his arm over her chest pulling her back against his, “I gotcha.”
Alseyene sobbed in hysteria at the sound of his voice, gulping in air. She was plainly trying not to struggle against him, but her panic was eroding her control.
The waters rushed and bubble around them. The level was rising quickly toward the wall top.
Casey swam over near the wall where the door was, waiting for the water to rise high enough for her to scramble onto the ledge.
“Casey!” Elijah called out as he swam to her. “Careful, girl! Something’s up there. It blasted me onto my ass. A pressure. Wind, I think. But crazy fierce.”
“Wonderful,” she panted, eyeing the ledge warily. What did she have that could combat wind? Not the shield; it would probably act as a sail. The sword was useless. “I’m–” she began, then choked as rough water splashed her face. Switching gears, she sent the thought directly to Pip’s mind. ** I’m fresh out of ideas. Got any windbreaks in that bag of tricks, Pip? **
:: I’m workin’ on it…:: He looked to the approaching wall’s ledge, then up to the ceiling beyond. His eyes widened. :: Oh crap… Casey, look up there. You see what I see? ::
She did. Scorch marks. Evidence of burning.
:: Stone or earth, water, wind… and fire. ::
Glancing down at the waters illuminated by the green sconces below, Casey felt a brief wave of despair roll from him, which he immediately tamped back down, mastering his fear with a grim resolve. He kissed the top of Alseyne’s head while hugging her shaking form even tighter against his chest, whispering softly to her: “I gotcha, Als. I gotcha.”
Casey was a strong swimmer, but the churning water made difficult to keep her head above the surface. She was feeling out of her depth in more ways than one. ** Looks like all the elements are covered. But what — **
Flames erupted suddenly from the ceiling, sending jets of flame licking down at the waters and the war party tossed there. At once, the air began to heat up.
** Oh. ** “Crap.” She wondered how long it would be before the waters boiled. Not that any of them would be alive to see it; they’d cook to death before then. She threw every ounce of power she could summon into trying to extinguish the flames, but she couldn’t seem to get a hold of the fire or identify a fuel source.
The fire just was, resisting all of her attempts to extinguish it.