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Face/Off - Extra (The Landscape)

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Reginald faces the Swordmaster tests...Edit

me: okay, reggie is ready whenever!2:44 PMShaun: Reggie is ushered up to the small pool of water, the grandmaster indicates for you to take a drink from it. Upon doing so, the cool water freezing in your cupped palms, and biting your tongue with its wintery frost, you look up to find yourself in an altogether different place.2:46 PM me: I examine the different place.2:47 PM Shaun: This hall is a cool blue colour,with none of the warmth of the academy catacombs. The columns and accents are more romanic architecture instead of Asian. You can see out from this stone hall into the surrounding area through the gaps between the pillars. It looks dark outside.2:49 PM Also you are now alone.2:50 PM me: I'm never alone, not with Bullworth! anything of interest within this room?2:53 PM Shaun: There is a raised area where you would expect to be another bowl of water, but instead there is nothing. Also some carved motifs along the ceiling of various deific goodness and some battles2:55 PM me: very well. i'll head towards the outer wall of the hall to get a better look outside.2:59 PM Shaun: This building rests on top of a low hill. You pick a bright star in the sky and name it North, giving yourself a way to keep your bearings. To the north is a wide valley, within which you can see dark masses with sloped peaks, likely houses and such buildings. To the south rises a larger hill with a cobblestone road winding up to its peak. To the east and west, large bodies of water, they look like massive lakes, or even parts of an ocean3:02 PM me: i suppose i'd best head towards the valley with the buildings


14 minutes

3:16 PM Shaun: You make your way down, and stride cautiously amongst the small village. The buildings are tall, the doorways here all exceed the height of those regularly built for humans. It's also very quiet here. You can hear a chicken clucking quietly down an alleyway, and a cat passes by, but it is mangy, with wild fur and a gaunt frame.
Only a couple buildings stand out as any different, a market building, with no walls, and empty tables arranged like a bazaar, and a smithy, prominent and centrally located in the middle of town
3:21 PM me: i have yet to see any people yet, yes? if that's the case, then lets head to the smithy.3:25 PM Shaun: You haven't seen anyone. It is the middle of the night, but even then, the town seems abandoned. The smithy is likewise vacated. There are four smaller workstations here, with one large one. Each has a forge and an anvil. Lying on the main stations anvil is a half finished longsword. Even in its current state, a trained eye can tell it is of excellent craftsmanship3:28 PM me: does the half finished longsword appear magical, or just well made? 36 arcana if you need it


16 minutes

3:44 PM Shaun: Well made. Masterwork3:46 PM me: cool. well, i still need to figure otu whats going on here, so i'll look around the other buildings looking for signs of life or recent activity3:50 PM Shaun: You survey the town twice over, without finding any recent signs of habitation. You think it must be a ghost town.3:52 PM me: and surveying the horizon, any landmarks other than the building i arrived in?3:57 PM Shaun: You can see a couple things: the building you arrived in has a second story, but you didn't notice a way up from within. Past that, the road up the hill seems to have a structure built on top of it. And to the west, you now notice a small cluster of fishing boats lying on the beach.3:58 PM me: can i see a way into the second story from the outside then?3:59 PM if so, i do that.


15 minutes

4:14 PM Shaun: You don't. There may be a hidden entrance inside4:15 PM me: well, then i get to looking for a way up. perhaps on that raised area4:17 PM and the pillars.


13 minutes

4:30 PM Shaun: Perception?4:32 PM me: 194:33 PM i take my time if i have to4:36 PM Shaun: A poorly concealed trap door on the side of a pillar opens to reveal a ladder in a very tight space ascending to the second level. You climb up and find yourself in another long room with a peaked ceiling. Dimly glowing magical orbs illuminate a massive mural painted on the ceiling. It depicts a human, a myaner, a rhakshasa, and an illithid all driving their swords into the writhing form of a giant snake. Clouds, angels and stars swirl around the scene in a decorative manner4:40 PM me: neat!4:43 PM i wonder aloud if this mural might depict some historic event. I'll ask bullworth if he knows of a time when an alliance of humans, myaners, rhakshasa and illithids fell a great beast.4:44 PM either way, i'll look about the room for anything of note. it's not inconcievable for there to be something hidden in this room as well. again, 19 perception.4:50 PM Shaun: "Anything like that is well before my time, the Myaner were always the enemies of the humans while I was around."
You find a ceramic pendant, a simple oval with a few runic symbols on it. It's pretty, but doesn't seem magical.
4:54 PM me: i'll pocket the pendant, perhaps itll offer some clues later. seeing nothing else of interest here, I suppose it's time to move on to the structure on top of the hill to the south


12 minutes

5:07 PM Shaun: You head up the hill. Upon cresting the peak, you see a tall house with a steeple. Surrounding it are dozens of carefully laid out graves. Each grave has a sword for a headstone, each sword with a unique hilt or style. There is candlelight shining through one of the windows of the house.5:09 PM me: approach the entrance to the house, maybe seeing if i can get a better look through the window on my way. if i can't see anything, knock at the door. if no answer, let myself in.


15 minutes

5:25 PM Shaun: You can see through a slat in the blinds the movement of someone working at a writing desk.
An answer comes at your knock. You hear heavy steps approach the door, and the portal swings open. A myaner stands before you. He is heavily muscled and a heavy sword is strapped to his belt. He looks down at you with tired, bloodshot eyes. "Yes?"
5:30 PM me: good evening, friend. I'm sorry to bother you, but I think I'm a little lost... where is everyone?5:37 PM Shaun: "You're exactly where you should be old man. And if you don't know where everyone's gone, you don't know your own history. They're dead. The result of the Boneworks War."
He steps out of his house and leads you to a cleared area of packed dirt behind the building.
5:44 PM me: in my home the knowledge of such events is long lost. I would listen if you would tell me.5:47 PM Shaun: He takes his place across the dirt pad from you and draws his blade. It is filled with dents, chinks and scratches. Obviously a well used blade.
"We came to stop your people from making a terrible mistake. I admit, we brought war. But you brought it back upon us, and though we stole the Fighter's Blade from undeserving hands, and prevented your access to the Boneworks, your wizards blighted our land. Only the Snaketouched live here now, and we are few."
5:51 PM With that, he launches his attack against you. 36 vs AC, 19 regular damage + 6 psychic damage5:56 PM The sword whines with a keening psychic call that rattles your senses. You can see his defense will be difficult to penetrate, and the whirling broadsword creates a dangerous aura around him.5:59 PM me: i'll use expeditous retreat to gain some ground (10 squares) and fire a chill strike hoping to slow him. 36 vs fortitude, 16 cold damage and dazed if hit, slowed if miss.  also  if possible, continue to ask him quesitons. "what is the boneworks, and why is it so important?"6:00 PM sorry, 34.6:03 PM Shaun: (sorry you started your turn in his aura, thats another 5 damage) "ARGH!" He cries out at the icy bolt strikes him in the leg. He rushes towards you, but the effect of the cold stop him 4 squares short. His defense is up again. "An immense fortress of poured stone and steel. A feast to feed all the Myaner soldiers who lost their lives in your realm could have been had on it's metal guts. Within lie the most terrible weapons known to the mortal races. It lies there, waiting. Created by the gods to tempt us into destroying ourselves. Just to see if we'd have the stones."6:06 PM me: i6:11 PM i'll try to keep my ranged advantage going. while he's just 4 away i'll pop a colour spray. shit you not, natural 20. 36 vs will. 14 radiant damage and dazed, plus 7 crit damage. then move away again, should be a full 10 squares away at this point. "and what now? why are we still fighting? the war is long over, so why have i been sent here and why do you attack me?6:15 PM Shaun: "Are your master's so cruel to send you with no knowledge of the tests? You're here to defeat me. If you prove yourself master of the blade, you may move on to the next test, and if you dare to assume the responsibility, you will become a master of the blade, like myself and them. Now stand and fight." He doesn't move from his place, and assumes a defensive stance.6:23 PM me: i'm still confused. if the humans and myaners have been enemies for so long than why does he cooperate on this, reggie thinks to himself. but w/e, if it's a fight he wants that's what he'll get. "So be it." i'll cast mirror image as a minor, then move and use bullworth's badge's daily power to move and attack. 32 vs ac. 21 damage, plus a blast of fire for an addiontal 7 damage and he grants combat advantage.  plus, a power ive been forgetting to use the last few sessions, when i hit somebody with an arcane at will power (like i just did) they take 5 damage if they attack me back on their turn.6:24 PM white lotus riposssssttee


7:43 PM Shaun: the Myaner reels from your assault, his arm slashed and hair singed.
"You're good human. If you pass this test you'll be one of the few ready to take on the role of the Swordmaster. You'll be charged with many responsibilities, but also many chances for glory. The Swordmasters of my time were brutal mercenaries, like gods with a blade in their hand, but a desire for blood above all else. You must rise above their lust for violence, and use the sword as a tool for good!"
  He comes at you with a fierce feint and then slice at your sword arm, +33 vs AC, 18 damage. You begin your turn adjacent to him, so 5 damage from his whirling blades aura.


9 minutes

7:52 PM me: heh, 33 just misses, he hits one of my mirror images instead. there are two mirror images left. i take the 5, but he also takes 5 from my white lotus riposte. i'll attack back, 37 vs ac, 14 damage, plus 7 fire and combat advantage.7:53 PM Shaun: i counted the riposte already on his turn. will this be each time he attacks you?7:54 PM me: oh sure, if you counted it already fine. whenever i hit him with an arcane at will it activates until my next turn. so chances are, yes, it'll be every turn.  only once a turn.7:57 PM Shaun: "Good! Your blade cuts deep! Fast and strong, like a viper among the grass, I cannot see where you're striking from. You are more worthy than the last few to come through, but this duel is not yet over."
20 vs AC misses you, he action points, 30 vs Ref, 18 damage, you are knocked prone. 5 from aura.


5 minutes

8:02 PM me: when he misses i lose another mirror image. i am bloodied at this point. i'll action point as well, use my move to stand. minor to activate my bladesong stance (+2attack, defenses, +5 damage until end of my next turn) . first standard to use an encounter: a sword slash followed by a blinding flash of light from my free hand. 27 vs ac, i think i'll use my heroic effort ability on that to increase it to 31. if that hits, 26 damage and 35 vs will to daze. my second action will depend on the result of the first please8:03 PM i should have CA at this point too, so hopefully i hit.8:04 PM Shaun: hits8:05 PM me: good, second action will be my regular bladesinger combo: 29 vs ac? if it hits 23 damage, plus 7 force damage and pushed back 3 squares.8:06 PM Shaun: hits. me: due to my stance, if he attacks me this turn i get an opportunity attack (in addition to the 5) Shaun: Your foe is bloodied. He is dazed, so he moves up to you, his turn ends. Take 5 from his aura on the start of your turn.8:08 PM me: a sly smile crosses reginalds face! he hasn't had an opportunity for a proper duel with a proper opponent like this in a while, and that's where he really shines. it's been all dragons and kobolds and what not for a long time. 35 vs ac, 24 damage, + 7 fire damage and CA.8:12 PM Shaun: 32 vs AC, 18 damage (again!) He takes 5 from your riposte, and 5 aura to you.
You see the slick sheen of sweat beginning to build on his forehead. The broadsword, as rapid as ever, thrusts and sweeps in searching out your weakness. "Remember Viper, not to repeat the mistakes of the past. The Boneworks is still out there, as is the Fighter's Blade. Don't let them fall into the wrong hands."
8:14 PM me: man, that's probably one of the more tempting times to reveal the fighter blade. oh what, you mean this blade? stab.  but i can't survive another hit if i miss.8:15 PM Shaun: lol8:18 PM me: this is sooo anticlimactic but it's the right move. this turn cast invisibility and skulk away, next turn second wind, next next turn pop him in the back of the face assuming nothing happens inbetween. Shaun: so invisibility and move 6? me: yeah, but behind him somewhere.8:19 PM within 6. Shaun: okay. you do so and he immediately takes a defensive stance, you see he is balanced on the balls of his feet, prepared to make a reaction at a moments notice8:23 PM me: i just realized invisibility is sustain standard, not minor. i thought so long as i didnt attack i was good to go, but i guess not. that kinda means this dosn't work as well as i thought it would. oh well, i'll move to 10 squares out then and second wind. invisibility ends, i still have one mirror, 32 ac with second wind. his move.  "I like that name viper, friend! It suits me! And the viper coils to strike again!"8:24 PM Shaun: you're too far away for him to get you this turn, but he double moves up so you'll take 5.
"You'll get to keep it too, if you defeat me!"
8:28 PM me: ahh, jake thinks he should save his last daily, but i think reginald is too into it! finishing strike! i swing my blade in an arc, lightning flashing between the blade and my opponent! 31 vs reflex for 15 lightning damage! i follow through with the momentum of my blade to slash across the myaners chest, 32 vs ac for 16 damage. finally, a blast of fire from my free hand for 7 more fire damage and combat advantage.


8 minutes

8:36 PM Shaun: The Myaner grunts in pain, you open a vicious wound on his chest. With a roar he slashes out at you once again: A miss!8:39 PM me: that means my last mirror dissapears, ac is back to a paltry 28. seeing his defenses falter, i continue the assault! I'll add my once an encounter2d6 sneak attack to this one. 35 vs ac! 24 damage(max!) and 6 sneak attack, plus 7 fire and CA.8:40 PM Shaun: Another miss! Remember to take 5 from his aura.


7 minutes

8:48 PM me: ugh, i'm in the red zone again. 16+20 for 36 vs AC, 15 damage. plus 7 force damage and push him 3 squares. use my move to scramble back 6, panting in exhaustion.8:50 PM Shaun: You can see that he is likewise exhausted, moving up to you takes his whole turn. Take 58:53 PM me: urk. that's a problem. 26 vs ac?8:54 PM Shaun: hits me: seriously? dang. i've been rolling awesome all night and super concerned my luck was gonna run out. turns out i hit on a 6 _8:55 PM Shaun: bahaha  hes a brute8:56 PM me: and i'm a viper! my blade snaps forward for 15 damage, 7 force and push him 3! i slither back 6, spirits renewed! (but body barely holding on!)8:58 PM Shaun: you don't even get through the push!
your blade takes off a hand, disarming, and whips back in to impale him through the stomach.
8:59 PM "You are the viper! I knew you would pass.. the.. test." And he falls dead. His sword lies beside him, the notched broadsword a testament to his immense skill.9:00 PM me: is there time in his dying breaths for me to ask his name?!9:01 PM Shaun: "I... am ... just the... undertaker." And with his last ounce of strength, he points to the mass of graves littering the hill top9:03 PM me: shiiiit9:06 PM i think i more or less collapse to the ground beside him for a long while. (short rest). then, i guess i'll have to do his job for him and dig him up a grave, placing his sword as the tombstone as with the rest of them.9:07 PM because who undertakes the undertaker?9:08 PM i feel like there was some other reference in our earlier adventurers to a being known as the undertaker, or am i thinking of something else?9:09 PM Shaun: (it was probably something else, i just made this guy up today)
you spend a long while working on the grave, and lay his body and hand into it, trying to give it a dignified pose.
 me: (fyi, i had 10 hp left. if one more of his attacks had hit, or two more rounds of aura and that would have done it.)9:10 PM Shaun: i guess i picked the right enemy then!9:11 PM as you push the sword into the ground at the head of the grave, you hear footsteps behind you, and you turn to see the Myaner stepping out of his house!
Dumbstruck, you stand amazed and he comes over, pulls the sword back up and sheathes it.
"And now you've passed the second test. You wouldn't believe how many aspiring swordmasters just left me to rot in the sun," He looks towards teh distant town, and to the land beyond with a sigh, "They wander The far wastes now, endlessly, unsure of where they're supposed to go, and too lost to ever find their way back to me."
9:12 PM me: o_O9:13 PM it was either bury him or go into his house and root through his stuff, i chose wisely apparently.9:15 PM visibly taken aback, "i.. i dont mean to be rude, but what exactly are you? to cheat death so easily?"9:16 PM i have a friend who'd like to know lol.9:17 PM Shaun: "I'm just a tool now, an exarch to a forgotten power. I'll live out eternity here, testing Swordmasters, unless there comes a day when men no longer need to live by the law of steel."9:21 PM me: "then i fear you may be here a very long time indeed. The next test, then?"9:22 PM hopefully it wasnt patience.9:23 PM Shaun: "The final one. Back in the town, there is someone who is missing something. You will find them by the tears left in the windowsill."9:24 PM me: does he pronounce that tears as in a rip or as in a drop of saline watery fluid secreted by the lacrimal glands between the surface of the eye and the eyelid? Shaun: the later me: very good9:29 PM "Thank you for the proper bout, my friend! would it be that our paths ever cross again let us skip the battle to the death perhaps?" if there's nothing more to be done here, I carry on back to the town.9:30 PM Shaun: "Farewell Viper. May you keep the path along the razors edge"9:31 PM You get down to the town. me: yes.9:33 PM well, i suppose i get to searching? i look about the windows for tears, or perhaps it's less literal and i look for wells and trofts and things. I listen closely for sobbing or any other sounds.9:34 PM again, 19 perception.9:35 PM Shaun: Upon the windowsill of a small home, partially covered by an overgrowth of weeds and wildflowers in the flowertrough, is an embroidered handkerchief.9:38 PM me: i peek through the window Shaun: Darkness, but you think you might see a body inside.9:40 PM me: well, same deal as before. knock, if no answer let myself in.9:41 PM Shaun: this time there is no answer. letting yourself in you see the dessicated body of a Myaner woman sitting in a rocking chair.9:45 PM me: i'll cast light to give me a better view, then examine the room more closely, anything else of interest in here? Shaun: regular housewifey things. a charcoal portrait of a family of Myaners sits on the mantle.9:47 PM me: how quaint. by any chance, in the portrait, is she wearing a pendant? a simple oval with a few runic symbols?9:50 PM Shaun: it appears that the eldest female is!9:52 PM me: elementary! i grab her handkerchief from the windowsill, and pull the pendant out of my bag. i use prestidigitation to clean them up a bit first, but then carefully place the handkerchief in the woman's hand and the pendant around her neck.9:54 PM Shaun: as you place the pendant around your neck, the myaner stutters into some sort of unlife. empty eye sockets begin to pour out tears, and in a horrifying whisper she entreats you "my son! my son, my poor craxle! why hasn't he come home?!" her bony fingers become entangled in your clothing9:55 PM me: uh oh, i know that name don't i? remind me which one craxle was?9:56 PM nevermind, looked it up Shaun: the one who ended up on the isle of carceri lol9:57 PM me: and the one who kel killed lolololololol  goddamit kel.


7 minutes

10:04 PM me: i grab the woman's wrists tightly with both my hands to stop her from squirming, and, hoping i've learned enough about myaner culture to say the right things... "Your son Craxle may not have returned, but his legacy lives on! By his acts alone the lives of many have been saved, for he has protected the Fighter's Blade all this time! His honour is rivaled by few, you should be immensely proud." while i'm talking, i can spend two surges to cast calm emotions for a +2 diplomacy. 35 diplomacy!10:08 PM lol hopefully craxle isn't a super common first name and it's totally some other dude  turns out craxle is like kim in korea. Shaun: (bahha that would be awesome) Her sobs lesson, and a ghastly rattle echoes through her ribcage as she exhales for the last time, and then falls back into her chair, as dead as she was before.
You turn to leave, and see the undertaker standing in the door way. His face holds an expression of extreme surprise. "She has never done that before... you know of Craxle? He still carries the Fighter's Blade?"


6 minutes

10:15 PM me: reginald sighs "i did not wish to deceive you, but i did not think the time was right. I have met Craxle, but he no longer carries the blade." i gingerly remove the fighter's blade from my bag, pulling the hilt up just an inch out of it's sheath, revealing the glinting blade beneath, before resheathing it. "You said earlier that you felt humans were undeserving of the Fighter's Blade. I hope to prove you wrong."10:16 PM "Craxle believed in me and i hope you can too"10:17 PM Shaun: "You have proven yourself special on many counts today Viper. I too hope that you are worthy of the blade, as I unfortunately lack the power to argue with your possession of it. Good luck." He turns to leave, and then remembers something, "In temple on the hill, you'll find a bronze cup, and in a jug, a red liquid. Drink that. It will take you back."10:19 PM me: "Then I have passed?"10:23 PM i call after him.10:24 PM Shaun: "You are One with the Blade." He replies, without looking back.10:28 PM me: i have added that title to my character sheet. Reginald tries to keep a straight face but he's pretty much beaming. He thanks the undertaker again, and then proceeds to the temple. on the way, I pull out bullworth. as a swordmaster in the employ of a nobleman, reginald was always expected to keep a straight face, cool head and stay out of people's way. so all that pent up excitement and energy pretty much releases now at bullworth. "How was that, Bullworth? Me, a Swordmaster! How do you like that! Did you see when we were fighting and I did that move where i..." etc.10:30 PM when we get to the temple, i drink the escape juice, happily chatting away. for once reginald feels like he isn't in the service or shadow of another but instead in control of his own destiny!10:31 PM Shaun: hurrah! you return to the grandmasters vigil, and they greet you warmly, and provide you with a swordmasters badge! Bullworth whispers in your head "nice work kid" +5 bullworth points.10:32 PM me: 16 bullworth points!10:34 PM Shaun: whoa! that means a power upgrade! ill have to come up with something me: very neat.10:37 PM and how many thousands of xp?10:39 PM Shaun: 1600. undertaker + major quest10:41 PM me: shuweet10:42 PM anything more we need to do now to wrap this up? Shaun: nope, i think we're good. only took like 10 hours bahaha10:43 PM me: haha, yeah. i dont know about you but i noticed a couple minute delay after hitting enter and the message actually sending each time.  so that certainly didn't help. Shaun: oh weird. i totally didnt notice that10:44 PM me: ...though now it doesn't seem to be doing it.  maybe i'm imagining things. Shaun: lol10:45 PM me: either way, good session! i'll copy and paste it onto the wiki.10:46 PM but not before sending a sternly toned whispering wind to Kel.

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