without sight, Metri’s thanks to his erstwhile opponent go unreturned, but he attempts to open up a dialogue with whoever else is holding him.
Metri wrote:"Diyessyio-Metri Nimoi, my name is. Metri for shortening. Unfamiliar I am, with this method of greeting and dialogue. If spare a heel of bread and glass of water you can, a civilized discussion we will have, hmm? Eager, I am to hear what you have to say."
This polite inquiry is met with more hissing laughter. ”Talk iss cheap, ass they ssay.”
Below the dialogue, Metri can hear a soft chanting somewhere in the background. More magic. The Yhabbayar activates a few of his psychic powers to try and get a better sense of the room around him. The good news is, with his mind’s eye Metri can make out three humanoid shapes in his vicinity. Further out, Metri breathes a small sigh of relief as he recognizes the outlines of a few of his comrades- at least he’s not in some sort of extradimensional prison. Things in the lab are a little more chaotic- no doubt thanks to the aftermath of his meteor strikes (not to mention the cloud of smoke still present), but Metri thinks he can detect movement inside.
Unfortunately, the useful information largely ends there. While mind’s eye provides an excellent, radar-like vision substitute it’s not quite detailed enough to enable you to see their auras. However, you can get an empathic sense off of them- it is intoxicating. Like they all just tried amphetamines for the first time- everything is fast and fresh and dulled and weak and full of new sensations. Good sensations. These men have just been granted power, and they are reveling in it. Buried underneath, detectable only because of your close proximity, you also get a sense of barely-suppressed horror as well as some sort of sick, perverse thrill that makes your skin crawl. The surface thoughts that you can skim don’t tell you much more. There is an ordered, military discipline to their thinking- unsurprising, given that you tracked invincible guardsmen to this world. But they’re not actually thinking about your crew all that much- they are focused on the incredible strength and abilities they now have. It appears that the incredible suits of armor they are wearing are a new acquisition.
Then, Metri’s invulnerability aura winks out, and the shadows constrict just a little bit more. The hissing voice spits, ”Finally”
and lays a clammy hand on Metri’s cheek. At first, nothing happens. Then, Metri begins coughing. A terrible, wet, wracking cough that hints of all kinds of horrid things being generated and filling the breathing passages. The Yhabbayar’s muscles ache, and his nose starts to run, and Metri is instantly overcome by an intense desire to lie down and not move very much. Getting out of this one is gonna be rough. ((Anyone
who made their perception roll last round, with a -10% penalty if you don’t have any enhanced hearing, can hear Metri coughing.))
Outside the darkness, things are looking a little better. With Bashka down, Mara and Starchief move to engage the newest combatant, emerging from the shadows. The ninja-like fellow crosses the intervening distance in the blink of an eye, his speed putting even Bashka to shame, and he engages in a complicated series of jumps and leap kicks, finishing with a flourish of his energy scythes. Starchief can’t help but feel that the style seems a little familiar… Not that that stops the ninja. Wielding blades that are literally extensions of his body (or his armor?), it fights each of you as if it were a one-on-one duel, transitioning his paired weapons between opponents as if it were choreographed. The ninja executes a devastating series of attacks that leave the Seeronian without his magical protection. Starchief recreates his armor of ithan, only to see it destroyed only seconds later, and accompanied by a series of solid, rapid-fire slashes to his chest ((Two AoIs destroyed, -241 MD))
, with a final blow sending Starchief flying to land on his back a few feed away. Mara fares a little better, fending off some of the scythe strokes but definitely feeling a few blows to her magical protection. While she and Starchief gather for a counterattack, Mara refreshers her invulnerability aura, then activates her black sun tattoo and attempts to peer into the strange darkness enveloping the lab. While it remains impenetrable, even to her magical sight, Mara suddenly knows with certainty that two shadow-linked beings are somewhere inside, melded with the mass of darkness. As Starchief hauls himself back to his feet, the two of you grit your teeth and charge your enemy as one.
Your earlier suspicion that this foe was faster than Bashka proves to be correct. The ninja practically bounces off the walls as it ducks, weaves, jumps, parries, and ripostes its way through your attack- Starchief can’t even touch him, and Mara lands only a single blow that barely snakes its way past the man’s defense. Right on cue, more acid blood greets the Atlantean in response. Then, abruptly, Mara’s invulnerability aura winks out, forcing the Undead Slayer to reactivate it with a low curse. That could have gone better. As the two of you get closer to the shadowy area, however, you notice that the golden aura from Champion when Starchief holds it aloft dispels the darkness within a small radius.
Opposite them, Juan and Sorrenson continue duking it out with the flier, the godling having concluded that melee is the best way to counteract the flier’s mobility despite her rather irritating electrical field. At first, Juan hangs back, and tries to focus on avoiding the lightning bolts. The electro-angel sprays them at both Juan and Sorrenson, tearing through energy auras and armors of ithan alike and forcing both of you to concentrate on renewing your defenses. Then, while his amulet directs the second destructo-drone into position, Sorrenson surprise-charges the angel and tries to grab her. The woman nimbly dodges out of the way of Sorrenson’s first two attempts, right into the path of Juan’s clubs ((-7 MDC Juan))
. With the guardswoman thus distracted, Sorrenson finally manages to grab ahold of her, and then it’s time to get to work. Using his sensors to identify weak points on the thing’s chitin plating (courtesy of his missile barrages), Sorrenson digs in and tries to rip her limb from limb. Despite the woman’s struggles (and lightning bolts lashing against his magical protection), Sorrenson manages to rip off both of her arms- first one and then the other. As he removes pieces of the exterior armor, it reverts to its natural state of some sort of chitin- brownish in color from what you can tell. Sorrenson manages to pull both arms off of the suit of armor, but the process is both unpleasant and messy- acid blood spews everywhere from the armor, and finally collapses his latest armor of ithan. Ignoring the peril in which he now finds himself Sorrenson surreptitiously cues up his destructo drone, spins once, and then hammer-throws the guardswoman straight into the air- and into the path of the destructo drone.
The explosive cacophony is impressive, particularly in such closed quarters; it is quickly replaced by a ringing in your ears, so to speak, which is in turn replaced with a high—pitched shrieking. A distorted, jumbled lightning bolt is shakily getting to its feet- only the torso of the guardswoman’s armor is intact. Her legs and head are exposed, raw electrical energy, and her arms are… gone. The shrieking is the woman’s screaming- she collapses in shock at being so mutilated, lightning bolts flickering dangerously around her. What she’ll do next is anyone’s guess.
Completing the circle Kaedras, Oradro, and Icky draw their weapons and march on the metallic kreeghor en masse. Your progress slows when a ghostly figure emerges from the shadows- revealing some sort of dark, spectral cosmo-knight. Two more emerge in sequence, and all three immediately make for Oradro. The true cosmo-knight joins the battle, taunting the kreeghor and hoping to draw his enemies’ fire. While his opponent appears a little sluggish in the aftermath of Metri’s previous magical assault, it doesn’t take the thing long to shake it off and join the battle with a vengeance. As before, the behemoth blocks all of Oradro’s cosmic assault, but Kaedras manages to flip back and to one side of the Kreeghor, and connects a solid blow across it back complete with satisfying yelp of pain (that must be some armor).
The three spectral knights charge Oradro, and begin laying into him with wicked-looking, shadowy blades. Oradro’s easy confidence vanishes when the knights’ weapons plunge through his force field- and his cosmic armor ((-158 MDC to your natural MDC Oradro))
. At the same time, the volley of energy spheres that Metri encountered earlier reappears from the shadows, now headed for Kaedras. The elf tries to avoid the barrage but fails, and the six spheres impact multiple times on his cosmic armor in a frenzy of activity ((-52 MDC Kaedras))
. Meanwhile, the metal behemoth has decided to focus its attention squarely on Icky. The metal man lashes out with his one good hand, only for a wicked grin to come across its face a few seconds in as it shakes its formerly paralyzed arm, and wades into battle with both fists flailing. Icky’s armor takes a pounding ((-391 MDC))
, and the minotaur staggers back a little under the onslaught, but Icky keeps his feet and retaliates with Darkwing. Unfortunately, he is unable to get his blade past the Kreeghor’s defense.
Begin Round 7!
Round 6 Summary
Metri: Invulnerability removed. You have been afflicted with a flu-like illness- reduce all combat bonuses and attacks per melee by half, and you lose initiative for 12 minutes.
Starchief: Two armors of ithan destroyed, -1 millennium wand charge, -241 MDC.
Mara: Invulnerability aura destroyed, -120 PPE total (including activating a new one).
Juan: Both energy auras destroyed, -1 armor of ithan activation, -7 MDC.
Sorrenson: Both armors of ithan destroyed, -10 PPE (no current AoI active).
Oradro: -158 natural MDC.
Kaedras: -52 MDC.
Icky: -391 MDC.
Juan, Sorrenson, Icky, and Starchief can only see one of the ghostly figures attacking Oradro. Mara and Metri can’t see any of them, Oradro and Kaedras are the only ones who see all three.
Situation essentially unchanged from last round, save for the ghostly knights attacking Oradro and the ninja dueling Starchief and Mara on the edge of the shadowy area. The electro angel is on ground writhing and screaming.