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BotRE Sea1/Ep1 'Secrets in the Earth'


Nina
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The ruined earth. Two thousand  after a rogue planet smashed into the moon shattering it and ending the old world giving birth the new. Two thousand years of toil and tyranny under the thumbs of despotic rulers rising from the ashes and maniacal sorcerer’s hell bent on world domination. Two thousand years of monsters. alien beings and cosmic terrors, the human race endures. Reduced to tribal existence as barbarians, technology lost they struggle, their day to day lives, a trial of hardship and endurance. But there are a few who throw off the chains, who stand tall and face the horrors of the ruined earth.

 

Men such as Korroth the Barbarian.

 

Korroth crouched close to the boulder covered by its bulk and the tall grasses and leafy plants that ran along the ridge which curved off creating a small bowl valley below. Off to his right his companions, Firanis the Scavenger, Aazea the Sorceress, and Orgun the Oktrun, crouched in the covering brush as well, on his left on the other side of the boulder, Pat  the spider robot, held its body low taking advantage of the cover like its living friends did.

 

Before them, the ridge ended not as a cliff but with a steep grassy slope which led down to the entrance to a mine dug into the hill. The entrance was guarded by leather clad barbarians armed with clubs or shirt spears. No evidence of bows could be seen but they probably had slings which could prove just as deadly.

 

The elders at the village which had asked them to help them had told them of the mine and how the mad wizard who ran it had captured many villagers over the years taking them away never to return. They could tell Korroth and his friends much, not even what the mine produced or what the wizard did with whatever it was he dug from it. They could see tracks coming out of the mine which they knew the great Iron trains rode own leading off east toward the low hills but there was no train only small broken ore cars lying along the tracks in various states of disrepair. There was also no sign of any captured villagers or work of any sort in fact.

 

Korroth frowned and motioned his companions back from the ridge.

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The Sun beat down upon them, and Korroth grunted in annoyance.   They could simply attack, but they would have to cross much ground to reach them, and while he could fight at range, not everyone could.   "I see no workers, only broken down cats.   They could be working within the mine, which would also mean more barbarians guarding them and forcing them to work.  We have no idea what's coming out of here.  If we rush in recklessly they sound the alarm and hold the workers hostage, putting us at great disadvantage.   Not to mention they likely have slings we'd have to dodge the whole run in.'

 

While Korroth was a Barbarian, he knew something of strategy and tactics, and he frowned.  Just rushing in would not accomplish what they came for.   "We need a plan.   Did anyone take note of something the Guards lacked?"

they

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Orgun grunted, "Brains?" he shrugged, "After all they work for a sorcerer." He looks at Aazea, "No offense meant."

 

He shifted his bulk around, crouching he found uncomfortable, "Look Korroth I can charge em and be there before any of them can blink twice. There is only four of them, even if more inside I can smash em and hold the rest inside untill all of you get down then we can do em all!"

 

 

Orgun  1_bgEj2ct9B0rYVufMm7XohA.jpeg.9556f11ec1666e19c851295bbc8ee6e9.jpeg

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"Yes, Orgun you could do that, but unless that is our only option, I don't think it the best way."   He shrugged.   Between the two of them, they could easily draw fire for the others, but they had to avoid injury if they were to get the captives back home, and then battle the sorceror.

"I could attack with my bow while you charge,  giving them another target.   They don't look the sort to ignore such a thing.  Does anyone else have an idea?"

 

The two of them in tandem weren't a force to be ignored, and could certainly be intimidating enough.  That said, just charging in didn't seem to be the right play to Korroth this time.   "If we do go, leave at least one alive.  We'll need information."
 

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Orgun grunted, "Brains?" he shrugged, "After all they work for a sorcerer." He looks at Aazea, "No offense meant."

 

Aazeah blew a raspberry between her little fangs and waved a hand at Orgun.

 

"Do not be ascared!" she commanded in her piping voice. "YOU work for a sorceror too! A mighty one! I will...uh...hmm..."

 

The tiny green woman slowed her roll as she bumped up against the boundary between 'bravado' and 'actually having a plan' in her head. Then she brightened. "I know what will solve this!"

 

Korroth frowned like a boulder might; slowly, but inexorably. "What?" he asked.

 

Aazeah's yellow eyes widened, and she said, "Boom!" Her staff...a simple rod of unshod wood that she had tried to decorate with some rocks pounded into the end, but it still just looked like a stick...flashed, and something dropped into her waiting hand.

 

It was a little...metal orb? Oblong, almost like an egg. With a handle on it.

 

She brightened on seeing the thing and did an excited little jig where she stood, then offered it up to Korroth.

 

"Take this. I will ride on your back! You charge! When you're close enough, pull the handle off and throw this at them!" She bounced on her toes happily. "I will cast more spells too."

 

Then with a glance at Orgun she added, "Maybe one will live!"

 

It didn't sound like a priority for her though.

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A slouchy hat covering her vibrant hair, dark goggles over her eyes, the long-limbed young woman hid adeptly in the long, swaying brush as she unlimbered her boltcaster. Checking out of habit that the springs and strings were still sound, the drum aligned properly, slotting the bolt in place, Firanis couldn't help but have her attention drawn to the little metal egg the olive-skinned imp had summoned.

"What does your egg do?" Fi asked with avid interest, peering this way and that, trying to get as good a look at the thing as she could without standing up and giving away her position.

"It booms!" Aazea reiterated, thumping the ground with her stick.

Fi's interest perked up even more. She knew booms. She looked at the egg, then down the steep slope towards the guard, then the egg again. "How big a boom?" she asked, far more curious than cautious. "Little boom? Big boom? Bada-big Boom?"

"A boom this big!" Aazea boasted, stretching out her arms along with her stick as far as she could. Fi snorted at the tiny girl who stood barely taller than her waist. Aazea made a sound that wasn't quite a hiss. "Big 'nough for the guards, azat."

"'Kay," Fi said with a nod. "But next time, I want one." She slapped her trusty, cobbled-together, boltcaster. "Today, I'll cover y'all from the ridge, case there's some others about out huntin' or what we ain't seeing."

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Ogrun was still staring at Aazea his small brain going over and over what she had said to him thinking that it was a some sort of insult, then Fi brought up her pointy thing thrower and he huffed blowing air out his nose. He looked at Korroth who was rubbing his chin in thought.

 

"Bah this is all nergel puck," Ogrun's ears were twitching, " we coulda crushed em all by this time you all were busy flappen yer lips.!" The huge Ox man surged to his hooves and charged the end of the ridge brandishing his weapon and before anyone could react he was over the edge. 

 

The rest of the party surged forward and saw that Ogrun was fully three quarters the way down the slope and the guards had just noticed him then there was a bright flash of green light from right above the mine entrance! A green beam shot out of the flash and struck the running beastman. Ogrun took two or three more steps his body glowing green and somewhat translucent then he exploded with and even bigger green flash!

 

Spoiler

yes exploded as in scatter bits of oxman all over the slope   bet that never happened in the cartoons

 

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Fi saw the beam of green light lance out and had flashback to the day before she'd been exiled from her Strange Ones village. It exactly the same! Except for the beam being green instead of blue, and as wide as her fist rather wider than her hand and thinner than a hair. And making one beastman explode into bits across the slope instead of slicing three men and a quarter of the village clean in half. Other than that, practically the same.

Firanis instinctively rolled to the side, expecting the deadly lance of verdant light to continue through their erstwhile Oktrun companion, but it didn't. She'd seen the flash, seen where the ray had come from. A rod of some sort above the entrance, surmounted by a metal ball perhaps the size of Korroth's fist, but in the ball, was an eye of green crystal. 

A deadly green eye!

Firanis rolled to her feet, long legs standing her well above the line of the brush to give her a clear shot. She braced her boltcaster against her shoulder, lined up the sights, took a breath, then squeezed the trigger. The stock punched her shoulder and the fire hardened bolt flew... to carom off the metal casing of the eye.

The eye didn't like that! It glared balefully, glowing green and terrible, and another lance of fatal incandescence flew.

Fi knew it was coming as soon as she missed and hadn't waited. She cartwheeled to the side, legs scissoring in the air, feeling the... pressure of the beam as it passed bellow her head, smelling acrid smoke as it pierced her hat. She came down in a roll in the brush, and kept tumbling as the emerald ray chased her, barely keeping her heels clear before it finally relented and the eye blinked in defeat.

"You missed!" Fi croaked more than crowed in boastful exhilaration. 

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"Godsdammit." Korroth swore as his comrade exploded across the slope.  "Take it out!"   For his part, sword in one hand grenade in the other he moved to engage.  There was nothing left but to charge now.   "Spread out, don't give it a chance to take out a group of us at once!"  He charged ahead, moving away from the others and cocked his arm back to throw the grenade at the laser eye.  

 

Spoiler

Shameless Roll: [20] Result: 20

Shameless — Today at 12:30 PM

sonova FUMBLE on the first roll...
damage

!roll 1d8

Dice MaidenBOT — Today at 12:34 PM

Shameless Roll: [1] Result: 1

 

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Aazea watches in horror as Korroth races down the hil without her and cocks back his arm, she opens her mouth to shout, and he launches the grenade at the guards! "You have to pull the pin!" She shouts just a second too late. 

 

The green eye flashes' and a beam sears the ground where Korroth had been. Korroth rolls to his feet some yards away and looks back at Aazea and shrugs "Pin?"

 

The grenade sails through the air and hits the nearest guard on the head knocking his helmet askew, he staggers back as the grenade falls to the ground. The Green eye shoots another beam at Korroth who once again dodges. One of the other guards picks up the grenade and hears "You have to pull the pin" echoing from the attacking  barbarians position

 

He puts his finger in the ring and yanks the pin out and throws it at where Korroth is dodge the death ray.

 

Spoiler

Korroth needs to make a dex test to save vs grenade damage.

 

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Korroth managed to dodge the incoming grenade and explosion, and was quite happy to have done so, even as two of the guards were still coming his way.  He drew his sword and prepared to fight, knowing that he was  going to have to take up the slack now that Ogrun was gone.   "Come on then."  He hoped it would be distraction enough for the others to get into this fight, take out the suddenly quiet death ray while they had a chance, and give him some backup.

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Fi stared dumbfounded as the metal egg was thrown back and forth before exploding, throwing up a wave of dirt and grass that Korroth was lucky to avoid as he charged down the slope. She rolled back to her feet and glanced down at the tiny Aazea with a wry twist to her lips. 

"Maybe hold that thought on handing me a boomy egg next, 'Kay?"

With Orgun now there, there, over there, and more bits all over, Korroth was a target alone for the guards and the green eye.  With a grunt of frustration, Firanis leapt over the ridge after him, sliding down the grassy slope on her feet, rapidly spinning the grant to reload her boltcaster. The emerald eye was small and hooded in steel, she needed to get closer to get a better shot.

 

Boltcaster loaded, the lanky young woman, closer to seven feet than six, slowed her slide by kneeling on her forward knee. She leveled her boltcaster once more, sighted on the deathly emerald eye and fired.

"Broken moon!" Fi cursed, having been unable to adjust for her momentum, her bolt flying wide to chip off stone next to the metal rod. She swung her boltcaster back on its strap and pulled the matte black knife, hilt wrapped in pebbly lizard leather, from its sheath, her teeth gritted fiercely. The guards were too close for the boltcaster now, and if she had too, she was going to stab that blasted eye in the... well, eye.

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The first two guards closed on Korroth and flanked him one swinging his cudgel low while the second went high!

Spoiler

Korroth needs to make two dex tests to avoid being hit.

 

The remaining two guards dashed past the three combatants and one of them began to climb the slope toward the two women (Pat the robot was still by the rock and thus unseen by those below). The climbing guard had to struggle using his free hand to make any headway up the steep slope.

 

Meanwhile the last guard had paused at the bottom of the slope and dropping his club drew his sling from around his waist and fitting a stone to the pouch began to whirl it for a deadly shot at one of the women

 

Spoiler

Y'all's turns

 

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"AAARGH!" Aazea shrieked as the device she'd made was squandered. "Stupid...big...GUY!!"

 

Scowling fiercely she gripped her staff as energy began to coruscate down its (embarrassingly) plain length. All the best booms came from angry! Dust and grit swirled around her feet, and sparks snapped in the air around her.

 

"THIS HOW YOU BOOM!"

 

The diminutive sorcerer aimed her staff at the gleaming Eye, and a blast of pure light, pure force ripped out of it. It tore across the wasteland, leaving a trail of displaced dust and grime in its wake along with a roll of thunder. Bright green-white, it slammed into the eye, striking it dead center.

 

For a moment the strange eye-like orb simply trembled. Then green arcs of lightning began leaking out of it. The metal casing cracked...and then it detonated in a titanic flash of green flames, sending a skull-thudding *CRUMP* echoing over the battlefield! The concussion sent a dome of dust and debris pressing outward visibly, and dirt and stone chunks from the hill above came raining down over the mine's entrance, partly obscuring it.

 

Aazea's eyes widened and her face split into a gigantic grin. Her anger instantly evaporated, and she broke into a demented little jig as dust and fragments rained down around her.

 

"YES! THAT IT!"

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"Yes it was."   Korroth smiled as the tiny green-skinned sorceress destroyed the eye, and he turned his attention to the two guards, dodging the cudgel by literally jumping over the low strike, and then sidestepping to avoid the powerful downward swing of the second, Bringing his sword around in a powerful circular arc, drawing a crimson line across the chest of the latter guard as he took his stance once again.  

 

Spoiler

Defense
13, 6  both successes


Attack 14 vs 16 success.   2 damage

 

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Sharp steel knife held in a reverse grip, Fi found her feet and skidded down the slope towards the guard trying to scramble its way up. Bright eyes narrowed in vicious delight, the lanky young woman went to plunge her blade into the guards neck when the eye exploded!

Incandescent green flames dazzled her eyes and the unexpected concussive force knocked her off her feet as she and the guard were peppered with dirt and grit. The pair of them tumbled down the slope in a tangle of limbs and shaken scree, Firanis rolling with it rather than fighting it, waveringly finding her feet at the bottom. Fi spit the dust and dirt from her mouth, scrubbing her lips on her shoulder.

"It wasn't my fault!" she claimed instinctively, despite Aazea taking full credit and Korroth corroborating.

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The explosion echoed in the bowl valley and cause the guards to hesitate. The one who was cut by Korroths sword dropped his club and turned to flee, the other recovered and swung a two handed blow aimed at Koroths head.

 

Firanis's opponent rolled to a stop scrambled to his knees and lunged at the pink haired girl withe the intent of grappling and pinning her knife arm.

 

The remaining guard let fly his stone at Aazea, and fumbled at his belt for another!

 

Spoiler

All three of you need to make dex tests to avoid being hit. then conduct your next actions

 

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Fi skipped back out of range of the guard's lunge, then tried to circle around him. But the guard was too wary and found his feet, keeping the strangely tall, magenta-hair girl before him. He reached for her knife hand once more, but Firanis flipped her knife to her free hand and slashed at his extended arm, leather and flesh parting in a welter of blood.

 

Fi bared her teeth at him in a vicious, unrepentant grin. "You and your falta wizard master are going to pay for the villagers y'all taken."

 

Spoiler

Dodge Roll
Asarasa Roll: [8] Result: 8


Attack Roll
Asarasa Roll: [13] Result: 13 - Barely! But a Hit, finally!

Damage Roll
Asarasa Roll: [3] Result: 3 Damage

 

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Aazea, flush from her victory over the Eye and the resulting boom darted to the edge of the ridge and stared balefully at the guards. Her yellow-gold eyes twinkled balefully.

 

She then leveled her staff at the pitiful mortals strewn about before her and declaimed in her piping voice, "I have killed your god, and now you will know...AGH!"

 

A sling stone from one of the guards zinged out and bonked her forehead. As she flinched in response her staff twitched upward and released a spurt of energy that sprayed in a harmless little fan that made little popping twinkles in the air. Each one had a soft bell tone as it popped, like wind chimes.

 

The sorceress rubbed her forehead, wincing. There was a tiny trickle of blood from under her grubby fingers, but clearly nothing serious.

 

"Ow," groaned Aazea. "Ow ow ow."

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Korroth smiled as the first guard ran, and grunted as the other slashed at his back.  His armor protected him, but only just.   "You should have followed your friend's example."  He lashed out again with his own sword, his blade tearing open a large gash across the guard's chest, there was definitely a difference in experience.  He saw Aazea get hit, and grunted.  At least she wasn't down.

 

Spoiler

Shameless Roll: [17] Result: 17 Korroth is hit

 

nina_blain Roll: [2] Result: 2 damage  prevented by armor

 

Shameless Roll: [8] Result: 8  to hit with sword

 

Shameless Roll: [4] Result: 4 damage

 

 

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The guard stared dumbfounded after Korroths sword slashed across his chest, blood spreading down coving his stomach and legs, his knees buckled and he fell over, dead.

The thug who had been circling with Firanis,  grasps h wounds and dropping his club moans in pain and tries to stagger away, following the other man that ran off.

 

The guard with the sling had just fitted a second stone when he saw his fellows flee and that one was dead, with a curse he leapt away and ran toward the other end of the bowl.

 

In moments the party was alone in the hollow, bits of Ggrun decorating the hill, and one dead guard laying at Korroths feet. The entrance to the mine partially buried but still passable.

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"You better run!" Firanis crowed, knife raised above her head in victory as she watched the two living guards flee. She wiped the blood off the matte black blade on her thigh, then sheathed the knife and checked her boltcaster, making sure everything was in order. She shared a look with the others, lips pursed. "Still, seems like they gave up too easily, za?" She glanced at the diminutive green skinned woman, who was still rubbing her forehead. "Thought sorcerers kept a tighter leash on their minions, but don't you be getting ideas."

 

The lean, lanky young woman turned towards the partially obscured mouth of the mine, a smirk on her face. "If he can't even kept his minions in line, he ain't gonna be that dangerous a sorcerer. Let's find us this pleg and take 'is head."

Fi skulked to the side, sidling up to the escarpment, and with her back to the rock, eased up to the entrance, feet near silent, ears straining for any sound coming from within.

 

Spoiler

Moving Silently
!roll 2d20
Asarasa Roll: [9, 2] Result: Success

Listening for Sounds
!roll 2d20
Asarasa Roll: [20, 17] Result: Failure

 

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All Fi could hear clearly was the shifting of the dirt and rocks from the recent explosion, but she did smell something. There was a current of air coming from the partially buried entrance and the smell it carried was not pleasant, it smelled like cat urine mixed with spices, it was bad smell, but it did open up her sinuses.

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Korroth frowned.  "We should have killed him too, now he can escape to bring back reinforcements."   He looked to the others.  "Aazea, will you be alright?"  She'd been hurt by the rock, and he wanted to make sure she'd be good to go in case they encountered more within the cave.   

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Aazea emitted a piercing little wail as she rocked forward and back and kicked her feet petulantly against the ground.

 

"You are supposed to protect me!" she accused tearfully, then wiped her forehead off again and looked at the smear of dark green blood on the heel of her hand. In the process she revealed that the 'wound' on her head was really quite small.

 

She sniffled and got back to her feet, wiping her eyes.

 

"But I am brave! I fight through the pain! Like Korroth! And..." Aazea looked over at Fi, "...and others!"

 

The diminutive sorceress scooped her staff up off the ground and thumped the end. "Lets go!"

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